Showing posts with label weight lifting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label weight lifting. Show all posts

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun for Friday - Workout Life Lately



I know that I mention running here and there, but I've not really talked much about my workouts in a while. I used to post my weight workouts, my running miles, even cycling miles. So, for Fun for Friday, I thought I'd do a little run down on my workout life

1. Running 
I've been consistently hitting 40-43 miles per week and feeling good. However, I know it's time to take a nice back-off week and let my body recovery. I also know that summer is here and as the heat and humidity continue to go up, my running will become more difficult. The summer plan is to maintain a solid baseline and just try to enjoy running. 

2. Cycling 
I've yet to take my bike off the trainer. Jason put on the clip on pedals and I'm absolutely terrified of riding it now. However, with all the rain we've had, it's been great having the trainer option and for easy access for riding in the early mornings when I'm not running. 

3. Weight Lifting  
I finally put myself on a periodized training plan so I feel like I have more focus with my weights now. My plan is to work hard on muscles over the summer because I know that once I begin marathon training in the fall, I'll have less time for weights. My focus will need to shift a bit.

I love a periodized plan because it keeps you focused, they help prevent plateaus, and are great for preventing burnout. I'm hoping to put together an online periodized training plan.

4. Stretching/Rolling 
I have gotten a bit lax on my stretching and TriggerPoint rolling routine. It's not that it even takes that long, I have just not been setting aside the time plain and simple. 

5. Preventing Injuries 
I guess this technically should or could go under weight lifting. But this is more of those extra exercises to work on stability, balance, and correctly imbalances. I definitely need to make some of these exercise more habit again, like the TriggerPoint time. 


What does your workout life look like? Do you change gears with workouts depending on the season? Would you be interested in a periodized lifting plan?

Friday, May 2, 2014

Fun for Friday - Exercise is Dangerous


Have you ever had a workout mishap, like taking a spill during a run, then you hear repeatedly, "Exercise will kill ya!" And it's often said with a beaming, know it all, told ya so smile right? 

Well, maybe they're right? Exercise is dangerous! GASP 

Ok, I didn't fall and hit my noggin' this morning if that's what you're concerned about. I'm most certainly not saying that we shouldn't exercise. But face it, sometimes the things we do can hurt us, especially if you're a super klutz like me. 

I thought it'd be fun to share just a few of my exercise mishaps over the years:

  • Falling off a stability ball - this has happened many times, thankfully never in the gym where others were there to witness the scene.
  • Hitting myself with a resistance band - those suckers can pack a wallop by the way!
  • Scraping my shins with a barbell - hello deadlift battle wounds
  • Hitting myself with a dumbbell - I've had more bruises over the years from accidentally hitting myself with a dumbbell, I do bruise easily so that'll be a partial excuse.
  • Falling while running - I became very much acquainted with the pavement after mis-stepping into a depression in the road. 
  • Falling off a bike - I took my first spill on my 4th bike ride out thanks to trolly tracks and a jerk of a driver. 
  • Knocking a hole in your shin on the bike - I've hit my shins more times than I can count on the pedals of both a spin bike and my road bike. 
  • Misstep on an elliptical - I've totally stepped off the edge of an elliptical. Thank goodness for those annoying arms that often cause bruises too.
  • Misstep on treadmill - Don't you just love that moment when you step on to the front of the treadmill because you're somehow trying to go faster without increasing the speed then everyone in the gym turns to look at you? No? Just me? Thankfully I haven't taken a tumble but we've all seen the videos! 
  • Running injuries - do I even have to explain this one? But running is FUN!
  • DOMS - again, sore muscles and not being able to hover over a toilet after leg day … lifting is FUN!
What are some of your exercise induced injuries? 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Workout Wednesday - Full Body Tabata Strength

I don't know about you, but when I hear the word, "Tabata" I immediately think of a cardio workout. Tabata workouts typically include exercises like burpees, squat jumps and mountain climbers for an intense interval workout.

However, the tabata set up (20 seconds on 10 seconds off) can also be used with resistance training as well. No, it's not quite the same fat-burning cardio workout as a normal tabata workout, but it provides a great circuit style workout that can be a welcome change from your typical resistance training routine.

It is important to note that proper form is more important than the amount of weight you are lifting. When you do a weight workout based on time rather than number of reps, you typically have to go lighter with your weights to ensure good form.

Begin your workout with 10-minute warmup on treadmill and/or using dynamic movements to warm up the muscles. Some examples include: jumping jacks, leg swings, no weight lunges, no weight squats, butt kicks.

For this workout, do each exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds rest before moving to next exercise. After completing all 8 exercises, rest 1 minute then repeat 4-6 times. Each circuit is 5 minutes.


Do you ever change up your resistance training to include the tabata set up or do you prefer to stick with number of reps vs timed?

*Disclaimer: Although I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet plan. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Balanced Weekend

It was another weekend of productivity and relaxation. I love that balance. We had a cool down Friday night. Jason and I decided to take advantage of that and put our run off just a bit. He went to go watch his nephew's last football game, and I scrubbed and cleaned around the house. It felt good to be productive right off the bat.

