Real Women Do Chest Day!

 

Real women work chest!  Today we’ve got an awesome chest workout.  And thanks to Mel, you can bring this workout with you to get the best workout at your gym!

 

More muscle means more calories burning!  For 2 days your body will work to repair the muscle from all that lifting.

So let’s get started!

 

The traditional bench press:

 

You want to make sure you’ve got a spot if you are not going to use your safety rails.

Always shoot for 4 sets of 8-10 reps.  Struggling for the last two reps will build that lean muscle.

Mel gives you a good look at how far the bar should come down.  Start with lighter weight and gradually add more as your sets increase.

On to the decline chest press:

Now this really works that lower chest.  It’s so hard to find movements that work the lower chest.

Again, you want to lift as heavy as you can for 8-10 reps.  I can’t lift as much as I can when I chest press on a flat surface.  Try a lower weight and gradually work up if you’ve never tried this movement before.  Always do 4 sets.

The next movement is on the sitting chest press machine:

This has two different hand grips so you can do two sets with each grip.

Shoot for 8-10 reps and be sure it’s heavy enough to struggle pushing for the last two reps.  Always do 4 sets.

Next we move on to the Pec-Deck Machine:

When you don’t grip the handles completely and try to touch your wrists together as shown below, you really feel it in those pectoral muscles!

Shoot for 8-10 reps and always do 4 sets.

Next we’ve got a fun movement.  This machine is not meant for chest, but you can definitely get a good workout for your chest if you’re a little creative.

This machine is the assisted pull-up machine.  But you can up the weight, and do standing diamond push-ups on it.

The first time I tried this I was so sore for a few days afterwards.

This can also work the lower part of the chest.  I really do love these.  Shoot for 8-10 reps and always do 4 sets.

And now, the best exercise for last.  It literally turns on beast mode!

Standing cable flyes!

Make sure you lower the cable reels about halfway down the poles to make them shoulder high.  Stand with one foot in front of the other to root yourself.  Then begin those flyes!

Shoot for 8-10 reps and always do 4 sets.

This is an excellent chest day workout!  We were able to do this workout from 5:30 AM to 6:15 AM.  Literally, 45 minutes.  All those movements in only 45 minutes.  That is only 3% of your day!

Thanks to Melanie for being such a good sport and modeling all these chest moves!

Feel free to comment questions or share using the social media icons below!

Happy Chest Day!

Finally, a Book by a Dietitian About Weight Loss Surgery!

book-cover-with-credentials

 

I am so excited to announce that I have written a book and it is now available on Amazon for purchase!  I did want to explain why I wrote this book and what better place to do that than right here.

I recently left the world of bariatric nutrition counseling to pursue a different career path within the world of dietetics.  Over the years working with weight loss surgery patients, I was always asked where an informational book about bariatric nutrition could be found.  That was a great question.  I couldn’t really find one that I highly recommended.  Throughout the years I was asked by many of my patients why I had not written a book.  I could think of a million reasons… It takes a lot of time… and how in the world do I compile all the knowledge I’ve soaked up over the years?  During the last several months I was working with these patients, the request continued to grow.  It seemed like I was being asked almost weekly to compile my knowledge.  So that’s when I began.

Once I started, it seemed like my life consisted of work, home, and typing away.  Here are some thoughts I had while writing.

  1. How in the world will I organize all this knowledge??
  2. I’ve really seen thousands of patients over the years…
  3. Gosh my patients have been motivational!
  4. Is that the correct usage of a semi-colon?
  5. I really can’t let this knowledge go to waste.
  6. Will people actually read this?
  7. Oh my goodness… It’s really finished!

That’s it!  I had completed my first draft.  I located some amazing editors (AKA: my brother and husband) who read it immediately.  They spent so much time going over every chapter with me and I could not have done it without them.  By the time the editing was complete, the excitement began.  It was becoming real.  After all of the long hours writing, designing, and editing, it was now ready for publishing.

What I hope for this book is to help people.  The questions I received over and over are finally answered.  They are answered in a way that can help people feel more comfortable living this new lifestyle.  It is a big change for most people and no one should feel alone and confused.   So if you know anyone that is considering weight loss surgery, tell them about this book.  They will find out what to expect, learn what questions to ask, and discover how to insure long-term success.   This is important information to know in order to win with weight loss surgery!

