Does Your Workout Work For You?

When you get ready to head out to the gym do you know what you’re going to do when you get there? Do you have a plan or do you just get there, hop on a piece of cardio equipment and go through the same routine you’ve been doing for years? I can tell you that I have seen the same people year after year at the gym that look exactly the same as when they first joined and here’s why…

1. You do the same routine or go to the same class every day.

You need to add variety to get results. The body will adapt quickly to the same 30 minutes on the StairMaster every day. Do a combination of strength training and cardio, check out a different class, or get on a different piece of cardio equipment. I personally love kickboxing, there’s nothing like punching and kicking a heavy bag to release stress! If you really want to torch some calories I suggest adding in a kickboxing class.

2. You have no idea what you’re doing or how to use the equipment at they gym so you only go to the machines you know how to use.

My suggestion is to find a trainer that can help you learn how to use the equipment and create a plan for you to meet your fitness/weight loss goals. When working with a trainer start from day one writing down your workouts so you can use them on the days you are not with your trainer. For most people having a trainer is not a luxury, it’s a NECESSITY! Having a standing appointment with a trainer will help keep you motivated, safe, and most importantly ACCOUNTABLE.

3. You multi-task while working out. What I like to call “Cell phone cardio”.

I cannot begin to tell you the number of times each day I see women sitting on a recumbent bike, walking the treadmill, or some other piece of cardio equipment while texting away on their cell phones. If you can text while you’re working out, you’re not working out hard enough. I put one of my clients on an elliptical machine and she flipped out because her heart rate went up to 12o BPM’s she told me that “someone” told her that for her age/size she shouldn’t go above 120 BPM’s. I gently explained that you need to go by how you feel, NOT the number on the screen. Can you carry on a conversation? If the answer is yes, you are not working hard enough.

4. You find a routine in your favorite fitness magazine or one that a “celebrity” is doing and expect it to work the same for you.

I applaud you for making the effort to pull out the routine and try it. Unfortunately, more often than not, you’re not putting in the same kind of effort/intensity required. The model or celeb in the photos is working with a trainer and nutritionist on a regular basis. Not to mention, they airbrush these people to make them appear perfect. Find something you like to do, put the effort in, and stick to it!

5. You tell yourself that since you went to the gym today you should reward yourself with a bag of cookies or chips. WRONG ANSWER!

You can spend hours at the gym working out but if you fill your body up with processed junk food, you are wasting your time. You need to feed your body with healthy nutritious food not empty calories. Every Saturday I go to the grocery store and stock up on what I will need for the upcoming week. Fuji apples, spinach, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, chicken, turkey, oatmeal, egg whites (in the carton), almond milk, protein powder, etc. On Sunday, I grill/cook all my chicken and veggies so that it’s all ready to eat. Every night I put together my cooler and fill it with my breakfast and lunch for the following day. I also include a shaker for protein shakes, small Tupperware containers with 1 serving of protein powder, and apples for snacks. A little preparation goes a long way!

These are just some of the mistakes I see at the gym on a regular basis. If you are committed to making a change in your life through exercise and nutrition then find the help you need to get you where you want to be. Go to the front desk at your gym, look around at the people at your gym find the most fit person and ask them what they do. Go online and order books on fitness & nutrition. The book I’m currently reading and one I’d highly recommend is IMPACT by Todd Durkin it’s filled with great information, motivation, and inspiration.

Most of all just get up and MOVE!!!

xoxo Fit Chica

AVOID HOLIDAY WEIGHT GAIN (2010)

Over the holiday season, millions of Americans gain anywhere from 2 to 7 lbs. In fact, the one or two pounds people gain during the holidays tends to stay with them for life. So, how do you avoid holiday weight gain? Lean muscle is the secret to keeping your metabolism firing to burn fat all day long. People who are active are more likely to maintain their weight during the holidays.

Here are some tips for keeping weight off during the holidays:

  • Physical activity. It’s a fact, people who are more active are more likely to maintain their weight during the holidays. This year, park farther away from the entrance to the mall and get a nice walk in and take the stairs instead of the elevator/escalator. This year, instead of being the wallflower at all those holiday parties, get on the dance floor and dance your a$$ off! Dancing burns off those extra calories you’re consuming. Just 30 minutes of dancing burns about 150 calories. So crank up the tunes and get your body moving!
  • Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol can be a major source of hidden calories. Alcohol has 7 calories per gram, almost as much as fat (9 calories per gram) and nearly twice as many calories as a gram of carbohydrate or protein (4 calories per gram). Just one apple martini has 235 calories and almost 12 grams of sugar! Stick to a flavored vodka & soda or a light beer. Drink plenty of water! In fact, for every drink you have, drink at least 1 extra glass of water. Water will help your body metabolize the alcohol and may counteract some of the dehydrating effects of alcohol on the body such as that almost inevitable next-day hangover. No matter what, ALWAYS have a designated driver!
  • Limit soda and other sweetened beverages. These drinks add extra calories, too. Simply put, they are drinks high in fat and/or sugar. A can of soda, for example, has 150 calories and 42 grams of sugar! An 8 oz. glass of egg nog has about 220 calories! It would take about an hour of ice-skating to burn off that nog (220 calories burned per hour). Personally, I love light egg nog but have made the switch to Rice-Nog, it’s delicious and only 80 calories per serving. However, H2O is always the best choice!
  • Schedule holiday celebrations at normal meal times. Celebrations outside of normal meal times encourage people to pile on snacks which always mean extra calories. This one isn’t always easy to follow with all the events and holiday parties, it’s the holiday season and we’ll all splurge on tasty treats. Try to use good judgement, do your best, and don’t stress over it.
  • Choose foods with fewer calories. Foods with fewer calories for their size make you feel fuller sooner. Reach for those celery sticks and stick to lean protein snacks like shrimp or turkey slices. I absolutely love traditional stuffing unfortunately, just ½ cup of this delectable treat requires half an hour of shoveling snow (195 calories burned per 30 minutes). Since I live at the beach I’d have to shovel sand and I don’t know about you, but that just doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun. Now, I opt for brown rice stuffing which saves 100 calories per serving. Just a little discipline goes a long way.
  • Use smaller plates. The bigger your plate, the more food you can pile on it, which means you’ll be more likely to overeat. Using smaller dishes may actually help you eat less. Using a smaller plate “tricks” your mind to think that you are eating the same amount of food as you normally do when you will probably be eating less than you normally do. Try using a salad plate for your entrée. Eating less at each meal can save hundreds of calories saved each week. Remember, it’s the little changes that make the biggest differences!
  • Eat a healthy snack beforehand. You’ll be less likely to eat a lot of fattening food at parties. Try an apple with almond butter or a protein shake with a small piece of fruit like a pear or an apple. One medium-sized apple contains 5 grams of fiber and only 80 calories, they’re great to stave off that sweet tooth. Or, grab my new favorite protein treat the PowerCrunch Bar, a healthy snack that tastes like dessert! My picks for protein powders are ProtoWhey, MyoFusion, and Elite XT.
  • Weigh yourself weekly. Weekly NOT daily! It’s the holidays and we’ll all splurge on tasty treats just don’t stress over it. Just try not to overdo it and if you do, get right back on the track the next day. If you notice the needle on the scale creeping up a bit, create a plan of how you’ll get back on track when the holidays are over.
  • Get plenty of REST! Lack of sleep can lead to weight gain, stress, moodiness, and the inability to be your best. With all the holiday parties and late nights it’s easy to skimp on sleep but give yourself the gift of sleep this holiday season. It’s the best gift you can give yourself and you deserve it!
Don’t be a statistic! Get FIT, boost your energy, and shed pounds this holiday season by participating in a fitness class (i.e. yoga, SPX Pilates, TRX, Kickboxing), go to the gym, or just head out for a walk in the crisp winter air! NOW is the perfect time to get a jump on that New Year’s Resolution.

Written by Jennifer Billings, BS, CPT
www.dolphitness.com
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Testimonial for TRX Training

I take pride in working with my clients, developing a personal relationship, and helping them achieve their goals. Read what one of my satisfied clients has said about my TRX classes!

“So there I was, at the WRONG end of my closet…not good. I’m turning 40 this year and am actually excited about it.  But, it was time to admit that I can’t fight Father Time forever. It was time to stop spending six months getting in shape and then letting it all go until those pants no longer fit, only to start all over again. I needed direction but couldn’t afford a personal trainer. Does that sound like an excuse? Not good enough? Well, I have two little kids and erratic work hours, making it really difficult to attend evening classes. That’s 0 for 2 so far. Did I mention I’m a night owl and HATE getting up in the morning to go to the gym? Three strikes. So that was it, right? Not so fast; all these excuses didn’t change the fact that I had three pair of pants (including the “mom” jeans) that fit me. Then, there were those two little kids at home who needed a good role model, not someone who would just keep buying new pants while ending up sick and frail before her time. Speaking of time…JUST IN TIME, Clarita found Jennifer Billings and TRX! No one and nothing else in this world could get me to the gym at 6:00 a.m.; but, just three classes a week for two months have me back at the right end of my closet! YAY!! I’m also stronger than I’ve been since my 20’s. The best part is that TRX is included in my Personal Best monthly dues! Am I using too many exclamation points? I can’t help it. Personal Best is the only gym in the South Bay that doesn’t charge extra for TRX. Since there are only 5 students per class, it’s really like having a personal trainer. Besides the fact that Jennifer is totally fun (EVEN at 6:00 a.m.!!), the small classes allow her to tailor the workout for those “extra special” areas. So, what are you waiting for?” 

