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

 

 

 

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May Fitness & Wellness Faves

IMG_2876I love to share so I’m excited to tell you about some of my favorite products!

1. Foam Roller  

You know that strangely relaxing feeling when you crack your fingers or toes?  LOL  Well this foam roller cracks my back in the perfect spot!  It’s heavenly-:)

Foam rolling is like a deep tissue massage and it helps loosen up the fascia that surrounds the muscles.  This relieves muscle tightness and helps me recover faster so I can continue having great workouts.

2.  Coconut Oil 

I put a lot of effort into eating healthy and exercising so I don’t want to then slather on body lotions that are laden with chemicals.  Our skin is our largest organ, and it absorbs everything.  I keep this jar of coconut oil in my bathroom and apply it just like lotion after my shower.

3.  Skin Brushing

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Skin brushing is a great way to help aid detoxification. It removes dead skin cells, improves circulation and helps eliminate toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system.

You can find skin brushes at most stores.  Look for ones with natural bristles.

Tip: Always skin brush before a bath or shower while the skin is still dry. In circular motions, brush toward your heart — up the arms, legs, and abdomen and down the shoulders and chest.

4.  Sombra

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This stuff is amazing!  I first got introduced to it when I was at a powerlifting meet.  I was minutes away from going up for my deadlift and a teammate put this on my lower back.  Talk about loosening up tightness!  I also apply it to my neck and traps after a day of working on my laptop.  It melts away the tension.

Tip:  make sure to wash your hands good after applying.

5.  Kindle

I can be a worry wart, so I have trouble turning down the volume of my thoughts so I can relax.  Reading positive books to start my day and having some good fiction books to read at night does wonders for me.  Here are some of the books I’m reading.  I just finished Goodkind and Hunter’s books so I recently started Dawn of Wonders and it’s been a good one.

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6.  Therapy Kitchen Hand Lotion in lemongrass, lime and bergamot 

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I have dry hands because I’m always cleaning something and washing my hands.  I have this lotion on the kitchen counter so I can easily use it after washing dishes and when I’m on my way out the door.  It smells so good!  I picked this up at TJ Max for $5! Love that store;)

7.  Essential Oil Diffuser by Deneve  

It’s truly my favorite thing for relaxing and cleaning the air in my home.  It is so easy to use and has a lovely bubbling sound that is soothing.  I have one on my nightstand that I put about 5 drops of lavender essential oil and a second one that I use in other areas of the house.  This is the link where I purchased mine: http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Oil-Diffuser-Deneve®-Aromatherapy/dp/B00L9NR672?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

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8.  Insanity Workouts

If you are getting bored with your workouts or have reached a plateau, this is a workout for you.  It’s challenging but doable.  I love how it combines athletic movements with good music and an overall total body workout.  Click here to find an Insanity Live class in your area: http://www.insanitycertification.com/about-insanity-classes  If you are in the Mandeville, Louisiana area, I teach this class at Anytime Fitness @5:30pm 😊

I would love to hear if you have tried any of these and what your thought are about them.

❤Healthy Justice

Build-A-Booty Part 2

Building a beautiful fit booty requires you to literally work your butt off, however, that doesn’t mean the process can’t be fun!  I love glute day!  Working out these large muscles challenges me to push my body, and I love that feeling!  I also enjoy the variety of exercises and methods you can use to train your glutes.

Working out with a friend that brings passion into her workouts helps keep it fun and challenging.  You see him or her hitting a certain number of reps, or practicing good form and it makes you want to push that much harder.

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practicing sassy poses with Sarah between sets;) LOL🍑🍑

My recommendations for the Build-A-Booty Challenge:

  1.  Train your glutes/legs twice a week.  For example, Monday and Thursday, just make sure to have enough days between to rest the muscle groups.  For another complete leg workout: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/rockin-leg-routine/
  2. Warm up for 5 minutes with cardio and use the foam roller to stretch before starting.
  3. Practice the guides from Build-A-Booty Challenge Part 1:  https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/build-a-booty-challenge/

Here is a complete workout that Sarah and I did last week.

Hip Thrusts 4×12

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I like starting with this move to isolate and activate the glutes.  I wrap a pad around the barbell and use  large weights because it makes it easier to get into position.  A modification is to do a bridge on the floor.

Deep Squats 4×12

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My focus is on going deep and having a strong mind-body connection.  I choose a weight that allows me to get that depth while keeping good form.  A modification is to perform a squat on the smith machine.

Single Leg Press 4×8-10

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I don’t have to put any weight on the leg press for this exercise.  You can use the non-working leg to self spot if you need that little bit of help on the push up.