*My book is available to purchase on the side bar of my home page.  Kindle app is available for download on Apple products.

Review of the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity and Sleep Tracker

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One thing I have come to love while working as a dietitian is all of the technology giving me more information about people in regards to what they eat, how they move, and how well they sleep.

A lot of times we believe we move more than we do, so these activity trackers have been great showing us the truth about our activity.

As the health care professional, I have noticed some things as this technology has grown more popular.

Accountability. It promotes more accountability for everyone.  When you think you’ve been moving throughout your day and should be close to your goal of 10,000 steps, you may check your activity and only have hit 3,000 steps so far.  Seeing a record of your actual movement through the day will provide valuable feedback to help achieve your activity goal.

Competition.  We are very competitive by nature not only with other people, but ourselves.  When we set a goal and see how close we are to it, we may work a little harder to hit it.  It could trigger us to take the longer route to the restroom, park further away, or take the dog on a slightly longer walk than usual.

Earlier Bed Time.  Sleep is extremely important for us to function well during the day and also improve our chances for weight loss.  By monitoring sleep cycles, you may become more aware of your routines and try to improve on them.  Knowing you aren’t sleeping well, you may try going to bed sooner, practice evening relaxation techniques, or take time winding down to prevent tossing and turning.

So I decided to try out the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband, Black for myself and see what the pros and cons were with these tracking products.

Fitbit 2

 

THE SET UP

While setting up a Fitbit account, I got confused between the tablet and the computer.  They continued to direct me back to one another.  So I ended up going to my phone and downloading the app which walked me through creating an account step by step.

Just to avoid confusion, I recommend setting up your account with the Fitbit app on your phone.

Once I got started with the app account setup, it was very easy and explained everything very simply.

THE APP

The app software is really simple.  It shows a home page with your progress on the front by tracking steps, mileage, calories burned, active minutes, and also lists options to track your exercise and weight, monitor your sleep, log your food/begin a food plan, and log fluids.

THE WRIST BAND AND TRACKER

The Fitbit Flex came with two different sized bands for wrist comfort.  The bands are easily adjustable.  Even though the snap is a little stiff at first it will loosen up once you’ve worn it a few times.  This will make it easier to put on without assistance.

It is very light weight which I love since I am constantly on the go.  I wear it on the same wrist as my watch and don’t even notice it.

ACTIVITY TRACKING

The activity tracking is really neat because it tracks steps taken, mileage, as well as how many of those minutes were considered active.  Another great thing about it is that I don’t have to swing my arm in order for it to catch all the steps.  That is one thing I’ve always struggled with while wearing pedometers.  My movements were never exaggerated enough to catch the step.  With the Fitbit Flex, it does.  Even grocery shopping with my hand on the cart.

However, I did have a junky cart at one point that vibrated terribly while I pushed it.  This vibration continued to throw my Fitbit into sleep mode and out of sleep mode.  In order to quickly put your Flex in sleep mode, three to four quick taps does the trick.  So the vibrations must have been strong enough to replicate the taps.

SLEEP TRACKING

Sleep tracking is beneficial because it shows you how often you get up and how restless you are through the night.  I did not realize how much I toss and turn until I tracked my sleep.

Now I make a point to read or find ways to relax before bed.  This has helped improve my sleep cycle.  When you sleep more at night, you tend to lose more weight.  The longer we are awake, the more your adrenaline kicks in, which leads to more hunger, and ultimately more snacking.

One more cool feature regarding sleep with this device is the silent alarm.  I love this because if you are hearing impaired or sleep with a cranky partner, you can wake up to start your day without a disturbance to others.  All you do is set your alarm through your app, and it will vibrate your wrist when it is time to wake up.

BATTERY LIFE

Because the flex does not have a screen and only flashes when you tap it, the batter lasts quite a long time.  It lasted about 5 days without having to charge it.  The great thing about long battery life is that you don’t have to worry about charging it all the time.  It can also be a bad thing when you don’t think about it all that often because once I went a whole 12 hours before noticing my Flex was actually dead.

