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
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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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HIIT and Pancakes: A Weekend in the Life

Hi everyone! Hope everyone had a fab weekend! We had a super busy couple of days with two nights of Passover and Easter with our families. So fun, so full, feelin’ great!

With the eat-a-thon we experienced this weekend, I was looking for some quick, full-body sweat sesh’s to ward off that icky sloth feeling. No, these weren’t workouts to make excuses for eating, these were workouts to help me stay on track and feel my best! The following is an awesome Full-Body HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) that I did on Sunday  morning before eating my body weight in stuffed shells:

Full Body HIIT

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This workout was modified from THIS Buzzfeed article. I also added a warm up and cool down from FitnessBlender.com, which are not only fun, but super important to avoid injury!

I also wanted to share my new favorite pancake recipe, modified from This Foodie Fiasco post. These bad boys are grain free, gluten free, low sugar, and SO FREAKING DELICIOUS I WANT TO EAT THEM ALL DAY!

Blueberry Coconut Pancakes

IMG_5552Ingredients:

  • 2T Coconut Flour
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Egg Whites or 1/4C liquid egg whites
  • 1/4C Unsweetened Almond Milk
  • 1/3C Blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add whisked eggs and almond milk to dry ingredients and mix until completely combined. Batter will be thick. Add blueberries and additional almond milk if necessary (I usually do!). Spoon 1/3C into pancake shapes on griddle, frying pan or pancake pan. Cook 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 1-2 minutes. Serve with fruit, syrup, nuts, peanut butter…whatever you want!

Let me know how they turn out! Sometimes I sub the blueberries for banana and they’re also super yum!

Have a fab week!

xoR

10 Minutes Abs: no crunches, no excuses

Hi Everyone! Long time no talk! Sorry for the radio silence lately, I’ve been crazy busy! Anyway, to apologize I have a brand new, 10 minute, no crunch ab workout for you all that I think you will love!

10 Minute Abs

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This little workout is perfect as a finisher to your HIIT workout, steady cardio, or lifting sesh. And while we’re at it, let’s talk about those abs, shall we?

Actually, let’s talk about the core. The core is basically any muscle within your trunk region: pelvic floor muscles, transversus abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, and the diaphragm. AKA your abs, pelvic muscles and back. The function of the core is to provide stability for your spine and thorax. A strong core is basically crucial for any daily activity including and a weak core can lead to a whole slew of problems including back pain and poor posture (both are things you do not want) source

The thing to remember about the core is that it’s really important to train all of the muscles, not just your abs. Training just abs (i.e. just doing crunches) can cause muscle imbalance, which again, is not good. So remember to train all angles of the core including abs, obliques, and back. Also, remember that the muscles of the core are just like any other muscle group. Muscles need fuel and rest to grow, so make sure to eat enough protein, carbs and fat before and after your workout and only directly train your core 1-2x/week. Oh! And your core should be engaged while doing any compound movement like squats and deadlifts, so adding those workouts into your routines will just increase your results!

Here’s some old posts on core work:

1.One Exercise to Rule Them All, 2. Abs, Abs. Abs, 3. Lift Like a Girl: A guide to heavy lifting

And here’s what my abs currently look like:

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And by current, I mean a month ago in Cancun. Currently, I’m wrapped in 16 layers of clothing because it’s still SO FREAKING COLD. Springtime, my ass 😉

Have a fab week!

xoR

 

Let’s Hit It: Why You Should Start Boxing Today!

Hi! Hope everyone had a fab weekend! I shared last week that Chris and I got a heavy bag and this week I want to discuss the benefits of boxing and why you should give it a shot!

Boxing dates back to ancient Greece and has evolved to the refined and bad ass sport that we see today. Boxing is basically a super intense workout that stimulates all muscle groups. Upper body from punching, lower body from power and shuffling, and core from twisting. It includes both aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular exercise, which means it has the ability to increase overall cardiovascular health in a really efficient way. Also, since most boxing workouts are interval-based, it has huge fat burning/muscle building possibilities. Aside the physical, boxing workouts (like other intense workouts) release endorphins and make you feel awesome. Hitting things (like a heavy bag) is awesome for stress relief. (source, source, source)

That being said, here are some great resources for proper punching form. As you know from reading Flex and Shout, form is the #1 most important thing to remember while working out. Due to the impact of punching a bag, improper form could lead to injury, so make sure to consult a professional before getting started.

Here’s a quick workout to get your started!:

Boxing Workout Circuit

Complete 3 rounds, resting 1 minute between rounds.

