….And We’re Back!

11 04 2008

Yay! The blog is back. Sorry for the hiatus, but I am back now, so spread the word.
I promised an elliptical workout last time, so here it is, about a week late.
 Question: How should we use the Elliptical Trainer?
OK, reason I ask is that it seems to be getting some bad press and the treadmill is being touted as the workout machine that will get you into shape. I hope that’s not true because I think the Elliptical is fun )
I do see people hop on and just go without any resistance so that can’t be good right? I don’t use the programs because they don’t change the resistance, should I? I try to change it up, increase & decrease the incline, and work with the resistance.. start at 3, go to 10 then go to 5 sort of thing. Can you recommend a good Elliptical workout for us Elliptical junkies?

While, I can not in good conscience reccommend a workout to someone I have not evaluated myself, I can tell you that an elliptical routine is a great way to increase results, instead of just jumping on it and going, and keep your workout interesting.
After this question posted, I went to the gym for some experimenting. After a few different positions, levels and a lot of sweating, I developed a routine for myself, that you can tweak for your needs.
I think its pretty much common knowledge that ellipticalling forward works the front of your legs, namely quads, and going backwards works the back of the legs, namely hamstrings.
I’m not going to get too much into the levels and RPMs I went cause that wasnt my main concern and its going to be different based on everyone’s fitness level. I was more focused on form and ways you can change that around.
So here’s what I did for a good 30 minute cardio session on the elliptical:

  • 2 minute warm up, just general elliptical, forward, hands on elliptical arms
  • 2.5 minutes, still going forward, a bit faster, concentrate on your right arm pushing the ET’s arm
  • 2.5 minutes, same pace, concentrate on left arm
  • 5 minutes, knees bent more than usual weight on your heels
  • 3 minutes, still forward, on your toes (if they get tingly, you can skip this. Sometimes mine do, and sometimes they don’t.)
  • 5 minutes, switch to reverse, hold on to middle handles, weight on heels
  • 5 minutes, switch back to normal forward motion, weight on heels
  • 2.5 minutes, hard intensity, hands on ET’s moving arms
  • 2.5 minutes cool down, half pace

There are all kinds of variations you can do, whatever feels right for you. It is important to switch up your cardio so you dont fall into a plateau, and this is a perfect way to do that. A lot of people tell me they just LOVE the elliptical, treadmill, etc, and don’t want to have to switch to keep the body on its toes. This is a great way to make it so you dont have to.
I have a meeting with my broker after work and then have to crank out this seminar. I worked out at work today between sessions because I wont have time this evening and then will make sure to fit in a short run.
I’m so glad to be back, hope you guys stuck around. I have a short attention span so I would have forgotten about this thing by now if it weren’t mine.


My Anaconda Don’t Want None…

27 03 2008

Alright everyone, break out your leg warmers and reeboks with the strap, its time for BUNS OF STEEL. And thighs and hammies.
Works glutes, hamstrings, quads
You will need: a chair or bench, dumbells
Stand in front of a chair, feet shoulder width apart, knees soft. Keeping your chest up, slowly squat, while bring your arms, palms face down up to horizontal. Lightly tap the chair with your butt, push through your heels, and lower your arms and return to standing return to standing. Dont sit on the chair.

Works glutes, hamstrings, calves, quads
You will need: a chair
Stand in front of chair, just like in the exercise above. This time, squat, keeping chest up, tap bech with butt and jump into the air as high as you can. Land softly, bent knees and repeat. Go for speed and height.
Works glutes, hamstrings
You will need: Your lil ol’ self
Lay on your back with both legs bent. Straighten one leg in the air, keeping knees together. Push through your heel and lift your butt of the ground, raising your hips toward the ceiling as high as you can. Lower back to start.
Works glutes, hamstrings, thighs, helps build lateral stability in the knee
You will need: a chair or bench, weights if desired
Stand facing away from chair. Place one leg backwards onto chair, top of the foot laying flat on it’s surface. You may need to hop your front foot out a bit, just to make sure that when you lower, your knee does not pass over your toe. Keep your chest up and lower your hips to the ground. Push through your heel and return to start.
 These are my favorite butt exercises.


Works glutes, hamstrings, calves
You will need: a chair with a back
Stand next to a chair who’s back you can hold onto lightly for support. Raise one leg in front of you just enough that it will not touch the ground. Keep your chest up and lower into a squat. Press through your heel to standing and rise up onto your toe. Lower back down into squat. This is on fluid movement up and down.

I have a ton more but I will save some for later.

Just for the sake of vanity, I would like to let you know that I always take these pictures after I work out. I dont always look like I just spent 3 monthes lost in the wilderness.
Hey Kiala- you like my sweatshirt? its American Apparel. EAT YOUR HEART OUT.
Im on a running kick, so depending on my schedule, I will either run at home or at the gym on the treadmill. Im a little tight from yesterday so ill get a good stretching sesh in also. Maybe some weights. Depends on my mood. I throw caution to the wind. Im dangerous.
Maybe I wont stretch. Gasp!

