MOTIVATION FOR WOMEN: Strong Women Lift (each other up)

strong women lift

Yesterday I saw a post from one of our struggling future first-time competitors in our private Bikini Boot Camp group on facebook. She has been totally rocking, her body is leaning out, she looks amazing, but since life happens (and all the junk that comes with it), she got a wave of doubt and began to lose motivation. So she reached out to the rest of the girls for encouragement.

It just so happened I already had created this quote for today’s blog, so I shared it with her (and the rest of the girls) along with this note. After I posted it, I decided I’d share some of it with you in hopes of giving you some encouragement too.

“This goes out to all the girls out there struggling, feeling weak, unmotivated, tired, sore, hungry, grumpy, teary-eyed, frustrated, full of doubt… 

You can do this! This isn’t just about getting a hot body. It’s about being YOUR best! It’s about being healthy, taking care of the body God gave you. We all have “weak” friends, family members and people who NEED us to be STRONG for THEM! This isn’t just about you, it’s about who you can be for everyone you love and everyone who loves you. The happier you are, the better mom, wife, friend, co-worker, neighbor you are. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else – because you can’t give something away that you don’t have to begin with.

“the hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day”

At first glance, you may feel your time in the gym is selfish – that it’s selfish to work so hard on “you”. But, TRUST ME. The hour you spend in the gym, makes you a better you the other 23 hours a day. You need this. Your kids need it. They need a strong mommy! Your husband needs a confident woman who feels as sexy as your husband sees you. Your friends need it. People are more likable when they feel good about themselves.

Strength goes beyond the gym – WAY beyond the gym. What you do in the gym creates an outward reflection of the discipline you are learning to apply in your life, to control your flesh and not let the world beat you up so you can be the best you you can be. Showing others you don’t have to give in to the Biggie Size temptations of this Biggie Size world. You CAN’T give up! People depend on you. It’s not just about your success, your success has the potential to impact every single one of your friends who are watching you and thinking “if she can do it, maybe I can too”.

YOU are a walking testimony for everything you believe in. It can be a good testimony or a bad one – that’s up to you.

Personally, I want to be a positive reflection of everything I believe in. I don’t want to teach my friends to give up on fitness, marriage, family, goals, career, God or anything else I truly believe in. There are people who depend on my success to motivate them to just even try. I want to encourage people to keep trying and to never give up – and that starts with ME not giving up. Who you can impact starts with YOU never giving up.

The hard work in the gym and kitchen is nothing compared to the victory you will have KNOWING you GAVE IT YOUR ALL, and that your all impacted people around you to give THEIR all. No one will EVER be able to take that away from you. 

Now, let’s take things up a notch and act like the STRONG WOMEN I know each of you are! Let’s DO THIS! Can I hear an AMEN!?!?!?! <3

Let’s commit to lifting each other up, helping people stay encouraged and pressing on toward their goal! Lift Someone Up Today! Share this post if your friends need encouragement on their fitness journey! :) 

MORE STRENGTH & ENCOURAGEMENT COMING TOMORROW!

The Fanny Firmer Workout

Fanny firmerStart this intense glute and leg circuit with the left leg planted, right leg moving. Take NOOOOO REST until you do both legs. Work through the burn – it will pay off big-time!!

16 Step Back Lunges
16 Lunge Kicks
16 Repeater Knees
16 Stomps
16 Jumping In & Out Squats

REPEAT with right leg planted and left leg moving. Again, NO REST until the entire circuit is complete. Rest for 1-2 minutes between rounds. Repeat 3 times. Add to cardio (Circuit + 10 min cardio X 3).

This segment is part of this month’s kickboxing routine led by Steve Pfiester at Max Fitness Club, held on Mondays & Wednesdays at 5:30pm.

Get a FREE WEEK PASS and do this workout at the Max!

The Secret Between Lean & Ripped

don't miss the victory

Someone recently asked me how to get ripped. I said, “It depends on where you stop”. Here’s what I mean.

The woman who asked that question was already losing weight and leaning out. Whether she gets thin or gets super fit looking just depends on where she decides to stop. She can continue to lose fat as long as she continues her program. While your desired destination can be different than someone else’s, the process is basically the same. The same fit road has many stops along the way. You can stop at 10lbs lost, 20lbs lost or go until you reach super cut and fit.

