Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Efforts and recipe requests

The last week or so my efforts have not been the greatest. With my son's birthday, and Halloween, lots of school events for him and my boyfriend being in town for two weeks (LDR's are difficult), I was preoccupied. I couldn't figure out why I was having so much trouble focusing until I let myself rest for a bit and realized I have the beginnings of a sinus infection/cold. This has made things difficult, but I am determined! Tomorrow, Wednesday, I am heading to the gym for an upper body workout and some cardio. I will also be working on meal planning, looking into new recipes and grocery shopping. If anyone has any clean eating recipe recommendations, please pass them along! I'll start making recipe posts this week or next as well with some of my favorites.

Lower body love

Lower body is my absolute favorite thing to work out in the gym, or even at home. Legs and glutes respond really well to weights and body weight exercises, making them easier to do anywhere. When I played sports in high school, my favorite exercises to do in the gym were definitely lower body. I liked knowing I could move that much weight around easily. I wasn't a very big person, at 5'3, 117 pounds, I was the next to smallest on my team. I could leg press double my weight at least. Deadlifts! Straight legged deadlifts target the glutes more than regular deadlifts, and are fantastic IF you watch your form. Main muscles targeted are the hamstrings.
Squats are one of the best compound exercises. And it works your entire lower body. Weighted or unweighted, still amazing for you. And you can change your leg position to target different muscles. If you stand in a plie stance, you will feel a great burn in your inner thighs.
I HATE lunges, so I usually do step-ups instead. Leg press

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Back workout

Most exercises isolate one section of the back but targets other muscles too. Upright rows are one of my all time favorites! Works traps, shoulders, and biceps as well.
Deadlifts are a great compound workout for your back, and also your entire lower half. Try not to do them the day before a leg workout if you can help it. I prefer Straight-legged deadlifts, which focus more on hamstrings, but many prefer traditional so I've posted both videos. Stiff-legged Good Mornings are a new one for me but I really love them and can definitely feel them when I do them. Try a lower weight at first since it's a completely different compound workout. Barbell (or dumbbell) bent-over rows are awesome for you back and definitely one of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


DOMS make clapping at a football game very difficult. I did upper body this morning, focusing on chest and triceps, and every time we had to clap or cheer, my arms were straining. Tomorrow may turn into a rest day or a cardio only day. We shall see! At least I know I got a good workout in today!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chest Exercises

My favorite chest exercises! Starting with a classic.

Around the Worlds. They are great for chest and also works shoulders. I did Cable Crossovers yesterday and my arms are still dying from it! Dumbbell flyes are great on a bench, standing, or bent-over (I usually do them on a ball).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Triceps love

I honestly love working my triceps! And it's nice when that little horseshoe starts to build up on the back of your arm and you know you've done something right! So here are my favorite triceps exercises!

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Bodybuilding.com
I've noticed the most progress when I incorporate these. I don't always do these as single kickbacks, sometimes double, but once you start feeling fatigued, it's best to continue on with singles.

Bench Dips Bodybuilding.com
Bench dips I don't always do this way, okay I never do this way! I don't elevate my legs. I just make sure the object I'm using to do the dips will allow my legs to go in a chair like position and be about parallel.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Favorite Shoulder Exercises

I've decided to do a series on my favorite exercises by body part! I've tried a lot, and had suggestions, but they will be the ones I incorporate weekly and suggest to others.

Upright Barbell Row Bodybuilding.com

I usually do this with dumbbells, but barbell works too. It's also great for work your traps which I feel like most shoulder exercises target.

Arnold Dumbbell Press Bodybuilding.com
And of course the Arnold Press. Once I incorporated these two exercises, I noticed a significant change in my shoulders, and upper back.

Reverse Flyes Bodybuilding.com
I've done these this way, and also using an exercise ball as the bench as well. With the ball, you really have to focus on greater core stabilization and keeping your feet planted, which is a challenge. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Apple Cider Vinegar

We always had some of this in our fridge and I never really knew why. My grandmother is a big believer in trying to prevent, and cure, illnesses and such with homeopathic medicine versus taking pharmaceutical medicine. Mostly because of the expense I think. I was reading Tosca Reno's blog one day and she mentioned ACV helping with stomach issues and bloat. I have had some stomach problems the last few years *probably from too many soft drinks* and decided to give it a shot. First off, it's disgusting taken alone, don't bother. So here are my steps to making it somewhat tolerable and when/how to take it.

  1. Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar is by far touted as the best. And I noticed a definite difference when I used it compared to other brands.
  2. Shake it! The stuff in the bottom is called the "Mother" and I'm not sure why, but it's supposed to make a big difference because of bacterias and nutrients.
  3. Take about a tablespoon before a meal ideally. May be taken once to three times a day. I wouldn't do more.
  4. Always use a straw! It's vinegar, so it's acidic and tooth damage is not something anyone needs.
  5. I personally put a tablespoon of ACV into a cup, half a packet of Stevia (could use drops or sweetener of your choice) and about a quarter cup to half a cup of water. Shake it around and drink it.
  6. Give it a few days, but I definitely noticed my stomach had less discomfort after using it. Even my boyfriend a few friends noticed and I had not changed anything else. 
Here is a link to Tosca Reno's blog where she discusses ACV.

Also, if you are interested in Bragg's products, go to their website and there are several recipes and articles on them. Sometimes they have free samples but the link wasn't working a few minutes ago. You can find it at almost any natural food stores and most grocery stores as well. 

Deals I've found today!

Shirataki Noodles 24 packs for $39
I love Shirataki noodles and will be doing a review, as well as a few recipes, on them soon. They are zero calories "Miracle" noodles and can be used in place of any pastas or rice.

Immersion Blender for $20
I have one similar to this that I use for my protein smoothies instead of a messy blender. It's fantastic!

50% off photobooks with code BIGBOOK and new members get 50 free prints. I've been using Shutterfly for years and have yet to actually pay full price for books or prints.

Sneakpeeq *
Has some amazing deals on home stuff, and fitness! Right now they have the UGI ball (BodyRock uses this a lot) for $114 instead of 199. They also have a huge thing of spices. New deals arrive daily. I've ordered workout gear, trinkets and instagram stickers and have loved all of them.

These are just a few I found today! If I find any great ones, I'll be sure to post.

*Disclosure: Affiliate link used. Can't join this one without an invite and it helps both of us! If more than 5 people use it, I will do giveaways with product from the affiliate. 

Monday, October 1, 2012


This link will take you to the Coursera website where you can register to take classes online, by some of nation's (and world's!) top university professors. Examples of some of the classes are based on Personal Finance, Human Physiology, Math, programming and literature. It sounds really interesting and I have signed myself up for three starting in the next few months. If you like learning, and there are topics of interest there for you, might want to consider it! Above are the categories and some of the universities affiliated with this program. And you get a certificate of completion when the course is done.