Why I’m Over the Skinny Arm

The “skinny arm”. Confused by what I mean? It’s basically the arm most girls are trying to achieve when they do the hand on the hip pose in pictures.

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We do it because it’s more flattering than the arm straight down against your side because-God forbid- that could show off arm dimples or make your arm look larger than it really is. Instead, we pose so that our arm looks as skinny/toned as possible, right?! And, notice how I’m saying “we” here? It’s because I’m often guilty of this same thing, although recently I’ve been trying to do less of the skinny arm pose.

Why, you ask? Because it’s not worth it. And because I’m over it.

I don’t want a skinny arm- whether just by how I can make it look in a photo or just how it looks in real life- I don’t want it. Rather, I want a STRONG looking arm. I want arms that look like I can lift heavy things. Arms that look like I can do pull-ups and push-ups. Arms that look like I’m doing work in the gym. Strong, fit, muscular arms. Those are the arms that I want…#becauseMUSCLES (as Neghar Fonooni would say)

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Wednesday Workout: 3-2-1 Strength, Cardio, Core Workout

I’ve always been a fan of the 3-2-1 style workout. Whether it be 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, 1 minute of core or 3 minutes of cardio, 2 minutes of strength, 1 minute of core (like this workout)- or even just 3 strength exercises, 2 cardio moves and 1 core move, I think it’s a great format that will leave you feeling like you’ve had a total body workout.

In the case of today’s workout, I went with the 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio and 1 minute of core format. I tried to build off of the strength moves, especially with the leg sets. What I mean by that, is that I tried to do each minute of the strength set based off of the same move. Example: lunges- right leg, lunges- left leg, alternating lunges with a twist. I wanted a chance to make the muscles burn, but didn’t want to do 3 minutes of the same move because, well, that’s boring to me.

3-2-1 Strength, Cardio Core WorkoutSorry, this isn’t my prettiest workout graphic, but I was having trouble figuring out how to organize the exercises and excel was the easiest way 🙂

Most of the moves should be fairly self-explanatory, but here are a few that might need explaining:

  • Row to curl- I learned this from my friend Tim. It’s best to use a barbell here- perform an underhand grip row and when you’re in the contracted position (bar is up against your rib cage, elbows are back and reaching towards the ceiling), perform a curl, then extend to the contracted row position and back to the starting position. Repeat. It’s a small movement, but man it’s effective!
  • Bench jacks- straddle the bench and jump your feet on and off
  • Plank hold w/weight pass right left- in a high plank position, put a weight outside of your right hand then take your right hand, grab the weight and move it to the center. Then, take your left hand and grab the weight and move it to outside of your left hand (if it was on the ground). Repeat. The key here is to keep your hips down and weight spread evenly. The only thing moving should be your arms/hands.

Let me know if you have further questions- I’m always happy to explain things in more detail!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite workout format? Do you use the 3-2-1 format often?

Also! I wanted to let you know about a really great workout that The Ultimate Bootcamp is hosting this Saturday from 9-10am. It’s $25, but all of the proceeds go towards The One Fund. Here are additional details, as well as a link for you to sign up if you’re around!

Ultimate Bootcamp is hosting two fundraiser workouts in Boston & Framingham to support those running the 2014 Marathon and those that were affected by last year’s events. All of the proceeds from these workouts will be donated to The One Fund. The workouts, designed for beginner to intermediate fitness levels, will be a rewarding day of fun, heart-pumping outdoor bootcamp. For more information and to register, visit: www.ultimatebootcamp.com/onefund.

PS I want to wish my friends Meredith and her twin, Kim, a very happy birthday!

Wednesday Workout: 10-10-10 Pre-Flight Workout & A Standing Ab Workout

It’s your lucky hump day today- I’ve got TWO workouts for you… and a video! *cue happy dance* 😉

Last week I had to travel for work and since I knew I wouldn’t have time to workout while I was there (really short trip), I decided to get up super early to get in a quickie workout before my 7:30 flight. Even if it’s not a long workout, I like to try to get SOMETHING in on a day of travel where I know I’ll be on a plane for a number of hours and then sitting in meetings for even more hours. It helps wake me up and give me energy to tackle the day.

