Blog Archives

Fitness: Beyond Your Gym Attendance

fitness is a lifestyleHave you heard that saying, “you can stand in the garage, but that doesn’t make you a car? Well the same applies to fitness.

Going to the gym doesn’t make you fit. Even doing an occasional intense workout doesn’t necessarily get you fit either.  Your body needs a lot more than just regular gym attendance – it needs a healthy lifestyle. Being fit requires eating for fuel, giving your body the nutrients it needs to grow and repair. It requires discipline.  You may need to say “No’ next time you are asked to go out when you know your body desperately needs rest. Your body needs ample fluids for healthy hydration and to help flush toxins. Your body needs good posture to relieve joints and to prevent injury. Sadly, there are a lot of people working hard in the gym to get fit, who are destroying their bodies as soon as they walk out the door.

Whether it’s eating junk food, smoking, drinking, not getting rest, allowing too much stress in your life or being in an unhealthy relationship, unhealthy choices can trump any good workout if you are not careful.

Sure, you might get stronger if you lift weights regularly, but you could still die of lung cancer if you smoke. You could still be at risk of diabetes and obesity related illness even if you do regular cardio, if you continue to eat healthy. Even if you workout, you can still be at risk for injury due to poor posture or tight muscles.

The bottom line is you can’t expect to pick and choose what you are willing to do to be fit and healthy.  Being fit is something you work toward all day long. Decide to strive for the full package – healthy inside and out. Look healthy because you ARE healthy!

  • Be STRONG: Lift weights regularly
  • Be FIT: Challenge your cardiovascular system with regular cardio
  • Be HEALTHY: Eat healthy food – you really are what you eat! 
  • Be FLEXIBLE: Remember to stretch tight muscles to prevent poor posture and injury.
  • Be CALM: Meditate, pray and rest. Your body and mind needs quiet time too.

 

Searching for Fitness Tips? Beware!

diet tipsAre you constantly looking for all the best tips, information and advice. If so, beware of falling into the trap of reading tips and advice, and your knowledge stopping there. To truly transform your life, you need to become a student of fitness - study, learn and apply. Here’s what I mean…

In today’s world, we want quick fixes, fast answers, a short word of advice or small tip to help us get through the day. We want our trainer to motivate us to workout, we want our preacher to give us an inspiring word to make us want to live better and we want someone to just tell us what to eat so we can lose weight. Basically, we want everyone else to do the hard work – the studying, the thinking, the troubleshooting…and pass along the results of their labor to us.

However, even the best advice is worthless if it isn’t fully understood or being applied. Being told what to do in the gym isn’t going to make you any more fit than going to church once a week isn’t going to make you spiritual. These tidbits of information are to SPARK an interest in you to dig more, to study more, to learn more and to put what you have learned into practice. When you only get the tip, you are only getting part of the story. The tip should be the START of a journey, not the end-all be-all.

I try really hard to put short bits of information out there for everyone to enjoy, BUT there are some exceptions and more information than I can squeeze in a short blog or motivational mantra. The goal is to spark something in you to want to learn more.

“I have been in an academic setting my entire life, I have been obsessed with weight loss reality TV shows since they existed, and I have read magazine article after article on diet and nutrition for weight loss because I knew I deserved more than to be fat and unhealthy my entire life. But when your sister shared your book with me, I read it cover to cover in one sitting and my life was changed forever.” Jenny

Why was her life changed? It wasn’t because she bought my ebook. Because she UNDERSTOOD the text and APPLIED IT. It’s really that simple. AND, she didn’t apply PARTS of it, she applied it ALL – and she lost 70lbs!

JenVenn_unhealthy_2000 JenVenn_healthybike_May2012We need to become more knowledgeable if we want to make better choices. We can’t rely on rules, a list of approved foods or tips to get us by in life. We need to understand they WHY behind it all. It’s in understanding WHY that we are much more motivated to DO.

Let me encourage you! Today, Joyce Meyer said we aren’t supposed to just read the Word, that we are supposed to STUDY the Word. Look at what the word “READ” actually means:

  • to look at and comprehend the meaning of…
  • inspect and record…
  • to have such knowledge of (a language) as to be able to understand things written in it

studyingI believe this is how we are to treat ANYthing that is important to us and has the potential to improve our life. We can’t rely on tips or CliffsNotes to help us make the best decisions in life. We must read (study), take notes, practice what we have learned, troubleshoot, experiment, learn from our mistakes and re-test yourself (try and try again).

