Cardio Can Be Fun

Cardio Can Be Fun

Back when I was in college, I used to be a strict cardio bunny who never touched weights or barbells. My workout routine consisted of some light treadmill or elliptical work coupled with hiking and outdoor activities and plenty of weekend walking from frat party to frat party. I never followed any kind of strict schedule and was more of an occasional exerciser who hand little idea of how to exercise to achieve the body compositional changes I was seeking. Growing up I had been active through dance and sports but once I entered adult life, I realized it was going to take a lot more than just occasional elliptical training to see changes in my body and to build a long-term exercise routine. Cardio was my go-to exercise crutch for most of my late teens/ college years that was minimal effort and made me think that I was “healthy” enough that I did not have to do more…WRONG! Little did I know at the time that cardio alone would not help me in achieving my long-term body transformation goals.

When I first started my weight loss journey HIIT training was my new BFF. I did hours of cardio and body weight circuits in hopes of the fat melting off me like all the magazines raved. Much to my surprise, doing Fitness Blender cardio workouts in my dorm room worked! Once I started doing consistent cardio exercises 4-6 days a week the pounds started flying off me, yet my body did not look “fit” like I was hoping. Slowly I stepped away from the cardio and started doing more mixed training with some light weights, eventually finding my way into build building type training. Instantly I became obsessed with the way weightlifting made me feel and was even more hooked on the way it shaped and toned my cardio bunny body. Even with the resistance and weight training I was doing the fear of weight gain was real for me, so I kept doing at least 3 steady state cardio sessions per week. Sometimes I was lifting for an hour and doing elliptical training for a second hour to ensure I never got too “beefy” or “bulky” from the weightlifting alone, which I would later learn is a totally made up concept.

After losing 30lbs I basically abandoned all cardio training. I got bored of walking on the treadmill and doing long elliptical sessions and pretty much swore off steady state cardio. It wasn’t until I started training for a triathlon that cardio started to be interesting again, but even then, the idea of doing cardio on top of my strength training plan was a bore. I was desperately longing for a workout style or plan that would allow me to strength train all parts of my body while also getting that cardio training in all at once so I could get in and get out of the gym fast and have more time for my friends and social life.

WOD style workouts quickly caught my attention and interested when I joined Train Denver in 2018. What I love about short interval style workouts is the variety and opportunity to do both strength and cardio in one session. WOD’s combine the endurance and high rates of cardio with the power of strength training to provide me a mentally and physically challenging full body workout. Since joining Train Denver, I have learned how to create short cardio WOD’s for myself at home and have found that there are so many fun ways to get my cardio in! Tabata cardio is one of my favorite ways to get my heart rate up without getting bored. My go to cardio is a circuit is a mix of burpees, jumping jacks and skate jumps/lateral jumps. I have also found that even doing a short 1 mile run outside can be a great way for me to move mindfully, enjoy the summer weather and get my cardio in. 

Cardio training is super important for heart health as well as improving WOD endurance. Since adding in some extra cardio, I have been able to greatly improve my ability to push through when the WOD is long and my strength feels low and have found my athletic performance increasing across the board. Below are a few of my go-to sample WOD’s for when I want to get a quick home sweat in or just am in the mood for some fun cardio. These workouts are so easy to modify and personalize as well. Not feeling burpees, just sub another plyometric movement and you have yourself a full-on home WOD!

AMRAP 15 or 12

(As many reps as possible in a given time frame)

  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Sit-ups
  • 10 Push-u[s


(Every minute on the minute complete the given work, alternating movements)

  • 5 Burpees
  • 10 Box Jumps
  • 15 Jumping Jacks

3 Rounds For Time

  • 15 Jumping Lunges
  • 20 Burpees
  • 30 Sit Ups


(21 reps of each movement, 15 reps each movement, 9 reps each movement)

  • Push-ups
  • Skater Jumps
  • Kettlebell Swings

Making Time For Your Fitness Goals

Making Time For Your Fitness Goals

You cannot expect to reach your goals if you do not make time for them!

