Tips for the New Year

Is it too soon for this????

Ok, hear me out. Right now my news feed is bombarded by well-meaning fitpros telling me how many jumping jacks I have to do to burn off that Reese’s peanut butter cup I just ate (totally joking! I never eat just one…) and how to stay lean during the holidays and so on and so forth. It’s enough to make me feel as though my accomplishments over the year just weren’t enough and now I have to be an overachiever through Christmas too. So, I thought about how helpful a look back can be to determine your next step forward.

resolution

All too often I see goals and resolutions based upon what people feel they didn’t accomplish in the past year. In my line of work, I lot of people resolve (yet again) to lose weight….without many specifics other than that. Sometimes we resolve to eat better, workout more or be more mindful with our finances. While none of these are actually BAD, they don’t give you a clear target where you can aim your focus and energy. PLUS, they can leave you feeling a bit like you failed in the process.

Unlike the weight room, this is not a place for failure.

What’s the solution? It’s pretty simple and only requires a few minutes of your time.

You’re going to make a gratitude list.

You’ll put pen to paper and write out the things you accomplished this year and are truly grateful for. See, the problem with resolutions (I honestly never set any) is that they don’t take into account the ebb and flow of life. Your life can vary widely from one day to the next right? Sometimes a wrench is thrown into even the best of plans and we have to alter some things. You can be the most consistent person on the planet, but I promise not every day goes your way. BUT there have been good moments right? I bet some have even been great or at least bordering greatness. Think outside the box a little bit and get personal. I’ll share a few of mine with you (don’t steal them!) to give you an example of what I mean.

In 2015 I…

  • Discovered my discipline was stronger than I thought by prepping for a figure show.
  • Overcame my absolute biggest fear (judgement) by walking onstage at a figure show…and I didn’t come in last :)
  • Made it to almost all of my kids functions (that’s big since I work evenings.
  • Grew in my daily quiet time and Bible reading.
  • Started writing a book I felt called to write over 3 years ago.
  • Was pretty consistent with date nights with Alan.
  • Tackled reverse dieting like a boss.
  • Learned to give my body a break….sometimes.

There’s more to it, but it spans pretty much everything in life. I’ve also kept up with coffee dates with my dad, which has had a tremendous effect on my own life.

How does this help with your goal setting?

Think of it this way, nothing good can come from a negative place. So, if you’re only looking at what you didn’t accomplish then you won’t start 2016 looking forward to anything. It will be the same grind all over again. By looking at what you have been able to do and what you have been blessed with, you can set more mindful intentions to your year.

Now, I do have a little suggestion about the weight loss/workout/eating goals: make them non-scale related . (I wrote a whole post about that HERE). Setting a physical goal or the goal to try different foods or cooking techniques will be far more rewarding in the end.

I encourage you to sit down and try this today. I know it’s not even Christmas yet, but now is the perfect time to look back and be grateful.

Merry Christmas,

Michelle

P.S. If having more fun with your workout sounds like a goal for you AND you are in my area (Houston, Baytown, La Porte, Deer Park, Pasadena, etc.) the 2016 boot camp is coming! Sign up for the newsletter to hear all the details :)

What’s in a number?

As I sit here trying to get my first meal of the day down (it’s 10 a.m. and was a long night) I am full of certain wonderings….

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and the fact that I have been forced to slow down has only made that worse. My health has taken a bit of a hit, but that’s not the point of this particular post.

What I have noticed is an extreme fascination with numbers. People who contact me are on a quest for a certain number. It is ALWAYS the scale…..and once I bring up the fact that the scale weight can actually be a bit subjective (you’d be hard pressed to find 2 scales that actually gave the same weight), most women will change the scale number to a clothing size number. Insert eye roll.

