What To Do When You’re Too Tired To Workout?

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We’ve all heard of the idea that dog owners tend to look like their dogs. Well, I’ve definitely been looking more and more like my Sammy when it comes to going to the gym;)  BTW, he’s making 14 years this Spring💛.

Honestly, I’ve been freaking out a little bit because I’ve never experienced a lack of motivation to go to the gym for a whole week!  Usually taking a day off does the trick for me, but not this time.

I did have a realization today while I was at the gym.  Last week I completed an intense 14-week muscle building program and really should have taken a full week off.  My husband has been trying to persuade me to take a break, but I was too stubborn and maybe even afraid to listen to him.  Well, I guess he was right, as much as I hate to admit it;)

In spite of the lack of mojo I was able to get in four really good workouts.  Here’s how I was able to push through the tiredness and lack motivation:FullSizeRender (25)

  1. I changed up the scenery.  The weather was nice so I got my dumbells and worked biceps, triceps and shoulders on the back porch.  It felt so good to get fresh air and the alone time was nice.  On another day I trained in a different gym.  Trying out new equipment along with changing up my routine made it interesting.
  2. I got a new piece of equipment.  I’ve been working a lot more hours so I decided I needed to get something for the house when I just don’t feel like going to the gym.  I purchased one of those pull-up bars you can attach to your door frame.  I had the best ab and back workout ever in my hallway!  (If you’re interested I can share that workout).
  3. Instead of a structured workout plan, I asked myself ‘what do I feel like doing today?’ This brought some levity and allowed me to listen to my body.  It was nice to get out of my head and drop more into my body.  So much of our day is spent in our minds.  When we check in with our bodies it actually helps us become more present.  💡The next time you walk into the gym ask yourself, ‘what do I feel like working today? Do I want to make it a short workout or do I have the energy to get after it?’
  4. I took some rest days.  I think there is truth in love and in fitness with the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Give yourself a mental and physical rest day to recharge and appreciate all your hard work.

I’m interested to hear your ideas and tips for when you are feeling unmotivated or too tired to workout.  Feel free to write a comment:)

 

 

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The Technique To Burn Fat and Build Muscle Fast!

If you’ve hit a plateau with weight loss or are just bored as heck with your workouts and need something to light things up, you should give cardio accelerations a try!

What is cardio acceleration?

Cardio acceleration is when you combine high-intensity cardio with strength training.  Instead of taking a typical rest break between your lifts, you do some type of cardio, all out, for one minute.   I prefer to jump rope, however, you could do any type exercise for your cardio acceleration.  Here are some examples: running in place next to the bench, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, skaters, dumbbell cleans, step-ups, etc.

fullsizerender-1Jumping rope is hands down my favorite tool for keeping my body conditioned and agile.  Read more about the benefits for jumping rope along with training tips here: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/jump-in-lean-out-with-jump-rope-training/

What is the benefit?

I got turned on to this training technique when I did Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Shred program.  His program did get me shredded.  Another benefit is that there is no hem hawing around waiting for the next set, which is perfect for my adult ADD;) LOL.

My hubby always teases me because if I’m not doing cardio intervals between sets, I’m stretching;)  This was him poking fun of me yesterday when I was stretching between my bench presses.  LOL

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One thing I REALLY love about this technique is that it fills in for my 20-30 minutes of cardio on the step mill or treadmill!

  • Check this out, 20-30 minutes of these high-intensity intervals burns more fat than spending that amount of time on a treadmill. Trust me, your metabolic rate will be up the entire workout and that means you are burning a lot of calories during and after your workout!

I now cycle through this program twice a year, and lately, I’ve been throwing in cardio accelerations with my leg day once a week.

After doing a set of squats, I do 100-200 revolutions jumping rope.  (BTW, I’ve been performing squats recently with a box to make sure I’m nailing my form and getting good and low).

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If you’re worried that the cardio could take away from the strength of your lifts, here is research that Stoppani shares from his Shortcut To Shred Training Overview:

A University of California, Santa Cruz, study found that when subjects did cardio between weightlifting sets, they were able to recover better because of increased blood flow. Cardio acceleration elevates your heart rate, which means more blood pumps to your working muscles throughout your workout.

Ready to HIIT it now?  Let’s go!!

New Year Resolutions: The Ultimate Goal To Reaching Your Potential

I have a confession to make…I’m not making New Year’s goals for 2017.  I guess that’s not entirely accurate, I do have one goal and that is to do absolutely NOTHING!  I am going to be the best- don’t do a damn thing nothinger ever—for at least 30 min or hour every day;)

I’m that person that loves planners and making to-do lists for everything so not ‘goal setting’ in a traditional sense is driving me a bit bonkers.  Not to mention, the actual practice of doing nothing is difficult.

webdscf0592When I begin my ‘do nothing time’ my thoughts bombard me with all the things I could be doing, ie. folding the laundry, organizing work notes, hemming the curtains, searching the web for bootcamp ideas…and on and on the chatter goes.  I acknowledge those thoughts and tell myself, ‘you have permission.’

