Doing Some Damage

Hi everyone!

I finally got some clothes with my new personal trainer discount!

Lucy

Lucy has been around for a bit, but hasn’t quite bloomed as much as Lululemon has (although they are both pretty pricey). Lucy is sending me a rewards discount card in the mail that I can use both in store and online for 25% my total purchase! I’m super excited because I’ve been eyeballing this zip up jacket for almost a month and I finally own it!!! I love it. It doesn’t have thumbholes but it has a really cool top where I can make a cowl neckline if I so choose, or not!

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Lucy Hatha Asymmetrical Zip

Athleta

Athleta is part of the Gap, Banana Republic empire. Their workout clothes are functional, flirty, and really do well to complement different body types and different ages. Not only do they have work out gear for yoga and running, they also have swim gear as well as some really cute everyday stuff. Here I have a card that gives me 30% off in store only. I got two really fun pants!

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And then I ordered this jacket online with a special inshore discount. It’s another fancy zipper too. For some reason I was really drawn to fall/ winter gear. I couldn’t resist this jacket because it just screamed Vermont. I’ll no longer have to wear my water resistant jacket with two under layers. Less puffy looking and yet still as warms. Of course clothes don’t make the trainer, but it does feel nice to look a little more professional than wearing an old soccer shirt with a client.

 

In other news, I’ve finally decided on my life running goal. I would like to run a half marathon in every state. I think I’ll try to do one marathon when I’ve gained enough running experience and picked up my pace time, but for now 13.1 is my new favorite number!

Activity Trackers

Hi everyone!

My mom got one of those fancy activity trackers for her Mother’s Day present and I’ve been eyeballing it ever since. They are a pretty penny, but I think they have some real benefits too! So, I’ve been doing some research and figuring out my criteria. I know for sure I want:

  • A sleep tracker. Sleep is so important and on multiple occasions I’ve been told about my amusing sleep-talking habit. It would be interesting to see how my REM cycles are effected by this attractive quirk.
  • Wireless. So that I don’t have to plug it in everyday to record my data.
  • Corresponding app on my phone/ website on the computer. I know most of them do this, but it’s important to make sure.
  • Not bulky. I have really small wrists.
  • Food tracker. The app/ website should have a calorie counter. I don’t need 7 different websites to track all my stuff! I already have MyFitnessPal but it would be nice if they could sync or something.

There are two things I’m still debating over:

  • Heart Rate monitor. This will give you a much more accurate caloric burn instead of the guestimate from the machine based on your weight. Plus you can see if you’re really pushing yourself, or if you need to boost it up a notch to really get that burn going on (130-170 bpm is pretty good).
  • Watch. I mean, it would be nice to have a watch with this, but I do have my own basic sports watch. I just don’t want an arm party when trying to look professional.

I’ve been looking into a few bracelets and decided to share my research and I’ll share my decision with you all when I finally decide on a brand and make the purchase. If you have any suggestions, comments, or feedback on these presented here or other bands, I always appreciate it!

Jawbone-Up

Jawbone UP24

The Jawbone seems super cool! I’ve been playing around with my mom’s and it has some awesome features! Although it doesn’t have a heart rate monitor or a watch on it, it is compatible with MyFitnessPal aannndd it even has an alarm to remind you to take your meds! I actually have 2 alarms on my phone for my different meds and still forget to take them. I also really like how it asks you to rate your daily mood. I think that is super important and it’s not something we actively sit down and ask ourselves on a day to day basis. Moods effect relationships, productivity, workouts, and overall zen. It doesn’t look cumbersome and could fit snuggly next to my light blue watch! I’ve seen good reviews about the accuracy and fit. So far in my research this seems to be my number one. My mom says it has to go on your non-dominant hand and she wishes it had a watch on it, but is very pleased otherwise. $150

 

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FitBit Flex

Okay, so I really liked the FitBit Force, the one with the watch that was recalled due to skin rashes, so I figure I’ll research this one and if it turns into my number one I’ll wait for it. It syncs wirelessly to my computer and my phone so I can see my progress. It gives you badges, which are a nice little motivator to keep going. RunKeeper does the same and emails me every time I beat my best time. It’s nice to be recognized for my fitness goals even if its from a computer haha. It “plays well with others”- compatible with MyFitnessPal, RunKeeper, and several other popular weight loss/ fitness apps. I love that it hooks up with RunKeeper! I put my name on their email list for the Force notifications and hope its coming back so I can see it in real life. I’ve also heard good things about the accuracy and overall mechanics of this brand as well. Although, I am concerned about the allergic reactions people have had. I have sensitive skin and I hope they work on something that works for people like me. Flex is $100 and the Force is $130 on Amazon.

