Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I think i got this ...

Alright. Last week i was posting a lot about how SORE i was feeling. for WAY too long after my workouts, especially legs. SO. I decided i HAD to get a hold on this issue, simply because I was in pain!


Here's what i DIDNT DO:
go to vitamin shoppe and buy every supplement that could help combat muscle soreness
stop working out entirely
suck it up and cry my joints to sleep at night after working out


Okay. you get the point.
I had to re-evaluate. Since my diet was not the culprit here, since my carbohydrate intake wasn't reduced or anything, I had to figure out how to make things better with my training and recovery. I decided that i NEEDED to force myself to do more foam rolling and stretching at HOME as well. So, Instead of doing cardio and weights during pretty much every workout, I switched my routine. I alternate between cardio DAYS and strength DAYS. I started this on Saturday:
Saturday--the track workout i blogged about (heavy cardio)
Sunday--Heavy shoulder workout with some chest incorporated
Monday--40 minutes of intervals on the treadmill, 20 minutes elliptical +ab work
Tuesday--Heavy Leg training
Wednesday--30 minutes stair master, 30 minutes elliptical, *new*killer ab exercise+pushups at the end.


It's been working GREAT. I'm able to really KILL my cardio and do more running because my legs aren't worn out! And who would have thought I'd be able to stomach the STAIR monster the day after a LEG workout?! Well, here's what i changed about post-leg workout. I foam rolled and stretched after my workout. But it didn't stop after I left the gym. Yesterday as the day went on, if my hamstrings and quads were tensing up, I got down and STRETCHED them out! I also did more foam rolling to break up the tension in the muscles. It's amazing what the extra care can do! 
Another plus of this new regimen? My legs are looking REALLY lean! It's the running and leg work coming together! Depending how I feel, I might switch up my routine AGAIN in a week or so to incorporate 20 minutes of HIIT treadmill sprints 3x a week after working out, and do a 4-5 mile run once a week.


It's all about change! Finding out what works best is a continual process, and you need to remain in tune with your body, and remember to SWITCH things up to observe the impact on your body's function and appearance.


One saying that does NOT apply to reaching your fitness goals: "If it ain't broke don't fix it." Well, if you never try to fix it, you might never realize something was broken in the first place, right?


This morning, as i was deep in thought while eating my oats, i thought of a brilliant quote. Yes, i'm owning this quote.


"Dedication will get you much further than desire."


QUOTE ME ON THAT, THANKS!


Here are pics from before my workout this morning:


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Burning up the gym!

Wow. let me just tell all of you have freakin HAPPY i am lately...thanks to this outstanding sunshine!! I'm still managing to eat my oats in the morning...I don't know if i can part ways with them, even though I probably will soon. Today, I headed out to the gym around 11 with carbs and caffeine in my system, juiced up for leg day. I finished about 1/3 of my monster can on the way to the gym. I drive a VW bug convertible, so just driving to the gym with the top down, music blasting, sun on my shoulders , really psyches me up for my workout.




When I got to the gym, I didn't have any plan for my workout, AS USUAL! I just knew I wanted to DEADLIFT .. a lot. So, I warmed up my legs (which were a little tight and sore from my running yesterday,) on the recumbent bike for 10 minutes. That got me pretty sweaty!


Then, BOTH squat racks were taken, So I improvised until someone left. I do so many warmup exercises that I don't really count as "sets" per say. I just do them to get ready to squat and deadlift heavy weight.


Some of my warmups today included:
Good mornings w/40lb barbell
stiff leg deads w/40lb barbell
single leg deads w/35lb kettlebell
plie squats w/35lb kettlebell
reverse lunges holding 35lb kettlebell
sumo deads holding 35 lb kettlebell
overhead squats
super wide stance plie squats
reverse lunges w/10lb plate overhead


After all those fun warmups, BOOM...squat rack available. It wasn't the one I wanted, because you cannot DEADLIFT with a full range of motion inside of it, because there are these dumb bars on the sides which are almost as high as my knees! Most stupid people in the gym use that range of motion for deadlifts...just like the client who was being trained by her trainer before I could use it.  So, I took the barbell OUT of the rack and put it on the floor, where I like to pick it up from. Loading plates onto a bar on the floor is so damn irritating when you're working out alone, especially once fatigue sets in. Sliding 25 and 45 pound plates around is much easier when the bar is elevated. 
Oh well. Put a little extra work into my workout.


Oh, beloved deadlifts. Here's the work:
65lbs 10 reps
85 lbs 10 reps
105 lbs 8 reps x2
125 lbs 8,6,5
then...slid of all the 25lb and 10lb plates i had put on, and switched to the 45lb plates
135lbs 8 reps. WHAT! 
135 didn't feel super heavy today! So, I got excited. I decided to throw in another set to make sure it wasn't just good luck.
135lbs 5 reps. 
Then, I was feeling so good, I thought .. hey, 155?
155lbs failure. I don't know why, I tried to get it off the floor.  I was nervous because my nails are WAY too long and were messing up my grip to begin with. I tried twice, I couldn't do it. SOOO....
145lbs 4 reps, 3 reps


Not too bad!! 
I unloaded the bar, and did some stiff leggeds just because im crazy. Then I decided to do some squats. Didn't get super heavy.
65lbs 12 reps
85 lbs 12 reps
105 lbs 10 reps
125lbs 8 reps, 6 reps


Then I just did 2sets of 10, super slow and controlled ham/glute extensions


I also worked on pull-ups today. Narrow grip and wide grip. I can pretty much do a narrow grip if i give the slightest hop. Wide grip are beastly, and I've been working on negative reps to increase my progress. So I'll kinda hop up to the bar and lower down as slowly as i can. I'm determined!


Post-workout meal:
6oz eggwhites w/spinach
snap peas,2 steamed baby beets


YUM!


