Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Are You Really Committed?

After having a discussion with a friend this morning over what workout plan she should start following I had a realization. (That I'm obviously going to share with you right now.) I've trained a lot of people over the past few years both online and in person and it's overly apparent to me success has little to do with the actual plan you're following and more with the fact that you're following something. Of course workout plans can be designed in a way to help you better achieve goals whether that's muscle building, leaning out, endurance, etc. but you can have the best most personalized plan in the world and if you're not committed to it, you're not going to succeed. 

Change comes from pushing yourself farther than what's comfortable. It's going to the gym when you want to stay in bed. It's taking a deep breath and pounding out two extra reps when you really want to stop. It's not having the bun with your burger because it doesn't fit your macros. None of these things are fun or ideal but boundaries must be pushed to see change. 

I put the photo above in this post because it shows me working out my chest which is not my favorite thing to do, BUT it's part of my plan. I know that with a stronger chest I will create a more balanced physique and also help strengthen and build my shoulders and triceps more too. Every day chest day comes around I cringe a bit because I just don't enjoy it quite as much as other days, but I push through anyway because of commitment to my personal goals. 

Take a minute today to stop and ask yourself if you're really committed to what you're doing or if you've been taking short cuts around the uncomfortable things, then make a change! It's never too late to create new habits :) 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Leg Workout with Glute Emphasis + Video

Hey Guys! Busy day today so I don't have much time to chat but I did want to share the workout we did this morning with you. It's a leg workout that may not seem too hard on paper but I kid you not I could hardly walk out of the gym this morning. I also videoed one of the exercises for you so you can have a visual on how to do the hip thrust drop sets. I think because of the angle of this video you can't really see my full hip extension but if you watch me do hip thrusts in this video you'll see how much I push through the hips to really get a squeeze at the top of the motion. 

5 Minute warmup on spin bike 
Leg press wide stance toes pointed slightly outward 4 x 12 
Hip thrust drop sets 3 sets each with 2 drops. First round 10 reps, second round 8 reps, third round 10 reps. 
Reverse banded hack squat 4 x 12 
Leg extensions 4 x 12 
Banded lateral walks 3 x 15 

Good luck!! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Descriptive Back Workout

Hi and Happy MLK Day! Hopefully you are all enjoying a day off of work and taking a moment to do something nice for someone else today :) I'll be plugging away at computer work and meal prep most of the day but I think B and I will take a break this afternoon to catch a movie and maybe do a little shopping (he doesn't know about that part yet!) 

We did start the day with a great back workout that I'm still feeling now as I sit at my desk 3 hours later. I had B take photos of each of the exercises we did so that I can explain proper technique for each one. I know when I was new to the gym and working out I was never quite sure if I was performing the exercises properly and oftentimes that will lead to people not going to the gym at all-- so now there are no excuses for not doing this workout! 

We started with Romanian Deadlifts or Stiff Leg Deadlifts. On these I suggest starting lighter until you get the hang and proper form. The photo above will be your starting position- standing up tall with feet a little wider than shoulder width. To begin the movement, slowly lower the bar down your legs until you're about halfway down your shin (or higher up if you're not able to get that low) then as you begin to bring the weight back to the starting position, engage your hamstrings, glutes and lower back. You're hinging at the waist while keeping your knees ever so slightly bent. The 2 biggest mistakes I see on this exercise is rounded backs and people using too much upper body to stand back up. I always tell my clients that their hands are simply holding the bar but legs and back are doing all the work. 

 I warmed up with just the weight of the bar (45lbs) and then put a 45lb plate on each side for all 4 of my working sets. I did 4 sets of 8-10 reps. 

Next were lat pulldowns. As you see in the photo I use my lifting straps on both deadlifts and lat pulldowns because they really allow you to go heavy without your grip giving out on you before your muscles do. For the pulldowns, grab wide on the bar and start with your arms stretched up and your lats open. As you move the weight down, contract your back first and then follow by pulling your elbows downward. I like to lean back a bit because the angle helps hit my lats a little more. 

I did 4 sets in a pyramid-- 10 reps at 75lbs, 8 reps at 90bs, 6 reps at 105lbs, 5 reps at 105lbs 

Next we hopped over to the seated row and used a wider grip here too. Start with your feet up and knees slightly bent as you grip the bar. Again, contracting your back muscles first, begin pulling the bar toward your lower chest as your elbows drive straight back. As you return to the starting position allow your upper body to hinge forward and stop just before the plates hit, this is where you will perform your next rep. 

I did 4 sets of 10 at 75lbs. 

T bar was next! I did a wide grip here as well and when you start make sure knees are bent and back is totally flat. Pull the bar up toward your chest as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. 

4 sets of 10 with 35lbs added weight. 

We wrapped up on the low row machine-- although I wanted to use the Hammer Strength version of this but someone was on it. Again back straight and chest out grab the handles, contract your back and drive back with the elbows. 

