Friday, June 26, 2009

Stepping out of my comfort zone!

Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.
-Brian Tracey

I have two objectives with this post. #1.  To get you thinking about what makes you uncomfortable? and how can you attack it? get it under your belt, cross it off the list and feel the triumph of knowing you did something that you REALLY didn't EVER think you'd be able to do.  Whether it's in health and fitness, your job, your personal life.  People tend to seek pleasure or avoid pain.  In doing that we often miss out on opportunities or take the easy way out.

#2.  I'd like to use this forum to promote an amazing photographer Julia Newman!

Since the gym kind of slows down in the summer as people are traveling and enjoying the outdoors (when it's not pouring rain in the Northeast)...I was looking for something to do with my extra time.  I'm cruising around on craigslist and come across a lot of ads for promotional modeling, to be an extra in videos, tv shows, commercials and etc.......then I'm looking through Women's Health thinking, I do these exercises everyday-I wonder how much they pay these chicks to pose for the fitness photos?!  So I put an ad on craigslist for barter to find a photographer who wants to trade headshots/body shots for personal training and I found Julia Newman!

If you know anyone getting married she travels all over and she is AMAZING.  You have to understand how uncomfortable I was for my whole photo shoot-being the center of attention if I'm telling a joke or making someone laugh (or giving a big speech at a Cutco conference in front of lots of people, LOL) is no problem-but having my picture taken and having to pose?! Not so much.  Julia guided me through, made me laugh, asked me questions and got me to do some pretty silly stuff I wouldn't normally do-and even some serious stuff (which if you know me, you know is not my style).  Above are some of the photos she took of me...she has a very user friendly website and you must check out her blog.  Her style is unique, she's been featured in The keep Julia in the back of your mind if you or anyone you know has any need for a photographer!!

Weight Training for Busy People

"The simplest things are often the truest"
-Richard Bach

As I was deliberating what to cover with regards to weight/strength/resistance training for people with busy schedules-I became overwhelmed because it's such a vast topic.  That's when it hit me-keep it simple! Busy people don't have time for complicated, the simpler the better so here you go :)

Because it may be difficult for many of you to make it to a gym as often as you'd like I want to highlight some very basic exercises that you can do at home with little to no equipment that can absolutely help you launch an attack on unwanted fat so you can start losing inches! Some of you know what these exercises are, if you're unsure click on each one and you'll be taken to a youtube video explaining them (I'm aiming to make my own videos within the next 2 months!)

SIDENOTE... for people who are not in the habit of doing squats and lunges regularly, I've had clients tell me after a few weeks of incorporating them into their programs 2-3x/wk their booties have lifted......yesssss! fighting gravity is sweet (guys you may not care if your booty lifts, but you may want to share this w/ the ladies in your lives :) )

Sit Ups (I'm not attaching a video, because I couldn't find one I like.  When it comes to sit ups you may need to find something to tuck your toes under to keep your feet down so you can sit all the way up.  Cross your arms over your chest and sit ALL THE WAY UP.  When you get to the top really squeeze your core and bring those elbows over your knees so you feel that work all the way down through your lower abs, lower ALL THE WAY DOWN one vertebrae at a time and repeat!)

I recommend doing as many exercises as possible in a standing position (obviously this doesn't apply to push ups, planks and etc) versus sitting because many of you spend a lot of time sitting on your commutes in your car, on the train or at your desk all day-please don't sit when you work out!

Need more of a challenge or want to be more efficient? 
Combine some of the exercises. For example:

squat to shoulder press
lunge to bicep curl
do side leg raises while holding a side plank and etc.

*most of the videos I posted are the most basic forms of the exercises, there are progressions when these get too easy-but that's not really something I can cover in a blog!

Standards of Good Form
-Keep your shoulders back and pressed down away from your ears
-activate your core (contract your abs, squeezing your belly button towards your spine whether you are seated, standing or laying down)
-If you're in a laying down position, back should be flat on the ground
-Hips are under you giving you a good center of balance and preventing back from arching
-Exhale against gravity i.e.-during a push up on the way up, during a bicep curl as you raise the weight.  Why? because your core contracts when you exhale anyway-giving you a little extra umph during the hardest part of the exercise :)

Really strapped for time??!!-remember this. 

 Train your larger muscle groups first-chest, back and legs.  
Here's why-the smaller muscle groups and your core all assist and are technically working during exercises for your major muscle groups.  For example during a push up-your shoulders are stabilizing your arms.  During a squat your core stabilizes your body and keeps you from falling backwards (if you're squatting properly).  During a bent over row your triceps, shoulders and biceps are involved in helping you raise and lower the weight and etc.

As always, I'm here if you need me