Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jazzercise Vs. Lifting Weights

Almost every time I see my mom she says something about needing to start working out. My mom is really not in bad shape, besides having a belly. She stays really active but just doesn't do any type of structured exercise.

Well, she says to me the other day that she wants to start doing Jazzercise and Yoga. Now, I have nothing against those things at all, so don't think I'm bashing Jazzercise....BUT I told her that what she really needs to be doing at her age is strength training, especially because she told me she already has low bone density.

Jazzercise is all fine and dandy to stay active, but it's just not the best program for building muscle, gaining strength, or building bone density-all of which are extremely important as you grow older.

Many older people think that walking or doing aerobics is just as good as lifting weights, but the truth is, it's not the same thing at ALL. There's nothing wrong with aerobics, and it should be included as part of an exercise program. But the fact is that strength training provides many benefits that aerobic programs alone do NOT.

Some of the benefits that strength training can provide for older adults:

-Increased flexibility and balance
-Increased muscle and strength
-Decreased risk of falling and injuries
-Relief of arthritis and joint pain
-Increased bone density and reduced risk of fracture
-Improved self confidence and self esteem, less depression
-Decreased body fat
-Improved glucose control, diabetes management
-Decreased lower back pain
-Improved sleep 

Here are some facts: strength begins to decline at about 15% per decade between age 50 and 70, and 5 to 7 pounds of muscle tissue are lost each decade of adult life! This loss of muscle results in a slower metabolism, which then results in weight gain and then to many of the other issues than come along with aging, such as arthritis and diabetes.

Maintaining muscle mass and strength is SO important as we age, not only to improve our health and body composition, but to be able to do the simple things we take for granted when we are young like standing up from a chair, doing house and yardwork, going up a flight of stairs, or carrying grocery bags.

I believe that strength training is the fountain of youth and that it can improve the health and quality of life for older adults in so many ways, yet it is often the most neglected aspect of fitness in that age group. I just cannot stress the importance of it enough!

  "We invest time and expense to take good care of our teeth, our general appearance, hair style, etc. and it only seems logical we should dedicate the same attention to proper care of our bodies."-Leonard Therry


Monday, July 30, 2012

Family Time :)

We went out to my mom's house yesterday, and I was finally able to see my sister after 6 months! She seems to be doing pretty good...just wish I could see her more!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Things I Learned From Mary:

-I absolutely despise pistol squats and am horrible at them.
-If I ever thought burpees were my least favorite exercise, I was wrong.
-I need to do more pistols.
-I LOVE handstand pushups!
-I have gotten SO much better at kipping pullups...even though I haven't done them in over 6 months!
-Doing 115 pullups in 20 minutes will wreck your hands.
-I have missed this "sore all over can't walk or straighten my arms" feeling!
-I always surprise myself by what I can do!
-Working out in a group is not as scary as I always thought.
-I don't see how I used to do this to myself every day!

Friday, July 27, 2012

CrossFittin' Friday

I was so excited to get my new Live Love Lift tank from Fashletics in the mail yesterday! I entered a photo contest they were doing on Facebook a while back and won, and this was my prize! LOVE the color. :)

So tonight I'm going to do CrossFit again! I'm hoping that I'll be less scared the more I go! I am going to try to do it every Friday. The WOD today is "Mary", and it's one that I never did back when I was CrossFitting.
-20 min amrap-
5 handstand pushups
10 pistols, alternating
15 pullups
I know all those pullups are gonna be tough, AND I am horrible at pistols. So it should be interesting! Aaagghhhh, I'm scared!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

What I Ate & Workout Wednesday

Today's workout: (Leg day, woo hoo!!)
Warmup & abductor exercises
Box jumps: 4 sets of 6, ~24"
Back squats: warmup sets, then 135x8-7-7(kept these lighter today and didn't push the reps)
Barbell glute bridge 4 sets of 10 (first time using 135lbs!)
1 set each of : super high bench step up, low step up, reverse lunge from deficit: 20lb dumbbells x10 reps on last two exercises
Situps, leg raises(2 sets each) superset with seated calf raises(4 sets of 15)

Here's a vid of me doing barbell glute bridge with 135lbs for the first time. I've been practicing these for a few weeks now with just bodyweight and light weights to make sure I'm really getting a good glute contraction and not using my lower back.

