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

 

Mmmmm, the fresh smell of a new year! How to make this year totally rock :)

Picard new year

 

Happy New Year to you and yours!

There’s nothing quite like that FIRST Monday of a brand spanking new year right?

Full disclosure, I’m in my pj’s and seriously contemplating another cup of coffee……and it’s 2 in the afternoon.

I did workout already! Then I showered and put pj’s on, cause that’s how I roll.

In honor of a NEW YEAR, I have some goodies for you today :) Are you excited? Cause you really should be……

Goodie number ONE:

Resolutions! Are you a resolution maker? Or do you refer to them as goals, life plans, wishes, or dog gone it I will do it this year???? Whatever you want to call them, I have some tips on how to crush your life and come out winning.

  1. Make it positive. Instead of the bland “I’m going to eat less” (what the heck kind of goal is that anyways?!?!?!?!), try a more positive spin on it. Something like, “I’ll add vegetables to one meal a day” is both positive and doable AND it really does help change your health for the better. Instead of viewing exercise as a chore, put a positive spin on it by trying some new things you might enjoy. Think outside the box and see what happens. Just remember, keep it positive.
  2. Avoid overcommitment. We all tend to have commitment issues. Those issues seem to be blaringly loud at the start of a fresh year. On New Year’s Eve we vow to hit the gym 5-6 days per week, cut out any and ALL junk food, down our own body weight in water, forgo sugar in any form, and never drink alcohol again…..then we wind up killing ourselves at the gym, hating the fact that one is so easy to get to (cause there goes that excuse), choking down dressing-free salads and dry chicken breast, and forcing a restless sleep out of our bodies. By Friday evening we are crying into the warm arms of a hot pizza, sipping our second glass of wine and binge watching Netflix. We have a food hangover Saturday and simply want to crawl back into bed….SLOW DOWN NELLY! The problem isn’t the commitments, but the amount of them. Changing EVERYTHING overnight is a shock to all of your systems and you end up overcommitting and underdelivering. Then, you just feel poorly about yourself. The fix? Focus on ONE habit change per week and you’re SURE to see results.
  3. Pay the MOST attention to the small stuff. Did you know that there truly are only 4 things that matter when it comes to fat loss and physique goals???? No lie. They are simple things that can change EVERYTHING for you once you learn to pay attention to them and master them. So why aren’t people everywhere focusing on these things and seeing results? Because these things aren’t flashy and don’t come with free T-shirts. They seem way too easy, but I am here to tell you this is what counts! Want to know them? Of course you do! Simple….

1) Quality nutrition

2) Mindful movement that includes the foundations of strength training, cardio, and flexibility

3) Sleep

4) Stress reduction techniques

Four simple things that yield BIG results. It may seem too simple to work, but it’s in the simplest things that we create the most effective habits.

Confused where to start? I’ll be offering an online challenge group to help you master the basics and you can sign up for information at the end of the post.

Goodie number two:

I’ve been working out at home lately (forgoing the gym for the time being) due to some medical issues and just the fact that I’m a bit of a homebody.

So, here are a few of my very FAVORITE things happening right now to help you see your very best self :)

BEST website for all things weightlifting: bodybuilding.com

My favorite blog of the moment: Thrive Personal Fitness

Awesome workout STREAMS: Beachbody On Demand I like P90X2 and X3. They do NOT offer the newest releases of other workouts, but old favorites (I do a lot of TurboFire) are on there and the cost is better than most streams

My favorite YOGA channel: Yoga with Adriene

Supps I’m Into: ONNIT I like the alpha brain, Matcha tea and coconut oil

OK, that should keep you rolling for now!

Get this year off to a good start…..even if you’re lucky enough to be in your jammies ;)

Michelle

 

If you want to know when the next ONLINE challenge starts and what it’s all about, hit me up here….

 

The Road to Figure, becoming a bodybuilder, and why you should do what suits you best

Happy Monday people!!!!!

