Sunday, January 22, 2017

Workouts of the Week

Workouts were good this week. Added a little weight to each lift or tried to do an extra rep on at least one set, but still keeping things submax. Squats are still feeling iffy on my hip flexor, but at least they felt a little stronger this week. If it gets worse, I'm going to have to lay off of squats...but as of now it's not as bad as it was a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping it will continue to get better!

MONDAY UPPER BODY HEAVY
1)Bench press: 110x3x5 (about 80% of max)
2a)Pullups(wide, neutral grip): 0x6/15x3x6
2b)Push press: 100x3x5
3)Pendley row: 105x4x5
4)Dips: 15x2x10
5)Reverse crunch: 15/12/Hanging leg raise: 2x8
6a)Offset Farmer's walks: 70/50 lbs x 4x 30ish seconds
6b)Single leg hip thrusts: 3x10

WEDNESDAY LOWER BODY HEAVY
1)Power cleans 105x3x5
2)Deadlifts: 200x5x3 (75%)-beltless and double overhand
3)Barbell step ups(single leg): 65x3x8
4a)Glute ham raise: 25x3x6
4b)Ab rollouts on toes to wall: 4x8
5)Reverse sled drags: 280x4x15ish seconds
6a)Standing calf raise: 170x5x8
6b)Seated abductions: 3x30

FRIDAY UPPER BODY
1a)DB seated overhead press: 35x2x9/30x10
1b)Chinups: 2x8/Inverted row 2x12
2a)Single arm chest press: 35x10/40x10/40x9
2b)Seated cable row: 3x10
3a)Cable tricep pushdown: 15/12/12
3b)Alternating bicep curl: 2x10/cable curl x12
4)Incline bench reverse fly: 3x15
5)L-sit: 10 second hold, 20 second rest x5
6)Pallof press: 3x10

SATURDAY LOWER BODY
1)Barbell Squats: 135x10/155x2x8/135x12
2)Glute ham raise: 10x3x12
3)Leg press: 270x12/290x2x12+10(drop set last set)
4a)Back extensions: 40x3x12
4b)Goblet split squats: 40x2x10/offset-40x12
5a)Calf presss: 10/10/8/8
5b)Clams 2x20/banded frog pumps: 2x30
6)Seated calf: 15/12/12
7)Air dyne bike: 15 seconds x5

Good things I found on the internet this week:
Why Low Carb Diets Suck
The Myth of Good and Bad Foods
Four Keys to Fat Loss More Helpful Than "Eat Less Move More"
Stricter Is Not Better
23 Surprising Weight Loss Tips
The Biggest Mistakes You're Making Trying to Lose Weight

Friday, January 20, 2017

5 Things Friday: Ways To Brighten Up Your January

January really is the worst month ever. It's not only super depressing because the holidays have passed, but it's also cold and dreary allll the time. I don't think we've seen the sun in here Kentucky for two weeks straight!

As someone who LOVES to be outside and NEEDS to feel the sun on my skin on a regular basis, winter is really hard for me. But I've learned that instead of being sad and depressed about it, we can choose to make the best of it. Winter will never be my favorite time of the year, BUT there are some things you can do to make it more tolerable. Here are a few things that help me:

1)Read books
Since you're cooped up inside more in the winter, it's a great time to read some books. I go to the library about once a month stock up on a few books to read. I love fiction, especially mystery novels, but I also try to read a non-fiction Christian based book once every couple months as well. I love curling up on the couch on a cold winter day with a warm blanket, a cup of coffee, and a good book.
2)Have a weekly game or movie night
This is something my husband and I like to do on a weekend night-turn off the TV, put our phones away, and play a game! We have a couple of card games we like to play-Quiddler and Five Crowns, and sometimes we even just play Mario Kart(even though I'm waaaay too competitive and throw a tantrum when I lose). You could also have a weekly movie night with popcorn and hot chocolate!

3)Go to the gym
When it's cold and dreary out, sometimes all you want to do is stay at home in your comfy clothes. But I really believe that helps to GET OUT of the house and get your body moving. Just put on some cute workout clothes, and get to the gym, even if you don't feel like it. For me, it's something about the bright lights and all the people working hard that just lifts me up a little, at least for that one hour or so. All you need is a quick 30 minute, full body workout, and you really will feel so much better.



