Do MORE than Survive this Holiday season

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Before you start clicking away, I GET IT!

We haven’t quite gotten through Thanksgiving and Christmas is already on our doorstep.

The once enthusiastic excitement has given way to overwhelming stress resulting from deadlines, expectations and all those fun family quirks that make each family unique.

Our world is moving at a MUCH faster pace than ever before. We value busyness instead of human contact. We are always on to the next thing. We can barely keep up with technology and those expectations? They keep getting bigger.

Trust me, I know…..

But there are a few ways to actually THRIVE and take back the meaning of the holidays.

Ready to feel BETTER when the New Year hits???

Then let’s get going :)

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1. Have a strategy.

Failure to plan is planning to fail after all. So it is a good idea to make a strategy for your Holidays. Know what you (as a mere mortal) can actually take and accomplish. Know your calendar and make sure you have your priorities straight. I think most people endure undo stress during the season because their priorities are not aligned with their values. For example: my number 1 priority is my family. My family needs time with me. Although my job prefers I work more hours and sell more training, I know that would simply break me down and make me inefficient….at work AND at home. So, I honor my priorities and we all win.

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2. Say NO more often.

Often times during this season we can over commit ourselves because we find it harder to say NO. Saying no to things you truly cannot do, truly HATe, or do not have the time to do, can be the change you need in your routine to eliminate most of your stress. Trust me, the world will NOT stop spinning when you say no. People may get a little upset, but that is because they had already assumed you would say yes, and you know what happens when you assume…:) So, exercise your NO muscles this season. Take a look at your priority list and if something isn’t aligning, knock it off your to-do list by saying the simple word NO.

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3. Make some time to workout during the Holidays.

I’m going to give a little advice with this one: be flexible when it comes to your workout routine. If you normally hit the gym in the evening, maybe try getting a workout in early morning or during lunch. The holiday season is usually jam-packed with parties and festivities and NOBODY like a bah-humbug who complains about missing a workout for a function. Plan ahead and be flexible. Consider shorter workouts OR even combine body parts and shorten your rest periods to speed it up a bit. If you’re struggling to get to the gym as is, don’t set yourself up for failure by expecting too much. Check out my FREE WORKOUTS  that you can do in a faction of the time at home (to be posted on the site in the New YEAR, but click the link to get them now). If all else fails, grab a walk or jog. OR you can join me in a little self challenge I am having for the Holidays: I am committing to a little yoga everyday AND a minimum of 200 kettle bell swings a day. You can break it up however you like. And if you’re unfamiliar with the SWING, click the link to learn more.

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4. Do something GOOD.

There’s a lot that can be said about that feeling during the Holidays that just makes you want to DO GOOD. You can volunteer at a local soup kitchen, adopt an elderly neighbor for the Holidays, collect toys for a toy drive, OR join a local church for plenty of opportunities to DO GOOD. Check your calendar and availability and then find the right fit for you.

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5. Finally, be GRATEFUL.

I know it can be a bit cliché, but digging deep for the things that make you grateful is a great practice in stress relief. Take a moment each day to find ONE thing you are grateful for. It can be family and friends, your job, material blessings, health, or even the fact that your latter didn’t burn your mouth this morning. Gratefulness comes in ALL shapes and sizes, so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box :)

In closing, I really do with you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and a very Merry Christmas. I hope your hearts get filled with joy this season and I wish you all the best in the New Year.

If this is your first time to the site, feel free to browse around. There are all kinds of recipes and free workouts here to get you through whatever you may be facing. AND stay in touch because there will be some exciting happenings around here in 2018 :)

xoxo,

Michelle

 

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

 

 

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

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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!

The Real Deal: Workout Review of Les Mill’s Combat

Happy Monday fit people!

