Have you ever noticed how we want to do some exercises fast and some slow? For instance, I am prone to do bicycle crunches and push ups really fast, but a little slower to do squats. It’s actually harder to do some exercises slow (like push ups). Holding that lowered position for a longer time is tough! Well, this workout is made to FORCE you to do each exercise at 3 different paces – extremely slow, medium and then very fast.
First, download the metronome app. Then set the metronome to 45 beats per minute (bpm). It will be SUUUUUPER slow. Begin the first couplet of exercises, which is thrusters and mountain climbers (thrusters is a squat and a shoulder press). With each beep, you will begin or end the movement. Your thrusters, for instance, will be in the squat position for the first beep, then in the fully extended standing position, holding the weight above head until it beeps to tell you to move back to the squat. (So it’s squat and HOLD, then stand/press and HOLD, only moving at the beep.)
Once you complete 30 seconds of each exercise in that first couplet, you’ll move to the 2nd set and do the next pace, which is 90bpm. Then you will end with the rapid 135bpm.
Since the first pace is super slow, concentrate on perfect form. The medium pace will be more like a comfortable pace for you, and should also be performed with good form. The final fast pace will be difficult to perform in full range of motion, so it will be likely half the movement (like a pulse).
Be sure to stick to the beat! It should almost feel robotic. Up, down, up, down. Push, pull, push, pull. NO rest in between, other than to just adjust the pace for the next set. Have fun!
Think how much further you’d be if you didn’t eat something you shouldn’t eat, with the mindset of either “I worked hard today in the gym” or “I’ll just do an extra cardio tomorrow”. Sadly, if you workout at all, you’ve done this before – we ALL do!
Think about what we are really doing. We are taking one step forward in the gym, then taking one step (and often 2 steps) back with our lack of discipline in eating – and then we take one step forward again to get back to where we started to begin with. We are basically getting nowhere, or we are letting our diet slow us down to a snail’s pace.
What if EVERYTHING we did in the gym was a NEW step forward? Where would you be now if you didn’t rely on exercise as simply damage control?
Whether we are talking about our body, our career, our Christian walk, our marriage or any other “project” or goal we are working to improve or excel in. Anyone who wants to really improve will come to the realization they still have so much room for improvement – and that can easily get you discouraged if you let yourself dwell on how far you have to go. Instead, realize how much further you are already, just because you are actively working to improve.
The truth is, we should be more worried about being complacent, content or satisfied with where we are. The moment I think I’m “OK” or I’ve “arrived”, is the moment I need a real wake-up call. Complacency is a dangerous place to be. While you can be happy where you are, we should always be striving to be better.
So if you have been down on yourself lately, realize you are on the right path! Be proud of yourself. Enjoy the journey! Celebrate every little success or improvement. Be excited about your future!
You’ve probably heard the saying “going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car”. There is so much truth to this statement, but yet people are constantly fooling themselves into this kind of thinking. In my field, people think going to the gym should be enough to change their life – but I’ve got news for you. It’s not.
The same way going to church doesn’t make you a Christian, going to the gym doesn’t make you fit. Running every day doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy either. A matter of fact, there are many people who workout an hour a day as an attempt to balance out how poorly they treat their body the other 23 hours a day. This isn’t fitness. It’s more like damage control.
Exercise isn’t the big eraser. NO! It should be a total game changer. Fitness is a life change, not like some additive you throw in three times a week. Fitness requires a life change if you want to truly be fit, look fit and for fitness to be lasting.
Think of it this way. Going to church doesn’t make up for living poorly. It doesn’t make you a good person. It won’t erase your sins each week, or make you magically a better person. If all you do is go to church once a week and nothing else changes, you are fooling yourself into thinking church is “working for you”. Worse than that, people will call you a hypocrite. While church may make you feel better about yourself, as it may be a pathetic attempt of adding something good into your messed up life, if it isn’t CHANGING your life (how you spend your time, money, power, etc) then something is very wrong.
In the same way, going to the gym should CHANGE you. You should see visible changes in the way you look, the way you spend your time, the way you eat and how you live. Going to the gym doesn’t balance out poor eating, it should make you want to QUIT eating poorly. Exercise should make you more protective over your health – and the more you workout, the more you should desire to improve your health in every area.
