Monday, March 31, 2014

Cario-infused Strength Workouts

First- had another good weekend! Went to brunch and the movies for a date day with Chris (since it was cold, gray and raining all day Sunday!):

The fireplace at the restaurant was perfect! 

I ate until full and left food on the plate - good step for me (also finally got to drink a mimosa, which I've been dreaming about doing for over a month!).

We walked the dog together in the rain, I did my yoga and ate moderately and clean the rest of the day. Weighing 122.4 today....... Yay! No weekend gain for the first time in a long time!

Now, my post for the day:

I've learned there is a huge difference when I do mainly strength-focused workouts rather than cardio-focused: differences in my overall health, my endurance, my physical capabilities, AND (delightfully) my body shape! Seriously - my core is tight, my arms and legs are ripped, and I stand better! And, unlike popular myth, I haven't put on pounds and pounds of muscle and I do not look like a body builder. That type of body takes a lot of serious work with lifting BIG weights (which I do not do... I rely on my own body weight or smaller dumbbells most of the time).

I made the post yesterday about running, about how I can still run a fair distance at a good pace even though I haven't run in months... and I owe it all to continuous strength training. A variety of strength training workouts can keep your body primed and ready for all types of physical exercise!

I used to focus on cardio when I was losing weight. Obviously. It makes logical sense, right? Cardio burns calories fast, and that is what I needed! But, as Kelly points out a lot: start strength training NOW, not once you've lost the weight. It does wonders for health, fitness and body composition. You won't regret putting the effort in now, even though it might not burn as many calories, because you will look fantastic once the weight is off :D

But, I think we can have the best of both worlds!

Most of my strength workouts (between 15-45 minutes in length, depending on how much time I have) incorporate cardio... getting the heart rate up and KEEPING it up throughout the workout.

I take a lot of cues from Jillian Michaels in this regard. She's big on not wasting a movement - getting your heart rate up through continuous strength movements, and doubling up the muscle groups to maximize the cardio burn AND the muscle workout.

For example:

  • Don't just do overhead presses, do squats into overhead presses. Keep good form, but do quick repetitions.

  • Along the same line - bicep curls while lunging. Or reverse lunge while doing weighted lateral arm raises. There are endless combinations!!

  • Mountain climbers: work on arm/core strength while "running" in place.

  • Do sets of jumping jacks or jump roping when recovering from a strength move, like planking.

This is how I workout - for anyone out there looking for ideas or looking to change it up a little!

There are endless ways and methods and ideas and strategies to working out. In the end, anyone who spends time moving and less time sitting around is doing it right :D

So- keep moving, keep putting good fuel in and enjoy this life!!

Namaste <3


  1. This is exactly what my main instructor does - combination moves.

    A good one we do (that you did not mention) is arm moves! standing on one foot. So tree with knee out to side and bicep curls. Or knee raised to chest level and bicep curl to overhead press. The biggest factor is keeping hips square, abs tight, good form. We also do a lot of paper plate work. Mountain climber with feet sliding on paper plate. Plank with hands on paper plate and sliding one hand forward and the back, and then the other forward and back, etc.

    1. (I think your posts might be in wrong order)

  2. I do strength traing so I can build and retain muscle and keep my bones nice and strong. Very important at all ages.

  3. Yes! Start from Day 1 - you will not be sorry. Thanks for the shout out!

  4. That fireplace looks very warm and cosy.

    All the best Jan