 

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Garmin Vívofit

Has a watch and optional heart rate monitor! Tracks my sleep, is wireless, counts burned calories etc. like the rest of them. You have an online community/ app where you track everything.  I don’t think it would sync with MyFitnessPal or any of those apps I also like to use, so that’s kind of a bummer. It’s water resistant so I don’t have to worry about it getting wet on a surprise rain storm or while washing my hands. So, heart rate monitor and watch are a plus, but no food intake is a con. $129 for the band + $70 for the heart rate monitor.

 

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Nike+ FuelBand SE

I don’t really dabble in the Nike world too much, so I was surprised to hear they had a fitness band that was up with the other big names. This band is wireless, but does not have as many features are the other three above. It really focuses on the type of activity, the app that comes with it, the community, and the burned calories. It does have a guilt trip factor that reminds you to be active every hour you are inactive. I guess it starts beeping and you have to get up and do a lap around the office or get some water to make it stop. Not as impressed since it doesn’t track my sleep, this is better for you fitness friends who are just concerned about activity and caloric burn. $99 for regular and $150 for their “gold” edition.

 

 

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Basis Carbon Steel Edition

I have never heard of MyBasis before. It seems a little bulkier than the others (although I am only looking online) and seems more for the tech crowd. It tracks sleep, stress, and helps the owner understand their cardiovascular health- now that’s pretty interesting. It uses multi sensors and an “optical blood flow sensing technology” in leu of a heart rate monitor (not the same thing though). It also tracks how much you burn during activities. Paired with its app you can even develop healthy habits– holy cow that’s really awesome! So, it has a watch, and somewhat of a heart rate monitor, but also doesn’t sync with my running app and calorie counting app. But the stress management and habit formation is super cool. It has a skin temperature monitor and a perspiration monitor… what? That’s some Big Brother stuff right there! I’m almost speechless! I think this thing is super cool- and $200 to boot! I wish it did the calorie counter, but I am used to plugging that in independently. Man, I am thoroughly impressed with this thing!

After my research I’ve nixed the Nike for sure. I think the FitBit and the Jawbone are my top two- and the Basis is in the “in your dreams” category as far as the price goes. I’ll keep you all posted with my final decision!

Hope everyone has a nice Father’s Day!

 

First Training Plan Ever!

Hey everyone!

I just wrote my first ever training plan! My boyfriend was asking me for a training plan for his upper body, core and cardio, and lower body. Do one each day and don’t forget to cool down and stretch! I wanted to share and get feedback! I put the weights in for him but everything is varied for each individual. Sometimes its easier to start without weights and add them on once you feel comfortable with your posture and the movement patterns. Before trying these make sure you don’t have any injuries that cause pain in any movements. Here we go!

Upper Body– No Weights

  1. Push ups with single leg lifts
  • 10 reps each side for 2 sets
  • Start in a push up position. lifting on leg adjust to a plank position. Do the push up and finish with a toe tap- so your not putting your weight back down, just tapping with your toe.
  1. Inchworm
  • 15 reps for 2 sets
  • Start standing, do a forward bend and walk your hands out to push up position. Do a push up and walk your toes as close to your hands as you can. Return to standing position.
  1. Free weight dips with legs extended
  • 20 reps for 2 sets
  • If you can find a sturdy surface (Like your pallet). Put your hands behind you on the surface and lift yourself up. Sink down and hold. Lift yourself back up until your arms and fully extended.
  1. Shoulder push ups
  • 15 reps for 2 sets
  • Get into downward facing dog. Do a push up motion with your arms like your slowly placing the top of your head on the ground. Push up
  1. Pull ups
  • 12 reps for 2 sets
  • Make sure you go all the way down!
  1. Snow Angel
  • Try 10 at first. This is more of a shoulder stabilization exercise
  • Lay on your back with your knees bent. Your arms are moving like your would with a standing press- just without weights. Start with your elbows in and not touching the floor. Press your arms like you have resistance until the come together upwards with your arms extended. Then return them to start.
  1. IYTWO Stabilization
  • Try 5. This is another shoulder stabilizer
  • Lay on your stomach. Pick your face and chest up off the floor. Stick your arms out to make the letter “I”, then at a 45 degree angle for “Y”, then out to the sides for a “T”, then bring the elbows to your sides for a “W”, and around to the small of your back for an “O”. Your have to pretend you have resistance and really squeeze your muscles to feel it.

I like to do one set of each and then go through the workout again for the second set.

