Saturday, June 29, 2013

Take It Outside!

It was such a beautiful morning that I couldn't resist taking my workout outside today! It's just nice to get some fresh air and sweat your butt off in the sun!
Joined by my workout partner, Asher.  Except he didn't do much! ;)
Here's what I did:
1)Single leg squat to chair: 3x10
2)Single leg foot elevated glute bridge: 3x12
3)Single leg calf raise off step: 3x12 w/20lb dumbbell/1x30
4)Band monster walks
1-2-3....10 Goblet squat +
10-9-8....1 arm KB swing

Do you enjoy working out outside?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Workout Wednesday & Other Ramblings

I'm changing up  my leg workouts for a little while since I'm having some on and off pain in my knee and my upper hamstring is still giving me some trouble. I'm thinking the hamstring thing has got to be tendonitis or ischial bursitis...I don't really know what can be done for it, but I'm just going to stay away from heavy squats and deadlifts for now.

So right now I'm just going to focus on single leg exercises and glutes, and do some isolation exercises before my compound lifts. I'm also going to add in the leg press, which I haven't done in over a year!  I don't really enjoy using machines at ALL, but for hypertrophy, I think the leg press is good to incorporate into your training every now and then.

I just feel like right now my legs are stuck and aren't growing at ALL! And like I said, I've actually went down 2lbs in the last few weeks despite upping my caloric and carb intake! Right now I'm taking in around 2200-2400 calories, which I guess is not enough for the training I do.

I know it's good to switch things up every now and then and go through phases, but when I do a hypertrophy focus with slightly higher reps, I just really start missing the heavier weights! I feel like there is no structure or purpose to my workouts when I'm not on a strength plan....I'm considering trying Wendler's 5/3/1 strength program again in a couple of months.

So anyway, here's what I did for legs today:


1a)Machine leg curl: 3x12
1b)Standing calf raise: 5x10-12
2)Bulgarian split squat: 3x10 w/25lbs in each hand
3)Barbell hip thrust: 4x10 w/115lbs
4)Leg press: 50 reps (rest pause set)
5)Cable abduction: 2x12
6)Hanging leg raises: 3x8

Even without any squats or deadlifts, it was tough! 

So this lady comes up to me during my workout and says, "How do you stay in such great shape? Do you run cross country to or something?"....

 ?...Because a fit body would NEVER come from lifting weights or anything. I mean, that just makes you bulky, right? Oh goodness...

When will women ever learn?  You do NOT have to run OR do hours of cardio to be in shape. My body was shaped through weight training, NOT from running, I can tell you that! I'm not completely opposed to running if you absolutely love it, but for so many women, running/cardio is  the main focus of a weight loss plan, and weight training just gets pushed to the back burner-when it should actually be the other way around! Yes, you will most likely lose weight if you go out and run every day. BUT to really transform your body, to not just lose weight but to get that tight and toned look so many women say they want, lifting weights is the way to go!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Baby Shower!!

My sister's baby shower was Saturday, and it was so much fun!
It's so nice having my sister around the family again and seeing her happy and healthy.
I feel like I have my sister back! This baby is an answer to my prayers and has been such a blessing already, and she's not even born yet!
My sister has not looked this good and healthy in years.

After highschool, Mindy started hanging with the wrong crowd, and then when my dad died, she just spiraled down from there. She got more and more into drugs and involved with the wrong people. I watched her change right before my eyes. She turned into a completely different person-she wasn't the sister I knew. Growing up, we were best friends-she was the one I talked to about everything and who always made me laugh!

She stopped coming around the family, and whenever I did see her it just made me sad. She always had this empty look in her eyes, I guess from whatever drugs she was on. For so long, I felt like I really didn't even have a sister anymore.