So, I rolled out of bed at 4:45am and did this quick, 30 minute workout before my flight and felt great!

I split it up to be 10 minutes cardio, 10 minutes strength and 10 minutes core so that I could have a full body workout. It’s a little all over the place because I picked 10 different cardio and core exercises, but that’s what I needed to get me through the workout!

10-10-10 pre-flight workout

And… you’re done! I was actually sweating quite a bit by the time I finished this workout and I felt like I really worked all of the key muscles to work in a short workout… aka, this workout gave me a lot of “bang for the buck”.

If you don’t have weights, you can easily swap out some of the moves and replace them with body weight exercises. Think: Triceps dips, push-ups, Down-Dog push-ups, etc.

Most moves are pretty common, but some that may need explaining are:

Hammer Kicks
Supermans
Toe Touches
Windshield Washer

Let me know if you try this!

Next up: Standing Ab Workout

My kickboxing class on Saturday is getting so crowded that there just aren’t enough mats for everyone to use at the end for our core work time. Instead, I’ve been doing a bunch of standing ab exercises, which can be just as effective as core exercises done on the ground. This will only take you about 10 minutes to complete, which is a great way to end a workout!

standing ab workout

And, since I’m loving workout videos lately, I filmed one on Sunday for you guys to do if you want to DO the workout with someone (sometimes that’s the motivation you need to actually do a workout at home, right?). Again, my videos definitely need work, but it’s all good… that will come eventually! For now, try to focus on the moves rather than my mistakes 😉

Questions for you: If you’re running short on time, what are the “must have” exercises you’d include in your workout? Do you prefer standing ab routines or mat exercises? Are you apt to get up early to squeeze in exercise before a trip?

Wednesday Workout: Strength/Cardio & Core/Cardio Super Sets

Happy hump day! I’ve got a fun workout for you today. I played around with some different compound moves, as well as the format, to create this workout. In my UXF Burn classes, we are regimented to a 60 second time interval for most formats. While I like teaching in 60 second intervals (it gives time for me to demo, coach, give tips and walk around to correct form), I hate actually doing 60 second interval workouts. I find myself sick of the exercise by the time 45 seconds rolls around and usually cop out on the last 15 seconds (yes, fitness instructors do that too). So, I would rather count reps or do shorter time intervals (and give it my all throughout the whole interval) than do 60 seconds half-assed. Anyone else like this?

That’s why I like this workout. I set it up to be 30 second timed intervals of a compound strength move (most bang for your buck), followed by 30 seconds of a cardio move. From there, we moved right to the core move for 30 seconds and that same cardio move, again for 30 seconds. We repeated that once before moving on to the next set. I didn’t realize it when I was making up the workout, but that’s a lot of cardio in each set! I love cardio, so I didn’t mind 😉

Strength_Cardio & Core_Cardio Super Sets

Some the moves were hard to describe, so here are some links/pictures to help:

Squat, Twist & Curl– it’s 50 seconds in!
Calf raise, front DB raise & row
Forward lung & press
Side plank with T raise
Chest Press & Leg Lifts

1 Legged Tricep Kickback

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1 armed/1 legged v-sit

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If you have other questions on any of the moves, don’t hesitate to ask!

Let me know if you try it- you definitely won’t be bored during it 🙂

Questions for you: What’s your feeling on timed intervals? What makes workouts go by fast for you?

This Week: Workouts, Schedule & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Hi there! It feels weird starting a “regular” week… one that requires me to go into the office. I went almost 4 days without wearing a stitch of makeup or getting out of my Lulu, and as awesome as that was, I am ready to be back on a regular schedule where I get up, get dressed, wear makeup and do the whole “commuting to work thing”.

I will say, though, that last week was the perfect week to work from home; the weather was frigid on Monday and it was rainy and gross on Tuesday and Wednesday. I wasn’t mad at all for staying inside alllll day. Even though it would’ve been easy to stay inside and do “at-home” workouts last week, I did force myself to get to the gym for social interaction and a little fresh air.

