It’s been a while since I’ve completed a Crossfit WOD and considering that I’ve been less than excited about my current training regime, I figured today was as good as any to jump back into it and break up the monotany.
Today was all about the AMRAP’s. For those not familiar with the term, AMRAP means as many rounds (or reps) as possible. The idea is to cycle through each superset as many times as you can in the prescribed time.
Now, I am not a Crossfitter by nature so I had to have a little help from my friend, and Crossfit coach Colby on how to score the workout. So here’s my best effort at explaining how to score your workout (don’t judge me if I screw up). The WOD is scored by counting the number of rounds and reps completed.
For instance, if you complete three complete rounds of 3 muscle ups and 6 deadlifts (as was the case with today’s workout) then your score would be 3 + 9.
Moment of truth… I can’t jump rope. Seriously, I have never been able to master it and I honestly don’t have the patience to spend hours trying to learn how. So I subbed the double unders out for Jumping Jacks & tripled the reps. Deadlifts are by far one of my favorite exercises, so give me a workout with them and I am a happy girl!
I rounded out the day with a 3.25 mile run and finished right before Mother Nature decided to send the rain!
Give this workout a try and send me your feedback. I am always excited to hear how you did!
I’m literally sitting in my car typing this blog on my Galaxy4 (oh yeah, there’s an app for that) because I didn’t want to wait until I get home later tonight to write this. I am continuously amazed at how God will use unlikely circumstances, people and situations to remind you that you have purpose. I went to the mall to exchange an item and on my way out, I stopped in Sephora to pick up a few [travel sized] items for an upcoming trip. As I was checking out, the store associate says to me, “Can I ask you a question? You must be one of those workout fanatics because you look amazing…. You’re so tiny and I can see all of your muscles.” I laughed and replied, “Well I do love to workout, but I am also a personal trainer.”
The look on her face when I told her what I did for living was priceless… If you didn’t know any better you would have thought I just offered her a new car. She immediately came from behind the register and began asking me all sorts of questions about working out and eating right, which I was more than happy to answer. Before I knew it, three other ladies had joined in on the conversation and I was in the middle of the store demonstrating how to perform a squat and lunge with proper form. Never a dull moment in my life!!
Before I left, the woman looked at me and said, “I’m so glad you came into the store today, it was such a blessing to meet you.” That literally made my heart stop! It also reminded me of how a simple, kind gesture can make a world of difference in another person’s day or life. Me taking a little extra time to speak to those ladies didn’t cost me anything; just a few minutes of my time. During a time when I am making some major life decisions, it also served as a reminder from God that I am on the right path and making the right decisions. Three years ago, my goal and purpose in life was to climb the corporate ladder without allowing anyone or anything to get in my way. Now my focus is centered on how I can best use my talents to serve and educate others… And I was reminded of that just a few minutes ago.
“OMG… you have the best job ever! You must get to work out all day…” Yes. I actually had this conversation with someone not too long ago. For whatever reason, a lot of people seem to think that personal trainers/fitness professionals have way more free time than we actually do. While it’s not your standard 9 to 5 office job, it is still a job and require much more than simply working out all day.
For the really good trainers — you know, those of us that own and operate our own business, blog/website, manage multiple social media platforms, are an established brand, etc — this is our 9a to 5p; only it’s more like a 5a to 9p. Although are business cards say “Certified Personal Trainer” we often wear multiple hats such as therapists, motivational speaker, human target (oh yes… I’ve been popped with everything from medicine balls to bands), salesman, nutritionist, janitor, secretary, sounding board, confidant and occasionally that new tank you just bought from Lululemon gets turned into a Kleenex.
So why in the world would anyone what to deal with all of that on a regular basis? I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me I love being a part of that person’s journey to a better quality of life. I see people when they are at their weakest, most vulnerable state… sometimes they reach out and ask for help, but often it’s an unspoken gesture. The idea that they trust me enough to take this journey with them and help them, is a blessing in and of itself. Anyone can take you through a workout, make you sweat really hard and send you on your way. But it’s that’s rare breed of personal trainers and fitness professionals that will actually walk it out with you. I love seeing the transformation, both physically and mentally.
