I really want someone to write Maggie being a lifeguard and Alex always making her super flustered with her blatant flirting (Maggie turns into an even bigger gay mess when Alex flirts with her while still in her wetsuit cause it's a Look™)
The mornings when Alex just runs on the beach, Maggie can handle herself.
Those are the mornings when her shift has just started and no one is really out yet. She’s got no one to watch out for, and no one to look at except this gorgeous woman with short hair – is it red? she never can tell, but god, does she want to find out – doing sprint intervals on the sand in the midst of her longer run.
She loves the way the woman smiles haphazardly when an unexpected wave crashes up and soaks into her shorts.
She loves the way the woman runs with complete focus, complete dedication, perfect strides, perfect form.
She loves the way the woman stops to stretch right down the beach from Maggie’s lifeguard tower.
She wonders if she does it on purpose.
A few weeks ago, she started to think she does, indeed, do it on purpose.
Because a few weeks ago, she learned the woman’s name.
“Hey,” she’d called up, panting slightly and sweating through the bandanna around her forehead. “I’m Alex. Looks like a lonely shift for you, huh?”
“I… it… s’still early,” Maggie had sputtered, because why was this woman talking to her, squinting up at her, shading her eyes with her ridiculously toned arm, a grin on her face.
“Well, whoever comes by to swim later’s gonna be pretty lucky. Get watched over by someone as beautiful as you. I surf, you know. So I can swim worth a damn. We should do it together sometime. Swim, I mean.”
Maggie’d nearly dropped out of the tower, and Alex – Alex, Alex, Alex – seemed to relish what a mess she was making her.
“I didn’t catch your name,” she offered, and Maggie had gulped. Hard.
“Sawyer. Maggie. Maggie Sawyer.”
“Well, Sawyer Maggie, Maggie Sawyer – I’ve gotta get to work, but uh… I really hope to see you again tomorrow.”
Maggie had just nodded, had just watched Alex saunter away with parted lips.
She’d spent the rest of the day cursing herself for being such a bumbling mess.
But Alex didn’t seem to mind.
Because now, they’d talk every day after Alex’s run.
Because Maggie – after some practicing with Adrian, anyway – finally figured out how to speak around this gorgeous woman with such intensity of focus, such immense dedication, such a life-changing smile.
That is, except on the days when Alex went surfing.
Those days, she’d come up to Maggie with her board tucked under her arm, her wetsuit still on, her hair still sopping. Her face would be flushed with triumph, with exhilaration, and Maggie would still be trying to calm down from how damn turned on she was by Alex’s command of the ocean, of her board, of herself.
The way the wetsuit would cling to all the right parts of Alex’s body didn’t help in the slightest.
“You took some risks today,” Maggie somehow manages to say, this latest time Alex jogs up to her tower, panting, a gleam in her eyes and her hair and body still marvelously soaked.
Alex nods and they both look out to the ocean, raging today after last night’s rare storm.
“Yeah, it’s a lot today I guess. But no risk no reward, right? And anyway, I knew I had the best lifeguard in town watching my back.”
Maggie scoffs at that, face reddening as she shakes her head. “You’ve only ever seen me sit up here doing exactly nothing.”
Alex plants her board in the sand and grins. “My sister was here yesterday. In the afternoon. Blonde girl, tall, beautiful? Anyway, she saw you rescue that little kid who got too far out. She said it was amazing. She said you were amazing. Which I don’t find at all hard to believe.”
Maggie lowers her eyes and gulps. “Just doing my job.”
“Your job is brilliant, and so are you. I uh… listen, I’ve been trying to get the guts to do this for like a month now, but um… can I take you to dinner or something, Maggie? There’s this great pinball bar – “
“Yeah, you can take me to dinner. I was beginning to think you’d never ask.”
Bless you, morning light, for making it look like I almost have an ab. *almost*
Today was HARD. My mood has been low. To be honest, my Mother’s Day sucked and I’ve been pouting. My family did not plan ahead and *forgot*. How dumb is that? I know they love me and I wanted them to do something they thought up on their own. It’s over now and I’m moving on. No more pouting.
Like I said, today’s workout was really hard. I had an awful time controlling my breathing, for whatever reason. 2 miles of sprint intervals, an Ab circuit, and all my PT exercises. I did increase my speed on my sprints today so I’m certain that had something to do with my lack of controlled breathing.
Off to stretch!
Ever since Ezra was born a few months ago, Madalyn has been working hard to get her body back in shape. Once Peyton leaves for school & Ezra is down for a nap, she heads to their home gym & starts with interval sprints on the treadmill. She loves ending her workouts with some relaxing yoga.
Dumb-sounding question, but I am hoping for a genuine answer - What's a good workout to get in shape to resist fascism? I want to be able to contribute physically, and I'm not sure what the best exercises are to do that. Martial arts, obviously, but what about just regular workout stuff you can do at home?
This is the perfect question for New Year’s resolutions, innit?
We’d suggest breaking things down to developing your cardio & increasing your strength. Both things are equally-important.
