Little Rewards Go A Long Way (and This Weeks Workout)

The great cupcake experiment is working it’s magic!

The Little Rewards

Little rewards towards a goal of keeping up with a workout schedule focused on personal results.

The metabolism of a 40+ year old woman, if left unattended, would have slowed down every 10 years – starting at age 25 – by 2-4% [Tweet it!]

This is the mysterious 2 lbs a year that seems to find you, even though you have not done anything different. I went through a number of those years before I felt like something had to be done. Aerobic activity – aka soccer – helped in the beginning, but the weight-creep came back. With the discovery of resistance training, thanks to my trainer, shedding the fat started up again.

First came resistance training in a circuit, otherwise known as Fitness Boot Camp. This was amazing! I saw great shifts in body composition. A loss of fat while lean muscle was gained.

But guess what? Bodies adapt. The hard truth is; To lose weight, eating habits have to be addressed too. [Tweet it!]

Each of the following was a step I took toward eating clean – removing refined & processed food and caloric beverages – would  result in positive changes. Then came heavy lifting, and soon after the removal of dairy, legumes and grains while increasing protein and green veggie intake. That is when I got into better shape than I was in during my 20’s! I didn’t look the same. With more lean muscle, I was more defined but I weighed about the same as I did at 23. Running for the first time, and training for a 1/2 marathon, required that I do less lifting and as a result, some of my muscle was lost. That sucked. Now, each week I work towards completing as many of these days as possible.

  • Monday: Dynamic Resistance Variable Training with Ultimate Sandbags (30-45 minutes)
  • Tuesday: High Intensity Interval Training: The Wicked NINE (25-30 minutes)
  • Wednesday: Heavy lifting with squats as the big lift (45-60 minutes)
  • Thursday: High intensity Interval Training: The Wicked NINE (25-30 minutes)
  • Friday: Heavy lifting with dead-lifts as the big lift (45-60 minutes)
  • Saturday or Sunday: running 3 to 6 miles or a fun race (30-60 minutes)
  • One day of complete rest
  • Total workout time during the week = 3.25 to 4.75 hours out of 112 awake hours each week.

Staying motivated

It is hard to stay motivated.

If you workout alone most of the time, it is a challenge staying accountable. Setting a long term goal along with short term goals can help. There are some fun runs coming up, and planning for sprint tri season has started, which helps a bit.

That is why the cupcake experiment came to be. One cupcake after each resistance training day. Which is the best time to enjoy a treat reward with out the consequences. Our kitchen was a mess on Monday, due to the dishwasher needing repair, so I had the same cupcake on Monday as I did last Friday, Strawberry Vanilla, from ElanasPantry.com. No problem there, they are yummy cupcakes. I made them, so I knew what was in them. No processed stuff, making sure my body stay’s tuned in to listen to hunger and satiety cues. The next one is………… Chocolate from OMGPaleo.com.

It takes work to keep on the muscle and keep the metabolism revving as each year passes. Until a slow down, to aid in recovery, is required, I’ll keep up the pace with the help of small rewards and long term goals. If you don’t have any, it is worth a try.

Baby steps with benefits! [Tweet it!]

Workout for Feb. 20 to Feb. 26th

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The Right Thing to Do – Thank You!

Goofy Challenge

There are benefits to running a small business. One of them is being able to make business decisions that you think make sense, because it is the right thing to do.

As you may have heard, we were closed for a couple of days while we headed down to Florida for the Goofy Challenge. Christine was cheering and Thomas was running, crazy man.

Because of our absence, our clients were not able to come to the studio and get in their workouts missing out on the guidance and fun they are used to. Some of you did the at-home workout we gave you, others went to a box gym and took a class, or watched TV while riding a machine. (And some of took the time off…)

We’ve decided, and this is where the benefits of owning your own business comes in, to discount part of the fee for the month of February as a small way to say thank you for being apart of Wicked Strong Fitness for enabling us to participate in the occasional event, such as the Goofy Challenge.

We’ve already adjusted the billing, so I have a had a number of clients ask “hey whats up with my payment”.  We’re still learning, but we realized we had better communicate our thanks as well.

So…

Thank You!

We hope you realize how much we appreciate getting to be a participant in your fitness journey!

Sincerely,

Christine & Thomas

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Gimme that Cupcake! (And this Weeks Workout)

Cupcake or gut?

Are you fighting the battle of food for fuel vs. food for your soul?

Can they be one in the same or will the two never cross paths?