Did you know that there is no longer a discernible sizing system? True story. My own closet is full of different sizes and none of them tell me a lick about who I am as a person. You see, the size of the garment depends on who the designer is selling to AND where the garment will be sold. So it’s not your body that determines the size, but rather the designer, store and ultimately consumer. Before you get down on designers, I beg you to put several of the same size women in a lineup…..no 2 will look the same. And that goes for weight as well.

women and weight

Now, I totally get it if you are hefting around 100 extra pounds and feel the NEED to drop some just to be healthy. I have been there! And you’ll get it, just don’t stop moving :)

No, this is more for those obsessed with taking off some poundage. I mean, I have met more women who voice concerns over weight than women who are concerned if they are raising their children to survive in the world….no lie. Women who think if they could just reach that goal weight that life will somehow be magically delicious, to quote a popular leprechaun. Women who are so busy bouncing to the next thing that they don’t realize what they are missing right now. This is a disease of the mind that has to stop.

If my weight can differ by 2-4 pounds on any given scale, then what is it anyway? Is there even a need for weight? Well, certainly. I was weighed yesterday and I’m glad they did. It makes prescribing medications much easier. PLUS. if there is a large spike OR drop in weight it can indicate an illness. On a side note: a sudden drop in weight is almost always worse in the health department. The saddest thing is I also know women who are actually envious of others who have dropped massive amounts of weight due to illness. A diseased mind knows no bounds….

Am I telling you to give up on reaching your elusive weight loss goals?

Well, yes….and no.

There is a better way to see progress. SO, if you can hang with me for just a moment more, I’m giving you the top tips to tracking progress :) and some freebies at the end (WOOHOO!)

  1. Set a physical goal that has nothing to do with numbers. Don’t say you want to lose 20 pounds because then every upscale will send you into a pit. Instead, set some physical goals that have nothing to do with numbers (including lifting!). Stuck doing “girlie” pushups all the time? Aim to do your pushups with great form on your toes, then reverse engineer your way to that goal. You can do the same thing with pull ups, running, squats, lunges, cardio training, etc. Maybe there is an advanced class at your gym you want to try, but realize you could get injured in your current state. Make a plan to increase strength and cardiovascular efficiency. The same can be done for mud runs and adventure races. The options for non-scale goals are truly endless, so pick one.
  2. Take pictures, not measurements. I stopped doing weight and body fat this year. I’m still weaning some clients off of it, but the 2 can both be very subjective to your stress levels as well as water and salt intake. So, I prefer to use tape for clients and I truly encourage everybody to take pictures. I know this can seem like a horrifying suggestion. Even I struggled during my contest prep and that was the leanest I had been in a while. I promise, you will start to see the changes before you even move the scale or have baggy clothes. I use a photo collage app on my phone to place pictures side by side so I can actually see changes…..and I love it! I do this with clients as well and send them the collage while pointing out what I see. It works! And pictures are more honest than a scale will ever be. Try to get your pic in the same place, same lighting, and same clothes each time. How often? Once per month should do it ;) Consider enlisting a trainer (I do this with ALL online clients since I don’t see them very often) to help you out and take a peek at your pics.
  3. Aim to change ONE thing about your nutrition per week. We tend to be all or nothing when trying to reach a goal. The problem with this approach is it is more shocking to our system than anything else. And systems don’t like to be shocked. So, instead of throwing everything out and dieting down the hard way, make one nutrition change per week. This has been shown to help you KEEP those changes for life. I usually have everybody start with water. Then, most of my girls are told to focus on getting protein in since we tend to dig the carbs. Then, we start a food journal and pay attention to what we’re eating. After that, we can start to eliminate what doesn’t serve us and make healthier choices more naturally.

See? All 3 of these things will help you get to your goal without ever having to step on a scale outside of the doctor’s office.

Now, here are a few of my PERSONAL tips for fat loss (especially during the holidays). Take what you like, leave the rest :)

