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Lets Be Specific

Last week, I blogged about 3 different perspectives on your weekly workout plan. I featured Jenna Bertram Julianna Rubino, and Emily Bass. They presented this idea that our workouts can be more streamlined with strength as a focus. Cardio should be incorporated in smaller doses.

I keep thinking about the way exercise is presented to us in media and the marketing that surrounds the industry. Fancy ads with people cycling at dawn, groups of people finishing their after-work run with happy hours and beers. An entire family doing a yoga class together using a single mirror...hahah this makes me laugh. The lighting, the drama, the hype. It's enticing and super sexy. But so confusing!! According to the media, we should be sweating our faces off and have ripped abs to show for it.

I find it to be challenging to know if what you are currently doing is the right thing for your goals and body. I do think its super valuable to work with a trainer if you are stuck. I really value being specific and giving action items so follow along on this flow chart for my suggestions and ideas on creating a foundation.

If you are wondering how to structure a weekly plan, here is my super specific suggestion.


Nutrition. This is always your start. You have some options.

1-You are going to eat whole foods. You will be researching recipes, meal-planning, shopping. The staples of your diet are protein and veggies with fats and carbs filling in the gaps. Alcohol and caffeine are present in moderation. Alcohol isn't daily. You enjoy Farmers Markets, cooking, and have the time to create a varied and nutrient-rich menu each week. Quarterly, you track your macros for about 5 days to check in with your protein, fat, carb count. Use one of the free apps like My Fitness Pal or Lose it! I find this method to be too time consuming for my lifestyle and family routine. I just don't have the time or the inclination to source a multitude of varied ingredients each week. I also find that I get into a rut of eating the same things each week just because I like it.

2- You are going to eat whole foods and also supplement. This is ME! The foundation of my day is whole foods, but I fill in those gaps with high-quality vegan, gluten free, chem-free supplements. I choose Arbonne, since I am not sourcing my own superfoods and checking their ingredients to ensure the utmost of purity, I supplement it. You can always piece-mill your own products together if you prefer, but I find it more cost effective to buys some nutrition bundles from Arbonne.

-Protein powder, Greens powder, Probiotic, Fiber Powder, energy boost Fizz, herbal teas. Do you have to use all of that? NOPE. If I were to suggest a power trio of supplements, it is: Protein Powder, Probiotic, Greens powder. This is a power trifecta.

-Start the day with a probiotic. Have an AM protein shake. This is your moment--load her up. nut/coconut/oat milk base, 1/2 c fruits, 1/2c veggies, 1 tbsp fat, protein powder, greens powder...I put a multi-vitamin and a fiber boost in as well. I drink coffee black, but feel free to do as you please :) limit sugar.

-Eat lunch that consists of 1/4 protein, 1/8 carbs, 1/2 veggie and add fat (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil dressings). I usually have a salad with protein on top. Afternoon--maybe you do another protein shake mixed just with water to hold you over until dinner. Maybe it's apples and nut butter. Maybe it's a seed-cracker with hummus.

-Dinner is similar to lunch, but more "dinner foods" ;) haha. Salmon, chicken, lentils, soups, pork tenderloin, etc. Clean whole foods that are not loaded up with sauces and cheeses. There are so many amazing recipes and resources for clean eating available. I love following Girls on Fiber for ideas. I subscribe to Hello Fresh and Daily Harvest to help me out.

-have an herbal tea at night to wind down.

If you want to join an Arbonne 30 Day reset, let me know!! I am a consultant for this brand and a huge believer in this simple, and effective system. I did a full month and realized how good I could feel by ADDING things to my life. It is a program that will support your digestive system, kidney and liver detox, and management of weight. No weird pills, no fat-flushing. It's designed to be a lifestyle and is the way I structure my daily eating schedule. With 2 small children, a business, and a very full schedule, having simple solutions is key.

Moving on to....

Caring for yourself. This is always in the top two items.

This means a variety of things, so I will speak about some that make an impact to me.

1- Sleep. You won't recover or have adequate energy to workout without appropriate sleep. If you have a newborn or new puppy that keeps you up all night, the best thing you can do is properly fuel yourself the next day. Don't stress your body with exercise outside of a nice easy walk. It's counter productive to workout when you're exhausted. Additionally, this is the time our body repairs itself. You won't see muscle development or gains as quickly when you are under-rested. (source). I need 7-8 hours to function well.

2-Mobility/Stretching/Massage/Bodywork. I feel like I should have someone else speak about this topic ;). It's important, but overlooked for most (and me....). I have a membership for a monthly massage, attempt to stretch, and need to get some bodywork. Being honest here. It would be in my best interest to improve this area. Maybe you too?

3- Baths/relaxation/conversations with friends/alone time. These are the things that fill your own cup. You have to identify what you prefer. It's important to have peace and some satisfaction with the everyday routine. If you are chronically feeling overwhelmed and stressed, your body will react to that stressor. Create some space for something you need.

And finally, Workouts!!

Identify where you are.

1-Minimal structured exercise. walks, occasional strength training, overall random and not routine.

Start with: weekly plan of 1 lower body strength workout, 1 upper body strength workout, 2 walking/cardio sessions.

2- Cardio queen. You ride your bike, walk frequently, run, participate in HIIT workouts. I love the energy, but I bet you're not getting the results you're after. Let's make your week balanced.

Start with: weekly plan of 3 cardio sessions. Pick your fave and get it! 30-40 mins max per session. Add 1 upper body strength workout, 1 lower body strength workout, and 1 total body hybrid workout with weights and some cardio bursts.

3- Looking for that extra edge. You are doing the things, lifting the weights, riding the bike, crunching the abs. Still itching for results.

Let's shift your workouts into muscle splits. 2 cardio sessions per week. 30 mins max. 1 Shoulder/Chest/Tricep workout w/ core, 1 Back/Bicep workout w/ core, 1 glute/shoulder workout, 1 leg workout w/ core. Research your options. My classes offer a similar split of muscle groups. Peloton offers targeted workouts. OR-create your own! Educate yourself and see how your body responds. You could also incorporate some personal training for muscle groups you don't love to workout by yourself. I work with a few clients who need a push in particular areas. (source)

Now listen, this isn't the only way. I have opinions and so do other trainers! If you are training for a marathon, your week is going to look different. There are times that you need to enlist a professional opinion as well. If you're injured or have some special circumstances, do your own research, talk to a physical therapist/doctor, and maybe get some personal training assistance.

Much of my advice that is listed above is from my own personal trial and also a good amount of research and reading. (source) After giving birth to my first daughter, I didn't have the energy for my former long cardio sessions + barre classes + weight training. I was breastfeeding and literally couldn't keep up. So I stopped trying and just taught my barre classes and went home to my baby. I didn't do any significant cardio other than a once a week cycle class or run for over 6 months. I started fueling with denser foods and making protein a priority. All this to say--I was pleased with the results and decided to reduce my cardio moving forward. After having Olivia, I followed a similar structure with reduced cardio sessions and more emphasis on bodyweight strength training and PELVIC FLOOR. Do the damn pelvic floor exercises my friends. If you take my barre class, you are in good hands.

ok, I am going to wrap it up. Hope this was straight forward and helpful.

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