Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

Sometimes I need a swift kick in the ass to get back into this blog so what better way than a glutes workout?

Nothing can replace heavy squats, hip thrusts, deadlifts and the like but sometimes switching it up can bring amazing results.

Decided to stay at home for today’s workout so here is what I did:

-Superset – 5 rounds of:

  • Seated Band Hip Abduction x 20
  • BW Hip Thrust with Band around thighs x 20

-10 sets of 10 KB Deadlift (90#) with 30 seconds rest between sets

-Tri-Set – 4 rounds of:

  • Single Leg Romanian Deadlift with Heavy Thick Band x 15 each
  • Goblet Squat (35# KB) x 15
  • Barbell Good Mornings (35#) x 15

-Tri-Set with Medium Band around ankles- 3 rounds of:

  • Lateral Steps x 20
  • Monster Walks Fwd/Bwd x 10
  • Standing Hip Extension x 15 each

-Finisher:  50 reps Donkey Kicks each side with medium Band

-Cardio:  Tabata KB Swings with 35# KB (20 seconds on/10 seconds rest x 8 rounds)

Give it a try and let my know what you think in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

Calories DO Count!

Posted: November 5, 2014 in Fitness, Nutrition
Tags: , ,

I had a conversation with an individual just the other day.  We were discussing nutrition and fat loss.  I asked her how many calories per day she was eating.  She had no idea.  Her answer was “Well, I’m really good.  I eat really healthy and I’ve just started gluten-free” (Insert head smack here).  My response was “Ok, but how MUCH food do you eat?  Do you have a general idea of how many calories you’re taking in?”.  *Crickets*  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this same conversation.

My point here is not to make fun of any particular dieting scheme.  I have nothing against gluten-free, dairy-free, Paleo, etc. etc. etc.  My personal philosophy is to not adhere to one particular “diet plan”.  I don’t believe there is a need to cut anything out unless you have an intolerance or sensitivity to it.  Putting that aside, my point is CALORIES DO COUNT!

I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but even if you eat too much healthy food, you are going to gain weight.  I used to be an incessant calorie counter – weighing, measuring, etc. down to the last gram.  It can certainly be a tedious task, but I do recommend it to people that have no idea about portion size.  I’m not saying that you need to do it forever, but at least for a few weeks until you get the hang of “eye-balling” proper portion size.  If you enjoy counting calories or tracking macros, go for it!  It certainly does work and it’s something I’ll do when I’m in contest prep mode.

Now, for the other side of things…how the heck do you know how much you’re burning while exercising?  You can’t go by the calorie count on machines when doing cardio because I have found that more often than not, they OVERestimate your calorie burn.  There are several formulas that you can look up to get an estimate but remember, it is just an estimate.  As for weight-training, calories burned of course are going to depend on your intensity, duration of workout, whether or not you’re doing circuit training, and several other factors.  Again, you can get an estimate by searching online.  Here’s what I do:  I’ve invested in a heart rate monitor (one with a chest strap for continuous monitoring).  This will be a bit more accurate for cardio exercise versus resistance training but I find that it works VERY well.  The chest strap can take a little getting used to but I think it’s worth it.  I know there are newer technologies out there that don’t require a chest strap, but I haven’t gotten the chance to test any of those out.

If you don’t have or want to use a heart rate monitor, you can get an estimate of your total calorie burn including exercise using this calculator: http://scoobysworkshop.com/calorie-calculator/    Follow the plan for a few weeks and assess…losing weight?  Great!  Keep going…  Not losing weight?  That’s ok, you may need to re-adjust your calories, pay closer attention to your portion sizes, etc.

This post is just a reminder…when in doubt, go back to the basics.  Calories in, calories out!  It does matter!  This may need to be another post but…don’t forget, you need to make sure you’re eating enough to support the amount of exercise you’re doing…sometimes the problem is the opposite, not eating enough!

