fitbychoice

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Good Morning Abs.

In Uncategorized on January 26, 2013 at 3:58 AM

At home this morning I figured I’d get in a decent ab workout before I went on with my day. Here’s what I did:

50 Crunches
15 Pushups
1 min Plank
30 sec Side Plank
30 sec Side Plank
30 Mt. Climbers
20 Dead Bug Crunches
30 Alternating Leg Raises
1 min Plank with hip twists
15 Pushups
20 Wipers
15 Lateral Leg Lifts
15 Lateral Leg Lifts

Get them done as fast as you can.

Lateral Leg Lifts
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Alternating Leg Lifts– Keep your heals off the ground the whole time, and lift each leg individually as high as you can with keeping the knee straight.
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Dead Bug Crunches
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Wipers–Throw legs from side to side without letting legs fall to the floor.
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Plank With Twists
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Gluten Free: A Lifestyle Not Just a Diet.

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2013 at 9:11 PM

When I first suggested to my friends and family that I was going to try going gluten free, many didn’t think it was a feasible goal, and many in their own ways questioned why I’d ever do such a thing. It took quite a few months to finally feel like I’ve adapted my diet enough that there really is a difference in how I feel and my energy levels, so looking back, it never really mattered what anyone else thought about this adjustment—What mattered is I would find a way to make the necessary changes on my own time.

The reasons behind this change in my diet actually sprouted from a couple different sources:
1. I was experiencing serious stomach cramps, and digestion problems…I needed to track down the culprit so I took the one thing I ate most from my diet. When I didn’t eat gluten, I felt fine. So I would try throwing it back into my diet. Not fine. Itty bitty tiny amounts of gluten don’t do much harm but I noticed that whole meals or even small things here and there throughout the day just didn’t settle well. This had been going on a very long time and I never took the time to figure it out.
2. I don’t like the way our foods are processed these days, as well as how much crap is being sold in grocery stores…which meant maybe going gluten free will help me also eat more organic and natural foods. And it has.

In my little world, I love food. I love to cook as well, which makes my passion for food even stronger. I’m also a carb freak! I love breads, pastas, pastries, cookies, sandwiches…you name it, and it’s got gluten in it! At first I struggled fitting gluten free foods into my diet because I had this notion in my mind that being gluten free was difficult. So I began with gluten free bread for my breakfast instead of plain toast. That was easy enough—maybe a bit more expensive, but not bad. And then I branched out into corn tortillas instead of flour; also easy. Little by little I shopped around for ways to get those gluten free foods into my diet without feeling like I’m missing out.

I think that’s where a lot of people are wrong. You don’t miss out on anything when you are gluten free. Maybe eating out at restaurants is more tricky, and maybe traveling isn’t always a breeze because you can’t just swing into a fast food place and order a sandwich or burger—but you shouldn’t be eating that anyways!

Here’s my advice from my experiences so far:
1. Know your options. There really is gluten in just about everything. If you are wanting to really get strict about this, you should definitely do a little research. I am strict enough to make sure that main ingredients aren’t gluten. The big things to look out for are WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE, & SPELT. There are little subcategories of each that might try to trick you so beware.
2. Learn to love rice, potatoes, risotto, beans and fresh veggies/fruits. Nuts of course are okay as well. So is tapioca.
3. When you are traveling and must have fast food, chose SUBWAY (they have a gluten free bread now, and their salad options) or other places where you get more options as far as fresh salads or non-breaded items go. Better yet, pack your own food in a cooler.
4. Be experimental. I can’t stress this one enough! You will never know how many gluten free options you have until you start playing around with them. Even if you keep things simple, there are premade options for pizzas, treats, and much more…but start making your own creations and you won’t feel limited at all!
5. Ask other people to accommodate you or help them prepare food for dinner parties. Don’t be shy about this. (My husband’s grandmother went out of her way to make gluten free tortillas for my birthday…such a sweetheart!)
6. Make this a lifestyle not just a diet. It does take a little while to fully adapt to a new routine, but once you get the hang of things it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy!

Some yummies I’ve come up with:
1. GF shortbread cookies topped with chocolate, butterscotch, pecans and almonds
2. GF banana cream cake with chocolate ganache
3. GF pizza crust and my own toppings…….yum!
The list goes on………

I could go on and on about reasons to go gluten free, and helpful hints to make your goal successful, along with gluten free recipes I’ve come up with, but this would be a novel. I guess I’ll just leave it at this: When your body is trying to tell you something, listen to it.

Legs & Butt…Supplementing Our Runs

In Uncategorized on January 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

We’re finishing our first week of marathon training, and though the workouts are similar to what we used to do, we are adding in more mileage when it comes to our runs, which means when we hit the gym for a workout, it’s got to be a good one! Running will make your legs lean. And sure, running in the snow and ice makes all those stabilizers work hard…but there is nothing like a great leg workout!