The problem is, many people quit when they get comfortable. They think, “wow! I really like 20lbs lost. This is a fun place, I’ll stay here for a while and play”. While they are there, they start allowing for more calories – hence, breaking the weight loss cycle.

Another problem is people fall into a false sense of security. They get thin and begin to feel like they “deserve” the extra calories because they are now so fit and active. Because they aren’t as strict during this phase, they quickly lose a grip on how many calories they are really taking in – and before you know it, they’ve plateaued or even gained some calories back. The knee-jerk reaction is to rely on exercise to erase the extra calories, but they will quickly discover it is much easier to eat 1,000 than it is to burn 1,000 calories. Sadly, many people learn the hard way – after they gain some (or all) of their weight back.

Avoid making these mistakes. Avoid missing out on your biggest victory. Next time you feel like stopping, or settling for the results you’ve gotten so far, ask yourself this question: “What if I keep going?” Amazing things happen! “Better” happens! Even if you are doing great now, you can even do better if you keep pressing on. You can continue to improve. You can continue to get fitter, stronger, leaner, healthier. You can be victorious.

Don’t stop short of your greatest victory. Small victories are awesome, but you have even bigger victories awaiting you if you can just keep pressing on!

4 Insane Treadmill Workouts

Steve Pfiester designed 4 KILLER workouts you can do on a treadmill to work your entire body. There are 4 VIDEOS: Upper Body, Lower Body, Conditioning & Cardio. Each video is normally $9.99 (for standard definition, $12.99 for high-def), but NOW they are Only $2.99!!
Use this Discount Code 7OFFNOW
to get $7 OFF any video on our site.

Here’s a video on the workout series:

Download your videos right now!

BCx Treadz Treadmill Workout

Bikini Leg & Back Workout

steve and bonnie pfiesterHere’s one of the leg and back workouts for our Bikini Boot Campers. BCx Bikini Boot Camp is a program we are running for bikini competitors and women just wanting to look fit on the beach. The girls are getting insane results!

For example, Ashley dropped from 23.9% body fat to 16.9% body fat by increasing muscle and decreasing fat in just 4 weeks. Lauren lost 15lbs in 4 weeks without losing one pound of muscle!! SO many success stories! The program incorporates diet, weights, classes and cardio homework. Some of them are competing and some are just going through the training and diet to get in the best shape they can.

Here is a pic of just a few of our girls. We have about 40 in Bikini Boot Camp and 15-20 competing. Congrats girls! You guys are totally rocking!

bikini training

Our bikini boot campers do 3 group workouts a week, plus are given extra cardio and weights homework to do on their own. Here’s a taste of one of our “homework” assignments. (Learn more about our programs at Max Fitness.)

Hamstrings:

hamstring curl NOTE: Click on the exercise to watch video instructions

Prone Hamstring Curl
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         20,18,15,12,10
RESISTANCE:            35,45,50,55,60
REST:                        30-45 seconds max rest time.

Try to keep resistance high but it is more important to hit the rep range goal.  Every set alternate feet position from wide (8”apart) to close (touching)

Alternating Standing Hamstring Curl
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            20 (Increase each set as possible)
REST:                        20-30 seconds max rest time.

Keep upper supporting leg (femur) against the pad. Complete 5 sets on both legs.  No rest when switching left and right.

Quadriceps:

Leg Press
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         25,20,15,15,15
RESISTANCE:            2plates, 3plates, 4plates, 5plates, 6plates
REST:                        45-60 seconds max rest time  maintain shoulder width foot position.

Keep seat back in the lowest position to allow for increased ROM. Push with your heals with no pauses, (continuous motion). Try to keep resistance high but it is more important to
hit the rep range goal.

dumbbell walking lungeHeavy Walking Lunges
SETS:                         3
REPS:                         20 (40 total-20 each leg)
RESISTANCE:            15, 20, 25 (2 dumbbells each hand)
REST:                        45-60 seconds max rest time  weight the front foot.

No pause, use continuos motion. Grip strength may become an issue.  Short steps with depth, almost touching the back knee to the ground.

Leg Extension
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         25,20,15,15,15
RESISTANCE:            40,45,50,60,60
REST:                        45-60 seconds max rest time change leg position randomly across all five sets.