This particular conversation/post has been on my mind for months now (I have a very busy mind) and it will more than most likely make it to video…..for now, we’ll all read together :)

If you’re just looking to lose some pounds and have zero interest in lifting anything…..please read on! I promise you will get something out of it ;)

Bodybuilding and the Figure decision:

gym selfie 7jpg from fasted cardio, calorie restriction and circuits……

Musclemania 2015 Front Side Pose to competition.

I’ve been involved in the fitness industry for over a dozen years now and I came from HATING sports and fitness of all kinds. I was never athletic and my start in fitness came in the form of yoga. So, after teaching yoga and a load of other aerobics classes, I began to develop an interest in weight. The weight training I did was not bodybuilding as it was mostly light weights with just enough reps to keep me small (there will be a WHOLE other post about our obsession with small-ness soon). It wasn’t until a year ago that I decided to get serious, start an actual bodybuilding program, stop trying different fads, and possibly even compete.

Years ago I thought I would compete in the bikini division and even began some prep. If you’re even thinking of playing around with competing, I encourage you to get to know the different levels of competition and the competitors within them. You see, bikini was going against everything I was…..I naturally love weight in all forms, meaning I can put on muscle and fat pretty easily…taking it off is a different struggle entirely. Training for the bikini division was making me physically ill because I was going against my natural body type. So, last year I decided on figure and started training the way my body responds best :hard and heavy.

In my quest for a figure physique I was able to make peace with foods I had long since left behind (because eating ENOUGH is paramount) and I embraced the discipline it took to put the muscle on and eventually strip the fat off. While contest prep was hard, it was far from brutal or undoable…..coaching is key here. In fact, after a lazy summer (spent with diagnosing some health problems that have been left to their own devices for far too long), I am gearing up to start a new competition season, hoping to bring my best to the stage each and every year.

In my quest for Figure, here are a few things I have learned about Bodybuilding:

  1. You have to be humble. True bodybuilders are not proud and they really do not belittle others. We all start somewhere in this sport and we all realize that in order to be our best self we must be accepting of flaws….in ourselves and others.
  2. It’s not about the HOW MUCH. I always thought it was simply about how much one could lift, but bodybuilding is about having a critical eye that can look for balance. When striving for a balanced physique we have to step back often and assess the situation. When in prep, my legs have to be run to balance out. They tend to hold more muscle than the rest of my body put together….so lifting lighter, added plyo and running are crucial to success.
  3. Embrace your whole body. You cannot HATE your body into submission. It just doesn’t work that way. I had to learn that my body really did work as one unit and if I wanted that unit to be successful I had to lead it as ONE….not belittling or ignoring the parts I felt weren’t up to par.

3 month front progress  3 month back progress Progress pics 3 months apart.

I also had to get comfortable with the changes in my body. That lean machine on the right is NOT the norm as that is the night before stage. The human body (some more than others) likes some body fat :)

So, embracing the changes during and after show prep can be challenging (and a whole other post), but mastering that part of the mind is empowering to say the least.

Now, it’s your turn…..

What if you have no desire to compete?

What can you possibly learn from a competitor?

The lifestyle of a competitor is not that far off from what ANYBODY needs to reach any goal. Check it out:

  1. Consistency. This is the #1 thing you need to reach any goal. Just like in the middle of prep I can’t decide to start eating ice cream for every meal or just do yoga for my workouts, the DAILY things you do can drive you towards or away from your goal. Develop consistent behaviors that propel you forward.
  2. Check in with your progress. No matter the goal, make sure you are checking your progress. I’m not a huge scale fan, but progress pics are the bomb! I could tell on a weekly basis what was changing and what was lagging behind. Develop a progressive system to see how close you are getting to your goals. Try monthly goal checks and to-do lists to start.
  3. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I know you hear it a lot, but you really can’t change ANYTHING (weight, money earnings, level of respect, kids behavior, career, etc.) without getting uncomfortable. So stop lolly gagging around and step into the uncomfortable stuff so you can move through and move on!

Whether you’re looking to start your own business or step on stage, you can learn a lot from the perseverance and consistency of a competitor. A lifestyle of success is directly related to a lifestyle consistent with your convictions and goals. Step out of your own way, into the uncomfortable, and fight for what you are after in life.

