Insankness – Upper Body Workout – New Video! Tone Up & Slim Down!

It’s time to bring it! This video is RatedRAW, I named it ‘Insankness’ because it is insane and sick…in a good way! Enjoy, as Tony Horton says, “Do your best and forget the rest!”. Health & Happiness, Natty Mac;)

Keep it Fresh, Make it FUN!

Change it UP!!! If you have recently implemented an exercise routine into your lifestyle OR if you have been exercising for years…this post is for you!

DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET COMFORTABLE WITH YOUR ROUTINE! Make it exciting and change it up often, now I don’t mean you have to every day or even every other session. But at least do a different exercise routine every week. You will see better results and you will feel it too!

SO…What if you runout of ideas? Be creative! Did you play sports as a kid or in high school? Do you have any hobbies? Download some new soundtracks for your workout. Use a different type of equipment (use a kettlebell or medicine ball in your next routine).

If you change it up, you won’t get used to your routine, and you won’t know what to expect or when to expect it. I know people all too well, and I do this myself as well if I do the same routine over and over…do you ever hold back because you want to leave some steam for what’s to come later on in your workout?! If you change it up, you won’t know what’s about to hit you later on in the workout and you will give each and every part of the workout your all, or at least I hope you will!!!

So in honor of today’s blog post I brought back some sport specific training into my workout. I used to play soccer a lot as a kid and absolutely loved it. So I took my soccer ball up to my local high school field and did a little training. I used some bodyweight techniques and meshed them together with soccer specific conditioning skills. It was a blast! I felt like a kid again and kicked my own butt while workin’ up a mean sweat. My favorite exercises of the day were soccer dribble sprints and soccer ball burpees!

Post your creative exercise routines here, I’d love to hear them!

Health & Happiness,
Nat

Quality Yet Economical Active Gear, Must Have’s!

Just as you would pick out an outfit for work or going out on the town, you should do the same when throwing on workout clothing and gear! First of all, it should be comfortable and specific to what you will be doing. Going for a run? Make sure you have pants/capris/shorts that are light, yet somewhat form-fitting and made for cardio exercise, it will make your run so much more enjoyable. Pick colors and text that inspire you to do your best and give your workout your all! You should feel beautiful and sexy in that workout clothing, not blah!
Performance tank tops are my favorite and I have a wide variety to choose from. Good shoes that are ‘sport specific’ are a MUST! Get a pair of running shoes at your local running store to avoid injury to your joints and make your runs more efficient. Also, getting some ‘trainers’ for when you hit the gym for strength training or cardio kickboxing or ZUMBA;) are good to have on hand so you don’t wear out your pricier running sneakers.

Arm bands to hold your ipod or music device are key to an enjoyable workout as well, music really helps push you through the burn! Also, a good water bottle (B.P.A. free!) that has a built-in filter is great so when you run out of water you can fill up from the sink and know that your water bottle is filtering out all the ‘nasty’ stuff! I got my Brita water bottle for just under $10.

Material quality is important BUT it does bring up the price a bit. If your watching your budget just get the moderately nice quality gear and you’ll be good to go! I absolutely love Under Armor & Lulu Lemon and have a good amount of their active apparel and gear in my wardrobe; however, I understand that all of my workout attire can’t be this expensive because I’m not a millionaire. So, I’ve found that Gap, Adidas, Reebok are brands that are good quality yet moderately priced. Also, believe it or not, Ross & TJ Maxx and also Marshalls & Kmart have decent workout apparel at very good prices.

I just got my ‘Ripped Ass Women/RawFitnessTV.com’ tank top today. I was a little apprehensive because I had no idea what the material would be like and how it would fit. Well, I was pleasantly surprised because it was really nice quality and fit perfectly! I ordered it a size larger than what I usually order (I got a medium, I usually get a small) and I definitely suggest ordering 1 size larger so it’s not skin tight. Click Here to view the tanks and t-shirts with RawFitnessTV.com motivational graphics!

