Tuesday, May 31, 2011

You Look Like a Sweaty Water Bottle...

Tonight's Bikes & Bells Class was another good one!  The humidity was pretty high and the temperature outside was about 95 degrees. The gym was hot and sauna-like, just the way I prefer it.  I was full of energy and ready to rock it out tonight!  We kept class very simple, but it was a really good time.  This week was our designated recovery week, so we tried to keep our session relatively simple and short.  We worked for about 50 mins and had 15 mins of well-deserved stretching. 

The funniest comment of the night was when my client said that I looked like a sweaty water bottle.  We laughed sooo hard!!  I love it!  I was retaining a ton of water, so the perspiration defintiely helped. I actually lost 5.5 pounds during the workout - HA!


Cheers folks!  Sweat it out!!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Happy Memorial Day!!

I was traveling for most of the latter part of last week, so I didn't get my planned workouts in.  I was tied up with school, work, and getting ready for my trips.  It was a productive trip AND I had a chance to hang out with one of my closest girlfriends (yah Mippa!!).  So, it was time well spent :-).  I got home late Saturday night, and I used yesterday (Sunday) as a full day of rest. I was exhausted from all of the driving.  Anyway, today I was finally rested and got a great workout in. I also pulled out my dragging sled and did a few drills.  I completely forgot how effective that piece of equipment is!

Anyway, here was tonight's workout; took me about 35-40 mins:
Circuit 1 (2x)
Flat Bench Press with 25# DB's x 15
KB Squats @ 16kg x 15
DB Flyes 20# on Stability Ball x 15
Front/Lateral Lunges w/ 20# DBs x 5/side

Circuit 2 (1x)
Seated Military Press with 20# DBs x 15
Seated DB OH Tricep Extension w/ 25# DB x 15

Circuit 3 (1x)
BW Prisoner Squats x 25
Alt Front Lunge x 25
Treadmill x 8:00
KB Swings @ 16kg x 25
TRX Rows x 25
Push-Ups x 25
SB Crunches x 25

Sled Dragging @ 25#

Happy Memorial Day to all of our U.S. Military!!  Thank you for keeping us safe!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bikes & Bells

Tonight's Bikes & Bells class was outstanding!!  We did rounds of 7:00 on the bike followed by 3-5 mins on the bells.  We did the following KB circuit 3 times: 1 Dead Clean, 3 Presses, 3 Windmills, 3 OH Squats, 3 1H Swings, repeat other side.  We then finished up with 5:00 of swings, circle style. It was pretty awesome.  I didn't wear my HRM, but I know that I was soaking wet by the time I was finished.  My class also enjoyed the workout, and their endurance is improving all around. It's great!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Outdoor Walk - 3 miles

I got up early this morning and decided to go for a walk before it got too hot. I did about 3 miles. I was lucky because later in the day, the storm clouds rolled in and that was all she wrote :-)

How was your day?!?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This Morning's Workout: 5x5 Kettlebell Cardio Circuit

I designed this workout a few days ago. My clients did it last night (completed rounds 1-4 in about 65 mins). Since I was too exhausted, I did it this morning in its entirety.  It builds upon the Bikes & Bells Workout we did on Tuesday, but has longer strength circuit rounds.  I called it "5 x 5" (5-by-5) because it consists of 5 minutes of cardio followed by 5 minutes of strength conditioning.  It took me 75 minutes to complete the workout, and I burned approx 780 calories.  I did all of my cardio rounds on the treadmill so that I could get my 2 miles in for the day.  I exceeded the target slightly and completed 2.07 miles total.  The cardio rounds were a little longer than 5 minutes to allow for transition time and ramp-up. The objective, though, was to have 5 minutes of active working time in the cardio round, followed or preceeded by up to 1:00 of walking/jogging to get prepared.  Enjoy!

