Month: May 2016

An introduction to strength training

 

Maybe you’ve heard of the phrase work smarter, not harder. It’s an important mantra for taming a hectic lifestyle because it pushes you to focus on the things that will show the greatest results with the smallest amount of work. Well, strength training is the ‘work smarter, not harder’ of workout styles.

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6 common workout beginner mistakes

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Getting started is almost always daunting. If you’re a workout beginner, you’re probably focused on reaching your goals as quickly as possible.

With thousands of blogs, articles and videos giving you advice, it’s difficult to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Sometimes it’s best to dive right in. But, before you get too far into your plan, review these 6 workout beginner mistakes and do your best to avoid them while you kick butt at the gym.

6 common workout beginner mistakes to avoid

1. Doing too much too soon:

A go-get-em attitude is probably what got you off the couch in the first place. That’s why this workout beginner mistake tends to be common. Even though you might be experiencing a sort of high from all of the extra endorphins from your workout, it’s important to take the time to allow your body to recover. Stick to three tough workouts a week as you start out. If you feel like you want to do more on a recovery day, take a long walk. In addition, be sure to get enough sleep each night and add protein to your diet, which will help your muscles recover faster.

2. Only doing cardio:

According to the CDC, only 50% of adults ages 18 and over are getting the recommended amount of aerobic exercise. What’s worse? Only 20% are getting the recommended amount of muscle strengthening exercise. It’s a common misconception that the best way to burn calories is to focus solely on cardio. The truth is, a balanced plan that mixes both cardio and strength training will help you attain your goals and make you your healthiest self.

Only 20% of adults are getting the recommended amount of muscle strengthening exercise

3. Believing every workout should be long and exhausting:

Not only is this false, but it’s recipe for disaster. Hitting the gym hard every time you workout will likely burn you out and take you right back to where you started. While long endurance days aren’t all wrong, your workout will be more effective and more efficient if you incorporate intervals to your routine. Mixing high intensity intervals with rest periods, called high intensity interval training (HIIT), will allow you to burn calories during your workout and then continue to burn them throughout the day. Here are a few of our favorite HIIT workouts:

http://www.pancakewarriors.com/hiit-for-beginners/

http://thebluedressgirl.com/monday-workout-hiit/

http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/10-Minute-HIIT-Workout-32491435

4. Ignoring the details:

Skipping warm-ups and cool-downs are a good way to injure yourself right from the get-go. Just 5 minutes of brisk walking or jogging will prepare your body for a difficult workout and lower your risk of injury.

Speaking of injury… more risky workout behavior is ignoring proper form during each exercise. Heavier, faster and harder are only better if you’re focusing on the basics of each exercise and ensuring proper technique as you build up your strength and endurance.

5. Not setting specific goals:

Saying ‘I want to lose weight’ or ‘I want to build strength’ are great starting points, but they’re hardly goals. Workout beginner goals should be both specific and attainable to ensure that you stick to them for the long haul.

Beginner workout goals should be both specific and attainable.

6. Switching the plan too often:

Workout beginners, especially, should try to avoid changing directions too early. It’s tempting to kick a new workout to the curb after a couple of weeks if you’re not seeing results yet. But in order to allow your body to truly gain the benefits of a workout plan, stick to it for at least 4 weeks. If it still isn’t working, then switch to the next thing.

No matter what your new routine looks like, if you’re a workout beginner, you’re probably not even thinking about some of these common mistakes. Avoid this list of workout mistakes that beginners make and approach every new workout like a pro, whether it’s your first or 100th.

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7 day summer prep challenge

summer prep challenge

Here’s the thing… We all have the best intentions on January 1st. You know, back when it was really easy to hide under a big sweater and start a gym membership. The reality is, it’s more than common to fall a little short of our goals by the time summer rolls around.

The good news? You’re probably being too hard on yourself. Even if you’re not feeling pumped to squeeze into your swimsuit in a week, there’s a good chance that a week of prepping will change your outlook on Memorial Day weekend and all your pool days ahead.

If you’re not feeling your best about the start of summer, join us for the 7 day summer prep challenge! Just 7 days of following 5 rules will get you feeling your very best for summer.

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Supplements for beginners: Save this pin for reference so you remember which supplements to take, and how much you need!

6 supplements for beginners (and how much to take)

Supplements for beginners. There are so many websites and opinions about what you should and should not be taking. Just visit Bodybuilding.com or GNC and you’ll be overwhelmed with hundreds of products that all claim to be a must for reaching your fitness goals.

The first goal of this post is to sort through all of the noise and list the basics with what you need to know for each supplement type. We’ve purposely not included affiliate links so that you can make up your mind and not feel like you’re being sold to.

The second goal of this post is to give you an easy way to approach this with your partner-in-crime…whether that’s your boyfriend, girlfriend, husband or BFF.

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7 simple stress management techniques for couples

Relaxation and stress relief tips

Last week sucked for Aaron.

It’s not because the weather wasn’t great, or because work was frustrating for him. He got to go fishing and he actually had several days off in a row! No, life sucked for Aaron because I was having a particularly stressful week. And the reality is, when one person in a relationship is going through a tough week, so is the other person. Even the smallest of frustrations can completely offset the balance of a household.

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Does coffee count toward my water intake?

YES! It does!

While drinking water is the best way to hydrate sans calories and sugar, don’t let your daily dose of caffeine fool you. Keep drinking your water, but coffee on!

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His & Hers: Our faves for May

may

We love this month! Get out your sunnies because it’s about to get bright out. Stay cool (and warm) with our faves this month.

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Date night summer bucket list

2016 summer date night bucket list

Date night gets so much better with the start of summer. Drinks on a patio and dinner outside with a great view are tough to beat. But, there are so many creative date night options that take a turn from the normal dinner and a movie.

Aaron and I always talk about these creative ways to spend time together. Especially in the winter, we find ourselves making promises to do this or that when it’s warm outside again. Usually, by the time it’s spring again, we’ve forgotten about these creative date ideas and go back to the more expensive, standard options.

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It’s May! Crap… it’s May…

flower

It’s Cinco de Mayo and I’m right there with you all in spirit as you drink some margs and eat 4 bowls of chips (because you can’t stop at 3).

I love this month because there’s a pretty good chance that at some point in the near future I’ll be sitting by the pool sipping on that margarita. But along with the dawn of May comes the realization that I have a Savage Race to run in a little over a month. And… I can’t run more than 2 miles right now. And let’s not even talk about the fact that I haven’t been able to do a pull-up since I was a 4th grader (I was a President’s challenge National award winner) ….. (I cheated)….. (on almost everything).

As a result of my poor training schedule up until now, this is what my month looks like.

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