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A Dilema of Frozen Yogurt Proportions!

Because, as we all know, frozen yogurt is HUGE right now!

 

yum! oreo and cake batter... on a base of cookie dough, brownies and cheesecake, topped with graham crumbs, smarties, yogurt chips and marshmallow topping

And I am either the luckiest or silliest girl in the history of the world because I work for the company of my dreams: Menchie’s!!!

isn't it cute??!!

It is true. And it is wonderful! It’s a really fun job with amazing people and a fantastic product. However since my digestive system is not a big fan of dairy, gluten, or sugar, this job is one big temptation!  We get a free yogurt (oh mylanta!) at the end of each shift and we are encouraged to know the product inside and out. Which makes sense. But I don’t do moderation well… the thought of taking a tiny bit of yogurt, just to try it, doesn’t seem feasible! I’m an all or nothing kind of girl! If I’m going to try it, I’m going to have it! Because it is delicious!!

I guess I’m going to have to learn about moderation the hard way!

Are you all or nothing like me? Or is it easy for you to limit yourself?

The Case for Cardio

This post was written by a personal trainer named Dane, and my sister-in-law (she doesn’t post any more, but her blog is Cuts and Curves) had posted it on her blog a while back. I was planning on using only excerpts from his post, but as I re-read it, I couldn’t bring myself to chop it up, it’s just that well written. Enjoy!

I can’t tell you how hard it is for me, as a fitness professional, to read all the hate mail that has been put out there against cardio in recent years. I hate cardio as much as the next guy and have tried to find a good bit of evidence, that can be studied out and maintain its standing as a valid argument against cardio, that well let me feel good about ditching it from my workouts. Unfortunately, I don’t think substantial enough evidence exists to convert me to that camp.
                Granted I do not hold a Ph.D. in physiology, but my research and humble knowledge of fitness and the cardiovascular studies done throughout my certification process, as well as continued education, shed light in my mind on holes in the arguments against cardio. Frankly, I think there is a demand to acknowledge the importance of cardio in any fitness regiment.
                                                
                I do not dare refute the fact that that traditional cardio is not the most effective overall calorie burner, it is absolutely not. If you are simply trying to burn calories do a good leg workout. You will definitely burn more overall calories during and after your workout and for a longer period of time post-workout.
                I would like to take this time to draw your attention to some benefits of incorporating cardio into your workouts. I had thought about writing this in such a way as to cover a more broad view on cardio but on second thought I am going to keep it focused on how it can benefit you as a bodybuilder/weightlifter.
                I think it’s safe to assume that we all understand what cardio is. Doing anything that gets your heart rate up and increases circulation. But not all cardio is the same. Increasing your intensity on the weights definitely counts and can be greatly beneficial in the overall consumption of calories and in the end burning fat, getting lean, etc. but its important to understand why. Basically, the number one consumer of fat in your body is muscle. The more muscle you have the more fat you will lose. But just like any other muscle in the body, your heart must be trained and exercised as well. If you are seeing all the gains you want in the gym and looking lean and mean, but, you get winded walking up the stairs in your house, there is need for a change.
                                                
                The heart is exercised with cardio. But the increase in heart rate experienced during a set of any particular lift is not sufficient enough to actually increase the strength of your heart. You must sustain the increase of demand on your heart, by getting into your target heart range and staying there for 20-30 minutes.
                The heart is so important to your bodybuilding aspirations too. An improved heart means improved performance. When you train with cardio, cardio actually forces your body to develop more capillaries. These capillaries are microscopic delivery paths big enough for one red blood cell to squeeze through and are delivery pathways for nutrients to be delivered to your body. The better conditioned your heart and circulatory system is, (lungs too. Also improved with cardio), the harder you can lift and the faster you can make gains.  Furthermore, cardio can decrease your recovery time as well. After a hard lifting session doing a few minutes of cardio exercise will help carry away some of the byproducts produced during your workout and reduce your D.O.M.S.,(delayed onset muscle soreness). Cardio strengthens your body’s ability to send oxygen rich blood to your recovering muscle group, aiding in the rebuilding and recovery process, letting you get back quicker.
 
