15 Things I have learned From Ages 27-28

15 Things I have learned From Ages 27-28

 Hey Friends!! I want to thank you all for the Birthday Wishes if you already sent me a message, Facebook post, email or what have you. I feel so thankful for you, my blog, my family, friends, and life. I always track back on my Birthday to the past year and look to see where I am and what has really taken place over the past year. It seems as I get older, the days, weeks and months simply mesh together and its easy to forget about simple things. I take every Birthday to reflect and see if I really have grown or if I am the same person. Of course, we all change a bit, but I always find it interesting to see what I have picked up each year. Here goes my list of 15 things I have learned. ENJOY! 

1) If you are unhappy with where you are. Do something about it.  This year was pretty transformational for me in terms of work life. I was forced to make some decisions that I knew would benefit me and my career in the long term, but during this time when I was making these decisions, it was extremely challenging. I have always lived life by going with my gut. I have learned that sometimes rash decisions are not the best, and the most important decisions take time. I weighed my options and knew that for me to grow professionally and remain content while LOVING what I am doing, I needed to embrace change. To say I was scared would be an understatement. I left behind my amazing clients, some of whom I had been training for 2+ years. I was so grateful that a few followed me to my new location, but I knew I would be starting from the ground up. It was time to get out of my comfort zone for sure and I was so hungry and ready to tackle this challenge. I absolutely LOVE what I do. I am so thankful that I can wake up and help people feel better, move better and know that that 1 hour I spend with them during their workout may be the highlight of their day. In less than 3 months, I have managed to grow a solid business and work my tail off (hence the lack of posting as often) I was so thirsty to embrace my new place of work and immerse myself with the other trainers, my classes that I was taking for the past month and focused 100% on growing my business Yeah-you can say I have been a little selfish when it comes to work, but I knew that this was my priority in my life right now. I have passed my first test to bump me up and happier than ever.

2) Life is Short, Eat the Key Lime Pie.  Well, Key lime pie is my favorite dessert so this is what I will use as the example.  There was a time in my life I never touched anything that was ‘bad’ and yes, I also labeled food this way. I would look at that cookie or cupcake or piece of bread in awe and ‘wish’ that I could have it. I remember my family always saying, “uhhh, so have it” and my response was a chuckle AKA “of course not!” wow. I am even ashamed to admit this now. After my surgery, I truly realized how grateful I was to have my health. I was taken home in a wheelchair as I watched those still staying in their hospital beds, moving nowhere anytime soon.  Balance and health is the most important thing to me and I have taken this into focus big time over this past year. Pass up events for the gym? No way jose. Of course, I always pick and choose my battles. I am not saying I’m over here stuffing my face with Ben and Jerry’s every night, but when I truly want something, I eat it-guilt free. There are more serious issues in the world-seriously. Eat the piece of bread and while your at it-stick a piece of cheese on there!

3) Be Proud of your Change. I have learned to be proud of myself more. I work my tail off and know that I am the only one who can dictate and change my thoughts, attitude and decisions.  When someone is surprised on how much you have changed, I don’t see this as a bad thing at all.  I have learned to be proud of my growth.

4) Don’t feel sorry for yourself when everyone else is getting engaged and having babies This seems to be the time in my life where I can’t open my Facebook Newsfeed or any other social media platform without seeing someone else getting engaged, married or pregnant-and most of them are younger than me. It came to a point where I would feel really sorry for myself. Why wasn’t I engaged and why was my camper who is 4 years younger than me already married? What was I doing wrong and will it ever happen for me. Screw this talk. My life is pretty damn good and I have no interest in marriage at this moment anyway. When the time is right, it will be right and I will embrace and be so ready for it. I am so happy for those who have babies and beautiful engagement rings, so looking at the pictures and hearing the news is nothing but happiness for these people rather than disdain

5) Dating is….Interesting. Well, over this past year, I have had some amusing interactions to say the least. I have met some pretty incredible people and I have also met some pretty low life men who think they can get away with pretty much….anything. Dating in and of itself is strange. Meet someone for a drink or coffee and see if there is chemistry. You hope they are cute and you hope they meet your expectations and then you meet them and all you want to do is run into a black hole. For two people to meet and have that ‘can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t live without you’ type chemistry–takes work. Serious work. I have turned down men and I have been turned down as well. I have had men treat me like crap and also have had men send me flowers at work. It’s a game and I have learned to go into everything with a positive attitude. Being open is a huge part of the game and just because you ‘don’t like their jeans’ this is not a reason to throw someone out the window. I could write a whole blog on some of the interactions I have had, but I will spare you the fun stories :) May this year bring about fun and happiness!

6) Do it If you Want to. Who is judging you? Last September, I was bored with my hair, so I chopped it off. I had a fun run with the short bob, but honestly? I miss my long hair. A WHOLE lot. I went for it and got myself a birthday present. Hello extensions.

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7) Workout With Friends: This past year I have definitely made an effort to try new things when it comes to physical activity. I have finally found a balance in my workout routine  and have realized that I love having a workout buddy. I used to be a total solo gym go-er and yes, I still love working out on my own, but I have a balance between that and working out with a buddy!

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8) My family means the world to me. Ok, so this is something that I haven’t realized this year, but every year it amazes me how incredible they are. I am so lucky to have a support system that will always be there for me no matter what. It makes me so happy to know I can pick up the phone at any time of day and they will be there.

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9) If it doesn’t make you happy don’t do it. Why do something that makes you miserable. Why be with people who bring negativity? I will never understand people who put themselves in this position and then complain about it.  Do things that bring you HIGHER. Make you HAPPY. Add variety and be open to everything!

10) Good Friends are Hard to Find and when you find them. Keep them close. Having good friends is a necessity to me-like peanut butter and Channing Tatum. I just need friends in my life. I am not in anyway what you would call a people collector-you know those people who you meet and they want to hang out with you but they’re just ‘omg sooo busy’ that they can only squeeze you in at 4pm on a Friday because they have better things to do when 7pm rolls around. Yeah-that’s not me. I focus on the quality of my friendships with the gals in my life. I have found that most things in life are temporary but  good friends will always be there, especially when you need them the most. I love my friends and so grateful for them

11) It’s okay to watch happy videos on YouTube for an hour. Guys-we spend most of our days working and I realized the other day that I spend more time with the people I work with and at work more than anyone else in my life-its the truth. Sometimes I get home after a 12 hour day and just want to watch some funny videos that have nothing to do with work or life. I want to laugh and watch other people be silly. I’m okay with it.  Oh and here you go…You’re welcome

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12) Its okay to feel like crap one day and like a million bucks the next Guys- we all have good and bad days. You know, those days you wake up, look in the mirror and think “damnnn, I look good” then there are those days where you get out of bed and all you want to do is cry. Those days may even be back to back. Its weird, right? Well, I have come to accept that crap happens and I may not feel 100% every single day. If I want to cry, I cry. If I feel amazing, then I will feel AAAAMMMAAZINNGGG. We are not perfect people-we are humans and it’s okay to feel emotions without hiding them all of the time.

13) Put Down My Phone: We’re so caught up in trying to do everything, experience all the essential things, stay updated on everyone else lives through social media and email etc. We can easily forget that we just can’t do it all-in fact, trying to do it all may drive us crazy!  It’s okay to miss out. I have realized that staying up an extra half hour at night to see what’s happening on Instagram or Facebook will not change my life. I have learned to just shut down and relax. I do not have to respond to every single email or call right away. I can wait-especially if it is not something I need to get done right that instant. I always want to be part of the fun stuff–try new restaurants, go to the newest show, be out and about-but I have realized a little secret: life is better when I don’t try to do everything.  When I am doing what I am doing, I enjoy the moment. Someones status update about their new car will not change my life.

14) Spend Time With other Professionals In Your Field I, in no way know everything, in fact I am learning something new every single day. There is no better feeling than spending time with a superior who is as passionate about what they do and learning from them, how they came to be where they are, what their focus is, why they do what they do. I have been amazed at some of the conversations that have motivated me to change a certain style or cue differently, or simply try something new!  I have spoken to not only other trainers at my facility, but strength coaches, TRX instructors, Dragon Door Leaders, Pure Barre instructors, Flywheel Spinning instructors, Yoga instructors… you name it-I have learned something from every single one of those people I have had conversations with. Just because they are not doing ‘exactly what I am doing’ I still love to hear how they go about their personal business and what brought them to where they are today. I am so lucky to be in Boston where the Health and Fitness is so Prevalent everywhere I go. That feeling of being around so many other hard working, passionate leaders everyday is truly inspiring.

