Move-meant: Part 2

Welcome back to Monday people!!!!!!!

Hope you had a great weekend :)

Today is your lucky day!!!!

Why?

We’re tackling rest day in the second post on recovery and mindful movement!

I can almost feel your excitement……

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Rest days tend to be the most under utilized and misunderstood days in you program. They are also some of the most important…..

You know what time it is??????

SCIENCE!!!!!

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Alright, don’t check out on me yet….this is good and I’ll be quick ;P

When you workout you are tearing up your muscle. That’s the only way that the muscle can release the ATP needed for energy AND it’s the only way the muscle can adapt to loads placed on it. This is true for both strength training and cardio, however strength training places a larger load on most muscles (don’t tell my calves that since they are more heavily loaded running). In order for the muscle to fuller adapt and be able to take on a heavier load the next training session, the muscle must be given adequate rest time to repair.

What does this translate to?

  • Don’t train the same body part repeatedly on consecutive days.
  • Give the muscle 24-48 hours to repair before hitting it again.
  • Utilize some of the recovery options in the previous post.
  • Pay attention to your body! If the muscle is still tender, let it rest and don’t weight so much next session.

Failure to recover will impede optimum muscle growth. That’s science.

Back to rest days….

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One of the most common misconceptions about rest days is that they are days of complete immobility. Not true.

Rest days should be days to help further recovery and mobility.

Here are some ways you can implement well thought out rest days:

  1. Sign up for a yoga class, BUT make sure it will stretch and flow….some yoga classes are another workout in and of themselves.
  2. Foam roll!
  3. Stretch it out while you Netflix.
  4. Take a slow walk. Change your music to some slower jams or go sans music and just look at the sites.
  5. Go for a nature walk or hike, especially if you don’t have leg day the next day.
  6. Remember, rest days are NOT cheat days.

How many rest days do I need?

rest day second

This is where paying attention to your body is the biggest payoff.

Most people just starting on a strength training program do well with a 2/1 working to rest split. Some people prefer to check in for workouts Monday through Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. Some advanced athletes prefer an 8 day split, with a rest day every 8 days. Personally, I lift for total body 3 days a week with a cardio/mobility day between and I always take Sundays as my rest day (and sometimes I am totally immobile).

There is no one magic formula for everybody, so check for signs of needing rest.

Do you look forward to workouts?

Are you dreading every single workout?

Are you tired all day long?

Do you have trouble sleeping?

Is your appetite/cravings totally out of control?

Are you progressing in your workouts (i.e. upping the weight, reps, or taking the harder variations)?

Chances are, if you feel physically stuck, you need a good recovery day. So, book it, enjoy it, come back stronger.

Always moving,

Michelle

 

ALL New Stuff…..

Well….hello there….

gym creep

IF you have followed the blog at all, then you will notice my absence as of late. To be real, it was a myriad of different reasons.

First, I did have surgery and decided to actually take some downtime.

Second, I was truly questioning why I do what I do and if it matters at all in the grand scheme of things (jury is still out on that one).

Third, I was working to try and fill in the gaps of training, so to speak.

While first and second will be saved for another day, I’m going to share a little of the third with you now.

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I have been truly bogged down by the fact that a lot of people who come for help don’t get very far. Truth is, it felt as though there was a part missing…..let’s say, a spoke from a wheel wasn’t there. So, it made it very difficult for us to get anywhere. So I began to research other areas of expertise and talk with other trainers who have been successful at making their client, well, successful. The answer came again and again: an online training platform.

If you’re like me and you don’t dig technology all that much, then the thought of online training can seem daunting. The fact is, in today’s fast paced environment, you need something that will stay a step or two ahead so you can focus on life and not be overwhelmed by workouts. This online training platform can be held in the palm of your hand and is as easy as checking in on Facebook so everybody knows you’re handling your business ;)

TrainerizeKB

I have teamed up with TRAINERIZE to offer plans to help you reach any goal. Since my specialty is Corrective Exercise, this can be used in conjunction with your current training program. The app itself is extremely user friendly and you can track your progress in-app so you can see exactly where you’re headed, whether you want to lose fat, gain muscle, get stronger, be quicker, or simply move through life with less pain. You can see it all and track it all here.

It’s also simple to set up and doesn’t keep you bound to JUST seeing your trainer on certain days/times.

Start by checking into Pricing and available Schedules (online only option is available). Then, you will receive a message from your trainer to confirm a time for training that week. You have the option to see your trainer face to face 1-2 times per week, depending on your goal and schedule. For example, Olympic lifters usually see me once per week to focus on mobility and flexibility. Fat loss clients usually opt for twice per week. Once established, you will also get training programs uploaded into your app. These program will be personalized for your goal and lifestyle. This way, you know exactly what to do and can keep track of your workouts in-app. Your trainer can keep track as well and is informed of workout consistency. This creates an accountability that will propel you forward DAILY.

trainerize meal-plan-promo-email

I’ve also added meal planning capabilities to the app (all plans are done by me, not generic) so you can choose to add that option OR simply opt to get your nutrition in line while staying with your current trainer or training program.

