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Shaping Up In Sacramento

An Uphill Battle

Hop and a Skip

I know it’s been awhile, what can I say, my bad. The good news is today is day 11, actually about an hour ago was day eleven. But, the point is I’m still hanging in there! I’m past the halfway point, and despite my soreness, I’m feeling pumped for the next 10 days. During these dog days, I’ve had to dip into my reserve of fitness DVDs otherwise I didn’t know if I would have the determination to keep going. Some of the many reasons I like fitness DVDs include, cost, pace, and effectiveness. You can buy a DVD once and it can last for hundreds of workouts, you always have someone to keep up with, and I find if you put in the work, you will get the results.

Day 7: Jillian Michael’s ripped in 30- week 1
Day 8: Jillian Michael’s kickboxing workout #1
Day 9: Jillian Michael’s ripped in 30- week 1 (again)
Day 10: The Firm Volume 1
Day 11: Windsor Pilates Buns & Thighs

You may be wondering what The Firm is, or maybe you remember the 90’s clearly, at any rate, The Firm is by far the most effective workout program I have ever done. They were doing super sets and aerobic weight lifting before its recent popularization. I am particularly a fan of volumes 1 and 4. I recommend them to everyone I know because they are super effective, you just have to laugh and appreciate the bright-colored spandex.

On the health front, I decided to swing by GNC to try one of those month supply combo packs of pills. But, the one I purchased is just not working for me. Despite the great reviews on amazon.com, sometimes a product just doesn’t work for your body, and that’s okay. It’s important for us to realize that not everything we try is going to work, but the most important thing is that we respect our bodies. My body told me within 24 hours, “Hey yeah, I know you were hoping this would make you ripped, but no.” Okay, maybe not that exact conversation, but I certainly got the message. I hear that GNC has a fantastic return policy, I certainly hope that’s true because I’d hate to be feeling blah, and be out fifty bucks. That’s all for now, crunch on!

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Chuggin’ Along

It’s been a busy, and sore, couple of days. But, I still got workouts in on both day 5 and day 6. My legs were absolute killing me after Jessie’s resistance band workout (still are) so I decide to do some Pilates for day 5, as well as light arms. My mom bought the Windsor Pilates program from like 10 years ago, I still shuffle through them every once in a while because I’m a big believer in cross training. If you don’t have any at home workout DVDs that’s fine, any Pilates video on youtube would probably be fine. Mine was about 20 mins of ab work. After I was warmed up from that, I did some arm work. I mentioned in my about section that I’ve been dealing with an injury, so I have to use relatively light weight, if you really want to see results I suggest aiming for increased weight.

Quick Arms
20 bicep curls
20 bent arm side raises
10 shoulder presses
10 upright rows
20 hammer curls
20 triceps kickbacks
10 front arm raises (rotate thumbs up, then palms down at top of move)
10 military presses
20 lateral rows
20 french presses
Rest – Repeat 2-3 times

I used 3 pounders, which is an okay weight if you’re a beginner, or getting started on an exercise plan. If you’ve got a bit more experience under your belt hit the fives or eights. If you’re intermediate to advanced 10+ The main focus should be to do what feels best. Feel free to trade up or down if a certain exercise isn’t challenging enough, or is too challenging. I recommend heavier weights for the last to exercises. The lats are big powerful muscles and can take a lot of weight. The french press will really target the dreaded “bat wing” area of your arm, and it takes heavy weights to change the shape of that muscle. I recommend lifting heavy when you can because you will get results quicker that way. Additionally, the more muscle you have the more calories those muscles will help you burn because they need the fuel to keep you going through the day. Muscle is a good thing. Women tend to be afraid of bulking up or being too masculine, but naturally women don’t have the amounts of testosterone needed to start looking like She Hulk. If you feel as if you are bulky, it’s probably because you have muscle but it’s trapped under a layer of fat, in which case you should kick up your cardio, high intensity interval training, kickboxing, kettlebell, whatever you like just get and keep your heart racing.

