Archives for June 2014

Workout Playlist: Music Roulette

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So if you make a lot of workout playlists, you know it can be fun, but it can also be draining. You want to find tunes that are going to get you (or others) pumped up, motivated, and ready to work up a good sweat. You gotta find good stuff, but it gets annoying always buying new music or searching for new tunes. I was on a flight home from working in Texas and needed to make a new playlist. On the plane though, there’s no internet, so searching for new music just wasn’t going to happen. After looking through my iTunes library though I decided since there are 3000+ songs in there, I could make a playlist with the existing material. I did a random swipe down to see if anything good popped up… and got the idea for a playlist game, “Music Roulette.”

How it works: 

I started at the top of my song library and swiped my mouse trackpad once. Wherever in the library it lands, I have to choose one song from that screen. It shows about 25 – 30 songs at a time, depending on how big the window is, so there’s a bit to choose from. Here’s what my screen looked like:

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I chose Beyonce’s “Check On It.”

Next: After you’ve picked your first song, make 2 swipes and choose a song from that screen. Next song, make 3 swipes and so on. Then 4 swipes, then five, etc. An hour long playlist usually consists of about 16 songs, so the swipes will start covering some major ground on your library. When you hit the bottom of your list (if you do) just start swiping the opposite direction. You could change it up and swipe a new direction after each song you pick. These aren’t “rules” necessarily, just what I did today. You do what you want!

Notes: If you’ve got an entire screen of music that absolutely won’t work (e.g. I’ve got 63 of Edith Piaf’s songs, which are amazing, but not for a workout), you get one free scroll either direction!

Once you’ve got an hour’s worth of songs, then you’re free to put them in whichever order you’d like. I chose 14 “workout” songs and 2 slower “cool-down” songs for stretch time.

Here’s the final product of my Music Roulette:

Try it out and see what you come up with.
Happy Monday! No go get after it.
Be A BEAST!
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Texas, Here I Come!

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Two cities I’ve always wanted to check out, but have never been to, are Austin and San Antonio, Texas. I travel a lot for work, but don’t usually get to go southwest from Kentucky, as a few of our other instructors are near already. However, I’m FINALLY getting sent to Austin this weekend and couldn’t be more pumped. In addition, I have an extra free day now, so I get to cruise to San Antonio as well. #doublewhammy

I’ve had all kinds of restaurant/bar recommendations from friends so far: Uchi, Jackalope, La Condessa, and lots of BBQ places. I have no doubt it’s going to be an awesome time. I’ve got some colleagues that live there that I’ll get to see and am looking forward to just exploring. One of the best parts about traveling is getting to check out a new place and not be pressed for time. Plus, there’s just something about going South…

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Work and play… either way, I’m just looking forward to a fun weekend in Texas. Although I want an excuse to pack and wear my cowboy boots, it’s going to be a million degrees, so that one’s up for debate…

 

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Anybody live in Austin or San Antonio and have MUST see/do recommendations? Shoot!

Happy Friday!

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TRX Bootcamp Workout: 40/30/20/10

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It’s been a while since I’ve posted a workout, but this one is pretty fun! My man-friend did something similar with these reps a while back, then I started doing it for my workout occasionally, so I put this together for my bootcamp class. It’s great for your own workout, or to implement in your classes if you’re an instructor. It’s a lunge, squat, push, pull and you can add rotation/hinges if you want to complete the foundational movements. Give it to your classes and tell ’em, “From Ami, with love.”  ; )

How it works:

For an hour long class, you’ll want about 4 exercises. Make sure you have equipment enough for each participant (you can modify if you have limited equipment).

First Round: You do 40 reps of each of the 4 or 5 exercises.

2nd Round: You do 30 reps of each.

3rd Round: You do 20 reps.

4th Round: You do 10 reps of each. (This round is awesome!)

At the end of the workout, you will have done 100 reps of each, so 400 totals reps.

Rules: You can take rests during each set, but you must complete all the reps of one exercise before going on to another. (e.g. you can do 10 reps, rest, then another 10, rest, etc). You can use a partner for assistance, motivation, or partner work, but each person has to complete all their own reps. You’re not “sharing the load.”  You can switch the order in which you do the exercises each round, but you must complete all 4 exercises before moving on to the next round. (You must do all your “40s” before you can start on your “30s.”