Sadly, people often hire a trainer to whip them into shape, but they fail. Why? Because they are only giving fitness one hour for three times a week, when true fitness requires acting healthy every day. Most people are willing to do more, but they aren’t willing to do without their favorite food, their nightly glass of wine, their fine dining or daily bowl of ice cream. Shute! There are people who refuse to give up their Coke. Seriously? You’d trade your health for a soda? Being fit isn’t just about what you do, it’s about what you need to stop doing.
It’s time you look at fitness for what it really is. It’s not what you do in the gym. It’s not drinking protein shakes. It’s not wearing fitness clothing or taking vitamins. It’s not eating Paleo or running 5Ks. Fitness is a way of life. It’s taking care of your body, and treating it well. It’s living a life of discipline and self-control. it’s eating healthy foods, and fun foods only in moderation. It’s living accountable to your body, and taking responsibility for your life and health.
Are you truly living a fit life, or are you fooling yourself?
5 Elements of Fitness
Chocolates and Roses are OK, but nothing beats a unique and thoughtful gift. A gift that says “I know you better than anyone” and a gift that is far from generic – that says “this gift is as special as you are”. This is the kind of gift all of us girls cherish. We don’t want to be an afterthought, and we don’t want our gift to be more of an obligation than a gesture of love.
While there is nothing wrong with chocolate and roses, this is the time of year when a lot of women are dieting and we don’t really need to get high-calorie gifts that could sabotage our success. We want to feel thin …and pretty.
To me, a gift is something I want, but wouldn’t buy myself. It’s something “extra” that you don’t need but would be fun to have. Then, on top of that, if it’s something that no one else has, something that was made just for you, then you REALLY feel special.
Valentine’s Day is not really a time for “practical” gifts. While the gift doesn’t have to be expensive, a girl likes a certain lavish aspect to the gift. We like to feel like a princess. We like to know someone was thinking about us, shopping for us – or even taking the time to write a poem or hand-make a card. All of these gifts say “you are so special to me”.
Here are some gift ideas under $50 to help the men out there who are still trying to figure out what in the world to give their sweetheart. Get ready to be creative boys (but don’t worry, I’ll help!)!!
#1 Bejeweled Beauty
Girls love to try beauty products, but sometimes we feel guilty for getting another lip gloss or nail polish, when we know we need it like another hole in our head. If your girl is like me, she probably has plethora of make-up and beauty aids, but can we ever really have enough? I don’t think so!
Even something as simple as fancy lip balm can make a girl feel like a movie star. Like this bejeweled Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips, available at Kitson stores or at ShopKitson online. It is a limited-edition jar (just for Valentine’s Day), adorned with fine European crystals and a heart on the lid, which is totally over the top cool. You can also get a variety of these cute little Lip Therapy jars (minus the bling) in different flavors for only $2.29 in local food, drug and retail stores.
(PS: I just got this myself and love the soft texture of the product. Rosy Lips deeply moisturizes for soft, rose-tinted lips – not to mention the WOW factor of bling! It wasn’t even Valentine’s Day yet, but boy did I feel special opening this box! What a creative idea to put each Lip Therapy where chocolates go!)
OK, back to the gift idea. One of the most special gifts Steve ever gave me is when he hand picked simple beauty products like lip gloss, nail polish and beauty trinkets and made me a beauty basket. He didn’t have a clue what color would look good on me, but he did his best – and I had a blast trying the different products and colors.
If you really want to wow her, create a custom basket of handpicked beauty gifts from your local drug store, or department store beauty section, like a variety of lip glosses, nail polish, manicure/pedicure kit, beauty travel bag, make-up gift set, eye cream, facial masks and skin treatment systems. The more out of your box you go to put something together, the more special it will be!