Exercise routines used by boxers are great because you can do them at home mostly. Cardio can be jogging, interval sprints, jumping rope, etc.
For strength training, nothing beats lifting heavy things, but you need to make sure you’re doing it right so you don’t hurt yourself. Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe is the bible for beginning strength training but it’s best to get some training from a qualified strength coach initially, until you’ve got all the movements down. If weight training isn’t possible, there are plenty of body weight exercises you can use to develop your strength. Look for compound exercises that develop several muscle groups at once instead of isolation exercises that only develop one muscle group at a time. For example, pushups, body squats, pullups, and lunges are all excellent compound exercises to work into a routine.
Finally, like martial arts, working out only works if you do it consistently. An hour per session & three sessions a week would be a great starting point. Keep a log or journal of how fast, how far, how long, and how heavy for each exercise you do. You’ll see some noticeable improvements within three months!
One of the most important things you can do to prepare for a disaster is make sure you are in peak physical condition. I understand that, due to disability or time constraints or any number of extenuating circumstances, “peak physical condition” may look different for each person. However, this post is to help you reach that point, whatever it may be for you.
Before we go any further, I’d like to make a disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I a physical trainer. All of my knowledge of health and fitness comes from my process of being so weak that I couldn’t take the stairs to gaining and losing 100lbs and gaining a lot of muscle in the process. I am not the gospel here. I just want to share a few things that have worked for me, and maybe help you, too.
The other thing I would like to say is that I am not writing this as a weight-loss guide. If you are happy and comfortable at your weight, then by all means, stay that way. If your weight limits your physical fitness, such as by causing joint pain, or by causing you to be too weak to take the stairs, then you may want to consider decreasing or increasing your weight. The best way to do that is to calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure and add or subtract from there. Meticulous calorie counting is the most effective way to cause weight changes. Now, moving on.
So let’s assume that you’re starting from a very beginners level of fitness. The best way to build up some basic cardiac fitness is by walking. I know it seems simple, but it can really make a difference. Take as much time as you are able to each day, and go for a walk. Walking is good because it doesn’t require any kind of equipment or workout clothes. If you have something comfortable to wear and some tennis shoes, you can go for a walk. Walk for as long as you can manage. If all you can do is 15 minutes, great! Try to work up to 30. If you can do 30, awesome! Try to get up to an hour. Once you’re walking 30-60 minutes a few times a week, you can move into a more intensive workout program. I’m going to list some programs that I have used, and let you make the decision yourself.
The first option is Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. This is a great program for building a lot of strength in a short amount of time. All the videos can be found on YouTube, so you can access them in your own home. I will list the pros and cons here:
Short - takes less than half an hour.
Does not require a lot of space - if you have room to spread your arms out and lay down, you have enough room
Requires very little equipment - some moves requires dumbbells, but dumbbells are easily replaced by things like water jugs, and you can fill a water jug to as much weight as you can handle
Progressive - every ten days you move up to the next level, so it continues to challenge you
Quick results - by the end of two weeks, you should notice a difference, and by the end of the 30 days, the difference will be very, very noticeable
May be difficult for complete beginners - the workouts do not include breaks, and since it is a 30 day program, there are no rest days
There is limited accessibility for people with disabilities
The program is technically based on creating a “toned” body, rather than building strength. You will definitely build strength, but that’s not the goal of the program.
Includes cardio, interval training, resistance training, and stretching
Short - each workout takes about 30 minutes
Does not require a lot of space - the resistance training only takes as much room to lay down in, and the cardio sessions only require a place to walk
Quick results - you should see results within two weeks, and by the time the program is over, you will definitely notice a difference
Requires minimal equipment - dumbbells are required for some moves, but like I said, dumbbells are easily replaced. Some moves require a medicine ball, but you can just use a dumbbell instead.
Progressive - you move through a series of increasingly intense workouts to maximize efficiency
It, too, is more focused on creating a “toned” body than on building strength. Although I have definitely become stronger while doing it.
Theoretically, you have to pay for it, but I just gave you the pdfs for it.
t also doesn’t really plan for days off, though it does allow for lower-intensity days.
If neither of those options does it for you, I would like to suggest a workout plan I developed for a friend of mine who is a complete beginner to working out. It is an amalgamation of other workout plans I’ve done and I have no doubt that it could help anyone develop strength and flexibility .
Monday - Legs
Burpees (plank or pushup, whatever you can do, but work up to the pushup), 10
Lunges, 15 per leg
Jump squats, 15
Repeat three times
Tuesday - Cardio/endurance
Walk or run for 30 minutes
Wednesday - Arms
Tricep curls, 20 per arm (if you don’t have dumbbells, use anything heavy that you can get a good grip on, lean forward with your arm bent, then straighten it out backwards)
L-sit, 10-30 seconds (sit with your legs out in front of you, put your arms on the ground, and try to lift your but and legs off the ground. If you can only get your but at first, that’s okay.)
