21 Day ‘Be The Machine’ Programming: Week 1

BE THE MACHINE

Here’s my challenge to you, over the next 3 weeks you (we) will see how strong your body is. Using no machines, no cable systems, and limited cardio equipment we will take your body out of it’s comfort zone.

Why use machines when you can be one?

This program will focus on using your bodyweight, barbells, free weights, and accessory equipment such as BOSU, medicine, stability balls, TRX straps, bands, etc. Cardio machines such as the treadmill and bikes will be used as options for those who can’t make it outside to run/walk or can’t physically do so.

So let’s see what is in store:

Sunday:

*OPTIONAL FINISHER: 10 minute run/walk for distance*

Exercise Options:

  • For the cardio warm up: if you have access to run or walk outside do that- it’s summer time! Otherwise use a machine if you must, but there is always the option of bodyweight cardio (jumping jacks, high knees, butt kickers, etc.)
  • If you don’t have a bar like the one I used (see video) for the bar rows and over the bar burpees. Just use dumbbells for the row and do regular burpees
  • For the inverted rows: you can set that up using a smith machine or a squat rack, just have the bar low enough that you could sit under it

Monday:

Exercise Options:

  • If you don’t have kettlebells, all of the exercises can be done using dumbbells
  • For the walking lunges- if you can’t ‘walk’ because of knee or balance issues do 10 step forward lunges then 10 setp back lunges
  • Broad jump option: squat to long steps or squat to heel touch (bring your foot up towards your hand as you stand, and tap it with your hand)

Tuesday:

I did Orangetheory this day 😉 If you don’t have access to one do the following running/walking intervals:

Option A: 10 rounds – can be done inside or outside

  • 1 minute fast (heavy breathing)
  • 30 seconds slow (your slow speed should NOT be snail slow, make it a speed you could do for about 25 minutes)

Option B: 

  • Find a hilly neighborhood and run/walk for 25-35 minutes

Option C: 

  • Find a local football field and run/walk to bleachers for 15-25 minutes

Wednesday:

*OPTIONAL FINISHER: 10 minute run/walk for distance* (beat your Monday distance if possible)

Exercise Options:

  • If no TRX: do LIGHT dumbbell chest press and tricep extension
  • Jump squats- take the jump out 🙂
  • If no ball for ball slams: find a medicine ball or weight and hold it at your chest and do a squat and then press the weight up while you are standing in the squat (will resemble a thruster)

Thursday:

Rest day, you deserve it 😉

Friday:

*OPTIONAL FINISHER: 5 rounds of jumprope until failure*

Exercise Options:

  • Progressive deadlift means to keep the same reps but add more weight each set
  • Jumping pull ups: TRY NOT to use an assisted machine. Instead set a smith machine or squat rack bar to a height that if you sit directly under it, the bar comes to your wrist when your arms are extended straight up. From the seated position, using your feet to help, do a pull up
  • If no TRX- do reverse grip dumbbell row and EITHER ab machine roll out OR plank jacks
  • Side step tuck jump option- side step to 1 high knees each
  • I didn’t get a video of rolling get ups (sorry) try this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwd3KRq8Es0

Saturday:

You set a time goal and AMRAP it!

Sunday:

Active rest 🙂 Go for walk, play a sport, find an outdoor activity, do some stretching. Whatever floats your boat!

Weeks To The Beach: Week 4

Sunday: Back + Biceps 

I somehow managed not to get footage of this day, sorry guys!

Warm up:

  • Jumping jacks 3X30,25,20
  • Assisted pull ups 3X10
  • KB deadlift 3X10

Set 1:

  • Deadlift 6X6,5,4,3,2,1
  • Plate curl 5X12

Set 2:

  • Power cleans 5X5

Set 3:

  • Lat pull down 4X10
  • DB curl 4X10

Set 4:

  • DB iso squat hold with rows 3X10 (last set= drop set)
  • DB reverse grip V-curl 3X10

*notes: iso squat hold with rows= hold a half squat at about a 45 degree knee bend + a 45 degree bend forward at the hips, hold that and then do the rows with a dumbbell in each hand*

Monday: Active Rest

Take the doggies for a walk 😉

Tuesday: Legs+ Glutes

Set 1:

  • Back squat 4X5
  • Full plate front raise 4X8

Set 2

  • Stiff leg deadlift 4X5
  • DB lateral raise 4X10

Set 3: HIIT

  • KB goblet squat 3X8
  • Weighted leg abduction 3X10 each
  • KB upright row 3X10
  • KB push press 3X10

Set 4:

  • Cable lateral raise 3X10
  • Cable front raise 3X10
  • Squat jumps 3X12

Set 5: HIIT finisher

  • KB sumo squat to shoulder press 3X10
  • KB weighted split squat 3X10 each
  • KB weighted glute bride 3X10 + 10 pulses

Wednesday: Chest + Tris+ Core

Set 1:

  • Bench press 4X6,6,7,7
  • Plate side bend 4X10

Set 2:

  • Cable fly 3X15,12,9
  • Hanging knee ups 3X12,10,8
  • Tricep dips 3X12

Set3:

  • BOSU DB press 4X8
  • BOSU mountain climber switch 4X 30,20,30,20

Set 4: TRX finisher X 12,10,8,6,4,2

  • TRX chest press
  • TRX tricep extension
  • TRX rollout
  • Rest intervals: 25 seconds in between rounds 1+2, then 20, 15, 10, 5 seconds

Treadmill 5 min cool down

*Notes: 2 options videod for the hanging knee ups

Thursday: ORANGETHEORY FITNESS 🙂

If no access, do some sprints maybe outside 🙂

Friday: Quick HIIT before the BEACH

SET 1 & Only 1 🙂 Reps of 12,10,8,6,4

  • DB shoulder press
  • Squat box jump to step down
  • Pull ups
  • Speed skaters
  • DB bicep curl
  • Burpees
  • DB squat with triceps skiier
  • High knees

 

Weeks to the Beach: Week 3

Monday: Memorial Day

Option A (I actually did this on Sunday)

This workout video was posted to my instagram but to have it in writing it looks like:

AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible) – set your own time limite:

  • 12 heisman each
  • 12 DB deadlift
  • 10 pull ups
  • 10 plank combo
  • 8 DB snatches each
  • 8 stability ball tuck to pike

Not sure what each exercise is? Go to commit_fit_carly on Instagram and find the post from Memorial Day!

 

Option B: Legs + Glutes

5 minute warm up

Set 1

  • Back squat 5X12,10,8,6,4

Set 2

  • Weighted reverse lunge to curtsy lunge 4X5 each leg
  • Weighted calf raise 4X20
  • Incline glute bridge 4X10 each

Set 3

  • Sumo goblet squat to abduction (in the video) 4X10 total
  • KB stiff leg deadlift 4X10

Cardio break (2-3 min or .25 mile)

Set 4

  • Reverse hack squat 4X6
  • Full burpees 4X6

Cardio break (2-3 min or .25 mile)

Set 5: 3 round burnout to finish

  • Birddog X10 each
  • Donkey kick X12 each
  • Hydrant X12 each
  • Weighted glute bridges X15

*Option for back squat: heavy weight dumbbell squats

*Option for reverse hack squat: Heavy weighted dumbbell BOUNCE squat

Tuesday: CARDIO

For me? 5 mile run

Not for you? Try treadmill intervals (refer back to week 1)

Wednesday: Back + Shoulders

Warm up:

  • Lat pull down 3X10
  • Cable lateral raise (LIGHT) 3X8

Set 1

  • Barbell row 4X12,10,8,8
  • Plate bent arm lateral raise (in the video) 4X10

Set 2

  • DB upright row to curl to shoulder press 4X8

Set 3

  • Mid row machine (in video) 4X12,10,8,8
  • Plate front raise 4X10,8,10,12

Set 4

  • Heavy lat pull down 4X6
  • DB lateral raise 4X10

Set 5

  • DB double row 3X8 + One more set at a drop set
  • Shoulder push ups 4X10

Plank finishers! **3 rounds of max hold in seconds**

Notes: bent arm lateral raise needs to be fast up & slow down

Shoulder push ups are also on the Instagram!

This day is a little bit off of what I’ve been trying to do for this programming. More sets and exercises than most days, but it works

Thursday: Orangetheory Fitness

But for real, look at adding this into your routine!

*If no access to Orangetheory, do a 40 minute HIIT*

Friday: Chest + Arms

Warm up 5 minutes

Set 1

  • Bench press 4 X 5,5,4,4 <— Make these HEAVY!
  • DB bicep runner 4X20 (in video)

Set 2: 3 RFT (Rounds For Time) – In video

  • 5 push ups
  • 5 plate sit up press
  • 6 plank tircep kickback each
  • 6 plate russian twist each
  • 7 plank lateral raise each
  • 7 plank glute bridge
  • 8 plank row each
  • 8 plank toe taps

Set 3:

  • DB seasaw chest press 4X8 each arm
  • DB hammer curl 4X8
  • DB overhead tricep extension 4 X8

Burnout finisher- NO REST during transition

  • Chest press X20,15,10
  • Skull crusher X10,8,6

*Use a bar (if no bar use DB’s and perform 20 chest press then 10 skull crushers, back to 15 chest press and 8 skull crusher, then 10 chest press, 6 skull crusher. As little to NO rest as possible)

Cool down 4-5 min

Saturday: Quick HIIT

1 mile warm up

AMRAP 20 minutes: The Magic 8

  • 8 squat curl press
  • 8 tuck jumps
  • 8 full burpees (we all love I know!)
  • 8 crab crunch cross
  • 8 reverse lunge to power up
  • 8 upright row
  • 8 chest press with glute bridge
  • 8 static v-sit hold with front press

*Whole workout is videod*

Weeks to the Beach: Week 2

Another week into my new programming and I’m feeling good! I like the change of pace I’m seeing, results to show!

