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How I Fuel My Workouts

Good morning Health & Fitness Enthusiasts!

 

Long time, no write (at some point that’s got to stop being my introduction lol)! Today, I am writing to tell you how I fuel my workouts and give you some tips and ideas on how to fuel yours. I am currently competing in the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge on Team Amanda, and let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy! But, I’m proud to say that I’ve stuck with it against ALL odds. And, if you’ve been keeping up with my blog (or atleast trying to), you’ve probably noticed that I don’t tend to stick with things. But, I am in the home stretch and I definitely want to win! If I do, I will be on the cover of Oxygen Magazine and possibly get sponsored by BSN which would be BEYOND awesome. So, I have to give every workout my absolute best to achieve the results I’m after and ultimately win the competition. Here is a breakdown of what fuels my workouts, from music to nutrition to supplements.

Pre-Workout

Whether I’m doing cardio, weights or both, I ALWAYS train with something in my stomach. I’m not a fan of fasted cardio. Why? Because food is your energy source and without it, your endurance and energy will dwindle. But with it, you will be able to lift heavier, run farther and persevere without falling asleep on the mat at the end of your workout.

What I eat before I workout, depends on what my workout will consist of. Before weight training, I usually have a Protein shake 30 min-1 hour before my weight lifting session. What kind of protein shake, you ask?

Here are my recommendations:

BSN Syntha-6 and Syntha-6 Isolate

syntha-6-lrgIf you’re anything like me, you’re extremely picky when it comes to protein shakes. I have tried tons of brands and flavors and I usually just down it like a shot to get it over with because I can’t stand the taste. Well, BSN has some amazing flavors and no aftertaste! My favorite is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but they have everything from Peanut Butter Cookie to Strawberries and Creme to Vanilla Ice Cream*, so there’s something for everyone. Aside from taste, these protein shakes deliver between 22-25g of protein and only 2g of sugar per serving. If you are focusing on leaning out and cutting calories, the Syntha-6 Isolate has 150 calories per serving and only 1.5g of fat as opposed to 200 calories and 6g of fat.  For more info on these products and fun recipes, check out: http://www.gobsn.com/product/syntha6isolate.html

*Check back for a future post on healthy ice cream using the Vanilla Ice Cream Flavor protein powder:-)

Eat the Bear Uncaged 2.5 and 5.0

ETB UncagedFor added energy and a greater pump, take 1/2-full scoop of this pre-workout. Eat The Bear offers some of the cleanest supplements on the market, and with no sugar or calories in this pre-workout, it’s definitely a winner. If you’ve never taken a pre-workout before or if you’re sensitive to caffeine, I would recommend starting with 1/2 scoop and assessing your tolerance before increasing to a full scoop. Pre-workouts should be taken 30min-1 hour before you plan to workout. For more pre-workout supplements from Eat The Bear, check out: http://www.etbfit.com/pre-workout-energy/

 

L-Carnitine

Carnitine is a supplement that helps the body turn fat into energy, aka a natural fat burner. I like carnitine because it’s stimulant free and it helps me sweat more during my workouts. This is a great supplement for those who are sensitive to caffeine or who train at night.

 

BSN Hyper Shred

hyper shred

Since I am in Month 3 of my journey to winning the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge, I have added in an additional fat burner. I love this because it really helps me to focus on my workouts and that additional focus allows me to dig deep when I’m sore and tired to push through and finish what I started! **One important thing I do want to mention, is to not mix a pre-workout with a fat burner. If you have a high tolerance for caffeine, then by all means, do both, but if you’re like me and your skin gets tingly and you feel nauseous after too much caffeine, don’t do it! I LOVE coffee and there’s no way I’m giving up my morning cup of Joe for a supplement. So, if I’m going to take a pre-workout, I don’t take a fat burner, and vice versa. Listen to your body and do what’s best for you!**

 

During the Workout

Alright, you’ve taken your supplements and you’re at the gym about to start your workout. Now what? Here are a couple things that keep me going especially when the training gets tough!

