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WIN FREE PREWORKOUT
Yes, it has been quite awhile since I posted. So many things have happened in the last couple of months alone, but I am back!
It takes about three months or twelve weeks of consistent effort to see significant changes in your body. That means if you have been eating clean and exercising regularly you are hopefully enjoying the summer body it took so long to design. The same goes the other way too. If you have been neglecting your health and wellness, your body probably reflects that.
It may be too late to totally transform your winter body into a summer body, but you can still work toward it. If you already have your summer body, good for you, stay on track and do not quit now!
Sometimes we all need a little kick and motivation, and preworkout often helps with both. I love C4 and I had another favorite, which was discontinued, of course (eye roll). A fitness competitor recommended I try Nitraflex- hyperemia & testosterone enhancing PWD by GAT. Anytime I see testosterone on a label I get a little nervous, and it did not help that the girl who sold it to me looked like a mini-hulk (good for her, but not my goal). I tried it anyway, and I have not hulked out, but it does give me a really intense boost. Men often go out of their way to boost their “T,” so I probably do not need to convince you of anything if you are a guy. This product may boost your test levels by 10% and does not contain creatine. Creatine is found in most preworkouts and often causes bloating, which is why so many bodybuilders prefer this preworkout. It gives you a pump, increases performance, and keeps you “dry” (not bloated).
About Nitraflex- hyperemia & testosterone enhancing PWD by GAT
WARNING: Seek professional medical advice before using this product. There is 325mg per serving, which is approximately equal to three cups of coffee. If you are sensitive to stimulants do not take this product. SEEK PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE BEFORE CONSUMING.
Now that we got the warning out of the way, this product is designed to increase physical and mental alertness. Claims have been made that this product can boost testosterone by 10%. This product also claims to increase cardiovascular performance, but I never take pre workout before cardio after I had a bad reaction. Toward the end of my competition prep I took a scoop of preworkout before fasted cardio and ended up vomiting and shaking uncontrollably. Unfortunately not enough people are aware of what they are putting into their body, how it could affect them, and how your diet, weight and health can affect how supplements affect you. Since then I have not done either fasted cardio or preworkout before cardio, but that is just me. Do what works for you as long as it does not endanger your health.
SIDE EFFCTS: There are other potential side effects, which are common with preworkouts such as diarrhea, allergies, abdominal pain, elevated heart rate and insomnia.
This product receives great reviews online, and is worth giving it a shot, but only if you push yourself to your limits. My 70 year old client was convinced to purchase pre workout by 24 hour fitness trainers. Does she need it? No. Pre workout may help to make small improvements in athletic performance when you push yourself to the limit. If you are walking on the treadmill and doing light weights with high reps, there is no need to consume stimulants. This particular client also happens to be a heart patient, and should definitely not be taking pre workout. If, however, you are like me, healthy and enjoy lifting heavy and want to lift increase your lifts, it may be perfect for you. Studies have shown participants who took preworkout performed better in both cardio and weight lifting when given caffeine versus a placebo.
The purpose of this giveaway is to reward people for inspiring others to workout and get healthy. Find a friend who wants to start working out, but has not taken the plunge yet, or someone who perhaps owns a gym membership but does not use it. It can even be a friend that wants to start working out at home. Help to motivate them by showing up and helping them on their first day, even if it is in their living room. The first step is the hardest, and it is easier to follow through on our intentions when we are accountable to a partner. Be that partner for someone you care about! I prefer working out alone, but I took my mom to the gym for about a week before she started working out on her own schedule. Give someone that little push that they need (or a big one), to start working out. Remember, 30 minutes 4 days a week can change your life for the better.
HOW TO WIN
· Take a video of yourself working out with that person
· Post the video to Instagram
· Hashtag “fitgirlkoa”
· Winner will be chosen by random in two weeks
Now go kill it!
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Change your workout to keep your metabolism on fire
I am the first to admit that I love routine. I hate squats; I love deadlifts. I hate running a mile, but I love sprints. Having such strong love-hate relationships with working out can lead to a set routine over a long period. Is routine bad? No. Not really. You found what you love. You are staying busy, physically active, improving your health and even lowering your risk of certain diseases like Parkinson's. I would not say that was a bad thing. However, your body becomes conditioned to the same routine, and you will not see the same results you said when you first started the routine.
