Category Archives: Physical exercise

Motivation: Stay Hungry for Your Daily Workouts

Can I get a bit vulgar for a moment? Here, I’m calling ‘ear muffs’ on this one as a means of letting you know ahead of time that I’m going to say something which requires a bit of  ‘Parental Discretion’, so get ready…here it goes: I’m a natural tease.

There, I said it. Take the ‘ear muffs’ off now and continue reading…

I like to make my Monday workouts a touch less intense than the rest of the week, and I do so as a means of staying hungry for the next one. My reason is simple: I want a workout that taxes me, but no so much that it brings me to my knees, so that I can’t wait until the next one!

At about the point that my endorphins start raging—and I begin to feel like superwoman—and knowing full well I’m capable of going 30-45 minutes longer—I stop my workout completely. I turn off the music, take off the weight gloves, put away the plyo box, take off the heart rate monitor, and close the door to my home gym; I walk away from my routine and continue on with the rest of my day, doing nothing which even remotely resembles a workout, of any kind.

It’s a hard thing for me to do, too, because after taking a rest day on Sunday, my body is already primed and ready for a good, long, workout, but I deny it the pleasure of one—no apologies, no explanations—just leave it completely unsatisfied and wanting more.

Now, if you can clear the semi-dirty thoughts the tone of that last paragraph brings to mind, and focus on what I’m saying, we can continue *wink, wink* (see what I did there? told you…tease).

For me this is something that works wonders for my motivation the rest of the week because by the time I hit my  Tuesday session, I’m ready to get spent. I mean, I am so keyed up and ready for some high-intensity satisfaction that I can hardly contain myself.

The calories I’m able to expend, the overall effort I’m able to devote to each rep, set, and Tabata-style workout is something that’s hard to describe…but it’s certainly a rush!

My aim here is to say that you have to continue to find ways to stay excited about getting/staying fit.

If you’re a fitness fanatic—and you work out six days a week—you have to get creative sometimes if you hope to avoid getting burned out, and it’s little tricks like this that have helped me to curve the random urges to forgo a day altogether because I’m over it all by Thursday.

It’s something that works for me, but you have to find something that works for you.

That  said, it’s Tuesday and I’m ready to get busy,  *wink, wink*.

Again…tease.

Happy Tuesday!!!

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Women’s Fitness: What Drives You?

I was raised up believing that the best example isn’t always the person shouting from the rooftops, but rather the one calmly—and in the most disciplined manner—going about her business, showing you how to successfully get a job done—actions > words.

That said, when you approach a plan of action—be it one of health or fitness (there is a difference)—you have to be aware of what your approach is going to be before you do anything.

For example, I began my journey towards health long before I considered becoming “fit”. I didn’t necessarily believe I could look anything like the International Fitness and Body Building (IFBB) Pros I saw on the covers of magazines, but I did feel I could correct the bad eating habits I’d latched onto over the years and change them for the better. And once I was able to do that, it dawned on me that I wanted to be more than just small, I wanted to be built!

I wanted great shoulders and awesome biceps.

I drooled at the sight of abs like some do at the sight of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream;

I wanted more for my body because I suddenly understood that more was possible. Prior to that I was constantly fed the negative stuff that so many women fall prey to:

You can never be thin again after you have babies.

Your metabolism will slow down after 30, why bother.

You’ll never be able to look like the women on the magazines, that’s impossible to do on a mom’s budget.

The list was endless. However, I was undeterred, I was going to try anyway—what did I have to lose?

The problem was, like many who embark on such a journey, there was no tangible place

for me to start. I wasn’t in a position to go to the gym anymore and a personal trainer was out of the question. Food wasn’t as much of a problem, but eating healthy while also learning how to use food as a tool for muscle-building and recovery was another animal altogether. And all those great recipes in the magazines were a great help—so long as you lived in a city with a Farmer’s Market on every corner and had a healthy budget to spend each week—I had neither.

So, I had to get creative and find out what worked for me, within my means. Once I did, I was able to make the adjustments necessary to set reachable goals and make my vision of a fitter me possible.

That was three-years ago and I’m happy to see I’ve done a pretty decent job of getting where I am now, all by myself.

The one thing that will always separate you from the person who fails to reach his/her own goal is motivation. Not everyone can sustain their drive over the long-haul—day in and day out, even when your emotional state is pushing you in another direction. It takes great strength, on a daily basis, to overcome the demons and make what feels impossible, possible.

For me, it’s no longer about the cover girl or the IFBB Pro, it’s about the feeling I get knowing I have a healthy body. The confidence and swagger I feel from that alone is unbelievable and it helps me to keep doing it no matter how hard it gets sometimes—and knowing I can always reach higher, get better, and be stronger is motivation enough to keep it interesting.

It’s not always going to be easy, but I promise you, you won’t regret the rewards.

What you’ll see and feel in return makes it all worth it.

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Fit Mommy: My Monday Workout

This was my workout for the day:

Upper Body Focus:

3 x 12 upright row w/20lb barbell

3 x 12 lateral raise per arm w/10lb dumbbells

3 x 12 shoulder raise per arm w/10 lb kettlebells

3 x12 alternating curls per arm w/25lb dumbbells

3 x 12 military press w/20lb barbell

3 x 12 skull crushers w/20lb barbell

3 x 12 tricep kickbacks per arm w/10lb dumbbells

3 x 12 one-armed row per arm w/25lb dumbbells

3 x 12 front raise per arm w/5lb dumbbells

3 x 12 single arm tricep extension, per arm w/10lb dumbbells

3 x 12 reverse curls w/20lb barbell

3 x 12 wrist curl, per arm w/10lb dumbbells

3 x 12 good morning bows w/20lb barbell

3 x 12 dumbbell flys w/10lb kettlebells

3 x 12 supermans

3 x 12 standing kettlebell press-ups per arm w/10lb kettlebells

Abs: 150 crunches using pilates ball, 150 side bends using 25lb weights (75/side), side crunches using pilates ball, 75 toe touches, 75 flutter kicks, 75 scissor kicks, and 75 reverse crunches,

Cardio: two rounds of Tabata followed by four 3:00 rounds of shadow boxing

Total workout time: 100 minutes

Currently I’m working on securing more dumbbells for my home gym as the 10lb weights aren’t as challenging on some exercises, but the 20 pounders are too much; so I’m looking to get a couple more dumbbells where I can change the plates out to make them fit my needs.

Some days I alternate my sets to four or five of varying repetitions depending on my goals for the day, but I always break it up into either upper or lower body work as opposed to defining a muscle group; it’s a plan that has worked for me thus far.

The number of Tabata’s I do varies on the day as well. Sometimes I feel good enough to do three or four circuits, whereas other times I can only get through one depending on how fatigued or sore my muscles are from the prior day’s routine.

The shadow boxing is a fun incorporation that really gets my heart pumping so I love ending off with that—although I have to wait a couple minutes after completing the Tabata session before I have the breath to begin.

I work on Abs daily and I have never been comfortable just doing sets of 12 or 15 like most of my mags advise, that just has never gotten me the results I’m seeing now—despite my dedication to eating well—so I continue to focus on completing at least 700 repetitions to really give my abs some lovin.

What did you all do today?

 

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