Sunday, June 29, 2014

Accountability Is The Name Of The Game

We all have our reasons for wanting to be in great shape. Some people love the feeling of slipping into a smaller pair of jeans, other people love being super confident all the time, and some people want to run races and win.

Whatever your reason, every single person I know has days where they just don’t want to work out. It’s human nature to forget our initial motivation and want to stay on the sofa instead of putting on our gym shoes and heading out the door.
In order to head off this quitting mentality, it’s important to put some accountability structure in place. Here are some ideas of how to make sure you’ll stay on track even when you reeeally don’t want to.
Group Activities
It’s a lot more fun to work out in a group than on your own. In fact, I recently wrote an entire blog post about it! Check it out HERE.

In the post, I specifically talk about the social aspect of group exercise. When feeling like you just don’t have it in you, you’re way more likely to show up if you know your best friend is waiting for you.

Normally group classes tend to be the same people on the same days, so you’ll get to know other participants in class and it can be a lot of fun. I know clients who have become close friends through their work out classes and depend on one another to stay in the zone.

Work With A Trainer
When you’re further along in your exercise journey and preparing for a race, whether it be running, swimming, biking or some other form of competition, a trainer can be really helpful.

You have a set time to be there and you know that they will be waiting for you if you don’t show up. And it can annoy your trainer if you continually cancel. It may get you fired as a client.

Trainers are really imperative when it comes to pushing yourself to improve your time or lift more weight. They will always push you outside your comfort zone so you can truly be your best competitor.

Accountability Buddy
Sometimes, it’s just nice to have another person to exercise with. One of my mom’s coworkers is on a weight loss regime, and asked my mom to walk with her during their lunch break.

It works out perfectly because my mom wants to get away from the computer at least once during her day. I always remind her how important it is to move her body and breathe outside air!

Now, when one buddy doesn’t want to go, the other comes along as a reminder why they started in the first place. What a great system!

My Accountability
Sure I'm capable of working out on my own, but I usually choose not to. I love doing one-on-one sessions with my Pilates trainer. It keeps me accountable and she pushes me (and I also prepaid, so I’m not going to ditch out on that!). I love showing up knowing she’s already planned out our hour. All I have to do is be a good sport and follow instructions. Plus, I learn a lot about myself and ways to challenge others!

How do you stay accountable? Need help getting on track? Contact me today and we can figure out a way to help you work out smarter and more consistently.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

5 Exercises You'll Love to Hate

Don’t have time to hit the gym? Try these 5 exercises that my clients hate because they’re so hard (but they also love them because they get the job done). Efficiency is key when time is limited. And don't stop reading further if you think these exercises will be too hard, I provide modifications. Gotta start somewhere!

Burpee Tuck Jump
People love to hate burpees, and to make sure my clients don’t get too set in a burpee routine, I constantly change them up. People complain that I’m making it worse, but when I hear that, I just smile and remind them that they’re paying me to challenge their limits and keep them engaged.

How to do it: Just like a regular burpee, start in a squat position with your hands on the floor, jump your feet to plank position, do a push-up, jump your feet back to squat position, jump up off the ground, but then add a tuck jump after that. This extra jump will make your heart pound through your chest. It’s terrible!

What it works: This movement will work your entire body. When you jump into plank, you activate your core, chest, back, arms, glutes, quads and hammies. When you jump straight up, you’re using power from your quads, glutes and hammies. The extra tuck-jump uses core power and builds agility.

Lateral Jump with Weights
People sometimes think I’m evil, but I’m not. I remind them if they do what I tell them, they will see results and live a healthier life.

How to do it: Place moderately heavy weights on your shoulders, I like 8 lbs. You can choose 5 lbs. or no weights to start. Do a narrow squat with your legs hip distance apart. Staying low, jump to the right and then to the left without standing in the middle, so you’re holding the squat position. It’s killer.

What it works: This exercise blasts your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. It’s also going to get your heart rate up too.

Bad Ass Crawl (aka Total Body Torture)
I’ve been using this movement in class with gliders so you can easily slide your feet across the floor, but you can also walk your feet forward if you don’t have them. You can use paper plates or towels too as a gliding device.