 

The exercises I used:

TRX Lunge

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TRX Low Rows 

(feet or chest under the anchor point)

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TRX Pushup

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SandBell Slams

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This is about all you have time for in an hour long class (if you’re doing a proper warm-up and cool-down), but if you’re training a bunch of BEASTS, or you are one yourself, you can add a short running interval in between rounds. My Bootcampers had to run a quick lap around the building after each round.

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Notes: 

*Programming for equipment: Since I have 11 TRX Suspension Trainers, and 16 bootcampers this morning, I needed a couple exercises that were on different equipment or no equipment so everybody wouldn’t be waiting for space to open up. I chose 2 TRX exercises (lunges and low rows, 1 Sandbell (slams), and 2 with no equipment (pushups and run). Some people started with the run and slams to give others time to finish they lunges and rows then then switched around.

*It’s best to have people work with partners or work on their own during this time. In a class setting, everybody’s going to be working at different speeds based on their fitness level. Let them do their thing, you cruise around and coach.

*If you do the lunges: they’ve got to do that number on lunges on EACH leg, so that almost counts as an additional exercise since it’s going to take twice the time. I recommend doing only 4 exercises so that people can fully complete all 4 rounds. The more exercises you add, the longer it will take to complete. The number of exercises can be changed based on time allotted.

* These numbers aren’t set in stone, I just like that they equal 100. They can be adjusted to help with participants’ abilities or class time. Also, my first-time bootcampers had the option of doing just 3 rounds, since a lot of them were new to TRX lunges and going slowly to complete them with great technique. They started with the 30s round, then went to the 20s and 10s. Completing 60 reps of each is still challenging and they were still able to finish the whole thing.

*On the TRX Suspension Trainer, try varying the body positions each round so you’re getting different planes of motion for the lunges and rows! The SandBell Slams can also go from center slams to rainbow slams to mix things up and get some more frontal plane action.

Have FUN!

Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

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So I just found out Churchill sees ghosts…

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Back story: My roomie is away at her Grad School intensive this summer which means I’ve got the house to myself… along with my dog, Tango, her dog, Churchill, and her 3 cats. Since I travel nearly weekly for work, we’ve got a lot of house/dog-sitters lined up to take care of our crew whenever we’re away.

Sunday: I get back from my trip, walk in the door, and let the dogs out of their rooms to go outside, as per our usual routine. Tango heads for the door, Churchill comes down the hallway and stops. He won’t take a step farther. I assumed maybe he didn’t need to go and let him hang there. I go about my unpacking and start to prep for my work week and later realize he hadn’t left that spot in the hall. I try to coax him into the living room to hang, but her refuses, so I let it go. Later, before we head to sleep, I tell the dogs to go outside one last time. Tango heads out, Churchill stands up, but won’t move. I grab him by the collar and give him a little tug, which usually gets him going, and he plants his feet down, and tries with all his might to stay. I pull harder and he blots through the living room, through the kitchen, and outside. I have to do the same thing to get him back through to his room later.

Monday: He does the same routine in the morning to go outside. He even passes on his food to keep from going through the living room again. I text our house sitter, Kristin to see if something happened to him in the living room over the weekend that’s making him act weird. Churchill has been known to be scared of the vacuum cleaner, the broom, my hair brush, and a pair of boots, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he was suddenly scared of the chair.

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Tuesday: I was hoping he’d snap out of it by that point, but he still hadn’t so I text my roomie to see if he’s done anything like this in the past (so I don’t start freaking myself out). This was her response. Pardon the language in my response…

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Then she sent me a video of him acting the SAME way a couple years ago. It was identical to how he was acting that day: him starting to come into the living room, but then backing away, over and over again!

My backstory: I love scary movies, but the downside of watching a million of them is that my mind just goes there when weird things start happening. The sounds of the cats playing in the house at night? That’s definitely a ghost trying to screw with me and get me to leave the house. The dogs barking like crazy outside? Some predator is now mere steps from my house trying to steal me. Tango’s paws scraping the side of his kennel as he’s running in his sleep? HOLY SHIT, there’s a blood thirsty psychopath trying to get in my door and is going to chop me up into little pieces!!! A neighbor knocking on the front door to say hello? That’s a serial killer planning to murder me. For sure. Soooooo you see, my mind tends to put itself in defense mode from scary movie scenarios way faster than I can stop it.

