Monday Ramblings + Workouts for the Week

Good morning!

This post is going to be all over the place, so brace yourself!

I’m currently drinking a coffee and recovering from a great HIIT session! As you may know, Mondays are always HIIT days. They tend to be really busy days for me, so I like to get it done in the morning to kick off my day.

This weekend was a mix of fun, stress, and relaxation. My mom is in the hospital, so that definitely put a damper on things. She’s doing okay and will hopefully be going home in the next few days.

I spent Saturday hanging with a good friend and just catching up. I don’t have many close friends in LA (as anyone that’s moved away from home knows, new friends are much different than lifelong friends), so it’s nice to spend time with the few that I do. We also got to hang with the cutest french bulldog in the world, Pudge:

pedgeSeriously…can I keep him?

Saturday evening, Charlie and I got together with some of my co-workers. We had a great time chatting and eating (what’s better than that!). We had grand plans to go see a movie afterwards, but literally spent 20 minutes driving through the parking garage to find a spot. NOT. ONE. SPOT. So we headed home and watched World War Z instead. It basically reminded me of The Walking Dead and Outbreak rolled into one and not nearly as good. Brad Pitt was okay to look at though. 😀

World_War_Z_poster

Sunday was pretty uneventful. I dyed my hair, did laundry, and got a bunch of work done. Charlie and I also got a great fully body workout done. (I’ll have some videos up this week!) I’m pretty sure he thinks I’m trying to kill him every time he steps in the gym. I swear I’m not….(but he better be nice!!! ;-))landmine

Breakfast this morning is 1 egg + 1/2 cup egg whites scrambed and 1/3 cup cooked oats with cinnamon and stevia. I’m a creature of habit and basically eat this for breakfast every day. I’m super exciting, you don’t even have to tell me.

I’m working all day and then plan on doing a Chest/Triceps workout after work. You may have noticed that I’ve been doing more split body part days lately. I go through stages. Sometimes I do more full body workouts, or split between upper/lower body workouts, and sometimes I revert to plain old bodybuilding style and do split body parts (like I am now). I still do full body workouts (like this one I did last week, and one I did yesterday), but I do them closer to 1-2 times per week as opposed to 3-4 times.

I know that everybody talks about “confusing the body” and all that jazz (hint…your body doesn’t need to be “confused” to make progress), but for me, I do what feels good. I go through stages and since I’m in this for the long haul (life), I do workouts that make me happy. I truly think that is the key to sticking to fitness. If you don’t like what you’re doing (and I’m convinced there is something for everyone), you’re less likely to stick to it. Personally, I don’t like yoga. So I don’t force myself to do it. Instead, I do other things that I DO like. Of course, I do think that sometimes the things we don’t like are the things that we NEED (like yes, I know I SHOULD do some yoga), so it’s good to incorporate those things from time to time. Long story short:

Find the things you like and do them often. Find the things you don’t like, and do them sometimes.

Anyways, I’ll step off my soap box now. It’s Monday and way too early for that. 😀

Here’s my fitness plan for the week:

Monday: 20 min. HIIT + Chest/Triceps

Tuesday: Boxing

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Shoulders + Boxing

Friday: Back/Biceps

Saturday: Full Body (I’m doing workout demos for a trainer’s competition in Santa Monica)

Sunday: Rest

Hope your Monday is off on the right foot!

Question of the Day:

What is your favorite way to workout?

Full Body Attack Workout + Video!

It’s THURSDAY….which means it’s almost FRIDAY….and that means the weekend is almost upon us. Can you tell I’m excited?

This week has been weird. I feel a little off and the pressure seems to be “on”. I know it will pass, but it’s definitely brought out the introvert in me. Hopefully all my friends and co-workers won’t hate me for being so stand-offish this week. 😀

Yesterday, I had a small window to workout and decided to make the most of it. I wrote the workout down and immediately knew it was going to be really tough and I wouldn’t be getting much rest (due to my time constraint). I went into my “mode” and just worked through it. Here’s what I did:

Full Body Attach - Untitled Page

This workout was tough! If you want to try it with some modifications, just leave a comment. 🙂

In other news, I may have mentioned that one of the trainers at my gym is entered into a competition to be Santa Monica’s Best Personal Trainer! We have a competition on October 18th, and I’m one of the people she’s training. We took some video the other day as a sneak-peek of what we’re doing. Video is below!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today. Stay tuned Friday for the answers to my Ask Me Anything post! There’s still time to get some of your questions in. (And thank you to those that e-mailed me your questions! I’ll be answering those as well! :-))

Tuesday Ramblings

How’s everyone doing today?