BSN Amino X

amino xAmino X is a great blend of Amino acids that helps you to hold on to your muscle while dieting. If I am doing cardio and weights, I usually will drink Amino X during my cardio to give me a little extra energy and to preserve the muscle I’ve worked so hard to build! Blue RaZ is my favorite flavor because it tastes like Blue Cotton Candy, but again, there are several flavors to choose from, so choose the flavor that sounds the most appealing to you:-)

 

 

 

 

 

Glutamine

glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that is great for recovery. And, with the intense training I’ve been doing, I need added help to recover from my workouts lol! This is the brand I use, but there are tons of brands that you can pick from. I like this one in particular because it’s unflavored, so I can stack it with my protein shake or Amino X. If I am doing cardio and weights, I’ll mix it with the Amino X and drink it during cardio. If I’m just doing weights, I’ll mix it with my protein shake after my workout.

 

 

 

 

Music

This is probably the most important supplement to my workouts lol! I LOVE music, and research actually shows that the right music motivates you to work harder in your workouts. I know that’s true for me. I like to use Spotify because for $9.99/mos I can stream and play tons of songs, follow other people’s playlists, and create playlists of my own. Here are my Top 3 Workout Songs Right Now*:

3. Vanity – Christina Aguilera

2. GDFR – Flo Rida feat Sage the Gemini

1. Let it Burn – Stic Man (He actually has a whole album called, “The Workout” with a lot of motivating tracks)

*More Workout Songs to Come in a Future Post

Post Workout

Alright, you’ve finished your workout. Now how do you refuel your muscles to aid in recovery and growth? 3 of the supplements I mentioned before, Amino X, Glutamine, and Protein Shakes are some of my go-to’s post workout. I’m not the type of person to drink 3 protein shakes a day. I LOVE to eat, and I believe that eating real food should be the foundation of any nutrition plan and supplements should be just that a supplement to healthy eating. So, when I drink my protein shake, depends on when I workout. If I workout first thing in the morning, I will have a protein shake with my fat burners. If I’m working out after breakfast, I’ll drink it after. Tailor it around your schedule.

Here are some whole food snacks I like to eat after I workout:

-Small apple with a tbsp of almond butter

-12 almonds and a serving of fruit (This depends on what kind of fruit I have in the house. Right now, it’s kiwi:-) )

-Zucchini “ice cream” (recipe to come in a later post)

-Protein cookie dough (recipe to come in a later post)

Well, I hope all of that helped and you now have more tools for what can give your workouts an extra boost! Tune in next week for some fun protein recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth:-)

 

 

posted by admin in Bikini Competition,Building Muscle,Diet,Exercise,Motivation,Weight Loss,Workouts and have No Comments

Meet Angelique Millis

Before I introduce you to my Desktop Star of the Week, I wanted to share my progress! Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to go to Jillian Michael’s Maximize Your Life tour and boy, is she amazing! She’s been my favorite trainer since the first time I saw her on Biggest Loser, but as I’ve gotten to know her (through her books & tv shows, lol), I’ve learned that she’s so much more than an awesome trainer! She not only inspired me to become a trainer 2 years ago, but also her book Unlimited and her work with Danni has helped me tremendously in my journey to supreme health! I’ve learned that I have to address the mental issues before I can achieve my goals. It has been tough, but after seeing her in person,everything I read has been solidified and this week so far has been awesome! As I write, I’m actually at Ruby Tuesday enjoying a night out with myself as a reward for my hardwork thus far:-) But enough about me! Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

Introducing Angelique Millis…

image

Angelique Millis is my Desktop Star of the week because her story is similar to mine. She gained weight her freshmen year–40 pounds to be exact–and decided to do something about it! It’s uplifting to see someone where you were get to where you want to me. She is presently a bikini competitor, author, fitness profresssional and life coach. She’s written an ebook, The Fit Success Lifestyle Program, several articles, and has even created her own workout entitled, Fit in 30. I chose her this week in particular because at the end of this week, if I stay consistent with my diet and training, I will earn her ebook! I’m looking forward to it, because I KNOW that I can do it.

