Saturday, July 29, 2017

What To Do In The Gym.





What do I do in the gym if I can't take a group fitness class? If you need people telling you what to do or you are lost this post is for you. Here is what you need to do.
BEFORE
  • When was the last time you lifted weights? If it was just the previous day, then maybe you are due for a HIIT cardio session with some stretching instead of weightlifting.
  • Have you been doing a lot of hard workouts lately? If so, then maybe you should do some gentle stretching. Give your body and break and it will return the favor by being more awesome for you.
  • Just took a rest day? You are feeling good so maybe today is a good day to do a full-body resistance session.
  • After many years as a fitness professional,  I am well aware that having a plan is a necessity.

WARM-UP.

  • Foam rolling for a 5-10 minutes. Get the quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes and upper back with some rolling along the muscle to get it ready.
  • Dynamic movement for a few minutes. Do some walking knee hugs, hamstring kicks, arm circles, grab a circle band and put it above your ankles and do 10x squat walks one way and 10x the other way, get on the floor for some cat cow.

THE WORK.

  • Full-body work is the way to go to burn big calories. While doing split days and isolating your muscle groups is excellent for building physique, it’s really only a good option for those who plan to lift weights each day. If you’ve only got a few days a week to do resistance, then go with full body.
  • My workouts almost always includes some form of squats, deadlifts, chest presses, rows and core work. I always take time to use dumbbells and a bench, and sometimes utilize the pulling machines, Roman chair or back extension contraption.
  • Count your reps. Aim for three sets of 10,12 or 15 reps, depending on the weight. The heavier the weight, the less reps, of course. It’s great to vary this as well throughout the week.
  • I also love to mix up my workouts each day. Weight training, cardio, pilates, barre. Each day I do something different to "shock" my body.

THE STRETCH.

  • I finish every workout with about 10 to 15 minutes of stretching and foam rolling again. I don't EVER "forget" the most important part. I like to show my body gratitude for what it just did for me. I know not everyone can do or wants to do what I just did. I'm grateful!

HYDRATE AND RECOVER.

  • After the workout, it’s so important to refuel within 30 minutes of finishing and always a lot of water. I suggest having Cottage cheese and fruits.

The thing you should take away from this post is to have a plan when you hit the gym, so you don’t waste any time. When in doubt — Warm up. Work. Cool down. Use the foam roller and drink plenty of water.
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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Barre Tips



My love of barre isn’t a secret. My life revolves around fitness. I just love barre. I can’t help it.
I have noticed that students (I am a student too. I always take classes) always need tips from a teacher’s perspective, so I’m taking this time to do just that.
These tips are assuming you’ve been doing barre for a while and know the basics. Wear crops or leggings instead of shorts, make sure to bring grippy socks, and pick a spot where you can easily see your teacher.

The tinier the movement, the better.

So many methods of exercise incorporate large ranges of motion. The workout is designed to be teeny, tiny muscle movements. Remember, an inch is the size of a paper clip. Try to keep your movements incredibly small. If you take class with any instructors from the studio, watch them. Think of each movement as a tight squeeze and quick release rather than a flex and relax of the muscle you’re working.

Willpower is everything.

In class, it’s completely normal to “shake.” Actually it’s a wonderful thing! Shaking muscles are changing muscles, and you’re working each muscle to fatigue before immediately stretching it out to create a long, lean look. I know from experience how sore you may be upon arrival to class from other exercises. Keep in mind, it makes a huge difference if you really zero in and give it your all to not come out of any position. You’ll surprise yourself that you can hold a long plank, and you can get through an entire thigh section without relaxing. And if you’re not shaking, sink down lower into position. Your muscles should be completely fatigued after class.
 Stick to one barre class per day.
I personally recommend varying your exercise routine and always taking at least one rest day per week. Your muscles need a day to recoup!
Stick to coming to the barre just once a day, and get the absolute most out of that one class you’re present for. There’s no way you can give it your 100% best if you take more than one class in a day!
 Learning technique is a process
Remember, no one is ever a barre technique professional right out of the gate. Form is meant to be improved upon over time, and learning the technique is a true process. You’ll notice a huge difference in your form over time as things start to click and you get more and more comfortable with the flow of class and the way you’re working your body.

If there’s anything I missed, feel free to shoot me an e-mail. If you want to practice you can watch my full length barre video
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Saturday, July 15, 2017

My fitness story

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I was never overweight. I never had a "come to Jesus" moment about not fitting into normal sizes that spurred me to workout and eat healthy. Sure, I've had my struggles with weight and body image issues. When I was 20 I was in a group acting class and the teacher told me, in front of everyone, that I wouldn't get a job with a weight as "high" as mine and that my legs were too big to get work. I've had my share of anxiety about fitting into skinny jeans but most of it is silly vanity and not life threatening. I've always been able to participate in sports and activities and shop in the Junior section. You may be thinking, how then can I be motivational at all? What could I possibly have to say? But let me tell you this – fitness and exercise saved me anyway. Perhaps you can relate?
There are so many things in life that are out of our control, it's scary really. My problems often stem from a feeling of helplessness. I can't always control other people. One day it hit me as I was trying to find the motivation to work out that working out is in my control. I can work out. I can push myself to workout more or less. I can control whether I have a consistent training practice or whether I don't. When I feel something needs to change - I'm tight or I feel over taxed - I can choose to do yoga instead of weights. If I feel weak I can choose to do strength training.
Fitness, working out, training - has given me control, has shown me that I'm in the driver’s seat and the decisions I make, they have results!
Working out consistently is the backbone of my strength as a woman. I make time to train, no matter what it's for, because it's important to me and it's just for me and my well-being. And I've found it has a trickle effect. When I am assertive, when I prove to myself that I am capable in my fitness (and in my nutrition), I am then assertive and capable and proactive in my professional life as well as in my personal life. It became a way to test my character and then to build my character and my internal strength. Because I make the time to train, I have gained respect, learned discipline, and have regard for myself. People usually treat you as you treat yourself. In making time to exercise, I show people that I am valuable, that I'm strong and capable. That value I have found in myself trumps a fear of being "fat" or "ugly." I cherish that capability more then I ever cherished the control I felt from starving myself.
The journey of fitness, the ups and downs, builds my fortitude, patience, and self-acceptance. And because of that I'm committed to it, for the rest of my life, through all of its incarnations.

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