$2 Photo Gifts
Girls love accessories – and nowadays, we carry our phone more than our purse, so a custom phone case with a special photo can be extra special. For instance, Steve designed this phone case for me from MyCustomCase.com and I absolutely LOVE it! He made 3 of them for me – one for us (the Love Endures one you see here), one for work that looks like a big business card with my name, picture and PfitBlog logo, and one with me and Marley (my great dane). Not only was the gift special, the fact he took time choosing meaningful photos meant the world to me! And it only cost him $35 per case to make my heart melt!
Don’t have time to make a custom order with that special photo? CVS and Walgreens offer same-day pickup for custom photo jobs including beautiful photo books and personalized calendars for under $30. Sadly, we rely on facebook and iPhoto to capture memories and rarely print photos these days. So, with printed photos being nearly extinct, any printed photo gift will be extra special and last for generations.
#3 Bath & Beyond
While bath and body products may seem like an easy gift idea, and may even lack that special flair, that doesn’t mean you can’t MAKE it special. Combine some body washes, lotions and fragrances with some relaxing and pampering aids like scented candles, aroma therapy, bath salts, a calming CD, bath robe or plush towel set. Baths are a wonderful quiet time for a woman to wind down after a busy day – and the products don’t have to be expensive. This gift idea isn’t as much about the product as it is the next part of the gift – the set up.
Take the whole gift over the top by setting up the bathroom as her ultimate oasis – bathroom sparkling clean, lights dim, candles already lit, rose petals floating in the water, music playing and her gift set on display waiting for her. Sound romantic? Well it is, but there is a catch. To make this gift special, you need to make this gift ALL about her. This means, don’t do it with the bedroom in mind or what she can give you in return. That’s for another night (unless she initiates it). The gift is not just about giving her body wash, but a safe place she can truly relax and simply feel pampered. Plus, this gift will keep on giving. Every time she takes a bath, she’ll remember your love and feel like a princess all over again.
Vaseline sponsored this blog post. The opinions and text are all mine.
This year, Bonnie and I merged our blog site together with a new focus – fitness, food and faith. Together, we share our life. We share our victories and our failures. We share our life lessons (learned both the easy way and hard way), fitness tips, favorite recipes, workouts, marriage, helpful products, motivation, encouragement and important information we feel will help you reach your goals. Occasionally, she lets me put in my 2 cents. lol! This is one of those times!
I realize many people reading this blog may not have even been around in 1984. Though I may not tell you my age, let it suffice that I was very alive. Arguably, not a completely productive member of society (as you can see here in this picture!!), however I was a freshman in high school.
Madonna was crushing the charts with “Like a Virgin”, the space shuttle Challenger was orbiting the earth, Ronald Reagan was President and the movie “Footloose” was a huge hit. But to a pubescent high school kid, the only thing I could think of, even at that age, was getting swole. That’s right… pumping iron.
I had just joined the wrestling team, had my first kiss, and bought my first Miami Vice jacket. This quest for muscle and girls quickly fostered and interest into nutrition – and reading the magazines bragging of the huge bodybyuiliders of the 80’s. Guys like Chris Dickerson, Tom Platz, Sergio Oliva, and Lee Haney were the real live incredible hulks – and all of us boys wanted to know what was #Behindthemuscle .
Despite Reagan, and Madonna, and who cared about some cute kids dancing in a barn, what mattered most in 1984 was what Hal and Ernie did with a cement mixer in the name of science. Nature’s Best (the makers of IsoPure) was born. Oh the scandalous world of protein that still exists some 30 years later.
Even as a 14 year old I knew better than to assume that all protein was created equal. Truth be known, as soon as I got my first job I spent tons of money on all kinds of supplements. Whatever the “magazines” said, I took as scripture. I couldn’t have been more wrong. As these companies began to be regulated it was amazing how many were at fault for false claims, either about the efficacy, filtration process, quality or even the amounts of their claims of protein and results they could produce. Even in the 80’s there was a clear battle for reputable and effective protein that would bring a high school student, making $3.35 an hour at Burger King flipping burgers to spend his entire paycheck just to gain a pound or two of muscle.
Fast forward 30 years, and Nature’s Best IsoPure‘s Whey Protein Isolate is still one of the most effective and coveted proteins on the market. Nature’s Best never sold out their principals, promising you steroid like results. They rely on the science of what quality protein provides for your body as it relates to lean mass and health.