Make sure to get full ROM by allowing your legs to go all the way down and all the way up.  NO PAUSING (use continuous motion)

BACK

Wide Grip Pull Down  

SETS:                         5
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            50,60,70,?,?
REST:                        45 seconds max rest time, superset each set with 10 push ups.

Remember when pulling down to imagine pushing DOWN with your elbows instead of pulling down with your hands.  Stay extended through your thorax (bow your chest up) towards the bottom end of the range as you try to touch your clavicle (collar bone) with the bar.

Close Grip Pull Down  

SETS:                         5
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            50,60,70,?,?
REST:                        45 seconds max rest time, superset each set with 20 (each side) bicycle crunches.

Remember when pulling down to imagine pushing DOWN with your elbows instead of pulling down with your hands.  Stay extended through your thorax (bow your chest up) towards the bottom end of the range as you try to touch your chest with the close grip handles keeping your elbows in close. Remember to keep your elbows out wide and rotate your body to touch your elbow to your knee (instead of pointing your elbows forward to reach your knee). Focus on rotation through the waist.

bicycle crunches

Seated wide Grip Row  

SETS:                         4
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            50,60,70,?,?
REST:                        45 seconds max rest time, superset each set with 20 side plank pulses .

Remember when pulling back low into your waist try to imagine pushing BACK with your elbows instead of pulling BACK with your hands.  Stay extended through your thorax (bow your chest up) towards the end of the range as you try to touch your navel with the bar (USE LONG PULL DOWN BAR AND GRIP ON THE OUTSIDE ANGLE.

Leg Workout Graphic:

BIKINI LEG WORKOUT

Does Food Really Make You Happy?

food doesn't make me happyIt’s easy to think that freedom makes us happy. We think if we can eat whatever we want, when we want it, that it will satisfy something in us. It will be “fun”. But, the consequences outweigh the pleasure. So then you have to ask yourself “is it really worth having “fun” for 30 minutes, tasting whatever it is that temporarily satisfies a craving, if you are miserable the rest of the day?” I think not.

We would all be much better off if we really looked at what makes us truly happy. Maybe we need to even redefine “fun”. I don’t know about you, but I’m happiest when I am doing the right thing, when I’m practicing self-control and when I’m living a life that makes me proud. I have “fun” when I feel good about myself, when I feel good in my clothes, when I’m confident, when I’m strong, when I feel healthy, when I am comfortable in my own skin. When I feel good, I don’t need food to have fun, life is just more fun.

grumpy catOn the contrary, when I let my eating go out of control, I am grumpy. Nothing is fun. I feel bad about myself, I don’t fit in clothes, I don’t want to go shopping, I don’t want to dress up, I avoid cameras, I don’t want to go to the beach and be seen in a bikini. I hide. I retreat. I pout. I feel sorry for myself. And, I eat. Because that is what I do. Feed my lazy fat sorrows. Then I get fat enough (yes, I can fluctuate 10-15lbs if I let myself) to get mad enough to get back on the wagon and take back control. Then I start having a more lasting fun, a more steady happiness – from just plain out being healthier and more disciplined.

So, while I may not be able to say all my workouts are all that “fun”, and I may miss regular doses of my favorite foods, feeling healthy and getting results makes me MUCH happier than any meal could make me feel for a moment. (Note: I said regular doses of my favorite foods. This means I can still treat myself occasionally but I’m not eating whatever I want all the time.)

It is truly ridiculous that we would let the taste of food or a “fun” food-filled experience ruin the taste of success and becoming our very best. No one thing should have that much power over anyone.

Will I have an occasional taco or pizza! YES, will I let food control me? NO! Food is not the boss of me. I will NOT let it get in the way of my health and my success! Will you?

GYM BAG: Prissy, Practical & Pretty

Fivesse gym bag

I use my gym bag more than I do my purse! A matter of fact, I don’t even CARRY a purse during the week! A rely on my gym bag to carry all my belongings around. That is also why I don’t want to lug an ugly bulky manly bag from home to work to the gym or whereever!

So when I recently discovered Fivesse Home-Gym-Work Bag, I instantly fell in love! Maybe it was the soft pink accents. Maybe it was the cute tabs on all the pockets to help you organize your things. It could have been the pretty color combinations and patterns. When I try to pinpoint it, I simply can’t! I think it’s D: All of the above!

