Category Archives: Fitness

Is Too Much Cardio Making You Gain Weight? Here’s How To Find Out.

Is too much Cardio making you gain weight or hurting your fitness goals? Here’s how to tell if you are doing too much cardio and how to help yourself train smarter.

Too much cardio

Copyright Dan Goodman photos

There’s nothing better than the unstoppable feeling after really good spin class —it’s a great sweat and an incredible endorphin boost.

But sometimes it seems like cardio has overtaken every other fitness activity. More and more of my clients are turning into serious aerobic exercise junkies, and I’ve begun to see a pattern of women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s who are spinning, dancing, group fitnessing, and running three, four, even five times per week. They all tell me that they feel like they should be in incredible shape—but they’re not.

Despite being so active, these women come to me struggling with weight gain, joint pain, low energy, and years of frustration. They all say about the same thing: “Caroline, I’m doing all the right things !! I exercise 6 days a week, eat super clean, and sleep. I don’t get why I am NOT seeing results!”They feel tired and anxious, have trouble sleeping, and find it difficult to shed “the last 10 pounds.” Many also have hormone imbalances such as PMS, irregular periods, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), and even infertility.

What’s behind this trend of cardio junkies sweating to exhaustion? Here’s what happens when you do too much cardio, signs you may be doing too much, and how to help yourself restore body balance.

Cardio

Copyright Dan Goodman photos

The Negative Side Effects Of Doing Too Much Cardio and How To Tell If You Are Doing Too Much

Even though exercise is good for us, our bodies perceive it like any kind of stressor. Chemically, the body reacts the same way to exercise as it does to “bad” stress. Therefore, too much exercise (or not enough recovery) can have negative effects on your physical and mental health (including your metabolism). In addition, too much cardio specifically can result in muscle wasting (atrophy) and fat storage on the body, which is not the outcome you want. In extreme cases, even the heart suffers from too much endurance training.

What counts as “too much” cardio is different for everyone, and depends on a lot of factors, including the intensity of your exercise, your fitness level, your age and health status, how much activity you do each day, what and how much you eat, how much sleep you get, your fitness goals and more. What might be too much for one person is perfectly fine for another. What might be too much for a new exerciser could also be fine for them a year later. When it comes to exercise, picture a bell curve: The people who reap the most health benefits are somewhere in the middle. The people on either extreme end—too much exercise or too little—suffer consequences.

When you listen to your body, it will usually give you signals that it’s time to change things. If you experience any of these symptoms, it could be signs that you are doing too much cardio.

  • Weight gain. Research shows that cardio is not usually that helpful for weight loss. The body becomes “used to” the calorie deficit from long aerobic sessions and stores energy as fat to compensate. In addition, studies show most people eat more after exercise, and overestimate how many calories they burned while working out.
  • Increased body fat or hard to lose body fat (the body hangs on to it because it knows it has to keep going FOREVER)
  • Hormone changes (increased cortisol in the body due to prolonged stress from cardio training)
  • Joint pain and muscle aches
  • Repressed immune system (you get sick more than normal or are sick all of the time)
  • Repetitive stress injuries
  • Mood changes
  • Appetite changes
  • Anxiety (from increased stress on the body)
  • Sleeplessness or insomnia
  • Low energy
  • Brain fog or inability to focus
  • You can’t “lose your belly” or still not seeing that toned definition you’re craving.

Do you have one or many of the symptoms above? Do you still want to sweat so hard and so long to get those results from your workouts?

What To Do Instead of Hours of Cardio

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms of cardio overload, it’s likely time to consider switching up your exercise routine. You don’t have to stop exercising altogether, or even exercise less frequently, but a different style of exercise will be quite helpful. It may take a while to re-train your body out of chronic cardio overtraining, especially if you have been a “cardio junkie” for years. However it IS possible to restore how your body responds to exercise and reset your weight, body fat, hormones, and system. It will require patience, hard work, focus, determination, and effort. You need to be prepared to do something DIFFERENT, to challenge yourself, to feel awkward, uncomfortable, and scared. Change is hard, new, and different. You will be tempted to fall back to old overtraining habits. But if you are truly committed to helping your body heal and to seeing positive effects from your workouts, you will be able to climb out of the chronic cardio state and find balance. Here’s what to do instead of hours of cardio:

  • Keep your cardio workouts to less than one hour. I don’t ever recommend doing over an hour of cardio, unless you’re training for a specific event. If you are training for a specific event that requires you to do cardio for longer than one hour, make sure to plan your year so that after the event is completed, you return to shorter cardio sessions and cross training workouts. This will help you avoid slipping into chronic cardio overtraining and getting repetitive stress injuries, hormone imbalances, and weight gain.
  • Make your workouts about QUALITY, skill, and performance. Mix up your cardio sessions to experience a variety of intensities, challenges, and intervals. The Strong Body Beautiful  program gives you 6 weeks of creative cardio workouts that offer high, medium, and low intensity so your body is always challenged. Focus on moving well, with good form and focus.
  • Take at least 1-2 rest days per week. Resting IS productive and an essential part of getting the most from your training. Remember: the heart is a MUSCLE, and a pretty important one. It needs a day off, just like your legs, shoulders, chest, back, etc. all do.
  • Replace two classes or long cardio workouts with weight training sessions. Lifting weights and building muscle increases your basal metabolic rate, which accounts for 60–75 percent of calories burned daily (another 10 percent goes to digesting food while, for, most people, only 10–20 percent goes to physical activity of any kind). Resistance training has been shown to boost basal metabolism and fat burning for 24-plus hours—something cardio doesn’t do. The Strong Body Beautiful  program gives you 6 weeks of two downloadable strength workouts per week that will help you boost your metabolism, climb out of cardio overload, prevent injuries, and see results.
  • Plan a balanced fitness schedule that includes cardio, strength, flexibility, variety, periodization, and rest. Periodization and variety ensure you are changing your workouts frequently enough to avoid plateaus, injuries, and exercise ruts. Start with a program like Strong Body Beautiful which gives you a 6 week schedule and helps you plan cardio training sessions with strength, flexibility, and rest. Repeat the 6 week schedule three times (or more!) and watch your body start to change. 
  • Restore your mind and muscles. Give yourself time per week for stress reduction, meditation, deep breathing, or calming stretches. Find something that works for you and practice it consistently (even if its just for a few minutes!). Taking time for your mind will reduce stress and, therefore, cortisol (one of the major reasons for weight gain and hormone imbalance from too much cardio training). The Strong Body Beautiful  program gives you guided meditations, stretching videos, apps, websites, resources, and tools to help you find what works for you in calming your mind and restoring balance in your body.
  • Nourish your body with foods that fuel you. Give your body what it needs to feel its best no matter how long your workouts are. A clean, balanced diet of nutrient dense foods is the best medicine out there.  Many exercisers do long cardio sessions to “burn off” or “earn” calories eaten. But, I’m sorry…. NO. Exercise isn’t punishment and shouldn’t be done to earn what you eat. If your cardio sessions are fueled with your desire to eat more – you may need to work on having a healthier relationship to food. You can learn how to eat mindfully and build a balanced diet in the Strong Body Beautiful program. You can change your relationship to food and find a way of eating that helps you feel incredible.

Is Too Much Cardio Making You Gain Weight? Real Talk Youtube Video On The Subject

It can be easy to stay stuck in our habits even when they don’t serve us. We fear the unknown and change is hard. It involves effort, being uncomfortable, feeling vulnerable, and trying something new. But if you’ve been “doing all the right things” and not seeing positive change, I want to invite you to try something different with your fitness routine. It can’t hurt to give  a shot and you might be surprised by the dramatic results. I believe you have what it takes to help yourself feel your very best. When you are ready, I’d be honored to be your coach. Let’s build body balance and find your strength. Get started here.

Love and squats,

Caroline

Other things to check out:

STRONG BODY Stomach Series! 15 Minute Total Core Workout Video Routine.

Get a stronger Stomach with this 15 minute total core workout routine. Exercises to sculpt your abs and boost your performance.

strong body stomach workout

strong body stomach workout

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6-Weeks to STRONG BODY program

Hi Friends!

How’s your body feeling today? Up for a little Stomach workout with me? Press play on my new 15 minute core video routine! These total body moves will sculpt your abs, boost your performance, and increase your energy. There’s no equipment required, just you, your mat, and a positive attitude. All of these exercises are workout moves you’ll find in my new 6-week Strong Body Beautiful program. This program will help you get fit AND see lasting results.  You’ll get 6 weeks of dynamic workouts designed to burn fat and build lean muscle mass in your tummy, legs, arms, and booty. I’ll guide you with a detailed daily schedule for strength, cardio, flexibility training, and rest workouts to optimize results. With Strong Body Beautiful you will sculpt and shape your entire body, ignite your metabolism (to burn more calories 24-7), lose fat, build defined muscles, have better posture, and SO much more. If you like this Stomach workout, you’ll love my 6 week Strong Body program. Learn more about the program and when you are ready to get fit to feel your best, I’d love to be your coach. ENROLL HERE. 

