WORK IT WEDNESDAY: FREE Total Body Circuit

Grab some weights (8-15 pounds should do) and a little space for total body toners :)

#IdeaWorld #Blogfest here I come…yikes

Hey ya’ll!

I am writing from my office upstairs while my self-tanner tries to feel a bit less tacky…:) Hey, it makes me feel better.

The past few days have been filled with hustle while we get ready for the next week. What’s happening? Thank you for asking! A few months ago I was chosen as one of the featured bloggers for the very FIRST annual #blogfest at the Idea World Fitness Convention in Anaheim, California. I have put together my presentation and will eventually practice…those who really know me totally know I’ll fly by the seat of my pants. During this time my family will spread out among the states and I will be forced to do something that strikes fear to the very center of my little heart: SOCIALIZE!!!!!!!

introvert Audrey

I always loved Audrey. She was an introvert and lived to be a ripe old age! Coincidence? I think not, just saying….

OK, so I am an introvert. Wait, huh? Yes, I know. I give speeches and talk in front of large crowds without too much trouble. As a matter of fact, the presentation itself has hardly crowded my thought process at all. It’s the fact that during this convention there are actual gatherings of people. This drains me of all energy and I’m pretty sure I’ll be laid up in bed for several days upon my return home.

So, what’s the problem?

My introversion has caused me to miss many an opportunity and many a party. People who don’t really understand the whole introvert thing (I like the people in books far better than those in real life at times, lol…but really) tend to think this is something one can just “turn off”. Not the case for such an odd issue. In reality, the age of technology seems to have made it easier to be an introvert. That is, until one actually has to go out and do something.

How deep does this really go?

introvert

Well, let’s just say I tend to schedule ALL of my errands at once just so I can limit those pesky social encounters. Oh, and apps like BUFFER have made me SO happy! I don’t even have to be social on social networks anymore! Have I told ya’ll I have issues?

Yeah, so I did decide that THIS YEAR I would do more things that frighten me….socializing has won out. I now get out of my hobbit hole a few times a week and purposefully engage with others while out and about. I also signed up for this big ole convention AND I am participating in a scavenger hunt where people I don’t know have to find me! This is craziness at it’s very core people.

Large runs and fitness events don’t scare me. I’ve spoken and taught to large groups of people. NO WORRIES! It’s the more intimate places where people actually want to “get to know you”. Perhaps I feel enough people know me. Maybe my friends list is full. I’ve tried for years to figure this out. I mean, I’m far from boring. I’ve traveled the world, I fight and teach boxing, I’m involved in anti-trafficking movements, and I am a deeply passionate person when I get all kinds of riled up about something…..I just don’t give myself enough opportunity for others to see it.

So, I ask for your thoughts and prayers as a head forth into the social arena. If you’re there, say hi. If you’re an introvert like me, wave from the corner! I understand that!!!!!!

The challenge I have for you is twofold: understand who you are first, then understand that YOU can change the things that place limits on you. One little lunge at a time….stepping is so boring:)

Train hard ya’ll! I’ll see you when I get back.

Michelle

#blogfest2014

 

#workit #Wednesday Superstrech

If you’ve been working out consistently, you are probably in need :)

Product Review: Marika Magic Slimming Capri

Happy Monday Lovelies!

I have another product review for you, and this one is for the ladies :)

Marika, that FABULOUS yoga pants company (OK, they make MORE than yoga pants, but their yoga pants rock) has asked me to review their Magic Capris. UM, yeah! I love pants :)

marika capris

PSSSST!!!! Love these pants? Get them for 30% off with this code! MM30

So, let’s first get the dirty deets on this Magic Slimming pant:

These capri’s will keep you looking slim; features inner power mesh lining along the thigh area and contour seaming for a slender look. Coordinate with your favorite top or one of our tummy control tops for added support.

