Category Archives: Training

Life is too short to be subjected to the “A” word

Alone

Sometimes your goals of being active may not align with friends or homemates, so reaching those goals can sometimes leave you feeling alone.

For me, when I was pregnant for the first time it left me feeling unsure about how to tackle my goals or feeling at a loss because my normal “ways” of reaching my goals I was told were unsafe or unhealthy for me and the baby.

Here are some solutions to sane and active:

Paddleboarding - Faith KeithGet outside. The vitamin D always does your psyche good – its a mood lifter. I once read that sunny San Diego was rated one of the country’s top cities for happy and active people – they attributed this to people spending time in the sun and being active in the sun (who wouldn’t want to with a beach front in your back yard?).  Well…it’s not like the sun is only in San Diego! Which brings me to my next point…

Explore. I was surprised how much is available in my metroplex! It is known for it’s fine dining and shopping, so I never ever thought I would find AMAZING hiking trails just 40 minutes from downtown! Not to mention our spectacular lakes for kayaking! We even have little shacks that rent everything from canoes to paddleboards! Don’t be subject to your circumstances, make fun happen!

Ritualize. Plan a once a month outing.  The scheduled time means you won’t break it and it could force you to get mountain biking - faith keithcreative with HOW you will “out”.  This month I rallied people to run a 5k with me. Next…hiking with the girlfriends! Now that the weather is warming up just a smidge I’ll bust out my lovely kayaks with the hubs or a girlfriend – or maybe rally a few others and rent from that little shack by the lake.

Don’t let anything stop you from your desire to be active – get out there and have fun with it!  Active or not, people like to have fun, so maybe they just need an instigator – you! 🙂


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LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 41 Legs

Day 41 – the workout, tips and daily motivator from bodybuilding.com & Jamie Eason

Variations:

These variations were like Day 34.  No, as usual, these variations do NOT replace the quality you get from doing the ACTUAL exercises listed on the Trainer.  These variations are being created to help those who want to make FIT happen, but need help removing one more excuse – whether that be “time”, or “can’t afford gym membership” or “no transportation” etc.

Seated Leg Curl: Swiss ball bridge. Lying on your back, put your heals on the swiss ball. Then keeping your feet in place, roll the ball towards you, lifting your pelvis towards the ceiling. The key is to get your butt all the way up so that from knee to shoulder your body is flat. I do these as single-leg bridges to intensify it OR do these as single-leg bench bridges.

Leg Extensions: I did fast body weight squats or jump squats for these. Shoulder-width stance.

Abductor Machine: I have a sports resistance band designed for the legs – it is a really tough tubing band with straps on each end to velcro around your ankles. I strapped them to my ankles and, seated, I did the abductor motion (fully flexed = open; starting position = closed knees).

Lying Leg Curls: I did the same exercise as the Seated Leg Curl above. This worked perfectly since it was supersetted with Adductors (see below)

Adductor Machine: Lying on back, put swissball between knees and SQUEEZE.

Leg Press: Wide stance barbell squats. Drop set to failure.

Seated and Standing Calf Raises: Hold weights on knees for seated and on shoulders for standing.


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 40 Shoulders/Cardio

Woot! Lovin’ this! I’m feeling stronger for sure and I can see the difference in my body.  The key, I know, was the diet. Once I re-balanced my diet change started showing up fast. Diet is 80% of your results, people! Diet true and all that hard work you’re doing will get show cased!

Day 40 tips of the day and workout.

Variations:

Smith Machine Military Press: This is hard to get the full benefit of the military press, but if you have a barbell you can come close. If you do not have a barbell, then use dumbbells. They key is to keep your grips stationary and controlled so that they are not pulling in or out as you perform the rep.

Incline Bench Front Dumbbell Delt Raises: This time I sat in the middle of the seat of my kitchen chair and leaned back till my back was against the back board (putting me in a slight incline position). (Click here to see what I did last time)

Rear Delt Cable Flyes: This time I did these as dumbbell reverse flys, but last time I did these as follows:  Seated, I put my feet on the center of my cable and executed these. I did not get enough resistance so ended up shortening the band and doing single-arm flyes. On the last set I did these standing, bent over cable flyes and liked that a bit better.


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 39 Arms/Abs/Cardio

Day 39 rolled around and I am getting more and more frustrated about working out at home! Ha! I guess I just miss the gym so much and am too used to the luxury of having all my equipment. HOWEVER, this will spur me on to get more creative.  I have been trying to do things with just basic home equipment to avoid excluding people who cannot just turn a room of their house into a mini gym.  I may purchase a Power Tower and a bench, since working out at a gym just does not work for my schedule at all, BUT I will still continue writing variations for those who do not have these tools.

