Showing posts with label regularcalorie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label regularcalorie. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Strength Training and Breakthroughs

This morning I went to Bodypump. It was a strength training day and I have finally figured out how to match Bodypump to my carb cycling workouts. My workout plan for today focused on legs, chest, triceps and shoulders. I can do all of these on my own at the fitness center weight room, but Bodypump is a lot more fun.

In true Hong Kong weather fashion, as soon as I was getting ready to leave it started pouring rain. Instead of walking, I took the bus to stay dry. Ha! At least my shoes stayed dry. By the way, I'm loving these new Nikes for my indoor workouts. They're good for running too, but I like the simplicity of this shoe for cross training. It's actually the first running shoe I bought about a thousand years ago, just kidding. It was 2005.

Bodypump went like this: warm-up, legs/squats, chest, back/glutes/hamstrings, arms/triceps, arms/biceps, legs/lunges, shoulders/arms, abs, cool-down. Bam, bam, bam. It was a fast one today and it was good. 800 reps but it was over before I knew it.

Today's class was packed. Not a single piece of equipment left on the rack. And it was 100% women. It's amazing to look around the room and see so many strong fierce women sweating it out. I realize that many of us here in DB are traveling spouses and we don't work, but I still love it!

It wasn't raining when class ended so I took advantage and walked back to the apartment. Even with the looming storm clouds, I have a pretty awesome view no matter which way I look. I wasn't sure if I would make it without having to pop open the umbrella, but I was willing to risk it. I made it.

There goes my bus! No sweaty marks left on the seat today, haha ;)

Walking home lets me get in additional low intensity cardio. The goal is to keep the heart rate in the fat burning zone. I determined my zone to be between 108-126. I was powering up the big hill today (which felt easier than normal!) and probably spent more time above my fat burning zone, but during Bodypump my average heart rate was right in there at 114.

When it comes to fitness, I have had a few breakthroughs over the last year.

1. I'm RUNNING again! This is by far the biggest and best thing happening right now. I am so thankful that my knee has responded to the osteopath and chiropractor work and just me taking things slow and steady. I'm not running long distances, but I embracing the fact that I can run a 5K and a little more.

2. LISTENING to my body. I can honestly say that I do this. I have tried to do it in the past, but now I really, really do. If I'm not feeling it, if my knee is cranky...I don't do the exercise, the workout, the activity. I take time off. I don't let FOMO make me do something that will ultimately hurt me. I just finished this super funny book that makes fun of all the wild and crazy things people will do in the name of fitness. I used to be that person!

3. Working out SMART - this year I have learned not to push too hard. I'm following a workout plan and taking rest days. I warm-up and I stretch. I foam roll and do yoga. All the things the super smart people tell us to do. I'm finally doing it.

4. I understand the relationship between FOOD and WORKOUTS. When I was younger I didn't need to know any of this because my body was a fat burning machine 110% of the time. As I've gotten older and my fitness habits have changed, I've had to educate myself on how fuel and exercise affect my body. Through the FASTer Way to Fat Loss carb cycling program, I have gained valuable information that has become a lifestyle for me.

5. I've embraced STRENGTH TRAINING. I used to dread anytime a coach or instructor told me to lift weights. Now I know that my body will not burn fat without muscles and the muscles I used to have are, well, gone. I have to build new muscles, 46 year old muscles.

Regular Calorie day 1 - the meals

Broke fast at 11:00 - I was seriously craving the grapes today.

Lunch - I was feeling lazy and went for the Cheese-its.

Dinner - One of the recipes I make most often when mrC is on a trip, cheesy tuna and quinoa (recipe here)

Snacks - 1 cup of Chex rice cereal

What breakthroughs have you had recently?
Do you watch your heart rate during workouts?

It's Wednesday Word and I'm linking up with Deb. Today's word is breakthrough and I'm linking up with AnnmarieNicole and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!!