They have some products that aid in enhancing performance by adding some electrolytes and adding BCAA’s to a profile that will help more elite training, and Nature’s Best still provides whey isolate that is pure and free from any additives. Of course it is up to us, as athletes, to study what products best serve what types of training, as well as learn optimal times to take protein supplements. As we research, we realize the science behind the protein as it relates to filtration methods and efficacy and absorption. Knowing how and when to pair these products to our training and meals is as important as the protein itself.
I enjoy the whey isolate with oatmeal in the mornings, or added to my post workout shake. IsoPure allows for me to be able to control the additives and limit unwanted calories or supplements in my foods. One of the best tasting Isopure products on the market is the “Cocotein” coconut water 100% whey isololate. 100 calories for 20 grms of whey protein. Does it get any better than this?
If not in my oatmeal or shake, the isolate powder is versatile enough to add to an omelet or any pancake mix allowing me to adjust the protein ratios of almost any foods. I’m not just bragging about Isopure, I have been a customer for over 20 years and have never been disappointed, except when I am running low on supplies and have to rely on a less than reputable supplement. If I am not going to compromise my workouts, I want a supplement that isn’t going to compromise quality. Thanks again Hal and Ernie!! Great job, from a loyal customer.
- 100% pure ion exchange whey protein isolate
- 50gm protein per 2 scoops
- No impurities
- Completely lactose-free
- Low calorie
- Little or no fat
- Little or no carbs
- highest absorption rates
- Clean tasting
- Refreshing RTD (Ready To Drink) formulas
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Isopure.
AboutTime is not your ordinary supplement company. They have a ton of unique products including Paleo-friendly bars, Vegan protein, lactose-free & gluten-free protein, healthy granola, pre-workout, creatine, meal replacement bars, vitamins, cleanses and all kinds of helpful supplements. Since I have been looking for a good recovery protein, I decided to order their recovery formula, plus a sampling of some other goodies, to see how I liked it. (Here’s a peek of my delivery!)
Beauty Sleep: Rest & Repair
AboutTime’s Nighttime Recovery formula not only helps your muscles repair WHILE you sleep, but it helps you FALL asleep and STAY asleep (which is something I struggle with). AboutTime’s formula is designed to help the fitness enthusiast relax, recover and sleep better, with key ingredients like micellar casein, coconut oil powder, tryptophan, and melatonin for night time muscle and energy recovery.
Casein is a slow digesting protein, which makes it a good muscle recovery protein supplement since we do most of our muscle repair at night. The melatonin and tryptophan help to relax you and aid with sleep. These ingredients together kill two birds with one stone – help your muscle repair, and help your sleep.
I’ve tried other recovery protein drinks, and while I have had some better tasting, higher calorie whey protein powders, I have NOT had a better tasting casein recovery drink. For some reason, muscle recovery “bed-time” protein powders can be pretty nasty. I always know it’s nasty if Steve has a hard time choking it down, ’cause he’s like Mikey, he’ll eat anything for the sake of muscle. Me, not so much!
So, I honestly went in this expecting the worst. To be even more honest, I didn’t take it the first night because I was dreading going through the trial process. The next night, I broke the seal, put 1 scoop in a water bottle with a few ounces of water, shook it up and just took it like a man – and to my surprise, it wasn’t bad.
I got the peanut butter flavor, and I could have totally dressed it up and made it taste even better, but I wanted to try it plain. It had a slightly chalky texture to it, but it tasted pretty good. Anything that tastes like peanut butter has to be good right?! lol
I wish I could say I woke up with amazingly tone and fully-repaired muscle, but that is something that requires more time to be able to monitor. However, I fell right asleep and slept like a Chevy! (Get it? “Like a Rock”?! Sorry! Steve’s corny sense of humor has rubbed off on me over the years! ha). Anyway, I definitely slept well and woke up refreshed so I was stoked about that! I’m going to give it a good go and tonight I plan to make a fun yummy protein shake out of it instead of shooting it down like it’s medicine.
