Cardio. The dreaded C-word when it comes to fitness. Doing cardio is like going to the dentist.. You know you need to, but you never want to.. and usually you feel better afterwards, but let’s face it, DURING–it sucks. Doing cardio is like someone giving you ten dollars for allowing them to punch you square in the gut. You can’t breathe, you roll around in pain and agony, but in the end, you’re rewarded.
Cardio comes in many forms and routines. When most people think of cardio they immediately think of the strip of darkness and sadness that consume half of most gyms–The stationary bikes, ellipticals, treadmills, and other boring devices of torture used to elevate your heart rate. Oh the monotony of running in place, biking to no where, walking up stairs while staying on the exact same level.
But in reality, this does not have to be where it begins. You do not have to succumb to running like a gerbil on a hamster wheel to stay in shape. I have found the best way to actually enjoy cardio is to continually mix it up! Perform different exercises for different reps or rounds. Pair different exercises together. The more the merrier! It gets your mind off of how much you actually hate exercise when you are constantly changing exercises and counting reps!
Let’s design a new cardio program for you. Continue reading
Wednesday–half way through your work week–you’re almost there! What’s one way of helping you energize and push through your hump day? A high intensity interval workout! I always feel extremely energized and motivated after completing a good HIIT workout. This week we will perform each exercise for a total of 1 minute, then rest for 30 seconds. Move on to next exercise once finished with the rest, complete the cycle 1-3 times through!! Rest for 1:30 between the three cycles if needed!! Each cycle should take 9:00 minutes total with rest.
1:00 on, 0:30 rest
- Tuck Jumps
- Goblet Squats (with med ball, dumbell, or kettlebell —weight as heavy or light as you wish)
- Mountain Climbers
If this is too intense for you, feel free to scale down to a 1:1 rest, either work 0:30 and rest 0:30 or work 1:00 and rest for 1:00. That will allow yourself more recovery time. Listen to your body, you know it best! Hope you enjoy this one! It is a burner. Embrace the burn and sweat. You’ll feel great after the suck! Plus, HIIT workouts are great fat burners 🙂 Get After it! Any workouts or questions that you have and would like me to post or include in future blog posts– please comment below!! I love the feedback! 🙂
I can’t believe that another week has gone by! Only three weeks shy of my first bikini competition. Progress pictures above. Reflections of this past week are:
1. I have been slacking in the posing practice part– I haven’t been wearing my heels around the house to “get comfortable” walking in them either. That may bite me in the booty later. Goal for the next three weeks is to step up my game and practice, practice, practice!
2. Picking up from last week, I tried to stay around the 1,850 calorie/day diet. I just felt tired. I took a nap EVERY day. By Thursday, it was time to work night shift, and I was a SNAIL. I was moving so sluggishly and falling asleep charting at the computer at 10 pm — only 3 hours into my 12 hour shift. I ended up eating a sticky cinnamon bun topped with candied pecans that was part of a baked good gift basket a patients’ family had brought in. It was the calories and carbohydrates my body needed— I felt rejuvenated and the rest of the shift was a breeze. YES, if I had a healthier, competition prep friendly carbohydrate (like oatmeal) I would have eaten that, but I was stuck at work with just the protein high food I brought.
I’m telling this story because I am not trying to hide the fact that I am human. Continue reading
Recently, I met with a posing coach to begin to get this posing thing down for my upcoming bikini competition. Surprisingly, this may be the hardest part of the competition prep! The posing is very awkward and unnatural–and then you throw in 4-5 inch heels! My grace resembles bambi on ice BUT nevertheless, it is a work in progress and every day I am improving. Meeting with the posing coach definitely helped. The coach–whom is also a renowned bikini competition JUDGE– gave me great positive feedback! I was a little worried she may believe I am “too muscular” or need to “soften” a little bit, but she actually said I looked great for bikini! Her only criticism was that the next four weeks i need to focus on my glute and hamstring development. Which was something I already knew. i have begun incorporating lower body workouts 2-3x/week. Here is an example of my glute/ham workout:
Cable lateral leg raises 5×15 each leg
Donkey Kicks with dumbbell 5×25 each leg (rest dumbbell in crease behind knee)
Leg Press 5×25 (focus on pushing with HEELS, foot placement with toes almost hanging off platform. Activate hamstrings and glutes each press)
Laying Leg Curls 20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8 (begin with a lighter weight, continue to add weight and decrease reps by two)
Hip thrusts with laying leg curl machine (or use barbell if you feel awkward using this machine in that way!!) 5×12
Hip Abduction 5x 25 reps leaning forward 10 pulses 10 reps sitting upright
I have been slacking on the workout pages because I like to include pictures of how to do the exercises. But, since I go to the gym alone this hasn’t been easy to accomplish! I have included links to pictures I found online corresponding with some exercises that may confuse some people. Hopefully this helps!
