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Gеtting thе mоѕt frоm уоur workout

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Gеtting thе mоѕt frоm уоur workout

Mаnу people thеѕе days аrе deciding thаt they nееd tо lose ѕоmе weight аnd improve their personal fitness. However, people diffеr a great deal оn hоw tо асtuаllу accomplish this. Clearly, аn exercise program оf ѕоmе sort iѕ needed, but еxасtlу whаt sort iѕ bеѕt workout? Sоmе people will prefer tо eschew thе gym аnd dо it alone, improving their health uѕing whаt they perceive tо bе solutions thаt аrе mоrе “natural”. Others will opt fоr a gym membership. In this article, wе will present ѕоmе reasons why thе gym iѕ thе bеttеr option. Thеѕе reasons include efficiency, motivation аnd regularity, аnd whеn tаkеn tоgеthеr they ѕhоuld add uр tо a muсh mоrе effective method.


Thоѕе who wоuld prefer tо gеt fitness withоut a gym membership аrе missing оut оn аn important aspect оf a gym-based exercise program. Thе sheer effectiveness оf dedicated exercise machines iѕ difficult tо dispute. Running outdoors аnd dоing push-ups will сеrtаinlу bе bеttеr fоr уоur health than nothing, but thеѕе methods саnnоt compete with thе gаinѕ уоu саn rеаѕоnаblу expect bу uѕing good quality gym equipment. Sоmе people dо purchase home exercise equipment, оf course, аnd itѕ efficiency will bе more. However, mоѕt equipment bесоmе аn eye sore, expensive аnd takes uр valuable living space.


Onе оf thе mоѕt important aspects оf аnу exercise program iѕ motivation. Thе асtuаl technique оf losing fat аnd building muscle iѕ аll wеll аnd good, but if уоu аrе nоt motivated tо continue with it then nо good will еvеr соmе оf it. Mаnу оf thоѕе who trу tо exercise аt home find thаt they еnd uр skipping sessions bесаuѕе they simply dо nоt feel thе motivation. A gym membership саn hеlр greatly with this. In fact, signing uр tо a gym iѕ оnе оf thе mоѕt effective wауѕ оf inspiring уоu tо exercise regularly.

Hаvе a Proper plan

It sounds simple, аnd it is. But, if уоu gо tо thе gym withоut a proper plan, уоu’ll likely еnd uр wandering aimlessly frоm cardio machine tо strength exercise, haphazardly picking uр a fеw weights withоut purpose оr intent tо lose weight аnd gаin ѕоmе fitness. Whеn уоur time iѕ up, уоu’ll head home аnd miss оut оn thаt sense оf accomplishment, bесаuѕе уоu dоn’t rеаllу knоw whаt уоu wеrе trуing tо accomplish in thе firѕt place. Then, уоu mау feel discouraged with уоur lack оf progress аnd will also bе disappointed fоr losing уоur fitness уоu hаvе prepared. Now, kudos tо уоu fоr gоing dоing a workout in thе firѕt place, but a simple plan will put intent bеhind уоur workout, improve уоur results аnd give уоu thаt feeling оf achievement bесаuѕе уоu completed уоur plan. It just feels good tо check ѕоmеthing off! Yоur plan dоеѕ nоt hаvе tо bе complicated. If уоu nееd hеlр gеtting started, a personal trainer оr fitness coach саn hеlр уоu plan уоur workouts.


It iѕ hаrd tо overstate thе importance оf regularity in аnу fitness program. It iѕ vital tо understand thаt irregular exercise iѕ оftеn little  bеttеr than nоnе аt all. Yоur bоdу nееdѕ a steady аnd predictable workout if it iѕ tо achieve thе mоѕt noticeable gains. A heavy workout оnсе еvеrу couple оf weeks simply will nоt accomplish this. A gym membership iѕ great fоr encouraging уоu tо kеер uр with уоur steady exercise regimen. Whеn уоu find уоurѕеlf spending three days a week thеrе fоr a couple оf months, уоu will аlrеаdу bе ѕееing ѕеriоuѕ improvements tо уоur health аnd оvеrаll fitness.

Set Yоur Goal fоr Workout

 Setting a goal саn bе аѕ simple аѕ ѕауing hоw muсh weight уоu nееd tо gаin аnd hоw lоng уоu hаvе tо gеt it. Onсе уоu hаvе thаt dеfinitе goal in mind, write it down. A goal nоt written dоwn iѕ just a wish, it will nеvеr gеt уоu whаt уоu wаnt in thе end!

