I’m BaaaAAaaaack!

Hey stranger!

In case you were wondering, I went on a fabulous family vacation and unplugged ALMOST completely (darn you Instagram!!!!). I highly recommend this. The simple act of removing myself from the constant borage of other’s lives (as social media works now) helped to rekindle some long lost passions and get me ready to tackle some new goals :)

My question for YOU:

How has your summer been? Better yet, how have you kept it healthy? Even better, what challenges are you finding to staying healthy during the summer?

OK, so that was actually 3 questions……answer below in the comments section along with HOW I can help you stay focused and healthy as the summer comes to a close.

What’s cooking now?

Some awesome new content is on the way for the website and social media channels. It’s all about making health, fitness and nutrition more readily available to everyone seeking a healthy lifestyle. You’ll also see the site get a bit of a face lift AND some brand new services will be added as well.

Please, tell me more!

Gladly :)

For starters, I will be experimenting with home gym workouts as opposed to the big gym workouts. Why? Because just about everybody can work out at home in some capacity. I’ll also be filming videos on building your home gym with the focus on the tiny and the large spaces. We’ll also discuss equipment as in what to spend on, what to save on, what to pass up and how to find good equipment on the cheap.

NEW VIDEOS!

My YouTube page will receive a face lift as well and you’ll see weekly videos now. I’m filming Tabata style workouts, warm ups, cool downs, foam rolling, yoga, abs/core, and lifestyle videos. This translates into some free content to help you get moving and reaching your goals.

NEWSLETTER!

You’ll receive a new newsletter each Wednesday which will contain a workout exclusive to subscribers, plus a run down of what I am eating, drinking and just plain loving at the moment. If you aren’t signed up, put your email into the box to the right —–>>>>>>>>>

NUTRITION!

The blog will focus a bit more on the most challenging aspect of health: your food. We will discover new ways of cooking, prepping and eating that will make things easier. If you’re local, I will also have some pretty cool happenings coming soon ;)

EBOOKS!

I am working on new meal plans, grocery lists, mindset books, workout sequences AND a very special book focused directly to a question I get asked all the time (it deals with skin and weight loss, so get ready).

WHEW!

So, if you’re excited then make sure you sign up for ALL the updates ————>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I promise, no spam :) as that is processed and unhealthy…..

I’ll see you soon with all the new content,

Michelle

Strong camp 110 Waiting for something to happen…… :) Photo by Paul Bucetta

 

gym selfie 7jpgHome gym……WORKS!

Summertime News and all things healthy :)

Good Morning!

I hope this post finds you feeling healthier and if not, drink some water……chances are you are dehydrated :)
So, I get that blog posts have been sporadic and that is due to contest prep. I am now 11 days out from my FIGURE debut at the Musclemania Lone Star in Galveston, TX on May 16th. If you want to read up on contest prep and check out photos, go HERE.

 

Posts will resume more normalcy once the competition is wrapped and my new goals settle in for the long haul. Since this is the final post pre-contest, I wanted to use it to address a few things and let you in on some of my upcoming news.

GYM RULES (watch out for these things if you want to reach your goals):

I’m going to be overly blunt here, but I’m tired of everybody wandering around totally lost….so here we go.

  1. KNOW YOUR GOALS!!!!! If you do not have specific you-centered goals written down then you are flying blind…..and everybody knows it.
  2. Be careful what “advice” you take. Over the past 6 months I have heard more bad advice escape the mouths of gym goers than I could read off the internet in a lifetime. I hear it on the gym floor, in the locker room and ALWAYS in the sauna. My personal favorite is the group exercise instructor who told a group of older ladies they should ALWAYS do their cardio fasted…..because obviously group X instructors have a PhD in exercise and nutrition science and just teach for the heck of it (I can say that, I was one). Do you realize that training fasted has never been scientifically proven for greater fat loss? More so, do you think a spin instructor knows that if there is a pre-existing condition like high blood pressure (which is rampant) training fasted can actually be a terrible thing? Food for thought…..by picky about whose advice you take. It doesn’t matter if you think they look fitter than you. Do they have more education then Google University?
  3. Don’t camp out on the machinery. Those fancy machines were designed for a purpose: bodybuilders who could no longer utilize heavier loads without risking injury. The machines stabilize you and make it possible to lift heavier and tear down more muscle fibers to produce muscular gains. Get it right with free weight and body weight FIRST, then move on.
  4. Don’t just sit there. Many people think they are taking an appropriate rest between sets, but 2 minutes is far too long. If you need more than 90 seconds of rest, lighten your load a bit.
  5. Mind your mouth…or at least what you put in it. Post workout nutrition is key to a sleek physique. Your muscles need energy or they can’t recover and perform.

