Squatober Day 4

How’s it going everybody? You may remember that October is Squat Month. It’s our first rest-day, a very important day and one that I look forward to when I’m struggling. Hand weights in the window

The first three days were surprisingly simple, but I know it’s a long way to go to 200 squats. The best thing about this workout for me is that I can do it while the coffee is brewing. A little warm up stretch and I’m at the barre (or, in my case, the stove handle) to bust out some squats. And you can customize it too, using weights if you want the extra challenge. Personally – I am not using weights for this month’s challenge… getting to 200 squats will be difficult enough! My poor green hand weights are feeling slightly neglected. 

If you fell of the bandwagon this week, don’t give up! Use your rest-day as a catch-up day instead. Don’t beat yourself up over not making a workout, because that kind of self-loathing will only blow up in your face. We’re only human, after all. We have obligations and tasks and sometimes, darn it, we just don’t want to do squats. No one understands this more than I. But get back up on that horse. The future-you will thank you for it, I guarantee. 

If you are on-schedule with the challenge, good on you! Don’t do any squats today. Your muscles need time to recover. This is a whole ‘nother post for another day, but it boils down to the fact that over straining muscles is high-risk and low-reward and, in fact, could do so much damage that you could not recover. TAKE A REST DAY, DAMMIT. However, I will encourage you to use your rest day from squats to work on some light-training somewhere else. In my case I busted out those poor, neglected hand weights and gave them some love. Not too much, just some hammer-curls. Just don’t over work your system – you might regret it.

 

 

October is SQUAT MONTH

I’ve been looking into doing squats ever since Miley’s buns made national news.

Today I embark on a 30 day squat challenge, inspired by this post on Popsugar. You may have seen the following infographic floating around on the pinterest-sphere.

Image

It is print-friendly and has a place of honor on my mirror this week. Can I work my way up to 200 squats? Let’s find out!

Get Pumped with a Playlist

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The easiest thing to keep me motivated is to create run-specific playlists. I plug in my headphones as I’m heading out the door, activate MapMyRun, and hit the road.

Only have time for a twenty minute run? Here’s my current selection when I’m short on time:

  1. The Big Bang Theory Theme, Bare Naked Ladies (Song 1:45|Total time 1:45) Not my favorite show, but one of my favorite bands – and it really makes me put it all in perspective. Really, what are the odds that I exist? I should make the best of it and treat my body right so that I can enjoy life as long as possible. And live life as if there were laughtrack during every awkward silence.
  2. Applause, Lady Gaga (Song 3:32|Total time 5:17) Now here’s where my inner-diva shines. Applause is one giant reference hide-and-seek and each time I listen to it I find something new to contemplate. I think it’s Lady Gaga’s finest work so far, and I admire her power. This song pumps me up and releases the fitness monster inside of me.
  3. Get Lucky, Daft Punk (Song 4:09|Total time 9:26) Motivation can be found in the strangest places. Simply put, Daft Punk’s Get Lucky makes me feel sexy. All that blood pumping and such. Oh, don’t judge me – you feel it too.
  4. Can’t Hold Us, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ray Dalton (Song 4:19|Total time 13:45) This song makes me feel like a queen. I’m on top of the world and nothing can hold me back. Helps me keep up the pace where I usually lag.
  5. 22, Taylor Swift (Song 3:52| 17:37) I can’t be ashamed of it, this song makes me feel young. At this point, I’m feeling good and this song enhances that feeling. It invigorates me and there is nothing wrong with that!
  6. Call me Maybe, Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox (Song 2:55|Total time 20:32) Gotta throw in the wild-card. The Carly Rae Jepsen version of this song is a guilty pleasure of mine, but I can’t stop listening to Scott Bradlee & his ragtime/vintage-styled tunes. This one brings it all home, and wraps up my workout.

Of course another great option is Podcasts. I enjoy listening to This American Life on my long Saturday run/walks. Fair warning though, when running to a podcast I can’t seem to keep pace. I think podcasts do better for me on a treadmill or in strength training.

What about you? What are your favorite running songs? Leave us a comment below.

WAKE UP! Ahabeshogonoto MAKE UP!

I’m not the earliest of risers, but I am never late. Unfortunately that gives me little time to enjoy the morning and get the most out of it. If I could just wake up an hour early I could have time to enjoy my coffee, eat a healthy breakfast, maybe even do a little yoga or take a short bike ride.

So my challenge for the week of July 8-14 is to be an early riser! Look at all the things I’ll have time to do!