The weight felt pretty good, however, from watching the video, I think I need to get a little more hip extension at the top. My hip flexors are super tight, so that may be part of the reason. I'll probably drop the weight next time, but it was fun to see if I could do that weight anyway!

Here's a great hip thrust tutorial from Bret Contreras. It's a little long, but it's good to watch to make sure you're doing these right!

Today's food:
7:45 Oats, pb & protein, coffee
11:00 PWO smoothie-almond milk, whey, banana, frozen fruit
12:15 Taco seasoned ground turkey w/ spoonful of salsa, almond butter and jelly sandwich on Ezekiel bread-YUM!

4:15 Tuna w/ mayo, 1 hard boiled egg, strawberries
7:00 2 eggs +1 white, 1/2 cup broccoli sauteed in olive oil
10:00 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 2 tbsp peanut butter
*Addition: 1/2 an uber Lara bar after dinner!*

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fitness Shoot

An old friend from highschool who does photography wanted to use my husband and me as guinea pigs for her first fitness shoot. I think we got some pretty cool shots!

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Mental

So I'm not gonna lie-some of the food I ate this weekend consisted of zebra cakes(LOVE those things!), Oreos, Sunchips, and fried fish!

I guess it really is true that when you tell yourself you can't have something - you just want it even more! For the past few weeks I cut back on some carbs and calories for some photos I was having taken this past weekend. My mindset most of the time is that I can eat anything I want, I just choose not to for my health and physique goals. I've never really ever been on a strict diet as far as restricted calories or extremely low carb or anything-I've just always tried to make healthy choices without worrying TOO much about calories and macros.

So, of course, knowing that I "couldn't" have little bites of something here and there, or a piece of chocolate after dinner, or a treat throughout the week if I wanted to, made me crave things more than I normally would. I had all of these foods that I "couldn't" have running through my mind! That's why "dieting" sucks!!

It just goes to show the power of the mind when it comes to eating right. It's such a mental thing! You have try not to think of foods as "good" or "bad", and don't restrict yourself from anything or tell yourself you CAN'T have something....because then all you'll think about is that and you'll want it even more knowing you can't have it.

Despite the poor food choices I made over the weekend, I honstely don't feel guilty about it at all because I know it's not a regular thing. I just had to get it out of my system and then get right back on track! I can't wait to get back to my "normal" eating-not being restrictive, not counting carbs or calories, but not eating junk, either! Today it's lots of water, protein, healthy carbs and veggies!

Friday, July 20, 2012

If God is Enough, You'll Always Have Enough!

 I just thought I'd share today's devotional from Max Lucado. It spoke to me, so maybe it will speak to someone else who needs to hear this today! 

Let’s face it–anxiety or worry have no advantages! They ruin our health, rob us of joy, and change nothing! Our day stands no chance against the terrorists of the Land of Anxiety.

But Christ offers a worry-bazooka. Remember how He taught us to pray? “Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11” This simple sentence unveils God’s provision plan: live one day at a time.
Worry gives small problems big shadows. Corrie ten Boom said, “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.” And Romans 8:28 affirms: “Every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Most anxiety stems, not from what we need, but from what we want. Philippians 4:4 says, “delight yourselves in the Lord, yes, find your joy in Him at all times!”
If God is enough, you’ll always have enough!

I have times where I have anxiety or feelings of worry and fear, usually about the smallest most inconsequential things, like clothes, or workouts, or food. I also often find myself worrying about "tomorrow".... or just wanting the day to be over or the weekend to hurry up and come-but that is no way to live! I want to really start focusing on living in the present and taking ONE day at a time, being thankful for each and every day that I have.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How I Train Abs

I have a confession: as much as I love to work out, I hate training abs! It has never been fun to me or something that I focus on.