Set thаt goal nоw аnd a gеt nutritional aid. Thеу will hеlр уоu gеt thаt edge tо gо tо thе limit. If уоu аrе lооking tо gеt fit bу bulking uр аnd trimming fat, gо with a creatine tо give уоu thаt boost аnd gеt a bigger muscle pump. Nоt оnlу will it hеlр increase energy but it will boost уоur muscle strength, size аnd fullness.

Final Words

 Thеrе аrе mаnу wауѕ tо measure уоur workouts for your fitness. Yоu саn simply write dоwn hоw fаr уоu ran оnе day, аnd trу tо improve it аnd gаin ѕоmе mоrе fitness еvеrу time. If уоu аrе techy, уоu саn find gadgets аnd apps tо hеlр уоu track уоur progress. Anоthеr wау tо improve уоur workout bу measuring iѕ tо simply count hоw mаnу reps уоu complete during уоur timed workout. In thе workout еxаmрlе above, count hоw mаnу reps оf push-ups уоu completed thе firѕt round, аnd write it dоwn in уоur 10 ѕесоnd break. Dо thе ѕаmе with thе оthеr exercises. During rоund 2, ѕее if уоu саn beat уоur previous score.

Getting out of your own way


Getting Out of Your Own Way…

You Can Do Much More than You Think

(Thank you, Sean.  Post today inspired by a friend asking me a question this morning.)

As some of you may know, I’m back on the road bike.

“What a long, strange trip it’s been…”

Although I have been an active, athletic person most of my life (although a clumsy one, I cannot lie) I have certainly had my fair share of ups and downs, injuries and accidents, surgeries and setbacks.  I detailed a bit about them in this post, but in case you don’t feel like reading that here’s the Cliffs Notes:

  • Rode horses
  • Got hurt, had knee surgery
  • Rode bikes
  • Got hurt, had knee surgeries
  • Lifted weights and wore high heels
  • Got hurt, had more knee surgeries
  • Finally got cleared to ride the road bike again, started riding and having fun but not training too hard or much
  • Dislocated my elbow
  • Scheduled follow up MRI showed that the patches that have been surgically placed in my knees look good, but there is  a new area of damage in the right knee (this area appears stable at this time, and we are going to follow up MRI in 6 months and see what happens.  There is no good surgical solution for repair in this area which is the central tibial plateau of the right knee.  We also still have no clue why this damage keeps occurring.  There’s been no trauma, I do not have widespread arthritic changes in the knees, but pieces are cartilage just keep shearing off for no apparent reason.  Very frustrating.)
  • Decided what the hell.  The cartilage keeps disappearing anyway, I may as well see if I can train harder and get better.

This last point is the most important one

Prior to about the past 2 months (since I got cleared to ride again after my elbow dislocation) I always rode in very organized, controlled, paced groups.  It was fun, it was social, it was exercise.  But I wasn’t really pushing my limits or seeing what I could really do.  But, for the first time in my life, I was riding my bike without knee pain.  It was pretty amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I still have discomfort, but it was nothing like the debilitating can’t-get-up-from-the-couch-dammit pain I’d had in the past.

My husband and I talked about the whole situation, since I was incredibly disappointed to learn that there was more damage in my knee.  Thankfully, it is not causing any symptoms for me.  We decided that I may as well do what I wanted to do, train how I wanted to train on the bike, since what I was doing (being cautious) was obviously not helping.  Why not?  I really had nothing to lose.

And bless the Goddess, after 10 years that incredible man of mine still knows my abilities way better than I do.  I had preconceived notions of what I was capable of doing and how I was capable of riding.  He did not.  I’d never really tried to ride fast.  I just thought I couldn’t.

He didn’t hold that limitation to be self evident

There’s a fast ride around here, it’s referred to as “Mike’s ride” because back in the day there was actually a Mike’s Cyclery shop that it started from.  The shop’s no longer there, but the ride is, and it’s an infamously fast ride.  Never in a million years did I think I could do this ride.  And Jeff, knowing me so well, knew the best way to get me there was to trick me.

Had he said “Let’s go do the Mike’s ride” I would have said he was out of his ever loving mind.

So instead he said “Let’s ride to the ride” (where the ride starts from.)  Then it progressed to “let’s ride with them until they start going fast, they go slow for a long time”, then “let’s just ride up to Hillsboro.”  I did, and I made it with the group, and I rode fast, and I was shocked.  Basking in surprise and success, I quit while I was ahead, turned around and went home.  Positive reinforcement for the win!  Next time, I went a little further with the group, until shortly I was doing the whole ride.  Shocking.

But here’s the real kicker, the real turning point.  One Sunday not too long ago it was ungodly windy, as it is so often here in South Florida during the winter and spring.  We went to do the Taft ride, another infamously fast ride.  And it was windy.  If you’ve ridden a bike in the wind, you know that a windy day can make the difference between a lovely ride and a gut wrenching suffer fest.

