Archives

Exercise Logging Sheets

If your not new to my blog, you all know what a HUGE advocate of logging I am!  If you are new here, guess what? I am a HUGE advocate of logging.  I like to write down my workouts [on paper], in addition to logging it on Dailyburn.com  I keep ALL my sheets and can look back on the day, week, or whatever and I can see my progress and what exercises I have already done that week.

Here is the form I made up to use for my logging.

workout-log.pdf

In addition to logging my daily exercise, I also like to have a calendar hanging in my gym to short log the day and what body part I am doing that day, what  I have already done, and what is coming up.  It helps plan my week, body part, cardio, and days off.  I like to have things in writing.  It’s kind of like having a before pic.  It is a constant reminder of my priorities and how far I have come.  It has also kept me successful in keeping the weight off and always evolving with my workouts!

3-month-workout-calander.pdf

On the left I write the week.  Then in the square I write what cardio I did and how many min.  Then to the right of that in the same square I abbreviate what body part I am doing.

Should You Work Out When You Are Sick?

A couple weeks ago I woke up with the with a  sore throat, tired, dragging… just not feeling great.  During the winter, with the kids getting sick and what not this happens occasionally.  I feel a cold coming on, but I continue to work out, and it seems like the cold never really takes off.   It may be a less intense workout, or a little bit of longer rest periods between sets, but I ALWAYS feel better after I workout.  It’s not for everyone, but I know people struggle with the “do I” or “don’t I’s” when they are sick.  For me it is DO because I (and that’s a BIG “I”) feel like it helps me fight off my cold.

There have been studies done and moderate exercise while being sick has not been proven to increase or decrease the length or severity of a cold.  It’ s up to you and your body.

So, here are the general rules about working out when your sick:

  • Never workout with a fever
  • Take the intensity level down
  • Rest more between sets
  • If it’s above the neck and you feel ok then go for it
  • If it’s below the neck SKIP IT!  If you feel any bronchial tightness, DO NOT WORKOUT!!!!!!!!
  • Don’t workout if you are achy
  • Take a anti-bacterial hand sanitizer with you to the gym! Be polite for Gods sake!

 

Halloween Survival Guide

With Halloween here, a lot of people are going to be torn between the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other.  It doesn’t have to be a struggle as long as you are prepared.

So here is some Halloween survival tips:

  • Don’t go into the actual night hungry.  Fill up on veggies and protein so you don’t let your hunger get the best of you.
  • WORK OUT-  workout hard on Halloween!
  • Buy candy to hand out that you DON’T like.  Don’t buy your favorite candy, that is just a recipe for disaster.
  • If you are handing out candy make a bowl of popcorn to munch on so that candy doesn’t call your name as loud.
  • Chew gum while trick or treating or handing out candy that way the mindless eating can not occur.
  • THINK before you eat.  It happens all to many times, you eat one piece and without thinking and before you know it there is a mound of candy wrappers in front of you and you have no idea how they got there.
  • After Halloween, put the candy out of sight.  Don’t put it in the very front of the pantry or on the kitchen counter and for gods sake don’t feel guilty about throwing it away.

Here are some “better” choice candy.  Using the word “better” when referring to candy is kind of an oxymoron because candy is full of sugar and not good for you .  PERIOD!

  • Eat the dark chocolate (72% or more Cocoa) – the only candy I truly advocate.
  • Mini candy bars – less is more when it comes to candy
  • York Peppermint Paddies – 3 minis have 150 cal and 3 grams of fat
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Peanut M&M’s (snack size bag) – at least it has protein and more likely to fill you up

NOW keep in mind besides the dark chocolate, I don’t believe any of these are good for you or should be consumed in large quantities.  I however am realistic in thinking that the majority of people will eat candy this Halloween no matter what I say or believe.   Keep in mind that sugar is highly addictive and makes you more hungry.  Once you eat candy, your body craves more.