15) Spend money on things that matter to me. Money is a funny thing. Everyone wants more of it, but sometimes we look at the way others spend their money and want to pull our hair out. Bottom line-the way we each spend our money is our call. I personally know that I spend my money toward things I need and a couple bucks on things that I want. In addition to putting a hefty amount of my money in savings, there are some categories that I will never skimp out on, for instance-shampoo and face products. I spend a butt load on these items but I would rather buy higher quality products on these items. Another one would be workout sneakers–not that I buy the most expensive pair BUT I but a lot of sneakers and that’s okay because I am on my feet in them about 13 hours a day. **ahem** insert same goes for Lululemon. At this point in my life, I have no need for a car so I could never understand someone who spends big money taking care of theirs. As times change,  I know my money will used towards other important people, places or things, but right now, I choose how to spend it on what matters most :)

 

 

XOXOXOXOXO

-NAOMI 

 

How I Have Come to a Happy Balance With My Weekly Workouts Over the past 3 Years

How I Have Come to a Happy Balance With My Weekly Workouts Over the past 3 Years

People love to read and hear about what others are doing for exercise-Lets face it. You see a hot body and the first thing you want to say is “what do you do for your workouts?! You must workout likeee everyday, right? ughh tell me what you do!!” The truth is that every single human is built differently. Its a beautiful thing when you think about. You are unique and there is not one person on this entire planet that is built like you. We all can handle different amounts of stress, need different types and amounts of food and types of exercise effect all of us differently. When I hear this question (which is more often than not) I really don’t know what to say. Over the past 4 years, my workouts have changed within themselves tremendously (as has my body for the good and bad) I have gone through ups and downs with my own body image and transformation as well as find things that I enjoy rather than do just because I think thats what I need to do.

The Cardio Queen Phase

Working out is something I could never do without, however, I definitely have taken a step back from being the obsessive, crazy lady I used to be. Years ago, I felt unstoppable, no matter what. I would workout 2x a day (at a high intensity) and watch what I ate WAY more. I would constantly be thinking about my next workout, and also plan out the next workout during my current workout. If something got in the way, I would get anxiety. I HAD to exercise.  You would think I looked like a fitness model, right?

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Meh, not so much. I am in NO way ‘overweight’ here. I am normal, little softer than I would have liked but the craziest thing is that at this time in my life (late 2010) I was doing about 6 days of cardio for 45-55 minutes at a time. That was the bulk of my workouts. I didn’t do any yoga, pilates, classes and lifted weights about 1-2 times a week AFTER my crazy cardio sessions. I was eating healthy food–really really healthy food but I was eating quite a bit because I was always hungry (which is a side effect of too much cardio) My body was storing fat and I was very uncomfortable in my own skin. You can even see in my expression that I truly felt uncomfortable. I am sure some of you are reading this and can 100% relate to what I am saying.  You are one of those people who grab a magazine and their ipod and grab that elliptical or treadmill for your extended cardio session yet your body does not budge.  I know that some exercise is better than none but in the long run, I realized that stepping away from so much cardio was one of the hardest but best decisions I have made.

 I also realized that I was fatigued. A lot. I was tired, irritable, moody–classic signs of over training but beyond that–Too much cardio will actually cause your body to store fat because it increases cortisol which is your stress hormone. Too much aerobic exercise will increase oxidative stress which causes the breakdown of muscle tissue and in the long run can cause cancer. Excess cardio can also increase appetite 10 fold and could cause some binging eating patterns.  Along those same lines, cardio burns a small amount of calories compared to the time spent. The calories you burn are the calories you burn. Thats it. When you add strength training in the mix–THIS is what will sky rocket your metabolism and help you to burn fat all day long!

I won’t say I quit the cardio because I still to this day have a time and place for it BUT when I knew that I needed a change and I wasn’t at peace with my body, mentally and physically, I did know I had to cut WAY back. It was mentally very challenging for me, I am not going to lie. When I first joined Cathy Savage Fitness and was put on 3 days of cardio for 30 minutes…I was like “whhhatttttt” I actually remember emailing my coach back asking if I can do more and why is that low? It was explained that to that cardio was and I still believe is used as a tool. It shouldn’t be the ‘focus’ of any workout program.  When I was training for a physique competition, the bulk of the time in the gym was spent in the weight room. Although hard to swallow, I listened. To this day, when I hear “oh I’m taking a rest day–I’m just going to run” this is NOT a rest day, folks. This is running.  I actually had this ingrained in my head at one point as well.

There was also a time when I figured that I needed to do all of my cardio first before lifting weights in order to ‘tone up’ Losing weight is pure science really. Stop eating so much and you will lose weight, but when it comes to fat loss this is a whole different story and many of us out there have this as our goal. Cardio and strength work hand in hand in any balanced workout program but when fat loss is the goal, I have to say that cardio takes second place which I found out post cardio queen phase. Weight training increases the metabolism’s after-burn, so that your metabolism burns more calories after the workout is long over.  You can read all about some myths that I bust in my post on FITNESS RANTS! 

The second I started lifting weight and focusing my energy elsewhere, this is when I truly saw my body and mind change!

The Weight Room Warrior

Besides getting my nutrition a little bit more in check, this phase I will call the “weight room warrior” I started following a strict strength training program that was a 4-5 day split bodypart workout. My workouts would be split up more or less like this. They would change every 4 weeks to keep the body making gains and split up which body parts were working together but this is just an example.

  • Chest/tri
  • Back/Bi
  • Glutes/hams
  • Legs/quads
  • Shoulders/Abs

Now, the second I saw what my workouts would entail, I had to take some deep breaths and realize this was going to take me WAY out of my comfort zone which terrified me but excited me all at the same time. What would my body look like? Would I be able to do this? Will I really really miss my cardio sessions? I had a plan and I had a goal and I was sticking to it. I started following these workouts to a “T” I would bring my workout sheet with me and write down everything I did.  There were and still are some pros and cons about a strength training split that is set up this way

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Advantages:

  • For a physique or fitness competitor this old school style of lifting is great for muscle growth and asthetic/visual purposes
  • You can mentally focus on 1-2 body parts so you are spending all of your time and energy for instance JUST on your shoulders and Abs. You don’t even have to think about the chest or triceps until the following day
  • You can allow for more volume on the bodypart that you are lifting. You can hit the muscle from different angles with various sets and reps

Disadvantages

  • At this time in my life, I also had the benefit of being able to have time for this style of workout. I could fit in my strength and cardio (If I had cardio on that day) I know it can be very challenging for some to get to the gym this often for this split routine which is why 3 day or full body workouts may be more beneficial.
  • Not the best for beginners. It can be hard to follow and also hard to build muscle when you don’t have a solid foundation to work with first. Now, I want to make sure my clients are moving and feeling better before splitting body parts and getting very specific.
  • I also realize this is not the smartest workout regimen to balance the body. It is set up for a fitness competitor who gets looked at from all angles on stage and meant for muscle growth, not necessarily to function better.

So, I was taking the old school path and thats what got my lifting! I liked it and certainly saw major changes in my body! I was shocked at how my body could transform the way it did with a drastic cut back on the cardio. This style of training took me into my very first show. After I began getting more in tune with my body, what worked, what didn’t, what body parts were stubborn and which ones packed on size fast, I began tweaking my workouts to my liking. After about a year (2011-2012) of following this sort of workout regimen, I not only got a little bored, but I realized that I didn’t have a balanced routine. I LOVED lifting, but wanted more variety. I had accomplished 2 or 3 shows at this point and now I wanted to play around and not be so tied to a piece of paper with a workout regimen on it. I also had begun personal training, writing programs for clients and educating myself on the benefits of the FMS (functional movement screen) and saw the importance of functional exercise and training muscles not movements.

Following these set workouts day after day, week after week was great for a while, especially when I began competing and getting into lifting. It gave me something to look forward to, my workouts were already set for me, all I had to do was show up. THe important piece of the puzzle that was missing for me was that after a while, I realized these workouts may have not been serving me the best. I started feeling tired and overtrained. Working out with such intensity (lifting) back to back days was very taxing on my body. I realize that some people can do this with no problem at all, but that is the thing–all bodies are built different and for me, I was feeling very over trained and began to see a decrease in muscle mass and strength. I was losing that initial vigor that I had when I began. I also noticed parts of my body weren’t recovering due to the lack of mobility and flexibility I had. I was doing yoga about  once a month and like most people “stretching was a waste of time” when in fact, it is the MOST IMPORTANT part of any exercise program. If you want to see increases in strength, move through wider range of motion thus burn more calories and overall feel better–flexbility and mobility should be superior to anything else.  I was noticing pain in my body (shoulders especially) because I may have not been warming up properly and also had some muscular imbalances that I kept throwing to the wayside.

All in all-my body was slowly breaking down and I knew it was time to incorporate some different forms of physical activity into my routine to get myself more balanced.

Training for a purpose where everyone is looking at you on stage was the only goal in my mind-I didn’t care how I got there-meaning that if I felt pain in my body, I pushed through it because it was shoulder day and I HAD to get through it. There was no place in my schedule for yoga let alone spend 10 precious minutes foam rolling or stretching. When I started listening to my body more, I realized I was no superwoman and had to scale way back.

