Ten ways to get the most out of your workouts.

We all know how important it is to live an active lifestyle. When we get a sweat sesh in everyday, we feel better physically and mentally, so let’s make sure we’re getting the most out of ‘em!

Today I am going to share with you my top ten tips on how to make every workout count.

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1. Time your breaks. This is crucial for a great workout. Don’t check emails or return text messages between exercises or sets. If you are trying to lose weight, keep the rest period under 45 seconds. If you  go strong the entire workout there will be no need to spend more than 45- 60 minutes in the gym.

2. Cut down on the chit chat. I think it’s a great idea to workout with friends. It helps with motivation and encouragement, but be sure it doesn’t turn into happy hour without the booze. Schedule some time after the gym to catch up so you can focus on your goals and form during the workout.

3. Have a plan. Write out your workout and bring it with you to the gym. I save all of my workouts on my phone so I can access them quickly and easily. So many people waste too much time wondering around the weight room aimlessly, or spending too much time on the treadmill. Have a plan and a purpose for each workout and each exercise.

4. Use YouTube to your advantage. You can’t have good workout without proper form. I recommend looking up EVERY new exercise you add. Even if it seems like an easy move, small steps can be crucial.

5. Track your progress. Doing the same thing every time you exercise is  one of the easiest ways to hit a serious plateau. Record every move, rep and set and make small tweaks next time for quicker results.

6. Go beyond the number on the scale and your reflection in the mirror. There is nothing wrong with feeling like you need to lose 10 pounds, or wanting to look better in your jeans, but we need to go beyond the physical goals and dig deep for the emotional reasoning behind wanting to lose the weight. These are the goals that will keep you going during the low points.

7. Perfect free weights. Machines can be a great starting point for beginners, but we do not need to rely too heavily on them. They do half the work for us by leading us through the correct ROM. Free weights is a much better option for burning calories and adding variety.

8. Use compound movements. No one has time to spend hours in the gym every day working out. Most people barely have a full hour. Good news- you only need 30- 45 minutes to get in a great workout. The secret? Compound moves and circuit training. You are working more muscles when doing compound movements, thus burning more calories.

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9. Make circuit training your new best friend.  Doing each exercise back to back with little recovery time is a circuit. This type of training builds long, lean muscles while allowing your body to burn more calories at rest. Try combing strength and cardio to up the ante.

10. Pop the bubbly. It’s important to celebrate accomplished goals. Even the small ones.

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Get a pedicure or have an extra glass of wine. You deserve it, sexy lady.

How do you celebrate your accomplishments? 

 

Exciting new adventures.

Long time no see, lovelies!

This is definitely the longest I’ve been MIA on the blog, but I do have a good reason. First off, summer is crazy with kids.. It’s been fun, but Joseph and I are both ready for school to begin!

Secondly, I’ve been training LONG and HARD preparing to teach at a Pilates reformer studio nearby.pilates 1

Sunday I taught my first mock class and it went great. Of course, I was crazy nervous, but after finishing, Almost instantaneously, the stress evaporated. I’m so excited to begin this new journey.

The Studio is a reformer based Pilates Studio that utilizes a variety of equipment such as TRX, springboards and jumpboards. Along with dynamic Pilates classes, we offer interval- style classes that combine strength and cardio for an intense workout that burns fat and tones muscle.

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I will be teaching in the evening, so if you are in the area we would love to see some new faces at The Studio!

How has everyone enjoyed their summer? 

Any exciting news?

Seek First to Understand.

seek first to understandThis is a quote from the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” and since reading it I have changed the way I interact with friends, family and clients.

It has allowed me to empathize with others and understand the reasoning behind their actions. I try to put myself in their shoes before jumping to conclusions.

Today, I wanted to touch on how it has effected my professional life.

I love my job, but it can be challenging. I am dealing with people on a very emotional level- witnessing vulnerabilities and insecurities. They are unhappy with their bodies and feel heartache because they have forgotten what it’s like to feel beautiful for their husband. Some are frustrated because they can’t run around with their grand kids, or because they get winded from walking to a neighbors house.

A trainer can easily be blamed for a client not reaching their weight loss goals. We are an easy target. You pay us money and the weight will fall off, right? This isn’t the case if you aren’t putting forth some effort as well, but I’ve learned that there is always something I could do better. If a client isn’t working out on the days that we don’t meet, I should hold them accountable with emails and text messages.  If their diet is out of control, I need to implement a food diary, or show them how to use MyFitnessPal. Sometimes all it takes is turning on drill sergeant mode to kick their butt in gear.

I’ve learned to take a step back and understand where they are coming from before expecting them to understand me. In turn, it has helped build some of the most amazing relationships. It’s created breakthrough’s and allowed clients to overcome plateau’s.

I challenge you to take this quote with you today and implement it into your day at least once. Seek to understand a co- worker or employee before placing the blame on them.

Let me know how it goes!

The Ribs: My Nemesis

As you guys know, I’ve been delving deeper into my Pilates practice. Although I’ve loved every minute of it, I feel like the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know.  I’ve been going about my business thinking I’ve gotten pretty good at this fitness stuff, and BAM! Pilates kicks me in the glutes (quite literally).

My most recent issue has been some serious ‘rib popping’. On the reformer, doing bridges; just standing in a neutral position is challenging.

benefits of good posture

Photo from http://www.pilates-works.co.uk/why-choose-pilates/

When lying on the floor in neutral, your shoulder blades should press lightly against the mat, the sacrum is firmly planted on the ground with the sit bones facing the wall, and all twelve ribs should touch the floor. Oh, and don’t forget to keep intact the natural curvature of the spine — meaning no tucking or rising the mid- back off the floor.

neutral-spine in supine

Photo from http://pilatestherapist.com

Keeping the ribs on the mat is where it gets sticky for me, and after doing lots of research and training, I’ve discovered it all comes back to the abdominals. I’ve been so concerned with finding my ‘deep’ transverse abdominis, I have completely forgotten about my superficial abdominal muscles, leaving the ribs popping out. I’m simply not engaging the core enough.