Sunday, June 18, 2017

Wrapping Up FWTFL Week 3 (with Weekend Workouts)

We've literally been living under our umbrellas for the past few days, but I haven't let that stop my motivation. I did change things up a little bit, but it's my workout and I have to make it work for me.

Lorna Jane tank (similar here)

Here's a look at my workouts this week:

Monday - Took my sprints and HIIT workout outside for my last sunny day workout.

Tuesday - Active rest day

Wednesday - Learned about strength training with Supersets

Thursday - Another training day at the gym. I think I'm becoming a gym rat.

Friday - My Bodystep instructor returned from Oz, so I took my speed burst workout to The Hit Room.

Saturday - Regular Calorie Day - Leg Day - the workout 

I started the day with a trip to the beach for a pre-arranged meet up of the Discovery Bay Ladies SUP group. Four of us braved the rain to participate in an upcoming local magazine article.

I usually SUP in my bathing suit, but the rainy weather had me in a normal Chi tank and Costa shorts. One of the ladies wears full coverage rash guard, wetsuit like gear so she won't get stung by jellies if she falls in the water.

Warm up - I was over the rain, so I looked up the at-home workout for the day. My warm-up consisted of me digging out the free weights, getting out my yoga mat, and that's it.

Strength training - It was leg day: squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, calf raises. 4 sets of 12-15 reps. Plus FINISHERS - curtsey lunges, side lunge with squat, jump squats, jump lunges. 40 reps. Repeat ---> I did not repeat. This was one of those calls I have to make to keep my knee happy.

It sucks that I have to limit my workouts on one of the larger muscle groups, but I do. The old me would push through and finish the workout exactly as it's written. I would pressure myself to not quit because a leg workout burns a lot more fat calories than an arm workout. But then I would be out of commission for a couple of days with knee pain. I've learned to modify my workouts so that they work for me and be ok with that.

Sunday - low calorie day - active recovery - the workout

Warm up - For once it wasn't raining so we were able to walk to the fitness center. mrC had a strength training day and I tagged along.

Slow paced run - I chose to do the interval progression run today. It looks like this: 1 minute walk, 1 minute run, 2 minute walk, 2 minute run, 3 minute walk, 3 minute run, 4 minute walk, 4 minute run, 5 minute walk, 5 minute run. At the end, I was almost to a 5K, so I repeated the 5 minute run. 

I admit that the longer walk breaks were HARD! I've gotten used to my one minute recovery intervals, but I stayed focused on the goal of low intensity and keeping my heart rate in the fat burning zone. PS - I'm falling more in love with my Mizunos every time I run in them. Have you read my review?

Bonus - I tossed in a couple sets on the adductor machine because my inner thighs are nice and flabby. I'm hoping the use of the machine will supplement the leg day exercises.

Cool down - I did some stretching on the stretch machine. If you've never used the stretch machine at the gym, I highly recommend it. It looks like this one on Amazon. I don't have a lot of experience, but it made getting a really good stretch of my hamstrings, glutes, and quads so easy. I did not use heavy weight during my leg workout yesterday, but I was feeling the results of the high repetitions.

Regular calorie day - the meals

Broke fast at about 11 - 2 scrambled eggs with ham, gluten free pancakes, red grapes, and orange juice

Lunch - 3 turkey roll ups and microwave popcorn

Dinner - Buffalo chicken quinoa and green beans

Snack - mini YPP

Low calorie day - the meals

Broke fast at 11 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham, one PB&J rice cake and red grapes

Lunch - leftover buffalo chicken quinoa and green beans

Dinner - leftover buffalo chicken quinoa ---> it's THAT good! (recipe here)

How was your week?

Linking up with Tricia and Holly for the Weekly Wrap!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Am I Becoming a Gym Rat?

Most of the gyms I've been to present the same scene: the men are mostly lifting weights and the women are mostly doing cardio. There are exceptions, and I have seen an increase in women strength training, but this is typically what I see.

