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:)

 

 

The Art of Making Tea-Beginner

16265627_1317595031654592_6083181443600359016_nI’ve always been a coffee lover but, I have to admit, the health and wellness benefits of tea are appealing. There is something sweet and romantic about tea that I find intriguing.  A couple of weeks ago I saw an ad that a local yoga studio was hosting a workshop on the ‘Art of Tea Making’ so I was excited to satisfy my curiosity.

Herbologist and Yoga Instructor, Brandy Manguno, led the half yoga and half tea making workshop.  It was magnificent!  I left feeling relaxed and empowered to begin my tea adventure!

Brandy began by sharing how Earth gives healing to us by way of her plantlife.  king-pigeonIt’s so easy to pop a pill for our ailments, but if you want to give your body a chance to receive God-given organic methods for healing, tea making is a way to do that.

Whatever your issue there seems to be a tea remedy, i.e. cold–lemon balm; depression— skullcap; insect repellant–lavender; PMS–chamomile.

Here are some of the basics I learned from Brandy’s, “Art Of Tea Making Tea-Beginner” workshop:

Tea Basics 101

What you need:

  1. Make sure your tea is fresh and organic.  Here are websites that provide quality herbs: http://www.wildweeds.com http://www.jeansgreens.com http://www.mountainroseherbs.com
  2. The scoop on prepackaged tea bags: The downside of tea bags is that the plants become more oxidized so they lose a large portion of their flavor and medicinal value.  The positive side is the convenience.  Selecting organic brands will ensure fewer chemicals and pesticides will make their way into your hot cup.
  3. Begin with 2- 3 ingredients.  A general guide is that your daytime base should include green tea and a nighttime base a chamomile.
  4. Brandy provided mesh tea balls for everyone.  I have found it easy to use for a newbie like me. Here is a link for a small mesh tea bag infuser: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/catalog/teas/accessories#product-1698
  5. Tea should be stored in a sealed container as air tight as possible and in a cool, dark place.

How to steep your tea:

  1. Fill your mesh ball half to 3/4 full with herbs.  The herbs will expand in the water.
  2. Pour hot water, not boiling, over leaves, flowers and stems.  Pour boiling water over roots.
  3. Put a plate over your cup and let it steep for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Lick your plate! A lot of the nutrients are there;)
  5. Add honey, lemon, milk and enjoy!

Later on that week I shared with Brandy that I made tea from the herbs I mixed in class and it was nasty!😝  I gave it another shot and used less of my blend and it was much better.

Brandy said, give your tea a chance for your palatte to accept.  Treat tea making just like cooking.  You are learning to put a little more of this and a little less of that.

The Romantic Aspects of Tea:

The act of drinking tea can be a luxurious experience.  Savoring the smell and taking time to sip your tea is very soothing and relaxing. It’s a simple way for all of us busy folks to ground ourselves and have a bright spot in our day.

With Valentine’s Day almost here you might be wondering about a ‘modern day love potion.’

e70d0feb032d7941406e7510ac604c0aThere are many herbs that can boost libido for women and men.  A tea that Brandy mentioned for women is hops and for men, red clover, but there are many more!

When you live with many stresses in life it can take the passion out of your sails. Including tea time as a regular part of your day can recharge your batteries and provide a mental, physical and spiritual boost.  It’s a simple way to take control of your health.

If you would like more information on Brandy, her workshops, or a consultation her website is http://yoga-llc.com/about/

Her tea blends are sold at Cosmic Karma in Mandeville.

Tea making is more of an adventure that I ever realized!  I hope this inspires you to take a plunge into the world of tea.  Enjoy Your Tea Adventure!

 

 

Jump In! Lean Out With Jump Rope Training

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Get lean in 2017 with jump rope training!  Jumping rope is hands down one of the best tools to help you torch fat and lean out faster than ever.  It is estimated that jumping rope for 10 minutes (at 120 turns per minute) is equivalent to jogging for 30 minutes.

If you are someone that dreads cardio then this option is one to jump at!  Block out any concerns about looking silly or what people will think.  Attempting this activity, even if you stumble and trip trying, is worth it.  I’m sure people in the gym might think I’m a maniac when I break out my jump rope in between sets, but I’m there to get my best workout.  What people think of me is none of my business.

Ease yourself into it by practicing jumping with an invisible jump rope.  It might seem ridiculous but this will help you get the rhythm.

sad-elephant-jumping-ropeJumping rope is not only a calorie-burner but it’s also incredibly efficient, convenient and a great workout.

  • You can effectively burn calories and work your entire body in half the time by jumping rope.  I love how it works, not only my legs but my core, arms and shoulders!
  • It’s also a great workout tool for when you are traveling.  I always have my jump rope packed for any type of trip.  All you need is some space to get to whipping.
  • If done properly it’s a lower-impact activity than jogging.  Rope jumping strengthens muscles that support the tendons and ligaments of the knees, feet, and ankles.

Jump Rope Checklist For Correct Form:

  1. Keep torso relaxed, head lifted, and gaze ahead for balance.
  2. Maintain your weight on the balls of your feet.
  3. Jump only high enough to clear the rope.
  4. Land lightly on the balls of your feet.
  5. Keep your elbows near your sides.
  6. Make small circles with wrists while turning the rope.
  7. Do not sacrifice good form for speed.

