{double time}

I have been changing it up a little the last couple of weeks. Lifting four days a week, with cardio the other three. My lifting days consist of one or two supersets and doing 10 sets in total, starting with high reps (50-40) and light weight (a weight that will bring me to failure for each set). Dropping sets until I get to 10 reps with heavy weight, and then going back up in reps while dropping weight. Sounds easy, right?! Wrong! Let me tell ya, doing my tenth set of Arnold presses at 50 reps with just 10 pound dumbbells was really difficult for me and pushed my limits to the max! I loved it!

Cardio days are 20 to 30 minutes of some kind of interval training. I had been doing elliptical 3 minutes medium resistance and pace, followed by 1 minute hard resistance and pace. Then I found some big tires in the back of the gym, and a sledge hammer in the utility closet {no I’m not a crazy snooper, I work there one day a week}. Breaking out into my happy dance! SO, yesterday for my cardio I did some sledgehammer work to warm up, followed by a great doubles kettlebell workout. I set my gymboss timer to 20/10 and did 10 rounds with the sledgehammer, switching sides each round. This got my heart rate up and my body ready for a great kettlebell circuit!

If you haven’t tried doing double kettlebell movements, you have to try it. It brings more focus and a entire new level to kettlebells! I used two 25 pound kettlebells {if you have them in kg, that would be two 12s}. Grab your bells and don’t put them down until you are finished with all three movements. Rest after each circuit, repeat. I did about 20 minutes, it made for a fun cardio day!! Way more fun than the elliptical, in my opinion!

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Grab two bells and give doubles a go!!
Peace out~
Nicholle

{workout Wednesday}

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Yes, it’s Thursday. I wanted this entry to post yesterday, but I didn’t get it published. Anyway, here are two workouts I did this week. First up, a great Back and Biceps Workout. I did a warm up of hand to hand kettlebell swings, for five minutes with intervals of 20/10 {20 seconds doing the movement with a 10 second rest}. I did five super sets with this workout, so I went a little lighter in weight and really concentrated on the movement. For each super set I did three sets with reps between eight and fifteen. Just because I went down in weight does not mean that this workout was easier, FAR from it! I finished my Back & Bicep workout with some shrugs.

My leg workout yesterday was pretty simple, pretty quick, and very much a burn inducer. I started this workout with 10 minutes on the stair step machine, doing intervals of about 30 seconds medium resistance and 30 seconds high resistance. I then did two super sets and ended with a straight set of squats on the smith machine {the squat rack was in use. I’m not a huge fan of the smith machine for squats, but when need be it will do}. Before moving on to squats, I also did one set of single leg lying leg presses. Oh, and on the sissy squats {body weight with these}, I held onto the bar of the smith machine so that I could get really low and keep good form. Hopefully one day I won’t need to hold onto anything while doing sissy squats. If you haven’t done these before, don’t let the name fool you! They are HARD!

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What at have you workout this week? Let me know if you give either of these workouts a go!

Peace Out,

Nicholle

{what do you weigh?}

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Do you know what you weigh? I can honestly say that I have NO idea what I weigh, I think I could give a pretty close guess but in the end it is just a number. A number that shouldn’t have the ability to determine your mood or how you feel about yourself. Have you seen that commercial that has women get on a scale in the center of Time Square? When they get on the scale it is positive WORDS instead of a number! That is how we need to feel about our bodies, positive! That doesn’t mean that you might not what to change something about your body, but instead of getting caught up in what the scale says get caught up in how you feel! And then work hard to achieve your goals, hard work always pays off!

I was never really one that weighed myself a lot, but I do remember a few times getting caught up in the scale and seeing a lower number made me happier. I ask myself now, why did that number determine that I was happier than before I stepped on the scale? I weighed the same before I saw the number as after. How can one number have so much power over a person? I gave it that power! And now I have taken that power away!! Today I weighed myself in terms of how I feel. I feel STRONG! I feel HAPPY! I feel HEALTHY! I feel GRATEFUL! I feel AMAZING!!!

How do you weigh in today?!

Peace Out~

Nicholle

{lift some weights}

Here are a couple of workouts I put together and did last week. I meant to share them earlier, but time gets the best of me! I’ve been really trying to work on my deltoid muscles, and the shoulder & back workout I did hit them pretty good! As always, legs, legs, legs. I’m slowly seeing some small gains in my quads and hamstrings. I’m being patient and getting stronger! I keep a journal or log of my workouts. I write the date, what I did {reps and sets}, what weight I lifted, and how long the workout took. {If you don’t keep a log or journal on your workouts, I highly recommend you try it}

Looking in the mirror I’m seeing progress in my legs, but not even close to the progress in my upper body. Then the other day I was flipping back through my journal and stumbled to a leg workout from November 2013. I was shocked! Why? Well, back in November I was doing leg presses with 90 pounds, last week I did leg presses with 180 pounds! Dead lifts I was lifting 65 pounds, now I’m up to 115 pounds. Squats I was lifting 55 pounds, last week I did squats with 110 pounds! Although it might not be a lot of weight to be lifting and I have goals to be able to lift heavier, I was in shock to realize I have doubled the amount of weight I could lift just four months ago. FOUR months, let’s just say I’m excited to see what I can do after four more months.