I began to learn the importance of working out with the goal of feeling better, moving better and injury prevention, not to mention the importance of rest and recovery

Bodyweight Training + Kettlebells + TRX

When I look back at how long I used to spend in the gym, I actually cannot believe I had a life outside of that place. The idea of going to the gym twice a day can scare most people, let alone go once a day consistency, but somehow when I first started competing I thought I HAD to go twice a day, everyday to achieve what I wanted. As I began getting more in tune with my body and listening to the cues it would send, not to mention incorporating more functional style workouts, I learned the importance of being effective and efficient. Then get the hell out of the gym! Lifting weights will always have a place in my workout program and I believe that keeping the body strong through strength training. After my first two shows, I felt unbalanced and I needed to take control. I want to inspire you, help you take control of your health and realize that the world is a bigger place than the gym. You can achieve exactly what you want in way less time than you think. Enter the Bodyweight training, kettlebell and TRX phase.

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As many of you know, fitness trends can literally change overnight from the newest piece of equipment that you HAVE to try to the newest class that is “OMG so amazing!!” After a few shows and getting way bored of the ‘bodybuilding style’ workouts,  I found myself utterly infatuated with kettlebells the moment that I started playing around with them. It wasn’t until 2011 that I really got turned onto them when I first started at Fitcorp in Boston.

The benefits to kettlebell training are endless but what initially got me interested in them was the fact it is functional training with the goal of increased strength and power throughout the whole body not to mention complete and utter focus and engagement of every single muscle in your entire body. When I found myself starting to working well past considered ‘full time’ as a personal trainer, I was in need of efficient, effective and challenging workouts that I could incorporate so I wouldn’t be (nor did I have an interest) spending more than 60 minutes in a gym. So long are the days of seated biceps curls and leg extensions. As I began incorporating them into my own workouts and my clients workouts alike,  I traveled to NJ to get my HKC certification which was incredible!!

Kettlebell exercises such as the Turkish get-up, Bent Press, and Windmill will develop a rock-hard midsection and increase shoulder flexibility and stability. Whether you are a guy who wants to increase size and strength or a woman that wants to lose weight and tighten up your glutes, quads, abs, and arms, get kettlebell training into your weekly routine!

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Kettlebells develop REAL strength 
Kettlebells develop strong, defined, dense muscles that deliver when you need them. KB training is so much more functional than the typical ‘body builder’ style workouts. By forcing the muscles to support the KB you end up activating the deeper, harder-to-work, stabilizing and supporting muscles. This is the type of strength that is REAL and is there all of the time. It helps you with your day to day activities and you will be amazed at the results. Too many times I see people bench way more than they even should be loading, yet they cannot even do a proper push up! Something is not right with that picture. After a mere few weeks of KB training, I have even increased my assisted band chin up (working my way to no band!)

Here are TWO amazing Kettbell Routines that I have posted

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Body weight training also helps to increase fat loss and  simultaneously build muscle. The biggest misconception is that  you MUST throw around heavy weights in order to achieve strength. Yes, strength training should be a part of anyone’s exercise program but I strongly believe the same should be said for body weight training.

Body weight training allows for  full range of motion and also require complete and utter body awareness meaning you are more likely to be properly engaging all muscles while performing exercises like the walking lunge, plank, pull up (to name a few) 

The combination of weights AND body weight training is truly unstoppable and will provide a wide range of benefits including improved speed, power, strength  as well as extremely effective to develop beautifully sculpted muscles AND provide you with a complete metabolic, fat burning workout

Here are two body weight workouts that I have posted before, but for ease…I figured I would post them again for you all!

I have also posted a link that you can check out for some added info!

Focus on BODY WEIGHT TRAINING info and workouts! 

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  The Yogini

I swear I have been living under a rock due to the fact that I never really really immersed myself in yoga until last year. When I was in High School, I took a few classes with my mom here and there but I never truly ‘loved it’ because I don’t think I was in the right mindset. I never felt that it was a ‘workout’ and I got bored and antsy. Stretching? and mobility? pshhh ain’t nobody got time for that! (that was my attitude) Years and years later, after going head first into strength training, I realized I needed a huge balance in my routine. Yoga is not only an amazing addition for the body, but for the mind and soul as well. After my health scare in 2012, I needed to find outlets to let loose of my anxiety and stress.  I began incorporating yoga as a form of stress relief. I think my issue with yoga is that I always looked at it as a ‘workout’ and didn’t take advantage of the other amazing properties that come from this form of exercise. Yoga is a complete mind, body, spiritual, holistic experience that will not only challenge your body but it will challenge your soul.

We are a society who thrives of moving fast, staring at our cell phone screens, responding to emails, always go go go go go. We never take the time to…just…be. I know that for myself, I have suffered from extreme anxiety in the past and have found outlets to deal with this. We all carry some amount of anxiety and the way to relieve that can be different. If I hear someone that says “oh the way I deal with stress is go to the gym–I truly believe that CAN work for them, but for me? I have to stay AWAY from the gym. I work there, and am surrounding all day long by this place. I love what I do, but when I am trying to deal with extreme anxiety or stress I need to remove myself from a gym and do something for my soul.

When I began to incorporate yoga, not only did I get more in tune with my body and its responses to stress, but it made life more enjoyable because I literally leave every single class with a clear heart and mind. I know that when I go into that yoga studio, I just focus on me and that 90 minutes I have. I am so grateful to be able to take that time to give something to myself. The breathing, the meditation, the time to not think about anything but practice is the best form of stress relief I have found for myself. 

On a physical side, yoga is incredible if you performing other acts of physical activity such as endurance training, weight lifting, barre classes, tabata, pilates, crossfit etc. Yoga will help to increase mobility and flexibility which in turn will help you become a stronger, more efficient and better lifter in the gym. You will be able to move through a wider range of motion, thus recruiting more muscle fibers and getting the most bang for your buck with 100% proper form. You will feel challenged like no other!

Taking a yoga class is not a ‘rest day’ however I love to perform yoga for active recovery days. It is extremely effective and low impact work that will still get you to move without the stress of lifting weights when your body needs recovery .

No matter what your goal may be in that studio, you will leave yoga feeling better, clearer, level headed and 10 times better than when you entered.

So What Now?

As you can see, I have been through a whirlwind of working out, still am and will continue to be. Right now, for my cardio, I am loving Spin classes and HIIT sprints outdoors or on the treadmill  such as this HIIT SPRINTS workout or THIS WORKOUT I love incorporating all aspects of fitness into my weekly routine and am absolutely not rigid and set in stone about anything. I am a HUGE believer in balance and when it comes to exercise there is no better way to stay sane than having variety. The reason the fitness industry changes so often is because there is always something new different to spark our interests. New research is put out daily that we must keep up with and when new ‘gadget’ comes on the market-we have to try it! It’s not a bad thing! I think as much as we are  creatures of habit, when it comes to physical activity, people do love to try new things! The take away message here is that is is so important to get out of your comfort zone and stay open to trying new things! It is key in building a healthy, happy relationship with exercise!

I used to have ‘planned’ rest days which looking back, I cannot believe I actually followed. What if I felt 100% on a ‘rest day’ and wanted to workout? On the other end of the spectrum, what if I felt like crap on a day that I was ‘supposed’ to be doing HIIT sprints and a chest workout? I pushed through-and I shouldn’t have. Listening to your body is superior to anything that is written down on a piece of paper.

My week may look like this:

  • Monday: Upper body lift with Kettlebells, DB, Cables etc
  • Tuesday: Yoga
  • Wednesday: HIIT sprints
  • Thurs: Lower body lift+ core/mobility
  • Friday: REST
  • Sat: Spin
  • Sunday: Rest or Metabolic/bodyweight circuit work
The same routine can be great. We all love doing something that is routine, habitual, waking up and knowing exactly what our day will have in store and knowing exactly what we are going to do for physical activity. I know I have some daily regimens that will never change. For instance, before bed, I like to have a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter. Its just part of my routine. I also love my morning coffee, hot with a touch of cream. It needs to be this way and I am not willing to sacrifice those things I love. Did I mention I usually fall asleep watching Nick at Night. Most of the time Full House is on TV and I watch it. Its mindless and makes me smile and think of my youth-it bothers no one and I enjoy it :)
When it comes to physical activity, it can be easy to be so caught in routine that trying anything new gets pushed aside.  We need stimulation that draws us into new experiences and challenges both our bodies and minds. We need balance and moderation when it comes to physical activity–it is such an integral part of growth and change.  Trying new workouts, new classes, getting out of your comfort zone  and  being open to change will transform your whole outlook on life. It will help you become way more in tune to signals that your body is sending you. If you have a ‘planned’ rest day but feel awesome-then workout, if you feel like crap on a ‘planned’ workout day, then rest; its THAT simple. Your body is an incredible machine and once you can listen to it? You will feel better than you ever have in your life.
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Try this for me:
1) Stop the self destruction
2) Stop listening to what others are telling you to do
3) Try something new
4) Realize that we are all starting somewhere
5) Change your attitude
9) Dazzle your senses with new people, sights, smells, touch, experiences, workouts, recipes
10) Say YES.