The next time you go shopping for clothes, pick up a hot workout outfit to pump up those guns in style and feel beautiful while burnin’ those calories chicas;)!

At-Home Work Out Equipment and Home Workout Video!

I love using my TRX® to get a quick workout in. You can do some intense versions of push ups, plank/crunch/pike, back rows, 1-leg squats and lunges…and this is just the start of it. The bundle I bought, which I think was the ‘pro’ bundle, came with a dvd to start me off which helped a lot. From there, I just used my creativity and YouTube to find out about more exercises. I posted a exercise video on this blog a while back, CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. I jibber jabber in the beginning of the video for a while, but eventually get to the point lol!
Next, my Ultimate Dip Station. You can do way more than dips on this piece! I do hanging leg raises and oblique knee tucks, inverted rows, push ups, dips, use your imagination and have fun with it!

I have plenty of body weight and kettlebell videos on this blog for you to check out to get some good ideas for exercise routines, so make sure to watch some of those videos when you get a chance. BUT, I went ahead and made a NEW VIDEO for you all that includes some body weight exercises as well as exercises using my Dip Station, Sand Bag, Stability Ball, and Resistance Bands. The NEW VIDEO is at the end of this post:).

If you are aiming to get your heart rate up there in the ‘cardio’ zone and increase your metabolism and fat burning capability of your workout, then choose exercises that target large muscle groups and are compound exercises(squats, rows) that hit many muscle groups, those that involve 2 or more joints and large groups of muscle working together in a coordinated movement. Only do 2-3 compound exercises per workout, because they take a lot of energy and tire you out, also do them at the beginning of your workout. End with isolation exercises (involve the movement of a single joint), such as the bicep curl.

Also, you may count reps and sets or do the exercises in an interval format. For example, if you are doing squats, push ups, dips, and rows; you could do 3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise (enough resistance for each movement that you’re almost at point of total fatigue by 10-15th rep). Or, you could time yourself while you perform each movement, and try to get in as many reps as possible (with good form) of each exercise during your ‘effort interval’ and have a short period of rest in between, before moving onto the next exercise. You can do the exercises in a circuit format (in which you move from one exercise to the next) and perform a given number of rounds of the circuit. For example, perform each exercise for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest & move to next exercise, do all exercises in circuit for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest, back-to-back until finished 1 circuit. Rest for 1-2 minutes at the end of each circuit and perform as many circuits as desired for your goals. I usually pick 10 exercises and do 2-3 circuits.

For my routines, I do reps and sets when I’ll be doing a lower number of reps/exercise because I’m lifting heavier weight that day. On the days in which I’m aiming to get more of a ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ effect, I do timed intervals and use lighter weight in order to get a higher number of reps and obtain a ‘cardio aspect’ to my strength training routine. It is great to change up the format of your routines day-to-day and week-to-week, not only to accomplish muscle confusion, but also to avoid boredom!

Exercise video is below!

Multi-Taskin’…Healthy Diet & Exercise No Matter How Busy Your Day Is!

A day in the life of Natalie!

Don’t fret, I don’t really think that you care what my day is like, I’m not that vain! I wanted to give you an example of how I fit in healthy eating habits and consistent exercise into a very busy schedule.

I usually wake up at 5am and don’t finish work until 7:30pm. So as you can see, I have LONG days…don’t be misinformed though, I LOVE what I do for a living and I DO get breaks here and there throughout the day. I use those breaks to eat healthy and exercise and it makes getting through my day all the better and easier! Exercise gives me stress relief and stamina, healthy eating gives me a clear mind and energy!

I wake up early enough so that I have at least 1 hour to get ready and eat breakfast before I need to hit the road to train my first client. Right out of bed I down 1 scoop of fiber dissolved in a 16oz. glass of water. Then, I usually eat oatmeal & Shakeology (for protein/vitamins/energy/health). I have a cup of coffee with a splash of unflavored almond milk. I head out to train my clients usually until noon or 1pm. Then I have my afternoon ‘break’. I eat lunch, which is either a salad with chicken or a ‘green smoothie’ (pics below) and get to work in my ‘office’. This is when the multi-tasking comes into play!

