Quick and simple lunch! Every once in a while I just crave some buffalo flavor but I don’t want to revert to fried wings. I love adding some buffalo flavor to a clean slate of baked chicken! This wrap is very high in protein by combining chicken and the chick peas. Sample grocery list here*Chow down!!
In the age of the selfie, gym check ins, bathroom mirror pictures, and #FlexFriday, it’s no surprise that men’s and women’s mirror muscles rule our social media feeds. In general, these infamous muscles are the ones you can easily see in the mirror: chest, biceps, abs, and quads. Each gender has 2 muscles (groups) that they are consistently checking out, taking pictures of and training (overtraining?) Chest and biceps rule as king among dudes and bros. While glutes and abs are the emphasis of the ladies. I even had a male client one day say he didn’t want to work on glutes because he wasn’t a girl. So wrong. It has definitely been the year of the booty in the gym and in the media. I like big butts and I can not lie. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with working these muscle groups, the problem is that other muscles and entire movements and body parts are forgotten or neglected. Ex) Never Skip Leg Day
The purpose of this paradox is to incorporate the training of the entire body into a person’s program. Being one sided in any aspect of your life will only leave you skewed, crooked and more susceptible to injuries.
Let’s play with scenarios.
What if men trained glutes and abs 3 times per week along with their normal one- sided routine? What if while training glutes they were simultaneously training abs!? Glutes are powerful muscles. Strengthening glutes leads to increase speed and power output during sprinting and running and in Olympic lifts. Functional, firing glutes support movement patterns of lower limb joints (hips, knees, ankles). A number of glute exercises involve the hamstrings as well which are often under developed in athletes who focus mainly on front of the leg, quads. We are not built like pyramids; from the ground up. We are built from the middle out. Therefore, your strength radiates out from the middle of the body known as the core. The core includes layers of abdominals, back muscles, and around the rib cage. Olympic lifting (i.e. deadlifts and squats) recruits the core for stability during their movements.These movements are functional and involve not only the abdominals but the back as well. Core is the center of most kinetic chains in the body. Moving through that entire kinetic (caused by motion) chain develops each aspect of the body parts involved.
What if women trained chest and biceps 3 times per week along with their normal routine? Women tend to be comparable to men in lower body strength, but men have a head start in upper body strength simply because they have more testosterone then women do. A strong upper body not only aids in weight lifting, but also posture, and effectively completing daily activities. Training the chest muscles directly benefits shoulder strength and stability. Certain exercises (single arm press, cable flys, bottom up kettelbell overhead press) strengthen the “push” muscles of the chest and shoulder. Training chest and biceps adds shape and definition to arms. A simple push up works shoulders, chest, core (back AND abs), triceps and biceps! (Tank top arms? Arms like a tank?) Woo!!
The average gym goer is training for appearance. Functionality? Ability? Balance? These get put on a back burner. I dream of a social media world where men are showing off their strong, powerful glutes (have you seen baseball players swing? Where do you thing that power comes from!?) Who else isn’t skipping leg day…have you seen soccer players? Every single member of the USMNT are perfect examples of why men should train legs. They can drop a soccer ball on their foot and a millisecond later it is flying past the goalkeeper at 80+ mph! Helloooo glutes!
I dream of a social media where a woman can flex those guns and it’s known how much harder a female has to work to get that definition, strength and cut then a male has to do. (That whole women have less testosterone thing). Defined, arms are beautiful!!
*Remember your whole body is connected, front to back and top to bottom. Train for your goals but don’t leave out entire body parts!
Play Hard Get Fit
Okada, T., Huxel. K., Nesser, T. Relationship Between Core Stability, Functional Movement, and Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. January 2011. 25(1), 252-261.
Mom at your son’s track meet. Dad at your daughter’s soccer game. Gym rat looking to get outside on gorgeous days. Athlete in between classes and jobs. This workout is for each of YOU! Busy schedules, time constraints, and specific locations are the constantly changing variables involved in your workouts. For all those bleacher creatures, bench riders, and pop up chair cheerleaders, there is no excuse left to stop you from getting a sweat session in!
