Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym

If you live in the Midwest, you know snow And this snow is snow joke. I was literally trapped the other day, and couldn’t get to the gym for several hours. Since it’s my job to actually be at the gym, I eventually got there and was able to sneak in a workout after my…

Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym was originally published on Self Evolve

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If you live in the Midwest, you know snow

snowstorm workoutAnd this snow is snow joke. I was literally trapped the other day, and couldn’t get to the gym for several hours. Since it’s my job to actually be at the gym, I eventually got there and was able to sneak in a workout after my shift. But if I didn’t work at the gym, I wouldn’t have been able to make it to the gym that day. And I would’ve either missed my workout (not an option) or had to have created a snowstorm workout. Being a personal trainer, this is easy for me. But for the average Joe, it may be hard to create a workout on a whim.

Of course, you could try to google a home workout, but the results may overwhelm you. With so many to choose from, you may just opt to sit on the couch surfing the internet instead. Well, no fear! Today I will share a great and easy workout that you can do virtually anywhere.

Snowstorm Workout

Tabata workout! Make the most of your time with a simple workout that can be done in as little as 4 minutes. This is all that’s needed to work up a sweat. The idea is to do an exercise for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds. You do that 8 times and you’re at 4 minutes. You can stop there, or repeat the entire set to increase the time. Be sure to rest for a minute between sets though! Here are some body weight exercises you can do anywhere:

  • Mountain Climbers
  • Burpees
  • Squats
  • Push ups

How do you stay active on snow days?

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Snowstorm Workout: When you can’t get to the gym was originally published on Self Evolve

The underdogs of Instagram Influencers

As promised.. A few weeks back, I posted about the top Instagram influencers of 2018. Today I’m going to shine a light on the lesser-known but still awesome underdogs of Instagram. These are the people hustling every day to get their fitness motivation and advice out there. Workout ideas, diet help, and motivational quotes are…

The underdogs of Instagram Influencers was originally published on Self Evolve

As promised..

A few weeks back, I posted about the top Instagram influencers of 2018. Today I’m going to shine a light on the lesser-known but still awesome underdogs of Instagram. These are the people hustling every day to get their fitness motivation and advice out there. Workout ideas, diet help, and motivational quotes are just the beginning of what can be found on these accounts. Check them out today and be sure to like and follow them!

Underdogs of Instagram

  • run4donuts is a runner with my name and my passions! She loves to run, drink coffee, and eat donuts. She’s definitely ran way more races than me and is a little faster than me too. But I love her posts as they’re always inspiring me to lace up and run.
  • kemomarriott is crazy. I have to say I love his videos though! They keep me going, especially on the days when I don’t feel like working hard. He’s proof that hard work pays off.
  • pt_dunn is a freelance trainer in London. Aside from his sexy accent, he does Kobox which is where Fight Club meets Nightclub. I think I’ll move to London..
  • underdogs of instagrammixon_fitness is Batman at night and Clark Kent by day. A trainer who posts up great workout and fitness videos regularly over on YouTube. He keeps me coming back to learn more every week. To be honest, I usually steal his ideas and write about them. Just don’t tell him.
  • yogawithninauk is a vegan yogi who’s also recently pregnant. She continues to inspire me to push myself in my yoga practice, and shows me there’s no excuse to not work on my flexibility and strength.

Who’s your favorite Instagram underdog?

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The underdogs of Instagram Influencers was originally published on Self Evolve

Valentine’s day: fitness gifts for your loved one

Today is Valentine’s day. Cupid’s day to go around shooting everyone with arrows. The typical go-to gift is usually a card with either flowers, chocolate or both. But as you become more health-conscious and earth-friendly, you may be struggling with new gift ideas. Well, no fear! For I am here to give you plenty of…

Valentine’s day: fitness gifts for your loved one was originally published on Self Evolve

Today is Valentine’s day. Cupid’s day to go around shooting everyone with arrows. The typical go-to gift is usually a card with either flowers, chocolate or both. But as you become more health-conscious and earth-friendly, you may be struggling with new gift ideas. Well, no fear! For I am here to give you plenty of great fitness and health-friendly gift ideas for your loved one or friends.

