Archive for December, 2011

Body Bar Awesomeness

Posted: December 30, 2011 in Bootcamp, My Workouts

What is a Body Bar? I didn’t know until a month or so ago. I am so glad I stumbled across it when I did! I love weights and weight training, but (as I think I have mentioned before) I dislike gyms and gym memberships. I love the idea of having an entire gym stock full of awesome equipment housed in the comfy cozy atmosphere of my humble abode. That would be super awesome, but unfortunately, my funds are limited and the home gym of my dreams will be staying there.

Weights are expensive. Barbells and plates are really expensive. Enter the Body Bar!

Basically it is a heavy bar. It comes in all weights and they are color coded for easy identification if you happen to have more than one weight in your own humble abode 😉 What makes the Body Bar so exciting is that not only can you use as you would a traditional barbell with weights, you can also use it as a core strengthener and for balancing yourself while doing standing exercises. Its awesome. My husband got one for Christmas and I am itching to add it into my workouts!

I will let you know how it goes and maybe tape it in an upcoming video!

Body Bar Website – go here to read up about the Body Bar
Amazon – but if you want to buy one, go here. WAY cheaper! 🙂


New Bootcamp Session Starts Soon!

Posted: December 28, 2011 in Bootcamp

The new session for Bootcamp begins soon! Call Bodyshaping by Sandy to get yourself registered! My classes meet Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm. This leaves you plenty of time to grab a quick bite to eat after work and get ready to sweat your way to new you in the new year. I have people of all shapes, sizes, and ability levels enrolled in my classes. Women and men from 18-75. I am not looking to beat you down into the floor with exercises that you can’t to. I aim to strengthen, excite, and empower you on your path towards a new you.

If you have any questions about Bodyshaping, about me, or about Bootcamp, email me here. I look forward to hearing from you!

With the new year come thoughts of bettering ourselves.
“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

This year Santa brought me a Fitbit and I can’t tell you how exciting it has been for me, and I have learned so much in the couple of days that it has been up and running. What is a Fitbit you say?? A Fitbit is an awesome, tiny little wireless device that tracks your activity during the day and keeps track of your sleeping patterns (which I think is SO cool!).

So, the Fitbit looks like this

You clip it to your pants and go about your normal days activities. Or if you are like me, you push the little button on it every 20 minutes to see how many calories you have burned while matching socks 😉 There is Fitbit website that allows you to sync up your device and create a personal profile so you are able to log in and track your steps taken, flights of stairs climbed, calories burned, etc, over time. The neatest thing for me is to physically see your sleep pattern on a graph. I realized after a couple of nights with the Fitbit, that I wake up anywhere from 6-9 times a night! I had no idea! The good thing for me though, my sleep efficiency rating is 96%, so apparently there are others out there who wake up way more than I do. Phew!

Along with the awesomeness of my new “friend”, comes its “partner” website LoseIt! Lose It is a site that directly links up with your Fitbit (though you can use Lose It without one, which is what my husband does), and tracks your calories for the day. Some of you may have heard the key to weight loss is a simple “calories in, calories out” equation. This is where the Fitbit and LoseIt come in handy. I will put the links to both sites at the bottom of this post. I encourage you to take a look at them, especially LoseIt. It is a great tool that is easy to use. It really shows you at the end of the day what you ate. Which sounds silly, but trust me, when you see your calories laid out in a graph at the end of the day, you will be surprised at where the majority of your calories come from. I know I was!

So, although I wanted to brag just a little bit about my awesome Christmas present, my main point of this blog post is just to let you know of different tools out there that don’t cost a lot of money. The Fitbit costs less than $100 and the software is free for your computer, and there is no membership fee (which is not true of the BodyBugg. BodyBugg is a similar device that requires a paid subscription and, in my opinion, is not nearly as awesome). LoseIt is also a free site for anyone who wants to use it and with recent updates, has become a lot easier to use. If you have a Smartphone, LoseIt has a free app that makes tracking your foods easier while you are away from you computer.

I hope to share some other “new” health/fitness tools with you guys as we begin the New Year. Check out the sites and let me know what you think. If you happen to decide to give LoseIt a shot – look me up (Stephanie Radomski) and be my “friend” 🙂

Lose It!