Monday: Legs + Shoulders

Set 1: Goal- try to go a little bit heavier each set if possible, but keep the same rep count

  • Front squat (barbell) 5X8
  • Plate shoulder press 5X8

Set 2:

  • Bar thrusters (squat to press) 5X8
  • Double KB swing 5X10

Set 3:

  • Single leg deadlift combo 4X8 each
  • Plank with leg lift 4X12 each

1 mile run

Set 4: 3 RFT (rounds for time)

  • 10 box jumps
  • 15 glute bridge
  • 20 sumo squats

Tuesday:  Cardio

  • 30-40 minutes of your choice (mile runs, cardio machines, HIIT)

Wednesday: Back + triceps

Set 1:

  • Sumo deadlift 5X5
  • Burpee pull ups 5X5

Set 2:

  • Single arm bent over row 4X8
  • Lunge to tricep fly 4X8 each

Set 3:

  • KB DLHP (kettlebell deadlift high pull) 3X12,10,8
  • Plank drag to tricep kickback 3X8,10,12

1 mile run

Set 4:

  • TRX pull up 3X10
  • Battling rope 3X40-50 hits

Burnout finisher: Assisted pull up + assisted dip to failure

*Notes: if you don’t have a TRX, do a row instead of pull ups (cable row, DB row, barbell row)

Thursday: Cardio

  • Orangetheory fitness 😉

Saturday: Chest + biceps

.5 mile

Set 1:

  • DB chest press 5X10,8,6,6,6
  • Bar curl 5X12
  • Decline mountain climber 5X12 each

.5 mile

Set 2:

  • DB incline fly 4X14,12,10,8
  • DB cross body curl 4X14,12,10,8
  • Plank jack 4X20

.5 mile

Set 3:

  • BOSU DB chest press 3X8
  • BOSU balance curl 3X10
  • BOSU ab tuck 3X15

.5 mile 

*Notes: try to increase your half mile time each time. If you don’t have a BOSU ball, all exercises can be done on a bench/ floor.

As always, if you have questions or need modifications ASK- there are ALWAYS modifications to be done that can still give you a great workout!

Core Burn Time Pyramid

Ready to sculpt and Burn the core?

Pick 3-5 of the exercises below and do in the following time scheme:

  1. 15 seconds per exercise
  2. 30 seconds per exercise
  3. 45 seconds per exercise
  4. 30 seconds per exercise
  5. 15 seconds per exercise

Minimal rest and be mindful of quick transitions!

The Exercises:

A) palms to elbow plank: start in a full plank with your feet wider than normal plank stance and your shoulders directly over top of your wrists. Keeping core stabilization think of replacing your hand with your elbow (ie. you should be moving directly up and down and arm should press you up from the elbow plank, and not be at an angle). The goal is to keep your hips as parallel to the floor as possible throughout the entire exercise

B) ab tuck: engaging your core, be sure to keep the range of motion slow and controlled and to pull with your abs and not through your hips. Straighten the legs for extra difficulty

C) sit up with press: engaging your core, similar to the ab tuck, initiate the motion with your core and not your legs or arms. At the top of the motion, extend the ball overhead, still keeping your core tight and posture tall.

D) stabilizer rotation: this is not a Russian twist for 2 reasons. One- it is much more slow and controlled and Two- you are adding the reach at the top to keep your stabilizer core muscles engaged. Do not try to over rotate on each side.

E) mountain climber: beginning in a full plank with your shoulders directly over your wrists. Keep your naval tucked into your spine as you tuck one knee at a time into your chest

 

With core work, I want you to begin to think about building a strong core to stabilize your entire body better! Doing abs upon abs will not get you visible abs. Thats where proper nutrition comes in. Sorry, but true 🙂

Now lets burn and sculpt those stabilizer core muscles!

So You’re Curious About Nutrient Timing and Working Out

Recently, on Instagram I’ve had some feedback about what works for me. What works for me nutritionally, in the gym, nutrient timing, supplements, etc. Well here is an example of a ‘regular’ day for me and some of the supplements I take.

Keep in mind: what works for me is specific to ME only. This is for you to get ideas from, but know that what works you could be 100% opposite. Bodies are weird like that.

My Staples: there are a few things that I just can’t and won’t go a day without. I know that not only do they do my body good, but they have benefits for other things.

Oatmeal. I was on and off with this for awhile, but now I am it is ON and here to stay! When I finally realized the difference in my non-oatmeal to my oatmeal days, I couldn’t believe I didn’t realize it sooner.