Isn’t it time you make a commitment to STUDYING the important things in life? Parenting, Health & Fitness, God, Marriage & Career Skills – THESE are worth studying and will pay off big-time!

Stop looking for people to spoon-feed you fitness tips or religious inspiration. Let’s go deeper!

Motivation Monday: Try Something GREAT

“When Is the Last Time You Attempted Something Great?” 

attempt something greatThis is a very powerful question. I believe many of us avoid attempting great tasks to avoid experiencing great failure. There comes a time you have to ask yourself, “What is worse? Attempting something great and possibly failiing, or not attempting anything great at all and succeeding?”

I’ve recently been asked to do some pretty scary things – scary to me at least. My first instinct was to say “no”. Then I had to ask myself why I was saying no. Was it because it would hurt me? No. Was it because it would hurt anyone else? No. Was it because I was afraid to fail. The answer was yes – but that should NEVER stop me from trying something. When it boiled down to it, I had no other choice but to decide to do it because I really had no good reason not to at least try.

Sadly, many people never really ever try to do something great simply because they don’t want to fail. I believe we are looking at success all wrong. Success is not reaching your goal without opposition, struggle, failures or setbacks. Success is reaching your goal, or getting closer to your goal, despite all of that. Success is also not just doing what you are good at. You can be successful in just trying. You can be more successful attempting success, even if you fall short of your goal. Your goal may be in trying alone. Let me explain…

The Success In Trying

Julianne Talley Ms Senior FloridaSomeone recently suggested my mom be in the Ms. Senior Pageant. She thought long and hard on it and decided it was time she step outside her box and do it. Her goal was not to win. Her goal was to get out of her comfort zone and to experience personal growth, as well as encourage the other ladies there. Her goal was to show up.

Her dress didn’t come in time but she didn’t stress (I admit I would have freaked!). She could have easily used that as an excuse to back out. She could have taken that as an omen, “well it’s just not mean to be”, but she didn’t. She pressed on. She was scheduled to be out of town for work a lot, and she could have used that as an excuse for poor timing, but she found a way to fit it all in. She had never done a pageant before and struggled with the perception of being in a “beauty pageant” but she focused on what good could come out of instead. She had plenty of really good excuses but decided to not use one of them.

Just showing up for her was a big win. We were all so proud because we knew she was way out of her box. She was proud of herself. She said she would sit there at practice thinking “I can’t believe I’m doing this.” As I watched her on stage, I marveled at her bravery, knowing it wasn’t easy for her. I gleamed with pride and reflected on my own need to step outside my comfort zone. She not only did it – to her surprise, she won.

Ms. Senior Florida 2014

What If You Fail?

What if she failed? What if she didn’t even get to be a runner up? Would she really have failed? Absolutely not. She met some amazing ladies and she could celebrate the victory of stepping out of her box. The moment she said “Yes, I’ll do it” she succeeded. The moment she stepped on stage, she was a winner because she attempted something great. She practiced and performed her song. She memorized her philosophy. She learned how to walk, dance and prepare for such an event. She walked away with more experience, more confidence and more ways to encourage people. Whether she walked away with a crown on her head and a sash across her chest or not, she would have left a better person, a more fully developed person with one more great experience under her belt. Victory was inevitable. 

a-cannot-fail-textI want to challenge you today to try something great. Don’t just attempt to lose 20lbs, attempt to lose the full 50 you need to lose. Ladie,s don’t try to just get any man, aim to find the BEST and GREATEST man for you. Don’t settle for a job you are miserable, keep applying for the job you’ve always wanted. Don’t settle for an average marriage, work hard to develop a phenomenal marriage. In every single attempt, you will likely see much improvement whether you reach your desired goal or not.

Remember…

“Most people fail in life not because they aim too high and miss, but because they aim too low and hit.” (Les Brown)

Why You Can’t Work Off Your Weight

diet AND exerciseI’m going to tell you something that could save you hours in the gym and weeks of wasted work for little to no results? Ready? OK, here it goes: you can’t exercise the weight off. (allowing a pause here for every woman to shriek in pure horror and disappointment)

Don’t get me wrong. There are SOME people who start exercising and lose weight, but normally they are also trying to eat better too. OR, maybe they were extremely overweight and sedentary so their new active lifestyle was a very drastic change for them. Whatever the case, it’s rare and exercise can only get you so far when it comes to weight loss. Weight loss requires cutting back on the calories taken in, unless you want to run 5-10 miles a day to get in the 500-1000 calorie deficit that is required for weight loss.

