Fitness

Core Workout 2/27/14

My life has been pretty hectic lately, so I have been designing efficient and effective home workout routines.  After several hours studying yesterday for my personal trainer certification, I needed a good core workout to work out those kinks in my back and strengthen my abdominal muscles.  I utilized some basic equipment I keep on hand for home workouts.

Core Workout Equipment

Core Workout Equipment

 

All of these items can be found at your local sporting goods store, big box retailer or Amazon.com):  

  1. Gymboss Interval timer
  2. Ab Wheel
  3. Stability Ball
  4. Medicine Sand Ball
  5. Kettlebell 

 

 

 

I was able to perform this routine in roughly 30 minutes and definitely feel the “GOOD” soreness in my abs today! 😀

30 Minute Core Workout

30 Minute Core Workout

30 Minute Core Training

3 Rounds ( So, Set Interval Timer for 30 seconds WORK, 30 seconds REST  30 SETS)

  1. Ab Wheel Rollouts
  2. Spiderman Planks **
  3. Boat Pose (optional: w/ weight) 
  4. Punch Planks**
  5. Side Planks w/ Rotation (***Make sure to switch to the other side before moving onto the next exercise***)
  6. Walking Planks**
  7. V-Ups (optional: w/ weight)
  8. Shoulder Tap Planks**
  9. V-Ups w/ Stability Ball (Passing ball between hands and calves)
Boat Pose

Boat Pose

V-Ups with Stability Ball

V-Ups with Stability Ball

 

**To make the exercise more challenging, use stairs, chair or bench to put you into a decline position.  Boat Pose and V-Ups with weights are optional-they will add more challenge**

 

 

 

 

I followed this workout with some self massaging using my Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller.

Enjoy! 😀

~Marci

Chest/Triceps/Abs Home Workout

Yesterday was cruddy (weather wise) and I wanted a simple yet effective workout to perform at home. So, I designed this chest/triceps/abs workout to do in my hallway, utilizing equipment I had on hand, my stairs and a dining room chair.

Chest/Triceps/Abs Home workout

Chest/Triceps/Abs Home workout

Home EquipmentMany of these exercises can be done WITHOUT the use of equipment.  For example: pushups can be substituted in for the chest presses; basic squats can be substituted in for squat throws with the medicine ball; tricep dips on chair can be substituted in for the tricep kickbacks; planks can be substituted in for ab rollouts.  Also, you can use kitchen pantry items as your weights if you don’t have any “typical” weights on hand.  Just pick items that are heavy enough that by the 14th rep it is difficult and that they are NOT BREAKABLE. 🙂

Workout:

In each circuit, go exercise to exercise without rest.  Rest 1 Minute after each circuit round.  Move onto next circuit once all rounds from previous circuit are completed.  As far as reps, aim for 15-20 at a weight that is challenging by the 2nd to last rep.

Warm Up

Run Stairs 3 mins

Circuit 1: Repeat 4 Times 

  1. TRX Chest Presses- Low and Wide Stance
  2. Dumbbell Chest Presses on BOSU
  3. Dumbbell Chest Flyes on BOSU
  4. Decline Planks with Shoulder Tap on Stairs
  5. Decline Spiderman on Stairs
  6. Squat Throws w/ Medicine Ball

Circuit 2: Repeat 4 Times

  1. Decline Pushups on Stairs
  2. Tricep Dips on Chair with 1 Leg Elevated: Switch legs halfway through.  (You can do a basic dip with legs bent.  Elevating leg increases challenge)
  3. Walking Planks.  (Feet on stairs for additional challenge)
  4. Kettlebell Tricep Kickbacks

Circuit 3: Repeat 3 Times

  1. Mountain Climbers: 40 Seconds
  2. Ab Rollouts w/ Ab Wheel: 15-20 reps
  3. Plank: 2 mins (Start with 30 seconds and progress by adding 15 seconds as it becomes easier)

Stretch

IMG_5308

If you are PRETTY (aka NOT DRIPPING IN SWEAT) by the end of the workout, then you did not push yourself hard enough.

IMG_5312

Enjoy!

