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Air Squats can ramp up any workout. In this workout, you can see we alternated air squats with standard body sculpting movements. The result: One tough fat-melting, calorie-burning, muscle-toning workout! Check it out…
Air Squat Workout
Here is the written workout below, with links to video instruction for each workout. Below are tips on how to do a proper air squat. KILL IT!
- Air Squats
- Barbell Biceps Curl
- Air Squats
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
or Push-press (if weight is heavy)
- Air Squats
- Weighted Plate Crunch
4 Rounds for Time
(timing the exercise ads intensity)
10 Common Mistakes For Air Squats:
1. Knees go over toes
2. Butt is tucked under – dropping down, not sitting back
3. Shoulders are rounded
4. Back is rounded
5. Body leans forward, bending at the hips
6. Head is down, instead of looking straight ahead
7. Weight is on the balls of the feet
8. Heels lift up as the body lowers into the deepest position
9. Squat is too shallow
10. Exercise is done too slow
7 tips to doing a great air squat:
- Each squat is nice and deep, with your butt dropping below the knees
- Hips stay open, body stays vertical (not bending at the hips)
- Butt sits backward, back is straight, shoulders are rolled back (not rounded forward)
- If you lean forward, or posture struggles, raise hands overhead to improve form
- Knees are not over the toes. If they are, use a chair to reference where your bottom “sits”. Your bottom should not sit down, but sit back as you lower, as if sitting or touching a chair. Stretch arms forward to help balance issues.
- Weight remains on the heels and not on the toes (Test: can you tap your toes while in the down position?) If you struggle with this. Squat down all the way down, like a baby on the beach playing in the sand). Settle in and stay there until you can shift your weight on your heels, open your hips, spread your knees out and get the feeling of where you need to be in that downward position. Once you feel this, and understand how to balance your weight in that position, you should be able to repeat it as you do the air squat.
- Pace is FAST and FLUID
Here is a fun video that shows the intensity, pace and form of an air squat.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. If you are still trying to find a fun gift for the fit mom of your house, here are 5 unique ideas that are sure to help you mom reach her goals – and make her smile!.
#1 Elegant Portions 3-Piece Place Setting: This place setting by Elegant Portions is the perfect gift for a mom who is watching her weight or just eating healthy. Designed around portion control, this dinner wear will help mom reach her goals in style. The Wine Traxx glass, which is perfect for high-calorie beverages like juice or wine, delicately marks 4oz, 6oz and 8oz servings. The next item is a pretty Snack Traxx glass bowl that is also marked the same way for 4oz, 6oz and 8oz pours (perfect for my yogurt & soups!) Lastly, the Meal Traxx plate also marks ¼-Plate for lean protein, ¼-Plate for starches or whole grains, and ½-Plate for fruits and vegetables. Simply brilliant – and beautiful!
#2 Super Socks for Supermom: Have you ever thought your mom was so strong, she should wear a cape? Even if the cape is a little too much for your mom, JoyofSocks.com has a pair of cool socks for just about anyone. Plus, high socks are one of the few ways to “dress up” a fitness outfit and bring a little personality into the gym. If your mom is in the market for compression socks, you’ll be pleased to hear Reebok has come out with some fun styles too. Socks are an affordable fun gift that would make any mom smile. And whether they wear them in the gym, or just wear them around the house, they will get worn – and with these socks, they will likely wear a smile to match!
#2 Help Mom Accel: Live Well 360 offers incredible multi-function bags that do it all. Made with quality materials, and quality guarantee, they carefully constructed each bag to meet just about every need you can imagine. The Accel is the smallest of their bags, which carries like a purse or a gym bag depending on the strap you use. It has 13 pockets for organizing straps, gloves, headphones, ipod, clothes, jewelry, water bottle, shoes and any other must-have fitness accessory. It even has a padded compartment for a small lap top or tablet (which I carry every day because I watch online TV while doing cardio!). The detachable yoga straps make this bag complete, which is the perfect addition for the yogi mom. I warn ya, don’t even try to compare Live Well 360 bags to the bags you see in most department stores. Live Well 360 bags are the Coach of gym bags. They cost more (this bag is $167), because you get more – and you won’t buy another gym bag for a long time. Live Well 360 come in 3 sizes: Accel (small), Core (medium) and Luxx (large, which also holds a full-size laptop). SAVE 10% OFF with this code: PFIT10
#4 Dad, Give Mom HICKIES: NO! Not THAT kind of Hickie, HICKIES elastic lacing system, designed to transform tennis shoes into slip-on shoes. However, that’s not really why I love them. I love them because they add color – and lots of it. HICKIES have 16 different color combination that can completely change the look of your tennis shoes. Whether you are wearing Converse or Reebok, you can throw in some fun multi-color HICKIES and get a whole new look without buying a new pair of shoes. I personally love the HICKIES in rainbow colors for a multi-colored look that would help your shoes match just about anything in your closet. HICKIES are available at Brookestone.