19″ Inseam
Fitted
4″ Flat waistband
Power mesh lining on thighs
Contour seaming for a slenderized look
Coolmax gusset
Body: 89% Cotton, 11% Spandex
Power Mesh: 86% Nylon, 14% Spandex
Gusset Lining: 47% Coolmax Polyester, 47% Polyester, 6% Spandex
Now that we have established the pant itself, how about a little opinion?
I have to be honest, when I first slid them on I was a bit concerned with the higher waist. Please note, I dig like sweat pant waists OK. It’s not that the waist is extremely high, it’s just my own personal issues.
After looking in the mirror, I forgave said higher waist though! Now, many who truly know me can attest to the fact that I probably don’t need a ton of slimming in my hips (don’t roll your eyes at me!) and that I have hardly any butt to speak of…so here’s what was so great: I had a butt! Glorious day, they are MAGIC pants! So, aside from a butt, what else?
These pants have panels to help create a streamlined effect to the hips/thighs/booty. Are you buying them yet? Cause you should just for that reason.
The fabric is cool (literally, it helps to keep you cool) and nice enough to wear in public. Meaning…you can’t see through it like some other pants (just make sure you get the right size people! Spandex can only stretch so far…). So, you can throw on a cute little top and take to the grocery store without looking like you didn’t even try to look nice. You look stylishly athletic….even if you don’t workout.
To top it all off, performance is great. I wore them for yoga, weight training and just walking about and they DID NOT MOVE. If you’re an avid “pants adjuster” you totally get why this is so important. No picking or adjusting needed, just straight up performance pants.
Marika has a WIDE variety of pants and other stylish goodies available HERE, so go check it out ;)
Happy Shopping!
Michelle
Don’t forget to take advantage of your 30% off code! MM30 Good through August 31,2014

#WORKIT Wednesday! Free Workout for you: Tank Top Arms

Arm B&W

Ah, the arms…..the most naked part of the human body. Our arms carry groceries, babies, bags and purses. They push strollers, shopping carts and even buttons.

Arms are involved in just about every aspect of life, yet most women leave them untrained and complain about things such as Bat Wings, Chicken Wings (which are tiny BTW) and flappy things.

Have no fear! I have an arm toning workout that can be done in MINUTES and have you ripping the sleeves off your shirt in no time….OK, maybe not THAT, but you get the point.

What do you need?

Dumbbells that CHALLENGE you. That means your last rep better be a struggle. I usually use 15-25 pound DB’s, but I’ve been working on these things for a few years now.

A padded surface (you know what that means right?).

Some really great music. Never underestimate the power of the playlist.

A great attitude…..that WILL determine your results.

Got it? Let’s get it then!

TANK TOP ARMS:

This workout will be done in a circuit fashion, using a timer (I use a tabata timer on my phone, you feel free to use any timer. A lot of tabata timers are FREE online).

You will be WORKING for 40 seconds, then RESTING for 10 seconds. You will repeat the exercises 3x through (more if you have time to kill or just really don’t want to move tomorrow).

  1. THE PUSHUP! Oh yeah baby, get down and get dirty with them. Range of motion is critical, so if you can’t come all the way down (or 90 degrees at the elbows) drop to your knees and modify as you build strength.
  2. Alternating Biceps Curl. Weights will be in each hand and you will perform slow and controlled bicep curls, one arm, then the other.
  3. Alternating Shoulder Press. Weights up, elbows alongside the shoulders, press one DB to the ceiling, return to start and press the other….remember, slow and steady, no momentum.
  4. Long Arm Plank. Get in a pushup position, but resist the urge to do a pushup. HOLD IT! Contract the core, thighs and shoulders.
  5. Triceps Dip. You can use ANY surface really. Hands face forward, drop your butt directly down (not away, as that is shoulders) then squeeze your arms in and press up. Keep your neck neutral and perform as many as you can before you feel like you might drop yourself, then rest and do some more until your time is up. These can be tough, so aim to do more each time.

These 5 BASIC moves will start to make a BIG difference in your upper body physique. Aim to complete this workout 3 times per week, never on consecutive days. Next week, come back for a body weight leg workout that will have you strutting in shorty shorts (keep it appropriate people!) in no time!

Peace, Love and Lunges (and pushups)

Michelle

date night

 

NOW it’s YOUR turn!