  • Why I like it: When I have this for breakfast I notice that it keeps me full a lot longer into my day. Instead of getting hungry 2-3 hours after breakfast, I can last 4-4.5 hours. It makes a big difference on the days when I have to wait 4+ hours to eat my second meal because I’m so busy. Not only that but it is a great complex carb, my body appreciates it.
  • How I eat it: One of 2 ways usually. 1) Overnight oats with 1/2C oatmeal + 1/2C Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Vanilla yogurt + 1/2 scoop Quest salted carmel protein + 1 TBS peanut butter + almond milk (to desired consistency). Or option 2) 1/2C oatmeal +1/2 -1 scoop quest protein any kind + 1-1 1/2 C water + peanut butter/choc chips/ sprinkles to taste 🙂

For more on complex carbs, check out this article: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/benefits-of-complex-carbs-and-the-best-ones-to-eat/

Peanut Butter. I. Can’t. Go. A. Day. Without. There are plenty of “healthy” or “healthier” peanut butter options out there. What’s usually in my cupboard is Jiff Natural Peanut Butter, Better N’ Peanut Butter any flavor, or the Peanut Butter Co. Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter

  • Why I like it: Because it’s peanut butter, duh
  • How I eat it: With everything.

Apples. 

  • Why I like them: An apple away, keeps the doctor away. But no really, I eat one a day for all dat Vitamin C, and they’re delish
  • How I eat them: Uh, as is. Or with PB 🙂

Greek Yogurt. Dannon Oikos triple zero vanilla to be exact. Still delicious with a LOT less sugar.

  • Why I like it: A great source of protein, no fat, low carb (this kind specifically)
  • How I eat it: in overnight oats, with granola, mixed with PB and honey, with fruit.
  • Extra tip: Use plain greek yogurt as a substitute for so much – sour cream, heavy cream or cream cheese in baking, etc.

These foods are in my grocery cart every single time, even when I’m not getting a full load because I go through these that quickly. Below are other staples:

  • Chicken
  • Couscous/ quinoa
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Ground turkey
  • Deli turkey
  • Almonds
  • Quest bars/ protein bars
  • Almond milk
  • Cottage cheese
  • Misc fruits and veggies

So eating all of these foods may seem fine and dandy, and then some people try it and say “Uh… What? I’ve been eating healthy, heck I’ve been eating Kale and other superfoods and I am seeing no change!” Sometimes it comes down to nutrient and meal timing.

And let me note this here. Just because you are trying to eat healthier or begin a diet does not mean you have to eat less. Don’t do it. Majority of Americans either overeat (the obvious) or undereat because they don’t know what their bodies need.

Nutrient Timing: Yep. It’s a thing. Spreading your meals out into more smaller meals throughout the day at a pretty consistent basis, that works. That is the easy party of nutrient timing. What I found to be hard, and it has taken me quite a few years experimenting to figure this out is nutrient timing. What to eat before and after a workout, what’s best for breakfast, for a bedtime snack, etc. Here is what my nutrient timing looks like

  • Carb loading first half of the day. I’ve found that my body works best when I have majority of my carbs (60% or more) in the first “half” of my day. Usually that means before about 3PM. Within that time I have oatmeal for breakfast, an occasional sandwich or PB toast, yogurt + granola, apples and other fruits, and sweet potatoes or something of the sort for lunch. When it comes to dinner, I don’t omit carbs though, because I hate the notion of “oh no carbs are bad for me”. No I just have less carbs in the second half of my day. Dinner? Usually sees couscous or quinoa or a taco salad. Pre bedtime snack? Cottage cheese, protein pudding, or halo top.

So I know when my body appreciates carbs. Why do I think this is? Well I usually have 1-2 workouts done before 5PM. Also, I’m usually up pretty darn early. My body not only appreciates the carbs early, it demands carbs. Will this work for you? Maybe. Maybe if you workout in the morning and are on your feet the rest of the day. Maybe your body just likes carbs early in the day so it has time to work them through your body and store them properly. Or maybe you need a more even keel of carbs throughout the day. Maybe you only workout in the afternoon or maybe you wake up later in the day. You figure it out, you do you booboo.

Thats a breakfast full of carbs. Gimme that energy for leg day.

  • Carbs + protein + little fat before a workout and protein + carbs after a workout. My pre-workout choices? Apples, rice cakes, bananas. Or if it is 1 hour or more prior greek yogurt parfait or PB toast. Post workout? honestly, it usually falls perfectly with one of my meals. But if not, and this rarely happens, I’ll have a protein shake to tide me over.

Not only does nutrient timing your workouts help you get through the workout – with proper energy, without feeling sick, etc. It also 100% affects how your body recovers and also plays into your weight loss, strength building, etc. goals. But that’s another topic for another time.

  • Meal timing: 1 meal every 3-4 hours. It works. I eat 6 meals a day and on my really early days I eat 7 meals. I’m not eating 500+ calories each time. No, my biggest caloric meal is actually usually lunch. Breakfast (300-400 cals) Breakfast no 2 aka meal 2 (200-300 cals) Lunch (450-550 cals) Meal 4 (200-300 cals) dinner (400-500 cals) bed time snack (100-200 cals)

Why does meal timing work? It allows your body to constantly have something to work through. As soon as you finish digesting one meal you are about ready to put another one in. It doesn’t give the body time to be confused or to think that it is not getting a meal for awhile, putting itself into starvation mode.

