I'm bringing my friends, Lauren and Kelly, from SISSFiT onto the podcast today. They’ve created a company and app that helps women have fun while doing cardio while being coached through the whole process. In today’s episode, we had a great conversation about comparison with our former selves, and that maybe cardio doesn’t have to be boring. So without further ado, let’s get into it!
Find show notes at bicepsafterbabies.com/171
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- Free Cardio Challenge (4:25, 22:42)
- An athlete is anyone who looks for consistent continuous improvement (9:22, 9:39)
- Cardiovascular workout versus strength workout(12:26, 27:50)
- Cardio and its benefits (18:11)
- FASTER by SISSfit App (20:39, 21:36)
- Tracking heart rate (27:10)
- Mindset on how we can use workouts to fuel the rest of our lives and our motivation and our discipline and our consistency (34:09)
- Life changes are different and you are in control of them (34:52, 38:12, 39:26, 40:20)
You're listening to Biceps after Babies radio episode number 171
Hello and welcome to Biceps after Babies radio. A podcast for ladies who know that fitness is about so much more than pounds lost or PRs. It's about feeling confident in your skin and empowered in your life. I'm your host, Amber Brueseke, a registered nurse, personal trainer, wife, and mom of four. Each week, my guests and I will excite and motivate you to take action in your own personal fitness as we talk about nutrition, exercise mindset, personal development, and executing life with conscious intention. If your goal is to look, feel, and be strong and experience transformation from the inside out, you, my friend are in the right place. Thank you for tuning in, now let’s jump into today’s episode.
Amber B 0:46
Hey, Hey, Hey, welcome back to another episode of Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm your host Amber Brueseke. And today we're talking all about cardio. This is a topic that a lot of people ask me questions about and a lot of people request. I actually have a really good, if I do say so myself, podcast episode about cardio already. It's episode 96. And it's called how much cardio should I do? And in that episode, I'm really answering that question that a lot of people ask is what should my split be between cardio and weights? And should I be doing more or less cardio? What's that sweet spot? How much should I be doing? And I answered that question in that episode. But what I don't answer in that episode is kind of the next step of like, once you figure out how much cardio you can or should be doing based off of your goals and your body type and things like that, then it's like, “Okay, now I know I need to do cardio, so like, now what? How do I do cardio? What type of cardio do I do? Like how do I make sure it's enjoyable? How do I make sure it's actually helping me reach my goals?” And so that's the purpose of today's episode.
Amber B 1:52
And I'm bringing on my friends, Lauren and Kelly from SISS Fit. And they are all about helping women with cardio. And you'll hear in the episode that they're both division one track runners. And they now have created a company and a brand and an app that helps women to be able to have fun doing cardio and be able to coach you through the process. And we'll talk a little bit about their app, because it's pretty freaking cool, in the episode, but really the point of this is to help you to say, “Okay, I'm going to do cardio. Now, what are some things I need to think about? How do I make this fun? How do I make this something that I enjoy? How do I fit it into my day?” We talk in this episode, one of the favorite things that came out of this episode was not something that I planned going into it, but we had a really great conversation about comparison to the person you are now, or the body you have now, or the fitness level that you are now, versus a previous version of yourself. And make sure you listen when we talk about that because I think it was such a beautiful organic thing that came out of this podcast episode as I was talking to Lauren and Kelly about this comparison that we tend to do with former versions of ourselves, or past versions of ourselves.
Amber B 3:07
So that's what this podcast episode is about. In the podcast episode, I also share that Lauren and Kelly are going to be doing a free challenge. And it's going to be inside of their app, so they're going to give you free access to their app. And in the app, they have this really cool feature where you are on a treadmill or you're running outside or whatever you're doing, but they're essentially like in your ear coaching you the entire time. And Ann from our team has been using the app cuz she likes to run and she's loving it. She just said it's so amazing to have somebody in your ear telling you what to do throughout the whole workout.
Amber B 3:43
I think one of the hardest things with cardio is that we find it really boring and static. Like we just the only thing we can think of is like, “I just go out and run outside, or I just go and hop on the bike, or just go hop on the rower.” Where in reality, we can, you can do a lot with that tempo, speed, recovery, and you know, shooting your heart rate up and recovering after that. And having somebody be able to walk you through that in your ear is really valuable. Anyway, they have a really great app. And so they invited me and asked if I wanted to, during this challenge, teach a little bit about the Macros and the mindset side of things. And I said, “Heck yeah, that sounds like such a good matchup.” You guys do the cardio stuff, which is not really my thing, but I will talk about nutrition and the mindset.
Amber B 4:25
So they're running this challenge. And if you want to come and sign up for it, it starts in two weeks on December 6, go to bicepsafterbabies.com/cardiochallenge. And I'll send you to the link so that you can sign up for that free challenge. You'll get access, like I said to the app, and they're going to prizes and a community and if you've been wanting to like up your cardio game or include more cardio, if that's something that you want to have in your plan, then I highly recommend coming in and joining us for the challenge. So that's bicepsafterbabies.com/cardiochallenge. And we'll be running that together in December. All right. Without further ado, let's hop into the interview with Lauren and Kelly.