Superset the Single Leg Press with the Bulgarian Split Squat 4×10

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Make sure your working leg is positioned well enough in front so the knee tracks over the ankle.  Keep your chest lifted.  Think about pushing up through the heel so you will better activate your glutes.

Sumo Squat 3×15

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I like doing these between two benches to get more depth and recruit more glutes.

Superset Sumo Squat with Single Leg Deadlift

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I love heavy Stiff Leg Deadlifts more than anyone, but this exercise is challenging in a way that will wake up untapped muscle fibers.  Work your balance, core and different muscle fibers to get even the most stubborn glutes to grow.

A modification is to do this on the floor.  I stand slightly off center on top of the bosu ball.  

NOTE:  If you haven’t done single leg work, you’ve got to start working it into your training.  We all have one leg/side that is more dominant and stronger than the other.  Single leg exercises addresses those muscle imbalances and helps you gain even greater strength and power in your athletic lifts.

Enjoy your workout and make sure to stretch!💞

 

 

Build-A-Booty Challenge Part 1

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The infamous “Tiller butt”used to be a joke in my family, especially among the cousins, as something we didn’t want to inherit.  My how times have changed and now that voluptuous booty is something that is desired!  I got what I wished for and didn’t wind up with the “Tiller butt,” so now I’m building it;)

Just to clarify, I’m not interested in getting a BIG BUTT as much as I’m interested in building a FIT BUTT! I think a nice round and muscular booty is attractive, so I’m a bit obsessed with training my glutes.

If you want a shapely fit butt then my Build-A-Booty Challenge is for you!

Here are the guidelines:

  1.  Go Deep!  When you are doing squats, go low and break parallel.  You are not engaging all the muscles of the glutes if you are not going low.  Lighten up the weight if that is what it takes for you to get it down.
  2. Work Hard!  The glutes are dense and thick muscles so you can’t play around with light weight and expect to get results.  Attack your training with intensity.  Go as heavy as you can while keeping perfect form.  Superset, dropset, and hit every plane of motion.
  3. Train Smart!  You are training hard and getting your muscles sore so rest is crucial. If you are continually tearing down the muscles with no rest they can’t come back bigger and stronger.
  4. Be Passionate!  When you are passionate about something you will find a way to overcome challenges and not let anything stand between you and the object of your desire.  Focus in and remove distractions.  When you are performing an exercise focus on nailing your form and squeezing your glutes.
  5. Be Patient!  Fit Booties aren’t built in a day or in two weeks!  I’ve been weight training seriously for ten years, and I’m still building my glutes.

I will be sharing workouts in the weeks to come to go along with your challenge, but for now make a mental shift and apply these guides in the way you approach your training.

033I’m available for personal and group/partner training as well as health coaching. If you have a lot of weight to lose and need support, that is my specialty.  I’m a certified personal trainer/lifestyle fitness coach NESTA/Health Coach NDP. I can work with you locally or out of state. Send me a message, and I will be happy to share my services with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Bootcamp Part 1

When you feel stir crazy from being inside all day take your workouts to the great outdoors!  Instead of going to the gym to be in another building why not create your own Backyard Bootcamp?

  • It saves you time
  • It’s fun
  • Get to spend time with your kids and dog
  • Get in a hardcore workout that’s exhilarating

When I’m not in the gym lifting, you can find me doing my own Backyard Bootcamp. ❥👊💪🏻

My recent favorite routine is functional training with tires.  Check it out, and maybe you could score some tires to try this in your backyard too!

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Warm up by jogging around the block.  Then do some buttkicks, high knees and dynamic stretches.

1st round repeat 3x

Clean and Press- 6-8 reps

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Squat and Overhead Press- 8-10 reps

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Tire Jumps (like box jumps) 15reps

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Shuffle Catch- 10-12 total

(didn’t know what to call this😕)

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Push the tire with your left hand and do a shuffle hop to catch the tire with right hand and repeat.

Round 2 repeat 3x

Side Jumps 8-10 reps

Modify by doing wide fast taps 20-30 times.

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Clear the tire by raising your knees and feet up.  Land softly, set yourself and repeat.

Mountain Climber- 20 total reps

modify by not taking your foot out to the side, but down the center.

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Single Arm Tire Pulls- 8-10 reps

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This is awesome!  Focus on pulling with your lats.  

Tire Planks with Knee-In- 12-16 reps

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It’s harder than it looks;)

I hope this inspires you to get out there and throw some tires around!  Be watching for my Backyard Bootcamp Part 2!

High Protein Chocolate Brownie

This healthy brownie is great for when you are craving something sweet and need an afternoon pick-me-up snack, but you don’t want to ruin your dinner.  It’s also the perfect pre-workout meal because of the balance of macronutrients in a serving.  The ingredients in this recipe provide healthy fats and  just enough complex carbs to sustain and power you through a challenging workout.