Equipment: Bleachers, Bench, Stairs, or other safe elevated surface.
Sets X Repetitions: 2X15
Burn More Calories: Walk, jog or run 1 lap (2-3 mins.) in between each set! Add an extra set!
*Working out on bleachers requires an increased level of fitness and balance. If you suffer from vertigo or have other balance issues, do not attempt to work out on steps.
1. Uneven Squats: One foot on a bleacher or bench so that it is elevated higher then the other. Push your hips back and squat like you are about to sit in a chair.
2. Step Ups with Sprinter Start (on bottom step) -Video Below: Step up with one leg, as soon as that leg is fully extended on the step, follow by driving the other knee straight up into a march position, lower that leg down and repeat on the same leg.
3. High Knee Quick Feet-Video Below: Alternating between right and left feet tapping them quickly and lightly onto the bench.
4. Alternating Side Plank w/ Push Up: Complete your push up and rotate your body weight onto one hand until you are in a side plank position. Return to the push up position and complete the other side.
5. Climbing Squat Jumps onto the bleachers: (all the way up and down) Squat down and jump on the first bleacher, then the second, third and so forth.
6. Squat Jumps (on and off of bottom bleacher)-Video Below: Squat onto and off of the bleacher landing with soft knees, abs tight, hips back like you are going to sit in a chair.
7. Elevated Lunge + Sprinter Start- Video Below: Lunge as pictured below and left the back knee up and drive that knee forward into a marching position. *be careful with your balance! notice in the video it takes me a second to get centered. Also, watch your dismount OFF the bleachers!
8. Elevated Push ups + Single Leg + Single Leg bend and extend-Video Below: 3 levels of difficulty include:
1. basic push ups- bend your elbows until they are at 90 degree angles, squeeze your armpits as you straighten your arms and press up into a straight arm position.
2. push ups with one leg off the group
3. push ups bending your knee while you lower down and extend your leg when you push up.
Cartwheels and Handstands: My version of a fun workout intermission, ending, or just because! (Do not attempt if you are not trained. Can result in injury.)
This workout makes the best use of your time and resources all while hitting major, calorie burning body parts! Focus on your form, take your time completing each set properly and have FUN! get creative with your locations, keep gym clothes in your car and don’t hesitate to get a great sweat session in!
Play Hard Get Dirty, Play Hard Get Fit!!
Questions or feedback: feel free to comment below or message me on the links on the top of the page by email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
The warm weather is finally trickling back into our weekends and we are now in the midst of race season! Every weekend you have your choice of fun runs and charity races. Do you want to get dirty, muddy, colorful, glowy, foamy, sweaty, wetty, and a cool, free tee shirt? Of course you do! Well, that makes two of us.
I recently ran in the Color Me Rad 5K. It was definitely one of the best 5Ks I’ve ever participated in! This was the true definition of a FUN RUN.
Fun– (Noun) Enjoyment, amusement or lighthearted pleasure.
Run-(Verb) Move at a speed faster then a walk, never having both or all feet on the ground at the same time.
Fun Runs are excellent starting points for the first time runner, or the athlete looking for inspiration. I saw such a wide variety of age, size and ability. Each person had their own reason for being there and the commonality that brought them together was the idea of accomplishing this race all while having a huge amount of FUN.
That morning was dreary. It was a cold, gray April morning. It was threatening rain and my cousins and I were wearing white and not nearly enough layers. I was borderline dreading this run. I quickly realized that this was a massive event, much bigger then any 5K I had ever been a part of. Everyone was dressed in different combinations of athletic gear and white clothing with sweet neon-colored shades on (although we did not need them with no sun shining). I heard the Start/Finish area before I saw it. Music was blaring, there were inflatables, tents, people covered in color, people with clean white clothes on everywhere!
