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Showing posts from July, 2010

Adventures/Disasters In Finger Foods

My (almost) 8 month old is extremely interested in feeding himself. I have been trying to find foods that he can safely practice with feeding to himself. I started with Baby Mum Mums and formula based biscuits- they are pretty messy, and of course I gravitate towards a more homemade and wholesome alternative. But that hasn't been as easy as I expected. We had great success with buttered toast fingers. Perfect. Just make sure the bread is whole wheat and without any grains/seeds in it. Next I tried dicing up apples and pears and steaming them for about 30 minutes, hoping they would achieve a mushy texture that would melt/dissolve. They ended up being rubbery and too small for little hands to negotiate to a mouth- FAIL. I tried steaming fingers of extra firm tofu which also remained rubbery. FAIL I tried baking potato bits but the pan side browned resulting in a hard crust. FAIL Finally I steamed chunks of white potato to a soft but firm consistency. I then dipped the chunks in

Getting Back to What You Know (and Love!)

I have been admittedly on a cardio junkie kick. Over the past 5 days I have walked over 10K, run over 25K, and even squeezed in a fullbody crosstraining workout. Let's start there.... On Monday I did an "empathy workout"- I did a client's workout, amped up to my level. She is a beginner, so she does exactly half of what I busted out. I felt this would probably be a good indication of how difficult it is for her. It was a great workout: 20:10 work:rest maximum reps for a total 4:00 per exercise x 4 exercises, + 2 exercises set reps x 2 rounds Squat Push Up Jumps Lunge Jumps Break with 1 x 16 reps supine side leg lift with center bunny hop, Tricep push ups x 13/side Pike to Plank Explosive Star Repeat break set as above. My reps weren't super high, but my form was A+. It felt great, and took about 45 minutes w/warm up and cool down. I finally got both kids out for a family run- Seth in the stroller and Jenny on her bike- a quick 3.5K roundtrip to the playg

A Letter to my Ab Rehab Clients

To all of my hardworking Ab Rehab clients: I want to share with you my own progress on the Ab Rehab program. It is my hope that it will give you some kind of a real life timeline, as to what kind of progress you can expect if you keep on the program, as diligently as you are able. I began the program in February with a separation of 11 fingerwidths total (3-4-4) and very weak connective tissue, 3 months postpartum from baby #2. I think that is as big of a separation as any of you are trying to close. We are all on the program so we can all appreciate how challenging it is to stick to it! While the exercises are not difficult, finding the time and mental discipline to complete the sets and reps every day, each week, can be daunting at best. Like any fitness goal, it is a mountain and it takes baby steps to climb. Like you, since I began in February I have had countless interruptions and distractions, but I keep returning to the program and trying my best to stay on trac

Core Progress & Diastasis

Day 4- Core day. I have been doing set reps on time challenge to build up the strength to do maximum reps 30:10's and hold a modified plank in between exercises. Interestingly, because my core exercises are all executed from the plank position, it fatigues my deltoids as much as my core! To date I have had to use the child's pose between exercises, unable to hold even a modified plank for the rest intervals of the 4:00 set. So today I did my 30:10 x 3 exercises x 2 rounds, successfully holding the modified plank between exercises- although I did give myself a 0:10 child's pose between rounds. This is progress. I added a bonus set, holding modified plank through round 1, but having to fall into child's pose during rest for round 2. Add to that 2 timed sets of side leg lifts with center hops, and I had a pretty good 20 minute high intensity core workout. During my session I thought to do a diastasis check as it has been 5 weeks since my last check and with these intense

Want to Slow Down Time?

Life is hectic. I swear the hours pass so quickly, the day is done, and there is seemingly always more to do! Do you want to slooooow down time? Wouldn't it be great to just slooooow everything down a little? Well you can! The secret? Exercise of course! Not a runner? Try going out and doing 1:1 run:walk intervals for 10 minutes. The run intervals will be the longest minutes of your day! Hop on a stationary cycle or elliptical. After warming up, try to bust out a 2:00 maximum intensity interval. Again, the longest 2 minutes of your day I promise you! Try one of my 20:10 workouts from this blog, doing maximum reps for a total of 4:00. You'll be watching the seconds tick away as if in slow-mo. It's magic!