 

9 Tips to Add VARIETY To Your Routine + Your Life!

9 Tips to Add VARIETY To Your Routine + Your Life!

Back in college and just thereafter, I thought there was only one way to train–My way. Why do anything else if I am comfortable? Yoga?! PSHHH Boxing? Uhhh no. Barre? HAHA! There was no budging with me when it came to my routine. Then I got out of my small little box. As I became exposed to new people, new environments, got my own trainer post college, and got inspired along the way by some pretty amazing people, I realize how important it was to get out of my comfort zone of exercise and try new things! I CHOSE to have an open positive mind and take advantage of everything there is out there.

If you think something is silly and refuse to try it, you probably should. I myself have tried workouts and classes and styles of exercise that I NEVER thought I would. I still have yet to try Prancercizing :)

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I went from running to lifting to yoga to kettlebells to TRX to spinning and you know what? There is a time and place for it all. I love that there truly is something for everybody in fitness. You truly never know what may catch your eye when you begin or try something that you NEVER thought you could. This is the exciting thing about life! Not just in fitness but all around. It is so important and mentally stimulating to just say YES to things. Remember the Jim Carrey Movie, “Yes Man” The movie was a little wonky, but the theories and idea behind it was spot on. Just say yes to everything and you never know where life will take you! The same thing can be said for exercise?

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  • I realized with too much heavy lifting that lack of flexibility will get in the way  being able to move through a large range of motion,  In turn, this causes your muscles to weaken. Taking time to improve your flexibility will help your muscles joints overall.
  • I realized that there is no stronger feeling and complete utter awareness than there is with kettlebell training.
  • I realized that there is a time and place for cardio and for me I became in love with hard core sprints and Spinning classes!
  • I realized the power of bodyweight training and utilizing the TRX to take bodyweight training to the next level!
  • You know what makes any program well rounded? VARIETY.

Tips To Add Variety To Your Routine 

1. Add In Something New This Week: If you know there is a class at your local gym or class offered elsewhere that you would NEVER try–go on a limb and try it. I know that in Boston, most yoga and barre studios have a ‘first class free’ trial or a very do-able price for a week of classes to give you a taste. Last April, before my Foxwoods competition, I tried barre for a month. Yes–me. I did Barre. Trust me I felt SO funny because I never ever thought I would have been the girl to take that class but ya know what? I kind of liked it mainly because it was something I was so not used to doing!

2. Stop the Negativity: You may hear certain workouts or classes and immediately think of an article you read or stories from a friend about how horrid that workout was so of course you won’t waste you’re precious time doing it. You know whats amazing? You are YOUR OWN PERSON! It is empowering and important to have your own opinions. I once went to a restaurant where the reviews were very mixed on Yelp. Some were so-so, some were horrible, but I went and LOVED it. So maybe those people had a bad server or bad experience, whatever the case may be–I tried it for myself. Same goes for exercise. If your friend tells you to stay away from the zumba class because she had a crappy time–go for yourself and stop the negativaty often associated with certain classes or workouts. You allow your choices and actions to dictate your thoughts and how you feel. You thus, execute these thoughts into your actions. Stay positive and go after all there is out there!

3. Be OPEN! Be open minded to oppourtunity! I know that something trying something new when it comes to exercise can be an extremely daunting experience. My very first yoga class at the local yoga studio I went to–I was terrified. I had taken yoga maybe 4 or 5 times and not for several years. Will I be looked at? Will they know I’m new? Will I fall behind everyone? What if I am not flexible enough? All of these thoughts entered my mind and my heart was racing.  Since that first day…I have come to fall in LOVE with Yoga and now feel a sense of community. I can take yoga at my new beautiful facility where I work, but I truly love going to my studio because I feel a sense of love, support and where I can fully immerse myself. I NEVER thought I would say those words about yoga, but I was open minded and loved it!

4. Play Team Sports! If working out in the gym or taking classes is getting boring then check out how to get involved in team sports! I know that in Boston, the BSSC (Boston Ski and Sports Club) offers so many oppourtunities to get involved in everything from dodge ball to softball. There is also plenty of salsa dancing classes! Thinking of something more intense? Check out a free bootcamp class!

5. Have a NEW Goal! Sign up for a race, train for a fitness competition, go try a Tough Mudder or simply have a challenge set with a friend! I know that a trainer I work with is having a competition with a friend right now to see who can score more Nike Fuel Band points! You get different points for moving differently so she is trying all sorts of new workouts this week. Its pretty cool to see her push herself in a new way.  Having that new goal in the forefront of your mind may push you that much more to really switch things up!

IMG_6411 IMG_32496. Play with Your Strengths but Challenge Your Weaknesses: We all love doing what we’re good at, right? If you love your job and know you are good at what you do, it can be empowering and amazing to see your hard work recognized. When it comes to exercise and physical activity–it is important to get a little uncomfortable sometimes! “struggles develop strength” as Arnold Schwarzenegger said. Think to yourself if you can think you handle it. The answer is you 100% can but your mind may be saying otherwise. Challenge yourself and try something NEW. I guarantee you will shock yourself!

tumblr_lkyjgy7th81qbvqopo1_5007. Exercise different muscle groups: You may have a routine right now that focuses specifically on weight training OR cardio which means you could be working the same muscle groups in the same way repeatedly. Not only will this get boring and your body may hit a plateau but the addition of new workouts and exercises can add some incredible benefits to your body and mind! If you weight train specific body parts, try adding strength moves from Pilates, yoga, and bodyweight programs. Small substitutions or variations in the way you train each muscle group can challenge your muscles in new ways and keep you from getting bored.  If you just stick to cardio, try adding a new cardio style class such as tabata or zumba! 

8. Check your Local Hometown website for Free Fitness Events: I know that In Boston there are so many oppourtunties to join in on FREE fitness. Boston is a super active city year round and you don not have to be a member of a gym to get involved!

  • Check the Community section in Lululemon because they usually host free workouts every week (yoga to run club to strength workouts)
  • Athleta hosts free events in their store and also affiliated with other studios!
  • Boston.Com has some great ideas for workouts
  • EventBrite has so many free events if you just search “fitness”
  • Signing up for local studio’s newsletters will get you on the ‘know’ for when events are happening
  • Marathon Sports hosts Run Club
  • November Project is a community based club where you can join in on the early morning fun up to 3 days a week!
  • City Sports hosts free workouts
  • THIS WEBSITE sums up all of the free workouts that are happening this week in Boston
Free Lululemon Bootcamp that I hosted this past summer!

Free Lululemon Bootcamp that I hosted this past summer!

9. ENJOY IT: What I am getting at here with all of these tips is above all-enjoy what you are doing. I just want to share the importance of being open minded, not just when it comes to new workout programs and physical activity, but also in life. Say YES more and NO less. Don’t pass up opportunities to learn, to spend time with others, to gain knowledge in areas that interest you and to challenge your body mentally and physically.  Make it a goal this week to try something new!

What will you try this week?

gotheextra mile

A Week In Review (Recipe+workout included!)

A Week In Review (Recipe+workout included!)

Hey Hey!

I had a great day today! And a great week, actually You know why?

Well first of all I took an awesome yoga class called “Om Athlete” at Equinox this morning at 9am which I HIGHLY recommend if you are in the area. The Om Athlete yoga class is a true blue Vinyasa style yoga class but it is inspired and driven toward athletes.  rigorous mind/body demands of real athletes. The class was perfect for a Sunday morning opener. We began with some traditional Vinyasa Sun salutations and some interesting dance type movement that made the whole beginning sequence flow beautifully.

You all know that I am doing yoga at least 1-2 times per week and love it as a wonderful compliment in my workout routine. Where I was before I incorporated yoga in my life–I have no idea but I am so glad that I found it!

When I take Yoga, I am not looking to take it for the ‘burn’ and ‘core work’ and ‘omg that was a crazy workout’ aspect of it. I am taking it more for the mental refocus and true flexibility training. I tend to gravitate toward instructors who have an energy that I jive with and I LOVED Rebeccas energy! It was so positive and optimistic and she said some quotes and stories that really stuck with me and caused me to be 100% focused on my mat. I recently started a new job and while I LOVE it, It is definitely a bit stressful juggling all of my time between in house education classes, clients, learning, programming and getting the jist of everything. I easily get overwhelmed and anxious so having a Yoga class I can go to and totally zone out is necessary. Taking time for myself, my body, my mental practice and having a yoga instructor who can teach in a way that is welcoming yet still beneficial for my mind, body and soul is rare to find. I will be back to this class 100%! 

Ok moving on. So after class, I went back to my apartment to grab some things and wait for my brother to pick me up for a family brunch. I walk outside to his car when he arrived and BOOM! 

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I found $100! First I saw 1 $20 and then another and another and by the time I picked them all up-there was $100! This stuff NEVER happens to me. I know it has to be a good week right?!

Earlier this week, I was so honored to be featured in the Lululemon Prudential Center Location email notificationIMG_9735The day was super fun and the girls who work at Lulu absolutely ROCK! I was so thrilled they asked me and more importantly to wear some awesome new gear they just got in! The Spring Fling vest is AMAZING! It comes in green and black. We shot some pictures in Copley Square on a beautiful, brisk day.