This leg workout was actually very challenging because we didn’t have much of a warm-up before hand. (Our mistake…we were tight and sore half way through all the exercises)

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Our buddy Shaun says this is “Instant Ass!!!”

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DB Step-ups with Knee Drives x 10 each leg
Sumo squats (deep squats) x 15
Walking Lunges x 20
Glute Kicks on Smith Machine x 10 each leg
Step- Offs x 10 each leg
3 sets!!!

Training For Marathon Training

In Uncategorized on December 29, 2012 at 12:44 AM

A couple weeks ago I told myself it was time. I am going to get back into running. The only thing is…living here where the summers are too hot and the winters are too cold, and working weird hours, it makes it so difficult. Back on the coast I was spoiled with moderate temperatures year round, and found running easy and scenic and more of a treasured time rather than a chore. I could handle rain back home, but I am having a hard time adjusting to the snow, so I need a goal to keep me on track.

 Marathon it is.

 Since this week it was Christmas, it has been a busy week. However, Javin and I decided on a marathon last week and that meant setting a schedule for when to start training. The marathon is going to be held in Newport, Oregon (which means we will be able to run on the coast…just like old times) and is scheduled for June 1st. That means, as of Monday, December 31st we have 23 weeks until race day.

 This week we prepared/and are continuing to prepare for training which starts on Monday! (Which really means we continued with our usual workouts but took out the heavy resistance training)

 Yesterday’s workout was very cardio based… not only because Christmas meant a lot of food, family time, and little exercise, but so we could begin focusing on our cardiovascular endurance. (Though we did manage to get in a run in the rain/hail, and one jog throughout the coastal trails…as well as a gym workout while we were home for four days)

 35 minutes treadmill

Box Jumps x20
Jump Rope x60 sec
Spidermans x20
Superman Jacks x20
Jumping Jacks x30
3 sets

 (I am fighting a cold..yes I had it over Christmas(bummer)..so my lungs were killing me!)

 Today’s workout was focused on burning calories and in a way getting in cardio without just running, since we will be doing a lot of that soon.** Cross training is very important when it comes to preventing overuse injuries.**

 Bike- 15 minutes
Treadmill:
6mph 1 min
7mph 2 min
9mph 1 min
FOR 20 MINUTES…Then into

Incline 15 and 4.0-4.5mph for 10 minutes

Stairstepper- 15 minutes

 Total cardio was 60 minutes

 Into CORE:

 Wipers x 10 each side
Plank on Ball x 60 seconds
Cable crunch x 15
Lateral leg lifts x20 each side

 Repeat for three sets

 And Tomorrow’s workout will entail an actual run. Our girl Bella needs some exercise, so despite the fact that I’m going to wake up and see the snow outside and not want to get out of bed, it will be good for all of us. I think what will be best (because it worked nicely in the past) is to warm-up with a short tabatas style workout inside the house. Once the blood is flowing and I can feel all my fingers and toes, we can bundle and head out for a slippery, snowy run…let’s shoot for 5-6 miles.

 Sunday is rest day. That means take Bella for a jog/walk, nothing too strenuous. And when Monday rolls around we are starting a whole new workout routine. Which in all honesty, I am anxious to see how this goes because I have never been able to follow any sort of workout plan. I have always decided what my workouts were going to be the day of, depending on how I felt and what sounded good. Then again, I’ve never had to focus on a goal like this. This should be fun!

High Rep

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2012 at 7:48 PM

Today’s workout consisted of a 35 minute starter on the stairstepper, and into a high rep (100 of each exercise…total of 400 reps!!!) workout which was not only cardio focused but also total body. Goal of this workout: Get tired.

We broke the 100 reps up into four sets of 30, 30, 20, 20

Burpees (not pictured)
Plank with swipes
Thursters

All of these exercises incorporate multi-joint movements and force multiple muscles in the body to work together.

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Plank with Swipes– Elevating your feet on a box while doing these adds a lot of difficulty as far as balance goes. If they are a bit too difficult, don’t use a box, keep your feet on the ground and from there do the side swipes.

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Thrusters– These should come together in a more fluid movement…after you squat, use your momentum to thrust the bar overhead.

Upper Body & Cardio Intervals

In Uncategorized on December 1, 2012 at 7:17 PM

TREADMILL:
8 Incline
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2 minutes 4.3 mph (or a speed that is challenging to walk without holding on)
1 minute 7.5 mph (or a speed that pushes you towards a sprint)

14 minutes
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After 1 round on the treadmill, jump into one round of the upper body exercises. Repeat three times. On the last round of exercises finish with two sets of exercises…for a total of 42 minutes cardio and 4 sets upper body.

IMG_0338IMG_0341Reverse Flye x15
IMG_0344IMG_0342Alternating DB Shoulder Press x20
IMG_0347IMG_0348IMG_0349Plate Curl + Overhead Press

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Plate High Pull x15

Weighted Legs…Love Legs!!!

