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Things to keep in mind…

21 Apr

Once you’ve established a goal- of any kind- your job is to STICK to it, no matter what.  At the start, the goal (as well as the process getting there) always seems new, sexy, and exciting.  However, after things stop being easy, and you are forced outside your comfort zone, many people start to second guess whether or not the goal is worth it.  When it STOPS being easy & it starts being WORK; that’s when results happen; that’s when transformation begins; that’s when faith, patience, trust & commitment are tested.

So read these wise words over and over…. at the start, when it gets a little tougher & most importantly- when you don’t think you can go on any longer.  Read these words and push through!!

 

inspiration

MONSTER Monday, Music, & Makeover

13 Dec

Howdy Everyone!  I have 3 topics I’d like to cover today!

exercise music

***1)*** First things first… I had a fabulous MONSTER Monday workout yesterday!  It was a solo workout but what I lacked in motivation from my workout pal, I made up for in some kick-ass tunes!!! (more about this below)  My workout consisted of the following:

Dynamic warmup & 20 mins on ARC trainer to start

– 20 box jumps

– 55lb overhead barbell carry

– Reverse lunges on Airex pad carrying 25lbs  x12/leg

– Bent over rows using 25lb plates  x10

– Single arm chest press using 25lb DB  x10/side

– Rotational chops w/tubing  x10/side

I originally was going for 5 rounds, but decided to give it a little extra push and did 6 rounds.  All in all, it took me a little over an hour.  My heart rate monitor clocked me burning around 1,000 calories.  I use that as a ballpark estimate [it’s never 100% accurate], but regardless of what it said I KNOW I got a kick-ass workout!  It felt great to start the week off on a positive note!!

 

 

exercise motivation

***2)*** As I mentioned above, I had a FABULOUS music selection for my workout yesterday.  And it absolutely made all the difference.  I got the new Mary J Blige “My Life II… The Journey Continues (Act 1)” CD and there are some songs with GREAT beats.  My favorite 2 tracks are Feel Inside feat. NAS & a remake of an oldie but goodie, Ain’t Nobody.  I put the CD on in the car on my way to the gym, and with each beat of the bass I got more and more pumped up.  It reminded me just how important good music is when I work out. 

When your energy is lacking & you just don’t feel like truckin’ it to the gym to work out, put on your favorite jam and let the music move you!  It is always just a bit easier to work out when you’ve got a good soundtrack.  You will push yourself to work faster, harder & stronger.  So if you’ve been working with the same ol’ stale playlist, go download some new tunes and SWEAT!!!!

 

***3)***  I have developed a new initiative for Lucky13’ers called “Monday Makeover”.  This is not a makeover in the traditional sense, but a “Makeover” of one small & achievable goal toward being the BEST version of you!  The Monday Makeover goal can be on any topic: fitness, nutrition, health, finances, friendships, etc. 

 I have always considered Monday to be the beginning of a fresh start and clean slate.  It is a new opportunity for improvement and reaching goals.  Last week I decided to start my week with a small yet important goal.  Beginning on Monday, I aimed to get to bed earlier and sleep for 7.5-8hrs per night.  It took a lot of planning, but I did it!  This week, I incorporated a new goal: drink 1 gallon of water each day.  So far, so good.  Next week, it’ll be something else small yet achievable.  Each week building upon the previous week.  At the end of a month, I’ll have made 4 positive, healthy changes.  Over time, this can add up to some serious transformation!  The key is to keep the goals achievable & sustainable [refer to SMART goals picture above].

I encourage each of you to bring positive and healthy change to your lives by starting Monday Makeover!  Start thinking of goals of your own, and prepare yourself.  And when next Monday comes, BRING IT!!!   Share your goal with a friend, workout pal, or on the Lucky13Fitness Facebook page.  Having the support of others will encourage you even more & hold you accountable!

 

Mediocre MONSTER Monday

29 Nov

I’m back!! It sure has been a while, huh?  I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus due to my recent vacation to Las Vegas [AWESOME trip…I had a fantastic time] & the long Thanksgiving weekend.  Truth be told, blogging wasn’t the only thing from which I took a week-long break; I didn’t do any formal “in the gym” exercise AND I deviated from my normal clean, natural, organic food intake.  Basically, aside from one yoga class at the Bellagio & lots of walking in Vegas, I took a complete “vacation” from my normal way of living.  It was…..interesting.