You also know why this week rocked? Well I made some awesome new protein cookies/protein treats/snacks. Whatever you want to call them. They were awesome and turned out better than I thought! I tried a new kind of protein powder in the mix so maybe that was the difference? Who knows, but they were superb! Especially with some Nuts N’ More Almond butter

These took about 10 minutes to make and I had a few hot out of the oven! They were super delicious and the recipe is posted at the bottom!IMG_9674 The Ingredients

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Coconut Cream Protein Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

These protein cookies are perfect for dessert of any time of day! They are sweet and chocolately and packed with protein, low in carbs and grain free! ENJOY!
Ingredients
  • ⅓ C almond meal
  • ⅓C coconut flour
  • ⅓C eggwhites
  • 1 scoop Isopure cookies and cream protein powder
  • 1T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 5 drop stevia
  • Enough water to make a paste (may not need much at all due to egg whites!)

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place tin foil on a cookie sheet and spray with EVOO.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and form into 9 or 10 even sized balls. Press down with a fork to make ‘cookie’ shape.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes (flipping halfway) or until warmed and doughy.
  4. ENJOY! Eat what you like and freeze the rest!

NUTRITIONAL FACTS for 9 cookies

  • 55.7 calories
  • 2.1g fat
  • 3.8g carbohydrates
  • 2.1g fiber
  • 5.3g protein

 If you’re looking for more yummy protein cookies and recipes be sure to follow me on PINTEREST!  where I post all of my recipes! such as Pumpkin Spice Almond protein bites and chia hemp pudding to name a couple! 

This week was also great because I did this sprint workout which I had posted on Superbowl Sunday but seriously! Its a good one! So I am going to post it again.

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I started with the incline at 1% and completed THREE sprints (one at 30 seconds, one at 40 seconds and one at 60 seconds) Obviously as the sprint time got longer my speed decreased for instance, Mine looked something like this:

  • Incline 1%: 30 sec sprint @ 10.5 speed
  • Incline 1%: 40 sec sprint @ 10.0 speed
  • Incline 1%: 60 sec sprint @ 9.5 speed

After this was completed at 1% incline, I raised the incline to 2% and did it all again! Finish at incline of 5%. If you can finish with those burpees. KILLER. HIIT sprints and spinning is what I am all about these days for cardio. Yes, cardioooo

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There IS A TIME AND PLACE FOR CARDIO! 

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  XOXOXO

 

My Favorite Workout Gear!

My Favorite Workout Gear!

Hey friends! I have been a little MIA recently and I apologize. Things have been a bit crazy for me (in a good way!) I start a new job Wednesday that I am thrilled about and will be sure to talk more about that in my next post! I am still personal training in the Boston area, but a change was necessary and I have never been more excited about this opportunity that lies ahead.

We all love fashion. We all love WORKOUT fashion-am I right? I don’t know about you but I love hearing reviews from clients, friends, co-workers and fitness enthusiasts about certain brands or pieces of clothing that they love to workout in. I know I am not the only one who reads reviews on certain sneakers or capris before purchasing. I absolutely love when I hear rave reviews about a new brand or  discover something new that I can’t get enough of!

I wanted to share some of my favorite necessities that I personally use when I workout (yoga, run, weight lift, spin, kettlebell etc) I hope you can walk about maybe being turned onto a new product OR feel free to share what YOU love to exercise in. I am the biggest advocate for feeling comfortable when working out. Yes, fashion is awesome, and of course I have some brand loyalty that you will clearly see–but what it comes down to is comfort. Feeling awesome in my own skin; powerful and strong and not self conscious in the least. There is nothing better than feeling amazing in what you are wearing to help you get moving!

Free to Be Bra (Lululemon)  IMG_7337  IMG_8573 lulubra2 lulubra

I love this bra because not only does it come in amazing colors and patterns, but it is super comfortable and doesn’t ‘pinch’ at all in my back or chest. I don’t need much coverage or support.  This is not the bra you want if you need a lot of support. I don’t need a whole lot of support, personally so it works for me! If you are larger chested, this is certainly not the sports bra for you!   The “Free To Be Bra” the straps are pretty thin, but they are cute!  The back of the bra is adorable and I love wearing it under my cool racerback tanks and matching the color of my bra to my skirt or shorts.

Under Armor compression tights unersarmour IMG_7816 IMG_9012 I absolutely LOVE these tights for working out! They are ultra soft and have that second skin feel that is light and smooth when running, doing yoga, spinning or weight lifting. They are versatile and breathable. They are also SUPER compression so really do a good job in holding everything in!  I think I have 3 long pairs of tights, 2 capris and 1 pair of silver tights as well. They also last LONG. I have had two pairs for about 4 years and they are going strong, no pilling yet

Nike Free Run

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IMG_6570These Nikes have been my go-to for YEARS when it comes to weight lifting, plyo work, spinning (when I am not wearing spinning shoe) And general fitness. They are minimal support, so if you know you are someone who needs more supportive soles then these may not be for you! I do not RUN in these sneakers. I love my Brooks for that! But These are the sneakers I usually wear while training clients and strength training with weights and kettlebells.  If you are used to wearing more supportive sneakers and jump right into the Nike Frees, you may find that you will struggle for support at first. I would suggesting easing into the more minimalist shoe. Your feet and calves will respond and strengthen!

Lululemon Bang Buster Headband *reversible*

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Since I got my haircut last summer and chopped off my mane, I have been searching for a new way to hold back my hair when I workout. I have tried numerous headbands and also can be seen wearing a baseball cap (as you saw in the pictures above) But these are by FAR my favorite headbands! I have a very narrow head so most headbands slip right off–not the ‘Bang Buster’ It stays in place through everything! Spin, sprints, weightlifting, kettlebell swings, yoga and they are also super cute to hold hair back even when not working out! Bad hair day or great accessory? Try the Bang Buster!

Loose Burn Out Tanks

I write this very loosely because I have a few different brands of favorite tanks when working out! I LOVE looser tanks, especially over a ‘free to be’ bra. I hate the feeling of tight tanks or shirts when exercising so I prefer the looser fit of burn out style tank tops.

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This is one of my favorite tank tops that I wear to workout. I got this one in NYC over Thanksgiving. It is super comfy and as you can see me wearing it in a picture above, its loose and NOT form fitting so I can move around comfortably.

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Here are a few others. I actually find some good loose tanks at stores like Forever 21 and H&M. I also recently purchased TWO tanks from Lululemon called the “Yogi Racerback Tank” pictured below

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I love these tanks for the reasons I have described. They are loose and not tight fitting at all. They just fall right over fun colored sports bras and make any activity a breeze! They are light fabric and racerback which I LOVE.  You can order them from the website as well where there are lots of color options! I am 5’2″ and wear a size  4. 

The Mat

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When I first started getting really into yoga in the summer of 2013 and taking numerous classes paying $3 for a mat rental-I knew I needed to purchase one. I also wanted my own mat because I was LOVING yoga and wanted to commit to my own practice and not necessarily have to depend on renting a mat each time I go to a studio. I want the ability to travel with my own mat, my sanctuary, my space. I had done quite a bit of research and finally landed on THE MAT from Lululemon I had used the Jade yoga mat, which I found was way too thin and unsupportive. It was between a Manduka Mat and the one from Lulu. I was able to ‘rent’ a mat from my local Lululemon store (which most will let you do!) To try it out and LOVED it. I made my decision right then and there. The mat has excellent grip to it and can be used on either side. It does have a strong smell to it at first that reminded me of tennis balls, but after a few uses, it airs out. The grip and comfort of this mat is amazing! The ONE downside I will say is that it is not the lightest weight mat on the planet so if you know you have to walk super long distances, just test it out before hand!

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Run Swiftly Tech T

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Okay, so I have a few of these T-shirts. I admit it. I am a hoarder of these guys. Given-I wear these every single day to work underneath my ‘uniform’ because they are so darn comfortable! I think I have worked out in these tees only a handful of times because I simply prefer tank tops BUT I have nothing but rave reviews for these tees! (clearly) These shirts are lightweight and extremely breathable, so you can go for a run or yoga and I promise you will not stink afterwards! I also LOVE the subtle patterns that most of the shirts have! Some have paisley, others have lines or polka dots; they are just so cute! They come in a bajillion colors so there will be something for you! If you prefer tighter-simply get a smaller size but you can wear these loose and they will still be flattering and fitted on your bod. I think you can trust me on these!!

—-

So there you have it! Some of my favorite pieces of workout gear. I always try to be honest here and say what works for me and what I prefer because I know personally, that I take others peoples opinions on clothing pretty seriously ;) Of course with all of this said, you have to find what works for you! SOme of the outfits and clothing choices I see, I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole but then again-it’s their body not mine!

And I want to leave you with a little something to sweat your butt off to! This workout looks easy but it’s a killer due to that last run at an incline of 10.0%! 