Amber B 5:09
Welcome Lauren and Kelly, how are you guys doing this morning?
Hey, how are you?
How are you?
Amber B 5:15
I am so good, and I'm so excited to talk about this topic because it's one that is, like, I feel like what we're going to talk about today is great because it's something in the realm of fitness. It's something in the realm that people really want to learn about, and it's not like my expertise. And so I always thought, like, let's bring on people who this is their expertise, and that's you guys. So let's start off before we dive into this topic about cardio, tell us a little bit about you guys. Tell us a bit about what your relationship is, what your business is, how that all kind of got started.
Sure, this is Kelly, I'll hop in and start with this one. So our relationship is that Lauren and I are sisters. Lauren is my older sister. And we are about three years apart. So we were lucky, we grew up really close, we actually ran track and field together on the same high school and college team. So we're both division one track and field athletes. And we started SISSFit, gosh, about five years ago back in 2016. And our entire reasoning for starting the system was because we felt like there was such a void in the high intensity cardio niche. And being former division one track and field athletes, we went from training for five hours a day on the track, just really, really rigorous to-
Amber B 6:28
Okay, wait, hold on, wait five hours a day? You guys are freaking mad like, I can't even imagine.
Yeah, well, more Lauren, so she was a heptathlete, which is seven events, she can explain more about that. But so when you're trying to master so many events, and I was a hurdler, you have your strength training, you have your cardio, you have all of the recovery in the training room, like it's just, it's very intense. And that pretty much is your job simultaneously to obviously being a student as well. So that was an adjustment going to full time modeling for Lauren and a full time corporate career. For me, it was like, “Whoa, what do we do now?”
Amber B 7:04
Yeah, so, wait, talk about that a little bit because I feel like for first of all, like five hours of anything is a ton of time. And I mean, I know you said you're doing things other than cardio, but my mind immediately went to, “Oh my gosh, five hours of cardio, I think I wouldn't die.”
No, we would die too.
Amber B 7:19
Like brought in that that was like including a whole bunch of different things. But I think that that's such a huge change to go from being a division one athlete five hours a day, like training all of the things to then once that career is over, and you're kind of or I don't know, I don't you just call your career over. But once you're moving on to like that next phase of life where that isn't all you do all day, every day, like what does that transition like?
Yeah, this is Lauren now, I would say it's a huge transition. And I think a lot of I mean, just generally speaking, our teammates could relate to the fact that your identity, everything you do, and you know, is being a student athlete, and a lot of times even focusing on the athletic side of things. And I mean, we're grateful that our parents always instilled that academics comes first. And we knew that we were going to have to succeed academically in order to have a strong, you know, career moving forward. But it's really easy to get caught up in the athletic side of it. And then all of a sudden, you have your last meet, and you graduate, and now what? And you're used to training all these hours and staying fit and having a dear identity to all of a sudden we're working long hours. And I was in a corporate career, we were both traveling a ton. And now we've got client dinners, and we've got early call times and we're out until late. We don't have access to a gym, we're dealing with jetlag. But we still want to feel the way that we did as athletes and not lose. I guess that health focused mind. And so that's kind of where SISSFit started from.
Amber B 8:47
So here's a question for you guys, do you guys still consider yourselves athletes?
Yeah. Yeah, I think so.
Amber B 8:59
I mean, I'm just so interesting, because I feel like I consider myself an athlete, but I also was never like a division one, anything other than students. I wonder about that transition, if it's like, you actually really know what an athlete is like and who's really like, that's where that's really your identity. So I'm just, you know, curious as to like, do you still consider yourself an athlete?
That's a good question. I mean, I do but I also consider anyone who is looking for consistent continuous improvement is an athlete, in the fitness realm and more nutrition. So it's like you're constantly working towards bettering yourself, like, I think that is the athlete mentality, and that's more how you relate as an athlete. So Laura might have a different answer.
No, I absolutely agree. And I think it's a great question. It's something we call all of our community athletes. I mean, if you are doing these workouts, if you're putting yourself out there and you're putting in that effort, you are an athlete, there's no question about that in my mind. Yeah.
Amber B 9:51
Well, I love that idea of continuous improvement. You know, I talk about how it's possible to hold both simultaneously. You can, you know, love that you haven't worked for the body you want, you can appreciate where you're at and want to go somewhere else. Like, I think we can hold both of those simultaneously. And to me, that's kind of what is incorporated in that, like you, you have a desire to do something different to grow to, like, continue to push to, like, reach that next level. And I think that is really the heart of what an athlete is. Somebody wants to do more
Definitely! Gave me the chills.
Amber B 10:23
Yeah, so good. Okay, cool. So division one athletes, did you guys start SissFit when you guys were in college or was it post-college for you guys?