Warm-up: Treadmill 5:00

Cardio 1: Treadmill 5:00
Circuit 1 (5:00)
KB Swings  (Cycled through ~0:30 on the 16kg, 20kg, 24kg for the 5:00 time)

Cardio 2: Treadmill 5:00
Circuit 2 (5:00)
Alt Front Lunges with KB x 5/side (10 total reps)
KB Squat & Kick x 10/side
Step-ups x 10/side

Cardio 3: Treadmill 5:00
Circuit 3 (5:00)
Turkish Getups (2R, 2L, then alternate 1/side to finish out the clock)

Cardio 4: Treadmill 5:00
Circuit 4 (5:00)
Complete as many rounds as you can in the 5:00 time
KB Dead Clean x 5L
KB 1H Swing x 5L
KB Snatch x 5L
Repeat all on the opposite side

Cardio 5: Treadmill (5:00)
Circuit 5 (5:00)
Complete as many rounds as you can in the 5:00 time
TRX Squat x 10
TRX Row x 10
TRX Chest Press x 10
TRX OH Tricep Press x 10

Later this evening, I will have a 30-minute endurance cycling class with my clients. It should be relaxing. My objective between now and then is to fuel my body properly and to hydrate. I woke up this morning pretty dehydrated, so I need to work on replenishing myself today. I was also drenched after this morning's workout, so I'm sure that my trace minerals are completely gone.

Until later....

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sharing Recipe: Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Sea Scallops

As I mentioned a few posts back, I'm striving to go on more of a paleo diet for the next 30 days. I am actually trying to follow and learn about Mark Sisson's Primal Diet.  Well, tonight I made a coconut pumpkin soup with sea scallops for dinner. Oh my goodness, it was simply outstanding, not to mention so quick and easy to make.  I was literally licking my bowl as I ate my dinner - lol.  If this is eating primal, then where have you been all of my life??!!  Side Note: I made a pizza for my BF's dinner. I tasted a small slice, and it did not hold the same level of satisfaction that it once did. It didn't even taste good to me anymore, which is remarkable because the pizza that I cooked actually used to be my favorite.  It's only been a few days of eating "primal," and my palate has already noticeably changed. I actually find my primal meals to be so much more satisfying and filling than when I often enjoyed and craved pasta, breads, and rice.  The sugar cravings are also going away. I find comfort knowing that I can have a bit of fresh almond butter and dark chocolate to fight the cravings. A small serving is all that it takes.  Anyway, I wanted to share the recipe for the soup.  I wasn't sure if I was going to like coconut milk or coconut-anything, as I'm not a fan of coconut, but it was very tasty!

Coconut Pumpkin Soup with Ginger-Garlic Sea Scallops
1/2 lb sea scallops
1 small can Canned Pumpkin (organic if you can. My grocery store only had Libby brand)
3/4 can Coconut Milk (I used Taste of Thai brand Lite Coconut Milk)
3 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1T fresh ginger, chopped
Coconut oil and/or EVOO
Sea Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Handful of Blanched & Slivered Almonds, toasted (I only had whole, raw almonds. I crushed them and toasted.)
Fresh Basil & Cilantro for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
2. Rinse and pat dry scallops. Put them in a shallow dish and coat with EVOO. Season lightly with salt & pepper. I added a salt-free garlic & herb seasoning that I created as well. Top with garlic and ginger. Mix well and let sit for a few minutes to marinate.  (This marinade made the scallops burst with flavor! Simply outstanding!)
3. While the scallops are marinating, prepare the soup base.  Pour the canned pumpkin and coconut milk in a saucepan. Heat slowly to a simmer. Season lightly with salt & pepper to taste. Do not let the coconut milk come to a boil, as it will separate.  Allow to warm while you prepare the rest of the meal.
4. Line a cookie sheet or baking dish with parchment paper. Add the almonds to the pan and place into the hot oven to toast/warm. Watch them carefully so that they don't burn.
5. Heat 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add scallops and all of the yummy ginger-garlic marinade. Cook the scallops 3-4 minutes per side, depending upon the size of the scallops.
6. Prepare soup bowls by adding soup base and 3-4 scallops per bowl (get some of that yummy ginger-garlic in that bowl as well).  Top with almonds, fresh basil, and fresh cilantro.