For the last 5 years, she's lived with a guy who was just not good for her. I knew that as long as she was with him, she would never get her life on track, she would never get off drugs, and she would never get a job.  And even though she wasn't doing the really bad stuff she had done in the past, I knew she was not completely off of everything because she just still wasn't her normal self. She got really skinny and just didn't look good at all.

I prayed and prayed for God every day to do something to get her away from her boyfriend and the environment she was in.  Eventually, she split with her boyfriend(as she had on and off several times before)and moved in with my mom. Well, then God sure did do something drastic to answer my prayers! Her getting pregnant was the only thing that would get her to break away from her boyfriend for good.

When Mindy first found out she was pregnant, her emotions were all over the place. At first she didn't want to keep the baby and she talked about not wanting to even live herself. She was really having a hard time with it, especially with coming off of the prescription drugs she was on.

But in the last few months, I have seen her attitude change drastically. Without all the drugs, she is a different person. She is back to her normal, funny, goofy self that I missed so much!  Mom's accident and Mindy having to help her with her recovery at home has also been a really a good distraction for her from her own issues and emotions.

Now she is so excited and can't wait for the baby to get here!

God answers prayers. He is good!

Friday, June 21, 2013

No Substitute

"There is no program, workout plan, DVD, supplement, or diet that can substitute for unwavering desire and unbreakable discipline. Training hard has to become more important than partying, eating clean has to be more important than Happy Hour. Bottom line is - you will reap the results of the path you choose. Decide what YOU want more - and don't you dare complain that you don't reap the results of the way YOU chose to ignore.

Without the mental fortitude, these 'substitutes' will be nothing more than a band-aid that makes you feel better for the moment, but does absolutely nothing for your long-term success. Substitutes don't teach you that your mentality primes your body for progress or that pain paves the way to change. They don't teach you to get back up a 12th time up after being knocked down for the 11th. YOU have to get out of YOUR comfort zone and experience that for YOURSELF. All these substitutes teach you is that you can remain comfortable, put in minimal effort, and not have to make too many sacrifices to obtain tremendous results.

Do yourself a favor...quit lying to yourself, wasting your time, money, and sanity buying into all the crap out there. Get your mind right, get out of your comfort zone, and go do something that's NOT EASY."

-Matt Cappotelli

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


DIY natural beauty remedies. I'm a little late jumping onto the bandwagon, but I just started using coconut oil on my hair and last night mixed it with some honey for a face mask. Right now I'm obsessed with getting my hair healthy and growing it really long, so I'm hoping the coconut oil will help. Anyone have any tips for getting your hair to grow fast?

everything in sight, ha! It feels like it-rice, cereal, food is off limits! Of course, I added in more calories and increased my carbs at dinner and ended up losing 2lbs!! Even the week I had 3 yummy treats, my weight went down! Really? Only I lose weight while trying to do the opposite! WTH. Anyways, my most recent find the other day at Kroger were these sweet potato chips.

They are sooo good, and have only 3 ingredients. You just gotta be careful with them if you have portion control problems. ;) But sometimes ya just need something a little crunchy and salty, and these do the trick!

The Lovely Bones. Really liking it so far! I didn't even realize that it was made into a movie until I was looking for this photo!? Ooh, can't wait to watch it!


The Hero, The Real Housewives, Breaking Amish, The Bachelorette...can you tell I love reality shows? My favorite show right now is Hannibal-only one episode left! Have any of you been watching? I can't wait to see what's going to happen this week!

Ice cream! I can go without it during the winter, but during the summer it's all I want. And normally I'm a chocolate person...but in the summertime, I'm all about strawberry. It just hits the spot! We've been going to Cold Stone Creamery-that place is soooo good.

Listening to...
Karmin - I  just love them! I uploaded a few of their songs to my Ipod for workouts the other day. Their songs are so upbeat and catchy!

Thinking about....
how absolutely excited I am for my niece, Celeste, to get here in July! Only a month to go. It's so crazy how these 9 months have flown by. I still can't believe that my sister is going to be a mom. But it is such a good thing for her and for our family, although it was quite the shock at first! This baby has been a blessing and has brought my sister back. God answers prayers! Everyone keep her in your prayers for an easy delivery and a healthy baby!