No, it was about four years post-college for me, Kelly. So we were a few years out. But what held Lauren and I together. So we actually lived together a few years in college, we trained together, we were really, really close. We still of course are. But when we went opposite directions in our careers, we were both traveling constantly. So our connection point, pretty much working out, was, “Hey, I'm in. I might have been in Fargo, North Dakota in a random hotel gym that has one kind of slow treadmill and no dumbbells and Lauren's in another country.” And we would just text and be like, “Hey, I'm doing this workout today.” Or, “why don't you try this one? What do you think?” And we would just go back and forth with really efficient workouts that a lot of times we're not what our preference would be. And that's what kept us together and realizing like one accountability is huge, and to work with what you have is huge. And those small, consistent efforts kept us where we wanted to be, which had we have thought about that five years ago, we'd be like, there's no way you can be fit. If you're not training five hours a day, it's just not possible.
Amber B 11:35
Yeah, not possible. And now-
You're like, well, you're forced into figuring out that it definitely is possible.
Amber B 11:41
Right? Exactly. And I think that's really valuable. Okay, so what would you say is the biggest difference, cuz you guys mentioned that you as a, you know, an athlete, a division one athlete, you were doing strength training, you were doing recovery, you're doing cardio, you're kind of doing all these different pieces, and as your time gets cut down from five hours a day to maybe 20 minutes in a day, you're not necessarily able to do all 50 different types of working out. So what is the difference between a cardiovascular workout versus a strength workout? And how have you guys been able to find the balance between those two training modalities in being an athlete in this stage of your life?
So we definitely like to alternate between the two. And first and foremost, Lauren and I were sprinters in college. A lot of times people assume you're running marathons, and you're a distance runner, and you just want cardio, cardio, cardio. Before we even start any of this off, we find strength and cardio to be equally as important. They definitely were athletes, because you needed that power, you needed all the strength in order to do the sprints. So we like to alternate. But our goal, whether we're utilizing resistance training or cardio, is to always accelerate our heart rate and then drop down for periods of rest. So even in our strength training, we will do little cardio bursts of maybe burpees or squat jumps, and then our heavier lifting, but the goal is always to get your heart rate up and back down. Because if you have 20 minutes, you really want to maximize that time. But we typically, I would say three cardio days per week and to strength is our what we found to be the sweet spot and alternating the two to not get burnt out.
Amber B 13:24
Okay, so one. So what you had said earlier was that you had seen a space in the fitness industry in terms of high intensity cardio that was quick and effective and that's kind of what led you to the space of starting SissFit. So we talk a little bit more about that. You know, this idea of when we say cardio, people typically have like a one track mind of like, this is what cardio is kind of like you said, people assume you're running marathons, right? It's like you go out and run for four miles, and that's cardio. But in reality, there's so many different types of cardio and we can really structure our cardio in different ways. So we kind of speak more to the difference between maybe a more long-distance cardio versus a more high-intensity interval training style and what would be the benefit of one versus the other?
Yes, I love that you asked this question because, Kelly and I, although, there's nothing against long distance cardio and marathon training and all of that, that's not our personal style, I think. Coming from being on the track, we got such kind of high and an endorphin rush from sprints even up to like training on those harder days for the 400-800 that type of thing, even if our events were shorter, and you just feel so strong, so powerful, so energized from those types of workouts, but then transitioning that off the track, it was kind of like, “Shoot, now what?” Because we're not able to get to the track all the time, especially working in corporate and travel heavy careers. And so we also told ourselves, we would never get on a treadmill, we are used to training outside, we hate treadmills. And we actually stumbled into a group fitness class together one time. And at the time, we were not really into group fitness, we took this workout and it was all treadmill based interval training, where you're sprinting for a minute, you're either jogging or walking for a minute, and mentally, that was so much easier for us to wrap our heads around, because we got that break, but we also got that high of pushing our bodies as hard as we wanted to for a short period of time. And so we kind of walked out of the class like, “Holy smokes, this is something that we can do.” And I think this, these are workouts that we can write, and that we could excel in writing, because we understand and we can empathize with the level that we want our athletes to push you, but also, it's going to give us the results we're, after it's going to give us the energy, we're after the endorphins. And that was kind of the lightbulb moment where we're like, “Hey, we, we can do this, and not every trainer out there is doing this.” And so I would say that's kind of what you would say that's what spurred our initial thoughts of writing workouts like this.
Definitely that did. And then also, injuries that we had throughout college that forced us in different modalities, whether that was the elliptical or getting in the pool, or even doing like the sit-down-arm-bite that people have probably not even seen in the gym, It's like the old one that's archaic, but you just realize that there's if there's a will, there's a way and there's so many different ways to accomplish that heart rate spike, followed by the recovery period. And so that's where we just encourage people to find what works for them. And it doesn't need to be running to be equally as effective. It's still the principles of the HIIT training that we find to be just super effective mentally and physically.
Amber B 16:40
Yeah, and that kind of leads into the next question that I wanted to talk to you guys about. And that was and I think we run in different circles, right in some ways on Instagram and so I definitely run in the circle of like, the type of people who really like to bash cardio and like, “It's always every day and like cardio stupid and like cardio cardio and like-” You know, that whole like realm? And you know, people who just like really like to hate on cardio, like “Don't want to do it, don't like to do it, it's stupid and all that you guys probably run a maybe a different circle.” That definitely is a circle of people like that on the internet.