Important Notes:

  • ALL face to face sessions are semi-private.
  • Private training sessions ARE offered, but are priced differently and not available for purchase in-app.
  • Meal planning is priced separately and requires a brief Q&A with your trainer.
  • You are totally allowed to switch times during the week, but must let your trainer know.
  • All plans are month to month and must be cancelled NO LATER than 2 weeks prior to next billing cycle.
  • Specialty training, such as MMA and Sports Performance, are also offered in a group setting.

This allows you to finally have the tools you need to reach THAT goal and start setting new ones. So, check out the app today, pick your program, get in a group, and start seeing and feeling results within a week!

Why Pulling These Two C’s Will Get You Your Best RESULTS

the dream and the hustle

Happy Tuesday People!

I’ve been MIA for a while, and though I’d like you to think it’s because I was doing super cool stuff, I was actually having a rather in depth surgery on my plagued hip. As with anything life gives us, we can learn, we can grow, and we can most certainly write about it.

Prior to surgery I went to get my physical therapy sessions set up and meet my therapist (Kim, in Baytown….she’s the bomb). She explained how the following week would progress and what to expect in the first few sessions of therapist. My surgeon (Dr. Harris, in Houston…the bomb.com) repeatedly reminded me that I would lose muscle and that I needed to be OK with all that. The day I went into surgery I was ready to be resilient. The week that followed was worse than childbirth, but I’ll spare you.

Around week 3 of therapy, a young lady came in for her therapy. She was half heartedly doing her lunges and barely putting effort into the sled pull….I was on the stationary bike clocking a whopping 2 miles in 20 minutes. Recovery is a slow process. My therapist reminded me that recovery would take longer if I veered off the path. This could not be more true.

Present day, I am 6 weeks post surgery. I am one-crutching short distances, and I’m doing a few baby squats. Yesterday, Kim congratulated me and said as soon as I’m off the crutches we can move on to more challenging things. Admittedly, almost everything is challenging at this stage, but I digress.

How does this story help you?

In my years of training, coaching, and attempted to help people with nutrition, I have noticed that everybody seems to lack the 2 C’s that breed results when brought together.

CONSISTENCY and COMPLIANCE

Consistency.

I have to remind clients all the time that this is not a sprint. We do not start a new program working out 2 hours a day 7 days a week. “But, what if I need to lose 30 pounds in 6 weeks?!?!?!” You should have noticed that a few months ago….

Most new clients are put onto a walking protocol, walking 20-45 minutes a day, depending on their current fitness level and their personal goal. Why walking? Well, walking is actually the most underrated fat burning exercise AND it can be done practically anywhere. You can walk around your neighborhood, at local parks, in the mall, around the grocery store (I have had clients who walk in Walmart), downtown, the treadmill, in your local fitness center, and the list goes on and on.

Walking is also something most people find they can be consistent with as well. You see, I want to jump ahead to what I see as the fun stuff in therapy, but you have to crawl before you can walk. Taking on too much at the beginning of your program can cause injury, leave you feeling less than capable, and end your short-lived attempt at fitness. Changing behaviors (those pesky things that got you wherever you may be) takes time and consistency. Stick with it.

Compliance.

The #1 reason I have fired clients (yes, it happens) is due to non-compliance. Let me clear, compliance doesn’t mean that you don’t ask why you are doing certain things, it means that you trust the process and trust your guide. Programs work because they are designed to work. If you get a good trainer or coach, they take everything about you into consideration as they map out your program. If you take on the personality of a squirrel and dart after every new diet and fitness trend and fad, then you will NEVER actually see results. By the way, any trainer worth their salt should welcome questions! Any opportunity I have to further educate clients is one I will not pass up.

So, get to work cultivating your 2 C’s that will equal big results!

Pinpoint any issues that keep you away from these things.

  • Does your trainer not listen to you?
  • Do you feel your not getting a personalized program?
  • Are you uncomfortable in your environment?
  • Do you get distracted by fads because maybe you read too many magazines?
  • Are you allowing those who are not fitness or nutrition professionals lead you?
  • Have you found the behaviors you need to change?

Now, It’s your turn to take matters into your own hands. Consistency and Compliance are things only YOU can cultivate. So, what will it be today?

Workouts to get in TOP shape for summer

Hello there!

The warm breezes have already started and our air conditioner is getting zero breaks right now…..the countdown to SUMMER is here!

