Tag Archive for squats

Recap: The Fitness Summit 2016

An incredible weekend of learning and shenanigans has come to a close and I can’t wait until I have the energy to start processing it all (because I think I slept a combined 7 hours in 3 days -_-).

Thursday night, my friend and I flew out to Kansas City to attend The Fitness Summit. I’d never been before, but have heard great things about it. I have been craving some new learning experiences and since this meant I also got to travel to another city, this seemed like the perfect event.

Some of the presenters I was very familiar with and some were brand new. I walked away with a new perspective, tons of new information that I can apply to training my own clients, and new friends. Here are some of the recaps:

Tony Gentilcore

…went over the Deadlift. This was one of the presentations I was most looking forward to, since deadlifts are one of my favorite exercises. He not only went over technique and deciphering the type of deadlift that a client should perform based on where they are at physically, but also showed us some really awesome practical modifications to get clients to reign in their form and get their bodies to learn the proper patterns of the deadlift. I easily have 5-7 new deadlift modifications in my toolbox and I can’t wait to use them with my clients.

This article highlights most of the “hip hinge badassery” as Tony calls it.

TonyGentilcoreHipHinge copy

Source: Tony Gentilcore

Why this was so helpful: The deadlift is such a great movement because of the recruitment of so many muscle groups. Because of this, many people have a hard time following all of the cues and maintaining proper form such as pulling the hips back, engaging your glutes/hamstrings/lats, keeping your chest out, neutral spine, and the list goes on. I personally have 2-3 clients that have an extremely hard time with this and it limits our training a bit. I am 99.9% sure that with some of the exercises Tony went over, I’ll have these clients deadlifting with proper form very soon.

Nick Tumminello

…discussed single leg movements and this was a pretty interesting topic. We practiced several of the movements that he went over and while the actual movements weren’t necessarily new to me, some of the positioning was different. It was interesting to perform these single-leg movements (such as reverse lunges and step-ups) in different positions to recruit more of the glutes or to put a higher load on the actual working leg based on the rest of your body positioning. I also added some new-to-me single leg exercises that I can add to my arsenal.

This article goes over some of those movements.

nicktumminello1

Source: Nick Tumminello

Why this was so helpful: As a trainer, the basics will always be the majority of what I’ll focus on with my clients. However, depending on the type of client (and especially the athletes), there are some single leg exercises that just do a better job at certain things. The more tools in my tool box, the better equipped I’ll be with my clients and their needs.

Bret Contreras

…talked about squats, deadlifts, and hip thrusts. While I’m pretty familiar with Bret’s style and have a slight bias considering I’ve learned a good portion of what I know from him, it was still a good refresher and I always learn something new from him. I think the biggest take away from this particular presentation was not being afraid to adapt. We’d all like to have optimal squat and deadlift form, but that isn’t always possible. We have to be able to adapt to what works best for the individual, even if it is outside of the “normal” technical recommendations. The main focus should be safety and as long as a client isn’t being injured, it’s okay to be less-than-perfect.

bret

Source: Bret Contreras

Why this was so helpful: I think as trainers, we get it in our heads that everything needs to be perfect at all times or else it is to be avoided. While I think striving for that perfect form is where we all should be thinking, accepting that that isn’t always plausible is also really crucial and making adjustments that will get the job done without injury is an option.

Last but not least,

Alan Aragon.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you saw that he is my new #braincrush. Not only is he a brilliant guy, his delivery of information is incredibly sound. He gives real-world advice and leaves out the fluffy bullshit. I think I speak for most people at the conference when I say that he left all of us inspired and ready to take on the world. His tips and tools for pursuing your own career in the fitness business were really insightful and I think he touched on all of the “fear” aspects that many (if not all) of us have.

alanaragon

Source: Alan Aragon

Why this was so helpful: I’m often crippled by fear and have often felt like the only one. Alan’s advice was to find the things you love in the industry and build your business around them. Not only that, but he provided some tools to figure out what those areas might be for people like me who aren’t 100% sure what that “dream job” looks like. Fear is present in almost every single entrepreneur’s venture at some point, but his best advice to move past that is to just DO IT ANYWAYS. You da man Alan.

