Podcasts, Workouts

Exercise intensity and a great newsletter

Two very random, different topics for today:

Exercise intensity: How hard do you really need to work??

This is one of my miscellaneous musings that kind of rolls around in my head for a while, and then eventually works its way out into a blog post. Haha.

A couple weeks ago, an old college friend posted some pics on Facebook from her Bootcamp Class place that she religiously attends. In the pics, all the women were absolutely dripping with sweat and their faces were contorted in quite disturbing ways. It looked like they were doing some serious plyometric stuff, very high intensity. Not sure exactly, but clearly whatever they were doing was a very challenging workout.

It got me thinking. First, that doesn’t really look fun to me. And second, is that even necessary???

Now, the most important people thing when it comes to exercise is that people do what they enjoy and will consistently do. There is also something to be said for the community aspect of those bootcamp places. I have no doubt that those face twisting moves are probably also burning a solid number of calories.

I admit that I am not an exercise scientist or personal trainer, but I feel like I know quite a bit about the fitness world as an “amateur fitness enthusiast”, let’s say. And my “studies” generally seem to support that in terms of body composition/ overall fitness, MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.

Really, a solid nutritional plan is like, 75% of the battle, and then exercise just has to supplement. (Which, sucks, because I would rather over-exercise any day than have to restrict my nutrition. 😫)

I really feel like the times I’ve counted macros (or at least monitored my nutrition somewhat) and then heavy strength trained 4-5x/ week, with only a little light cardio sprinkled in was PLENTY to be in very good shape. No need to flip tires or do even a single god forsaken burpee.

Again- disclaimer that I’m not saying people shouldn’t do those bootcamp classes if they enjoy them. Just that in my opinion, super intense stuff like that is not necessary. (Unless you are actually enlisting the U.S. Army, in which, probably a very good idea to ramp it up.)

What do you think? Anyone have any thoughts on workouts vs. intensity vs. actual results??

How to Money newsletter!

I also just wanted to share: a few weeks I stumbled across the fact that the How to Money podcast guys now have a newsletter! And it’s SO GOOD! (Click here to sign up- it’s out every Tuesday.)

I have found so many great little nuggets of financial tips, deals, article links, etc in the few weeks I’ve been reading.

For example, today I learned that Aldi is doing a “Thanksgiving Price Rewind”, where holiday staples will be sold at 2019 prices. Also, that Amazon Music is really ramping up their services and music availability for Prime members (which we are). Last week I got a very useful tip about labeling credit cards with a Sharpie to remind yourself which card to use like for gas, or restaurants, etc. based on promotions going on. (This was genius for me, because Ivan is ALL about the credit card reward game, and I CANNOT keep it straight when he tells me “Use the X card right now for gas, triple points this month!” or whatever.)

Anyway, just wanted to share, because it’s been a surprisingly fun newsletter to read too. Love the format.

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for completing a few nagging to-do tasks yesterday.

13 thoughts on “Exercise intensity and a great newsletter”

  1. The universal hatred of burpees has been coming up a lot recently.

    I think you hit the nail on the head that the two biggest things you can do for health are to eat right and consistently move your body. If getting all sweaty and turning over tires gets folks to exercise, awesome. That would not be something I could sustain for longer than one gym session, but if it works for someone, I think that’s great. If only I had more self-control in the kitchen!


  2. Great topic! I think it REALLY depends on what your goals are. Great body comp? Yep, strength + careful eating. Want to run faster? You have to run a good amount including speedwork. Want to be win a CrossFit competition? Probably need to lift heavy AND do 3338 burpees.

    I am currently torn between my vanity and my mildly obsessive running goals as of late 🙂


    1. Definitely there is something to be said for working toward athletic goals regardless of body composition! I think those are all very valid.

      But I do think there are some people, females especially, who maybe are NOT working toward any specific athletic goal yet have the misconception that they need to practically kill themselves in the gym with either tons of cardio or HIIT in order to get results. I remember talking with a friend/acquaintance years back- I ran into her at the gym. And she was like, gosh you’re all toned! (I was really consistently strength training and eating better back then…). She asked what I did for workouts, and I said mostly just lifting and I did maybe 30-40 minutes of formal cardio total in the whole week (besides walking). And she was like, “Oh, wow, nice…but I personally need to do lots of cardio cuz I have a bunch of weight to lose.” I didn’t really say anything in response since I didn’t want to come off as like judgey or pushy or “my workout routine is better than your routine” 🤣 or anything, but that conversation sticks out in my mind… not sure her hours on the elliptical were actually helping her to meet her weight loss goal as much as she thought they were….

