|Can anyone spot the over-sized kid?|
For awhile I have been annoyed at how hard I have to work to maintain my level of fitness, while my husband works out hard for 2, maybe 3 days a week and not that long... while also being incredibly in shape and lean. So annoying! So I think I have figured it out, he works out with a 100% intensity for only a couple days a week, plays with the kids endlessly and eats to satiety, while never depriving himself of real food. So for the last month I have been on a mission to re-think exercise. Let me just say up front
, this has not been easy. I have been in the mindset that workouts meant hours on end at the gym every day. I would run over 20 miles a week and do other various workouts such as insanity or other variations of HIIT (High intensity interval training) more than a few times a week. burning over 500 calories a day while also following a strict low calorie/low fat diet. If you read one of my previous posts about adrenal fatigue you can see how I got myself to that point. After having lost so much weight with the old school philosophy of counting calories and working out like a maniac, I felt a constant pressure to maintain this for fear of gaining the weight back. Even after having changed to a Paleo diet almost a year ago, I still maintained an intense workout schedule. The more I have learned and immersed myself in the concepts of living a more minimalistic lifestyle, the more I realized that I was simply overdoing it with the workouts. There were days I would have worked out for over an hour and a half, running over 4 miles and then lifting, and would do this almost 6 days a week at times. I wouldn't even have the energy to play with my kids later that day. I can't imagine why, but at the time I was perplexed, I mean wasn't that supposed to make me super fit and healthy and have tons of energy to play with my kids? Well no...in fact the endless miles I was logging on the treadmill and the frequent HIIT workouts coupled with the low calorie/low fat diet was draining me entirely.
The last couple of months I have been trying something new by cutting out the long hours at the gym and trading in my 4 mile runs for 4 mile walks, and instead of doing tons of different weight lifting workouts throughout the week, I minimized the weights to 4 or 5 heavy lifts and I get in and out the weight room in about 30 minutes. Instead of focusing on long runs I have decided to focus on speed training by incorporating sprinting 1x a week and HIIT workouts (crossfit style) 1x a week. I got these ideas from reading a great book called "The Primal Blueprint" by Mark Sisson. So my schedule now looks something like this:
- Walk to my gym
- Heavy Lifting : Bench Press, Squats, Bent-over barbell rows and Body weight dips (can also add weight)
- Run 1.5 mile back home and walk the remainder
- Walk, Clean my house and play with my kids
- HIIT (lasting less than 30 minutes)
- Walk to my gym
- Heavy Lifting: Deadlift, Overhead press, assisted pull-ups, and thrusters
- Run 1.5 miles back home and walk remainder
- Play with kids and clean my house (I am an incessant neat freak so cleaning keeps me very active)
- Family bike ride to the track
- Sprint workout
- Active day with family
- Active family day
How has this new schedule changed my life?
I no longer feel exhausted in the middle of the day, like I used to. I can lift heavier, I can run faster, in fact I ran my mile the other day in 8:22 sec, a 30 sec difference then my all time fastest. My new goal is to get it under 8 min in the next 6 months.
Walking helps clear my head of the mental exhaustion that comes along with having 3 kids while simultaneously giving me exposure to copious amounts of Vitamin D in the form of sunshine.
I wake up so much more rested and excited for the day. Whereas before I somewhat dreaded the day ahead because I knew I would have to muster up a ton of energy to get through a ridiculous run or other workout....only to come back home craving tons of bad carbs, I had a hard time falling asleep and had a terrible insulin response system going on. I will also note that by eating tons of healthy fats and protein and minimal (less than 100 grams of Carbohydrate) a day I feel so much more energetic and stronger then I ever have before. I have learned that less is more and that it is important to rest my body. Life should be so much more enjoyable and after allowing myself to take it easy, I have discovered a whole new level of happiness that I never thought was possible. With that said, everyday still remains somewhat of an internal struggle with my inner exercise obsessed demons, taunting me that I am not doing enough...Everyday is a new day to silence the demons (insert evil laugh).
I challenge you to stop logging endless miles running on the treadmill or the elliptical and instead go for a walk, pick up some heavy weights and occasionally sprint around a track, play with your kids, explore the great outdoors and start living!
If you need a little guidance on how to get started on minimizing your workout regime check out these awesome resources:
or if you want something more detailed with videos to help with form and nutrition details check out:
Another awesome resource that is inexpensive is: http://eplifefit.com/