What should you do?
Change things up. For example, I am a big proponent of HIIT. People who do hiit often do the same exercises over and over. For example, jump squats, burpees, mountain climbers and ice skaters. Again, props to you for staying active. HIIT is tough, and good for you. Change it up though! Do sprints, rowing, spinning, kettlebells and make things more challenging. I do not enjoy HIIT at all, so changing things up can help to make it less repetitive. Right now I switched from sprints and jump squats to rowing. I am forever trying to build a booty, and what I love about rowing is I feel the fire directly in my glutes versus my entire legs.
Another thing I need to watch out for is that I love doing the same lifts. I love doing deadlifts, stiff leg deadlifts, and shoulders. Good for me, right? But it is important to hit the same muscles and muscle groups from different angles. For example, rather than only doing the same shoulder routine
Overhead press on machine
Dumbbell overhead press
That's a good routine, in fact, I use it a lot. Too much. I may be training shoulders often, but it is important to keep in mind I am only gaining strength and size in the direction I am moving in. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, which means you should not be training in simple back and forth movements. Repeating the same exercises is just as bad because you are not training your muscles to their full potential.
Rotator cuff injuries are very common, so it is important to do your mobility before and after, as well as to not over tax your rotator cuff.
Mixing up exercises with resistance bands, changing angles and adding plyos will help to make your workouts more effective, efficient, thorough and over well-rounded.
Varied Shoulder Workout
2. Handstands with push-up if possible
3. Front raises prone on incline with resistance bands
4. Pull resistance bands apart while in front of body
5. Lateral raises with resistance bands - leaning
Now Go Do It!
Changing up angles and switching from dumbbells to bands is good to do from time to time. I also think it's great to get out and be active for your workout. Go rock climbing! So, maybe you can try indoor rock climbing before you hang off a cliff. On second thought, yeah why don't you go ahead and started with a harness as well. The point is to try new things! You will not be an expert when you start a new activity, but that does not mean it is not working your muscles in new dynamic ways and challenging you mentally as well as physically! Go hiking! I would choose a shorter but more intense hike, for example. Stay functional and have fun!!
Let me know how it goes!
Get Rid of Your Muffin Top
Really, getting into and staying in shape is about 80% diet and 20% nutrition. It is not the same for everyone, though. Some people are genetically gifted and are muscular even though they do not work out and eat like crap. For the rest of us, we have to work for what we have, and it is too easy to slip into unhealthy eating patterns. Never forget that muscle increases your metabolism and ability to burn fat. What does this mean to you? If you want a faster metabolism and burn fat while you sleep, rest and eat, then gain muscle. Lift. Part of that is building a core, in fact, you should develop your core first before you begin lifting. Other than diet, here is an ab program to get your core into shape.
1. Knee ups
a. Hang by your hands if possible, pull knees to chest
b. Get on an elbow support (captain’s chair), pull knees to chest
This exercise works your rectus abdominus, which are the most popular of all core muscles. The rectus abdominus is the 6 pack. This particular exercise works the lower abs the most.
2. Russian Twists
a. From a V position, feet off of the ground, twist your body side to side. Hold a medicine ball that weighs at least 10 lbs. Ensure the weight touches the ground with each twist.
b. From a V position, leave you feet on the ground. Twist from side to side. Touch the ground with each twist.
This exercise works the obliques, which are the long and lateral muscles between the rectus abdominus and lats. Obliques are most noticeable when you twist your torso.
3. Banded chest press (complicated set up)
a. Tie a resistance band to a pole behind you. Standing inside the band, press the band forward at chest level.
b. Use lighter resistance band
Serratus muscles are on your side running along your ribcage. Punching, pushups and particular variations of each can give you defined serratus muscles.
