I’ve been adding more unilateral work and mobility drills to my workouts lately. I love single-leg Romanian deadlifts, but I struggle with balance. I’ve tried holding onto a bench or wall for assistance, but the problem there is that I tend to lean too heavily on the bench and use way too much assistance, so the bench becomes a crutch as opposed to a teaching tool. I’ve recently discovered using a foam roller instead of a bench or wall.
The foam roller works great because it provides some assistance for your balance, but you can’t put too much of your weight on it like you can with a bench or a wall because it will just tip over. It forces you to keep your weight centered over your hips as opposed to moving forward, so it ensures that you’re doing the exercise correctly and hinging at the hips as opposed to shifting your weight forward to doing more of a single leg squat type movement. Lower the weight in line with the foam roller; this helps prevent against reaching forward.
My feet/ankles are a weak link, so I’ve been doing some single leg swaps.
Dr. Joel Seedman has some great stuff on foot/ankle biomechanics, so I highly recommend you check him out.
Got a fitness lover on your Christmas list? Here are some great suggestions they’re sure to love (and actually use!) this year:
The water bobble. Hydration is essential when you’re working out. This BPA-free bottle comes in a multitude of colors and both 18.5 and 34 ounce sizes. Best of all, there’s an activated carbon filter, so you’re not stuck drinking water fountain water.
Polar HR7 heart rate monitor. This comfortable HR monitor connects via Bluetooth to your phone or iPod and syncs flawlessly with the free Polar app. The sensor has batteries you can change yourself and the strap is machine washable. I can’t say enough about this product. If you run, bike, or workout in a gym, you need this!
Quad Lock armband. I love how secure this feels. I also love that there’s an accompanying mount for both your bicycle and car. If you’re running around with an expensive phone strapped to your arm, you want to be certain that it stays there.
Fit Four Spartan grip gloves. The open thumb design is great because that prevents bunching on the palm. Just the right amount of padding, my hand have been callous-free since buying these. The wrist wraps give great support.
Rock My Run. I’ve written about this app before, and it just keeps getting better and better. You can see my other review for the details. There are hundreds of mixes in most every musical genre, and keep adding more weekly. I use this app every time I work out. You can choose the mix based on beats per minute, or set it to match your stride or heart rate (if you’re wearing a HR monitor). There are quite a few mixes that come with the free version, but I have the paid version called “Rockstar”. It’s well worth the nominal fee, and they’ve just added a lifetime membership option. Want to try a free month on me? Just go here and use promo code rockit7. You’re welcome.
I’m in the gym six days a week, so it’s fair to say I spend a good amount of time in workout clothes. I recently discovered DonaJo and fell in love with their esqueleto (sugar skull) workout leggings.
Every time I wear them, I get a ton of compliments on the original pattern and bright colors. I was a little skeptical at first when I saw how the sizing worked. Small is a 0-8. No way can I wear a 0, and an 8 is way too big. But they really do fit well, not too tight or too loose. I highly recommend them. If you’d like to buy your own pair, click here. As a bonus, you revive 20% off your purchase. Enjoy!
I’ve written about the Rock my Run app in the past, but now it’s even better. Rock my Run now pairs with your heart rate monitor to sync your music to your heart rate.
If you don’t have a HR monitor yet, I can highly recommend the Polar H7. I’ve had a few Polar HR monitors over the years, including one of the watches, but I like this one the best. It syncs flawlessly with the free Polar app (for iOS and Android).
I like that I can change the battery in it myself, because with almost daily use, I can go through a few batteries in a year. It uses an inexpensive watch battery that can be found at most any store.
I’ve used the heart rate sync feature a few times and it’s really good. I happen to have a freakishly rapid heart rate, so some of the music I’m used to listening to sounds hilarious at 170 BPM.
The right music mix can make all the difference in getting through a tough workout. I like that Rock My Run is a continuous stream, no need to mess with any controls. For me, music is a must at the gym.
I’m getting a new phone for Christmas, and I need recommendations for armbands. I need something stretchy that will flex with my massive biceps. 😉
At the bottom of my fitness tracker it asks “how do you feel?” At the end of every workout. This always makes me laugh, as I think there should be more choices for my answer. Today my answer would’ve been a resounding, “hungry!”