Repeat three times
Thursday - cardio/endurance
Walk/run for 30 minutes
Friday - abs
Ab bikes, 20 (lay flat, then do a sit up and bring the opposite leg to meet the opposite elbow)
Plank, 30 seconds
Side plank, 30 seconds
Mountain climbers, 10 each leg (do a plank, then draw one leg at a time up to your chest)
Repeat three times
Saturday - cardio, intervals
Sprint for 30 seconds, walk at a brink pace for 30 seconds. Repeat for 10-15 minutes
Sunday - stretching
Google “beginners yoga for flexibility” on YouTube and do one of the videos
If you’re willing to put in the effort to become as strong and as fast as you can be, these workouts will help you go a long way. You can have all the stockpiles in the world, but it won’t mean anything if you don’t have your health.
So tell me - what is your workout routine? How do you plan to stay fit for when disaster strikes? Have you tried any of these programs? Are you intrigued by the program I created? I love feedback from you guys, so let me know!
The blushing started up your neck as soon as he walked into the kitchen. Captain Steve Rogers. The Star Spangled Man With a Plan. Your stomach fluttered when he ran his fingers through his hair after his workout. “Good morning, Y/N.” “Good morning, sir. How was the run?” You made your way to the opposite side of the kitchen and kept you elbows tight against your ribs while sipping your coffee. Steve grabbed a bottle of water and downed half of it before answering. At that moment, Natasha came in and poured herself a cup of coffee too. “Not bad. It got kind of lonely though.” Natasha leaned against the counter and quirked her eyebrow up at you. “Maybe Y/N can go with you tomorrow, Rogers. She’s good at keeping company.” You just about choked on your coffee and gave her a glare. Steve’s eyes widened a bit in hopefulness. “That’s a great idea, Nat. What do you say, Y/N?” “Uh… I don’t know. I’d just be a bother. I’m not as fast and then there’s no point in me keeping you company if I can’t keep up with you.” “Oh, well the offer still stands if you change your mind. Okay?” “Yeah sure, thanks.”
Steve nodded and gave a weaker smile to Natasha and headed out of the kitchen. A white towel hit your face, interrupting your gaze at Steve and his narrow hips.
In order from right to left @imsebastianstan@ironfist1_@donsaladino@southampton1974getting in our interval work. 15 second sprint, 45 sec rest, at a 15 degree incline for 30 sets. Ab work -Reverse crunch superset with decline crunch 4x15 each -ab wheel full body 3x10 -oblique cruch superset with cable crunch 3x15 -Turkish get ups 3x1 #donsaladino #drive495 #training#trainwiththebest #cosmo #gethealthy
How long did it take you?: Six months! First 17 pounds lost in an intensive 3-month summer workout/eating plan, then I’ve lost a bit more since while at university (and unable to maintain that same intensity, but still eating right!) I’ve mostly abandoned the scale and have focused instead on how I look and feel.
Diet and exercise strategy?: I began by completing the Couch to 10k app, which was hugely crucial to rebuilding my stamina and muscle mass. I used MyFitnessPal to track my eating and usually ate between 1400-1600 calories a day on exercise days — never did I eat under 1200! Big focus on protein, as well — I tried to eat at least 20g of protein with every meal.
Once I finished Couch to 10k, I kept up the running, oftentimes mixing in sprint intervals to keep my heart working hard. I completed Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred, which I highly recommend! I’ve continued using her videos while increasing the weights I use to keep building up muscle as I’ve got plans to be in the military after graduation.
I’ve never been happier with my body and my confidence level is out of control. I’d like to lose perhaps ten more pounds, but I know it’ll happen on its own time and I’m already so pleased with what I’ve accomplished in six short months! Success is possible and probable if you make up your mind and stick to your guns. Getting healthy has absolutely changed my life.
Hi! Thanks for the encouragement and helpful tips when I sent in an ask about track a while back. I've decided at the end of things it is sprints and hurdles I want to focus on, found a track club in my area where training would start in September where they hold practice twice a week. However, I do want to stick to training 5x a week and am wondering if you've got sprinter-specific workout recommendations (esp weights + plyo!) for other days. Thanks! (I was formerly mafiaprinceza if that helps)
Yay I remember you, that’s great I’m glad to hear that. Always a pleasure to help!
Well typically most track and field athletes will train 5-6 times per week, so I’m glad to hear that you are planning on training more than twice per week. Evidently, if you are considering moving forward in the track and field world biweekly training wouldn’t be sufficient because you need to build and maintain strength, and in order to do so you need to train more than twice per week (in my opinion). High levels of relative strength are necessary in many sports for world-class success. The same rules apply for recreational athletes or guys who just want to look good naked. With the exception of a handful of pure strength sports, a leaner body will perform better and faster!
The fact that your training only starts in September is a great thing because it will give you plenty of time to build muscles and develop your strength, stamina and endurance; these are all very important aspects when it comes to sprinting.