When he got back, around 11, we headed out for a run. I was planning on 10 miles for the Fall 5 or 10 Miles Virtual Race Series. Jason was planning on more like 8. It was gorgeous out, low 60s, but crazy windy. At first I thought it was coming from the north, but then realized it was also coming from the west. Actually, it seemed to be swirling. It definitely made it more challenging.


Jason dropped around 7-ish miles and I continued on. I decided to head north towards a park. I stopped and took a picture when I hit my 10-mile mark for the race. My watch picture didn't turn out at all (1:24:24), but I did get a nice picture of the park at least.

We both got cleaned up and headed out for a late patio lunch. Later, we met up with friends to watch part of the football game. The rest of the evening was pretty low-key with feet propped up.

Sunday, Jason headed to the lake to go fishing with his dad. It was another gorgeous day out and I was so tempted to run. But, I needed to cross-train. So, I pulled up a movie and watched that while spinning on the bike trainer. I also did chest and abs. I've been slacking on chest.

I ran several errands and then got busy with food prep. In other words, I totally undid the cleaning I had done the previous day. I had pots, pans, measuring cups, spices and flour spread out everywhere. I pressed tofu for the week, made spaghetti sauce, homemade ciabatta, and seitan. And of course non of that was eaten for dinner.


Heath Man was annoyed with the hustle and bustle in the kitchen and spent a solid hour at the back door waiting on his daddy to come rescue him from the mayhem.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Pin Pin Pin It Party


Party! Did someone say Party?? It's a Pin it Party and I'm all about that. I might be addicted to Pinterest.  I mean, where else can you be inspired to shop, cook and decorate all in one place?

Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean is hosting another Pin It Party. Basically, the idea is that everyone highlights 5 posts that they think are pin-worthy and worth a second look. If you like it, you pin it! It's a fun way to also look back at posts and remember recipes or workouts you might have forgotten about.

1. Biceps Triceps Superset Plus Bonus Burn



I've enjoyed doing this workout a few times now, so I thought it was a good one to share again. It's a great time-saver workout, but also includes a great bonus burn to really burn out the muscles at the end of the workout. Everyone loves that right?

2. Calories are Not The Enemy


This is one post that I definitely think needs to be revisited. Calories are not immediate fat cells. Calories are fuel for our bodies, fuel for our workouts.

3. Benefits of Working Out with a Spouse or Friends


Sometimes it can be hard to find motivation to work out, or workouts can feel like a chore. But if you buddy up with your bestie or hubby, that can really help make them more enjoyable and it holds you more accountable.

4. Greek Style Kale Couscous Salad


Looking for another way to use your kale? Check out this recipe. It's great for summer evenings or to take to potlucks.

5. Where We Would Run


I loved sharing my running route with everyone, so I thought I would share again. Maybe I can entice some of you to come visit and run for real.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Timesaver Trisets - Back and Biceps

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for new workout ideas, especially when it comes to weight lifting. I tend to get bored pretty quickly with the same routine week in and week out - and so do my muscles. At the same time, I don't always have a lot of time to spend lifting weights, and am pretty sure most of us don't. But, that doesn't mean you can't get in an effective workout.

I love supersets as a quick workout, but decided to change my strategy last week and go with trisets for the same muscle group - in this case it was back and biceps. Originally, I had thought it would be more of an endurance type of workout. Not so much major muscle building because I knew I would have to go a little lighter with my weights.

But I ended up reading a pretty good article explaining trisets in more detail and discussing why they are actually good for building lean body mass. With a triset workout, you're keeping your muscles under tension, working for the entire set - more work, less time. I'm all about that.

I'm sure there are opponents to this type of lifting. There are opponents to just about everything in life I'm certain. There are always pros and cons, new research, etc. Personally, I think this is a great way to get in a really solid weight workout in a short amount of time.

I will also suggest that this is not a workout you should do ALL the time. I think change is good: Introduce the workout and your muscled are crazy confused. Improve the workout and your muscles get stronger and begin to adapt. Perfect the workout and then it's time to switch it up again.

Begin this Timesaver Trisets for Back and Biceps workout with a 10-minute warm up walking on a treadmill or elliptical plus dynamic moves such as lunges with torso twist, butt kicks, high knees, and jumping jacks to warm up the body and loosen up the joints.

Do each each exercise for 8-10 reps then immediately move to the next exercise in the set. Rest 40-60 seconds, then repeat the triset for a total of 3-4 sets.




Videos
Overhand row
Dumbbell pullover
Dumbbell horizontal row

Dumbbell biceps curls
Hammer curls
Zottman curls


*Disclaimer: Although I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet plan. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured on this website, you do so at your own risk.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Thoughts from Sunrises to Weight Lifting

It's Thursday, and I've had some random thoughts, so we'll go with the theme of Thursday Thoughts - also known as "What's on My Mind."

It's funny how many random, fleeting thoughts you have flitting around your brain constantly. Sometimes you remember them, most of the time you don't. And it's funny that it's usually the lesser important thoughts that somehow stick around.



During my morning run on Wednesday, I took a route that put me close to the river for this spectacular sunrise. It made me question why more people don't get up early to enjoy this beauty. We only have so many sunrises to see in a lifetime.

Speaking of, even though I was looking forward to "sleeping in" this morning, I felt like I had really missed out by not getting up earlier to run again.