What am I doing right now at 5:15pm? Drinking this: 
Venti decaf BLACK iced coffee with sugarfree hazelnut
LOVE MY STARBUCKS! I like to have my decaf coffee in the afternoon because it keeps me from unwanted snacking and eating too much


BONUS:
Here's a pic of my um...rear assets...PROGRESS! Remember operation booty? Well, she's still in full swing, and always will be...but i think I'm getting much better at it :) 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Cookout, anyone?!

While I might not really be doing the whole barbecue thing today, I know most people are. However, I did lay out at the pool with my family today! I see memorial day weekend as the kickoff for the summer season, and is probably the first major bbq of the season. After this, we have LOTS of nice weather to enjoy--which usually means more grilling and festivities! 


Now, Barbecues do NOT by any means need to get in the way of a clean lifestyle! Just because there are potato chips, pretzels, white flour hotdog and hamburger buns, soda, beer, lemonades, etc.. does NOT give you an excuse to eat them! If you're a good guest, chances are...you're bringing something TO the barbecue. Now...you could bring lays, tostitos, and other not-so good choices. OR, you could chop up some celery, buy baby carrots, grape tomatos, snap peas, and assemble a nice crudite, with guac or some fat free/low cal dip.


If you're afraid there won't be much of any healthy items for you to eat, make sure you EAT beforehand. Have a small meal before you go, so that you will NOT be tempted to start snacking on refined carbs and junky desserts.


OR, are you a vegan? Vegetarian? Or just don't like chicken/burgers/dogs? Bring your own homemade veggie burgers, I'm sure the host will have NO issue throwing a few on the grill. Some people might even be interested to try it out! There are tons of recipes for quinoa/blackbean burgers. 99% lean ground turkey is also a good option if you DO eat turkey.


Love the grill. Grilling is an awesome way to cook fresh beef , chicken, fish, even vegetables and fruits!


Now, whenever I go somewhere, I essentially bring my whole meal. I just make enough so that others can eat it too , although they usually have no interest in my superior healthy food.


Some notes for people HOSTING the cookout:


Be considerate of the guests you're having. Don't put dressings on your salads , leave them on the side, so people can choose how much dressing (if any) they want.


Don't use heavy marinades filled with sodium for the meat before you cook it, your guests might not appreciate the added calories and salt.


Make sure to have as many vegetables on the appetizer table as other snacks like chips, popcorn, etc.


If you don't feel like making salad or going out of your way to cater to your guests with dietary preferences, ASK them to bring what they like! People enjoy to have the freedom to show up with a vegan dish for them to eat.


Make sure to have diet sodas, seltzers, and lots of ice cold water.
It is a nice touch to have some iced coffee brewed. Decaf is probably better, since nobody needs caffeine with the energy of a cookout. Have some almond or coconut milk for your non-dairy drinking guests.


And that's my advice on summer cookouts! Hit the grill bitches!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stuck on Shoulders

The titles of my post are USUALLY a pretty good indicator of what the blog is about. 


Today, as usual, it speaks for itself. Today (Sunday) I got to train my favorite bodypart: Shoulders.
For some reason, I just LOVE shoulders--both the training, and the look of nice, sculpted, round, defined shoulders. On men and women, I just think they're SEXY. A real mark of a fit individual.


I've come to a little stale place in my shoulder training. While my weights are increasing with my shoulder strength, and my shoulders are looking really nice, I need some new moves!! How many times can I :


--Dumbbell shoulder Press
--Barbell military press
--Barbell upright row
--Dumbbell upright row
--Cable reverse fly
--Cable rear delt pull
--Lat raise
--Front raise


Somebody, PLEASE, give me some new exercises! Yeah, I can get excited when I up my weights, and I can use drop-sets, and change my reps to spice up my workouts..but I feel like there have gotta be some more exercises out there! If you know any, PLEASE leave a comment or contact me some other way and give me some inspiration.


At the end of my workout today, I tried some "shoulder pushups," along with handstand pushups and regular pushups.


Then, I came home and had this:
eggwhites w/spinach
1 lo-carb "flat out" folding sandwich thing
fresh natural salsa all over it


Random: salsa is the bomb! there are like no calories, just chopped veggies, onions, lime juice, whatever else they put in there. My mouth gets really itchy after I eat it due to the citrus I'm kinda allergic to, but once in a while I can deal with it. I was in the mood today!


Trackstar!

With the weather warming up, I've been loving the sun, and driving around in my bug with the top down. So, needless to say..I did NOT want to do my cardio workout inside on Saturday. It was gorgeous out, so I decided to go out to the track! I've never completed a workout at a track before, and wow...


IT WAS AMAZING!!! 
To warm up, I started walking . About 1/2 a lap in, my endorphins were going and the monster was kicking in and I started running. I had NO set layout for my workout, just went by the feel.


I ran, jogged, sprinted, and walked around the track. I did walking lunges on the turf, Sprints on the turf. I climbed the stadium stairs, sprinted up the stadium stairs. I did planks and pushups. There were almost NO other people there during my workout.


It was at least 80 degrees, and its always hotter on turf.


Here are some stats from my workout:
Fastest 1 lap: 1:52
Fastest 2 laps: 3:58
Fastest run up stairs: 9 seconds


While I wasn't strictly counting laps, I can say that I easily covered more than 3 miles. Likely closer to 4. I did more than 100 walking lunges, and spent at least 10 minutes running the stairs during my workout.


The change of scenery was SO motivating! I definitely plan on doing more workouts at the track.


Workout stats:
55 minutes
556 cals burned


Re-fuel:
1 scoop sunwarrior vegan protein mixed with water
veggie salad: broccoli slaw, bell peppers, 2 slices of apple, grapes for garnish, 2 steamed baby beets


But wait.......
The Aftermath.....


