Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Arms & Abs workout

Lately I've been really trying to build some shoulder and arm definition. In the past I had always been one of those women that was worried about looking too bulky and lifting too heavy, but after reading countless studies about how women physically CAN'T get bulky like males can due to the hormone differences in our physical make-up, I decided to give this "heavy lifting' a shot... and soon enough, some results started happening!
Now this is the muscle definition I was hoping for! Less jiggle, more tone... :)

Lately my workouts have been a little more weight driven, with a few cardiovascular exercises thrown in the mix, mostly to let my arms and shoulders recover (sort of)

Today, my workout looked like this:

Warm Up:

10 min Stair Stepper

Main Set:

4 sprints up 2 flights of stairs
(I happen to have these at work next to our company fitness center)

10 lateral dumbbell raise

10 frontal dumbbell raise

10 overhead dumbbell shoulder press

5 burpees

10 overhead tricep press

10 dumbbell bench rows each arm

10 dumbbell floor press – elbows in

5 burpees

20 step-ups on bench

10 dumbbell bench press

10 machine rows

10 machine pull-downs
30 second plank
REPEAT 3 times

(Finished up this by doing a few laps of walking lunges and kettle bell swings!)

* * * * * *

This workout had my arms feeling like noodles!! My legs didn't feel too shabby either. I am starting to separate out my cardio on different days so I can fit in more weight training on the days that I lift. So far, I'd say it's been a successful plan!
I followed up my workout with a delicious lunch: Chicken, sweet potato and cauliflower rice!! This was such a good lunch and I was so full once it disappeared. I'm kind of trying out a new eating style.... I've started counting macros, and it's got me eating a lot more food than I am used to in order to build muscle and lose body fat... I plan on doing a separate post about that!

Happy Wednesday!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

CPR / AED Certified!!!!

The other day I took a little trip down to Thousand Oaks to get Certified in CPR and AED. I successfully learned how to resuscitate an adult, child and infant.
I feel so incredibly useful now that I know how to do CPR and use an AED.
There is a BIG reason I went to get certified in CPR and AED... I am studying to become a personal trainer. Yep, I said it. I've been going through the online training course offered by NASM. It's been very challenging, and I'm currently in the home stretch. Only two more months of studying until I take my exam.

Here we go!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

My new obsession with spinning

I never thought I would ever say this, but I LOVE SPINNING.

I used to go to my old gym and see those poor souls in that room full of bikes and think to myself Why on earth do they do that? It looks like torture! – In a way it kind of is, but it feels so good. Workouts always start very hard for me, but then my body kicks into gear and it becomes hard for me to stop.

A few weeks ago, during all of my ankle issues, I was looking for cardio options that wouldn't put too much strain on my ankle, but would still give me a good sweat and calorie burn. I took to the spin class at my gym, and as hard as it is, I really really love it. I can already see a difference in my legs and it causes absolutely ZERO pain in my ankle. WIN.
Last night I went to my 5:45 spin class and decided, out of mere curiosity, to wear my heart rate monitor to see what my heart is at during this challenging class AND to see about how many calories I am burning during a typical session. I went through an hour of spin, and Dave and I decided to do a little arm workout with the ropes afterward.
We were only messing around for about 20 minutes when I looked down at my calorie burn and my eyes nearly popped out of my head.
900 calories. Holy moly. Now I love Spin even more!!! HAHA
Seriously though, I highly recommend this workout for cardio. It's a great way to get a sweat on without too much impact on knees or ankles that might be hurting... also, you can adjust your own resistance to make the workout as hard or as easy as you want. I like that kind of variety. :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Corporate Games 5K

A few weeks back I participated in our Corporate Games 5K, despite having somewhat of a bum ankle. I figured 3 miles is about my limit, and the faster I run, the better my ankle feels (really body, really?) So I decided to go through with it, of course with no high expectations - especially when I arrived and saw hundreds upon hundreds of participants.

So we arrived, checked in, warmed up and RAN! It was the most exhausting 5K I've ever run because I was running the first half of the race at about an 80% effort (in fitness running terms, 100% is an all-out sprint). By the third mile my ankle was really starting to hurt and I had to come to that realization that continuing to run at this pace just wasn't worth a possible serious injury like a stress fracture or something... so I backed off quite a bit and just went back to a regular jog for the last mile.

As good as my intentions were about backing off the throttle a bit for the sake of my ankle, it turns out I finished 6th overall in my age group. 6th!!!! Then I started to kick myself for not running a little faster for that last mile... I would have gotten a medal had I placed 3rd or higher! Darn!

All-in-all our team did a great job. Four out of the seven BEGA runners got a medal in their age group, which is an awesome result for the team. We are heros in the office now! Hehehe

Update on the ankle: It is still very much injured. I am not limping, but the pain in my ankle during and after running is about a 4, which is not bad, but it's not great. I decided to defer my half marathon entry to the 2015 race, which was very disappointing, but at the same time, a weight is kind of lifted off my shoulders. I can just focus on fitness and rehabilitation of my ankle for now, which is nice.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Injuries, Running and Thoughts on KT tape...

I've had what I believe is Plantar Fasciitis for about 2 months now. I signed up for my first half marathon a few months back and immediately started planning out my running training. I got myself up to 6 miles (which was still at the beginning stage for me since I had already been running a lot) and somehow strained something in my ankle or arch. I've been stretching it, massaging it and icing it for the past 2 months and taking it very easy on the running. Literally for the last 3 weeks I haven't run at all. I've been doing stair climbing exercises in replacement of my running cardio because just about any running for more than 1.5 miles just aggravates the injury. It's been a very frustrating road and I am losing patience with it... especially since my half marathon is in only 4 weeks, and I still can't run further than 3 miles without pain.
So, that led me to KT tape. I've seen so many fitness bloggers and instagrammers and even people at the Spartan Races wearing this stuff and swearing by it... so I decided to give it a try. Heck, if this stuff could help me cross the finish line at my half marathon I was more than happy to spend the $19 to give it a go....
Here is my first attempt at wrapping for Plantar Faciitis according to their website video tutorial. At least it looks cute in pink....
But, I didn't notice a difference. Not a single difference. In fact, about 2 miles into my run, I even started to feel the tape peeling off... separating from my skin... kind of like when a bandaid gets wet. Once that started to happen all the support the tape was providing went out the window, along with my hopes that this was really the answer to my problem. By mile 3, the pain I usually feel at this distance was very much there in my ankle and I finished my 5K run disappointed. My ankle is still hurting in the SAME place it usually does after about 3 miles... tape or no tape.

Needless to say I am a little disheartened at this point. I don't honestly know how I am going to be able to run 13.1 miles in just 4 short weeks, I may actually end up having to transfer my registration to a friend, since I don't want to end up seriously injuring my ankle just trying to finish. I don't know what to do and it is super frustrating. I will continue to give this tape a try, at least until I go through the first roll. May as well use it right?

Has anyone out there ever experienced an ongoing injury like this? I don't like resting, and not being able to run is driving me crazy. I feel like I've tried everything. :(