  1. Stop snacking. I know this seems crazy BUT I am totally starting to notice that more and more people are struggling to lose weight (I mean, it’s hard, but it seems like it’s gotten harder). We can trace a lot of this back to the snacking sensation that started heavily in the early 80′s. Your metabolism does NOT burn hotter if you keep eating. Contrary to popular opinion, science doesn’t back this one up. So, set your meal times and enjoy them. Three per day with a post-workout snack has been shown to suffice AND you don’t feel deprived.
  2. Consider closing your eating window. I too am a reforming snack-a-holic (we meet around the clock by the chocolate) and I have had to retrain my brain and body about fuel. One thing that helps is a smaller eating window (referred to as intermittent fasting). I choose to eat for about 8 hours per day and pack my 3 meals into that time. The meals are larger and more satisfying than scrawny snack meals. It’s not for everybody, so check into it first.
  3. Make your workouts count. Don’t be an all or nothing, 2 hours a day in the gym person. This time of year that is just piling unrealistic expectations on yourself and you don’t need any more of those. Opt for circuit training and full body workouts that are about 30 minutes in length. If you were a part of the Slimmer Summer challenge, those circuits are PERFECT for the busy holidays! You can also try YouTube for some ideas or check out some of the streaming workouts offered by Beach Body and the Daily Burn.
  4. Get some sleep. Cortisol levels can get way out of whack this time of year, so commit to a bed time and aim for 7-9 hours per night.
  5. Plan down time. You need a hobby that doesn’t tear you down. Try a new yoga class, have coffee with the girls, check out a book store, take a walk, meander through the mall, etc. Whatever YOU find rejuvenating, plan it into this month.

Have a very Happy Holiday season and I’ll be seeing you with some Christmas cheer very soon!

Michelle

Holiday Fat Loss NOW!

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

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

Let’s get down to business……

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

OK, fundamentals FIRST.

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

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

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

Eating.

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

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

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

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

What does it mean to fast and feast?

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

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

Wrap a bow on it:

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

Hang with me and watch things change :)

Michelle

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

 

Legs for DAYS workout write up PLUS upcoming challenges

Oh hey!!!!!!!

So, if you follow along on INSTA then you likely know that my regularly scheduled leg day was derailed a bit. I got to think outside the box and play around a bit :)

Before the workout, I feel it is best to explain WHY I do certain things…..you see, I got LEGS. I have big legs and have had them all my life. They gain easily and in order to keep them lean, I have to workout in a specific manner.

legs and glutes leg work Musclemania LEGS Insert leg song of choice here…….

This is the last year of leg changes. My quads are over excited little boogers, so I work the heck out of hammies and glutes, leaving quads alone for the most part. That’s just what works for me!

This workout is minimal equipment and was done in my garage. You can feel free to add a bit to it if you like. You will need a timer of some sort at the end (I prefer Tabata Pro App).

First, warming up is CRITICAL! I use a variety of moves to warm up my hips, hams, glutes, lower AND upper back as well as core work. This will make sure your work environment is safe.

Now, the fun part :) This workout contained 3 distinctive parts.

Round 1: loop or therapy band (a regular exercise band can work, or body weight is you have nothing).

Perform each move 30x with no rest between sets

Lateral walking

Banded squat

Monster Walk

Round 2: you need a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell, bench or raised surface and a band for upper thighs

Perform in a circuit, 4 sets of 15-20 reps each (I used kettlebells, 25-44 pounds)

Sumo squat (4×15)

KB Squat on bench (4×15, butt touches bench)

Banded hip thrust (4×20)

Round 3: the Cinnamon Bun Burner :) You can do this with NO weight, but I used a 25 lb KB

Set timer for 30 seconds of work and 5 seconds of rest, 6 cycles, 5 Tabatas (if you have the app; otherwise you are simply going through the whole thing 5x)

There is NO resting here.

Single leg hip thrust Right

Single leg hip thrust Left

Alternating side to side lunge (sometimes called a sliding lunge)

Single stiff leg dead lift Right

Single stiff leg dead lift Left

Reverse hyperextensions

Do this 30 seconds per move, 5x through for roasty-toasty buns :)

Make sure to refuel afterward (I chose a Len and Larry’s Cookie and some protein) and drink plenty of water.

CHALLENGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you’re tired of starting over all the time, try the Fall Eating Challenge HERE.

 

Also, follow me on INSTAGRAM and take part in a totally FREE fat loss challenge for the holidays.

I’ve been working tirelessly to pack on muscle and the holidays seem like a great time to lose fat right?????