Let’s tie this into exercise

Now of course, contrary to popular belief, everything done in the kitchen will outweigh your efforts in the gym. You just can’t out exercise a bad diet. So, knowing that my diet is on cue, here is what I currently have found to be working for me. NOTE:  I change up my exercise routine about every 3-4 months.

Strength training: Don’t be afraid of muscles. I’m not. Sure one of my main goals is to always be getting stronger and to have visible muscle definition, that might not be your goal, but strength training is important to have in EVERY program. If you don’t want the “bulky” look go for lighter weight and higher reps. But keep the strength training because it helps your body be strong to fight against falls, poor posture, injuries, etc.

  • Current program: 3-4X per week of legit strength training. Where most of my sets are only 4-8 reps each set. Some sets get into the endurance range of 12-15, but the overall goal is strength. My heart rate is not as high here, which is why I pair it with an occasional 2-a-day with running (see more later).

 

HIIT, or something of the sort: I recognize that one of the best ways to burn fat is to work in intervals. High heart rate to low. So I do HIIT. Plus some days I just need to sweat, so here’s a good way to do it.

  • Current program: 2-3X per week of HIIT. This could include tabatas, interval training, workouts under 30 minutes. The goal is to monitor the ups and downs of the heart rate. More recently, I’m working out at #orangetheoryfitness more for this HIIT (if you haven’t tried OTF- do it!). I mean the whole premise of OTF is the “afterburn” which comes from that intervalling of the heart rate

 

 

Running: yes, I’m a runner. Especially right now as I know that a half marathon and hopefully a tough mudder will happen this year. As long as you are smart about running, it can be beneficial to any program – I mean #cardio, duh. The more running I put in my regimen, the leaner I feel. But I will NOT run myself into the ground with miles and miles just to attempt to be leaner. That is where strength training also comes into play.

  • Current program: 2-4X per week of running (noting that some of these days my running comes in my HIIT when I do Orangetheory). Usually my run days are my 2-a-days, most commonly paired with lifting.

 

Daily example:

  • Monday: AM lift- legs, PM (afternoon) run
  • Tuesday: AM lift- shoulders + run at the end of workout
  • Wednesday: HIIT at orangetheory (including core)
  • Thursday: PM lift – chest/ tris /core
  • Friday: AM lift- back/bis + PM run
  • Saturday or Sunday: Lift- deadlift/ accessory work/ core + run
  • Saturday or Sunday: rest day

Lastly, supplementation

I’m not going to pretend to be an expert here. I will just note what I use and why I like it and keep it short and sweet

Protein

  • Quest nutritin protein powder (to be mixed with anything you can set your mind to- protein pancakes with quest are BOMB) plus quest bars

Pre workout

  • NLA for her Ignite: I’ve tried a lot of pre-workouts and I just like this. No tingling, no crashing plus workout energy, focus, and sweat

BCAA

  • Currently NLA for her aminos, but changing to ideal lean. The NLA BCAA’s did make me tingle. Any other recommendations for BCAA’s?

Probiotic

  • Easy living nutra. If you don’t currently use a probiotic I highly suggest you try. It really helps with a “happy gut”, and in my personal experience, eliminates unnecessary bloating.

Misc

  • Joint health – Vasayo microlife ‘renew’ gel. Works wonders. Curious about it? Ask
  • Multivitamin- Vasayo microlife essential. Proven to be absorbed by the body ALOT more than regular multis and not just peed out

Questions? Please ask!

How to Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

… and not only realistic, healthy.

It’s March, and with March comes Spring Break. What better time of year to realize that you aren’t where you want to be? That your goals might have been forgotten about, or maybe half-assed the last oh, 6-8 months?

So it’s March, and new weight loss goals are being set. And the fitness industry knows this. Now, I am proud to be apart of, present and past, of organizations that revolve their goals for members around healthy achievement, but I do know that that is not the case for everyone in the “health and fitness industry”.

Nothing. Nothing Makes me cringe more than the weight loss ploys to lose 5-10 lbs A WEEK! Like What?! Have you ever taken a course in nutrition or how the body works?!

Excuse me while I go calm myself down…

 

OKAY. I’m back. Here’s the thing, if you have been victimized by one of those weight loss ploys there are a few different things that could be happening here.

  1. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the money you spent and the results you did NOT get.
  2. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence thinking about the results you did get, and the weight gained back- not to mention how your body hasn’t been the same since.
  3. you are shaking your head yes with every passing sentence just simply because you couldn’t agree more.