We have less than 6 weeks to summer and I am pumped!

I get excited at the prospect of a fun summer every year, but this summer will prove to be particularly memorable.

How about you? Are you entering into warmer weather ready to take on the season? OR do you perhaps feel as though you wish you had a few more weeks to prepare?

Have no fear!

Today I have some workouts for YOU to implement over the next 6 weeks that will help to tighten your muscle and shed excess fat. All you need is consistency and a bit of a tweaked nutrition plan (see more below).

ENJOY! Oh, and cut your body some slack……it’s been there for you all along. So learn to work WITH it, not against it.

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THE PLAN.

Here’s the deal; you HAVE to lift some weights in order to get that tight and “toned” look you say you want. So, that’s what you’ll be doing.

Three days a week, you’ll be hitting the iron. Monday and Friday will be lower body days, while Wednesday will etch in the upper body.

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday will be cardio days, adapted to get the most results in the minimum effective dose.

The CARDIO.

Your cardio will be performed in a 2-1 ratio of work to rest. If you are not quite ready for this intensity, try a 1-1 ratio and build up. IF you stay consistent, you’ll feel better in no time.

The minimum effective dose is 20-40 minutes of this type of cardio. If you have a lot of fat to lose, opt for 40 minutes. If you’re just starting out, try 20 and move forward as you can.

Some examples are as follows:

  • Treadmill climb. Warm up for 5 minutes, then set the incline at a level 3 and speed between 3.5-4.5. Walk this for 1 minute. Lower the speed to 3.0-3.5 and take the incline between 12-15. Walk this for 2 minutes. Repeat for the duration of your workout, finishing with a cool down walk for 5 minutes.
  • Step mill. Start with a 3-5 minute easy warm up at a level 3. Take it to a level 6-8 for 1 minute and then a level 8-10 for 2 minutes. Repeat for the duration and end with a 5 minute cool down.
  • Tread Jog. Warm up 3-5 minutes. Take the speed to a fast paced walk for 1 minute, then jack it up to a jog for 2 minutes. Repeat for the duration and end with a cool down walk.

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THE WORKOUTS

Lower body days you will focus on ALL the muscles of your lower body PLUS a little bit of abdominal work. Warm up for 5-7 minutes beforehand.

SQUATS. 1 set of 20 reps to warm up, then 3 sets of 10-15 as heavy as you can.

LEG PRESS. 3 sets of 10-15 reps

DEADLIFTS (bar OR dumbbells). 2 sets of 10-12 reps

LEG EXTENSIONS. 3 sets of 10-15 reps

LEG CURLS (seated or lying) 3 sets of 10-15 reps

CALF RAISES. 2 sets of 15 reps

BACK EXTENSIONS. 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps (no weight added)

PLANK 60-90 second hold, 2-3 sets

Make sure you foam roll, stretch, and cool down before you leave.

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Upper Body Day will give you a well rounded physique and bring balance to your entire body. With tank top season right around the corner, this workout will build muscle and confidence.

Warm up for 5-7 minutes. I recommend foam rolling beforehand.

BENCH PRESS (or dumbbell chest press) 1 set of 15 reps, 3 sets of 10-12 reps

SEATED DB OVERHEAD PRESS 3 sets of 8-10 reps

DB ROW 3 sets of 10 reps

LAT PULLDOWN 3 sets of 10 reps

DB CURLS 2 sets of 10 reps

TRICEP PUSHDOWN (or seated dip) 3 sets of 10 reps

CAPTAIN’S CHAIR (or hanging) LEG RAISES 3 sets of 10-30 reps

Make sure to foam roll, stretch and cool down.

mc-7059 Need help with the weight? Check out THIS POST on how heavy you should go.

NUTRITION

All the workouts in the world will not help if you aren’t fueling properly.

Instead of focusing on taking away, try to focus on upgrading your nutrition. Make pre and post workout meals your top priority for the first week. Your macros surrounding your workouts should have higher carbs and fewer fibers and fats. My go-to of the moment is cream of rice mixed with a scoop of whey protein. I eat it cold pre and post workout and it tastes like pudding :) Other options include whey protein shakes (some, Like LABRADA offer the perfect ratio of carbs, fats and proteins ready to drink), raisins, rice cakes, toast, lean lunch meat, etc. A pre-workout should be taken in 30-45 minutes prior to hitting the workout. Post workout protein uptake usually happens within 30 minutes, BUT research has shown that the body is susceptible to greater protein uptake up to 2 hours post workout. In other words, don’t let that be a stressor.

Protein intake does NOT need to exceed your need. In order to create a lean physique you do need an adequate amount of protein. Try eating protein at every meal to ensure an adequate intake. Vary your protein for maximum satiety. You can try chicken, turkey, fish, lean red meats, game, whey, casein, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. Take the time to explore and see what works best for you.