One of the perks of my job is that no two days are alike. Sure, my class schedule looks the same but with my clients I’ve learned to expect the unexpected (in a good way)! Here’s a look at what my day looked like today:
4:15am – my first alarm goes off. I grab my Bible off of my nightstand and read my devotional for the day. I pray over my family and friends, and ask God to go before me as I go through my day.
5am – I lead a Flex & Flow yoga class in my building.
6:30am – Teach a Circuit Training class at Metro Fitness.
8am – business meeting in University (north Charlotte). I packed a banana and almonds in my bag and ate them in the car on the way to my meeting.
9:30am – Teach a mat Pilates (level 1) class in Blakeney
10:30am – Teach a mat Pilates (level 2) class in Blakeney
noon – Home for lunch. I prepare all of my meals for the week on Sunday’s so I literally pop it in the microwave and enjoy. I sift through emails, voicemails and social media while I eat.
12:30pm – Work on program design and map my rides for my cycle classes. My fellow cycle instructors know what it’s like to map your rides for class; prepping for one class can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.
2pm – Drop off business cards at a few of the local health food stores and invite them to come by and check out a class. I had the most awkward conference call because I was in and out of the car during the call and my Bluetooth was taking forever to reconnect! Hopefully I didn’t miss anything important.
2:45pm – Coach Girls on the Run at Selwyn Elementary.
4:00pm – I head straight to a friends house from practice (half of my closet in tow) and get ready for a private fundraiser and dinner in Downtown Charlotte. I secretly finished checking & responding to emails under the table during two of the speakers. Don’t judge me.
7:30pm – Headed home to finish programming for tomorrow and sneak in a 20 minute TRX workout.
8:30pm – Write this post and watch reruns of the Big Bang Theory from the comfort of my bed.
It reads like a long day, but again no day is ever the same. Besides, if I told you what my Friday was like you would think I had it pretty easy…. And for that day, you’re probably right. I slept in — don’t get jealous, it was only until 7am — and then I worked out, ran a few errands and worked from home. Some days are lighter than others, but I am always in ‘go’ mode and thinking of new ways to grow my business and help those around me. It can feel a bit chaotic at times, but I kind of like it that way!
Winters in the South typically boast an average temperature between 30 to 50 degrees, with little to no snow or ice. When the weatherman says “expect snow,” is usually means 1 to 2 inches that will be gone by lunch. So when I opened my front door this morning and saw this, I quickly shut the door and climbed right back into my warm, cozy bed…. laptop in tow.
The gym was closed and all of my classes were cancelled (as they have been since Tuesday), but I was all for getting out of the house and getting my workout in until I realized that the 6 inches of snow we received was now covered by a layer of ice. Was I going to brave the elements and go for a run outside? Absolutely not. I’m not that girl. There isn’t enough thermo gear on the market to change my mind. Nope…. Not happening.
After a few hours of work on the computer and a phone date with one of my closest friends I was ready to slip on my sneakers and break a sweat! I grabbed a few kettlebells, cranked up the stereo and went to work! 20 minutes later my pulse was racing and I was dripping in sweat. Mission accomplished!
50 x Goblet Squats
50 x Kettlebell Swings
50 x Ball Slams
30 x Goblet Squats
30 x Kettlebell Swings
30 x Ball Slams
10 x Goblet Squats
10 x Kettlebell Swings
10 x Ball Slams
This workout is centered around three exercises repeated in a descending format. Each is a compound movement, meaning you will be recruiting multiple muscle groups at the same time. Before you have everything you need within reach so that your transition time is short, and your heart rate stays elevated through the entire workout.
Remember to work at your level. If the reps are too high scale them down to meet your needs. Not gonna lie, towards the end of the workout I was praying that the kettlebell didn’t come flying out of my hands and go through my living room window! I had a death grip on that thing!! If you are snowed in or just want to workout from home, give this a try and post your time in the comments.
We are only 6 days into the new year and people are already defaulting on their resolutions. I for one do not believe in resolutions. I believe in being the best version of yourself every day. This year let’s resolve to keep our eyes on our own paper. Don’t cheat off of the person next to you. What this means is allow yourself to focus solely on what you want to achieve, not what those around you want to achieve.
As a gymnast growing up, I was certain of two things. First, there was always someone younger, fitter, faster, stronger, more motivated and more conditioned than myself. Second, if I spent my time comparing myself to every gymnast that walked through the doors my attention and focus was no longer where it needed to be for me to achieve the level of success that I desired.