Sprinters focus A LOT on strength and this is why they are some of the leanest and strongest athletes on the planet. These athletes are the total package of strength, power, speed and explosiveness wrapped up into a lean mean running machine. They possess the perfect storm of fast twitch dominance, exceptional reaction time, great work capacity, and a favorable endocrine profile. Physically, they look pretty damn good too. Now you may suspect that a sprinter’s physical characteristics are all a product of awesome genetics, but that’s only one aspect of the resultant physical outcome. Yes, a certain body type is preferential for success in sprinting, but training, lifestyle, and diet all have a big impact on the expression of physical qualities. To understand my point, just attend a collegiate level track meet and you’ll note that certain track events develop specific physical characteristics in their participants.
For example, if you look around a track and field event sometime and you’ll notice the relationship between sprinters and bodybuilders actually goes both ways, meaning a lot of full-time sprinters also have damn impressive bodies! Even the guy or girl who places dead last in the 200 or 400m sprint will still typically have well developed glutes, hamstrings, and fairly low body fat levels. Even though they may not have what it takes to win even a Junior College track meet, their body resembles that of a world class athlete. But what does it really take to look like these athletes? I attribute this to the training.
First and foremost, you will have to focus more on APPEARANCE than weight loss! Building muscles means than you will eventually put on weight! I feel if you focus on the numbers it can add a sense of unnecessary stress, especially if you’re working hard. Before you start freaking out about putting on weight let’s take a look at the wonders muscle building does to your body.
FOCUS ON APPEARANCE NOT THE NUMBERS!
BUILDING MUSCLE AND BURNING FAT SIMULTANEOUSLY: IS IT POSSIBLE?
If I remember well one of your concerns when your first inboxed was in regards to fat loss.
I didn’t really touch on that matter previously when I replied to you, so I will take the time in this post to touch on that aspect. You’re probably looking at these pictures and thinking “well most of these girls were already thin to begging with, what if I want to build muscles, but lose fat at the same time?”
Can I build muscles while trying to lose fat? Yes, but before touching on that I want us to pause and analyze the terminology I’ve used, notice how I mentioned “fat loss” instead of “weight loss”. Why? I always feel the need to mention the difference between losing weight and losing fat when I write posts like this because the “weight loss” mindset is so prevalent in our culture. In short, I don’t want you to lose weight, I want you to shred fat!
This distinction is really important because the wrong types of exercise cause you to lose weight (which often means muscle) instead of just fat. Here’s an abstract from a post I’ve written:
People often say they want to lose weight. This is sort of a dumb statement, because “weight” can be a few different things. For example… water, glycogen, muscle or fat. Hell, you can cut off a leg and you’ll lose “weight” just fine. In reality however, what most of us want to lose is fat, NOT muscle.
What’s the difference between weight loss & fat loss? People seem to use both terms interchangeably. After reading hopefully you’ll understand the difference between weight loss & fat loss, but also which one you should aim for and how.
Weight Loss vs. Fat Loss. What’s the difference? Let’s start by defining weight loss & fat loss so you know what I mean here. If you want to lose weight, it’s most likely because you carry too much fat. There are people who must lose weight, like athletes before a competition, but most want fat loss. So stop weighting yourself. Remember above I mentioned you will need to focus on your appearance rather than the numbers!
2 people with similar height can weigh the same, but look completely different because one has lower body fat than the other. Check the picture below for an example. The more muscle your body caries the slimmer you appear to be.
That being said, let’s answer our main question (can one build muscles and lose fat simultaneously?). As I mentioned earlier yes! However, here’s the dilemma; every time you are trying the lose fat you can lose your pretty hard-earned lean muscle mass while only trying to lose your ugly body fat! The body will always try to preserve as much fat as it can; the body for some reason like to hold onto fat, so it will burn anything it can as fuel before burning fat. You do not want to lose muscle - the goal when losing fat is to preserve as much muscle as possible. Many people lose muscle when they lose fat. This is not desirable because it spells havoc in the long term. Even though you can achieve very quick weight loss this way, it comes at a tremendous cost. Losing muscles slows down your metabolism so it’s inevitable that you will gain back the weight very quickly, usually accompanied by a few pounds of fat you didn’t have before you lost weight.
The body doesn’t really give a crap about what you want. It just knows that in order for it to survive and function under the current conditions, it will need to pull stored energy from somewhere. And that can mean fat, muscle or a combination of both.
Here are a few tips I consider to be the best ways to lose fat WITHOUT losing muscle; I’ll try to keep it short…
Avoid Excessive Amounts Of Cardio (LISS)
The most pervasive myth when it comes to losing fat is that “cardio” is the number one fat burner. That’s a belief that’s leading a bunch of people to failure and poorer health.
When I use the term cardio, I’m talking about any routine or program that puts you in the “target heart rate zone” for extended periods of time (typically 30 minutes or longer). This could be running, Tae Bo, certain P90X workouts, ellipticals, Jillian Michaels, and the list goes on and on.
I’m not going to spend this post tearing down cardio, though. Instead, I’m going to tell you what kind of exercise actually shreds fat and helps you sculpt your body so you can focus all of your time and energy there rather than on something that’s counterproductive to your goals.
