Lizzy Lives in L.A.

Living Healthy and Fit in L.A.


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Valentine’s Day Partner Workout

Happy Valentine’s Day!! Whether you’re celebrating big or hating on the holiday, just enjoy some time with your partner, friend, relative, or pet!

Hearts-in-Unity-Logo-LG

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I put together a partner workout that you can do with any of the above people (although your dog might just make you do all the work!).

Sweat it out with someone you love today!

Valentine’s Day Partner Workout

(This is best done at a park or somewhere that you will have a little bit of room)

Warm Up: Between the two of you, complete 100 squats. You can break it up however you’d like, but you can’t both squat at the same time!

#1. Fast Jacks

Partner 1: 50 Jumping Jacks

Partner 2: Push Ups until Partner 1 finishes

Switch roles and then repeat!

#2. Burpee Challenge!!

Partner 1 does 1 burpee, Partner 2 does 1 burpee, Partner 1 does 2 burpees, Partner 2 does 2 burpees….

Keep going up the ladder until someone can’t finish a set!

Pro Tip: I highly suggest making a bet for this one…massage for the winner?! :-D

#3. Run it Out!

Find about a 15-20 yard space and mark it.

Partner 1: Sprint to the marker and do: 5 push ups, 10 squats, 10 sit ups, sprint back and tag Partner 2 to do the same thing.

Complete 5 rounds of this!!!

Happy Sweaty Valentine’s Day!!!

sweaty workout

Question of the day:

Are you a lover or hater of the holiday?

I’m indifferent. I like spending time with my man, but hanging out at home with a movie is fine by me.


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It’s Hard, But Not THAT Hard

…that’s what she said?

It’s an age old saying “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail”. 

They will tell you that if you don’t prep all of your food on Sunday, then you won’t succeed.

They will tell you that if you eat carbs at dinner, then you won’t succeed.

Eating after 8pm? You might as well have done nothing all day. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to dispel some of these MYTHS and give you some tried and true advice that will help.

If you picked out 10 different fitness/health professionals and asked them how to lose weight, you would likely get 10 different responses. Honestly, maybe even 11. The debate is ongoing, but I highly advise that you take the pieces that work for YOU and piece together what is in YOUR best interest. There is no “one way” and it doesn’t have to be insanely hard. (Yes, that means I’m telling you to take what I say with a grain of salt, because I’m not you and you’re not me, and Dr. Seuss would be proud of me.)

When I was preparing to compete in the NPC, I looked like this:

Oh hello there.

Oh hello there.

I sometimes ate 8-10 apples a day (not joking, fruit all hours of the day), oatmeal for dinner was quite frequent (sometimes even at 9 or 10pm!!!), and I rarely prepped all of my food on Sunday. I was lean as f*&^. I got even more shredded than the picture above.

Now I look more like this:

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

Ab Progress January 14, 2014

…but I’m fine with that and still like my body!

The point of the first picture is to prove to you that it doesn’t have to be the hardest thing in the world to lose weight or even get super lean, if that’s your goal. (Clearly my goals are different now than they were in 2009. I want to be leaner, but not as lean as the first picture. I had my fun having the chest of a 6 year old boy, but I appreciate that I’ve stopped confusing my chest size with a very popular automobile club ahemAAAahem).

It DOES take dedication, and I won’t discount that. I was a really clean eater and didn’t eat any processed foods (except for my cheat day once a week).

What I AM here to do, is to give you some helpful tips that will help you get through the parts that are made to seem so difficult. I truly believe that with a little discipline, anyone can make a good change in their life. It doesn’t have to derail your life, and you can still enjoy food. In fact, I think depriving yourself is only a quick fix and can backfire on you over time. Somehow people started getting the vibe that food should be fuel and nothing more. I disagree. While food should primarily be fuel, food is to be enjoyed! There’s a reason that you feel happy when you take a bite of that chocolate chip cookie that’s fresh out of the oven. It’s not an accident.

With that said, here are my tried and true suggestions for anyone looking to get started on the journey to a healthier body (this includes losing weight or just becoming a healthier person)

-Eat a few times per day

This will help to keep your hunger levels in a comfortable place so that you don’t get so ravenous that you start devouring food without even knowing what hit you. No, you don’t have to eat 6 times per day, but try to get at least 3 meal times in. In the end, do what’s comfortable. I don’t necessarily think you should eat 1 meal a day, but if that’s what works for YOU, then who am I to change that? It comes down to….