The first day I found it very difficult to break away from my normal eating habits and workout routine.  My body craved salad, grilled chicken, water, and a challenging workout.  But after a day or two, I was alright with having a less-than-ideal meal, a few cocktails, and a 2 mile walk workout.  Throughout my vacation and long Thanksgiving weekend, I was well aware that I was taking an extended leave of absence from my normal daily routine; in fact, I can not recall the last time I went more than a few days without exercise.  I was glad that I took a few days to relax and let myself indulge and enjoy while on vacation, but having that directly segue into Thanksgiving was a little excessive.  By Sunday evening, my body was begging for exercise.  I was SOOOO excited to get back into my routine & kick it off with a MONSTER Monday workout. 

I knew my workout pal wasn’t going to be able to make it, but I thought I’d power through and do one of our Crossfit Inspired crazy workouts.  I don’t know what planet I thought I was from, because I half expected myself to be performing with the same level of intensity as before my vacation.  Boy was I WRONG!!!!  Here’s what I mapped out for myself

5 Deadlift/Pushup combo (95lbs)

5 Pullups

20 Box Jumps

25 BOSU Ball crunchs

10 Burpees

5 rounds for time.

The first round was okay but I started to feel fatigued pretty quickly after that.  I definitely didn’t have the endurance I had before my vacation.  I powered through as best I could, recording an unimpressive 38min 17sec time.   I attribute this mostly to my lack of exercise and less-than-ideal eating habits, but also to the fact that I did this MONSTER Monday workout alone.  Having a workout pal there next to me, cheering me on & toughing it out right alongside me TOTALLY helps.  I sure as hell missed her on Monday!  When I was done with my circuit I finished up the workout with 30 minutes of hill intervals on the ARC trainer.  I managed to get in a good sweat & a mediocre workout; I was just happy to be back in the swing of things!

If nothing else, this Mediocre MONSTER Monday workout reminded me that while a few days off & a little indulgence every once in a while is much-needed, too much is just that- TOO MUCH.  Next time, I’ll definitely be incorporating more activity into my vacation and will plan it so that it does not come immediately before or after a major holiday.

How about you? Did you deviate from the norm this Thanksgiving? Did you get back on track??

the moral of this MONSTER Monday mishap

16 Nov

Yesterday’s MONSTER Monday workout started off much like any other.  My lifting pal and I decided to take advantage of the lovely weather and do our workout in the park.  We did a bit of TRX, some body weight training, tossed a football and included some hill sprints; it was all so far, so good.  Next, my lifting pal suggested, we would run up the stairs and at the landing do a lateral shuffle and chest pass back and forth with a soccer ball, then continue running up the stairs to the top.  Same story on the way down.  Going to the top was just grand, however on the way back down I managed to step into a deep sinkhole as I caught the ball on the last chest pass.  As is the case with most falls/injuries, I could see it happening all in slow motion and the thought going through my head was “Oh S***!!! I am going to smash my face into these stairs!!!”  Without even thinking about what to do, my body automatically reacted; I let the ball go and somehow managed to put my arms out to catch my fall, my face landing a mere 3 inches away from the cold concrete steps.  It was SCARY.

monster monday mishap

Ok Here’s a glimpse at the damage.  [I opted to include a link to another post, rather than just put a big ol’ picture of my bloody leg up here, just in case anyone gets queasy easily! 🙂 ]

After checking to make sure I was okay, my lifting pal (and I) burst into a roar of laughter.  Together we sat on the stairs for well over a few minutes laughing like a couple of hyenas.  She gave me her best reenactment of what she saw in slow motion, and I recounted mine.  We both could not believe that in the split second of my misstep, I managed to catch myself from totally falling and getting VERY hurt.

Here’s where the moral of MONSTER Monday comes in….We decided that it was thanks to lots of functional training that I was able to do so.

[Functional Training, in one description, is “Multi-joint, multi-planar, proprioceptively-enriched activity that involves deceleration (force reduction), acceleration (force production) and stabilization; controlled amounts of instability; and management of gravity, ground reaction forces and momentum.”  

In plain English, “Functional training involves movements that are specific — in terms of mechanics, coordination and/or energetics — to one’s activities of daily living (ADLs).]  **source**

I have read myriad articles outlining and explaining in detail the many benefits of functional training.  I have heard well-known and respected fitness professionals advocate for this modality of training over others because of its benefits in everyday life.  I, myself, have explained to clients how and why functional training is superior to many other modalities.  Training in planes of motion & training the body to work in a cohesive manner through movement patterns simulates real life actions.  In other words, training the upper body, lower body, and core to work in unison while IN the gym will automatically improve mobility outside the gym, doing everyday things.  In addition, working in this fashion is more efficient and effective in terms of reaching fitness goals.  Conversely, training a single muscle in isolation while the rest of the body is immobilized is not realistic in nature [think using a bicep curl or leg extension machine].  It is also a much less efficient way of working out, given the goals of most individuals.  Some people buy my explanation, and others don’t.  Bottom line, without functional training, I probably would’ve ended up with a broken nose, some missing teeth, or worse.  I was quite happy to walk away from the “scene of the crime” on my own two feet with a few cuts and scrapes.

