Tag Archives: weightlifting

Ninja Niblets: January 19, 2012

19 Jan

A few quick niblets and tidbits to get you going this week.

Awesome Workout Songs To Add To Your Playlist

What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) by Kelly Clarkson – I’m seriously obsessed with this one, it is so motivational and really gets me pumped!

International Love by Pitbull

Good Feeling by Flo Rida featuring Sia

Super Bass by Nicki Minaj

Mr. Know It All by Kelly Clarkson

Fitness Magazine: Calorie Cheat Sheet

Do you really know how many calories you’re eating? Or what you think is only 100 calories is probably much more than that. This quick cheat sheet from Fitness Magazine divides up some popular foods into categories of 100, 250 and 400 calories. You’d be surprised at how quickly things add up.

Shape Magazine: 8 Reasons to Lift Heavier Weights

Lifting weights is an essential part of working out and just as beneficial and sometimes more so than cardio work. Women especially veer away from weights thinking they’re going to bulk up and look like a guy. Not so. Our muscles can only get so big since we don’t have testosterone, so don’t worry about looking like the hulk. Instead, weightlifting will give more benefit to your cardio workout. If you have good, strong muscles, you will burn up to 100 calories more in the next 24 hours after a cardio workout. It also helps prevent injury and osteoporosis. Grab a dumbbell and get curling!

Fitsugar: Motivational Quotes

Feeling the blahs today? Don’t feel like getting your workout in? Try flipping through this photo gallery of motivational quotes. I bet by the end, you’ll be out the door running to your kickboxing class!

 

What’s in a Number

30 Aug

When I first started losing weight, I didn’t even set a goal number or size. I just wanted to see if I could stick with a diet and exercise plan. The more I got into it and stuck with it, I set a goal weight of: 145 lbs. I thought this was somewhere around a size 8 – 10. I was extremely surprised to discover that it put me into a size 6.

I was ecstatic. I was one of those “skinny girls” now who could wear a tiny size 6. I couldn’t believe it. Every store I went into had my size and it fit! This was such a new and novel concept to me. Two years later, I still get a thrill that I can go to my favorite stores and wear anything I want.

This past Saturday I went shopping with my mom for my birthday. I love getting clothes for my birthday, but I have to pick them out and try them on. So we typically make a day of it rather than exchanging money or gift cards. Much more fun! I went to The Limited, which is my favorite store and took a haul to the dressing room.

Everything was going great until I got to the pants. They were tight! The size 6 skirts and dresses I tried on were fine, but the pants were a mess. They fit, but if I even ate a big lunch, they’d be uncomfortable. My legs were the worst part. They were hugging every inch of them with no room to breathe. I was shocked. Then I got really upset. The scale has stayed steady. I lost the 5 lbs that I gained on my vacation, and I’ve been at my goal weight ever since. How could I have gone up a size without gaining weight?

Then I looked at my legs. They’ve gotten huge. Huge in a good way. Huge from miles and miles and miles of running and doing 50 lb squats and 24″ box jumps. My legs are full of strong muscles that I will need to carry me across the finish line of my marathon. My new size 8 legs were dying in my normal sized pants.

I was mopey about the size change for the day, but after coming home and verifying again that the scale had stayed the same, I was actually kind of proud of my legs. I now have one of those athletic bodies that I hear about all the time that are hard to find clothes for. Now I understand. I wear my normal size in tops, skirts and dresses, but pants are getting difficult. I get what the athletes go through when they go shopping.

So it’s like the Nike Women’s Ads said, “I have thunder thighs. And that’s a compliment because they are strong and toned and muscular and though they are unwelcome in the petite section they are cheered on in marathons.”

5 Steps to a Healthier Life

25 Aug

Starting a new diet or exercise plan can seem really overwhelming. Whether you’ve tried and failed on numerous occasions or have a lot of weight to lose, surmounting the weight demon can seem impossible. The way I achieved my weight loss success was through a series of small steps. I couldn’t imagine a drastic change in my life when I was going through recovery from surgery, so I made small changes. These are 5 simple steps that I feel will really help you make a change in your life for the better without being overwhelmed.

1. Keep a Food Journal
Start keeping a food journal. Use an online resource like My-Calorie-Counter.com or Livestrong.com and record everything you eat for a full week. Write down the good and the bad and see what you consume in a week. Let’s say you’re consuming 2700 calories a day, which is a pretty big number. Rather than doing something drastic like cutting it down to 1500, cut it by 500 calories a day. It’s a small amount you won’t probably notice, but this allows you to lose a pound a week at a healthy, safe rate. As you lose weight, adjust your caloric intake gradually.

2. Go the Distance
Start incorporating small forms of exercise into your daily life. Park your car in the furthest slot away from the door so you have to walk more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a 20 minute walk after dinner. Start small. If you try to take on a huge exercise program right off the bat, chances are you’re going to get sore and give up. Try to move for 30 minutes a day. If you can keep that up for a month or so, join a gym.

3. It’s All Greek to Me
There’s a reason the Mediterranean Diet is worshipped by doctors for its health and nutritional benefits. One of the big staples is Greek yogurt. Use plain non-fat Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream or heavy cream in recipes. You can’t taste the difference and you cut hundreds of calories with this simple substitution.