Again 4 sets of 10 with 75lbs. 

After crawling my way out of the gym I came home and made my new favorite post workout meal which is just various frozen fruit (raspberries, blueberries, mango etc.) with MRM Vanilla Whey, and only a tiiiiny big of almond milk so that it stays nice and thick. Then I pour in a bowl and top with a low fat granola and eat with a spoon- so yummy! Oh and don't forget you can use the code "Brittany" on mrm-usa.com for 40% off your entire order! 

Hope this was helpful and as always let me know if you give it a shot! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Crock Pot Chicken Fajita Soup

With the mornings and nights being super chilly here in AZ I've been craving warm foods like oatmeal and soup. In fact, I have a slight obsession with miso soup lately and probably have it like 2-3x a week... hellllooo sodium! Anyway, I had a taste for something spicy this week and some bell peppers that needed to be used so I came up with this SUPER simple recipe that I've been eating with my favorite black bean chips all week. 

3 large chicken breasts 
3 bell peppers chopped 
1/2 onion chopped
2 cans fire roasted diced tomatoes 
1 cup frozen organic corn 
1 packet chicken fajita seasoning 
1 T black pepper (or more to taste) 
1 box chicken broth 

1. Line the bottom of the crockpot with the 2 cans of diced tomatoes 
2. Place chicken breasts on top of tomatoes and empty fajita seasoning mix on top. 
3. Place peppers, corn and onions on top of the chicken then add chicken broth and pepper. 
4. Cook on low for 5 hours. 
5. Shred chicken and serve! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Transformation Tuesday + Shoulder Workout

One of my favorite things to do is look back on old photos and compare to current ones. Sometimes I'll feel like I'm not making progress or just need that extra motivation to keep chugging along and this is one of the best ways to get it. We tend to get so caught up in comparing ourselves to other people (especially as women) when really we just need to make sure we are giving our best effort to our own body and mind.  

I've put a lot of work into my shoulders and it truly makes me so happy to see the differences in these pictures and also reminds me that every day counts. So make sure you're taking those photos so you can see your own growth too! 

Here's this mornings shoulder workout: 

Seated military press 3 x 10- 25 & 30 lbs 
Seated arnold press 3 x 10- 20 lbs 
Single arm clean and press- 20 lbs 
Rear delt fly 4 x 12 super set bent over rear delt raise 4 x 12 
Machine lateral raise dropsets 5 x 12 
Dumbbell lateral raise drop set 4 x 10-12

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Goal Setting For the New Year

So I realized today, January 5th that I hadn't even thought about a New Years resolution let alone set any. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about them, I kind of feel like you set yourself up for failure but on the other hand I do like the idea of goal setting. So, thats what we will call it- goal setting. 

So, here they are- my short term goals for the year: 

- Lift heavier. I know I can, but so often I get stuck on the weight that's 'normal'. For example this morning in the picture above I had grabbed the 40lb dumbbell for my set, but I was actually able to do the 50 just fine. 

- Stretch- oh god. I'm SO bad at this. I have my foam roller sitting right next to the TV so that I'm reminded when I'm watching to grab it and roll. But that never happens. 

- Eat out less during the week. This will save calories and money. Win, win. 

- Continue to focus on growing a booty. (!!!) 

Feel free to list your goals here for accountability too! 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Back At It! First Post of 2016

Hello, I'm back! I decided to take a little blogging break just because like everyone else my December was crazy busy and while I was fairly consistent with workouts, they were a little more scattered than usual. We also took a trip back home to California for my 10 year high school reunion- yikes, and went to the mountains for 4 days last week, so in all it was a pretty good month! If you follow me on Instagram you've probably seen that one of my sisters has been pretty sick and in and out of the hospital, so prayers for her are definitely appreciated. I'm here with her now and will likely be in and out the rest of the week which should give me plenty of time to get some posts up for you guys. 

As much as I wanted to do legs this morning, B and I did heavy deadlifts for back day on Saturday and my hamstrings are still in pretty bad shape so I went for chest and tri today instead. I had a quick pre-workout meal which was just Dave's  Killer Bread with coconut oil, cinnamon, and stevia on it and then a protein shake made with unsweetened cashew milk. Although it was still morning when I was finished I had a craving for real food (not another shake) so chicken and rice it was. Kinda weird, I know. 

Here's todays workout in case you're interested! 

Flat bench press: 3x 10- I used 65 lbs 
Incline press machine: 3 x 10- I had 30lbs on each side 
Incline dumbbell press drop sets: 3 x 10 then drop for 8-10 more. I used 25 lbs and 15 lbs 
Machine flys: 3 x 10- I used 40lbs super set with machine tricep press 3 x 12- 45lbs 
V bar pushdown 4 x 10 at 40lbs super set close grip pushups to failure 
Rope pushdown 3 x 12 at 25lbs super set with dumbbell kickbacks with 10lbs 

Hope your new year is off to a great start! 

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