Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Toned and Tight Tuesday: Abs Snails

If you haven't noticed from all the ab exercises I've given you, like the Side Plank with Twist or Point and Shoot Abs, I kinda have an obsession with them! Now we all know that just doing tons of abs exercises won't give you a washboard stomach, but it can definitely help you in building a strong core and building muscle(which in turn burns more body fat ;))   I still think it's fun to try lots of different ab exercises and have lots of interesting ones in my exercise arsenal, since most people have trouble thinking outside the box when it comes to working on your 6 pack.  So today, I've got yet another great exercise to really work your core! You will probably notice as you try this one out, it works out more than just your core :)

Ab Snails

Start by sitting on the floor with your legs together out in front of you, your arms by your side with your fingers pointing back. 
Keep your knees and elbows straight as you push your hips up off the floor.
From here, reverse the movement and bring your hips back down between your arms, keeping your butt off the floor, until you feel a "crunch" in your abs. 
You may then lower your butt to the sitting position you started in.
That is one rep.
Go for 10-12 reps!

For an extra challenge, try keeping your butt off the floor the entire time!
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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Say It Do It: August

I swear it seems like I post my goals for one month and two days later the next month is already here! Obviously, that's not the case but time is just going WAY too fast!

So let's start by taking a look at my goals for last month and see how I did!

July goals:

1. Try as many new exercises as possible.

This one is fairly easy for me as I am constantly searching for my new exercises for myself and clients to keep things exciting. CHECK!

2. Become more comfortable with people at the gym

I think I might be improving on this one. Although I still have that issue with me not wanting to bother people...I guess it's just my personality. But at least people are starting to get to know me and I'm starting to get to know them :)

3. Continue to go hard on the weights.

Check on this one as well. The way I've seen my body change is crazy! I even mentioned how I should probably back on the shoulder exercises since I'm starting to look like a no-neck body builder.

4. Don't let people's comments or ignorance get to me.

This is one I struggle with...and not because I care what people think. I just treat everyone with respect and respect their decisions/goals/wants etc. I just expect the same but that is not always the case. Still a work in progress.

5. Continue to find more ways to eat vegetables.

I don't think I've found any new ways to eat vegetables...maybe I'll continue this one on to next month.

6. Sign up for a half marathon.

I haven't signed up yet but I definitely have my races planned out for the next few months! I'm so excited to get back out there!

7. Find some new ways to add some intense cardio to my workouts.

I've discovered two machines at the gym that I have somewhat of a love/hate relationship with. The Stair Master and Versaclimber. I love how I feel after I get off the Stair Master...I just know I've done something great for my butt and legs! :P And since my heart rate is up and I'm usually breathing pretty hard, I know I got some great cardio in as well! If you don't know what a Versaclimber is or have never been on one, look it up and find one to try out! It is super intense! You move your arms and legs vertically at the sign time as if you were climbing (hence versaCLIMBER) It's pretty gives you landmarks to climb like Mt. Everest or the Eiffel Tower. The first time I was on there for about 2 minutes and when I got off my legs were like Jell-o!

And now for some August goals:

1. Start a training plan for my upcoming races.

I always say I'm going to follow a training plan to properly train for my races and I never end up sticking to it. I usually just come up with my own agenda and go from there. This time I hope to find one from Hal Higdon and stick to it.

2. Get back on track with my eating.

I've somewhat fell off from my really healthy eating. I guess I could blame it on the fact that I'm not in school and don't have a set schedule...or the fact that I work till 8 at night and don't have a lot of time to prepare meals...or whatever other excuse I could come up with. But truth is, there is no excuse. Healthy eating is a LIFESTYLE CHANGE! Not something that comes and goes with busy schedules or different times of the year! So I better get my butt in gear and figure it out because I refuse to go back to my old ways!

3. Get new clients at the gym.

Since I finally have my test out of the way, I feel like I will really be able to focus on just getting clients and building my reputation!

4. Eat an apple everyday.

I did do this EVERY SINGLE DAY. But of course, since school let out, I've fallen off on this too. Having an apple with my lunch every day kept me satisfied until I could get my hands on an afternoon snack. Plus, that's just another serving of fruit that I can get in without thinking about it.

5. Take more pictures of what I eat on a daily basis.

I feel like it really helps other people to be inspired and see that healthy eating doesn't have to boring when they see examples of different foods I eat and recipes I cook. I am usually just so excited about eating whatever it is, that I just dive into it and taking a picture is the last thing on my mind. (That's the fat kid coming out in my :D) So I will try to do better about taking pictures and sharing them with everyone!