Unfortunately, many people join a gym and hire a trainer in hopes of losing weight and rely on those 3 workouts a week to do all the work. I only WISH this worked! Being a trainer would be awesome, everyone would get results and the world would be a happy fit and trim place. But it just doesn’t work like that.

Think about it. Do you really expect a one hour workout to erase all the poor choices you make for the rest of the 23 hours in your day? Does that even make sense? However, many people are doing just that. They expect their 3-5 hours in the gym each week to erase all the extra calories they eat over the 168 hours a week. Do the math! 5 hours vs 168 hours. If we were gambling, I’m pretty sure we’d all bet on the 168 hours winning the fight.

“You can’t compete with what you eat” 

sconeThink of it this way. If 30 minutes on the treadmill only burns 300 calories, but you can eat a 300-calorie pastry in 5 minutes, can you see how that math will never work? (PS: 1 blueberry scone at Starbucks is 460 CALORIES!!) So for every 5 minutes of pastry-eating, you’d need to work 30 minutes on the treadmill? Yeah, that ain’t happening.

It doesn’t have to be poor choices either. Most people just eat too much. They may eat healthy, but they eat a LOT of healthy food. And, the more they workout, the more they mentally think they can afford to eat.

Of course I’m just using these examples to help you grasp the whole exercise vs diet concept, do don’t get freaked out. This is also written for people who need to lose weight. Maintenance mode is totally different. When you are maintenance mode you aren’t trying to be in a caloric deficit so you can eat more. I can order fries if I want to and I probably won’t gain weight because I’m in maintenance. Now, if I did it every day, that’s another thing! However, I keep my calories low throughout the day so I CAN cheat here and there and not gain weight. I may also do an extra cardio here or there to make up for any extra calories, but I never can be completely irresponsible for several days straight or I will blow up quick. ;)

WORTH THE SACRIFICE copySadly, most people don’t want to give up their simple little pleasures – even for a much BIGGER and GREATER reward, like a fit and trim body. They feel like they “must have chocolate” or “can’t give up wine”. Maybe their goal is too far away that they don’t truly realize what that glass of wine or nightly ice cream is costing them. They don’t realize how fast they’d reach their goal if they just stuck to both diet and exercise.

So, to make themselves feel better they decide to exercise. Working out is awesome and you can absolutely get in better shape. You can have a firmer body, stronger muscles, better stamina and more energy BUT you may not lose one pound if you are burning as many calories as you are eating. Diet is required for weight loss.

Diet-Plus-Exercise

Changing-Body-StructureThe same way you can’t eat a bunch of protein and magically grow muscle, you have to make sure you are doing what is required to reach your goal. If you want to lose body fat and lose weight, you have to diet. If you want to get fit, you have to exercise. If you want a better health report, you probably need to do both. If you want to look fit, you need to do both.

Most people act as if they are in maintenance mode – exercising and eating whatever they want. However, most people need to be in weight loss mode, which is dieting and exercising. The sooner you do it right, the sooner you can be in maintenance mode – but just a thinner fitter you in maintenance mode!

TIP: The longer you put off dieting, the longer you put off results. Go ahead and start today! You can lose 8-12lbs in one month with a great low-cal diet and exercise program. Do the math! How much do you need to lose? Isn’t it worth a few weeks of discipline!?  I think it is!! You’ll be SO glad you did! Otherwise, 5 years may fly by and you are still the same weight because you weren’t willing to work as hard in the kitchen as you were in the gym.

7 Ways to Redefine Yourself

it's not your past that defines youI can’t tell you how often I hear people make decisions based on past experience. “Last time I tried that, I got hurt”, “I joined a gym once and I never used it”,  “I’ve always been overweight and I always will”, “I’ve never been able to do that”, “I’ve never been able to control myself”.

These are all past-tense statements that are currently affecting the present. So what if you’ve never been able to control yourself. So what if you’ve failed 100 times? It doesn’t mean you will fail this time.

Take all your past experiences and learn what you can from them and then start NEW. Make NEW decisions, not based on who you’ve BEEN but who you desire to BECOME.