      In your case, your running goal is totally fine! You should definitely pursue that if you’re feeling into it! Super fun and inspiring to follow along. 🙂


  3. I love getting all drippy with sweat, but that’s mostly from using my much-loved Peloton. I would not at all love a bootcamp, but you know, we all like different things. I love cardio and don’t love strength training – I do it though, for bone density.


    1. Yes, after I posted this I realized I didn’t really say: I totally get how some people love that sweat dripping, endorphins rushing feeling! I think that’s a whole other side/benefit of exercise. You and I seem to be opposites- I really don’t love cardio at ALL, but I do enough to get by for the heart benefits. 🙂 I know the Peloton people are pretty hard core! Do you guys have the Peloton holiday commercials on Tv in Canada?? The last few years they have run these VERY enticing commercials showcasing very fit people working out in the early morning before starting their holiday celebrations, and let me tell you- even though I don’t actually like cycling, I seriously felt so tempted to buy a Peloton!! 🤣


  4. Do you mean write on your credit cards with an erasable Sharpie, or a Post It and Sharpie? Having trouble envisioning.

    Sigh…I feel since there’s no roadmap for maintenance and weight loss, everyone is stuck with trial-and-error until they get it right. No one tells you hormones go haywire in perimenopause. No one tells you if your stomach stretched with babies, it might never be the same and you have to change your diet instead of spot reduce. So we each do our best.


    1. Yes, just directly on the credit card with the sharpie! Lightly, on the back. I have been able to remove it with a firm swipe of a rough sponge if needed.

      And yep, there are so many personal variables to all of it- including genetics! I agree with you that sadly, diet seems to be the big constant for most people. That is my weakest, most difficult area. I wish so badly that I was just someone who wanted to always eat healthy and didn’t love nachos. Ha. It’s a balancing act I guess. For me, I feel like only when I am quite strict or count macros do I REALLY get the big results- but I don’t want to always count macros! So, it is what it is. In this post I was mostly getting at that i just don’t really think it makes all that much difference what form of exercise you do, so long as you’re active- and assuming the diet piece is in check (again, hardest part for me- and I feel like I’m not alone in this??). For what it’s worth, I know you IRL and you seem to have a good balance and always look healthy and seem wonderfully active to me! But I know you might have areas you aren’t happy with that I don’t perceive, as an outsider. But to me, you always look good. 🙂


      1. I understand :). Isaac has a sports injury so it was very timely to tell him 75% nutrition/25% exercise and fit in a nutrition lesson!


  5. I like some of the HIIT type of workouts because they tend to be short and sweet. But I really do hate burpees and got so sick of them plus some other moves like lightning bolts when I did MM through beachbody. I like the combo of running + strength training but it’s probably not the optimal combo? But I agree that diet matters more than anything. I heard once that ounces are lost in the gym and pounds are lost in the kitchen. And I really do believe that. Dialing in my nutrition always makes a big difference and you typically can’t outrun a bad diet unless you are blessed with great genetics!


  6. hahaha…. i fully agree with you. depends on one’s goal. if it’s for general fitness definitely no need to kill oneself in a regular basis. but if I have a race/goal I know I’ll have to put in the work consistently and I’m willing to do it to achieve my goal, which is beyond fitn


  7. It’s a myth to think that you can out-exercise a bad diet… and doing a ton of cardio will usually NOT help with weight loss. I have a friend who does triathlons and he has some weight to lose, but even though he works out every day, he’s not losing the weight… I am convinced it’s partly his diet. Anyway, I am with you: I don’t think you have to kill yourself in the gym… but good nutrition and daily movement is key.

    I just checked out the money newsletter. I am intrigued. The trick with the Sharpie is genius too. If only we had an Aldi…


  8. I might have to check out that newsletter. Thanks for sharing!

    I’ll be honest – I am one of those who craves cardio. Part of it is that I no longer can do many strength exercises – due to surgeries on my arms – but another part of it is that I’ve always disliked lifting. I would rather bike (well, really, I’d rather run, but that can’t happen anymore, either….), or hike, or stairclimb, etc. I think you’re right – consistency is key, and no, you can’t outrun a bad diet, as San said.


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