~Marci

At Home Leg and Ab Workout 1/29/14

It’s that time of the year when I dread hitting the gym at my normal time, right after dropping the children off at school.  I usually spend about 1 hour doing an active workout and 15 minutes stretching.  However, once January 1st hits, I usually do as many home workouts as I can until mid February when the resolution exercisers decide to ditch the gym.

I like to plan out my workouts and being that today was my leg and ab day, I designed a fairly quick and efficient workout to perform at home before we had painters arrive.

Warm Up: Run Stairs 3 minutes.

Legs: 5 rounds 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest before moving to next exercise.

  1. BOSU Squats with 20 lb Kettlebell
  2. Walking Lunges using Bodyweight
  3. TRX Jump Squats
  4. Hamstring Curls on Stability Ball
  5. TRX Reverse Single Leg Lunge (Repeat on opposite leg)
  6. One Arm Kettlebell Swings with 20 lb bell

***You don’t need the equipment I have to perform these exercises.  Standard squats are fine.  Reverse lunges are a good substitution for the TRX lunges.  You can use dumbbell for stationary squat instead of the swing.***

Abs: 5 rounds 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest before moving onto next exercise. 

  1. Decline Punch Plank
  2. Decline Walking Plank
  3. Decline Shoulder Tap Plank
  4. Decline Spiderman Plank

*** I used my stairs to help with decline.  You can do these flat on the floor***

I  had a decent calorie burn after this workout:

Leg/Ab Calorie Burn

Leg/Ab Calorie Burn

Enjoy!

~Marci

Living Fearlessly

WE ALL FEEL FEAR-it’s what makes us human. Fear can be a powerful driving force-stimulating or debilitating, depending on how we CHOOSE to utilize it.  I have always been one to encourage others to push beyond their boundaries, to embrace their apprehension and fear in order to better themselves.  My philosophy is: to live one’s life to the fullest with NO REGRETS.  I DO NOT want to be on my deathbed wondering why I didn’t try a new activity, experience, career, etc.

Many of us set out on career path very early on in our lives, so we attend a college/university/technical school with a direction in mind and usually come out more confused than ever!  This happened to me.  I have always been interested in the sciences, nutrition, health, physical fitness, and the well being of others.  I attended the University of Texas at Austin with the intention of becoming an oncologist with a focus in research.  However, FEAR, took over me and I DID NOT take the MCAT (the test required to apply for medical school).  I WAS AFRAID.  Afraid that I would not get the score I wanted (I also have perfectionism issues); afraid to take on a HUGE financial responsibility only to find out I would not like it; afraid I was doing this for others and not myself; afraid that I would no longer be in the relationship with the man I eventually married.  In the end, FEAR won.  It was so counterintuitive to what I believe and how I normally live my life.  I eventually went into cancer research and assisted others in their cancer journey until I chose to stay home to raise my children.

Although I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a stay at home parent these past 9 years, I feel a part of me has been dormant.  The part that needs self fulfillment, intellectual and personal growth,  passions and desires achieved.  These years at home, MY LOVE for fitness, nutrition and health has never wavered.  I have used my passion to teach my children the importance of feeding our bodies the correct nutrients to thrive as well as helping friends and family start their own personal health journey.  I knew I wanted to be a personal trainer but I did not want to work in a gym (those trainers irritate me).  Yet, I didn’t pursue the certification process.  Initially, I said:  “I can’t do it because of the cost for the courses and test.” or “I don’t want to be like those other trainers in the gym.” or “What about if I don’t like it?”  Well,  these were ALL EXCUSES because I had been allowing FEAR to control me… It didn’t matter that numerous friends and family members told me I would be awesome at it, the FEAR was too gripping and paralyzing.  What about if I failed?  What if nobody will use my services?

Being on the cusp of a life changing event (moving to a completely different state) and after thoughtful contemplation, I have decided that it is NOW time for ME to LET GO of FEAR and embrace MY LIFE.  I will ALWAYS help promote the passions of those I love and care about, but it is NOW MY TIME to fulfill my dreams.  So with that, I have decided to pursue my interest in fitness and receive my personal training certification.