Really, we all get tight on time during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season….soooooooo, I’ve decided to try something a little out of my box of comfort and see where it can take me. I’ll be experimenting with Intermittent Fasting (which I already do a form of) and HIIT training each day. This will cut my workout time down and allow me to focus on other fun things about the season, like making and eating cookies. Wait, that went south……but we all know I do it. So, you can follow me on INSTA to get my daily workouts, my eating philosophy, my cheater cheater pumpkin eater recipes, AND my world famous, not-spending-my-time-on-this-and-always-in-bad-lighting-PHOTOS!!!!!!

You’re sold right?

The cool thing is we’re all just along for the ride here. Wanna learn the HOW TO of succeeding? Try the eating challenge. Wanna see pics and follow HIITs? Do the INSTA challenge. Wanna be a bad A? Do both :)

Got it?

Let’s get it together!!!!!!!!!

Michelle

Finding my voice in Fitness

I had a major turning point this past week…..I remembered something I had forgotten: my voice.

Oddly enough, I was inspired by fellow blondie, Elle Woods :)

Have you ever had an instance where you forgot your voice?

I have been working and blogging in the fitness industry for over a dozen years, and when you are here for a while you can start to get a muddled voice. You forget what you know and sometimes your beliefs can take a back seat to current trends or stronger personalities.

Sharing your unique voice is what helps others most in the journey of life. I took some time to figure out what my voice truly says and I found out some pretty interesting things along the way…..

Srtong Camp 32 Photo taken at Strong Camp Houston by Paul Buceta

  1. A tight physique isn’t everything. It is my belief that working out for the sake of aesthetics won’t keep you motivated or get you very far. Since trying my hand at competing, this personal belief began to take a back burner. The more I focused on my looks, the worse I felt about myself. I went to the beach for almost a week and never donned a bikini……because I didn’t think I could.
  2. Listening to your body helps….to an extent. I have admittedly become a happy couch potato this summer. We love to watch movies and I have indulged with my family more than I ever have. But you know what? It’s OK. I’m not suffering from heart issues because a small season involved more rest than usual. Do I feel tight and lean? Not in the least…..but I have spent countless hours sitting with my kids talking, movie watching, playing and even planning for the future. I can get abs again, but talking freely with 2 teenagers is a rare treat.
  3. Sometimes, more is just more. I was working out nearly 3 hours a day when summer started. Half of that was heavy-duty lifts, the other half was cardio and yoga. Now, I still do yoga several times per week (at this stage in my life it is a must) but my workouts are home based and a bit shorter. I can get just as much done in a much shorter time frame. Why? Because metabolic conditioning is where I excel…..I just forgot that over this past year because I though I HAD to follow the rules. My workouts now are 25-45 minutes in the gym and consist mostly of kettlebells. The swelling has gone way down in my arms and legs and I’m starting to see definition I thought was lost until I decided to do another competition. This is my voice.
  4. True fitness can fit into any lifestyle. I really don’t believe you have to quit living just to be fit. I still eat chocolate and drink wine. I workout with my daughter by doing NTC workouts OR playing on the Kinect. True fitness isn’t all or nothing, it’s balance.

So, not that I have rediscovered my voice I plan on doing things with it. I plan to help others find their voices and find a fitness program that works with life, not against it.

So, what is your voice? You have something powerful to offer the world……you’re just hiding it :)

Until next time,

Michelle

P.S. Be sure to sign up for the email list ——–>>>>>>>>>>> to get exclusive workouts and recipes, plus check out our store for new offerings.

 

The Slimmer Summer Challenge just opened!

mc-7005 WM

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

 

 

Let’s get right to the details shall we?

What is the Slimmer Summer Challenge?

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

Who can do it?

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

When are the dates for the challenge?

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

Do I need a gym membership or special equipment?

NO.

Ready for the nitty-gritty details now?

#SlimmerSummerChallenge

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

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

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

3 month back progress

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

What to expect with the fitness portion:

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

Nutrition Focus:

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

3 month front progress

 

Additional Goodies:

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

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

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



 

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

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

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

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

My FIT Time at Disney

Good Monday morning all!

I’ll try to make this quick as many of you may be playing catch up on this beautiful Monday :) and hopefully it is beautiful where you are.