I also tried (and loved) their Paleo-friendly fruit and nut bar, which was very different and yummy. The coconut bar is super clean and healthy, has minimal ingredients (3-5 per bar depending on flavor – all of which you can pronounce! ha!), is gluten-free and naturally sweetened with dates.
I had half the bar before my workout this morning and it tasted SO good, it took everything out of me not to eat the other half. Good thing I didn’t eat it all because, evidently, Steve needed it. The next time I looked at the bar, there was only one bite left! ha! Steve found it and nibbled away! So, I guess it wins the taste test!
One thing I LOVE is that they offer sample size packets of protein so you can try different flavors. I sprinkled a little banana protein powder in with my plain yogurt. Then I added sliced fresh bananas and 1 tablespoon of granola (with a dash of cinnamon) and it was YUM! I would have NEVER tried banana protein powder if i had to buy the whole container, but this was a fun way to mix up my flavors without having to go all in for one flavor.
You have a choice of 7 fun flavors, including: Banana, Birthday Cake, Chocolate, Cinnamon Swirl, Mocha Mint, Strawberry and Vanilla.
About Time Whey Isolate Protein
- Sweetened with Stevia
- Lactose Free
- Gluten Free
- Made with No Artificial Sweeteners
- Made with Non-GMO Whey Protein Isolate
- 25gms protein
- 100 calories
Their vegan protein is available in Vanilla, Chocolate and Cinnamon Spice.)
CLICK HERE to learn more about About Time and see if any of the products are right for you.
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of About Time.
Some people may be under the impression that push-ups are only for men, but push-ups have many surprising benefits for men and women of all fitness levels. I recently wrote an article for Answers.com on 7 Surprising Benefits to Push-Ups that will have you diving on the floor, and make you eager to get your push-ups in!
It’s not like these benefits are really a secret, but not that many people realize everything they really do. I wonder if you will know them all!!?
Here’s the 1st push-up perk, and the link to read the whole article!
#1. Tones the Waist – Whaaat?!
Push-ups do a whole lot more than just work the chest muscles. Push-ups require back and abdominal strength to stabilize the core so you can keep your body straight during the exercise. Doing push-ups on a regular basis will strengthen and tone the muscles that support the spine, resulting in a much tighter (thinner & prettier) midsection…. READ MORE
Try Tabata Push-Ups
20 seconds of push-ups
20 seconds rest
8 rounds (2 minutes)
Scripture of the Day: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11
Most people, at some point and time, get motivated by something or someone to get in shape. Sometimes it’s a pair of tight pants that motivate you. For some, it may be a bad trip to the doctor. In other cases, it’s a really fit friend that makes you think “I want that body!”
Either way, I don’t know a lot of people who don’t want to be fit and healthy. They are plenty motivated to workout and shape up. They want it. They may even cry and tell you how miserable they are. They are so motivated they join a gym at the New Year, buy new tennis shoes, get all the fitness gadgets they need to succeed, make all kinds of promises, but over time something happens – or maybe I should say NOTHING happens.
What Happened to My Motivation?
Motivation MUST be followed by discipline. People can’t lean on motivation alone. Why? Because motivation is just a feeling that comes and goes – PLUS, you have a lot of other motivations in life that interfere with the one motivation to get fit.
For instance, we are motivated by taste to eat poorly. We are motivated by our emotions to give ourselves pity parties and poor a glass of wine after a tough day. We are motivated by our body to sleep in. We are motivated by our family to skip the gym and come home for dinner. We are motivated by our friends to go with them to a party. We are motivated by greed not to spend money on fitness. We are motivated by our love for our spouse to cook what they want and not what you need. We are motivated by commercials to try the next fancy burger at your favorite restaurant. We are motivated by our brain to give up because all this work may not even be worth it any way.
Ironically, we are not lacking motivation. We are just motivated by conflicting parties – we are motivated by our mind and what we know is right, which is constantly fighting what our body (flesh) wants.
Bottom line is being motivated to workout is only one of many motivations – and it’s up to US to prioritize and decide how we are going to handle any other motivation that may get in the way of our goals. This takes discipline. It takes perseverance and consistency. Before long, you’ll form a habit, and what required strict discipline before becomes almost effortless ritual later.