Your rectus abdominis muscle is attached to the cartilage of the fifth rib, thus making a nice, contracted core crucial for keeping the ribs from popping out. 

Basically, it’s not enough to focus on that deep transverse abdominis muscle; you must contract your entire core, starting with the pelvis floor and working your way up to the rectus abdominis.

It is not a quick fix, people. Don’t get frustrated if you aren’t ‘cured’ after a week. You must retrain your body and brain, focusing on this weakness and putting forth every ounce of effort toward correcting it.

This is where I am right now, and it is not an easy place to be. There is a lot of discipline and hard work involved, but it has been worth it to find the mind/body connection that is so important with any exercise you do.

pilates quote

Do I have any Pilates gurus out there that would like to chime in?

Do you find it easy to have good posture throughout the day, or are you constantly reminding yourself to keep your shoulders ‘back and down’?

She’s Alive!!

Hello friends!

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet. I have missed you all! I’ve completely neglected my blog and you guys and I hate it!

Life has been so crazy this summer.  Joseph is out of school and Charlie’s mom (aka my babysitter) has been on vacation so little man has been staying with all kinds of family members. :) Thank you family! I’m so blessed to have many, many loved ones who live close that can always lend a helping hand. It truly takes a village!

I’ve been prepping for boot camp that will start in July and a women’s strength training class that starts this week. There are some other exciting things I’ve been working on that’s taken up most of my free time, but love it so much I wouldn’t have it any other way. Details to come!

Saturday I taught an amazing boot camp in Big Spring Park for Healthy Huntsville and the turnout was great! I couldn’t have asked for a better group of ladies! You guys were so strong and had such amazing energy. Thanks for making my weekend!

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My people :)

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My boot camp mascots!

boot camp mascots

If any of you beauties want to join me for a full 6- week session in July, give the Hogan Family YMCA a call and they will put you on the list! $50.00 for members and $75.00 for non- members.

I want to show off a new party trick I have conquered.

one arm headstand

I’ve been working on this variation of forearm stand for months and finally stuck it a week ago. I seriously owe this to Pilates. It’s amazing the core strength I’ve built up since practicing regularly.

If you want a phenomenal core you need to get your bum on a reformer ASAP!

So tell me, what have YOU been up to? 

How stress affects your workout.

It’s true that just the right amount of stress can be beneficial to your overall health, but too much can have serious side effects.

Along with sleepless nights and overeating, stress can derail a well- intended workout.

Here are five major ways stress could be sabotaging your workouts.

1. Exercise falls off the priority list- For many people exercise is the first to go when they feel there aren’t enough hours in the day, or maybe you’ve been working overtime to make a deadline and couldn’t possibly put forth anymore effort- mentally or physically.

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Try scheduling your workout into your day as if they were any other appointment, and stick to it. Think of all the benefits you will get from making that yoga class. The physical activity helps clear your mind and the endorphin’s will lower stress levels.

2. Lack of sleep due to stress can prevent progression- Have you ever tried working out with only a few hours of sleep in your tank? You literally mine as well go back to bed. Not getting enough ZZZ’s can leave you dragging with intensity, load, distance- the list goes on.

Make  sleep a priority. try winding down before bed by avoiding technology and enjoying a glass of wine or hot tea.

3. Negative thinking- The negative emotions and thoughts that stress tend to arouse can be enough to make you feel like it’s pointless to even try to reach your fitness goals. You may feel helpless, or too weak to succeed.

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It’s very important to be aware of negative self talk and train your brain to immediately focus your attention on something positive. It’s very hard at first but gets easier with practice.

4. Weakened immune system- Stress can do a number on your immune system causing you to catch the common cold more often and making it harder to get over any illness you may have. Sure, its okay to workout when you are sick in some scenarios but who really feels like it when you can’t breathe out of your nose and your head feels like a ton of bricks.

Drink lots of water and try not to skimp on sleep.

5. Cravings- Serious cravings are such a bummer and, unfortunately, are a given when stressed out. Obviously eating one too many brownies can hinder your weight loss, but it can also keep you from wanting to hit the gym. Who wants to workout when you feel like Miss Piglet?

donuts

It may be easier to avoid hitting up the donuts in the break room when you have a workout scheduled for later that day.

Make exercise a priority and you will find that things fall into place, even when stressed to the max.

Summer bucket list.

Hello June bugs!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Ours was pretty low- key, enjoying a night in on Friday- Charlie made steaks and we open a fancy schmancy 13 year old bottle of wine, which ended up upsetting my psoriasis.. How lame is that? It looks like this girl will be sticking to her brews from now on.

Saturday I was able to get in a great workout in the park that involved stairs, planks and squat thrusters. YIKES!

workout in the park

 

We went to church for the first time in awhile on Sunday and it felt really good to get back into it. We stopped going for awhile because Joseph was too loud to stay in service with us and we were still having some separation issues, so the nursery wasn’t an option. Of course, we are way past that and he did just fine.

Charlie went fishing after, so Joseph and I did some relaxin’. Naps, yoga and movies since it was a rainy day.

yoga on a stump

I wanted to have some fun with you guys today and share my bucket list for the summer. There are some pretty generic things on here, but some are unique to me and my family!

summer bucket list

Tell me a few things on your bucket list!