(Also, he’s really freaking smart, so you should go look through his articles too.)

There were several other speakers that gave really great presentations and I think it’s safe to say that there was really something for everyone there. From the fitness enthusiast to the personal trainer to the nutritionist to the fitness business tycoon, there was plenty of good information in all realms of the fitness industry. I will definitely be back next year!

The Location

It’d be a tragedy if I also didn’t mention the amazing gym that the conference was held at, Impact Elite Gym in Kansas City. This gym had everything you could ever need/want (except a hip thruster) and had tons of space to do it. The “feel” of the gym was hardcore/oldschool and the bar at the front desk where they made protein shakes, pancakes (!!!!), and had all kinds of drinks and snacks was bar none.

As busy as we were, I obviously couldn’t leave without getting a workout in.

Here’s what I did:

-Good Mornings + Squats: 45×10, 75×10, 95×5

-Back Squats: 145x10T (got all 10 reps in 1 set)

10 min. AMRAP

-RDL’s: 145×10

-Squat Jumps: bwx10

I did 6 rounds in 9:36 and called it. It’s barely 24 hours later as I’m writing this and my glutes and hamstrings are already sore.

-Leg Press: 140×10, 180×10, 230×10, 270×10, 320×10, 320×15, 320×5

EMOM – 10 min.

-Kettle Bell Swings: 70×6

This workout kicked my ass and I ended up having to go back to the hotel to shower afterwards. Totally worth it though!

Time to go read, write, learn and GSD(get shit done)!!!

 

 

Tuesday Workout & Fun Fitness Survey!

Hey Hey!

How’s your day going? Mine started with a half-asleep-but-killer leg workout!

I got to bed a little bit later than planned last night and was a little slow to get going this morning!

My workout started with heavy squats and I think I was yawning in between each set. 😀

I ended up doing this workout:

  • Squats: 4 sets of 5 reps (135, 145, 145, 145)
  • DB Walking Lunges: 3 sets of 12 (20 lb DB’s)
  • Medicine Ball Jump Squats: 3 sets of 15 (16 lb med. ball)
  • 45* Hypers: 2 sets of 20 (25 lb plate)
  • Banded Hip Thrusts: 2 sets of 20 (heavy + extra heavy band)<—-these were HARDDDD
  • Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 12-15 (90, 110, 130)
  • Lying Ham Curls: 3 sets of 10-12 (50, 60, 60)
  • Banded Hip Adduction: 2 sets of 30 (heavy band)

My legs are definitely a bit shaky after this and I’m pretty sure I’m walking funny!

fun fitness survey

I saw this blog survey on the interwebs and since I love filling out forms, I just had to do it!

1. What did you eat for breakfast?

A Chocolate chip banana muffin that my mom sent me home with (YUM), some grapes, and a coffee. Normally I do eggs + egg whites and fruit, but I changed it up today!

IMG_9093

Photo doesn’t do it justice. SO good!

2. How much water do you drink a day?

Not sure. I keep a bottle with me wherever I go and drink throughout the day.

3. What is your current favorite workout?

I love lifting weights.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

Anywhere from 1700 – 2400. I eat what I want, but don’t try to hit a certain number each day. That’s just where it falls.

5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Fruit, Quest Bars, coffee (that’s a snack, right?!), and nuts.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

My go-to: brown rice, a turkey burger chopped up (or chicken), avocado and hot sauce

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

Legs and Booty!!

IMG_9018

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

Triceps.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

I don’t really label my food as good or bad. But for the sake of this question….sour candy!

10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

I have been taking the About Time L-Glutamine, Multi-Vitamin, and Joint Supplement recently.

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11. How often do you eat out?

I grab food from Whole Foods and the Co-Op (like Whole Foods) quite often, but other than that, maybe once per week.

12. Do you eat fast food?

I haven’t had fast food in years unless you count a McDonald’s ice cream cone every now and then 😀

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

My parents, family, and boyfriend. (and Oscar too!)