Tighten your ponytail and press play to strengthen your stomach now. Ready to go? Have fun with this Strong Body Stomach workout! I am cheering for you.

STRONG BODY Stomach Series! 15 Minute Total Core Workout.

As ALWAYS, please check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise routine. Honor your body, move mindfully, and do what YOU need to do to live a strong life.

I want to hear from you: did you try this video?! How did it make your body feel? Let me know in the comments below. Keep up the great work and thanks for being a part of my positive community. Together we are better and help eachother live a strong life.

Love,

Caroline

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How To Start and Maintain A Consistent Exercise Routine

Struggling to maintain a healthy exercise habit? Here are my top training tips on how to start (and KEEP) a consistent exercise routine.

consistent exercise routine

It’s pretty easy to start doing spin class, or eating healthy, or foam rolling after your workouts, but sticking with it in the longterm is a much more difficult task.

You get busy. You’re too sore. Life happens.

And sooner than later, the excuses start to pile up. You end up skipping a few days, a week, maybe even a few weeks. Before you know it, you’re back at square one feeling defeated. It’s a vicious cycle.

In fact, learning to keep a consistent workout schedule is one of the main components of my Strong Body Beautiful coaching course.  I teach you how to create a fitness habit that sticks. It doesn’t have to be that difficult.

With a slight change of your mindset, some simple planning and a little motivation, you can start (and keep!) a consistent workout schedule—for good.

Here’s how to begin:

How To Start and Maintain a Consistent Exercise Routine

Create a ritual

One of the best ways to start any kind of habit is to create a ritual around the habit you want to create. And working out is no different.

For example, maybe you want to work out first thing in the morning before you go to work every weekday. You might create a ritual where every morning before work, you get up, eat a small breakfast while listening to your favorite podcast, then do a workout, shower, and commute to work.

The idea is to get your mind and body so used to including a workout in your morning routine (or whatever time of day you like to work out) that you no longer have to think about it—it just comes naturally to you.

To give you a better idea of what this really looks like, here’s my weekday workout ritual:

  • I get up around 7:30, have coffee + breakfast, and work for a couple of hours.
  • Around 10 to 10:30, when I start getting sick of sitting at my computer, I put on my workout clothes.
  • I walk to the gym or the pool (usually Equinox – you know I’m obsessed 🙂
  • I work out.

And my weekend/vacation ritual:

  • Get up and put on my workout clothes.
  • Have coffee and a small breakfast
  • Wait 10-15 minutes, then work out.
  • Shower and go do something fun!

Plan it in your calendar

Another way to make sure your workouts are ingrained in your schedule is to simply put them on the calendar—just as you would any other appointment.

Schedule time in your calendar every week for your exercise. Make this time nonnegotiable time expressly for you. If a potential conflict comes up, try saying something like “I’m so sorry, but I have plans” or “Thanks for thinking of me! I’d love to another time.” If you must make a change, reschedule your workout time for another day that week and stick to it. Treat your exercise appointments like any other essential appointments you can’t miss. Remember: you are the boss.

The Strong Body Beautiful program works with you use your calendar to help you reach your goals.

Commit for 30 days

Most of us have heard that it takes anywhere from 21 to 30 days to build a habit that sticks.

The key is to commit to the habit you want to create—such as working out 4x a week—and giving yourself a 30 day “trial” of doing that habit consistently. Tell yourself that if you want, you can go back to your old habits at the end of your 30 days.

When the end of the 30 days is up, see how you feel. Do you feel stronger, more confident, more energized, fit? My guess is that you’ll decide you prefer the way you feel after working out consistently, and not want to return to how you were beforehand.

If that’s the case, congratulations, you’ve created a workout habit.

The Strong Body Beautiful program includes 42 days of cardio, strength training, flexibility, and rest to help you reap the benefits of consistent self care to be your best. 

Start small

When you first start working out on a regular basis, it’s never a good idea to commit to six days a week of hard core workouts.

Why? Because before you know it you’ll be sore, exhausted, burnt out, and possibly even injured.

A better tactic is to start small—try out two or three days a week of exercise for a few weeks or even a few months.

Only then, when you’ve stuck with the workouts for a while and feel like you’re motivated to do more, should you push yourself to increase the frequency or intensity of your workouts.

Baby steps now equal massive success in the long term.

My Strong Body Beautiful course teaches you how to make small, realistic changes that help you reach your goals.  There are no extremes, just simple effective strategies and small steps that move you forward towards success that lasts.  

Don’t make excuses

One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to form a lifelong workout habit is constantly making excuses when something comes up.

People make all kinds of excuses for not working out—they’re on vacation, they’re sick, too sore, too busy, they’re too tired.

While it’s certainly acceptable (and important!) to take a day off, letting yourself make too many excuses will break you of the habit and make it harder to stick with it in the long run.

And the solution is simple: just stop making excuses.

Traveling? You can still work out, even if all you have is a hotel room.

Tired? Exercise will boost your energy, so try 10 minutes of movement and see if it gives you a little lift. 

Busy? You’ve no doubt got 5-10 minutes —and you could probably use a break from your hectic schedule to exercise and take some time to yourself anyway.

There will always be things to do and people who need you, but if you don’t have your health you won’t be able to do any of it well. YOU are the secret to accomplishing everything on your to-do list. A one hour workout is less than 4% of your day, and you don’t even need all 60 minutes to be effective! Instead of finding reasons you can’t exercise, start finding reasons you CAN. Stop the excuse habit and start the exercise habit. You’ll thank yourself for it.

You have to start

No matter how you go about it, the only way to really, truly keep a consistent workout schedule and establish working out as a lifelong habit is to start.

Stop waiting. Start Doing. You are worth committing to. Keep challenging yourself to be good to YOU. 

And don’t quit. Never quit.

Need support in starting a consistent exercise routine that sticks? My Strong Body Beautiful program is 6 weeks of comprehensive training to help you start and maintain a sustainable workout routine. There are NO extremes, quick fixes, or false promises. Just simple, effective, DO-ABLE healthy lifestyle hacks that create habits which last. Which means you get fitter and feel better both in your body and within yourself. It also means you get results without going nuts in the process.

Every day is detailed and full of support to help you in your fitness, nutrition, stress, and self care. You can take the program at your own pace and customize it to meet your unique schedule, goals and needs. The program is intended to be used more than once and repeated to help you stay motivated and maximize results.

One of the best parts about enrolling in the course is that it connects you to strong women all over the world who share in your healthy lifestyle goals. Who can support you in honoring your commitment to yourself. Who can cheer you on when the going gets tough or motivate you when you need a little boost. That’s one of the reasons I created the course in the first place: to help women like US come together over living a strong life.

Ready to go? Enroll here.

Taking care of yourself regularly takes courage, consistency, and work, but the payoff is in the quality of your life. Small changes net big results, and any time you invest in feeling your best will pay you back in health. What is one hack you use to stay on track with working out? Let me know in the comments below.

Love and squats,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out: 

After Workout Stretch Routine. 12 Minutes of the Best Stretches To Do After Exercise.

Cool down after exercise with a feel good post workout stretch routine. Press play on this simple 12 minute after workout stretch!

after workout stretch routine

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Hi Friends!

Try this quick, effective, after workout stretch routine when you are done training. This video will lengthen your muscles and calm your mind after exercise. Taking a few minutes to stretch after your workout can help you cool down and recover. These are some of the best stretches to do after exercise.

Many people once believed that stretching after a workout reduced aches and pains and improved flexibility. Post-workout stretching improves flexibility and range of motion, but stretching after working out does not significantly reduce muscular soreness or injury. If your goal is increased flexibility, post-workout stretching is important; if you are trying to reduce muscle pain or soreness, post-workout stretching is ineffective. However, for top athletic performance, it is important to keep the muscles functioning optimally. Increasing and optimizing range of motion by gentle post-workout stretches can optimize performance. The key is to be gentle and listen to your body. Push the muscles just a little without overtaxing them. By holding a comfortable reaching stretch, over time you can reach further because your muscles lengthen to adapt to the increased demand.

This 12 minute routine is the perfect choice after a hard workout or just when you’re feeling a little tight. You can do this everyday if you want! Plus, zero equipment required! Press play and give it a try after your next workout to feel better fast! Leave me a comment below and let me know how it makes your body and mind feel.