Hi guys and girls.  Hope you’re all having a great week and still have some Halloween candy left to give out tomorrow!  🙂

Anyway, I had my littlest home sick with me today so I wasn’t able to get to the gym.  I’m lucky enough to have a decent amount of equipment at home so I grabbed some kettlebells and went to work.  Here is the result:

I used my Top Secret Nutrition Cardio Igniter – one scoop about 20 minutes before:

  • 10 minute warm-up on my bike
  • I did 2 warm-up sets of just one kettlebell of the following exercises and then I grabbed 2 and did the same exercises for a total of 5 rounds:
  • Kettlebell swing x 5
  • Kettlebell Press
  • Kettlebell Squat
  • Kettlebell (sumo-ish) Deadlift

I’m adding a quick video snippet to my Facebook page if you want to have a look… (if you listen closely, you’ll hear my daughter ask for some cheese… 😛 )

http://www.facebook.com/KristineLoockWnbfpro

The Grind

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Fitness
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Hard work, dirty work, the day-in and day-out “it ain’t pretty” work.  That’s where I’m at right now…”The Grind”.  I’m doing my best to put the work in, eat well, and rest when I can.  I’m in that phase where the hard work doesn’t quite show yet.  I’m not trying to lose fat but I am trying to improve my physique for next year without putting piles of slop and jiggle on my body.

I made the decision at the end of the summer to hold off on competing for this year.  It was just too rough of a year for me to even think about adding an additional stressor.  For those that follow me, you may already know that on Christmas of last year, I lost my mom.  That was a huge, devastating blow.  The year followed with ups and downs with my father’s health, a new business for me, and some nagging injuries…my head was just not in the game.  And for those of you that compete, you know that if you’re not into it, it’s a struggle and can be completely miserable.

So, stay tuned folks…I’m going to do my best to keep updating this blog with recipes, workouts, tips, fun, and anything else fitness related.  If there is anything in particular you would like me to write about, please drop me a note in the comments!

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog.  I’ve been fighting a serious case of writer’s block…oh well, it happens.  I’ve also been struggling a bit with getting motivated to get my workouts in.  My best time to workout is first thing in the morning but with all the craziness of the summer:  work schedule, kids, etc. my workout time is never the same from day to day.  Most of my workouts have been at home as well which has forced me to be a bit creative at times.  With limited time, limited equipment, and constant interruptions from my kids, I’ve found that performing circuits is the best way to get in both my weights and cardio/conditioning in a shorter amount of time.

Here’s today’s workout I performed with emphasis on back and biceps:

10 minute warm-up on bike

Perform the following circuit of exercises 4 times through with as little rest as possible (use weight heavy enough that the last few reps are tough):

  • Pull-ups x 10
  • DB Curls x 10
  • Kettlebell Swing x 20
  • 2-Arm DB Row x 10
  • DB Reverse Curls x 10
  • Jump Rope x 50
  • Kettlebell Pullover x 15
  • In & Out Band Curls x 20 (Alternate curling band in toward your chest and out to the side keeping elbows locked in at your sides)
  • Fast feet on bottom step of staircase x 50
  • Single-Arm T-Bar Row with Barbell x 15 each side

 

After performing this circuit:

  • DB Back Flye 2 x 15
  • Band Straight Arm Pulldown 2 x 20
  • TRX Inverted Rows x 100 (as many sets as it takes to complete 100:  50 reps with neutral grip and 50 reps with pronated grip)

Finish the workout with 10 minutes of Jump Rope…well, in my case today, I got another 10 seconds of cardio when I walked into the giant spider web that was across the gate of my fence 😛

Try it and let me know how you do!

Have A Little Fun With Your Cardio

Posted: July 25, 2014 in Fitness, Fun
Tags:

I am definitely not one to do the same workout over and over again.  I think that’s why I’m not a big fan of traditional cardio.  There’s just something about being on the same machine for more than a few minutes that bores the crap out of me.  If I do machines, I do mix it up with intervals or do a mix of machines to reduce the boredom.  I also do a lot of non-traditional types of cardio:  barbell complexes, circuits, battle ropes, etc.  But I still like to add a little fun to my cardio, so here’s what I did today.

Got a deck of cards?  Me neither…lol.  I knew I had a deck somewhere but God knows what my daughters did with it or even if it was a complete set.  With some quick thinking, I searched the Google Play store and found a simple Deck of cards app.  Perfect!