Wishing for....
a trip to the beach! Probably not gonna happen in my near future, but I can wish! I mean, is there anything more beautiful and relaxing than this?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fit for the World or Fit for the King?

From my own experience, I know how easy it is to become so caught up in your physical appearance that you neglect what truly matters more than anything-your relationship with Christ.

Having a fit and healthy body is important while here on Earth, but it won't matter in Heaven. We most definitely should take care of our bodies, but it should not become what your life revolves around.

What are you doing each day to strengthen your relationship with Christ? Are you more focused on pursuing the perfect body than pursuing God?

"While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also the life to come." -
1 Timothy 4:8

Monday, June 17, 2013

Fun "Finisher" Ideas

As I've mentioned, once or twice a week I like to finish my strength workouts with a very short(usually around 5 minutes) "finisher". One reason I like them so much is because it's a fun and SHORT way to get a little "cardio" without realy feeling like you're doing cardio! There are endless combinations for finishers, but here are some that I came up with. A good idea is to time yourself and try to beat your time the next time you do it!

5 minute amrap: (as many rounds as possible in 5 minutes) OR 3-5 rounds for time
              5 thrusters, 10 KBswings, 15 plank jacks or mountain climbers
             12 goblet squats, 12 KB swings
              8 pushups, 10 deadlift burpees, 12 goblet squats
              5 pushups, 6 renegade rows, 7 lunge jumps, 8 plank crossovers(each leg)
            6-5-4-3-2-1 lunge jumps(each leg) + 20 double unders(or 40 singles)between each set

              6 -->1-->6 of: Goblet squats-pushups-burpees-TRX rows

            10->1 Goblet squats + 1->10 burpees or KB swings
            10-8-6-4-2 Pushups + 2-4-6-8-10 Burpees or Goblet squats

Burpee pull-ups: as many as you can get in 5 minutes, 8 minutes, or 10 minutes(if you’re really crazy hardcore!) OR do a pyramid starting with 8 reps and go all the way down to 1, resting as needed!

Tabata circuits (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 4 minutes total):
             KB swings + burpees(alternate)
            Squat jumps + mountain climbers(alternate)
            Burpees-swings-mountain climbers-swings(2x through)        
DB or barbell complex:
5-8 reps for 3-5 sets of:
Squat press
Reverse lunge
Bentover row
DB pushup

Bodyweight circuits:
(30 seconds each, resting 10 seconds between exercises,3 rounds)
Jump rope
Squat jumps
Mountain climbers

"Man-makers"( Burpee to pushup to renegade row to clean & press): as many reps as possible in 3-5 minutes!
Farmer’s Walks: Hold the heaviest dumbbells or kettlebells you can and walk for 30-45 seconds, or as far as you can, rest 30-60 seconds and repeat 2-4x. You could also pair them with bear crawls or burpees!

Sprints(preferably on a hill or incline on a treadmill): go for 8-12 seconds as fast as you can, rest 60 seconds and repeat 6-12x, or for 10-12 minutes

Prowler/sled pushes: 8-20 second push, 30-60 second rest, 5-10x OR reverse sled drags/pulls:

Battle ropes: 15-20 seconds on, 30-45 second rest, repeat 5x
 Do you ever use "finishers" in your workouts? Let me know some of your favorites!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

This Month's Training Plan

Trying something a little different with setting up my workouts. I may change things up as I go...but this is the tentative plan for the next 6 weeks.