Weak people get strong. Out of shape people get fit. People fall, and they learn to get back up and secure their footing. I’ve known SO many people who have joined every gym in town and finally started to learn how to use the gym and become a success. I’ve know people overweight alllll their life (fully convinced they just inherited fatness) get fit – and even get shredded with physiques that belong in fitness magazines!

For every person out there who has a darn good excuse why they are depressed, overweight, unhealthy, tired or has failed, there is a person in the same exact situation with the same exact past who is succeeding.

You can be whoever you want to be despite who you’ve been. Redefine yourself. Start today.

Here are 7 Tips to Redefining Yourself

Let Go of the Past1. Learn to Move Ahead: Decide to accept responsibility for where you are if it’s your fault, and decide to forgive someone else for what you’ve been through if it’s someone else’s fault (poor childhood, abuse, etc). You can’t move forward if you are still holding on to the past.

2. Look for Lessons: What have you learned from your mistakes? Is it possible you didn’t follow the last diet like you were supposed to? What did you do wrong last time you tried to reach a goal? Was the goal too high, or did you just not give it 100% effort? Be honest, search hard, reach deep, find answers.

3. Promise to Improve: Write the list of mistakes you need to avoid and promise to improve. Promise yourself you will not repeat the past. When you want to repeat a mistake, claim the new you saying “that was the OLD me!”, reminding yourself of who you are NOW and who you are BECOMING!

4. Try New Things: Many people don’t experience the fullness of life because they are afraid to try something new. They cling to what they know, even if what they know isn’t good for them. Step out of your comfort zone and decide to try things that you know will grow you, strengthen you and improve you. (This is something I struggle with. I am working on stepping out of my comfortable safe box. It’s scary, but I know it will be rewarding.)

Train Your Brain5. Train Your Brain: As Joyce Meyer says “where your mind goes, your body follows“. As SOOOON as you think a negative thought, you have to stop that thought and replace it with a positive one (or at least replace it with a truth you can hold on to). You have control of your thoughts – and if you don’t, they will control you. How we think is practiced, so we must practice right thinking. Take charge of your thought life and you will take control of your life. As soon as your mind says “I’m too tired to workout”, remind yourself “I always feel better after a workout”. If you think “I feel so weak”, remind yourself “but I am doing everything I can to get stronger”. Tell yourself “that was the OLD me, the new ME doesn’t think like that anymore”.

If you focus on your goals, you lose sight of your limitations. If you focus on your limitations, you lose sight of your goals.

6. Take Your Mind Off Yourself: The more we think about our own issues, flaws, shortcomings, problems, limitations, etc., the bigger obstacles they seem. There is a reason we say “focus on your goals” and “keep focused”, because we (trainers) know that when you focus on something, everything else gets out of focus, they grow dim, they blur out. If you focus on your goals, you lose sight of your limitations. If you focus on your limitations, you lose sight of your goals. However, when you look at your goal, and look at other people reaching their goals, you realize how little excuse you have. When I see one of our members rolling her wheelchair through the gym, or a overweight member hitting the elliptical for 45 minutes, all my lame excuses to skip cardio pale in comparison.

fitness science7. Rely on Science, not Hopes: Fitness isn’t like the lottery, where you play in hopes of winning. No, fitness is science. It works – period. Science doesn’t just work for one person and not another. If you aren’t getting results, there’s a reason. You have part of the equation off. Don’t keep doing the same thing hoping to get a better result. Find people who are getting results and do exactly what they are doing. I don’t know how often someone asks me what I do to stay fit and as soon as I talk about diet, they tune me out. They were hoping I told them about a new exercise or a magical piece of equipment. However, if they wanted to eat what I eat and do what I’m doing, they’d get the same exact results. It’s just science. Celebrate it! Learn more about it. You are your own science project – keep experimenting until you get the result you want!

Bottom line is this: It doesn’t matter what road you have traveled, what matters is what road you are on now. Get on the path to success!

 

The Amazing 63 Calorie Quiche

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Daisy Cottage Cheese. 

63 Calorie Quiche RecipeEating healthy is always easier when you plan ahead. Part of my planning ahead includes making a healthy breakfast that’s easy to heat and eat! This week, my breakfast of choice is a low-fat spinach quiche made with Daisy low-fat cottage cheese.

One thing I love about adding Daisy Cottage Cheese to my quiche is because it’s packed with protein (13gms per 1/2 cup 90 calorie serving). Since I like to get the majority of my protein from whole foods, Daisy Cottage Cheese is a great way to boost protein in your diet naturally. (FYI: Daisy Cottage Cheese has no preservatives, thickeners or additives and only has ingredients, where other brands have more than 10).

