Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cardio free is the way to be!

Well maybe not entirely cardio free! But after a ton of training for my half marathon, I swore I would take a month off from cardio completely.  As sick I have been of cardio after the amount needed to train for a half marathon in short time, I know it will be hard for me to totally give up cardio.  I love the sweaty, heart racing feeling you get from a really hard training session.  I know, however, that my body needs a break - I think my hip made that pretty clear around the 19km mark of the SeaWheeze and although it has recovered really well, I still want to focus on fully healing my hip and a break in my running and cardio is the only real way to do that.

I've also felt a little "soft" from all the running.  The look I prefer for my own body is more the fitness model/figure competitor look, not the thin runners look.  I think I look better with solid muscle mass and less fat and the reality is that running long distances keeps your body in a heightened cortisol state which increases fat storage and can deplete muscle mass.  So for the next month, I am focusing on weights and rebuilding my muscle and leaving the cardio out.  I will still attend some barre classes which are slightly cardiovascular in the sense that rather than explosive weight movement for short periods, you do tiny, lightly-weighted moves for an hour straight.  But no running!

I've followed the Jamie Eason Live Fit program before and I often talk about what a great program I think this is (just take a look at her body and you know she knows what she's talking about!).  I am not going to follow it exactly, partly because my gym doesn't have all the equipment needed to follow exactly, party because I like the challenge of creating my own workouts based on my personal training knowledge and mainly because I don't want to get bored doing a program I've already done a few times.  I am, however, following her suggestion of muscle building as the focus in the first month with no cardio, then adding some cardio while continuing to build muscle in the second month and then full on fat-burning to reveal all the muscle in the third month.  Following a program like this gives me structure that I really like in the gym, changing it to suite me, my goals and my gym lets me be creative and put to use the knowledge gained by completing my training certification.


I am really looking forward to eating more protein and less carbs and just feeling like "me" again - I hated watching abs disappear under a protective layer of carb fat while training for the SeaWheeze.  I know lots of people probably don't hold weight so quickly but I am very carb sensitive and don't tend to eat a ton of carbs ever so the level of carbs needed to stay energized through long runs was very new for me!

Stay tuned for my muscle building progress - a lean bulk!  Have you ever purposely "bulked" with muscle? What's your favorite way to work out? Are you are a cardio queen or do you hit the weights?

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