Stay humble, but stay strong,

Michelle

 

Funny Thing Happened Today…..

Good morning!

Let’s all get caught up real quick, shall we?

I just started back at the iron yesterday after a 3+ week break (it was forced) due to some health issues (not caused by lifting).

So….I’ve had a few mixed emotions.

First, I am excited to get back to the gym….however, that feeling is followed by the quick second of not wanting to leave home made harder by being home bound for so long. Any introverts feeling me?

Getting up the last 2 mornings has been a mixture of those 2 emotions in some way….going to bed is the same as I seem to talk myself out of going by the time I close my eyes.

THEN, I remember how I FEEL when I go regularly***(see note at bottom)

Funny-memes-how-I-feel-after-the-gym Something like that :)

This morning was my first leg day in what felt like forever, and after yesterday’s eh back workout, I wasn’t too pumped. So, I put on my fave Converse (the BEST for leg days) and set out to train these sticks that have taken me through life so wonderfully.

The workout itself wasn’t epic at all (I don’t favor epic as I try to aim for consistent), but it felt great. I trained legs unilaterally (one at a time) to address the many imbalances in my lower half AND the weight pushed wasn’t too shabby for such a break.

Two very rewarding things happened because of my consistency:

  1. A guy came into the sauna and asked how long I had been lifting. This is sauna guy’s favorite question….and mine too :) . See, these past few weeks I’ve felt small and not in a good way (why do women always strive for small anyways????). My midsection felt fluffy and my arms look like little noodles, lacking the curves they had not too long ago. So this question came as a great source of motivation for me. You see, I’ve been working out for 10 years (12+ years of yoga) and lifting consistently for 4 years. The body goes through an ebb and flow, but my soul mate workout is still there when I’m ready to pick it back up. My muscles start to remember the grip of the bar and the press of standing. I train for something far bigger than a show…..I truly train for the flow of life itself. Other than my marriage, this lifestyle has been my biggest commitment.
  2. A lady in the locker room (who had a cute workout top on) asked, “Didn’t ya’ll have some kind of show this past weekend?” It took me a while to realize that the “ya’ll” meant competitors. I had been added to an elite group. Even if you competed once (or 20 times) and no longer do, it is still an elite group. The group isn’t about who came in the leanest…..it’s about being a finisher. Did you know that under 5% of people actually have what it takes to finish out the goal of competing???? True story. It’s strength of mind and character that gets us there and it’s that same strength that keeps us going when life gets tough. She ended the conversation with wishing me luck on this weekend’s comp. In my eye, I am nowhere near competition shape, but she sees me in a different light.

bursting pipes gym meme

That begs the question of why can’t we see ourselves in that light?

When I go to the gym I wear long tights and baggy tops (although sleeveless cause YEAH!) so it wasn’t my six-pack (which is in there somewhere) or my lines that made her think I was ready for comp…it’s my passion lived out in the gym.

I’m grateful for the passion that I have. The passion in the gym is a gift! I start every morning with quiet time and a thankful prayer. I dedicate my workouts to those who cannot move, even though they desperately want to. I think about what I could be doing each day to inspire women to become the best version of themselves….the version outside of the aesthetic. That’s the one thing I think of and strive to do whether health permits the gym or not. That is my calling and I work out to ensure I am fit for my calling….not my jeans.

Now it’s your turn.

What light do you see yourself in? Does it match the light others see? Are you practicing a life of passion?

I’d love to hear, and I am listening! Let me know how I can inspire you :)

And by the way, thanks for inspiring me….

Michelle

***NOTE: heavy-duty weights is MY soul mate workout and the one I love the most…..you find the freedom to try things and figure out yours. There is no one way.