I assigned an exercise to each suit.  You can make it any exercise you want…the body part you were working on or something completely different.  It’s totally up to you!  Here were my choices for today:

Hearts:  Bodyweight Squats

Clubs:  Single-arm DB Snatch

Spades:  2-arm Kettlebell Swing

Diamonds:  Deck Squats (this is where you squat down, butt to the floor, roll back with knees tucked in, roll forward and then stand up) – for a little extra oomph, I made them Deck Jump Squats! 😀

Each numbered card gives you the number of reps (2-10) and I assigned the King, Queen, and Jack 15 reps, and Aces 20 reps.

Set your timer (I did 20 minutes at the end of my resistance workout), grab the top card or swipe the app, and go!  Keeping shuffling through the cards taking a rest only if you need it until your time is up.  I must admit, this was the most fun I’ve had with cardio in a long time!

Leg Circuit

Posted: July 17, 2014 in Fitness
Tags: , ,

I have found that one of the most difficult workouts to complete at home successfully is legs.  When most people think of a leg workout (myself included), they think of heavy squats, leg presses, leg extension, etc.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I could safely clean and press the amount of weight I would want to squat at home.  I certainly don’t have a fancy leg press or leg extension machine at home either.

So, my favorite way to do legs at home is to complete a circuit and utilize a lot of unilateral moves.  The following is the circuit I completed at home today using only a few kettlebells and a step.  It took me about 1 hour to complete 4 total rounds (including interruptions from my kids, the phone, and a few curious bees)…

IMAG3604-1

All exercises were done back-to-back with little-to-no rest.  I used 15 reps for all of the exercises with the exception of the medicine ball squats (20 reps).  So, grab your Top Secret Nutrition Pump Igniter or Cardio Igniter (’cause either one will do!), warm-up and GO!

  • Kettlebell (KB) Goblet Squat
  • KB Stiff-Legged Deadlift
  • KB Sumo Deadlift
  • KB Step-Up
  • KB Bulgarian Split Squat
  • KB Deficit Reverse Lunge
  • Bodyweight Unilateral Box Squat
  • Bodyweight Squat with Medicine Ball Squeeze (medicine ball between knees, fast reps – if you drop the ball, start over! :-P)
  • KB Calf Raise Farmer’s Walk (about 50′ x 2)

Take a few minutes between each circuit to rest and complete 2-4 circuits total.  It may not be heavy but I was certainly sore afterward!

If you decide to give it a try, let me know how it goes!

I can’t believe that we’re halfway into July already!  I’ve been squeezing in my home workouts whenever and however I can with my kids home this summer.  Today I’m going to share with you one of my “quickies”.  I had about 25-30 minutes to get something done and I wanted to make sure I hit a little bit of everything.  Weights, cardio, upper body, lower body, core, and a few drills for fun.  I wanted to keep the intensity high the entire time so after downing my Cardio Igniter from Top Secret Nutrition, I strung together a quick warm-up, 4 bouts of Tabata, and some drills at the end.

Warm-up: 2-3 minutes of jog in place and dynamic stretches (I wrote another blog on the dynamic warm-up if you’re interested:  https://fitgirlkris.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/the-dynamic-warm-up/ )

Tabata #1 – Lower Body Focus (a quick reminder of Tabata – it is 20 seconds of work alternated with 10 seconds of rest and performed for 4 minutes.  This equals 8 total “rounds” of exercise)

  • 2 rounds of Goblet Squat (I used a 35# Kettlebell)
  • 2 rounds of Kettlebell Swings
  • 2 rounds of Jump Squats
  • 2 rounds of Pop Squats

Tabata #2 – Upper Body Focus (I wanted to focus mostly on shoulders on this particular day)

  • 2 rounds of DB Lateral Raises
  • 2 rounds of DB Bent-Over Raises
  • 2 rounds of Push Press
  • 2 rounds of “V” Push-Ups

Tabata #3 – Cardio/Conditioning Focus

  • 2 rounds of Battle Ropes
  • 2 rounds of Jump Rope
  • 2 rounds of Jumping Jacks
  • 2 rounds of High Knees

Tabata #4 – Core Focus

  • 2 rounds of Mountain Climbers
  • 2 rounds of Burpees
  • 2 rounds of Plank with Arm Raises
  • 2 rounds of Plank with Leg Abduction Hops

Rest about 1 minute or so between each Tabata bout.