Got a workout you want to see featured in #WORKIT Wednesdays?

Respond BELOW or shout it out on Twitter.

 

The 8-Week Transition Diet by Steve Edwards

Below is a DETAILED 8-week transition diet. This is NOT a quick weight loss, who cares what happens as long as I drop 10 pounds DIET! It’s about restoring health and ramping up your fitness levels.

Now, I don’t enjoy calling them “cheat” days, as I believe we are treating and we should be eating in ways that we don’t feel deprived (MUCH MORE on that in a later blog), but I do love the way Steve has laid this out.

Want more articles like this? Check out Teambeachbody.com/teambeachbodyblog

 

The 8-Week Transition Diet

Author: Steve Edwards

woman eating a salad

Transition diets are one of the easiest ways to become a healthier eater.

I’ve been doing them since the ’80s and, in fact, one of the first articles I ever wrote for Beachbody, in January 2001, was a 6-week transition plan. They’re not only great for first-time dieters but are also great for any time you feel like cleaning out your system after a period of slacking off. That’s why I do a variation of this plan almost every year. Here’s my latest creation.

It’s often said that no one diet works for every individual. While this is true, you may have noticed that all Beachbody eating plans target a similar goal: Eat more natural, whole foods and less junk. That’s because there are no secrets to healthy eating. There are strategies that can lead to various performance benefits, but 99% of the goal of eating healthy is to minimize junk and get your diet to consist of real food (you know, the stuff nature makes). With this in mind, our Beachbody nutrition guides use various strategies, all designed to lead you to the same place.

While those nutrition guides tend to be detailed, the 8-Week Transition Diet is for those of you who want simple. Outside of a small list of what you can’t eat, you’re free to chow down on anything. How hard can that be? You should also find that by making your transition gradually, the road to healthy eating is pretty easy.

 

Week 1

No junk. Eliminate junk food from your diet. That’s it, just junk. Other than this, you can eat whatever and whenever you like. The definition of junk is obvious stuff, like potato chips, candy, ice cream, cake, etc. You may be stricter if you’d like, but for Week 1, don’t be too hard on yourself. Just stay out of the 7-Eleven. For many of you, this step alone will reap huge benefits.

Cheat Days: 2. Since no one’s perfect, you get two days to cheat. That’s right, two days where you can eat anything you want! A trick on cheat days is to listen to your body. At first, it’ll probably tell you it wants whatever you’ve been denying it. However, over time, it’ll start to crave nutrients you’re deficient in. Learn to read your body’s subtle signs. If you’re craving ice cream, you may be short on essential fatty acids. If you crave a hamburger, your diet may lack protein. By listening to your body and learning what it really needs in this way, you can make better food substitutions. It’s a way of getting in tune with yourself that will benefit you for your entire lifetime.

Weekly focus: Water. Not swimming in it, though that’s good, too, but staying hydrated with it. “They” say you should drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water per day, but I say you should drink more. Shoot for a gallon (though don’t worry if you fall short). Yeah, that probably seems crazy but almost all of us walk around dehydrated for most of our lives, which not only hurts the way we function but also makes us hungry when we’re actually thirsty. A glass of water when you feel hunger pangs both staves them off and helps you fill up faster when you do eat. As for other drinks, juices and sugary sodas also (obviously) fall into the junk category. And alcohol should be kept to a minimum. We tend to forget (purposely or not) that alcohol has calories. A lot of them: 7 calories per gram. Mixers can be even worse—not only can they add calories, but these sugary calories influence the way alcohol reacts with your body.

Week 2

Each week’s rules are cumulative, so the “no junk” rule from Week 1 will apply until the end, as will each subsequent week’s rule. Remember that this is a process. Treat it as though you’re in school and the subject is your own body.