This year allow the focus of your resolution to be on you — reinvent yourself, work out all of the kinks, and be better than you were yesterday. But most importantly, remember to celebrate the victories (big and small) along the way. Failure is not final unless you throw in the towel and give up. The year has only just begun, so if you’ve stumbled a little, get back on track and get back to living your best life!
Our 90 Day Challenge is well underway and I could not be more pleased with the amount (& rate) of success that each of our participants are experiencing. During kickoff weekend, 115 members put their trust in our team of trainers/fitness professionals and in just 5 short weeks they’ve lost more than 130 pounds and 10.6% body fat! Aside from the metrics, the relationships that have been established are priceless. I feel completely blessed to know that someone trusts me enough to allow me to take this journey with them.
From our Eat Fit Seminar to Zumba… our members have been having a blast and gaining momentum each week! And we’re just started… This week we’re kicking things up a notch and showing fat who’s boss with Life Time’s signature TEAM Fitness. “TEAM” stands for training, education, accountability and motivation, and that’s what you’ll get when you sample TEAM Fitness.
TEAM Fitness incorporates education, exercise and nutrition into three energizing and highly motivating group sessions per week. The workout will include a combination of heart-rate based cardio training, resistance & weight training led by yours truly!!
Let’s keep the momentum going and make FIT HAPPEN!!
The true character of someone is always revealed when we least expect it or during a time that isn’t the most convenient. It’s not what happens to you that defines your character, it’s how you respond to what happens to you that determines your true character.
A persons ethics, morales and true self will always be revealed in times of trouble or unrest. When they show you thier true colors, don’t try to paint another picture… It only comes out looking like a finger painting, rather than a Rembrandt.
I am beyond grateful for the those closest to me for reminding me that I deserve far more than I often give myself credit. I cherish everything that I have, and I cherish the life that God allows me to live out each day. More than anything else, I am glad that this season of my life has been one in which motives and true character have been revealed. The truth will prevail in various forms; which one will you see?
When I meet a client for the first time, one of the first things I ask them to do is identify three goals that they want to achieve, with my help. Aside from the fact that each of my clients are vastly different, they all share one common problem… they lack the ability to plan ahead. Any time you do something profound in your life, you have a plan in place. Right? For instance, you would never show up to a business presentation to land one of the biggest deals of your career unprepared. Nor would you make a life changing decision without first giving it some forethought. You take the time to plan everything from your vacations to your funerals, so why not take a few minutes to plan your meals and workouts each day?
More and more it seems like we are always rushing from one thing or place to the next, which often leaves us little time to eat a regular, well balanced meal. Constantly eating on the go can wreak havoc on your metabolism and zap your body of the much needed energy and fuel it needs to function. And after a couple days of poor eating, it’s no wonder your not motivated to workout.
Although many of my clients would say that their health is of importance to them, the truth is their lack of committment to planning healthy meals and workouts says otherwise. Making healthier food and lifestyle choices doesn’t just happen overnight. It requires a committment on your part to stick it out until you reach your goal. Slacking off, even the slightest bit, can lead to destruction and ultimately hinder you from reaching the finish line.
So in a world where “super-sized” is the new small, how do you stick to your plan and avoid poor food & lifestyle habits? It’s simple. Take it day by day and make improving your health a top priority. The benefits you will reap will eventually begin to spill over in to other areas of your life, and perhaps even motivate you to improve those areas as well. Lay out your goals, establish a plan and turn those goals into reality!
When most people hear the word cardio, they imagine countless hours spent on a treadmill trying to burn unwanted calories and body fat. This thought alone is enough to make you bypass the gym on your way home from work or hit the snooze button on your alarm clock and forego your morning workout session. If only there was a way to burn the same amount of calories in only half the time. Guess what? There is.
What is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is cardiovascular training that combines the use of high-intensity training phases, with low-intensity recovery phases. Because this type cardio is performed at such intense levels, your body will spend the rest of the day consuming energy to recover from your workout. Simply put, you will burn 10 times the amount of fat following a 30 minute HIIT session than you would if you spent an hour on the treadmill at a moderate pace.