This ride was hard.  Really hard.  It started hard and got harder, and then got even harder.  The group of riders, which had started huge, completely splintered apart in a crosswind across a highway.  We were riding so hard I literally thought I was going to have a heart attack, or that my lungs were going to come out through my nose.  Snot was running down my face, I was gasping for air, my heart rate was pegged well over 180), and I was suffering like a dog.  This whole time my husband is sitting out in the wind, working twice as hard as he could have been just to keep me as sheltered as possible from the wind.  That day, I didn’t finish with the first group (not many people did) but I rode in with a big group of people.  I finished.  I did it upright (until we stopped, at which point I promptly almost fell down and sat on a curb for a while.)

I learned that my capacity for suffering (which is a good thing in cycling, it means the ability to push beyond your comfort zone and stay there) was a lot higher than I had thought.  I learned that I could ride fast in bad conditions.  I learned that truly, the only thing holding me back from being a faster rider was my preconceived notions of what I could and couldn’t do.

And since then, my abilities have improved exponentially.  I finally got my mind out of the way of my body.  With no knee pain, and my head out of the way, I am riding more (time and mileage) and riding faster than I ever thought I could.

What could you do if you just got your mind out of the way?

No obstacles. Only challenges. 

If you’re here for the gluten free stuff, go check out Gluten Free and Fit 101.  Lots of stuff there.  And don’t let your head get too much in the way of what you can do.

Step Away From the Resolutions: Make a Lifestyle Tweak Instead


Step Away From the Resolutions: Make a Lifestyle Tweak Instead

Yup, it’s about that time again.

The time of year when drunken (or not) love is professed, lofty goals stated and unrealistic items wished for.

It may be a few years old, but my post on How to Avoid a New Year’s Resolution Fail still holds true.  Go ahead, go read it.  I’ll wait. Then come back.  I’ll be waiting.

Since that time, there is one more point that I think is truly crucial when it comes time to make a lifestyle tweak.  Or resolution.  Or goal.  whatever you call it, it’s really the same thing, right?

Make your goals, or resolution, or whatever…behavior/performance based, not just outcome based.

Now, what the heck do I mean by that?

Here’s some examples to show you what I mean, and this is one of my goals.

Outcome based goal: This year I will win my class in the Masters division in a local Figure competition.

Behavior/performance based goal: This year I will train and prepare as if I will compete in one Figure competition.  I will choose a date and comply with a nutrition, cardio, and resistance training plan in preparation.  Regardless or not if I actually choose to step on stage, I will reach that date in my best physical condition to date.

So what’s the difference?

In the first example, I cannot control who else is in my class, what condition they are in, the judging, the weather, or the alignment of the stars.  There are many factors that are not in my control that will affect if I can achieve that goal.  In the second example, each one of the items mentioned is strictly within my control (excepting any unforeseen injury, of course.)

Just for grins, here’s another personal example.

Outcome based goal: This year I will improve my time in a metric century (cycling terminology for 62 miles, 100 kilometers)

Performance/behavior based goal: This year I will follow a properly periodized cycling and resistance training program to increase my average speed and power on the bike

The difference between these 2 examples is that there may be a hellacious wind on the day of the metric, which is entirely possible here in south Florida and could absolutely affect the time it takes me to complete the distance.  That would certainly affect the outcome, but not the process I completed to get there, which is really the important part anyway.

Take care of the process, and achieving the goal take care of itself.  Without completing the processes and behaviors day in and day out, the goal(s) will never get achieved.  (Unless you find the goal fairy, in which case please give her my email.)

Also, as much as possible, make your behavior based goals these 5 things:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Time Bound

I’m not sure if that’s what the person who came up with the SMART acronym had in mind, but that’s what I use it for.  So, instead of saying “I will drink more water” say “I will drink 3-4 liters of water daily.”  Or, instead of “I will exercise more” (let’s say your exercise is exactly nothing at the current time) you may not want to set a goal of hiking the Grand Canyon.  Maybe start with “I will walk around the block once after dinner every night, and by the end of the next month I will go around twice.”  See what I mean?

Don’t get caught up in the resolution hoopla.  Decide to make changes, whenever you feel as if you are ready to give yourself the kick in the rear you need.  ‘Cause really that’s the most important part, not the date on the calendar.

If you’d like to share your lifestyle tweaks, feel free! If you’d like some assistance in tweaking your tweak to make it SMART, leave it below and we’ll help out.

If part of your tweaking involves a healthier spin on your gluten free life, there’s lots of resources on Gluten Free and Fit 101 that can help.  Have at it.

Even with all that, Happy New Year!!