1. Leg lifts
a. Hanging from a bar, legs straight, raise them to touch bar. Do not swing, use your abs to control your contraction and prevent your body from swinging.
b. Hanging from captains chair, legs straight, raise them as high as possible
2. Side jackknife
a. Laying straight on one side, contract your obliques to bring your top leg and arm to touch.
b. Pushup to plank - lay on one side, push up to a side plank position
3. Rotating punches
a. Holding dumbbells alternate sides twisting and punching at a 90 degree angle from original position
b. Alternate punches without using weights, twist body 90 degrees each time
There you have it! Run through each set four times with a quick breather in between. Do each set twice a week and you will be on your way to a sexy and strong core! It is important to build your core before you begin lifting weights, so if you have not started a core program yet, start this now.
How many calories are in your dinner and dessert?
I love sweets.
Sweets are my biggest challenge when it comes to being fit and healthy. Just as with anything else, of course there is a balance. Can I eat sweets, yes. Can I only eat sweets, no. Did I try to only eat sweets, yes. Naturally occurring sugars in the foods they naturally come in are not the enemy. The sugar is milk and fruits are not enemies because there are other nutrients that accompany them. Fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals accompany those sugars, so we are nourishing our bodies when we eat them. Trying to eliminate all sugars from our diet would be ridiculous and maybe impossible.
Added sugars are the enemy. In addition to the fact that man-made sugars are digested differently that naturally occurring sugars, most foods that contain added sugars did not need them to begin with! In addition they often are found in foods very low in necessary nutrients. When you consume a food that is very high in calories and does not contain nutrients you are either adding a lot of unnecessary calories to your diet that are designed to add fat deposits on your waist, or you are displacing healthy foods that would have provided your body with nutrients. If you do this regularly you could become nutrient deficient, which could lead to a number of health problems. Your glucose and insulin levels may be so out of whack you become pre-diabetic. Added and refined sugars really are the enemy, no matter how delicious they are. Yes, I do still eat them. I wanted to give you a little perspective on sugar here. Currently, I am writing a book about chronic obesity and illness in America, and you probably guessed it, there is a section on sugar.
Here are two pictures of food that contains approximately 400 calories. An entire healthy dinner, and a slice of dessert.
• 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved if small, quartered if large
• 1 plump garlic clove, minced or put through a press (more to taste)
• Salt to taste (I like to use a very good coarse sea salt or fleur de sel for this)
• 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
• 1 cup arugula leaves, coarsely chopped
• 1 tablespoon slivered or chopped fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• ¾ pound fusille, farfalle, or orecchiette
¼ cup freshly grated ricotta salata or Parmesan (more to taste)
Combine the cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, balsamic vinegar, arugula, basil, and olive oil in a wide bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add a generous amount of salt and the pasta. Cook al dente, until the pasta is firm to the bite. Drain, toss with the tomatoes, sprinkle on the cheese, and serve.
The pasta recipe is a very simple, affordable and delicious recipe found on www.cooking.nytimes.com
I am not discouraging people from ever eating cheesecake again, just know you are consuming a food that could have as many calories as your dinner but without the nutrients. Also, fine, eat your cake, but do HIIT that day. Ensure your metabolism is firing at max before you bog it down with cake!
1. Burpees 45
a. Rest 15
3. Jump squats
4. Mountain climbers
You already know (from reading my other blogs) that you can do the exercise for 45 seconds and take 15 seconds off. Repeat this cycle five times. I hate it too, but here are some tips to get through HIIT
1. Workout with a partner
2. Listen to an awesome podcast
3. Keep your progress pictures within view
4. Constantly remind yourself throughout the workout about the yummy dessert that makes this worth it
a. Either you will decide it is worth it and you finish your workout
b. Or you decide it is not worth it and you skip dessert
c. Skipping HIIT is not an option. If you want to improve your fitness than do it.
AS ALWAYS I LOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
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I was speaking to a very close friend yesterday who suggested I switch to a subscription based website, that is when I realized I have not communicated the services I offer. Marketing 101…fail. This fitgirlkoa.com site you are on is great. I love it. I can communicate recipes, workouts, tips etc, but it is not how I train clients. I utilize www.totalcoaching.com. There is also a totalcoaching app you download to receive your workouts and track everything straight from your phone.