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I hope you enjoyed the post and this workout! Please comment below with recommendations that YOU swear by! xoxo

-Naomi 

Grain Free/Sugar Free Granola! Happy 2014!

Grain Free/Sugar Free Granola! Happy 2014!

I MADE GRANOLA!!! And its healthy and it’ll be a great recipe you can add to your list of things to make for 2014!!

Yeah, thats my excitement coming through the computer screen. I was so impressed and it actually turned out way better than I imagined! You know when you have ingredients that sit in your kitchen cabinets that you don’t use ALL that much, but you have them always saying: “I’m going to make some killer muffins” or “this weekend I am going to use those sunflower seeds and make some sunflower seed butter” And then it continues to sit there. Past the weekend. Past the following week. Yeah. Thats pretty how this granola came to be. I ordered some products on nuts.com (coconut flour, spirulina, walnuts, almonds and maca powder) When you place an order, the company gives you a free sample–This is pretty sweet in theory until you get goji berries. Dried ones. What the heck do I do with dried goji berries? Okay–I’ll put them in my cabinet and figure it out. Then they just sat there for weeks. I was re-organizing my kitchen baking materials (which are sparse) and came across the goji berries. I am making some damn granola. I also didn’t even sit down to think about it. I just stayed standing and grabbed some other ingredients and got moving.

So with the goji berries as the inspiration to this granola, I grabbed an almost full bag of roasted sunflower seeds, a half used bag of almond flour, the chia seeds and flaxseeds (which I DO use quite often) and some pumpkin pie spice.  BOOM I got the dry goods.

The Dry Goods

Now comes what to drizzle on top to hold the granola together. I recently have had some testing done to find that I have a slight fructose malabsorption. This basically means that I cannot completely absorb fructose in my small intestine-the beginning part of the digestive tract.  The undigested fructose is then carried to the colon where our normal bacteria rapidly devour it. In the process, the bacteria produce gases which cause the intestine to swell. SOOO I get pretty uncomfortable when I eat foods too high in fructose (including apples, pears, tomatoes, garlic, onions, sugar free products, honey, agave, watermelon)

With that said, I didn’t want to use honey in this recipe due to my fructose malabsorption

Mixin' it all up!

 

I mixed together some coconut oil and grass-fed butter (Kerrygold that I found at Trader Joes) mixed with a few drops of stevia.  This would serve as the glue to my granola

Coconut oil + butter

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I literally didn’t even read a recipe so I had no idea how this granola would turn out. I only hoped for the best. I hate wasting ingredients, but I kept saying to myself “how bad can this really be?” Delicious ingredients covered in coconut oil and butter?! PUH-LEASE

Mix mix mix

Mix mix mix

 

Spread it evenly on a baking sheet or baking pan

post cooking!

Store in a mason jar

Store in a mason jar

Make into 5 equal serving

Make into 5 equal serving

Grain Free Nutty Granola
Recipe type: Breakfast/Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 5
 

This granola is gluten free/grain free/low in sugar and so easy to make! Make and store in a mason jar or seperate into 5 equal servings. Enjoy over acai bowls, Greek Yogurt, atop smoothies and more!
Ingredients
  • ⅓C almond flour
  • ⅓C sunflower seeds
  • ⅓C dried goji berries (can use any dried fruit
  • ¼C chia seeds
  • 1T coconut oil
  • 1T Kerry Gold Butter
  • 1.5T pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 drops stevia
  • 1T flaxseed meal

Instructions
  1. Mix almond meal, berries, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl combine coconut oil and butter. Melt in the microwave (about 30 seconds) Add stevia into the mixture.
  3. Pour oil/butter/stevia over the nutty mixture and stir well making sure it is all coated evenly.
  4. Spray a cookie sheet or baking pan with olive oil spray. Spread the granola mixture evenly over the pan and place in the oven at 300 degrees. Keep an eye on the oven and mix every few minutes or so, ensuring that it does not overcook and burn!
  5. When golden brown and smells amazing–Take out of the oven and transfer into a mason jar or tupperware when a bit cool.
  6. I separated the granola into 5 equal portions

Yields about 2 cups. I split the mixture into 5 equal servings (about 1/3C each) The nutritional facts below reflect each serving.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

  • CALORIES: 176
  • FAT: 13g
  • CARBOHYDRATES: 11g
  • FIBER: 5g
  • SUGAR: 1g
  • PROTEIN: 5g

 I hope you go try and make this granola! It really is SO SO SO good!

2014

I also want to take this time to thank each and every one of you for your support, friendship, readership, time, motivation and love. You all inspire me to do what I do and bring joy to me every single day. I am so excited to start 2014. There are some BIG changes for me that will be taking place-career wise and I cannot wait to begin! You all make me smile. Keep my energized and I hope to always be a part of your journey!!

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Pre Fatigue Technique For the BURN!

Pre Fatigue Technique For the BURN!

I absolutely love creating working for clients and of course, you guys!! My readers. Finding new, effective and unique ways to work the body never gets old for me. How boring would it be to have the same routine, day in and day out for months upon months? Not only will your body stop responding and you would most likely hit that dreaded plateau BUT you would also lose motivation and most likely drop off for a while. There is NOTHING that brings your focus and attention back to your workouts like something fresh, new and challenging! We all tend to get pretty good at things we love and things we are good at. The challenge therein lies to push ourselves just past that point.

Something I have been playing around with myself is pre fatigue sets. This is a great training technique to really really fry the muscles and get a nice burn!

You complete pre-fatigue sets by completing an exercise to failure before moving directly into another exercise that works the same body part. This serves to fatigue and isolate the muscle very effectively from the get go. Than after the single joint, isolation movements, you will then move on to your multi-joint, compound exercises.

When you move onto exercise “B” or “C” (depending on if it is a superset or a triplet) this will be the COMPOUND EXERCISE for that body part,you will already be a bit fatigued and now will have the assistance of those secondary muscles involved with the movement.

For instance, after a wall sit and some squat jumps, you will THEN move onto your heavy barbell squats. HELLO LEGS! They will already be feeling quite fatigued from those wallsits and plyos prior!

I will warn you that you may not be able to lift as heavy as you would with those compound movements during this type of superset than you would if you were doing say, a set of squats on their own BUT because you will be pre fatiguing that same muscle group–you may want to take the weight down a notch!  

The goal of the pre fatiguing sets is to really recruit and stimulate those muscle fibers and get the muscle to respond accordingly. This will truly bring your body out of its comfort zone and give you a nice push! I personally LOVE pre fatigue sets, as they push me past a plateau and when I am looking for a certain soreness the next day–you have your work cut out for you!

The combination of strength from the compound sets and endurance from the isolated movements will help you push past that plateau and work those muscles til exhaustion.

 Sounds good, doesn’t it? If you love that pumped up feeling from a good strength workout, then this should sound good to you. Pre-fatigue sets deliver. I have not one, but TWO, workouts for you today.One upper body and one lower body. 

Pre exhaust technique is certaintly not for everyone! For me-I use this method here and there when I am looking for something new and fun for me to challenge myself with! Its a great way to utilize different muscle fibers and even different muscle groups that you are not used to focusing so much energy on. I usually perform more full body workouts (lately) but this technique is a great way to spend more energy on certain muscle groups. 

Looking to BUILD SERIOUS MUSCLE?: Now with all of these amazing benefits of the pre fatigue workout technique-If your goal is to build maximal muscle, I would stick to straight sets. Building muscle is about straight stimulation using basic, compound, heavy movements with a focus on strength and progression. Throwing this form of workout every now and again is great! But serious muscle builders–stick to those straight sets!

Below you will see TWO WORKOUTS. One is a lower body pre fatigue workout and the next is a upper body pre fatigue workout  Like I mentioned earlier in the post, Each workout has pairs or triplets of exercises. You will perform the pairs or triplets as supersets (back to back with little to no rest) The first one or two exercises will be more isolation and bodyweight focused. In the lower body workout you will also see that I threw in some plyometric work which I LOVE to throw into my lower body workout to work the fast twitch fibers, explosive power and really fatigue the legs. These power/plyo moves elevate the heart rate and also incorporate a cardio component that will really challenge you!

You will complete each pair or triplet 3-4 times through. At the end of the giant pair or triplet, THEN you take your rest for 60 seconds before repeating it again.  

So after a brief warm up, you will complete exercises as follows:

  • 1a
  • 1b
  • 1C
  • REST FOR 60 SECONDS and REPEAT.
  • Once you have gone through this circuit 3-4 times move onto exercises
  • 1b
  • 2b
  • 2b
  • REST FOR 60 SECONDS and REPEAT.
  • Once you have gone through this circuit 3-4 times move onto exercises
  • 1c
  • 2c
  • 3c

Each workout should last between 20 to 40 minutes depending on how many sets you complete.