Eat small, eat often. Eat every couple of hours while you’re awake and try not to eat anything for about three hours before you go to sleep. Following these rules will keep your blood sugar levels more static and your energy level will stay consistent. Try to keep each snack or meal balanced. Something like a 30% protein, 40% carbohydrate, and 30% fat ratio, though you don’t need to worry too much about it. Just realize that you need a bit from each macronutrient group. Eat based on what you’ll be doing for the next few hours (if you’re working out, eat a little more; sitting at a desk, eat a little less). The three-hours-before-bed rule is important, especially for fats and carbohydrates. By allowing time for all the carbs you eat to get into your bloodstream, your body will sleep in fat-burning mode, rather than in calorie-storing mode. This is important because undigested carbs in your stomach at night are stored as adipose tissue (fat).

Cheat Days: 2

Weekly focus: Carbs are not the enemy. Your body needs them, just like it needs proteins and fats. The trick is to choose the right carbs. As a society, we eat too much refined sugar. Complex carbs, like whole-grain breads, whole-grain rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes are outstanding foods. Even fruits, which have simple carbohydrates wrapped in fiber, are exceptionally healthy. While you don’t want a diet based on nothing but carbs, making the right carb choices will maximize your body’s potential. Try to avoid white rice and flours. Read labels, and try to avoid ones that use the word “enriched,” because this means these products have been stripped of their natural nutrients, overprocessed, and then fortified with a few random nutrients.

 

Week 3

Eat some colorful, low-density food at every meal. These are foods that take up a lot of space without a lot of calories. Veggies are the most obvious example. You can eat a salad bowl overflowing with lettuce and veggies and you most likely won’t exceed 100 calories. By eating low-density foods like veggies and fruits, you’ll keep your portions under control naturally, because they have very few calories for their size. Conversely, high-density foods, like chocolate and butter, are loaded with calories in even the smallest amounts. So beware of salad dressings and other things you add to salads and veggies. Only add enough for flavor; don’t fill up on them. When it comes to live foods, the richer the colors, the fresher the products tend to be. Try to eat a variety of colors in your diet. This simple-yet-random-feeling act will help ensure that you’re covering all your nutrient bases.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Protein at every meal. This becomes even more important as you eat more low-density food, because protein tends to be high-density. Many veggies have a lot of protein, but the quantity you must consume starts to become prohibitive. Try to get some protein—meat, dairy, legumes, nuts, or seeds each time you eat, especially when you’re working out hard, because you need to repair broken-down muscle tissue. Since your body can only utilize a certain amount of protein at once, do your best to eat small amounts often (starting to see a theme?) Reading labels is a simple way to learn how to estimate your protein intake. You’ll notice natural foods don’t have labels but once your diet is comprised mostly of these you’ll no longer need them. More on this later.

 

Week 4

Cook at home. One of the best ways to control your eating is to prepare all your meals yourself. Eliminate all fast food (which hopefully happened in Week 1) and most other restaurant food. You may still eat food from certain restaurants where you can be sure of the ingredients (most will be savvy enough to make a point of how healthy their food is). As you may have seen in the news, restaurants tend to use alarming quantities of salt, among other things. This single step will often bring your body closer to homeostasis (its desired state of balance). This can be hard for many of us because we now have to plan our meals and prepare ahead of time, but try to treat it like vocational school—you don’t learn a new “job” without a little retraining.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Fat is essential. Remember that fat is a vital part of your diet, not just something that makes you fat. What is not vital is junk fat in processed foods. Healthy fats come from fish, nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, etc.—natural sources. You need to be careful about that amount of fat you eat because it’s very dense. At 9 calories per gram, it contains more than double the calories of carbs and protein.

 

Week 5

Reduce starchy carbohydrates. Starches include rice, bread, potatoes, corn, beans, and other legumes. While many of these are in no way bad foods, most of us eat too much of them. The goal here is to cut way down on them, if not totally out, and then add them back in when your body feels like it needs energy. This will teach you the relationship you have with carbs. They are vital for energy but eating too many of them leaves us lethargic (and eventually fat). Once you figure this out, your entire relationship with food will change.

Cheat Days: 1

Weekly focus: Sugar is only beneficial after a hard workout or during a long one. Your body doesn’t need processed sugar. But if you really enjoy it and can’t avoid letting some sneak into your daily diet, the one-hour period after you exercise is the best time to indulge. During this window, your blood sugar is low, because you’ve used it up to finish your workout (assuming you pushed yourself), and eating sugar during this time will help you recover faster because it speeds into your system and initiates the recovery process. Adding a little protein, but not too much, will enhance your recovery even further.