6. Explore different protein shake combinations.

I drink protein shakes regularly but it is by no means an exciting event for me. I mix my powder with water and hold my nose as I chug it down. I would like to try to find other ways to drink these things and truly enjoy it since they are such a big part of my diet.

And those are my goals for August...short and sweet but yet still a lot to work on!

As always, feel free to share your goals so we can all keep each other accountable! :) Pin It Now!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'm Officially Official

Yep..that's right...NASM Certified Personal Trainer right here!

It feels so good to finally be able to say that! This test was intense, to say the least, but I know everything I have learned is going to make me an awesome, knowledgeable, legit trainer! 

I truly had no idea how prestigious it was to hold a certification from NASM as a personal trainer until my manager was telling me how proud he was of me today. According to him, holding this certification from this company, is basically the equivalent of holding a bachelor's degree in kinesiology! I had no idea! I know you learn A LOT and it covers soooo many different things but hearing that just made me hold my head even a little bit higher! I have always been one to doubt myself and sell myself short when it comes to academics, so to have something like this under my belt makes me so very proud and really just made me realize that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to!

I can't tell you how RELIEVED I am to have this test behind me! It was probably one of the hardest test I have ever taken but I did it...I passed it...I'm officially official! :)

So now that I'm not exactly a "Trainer in Training" anymore, I'm going to be needing a new title for this little blog of mine! I'm not always the most creative person so I need a little favor from my loyal readers....

I need YOU to help me pick out a cute, new name for my blog! This blog is obviously focused on health, fitness, and nutrition so anything to reflect that would be awesome! Or anything to reflect my new title as a certified personal trainer would even work! Use your imagination and help my little brain, that is struggling after this test, to come up with something great! There will even be a small incentive for the person whose blog name I choose! :) 

So get to thinking and help me think of some ways to express what this here blog is all about! :) 

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Toned and Tight Tuesday: Military Press on Stability Ball

This Tuesday, I've decided to give you an exercise for an area that I don't think I've really touched on before...your shoulders! There are a few areas on my body that I've really noticed some difference since I upped my weight training shoulder/trap muscles being one of them. So much so, that I probably need to back off of those exercises a little before my traps come up to my ears and I completely lose my neck! :P Obviously (most) women don't want their shoulders to get too big but we have to give them some love too to keep the body in proportion and keep those muscles, joints, and bones around the shoulders strong. So I give to you...

Military Press on a Stability Ball

Start by sitting on the stability ball with your arms raised to shoulder length with your palms facing inward.

Next, press the weight in your right hand upwards.

Bring it back down to the starting position.

Then alternate arms and press the weight in your left hand upwards.
Bring it back down to the starting position.

That is one rep. Go for 10-12 reps.
I prefer to do this with alternating arms but you can definitely do them simultaneously if that's what you prefer. 
I also, of course, prefer to do this sitting on a stability ball to engage my core more. But you can do this on a bench or in a chair if preferred.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Race Planning

I'm so excited that race season will soon be back in full swing! I say "race season" because basically here in Texas, it is WAY too hot to be running outside after like 9 am...especially long distances! Of course there are still races going on down here but I don't really care to participate as death from a heat stroke really isn't on my agenda!

I'm super stoked to get back out there and feel the excitement and amazing accomplishment of running races! Although I haven't been running outside, I've been doing LOTS of interval training on the treadmill and doing other forms of cross training and cardio to try to stay somewhat in race shape.

So thinking ahead and wanting to plan out some races, I figured that September might be a good month to start back up as the temperatures SHOULD start to slowly work their way back down. However, if you are from Texas or even know a Texan, then I'm sure you have heard someone complain about how unpredictable the weather is...the heat is no exception in this matter. But hopefully, it won't be as miserable outside as it is right now.

So here are the races I'm planning on participating in so far...some of them are confirmed, others are not yet.

September 8-Forney Lions Club 5k(Anytime Fitness is a sponsor for this race and we will have a huge celebration at our club in honor of our expansion and 2 year anniversary!)

September 23-Heels and Hills and Him 10k (this is always an awesome race! this was the course I ran my first half marathon on)

October 6- Run for the Fun 10k @ Sea World San Antonio

December 9- MetroPCS Dallas White Rock Half Marathon

January 12- Hotcake Hustle 5k/10k

February 9-Hot Chocolate 5k/15k

This is all I have planned so far! The majority of these races I've already ran and really enjoyed them!  I would like to add in a half marathon in November just haven't found one that's caught my attention yet.

Anybody else planning out some races for the upcoming race season?! I would love to know about them! :) Pin It Now!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Toned and Tight Tuesday: Dumbbell Skull Crusher

Alright...who is tired of those bat wings?! Raise your hand! Wait...don't. Those bat wings might come into action. :)

Just kidding..but seriously, you know what I'm talking about? That flab on the backside of your arm that keeps waving after your arm stopped moving? Yeah, not real cute.

