Archive for November, 2011

I tend to hop from one thing to the next a lot, especially with fitness. I often get bored easily and I am always looking for something new to shake things up a bit. If you are like me, I suggest you check this challenge out. The challenge is the 100 pushup challenge. In short, the program will take you from however many pushups that you can do today, to 100 consecutive pushups in six weeks.

I have to add here that this isn’t exactly a “new” program. It has been around for a few years, and I have gone through the training, maybe two years ago now. It was awesome though, and most importantly – it works!!!

I will link to the site at the end of this post. You can read about it there and hopefully join in on the challenge along with me. If you would like, post your scores as the weeks progress (I will post mine 3x a week so you can check up on me πŸ˜‰ ). Oh! And you can do it while you watch TV! Bonus!!!!

The program begins with a test day. Click where it says “INITIAL TEST” in the side bar of the website.

To perform the test, simply execute as many good-form push ups as you can. Don’t cut corners and please don’t cheat – the last thing you want to do is end up in the wrong level of the training program! The results may be humbling, but trust me, honesty is the best policy if you want to maximize your strength gains!

Everyone begins on Week One. Look at the chart and see where your number of pushups ranked. Follow the directions and go from there! You will need to test three times a week for 6 weeks. I know 100 pushups sounds unattainable… but believe me, IT WORKS!!!!

So check it out and tell me if you are in the boat with me!!!!

Go here for the 100 Pushup Challenge!!!

For those of you with smart phones, there is app for it too πŸ™‚
Happy Pushuping!!!

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No Bulk About It!

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Health, Nutrition
Tags: ,

I often hear about individuals wanting to lose weight or “be skinny” again. After I had my kids I probably said those same words more than once. I was never really unhappy with how I looked, but deep down I knew that I had better inside of me. One day I got to the point where a switched was flipped inside of me. I began reading about fitness, really wanting to understand it, not just “get skinny” as I knew was not what I truly wanted to be. What I wanted to be was strong and basically a happier, better version of myself. I wanted to get rid of the bad stuff I didn’t like (extra baby pounds included), and I wanted to add good stuff to my life too. I didn’t read a book that promised me inches lost in weeks. I didn’t take pills that claimed to block fat from being absorbed into my system. I didn’t stop eating any of my favorite things.

There are two things that I did do that really changed how my body looked and how I physically felt. First, I signed myself up for a Pilates class. This class really strengethend my core. Seriously, I lost inches within the first ten weeks and after twenty weeks I would say my metabolism changed as well as how I saw myself. In twenty weeks I grew incredibly stronger. I started to see definition in my body that I don’t remember ever having before that, even as a “skinny” teenager. I loved how I felt and I loved how I looked and I was 100% hooked.

After taking Pilates for about a year I began training to become an instructor. Through the training I was exposed to other group fitness classes, namely bootcamp and Zumba. I LOVED bootcamp the second I dropped to do my first twenty pushups. It was hard. I had to do them the “girl way”, but it was awesome. Being in that group setting really drove me to just “do one more”. After all, there was no way I was going to stop before the girl next to me! Leaving that class that day I felt as if my legs would give out underneath me. I looked like a sweaty pig (do pigs sweat??) and I instantly knew I wanted to move like that as much as possible. It was right around this time that my husband, Mike, (who has always been incredibly athletic and active) began P90X training. For those of you who aren’t familiar, P90X workout is an extreme 90 day fitness program developed by workout guru Tony Horton. It is an intense home exercise program that combines cardio workouts, weight and resistance training, yoga, plyometrics, and stretching routines to improve coordination, flexibility, and strength. It is super hard and super awesome all at the same time. I started joining in on workouts with Mike and this is where I believe the second fitness “milestone” happened. I DID BOY PUSHUPS! This was a huge deal for me and still is. I LOVE the feeling of being strong and doing something that I either never did before or I never could do before.