I have been trying to do “Meatless Mondays”, but my son is quite unimpressed with the idea. It reminds me of this:
Today I made Thai Cashew Coconut Rice with a Ginger Peanut Sauce. I lost him at the Thai part. He’ll eat my Korean Bulgogi (probably because it’s beef), but wants nothing to do with my Chilaquiles. “Why would you do that to eggs?” That’s okay, more for me. 😉
I absolutely must have music when I’m working out. It keeps me focused and helps me squeeze out one more rep. I forgot my headphones in my gym bag the other day and it just wasn’t the same. I usually listen to custom playlists that I’ve created on Spotify. Spotify is an excellent app, and I have playlists for workouts, relaxation, to wake up, etc. But my workout playlist was getting a little stale, so I was thrilled when I found Rock My Run. Rock My Run is a unique workout music app that combines high energy mixes specifically designed for people working out to make workouts more enjoyable. What’s not to love about that?
The app is available for iOS and Android. I like that you can download the mixes to play when you don’t have a wifi signal. After just a few days of using the app, I liked it do much that I went ahead and bought a premium membership. However, there are plenty of mixes for non-premium users too. There are a ton of custom mixes made my professional DJs that have perfected the art of keeping a steady flow of Beats Per Minute. Not only do these mixes have some kick-ass songs, but they flow together very well and keep you pumped up to fuel you through you workout/ride/run.
You can choose mixes that include genres such as Hip-Hop, R&B, Pop, Rock, House, 80’s 90’s, Reggae, Latin, Country, and you can even search by your favorite artist, song, DJ, etc. You can also search by BPM if you have a certain pace/cadence you wish to maintain. If you’re a premium member like me, you can utilize the MyBeat function. MyBeat manual allows you to adjust any RockMyRun mix so that the music better matches your pace or effort level. MyBeat MatchMe uses data from the accelerometer in your smartphone to calculate your steps per minute, and continually adjust the mix tempo. I haven’t played around with that feature much yet, but I’ll update when I do. Continue reading →
Correction: too many cupcakes will make you huge. I have a cupcake once in a while. Preferably a red velvet cupcake. The secret is in the butter, not the sugar.
In our culture, women aren’t supposed to be physically strong or powerful. Why is that?
Benefits of weight training:
You will decrease your risk of osteoporosis.
You’ll maintain muscle and feel better in your clothes.
You will reduce you risk of arthritis.
You will reduce your risk of heart disease.
You’ll reduce your risk of diabetes.
You’ll improve your attitude and fight depression. Yay, endorphins!
Your body will get tighter.
You’ll increase your metabolism.
Lifting helps keep me sane. I’m currently on a six day a week trying split, but that many days aren’t necessary. I average about an hour per session, that’s it. So those who say they don’t have time to work out could easily give up an hour of crappy TV to take care themselves instead.
I just read an article on something called intermittent fasting(IF). I have two words for that. Hell. No. One day a week where I don’t eat for 24 hours sounds like a very bad plan. I don’t want to think about how hangry I’d get.
I was trying to calculate my metabolic rate this weekend. First, I had to weigh myself because I had no idea how much I weigh. After years of not owning a scale, I finally bought one, but I don’t allow myself to use it more than once a month. You also have to enter your age, height, and sex. My son was looking over my shoulder and noticed that I’d put 43 instead of 44. Yes, I sometimes forget how old I am. Either that, or I forget that I’ve already had my birthday this year. Anyhow, I think that I need a more accurate calculator. If I can burn almost 900 calories in 90 minutes, there’s no way I’m only burning 2,200 or so in 24 hours.
That’s why I’m always hungry and eat to prevent becoming hangry.
I’m a big fan of breakfast, and while I love pancakes, that’s not really the fuel to get me through the day. I like something hearty like oatmeal, but find it kind of warm to eat in summer months. So I’ve discovered overnight refrigerator oats. This is my latest favorite, since fresh strawberries are readily available.
OVERNIGHT OATS WITH STRAWBERRIES AND CHIA SEEDS
Prepare oats the night before.
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt. (Wallaby Greek organic is the best!)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey
4 large strawberries, cored and thinly sliced
Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.
334 calories, 9.6 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 48.6 g carbohydrate (11.3 g fiber, 15.2 g sugars), 20.5 g protein, 149 mg sodium, 5 mg cholesterol