I’m just sitting at home waiting for the pest control guy. Fun stuff! We’ve had a ridiculous ant problem for the last two weeks and we FINALLY got someone to come out and fix the problem. It’s been quite a nightmare. Let’s just say, I’m a pro ant-annihilator at this point. -_-

In other news, I found a new protein powder that I’m excited to try called SLAP. I actually ended up buying the entire stack of supplements, which is just L-Glutamine, Whey Isolate Protein Powder, and a Coffee Pre-Workout supplement. I was intrigued by the company because of the minimal and clean ingredients in all of their products. The protein powder is sweetened with Stevia (score!) and doesn’t have any artificial ingredients. I haven’t tasted it yet, but I’ll be sure to let you all know how it is!

photo 1photo 2

Workouts for the Week

I’m still super sore from Sunday’s Leg Insanity, but overall I’m feeling really good and still “on” my game!

Here are my workout plans for this week:

Monday: 20 min. HIIT + Chest/Triceps (DONE)

Tuesday: Boxing

Wednesday: Legs + Bouldering (yup! Haven’t done that in a while!)

Thursday: Shoulders/Abs + Boxing

Friday: Full Body

Saturday: Back/Bi’s

Sunday: REST

Finally…I’m thinking about getting a Brazilian blow out. I NEVER feel like/have time to do my hair and it just ends up being kind of a mess. Anyone ever had one? I’ve heard the chemicals can be kind of harsh, so I’m curious. Let me know your experiences!

Questions of the Day:

1. What is your favorite protein powder?

2. Brazilian Blowout advice please!!!

My Weekend {pictures} + Leg Workout w/ Plyometrics

Happy Monday peeps!

This weekend actually felt quite long (not that I’m complaining), so I feel good and refreshed coming into this week. Here’s some of the fun I had:

Saturday, I took a boxing class in the morning. It was quite the sweat session! There were 3 instructors bringing the pain for an hour. Even though it was tough, I had a blast. Can’t wait for tomorrow night’s class!

photo 1

After we showered up, I decided to get a my hair blown out before we headed to a music festival. It wasn’t a fancy festival or anything, but I just didn’t feel like doing my hair. -_-

Guys…I’m SUPER lazy with my hair. I either let it air dry or put it up in a top knot. I have SO much hair and it’s wavy/frizzy, so it can be a pain in the ass. Anyways, once my hair was all done and pretty, and since I knew I’d actually be wearing NPC (normal-people-clothes) instead of gym clothes, I decided to do my makeup too! (Call it a national holiday! Alert the press!)

photo 2

We then headed out to the Eagle Rock Music Festival. It had promise, but ended up being somewhat of a fail. The vibe was really cool and very family-oriented, but the music was just meh. There were a LOT of DJ’s (not my thing…and I can’t understand what is entertaining about watching someone stand in one place pushing buttons on a laptop and turning discs….but I digress) and the only decent bands were playing in acoustically untreated buildings = muddy musical mess. We did see one latino band that was totally not my style of music, but TOTALLY GOOD. Had we known what the rest of our options were, we definitely would have stayed and watched them longer.

People standing around watching a DJ....I DON'T GET IT. WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?!

People standing around watching a DJ….I DON’T GET IT. WHAT IS THERE TO SEE?!

Sunday, we headed to the batting cages to hit some balls. As many of you know, I played on the guys’ baseball team growing up, so I love getting chances to play! Happy to know, I’ve still got it!

We watched a little bit of the Chiefs game, and then I headed to the sauna gym for a workout. We’re going through a major heatwave (…didn’t I move from AZ to get away from that?!), so the temps have been quite ridiculous. Like, 97 in Santa Monica ridiculous!