When you perform moderately-intense cardio, you can unknowingly place your body in a catabolic state and actually lose muscle mass. The reason behind this involves the use of the two types of muscle fibers found in our bodies. Slow twitch muscle fibers are found to be more beneficial in endurance training such as marathon running. Fast twitch muscle fibers, however, are more compatible with shorter, more intense bouts of exercise such as sprinting. Although this type of training has become popular among elite athletes and body builders, the average gym-goers can successfully modify and implement it in to their training regimes.
The Benefits of HIIT
This type of cardiovascular training relies on the principle of rest and recovery. By alternating high-intensity periods with shorter rest and recovery periods, you force your body to work twice as hard in half the time. In addition to increasing your VO2 max, which refers to the maximum amount of oxygen your body can transport in during training sessions, other benefits of HIIT include:
–Improved cardiovascular endurance
–Higher percentage of fat loss (when compared to lower-intensity cardio)
–Reduces risk of Metabolic Syndrome
–Decreased muscle catabolism
–Increase in arterial elasticity
–Increase in lean muscle mass
–Reduced boredom with your workout regime
Working HIIT into Your Workout Regime
The best way to begin high-intensity interval training is to incorporate it in to your current cardiovascular routine. This can be done in several ways. The first method involves increasing the resistance level for one to two minutes. For example, increase the incline on the treadmill. The addition of a higher incline to your current pace requires your body to do more work.
The second method involves increasing the speed on the treadmill. This forces you to run faster and/or harder in order to keep up. Therefore, if you normally jog at three miles per hour on the treadmill, then you would increase your speed to somewhere between four and five miles per hour for one minute, and then return to your previous pace of three miles per hour for two to three minutes. Increase your speed to four or five miles per hour for another minute, and return to your previous pace for two to three minutes. Continue this cycle for the duration of your workout session.
The third method includes performing sprints—either above or below your VO2 max. Performing sprints above your VO2 max will significantly push your body, while performing sprints below your VO2 max will condition your body to work at a high-intensity level for a slightly longer length of time. To perform sprints above your VO2 max, start by warming up at a moderately-intense pace for three to five minutes. Increase the speed on the treadmill so that you are working at 80 percent of your maximum effort for 15 to 30 seconds. This should be followed by two minutes of recovery, in which you can walk or jog. Repeat this cycle eight to ten times, depending on your current fitness level, followed by a three to five minute cool down.
To perform sprints below your VO2 max, begin with the same warm up and increase the speed of the treadmill so that you are, again, working at 80 percent of your VO2 max. However, this time you will stay at this rate for 45 seconds to one and a half minutes. Follow up with a one to two minute recovery phase, and then repeat this cycle five to seven times. Finish up with a three to five minute cool down.
Pre & Post Workout Tips
Before you perform any type of interval training routine, it’s important that you allow your body and your muscles ample time to warm-up. Your warm-up should consist of light cardio and stretching to gradually increase your body temperature.
Due to the intense nature of this type of training, it should only be performed two to three times a week on the days that you DO NOT weight train. In addition, always take in some sort of post-workout drink, such as a protein mix, to aid your body in repairing muscle tissue, and replenishing glycogen that is lost during your workout.
It is important to note that this type of cardiovascular training is not for everyone. Because it requires you to push your body to it’s limits, many people find that they are unable to continuously workout at this level and often foregore their fitness regimes altogether. If you find yourself in this situation, don’t become discouraged. Instead, you may consider sticking with a more moderately-paced endurance regime, and challenging yourself with a few intense minutes throughout your training session. You will still reap the benefits of an increased metabolism, and may find that you can eventually incorporate high-intensity interval training into you workout afterall.
Here’s a flashback to 2012 when I took home 2nd place at the Flex Lewis Classic in Nashville, TN (my hometown). I pulled out all of the stops for this show, I was determined to place in the top 3 again. Just one week prior I competed in a show and took home 5th… Not terrible, but certainly not what I had hoped for after months of hard training and dieting.
One reason I wanted to do so well at that show was that it would be my last for a while so that I could focus more on building my business and my brand. If I was going to walk away, I was going to walk away on top! I’m going to sound so cliche when I say this, but it’s beyond true… Competing is a lifestyle. It takes a lot of time, focus and energy to train for a spot at the top. I had to make some decisions and I chose my business that I had worked so hard to establish and build (all on my own mind you). Do I have any regrets? Not at all . It’s nice to take a trip down memory lane every now and then. Who knows….. I may be hitting the stage again pretty soon!