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……

rest-day-meme-200x225

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!!!!!

science meme

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….

Rest-Day-meme

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

 

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?

#workoutwednesday A METCON to get you in shape FAST

Welcome to your workout!

METCON- short for metabolic conditioning. A type of training that blasts the entire body, igniting muscle fibers (both fast and slow twitch) to initiate maximum fat burning (rather utilization) while keeping lean muscle mass….AKA: the BOMB.

OK, so what you need for today’s workout is a timer (you can use a tabata timer OR an app, my fave), a medicine ball, a kettlebell or single dumbbell if you haven’t invested in kettlebells yet.

tabata pro

Ignore the setting up there. You will be setting your timer for 30 seconds of prep (to get your mind right), 45 seconds of WORK and 20 seconds of REST.

This is referred to as negative rest, since the rest is shorter than the work.

You will have 6 cycles (or moves) and 5 tabatas. Your total time (sans warm up and cool down) is 35:00, so it’s short and sweet.

Sip on some aminos between tabatas to ensure maximum energy output. This workout can be done fasted or fed.

The moves:

  • KB Sumo Deadlift
  • Sit and Twist (core work, like a kick through)
  • Med ball slam (add in a squat for extra booty work)
  • Single arm KB snatch (or clean if you’re still working on your snatch) L/R
  • KB swing to clean and goblet squat

Move as fast as you can during the work phase, but make sure your form is key. 35 minutes will be ALL you need and your strength and cardio are taken care of! Ah, the beauty of a good metcon…..

Enjoy and let me know how you do!

Michelle

Strong Camp 28 Photo by Paul Buceta for Strong Magazine

 

In Person Training VS Online Training

well HELLLLOOOOO there!

It has been forever since I’ve shared a post with you, and I apologize, but I’ve been a little bit BUSY.

Once you’re all caught up on that, you’ll be happy to know that living the majority of my life in a gym has really helped to inspire what I hope will be incredibly helpful posts.

So let’s dig in to today’s post and hash out the benefits of different types of training.

One of the biggest issues facing training today is that it has been cheapened by its own. Trainers who deal under the table and use fitness facilities without expecting to pay has driven facility pricing up and the professionalism of training down. This is a pattern that professionals like myself are trying to fight.

So, how do you know if you’re getting a GOOD personal trainer?

Well, for starters I would recommend being a bit more picky when choosing your personal trainer.

Think of your personal trainer as a part of your medical team. Would you go to just any old doctor off the street? Your trainer should be chosen with care.

Once you have established how to pick a trainer, the question may then be if you should hire an in-house trainer at your local gym or an online trainer. And here is where it can be tricky….

Training is not regulated. Anybody can open an online training business and call themselves a personal trainer (or worse, a celebrity trainer).

fake personal trainer

One BIG upside to hiring an in-house trainer is that most gyms require a national certification and they make sure trainers keep up with continuing education credits.

So, when you looked in to that online trainer who charges over $100 a month, did you research their credentials? Do your homework and keep yourself protected.

Another issue with training is what I believe to be the BIGGEST thing an in-person trainer can help with: FORM.

A hands on trainer can help make minute adjustments that lead to better muscle recruitment which will in turn help you reach your goal faster. These adjustments need to be made in person, cause I don’t care how awesome you think you are, Skype won’t cut it when you need to truly make adjustments. Hands on adjustments make all the difference in the world AND help to prevent injury.

In house trainers can also help you to track progress more effectively. PLUS, if you struggle with getting workouts in, an in-house trainer is a great way to set up that habit. My clients are given homework to complete each week and I ask them to check in with me at the gym, even if they don’t have an appointment that day. This ramps up the accountability factor we all need.

Are all trainers created equal?

Absolutely not!

I am blessed with a staff of trainers who are willing to continue to learn. A lot of trainers are only willing to go as far as the money. A good trainer will give you more than you paid for. A great trainer will depend on science to blow theory out of the water and help you reach your goals faster than you thought possible.

ron b science

So, how do you pick a trainer?

Do your research.

If a trainer is dealing underhanded and unwilling to pay a gym to train there, they won’t be fully committed to you either. An online trainer should be researched just as carefully and make sure you’re not simply looking at pictures……you can get those anywhere.

Seek out referrals for a good trainer in your area OR check out ideafit.com for a listing.

Is training cheap?

I wouldn’t trust it if it were. Good training will encompass the entire lifestyle, so it should take a chunk of time out of the trainers schedule. Consider this when looking at trainers. Also consider the fact that the better and more experienced the trainer, the more expensive they will be.

When it comes down to the nitty-gritty for training, you are paying for far more than that 1 hour session. If you’re lucky enough to get a trainer/nutritionist combo, then you should be getting plenty of nutrition education along with strength training, exercise sequencing, cardio workouts, flexibility training and core work (every day with me is core work). This is why training should be considered an investment. If your trainer doesn’t take your investment seriously, find another trainer.

no free training

Training is a great way to get results, stay injury free and develop a love for fitness…..IF you find the right fit.