With the gluten-free craze sparking the idea of eating “good for you” treats, I thought I had come to an eureka moment. Getting my cupcake and eating it too. I was bitterly disappointed to learn the “new” flour used in these goodies also turn into glucose (sugar), just like the gluten filled stuff. Our bodies don’t care if it is gluten-free, unless you have a gluten allergy or intolerance. Both party (w00t, w00t!) with your body, whether it’s a regular cupcake or a gluten-free cupcake, giving you pretty much the same result.

It reminds me of the fat-free 90’s. Which, in hind sight, has been found to be one of the worst diet fads to hit the processed food market. Cutting the fat had nothing to do with fat loss.

I wonder if we will look back on the 10’s as the “gluten-free decade”. Over time, will gluten be part of a healthier diet again, just like certain types of fat are now?

Back to my original question! I don’t think there is any way around a treat being a treat. Clean eating does include some really yummy food. It takes some planning, but you get used to it. Once your palate is cleaned up, your sensitivity to treats is off-the-charts. A little goes a long way!

But don’t be fooled. They are easy to over-eat, because they taste soooo good. The over-all nutritional value is still supplemental, just not as harmful.

Now, I eat a “healthy” version of cupcake, but I still can go off the deep end and have way more than one serving. It is easier to eat more, because they aren’t “bad” for me. Did I mention the word treat.

The enjoyment triggered by a yummy treat is addictive, especially when life is throwing you lemons. That momentary feeling of well-being can make it all better, until the guilt sets in. You just have to brush yourself off, and try again. I am getting better at brushing the lemons away, instead of cupcake crumbs. But it is a process that takes time.

It has been 8 years, and some change, since my household started down the path of clean eating. I eat clean, but my habit of indulgence in yummy treats is still a struggle. I don’t bake often, even though I really enjoy it. With two of us it is too easy to go overboard. I don’t eat desserts from restaurants or bakeries since I do not know what goes in them. I am left with a longing.

A hole in my soul that is shaped like a cupcake. [Tweet this]

I would like to come across a way of eating that includes the cupcake as part of the plan. Not because of the number of calories it holds, calories don’t tell you what your body uses for fuel, but because it adds nutritional value. A nice piece of meat (or other source of protein), green veggie and a cupcake, for example. Since I do not eat grains maybe that could work!?! There are a lot of grain-free cupcake recipes that are amazing. Just hope you don’t get a nut allergy any time soon…

Hey you know, I will sacrifice my body, satisfy my soul and give this plan a go. So in the coming weeks, I will update you with a cupcake of the week, cupcake photos and data (measurements, workouts, start and finish photos and mood logs). I will do this for one month, starting on Valentines Day. Gimme that cupcake!

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Planning for Warm Weather Fitness Fun (And this weeks Workout)

Warm Weather Fitness FUN – Time To Plan!

It is that time of year, just before a major snow storm(!), when we start looking ahead to the warm weather and all the fitness fun that we can have outdoors. Living in New England gives us plenty to do outdoors in the winter, but I am not all that great in the cold. We enjoy skiing but can’t seem to get out to the slopes. But we keep signing up for running races, and looking ahead to the warm weather when the sprint triathlon season will start again.

Our group of sprint triathletes just started planning out what races they want to do this summer, and our running group is already signed up for early spring races. We are not a group of elite athletes. We are a group of women and men, using our workouts in the fitness studio to fuel our fun. We challenge ourselves to see what we can accomplish. Our goals are simply to finish, beat our last time, or just get off the couch and enjoy the shared experience of being outside.

We enjoy bike rides, swimming, running, kayaking, hiking, horse back riding, walking and any activity that strikes our fancy (yes, this is a personal ad… :-D) Since we put in the time to gain strength and condition ourselves for activity, we have the freedom to choose what we want to do. Nothing lights a fire more than a goal to focus on. When you train with purpose, amazing things can happen. Overall we have a great time supporting each other and bringing the FUN each day we train and each race we are in! Pick your fitness fun in the sun, and start getting ready.

This weeks fitness boot camp is all about building off of last weeks bodyweight circuit. Some of us are even getting loaded (just to be clear, I am referring to weights, not booze!).

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Semi-Private Personal Training: The Workout! Kath’s Journal

Semi-Private Personal Training by certified personal trainer

I am sore.

Anyone who’s ever started a fitness routine, or started working out again following a “break” knows this feeling. Going up a flight of stairs requires a bit more effort and the toilet seems lower somehow. You moan a little as you get out of bed, you whine a bit at work, and you may even proclaim that you need to take some Advil. Of course, you know why you’re sore. You know and it makes you smile because working out feels good. Especially when you’re done, and even when you’re sore!

