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You make the workout hard

So this month we’ve changed up our training a bit at the gym and have been on a new progression.

A “back to basics” progression.

And apparently a few people complained that it was “too easy.” Which honestly made my jaw drop.

I’ve done basically all of the workouts in the progression and I’m sore as all get out. There have even been a few that have made my legs want to give out or my food to come up.

The workouts in our progression…Easy?!?!?


But as I began to really watch people around me do the workouts with me, I realized one big thing….They weren’t pushing THEMSELVES.

They were used to a more complex workout that forced them to become fatigued and when we simplified it, they just didn’t know how to push themselves through simple moves.

They didn’t know how to challenge themselves with weight….or rest…or reps…or ANYTHING!

And the worst part is that being able to push yourself is the KEY to success!

Any success for that matter.

I can write someone up a workout and diet plan, but if they don’t do it when I’m not there to push them….well they won’t make near the progress they could.

They need to be able to PUSH THEMSELVES.

Anyway, so I was watching people cruise through the same workout that was literally destroying me….And it started to piss me off.

Why are they wasting their time using weights that are way too light? Or why are they doing only 10 reps when they could do 12? How can they complain that crawling is easy when their butts are way up in the air!?!

And then I realized another key thing…Most people don’t really know what it means to push themselves. Their workouts have to be an hour long or they have to do some crazy moves to be satisfied that they got a great workout because they can’t challenge themselves enough with a simple squat.

Well let me just clarify something right here…YOU DON’T NEED FANCY MOVES OR HOURS OF WORKING OUT TO GET IN A KILLER WORKOUT!

You just need to make sure that you are challenging yourself with weights and reps and even rest times. You just need to make sure that you are doing moves correctly and getting the most out of them.

Not to ramble or side track, but let’s just pause a moment to think of a move that most people do incorrectly  – THE PUSH UP.

Most people don’t do the push up….They do the worm.

Their core is flopping around and the have scapular winging and their heads are jutting forward and their arms are out at some odd angle.


Found this on a crossfit website…The caption they had is that she is “working on her push ups.” I really hope someone corrected this form….OUCH…Sorry chica.

So of course they aren’t getting the most out of the move.

BUT neither are those guys who do keep a decent push up line but only move up and down an inch when they do their push ups.

THOSE DON’T COUNT! Think push ups are easy…THEN DO A FULL ONE! Lock your arms out at the top and hit your chest to the ground!!!

And then if that is too easy, PROGRESS THE MOVE. Move your feet up to a chair. Add a weight to your back.

Don’t just whine that it is easy and think you need to be doing some other fancy move.


Anyway, I’ve ranted enough. I’m just sick of hearing about how a workout is too easy because if you give a workout 100% effort, trust me….It won’t be easy!

So try this workout and REALLY REALLY give it everything you’ve got.


SAQ x5 rounds with a little rest in between each
Ladder ICKY Shuffle
Zigzag cone shuffle
Lateral step and throws x6 reps


STRENGTH x5 rounds with little rest in between each round
Sandbag pull throughs x 8 each side
Sandbag Zercher lateral lunges x 8 each side
Circle crawls x 10

CONDITIONING x 5 at least double the rest to work

Sidewinders 25 seconds on as fast as you can

(The last can be subbed for any full body “sprint” activity for 25 seconds if you don’t have ropes)

This workout left me fatigued and sore. And I only did 8 reps on two of the strength things when many people did more. It is all about choosing a weight that you want to give up on before you’ve completed all your reps. Like with the lunges…I wanted to give up around 6 reps….Like literally just wanted to drop the bag and NEVER pick it up again! BUT choosing a challenging weight DOESN’T mean choosing a weight that you can’t use correct form with.

Anyway…CHALLENGE YOURSELF! Take a seemingly “easy/simple” workout and really focus on doing everything perfectly. Really choose a weight that makes your muscles scream. Push yourself to rest less or do more reps. PUSH YOURSELF!


That spells rest, people!

