A Lil About Me!

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ACE Certified Personal Trainer; NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist; CSEP Certified Personal Fitness & Lifestyle Advisor; MaddDogg Spinning Instructor; NCCP SwimCoach; NLSC Aquafit Instructor; Wellness & Weight-Loss Consultant.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Speaking of Boredom & breaking routines

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results..." - Albert Einstein.

I always found this quote funny, as the Beachbody DVD Program Insanity (TM) is literally doing the same things OVER & OVER again, and expecting change. Now, to be fair, with fitness, using a fitness standard and increasing effort & output, although in the same program of exercises, would be "difference".

Ah well, I digress...
This Blog is about CHANGE & Breaking the "routine" of your routine! (s/o @carybeancee for the topic)

Long story short >> the MORE you do, the LESS you get bored.
I don't mean that every workout session has to be infinitely long, I mean that you should do as many different kinds of "workout" as you can find & get in on, until you find what you like, nay LOVE!  Whatever makes you stick with it, is what will WORK!
Personally, cardio is my NEMESIS! I loathe "basic" cardio. Therefore, I like to be innovative when ammping up my heart rate for big Calorie burns! Spinning, Swimming, Rollerblading, Cycling (outdoors), Runs, Trail stomping, Hill Drills, Salsa classes, Insanity, Zumba, TurboJam - I've tried it ALL & I'm always open to new & "fun" ways to work out!
[Discalimer: Some stuck, some SUCKED (*won't say which, as it's MY opinion, not Gospel)]

The key to quashing boredom is switching up the program sometimes. Usually do 3 weights sessions & 2 cardio sessions, FLIP IT! Do 3 Cardio & 2 weights. Or smash 'em together & try 4 days of CrossFIT!
If it's not the schedule but the content try throwing in some innovative swaps & adjustments to the specific exercises. Tired of plain ol' push-ups? Try one foot up. Try decline, with your feet on a step or chair. Try TRX push-ups (*arms on grips or feet in stir ups). Add a hop, a clap, a twist, some movement! Hate crunches? Don't do 'em for a few days! Try planks, Leg raises, Oblique slides, scissors.

It's really about keeping it fresh! In fact, maybe Freshness is EXACTLY what you need! Grab some dumbbells & a friend and GET OUTSIDE! Run, Jump, Kick, Roll, Dance, Lift, Push, Pull at the beach, at the park, on a hillside! Get some good AIR, and take your fitness outside. A change of scenery could be all you need!

There's an INFINITE possibility for FITNESS!

NB :: I will admit, sometimes, it could be simply a matter of your needing a BREAK - not having a rest day in your program, is a BIG mistake! Working TOO hard is as much a bad thing as not working hard enough! Overtraining is a KILLER! Sometimes 1 or 2 days off is all it takes to recharge your fitness batteries.

-- Hope that Helps Caro! --

What to expect when you're EXPECTING!

Ok, this has NOTHING to do with pregnancy & everything to do with expectation... of RESULTS!
This is in response to a question posed by @BHdiaries last month (* I'm late... I know!)

What are realistic expectations of results, and how long is a good time to expect to see the results >>
With all the EXTREME FITNESS shows on TV these days, its hard to gauge what "reasonable" is for trying to determine the success of your fitness program.

Shows like The Biggest Loser & Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition are done in settings similar to laboratories during experiments. Closed from the outside world, under EXTREME supervision, with a TEAM of experts and round-the-clock care. (*If you have the money & means to have similar settings KUDOS! Hollywood heavy-weight you MUST BE! *Hey J.Lo, Hey KimK!) Most people DO NOT have this lifestyle or luxury, and so us mere mortals cannot hold ourselves to the same rigid timeline & extremist standards.

Anywho, first and foremost to achieve RESULTS you MUST set goals.
It may seem cliché, but it is very true. To reach an end, to achieve results in something, you most DEFINE what the "something" is, what your end results are. Not only that, but you must clearly define how you are going to go about measuring "it", your ways in which to get "it" and knowing by when you wish to achieve "it."

Remember :: Clearly defined goals = more easily realised goals. More trackable goals = more easily realised goals! The most efficient ways to go about this, in my opinion, is to set short-term goals along with your longer-term goals. Write these goals down!! Along with a clear idea map of "How to achieve it" planned along with it. (*e.g. Long Term: Lose 30lbs in 6months - Workout 5x/week, eat 500cals less/day; Short Term: Lose 2lbs this week - Run 30mins Mon/Wed/Fri, Weights Tues/Thr).