LOWER BODY PRE FATIGUE WORKOUT

Exercise Reps Notes
1a) Wall sit Until fatigue Bodyweight
2a) Jump squats 15 Bodyweight
3a) Squats 15,12,10,8 Increase weight each set
1b) Lateral Band walks 15 each direction Stay LOW and keep toes facing forward. Avoid bouncing as you walk.
2b) Speed Skaters 10-12 each leg Bodyweight
3B) SL Deadlifts 10-12 each leg Keep belly in, weight in heels
1c) Donkey Kicks 20 each leg Weight on forearms
2c) Jump Lunges 15 each leg Explode up and land nice and light!
3c) Barbell Glute Bridges 15,12,10,8 Increase weight each set

EXERCISE BREAKDOWN

Exercise Notes
1a) Wall sit Make sure back is flat against the wall and weight is in the heels. Take your hands off your thighs to assist and keep your shoulders glued to the wall.
2a) Jump squats Squat stance. Explode off the ground and land with your feet exactly where you started. Weight in your heels. Use your arms to help you gain heigh!
3a) Squats You can perform barbell back squats, barbell front squats, Kettlebell goblet squats. Make sure that whichever variation you are choosing you are executing proper form and increasing the weight with each set! As the reps decrease your weight on the exercise will increase.
1b) Lateral Band walks Stay LOW and keep toes facing forward. Avoid bouncing as you walk. The band should be around your mid calf (belly of the calf)
2b) Speed Skaters Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Bend your knees to lower your body 8-10 inches and lean forward until your shoulders are positioned above your knees. Maintain good posture with your upper back. Begin by lightly hopping sideways about 2 feet and landing on your right foot. Hop sideways again so you land back on the left foot, and repeat for the desired amount of time/repetitions.
3B) SL Deadlifts Keep belly in, weight in heels. See video below! Keep your head up and a tight arch in the small of my back. As you begin to bend your left knee,  hinge directly from the hips to lower the torso toward the floor, using the weight as a counterbalance as your left leg comes up in a straight line behind you.  Keep the  abs super contracted and squeeze  the left glute and hamstring as you pull my torso back to vertical. Repeat for the desired reps before switching legs
1c) Donkey Kicks Assume start position as shown by kneeling down and supporting your upper body on your forearms. Keeping your right knee bent, slowly lift that leg behind you so your foot raises up toward the ceiling. Return to start position and repeat with left leg.
2c) Jump Lunges Start  in a lunge position. Jump straight up as you thrust your arms forward, elbows still bent. Switch legs in midair, like a scissor. Repeat for the desired.reps.
3c) Barbell Glute Bridges Start with a light bar OR bodyweight if you are just starting out and add weight plates. Now start by driving through the heels, extending your hips vertically through the bar. Your weight should be supported by your upper back rear delts and the heels of your feet. Extend as far as possible and squeeze that contraction hard at the top, then reverse the motion to return to the starting position.

 


Try this GLUTE workout if you are looking for more!! —> Glorious Glute Workout

UPPER BODY PRE FATIGUE WORKOUT

Exercise Reps

Notes

1a) Stiff arm pulldowns 15 Lighter weight
1b) Cable Back Rows 10,8,8,6 Heavy weight
2a) Lateral Raises 15 Lighter weight
2b) High plank shoulder taps 20 each Bodyweight.
2c) Seated Shoulder press 10,10,8,8 Heavier weight
3a) Push ups Failure bodyweight
3b) DB Bench Press 10,10,8,6 Heavier weight

HOPE YOU ENJOY THE WORKOUT!!!

 

 

 

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And for those who want a little more? Check out the above for an awesome HIIT and ABS workout!! There are three circuits to complete and the last one involves some sprints on the treadmill! The rest are bodyweight and AB focused! If this isn’t enough ideas for you…well let me know how I can help! I am here for YOU! xoxoxo TRAIN HARD. TRAIN SMART. RECOVER WELL. SMILE! 

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving Recap

 Thanksgivukah came and went and now, it’s is back to the grind for many of us.  Obviously the holiday season is focused on food and while we may indulge a bit more than we are used to, I really don’t like this stigma that we must SWEAT IT OUT the next day or the day of to justify eating the food. We are lucky enough to have this food available to us and we are lucky enough to spend time with loved ones. I am not suggesting that you should be sorry for those who don’t have family or an abundance of food at this time, but I am trying to get the point across to simply enjoy and not get all caught up in the hoopla of how many calories you put on your plate, or that piece of sweet potato pie smothered in marshmallows (insane by the way!)

My holiday started with a car ride to NYC bright and early on Wednesday morning. My family had the joy of bringing along my good friend too! We were en route by 7:30am and had ZERO traffic which was so lucky!

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 When we finally arrived in NYC (way earlier than previously planned) we decided to explore a bit and went straight to Brooklyn to find some food. 

Bare Burger!

Bare Burger!

I reached out via Twitter and also texted a few friends who knew the area way more than I did. Julie suggested Bare Burger which is a chain but offers a large menu with burgers, salads, sandwiches, sides–all organic and locally grown ingredients. It was perfect for us because we were sure there would be something for everyone!

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I ordered the Mexican salad plus grilled chicken

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It was served with romaine, roasted red peppers, grilled chicken, tomatoes, flax/kale red pepper chips and grilled bread. The dressing was fig infused balsamic vinegar. Can you say DELICIOUS!? Oh and that was not it at all.

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We also split an order of turkey sliders on crusty brioche bread. It was served simple with lettuce. Nothing extra was necessary on these sliders. The meat was mouthwatering fantastic. Best lunch I have had in a LONG time. Sorry, Sweetgreen.

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No trip to Brooklyn is complete without a visit to an Authentic Lebanese bakery where they were selling Sufganiyot which is a traditional Jewish donut that is served on Hannukah. My family got 1 jelly and 1 Boston Creme. HEAVEN.

We took a ride back to Union Square where my family was staying (after saying bye to my friend and dropping her off at her destination!) We relaxed for a bit and then made our way to Chelsea for dinner. My mom made reservations at this amazing restaurant, Fig and Olive in the meatpacking district. I know there are a few more located in various parts of Manhattan.

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We started the meal with a trio of crostini (well shall I say this was AFTER our bread and house infused trio of olive oils that were complimentary to the table)  The three that we chose: 

1. Eggplant, fig, tomato, basil

2. Avocado, Shrimp, tomato

3. Mushroom, artichoke, scallion, ricotta

 

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My mom and I also got an order of the Tuna crudo which was served with cucumber, chive, cilantro, lemon sesame dressing and picual olive oil which is a  Spanish oil, has a medium body, smooth texture, and sweet, buttery taste,

 

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My dad ordered the fig and olive salad:  Fig, apple, manchego, gorgonzola dolce, tomato, walnut, olive, romaine, mixed, scallion, fig balsamic – Arbequina Olive Oil (slightly spicy, sweet notes)IMG_8505

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For my main dish, I went with the Riveria salmon:  Seared salmon, grilled asparagus, braised endive, cauliflower purée, basil infused oil 

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 Clearly, this restaurant is known for their house infused olive oils and vinegars and not one thing about this restaurant disappointed. I am tempted to say it is one of my new favorites in NYC. The staff was amazing, the ambiance was incredible , classy but cozy and beautiful and the food was outstanding. The high quality ingredients make a HUGE difference in these dishes. HIghly recommended by ME! :)

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The next day we got THANKSGIVING READY! This is me and my mom before heading out to NJ to spend the holiday with family. 

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As we were walking to our car I couldn’t help but notice the insane amount of bikes they had available to ride! This makes the hubways in Boston look measly! Everything is bigger in NYC, I guess! The city was wild especially because of the Macy’s Day Parade but we enjoyed and took in all of the energy. My mom LOVES the city during this time of year so there was no problem walking around!

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We were greeted with appetizers right away. Food food food. Bring it on! My brothers wifes family’s house is where we went. 

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Me and the big bro!

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My wonderful family I am so thankful for!

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My goofy family

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My brother and his wife made some awesome potato latkes in celebration of Hannukah! I couldn’t have too many of them since they were made with onions and I have to stay away from onions unfortunately for digestion reasons BUT I did try them and they were fantastic! 

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Mashed potatoes, stuffing, stuffed mushrooms, turkey

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Monkey bread, shredded carrots, green beans with pine nuts, asparagus with parmesan, Greek orzo salad. The homemade cranberry sauce was on the table!

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My plate! I had some unpictured sweet potato. I was bummed because I don’t eat pork and the stuffing had sausage in it but oh well! My mom is making another Thanksgiving in December and I will SURELY be having that stuffing!  The food was awesome and the company was even better! I was quite satisfied!

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 And so was the pup!

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Kai (My brother and wife’s dog) has grown SO much since last year! (the above picture was taken last Thanksgiving!)

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The next morning my day started out with an awesome homemade breakfast. There was a gym right next door to where I was staying so I took advantage while my parents took a LONG walk through the city.