MY LEGS...OUCH!!!! I kind of saw it coming, because I have a tendency to be so "into" my workout, that I refuse to stop. Especially because Friday was a day off, and Thursday was a no-cardio workout...so I was ready to GO when I put on my running sneakers. But hey, nothing wrong with working out too hard sometimes! Better than not working hard enough! So yeah there's my Saturday track workout.


Any experienced track runners reading this? Any fun ideas for my next visit to the track?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

MYnd-power

Every morning, we wake up. Whether you're happy to jump out of bed, or just roll out to shut off your loud and obnoxious alarm, or if it's somewhere neutral between those two feelings, we get up. The way you approach your early morning can impact your entire day. Do you look at yourself in the mirror right after jumping out of bed? Lord knows I TRY to avoid that. Let's just say I don't look my cutest then.


My morning goes like this: 
Wake up, turn off alarm, pee, put on moisturizer, go downstairs, cook breakfast and make coffee simultaneously, eat breakfast, drink coffee, go to the bathroom, get ready for the day. 


In a perfect world (which seems to be the case lately,) That's how EVERY morning happens. I wake up early without fail so that I can use my morning to relax. 


Here comes the blog-relevant part: EVERY morning, after I eat, drink my coffee, go to the bathroom, etc...I do a body check. What? I get undressed, and check out what my body looks like. While it would be just GREAT to wake up with the rock hard physique I DREAM about having, I have finally learned that it isn't going to happen overnight. Just because I go 5 consecutive days without eating too many carbs, too much fat, too much protein, too many yellow foods (you get the point) does NOT mean I will drop these last 10 or so pounds of fat. But guess what! I accept it, enjoy what i DO see in the mirror, and use that as motivation to kick ass in the gym, and go for a 6th day without eating like a wildabeast (not like I ever really do that anyway..lol.) And I really do LOVE the body I have created for myself. I feel strong, but can look very feminine without trying too hard. While some days i HATE the softness, some days I really thank god for my curves. When I look in the mirror, I observe the lines and contours of my body from different angles, take pics to store for later comparison (or share with my blog), and make a mental list of what looks BETTER than previous weeks, and what still needs extra love during my workouts.


Some people might think this behavior is bizarre. Some of you might be reading this like "THANK GOD, IM NOT THE ONLY ONE!" All I will say is don't knock it before you try it. And if you don't like to look at your body and your progress objectively, I guess you aren't really interested in what my blog is about. 


Today, there was a huge bag of OPEN pretzels on my counter. Holy baby giraffe did they call my name. Guess what i did instead? I thought, "Liz, you're still short on protein for today. Those pretzels are garbage. You want to lose bodyfat." And I made myself a little protein cake in the microwave. And I'm SO freaking happy I did. The protein powder and eggwhite will aid in muscle repair and keep my body from going into starvation overnight since I ate that as my last meal, after eating my cabbage and broccoli slaw.


I had SUCH a powerful workout today, and my entire upper back and biceps are RAW,and my hams and glutes are still crippled from TUESDAYS leg workout. The power of the mind is absolutely capable of more than we give it credit for. Why do I continue to MURDER my muscles? Well, my ass is starting to look WONDERFUL from the side, definitely poking out more. No more flat runner butt for this chick.


Today, as I approached my bench, ready to start with dumbbells after tearing up some HEAVY lat pull downs and cable back bicep curls, I told myself "HEAVY. Liz, you want to be LEANER and STRONGER than ever."


Did my bent over unilateral rows with 40 pound dumbbells.
Hit 30pound dumbbells for max bicep curls, and negative reps. 
Used 25s, 22.5s, and a 20lb barbell to completely exhaust my biceps.
I was an absolute MONSTER in the gym today. No cardio, just the way I like it.


Keep a GOAL in mind at all times, and turn on the tunnel vision.


THERE IS NO STOPPING ME!!! 
This is MY summer. Is it yours?!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Training the TRICEPS..

Like most women, I do NOT have gorgeous, sculpted triceps (well, unless I'm sweaty, in the right light, flexing, that is.) 


BUT!!! That doesn't mean I haven't made improvements in one of the TOUGHEST areas to hit. A few months ago, I decided I needed to work my triceps more often, and with more determination to get some substantial definition and get rid of some flab. With that said, I still do not love the appearance of my tri's, nor do I love the training so much, but I will say...it's worth it!! Today, I had to push through 40 minutes of cardio with VERY SORE hamstrings (maybe due to the , oh ..20 sets of deadlifts i did yesterday). Initially, I was going to do cardio for 75 minutes, and go home. Hell, after 35 minutes, I needed to jump off that machine before my legs fell off. So I pushed until 40 minutes, and decided to dedicate my ENTIRE strength time for my triceps.


When training your triceps, its SO important to do exercises that target different heads of the muscle group, and to make sure you actually FEEL the tri's working during the exercise. I train them 2x a week.


Tri cable circuit: 3 sets x 15 reps, lighter weight


Stiff arm pull downs using rope attachment. Focus on the tri's , rather than your lats, here.
Overhead triceps extension using rope
Unilateral triceps push down (no cable attachment, or use a ring)


Tri barbell circuit: 3 sets 15 reps, lighter weight


Skullcrushers w/30lb barbell
narrow grip chest press w/30lb barbell


Tri dumbbell circuit: 3 sets 15 reps


Unilateral overhead triceps extension (7.5/12.5lb dbell)
Triceps overhead extension laying on bench (30lb dbell)
**bonus lat raises for fun just because i'm obsessed with my shoulders**


Oh, and ... i trained with PRINCE today




Triceps tips:
Hit them from different angles


With overhead exercises, keep your shoulders and elbows in place, isolating the triceps muscles. Do NOT let your elbows flare out and put stress on your shoulders


If this is not your strongest muscle group, do not overload the triceps with super heavy weights yet! Focus on correct form and volume (higher reps, more sets) to really exhaust the muscles and "feel the burn"


If doing the infamous "triceps kickback" you should not look like a flailing idiot. Put your hand and knee on a bench, with your chest parallel to the floor, bring your opposite elbow up ABOVE your waist, THEN use the triceps muscle to raise the weight as the elbow straightens. Without good form, the triceps kickback is just a useless exercise that will have you looking like you belong in a thong leotard and neon spandex behind richard simmons in a vintage VHS tape.....no, actually. You'll look like the old woman in the nursing home trying to mimic the girl in the VHS tape.