  • 60s Jab left
  • 60s Jump Rope
  • 45s Cross right
  • 45s Jump Rope
  • 30s Hook left
  • 30s Jump Rope
  • 15s Jab/Cross combo
  • 15s Jump Rope
  • 30s Hook right
  • 30s Jump Rope
  • 45s Cross left
  • 45s Jump Rope
  • 60s Jab right
  • 60s Jump Rope

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You too can look as tough as me! So get out there and hit some sh!t…you might love it!

xoR

Weekend Workout Update

Hi! Hope everyone had a fab weekend. The sun finally came out here, which was a rare treat! Last week, Chris came home with a little gym gift for us:

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A heavy bag! I’ve actually never used a punching bag, so I was pretty excited to give this one a go! Chris coached me on proper punch technique and even bought me some pink hand wraps, which obviously makes me look super badass. I’m really looking forward to letting some aggression out on the bag.

On Saturday morning, our buddy, Mike, came over for a basement boot camp! Our home gym has really come together nicely with our bench, adjustable dumbbells, suspension system and kettlebell. This workout could easily be modified to use just dumbbells if that’s all you have available! It’s written as 3 rounds: first round complete each exercise for 40s, rest 20s, second round complete each exercise twice in a row for 30s, rest 15s, third round work 40s, rest 20s. The time will FLY!

Basement Boot Camp

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We finished off with 6 rounds of the following circuit:

  • 30s jump rope
  • 30s jab/cross on heavy bag
  • 30s burpees

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I know what you’re thinking: could I BE any tougher?? Nope! That’s as tough as you get (not pictured: pink wraps).

The final step of this workout was mirror selfies, obviously:

That’s it from me!

xoR

A Blog About Nothing

Hi! Long time no talk!

Here’s the deal: I really have nothing to blog about and I couldn’t be happier about it. I’ve been searching for some blog motivation for 2 weeks and couldn’t seem to think of anything worthy of a post. My Fitness Blender Challenge is going well. I’m feeling positive about my body right now (flaws and perfections alike!). My reduced grain (REDUCED!) diet feels great and everything is awesome.

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February is Eating Disorder Awareness Month . This is a great time to reflect on the past year’s challenges and victories on my recovery journey. I’ve had so many experiences (both positive and negative) this past year and my recovery is at a point where it feels better to just focus on the future instead of the past. I think I put too much emphasis on how I used to respond to challenging situations as opposed to moving on. So…I’m moving on. Recovery is something that I hold very sacred and it inundates every aspect of my life, as my eating disorder previously did. If you’re feeling like you want to see how I got here, here’s my recovery story that I wrote last year. My story is ever evolving, so it might feel a little outdated. Otherwise, let’s move forward together!

Anyway, today is my 4th snow day in 3 weeks. I’m binge watching my DVR, snuggling with Gloria, Charlie and Oliver, eating coconut pancakes, wearing the same pajamas that I’ve been in since Saturday night (no judgement) and feeling grateful that we’re going to Mexico next week. Life is feeling really nice right now. I don’t want to brag and I don’t want to complain. This is recovery. This is normalcy.

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No makeup. Dirty Hair. Kissing Dog. Life is good.

Have a fab day!

xoR

2015: New Year, New Attitude

Hi! Welcome to post #1 of 2015! Yay! I hope everyone had a fabulous, fun, safe and memorable New Years 🙂

We spent NYE in Chicago with some of our best friends, then spent 3 days hungover. Guess we’re not 21 anymore…Oh well! We still had a blast drinking champagne, dancing and prancing around in fancy outfits. Here are a few pics from our epic NYE celebration at Highline in Chicago. Professional pics are c/o Glitter Guts Photo booth:

Yes, I’m wearing a jumpsuit. Also, I had a little meltdown about how big my arms look in those pictures. The only way I was able to chill myself out was by looking at pictures of fellow fitchicks and realizing that those of us that lift weights have a little more meat on our arms. Oh, and also, no one else cares. Seriously. No one else is spending their evening staring at my arms and wishing they were smaller. I certainly didn’t do that to anyone else present that evening, or ever in my life for that matter. So…I’m making a deal with myself to be more realistic in 2015. I constantly strive to better myself toward a more balanced lifestyle, and that includes being nicer to myself. 2015 is the year of body kindness and acceptance. Who’s with me?!

Anyway, yesterday I had my first workout of 2015. It was following a 4 day bender of champagne, pizza, and shopping, so it wasn’t exactly my best sweat-sesh. Here’s the workout from Fitness Blender (my current obsession):

I don’t think I burned 1000 calories, nor did I intend to, but it was time for a good detox. Speaking of Fitness Blender, Daniel and Kelli (the founders, trainers and stars of the videos) are debuting a new 8 week challenge today! Chris and I have decided to give it a try, as we are going to Cancun in 6 weeks! We need a little extra motivation this time of year, and these workouts never let us down. It’s $10 and you can order it here! Join us and keep us updated on your progress!

In addition to our workout challenge, we are REALLY trying to be better about cooking our meals at home. So this weekend I collected up tons of pinterest recipes and last night began our homecooked challenge with this Skinnytaste recipe:

SO MUCH YUM!

Ok, that’s enough from me. Have a super fabulous week!

xoR