Am I right?

The term gym rat often has a negative connotation. The term conjures up images of big bulky men flexing in front of mirrors and grunting. There are a lot of variations to the definition, but they all basically say that a gym rat is someone who spends an unusual amount of time at the gym and obsesses about gym workouts.

But, couldn't being a gym rat also be a good thing?

Picture this: a gym rat is someone who goes to the gym often enough to know how to use all the machines and equipment correctly. Someone who has a workout plan and gets it done efficiently. Someone who views strength training just as, or more important than cardio. Someone who visits the gym, but doesn't live there.

Why should women want to become strength training gym rats?

1. Burn more calories. Women who lift heavy weight burn more calories during and after the workout. Each pound of muscle burns up to 50 more calories per hour than a pound of fat (this shouldn't surprise anyone!)

2. You'll torch body fat. Losing body fat means you will look more defined and toned. Torching body fat means losing belly fat too.

3. You'll get stronger. Lifting heavy makes muscles stronger ---> not bulky unless you are taking steroids and eating a TON. Building strength then prevents injuries. It's a win-win situation.

Carb cycling is turning me into a gym rat and I'm loving it.

Week 3 Regular Cardio Day 2 - the workout 

Warm up - It was raining again, so we took the bus to the fitness center. I do not want to get my Mizunos soaking wet. I did a repeat of yesterday's warm-up on the treadmill: 5 minutes walking and 10 minutes easy running.

Strength training - Supersets (again) plus an ab circuit to finish. I did a little research about how much weight to use for Supersets. The weight goal: choose a weight that is sustainable for the whole set. You want to be able to finish all the reps, but just barely. It was all arms today (my weak area), so I tried to push myself with the weight. The last exercise was push-ups and I could barely get through 5. My arms were toast.

Cool down - Just like yesterday, the rain had stopped so we were able to walk back to the apartment.

Regular Calorie Day - the meals

Broke fast at 11:00 - 3 scrambled eggs with ham, two PB&J rice cakes and watermelon. I was starving today.

Lunch - Leftover bbq meatballs and watermelon

Dinner - Italian chicken, green beans, and sweet potato tots ---> we love these things!

Macros: I still have trouble getting in enough carbs, but my protein almost always exceeds my daily goal. Following the IIFYM tempts me to want to eat the same foods over and over (have you seen my breakfasts?) so that I can hit my goals.

What do you typically see at your gym?
Are you a gym rat?

Are you interested in joining the FASTer Way To Fat Loss program? Use my affiliate link to join and start carb cycling with me! Click here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Rest Day Fun and Strength Training with Supersets

I'm playing a little catch up on my carb cycling posts, so today you get a double. Our almost-typhoon Merbok passed by Hong Kong on Monday night and has left behind the most deplorable rainy weather. One rest day and one strength training day complete regardless.

Week 3 Low Calorie - Rest Day 
(I love that I can switch my days when necessary on this program)

My rest day was LHR (laser hair removal) instigated (no sweating for 24-36 hours) which coincides perfectly with needing to run some errands. Rain or shine, out we go. Thank goodness for rain boots and rain slickers. We went from LHR, to lunch, to the GAP, to two groceries and back. All in the (sometimes pouring) rain.

In case you are wondering what the inside of a LHR treatment room looks like, I took a pic yesterday. It's looks scarier than it is and everyone is so friendly and nice.

Week 3 Low Calorie - the meals

We happened to see a sign for Ruby Tuesday's on our way to my appointment and decided that was a great place to break fast and they opened at 11:30. Perfect timing. We don't eat out that much, but I love a salad bar.

I made several trips and also had some Cod on the side.

Dinner - BBQ meatballs and green beans

Snack - popcorn and watermelon

Regular Calorie Day - the workout

Warm up - our normal walk to the fitness center was interrupted by, you guessed it, rain. We took the bus instead and grabbed a treadmill for the warm-up. After walking for 5 minutes, I decided to run. I ran for 10 minutes without intervals and my knee was OK! Interested in my shoes ---> check out my review here.