  • Brew/Drink a cup of coffee
  • Eat a delicious breakfast of eggs and toast maybe. Or even make some “home-fries” potatoes (a recently perfected recipe, I might add! If you’re lucky, I might share it!)
  • Look my best. Usually I wake up with just enough time to throw on some clothes and head out the door.
  • Do some ten-minute yoga on Netflix with my new yoga mat! Maybe even light a candle and meditate/pray.
  • Read a chapter from my book! (This week I’m reading the first book in George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series)
  • Do some reps on my hand weights.
  • Pack a lunch!
  • Read the news!
  • Blog!

These are things I try to find time to do during the day,  but don’t always squeeze it all in. If I wake up at 7 (which is when my alarm goes off anyway, by the way – I just press snooze!) and get the heck out of bed, I can accomplish these things.

Do I go to bed to late at night? Yes. Am I a grouch/lazy when I first wake up? You bet. Can I do it? Try and stop me.

I made a new ringtone for my alarm using System of a Down’s Chop Suey. If that won’t start my engines, I don’t know what will.

Join me for this week’s challenge! Wake up an hour earlier and see what you can accomplish! Let me know in the comments below!

Don’t fall off of the Band Wagon!

Okay, so you’ve been a good little fitness monster. You’ve tried to be active, you’re eating healthy foods, and you haven’t over-indulged on chocolate since 2009. Good for you! Now get off of the computer and go for another lap, asshole.

The rest of us search for motivation. We procrastinate. We make bargains with ourselves. We write blog posts instead of hopping on the bike.

It’s really mind over matter – and there is a lot of matter, don’t get me wrong. But do not underestimate the power of the human mind. We went to the moon on less technology that is in your smartphone. We can create cures and perform surgeries. We can fly long distances in airplanes made of 875,000 lbs of metal and glass. All of these things are really amazing – and they all exist because someone thought them up.

So think yourself thin. Make up your mind to be fit. Don’t make excuses for yourself. Own up to your own shortcomings and strive to make them disappear.

Let’s go for a swim, shall we?

An App a Day Keeps the Fitness Monster Away!

Weight loss apps are a dime a dozen and 99¢ in the app store. Have a smart phone? Here are a couple of helpful apps to help you reach your goal.

Isn't he so cute?Weightbot is a helpful little fellow and has become my personal favorite weigh-in app. Just enter your weight daily and see your trends get plotted on a eye-pleasing graph. You can set weight gain/loss goals, check your BMI, watch your progress, and view interesting analytical data about your weight changes. The app is brilliantly brought to us by TapBots.

He’s just so cute with those blue eyes staring at you, staring deep into your soul, making you compelled to tell him the truth. He’s helpful too. Just a quick toggle on the scale and he records your weight. Rotate your phone and he presents you with all these pretty graphs:

Weightbot screenshots

The only thing it’s missing is a push-notification reminder, but that’s hardly a complaint. Weightbot is a must-have even with the price tag of $1.99. You download it in iTunes here.

Livestrong.com's My PlateLiveStrong.com’s My Plate app is the perfect calorie tracker.  It has an ever-expanding database of more than 1.3 million foods for nutritional information including fat, sugar, carbohydrates, cholesterol and more. It syncs with multiple devices and the livestrong.com website. Let me tell you, syncing with the livestrong.com website is awesome. It connects you to a community, presents awesome graphs of your data, and makes the tedious task of calorie counting like a game. You get achievements and everything.

My Plate's interface

It’s got a ticket price of $2.99 – but if you’ve got the three bucks to spare, it might make all the difference. You can download the full version here. Other calorie counting apps are not nearly as organized. There are some free ones out there though, so if the three bucks is breaking the bank, I would recommend the lite version of MyPlate – it’s ad supported and does not include synchronization between devices or with livestrong.com.

Have a suggestion for an app? Leave it below in comments, and we’ll check it out!

Biggest Loser Competition 2012

Hey gang! Time for the rules for our little competition. Don’t forget that win/lose the bet, we all win by becoming the best that we can be. This blog is to serve as motivation and communication. If you are interested in contributing, please let me know. Most of all I wish you good luck in your journey to becoming the best you. May the odds be ever in your favor!

1. Everyone that is competing needs to weigh in at the same place, on the same scale, at the same time. This keeps things consistent.

2. We are measuring the percent of body weight lost. The calculation is the take your actual weight (today) and subtract it form your initial weight. Then divide that number by your initial (starting) weight.

2. The first weigh in will be on June 19th at 6:00 pm

3. The final weigh in will be on October 19th at 6:00 pm

4. Weigh-in’s will occur weekly at 6:00 pm

5. There is a $20 registration fee which MUST be paid during your first weigh in.

6. You can join at any time during the first three weeks (but it will be harder to win)

7. The winner will be the person who loses the largest percentage of body weight. The grand prize is all the monies collected.