{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

{goals}

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Do you set goals for yourself? Honestly, I am not much of a goal setter myself. I tend to just take things in stride and go with the flow and let everything just play out, and then go from there. This I am trying to change. Setting goals in my fitness journey, and also just in life in general. Three months ago I set a goal to be able to do five pull-ups. At the time, I could just barely, and quite ugly I might add, squeak out one pull-up. I do pull-ups every week, and today I met my goal and busted out those five pull-ups!!! The last one wasn’t pretty and I almost didn’t get it, but I had that goal in my head and could not give up when I was that close! I know if I wasn’t thinking about meeting that goal, I would have been fine with four pull-ups and stopped. But, I didn’t stop and pushed through to find some inner strength to do just one more.

So, how did I go from one sad pull-up to five in three months. Lots and lots of assisted pull-ups. Love them. Hate them. It doesn’t matter, you just got to do them! That and lots of push-up. I don’t do high reps in push-ups. I would rather do 5 perfect push-ups, instead of 25 half ass push-ups. My next pull-up goal is to be able to do 10!

Goals people. Goals. 
No matter how small, now matter how big. Set them, and try your hardest to reach them!
Peace Out~
Nicholle
ps sorry to be MIA, I had a little set back with my knee acting up. It doesn’t feel 100% yet, but it is getting much better. I haven’t done any kettlebell workouts in two weeks and am getting anxiously to give it a try and see how my knee feels. 

{snack attack}

Don’t you just love a good snack??!! I eat six to eight times a day, so I am basically snacking all day. Most of my meals are 200 to 400 calories, give or take. I feel like my body responds really well to eating smaller portions more frequently. Here are a couple of “snacks” that I have made recently. First up {torpizza}! It was about 7:30 pm and I was hungry, so I made this quick and easy tortilla style pizza after I saw one similar on my friend’s IG {check her out @anneleigh83 on instagram, she also has a blog run.eathealthy.repeat for you to follow! She posts great workouts, yummy food, and is very inspirational!}

For my torpizza, I just used what I had on hand. Of course, you can use whatever you have!

torpizza

  • 1 low carb tortilla {la banderita}
  • 2 Tb. pizza sauce {muir glen organic}
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 4 thin slices of tomato
  • 1/4 cup zucchini thinly sliced
  • 1 chicken sausage with apple and gouda {from costco}
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

I first got the tortilla a bit crispy on the stove top as my oven heated {I set my oven to convection bake at 400}, and then layered it with the pizza sauce, spinach, chicken tomatoes, zucchini, and shredded cheese. I then put it in the oven on my pizza stone {a baking pan would work} and just kept an eye on it until the cheese was melty and the veggies looked soft. Of course, then all I had left to do was to devour it!

{MACROS are calories: 337 I protein: 29g I crabs: 21g I fat: 15g}

Next up is an after school snack that I made for my boys {of course I had to have one, too!}. This was on the back of the graham cracker box, I changed it a bit by adding more strawberries and blueberries and omitting the banana. I also added 2 scoops of Beyond Driven protein powder in Cake Batter to turn this into a protein packed snack!

Berry Frozen Yogurt Bars

Strawberry bars

  • 10 1/2  Graham, broken into quarters {42 pieces}
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries {I used frozen}
  • 1 cup vanilla greek yogut {greek gods, vanilla honey, I ran out of vanilla and also use fage 0% plain}
  • 1 cup fat free whipped topping
  • 2 scoops Beyond Driven Whey Isolate in cake batter

I left the berries as is, but if you want you could pulse them a bit in a food processor to have smaller chunks. Line a 9 in square pan with foil, having ends extend over the sides to help lift the bars out when they are done. Arrange half of the graham pieces in 3 rows of 7 on the bottom of the pan. Stir the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl until topping, yogurt, and protein powder all well combined. Spread on top of bottom graham pieces and then top with remaining graham pieces. Freeze for at least 4 hours. When time to serve, lift out of pan with foil “handles” and cut into 21 bars. YUM!

{MACROS for 1 bar are calories: 62 I protein: 4g I carbs: 9g I fat: 1g}

It’s hard to beat a good snack!
Peace Out~
Nicholle

{oh my quad}

I slept in yesterday morning, meaning I did not get my morning workout done. This meant I was going to have to hit up the gym late, after all the boys were in bed and my better half got home. Come 9:30 pm I am getting up and getting ready to go to the gym {that might not sound late to most, but for this mom of 4 consider it midnight!}. I wanted to work legs hard and had my workout all planned, that is until that better half convinced me to just stay home and workout. I was reluctant, I just really wanted to go to the gym {that’s my “me” time}. He convinced me by saying he hadn’t seen me all day and wanted to spend some time together, but mostly because he said he would do it with me! I think he regrets agreeing to this today, but it was good for him! I then had to get my head out of gym mode and come up with something that I could do at home, but would still really get that burn going. Umm, yeah, this did that. My quads were on fire, just screaming at me!

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I got my gymboss timer out and set it to 00:30, 00:20. We did 30 seconds for each movement with a 20 second rest in between movements. After the first six movements we finished the round with a 1 minute wall sit. Just got nice and cozy up against a wall and let our quads SCREAM! Then we had a 40 second rest in between rounds. We did six rounds all together, and then finished up with a few rounds of different abdominal movements. I slept in this morning again, i might need to set a double alarm! Now I need to figure out what kind of workout I want to do today and the even bigger unknown for me is when I will get a chance to do it.

No excuses, if you want it bad enough, you will figure out a way to get it!
Peace Out~
Nicholle

{workout wednesday}

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In the last three days I have lifted arms and shoulders, and then chest and back, and then did this beast of a workout. It doesn’t seem like much, but I can honestly say my shoulders feel like they are going to shred right off of my body!  So, the 20/10/20 format for these movements go as follows, 20 seconds in the movement, followed by a 10 sec static hold of the movement, followed by 20 more seconds of the same movement. Then a 10 second break and right into the next movement. I complete this entire circuit 4 times and it was about 30 minutes long, burning just over 300 calories!

One handed Kettlebell thrusters, this is essentially a squat with a press at the top. With this movement you can either have the static hold be in the press position {fully locked out} or in the squat position.

V-ups, the static hold is in the V shape!

Walk-outs, hold in a plank.

Mountain climbers, also hold in a plank.

Snatches, static hold at the top of the snatch.

Just like any of the workouts I post, this one can be modified and changed by adding in different movements. This is a lot of shoulders and upper body, maybe give it a try with lunges and more legs and glutes movements?!

Let me know if you give this bad boy a try, be prepared to feel the burn!
Peace Out~
Nicholle

{600 ~ WOD}

I burned 600 calories this morning with the perfect WOD {workout of the day}, LEGS & ABS! These two are my weak point. I have “chicken legs” and with the amount of stretch marks I have {tons} I have loose skin at the bottom of my stomach. With that being said, I don’t dislike these parts of my body, in fact just the opposite, because that just means I can work a little extra hard on these areas;)

My workout was a mixture of HIIT cardio, supersets, trisets, and some plyo. Seriously, it was the perfect combination and I really loved this workout! If you try it, let me know what you think!

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Have an amazing weekend!
Peace Out~
Nicholle