Leg Day Insanity

4 sets of

Superset #1: Barbell Squats at (95lbs x 15) w/ Medicine Ball Jump Squats (10lbs x 15)

3 sets of

Superset #2: Leg Extensions (50lbs x 15) w/ Supinated Hamstring Curls (50lbs x 15)

3 sets of

Superset #3: Barbell Walking Lunges (50lbs x 12 per leg) w/ Split Squat Jumps (bodyweight x 10 per side)

2 sets of

Superset #4: (1 leg at a time!!!) DB Step Up (20lbs x 10) w/ Step Up Jumps (bodyweight x 10)

I may or may not have walked out of the gym looking like I just jumped off a horse. As always, check with a doc before starting any new exercise routine. Use weights you’re comfortable with. I posted mine for reference, but you should do what is best for YOU.

Hope you guys have a great rest of your day! I’ll be back tomorrow with some more workouts for the week.

Be sure to check out my Ask Me Anything post and leave a comment with any questions you may have! I’ll be answering them all this week on the blog!

Question of the Day

1. What is the weather like in your part of the world? Still summer-like? Fall? Winter-y?

It CAN be done!!!!

Being in the fitness industry for the last 6-7 years of my life, I tend to be the go-to person at parties,get-togethers,bathrooms (for real), you name it –when it comes to questions about working out and eating right. I’m TOTALLY okay with that, because I LOVE to talk about it and helping others brings me SO much joy! Hello, I have an entire BLOG about it and LIVE it every day!

Now, what DOES get a bit frustrating is when I stand there excitedly giving people advice and options as to what they can do, and they IMMEDIATELY come back at me with why that JUST isn’t possible for them. I’m tired of hearing that you don’t have time, that you can’t do *this* because it hurts your *that* (barring serious injuries, it is usually something that can be modified very easily!), that healthy food is gross, that it’s too expensive, you don’t have a gym membership, blah blah blahdeefrickinblah! Let me fill you all in on a little secret:

You don’t need to rearrange your life in order to have a healthy one! There is this notion that in order to be healthy you have to “go to the gym a lot and eat vegetables all the time.” You don’t. You just don’t. I truly believe that ANYONE and EVERYONE can lead a healthy lifestyle.

Now to make this clear, I don’t think everyone needs to be like me. I realize that I’m not the norm. For heaven’s sake, I LIKE BURPEES. IT ISN’T NORMAL.  I crave vegetables and eat them in massive quantities for “fun”. While that is me, I realize that not everyone is that and you absolutely DO NOT have to be anything close to that. I believe everyone can live a healthy and active life by making SIMPLE and SMALL changes. You don’t have to give up your favorite foods and you don’t have to become a slave to the gym. I actually would steer you a different direction if that’s where you were headed!

Let me tell you a little story about someone very close to me: my boyfriend Charlie. I always use Charlie as the perfect example of someone who has had the effect of a changed life without actually changing their life around.

IMG_1636When I met Charlie, his habits were very typical of an American. He ate fast food for most meals (McDonalds was a go-to), M&M’s and Famous Amos cookies for a snack, and save for the random hike here and there, he was pretty sedentary. I had no intentions of trying to change him into some health nut or workout freak and I still don’t. That’s not him and that is totally okay.

Charlie knew that his lifestyle wasn’t very healthy and wanted to change it, but, like SO many others, he wasn’t quite sure what to do. In his head, you had to eat broccoli all day if you wanted to be healthy. Aside from the perceived awfulness of a healthy diet, he’s also very stubborn. To him, working out was something he just didn’t have time for. He, once again, perceived this as something that would easily take 2-3 hours out of his day, which was just not possible. He works A LOT and if being healthy meant interfering with his work and passion, it was likely going to last about .543 seconds. I remember the first time I suggested that he try brown rice instead of white rice. I’m pretty sure he considered running away from me and never speaking to me again. (Glad you didn’t, babe). I might as well have insulted Star Wars!!(FYI: You can lose limbs for that kind of talk around this house….) I knew then that this wouldn’t be easy, but I was willing to help and be patient with him since I knew, ultimately, he wanted to be a healthier person. It took me reminding myself that not everyone is like me. I LOVE the gym, LOVE the sweat, WANT to workout, LOVE eating healthy (don’t get me wrong, I love other foods that aren’t so healthy, but for the most part, I like food that makes me feel good), so it isn’t as hard for me to motivate myself to go do those things. Not everyone feels that way about it, and that is completely okay. It doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

I tell you this because with some small changes here and there, Charlie has become a pretty healthy person!