I’ve seen it. I’ve seen friends, acquaintances, co-workers, community members, new clients, etc. put money into something that just didn’t measure up. I’ve seen people with such damagemetabolisms that no matter what they do they can’t get it back on track. I’ve seen people with cupboards full of supplements, detoxes, pills, powders, and fridges full of cucumber waters, etc. that aren’t being used because they don’t work.

And here’s why they don’t work

Based on scientific, long-research, mathematical equations, a person should only *healthily and realistically* lose up to 2 LBS per week. TWO POUNDS! Why? Well here’s some math for you…

1 lb of weight loss per week= 3,500 calorie deficit per week = 500 calorie deficit in one day. Double that for 2 lbs.

What does a 500 calorie deficit look like? For most people starting out, who likely eat maybe 3 meals a day, that is essentially cutting each meal in 1/3. But realistically it is cutting your dinner in half, because that is where most overeat.

Sure, this may sound easy, and to some it is. I’m not saying the caloric deficit is hard, I’m saying that a deficit more than that is hard on the body.

What do most of these “lose 30 lbs in a month” or “lose up to 20 lbs in a week” ploys do? They put you on a restricted diet. And for the love of God, don’t get me started on the “CUT OUT CARBS BULLSHIT” like do you even know what your body’s preferred source of energy is? It is NOT 4 servings of green tea a day + 1 bowl of cottage cheese (eye roll). And if these weight loss fixes don’t put you on a restricted diet they are filling your body with chemicals that confuse the heck out of your body.

What happens when you restrict your caloric intake?

You restrict your nutrient intake. You might be eating less and not physically feel starved (but honestly most of the time you will) but instead you will start feeling lethargic, your immune system will suppress and you will be sick more, you might break out with more acne, you might get injured more easily. There could be a lot of “side effects” that you won’t even realize are related.

Not getting enough nutrients in your diet because you are eating 600 calories per day? You’re going to get sick. Or maybe you’re drinking some sore of drink that is “full of nutrients” which it MIGHT be, but chances are your body is only absorbing 10% of those nutrients (this is common among most multivitamins anyway). So if you’re drinking a nutrient rich drink and not absorbing it, where are those nutrients going? You’re peeing them out.

OH and when you lose a lot of weight each week, what kind of weight do you think you’re losing? Fat? Yeah sure, you’re losing some. But you’re also losing muscle. Muscle doesn’t only exist on bodybuilders and gym rats, EVERYONE has muscle. And even if you don’t have muscle definition you still have muscle and that muscle is the support system of your body. It is what keeps you tall with proper posture and supports your core in daily activities. You need muscle, not only for that, but for the fact that you want your body, your bones, your organs, protected.

The jyst here: I could go on and on about why these things don’t work but it all comes down to the fact that health and fitness professionals, along with scientist and people who dedicate their lives to their field have proven that weight loss should not happen in more than 2 lbs per week, and that fact has stayed tried and true for YEARS.

*Side note: if you are BRAND new, to a fitness and health program there is a good chance that you do  lose more than 2 lbs per week, this is called adaptation. It is not something that lasts*

So how to set realistic health and fitness goals

  • Set that goal for 1-2 lbs per week!
  • Incorporate not only a cleaned up diet but also a prescribed fitness routine by a professional
  • Set small goals that lead to a big picture
  • Know that not all goals need to be weight loss related. Make performance goals.
  • Realize that progress is still progress no matter how small. We are not sprinting here, we are running a marathon, and that-that is what makes results that last. Why? Because you are creating not only healthy habits but a healthy lifestyle. You are not falling into a 1 month quick fix only to “bounce back” and relapse as soon as you’re done. No, to be healthy you have to realize that it is a lifetime commitment to yourself

When it comes down to it, trust your gut, but more importanty trust yourself. You are much  more powerful than you think you are. You got this. Go rock the world.

30 min HIIT & Core Workout

Crunched fore time? Need to workout at home? Don’t have much equipment to work with? Don’t know what to do? Don’t make those excuses! Use this quick and effective cardio and core workout- and do it anywhere!

 

The workout includes 2 portions of tabata + core (and a push up finisher!)
For the tabatas:

Each tabata includes 4 exercises to be done in intervals of 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. If you do tabata right you will NEED those 10 seconds of rest, so workout hard! Each tabata (set of 4 exercises) is to be done 4 times and then take a 90 second rest before beginning your next tabata!

For the core:

Each exercise is to be done twice- just twice!

For the push up finisher:

Choose any form of push up and do reps until failure. But be sure to keep good form! Proper form > extra reps 😉 I challenge you to choose push ups that you haven’t historically been good at- get stronger today!

*note: as with any exercise program, make sure you consult a doctor before beginning. All exercises seen here can be done with modifications- if you need some please ask me! You can find me on instagram at commit_fit_carly and ask away there!

And please for my sanity make sure you know how to keep proper form!

Follow this link to get your sweat on!