I do have to admit though that all through middle school and highschool I did tons and TONS of crunches all the time...because back then I had the mindset that the more crunches I did, the better my stomach would look(if only)!

Well, now of course I know that's not really true and that's it's mostly nutrition that produces 6 pack abs. I didn't realize that I couldn't get the stomach I wanted because I was eating Happy Meals and Reese cups every day(oh, to be a teenager again)!

Now that I eat much healthier, I can finally see the abs I was never able to see before. Although I have now come to the conclusion that I will never have 6 pack abs, as that would require extremely strict dieting and very low body fat and is just not worth it to me. So a 2 or 4 pack will have to do. ;)

My abs routine when I was doing bodybuilding style workouts consisted of 2-3 ab exercises at the end of a workout 2-3 times a week. I did exercises like leg raises, decline bench crunches, ball crunches, reverse crunches, bicycles, cable crunches and all that boring fun stuff.

However, my ab training in the past couple years has changed. I don't train abs near as much as I used to or do the same exercises. People are usually surprised when I tell them that I don't really do that much for my abs. What they don't realize is that I'm working them with all the heavy lifting that I do. Overhead presses, squats, pullups, pushups-they all work the abs.

So here's what I do now: at the end of a workout, 2-3 times a week, I pick one(maybe two) exercises that target the abs for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, depending on the exercise. The exercises that I choose from are: ab wheel rollouts, ball pikes or knee tucks, hanging leg raises, decline bench situps with weight, and L-sit holds. In addition to that, I may do a couple sets of some sort of plank variation and that's it!

So I'd say that if you want abs, don't focus on training them! Focus on the bigger, compound lifts that work your whole body as well as your core and burn a ton of calories. As long as your diet is good, I guarantee that you will start seeing a those abs show a little bit more. ;)

Here's a video that demonstrates a few good core exercises:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Greatest Waste

"The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day."
-Billy Graham

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hodge Podge....

And the winner of the CrossFit games for the 2nd year in a row is....Rich Froning! I have to admit I've had a little crush on Rich since I first started doing CrossFit. ;-)
I love the fact that he is a Christian and not ashamed of it!

So anyways, I just had to note that I had a lady tell me at the gym today that I was "skinny as a rail." Well, thank you very much, I really appreciate that! Exactly the look I'm going for....NOT. 

It's hard for me not to let comments like that get to me. I don't want to look skinny, dang it! Uuggghhh! I may be having some photos taken this weekend, but as soon as that is over with it's back to stuffing my face again.

Sooo....I hope everyone had a great weekend! One of my cousins got married Saturday, so that was all that our weekend consisted of. It was good to see some of my family since we haven't gotten together in a while. Here are a few pics:

My hot date!

My cousin and 2nd cousin-they are the cutest things ever!

My brother, finally smiling normal :)
My cousin Landen was tearing up the dance floor! He was definitely the entertainment of the night!
The bride and groom's first dance

Saturday, July 14, 2012


So last night I got up the guts to do another WOD with Black Label CrossFit, the CrossFit box at the gym where I work.  I conquered my fear of training with a group when I did a workout with the class a couple of months ago, but that didn't make it any less scary yesterday!

I was nervous and anxious all day, with a nauseous feeling in my stomach whenever I thought about the workout. That feeling of fear I think is part of the reason why I quit doing CrossFit regularly! It got to the point that I was more nervous and sometimes even almost dreaded my WOD because I knew it was going to hurt so bad!

CrossFit is such a mental thing, and that's why I wanted to do it again yesterday with the group. It's not so much about the actual workout for me but about getting out of my comfort zone, and pushing myself past the point when I would usually stop. It's about getting mentally stronger. And even though I wouldn't want to go back to doing workouts like that every single day, I do think once in a while it's good to really push yourself to the limit.