Strength Training - Supersets. Four Supersets. Arms, legs, legs, arms.

Cool down - 10 minutes walking on the treadmill while mrC finished his workout and then we walked home because it wasn't raining.

So what is a Superset? If you are like me (not a gym rat), then you might not know the term. Directly from my workout: "A superset is performed when two exercises are performed in a row without stopping." The exercises can be opposing muscles or the same muscle groups. Even though there are two sets it is considered one set. A Superset. The purpose of the Superset is to improve performance, build muscle, and burn more fat in less time. 

Regular Calorie Day - the meals

broke fast at about 11:15 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham and two PB&J rice cakes and watermelon 

Lunch - 4 turkey roll ups and red grapes

Dinner - leftover chilaquiles and corn

Snacks - two mini peppermint patties

Here's what I do for fun, wearing a new linen tee that I picked up at GAP yesterday. I don't think it looks so see-through in real life. 

Do you like salad bars?
What do you think about Supersets?

I'm linking up with AnnmarieNicole and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Weekend Workouts: Making the Most of Pre-Typhoon Weather

What do you do in Hong Kong when there is a tropical depression, possible typhoon headed your way? You make the most of the sunny weather while you can. Even if it's hot, hot, hot! The forecast for the coming week is all about rain and lots of it, so adding in an outdoor run and some fun on the water was important this weekend

Week 2 - Regular calorie and Low Calorie day - the workouts

Saturday - It was leg day and as a warm up, I ran an easy 1.3 miles to the fitness center. It was warm and sunny, but thankfully the first half of the run is shaded by trees and a tunnel. I love these short little runs and I was extra excited for this one because it was my first run in the Mizuno Wave Sky. I love the feel of new shoes.

The leg workout was no joke! It was 50% on the machines and 50% free weights (or just body weight) and I liked that. I like using the free weights because those exercises utilize more than one muscle group even though you might be focusing on one main muscle. For example, squats are quad dominant, but also draw on hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. On the other hand, I like the machines so that I can focus on one main muscle group and sometimes with better form. It's a balancing act for me and my testy knee, so a little bit of both works perfectly. Throw in some finishers and my legs were done.

Sunday - I chose to take my iSUP board out for about an hour of low intensity cardio since it was active recovery day. It's hard to believe there is a storm lurking in the South China Sea when you look at the bright blue sky over Discovery Bay and Tai Pak Beach.

this board is still available at a great price on Amazon

It didn't take long to get hot and sweaty, but getting in the water was not an option for me. Not that it is normally. It takes a lot to get me to go into deep water. Today there were a ton of jelly blubbers (aka blue blubber jellyfish) in the shallow waters! I'm pretty sure the sight of them helped keep my heart rate elevated in the fat burning zone. 

Week 2 - Regular calorie and Low Calorie day - the meals

Saturday - Broke fast around 11:00 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham, 2 pieces PB&J gluten free toast, orange juice

Lunch - 3 turkey & Swiss roll ups and a protein smoothie with Bob's Red Mill vanilla protein (available on Amazon)

Dinner - mrC's chilaquiles (seriously soooo good) and corn

Snack - watermelon, vanilla yogurt with chocolate sauce

Sunday - Broke fast at 11:00 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham, 2 PB&J rice cakes, watermelon

Lunch - 3 turkey & Swiss rollups and watermelon

Snack - peanuts

Dinner - leftover chilaquiles and corn

The big food winner this weekend ---> the watermelon. It was my first of the summer and it was so dang good. When we lived in China, we could hardly ever find seedless watermelon. Eating watermelon with seeds almost takes the fun out of it.

D you squeeze in certain workouts when you know bad weather is coming?
What is your watermelon preference - seeds or seedless?

