Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Core Strengthening Workout - A Beginners Guide

Your core is compiled of 4 different parts; Rectus Abdominus, Oblique, Intercostals, and Serratus. It’s imperative to work each of these muscles in order to achieve a solid core. The following exercises will target each of these areas so you can start seeing some washboard abs!

Rectus Abdominus: 
§  Location: Covers the area from sternum all the way down to the pelvis bone.
§  Exercises: Crunch or Sit Up

§  Location: Side of the waist.
§  Exercises: Side Bends and Decline Oblique Crunches

§  Location: Between the side of the rib cage. It comes into play when you flex the torso and twist from side to side.
§  Exercise: Air Bike

§  Location: Between front abs and lats.
§  Exercises: Barbell Pullovers and Cable Crunches

*Keep in mind that your diet and cardio will need to be in check in order for you to see abs.
Here are 3 sample workout plans for optimum results. Alternate each of these workouts every 3 days. Your core muscles repair quicker that the rest of your muscles allowing you to work them daily without muscle deterioration.

Core Strengthening Workouts

Workout For: Men and Women

Muscles Targeted: Core - Rectus Abdominus, Oblique, Intercostals, and Serratus

Workout #1:
Cable Crunch – 30 seconds
15 seconds of rest
Side Bends – 30 seconds
15 seconds of rest
Crunches – 3 sets of 15
Reverse Crunch Curl – 3 sets of 15

Workout #2:
Barbell Twists – 30 seconds
15 seconds of rest
Bicycle Crunches – 30 seconds
15 seconds of rest
Crunches – 30 seconds
15 seconds of rest
Leg Raises, Laying Down – 30 seconds

Workout #3:
Frog Sit Ups – 30 seconds
15 seconds of rest
Toe-Touch Sit Ups – 30 Seconds
15 seconds of rest
Side Crunches – 30 seconds each side
15 seconds of rest
Reverse Crunch – 3 sets of 15 reps

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Toned Arms In 6 Moves - Printable Workout

Toned Arms in 6 Moves

Workout For: Men and Women

Muscles Used: Biceps & Triceps

Equipment: Dumbbells, Rope Attachment

This is a basic arm workout for fast and noticeable results. I recommend supersetting (completing two exercises back to back without rest) to make the workout fast-paced, fun and effective.

Remember to always take 1-2 days off of your bicep and tricep workout to eliminate muscle deterioration. And to avoid a plateau, start with higher weight and drop to a lower weight as you move to your next set. For example: the first set will be the max weight you can lift, the second set will be the next lighter weight and so on.

The Workout:

Superset 1
Dumbbell Bicep Curl 4sets of 12-15 reps

Incline Skull Crushers 4 sets of 12-15 reps

30-60 seconds rest

Superset 2
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Incline Dumbbell Curl 4 sets of 10-12 reps

30-60 seconds rest

Superset 3
Cable Hammer Curls w/ Rope Attachement 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Triceps Pushdown 4 sets of 12-15 reps

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Flat Belly Foods

Getting ready for summer? Pair the 8 Minutes to a 6-Pack Workout with these lean, mean, fat-burning foods and you'll be beach body ready in no time. 

Nuts – monosaturated fats like nuts and nut butters burned more calories! Don’t let ‘fat’ in the title scare you, ,monosaturated fats are the good fats. Portions are key however, keep it to ¼ cup of nuts and 2 tablespoons of nut butters

Non-Fat Greek Yogurt – higher in filling protein that regular yogurt, also contains probiatotics (good bacteria) that reduce the bad bacteria in your intestines leading to tummy bloating.  1 cup is a perfect serving – this is an AWESOME snack that Troy and I pack daily in our lunches. We add sliced strawberries, blueberries, rasberries and 1/3 cup of homemade granola (this is my fav recipe for homemade granola)

Mushrooms – Only natural plant source of Vitamin D! =O whaaaat? Low Vitamin D levels are linked to higher levels of belly fat. Mushrooms exposed to ultraviolet light have higher levels of Vitamin D. Chop up some mushrooms and throw them in a pasta sauce or a salad.

