Showing posts with label wowlinkup. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wowlinkup. 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!!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Skulpt Aim: Getting Started

I was selected to use and review Skulpt Aim, a fitness tracker that measures body fat and muscle quality instead of activities, through my affiliation with Raynforest.

The Skulpt Aim is a device that replaces the pinching tool used to measure body fat by sending a small electrical signal through your skin. The current changes speed as it moves through skin, fat, and muscle.

What's in the box:

The Skulpt Aim comes with a base charger, usb cord, small water bottle, and convenient storage bag.

Getting started:

After charging the device for a couple of hours and downloading the Skulpt app on my iPhone, it was time to take measurements. The device, app, and website all provide thorough instructions (with video) for how to take measurements. You can go step-by-step through all of your muscles or you can opt to focus on just the ones you want.

I would recommend getting someone to help you take the measurements. Doing it on your own like I did can be a little awkward. It's hard to reach your backside without creating tension. Also, the sensors must be sprayed after each reading, so I stood on a bath towel, but you could also spray over a sink.

My Results: the Before

Skulpt Aim rates your muscles according to five categories which are also color coded:

red = needs work
orange = average
yellow = fit
green = athletic
white = skulpted

My overall total body fat is 27.2% putting me in the needs work category (eek!). I took a screen shot of the individual muscle numbers.

My actual results from Skulpt Aim app

My plan:

Basically I am going to work on every area that is red! Seriously. I will be continuing the PT leg exercises that Dr. Bri gave me with added weight and adding an arm workout to my running days. Something like this:

found on Pinterest

My goals:

Every week, I will attempt to take new measurements and hopefully see improvements in my muscles. I don't have a lot of meat on my bones, but what I do have isn't exactly filet mignon, you know? While I don't want to become a body builder, I would like to tone up and fall into the fit range.

Do you track your body fat and/or muscle quality?

This post is part of the Workout Wednesday link up 
hosted by Diatta, Sheila, Amanda and Heather

Disclosure: I was sent a Skulpt Aim for the purpose of this review, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Living with #NoExcuses

If you live in the Northeast like me, then you are probably reading this in your snow boots. Goodbye Juno!

Living in New England sometimes means that snow days look like this:

Living with #NoExcuses means that little things like a snow storm, knee surgery, work or whatever excuse I might be tempted to use won't prevent me from getting in a workout. It means that being active and staying fit is a priority. I have at least 10 minutes every day to make fitness happen.

Join the challenge!

Since almost every major storm is accompanied by a power outage, mrC and I decided to be proactive and checked into a hotel before the snow accumulated locking us in our house. We were lucky enough to get into the same hotel that I used over Thanksgiving, which has a pretty good fitness center and pool.

I was determined to not spend the entire snow day just sitting around.

Here are my #NoExcuses snow day workouts:

#tightercore day 4

PT mashup
wall sit - reverse slider lunges (I even got mrC in on the fun)
- single leg dead lifts - single leg dips

10 laps in the pool and 15 minutes in the hot tub
(on a side note: the hot tub worked wonders on my tight hip)
Note to self: get hot tub asap!

a couple of dog walks

Hotels often have breakfast buffets, but you never know if it will be gluten-free friendly. Knowing that we would have access to a mini-fridge and microwave, we brought some food staples with us.

Here are my snow day paper plate eats:

PB&J apple cinnamon rice cakes

turkey and cheese roll ups

gluten-free pizza

I live #NoExcuses so I can be the best me for myself and my family.

Why do you live with #NoExcuses?

This post is part of the #WIAW link up hosted by Jen

This post is part of the Workout Wednesday link up hosted by 
Diatta, Sheila, Amanda and Heather

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Day in the Life: January Edition

It's time for another round of A Day in the Life posts and I love reading them. I'm a people watcher. My grandmother used to make fun of the way I always chose the seat facing the room, never wanting to miss a thing.

I like reality TV, too: house hunting, being a "real" housewife, searching for Mr. or Mrs. Right, or racing around the world. Glimpses into the worlds of others is fun and sometimes I discover something new.

Today you get to follow me through a typical Tuesday in January.

5:30 am - Wake up to the cold nose of the dog trying to tell me he's hungry. After a quick shower, I follow the dog downstairs to feed us both breakfast, enjoy some coffee, catch up on social media, and watch the morning news. I am especially interested in the weather since today is Run Club Day.

Peanut butter and jelly apple cinnamon rice cakes

6:30 am - Pack up my lunch and make a protein smoothie to-go.  Head back upstairs to pack my gym bag for Run Club and PT this afternoon.

I've been adding a handful of this yummy gluten free trail mix to my smoothies and the hint of chocolate is so good!

7:00 am - Load up the car and leave for work. Nothing special about the drive except that I have a goal to drink a bottle of water before I get to school ✔

7:20 am - Arrive at school. Stop to check my mailbox on the way to my classroom. Take a few minutes to update the class agenda on the white board, read and reply to emails.