So is anyone else ready to jump into a new year working towards a new you?? I know I am! I have had enough party food to last me well into the new year, that’s for sure!

What are your plans for you this year? It’s a specific question that often conjeurs up some very vague responses.
– I want to be healthier
– I want to lose weight
– I want to eat less
– I want to be a good example to my family

All of these resolutions are valid. Unfortunately, good intentions don’t produce results. This resolutions are the kind that fall to the way side come Valentine’s Day. To truly change yourself, you need to start with your mindset. You are not looking to lose 50 pounds and taking on a “diet” to get you to your goal. What happens when you get there? What happens when you wake up 50 pounds lighter? Do you continue to exercise regularly? Do you continue to meal plan and calorie count? Do you continue to do all of the things that got you to where you wanted to be or do you go back to “the old you”? Finally you are done dieting! Finally you can relax and eat freely. Finally you can skip the gym. Of course, this is not the case. We would all be skinny minis if it were!

Today you need to decide what you want for yourself. You need to be specific and you need to tell people. Write it down. Email it to me. Post it in the comments here…. just get it out there. If you say it, it becomes more real than if you just think it. And if it is on the internet, it is always out there 😉

So, I try to lead by example. Here is what I see for myself this year.
– I will get certified as a personal trainer
– I will build my own business helping people become healthier and stronger versions of themselves.
– I will continue to eat more real foods and less fake foods
– I will purchase either a pig or a cow from a local, organic farm
– I will blog daily 🙂

That is what I plan to do this year. Nothing is outlandish and unattainable. There are things that will force me to travel outside of my comfort zone, which is not something I typically enjoy so much, but I know I can do it. I know I have what it takes and I have a great support system at home. I now have said it. It is definitely out there…. so I challenge you to do the same. Let’s make 2012 a fantastic year together!!!!

Great article…

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Bootcamp

Great article from one of my favorite fitness blogs I follow, Read it here 🙂

Video 4

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Bootcamp, My Workouts, Videos

I am feeling a little better today, so I took the opportunity to go ahead a tape a quick workout. I had to keep cardio out of my workout as I am feeling lightheaded here and there and I didn’t really want to go and pass out on camera 😉 I did, however, include cardio in the workout for you! Consider it a Christmas present from me to you!

    Set 1:

Backward Lunge with a Dumbbell – I used a medicine ball here, you can use a dumbbell by holding one side in each hand. Or if you have a stability ball, go ahead and use that!

V-Sit Row – GREAT core exercise that also incorporates the legs! I used a resistance band to hold on to, you can use that or a towel works just as good. Find your balance in a V-sit position with your legs extended. Bend your knees and bring the towel up and over your feet and extend your legs once again. It takes a lot of balance concentration – once you find your groove you will rock it! If you trip up, just find your balance and jump back in the game. I had to sit on a mat half way through the set as my bum was hurting me… you might want to do the same 😉

CARDIO – High Knees for 30 seconds

    Set 2:

One Leg Squats with Dumbbell – Lift one leg slightly and hold a dumbbell in that same side. Find your balance (it took me a bit to find my groove), and slowly bend your stabilizing knee as you reach your dumbbell toward your standing foot. Do your best to keep your two ankles in alignment. If you lose your balance, regroup and start over 🙂

Pushups – Choose pushups that challenge you!!!

CARDIO – Bunny Hops (Ski hops) for 30 seconds

    Set 3:

Mason Twist – I held my medicine ball here, you can use a dumbbell or just clasp your hands together and touch the ground

Straight-Arm Situp with Weight – I used my ball again here. You can use a dumbbell or just extend your arms above your head and touch the ground in front of you as you sit up.

CARDIO – Jumping Jacks for 30 seconds

    Set 4:

Side Lunge With Towel – Squat back with your hips and let your opposite foot slide out the side of you. Focus on your form. Sink your hips behind you and use your inner thigh to pull that leg back in.

Glute Bridge with Towel – OUCH! Lie on the floor on your back with your legs bent and a towel underneath your heels. Lift your butt up off of the ground and try to keep a straight line between your shoulders and your knees the whole time. Extend your heels out away from you, keeping your butt lifted off of the ground. Then slowly pull your heels back in toward your butt.