Keep on moving,

Michelle

 

 

Work It Wednesday! Track Workout

Track workouts have been added to my conditioning for my upcoming FIGURE debut (oh, fancy) and I thought I would share the torture with you! You’ll thank me later……way later.

Benefits of track workouts:

  • Change of scenery will give you some fresh energy.
  • You’re outside!!!!!! If the weather permits, get out there.
  • If the sun is shining you can ramp up your vitamin D production (your happy vitamin).
  • It helps to beat the fat off the body when it doesn’t want to budge (this is my favorite and current reason).

Track workouts should NOT be boring. There are LOADS of things you can do at your local track, I’m just sharing what I did last Saturday.

How do I find a track?

Check your local high school! If that gate is locked, find one that’s open (there’s always one). If you don’t live near a high school (that’s weird), you can use any stretch of land for your own personal track.

track

You can adjust the intensity of your track workout to your current fitness level, but it should be challenging!

Here’s my workout from last weekend:

  1. Begin with a light jog around the track. This helps me wake up and assess my body from the start. Assessment read: my body was not into this.
  2. Lateral squat down the long side with right leg lead, run the corners; lateral squat down the long side with left leg lead, run the corner.
  3. Sprint Work: once around the track I sprinted the corners and jogged the straights, on the second pass I sprinted the straights and jogged the corners…..I also sounded like I had severe asthma and began to really question my fitness level.
  4. Leg Work (this was my FAVE!): 20 walking lunges and sprint back to start, 30 walking lunges and sprint back to start, 40 walking lunges and sprint back to start, 50 walking lunges and sprint back to start; 20 broad jumps and sprint back to start, 30 broad jumps and sprint back to start, 40 broad jumps and sprint back to start, 50 broad jumps and sprint back to start. YOWZA!!!!!
  5. Jog to bleacher and perform simple bleacher runs on both sides.
  6. Wobble to car and drive home before people see me collapse…..

It took me almost an hour to complete and I did stretch before/after. I should have foam rolled MORE afterwards as I don’t run and my calves were yelling mean things at me for 3 days afterwards :)
Remember that you can adapt the intensity of the workout, but try some time at the track for your next leg day and see what happens.

Don’t forget to stretch!

Michelle

Work IT Wednesday: Ab and Cardio HIIT

We are ALL short on time right?

You can still get a great workout using a properly designed HIIT sequence.

I am in a constant battle with my abs, so I designed this sequence to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

It’s easier if you have my FAVORITE APP, Tababta Pro. If you aren’t into apps, make sure you have a stop watch or a watch that you can see the seconds tick off :)

tabata pro

What you will need:

  1. A jump rope (real or imaginary)
  2. A workout mat
  3. A bar/captains chair for leg raises (alternate will be given)

Set your timer for 40 seconds of WORK and 10 seconds of REST. If you need a break between rounds you can set PREPARE to 30 seconds.

10 moves, 4 times through and you are DONE!

The Workout:

  1. Jump Rope
  2. Forearm Plank
  3. Jump Rope
  4. Hanging Leg Raise (if none available, do leg drops on back)
  5. Jump Rope
  6. Bicycle Crunch
  7. Mountain Climbers
  8. Dead Bug
  9. Burpee
  10. Full Sit up with Twist

It’s super simple and ab focused with a cardio component. This way, you get more done in less time. Genius right?

Give it a try and let us know how you do in the comments BELOW!

Have a healthy day,

Michelle

Strong camp 110 Photo by Paul Buceta for Strong Magazine

Winter Warm Up Circuit

Hello all my fit peeps!

It is COLD today…..so where I live that is considered anything under 50 degrees :) It’s actually in the 30′s here and plans to stay that way ALL DAY, which is insane.

Today, I have a quick circuit for you to do in the warmth of your own home (unless you want to show off your new workout clothes at the gym) that will ignite your major muscles, heat up your core, burn body fat and have you feeling FABULOUS in this cold weather.

What you will need:

  1. Dumbbells are something of the heavy variety (large canned goods, water jugs, pets, children, etc.). Make sure that the weight challenges you.
  2. Something to step UP on to. You can use that fancy step you bought in the 80′s OR you can use stairs, a coffee table, or even your couch (no shoes for that one).
  3. A stopwatch or Tabata Timer. I use the Tabata APP

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This circuit consists of 8 exercises total and you will repeat the circuit 3-4 times (4 for more advanced).

Set your timer (or check your stopwatch) for 40 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.

Take 5 full minutes to WARM UP. Jog, jump rope, do some arm swings, warm up your hips and shoulders….never work out cold, even short workouts.

The Workout:

  1. Stiff Legged Dumbbell Dead Lift
  2. Wide Legged Dead Lift with Bicep Curl at the top
  3. Alternating step up (more advanced, use dumbbells)
  4. High Knee Jog
  5. Walk Out Pushup
  6. Chest Press with Bridge Hip Lift
  7. Plank with opposite arm/leg extension
  8. Squat with a Shoulder Press

Work as hard as you can (with good form) through each exercise. Your 10 seconds of “rest” will allow time to get ready for the next. Allow yourself 30-60 seconds to recover (drink water, BCAA’s) in between circuits.