7:56 am - Today this is my planning time, so I spend the first 45 minutes meeting with other 10th grade teachers while getting lesson materials ready for the day.

8:45 am - Head down the hall to a 10th grade team meeting.

9:36 am - Teach my first class of the day. Spend most of the class writing notes on the board while the class discusses Lord of the Flies (remember that book?) and then monitor the class while they work on their assignment.

11:01 am - Repeat the same lesson plan to a new class.

12:06 pm - Break for lunch. Walk across the hall to get my lunch and return to my class to eat. I have several students who prefer to bring their lunches to the room to work and talk than sit in the cafe. I check my Fitbit stats and see that I've only walked 3000 steps so far. It feels like much more!

Turkey and cheese roll ups, strawberries, and Chex rice cereal

12:36 pm - Resume teaching class.

1:06 pm - Teach my last class of the day. I'm up and down a lot today with this class. They are independently researching, but I walk around to check in with them periodically. Occasionally I get called to answer a question while they work on the laptops.

2:41 pm - School dismisses. Hurry to the rest room to change into my running clothes.

3:00 pm - Run Club meets in front parking lot. The students head out and I complete my 20 minute post-op run using 2:3 walk/run intervals. Add another 1.68 miles to my Mizunos.

4:00 pm - Arrive at PT.

Today's Strength Workout:

5:45 pm - Arrive home. mrC is on dinner duty and has prepared one of my favorite meals: tacos!

7:00 pm - Blogging time.

8:00 pm - Watch a little NCIS with mrC and then put myself to bed.

Like seeing into the lives of others or want to join the fun? Katie is hosting!

This post is part of the #WIAW link up hosted by Jen

This post is part of the Workout Wednesday link up hosted by 
Diatta, Sheila, Amanda and Heather

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Workout Wednesday + WIAW - All About Those Hips

The #HolidaySweat challenge ended last week, but we recently received a bonus workout from Suzi at Confessions of a Fitness Instructor. It's so good that I just had to share!

This workout is perfect for me because:

1. I have spent the better part of my life trying to tone my hips (haven't we all?)
2. I love no-equipment needed workouts that I can do anywhere
3. It's a workout that even injured runners can do!!

Speaking of hips, I have been trying to make better food choices to keep the size of mine in check. Here's a glimpse of my eats and drinks from yesterday!

{breakfast} (always coffee) strawberries and a smoothie to go {lunch} turkey and cheese roll-ups, rice cereal and a salad {water} 2 of the 5 bottles of water I drink throughout the day - I really need to get a filtered water bottle {dinner} buffalo chicken quinoa and (not pictured) green beans {fruit} 100% orange juice - still working on my 3 servings each day.

This post is part of the Workout Wednesday link up hosted by 
Diatta, Sheila, Amanda and Heather

This post is part of the #WIAW link up hosted by Jen

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Workout Wednesday & WIAW: EMS + Restaurant Holiday Meals

It seemed like such a long wait for vacation to begin and now I'm enjoying every moment. It feels so good to sleep in and ease into the days! This year for Christmas Eve all the kids were home and we tried something new for our dinner celebration.

My morning started with a quick breakfast before I headed out for a PT session. Most of what I do at PT is the same as what I do at home except that I warm up on the bike, get a couple of sets in on the leg press, and finish with some EMS.

The use of EMS during my PT is to help me use as much of my muscle as possible while doing muscle contractions. Without it, I might be using as little as 30% of the muscle. The EMS allows more of the resting fibers to contract and therefore increases overall strength. There's an interesting article here that talks about using EMS for training, recovery, and rehab.

When I got home I chased my workout with a fruit and veggie smoothie with some added protein and amino from GNC PUREDGE. My rebuilding muscles need all the help they can get! For lunch I heated up some leftovers while baking (and test-tasting) some more gluten free cookies!

{breakfast} peanut butter & jelly rice cakes with coffee {snack} protein fruit smoothie {lunch} leftover gluten free chili {snack} gluten free chocolate chip cookie

We took our Christmas Eve family dinner to Fratello's for a very festive meal together. This was a new adventure for all of us and since the girls and I like getting all fancied-up, it was a great excuse to get the boys in on the fun too.

{appetizer} Caprese salad {dinner} Mussels, Bolognese, Prime Rib, Chicken Alfredo, and New York Strip

{dessert} Triple Chocolate cake and Limoncello torte

After dinner we drove around looking at Christmas lights. I love the effort that some people put into the displays. Our favorites included a house showing movies on the garage door, a huge display with music, and finally a synchronized light show to music on the radio!

Would you ever use EMS as part of your training or recovery?
Do you go out to eat on holidays? This was our first time, but we're thinking of making it a tradition.