                Because of its affect on the metabolism, cardio will also help you maintain weight as well. Or lose depending on what the case may be. As for the “getting lean” aspect of the world of bodybuilding, I still swear by traditional methods of cardio as well. I know I touched on muscle being the largest consumer of fat in the body, it still is. But cardiovascular exercise actually imposes a stress that creates an environment for utilizing fat as a means of energy. The University of New South Wales in Australia recently put out a study showing that interval training such as interval sprints burns three times more fat than slow consistent cardio.

Finally, cardio is cardio, yes. An increased heart rate is an increased heart rate. But, it is not all created equal as it relates to benefiting your results in the gym. The cardio method I signed onto for a long time was increasing my intensity in the weight room. Active rest, abs in between sets, supersets, burnouts. Whatever I could do to keep my heart rate going. The problem I ran into, was being so sore! It would take me a full extra day of rest to recover from a workout because my body was so traumatized by the stress I imposed on it. The problem I was running into was the over-exertion of my muscle groups. Yes, technically I was doing cardio and it was burning calories. But I was further increasing muscle fatigue, increasing my DOMS. Traditional cardio allows the same burning of excess calories, but without slowing recovery time. Thus, enabling the more frequent working of the same muscle groups, bringing about bigger gains!

America the crazy!

Or maybe I just get crazy when I’m in America. Who really knows?

Untrue. I know. And you will too after this story…

After a spontaneous road trip to Cocoa beach and a late night dip in the ocean, I dropped my friends off at Steak ‘n Shake so Heather could experience the magic that is a Steak ‘n Shake milkshake for the FIRST time in her life, and ventured off in search of a gas station. When I finally found one, I went inside to prepay for gas. The attendant looked at me like I was crazy and asked why I didn’t just use my credit card to prepay at the pump. For some unknown reason I busted out speaking in a intense southern drawl, trying to explain that I get charged an initial $100 any time I swipe my card at a gas station and even though it eventually gets reduced to the amount I spent, I wanted to avoid that extra charge because I’m on vacation… blah blah blah. Seriously. I went on forever! I talked about credit limits and how once I couldn’t figure out why I was over my limit, I think I even told him why one side of my face is larger than the other… it got strange people!

Red faced I finally made it back out to my car. Unfortunately I couldn’t figure out the gas pump… Up here, the button which permits you to pump gas is always associated with the type of gas you want to buy. I’m standing there… hitting the regular icon over and  over, harder and harder, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why it won’t allow me to pump the stinking gas! The attendant finally comes out and informs me I have to hit the green button on the pinpad to start pumping. Great.

I’m finally getting to the point where I can almost drive away and leave this embarasment behind when the pump shuts off… Several dollars short of the amount which I prepaid. I cannot bear to go back inside and ask for a refund, so I decide to suck it up; the three and a half dollars was not worth the little dignity I have left, so I get back in my car to drive off. Except for the little detail about getting in the car… You see I have an issue with keys, and doors, and getting them open. I take FOREVER trying to get my door unlocked and when I finally do I jump inside and peel into the street only to pull a wild u-turn since I pulled out in the wrong direction! All within view of the gas stations large front window. I then realize I don’t know where I am and need to use my GPS…

So I pull into the pizza hut directly across the street from the gas station. (WHY OH WHY???) I stop my car and plug in my GPS. As it’s searching for my destination I hear a knock on my window. Two pizza hut employees are standing there, asking if I am there to pick up a pizza? I say no but they persist: “you’re sure you didn’t order a pizza for pickup?” Yes ladies, I’m sure, I just needed to reroute my GPS. Thank you though. “Are you positive? Becuase we have this pizza for pick-up, do you want a pizza?” I assure them I am fine, and in my desperation to get out of there, I drive out of the parking lot, over the sidewalk, over a grass boulevard and off the curb. Yep, you read that right: I drove off of a curb in full view of the two pizza hut employees AND the gas station.

Five minutes in the life of me. I wish I had it on video. I could barely drive away in a straight line I was laughing so hard! It was something special, that’s for sure!

Coming up this week: more on America, and a special post written by a personal trainer about cardio! In light of all the anti-cardio”ites” out there, I love the way he is able to remind me of the benefits of cardio… slugging it out on a treadmill during the winter months is not as fun as being the hardcore girl doing Romanian deadlifts on the weight floor, but it is so valuable for our bodies!