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Upper Body– With Weights

* try to do 8-12 reps and 3-5 sets with each. Start with more reps, then more sets, then more weight * Meaning: start with (example) 20 pounds, go from 8 reps to 12 reps in 3 sets, then 3 sets to 5 sets in the same 8-12 rep progression. Then add 5 pounds and do it all again. This type of rep/set is used for muscular hypertrophy (increase in muscle size). Also, I kind of estimated what weight would be appropriate. You’ll be a better judge of what’s challenging as you go along. Don’t be afraid to back off the weights to get a feel for the first set or mix and rearrange exercises from either option

Start with 10-15 mins of moderate cardio on any machine you choose so your heart rate is increased for your workout session.

Option 1

1. Dumbbell Incline Press

  • start with 20-25lbs
  • put the bench at a 20 degree angel (not 45 because that puts too much pressure on your joints). Press normally. Starting position should be hands in line with chin

2. Lying Dumbbell Pec Fly

  • start with 20-25 lbs
  • lay on the bench with arms extended but with a slight curl in the elbows. Bring weights to meet extended in front of you. Return to start

3. Lat Pull Downs

  • Start with 40 lbs
  • Make sure you have a good grip, hands shoulder width apart. Keep elbows in by your sides on the pull down and count to three before slowly/ with control raising your arms back up to start

4. Barbell Bench Press

  • Start at your normal weight +5 lbs

5. Dumbbell Row

  • Start with 20-25 lbs
  • Use the bench and kneel with your left foot and right hand. Extend your hand with the weight towards the floor. Pull up like your trying to start a lawn mower and lower slowly using control

Option 2

Same deal with the 8-12 reps/3-5 sets. Start with 8 reps for 3 sets, then increase reps to 12. 8 reps/ 4 sets, 10 reps/ 4 sets, 12 reps/ 4 sets. Then again with 5 sets. THEN increase with weights by 5 lbs.

6. Incline Reverse Lateral Dumbbell Raise

  • Start with 20 lbs
  • I think they have a set up for this at the school gym with a bench you can lay on your stomach. It’s basically the same as the lying dumbbell pec flys expect for your start with your arms out in front and then bring them back to make a “T” with slightly bent elbows.

7. Shoulder Shrugs

  • 35 lbs
  • Hold weights down by your side. Shrug your shoulders up and down slowly

8. Lying Dumbbell Pullover

  • 20 lbs. You can also use it with the weighted barbells near the free weights
  • lay on your back with your strait up above you and knuckles facing you, then at the elbows curl them down towards your shoulders. Your bicep/tricep will remain perpendicular to your body. It’s just the elbows and the forearms moving.

9. Hammer Curl and Press

  • 20 lbs
  • The hammer curl section starts with the weight down by your side knuckles facing out. Curl them up to your biceps- then rotate them out to the side so your knuckles are facing out towards the wall in front of you. Then your press them up, bring them down, rotate the knuckles back in and reverse the hammer curl. Make sure your knees are hip width apart and slightly bent. No jerking motions with your body. Good posture, good core!

10. Medicine Ball Pushups

  • This sounded hard! You grab like a 5-8lbs medicine ball and you put your hands on it and do a push up! I thought it was a fun challenge that focuses on your arms/back/chest and gives you the added challenge of stability.

Cardio and Core!

  1. Cardio! Your choice for 15 mins at a light to moderate pace
  2. Bird dog crunch
  • 15 each side
  • This is a lot about balance. Get into table top (hands and knees on the floor with a flat back). Take opposite arm and leg and extend them keeping that flat back. Then curl same opposite arm and leg in to touch knee to elbow (really curl your back up to get a deep core).
  1. Russian Twists
  • 8lbs medicine ball
  • 30 touches on each side
  1. 50 crunches with raised knees- add weights and reps
  2. 30 bicycle crunches each side
  3. Cardio! 15-20 minutes of moderate to intense this time
  4. Ab wheel. It has handles on the sides. Start on your knees and do as many as you can.
  5. Regular plank until failure or posture fails
  6. Side planks! Start on your forearm at 45 on each side. Make sure you keep both sides even. Advance to strait arm and then strait arm with one leg extended in the air.
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You wouldn’t believe how many photos were not blog appropriate!

Buns and Thighs

10-15 mins of light to moderate cardio

  1. Lunge overhead press
  • 8lbs medicine ball
  • 12-16 reps for 2 sets
  • Lunge foreward, don’t be afraid to go deep as long as knees don’t go over toes. Take the medicine ball and press up!
  1. Dumbbell Dead lift
  • 25 lbs bar
  • Feet should width apart. Bar starts on the ground. Keep chest and head up, lift with your knees and keep your back strait
  1. Backwards Lunge Twists
  • 5-8 lbs medicine ball
  • You step back into a lunge and twist the opposite way. So step back with your right leg and twist to the left
  1. Bosue Medicine Ball Squats
  • 5-8lbs medicine ball
  • You squat on the ball and push the ball strait out, bring it back in and stand up. Then you do it again but push the ball out twice, then stand up. Then three and etc.
  • I did this during my gym workout/interview session. Oh my goodness!!!
  1. Dumbbell Squat
  • Use 15 lbs
  • Regular squats but keep the arms up by shoulders with the weights
  1. Mountain Climbers
  • You can do it on the floor or use the bench if it bothers your back
  • Do 30 each leg
  1. Side Lunge
  • Slow and steady. Watch your toes. Stand with wide legs and bend one knee to squat
  • Do 5 on each side.