Last week I had the privilege of escorting a whole bus of teens to Disney World for a band trip….well, we drove and skipped the bus thing. The majority of the trip rocked and I was able to stay on track nearly the whole time, yay me!

In this post I’ll answer 2 questions for you:

How did I come back with a concussion?

How did I stay on track?

Ready, set….wait, what?

Yeah, I brought the gift of a concussion back from good old Disney. It was from a ride at Epcot. While there are MANY warnings about motion sickness, Mickey does fail to mention possibly concussion and the 2 deaths which occurred on this very ride….well played Mouse, well played. I won’t bore you with all the moanings of a concussion while on vacation, especially not when this particular blog captured my feelings almost exactly. Click the link and check it out, you’ll be glad you did….

Anyways, I am back now and almost functioning normally. There is still a bit of healing to do and I plan on avoiding this ride at all costs in the future.

Now, how did I manage to stay on track?

This part was easier and cheaper than I expected.

FIRST, I had an awesome back pack provided by 6 Pack Bags.

6packbagDisney

 

This bag (which my hubs sported like a real trooper) has enough space to fit ALL my food for a 12 hour day at the most MAGICAL place on Earth. FYI, you can take food into Disney, so there goes that excuse.

My meals were bland to say the least, but they did the job well. I packed plenty of tuna and salmon packets for easy travel as well as cucumbers and snap peas. I also cooked some tilapia and packed some mixed veggies too. I did enjoy a few fries on occasion and I even splurged on dessert one night. The Disney brownies were awesome, but the ice cream was far too rich and one bite was all I needed.

Food1 Disney

MOST days I actually didn’t hit all of my macros, which proved detrimental……carbs were hard as I did not pack many besides veggies. So I was low-carb livin! Sorry kids at Disney…..

My FAVE morning treat before each workout was protein coffee. I used Beverly International (got questions or need to order? HIT ME UP!) chocolate UMP with about 6 ounces coffee from the good old hotel room. This gave me the energy I needed for my workout and my next meal was PROATS….1/3 or 1/2 cup oats mixed with a scoop of whey protein and some raisins cause I’m on vacation!!!!!!

Protein Coffee Disney

Now, if I’m honest I will let you in on the fact that I did let a few more “treats” come in after my near brush with death. Truth be told, when you have a concussion you go through a phase where you really just don’t care. Not all is lost though! I walked all day AND worked out each morning there. I had a limited but awesome hotel workout facility and made sure to get weights and cardio in each and every morning BEFORE the day of walking. Notice, walking is NOT your cardio nor is it your workout……another excuse bites the dust.

Disney Hotel Gym

I used Tabata or HIIT style workouts to save on time and hit all the major muscle groups…..plus the pretty ones too :) I’ll be putting these travel friendly workout into printable forms soon!

Since I was less than 10 weeks out (and ABS are a huge problem area) I took ab progress photos to ensure I wasn’t getting too crazy.

ABS checkin Disney

I know it’s lame, but I’m ok with being lame as needed :)

I totally get why so many of us fall off the healthy living monorail when in magical places. And I do believe Disney sucked the calories out of those brownies….it is the magic kingdom people. The point is that  a little preparation goes a LONG way and you can come through your vacation without feeling the need for booking a marathon to make up for nutritional sins. It’s all about the balance of things ;)

Oh…and the bag. Grab your 6 Pack Bags asap so you’re ready for your next vacation!

Next vacation destination?

A driving trip to California!!!!! Excited to keep a live blog on what and where we eat (cause I really love food) and how I stay fit for IdeaWorld.

 

Why Am I NOT Seeing Results? Probably the MOST Important Reason Yet

Welcome back to the blog!

Hopefully, the first in this series served you well. IF you haven’t seen it, you can check it out HERE.

