Fit Bump: A Preggo Guide

Hi! Hope you’re all having a lovely week!

I wanted to start off by thanking everyone for your messages, posts and well wishes following my little announcement last week! Chris and I are so excited, and I am pumped to share this journey with all of you!

With that said, let’s talk about fitness and pregnancy. There is a TON of misinformation out there and I’d like to clear the air a little. Until pretty recently, the idea of exercise during pregnancy was seriously frowned upon. It was believed, by doctors and civilians alike, that working out could cause harm to the fetus and mother. Now, most of those scary myths have been broken including the following:

  • Never let your heart rate raise about 140 bpm
  • Lifting causes miscarriage
  • Abdominal exercises should be avoided at all costs

Here’s the truth. The 140 bpm myth is arbitrary and basically made up. Women that lift weights and stay active throughout pregnancy are more likely to have an easier labor, control weight gain more easily, and bounce back from pregnancy quicker. Abdominal exercises that include being flat on your back during the end of the second to third trimester should be avoided (as with anything flat on your back) due to strain on the vena cava, HOWEVER increasing core strength (including abdominal, back and pelvic floor) increase posture during and after pregnancy, and can make labor and pushing easier. (Source, Source)

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OK, so…now what? The general consensus is that whatever you were doing before becoming pregnant is safe to do once you are pregnant. That includes running, walking, weight training, swimming, pilates, yoga, crossfit, hula hooping, jump roping, and sitting on your butt (with permission from your doctor first, of course!). Pretty much anything that feels good is safe and that’s the big part to remember. It’s probably not a good time to start a new routine or increase the intensity of an old routine, though. For me, I had been doing a lot of HIIT with plyometrics. Now that I’m pregnant, my stamina is definitely decreased and a lot of interval training and explosive movements don’t feel good anymore. Right now, at 16 weeks, long, brisk walks, weight training and my TRX are feeling awesome.

That being said, here’s a great upper body TRX/dumbbell workout I did this week. The huge benefit of the TRX is that core stablization required to execute exercises correctly. For more TRX info, read this post.

Upper Body TRX Super Sets

  • Difficulty: intermediate
  • Print

Complete super set 3x with 15/12/10 reps per exercise. Rest 1 minute between sets.

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That’s pretty much it for me! Hope you all have a fabulous week!

xoR

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, all posts are based on personal opinions and my own research. Please consult your own medical team before performing any exercises described here.

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Fitting It All In: can you have it all?

Life has been really busy lately. Like…crazy busy. I’m still settling at my new job, we moved last weekend, I see clients after work and still volunteer at MEDA. Oh and sometimes I like to see my friends and (god forbid) husband. I’m freaking exhausted! So, how do I still have time to workout, keep up with celebrity gossip and blog?? It’s not easy, but here’s the deal: I make time.

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my priorities have shifted a bit in the past few weeks. Last spring I was writing new workouts to do every morning at 5, take pictures and post across social media. I was super unhappy in my professional life, so I focused my time on building my blog and following. Now, my new job is going really great and I find myself wanting to get there early and not minding staying late. That means waking up even earlier to get my workouts in. It also means I have less time at the gym, so I really have to have a plan of attack when I’m there! I’ve been utilizing outside sources like http://www.bodybuilding.com and the Fitness Games to help me organize workouts.

Another way to fit things in: do fewer things. If I had it my way, I’d work all day, train clients all night, blog every morning,  run support groups every week and drink wine with friends every weekend. Sounds nice…but I’d also last about 1 week before hating my life. I’m the kind of person that wants to do it all, but also the kind of person that gets overwhelmed VERY easily. So instead, I made the very conscious decision to work all day, train a few clients, blog when I have something important to say, and see my friends as much as I can. What’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy yourself?? The. Ore I get involved in, the less important each part becomes. I am much happier and fulfilled when I dedicate myself to a few special things.

Anyway, speaking of making time, I’m WAY into interval and circuit training. I have an interim gym membership while we camp out at my parents house at the YMCA, which is actually the worlds tiniest gym. Therefore I need to be pretty creative with my workouts as to avoid equipment that’s being monopolized by high schoolers or the elderly (I’m the only one in between I think). I did the following workout the other day, and I have to say that I successfully did not wait for a machine or walk into any meatheads!

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Do each set 3x, then do a tabata interval before moving to the next set. Tabata intervals are 20s of work followed by 10s of rest for 8 rounds or 4 minutes total. Finish the workout with 3 rounds of the shoulder circuit with no rest.

And in case I don’t have enough to do, Chris and I are participating in the Light the Night fundraiser through Chris’ company, Agios. Funds support leukemia and lymphoma research and treatment. Please consider donating to our team goal!

you can learn more about Agios and the cool stuff they’re doing in this New Yorker Article!

