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*This is where I workout everyday. You do not need a fancy gym membership to become fit and healthy. 

Embrace The Struggle.

You may be a regular with workouts or a person who has just started to workout. You are both in the same boat. Yet this does not make you different. There is always a struggle going on. Even if you are seasoned veteran with workouts or a newbie. I personally struggle with my workouts everyday. But that is what makes me keep coming back for more.

Look At It As A Challenge.

Every time you are faced with a workout look at it as something you need to overcome. Something that will be a brief part of your day but something that will build the foundation of how your day will be. Every time I am faced with a workout that I feel like I cannot complete I always think about how small this task is compared to my full day. “If I give 120% to this workout for an hour at most I will feel more accomplished throughout my day.” These are the types of thoughts you need to have during your workouts. It is not suppose to be glamorous, and it is not suppose to look good. But it will help you look glamourous and look good in the long run.

Dominate The Challenge.

Every time you look at your workout for the day (whether you made it up or someone made it for you) tell yourself, “I will dominate this workout.” People underestimate the power of self talk. Positive self talk is one of the best ways of being successful especially in workouts. If you get to that point in the workout where you feel like you can’t go anymore tell yourself, “I can I am strong enough!” Another trick I use during hard workouts is using emotions to my advantage. Again, if you find yourself in that horrible part of your workout and feel completely spent, smile. Yes, that is it. Smiling triggers a response that will allow you to keep going. If you think I am joking try it and you will be amazed. So whether you are working out for the 10,000th time or the 1st, go into your workout with a positive attitude and dominate it!

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This June!

For the month of June I am teaming up with Considering You. They will be hosting the 10 day fitness challenge. When you sign-up at Considering You you will be put in for prizes that you could win at the end of the 10 days. The challenge starts June 3rd and the winner will be announced June 12th. To get more details about how the workouts will be given to you and so forth hop on over to Considering You for a more in depth look at this amazing fitness challenge!

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Need To Get Back Into Your Workouts? Try this.

5 Rounds

-10 burpees

-20 push-ups

-10 kettlebell squats

-1 minute plank

-10 kettlebell swings

3 Rounds

-10 jackknife sit-ups

-25 scissor kicks

-1 minute plank

-15 reverse crunches

Why this workout?

The key is simplicity. In this workout all you need is a kettlebell that suites you. The rest is body weight movements. These movements are some of the most tried and true movements that create results. Build on this workout, tweak this workout, but most importantly use this workout. To easy? Go 10 rounds. To hard? Thats ok. Go 3 rounds instead of 5 or do 5 reps instead of 10. The most important part is that you are putting forth effort and putting out 100%. This effort will build upon itself and give you momentum to continue working out while transforming your body. Don’t let one more day go by. Get back in it!

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Olympic Lifts

The power of Olympic lifts are very underrated. The benefits that Olympic lifting can bring to your fitness for both men and women are quite astonishing. Olympic lifting incorporates your whole body in each movements. This is why it is important to add these movements into your workouts.

First: The Strength Component

The strength component involved with Olympic lifting is one of the most obvious benefits. To do Olympic lifts you need power and speed. This mix of explosion and strength is great for the entire body. Can it get any better? Movements that work every muscle. Sign me up. People underestimate the strength involved in bringing weight from the ground to mid body and then over your head.

Second: The Flexibility Component

Flexibility is another major component to Olympic lifts and most would be surprised about this. In order for your body to go through these movements they need a certain level of flexibility. One major region of your body that is stressed during these lifts is your hip flexors. By having strong and flexible hip flexors your body will be able to generate more power and torque to lift heavier weight. Work load is key in any type of workout and by having good flexibility it will allow you to go longer while staying injury free.

Third: The Balance Component

If you do not know if have good balance or not Olympic lifts will definitely let you know. The balance required for these movements such as snatch, hang clean, etc. are what can make you or break you in these movements. But don’t let your poor balance detour you from trying, because over time your body will develop a stronger and more resilient base. Balance is key in every day tasks and this is why I am emphasizing balance in Olympic lifts.

Fourth: The Cardiovascular Component

You would not think cardio would play a major role in Olympic lifts if you have never tried them. This is why I love these movements, because not only are you strengthening your entire body you are also straining your lungs to fight for air. Try hang cleaning and snatching in a row and you will understand where I am coming from. And the reasoning behind it is simple, with Olympic lifts you are using almost every muscle group and in order for you muscles to work harder they need oxygen. So when you are forcing every muscle to suck as much oxygen as you can you start to realize how exhausting these workouts can be.

Try it.

Whether you are a stay at home mom or a competitive athlete Olympic lifts are movements I think everyone should implement in their workouts. And who can argue, with all the benefits including the ones I described above it would be unfortunate if you did not incorporate these movements. So go out and toss a barbell around and find out how amazing of a workout you can have.