Cardio Junky Day

Today is a fun cardio junky day. I did 2 sets on the stationary bike, plus I will be running approximately 4K with a client tonight at 9PM. It should amount to about a 90 minute cardio day. Here is my HRZ breakdown from today: Set 1- 26:00 3:00 120 7:00 130+ 8:00 140+ 4:00 160 4:00 130 Set 2- 26:00 6:00 120 8:00 130+ 4:00 150 8:00 120 My RPE was consistently about 14, spiking to 16-17 during the 150-160 4:00 intervals. Using the Heart Rate Reserve Method of Calculating Target Heart Rate Zones (TZ), here is my breakdown: Kate: HRR TZ 129-164 Date <130 Warm Up/Cool down TZ 60-70% Maintain or lose weight 135-146 TZ 70-80% Improve Cardiovascular Fitness 146-158 TZ 80-90% Improve Athletic Performance 158-170 07/21/10 17:00 19:00 12:00 4:00 A chart like this kept as a log is  a useful tool for at-a-glance overview of what you are achieving during your cardio sessions from a HR perspective. I keep log charts like these for my clients and I check their HR's during our worko

Full Tank

So after 5 days of life-imposed rest I came back with a full tank of gas! Day 1 Core Core Core! 07/19/10: I completed my core workout cycle of set reps, 3 exercises x 6 rounds x 3 times (usually I only do 2x!) so I added 1/3 more to today's workout AND I set my PB to date in the time challenge both in the 2nd AND 3rd round. I also added a new exercise which is killer for the hip flexors, core and back, completing 2 sets of 25 reps. Add to that 6 full cycles of sun salutations and I STILL had gas in the can. Mentally I wanted to hit the stationary cycle but my body put itself to bed around 9PM (haha). I guess I was tired after all! Day 2 20:10's x 8 rounds x 5 exercises and I set PB's for maximum reps in every exercise! My RPE was high around 16-18 but I got through it! I was determined to log those scores and I was confident I would set PB's. Tomorrow I have a running session with a client so I am planning a dedicated cardio day.  It will give me the motivation to

When Life Gets in the Way

5 days go by in the blink of an eye! I got preoccupied planning this.... ....and working out fell to the wayside. Hey it happens- in this "training for life" there are always times when other meaningful occupations take priority. I try to be adaptable and not obsessive. It is counterproductive to obsess over missed workouts! The good news is after a solid 5 day break I came back to set PB scores in my workouts over the past 2 days. Also, Day 1 wasn't nearly as difficult as it has been over the past few weeks. Go figure.

Day 2 - Core Workout

Why are Day 2 workouts SO much easier than Day 1? My RPE drops at least by 2-3. Today was a core day and I chose to do a time challenge workout with set repetitions of 3 exercises x 2 rounds, twice. I also added set reps of +2 exercises, and another good 20 minute steady pace on the stationary cycle. Here is my workout: Reptile 30/30 30/30 Mountain Climbers 30/30 30/30 Plank Knee Tucks 30/30 30/30  The rounds timed out to 5:20/5:04 Monkey Pushups with Jump 25/25 - 2:20/2:40 Explosive Star 25/25 - 1:03/1:05 When comparing my numbers to previous workouts over the past 4 weeks I increase the reps I was able to do in the 3 exercise rounds, and I performed the 2 optional exercise sets in a significantly faster time 0:05- 0:25 secs faster. Plus I was able to add an additional 20 minutes of steady cardio, so I am feeling pretty good about today's workout! I had my heart rate up to 180 during the work intervals, which is perfect. Tomorrow is dueling exercises. I don't have it pla

Heart Rate & Race Pacing

Tonight I gave a talk to the 10K and 1/2 Marathon Clinics at the Sheridan Running Room . The topic was Heart Rate and Race Pacing. Here is the worksheet I put together as a supplemental to my presentation: Determining Exercise Heart Rate (ExHR) 1. ) Determine maximum heart rate (MaxHR) Based on age only 220 –  (_ Age in Years _)  =  __ Max HR __ Max HR x .9 = Upper Target HR Max HR x .55 = Lower Target HR 2.) Heart Rate Reserve HRR - takes into account resting HR and is a more accurately individual calculation. Target HR = [(HR Max - Resting HR) x %] + Resting HR Use .85 for Upper Target HR and .5 for Lower Target HR when using HRR formula. 3.) To find your resting heart rate (RestHR)               Check pulse for 6 seconds:  ___________                                                                               Multiply number of heart beats by 10:  ___________ • Maintain or lose weight, your TZ is 60% - 70% of maximum HR • Reach cardiovascular fitness, your TZ is

Baby Food Making & The Evolution of a Food Plan

As I have been making baby food again I have been reflecting on how the meals I prepare for my family evolve as the children grow. Now that Seth has been introduced to a variety of foods without reaction, I can confidently prepare larger amounts of these foods to freeze/store; he is also eating more and more every week so the portions I need to prepare are larger.  Here is a batch of baby food I made a couple of weeks ago- carrot/zucchini (a nice combination!), sweet potatoes, pears, and a lovely blend of mango and papaya. I tend to make baby food in batches- once I get going it's easy to bust it out. Here is the pear puree ready for freezing. I am using larger containers for the bigger batch. I still used baby cubes for some of the purees. Here they are cleaned, sterilized by boiling and ready. The baby cubes are still handy for single sized portions and are easy to throw into a cooler when we are on the go. I also store uneaten leftovers in them occasionally. And of