In Uncategorized on October 29, 2012 at 2:50 AM

We’ve been doing a lot of “functional” workouts lately, and not many heavy weight days..so today we added weight and exercises that are hitting big muscle groups and building muscle mass.

 

Lunge Squats on the smith-machine x8-10 each leg

Single leg RDL x 8-10 each leg

Leg Press x 8-10

Sumo Squats x8-10

We paired the single leg RDLs and the lunge squats together and back to back did 3 sets of each. After that we moved to the leg press and the sumo squats and did the same.

Keep in mind we warmed up with 30 minutes on the stairstepper before jumping into this workout. We used heavier weights which meant we couldn’t do many reps. When you start challenging yourself with heavier weights, remember that it is crucial you keep your form good. If you feel your form breaking, do less reps, or take weight off.

Backyard Workout

In Uncategorized on August 19, 2012 at 2:08 AM

Today was another hot one, and with the high temperatures, I am easily unmotivated for workouts. We planned to go on a run first thing this morning, but it was raining! Oh Oregon, how I love your crazy weather! Nevertheless, I now have 13 days until a very important day… until I get married… so this whole skip out on workouts thing can’t happen. Javin and I went for an hour long bike ride which was nice…minus the bugs! Once we got back to the house, we hit up the backyard for a workout that you can do without equipment. Sometimes not using weights feels really good because you can move faster, as well as get in higher reps.

4 Rounds
22 reps, 20 reps, 18 reps, 16 reps
Twisted Planks
Burpees
Plank with Glute Raise
Spidermans
Jumping Lunges


From a plank, keep your forearms and feet planted, but twist one hip to the opposite side, and alternate– each side counts as one. Keep your butt low and your tummy tight. This works your whole body, from your shoulders, to your core, to your glutes.

Burpees are always the exercise I dread, not only because my quads start burning from the jumping at the end, but my heart is always racing when I’m done. They are a very effective exrcise though, so don’t skimp out on these!


From the plank position, lift one leg at a time into the air…either push your foot up towards the sky, or keep your toe pointed and leg straight while you lift. The higher you kick the more the glutes are emphasized. This again is a total body, but I love planks! This isometric exercise is a perfect excise to add little creative twists to for lack of boredom, and they work everything!

From the plank position, bring your knee laterally as close to your side as you can. This will stretch your obliques, and it’s natural to twist your body, but try to keep a straight stance. Alternate sides. I call these spidermans because they feel like you’re spiderman crawling up a wall…if the ground was a wall of course 🙂


For the jumping lunges, start in a standing lunge, squat down into a lunge squat, and jump. As you jump, alternate legs. These are hard to keep balance if you aren’t used to them so go at a pace in which allows you to stay as balanced as possible. The faster you go, the more you burn, but make sure you get the movement down before trying to go all out. It’s important you keep your knee and ankle aligned so that there aren’t any chances of twisting or hurting something.

@ Home Good Morning Workout

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2012 at 1:30 PM

For those of you who are looking for a workout that is quick, effective, and one that requires no equipment that you can do annywhere (at home, while traveling ect.) this is just one of many.

This workout is meant to be a “get through as fast as you can” type of workout. Each set requires a lower amount of reps, which makes the whole routine go by faster.

Set 1: 21 reps
Set 2: 18 reps
Set 3: 15 reps
Set 4: 12 reps
Set 5: 9 reps
Set 6: 6 reps
Set 7: 3 reps

Don’t get discouraged with the fact that there are 7 sets, like I said before, it goes by faster than you’d think. You could add any exercises to this set-up, but this morning I wanted a couple cardio based exercises as well as a little total body. So this is what I did:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Pushups
  • Squats
  • V Situps
  • Mt. Climbers

I didn’t time it, thought I should have, but I pushed through everything without taking any breaks (but one for water…it’s hot in this house, at 5:30 am even!!!)


I had to drop to my knees a couple times for push-ups, that’s okay, just get the reps in.
Make sure your butt doesn’t stick up with the mountain climbers…and really kick off the ground for maximum benefits.

Anti-Stress For Better Health

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2012 at 5:43 PM

When it comes to not getting in my workouts, and planning a wedding, as well as other life challenges…I sometimes get easily stressed. Stress isn’t fun for multiple reasons…some symptoms, most people aren’t even aware might be affecting them. Besides the typical break outs, tiredness, and crankiness, your body is also going through changes that might affect your health a bit more in depth.

Emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

  • Low energy
  • Headaches
  • Upset stomach
  • Aches, pains, and tense muscles
  • Chest pain and rapid heartbeat
  • Insomnia
  • Frequent colds and infections
  • Loss of sexual desire and/or ability
  • Nervousness and shaking, ringing in the ear,cold or sweaty hands and feet
  • Dry mouth and difficulty swallowing
  • Clenched jaw and grinding teeth

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

Behavioral symptoms of stress include:

  • Changes in appetite — either not eating or eating too much
  • Procrastinating and avoiding responsibilities
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes
  • Exhibiting more nervous behaviors, such as nail biting, fidgeting, and pacing

Stress also affects your cortisol levels which also affects your body fat and your ability to manage your weight. All of these symptoms in one way or another tie together to cause an overall bigger picture of becoming an unhealthy lifestyle. If you can’t take away the reasons for stress, don’t let it get to you by following a few of these helpful “anti-stress” methods!

  1. Breathe deeply
  2. Stretch
  3. Hold the hand of someone you love. Skin-to-skin is calming
  4. Take a mental break–keep a photo with you at all times that makes you smile
  5. Get some sunshine
  6. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while– catching up will be refreshing
  7. Count your blessings
  8. Stay productive
  9. Go for a walk or jog
  10. Take a shower or hot bath
  11. Get enough sleep
  12. Eat salmon and other omegas
  13. Don’t drink coffee late at night, rather first thing in the morning
  14. Get it off your chest– vent to someone who will listen without questioning you
  15. Sometimes you need to say no
  16. Pray

Total-Body Mix-Up

In Uncategorized on July 15, 2012 at 2:23 PM

These last couple weeks have been an adjustment; Sleep, work, and workouts have all been a bit scattered. So today we decided we needed some sunshine and some relaxation. After that, we decided we needed a workout to hit a little bit of everything. This is what we came up with–

30 Minutes Cardio

Squat to Box Jumps x 15 (for speed and power)
Paired with
Glute Raises x 8 each leg (hold at top of the lift for an extra second)

Reverse Curl x 8
Paired with
Cable Triceps x 8
(Both of these exercises -for me at least- ended up being about 11 reps each instead of 8)

Flye on ball x 8
Paired with
Knee tucks x 8 (From the extended “dip” position”)
(Knee tucks ended up being more like 12 reps for me)

4 rounds of everything

(SQUAT TO BOX JUMPS)

(GLUTE RAISES)

(REVERSE BARBELL CURLS)

(CABLE TRICEP EXTENSION)

(FLYE ON BALL)

(KNEE TUCKS)

Legs & Balance

In Uncategorized on June 13, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Sometimes throwing in exercises that make you off-balance don’t always hit the big muscle groups most people aim for…but you will hit the stabilizer muscles that are just as important! For this leg workout I used single leg exercises as well as tools like the bosu ball or box to really make those stabilizers work…

1. Bosu ball squat. Keep your knees from pushing out over your toes.
2. Single-leg box squats. Squat as low as you can without falling over or losing form.
3. Single-leg RDLs.
4. Weighted step ups.
5. Cable kick-backs.

4 sets.

20 reps.
12 reps each leg.
12 reps each leg.
20 reps.

12 reps each.

Physique Vs. Function

In Uncategorized on June 5, 2012 at 9:42 PM

Depending on the gym or fitness center you go to, there will be a different feel to each environment. Meat market. Casual fitness. Older lady circuit. Social club. Even with the many many atmospheres you might come around while working out, any and all of these gym types have two types of people:

1) Those working out to look good
2) Those working out to better their life

So you might be wondering…isn’t it possible to be both of these people…somewhere in the middle??

Sure– I suppose I would consider myself one of those people in the middle. I also would say there are the people who go to gyms to be social and do more talking than exercising, but for the majority of people who “exercise” I’m going to keep  to the initial two types. Physique goers and function goers. [As we continue in this blog, I’ll explain how function can also be physique.]

I come to work and people watch daily, and there are people who definitely look good, just as there are people who look like they are here because they NEED to be here for daily function. (The club I am at is a busy 24-hour Anytime Fitness, and we have anyone from teenagers to elderly as members.) So then I start watching their routines, and their attitudes around the gym…and though there are a few acceptions, the differences between the two types are very very noticeable. [For those of you don’t have basic knowledge of the human body, how it works while working out, body mechanics, muscle actions etc…it might be tough for you to see these differences so I’ll try to address them as simple as possible.]

So for the physque goers:
They grunt louder than necesarry and throw weights on the mats.
They spend way too long in the gym.
They don’t care as much about range of motion.
They stick to the most common lifts and usually don’t work outside of the box. (Bench press, squats, curls etc.)
They bring their protein powder with them to the gym and talk about their supplements they take. (yet they smoke and drink energy drinks)
They think if they stray from their routine, they wont be building muscle.

And for the function goers:
They mix cardio and weights.
They ask questions about their goals.
They are training sport specific.
They focus on movement and range of motion.

To be perfectly honest, before I went to school for personal training, I was the girl who just wanted to look good and that’s why I worked out. Now, the more I learn about life and how we age, and how the body works, not only do I want to be an attractive female, but I want to make it so when I am older I can get out of a car easily, or climb up the stairs without having problems breathing or stepping…I want to make sure that in the near future lifting weights helps me to fight the odds against osteoporosis…

Function doesn’t just mean movement. It means living life.