Wicked Strong Chicks semi-private personal training is different than any other fitness program I’ve done and it’s probably different than anything else you’ve ever done. When Christine introduces you to the routine, some of the exercises look and sound pretty simple. For instance, the Overhead Squat; squatting while you hold a broom handle overhead. “Huh.” I remember thinking. “That really doesn’t seem too terribly difficult – sort of a “rest area.” And then there are others, which, as their names would imply, really are rather menacing. The Bulgarian Split Squat – placing one foot up on the weight bench behind you as you extend your other foot out in front of you, knee over ankle, and squat as low as you can while holding weights. I’m told this is a great workout for your quadriceps (front of thighs) and gluteus maximus (rear end). Based on the fact that I nearly fall over upon completing Bulgarian Split Squats, something’s going on and I’m hoping it’s not paralysis. That’s what I mean by “menacing”.

The semi-private personal training routine at Wicked Strong is broken down into 4 sections, each with 2 specific exercises, and rest intervals that alternate between 30 and 60 seconds. 60 seconds goes by fast and 30 goes even faster – it’s barely enough time for a sip of water and no where near enough time for your to formulate a plan to skip out early on the rest of your semi-private personal training session. Christine will help walk you through your routine the first few times. For your initial session, you’ll only do 2 sets of each of the 8 exercises. On your second session of Wicked Strong Chicks, you’ll be doing 3 sets. At this stage of the game for me, most of what I’m doing is body weight versus having to hold weights while I’m doing the exercises. I’m not worried though; I know that the time when Christine wants me to up the weight on a particular exercise will come sooner than I think. If you’re in a semi-private personal training session with Christine, you will be inspired to work harder – to continually develop your form, to increase the amount of weight you’re doing, to eat better and to recognize that your body is amazing. All of the women at Wicked Strong Chicks, whether in the boot camp classes or in the semi-private personal training will support, encourage and inspire you to be strong and stay beautiful.

Semi-Private Personal Training at Wicked Strong Chicks; Being sore never felt so good.

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Recipe for an Optimal Workout + This Weeks Fitness Boot Camp Circuit

Fitness Boot Camp

Recipe for an Optimal Workout

You’re looking for the optimal workout?

If you are looking to make the most of your time in the gym/studio, prepare your body and mind. Be ready to bring your best so you can perform your best. Not only will you have a great workout, you will improve your results!

The Ingredients you will need for an Optimal Workout:

  • 7-8 hours of good sleep (dark room with minimal ambient light and uninterrupted, if possible)
  • 3-5 meals of nutrient dense whole food (mix of protein, carbs & fat) with-in the previous 24 hours
  • 100% hydrated; urine clear to light yellow [*]
  • 1 sports shirt
  • 1 sports bra (females only)
  • 1 comfortable undies
  • 1 sports shorts/pants (non-chafing!)
  • 1 pair of socks
  • 1 pair of workout shoes
  • 100% presence
  • 100% commitment to pushing yourself
  • 100% commitment to support your workout buddies
  • A plan for an after-workout meal. A meal that includes all three; protein, carbohydrates and fat
  • Pinch of fun

Directions:

Put all the ingredients together in a focused mind with a positive attitude. Push through an intense resistance workout for 45-60 minutes to burn off energy.

Extra touch

Best results, repeat 3 times a week. For an additional boost, add 4-9 minutes of high intensity interval training twice a week.

[*]= Fluid intake includes all liquids in beverages and food. The main source of fluid should be water, green tea, tulsi tea, roobios tea. Hint: Drinking processed caloric beverages means less food!  To calculate your daily fluid intake needs, check out http://www.csgnetwork.com/humanh2owater.html.

Workout for January 29 – February 4, 2013 (The Wicked Strong Fitness Boot Camp)

Bodyweight Circuit!

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See you soon!

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Warming up for semi-private personal training – Kath's Journal

If I thought the evaluation for semi-private personal training was a workout, it’s probably a good thing that I didn’t ask too many questions regarding the specifics of the Wicked Strong Chicks warm up!

The warm-up for this workout, designed specifically for women, is structured to get your brain and body working together for maximum benefit. As part of a semi-private personal training program, Christine frequently employs the foam roller. The foam roller uses body weight and pressure to “massage” the larger muscle groups, preparing them  for the upcoming workout.  It surprised me how much preparation some of my larger muscle groups needed – in certain spots, it actually did feel pretty good.