Actually I will or else I wont be able to walk tomorrow.

20 03 2008

So here’s something sad.  A new client of mine’s husband works at the middle school across the street from my house.  Thats a huge coincidence because i work about 30 minutes away from home. Anyway, he is the orchestra teacher and complains because the students have to choose between PE , art, or music.  Since hes the orchestra teacher, his students obviously all chose music, and he is noticing most of them are overweight.  Early stages of planning here, but maybe I can implement some afterschool fitness program so they can get a little exercise.
That’s sad.  No child should have to choose between the arts and physical education.  I didn’t have a choice, you had to do all three.  They should have to fake “feminine problems” and twisted ankles to get out of running just like I did.
Tonight’s agenda is full of cleaning, visiting the ‘rents, and nutrition seminar preparation.  Thank goodness my last session for the day was at 9:00am. We had a meeting at 12, so that gave me some free time to fit a workout in at work. 
We have a machine called a functional trainer with arms that go anywhere from straight up, to straight down and swing all the way out and in. There are cables attached to the arms and then we have all kinds of handle attachments.  You can basically do anything and work any body part on it. 


My arms were killing me today from the gym last night so i kept it pretty mild.
I did:

  • 2 sets of 10 resisted step ups.  I used a block and placed the FT handles thusly:


              I stacked the weight to 15 on each side, held the handles, stepped up on my right and lifted my left leg behind me to work the glutes. I did 10 on each leg. they weight just added about 30 lbs to my body weight for extra resistance.

  • 2 sets of 10 standing rows; 20 pounds
  • 2 sets of 10 tricep pulldowns; 15 pounds. I put one arm of the FT pointing toward the ceiling, put on a rope attachment so I could hold on with both hands, kept my elbows in at my sides and just pushed the rope down from my chest to my waist and back
  • 2 sets of 10 bicep pull ups; 15 pounds. Same as the triceps but exactly opposite. FT arm is pointing towards ground, pull rope attachment from waist up to chest
  • 2 sets of 10 upside down (black side) bosu squats.  Having the bosu upside down makes it super unstable so it works the core and lateral stability of the legs very well.
  • 2 sets of 10 kettlebell swings. You stand feet shoulder width apart, holding the kettlebell in both hands between your legs. bend your legs, swing the kettlebell up above your head, and back down between your legs.  You have to try and slow it down and obsorb the momentun of it. Suprisingly, its more more of a leg workout than arms.

This little guy (compared to a 5lb dumbell) weights 18 pounds. Kettlebells are all about absorbing the kettlebells momentum with your body, so it involves a lot of swinging and then slowing down the kettlebell.  I highly recommend taking a kettlebell class. Hoo, boy, you get a GREAT workout and amazing muscle definition. 

  • 2 sets of plate drags down the hall.  These are great for your core and shoulders.  Put two weight plates (or magazines or dinner plates, etc. The more they weight the more resistance) on the ground.  Place your toes in the center of the plates and get into push up position: core tight, hips down.  Use your arms to “walk” down the hallway, keeping everything tight and being careful not to let your legs swing from side to side, like a seal.  I always threaten to sit on clients if they dont keep their hips down, thats what makes this work.

And thats about it. Im going to try and go for a short run later tonight, but other than that, I am done workout wise. It feels good to get it out of the way. i wish i could work out in the mornings but then I would have to wake up around 2:15, which, um, no.
So I am going to be SWAMPED at work for the next while. In addition to the three part nutrition seminar, I am also going to be the “nutrition consultant” for my work. (What’s funny is I don’t know what to call my work, its not a gym, but its not a studio either. None of us can figure out what to call it) All of the other trainers are men, and arent very nutrition savvy. So it falls on me. We have an online program that no one does so in order to make the clients more accountable we are going to set up nutrition consultations probably every month to get them in and really looking at the decisions they make. We have over 50 clients. I know some of them will tell us to shove it because they just want to get their butts kicked during a workout and don’t care about food, but geeze. I love nutrition and I am excited about doing this, I think it will be really fun and beneficial for them, but it just means lots more work. Fun work, but more work nonetheless.

I tried to size down the pics to make them easier to load last night, but it didn’t quite work, it just made the pictures blurry. Ill keep trying though, I promise.

My Own Total Gym: Chuck Norris Not Included

19 03 2008

So tired. Long day. Nuff said.

 Still managed to get a workout in though, even though it was in my living room while watching Biggest Loser. Just FYI, Jillian bothers me. But she could snap me in half over her knee, so I will be civil.

My at home workouts are always different, and I just do a lot of random stuff. The only equiptment I need is a stability ball and two 8 pound dumbells. Nothing fancy; nothing expensive.