After Workout Stretch Routine. Cool Down With These Quick Exercises

As always: check with your doctor before starting this or any exercise routine. Honor your body and LISTEN to your body! Train smart to be healthy for life.

Thank you so much for being a part of my Youtube community! Please LIKE this video and share it with your friends – lets help others feel good and keep moving. Keep up the great work friends, I am cheering for you! Till next time… sending positive energy your way.

Caroline

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Is The Strong Beautiful Course Right for Me?

Is the Strong Body Beautiful coaching course right for me? Here are the program guidelines and FAQ’s to help you decide. Refresh your fitness routine, live a fit lifestyle, and find community through strength in 6 weeks.

Strong Body Beautiful Course

Hello my friend,

How are you feeling today? Any fun workouts planned? Since launching my 6 week Strong Body Beautiful coaching course, I’ve received a lot of email inquires. Is this course right for me? What if I don’t have access to a gym? What do I need to complete this program? I want to answer all of your questions and help you decide if this program would help motivate and support you in your health.

My Strong Body Beautiful course is for women who want to develop a consistent exercise program, find the joy in healthy living, and build a balanced body. The program gives you 6 weeks of comprehensive training. Every day is detailed and full of support content to help you in your fitness, nutrition, stress, and self care. You can take the program at your own pace and customize it to meet your unique schedule, goals and needs. The best part is that the program is intended to be used more than once and repeated to help you stay motivated and maximize results.

I do not believe in extremes, exclusionary diets, quick fixes, or programs that sell based off body image. I believe a healthy lifestyle can be well rounded, flexible, enjoyable, and rewarding and I want to CONNECT with women who share in that belief. You can learn to find peace with yourself, your fitness, and your health. You can live a lifestyle that makes you feel good inside and out.

But it’s hard to accomplish personal renewal, balanced nutrition, and regular exercise without a plan. That is the best part about the 6 week Strong Body Beautiful program. I have done all the homework for you. It is easy to follow and balances the needs of your body and mind. Now you can be free to concentrate on other daily issues like finding extra time for yourself each day so you can exercise, learning to purchase and prepare healthier foods, and revitalizing your state of mind.

Before we get started let’s discuss essential program guidelines and answer any questions you might have. I can’t wait to help you learn, grow, and build confidence and strength through fitness.

Strong Body Beautiful Program Guidelines

  1. You must be cleared by your doctor or physical therapist before beginning this program. Whenever you are planning to engage in exercise or in any particular physical activity, especially if you have not engaged in either for a long time, you should consult with your physician before starting. The exercise segments and advice in this program have been designed for active women. This is not a wise choice if you are currently injured, pregnant, or just starting out. But only your doctor can determine whether your present fitness level allows you to get started. Check with him or her first and don’t waste another day. Get started!
  2. By investing in this program and yourself, you are committed to listening to your body at all times. If an exercise or specific workout does not feel right for your body or your needs, stop immediately. Done properly, this program will help you build body awareness by mastering movement skills and learning to tune into how your body feels. You will gain an understanding of movement and learn how to move mindfully, with skill, intention, and expertise.
  3. In this program, you will not determine your success by the scale. We will talk more about this in the course content, but muscle weighs more than fat. Often, the scale provides an inaccurate reading of the changes occurring in your body. Bear in mind that those fat days that we all experience are not just figments of your imagination! The female body can fluctuate up and down by four or more pounds over the course of three weeks due to fluid retention and point in the menstrual cycle. Another reason we dont use the scale is because of the negative impact can have on your mental well-being and self-esteem. We all know how many of us can struggle with a dysfunctional relationship with the number between our feet. It’s time to stop all of that nonsense. A more accurate means of monitoring your success is with the measuring tape, photos, and how your clothes fit. Before you begin this program, measure yourself:
    1. Around the upper arm
    2. Chest (right across the bust line)
    3. Waist
    4. Hips (around the fullest point)
    5. Thighs (about ¾ of the way to the hip socket)

You will record your results in your journal using the measurement lecture and guide in the course, then put these figures away. I also encourage you to take before and after photos of your body: front, side, and back. On week six, we will remeasure the same areas of your body and take “after” photos. The results should surprise you! You will find, if you have been consistent with the schedule in this program, that your body is becoming lean, toned, and feeling strong. In fact, the average woman loses 8 inches for all areas of the body through the SBB program combined with a healthy diet. As you burn fat and build muscle, your body will actually decrease in size and change shape. The neatest thing is that you will feel it happening. The first week of the program you will put on an outfit and it may feel a little snug. By week six, I’ll bet there are places in that clothing that seem baggy! Your clothes will fit better and you will feel better. Measurements are a valuable way to track progress.

4. This program does not include a specific nutritional plan. I will be providing information, resources, and tools for you to use to learn how to listen to what your body needs and eat well. It is up to you to make healthy choices and nourish yourself with quality foods. I trust that you will be fueling your body with foods that help you FEEL good and give you the power, strength, and energy to tackle this program (and everything in your life!). You will see incredible results if you combine the SBB program with a clean, healthy, diet that provides you with all of the nutrients you need to succeed. Should you want a tool, you can use the livestrong my daily plate to track your nutrition throughout the 6 weeks. This can help raise awareness to the quality of your diet and help you make more mindful food choices. Again, I will be sharing helpful nutrition resources within the content of this course to further help you in choosing how to eat to feel your very best inside and out. The SBB community and facebook group is another excellent resource to share recipes, tips, tools, and nutrition information. Together we are healthier, stronger, and better! Use the community to share your journey and get the accountability you need to eat healthy and feel healthy.

5. This program includes compound strength movements like the deadlift, back squat, and kettlebell swing. All exercises in this program require focus, form, skill, and body awareness. ALWAYS put form first. If a weight feels too challenging downsize. If you aren’t sure about your form, ask. Do NOT lift heavy objects without focus, form, and awareness. I want to help you get stronger, not injured. You have to agree to bring your A game and move well.

6. Upon registering for the Strong Body Beautiful program, request access to the private Strong Body Beautiful facebook group so that you can take what you learn within this course and connect to a community of likeminded women who share in your goals to live a healthy, balanced, lifestyle.

7. Teachable comes with an incredible APP!! Take your SBB course with you and learn on the go. It’s super easy to use and compatible with all devices. This makes checking off workouts and course content simple no matter where you are. Download here. 

There are three main components of the Strong Body Beautiful program:

  1. Strength/resistance training: to build lean muscle mass, boost metabolism, build bone health, prevent injuries, aid in muscular balance, boost performance, and build confidence
  2. Cardiovascular training: to burn fat, condition the heart and lungs, boost circulation, and improve mood
  3. Flexibility/self-massage training: to ease muscle tension, improve range of motion, decrease stress, and keep muscles happy

Each component is equally important when it comes to achieving a fit and powerful body. I will give you specific instructions and guidelines for each to help you customize this program for strong body results.

Here are a few questions and answers to help you get started on the road toward strength success in the Strong Body Beautiful program:

Do I need equipment or gym access in order to start this strength training program?

Yes. For the SBB program you will need the following strength training equipment:

Equipment needed for the SBB program:

One of the main purposes of the SBB program is to teach you how to strength train and build confidence in the weight room. To accomplish this goal, you will need equipment. You will begin some of the strength-training workouts with body-weight exercises: push-ups, squats, lunges, bridges, planks, and more that do not require equipment. But to advance your bodyweight strength moves and continue to progress to see positive results, we need to add more resistance. Whether you purchase weights to use at home, register for a drop in gym pass, or join a gym, having access to weight-training equipment will allow you to have the ability to complete all of the workouts in this program and progress with your strength training.

When should I start?

This course is self-paced. You can start anytime and take it at your own speed. Need to take things slower? Take one week schedule and spread it out over three weeks! You can customize the course to fit your needs and timeline.

What if I miss a day, workout, or week?

Life happens! I don’t expect you to stick to the program perfectly, 100% all of the time. You are a busy, awesome, woman with a full schedule! Each week we will be planning your workouts in advance, into your calendar, in a way that works for you. There will most likely be weeks where you’ll need to make adjustments based off of your personal schedule. Do the best you can with the suggested weekly workouts and make modifications when needed. If you miss a day, pick right back up where you left off. The goal of the SBB program is not to be perfect but to make progress. It’s also to teach you how to build a consistent exercise program that allows you to see results.

Can I repeat the program?

Yes and I highly recommend it! Once the 6 weeks are up, I suggest going through the program a second (or even third!) time. This allows you to continue to advance your skills, build on what you know, gain more strength, and become masterful in the weight room. Plus, you will most likely want to repeat the strength workouts because they are fun, challenging, and rewarding!

There is so much information!! I’m a busy woman! What if I can’t read through it all?