Now when I’m talking about cardio it is important to differentiate between two types of cardio:
1) HITT: HIIT stands for High intensity interval training, which consists of short sprint intervals coupled with low moderate intensity work. An example of this would be a 30 second sprint followed by a 4 minute steady pace walk to cool down and bring your heart rate back to normal and then repeating it.
Studies have shown that HIIT can be effective for both sprinters and endurance athletes and it can be incorporated into just about any training protocol whether it be weight training, sprinting, rowing, climbing, or sport specific workouts.
The key is to pick exercises that use the majority of muscle groups. Using HIIT for isolation exercises will be ineffective. However, using them for full body exercises like sprinting, squats, deadlifts, and plyometrics will really kick your fat loss into high gear.
2) LISS: LISS stands for Low intensity steady state cardio, which consists of purely low moderate intensity work. An example of this would be walking on the treadmill or riding the bike and being able to hold a conversation.
Having said that, let’s solve the debate on low intensity (duration) vs. high intensity workouts (intensity). There are many conflicting statement about how long and how hard you need to exercise in order to lose fat. In my opinion, unless you are obese I wouldn’t recommend overdoing extended cardio sessions (LISS) all the time. Why?
Well first of all, in my personal opinion individuals that should perform extended period of low intensity cardio such as jogging are obese individuals, athletes such as distance runners, triathletes, or someone needing to lose muscle tissue. Yes, you read right, unless your goal is to have LESS lean muscle mass, the hamster wheel approach to energy system work is not for you.
Second of all, because the body is very adaptive. We tend to see a lot of people doing hours and hours a week of LISS and according to calculations they should be losing pounds, but they can’t lose anything because your metabolism adjusts to low intensity exercise. It just doesn’t cut it because it’s just a calorie burn at that time, not 24-hour energy expenditure. If you do LISS all the time, you’re basically trading calories in and calories out and you can cut these same calories through diet and still get the same effects.
Steady state cardio may encourage fat loss in the beginning, but your body will quickly adapt to that training intensity and create a new set point. Once this occurs, fat loss will slow, muscle loss will be encouraged, and other negative side effects like increased hunger and systemic inflammation (even injury) begin to occur.
Ex: You burn 200 calories over 30 min of LISS, you can cut out 200 calories through carbs or fat and get the same effect as opposed to getting a 24 hour energy expenditure through HIIT cardio.
Third of all, because your hormones and mitochondria love intensity
Now, I’m not saying that low intensity workouts are bad. Low intensity exercises are beneficial for warming up and cooling down, before and after high intensity phases. Many people have legitimate orthopaedic, cardiac, and even psychological reasons to avoid HIIT, so LISS is their only option. Besides, low intensity exercises are also good for the elderly, anyone recovering from an illness or injury, someone who is significantly overweight and out of shape, or someone who is just beginning to workout.
An excellent approach to your training is to mix intensities. Sometimes you go easy and long, and other times you go hard and fast. I’m a big believer in doing both HIIT and LISS combined. I feel they both should be incorporated into your routines since each have specifically different effects. Here are the following reasons why:
You can’t do HIIT 56 days a week because eventually it will have a negative impact on your weight training and interfere with growth
HIIT could be dangerous if not used right and could lead to injury
HIIT and LISS on either a combined, cyclical, or rotational basis seems to be the best formula in my opinion
The Bottom Line Do the type of cardio that you have a personal preference for. Whichever one fires you up the most because you’ll most likely work harder at it. HIIT is quicker, proves to be more effective for fat loss, creates metabolic changes, and helps with muscle retention but not everybody can do HIIT. LISS is safer, but takes twice as long to accomplish similar things (except for obese individuals) and it still has its place for fat loss in moderate amounts, from a pure calorie burning standpoint (meaning only to burn calories & not make changes to your metabolism). My intentions weren’t to favor one form of cardio and bash the other, even though it sounded like that. My intent was to educate and notify you that times have changed and science is proving some good stuff with HIIT cardio. But at the end of the day it’s up to you on what kind of cardio suits you best.
Hopefully, after reading this you should have a really good idea of what kind of cardio is right for you and how to effectively use it.
2. Maintain Strength/Intensity/Weight On The Bar
The single most important training requirement for anyone who wants to lose fat without losing muscle is maintaining your current levels of strength. When on a fat loss diet, just maintaining your current levels of strength (aka intensity, aka the weight on the bar) is what now signals your body to maintain muscle. If that signal goes away, your body’s need to keep your pretty muscle tissue around goes away right along with it. Weight training obviously needs to be kept around as it provides the primary signal that tells your body to maintain muscle and only burn body fat.
That’s why the insanely stupid myth of lifting heavier weights to build muscle but then lifting lighter weights (for higher reps) when you want to lose fat, get lean and get toned is the absolute WORST thing you could possibly believe when you’re trying to avoid losing muscle. In reality, you lift heavy weight to build muscle, and then lift that same heavy weight if you want to actually maintain that muscle. If you start purposely lifting lighter weights while in a caloric deficit, your body essentially thinks: “Hmmm, it looks like we only need to lift lighter weights now. I guess all of that muscle I built for the purpose of being able to lift heavy weight is no longer needed. Time to start burning it for energy instead of body fat! YOU DON’T WANNA BURN MUSCLE YOU WANNA BURN FAT! Maintaining the amount of weight you currently lift on every exercise is the key weight-training requirement for losing fat WITHOUT losing muscle.