 

Week 6

If man makes it, don’t eat it. This is likely to be the hardest week of your diet. You want to eat only whole foods and eliminate all processed foods, even good ones, for the week. This includes breads, most salad dressings, all cereal, luncheon meats, cheese, dried fruits, anything with preservatives, and alcoholic beverages. What you can eat are whole foods such as fruit, raw or steamed vegetables, meat (sans any type of sauce), natural whole-grain rice, poached eggs, etc. Since your eating habits have been slowly changing, this shouldn’t be that big a shock to your system, but it will still likely be hard. Try and get creative. There are now many raw and whole food “cook” books that can help keep you entertained.

Cheat Days: 1. The “cheat day” mentality is a good one. Decadent desserts, a night at the buffet, drinking with friends, etc., can be good for you as long as they are rewards and not habits. Studies proving this have been steadily appearing for about as long as we’ve been studying things. All work and no play does, indeed, make Jack a dull boy.

Weekly focus: Nuts and seeds make great snacks. A handful of raw almonds or cashews is a quick and easy snack that goes a long way. Don’t be put off by the high fat count of nuts, because this means it takes fewer of them to satiate you. Nuts and seeds are loaded with important phytonutrients, as well as good fats, proteins, and fiber.

Week 7

Be yourself. No rules—just try and eat as healthily as you can and do it by feel. Trusting yourself might seem like a lot of responsibility, but by now you’ll be up to it. Learning to eat by feeling what your body needs is an important step in your transformation. Consider the way you’ve been eating over the last six weeks, but don’t worry about what you should and shouldn’t do. Just fuel yourself. The point is to take a mental break. Relax and allow yourself to eat in a way that feels normal. You may be surprised to find yourself craving something healthy instead of a candy bar or soda. You’ll be better at listening to your body because it’ll tell you what it needs to eat, as opposed to what you’re used to eating. Your body should feel somewhat transformed.

“Reward for a Life Well Lived” Days: 1

Weekly focus: If you’re so hungry at night that you can’t sleep, try a protein shake. A recent study confirmed what’s been a focus of this diet for two decades; that protein before bed can raise amino acid activity for a full night of rest.

 

Week 8

Eat a perfect diet. Let’s get after it. No one is better able to tell you what you should eat than you. Our bodies are all different, and the key to your own perfect diet is learning about how your body reacts to different foods under different circumstances. Your journey over the last seven weeks should have brought you to a new understanding of how food affects your body, both for good and for bad. The time has come to test it. See how well you can eat for a week. In fact, see how well you can eat for the rest of your life. Live and enjoy.

Reward Days: 1, of course!

Weekly Focus: Don’t bonk. Bonking is a state when your body runs out of blood sugar and glycogen for energy. If you feel like your workouts are going backward instead of forward, this is a likely culprit. Use your energy level as your gauge. As soon as it starts to drop, start adding carbs back into your diet until you feel energized all day long. When you feel energized during your workouts and the rest of the day, you’ll know you’ve found the right balance between carbs and other nutrients. Also, remember that as your body puts on more muscle, you will need to eat more. Muscle weighs much more than fat, so as you gain muscle and lose fat, your body shrinks without losing weight. You will also require more calories in order to maintain your muscle. So, when you’re working out hard, don’t be afraid to eat more carbs than you do otherwise.

 

Need more help reaching your goals?

Check out www.fitnesshaus.co for meal plans, recipes, grocery lists and more!

New Feature: WORKOUT OF THE MONTH

A lot of visits here are for workout reviews. Why? Cause we want an honest opinion of what works!

In light of that fact, I am launching a brand new feature called WORKOUT OF THE MONTH.

This will feature a new workout each month, most home-based, that you can try out REAP the benefits and rewards.