4)Get outside
Yes, I know it's cold. The last thing you want to do sometimes is go outside. But I'm telling you, there's something refreshing and invigorating about going for a quick walk in the fresh air, no matter how cold it is outside. Just bundle up!
See how happy they are?

5)Plan some fun indoor activities. 
In the Spring-Fall, the last thing I want is to be indoors, but winter is a great time to do some fun indoor activities, like bowling, the movies, laser tag, ice skating(my favorite!) or indoor go-karts. My hubby and I enjoy eating out more often in the winter, and it's the only time I can actually get him go to the movies with me, since summer days are spent relaxing in the pool. It's also a great time of year to get things done around the house and tackle some of those projects you've been putting off.


What are some things that help you get through the winter? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It's Never Too Late to Start Lifting

I was talking with one of my personal training clients the other day, and that conversation inspired me to write this post.

People are often surprised to hear that the majority of people I train are in the 55-70 age range. I don't know why, but I just seem to "connect" well with older women, and over the years I've really grown to enjoy training them the most.

I think one of the reasons is because with younger women, they usually just want weight loss, or a flatter stomach, or to get more "toned". Nothing wrong with any of those things, but they aren't really in the place in their lives where they're thinking about health or their future quality of life -they just want to look better. Now, of course, this isn't always the case, but it is what I've found to be true of most of the younger women I've trained.

Older women, however, often come to me with the initial goal of wanting to lose weight, but because they are at a different stage in life, they're also usually at the point where they realize they have to focus more on their health. They are losing muscle, everything is sagging, they don't the have energy or stamina they used to have, and their bodies are stiff and achey and not moving like they used to.

So what usually happens is that even if they initially come to me with weight loss as their main goal, after a few months, they start to realize how strength training is good for them in so many ways, which is what I was talking about with my client the other day. She hasn't lost a ton of weight on the scale, but she now realizes the importance of strength training and maintaining muscle mass at her age. She was telling me how her stamina has improved, and how her posture and core strength is so much better, how things are getting firmer that used to be flabby.

The thing is, most older women know they may not ever have a 6 pack or be "skinny" like they used to be, but that's no longer what they're striving for. They just want to feel better and get stronger, and that is what is so great about training them. I love seeing them get stronger and begin to move better! Being able to take someone who has never lifted weights, or who can barely do a bodyweight squat, or maybe even can't get up off of the ground on their own, and have them squatting with weight, doing pushups, deadlifts, and lunges, is a really cool thing to me. That's really what it's all about!

And I don't train my clients like they're fragile beings who can't do anything. No, I have them lifting heavy. Of course, "heavy" is relative, but what I mean when I say that is that they are lifting what is heavy for THEM.

This fitness thing? It is so much more than 6 pack abs. It's about:
 -preventing osteoperosis
-maintaining and building muscle
-gaining the strength you need for every day activities
-increased stamina
-future quality of life
-preventing diseases
-staying flexible and mobile
-decreasing risk of falls and injuries

 And the awesome thing is, it doesn't matter what age you are-it is literally NEVER too late to start. It's never too late to reap the benefits of strength training. You CAN get stronger at any age. You CAN build muscle at any age. You CAN improve the way you move and feel and look at ANY age. I know because I've seen it.

Don't just accept that your body is going to fall apart and wither away because that's just what happens as you get older and there's nothing you can do about it. There ABSOLUTELY is something you can do about it! It's called strength training.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Training Plan & Workouts of the Week

So I think I've settled on a training plan for the next couple months. It's nothing crazy, just going back to a heavy upper and lower day with reps in the 3-8 range, and then a hypertrophy upper and lower day with reps in the 8-12 range. 

Right now my focus is on increasing bench press and deadlifts. Also upping my calories, as I'm really going to try to put on a few pounds! The holidays got me off my regular eating schedule, so I actually lost a couple pounds. :/

I seriously don't know why, but when it has come to writing workouts for myself, I just suddenly went brain dead. Like every time I went to write one out, I just got anxiety and couldn't do it. It's the strangest thing. Actually, I really just think it's because I have all these workouts that I've printed out, and it was just too much to choose from.  I've considered doing 531 or Uncaged again, PHUL, PHAT, Layne Norton's PH3, Tony Venuto's TNB-28, and many more...But I'd find something "wrong" with all of them.

