Monthly Archives: January 2012

Behave Yourself! It’s Time to Talk Gym Etiquette

Currently, I workout out at a small gym and I love it. Once a upon a time I did belong to a big gym, and to be honest I hated it!! Sure it had some of the best equipment, but it was missing something….atmosphere and people that have gym etiquette.

I have worked at and worked out in a number of facilities over the years, so it’s safe to say that I have seen it all. Should I really have to write about gym etiquette!? No, but I’m going too.

Please do not leave a trace!
Congratulations, you can press 700 pounds on the leg press machine. Now can you please put your weights away? Maybe I look stronger than I am, however I shouldn’t have to clean up after you…no one should! Next time I’m calling your mom!

Hey cardio queen, quit hogging the machine!
Some gyms have time limits on cardio machines during busy hours. There’s a reason for that, and you should obey it. And no, throwing your towel over the display won’t fool anyone. P.S You can’t reserve a machine by leaving your water bottle on it. That will definitely give you a time out!

Keep it down!
I’m sure you have seen that guy or girl, the one doing their cardio who is screaming into a cell phone. Unless it’s an emergency, save it!! And if it’s an emergency, stop what you’re doing!! OHHHHH…..and before I forget…there is no reason to moan and groan like an animal in heat. It does nothing for your workout, it just makes you look silly! And it annoys others around you.

Share
If you’re doing multiple sets on a machine, it’s common courtesy to let others work in during your rest periods. This may not always be practical, but offer to share whenever you can.

Clean up After Yourself
Do you know what drives me nuts!?! When someone walks away from a machine, leaving a pool of sweat behind. YAY!!! Just what I wanted!! Most gyms do provide spray bottles or wipes….us them!!! Nobody wants to sit in your sweat!

On a completely different note, I wanted to leave you with a quote…..”The only way of finding the limits of the possible is by going beyond them into the impossible.” Arthur C. Clarke

22 days ago

22 days ago I started blogging on my fitness journey. And since then I have lost 8 pounds, and almost 9 inches from head to toe. That’s not too bad if you ask me. Watching the numbers on the scale move, and the inches disappear is great.

But there is something even better. For the first time in a long time, I am putting myself ahead of everything and everyone else. I have made taking care of me a priority, and there is nothing wrong with that. If I don’t take care of me, who will!? You only get one life and one body.

I just can’t believe how clear my mind is, how my creativity is flowing, how happy I have been, and how good I feel. I ALMOST…feel like I use too when I was training and teaching on a full time basis. I have seen strength gains week over week, my recovery time has improved and I’m ready for my next set of challenges.

By my 32nd birthday, I hope to get into my first target outfit. I know that I will be able to do it, I just have to stay focused. If I feel this good now, how will I feel 6 months from now!? I have also purchased my second target outfit. Well, not so much an outfit….but a swim suit!! Ekkkk…what was I thinking?! Baby steps, I know! However I am more determined now, than I have ever been!!

Tall Tales….Fitness Myths Busted!

Changing your lifestyle can be hard. You need to change your diet, get exercising, have willpower, and do your research. However, there is a lot of incorrect information out there.

Myth: You Need Long Workouts to Exercise Effectively
Truth: It’s not about the length of time, it’s about….INTENSITY! A high intensity workout is short but more effective than a long cardio session. HITT, or high intensity interval training, is when you push yourself to your absolute max for a short period of time. You would then follow it by a short period of recovery…this is an interval.

Myth: Women will get bulky from lifting weights.
Truth: Don’t believe that myth for one second!! Women can not get bulky for one very good reason…our bodies don’t produce enough testosterone to build the large bulky muscles you’re likely to see in bodybuilding ads. The only way it can happen is if you are taking steroids and hormone injections.

Myth: Machines are safer than free weights
Truth: Working out on a machine, makes you think that you are strong. The truth is, is that you are weaker than you would be if you spent the same time and effort with free weights. So you must be thinking, why? A machine forces you into a plane of motion, which is not natural and it will take away the opportunity to develop stabilizing muscles, posture, and balance.

Myth: If you look fit, that means you are fit
Truth: You know there is such a thing as skinny fat? Yes someone might look great, however….they might not be fit. What does it mean to be fit? A fit person will have high performance across a broad spectrum of physical attributes including strength, balance, coordination, endurance, flexibility, and coordination.

Myth: You Can spot reduce fat With exercise
Truth: You can’t burn specific calories in one spot, our bodies just don’t work that way. We all store fat in different ways. It’s all about having a healthy lifestyle, if you want to lose the weight. It’s a combination of a healthy diet and exercise.