Amber B 17:19
And you know, I, listeners will laugh because I think I'm so moderate on like everything, it's like, one extreme to the other. It's like, we don't have to have just weightlifting or just cardio like we can have both, like in the middle. But what would you say to someone who maybe feels a little stuck in that mindset of like, they don't like cardio? Like, they don't want to do it. It's not fun for them. They don't enjoy it. Is that something that they can or should learn to enjoy? Or, you know, what have you found that makes it enjoyable, like makes it actually more fun? Because we all know that something has to be fun for you to like and actually stick to it.
Yeah, absolutely. And I would say as we were in that camp, we hated cardio.
Amber B 18:02
Yeah. Okay, so it makes me feel so much better. It's like you guys actually understand what it's like to hate cardio.
Yeah, we like to race track and field. We hated cardio.
Yeah, definitely. I think it was realizing how good we felt after and the overall benefits. I mean, and to your point, we still love lifting heavy. I mean, we don't go to a gym where we can do Olympic lifting all the time, but we did Olympic lifting as athletes in college and they see a place for lifting and strength training on all of that. I would challenge someone who is in the strength heavy space to maybe even start not even with running or biking or elliptical, but just maybe mix in some spurts of burpees or some high knee running or jump on the rower like a lot of times if you're in a CrossFit class, you know, there are those bouts of cardio and see how that feels first. And if you're open to it, I think Kelley and I focus on audio coaching and we have a faster basis for that.
And that's honestly like our sole intention of the app is to be able to be there with you as a coach and get in your head and say, “I know this hurts right now, I know it's not that fun, but it's such a short period of time, you've got 15 seconds, then you're going to get a minute to walk or do it ever you need to, we're here with you just push that line.” And I think learning how to mentally push makes you feel so strong and so empowered. And it's a skill that you can take over into the rest of your life, whether it's like finishing a couple of emails at the end of the day when you're exhausted or like getting through, you know those dinners and bass with young kids and you're just like ready to lose your mind. But you just build those mental strength and I think that's what high intensity cardio can do for you. And so we like to try and make it more enjoyable by coaching you so that you feel like someone's in it with you, someone's doing it with you. And then beyond that, our favorite way is running community group challenges. And so, Amber, I know you've got great group challenges so you're familiar with that. But for anyone that's not, we put a program in our app, everyone follows the same program. We've got a Facebook community so everyone can kind of say, “Hey, like, we can all hate this workout together.” It was-
Amber B 20:09
Commiserate about that. It's like CrossFit. It's totally off-topic, but there's like pie graphs that will show like what you actually do in CrossFit. And it's like, a little bit of like, the warm up and a little bit is like, the workout and then the rest is like complaining about the workout. That's what I think about it. Like, no, like commiserate about how terrible the workout was.
Totally there, unfortunately, way to get it commiserating with each other. That's probably like something to work out.
Alright, well, I guess I better do this. Let's go.
Yeah, at least the clock's ticking at us where you've only got 30 seconds to get those right because we got to go again. But yeah, so our group challenges are really fun. We also like to mix it up by adding in, some giveaways, we love giveaways, everyone loves to, you know, check out their workouts, we've got a spreadsheet, so you can literally check your boxes as you go, you can engage in that group and see just kind of what other people are up against as well in their day like. A lot of times people are getting before you and you're like, “Geez, I thought getting up at 6am was gonna be rough today. I guess I can do it, if they can do it.” Or just seeing people crush their workout and get to celebrate with them. So community's a really fun way, having those giveaways, having the spreadsheet. And yeah, and I think that's probably our favorite way of getting people engaged in and trying something new. I think it also adds that element of consistency. And once you're consistent with those little efforts over time, you see so much progress that you don't want to stop doing something.
Amber B 21:36
Yeah, I think cardio, oftentimes, it feels very lonely. Like, it's like, “Oh, I gotta go, like, go for a run and like, be with my thoughts or like, listen to music, or I gotta like-” It just feels very lonely. And one of the things that I like about your guys' app is that it stops feeling lonely, because it's like somebody is like they're with you. Even if only in your earbud of like, commiserating with you or like telling you that like, you know, “Here's what's coming, here's what's next.” It's what I get at CrossFit, like I would never push as hard as I do at CrossFit with, like, a coach there. And other people they're doing it alongside me. And I think what you guys have done so well on the app is really harness that power of community, even if you are literally on the treadmill by yourself of like having that person who's there to push you, you're always going to push harder, like you're always going to be more enjoyable when like someone when you just have to like get on the treadmill. “Okay, now someone's gonna take over the whole workout, someone's gonna tell me what to do, they're going to tell me when to push, they're gonna tell me when to rest.” And I just have to like, listen and do what the person says. I think it's such a great way to improve, improve the experience of cardio being lonely.
