Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Quick Note...

Don't want to leave you hanging re the new Kettlebell..it came a couple days ago and I had every intention of trying it out this weekend, but...they sent the wrong bolt to seal it after filling it with the steel shot! Arggggh! I contacted the company, Art of Strength, and they said they would expedite shipment of a new bolt (plus they are tossing in some extra goodies to make up for their bad). While I was not very happy about all that, they seemed extremely apologetic and definitely made every effort to make up for the mix up. I did, however, try playing with the bell a little bit and I will say that it is very comfortable to use, has a great grip (this one is made of steel whereas the others I've used were iron), and it was as comfortable to use with one hand as well as two. I'll finish my review of this once the new bolt arrives and I've actually filled it with the shot and used it for a full workout, but so far, so good; and the Company's Customer Service has been right on. That in itself is a plus in my book when you are ordering items like this online.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Now or Never...

Okay, Summer's winding down, the kids are back in school and you're asking yourself what happened, where did it go? What did you accomplish these last couple months? Were you bathing suit ready like you planned on being, did you hit the Farmer's Market and buy fresh fruits and veggies like you planned on doing, did you keep up with the healthy goals you planned for yourself??? I hope most of you did..I for one fell off the diet wagon a bit, but climbed back on and got my act together. I did manage to get ALL my workouts in and most of the cardio I had wanted to do. It's definitely rough when the kids are home and need to be shuffled here and there and whatnot... BUT, you can't ever forget to keep yourself and your goals and plans in those equations. I hope you didn't put off or skip a workout because you were too busy. Guess what, we are all busy. It's about prioritizing, scheduling, compromising, etc...but you cannot forget about yourself. If you do, you're starting to make excuses, and that will not take you to where you ultimately want to be. Please don't ever forget, if you don't think about yourself and take care of yourself, nobody else will do it for you. You need to schedule your time for yourself as if you were scheduling a pick up or drop off for one of your kids--you would never miss that, would you?! There is nothing that makes me sadder than to see everyone work so hard in the gym and eat so well out of the gym to let themself lose it. Your success and failure is my success and failure as well. It's hard for me to see people sabotage themselves. You work so hard, you've conquered a new weight on that squat you hate so much, you've kicked out two more reps on those lunges that make the sweat pour off you in buckets..don't let yourself lose that! The time is NOW--no more excuses. Let's get back to the plan..you're almost there. I speak from experience--I've been there, done that. As my old trainer told me and I now tell you, "If this sh!t was easy, everyone would be doing it". Hold yourself above the rest and get your head back in the game. No time like the present...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My New Toy

I'm so excited--I just ordered the Bulldog! Hah, I know most of you are probably like "what is she talking about" or "she thinks that's a toy" ... well to all of you, "yup, I do and I'm excited as all heck about it". See, new exercise equipment is like a birthday present to me. All I can think about is what can I do with this, and how can I make it work for me..and then by default, which of my clients is going to be the first victim, er, I mean lucky one, to try it out. Maybe you think I'm crazy, but this sh!t I/we do really works and that's why I'm so passionate about it.

Kettlebells
are not the cheapest of equipment (although they are worth every penny), but that's the beauty of this little Bulldog, its versatility. With this baby, you buy just one and then supplement it with more weight (or steel shot in this instance) to fill it. This is actually much less expensive than buying separate kettlebells for the different work you do with them, and you can purchase more steel shot at sporting goods stores. And yes, buying the extra weight does cost money (what doesn't?!), but it's still much cheaper than buying separate bells. So all this being said, the order is in, and I'm planning to bring it to the gym as soon as I'm comfortable working with it. Please check out this little gem ... I think it's a great investment in your body and your long-term workout regimen.

I'll repost about this particular item in a week or two after I've had a chance to actually use it, but I have no doubt I'm going to love it!

P.S. -- I ordered a 'bundle' that consisted of the bell, some shot and a rope (???, huh, you ask??). Have you ever used one of those big thick ropes in your workouts? Well I have--mostly for pullups, and lemme tell you, they kick your butt. Well the exercises for this rope will also shake up your workout like you've never seen before. But more on that later..I'll just let you speculate on that one for a bit... Thanks for checking in and we'll talk soon! Lata...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Treat Street