This decision brought so much peace and happiness to my heart and mind.  I have started researching various places to receive my certification and tomorrow I will call these places for more information.

I AM now LIVING FEARLESSLY!!! It’s liberating!

~Marci

Happiness Project: Day 3

Today has been a roller coaster of emotions for me.  It’s been 1 week post surgery and my abdomen is still swollen and I am unable to do “vigorous exercise”.  Although I want to do my high intensity workouts, physically I am still very sore.  And that is the crux of my problem.  See, exercising is my way to deal with my anxiety.  It eases my stress and puts me in a place of “seeing” clearly.  So, in the meantime while I “know” I need to “take it easy”, I also am focusing even harder on the things that make me happy each day. 

Without further adieu, here are today’s Happies:

  1. Drove my kids to school this morning!  I normally drive them every morning but since my surgery a week ago, I have been unable to.  The time I spend holding my children’s hands as I walk them into school is PRICELESS!
  2. Enjoyed a very nice healthy lunch with my husband at Whole Foods and was able to grocery shop (although slowly pushing the cart).
  3. Got the AWESOME news from the pathologist that they DID NOT find cancer in my fallopian tubes.  I have other a “female issues” that were addressed with the surgery and a history of problems that I will blog about later.

So, while there are some issues I am still struggling with emotionally and the other day to day life obstacles, there are still those precious nuggets of happiness that SHINE above all else.

What happened today that has brought the sparkle to your life?

~Marci

Bootylicious Workout

Earlier this week, I had a very hectic schedule so I did many of my workouts from home.  If you’re time crunched, money strapped, or just need an efficient lower body workout, then this is the workout for you!

Some of my exercise equipment: stability ball, foam roller, medicine ball, ab wheel, BOSU, TRX Bands

Some of my exercise equipment: stability ball, foam roller, medicine ball, ab wheel, BOSU, TRX Bands

These exercises can be done with just your body weight or you can use a BOSU ball, stability ball, TRX bands, medicine ball or ab wheel like I used.

Bootylicious Workout

BOOTAY!

BOOTAY!

Warm Up: 50 Mountain Climbers

  • (25 ea. leg) Walking Lunges with Trunk Rotation- Can use weighted medicine ball.  Make sure to keep knee directly over your ankle.
  • (25) BOSU Squats- Beginner modification just use bodyweight.  Advanced-turn BOSU over so you are standing on the flat part of the BOSU and ball part is on the floor.
  • (25) Hamstring Curls on stability Ball- Lie on your back.  Feet on the ball, toes pointed to ceiling, lift hips up in bridge.  Keeping core tight, use your heels to draw ball towards your butt while still in bridge.
  • (25) Ab Rollouts with ab wheel.  Can also be performed using stability ball.
  • (25) Jump Squats.  Beginner modification: Just squat with bodyweight remembering to push butt back like you are sitting in a chair.  Keep your knees directly in line with ankles.  Advanced: Use TRX Bands.
  • (15) Burpees
  • (25) Mountain Climbers
  • (45 Sec.) Wall Sits.  Keep back flat against wall by tucking in pelvis.  Get low like you are in chair.  Intermediate/Advanced:  Add weight to your thighs.
  • Run Tall Flight of Stairs- 10 times.  If you have small flight of stairs, run 20 times.
Sweat= Great Workout

Sweat= Great Workout

Rest 1 minute after circuit.

Repeat circuit 1-2 more times.

Team Kristi

883804_10200707135300199_1145913197_o-1

We all exercise for a variety of reasons:  improved overall health/fitness, to lose weight, to manage stress, to heal.  I exercise for all of these reasons.

This past Sunday, 3/3/13, I exercised to celebrate the life of a close friend and to heal.

I met Kristi Appenzeller through the MOMS Club of Pflugerville several years ago.  We instantly clicked.  She was the kind of person anybody would want to know and who could make you feel at ease with who you were.  Kristi was a wonderful wife and mother to her two young boys and was very involved with her community, family and friends.