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What are you goals? Are you looking for size? Are you looking for endurance? Or are you looking to get toned? The answer cannot be answered in high reps or low reps. It sadly is not that simple. There are a lot of variables with the goals that people are striving for. I am going to simply break down how you achieve these goals.

Size 

If you are looking for size you will need to incorporate both high reps and low reps into your workouts. Low reps are usually around 1 to 5 reps. High reps are anywhere from 8 to 15 reps. Size comes from work load. So if you are only doing a few low reps sets you are not breaking down your muscles enough to rebuild bigger. The combination of high and low reps will give you a look that will allow you to gain size.

Endurance 

Endurance is the most simple out of the the three. Endurance is all about rest times. If you are waiting 3 minutes in between each set you are not building up your endurance. Lactic acid is what builds up in your muscles when they get fatigued. The key is to train your body while having a lactic acid build up. This will teach your body to convert this lactic acid into fuel and allow you to go longer and farther. So limiting you rest period is key to building your endurance.

Toned 

This is what most women are looking to achieve. And sadly becoming “toned” is a myth. The thought process of high reps/low reps will get you toned is false. High reps/low weight will make you gain muscle. If you look at almost all bodybuilders they are not lifting massive weight they are using low to medium weight to stretch and contract their muscles to allow blood to fill and achieve muscle growth. Becoming toned or defined is all dependent on your diet and losing body fat.

So there are some truths to the philosophies on high reps and low reps but there are also some myths and the most important thing to remember is intensity is everything in your workouts. Whether you are doing high reps or low reps you should always strive to reach an intensity level that will push yourself. Lastly, having a good diet is key to keeping you body healthy and also helping you achieve the body you have always wanted. Train Dirty Eat Clean.

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Kettlebells are one of the most underrated pieces of equipment in terms of working out. The benefits that these little yet devastating cast iron balls can do in a short amount of time is amazing. Everyone who says they do not have enough time to workout should go to their local sporting goods store tomorrow and pick up one of these. They are that good.

Lets break down some of the benefits of using a kettlebell in your workouts or using them for your entire workout. Now I am not going to explain how to use them because a simple google search of different movements with a kettlebell will help you a lot more than me explaining.

First, lets talk about the strength training that kettlebells produce. Whether your using an 80 pound kettlebell or a 10 pound kettlebell you will see results. It all depends on how good of shape you are in and how strong you are. If you are a strong person go a little heavier if your not so strong go a little lighter. Either way your going to get a great workout. Kettlebells tone and strengthen your body. They do this by the movements in the exercises. Kettlebells get your whole body involved and this translates to first a killer workout and second amazing results.

The second benefit of a kettlebell workouts is the cardio training. If you have never done a kettlebell workout you will realize very fast that they are not a walk in the park. Some kettlebell workouts have had me gasping for air. You are literally pushing your lung capacity and muscular endurance to the max and at the same time! This is why kettlebells have such great results.

The kettlebell should also be called the busy persons workout. This is because you do not need to spend an hour doing a kettlebell workouts. Give yourself 10-30 minutes a day with a kettlebell and you will be surprised by how good of a workout you can get. It is also very small so you can travel with it if you know you are not going to be near or have access to a gym.

The list of benefits go on and on. But I also want to make clear that this just one tool in the toolbox. This is for a day you may not be able to do a full workout or you may be out of town. Nothing will ever compare to a focused and disciplined workout schedule and a good clean diet. So go out today and kick your butt with a kettlebell workout!

photo credit: romanlily via photopin cc

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Everyone who just starts working out is almost on a working out “high”, for a short time. Then your daily tasks get in the way and you make the first and dreadful mistake. You say, “I’ll just workout tomorrow.” But guess what? You will never get back on a regular routine again unless someone gets you back on the right track.

Stay positive. It will be hard but I assure that it is worth it. Come up with a reason to keep working out. Whether that be to see your kids grow up or so you can have those ladies looking during the summer. Just make sure you think about that every time you get discouraged. I have been there and I still to this day have those days I do not want to workout. But make these days a way to challenge yourself some more. I have had some of my greatest workouts when I really did not want to workout. Maybe it is because I am so stubborn and don’t want my mind to defeat me but you almost enjoy the struggle because after that struggle it turns into the greatest feeling ever. So today even though you don’t wanna workout I am telling you it will be worth it and you’ll feel a lot better.

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Photo Credit: Arya Ziai via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: Arya Ziai via Compfight cc

The Spartan Workout

April 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

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Ever wonder how those guys from the movie 300 got so shredded? Well they all did workout and hard at that, but there also was a lot of makeup and special effects involved. I hate to break to all you 300 lovers, I too love the movie but there comes a point where you have to realize that not everyone can become that ripped. But there is good news there is a workout that will test your fitness for sure. Now this workout is not a workout you do everyday or even once a week. This workout is designed to measure how far you have come. So I suggest you do this workout now and then in a month or so do it again and see how much better you did than the first time. So here is the workout.