Myth: Lengthen your muscles
Truth: In order to lengthen your muscles, you would have to detach the muscle and reattach it farther down the bone. That’s right….your muscles have an origin and an insertion, and both are attached to bone.

Myth: I’ll burn more fat on an empty stomach
Truth: Working out on an empty stomach burns more muscle, which defeats the purpose of any fat-loss diet. A lack of nutrients will not allow for peak performance.

I have only begun to skim the surpface of fitness myths. I will tackle more myths at another time, right now it’s time to tackle the stair mill.

Dear Elliptical Users…

I don’t mind doing cardio, however I don’t love it. When I’m on the elliptical, I’m wishing that I am anywhere but there. To pass time, I crank the tunes and people watch. Does that sound creepy!?

Moving forward….

Dear Elliptical Users,

It has been brought to my attention that you might be doing a few things wrong. Before you run me out of the gym, hear me out.

Your resistance is zero.
You might feel really awesome spinning fast without resistance, however you aren’t going to see results! You need to have enough resistance to push and pull through your stride. Continue at a moderate pace until you feel like you’ve done all you can do. Remember, you are only cheating yourself with no resistance.

You don’t work your upper half
Move the handles, and work your upper body.

Quit slouching!!!
You need to stand up straight, don’t lean on the machine and hang on for dear life. When you stand up straight, you will help lengthen your abs. And it will allow you to engage your core, and work more of your upper body.

You are doing the same thing over, and over and over again!
Please, for the sake of your body….change it up! Try some intervals!

You never change direction!
Going backwards will stop you from getting bored! AND it switches things up for the larger muscles that do the hardest work. What happens when you move forward? You work your quads! What happens when you move backwards? You put emphasis on your hamstrings and glutes.

The gym has more than just ellipticals
It doesn’t hurt to try something new! Change it up, it will do your body some good!

Sincerely,

The girl who wishes it wasn’t cardio day!

Use Your Body….No Really

Can’t make it to the gym today? Or maybe you don’t have a gym membership! Remember, no excuses!!! Every major muscle group can be developed by using your own body weight as resistance.

You can stregthen you legs, chest, arms, back, shoulders and abdomen by doing the following exercises at least twice a week. Before you start a work out routine, please check with your doctor.

Complete two to three sets of at least 10 repetitions. As it gets easier, add more reps to your set.

*Close-Hand Pushups
*Chin-ups
*Situps
*Back Extentions
*Squats (For more of a challenge try jump squats)
*Walking Lunges

Give your core an extra challenge; Try holding a plank for 60 seconds. Don’t be afraid to drop to your knees if you can’t hold the plank position for a full 60 seconds. Aim for 30 seconds to start, and work your way up to 60 seconds.

There are plenty of exercises that require just your body weight.

“There’s only one thing that can guarantee our failure, and that’s if we quit.” So don’t quit….and you can’t fail!

Feel the burn with Winter Sports

    Looking to maintain a proper weight, or maybe shed a pound or two? It’s real easy, set a goal of 30 minutes every day. In that 30 minutes, just get active! Getting active will improve your health, and get the blood flowing. And I am beyond convinced that exercise is the fountain of youth, well that and laughter.

    Participating in winter sports can be a great way to burn off the calories, and even get the whole family involved.

    In one hour, a 155-160 pound person can burn:

    *600 calories snowshoeing
    *563 calories playing ice hockey
    *511 calories ice skating
    *400 calories shovelling snow by hand
    *511 calories cross country skiing
    *365 calories downhill skiing

    And if it’s been a little mild out, and you have no snow, try:

    *281 calories bicycling
    *211 calories walking the dog
    *580 calories stair climbing
    *1,110 running 6 miles within an hour

    Let 2012, be the year that you take charge of your health! Remember, it’s you that needs to make the decision. No one can make it for you. Just like no one can move you, you need to move yourself.

Getting there…

I CAN’T WRITE LATELY!! Errrrrr….yesterday’s blog entry was difficult. And trust me, I’m never short on words. Just ask anyone who knows me! LOL No, I am not suffering from writers block. I am busting at the seams with ideas!!! I start with one idea, and next thing I know my blog is all over the place. Touching down on 6 different topics.

So I’m going to keep this entry simple.

Since I started this blog less than two weeks ago: I have run multiple flights of stairs, done squats until my legs couldn’t support me, pushed myself harder then I have in 4 years, wondered why I even started doing this blog, tackled the TRX, ran out of epsom salts, and I’ve had every muscle in my body curse my name. With all that said, was it worth it!? Yes! I’m down 2 pounds and 5 1/2 inches. I know, I have a long way to go. If it didn’t hurt so much to move, I would be getting my happy dance on!