599455_3456376127443_1558547238_n

Kristi Appenzeller- wife, mother, daughter, friend

Kristi was a “Fighter” and when she was diagnosed the first time with breast cancer she met the challenge and kicked the sucker to the curb.  Then, she was diagnosed again with a rarer type of breast cancer, Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and went through a lot of treatment in a very short time.

I have a Microbiology degree with an emphasis in tumor biology, experience in cancer research and have educated cancer patients and their families.  During our numerous calls and texts, Kristi and I  would talk about her treatment plan, drugs, nutrition, etc.  After a difficult battle and fight, Kristi succumbed to the insidious disease on August 15, 2012.  I lost my friend.

But, Kristi still had a community who loved her and a family who had the enormous task of paying off the medical bills.  So, on 3/3/13 the MOMS Club of Pflugerville, TX organized a 5K run/walk to celebrate Kristi’s life and honor her memory.  All proceeds from the event went to pay Kristi’s residual medical expenses.

Heading out to walk the Kristi K. I changed my shirt at the event with the new event t-shirt

Reflecting before the walk

Reflecting before the walk

The turnout was amazing!!! I chose to walk the race with my friend, Sarah, over at play2learnwithsarah who was also a close friend of Kristi’s.  I normally would run 5K’s but walking provided me the opportunity to reflect on my time with Kristi and feel her spirit with me every step I took.  As we neared the finish line, Sarah’s husband told me that people don’t slow down at a finish line they speed up. I didn’t want to lose the connection I was experiencing with Kristi.  By the time my foot passed over that line,  I was at peace.

Posing as we cross the finish line

One of the most touching moments of the event was the tree dedication and Bruce Smith singing “The Fighter (Kristi)”.  The song was written for Kristi and the tree was placed behind a bench at Lake Pflugerville so that any time we came to the lake you could sit, reflect and feel Kristi’s presence.

Kristi’s Tree dedication and Bruce Smith singing “The Fighter (Kristi)”

I am honored to have known Kristi and feel my life has been forever changed by her.  I love you, Kristi!  Thank you for being with me every day and in every thing I do.

Confidence

CONFIDENCE

That dreaded word.. The word I think we all struggle with at some point.  I know I do.  I have come a long way from being extremely self conscious as a child, teen and young adult to the person I am now: fairly confident with my body, my mind, and my personality.  But, it has taken me DECADES and I still struggle with it each day.  For instance, I had a really “off” day on Sunday.  I just wasn’t “feelin’ it” and didn’t like the cranky person I was.  So, for me, exercising is my mood lifter/stress buster/sexy maker.  After I hit the gym, my mood totally lifted and I was back to “feelin’ it”!

You’ve all heard/read the stories of those beautiful models and talented actors/actresses who said THEY BATTLED with their self-image throughout their childhood and you thought to yourself, Come on! Seriously?! Having self-confidence does not discriminate between those who are the epitome of what we strive to be and the “regular” person.

So you may ask yourself:  How do I become more confident, like who I am, and be happier with me?  I don’t have the golden ticket for you, but what I do have is what works for me during those moments of self loathing.  Maybe you can take a few tips and tricks and see how it helps you!

Find Time For Yourself:  Take some time to think about what truly makes you happy, energized, stimulates your brain, etc.  Schedule that time like you would any appointment.

Here Are Some Ideas: 

  1. Reading
  2. Gardening
  3. Cooking/Baking
  4. Writing
  5. Creating

Exercise:  The endorphins (“feel good” chemicals) released during/after exercising have been shown, study after study, to make you feel so much happier.  

Have Sex:  This is self-explanatory.  You may think how can I feel sexy when I am not feeling confident?!  Well, do things to set the stage prior to: candles, relaxing bath, aromatherapy, exercise.  Basically, anything that revs you up.  And we all know everyone feels great and more confident afterwards.  If you are not in a relationship, give yourself some self loving.

Get Outside:  Exposure to sunlight has been known to make us happier

Play With Your Pets or Kids:  Being silly and showing affection to others always makes you happier

Get Enough Sleep:  The amount varies person to person

Socialize:  Hang out with people and not just with any friends and family but those people who lift your spirit.