These days, Charlie eats brown rice, whole wheat pasta, lean meats, fruit, vegetables, and minimally processed foods (by choice and taste), snacks on Greek Yogurt (and loves it more than anyone I know!!), eats balanced meals on the regular (his former lunch of a #2 at McDonald’s has now become a chicken, brown rice, and vegetable bowl at Chipotle), checks ingredients on packages before eating anything (he’s more obsessed than I am on this!!) and he works out with me at least 1-2 times per week. His life has not been overhauled, his schedule has not been compromised, and he does this all by choice. YES, he still eats sweets and junk food. But he does it on occasion, not on the regular. I absolutely support and encourage him, but if he didn’t want to eat healthier and BE healthier, he’d still be eating a steady diet of Taco Bell Double Deckers. He now tells me that on the very rare occasions that he does eat fast food, he instantly feels like garbage and never wants to eat it again. He can’t even believe he used to live on that stuff! (Hell, I did too in high school! Not sure how I even functioned! Teenager cells, I guess.) Charlie will still eat his beloved M&M’s and Milky Ways on occasion, and he will NEVER say no to a milkshake (although, thankfully, he isn’t offered one very often ;-).) This is all just to say, you CAN have your cake and eat it too. Just not all the time. (I’ll be the first to admit that on a weekly basis, SOME type of candy will be consumed by me.)

My point in highlighting Charlie’s story is to show you that it CAN be done by anyone. Even if you’re not trying to be a “health freak” (yeah, I know what you guys say about us!!!!), you are still capable of leading a VERY healthy life. I repeat, it does NOT have to completely change your life. You can still eat the foods you love and do the things you love. It is the LITTLE changes that really add up and that is what you have to remember. Charlie and I still eat frozen yogurt (hey, maybe sometimes we I  might even maybe, kinda, sorta, eat it twice in one day like last Saturday), get burgers, share endless bowls of chips and salsa, and thoroughly enjoy our food. Deprivation is NOT in our vocabulary. Moderation is.

mechartemescal

So what are some lifestyle principles that we live by?

1. Moderation. We don’t eat frozen yogurt and burgers every day. It’s usually a once a week type of thing. (If, hypothetically, you DO get it twice in one day, it still counts as once a week since it was just one day of that week….right?!?!?!)

2. When we are craving a burger or something that is typically deemed “unhealthy”, we choose better ingredients. As I mentioned in this post, Burger Lounge is our go-to because of the ingredients they use. Charlie gets a grass-fed beef burger and I get a free-range turkey burger. No fake, fatty meat and no factory farms. Basically, we try to eat at restaurants that offer a better quality, when available. When it comes to something like chips and salsa, we buy chips that have very few ingredients and ingredients that we can actually recognize, and get salsa using the same standards.

3. We make it at home. For example, instead of eating sodium-laden Chipotle all the time, we make it at home for dinner several times per week. This allows us to control our ingredients so we know what we’re putting into our bodies. Organic Chicken, Brown Rice, Organic Bell Peppers, Half-Sodium Black Beans, Mexican Cheese (we buy any brand that doesn’t have any weird preservatives. This can be tough, so if you’re able to go to a health food store for this, I highly recommend it. The Ralph’s near us only has ONE brand that doesn’t have a bunch of fillers in it), and Hot Sauce. We both agree that it is actually BETTER than Chipotle.

4. Our workouts typically last 20-25 minutes. Sure, sometimes we do longer workouts, but I absolutely 100% guarantee that you can get a fantastic workout in with only a 15-20 minute window to work with. Sometimes they don’t even require ANY equipment at all! (In fact, I’ll be releasing an e-book in the next few months that will give you PAGES of quick, equipment-less, workouts that will have you mopping your sweat off the floor in under 30 minutes.)