There is nothing worse than going to the gym and not being able to give your personal best because you didn’t get in the proper nutrition. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my workouts to suffer because I drop the ball by not eating properly.  Whether you want to eat something for fuel or for fun, this satisfies both desires.

Here’s the ingredients you need:

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1/2 cup of old fashioned rolled oats

1 scoop of protein

1/2 TBS cocoa powder *omit if using chocolate flavored protein powder

pinch baking powder

pinch of sea salt

1/2 banana (mashed)

1/2 cup of chocolate milk (regular milk is fine)

1/2 tsp caramel extract *optional

1 TBS dark chocolate morsels

Put batter in a small pan sprayed with non stick cooking spray.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 min.

*optional idea to get in healthy fats; spread a tsp of peanut butter on top

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Enjoy this delicious afternoon treat with a cup of herbal tea.😊  

 

Fitness Plan For 2016

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If you have a New Year’s resolution to get back into shape or to become even more fit it’s important to have a plan.  I see so many people in the gym not working out effectively and then they give up because they don’t see results.  A plan would make all the difference because it brings focus and maximizes your time.  

I want you to stick with your resolutions and see positive results so I’ve put together a basic guideline for your workouts.  It’s simple and that is why it can be effective.

I’ve experienced best results with myself and clients who exercise 3-5 days a week with weights and cardio.  It really isn’t necessary for these sessions to go beyond an hour.

Once you master the routine for a solid 6-8 weeks, then add in some small changes.  

Step 1:  Create a weekly schedule  

  1. Decide what 3-5 days you will train on during the week.  

For example, Mon-Wed-Fri or Tue-Wed-Th.

     2.  Decide from the list below, which body parts you will focus on for each day.

  • Back
  • Chest
  • Legs
  • Shoulder
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Abdominals

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Beginners:  Work all of the the body parts 2-3 days a week

Fill in the blank with the days you will schedule your total body workouts:

I will perform my total body workouts on _______________________.

Intermediate/Advanced: From the list, pick 2 body parts to focus on during each workout.

Fill in the blank:

Day 1: (Monday) of weight training I will work ___________and _____________.

Day 2: (Wednesday) of weight training I will work ____________ and __________.

Day 3: (Friday) of weight training I will work _____________ and ____________.

  3) Arrange your cardio to be shorter on the days that you are performing weights.  You can schedule your longer cardio sessions for the days that you are not weight training.

Fill in the blank:

I will perform 2-3 days of 20-30 min of cardio on these days: __________________.

Step 2: Pick your exercises for each body part

Here is a link that provides a library of exercises: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/

Beginners:  pick 1-2 exercises for each body part from the above link. 

Intermediate/Advanced:  Pick 2-3 exercises for each muscle group.

Step 3:  Putting It All Together

  1. Sample Beginner routine:

Weekly Schedule:  

Mon and Wed:  total body workout with 20 minutes of treadmill or walking outside and 10-15 min of abdominal exercises.

Friday:  30 min of cardio and 15 min of abs

Keep it all on machines.  This will ensure proper form and technique.

Total Body Workout Plan:

Perform one set of  12-15 reps of each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds to a minute after each exercise before moving to the next.  

(A rep is the number of times you perform a specific exercise, and a set is the number of cycles of reps that you complete.)

Leg Press Machine, Hamstring Curl, Chest press machine, Back row machine, Shoulder press machine, Rear Flye machine, Tricep machine, Bicep machine.

Here is a video I did that might help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2kDklUA-js

  2.  Sample Intermediate/Advanced  routine:

Weekly Schedule:

Monday:  Legs and Shoulders

Tuesday: Rest day or light cardio

Wednesday:  Back and Biceps with 20 min of cardio

Thursday:  Rest day or light cardio with abs

Friday:  Chest and Triceps with 20 min of cardio

Workout Plan:

Perform 2-3 sets of  8-12 reps of each exercise.  Rest 30 seconds to a minute after each exercise before moving to the next set.  

Legs:  Smith machine deep squats, Leg extension and Leg press

Shoulders:  Dumbbell overhead press, Lateral raise, rear flye (machine)

Back:  Lat pulldown wide grip, Seated cable row, One arm row

Bicep:  Cable bicep curl, Dumbbell hammer curls, Machine bicep curls

Chest:  Bench Press, Dumbell Flye and Incline Press

Tricep:  Overhead extension, Tricep pushdown, Dips

Abs:  see these articles for workouts: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/tag/lower-abs/

https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/unleash-strong-sculpted-abs/

Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway. Earl Nightingale