So here was the WOD:

For time:

20 chest to bar pullups(kipping-chest has to touch bar)

3 rounds:
5 snatches 75lbs
5 clean and jerks 75lbs
5 thrusters 75lbs

20 chest to bar pullups

Time=12 minutes

That was a  really tough WOD for me! After the first set of 20 pullups, I felt like I could throw up! I haven't done kipping pullups in forever, and those took a lot out of me! Then combining the snatches, clean and jerks and thrusters was really hard, especially the thrusters, which I have always hated!!!!

There were times during the workout when I thought, "I can't do this". But I pushed that voice in my head aside and kept going. It's amazing what your body can do-most of the time it's really your mind that holds you back!

The CrossFit games are going on right now, and even though I'm not a "CrossFitter" anymore, I still love watching them! As much as people like to criticize CrossFit, there is no denying that they are some amazing athletes. No matter what style of training you do, it's truly motivating and inspiring to watch! (You can catch them on ESPN3)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Leg Day and WIAW

I love leg day!!!!!!!!!!

 All my back/hip issues are pretty much gone, so I am thrilled! I just have to keep up with my stretching, foam rolling, mobility, and glute strengthening and not slack on it so that I won't have those issues ever again-it was horrible!

Today's workout started with hang power cleans with some split jerks thrown in with some of them. Here's me doing a clean and jerk with 120lbs, which is around my bodyweight right now:

I really LOVE Olympic lifts!! Wish I had someone to coach me on them to really get my technique better, though. I know there are some things I need to work on.

After the cleans, I did back squats working up to 160lbs(getting back up there!), barbell hip thrusts(added more weight this week-workin' on this booty!), back extensions, and then box jumps and ball pikes. It was a fun workout!

So here's what I'm eating today:

8:00 1/2 cup oats, 1 scoop Syntha-6, 2 tbsp PB2

11:00 PWO-almond milk, vanilla whey, 2 tbsp gatorade powder

12:15 4 oz ground turkey, 1 tbsp salsa, 1/4 cup quinoa, 3 strawberries, 10 cashews

3:15 3 egg whites, 2 whole eggs(boiled), 1 medium apple, 1 rice cake

7:30 4 oz chicken, 2 cups salad with yogurt dressing, 1/2 cup caulifloer, 1 rice cake w/PB2

10:00 whey protein shake with almond milk, 1 tbsp peanut butter

I've been somewhat doing carb cycling this week, and this is a higher carb day-around 200 grams. I'm trying to lean out JUST a little for something I have coming up in a couple of weeks. We'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Do You LIVE in the Gym?

I was walking out of church the other day, and I saw this lady keep looking at me. Finally, she came up to me and said, "Please tell me you LIVE in the gym!" I laughed and said something like, "No, not at all!" I'm sure she probably took that comment as me being sarcastic and that I really DO live in the gym.

But the truth is, I DON'T!!

I go to the gym 4 days a week. My workouts don't last over an hour. That's only 4 hours out of 168 hours in a week!! I don't spend even HALF of my day in the gym(well, I kind of do since I WORK at a gym, but you know what I mean)!

My workouts are short but effective. I lift heavy, sometimes walk a few times a week(although I haven't even done that in the last month or two), and eat as healthy as I can.  I've been doing that consistently for a LOT of years, and that is how I've gotten results. 

Monday, July 9, 2012


Sometimes.... I have anxiety over food.
Not  about the structure of my eating or anything like that, but because sometimes... I just want to eat bad!

Sometimes... I just want junk food! 

Sometimes... I just want a bowl of cereal for a meal instead of a perfectly balanced amount of protein, fat, and healthy carbs!


But most of the time, I love the way I eat.
Why? Because it makes me feel good and look good.

I'd much rather have occasional anxiety because I can't eat certain foods than to have constant anxiety or feeling down about myself because I hate the way I look and feel.

Sometimes.... you gotta give up what you love for something you love more.

I love sweets and junk food and would seriously live off cereal, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Doritos, if I could.

But what I love more is being fit, looking lean, and feeling good. And that's not just sometimes, but ALL the time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Banana Shake and Healthier PB & J

Happy Friday! :)

I just got back from the gym and thought I'd share something new I tried today for my post workout protein shake.