Until next week…

posted by admin in Building Muscle,Diet,Emotional Eating,Exercise,Overeating,Overweight,Weight Loss,Workouts and have No Comments

Meet Marzia Prince!

image

Less than 10 weeks until my 1st bikini competition & training has been going great! My suit & heels came last week, as well as a Posing DVD I ordered. I also went to a competition last Saturday–boy, was that exciting! I feel highly motivated & confident that I can crush the competition, so long as I stay consistent:-) For anyone who’s looking to compete, I highly recommend going to a competition or two first before you decide. It’ll give you an idea of what the judges are looking for and you’ll be able to see what the compeition will be like. All this has been so motivating to me during this journey, as well as this IFBB bikini professional, personal trainer, and fitness model, Marzia Prince!

Marzia Prince caught my eye not only because she’s drop dead gorgeous, but because she’s a vegan bikini competitor! I have spent lots of time researching nuttition and the health benefits of eating a plant-based, nutrient dense diet. To find someone who is vegan and has gone pro is so inspiring! She has occassional treat meals, so she’s vegan about 90-95% of the time, which is exactly where I want to be soon! I am not yet vegan, but I do plan to slowly move into that direction:-)

Other things that are awesome about Marzia Prince are her love for fitness, her desire to help others, and how highly motivated she is. In addition to holding a personal trainer certification, she is also a certified nutitionist and life coach. As I complete my last 2 days of her sample workout plan*, I thought it would be fitting to spotlight her. So meet Marzia Prince, my desktop Star of the Week!

Until next week,

*Find the sample workout plan I followed for the last 3 weeks here as well as other info about Marzia Prince & a sample vegan meal plan: http://www.simplyshredded.com/ifbb-bikini-pro-and-fitness-model-marzia-prince-talks-with-simplyshredded-com.html

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Checking In

We’re nearly halfway through the second month of the year. How are you coming towards reaching your health and fitness goals? Did you set a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape? Do you have a goal to run a couple races this year? What about a goal to be more active? Whatever your New Year’s Resolution was this year, DON’T GIVE UP ON IT! Here are some tips on how to keep going strong towards reaching your goals anytime of year:

1.       Find an accountability partner or support group.

It’s always easier and more fun to work towards a goal when you have someone cheering you on. Tell people about your goals and ask for their support. You need people to encourage you along this journey, whether you’re trying to lose weight, get more active, or just eat better. It’s important that the people in your life know what you’re working towards so they can help you get there.

2.      Write down your goals.

Write them in a place that you will see them every day. I have sticky notes all around my condo with words to motivate me to keep pushing towards my goals. I’m also working on making a wall of affirmations with quotes to inspire me, and I have a couple collages of pictures to motivate me to keep pushing. You want to constantly remind yourself of what your goals are, so you won’t lose focus or motivation to reach them.

3.      Stay positive!

Remember, when you are losing weight the scale doesn’t tell the whole story. You may be making healthy eating choices and working out consistently for a couple weeks, and yet you still see the same number on the scale. DON’T PANIC! That’s completely normal, because once you start building muscle, your body frame could very well be changing, even though your weight is staying the same. Use other forms of measurements, such as body fat testing and circumference measurements. Also, always look at the glass as half full, not half empty. Yes, we are in the month of February, which means there are 10 more months left this year. But, if you look at it that way, you’ll never reach your goal because you’ll always be focused on how long you have to go instead of how far you’ve come. Take it one day at a time and praise yourself for every accomplishment you make, no matter how small. That is how you will be successful and that is what  will keep you motivated.

 

 

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Don’t Quit: Tips for Busting through that Workout Rut

“Don’t quit when the tide is lowest,

For it’s just about to turn;

Don’t quit over doubts and questions,

For there’s something you may learn.