Not truly related but it made me laugh.

I love working out. Actually, I’m addicted to working out.

But even I realize that REST is a very necessary and IMPORTANT part of any workout program.

Apparently though, most people refuse to rest no matter how much their body is screaming at them that they need to.

If you plateau or your body feels constantly fatigued or you are INJURED, you should probably take some time off!

I had this woman in my cycling class today with tendonitis in her knee.

Tendonitis is inflammation of a tendon in your body and is most often caused by overuse.

HA! Overuse!?! Hmm maybe I am right that rest is important….

Today she asked me to check her bike set up since her tendonitis hasn’t healed even though she has had it for months.

I asked what she was doing for “treatment.”

She kind of just looked at me. I asked if she took any anti-inflammatory medication. I asked if she iced her knee. I asked if she took any time off.

Pretty much, the answer was no. She took ibuprofen occasionally. And she iced it at the beginning. But time off!?!

She looked at me like I had three heads.

I wanted to laugh in her face. You are asking me about bike alignment when you haven’t taken any time off for an injury that is probably caused by overuse!?!

I told her she needs to take an anti-inflammatory and that she needs to ice. I also told her that she NEEDS to take time off. I mean as it is tendons have poor blood flow and take even longer to heal so not taking time off definitely isn’t helping!

She gave me another look and all I could do was turn and walk away.

She wasn’t going to listen. She wasn’t going to take time off.

And why not!?!

Because she might miss a week of cycling? What was she training for that was more important than resting and healing her body?

Nothing? Go figure!

Pushing through an injury or extreme fatigue isn’t “cool” or “gnarly.” It’s plain old stupid.

Trust me. I’ve been there and done that. I have the battle scars to prove it.

So learn from my mistakes. Don’t push through an injury. REST!

Because if you do try to push through, you may end up needing to take more than a few days or a week off. Just remember a minor injury can become worse if you keep pushing it.

What is the point of injuring yourself so badly that you need surgery or to take months off when you could just have rested for a week?

And what really gets me is that the woman in my class wasn’t even pushing through because it was her job or career! She is merely a recreational exerciser!!!

So don’t be stupid. REST when your body hints it needs it.

You’ll come back stronger if you do!

P.S. I didn’t have time to finish the foam rolling video so it will be posted later this week. Sorry!

The Benefit of Time Off

Anytime there is a holiday or I have a vacation planned, I always start thinking about how beneficial the time off will be. I actually wrote another post about Rest right before my California vacation.

I’m bad about taking more than one day off a week BUT sometimes your body really needs more recovery than that. So vacation/holidays are a great time to take a few extra days off!

When you workout, you break down muscle tissues. You create mini tears, which when they heal, make your muscles stronger.

BUT for your muscles to rebuild the layers that were broken down and become stronger, you must take some time off. YOU MUST REST!

For me its sort of hard to accept how important time off is – even though I know that it is just as essential to a workout program as the lifts you design.

I just want to believe that all the work I’m doing in the gym is all that matters, BUT the time off that I take is just as important (if not more so!).

Rest is about more than even muscle repair. If you never rest you are probably overtraining and overtraining has consequences:

  1. Your energy level will drop and you may regress in how much you can lift or how far you can run.
  2. You can actually lose some of your leanness if you are overtraining. Working out too much can actually cause muscle wasting and fat deposition. You’re burning calories but those calories are coming from predominantly glucose/glycogen and precious muscle tissue.
  3. You are unable to sleep soundly. If you are working out too much, you won’t be sleeping well, which will hurt your workout intensity.
  4. You’re getting injured more often and have lots of aches and pains. Uhm injuries prevent you from hitting your lifting/weight loss/workout goals. So if you are training so hard you get injured, you need to take some time off because injuries won’t help you progress!
  5. You’re getting sick more often. Yep..overtraining can cause a lowered immune system. And getting sick…well that doesn’t help you workout hard!

So next time you think about skipping that rest day…DON’T!

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