While I give you the better alternatives to binging  out on candy, here are the effects that sugar has on ones body:

  • Can decrease growth hormone (the key to staying youthful and lean)
  • Feeds cancer
  • Increases cholesterol
  • Can weaken eyesight
  • Can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children
  • Can interfere with the absorption of protein
  • Causes food allergies
  • Contributes to diabetes
  • Can contribute to eczema in children
  • Can cause cardiovascular disease
  • Can impair the structure of DNA
  • Can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, and crankiness in children
  • Contributes to the reduction in defense against bacterial infection (infectious diseases)
  • Greatly assists the uncontrolled growth of Candida Albicans (yeast infections)
  • Contributes to osteoporosis

What are you going to have to do to work off that candy? Great question. Here are some quick stats from qcheakthnews.com:

  • 5 miniature Milky Way chocolate bars, 190 calories | 28 minutes of a zumba class
  • 4 miniature Snickers chocolate bars, 170 calories | A brisk walk with the dog for 50 minutes
  • 7 miniature Three Musketeers chocolate bars, 170 calories | Swim for 22 minutes
  • 3 miniature Twix chocolate bars, 150 calories  | Run at a moderate to strong pace for 10 minutes, or jog for 20 minutes
  • 20 pieces of candy corn, 150 calories | Hit the stair climber  for 25 minutes
  • 1 piece of licorice, 70 calories | 25 minutes of yoga
  • 1 Fun Size M&M packet – Plain or Peanut90 calories | 10 minutes of bike riding
  • 1 piece pumpkin pie (1/8 of 9-in pie), 180 calories | 1.8 mile walk or 3600 step

Leg Exercises You Can Do At Home

Legs have always been a challenge for me because I have knee problems.  It’s pretty known in the fitness world that it’s pretty close to impossible to do a good leg workout without doing squats or lunges.  Building your quadriceps will most definitely  help and take the weight and some pressure off your knees.  Once you build your quads it will be easier on your knees when you do things like squats or lunges.  I still struggle with lunges and are selective about what kind and how much I do them.   I have always had very big thighs and calf’s so these are the muscles that build the fastest and biggest on me.  Everyone is different but if you do these exercises, they will strengthen, tighten, and give you nice legs.  The awesome thing about these are you don’t even need to go to the gym to do them!

SO here are some exercises you can do in your living room or even while you watch tv to help build strong sexy muscular legs.

Lunge: Start without weights and progress to holding weights

Wall Squats:  You can do with or without the ball.  For more of a challenge add hand weights.  If you have bad knees just sit in the hold and do not go up and down.  Hold for 40 seconds and stand.  Repeat.

If you have a resistance band (which I  HIGHLY recommend everyone has):

Kick backs

Plie squats (love them):  spread legs apart in a plie stance and raise up onto tip toes and repeat.
A normal squat:  You can add dumbbells or even barbell if you have them.  Do not let your knee extend over your toes.  Sit into the squat don’t lean.
Bulgarian split squat:  A more advanced move and one I have a love hate relationship with.  You WILL feel the affects the day after 🙂  Start slow and do it without weights first.

Work Out Your Workouts

I am always setting new goals and challenges for myself, so that I always have something to work for (added incentive if you will).  I am always tweaking and mixing up my workouts.

So,  for the past few weeks I have been doing a totally different workout regime that I have never done before.  I have ALWAYS done cardio!  Lately my body hasnt really been changing.  I decided I wanted to do even more weight lifting.  So I figured when in Rome, right? A lot of weight lifters/body builders do not do cardio the same day they lift because it has been said they “counteract” each other.  It’s something I have never tried,  so after getting out of my own head and convincing myself it’s ok to not do cardio every day, I jumped in head first and gave it a try.  I was planning on trying it for at least a month and see what would happen.  I most definitely notice a change in my muscles after a couple weeks which is what I wanted.

HOWEVER, and this is a bigggggg however, I also noticed a change in my energy level, I felt bloated all the time, my knees hurt like crazy, and I just felt like crap! It’s been a long time since I haven’t done cardio everyday, and the effects of not doing it for a couple weeks is crazy and mind blowing!  So, once again I am changing my workout.

So here’s my point, we read articles, hear from professionals, and know “the rules” to obtain certain goals, but in the end you have to listen to your body.  Experimenting with your workouts, eating, and even suppliments in the end make you and your workouts more productive!  While we should “follow” the rules, your workouts need to be fine tuned to YOU!

Also, setting new goals for your body is always a great idea.  It keeps you on track and focused on a goal.

In the mean time, while trying this new weightlifting routine, I got contacted my MuscleAndFitness.com  to be part of a supplement testing program.  I figured why not.  I love love love Muscle and Fitness magazine and their web site.