Chocolate Milk – low fat of course =] Great post workout snack to help you gain muscle and burn fat. 8 oz is a decent serving, stick to the 1% milk for this tasty treat.

Air-Popped Corn – huh? Popcorn is a whole grain! People who eat whole grains over refined grains have less tummy fat. The key is to find the air-popped popcorn – 3 cups = 100 calories! What a great snack!

Beans – Low in calories, high in fiber! Studies have shown that bean eaters have slimmer waistlines and overall weigh less! If you don’t typically eat beans, eat small amounts to start and work your way up to bigger portions.

Quinoa – No surprise here! Another great source of whole grain but did you know that quinoa is also a complete protein!? This will keep you fuller longer. My favorite way to eat quinoa is with steamed veggies. YUM!

Watermelon – loaded with nutrients and low in calories; watermelon is about 85% water! Sub watermelon for desert or an in-between meal snack.

Last Night's Dinner - Protein

Protein Packed and Green

Long Grain Rice, Black Beans, Steamed Broccoli, Zucchini Squash

(Squirt some lemon juice over the veggies for an extra zest of flavor!) 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

8 Minutes To 6 Pack Abs

8 Minutes to 6 Pack Abs

That’s right! 8 Minutes – call me crazy but I swear by this ab workout. BTW...the photo of that handsome man up there is my Troy Boy =]. Do this at least 4x per week and you WILL see results!

Workout For: Men and Women
Body Parts: Abdominals and Obliques
Equipment: No Equipment Needed

This short but intense workout will sculpt and tone your abdominal and oblique muscles just in time for all those summer pool parties.

Since this is a short, high-intensity workout, you’ll easily be able to squeeze it into your days no matter how busy you get. I’d recommend doing the workout after a cardio session for faster results.

Aim towards doing this workout daily. The first few days are tough because you will be sore, but once you start seeing your washboard abs develop, you’ll have no problem doing this daily.

The Workout:

Push Throughs – 45 seconds

Single Leg Raises – 45 seconds

30 second rest

Push Throughs – 45 seconds

Vertical Leg Crunches – 45 seconds

30 second rest

Cross Arm Crunch – 45 seconds

Arm Reaching Sit Up – 45 seconds

This awesome workout originally came from passion4profession.net – follow along with the 8 Minute Ab Workout Video

Monday, June 10, 2013

Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola        

I LOVE this recipe! Store bought Granola is SO expensive and not always the healthiest. =\ Now I know exactly what's in my granola! Add dried cranberries or raisins to zest it up a bit! 

You'll Need: 

4 cups of rolled oats
1 cup of vanilla protein powder
¾ cup of oat bran or wheat germ
1 cup of sliced almonds
1 tsp of salt
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1/8 cup of maple syrup
½ cup of honey
½ cup of coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 tbs of cinnamon
½ tsp of vanilla extract

1.       Mix oats, protein powder, oat bran, almonds, salt and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl.

2.      Over low heat in a saucepan, stir maple syrup, honey, coconut oil (olive oil works too), cinnamon and vanilla extract.

3.      Once it reaches a low boil, pour over the dry ingredients and stir until completely mixed.

4.      Spread the mixture over a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

5.      Allow to cool before breaking apart.

Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism

1.        Eat Breakfast – Especially first thing in the morning. If you struggle with eating right when you wake up drink a protein shake. When you wake up your body is either already in starvation mode or on the verge. Eating a balanced meal or taking a protein shake will keep your body from deteriorating your muscle.

2.        Eat the Bulk of your Meals Earlier in the Day – Avoid eating dinner after 7.30 pmor no later than 3-4 hours before you go to bed. Not only will you sleep better but you’ll burn more of the calories you ate while you’re still up and moving around.

3.        Don’t Starve Yourself – Eat consistently throughout the day. This doesn’t mean snack on potato chips and candy all day. Have your regular 3 meals per day but squeeze in 3 healthy snacks per day, 1 between each meal. HERE is a list of great metabolism boosting snacks and HERE is a list of metabolism boosting foods.

