“I won Mark, I won the whole thing!” I yelled to my good friend Mark Sisson from across the room, where the remaining booth owners were dismantling their booths from a fun-filled, business expanding, and educational weekend at Paleo f(x)™. “Yoga girl from Indiana?” He said. “Nope! figureFIT! girl!” I yelled back.
I was shocked. I didn’t expect to win this whole thing. I didn’t even train for it. I simply showed up and put myself to the test. I guess my workouts are doing their job! I always knew they were, but not to this level. This was the ultimate confirmation.
Paleo f(x)™ 2015 FitScore winners Liz Nierzwicki and Cale Schultz
As I headed down to Paleo f(x)™ 2015, I had no intention in participating in the realFIT FitScore because I had no idea it was even happening. I may have seen an announcement for it here and there but as a speaker at the event, I was concentrating on my upcoming workshop and speaking event. Once I was finished with my presentation, I did what you do at Paleo f(x)™ – go check out the vendors, meet cool entrepreneurs, and watch presentations from other speakers, best-selling authors, physicians, and holistic practitioners.
As a fitness person who loves to work out, I was noticing people doing deadlifts, rowing, and other things in this one area of the arena so I stopped to ask about it. They told me that it was the FitScore test.
The FitScore test is a comprehensive measure of fitness across age, ability, and gender. They measure raw performance and athletic potential, not sport-specific skills. The assessment includes nine tests of basic athleticism, rating competitors across six primary components, leading to an overall score from 0-100. The performance standards are based on an absolute scale, meaning even professional athletes are unlikely to get a perfect score. These tests ranged from body weight dead-lifting to rowing to sprinting, to standing broad jump and more.
I decided that I would dedicate my last day there to take all the tests, just to see how I rank among some of the most fit people I can imagine. I was nervous about some of the tests because they were completely out of my comfort zone and not normal to me. I had never rowed more than 500 meters and now I would need to do a 2,000 meter row? Yikes. I thought. Some of the events, I hadn’t done since high school such as standing broad jump and overhead throws (over 19 years ago). But my fear didn’t stop me because:
A. I wanted to get in a good workout and knew this would do it.
B. I love the idea of a challenge and this would be fun to see where you rank in comparison to others, and
C. Bonus, I would get to see just how fit I think I am and give me something to work against. I’m a quantantative person. I like facts and proof in numbers.
So I brought my A game. I can’t remember my numbers but I can tell you this: I was sore as hell the next couple of days. Even the tops of my ankles hurt – which has never happened to me this extreme before. I could only figure that came from the rowing (foot pushing) and the standing broad jumps that I did. I was happy with all of my efforts except a few. For example, I did 4 pull-ups when someone else did 11. I had to remind myself not to compare myself to others and to just do my best in all of it – because that’s all we can do, but we can work on improving – always.
I talk about this all the time on my figureFIT! Lifestyle Coaching Podcast: functional fitness. Functional fitness is being able to step up to any start line and perform. Your training should be for life and you should always be able to do pushups, do a pull up, be able to jump, be able to not only deadlift or squat a bunch of weight but be able to bend over and tie your shoes without pulling a hamstring. Truthfully, what good is your fitness if you can run a half or full marathon and you can’t even do a push up or pull up to save your life? It’s no good.
To give you an example of how I train, so that you too can be a badass athlete at any age, here is an example of one week of training for me:
- 3x per week I do my figureFIT! workouts. I design the workouts to train your anaerobic energy pathway. You’ll do 6-8 moves with heavy dumbbells back to back with little rest for the right number of sets and reps (usually 3-5 sets). With my workouts, you’re getting a double whammy: mega fat burning and muscle building. This is functional fitness training to a T. This type of workout counts as HIIT, cardio, and weight lifting.
- On non-figureFIT! days, I lift heavy weights. Since I’m always lifting in my workouts, I keep my schedule very targeted and make sure to get in a good lift session on any major muscle groups that might be lacking in that weeks workouts.
- On top of this, I practice yoga 2-3 times per week for stretching, mobility, injury prevention, body-balance, and stress management.
- I rarely do cardio on top of my anaerobic training, but if I do, it’s usually sprints, bicycle intervals, elliptical intervals, or walking on incline. I usually only add in cardio before I’m doing a photo shoot just to lean out a little bit more.
- I meditate daily in order to keep my mind focused, my ego in check, my triggers under control, and connect to my higher self for all of my daily activities. As a teacher, writer and healer, my best work and insights come to me after my morning meditations.
Once I learned about the body’s energy pathways, I learned the science about how we legitimately boost our metabolism. When I learned this, I was 32 and since I was not a spring chicken anymore, I realized that THIS type of training was the only proven way to boost my metabolism as I aged – so I made it the main part of my training regimen and then built the rest of my program around it.
I then decided to take what I knew and share it with the world so I created the figureFIT! life online training program and educational forum. It took me about a year to build out the educational libraries housed on the site and the member-training program. The site houses everything from nutrition science, exercise science, muscle building, energy system training, weight lifting, psychology, weight loss, holistic health, the path of yoga, meditation, and spirituality.
The thing is, everyone wants to look good, and as we age our bodies change – this is true, but I honestly only think that starts to happen later in life. We hear that our metabolism changes, but I’m not sure that’s so true either if you’re doing the right workouts. Most people are not doing the right workouts. They think they are but they’re not building muscle and they’re doing steady state cardio rather than metabolic training via anaerobic training. We can still look sexy and be fit as hell if we train the right way. In fact, I’ve been weight training for years (since college 1998) and running, and I’ll tell you, nothing makes you look better (naked) than lifting weights. Period. Muscle is sexy and when you build muscle, it gives you that “toned” body you want. On top of that, my figureFIT! anaerobic workouts have made me and my clients fast, powerful, agile, and strong. I swear that these were the number 1 things that helped me to win the realFIT Fit Score at Paleo f(x)™ and be the top female athlete at the age of 37.
I have clients all across the board from single moms wanting to be in their best shape ever, women in their 40’s & 50’s wanting to look great naked, Olympian hopefuls, kids whose parents know what good training is all about and want their kids to go pro, and even elite marathon runners. One of my clients (Anne) took 10 mins off her marathon time after doing my figureFIT! classes for nine months. What happens to all of us is our bodies get stronger, we build muscle, but above all our body’s energy pathways get better at converting fat and glucose to ATP. As a result we get faster, recover quicker, and can go harder and longer than the people who aren’t training this way.
No matter who you are, you can do these workouts. My program is entirely online, and you get to do it wherever you want: they gym, your house, in a hotel, you can teach it at a gym (if you’re a certified figureFIT! coach), etc – all you need is dumbbells and your own body. What you’ll do is, watch the member videos and you can then start where you are: if you’re a beginner, you can start with my beginner recommendations and intermediate to advanced athletes, I’m going to ask you to step up your game and go heavy on those dumbbells – that’s how you’re going to see mega improvement in both your physique and your body’s recovery abilities.
The workouts will be hard, but that is exactly what will make you such a badass – you’ll be way ahead of the curve once you’ve been training this way for a while. Go ahead, give it a test, sign up today for this 90-day transformation and then work out with me and test your fitness capabilities down at Paleo f(x)™ 2016. I challenge you to a head to head fitness test. It’s all in good fun. Ladies against ladies and men against men. Go ahead… bring it. I wont be giving up my title easily. At one point in my life, I was the fastest white girl in my county and as I say to my son, “I will never let you win – no way! If you’re going to beat me, you’re going to have to earn it!” Until then, lets train together…I’m calling you! Men and women – let’s do this. You have found your tribe – let’s go!