CHARGING

It comes with a little USB charger that you can plug into your computer.  One problem I ran into was that if my laptop was in sleep mode, it would not charge.

So what I did was use my Iphone charger.  The base of the Iphone charger uses USB which allows me to plug my Fitbit charger right into the wall. If completely dead, it’ll usually charge in about two to three hours.  Then I’ll be good for another 5 days.

PROS

  1.  It tracks basic movement (walking/running/hiking) in steps and mileage.  If your goal is set high enough, you will have to do additional walking through your day to achieve your goal which creates exercise (or active minutes).
  2. It helps you understand if you’re sleeping well.  This could encourage some to try relaxation techniques, get to bed earlier, or maybe have a sleep study done!
  3. The battery lasts such a long time.  It is nothing like having to charge your phone nightly.  We all want to avoid charging tons of devices on a daily basis.
  4. It is very small and lightweight.  I really like being able to wear it next to my watch so it is out of the way.

CONS

  1.  It is a device used for only running, walking, and hiking.  Basically tracking the steps.  So a lot of my exercises are not counted (weight lifting, stair climber, soccer games).
  2. The flex is the beginner wrist band for the line of wrist trackers for Fitbit.  So it only tracks activity, sleep/silent alarm, and active minutes.  They have more products that offer more functions, but for their basic wrist tracking model, that’s about all it tracks.

SUMMARY

 Overall, this little device has been a great addition to my daily life.  I catch myself checking my progress throughout the day, which depending on how far I am from my goal, makes me push harder and stay moving.

If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use, lower cost option for an activity tracker, the Fitbit Flex may be for you.

I hope this review has been helpful!  Please feel free to share this post by using the social media icons below.

Why We Enjoy A Hike

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It was my boyfriend’s 30th birthday and I had planned surprises for him all weekend long.  One of our favorite things to do together is enjoy the outdoors.

We are avid hikers and started the Appalachian Trail a few years ago as section hikers, but we haven’t been able to take the time off to go back for our usual fall hike.

So for one of my birthday surprises, I planned a day hike to an area we had not yet visited… and of course packed a picnic!

He had no idea where we were going until he saw me filling up the camel backs full of water.  Then the wheels started spinning.  “We must be going hiking,” he said.  Of course I replied, “Maybe… Or we could be biking… or kayaking…”

The mystery must be kept!

So we pull into the parking lot of the trail head to begin a day hike to a picnic he has no idea is coming.

The hike was down a mountain for 3.3 miles and ended near a pool of trickling water with enormous limestone walls surrounding you.  The leaves were changing and the air was crisp.  Perfect for a surprise picnic.

While admiring the scenery and realizing how small we were next to the limestone walls, I spotted the perfect rock for the secret picnic.

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I laid out the blanket then pulled out some snacks and a bottle of wine.  While I filled up the plastic wine glasses we began a game of questions that I put together.  Now these questions were not about our relationship or encouraging any serious conversation.  They were very fun and light-hearted.

If you want to shut off the phones and TV just to enjoy your significant other, I would recommend going through these questions together.  It was a lot of fun to hear the responses and see if his answers would be what I expected.

Questions:

  • If you had one day left to live, what would you do?
  • Where would you most like to go on vacation next?
  • What would you do if you won $10,000 and could not save/invest it?
  • What is your most embarrassing moment?
  • What is your favorite movie?
  • What is something you did as a child that your parents never knew about?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your favorite season?
  • What is your favorite restaurant?
  • What is the craziest dream you’ve ever had?
  • What do you think is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done?
  • Is there a silly accomplishment you’ve made that you’re secretly really proud of?
  • If you could trade lives (or jobs) with someone, who (or what) would it be?
  • What is your favorite time of day and why?
  • Who is your favorite superhero?
  • Is there a show that you used to watch as a kid that you would love to see come back?
  • What is your favorite outdoor activity?
  • What is your favorite book?
  • What is one thing almost no one knows about you?
  • Would you rather go for a hot air balloon ride or bungee jump?
  • Would you rather give up music or TV for a month?
  • What are the top three things on your bucket list?
  • What is your favorite type of food?
  • What song can always make you dance?
  • What is the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  • What did you want to be when you grew up?
  • If you could choose any career (besides the one you have) right now, what would it be?
  • A meteor is headed for your house.  You have saved your family, pets, and the family photos.  You have time for one more item.  What will you save?
  • Which of these do you have the most of: sense of humor, sense of time, sense of adventure, common sense?
  • If you had $100 you could spend on anything you wanted, what would you buy?  What do you think I would buy?
  • In a regular day, what do you find yourself thinking about the most?
  • If you could change only one thing in your life, what would that be and why?
  • What things in your life bring you the greatest pleasure?
  • What country would you like to visit next that you have not yet visited?