Strong Camp 14 Photo by Paul Buceta taken at Strong Camp Houston 2014

 

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

 

Hello Baytown! Local training news AND an online Summer Challenge

mc--4 WM Thanks to Kendra Harwell Photography for these awesome pics :)

For those in the BAYTOWN area, I have some exciting news. I have decided to team up with the local YMCA to revamp their entire personal training program. I am taking the position of Personal Training Lead and will be in charge of building a top notch team of personal trainers from the ground up. I will also be providing education for trainers AND group X instructors so members receive the best in nutrition and exercise science. After all, what good is knowledge if you aren’t sharing it right? :)

What does this mean for YOU?

If you aren’t local, go ahead and hop down the post for an exciting opportunity to train with me virtually. If you ARE local, here is what you can expect:

  1. ALL of my in-person, one-on-one and group training (including MMA) sessions will now go through the local YMCA. It’s not the end of the Slaughter House, it’s just moving to a larger venue.
  2. Those already in session with me will get first pick over days/times.
  3. My schedule will now be able to accommodate MORE training sessions.
  4. Morning, lunchtime and daytime sessions are now more readily available.
  5. You will need a membership to train with me (or my staff), but this will also rid you of the excuse that you really have no place/motivation/plan to workout away from your trainer :) It’s a win for you and your whole family.

In order to get on the wait-list (those follow me wherever I go it seems!) for my training or nutrition services, contact the local Y at 281-427-1797 and get started.

My personal specialties are Bodybuilding, Competition Prep, MMA conditioning (carving a fighters body and some mad fighting skills), endurance training and corrective exercise. I’ll be seeking to hire and train a diverse staff with specialties ranging from weight loss to adventure races and power lifting as well as senior fitness. The goal is to make this TRAINING personalized to YOUR goals and not your trainer’s goals like so many other programs.

ONLINE #SLIMMERSUMMER CHALLENGE

If you’re traveling a lot this Summer OR you don’t live anywhere near me, I’m starting an online challenge that will help you get slimmer this Summer while still enjoying life. It is my firm belief that with a few tweaks and some nutritional guidance you can still look and feel your best ALL Summer long. There’s no need to upheave your way of life or skip out on Bar-B-Q’s and pool parties…..especially when you have science on your side. More info about the #SLIMMERSUMMER challenge will be up this week, but if you want to secure a spot on the wait list simply email me at michelle@michellecfitness.com

Have a healthy and blessed day, and I hope to see you soon!

Michelle

mc-6953

Why Am I NOT Seeing Results? ….a blog series to get you where you want to be

Hello Fit People!

This particular series will last 4 blogs (crazy right?) and will be posted weekly. So you get a month to learn what could be hold you back from your very best self.

If you are one of the MANY ( I have high hopes) who have continued on with those New Year’s goals long after that the groundhog came out of his hole, CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!

But here is the million dollar question: Are you where you thought you would be? Are you struggling with your goals already? Are you asking yourself, “Am I there yet?” Have no fear. I’ve been in this game long enough to know a thing or 2 about habits and hangups that could be holding you back from your goals. How do I know? Cause I have them too :) But if I stayed with them I would never be where I am today.

BTW, these are in NO particular order, so tackle what is relevant to you right now.

Strong Camp 90 Photo by Paul Buceta for Strong Magazine

1. You think the food will just work itself out.

Here’s the deal, you HAVE to be aware of what you are eating, period. Even the guy that ate Twinkies for the study was AWARE of how many Twinkies he was eating. In my opinion, that’s probably why that little experiment worked. Know what you’re eating and know how much. The only reason that person at the gym seems to have more definition than you is most likely because they know what they are eating and they track their food.

Choose the style that works best for YOU. Macros rock my world, but close into my competition I prefer a pretty simple diet of eating similar foods every day. This is just because it is easier to be prepared. I’m not a fan of just counting calories as we can often fill those calorie requirements with foods that do not serve us very well. You know what I’m talking about ladies. How many of you eat MORE carbs (cause girls love carbs!) and run out of calories for your protein? The body works better in balance of all 3 macronutrients so give it a fighting chance. Track your food and know what works for you.

2.You really like your “cheat” meal……like REALLY.