Motivated To Remain Disciplined
When you set out to reach a goal, you must be prepared for battle. You are your own worst enemy. Your flesh will want to be lazy. It will want to eat what it wants and do what it feels like doing. You need to be prepared to fight for what you want If you want to succeed. That means you need to have a pretty persuasive argument with your fat, lazy, hungry, self.
That’s why I create fitness quotes. I know how I fight my own lazy self. I know what I have to tell myself to get to the gym and stay disciplined. I know what gets under my own skin, what psyches me out and what pumps me up. When something clicks with me, whether it’s my thoughts, quotes, lesson learned, fitness fact or a famous motivational quote, I share it in hopes it helps you too.
Motivation isn’t just what gets us going, we need to constantly remember what is motivating us to do what is right, STAY going, be disciplined, build this new or stronger habit and reach your goals.
START Motivated, STAY Motivated, STAY Disciplined, START Seeing the Reward!
What is YOUR favorite mantra or quote?
Scripture of the Day: “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” Proverbs 14:16
Wouldn’t it be nice if every food item came with a label on it? If only we knew how many calories were each home-cooked meal, baked good and menu item, many of us would make much better decisions.
The hardest part about dieting is trying to guess how many calories are in these types of foods. We tend to underestimate calories when we leave it up to our own guesswork. We want to believe certain foods are OK to eat. Then after we talk our self in to believing we’ve made the right choice we expect to lose weight as if our guesses are always accurate.
I made a major mistake one time that enlightened me on this very subject. I picked up a low-calorie snack on a road trip. I noticed the snack was a little over 200 calories. I wasn’t too thrilled about this since I try to keep my snacks to 150 calories or less but I thought I should bring it in case I got hungry. I found myself picking up the snack while I was driving along, re-reading the package over and over – contemplating whether it was worth it or not. I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it and would prefer to eat something better later.
Later, I decided to stop at Starbucks to stretch my legs and refuel my body with a fat-free sugar-free latte. I found myself staring at the pastry case looking for anything that could be the least bit healthy. The store had only one “healthy” item – ‘no sugar added’ banana nut bread (AKA: Cake). I thought that would be an OK choice. Besides, it had real bananas and whole nuts in it which sure beat my processed 200 calorie snack. The bread was larger than my wimpy snack so, even if it had a few more calories, I thought it would be worth it. (I love how I try to talk myself into feeling good about my decision, but this was my thought process.)
After I ate the snack I began to feel a little guilty, second guessing my choice so I looked up the calories for that banana nut bread and found that my little ‘no sugar added treat’ had over 475 calories and 30 grams of FAT!! Ughhhhh! That’s more calories than an entire lean cuisine meal. I couldn’t believe it! I knew it was probably a little higher than my 200 calorie snack, but I had no idea it was going to be more than twice the calories. In addition I had my fat-free sugar-free latte which was 180 calories so in one quick trip to the coffee shop I had over 655 FREAKIN’ CALORIES! This little boo-boo would probably take me about 6 miles to erase! Ugh!
I am sure I’m not alone here. I hear stories like this all the time in the gym, but mistakes like this can be EASILY prevented. It’s simple: If you are dieting and you don’t know how many calories are in a particular food – DON’T EAT IT. It’s not worth throwing away your hard work in the gym and all your other sacrifices you make to control your caloric intake.
Dieters eating food without knowing how many calories is in it is like shoppers shopping for items that have no prices on them. How in the world are you supposed to know if you can “afford” something or not? How in the WORLD are you supposed to make an intelligent decision if you have no knowledge to base your decision on? You can’t! Like Proverbs says “”One who is wise is cautious” but a “fool is reckless and careless.” I could have looked that up BEFORE I ordered it. I could have been more cautious. Sadly, most people live life with no concern for calories at all.
Like me, you can fool yourself into thinking something is okay for you – but just because you don’t know how many calories is in something doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And, like our poor spending habits reflect on our bank statement – your poor choices will eventually reflect on the scale.
The moral of this story: Know what you are eating, or don’t eat what you don’t know – because what you don’t know can hurt you!
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