Sit down, kick back, and Enjoy!!

I did not think that I would be full after eating a bowl of this, but I was.  I even had enough leftover for another bowl.  I'll plan to eat it for lunch tomorrow.

On another note, I found myself feeling really tired today. I didn't sleep well, and I was hungry for a large part of the day. I kept putting off my workout, and I was simply exhausted and unable to perform when my clients left tonight.  I'll get a good night's sleep tonight and come back refreshed for tomorrow. I had a really great workout planned, too!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So Inspired...

I've commented a few times about how inspired I feel every time that I watch this season of the Biggest Loser.  I've only actively and consistently watched 2 very recent seasons (season 10 and season 12), which are both the Couples version of the show.  I really like the comraderie and the genuine good nature of the teams on these two casts. Anyway, I think that the women on this season have done an incredible job with their weight loss, especially Irene.  I thought she was such a beautiful woman (inside & outside) before her weight loss, and she looks absolutely amazing now!  I especially love to see the transformation emotionally that the contestants have. I can only imagine how much more difficult it must be to psychologically change as quickly as the body has physically changed. That's probably a much more lengthy process.  I'm always excited to see the finale, though I do think that they don't spend enough time on the winner at the end. It's like the live show is crunched for time and they go "okay, the winner is ...blah..." end of show...LOL.

I say all of this because these people lose hundreds of pounds in the span of 4-5 short months, and then even more for the finale.  I gain inspiration because my desired weight loss of 35 pounds is no where near as much of an obstacle as what they've gone through. If they can do it, then so can I.  I sometimes use the show as my benchmark...like weighing in each week and competing against them in my own way.  I know it's silly, but I'm like if so-and-so lost 8 pounds this week, then why can't I?  HAAA :-)  I do realize that it is TV and their "weeks" may not be exactly 7 days, but the point is that it's kind of fun to try to keep up (even though I fell behind in my losses long ago - lol).  I get frustrated with my progress. I am actually still at a plateau, and am working hard to get through it.  I sometimes feel like throwing in the towel and accepting that this must be my new reality. Then, I see how they've changed, and I realize that it is most certainly NOT the end of the road and giving up is NOT an option.  Changing the game and getting more focused on my goal is the ONLY option. 

Hold steadfast to those goals, people. Keep progressing toward them every day, no matter how many plateaus or roadblocks that you face.  It can be done, and you will be so much stronger for having weathered the journey.  When you feel sad or frustrated, think about how far you've come and celebrate that progress. It helps making the next step much easier.  Lastly, try to enjoy the journey and try not to put undue pressure or stress on yourself.  I never understood what the phrase "be kind to yourself" really meant or how impactful it can be on your personal progress until I actually started to live those words.

Good night, all..... :-)

Tonight's Workout: FitGirl's Bikes & Bells Class

Tonight, I have my "Bikes & Bells" class with my clients. I've been feeling out of it for the past 2 days. All I've wanted to do is sleep, and I have been feeling incredibly (unusually) dizzy all day today. I'm not sure if I have a touch of food poisoning.  I made some korean style short ribs last night, but I bought the meat on Friday night. It may have sat too long in the fridge.  Anyway, I hope to make it through my workout tonight. I'll post back with the verdict..lol...

ETA: This workout was JUST what I needed!!  It was kick a$$ and FANTASTIC!!  The body of our workout was right at 60 minutes, with about 7 minutes of stretching and post-workout chatter :-). 

I set my GymBoss in manual mode with 2 intervals (5:00 and 3:30 to allow 30-seconds to transition off the bike to the bells).  This was one tough workout!!  Here's how we broke it down:

Warm-up: 5:00 on bike
Bike: 5:00 speed drills
Bells: 3:00 Swings @ 24kg (even did some 1H swings...a first for me!)
Bike: 5:00 Jumps on Hill
Bells: 3:00 Snatches (alt 3/side) @ 16kg
Bike: 5:00 Hills (4:00 at Standing Climb)
Bells: 3:00 Alternate between 5 Squats & 5 Alt. Lunges @ 16kg
Bike: 5:00 Sprints (4-0:30 sprints, mixed with recovery on flat)
Bells: 3:00 Triple Threat with Squat used 12kg and 16kg -- was really tough to curl 16kg
Bike: 5:00 Breakaways x 3
Cool-Down: 5:00 on bike

I burned about 740 calories with this workout (and my HRM is calibrated per my resting heart rate and limits are set using the Karvonean formula, so it's relatively accurate as far as estimated calorie expenditure is concerned.) 