Ha-ha, not really, but I caught your eye! Okay, I’m going to share a clean snack/treat I eat all the time—something that has saved me numerous times from hitting up the cookies or ice cream. Protein Pancakes, and yes you heard (err saw) correctly. The recipe for these was posted in Oxygen Magazine back in the February or March issue of this year. These little morsels can be eaten plain, heated and topped with a little natural peanut butter (so, so good this way), or maybe topped with fresh berries..there are many possibilities, and the more you make them, the more you can experiment. I love sweets—I’m the type that the minute I finish dinner I need something sweet to eat. Depending on how you make these, the texture can be sort of ‘cake’ like so you can really fool yourself with what you are eating. You can also use any flavor of protein you like to create what you’re most craving. You can mix/match your flavors as well—choc/banana makes a great one, I also add some Crystal Light Fruit Punch to vanilla powder and it kind of tastes like that Strawberry Angel Food Cake you see in the store. You can use sugar-free extracts as well and now your possibilities are even more endless. This recipe is a ‘single’ serving..but that being said, I never eat the whole batch in a day. I will eat two and that’s a snack for me. Keep them in the fridge and they last. So when the craving hits you and you’re jones’in for something, try one or two of these and see if that doesn’t help curb your craving. Here goes:

1 whole egg
3 egg whites
1 serving of your favorite protein powder
½ cup quick oats
1 tsp baking powder
dash of Splenda or Stevia (optional)

Mix all ingredient together (if too thick add a little water); cook as you would a pancake.*
Calories: 395; Total Fat 10g; Carbs 32g; Fiber 4g; Protein 46g

*NOTE: Do not overcook these—they will get very dry and hard to swallow. You’ll know what I mean as soon as you do it.

Give these a try—you have nothing to lose except the fat/calories that that cookie would have given you.

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Favorite Things


Okay, so in my novice blogger status, I'm having continuing 'technical' difficulties with some things I wanted to show you re Valerie Waters' chat the other night. But alas, I cannot stop my brain so I'm going forward with the fondest of hopes that I will get that out to you. I wanted to talk about one of my most favorite things to use in the gym.

Kettlebells
! I've actually been using them since I started working out, but mostly I was using them as just a variance in how I was holding a weight, or if I needed an in-between size weight, etc.. well recently I started to use them doing exercises that were made just for them. I came across Anthony DiLuglio, of Punch Gym on east coast, and what this guy does with these things is pretty cool. I started reading his stuff and watching his exercise dvds and here I am today. I would love to make it to one of his seminars at some point and see him in action in person. Let me just say that I think these things rock, and I love'em!

Kettlebells
, in my opinion (for what that's worth!), give you a full, complete workout. You get your weight training and cardio (at least I do :-))all in one. Each move gets the heart pounding and the muscles fired up. Right now with my current routine, I'm doing a lot of swings, clean & press' and turkish getups with them. I'm really trying to do snatches, but my shoulder is thus far saying, please stop, I'm not liking this move at all! So I'm listening to it and will try something else. I also use them for bent over rows, plie squats and deadlifts, to name a few. The possibilities are pretty much endless with these little (or not so little) gems. You can make a whole workout out of them, or just incorporate a move or two into your current routine. Either way, they're a win-win for whatever work you are doing.

So, if you're not using them, or if you've never tried using them, give them a shot. It'll definitely add a new kick to your workout and open up a lot of new doors for you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brain Overload

Okay, last night I joined in on a Valerie Waters chat...she answered a question of mine live (cool!), and I feel like it was time that was well-spent because I definitely gained some new insight on certain issues. My mind is racing with things to tell you, but time and lack of experience in this blogger's world is getting the best of me. Get back here soon, because I have some great tips to share with you from last night--the things we all need to continue to "Fit In"...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Four Minutes


And no, I'm not talking about the Madonna/Justin Timberlake number...I'm talking about when that's all the time you have to exercise! I've been doing some reading on Tabata workouts and finally tried it. All I can say is Wow! That is a helluva workout. It's a fat-burning beauty and a fitness-lover's dream.

Tabata was developed by Japanese researcher Izumi Tabata and it's methods are pretty simple (in theory that is). You take one exercise, for 20 seconds do as many reps as possible, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat that circuit 7 more times. That's all there is to it. Sounds simple, right? Well it was pretty easy, until I reached about set 4 that is. All of a sudden 20 seconds felt like 20 minutes and that 10- second rest period felt like the blink of an eye. Don't plan on doing any Tabata work at your regular weights--unh uh, not gonna happen!

While you can pretty much Tabata with any exercise, it seems the most popular exercises for this is to do either front squats or 'thrusters' (a body squat while holding dumb bells to your chest and then thrusting the db's up over your head when coming up from the squat). I did thrusters and also did the jump rope. For the thrusters I did reps of 10,10,9,8 (I think I started with db's that were lighter than they should be, but that was okay for the first time); for the jumps I did 40 jumps per 20-sec interval. I attempted this little feat while waiting for my first client of the night--big mistake there. She walked in and I was literally dripping with sweat. All that for two 4-minute exercises.