Shopping Tip: Look for the LIGHT blue lid (that’s the low fat one. Daisy’s regular cottage cheese has a dark blue lid). Also, alway look at ingredients when shopping. Less is more!  I took a photo of the ingredients for Daisy (below left) compared to another popular brand (below right). Look at all the extra ingredients. Who wants to eat Xanthan gum and Guar gum? lol

Daisy Cottage Cheese Daisy Cottage Cheese

63 Calorie Quiche

Daisy Cottage Cheese

16oz Bag of Defrosted & Drained Spinach
1 Cup Egg Beaters
2 Cups Low-Fat Daisy Cottage Cheese
1/2 Cup Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/4 Cup Crushed Crackers or Croutons
6 1 Medium Tomato, Diced
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Cook the spinach in a pan and drain well. Mix spinach in with all the ingredients. Pour in well greased muffin pan (I use Pam) and cook on 325 for 45 minutes. The recipe makes 12 63-calorie yummy low-fat, high-protein, low-carb mini quiches! BAM!

Change it up

63 Calorie Quiche RecipeUse this same recipe and just make some subtle changes to make your own new creations. Swap cheddar cheese for feta cheese or tomatoes for mushrooms. Change spinach for broccoli or asparagus. Dress your recipe up but adding a sliced cherry tomato on top. Don’t care about calories? Use 2 cups of cheese instead of 1/2 cup of cheese to richen the recipe (NOTE: that will make each quiche 120 calories instead of 63 calories).

Nutritional Information

Enjoy 2 quiches for only 125 calories, 16.4g of protein, 3.9g carbs and 4.8g fat. Look at this awesome pie graph! See all that light blue – that’s ALL PROTEIN!! WOOOT!

63 Calorie Quiche Recipe

I log my recipes in the LoseIt app to track calories and nutrients. What I love about making quiche in a muffin pan is that I have 12 perfect individualized portions, making tracking calories a breeze!

10 Ways to Cook With Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese recipesIf you are like me, and aren’t a big fan of eating cottage cheese solo, here are some great ways to enjoy the benefits of Daisy Cottage Cheese to eat healthier, reduce calories and boost protein.

1. Use cottage cheese instead of sour cream to add creaminess and a bunch of protein to a baked potato.

2. Use cottage cheese to thicken homemade dressings (using blender)

3. Use cottage cheese in place of Ricotta cheese in Italian dishes. (90 calories per half cup vs 216 calories)

4. Add a nice dollop of cottage cheese to a salad.

5. Use pureed cottage cheese instead of sour cream for a creamy healthier chip dip

6. Add cottage cheese to your smoothie for a creamier protein shake with even more protein.

7. Use cottage cheese in place of oil when baking.

8. Use cottage cheese instead of mayo when making tuna salad. (Puree it to make it creamy if you don’t like it chunky)

9. Mix cottage cheese with salt, pepper and herbs for a yummy and healthy cracker spread.

10. Mix or layer with fresh pineapple, apple sauce, peaches, pear or mandarin oranges and top with a dollop of whipped cream for a healthy dessert or breakfast.

HOW DO YOU EAT COTTAGE CHEESE?

twitter chatJoin us in our Twitter Chat! Daisy wants to know how you “Power Your Way Through the Day”. Getting the proper fuel we need can be hard on the go. Getting protein, outside of eating meat or having a protein shake, can also be challenging. Daisy Cottage Cheese is the perfect protein source. Daisy is extremely versatile and can help power your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and pre/post workout. Learn more about the Daisy Difference April 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm EST #DaisyDifference! See you there!

 

Diet Tip: Eat More Veggies, Eat More Food

You can have 1 oz of pasta and have a big empty plate OR you can have 2-3 times the amount of veggies for the same amount of calories. Check it out!

calories in pasta

Trade 1/2 cup of pasta for 1 FULL Cup of:

1. Asparagus: 27 calories
2. Broccoli: 35 calories
3. Brussel Sprouts: 38 calories
4. Cabbage: 41 calories
5. Cooked Cabbage: 65 calories
6. Cauliflower: 23 calories
7. Lettuce: 8 calories
8. Fresh Spinach: 20 calories
9. Cooked Spinach: 41 calories
10. Cooked Collard Greens: 62 calories

The less high-carb foods you eat, the MORE you can eat. Avoid large amounts of pasta, potato, rice, beans & bread. Increase green veggies to increase portions without INCREASING your waistline!