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you decide to purchase any of these awesome products, I earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. I recommend these products only because I have experience with them and use them in my everyday life.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Top Three Thursday

Last week I was wandering around the fitness center trying to locate all the machines needed for strength training day 2. Today, I was like a pro. Well, not a professional weight lifter, but definitely someone with experience in a weight room.

I have to admit, that felt pretty good.

Today I'm focusing on the top three things that made me smile.

1) Working out with mrC. His schedule has been pretty light recently, so we've been able to do this Faster program together. Not everyone has a spouse for a workout partner, so I know how lucky I am. Being able to do the workouts together definitely makes it more fun and we motivate each other.

Week 2 Regular Calorie day 2 - the workout

Warm up - we did our usual thing and walked to the fitness center

Strength training - it was upper body day today. I have to modify some of the exercises still because my shoulder is still healing (I hope). I'm getting the hang of knowing what weight to use, but today I killed the triceps exercises. Pretty sure I'm going to be a little sore tomorrow.

Cool down - we took this literally and went to our happy place (see #2 below)

Week 2 Regular Calorie day 2 - the meals

Broke fast 11:30 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham and Bob's Red Mill gluten free pancakes

Lunch - 3 turkey roll ups, red grapes, celery with hummus

Snack - peanuts

Dinner - salmon patty, green beans, sweet potato tots and a salad

Snack - greek yogurt with some chocolate sauce

2) Going to the pool. I have always loved the water, loved the beach, loved the pool. I really love cooling off in the pool after a workout. This pattern got started when our expat adventure began in Dubai.

3) Pedicures. A friend recommended a salon (one that I had walked by dozens of times and not noticed) and I recently tried it for myself. I had a manicure the other day and today I got my toes done. Don't you love the way the hot pink pops against my leopard Sanuk flip-flops?

Tell me something that made you smile recently.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Global Running Day + Strength Training

It wasn't a scheduled day for running, but I had to run because it is Global Running Day and the whole FOMO thing!

So, mrC indulged me and we ran to the fitness center. I carried the #OiselleWorldRelay virtual baton in Hong Kong while sporting my favorite running shorts and tank (similar).

The short run was literally a great warm-up for our strength training in the gym. It's already in the high 80s before 7AM here, so we were nice and sweaty going in.

While I'm on the topic of heat and running, June is also National Safety Month. One precaution runners who lace up for outdoor runs in the summer should take is staying hydrated. You probably couldn't see it in the other photos because of how nicely it tucks into my sports bra, but I run with my Simple Hydration water bottle. The bottle is so comfortable back there that when I started my strength workout I realized I had forgotten to take it out!

Week 2 Regular Calorie Day - the workout

Warm-up - 10 minutes of (your choice) - Perfect spot for my run.

Strength training - Legs. Chest. Shoulders. Finishers ---> let's talk about these. At the end of an already intense training session, these extra exercises are meant to push you to the next level and leave your energy depleted. The benefits to adding finishers at the end of workout are 1) increased fat burning time after your workout has ended, and 2) burning more calories in less time.

Side note: I finally found the in-between weighted dumbbells. Game changer.

Cool down - Any thoughts we had about running home after the workout disappeared after those finishers. Instead we walked back and spent a little time stretching in what we call the best spot in Discovery Bay ---> because there is always an amazing breeze here.

Regular calorie day - the meals

Broke fast around 11:30 - 2.5 scrambled eggs with ham, 2 pieces GF PB&J toast, and red grapes

Lunch - Quinoa & tuna and some green beans

Dinner - 4 crunchy tacos and corn

Snack (aka dessert) - strawberries

Hitting my macros was a struggle in my previous rounds of carb cycling, but I seem to be getting the hang of it, finally.

How are you celebrating National/Global Running Day?
Do you ever do things because of a FOMO?

Today I’m linking up with Susie and Rachel and Debbie and Lora for the Running Coaches' Corner and I'm linking up with AnnmarieNicole and Jen for Wild Workout Wednesday!!