The thing is, there is not going to be a perfect program out there that has everything I want in it. There's just not. So I just gotta do SOMETHING. Like I know how to write out workouts and have been doing it for myself for 10 years, but I just came to the point recently where I felt like I needed something different. But really, it probably is best for me to write my own workouts that are specific to my goals anyway.  I think after this I may do 531 for hardgainers.

I'm sure I'll change a few things here and there as I go, but this is the tentative plan for the next 4-6 weeks:


Workout A1 MON
Workout B1 WED
Workout A2 FRI
Workout B2 SAT
1)Bench Press
3 x 3-5
1)Power Clean
3 x 5
1)Pullups or Inverted rows
3 x 8-12
1)Squat/pause squat
3 x 8-12
2a)Weighted Pull Up
3-5 x 5
2)Box squats??
3-5x5
2)DB Overhead Press
3 x 8-12
2)Glute-Ham Raise
3 x 8-12
2b)Push Press
3-5 x 3-5
3)Deadlift
(program)
3a)Seated Cable Row
3 x 8-12
3)Leg Press
3 x 8-12
3)Pendlay row
3-5 x 5-8
4)BB Step up
3 x 6-8
3b)DB 1 arm chest press
3 x 8-12
4a)Walking lunge
3 x 8-12
4a)Dips 
 2-3x5-8
5a)Standing Calf Raise
5 x 8
4a)Alternating
Dumbbell Curl
3 x 8-12
4b)Back extensions
3x12-15
4b)Hanging leg raises
3x8-10

+Glutes-pullthroughs/band walks
5b)Ab wheel
3x8-10

6)Farmer's walks? or sled drags
4b)Dumbbell Triceps Extension
3 x 8-12


5)Rear delt exercise 3x12-15
5a)Seated Calf Raise
3 x 15


5b)Band glute bridges



Upper strength            Lower strength           Hypertrophy upper          Hypertrophy Lower


Depending on how I feel after the workouts, I may add in some sled drags or farmer's walks at the end and some extra glute stuff just like I've been doing on my first upper body day. I don't know yet how my hip flexors are going to be feeling with squats, so I may have to modify things if I can't do them.

Since I took a week off I'm easing back into things slowly, meaning that nothing is max weight. I'm keeping a couple reps in the tank on every lift and will add weight or reps each week. I plan on sticking with this heavy/hypertrophy split for a few months then switching it up again. I'm going to follow a deadlift program that I followed a while back because it worked well for me then...so lets hope it will work again!

MONDAY UPPER BODY HEAVY
1)Bench press: 105x3x5 (75% max)
2a)Neutral wide grip pullups: 0x8/10x3x6
2b)Barbell push press: 95x3x5
3)Pendlay row: 95x4x5
4a)Dips: 12.5x2x10
4b)Hanging leg raises: 3x8
5a)Band glute bridge: 2x30
5b)Plate carries: 3x20ish seconds
6)Band walks: 3x15/leg
video

WEDNESDAY LOWER BODY HEAVY
I was not sure how front squats were going to be...but even with a low weight, they bothered my back. So I guess no more front squats. Everything else was good, even though I think step ups are stupid....I'm gonna stick with them! 

1)Hang power cleans: 95x3x5
2)Front squat: 95x5/105x2x5 (was hoping I could do these, but they still hurt my back)😢
3)Conventional deadlifts: 185x5x5 (70% max)
4)Step up: 25sx8/45x8/55x2x8
5a)Ab rollouts to wall: 3x8
5b)Standing calf raise: 5x8
6a)Seated calf raise: 3x12
6b)Seated abductions: 3x25-30

FRIDAY UPPER BODY HYPERTROPHY
1a)Inverted row underhand grip: 3x12
1b)Seated overhead dumbbell press: 30x3x10
2a)Cable pulldown: 12/10/10
2b)Single arm DB chest press: 35x3x12
3a)DB alternating curls: 10/12/12
3b)Cable overhead extensions: 3x12
4)Bentover lateral raises: 3x12\

SATURDAY LOWER BODY HYPERTROPHY
Hip flexors were feeling better, but still not 100%, so I didn't want to push it this week with squats. I probably should have stuck with 135 this week, but my pride got the best of me. I just miss squatting heavy...even though it's only been a few weeks. I was sore after this one!