Once finished with the foam roller, there is a specific set of exercises to get the blood flowing and your body moving. It does the trick. Sure, I felt a little bit self-conscious (not as much as I did when I was trying out for the girls basketball team in 7th grade…), but, semi-private personal training is, after-all, almost private, right? Have I mentioned yet how kind Christine is? Well, she is – even when I did the “inchworm”. (that’s alright, go ahead, imagine it…yeah.) From start to finish, the warm-up took me about 15 minutes to complete. It felt good – I was ready to train!

At this point, I think its important for me to tell you that when you train at Wicked Strong Fitness Boot Camp, there is a pretty sharp focus on form over speed. While you’re encouraged to move smoothly through the warm-up portion of the semi-private personal training program (or personalized group training), it should not be at the expense of good form  – regardless of your fitness level or program. From pre-workout warm-up to post-workout cool-down, you are coached on good form. Good form enables you to maximize the physical benefits of each particular exercise along with helping to minimize risk of injury.  In fact, the emphasis on form is one of biggest reasons I appreciate the Wicked Strong Fitness Boot Camp – trained fitness professionals monitoring my form as I move through my personalized program is, in my opinion a tremendous value that I would never have if I joined a cheap gym. Hey, If I’m not doing the exercise correctly, what’s the point? And let’s not even talk about the odds of me hurting myself, left to my own devices!

You’re probably saying “get to the workout Kath! Tell us about the workout already!” And I will – In my next post! Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about how I’m sleeping better and was even able to do a little workout “on the side” and didn’t feel like I needed oxygen when I was done! Until then…

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Goofy Challenge: No, I didn't train using any of "the methods".

Goofy Challenge

The Goofy Challenge, a mere 39.9 miles over two days. One Half-Marathon (The Donald Duck 1/2 Marathon) and one Marathon (the Mickey Mouse Marathon). In two days. (That’s 21.0975km + 42.195km = ~63.3km for you metric types.)

It sounded dumb when I signed up.

It sounded downright silly when I stood at the start line for the Donald Duck 1/2 Marathon on Saturday, the first third of the Goofy Challenge. And how it sounds hasn’t changed much at all, now that it’s over.

If you’re planning on doing it, just do what I did and admit it to yourself right now; It takes a certain type of stupid to embark on and finish this venture!

But you’re not alone (They had 27 000 people running on either day, so I was definitely not alone!)  Continue reading “Goofy Challenge: No, I didn't train using any of "the methods".”

Goofy Challenge: Setting goals

Goofy Challenge

Getting signed up for The Goofy Challenge?

Turns out it’s surprisingly difficult to do.

Whether it’s the Goofy Challenge or any other runDisney event. Maybe it’s because they’re insanely fun? Or, maybe it’s because people somehow think it will be easier to run this marathon (or half-marathon) than any other marathon? Obviously, I’m intentionally ignoring the insane start times when I call it “fun”!

But once I did get signed up, I immediately started thinking about what my goals should be for this race. It did not take that long to decide!

Goals for the Goofy Challenge

Here’s the thing; I always believe my fitness goals need to be simple, challenging yet within the realm of being achievable (but you should stretch to do so). I’ve found that nothing is more demoralizing than setting a fitness goal, or any other goal and then falling short of achieving it!

My personal goals for the Goofy Challenge during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend were just that; Simple, challenging and achievable. And I knew that to be the case, even before I started my training.

How?

I picked goals that I believe anybody starting down this road should start with.

  1. Finish the race & get the bling. Whether you crawl, walk or run it, simply finishing it is the first order goal. That means that not finishing is off the table as an option! (And no, the bling isn’t as important as the “finishing the race” part).
  2. Get through the training and the race, without succumbing to injury. This places demands on how you train. Both “what” and “how”. On the other hand, achieving Goal #2 will seriously improve your chances of achieving Goal #1!
  3. Have the energy and desire to spend time with family and friends while training. No, they probably won’t come with your during one of your weekend run escapades. On the other hand, spending some quality time with them before and after a training run may be easier said than done. Running for 2.5 hours or more will demand a lot from your body. Having enough energy to then spend with your friends or family after you are done with a training run demands a whole different way of thinking about how, when and what you eat. A bowl of cereal or a bagel before a run is probably not going to cut it.

In my view, only after you are sure you’ll be able to deliver on these 3 goals should you start thinking about performance goals.

Besides, it’s entirely possible you’ll arrive at 4am on a Saturday in Walt Disney World, it’s 68 degrees, 97% humidity and there goes your min/mile goals out the window. Whether you believe in Global Warming or not, I think it’s pretty unreasonable to expect your preparation – especially if you live north of the Mason-Dixon line! – in November & December to include 70-80 degree temperatures with insane humidity levels…

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