Whew! Those are really my top 5 tips for YOU to get where you want to be. It’s not always about the size, scale or mirror…..it’s about goals.

Strong Camp 04 Photo by Paul Buceta @Strongcamp

What’s new?

LOADS of new things are coming and I am experiencing a refresher this Summer. Out with the old and in with the new :) I dig change….in fact, I crave it. Due to that, we are doing a total overhaul. Here are a few things you can expect:

  • Weekly real-time training videos. These will be termed Tabata Tuesday and will cover awesome workouts in minimal time with minimal equipment. You can do these workouts ANYWHERE, even on vacation (I’m even shooting some on vacation).
  • Nutrition programs. You requested it and I am hard at work on beginner, intermediate and advanced nutrition programs you will be able to download based on current goals.
  • Goal setting webinars. You know I’m a stickler for goals and I’m setting up FREE webinars so people can get a handle on how to set goals so they can actually reach them.
  • Monthly recipes in the newsletter.
  • Form videos on some of the most popular strength training moves.
  • A whole lot more including hang outs, Q & A’s, guest trainers, success stories, pretty pictures, and maybe even some fit getaways.

So stick with me as I finish this goal and head on to the next!

In health and fitness,

Michelle

#WORKIT Wednesday! Free Workout for you: Tank Top Arms

Arm B&W

Ah, the arms…..the most naked part of the human body. Our arms carry groceries, babies, bags and purses. They push strollers, shopping carts and even buttons.

Arms are involved in just about every aspect of life, yet most women leave them untrained and complain about things such as Bat Wings, Chicken Wings (which are tiny BTW) and flappy things.

Have no fear! I have an arm toning workout that can be done in MINUTES and have you ripping the sleeves off your shirt in no time….OK, maybe not THAT, but you get the point.

What do you need?

Dumbbells that CHALLENGE you. That means your last rep better be a struggle. I usually use 15-25 pound DB’s, but I’ve been working on these things for a few years now.

A padded surface (you know what that means right?).

Some really great music. Never underestimate the power of the playlist.

A great attitude…..that WILL determine your results.

Got it? Let’s get it then!

TANK TOP ARMS:

This workout will be done in a circuit fashion, using a timer (I use a tabata timer on my phone, you feel free to use any timer. A lot of tabata timers are FREE online).

You will be WORKING for 40 seconds, then RESTING for 10 seconds. You will repeat the exercises 3x through (more if you have time to kill or just really don’t want to move tomorrow).

  1. THE PUSHUP! Oh yeah baby, get down and get dirty with them. Range of motion is critical, so if you can’t come all the way down (or 90 degrees at the elbows) drop to your knees and modify as you build strength.
  2. Alternating Biceps Curl. Weights will be in each hand and you will perform slow and controlled bicep curls, one arm, then the other.
  3. Alternating Shoulder Press. Weights up, elbows alongside the shoulders, press one DB to the ceiling, return to start and press the other….remember, slow and steady, no momentum.
  4. Long Arm Plank. Get in a pushup position, but resist the urge to do a pushup. HOLD IT! Contract the core, thighs and shoulders.
  5. Triceps Dip. You can use ANY surface really. Hands face forward, drop your butt directly down (not away, as that is shoulders) then squeeze your arms in and press up. Keep your neck neutral and perform as many as you can before you feel like you might drop yourself, then rest and do some more until your time is up. These can be tough, so aim to do more each time.

These 5 BASIC moves will start to make a BIG difference in your upper body physique. Aim to complete this workout 3 times per week, never on consecutive days. Next week, come back for a body weight leg workout that will have you strutting in shorty shorts (keep it appropriate people!) in no time!

Peace, Love and Lunges (and pushups)

Michelle

date night

 

NOW it’s YOUR turn!

Got a workout you want to see featured in #WORKIT Wednesdays?

Respond BELOW or shout it out on Twitter.

 

The Week in Review: #sharesomethinginspiring Challenge

Hello lovelies!