Rewards Of Doing Nothing

Creativity:  When the mind is given permission to wander and shift down it has this uncanny ability to get us unstuck.  Try it!  If a problem has you stumped, take a mental break and notice the difference when you return.

Productivity:  According to Scientific American, “Downtime replenishes the brain’s stores of attention and motivation, encourages productivity and creativity, and is essential to both achieve our highest levels of performance and simply form stable memories in everyday life.”

Authenticity:  It’s paradoxical how this do-nothing space is impactful.  It’s here that the heart and mind can align and there is a return to authenticity.  It’s like you remember that you are not all the things you do, you are so much more.

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets, essayist Tim Kreider wrote in The New York Times

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Connectivity:  Think about when you’ve been happiest with your life.  Is it during those moments when you’ve been racing and forceful to get things done? Or has it been those moments when you feel connected and present with your work and the people around you?

As you head into the New Year consider creating space in your day to relax.  Go for a walk, listen to some music or just space out:)  What you will find is the world will keep on spinning without you and you will return the better for it. Will you join me in my quest to be the to be the best-damn-do-nothinger in the new year?

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4 Exercises to Target Your Lower Abs

You can keep your abs toned through the holidays with this in-home routine.  If you hate going out in the cold, then this routine will be perfect for you.

Tightening up those pesky lower abs is challenging.  Most of the exercises that target that region involve using the hip flexors, so if they are weak then you may not feel the movement.

Engaging the transverse abdominal muscles that will tighten up your core. To hit this area I’ve put together some unconventional exercises that all build upon a plank.

You will need:

  • 2 hand towels
  • mat
  • smooth surface
  • a rock solid focus

*Make sure you can master a standard plank hold before you progress to these exercises.

Plank Row

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Get into plank position with your towels under your feet.  (The naval is pulled toward the spine and your body is streamlined.) Push yourself back as far as you can while you are pressing into the towels.  Then pull your body back to the starting position.  It’s a small movement.  Keep your body tight and straight the entire time.  Perform 8-12 reps or go for 30 seconds.

Bear

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Get into a push up position with arms extended and hands under your shoulders.  Press down into your towels and pull your feet toward you.  Then, push back to the starting position.  This can also be done by bending your knees and pulling them toward your chest.  Perform 8-12 reps or go for 30+seconds.

Mountain Climber

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Holding the extended plank position, pull your right knee in toward your chest then press back while pulling your left leg in toward your chest.  Perform 16-20 reps (right & left leg is a full rep) or go for 30+ seconds.

Army Crawl

*video on Facebook page, click icon @ http://www.totalbodyandmind.net*

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Get into plank position and tighten up your abs and butt.  Crawl forward on your forearms until you hit the edge of your mat, then crawl back.  4-8 reps (one forward and back is a full rep).

The Muscle You Must Work To Break Through Plateaus

Working out is easy, eating healthy is tough but it’s the mind that is the hardest to train.  You can get on the Elliptical for an hour and lift weights five days a week but if you don’t get a grip on your mental fitness you will struggle every inch of the way to reach your goals.

Here are the things I’ve learned from my own life and in observing my clients that might help you conquer the mental game.

  1. Make peace with failure.  I’ve competed in about five bodybuilding competitions and never won first place.  I’ve done duathlons and powerlifting competitions where I’ve won some and lost many.

383850_243108732428192_399410553_nMy first duathlon I rode the entire race with the front brake on.  Talk about feeling like a novice!  The whole race I was so confused why everyone was passing me;) LOL  I learned from that experience and never repeated that again!

If you’re new to the gym or trying a new sport, don’t expect yourself to be an expert overnight.  Give yourself time to learn, consider getting a coach or personal trainer and don’t be afraid to fail.

2.  Your mind quits long before your body does.

This was something my triathlon coach would often say to our team during training.  He would usually say this when we were all dog tired and he would challenge us to pick up our pace.  He was right, I found that my body could go harder.  His influence helped me reach another fitness level, become a better athlete and personal trainer.

img_3708This is one of my client’s who came to me with goals that she wanted to accomplish. I would be doing her a disservice if I didn’t challenge her to push past her comfort zones.  We are always able to laugh, but we mean business;)

There is going to be discomfort, the mind will scream ‘STOP!  That’s enough!’  There can be no change if there is no challenge.

Hire a personal trainer, get a workout partner or join a fitness group that will call your bluff. Think about it – your last workout did you give yourself an out to stop?  A good personal trainer will know when you can do more and push you to achieve your best.

  • What helps me to always give my personal best is to ask myself, “can I go one more minute?  Can I do two more reps?”
  • If you’ve been doing the same 3 sets of 12 for months, make it 4 sets of 12.  If you’ve been running at the same pace on the treadmill, increase your pace or add more of an incline.

3.  When your focus stops your power stops.  The past few months my mental motivation has been slipping and I’ve had a harder time getting to the gym.  I’m realizing that because I’m always multitasking I’m mentally exhausted.

There is value in focusing on one thing at a time.  Focusing the mind helps you be more at ease in the present in the moment.  Focused attention slows the clock down and makes life more full.  My personal goal is to focus in on one task to help me regain my mojo and bust through my mental blocks.

