{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

{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

{weekend workout}

Too busy on the weekend to get a good workout in? Wrong!! Try this 23 minute upper body workout. Trust me, you will want to find the time to try this one!

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Warm up with 1 minute of each movement. Tap jacks: as your arms go up, your right leg goes behind your left leg with a side lunge and you tap your toe, arms go down as you bring your right leg back to start, repeat with your left leg. Side toe touch lunges are similar to skaters, same movement but bringing your opposite hand to opposite toes as you do a side lunge.
Workout is 20 seconds of work with a 10 second rest. Do each movement three times before moving onto the next movement. When you finish overhead presses, go back to the top with bicep curls and continue. Again, doing each movement three more times. Chest flys and pull overs will be done laying down.

What you will need:

  • Water
  • Interval timer
  • Dumbbells or plates {go heavy enough that it is hard to go that full 20 seconds, if it’s easy after 20 seconds you need to go up in weight!!}
  • A mat {optional}

No excuses, get a workout in this weekend!!

Peace Out,
Nicholle

{workout wednesday}

One of my favorite ways to set my gymboss timer for a HIIT workout is to 20/10, also know as Tabata. {here is a good article that quickly explains high intensity interval training} That’s 20 seconds you are doing the movement as hard as you can, with a 10 second rest until you either start up that same movement or switch to a different movement. A few reasons why I like this 20/10 format, first the mindset. Anyone can do something for 20 seconds, right?? {until you get to the end of your workout and 20 seconds feels like 2 minutes, just remember “anyone can work for 20 seconds”. Repeat it in your head, repeat it out loud, whatever you need to do to go that full 20 seconds!!} Second, this time format is an ideal fat burner! In a 20/10 workout, my heartrate rarely gets below 165 and I can easily burn 100 calories every 10 minutes. Last, you can do this ANYWHERE! Tabata workouts are great with just doing bodyweight movements! Trust me, the bodyweight movements are always the hardest!! If you don’t have a gymboss timer, I highly recommend it! If you have  a smart phone, there is probably an app interval timer. If there isn’t, someone should get on that, but it won’t be me. I’m technologically not smart!

For a “true” Tabata workout, you will keep that timer set to 20/10 and you will do two movements per set. How many times you do each set is up to you, usually about 4 minutes is a good time to switch it up. That means after 4 rounds of the first two movements, you will go into two different movements for another 4 minutes. Got it?? Anywhere from 10-30 minutes is going to get you sweaty! I will warm up before I lift with 10 minutes or so of Tabata, or I will make it my entire workout and go the full 30 minutes. There are so many ways to format this type of workout, that although you are still using a 20/10 interval, it won’t get boring!

Here is an example of a great Butt Lifting Tabata Workout that I did last week, give it a try. Your glutes will thank you!

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Have a happy hump day!
Peace Out,
Nicholle

{back on point}

change

Yes, I fell off the blogging bandwagon. No, I did not fall off the fitness bandwagon. I felt like I was hitting a plateau in both my blog and my lifting. My blog, because I just can’t get use to wordpress. I don’t love this format that I have, but I love parts of the look I have going, just not the format, and I’m a blogging idiot! Finally, I had a little breakthrough in my fitness and was FINALLY able to to squat over 100 {115 for 5 reps on my last set!}, not a huge amount of weight to squat but to me it was more that I was breaking through that plateau. I had also been stuck around 180 for lying leg presses, finally hit 200 for 6 reps in the same workout as my squat break through!

This brings me to stretching. Do you stretch? I don’t. Okay, that’s not true, just that I don’t as much as I should. I have crazy tightness in my legs, and I think that has been preventing me from gaining the strength and muscle gains that I have been wanting. My tight muscles, means I do not have maximum mobility and function in the muscle. Meaning I can’t do lifts to my fullest potential, which makes me frustrated. Moving on to yoga, I follow some amazing Yogi’s on my instagram. I have always been in awe of them and their abilities in such strength, balance, and flexibility. They are truly incredible!

I can only dream of one day having their ability at yoga! I would love to learn more, and I have an app on my phone but it just isn’t doing it for me. Back bends are crazy hard for me, this I would love to get better at. Headstands and handstands, I can do the tripod and up into a headstand and hold it for about 6 seconds, lol. I really would love to take a class, but have two problems in that: 1. time, stay at home mom’s don’t have someone to watch their kids during the day. 2. money, saving more is my New Year resolution.

I’m hoping if I just do a little bit of yoga everyday, it will help with my mobility/flexibility, and in turn help me through my plateau. What do you do when you feel like you are at a plateau or just feel like changing things up??

Peace Out~

Nicholle