Amber B 22:41
Yeah. And two, I want to mention, so Lauren was talking about the cardio challenge that they have coming up, and that they actually have one coming up in a couple of weeks. And we have a link to that. So if you guys are interested in being able to like go through having a community commiserating with that community, about the workouts, maybe you've been someone who you've been wanting to include more cardio, and you're not really sure how to do that, or how to make it fun, I highly, highly suggest their challenge, I'm actually going to be teaching some stuff in it as well about nutrition, but they're the cardio Queens, and so I'm gonna let them do that aspect of it. But if that's interesting to you, you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/cardiochallenge. and you can sign up, it's free, it's a free challenge. And I am really excited about it. Because it's going to be rolling into the holidays, which tends to be like a dark and gloomy time for a lot of people where it's cold outside and it's the holidays. And so things fall by the wayside. And I think this is just a fun way to make it. Like reinvigorate.
Yeah, and actually, one thing I would love to add to that, and I know we were just talking about strength, and specifically those that love strength training, all of the workouts in this challenge are going to be what we call: Tread and Tread Style. And we will have, we'll have options for those of you that don't have treads, treadmills, um, but the idea is that it's a combination of like eight or 12 minute rounds on the treadmill. So really quick, anyone can handle eight minutes on a treadmill.
And it's not 12 minutes of straight training.
And then you'll head down to the floor, and you'll do strength training first eight, nine or 12 minutes, then you'll be back up on the treadmill, then back on the floor. And so it's just that alternating these workouts are a little bit longer for us and at least two or three workouts per week. So that's also one of the awesome things about this challenge is. Most of the time we'll give you a 30 minute workout Monday through Friday and we'll alternate cardio and strength. These ones by nature are a little bit more intense, they're a little bit longer so you'll only have workouts Monday, Wednesday, Friday and that'll give you full rest days to just kind of like regroup, get excited about it get ready for the next workout and that will be also the perfect opportunity to work with you Amber and have you, you know, educate a little bit on the health nutrition mentality side of things which will be so valuable for I think both recommended.
Amber B 25:00
Yeah, we're excited, Ann is one of our members on our team, and she's, she's more of a runner than I am. And she's been using the app. And she's like, “It's so good.” Like, she just really, really has enjoyed using the app. And she's like, this is like, “Just, just what I needed.” So yeah, I'm really excited for those of you who feel like it would be a good fit for you that you're like, “Oh, yeah, I would like to make cardio a little bit more enjoyable.” I think that this is a great way to kind of tiptoe your little feetsies into something that could be a little bit more fun. It's awesome.
Amber B 25:31
So I'm curious. So whenever I start talking about cardio, people ask me some of the same questions over and over again, so instead of me answering them, I'm going to actually ask you guys to answer them. So one of the biggest questions that people ask me is if I train fasted or fed, so I'm curious about you guys, do you guys train fasted or fed when you do your cardio?
So this is definitely one of those ones that is personal preference. And we are not nutritionists, dietitians. We go off of personal preference. But Lauren and I have always like to train fast or fast, I'm sorry, fed, very much fed. But we do smaller meals, like we typically work out in the mornings, or if it's afternoon, we'll do a small snack where we balance our Macros. So it's just enough to give us that energy. Because when it isn't an intense workout, you truly feel like you're pulling from all your energy stores. And if we're running on nothing, it just doesn't feel like nourishing and energizing for us. But again, that's one of those personal preferences.
Amber B 26:32
Totally. Yeah. Are you the same way Lauren?
I am the same way. Yeah, actually, I'm probably even more so than Kelly, I need to have food in my stomach, or else. I feel like, again, I'll get halfway through workout and I'll just be like, I have no energy, I have nothing to pull from. And then I also feel like am I just, I know, maybe it's not true. But I almost feel like I've been burning muscle and things that I don't need to be like, I want that energy. So then I can get everything I can out of my body. And then I can eat, you know, protein and that sort of thing after to then rebuild that muscle.
Amber B 27:04
Yeah, awesome. Okay, what about tracking your heart rate during your guys's workouts? You guys do that?
I know Kelly is laughing at me for this one because I'm such a data nut. I do track my heart rate and Kelly does not. And I don't necessarily track it. I mean, let's see, I do track it. I don't pay super close attention to it. I wouldn't say I mean, if I'm pregnant, I definitely have two little ones. So during my pregnancy, I definitely did key into that. But I just like to do it to see where I'm at to see how hard I push that day to see how high my heart rate got to see what my average heart rate was throughout a workout. And then it's also really fun when you're interval training. Because you see those peaks and valleys, it is so clear when you're working hard and when you're resting. And just to kind of see that progression throughout a workout is really fascinating to me.
Amber B 27:50
Yeah, it's awesome. So one of the things that I think is really interesting and helpful for people to understand in terms of cardio versus weights, is that with weight training, we typically do the same things over and over and over again, right? That's like progressive overload if you do the exact same left and you try to do one more rep or you try to do a little bit more weight, right? And so it's like weeks a week, your workouts can look very similar. Whereas with cardio, our bodies tend to adapt a little bit quicker with cardio, and you can really stagnant it's like anybody who has trained for a marathon or, you know, like, had that kind of training where you're just like doing the kind of the same type of running every single day, it will get you to one level of fitness
And then you talk to those like expert marathoners and they actually are changing up their cardio a whole bunch. They're doing sprint days and hill days and long days and short days. And like I don't know, there's a word that starts with an F that you guys probably know about Fartlek training. But like they're doing all these types of training that are all different. And so I'm curious for you guys, how often are you changing up that cardio? Day-to-day, week-to week? What does that look like for you? Is it in order to like help with that adaptation or is it just because you're bored?
