Tag Archives: Weight training

TGIFF

13 Oct

Thank Goodness it’s Fitness Friday!

Thanks to Katie over at Talk Less, Say More for hosting a day dedicated to fitness!

Who doesn’t love this idea?

My week in workouts:

  • Monday-taught Core & More and Cycling.
  • Tuesday- 5 mile run & 3 sets of 6 repetitions: 1) clean & press, 2) shoulder press, 3) squats, 4) bent-over rows.
  • Wednesday- NADA!
  • Thursday- taught Abs, Glutes, & Thighs and ran 2 miles on the awful treadmill.
  • Friday- Get Ripped-Slim N’ Lean workout

My morning started out with a tough total body weights workout; since I’ve been incorporating weight training back into my schedule, I’m trying to do one session solely dedicated to weights a week (no cardio included). Because I don’t include cardio, I make it a point to move from exercise to exercise in a quick and efficient manner; this helps keep my heart rate elevated throughout the entire hour!

Back when I relied on DVDs as my workout resource, I loved the Get Ripped! series. They were super challenging at first (because I never lifted in that way before. Scratch that. I never lifted before) but were a great way to track my progress. These DVD series worked more on muscular endurance, training the slow-twitch muscle fibers to be able to sustain longer sets/reps with lighter weights, rather than muscular strength, training fast-twitch muscle fibers for one heavy rep. Another benefit of the Get Ripped series is that each workout utilizes time under tension (TUT); training in a different way than I’m used to always leads to a GREAT workout and I know DOMS is coming to visit :). Nerd alert: I’ve memorized these workouts so I can perform them, sans DVD, in a gym setting.

Slim N’ Lean Mock-Workout:

  1. squats (40lb. barbel)
  2. pendulum lunges (12.5lb. dumbbells)
  3. chest press (12.5lb. dumbbells)
  4. dead lifts & single-leg bent over rows (12.5lb. dumbbells)
  5. push-ups & external rotations (body weight/8lb. dumbbell)
  6. triceps dips & extensions (body weight/ 12lb. dumbbell)
  7. hammer & biceps curls (10 lb. dumbbells)
  8. single-leg squats & plie squats (body weight/15lb. dumbbell)
  9. lateral raises & overhead presses (10 lb. dumbbell)
  10. calf raises (body weight)

AND

Has anyone (Michiganders mainly) tasted Biggby coffee?

life-changing.

Return of Body Pump

5 Oct

TGIF! I’m writing from Pittsburgh..my real home :). People always ask me “where do you actually live?” because I did my undergrad in Raleigh at NCSU, then went straight to grad school in Rochester Hills at Oakland, all while traveling to and from Pittsburgh. Can you see the disconnect?

After teaching Abs, Glutes, and Thighs (which was an amazing class BTW! Participants are always full of energy and up for ANYTHING, even when the classes continue to get more challenging), I hit the rush-hour traffic road and arrived in Pitt a little after 9:30. Salmon, grilled veggies, and a humongous piece of cake my family were awaiting me on the table (not my family); it makes the looooong drive so much more worth it when a home-cooked meal greets you! Right to sleep afterwards; sleeping in a queen-sized bed beats an extra-long twin sized bed’s bootay.

There’s really no point to this trip since I leave tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 5am to head straight to lululemon, but a girl needs some winter clothes! Why I didn’t bring any jackets, pants, UGGs, or winter scarves with me is over my head but it gave me an excuse to see my family :-D.

A relaxing morning

 (hi Kathy!)

and a long-but-not-forgotten body pump class

was what I had planned since my family has this silly thing called work. You guys remember how I was taking a break from heavier-lifting? I haven’t participated in a full hour-long lifting session until today and it felt great to get back to it! Sure some of my strength has dwindled but my endurance has improved and I was able to finish the entire workout- not missing one rep :).

What I used to lift in a Body Pump class:

  • squats= 40-50lbs
  • chest press= 15lbs
  • back track= 20lbs
  • triceps & biceps= 10-12lbs
  • lunges= 15-20lbs
  • shoulder track= 10-12lbs

What I lifted today:

  • squats= 17.5lbs
  • chest press= 10lbs
  • back track= 12lbs
  • triceps & biceps= 7.5lbs
  • lunges= 7.5lbs (added plyometrics to this track)
  • shoulder track= 7.5lbs and 8lb handweights

I felt I could have lifted heavier than I did but the above weight was perfect for my goals. I’m still not looking to get “bigger”, but rather continue toning, sculpting, lifting, and improving muscular endurance.

The rest of the day I plan on spending time with my family, drinking wine, eating a steak-ish dinner, and enjoying a real piece of cake!

What else made this trip worth it?

3 Evens & 4 Odds

7 Sep

Well good morning and happy day after Hump day! This post was supposed to go out yesterday but work, school, and life got in the way :).

Need an upper body workout with sprint intervals in between sets? Ask and you shall receive!