Anyway, give this workout a shot if you have an indoor cycling bike at home!

Sharing Recipe: Gluten-Free Dessert Crepes

In my discussion with my nutrition coach on Friday, he suggested that I may have an issue with wheat/gluten sensitivity and intolerance. This is not the first time this has been suggested to me. He actually recommended that I start following either a gluten-free diet or a paleo diet.  I decided to give it a shot.  Anyway, I was craving dessert last night, and I came up with this dessert crepe creation. 

I actually used to treat myself by going to a dessert crepe shop and getting a strawberry-banana dessert crepe with ice cream and nutella. I came up with a much healther option, without the sugar, fat, or gluten!  It was a nice treat. Let me know if you try it!

FitGirl's Dessert Crepe Recipe
1 Gluten-Free Tortilla (I used Food-For-Life's Gluten-Free Brown Rice Tortilla)
Strawberries (3-4 depending on size), sliced
Almond Nut Butter (just enough to lightly spread on tortilla)
Frozen Cool-Whip Lite (or Rediwhip)
Optional: 1 square of dark chocolate, broken into smaller pieces (99% would be great, but 80% at least, to cut down on the sugar...and just 1 square :-)!! I used World Market's 99% Dark Chocolate Bar)
Optional: Banana slices (I used 1/4 of a small banana)

1. Warm the tortilla in the microwave. I used about 30 seconds, and the toritlla was frozen.
2. Spread nut butter on the tortilla. I used just enough to cover about 3/4 of the tortilla.
3. Add sliced strawberries. If you're eating bananas, add those next. (I must admit that I used 1/4 of a small banana...couldn't resist!)
4. Put dollops of frozen Cool-Whip on the tortilla. (I used 2 dollups, approx 2.5 teaspoons.) I also think that Rediwhip could work, but it won't have the same consistency as frozen lite cool whip. I compared the two to see if they were similar in terms of sugar, calories, etc.
5. If using dark chocolate, sprinkle it on top or strategically position your chocolate pieces.
6. Fold and eat!

This was so yummy. It actually made quite a large (and filling) dessert. I recommend half as a single serving size, and sharing the other half. Alternatively, you could just use half of the tortilla for a single serving.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Tonight's Workout: Skogg Intervals L3

Tonight, I did Skogg Intervals L3. It was AWESOME!  I used the 12kg for rounds 1 & 3, and the 16kg for round 2.  That workout is tough, but I love it!!  I finished up with about 10 minutes on my cycling bike.

I also had an excellent check-point meeting with my nutrition coach. He offered some sound advice and suggestions. He also reminded me to keep my OCD in check and offered hints for conquering some bad habits.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tonight's Workout: Endurance Cycling

Tonight, my clients and I did a 40-minute endurance indoor cycling class. It was really outstanding. I can't rave enough about how much I love endurance workouts.  When I first started taking indoor cycling classes, endurance was my absolute least favorite. However, now that I've learned to concentrate and focus on the ride, it is actually my favorite. My endorphins were on high for the next 2 days after that workout!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tonight's Workout - Circuit Training

Tonight's workout was just fantastic!  I'm getting so much energy and endurance back. The eating plan for the 60-day challenge is working. I'm seeing noticeable results, feeling good about myself, and all of that encourages me to push harder & longer during my workouts and eat clean outside of the gym.  I put together a really fun workout tonight. I just loved it, and I pushed myself to the limits once again.