Literally every person I know has some kind of body or fitness/health goal in mind yet many of them are unwilling or in some cases unable to make the time to put in the work to reach those same goals. I know that finding time in your hectic schedule can be tricky but what it comes down to is priorities. We all have some kind of hierarchy of priority in our minds that ranks our daily habits and tasks according to importance and the key to making lifestyle changes is shifting that hierarchy to prioritize the habits and tasks needed to progress towards your goal. You cannot reasonable expect to change your habits or lifestyle without any effort and dedication, just like you cannot expect to show up and get a perfect score on the MCAT exam without studying or ever opening your biology textbook. 

Why is it that when faced with the opportunity to make changes to better achieve our goals so many of us fail? Fear, discomfort, unrealistic expectations are just a few of the reasons that come to mind. Achieving your fitness goals is entirely possible, dramatic body compositional change is also possible! I am here living proof every day that if you want something badly enough and work hard enough and put in the time, you can make progress and push past any obstacle. At first, when I began my weight loss journey, exercising and meal prepping was a huge chore! I absolutely hated spending time preparing my lunches and tracking and weighing food but ultimately, I knew it had to be done if I wanted to hit my macros each day and make progress towards my weight loss goals. Sacrificing a few hours on Sunday seemed like a fair price to pay for a little body compositional progress so eventually I put mind over matter and just did it week after week, slowly creating a process that worked for me and my lifestyle. The further I got in my weight loss journey the more I realized that these lifestyle changes were making me healthier and more put together across all areas of my life and helped me in managing my time better!

For me, one of the hardest parts of adopting new lifestyle habits was shifting my mindset from have to, to want to. Instead of saying I “have to” workout, meal prep or whatever I started saying “I want to” do those things and sure enough the time was there because instead of feeling like these things were chores, I was framing these tasks as being things I wanted to spend my time on. Take action towards your goals, make time for the things that matter to you and the more you choose to take steps towards your goal the sooner you will progress forward. I make my goals a priority by scheduling my workouts around my social activities and work schedule each week. Generally, I try my best to stick with my scheduled workouts despite unexpected plans and spontaneous activities popping up throughout my week. I find that the more I plan ahead and prepare, the better I am at making time for the habits and tasks that support my health and fitness goals.

Building time for fitness and meal planning into my schedule is what has helped me in not only maintaining momentum towards my goals but also has helped me create healthy routine in my life. The more I followed the routine I set out for myself with exercise and meal prepping each week, the easier and more natural it became for me to adhere to! Eventually, exercise and meal prep became a normal part of my life and I stopped having to think and plan so much to make my goals a priority. Three years later I have made significant changes to my lifestyle, lost 30 lbs. and gained a lot of self-respect and self-love in the process, but man was it hard and demanding at times! It’s never too late to chase your dreams and goals, but remember there is no change without hard work, time and dedication.

Stop Squatting Your Life Away

Stop Squatting Your Life Away

Ladies, there are so many more exercises than just squats! Nothing bothers me more than going to the gym and seeing women doing 1000 squats and donkey kickbacks on repeat for an hour. Since when was squatting the only exercise that “builds that booty”? Creating a workout routine and weightlifting split can be super confusing if you are just starting your fitness journey, especially when there are thousands of Instagram fitspo chicks trying to sell you on their latest fat burning guide and dozens of free workouts on the internet to choose from.

You do not need to do be doing a hundred squats a day or even a week to build the body of your dreams, you also do not need to be doing the exact same workout as Susie B Fitness to achieve results. Following someone else’s workout plan will not automatically yield the same results and often times the fitness influencers of Instagram do not know the first thing about creating an effective gym split. If your workout routine is just a big mix of various squats, banded butt focused exercises and a few light bicep curls thrown in, then chances are you are missing out on a ton of muscles that you could be working, which are equally as important for body re composition!

There are so many great leg/ lower-body focused movements out there that are not squats, yet for some reason the squat seems to have become the “trendy” movement of the moment. While squats are great, and definitely have a place in your workout routine, they do not need to be your sole focus if your goal is to grow your glutes or tighten your core. The Bulgarian split squat, a close cousin of the forward lunge, is a great movement for building your glutes, quads and for core stability. The Bulgarian split squat is a real burner and you will for sure be sore for a few days since it is a movement that works your whole body and demands a lot of focus and balance to complete. The Romanian or “stiff” leg deadlift is also a great movement for strengthening your hamstrings and glutes and is a good variation for switching up the conventional or sumo deadlift that can get a bit boring after weeks on end. A few of my other favorite leg and glute focused movements are elevated Plie squats, sumo squats, overhead squats and single leg glute bridges. Get creative and inspired with your leg days and try changing up your routine every 6-8 weeks to avoid burnout and boredom but be sure to focus on progressive overload and mind muscle connection for best results.