Total coaching sends you workout plans that I create for each individual client, with video animations to accompany each workout. The site also delivers nutrition plans straight to you. You can communicate with me through the site, and also track your own progress. You can track what days you workout, how hard the workouts are and what notes you have about them.
The site allows me to generate reports based off of your progress, training, nutrition, custom data and more. The reports help us track your progress, but also to keep you motivated. When you are able to fit into pants you have not fit in for year you are motivated to keep moving forward. These reports are another motivational tool. You can never have enough.
Check total coaching out and see if you would like to try a four week phase!
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Make 2017 the best year you have ever had!
I am not worried if people think starting the new year out right is cliche, to me it is smart. Here is why.
I've been hearing so many people talk about what a horrible year 2016 has been. It makes me sad to hear so many people say that, especially since I had such an amazing year. 2015 was a horrific year for me, so right at the start of 2016 I said to myself and the people around me, "2016 will not be a repeat of last year. I am taking control." And I did.
2016 was a fantastic year of growth on every level for me. I entered and won my first NPC competition, became a certified personal trainer with NASM and started and finished masters of business administration in healthcare management over the summer. Perhaps most importantly I got rid of someone who caused me a lot of pain. All I had to do was decide what I would not put up with anymore, and set SMART goals for myself. Once I knew what I wanted to accomplish and under what time frame, I had nothing but drive and dedication. We can do that in 2017.
So, I get that I had an exceptionally good year, but I like to think there has been some good for everyone. I would appreciate if you left a comment below including some of the good things that happened to you this year. Thank you so much happy new year!
Why Your Diet is Failing
There are more than a few reasons why your diet could be failing you. A friend of mine came to me telling me he cut out soda and sugar, but he is pissed..no PISSED because he has not lost any weight! The only changes he noticed are that he is irritable, hungry and tired all the time. This friend had drank maybe 8-10 cans of coke daily for as long as I had known him, and I am sure for many years before I met him as well. Why on earth is he suffering withdrawals while experiencing no noticeable improvements?
After I asked him what he eats, when he eats, his activity and sleep routines it became clear exactly what the problem was.
In his mind, cutting out approximately 1,400 calories, a day should mean he loses fat. I can understand why he would think that, but not necessarily. Cutting out other sugars was a big step too, and could even cut another 1,400 calories a day, which means in two days he could lose over two pounds of fat. After adding up the math, it is perfectly reasonable to understand his confusion.
Here is what he was doing wrong, not eating enough, and also not eating often enough. The quality of calories and nutrients were poor as well, but some may argue that is irrelevant. My friend was eating about 700-1000 calories less per day than he should have been eating, which meant his body was in starvation mode. When your body thinks it is starving it will hold onto calories as fat, whenever possible, rather than using it for energy. That coupled with the fact that his energy and nutrient needs were not being met contributed to his lethargy. His too low-calorie diet was making him tired and fat.
Cutting out the soda and sugar was a fantastic step, but he then began to starve himself. It is important that you do not simply replace bad habits with more bad habits. You can hire a professional, or you can create a diet yourself, but either way you should do your research.
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Whipped body butter recipe
Why make your own body butter? Why whip it? Those are the two most common questions when I tell people I make lotion. Once I got a very strange comment (from an adult), “You made lotion? What are you a witch?” We are so used to purchasing most of our products that some people cannot even conceive of the possibility of making their own. I first started making body butter, toothpaste, dry shampoo, lip balm and more because someone very close to me died from cancer. I began to be more aware of the dangers of the products we put on our skin or our bodies every day. Skin is our largest organ, and a lot of lotions on the shelf affect our hormone balance.
1 cup of shea butter
1 cup of coconut oil
½ cup of almond oil
½ cup of mango butter
about 40 drops of essential oils
1 tsp of vitamin e
1. Combine the butters and coconut oil in a double boiler and melt completely
2. Let cool
3. Once cool place in refrigerator for about an hour
a. It should become more solid, but not too hard to whip
4. Add essential oil, and vitamin E
This could make just over 48 ounces, or fill about six eight ounce mason jars. Tie a ribbon around it and you have a great present!!