So today I did:

  • 3 Sets of 10 Pike up, Push ups. Works the abs, shoulders, chest, biceps, core. You need a stability ball.
  • 2 Sets of 15 Heels Tucks (see this post for instructions) Works the glutes, hammies, calves, core. You need a stability ball
  • 2 Sets of 20 Sumo Jump Squats (as shown here; except I did them without the weight and kept my hands on my hips) Works the quads, hammies, inner and outter thigh, calves, glutes
  • 2 Sets of Dumbell Twists (as shown here; except I did them sitting on the floor with my feet raised in the air, knees bent. So I was balancing just on my butt.) Works the abs, obliques
  • 2 Sets of 10 One Legged Squat to Heel Raise on both legs (Shown here except when I come back to standing I go up on the ball of my foot to do a calf raise) Works the quads, hammies, glutes and calves

I couldn’t find an example of Pike up Push ups, so I had the boy record me doing some right here. I just woke up so I look like crap and just ignore the dog barking in the background. We had to lock him in the bathroom as to not compromise the shot. Because its Oscar quality for sure.

If you can’t pike up you can bend your knees and roll the ball in like this:


It was mainly a lower body day today, as it usually is, but I’ll do more arms at the gym tomorrow. I stick to lower body because it is my “problem area” which just means I would like it to be a bit firmer (don’t we all.) My upper body is fine, so I just work it out to maintain it, which doesn’t take as much focus.

You can really do a lot of great exercises at home, you just need to experiment and research.  I like old school stuff that really burns, but if you like Self and Shape magazine workouts thats completely ok. Just really try some new stuff every once in a while so you don’t get sick of your routine.

Butt Blasters

15 03 2008

Good morning. I am deliciously hung over right now, but still managed to get up and take the dog for a walk. The weather was beautiful so we did a leisurely 3 miles. Here was the veiw from the half way mark:


It looks far away but downtown is only about 10 minute drive.

I know I won’t get to the gym today, I have tons to do, so I will do a quick workout at home before I make myself presentable to the world. I usually do a lot of stability ball work, and a lot of core and static holds because I don’t have much equipment at home, but honestly, a workout just using your body weight can be just as intense, if not more so, than one with machines and dumbells.

Last night was wonderful, thanks for your well wishes. We caught a cab downtown, ate way too much food, then caught a cab to the U-District (The University of Washington town) hit some bars, and met up with some friends. The boy was feeling impulsive, so we went to get his snake bites re-done (little piercings on each side of the lower lips, like where if a snake bit itself thats where he would puncture…i guess) but his friend that could get him a discount was on break so we decided against waiting. We then went to another bar, met up with some friends, and then caught a cab home. It was a good night.

My bf is in a band, which I will now shamelessly promote. TRIP LIKE ANIMALS. Hes the one with ridiculously long hair and, yes, he smokes. If you want a CD. $5. I will mail it to you. There I did my networking for the week.

Timeofbutterflies- I couldn’t find the exact pedometer I have on the website, but it looks a lot like this. Just don’t pay more than $10 bucks for one, and make sure it has a cover because theres nothing worse than looking at your pedometer at the end of the day and seeing its at 10 steps because you accidentally hit reset. that’s pretty much my only advice.

And I will leave you know with the BEST butt, thigh, and calf exercise around:

Hamstring Curl – Supine w/ SB

Pre-Requisites :

  • Client should have good core strength and be able to hold a bridge for approx 30 secs.
  • Clients must have a good kinetic alignment- hip, knees over 2nd-3rd toe. If not you will find your client activating piriformis and bicep femoris which will cause their feet to externally rotate on the ball.
  • If a “Lower Crossed” type of posture in noted (i.e. excessive lordosis), a proper stretching protocol (i.e. Psoas, Rectus Femoris, Superficial Erector Spinae) must precede “loading” this exercise to ensure ideal lumbar spine lordosis, and ideal stability through the Lumbo Pelvic Hip Complex.

Preparation :

  • Start by lying on back with arms outstretched and palms up.
  • Place heels on ball with toes pointing straight up.

Movement :

  • Perform an abdominal draw-in and squeeze glutes to raise your hips from the floor.
  • Next, curl your heels toward your glutes by bending your knees.
  • Slowly return to the start position while maintaining the level of your hips throughout the entire exercise.
  • Do not allow the feet to externally rotate while flexing the knees (keep toes pointing straight up).
  • Do not allow your hips to drop while flexing the knees.  If your hips continue to drop, descend the progression by performing hip extension only.
  • Progressions: 1 leg kick, 1 leg diagonal kick Inertia progression: power ball – to cable – to tubing. 

And here it is on video. Ideally, your hips should be up higher than his throughout. I’m thinking since he is musclebound, he doesn’t have much flexibility. I just find these on youtube.com, I don’t know the people in them or anything.