14. Do you have a gym membership?

I work at a gym, so yes.

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Realistically 7ish.

16. Do you have a “cheat” day?

No. I eat what I want for the most part. Some days I try to eat less junk than others.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

Nope.

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Sometimes I workout with Charlie or friends, but usually I’m on my own. It’s hard to find the RIGHT workout partner (possibly even harder than finding the right life partner haha….but really.)IMG_8918

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

My confidence. I used to be shy. I was unsure of myself when going after things. Now, I feel like I can take on the world! It really is life-changing and hard to describe unless you’ve experienced it.

20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

I worked out this morning! Woohoooo.

Questions of the Day:

1. Pick one survey question and answer it in the comments below!

Good & Bad

Wow, this week has flown by! I feel like I say that a lot. It’s been a mixture of good and bad.

Good

I finally sucked it up and started squatting with low bar. This means the barbell sits lower on your shoulders than a normal squat. It feels SUPER awkward, but it distributes the weight throughout your body better and usually makes it easier to squat heavier. Getting past the awkward feeling is by far the hardest part, but once you do, the results are awesome. I squatted 160 lbs for 3 reps the other day, whereas when I did normal squats last week, my 1 rep max was 165. I am really excited to see what my 1 rep max is with a low bar squat.

Here’s the difference between normal bar and low bar:

back-pain-high-bar-vs-low-bar-squatsPhoto Credit

Bad

I haven’t gotten much sleep this week and consequently have been a little grumpy. It’s amazing what a lack of sleep can do to you. I’m doing a photo shoot on Saturday (see below), but plan on fully taking advantage of my first free day in WEEKS. Not that I’m complaining, as it has been a fun past few weeks/weekends, but I literally haven’t had a day to myself in over 3 weeks. I need it.

Good

I’m working with a fellow FitFluential Ambassador this weekend and will be demoing a bunch of exercises for a new iPhone app that is coming out! It looks really cool, so I will definitely spread the word when it’s out! You’ll see my familiar face/body in the entire exercise glossary! 😀

Only a few days left to get my FREE 10 Day Sexy SlimdownDownload here:  http://FitLizzio.com/sexyslimdown Whether you're looking to get back on track or just need a little boost/challenge to help you break through a plateau, this is for you! This FREE eBook includes: 10 Days of Workouts10 Day Meal Plan Full Grocery ListFull Exercise Demo LibraryBad

I don’t recommend walking 19 miles in a matter of 2.5 days. It’s not a huge deal, but I hurt something in my foot last weekend and it’s just been an annoyance. I’m still able to walk, run, jump, etc. but it’s just a naggy little thing that is bothering me. I’m hoping a little R&R this weekend will heal me.

Good

I love my best friend. I know this is cheesy, but this little guy makes me so happy! I love watching him goof around, play with other dogs, and just be a light in the room. I’m lucky to have this mutt!

Oscar is my hero.

In other news, I’ve been really digging my workouts as of late. I’ve been mostly focusing on getting stronger and throwing a little HIIT in between. Here’s what my workouts looked like this week:

Sunday: HIIT – 20 minutes

Monday: Legs (colored pairs indicate supersets)

  • Hip Thrusts: 185 x 12 (3 sets)
  • Banded Hip Abduction: black band x 30 (3 sets)
  • Leg Extensions: 70×15, 90×12, 90×12
  • Supinated Hamstring Curls: 50×15 (3 sets)
  • Box Jumps: 24 in. x 10 (2 sets)
  • DB Step Ups: 22.5 x 10 (2 sets)
  • Burpees: 10 reps (3 sets)

Tuesday: Shoulders + HIIT – 20 minutes

Wednesday: Full Body (Heavy Squats, Heavy Hip Thrusts, Back Extensions, Banded Lateral Walks, Incline Press, Chin Ups, Hanging Leg Raises)

Thursday: 15 min. Cardio to warm up, then a high rep, light weight full body workout including Leg Extensions, Supinated Hamstring Curls, DB Squat to Press, Rear Delt Raises, and Underhand Barbell Rows

Friday: REST

Saturday: Exercise Demos 🙂

Question of the Day:

1. What is 1 good thing and 1 bad thing that happened this week?

Monday Ramblings + Workouts for the Week

Good morning!