Although the process is simple it can take a bit of effort and it can be a bit of a process so I like to make as much as possible at once. Let me know how it goes if you make it!
Who is Tracer?
Tracer is one of the most annoying overwatch heroes, if you ask me. She is annoying because it is pretty difficult to keep up with her. I find myself spinning in circles spraying my bullets hoping she may catch one. Tracer is not necessarily fast; technically she can control her own time, which means she can speed it up. I have always thought that if I could choose a superpower, it would be the ability to control time, and this is pretty close. Her recall ability takes her back in time three seconds, which is not quite the overarching ability to control time, but a lot can happen in three seconds. She is also able to speed time up for herself, which makes it appear to the rest of us that she has Flash-like abilities to run at supersonic speeds. Not so. However, she does run a lot, so this is a look at what her workout may look like...
Lunges - across room
Lunges and stretch, place elbow on the ground on the inside of the forward lunging knee – alternate across room
Start from standing
Bend forward at the hips until you touch the ground
Walk your hands out to plank
Then walk legs up to hands (keeping them straight as much as possible)
1. Running in place
a. Stand inside a large and strong resistance band
b. A partner stands behind you holding the resistance band
c. Run forward
i. Your partner stands still and holds the band, which prevents you from actually running forward. You are only able to run in place
2. Bear crawls
a. Stand inside the same resistance band
b. Your partner stands behind you holding the resistance bands
c. Bend forward at the hips until your hands are on the ground
d. Crawl forward as fast as you can
e. Your partner holds you back so you can barely move forward
3. Superset with bear crawls
a. No partner
4. Box jumps
a. Stand behind a box that is knee height
b. Jump onto box and squat
c. Reset (safely)
e. 60 seconds
b. 60 seconds
a. 1st variation
i. Squat and swing ropes as hard as possible
ii. Bring the ropes to eye level each times
b. 2nd variation
i. Jumping squats
ii. Bring the ropes to eye level
c. 60 seconds on, 30 second break, repeat 3 times
As you can see, this workout is a conditioning rather than strength workout. There are elements to strength the leg, but it is important for tracer to be able to explode into short burst of speed. This requires resistance band training coupled with high intensity conditioning.
Fair warning- I used to do quite a bit of conditioning, and it made me very thin. I lost a great deal of muscle because my body had to break down muscle to keep up with the energy demands I was placing on myself. Tracer would only do this type of workout once, maybe twice a week. She is able to stay thin because she eats a healthy diet. Let me know if you try it!
Exercise without engaging your core!
How to do a leg workout without working your core….too much
Why on earth would you want a workout that does not workout your core? Who does not want a flatter stomach or washboard abs? Well, it is not necessarily that you do not want washboard abs, but you may have had an injury, surgery or even childbirth. Whatever your reason, there are reasons why you would choose to not work your core, at least for a bit. We all know the importance of a strong core, so hopefully you this is a short-term situation. Eventually you will need to work your way around your situation. For example, how do you work your lower body if you have knee pain? It is possible; you just have to be creative.
I recently hurt my ribs and it hurts to twist, lean or engage my core too much. I can engage it a bit, just about everything requires a degree of core strength. But, because of the pain I thought I would not be able to do a complete leg workout, however, I tried it and I was able to do six exercises, which is more than enough to constitute a complete workout. Again, this may engage your core a bit, there is really no way around it, but the engagement is fairly minimal.
First, a tip. Waist trainers or weight training belts take pressure off of the back and core. Unfortunately if you have an injury it may hurt too much to wear one.
Isometric exercises can be great for the core, but if you choose the right exercises you can minimize core involvement too!
I was able to do most leg machines
Glute pushdown on the assisted pull up machine
Squats with cable machine
Using a straight bar, squat facing the machine and holding the straight bar
Only the machines designed to place your body in a V position
If any of the exercises engage your core too much try body weight exercises. If there is any pain discontinue immediately.
Chairs against a wall
Hold position for a minute
Body weight squats
Glute pushbacks from hands and knees
For reference, exercises I was not able to do
Cable abductor and adductor
Angled leg press
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