Now, another reason you may not be seeing results lies in who you surround yourself with, especially when working out. Read on to see what I mean…

Strong Camp 50 Photo by Paul Buceta

Every day when I’m at the gym I have a hard time tuning out everybody around me. It’s just a part of who I am. I’m not nosy, but I do like to be aware of my surroundings (safety and a bi-product of my ministry job). So, I notice things. One thing I have noticed lately is an overwhelming amount of people getting help….from completely under-qualified people. I see the slightly pudgy guy following the slightly (only slightly) more muscular guy around the weight. I see gaggles of girlfriends teaming up on each machine. I see ladies blindly following the advice of husbands or boyfriends. You know what I don’t see? Any change since August…..

Am I saying that it’s bad to workout with your BFF or love of you life? Of course not. Many people enjoy the company and some can use the spotter (correct spotting technique is a whole other blog post though….). A workout BUDDY can provide motivation and that last push through a hard set. They can also take photos at just the right time (which is why I have locker room ninja selfies….#lonerforlife), but they should not always dictate your workout. So, let’s read what to look out for and how you can get educated and get he help you need on the cheap.

Strong Camp 21 Photo by Paul Buceta

Her are a few people to be warned about:

  • The meat head boyfriend who like watching you do squats while he slings weights around for 50 sets of biceps. This guy is usually big on muscle and testosterone but knows NOTHING of training the female body OR fat loss….I mean, most of the time you can tell he doesn’t believe in fat loss and that bulking is a 24/7 job.
  • The BFF who gets ALL of his/her info from magazines. Don’t get me wrong, I love fitness mags. They can be super inspiring; however, they shouldn’t be considered the Bible of fitness and not everybody really needs the latest celebrity workout.
  • The Know It All. These men/women are usually in slightly better shape than their friends (BTW, they like it that way) and maybe they even studied to be a trainer, worked as one through college, or maybe even competed. They think they know more than you about everything gym and nutrition related, but they really don’t have the education to back it up. That doesn’t matter because to your naked eye their physique means they know more. FALSE.

Now that you have spotted the trouble makers in your life, how do you make sure they have YOUR best interest when they offer to “train” you? Simple steps:

  1. If your friend puts you on a piece of equipment (they love to use equipment man) ASK them exactly what this is to be used for. In other words, “Why am I doing this?” should be a common question. To grow muscle or tone up is not an answer. The equipment in the gym has a purpose and YOU need to know what it is. Are you widening or thickening the muscle? Is this working on pure mass or power too? Knowing the WHY of each exercise helps you retain the exercise better, recruit the correct muscles, see results and maybe even help somebody else one day.
  2. If your friend is doing the lifting for you, call them out. I saw this the other day with a group of ladies. The “leader” put one lady on a lat pull down weight she could NOT pull down….so, the leader pushed it to her chest and “helped”. This helps no one people, but it does make your friend feel better about their own abilities. Always lift with weight that is challenging, but that you can maintain good form.
  3. Ask if you can have some input in the next workout. Does your buddy ALWAYS have you on chest and arms? Dude, you don’t want chicken legs! If they don’t let you have some input, drop that time with them. You would be better off on your own.

What if you just realized you are getting the short end? Have no fear! There are plenty of ways to get the help you really need without spending all of your hard-earned cash (cause you’ll need that for clothes, shoes and that spray tan).

Strong Camp 48 Photo by Paul Buceta

Check out online resources. Bodybuilding.com is a GREAT website for all the FREE info you can handle. There are even free trainers and printable workouts. You can pick something for your goal and your current fitness level. Check out my page HERE to follow my workouts and see which trainers I have enjoyed in my years as a member there.

Also, there are plenty of trainer (myself included) who offer training plans online that are tailored to your goals. And guess what? They’re pretty cheap! For about the cost of that gym membership you can get 3 workouts a week.

Personal training isn’t as expensive as you might think, especially if you get some buddies to split the cost. I have small groups that pay $20 a session for face to face time with me in my private gym (no looky-lous here). This also comes with nutritional guidance for most cause I’m cool like that :) Gyms like Lifetime Fitness have trainers who specialize in groups as well. Don’t think you can’t afford a great trainer based on gym trainer prices.

Hopefully, these tips will help you see results a bit faster. Remember, YOUR goals matter, so go get ‘em!

Michelle

P.S. If your BFF is a GREAT trainer, hold on tight to them and value their input :) They are a rare breed.