During all of this training I lost a lot of fat and gained a lot of muscle. Notice I did not say I lost weight, because I didn’t. Actually, I gained weight. Though a tad startling at first to the physique, (after all, aren’t the scale numbers supposed to go DOWN with all this stinkin work????), when I looked in the mirror I was incredibly happy with what I saw and I had never felt better physically. What was happening to me was that I was gaining muscle and losing fat. This is what we all want. We want to build up our muscles so we can more efficiently burn the calories that we eat everyday. I am sure that you have heard the joke, which weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks? The answer being neither, they both weigh a pound. In this case, we are looking at fat vs. muscle. Although it rings true that a pound of fat does indeed weigh the same as a pound of muscle but there is a big difference in the two as well. Muscle takes up a lot less space than fat does. If you take that pound of fat and put it into a container, you would need a much larger container than you would for the pound of muscle. Check out this SUPER awesome πŸ˜‰ image that really gives a great visual reference for you. Nice huh?? Fat is lumpy and bumpy and all over the place. Muscle is much easier to look at (and slide into a pair skinny jeans), and it works with the rest of our body, and not against it. So, if I haven’t made my point already, let me reiterate, MUSCLE iS GOOD, especially for the ladies! No need to fear the dreaded “bulking-up myth.” Woman do not have the hormones to get huge honkin muscles. We just aren’t genetically programmed to become that way, no matter how many pounds you hold while you sumo squat. In order to look like this pretty little thing…: major hormones are necessary as well as not having a day job, because every waking hour must be spent in the weight room. If you want to lose body fat and gain muscle in a natural, normal person way, by eating a good amount of protein to support healthy muscle growth after lifting weights and doing some sort of cardio activity, and if you are very lucky to be blessed by the God of Good Genes (oh how I wish I could be so lucky!!!), you will end up looking more like this:

That, my friends, is Zuzana, from Bodyrock.tv. Her and her people post workouts and healthy recipes daily and I highly suggest you check it out.

So, I have said quite a lot! Phew! I hope that I have busted the “bulky” myth – I despise it so much! Everyone repeat after me, muscles are our friends!!!!

πŸ™‚

Thanks to Bodyrock.tv and P90X. Check out their sites, you won’t be disappointed!

So, I already excused you from the calories that you will be consuming tomorrow, however I thought I would at least give you the option of knowing what is in all of that deliciously, yummy Turkey Day food.

Stop reading now if you would rather be on the “ignorance is bliss” wagon πŸ˜‰

Here are some typical Thanksgiving foods that may be grazing your lips tomorrow and the calorie count for each. Obviously these are just estimates, as people prepare foods differently. Note the portions listed as well. Often we scoop more than a serving size onto our plates! (Check out the difference between dark meat and white meat! Yikes!)

β€’ One small dinner roll: 87 calories
β€’ 1 pat of butter: 36 calories
β€’ Roasted white meat turkey, 4 ounces: 180 calories
β€’ Roasted dark meat turkey, 4 ounces: 323 calories
β€’ Turkey gravy ΒΌ cup: 50 calories
β€’ Stuffing Β½ cup: 190 calories
β€’ Mashed potatoes, 1 cup: 190 calories
β€’ Candied yams, Β½ cup: 210 calories
β€’ Sweet potato casserole, ΒΎ cup: 624 calories
β€’ Honey glazed carrots, Β½ cup: 45 calories
β€’ Green bean casserole, Β½ cup: 75 calories
β€’ Jellied cranberry sauce: ΒΌ cup: 110 calories
β€’ Pumpkin pie, 1/8 of a 9 inch pie: 316 calories
β€’ Apple pie, 1/8 of a 9 inch pie: 411 calories
β€’ Pecan pie, 1/8 of a 9 inch pie: 503 calories
β€’ Vanilla ice cream, Β½ cup: 145 calories

So there you have it! They say knowledge is power, in this case though I find that knowledge will most likely equate to guilt for me. But life is short, holidays are few and far between. So enjoy your dinner and have a great holiday!

There has been yet another change in the class extension schedule. Sigh. As if it wasn’t confusing enough already…

Bodyshaping has received information from the school that there will be concerts held in the gym space and will therefore make it unavailable for Bootcamp on one of our scheduled extension days 😦

This means I can only hold THREE EXTENSION CLASSES.

The dates for the extension classes will be as follows:

Tuesday, November 29th
Thursday, December 8th
Thursday, December 15th

If you have paid me already I will reimburse you the money for the day that was dropped from the schedule.