3 Evens & 4 Odds

In the first circuit, you’ll start by power walking/running/sprinting on the treadmill then hop off and complete 10 reps of 3 exercises. Repeat 3 times through (switching between the two):

  • 1 minute treadmill @ 1% incline, 3.5-5.0mph (power walking), 5.0-6.5mph (running), 7.0-8.0mph (sprinting)
  • chest press, bent-over rows, push-ups w/ knee tucks (alternate knees)

In the second circuit, you’ll start with 11 reps of 4 exercises then hop on the treadmill and power walk/run/sprint. Repeat 4 times through (switching between the two):

  • squat press, biceps curls, triceps extensions
  • 1 minute treadmill @ 1% incline, 3.5-5.0mph (power walking), 5.0-6.5mph (running), 7.0-8.0mph (sprinting)

Don’t be afraid to go a little heavier, weights-wise, than usual on this workout; the reps aren’t as high so we’re working on building strength rather than endurance. As always, proper form is CRUCIAL!

The Rec Center is set up in a way that makes circuit workouts (where you’re all over the place!) easy and doable; there are plenty of treadmills, so don’t be afraid to hog be near one for a while AND there are dumbbell options. You could either use the gray boring dumbbells or the pretty colored dumbbells..you’re choice 🙂

Enjoy!

I am a Healthy Living Blogger.

8 Aug

Yep, that’s right..I am a healthy living blogger! I blog about all things fitness, health, wellness, and food related interspersed with my own quirky thoughts on everything from fashion, reality TV, sports, books, crossword puzzles, and normal life probz of a maturing 22-year old woman.

Where is this coming from? An afternoon yoga class with my mother and an instructor whose message had a direct path to my heart. Her words before we started our practice:

breathe. take a moment to listen to your body. set the tone for your practice. what do you wish to accomplish today? can you erase the negativity, the cannot’s, the I wish’s and focus on the positives, the I’ll tries and I can’s, and the gratefulness. it’s just you, the mat, and your strong, beautiful, and capable body. let’s go.

A couple of doctor’s appointments, a prescription, and a new workout routine seemed to help some symptoms I’ve been experiencing. There’s nothing wrong with me! Good news-not that I wanted there to be something wrong but at least I would know why I’ve been feeling so blah, time and time again-always looking for the easy way out I tell ya. My doctor did another blood test on me and everything is A-OK. We talked about everything I’ve been experiencing and she thinks it’s just stress. I agree 110%; stressing about my next move- new friends, old friends, working, exercising, eating, sleeping- can cause a body to stop producing what seems like EVERYTHING and over-tax all systems. I’m getting back on BC to regulate estrogen and progesterone levels, taking Caltrate (a calcium supplement) to increase the calcium and vitamin D in my bones as well as drinking milk and eating calcium-rich foods, and starting my day with a hefty dose of Miralax. Simple enough and semi-all natural.

Revamping my exercise routine to listen to my body more. I’ve taken a break from lifting weights (Get Ripped DVDs and Body Pump since I’ve been home) and instead, adding more body weight exercises and classes to keep me toned, strong, and my perception of the “ideal look” that suites me. Yoga, Pilates, cycling, running, and resting are my main gig’s currently. I’ve taken a break from weight training because, in my opinion AND for my liking, I was too muscular, especially in my upper body. PLEASE DO NOT GET ME WRONG! I think a toned, sleek, and sculpted body on a woman is sexy and attractive but for MY body (my height, genes, type of body and shape), it was a little too much for me. Everyone has their own definition of fitness and this is mine. I’ll never erase weight training from my routines, but am taking a minor break from it; add in the fact that I’ve been doing Body Pump and Get Ripped for going on 6 years now. This also will give me new goal (to gain back the strength I may lose) to work towards when I decide to add it back in. Plus, my mom likes to do classes with me and she can’t handle the impact of a weight training class, especially when it’s pre-choreographed and the instructor can’t or doesn’t know any better show you variations.

So back to that (one of many) life-changing experiences; it was like an “aha” moment for me. Key words: BREATHE, LISTEN, YOUR BODY, STRESS, NEGATIVITY, POSITIVE, TONE, GRATEFULNESS. All of these words are antonyms of PRESSURE. I’m putting too much pressure on my body. On top of the mere pressure of existing, I’m adding EXTRA to

  1. exercise
  2. blog
  3. start graduate school
  4. maintain a social life
  5. meet new people
  6. fit everything in
  7. make everyone happy

But why? Why can’t I just take the classes to enjoy them anymore? Where, when, why, and how did this mind-set come from; I went from looking at fitness, health, nutrition as something I enjoy, is a passion of mine, and was,is,and will be my career to my becoming own personal drill-sergeant.  I use to pride (and thought I still prided) myself on my attitude towards exercise and balance. To be honest, I think the “healthy living blog” world is a major culprit. I read these blogs and so many bloggers have ED’s, restrictive eating or the like (*NOTE-I am NOT judging, assuming, and/or prescribing ED’s; these are serious and life-threatening diseases and not a joke. My heart goes out to anyone who suffers and I pray for a recovery). I think it took a toll on my own views and opinions and how I need to act in order to be considered a “healthy living blogger”  and gain readership.