 

5 Ways to Squat

Did you know you can target different parts of your legs by changing the positioning of you feet and where you place your weight? Here is a video explaining how your footing matters.

1. Weight on toes: Works more quadricep
2. Weight on heels: Works more hamstring and glutes
3. Wide stance (Plie Squat): Works more inner thigh.
4. Regular stance: Works neutral (all areas equally)
5. Narrow stance (Sissy Squat): Works more outer thigh.

For a complete leg workout using squats do the following exercises. Can be done with or without weight.

WEIGHT ON HEELS
20 Plie Squats
20 Regular Squats
20 Sissy Squats

WEIGHT ON TOES
20 Plie Squats
20 Regular Squats
20 Sissy Squats

X 2-3 Sets

squatting with wood under toes Tip #1: Wear flat shoes (like Reebok’s CrossFit Nanos) for leg day so you don’t shift your weight on your toes accidentally.

Tip #2: You can add a piece of wood, or small weights under your heels or toes to help you shift your weight where you want it.

Tip #3: Muscle needs to be broken down to repair and get stronger. Too much rest time can be counterproductive.

Tip #4: It’s better to go light, and go DEEP (as long as your knees can handle it) than it is to go heavy and squat shallow. Besides, if you are weaker the deeper you go, that just means THAT is where you need strengthening the most! If you avoid going deep, you are not strengthening the muscles required for deep squats.

 

Strength for the Weary Woman

[strengkth, strength, strenth]   noun

1. the quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
2. mental power, forceor vigor.
3. moral power, firmness, or courage.
4. power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc.
5. number, as of personnel or ships in a force or body: a regiment with a strength of 3000.


Are you ready to get STRONG?

If you are struggling, remember what strength is. It’s not the weight you lift in the gym (definition #1: muscular power), it’s the being the woman you were called to be. It’s sticking to your goals and seeing them through no matter what (definition #3: firmness). It’s focusing on being a blessing to others (definition #3: moral power) – and you surely can’t do that if you are neglecting yourself. Blessings are very powerful – they strengthen both the giver and the receiver.

strong womenStrength is LIFTING others up. Weak people try to expose other people’s weaknesses so they APPEAR stronger. Strong people realize other people’s strengths and allow it to inspire them to improve. It’s creating support groups (even if it’s just a workout partner and yourself) for more accountability and strength in numbers (definition #5: strength in numbers) so you can be your absolute best. As you choose your circle of friends, you are choosing your area of influence, whether good or bad. This is why you must choose friends wisely, choosing people who can help strengthen your faith, strengthen your body and support you on your journey (definition #4: power of reason by influence).

Strength is having victory over the fork and power over the mind (definition #2: mental power). It’s practicing inner AND outer strength. Strength starts in your mind, flows out in actions. As Joyce Meyer always says, “where the mind goes, the body follows”.

Do you want to be strong? Truly strong? You CAN be as strong as you decide to try to be. Strength isn’t based on genetics or your personal upbringing. Strength is a DAILY DECISION to do things and think on things that strengthen you.

Here are 12 scriptures and promises that strengthen me when I get weary:

  1. strong womanI can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
  2. Two are better than one (reminding me of the need for support & fellowship when I’m tempted to go it alone), because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!  Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
  3. For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight (you don’t have to fight battles alone) for you against your enemies, to give you the victory.’ Deuteronomy 20:4
  4. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability (if you are facing it, He knows you can handle it), but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13
  5. But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength (a reminder that strength can be renewed); they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint (a reminder that it is still work). Isaiah 40:31
  6. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (a reminder that it’s in the weak times that we remember our need for the Lord’s strength, and it’s in OUR weakness he can show himself to you and others).” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
  7. Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
  8. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up (motivation to keep going). Galatians 6:9
  9. Be strong and courageous (notice it’s a command, meaning you have the option and the ability to do it). Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
  10. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10
  11. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good (reminding us that nothing is wasted. He can use all of our struggles and weaknesses for good), for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 
  12. So I do not run aimlessly (a reminder to live with purpose); I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control (and a reminder that God wants us to be disciplined and not let our body boss us around), lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9: 26-27
I hope you are encouraged!! Get more scriptures to build your spiritual muscles.
strong women lift

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

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