I often wonder why people are just so ugly to each other or feel the need to say something ugly for no reason. I saw a post shared on Facebook with the kids of Goonies grown up. Most everyone had fond memories, but one commenter felt the need to lambaste the movie. Why? Just don't comment.

Also, why can't women hit the toilet? And if they don't, then why not wipe off the seat? I mean, some women spend 5 minutes wiping down the bathroom counters, so why not the seat?

Lastly, I feel like a fraud lately. I do enjoy lifting weights. I love the results. I love feeling stronger. I always preach it to others. But lately, I've been lacking in motivation when it comes to me actually lifting weights. I'm doing it, but I feel like it's going through the motions more than anything so then of course I'm displeased with results.

So, there you have it. What are some of your thoughts this week?


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Workout Wednesday - Biceps, Triceps Superset and Bonus Burn

I haven't talked much about my weight workouts lately. Since I have been running and biking more, I've been keeping my weight workouts split up and on the shorter side. This allows me to fit them in during lunch or right after work fairly easily.

This loose plan goes along nicely with my 7 tips for fitting in workouts. I know I am going to do them, but not always exactly when. But having them thought out and ready to go makes it easier to fit into my schedule.

Last night I went with biceps and triceps. Because I was trying to fit in the workout in a specified timeframe, I went with supersets.

Supersets are when you perform two exercises in a row without rest. They can make for a quick, efficient workout. And if you want to take it one step further, add in a bonus burn at the end, which is what I did last night for a Biceps Triceps Supersets plus Bonus Burn (ouchie).



*21’s explained – 7 reps starting at bottom and curling halfway up. 7 reps starting at top and lowering halfway down. 7 full reps.

Videos of exercises:

Are you a fan of supersets? Do you add in bonus burns at the end of workouts?


*Disclaimer: Although I am an ISSA Certified Fitness Trainer, you should consult a physician before starting any exercise program or diet plan. If you choose to do any of the workouts featured on this website, you do so at your own risk. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Life Happens. 7 Tips for Fitting in Your Workouts

Happy Tuesday! One day closer to the weekend right ;-)

This morning I managed to knock out a really good 10-mile run. I am loving getting the long runs done during the week. Jason started off with me for about 3.5 miles then I met up with Amy. The weather was fairly pleasant, definitely getting used to this unseasonably cool weather we're having.

I also got in 6 solo miles yesterday morning. And while I wasn't just jumping out of bed ready to go, I know that it's a great way to start the day and to ensure that I get my workout done.

People often question how I fit in all of my workouts. It's not always easy. I don't have any more extra time than anyone else. Granted, I don't have children, but it's not like I sit around idle. I work full time and am also now working a second job as a fitness trainer. I still have to maintain the house (or attempt to do so), usually I make dinner, and at some point catch up with my husband.

So, how do I fit it in? Sometimes I don't. Sometimes life does get in the way. For example, I had planned on biceps, triceps, abs before meeting with a client AFTER working all day. I had forgotten about a late meeting, so that meant no weight workout. But, I always have a plan B, C and even D for when I can't get in a workout when I thought I could.

Knowing I have a backup keeps me from stressing out about it too much. It keeps me sane too. Sometimes flexibility is key. Like knowing it's ok to switch up your rest days or going with a totally different workout for sanity's sake. I mean really, there are some days when you just don't have the energy to get in the planned weights but an easy run works out mentally.

I thought I might share a few tips and/or tricks for getting in your workouts. Honestly, what it really starts to come down to is that it becomes part of your routine, just like going to work is part of your routine or going to class, or whatever. It's just part of the day.


How to fit in your workouts:

1. Schedule It - Make it part of your calendar for the day just as you would a doctor's appointment, a haircut or picking up the kids.

2. Split it Up - I don't think 2-a-days are ideal to do each and every day. I think you'll burn out. But, sometimes they are necessary, especially if you're planning on doing both cardio and weights. Get in a short cardio session in the morning then schedule a short weight workout at lunch or after work. 30 minutes each session. Remember, you don't have to do both!

3. Have a Plan - Know what workouts you are planning for the week. Have your weights already written out. This keeps you on track, but also makes you more efficient with your workouts - especially with weights.

4. Have a Backup Plan - Know that if you can't get in that run on Monday as planned, you have another day you can get it done. Same for weights or any workout you're doing. Have a backup. It might rain so you can't ride outside, have a plan. Your gym may end up being closed or too crowded. Have a plan.

5. Enlist a Buddy - Scheduling a workout with your spouse or friend is a great way to ensure you get it done. Plus, having a friend can be motivating and more fun.

6. Get it Done Early - I know, I know, waking up is not easy. But, getting your workout done first thing in the morning makes it less likely that something will come up and cause you to miss the workout.

7. Know Your Focus - If you know you have a crazy, hectic week, know what your fitness focus is. Know your limits and don't try to cram it all in. Are you training for a race? Are you more focussed on your weights? Maybe you're gearing up for a big bike ride. This can also go along with #3.

How do you manage to fit in your workouts? Do you make contention plans for workouts in case they are missed or maybe if you're traveling? 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fun For Friday - Fitness Evolution


I've been lucky enough to have been fairly active the majority of my life. And over the years, my activities have definitely changed. Sometimes it's out of necessity, sometimes out of inspiration. I thought it would be fun to share my fitness journey and inspirations.