MONDAY-Upper Body Delt Focus
1.Clean and press OR clean and jerk 3x3-5

2.Military press 4x6

3a. Wide Grip Pullups 5x amap
3b.1 arm DBoverhead press  4x8-10
4a.Cable face pulls 3x10-12
4b. Reverse bench crunch 3x12-15
5.Lateral raises 2x12
-Handstand practice-
          5 MIN FINISHER

1a. Leg curls
1b. Standing calf raises 4x8-12
2. Bulgarian split squats 4x8-10
3.Trap Bar Deadlifts 2x6
4.. Barbell hip thrust 3x10-12
5. Cable abductions 2x12
6. AB wheel rollouts

FRIDAY-Upper Body Chest Focus & Arms
1. 1 arm DB snatch 3-5x5-6
2. .Bench press 4x6
3a. Cable row or chest supported row: 4x8
3b. DB incline chest press 4x8-10
4a.Pushups 3x8-12
4b. Pullups 3x8-10
6a. Bicep curls 3x10-12
6b.Tricep Extensions 3x10-12
-Front lever practice-

SATURDAY-Lower + Conditioning
1a. Glute ham raises 3x6-8 or leg curls
1b. Seated calf raise 5x15-20
2.1 leg squats
3.Single leg glute bridges
4. Sled pushes or reverse sled drags
-OR conditioning circuit-
    Sled push or drags
    Farmer's walk
    Battle ropes
    KB swings

Monday, June 10, 2013

Train With Intensity!

I was on my deload week last week, so I went to the gym and used lighter weights, not going all out and lifting as much as I could really lift.  I was still feeling the weights, but just not using the same intensity as I usually do when I'm lifting. It got me thinking that this is how so many women train when it comes to lifting weights-without any real intensity!

For example, I was doing 1 arm rows with 35lbs, when I normally would use around 55-65lbs. Now, since I have been training for so long, I am at the point where I can make a lighter weight “feel” heavy by really putting my mind into the muscle I’m working.
BUT just because I can feel the muscles working doesn’t mean I shouldn’t challenge myself to go heavier if I can, as long as my form is good. It’s all about the intensity you put into it. When you lift a weight, you should put 100% focus and intensity into that lift!
Another example: I was doing some battle ropes after one of my workouts but not going all out, and I was like, ‘Wow, these sure are a lot easier this way!’  But if I always did them the "easy" way by just putting in half the effort, I wouldn’t get near as much out of it as I would by putting everything I have into it and going as hard as I can!

What you put into it your training is what you’ll get out of it. Just going through the motions of lifting weights won’t really get you very far. If you constantly lift weights that are less than what you could really lift, your body has no stimulus to respond to and grow; if you lift the same weights over and over again when you could be lifting more, you’ll probably continue to look the same. If you’re not putting enough intensity into your lifting, you won’t ever grow stronger.
Now, this doesn’t mean getting sloppy and letting your form go wacko, of course. It doesn’t mean you should go to absolute failure on every lift, either. You want to choose a weight that is challenging but also be smart about it and use a weight that you can move in a controlled way, focusing on the muscles you want to be working.
I just see so many women in the gym lifting weights that hardly require any real effort-they are just going through the motions. Lifting weights should be HARD. It shouldn’t take 10 reps before you start to feel anything-the weight should feel heavy from the first rep!
So I challenge you this week to see if you can go 5 or 10 lbs heavier on a lift-you may just be surprised by what you can do! ;) Train with intensity!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The instructions of the Lord are perfect,
reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right,
bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear,
giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure,
lasting forever.
The laws of the Lord are true;
each one is fair.
 They are more desirable than gold,
even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
even honey dripping from the comb.
 They are a warning to your servant,
a great reward for those who obey them.
Psalm 19:7-11

Friday, June 7, 2013

It's NOT Punishment!

I have noticed that many people have this mindset about working out as "punishment" for eating bad or to burn off as many calories as possible to try and "undo" the damage after eating something they "shouldn't" have. This is so NOT the right mentality to have!
Don't ever think of going to the gym as punishment!

The gym is a place where you go to get stronger, to push your body physically because that is what God created it to do; it's a stress reliever, an outlet, a place to get away from the worries and cares of life; your “me” time.