4. Breakfast of Champions
Eat a good breakfast. A good breakfast is not a donut in your company’s break room nor is it an Egg McMuffin. And don’t go thinking you can skip out on this important meal. Eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast will jump start your metabolism working right away. If you don’t eat in the morning, your metabolism slows because your body thinks it’s in starvation mode. You feel sluggish and irritated because you have no nutrients to get you fired up in the morning.

Try 1/4 Cup Greek Yogurt, 1/4 Cup Non-Fat Milk, 8 Blueberries, 4 – 5 Strawberries, and 1/4 TSP of Honey for a great morning smoothie. Eat with a slice of bread with 1 TBS of Peanut Butter. This 350 calorie breakfast will keep you full and get the metabolism going.

5. Be Strong
Lift weights. Cardio is an extremely important part of exercising. It burns calories and builds a very strong and healthy heart. However, you can reap far more benefits from your cardio workout if you incorporate a good strength training program as well. Lifting weights builds muscle which burns fat. You will burn more fat if you both strength train and do cardio. Ladies, you will not bulk up and look like a guy with strength training. It is healthy and especially necessary for women to prevent osteoporosis.

Remember, start small and work your way up. Don’t get discouraged. Know that making small steps towards a healthy life will result in a big payoff.

The Worst Run Ever: Marathon Training, Day 15

2 Feb

We all have off days in our workouts. It’s normal. Sometimes your body just has had enough, and you can’t quite find your groove that day. No biggie.

Monday, I had the worst run I think I’ve ever had since I started running in August. It was beyond an “off” day. It was so bad. My legs were like Jell-O, I had no stamina and I even tripped on the treadmill. I had run 5 miles on Sunday, so I think my body was telling me to take a rest day.

Normally I would have taken a rest day after such a long run, but I’m going out of town this weekend, so I’m trying to squeeze stuff in. This was not a good idea. I did a 15 minute mile, which is painfully slow even for me. I couldn’t run my normal 4 minutes / walk 1 minute. Instead I was running only 2 minutes. I tripped, but thankfully didn’t fall. It was bad all around.

I went over to the elliptical, but no real success there either. I did 10 minutes for about .75 miles. It was painful and off too. The only thing that was working for me that day was my strength training. I did a lot of upper body weights.

I took yesterday off, and I’m getting back on the proverbial horse today. I’m motivated and ready. I have new running shoes, and I’m anxious to start breaking them in. Today will be a good run!

Barbell Squat Demonstration

11 Nov

The barbell squat is one of the most valuable weightlifting exercises out there. It builds great muscles in your legs, core and glutes. I am convinced that the reason I am able to run is because these squats made my legs and feet strong. Start out with just the bar and don’t add any weight until you’re more comfortable with the movement and form. Form is more important than the weight amount.

A Debt Must Be Paid

8 Nov

I think somewhere in mythology (bear with me here, it’s been a while since I touched my ancient Greek & Roman literature), it is said if you take something from the gods, they must be repaid. I took 4 days off from the gods and today they made me pay. Big time.

I’ve been working out for 3 years, hardcore for 2 of them. It has honestly been nearly 2 years since I’ve taken more than 2 days off from the gym other than being sick. When I go on vacation, I still hit the gym. Yes, I’m one of those sick people.

So this past week, I began the process of buying my very first home. An exciting process, but quite stressful to put it mildly. Needless to say between my schedule of meeting the realtor, putting in the offer and the insane amount of stress I was under, I decided not to work out for 4 days. I just couldn’t handle it, and I needed some true down time in between the chaos of home buying to veg out and decompress. At first I felt horribly guilty, then decided in the grand scheme of thing, taking 4 days off in 2 years isn’t going to kill me.

Today I made my return to the gym. The gods weren’t happy with m. I wasn’t happy with me. My lungs and legs weren’t happy with me. I paid a great price for my debt. I normally have been running 4 minutes, walking 1 minute per the Galloway method. It’s comfortable for me as a new runner to do this so I can increase my endurance and distance. Today, however, I ran 1 minute, walked 1 minute. I was getting horrific side stitches, out of breath, weak and miserable.

I couldn’t believe 4 days did this to my body. I know honestly most of it was probably because I have been stressed out and not getting enough sleep, food, etc. But whatever, today’s workout sucked. I also did 3 sets of barbell squats, bicep curls, tricep dips, pull-ups, chest press, and front & lateral raises. It was all a painful, not fun experience.

So take it from someone who has paid for the deadly sin of sloth…take a day off from the gym a few days a week. Recovery is vital for preventing injuries and improving your abilities. However, absolutely do not take 4 days off in a row. That first day back will prove to be a killer. :)

Learn the Lateral Raise

2 Nov

The lateral raise is one of my favorite weightlifting exercises. It really tones your shoulders and is fairly simple to do.

Fitness Tip: Romanian Dead Lift (RDL)

27 Oct

I love doing the RDL. It does wonders for your hamstring muscles, core and glutes. The way I was taught, was not a mixed grip, however. I have two hands with my grip facing away from me, not inward.

This exercise can also be done with dumbbells. The movements are the same, you’re just gripping two dumbbells instead of a long bar.

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