4.        Exercise – First thing in the morning is definitely the best for metabolism boosting. Before you do anything else (other than a glass of water and going potty =]) It will cause your brain to wake up along with your muscles stimulating muscle building. HERE are some morning routines that are great for metabolism boosting.

5.        Add Weight Training – 2-3 times per week add weight training to your schedule. The more muscle mass you have the more calories you will burn. Don’t just focus on your legs or arms either, an overall balanced weight training will burn additional calories.

6.        WATER! – Studies have shown that people who drink at least a gallon of water per day have a higher metabolism. The metabolic process needs water for fuel to work effectively. Go get yourself a cute, refillable water bottle and see how many times you can fill it up each day.

7.        Take Vitamin B – B12 is essential for energy. I take a B Complex vitamin along with a B-12 vitamin daily to ensure I’m getting a sufficient amount. The B Complex will also make your hair and nails grow faster and healthier too!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Top 10 Muscle Building Foods

Unless you’re naturally blessed with an insane metabolism, french fries and milkshakes won’t cut it. Add these ingredients to your diet and you’ll be sure to form some muscle - we all know what more muscle mass means – more calorie roasting! 

Morning Workout Routines

Morning Routines and Neural Wake-Up Calls are key to seeing results in your body and your day. Studies have shown that exuding energy first thing in the morning will cause increased productivity, overall body relaxation and amplified endorphin production.
The Rules:
1.        Must be done immediately after you wake up.
I know mornings are rough but it totally gets your day off to a good start. A good morning= a good day. Be consistent and get in the habit, the pay off is worth it.
2.        Include a Blood-Pumping Exercise
Examples are Jump Squats, Lunges, Explosive Pushups. Including at least one of explosive movements will increase your blood flow, boost your metabolism for the day and stimulate muscle building.

3.        Include a Static Stretch (movements that stretch the muscles while the body is at rest or cooling down)
Examples are Bulgarian Split Squats, Spiderman Lunges, Hindu Pushups. This will make your body feel great the remainder of the day improving mobility and range of movement.

4.        Keep it Short and Simple
Don’t overdo it, you want to look forward to your morning routine or you won’t do it! Under 15 minutes and change things up from time to time.

5.        Choose exercises that match your body goals
Men – if you’re objective s are abs and shoulders, focus your routine around those areas.
Girlies – if you’re aiming for a killer butt, get at those squats and lunges!

Example of a Men’s Morning Routine - Run through it once on workout days and twice on non-workout days.
Lunges, Bulgarian Split Squats, OR Single-Leg Squats – 3 second hold 10-15 Reps Per Leg
Plank, RKC Plank, V-sit, OR Ab Raises – Hold for 15-30 seconds
Incline Push-Ups, Hand Walkouts, ORDecline Push-Ups – 10-15 Reps
Side Planks, OR Push-Up Position Planks – 15-30 Second Hold
Russian Twists, Pike-Ups, Leg raises, OR Bicycle Crunches – 15-30 Reps
Jump Squats, Jump LungesFrog Leaps, OR Tornado Jumping Jacks – 10-15 Reps

Example of Women’s Morning Routine – Run through it once on workout days and twice on non-workout days.
Squats – 3-second hold – 10-15 Reps
Single Leg Deadlifts – 20-30 Reps
Push-Ups, Bench Dips – 10-15 Reps
Planks, V-sit, Ab Raises – 15-30 Second Hold
Lunges, Bulgarian Split Squats, Single Leg Squats – 10-12 Reps Per Leg
Jump Squats, Jump Lunges, Tornado Jumping Jacks – 10-15 Reps

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Muscle Building Breakfast

Muscle Building Breakfast

You'll Need:
2 Eggs
Bell Pepper
Plain Greek Yogurt
Blueberries and Strawberries

1. Wash and cut out top of bell pepper and slice 2 rings about a half inch tall.

2. Crack egg into center of the bell pepper ring, cook on low/medium heat for 12-15 or until egg is thoroughly cooked.

3. Top your side of yogurt with blueberries and diced strawberries.

Enjoy! =]