Fitness Friday, Lifting

Fitness Friday: Lower Body Dumbbell Complex

I have a slight obsession with lower body exercises and complexes. When I can combine the two, I get a little giddy inside.  Complexes are perfect for building muscle and decreasing fat in a short amount of time.  You’ll do the below exercises back to back with 30-60 seconds rest before starting another round.  Move fast but don’t forget to keep good form here.

  • 10 Goblet Squats
  • 10 Romanian Deadlifts
  • 10 Curtsey Lunges (each leg)
  • 10 Bulgarian Split Squats (each leg)
  • 10 Bridges with dumbbell on stomach (hold for 2 seconds at the top)

*Repeat for another 2-3 times with 60 seconds rest in between each round.

Another fun way to do complexes is to start with 10 reps and each round drop a rep. For example Round 1: complete all exercises at 10 Reps. Round 2: complete all at 9 reps.  You’ll work your way all the way down to one rep, with 60 seconds rest in between each round.

 

Lifestyle

 

lifestyle, Lifting, yoga

What Would a Pro Do?

me

You know that feeling when it’s 5:30, you just got done work, your exhausted, beat, dead tired. The only thing you want to do is go home.  But you are supposed to go to the gym/yoga/insert your activity here.  And in an instant you must decide to push through and go, or to give in and go home.

It’s only an instant. A moment.

Because once you make up your mind to go home it’s over, there is no turning back from there. You won’t ask yourself again what you should do because going home is the easy thing to do.  But you’ll never get to where you want to be by going home.

The moment I decided to switch how I responded to that question, it completely changed how I looked at going to the gym & yoga. Now, when I ask myself do I go to the gym or do I go home, it’s a no brainer.  As soon as the “I don’t feel like going to the gym” pops into my head, I ask myself “what would a pro do?”.   Would a professional athlete go home or go to the gym? Obviously they would go to the gym. They would get it done.  It’s not just a workout, it’s training.  Because their long term goal is far more important than spending extra time on the couch watching The Bachelor.  I don’t go to the gym to work out, I go to the gym to train.  I don’t go to yoga just take a yoga class and get on with my day, I go to specific yoga classes with specific yoga teachers that will provide me with yoga training.

It might seem weird at first to compare yourself to a professional athlete but step into that role. Think and act like a professional to get professional results.

And honestly, you will feel so much better and more energized after you go to the gym/yoga anyway.

In short, next time you are deciding what to do, step into the question as a professional, remember your long term goals and get it done.

lifestyle, Lifting, yoga

The Yoga of Lifting

You know that feeling after yoga?FullSizeRender

I always notice it the moment I sit up after savasana and more so driving home.  Complete euphoria. Joy and serenity at its purest moment.  It’s hard to explain how it happens really, or why.  I just know it’s there.

Surprisingly to me, I started noticing the same exact feeling after lifting.  I’d get in my car, head home and that euphoria would set in.

The gym for me used to be dreadful before I met the barbell.  Now it’s a sanctuary as much as my favorite yoga studio is.  The barbell is equal to my yoga mat.  Both provide me strength, confidence, muscle, peace.  Both knock me down when I am feeling a little too ego driven and both build me up when I’m feeling dreadfully unsubstantial.
You see there is nothing like the feeling of being able to deadlift 200+ pounds. Feeling strong is the biggest confidence builder I have ever come across.  There is also nothing like the feeling of your first crow pose lift off or conquering that pose you’ve been working on for so long.  Finding that perfect balance just before your edge.  I believe the thrill comes from constantly challenging yourself. Pushing and testing your limits.

There will always be people who can lift more than you, or who can hold handstand and do all of these crazy poses better than you.  But what makes yoga so amazing and what makes lifting equally as amazing is that you can come to your mat or barbell every time and know that the only thing you have to worry about is improving yourself.

lifestyle

What’s Your Hypothesis?

soulphoto

Experiment

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you hear the word experiment? Maybe middle school science class?

I live my life based on experiments. In a way that nearly everything I do is an experiment.

I do this based on two reasons:

  1. If it is an experiment, there is no such thing as failure. Outcomes of experiments are not based on winning or failing, they are based on conclusions. Once you have a conclusion, you can compare it to your hypothesis and then from there suggest ways to better the experiment. So every time I do an experiment, failure is never a possibility, my only choice is to look at the process and find ways to either improve it or let go of it and move on.
  2. If I mess up mid-way and veer off of my intended path it doesn’t mean that the whole thing is over. It gives me a chance to reevaluate the reasons I am doing something and motivate myself to get back onto track. It’s not an all or nothing process. Error will happen and that is ok.

The month of August I created a #ReBagIt Challenge and invited all of my Facebook friends to join.  This experiment was to see if we could go a whole month without using plastic bags from stores. This brought attention to our overuse and waste of plastic bags and personally brought attention to how much I purchase on a weekly basis. The beginning was fairly easy; “I don’t need a bag” was all I really had to say. There were times I wouldn’t even remember until the cashier had already bagged everything. At which point I would kindly tell them I don’t need a bag and explain why. Times also happened when I down right completely forgot until the bags were in my car. What I learned from this experiment was that I buy way to much stuff and I have a horrible memory even in relation to things that are important to me. Going forward, I will try to find creative ways to remember things and also remind myself to buy less.

I am also currently doing a 30 Day No Drinking Experiment. Now, when I first decided to do this (19 days ago) I didn’t really have any clear goals, reasons or even a number of days that I wanted to do it for. In a moment of BBQ-outdoor-summer-weather-weakness, day 15 I had a glass of champagne. I don’t even want to call it a weakness because that ‘error’ was what helped me get clear on my no drinking experiment. So, it took be until day 15, post champagne, to get solid on my goals and affirm my 30 days as the number I wanted to do. I’ll keep you posted on the results come day 30! But this was a great way for me to learn that I need clear, solid goals and reasons why. I need a hypothesis.

Experiments can be used for anything. Work, relationships, lifestyle changes.

  • Curious how something works, experiment it.
  • Want to do something you are nervous about, experiment it.

I’ve created a guide for you to plan out your experiments with. Use it, share it, love it, and let the experimenting begin!

Get your Soul Experiments Guide here!

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yoga

HomeGrown

30 Day Yoga at Home — For Beginners

Begins August 4th!

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Are you completely new to yoga or coming back from an injury?

This 30 day program is designed to kick start your at-home yoga practice. Perfect for the complete beginner or someone looking to get back to the foundations of their practice.

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How it works:

Every few days you will be emailed a new yoga video to practice to. The videos will start out short and easy and gradually get a little more challenging as we move through the thirty days. This will give you an opportunity to build, grow and learn the foundations in a safe and effective method. If you don’t feel ready to move on to the next video, you can keep working on the video you are at until you are ready. The videos will be yours to have forever!

What you will need:

You will need a yoga mat, yoga strap, two yoga blocks and a blanket. All of these items can be found at your local target for pretty cheap. If you want to make a lifelong purchase, I always recommend the Manduka Black Pro Mat, a tad on the pricey side but it comes with a life time guarantee and is the best around!

Your Investment:

Most studios charge $15 just for one class but I wanted to price this really low, so everyone can reap the benefits of their home practice.  This 30 day program is only $30!

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