#5 Fit Jewelry for a Fit Mom. There are two stores I really like for fitness jewelry. One is the Fitness Fan Store for CrossFitters and Boot Campers, and the other is Fashletics for all fitness fanatics. The Fitness Fan Store has fitness pendants unique to boot camp and CrossFit programs like tractor tires, kettlebells, jump rope, sledge hammers and even a sled. Fashletics has motivational pendants like “Live, Love, Lift”, and peptalk jewelry like “”YOU vs YOU”, that is sure to inspire any mom to keep showing up. In addition to their motivational jewelry, they also have some fun fitness pendants like a 45lb plate, barbells, running shoes and cycling charms. They even offer a way to build your own charm set to customize your gift with just the right message and fitness tool to match mom’s training.
PS: I was NOT compensated for this post.
Have a cool gift idea? Share it below!
We’d LOVE to hear about your gift ideas so I can share it with the PFIT PFAM!
What is AMRAP?
AMRAP was the name of a planet in the Atrig system that was basically a barren and lifeless rock. Ohhh, you weren’t talking about Star Wars? In that case, you must be talking about AMRAP, the type of workout. AMRAP, which is a term commonly used in CrossFit, simply means As Many Rounds (Reps) As Possible – and I PROMISE, there is nothing lifeless about this rockin’ workout!
3 Reasons Why AMRAPs Rock
#2 Scalable: Another great thing about AMRAPs s that it doesn’t matter what your physical limitation is, an AMRAP workout is tough for everyone because everyone is going their hardest for the same length of time. This makes it an easy way to run partner and group workouts, no matter what everyone’s physical ability is. If someone is weaker or more out of shape, they are just going slower than the fit guys or modifying the movements to scale it down. However, they are ALL working at their maximum effort so everyone leaves feeling challenged and wore out.
#3 Challenging: Another great thing about AMRAP is many people don’t ever attempt to go as hard as they can. Old school training was normally done at a leisurely pace, like one weight exercise for 12 reps followed by 1-2 minute rest. Once they were rested, they lifted the weight again. AMRAPS are FAR from leisurely. They are hard, fast, strong and powerful as you can go, taking as little rest as you go. Personally, I believe everyone should incorporate an AMRAP circuit in your workout – even if it’s only once a week. It’s great to push yourself further than you would naturally – and there’s no better way to do that than racing the clock.
Here is an example of an AMRAP workout.
AMRAP 15: 15 Reps of everything, 15 minutes
Tools: 45lb bar & plates or dumbbells.
15 Squat Presses (Thrusters)
15 Mountain Climbers
Complete as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes. Take notes where you finished and try to beat it next time!
This is how you should look when you are done (below)- and this is the BEST time to get a protein shake. Hold the fat post workout though – you want your post workout shake to be sugary and packed with protein. For instance, water, honey and Chocolate Designer Whey protein OR orange juice and Vanilla protein. I personally like Designer Whey because it’s low in calories. The glucose from the sugar of the honey or orange juice helps push the protein into the body when they body is the most receptive to absorbing it, which is within 30-40 minutes of your workout. Any other time, you want to add fats and low-glycemic carbs in your shake to slow digestion.
I’m too old
My stomach will never look like that
I bet she never had kids
I don’t have that kind of time
I have a full time job, plus 2 kids to raise
I don’t know what to do.
She was probably always fit
She’s probably a lot younger than me
She just has good genetics
I don’t have the discipline
I wouldn’t know what to eat
My body could never get that lean
I’ve never done anything like that before
I wouldn’t even know where to start…
These are all common excuses and comments I hear when people see a bikini or figure competitor. People almost talk themselves out of even wanting that kind of body – just because they don’t think it’s even achievable for them. However, Ursula Kepferer, knew what she wanted and she made the decision she was GOING to compete, no questions asked. No excuses.
Ursula, a 42 year old working mom, came to my husband Steve late last year and told him she wanted to do a competition in the spring. She had never done anything like that before, but she knew she needed to lose weight – and she knew a competition would force her to follow through. 30 pounds heavier than she is today, Ursula did everything Steve asked. Many times I would see her training with Steve in the gym, and I’d see the look on her face that said “I hate him right now”. No matter how tough the workout was, she never stopped and she never gave up. It wasn’t easy, but she always left proud (and little more fit) each day.
“Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physique, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body.”
She had a lot of fears and a lot of doubts I’m sure. Could she really do this? Would she be able to lose that much weight in 90 days. What would her skin look like? Could she get lean enough? What was hiding under that fat? Much of it was sort of a mystery.
When someone commits to being on stage in the smallest bikini they’ve ever worn, even thin people get nervous. You notice every little bit of cheese you still have no matter how fit you are getting. And when you are just starting out, you wonder if your butt will ever look OK in that teeny bikini bottom that you have to wear AND turn your back to the judges so they can examine it. THAT’s a frightening thought all by itself.
Although most people realize what fitness can do for someone’s physiques, I don’t think most people truly realize what training can do for their OWN body. I believe many people actually think their body is just built a certain way and they are stuck with it. That is SO untrue. Although you may be prone to easily build muscle or not, have a smaller waist or bigger hips, etc you CAN greatly improve your body no matter how it looks now. Fitness works for everyone.
On April 6th, Ursula found out just what her body was capable of. She hit the stage, admittedly shaken and nervous, but also excited. She did it. She crossed the finish line! All those cardios – were worth it. All the dieting – was worth it. Trusting her coach – was worth it. Following through – was worth it.
Ursula finished 1st in her class. But she says she’s wearing her real trophy, and that is so true. Your best reward is your new and improved body! Congrats Ursula!!
Shoulders are one of the most exposed body parts in the spring and summer. Sleeveless shirt, off the shoulder tops, spagetti straps and strapless tops bare a lot of skin – and the shoulders are the first thing you see. Here is a short, but intense, shoulder workout to shape those shoulders up so you’ll want to show them off this summer!
Choose Your Resistance: Choose one heavy weight (preferably using a bar) and one light weight (using dumbbells). For instance, I’d do 55-65lbs for the push press and upright row and 5-8lbs for the ladders and raises. The concept of this workout is to alternate super heavy with super light, or what we call “active rest”.
Prepare to drop weight off your heavy weight as you begin to fatigue. Since it’s a circuit, you won’t be as strong as you are when you do traditional sets & reps with rest. Your light weight will likely need to be a little lighter than you are used to when you do the exercise by itself with rest. By the time you get to the 5lb exercises, you’ll feel like they are 50lbs, so don’t be surprised if you even have to drop to 3lbs for lateral raises! Have fun!
Take 15 seconds rest between exercises. OK, grab your weights and let’s GO!
- 12 Push Press HEAVY (use your hips to help you drive that weight up!)
- 12 Ladder Presses LIGHT (12 on each arm, total reps 24)
- 12 Upright Row with Barbell HEAVY (dumbbell upright row optional)
- 12 Lateral Raises LIGHT
- 12 Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise LIGHT
- 60 Seconds Elbow Plank
- 60 Seconds Rest
TIP: On the Ladder Presses (Alternating Dumbbell Press), keep both arms in motion. Another words, while one arm is going up, one arm should be coming down. This exercise should be done fast with no pause at bottom or the top.
8 Best Shoulders in Showbiz
Thin isn’t always fit. But when someone is fit and thin, it shows! Look at these nice sculpted shoulders!
Jada Pinkett Smith
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
The key to dieting is eating smart. That means you are eating for fuel, and giving what your body needs, not just what your tongue wants to taste. It’s also about getting the most nutrients out of the least amount of calories. The smarter you eat, the more satisfied you will feel, the healthier you will be, and the faster you will reach your goal.
Also, you will learn to eat calories when you are hungry and avoid calories when you want to taste food, but you are aren’t really hungry (like after dinner). It’s all about prioritizing food and picking and choosing the correct food for that moment. Simply put, eating smart requires thinking before you eat.
#1 Stick to a Plan
One of the biggest problems in the kitchen is not cooking with rules. It is easy to add a dash of this, and a dollop of that. Before you know it, you have way more calories than you had hoped, and you aren’t getting the calories from the foods you actually need most. I use this simple formula to cook each meal to keep me on track.
Choose 1 item each:
1. Big Portion: Protein (like fish or chicken)
2. Generous Portion: Low-Calorie Carbs (like broccoli)
Limited Portion: High-Calorie Carbs (like potato or rice)
3. Small Portion: FAT (like olive oil, nuts or cheese)
Once I have made my choices, I rely on my cooking style, seasoning and free calorie items (like lemon juice, vinegar, lime juice and herbs) to give me the flavor I want to make the meal come to life.
