Saturday’s Grind: Motivation

It is five days before Christmas and my top priority today is getting my workout in. The past week has been hectic… hence… no posts.

Since time does not permit a visit to the gym, my home gym is my companion this morning.

Staying fit isn’t about a gym membership or fancy equipment; it’s all about self motivation and working with what you have.

My companions this morning….

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3816.jpgThis was last year’s Christmas gift from hubby!  Sweet!   It’s great for HIIT Training.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3819.jpg

We bought this rack of weights for $50 bucks from someone who was cleaning out their basement!!  /home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3822.jpgThe stepper was also given to me.  I”m so blessed! Until I get a bench, this baby has dual purposes.  :) And although the kettle bell is a light 20 pounds…  A lot of reps can make it feel like much more!  Lol!

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3825.jpgThis treadmill is old as dirt, but it works.  My treadmill died.  This one belonged to a friend who used it as a clothing rack.  She gave it to me and I am grateful.  It works for me.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/0e0/22756241/files/2014/12/img_3820-0.jpg

bar

IMG_3833

And look who joined me for my workout!  How cute is he!!!  Lol!  🙂

Stay motivated and have a fabulous day! 🙂


How To Stay Fit And Motivated

pose2

Posing in the backyard after the run.

A great way to stay fit, have fun, and to meet new people is to take part in local sporting events.  I find events by talking to other fitness fanatics and from one of my favorite sites, Active.

Yesterday, I participated in Atlantic City’s first ever, Insane Inflatable 5K.

Inflatable what?  I know!  Lol!!   I thought the same.  But once I visited the website, back in March, I knew I had to do this crazy looking event. You can see pics of yesterday’s run here.

start

I took this picture just before the start.  The folks at the top are event organizers getting us all pumped up.

Climbing, crawling, bouncing, running, sliding up, down, under and through ginormous inflatables is something I never imagined myself doing.  But it was worth every aching muscle that I feel this morning! :0)

Crazy-Air

Look at the size of this baby! Lol!!

I do not have my own pics because I ended up running solo because hubby and B’Dazzle were still sleeping when I left the house.  Next year, the entire family is participating!  And yes, I already put them on notice.  Our son will love it; I am not certain about hubby, but it is a perfect family “active” event.  Lol!   Oh… it’s definitely ON for next year.

Though I ran solo, I really did not feel alone.  Along the course, I met an awesome 10-year old asthmatic that kicked butt!  He didn’t allow his asthma to stop him as he led the pack of the 9 o’clock wave half way through the course.   I told him that he rocked.  His reply, “You too!”

One group of women I met drove nearly two-hours for the challenge.  The course was set up at an old airport.  Parts of the course were paved, other sections included two-foot high weeds; we laughed at the “battlefield” and dodged potholes through most of the run.

I have always lacked a sense of direction and was thankful to run through an insane maze following some girl.  We ran through only to find that we were at the start of the maze.  Sigh! Back in again. Of course, I ran right on her heels.  I really thought we were running in circles, but she got us through… I thanked her!  Lol!

I got lost in this for sure!

This is where we got lost!   Image courtesy of Inflatable.com

This morning, I feel like I weight trained yesterday.  My hamstrings, quads, and shoulders are sore.  No longer do I feel guilty about not hitting the gym yesterday.

With your doctor’s blessings, this is an ideal way to get started.  Just do it!  The run is not timed.  There are no losers.  Everyone wins by showing up and having fun.

I am asked all the time about how I stay on course to stay fit.  It’s pretty simple, I do everything on this list:

  1. My number one goal is to have fun. Be silly and laugh at yourself. Don’t take yourself so serious.
  2. Be open-minded to try something new.  There are many ways to      exercise, dabble in something completely different. This inflatable run was different for me.
  3. Seek new challenges and set new goals.  Ex: A mud run is on my to-do list. Confidence grows steadily with accomplishments.
  4. Stay away from the scale; it is not an accurate measurement of your overall fitness level.
  5. Be aware of what you eat and drink. Read labels! Drink water!
  6. Set your mind to try new recipes. I eat foods today that I did not know existed a few years ago. I continue to add new healthier foods to my diet and subtract foods that I discover are unhealthy.
  7. Connect (In person or on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc..) with other fitness fanatics. We will encourage and inspire you and help to keep you motivated.
  8. Educate yourself.  Read about nutrition and fitness every opportunity you get. The social networks are saturated with fitness guru’s who are eager to share what they know.  Of course, everything you read is not true or accurate, so do your research. Right now by favorites are bodybuilding.com and fitnessrx for women.  I follow a few good boards on Pinterest; you can follow me there at Lexa82.
  9. Don’t give up.  If something does not work for you, move on.
  10. Remember, there is no such thing as perfection.  Don’t compare your body to someone else’s. Just work to be YOUR best.
  11. Don’t be afraid to participate in an event by yourself. You will make new self discoveries and gain lots self-confidence.

After the run and later in the afternoon, we (hubby and B’Dazzle) met other family and friends at a free outdoor concert at Gardner’s Basin in Atlantic City. The weather was beautiful! I sat in my beach chair, chilled, ate, drank two well-earned margaritas, danced to a DJ and to the sounds of S.O.S. Band. Remember them?

 post workout meanPost workout meal at 10:30 a.m. — Leftover broiled chicken breast and freshly sautéed broccoli.  Mmm… See all that minced garlic? I Love it!!

Personally for me, eating well and exercising makes me feel amazingly well. Increased energy, better productivity, and an overall happier mental and physical state of being are some of the benefits of living a healthier lifestyle.

49 feels way better than I ever thought possible!

I cannot stress the importance of making fun a part of your fitness regimen. This is how I do it!

Happy Sunday and enjoy the day!  :0)

 

 

 


This Is Why I Love The Summer

When I woke up this morning, it took me a bit more time than usual to get into the swing of things.  Why?

Because yesterday, I was determined to get weight training AND cardio in.  I walked on the gym floor at 9:50 a.m. and did back.  If I remember correctly, I did:

  1. Pull up assist – wide grip – 3 sets of 15
  2. Pull up assist – narrow grip – 3 sets of 15
  3. Body rows using the Smith Machine – 3 sets of 10 Ugh!
  4. Lat Pull down – wide grip – 3 sets of 12
  5. Lat Pull down – narrow grip – 3 sets of 12
  6. Barbell upright row – 3 sets of 10
  7. T-Bar row – 3 sets of 12
  8. Seated cable row – 3 sets of 12
  9. Face pulls on capable machine – 3 sets of 12
  10. Rope pull (standing) 30 sec. superset with 10 push ups x 4

My muscles were fried, but I got in my car and drove about 20 minutes to the Ocean City Bridge.  Although it was hot as heck out, the bridge stands high over the water so there was a constant breeze.

Oh yeah!  I did some ab work too!  Just three different exercises… all together about 310 reps.  All but 75 were using weights.  Lol!

bridge

The bridge has a nice walkway and fishing pier underneath. I thought this perspective was cool!

I changed sneakers and ran the bridge! “Running the bridge” means you run the bridge, turn around and run back over it again. Lol!  Some people say I’m nuts, but I am a fitness junkie, enthusiasts or whatever else you can come up with.  I love working out, especially when time is not an issue.

This is why I love the summer!  

I can workout for as long as I want to! 🙂

mapmyrun

The last time I ran the bridge was last summer. Since my summer break (June 26), I have wanted to run the bridge, so you can image how excited I was yesterday.  I think this was also my first real run (outside of crossFit) this year.

I took it slow.  Didn’t want to hurt myself.  My time was actually a little better because my iPod locked and I spent a few minutes fumbling with it.

Anyways… the run was heavenly!!  I felt free and on top of the world!  A hot sunny day, running across a bridge that, less than a year ago, I was terrified to run.  Thanks to my friend Nicole, the bridge isn’t an issue anymore.  Ha!!  How about that!!

So, today I did crossFit.  Yeah, my quads, shoulders, abs and back were sore, but I knew once I got moving, I’d be fine.