I apologize for not posting a new workout. I swear I am not home on my couch eating Bon-Bons. Instead, my “chest thing” I had at Thursday’s class has turned into a full blown illness. Which is awesome, considering it is a week before Christmas and I only have about a million-trillion things to do. Sigh…. So, what little energy I have had, I have used to wrap presents and fight the crowds at the grocery stores so I can get the proper amounts of juice and goodies for my kids parties this week.

I will tape a video tomorrow though and I will have it up tomorrow night some time. Thank you all for bearing with me here… hope you are having a great weekend!

Whether you are on a budget and need to prioritize your organic purchases, or you would simply like to know which type of produce has the highest pesticide residues—and which do not—the following guide from the Environmental Working Group will help.

I am not a diehard organic girl, however, when it comes to “The Dirty Dozen” I do my best to buy these items organic. A basic rule of thumb to live by is buy organic thin skinned fruits and vegetables and if they have thick skin save your money and buy non-organic.

Simple Rules to Buying and Eating Organic Foods

1. Back to my simple rule: thin skin must be organic, thick skin can be non-organic. Watermelon? Non-organic. Grapes? Organic. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can wash pesticides off grapes, tomatoes and other thin-skinned produce. The pesticides soak into the skin!
2. You should still wash organic foods. While some farmers make every effort to grow their foods chemical free, their farm could still be located near a farmer that doesn’t. Chances are they share a water supply that can get contaminated from other sources.
3. Buy local by visiting your local Farmers’ Markets. Develop a relationship with the farmers that make the effort to produce organic produce.

Organic is EXPENSIVE. I know, it kills me when I go to the grocery store each week to buy fruit and veggies to feed my bottomless pits (my kids…). But, in the long run, I know that in certain cases, organic is not only something to consider, it is imperative for my family. Do what you can, when you can. 🙂

The holidays are well known for bringing feelings of love, family, fun, and good will. Everyone has a favorite memory from growing up, or a family tradition that has been passed down over the years. I want you to take a moment and really think about these special moments that you can remember, these traditions that your family has. Now ask yourself, how many of these memories involve food? Perhaps you recall the warm, welcoming feeling of grandma’s house when she would make her cookies each Christmas. Or maybe it’s the ham that Uncle Joe baked after cutting down the Christmas tree. As Americans, SO many of our traditions involve food. The warm feeling of love and comfort we associate with the holidays are tied to food.

I challenge you this holiday season to create new traditions with your loved ones that do not involve food. So many times emotions are linked to food. That is not only a recipe for disaster when it comes to maintaining a healthy relationship with food, it also leads to mindless eating and consuming large amounts of empty calories. So why not create new traditions that involve activity and DOING something? Here are a few great ideas I found to get you started!

Remember the Animals
Legend has it that on Christmas Eve, all animals are granted the ability to speak until daybreak. On Christmas Eve put a bird feeder outside or a peanut butter sandwich out for the squirrels. Decorate a tree outside with stringed popcorn and apple slices. I may do this one with my kids this year!

Read the Holidays Away
Read a different holiday story together each night. Here is a list to get you started:
• Twas The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
• A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
• The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
• Seven Candles For Kwanzaa by Andrea Davis Pinkney
• Inside-Out Grandma by Joan Rothenberg
• How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
• The Twelve Cats Of Christmas by Kandy Radzinski

Celebrate the Solstice!
Wake up the family at midnight on the night that Autumn turns into Winter to do some stargazing. Punch holes in paper bags and place a battery operated candle inside to use as a flashlight. Don’t forget to bundle up!

Light a Remembrance Candle
Gone are the days where families lived close together. Today grandma is just as likely to live across the country as she is to live across town. To bring the family together in spirit, have a candle lighting ceremony. To make the tradition your own, set a date for the big event and send invitations to all involved. Ask that everyone light a candle and send out wishes at an appointed hour (take time zones into account).

These are just a few ideas to get your brain thinking. Family Fun is a great website that has a lot of different ideas that you can try out this year. It really doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are creating some fond memories with your loved ones that you will have for years to come.

Here is Video 3! Sorry it took so long to post for you. I had to redo a workout and re-edit because the other file was too large. I am going to reformat that one (because it was SUPER awesome) and get it posted soon, but in the meantime here is a great Tabata set for you that is only 15 minutes or so long… a perfect workout to fit into those busy holiday days that are almost here!