-Eat balanced meals 

For your main meals of the day, I truly believe in eating balanced proportions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. This is not only good for your body (as it needs all three of these), but also keeps you much more satisfied than you would feel if you left something out. Try to include a portion of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into each meal.

For example: If you order a baked potato(carbs) and butter(fat) and call it a meal, you’re missing out on the protein. Pair that with chicken, tofu, steak, eggs, or whatever protein choice you’d like. (You can even add plain greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and I bet you won’t know the difference!)

-Watch your portion sizes

…but LOAD UP on fruits and veggies. For example: A medium container of strawberries like this is about 65-75 calories.

strawberries Eat the entire thing and tell me if you don’t look 6 months pregnant after that. I’ll likely tell you to eat another and report back. You’re only 150 calories into the hole at this point, so I don’t even feel bad. I’m not saying you HAVE to do this, but I’m telling you it’s one of my tricks. Giant bag of broccoli, a bunch of baby carrots, a container of strawberries, 1-2 apples. While they taste really good (and the fruit options double as a sweet-tooth queller), they also help fill you up so that you don’t feel unsatisfied after a meal and start digging into junk foods. This is definitely one of my best kept (okay, it’s not that well kept) secrets. I usually use the vegetables as my “appetizer” before a balanced meal and the fruit serves as my “dessert” when I’m feeling a hankering for something sweet.

For your main meals, you don’t have to go around measuring all of your food, but a good rule of thumb for each meal is this:

-make the protein part of your meal about the size of your fist

-the starchy carbohydrates portion of your meal should fit in the palm of your hand

-vegetables should be abundant and eat as many as you want (see above.if you start getting fat from eating too many vegetables, write me a letter and send it via pigeon. and P.S. let’s be honest with ourselves, it’s probably not the veggies’ fault…)

-fats should be around 1-2 TBSP

-fruit should be about 1-2 fist sizes, ideally

This is only a starting guide, and can vary from person to person depending on SO many things. Start with this and see how you feel.

-Watch ingredients

One of the biggest and healthiest changes I’ve made over the years is watching my ingredient list. My boyfriend and I have become a bit obsessed with checking to make sure that we aren’t being fed random, awful ingredients that aren’t necessary. Thank you, but I don’t need any BUTANE in my food. Yes, they put butane (or as they like to call it BTHQ) in many packaged foods. For “freshness”. And maybe spontaneous combustion. The added high fructose corn syrup and hydrolized palm kernel oil that is put into practically EVERYTHING is also unnecessary. Find brands that choose to use REAL ingredients. Eat fresher foods. Eat local foods (that don’t require so many preservatives). I guarantee you will feel better and healthier by making these simple changes only.

-Snack Well

(Not SnackWells!!!)

If you choose items like fruit, vegetables, nuts, nut butters, whole grain or sprouted grain breads, greek yogurt, minimal ingredient snack bars, chicken sausages, etc. you will be good to go! Snacking on empty calories does nothing more than keep your mouth busy. If that’s your goal, you might as well just make out with someone and save the calories! Eat a snack and make it COUNT. Some ideas: almonds and fruit, carrots and hummus, almond butter and celery, hard boiled eggs, Larabar or QuestBar, protein shakes and more!

-Eat the damn cookie

If you NEED a chocolate chip cookie (although you don’t really NEED it, but you catch my drift), eat the damn cookie. Just don’t eat 5 damn cookies.

In the end, it all comes down to having some discipline and a level head while wanting the best for yourself. You don’t have to starve yourself, you don’t have to deprive yourself of your favorite foods, and you don’t have to stop enjoying food. You have to decide that you want to be healthier, first and foremost. While you should enjoy your foods, the majority of them need to also be fuel to you. You will start to notice the difference in how you feel during your workouts (and in life!) as you slowly make these changes. In time, you will find that the foods that fuel you will also satisfy you, and will become the foods you crave. It doesn’t mean you won’t ever want to eat a plate of nachos again, but I do believe that over time, the desire will become less and less. The constant desire for junk will become just an occurrence here and there.

I hope these tips serve you well. I could probably go on for pages with all of the tips I have, so trust me, more blog posts on this subject will be coming!

I am not a doctor, I am not an expert, I am not a magical wizard (although sometimes I like to think I am), so please check with one of those before making any dietary changes or starting a new eating regimen. Listen to your body and go with your gut. 

What is the best dietary change that you’ve made?