I shouldn’t knock physique…because like I said, I have some of that mentality in me as well…
Here’s my advice to find the both of best worlds:

– Know what it is you are looking for.
– It’s okay to grunt when you are working hard, but don’t make a scene.
– Care about range of motion. This is a big one! Dont stick to machines that require you to sit down because you are turning off your core. Don’t use a weight that doesn’t allow you to fully extend or rotate the way the exercise intends you to.
– Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
– Don’t be afraid to try new things. So what if you might look goofy…putting your body through different styles of exercise makes it so it doesn’t adapt so easily and get bored.
– Get in cardio.
– If you’re into taking supplements and protein shakes, make sure you are eating real foods, and throughout the day! Don’t try to take the easy way out with weight-loss pills etc.
– It’s okay to base some workouts around high reps and others around high weight.
-It’s very possibly to get tight muscle without pounding heavy weights daily and forgetting other important aspects to training.

Not a Milk Girl. Now an Almond Milk Girl.

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2012 at 4:43 PM

I’ve never been big on milk. Even as a kid I would scoop my cereal from the bowl, and leave behind the milk…or just pass on milk all together unless it was ice cold and chocolate overpowered the milkiness. As I’ve gotten older, and as I’ve begun to look deeper into what I eat and what foods really are these days, I have become more and more anti milk. I could rant and rave all day about the production of our foods…and how hormone-injected cows milk isn’t appropriate for us to be drinking however, instead of making this about why not to drink milk…I’ll make this about the alternative I have found and why you should drink it instead.

When I recently ran out of calcium chews, I really started thinking about how I could get more calcium without drinking cows milk and without eating cheese with every meal of the day (I love cheese, but the calories add up fast) and I have heard of soy milks, and almond milks, and all the alternatives, but have just never tried them. So, yesterday while grocery shopping I decided to give it a try. I picked up two different flavors of almond milk, a dark chocolate and a vanilla, both in single-serving cartons, and without hesitation I tossed them in my cart.

Almonds have always been a nut I have loved. I love to eat them raw, roasted, sugar-coated, in cookies, on salads etc. Why not in milk?!

I was surprised to how many vitamins and benefits almons milk could provide! Here’s what I found:

  1. High in vitamins, such as vitamin E, A and D.
    –Vitamins A&E both act as antioxidants which support immune health.
    –Vitamin A helps eye sight, helps build strong bones and teeth, and helps to create a healthy reproductive system for both men and women.
    –Vitamin D helps maintain strong bones.
    –Vitamin E plays many roles, such as: healthier skin, relief to muscle or arthritis pain, reduces risk of breast and prostate cancer.
  2. High in calcium
    –needed to build and maintain strong bones and teeth.
    –It also helps regulate blood pressure and is necessary for muscle contraction.
  3. No saturated fat
  4. Lactose free!
  5. Low carb= Low glycemic index.
  6. Low sodium.
  7. No cholesterol.
  8. You can make it at home.
  9. It tastes good even before you add the vanilla or honey flavoriings.
  10. Lower in calories than cow’s milk  (Plain, original almond milk provides 60 to 70 calories per cup, about 15 calories less than the same amount of skim milk)

A Little On Planks–& A Must Try Core Exercise!

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Planks are a great training tool though some people might see them as boring and slow going—and the nice thing about planks, is that there are so many varieties and ways to do them!

Planks fall into the isometric exercises group, and for those of you who aren’t exactly familiar with what “isometric” means…keep reading! 🙂

An isometric movement is a movement in which no movement occurs. An example is holding a weight in a semi-contracted and motionless state for a period of time. (examples are wall sits)

That’s where the original plank comes from. Either from your forearms or your hands, keep youself in a straight and tight position with your feet on the ground, keeping your stomach tight but without sticking your butt in the air. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds, or as long as you can, rest, then do it again.

Once you get to where you can handle the original plank pretty well, start tossing in benches, chairs, or balls. Get creative. Do side planks.

With this “plank” I’ve added in a box for lifting my feet of the ground, and a ball to make stabilizing the plank much more difficult. Holding a plank just like that was challenging for an extended period of time—however, I decided to add in a side swipe of a sort. Here’s a picture to help explain.


By bringing one leg off the bench at a time, my body is forced to really contract my core in order to not fall off the ball. I feel this exercise in my lower abs the most, and try to keep my leg straight as I reach it out just far enough until my town touches the ground. After bringing my leg back to the box, switch to the other leg.

Here’s a website where you can read a bit more on isometrics, and why they are a good way to train.
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/kelly4.htm

With Sunshine + A Park, What Else Are You Supposed To Do Other Than A Leg Workout!?