Note: No rest between exercises.

THE ORIGINAL 300 WORKOUT:

  • Pullups – 25 reps
  • Barbell Deadlift with 135 lbs. – 50 reps
  • Pushups – 50 reps
  • 24-inch Box Jumps – 50 reps
  • Floor Wipers – 50 reps
  • Single-Arm Clean-and-Press with 36 lbs Kettlebell – 50 reps
  • Pullups – 25 rep

THE INTERMEDIATE 300 WORKOUT:

  • Pullups – 25 reps
  • Dumbbell Deadlift – 50 reps
  • Pushups – 50 reps
  • Body-Weight Squat Jumps – 50 reps
  • V-Ups – 50 reps
  • Dumbbell Push Press – 50 reps
  • Pullups – 25 reps

BEGINNER 300 WORKOUT:

  • Body-Weight Rows – 15 reps
  • Body-Weight Squats – 25 reps
  • Pushups – 15 reps
  • Jumping Jacks – 50 reps
  • Mountain Climbers – 20 reps
  • Close-Grip Pushups – 10 reps
  • Body-Weight Rows – 15 reps

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Sleep is important for many reasons. It allows your body to rest, to process the day, and to rejuvenate for the next day. Sleep also is major component to your ultimate fitness. Sleep is a lot more powerful than people realize. We as people still do not know everything about sleep and what happens. But one thing we do know is the effects it has on our health and fitness.

The main benefit from sleep is muscle repair and regeneration. A lot of people know about this but many do not know what actually happens. During sleep, growth hormone is actually produced a secreted in the body. This hormone is what allows us to recover from workouts and daily activities from the day before. It also repairs muscle and builds muscle which is key for any athlete who wants to put on some size and strength.

And another interesting benefit to sleep has to deal with myostatin. Without getting very scientific it is what limits us from gaining too much muscle. There has been cases where dogs or cows have a myostatin deficiency. These animals never stop producing muscle and grow enormous. Now this may seem awesome but it is a good thing we have myostatin. These animals do not live long and have many complications.

Below is a picture of a dog with a myostatin deficiency (no that is not photoshopped):

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Now we may have myostatin in our bodies and it may limit our muscle growth but we also can help reduce the amount of it in our body. Why would we want to reduce the amount of myostatin in our body? Because even though we are not completely eliminating myostatin (which is good) we are reducing it which in turn will help us repair and build more muscle. And there is one simple way to reduce myostatin and that is sleep! By giving yourself at least eight hours of sleep a night (ten would be even better) you can greatly reduce your myostatin levels and give your body a jump start in the production of muscle.

So here are some tips so you can get the proper sleep and be well on your way to your fitness goals:

1. Pick a time and stick with it (do not go to bed at odd hours, your body likes a routine and the better you can stick to that routine the better your body will respond).

2. Make sure you are getting at least eight hours a sleep (if you have to get up early than go to bed earlier, its as simple as that).

3. Make sure your bed and pillow are comfortable (this sounds funny but if you are constantly getting disturbed during your sleep or waking up from being uncomfortable your body will not properly repair, you need solid undisturbed sleep).

4. If you have problems getting to bed take a melatonin. You can pick it up pretty much anywhere. They are small pills and are not what you think. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that is produced in your body. It helps regulate your sleep pattern. So if you are off and need to get back to a routine I highly encourage this. You can take it safely every night, however, you can build a tolerance to it. I suggest taking it until you feel like you have gotten onto a pretty consistent schedule.

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I hear people all the time talk about their gym or how someone is struggling to find a gym. And it blows my mind when I hear people’s excuse for not working out be that they do not have a gym at the moment. And to be completely honest with you I hate gyms and fitness clubs. I hate the atmosphere and I hate how people think the only way to become healthier or workout is to be a member at a gym. The way I started working out was from home, and I did not have any fancy equipment at all. Actually all I had was a treadmill, a pull-up bar, and couple of dumbbells. But it’s not what you have, its how you use what you have. I do belong to a gym now, but I honestly feel caged in when I go. I do understand that I need the gym because it has the equipment I do not have have. But fitness was not made to just be used in the gym. I think you should use your world as your gym. Everywhere around us are opportunities to experience something fun but at the same time getting a good workout in. This can be as basic as running on a trail or swimming in a lake and it can be as extreme as rock climbing, surfing, snowboarding, etc.

The goal is to use your fitness to experience more in life. If all you did was go to a gym once a day to workout and not do anything physical all day, then what is the point of working out? I workout because I feel better, more healthy, and because it allows me to participate in activities at a high level. Another option is taking a more unorthodox approach to your workouts. If it is a nice day out why go to the gym? Get outside and start moving! Whether that be doing some calisthenics in the park or mountain biking through a trail. As long as you understand that your fitness is your key to unlimited experiences in this world. So don’t follow the norm and do something different in your workout today!

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