Back to Tuesday afternoon: I tried to not consider any supernatural explanations from the start (I’m an excellent compartmentalizer, so this was easy to block out) but NOW, after those texts messages and the video… I just went from calm to FREAKED THE EFF OUT in about 5 seconds. I refused to accept that though, so I didn’t speak to any “it.”

Last night: After another whole day of Churchill acting weird, crying a little and totally freaking me out further, I decided to let him sleep in my room with me and Tango. But as I put his bed in my room and tried to get him to come there, he refused again. I tried pulling his collar to get him into the doorward, but he hunkered down and started shaking. WHAT THE HELL?! I thought he was freaked out by the living room doorway, not MINE.

soooooo I asked “it” to please leave.

You feel really good about yourself when you’re talking out loud to your house (NOT), but there was no other option at that point. I’ll be damned if I was going to go to try to sleep feeling like there was “something” in our house, let alone in my bedroom.

Today: Everything’s back to normal.

 

Awesome.

Anybody else experienced something like that?

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Go OUTSIDE & play! Burning calories out of the gym.

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It’s summer, bitches! The best time of the year to be outside, run, jump, sweat, PLAY. After such a brutally cold and long winter, I’m welcoming these warm temperatures and sunshine with open arms… and lots of tank tops for a great tan. ; )

This week I’ve been using my heart rate monitor on a regular basis to track most of my activities outside. I use the Polar H7  heart rate monitor. It’s got bluetooth capability so it syncs with the Polar Beat app on my iPhone. It’s my jam! Because it uses my actual stats and heart rate, I get an accurate account of how much work I’m doing (compared with those fitness wristbands that just have movement sensors and give a way over-the-top estimate of work done ). The Siri-sounding voice relays my work back to me in calories burned, time spent in which zone, mileage, and pace. She’s becoming an additional workout buddy…

Here’s how me and my actual human buddies have been getting after it outside lately, and how many calories I’m burning in the process:

Hill sprints up Dog Hill at Cherokee Park

w/ Crystal and Myhria

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We did 7 sprints in 40 minutes (our goal is 10). I’ve been meaning to wear my heart rate monitor during sprints, but I’ve kept forgetting it the last couple times. I finally remembered to bring it this day, but  forgot to hit “Start.” Details…  I finally remembered after the 4th sprint. Still burned a lot in those last 3 sprints though! We had to take longer recoveries by that point… Estimated total of 500+ calories burned for the session.

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Tennis with Taylor

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Or maybe we should just call it “hitting/chasing tennis balls back and forth.” Since we didn’t remember the rules of the game, lack hand/eye coordination and overall skill, this workout didn’t spend as much time in the “hard” heart rate training zone, but we still burned calories! AND we got to wear our Tennis Skirts. #score We ended up just trying to hit the ball back and forth in an alphabet rally,  receiving one letter per hit. “A! B! C!” etc. We didn’t let ourselves leave until we made it all the way to Z without losing the ball… Suffice it to say there’s plenty of room for improvement. At least we’re equally terrible…

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Walk/Run with Tango & Churchill

Although we’re still working on the” running as a group” thing… The 3 of us are doing a good job of getting our workout in first thing in the morning. We’re all going together! We get some calories burned, some energy out (so I can work in peace through the morning), and have generally a good time. I think the most challenging part is just trying to get them leashed up and out the door in a calm, orderly fashion. I’ve got to find some new commands to drill into their brains to get them ready to leave… the current routine  is not as smooth as I’d like it to be:

Exhibits A-C

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Our “run” isn’t always a run the whole time.  Thank goodness for correction collars. I don’t like to use them, but it’s nice to have something to get their attention when they’re going ape-shit running past a fence them from a backyard with 3 other dogs. PURE CHAOS ensues when we go past these houses. Unfortunately, there are a shit ton of dogs living on the 2 mile loop we do in our neighborhood. Fortunately there are lots of people watering their grass first thing in the morning, so we get to run through lots of sprinklers and get cooled off in this muggy weather. #GladGame

Check out the heart rate graph at the bottom of the 2nd photo. You can tell when we had to stop to pee/poo/bark at other animals. Them… not me.

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moving on…

 TRX workout in the park.

photophoto from Taylor’s Instagram.

I love my  TRX Force App. I’ve talked about this app before, but I really love not having to think about what I’m going to do and being able to knock out a workout in only 30 minutes  Combine that with being able to set up outside in the park or the backyard, and you’ve doubled my happiness. 30 minutes, 300 calories. Boom.