Okay, if you couldn't guess, the ridiculous triceps kickback attempts i see in the gym are a pet peeve.


One more triceps tip:
Do dips off a bench, with your feet on another elevated surface. Don't let your chest sink, putting stress on the anterior (front) of the shoulder, but keep your chest high, core engaged, and really use the BACK OF YOUR ARMS to dip and raise. Don't let the elbows flare out!


Cheer's to firm triceps!


Happy lifting

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breaking Plateaus !

Alright, everyone eventually gets STUCK, and needs a little extra PUSH to break a plateau--be it weight loss, strength, muscle gain, etc. It takes different influences and different motivations to power people through their plateau, but a little competition never hurt, right? When I saw my mom shoulder press 30 lb dbells with ease, I thought....hm...I've been pushing these 25s for a few weeks, lemme try. 


Guess what? I can push 30s for 5 reps! I was so excited to plan my next shoulder workout to incorporate the heavier weights.


Another exercise I'm really trying to up weights on is... DEADLIFTS. I'm a big fan of volume training when it comes to deadlifting and squatting, doing the exercises with just the bar, and adding a 10lb plate to each side until i hit my max, and usually drop setting until I'm back with just the bar. (And I wonder why my legs are RAW for days after..)


Needless to say , I decided to jump into this week HEAVY. 
SUNDAY was my shoulder workout. (with chest also)
--for my first circuit, I incorporated standing dumbbell presses with 30s. I did 3 sets of 5 reps. Later in my workout, I did standing military presses with the 45 pound bar, and upped my lat raise weights to 12.5lb dbells, and did bent arm lat raises with 15lb dbells.
--more plateau pushing: when i did my favorite cable reverse flies, I did 20 reps for 4 sets, rather than upping the cable stack. I was really feeling the BURN! 



TODAY , I broke through a major deadlift plateau. I started with the 45lb bar, moved up 20lb increments at a time until I was deadlifting 125lbs. I deadlifted 125lbs 6 times, for 2 sets. Then, I unloaded the bar, and put on the 25lb plates instead. I put 2 of those on each side. So, with the bar loaded up for a total of 145 lbs, I was ready to make it happen. I did 1 rep, but didnt like the overhand grip, as it felt a bit weak after doing LOTS of sets. I used an over/under grip, did 2 reps, then switched the over/under, and did 3 reps. My hams and glutes were TORCHED! But hey...thats a total of 5 reps with 145 lbs, a new strength buster!! I was SO HYPE!!! I unloaded the bar, and did 15 reps of SLDLs with the bar, and 15 (already had done 4 sets of 10) extra GOOD MORNINGS.


WOOOO!!!!! I could barely walk, but I felt like superwoman! Don't eff with me and my deadlifts. Finally deadlifting almost 20lbs more than my bodyweight! By the end of the summer, I'm shooting for sets of 165. It might not seem huge, but seeing that I'm doing 2reps at 145, doing SETS with 165 is a pretty good ...AND realistic goal. 


Oh god, I could write for hours now about how I'm changing my workout schedule and "leg day"...but that will come soon! I'll just let you know that Tuesdays are now reserved for hams and glutes, and my quads aren't sacrificed to the squat rack on Tuesdays anymore.


BRING ON THE BARBELLS.


Kill it, lift more weight next workout.


SUMMER IS HERE !!! 

Monday, May 21, 2012

WORK-out

how many of you feel like you're stuck in your workouts? Do you only feel accomplished if you spend nearly 2 hours working out? Well, I used to feel that way. I used to spend nearly 90-120 minutes in the gym EVERY SINGLE DAY.. and i was quite a bit thicker then. Hmm. If I trained at the intensity I train at NOW for 90 minutes I might drop DEAD!


Especially with the weather warming up, its time to make your exercise WORK for you. make your workouts EFFECTIVE. Busting your ass on the stair master for 30 minutes will do WONDERS for you, as opposed to reading a magazine on the elliptical for an hour.


WHY?


WELL, you gotta SPIKE your heart rate!! The more times your heart beats each minute, the more calories you will burn as a result of energy expenditure. With that said, you can't work at such high intensity for incredibly long bouts of time. Even 15 minutes of working at this high intensity can benefit your health and physique.  


Now, you all know I'm no cardio queen. Yes, I do lots of cardio in a relative sense, because I'm trying to stay LEAN while getting more and more muscular. But, muscles don't grow without  HEAVY TRAINING.


When you approach the dumbbells, barbells, cables, and kettlebells, etc... Don't pick up the same weights you've been using for 3 months! Challenge yourself! I like to work in the 6-10 rep range for the majority of my workouts, and complete 3 sets of each exercise, and drop-set every couple of workouts. However, sometimes I work in the 1-5 rep range, and use negative reps to SHOCK my muscles, and psych my mind up to lift HEAVIER weight in the near future. Then, there are times where I will work in the 12-15 rep range to shock my muscles in a different way, but always keep the weight heavy.