So, how do you fit it all in? 

xoR

Feed Me and Tell Me I’m Pretty (with an interval workout for good measure)

Yo homies

It’s Saturday…I’m a happy girl. I slept until 9:30 this morning…which is like anyone else sleeping until noon. I don’t even remember anything after dinner last night, I think I just blacked out mid meal. I’m now well rested and ready to hit this Saturday full of sitting on my ass. Don’t you judge me!

Anyway, yesterday Chris and I did a chest, tri and shoulder workout. I have to say that it wasn’t my favorite workout. I am pretty sore this morning, though. It was an interval based, low rest circuit, which normally sounds like something I’d love, but I think there was too much set up involved here…so when you try this out, make sure to set up all your stations ahead of time.

Warm up: complete each exercise for 20 seconds each, rest 10 seconds between. Repeat 2x.

  • Arm swings
  • Jump rope
  • Squats
  • Inch worm

Circuit #1: complete each exercise for 30 seconds, rest 10-15 seconds between. Repeat 3x

  • BOSU push up
  • Tricep extension on BOSU
  • Shoulder press on BOSU

Circuit #2: complete each exercise for 30 seconds, rest 10-15 seconds between. Repeat 3x

  • Single arm tricep push up
  • Chest flies
  • Alternating front raise
  • DB narrow chest press
  • Bench dips with crunch

Finisher:

Push up pyramid: 12,10,8,6,8,10,12 (rest 10 seconds between each set)

My new shirt (aka the best shirt ever made!) is from Pebby Forevee. It pretty much sums up everything I need in life. I was disappointed that it didn’t look so great at the gym, so I made Chris take a little photo shoot at home…it got pretty weird, so obviously I’m sharing it here:

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Yep. They’re blurry…and Charlie was VERY unimpressed. #lovemedammit. Oliver obviously ran and hid as to avoid being eaten.

Anyhoo, that’s all for today! I have a slumber party planned with 2 of my besties tonight! I went to the liquor store to get a bottle of wine and ended up with 7…what? My wine fridge was empty! Sometimes I spend more at the liquor store than the grocery store…sue me. Girl’s gotta live 😉 I’ll be sure to take lots of pics of our sleepover, things might get real wild…or we’ll all fall asleep at 7:30. Either way, it’ll be great.

Have a great Saturday!

xoR

Curls for the Girls: drop sets, super sets, and fish tacos.

Morning! It’s Wednesday, which means we’re halfway to the weekend!

This weekend is particularly special because it is the NEDA Walk, Boston, hosted by MEDA! I’ve decided to volunteer with a few other group leaders this year, so it should be a good time! The walk is happening at Newton North High School and the goal is to raise $90k. It should be pretty incredible, so come on down if you’re in the area! (I still think it’s really weird that NEDA hosts walks to raise ED awareness…like what a great opportunity for compulsive exercisers to shine! Oy. Oh well).

So far this week HAS been pretty quiet, which is a change for me. I’m loving that the weather seems to be improving and I have some free time to enjoy it. Yesterday, I did the following back and bicep superset workout. This workout features super sets and drop sets. Super sets are two exercises (of opposing muscle groups) performed back to back with no rest. Drop sets are performed after the last heavy super set, where the weight is dropped to about 50% of your max and performed until failure. Drop sets cause muscle fatigue by engaging slow and fast twitch muscle fibers and are thought to increase muscle mass (aka strength and definition!)

Sorry, but my photographer was unavailable again. Just know that I was wearing my favorite wedgie shorts.

Back and Bicep Drop Set Burner

Perform each super set 3 times, with 8-12 reps per exercise (12 on the first round, 10 on the second, 8 on the third, with increasing weight). Follow the third super set with an immediate drop set. Rest 1 minute between sets.

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You probably know most of these exercises by now. The only newer one is the “reverse curl”. I didn’t actually do a reverse curl, but I’m not sure what I did is called. Start by doing a standard dumbbell bicep curl, then when you reach the top, flip your hands toward the ground and descend slowly. This targets the brachioradialis, which is located in the forearm. I’ve never done this exercise before, and I was amazed by the weakness in this area! Hello forearms!

This workout was deceptively hard! My arms were dead at the end due to all those drop sets! I texted Chris halfway through saying I was ready to quit and he sent me this picture:

IMG_5172He knows me so well.

After my workout, I was starving and threw together some fish tacos. YUM! And so easy!

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Recipe:

Serves 3-4

  • 4 Tilapia filets
  • 2 cups broccoli slaw
  • 1 medium avocado, chopped
  • .5 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp Mrs. Dash no-salt seasoning
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s low carb version)
  • hot sauce to taste

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. To prepare fish, pat dry with paper towels (otherwise they get mushy!) and season with Mrs. Dash (or what ever kind of seasoning you like!). Bake for 10-12 minutes, until fish is flaky. Then go to town with toppings! I like to eat mine warm with a handful of raw broccoli slaw, avocado, and goat cheese, and top with a ton of Cholula hot sauce. I ate 2 tacos and served them with a combo of black and garbanzo beans that I warmed in a pan. A note about toppings: Tilapia is a very lean protein. This meal requires some fat to make sure your body absorbs the nutrients of the fish and veggies. So while avocado and goat cheese are on the more fattening side, they are really important in order to make this a balanced meal. Plus, they taste damn good.