This post is going to be all over the place, so brace yourself!

I’m currently drinking a coffee and recovering from a great HIIT session! As you may know, Mondays are always HIIT days. They tend to be really busy days for me, so I like to get it done in the morning to kick off my day.

This weekend was a mix of fun, stress, and relaxation. My mom is in the hospital, so that definitely put a damper on things. She’s doing okay and will hopefully be going home in the next few days.

I spent Saturday hanging with a good friend and just catching up. I don’t have many close friends in LA (as anyone that’s moved away from home knows, new friends are much different than lifelong friends), so it’s nice to spend time with the few that I do. We also got to hang with the cutest french bulldog in the world, Pudge:

pedgeSeriously…can I keep him?

Saturday evening, Charlie and I got together with some of my co-workers. We had a great time chatting and eating (what’s better than that!). We had grand plans to go see a movie afterwards, but literally spent 20 minutes driving through the parking garage to find a spot. NOT. ONE. SPOT. So we headed home and watched World War Z instead. It basically reminded me of The Walking Dead and Outbreak rolled into one and not nearly as good. Brad Pitt was okay to look at though. 😀

World_War_Z_poster

Sunday was pretty uneventful. I dyed my hair, did laundry, and got a bunch of work done. Charlie and I also got a great fully body workout done. (I’ll have some videos up this week!) I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m trying to kill him every time he steps in the gym. I swear I’m not….(but he better be nice!!! ;-))landmine

Breakfast this morning is 1 egg + 1/2 cup egg whites scrambed and 1/3 cup cooked oats with cinnamon and stevia. I’m a creature of habit and basically eat this for breakfast every day. I’m super exciting, you don’t even have to tell me.

I’m working all day and then plan on doing a Chest/Triceps workout after work. You may have noticed that I’ve been doing more split body part days lately. I go through stages. Sometimes I do more full body workouts, or split between upper/lower body workouts, and sometimes I revert to plain old bodybuilding style and do split body parts (like I am now). I still do full body workouts (like this one I did last week, and one I did yesterday), but I do them closer to 1-2 times per week as opposed to 3-4 times.

I know that everybody talks about “confusing the body” and all that jazz (hint…your body doesn’t need to be “confused” to make progress), but for me, I do what feels good. I go through stages and since I’m in this for the long haul (life), I do workouts that make me happy. I truly think that is the key to sticking to fitness. If you don’t like what you’re doing (and I’m convinced there is something for everyone), you’re less likely to stick to it. Personally, I don’t like yoga. So I don’t force myself to do it. Instead, I do other things that I DO like. Of course, I do think that sometimes the things we don’t like are the things that we NEED (like yes, I know I SHOULD do some yoga), so it’s good to incorporate those things from time to time. Long story short:

Find the things you like and do them often. Find the things you don’t like, and do them sometimes.

Anyways, I’ll step off my soap box now. It’s Monday and way too early for that. 😀

Here’s my fitness plan for the week:

Monday: 20 min. HIIT + Chest/Triceps

Tuesday: Boxing

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Shoulders + Boxing

Friday: Back/Biceps

Saturday: Full Body (I’m doing workout demos for a trainer’s competition in Santa Monica)

Sunday: Rest

Hope your Monday is off on the right foot!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite way to workout?

Tuesday Ramblings

How’s everyone doing today?

I’m just sitting at home waiting for the pest control guy. Fun stuff! We’ve had a ridiculous ant problem for the last two weeks and we FINALLY got someone to come out and fix the problem. It’s been quite a nightmare. Let’s just say, I’m a pro ant-annihilator at this point. -_-

In other news, I found a new protein powder that I’m excited to try called SLAP. I actually ended up buying the entire stack of supplements, which is just L-Glutamine, Whey Isolate Protein Powder, and a Coffee Pre-Workout supplement. I was intrigued by the company because of the minimal and clean ingredients in all of their products. The protein powder is sweetened with Stevia (score!) and doesn’t have any artificial ingredients. I haven’t tasted it yet, but I’ll be sure to let you all know how it is!

photo 1photo 2

Workouts for the Week

I’m still super sore from Sunday’s Leg Insanity, but overall I’m feeling really good and still “on” my game!