**Disclaimer: If you are NEW to weight lifting, there is NOTHING wrong with 3 and 5 pound dumbbells!!! EVERYONE NEEDS TO START SOMEWHERE! BUT...if you've been using 3 and 5 pounders for months, and you can do more than 15 reps...it's time to step up. Try 8s and 10s.**


It has taken me MONTHS to build the strength I have now. Still, I can't complete my bicep curls with 25s for more than 5 reps. I'm ALWAYS working on getting stronger. The more you practice, you closer you will get to the bigger set of weights, and the more your muscles will show. 


Do not WASTE your precious time in the gym. Here's a sample workout guaranteed to kick your butt in less than an hour.


This workout combines running and full body strength training


Format: run a mile, lift, run a mile, lift, run a mile, lift.
The objective is to run a FASTER mile each round, and lift HEAVIER on your lifts each round. NO DELIBERATE RESTING, just time for sips of water or catching your breath! 


1. Run a mile. aim for faster than 9 minutes
--once the mile is complete. don't rest, head to a bench and grab some dumbbells. *If you are strong enough to complete shoulder presses and bicep curls with a 45lb barbell, use a squat rack for your station*
The circuit:
Complete 6-10 reps of each exercise with a warm-up weight, then complete the exercises with appropriate weight.
Deadlift
Shoulder Press
Bicep curl 
Barbell squat
6 jump squats
6 pushups


2. run a mile. aim for faster than 8:45 (or 15 sec faster than your previous)
Complete the circuit again, with heavier weights for each exercise. 6-8 reps 
Follow with 8 jump squats, and 8 pushups 


3. run a mile, aim for faster than 8:30. Sprint at 9.0+ for at least 1 minute of the mile
Complete the circuit for a final round, using HEAVY as possible. 
Aim to complete 6-8 reps per exercise
Finish with 10 jump squats and 10 pushups


You should finish in less than an hour, and be DRIPPING WET ! 


Make your workouts WORK for you and your hot bod!! 


Xoxo

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Super Sore Saturday

I've been an absolute MACHINE since monday, and i think it's starting to wear on me! Its been a week without fruits and sugar, and while I have ZERO craving for it, I really think the anti-inflammatory affect of my usual berries, and potassium from post-workout bananas really help my body to recover. Sure, my training has been SUPER intense this week, but not any more than usual! I'm ALWAYS intense! Since yesterday i did a REALLY tough upper body workout and treacherous treadmill run AND pole dancing, today was cardio time--in hopes of letting my legs "rest" by pedaling away on my favorite machine, the octane. Baby was i wrong. I spent 55 painful minutes on the octane, and finished up with 15 minutes on the treadmill, running, side shuffling, running backwards, and walking. I am determined to get my stride back! 
This soreness is seriously driving me NUTS though! And here's the thing--I'm NOT carb depleted, since I have my oat bran every morning, and get enough carbs from vegetables after my workout and during the rest of the day. As today progressed, I began to lose my appetite completely after 2pm. I just had a spoon of natural peanut butter and scoop of protein for dinner, 4 hours since my last meal of cabbage and 2 eggwhites and 1/2 small avocado...NOT normal for me!! I didn't nearly hit my usual calorie intake range today, so I think tomorrow I'm going to add in extra carbs before and after my workout to rev my engine , which can sometimes help after cutting calories from your daily intake. 
Tomorrow, I might throw a BANANA into the mix. oh baby. but come Monday, back to veggies and lower on the carbs, because it definitely DOES work for me. My back is starting to lean out more also. For the record, its kinda (Really FREAKIN) hard to get a decent picture of your own back muscles, but here's what i got:
I have a NUMBER of things to thank for this beautiful V-TAPER I'm getting:
--HEAVY shoulder workouts
--DEADLIFTS (total body, great for the back as well as hams and glutes)
--SQUATS (again, total body..that LINE down the back)
--and most importantly, TORCHING my back muscles with things like THIS--lat pull downs, db lat raises, cable lat raises, seated rows, reverse flys, bent over unilateral rows (using 40lb dbells these days..), and POLE DANCING is a sick back workout


So. Tomorrow, my goal is to get WAY more carbs in (hello HUGE serving of oat bran !!) but to not eat CRAPPY carbs. still keeping it really clean. Less protein and fat, but way more carbs. The real challenge will be to get right back on track come Monday. I'm SO motivated to get as lean as possible though, so I think I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to!! 


You want something?
Wanna see your back muscles popping out of your sports bra, instead of fat hanging over?
YOU CAN DO IT. 
It's not easy, but it can sure as hell be FUN if you like a CHALLENGE!! 


Kick ass this weekend!!!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hit the ground RUNNING..TGIF!



Alright, operation runner Liz is getting back in action. To think that I ran 6 miles on Easter in roughly 50 minutes...makes today's goal seem laughable. I wanted to do a 3 mile run today. No time limit, just 3 miles, no sprints and intervals..just running. Holy crap was this a humbling experience. My favoring of interval training has caused my ability to just run to completely vanish. Just because i can handle sprints the speed of rush hour traffic clearly doesn't mean I can still run like I used to. 
3 miles was absolutely painful. My legs felt heavy after running for 3 minutes at a time. I had to spend a total of 5 minutes throughout the 3 miler walking, and varied my speed between 6.0 and 9.0. I wanted to jump off that damn treadmill and just STOP it! But, you know me--I didn't! 
Stats: 3 miles
27:20 (I don't think I've run that SLOW in YEARS...)


I stayed on the treadmill walking at 4.0 until i hit 30 minutes.
Then I did 35 minutes of circuit training, changed up my weights and reps -- using lighter and more reps just to pump up my muscles and burn.
Total workout stats:
1:05
508 calories


Not bad! I go to WORK in the gym!
Its all about the outfit, I swear. Like, before I went to the gym, I started putting on my lululemon pants...then i was like nope, i need shorts, i gotta breathe when i'm running. I'm still doing really well with my diet this week. No fruit, no problem!