My friends over at Fit Approach asked all of the #sweatpink ambassadors to partake in a special Twitter challenge for 3 weeks: we are to share something inspiring each and every day. These can range from things that inspire us, people that inspire us and even friends who may need a little extra inspiration. In a day and age where hope and inspiration can sometimes seem far away, this challenge has created a unique opportunity for us all….

Since May 22nd, I’ve been sharing inspiration through Twitter and Instagram (hey, I’m a picture gal!) and here is what inspired me this week:

 

May 22nd:
It all began with this post here, http://michellecfitness.com/2014/05/22/things-are-changing-dont-fight-it/
It’s my way of becoming better at what I actually do AND letting go of the stress of trying to be EVERYBODY’S trainer (you know who you are people…)

May 23rd:
This was dedicated to my best friends, who help keep me real because they are not fitness world junkies :-)

embrace your body

May24th:

A post dedicated to all my girls (those I know and those I don’t) to remind us of how worry can hurt, not help.

worry

May 25th:

I shared what makes me smile…family. I have extended family that doesn’t even share my DNA, but they bring me great joy and I fight daily for them.

family smile

So, how would like to get in on this challenge?

Well, first, if you want to be inspired by me make sure you check out the weekly recap on the blog AND follow me on Twitter!

Next, share your own inspiration with the hashtag #sharesomethinginspiring and feel free to tag me in it.

Third, check out my friends at the Fit Approach for more news on real health and fitness, no fads allowed :)

Share something with me!

Michelle

Things are changing :) Don’t fight it…

Hey fit peeps!

Spring and Summer give new flight to dreams and change is an inevitable and unavoidable exchange during this season. Contrary to popular opinion, change can be a very good thing if welcomed with an open mind.

change

 

We can find ourselves reluctant, but let’s remember a few things about change and your overall health:

  1. A change in diet (the daily foods you consume) can boost metabolism and result in greater fat loss, hence the weekly “cheat” meals so many competitors swear by (I live each day like a cheat meal, but info on that will come later).
  2. Changing your workout routine is imperative to keep the body from adapting and hitting the dreaded plateau.

So, you see? Two examples of how change can be crucial to reaching our goals.

In honor of an open mind to change, I have some HUGE news that is worth sharing with those that frequent this blog:

I am a blogger.

Um, well, duh…

I know it seems stupid to point out, but let me explain.

I have been in the fitness industry for over 10 years now. I have led boot camps, done countless personal training sessions, taught yoga in class and private forms, taught any and all group exercise formats, led nutrition education series and experimented in the kitchen for that long as well. I found something odd happening a couple of months ago: I became exhausted and less than thrilled with my profession. Blogs became a burden and sharing any information seemed completely and totally for nothing. I was inundated with emails daily that contained questions which had been addressed in years past on this very blog. I came to the realization that I am only 1 person (seriously, no team here) and I can only do so much.

Between training appointments, dealing with other people’s emotions and drama, seeking to lead a change in several cultures at once, and worrying about my own physique and what I had to prove….well, I lost myself. The best part of losing yourself is that it grants you a unique opportunity to not only find yourself, but discover the YOU  that you actually want to be. Over the past few months I would not have wanted to hang out with me.

So, I’ve been working on an exercise that has helped me re-discover what I am here for and how to turn that into what I do on a daily basis…without wanting to kill people :)

I began keeping lists (OH! I love lists!) related to what I love about what I do now, what I could possibly delegate, and what I need to send packing. The interesting thing I found was in the LOVE catagory:

  • Blogging: sharing my story and expertise with others in the hopes that they will find the inspiration to be the very best version of themselves. It is through this that I hope to empower others to share their uniqueness so that change in the way we think about ourselves and react to others becomes more organic and natural. Plus, I like words and trying to sound super smart :)
  • Workouts: let me make it clear though…I like workouts of ALL kinds and I tend to mix it up frequently. I want to share workouts with others to inspire them to move their bodies and discover the fun in fitness. I do NOT, however, enjoy workouts that require me to constantly obsess about my anatomy and how it looks. I mean, at the end of the day, it’s only my hubby and myself that see this in all its glory…who cares what everybody else thinks?
  • FOOD! Oh, I love the kitchen cooking and totally pretending that I am from Italy (I’m actually Irish/German, but whatever). I like to experiment with food, maybe make it a little healthier, and cook for the love of those who put up with me. THEN, I like to share what I have learned.