Remember….”The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will.” Vincent T. Lombardi

Quit putting it off…..

Here is a question for you, are you a procrastinator? If you are, you’re not alone. Most adults procrastinate; I know that I can be bad at getting certain tasks done. There are a lot of reasons that we put things off. So with that being said, how can we break the cycle of procrastination, and how does it relate to our fitness goals?

Let’s try with the WHY:

*Maybe it’s too hard or too difficult: Sometimes if things are too difficult we will convince ourselves that we shouldn’t do something, or that we should look for an easier way.

*Lack of knowledge: Sometimes we put things off, because we don’t have the knowledge or the skills to complete them. And that causes us to back off.

* It takes too long: When we set a fitness goal, we can’t expect things to happen overnight. And sometimes it can cause us to give up. Our fitness goals are like a journey; sometimes we will hit a bump in the road. When we do, we have to remember to stay the course. The results will come, and those results will makes us forget about the bumps. By the way, if your workouts are too long cut them in half. If you can’t do a full 30 minutes, start off with a smaller goal. Start off with 10-20 minutes of exercise, and work your way up to 30 minutes.

* Being afraid of failing: Fear of failure is something we all face or struggle with at some point. I’m not going to sugar coat it, having a fitness goal can be scary. It can seem intimidating. You can’t be successful, if you don’t embrace your fears. Remember, “A mind focused on doubt and fear cannot focus on the journey to victory.” – Mike Jones
So what can you do to get moving and quit stalling?

Try:

*Making a list- It will help you stay on task.
*Find out your why!! If you understand the why of what you are doing, then you will believe in your actions
*Just get started! Don’t keep putting it off, just get out and do it. And be confident, it will get easier and easier.
*Decide to change! What you need to do is commit yourself to change.

Oh my……everything!!

After two great workouts with my trainer…I’m starting to dislike him.  LOL no really Jordan has been great.  BUT…I can’t do much.  It hurts to brush my teeth, comb my hair, cook, clean, get dressed. eat. my arms have become useless to me!! Let’s not get started with my legs, after this morning’s workout my legs are toast.  I have been crawling in and out of my chair at work.  I might have to start wheeling myself down the hallway.  (My luck…I will do a face plant! Get the cameras ready…YouTube here I come!!)

Yes, I know I won’t hurt forever, but right now I wish I could bend my arms straight. lol I might have to start blending up my food. 

It will all be worth it in the end…right!?  Of course it will be!!!

In need of a workout!? Here is a basic workout for you to try.  More workouts still to come. Remember…consult with your doctor before starting!!

For each workout, pick one exercise per muscle group and complete the circuit. Which means you should be only doing 4 exercises per workout.  Choose a different combination each time. Don’t forget to warm up ahead of time. Minimum of 5-10 minutes. Also…if you want an extra burn…do cardio in between.  Example: Ride the bike for a minute or two, run on the treadmill, etc…Don’t just coast, WORK IT!!

Back (Minor: biceps)

  • Pull Ups – 3 sets to failure (lat pulldowns okay until you build strength)
  • Dumbell Bent Over Rows – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Chest (Minor: triceps)

  • Bench Press – 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Incline Bench Press – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Shoulders (Minor: traps, triceps)

  • Seated Military Press – 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Upright Rows – 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Legs (Minor: calves)

  • Squats – 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Leg Press – 3 sets of 12-15 reps

 

Need to ramp things up!? Try 2 sets of 20 or 4 sets of 15

I”m off to blend my lunch!

 

Baby Steps

Are you looking to get started on your own journey? Start off with baby steps, and work your way up. Here are a few suggestions to get you started. You don’t need a gym membership or fancy equipment.

*Write everything down that you eat
*Limit high-fat foods to once a week
*Walk 5 minutes more every day
*Try to get in some strength training in mini bursts
*Climb the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Or just aim for 3 extra flights of stairs daily
*Brown-bag your lunch (Plus this will save you money as well!)
*Eat your fruit- Don’t drink it!
*If you have a treat, eat it nice and slow
*Make sure that you get your sleep!!
*Down size your dinner plate
*After breakfast, make water your primary drink
*Eat equal portions of vegetables and grains at dinner
*Take a walk before dinner

Just a few suggestions to get you started.

Today I trained with my new trainer. And it felt great to get back into it. Mind you if my glutes, hamstrings, and quads could talk, they would have absolutely nothing good to say. Let’s see how I feel tomorrow morning.

Make sure you keep checking back from time to time, I will post different workouts that can be done at home or at the gym.