Drink PLENTY of water throughout your fat loss phase. I suggest aiming for a gallon a day for most (your tea and coffee intake can count towards this), but start where you are and add daily.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

Remember, the body needs TIME to change. You can expect GREAT improvement with this workout plan in just 6 weeks, but ONLY If you are vigilant and consistent. If you have a lot of fat to lose, know that these 6 weeks will give you a large jumpstart, so don’t get discouraged. Be kind to your body and it will return the favor.

See you soon!

Michelle

 

 

TRAINERS: They could actually be the problem instead of the solution……

Warning…..this may get controversial.

So, before I go on, let me say that I DO honestly believe there are some great trainers and coaches in the world….but I do encourage you to shop carefully.

personal-trainer

 

“Over 300 reps and I won’t be able to walk tomorrow, but I’m sure it will be worth it”….these words greeted my newsfeed as I opened my Facebook page. I simultaneously cringed and gagged. Is this what we have become?

Is pain the only way to progress?

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I’ve been a professional personal trainer for a decade now (I’m knocking on 40′s door) and currently hold 7 personal training certifications and specializations. I value knowledge and know beyond all doubt that I still have more to learn. I’ve personally lost over 100 pounds, but still need to learn about proper weight loss practices. I competed in a figure show, but will not call myself a competition coach. Doing doesn’t make anybody an expert….becoming an expert makes you an expert!

All over the internet I see the same thing spat out from fitness “professionals” time after time:

  • no pain, no gain
  • it’s supposed to hurt
  • train past the pain
  • you have to want it
  • go hard or go home
  • get up and train
  • train hard

It all reminds me of a TV persona (yes, that’s pretty much all I think she is) that crashed onto the gym floor with little more than a local cert many years ago…

JM meme Cause it’s THAT feeling that makes me want to continue working out…

Where did this overdoing it come from?

Well, there are a few theories.

First, when obesity hit new highs in the States, people usually saw one of 2 things: this was a scary epidemic, and it was also a great opportunity to make some money. So trainers and coaches came out in droves with little more than a single certification and a bad attitude…because that’s how we get things done. The Biggest Loser isn’t to blame, but you can read the latest about past contestants HERE.

As jobs in health and fitness rose, so did obesity. In other words, the demand was there and the workers showed up, but the crisis kept growing.

What gives?

I think it’s a bit more complicated than may meet the eye; however, if we can all attempt to turn to the same page, we might start getting somewhere.

  1. Personal Trainer is a relative term to me now. ANYBODY can call themselves a trainer, just like your kids football coach probably doesn’t have more than an English degree and memories of glory days on the team.
  2. People are SUPER impatient. Those who seek out trainers want results and they want them yesterday. So, trainers try to make results faster by amping up the plan before they should.
  3. Trainers have a weird “Anything I can do I’ll force you to do” mentality. If your trainer did an awesome high rep workout yesterday, you may be subject to the same brutality even if you’ve only been training for a month.
  4. We equate PAIN with results. Constantly breaking the body down and not focusing on recovery will not only stall results, but could possibly make it IMPOSSIBLE to reach your results.
  5. Most don’t have a clue how to accomplish certain goals, so they employ a technique designed to continually change the routine and keep the body “confused” because that has become a cool term.

MOSTLY, this phenomenon derives from unrealistic expectations and overpromising from trainers.

muscle soreness

So, is there a way to get on track and get what you want?

YES!

And it’s not as complicated as you think.

Here are 3 quick tips to reach your goal, sans the pain (because , no , it is NOT supposed to hurt):

  1. Set realistic goals for both short term and long term. Loads of goal setting help is HERE.
  2. Consistency is KING!!!!! In order to reach any goal, you must be consistent. If you cannot walk, potty, drive or use a phone after a workout, something is dead wrong.
  3. Focus on proper warm ups and recovery. ALL trainers should make sure their clients know how to properly warm up and how to recover from exercise.

Very last I would like to give you some encouragement: if you are seeking a trainer, don’t be shy to ask for credentials AND have them explain their training philosophy. If you are a trainer, have some pride in your craft and invest in education that will enable you to specialize. Also, seek out other trainers who can help build you up and hold you accountable.

Remember, nobody is impressed by an injury. Instead of posting gut wrenching workouts that tear us up, try staying consistent in your work ethic and letting a pain-free body speak volumes for yourself and your client….I dare you :)

 

Holiday Fat Loss NOW!

A few weeks ago I stated that I would be losing a bit of fat on Instagram…..and it’s in full swing.

SO, I thought it would be helpful for you to see how I go about this and for me to drop some educational bombs on fat loss fundamentals.