To stick to a PLAN you need a TIMELINE. What is a reasonable timeline though? How short or long is "enough time"? According to MOST articles/papers I've read (and from Personal experience) it will take bare minimum 3weeks, but closer to 6weeks for HEALTHY primary visible changes (*i.e. physical responses to a change in diet/exercise; loss of about 5-10lbs on average) and closer to 3-6 months for drastic changes & lasting changes (*i.e. 20-35lbs of weight loss; noticeable inches lost; changes in body shape).

The key word here is HEALTHY!! No fad diets, no extreme sauna'ing, no starvation. The body can safely drop between half a pound to three pounds per week, without compromising its homeostasis. The range of loss comes from the differences in approach to change. (*if you ONLY change your diet OR exercise, you wont have the same results as altering BOTH). Keep in mind that your body also drops weight by by percentage not a flat amount.  So if you have MORE weight to lose, you will lose more initially with the changes, and if you have less to lose, it will seem like you are losing less per week, initially. Since, by poundage, you likely WILL BE!

Now that you have your Long & Short Term Goals you MUST get yourself into a routine. I know it sounds DREADFUL ... OH NO, "routine" *shudder* boredom & lacklustre & snoozville... Not SO! All I mean is, make your Food your FUEL & your workouts as important as Meetings & Deadlines! Plan meals, and snacks, and schedule YOU into your own calendar! Other than THAT, there is NOTHING routine about it!
Change it up! Mix it up! Get CRAZY FUNKY WILD with meals AND workouts!

Last but not least determine your incentive, your "raison d'etre", your reason to be & do. Meaning, simply :: DEFINE YOUR INSPIRATION! The more you are inspired to reach your goal, the higher your chance of achieving it. What are your REASONS?
- Look Good
- Feel Good
- Better Health
- Become Stronger
- Improve fitness for a sport
- Compete (in figure/fitness)

Whatever YOUR reason is, it MUST be a strong enough incentive to keep you on your path toward your goals, to keep you to your program even on the most LAZY days (*you know those miserable rainy, sluggish days!? We ALL have 'em! ARG!)

The more compelling a reason, the more likely to stick to your plan.

Hope that helps!

Its like a retweet... for a Blog!

Just a well-written article, from the New York Times, about the problems with labels' "serving sizes" being used today, often to confusion, and it really sums it up nicely...


Booty Booty Booty Booty ROCKING ERRYWHERE!!!

No? Not so much? Hmm ok... Let's work on THAT! Here's some of my fave BOOTY POP exercises!

  • Lying Down Straight Leg Raise - Laying on your stomach. Arms to the side, palms down. Raise one leg as high as you can, while keeping your hip on the ground. Left leg, Right leg, Both legs = ONE REP!

  • Bridge One Leg Kick Up + Leg Drop - Laying on your back. Arms to the side, palms down. Lift left foot to the ceiling/sky & flex at the ankle, push right foot into the ground, so the hip is raised. Hold the hip UP, drop left heel to 3" above the ground, and raise again. Lower the hips. *Remember to contract the ABS to help stabilize! Do all the reps on one leg, and then switch to the other leg.

  • Bridge Hip Hammocks - Same body position as above. Both feet on ground, push into feet lifting the hips off the ground. Drop the right hip, pushing the booty to the left, swing (*like a hammock) the butt under so the left hip ends up down & the booty is to the right. Swing back to centre. Thats ONE REP.

  • Semi-Prone Leg Raises - (*Semi-Prone = on your side, palm down at chest height) Laying on Right side, raise Left leg 6-10" off the Right ankle (*you DONT have to raise the leg to 90degrees, a la Jane Fonda... after 45degrees, you're no longer helping the booty!) Do all reps on this side, Flip & repeat!

  • Weighted Split Lunge - Standing. Right foot in front, Left foot 3' behind (*ensure when knee is bent, it is NOT in front of the toes!); You can hold weights down to the side, or on the shoulder - do NOT rest on the hips!!

  • Sumo-Style Weighted Squat (*sumo = extra wide stance) - Legs as wide as you can have 'em with the feet planted firmly, think plié position! Weight held through the middle of the centre of gravity, between the legs, hanging down. Squat Down until the thighs hit 90degrees, hold for 3seconds and then raise up for a 3count.

  • One Leg Weighted Deadlifts - Feet shoulder-width apart (*depending on your balance, you can start with one foot BACK, and then work your way up to a T-position balance) Holding your weights in your hands. Hinge at the hips, keeping the back nice and straight, and come down until your hands are in line with the top of the feet. (*if you cant touch your toes, go as low as you can until you feel you need to round the back - stop there!) Down on a 3count, up on a 3 count. Do all the reps on one leg, and then switch to the other leg.

