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!!

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

 

 

 

Pool Workout: Stay Cool While Torching Calories

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I don’t mind the Summer heat until I try to get in an outdoor workout.  The salty sweat getting in my eyes and humidity zapping my ‘umph’ has me settling for indoor cardio.  After weeks of staring at the time on the stairmaster, I’m ready for another solution.

I designed this water workout to burn tons of calories and feel like play. This is my solution to stay cool while being out in the open skies.

What you need:

kickboard
towel
Motown music (my favorite for this workout)

Circuit 1: repeat 3 times

(if you have a small pool select the time option instead of laps)

  1. Free Style Swim:  6 laps or swim for 4 minutes non-stop
  2. Water Jog:  2 laps or 2 minute
  3. Flutter kicks: 2 laps or 1 minute
  4. Push up on wall:  10-15 reps

Water Jog:  

Jog around the sides of the pool.  When you get to the deep end, tread water and keep going!

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Flutter Kicks

Using your kickboard, keep your legs straight and kick with force.

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Wall Push Up

Use your upper body to lift yourself up out of the water with just a small amount of help from your legs.  Slowly lower yourself down.

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Circuit 2:  repeat 3 times

  1. Ab crunch:  10-15 reps
  2. Double leg lift:  10-15 reps
  3. Tread water:  1 minute
  4. Otter Roll:  30 seconds

Ab Crunch

I like to put my leg on my towel so they don’t get scratched.  It’s not a big movement unless you choose to go underwater with it;)

Here are a few modifications to choose from:

option 1

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option 2

*arms in front

*OR arms in front, hold your nose and go under

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Double Leg Lifts

This is challenging for the abs because you are getting resistance from the water.

A modification is to alternate leg lifts.

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Treading Water

Vigorously treading water can torch around 10 calories a minute, same as a six-mile-per-hour run.

Pretend like you are running.  Use your upper body to help you stay afloat and make circular motions with your legs.

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Otter Roll

Hugging a kickboard or a beach ball to chest, float on back, legs extended, feet together.
Roll toward the right by using the entire body — shoulders, hips, core, legs —to rock from side to side with head above water.  (like an otter spinning in the water)
Continue for 30 seconds, alternating direction of roll.

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I’m still working on perfecting this move;)  It definitely got my heart rate up and I felt my abs!

You’re breaking a sweat even though you might not realize it so make sure to drink water. Have fun torching those calories!

 

 

Hourglass Workout Plan: Get Beach and Bride Ready

monroeIf mother nature blessed you with a natural hourglass shape, lucky you!  I’ve been working to enhance my curves for years, and weight training has made a world of difference.  Even Marilyn lifted weights, along with diet, to keep her voluptuous body firm.

You can absolutely create the look of a shapely silhouette by building up your shoulders and back, tightening up the abs and sculpting the glutes.  The Hourglass Workout is a week’s worth of workouts that I’ve designed to create killer curves and burn off body fat.

  • There are 5 workouts with a rest day mid-week.
  • Complete each superset or tri-set then rest one minute before starting the next set.
  • beginners perform 1-2 sets/advanced perform the instructed amount.
  • Use the ab circuit twice a week on non-consecutive days.
  • Cardio should be done at least 3 days a week.  The bootcamp workout on Day 5 is considered a cardio day.

Follow this, along with nutrition tips I’ve provided in the links at the bottom page, to compliment your workouts.  If you would like to receive personalized fitness and nutrition programs, check out my about section and send me a message.