Also, notice the glass of wine. Chris and I had decided that this week we were going to detox from booze…then he came home with this bottle claiming that wine doesn’t count. I mean, he’s a scientist…so he’s probably right 😉

That’s it for me! Have a spectacular day!

xoR

Quickie Arm Workout and Friday Faces

Hi everyone!

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TGIF, amiright?! What a week. So long. So crazy. So ready for the weekend.

I am feeling so incredibly blessed this week. My HuffPost blog recieved over 1300 “likes”, and I received emails from readers all over the world, including Australia(!), with such nice things to say. Whew!  Incredible! Any suggestions about my next post? Any specific workout tips/ideas that people are looking for? Please let me know!

Since March continues to be insanely cold and awful, Chris and I have been regularly sleeping through our morning alarm and working out in the evenings instead. The gym is always super crowded in the evening, which is a bummer, but we do our best not to monopolize too many items and not comment on all the meat-heads with horrible form taking selfies on the squat rack (ughhhhh). Anyway, last night we did the follow bicep/tricep/shoulder workout. It was a quickie, but definitely effective.

Warm up 5 minutes on the treadmill with a slight incline. All circuits are 3 sets of 8-12 reps with 1 minute rest between. Finisher is 3 sets of 10 reps/each with minimal rest between sets (~10 seconds).

Set #1: Barbell Curls, narrow bench press, upright row

Set #2: Hammer curls, lying tricep extension, lateral raise

Set #3: Incline curls, twisting kickbacks, front raises

Set #4: Cable hammer curl, cable overhead extension, cable high row

Finisher: 10 pushups, 10 high plank/low planks

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Check out my “Better Sore Than Sorry” TJ Maxx find! So silly. Also, my faces during this workout just look disgusted…guess that’s just what I look like at the gym…

That’s really all I got today. No news is good news around here 😉

xoR

Arm and Shoulder Workout and SMART Goal Writing for Dummies.

Happy Sunday, ya’ll!

I ❤ Sunday’s during school vacation. It’s so fabulous to wake up and know I have a WHOLE week off ahead of me! Wahoo!

I wanted to talk a little bit about goals. Through my training as a speech pathologist and personal trainer, I have learned that being goal oriented is incredibly important. Having a goal in mind can help motivate you to work harder and stay focused, but I have also learned that that can be a double edged sword. If goals in mind are way too difficult, motivation can waver when results are not as fast as you would like. Writing appropriate goals can be challenging and a bit of a downer if you’re anything like me and want instant gratification! Most people have goals that are too broad (“I want to get fit!” “I want to tone!”) or unattainable (“I want to lose 10 lbs this week!” “I want to be a fitness model in a month!”). Listen, we all want results, and we all want them now. I get it, I was that way. However, that’s just not how the human body works. Many professions (both of mine included) use the SMART Goal model. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. This means that goals have to be thought out. For example “I want to get fit!” is not a SMART goal, but “I want to increase my bicep curl weight by 5% in 2 months” is SMART. “I want to get skinny” is not SMART, but “I want to decrease my body fat percentage by 2% in 1 month” is SMART. See the difference? Thinking this way can help narrow your vision of what you really want.

In addition to SMART goals, some people even add -ER for  Evaluate and Reevaluate. Evaluation of your progress is incredibly important and, in my opinion, is a crucial part of any fitness plan. We all look at ourselves in the mirror every day, and when we are working toward a goal, it can difficult to take an objective stance every morning. Taking measurements, progress pictures, measuring body fat % once a month or so can be great ways see where your progress stands. This has been incredibly helpful in my journey toward fitness and hopefully it can help you too!

Try not to focus on those “trouble areas” every day. Your body is amazing, no matter what it looks like today. Down on yourself? Give yourself a compliment and move on. You rock, I swear!

Anyway, yesterday Chris and I did this arm and shoulder giant set workout. My arms were absolutely dead at the end and I had to edit out like a thousand photos because we were both so shaky! Woo! Love that!

Arm and Shoulder Giant Set Workout

  • Difficulty: intermediate-advanced
  • Print

Complete each giant set 3 times through with 1 minute of rest between sets. For more information on giant sets, see this post.

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Check out them White Girl Legs! Whoa.  Can’t wait for some Jamaica sunshine in 3 days!

Also, my therapist sent me this picture the other day and I just had to share it:

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That’s it for me today! Get out there and make it a fab Sunday!

xo R