Feel free to comment what ideas you will try.  Remember….b1ckhfziaaakezz

 

 

 

How To Get Past Self-Doubt

e70ac32b65a192c48a868b98692ab651What if I told you that believing in yourself is a concern of God’s?   Humility is a virtue, but there is nothing honorable about walking around defeated and insecure.  Philippines 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  How many times have we quoted this verse, but not really believed the words?

Self-doubt used to be a major factor in my life and continues to be in varying degrees, but I’m so much better these days.  I’m sure my being small , (one of my coaches used to call me half pint;), having a soft voice and being taught to be a good girl played a role in these insecurities.  God has been teaching me throughout my life that just because I might feel small that doesn’t mean I don’t have greatness inside of me.

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I believe we all have potential.  Romans 12:3 says He has dealt to every man the measure of faith.  The key is to expose yourself to people, challenges and opportunities that will draw out the greatness that is inside.

You can’t overcome what you can’t confront. TD Jakes

Steps to confront your fears and achieve your potential:

  • Notice the voices of self-doubt in your head.  The monsters inside your head aren’t so scary when you turn the lights on!  Understand that you might fail, people might judge you and they won’t always love you or your work.  That’s okay.  What’s important here is that YOU love YOU.
  • Do it afraid.  You don’t have to be perfect, that’s not what this is about.  It’s about you learning to believe in yourself.  It’s about who you become by confronting your fears and doubts.  Moses was one of the most insecure people in the Old Testament, but he was also one of the greatest leaders of all time.  One of the things that made him great was that he did things afraid.

In spite of his speech impediment, Moses stuttered his way to greatness!

  • Lean into the discomfort.   There will be opportunities presented to you that are not going to feel natural but YOU CAN push through.  When your mind screams no, let it have it’s temper tantrum, and just keep on pushing a bit beyond your comfort zones.

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Beginner Gym Workout

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If you have made a decision to get in shape and have recently joined a gym, congratulations!  In case you’re feeling intimidated by all the equipment and the anxiety that everyone will be staring at you, relax.  You don’t have to be an expert.

First off, most people are there to better themselves, and they are glad to see you in there working on your physical fitness.  Secondly, the gym is full of people of all shapes and sizes so don’t feel like you have to be in shape before you can go to a gym.

Let’s get you going with a workout guide and plan to help make your gym time a more positive experience.

Getting Started

  1. Most of the exercises in this program are on machines.   Machines, for the most part, help you maintain good form and this helps you to keep your focus on the body part you are working.
  2. Perform 1-2 sets of 12 repetitions.  A set is when you complete your designated repetitions.  Rest 30sec. to 1 minute if you are going to do a second set.
  3. Tips for setting a weight:  Select a weight that will make you have to work really hard for the last two reps.  You shouldn’t be able to do 15 reps and if you can, the next time you perform the exercise, increase your weight.
  4. Take one day of rest between each of your total body workouts sessions.  On those off days you can do cardio but always listen to your body.

This total body workout includes machine-based exercises and will take you 20 minutes or less.

Warm up for 5 minutes.

If you choose to use the treadmill be sure to adjust the incline to a 2 incline.  This simulates walking outdoors and gives you some ‘ground’ under your feet.

Leg Press- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

Position your feet shoulder width apart in the middle of the platform.  My feet a bit lower on the platform because I’m a shorty and if I put them higher I would not have much range of motion on the exercise;)  lol  💡Extend your legs completely but don’t lock out the knees.

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Chest Fly- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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On a lot of chest fly machines, you can adjust the range of motion.  Look at the top and you will see holes like this one for both arms on the machine:

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Set it to where you feel a gentle stretch when seated. 💡Bring the arms together like you are hugging a tree.

Lat Pulldown- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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Grip the bar where the indentations are or just slightly outside of the curves in the bar.  Set the pad on top of your knees. 💡Lean back about 10 degrees and pull the bar to your upper chest.

Rear Fly- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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The rear fly machine is the same machine in my gym as the chest fly.  By adjusting the arms of the machine to be completely closed, it becomes the rear fly.  Sit facing INTO the machine.  Grab the handles so that your palms face down.  Pull back until your arms make a ‘T”, hold for a brief second, then control the arms coming back to start.💡You might sense your shoulders creeping up to your ears.  Mentally focus on keeping your shoulders down and neck relaxed.

Tricep Pushdowns- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

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Adjust the cable to a high setting and attach a rope.  Bend at your elbow and then extend down.  Pause to squeeze the back of the arm.

Bicep Curls- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

Lower the cable to the bottom and attach a straight bar to the hook.

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Bring the bar just in front of your shoulder and extend all the way down.💡Keep your abs and lower back tight while you pull equally with both arms.  In other words, don’t swing:)

Ab machine- 2 sets of 12 reps (rest 30 sec.-1 min)

In most gyms you will find some type of ab machine or two.  This is the one we have in our gym.

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Adjust the seat to accommodate your height and allow you good range of motion. 💡Exhale as you crunch forward to deepen the contraction.