By the time you’re done, you’ll be nice and toasty PLUS you will have burned through breakfast :)

Enjoy and let me know how you do in the comments below!

Michelle

After2

P.S. Would you like to see real-time workouts like the one listed above on video? Tell me in the comments and we’ll see about making that happen. Real Time workouts you can follow along with to reach your goals!

 

Nutrition Boot Camp Sign Ups have STARTED!

It’s official, Nutrition Boot camp is back! The Holiday Edition is HERE.

Check out the video for info on the WHY and WHAT of NBC:

This boot camp will cover SO MUCH information, but I always narrow down the focus so YOU Can see results.

Is it possible to NOT gain weight during the holidays? You bet! It’s even possible to lose weight during the holidays if you are given the right guidance.

Check it out:

Januray 13 2014

This pic I was taking in under 1800 calories, about 80 grams of carbs, 160 grams of protein, and only about 20-30 grams of fat. My diet was MOSTLY veggies (not a bad thing really). I was having a hard time getting muscle definition to show and was all-around slowed down by stubborn fat and low energy.

prepweek4

I know the angles isn’t the same, but I don’t take a lot of photos in my bra :)

OK, so this one I am working my was up to roughly 2600 cals per day, 200 grams of carbs, 150 grams of protein and 60 grams of fat.

I’m eating WAY more and losing fat like CRAZY while I gain muscle. It’s a nutrition science miracle.

March 20 2014

As of TODAY, I am sitting at 2600 cals, 254 grams of carbs, 152 grams of protein and 60 grams of carbs.

If you think you can just eat the same and see results….I hate to disappoint BUT your nutrition is as unique as your fingerprint.

That’s why YOU need nutrition boot camp!

I figure your macros, yes, BUT I also teach you how to do it on your own so as things change you still see results! I make it easy for you.

PLUS you get recipes, meal plans for the BIG days (and the shopping days when time is scarce), workout plans to burn off major calories….not time, plus more.

Why wait until the New Year when you can start the New Year at your goal?!?!?!?

Sign up today!

Encouragement of the Day: Creating HABIT

What’s Sabotaging Your Weightloss?

Weight loss is getting a bad rep as being a tricky thing. Between hormones, over-training myths and dieting dilemmas, we are quite confused about weight loss all together.

So, let’s break down what could be the very reason YOU aren’t seeing results.

1. You wear spandex or some form of stretchy clothing ALL THE TIME….

spandex

I can be VERY Guilty of this one, I admit. Spandex has give and can give the illusion we may be smaller or not gaining any weight. If our spandex does start to tighten up, we claim it’s muscle (stay tuned for that one). People who spend their hours on workout clothing run a serious risk of regular clothing not fitting when you need….like on the weekends :)

Pro Tip: Wear your jeans 3 days per week while running errands or working around the house.

2. We think it’s muscle….

fat vs muscle

While muscle gain may show on the scale, it’s not really showing in your clothing. The average female is LUCKY to gain 3-5 pounds of muscle in a year. If your jeans fit yesterday, but they’re tight today, it’s probably water retention.

Pro Tip: First, make sure you have a variety of styles (especially in jeans) and be honest about what it takes to gain muscle.

3. We are fudging on our foods.

food log

Whether we aren’t keeping an accurate record OR we aren’t weighing and measuring, most humans can underestimate the amount of foods they consume by 20%. That’s a large margin for error….

Pro Tip: Plan meals ahead of time and LOG IT ALL, even what you cook with

4. We binge eat and drink….we just call it a “cheat’, “treat” or “reefed”.

fatman-eating

You can tie any kind of ribbon around it that you want, but weight loss requires a sacrifice. While treats aren’t off the menu completely, many people will indulge in a treat once per day OR over indulge in a treat meal (that often extends into the day or weekend) and that will all add up to stored fat. Then, you’re back at it on Monday.

Pro Tip: Limit treats to 1 meal, once a week MAX in the beginning. If you’re weight isn’t dropping, try once every 2 weeks. If you’re struggling with weight fluctuations AND indulging in drinks….skip the alcohol altogether for 6 weeks and see what happens.

5. We translate a hard workout into calories burned.

p90x

On average, we overestimate the amount of calories we burn by about 30%. If we perceive a workout to be tough, we will consume extra calories to “make up for it”, but the body will only store those calories.

Pro Tip: Don’t think in terms of calories. Know how many macronutrients you need (a good macro calculator is at bodybuilding.com) and stay in that framework NO matter the workout.

6. We blame somebody else.

cookie monster

I get this time and time again and I cannot stress this enough: weight loss depends solely on the one carrying the weight. A trainer and/or nutritionist can give you a guideline to help speed things up and help you over the bumps in the road, but the changes necessary for weight loss to occur are yours to make. You spend every waking minute with yourself….nobody can change you but you.

Pro Tip: Suck it up. Check your foods, portions and workout effort to increase your own results.

 

Till next time,

Michelle