8am Breakfast: 1/3c oatbran, 1/2c wheatbran, 6 oz eggwhites, chia seeds
11am workout
12:45pm post workout
6 oz eggwhites w/spinach
2 bags sugar snap peas *there's my big carbs for the day!*
1pm laying in the backyard..sippin ICE water for an hour..
Now its 4pm and I'm drinking decaf iced coffee... planning to eat at 5ish before I head to the city for pole dancing (that meal will be 4oz sprouted tofu, 12oz cabbage, miracle noodles, 6oz broccoli slaw, flax seeds)
At 7:30 I'll pole, and when I get home around 10 I'll have my little protein cake (1 scoop chocolate protein, 1tb natural peanut butter, splash eggwhite and water, microwaved)

Let's have a sick weekend, with clean food and good workouts!! And...ENJOY THIS AMAZING WEATHER! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

CAKE

this post is titled cake because well, i just ate some "cake" as my afternoon snack.


Body by liz cake:
1 scoop protein powder (i used chocolate)
1 tb cocoa powder
splash of water
splash liquid eggwhites
----microwave 2 minutes
Approx 160 cals, 27g protein, 2g carbs... yup.


I used today as a rest day, none of my muscles felt ready to be worked, and my legs hate me at the moment. This just means I'll be ready to kill it in the gym ALL weekend! I had to do some major organizing and moving boxes and clothes around today. I worked up a serious sweat too since my house was hot!


Here's what my day was like:
8am usual oats with 1/4scoop protein powder and 3oz eggwhites (smaller portion oat bran since i'm not working out)
11:30 2tb natural peanut butter, 12oz cabbage, 1cup snap peas 
3:30 6oz eggwhites, spinach, 1 bell pepper, fresh avocado spread on, 2 cups snap peas




6: CAKE
Dinner agenda is more cabbage, broccoli slaw, and 4oz tofu with whole flaxseeds


*i brewed some strong iced coffee too, which i sipped on like ALL day with stevia*


Oh, by the way... Summer is like, HERE. 
Get your summer bod rockin' with me.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Push through it!

Happy wednesday, hump day, awkward middle of the week day. I woke up feeling hungry and LEAN this morning. gotta love it.. It's my 4th day without ANY fruits (any type of sugar is coming from veggies), and i must say...i do NOT miss them. Shocker, but I'm not even tempted to go for apples, bananas, berries, NOTHING! This morning, I had my usual oat bran, wheat bran, chia seeds. but then came my debacle. did i want protein powder? or eggwhites? AGH, i wanted BOTH ! SO..i added 1/3cup liquid eggwhites and like 1/4 scoop chocolate protein to my oats. problem solved. Then, mom and I headed to the gym at 9:15. An hour of cardio was on my agenda.
I spent 55 minutes on the octane, and 10 minutes foam rolling and stretching. Burned 472 cals. My legs are ridiculously sore from my leg training yesterday (and the previous 2 days, where i decided to RUN on the stair monster, and reacquaint myself with the treadmill...)
ANYWAY.. i rushed home , had THIS:
3/4c peas, 1 bell pepper, 6oz eggwhites with spinach



Then, I went to the city for pole dancing class.
(Pole post complete with pics coming as soon as said pics are taken..lol)
clean eating and reading! chomp..
Pole was great. I felt strong, and all of my toughest tricks were really smooth today, despite my lack of poling lately. After pole, i was gonna take the 3:10 train home,and i was SO hungry since the last time i ate was 11:30. i grabbed snap peas, celery, and an oxygen mag before the train ride. YES, it is possible to find HEALTHY snacks when you're out, commuting, etc!
When I got home, i needed some serious protein:
4pm--5 oz no sodium tuna 
1 tsp light mayo
1 bell pepper
1 stalk celery


That hit the spot, and i ran to the grocery store, and dropped my sister at field hockey practice.
6pm--STARVING.. 1 scoop protein powder, 1tb natural peanut butter, 1tsp cocoa powder, mixed and microwaved for 90 seconds. YUM...like gooey cake.
Now it's 8:45 and I'm ready for my cabbage and miracle noodles dinner! I love being back on track and eating super clean, and feeling GREAT about it!


Tomorrow will be a great day! I can't decide if I should rest my sore muscles or train through. Time will tell.


XOXO!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

MAKE IT RAIN!!

If you don't already know---i HATE rain. Like seriously. Give me 110ยบ heat instead of rain any day!! With that said, it was great to eat breakfast, drink hot coffee, watch tv, and do NOTHING all morning. Just amped myself up for the time I'd be spending in the gym later. Tuesdays, without fail, are LEG DAYS. That means squats, lunges, booty work.
Here's what my day looked like:
8 am: breakfast
1/3c oat bran
1/3c wheat bran
3 eggwhites
1tbsp chia seeds



11:15: pre-workout
5 eggwhites 
spinach
sliced bell pepper
snap peas
2 spoons fresh avacodo


1pm: workout


3pm: post-workout
8oz shredded green cabbage
handful pea shoots
snap peas
scoop chocolate protein mixed with water, microwaved for 1min. (yes, tasty!)