Arms and Chest
Superset: 3-5 rounds 8-10 increasing in weight
Superset: 3-5 rounds of 10
- Plyo Push-up to plates
- Decline push up (feet on bench or plates)
Different Body, Same Mint Green Phone Cover 😛 I do want to mention– Jan 2015 I WAS working out 5x/week. There has been no change in my workout frequency. It is true when they say fitness is 70% diet 30% exercise!!
Good Monday readers! I wanted to share with you my transformation–and no, the dates are completely accurate. I also want to share how I did this–no starving, no diet pills, & no cutting carbs. It doesn’t happen overnight, but you may see results quicker than you think! Once you see results there’s no stopping you! I found this quote while on “Pinterest” :
“It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a difference in your body. 8 weeks for friends and family to notice a difference. And 12 weeks for everyone else”
Today was leg day! Honestly, my least favorite day–but my greatest weakness, so I work legs twice a week! Usually Monday and Friday– start and finish the week off with a bang! Here is an example of a leg day workout utilizing a barbell or straight bar. Feel free to use dumbbells or anything that could add some weight!Split Squats– 3 rounds of 10/each leg For split squats: Focus on staying tight in core, keep your chest up!! Do not let knee pass your toes on your squat!
In a rush? Crazy Schedule? Your diet doesn’t have to suffer! Forget the fast food garbage or the gas station junk. Grab one of these snacks to keep you satiated throughout the day! Here is a list of my favorite high protein snacks that are great on the go! Continue reading
I love training back. Here is my routine from yesterday 6/10/15:
- seated cable rows (3×8-10 with close grip attachment, 3×8-10 sets wide grip attachment)
- dumbbell pull-overs 6×10
- Pull-ups (5×5)
- Face-pulls with rope attachment (5×10)
- Standing wide grip lat push downs (3×8)
- Wide grip lat pull downs (3×8)
- Narrow grip lat pull downs (3×8)
- Behind the neck lat pull downs (3×8)
Doing Ab workouts used to be my least favorite. I actually avoided abs for a long time. It always felt so tedious and I wondered why I wasn’t seeing any results from doing 200 reps of crunches. And the reason why was just that: I was just doing crunches. Decline crunches. Normal Crunches. Crunches to the left. Crunches to the right. BORING. I finally figured out you have to utilize different exercises and engage different muscles if you want to have a strong core. PS, you DO NOT have to do abs more than once a week if you are ENGAGING and tightening your abs during your weight lifting workouts. If you were to punch me in the stomach while I am performing a Lat pull-down, strict press, lateral raise, deadlift—you name it, A. you would probably get punched back, but B. you would feel that my core muscles are 100% engaged (WHATS IT LIKE PUNCHING ROCKS ?! 😛 ) This is where the majority of my ab work comes from–and it not only gives you a solid core, but it helps your form while weight lifting as well! Make a conscious effort next time you pick up weights to engage the core!
One of my favorite circuits for a toned tummy! I do this routine once a week 🙂
Every Sunday a group of friends from the gym and I have been doing workouts at the nearby highschool. It is a great way to get your cardio in without being confined to a treadmill. Continue reading
Today I varied my cardio up and went to a hill –probably the only hill in Florida– and did hill sprints with friends. We did about 15 accents sprinting up with varying exercises at the top (flat part) of the hill such as shuffle sprints, high knee skips, and squat broad jumps.
Following this, I came home and did a quick Glute workout — improvising with equipment at home. Continue reading
Today was shoulder day!! I love working my shoulders 🙂 If you want your arms to POP, train shoulders. The deltoid muscle adds a beautiful curve to your arm that people WILL notice. I train them once a week, usually the day after leg day. It doesn’t take too long, so I usually add ab work to this day as well. All you will need for this routine is a pair of dumbbells. Continue reading