Let’s get down to business……

fat-loss_2 She looks thrilled with her apple doesn’t she?

OK, fundamentals FIRST.

  • You MUST obtain a muscle base before fat loss can occur. Don’t try to fast forward this part ok? If you have not been strength training regularly, then earmark what I’m doing here and come back to it in a few months.
  • You still have to eat.
  • Your workouts MUST be intense….not long.
  • Train thoughtfully and recover well.

My own personal goals are pretty easy and pretty cheesy…….I want to fit into jeans :) that’s one of them. Plus, I want to side step the inflammation I deal with and I want to increase my mobility since I have lost quite a bit. The majority of my workouts are based in my home gym, but I’ll give you some workout recommendations at the end of the post. PLUS, I post one of my workouts each week too, so you’re golden.

rockin abs This was  couple of years ago when I was intermittent fasting regularly. I have since put on about 11 pounds of MUSCLE (cue flex) :)

Eating.

I love food. Not in an unhealthy way mind you, I simply love what can happen when you marry the food that works with you and the eating style that works with you.

DISCLAIMER: I am about to tell you the eating style I choose. This is because it has always worked in the past to help me shed unwanted fat (not to be confused with weight) and squashed my inflammation. This is NOT a way of saying everybody should eat this way. Always do your homework before you embark on dietary change. If you have any chronic medical conditions, consult with your physician.

I am a happy intermittent faster. I’ll post more about the ins and outs of that later, but for the purposes of THIS blog I am simply telling you what I do.

I prefer a 16/8 fast, meaning that I fast for 16 hours and feast for 8. Pretty simple. I break my fast at 10 a.m. which is usually when my workout ends, and I have my final meal about 6 p.m. This works really well with my client schedules and responsibilities as well.

What does it mean to fast and feast?

I still drink coffee in the morning with a splash of non-dairy creamer, but stay below 50 calories. I drink 10 grams of BCAA’s while taking Debbie to school and 10 more during my workout. My workout duration is MUCH shorter now, but also more intense. I am using MMA conditioning training to help address imbalances and really tighten up my body. My workout ends around 10 a.m. and I will break my fast with a post-workout meal. That is usually a scoop of whey protein, 1/2 scoop of casein protein, and a piece of fruit. Then I’ll have a larger meal about an hour or so later. Depending on the day, I may have 2-4 more meals varied in size. I am eating intuitively and making sure I am getting my micronutrients in as well as my macronutrients. A breakdown of most meals is on my INSTA account.

More details on all the surrounds IF will be talked about soon.

Wrap a bow on it:

  • Fat loss requires a muscle base and I have spent the last 2 years piling muscle on.
  • I am EATING using intermittent fasting 16/8 protocol and choosing healthy foods even while some treats sneak in.
  • My workouts are shorter and more intense, really focusing on core.
  • I am also recovering smarter, utilizing nutrients as well as foam rolling, trigger point therapy and daily doses of yoga.

Hang with me and watch things change :)

Michelle

OH, side note: I have also ditched dairy and alcohol (during the holidays!!!!) due to the fact that they have been causing slight allergic issues. How can you tell? Pay attention to your food and how you feel!

 

HOUSTON, we have an awesome ride for you this Saturday!

If you live in or near the Houston area, then you’ll want to take advantage of some new tech coming to indoor spinning.

This Saturday (8/29) from 9-2 you can enjoy a totally FREE look at how you can achieve a smoking hot gamer bod :)

SPIVI is launching at Ascent Fitness in Houston and it will take your workout to a whole new level.

Spivi

Check in to the event page on FACEBOOK  and join in on a new way to ride.

Are you ready to get your gamer bod?

Ascent Fitness Debuts an Innovative 3D Cycling Experience

Join the Cycling Revolution

 

HOUSTON – August 2015 – Ascent Fitness announced it would be the only cycling studio in Houston to carry Spivi Studio, a 3D video game training system, created for indoor cycling and fitness studios.

Spivi Studio is installed on existing equipment and generates an interactive 3D experience that places trainees on a virtual road with a personal avatar depicting their energy level. Using heart-rate monitors to track performance, Spivi then sends a personal training summary to each cyclist by email after their session.

“Spivi was brought to my attention by a competitive cyclist who was excited about a virtual reality cycling program that allowed him to compete with his friends from his own house,” says Karyn Snyder, owner of Ascent Fitness.

Synder has dedicated her life to helping others live a healthier lifestyle. In 2007, she became an ACE certified personal trainer and opened a personal training company, Ascent Fitness. She made the leap to incorporating the virtual program in her studio after the buzz began to spread among Texas cyclists. “By creating a virtual atmosphere, trainees can be more engaged with their training and have access to their progress via scientific data, while participating in a fun atmosphere. Spivi Studio will allow a different experience altogether the spinning/indoor cycling industry in Houston.”