Warm-up (5 mins): 5:00 on the elliptical + light stretching

Circuit Workout (40 mins):
Complete the following circuit as many times as possible in 40 minutes:
2H KB Swings x 20
KB OH Squat x 5/side
TRX Rows x 10
Push-ups x 10
Treadmill x 2:00-3:00 (take a few seconds to warm-up, jog or run for 2:00, take another few seconds to come down)

Cool-Down (15 mins):  5:00 treadmill walking, 10:00 spin bike

My Results: I made it through 6 complete rounds in 40 minutes, and I was going HEAVY on those swings. I really focused on getting a good bend in my knees, creating a powerful hip snap, and "hiking" the bell through my legs on the decent.  I was drenched in sweat after this workout. I put my clients through the same main circuit tonight; they alternated between the bike and treadmill on the cardio segment. They did great, and made it through 4 rounds plus final 1:30 of treadmill/bike.

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5
Round 6
2H KB Swings
(5-2H, 5-1HL, 5-1HR, 5-2H)!!
KB OH Squats
TRX Rows
Alt Leg Lifts - 5L, 5R
Alt Leg Lifts - 5L, 5R
Low Row
Low Row
Low Row
on knees!
Push Ups
On Toes
On Toes
Alt leg up - 5L, 5R
Spider PushUps
On Toes
On Toes
On Toes
On Knees
Slow & Deep

Oh, and I burned about 750 calories during this workout! AWESOME!

MB45 Advanced DVD - Pre-Order now available!

I posted a few weeks ago raving about the MB45 Essentials workout.  It's actually one of the 2 DVDs that I have in my workout rotation for this month in conjunction with Skogg System workouts.  I mentioned that an Advanced version of MB45 is in the works. Well, I received the announcement today that the pre-sale for the new Advanced DVD is here!!  I think the DVD will ship sometime in early June, but don't quote me on that. You can find the MB45 Advanced workout in the MBody store. If you don't yet have a copy of MB45 Essentials, I also suggest that you pick that up too; you need it in your life :-) (and keep in mind that Essentials does not mean Easy...my any stretch of the imagination - lol). 

Bottom line: I am very impressed with MBody Strength. The way they train in their gym is the way that I like to train myself. I enjoy their articles, videos, and training programs alot.  Keep doing good work, MBody team!!!

Disclaimer Note: I am not being remunerated for my endorsement of this or any MBody strength product. I simply really loved the Essentials DVD and have been excited about the release of the Advanced version. I plan to add it to my DVD library and can't wait to do so!

Here's a description of the MB45 Advanced workout (from the product page at the MBody store):

The long awaited sequel to the MB45 Essentials is finally on its way!

The MB45 Advanced Workout is going to take your strength and conditioning to a whole new level with tougher exercises, combinations and sets then the MB45 Essentials.

The MB45 Advanced Plan is geared to drop serious body-fat and gain some serious strength!

You'll need two Kettlebells for this barrel of fun!
With exercises like:
-Double Snatches
-Double Swings
-Gorilla Cleans
-Outside the Leg Cleans
-Alternating Floor Press
-See Saw Press
-And much more!

With the MB45 Advanced you will get:
-Three full-body workouts that will take under 50 minutes and tons of cool new exercises. These workouts ain't yo momma's kettlebell workouts. These are the real deal! A killer combination of strength and conditioning.

-A short core workout that will take under 20 minutes. This is a great workout to loosen up from a tough week while giving your core a great workout.

-Full instructional section

-Full nutrition plan designed from our in-house nutrition specialist and trainer, Sam. She's not gonna just throw some crazy eating plan at you. This is based off of her years of research and studies.

-Full schedule that will give you the BEST results from this plan.


As with all plans from MBody, this program was and is still being used by groups at the MBody Training Center with our clients getting great results as well as a handful of Secret Service agents.
The consensus has been the same all around…

This workout is BRUTAL!

However, if you don't feel ready for something that intense don't fret. There are ways to make it easier which are fully explained during each session so there is a workout for everyone.

Of course, anytime you have questions you can contact us at info@mbodystrength.com and we will be more than happy to help!