I designed the Strong Body Beautiful program to be a comprehensive guide with everything you need to accomplish your health and fitness goals. I don’t expect you to be able to digest and understand it all in only 6 weeks. I want you to have the resources you need to refer back to as you continue to grow, evolve, and progress within your wellness. These topics are common within all of my coaching clients and I want to support you in having the information you need to succeed. You invested in the program and now you have it as a resource for the rest of your life. Take your time with the information and come back to it whenever you need for guidance or motivation. This is one of the best parts of the Strong Body Beautiful program, it’s always there for you to return to when you need to re-fresh your fitness routine, kickstart your health habits, or get a little extra lifestyle support.

How often will I strength train?

In this program I recommend you strength train, for a minimum, twice a week. This number has been shown to provide many of the health benefits of resistance training. Each week you’ll be receiving two downloadable strength workouts and fitness schedule. For the purpose of this 6 week program, I suggest following the proposed workout schedule as closely as possible.

Can I strength train the same days I do my cardio?

Yes, You can strength train on the same days you do your aerobic training if your week is too busy for separate workouts.

What if I can’t do all of the exercises?

Feel free to modify workouts as needed to work with your body and feel your best. I’ll provide exercise cues and demonstrations so that you have alternatives. Remember: some of the new exercises will feel hard – they are NEW to your body and meant to challenge you in a different way. The goal should be to work up to mastering each exercise in skill and strength (thats how you make progress!). Don’t sweat it if you aren’t “strong enough” yet for all the suggested sets and reps in each workout. You’ll get stronger and work your way up to it as you continue to progress.

How much weight should I use?

Choose the heaviest weight that allows you to complete all the set repetitions in each exercise with good form. In other words, the lower the number of repetitions, the heavier the weight you should use and vice versa. Just make sure the weight allows you to perform the exercise properly—lifting less weight with good form is better than lifting more weight sloppily. If you are doing body-weight exercises (using your body weight as resistance), the same principal applies: perform as many reps as you can in each set with good form.

How do you figure out the right amount to lift?

The answer is trial and error. You have to make an educated guess and experiment. The key is to start lifting. If you choose a weight that’s too light or too heavy, adjust it in your next set. The goal is to complete all the repetitions in each set with good form while challenging your muscles to work as hard as they can. Using the “start to struggle” approach will help you do this: work hard; when you start to struggle, you’ve completed the set. This is also a good strategy to use for body-weight exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups, and hip raises.

How many repetitions should I do?

How many reps you choose to do depends on the specific exercise and your training goals. I’ll be giving you suggested repetitions for each exercise. In the beginning, if you can only do 5 repetitions with good form, then 5 is fine. Gradually begin to increase the number as the exercise gets easier. If you can accomplish 20 or more, it’s time to add more weight. What is most important is that you listen to your body. Do what you can with where you are and then build from there. Most important to remember is that this is your program.

How many sets of an exercise should I do?

I’ll give you suggested sets of each exercise. As you develop your strength, you can play around with changing the variety of sets and reps. That’s the fun part!

How do I learn proper form?

I’m going to teach you! This program is designed to help you learn proper form and movement mechanics for each strength exercise. I will give you the guidance you need to learn to listen to your body, move mindfully, and see results. Working with with this program to establish a foundation of strength-training knowledge and good form will allow you to get started safely and effectively. As always, if you have any medical conditions, injuries, or illnesses, be sure to check with your doctor before you start lifting weights.

Is there cardio?

In this program, I will also suggest days for cardiovascular training. Cardiovascular exercise keeps your heart, lungs, and blood vessels healthy while boosting your metabolism and giving you a good sweat. It’s also great for stress relief. Here are a few cardiovascular training guidelines so that you can customize each week to fit your personal needs, preferences and goals.

What kind of cardio should I do?

The best part about aerobic cardio is that there are so many ways to do it. Walking, running, hiking, swimming, biking, aerobics class, dancing, jumping rope—the list goes on. The WOW program lets you personalize your approach to getting your weekly dose of aerobic exercise in a way that you enjoy. I hate when I hear people say that they are running to get a workout but hate running. That’s crazy. If you hate running, don’t run! There are so many options to try when it comes to getting your cardio that there is no reason to torture yourself with something you don’t like. Anything you don’t enjoy will result in mediocre efforts and mediocre results. Find forms of cardio workouts that you enjoy, and you won’t feel like you’re working. Make it fun and you’ll stick with it in the long run.

Here’s a list of great cardio activities to help you figure out what you like to do: running, walking, swimming, water aerobics, aerobics, step aerobics, jump rope, boxing, rowing, cycling, indoor cycling, treadmill intervals, dancing, elliptical machine, stair climbing, hiking, rowing, tennis, basketball, and soccer.

Whatever you choose, make it convenient and fun for yourself. If getting your cardio is convenient and enjoyable, you’ll stick with it. For example, I love being outside, so running has become one of my favorite ways to get in my cardio. I am also a huge believer in having exercise equipment at home and using workout videos or YouTube channels. It’s easy to make time to workout at home: your home is always open, and the weather never prevents you from being active. Choose an aerobic activity you know you can stick to. If walking or running is convenient for you, start there. Or sign up for a twice weekly spin class and join a community with accountability and support. Or work out at home with a dance aerobics video or an online yoga studio. There are so many options. Think about what you like to do and make it work for you.

How hard are the workouts?

Varying the intensity of your workouts will allow you to be more consistent and avoid injury. Think about it: if you do too many high-intensity workouts, you’ll burn out fast. If you do too many low-intensity workouts you’ll plateau and won’t see continued results. In the SBB program, we will vary the intensity of your weekly workouts from low, to medium, to high.

  • Low-intensity cardio training—for example, walking, hiking, and slow cycling—can be done practically every single day (even several times a day) for longer amounts of time than high intensity training. This type of training is very easy for your body to recover from, regardless of your body type and your goals. It can help you burn calories for fat loss and help you build lifestyle fitness.
  • Moderate-intensity cardio training—for example, jogging, swimming, stair climbing, cross-country skiing, cycling, ice skating, aerobics, step aerobics, and dancing—will need to be done a little less frequently. This type of training requires more energy both to perform and for your body to recover.
  • High-intensity training—for example, activities like sprinting, circuit workouts, and interval training—is the toughest of the three but can actually bring you the fastest results. High-intensity training is extremely effective for fat loss as it not only causes you to burn a lot of calories during the activity, but it also raises your metabolism for a long time after the activity is done. This type of hard training should be done less frequently than the more moderate forms of cardio as it is much harder for your body to recover.

We will be alternating high-impact or high intensity days with low impact and low intensity days to allow you to continue consistent workouts without getting injured, bored, or hitting a plateau.

Your body and mind love when you mix it up. This will keep your body guessing, and the results will keep happening. As you work through this program I’ll help you vary your workouts throughout the week. We will change your routine often, changing the intensity, type, or time. This will help you prevent boredom, stay motivated, and continue to see results from your training.

What about stretching? And what the heck is a foam roller?

The SBB program also includes flexibility, mobility, and self massage. Regular self-massage and flexibility training will help you untangle knots of tension and give you the tools to eliminate pain or move past stress-related injuries. It also will help keep your joints mobile so that your body lasts longer and is pain free for decades. It will help you reset and recharge your body to achieve your optimal state of well-being and performance.

If you sit most of the day and are under a lot of stress, your body is tight and hungry for some relief. Self-massage and flexibility training provide the best way to tame that tension. Your goal is a minimum of 5 to 10 minutes of flexibility or self-massage exercises daily. You can choose to do them at the end of a workout, throughout your day, or even before bed. What matters most is that you make time to do it. A few minutes goes a long way and will help reduce muscle soreness, limber your joints, improve range of motion, release tension, and beat stress-related injuries. I’m going to teach you how easy it is to fit in simple stretches and self-massage throughout your day. Soon it will be a healthy habit, like brushing your teeth. You’ll feel so much better from just a few minutes of moving and deep breathing.

In this program, I’ll be giving you suggested self massage training videos as well as specific guidelines on what muscles to foam roll after each workout.

Not all gyms provide foam rollers, and it will be worth your while to purchase your own tools for home use. Most foam rolling devices cost between $10 and $40 and are much more affordable than hiring your own massage therapist. Having self-massage tools at home will make it easy to fit in 5 to 10 minutes of daily self-massage. You might find that it becomes a habit you look forward to every day because it feels so good. When it comes to what foam rolling tools to purchase, you have several different options. Here are my favorites:

  • High-density foam roller: A compact, high-density roller is designed to maintain its shape. It is the most common tool you will find at gyms and fitness centers.
  • Yoga Tune Up balls: The Yoga Tune Up therapy balls measure about 2½ inches in diameter each and are made of a special rubber that grips skin, grabs at multiple layers of muscles, and rubs out adhesions and tension, providing a deep tissue massage. These are great for traveling and taking to work for self-massage as they pack well in a suitcase or purse.
  • Golf ball: Perfect for getting all the tiny spots in your feet, a golf ball can aid in healing plantar fasciitis and other not-so-fun foot problems.
  • Rolling pin: I use a standard kitchen rolling pin as an inexpensive on-the-go massage tool. It’s easy to travel with and can be useful in working out the kinks in my calves, quads, and iliotibial (IT) band.