I got my bag with a matching garment bag for those times I need to have a nice change of clothes on a hanger instead of all bunched up in a gym bag. This was a super nice addition and perfect for any career woman or traveler. This bag would also be a fantastic carryon for those quick trips.

Here are some of the things I loved most about my bag:

Separate laundry pouch for wet clothes!
fivesse

Vented Shoe Pouch
101-02-01-10T

Straps to hold a yoga mat or towel
Fivesse

Clip for keys or gym key card
101-02-01-17T

Cool little gadget in the shape of their logo to wrap chords, organizing headphones or USB chords for charging iPods or iPhones.
101-02-01-14T

Not one, but TWO bottle holders!! This is great for me since I like to have a water bottle AND a spot for a travel mug, energy drink or protein shake!

101-02-01-19T

Love all the pockets! It makes me feel SO organized!
101-02-01-15T 101-02-01-13T

Tons of storage pockets for: 

  • class schedules/ipad
  • dirty clothes
  • glasses
  • gym card
  • gym toiletries
  • keys
  • lock
  • music
  • earbuds
  • phone
  • shoes
  • valuables
  • water bottle

4 Different Awesome Patterns: 

Fivesse101-04-01-2T
Fivesse101-03-01-1

Cost: $124
Garment Bag: $64

 

Weakness Is Required

Weakness if not a fault

I’ve spoken to so many people who apologize for being weak. They say stuff like “I knew I was weak, but I didn’t realize just how out of shape I really was” or “I’m so sorry I am unable to keep up“. Or they say stuff like “I can’t” because they believe they are not supposed to experience such weakness. The truth is “THEY CAN”, but it’s going to be hard. Unfortunately, people often walk away with their head hanging, discouraged at their bodies difficulty to perform the way they had hoped – feeling like a failure, instead of realizing their need for weakness.

PICK YOUR CHIN UP! If you are doing what you are supposed to, you should feel weakness. You HAVE to feel weakness in order to get stronger.

weakIf I bang out 12 overhead presses with ease, I am not getting stronger. I am only demonstrating my EXISTING strength. That’s when I know I need to add weight. When I do 12 reps, but the last 4-5 are really challenging to finish (and maybe the last 1 or 2 seem nearly impossible), THAT’s when I’m changing my body.

This principle applies in many ways. For example, you don’t become a better musician by continuing to play music you have already mastered. You get better by trying more difficult pieces. If you can finish the piece without a mistake, you are not challenging yourself enough. If you are not challenging yourself, you are not improving. You are simply performing. You MUST fail before you succeed. Sadly, no one likes to fail. So, as a result, many people avoid failure (or experiencing any kind of weakness) at all cost – and only do what they are currently good at and currently strong enough to handle.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. Michael Jordan

on the floorI don’t like extreme cardio. I do Kickboxing and LiveXFit because I know I need it. Feel free to take a class with me, or follow me online at LiveExercise to see for yourself – I can GUARANTEE you will see me reach failure (and it ain’t pretty!). However, I do it because I know it will make me stronger, better and healthier. I’d prefer to run, but I can already run. I’d prefer to rest more between exercises, but that won’t improve my cardio and conditioning. So I huff and puff my way through each workout, just hoping I can make it through.

Do I enjoy failing? Do I enjoy feeling weak? NO! I hate it, BUT I realize it’s a requirement for getting stronger. If I want to get stronger, I have to experience those weak moments.

So, celebrate your weakness. Celebrate reaching failure as long as you don’t give up! It’s in that weakness you are made stronger. :)

Peddle Yourself Fit: How to Get the Most Out of a Stationary Bike

exercise bikeI run into a lot of people nursing injuries, or limited by joint issues. Unfortunately, as soon as someone is injured they often quit exercising altogether – but there is hope! It’s called a stationary bike.

If you have ever been to a rehabilitation center, you know physical therapist rely heavily on Stationary Bikes. It gets the patient’s joints moving without extra weight on the joint, it’s safe (less chance of falling off a bike than a treadmill) and it exercises the heart and lunges.