Valentine’s day gift ideas

  • Workout outfit. Everyone loves new clothes to workout in. Personally, if I have great clothes to workout in I’m more likely to workout more often. As far as where to go? I’d recommend Athleta, Lulu Lemon, or even Target has some great workout gear.valentine's day
  • Water bottle. Most people don’t drink enough water when working out. What better way to keep your sweetheart hydrated than getting them a large, reusable water bottle for them to bring to the gym.
  • Protein and supplements (i.e. food). I’m all about the food. I literally workout just to eat. And yes I have a problem. I have to make sure I have a good protein shake so I don’t go for the cookies. 
  • Activity tracker. In case you haven’t noticed, I absolutely love my Garmin VivoSmart HR+. I think if I had a boyfriend and he got me an activity tracker as a gift, I may just take him on walks on the beach with me. Or perhaps just walk to the local bakery and get donuts.
  • Gym membership or classes at a local gym or studio. If you have a girl you’re shopping for, I can’t recommend barre classes more. Get her a month of classes to try it out, she may get hooked. If there’s a guy in your life, consider boxing or martial arts classes.

What are you getting your sweetie for Valentine’s day?

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Valentine’s day: fitness gifts for your loved one was originally published on Self Evolve

Don’t be a starter, be a finisher

It’s easy to start.. You start out every year strong. This is the year I’ll… (insert New Year’s Resolution here). You have great intentions. Lose ten pounds, start working out, eat better, write a book, finish that thesis, etc. But how many of us actually finish what we start? Are you a finisher? I’m not…

Don’t be a starter, be a finisher was originally published on Self Evolve

It’s easy to start..

finisherYou start out every year strong. This is the year I’ll… (insert New Year’s Resolution here). You have great intentions. Lose ten pounds, start working out, eat better, write a book, finish that thesis, etc. But how many of us actually finish what we start? Are you a finisher?

I’m not pointing any fingers since I’ve definitely started many projects and goals only to stop and never finish them. It’s easy to start something, but way more satisfying to finish something. To crush that goal, no matter how small. To complete that big project, and be able to move onward and upward. The feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. But sometimes we lose motivation, discipline, or lack knowledge in regards to finishing our goals.

Stay motivated

Motivation is key to finishing any goal or project. If we see results, we tend to stay motivated. For example, if you continue to lose body fat week after week while dieting and exercising, you’ll continue dieting and working out. Staying motivated is one of the biggest hurdles we face. I like to look to positive social media accounts for motivational quotes and images. I try to share them on my social media as well in order to motivate others.

Be disciplined

There will be days where you don’t feel like eating well or working out. There will be days when you don’t feel like working on your projects. But you have to push through the thoughts that are holding you back. Most of the time, it’s mental. If you can push yourself to work towards your goals and projects despite not wanting to, you’ll be making progress towards being a finisher.

Do your research

If you get stuck halfway through your project, do your research. If you’ve been doing the same workout and stop seeing results, look up some new exercises to change your workouts. Research helps us expand our knowledge and make progress in reaching our goals. The more you know, the more you’ll accomplish.

What projects and goals are you working on?

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Supersets and why you should do them

What is a superset? And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use…

Supersets and why you should do them was originally published on Self Evolve

What is a superset?

And does it make you Superman? Yes and yes! A superset is performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest between them. Why, you ask? Because gainz! But in all seriousness, supersets are a great way to utilize your time and hit multiple muscles quickly. Typically, they use different muscle groups or movement patterns, though not always. Here’s why you should incorporate this method in your workout routine.

Benefits of supersets

  1. Short on time? The idea is that you’re doing exercises on different muscle groups during the time you’d normally be resting. So you get the same amount of exercises done in half the time.
  2. Build muscle! Supersets are a good protocol for hypertrophy as they help create the biological and hormonal environment necessary for muscle growth. By using your rest periods to do more work, the exercises in effect serve as active recovery for each other.
  3. Increase intensity! Shortening the rest period between sets will increase intensity by performing more work in less time. This is especially true if you are used to long periods of rest between sets.

How to build good supersets

supersetsAlternating upper body with lower body is a great way to get a total body workout done quickly. Put together three or four supersets using multi-joint exercises and do each for 8 to 12 reps and two to three times through. This is a solid resistance workout that’ll take 30 minutes or less. Other ideas include a push/pull upper body workout, utilizing antagonistic muscles. A sample superset workout is below:

2 Sets, 12 Reps

  • Squats
  • Lateral lunges (12 each leg)
  • 1 min rest
  • Barbell row
  • Push ups
  • 1 min rest
  • Shoulder press
  • Dumbbell chest press
  • 1 min rest

Do you use supersets as a part of your fitness regime?

