Lets talk food.

What foods should you eat before/after a workout? I’ll tell you. Bananas are really good, they contain sugar, potassium, and fiber along with some great vitamins. Eating a banana before a work out is perfect because it’s packed with good carbs you can use as fuel. Next is nuts, not just any nuts specifically almonds. Almonds contain vitamin E, vitamin B2, and some healthy fat. They are little energy boosting packets that are great before or after a workout!

Grapefruit is another great food to fuel your body either before or after a workout. It’s been proven that grapefruit is a fat burner all by itself, it also contains fiber, potassium, lycopene, vitamin C and choline which help with an overall healthy heart. Citrus is really good to eat through out the day especially in the morning for fat burning as well as a little energy for your workout or just your day!

Some other little random healthy pre and post workout snack ingredients are some seeds, like chia and sunflower seeds. Spinach is another great food to eat, it is also known to help with weight loss. It contains vitamin K, vitamin A, protein and other essential vitamins, who knew a leaf could be so packed full of such healthy ingredients?!

All of the foods above are great post and pre-workout foods to eat! And can easily be put into a smoothie for one amazing superfood! Check out my recipe down below.

  1. one large orange or two small ones
  2. one big banana or two small ones
  3. a handful of spinach
  4. one tablespoon of sunflower seeds
  5. one tablespoon coconut flakes
  6. 2/3 cup water(you can add more or less)
  7. one teaspoon of cinnamon                        BLEND ALL TOGETHER AND ENJOY!!!

Sore is good.

cropped-weights.jpg

Sore is good. What does that mean? When your muscles are sore after a workout that means the muscle is growing and building. If you aren’t sore after a workout that just means you’re “toning” your muscles, not building.

What happens when you workout your muscles is that you create tiny microscopic tears in the muscle which then starts to regenerate and build creating more muscle. The same thing happens wether you’re sore or not but if you’re not sore the tears are even smaller and just defines the muscle already there.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “no pain no gain” which is absolutely true. You want to gain? You need to be sore which means recognizing when your body can do another round or more reps during your workouts, pushing your body but not too far. It’s a fine line that you yourself have to learn about your body with time.

Any exercise is good whether you’re sore after or not. The leg workout I did today is below! Enjoy!

  1. x30 jumping jacks
  2. x10 weighted squats
  3. x3o heel touches
  4. x10 weighted lunges(both sides)
  5. x10 burpees
  6. x10 plie(sumo) squats
  7. x10 narrow push-ups
  8. x20 clams(both sides)
  9. 1:00 wall sit                       REAPEAT 3-5X!!

Give it a rest.

Rest days are very important, as important as exercising regularly even everyday. You need a day or two of rest from your workouts for your body to realize whats happened to it and give it time to regenerate.

Often times after a rest day you are stronger and more motivated during your workout as well as more focused!! Yes, it is true rest days are very beneficial. I work out 6 days a week leaving Wednesdays as the day I just stretch and do some rolling and give weight lifting a break.

The next day im refreshed and ready to kick some butt!!! Sometimes I take two days off! Rest days don’t hurt you unless you totally binge on unhealthy food etc, but if you keep up your good habits and continue treating your body well on those days it will be nothing but good!

Check out my Instagram @lookingglassfitness for videos of my workouts!!!! Have a great day!

Bulk it up with or without supplements?

Protein supplements are a huge part of the fitness industry, body builders use protein and fat burners to bulk fast. What is protein supplements? well, it depends but the general operation is speeding up muscle recovery and building it faster than if you didn’t take a supplement.

Some people gain muscle naturally by eating the right foods and having a regular workout session. My favorite protein powder is called Whey Protein, the particular one that I get is a meal replacement so instead of eating a meal after your workout you drink 8 to 12 ounces of this protein powder mixed in water or any beverage. Whey is typically most effective after a workout is complete so it can start building and recovering muscle, unlike some like BCAA which you would want to drink before a workout to give you more energy etc.

Not all protein supplements are meal replacements like the one I get, You can also get whey protein that is a fat burner or energy that you can take periodically throughout the day instead of having it replace your meal. I personally think that you can get all the muscle-building proteins through food such as lean meats and vegetables.

I use whey protein but I don’t take it after every workout, I only take it after my really intense ones where I know I’ll be sore the next day to speed up recovery and build my muscle quicker!!

The arm workout I did today is down below!!  Enjoy!