Do you pick up an accent when you’re surrounded by people who speak differently than you?

 

 

Cheaping Out!

We have to pay for internet access at our hotel, so I likely won’t post again until I’m back in Canada! But prepare yourself because I will be writing about all the crazy things I’ve seen in America (truthfully I’m not posting it until I’m back in Canada, because well, I’ll be safe. In Canada. Trust me, no angry gun-toting American is going to chase me into the frozen white North). Truly though, Florida has been great and everyone we’ve met has been really nice and helpful. I do love this place :) Night Guys!!

Day of Disaster?

The friend I am in Florida with also has dietary restrictions. We decided that while we were here we would have one day where we allowed ourselves to stray from our typical eating habits and enjoy some foods which may not leave us feeling the greatest. We affectionately termed this day our “day of disaster.” But what is with the money-mongering in theme parks these days? You can’t bring any food in and let me tell you, there are not a lot of options!

carmel corn for dinner anyone?

As well, I’m used to eating frequently; typically vegetables, so today was a bit rough in the stomach department.

But on the bright side I saw Neil Patrick Harris!!! And I also embarrassed myself several times by tripping over nothing… rides make me tipsy.

I also discovered that my friends and I are classy!

 

 

Ok that was no big surprise…

What do you do when you’re left without options? Is it better to be hungry? Or feed your body things it won’t be happy with?

 

Picking up More than Weights Part 2!

‘common guys you didn’t think I was just going to tell you one measly story and leave it at that did you?

If you didn’t catch the prequel to this post, you can find it here!

It’s funny, you’d think you would get hit on more often when you look like this:

ow-ow!

 

I tried to find a post-workout picture, but alas, I could not! So instead you get this lovely photo of my great aunt!

yet I always feel like I get hit on the most when I look like this! (I tried to find a post-workout picture, but alas, I could not! So instead you get this lovely photo of my great aunt!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are some of my favorite failed pick up attempts! Brought to you by our good friend “gym” :P

An older balding man initiated a conversation with me while I was on the stationary bike. I was polite but also told him that I was very interested in the hockey game I was watching and that I would really like to focus on that. He continued talking and short of having to tell him to pleassssse leave me alone, or switching machines (which would not have been subtle…) I was trapped. Eventually he asked me if he could take me out on a date sometime and I told him that I was seeing someone (actually I was seeing several guys… seeing them on the tv screen in front of me that is). He relented, but before he turned to leave he asked: but if you weren’t seeing someone I would have had a chance, right?!?? Wrong, sir. You are so very, very wrong.

I was approached by a young, cute guy who began to talk with me during my workout one afternoon. However, I continued with my routine and when I was stretching on the other side of gym he approached me and asked if I liked swimming. Mildly confused, I answered that I did, and he proceeded to ask me if I would like to go swimming at his house after my workout. Why YES random stranger! I would love to be lured back to your house where I will prance around in my bathing suit as if I have no cares in the world! Will there also be puppies and candy and kool-aid?

And last but not least, I was stretching at the end of my workout when a rather well built man came and sat down next to me.  He leaned over and asked: “excuse me, what was your first word?” I told him I was sorry, but I did not know, and I went back to stretching. He finally managed to make eye contact again and told me that his first word was “hi.” I made some off hand comment like “oh, that’s nice…” His response? “Actually it wasn’t my first word, I just wanted to say hi.” Suddenly, I was reminded of the first words I ever said: “peace out hommie!”

Now I want to hear your stories!!!

Boysboysboysboysboysboysboys

Sadly, my dear friends, this post is not going to be as exciting as it sounds.

Don’t get me wrong, I love me some boys! Who doesn’t love a little attention from the opposite sex?

But truly, I’m tired. Tired of not feeling anything when I see someone standing in front of me who cares so much for me.

I want to be single.

Why do I always find myself face to face with amazing guys? And the most recent? Just incredible. He has lived a life most of us could never even imagine. And beautiful? Did I mention that he was beautiful? Jawbone, lips, cheeks, eyes, body, style, everything.

Yet I feel nothing. I don’t want this right now. I just don’t. And I’m sorry…

I guess I’ve got a rough phone call to make tomorrow.

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