In my ‘office’ (which I’ve moved outdoors since the weather is beautiful right now in MD) I do admin, marketing, blog, emails, and anything else it takes to make my personal training business run! During this ‘office work’ I fit in intermittent workouts. I use my body weight, dip station, TRX, stability ball, kettlebells, resistance bands and sandbag. I will do a post tomorrow on exercises I do using these different pieces of equipment.

I also have a gym membership. I go there daily as time permits and do cardio on the arc trainer, step mill, treadmill, and spin classes. I also use the bench, barbells, smith machine, cable machine, kick boxing bags, dumbbells, and other equipment that I do not have at home. While I’m working in my ‘office’, I do exercises for the muscle group I’m focusing on that day that I can do using my home workout equipment so when I hit the gym, I can get in and out of there faster. For example, I do push ups/chin ups/dips/core work at home while working on my upper body days so that when I hit the gym I only have to do the remaining exercises on the equipment that I don’t have at my house, such as bench presses and cable rows and the step mill!

When I need a power packed lunch but will be working out within an hour or so and don’t want to feel ‘full’ or ‘heavy’ from undigested food, I eat a green smoothie! I throw 8 oz of water, a few dashes of cinnamon, a handful of spinach salad leaves, a scoop of my chocolate Whey protein supplement and 1/2 scoop of my Shakeology, a couple frozen organic strawberries, ice cubes in my Bullet Blender cup and blend. I LOVE the ‘Bullet’ because it has single portion cups that you throw all your ingredients into and blend and drink out of the same cup, then throw the cup in the dishwasher and go!

Finally, after my last personal training client, I come home to eat a light dinner. I won’t be doing anything quite physical after dinner so there is no need for a huge dinner, you just don’t need the fuel because you’ll be sleeping soon! Today, I trained a client outside at a park that overlooks downtown Baltimore City…it was BEAUTIFUL today! I came home and threw a salmon filet in my skillet and cooked it in 8 minutes on my stove top, I also threw together a quick side salad.

So that’s my day! Jam packed yet I get in my workout and healthy nutritious meals to fuel my body and help me achieve my goals!

If you find that your schedule is busy and it is hard to get a workout in or eat healthy food while on the go, YOU’VE GOT TO PLAN AHEAD. I prep meals the day in advance if I know the following day will not allow me time to cook or I won’t be home for lunch. I ‘schedule’ my workouts in my calendar so I know exactly when I am scheduled for my daily workout and don’t end up at the end of the day, out of time and no energy to exercise.

Hope this helps! Health & Happiness,

Nat

http://www.avantlink.com/affiliate_app_confirm.php?mode=js&authResponse=1087f3fca90978b83e311752fd6195065795e258

3 Key Tips to Shed the LBS

Hi All!
Watch the video to find out 3 great tips to help you customize your exercise and diet plan to help you lose the weight and keep it off!

#1: CARDIO! Do cardio on non-weight training days (30-45 minutes) and weight training days (20-30 minutes).

#2: DO CARDIO AFTER WEIGHT TRAINING. Do 20-30 minutes cardio (intervals) after weight training.

#3: WATCH WHAT & HOW MUCH YOU EAT. 3 meals/day with 2 snacks if needed. At least 60-70 ounces water/day. No processed food. 1 Meal replacement protein/health shake every day.

Incorporate these 3 rules into your lifestyle and you’ll be sure to see improvements in your energy levels, body fat%, lean muscle mass, and advancement toward your fitness goals!

Health & Happiness,

Nat:)

Kettlebell Meltdown, Burn the LBS and Lose the Weight!