SWOD: 10-15 Min to work up to 1 rm Snatch – I worked on perfecting my snatched, so I practiced at 75 pounds which was plenty.

WOD: 18 Min – EMOM (Every min on the min)

Min 1- 20 m sled push
Min 2- 10 kb clean and jerk + Lunge 5L/5R
Min 3- 20 double under/ 5 HSPU (handstand push up)

My double under’s aren’t so hot, so to keep the momentum, I did 40 singles.  Using a box, I did my hand stand push ups.

So after the WOD, the coaches decided that we needed to do a buy out. Yuck!

Buyout

3 Rounds

20 Abmats
20 Russian Twists
20 Hollow Rocks

Stick a fork in me, I was and still am done!

I’m headed to bed now.  The “plan” is to workout early tomorrow morning. How early? Umm… 5 a.m.!

Sweet dreams and keep it movin’!


Thinking About Figure Competing?

Disclaimer… I’m no expert and don’t claim to be one. As a blogger, with one competition under my belt, I’m getting lots of questions about how to get started.

When I decided to compete in my first figure competition (FC), I had no idea of how many people would be inspired my journey. Every day I’m asked about FC, so I’ve decided to dedicate a post to those pondering over taking the journey.

How to get started? 

To start you must be committed and disciplined. Not half ass committed, but 200%. Your diet, fitness routine, and lifestyle will change… forever.

Are you willing to workout (hard) everyday, twice a day, or whatever is necessary to accomplish your goal?

Are you a social drinking who occasionally indulges in an ice-cold beer, martini, margarita, or something else? Well… are you willing to give up your happy hour?

Do you have the determination to go out to dinner with family and friends but can say no to your favorite cheese cake, chocolate cake, or Alfredo creamed dish?

Seriously, I’m just saying. If you’re going to struggle with my three questions, you’re not ready, because that’s just the beginning.

I recommend you begin by reading everything you can about bodybuilding and figure competing. YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, has a plethora of information. Quite often, bodybuilder’s are eager to share their knowledge.

Check out bodybuilding.com  This site has articles on just about anything related to bodybuilding. Nutrition, workouts, motivation, and more.  Here is an article about getting started in figure competition.

There are also plenty of websites and bodybuilders’ who charge for their “expert” advice; however, I have yet to pay for any “how to” books. Before buying any “expert” advice, make certain that the source is credible.

If you cannot shake the desire to compete, you should consider the following:

Trainer

I recommend you find a good trainer to help guide you. Unless you have a solid knowledge base on weight training and nutrition, you’re going to waste time through trial and error in trying to get it right. The “it” is methodical weight training and a proper nutrition plan that is effective for you.

No two bodies are the same. What works for someone else’s body may not work for your body.

As far as selecting a trainer, the choice is personal. Just like a good shoe; it has to be a good fit because you are going to spend a lot of time with your trainer.

There will be days when you love your trainer and there will be days when, well you know… when you may not feel so fond of him/her.

I’m a fitness enthusiast and I get high off of intense workouts. Most people aren’t like me. I performed every exercise and did so without complaining or hating my trainer. Lol! I’m just keeping it real with you. Before I selected my trainer, I considered the following:

  1. Experience/Credentials – She competed for many years and is knowledgeable. You don’t want a fly-by-night trainer with a certification but who lacks the depth of knowledge required to sculpt your body to perfection.
  1. Gender/Age – Not that I have anything against a young man or woman, but I wanted a trainer who understood an older female body. Lol! No, I’m no dinosaur but I’m not 25 either. Training over age 40 differs from someone in their 20’s and 30’s. The needs are different. I wanted an experienced trainer who understood a female body over age 40. It was that simple for me.
  1. Personality – I wanted a trainer who was serious-minded but also, someone who told me what I needed to hear, not what I wanted to hear. My trainer was just that and more! I worked hard, laughed every session and, learned a lot and had a blast during the process.

I remember when she told me that I couldn’t listen to my music while training with her. I didn’t like it and was disappointed. I didn’t make the mind-body connection until after I worked out a few sessions without the music.  She was right.