SET ONE:

  1. x8 hammer curls(both sides)
  2.  x8 shoulder presses(double)
  3. x8 butterflies                                REPEAT 4X!!

SET TWO:

  1. x10 bicep curls(both sides)
  2. x6 narrow push-ups                   REPEAT 3X!!

SET THREE:

  1. x8 tricep extensions
  2. x8 chest fly
  3. x8 skull crushers
  4. x8 laying down tricep push-outs          REPEAT 4X!!

 

 

Sometimes other objects are better.

Sometimes you don’t have the right tools for certain workouts, maybe the machines are busy at the gym or you workout at home and don’t have a lot available. Here are some substitutes for some tools for working out.

I workout at home all of the time and never go to the gym, so I’ve learned what objects etc can substitute. The first one is a stability ball, not everyone has these but they’re great for doing core workouts on, wall squats and a lot more. You can instead use a foam roller, I don’t have a stability ball so I use my foam roller for ab pull ins instead of the ball. You can also use something smaller like a basketball or volleyball, if you want an un-even or unstable surface to do core workouts on you can use your bed!! You can make any core workout harder by doing it on your bed.

Tricep dips, instead of using the nifty bars at the gym you can use a bench or chair whether you’re home or not. You can use the chair for incline push ups as well as counters, your couch or a stable table.

The big one is, what if you don’t have weights at home? You can use bottles filled with water!! Gallon jugs are best but you could use any normal water bottle filled with water for weights!! Instead of a kettlebell you can use a teapot filled with water! Just use plastic food wrap and a rubber band to cover the spout so water doesn’t fly out.

If you look around your house or gym yu can use any number of things to substitute for a certain tool for your workout! Sometimes it omakes the workout that much more fun!

Check out my Instagram @lookingglassfitness for a little core workout that I did using substitutions!!!

Workout is down below. Enjoy!

  1. x8 crunch/extend legs straight
  2. x8 weighted toe touches
  3. x8 core pull ins
  4. x8 weighted side dips
  5. 00:45 Plank
  6. 00:45 side plank(both sides          REPEAT 3-5XX!!!

cardiorespiratory exercise good or bad?

Cardio is a very controversial subject, some people think it’s bad others think it’s all the exercise you should do. The TRUTH is cardio is really good in moderation and mixed with weight/strength training.

You should NOT do it everyday but a couple of times a week is totally fine. I do it twice a week, usually a run for one day then two to tree days later I do a different kind of cardio. But I never do cardio solely on its own, I do it after a weight training session to finish off my whole workout.

Cardio is really good for your heart in moderation, it’s also a way to get blood moving in every part of your body instead of just your arms/core/legs or what ever concentrated area you’re working on in your workout.

Here are some benefits of doing a cardio workout!:

  • stronger heart and lungs
  • reduces stress
  • created higher bone density
  • reduces risk of heart disease and some cancers
  • temporary relief from anxiety and depression
  • better sleep

Some of these benefits speak for general exercise as well!! One of my favorite cardio workouts it down below!! enjoy!

  1. 1:00 High knees
  2. 1:00 Jumping jacks
  3. 1:00 butt kickers
  4. 1:00 jump rope
  5. x20 burpees                           REPEAT 2-5X!!!

Is stretching a benefit?

stretching  Stretching is extremely good for your body and very important to do before AND after a workout. Stretching helps warm up your tendons, muscles and gets your bones to move more fluently so they get used to doing their job  before you workout.

Take five minutes before starting your workout to focus on stretching, if you don’t you could really damage tissue, tendons etc. Not to scare you but make you aware of your body and its needs. I can tell you being as an athlete that has sustained many semi-serious injuries that stretching before anything active could be the difference between a broken ankle or a sprained one.

I have had bicep tendonitis, a sprained ankle, a semi-dislocated wrist and an injury which I’m still working on and will probably never really go away is my Patella Fasciitis and IT irritation/tension caused by it(all from being an athlete and overall active person). I stretch everyday religiously now before volleyball practice and workouts, even if i’m not planning on working out that day I stretch first thing in the morning. When I got injured all those times, I didn’t stretch that often but since I’ve been stretching everyday before anything I haven’t received a new injury. Exercising daily also has helps with that. I started working out everyday (give or take one or two days) a little over a year ago and it has improved so many things in my life.