Don’t quit when the night is darkest,

For it’s just a while ‘til dawn;

Don’t quit when you’ve run the farthest,

For the race is almost won.

Don’t quit when the hill is steepest,

For your goal is almost nigh;

Don’t quit, for you’re not a failure

Until you fail to try.”

-Jill Wolf

I know weight loss is hard. I’ve definitely been where you are now. Tired of working out, tired of eating right, tired of stepping on the scale and seeing no significant changes. It’s important during those moments to remember how far you’ve come. Remember my video about being positive? Positive self talk and positive affirmations are definitely a must on these days. Here’s a couple tips for how you can motivate yourself when your motivation is seriously lacking.

Create a list of accomplishments.

Write down goals that you have achieved so far. Then, whenever you’re feeling unmotivated take it out and read it out loud to yourself. I know that always puts a smile on my face:-)

Take a day off.

Overtraining can definitely discourage you from working out. It can cause injury as well as cause you to lose your love for working out. My crazyness is why I grew tired of working out. I burned myself out by spending hours upon hours in the gym. I am now learning to workout smarter not harder, using my time more effectively and finding the joy again. So, it’s okay to take a day off once a week, or have a couple active recovery days. You don’t have to go hard everyday. So long as your eating is in order, taking a break from the gym won’t stifle your progress.

-Reward yourself.

It’s always fun to have something to look forward to when you reach a certain goal. Of course these should NOT be food-related, and it’s better to reward yourself with things that will encourage you to continue on your path to healthy living. For example, a couple years ago when I ran 3.0 miles for the first time, I bought myself a new pair of running shoes. And as I was jogging around the track, huffing and puffing and contemplating giving up, I kept thinking about the shoes. “Do it for the shoes.” And I did!

Have fun!

Remember that the bulk of your training should be things that you enjoy. Don’t spend all your workouts doing exercises that you hate. What kind of motivation is that to hit the gym? Design your fitness regimen around the things that you enjoy to do. My favorites are kickboxing, dancing, and cycling. Also, since I’m not a big fan of running, I’ll take my workouts outside. Running outside is so much more enjoyable for me than running laps around a track, and the gorgeous landscape motivates me to workout more than a stuffy gym.

 

So, take these tips forward to motivate you to stick with the healthy lifestyle you are creating for yourself. “Don’t quit when you’ve run the farthest, for the race is almost won.”

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Maybe bad joints are your reasoning for not working out?

Did you know, “arthritis is the most common chronic condition, affecting 50% of persons older than the age of 65 and more than 15% of the American population” (NASM 399)? Well, let’s learn more about this prevalent disease. There are two different types of arthritis:

Osteoarthritis is caused by degeneration of cartilage in joints. The lack of cartilage causes pain and inflammation at the joint because of the wear on articulating bones. The areas that are most commonly affected are joints in the hands, knees, hips, and spine.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a degenerative joint disease in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own tissue. This also causes pain and inflammation in multiple joints. Most commonly affected are the hands, feet, wrist, and knees. Morning stiffness is another characteristic of rheumatoid arthritis.

Here are some guidelines for working out with either of these conditions:

-If you have rheumatoid arthritis, avoid early morning workouts.

-If you have pain for more than an hour after an exercise routine, that particular workout should be modified or eliminated.

-Avoid high repetitions of any one exercise.

-Progress resistance training from a seated position with support to a seated position without support and finally to standing.

-Circuit training or workouts broken up into multiple sessions is recommended.

-Cardio should be performed 3-5 days a week, for an accumulated time of 30 minutes, at 60-80% of your maximum work capacity.

-Start with 10-12 reps of each exercise when doing resistance training, 1 set of 8-10 exercises, 2-3 days a week.

-Avoid heavy lifting.

-Walking on a treadmill, stationary cycling, rowers, and low-impact step aerobics are suggested for cardio.

Remember to always consult a physician prior to beginning any exercise regimen. Go at your own pace and be safe! Any questions, email me @ toofit2quitonline@gmail.com 🙂

References

Clark, M.A., Lucett, S.C., Corn, R.J. (2008). NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

 

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Can’t get enough cardio?