Disclaimer: Always check with your doctor before using a foam roller for myofascial release. Also, foam rolling a tight muscle may cause discomfort, which usually means the area needs attention. Perform foam roller sessions when your muscles are warm or after a workout. Each time you use your foam roller makes the next time a little bit easier. Just don’t forget to breathe.

Foam Rolling Guidelines:

  • You can choose to foam roll before a workout to loosen up, after a workout to cool down, or any time of day to release tension from the body.
  • Position the roller under the soft tissue area you want to release or loosen.
  • Place your body part on the roller and apply pressure. Stay in place or gently roll your body weight back and forth across the roller while targeting the affected muscle.
  • Move slowly, and take deep breaths.
  • If you find a particularly painful area (trigger point), hold that position until the area softens.
  • Focus on areas that are tight or have reduced range of motion.
  • Roll over each area a few times until you feel it relax. Expect some discomfort. It may feel very tender at first.
  • Stay on soft tissue and avoid rolling directly over bones or joints.
  • Keep your first few foam roller sessions short. Aim to foam roll an area for a minimum of 2 minutes to create change in the tissues.
  • Rest a day between sessions when you start.

I carry my Yoga Tune Up balls with me everywhere I go. I use them in the car on my lower back while driving or fit in a neck massage in the office between meetings. Having the them on hand makes it easy to fit a quick massage into small windows of time throughout the day.

I believe 5 to 10 minutes of flexibility and self-massage training every day insure against the likelihood of injury and the aches and pains that result from stored tension in the muscles. If this sounds impossible, try to stretch for at least 2 minutes at the end of your workouts. You can also squeeze in a few quick stretches in line at the grocery store, before bed, or even while brushing your teeth. Opportunities to stretch, breathe, roll, release, and de-stress exist everywhere if you look for them.

How can I see results quicker?

Be patient!! If for some reason your results seem disappointing, do not despair! The program will work! Perhaps you have had some trouble adjusting to the program . That is ok, just stick with it. It will get easier every day. You might also try taking a hard look at the intensity of your workouts. Were you challenging yourself enough? Also, were you eating proper portion sizes of the meals you have prepared? Have you been keeping up with a clean diet (and being mindful of things like alcohol and excess sugar?). How is your stress, sleep, and hormone balance? Remember: all of these elements come into play when you want to make a change to your body. Continued effort, patience, persistence, and sticking with healthy lifestyle habits is the key to seeing changes over time.

What happens after the 6 weeks?

We celebrate! After the 6 weeks are over you’ll have completed 12 different strength workouts and 6 consistent weeks of fitness. You will have learned new movements and experienced different exercises. You will have gone out of your comfort zone (mentally and physically) in the gym. You will have a new toolbox of ideas, workouts, exercises, and resources you can use to challenge your body and see results. You will feel energized, confident, and stronger in your body and mind. By completing the 6 week program you will have committed to a goal, taken action, and followed through. You will feel proud of yourself for this accomplishment, for making time for yourself, and for making yourself stronger (inside and out).

View the full 6 week schedule here to make sure this program is right for you.  Or watch me answer your Strong Body Beautiful course questions below:

Strong Body Beautiful Course Q&A

I want to help you build lean muscle mass, kick a$$, find confidence through strength, and most of all, feel better about yourself. I would be honored to be your coach and support you in your fitness journey.

Are you ready to get started?

If you are ready to say YES to yourself, this program is here to guide you in making real progress for real results. You have only one life to live. This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s the REAL thing. You deserve a chance to discover your own strength. Let’s start now.

Enroll in course. 

More Questions? Email me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com . I would love to have you as a part of my Strong Body Beautiful community and support you in your fitness. 

Love and squats,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out: 

Six Weeks to a Stronger Body and Mind. Are you ready to feel good in your skin?

Build a strong body, live a fit lifestyle and feel good in your skin with Strong Body Beautiful, a transformative 6-week virtual fitness coaching program.

Strong Body

Want to learn to love and strengthen your beautiful body? Read the program guidelines and course schedule here to decide if this program is right for you.

Hi my friend,

I hope this finds you healthy, happy, and having a great day. How is it already August?! I can’t believe how fast the year has flown by. This summer I have been busy at work creating an online coaching course to help you build strength, find confidence, and feel GOOD in your fitness. I am so excited to introduce….

Strong Body Beautiful.

A 6 week, virtual​ fitness coaching program to help you build a stronger body, live a fit lifestyle, and feel good in your skin.

In my experience coaching female clients, I see many exercise out of shame, guilt, or a fear of gaining weight. It doesn’t have to be this way. Fitness doesn’t need to be punishment. Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. You can learn to find peace with yourself, your fitness, and your health. You can live a lifestyle that makes you feel good inside and out. 

My Strong Body Beautiful course is for women who want to develop a consistent exercise program, find the joy in healthy living, and build a balanced body. I do not believe in extremes, exclusionary diets, quick fixes, or programs that sell based off body image. I believe a healthy lifestyle can be well rounded, flexible, enjoyable, and rewarding.

The coaching advice and and resources I provide within this program are intended to further educate, encourage, support, and enable women to reach their wellness goals. They are intended to help women find community, support, and lasting lifestyle change that allows them to thrive in life.

The Strong Body Beautiful program is not a quick fix, it’s a lifestyle. It’s a process, a way of thinking and training that never ends. Yes, you will get stronger, change your body, and see results. But this program goes beyond just that. It equips you with the tools needed to maintain healthy habits and be strong for life.

Who Is This Program For?

  • Someone who wakes up everyday wishing she felt more comfortable in her body
  • Someone who wants to feel confident and happy, but can’t figure out the missing piece
  • Someone who is done with dieting and deprivation and ready to learn moderation
  • Someone who is ready to make peace with her weight while still challenging herself to be her healthiest
  • Someone who doesn’t know how to find enough time to take care of herself
  • Someone who wants to stop stressing about her fitness and diet, but continue striving for her goals
  • Someone who wants to live an active lifestyle with ease
  • Someone who wants accountability and resolve
  • Someone who struggles with a constant feeling of “not enough” of everything

Who is it NOT for?

  • Someone looking for a quick fix program – this is 100% about a mindset and lifestyle shift
  • Someone who isn’t ready to commit to self care – the education is intense and the ones who will do the best are those who are REALLY ready to make a lifestyle change
  • Someone who doesn’t want to make the time to work on themselves. This is for someone who can find 45 minutes throughout the day to dedicate to self care.
  • Someone who isn’t ready to do the hard work needed to change their lives. I am here to guide you and help you get unstuck, but no one else can take ACTION on your goals but yourself

Learn more about the Strong Body Beautiful program and start your transformation today. 

With the Strong Body Beautiful Program You Will:

  • Sculpt and shape your entire body
  • Ignite your metabolism (and burn more calories 24-7)
  • Lose fat
  • Build lean, defined, muscles
  • Have better posture
  • Develop stronger bones and muscles
  • Decrease joint pain and risk for injuries
  • Increase your flexibility
  • Gain more energy
  • Buff up your body image
  • Increase your confidence and mental strength
  • Kick ass
  • Find a community of positive, like-minded women who share in your healthy lifestyle goals
  • Learn how to find a healthy relationship with exercise and diet so that you can be consistent, balanced, and strong for life

What’s Included:

  • 6 weeks of dynamic workouts designed to burn fat and build lean muscle mass in your tummy, legs, arms, and booty
  • A detailed daily schedule for strength, cardio, flexibility training, and rest days to optimize results.
  • Customized video routines and resources
  • My top tips and tricks that can help you live a strong lifestyle
  • Nutrition information, resources, and tools to learn how to listen to what your body needs and eat well
  • Form focus and skills training behind SMART strength training
  • Stress relief, meditation, and mindfulness tools to help you be your best and optimize results
  • The skills to stay consistent, balanced, and find a healthy relationship with exercise and food
  • Training tips and secrets to overcome plateaus
  • The secrets to success in finding YOUR perfect balance with exercise, eating well, and living a strong lifestyle
  • Insider access to the private Strong Body Beautiful facebook community of positive, healthy, likeminded women

Studies have shown that just three weeks of constant practice can alter your current behavior. And I’m giving you double that! 6 weeks to a stronger body and mindset. You can, and will, change the way you train, feel about exercise, and the way you see yourself. The 6 week Strong Body Beautiful program is designed to be the framework for strength training regularly and thinking positively.