Day 39

Variations:

Barbell Curl: If you don’t have a barbell, use dumbbells. The key, however, is to keep your grips stationary so that they do not pull inward or outward motion during the entire execution.

Overhead Cable Curl: I am short so this worked perfectly for me – I hooked one end of my resistance band to the stationary grip of my elliptical machine. Then I stood far enough back to get good resistance and performed single-arm overhead curls.

Cable Hammer Curls: Since the LiveFit Trainer uses the rope attachment, this variation worked excellently – I stood, with one foot, on the center of my resistance band, then with grips in hammer position, I performed the curls. Flawless!

Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment: I hooked my resistance band around the top of my elliptical machine. Kneeling down gave me enough resistance to perform this exercise.

Hanging Leg Raise (or roman chair): I sat at the edge of my firm leather coffee table. Starting with my heels touching the ground, my legs straight. Not bending my legs, I raised my legs till my feet were at least shoulder height. ADDED COMMENT: I am planning to get a Power Tower so I can do these and pull ups and dips.   


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 38 Legs

I love plie squats! So excited to get these today.  So excited, in fact, that I am contemplating repeating Phase 3.  For the sake of continuity I will continue with the LiveFit schedule until completion, then perhaps go back to phase 3 for more building.  The leg days have become my main energy-focus.  I go through phases – a phase where I devote tons of attention to my shoulders, or a phase where I devote my attention to my back, etc.  I work everything as evenly as possible, but when your energy and mind is on a particular body part it makes a difference. Right now, I am going through a leg phase. (Probably because I know it is my weakest area ESPECIALLY during pregnancy because it uses the most energy)

Day 38

Variations:

Leg Extensions: Shoulder-width stance, body weight squats or jump squats for the warm up. Use dumbbells for next set of squats.

Leg Press (shoulder width stance): Shoulder width dumbbell squats OR lay on your back, loop a very taut high resistance resistant band over your feet, gripping well in both hands on either side of your waist, press.

Standing Calf Raises: Dumbbell calf raises

Donkey Calf Raises (Leg Press Calf Raise): Dumbbell calf raises OR lay on your back, loop a very taut high resistance resistant band over the balls of your shoes, gripping well in both hands on either side of your waist, calf press.


LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 37 Chest/Abs/Cardio

I have come to REALLY enjoy chest day! Shoulders and back have always been my favs and Leg days I dreaded (and therefore I push harder and do twice as often), but chest day I seemed to sub-conscientiously down play. No more, peeps!! Pushups, pushups, yeah, yeah, yeah!! 😛

Day 37

Variations:

These variations are just like day 30.  I did not get more creative, but I did feel more fluid in these exercises now that I was accustomed to the make-shift variations.  For pushups I did 3 sets of 15 reps for Close Hand position and then another 3 sets of 15 reps for Wide Hand position. Boom baby!

Wide-Grip Barbell Bench Press: If you do not have a barbell. Hold dumbbells so that your grips are wide and be sure that, as you come up, you do not close the grip and bring your hands together. Keep your hands apart as you lower and then maintain the width as you press. This way you get close to the benefit of the barbell (dumbbells really give you something different, so we have to try to replicate by watching our form closely)

Cable Crossover: This was fun. I simply hooked my resistant band to the stationary handle of my elliptical machine and did cross over one arm at a time. To keep up the intensity I did not rest during this exercise, I merely went back and forth between the 2 arms.

Smith Machine Incline Bench Press: I used my ironing board this time. Leaned it against my couch. This actually worked pretty well because it was narrow enough for me to get a full range of motion with my arms. If you do this on the floor or your coffee table, the flat surface stops your elbows so you kind of get a rest (which is not good).

Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars: I sat at the edge of my firm leather coffee table. Starting with my heels touching the ground, my legs in a slightly bent position. Not bending my legs any further, I raised my knees till my feet were nearly shoulder height.

Cable Crunch: I hooked my resistance band around the top of my elliptical to perform this exercise. It was so high that I got a really good resistance from it!


First Trimester: Meal Plan & Workouts [Round 2]

With baby#2 things have been a lot different. Everyone tells me that every pregnancy is different.  I am a lot more sick (like super sick) this time around, but the cool thing is that 1) I know that’s a good sign that my body is producing great levels of hormones and 2) I know my pregnant-body better this time (ie I know my limits).

