Blog Archives

Sweat & Tone! Awesome Shoulder Workout

Shoulder WorkoutThis was my workout yesterday. This is not a bodybuilder workout where you isolate muscles and rest in between exercises. Prepare to SWEAT! I was dripping wet and out of breath practically the whole time. I’m sharing the weight I did so you can get a feel for the right resistance for you. :) Have fun!

Click on the links to see video instruction if you are unfamiliar with an exercise.

#1 SET (5 Sets)
10-12 Heavy Push Presses and Split Jerks
#1: 45lb Bar Standing Military Press
#2: 55lbs Push Press
#3: 65lb Push Press
#4: 75lb Split Jerk
#5 85lb Split Jerk
TIP: Rest between sets so you can lift heavy. Not TOO much rest though. :)

#2 SUPER SET
10 25lb Snatches (10 Left & 10 Right)
10 Alternating Shoulder Press (ladders) with 8-10lb dumbbells (10 each arm/20 total)
TIP: no rest between exercise. Rest AFTER both exercises are complete back to back.

#3 SUPER SET
10 45lb Bar Moderate Military or Push Press
10 8lb Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Press (Fast ladder press – 10 each arm/20 total)
10 5lb Dumbbell Lateral Raises
TIP: On ladders, one hand should be going down WHILE the other is going up to keep BOTH arms moving. Otherwise one arm gets rest while the other arm works. This super set is about wearing them out.) NO REST until all 3 exercises are complete. Short rest between super sets.

#4 SUPER SET
12 Face Pulls with Rope
12 Rear Delt Raises

Let me know how you do!! :)

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)

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!

 

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.

 

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 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!

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?

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. :)

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