Now, my family is far above these 2, but I don’t keep a blog on them (my son would kill me). What I found MOST interesting is that the things I LOVE the MOST were not really getting done. Why? Because my vision was clouded.

So, I am making some changes to this blog AND to my life that will help to streamline everything into a more blissful experience.

Need help getting your nutrition together? Thanks to my INCREDIBLY patient business partner, Fitness Haus will be launching this Summer and will offer you a brand new take on food. It will allow me to play more in the kitchen and share my experiences with you. You’ll get weekly meal plans (don’t worry! It’s not deprivation based. I want you to learn to love food again), recipes, grocery lists, fit tips and nutrition tips.

Want workouts that won’t break the bank OR your back? I have a dozen workout journal filled with workouts. I like what I do and have the opportunity to film short workouts for you so that you can begin to build your database of go-to exercises for any goal you set. ALL right here on this blog…and of course, the YouTube channel with the most informed and most patient subscribers. I’ll be keeping it real with real-time workouts, sweat and ZERO makeup…cause that’s how I roll.

I’ll be blogging here about new products and supplements, fun workouts that I’ll be trying out, news in health and fitness, and all the happenings in the #sweatpink community.

What about live classes and trainings?

I am keeping those to a minimum and beginning to shave some off of my bursting schedule. Bottom line: I’m no good to anybody if I’m trying to save everybody :)

From me to you, I appreciate that you have hung out with me and I promise the very best is yet to come….so stick around, you’ll be glad you did.

MichelleC

Seeing health and fitness in a whole new light

It’s National Nutrition Month!

Welcome to National Nutrition Month (and a Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to you as well!).

This month I will be highlighting what I love most: FOOD!

I’ll be working to get you back into the kitchen with easy recipes and meal prep, as well as chats about proper nutrition and all the nutrition tricks needed to get the most health out of your body. I’ll focus on education and fun as well. Food shouldn’t be boring, even if you’re trying to lose weight! You’ll get the insider track on eliminating digestive disorders and meal prepping like a pro so dinner can be on the table in less time than it takes hitting a drive through.

Remember, it’s NUTRITION, not exercise, that can make or break your health and wellness goals.

Be on the lookout for more and sign up over to the RIGHT ==========> to make sure you’re in on all the goods (even some freebies and sales THIS MONTH ONLY).

See you tomorrow!

Michelle

michelle3

 

A HIGH Seat at the Bar

Ok, so I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but barre workouts are trending very strongly right now. Barre as in the blend of Pilates and traditional bar strengthening exercises, not the place you go to drown your sorrows! So, I figured it would be helpful (as I am a huge advocate of the bar! Workout, not the latter) to go over what is available to all of us workout fiends….

Barre workouts are the bomb in that they really do deliver. Think about it: loads of NFL athletes have taken these classes (well, probably private lessons) and we’re talking about some guys that are required to be in shape! These fitness phenoms are no joke. So, I’ve put together a list of my favorites for you :)

Exhale Spa Core Fusion DVD’s: Lead by an awesome team, Fred DeVito and Elizabeth Halfpapp, Core Fusion DVDs bring the bang for your exercise buck. These DVDs cover the entire span and lean a slight bit to the Pilates/yoga side with a little barre work sprinkled throughout. They are all 50 minute videos, broken into 10 minute segments. Short on time or energy? Shoot for 10-20 minutes for an awesome, tightening workout that will leave you feeling a lot less stressed.

The Booty Barre: Tracy Mallett delivers an all over body toner and fat blasting workout in the Total New Body DVD. This one can be a bit intense if you’ve never done barre, so she has some beginner videos as well. This is truly some of the best integration in barre work and fun dance. The workout is an hour-long, but it is at a quick pace, so you hardly know how much you’re working (unless you sweat buckets, like me).

Barre 3: Anytime Madonna trains with you, you better be ready for an explosion. That’s precisely what happened to Sadie Lincoln, creator of Barre 3. Barre 3 does differ from other barre DVDs, so don’t dismiss Sadie just yet. the workout is 45 minutes of intensity that really targets the abs, inner thighs, and even the shoulders. You’ll leave standing a little taller plus Sadie is so cute you can’t help but love her :)

These are my top 3 picks for actual barre work, though I assure you I have more to go through! My next try will be Pure Barre which is said to be a more authentic barre class (and they have live classes nationwide, including in my own!). So you will be updated on more of this format. For now, I recommend you grab a sturdy chair and get started on your plies and butt lifts. You’re bound to fall in love with the results and I know for me barre has been a life saver!