Blogs are a personal place where the author has the freedom to write and share about anything they choose to, and I get that and respect their opinions and views. But I want this blog to focus on the positives of fitness, health, wellness, and nutrition and be a place where readers can visit and take the information away with them without feeling like their doing something wrong, not doing enough, or getting caught in that awful comparison trap.

So that’s it. I am a Healthy Living Fitness Blogger who just wants to share my passion and knowledge of fitness, help as many people as I can reach their goals, be their “go-to” guru, and just keep doing what I’m doing!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned! 🙂

Day 30

29 Jun

Anybody else look like this when Friday comes around?

Last night was a fabulous girls night; sushi and drinks than out for some more!  We’ve been going out in Raleigh for 2 years now and have yet to ride on a Rickshaw bike (I mean, who wouldn’t want to ride in a carriage while someone pulls you across town?) Intrigued, we flagged one down and cruised the streets of Raleigh  behind Chris Daughtry! No not the singer..It was actually a lot of fun and safe and I HIGHLY recommend you try it!

I rolled over this morning and immediately felt my abs..oh, DOMS..wouldn’t change that feeling though! Sometimes after an ab workout (or any workout rather), I think I’m going to be much more sore than I end up being and get slightly disappointed, which leads me to think: Is muscle soreness always a sign of a good workout?

The idea behind weight training is it’s making microscopic tears in the muscles, causing them to break down, rebuild, and recover in a stronger, more dense way. Feeling sore a couple of days after is normal when you start a new workout routine or supplement a new exercise in, etc. The common misconception here is that if you’re not sore after every workout, it wasn’t a quality workout, which can lead you to think a lack of soreness means less muscle growth, strength, and improvement-right? In actuality, soreness isn’t a good sign of muscle hypertrophy; the causes of DOMS are:

  1. damage to the connective tissues that surround the muscles and
  2. damage to the actual muscle

As if these weren’t achy enough, inflammation accompanies these damages and that’s the stiffness you feel the 24-48 hours after exercise. While it’s true you’re strengthening the connective tissues and ligaments around the muscles so that they can handle more weight, volume, and intensity going forward, you’re not “getting bigger”. Muscle growth occurs when the rate of muscle protein synthesis is greater than the rate of muscle protein breakdown which takes several weeks or months.

Yoga Flow and Step were the WOD! LOVED the yoga flow class. It was exactly what I expect; flowing from pose to pose and using our breath to transition. Step was awesome too but should have been called “Hot Step” thanks to the insane temperature outside!

I ate-let me rephrase-my chin ate the juiciest peach today; it was so good but left my hands and face all sticky..

Have a relaxing and cool weekend 🙂

Weights/Cardio Intervals

15 Dec

Heading to the gym at 5:50am means you must be prepared! If I have a busy day and know I’ll be tired when I finish my to-do list, I get my workout in first thing in the morning. Some benefits of exercising in the a.m. include increased energy and a positive attitude, a higher metabolism throughout the day and more cravings of healthier foods, and most importabtly..IT’S DONE!  One less thing you have to think about. And..call me crazy but I SWEAR workouts in the morning go by 10X faster than later in the day. Anyone else agree?

I like going in the morning because I don’t have a parking pass on campus and they start ticketing at 7am which means I have 1 hour to get through my workout. This pushes me to decrease rest breaks, increase the intensity in a short amount of time and prevents lollygagging!

This interval workout utilizes weight training and cardio to really kick yo’ butt! As always, proper form and safety cues!

  1. 2(15x) Squats
  2. 1 min. Jumping Jacks
  3. 2(15x) Chest Press
  4. 2(30 second) High Knees
  5. 2(15x) Dead Lift and Upright Row
  6. 20 Burpees (extremely challenging! Do as many as you can with good form; I did the no push-up version)
  7. 2(15x) Triceps Kickbacks (1 at a time, or both)
  8. 2(30 second) Lateral Bench Hop-overs (these are so fun! Start with jumping over an imaginary bench, progress into a low bench, then progress into a higher bench)
  9. 2(15x) Biceps Curls (balance on 1 leg)
  10. 20 Burpees (as many as you safely can)
  11. 3(12x) Lunge Jumps
  12. 2(15x) Seated Overhead Press
  13. 2(15x) Stability Ball Hamstring Curls
  14. 1(1 minute) Stability Ball Planks (I moved my arms slightly forward and back to challenge my stabilizers in my spine more)

And you’re done with exercise for the day! You should feel euphoric when leaving the gym. A mantra I like to repeat during morning workouts is..

“You’ll never regret this workout”

Exercise of the Week- August 25

25 Aug

Kettlebell Windmills=core stability, flexibilty, and strength of your shoulder joint. Very functional exercise that will help you in other areas of your fitness regimens!

Turkish Get-ups=deceptively challenging yet fun! Starting from a supine position into a standing position, then back down again with your arm extended involves just about every muscle to work. Try the exercise with no weight, then progress. Don’t have a Kettlebell or Smartbell-don’t worry! Any piece of equipment will do.