PFIT TIP: Each meal for a dieter should tally 300-350 calories for women or 400-450 calories for men, with a healthy balance of calories coming from each substrate.
PFIT TIP: Each meal should be a balance of protein, fats and carbs. The fats slow digestion so the food stays with your gut longer. This means you’ll stay fuller longer too. If you are avoiding fat, you can sabotage your diet very quickly because the fat is what gives you energy and helps you to stay full.
#2 Avoid Unnecessary Calories
Avoid high-calorie sauces, creams, dressings and fillers. Instead, learn to season and prepare food better. Cook meats slower and try not to over cook meat so stays tender, juicy and full of flavor. Many people rely on sauces to cover up over cooked tasteless meat. However, lime juice, balsamic vinegar and meat rubs can add a ton of flavor with very little calories. It just requires a little more prep time, but it worth it! PLUS you can eat a LOT more food if you avoid the extra sauces and store bought marinades.
#3 Forget the 4 Course Meal
If you grew up where you always had a meat, 2 sides, bread and dessert, chalk those times up to good memories. Believe me, it’s hard for me too. I feel like I’m not making a good meal unless I have 3 foods to serve – BUT I know I don’t need that so 90% of the time I only serve one meat and one vegetable. The fewer ingredients, the fewer the calories. The more simple my meal, the more slender my waistline. Simple eating, is smart eating – and in the end, I’m just as full!
#4 Weight & Measure
If you are trying to lose weight, you cannot rely o just trying to eat healthy food. You need to know how much of that healthy food you are eating, healthy or not. I know a lot of people who are overweight that brag about how healthy they eat. You can still eat too many calories of healthy food – and 9 times out of 10, people who eat super healthy but aren’t losing weight are eating WAY more calories than they think. Use measuring cups, spoons and food scales to help you manage portions and track calories.
Fatcation: /fatˈkāSHən/ (n) While on vacation, you do more getting fat than sightseeing.
I just got back from a fatcation, I mean vacation. Vacations can be scary for dieters, but just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean you have to take a fitness vacation too. You can still have a ton of fun, try new foods and “cheat” while not completely losing your mind – and your progress.
Here are 6 tips to help control your vacation eating – and help you bounce back quickly once you get back home.
1. Taste, don’t gorge. More is not always better, but when you are on vacation, it’s fun to taste foods you normally don’t eat. Key word: Taste! Grazing all day is actually better than pigging out a couple of times a day. When you are on vacation, share plates and appetizers so you can taste more, but eat less.
2. Be picky. Just because something is sitting on a plate in front of you doesn’t mean you have to eat it. I actually ordered 3 meals that were a disappointment to me. After I tasted it and discovered it wasn’t what I hoped, I just opted to skip it altogether because it wasn’t worth the calories to me. If you are trying to lose weight, it pays to be picky. If it’s not worth 1-2 hours in the gym to burn off, then it’s not worth eating.
3. Make room for more calories. When I say “make room”, I’m talking about making room for more calories. We typically consume a lot more calories on vacation than we do when we are back in our normal routine at home. However, many times people workout less. If you are watching your weight, account for the extra calories you are eating and try to stay active so you can “afford” the extra calories. Whether you hit the hotel gym, go for a jog, or you just try to walk everywhere instead of taking a cab, increasing your activity while on vacation will help you decrease your chances for vacation weight gain.
4. What happens on vacation stays on vacation. What I mean is, the overeating, drinking, laziness, etc ends when your vacation ends. It’s very easy to let your vacation habits come home with you. Instead, make a mark in the sand and decide to jump right back to your normal routine as soon as you get back. So, as soon as you get home, hit the grocery store and start planning and cooking for the week so you are ready to eat clean again.
5. Forgive yourself. I’ll be honest, I feel fat as a cow right now. That’s how I FEEL. Is that reality? No. I know good and well there is no way I can erase months of training and hard work in just a few days. Can it set me back? Sure, but if I hit it hard (with both diet and training), I’ll be right back where I want to be in no time. That’s the reality. No matter how bad you feel, forgive yourself. Realize, it’s just a vacation. You deserved the break and, often times, you will even hit it HARDER when you get back. Ironically, it’s those kind of cheat days that can make you double your intensity and the drive you need to take your routine to a new level.