Stretching also improves mobility and it relaxes and relieves stress!! It keeps your body flexible and limber, so why not stretch everyday? nothing but good can come from it.

Foam rolling is also really good, especially for me since I have knee/ IT band issues it’s very helpful to loosen everything up.

Check out my ab/core workout below as well as my “go to” stretches before and after workouts!!

  1. x15 reverse crunch/leg lit
  2. x20 cross mountain climbers
  3. x15 jack knife crunches
  4. 1:00 plank

x20 wide scissors(on back)  REPEAT 3-5x!!!

STRETCHES:

  1. x6 scorpions(3 each side)
  2. x3 budha/swan/downward facing dog(flow)
  3. 10 seconds Pigeon stretch/calf stretch(switch legs and repeat)
  4. 10 seconds butterfly
  5. 10 toe reach(each side)
  6. x6 arm swings/ arm circles backward and forward

 

 

Mix it up?

We all have our favorite workout routine and exercises, and that is completely fine. I have my go to cardio that I love and ab workouts that are great but you also need to do exercises that you’ve never done to surprise your body!

Yes, I said surprise your body! Your body adapts to exercises and movements you do to the point that it doesn’t build muscle or do anything anymore, you can do the same exercise several days out of the week just not two days in a row because it won’t be effective. That means you have to mix it up, do exercises you’ve never done or space out the ones you love!

This is why I create so many workouts, because my body adapts really fast to exercises and it takes a lot for me to gain noticeable muscle. I do crazy, new, fun exercises to shake it up.

So bottom line is mix up your workout, don’t do the same thing day in and day out because your body won’t grow and improve that way. Working out is supposed to be fun, not a chore like cleaning the dishes(my own personal nemesis) you need to be inspired and excited to do your workout!! So why not do something you’ve never tried before? If it doesn’t work than you don’t have to do it again, but if it does work it’s something elses you can add to your regiment!!

Never be afraid to try something new!! Have a great day everyone! Check out my workout down below!!!

  1. x10 weighted sumo squats
  2.  x10 Narrow/Wide dead lifts (alternating)
  3.  x10 weighted Pulsing squats(pulse three times then stand up)
  4.  x16 Single leg deadlifts(8 each leg)
  5.  x10 weighted in/out jump squats     REPEAT 3-5x!!!!!

Do you need to go to the gym to have an effective workout?

Lets start by saying everyone has their own method of working out and places they go to do so. I personally workout in my own home, I have the right tools to do so and I know the proper form etc to be safe and effective. Not all people would be able to workout from home, maybe there’s too many distractions or going to the gym is a getaway. I workout at home because I was never comfortable at the gym unless I was with my trainer, I felt like I was being judged. I didn’t lift as much weight as the guy/girl next to me and thought people noticed, I was also semi-young when I started going to the gym and stood out, being 13 and all. I started working out from home which I did on the days I didn’t have a training session, eventually I stopped going to the gym all together. My family has weights, resistance bands, yoga mats, jump ropes  and of course normal furniture you can utilize at home! I do random little workouts all over the house besides my normal workouts in the morning or after school, counters are great for incline push ups. Another great upside to working out at home is you can blast your country music as loud as you want!! So the answer is no, you don’t need to go to the gym for an effective workout if you know how to work out properly. Down below is a simple arm workout that you can do in either a gym or your own home! have a great day everyone!

  1. x10 plank/lateral arm raise
  2. x10 weighted circles(around the worlds)
  3. x10 controled reverse grip punches(slow)
  4. x10 shoulder press
  5. x10 tricep dips(use chair or bench)
  6. x10 90 degree lateral riase                    Repeat 3x!!!

 

 

A little Introduction

Hello everyone! My name is Emily, this is going to be a fitness blog where I’ll talk about workouts and proper techniques and certain moves I’m loving at the moment. I’ll be posting workouts that I do, I create all of my workouts to best suit my body. I do get inspiration from fitness gurus but I always change the exercises and modify them to suite me as well as just making up moves that I’ve never seen anyone else do that are effective and fun. I create customized workouts for people as well, i’ve created workouts for my parents, my grandpa and teammates. If you’re interested in anything i’ve just talked about feel free to follow me!! Working out is what I love to do and I’m excited to finally start this blog!! I’ll be posting new workouts about six days out of the week and continuing my blog hopefully everyday(provided I’m not swamped with school etc) I’m looking forward to seeing what happens! Have a wonderful day everyone!