After finishing our questions game and the last of wine in our wine glasses, we headed back up the mountain.  The scenery was beautiful, the air was crisp, and the company was wonderful.

I think hiking is one of the best things you can do to relieve stress and remember what it was like when technology didn’t rule us.

jericho 1

Clean air, picturesque scenery, and no interruptions is something that everyone can benefit from, but very few people experience.

So get out there.  Especially while the leaves are changing.  You won’t regret it.

 

Tighten That Core!

Yesterday Kendra and I designated our entire workout to core alone!  This workout will give you 4 movements you can do at your gym to get a serious abdominal workout.

Let’s start with rope crunches on the cable machine.

Grab some knee pads and the rope attachment for the cable machine.  For the first set, you may not want to add weight so you can get the proper movement down.

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You’ll start with your head between the rope and fists by your ears.  As you pull down into the curl position, you want your hands and arms to stay in the same spot (by your ears).  Your core needs to be doing all the work, not your arms.

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You want to pull with your core all the way to the floor.  The more rounded your back is, the more you target your lower abs.  If your back is arched, you may only hit the top part of your abs.

You’ll want to continue this motion for 15-20 reps and do 4 sets.  If you don’t feel the burning in your abs past rep 10, you should up your weight.

Next we’ll do the cable side bends to target your obliques.

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Make sure you are standing straight up with one arm behind your head or on your hip for balance.  This is another movement you want to be very careful with so you DO NOT use your arms to pull.  You want to use those obliques.

So stand up straight and begin to lean away from the cable machine.

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Keep feet together and legs straight.  Keep the core tight and the movements controlled.  The slower you move, the more it will work the muscle.

Shoot for 15-20 reps and do 4 sets.  If you don’t feel the burn after rep 10, up your weight.

On to decline weighted sit ups!

abs1

If a regular sit up is boring to you or you want more of a challenge, do that sit up on a decline bench.  And if you’re feeling even more adventurous, grab a plate to keep on your chest!  We used a 10 pound plate here.

Once you feel secure on your bench, begin your set.

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Lift yourself all the way up while keeping that plate tight against your chest.  The slower the movement, the more you work the muscle.  Shoot for 15 reps and do 4 sets.

And last but not least… The trusty ole plank!

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During a plank, you want to keep everything tight and squeeze.  Feet should be together and your back should never be arched.  Do it in front of a mirror if you need to check your form.  You can feel this in your core, shoulders, and legs.  What you want to do is hold this plank position tightly for 30 seconds and then relax.  Do this 4 times.

These are just a few of my favorite core exercises you can do on your next day at the gym.  They are movements that can continue to challenge you.  Whether its adding more weight, or holding that plank for a longer period of time.

I hope this core workout has been helpful!  Please share using the social media icons below!

How Do I Hold Myself Accountable?

food log

One thing you will notice in the dieting world, is that healthy eating and exercising only last for a short period of time.  Why is that?

I believe it is the lack of accountability (or motivation) before the lifestyle actually becomes habit.  And then later on, when a slip up occurs, there is a lack of accountability to assist that person in jumping back on track.

So how do we find this so called “accountability”?

Through my practice with weight loss counseling and through experience on my own with trying to stay accountable, I have come up with a list.  So here are 10 things that I believe are important when holding yourself accountable

1. Log all foods, fluids, and exercise.

When you keep a record of what you’re taking in, you start to notice EXACTLY that.  How many sweet or salty treats are actually coming into my diet?  How many glasses of wine am I REALLY having during the week?  This helps you realize just how much food or drink is really being consumed.  Same with exercise.  I believe it is important to look at a weekly average of what energy is being consumed and expended.