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2012 at 3:36 AM

Friday turned out to be a beautiful day…and I had to be inside a gym for the majority of it, so when it came time for me to be off work and to start my workout, all I wanted to do was be outside. So why not do both? I took the kettlebells, and dumbells, and headed for a nice grassy park overlooking the lake.

Here’s the workout:

50 Jumping Jacks
50 Jump Ropes
20 Sumo Kettlebell swings
20 Walking lunges (with dumbells)
20 Plank w/ glute raises
20 Bench jumps
20 Front squats (with dumbell)

If you don’t have dumbells or kettlebells, this workout could still easily be done just by adjusting the exercises to body weight, and adding higher reps to make up for the lack of added weight.

The wider your stance, and the deeper the squat, the more your glutes will kick in.

When doing walking lunges, don’t worrying about getting them done fast if your balance isn’t good. Make sure you can keep good form before you start to try pushing youself through them.



For the bench jumps, because the bench wasn’t as tall as the box we normally use is, we decided to do more of a plyo exercise than a full extension jump. Jump from the ground, and once youve reached teh beach, hop back down… and as soon as your feet hit the ground jump back up. It’s an explosive movement.

Not only was this workout a leg workout, but it was also a workout that kept us breathing hard. Between the jump rope, the jumping jacks, and the bench jumps, my heart was thumpin!

A Healthier “Fast- Food” Breakfast

In Uncategorized on May 9, 2012 at 5:21 PM

Every morning when I drive to work I pass a McDonald’s that has two side-by-side drive-throughs. Almost every morning both parts of this drive-through are busy. And so I cringe. Why are so many people adapted to getting their breakfast (in my opinion the most important meal of the day) from such a place? Is it because it’s inexpensive? Or because it’s fast and convenient?

I realize that many people have a busy lifestyle, and to them, finding time for a proper diet (can’t forget exercise) just isn’t a possibility. Here’s the thing…I live a busy lifestyle…I am an outgoing and social 23 year old, I am planning a wedding, and I am the manager of a busy 24 hour gym in which I spend most of my time throughout each day. The difference with me is that I make what some people see as not a possibility a PRIORITY.

Starting with breakfast in the morning.

Each morning my alarm goes off just before 6:00 am. After a shower I put on a pot of coffee and go straight into making breakfast. It is almost the first thing I do every morning. I don’t put it off. I have to be at work by 8:00 and I hate feeling rushed, so an hour and a half to get ready and eat is plenty of time!

Breakfasts for me usually range between 300-400 calories however I know that the calories I’m putting in my body are wholesome and will fuel my busy mornings and give me energy that will last throughout most of the afternoon. And I know my breakfasts are more pure than that of what you get from a drive-through restaurant that takes less than 3 minutes to pump out multiple orders.

So… because this morning I got frustrated with seeing so many cars at McDonalds, I decided to look into what their breakfasts break down into, and then go a step further to show you how you can substitute a healthier “fast food” breakfast into your morning routine.

I’ll start with a couple of the “healthy light” options from McDonald’s breakfast menu:

Fruit and Yogurt Parfait
150 calories
2g fat—3% daily value
30g carb—10%daily value
4g pro
70mg sodium—3%daily value

Not bad… I will admit, I come from a family that thinks fast food is okay, and whenever I travel with them and they insist on stopping…this is one of the only things I will ever order. I can’t even stand the smell of McDonalds food besides this yogurt parfait.

Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal
290 calories
8g fat—13% daily value
49g carb—10%daily value
180 mg sodium—8% daily value

Now let’s look into some of the most popular breakfast items:

Sausage Egg Biscuit
510 calories
33g fat—50% daily value (NOT THE GOOD FAT)
36g carb—12%daily value
18g pro
1170mg sodium—49%daily value

Big Breakfast W/Hotcakes
1090 calories
56g fat—87% daily value (NOT THE GOOD FAT)
111g carb—37% daily value
36g prot
2150mg sodium—90% daily value (you might as well just eat salt by the spoonfulls…)

Sausage Egg McMuffin
450 calories
27 g fat—42% daily value
30g carb—10%daily value
21g prot
920 mg sodium—38%daily value

Hashbrown
150 calories
9 g fat—14% daily value
15 g carb—5% daily value
1g prot
310 mg sodium—13% daily value

So, if you have a sausage egg mcmuffin and one hashbrown you are taking in 600 calories, 56% of your daily fat, and 51% of your daily sodium intake in just ONE meal. you still have two more meals and snacks throughout the day remember…

Okay…here are my ideas for replacement meals. Not to mention many of these foods can be prepared the night before so you can make breakfast in less time in the morning.

Grapefruit with whole-wheat toast & almond butter. I find that ruby-red grapefruit are generally sweeter and don’t need added sugar. The almond butter is healthier than peanut-butter, with lots of good protein to fill you up.