I assure you that this change came as much of a surprise to me as it has to you. I apologize for the confusion and constant changing of dates. I cannot stress enough how frustrated I am about this… Time to take a deep breath and roll with it I guess!

If you have any questions at all about this or anything else please email me. I am here for you!!!

I titled this class the “Snowball Circuit” on account of the upcoming holiday season. It is also referred to as a “pyramid” workout. Timing works the same as in a Tabata class. 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of rest. The difference in this class is that each exercise builds on the previous. In circuit one you do 20 seconds of bicep curls, then rest for 1o seconds. Circuit 2 starts with bicep curls, rest, then squats for 20 seconds, then rest. Then you will go back again to the bicep curls, rest, do the squats, rest, and then add in tricep kickbacks…. and so on and so forth.

Have fun with this workout! I found that it moved quickly, but was quite a calorie burner if the amount of sweat that was pouring off my brow meant anything. πŸ™‚

Snowball Circuit! (20/10)

Bicep Curls

Bicep
Squats

Bicep
Squats
Tricep Kickbacks

Bicep
Squats
Tricep Kickbacks
Skaters

Bicep
Squats
Tricep Kickbacks
Skaters
Clean to Press

Bicep
Squats
Tricep Kickbacks
Skaters
Clean to Press
Alt Side Plank

Bicep
Squats
Tricep Kickbacks
Skaters
Clean to Press
Alt Side Plank
Pushups

Bicep
Squats
Tricep Kickbacks
Skaters
Clean to Press
Alt Side Plank
Pushups
Side Burpees

Our break between sessions is just over a month long. That months time could make or break your progress thus far. Don’t let that happen!

I have seen such growth this session in our classes. I am so proud of you all! You have worked hard, sweated a LOT, and kept me on my toes looking for new ways to challenge you. I will miss you all during this break, BUT I have come up with a fantastic way to keep you (and me) on track with your workouts this during the holidays!

Each day I will be posting video workouts on my blog. The workouts will be about 25 minutes in length. Because they are short they will also be intense. Work at your own pace (no slacking though!!!!) and increase weights and intensity as you see fit. Be sure to do a warm-up before your workout and a cool-down when you are finished. During the workout I will not there to point out your form, so be sure to pay attention to your body. If you feel pain, make a change. You can lessen the weight, reduce your range of motion, or slow down your reps. Make smart choices but but don’t be afraid to sweat!

I am hoping you all tune in and workout with me during the break. To sweeten the pot, if you will, I have come up with a contest for all my Bootcampers! Tune in and work out during the break, sign in in the comment section, and include the three key words that I mention at various points during the workout. For every three workouts you complete I will put in an entry to our Super Awesome Drawing that will take place the first class of the first session in January. I will have super awesome prizes so I hope that you participate!

Videos will begin on December 5th. I plan on posting 5-6 workouts a week throughout the duration of the break.

IF YOU ARE TAKING THE EXTENSION CLASSES – I will count these classes as your workouts during the break, so if you do all 4, you will get an entry into the January drawing. Now how awesome is that?

Email me with any questions that you may have on the contest rules, exercises, or the next session. I will get back to you quickly – I promise!

Hope you all have fun watching me workout in my basement!!! πŸ™‚


I can assure you, my videos won’t look like this πŸ˜‰

With the holidays coming up there is sure to be some partying, dining and holiday cheer pressing into your normally scheduled workout routines. On any given day throughout the year it is easy to get lost in schedules and family priorities, and as a result it can feel as if there is no time to get a good workout in. If it is easy to fall off of the proverbial fitness wagon on a “normal” day, during the holidays we barely stand a chance.