4:30 OMG HUNGRY before running errands
1 bell pepper covered in a few spoons from fresh avocado


5:45 awkward dinner number 1
3 eggwhites
spinach
2 stalks celery
snap peas


I'll eat real dinner between 8-9 pm..judging by how hungry i am right now, closer to 8
5oz sprouted tofu
12 oz shredded cabbage
6 oz broccoli/cauliflower mix
1 package 0 calorie miracle noodles
whole flaxseeds


Talk about clean eating huh! Day number 2 of strictly veggies for carbs. My issue with today was lack of protein variety. I should have a can of tuna or something to break from all the freakin eggwhites. Sometimes its tough without eating any type of chicken, turkey,dairy, meat, or fish!
My body responds immediately when I eat really clean. Check out this morning:
When I take pictures like this it motivates me to keep eating super clean! My obliques will start to show more, and the vein at the bottom will peek out in pictures. I'll get there soon! I'm busting my ASS in the gym, and goin hard with my damn veggies! I don't care what anyone else says: 150g of carbs from cabbage, peppers, spinach, and peas, does NOT affect your body like 150g carbs from cereal, fruits, rice, crackers, etc...even if they're all whole grain! The best part about switching to veggies is that I can eat a TON which helps my appetite...which can be BIG.




So here's my leg crushing workout *not exact, because I do things on the fly and until I feel enough burn to move onto the next exercise. But I'll list the majors.


Warm-up with 30 reps of stiff legged deadlifts with 45lb bar 


Good mornings with 45lb barbell: 3x10 reps
Deadlifts: 45/65/85/115/125/135 : 10/10/10/10/8X2/3x3
--after all sets complete, remove all plates and do stiff legged deads with 45lb barbell to failure
**in between deadlift sets, i did plank walks 20 secs on, 10 secs off, for 2 minutes**


Squats: Barbell Squat, Sissy Squat, Sumo Squat
Warmup: Sumo squats no weight 20 reps, 30 sissy squats, squeeze glutes at top
Sumo squat w/55lb dumbbell 2x15 reps
Barbell Squat: 45/65/65/85/105/115 : 10/10/10/10/8/8
Calf raises w/45lb barbell 6x10reps


Cables
Stiff legged kickback 2x10 reps
inner thigh cable 2x10 reps
lateral cable kick 2x15 reps


Hyperextensions w/glute squeeze 5x12 reps (lower back and upper butt)


Cardio: 12 mins on Octane
Plyos 10 mins: 20 secs on, 10 secs off
Burpees 
Box jumps (using progressive box height)
Jump squats


I went until i couldn't feel my legs anymore! OUCH!!! 


Workout stats:
Time-- 1:22
Cals-- 477 (41% from fat)


SUCCESS!! 
Operation bikini booty in full effect!


Tomorrow, cardio session and pole dancing on the workout menu! How are YOU whipping your booty into summer shape?! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Back to the treadmill..

For the past 4-6 weeks, I've slowly distanced myself form those long , drawn out sessions on the treadmill, where I would run anywhere from 4-6.5 miles. I've been spending more time using other cardio machines, lifting more, and sprinting when I use the treadmill--usually spending 20-30 minutes on it per session. 
I love kicking my ass and the intensity of doing sprints after a tough lift. BUT, I DON'T WANT TO FORGET HOW TO RUN! I know, this might sound dumb, but you'd be surprised. I decided I'm going to keep one running workout in my schedule every week. Like today: Biceps/Triceps/Running. I used a circuit-style for today's workout, with 10 minute treadmill rounds, keeping my speed between 6.5-8.0, no walking allowed.


Monday Workout:


Treadmill round 1:
Run for 10 minutes. Speed between 6.0-7.5mph. Walk @ 4.0 from 10-11min
Distance covered: 1.12 miles


Strength round 1: Cables for Bis/Tris -- 3 sets, 10 reps
Unilateral Back bicep curl 
Bicep curl with rope
Overhead tricep extension
Stiff arm pull down


Treadmill round 2:
Run for 10 minutes. Speed between 6.5-8.0. Walk @4.0 from 10-11 min
Distance covered: 1.22 miles


Strength round 2: 3 sets + drop sets and negatives
Barbell bicep curl 40lbs 
One arm bicep curl 25lbs *did mainly negative reps here*
Tricep kickbacks 15lb dbells
Skullcrushers 40lb barbell
Leg raises off bench


Treadmill round 3:
Run for 10 minutes. .min 1-5 between 6.5-8.0. min 5-10 alternate btwn sprint and recover (9.0/4.0)
min 10-11 walk 3.0
Distance covered: 1.13 miles


Strength round 3:
Swiss ball pike/plank
Swiss ball crunch to pushup
Swiss ball pushup
Tricep pushups





Did some streching and foam rolled. Holy crap!! Sick workout. Just what I needed, especially because my diet fell off the wagon yesterday--unintentionally i swear. i was starving and all there was to eat was stupid crackers because the beautiful salad got doused in olive oil and lemon. ew. *note: olive oil and lemon is a very healthy dressing alternative as long as you measure it, but i HATE HATE HATE any type of oil or dressing*


Then, I hit this for post-workout: (1:30pm)
1 bag shredded cabbage cole slaw w/carrots
1 cup peas
5 eggwhites w//handful spinach


4:30pm--afternoon snack
bag snap peas
small chopped red pepper
1 scoop chocolate protein mixed with water. pudding!


dinner agenda:
1 bag shredded cabbage
1 chopped bell pepper
1/2 bag broccoli and cauliflower
4oz sprouted tofu


You're like: what the hell is with the cabbage? put it this way: a pound of cabbage has 100 calories, and VERY little carbs due to the high fiber content. its ridiculously filling, and is a great source of vitamin C as well! I'm trying to drop some pounds in the next two weeks, so cabbage is my friend!! I'm quite lucky to LIKE cabbage though. Don't force yourself to eat things you don't like!


I feel so much BETTER when I'm 100% confident in my workouts and diet. Here's to living the clean life!! 


Who's gonna stay on track with me!?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ITS BRITTANY....!!!