For my first pregancy’s first trimester I ate healthy and I listened to my body to tell me when I could workout or not or how hard to push myself.  If I felt too tired or too fatigued then I would rest.  This time around I understand my body a little better. I know that I can push a little further than I originally thought and that I will be tired and still sick regardless of whether I workout or not.  NOW…IMPORTANT… these things may be obvious, but I want to make sure this is clear…you need to know the following things:

  • If you are pregnant, you should listen to your body.  I share what I have learned about my body, but you know YOUR body better than anyone, so trust it.
  • When I say “push myself” I really know my limits. “Push” could mean “finish my reps” or “push” may mean a bit extra weight, but “push” NEVER means pushing yourself so far that you are dizzy, lightheaded or vomiting.  (Which is totally different than when I’m not pregnant because I welcome all those things 🙂 haha)
  • If you feel like you are about to black out, STOP.  I have reached that point a few times and so I will back off and rest then get back to it, but if the black out feeling comes again I quit that day’s workout. You’re done. Overheating is bad for baby. Recognize the early signs.

Meal Plan?

If you are like me, there is no way that I could have a “Plan” because I had so many food aversions that would come and go. I was feeling sick A LOT.

To combat this, here is what I did:

  1. If something sounded good I would drop everything to fix it and eat it as fast as possible regardless of whether I was hungry, because by the time I might be hungry I might not be able to choke anything down.
  2. I ended up eating small meals every 2 hours (just like preg#1)
  3. I made a giant list of well-balanced meals so that when hunger hit, I had a menagerie of things to choose from rather than running to the carbs

Meal & Snack Ideas

  • Two egg-white, 1 yolk omelet with broccoli, salsa and sprinkle of cheese
  • Two egg-white, 1 yolk scramble or over-easy with slice of toast
  • 2 boiled egg whites and 1 yolk
  • Chocolate protein shake in water
  • Vanilla protein shake in sugar free coconut milk
  • 3-4 slices low-sodium turkey with 15 grapes
  • Handful of mixed nuts
  • Salmon burger patty chopped up over spinach salad with Ginger Sesame apple cider dressing (Bragg’s)
  • 2 slices turkey bacon and 1/2 English Muffin with sugar free blackberry jam
  • 4 oz flank steak with steamed carrots
  • Protein shake – I love Beverly International Cookies & Creme  OR SRX Zero Graham Cracker
  • Pumpkin cheesecake protein:  1 Scoop vanilla protein, 1/4 cup pumpkin puree, 1 pkg sugar free cheesecake pudding mix (I added SF coconut milk to the mixture till the consistency was right. It was about 1/2 the amount of milk mentioned on the pudding mix instructions)
  • Greek yogurt with fresh berries on top and 1 piece of 80% cacao chocolate bar
  • Flavored greek yogurt cup and a handful of almonds (about 12)
  • Applesauce with cinnamon pouch (50 calories) and 1/2 turkey sandwhich on sugar-free whole wheat
  • Hummus and veggies (my latest favs are celery, carrots or broccoli)
  • 1/2 English muffin with all natural nut butter
  • Small apple and 1 tuna packet
  • 1/2 C cottage cheese with slice strawberries on top
  • Turkey/Chicken Waldorf Salad wrapped in lettuce leaves, or with 1 serving of wheat crackers, or as an open face (1 slice) whole wheat sandwich
  • Homemade high-fiber bean dip with veggie sticks
  • Romaine salad with 2 artichoke hearts, 4 olives, shredded peppered turkey or chicken – drizzle with apple cider vinegar and olive oil and cracked pepper
  • Italian Turkey Mozzarella Melt: 1 slice whole wheat bread. Spritz one side of the bread with spray butter and toast in a skillet on medium heat. While it is toasting: Splash balsamic vinegar and olive oil on the bread, lay turkey meat, a slice of tomato, a sprinkle of skim mozzarella cheese, and a dash of Italian seasoning (I like to add extra basil). Do not turn. Lift the corners to check the toast. Remove when it is the perfect golden brown that you like. It tastes rich and gourmet like a cheat, but still keeps it lean and clean.  I eat this with a fork because the bread is very moist.  If you like yours more crunchy, mix the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and italian seasoning to form a pesto and spread it on the turkey (rather than the bread).

My guilty pleasures and current cravings:

  • Sour Mango, Philippine import – sprinkled with salt 
  • Sushi
  • Lean Cuisine

Workouts

I am using Bodybuilding.com’s LiveFit Trainer by Jamie Eason.  It is a very popular and successful program that takes you through 3 phases: Conditioning, Muscle sculpting, Leaning.  I am blogging about variations I use since I am both working out at home and pregnant.

Click here to get started: LiveFit Trainer Day 1


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