So every couple months I take a ‘rest’ week to rejuvenate my body, and everyone should. Your body needs a week to recuperate and recover from the stress and work you put it through week in and week out. When I say ‘rest’ week, this does not mean that I don’t workout. I do less intense workouts and take fun fitness classes like hot yoga, spinning, or zumba of course!! This way I give myself a ‘revival’ period, mentally and physically.
So today’s workout, I must admit…was not quite a ‘rest’ routine. But, I was giving myself a break from my usual 6 mile interval sprint training run which is quite brutal, so in my book this was a ‘rest’ workout from what I would have done today, lol….enjoy!

Check out my previous exercise video posts or YouTube for demonstration on how to perform these exercises.

Complete 4 Rounds of the exercises below as a circuit:
1. Kettlebell Step-Ups (10R/Leg)
2. Kettlebell Clean & Press (10R/Arm)
3. Double Kettlebell Swing (20R)
4. Kettlebell Single Leg Squat (10R/Leg)
5. Jump Rope/Scissor Shuffle/Jumping Jacks/Jump Squats (1 min; last round do 2-3 minutes)

Notes:
*Complete # of reps for each exercise, than move right onto next until you finish all exercises/reps which is one circuit. Take a short 30 seconds break and continue until you complete 4 circuits/rounds.
*Choose a weight heavy enough in which you max out at 10 reps for each exercise.
*Kettlebell Step-Ups- I held a Kettlebell in ‘racked’ position at my shoulder (same leg stepping up) and did step-ups on a chair.
*For #5- I did this workout to some dance music. So for #5 I would do Double Skip Jump Rope until the verse changed, go right into Scissor shuffle until music changed up, and so on. I usually did 10-20 jump squats per round.
*Scissor shuffle – Similar to what you do on a cross country skier machine but you are jumping as you scissor legs.

I was literally dripping sweat at the end of this workout but I really enjoyed it. The Jump Rope/#5 part was fun to do to music and I must admit it was quite a little dance party in my house! Try it out and challenge yourself to do all 4 rounds to burn off those pounds!!


Keep those fitness goals in mind, remember what you’re working out for!!! 🙂

Who Needs Rest Anyway?!

Who Needs Rest Anyway?!Perform 2-3 rounds of the following exercises.
Do each move for 40 seconds of ‘all out’ effort, move to next exercise with no rest in between. Take a quick 5-10 sec break between rounds.
1. High KB Swing/Double KB Swing
2. 1-Arm KB Swing
3. 1-Arm KB Swing
4. KB Figure 8’s
5. KB Squat-Tri.Ext.
6. KB Side-Side-Overhead Press
7. KB Suitcase DL’s
8. DBL KB Burpee, SGL KB Diag Press
9. KB Wide Halos
10. KB Wide Halos
11. KB Upright Rows
12. KB Knee Repeater
13. KB Knee Repeater
14. KB Thrusters
15. Push Ups
16. KB Russian Twist
17. KB Hip Raise + Press
18. KB Side Bridge Raise
19. KB Side Bridge Raise
20. KB Leg Raises


Keep up the GOOD WORK:) – NAT –

Get Better Results, UP your Training Intensity!

Hi Everyone!
Today I want to talk about ‘Intensity’.Intensity is a very important key in your exercise routine, and it will help you get the results you want. It is not the ‘Percieved Exertion’, rather it is the ‘load’ or weight lifted that we are talking about here. So what do you need to do then? You need to increase the weight you lift for every exercise you do in your workouts! The heavier you lift, the more ‘intense’ your workouts will be. The more ‘intense’ your workouts, the better results you will see.

Before and during your workout, commit to giving every rep, set and exercise 100%. Fully challenge yourself with each rep, set and exercise. You should be giving it your all so at the end of each set you have hit the point of absolute failure! Increase the weight your are lifting, and when you can’t increase the weight any higher than do one more rep, one more set, etc. Just remember, each time you come back and do a workout/exercise over again, try and increase the weight lifted.

Just because you are working out, does NOT mean that you are giving it your all! You may be lifting some dumbbells or swinging that kettlebell, but are you pushing yourself to the max with each rep, set and exercise? Is that weight heavy enough to challenge you during each rep and set? It better be! Remember, you have taken the time to workout, now give it your all and make it worth your while so you can see the results!