  • Feet-Together Weighted Low Squat HOLD - pretty self-explanitory... feet together go down LOW & HOLD! *Try it unweighted first, aiming for 30-60seconds, and then work up to weighted 60second holds!

  • You can use Dumbbells, or a Barbell, or even the Baby or the Dog for your "weighted" exercises!

    Try 3 sets of 10 to 20 reps of each, either as a circuit, or one by one.

    Oh yeah! Throw away those "As Seen On TV" padded Panties!!

    Summer is for BAR-B-QUE!!

    (*All right, to be fair, I live in Jamaica - it's ALWAYS Summer, but for those of you who AREN'T so Sunshine blessed... YAY! It's HERE! *confetties* *celebrations*)

    Anywaytho... As I said, Its time for BBQ! Whether, this means Big hunks of meat smoked, or grilled, & slathered in sauce; Steaming grilled Fish & seafood with gorgeous Citrus drizzles and fresh herbs; or Beautiful char-grill lines on thick slices of Farm-fresh Veggies salt & peppered, and glistening with a trickle of Olive Oil, it all comes down to Clean Cooked PERFECTION (Author's note: I AM NOW STARVING!)

    BIG NOTE :: "Traditional Bar-B-Que" (Southern-style, Butter-laden, Saucy awesomeness, that shows up on finger tips, white Tees and waistlines WILL NOT BE FEATURED HERE. *deep sigh*
    Sorry traditionalists, I gotta stick to the clean eating code, and keep it Fresh, simple AND Summer-Photo friendly!

    Anywho >> Here are a few of my FAVE outdoor meals!
    Grilled Mahi-Mahi w. Zucchini Coins, and Charred Tri-Color Salad

    * Heat Grill to Medium Heat

    4x 5oz MahiMahi Steaks
    Grilling dry rub - Sea Salt, Garlic Powder, Cayenne, Cracked Black Pepper, Cumin
    2 TB Olive Oil
    * Sprinkle over fish & set aside

    2 Green Zucchini (*or Yellow Summer squash) cut into 1/8" coins
    1 TB Olive Oil
    * Place all coins in a Large sealable freezer Bag & add olive oil, shake so all coins are covered

    2 Cobs of Corn - each brushed with 1tsp Olive Oil
    1 Lg Red Bell Pepper - Cut in half & cored
    2 Hearts of Romaine
    1/2 cup Fresh Cilantro - rough chopped
    1 Clove garlic - minced
    1/4 cup apple juice
    2 TB Olive Oil
    Squeeze of lemon (*optional)
    Salt & pepper to taste
    * Place Corn, Sweet Pepper and Romaine on the grill until char marks appear
    (NB :: romaine will finish first, pepper 2nd, Corn last - for "doneness")
    * allow to cool & cut corn off the cob, dice pepper & small-chop the lettuces
    * toss with minced garlic, Cilantro, juice, olive oil & lemon juice - add salt & pepper to taste

    Place Zucchini Coins & Mahi Mahi steaks on grill while Veg are cooling - takes about 5mins per side for it ALL!

    ~ Serves 4! Plate & Enjoy!

    Summer Sweet Heat Salad

    4oz Feta
    32 medium Shrimp peeled & deveined (*tails optional)
    1/2 tsp Cayenne
    1/2 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp paprika
    sea salt/cracked black pepper
    * sprinkle over feta & shrimp, set aside

    1/4 Fresh Watermelon - rind off & seeded
    8 cups baby Spinach (*rinsed & dried)
    16 strawberries - rinsed & cut into 1/4s

    1/4 cup orange juice
    1TB honey
    2 TB Olive Oil
    2tsp fresh lemon zest
    sea salt
    * whisk together & refrigerate

    * Grill Feta & Watermelon for 2mins on all 4 sides - remove, cool & cut into 1/2" cubes
    * Toss with Spinach, strawberries & add dressing
    * Grill Shrimps 3mins on either side (*until opaque) -- DO NOT OVER COOK!

    ~ Serves 4! Plate salad, top with 4 shrimp per person

    Bonus Recipe from @killfatme :: a #Paleo BBQ sauce (*I've used it on Chicken, its REDIC DELISH!)
    Mix the following in a small mixing bowl. You will probably have some left over, so transfer to tupperware for refrigeration.
    • One can of quality pure tomato sauce (i.e., no sugar or salt or garbage added)
    • 2 T of red wine vinegar
    • 1 T honey
    • 1/2 T cracked black pepper
    • 1 tsp white pepper
    • 1 TB chili powder
    • 1/2 TB chipotle powder
    • 2 tsp sea salt
    • A dash of garlic powder
    Spice to your individual taste. You might like it more sour or more spicy or even sweeter..