If you are unable to do weight bearing exercise (like walking, running or doing the elliptical), using a stationary bike is a great alternative – IF you use it right.

Here are 4 ways to peddle your way to fitness success.

big boy on small bike1. Learn proper set-up. Have you ever seen a big person on a little bike. It looks ridiculous doesn’t it? Well, it’s not just silly looking, it’s dangerous. Before you begin your workout, adjust the seat where your legs comfortably stretch out to reach the peddles. When your leg is stretched out all the way, your leg should only have a slight bend without locking the knee out at full extension. If you are bike shopping, don’t cut corners just to save money. Cheap bikes often are tipsy and not as comfortable. Your health is worth the investment. Look for a wide base, comfortable seat, heart rate monitor, built-in workout programs and sturdy framing to make your workout more enjoyable.

sleeping on exercise bike

2. No coasting. Many people get on a bike like they are going out for some kind of joy ride instead of actually working out. They peddle slowly, as if that is going to do something miraculous. Maybe it’s because they are comfortable. With recumbent bikes these days, bikes have nice cushy backs on the seat and even arm rests, so no wonder you may start yawning! You can’t coast your way to success. Ride like you are going somewhere.

3. Peddle with purpose. I see some people hop on the bike and mentally leave the planet into some far off land. If you want your bike exercise to change your body, and your health, you need to have a gang plan. Many bikes, like the NordicTrac GX 3.4, have built in workout programs. The GX 3 actually has 23 programs to choose from, so you could practically have a fresh new workout every time you ride throughout each month! If your bike has programs, USE THEM! Don’t just peddle at your own pace, use the programs to train and challenge you.

4. Track your heart rate. Your heart rate is the most accurate way to determine how hard you are working. First, find out your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). Then, multiple that number by your desired target heart rate. 60-70% for beginners, 70-80% for intermediate training and 80-90% for advanced training. Interval workouts are even more effective for fat burning and conditioning. Interval workouts are when you exercise at a high peak of 80-90% of your maximum heart rate, followed by a recovery period at a lower heart rate. For example, 1 minute at 80-90%, followed by 2 minutes at 70-80% for a high intensity workout, or 2 minutes at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate followed by 3 minutes at 60-70% for a moderate intensity workout.

target-heart-rate-table1

GREEN FOR GOOD LUCK: 25 Low-Cal Low-Glycemic Greens

25 Greens to get u leanIf you want to eat healthy, and store less fat, start eating more low-glycemic foods. Foods that have a higher glycemic index (like potatoes, rice and corn) increase your blood sugar, and are higher in calories too. High-glycemic foods don’t tend to last as long in our system, therefore have a chance of being stored as fat quicker. A lower-glycemic food will stay in your system longer so you have more chance of burning it up, and using it for energy. Low-glycemic foods will also help you keep your blood sugar more stable, which means a nice steady flow of lasting energy. All in all, low-glycemic foods have a lot of perks – especially for weight loss!

(Read this article to learn more about the Glycemic Index by the Mayo Clinic.)

Tip: Choose lower-glycemic foods for snacks and dinner (since you want to keep calories low for snacks and you don’t need a lot of calories (energy) to sleep). Eat high-glycemic carbs during the morning or middle of the day (so you have a chance to use that blood sugar for working, working out and staying active).

Low-Calorie Low-Glycemic Greens 

Try adding these greens to your grocery list and daily menu.

  1. Green veggiesArugula  (salad greens)
  2. Asparagus
  3. Bean sprouts
  4. Broccoli
  5. Brussels sprouts
  6. Cabbage
  7. Celery
  8. Chicory (salad greens)
  9. Cucumber
  10. Endive (salad greens)
  11. Escarole (salad greens)
  12. Green Beans
  13. Green Onions
  14. Greens (collard, kale, mustard, turnip)
  15. Iceberg lettuce
  16. Kohlrabi
  17. Okra
  18. Pea pods
  19. Peppers (green)
  20. Romaine
  21. Spinach
  22. Sugar snap peas
  23. Swiss chard
  24. Watercress (salad greens)
  25. Zucchini

High Glycemic Index Vegetables (over 60)  LIMIT THESE

  • artichokes
  • carrot
  • corn
  • dried beans
  • lima beans
  • oyster plant
  • parsnips
  • potato
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • yam
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