Day 6, I had family visiting from out-of-town so I took the opportunity to hang out with them and only just barely squeaked a little workout in towards the end of my day. I also got a massage today, so I’m hoping my legs will feel better tomorrow. Today’s workout was a little sheepish, just a 5 running in place workout and a ten minute tabata. A tabata is traditionally a 4 minute workout. It consists of 20 seconds of all out effort and 10 seconds of rest/ prep for the next exercise. Many modifications have been made to the original, like 50 seconds work 10 seconds rest, 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest etc. You can do a tabata with pretty much any exercise, squats, push-ups, crunches, jump squats, jumping jacks anything. The main point is that you must push yourself as hard as you can to complete as many reps as you can (with good form!) in the allotted time. I recommend downloading a tabata timer for your phone, many of which are free in the istore or playstore

Tonight’s tabata- Traditional 20 sec on, 10 sec rest – 10 mins or 20 rounds
Squats – Lunge right leg – Lunge left leg – Sumo squat – Push-up *(modify to knees, box, or wall) – Crunch – Squats – Reverse lunge left – Reverse lunge right – Sumo squat – Push-up* – Full sit-up – Push-up* – Full sit-up – Plank – Reverse ab lift – Plank – Reverse ab lift – Plank – Squat jumps.

After my warm up and 10 minute tabata I was soaked in sweat. Not every workout needs to feel like a marathon, some can be quick and to the point. Tonight’s workout was really me just saying “Hey, I’m still here.” Even though I was enjoying time with my family I stayed on course with my goal, and I know you can too, just power through and crunch on!

Baby Steps

For me, today is day 4. I was expecting to be extraordinarily sore, but it surprisingly wasn’t that bad, so I decided to target my legs today with another workout from my friend Jessie. If you’re like me, you probably think resistance bands are kinda wimpy, well that’s what I thought. After trying her resistance band workout, and getting my butt thoroughly kicked, I can say with confidence that these workouts will get you on the road to body reform!

As we all know, exercise alone will not get you healthy and in the shape you want. The other part of it is nutrition. They say “abs are made in kitchen” and that “nutrition is 70% and exercise is only 30%” I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but it’s true. If you put all the effort into working out, don’t blow it with bad food choices, something I’m notorious for (I love dessert). So let’s get started.

First off, I think it’s important to identify your triggers. When the kids start screaming is it time to grab a chocolate bar? Do you have trouble saying no at happy hour? Do late night sugar cravings get that best of you? We all have our triggers, no one is perfect. The difference between us and those in shape is that they prepare themselves to encounter their triggers. By having a game plan, an alternative, or a hard limit you can control what you’re going to let enter your body. I urge you to focus on real food. Veggies, fruit, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats. If you focus on trying to get the nutrients you need daily, you’ll have way less time to eat processed, sugar filled foods. When you do decide to indulge make it worth it. If your weakness is ice cream, don’t blow those calories on a bag of potato chips, go get yourself a scoop of ice cream, which leads me to your challenge. Get rid of the unhealthy processed foods in your house. This can be painful, but it’s a necessity to your health. If you’d like you can bag it up and donate it, though I have strong reservations about giving crappy food to people in need, but that’s another issue. The point is, if there is bad food, easily available in your own home, you are more likely to go for that instead of a healthier snack that may be in your fridge out of sight. So get rid of the junk, and make healthier choices easily accessible. Keep fruit in a bowl on your counter or in your fridge. Take 30 minutes to an hour to prep some snacks, or if you’re short on time, or padded in your bank account, purchase pre-cut fruits and veggies. We need make real food our go to, instead of to go.

That’s all for now, good luck, and crunch on!

Britney

Taking the First Step

Everyone has to start somewhere. That’s what I keep telling myself, at least. I happen to be starting 80 pounds overweight. But that’s okay. I had an art teacher that said “If you can draw beautifully already that’s great, but if all you can do is draw a stick figure, that’s even better, because you’ll get the most out of this class.” Though the situation is quite different, I agree with the sentiment. The one with the longer journey gets the opportunity to get the most out of his or her transformation.

Speaking of transformations, where do we start? We need a way to measure our success, so the first step should be goal setting. You want to choose a combination of short-term and long-term goals. These goals need to be attainable and motivating. Meaning, don’t set yourself up for failure by making your goals outlandish, i.e. losing 20 pounds in a month is not going to happen, at least not safely. One of my short-term goals is to workout for 21 consecutive days. I just finished my summer semester at school and have about 3 weeks until my next semester begins. I’m currently on day 3. The soreness is beginning to set in, so I will definitely need an active recovery day tomorrow. If you want to follow along, this is what I’ve done so far.

Aug/3 Day 1: 1 mile jog.

Aug/4 Day 2: Workout video by my friend Jessie. She’s a beast so I had to modify quite a bit. Jessie Legs Workout

Aug/5 Day 3: 30 minutes on stationary bike. 30 minutes abs/ stretch.

That’s about all I have for you tonight. But, I can’t wait to share more with you as I continue on this journey. If you want to know more about me, check out the about section. Have a great night, and crunch on!

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