2. Get active with a workout buddy.

There is nothing more motivating than knowing someone is depending on you.  It comes with a responsibility of sorts.  You become a support system for someone and the last thing you want to do is be known as an unreliable buddy or a bad support system.  This is also a great opportunity to help someone stay motivated on days they don’t want to be active so that they can then return the favor on your less motivated days.  I know with my workout partner Kendra, she keeps me motivated when I just don’t feel like working out.  But afterwards, I am so glad that I went.

3. Purchase a gym membership.

This one may or may not work for all.  But I can tell you why it worked for me.  Firstly, I am cheap… and if I am going to pay for something, I am going to use it.  I end up going 4-5 times a week because I want to get my money’s worth.  Second, I can go rain or shine.  I have no excuse.  Especially during the winter time.  Before I got my membership, I would have no problem pushing off a run due to sprinkles of rain or the cold evening air.  Now, I never have that option.

4. Prepare meals ahead of time.

Meal prep is such an important part of accountability.  You are investing in a day or week’s worth of meals.  This means you either waste your money and let the food go bad while purchasing food elsewhere, or you take advantage of the convenience of prepped food while saving money at the same time.  Breakfast is one area I have trouble with and I know better than to think I might get up early and cook a high protein breakfast.  Instead, I will meal prep Egg Burritos or Egg Muffins.  Having a plan, making a grocery list, and shopping makes all the difference in staying on track or falling off.

5. See a dietitian.

Luckily for me, I am a dietitian that also has a dietitian as a very close friend and gym partner.  But some people are not so lucky.  I believe in what we do as dietitians because I know the level of accountability that we provide.  When you do a weekly or monthly check in with a nutrition expert,  you learn more about foods, fluids, and exercise.  You’re provided with a promising plan instead of a “quick fix”…  And not to mention, knowing someone is following behind you to see all the choices you’ve made can put the pressure on.  This helps promote new healthy habits over the long term.

6. Wear a pedometer.

A lot of times we think we move more than we really do.  (This is one reason I am loving the Fitbit right now.  For a dietitian, it provides all the right information and will actually link up with food log apps.)  Once you have an average of steps you take during the day, you can begin to challenge yourself by slightly increasing your activity.  This way you begin to look at your day differently.  For example: Knowing you need to achieve 1,000 more steps today, you may look for every opportunity as a chance to tick that number upwards… take the longer route to the bathroom, park further away, walk 10 minutes of your lunch break, run errands one at a time during your work day… etc.

7. Set goals.

I am a big believer in setting small goals to achieve an ultimate goal of overall health.  If you begin setting big goals such as losing 100 pounds, running a marathon, or competing in a lifting competition, you may feel overwhelmed.  But if you start small by trying to achieve a five pound weight loss goal, jogging every other minute during your walks, or strengthening muscle with resistance bands, you will eventually achieve the overall goal without feeling like it is millions of miles away.

8. Weigh weekly.

When you have a weight loss goal in mind, never weigh daily.  Too many factors affect weight such as fluid and the time of day.  And if you see that scale go up a pound or two after working so hard, the feeling of defeat may feel too strong and cause you to throw in the towel.  I see it happen all too often.  When you have a weigh in once a week, that gives you enough time to make the progress necessary without the frustration.

9. Eliminate the temptations from home.

If there are tempting foods at home, chances are, you are going to indulge in them more than you would than if they were not there.  And by following #1 (food log), you may notice how often the indulgences happen, which will lead you to this step.  Most of the time when we have a craving in the evening or want to snack out of boredom, we would not leave the house to go purchase those snack foods…  But if they are sitting in the cabinet,  your brain knows, they are sitting in the cabinet.

10. Be an inspiration.

This is where social media or online support groups can be helpful.  When you are on target with your diet, post pictures and share the recipe of what you made.  When you are on target with your exercise, post about what you did and how you did it.  This is a great way to encourage others to be healthy too.  I do not see this as “rubbing it in” as some would say.  I would see this as someone being proud of their accomplishments and encouraging others to get started.

And if you fall off track or have a cheat meal, it’s okay to talk about that too.  Because we are all human and we could all use each other’s support.  Anytime I see someone working their butt off at the gym, I tell them they’re doing an excellent job.  Anytime someone posts they are 20 pounds down of Facebook, I like it, and anytime someone tells me they are struggling with a diet I provided, I will call or email to check in and make sure they know I’m cheering them on.