My answer to the question, “How can I stay fit during the holiday season?” is quite simple – make smart choices and above all…. WORK OUT! Do some sort of physical activity during the holidays. Go for a walk if the weather is cooperative. Pop on the treadmill for a few minutes when you can find the time. Try out that new workout DVD you got last January πŸ™‚ Do what you can when time is on your side…

Aside from this, I encourage you to take a break from your calorie counting and enjoy the holiday season. I for one, intend to eat, drink and be merry! I do not encourage a “diet” mentality at any time of the year. Recently I heard the saying, “You don’t get fat between Christmas and New Years. You get fat between New Years and Christmas.” This really rings true to how I feel about the holidays and just enjoying life in general. Why do we work out and eat healthy? Well, for me, I work out because when I don’t work out I feel sluggish and it makes me feel good about myself. I like that I can do pushups and lift heavy weights. I watch what I eat so I can live a long and healthy life. I want to see my kids, kids get married. I want to be able to do these things wearing clothes that I like and I want to show my kids that when they grow up they can choose to live a healthy life and have fun. I want to be their example. All of this makes me happy.

What does not make me happy though is “watching what I eat” at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. I literally work my ass off all year round. I do this and I think I deserve the opportunity to kick my feet up, sit on my keester and eat and drink my face off, a few nights a year. I can tell you, I eat an average of 1500 calories a day of whole foods, lean meats, and lots and lots of fruits and veggies. I stay away from dairy as much as possible, though my love for yogurt and cheese really makes that difficult πŸ˜‰ I also eat very little sweets or desserts. Luckily, I wasn’t really born with an overpowering sweet tooth. And I rarely go out to eat. Let me tell you though, come Thanksgiving I will more than likely double my calorie intake for the day. I will eat gobs of dark turkey meat (because really, it just tastes better), loads of buttery mashed potatoes, and in all honesty, I will probably lose count of the drinks I drink. I am going to enjoy my family and the season and I think you all should too. Be happy. Life is too short to worry about falling off of any proverbial wagons. Starting Monday after the holidays, lace those sneakers back up, and be ready to get back to work and get back to your fitness routine.

HAPPY TURKEY DAY EVERYONE!

I taped my first video today! I am super excited to bring a workout video series to the blog. The idea came to me during class a couple weeks ago. Sadly, our session is nearing it’s end. There is a month-long break between the last class of this year and the new session of the new year. I know I don’t want to lose my “edge” over the holidays, so I got to thinking. Why not bridge the gap between sessions by providing my class (and their friends, and family, and whoever else!) with a virtual Bootcamp class?

So, I am getting geared up to launch this video series officially in December. I plan to post daily, at least 5 times a week. The workouts will be between 20 and 30 minutes in length. They will be high intensity and definitely will demand some mental strength as well. I hope you not only tune in daily to watch me sweat like a freak, (all in the name of fitness, of course) but I hope you join me and do something to better yourself during the hustle and bustle the holiday season seems to always bring. Don’t leave your resolutions for the New Year. Start NOW!!!!

Alrighty! So after last week’s deviation from my normal class plan, we are back in the Tabata saddle with a vengeance this week! It is a tough workout, but it seems to go by quickly… or maybe I just blacked out at some point πŸ˜‰

I just finished this workout and afterward I added in alternating pushups and sit-ups (3 sets of 10 each) – just cuz I’m crazy like that.
Make this your workout for the day and let me know how you do!

Tabata

(4x)
– One legged Squats
– Plank Alt Thigh Touch

(4x)
– Alt Side lunge with a low hammer curl
– Elbow Side Plank Press

(4x)
– One Foot Hops (crosses)
– 90 degree shoulder press

(4x)
– Rock Star Jumps
– DB Lunge with a glute raise (all rt, then all lft)

(4x)
– Renegade Row
– Side to side jumps

(4x)
– Overhead External Rotation
– One Leg Burpees

Remember the 20 seconds on/10 seconds off format of Tabata! Read about that HERE.

Homemade Yogurt

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Nutrition, Recipes
Tags: , , , ,

So, I am always looking for little ways to keep my family eating heathy foods without having to pin them down and shovel vegetables in their mouths (this is mostly in regards to my youngest, and most headstrong son). This week I am going to try to make me some homemade yogurt! We go through a LOT of yogurt in my house and yogurt can be expensive, especially when you want to purchase organic brands that aren’t all hopped up with sugar.

As I was searching, I came across a site that has a wonderful variety of organically based, delicious recipes. The site is called Keeper of the Home and I encourage you to check it out!

Here is the recipe I will be attempting to make this week:
Homemade Yogurt Recipe
I will let you know how it turns out!