Are you looking to burn some fat? Well, cardio exercise is a good way to do it! Cardio exercises elevate your heart rate and get you burning calories and fat. I’m going to give you a couple different routines to do, depending on your goal.

Endurance

If your goal is to build up your endurance, you should focus more on interval training. Interval training is when you incorporate short bursts of intensity into your workout, i.e. alternating between sprinting and jogging. Here are a couple different interval workouts you can do to build up your endurance.

Beginner:

Walk/powerwalk

Start your workout, walking at comfortable pace for 3 minutes as a warm-up. For the next minute, walk at a brisk pace. This should be a “power walk”, so you will be walking as fast as you can. For the next minute, return to walking at your comfortable pace. Repeat this 10x. Then cool down with 2 minutes walking at a slow pace. (25 minute workout)

Begginner/Intermediate:

Walk/jog

You could do a workout similar to the one above, jogging instead of power walking, or you could try this. This is a workout to progressively go from being a walker to a jogger. It’s a 12-week program, and each week you would repeat the sequence three-five times.

Week 1: Walk 5 minutes, jog 1 minute

Week 2: Walk 4 minutes, jog 1 minute

Week 3: Walk 3 minutes, jog 1 minute

Week 4: Walk 2 minutes, jog 1 minute

Week 5: Walk 4 minutes, jog 2 minutes

Week 6: Walk 3 minutes, jog 3 minutes

Week 7: Walk 2 minutes, jog 3 minutes

Week 8: Walk 2 minutes, jog 4 minutes

Week 9: Walk 1 minute, jog 5 minutes

Week 10: Walk 1 minute, jog 6 minutes

Week 11: Walk 1 minute, jog 8 minutes

Week 12: Walk 1 minute, jog 10 minutes

You’ll find that the workout gets harder as the weeks progress. The first four weeks are more for beginners who have either never ran before, or have very little experience running. If you are more advanced, you can start at week 5. If you are even more advanced, you can make this a sprint/jog workoutJ Make it your own!

Advanced:

Sprint/Jog

For this workout, you will be alternating between sprinting and jogging for 1 minute each. You will have a two minute warm-up, which should be a brisk walk or a light jog. Then, jog for 1 minute and sprint for the next minute. You should do a total of 8 sets (8 jogs and 8 sprints). End the workout with a 2 minute cool down of a brisk walk, or light jog.

Strength

If you’re looking to strengthen your muscles during your cardio workouts, try plyometrics. Plyometrics is jump training designed to build up your speed and strength. It incorporates resistance into your cardio routine. These are all explosive movements, such as squat jumps, jumping lunges, and plank jacks. Check out this plyometric workout: http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20488631_9,00.html.

You could also try hill climbs. This can be done on a bike or you can incorporate it into your walk/jog routine. Climbing hills is a great way to combine strength training with cardio.

Here is a Hill workout, courtesy of 2 Week Total Body Turnaround by Chris Freytag:

Warm up, flat surface: 3 minutes

Walk hard uphill: 30 seconds

Recover, walk downhill: 30 seconds

Walk hard uphill: 1 minute

Recover, walk downhill: 1 minute

Walk hard uphill: 90 seconds

Recover, walk downhill: 90 seconds

Walk hard uphill: 2 minutes

Recover, walk downhill: 2 minutes

Walk hard uphill: 2 ½ minutes

Recover, walk downhill: 2 ½ minutes

Walk hard uphill: 2 minutes

Recover, walk downhill: 2 minutes

Walk hard uphill: 90 seconds

Recover, walk downhill: 90 seconds

Walk hard uphill: 1 minute

Recover, walk downhill: 1 minute

Cool down, flat surface: 3 minutes

(30 minute workout)

 

This should get you started on reaching your cardiovascular goals! More workouts to come, and if you have any questions, feel free to contact meJ

posted by admin in Workouts and have Comments (8)