We  need to inspire each other and encourage each other.  If we know we have others cheering us on, it keeps us motivated to keep going and keep working hard.  So be that cheerleader… that motivator.  And you’ll be surprised at how much support you’ll receive in return.

Accountability is so important when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.  We know ourselves well.  There is no sense in lying to ourselves and deteriorating our health.  Sometimes we have to decide what is important to us.  Do we want to see ourselves grow old?  Play in the back yard with grandchildren?  Or even hike through all 7 wonders of the world?  If so, we need to stay accountable.  It’s never too late.  Start today.

It’s Chest Day Bro!

Today we do a step by step chest workout!  It is extremely important to make sure form is correct when working chest.  This will prevent injury and maximize your workout.  So here are some routine exercises you can do for a chest day.

Lets start with inclined dumbbell press.

chest 1

 

When resting at the bottom as shown above, make sure your arms are creating a right angle.  Make sure your incline angle is only SLIGHT or the movements can target shoulders and possibly cause an injury.

As you push your dumbbells up, make sure your dumbbell ends are touching as shown below.  That way your arms are fully extended upwards.

chest 2

 

If you are looking to build muscle, lift the heaviest weight you can (with good form) for 8-10 reps.  If you want to get some cardio in with your lifts, just lower your weight and up your reps to 15-20.  Always do 4 sets.

Next we’ll look at the barbell bench press.

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When starting, you want to make sure you are laying with the bar right over your forehead while it is racked.  Grab the barbell a tiny bit wider than shoulder width apart and lower the barbell to your chest.

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If you have never bench pressed before, make sure you have a spotter and use the bar without weights.

If you are trying to build muscle, bench press the heaviest weight you can with good form, 8-10 reps.  If you would like to induce cardio, lower your weight and shoot for 15-20 reps.  Always do 4 sets.

And lastly, we have the trusty ole push-up!

First we want to begin in the plank position.

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Make sure your hands are about shoulder width apart, and be sure your back is straight.  Not dipping or hunched.  Then you want to lower yourself down slowly, and stop right before you touch the floor.

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With the elbows pointing out, you are hitting more of the chest muscle.  If you pull your elbows in while you lower, that will target more of the triceps.  Always shoot for 15-20 push-ups, 4 sets.

*If you have trouble lowering yourself to this position, you can build up to it by doing your push-ups with your knees on the ground.

 

And this completes your chest workout!

I hope you enjoyed the workout.  A big thanks to Robbie for showing us how to do proper movements!  If you know someone that could benefit from this workout, please share using the social media icons below!  Enjoy!

 

It’s Leg Day Y’all!

Everyone wants stronger legs and a tighter booty!  But sometimes the equipment at the gym can be a little intimidating… So here is a step by step of a great leg routine that can help you on your journey to get-it-right and get-it-tight!

First, we start with squats!

squat 1

You want to make sure your rack siding is high enough to catch your barbell in case you can’t make the final push back up to the standing position.  I always recommend doing a body squat to get a good idea of where your barbell will hit.  You want your barbell to be about 1-6″ above your rack sides at your lowest squat point.  If you need help adjusting your rack sides, grab a gym staff member or nearby trainer.

squat 2

You want to use a low weight when you do a warm up set.  If you are looking to burn more body fat, push light weight for a set of about 15 reps.  If you are looking to build up those quads and that booty, push the heaviest weight you can handle with good form for about 8-10 reps.  Always do 4 sets.

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In regards to form, make sure your feet are shoulder width apart.  Try and keep your back as straight as you can (never round it).  As you lower yourself into the squat position, make sure your chest is up, and you continue to breathe.  A right angle is what you are looking for just like you’re sitting in an imaginary chair.  Dig into the floor hard with your heels as you push back up to the standing position.  Never roll up on your toes.  Flat shoes are always recommended.

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Next, we’ll look at one of my new favorite lunge discoveries… and boy you feel it the next day!

lunge 1

The key to this lunge is having two 45# plates stacked on each other and planting your front foot on top of the plates.  This helps you achieve a deeper lunge and puts those glutes to work!