Do you know why “cheat meals” were termed? Body builders would run out of stored glycogen (carbs get stored as glycogen in the muscle fibers and are used for energy during heavy lifting workouts) due to low carbohydrate diets. When glycogen is depleted, strength can fade. So, the bodybuilder began to implement refeeds (which are actually PLANNED days of eating more carbohydrates to refuel the glycogen stores) and some, cheat meals.

Here is the problem……90% of the gym population are not bodybuilders (not that we aren’t working hard, but really) and yet we try to eat like one. This can be particularly true with those just starting on a strength training program. We can get all geared up and hop on a deprivation diet which is followed by a cheat meal, which turns into a cheat weekend, which causes shame and we get back in line on Monday to start the cycle again. Sound familiar?

A treat is warranted if you have been withholding calories AND especially if you have been withholding macronutrients (I don’t believe EITHER should be very low, even in weight loss), but it should be contained to ONE small treat per week with the goal of refueling a system, not bingeing to good glory because you deserve it…….

NEXT WEEK we will tackle some common mistakes in the gym and figure out how to make your membership work better for you :)

Stay Strong!

Michelle

 

Work IT Wednesday! Kettlebell HIIT Workout

Welcome to mid-week mania!

Here’s a short Kettlebell HIIT conditioning circuit I use to tighten and tone everything in a brief period of time. Pick a couple of different weights and hop to it!
NOTE: you can use a single dumbbell if you do not have access to a kettlebell

 

Set your timer for 40 seconds of WORK and 10 seconds of REST. You will repeat this circuit 3 times with a 30-60 second rest between circuits. Let me know how you do in the comments below!!!!

THE WORKOUT:

KB swings (weight stays in heels)

KB swing hops (moving forward and back)

Turkish get up left side

Turkish get up right side

KB around the world (keep waistline TIGHT)

High Skips, holding KB overhead

Figure 8 KB squat

V-UP (use the bosu for an extra challenge)

Make sure you have water and some AMINOS to keep you going.

Strong Camp 95 Photo by Paul Buceta

WANT MORE???? Would you like to SEE these workouts on video? Let me know in the comments.

What Bodybuilding has taught me this past year

Hello people! Happy Monday :)

Take a moment today to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as you go about your daily activities please.

OK….so as I was pounding away on the Arc cardio trainer today, I began to think about how life has changed for me this past year. Yeah, I know we are well into 2015, but my calendar of life doesn’t really heed to the regular years, so play along.

I have to be SUPER honest with you as I continue. I have been seriously bodybuilding for only about a year now…..though I’ve loved it forever and thought I was doing it for a while. As it turned out, that was just a thought LOL. In light of my brand new livin it lifestyle, I wanted to share what Bodybuilding has taught me over the past year and hopefully clear up some confusion in the process. Oh, and share some awesome pictures taken by Paul Bucetta at Strong Camp.

Strong Camp 78 Photo by Paul Buceta

1. EVERYBODY benefits from strength training, but bodybuilding is NOT for everybody.

Bodybuilding is a lifelong sport. It is like football, tennis, soccer, or triathalons….You train for life. Everybody should be doing strength training (which is what I was doing prior to opening my eyes) as we benefit greatly from it, BUT bodybuilding takes a physical and mental stamina that many are not willing to give. It doesn’t make you any less of an athlete, but bodybuilding is a chosen sport.

Strong Camp 24 Photo by Paul Buceta

2. Mom and Dad were right….I do use math every day.

Bodybuilding is also a science (go team science!) and therefore, it requires math. There is a science to reps, sets, weights and all of your dietary intake. This part is not for the passers-by or the faint of heart. You have to hold a commitment and tenacity to figure this stuff out :) And guess what? I love my math now because proper math gives me results.

Strong Camp 40 Photo by Paul Buceta

3. It really is a lifestyle…..not a 12 week program.

I started the way a lot of people do: with a short-term goal wanting long-term results! True bodybuilding requires a commitment to a consistent lifestyle that offers a front row seat to amazing things beyond all imagination…but I may be a bit biased.