So, for August (we’re close enough), HERE is my top pick:

PiYo DEFINE YOURSELF

With PiYo, you can carve an intensely defined physique without jumps, weights, or straining

your joints. Chalene Johnson’s innovative program is sure to bring you some exciting business

opportunities, so here are some key points to remember.

What is PiYo?

PiYo is a low-impact, high-intensity body-transformation program that uses the most

effective Pilates- and yoga-inspired moves to sculpt long, lean muscles and burn fat.

Trainer Chalene Johnson uses fluid movements, keeping you in constant motion to give

you a dynamic cardio workout that typical Pilates or yoga workouts lack.

It’s low-impact so you won’t have to jump around or strain your joints.

It’s high-intensity so you get the fat-burning results of a more extreme program.

It’s designed to help you get an intensely defined, long and lean physique.

Who is it designed for?

Women and men who:

Want to lose weight and burn fat without the high-impact jumps or complex

choreography found in some cardio programs.

Want to build lean muscle but don’t want to lift heavy weights or bulk up.

Want to get the results of an extreme program without straining their joints.

Like the benefits of Pilates and yoga, but also want the calorie burn of a cardio workout.

Don’t have time to go from class to class to do separate cardio, strength, and

flexibility workouts.

Want a workout that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.

Want to give their body a break from extreme programs but keep getting results and

improve their performance in other sports by restoring their flexibility and core strength.

What’s included?

8 workouts on 3 DVDs (25–45 minutes each)

1 bonus workout (25 minutes)

Quick Start Guide to help you start seeing results fast

Get Lean Eating Plan to make clean eating fit into your lifestyle

60-Day Workout Calendar shows you what workouts to do when

Tape measure to help track your progress

Exclusive! You will get a FREE bonus workout—Hardcore on the Floor (a

$19.95 USD value)—when they order through you

Why should you get Piyo?

To burn calories and fat and lose weight without high-impact cardio or complicated

choreography.

To build long, lean, intensely defined muscles without lifting heavy weights that can

cause added bulk.

To give joints a break from extreme programs but still maintain results.

• To improve core strength and flexibility and improve athletic performance.

To get the benefits of Pilates and yoga without the stillness of yoga and repetitive

nature of Pilates.

To get the benefits of a strength, cardio, and flexibility program all in each workout,

without having to find the time to go to different classes.

To enjoy a new program from their favorite trainer Chalene Johnson.

How does PiYo work?

PiYo isn’t like standard Pilates and yoga classes that make you hold long, intense poses, or

lead you through dozens of repetitive, microscopic core movements. PiYo speeds everything

up—including your results—by introducing you to dynamic, flowing Pilates- and yoga-inspired

sequences that can burn serious calories at the same time as they lengthen and tone your

muscles and increase your flexibility. As you progress from one fluid movement to the next

without rest, you’ll maintain an optimal heart rate to incinerate calories throughout the whole

workout!

With every action-packed PiYo session, you’ll burn excess fat and sculpt and define your whole

body, as you minimize the aches and pains that can come along with high-impact workouts.

The result? You get a low-impact, high-intensity, total-body workout, giving you a physique that’s

long, lean, and powerfully defined.

My results have been phenomenal! I feel stronger and it is making all of my other workouts more effective. I’ve also lessened injuries and have begun to heal from old ones. The workouts are short enough for busy schedules OR for weirdos like me that like to work out like all day :)

Grab your PiYo HERE today!

Define yourself,

Michelle

FREE Workout Wednesday: Total body workout, slim hips and thighs

I’ve been SWAMPED lately, but all good things are coming to MCF!

Enjoy this workout while you wait :)

FREE Workout Wednesday! Total Body in 10

1 move (ok, 3 but who’s counting?!?!) to get your whole body. Planks rock! Keep telling yourself that ;)

Whoo, it’s also a throw back. I was softer around the middle…and blonde. See what happens with consistency?

 

Product Review: KUSHYFOOT

Super awesome footwear for yoga, Pilates and Barre (or if you’re just hanging around and want to look like you do those things).

Check out KUSHYFOOT at the link HERE

You will NOT be disappointed in style, function or price ;)