  1. Budget – The costs for personal trainer sessions vary greatly. Shop around before deciding. If you belong to a gym or fitness club, observe the trainer’s there. Are they attentive to their clients or are they on their cell phone and talking to other members?

Discuss your fitness goals with the trainer and ask for one or two trial sessions. Remember the preparation period for your first competition could range from six to 12 months or even longer. Do the math to make sure that you can afford your trainer. You don’t want to waste you or your trainer’s time.

Expenses – So you know that a trainer cost money, but what else? Well, if you’re going to bother getting your butt on stage, you darn well better show your stuff in a quality suit. I’ve seen both suits of quality and of less standard. You want quality. If you cannot afford new, you can always buy a used competition suit. A new suit can cost about $400 or more. Remember quality!

You will see an increase in your weekly/monthly food budget. It stinks but the reality is healthy foods costs more than processed junk foods. For example, you’re going to eat more foods like:

  • Leafy vegetables
  • Fruit (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries & apples)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breast (I figured out when it’s on sale at my grocery store)
  • Seafood (depends on you; I ate more shrimp and salmon)
  • Center cut pork loins
  • Protein shakes
  • Supplements (depends on your needs)

Training Schedule – You must be willing to commit to a consistent weekly training schedule, at least four days per week. If you’re busy like me with a child in sports, a steady training schedule is possible but requires planning and a little creativity. If you want it bad enough, you’ll work it out.

Patience – Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a good physique. If you maintain consistency on the gym floor, in the kitchen, and at the table, you will be amazed by how your body changes.

Nearly two years passed before I decided to go for it. I hope it doesn’t take you two years to decide because I wish I had competed sooner! If you decide to compete, please come back to and tell; I want to hear all about it!

What are you afraid of?

Make it a great day and remember to keep it movin’!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Moving One Step Closer

“If you’re not gonna go all the way, why go at all?”
– Joe Namath

Percentages, grams, carbs, fat, proteins, calories, etc.… are all the talk for me these days.  Give or take two years, eating clean is my lifestyle.

My clean eating journey started after I read, Tosca Reno’s, The Eat Clean Diet.   The book was a game changer for me.  While I always ate my daily share of fruits and vegetables, occasionally I indulged in my favorites.  Favorites that I wouldn’t think to sink my teeth into now—Butterscotch krimpets, any apple pie, and McDonald’s French fries!  Yuck!!  Nothing but processed junk!

Knowledge is power– I know—clichés in writing is a no, no, but it’s true.  Having a solid knowledge base and understanding of how gobbledygook affect the body’s performance gave me the power and ease to stop polluting my mind and my body.  Guilt free and without the tug-a-war of craving this or that is a thing of the past.  Yay!!

My point is bringing a history of clean eating into the mix of figure competing is a blessing.  I don’t feel like I’m starting from ground zero.  I have a solid nutrition foundation established, so I can focus on tweaking my diet to perfection.

What’s slightly overwhelming for me?  Keeping track of what I eat, making sure that I am consuming the correct amount of calories, protein, healthy fats, carbs, and other nutrients.

I’m keeping a food journal and, to more accurately track my calories, I found the mobile app. LIVESTRONG.

unnamed

The app was free (I don’t pay for mobile apps), seems relatively simple, and I can access/update my information from any of my  mobile devices or from any computer.  In a short amount of time, I added everything I ate today (2410 Calories).

To help me keep track of my calories, I’ll be using my new best friends!

My measuring tools

A scale, measuring cups, and spoons.

For the first time, when I packed my meals for the next day, I measured everything!  It took me a little longer, but I will get use to it.

After work yesterday I did biceps and triceps.  By dinnertime, I sat at the table quietly wondering how my arms would function while preparing my hair for bed.  Lol!!  I managed.   I rested my body today, but will work very hard at the gym tomorrow.  Hopefully soon, I’ll have pics or videos of me sweating it out at the gym.  When I enter the gym, it’s all business!

Tomorrow is another day that I move one step closer to going all the way.

Sweet Dreams!!