One feature of Spivi includes target views, which focuses on heart rate, power and cadence. Members can set their Functional Threshold Power (FTP) individually for their personal profiles and instructors can run in-class tests to automatically set this value. It gives riders live performance feedback on the screen for added motivation. Now, join the 3D cycling revolution, exclusively at Ascent Fitness this August!

 

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Opening this past spring, Ascent offers a wide range of classes including indoor cycling, yoga, weight lifting, and body shaping to give everyone access to a multi-dimensional approach to fitness. Ascent Trainers are equipped with national certifications, knowledge of anatomy and physiology and in-depth understanding of exercise programming. They are dedicated to helping every person improve their cardio, strength and flexibility through proper technique and motivational training. Ascent brings together fierce workouts with a fun flare for everyone from athletes to beginners.

 

For more information about schedules and classes, please visit http://www.ascent.fitness/

 

 

The pros and cons of a home gym vs. a big daddy gym

Good morning and welcome to a new week!

This is back to school week for us, but I realize some of you have already gotten into the school flow.

Did you know that back-to-school season is the second busiest season of the year? It’s second to the new year as back-to-school comes with a new schedule and new challenges as well as fresh goals (or refreshing the old ones).

So, today we are tackling a question that I am asked very often: Should I get a gym membership or can I get fit at home?

The answer can be a bit complicated since it really lies in your personal goals and what you have available to you to propel you toward that physical goal.

I have personally been working out at home since I was a teenager and first learned all about what working out can do for your body, mind and spirit. Here is MY take on the pros and cons of both home gyms and big gyms…….I like to make you laugh, so lighten up and enjoy.

morpheus-home gym

Pros and cons of a home gym.

Now, just as a disclosure I feel I need to tell you that I have an actual gym at home. We renovated the garage into a gym and I have quite a bit of space to move around. Over the years I have gathered weights, bars, suspension trainers, ropes, trampolines, kettle bells, etc. so I’m not hurting for equipment. Keep in mind, you really can get fit in a small space with limited equipment (even just your body) if you have the right guidance :) Click HERE for necessary guidance (shameless plug).

  1. You don’t have to have fancy gym clothes. You don’t have to match. Heck, you can work out naked if you want, but I wouldn’t advise that cause eeeewwwww. With a home gym you can literally workout in your pajamas. Some people may say this is a con……but we all know it’s a total pro!
  2. You don’t have to wear shoes. I was having a bunch of foot problems a few months ago and then I started lifting barefoot (you pay closer attention and use good form!) which enables the body to distribute weight more evenly in the feet instead of our fancy shoes overcompensating for imbalances.
  3. You can get stuff done in sweaty workout clothes…….OK, this falls into both the pro and con. As I type I have JUST finished a sweet back workout and I haven’t showered. I did change though! The con of sweaty gym clothes is that’s gross.
  4. Working out at home increases compliance. Most people find excuses to skip the gym. Who wants to throw on tights when they are super bloated? Who wants to dead lift when they have gas? Who wants to drive to the gym at 4 in the morning?!?!?!!? Being able to walk from kitchen to gym without running into anybody looking at your bloated belly is a big pro and increases compliance to any workout program :)
  5. I tend to work harder at home. I can feel free to yell, grunt, spit, cry…whatever it takes. I don’t have to reel in my inner beast lady to make others feel comfortable. Extra bonus: I don’t catch glimpses of my awful facial expressions :/
  6. You don’t have to wait for equipment. Seriously dude, if you need to return a text or brag about your warm up set on Facebook, do it by the water fountain! Working out at home eliminates the stress other gym goers may cause.
  7. If something breaks you can either fix it or replace it (or pretend you never had it) instead of having to tell the front desk, who tells maintenance, who has to wait for the OK, and then it’s fixed 2 years after you cancel your gym membership.
  8. Your gym stays open in just about any weather….BONUS: you don’t have to drive in nasty weather to get there.
  9. Your dog is totally welcome…..that may just be me.
  10. Perhaps most important: you have your pick of post-workout food just steps away :)

Now, a few cons:

  1. You may need specialized equipment that your family is unwilling to give up precious living room space to hold (focus on the cause people!).
  2. You still need to schedule your workouts. Simply having a gym within walking distance is not enough to get your booty there.
  3. If you’re a social butterfly (or feel you need to be seen in order for your workouts to count), home gyms won’t work for you.

gym creep

Big daddy gyms….and boxes, warehouse gyms, etc.

First, boxes and warehouse gyms have actually gained in popularity because they offer a better “feel” than big chain gyms. The premise is almost the same though, you pay for some type of membership to use space and equipment.