Jump Rope Checklist For Getting Started:

  1. Wear cross trainers.
  2. Jump on a wood floor, rubber surface or a mat made for exercise.
  3. Adjust the height of your jump rope by placing one foot on the center of the rope and pull the handles up the sides of your body.  It should be at armpit level.

Beginner plan:

-Set a number goal.  For example, 20 total jumps.  When you reach your goal rest and repeat for 5-10 minutes.

Intermediate plan:

-Set a time goal.  For example, jump for 30 seconds and rest for 1 minute.  Repeat this for 10-15 minutes.

Advanced plan:

-Set a goal to jump 3-5 minutes without stopping.  Take a short break and repeat these endurance blocks 4-5 times.

For more training ideas be sure to check back for my next blog where I will be sharing my jump rope circuit training routine.  This is my personal preferred way of jump roping that will get you shredded.

 

 

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).

Bodyweight HIIT Cardio Intervals

Want to get in a quality cardio session without spending 45 minutes to and hour on a treadmill?  You can optimize your time and get better results with this 20-minute high-intensity interval workout.   This fat burning cardio session will tone your entire body and leave you feeling energized!  You can do this in your office, home or in the gym.

What you need:

  1. a couple of hand towels
  2. a mat
  3. a stopwatch or tabata timer
  4. your willingness to give your best effort.  You can do this workout in your office, home, outside or in the gym.

The Plan:

  • Get a stopwatch or download an interval/tabata timer on your phone.  There are many free apps available that are good.
  • You will exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 8 times.
  • Perform circuit 1 rest 1 minute, move into circuit 2 and then repeat the whole sequence again.  At the end of the workout, you will have done each circuit 2 times.

This will make better sense once you get into the workout. Be warned, it starts off feeling easy but the short rest breaks will challenge you!

Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up to make sure your muscles are loose and you are mentally focused.

Let’s get started! (photos of the exercises below the workout)

Circuit 1
1) Low Jacks:  20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
2) Plank Jacks: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
3) Squat Jumps: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
4) Push-up to knee tucks: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds

-repeat circuit 1 again until you’ve completed 8 cycles which will take you exactly 4 minutes.

After the 4 minute circuit, rest 1 minute then move on to the next circuit.

Circuit 2 (follow the 20 on/10 off sequence)
1) Burpees
2) Army Crawls
3) Side to side jump squats
4) Squat thrusts

-repeat circuit 2 again until you’ve completed 8 cycles which will take you exactly 4 minutes.

After the 4 minute circuit, rest 1 minute then repeat the entire workout again.

Circuit 1:

low jacks– stay low the entire time.

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Plank jacks– in a push-up position, jump your legs out wide and together.

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Squat Jumps– no photo for this one, just squat and jump as high as you can.

Push-up to knee tuck– put a wash cloth under each foot.  Using your abs, pull your knees into your chest and the push them back.

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Circuit 2

Burpees– no photos for this one either.  You will squat, jump your feet back to push up position, jump your feet back in and immediately do a squat jump.

Army crawls– on your forearms and toes, keep your hips steady as possible as your crawl forward to the end of your mat and then crawl backward.

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Side to side jump squats– roll your mat up or pick a spot to tap down with your hands.  Squat to one side, bring your feet together in the center and jump out to the other side.  You want this to be fast and fluid.

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Squat thrusts– squat down, jump your feet back, back in and stand.

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Candy Crusher Halloween Workout

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Did you eat too much candy this weekend?  Let’s crush those calories and have fun doing it!

 

 

 

This is a Halloween-themed workout I put together for my morning bootcamp class.  It is a total body workout that will burn some serious calories!

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Repeat each circuit three times.

Exercise descriptions provided at the bottom of the blog.

Circuit 1

  • Run a couple of laps or run for 2 minutes at a fast pace.
  • Next, take it into the BOOty blast exercises.  Perform each exercise for 45 sec.

Circuit 2

  • Thriller shuffle reaction drill– Get into a squat position (pretend like you are playing defense in a basketball game).  For 45 seconds randomly shuffle right to left.  If you have a partner, have them randomly call out ‘right’ or ‘left’ commands.
  • Killer arm exercises.  Perform each exercise for 45 sec.

Circuit 3

Exercise descriptions:

Wall squat– Stand with your back against a wall, placing your feet about two feet out in front of you. Feet should be hip-distance apart. Bending your knees, slide your back down the wall until your knees are at 90 degree angles. Adjust your body position so that your knee joints don’t go over your ankle joints.

Sumo pulse– Get into a wide stance toes slightly turned out and squat low.  Stay at the bottom end of the movement as you do tiny pulses.

Bridges– Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips of the floor so that your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Pause at the top then slowly lower your body back to the floor.

Spider pushups– Place your hands on the floor underneath your shoulders and get into a push-up position.
Move your left hand forward and bend your elbow while simultaneously stepping forward with your left foot and draw your knee to the elbow.

Bicep curl to an Arnold press– http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/arnold-dumbbell-press

Witches cauldron– Perform a plank with your arms on a stability ball.  Make tiny circles toward the right for 10 seconds then repeat on the left.

Reverse crunch with medicine ball– Place a medicine ball or towel between your knees.  Pull your knees in toward your chest and do a small hip lift.

Scissors–  Lying on your back with your legs extended off the floor, alternate crossing your legs.

Wall sit twist- Get into your wall squat position with a medicine ball.  Alternate tapping the medicine ball to the right and left.

 

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