Strong Camp 62 Photo by Paul Buceta

4. My faith increases as my humility increases.

Contrary to popular belief, bodybuilding is full of some of the most humble people I have ever met. You see, your body can knock you down at any time. Bodybuilders understand the science behind the fact that we are never 100% the same each time we walk into the gym. This is true if you really challenge yourself. You can have awesome strength gains one week and have to drop the weight the next. It doesn’t mean it’s not working, it simply means you’re human. Bodybuilding hasn’t made me to feel better than others, but rather reminded me that we are all created equal and each given the opportunity to thrive and live to the absolute fullest.

Strong Camp 96 Photo by Paul Buceta

5. I am not definable by numbers.

Putting muscle ON the body (i.e. bodybuilding) requires numbers. It requires calories, reps, sets, pounds, rest, more calories, etc. The number on the scale, the number on my jeans (well, right now it’s tights), and even the number on the weight rack does not determine what I have to contribute to the world. Numbers are fleeting and ever-changing. That’s the great thing about science…we know that happens as fact. Bodybuilding has taught me the patience to get through the changing tide and the perseverance to keep going.

Strong Camp 66 Photo by Paul Buceta

So, maybe you feel like you want to be a bodybuilder…..it works for some. It takes heart, dedication, discipline, and a willingness to NOT listen to those around you who say you’re too crazy, committed, insane, busy, or over-dedicated. One thing I can tell you is that you will never meet a more humble group of people who have your back no matter what.

Strong Camp 119 Photo by Paul Buceta

P.S. There’s a lot more than 5, but I figured we would start there :)

Check out Strong Camp at www.strongfitnessmag.com

 

 

Happy Holidays! Healthy Gift Guide

Good morning Lovelies!

Today will start a much needed break from all things fitness related so I can focus on another passion: SHOPPING!

Seriously, I have been blessed to try out different products throughout the year that will make GREAT Christmas gifts for your fit minded loved ones.

Today, I have 3 choices for you and yours. So sit back, grab a cup of hot cocoa and let’s get started :)

Travel, Gym, Play, and Everyday:

6 PACK BAGS

Heads UP! This is a personal fave :)

6 Pack Bags offers a full line of versatile and stylish bags that totes your meals (NO MORE EXCUSES PEOPLE) as well as everyday items and gym fare. Many of the backpacks come with separate compartments for stinky shoes too. They offer a Women’s Line of elite bags, and they are the ONLY line of bags I would pay the money for honestly. Fashion meets function with these awesome bags. Perfect gift for the fit gal on the go in your life.

6 pack shoulder          6 pack purse        6 pack expidition

 

Pain Free Hair Removal with the Emjoi Epi Slim+

Maybe you don’t think hair removal is an awesome gift, BUT for those fit fans in your life hair removal that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg could be the perfect gift! With the Emjoi Epi Slim+ you get practically pain-free hair removal in a sleek and slim design. With technical features like the patented 3 disc tweezers and eRase glide technology, you can erase hair from face, bikini line, underarms, anywhere you have unwanted hair. The 18 tweezer action discs remove hair from the root for up to 6 whole weeks AND its battery operated, so travel is easy. Grab one for yourself or a loved one today. Makes a great stocking stuffer :) (NOTE: I was sent one at no charge from the publicists for Emjoi Epi Slim).

emjoi      emjoi full

 

Performance Fuel Delivered to the Front Door: B-Elite Meals

I get it…this can seem a bit unconventional, but who cares?!?!?! If you or someone in your life struggles with nutrition or simply does NOT have the time to meal prep, then B-Elite is the answer. High quality, delicious taste and ZERO preservatives. PLUS, these meals are designed by folks who understand the struggle. Each and every meal is portioned with the proper nutrients you need to look and feel your best year-round. These can be stored in the freezer and grabbed when you need them most. It’s a winning gift all year long :)

b-elite fuel 1      b-elite fuel 2     b-elite fuel 3

 

That should get your Christmas shopping started! Come back next week for more fit-friendly gift ideas and be sure to have a healthy holiday and a Merry Christmas!

Michelle