Increase the weight lifted instead of the # of reps/sets you do. In order to lift heavier for a specific exercise, you will have to decrease the # of reps/sets you do for that exercise. Lifting heavier is good for you! Don’t be afraid of getting bulky ladies! We do not have the hormones men do that make them bulky. Lifting heavier means you are increasing that intensity and will get you the results you want! The best part about lifting heavier, your weight training sessions won’t take as long! You shouldn’t be weight training for more than 40 min – 1 hour max.

Always jot down your performance. Record the weight/reps/sets you did for each exercise so that next time you know what you should aim to beat!

“In life, we acquire what we desire, we don’t receive what we ignore.”

Figure out your 1 Rep Max for large muscle group exercises. Bench press, squat, deadlift, rows are all large, multi-joint/muscle group exercises. To find your 1 Rep Max, find the weight for bench press that you will max out at about 10 reps. Multiply that weight X 100, than divide that # by 75 and this is the estimate of your 1 Rep Max. For example if I maxed out at 10 reps on bench press at 80 LBS, I would–> 80LBS X 100 = 8000, 8000/75= 106.6LBS is my 1 Rep Max.

For Intensity, I would focus on doing 80%-85% of your 1 Rep Max. And every week or so doing 90% of your 1 Rep Max. Remember as you get stronger you will need to recalculate your 1 Rep Max!

Best of luck in your Intesity Training!! Keep up the awesome work
Health & Happiness,

Nat

Lower Body Pump it Up!!

Strength Training to start and ending with my version of some cardio kickboxing moves, one of the best ways to get your body into fat burning mode:)Strength Training Circuit
Warm-up: Jump Squats – 15 reps; 2 sets
Circuit: Perform each exercise below for given # of reps, go from one exercise to next until completed all exercises once, this is 1 round. Complete 3 rounds of below exercises.
1. Plie DB/KB Squat (10-12 reps)
2. Squat Clean (10-12 reps)
3. BB Side Split Squat (10-12 reps)
4. 1-Leg KB Racked Squat (10-12 reps/leg)
5. Seated Leg Curls (10-12 reps)
6. Leg Extensions (10-12 reps)
7. Calf Raise (10-12 reps/leg)
—–
Cardio Training (I will post video for the cardio section in next few days) [30 Minutes]
Circuit 1: Do each exercise for 45 seconds of all out effort, then rest for 15 seconds before moving to next exercise. Perform each exercise back-to-back. Do 2 full circuits of below exercises. I put # of reps I did in 45 seconds for each exercise so you know approximately how many reps you should hit.
1. KB Burpee Swing Up (10 reps)
2. DBL KB Front Squat (21 reps)
3. KB Russian Twist (feet elevated) (30 reps)
4. Jumping Jacks (50 reps)
5. Side-Side Pike Jumps (34 reps, 1 rep = 1 jump R + L)

Circuit 2: Do each exercise for 45 seconds of all out effort, then rest for 15 seconds before moving to next exercise. Perform each exercise back-to-back. Do 2 full circuits of below exercises. I put # of reps I did in 45 seconds for each exercise so you know approximately how many reps you should hit.
1. Dynamic Jump Squat Duck Unders (2) + Shuffle Jab L+R (10 reps)
2. Twist Boxer Shuffle (25 reps, 1 rep = 1 jump R+L)
3. Knee-Up Jump Kicks (R) (18-20 reps)
4. Knee-Up Jump Kicks (L) (18-20 reps)
5. Plank Side Jump Tucks (18-20 reps, 1 rep = 1 jump R+L)
6. Split Squats (3) w/Kick Up (R) (13 reps)
7. Split Squats (3) w/Kick Up (L) (13 reps)
8. Sumo High Knees (40-42 reps, 1 rep= 1 knee-up R+L)
9. Front-Side Kicks (R) (15-17 reps)
10. Front-Side Kicks (L) (15-17 reps)


Tell me how it went! How can I help you?! – Nat – 🙂