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Why everyone needs a personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where…

Why everyone needs a personal trainer was originally published on Self Evolve

personal trainer

One of the main questions I ask every person I meet at my job is if they’ve ever worked with a personal trainer before. And if they have, was it a positive experience. If not, I dig deeper to see why. Most of the time, the response is that it was a great experience where they were able to reach their goals and have the body they wanted. If they’ve never had a personal trainer, I always ask if they have ever considered getting one. I ask this because I feel like most of us, at one time or another, have thought of hiring a personal trainer to help us achieve our goals. But we may have hesitated, likely over the cost of a trainer. Today I’m going to go over why I feel like everyone needs a personal trainer, at some point(s) in their life.

Why you need a personal trainer

  • Workout planning. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin had it right. If you go to the gym without a workout plan, you will just be winging it every time. And with that comes a lot of guessing and free-styling it, but also you’ll likely just do the same routine every time they’re at the gym. This isn’t ideal as our bodies get used to the same exercise and you will stop seeing results.
  • Tracking your progress. Most people only track their progress by weighing themselves, but this can be very discouraging. Especially since muscle is more dense than fat, the number on the scale may not change as much as your measurements and body fat. A personal trainer will take your measurements at least once every month or two to verify you’re seeing results.
  • Proper form and technique. Without any prior training or education in relation to exercise, it’s hard to know the proper form and technique for all exercises. Also, it’s hard to know what type of exercises will help you get to your specific goals. That’s where a certified trainer can help immensely.
  • Health advice. In addition to fitness and exercise advice, personal trainers can also help provide overall guidelines in regards to health. While we aren’t nutritionists or dietitians, we can give our clients a general idea of what they should be focusing on when it comes to their diet.
  • Avoid injury. This is huge. The amount of injuries that occur at the gym is substantial. Without proper form and technique, it is easy to hurt yourself. Having a personal trainer to demonstrate and verify that you’re performing exercises correctly mitigates the risk of injury.
  • Accountability & motivation. Having a trainer keeps you accountable. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t pay for a trainer and then not show up to my sessions. Money is a great motivator, and once you start seeing results the motivation will just start pouring in!

Exercise is complex

Exercise isn’t just science, it’s also an art form. The key to exercise is variety, and to know not only the right type of exercise but also the different variations is needed to reach your goals. Without proper knowledge and education, it’s hard to walk into a gym without feeling intimated. Big weights and barbells can scare off anyone. That’s where a trainer comes in.

Have you ever had a trainer? Or do you currently have a trainer?

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Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters

Do you track your heart-rate? If you’re running on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike, there are usually heart-rate sensors on the handlebars. And when doing cardio, it’s normal to keep track of your heart rate. The general rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate between 60 to 70% max to burn…

Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters was originally published on Self Evolve

Do you track your heart-rate?

If you’re running on a treadmill or riding an exercise bike, there are usually heart-rate sensors on the handlebars. And when doing cardio, it’s normal to keep track of your heart rate. The general rule of thumb is to keep your heart rate between 60 to 70% max to burn fat, or 70 to 85% to be in the maximum cardio benefit zone. Your max heart rate is based on your age; it’s the equation of 220 minus your age. For me, my max heart rate is 189. But most people don’t know that they should also track their heart-rate when doing strength training.

Strength training and your heart

heart-rateIt isn’t enough to just lift heavy weights. You have to maintain an elevated heart-rate while lifting as well. If you rest for too long, your heart rate will drop and you won’t get as many benefits from your workout. Rest between sets is important, but you don’t want to go below 50% of max heart rate during your workout. If needed, do some squats, jumping jacks, or high knees between sets to keep your heart-rate going.

Beginners to strength training should aim to keep their heart-rate between 50 to 60% max. As you become more advanced, you can up this to 70 to 80% max. Most importantly, you should listen to your body to determine the overall intensity of your workout. Keep in mind, our bodies adapt and get used to exercises, so be sure to push yourself and increase the intensity over time.

Do you track your heart rate while lifting?

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Heart-rate: Where your heart’s at matters was originally published on Self Evolve