Kara C.

If you are interested in getting in shape, working with the TRX, or just getting some information, send me an e-mail at jenniferb@dolphitness.com. If you would like to purchase your own TRX, click here or on the banner below:

TRX Boot Camp Classes at Personal Best

Jump start your metabolism while sculpting long, lean muscles using the TRX Suspension System. The TRX is a unique training tool that provides endless exercise options for all fitness levels using your own body weight and gravity as resistance.

Check out a class in action:

Classes meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Sign up online by clicking below:

Inner Thigh Exercises

Someone sent me an e-mail after coming across my website, they wanted to know what exercises they could do to tone their inner thighs. With Summer just around the corner I thought it might be nice to share this with all of you. 
 
Inner thighs are always difficult to target by themselves. It is important to do other leg exercises which target the surrounding muscles i.e. quads, hamstrings, glutes. Lunges, squats, 1 legged squats, leg press, leg extensions, hamstring curls, etc.  are great for creating lean and sculpted legs. If you are at a gym, using the seated abduction/adduction machine is always a nice addition as well.
 
Inner thigh pull: Attach an ankle cuff to the low pulley on a Freemotion or other machine which allows this. While standing, put the cuff on the ankle closest to the machine, set the weight to the lowest level to start then move your leg in front of and across your body do 10-15 reps, 3-4 sets on each leg. This is a slow and controlled movement. Make sure you hold on to the machine firmly as you do this exercise. Play with the position of your feet throughout maybe flex your toes for one set and point them for another. As you get more advanced, you can add weight but always ensure that your form or posture does not suffer. This is a small and controlled movement so heavy weight is not necessary.
 
Inner thigh presses: Grab a stability ball and lie on the floor, put the ball between your knees keep your hips on the floor and squeeze the ball repeatedly (little presses/pulses) keeping tension on the ball, repeat 20-30 times, 3-4 sets.
 
Inner thigh leg lifts: Grab a pair of 2 to 5 lb. ankle weights, lying on your left side ensuring that your head, shoulders and hips are aligned. Use your hand to prop your head up, cross the right leg over your left and place your right foot on the floor. Now lift and lower the left leg (this is a small movement) 20-30 times then, without stopping, keep the left leg lifted and make small circles 10-20 times forward then 10-20 times backward. Repeat on the right side. Click here for a video of this exercise.
 
Stair crosses: If you have stairs nearby, stand sideways at the bottom of the stairs holding on to the railing for balance. Put your right foot on the first stair and cross your left leg over the right to get to the next stair. Continue till you reach the end of the stairs. For added resistance, you can add 2 to 5 lb. ankle weights.
 
Plie squat: Stand so that your feet are shoulder width apart with your toes turned out like a ballerina. Now, come down into a squat keeping your chest and shoulders lifted throughout the exercise, do 10-15 reps, 3-4 sets. As you get more advanced, grab a 10-30 lb. dumbbell and hold it lengthwise as you squat. You can also use a barbell, I just prefer a dumbbell.
 
There are several other exercises that target not only the inner thighs but the legs and glutes as well. These are just a few. Repeat these exercises a few times a week and watch those inner thighs get stronger and more toned.
xoxo-Fit Chica

TRX Booty Camp & TRX Goddess Abs at Heart & Pole

TRX® Suspension Training® What is TRX? TRX stands for Total Resistance EXercise. TRX Suspension Training helps you build total body strength, balance, flexibility, and core stability for people of all ages and fitness levels.

TRX Booty Camp Tuesdays and Thursdays (8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.) Sculpt your legs and tighten your tush with this fun and challenging workout. TRX Booty camp will help you tone your abs and strengthen your upper body. Alternate between functional exercises using your own body weight and gravity for resistance and cardio blasts to burn tons of calories and get you in the best shape ever!