Today is exciting (and COLD!) as I get to review one of my very favorite workouts of all time: Les Mill’s Combat. I’ll try to do it justice :)

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So, let’s start by setting a little foundation. Les Mills originated in Auckland, New Zealand, where Les Mills himself was one of the country’s greatest track and field athletes. He and his wife Colleen opened the very first health club in Auckland in 1968. Their son went to UCLA on a track and field scholarship and took over the business in the 80′s. Les Mills programs have changed the way people work out for the better with program like Body Pump, Body Step, Shabam, RPM, Body Attack, Body Vibe and, of course, Body Combat. ALL of these programs take the VERY best of exercise programming (which is what gets you results) and blends them with a party atmosphere (which increases compliance). Les Mills leads in the pack in programming and design all over the world.

Now, Beachbody (those people who brought you P90X and Insanity) have teamed up with Les Mills to make compliance even simpler…you can have the workout of your life right in your living room. Beachbody acquired the Body Pump program (complete with weights and steps) and rolled it into a doable package to help shape your body and earn strength. While in New Zealand, the founder of Beachbody noticed a large line forming for the next class…that huge line formed everyday for Body Combat. So, naturally Beachbody wanted to make such a great program available to everybody.

So, what can you expect from Body Combat?

The workouts are efficient. What I mean by that is that the workouts are designed to work FOR you, not against you. The secret behind such efficient workouts is fast twitch integration training. Body Combat is a beautiful mixed martial arts blended and inspired workout to help you feel more powerful AND get the results you want. These different forms of martial arts training (Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, Boxing, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Capoeira, Jiu Jitsu) are sequenced according to how the body if forced to adapt to each move. The means that safety and fluidity of motion are insured throughout your workout. The sequences are escalating with varying speeds. This way you play on the differing heart rates to really blast fat AND shape lean muscle.

The best part is that these trainers really know what they’re doing.

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Dan Cohen has competed in just about every discipline and has a black belt in Kickboxing and Karate. His form is killer and his humor will keep you going when you’re tired.

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Rachael Newsham has trained in many of the forms and is proficient in Muay Thai, boxing and Kickboxing. If her abs don’t keep you motivated then her tough-love-trainer style is bound to keep you on your toes.

Though Combat is created for maximum results and serious athletes, there are PLENTY of modifications to make it safe for ANY and ALL fitness levels. If you’re like me and suffer from knee issues and arthritis, then follow the modifier so you can crank out the needed intensity without the added impact. Combat is a program that doesn’t exacerbate my injuries any further :)

In the Combat Challenge Pack, you get the DVD’s (7 workouts total), a nutrition guide with recipes like Mediterranean eggs, roast beef sandwich and grilled steak, plus a guide to building your workouts with 3 different options depending on your fitness level and goals. And don’t forget, you also get Shakeology in the challenge pack, which helps to regulate the digestive system and blood sugar while promoting weight loss. BONUS? Yep, this particular challenge pack is on sale this month: YOU save $70 of the whole kit, so it’s a little more than just buying the Shakeology and you get an entire program to help you get in the best shape of your life.

Bottom line, Les Mill’s Combat will help you shed excess weight, gain self-confidence and lose the junk that’s holding you back. All you have to do is push play :)

Keep moving,

Michelle

Want the pack? Grab it in the CHALLENGE section right now!

How Can You Make a Challenge Work for You?

It’s January 10th and already people are talking about how empty the gyms are becoming. It’s been ten days!

This begs the question of WHY? Why do so many give up on goals so easily? I have a few answers to that question:

  1. The goals were not thought out well at all. Saying you want to lose 50 pounds while chugging your 3rd glass of Champaign on New Year’s Eve does not translate into actual pounds lost. Goals must be thought out thoroughly and this question must be answered: “What am I willing to give up to reach my goal?”
  2. The thought that actually planning, and not just showing up, is involved rarely crosses our minds. Simply signing up for the gym or re-igniting your commitment to push play will not happen unless planning is done.
  3. We underestimate the power of habit. That extra weight did not just show up one day. It packed on due to habits that had formed. That could be the popular habit of sitting to watch TV (GUILTY! Darn you, Big Bang Theory!), or the habit of piling a little more on your plate than 1 serving. Eating at fast food places is a HABIT. People don’t really think those greasy burgers taste better…it’s just easier to swing by because of habit. Good news: YOU can create healthy habits too :)
  4. We’re confused on our priorities. Take this example: if my #1 priority is spending time with my kids in the evening because I work all day, but I pony up for a gym membership and vow to go after work for a 1-2 hour workout 5 days per week…well, I end up conflicted and the gym membership, the workouts, and even my own kids become a serious source of stress.
  5. We lack a support system. You have to admit, it works better when somebody can be there to offer a shoulder to cry on, a hand to help you up, or a swift kick in the pants whenever you need it during this journey. We were created for community! People need each other in many aspects of life and reaching goals is a huge one!