The race start was informal. Get behind the starting line in whatever combination you’d like. In other races I’ve ran you are corralled by your 1 mile run time. BUT, this is where the party started. People had packets of color that they were throwing at each other and playing tag with. There was a little kid running around with what looked like a squirt bottle… a pressurized blaster filled with COLOR!! He was short so he kept shooting strangers in the back and I quickly ended up with a yellow streak across my stomach. The starting line party continued with the dreadlocked MC shooting droves of this magical neon corn starch into the crowd by means of an ACTUAL fire extinguisher! Just drenching people in teal powder and sending it into the back of the masses by means of some solid wind gusts.
BANG! WOO! AHH! Race starts and all I’m trying to do is warm up! I was so involved in all the sights and sounds around me and crazy combinations of outfits and people passing me and I was passing that I quickly forgot about everything I usually have on my mind in races: are my shorts sitting right, headphones in, mileage tracking app on, music pumping, sneakers tied, re-tied and tied, my pace, my knees, my ponytail, my stride, etc. the mental checklist could go on and on. All of that was gone. I tucked my headphones into my shirt, I kept pace with my two cousins, who I was super excited to be doing this with, and trotted along and actually looked up at the scenery. The trail was dirt (my knees were so happy), the first check point was blue powder and they seemed to be running low or completely out so it was up to the other 3 color checkpoints to get us blasted with a blaze of neon glory. The next color check point was yellow and I was dusted with what resembled pollen. I quickly learned that if I walk through the check point and stand in front of one of the volunteers they would launch color directly one me. Perfect! At the orange check point I was ready to get covered. I had orange down the ENTIRE left side of my body. (and was still getting it out of my left ear 3 days later). Awesome!! The final checkpoint was purple and I floated through the purple cloud with the gracefulness of a wood nymph and then trucked it to the finish line!
The finish line was filled with people handing out snacks, water and more COLOR! We each got a color packet which the three of us quickly threw at each other. There was a stage with music, that same dread-locked MC was rocking the mic with ease and exuberance. His energy was contagious and the color soaked crowd was dancing and screaming for more color! He was throwing packets and buckets of color off the stage and the did a massive countdown and everyone at once released handful upon handful of vibrant color into the air! It was a beautiful sight to see and an amazing way to finish out this run. From start to finish, I did not notice the gray sky or the cold. I saw only rad colors!
Fun Run “Gottas”:
Gotta leave your headphones home. They are a pain in the butt to clean the little ear buds of the dusty cornstarch. (Mine are permanently orange tinted still.) There is music at the checkpoints. It promotes chumminess if you can talk to and hear the people around you. They are having a good time and so are you.
Gotta invite friends… family, coworkers, neighbors, etc. It IS the more the merrier. The more people there are, the more variety of paces you can chose from. You can stick with the running pace of someone who matches your pace. If you are needing motivation or that final push to the finish you’ve got an entire squad of cheerleaders running ahead and behind you. You may have been the inspiration one of your friends needed to TRY a race. You are now the fitspiration that convinced them to “Do Rad Stuff!”
Gotta take pictures. I don’t care if you’ve never taken a selfie in your life. There is nothing more fun then to see a crisp, white tee shirt and shorts turned into a technicolor, mosh pit of neon that goes from the crown of your head and swirls down to the soles of your shoes. Also, color bomb pics are essential. If you can get an action shot of hundred of people throwing handfuls of colorful dust into the air you will instantly be in awe and want more.
Gotta have fun. I know you competitive athletes out there want to focus on time, form, pace and stride (like I started out doing) but find the place in yourself where you can enjoy the entire experience as much as possible. I am able to time myself in my next training session, I can beat my 5K time at a road race, I am able to pass people when they are my equals but doing these things at a fun run like this one takes a little bit away from the experience you are in the midst of. Actually, the SLOWER you go through th color check points the better because then they get you realllllyyyyy good! Doused, drenched, splashed, blasted, soaked, covered, and splattered with color!
Gotta do you. It’s your race. If you want to walk, walk-run, sprint, jog, trot, skip, frolic, trudge… Do it! Know your abilities, know when it’s too much (we do not want injuries), also know when you could push it more! Often, a good adrenaline rush and high excitement situation, like a race, brings out your best performance. You may surprise yourself!