How is this program delivered?

The 6 week Strong Body Beautiful Program is delivered exclusively through an online teaching platform. This course is self-paced and can be done anywhere, anytime. Upon purchase, you will have access to the course materials for life.

Read the program guidelines, course schedule, and FAQ’s here to decide if this program is right for you.

Strong Body

I want to help you discover the incredible mental and physical benefits of strength training. I am confident this program will allow you to build lean muscle mass, kick a$$, find confidence through strength, and most of all, feel better about yourself. I would be honored to be your coach and support you in your fitness journey.

Are you ready to get started?

If you are ready to say YES to yourself, this program is here to guide you in making real progress for real results. You have only one life to live. This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s the REAL thing. You deserve a chance to discover your own strength. Let’s start now.

Enroll in course. 

Questions? Email me at: carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com . I believe in you strong body beautiful babe. Here’s to you, living every day in strength. 

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out: 

Why Your Fitness Routine Isn’t Working

Doing everything “right” and not seeing results? It may be time to mix things up. Here’s your answer.

Fitness routine results

Fitness routine results

Dear Caroline,

I’ve been a newsletter subscriber for years and I love your authenticity, content, and YouTube videos. I’m getting burned out in my usual exercise routine and I could use pointers to increase my strength and build lean muscle. I have an overall goal to be better toned and specifically better abs (reduce my stubborn belly). I participate in Class Pass where I sign up for group fitness classes like Flywheel, BodyPump, barre3, HIIT, and YogaSculpt. I also do Orange Theory four times a month. I’ve completed 7 half marathons (soon to be 8!) and I have a 2018 goal to do my first full marathon. I would love to have someone help me stay motivated while I train for my first full marathon because this will be a huge feat in my mind. I also want to make sure my body can handle the demands of marathon training. I occasionally get knee and lower back pain, and I don’t want this to get worse or prevent me from reaching my goals. I feel like I’m doing everything right but not seeing results.

Thank you for your coaching and guidance, looking forward to hearing from you!

Susan

I wish I had a dollar for every time I got this email. Women everywhere doing all the group fitness, all the cardio, all the 8lb weight routines and wondering WHY its not working. Whelp, here is my A to your Q on how to remix the way you train so that you can overcome plateaus, prevent injuries, and see real results. 

Dear Susan,

It sounds like you are looking to work with someone to help you refresh your current routine, overcome plateaus, enhance performance, lose fat mass / build lean muscle mass, and prevent injury (esp so you can complete your first full marathon successfully!). From what you’ve described above it looks like you do a lot of group fitness, endurance, and cardio – which is awesome! However, what may really take you (and your goals) to the next level is getting out of the studio and into the weight room.

Group fitness classes are great, but can’t achieve the same strength gains (and physical results) as a personalized strength program. 

I see far too many women actually gain fat mass, develop muscular imbalances, and get sidelined by injuries from too much time in group fitness and endurance training and not enough time following a well rounded strength program. 

Most women do group fitness because it’s easily accessible, non-intimidating, involves community (friends!), and quite honestly have never had real education about strength training.  But going to group fitness classes, sticking to video routines, or doing cardio because it’s easy to motivate to do isn’t serving any of these women in their fitness goals. Instead they are hitting plateaus, feeling frustrated, or worse… getting injured. And since one-on-one coaching feels too expensive (or it’s incredibly difficult to find a knowledgable coach that understands her training needs), she continues the cycle of sticking to what she knows to only find more setbacks or plateaus.

I want to help women everywhere learn how to use the weight room to find fitness, health, and incredible benefits. To do this, I have created an online course to teach women how to build a balanced strength training program and find confidence in the weight room.

The current fitness culture has all sorts of mixed messages on how to see results. When it comes to what’s “out there” in the world of strength training, it’s just too many extremes. Bodybuilding, powerlifting, figure competition, the list goes on. Talk about intimidating! No wonder women stick to the group fitness studio! Why isn’t anyone teaching simple, well rounded, balanced strength training in an accessible way? Well it’s time. 

Fitness routine results

Fitness routine results

In my Strong Body Beautiful online coaching course, I will help you break away from your fitness rut and learn how to build strength, confidence, and see RESULTS. This 6 week program gives you dynamic workouts designed to burn fat and build lean muscle mass in your tummy, legs, arms, and butt. It provides you with a detailed daily schedule for strength, cardio, flexibility training, and rest days to optimize results. You will learn proper form, skills, and the secrets behind SMART strength training so that you can see physical changes, prevent injuries, and feel amazing. And BONUS, you will have virtual access to the Strong Body Beautiful community of women who share in your health goals to live a fit lifestyle without going to extremes. 

In this course, I will give you the guidance you need to learn to listen to your body, move mindfully, and see results. Working with with the Strong Body Beautiful program to establish a foundation of strength-training knowledge and good form will allow you to get started safely and effectively. You’ll be able to gain the knowledge and skills that will help you get fit not just for 6 weeks, but for the rest of your life.

This program gives you guidelines but allows for personalization. You will be able to customize the course to fit your unique schedule, preferences, personality, and goals. It works exactly the way I would work with a one-on-one coaching client: giving you the tools to transform and allowing you the flexibility to tailor the program to your needs.

Strong Body Beautiful is ready to help you stop hitting plateaus and start seeing results. It’s an awesome program and I invite you to be a part of it.

Let’s keep it simple and start small. The Strong Body Beautiful program is ready to guide you.  Read the program guidelines here. And when you are ready to join us and see results, click enroll. 

Love,

Caroline

Other Things To Check Out:

How To Get A “Toned” Physique.

Women always ask me for my top training tips on getting a “toned” physique. You want to know the truth? Pick up some weights and make them heavier than your purse.

How To Get A "Toned" Physique.

How To Get A “Toned” Physique.

Thankfully there are more women strength training now than ever before. The days of hours of cardio and pulsing FOREVER to “feel the burn” are gone.

With that said, it’s still a fact that most women don’t strength train properly. The gyms are filled with women who pick up nothing heavier than a pink dumbbell. They think if they pick up some real weight that they’ll wake up the next morning looking like the incredible Hulk.

I have seen this day after day while working in the gym. The women will make their way back to the weight room and they’ll proceed to do dumbbell curls and triceps kickbacks with the little pink dumbbells. Or they will stick to group fitness classes and chronic cardio routines because it’s “safe”, “easy”, and non-intimidating. This is a recipe for plateaus, frustration, and overuse injuries.

Most women never pick up enough weight to get a great training effect or know how to structure a balanced strength program that will allow them to see benefits.

I have coached dozens of women and helped them learn HOW to strength train to improve their physiques, fitness, and confidence. If you’re one of those women who think you’ll get big and bulky from lifting weights, you need to dismiss that myth right now.

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Get it out of your head right this second: you will NOT look like a body builder if you add regular weight training into your workout routine. In fact you may finally just achieve that lean, “toned”, body you are killing yourself over with all that cardio.  Are you ready to open your mind and try something different? Be prepared to impress yourself with results.

Here are 16 great reasons you should add strength training to your life:

How To Get A “toned” physique. 16 Reasons You Want To Strength Train

1. Get ‘that body’ you really want (Lean, toned muscles; More definition)
How do you get more toned? Light weights and lots of reps right? At least that’s what we’ve been told for years to believe. However, training to “get toned” with high-reps and light weights will not provide the same benefits as lifting properly with heavy weights. Getting ‘toned’ requires two things to happen:

•    Ridding excess body fat

•    Increasing the size of muscle cells to provide shape.

Getting a “toned” body is all about building muscle. For some, it requires the additional removal of any fat covering up the muscle, but it is muscle itself that gives you sleek, sculpted curves so you don’t just look bony once you lose excess body fat. So how do you lose body fat and increase lean muscle concurrently? Combine a healthy amount of cardio / anaerobic exercise (HIIT, sprint-type workouts, plyometrics) with at least one to three weight workouts a week with weights that are a ‘just right’ challenge for you (heavyish weight with proper form).

2. Strengthen Bones & Muscles. Lifting weights not only builds “toned” muscles, it makes for stronger bones too. Did you know an average woman can lose up 1% of bone mineral density every year?For men, it is not quite as much, but it adds up! After the age of 25, we lose more than one-half pound of muscle every year without a regular strength-training regimen. Add strength training to your arsenal of weapons against osteoporosis. When you strength train, the act of moving your bones through muscle action increases its density. Your skeletal system becomes stronger in response to the demands that strength exercise places on your body. Increased bone density will reduce the risk of fractures and chronic disease as you age. According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) you can significantly reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis by engaging in regular weight training workouts.