Fresh fruit salad. Cut up some apples, melons, berries, oranges, pears, bananas, grapes… any or all or whatever your favorite fruits are. A little cinnamon/sugar isn’t a bad addition if you use it in moderation.

Old fashioned oatmeal. Add sliced bananas, cinnamon, and a sprinkle of chopped almonds. Blueberries are another great addition to oatmeal.

Eggs with peppers. I love eggs. They are cheap and when you don’t soak them in oil they are good for you. I know the yolks are a bit high in cholesterol, so if that’s an issue for you, just use egg whites.   Scramble them up and add a splash of water (a trick my grandma showed me to add fluff) red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, or even broccoli and tomatoes. This goes great with a piece of whole grain toast.

Yogurt and fruit. Get yogurt that doesn’t have the fruit at the bottoms of the cup, and is low-fat. Add a handful of blueberries or cut strawberries, or bananas.

The possibilities are endless really.

Here’s what to keep in your fridge or pantry:

English muffins- buy ones high in fiber and ones that don’t have more than say 120 calories a muffin. (a package of I think 6 is usually about $1.50)

Eggs (a dozen is around $1.89)

Low-fat yogurt (depending on what brands you buy, each single portion yogurt breaks down to about $.75 but can be less can be more. If you are confident in serving a correct portion size, buy in bulk, it will be cheaper.)

Fruits, lots of fruits…apples, pears, oranges, berries, etc (fruit might seem to be expensive when you buy fresh all the time, but that’s the price you pay for wholesome food…Some frozen fruits are still decent quality. If you live somewhere near a farmers market or locally grown, opt for that! Even better, find a place you can pick you own!)

Veggies: Bell peppers, spinach, tomatoes, etc (like fruits, these might be more expensive buying fresh than canned or frozen, however, buy enough for a week at a time, and that way nothing will go to waste and you will not have to deal with grocery shopping throughout your busy week schedule.)

Whole wheat or whole grain bread (bread is cheap..just make sure it’s not empty calories. Bread should be high in fiber. Many people are leaning towards gluten free diets, and if this is the case, finding bread will be more tricky)

Low-fat cheese (buy in bulk when it’s on sale because if you go through cheese like we do the price adds up.)

Oatmeal (whole old fashioned oats) ( a big tub is about $2.50)

Almonds (depending on if you get these packaged or bulk the price will vary)

When you really add it all up, buying groceries to make your own breakfast in the long run is cheaper because these items will last you a week if not longer. (besides the fruits and veggies if they are fresh)

It’s time to create a routine where you can feed more people healthier food, still pretty fast, for less money than eating at fast food every day. Your health and wallet will be thankful.

The “I Want To Supplement My Run” Leg Workout.

In Uncategorized on May 2, 2012 at 3:58 AM

I’ve been trying to up my milage for running lately, [it’s that time of year] while getting in all other workouts as well, so I’ve been sore for the last week and a half staight. However, when I hear people say that their “leg” days are their cardio days it makes me cringe. I am a runner, and as a runner, I know very well that it is all too easy to create imbalances in your body if you don’t do exercises that require you to break out of the sagital plane (the plane in which we spend most of our time in..where we walk, where we run…) I also know that it’s JUST as easy to leave muscles forgotten if you assume your walking, jogging, or running will hit all important muscles in your lower body. It’s funny because, this workout doesn’t really break out of the sagital plane but adds in resitance exercises that you can’t get from plain cardio.

It’s okay though…………yesterday I did 300 jumping jacks.
[And the last leg workout included adduction/abduction and all sorts of goofy exercises that weren’t so original]

So it’s been a week since my last REAL leg workout [remember, cardio days are NOT leg days] and I was finally not too sore to get a good leg workout in. Today we broke up our workout a bit differently than we might usually…We started with a round of 30 reps/lower weight as a sort of warm-up…moved into a round of 10 reps/high weight and then finished with a round of 20 reps…which fell somewhere between the light and heavy weight sets in terms of difficulty.

The reason we broke things up this way was because had we done 30, 20, 10..we may have been too fatigued to use heavy weights for the 10 rep round. And it’s always fun to play around with how you organize workouts just to see how your body will respond differently.

Here’s what the workout looked like:
20 minutes treadmill to start, and 15 to finish.

Wall sit- as long as possible (not pictured)
Leg press
Weighted lunges
DB front squat
Hamstring curls
Calves (not pictured)
Box jumps (not pictured)

Ideas for other exercises that will help keep you balanced as a runner:
Cable abduction
Side plank/leg lifts
Deep sumo squats (which I also did yesterday)

And that’s just a few.




Semi-Total Body Saturday.

In Uncategorized on April 30, 2012 at 4:38 AM

Well, this wasn’t exactly a total-body, but wasn’t really anything other than that either. Though this workout was mostly upper body, the leg press as well as the good-mornings added some lower body in to balance things out somewhat. I’ve been trying to add in more upper body exercises, and because the aren’t my favorite, I add in the lower body exercises to make the total workout go by faster and not be so…miserable.