1)Barbell squat:135x8/155x8/155x6/135x8
2)Glute ham raise: 0x12/10x3x12
3)Leg press: 3x12
4a)Back extensions: 40x3x12
4b)Goblet split squat: 40x3x10
5a)Calf press on leg press: 4x10
5b)Clams w/band: 2x20/frog pumps w/band: 2x30
6)Seated calf raise: 3x12



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January "Currently"

Happy Hump Day!
I thought I'd do a January "Currently", since I didn't do one for December.

Soooo, here goes....

I'm currently:

Eating-
This absolutely delicious creation:
I call it Hamburger Helper, because to me that's what it tastes like. I grew up on Hamburger Helper, and I don't know about you all, but I freaking love it. So for this I just use taco seasoned lean beef(I use a low sodium packet from McCormick), spaghetti sauce(no sugar added tomato & basil), and macaroni. That's it! And it's amazing.

Feeling-
A little bummed lately with Christmas being over, family drama, and the dreary weather. But that's the norm for me the first couple weeks of January. I'll get over it. At least Spring will be here in a couple of months!

Wanting-
To be here again soon. No, NEEDING to be here again soon! As I write this, it is currently 9 degrees. NINE DEGREES. Maybe, just MAYBE there will be a beach trip in my future??


Reading- 
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. I really, really loved this book! It was one of those books that made me not be able to go to sleep at night because I wanted to keep reading it!

Watching- 
The New Celebrity Apprentice. We've been watching the Celebrity Apprentice for years now, and I love that now Arnold is the "boss"!

Loving-
This hashtag going around on the internet right now! #GainingWeightIsCool. I'm ALL ABOUT encouraging women to be okay with weight GAIN, and with loving themselves no matter what their body looks like, no matter if they're shredded or soft or fluffy or whatever. It's an awesome thing.

Also, all of these posts out there on the internet:
What you need to know if your goal is 6 pack abs
Stop telling women to embrace their flaws
How to get a Victoria Secret's body
100 non-weight loss or physique based fitness goals for 2017
Why this powerlifter loves her body more than ever
New year, new self control
Why Women NEED Iron

Wearing-
My favorite current lip products: NYX lipstick in Thalia, Wet 'N Wild lipstick in Bare It All, and my newest-NYX Intense butter gloss in Tres Leches(can  you tell I'm a fan of nudes?).

Obsessing over- 
This mascara.It's the best mascara I've tried so far! I have super short and straight eyelashes, so I am very picky about mascara and need ALL the help I can get! I love the brush on this one and how it clings to every eyelash as you brush it through. Makes my lashes both thicker and longer.

Listening to-
Testify by NEEDTOBREATHE. Love this song!



Excited about-
The Little Mermaid on Broadway on next month! Matt got us tickets for me for Christmas, because he knew I had said I would love to go. The Little Mermaid is my FAVORITE Disney movies of all time!

Enjoying-
my week off from the gym last week! I know it was definitely needed because honestly I didn't miss it one bit. Sometimes I'll take a deload and workout at home, but this week, I didn't want to do a DARN thing. I did do a short workout Friday and some light leg stuff Saturday, after 5 days of absolutely nothing-like, not even mobility work. I needed it. I enjoyed it. But now I'm excited to start a new workout plan!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

5 Exercises That Are Better Than Crunches

It amazes me how many people out there still believe in spot reduction-the idea that doing an exercise that targets a specific area of your body will burn fat off of that area. I just wish I could tell them: if your goal is fat loss, it's not going to workStop wasting your time! Actually, that's exactly what I tell my personal training clients.
never have my clients do crunches, with the exception of reverse crunches occasionally. Why? Well, because they are not effective, especially when it comes to burning belly fat. NO amount of crunches will give you a flat stomach. It just WON'T work. But what about strengthening the core? Well, in my opinion, there are much more effective exercises to use for that than crunches.
Crunches come in very LAST PLACE in strategies for getting a flat stomach or revealing 6 pack abs. Since you can't target where you lose fat, it's simply a matter of losing body fat all over. And losing body fat mostly comes down to your NUTRITION-more specifically, through lowering caloric intake. This should be the number one focus when it comes to losing body fat. With proper nutrition, you can actually achieve a flat stomach without doing a single crunch.
So, if crunches aren't effective for burning belly fat, they don't burn a significant amount of calories, and they aren't the best exercise to strengthen the core, then WHY do them? Yes, you should train your abs to have a strong core and/or if you are seeking to build more defined abs. But if it's fat you're trying to get rid of, get your nutrition in check first.  Then, rather than wasting time doing crunches, here are five exercises you should be doing instead:
1)Pushups
What many people don't realize is that pushups don't only work the chest, arms, and shoulders, but the core as well. Any exercise that works multiple muscle groups will burn more calories than just isolating the abs.
2)Farmer's walks
Grab a set of heavy dumbbells, walk for a minute, and see how high your heart rate goes up. Not only are you getting your heart rate up, you're also highly engaging your core muscles, along with your forearms, shoulders, and upper back. Once again, the more muscles you're engaging, the better, especially where fat loss is concerned.