What do you struggle most with when it comes to eating?


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HIIT It!

It’s only Tuesday?! Monday was crazzzzzzy. I feel like I say that every day actually, but it’s true! I wear many, many hats and sometimes I start losing my mind. :-D

This cracked me up!

This cracked me up!

Yesterday I hit up the gym for some HIIT action before my climbing action. I had a few questions as to what I do for HIIT. Maybe you’re even wondering, “Lizzy, why do you keep talking about beating people up?!”. Let me dispel….

HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training. It sounds just like it is. The intensity is high, and you’re doing intervals. (Thank you Captain Obvious)

The idea behind it is that you are working at 90-100% for, say, a minute or two, and then giving yourself ample rest (walking, jogging, doing nothing for another minute or two before doing it all over again…and again…and againandagainandagain.

Here are some of the reasons I love HIIT:

1. It is anaerobic, which means that your fast-twitch muscles are recruited, engaging strength and speed. I could get extremely technical on this, but I’ll let you do some googling if you’re really curious (or feel free to e-mail me fitlizzio (at) gmail (dot) com). Your body response with anaerobic work is different than that of aerobic work (such as jogging, walking, etc.). In addition, the “after-burn” as they call it can last up to 8 hours after exercises (sometimes more or less depending on how hard your body worked). This means that your metabolic rate (calorie burning furnace that lives inside your body) will be higher long after your workout finishes.

2. My favorite: It’s quick! While it can be much tougher than just jogging steadily for 30 minutes, it is done in about half the time. You can pick and choose how long you want to do it, but if it’s more than 20 minutes, odds are you aren’t working hard enough during your “working” intervals.

3. It makes me feel strong and keeps me focused. While a nice jog makes me feel refreshed, a hard HIIT session makes me feel like a badass. I like feeling like a badass :)

The beauty of HIIT is that it is different for everyone. My “working” interval may be your rest interval and vice versa. The point is to work to YOUR potential, not mine or anyone else’s.

Here’s a HIIT workout I’ve been doing before my workouts a few days per week. This can be done on a treadmill, or outside. It can be done on a bicycle, elliptical machine, or swimming laps too. The point is simple: Work hard for 1-2 minutes, rest 1-2 minutes, and repeat until you’ve completed about 15-20 minutes.

HIIT IT AND QUIT IT (:-o)

Minutes 0-2: Jog at a leisurely pace (for me, this is 6.5-7.0 mph)

Minutes 2-3: Sprint! 90-100% intensity..go go go!!

Minutes 3-4: Either jog or walk, depending on what you want to do. I like to jog for my “rest” intervals, but walking is completely acceptable. It’s your REST so rest as you see fit.

Repeat minutes 2-4 five more times

This workout will be done in 15 minutes, and if you’re truthfully working to your full potential, I guarantee you will be a sweaty mess by the end!

Happy HIITing!

Okay, not this kind of hitting...

Okay, not this kind of hitting…

Do you prefer HIIT or steady-state cardio?


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Rollerblading and Where I’ve Been

Whoops, sorry for the unplanned blogging break! Last week got really busy, really fast, and blogging took the back seat. But I’m here now!!! Hopefully that won’t happen again.

Fitness

This past week was a great week of fitness! I’ve been doing a 15 minute HIIT workout on the treadmill a few times a week, and I’m loving it! So quick and no boring cardio. Win/win! Along with that, I did two heavy lifting sessions, a few full body/metabolic conditioning workouts, and some climbing. I took a little break from climbing this week since my wrist was bugging me a bit, but it’s feeling pretty good now!

Today, Charlie and I did a workout that my friend John showed me last week. It is less than 3 minutes of work, but it is MURDEROUS. Here is a video from my final set today:

(10 Squats, push sled, 5 KB Swings (i used 20kg), push sled. Repeat 3x)

Afterwards, my friend picked me up and we went rollerblading by the beach. It was  GORGEOUS day and I am pretty sure every Sunday should be spent like this. :-)

Gorgeous day in Santa Monica

Gorgeous day in Santa Monica

IMG_3104

Rollerblading Selfie!

Gearing up for a busy week, here’s what’s on the fitness agenda:

Monday: 15 Min. Treadmill HIIT + Climb

Tuesday: Heavy Lift + 1000m Row

Wednesday: 15 Min Treadmill HIIT + WOD + Climb

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 15 min. Treadmill HIIT + Heavy Lift + Climb

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: Hike

What’s on your fitness agenda for the week? 