We constantly change that. Part can be boredom, part can be adaptation, a lot is injury prevention, I would say number one reason to change it up because it doesn't matter what cardio you do can still be pretty high impact. I mean, most of the time people are running of course. And so for Lauren and me, having suffered injuries back in college, we change up the running that we do and that keeps us a lot healthier. So we might be doing a track workout one day, or a tread workout another day, or running stairs, or hills, or hopping on the elliptical, if you really want to cross train. So I think that it just does so much for not plateauing mentally for changing it up, so you're excited to do the different modality each time, but we definitely stick to a routine to where is like Tuesdays we love doing track workouts or, you know, Thursdays we love doing tread I do think that having routine is super important to have the consistency of showing up in knowing what you're going to do and progressing in that specific cardio workout. But that being said, we constantly mix it up. And we encourage our community too, as well, because a lot of times you get stuck in that I just want to do it. Or I just want to go outside and run. And a lot of times you have that same strike pattern. If you are in fact running, you're just getting the same impact in that same place over and over and over again. But you can of course get strength training as well. So I think the more that you can mix that up, the better for your body, to not only plateau, but yeah, with injury prevention is huge as we get older.
Yeah, and one thing to add to that, with strength training, and thanks because you're you're lifting weights, and you can see that progression, you can see that you're doing more, or you're lifting heavier. And that's really important for us in cardio as well. So we will track all of our workouts, if we're running a track workout, we'll write down our time, we'll make sure to write down our rest, because that's really important, it has a big impact on how hard you're pushing, how fast you're running, that sort of thing. And beyond that, it's also so key to how we structure all of our workouts, we're very specific. So you're never gonna be left on the treadmill, just saying, Okay, you're pushing yourself for the next minute, we will always tell you exactly how fast to be running exactly what incline to be running at. And we allow you to find your base, so everyone is working from their own personal base. But if that means your base is a five mile per hour jog, you're doing the entire workout based off of that five mile per hour jog. And we have full programs where you progress through, say, a series of 12 workouts, and you'll do the entire program at five miles per hour, then we challenge you to go back and try it again at your base being 5.5 miles per hour. So you can see and feel that progression and see yourself getting faster and stronger throughout. And we also I, was gonna say during outdoor runs, we coach you specifically as well, that's a little more perceived exertion, but we're and then we'll tell you, you know, track your mileage, see how far you went in that 28 minute run, and see the next time you do that run, can you run a little bit further? And so we love to push you guys to reach new goals as well.
Amber B 32:03
I think that and maybe that's one of the things that a lot of people struggle with cardio is it's like, “I don't see any progress.” Like when it's like weight training, it's like “I lifted five pounds heavier than I lifted last time and like I just got a PR on my squad and it can feed that need to continually improve as an athlete can and should.” And I love that you guys are speaking to how you can incorporate that same level of excitement of like PR in a cardio sense and can and should be doing that. And that again is another thing going back to that like how do we make cardio more exciting? How do we make it more fun? I know for me, if I'm able to like shoot for a PR that's gonna make cardio way more fun than like going for a three mile run?
I wouldn't do it if it weren't. Kelly laughed to me yesterday, we were actually running stairs and I was like, “Hang on guys. I gotta run back to my car for something.” And I get back to my car come back. She's like “You're grabbing your watch, huh?” Yeah, because these workouts are pointless if I don't time it.
Amber B 33:06
I have to know my time. And I have to beat my time. I think that definitely is like the athlete to like, like competitiveness,
Whether it's having a benchmark too.
Amber B 33:17
Yeah, for sure. Absolutely. I think that's so awesome. So for you guys now and I know you guys are in different stages of your life, Lauren, you have kids, Kelly, you don't have kids yet, but you're in a corporate job, and you're like working a bunch and you guys are running SissFit. And it's like, it's a different stage of life. So what are you guys currently working on in terms of your health and fitness goals? What's driving you right now?
I'll take that one. So honestly, we just love feeling like we have a strong base, and we're progressing toward something further. So as we just discussed, we keep track of all our workouts, and we want to see that improvement. But we also really want balance, and we're enjoying being able to pick and choose the workouts that feel good, but that also are helping us to grow. And Kelly, what would you add to that?
Well, I mean, I would say for you, yours is more sanity. So we're probably training at slightly different levels to where Lauren is like, and wants to just hit closer to that like high high athlete level. And I'm kind of in the mode of, it's funny, I keep saying I'm like I'm not being lazy, I'm just at that 80% Just at this stage of life, don't want to push that 100% But then next month, I might change my mind. And I'll be like all 100% but definitely always knowing that at any given workout or any given time we can progress and push ourselves to be a little bit better than we were yesterday. And so I think that constantly our mindset is just how we can use these workouts to fuel the rest of our lives and our motivation and our discipline and our consistency. So yeah.