3)Goblet squats
These are a great compound movement that basically works your whole body-legs, upper back, and core. Because of where you hold the dumbbell or kettlebell, your abs are forced to engage to hold your body upright.

4)Sprints or prowler pushes
If fat loss is the goal, you can't beat sprints or prowler pushes. Not only do you burn calories while doing them, but with short burst, high intensity cardio, your metabolism will continue to be slightly elevated after your workout.
5)Single arm movements(landmine press, single arm dumbbell press, single arm cable row, etc.) Any time you use only one side of your body, your core is activated in order to stabilize your body.
With each of these movements, your core is being worked along with other muscles in the body at the same time, which is ideal for burning the most calories. These are the type of movements that should make up the majority of your workouts, along with other compound movements, if a flat stomach is your goal. If you MUST, you can add in some ab isolation exercises into your workouts, but only if you have done these exercises first.
If you truly want to transform your body and get a smaller midsection, crunches are not the answer. Utilizing the above exercises, in combination with proper nutrition will get you much closer to a flat stomach than crunches ever will.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Workouts of the Week

Happy New Year!

Our exciting New Year's plans were church, dinner at Cheddars, and then bumming it on the couch. Honestly, there's no place I would have rather been, and I barely even made it to midnight.
Today has just been a lazy day. Well, I did go for a walk, prep some food, and do some laundry. ;) I've decided that it's long overdue, so I'm taking a deload week next week. Debating whether or not to even go to the gym, but I'm leaning towards not. It's been a while since I've done a full week off, and I know my body and when it's needed. At this point, it's more of a psychological break. I have to figure out my goals and what I want to do with my workouts. Plus I like what it symbolizes-letting workouts take a back seat and instead setting my mind and priorities on God and his plans for me for the year.

Remember, taking deloads or complete off weeks is totally okay, necessary, and beneficial. Don't be afraid-you won't get fat or all lose your gains, trust me. So here is what my workouts looked like last week:

MONDAY LOWER BODY
1)Box squats: 135x4x8
2)RDLs: 135x8/155x8/175x3x6
3)Glute ham raise: 25x3x8
4)Prowler: 230x2/280x4 x12-15 seconds
5a)Reverse hypers: 90x15/110x12/130x2x12
5b)Band walks: 4x12/leg
6)Calf raise: 4x8-12
7)Leg extensions: rest pause to 40 reps

WEDNESDAY UPPER +GLUTES
1)T-bar rows: 55x6/70x2x6/60x8
2)Bench press: 105x6/110x6/100x2x6
3a)Single arm lat pulldown: 3x10
3b)DB chest press:  50x7/6/40x10
4a)Cable pullthroughs: 15/3x12
4b)Band stand abductions: 15/12/12
5)Ab wheel rollouts to wall: 10/8/6/6

FRIDAY LOWER BODY
1)Sumo deadlifts: 205x4/225x4/205x
2)Leg press: worked up in sets of 10, then did 3 drop sets last set for 7 reps each
3)Barbell glute bridge w/band: 135x3x15
5)Back extensions: 50x3x12
6b)Calf raise on leg press: 4x12
6b)1 1/2 walking lunge: 17.5/15x3x8/leg


SATURDAY UPPER BODY
1)Neutral wide pullups-clusters(2-2-2-2)x3 sets (10 lbs first set, then 15lbs)
2)DB seated overhead press: 30x8/40x7/7/30x10
3)TRX feet elevated rows: 4x10
4a)Dips: 35x8/8/20x8/8
5b)Farmer's walks w/dumbbells: 60x4x25-30 seconds\
6)Lateral raise: 15x12/10+ 2 drop sets
7a)Pullaparts: 4x15
7b)Jump rope: 8x40 seconds