Here are my workout plans for this week:

Monday: 20 min. HIIT + Chest/Triceps (DONE)

Tuesday: Boxing

Wednesday: Legs + Bouldering (yup! Haven’t done that in a while!)

Thursday: Shoulders/Abs + Boxing

Friday: Full Body

Saturday: Back/Bi’s

Sunday: REST

Finally…I’m thinking about getting a Brazilian blow out. I NEVER feel like/have time to do my hair and it just ends up being kind of a mess. Anyone ever had one? I’ve heard the chemicals can be kind of harsh, so I’m curious. Let me know your experiences!

Questions of the Day:

1. What is your favorite protein powder?

2. Brazilian Blowout advice please!!!

My Weekend {pictures} + Leg Workout w/ Plyometrics

Happy Monday peeps!

This weekend actually felt quite long (not that I’m complaining), so I feel good and refreshed coming into this week. Here’s some of the fun I had:

Saturday, I took a boxing class in the morning. It was quite the sweat session! There were 3 instructors bringing the pain for an hour. Even though it was tough, I had a blast. Can’t wait for tomorrow night’s class!

photo 1

After we showered up, I decided to get a my hair blown out before we headed to a music festival. It wasn’t a fancy festival or anything, but I just didn’t feel like doing my hair. -_-

Guys…I’m SUPER lazy with my hair. I either let it air dry or put it up in a top knot. I have SO much hair and it’s wavy/frizzy, so it can be a pain in the ass. Anyways, once my hair was all done and pretty, and since I knew I’d actually be wearing NPC (normal-people-clothes) instead of gym clothes, I decided to do my makeup too! (Call it a national holiday! Alert the press!)

photo 2

We then headed out to the Eagle Rock Music Festival. It had promise, but ended up being somewhat of a fail. The vibe was really cool and very family-oriented, but the music was just meh. There were a LOT of DJ’s (not my thing…and I can’t understand what is entertaining about watching someone stand in one place pushing buttons on a laptop and turning discs….but I digress) and the only decent bands were playing in acoustically untreated buildings = muddy musical mess. We did see one latino band that was totally not my style of music, but TOTALLY GOOD. Had we known what the rest of our options were, we definitely would have stayed and watched them longer.

People standing around watching a DJ....I DON'T GET IT. WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?!

People standing around watching a DJ….I DON’T GET IT. WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?!

Sunday, we headed to the batting cages to hit some balls. As many of you know, I played on the guys’ baseball team growing up, so I love getting chances to play! Happy to know, I’ve still got it!

We watched a little bit of the Chiefs game, and then I headed to the sauna gym for a workout. We’re going through a major heatwave (…didn’t I move from AZ to get away from that?!), so the temps have been quite ridiculous. Like, 97 in Santa Monica ridiculous!

Leg Day Insanity

4 sets of

Superset #1: Barbell Squats at (95lbs x 15) w/ Medicine Ball Jump Squats (10lbs x 15)

3 sets of

Superset #2: Leg Extensions (50lbs x 15) w/ Supinated Hamstring Curls (50lbs x 15)

3 sets of

Superset #3: Barbell Walking Lunges (50lbs x 12 per leg) w/ Split Squat Jumps (bodyweight x 10 per side)

2 sets of

Superset #4: (1 leg at a time!!!) DB Step Up (20lbs x 10) w/ Step Up Jumps (bodyweight x 10)

I may or may not have walked out of the gym looking like I just jumped off a horse. As always, check with a doc before starting any new exercise routine. Use weights you’re comfortable with. I posted mine for reference, but you should do what is best for YOU.