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Moral of the story: You don’t have to stay cooped up inside the gym, just to get a good workout in. Don’t miss the sun! You can still burn calories by simply running around or grabbing a buddy to learn a new sport with. How are you getting after your workouts this summer? Getting outside any? I hope so!

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Book Buzz: Fat Attack – A Review & Giveaway!

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My friend and colleague, Nardia Norman has written an excellent book for anybody wanting to turn themselves into a fat-burning machine! I read this book in just over a day and from a trainer’s standpoint, LOVED it. Like most fat-loss books, it break down the key behaviors that one must address in order to make true change in their bodies but this one does an amazing job of putting it into concise, simple terms; no fitness or medical jargon!

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I asked my mother to read it, from a consumer standpoint, and let me know if she felt that it was as easy to understand as I thought it was. She agreed. She even had this to say about it:

“We all know what we need to do when it come to better heath. The question is “why don’t we do it?”  I believe the answer lies our or fear of failure and the lack of proper nutritional health knowledge.  Why bother to lose five pounds because it just means gaining back seven.  Why bother  slimming your stomach or thighs when winter is right around the corner and you will probably just lay around and get those inches back? Why even bother?  It’s easier to eat what we want to make our selves feel better in the moment.  This book helps you to understand how brief that moment really is and how emotional eating only takes us deeper into the unhealthy eating spiral.  This book teaches how to slowly, but surely tunnel back up to normal, healthy eating habits that make us physically and emotionally function at our best. 

Weight loss is just a number on a scale.  What truly matters is what we actually lose.  Have you ever wondered why your new diet helped you to lose a few pounds early on, but then it quit working?  It was probably because you were losing water and much needed muscle, but not the fat we need to lose to stay healthy.  The book teaches you that some fat is needed to protect our vital organs, but too much leads to many other health related problems such as type 2 diabetes and even early death due to bad nutrition.

This book, “Fat Attack” teaches us how to to break our bad eating habits slowly and a step at a time   After all, we all gain weight slowing and there is no instant way to lose it overnight.  These baby steps along with the knowledge of how the body processes all that we put into it, especially when it comes to our fat intake will lead to better health. As the writer stated, “Small positive changes repeated over time equals big rewarding changes in the long term.”

This book helped me to understand that we all need some sugar, carbs and even some fat in our diets.  It also taught me how the body uses fat to protect our internal organs and how much fat is too much.  Most importantly, it taught me how the body functions better with more muscle mass and less fat. I’ll never look at carbs, protein, high fructose corn syrup, and especially fat in the same way again. “

Thanks for your review, MOM!

You can use this book to help you on your own fat-loss mission, or if you’re a fitness pro, use it to share with your clients. It’s a great resource to help your clients understand WHY we tell them what we do!

*Added bonus: Nardia is from New Zealand and so she uses cute, Kiwi dialect throughout the book (e.g. lollies, takeaway, fizzy drinks,etc). So that’s entertaining for anybody living on this side of the world. ; )

Moving on…

In honor of this awesome book, Nardia and I are giving away THREE copies!

Just enter your name and email address below before 11:59pm on Sunday to be entered.

The 3 winners will be announced on Monday, June 23th!

If you’d rather not chance it, go ahead and buy the book here … and on Kindle here
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Workout Playlist!

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Here’s my latest playlist!

It’s an hour long with cool-down music at the end… so don’t forget to stretch ; )

*This Jungle song is my new jam. It makes me want to choreograph…

*Shakira’s song also comes a cool Brazil remix, check it out!

*Jack White’s album is crazy good. Not all songs are good for workouts, but good nonetheless.

Enjoy!

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Things That Are My Jam

When a client tells me they went shopping for a new outfit and nothing fit…

because they needed SMALLER sizes!

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When my dog snuggles up with me.

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Having awesome girlfriends that I can hang with at a ball game

on a Friday night…

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…then do yoga with on Saturday morning:

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Watching the U of L Cardinals win the game that takes them to the College World Series

ALSO: a long-time family friend got drafted to a Major League team this weekend!

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Teaching a TRX Education Course in a facility where no shoes are allowed.

#barefootAmiisahappyAmi

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And my biggest jam?!

Knowing my man-friend is on the way to visit me RIGHT NOW! 

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He’s on a layover in Houston tonight and will be here tomorrow. Since he’s just a day away… in Houston… I’ve sang this song to him more than once today.

It’s his new favorite. #thatsalie

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