A great way to get results and show us that the plan is working for you is to take before and after pics. We love to see the results people get. They can truly be life-changing!

If you're convinced then scroll on up and hit the order button. You will not be disappointed! If you are we'll be more than happy to send your money back. That's how confident we are in this program.

Don't delay! It's time to get you into fighting shape and get your body to it's ultimate potential.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Tonight's Workout - Circuit Training

Tonight's workout was another good one!  I did my workout immediately after my client left. One person in the group didn't show up, so I actually did part of the workout with the person who came.  Anyway, the main circuit was loosely inspired by a workout that I saw in Men's Health Magazine.  Of course, I made my own modifications and substitutions to change the overall flow of the drills and account for the ability level of my class.
After class, I completed another round of the main circuit, but instead of taking the 0:30 of rest, I did treadmill work anywhere from 0:45 to 2:00 of jogging/running. I trended on the longer end of 2:00 treadmill rounds once I got the hang of it. Once I reached a mile, I did steep, slow incline walking during the transition periods. I was definitely on a mission as I completed it.  As I've mentioned before, I just despise running/jogging of any type.  However, tonight I was just focused on meeting the goal.  I was so proud of myself. The workout was tough on its own, and the treadmill work just made it all that more demanding. I finished with 1 round of bonus circuit 1. It took me about 45 minutes. I was DRENCHED at the end of my workout!
Circuit (2-3x)
Perform each exercise for 1:00, with 0:30 rest in between.
More advanced exercisers can either do jogging sets during the rest periods or shorten the rest to 0:20.
DB Goblet Squats
Mountain Climbers/Glute Bridges (can be done on the floor, stability ball, TRX)
2H KB Swings
TRX Chest Press (could sub with Push-Ups or T-Pushups)
Jumping Jacks/High Knees (0:30 per exercise)
1-Arm DB Rows (0:30/side)
3-Way DB Lunges - Front, Side, Back (use bodyweight if DB's are too challenging)
DB Matrix: Bicep Curl into OH Press into RDL (this is a very slow, deliberate exercise)
Rest 2:00

Bonus Circuit 1
Advanced exercisers should double the reps on all exercises
KB Squat (hold bell by belly) x 5
KB Squat & Push Press (hold bell by belly) x 5
Rack KB Squat & Kick x 5/side
KB Squat & Push Press (hold bell by belly) x 5
KB OH Back Lunge x 5 (if back lunges are too tough, change it to a front lunge)
KB Squat & Push Press (hold bell by belly) x 5
2H KB Swings x 10
KB Squat & Push Press (hold bell by belly) x 5
BW Squats x 10

Bonus Circuit 2
Beginners should complete 2 times (L, R).
Intermediate exercisers should complete 4 times (L, R, L, R).
Advanced exercisers should count one time on the Left and one time on the Right as 1 time through the circuit and do 5 total rounds.
TGU x 2L
OH Squat x 2L
Windmill x 2L
2H Swing x 10

Sunday, May 08, 2011

An Interesting Observation about Swings

Over the past few months, I've come to the realization that my body has become incredibly efficient at performing the kettlebell swing.... almost too efficient.  What say you?? Too efficient?? How can this be?!?

Let me be very clear about my statement. I did NOT say that the kettlebell swing is by any means easy or ineffective.  I simply said that after many years of swinging, my body has become used to the movement and very efficient at performing it.  I do not feel the key activation in my posterior chain as much as I used to. 

My efficiency with the swing really became prevalent to me when I was watching Skogg 101 - the instructional DVD of the Skogg System (yes, I do like to revisit basics time and time) and again when I taught a kettlebell orientation to my newest group of clients about 2 months ago.  My training partner also commented that she could tell that I was used to high rep swings and snatches, which is true.  I also recall an old AOS Minute of Strenth video (#162 - embedded below) that addressed this very issue.  I actually perform my swings much like Collin demonstrates in the first part of the video. 