I always have to have my cardio. I am a cardio girl. 30 minutes on the treadmill. Then later that afternoon we went for a nice hike.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Pullups x as many as possible

DB Weighted V-Sit-ups x 12

Leg Press x 12

Good-Mornings x 12

Barbell Curls x 12

Bench Dips x as many as possible

Wide Grip High Pulls x 12

3 sets of everything.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

So, these weighted v-ups I saw in a magazine as tricep extension v-ups…and I just couldn’t get the movement down to where my triceps were actually getting in a good “extension” because when I crunched up, the weight just lifted with the rest of my body. Overall however, these were not easy!

So, on my workout note card these were labeled as “Tri Extension with DB V- Up on Bench”  I wanted to make the name long enough so I rememberd the picture of the exercise because it was new to me. Javin gave me a hard time for the long name…he was calling them “tricep extension with dumbell v situp on a bench with a summersalt and a twist and with a smile” He’s kind of a smart ass when he’s trying to give me a hard time. 🙂

Pretty basic leg press.


For good-mornings, start from a standing position with the barbell at your shoulders, feet about shoulder-width apart. Then bend over WITHOUT arching your back or bending your knees. I took dance as a kid, so I know how to do a “flat back” by sticking my butt out…Javin on the other hand, does not. He did dead-lifts instead of these.


Pretty basic barbell curl.

With the high pulls, these you can do with either a close grip or a wide grip. We chose wide grip because we were hoping to hit the middle/back delts more than the front delts.  The smith machine is great when you are trying to keep good form as well as feel secure with your weights. I am a bit weaker than I would like with my upper body at this point in time, so using the smith machine every now and then is nice because I can challenge myself while getting back into some good upper body workouts.

( Pullups and bench dips not pictured )

Chest. Which in my case also means arms.

In Uncategorized on April 17, 2012 at 4:30 AM

I have been adjusting to a new position as manager at the Anytime Fitness here, I’m planning a wedding, and feel like I’ve been out of town almost every other weekend if not more… my work load has increased and my engery level’s decreased so I’ve been slacking when it came to getting in all my workouts. I don’t usually skimp when it comes to legs, or cardio, or core…however my poor upper body needs some help right now.

We did a chest workout, but just as much, my arms got torched as well.

Here’s what we did.

45 minutes of treadmill.

Warm-up with 2 sets of 15-20 reps smith machine bench press
Incline bench 3 sets 8 reps
Dips (assisted machine) 3 sets 8 reps
Decline bench 3 set 8 reps
Single-arm DB bench 3 sets 8 reps
Decline push-ups until fatigued (…so basically nothing, at this point I was about donezo)

I rested while Javin did his set, then we’d switch.

8 Reps means heavier weights remember.

Abs.

In Uncategorized on March 28, 2012 at 3:09 AM

Push-up into knee tucks x 10
(These are tough, if push-ups are an exercise you don’t do often enough and don’t come easy…do as many as you can. Then just do knee tucks.)

Plank for 60 seconds.

Alternating Bosu V-Ups. I’ve done alternating V-ups…just never with the bosu. The first few felt good, and about number 15 they got challenging.
10 each side.

Woodchops on the bosu should be about the rotational stretch of the “chop” and not a balancing act. 🙂 If the bosu is a bit too wobbly, do the woodchops on the floor.

Hanging knee tucks are one of my favorites. 10 reps.

Decline Situps. Another favorite. 10 reps.

Three sets of everything!

 

Get That BUTT In Gear!

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Butt. Booty. Bum. Rear. Ass. The glutes are not only an important muscle group in the human body, but in my opinion, there is something to be said about a woman with a nice, firm rear-end; She’s going to be strong, and well-maintained. Today was a leg day with an emphasis on working that booty!

After a 35 minute treadmill run–We grabbed weights that were a bit more challenging, since most exercises were only going to be done in sets of 10 reps.

Deep Sumo Squats x20
Box Barbell RDLs x10 each
Walking Lunges With Twist x 20
Single Leg DB RDL x 10 each
Jumping Lunges x20 (not pictured)
Cable Kickbacks x 10 each

Two Sets Each!!!

Getting into a deep, wide squat is going to force those glutes to kick in when pushing back up into your beginning stance.
Adding a step to RDLs just gets your feet off the ground a bit which creates more space between you and the floor for an extra stretch in your hammies and glutes.
A walking lunge alone is a good glute workout, I decided to add a twist with a medicine ball for extra core and stabilization work.
Single leg RDLs are tough because they ask more of the stabilizer muscles in each leg…I feel this exercise in my outer hip and glute.
I just ordered this cable attachment and I was excited to put it to work today. Cables bring in a different demention to resistance exercises, it’s always nice to add them in.

DONT FORGET TO STRETCH! 🙂