So, for a number of reasons I have a GUEST blogger writing in place of me for today's post. I came across her blog via twitter, and it warmed my heart for a number of reasons. MISS FIT BRITT (her adorable blog name) is only 15, and totally taking control of her health and well-being. She LIFTS and appreciates the benefits of eating whole, clean foods. At age 15, I thought I was ahead of the curve eating my protein bars and eating caesar salads. Could have been worse, right? Anyhow, I know some of my readers are still in high school, and others maybe have younger siblings. It's NEVER too young to understand the difference between grilled chicken and mcnuggets, between oatmeal and froot loops! My sisters are 12 and 14, and I have introduced  them to some pretty great healthy meals and tricks. I trust Brittany here to do that on a widespread level because her FRIENDS are her audience and support system ! Fitness and nutrition come with varying levels of intensity and dedication--but it's never too early to start taking care of your body. Remember, we only have one! Without further adieu:

Hello Liz's awesome readers! :)

I'm Brittany and I blog over at missfitbritt.blogspot.com. I'm actually just about to turn 16, so I'm a bit younger than most bloggers out there, but if there's one thing Liz and I have in common it's fitness!

I have a passion for fitness, especially weightlifting. There's nothing that makes me happier than getting to the gym and throwing around some heavy weight. And I love my HIIT sessions as well! I am NOT a cardio person like most girls my age. I can't go for an hour on the elliptical and not be bored. That's why weights / HIIT and I are inseparable.

When I mention to other teens that I like to lift heavy, you can imagine the strange looks I receive. It used to bother me but now I could honestly care less! While everyone is buying greasy pizza and curly fries in the cafeteria, I've got my Tupperware containers of grilled chicken, a sweet potato and veggies. I like to FUEL my body with healthy foods, not slow them down with crap. 

And dear teenage girls (well all girls really), lifting heavy will NOT make you look like the Hulk on steroids. Women don't have the testosterone that men have to get that big. Those women who look manly inject themselves with steroids and testosterone to get that way; they can't do it naturally. So put down the frilly pink 2 lb. 'toning' dumbbells and pick up a 20 lb. dumbbell. Cardio alone will NOT shape your body. It makes you what is known as 'skinny fat' A.K.A. being thin but with no muscle.

To me, muscle is sexy and strong. I eat a lot, I train hard, and no, I do not check my weight. I can be a bit heavier than other girls my age but only because I probably have more muscle than them. I have a goal of competing in a figure competition one day and I also want to become a personal trainer. Fitness is in my blood! Sure, I may seem crazy to some people, but I like knowing that I am not like most people my age. How many girls that are 16 do you know that bust their butt 5 days a week lifting at the gym? I know none. And that's fine with me. I don't fit the 'mold' and I certainly don't mind.

For some people, drawing or cooking is a passion. For me, it's lifting weights. And I can't recommend it enough. Muscle shouldn't be viewed as 'manly.' It should be viewed as sexy, because it is!

Take it from Liz as well, as from being an avid reader of her blog I know that this girl can hold her ground in the weight room. Even when you're 16, remember: Eat clean. Train dirty. You're never too young or old to be healthy. :)

P.S. A huge thank you to Liz for this opportunity!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Best day of my LIFE!!!


TREY SONGZ FOLLOWED ME ON TWITTER TODAY, AND DIRECT MESSAGED ME. ANYONE WHO KNOWS ME WOULD UNDERSTAND THAT THIS WAS THE GREATEST GIFT I COULD EVER WISH FOR ON A RAINY WEDNESDAY!!! 
Yes.... he is the sexiest man alive, in my opinion. I SWEAR this is workout related. I workout to TREY every single day!! My love for him and his voice makes it impossible for me to feel unmotivated or lazy if i have him in my earbuds at the gym. Also, since we're getting married, I always feel extra motivated to look really good for our wedding day. duh. 


ANNNYYWAYYY..... that happened around 4pm, and I hadn't done my workout yet. I could not WAIT to get my butt to the gym to kick my own ass, despite the fact I couldn't walk straight thanks to my ridiculous leg workout yesterday.


I had a pretty amazing diet and exercise day, so here it is:


9am: 1/3c oat bran
1/2c wheat bran
1tb chia seeds
1tb flax seeds
4 eggwhites w/stevia and cinnamon


1pm: 1 scoop protein powder
1tb cocoa powder
2tsp chia seeds
3tb frozen blueberries
1/4c unsweetened chocolate almond milk, water


3pm: 1 bell pepper , 1/2 small avocado


5:30pm pre-workout
6 eggwhites
spinach
12oz snap peas


6:30-7:45 workout burned 668 cals!!! 


8:30 FEAST:
12oz shredded green cabbage
6oz cauliflower
4oz broccoli slaw
1 bell pepper
1 package miracle rice
4oz tofu
1tb flax seeds


YUMMMMMMM




THE WORKOUT: (I got funky with my tank for the gym today!)


Stair MONSTER round 1: 10 minutes
level 6 for 1 minute
level 10 for one minute
level 7 for 1 minute
sprint level 12-14 1 minute
*repeat the level 7/sprint interval until 10 mins*


Shoulder and ab circuit: 4 sets
Standing DB shoulder press 25lbs, 8 reps
Reverse fly 12.5lbs, 8 reps
unilateral raise 12.5lbs, 8 reps
hanging leg raises (12reps)


Stair MONSTER round 2:
level 7 for 1 minute
level 13 for 1 minute
repeat until 10 minutes


Shoulder circuit: 3 sets
Cable reverse fly 10 reps
Cable upright row 10 reps
Seated high row 12 reps


Stair monster round 3:
level 7 for 1 minute
level 15 sprint, decrease every 10 secs for the minute
level 7 for 1 minute


Hop on the OCTANE for 30 minutes


Time- 1:10 
Cals- 668
HR- between 131 and 182  


I was DRIPPING!!! 
this is a cardio MONSTER workout. 
I blogged, and am about to watch Law and Order SVU.
Truly, THE GREATEST DAY EVER.!!!!!