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Stephanie The Avenger!

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So you want to lose weight.

You repin fitness pics and healthy meals on Pinterst and wait for the motivation to finally go after the “look” you’ve always wanted.

You can see yourself rocking a two piece with supreme confidence and absolute fantasticness. Your friends mention to each other about how amazing you look.  They’re jealous because you have a rocking bod that they’re still only pinning on their fitness boards.

How did she do it?  They’ll wonder.

That’s when you refer them to me, because together, we came up with a plan to change your life, then you went out and executed it.

You had nutrition plans, personalized online workouts sent right to your phone, and 24 hour access to a partner to help you stay on track.

You learned to think like an athlete that gets strong in the off season, so they’ll be at peak performance in season. So, you worked all winter so you could take the kids to the pool or the beach, without wearing a wrap in the summer.

You had a coach that helped you do what you were always capable of doing.  You had Avenger! Fitness on your side.

Check out the “services” tab and email me today to get started, so other women will be posting your pictures on their fitness boards as inspiration.

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Interval Running For Weight Loss

olympic_110003378-012814-int You’ve probably heard of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. It’s a buzz word in the fitness world these past few years.  I want to tell you about track intervals, an oldie but a goodie.  If you want to change your body quickly, throw a track workout into the mix once or twice a week.  Seriously, look at sprinters’ bodies.  Yeah, pretty lean.

If you didn’t run track in high school, a track might seem intimidating to you, or you just don’t know how to utlelize a track properly.

Let’s start with the basics.

A typical high school track is 400 meters around.  4 laps equals one mile.  So one lap is a quarter of a mile.  We refer to 1 lap intervals as quarters.  They suck.

Half way around the track is 200 meters.  We call those intervals 200s.  These suck slightly less.

The straight-aways are the long stretches on either side of the oval and are 100 meters.  These inervals suck too.

So, track work sucks.  It hurts, but the results are amazing for torching fat, and for improving your running times.

If you are looking to drop your 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, PR’s, track work is what is going to get you there.

Let’s say you run 9 minute miles for race pace, but you’re currently stuck at 10 minute miles (works the same if you’re 8 minute miles and want to get down to 7, or wherever you are).  You can’t do your maintenance runs at race pace.  You will kill your body trying to run at race pace all the time.

You’re distance runs are for endurance, not for speed.

A tempo run doesn’t train for dropping your time, more for conditioning.  If you want to run race pace, you’ve got to do intervals.  Here’s how a track workout might look.

If you did 8 200s at 40 seconds each you would have run a mile in about five and a half minutes.  You can’t replicate that, even in a race.  You run at an intense pace, recover, and do it again.  The recovery is what allows you to accomplish those times.

Poster greeting card illustration showing a marathon triathlete runner running done in retro style with words Runners don't need good luck, they need good legs.

When you get back to a race, combining this speed training with your endurance and conditioning runs, your time drops, because you have trained a system that was not conditioned before.  You trained the anaerobic system.  That means you made your body operate in the absence of oxygen, making it utilize other fuel sources more efficiently.

If you’re not training anaerobically, your body will not take you there and you will remain stuck at your current PR. And because of the fuel it forces your body to utilize, fat gets torched.  As a bonus, when you’re finished on the track, you are still torching calories.  I burned 130 calories in the 30 minutes after I finished my track workout.  That was sitting in my car on the drive home and sitting on the couch when I got there.  131 calories  for doing nothing, gang! 11168131_960507447304556_9210081748321655150_n

Try these track workouts to torch some fat and improve your running times.

200s x 8 (I start these in the middle of the straight away and run the curve to the same exact spot on the other side): Do these at 80-90% effort.  See what your first time is and shoot to stay within a second of that range for all eight.

If you have a GPS that shows you how fast you are running, see what your speed is and try to keep it within a mph either way of it.  You will start to feel like you’re running in cement and can’t tell how fast you’re actually going. Watching your mph will help you stay on pace.  If your watch just has a timer, keep an eye on your time so you can keep pace.  The idea isn’t to run the first one as fast as possible and the others be way slower.  You want them all to be about the same as the first one.

400s (quarters) x 4: These take extreme mental fortitude.  You want your pace to be 80-90% effort, not an all out sprint. Get your first one and then like above, try to stick withing a second either way of that time.  If your first one was fast and the next three are slow, you’re first one was too fast.  If you got faster on each one, you’re not pushing hard enough.  If the first one is hard and you’re barely hitting the same time on the fourth one, you’re just right.

100s x 16: These are the same, 80-90% effort.

Now, you can do longer intervals like 800s (half a mile), and even mile repeats. And how many you do depends on your conditioning.  I would suggest just doing what would add up to a mile total to begin on all of these.  If you are properly pacing yourself at 80-90% effort, you will progress nicely.

Do not do static stretching before this workout.  Warm-up by jogging a lap or two, then do a dynamic warm-up.  You can static stretch afterwards.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.  If you have any questions about starting a track workout, leave me a comment.

Cheater, Cheater Pumpkin Eater!

I get it, your new diet sucks.  You’ve been eating Kale and quinoa for a week and that image of you on the beach rocking an awesome bod was abandoned on day two when after 48 hours of clean living, you still hadn’t reached your goal weight.

Eat Or Diet Directions On A Metal Signpost

Eat Or Diet Directions On A Metal Signpost

There’s no need to get all realistic about expectations and results.  We want results for our sacrifices.  We want rewards!  Ok, then go have a cheat meal.  Yes, I Stephanie The Avenger!, certified personal trainer and health coach, do hereby grant you permission to go eat crap.  Well, go.  I’ll wait…

Now that you have flooded your brain with carbs, perhaps you can focus.  Cheating is a good thing!  I believe in cheating so hard that it takes you a whole week to get over it and want to eat like that again.  This is all assuming you are eating well the in between times and exercising.

Here’s a truth bomb for you:  losing weight is hard, maintaining weight is easy.

What does that mean?  It means you will have to make some sacrifices to get to your goal weight and aesthetic, and it takes a lot of self-discipline.  But, once you get there, as long as you continue to workout and eat well 75% of the time, you can be the biggest cheater, cheater, pumpkin bread eater out there (I mean, who eats pumpkin unless it’s laden with sugar and flour?)

You have to do the work to get there though, and along the way, cheat once or twice a week. If you fall off the wagon and a cheat day becomes a cheat week, who cares?  Start over.  Those who achieve anything worth having are the ones who don’t give up, even when they mess up.  They shake it off and start again.  The important thing is to keep trying.  Eventually you will see that to make progress, you have to make progress.