Amber B 34:52
So here's a question that just came to me as you were talking to Kelly. And I'm gonna try and form it in my mind because what I was starting to think about was just how many people we have, who have gone through Macros 101 or have gone through coaching and they feel like at some time in their life, they were, you know, ex-weight, ex-fitness level, like, you know, at that peak, and here they are, you know, five years later, and they're not really in that same shape that they were five years ago. And oftentimes, there's this like longing to be back there. It's like, “I was there once like, but I'm not there right now, and there's a problem with that.” Right? It's like, hard to accept that, like, I'm not at the same fitness level as I was five years ago.And so as you were speaking to that, I'm just curious how, because I think we go through phases, like all of us go through phases in our life, and sometimes you're better than others, and sometimes you have more time than others, and sometimes you're a decent athlete, and sometimes you're not, you know, and we all go through these phases, but how do you get to that place where you're okay with that, recognizing, like, “Hey, I used to be a lot fitter, I used to be able to run that a lot faster. And I'm not at that place right now.” And that's okay. And I can, I can own that. And I can accept it. And I can still work to push myself. But I can make peace with the fact that, like, maybe I can't run a 440 as fast as I used to be able to a long time ago, we kind of just speak to like, where how you've gotten to that place? Yeah, no, that's so valuable. I think, for me, at least it was a stripping down during COVID, of feeling like I just, I'm going through the motions, I'm still getting out there, I want to keep my consistency, but I just lost a bit of that drive. And I think we all experienced that, right? You're not going to be at peak motivation. That's one of the things you talk about a ton in your Macros 101, which I love, you're like, I'm not always gonna wake up and be like, “Wait, let's do this, like I'm all in.” And so for me, I just threw COVID. And then I had a hamstring pull semi recently.And that's just been a nagging injury of mine. And I just had to let off a bit. But then I realized, during this stage of my life, it feels good to let off of it, like pushing 80% versus 100%. I don't feel quite as depleted, and I just feel more energized. And this is what feels good right now. And I have weeks where I want to just go full force too. But I think just realizing that life stages are different, and you're in control of them. And you can always change them, but just be okay with what you're prioritizing at that time. Yeah, that makes sense.
Amber B 37:16
Yeah. And I think it really does come down to like recognizing that not everything can be a priority at all times in your life. And not at one point in your life, like running really was the priority, right? You were a student athlete, it was like your school and like you're running, and then life changes and other things become priorities, and you get a job or you have kids or you're traveling, like whatever, and it's okay that it's not as big of a priority. It doesn't mean anything is wrong. It's okay to like I said, except those like different ebbs and flows of life.
And that's where it's nice too to have. Sometimes measurability can beat you up, right?
Amber B 37:50
So that's kind of what I was like, “Yeah, yeah, it's like, if you have numbers, it's very evident that you're not as fit as you used to be, or that you don't weigh the same amount as you used to be or whatever, you don't fit the same pants, what I mean, whatever that thing is, where you're like, longing for that, when you have those data points, it's really easy to then go to that next thing is like, no, it's like, I'm really not there. Because I'm not there. Because the numbers.”
It takes a while to get that acceptance, but I do think that you can, like I dropped my job pace, like in our assistant, you know, kind of like metrics. And I was like, almost ashamed. I'm like, “Lauren, man, I'm going at this lower job pace.” And I'm like, but that is where I'm at. Right? So that's where I need to take this from. And that does not mean that I can't progress, but just be realistic. And it's definitely taking time because Lauren and I are both very Taipei's. So it's a little bit humbling, but at the same time, I'm like, but I've been able to, you know, travel and do these things that you know, if I had children in this busy lifestyle, like I wouldn't be able to. So that means I can go out to dinner and drinks with friends, and I can do these different things to where it's still a priority for me. But like I said, it's just different priorities at different times. And I think just having that acceptance, and not constantly comparing yourself to your former self, which we are all so guilty of the biggest comparison I think we all have, right? Just letting that go and saying like, “Yeah, but this version is different in so many ways.” And if you were comparing not just fitness metrics, you probably enjoy this version of yourself, way more than that one that was at your leanest, or fastest time, right? You might love that you have a different balance and that you're not stressing over certain things, or that you have more free time. Like, I just think there's more that comes into play, but we focus on the fitness numbers more.
Amber B 39:26
And I think it's the most insidious comparison that can happen to you because we compare to other people, but then on some level, we do understand we're like, well, they're different than me like you know, they're a different person than me. So I think it's a little bit more insidious when we start comparing ourselves because we start to convince ourselves well like, I'm the same person so why is there this difference? But I think what you said, Kelly, is so valuable. It's still like an apples and oranges comparison because, yeah, you're the same person. But are you really the same person? Like do you have different needs or desires or time constraints or like age, right? You're not the same person because you're, you're older, like, in different phase of life, and so it's insidious, because we think it's a good comparison because it's us. But in reality, it still is like this apples to oranges comparison, because you're at a different stage of life. It's a different phase and different age and all those things.