This post is part of the #WIAW link up hosted by Jen
This post is part of the Workout Wednesday link up hosted by 
Diatta, Sheila, Amanda and Heather

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Arms on Fire

PT for my knee will not start until I'm two weeks post-op, YIKES! That's a long time.

It didn't take long for me to remember that there is nothing wrong with my arms or abs and the wise words of Christine from TI Fitness, "You'll be a better runner with a strong upper body."

She's right. In "Run Better By Working Your Upper Body" from Runner's World, Nikki Kimball explains the importance of upper body strength.
"The best distance athletes don't just have impressive quads and glutes. They have muscular arms and shoulders that help them maintain speed throughout their races. When you run, your arms counterbalance the motion of your legs, resulting in saved energy. The swing of the arms helps propel the body forward so the lower body isn't doing all the work. And a strong upper body bolsters a runner's form when fatigue sets in."
Since I only own a pair of light hand weights, I thought about the arm workouts that had me near tears at Booty Barre. Those 10 minute strength sessions were about repetitions, not weight.

You may be looking at that set of exercises and thinking, serving tray? bowling? 

They really are exercises (I promise) and they look like this:

At then end of the first circuit, my arms were already feeling the burn. Each exercise got harder and harder to do.

Using my 2 pound weights, the whole workout took me about 15 minutes


my arms were on fire.

Do you prefer reps or weight?

This post is part of the Workout Wednesday link up hosted by 
Diatta, Sheila, Amanda and Heather

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Workout Wednesday: SurfnTurf through a Snow Storm

The day before Thanksgiving means early dismissal from school for this English teacher. Translate: I could go to SurfnTurf class!

As soon as my last class was over, I changed into my workout clothes and headed to TI Fitness. It was just starting to snow and I loved the idea of making some #surfsweat while there was a snow storm going on.

View from the 4th floor studio

The first part of the class was on the boards with a fast paced mix of cardio. One thing that keeps me coming back to these classes is the challenge of the pace. As soon as I think I'm going to keel over, the instructor slows things down just a bit to let me catch my breath. 

After a brief break, the fill class was divided into three groups to move through stations that combined strength and cardio. We ran the stations for 4 minutes each repeating the exercises until time was up. 

Station #1 was with the hand weights: 15 cross punches, 15 squat press, 15 plank rows. 

Station #2 moved to the cones: 5 high knees, medicine ball jump, repeated 4x, suicides, and jump rope 10x. The instructor modified the suicide for me to jump rope 30x.

Station #3 was with medicine balls: 15 full sit-ups, 15 squat toss, 

Station #4 was at another set of cones: shuffle cone to cone with squat jump at each, up & down the stairs 2x (hand weights optional).

Station #5 was at the kettle bells: 15 swings, 15 figure 8s, and 15 jacks.

Station #6 was at the ladder: plank walk, side jumps back to start, 10 sit-ups.

We finished up with a round of abs…ugh. I'm going to feel that tomorrow.

As usual it was a great workout. I'll be going back for some Turkey Burn on Friday.

Are you burning some calories today?

**Note: I was in the process of writing this post after getting home from the class when the power went out. The snow storm is dropping tree limbs and drivers are knocking down poles. I am now comfortably checked into a hotel where I will wait for the power to come back on! **

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Jump Rope Workout

In addition to running, I love workouts that blend cardio and strength to blast fat calories. It's one of the reasons I love going to SurfSet classes so much.

This weekend I found a workout from PopSugar on Pinterest that I can do at home. The HIIT workout gets your heart rate up and mixes up some full body strength moves.

I wasn't sure how I would feel doing each exercise, so I modified the workout to 30 seconds, but still followed a 1:1 ratio. I also modified the "jump rope" to "jump in place", since I do not own a jump rope (crazy, I know). After the first round I was feeling ok, so I did another and was happy with the results.

The next time I do this workout, I think I will bump it up to 45 seconds. If that feels ok, then I will attempt the full one minute intervals.

Checkout more Workout Wednesday posts here.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Workout Wednesday: barre3 Online

This summer I really enjoyed taking morning fitness classes, especially Booty Barre. Knowing that getting to classes would be challenging once school started, I signed up for a free 15-day trial of barre 3 Online after reading about it on the Athleta blog.

This offer is still good through Sept. 9, 2014 - code barre3Athleta

I liked the barre3 Online video workouts so much that I decided to buy a subscription. 

What works for me is that I can do the workouts anytime, anywhere. I don't have spend time rushing to get to a studio during the week. And, I can pick a video length based on how much time I have or what area I want to focus on.

I've been using the 10 minute videos to complement my half marathon training. These workouts target my large muscles but are easy on the joints.

And just like barre classes, some of the videos make you use props such as hand weights or the little blue ball. I received this one with my subscription.

Do you like online/video workouts?