I don't have a Bulldog Collar (shown in the video) to help make my body overcome the complacency in the movement.  However, I do have a simple solution that I've been practicing on my own, and I find that it's working for me (and, like Anthony says, using a heavier bell hasn't always been the answer for this one). 

My Solution: I am actually bending my knees a more and forcing ("football hiking") the bell back farther through my legs. BUT, there is a marked difference between bending my knees more to perform the swing and squatting. I am not squatting at all (nor should you).  I am placing the emphasis on loading my hamstrings, using a powerful hip drive/snap, and creating the crease/fold at the top of my hips to execute the swing.  Thus far, increasing the bend in my knees is accomplishing several things for me during my swing:
1) I am re-loading my hamstrings more with each repetition
2) my hip snap is powerful and more pronounced
3) my heart rate is getting up higher and feeling more like it did when I picked up the bell the very first time (and was sucking wind when I tried to do a 2 consecutive minutes of swings..lol - memories!)

I'll keep practicing, with variations of swings and kettlebell sizes, and see if this helps my body see the swing as a new exercise again.
Anyway, those are my thoughts for today.
Happy Mother's Day to all of the Moms out there!


The break down continued from art of strength on Vimeo.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Today's Workout - Keith Weber Extreme Kettlebell Cardio vol 1

Today was an outstanding workout!  I was very proud of myself for getting through it. Today, I wanted to conquer Keith Weber's Extreme KB Cardio, vol 1.  I've never been able to complete the workout any of the three times that I tried it in the past.  In fact, I only made it through the first round at with effort. I simply felt that the pace was too fast for me (but something to work up to), and I think that I kept going too heavy with my kettlebell. I absolutely love this workout, and was ready to make it mine today!  Since this is an endurance workout (similar to AOS Newport), I decided to use my 8kg bell (as recommended). Instead of following along with the DVD, I wrote the entire workout down, and went at my own pace.  It took me about 70 minutes to do the workout (included a few water & talking breaks :-) ). Regardless, that was the ticket...I am so proud that I finally completed the entire workout, and it was so much fun!  I can't wait to do it again!!  The 8kg was just right.  It will take a while to graduate up the 12kg for this workout, very similar for my personal experience with AOS Newport as well.  I'm looking forward to sticking to my goal of doing this workout a few more times this month.  The cardio effect is incredible.  This workout was a great booster, and I definitely feel it metabolically 7 hours later.  I'll plan to move to vol 2 later in the summer :-)

As for the earlier part of this week, my training has been great (although my blogging has not - lol).  I got in 3 KB-only workouts this week (Sun, Mon, Sat), 1 indoor cycling class COMBINED with kettlebells (Thurs), 3 treadmill cardio workouts (Sun, Mon, Wed), and 2 days off (Tues/Fri).  It's been a really good week.  I was very weak on Thursday due to "lady issues," but I'm back in action now.  I still plan to get in some additional cardio later tonight. 
My nutrition this week has also been pretty good, but there were a few days when I didn't eat quite enough (stress again).  It's a constant balancing act, but I'm getting better at it.

How has your training week been?


Monday, May 02, 2011

Tonight's Workout

Man oh man...Tonight I put together a great workout for my clients. I've been doing parts of it for the past few days. It's a good one. I did portions of the workout with them tonight :-) I'll be doing the full, uninterrputed version later this week. Yippeee!!

Circuit 1 (2x)
1:00 per exercise, 0:45 rest in between each exercise
KB Dead Squat-Catch-KB Squat (similar to AOS Providence Round 8, minus the flip)
Push Ups (or step-ups depending on how strong you feel, 0:30/leg)
Stability Ball or Floor Crunches
KB Floor Chest Press (0:30/arm)
Treadmill Walk/Jog/Run/Sprint (pick whichever option works best for your fitness level)

Circuit 2 (2x)
KB Triple Threat with Squat (KB Curl, Press, Tricep Extension, Squat; all holding bell by the belly) x 10 reps
DB See Saw Presses (in lunge position) x 12-16 (borrowed from Shaun T's Asylum Strength)
"Squat Thrust Climbers" x 5-10 (DB Squat, Jump Back, 10 Mountain Climbers, jump in, stand up)
"Triple Squat Thrust Climbers" x 5-10 (3 DB Squats, Jump Back, Push Up, 10 Mountain Climbers, jump in, stand up)