It’s where you go to feel better, look better, and move better, so that you can enjoy life to the FULLEST and be confident in the skin you’re in.

With each workout in the gym you are creating a better future for yourself -a future that doesn't involve letting yourself go and growing weak, frail, fat and miserable.

Working out is NOT punishment.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday Thoughts & I-Phone Pics

I have something going on with my left knee....and I am not too happy about it. It cracked really loud one day when I squatted down(not during training), and now it's sore and painful. That's partly why I'm taking it easy this week with my workouts. My upper hamstring issue is back again, too-not as bad as last year, but I'm feeling a little pain when I bend foward like when doing a Romanian deadlift. The only thing that I can think of that's causing it was adding sprints back in, which I was also doing the last time I started having the same issues. Guess I just can't sprint anymore. :(
So I have to far this week I've had a huge cinnamon roll and a slice of homemade peanut butter pie! Both were things that people gave to us(I know better than to buy that kind of stuff and have it in the house-my willpower is not that strong!). Yeah, I totally could've been super "hardcore" and not let myself eat it or wait for my weekend "cheat meal", but....I didn't. I enjoyed every single bite and will still enjoy another yummy treat this weekend.
I'm not gonna lie, though, I'm still struggling with this eating more thing. I know that I have to keep at it, though, especially if I want the big butt I've been working for! I just have this perfection issue that I can't let go of, and a part of me also feels like I have a certain "image" that I need to maintain. You know, like people expect me as the "personal trainer/fitness lover/healthy eater" to have 6 pack abs. Craziness. I also have a fear of having to diet back down.
Alright, well, enough of that.
Lets see...other random tidbits....I've been craving salad like crazy lately which is totally WEIRD for me....My husband left today for NYC for a brain cancer awareness benefit thingie....I can't wait to watch my boyfriend Dwayne Johnson on "The Hero" sister will be having her baby in a little over a month, and I am sooooo excited!!!!!!!

I'll leave you with a few pics from last weekend:

Infamous handstand pic!
Walking the pedestrian bridge downtown



Most amazing dessert everrrr!!!!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's Never Too Late

My client, Beverly, came in to work with me a few years ago when she was 63 years old. She had never lifted weights or been on any kind of structured exercise plan before then. She just knew that it was time to make a change.

Since that day, Beverly changed her diet around completely and has been consistent with her workouts for the past 3 1/2 years. As a result, she has lost over 30lb and 17 inches, plus she has gained muscle and most importantly, strength!

At 67 years old, she can deadlift more than her bodyweight for reps and has done 12 real pushups! She is awesome-she works hard, never complains, and she never uses age as an excuse not to do something!

I also have to mention my mother-in-law. For the past few months, I have been sending her workouts for her to do on her own in her home gym. Like Beverly, she had never really been on a structured weight training plan before and has only been working out for about 8 months now consistently.She has gone from being excited about doing 2 full pushups when she first started, to now doing sets of 8! AND now she is super close to getting her first pullup! How awesome is that?

Both of these examples just go to show that no matter where you are in life, no matter what your age, no matter what your fitness level, no matter how many times you've tried and failed in the past, you can always create a new beginning. It is never too late to begin the journey to a NEW you.

What it comes down to is having the right mindset. A client of mine said to me the other day that to finally make the decision to take action and lose weight, she had to be at that "place" inside, and she was finally there.

And that is SO true. You have to be at a certain "place" mentally; the place where you are ready to fully commit and take the steps it takes to get to where you want to be. There has to be something that happens inside of you, something that sparks a desire for CHANGE, a desire to take action, a desire to venture out of the comfort zone that is getting you nowhere.

Do it for your health, do it for your future, do it for YOU- show yourself what you are capable of! PROVE to yourself that you can do anything you set your mind to. Because you CAN. Age is not an excuse!

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