3. Burn More Calories. We tend to think of cardiovascular exercise as the calorie torcher necessary for losing weight. However, it’s better to lose inches AND gain muscle than to just simply lose pounds. Muscle, unlike fat, is metabolically active. Cardio burns calories during the workout. Strength burns calories both during AND after the workout. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights. Replace 10 pounds of fat with 10 pounds of lean muscle and you can burn an additional 25 to 50 calories a day without even trying. This “afterburn” effect is the metabolism boost needed to maintain a healthy weight over time and maximize your calorie burn.

4. Lose More Fat. In addition to burning more calories, resistance training may help your body to burn more fat overall. Score! In one study on over 700 females, lifting weights for just 25 minutes three times per week led to the gain of nearly two pounds of muscle, and the loss of four pounds of fat. If you’re familiar with how physiques work, then you know that is a radical change in appearance!Now, picking up heavy things burns a respectable amount of calories on it’s own. No doubt about that. But that’s not why lifting weights is so effective for burning fat.When you lift something heavy, you’re setting your body up for metabolic reactions that allow you to utilize nutrients better and continue burning calories for up to 36 hours after your workout. There’s this thing called your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). It controls how many calories your body burns while you rest. As you gain more muscle, you increase your BMR, along with how much you can eat and still stay lean. The more lean muscle on your body, the less body fat you will store, and the harder it will be to gain weight.

It is important to remember that losing fat may cause noticeable changes in your body (e.g. decrease in size, increase in tone) when looking in the mirror, but the number on the scales may not change. This is because resistance training can increase the amount of lean muscle you have, which is heavier but takes up less space than fat. So simply put, if fat goes down, but muscle goes up, your weight could essentially stay the same. Read more here: The difference between weight loss and fat loss and why you should focus on FITNESS not skinniness for long term health. 

5. Have Better Posture. Stronger bones will improve your posture and how you carry yourself. Weight training can ensure that the muscles between the shoulder blades, lower back and abdomen stay strong, which reduces the likelihood of developing muscular imbalances that can lead to poor posture. Better posture will enhance your overall appearance and reduce your chances of suffering from back pain.

How To Get A "Toned" Physique.

How To Get A “Toned” Physique.

6. Ease Joint Pain and Prevent Injuries.  Muscles function as shock absorbers and serve as important balancing agents throughout the body. Well-conditioned muscles help to lessen the repetitive landing forces in weight-bearing activities like running or basketball. Also, well-balanced muscles reduce the risk of injuries that result from muscular imbalances (super strong quads and weak hamstrings?! not with smart strength training). Build a foundation of strength and you’ll be less likely to run into injury from sports or daily activities. Stronger muscles better hold your joints in position, so you won’t need to worry about your knee flaring up during your next run.

7. Impress Yourself With Progress. The amazing thing about resistance training and lifting weights in general is that it is you are able to see how far you’ve come. For example, you may have started weighted lunges with 10lb dumbbells and barely making it through your set, to being able to easily get through it with 20lb dumbbells. I love weight training because it helps bring you satisfaction, you can physically see and feel if you have gotten better. Both of these things can encourage you to keep going and continue to improve.

8. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack & Diabetes. As we age we naturally lose muscle mass, which makes us weaker and more prone to weight gain. Resistance training can help slow down age-related muscle loss, which means that you are not only looking better, but you are also protecting your health. During exercise, muscle tissue helps to remove additional glucose and triglycerides from your bloodstream, which can help to reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. There is also evidence that suggests that resistance training can help with high blood pressure.

9. Kick A$$ in life.  Yes, you heard right! When you are stronger, fitter and have more endurance, you will automatically become better at other movement-based activities that you attempt. Like lifting your suitcase into the overhead bin on the airplane…arm wrestling your brother…carrying all six-eight grocery bags at once…lifting (and keeping up with) your kids…moving boxes and furniture in your house…opening a pickle jar…and on and on..

10. Maximize Your Gym Time. Cardio sessions can sometimes take up a good portion of an hour, which can be tricky to squeeze in before work or between commitments. Fortunately, with resistance training, you don’t need to spend hours at the gym to see results. All you need is a 30-60 minute lifting session about three times a week to start seeing great results in as little as two weeks. However, I like to reinforce this efficiency mindset with all of my trainees: Get In. Work Hard. Get Out. You’ll have more time to spend with your favorite people, and to do your favorite things.

11. Build a Nice Butt. Want a nice booty? The gluteus maximus is one of the strongest muscles in your body. The shape of your glutes are influenced by muscular development. When it comes to building size in your glutes, there is no substitute for a deep, heavy squat. This will also help rid you of cellulite, while “firming” and “toning” your legs in the process. You’ll also strengthen your lower back and help prevent back injuries that are all too common as we age.

12. Change your body shape. You may think your genes determine how you look. That’s not necessarily true. Weight training can slim you down, create new curves, and help avoid the “middle-age spread.” Dropping only 3 percent of your body fat could translate into a total loss of 3 inches off your hips and thighs.

13. Boost Your Flexibility. Ignore that super ripped guy fumbling in yoga class for just a minute. Researchers from the University of North Dakota pitted static stretches against strength-training exercises and found that full-range resistance training workouts can improve flexibility just as well as your typical static stretching regimen. The key word here is “full-range,”. If you can’t complete the full motion—going all the way up and all the way down—with a given weight, you may need to use a lighter dumbbell and work up to it.

14. More energy. Exercise gives you endorphins (natural opiates produced by the brain), …endorphins make you happy, feel great and give you more energy!. Ever had a workout, where you were just ‘going through the motions’, as opposed to a workout where you were really ‘in it’—putting your mind into the muscle or movements at hand, giving 100% effort…then…how did you feel after? Perhaps, initially, a bit tired…but chances are, you left that workout with a new spring in your step—renewed energy. Lifting heavy weights challenges you in new ways…leaving you with newfound energy from the ‘rush’ you got in that workout. Strength training has also been showed to help you sleep better (since your muscles are craving recovery, rest and repair post-workout)—and better sleep equals more energy in the long run.

15. Boost Your Body Image. Lifting weights can help shift the focus of your body image from size to ability. In other words, instead of focusing on your weight or the size of your waist, you’ll begin to better appreciate your body for its strength and what it can do. When we focus on actual fitness instead of body size, more muscle can mean more ease in moving our bodies, and better relationships with our bodies and with exercise.

16. Gain Confidence. You know it: Exercise boosts the ego—it helps you feel great in your own skin. The foundation of building inner confidence (and self belief) lies in setting goals that may seem beyond your capabilities and working towards them (consistently and with commitment) until you achieve them.  And there’s something about strength training that makes you feel, well… Strong. And that feeling of inner strength — that your muscles are growing, you’re developing definition, and you’re boosting your metabolism — all of those work together as a powerful confidence-booster.

At this point you’re probably thinking everything sounds amazing, but have this little voice in your head telling you that you’re going to get big or bulky. I hear this way too many times. It’s simply a mis-belief that is holding you back from seeing results you love in a short period of time.

If you are really still worried about gaining size and becoming the next incredible hulk, consider this: Bodybuilders are doing EVERYTHING in their power to build muscle and are still struggling! Its very difficult to see massive muscle gains, unless, of course, you’re training like a monster, consuming a massive amount of calories, and injecting yourself with synthetic hormones. When you follow a strength training program customized to fit your body’s needs and goals, you’ll see the results you want (not the extra bulk).

Now you’re super motivated to pump some iron, but WHERE do you start to learn how to strength train and incorporate it into a balanced fitness routine? I want to teach you! Start strength training and feeling GOOD in your skin with STRONG BODY BEAUTIFUL, my 6-week virtual fitness coaching program. 

It’s time for you to FIND your strong. If you are ready to do something different and take your health to a happy place, this program is ready to help you find success. Read the program guidelines here  to decide if this program is right for you. 

I would be honored to coach you and have you as part of this special community of women who are ready to build a STRONG body and live a healthy lifestyle. Enroll in the program and join us.  Let’s get you that “toned” physique 😉

Yours in strength,

Caroline

*** Thank you to all who entered the NuNaturals Stevia giveaway! The giveaway winners have been randomly selected and are (drumroll please…)1. @justduit_official 2. @craving_happy  3. @aawilks 4. @taylorcrandall . CONGRATULATIONS winners! Email or direct message me your address so that I can get you your prize package! For those of you who didn’t score this time, don’t worry! Ill be hosting more fun product giveaways on my blog to give you the chance to experience products I LOVE. Stay tuned by subscribing to my email newsletter for future giveaways. 