6. Set new goals and guidelines. In order to reach a goal, you need to have a goal to strive for. Once you’ve set a goal, you need to plan to get there and that requires setting some rules. Often times people set some pretty stiff rules but they have just as many exceptions as they do rules. For instance, they diet and train hard all the time except for special occasions or weekends. The problem is, many people have a lot of special occasions. Between dinner dates, birthdays, Holidays, events, etc – someone can easily have something that interrupts their routine every week if they are ont careful. My suggestion is to not allow for any cheating for 3-4 weeks so you get a really good powerful start. Then schedule one cheat day. Then go right back at it. Once you get closer to your goal, your cheat meals can be closer together. Setting rules like this keeps you accountable and on schedule to reach your goal.
Why do you train? Sometimes that is a question we have to not only ask ourselves when we start a workout program, but we have to ask ourselves that over and over again on our journey. Why? Because we get off track. We often start with a clear and specific goal in mind. It’s normally very simple. We want to be better. We want to be a better version of our old self.
Then, as we pursue that goal, we tend to get off track. We begin to compare ourselves to others. We can easily begin to see what we are not, instead of what we’ve become. Sometimes this can make us push harder. For many, it can do the opposite. We can become discouraged or overwhelmed. Sometimes we can become obsessed.
I encourage you to step back. Look at why you started this. Look at how far you’ve come. Look at the big picture. You are not a better woman, mom, worker, friend, spouse or neighbor if you hold a trophy. No trophy, prize or title makes you better. Being better than someone else doesn’t make you better. Being better than the old you makes you better. That’s what makes you a success. Your greatest accomplishment is beating your own records and accomplishing new goals. THAT makes you a winner.
There is no greater reward than a healthier you. There is nothing better than feeling stronger than you did a few weeks ago, leaner than you’ve been in a long time, healthier than you ever thought possible.
YOU are your reward.
YOU are your prize.
You know how much I value fitness, and how much I believe we should take care of our body and work to be the very best we can be. That will never change. However, how silly would it be to work so hard to be fit for this world and neglect our soul?
As a fitness professional and a Christian, I cannot help but think of the people who I have helped get in the shape of their life, but missed the opportunity to help them get in shape for eternity. I believe in heaven. If you don’t, I will hopefully continue to help you on your journey to be the most physically fit you can be. However, I will personally still strive to work on both my body and my spirit because I don’t want to just work to better myself for earth, but I want to be ready for heaven – and I know God doesn’t look at my body, He looks at my heart.
Today is a special day. It’s Easter. For me, that has nothing to do with bunnies and everything to do with heaven. God sent his son to die on a cross for me – and for you. He did that because He knew we could never be truly fit for heaven. We needed a Savior, and all we have to do is believe (if only being physically fit were that easy!) I do believe. I believe that with all my heart and today I celebrate. I celebrate a God who loves me despite all my stupid ways. A God who loves me like a father loves his daughter – unconditionally.
If you are spending a lot of time on sculpting your physique and improving your health, that says a lot. It means you care about your future. It is SO easy to focus on what we see in the mirror and forget what lies underneath our skin. I struggle with this daily. It’s not like i look in the mirror and go “Oh my gosh! I’ve GOT to get rid of that envy and pride”. No, I see body fat and physical flaws – but I have more work to do beyond what I see in the mirror.
This Easter, I challenge you to think about eternity and your spiritual fitness. We will never be perfect, but we can always be better.
If you are like me, you get tired of your same workouts and like to try new things, so occasionally I post my workouts for you guys to try out – or mix a new move in. Here was my quad & ab workout this week – as well as a workout by Steve that you can do at home!
Leg Workout: Do 3-4 sets of 18-20
Begin with a Warm Up
(I normally just do leg press with no weight)
- Heavy Leg Press
- Single Leg Leg Press (LOVE THESE!)
- Walking Lunges with 20lb dumbbells
- Leg Extensions (Toes pointed out)
- Leg Extensions (toes pointed in)
The thing I dislike just a little more than legs (which I reallllly don’t like) is abs. I seriously dread it – so much so, that I made “doing more abs” one of my New Year’s Resolutions. My workout wasn’t anything special or unique this particular day, but I got it done!
- Plate Crunch 3 sets of x 25 with 25lb Plate
- Ab Machine Crunch 3 sets of x 25
- Incline Sit Ups with Twist 3 sets of x 25
After my workout, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. YUMMY!
Butt, Leg & Abs Workout
Don’t have access to gym equipment? Try this workout at home!
- 15 Skaters
- 5 5-Second Crescent Pose/5-Second Warrior 3 Combo on one leg only
(Repeat above & do other leg)
- 15 Slam Ball (or Plyo Jump Squats)
- 15 Slam Twist Abs
- 15 Double High Knees
- 15 Stomps (one side)
(Repeat the above couplet and do the other side)
Repeat 3-5 times for a complete workout.