As you can see, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even deciding to make ONE small change to your health can have a huge impact. It’s the exact reason why the plethora of excuses drives me crazy. I can’t express enough that you don’t have to go Biggest Loser style and workout 5 hours a day while eating 1200 calories of fake food to lose weight or be healthy. You have to care about your health and make the attempt to make small changes.

I’m HAPPY to answer any questions you guys have. Leave me comments on here or on Facebook and tell me your biggest problems with making healthier choices. I’ll do my best to help you solve them. I believe EVERYONE can live a healthier life without sacrifice. Let me help you on your way to yours!

Proper Squat Form

Happy Monday! I thought I’d start this fabulous week off by talking about our booty’s best friend: the squat. 

(Please note, I am not a doctor and this is not a prescription. Please check with your doctor before making any exercise changes or trying anything new if you’re not comfortable with it.) 

I love squats for SOOOO many reasons: 

1. They are a GREAT exercise for the legs, butt, and core. 

2. They are something you can do anywhere.

3. They help build the booty and keep it perky!

4. The squat is a practical movement. By this, I mean that it is used in our everyday lives. A non-practical movement? The tricep-kickback. Tell me when you do that in daily life…

5. Versatility! They can be used as an isometric movement (static squat), a heavy movement (heavy barbell squats), a plyometric (jump squats), and more!

I created a quick video of me squatting so that you can see what proper form looks like. Of course, it can take practice and patience, so keep working on it if you’re not there yet!

My three tips for performing a proper squat are: 

1. Sit back first. Many people start to bend at the knees first, but this puts you in the position to squat with your knees bending past your toes and your weight to be put in your toes, rather than your heels. Sit back and THEN drop down. This will keep your weight in your heels, utilizing your glutes and hamstrings more. 

2. Squat Down with your chest up. A good way to practice this is to wear a shirt with a logo on the chest and face a mirror while doing the movement. You should be able to see that logo in the same position for the entire movement. 

3. Push through your heels. When you get to the bottom of your squat (which ideally will be butt below the knees, or as we like to call it “ass to grass”) you obviously have to come back up! Push through your heels in order to promote the body to stay in it’s upright form and not put your weight back into your knees. 

I hope these tips help you to perform your best squat yet! Start with just body weight and move up to weights as you begin to get more comfortable with the movement. You can also practice Wall Squats to train your body to keep your chest upright during the movement. (Start as close to the wall as possible in order for you to perform the squat. Do 3 sets of 15 reps 3-4 times per week, working towards moving closer and closer to the wall). 

Wall Squat

Wall Squat

Happy squatting everyone!

Questions for the day:

1. What is your favorite exercise?

Mine is the deadlift, but squats are a close 2nd.

2. Did you watch the Superbowl?

Let’s put it this way, I fell asleep in the 4th quarter. No joke.

Week of January 20th: Fitness Plan and a Workout!

Hey friends! Hope your weekend was relaxing and fun! Mine was busy (had to work for 12 hours Saturday), but still a good time!

Fitness

My plan for the week is to squeeze in my exercise Monday-Wednesday, because Thursday-Saturday I will be out of town at The Namm Show. (It’s a music business convention basically). There will be tons of walking. I always want to take a pedometer with me when I go because I swear, we end up walking at least 5 miles a day. It’s craziness, but such a fun time. This will be my 4th year going. I’m stoked! Sunday I have an all day recording session, so that will be out for exercise as well. I may try to grab a run or a gym session at our hotel sometime Friday or Saturday morning, but we’ll see. I may just leave the walkathon as my exercise and come back with a fresh body next Monday. 🙂

Monday: Heavy Lift + Bouldering

Tuesday: 30 minute run

Wednesday: Crossfit + Bouldering

Thursday: Walk-a-thon at NAMM

Friday: Possible gym sesh + Walk 809238432 miles at NAMM

Saturday: Walk even more

Sunday: Sit in a chair all day recording musicians

This week is going to be nuts, but I’m ready!!

Workout

Last night, I went to the gym just as it was closing (perks of working for a gym…after hour training sesh’s!). I made up a quick little workout and it kind of kicked my butt. Since nobody was around, I got all vain and took some video of it, so I’ll post that in a few days too.

 

 

Tag me if you try it! ;-)

Tag me if you try it! 😉