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I hope you all like it! Feedback is welcomed and encouraged! You can look up any of these moves online. ACE has a nice description for most of them and a gif to help us visual learners.

I did spinning for the first time in 2 years (I know right?) and today is my yoga/ stretch day. Tomorrow is running!

Hope everyone has a wonderful day ♥

Eat More to Weigh Less?

Hey readers!

Today I wanted to write about eating- because who doesn’t love food?!

Interestingly enough, I find myself eating more in the fight to lose weight. I don’t mean gourmet meal 24/7. I mean more along the lines of “eating like a bird”. Portion control is KEY here. It’s a task and a half, but measuring out serving sizes really makes you question if its worth putting in your mouth. For instance: yesterday for breakfast I had

  • 2 cups of watermelon
  • 1/4 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup of raspberries

This breakfast was a grand total of 160 calories. Yup! That’s it for all that food! Compared to one strawberry flavored Pop Tart with 200 calories per pastry. No thank you!

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Using MyFitnessPal’s recommended caloric intake plus the calories I burn off after a good workout, I can monitor how many calories a meal should consist of (around 400) and snacks should consist of(100-150). (It’s different from person to person plus your fitness goals.) It’s also important to see when your energy level dips and to feed yourself right to keep you going longer. Here’s how I try and eat on a normal day:

  • Breakfast 7:30-8ish
  • Coffee around 10am- My coffee has that caffeine kick that keeps me full until lunch!
  • Lunch 12-1pm
  • Snack 3:30ish
  • Small snack at 5ish- this is when my energy is super low. Instead of eating all the appetizers and wolfing down a large dinner, I try to grab something high in protein to hold me over to dinner
  • Dinner 7:30ish and sometimes a little something sweet after!

A few important things to remember

  1. Lunch should be the biggest meal. I know that at the end of a long day your just starving to dig into that pasta bowl, but stop! If you keep your digestion track and metabolism somewhat working throughout the day and you drink a glass of water before eating, you won’t feel as ravenous at dinner.
  2. Protein is a great snack, but don’t make it your only goal. Hummus has protein and you can also have a veggie serving. Nuts are always great in small quantities. High in fat, but will certainly hold you over!
  3. Water! Sometimes your body says “I’m hungry” when your actually more thirsty. So if you just ate a meal or a snack, try and drink some water and wait a bit before looking for something to feed the appetite.
  4. Listen to your body and don’t starve yourself! It’s hard in the beginning! Measuring your food alone is difficult. But once you start and get comfortable with it, you can start eyeballing things to guestimate.

Yesterday was a 4.8 mile hill run, today is cardio and meeting with my personal trainer! Hope I can walk tomorrow…

Getting the Feels

Hey ya’ll

I saw this really interesting article about a woman who said she has cried during many a workout. Some people would think “Why would someone cry while working out?” Or some you you who (myself included) are like “jeesh there have been a few work outs that have really pushed the limit!”. I have actually experienced the overwhelming emotions that accompany a good work out. I carry a lot of stress and sometimes on a nice casual run I can feel myself fighting off that surging wave of preemptive tears. Most of my runs are in the quiet solitude of my inner thoughts. I don’t always need music to keep a pace. There have been numerous occasions where I run and all of a sudden the wheels start turning and I begin to see the truth in these “stressors” that have been bothering me non stop. It was nice to see someone else speaking out about this rather embarrassing, personal issue.

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Just another reason why exercise is beneficial for not only your body, but your mind and soul as well!

In other news, I have a summer job at a day camp! I also went in for a workout interview. I literally worked out and did an interview. Oh my goodness that was probably the toughest interview I’ve had! Sweating, trying to smile and chat- make it all look effortless. I’ve been looking into a small Vermont gym after this whole internship I had set up fell through at the last minute. The fist guy was opening a new gym and seemed more concerned with his image… oh well. Any who, I went to this new gym and guess what? He wants me to come back a few more times and maybe give me a client! Yay!! I’m going to study up my ACE and talk to my trainer friend to help me make a good workout that’ll knock this guys socks off!

Stay tuned!