Workout Week at a Glance

It has been a week since I have blogged my workouts. Here is my week in a nutshell: 07/07 Stationary Bike Cardio Steady 45 minutes 07/08 Core 07/09 Rest 07/10 Stationary Bike Cardio Intervals 30 minutes 07/11 Rest And today was a full body crosstrain of 6 exercises, 3 pairs of 20:20 x 6 rounds max reps- I took a little extra rest between pair sets and pushed the reps past the 0:20 frequently. I also added 20 minutes of steady cardio on the stationary bike. Today's exercises were: Lunge Jumps 11/6/10/11/11/12 Monkey Push Ups (no jump) 5/4/4/5/5/4 Running Reptile 14/13/14/16/18/14 Pike Leg Switch 14/15/15/14/12/14 Step Backs 13/14/14/14/15/16 Explosive Star 8/10/10/8/12/10 Geez, the reps add up don't they? I know I was tired after this workout, but I still had enough mental gas to want to climb on the bike for a rippin' cooldown. Life has been demanding and I have been playing each day "by ear" without an overly regimented workout cycle planned. Life is

Food Combining

Recently I wrote about the theory of Food Combining. I want to share some tools that I use to prepare our meals while being conscious of food combinations, and it all revolves around my fridge! Makes sense, right? I mean, the fridge is the center of meal preparation, so in my house it serves as a permanent reminder of our approach to daily nutrition. So here is my fridge, very kid friendly and typical for a young family. I keep some key information posted on the outside of my fridge; I have the opportunity to review it every time I open the door. In my years of research I compiled some very useful charts of information which I have laminated and posted on my fridge. Most importantly, my "Food Combining Chart" which outlines the breakdown of food groups and the varying degrees with which they combine.      Then I have a handy "Vegan Food Pyramid" which is a modification of the traditional food pyramid, omitting animal products. I do strive to be vegan, and alth

Running- Motivation 101

Motivation: Step 1- The beginning!  WHY RUN?    (Affectionately subtitled “Getting your butt out there in the first place”)   What motivates us to exercise? Of course it will be different for each individual, but here are a few common motivators: Weight loss – weight that has accumulated over time, post partum weight, holiday weight, slimming down for the summer, a vacation, or an upcoming event such as a wedding or school reunion. This is probably the most common reason that people start to run. Fitness Stress Relief Social Activity Getting motivated to get out there and just do it is something that we struggle with every day that we run- it’s winter, it’s cold, we’re tired and there are a limitless number of more comfortable things to do indoors! So why run? What can we think about to get us out the door on our run days? Well you could join a running clinic! The group element can add an extra incentive to keep on the program. Because you want to stay

Cross Training 101

This is such an important topic on so many levels. I am sure I can write a novel on the subject, so I thought I would just start brainstorming and see where it leads me. Cross training is by my definition using a variety of exercise techniques to develop a well rounded fitness approach. Fundamentally we must pay attention to the 3 elements of our physical conditioning: Strength Cardiovascular Flexibility Further to that we must remember other aspects of our wellness such as emotional, social, spiritual and mental well being. Our pursuit of fitness should encompass all of these aspects of our wellness, as evenly as possible. With the physical aspects of our health it is important to achieve a consistent exercise program from week to week, month to month, over the years. Can Fit Pro's Guidelines recommend: Strength 2-4x week Cardiovascular 3-5x week Flexibility 4-7x week The goal is (30 to) 60 minutes of moderate intensity dedicated exercise every day. This is one area that

Exercise Trains you for Life

So often I hear my clients say "Oh, I (insert activity here: chase the kids around, run around at work) all day, I don't need to workout. My life is a workout!", or something along those lines. Let me say this once and for all, it is NOT the same as dedicated exercise. In fact, I think this is looking at it backwards. Dedicated exercise is exactly what prepares you to do these activities, not visa versa. Everyday activities are exercises yes- in fact the exercises we do more often than not mimick everyday movements. They are designed for that sensible reason. When you are lugging laundry up 2 flights of stairs or chasing a toddler in a half squat jog you don't have mental capacity or control to focus on your form.  Dedicated exercise is our opportunity to establish strong form in our range of motions, so that when we are on the move in real life we will carry that form automatically. This helps to keep us from being injured and to be more effective in our movements