Gymnastics - I started this when I was maybe 4th grade, mostly because my sister was a rough-and-tumble kid and we kind of did everything together. I hated it though. I am NOT a daredevil. 

Ballet - Near the end of 5th grade my dear friend (who is no longer with us) did nothing but talk about ballet. She convinced me to try a class. I was literally in love the moment I placed my hand on the barre. That was it. It was my everything. It was were I went to escape, to just be me, to feel beautiful. 

Weight Lifting - I credit my sister and Cathe Friedrich for my love of lifting. Sarah had started doing tapes (yep good old VHS tapes) like The Firm. I could wield those 3 pounders like nobody's business. Then it was Jari Love, then Cathe. 

Cathe's DVDs have taught me so much about lifting, form, techniques, rotations, and more. Occasionally, I still turn to her workouts for a change and for inspiration. Honestly, it was Cathe that inspired me to want to become a fitness trainer. 

Running - This credit goes to my husband. I never ever thought I could be a runner. As it became harder for me to find advanced ballet classes that weren't with teenagers, I turned to the gym - better yet, the treadmill. I slowly worked my way up to running 3 miles straight. 

Jason finally convinced me to try running outside. I hated it at first. Crazy right? But I slow got out of my head and fell head over heels (or hills) for it. Running became my ballet. My zen, my meditation, my peace. I also have to credit my friend Amy for pushing me, for helping me realize more of my running potential. I feel like an honest to goodness athlete.


Cycling - Again, this goes to Jason. It all started when he convinced me to try a spin class at our gym. I never would have tried it without him urging me. But I did and I loved it. I actually wanted to teach spin. 

After several years of nagging, he finally convinced me to rent a bike and give it a spin (literally, sorry, I couldn't resist). After finding a great deal on a bike on Craigslist, well, the rest is history. I don't love it the same as running. But I love the low-impact workout, love being outside, and enjoy the time with Jason. 

What has your fitness evolution been? Who has inspired you?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How to Make a Run Even Harder

Here's a new tip for everyone:

If you run 6.4 miles in the morning then do legs in the evening (even light legs) then decide to get up and run 10 miles the next morning, you will regret it. Just sayin'

Clearly I don't always make the brightest choices when I work out. I definitely didn't plan that out very well. In fact, I hadn't planned on legs at all on Monday evening. I was just going to do biceps, triceps and some abs. 

But, I got going and thought, "Hey, why not toss in legs for fun." Because, you know, leg workouts are oh so fun right? So, I did so without really thinking about the next morning's run.

Apparently it was a better workout than I had though, either that or I've been such a slacker about leg work that any little bit bites now. 

Let's just say this run was on the tougher side. It was around 80 degrees (yes, at 5:30 am), and the humidity and dew point were nice and high. You know, that kind of muggy, thick, warm air that makes you feel like you need gills. Weather was definitely not on my side. Add the sore legs into the mix and you've got one recipe for disaster on hand. 

It was completely dark when I set out on the run. And while there wasn't a brilliant sunrise, the sky was really interesting nonetheless, which made me smile. I definitely needed that. The run wasn't the worst. But it was definitely tough. I had to sort of will my legs to keep moving after the 8-mile point. Trust me, they yelled and screamed back the rest of the run. But, got it done!


So, question of the day, are you prone to making bad decisions like I did? Do you get overzealous with workouts sometimes without thinking ahead to the next one?

(PS: For some reason, my comments on some blog posts aren't going through.) 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fun for Friday - A Week in Letters

TGIF!

Hope everyone's had a good week. Mine has been a little hectic, but all good. I got in some really great runs, a fun bike ride with Jason and Amy, and also enjoyed a great lunch with a good friend (she was my physical therapist) who unfortunately moved away.

Even cooler, literally, I got in a great 8 mile run in unheard-of-for-July temps - 68 degrees. Um, what month is it and where do I live again? Not complaining though. It was nice not being drenched by mile 1.

I've done something similar to this before, using the letters of FRIDAY to talk about the week. I thought I'd do it again just for fun (and 'cause I can LOL).

F - Fitness: running, riding, lifting
R - Recipe: Greek Style Kale Couscous Salad (will share on Tuesday)
I - Inspiration: Inspired by my dad who refuses to let age define him
D - Day break: 2 pictures of this morning's sunrise.


A - Awe: In awe of the progress my niece is making in her fitness journey
Y - Yikes: How on earth is it almost August?

How would your week look in FRIDAY?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Being the Part of a Trainer

Four-day work weeks always throw me off kilter. Compound that with just getting back from vacation and I am absolutely out of sorts with my days. It's Wednesday, but sort of feels like both Tuesday and Thursday at the same time. Just me?

Not only am I feeling off kilter getting back into the groove of needing to know what day of the week it actually is, I'm also trying to get back into my usual workout schedule. Yes, I ran and did the elliptical and abs in Florida. But it was still not my normal schedule of times, or even workouts really.

I did get in 7 happy miles on Sunday plus did biceps later in the day (I was itching to lift after not having access to weights on vacation). Monday I opted for weights (back and legs) and some kickboxing. This morning was an early-morning run - another 7-miles. It was warm and humid. Summer has arrived, and I feel like it's already affecting my running. It just felt hard.

But now I need to figure out when to schedule in my other weight workouts and runs for the week. I feel like I've been slacking a bit with my weights. I enjoy weights. I really do. But it's hard to convince myself to stay inside when it's pretty out. And I've been feeling a little uninspired again. Definitely time to change things up.

Sometimes I think it's harder to mix it up when you don't have a gym full of equipment. I don't have a barbell, no squat rack, only a certain number of risers for my step. So, sometimes it does feel like I'm a bit limited.

This has me suddenly panicked considering I'm trying to get my Personal Trainer Certification. I mean, if I can't get more creative with my own workouts ... how am I supposed to help others? And I also am feeling a bit more pressure to look the part, "be" the part. I'll be a walking billboard basically.

And no, I don't think I look unfit, but I certainly have images in my head about how I would prefer my arms to look, my legs to look, and most definitely my back. I've actually stayed away from fit magazines like Oxygen (which I really do enjoy), because of physique envy. And Pinterest? It's a gold mind for self doubt in some respects.

Any trainers out there go through these thoughts and concerns? 

Sorry for the sort of rambling post today. Just spilling my thoughts. And, since I was so disconnected while on vacation, I've missed lots of great accomplishments around the blogosphere. BUT, there is one that I must share for what should be Way to Go Wednesday?

Angela at Happy Fit Mama for becoming a marathoner this past weekend. She fought hard for this one!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend of Enjoying

This weekend was all about enjoying the beautiful weather, enjoying the idea of slowing down and relaxing, and enjoying time with my mom for Mother's Day.

Saturday started off with a run with Jason. It was warm, but not terrible. Wind was directly from the north and slapping you in the face. Though, as I started to get warm, it actually was welcomed. Jason dropped off at the house at 6.25 miles. I was planning to hit 8 miles since I had already done my weekly 10-miler on Thursday.

As I set off to finish my run, I realized I was feeling really good. My legs were itching to keep on running. I was just enjoying the beautiful morning. So I ended up with another 10-miler. I almost went on for 11, but decided it'd probably be in my best interest, or my foot's best interest, to reel myself in. I've never done two double-digit runs in a week before.

After getting cleaned up, I studied a bit for my ISSA Personal Trainer Certification before heading out to meet my mom for lunch. I wanted to take her to YaYa's. They have really good food and a nice atmosphere. I knew she'd really enjoy it.

I regret that I didn't get a picture of the two of us though. But we had a fantastic time. We sat and talked for nearly an hour after we had finished our lunch. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.


Sunday I did a weight workout for back, triceps and legs and then a tabata DVD. I had really wanted to run so badly, but my foot had other plans for me. Sometimes the hardest thing about being a runner is knowing when to hold off. But, I did get in a good workout thanks to Cathe.

The rest of the day was spent outside. I weeded flower beds, deadheaded roses, and sat and finished a book. To cap off the day, we grilled pizzas and enjoyed dinner outside as well.


All in all, a perfectly balanced weekend of relaxing, enjoying with enough productivity to make you feel less guilty about all the relaxing and enjoying ;-)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To Just Be and Way to Go Wednesday

Working Out
This is one of those weeks where Wednesday feels like Thursday. Anyone else having that kind of week? I guess I'm still thrown off after returning from Long Beach last week. It's always hard to get back on track after any vacation.

You spend so much time just trying to play catch up that you don't really even get to rest up. Luckily, I have another trip coming soon. We'll be heading to FL for a super lazy week on the beach in a couple of weeks. I always look forward to this particular trip as a way to completely unwind. No agendas, no scheduling, no set plans other than to enjoy.


While I enjoy checking out new sights, scenery, restaurants, shopping, etc. on vacations, sometimes it's nice to not have any plans. Just "be." Do you prefer to "be" or "do" while on vacation? Maybe a combo or maybe just depending on where you go?

One thing I've been doing is keeping with my workouts at least. I may not be able to keep the house spotless, laundry folded, dishes put away. But I can schedule in my workouts!

Saturday I got in a really good 10 mile run. Jason ran 6 miles with me, then I headed out to finish the last 4. Sunday we ended up going for a bike ride. I was honestly still really nervous after my fall the last time. It was kind of hard to relax and enjoy. But, I we got in 19 miles without any mishaps.

Monday Jason ran with me again. We did a short, quick 4.5 mile run during lunch. I always love getting in a lunchtime workout when I can. It really refreshes you for the rest of the day. Then, after over a week of not being able to run together, Amy and I got in 7 miles Tuesday morning.

While I was looking forward to running with her and catching up, I was not looking forward to the 5:20 am wake up call. It came entirely too early after a night of tossing and turning. Somehow, even though I felt exhausted, it was a great run, and a great way to kick off the day.

Funny how sometimes exercise can actually wake you up (well, until about midday). And speaking of midday, I used my lunch time to get in a biceps/shoulder/ab workout.

Sometimes I like 2-a-days for that extra energy boost. But I can't do them more than a couple of times a week. Are you a fan of 2-a-days?

Way to Go Wednesday
Since I was out last week, I missed passing along Way to Go Wednesday shout outs. If you had a great shout out for last week, or this week of course, please share!

Christine from Love Life Surf  for completing a great 10-mile race (pain free)

Brian at Pavement Runner for a new marathon PR. Seriously on fire.

Krysten at The Misadventures of a Darwinian Fail for her first half marathon 12-weeks post surgery.

Laura at Mommy Run Fast for another awesome PR at a recent 5K. Fast!

Meg at RunFitKin for an awesome PR at the BMO Vancouver half marathon.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Fun Fact Friday - I AM a Runner

I hope you bear with me. This is definitely not the typical Fun Facts/For Friday Post. But, I think it falls into a "Fact" at the very least.

I don't know exactly why, but after yesterday evening's run, I started to think back to and reflecting on my running transformation. Maybe it's trying to figure out why I'm so hell-bent on running despite being injured?

You see, honestly, about three years ago I still refused to call myself a runner. No joke, look back at my past blog posts if you wish. Or, better yet, you can check out the post where I specifically say "Why I'm not a runner." Oh, and notice the date is July 2010. So, um, not that long ago really.


For some reason, I associated calling myself a runner with having an all-consuming passion, running crazy distances, or crazy-fast paces, and being in an elite secret club. What I didn't understand was the deep-seeded passion that comes with running. Ok, so the first point does end up being valid.

Yes, I enjoy the challenge of getting faster, running farther. Hello half marathons and PRs.
But it's so very much more than that. It's not at all elitist like I had assumed. Fast runners (like my friend Amy) still embrace slower runners. Hello, she runs with me and has never once complained about me slowing her down. We cheer each other on, fast, slow, injured, whatever. We "get" each other and that's all that matters.

For me, running is something I never thought I could do. I have severe asthma, though not exercise-induced. Before I found Singulair, I couldn't go for hikes without resting (usually using inhaler) let alone running anything more than say 1 minute.

So to ever expect to be or even want to be a runner? Not even on my radar. I was always a dancer. I loved (still love) ballet deep in my soul. I lived and breathed it. But where I live, not much for advanced adults. You eventually get tired of the competition and pettiness you see dancing with 16-18 year old girls.

Long story cut short - Jason introduced me to running. One day I looked up, looked around, felt present in the moment and fell in love. It's not always easy. Actually, it never is. That's the awesome thing though. You have to work hard so you feel so much pride from it. Accomplishment.

I firmly believe that there's a huge misconception from non-runners or self-proclaimed dabblers of running that those who do call themselves runners find it easy. I mean, I know I thought that. But - Nope. Always work. But satisfying? Yes.

And can you fall in and out of love with running? Absolutely. I've definitely gone through periods where I dreaded lacing up my shoes. But usually there's a reason. Overdoing it or getting all up in your head - overthinking, planning, plotting, forgetting to let go. But then you have that one run...that one run that makes you remember exactly why you fell in love. Does this sound like a relationship? Maybe it is. There's give and take. Love and hate. Passion.

And honestly, this post can also describe my passion for lifting weights. I know there's a lot of debate about being a runner and a weight lifter. No, I won't ever do a fit comp, but man, I do seriously dig lifting weights. It's a different passion for me. But the same sense of pride and accomplishment as running.

So, if you run - you ARE a runner. If you lift weights - you kind of are a weight lifter. Just sayin'


Monday, March 11, 2013

More XTrain Workouts

Rocking the XTrain
Monday hit me hard today. Not only was it just flat out Monday, we lost an hour as well. Talk about a double whammy. At least it was sunny again today though. That's always a plus, especially after Sunday was a wash out - as in, you needed a boat to get anywhere.

No running still, so that meant indoor workouts. Which really translates to an XTrain Weekend courtesy of Cathe Friedrich.

Saturday I went with Cardio Legs. I really enjoyed the workout (as much as you can enjoy being tortured mind you). She includes a plyo style exercise then follows that up with a weighted leg exercise. Definitely keeps your heart rate high.

It's definitely not a heavy leg workout, but since I can't do that right now, this works really well. It's one of those workouts that's kind of deceiving too. You know it's tough, but you are going non-stop and don't have time to really think about the aftermath. The aftermath is having to hang onto the railing when going downstairs.

Sunday I decided to go with Cathe's Biceps/Triceps/Abs from the new XTrain Series. I also tried out the first half of the All Out Low Impact HIIT DVD since I hadn't been able to try that one yet. The first half doesn't require the step and is about 18 minutes long. My foot is bothering me too much to attempt any jumping on the step, and my legs were too sore from Saturday's workout as well. In other words, don't do this workout the day after you do the Cardio Legs ;-)

Time with Friends
Saturday's weather ended up being absolutely perfect. I won't lie, I was kind of getting down about not being able to get out and run. But, I reminded myself that running in 75 degrees after recent 30 degree temps would have meant I would have been complaining about melting!

Luckily, I still got to enjoy the great weather. Our friends had people over for crawfish (clearly not my reason for going). We got to spend the rest of the afternoon sitting out on their deck. I'd say that's a pretty good way to spend a day.

Then as pretty as Saturday was, Sunday was the opposite. It was crazy windy and pouring rain. Luckily the temps hovered around 55, so it could have been much worse. But it certainly wasn't motivating.

I did manage to get a lot done around the house, including studying. I enjoyed a long, leisurely lunch with my bestie too - and we scored a table by the fireplace where we had gone to eat. Jason was nice enough to do the grocery shopping for me while I had lunch.

Then I spent the rest of the day in the kitchen prepping food for the week. I'm definitely getting into a better habit of this, and it makes such a difference during the week. I feel like I've given myself time back each evening since most of the cooking is done.

So basically, it was a weekend of some sweaty workouts, time with friends, and a bit of productivity. All about trying to find that balance right?

How was your weekend? Sunshine or rain?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cathe Friedrich's XTrain Series


Cathe Friedrich's - XTrain Series
Recently, I was lucky enough to receive Cathe's latest series (XTrain) to review. Those of you who've read my blog for any length of time probably have already gotten the hint that I am a huge fan of Cathe. I've been doing her DVDs for 8-9 (or more) years.

I was lucky enough to even go to her Road Trip three summers ago and meet her. She's just a sweet in person as you think she'd be from the DVDs. I think she's just a very solid instructor. She's enthusiastic, but not annoying. She is always good about showing correct form and for showing modifications for all exercises.

So, needless to say, I couldn't wait to dive right into the Xtrain DVDs. Especially since I'm trying to rebuild muscle lost after not being able to lift because of the blood clot.

I received the bundled set, minus the Ride DVD. I loved that the Xtrain Bundle set comes with a user's guide that also included 4 different workout rotations to choose from as well as the exercises included on each disc, the premixes, and even the weights she uses just to give you a general idea.

Unfortunately, due to my foot injury, I wasn't able to try out the Cardio Leg Blast or the All Out Low Impact HIIT workouts. But I most definitely will be doing those as soon as I'm able to.

XTrain Super Cuts
This is a fantastic, fully-body conditioning workout. Cathe uses dynamic and compound moves to hit every muscle group while keeping your heart rate going strong. This one is great because you don't need a ton of equipment or a huge range of weights. I think most at-home exercises would have the necessary equipment already. And if you don't, it's not expensive equipment either.

She only uses 5 and 8 pound dumbbells, a resistance tube (you could use just a band but you would need to be careful on the grip), a band to go around your thighs (she does have a special "firewalker" band but I just tied up one of my regular bands), and some sliding discs (paper plates work too). Oh and Dixie cups, but I just did the lunges without them.

So if you're looking for a full body workout but don't have a lot of time to do a down and dirty weight workout, this is a great option. You'll work all muscles; you'll keep your heart rate at a pretty decent level, and you won't be working out for hours on end. I also tried one of the bonus abs workouts at the end. One word: killer. 

XTrain Hard Strikes
I was super excited to try this one out. I absolutely love Cathe's MMA Boxing and Kickboxing workouts and was hoping for more of the same. While it's a really good workout, it isn't quite like the MMA workouts.

It's definitely one I will keep in my rotation of workouts, but probably not at the top of the list. I will say that I really liked the heavy bag tabatas at the end of the workout. You definitely don't have to have a heavy bag. I just used my 1 pound weighted gloves throughout the workout and for the heavy bag session. And if you have any agressions to take out...the tabatas will take care of that one I promise.

Tabatacise
If you like tabata workouts, then this one is right up your alley. It's amazing how high you can get your heart rate going in 4-minute intervals and just your body weight. But Cathe takes it to another level by including a step blast between each of the 5 tabata segments.

So just when you think you're done with the tabata round, she throws in an extra cardio blast using the step (with 2 risers on each side). This workout will leave you with shaky legs and a puddle of sweat!

Biceps/Triceps and Chest, Back & Shoulders
At first I wasn't sure I was going to like these two discs. I loved the idea of the supersets and trisets, but not the 16 reps. I definitely prefer heavier weights with lower reps. However, this one...it's not light weights despite the number of reps.

You still go with about 70% of your 1 Rep Max (1RM), so be prepare to work and work hard. You'll be praying to eek out that last rep throughout the workout.

It moves pretty quickly too. So you really don't get bored with the higher reps (if you're prone to that like I am). You don't need a lot of equipment with this one. Just your dumbbells, mat, resistance tubing, and a ball. She uses a stability ball to also engage the stabilizer muscles and the tube along with a weight to make the eccentric move more challenging.

And get ready to do a lot of pushups for chest. Cathe is queen of pushup variations, and she definitely makes use of them here. Not only various pushups, but tempo patterns as well. 

Burn Sets
Burn sets is another weight DVD for biceps and triceps and shoulders, chest and back. This one uses 75-80% of your 1RM for 2 sets of 10 reps and a 3rd set to failure. The workouts are done as straight sets, so you complete one muscle group before moving to the next. There are 3 exercises for each muscle followed by one final burnout exercise.

This is a great DVD with tons of premix options to choose from. You'll definitely feel the burn!
Post Biceps/Triceps Workout

Legs
This isn't your traditional heavy leg workout. Actually, it's not really a traditional weighted leg workout period. But that doesn't mean it's easy; trust me on that one. Get ready to feel the burn with this one.

I gotta say that if you're a runner, you'll definitely want to check this one out. It's a terrific workout for hitting the glutes, hams, inner/outer thighs - all problem areas for most runners.

You'll need either a paper plate or a sliding disc, band or firewalker band, and light dumbbell. Again, this isn't a heavy weight workout. But, it's a great conditioning workout and will definitely give your bum a lift.

Final Thoughts
I may be a little biased seeing as how much I have always loved Cathe's workouts. But I'm not just touting the XTrain Series as great because I like Cathe; I'm saying they're good because I firmly believe they are solid workouts and would definitely have purchased the XTrain Series on my own. If you don't have much equipment at home, but do have access to a gym, I would highly recommend the download option so that you could take it with you. I think that is a fantastic option to have. 

Disclaimer: I received these DVDs for free to review. My opinions, however, are completely my own. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Don't Stop Believing


Well, I wish I could come into Monday's post raving about some awesome runs or even crazy 14-mile adventures. But, I can't. I didn't run this weekend. I won't run today. I may not run again until my half marathon on Sunday (fingers crossed I can then).

After my 10-mile run on Friday, my left foot seized up. Hello there plantar fasciitis. We meet again. I won't pretend that it hadn't been acting up. It has been. But I've been babying my foot. Icing, rolling it out, rolling out my calves, stretching like it was my job.

During the run on Friday, it wasn't bothering me terribly. It hurt a little here and there, but nothing sidelining. But the minute I stopped running, I was literally hobbling along. I've iced it, stretched it, and stayed off of it as much as possible.

I did get to try out some of the new Cathe Xtrain DVDs at least. I'll call that the upside of this for now. Hello DOMS.

I was talking to my sister on the phone about the race. And about just simply being so frustrated at everything: piriformis issues, plantar fasciitis, oh and that pesky blood clot situation. I had such high hopes of a great race on Sunday. I've been working so hard. My speed has increased. My endurance and stamina have increased. And now this. Just one more thing.

Yes, I've cried, I've cursed (a lot), I've moped. But I'm going to have to just suck it up and deal with it. Plain and simple. It kind of is what it is I suppose. I can wallow or find an upside right?

Well, then my sis sent me this picture.
She was in a really low place when she saw this and stopped and took a picture of the sign. Talk about a true sign huh? Not only is it a beautiful reminder, but it also made me realize that others are going through bad things too. She's hit some major low points and come through them. I will too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sniffles and Workouts on Way to Go Wednesday

Sniffles and Workouts
Sunday afternoon I started to steadily sneeze and sneeze and sneeze until my upper lips was red from blowing my nose. Monday morning I could feel the sinus drainage getting worse. I took a Zyrtec D - usually dries me right up - but my sinuses continued to drip and drain until I had a nice sore throat.

My plan was to just skip my workout. But I ended up going ahead and getting weights done for biceps, triceps, shoulders. My rationale was that if it sucked horribly, I could stop. And it would be a fairly short workout.

I surprised myself actually, and felt a little bit better once I got going. I went with a triset of 3x8 (unless noted). I've been doing high reps for the past 3 weeks, so this was a great switch up and my muscles felt it.

TS#1
Biceps curls with rotation
Double-arm overhead triceps extension
Overhead shoulder press

TS#2
Hammer curls
Double-arm kickbacks
Lateral raises

TS#3
Cross-body curls
Triceps pushups (10 reps on knees, I am so weak on these)
Front raises

I also did some abs then stretched before calling it quits and cleaning up.

Maybe the workout got the sinuses moving out the front (gross I realize) but my throat was feeling a little better. That is, until I went to sleep. Within an hour of dozing off, I woke up with a screaming sore throat and what I call a "squishy" ear. You know that feeling that every time you swallow it makes a squishy noise? Please tell me you get it ;-)

Anyway, slept poorly. Got up and got myself to work determined to stick it out as long as I could. I started feeling a little better once the meds kicked in again and after sucking on Halls like it was my job.

My plan for the day had been to run with my running partner. I would run from my house to her office like we had been doing. I wavered back and forth on what to do. Either it'd make me feel better or worse right?

I went ahead and went for it knowing I could just drop off and circle back home if need be based on the route I had plotted out. I'm kind of OCD on plotting routes. But sometimes it comes in handy.

It ended up being much cooler than either of us expected. As soon as the sun gets low, the temps drop fast. Of course, this makes you move faster too. Though, we did have lots of stops/starts because of the 5 pm traffic. But sometimes that's ok.

I managed to get in 5 pretty good miles despite my sinuses and sore throat. The run actually seemed to clear out my sinuses for a bit. 

Do you workout when you're feeling under the weather? Do you have a certain point when you know you must rest or do you push on? I'll workout up to a point. But if it's in my chest or I have a fever, it's an absolute no go.

Way to Go Wednesday
Since I was just talking about running, I suppose it's appropriate that the Way to Go Wednesday shout outs are running related.

Laura (Mommy Run Fast) for knocking out an awesome 20:22 PR for a 5K Turkey Trot and sharing her perspectives on what running means to her.

Mr. Pavement Runner (and wife and The First Lady for their 1st 5K) for a kickbutt, speedy 10K and beating his super secret goal of 45 mins.

Heather's son for an awesome 5K Turkey Trot.