How to do it: Start in a high plank position with your arms straight. If you have gliders, set them right under the ball of your feet. If you’re using a mat, start with your hands at the end of the mat and walk forward, gliding your feet behind. When you get your feet to the end of the mat, come onto your forearms and walk back in reverse. When you get back to your starting point, come onto your hands once again and repeat.

What it works: The bad ass crawl is full-body and really works your core, along with spinal stability and balance. Be careful not to stick your butt in the air because that shifts all your weight into your shoulders and puts undue pressure on your front delts (they really shouldn’t be bearing your body weight).

The Cross Donkey-Kick
This one is a lot of fun and has a great name. It's like break dancing! Maybe.

How to do it: Come into a pike position, so your body creates a triangle. Your butt should be pointed up to the air and forms the point of the triangle (the other two points are your hands on the floor in front of you and your feet on the floor behind you). Do a little hop up with your feet to kick your booty. When you come down, take your right leg across your body and then your left leg across your body - dropping your hip toward the floor. Hop to center again, and repeat.

What it works: This movement will work into your back, chest, shoulders and arms, as well as your core muscles.

Side Plank, Side Leg Lift, Front Kick

How to do it: Come onto one forearm with your elbow under your shoulder, lying on your side with your feet, knees and hips stacked. You'll lift from your hips and side body up off the ground doing a leg lift, then a front leg kick. So if you’re on your left arm, lift your right leg and lower it down, then lift and kick it out to the front.

Add an optional hip dip when you’re in the side plank to make it a little tougher.

What it works: This move will get your core, outer thigh and glutes. When you kick your leg to the front, you’ll zap your quad and your abdominal muscles, not to mention that the plank works into your obliques as well.

For a heart pounding & time efficient workout: Try these moves as a Tabata set - 4 minutes total for each exercise, with 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest for a total of 8 rounds.

So, which exercises do you love to hate? Leave a note in the comments below to join the conversation.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Greatest Breakthroughs Happen When You Want to Quit

Why do we sometimes want to give up or stay in our comfort 
zones? Learn 5 practical tips that will help you create lasting
change in any area of your life! 
Latest Parade Magazine Blog Post: 
The Greatest Breakthroughs Happen When You Want to Quit

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's OK to Change Up Your Workout Routine

I talk to a lot of people who think that they’re supposed to stick with the same workout routine. Forever. When people are not flexible with their routine, what usually happens is they end up bored and become inconsistent with exercise or quit all together.

I’m here to remind you that if you get bored with your workout routine, do something else! It’s important to keep your brain interested as well as your body, and you don’t have to stick to the same routine for years. In fact, I’ve changed up my routine a lot in the last year for a few reasons.

I Needed To Box
A couple years ago, I was stuck in a job that wasn’t a great fit. It lacked opportunity for growth or change, and that left me frustrated day-to-day.

At the time I decided to take a boxing class. I can’t even remember why, but I do recall being intimidated because I assumed that boxing was for dudes. Despite the fear, I grabbed my sneakers and thought to myself, “Well, maybe I’ll meet some cool people!”

I went ahead and took the class, and I fell in love with it. Boxing is great because you get a high intensity workout and punching provides stress release, so I had a way to vent all my frustration from work. I kept going back and stuck with it for over a year.

It’s Okay To Transition
As it turned out, I did meet a lot of very cool people! The boxing class supported me as I transitioned out of the job I felt trapped in, and it helped me feel more confident in myself.

It's necessary to change up your exercise routine, especially if you become injured. Although I love boxing, I no longer feel the drive to punch as often. I was also forced to try something new because I was dealing with a neck and back injury due to a car accident. Because Pilates was part of my physical therapy, I’m now more focused on strengthening my small stabilizer muscles and core. Pilates has made a world of difference in my athletic performance and overall strength. I'm a huge fan and highly recommend it.

Sure, I go back to the boxing class every now and then, and I always enjoy it. But I don’t feel the same motivation as I did a year ago. In fact, I feel just as satisfied with Pilates these days as I did with boxing a year ago because it’s the right fit for what I need now.

Examine Your Routine
Take a look at your work out routine. Are you bored? Do you find yourself resisting a class you used to love? It might be time for a change. And you know what? Change is good, and may be an even better fit for what you need now.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
Join me starting June 7th for a group outdoor fitness class that includes plyometrics, strength & core conditioning - your first class is FREE to try. Follow this LINK for more details and to sign up. Please email if you have any issues with MindBody Online.