I think I'm going to try Tabata twice a week to mix in with my lifting. Good change of pace for me. Take note though: Tabata is a more advanced type of interval work and is not for everyone. ALWAYS check with the good doc before starting anything new--particularly something as demanding as this. Now this was just a brief synopsis of what Tabata is--if you are new to working out or have health issues, this won't help you cut corners, chances are it'll have you laying face first on the floor; but if your game is on and you're looking for a new challenge, give it try. Just remember, tell someone where you're going when you do these--that way when you're late, they'll know where to find you. Enjoy!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Fever


I think I've caught it..while waiting for child no. 1 to come home last night I turned on the Olympics. I watched what had to be two history-making races in Women's and Men's Swimming. First I saw Christine Magnuson come from behind and almost steal the Gold--she was fabulous. And, add to that, Christine is from the suburban Chicago town I currently reside in--how about that! Nobody had even heard of this future superstar pretty much until the trials... Then I catch the 4x100 men's relay and see them upset France after France had been trash-talking the Americans! Way to rock it guys..was an awesome sight. The other person I'm watching is Dara Torres.."WOW" is all I can say about her. (That photo is from an article in Women's Health, taken by Jim Wright.) Here is a quote from her from an interview during the games:

"There are a lot of middle-aged men and women who I know that tell me that I'm an inspiration to them and they're now doing things they thought they couldn't do," she said. "I'm hoping that my age paves the way for other athletes who maybe think they're too old to do something."

How about it?! Watching the younger athletes you almost expect great things, but to watch someone like Dara, who looks phenomenal, just kinda makes you realize that yes, you can do this if you really want to. It's not always easy, but if you really want to do it, you can. Getting back in shape is a very 'doable' thing. You just have to start out in the right mind-set. Don't walk into any club, meet with any trainer or even buy a workout DVD until you are ready to work for it! This is a huge mind game and if you don't go into it wanting to win the game, chances are it'll get the better of you.

So, make sure to stop back..I'll share with you some of my favorite exercises and the equipment that I love using. That's the stuff that keeps it fun and interesting. That's what keeps you coming back for more and not stopping until you reach your goal! Lata...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Time is Sliding Away..

Been a busy coupla days. Have been trying to master this blog thing and still get my clients' programming done and give them great workouts. Also still managed to get my own workouts done as well. I've been doing a lot of circuit workouts for my own stuff, and started the clients on it too. They are really digging it. Makes them feel like they're working harder and they are getting in/out faster too. Actually, it's making all of us happier..LOL! A while back I bought Red Carpet Ready (celebrity trainer Valerie Waters' creation), and for the longest time it sat unread...Well I finally checked it out and incorporated some of those exercises into my workout and they were a great mix..and I felt them! I started the peeps on them too and they love them! They were so surprised--they looked at them and were like, so this isn't any harder than anything you've had me/us doing, what's this going to do for me..well here's a quote from one of them two days after her first time with just one of these new moves: "JC Linda, I couldn't walk or sit on the toilet without being in pain--what did you do to me!?" I laughed and told her it was that 'simple little exercise' she was laughing at. Check'em out and see for yourself.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Welcome!

Well, I said I was going to do it and I finally did! This is a whole new world for me, but I'm pretty passionate about what I do so I hope you'll find some of it useful. Here's how my story came about...I'm a 40-something married mom of two great kids. I found myself approaching the big 4-0 with depression, disgust and the demise of my so-called youth. See, in my head I had been about 32 for so long I couldn't believe the calendar year was actually saying what it was saying. Plus, I was overweight and felt ugly as all hell (I couldn't even look in a mirror without feeling revulsion at myself). I had an ephiphany(sp??) one day and that was the start of it all. I decided to get in shape and nothing was going to stop me. I laid down my plan to the family and there was no turning back. I got a trainer, finally discovered why the years of exercise that I had been doing was not working, and I learned how to eat right. I lost pounds and inches and finally started to feel good about myself again. My trainer was my Guru and I followed everything he said to the letter...I read everything I could get my hands on and learned the why's and wherefore's of everything I was doing. I just couldn't believe it was working. When it was all said and done I thought 'hey, if I could do this, anyone could', so I decided to start training myself and try and help and all the other 'forever 32's' out there! These days I'm training in suburban Chicago and I work with a great group of gals (and a couple guys too!). I've had great success with all of them and they inspire me every single day. I'm hoping others will catch on that this stuff we do really works..this is just the start. Keep following and I'll share what we do and why it works. Don't think you can't do it..stick with me and you'll be there in no time.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned...