My Saturday Morning Workout

Lately, I have been killing it at the gym and in my classes.  I have been expanding my horizons and trying all sorts of different exercises and techniques and really working on improving my form and overall fitness level.  I have totally upped the ante.

I’m a huge fan and supporter of body-weight exercises.  In fact, it’s what my boot camp classes are based on.  No equipment.  100% body weight.  My family fitness classes are similar, but often we will bring out some equipment to keep the younger participants keen (although, let me just say that the kids are LOVING this program, and if you don’t think your kids would be interested in fitness and exercises, try working out with them!).  In my family fitness classes I have used jump ropes, hula hoops, and a few balls.  And aside from gliders (which are TOTALLY body-weight exercises) that’s the only equipment I’ve ever used in any of my classes.

My gym workouts and my at-home workouts, however, are an entirely different story. I try and utilize as much equipment as I can at the gym – things I can’t use at home, like the rowing machine, the Smith machine (be still my beating heart), heavier weights, even a Bosu ball (for burpees – again, a body-weight exercise).

Until recently, a lot of my home workouts were body-weight based: doing some of my boot camp classes, or videos like any of the Insanity series, P90-X, Jillian Michaels, etc.  But since I got my dream boxing bag for Christmas, I’ve been using that a lot as part of my home exercise, and often incorporating weight-lifting, and running the stairs into the routine.

Today was a gorgeous day in Nova Scotia; it has been sunny and warm and it truly feels like the start of an early spring (we’re gearing up for some snow tomorrow though.  Bummer.), so I took advantage of the sunshine this morning and moved part of my workout outside – coming back inside for other parts of the workout that I wasn’t able to access in the fresh air.

A few years ago I found a bombdiggity weighted jump rope at a local store.  I loved it so much that I went back and bought the remaining ropes.  Seriously.  I have a small stock, just in case.  I also bought one for my boyfriend so that we can both take advantage of the awesomeness.

weighted-jump-rope

For my warm up I brought the rope outside and skipped away.  It was so wonderful to be able to warm up outside.

Oustide jump rope

This was basically me this morning. (via Yahoo)

Once warmed up I moved back inside so that I could do a boxing workout.  I boxed my butt off to some upbeat music, while doing burpees and squats in between.

boxingbag

Just call me Rocky Balboa

I also took advantage of my resistance bands and my newest obsession, my suspension training system.

Squat Row

Resistance bands are really just as good as weights – and certainly more mobile. (via Google)

I did a bunch of variations using the resistance bands – from squat rows to bicep curls to overhead extensions.  I did it all.

I took my suspension training system outside and channeled my inner Candace and inner Norman and performed different variations of exercises, such as: mountain climbers, chest press and fly, to the full body row (below), planks with a leg extension.

Suspension Candace

Candace Cameron Bure (and Kira Stokes) via Instragram

Norman Reedus Suspension

Norman Reedus via Men’s Fitness

I did circuits of all of these exercises, moving from inside to outside and enjoying every bit of it.

You don’t need a lot of money or a gym membership or even a lot of equipment to get in shape.  If you’re not into body-weight training – or want to move outside that realm for some of your workouts, invest in a few small pieces of fitness gear: resistance bands usually run between $10 and $30, smaller weights can be purchased fairly cheap at places like Canadian Tire and Walmart, weighted jump ropes can be picked up pretty much anywhere, including some discount and dollar stores.  Suspension Training Systems can be pricey.  Mine was an investment that I decided to go ahead with since I can use it personally and for my clients and, well, because #obsessed.  My boxing bag was a Christmas gift and something I’ve been wanting for many years.  It too was an investment (gifted to me), but you don’t necessarily need a boxing bag to enjoy a boxing workout.  There’s nothing wrong with shadow boxing or cardio boxing <- those will definitely get your heart pumping.

And all of the above (minus an actual boxing bag) are mobile items.  So you can move your workouts outside, or pack your gear when you’re vacationing, or even take with you to a friend’s house so that you can exercise together.

The ultimate goal would be to take advantage of both body-weight training and inexpensive workout gear.

~FB

Advertisements

Instant Results

I saw this meme the other day on my Facebook feed and I thought how true it is and has been for many of us.

instant-results

We’re just entering our second week of 2017 and, as most people do, many of us have also made New Year’s Resolutions.  (Have you?  Tell me about them.)

I almost never make resolutions for the new year because I know I’m more than likely setting myself up for failure.  (Stop swearing.  Yeah right!)

Instead, this time I have have made the decision and commitment to work harder on my strength training this year.  For Christmas I had received a free-standing boxing bag, something I have wanted for a long time.  I was ecstatic Christmas morning.  And I have been utilizing it this past week like crazy.

In addition to the boxing, I am going to continue to my strength training in the gym (and at home) with lifting weights and, hopefully, continuously increasing the weight.  Of course, this part will depend on how my back fares.  I wretched it again just this morning while shoveling snow.  Sometimes I feel like it’s never going to heal.  But, that being said, I will work on my strength while doing my best not to injure myself any further.

work-for-it

My Whole 30 60 (I am aiming big this time) also starts tomorrow morning and I have been so excited to get going.  Don’t get me wrong, I am going to miss chocolate and those dreamy peppermint mochas, but I know how wonderful I feel when doing a Whole and committing myself to completely clean eating for 60 days has me on edge in all the good ways.

But see – this is the point of this post.  Instant results would be fabulous!  But it’s just not realistic.  Oprah said years ago on her show that if there were a pill out there to make her lose weight she would be on it!  But, unfortunately, there is no magic pill. You have to work for it.  You have to.  The only instant result you get is making the choice to change your life.

That’s right, in one instant you can change your life.  You can commit yourself to a better lifestyle – to eating cleaner, to sleeping more, to getting enough water to drink, and to exercising.

30-minutes

Even 20 minutes a day can change your life!

Many years ago, when I was overweight and at my heaviest, I made that commitment. And, as you know, I haven’t looked back.  I have changed my life.

At first, I had a hard time getting through my workouts.  I was panting and huffing and puffing.  I could barely get through three minutes.  But I kept at it and I worked my way up to 10, 20, 30, 60, 120 minutes.  I have often said that 20 minutes a day can change your life  and I stick by that.  You do not need to spend hours upon hours in the gym.  But you do have to do something.  Start off with a goal of even 5 minutes a day.  Work your way up to 10 or 20 minutes over the weeks.  See how different you feel, how easier it is to breathe, how harder you can go.  Feel the difference in your body and how your clothes fit.  Commit yourself to one month.  Give yourself 30 days of eating better and working out even 3 times a week.  I challenge you* to do that. Thirty days is not a long time.  But those thirty days can change your life.

You have to work for it.

~Fit Bitch

*Anyone accepting my challenge, please feel free to comment or email me and let me know you’ve accepted the challenge, or if you want fitness tips, instructions, workout ideas, or nutritional advice/healthy eating coaching.

Results May Vary

Happy New Year Fitness Peeps!

The other night, while rockin’ it at the gym, I had an epiphany.  And I decided that 2017 is going to be another spectacular year.

I’ve been working really hard this past year on my strength training and in this upcoming year, I am going to make defining my muscle tone an attainable goal.  In fact, in helping me do so, my brother and sister-in-law got me a freestanding boxing bag…. just like this one:

boxingbag

Fitness wishes do come true!

So, now I can box my sweet heart out without having to leave the house (although, I still do love to attend a class), in addition to teaching my classes, hitting the gym, running, and attending my ritual Thursday night Zumba class.

Now, all that being said, I know that I do need to set attainable goals.  I’m getting older and my body and metabolism and hormones change.  It’s not as easy to lose weight as it once was.  So, my goals really need to be realistic.  But there’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to hit them….or to strive for them.

And you can too.  You can make 2017 your best year ever.

Set yourself some goals.  Make notes on how you will change your lifestyle so that you can, indeed, change your life.  Will your “resolutions” include working out more, eating less, strength training, finding your spirituality or mental clarity, becoming more social?

Just remember that no matter what you decide and what you aim for – your results will not be the same as your best friend’s or your running buddy’s or your partner’s.

results-may-vary

You will likely not end up with the same fit bod as your favorite celebrity (although, you never know – maybe it will be better!).  Whatever you do, make sure you’re making changes for you.  For better health and for longevity.

And as always, remember:  You’re Worth It!

~FB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Closing In and Resolutions

Part 1

The end of 2013 is upon us and I have to say that I am proud of my year in fitness.  Although, I’m not completely overwhelmed with my weight at the moment but hopefully, now that I’m off the medication I’ve been on for a few years, the weight issues will cease.  Regardless, I’m going to continue with my fitness and see where it takes me in 2014.

I am happy to report that I have either made it to the gym or completed a workout every day on my Christmas vacation – with the exception of Christmas day (unless trudging thru the snow counts.  Does that count?  Because it’s been snowing here every day for about 2 weeks straight!) and I haven’t indulged horribly in holiday goodies – although I have definitely had more sweets the last week than I normally would have.  But today I’m drinking lots of water and indulging in grapes and other fresh fruit.

And tonight I am attending a special 1.5 hour end of year Zumba celebration class.  My plan is to hit the gym for a bit before hand (as usual) – or at least get some yoga in (or both!) and then hit the class.  I’m actually really exited about this class – just because we haven’t had a class in about a week and a half and I really enjoy the workout I get from Zumba.

I’m also excited to say that my dad was kind enough to gift me a new pair of boxing gloves for my boot camp class (a gift I really wanted but hadn’t mentioned to anyone). I’ve been using spare gloves at the facility but let me just say this:  THAT is disgusting!  Those gloves are full of {I don’t even know how many other) people’s sweat and they stink beyond belief and for some reason my face or head or neck always itches during that class (probably from sweat) and I do my best to not touch my face after having those gloves on and I’m kind of a germaphobe and a compulsive hand washer….so my own gloves are definitely appreciated.

Thanks Dad!

Thanks Dad!

Part 2

Y’know, I really hate the phrase “New Years Resolution(s)” because every year people make their Resolutions for the new year and NEVER stick with them.  It’s like they set themselves up for failure.  And so often so many state that their Resolution is to diet or to lose weight or to get to the gym – which is all great but WHY wait for the new year??  There is no better time to start living a healthier life right now.  Instead of gorging yourself on leftover pie or cookies or having another turkey sandwich – just because it’s there – why not have a big glass of water and an orange?  Or have half that sandwich and a side salad.  Your body and mind will thank you.  And honestly, all that leftover food can be frozen.  Save it for another time or for guests or take the leftover sweets into your workplace, etc.  You don’t need to eat the food just because it’s there.  And make today the day when you’re going to take the extra stroll around the block or park at the bottom of the parking lot or the day you’re going to get to the gym or a new class.  Don’t wait for January 1st or 2nd….do it today.

And be sure to set realistic goals for yourself.  I look forward to getting into more classes in 2014 and broaden my horizons even more but I have to be realistic about how many days are in the week.  I can certainly add one or two (or maybe even three) more classes into my schedule but I think 8 classes is enough.  Eight classes will tap me out because on top of my career, classes, gym time, I still need time for my family and friends and cat and ME.  I’ve been relaxing over the holidays and sort of loving in but getting anxious to get back to the regular routine.  I like a little chaos.

I look forward to 2014 and hopefully hearing about your goals for a healthy you (aka please post below in the comments).

~Fit Bitch

 

Body Bootcamp

I’m signed up for another class!  My sister-in-law asked me to join a Body Bootcamp with her.

“Starting December 4th, every Wednesday night and Sunday morning…..Body Bootcamp will begin……each class will run for an 1.5 hours and will incorporate, non-contact kickboxing, focus mitt and kickpad work, crossfit training, weights, and body strength exercises. Build your core and make the rest of your body happy. We will also take time to learn PROPER punching and kicking techniques that will help your overall workout in regular cardio fitness classes.”

At first I hummed and hawed about it because 6 classes in 4 days just seemed a like too much.  But, she nagged me some more and I’ve worked out a deal with the instructor to just do the Wednesday class for now (I’m usually obligated to other things Sunday mornings).  So now I’m a little psyched for it.  I expect to be exhausted for the first week or so because this will literally leave me with no time to myself (except perhaps the occasional day here or there) but I’m sure it will be worth it in the end.

buffy

My brother used to be a boxer (and a wrestler) so when we  were in high school we had a boxing bag and gear in our rec room.  He taught me some of the basics and I would spend a lot of time boxing and kick-boxing – trying to solidify my moves like the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer (black high tops and all).  I’m looking forward to this adventure.  I’m also extremely excited to get into Crossfit.  I’ll try and post after my first class two days from now.  I have a feeling I’ll be dead tired but I’ll do my best.

~Fit Bitch

I Want to Run like Phoebe

Remember that episode of Friends where Rachel went running with Phoebe and then was completely mortified because Phoebe ran like a Muppet off its Ritalin?

I love that episode.  I especially love that Phoebe is completely right.  I feel so exhilarated when I run that I often just want to take off like a bat out of Hell and bust my moves all over the place.

Last night I was at the gym and went for a 25 minute run to start.  It felt great.  It was nearly a week since my last run and I was determined to get it done.  Twenty-five minutes is all I could handle as the gym was 26 degrees (c) (which is about 78 degrees (F) – which means it was grossly hot and humid and a girl can only take so much.

I was at the gym for about 80 minutes in total and got in cardio and tons of strength – abs, legs, arms, back.   I started the 30 Day Abs Challenge and the 30 Day Squat Challenge again this month so I made sure to incorporate those exercises into the routine as well.  All in all it was a great night for exercise (which was only cut short by a visit from my dad) and I’m excited to get back there again tonight for a pre-workout before my Zumba class.

Since it’s the start of the month and Monday was a holiday, Zumba is my only class this week.  However, Barre Strength begins Monday night, followed by Yoga and Thursday night will be back to the regular routine of Zumba and Yoga.  And I’m looking into taking some kickboxing classes with my sister-in-law (who’s been after me to come to a class with her for years now).  My brother was a boxer when we were teenagers and I used to box and kick box with his boxing bag and gloves back then, but a serious kickboxing class is something I’ve yet to attempt.  Hopefully I can get to one class for the experience and then make the judgement as to whether I want to fork over the money and commit to another class.  I’m not opposed to joining more classes, I just want to be sure that it’s a class I really enjoy.  Right now, I’d like to get into another cardio class (so kickboxing might be for me) and more into yoga.

Happy September!

~Fit Bitch