Day 1: Monday— Legs/Shoulders

Superset: 4 sets

Deep squats: 12 reps

Step jumps: 12  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/box-jump-multiple-response

*modify using a smaller box

Trisets: 3 sets

Walking lunges: 24 total steps

Dumbbell sumo squat: 15

Lateral bound with dumbbells: 30 total http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/lateral-bound-

Trisets: 3 sets

Shoulder press: 15 reps

Lateral raise: 12 reps

rear delt fly machine: 15 reps

Day 2: Tuesday— Chest/Biceps

Giantset: 4 sets 

Dumbbell incline press: 15

Plyo push-ups: 12 http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/plyo-push-up

*modify on knees

Dumbbell fly: 15

Step ups: 24 total http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/step-up-with-knee-raise

Giantset: 3 sets

E-Z bar curl: 12 reps

Dumbbell incline curl: 12 reps

Hammer curl: 12 reps

Jacks: 30 seconds

Day 3:  Rest day  

Day 4: Thursday— Back/Triceps

Superset: 4 sets

Barbell deadlift: 12 reps http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/main/popup/name/barbell-deadlift

Machine row: 12 reps

Giant set: 3 sets

One arm row: 12 reps

Dumbbell pullover: 12 reps

Wide grip pulldown: 12 reps

Bench jumps:

Triset: 3 sets
Cable over head extension: 12 reps

reverse grip pull-down: 12 reps

bench dips: to failure

Step ups: 24 total

Day 5: Bootcamp

Perform 3 rounds for 1 minute for all exercises. Rest 1 minute & repeat.
  1. Weighted Burpees *perform this with dumbbells
  2. Curtsey lunges *holding dumbbells  http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/kettlebell-curtsy-lunge
  3. Slow floor sprints *a slow controlled version of a mountain climber.  When you bring your knee in toward the chest, don’t let your foot touch the ground.  Hold for a second, then switch.
  4. Axe chop with medicine ball *picture at bottom page
  5. Single leg deadlift *30 seconds on one leg and 30 on the other
  6. Low plank crossover *cross one leg over the other in plank position, almost touching floor, repeat on the other side.
Ab circuit: 3 rounds, rest 1 minute after each round.
  1. Decline crunch: 15 reps
  2. Stability ball pike press/or knee tuck: 10 reps https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/03/26/total-body-workout-you-can-do-at-home/
  3. Side plank hip drops: 10 each side, hold last rep up for 10 seconds http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/main/popup/name/side-bridge
  4. reverse crunch:  15 reps
  5. russian twist with medicine ball: 20 reps

Ax Chop with medicine ball

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Nutrition and Lifestyle Blogs:

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/get-healthy-for-the-summer/

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/buff-bride-5-tips-to-lose-weight-stay-healthy-for-your-wedding-day/

Buff Bride: How I’m Getting Ready For My Wedding Day

We’re getting married!

Planning our wedding has been fun with only some stress since we are keeping it simple.  We decided on a beach wedding with an exotic honeymoon in the rainforest of Puerto Rico!  We have no color scheme, just the backdrop of a sunset and ocean waters.  Just thinking about it is relaxing.

Our love story began December 8, 2012 at a powerlifting meet in Hattiesburg, MS.  It was my first competition, and I was a bundle of nerves and pre workout!  He had showed up to support his daughters who happened to be my teammates.

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My first thought about him was how inspirational he was, and he said it was my aura that drew him to me-:)  After the meet we all meet up at the restaurant to celebrate our wins.  He drove me home that night, and we both knew we hand discovered someone special.

We’ve had our ups and downs, but a perfect relationship isn’t perfect, it’s just that both people never give up.

couple holding

This might sound crazy (love can do that to ya!) but we’ve been engaged a couple of times before, but on March 26th of this year it was for real!  My baby told me he would never leave me, and he gave me his grandmother’s ring—again;)

I’m excited to be sharing my wedding journey with you in my Buff Bride Wedding Series, along with tips and diet advice to help you look and feel great for your big day!  It’s my hope that getting fit can be more about fun and an escape from all the mania that can come with wedding planning.

My first tip is to enjoy the journey, and here’s how:

  • When you feel stressed reflect on your love story.
  • Find humor in the small scale problems that pop up.
  • Laugh!  It decreases stress hormones, boosts your immune system and does wonders for your mood.

I would love to hear where you met your bride or groom, and see a couple’s photo!  Be sure to hashtag #healthyjustice when you share:)  Let’s go from barbells to wedding bells together!

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