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THIS is where group challenges can be extremely beneficial. Taking a nutrition and fitness challenge in a group of like-minded individuals has been shown to:

  • Increase success
  • Help you stick to the program
  • Keep you excited about the results to come
  • Develop new, healthy habits
  • You’ll lose more weight and inches
  • Make new fit friends
  • Help you stay motivated and inspired
  • Creates an opportunity for you to inspire others

There are more benefits to add, but these can be quite impressive when you’re seeking real change.

As the challenge season opens up (I’ll have some info on mine towards the bottom), here are my top tips for seeing GREAT results:

  • Stay engaged. Check with other challengers daily and mark your weekly progress so you can notice the changes even if you don’t see them right away.
  • Choose the right program. Not all programs are created equal. You may like certain trainers, be at a different fitness level, or have different goals, but make sure you think about the time you have to commit and what you really want to accomplish.
  • ASK QUESTIONS! I think far too many people fall off the goal wagon simply because they are unwilling to ask questions. I promise, whatever it is your coach has probably heard it before, so ask away!
  • Trust the process. We all want results yesterday, but your body doesn’t work like a drive through…you have to give it time and effort.
  • Keep track of your progress. Maybe you lost 2 pounds last week and none this week, BUT you did 5 extra push ups. It’s all progress! Strength gains, weight loss, cardiovascular efficiency…they all get better.

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So, how do challenges work?

I’ve run a few and made my fair share of mistakes I admit. Through all of the previous challenges, I have learned some golden lessons that will help make this years challenge a guaranteed success! I believe in these challenges because home-based fitness is what sparked my love for health and transformed my body entirely. I was able to lose over 100 pounds while still being a mommy to my 2 young kids. Now, I’m able to share that with others in a far better way than I ever dreamed. Wait for it…I’ll be releasing a video about my experience with home-based fitness programs and nutrition next week. :)

Interested to see how this works?

  1. You get started for FREE by logging into a free account HERE.
  2. Then, you browse through the programs and blogs, do some research and line up your goals and priorities.
  3. EMAIL ME! Don’t skip this step. Email me and let’s dig through your goals, fitness level, commitments and everything that affects your success to find the PERFECT program for you.

Once all of that is accomplished, I set you up on my challengers page and we get going. So what are the highlights of THIS particular challenge? I’m so glad you asked :)

  • Daily motivation and check ins with your coach (ME) on the page.
  • Weekly emails to give you insider tips you don’t get in your programs. I’ve been doing this for a LONG time and can give you tips that will blow your mind.
  • Help with recovery.
  • Personalized nutrition advice as needed.
  • Monthly phone/Skype chats with the group to check in and stay motivated.
  • Access to videos and information designed specifically for challenges.

You can start getting set up anytime, but I’ll open the flood gates on January 15th. I take 20 people in first and once they’re established (usually 1 month) I take 20 more. Here’s the BIG change: you’ll have access to all of this for 1 full year! Plus, you’ll get to check out some other really cool things I’m working on. So, even if you finish a 90 day challenge, you can do it again and still have the support you need. What I’m looking to create here is an environment for CRAZY SUCCESS!

Now the question is…are you in it?

Michelle

Rockstar Training

 

Workout Wednesday! New Challenge to fit your schedule

I’ll make this short and sweet :)

I haven’t run a butt kicking challenge in a while and THIS will probably be the last one this year. So, if you’re looking to reduce your overall bodyfat, increase your energy, and go into the party season looking better than ever (or just better than last year), all while still having a life…have I got the deal for you!