Were you a HUGE Saved By The Bell fan like me?!

We were talking about the Malibu Sands Club today while rollerblading and so I googled the film location. We happened to be rollerblading RIGHT BY it at that moment!!!

Zach Morris' Summer Job

Zach Morris’ Summer Job

And then I died…

(Apparently they redid this place, so it doesn’t look much like I’d expected. Oh well!)

 


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Workout Plans + Progress

Good afternoon!! I hope you all enjoyed my post on squat form.

I wanted to pop in and lay out my workout plans for the week. My right wrist has been bugging me a little bit lately (probably tweaked it while climbing) and my right thumb is now hurting as well. I did a quick bouldering session on Saturday and fell all the way from the top. I was totally fine, but I must have landed on my thumb weird because it hurts now! Boo!! I need to be mindful of that and let that heal, so my workouts for this week are going to have to be creative! (Ummmm no wrist and no thumb? My legs may hate me this week.)

time-to-workout

Monday: WOD + 15 min. HIIT (I am going to probably do an all bodyweight WOD and try to avoid using my hands at all. Yay for having to think outside the box…ha!)

Tuesday: WOD + 30 Minute Run. I didn’t run at ALL last week (oops…I did do a running HIIT, but that was it). Definitely going to change that this week!

Wednesday: 15 min. HIIT + Abs + Heavy Lift. Likely hip thrusts, squats, pull ups (pending wrist/thumb situation), DB Shoulder Press

Thursday: 30 minute Run

Friday: Climb (hopefully I’ll be feeling good by then, otherwise, I’ll improvise)

Saturday: WOD

Sunday: Rest

This is what I’m thinking, but things do change throughout the week sometimes. I never just skip something altogether (unless it is needed), but do replace things sometimes. It depends on how much time I have, where I am, and how I’m feeling.

Here’s a progress picture for good measure (taken yesterday). Gotta stay on track! As they say, summer bodies are built in the winter!

Progress 2.2.14

Progress 2.2.14

Questions:

1. What are your fitness plans for the week?

2. How about some exercises I can do that DON’T involve my hands? HA! But seriously…..:-)


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Proper Squat Form

Happy Monday! I thought I’d start this fabulous week off by talking about our booty’s best friend: the squat. 

(Please note, I am not a doctor and this is not a prescription. Please check with your doctor before making any exercise changes or trying anything new if you’re not comfortable with it.) 

I love squats for SOOOO many reasons: 

1. They are a GREAT exercise for the legs, butt, and core. 

2. They are something you can do anywhere.

3. They help build the booty and keep it perky!

4. The squat is a practical movement. By this, I mean that it is used in our everyday lives. A non-practical movement? The tricep-kickback. Tell me when you do that in daily life…

5. Versatility! They can be used as an isometric movement (static squat), a heavy movement (heavy barbell squats), a plyometric (jump squats), and more!

I created a quick video of me squatting so that you can see what proper form looks like. Of course, it can take practice and patience, so keep working on it if you’re not there yet!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InF0il7fJ_U

My three tips for performing a proper squat are: 

1. Sit back first. Many people start to bend at the knees first, but this puts you in the position to squat with your knees bending past your toes and your weight to be put in your toes, rather than your heels. Sit back and THEN drop down. This will keep your weight in your heels, utilizing your glutes and hamstrings more. 

2. Squat Down with your chest up. A good way to practice this is to wear a shirt with a logo on the chest and face a mirror while doing the movement. You should be able to see that logo in the same position for the entire movement. 

3. Push through your heels. When you get to the bottom of your squat (which ideally will be butt below the knees, or as we like to call it “ass to grass”) you obviously have to come back up! Push through your heels in order to promote the body to stay in it’s upright form and not put your weight back into your knees. 

I hope these tips help you to perform your best squat yet! Start with just body weight and move up to weights as you begin to get more comfortable with the movement. You can also practice Wall Squats to train your body to keep your chest upright during the movement. (Start as close to the wall as possible in order for you to perform the squat. Do 3 sets of 15 reps 3-4 times per week, working towards moving closer and closer to the wall). 

Wall Squat

Wall Squat

Happy squatting everyone!

Questions for the day:

1. What is your favorite exercise?

Mine is the deadlift, but squats are a close 2nd.

2. Did you watch the Superbowl?

Let’s put it this way, I fell asleep in the 4th quarter. No joke.

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