I would recommend a warm up set first with no barbell or only the barbell.  You really want to move slowly to make sure you keep your balance.

lunge 2

As you come back up, drive with your front heel.  This is where the booty action takes place!  Warm up with a set of 8-10 reps.  Then add weight appropriately.  For more fat burning, 15 reps on each leg with lower weight.  For lean muscle and booty building, use the heaviest weight you can push (with good form) for 8-10 reps.  Always do 4 sets.

Here is a rear view:

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Resting at the top.

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Dropped into the lunge position.

Our third exercise is going to be the standing kick back!

This really gets the hamstrings and glutes.

I would recommend doing the movement first without weight just to get adjusted to the movement.

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Brace yourself on the cable machine and lift one leg as shown in the mirror above.  Then follow through with your reverse kick as high as your leg will kick back.  You want to make sure you feel this in your glute/hamstring.  If you don’t, you may want to increase your weight.

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Continue this for 15 reps if you are looking to increase heart rate and promote fat burning, or increase your weight to build that booty and shoot for 8-10 reps with good form.

And lastly, the adductor machine!  This is the machine everyone feels so awkward on, but it does such great work for inner/outer thighs!  Today we are actually going to use it for booty building.  So here is how!

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In the photo above, I am leaned forward and my booty is hovering over the seat.  The goal here is to stay low when you push out with your thighs.  You want to stay hovering over the seat and push slowly to keep control.  Keep everything tight and that will also help with your control.

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Then push outwards while continuing to stay low and hovering over the seat.  Shoot for 15 reps with the heaviest weight you can handle.  Today, Kendra and I actually maxed out the machine at 210#!!  Whooo hoo!!

This is a great leg day routine we had a blast with today!  I hope you enjoy the burn as much as we did!

NAFUTSAL – What is it? What are the Benefits?

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Exercise doesn’t always have to be walking on a treadmill while staring at the wall.  You can actually get involved in local sports!  Sports like futsal!

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What is futsal?  Futsal is five-per-side game played on a flat (sometimes indoor) court with hockey sized goals and a heavier ball for reduced bounce.  Games are about 20 minutes per half with time-outs allotted.

As the nafutsal.org page states, “Futsal is the way the world plays indoor soccer. It is played on all the continents of the world in over 100 countries by more than 12 million players.”

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It doesn’t mean you have to have played soccer your whole life to get involved.  Because I sure haven’t.  And, I have slowly gotten the hang of the game and the rules.

The teams and staff for NAFUTSAL are extremely friendly and helpful as I was beginning to learn the ways of the game.  The team below is Manchesthair United.  This is the team we played with this summer season.

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Darrell Schmidt, President of NAFUTSAL, says, “I have always described futsal most concisely as a fast paced, high scoring, intense and very exciting sport.”

A huge benefit to NAFUTSAL is that it has allowed me one night per week to get great exercise.  Indoor soccer is all about quick movement and controlling the ball since you’re on a smaller court (compared to an outdoor field).  These short sprints that take place during a game are considered HIIT (high intensity interval training).  This is one of the most beneficial types of exercise that we could do.

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According to the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT training can improve:

  • aerobic and anaerobic fitness
  • blood pressure
  • cardiovascular health
  • insulin sensitivity
  • cholesterol profiles
  • abdominal fat and body weight while maintaining muscle mass

You want to consult a physician if you live a sedentary lifestyle before considering HIIT exercise.  Establishing appropriate exercise form and muscle strength are important to have before beginning any type of HIIT to avoid potential injury.

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Futsal incorporates a lot of sprinting which has also been proven to induce significant fat loss while allowing muscle building to occur.  Especially with the right recovery fuel and time.  This stronger muscle will allow you to run faster, harder and further than before.

“I envision futsal growing in the Huntsville area until it is played all year round by adults and played routinely in the winters and summers by youth, which fits nicely between their fall and spring soccer seasons, ” Darrell says.  “Plans are already in the making for futsal tournaments to be held here in the not too distant future, some even to draw teams from other states.”

If you want to find other ways to stay active, I would highly recommend getting involved in the local sports around town.  If you are in north AL region, contact the local NAFUTSAL group to get started in the next season.