It’s straight forward here. Shaun T has created Focus T25 to fit into any schedule. You work out 25 minutes per day (it’s not how long, it’s how you use it right???), 5 days a week. Follow the meal plan for optimal results and get the added motivation you need from me and your team. Speaking of team, I have an idea that couples would be GREAT for this. You can be married, dating or just best buds (or enemies). Split the cost and souble the rewards. No gimmicks, just working out to be the healthiest version of you, period.

So, grab a friend or loved one, or a room full of strangers and get your sweat on! This time, it’s all about the results.

You can grab the program alone OR the full challenge pack HERE. If you’re already on Shakeology, just get the program alone. If you want maximum results with all this program has to offer, grab the challenge pack.

The challenge begins Monday, August 12th.

I’ll see you in your workout space!

Michelle

My Skin Secret :)

OK, so I have had some serious skin secrets that I have tried to keep under wraps for YEARS!

It’s truth time now :)

Growing up my skin was what I would call “OK”. After I had my daughter I joined the ever growing club of adult acne sufferers. I mean, serious adult acne. I had to put makeup on to go anywhere and that act was then causing my pores to clog more (even though I was using all oil free stuff) and I was also developing wrinkles. It was like a 2 for 1 special! Compound that with all the sweaty workouts and I have a skin complex and self esteem issues.

Well, fast forward a few years and I found Derm Exclusive. I was severely resistant to it at first, but decided to give it a try about 6 weeks ago. My skin has changed drastically. I’m trying to find pictures that I actually allowed in my acne days so I can compare the 2. It really has been a life saver…or at least a skin saver. My acne has reduced to no new flare ups and the scars are almost all gone. The wrinkles on my forehead are no longer noticeable and even my smile lines are softening. I can now go out in just a little tinted moisturizer and don’t even need all the lotions and potions I piled on before.

So, does Derm Exclusive work? Yes it does! I can’t recall ever having such a great product on hand and I plan to keep it on my counters for good.

Have a healthy skin day! Michelle

April Challenges! Something for Everyone

Sometimes, taking on a challenge can seem undoable. Even I can admit that some programs and workouts are a little scary:)

The April Challenge coming up really does have something for everyone. Les Mill’s COMBAT is like having the gym right in your living room. You can kick, punch, block and throw down to your best body and slimmest jean size yet. The best part? You don’t have to feel uncoordinated with the moves. You get expert tutorials from top trainers to give you an edge, in your living room and in class. Look like a pro, feel like a pro, stay with the fight! This is my pick for my own challenge and my favorite cardio to date.

March Madness Brings April Challenges!

Spring Challenges are gearing up as we speak!

This Spring I will be focusing on gathering challenge groups based on days of commitment (everything from 21-90 days!) and they will span 19 fitness programs and 2 nutritional challenges.

There really is something for everybody!

P90X and P90X2 are both in the April challenges, 1 in the 90 day GO GETTERS group and the other in the GAME CHANGERS group. BONUS! They’re are both on an awesome sale THIS MONTH ONLY.

P90X: This is a 90 day commitment to change and is geared towards maximum weight loss and change in body composition. Meaning less fat and more lean muscle.

P90X2: This is a 90 day commitment as well and is geared towards those looking to improve their athletic prowess and power. This means a better game in your chosen sport. you can expect your core strength to improve greatly and you cardiac efficiency to increase while your body becomes more lean and chiseled.

March is also the FINAL month to lock in your SHAKEOLOGY cost before the price increase in April. Get on HD in March, and you’ll save $250 per year!

You can sign up for challenges and browse all packs today.

I’ll be back next Monday, 3/18, to break down the groups and tell you the prize YOU could win.

Live loud and get healthy in 2013!

Michelle xoxo

Beach Body Challenges are Coming! Get Inspired :)

Home based fitness is how I lost the majority of my weight and how I continue to challenge myself daily.

I’ll be starting new challenge groups this month through April with a variety of fitness programs and durations.

There will be committments for challenges from 21-90 days.

The winner of EACH group will get a special prize from yours truly. :)

This is an opportunity you DO NOT want to miss.