Banana pudding protein shake:
1/2 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
A few ice cubes
1/2-3/4 banana
~1 tbsp banana flavored instant pudding
1 scoop vanilla whey protein
Blend and enjoy!

Okay, so....I LOVE peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I mean, who doesn't? That's one thing I probably miss the most since I started eating healthier!

Lately what I've been having for my post workout meal along with my eggs is a healthier variation of a pb & j sandwich-raw almond butter and all natural fruit preserves on Ezekiel bread. It's yummy! Not quite the same as a pb&j...but close enough!

So anyways, today was deadlift day! I was able to work up to 165lbs with the trap bar for 5 reps. Still trying not to do too much too fast, but they didn't bother my back at all. I also practiced some sumo deadlifts for the first time and really liked the feel of them. There's less stress on the lower back, which is what I need right now, so I may stick with those and the trap bar for a while before going back to conventional deadlifts. I've been doing good with my rehab exercises, foam rolling and stretching, and I'm feeling great!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

I Am Not a Fan

I recently read the book, "Not a Fan" by the pastor of our church, Kyle Idleman, and I just wanted to share what it spoke to ME.

This book opened my eyes to the way that I've been living as a "follower" of Jesus Christ.  I thought I was doing pretty good, living the Christian life, trying my best to put Him first, reading the Bible every day, tithing, and all that good stuff. But after reading this book I was forced to ask the question: was I really living my life as a true follower of Jesus....or just a fan??

Reading this book made me view my life in a different way. I realized that life is not just about ME, MY pleasure, or MY happiness, and that's not what we should be seeking in life. What it's really about is thinking outside of yourself. It's about serving others, putting others above yourself, and getting rid of your selfishness.

Being a true follower is about glorifying and honoring God in everything that you do every single day. It is about shining a light and letting God's love show through you. It's about being unashamed. It's NOT about following a bunch of "rules" or just looking good on the outside...it's about an intimate connection with God. It's making Him your one and only-not just a part of your life, but your WHOLE life.

Before reading this book, God had actually been speaking some things to me for awhile...but, I admit, I was ignoring Him. I had been feeling like I should be doing MORE for Him, but I just kept pushing that voice in my head away, thinking, "I'll try to do better. One day I'll do more, serve more, give more."

But the thing is, good intentions mean nothing without action. If you call yourself a Christian, your faith is not something that is meant to be kept to yourself. It is to be put to ACTION. As Kyle says in the book, "Following requires movement."  It requires sacrifice.

If you call yourself a Christian, it is not okay to be just a "fan "of Jesus. We are called to be followersBeing a follower is more than being an "enthusiastic admirer". It is more than just a feeling, it's more than just a belief, and it's more than just words. It's not all about US and what we can get out of God. It's about being a completely committed follower.

Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.  -Luke 9:23


Monday, July 2, 2012

Workout Plan and Frozen PB Protein Cups

Last night I made some of my yummy protein "Reese cups". These are sooo good and perfect for a summer treat!

I use 1 scoop chocolate peanut butter flavored protein(Syntha-6), 1 big spoonful of peanut butter, 1 tbsp cocoa, and 4 oz water-just blend and freeze for about an hour. Super easy!

So here is my current training plan:

Upper body+5-10 minute finisher
O-lift +Lower body+finisher
OFF or sprints
Upper body
O-lift+Lower body+finisher

My reps are usually between 5 and 10, and I like using the reverse pyramid technique(heaviest sets first, then decreasing weight and increasing reps on each set). Or sometimes I do a few heavy sets(4-6 reps) and then one light set after that for higher reps.

I'm still not using my workout log, but I am trying to stick to somewhat of a plan in my head, just not obsessing over following it exactly! Just going by how I feel and what I feel like doing that day!

I'm still wanting to add in a day of CrossFit....just not sure how to work that in. I'm all about letting my body get enough recovery and not killing myself every day of the week with crazy workouts or multiple workouts a day. I don't believe that more is always better. Oh well, I'll figure it out!

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