I got my first package and in the little brown box was and amazing pre-workout supplement called X Fit Trainer  pre workout formula.   It was awesome, and gave me that extra energy (that I wasn’t  getting from not doing cardio) to make it through a long weight lifting session.  If you are looking for a pre- workout supplement, I highly recommend this one!

Here’s a challenge to all my readers:

Set a fitness goal for yourself.  Email me your  goal and then email me when you reach that goal.  When I have heard from several people I will make a post featuring all of you who have met your goals.  Who’s down?

 

To be a part of Muscle and Fitness supplement testing program check it out here: Muscle and Fitness Sampling Program. 

Abs

A friend of mine recently asked me about my ab routine, so here it is.

First of all, I LOVE doing abs!  It’s my favorite body part to train.  If I could, I would do abs every day!  But, I know if I did it really wouldn’t help me, and my muscle fibers would not have time to mend, so I don’t :(.

Now, what is the main problem that people have with their mid section?  That top layer of fat, right?  Well, you can do 5 million abs exercises a day for the rest of your life and never get the results you want.  What really burns that extra layer of fat is CARDIO.  So, while you  have a ROCKIN 6 pack from your doing your 5 million ab reps a day,  you will never be able to see it under that layer of fat.

SO,  I do a ton of  cardio.   Abs don’t need to be trained more than 2-3 days  a week, with at least a day of rest in between.  I do cardio, then  I do abs 3 days a week with another body part, so I don’t do as many ab exercises those days.  Then I do JUST abs, one day a week.   I do 4 sets of about 4- 5 different exercises.  This takes a long time, so it’s not for everyone!  Most people don’t have that much time, nor do they desire to spend that much time so scale it back and just incorporate abs twice a week with either less sets  and more exercises or more sets  less different exercises.  But when you do make it count!  Concentrate on your abs. Pretend you are trying to get your belly button to touch your spine. Slow controlled movements holding each rep for 2 seconds with a controlled release.  Less is more!  Form and control is better than fast uncontrolled reps.

Here are a few of my favorite ab exercises:

Take your time concentrate on your abs and DON’T FORGET TO BREATH!

Stability Balls Crunch- Once you have done this for a while, try it weighted. I use weights or a elastic band

Bicycle Kick Crunches

Reverse Crunch

Roll UP

Plank

AB Toning Wheel   Yes I said it.  I don’t normally use gimmicky products, but it I do like to do it once in a while to change things up.

These are just a few.  When training abs don’t neglect obliques and sides.  Training the entire core is essential!

Try this amazing app.  It is beyond awesome for training abs!  I recommend starting on easy then working your way up unless you have done some serious ab training.

Also what you eat can directly effect  your abdominal region.  Stay away from transfats, they are the worst!

Eating foods like these help burn that stubborn belly fat in reality ABS ARE CARVED IN THE KITCHEN:

  • black beans
  • sunflower seeds
  • peanuts/nuts
  • green tea
  • yogurt
  • bananas
  • fish
  • whole grains
  • dark chocolate
  • avocado
  • flaxseed
  • olive oil

My Top 10 Workout Tips To Get You Started

When I first started working out, and trying to live healthy, it was just so overwhelming and I was going in it blind.  I had no idea where to start.  I knew I should do cardio, but for how long?  How high of intensity?  I was so lost.  So, I have put together my top 10 workout tips that I wish I would have known when starting out.  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

In no particular order:

  1. Do not start working out 7 days a week and restricting massive calories.  SLOW DOWN.  Start off gradually, and work your way up!
  2. 3-4 days a week,  high intensity, 20-30 min workouts are a good way to start.
  3.  Never work out the same body part two days in a row – your muscle fibers need time to repair
  4. Cardio workouts burn calories WHILE your doing the workout while strength training and lifting weights continue to burn calories hours after your done working out.
  5. Do not workout until 30 min after you have eaten and do not eat (especially carbs) 30 min after
  6. Switch it up… If you find yourself plateauing, then you need to switch up your workout.  Example:  Instead of doing cardio before strength training, do it after. Change the exercises you are doing – if you are always using a cable, switch to weights.
  7. EAT YOUR PROTIEN
  8. Don’t over do. Burnout is a serious thing.
  9. Eating not enough calories is as bad as eating too many.  If you are not eating enough, your body will burn lean muscle and not fat.  That is BAD!
  10. Less is more.  If you can do 100 reps of a particular exercise, that’s to much.  Add weights or some kind of resistance (like a band or cable).