To finish the workout I did a few laps up and down my street of the following:

  • 1 lap of forward jogging
  • 1 lap of backward jogging
  • 2 laps of lateral shuffle
  • 2 laps of cariocas

Make sure to cool down and stretch for a few minutes and you’re done!

There really is no need to spend hours at the gym.  Sometimes I don’t even get to the gym…I’ve created quite the home gym over the last few years and to me, spending money on key pieces of equipment makes me much happier than spending money on shoes and handbags (don’t get me wrong, I love those too)…

Monday was a super-busy day for me (as usual) between work, family, dinner, softball games, etc.  I had just over one hour during a break in the action to squeeze a workout in at home.  I saved a few minutes afterwards for a shower…you’re welcome.. 😉

I used an adjustable dumbbell set and a few kettlebells (but you can used dumbbells for the entire workout if you want):

I performed all the exercises in the order listed, took a 1 minute break after the end of the circuit, and completed 4 total circuits.  I did a quick light aerobic warm-up for about 5 minutes:

  • Dumbbell Curl to Overhead Press x 15 reps
  • Heavy Kettlebell Swings x 20 reps
  • Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks x 15 reps
  • Renegade Row x 10 reps each side
  • Unilateral Bent-Over Row with Kettlebell x 15 reps each
  • Burpees x 10 reps
  • Reverse Lunges x 10 reps each
  • Russian Twist x 20 reps
  • Unilateral Floor Bridge x 15 reps each
  • Plank with Alternate Leg Lifts x 10 reps each
  • Kettlebell Deadlift x 15 reps
  • Unilateral Kettlebell Thruster x 10 reps each
  • 3-way Delt Raises x 10 reps each (Front, Lateral, and Bent-Over)

That completes 1 cycle.  Rest for about a minute to grab some water and catch your breath and then go again!  This type of workout gives you the best of both worlds (as long as you use a weight that is challenging).  Not only are you stimulating each major muscle group, but your heart-rate remains elevated for the entire hour for that fat-blasting effect.  I try to do a workout like this about once per week in between my other “standard” weightlifting routines.  If you decide to try it, let me know how it goes!

 

Hey guys and girls…I know I’ve been quiet the last few weeks but I’m doing my best to try and catch up.  If you’re in the mood for a ramble, read on…if not, I encourage you to hit the back button.

They say “things happen for a reason” right?  I am often baffled by what that reason ends up being.  In a nutshell, the last few months of my life have been a sure test of my real “strength”.  Some of you may know that I’ve been dealing with a lot of personal stuff since the end of last December:  I quit a job, my mom passed away suddenly, my father was in the hospital, I started a new job, I’m in the process of starting my own business, I had a wrist injury, and just last week my grandmother passed away (deep breath and sigh…).  I feel like I’ve spent more time in funeral homes and hospitals than doing what I love…training.  All while trying to keep a smile on my face for the sake of my children.

I can’t believe that it is already May.  A few blogs back I was ramping up to lean out a bit for Spring.  Well, it just hasn’t really happened yet.  I’ve done the best I could, but I’ll admit, I’ve struggled.  Early workouts, late workouts, home workouts, and really short/interrupted/distracted workouts…all of these are absolutely better than nothing but I lacked the focus and intensity that I am used to.  The same deal with nutrition…instead of being 95+% on point, I’ll give myself a score of around 88%…

A lot of people ask me when my next contest is and the truth is, I don’t know…I am certainly not at the point where I feel that I can add the stress of a contest diet and deadline to my already full plate.  But for whatever reason, this week I feel like I’m starting to crawl out of my hole a bit.  So, let’s call my Spring Cut a do-over and I’ll check in with you soon!