To your Fit life!

Michelle

For an extra dose of lifestyle and living, check out my other blog www.livingbytheblood.com

 

 

 

Workout DVD

Hey guys! The above video is a small part of a workout DVD I’ve been putting together for a year now. I’m super excited to release it as THIS is what I do! I don’t train just to train, I teach so that people can learn how to incorporate fitness into their everyday lives! I’m pumped, how about you?

Let’s discuss it just a bit shall we? :)

This DVD has been sequenced and designed for results in both weight loss and lean muscle gain (what most call toning). It is different from what most of us view as workout DVDs since it’s instructional, NOT entertaining. I designed it this way so that 1) we can all learn the HOW-TO of sequencing a workout, and 2) so we don’t get bored. I have found the number 1 reason most people quit home based workouts is due to boredom. We tend to get tired of the same music and the same jokes. With these DVDs you’ll be able to learn the sequences and put it to your own music, do it while watching your favorite show, or even take it to the gym. Each DVD comes with a day by day plan for best results, however you are always free to mix it up.

So, if you’re looking to take your workout to the next level and learn the HOW-TO of exercise, this is perfect for you. If you want the entertaining music and jokes :) I’d pass this one and go with one of the previously reviewed DVDs. It’s a 90 day program and the cost is $25.

I’ll have ordering info up asap and if you have any questions or wanderings simply leave a comment below or email michelle@michellecfitness.com

 

DVD Review: Biggest Loser Calorie Knockout

Hey guys!

Even though it’s a holiday, you’re still getting a DVD review! For your consideration:

The Biggest Loser Calorie Knockout

OK…..

If you are a fan of the Biggest Loser, then chances are you’ve owned or still own a workout from this franchise. Let’s go through the pluses of the DVD first shall we? As always, the contestants are providing the visual class with modifications. I like this! Some videos have what appear to be unattainable figures (though it’s now my belief you can achieve the body you have the time/effort/resources/drive to achieve). These are totally real people, sweating and struggling through it. There are plenty of modifications and fitness levels covered so this becomes an effective workout that is totally doable. Bob Harper is once again on the charge and is one of the good things as I believe he gives the clearest instruction and best form advice. There are several workouts to choose from based on time, so you can mix it up a bit.

Now, the bad. I must be totally honest that I don’t watch the show itself as I once did (even though Bob rocks!). I was disappointed at the change in trainers. Well, let me re-phrase. I think a change in trainers is good, but a non trainer being a trainer is not. Perhaps that’s just me. I’ve put in the hours and money and sweat and tears into my education and I value it even when people really don’t care to know what all the letters after my name mean. So, a sports personality training just didn’t sit well with me and it doesn’t in this video either. There are 2 other trainers here offering other workouts. One gives cues on form, but their form itself is awful. No rounding the back should mean no rounding the back, period. The pace was a little off and the instruction was not as well laid out as a veteran (this is either a gift you have or spend a lot of time perfecting).

The bad outweighs the good for me on this one and I think you would be better off with one of Bob Harper’s or Jillian Michael’s older DVD’s. Speaking of JM, I’ll be reviewing her new DVD Extreme Shed and Shred next week, so make sure you stop by. :)

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

DVD Review: Biggest Loser Cardio

So this may be a DVD that has already rotated through your player a few times, but it’s worth a brief review anyways. :)

The Biggest Loser Cardio (max) came out several years ago before Jillian even ventured into highlights, but it is worth a look for a good no non-sense cardio workout. The moves are basic but very effective and I must say that I really appreciate that. I have found that as the fitness world ages we tend to lean towards the crazy instead of the basics. The truth of the matter is the basics do work, IF you do them.

As with all The Biggest Loser DVDs you are offered modifications and your working out with the contestants themselves, so it’s a little more motivating. I know it is difficult to maintain motivation when it comes to in home workouts, but I assure you these are the best to incorporate fitness into your daily lifestyle. When all else fails, turn up the music and just move!

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