Luckily, I've got a great exercise that can help you battle those bat wings!

Dumbbell Skull Crusher

Start by sitting on your stability ball and rolling out till just your shoulders, neck, and head are supported.
This could also be done on a bench or even just flat on the floor. Using the stability ball just adds a little more challenge and engages your core.

Next, take your dumbbells and extend your arms straight out above you. Be sure to keep your butt raised to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders for the duration of the exercise.

Then, lower the dumbbells down on each side of your head till they are even with your ears. You want to make sure you are only moving your forearm in this motion. By only moving your forearm, you are forcing your triceps to engage. Allowing your whole arm to move will engage...something other than your triceps. :) Also, be sure to keep your elbows in and don't let them point out to the sides. 

Go for 10-12 reps and say adios to the bat wings!! :)

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Health/Energy/Protein Bar Reviews

The past couple of months I have really become a fan of the the health/energy/protein bars. I use health, energy, and protein to describe them because some of my favorites fall into one, two, or all three categories.

These types of bars can be a great way to get in some extra protein, fuel up for a workout, or can occasionally be used as a quick meal replacement. I usually have them as a snack or will occasionally eat them as my breakfast. There are a lot of good ones, as far as taste and health wise, but there are also a lot of bars that claim to be "healthy" but are really no better for you than if you were eating a candy bar. When it comes to eating these kinds of bars, you really have to pay attention to the labels and ingredients! Now...on to some bars I've tried!

Clif Bars

These are some of my favorite bars! This is what the Clif Bar website says about their bars...
"It’s the first bar we made, and it’s still everything we’re about. Whole, organic ingredients. Performance nutrition. And great taste. Whether you’re on a 150-mile bike ride or exploring a new trail, this energy bar is built to sustain your adventure."
Depending on which flavor you buy, the nutritional info will vary slightly but the thing I really like about these bars, is that most of them have at least 9 grams of protein and a good amount of fiber. The one downside to these bars is that they tend to have quite a bit of sugar. For example, my personal favorite, White Chocolate Macademia, has at 21g of sugar. But considering that I LOVE this  flavor, it is okay to have as an occasional treat once in a while. Plus since it packs 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, I don't feel QUITE as bad. :)
Other favorites: Chocolate Brownie and Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch

Pure Protein Bars

This is another favorite brand of bars and one that I currently can't get enough of! This is what you will find on Pure Protein's website.

Pure Protein® is on a mission to create bars that not only provide quality protein - but that actually taste great.

The taste has been a big hit or big miss on the ones I've tried. The nutritionals for my favorite flavor, S'mores, aren't too bad either. They pack 30 grams of protein, 280 calories, and only 3 grams of sugar. The fiber content isn't as great as the Clif bars but considering this has 3x the amount of protein, I'll take it!
The one I found that I did not like at all was the Chocolate Deluxe. I know, with a name like that, it's hard to imagine it not being delicious! Unfortunately, this flavor had that chalky, powdery taste to it that it sometimes common in protein bars. 
Other favorite flavor: Chocolate Peanut Butter

Snickers Marathon Protein Bar
There is NO doubt about it...Snickers is my favorite chocolate candy bar of all time! So needless to say, I was thrilled to try out this protein bar! Unfortunately, this one was a major fail for me. It had that chalky taste that I was talking about and I could not even finish eating the bar it was so unpleasant. The nutritional info also has the good with the bad: 290 calories, 21 grams of protein, 22 grams of sugar, 10 grams of fat, and 10 grams of fiber. Even though some of that looks pretty good, the taste just did not do it for me. You might try it for yourself and see what you think but I think I'll stick to one of my other favorites!


I ended up trying these one time because I got them on sale at a really good price! The one flavor I tried, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, I absolutely loved! (By the way, it's no coincidence all the bars I try have chocolate in them. ;)) This bar doesn't have superior nutritional value compared to other bars, but the taste might definitely make up for it! 220 calories, 11 grams of fat, 3 grams of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.
I haven't tried any other flavors so I can't vouch for the other ones but I would definitely recommend the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip!

As far as I can remember, these are the only brands I've tried. Since experiencing those couple of bars with the chalky, protein powdery taste, I realize it's not easy to come by a great tasting bar. So once I find one that I like, I tend to stick with that one! Pick out one you think you might like and give it a try! Whether you need some energy, want to up your protein intake, or need a meal replacement, you are bound to find one to fit your needs and your taste buds! :)
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