Hope you guys have a great rest of your day! I’ll be back tomorrow with some more workouts for the week.

Be sure to check out my Ask Me Anything post and leave a comment with any questions you may have! I’ll be answering them all this week on the blog!

Question of the Day

1. What is the weather like in your part of the world? Still summer-like? Fall? Winter-y?

Ramblings, Workouts, and EXPLODING KOMBUCHA!

Wowza! What a day.

This morning, I woke up at 5am wide eyed and bushy tailed. Okay, maybe not like that, but I definitely was awake and there wasn’t a chance of falling back asleep. That doesn’t usually happen to me, but it was a good day for that to be the case. I had a ton of work to do and ended up knocking most of it out before noon! Woohoo! Might have to do that more often. (or maybe not…)

 

Okay, I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, but I seem to have a Kombucha problem. This is my all time favorite flavor,

S_Trilogy

But EVERY time I open a Kombucha, it explodes everywhere and I spend the first 10 minutes cleaning up and waiting for it to stop fizzing.

WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?! I see others grab their Kombucha and open it gracefully without a drop spilled…..why am I Kombucha cursed??? (seriously….any ideas?? lol)

Workouts

I did a very different leg workout than I’m used to yesterday and I’m pretty sore from it. I’ve been focusing on heavy weights, low reps for the last few months and decided to completely change it up yesterday. I did high reps, lower weight, and circuit style. It was a fun way to change it up. Here are some of the exercises I did:

KB Goblet Squats w/ Explosive Rotation (yep, I’ll do a video for that one!)

Lying Hamstring Curls

Straight Leg Deadlifts (feet together)

Sumo Squats

Side Lunge/Jump Side Lunge combo

I definitely felt this one and it worked up a good sweat.

Tonight I’m heading to Iron Boxing again. I’m a bit sore from my leg day yesterday, so it could get interesting! I’m also curious to see how my less-than-stellar night of sleep will affect things. Oh well…I’ve got a fun weekend coming up, so I’m sure I’ll have some time to relax!

The Weekend

Tomorrow, Charlie and I are heading to Phoenix to hang with my little brother for his birthday. I’m excited to see him and the rest of the fam. Especially my cute ever-growing nephew. He melts my heart and cracks me up!

Seriously?! Look at him!!!
<3

Questions of the Day:

Do you have any tips for NON-EXPLODING KOMBUCHA?

Do you prefer to do low weight, high reps OR high weight, low reps when you’re working out?

 

Fitness is FUN: How A Bad Trainer Can Make You Think Otherwise

I had an experience the other day that gave me a total “aha!” moment. It was one of those moments where I literally stopped in my tracks and said to myself “oh my gosh…I get it.”

Part of my job as the manager of a high end gym is to ensure that we have highly talented and knowledgeable personal trainers on staff. This is a big deal in any gym, but especially in this area of town and in this gym. Our clientele is mostly fit people that are serious about their fitness. Many have worked with a personal trainer before and will immediately know if someone doesn’t know what they’re doing. As such, part of our interview process involves a 30 minute practical, where the potential personal trainer puts me through a training session, while our Personal Training manager observes. This is helpful because we both get to put our heads together at the end of the training session to talk about what was good vs. what was not good. It’s changed our entire staff for the better and is a really great practice.

Last week, we were interviewing two potential new trainers to hire. We had set up a practical with both of them. One no-showed (well, there’s your answer!), and the other showed up right on time. He was well-groomed, looked the part, and was extremely nice. That’s about all the good I have to say.

We started our training session with some static stretching. I equate static stretching before a workout to the low-fat diets of the 80’s. Irrelevant and not smart. Strike 1.

From there he took me to the Smith machine to do front squats and back squats. Now, knowing my background and my current training, this wasn’t a very bright idea. I have a good working knowledge of front squats and back squats, and this application wasn’t useful, in my opinion.  I use the Smith Machine for the following 3 reasons:

1. Someone is new to squatting and/or very weak

2. Someone has injuries or has other limitations

3. Things I’m unable to do with a standard barbell (certain glute/quad exercises)

(This doesn’t mean other applications are incorrect, but if you’re able to properly do front and back squats using a barbell and plates on your own, no use downgrading to the Smith Machine!)