As promised, a couple of workouts to keep you busy at the gym!

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Let me know if you have any questions on the workouts, or if you give them a try let me know how it goes!
Peace Out,
Nicholle

{go green}

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Green juice that is! I have an Omega juicer, and LOVE it! I try to juice at least a few times a week, but with the winter we have been having I haven’t done the best at having fresh produce on hand. It’s probably been more like once or twice a week, but better than not at all. I’ve tried lots of juice recipes and I like quite a few, but my favorite {and my boys’ favorite} is always green juice. My usual green juice always has kale or spinach {or both}, cucumber, parsley, lime {or lemon}, celery, ginger {if I have it} and green apple. Kale is becoming a very popular green, and rightfully so as it is full of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K and is one of the healthiest foods in the world. There is another green that I like to add to my juice that often gets overlooked, and that’s parsley. Yes, parsley! It is also full of antioxidants like kale, and is a good source of iron. Parsley is packed full of healing goodness, and is a food that has the ability to neutralize carcinogens. Parsley tops the charts as one of the healthiest foods, right next to kale!

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20140227-104009.jpgHave you gone green lately??!!

Peace Out,

Nicholle

{on a quest}

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I really, really, really like quest bars. I am getting low, so this morning I placed an order and now I have my favorites on the way! I’m trying out the NEW Cookies and Cream flavor, can’t wait to try it!!! What other flavors did I order? My all time favorite {and my boys’ favorite, close with cookie dough} is White Chocolate Raspberry, I always run out of this first. Always. Then it is a close second and third with Apple Pie and Double Chocolate Chunk. Three of my favorite Quest Bars with a new flavor to try, let’s just say Tuesday will be a happy day for me {delivery is Tuesday!}. They have SO many  flavors, from peanut butter and jelly, cinnamon roll, chocolate brownie, to vanilla almond crunch, and about everything in between. You are bound to find a flavor you can’t live without! I buy my quest bars from Amazon.com, I’m a prime member so I get free 2 day shipping on them. I’ve priced them out other places and so far this is where I can find the best deals. A box of 12 ranges from $24 to $30 {with free shipping}, depends on the flavor {newer flavors are generally a few bucks more}.

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As a busy mom, a quest bar can really help me out when I need to eat something ASAP and have not prepped! For my son with SPD, chewy things are great for him{chewy foods help calm his brain!}as is protein, making quest bars a perfect fit. He loves them, and I love that they help him and are not a piece of candy {tootsie rolls are recommended to help him if he is having sensory overload, now we turn to a quest bar}.

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If you are on the lookout for a protein bar, or an on the go protein packed snack, I highly recommend Quest Nutrition and their crazy good protein bars. I have yet to try their pasta or Quest Cravings {chocolate peanut butter cups!}, but I imagine I will.

Are you on a quest?

Peace Out,

Nicholle

{ladies, let’s grow some muscle}

I read a good article the other day {I will share it if I can find it} and it really hit the nail on the head on how women need to change their way of thinking when it comes to building muscle. So many women have this misconception in their mind that if they build muscle they are going to get huge, manly muscles, so they use the word “toned”. “I don’t want big muscles, I just want to be toned.” What does toned even mean? Are you saying you want arms that don’t jiggle,  a nice shapely shoulder? Or maybe you want a butt that isn’t flat or doesn’t jiggle? Do you want lean {tight} legs, and maybe be able to see some abdominal definition? Guess what, to have that “toned” body you are after you have to grow some muscle! It’s your body fat percentage that is going to determine how much of your muscle is going to show. That is, if you have muscle. Go check out the get in shape girl. She wrote a blog post all about this topic. Here is a small excerpt from that post written by Kyra Williams:

First of all, we all have muscles.  Some folks have bigger muscles than others just by their genetic make up.  Some have worked hard to develop some muscles more than others.  If your goal is to have lean muscle tone, then you desire the appearance of muscle with little body fat.  If this is what you want, you must develop your muscles.

 If you have a low body fat with underdeveloped muscle tissue, you are not going to see muscle tone or definition.  Think, skinny arms, flat stomach, skinny legs, little butt, etc.  If you have low body fat with developed muscles you will see a nice round booty, a side sweep of the quad, shoulder caps, abs, etc.  But you have to develop that muscle!

She also explains a scenario of someone who has a larger number of body fat to lose, and how gaining and building muscle is very important. When you gain muscle, it speeds up your metabolism!

Normally I like to keep my blog posts short, but this one got a little longer. I practice what I preach, and here is my muscle building workout I did today, give it a try! I warmed up for 10 minutes on the elliptical in cross country setting, think hills, big hills. Total workout took me under 40 minutes!

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Now let us all embrace the word muscle!

Peace Out,

Nicholle