If you are blinding following some fitspo workout guide from Instagram doing squats on squats on squats, run! Run very far away! Throw that guide in the trash and give your butt a break. You should not be only training your lower body and should not be doing more than 2-3 leg focused days a week. Doing more squats and more leg days will not get you to your goals any faster, but it will likely cause you to have some serious muscle imbalances and weak areas that can lead to injury if you are not careful. The key to a good workout split is training each muscle group more than once a week and combining mainly large compound movements that work multiple muscles at a time, with a few accessory movements to work specific muscle groups or body parts. Be careful about what fitness influencers you are following and be super wary of buying any type of pre created workout plan, especially if you are new to working out. There is a lot of questionable exercise and fitness information out there and it can be super easy to fall into the trap of Instagram marketing and promotions that promise to deliver you a peach worthy butt in just 8 weeks by doing banded squats for 30 days straight. Look for certified, personal trainers and people who have more than just a fitness account on Instagram as their experience working in the health and fitness industry. A good trainer will be able to provide you with thoughtful, carefully planned and well explained information that is no BS when it comes to creating a workout plan.

So please, stop squatting your life away! There are so many more leg and glute focused exercises and full body movements in your fitness arsenal, so consider taking a break from never ending back squats and try progressing in a new movement. Your booty and back will greatly thank you!

Seeking The Great Perhaps

Seeking The Great Perhaps

I have been passionate about fashion and style since I was in third grade. My family and friends used to call me Coco, short for Coco Chanel, when I was little because I was so vocal about my love for being fashionable and on trend. I even tried to start a fashion magazine when I was nine years old, and organized a fashion show for my elementary school! This passion grew and provided me the drive to become a campus fashion blogger in college through CollegeFashionista and eventually prompted me to intern for a fashion focused PR agency in New York City before I graduated college. Little did I know I would move to Denver permanently and become a lover of Birkenstocks!

Despite being a fashion lover, clothing shopping and picking outfits has been a sore spot for me for as long as I can remember. Being in a bigger body when I was younger was a source of a lot of discomfort and frustration for me growing up. I never looked like the models I saw in magazines or actors on TV and always felt like fashion was reserved for those in more desirable shapes than my own. I tried every diet in the book and was constantly at war with myself because I never looked the same as the girls in magazines and every time I went shopping I was crushed to find out the latest fashion trends did not look the same on me as on others. I struggled with my weight on and off throughout high school and college, eventually getting to a place where I felt like I guess I should just give up and accept that I will never feel at peace or hell ever confident in myself. Luckily, that all changed when I approached my last semester of undergrad at the University of Denver. 

Three years ago I was inspired to change my life drastically. I was tired of feeling self conscious and hiding behind friends in photos and twisting my body at weird angles in the mirror hoping that I would wake up one morning magically different. I wanted to feel confident and free from the negative voice in my head that picked apart my body when I didn’t fit into the clothes I so desperately wanted to wear. In the summer of 2017 I began a journey that would soon change my life, I decided I wanted to be “healthy”. At the time I thought that meant losing the extra 30 pounds I had on my body but little did I know it would be so much more than that. Along the way I made some mistakes, treated my body poorly and lost myself a little bit however in the last year and half I have been able to find my stride.

Since 2017 I have successfully lost and kept off the pounds and have come to not only love my body but I am working towards body neutrality. I am finally at a point of acceptance with my body where it is at and am grateful for all that my body allows me to do. I have also found a sense of love and respect for myself that allows me to work towards a better me, both mentally and physically. 

Crossfit and yoga have provided me a safe space to move and challenge my body with intention and love and not from a place hate. In the past I have tried to hate myself skinny to find that when you finally reach that goal number you will not be any happier with your life. Finding an exercise routine that works for me has taken me a long time and I am so grateful for my past experiences for those have all helped me in shaping who I am and who I want to become. This blog was created to help me speak my truth and share the advice, wisdom and words that have helped me on my journey to build the happiest and healthiest version of myself. Get ready for more about my healthy habits and body confidence coming soon!