Muscle Gains & Fat Loss. You’ll gain muscle while losing fat when you get into strength training. But on the weight scale it will look like you’re not making progress: your body-weight doesn’t change. Track your body fat using a fat caliper and you’ll see your body fat is going down.
While weight training obviously still needs to be kept around as it provides the primary signal that tells the body to maintain muscle and only burn body fat, cardio on the other hand is completely optional. Cardio without strength training & diet is useless. If you are not morbidly obese excess cardio will burn muscle, not fat.
Now that we have discussed cardio and weight lifting, let’s answer your main question regarding sprint workouts. There are various sprint routines that can be found on the net, but since you asked me about my recommendations I’ll share some of my favourite sprint workouts.
During the indoor collegiate track season I stick to the drills we do during practice. Evidently, when I’m not having practice or during the off-season I have my own routine. When it comes to my personal routine I would say that it is a mix of everything; all the knowledge I’ve acquired over the years. I try to incorporate different exercises; I like exercises that target the whole body – reason why I love sprinting.
As I’ve mentioned above it is impossible to do HIIT 7 days a week because it will have a negative impact on your weight training and interfere with growth — reason why I am a big believer in doing both HIIT and LISS combined. Usually, there will be 3 to 4 where I’ll focus on HIIT exercises such as sprinting and the remaining 3 days I’ll do LISS.
Some of my favorite HITT exercises include:
Sprinting obviously (when I go to the track I like to spent a least an hour)
Hill sprints − Hill sprints are amazing; they’re a pain in the a**, but OMG they give you stunning warriors legs. The steeper the hill is = the better leg workout you’ll get
If you are planning on incorporating sprinting to your routine as HIIT workout, always start with a dynamic warm up to prime the nervous system for fast movements.
Now you should be nice and fired up ready to turn it loose on the track. The two track sessions below are devised to target different aspects in a sprinters training—both vital to their competition prep.
TRACK TRAINING SESSION ONE (Conditioning Run) 8 x 200m, walk back in 2 minutes for rest, target time: 30 seconds or under.
TRACK TRAINING SESSION TWO (Race Modeling Run) 250m, 150m x 2; Rest 90 seconds in between reps and 8 minutes between sets.
*If you don’t know what 200m, 150m dash looks like don’t worry— what you can do is sprint half the track and walk/jog the other half this will do the job as well.
Hills sprints, as I mentioned above are a pain the butt, but damn Lord they do wonders to your legs and have the ability to transform your entire body.
Hill sprints are a great way to dramatically increase the caloric expenditure of an activity that already burns a boatload of calories when performed on flat ground. Again, think of hill sprints as a cross between sprinting and weightlifting. This has amazing benefits on body composition!
Because of the inclined surface, you are forced to lean forward as you sprint, which teaches you the proper acceleration mechanics that you would want when sprinting on a flat surface. Hill sprints actually become your sprint coach because you almost can’t help but do it right!
Hills sprints also teach aggressive arm and shoulder action, which is so critical for maximal acceleration. You simply cannot sprint fast up a hill without deliberate arm action. This helps teach the coordination and little-appreciated upper-body drive needed to sprint effectively on a flat surface.
If you cannot find an all-weather running track close to your house hill sprints are great alternatives. I am not gonna lie to you they are brutal, so the first time you run hills I recommend not doing more than 5 sprints at about 75% of your maximum effort. They really are brutal and you don’t want to burn yourself out on the first set. Increase your intensity with every sprint. Add 1-2 sprints per week until you are performing 20 per workout with maximum effort.
Some of my favourite weight/strength training as a sprinter includes:
Squats (all type of squats = sumo, barbell, dumbbell, name them all I LOVE squats)
Bench Ab V-ups
Kneeling DB Front Shoulder Raise
Overhead Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Hammer Curls
They are so much more, but these are just a few of the weight/strength training I favour.
I really wasn’t going to touch on nutrition since this post is already long, but I figured out if you’re going to train like a sprinter might as well know how to eat like one.
Now that you’ve had a taste of what a sprinters training is like, don’t forget that expending that much physically requires you to put double back in to recover. Unlike distance runners whose diets comprise of carb loading for longer periods of running, sprinters lean more towards higher amounts of proteins (perfect when trying to build muscles and lose fat) and fats for the short amounts of explosive strength their events require.
3. Eat Enough Protein Third tips when trying to lose weight and build muscle eating enough protein! I can’t stress this enough! Protein and BCAAs are life and they will be your best friends!
Protein: As the main source for building muscle, protein is absolutely necessary for your muscle-building strategy. Take in around 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight (this equates to 180-270 grams for a 180 pound individual). This will guarantee that your muscles will be getting the correct dose of amino acids for maintaining and building muscle tissue. Some prime sources are chicken, lean steak, fish, turkey, ground meat, eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt and protein powders.