  1. Con: creepers. These are the people who just watch you workout. They have no other goal than to watch others. Not all creepers are nasty, some are just watchers. Either way, creeping is not cool.
  2. These places do have equipment in a space and your family doesn’t complain that they can’t see the TV around your squat rack.
  3. These places also have trainers and floor staff. Now, some (a rare few) are good. MOST are untrained or brand spanking new and want to tell you how to workout without knowing your current level of fitness or your goal.  They also can’t answer questions like, “How do I adjust the leg press?”…..these people should be avoided.
  4. You’re on show whether you want to be or not. You can give the speech that your crew is too cool to watch others, but we’re all human…..you’re being watched and ultimately compared by others. So, embrace that.
  5. If you dig working out around others then  gym is a safe bet to get results. If you like a “team” feel, a box would be better suited to your needs. If you’re a hermit…..stay home cause you won’t like either.
  6. Biggest con: it’s a hot bed of bad form. One person performing a move with bad form and confidence will result in many more doing the same thing (see #4). So, get the right guidance and you’ll be golden.

No matter how you choose to get fit, your biggest limitation may just be the voice between your own 2 ears. Figure out your goals, set up a plan of attack…..and make like Nike and just do it!

Stay safe and healthy,

Michelle

Summertime woes: A realistic look at swimsuit season

It’s June 16th here and if you live anywhere in southeast Texas, then you are probably hunkered down with your bottled water awaiting the ominous sounding Tropical Storm BILL….just the name inflicts fear. ;)

More fearful than any tropical storm is swimsuit season. I think I can speak for us all here right? There are just so many things that can go wrong…

I had my very own little run in with swimsuits a couple of weeks ago. You see, I can’t swim….I’m more of a sink or float kinda gal. Meaning when in a pool of water I usually end up close to the wall canoodling with my hubby :) totally acceptable behavior.

Anyways, I decided that this summer I should branch out. I mean, I just got onstage in the world’s tiniest bikini and was judged for goodness sake! I think I can learn to swim a few laps for sport. So, on we went to Academy to get a slightly larger and much more supportive suit….

Into the lion’s den:

It started off rather innocent enough. I walked in feeling full of confidence and eager to get this party started. I grabbed several suits in several sizes (cause you just don’t know with those things) and catwalked my way to the unisex dressing rooms…because we girls can have secrets no longer. I got the first suit on with a great struggle and looked in the mirror. Not good. Like, really not good. I had to take a deep breath and remind myself that I had just competed. I then promptly wondered what the heck I had been eating. It seemed like whatever wasn’t firmly encapsulated in the suit spilled elsewhere in the most unflattering fashion imaginable…..sort of like sausage which was busting out of its casing. With much effort, I removed the suit, though I did worry I might have to call in assistance. I picked up a larger size in bright red…side note: that’s a LOT of red no matter what your actual size. Though this one was a little easier to put on and the spillage seemed slightly more contained, I still began to question my training and nutrition. I didn’t bother with the third suit and I marched out to put those demons back in the cavern from whence they come, otherwise known as the swimsuit rack. I then perused the bikinis only to decide my fragile ego couldn’t handle that right now.

For the next couple of weeks (weeks, people) I struggled. It felt like my workout pants were tighter (um, they’re spandex). I got sick and had to go to the doctor where the nurse weighed me and I didn’t appreciate the number she wrote down (you’d think we gals could help each other out). I then had to go through old videos where all I could think about was how thin I was and that all my clothes fit then….

Here’s the catch: I work to empower women to forget the scale. I strive to have more women comfortable in their own skin. I love the variety of bodies on the beach and want others to focus on progress, not perfection. So what the heck????

There are many things that can go wrong while swimsuit shopping. Do any of these bring back horrid memories of yesteryear?

  • Swimsuit sizing if really weird! I think if I wear a medium in workout tights then I should wear a medium in swim bottoms. Is this too much to ask??!?!?!? When going through sizes, I always feel as though I have stumbled into the toddlers department and nobody was kind enough to point me to the correct place.
  • Lighting: really people? It seems as though the ONLY lighting available in these places is the large spotlight used for interrogations…..”Did you really log ALL of your food this week?” “Yes, I swear! I’m not guilty!!!!!” The higher end stores splurge on slightly softer lighting which makes me spend more money. I await a swimsuit dressing room lit in carefully placed tea lights and playing smooth jazz to mellow my fear.
  • You have to keep your underwear on while you try on swimsuits. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great rule, BUT it also added like 10 inches of fabric to my hips (OK< maybe not, but it feels like it).
  • Cellulite LOVES swimsuit shopping. You may not even see it in your shorts that morning, but by the time you pull on the plastic lined bottoms you can rest assured it will rear it’s dimpled head.
  • There seems to only be 2 (maybe 3) options when shopping: barely there skimpy OR old lady afraid of sunburn. The possible 3rd is the “fat displacing” ones that really do nothing other than squeeze body fat into even weirder places.