This video has examples of some pushup modifications that are more effective than ones that we do in class. I encourage you to challenge yourself here, you will be surprised at how strong you really are!

The descriptions for the exercises follow the video. As always progress at your own pace, watch your form, and don’t be afraid to challenge yourself!

SIDE NOTE- I had a slight issue with my dog during the taping of the video which led to me cropping a portion of the video at the beginning… sigh. It’s always something isn’t it??? Anyway, the first couple rounds of “breaks” aren’t quite 10 seconds. The timing gets better as the video progresses, I promise! A life lesson I learned during the taping of this video – dogs and dumbbells don’t mix!!!!!

First Couplet
1- Modified Push ups- I demonstrate modified push ups here in a different way than we have been doing them in class. We are told to modify our push ups by performing them on our knees. Truth is, this leads to improper alignment of the spine (which means a higher likelihood of injury) and an unnatural body position. It isn’t the worst way to do a push up, (many trainers instruct this way and it is perfectly acceptable, but I think options are always a good thing!), attempting a full push up when you aren’t physically strong enough is much more dangerous. To perform a modified push up, you need to have an elevated surface, stairs work great for this! Raise your upper body, be sure to have your hands positioned under your shoulders, grip the side of the surface you are using (in my case an ottoman) to prevent slipping on your palms, and perform the push up as you would with your hands on the ground. You can do many varieties of push ups this way (plyo, tricep push ups, wide-set, etc). To increase intensity, simply decrease the incline of your upper body. It’s that simple! A very basic form to start with is to stand facing a wall, and do the push up with your hands on the wall. You will be surprised at how quickly you progress.
2- Forward Lunge with a Forward Lean – Step forward with your right foot, making sure to step far enough away from your body to keep good form. Toes behind knees. Both legs are bent at a 90 degree angle, increase the angle (with less of a lunge motion) to decrease the intensity. Hinge forward with a straight back and bring the dumbbells towards your ankle or calf. Push off the ground with the front foot to return to standing. Continue this on the right side. Next time, lead with your left leg.

Second Couplet
1- Advanced Push ups – Here we are doing the opposite of a modified push up. To increase intensity of a push up, raise your lower half. This will increase the amount of weight you are putting on your upper body, and therefore increase the workload your muscles must support. THESE ARE DIFFICULT! I encourage you to try them. It is at least a good idea to see what they feel like… but be sure to listen to your body here. At the end I held a plank position, it was just too tough for me after doing the previous set of modified push ups. If you would like, do the modified push ups through this set and slowly progress towards these bad boys… you will get there. I promise!
2- Straight Arm Plank Roll- For this, hold your body in a nice, tight, straight-armed plank. Shift your upper body weight above your shoulders and roll up onto your toes. The push through your shoulders and shift your upper bodyweight downward, and roll back onto the sole of your foot. Again, not an easy move, especially if you were attempting the push ups before hand. Do your best!

Third Set
1- Bicep Curl with a Should Press – So, during this set, there is just one exercise. It starts with a bicep curl, elbows close to your body. Lift the dumbbells up toward your shoulders using a slow and controlled motion. Don’t let your upper body sway. If this is happening, either opt for a lower weight or slow down your reps and concentrate on your form. Really squeeze at the top thinking of cracking that nut in your elbow-pit! From there, turn your wrists so they are facing forward and drive your dumbbells up into a should press. Keep your shoulders relaxed down, away from your ears. Arms extend straight up to the sky, elbows ending up by your ears. Reverse that motion back to the curl, and extend down to finish. Repeat about a billion times 🙂

Fourth Set
1- Straight Arm Plank with an Arm Raise – Start in a straight armed plank position. Keep that butt down!!! Take turns lifting each arm overhead, stopping at your ear.
2- Regular old bicep curl – basic move, so challenge yourself with heavier weights!!!

Fifth (and last!) Set!
Tricep Dips – Sit on an elevated surface, I chose my ottoman, but a chair or edge of a couch or stair will do well too. Have your hands close to your butt, gripping the side of the ottoman. Bring your hips out over the edge. Bend your arms at your elbows and drop your butt straight down the side of the ottoman. Push yourself back up and fully extend your arm to really engage that tricep muscle. To decrease intensity, bend your knees.