There is no perfect formula to improve your self-confidence and it will vary daily, but you can CHOOSE to do small activities to improve your mood and mentality.  If you do it consistently, then YOU WILL FRAME YOUR MIND TO BE MORE CONFIDENT.

WHEN YOU FEEL CONFIDENT, THIS IS HOW YOU WILL FEEL:

awesome

Love Your Booty Workout

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Some of you may or may not have someone to call your valentine but you do have a body that will always love you and you should ALWAYS love back.  So, in honor of our bodies and Valentine’s Day, I have designed the Valentine’s Day LOVE YOUR BOOTY workout because who doesn’t love a heart-shaped behind :)?

Each Exercise will be 30 seconds work and 10 seconds rest between.  So set a timer.  I use my Gymboss interval timer .  Do the whole routine 3 times.  If you are just starting out, rest between each round.  If you need a challenge, add some plyometrics or weights into the squats and lunges.

LOVE YOUR BOOTY 

Work: 30 Sec. Rest: 10 Sec.   3 ROUNDS

Warmup:

30 Sec Walking Lunges

30 Sec Jumping Jacks

Workout:

  • Stationary/Plyo Squat:It is important as you squat down to keep your knees over your ankles and push your butt back as if you are sitting in a chair.  If you are doing a jump squat, the power comes from when you are low in the squat position and you push your body straight up.  Land softly and completely on your feet.
  • Burpees (Any variety: Half, Full, Plyo): Scott Herman Fitness has a great YouTube video explaining how to:burpee.
  • Reverse Lunges:  Again, maintain alignment with your knee directly over your ankle: do NOT lean forward.  Hips should be squared, facing forward.  Head and eyes should be looking forward finding a focal point to focus on. 
  • Mountain Climbers (Can perform slowly or fast): Keep your shoulders/elbows in line over your wrists.  Squeeze your shoulder blades back and together.  Keep your head and neck in alignment with your spine.  Core stays tight through it all as if you were in a plank position.
  • Walking Side Squats:  Stay low with your knees facing forward.   Back, neck and head are in alignment.  Step out to one side.  Bring your other leg in, and step out again (“walk across the floor”).    The lower you go and remain the more of a burn you will feel in your outer working glute.
  • Wall Sits:  Put your back against the wall, and lower your body down until you are in squat position (you are the chair this time).  Keep your hands at your sides.  Add difficulty by placing a weight or a heavy item on your thighs.  You can play around with your foot placement and you will feel it in different parts  of your glutes.  Start with feet hip width apart.

REMEMBER: HYDRATE throughout and STRETCH!  

Hope you enjoy this workout as much as your booty will!!

Resolutions and Commitments

SIX WEEKS AGO many of you “resolved” to live a healthier lifestyle.  But, at the time, how did you define it?

 Was It Defined By:

  • Getting Off the Couch
  • Adding More Whole Foods Into Your Diet
  • Needing To Lose (X) Amount of Pounds
  • Fitting Into That Dress
  • Setting  2013 Fitness Goals: First 5K, Triathlon, or Half Marathon

Whatever resolution you made on January 1, 2013, have you evaluated where you are towards your goal(s)?   There is conflicting research as to how long it truly takes to develop a habit (especially a good one).  Some studies suggest as little as 21 days but most psychology research shows that the minimum is more like 66 days (or 2 months) and may even take as long as 8 and a half months for more complicated habits.  

So you may be thinking, IT COULD TAKE ME AS LONG AS 8 AND A HALF MONTHS TO MAKE MY A GOAL A HABIT?!!!  WHAT?!  Don’t despair.  Remember, it is not about seeing immediate results but about making changes in your lifestyle and making them stick.  Change takes time and PATIENCE.  

You may be wondering if I make resolutions.  I don’t make “resolutions” instead I make COMMITMENTS.  To me, “commitment” has a much more positive connotation and holds me more ACCOUNTABLE.

A Few Of My 2013 COMMITMENTS:

  • Continue To Nourish My Family With Whole Foods
  • Practice Patience With Myself And Others
  • Be More Appreciative Of The Body I Have Been Given
  • Slow Down

Whatever you have COMMITTED to for 2013 and beyond, know that I am right there with you cheering you on every step of the way.