Circuit 3 (1-2x)
2:00 per exercise, 0:45 rest in between each exercise.
(alternatively, you can perform 1:00 per exercise, depending on how you feel)
Alt DB Lunges
KB Snatches (alternating 3/side)
KB Swings - Mixed
TRX Jump Squats/Squats

Finisher (1x, time & energy permitting)
Max Reps per exercise, using either your body weight or the TRX:
TRX/BW Squats
TRX/BW Push-Ups
TRX/BW Mountain Climbers
TRX/BW Planks

Tonight's group made it through circuits 1-3. They performed circuit 3 once and chose the 1:00 option. They did a fantastic job!! It's hard to believe that 7 weeks ago, these ladies were brand new to exercising, and they now have the endurance and strength to make it through a workout like this. They had never seen a kettlebell, and they are now swinging and snatching like experts. I am truly awed by them, and am very proud of all of their progress and accomplishments. Way to go!!

Almost at the Halfway Point..

Well, I am on Day 28 of my 60-day challenge, and my success rate is not where I want it to be. I've let other issues (albeit very pressing issues) stress me out and deter me off of my course, particularly over the past 2 weeks. However, I am recommitting that I WILL finish this challenge successfully. I'm getting great results; I just need to be more consistent. I'll definitely try to extend it out to 90 days total as best I can. I also really need to manage my stress levels, which is a day-to-day challenge.

Anyway, I came to the realization today that I am probably like a kid in a candy store when it comes to exercise. There are so many things that I want to do/try/experience, that I get distracted by the "ohhh..shiny" mentality. I also have a hard time following just DVDs for any super long period of time. I do enjoy designing my own workouts, and I tend to do them. They integrate kettlebells, ropes, sandbags, med balls, TRX suspension trainers, etc, and I enjoy the integrated approach very much. That's not to discredit any system or protocol that I have followed to date; they are all outstanding tools, otherwise I wouldn't use them at all!

That being said, I still plan to continue focusing on at least 4 KB workouts per week, but I will use additional workouts in my library in addition to my Skogg System (which I just LOVE)!! My favorite Skogg workout is Flow, followed by Ladders in a close 2nd position. I do want to incorporate more high rep metabolic work, which is where my other DVDs will come in. This month, I want to include MB45 Essentials and Keith Weber's Extreme KB Cardio Vol 1 into my routine. I plan to do one of these DVDs as 2 of the 4 KB workouts per week. The other 2 workouts will be Skogg workouts. I want to play around with this method to see how I do. I've been reflecting quite a bit about my initial journey with kettlebells. After I learned and felt comfortable with the basics, I used AOS Providence religiously once per week and AOS Newport approx once every 2 weeks for 3 months (an entire summer). Granted, I did plenty of other things around those workouts (lifting weights, extra cardio, teaching Spinning), but my body really exceled with that combination of activity (and clean eating of course). Anyway, to net it out, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by my own DVD collection and get distracted by "the shiny". So, I think it would be fun to just focus on a few key workouts. I'll let you know how this goes..:-).

All that being said, I want to stress that for me, the most important part of this experience hasn't been the exercise component. It's absolutely the nutrition component. The plan that I'm following is very reasonable, and through it, I have discovered a love for many new foods. I also have been able to share my experience and journey with my clients, which is so much fun. I need to focus on buckling down and keeping everything aligned for the next 30 days, but I'm taking it all one day at a time.

Today, I did Paul Katami's Kettlebell Drills DVD. Yesterday, I did Paul Katami's Kettlebell Kombos DVD along with some treadmill walking (I love my Woodway Path!). A friend let me borrow these 2 workouts, so I wanted to try them out and get them back to her. I've had them for far too long and wanted to get them out to her today.

How are your training and nutrition coming along? What have you learned about yourself along the journey?