Pre Coffee Workout

This morning I got on it early, determined to jump start my day. Before even having coffee I got my workout done! Day 2, 20:10's x 8 rounds x 5 exercises max reps, focus on FORM- deep push ups, squat jumps, etc. 20:00 total + warmup & cool down. Modified Push Up Squat Jump 1 Forward 2 Back Burpies Side Lunge Jump Twist L/R Pike to Plank I wanted to add an additional exercise for 24:00 but today was not the day to make such an advancement. Still recovering from the cold, getting back on track, this workout was done early around 9:30AM and I am on with my day feeling great. My R shoulder is quite sore- an old injury that flares up. Today I definitely feel as if I am fully recovered form my pregnancy. I am 7 months postpartum and today I feel 99% of my old self, ready to keep working hard to make more advancements in my wellness. One day at a time. This week I am trying to reign in my foodplan by eliminating sugar, juice and meat. I have been about 80% successful so far. Wa

Sharing my personal Goals

I wrote about Goal Setting , and I wanted to share my own goal log, as an example of how I work towards my own personal goals. This is a c/p from my ongoing document titled "Kate's Fitness Goals". It illustrates how goals change, schedules adapt, successes are met..... this dates all the way back to my pregnancy last year. I revise/update it every 8-12 weeks. Ab Rehab Notes February 28th top-3, middle-4, lower-4 connective tissue- weak naval measurement 31" Waist 28" April 6th top-3, middle-3, lower-4 connective tissue stronger naval measurement 29" Waist 27" (3 weeks later) April 18th (2 weeks later, 5 weeks total- 4+1 Repeat) top-2, middle-3, lower-3 connective tissue stronger April 29th self check (2 weeks later, 7 weeks total) top- 2, middle-3, lower-3 Waist 26" May 26th self check (4 weeks later) top- 1, middle-3, lower-3 Waist 26" June 13th self check top-0, middle-2, lower-3 REVISED/UPDATED 06/26/10: Goals: 8 weeks to  Aug 30th

Still in Recovery Workout

I am back to Day 1-2. Yesterday was a dedicated rest day although I had intended for it to be a workout day. It seems through this cold I have been managing 1 day on 1 day off, which is not a bad balance of exercise and rest. My "on" days have been full program sets; perhaps if I had scaled them back in consideration of my illness I may have achieved better consistency day to day, rather than alternating on/off- something to think about for next time. I have a difficult time not pushing for 100% even when it knocks me on my ass. It's not always the most productive approach. So today was Core day time challenge, with 3 exercises in circuit, set reps, + 2 exercises just for fun :) Repeat. Reptile 20/25, 30/25 Mountain Climbers 25/30, 30/35 Plank Knee Tucks 25/35, 35/35 Round 1 was 2:18 + 2:30 = 4:48 Round 2 was 2:26 + 2:22 = 4:48 Go figure Extra exercises: Monkey Push Ups with Jumps 25/25 3:06/2:43 Explosive Star 25/25 1:19/1:14 Warm up: Sun Salutations Cool Dow

Goal Setting- Beyond the Basics

This article is written to present to runners, but it applies to all fitness goals- indeed to all goals entirely! Achieving goals involves both physiology and psychology . Your physiology determines how your body responds to the demands of training. This places limits on how quickly you can improve in a given period of time. This is your genetic potential. While your physiology sets the limits to your performance, your psychological approach largely determines how close you come to reaching those limits. As always, the body and mind are inextricably linked. Goal setting helps you channel your mental and physical energy towards a purpose and sport psychologists have conducted dozens of studies showing that goal setting leads to improvements in athletic performance. The fitter you already are, the less you will improve.   The unfortunate fact is that the longer and harder you have been training, the closer you are to your genetic potential. The closer you are to your genetic poten

Recovery Workout

I have been officially knocked out by this cold. My last workout entry's aspiration never happened. In fact, I have taken 3 full days of totally dedicated rest from exercise- knocked on my ass. Sick.... and menstrual to boot. Damn. Normally exercise helps those symptoms as well- moodiness, crampiness, general lethargy, but no respite this round. It is only my 2nd cycle postpartum. Drained, Pooped. Sick. Blah. So today is Day-1 Recovery Workout, attempting to do the last workout I had scheduled. I maanaged to complete 20:20 exercise face-offs of 6 exercises, 3 sets of 20:20 pairs x 2 rounds for a total 12:00: Lunge Jumps vs. Monkey Push Ups Running Reptile vs. Squat Jump Twist Pike to Plank vs. Explosive Star I wanted to complete an entire additional round but really was pretty looped just doing what I did. When I entered my scores I realized that I have only attempted this once before and was only able to complete 1 round, so that made me feel extra good about my performance.