Smith Machine

Smith Machine

Anyways, I asked this trainer why he was having me do front squats and back squats on the Smith machine rather than using a barbell. Had he given me a decent response to this, I could have accepted it. I am constantly learning new tricks of the trade and was hoping he would have something cool to tell me. But no. The response I got was that it was to “up the intensity.” Really? I can show you 500 ways to “up the intensity” using a barbell. Not a very good answer. Strike 2.

I gave it a shot anyways to give the guy a chance to see what he would have me do. He explained the front squat and back squat and told me to start. The result? It felt awkward. My range of motion was limited. The movement was uncomfortable. I felt the movement in all the wrong places. The experience was not fun. Moreover, the trainer didn’t help me get into the proper position, he didn’t make sure my form was proper, he just stood by and told me what to do. (There’s always a chance my form wasn’t right, making the movement feel awkward. After all, I don’t use the Smith Machine for squats. Ever.)

It was then that I had this realization. I am someone who LOVES working out. I love to sweat and work hard in the gym. For the most part, you can put me in any situation at the gym, and I’m game! Not everyone feels this way, and that is perfectly okay.

But had this been my first time in the gym and that been my first time with a personal trainer???? I would have walked out that door and never come back. I would have thought working out was not fun, uncomfortable, and didn’t feel good. I would have thought “well, that’s not worth it!”

I wonder how many times that has happened to someone who claims they “hate working out”…..when really they just haven’t had a good experience? I’m sure it’s very common and that bums me out!

With that said, I challenge all of you that have tried working out and deemed it as something you hate, to try again. Try something new, try something that look fun to you. Working out does not have to be barbells in a gym. The whole point is to do something that makes you feel good, requires your body to work hard, empowers you, makes you strong, and makes you sweat it out! For some, that might be rock climbing, for others, that’s lifting weights, for the next person, it’s taking an adult gymnastics class. DO WHAT YOU LIKE. And if you have a shitty experience either on your own or with a trainer? TRY AGAIN.

Fitness should be FUN, and inevitably will make you feel like you’re on top of the world. You can’t buy that feeling! I promise, there is something for EVERYONE.

1. What new fitness adventures have you been on lately?

2. Have you ever worked with a trainer that made you think fitness sucked?

Manic Monday & Back Workout!

Woahhhhhhhh. Somehow when I woke up on Monday, I just knew it was going to be “one of those days.” I even took the proper precautions and got my HIIT done in the morning so that I’d be better prepared for a shit storm. It didn’t turn out to be as bad as I thought, but to say it was stressful would be an understatement. A 12 hour Monday is a lot to take in when you still have four more days in the week! Oh well, hopefully I got the hard stuff out of the way.

This little girl definitely helped cheer things up. Isn’t she the cutest?

Even still, I was able to get in a pretty good back/biceps/abs workout. I threw in the abs just because. I rarely do abs (usually only when someone tricks me into it) but thought it would be good to start doing them here and there. 😀 I use and engage my abs during basically every exercise I do, which is why I don’t typically do specific exercises for them, but it certainly is something I should do more of!

This was short and sweet, just the way I like it. I SOOO prefer to do supersets and work my ass off for 30-40 minutes as opposed to longer workouts with long rest periods. Of course, when I’m lifting heavier, I need the longer rests, but if I’m doing slightly higher reps, screw the rest time! I’m too impatient! Here’s what I did:

Back/Bis/Ab Workout

Superset #1: (bw=bodyweight)

Chin Ups:

Set 1 – bw x 5, Set 2 – bw x 4, Set 3 – bw x 4

Hanging Leg Raise

Set 1 – bw x 12, Set 2 – bw x 12, Set 3 – bw x 12

Superset #2:

Lat Pulldown (double pulley)

