inspiration

How to determine what workout will WORK for you…

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This is probably one of my all time favorite topics.  I love trying to help people determine what will help them get into the BEST shape of their life.  Whether you have no weight to lose and want to tone up, or lose 100lbs, you should follow a few basics in order to determine what works best for you.  Bottom line is this…if you have been doing the same program for a while now with the same results, you may need a change.

#1.  Do you put muscle on easily?  I do NOT fit into the “puts muscle on easy” club.  I have always been one of those people that even when I lift, I still look a little “softer.”  This is good and bad.  It’s good because I really didn’t “bulk up” in college when I was lifting my heaviest.  It’s bad because I have to work harder to gain muscle when I want it.  If you fall into either category you may need to alter the amount of weight you are lifting to get the results that you want.

#2.  What look am I going for? I am not in competition.  I don’t want to look like a body builder.  But, I do want to look lean and toned.  I want to look feminine, but strong.  A nice balance would be ideal.  If you know what your goals are then you will have a better idea to what you need to do to get there.  If I decided in question #1 that I put muscle on easier and I want to bulk up then lifting heavy is what I need to do.  Or if I want the more feminine and “cut” muscles then I need to lift lighter weights for higher repetition.  Now, what’s funny about that is that I am not a muscle girl.  So I can lift heavier in order to get the right amount of toned.

#3.  Cardio vs. Resistance Training?  If you have been following this blog for a while you know my stance on this.  Though I love to go out for a nice run every now and then, running, or plain cardio is NOT the best route if you are trying to cut fat and tone  your body.  It just isn’t.  Your body needs muscle to burn fat.  That is just the science of it.  Any way you slice it, to get the best out of your workouts to burn fat you MUST put on muscle.  If it weren’t the case every episode of Biggest Loser would look the same.  They would diet and get on the elliptical machine and treadmill.  You see them on the ground, moving their bodies around, and lifting things the majority of the time am I right?? Cardio isn’t the key.  Get out of your comfort zone and try something with resistance training or weights.

Let me show you a few pictures that really caught people’s eye recently.  On the left I was only running. I ran like 4 times a week for about 30 to 40 minutes.  On the right is my “after” picture where I have done mostly resistance training.  Weight lifting, yoga, and circuits have gotten me to the body on the right.  I really only do “cardio” one day a week.

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#4.  It HAS to be fun.  You don’t always have to be miserable during your workouts.  One of the biggest misconception about working out is that it’s torture.  You are in control over what workouts you do.  I get a lot of clients that tell me how much they love Zumba.  That is a great and fun workout!!!  I’ve tested out Zumba classes, however for me it just wasn’t enough.  I struggled with some of the moves and it was hard for me to get my heart rate up.  Luckily, there are other options out there if “dance” is your thing.

***The best way to cut fat is always to improve your diet, but when you are done dieting you want their to be something fabulous for everyone to see.  And that is NOT the look of loose skin.  Putting muscle on as you diet is the absolute key.

Now, here are a few programs that I recommend.  These are workouts  I have PERSONALLY tested out and loved.  These are great workouts for STRENGTH and TONING!!!!!  They will help you cut the fat!

Les Mills PUMP

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***This is basically an at-home version of “Body Pump” barbell class that is common at the gym.  If you’ve never tried a body pump class you need to get to a gym and try this out immediately.  You will be hooked.  It is an amazing way to SCULPT your body and feel strong again.  I really love that you can determine how much weight to use too.  This makes it a workout for anyone.  If you are in either group, the one that puts muscle on easy or the one that struggles, you can alter your workout accordingly.  Those muscle builders can put a light amount of weight on the bar.  Those that need to go heavier can do that too.  The main attraction to Les Mills PUMP is the “rep effect.”  You get a ton of reps in during the workout.  This is the workout that has changed my body.

Chalean Extreme

chalean-banner***I like this workout as a start up to those new to lifting weights.  The way that Chalene Johnson breaks it down into three phases is amazing.   Burn, Push & Lean are the three phases that help you get the sculpted look you are after.

 Turbofire

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***If dancing is your thing this workout combines Dance moves with kickboxing in an intense, but forget that you are working out type of atmosphere.  Another Chalene Johnson program and one of my all time favorites.

Jackie Warner DVDs

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***Two of my favorite workouts.  They are quick and effective.  The downside is that it’s not a “program” so  you are doing the same thing OVER and OVER again.  But, still a great piece to put into your collection.

If you ever have questions about what workouts will work the best for your body type just ask.  Not everyone is the same.  Not everyone LIKES the same things.  Do your research and see what is available.  Know your goals and you will be more successful!

 

Haley Signature

 

Where do you get your workout clothes??

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I get the question about my workout clothes ALL the time.

I have a lot.  Maybe some might call it a slight addiction.  However, at least I have an excuse.  I love fitness AND I’m a P.E. teacher.  That’s a huge WIN WIN for me!!!!