BCAAs: Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and the branched-chain amino acids—leucine, isoleucine, and valine—are the best of the bunch. BCAAs are as close to magic foods as we’ll ever get. They help you recover from hard workouts by reducing the protein breakdown within your muscles; they increase testosterone and growth hormone, your body’s most important fat-fighting and muscle-building hormones; and they have their most profound effect when you’re following law number 1 and cutting calories in order to lose weight.
Fat is emergency storage for your body, so when you get on low calorie diets your body will burn muscle first. The first and best way of preventing this is by getting a sufficient daily protein intake; the single most important dietary requirement for maintaining muscle. It’s not meal timing, or supplements, or the exact size of your caloric deficit, or the quality of the foods you eat.
Nutritionally speaking, losing fat without losing muscle is all about eating enough protein every day. Even in the absence of a proper weight training routine, more of the weight you lose will be body fat rather than muscle mass just as a result of an increased protein intake. So, the first step of any muscle-preserving diet is always getting your ideal amount of protein for the day. What is “ideal?” Well, the good old “1-gram of protein per pound of body weight” recommendation still remains a perfectly fine starting point for most people with this goal in mind. Since your focus is on fat loss I would recommend to consume foods that are low in calories and high in protein such as egg whites, Greek yogurt, chicken breast, tuna, etc.
Some of my favourites supplements include: L-Leucine by Source Naturals and Combat Protein Powder & BCAAs by MusclePharm.
Sprinters diet roughly resemble that;
Fruits and Vegetables (The darker the better - 30%)
Last but not least, one more thing worth mentioning is fuelling. If you train like an athlete you will need to fuel your body like one.
"Athletes eat and train, they don’t diet and exercise.“
As you must know, in order to lose any amount of body fat, you need to create a caloric deficit. And that means you’re going to need to reduce your calorie intake below maintenance level so stored body fat can be burned for energy instead. However, you should NEVER starve yourself or skip meal, never.
As I mentioned previously in one of my post I do not believe in [die]ting. I disagree with the whole concept of counting calories and drastic calories reduction. I believe that athletes are warriors and we should feed ourselves like warriors.
Here’s an excerpt from one of my post, which perfectly illustrates my point of view:
When I hear people saying that they don’t eat, skip meals or drastically reduce their calories because they’re trying to lose fat it makes me laugh (deep inside) because not eating or eating too little actually slows down the metabolism, so by doing this people are sabotaging their weight loss efforts; slow metabolism = NO weight loss! The body thinks it’s starving, so it will go on the “survival” mode which means it will literally slow down its calorie-burning capacity in order to “survive”.
In other words, by not eating the body will senses that it is in “trouble”, so it will try to conserve the few amount of energy it has left as much as possible, which will result in a slower metabolism! Fat is emergency storage for your body. Your body will burn muscle first if you get on low calorie diets, so the body is going to use muscles as fuel, yes muscles, so not only the metabolism will slow down, but the body will also lose some precious muscles.
So… Moral of the story, you don’t have to eat less - you just have to eat BETTER!! In the above picture you can clearly see the sticking difference between 1575 calories of “junk” foods and healthy foods.
I wanted to include an example of my workout routine, but as you can see that is quite a long post already 😂… I went a bit overboard, but I wanted this post to be as informative as it could be. Anyways, I hope it answered your questions.
Stephiie M 💪
SOURCES AND HELPFUL LINKS/ARTICLES
Here’s a few articles I thought you might find interesting:
Can you tell us your schedule each day? I know you posted one before where you start at 5:30 and end at 10:30, but what's it like the other days? I go to UCLA as well and I'm struggling with time management
Here is a glimpse of my schedule after deleting all my social media:
4:30am: Wake up, pack clothes and food for the day.
5:00am: Leave to school to beat traffic. Listen to lecture podcasts while I’m driving.
5:30am: Get to gym right when it opens so I can lift weights without too many men around. Usually alternate between upper body and lower body and always end workouts with 30 mins of interval sprints. (Exercising is incredibly important to me to keep my body in shape which really helps with confidence and overall feelings towards myself)
6:30am: Go to grocery store if I don’t have food and usually buy fruit, greek yogurt or tuna. I try to keep a healthy diet because I like to be nice to my body. I need it to work for me for a long time. I usually consume protein shakes after working out. Most mornings I eat peanut butter and banana on wheat bread. After fulfilling my bodily needs, I change and put on makeup because “look good, feel good” right?
7:30am: Walk through the UCLA campus and find a new place to sit and read. I started giving myself more time to enjoy leisurely things to make my days feel somewhat different.
8:30am: Go into the research lab, if no one is there, I’m usually reading something related to our research, or reading for class until the lab assistant gets in and we start our experiments.
12:00pm: I leave lab to go eat food and give myself more soul time, usually reading one of the fifty books I recently bought or writing in my journal, or reading for class. Giving myself this time outside really helps me stay interested in my schoolwork. There’s just something about nature that makes me feel okay about life.