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I made 1/3C oats in water and added 1T flaxseed meal, 1T coconut flour and 1T brown rice protein (Sun Warrior brand) I did bring some food with me since we were staying in a condo with a full kitchen. I knew we would be making breakfast every morning so I brought some goodies to jack up my oatmeal! We picked up some fresh berries from the market nearby which were ginormous! This breakfast was perfect fuel for a workout that I had planned!  IMG_8575

When I travel, I ALWAYS pack my sneaks and a few tanks and capris for workouts. I never know if I am going to be able to but I do try to fit it in if I can! I actually enjoy exercising in a new atmosphere with new people and new sights to see. I also never have a strict lifting or workout plan. I use what I can. This trip, I had the luxury of having access to a gym for free, but when I travel this is not always the case. I always come prepared with a few bodyweight workouts that I keep from Cathy Savage Fitness These workouts are high intensity and short in duration and perfect for On the go! You can even complete them in your hotel room! I went into the studio at the gym and got it done! I started with 10 minutes on the stepmill, completed the workout and ended with a 1/2 mile run as fast as I can!  Heres just one example of an awesome bodyweight workout!

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If you are looking for body weight workouts, you NEED to follow me on PINTEREST Also…check out the links below!

After my workout, I came back, showered and we bundled up to make our way to the Union Sq. market! This is an outdoor market right in Union Sq and is PACKED with food, trinkets, clothing, jewelry, art, home decor…you name it–its there! I wish we had more of this in Boston! I love supporting local artists, chefs and designers, not to mention this was SO NYC! I loved it! I walked away with this sweet tank top!  I already wore it to Yoga today!

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From Union Sq, we walked to Chelsea and found The Grey Dog. I have eaten at this cute little place before and I was so excited to go back! The decor is funky, rustic, hipster and chill, but the people are lively, friendly and the menu is HUGE! You walk in and get right in line to order at the counter. We then found a wooden table surrounded by funky art and waited for our meal

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My mom and I split the veggie flatbread which had spinach roasted red peppers, avocado, artichokes and we added chicken to it. We also split the Grey Dog Salad which came with pea sprouts, chickpeas and goddess dressing. The grilled bread was insane! My dad went with the Greek salad served with a HUGE scoop of hummus (his fav!) We left, bellies satisfied and ready to walk back to the condo!

Thanksgiving was awesome. Hannukah was awesome. Being with my family and friends was fantastic and I would give this year’s holiday a 10/10. Did I mention we had ZERO traffic? I would say thats good luck right there! Now that it is December, the craziness of the season continues! Gingerbread fills that void of pumpkin. Peppermint comes into full effect and being the season of giving–give gifts to yourself. Don’t forget. Smile. Take a personal day. Buy yourself something nice. You deserve it! 

2 Kickin’ Kettlebell Workouts + Chewy Chocolate Protein Bites!

2 Kickin’ Kettlebell Workouts + Chewy Chocolate Protein Bites!

I like being efficient. This time of year can be extremely hectic with shopping for gifts for the holidays or being bogged down at work, not to mention trying to squeeze in those workouts. I find myself sometimes pressed for time for my workouts and I am not one to give up that half hour that I DO have and can make extremely useful. I am really used to being on the go and I seriously don’t understand those who go bragging about spending 1.5+ hours in the gym. What the heckkkkk?! Personally, I would lose interest in my workout-fast.

I like having a plan when I am short on time. I throw on my headphones and lay out my workout. Turn off the distractions and within 30-40 minutes–I have completed what I intended to get done! 

Incorporating kettlebells are my favorite when it comes to fat blasting, full body circuits. They challenge me to stay focused the entire time and also force me to utilize every muscle in my body. I know I am getting the most bang for my buck.

This workout that I have posted below is a killer! It contains seven exercises.

You will set a timer for intervals of 40 seconds of work to 20 seconds of rest. You will go through giant circuit 4 times through for a total of 28 minutes.

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WORKOUT BREAKDOWN 

1) Kettlebell Swings
2) Bulgarian split squat (left)
3) Bulgarian split squat (right)
4) Double Kettlebell press
5) Burpees
6) Kettlebell straight leg sit up
7) Goblet curtsy lunges (alternating)

Here are some SWINGS! 

I hope you enjoy this fast and efficient workout! Its perfect for this week as most of you are probably pressed for time due to the holidays! Thanksgiving AND Hanukkah for me! I will be heading out of town on Wednesday for the holiday and absolutely squeeze in some workout time, but I also love love love Thanksgiving for spending time with family and loved ones. Eat. Enjoy and smile a lot. Thats my plan!

Oh and because I REALLY love you guys…here is one more Kettlebell workout that has recently turned into one of my favorites! I posted it on my Pinterest and Facebook but here ya go if you didn’t see it!

KB conditioning workout

If you are looking for more efficient workouts, be sure to LIKE my Facebook page, as I post workouts on the regular! You can also check out my older posts below! (there are a whole bunch more in the exercise/workout section of my blog!) 

Besides kettlebell workouts, I have also been obsessed with making protein bites of different varieties! As you know I have posted several that came out AMAZING!

Here is a new one that I tried out tonight! It is SUPER easy and takes about 10 minutes from start to finish if you have everything on hand! The steps are written out down below and the nutrition facts are for the WHOLE RECIPE. I made 10 evenly sized cookies and this was what the breakdown was for the whole recipe. Feel free to make larger or small cookies and adjust the facts accordingly! These are SO SO SO SO good!!! Chewy and Doughy and delicious!!!

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Chewy Chocolate Protein Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Protein!
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10
 

Make these cookies when you are craving something sweet yet protein packed. Full of healthy ingredients like coconut flour, organic pumpkin and almond flour. These will surely not weigh you down and perfect for a treat post dinner!
Ingredients
  • ¼C almond flour
  • ¼C canned organic pumpkin
  • 1 scoop whey protein (I used casein vanilla)
  • 2T unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1t coconut flour
  • 3 drops or 1 packet of stevia extract
  • 1T hemp seeds
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-2T of water to mix it all together and form a thick dough

Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well until combined. You may need to add more water (feel free to use almond or coconut milk instead of water!) Just enough to keep the mixture pretty thick and doughy. You will be tempted to eat it off the spoon! Grease a cookie sheet and form 10 even sized cooies. Press down each one with your thumb to flatten.
  2. Place in an oven that is preheated to 350 degrees.
  3. Bake for about 10 minutes (still may be slightly doughy and chewy!)
  4. ENJOY as is or with any toppings you like such as coconut butter, almond butter or peanut butter!

Let me know if you make these and PLEASE PIN and Share the Recipe with all!!!

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HAPPY THANKSGIVIKAH!  :)  

TRX Timed Circuit + Treadmill HIIT workout!

TRX Timed Circuit + Treadmill HIIT workout!

HEY HEY!

You all know I LOVE the TRX and have talked about the benefits quite a bit on my blog and Facebook posts.

You can check out my post ALL ABOUT THE TRX RIGHT HERE!

Some key reasons why I love using the TRX with both my clients and in my own training is because I love that you have complete control over the intensity of the workouts and exercises themselves. You can still build incredible strength and get all of the fat burning benefits strength training and conditioning.  The TRX is extremely versitile and scalable for ALL levels from someone who has never worked out before to the gym rat who wants to spice up their routine. The TRX Suspension trainer uses your own body weight from different angles to engage more muscle groups at the same time.  I also love the TRX because it is all core all of the time! Take a traditional biceps curl with dumbbells and then take that same exercise and try it on the TRX–CORE IGNITED! It trains the body for complete core stability. You will be relying on your own body’s center of gravity to stay strong and focused through the movements.

Below I have a kick a$$ TRX workout for you to try! What you will need is a suspension trainer and a timer (You could obviously use your iphone, you don’t need an old school stop watch!) Remember those? Oh man…I digress.

Okay so this workout has two larger circuits that each contain 5 different exercises. The first circuit contains all exercises where you will be upright and the 2nd circuit are all exercises where you will be on the ground.

  • What you will want to do is set your timer for 3 full cycles of 40 seconds of work/20 seconds of rest for a total 15 minutes per circuit. The whole workout is 30 minutes!

Below I have videos of the exercises so you can take a look at my form to make sure you are performing the exercises properly. The whole workout in its entirety is posted at the bottom of the videos. I hope that you enjoy the videos and that it helps to see exactly what you should be doing!  I know that I am a totally visual person and fully enjoy seeing someone else perform the workouts/exercises when I am trying to learn a new movement!   

 

TRX Circuit 2

  

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AND for an added bonus…here is a great treadmill workout for you to print and try out for yourself! HIIT it! 

TREADMILL TORTURE

Time Speed Incline
0-3 6.0 1.0%
3-4 7.0 1.0%
4-5 8.0 1.0%
5-6 3.5 5%
6-7 7.0 5%
7-8 8.0 5%
8-9 3.5 8%
9-10 7.0 8%
10-11 8.0 8%
11-12 3.5 2%
12-13 10 2%
13-14 2.0 2%
14-14:30 10 3%
14:30-15 JUMP TO SIDES  
15-15:30 9 5%
15:30-16 JUMP TO SIDES  
16-16:30 8 8%
16:30-17 JUMP TO SIDES  
17-18 7.0 8%
18-19 3.0 8%
19-20 1.0 8%– WALKING LUNGES!