TRX Goddess Abs Tuesdays and Thursdays (12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.) If you’ve ever seen a statue of a powerful Greek or Roman Goddess, you’ve probably noticed their finely chiseled abs. This workout focuses specifically on those abdominal and oblique muscles to give your core that extra challenge. No more muffin tops here! With this class you’ll soon have those Goddesses envious of you!

TRX Boot Camp Classes at Personal Best in San Pedro, CA

Jump start your metabolism while sculpting long, lean muscles using the TRX Suspension System. The TRX is a unique training tool that provides endless exercise options for all fitness levels using your own body weight and gravity as resistance. The design of the TRX allows you to transition fluidly from exercise to exercise and helps you increase your overall body strength, while improving balance, flexibility, and endurance. In this class, we will alternate between functional exercises and cardio-intervals to burn loads of calories and build a strong, stable core. All levels welcome. 

Spaces are limited so you receive personal attention. Only 2 spots left for February so sign up today!!

Classes meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Two ways to sign up!
Sign up online by clicking below:

Located at: 643 W. 6th Street, San Pedro, CA 90731 

Or, send me an e-mail: jenniferb@dolphitness.com

The search for the perfect pant…I love lucy!

As a fitness professional, I have been on the hunt for a pant that fits and looks great, and is functional for all activities. The search is over!

 The Hatha Power Pant by lucy is the best pant I have ever purchased. I wear this pant while training my clients and for my own workouts (i.e. weight training, running, TRX Suspension Training, and yoga). What’s great about this pant is that it fits like a glove with its maximum compression. No more having to pull your pants up in the middle of class. The moisture wicking fabric wicks the sweat from your body so it keeps you cool and yet somehow keeps me warm even at 6 a.m. on a cold beach run. Another great feature is the hidden front pocket that’s perfect for holding a key or money for a coffee 🙂

But by far, the best feature for me was the length, at 5 feet tall finding a pant that I don’t have to hem is just unheard of. Well, lucy has pants in lengths for all sizes. So, if you’re tall (5’9″ and up), average (5’4″ to 5’8″) or, a vertically challenged individual like myself, you can grab a short pair (5’3″ and under). 

What’s really cool is that on their website www.lucy.com, when you click on a tab i.e. Bottoms, you see models wearing the pants and they turn 360° so you can actually see what the pants look like on a person. This is so much better than just a static picture where you really have no idea what the pants (or tops) look like on.

The Hatha Power pant comes in black with black piping, black with fuschia piping, and navy blue with turquoise piping. It also comes in a capri length!

I now own 2 pairs of the Hatha Pant and plan on getting another pair very soon. The only thing I would like to see is the black pant with red piping to match the beautiful Power Yoga Halter I have in red. Thanks so much lucy for these amazing pants! Keep up the good work!

 

Pros: Flattering, Functional, Sexy, Sturdy, Stylish
Cons: They are a little pricey at $88 but, you definitely get what you pay for and compared to other retailers i.e. Lululemon, these pants are more affordable and you just cannot beat the fit and quality of lucy.
Best Uses: General Fitness, Strength Training, TRX Suspension Training, Yoga, Pilates, Running, and Sports Training

Bottom Line: I would highly recommend these to my friends and clients.

Rating (Out of 5):
Fit: ★★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★★
Price: ★★★★ (you get what you pay for so they’re worth it)
Meets Expectations: ★★★★★
Overall: ★★★★★

Surf Stronger with TRX®

What an awesome workout! Most of you know that I’m a huge fan of the TRX. TRXing is something I do several times a week for my own workouts and all my clients love it too.

I am not a surfer myself, but I know that surfing takes strength, balance, and determination. As a native California girl, I’ve watched people riding the waves for years and always watch them in awe as they jump up and catch the waves. I’m always jealous when I see them out there with dolphins so close they could reach out and touch them. If only I could get over my dislike of cold water…enough about me, let’s get to the Surf Stronger workout!

This workout is a fantastic tool for surfers and non-surfers alike to increase their strength, balance, and coordination. It works the entire body and mixes in some really fun (and challenging) cardio drills. Each exercise is 30 to 45 seconds with a 15 to 60 second break between sets. I especially love the “Surfers Pop-Up Drill” which entails lying on the ground doing a paddling motion with the arms and jumping up like you would onto a surfboard.

After doing this workout a few times, I feel like I just may grab a board, learn to surf, and enjoy the fun too!

You can download this workout by clicking on the image below:

P.S. Did I mention that I will be teaching TRX classes starting January, 2010? Classes will be held at Personal Best in San Pedro, CA. For more information send an e-mail to: jenniferb@dolphitness.com.