It’s a wonder any of us get out of the dressing room! The attendant smiles sweetly and asks “Did everything work out?” while I stand there with 23 different suits and tears in my eyes….I muster enough courage to smile back and say “Yes.” Like, duh, I like to keep at least 10 different sizes on hand!

To make matters worse, women are held to different standards than men. The men in my life don’t fret over whether or not their abs are flat in their long trunks….they really just want to make sure the trunks are big enough to allow movement and eating. Who eats in a swimsuit?!?!?!? If I ever get in it I certainly don’t want people to see me eating. That might make me relax my abs, which is one of the unforgivable sins. Guys swimwear sends a totally different message! It says “You’re cool man. Captain America trunks make the ladies believe that under that beer gut you actually look like Captain America”. Meanwhile, we slather on firming creams and practice rolling in and out of chairs so visible stomach flab won’t show :/

How do we make it better? Well, first off, we MUST adhere to the truth that we are all a work in progress. Progress denotes change….we are therefore, ever-changing. There is no such thing as the perfect body and I believe variety is a good thing. The second thing to remember is that body fat is normal and to be expected. Now, how much depends on lifestyle choices. There are a lot of lean people, but the only ones who are fat-free suffer from serious medical issues. So be thankful for your health.

I will be embarking upon a swimsuit shopping extravaganza soon and I have a plan that I think may just work. First, I am enlisting my besties to go with me. This sort of thing is better enjoyed in a group. Second, a good lunch with a couple of glasses of wine will be enjoyed beforehand as swimsuit shopping sober should be reserved for the youngsters who have yet to mature into their cellulite. Third, as women we must realize that we are far harder on ourselves than is necessary. We are defined by our character, not by any number.

So, I encourage you to go forth and shop heartily sisters! Show your daughters that we are comfortable with the changes and challenges of life. Be the best example to others of grace while in the dressing room…..and I pray every dressing room door will remain on its hinge during your adventure.

Be bold because you’re already beautiful,

Michelle

mc-7059 Photo by Kendra Harwell Photography

 

The Slimmer Summer Challenge just opened!

mc-7005 WM

This challenge is now CLOSED, but stick around for more to come!

 

 

Let’s get right to the details shall we?

What is the Slimmer Summer Challenge?

It’s a great way to get and stay fit and healthy all Summer long. It includes exercise, nutrition and mental health cause you know that’s what you really need :)

Who can do it?

ANYBODY! I will be honest and say it will probably appeal more to the ladies, especially busy moms. Men are more than welcome to join though!

When are the dates for the challenge?

The challenge will start June 15 and run through August 15th.

Do I need a gym membership or special equipment?

NO.

Ready for the nitty-gritty details now?

#SlimmerSummerChallenge

This is a 2 month program designed to give you everything you need to either jump-start your fitness OR simply stay fit during the busiest travel months of the year.

It’s a great program for on-the-go, vacations, busy moms, and all those who don’t want to plan their day around the gym (like I do).

The exercise portion consists of circuit training to keep the workouts short and intense for maximum results. NOTE: this is NOT a muscle-building program.

3 month back progress

This is 3 months of SLIMMING using the same strategies I will teach you in this course!

What to expect with the fitness portion:

  • Weekly calendar of workouts
  • Choice of 4-6 workouts per week depending on your schedule
  • Short, doable workouts
  • Printable, go-anywhere workouts
  • Limited equipment
  • Core focused workouts for safety and efficiency

Nutrition Focus:

  • MACRO education so you actually learn the science behind eating for energy and leanness
  • Learn the difference between calories and macros
  • Learn how to calculate YOUR macros and how to personalize them
  • Learn how to eat for energy and not just because you need to eat
  • Quick nutrition fixes for things such as bloating and water retention (subjects also covered)
  • Weekly meal plans…..BUT you will also learn a whole new view of food
  • Nutrient timing
  • Supplementation!

3 month front progress

 

Additional Goodies:

  • Weekly check ins
  • Weekly Q&A videos
  • Private FB Group to help you increase accountability AND share great tips on staying focused, plus recipes and other goodies
  • Email access to your trainer :)

Study after study shows that having a COACH and an accountability GROUP help you reach your goals faster AND help you to achieve more than you thought possible.

So, do you want in? You can get in RIGHT NOW by clicking the button below:



 

If you’re ready to start supplements already OR looking for the EASY button of supplements and assured weight loss, take a look HERE and check them out, then ask me how you can get your entry fee waived.

Whatever has been holding you back from making the most of your health, I promise we will change your mind. You do have the time, you just need a little guidance. And guidance is what I do best :)