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“How Wellness Coach Caroline Jordan Stays Positively Fit” Insider Interview With Rockyt.style

How I Stay Fit

How I Stay Fit. Photo Credit Gwen Rodgers for New Balance

Hi Friends!

I hope this post finds you healthy, happy, and making it a great day. I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by local writing superstar Robyn Hagan Cain. Robyn is the Founder of www.Rockyt.style. where she gives the inside scoop on shopping, beauty, and fitness in San Francisco.  I had the privilege of meeting Robyn a few years ago and sharing an uplifting coffee conversation.  We have stayed in touch since and I’ve enjoyed following her adventures as a freelance writer for multiple websites and magazines. I now religiously follow her savvy Rockyt.style. website for the latest on the coolest stores, treatments, and fitness classes. Robyn was working on a series of articles titled “How Trainers Train” and asked to interview me for a piece. I gladly accepted the opportunity to collaborate and support her work. Robyn’s post was incredibly thoughtful and kind (I’m still blushing). I wanted to share her article in this space in the event you too were curious on how I stay “positively fit”.

“How Wellness Coach Caroline Jordan Stays Positively Fit” Interview with Rockyt.style

“When you meet Caroline Jordan, two things immediately stand out. First, she’s ripped. That’s understandable when you consider her background as a dancer and a trainer, and she explains that she’s spent her entire life in fitness. (Jordan has been working in the fitness industry for 16 years, received her first group fitness certification at age 15, and became a personal trainer at 18.) Second, she’s one of the most positive people you’ll ever meet—and not in an annoying way.

Jordan can recognize a less-than-ideal situation, but she’s trained herself to redirect her energy to gratitude. It’s something that shines through in both one-on-one interactions and her group classes. For example, Jordan was an enthusiastic runner for years until a Sesamoid injury forced her to hang up her running shoes last July. “The injury has been life-changing for me in so many ways, I think mostly in helping open my eyes to what my body was capable of outside of just running,” she says. “You are so much stronger than you think you are, and your body can do really cool things. It’s empowering to explore the potential.”

Where some people see disappointment, Caroline sees opportunity.

Even after her injury, Jordan says her body is more fit than ever, which certainly helps with powering through her busy schedule as a health and wellness coach. So how does she balance her personal routine and coaching? With positivity, of course.

Rockyt: Where do you teach?

Caroline: I teach every week on YouTube.  I teach large public fitness events for Caroline Jordan Fitness (like BOOTYcamp) and for my partners Fitbit and New Balance. I also teach regular weekly classes for Equinox.

Rockyt: What do you teach?

Caroline: I teach any and all group fitness format, indoor cycling, pilates, yoga tune up therapy, and my most popular [class], Best Butt Ever. (Yes, best name ever!)

Rockyt:  How do you prepare for classes?

Caroline: I attend continuing education courses all of the time and am constantly working to learn, evolve, and grow as an instructor. IDEA world fitness convention is my favorite, but I also watch a lot of online learning courses and surround myself with people in the industry who are learning, growing, and advancing their skills. I plan and prepare for classes, but also adjust to the needs of the participants. A skilled instructor can meet the participants where they are at, and challenge them in a safe way to grow.

Rockyt: How do you cross train?

Caroline: I Spin, swim, do pilates, and am a total CrossFit junkie these days. It makes my body feel amazing. What I love about Crossfit is that every workout is different, uniquely challenging, and highly effective. The workouts are completely scalable, which means that a new participant and a veteran can complete the same workout with changes in load and intensity. Its diverse fitness programming aims to improve your capacity in all ways: cardio-respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. The result is comprehensive physical fitness and restored vitality. You become a well-rounded athlete who can move well, perform well, and excel in the world.

Rockyt: What are your favorite studios for cross-training?

Caroline: I train at San Francisco CrossFit and am confident that San Francisco CrossFit houses some of the best movement professionals in the world. SFC founder Kelly Starrett is a coach, physical therapist, author, speaker, and healer. He has revolutionized how athletes think about human movement and athletic performance. I also swim at the pools at Equinox—the Palo Alto and San Mateo outdoor pools are my favorite.

Caroline Jordan Positively Fit

Rockyt: Are you training toward a particular fitness goal right now?

Caroline: My goal has always been to feel good, have energy, and be happy; to move well, with skill and intention; to make my workouts smart, balanced, and powerful. Oh, and to get a stronger butt, because that helps everything! Fitness is an incredible way to not only train your body, but train your mindset. If it’s stressing you out, you are doing it wrong. You are one workout away from a good mood and fitness can—and should be—a rewarding, and uplifting part of your lifestyle.

Rockyt: What’s your training regimen?

Caroline: To listen to my body and to do what it needs to feel good. Sometimes you need a challenging workout to feel better. A solid workout can balance the body, sweat away stress, and lift your energy. And sometimes you need a little more rest and TLC. Every day is different, and if you practice the skill of tuning in and listening to what your body needs, then you’ll move mindfully and feel your best for life

Rockyt: Do you take rest days?

Caroline: Yes I do! I love to write, so on rest days I catch up on writing, reading, or time with friends in the sunshine. I also am a huge fan of Epsom salt baths and foam rolling.

Jordan shares tons of wellness advice and tips on her blog and YouTube channel, and she’s published a book called Balanced Body Breakthrough. For updates on her weekly teaching schedule and special events, sign up for her email newsletter.”

Thank you Robyn and Rockyt for hosting me as a guest on your site! I am so touched by your warmhearted words and for the opportunity to support your work. To get the scoop on the latest shopping, beauty, and fitness in San Francisco, check out Rockyt.style on the website, facebook, and instagram. Get ready to have fun as you follow along with Robyn’s stylish adventures in San Francisco.

How do you stay “Positively Fit”? Are you training towards a particular goal right now? Do you take rest days too? Let me know your favorite way to train by leaving me a comment below.

Thanks for being a part of my community online and off. YOU bring so much joy into my life and help me stay “Positively Fit”!

Till next time my friends… make it a great day and keep shining.

Caroline

Drop the extremes, create lasting lifestyle change, and FEEL GOOD IN YOUR SKIN. Check out my list of services, stay connected about upcoming events by subscribing to my email newsletter, or contact me at carolinejordanfitness@gmail.com to discuss ways we can work together and live well.

Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief. Feel Better Fast With This Sciatic Nerve Routine.

You don’t have to live with pain! Sciatic Pain, or Sciatica, which is pain along the large sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg, can cause severe, debilitating pain. But there are all natural ways to ease and treat Sciatic Pain. Get Sciatica Pain Relief with this quick effective video routine.  Read on and press play.

Sciatica Pain Relief

Sciatica Pain Relief. Photo Credit Dan Goodman photography

SUBSCRIBE to my channel for videos to help you FEEL GOOD

LIKE Caroline Jordan Fitness on facebook and join the positive community to start living your healthiest, happiest life.

Hi Friends!

Are you struggling to overcome a “pain in the butt” sensation? Do you ever wake up feeling agonizing pain all the way from your upper thighs to your feet? Do you deal with nagging lower back pain that spreads downward and won’t seem to quit no matter what you try? You could be dealing with sciatic nerve pain, also called sciatica, which causes painful throbbing in the lower back and limbs. I am here to help you feel better!!

This is my second Sciatica Pain Relief video. View the first here and feel better fast here. 

These videos have helped people all over the world overcome Sciatic pain with an exercise routine designed specifically to help stabilize the pelvis and muscles of the hips, core, and butt to prevent and treat pain. In this video, I’ll guide you through simple stretches and strength exercises that will relieve sciatic pain and tension.

You’ll begin this therapy based workout session with a few simple stretches that will likely stop your pain immediately. Then I will lead you through a series of key exercises to strengthen your core, legs, and butt. These moves will help you develop the strength you need to stabilize the pelvis and live without sciatic pain. Once you are pain free continue to practice these exercises on your own to bring long lasting relief and prevent future flare ups.

Many doctors will tell you that you should stop training or stop the sport that caused the pain, however I believe that it is possible to overcome Sciatic pain and it’s symptoms with proper management and therapy based exercises like the exercises in this video. Movement is medicine. A regular physical stretching and strength routine will help you get rid of sciatic pain and live tension free. Repeat this routine as much as needed to keep your body feeling its best and live without sciatic pain. Ready to feel better? Press play.

Exercises for Sciatica Pain Relief.

Try this video and let me know how it makes you feel in the comments below. I hope it gives you Sciatica Pain Relief and helps your body feel better! As always, please check with your doctor to make sure these recommendations are right for you. Honor your body and be good to yourself. Stay strong and keep smiling my friends. Always cheering for you.

Love,

Caroline

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