2:00pm: Go to class. Sometimes I don’t want to go, I’d rather be outside. But I usually convince myself by saying that I can mess around on the internet if I get really bored/hate it in there. At least I am in the class I am paying too much money for. :)
3:15pm: Go back to the research lab. I’m taking 4 units of research which means I have to be in lab at least 12 hours a week so I try to get in there as much as possible. Plus its the one thing I’m passionate about. I’d rather spend my time doing something productive and useful for the world. (The pros of leaving social media behind)
5:00pm: If I’m hungry at this point, I’ll go find food before I head into the library to wait for traffic to clear. Some days, I’ll be nice to myself and go to happy hour sushi. I like going out to eat by myself. I usually eat and read a book. By reading everywhere I go, I am constantly growing which is why I make it a point to read, read, read because I want to grow, grow, grow. :)
6:00pm: I like to switch up my study spots. Some days I’ll study in Powell Library, other days I’ll go to the biomedical library at the med school. Other days I’ll seriously go find an outlet in a hallway in one of the buildings and just sit in the hallway. I make the effort to make the same day in day out activities more desirable by never going to the same places.
7:00pm: I always give myself a break when studying…can you guess what I spend my time doing during that break? READING YES! I don’t give myself a time limit usually. I’m adult enough to know when I need to get back into it. By being relaxed about time, I’m never really stressed out. I leave a lot of space for other things, though my life is very centered around school.
8:00pm: Usually head home around this time. If i haven’t eaten, I may stop at in n out. Sometimes I stop at jack in the box for milkshakes. I love milkshakes. I love myself. So I do that like once a week. :D
8:45pm: I get home. Usually too tired to do anymore school stuff. Might do some push-ups, read a little bit. Text some friends. Bullshit on the internet. Figure out life plans for the next day. Write down things I’m grateful for to keep me motivated. This is my main down time. I generally use it productively.
10:00pm: I am passed out hard to wake up again the next day at 4:30am.
WELP the holiday weekend is over and now it's back to it!! What does/did your workout look like today??
CARDIO CARDIO CARDIO today and some weight training for my second workout. I worked all day yesterday so today I’m playing catch up!!
2 miles on Stair Master
2 miles interval sprints
50 jumping jacks
50 high knees
15 narrow squats (feet together)
40 jumping jacks
30 crunches (on each side for obliques)
50 high knees
20 regular squats
30 jumping jacks
50 high knees
20 power lunges (10 for each side)
30 crunches (on each side for obliques)
20 wide leg squats
Repeat ‘CIRCUIT’ 2 more times for a completion of 3 sets!!
You may have already done your workout today, or this was the motivation you needed to try something. I’m all over this today, but it would be great if I wasn’t alone!!! Let’s stay motivated together!! You can do your own thing, but I want to hear about it. Tag me and let me know how it went or send pics of you in your gym shoes! Anything is better than nothing, right?
I love to maintain variety with my exercise routines. When i visited my dear friend, Jordy in New York, she inspired me to start doing Tabatta’s - or interval training. Its absolutely miraculous how much difference you notice from just 10 minutes of this kind of exercise in the morning. I noticed immediately that it helps to kick start metabolism at lightning speed. When i start the morning like this I feel the need to graze on raw veges, nuts and juice all day - a good sign. So feeling eager to explore, every morning (nearly) in paris i took advantage of the jet lag waking me up at 6am and went for runs. I would jog around exploring the streets and parks around Bastille and le Marais. After discovering the little i would find a quiet little spot and open up my Gym Boss app on my phone (i just downloaded the first free interval training app). The best part about tabatta is you can just do whatever you like, as long as you push yourself as hard as you can! I start off with one round of sprints and jogging for the 7 lots of 20 second intervals(sprinting) with 10 seconds rest(jogging). Then ill mix it up and do things like star jumps, any kind of dance-cardio steps, running with high knees, burpies or squats for an additional 2-3 rounds. By the end of this, no matter what the temperature, I’m as sweaty as a block of cheese left out in the sun. I always finished it off with a lovely slow jog back to the apartment while chatting to my Boyfriend or Mum on Viber. Great way to start the day.
- Don’t break in new shoes while learning 3 brand new rounds, you will feel terrible about your dancing (and look like an awkward baby llama walking on ice)
- it gets better. And then worse. And then better again. But it always gets better.
- 30 days is not a lot of time on the calendar, but in reality it can make a world of difference
- Your dance family will always be there for you. Always.
- Just because you didn’t get blisters that one time doesn’t mean your shoes are broken it. Bandaid up or prepare to bleed.
- Sprint intervals are your best friend (and worst nightmare)
- In the end, it doesn’t matter if you miss a tip, or fall off pointe or anything. What matters is you’re pouring everything you have into your passion. And trust me your life is better for it all around.
Lunch today after some sprint intervals + a power walk 👌 chicken caesar salad with Parmesan cheese and homemade dressing, and a side of roasted fries seasoned with basil and cracked pepper (roasted at 425 degrees for 15 minutes) 😋