Set 1 – 35 x 15, Set 2 – 35 x 15, Set 3 – 35 x 15

EZ Bar Curl

Set 1 – 40 x 12, Set 2 – 40 x 12, Set 3 – 40 x 10

Superset #3:

One Arm Cable Row (using seated row cable)

Set 1 – 25 x 15, Set 2 – 25 x 15, Set 3 – 25 x 15

DB Hammer Curl

Set 1 – 15 x 15, Set 2 – 17.5 x 10, Set 3 – 17.5 x 10

Finisher:

Opposite Hand to Foot Full Sit Ups

Set 1- bw x 20, Set 2 – bw x 20

This workout was good! The chin ups always get me. I was surprised that I did 5 in a row! I haven’t done them in a few weeks and was worried I wouldn’t be able to do them at all. 😀

pull up pic

(Me doing pull ups a few months ago)

I’m planning on hitting legs today, and specifically deadlifting. I feel like I’ve been focusing on squats a TON lately (because I’m trying to get better at them) and I’ve neglected the deadlifts a bit.

I just have to say, while I’ve been squatting for years, a few months ago I decided to focus on going heavier with better form. I always shied away from heavy squats because I wasn’t good at them, and many moons ago, I sort of injured my back by going too heavy too soon. I was new to lifting and just didn’t give myself ample time to work up to heavier weights. It kind of freaked me out a bit and so I just kept my weights fairly light and never went too heavy throughout the years. I wanted to start working on heavier weights and really just decided to start from the beginning. I started with the weight I was comfortable with and just practiced. Each time I’d do squats, I’d add a little bit more weight. I wouldn’t go any heavier until I was hitting below parallel and in good form. Once I mastered that weight, I’d up the weights just a touch more. I’ve been doing this for the last few months and HOLY COW my butt has lifted! I started noticing it a few weeks ago and it’s pretty awesome. I’m able to go heavier than I have in years, I squat below parallel, and my butt is looking amazing. Who’da thought?

The moral of the story? SQUAT. HEAVY. A LOT.

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Anyways, that’s all I’ve got. I’m getting ready to crack away at Tuesday’s to-do list and then get my legs-a-movin’! Have a wonderful Tuesday friends!

A Weekend from my Weekend

Does anyone else ever feel like that? Like you need a weekend to recover from your weekend? That’s how I feel right now. It was a fun one, but I’m pretty exhausted now! More coffee please…..

Saturday started off with a tough workout with my man. We did snatches, heavy squats, pull ups, and bent over rows. To say it was tough is an understatement. It was a lot of fun though!

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After relaxing for a while, I picked up my friend Tedi and headed to Mother’s Beach for some paddle boarding. I didn’t take any photos because although I’m comfortable on the water, I’m not taking the chance on dropping my phone in the ocean! We saw sea lions, a sailboat tip over, and luckily NO STING RAYS. Apparently there is an abundance of them lately, and I’m proud to say I didn’t get to meet one. It was a really nice day out and the perfect way to cap off my Saturday.

Mother's Beach

Mother’s Beach

On Sunday morning, Charlie suggested we drive up the coast a bit to grab some breakfast. I haven’t done that in a long time, so I was totally game! We ended up eating at Marmalade Cafe in Malibu. The food was pretty good, but it was really noisy in there. Maybe I’m just a 90 year old lady stuck in a 26 year old’s body, but I can’t stand loud restaurants. I like quiet and serenity. Other than that, it was a good experience!

When we finished eating, we decided to drive up the coast a bit more. We stopped in Oxnard (the really bad part of town) and had an interesting experience at a frozen yogurt shop. Needless to say, we didn’t spend much time there. Before we knew it, we were renting Kayaks on Lake Casitas and rowing away!

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We only lasted a bit on the water (we were both SOO sore from the previous day’s workout), and decided to head back home to veg out around 4:30pm.

We spent the rest of the night relaxed on the couch, watching The Killing (our new favorite show!!). It’s soooo good.

Anyways, I’m back at work (even though I’d rather be snoozing) and the week is off to a good start!

Have you ever gone paddle boarding?

More importantly, have you ever encountered a sting ray in real life?!

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