I now have a new (and favorite, #1) reason in support of functional training: IT LITERALLY SAVES FACE!

Photo of the MONSTER Monday mishap!!

16 Nov

Here’s how my leg looked post clean-up!  A mere fraction of the damage that COULD’VE happened!!!

i love my MONSTER Mondays

8 Nov

It’s no secret that  Monday is the most dreaded day of the week.  It’s the start of another grinding work week for most people, and has even been given a slogan- “case of the Mondays”- that sums up the dreaded feeling of all that the day brings.  The day starts waaaay too early with an alarm ringing at an ungodly hour, and seems to go on forever until work finally ends and the rest of life has to be dealt with.  Cooking dinner, cleaning the house, picking up kids from school/sports practice, catching up with family/friends, starting to shop for holiday gifts, running errands; you name it, it’s all there waiting for us on Monday.  For most people, Monday is a day that looks best when it’s over.

Up until recently, Monday was not high on the list of things I look forward to.  But this all changed when I started my MONSTER Monday Workout Challenges.  MONSTER Mondays started when my lifting pal sent me the plan for one of our lifting sessions, which happen to be on Monday mornings.  It was a workout developed by Crossfit, and after taking one look at the plan I decided that the workout was going to be a MONSTER.  I blogged about it both before and after and the MONSTER Monday name stuck.  It was an absolutely intense sweatfest that wouldn’t have been possible without the support and motivation of a lifting buddy.  We both loved the workout so much that we couldn’t wait to do something similar again.  We have transformed our Monday morning lifting sessions into intense sweatfest challenges that push each of us to work harder and faster each time.

After a few weeks of MONSTER Monday workouts, I found myself actually looking forward to Monday mornings.  I know, I know, this sounds ridiculous- who actually gets excited for Monday?!  And that’s precisely my point: planting what is undoubtedly my hardest and BEST workout of the week smack in the middle of Monday mornings changed my outlook completely.  Now, instead of dreading the start to the week and the drag of the day, I get really excited to lift with a friend, give 150%, work HARD, get really sweaty, and end the session with a sense of earned pride. 

MONSTER Mondays have become more than just another workout.  They give a jumpstart to my entire week & remind me that if I can handle deadlifting 135lbs for 25 reps or walking up and down 2 flights of stairs x10 carrying 100lbs in extra weight, I can handle ANYTHING.  I have noticed an extra boost in my motivation to continue exercising hard for the rest of the week, as well as complimenting my efforts in the gym with healthy food choices.  My mood is at its best when I’m walking out the door after having completed another great challenge, proving to myself that anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I challenge you to try to bring something similar into your Monday (or any day that is particularly difficult for you).  Instead of dreading a part of each week that you KNOW you can’t bypass, bring a new positive energy to it and drown out the dread!  Transform the worst part of your week into the most anticipated by adding in something that makes you shine.  When the worst becomes better, the good becomes great!!! 

MONSTER Monday Workout Challenge: my results

20 Sep

Yesterday I posted a blog post outlining a workout that I did with a personal trainer friend of mine.  We lift together once a week and this week she brought me a workout called the “Filthy Fifty” which I later found out was created by Crossfit Boston!  IT. WAS. A. BEAST.

The one word we kept repeating during the workout: humbling. This workout was absolutely humbling to two people who consider themselves to be fit!  We managed to give a smack down to every muscle group in approximately 18 hardcore minutes of working out.  We did slightly deviate from the exact way Crossfit executes the workout.  In true Crossfit format, one person performs all exercises in succession w/o stopping while their partner times them; we took turns on each exercise and timed each other.  We also subbed out jumping pull-ups with body weight rows, skipped Burpees, and did box jumps w/step down.  These things were all done to accommodate my ankle which I’m dutifully nursing back to health for my half marathon.  Even with our substitutions and modifications, the workout was NO JOKE.  We were exhausted at the end, and at the same time we felt GREAT.  It was such a great sense of accomplishment!

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!!!