So today I would like to share some of my favorite workout pieces and how I like to style them.

1.  The Cowl Neck/Turtle Neck.

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This amazing turtleneck just screams winter to me.  I love the feel of a soft turtleneck this time of year.  And matching them up with leggings may be my absolute fave.  Both items above can be found on Victoria’s Secret website.  Did you know they have an amazing “active” line?? They do.

2.  Leggings

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Yes…my absolute favorite thing in the world to workout in, AND lounge in.  Hello polka dots.  If I could wear leggings every day for the rest of my life I may not be sad about it.  They don’t move around when you work out.  That is why I love them.  Cropped or long, I must have them.  All of the above are also from Victoria’s Secret.  I may have a slight obsession with the polka dots and the color block.  Merry Christmas to me.

3.  Jackets

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Now this is more for work than actually to work out in.  I absolutely love this jacket.  I love that it looks like a vest, but is really a full jacket.  I love the colors.  It is so feminine. I am obsessed.  This is what I want to wear every day.  Victoria’s Secret…again.

4.  Graphic Tees

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Under Armour has some really nice graphic tees.  I wear a lot of these to work.  I work at a middle school.  Though I would love to dress head to toe in Victoria’s Secret at all times, being appropriate at school is a must.  I like to motivate AND teach at the same time.  These kinds of t-shirts help me do just that.  Under Armour also has a fantastic college and team line as well.  See if your team is on there.

5.  Shoes

 

 

nordstromSeriously…these shoes make me want to faint.  I am so obsessed with workout shoes.  I have always been a Nike shoe girl.  I think I always will be.  But with shoes like these it’s not hard to steal my heart.  All of these are sold at Nordstrom.

6.  Gear

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This is the type of stuff I like to work out in.  Not exactly heavy, but not too light either.  These types of pullovers are great for the cool weather.  Cute AND comfortable.  Again, Victoria’s Secret.

I am hoping that you have enjoyed my favorite workout pieces.  Join us tomorrow on Facebook and Instagram for our #WWWW.  Every Wednesday we share “What We Wore Wednesday” workout edition.  We love seeing what you work out in.  Join us so we can see your cute gear too.

Haley Signature

 

 

Pregnancy Circuit

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Today I wanted to share a pregnancy circuit that you can try…even if you’re not pregnant you can do this and add more weight or make it higher impact.

These 11 different exercises can get your heart rate up while working muscles to help maintain strength.  Notice I say maintain…you lose muscle like crazy while pregnant and certainly won’t be building muscle considering most of your protein is going into building tissue for your baby, and that’s okay!  Just make sure you add some resistance to keep those muscles toned as much as possible.

Use a timer app on your phone, like “Circuit Trainer”  that will alert you when to switch exercises.  You can input the times for 45 seconds on with a 15 second rest in between each exercise…making it 1 minute.  One time through will be 11 minutes, 2 times through will be 22 minutes, and 3 will of course be 33!  You choose how long you want to go.  Don’t forget that you also choose the intensity.  Listen to your pregnant bodies and keep it low impact.

(Sorry if the pics are blurry.  I took them from a video of me actually doing the exercises.)

Here it is:

High Knees (slow and steady)

High Knees (slow and steady)

Bird Dog.  Hold for 2 counts and switch sides.

Bird Dog. Hold for 2 counts and switch sides.

Lunges. Weights optional.

Lunges. Weights optional.

Fall squats.  Jump feet together lightly and reach high.

Fall squats. Jump feet together lightly and reach high.

Bucks. *ONLY IF YOU CAN STILL LAY ON YOUR BACK. Raise hips to the ceiling and squeeze butt and hamstrings.

Bucks. *ONLY IF YOU CAN STILL LAY ON YOUR BACK. Raise hips to the ceiling and squeeze butt and hamstrings.

Kettle bell swings. Use a jug of water if you don't have a weight :)

Kettle bell swings. Use a jug of water if you don’t have a weight :)

Push ups.  At the level you choose.

Push ups. At the level you choose.

Mountain climbers.  Go at a steady pace.  Your shoulders will be BURNING!

Mountain climbers. Go at a steady pace. Your shoulders will be BURNING!

Squats.  Weight optional.

Squats. Weight optional.

Plank ups.  Move from push up position to plank position and back again.  Make sure you switch the arm you lead with.

Plank ups. Move from push up position to plank position and back again. Make sure you switch the arm you lead with.

Side lunge.  Switch sides at the 20 second mark or stay on the same leg for the whole time and switch legs the next round.  Weight optional.

Side lunge. Switch sides at the 20 second mark or stay on the same leg for the whole time and switch legs the next round. Weight optional.

I hope you try this (whether you are pregnant or not) and let me know what you think!  It’s a great way to mix up your workouts!  And it makes the time go by so quickly!

Happy Circuit Training!

Signature Maggie