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I was supposed to sub a kickboxing class at the Watertown BSC, but there was some confusion (I was subbing for a sub… confusing, I know) and as I started to introduce myself, the instructor walked in. I was bummed that I wasn’t able to teach (all day, I had been looking forward to my kickboxing workout because I had LOTS of energy to burn and knew my kickboxing class does the trick), but I decided to take the class with the hopes that I could get some new stuff. Unfortunately, I wasn’t too crazy about the style of class and my heart rate barely got up. Womp, womp. Normally, I would let this totally bum me out (“ugh, I can’t believe I just wasted an hour at the gym with a bad workout” types of thoughts), but I tried to put a positive spin on the situation and it really helped. Yeah, it wasn’t my best workout, BUT it was better than nothing and maybe it was a sign for me to slow it down for the day.
  • Tuesday- I didn’t want to leave the house at all, but I forced myself to get to the gym because I was really in the mood for a treadmill run. I ran 4 (slow-ish) miles and did about 30 minutes of strength and core work before calling it a day.

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This was my “I didn’t want to leave the house” face.

  • Wednesday- My UXF Burn class was cancelled for the holiday, but I had the opportunity to sub the 5:30 Sports Conditioning class. I pulled out an old workout and was happy that it was a good “butt-kicker”. As we were doing our bench pop-overs, I had the class think about their workout “mantra”, and suggested using Thanksgiving motivation: “I’m working out for ______ (pumpkin pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes, turkey, etc.),” which was kind of fun!
  • Thursday- I did my I’m Thankful” Workout, and was happy to see that others did it, too (via Facebook and Twitter)!

I'm thankful workout

  • Friday- Rest day! It had been a while since I had a full rest day, and since I was sore from Thursday’s workout, it was perfect timing. We did a little walking around Kennebunkport, but that’s about it!
  • Saturday- I taught kickboxing at the Oak Square YMCA and had a special treat since my sister was there! My favorite part was at the end when everyone was literally GROANING during the ab section. They told me they had lots of Thanksgiving indulgences to work off, so I was really just catering to them 😉
  • Sunday- I went to my favorite Sunday strength class: “Y Pump”. After a cardio day on Saturday, I love Sunday’s as solely strength.

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This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I think for the first time in a while, I will head to the gym right after work! I’ll probably do a heavy cardio and abs day, with the anticipation of doing a primarily weights day on Tuesday.
  • Tuesday- Probably just weights!
  • Wednesday- The usual: cardio and teaching UXF Burn
  • Thursday- Teaching SHRED and Kickboxing… excited to be back for my double!
  • Friday- Probably a rest day since I’m teaching kickboxing on Saturday.
  • Saturday- Teaching kickboxing.
  • Sunday- It’s my sister’s birthday on Saturday, so pending on how I feel on Sunday will determine whether or not I’ll work out. I love my Sunday “Y Pump” class 🙂

Schedule

My schedule is wideeee open this week and I’m really looking forward to having my “regular” schedule back . My sister’s birthday is on Saturday, so the Shapleigh girls (and Jessi) are going to the Top of the Hub for cocktail hour and then dinner at Vlora on Friday night. I haven’t been to the Top of the Hub in a long time, and Mediterranean food is one of my favorites! Saturday Danielle and Amy are celebrating their birthdays at Scholar’s and I’m looking forward to seeing everyone! My friend Lauren’s Christmas party is on Saturday, too, so if I can get my act together, I’ll try to get there before going to the bar!

Things I’m looking forward to

As much as I love indulging on food and drinks, I am excited to get back to my regular eats and not drinking during the week schedule. I can’t wait to celebrate Danielle and Amy’s birthdays anddddd I think I am going to get my Christmas tree and decorate my apartment next weekend!!!

Questions for you: Do you have to force yourself to the gym when it’s gross weather? Have you ever been to the Top of the Hub? What are you looking forward to this week?