 

Mobility For Enhanced Fitness

Improving your activity level is great, being active and feeling your body transform and get strong is a great feeling right? But do you ever have those days, or weeks, where your body feels stuck. Your muscles and joints are tight and you feel prone to exercise induced injury, or maybe even get injured? Have you ever stopped to look at how you let yourself recover?

Recovery is the most important aspect of fitness, because without it you will not be able to improved. You either will get injured and be out of the gym, or you will have inhibited range of motion, restricting your chances of improving your lifts.

Exercise trends have hiit and new level of intensity (see what I did there?) and with those levels, your body- your muscles and joints- are placed under higher stressed. And with this higher stress comes a greater demand for recovery. But why?

When you workout you might think that your body is growing and enhancing in those hours in the gym. What actually happens though is that your muscles are physically being broken down from all the stress placed on them. That is how muscles grow- they must be broken apart to be able to repair themselves to a greater level.

Beyond taking rest days so your muscles aren’t placed under stress, there are many other ways to give your muscles some R&R.

One of those ways being myofascial release, more commonly known as foam rolling.

What is Myofascial Release?

The word myofascial means muscle tissue and the connective tissue in and around the fascia (the fibrous tissue that surrounds your muscle). Myofascial pain comes from an injury to the muscle tissue, or from repetitive strain (in this case lifting). This ‘pain’ is from bundled up muscle fibers that are trying to restore back to their resting length.

When you foam roll, you might not realize that you have this ‘Myofascial Pain’ until you sit on your foam roller. During Myofascial Release, the foam roller is doing just that- releasing the Myofascial Pain. The roller is threading out the bundled up muscle fibers the same way a rolling pin rolls out a chunked up block of cookie dough.

Saying foam roller is related to pain is not to scare you away. Think of it as your muscles being as bundled up as a messy pile of string held in your fists. The foam roller will thread it out one fiber at a time until they have returned to their optimal resting position, which then puts them in good place to go through static stretching- getting the most bang for your buck here 😉

Foam rolling hurts so good.

It might hurt, but it is doing so much good. So how do you do it?

I use 2 different mechanisms for my Myofascial Release- a foam roller and a Lacrosse ball. Below are a FEW examples of how to use each, but this is by no means an exhaustive list.

mobility

Foam rollers and Lacross balls are cheap, and the money you put into buying them is a lot better than the money you would spend at the ER because you have an overuse injury. On top of that, your muscles will be at their preferred resting length to recover completely so you can use them to their full ability in the next workout 🙂

Happy rolling!

What I’m Learning About Being a Twenty-Something Trying to Make Her Way in This World

Graduate college they said, it’ll be fun they said.

It is, but it’s not. Okay that sounds pessimistic but life after college takes a lot more brainpower than I would have thought. And that’s a crazy idea saying as college seemed to suck the life out of my brain, especially during finals.

One day you are in college, embracing every single opportunity, not thinking twice about much. You know that you have deadlines to meet, but realize that some of them are flexible. You know that you have friends down the hall who will meet you out every Friday night. Cooking your own food? Never. That’s what dining halls are for. Doing your own laundry? Pfft. that is what weekend trips home to mom are for 😉 College is sweet. College, in retrospective, is easy.

The real world is bat shit crazy at times, but it is also cooler than a popsicle 😉

Being someone who has been in the ‘real world’ for over a year now, here are a few conclusions I’ve drawn:

  1. You’ll never figure it all out. For example, these conclusions I’m drawing about figuring out life, I’m sure will change in just another short year. But for real, this is one of my biggest downfalls (and I’m figuring out that I have many), trying to figure everything out, all the time. Being twenty-something seems old once you get there, as soon as you get that diploma you feel like you’ve aged 10-15 years, or at least I did. And when you feel older you are already pressurizing yourself with feelings of having to figure everything out. Figure out tonight’s dinner, next week’s plans, next months budget, this summers vacation, your job, your friends, your family, your home, and soooo onnnn. Sometimes it’s hard not to. But why? At 23 years old I have 100X more things on my mind, more responsibilities that I feel I need to figure out than I did just 5 short years ago at age 18. The media publicizes so many opinions now-a-days, making you think you need to be this size, have this much in your wallet at this age, be ready for kids by now, blah, blah, blah. It publicizes people who have their shit together, or so we are led to believe. Like get real, Taylor Swift who Time Magazine has called the highest paid celebrity in 2016 is only 27- TWENTY SEVEN. Kendall Jenner, worth $18 million dollars, age 21. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, $300 million, age 30. These celebrities are our age, us twenty-something year olds, and the media publicizes them as people who have made it. And maybe they have, maybe Taylor Swifts extreme talent and the way she cares about her fans motivates me to dream BIG and never lose sight, but her, or their net worth doesn’t mean they have everything figured out, it’s just money.  Which leads me to my next point
  2. Your wallet doesn’t define you. I’ve had $200 in my wallet and I’ve had $0 in my wallet in any given month. Have I had nervous breakdowns when my wallet and my bank accounts get low and my credit card gets high? You bet. Does it take me awhile to realize how ridiculous this is and convince myself to be better next time, oh yeah. Do I do better next time? Eh only about 25% of the time. I feel old, and I feel like my wallet is small in comparison. But why? I DON’T KNOW. For goodness sake, I have no idea why I have all of these nervous breakdowns. I’m here right now telling myself that my wallet doesn’t define me, only 3 short hours after nervously checking my bank accounts wondering how I’m going to make ends meet. Finances are tough, for everyone. But guess what you are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old and most likely in student loan debt at the least, SO WHAT! They are just short term finances, and I’m learning that it’s better to feel in control of them, no matter how small they are, then to let them control you. You are not defined by money, and when you make millions someday, I hope you remember this.
  3. Don’t let your ego stop you from gaining work experience. I‘ve had many duties in my workplace already, many have been the exact things I want to do, few have not. But those duties that you might not want to do, aren’t the ones to say no to, because those duties are the ones that give you experience, real experience. Trust me on this. Applying yourself in a different way than you are comfortable, stepping out of your comfort zone, being humble and doing a job below you teaches you something about your work ethic, and it lets you reflect on your true career goals. Plus, sometimes these jobs are the ones you make the best connections with, you might find your next job reference, or someone who knows someone to get you into that dream job. You are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old, don’t let your ego hinder you. Being an intern is okay, starting small in a place where you can grow is okay. Work an underpaid job for a few months to appreciate the big job when you get it. But you have to be smart about your time-management with these jobs, which brings me to my next point.
  4. Jobs come and go, real experiences with friends and family don’t. I’m learning, and this is one thing that I can proudly say I’ve already gotten better at, is that over-working yourself and missing out on real life fun leaves you with nothing fun to look back on. Work hard at your job, appreciate it, and try to make strides in the workplace, but know when to stop, to clock out for the day and go home. You are TWENTY-SOMETHING years old, don’t waste it at your job. Being young in the workplace it is easy to be looked down on, to be viewed as an “intern” even if you have the same experience as your elder coworkers. If asked to go above and beyond your job duties, or hours, know when to say no. You are asked to go grab coffee for others, think about this. Am I going to get coffee for myself? If so, be kind and get others coffee. Am I already nose deep into reports and don’t have time to go to the bathroom? Say no, kindly. You are asked to pick up another shift, and then another, and then another. Know when to say no. Sometimes it’s right to say yes, you just need to. Sometimes you say yes because you absolutely love what the specific shift has to bring– and that is okay! But know that next time if it comes around and you have cocktail night planned, that it is okay to say no. Saying yes once, doesn’t mean saying yes all the time. Clock out early today, go spend time with loved ones, and do not feel guilty about it
  5. Your friends matter, your family matters. This is a short and easy one. These are the people that have always been there for you, and who will always be there for you, regardless of your place in the world. Use them for help, use them for shoulder to cry on, for an ear to listen. Have fun with them when the world feels like its hitting you hard. Don’t push these people away, they are your people, and they get you.
  6. Dive into recreational activities. This is one thing I am working on. Most likely, many of us are no longer athletes who have a coach and a team to report to 3-6 days out of the week. No, we are TWENTY-SOMETHING year olds who feel old. But we’re not! Find a rec volleyball league, basketball league, kickball league. Go painting once a week, join a book club (and this does NOT make you old, it makes you wise). Find something to immerse yourself in when everything else seems to be moving at top speed. These are the things that can slow your day down, put a smile on your face, and even introduce you to new people. Because let’s face it sometimes fresh souls are good for our own. They could be great new friends, future references, the person who knows someone who knows someone, or someone you actually don’t get along with, which is a learning experience in itself. Plus, it’s good for your health to stay active, go find a rec league, take a load off.
  7. Appreciate your elders. If not for anything else, but because they won’t be around forever. But these are also the people who you likely look at as ‘wise’, and how do you think they got wise? Listen to their stories, their personal experiences, listen to what made them the wise person they are and why. We won’t find that at our age, we just won’t. Being a TWENTY-SOMETHING year old gives us a lot less time for personal life experiences. Plus, sitting back and listening to their stories can put your life into a lot better perspective.
  8. You will fall flat on your face sometimes. You have to get back up. Every. Single. Time.

So one day you’re in college, but you know what, one day you are also in the real world, and that is pretty fricking awesome. You might not be able to meet your friends out on Thursday nights every week, but you can meet them out for cocktails on Wednesday night without a fake ID, because that is just the cool thing to do. You can stay at home on Friday with a glass of wine and watch your puppies run around, instead of watching school equations run off the paper you’re studying. You can buy a new vacuum and feel like an absolute rock star because of it, instead of feeling like a millionaire when you finally fill your tank all the way up (oh the typical college kid move, we all did it). Being in the real world has responsibilities, new experiences, new people, new stresses and excitements, but these are what shape your life, that shape you. Embrace them all. They’re your future.

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