Thursday, June 1, 2017

May Miles and More Strength Training

It's funny how fast time can fly sometimes. The week, the month, the year! It's hard to believe it's already time to add up the miles for the month of May.

I'm still amazed at the number of miles I have been putting on my Mizunos considering I was almost certain my running days were over when my old, cranky knee got even crankier last year. The month of May was good to me: 7 runs (I usually go twice a week) and 23.16 miles. This is a little less than April, but at least I can blame the weather and not an injury. My runs got shorter as the days got warmer.

Heading into June, I'm not sure what my goal is for running while I'm carb cycling. There will be some sprints and hopefully I'll figure out where to work in at least one moderate run each week.

Regular Calorie Day 2 - the workout

We joined the fitness center last November when we moved to Discovery Bay, but have really only used the treadmill and elliptical. It's been one part fun and one part frustration trying to find the machines we need to use for strength workouts. Plus it gets crowded after school drop off time and I prefer working out before the rush (hint, hint ;) mrC). 

Warm up - walked to the fitness center

Strength -  Today was all about the upper body and mostly arms. My shoulder still bothers me a little on some of the exercises (reverse fly) and I discovered that I'm between 5 and 10 or 10 and 15 pounds on many of the exercises ---> what's wrong with having an 8 or 12 pound dumbbell lying around? My solution was to go heavier on the first set and lighter on the second and hope I could finish. It wasn't always pretty, but I did it. Except the pulls-up. I didn't even try those. I need the assisted pull-up machine for that and we don't have one.

Cool down - walked back to the apartment

Regular Calorie Day 2 - the meals

Broke fast at 11:30 - Bob's Red Mill pancakes and scrambled eggs with ham

Lunch - 4 turkey rollups and red grapes

Dinner - quinoa and tuna

Snack - gluten free brownie

My goal for the week has been to hit my macros and I was so excited by how well I did today keeping my fats down. I still have some work to do, but using My Fitness Pal to track what I eat makes it so easy.

How many miles did you run in May?
Do you prefer having the gym to yourself or working out with a crowd?
Do you track your macros/calories/food at all?

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Back to Strength Training

It's time to do some heavy lifting.

Did you know that strength training does more for you than make you strong? It increases your metabolism, helps your body burn calories more effectively and improves bone strength.

Despite struggling out of bed with DOMS from my first two days on the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program (see posts here and here), I was pretty excited to get to work building muscles.

Regular Calorie Day 3 - the workout

Warm up - we walked to the fitness center

Weights - I'm pretty sure mrC and I learned how to use every single leg machine today. Considering my legs are feeling sore from Monday's HIIT workout, I managed better than I thought I would. My favorite machines were the adductor and abductor ---> 1) I need to seriously tone up the inside of my thighs and 2) ooh, the stretch. The rest of the workout focused on chest and shoulders using dumbbells. Some of these exercises bothered my shoulder, but I did ok. It felt good to hit the weights again.

Cool down - we walked back to the apartment

Regular Calorie Day 3 - the meals

Broke fast about 12:30 - This was later than our planned time to break fast at 11, but after our workout we headed into Central to run some errands. One stop was to our favorite juicery. Acai bowl topped with peanut butter, apple granola, and kiwi ---> perfect on a warm day!

Snack - three crab cakes from the CitySuper takeaway counter on the ferry back to Discovery Bay

Lunch - two turkey and swiss rollups, red grapes, celery and hummus

Dinner - Quinoa penne pasta with pasta sauce and green beans

Snack - I thought I would have something for dessert, but I couldn't think of anything that is a good carb and low in fat and a little sweet. Not asking for much, am I?

The goal today was to follow the IIFYM: 50% carbs, 30% fats, 20% protein. It was difficult to keep my fats down (over by 5g), but I think I did ok overall.

Do you strength train at home or the gym?
What's your favorite exercise or machine?