Totally. I was gonna jump in on one thing I was gonna say, I'm so glad first of all, that you brought this up, because this is something that comes up for us in our community all the time too, and it's looking back at photos, “Why don't I look that way?” Yeah, you know, all of those things. And one of the things we say is Kelly and I like to kind of wipe the slate clean every, you know, year to two years and just go, “Hey, okay, let's look back at where I was two years ago, life as a whole, everything going on. And let's look at where we are at now.” So for me, I might be in a better fitness space right now, because I don't have a newborn anymore. But when I was looking at that two years ago, and looking back then it was a completely different place.
So just kind of realizing overall things are different. Let's focus on where we're at right now. And like, if we're in one of those exciting building phases, let's mark everything down, and let's go from there. But then to Kelly's point, you know, she's like, “Hey, I, you know, I dropped my jog pace.” And she mentioned that to me. And that was like, “Why does that matter? Like, is it negatively actually affecting you in any way?” She's like, “oh, like, I'm feeling good. I'm happy I feel more balanced. I'm still getting a killer workout, because that's where I'm at right now.” And no, it's not. And I mean, you know, kicking buttons, everything else. So I think looking at the whole picture, not just looking at the numbers going, oh my gosh, I'm not doing what I could before, but I'm doing so many other things even better than it was before.
Amber B 41:43
So good.. Yeah, that's, that's so good. And so important. And so applicable, I feel like whether or not you want to do cardio or whether or not where you're at right now, I think we can all relate to there being phases of realizing where things were different and or we can even call them better. And that comparison to that former self is never is never helpful. And I think it's and I-
I think a lot of you probably get this from Amber, I think probably both of our communities look at us as leaders and think that every day we wake up and are different from them. Yeah. And the fact is that we're not like, I'm off on my workouts, and I might fall. I mean, all in all, you learn that consistency, and I do think that the habits are there, and the consistency is there for both Lauren and myself. 1,000%. But yeah, you don't wake up feeling like you have all the energy in the world, you want to crush this workout. And next month, you're gonna be that much better and stronger and more fit. Like we all go through stages of lacking motivation. And you know, feeling frustrated or having those comparison bouts. And it's just a constant journey of just getting to your most just like level head and where you feel good. And where you feel confident and you're happy and your priorities are right, whether you know that spending time with family and friends, or whether that's taking the time to yourself to work out super hard. It just all ebbs and flows.
Amber B 42:55
Yeah. So good. Awesome. Well, this has been really fun. Thanks for coming on and chatting cardio with me and sharing your guyses expertise. If somebody is wanting more, and they're excited about including a little bit more cardio, they want to check out your app or whatever, where can they find you?
Yeah, so in the app store, we have our FASTER SISSFit app. SISSFit is S, I, S,S F, I, T. And we also have Instagram, which is @Siss_fit. And actually there, we also have some free follow along treadmill workout. So if you want, we're actually on video, it's totally free. You can hop on and do a workout with us for we have our PDF guides on sissfit.com.
Amber B 43:39
Yeah. And then if you wanted to sign up for the challenge that's coming up in two weeks. Now you can go to bicepsafterbabies.com/, Oh, what did I decide it was going to be /cardiochallenge. And we'll have that challenge that you can sign up for and come join me and Lauren and Kelly, to you know, try a little bit something new, throw something in there a little new for some of you. For some of you, maybe just changing up whatever you're doing as cardio and seeing if we can make it a little bit more fun with the community and an app. And then coaching, giveaways and prizes and all those fun things.
It's free, and it's only two weeks so we can alternate.
Amber B 44:16
You can do anything for two weeks. Yes, bicepsafterbabies.com/cardiochallenge, and you'll find all the information there. Lauren, and Kelly, it's been so awesome. Thank you for coming on. Thank you for sharing with our audience. And
Yes, thank you for having us.
Amber B 44:31
Amber B 44:34
I hope that you enjoyed that interview with Lauren and Kelly. I thought we just like again, sometimes I have I always have plans for what we're going to talk about in a podcast. And then sometimes things just organically come up that I just think are so good. And I think we had some really good conversation about comparison with our former selves. And I just thought that was such a great, great way to kind of tie up this podcast episode, and I hope that you're feeling a little bit more excited about the fact that maybe cardio doesn't have to be boring. Maybe it can actually be exciting and maybe there's ways to make it a little bit more fun because there are benefits to cardio there are physical and mental benefits to including that in your plan. If you are asking yourself the question after listening to this episode, you know how much cardio should I be doing based on my goals? based on my body type? I highly recommend that you go and listen to episode number 96. We'll link that up in the show notes. But that's going to give you a much better idea of breaking down the amount of cardio that you should be doing based on where you're at what you want to accomplish and you know what body type you have. That wraps up this episode of Biceps after Babies Radio. I'm Amber now, go out and be strong. Because remember my friend, you can do anything.
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