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My Newest Adventure–Barre Teacher Training

Guess what I’m up to now?

Dun dun Duuuuuun!

I am studying to become a barre instructor!!!

 

 

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What started as a search for a way to fulfill my NASM continuing education requirements, led me to one of the fastest growing, most delicious workouts. I love barre! I’ve been throwing barre workouts into my routine here and there for several years now and when I saw that there were a few barre programs that fulfilled my requirements, I hit “BUY NOW.” I went with American Barre Technique because they seemed to have the least restrictions as far as teaching, re-certifying and licensing are involved. Super straightforward.

Thing is though…I am not very graceful or graceful and I was never a dancer. I hope I’m not too clunky of a teacher. But I just LOVE working out this way, working those muscle with teeny tiny wicked movements.

My textbook and training video came in the mail last week and I devoured the entire book before bed one night. The entire thing.

Then, on Saturday, I tried the workout AND did a 40 minute run. I was hungry…all day. Haha. Now, I just have to work on memorizing the routine. My son and Hubster don’t know what they’re in for. Who else am I going to practice on?

 

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So, my workplace offers on-site exercise classes before work, during lunch and after work. I’m hoping to nab my spot when one becomes available!

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a ladies’ only barre party at my house and teach in the backyard, from the deck, and then have snacks and fun afterward? That’s what I’m planning to do to film my final exam video (read: that’s how I’m planning to lure in my friends to be my guinea pigs). Love you, friends!

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Oh yeah, and I published a book of poetry. NBD. Haha. It’s a compilation of all the poetry that I’ve tucked away in boxes and notebooks for years and thought, why the heck not publish it? Get your copy here:

Keep your eye on my Youtube channel because I’m going to be sharing the meaning and stories behind the poetry in a series of videos. In fact, one of them (Dresser for Sale) is already up! Subscribe so you don’t miss any when they go live!

Sometimes I can’t even keep up with me.

Have you tried barre yet? What do you love about it?

Are you a hustler who has one million projects going at all times too?

How to do the LiveFit Series at Home

For those of you that don’t know, bodybuilding.com offers a bunch of free 30 to 90 day fitness programs for both men and women on their website. You can choose a program to lose weight, muscle up and everything in between. I have tried the LifeFit Trainer before in the past and enjoyed it. It’s one of the most impressive workout and clean eating programs that I’ve seen anywhere for free. But, it requires access to a gym. Until now.

Hubster helped me film a video this weekend showing how to do Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer at home. I filmed substitutes for most of the moves that require specific gym equipment. To do the LiveFit Trainer at home, you need little more than a chair, weights, resistance bands and maybe an exercise ball. I did a few moves in the video with ankle weights, but you could even skip those and put a weight plate between your feet instead.

  • Seated calf raise: use ankle weights and/or place a weight plate on top of your knees.
  • Leg curls: wear ankle weights, lie on your stomach and bend legs behind you. Keep upper thighs off floor to make it tougher.
  • Leg extensions: put on ankle weights, use a sturdy chair and do extensions. You may also put a weight plate between your ankles.
  • Adductor: Squeeze an inflatable ball between the thighs.
  • Abductor: wrap tubing around upper thighs and perform an abductor press.
  • Back extensions: perform on ball
  • Reverse Fly: belly on ball, do a reverse fly.
  • Cable Rope Overhead Extension: Stand on one end of a resistance tube and perform a tricep extension with the other end.
  • Leg press: it’s difficult to do this move at home, but you can do heavy squats to get a similar effect. Use heavy weights or resistance tubing to intensify the squats.
  • T-bar row: perform rows with similar arm position using a heavy dumbbell.
  • Incline Press and Decline Crunch: any incline/decline moves can be done on a stepper. Put the risers under one side of the step to create the slant.
  • Standing calf raise: hang heels off any step in your home and lift up onto the balls of your feet.
  • Seated cable rows: I wind my rubber tubing around my treadmill and do them that way. Use thicker brands and choke up on the bands as you get stronger.
  • Triceps Pushdown: anchor the stretch tubing a little higher and perform the move.
  • Lat Pulldown: same position as triceps pushdown, perform a pulldown.
  • Underhand Cable Pulldown: same as lat pulldown, but switch hand position to underhand.
  • Cable Crunch: same anchor point, grab both ends of the tubing in your hands and perform a kneeling crunch.
  • Straight Arm Pulldown: same anchor point, pull arms straight down to your sides.
  • Cable Crossovers: I wound my tubing around both handles of the treadmill and did the crossovers kneeling.
  • Donkey calf raises: my little boy happily obliged climbing onto my back to do these.
  • Roman chair leg lifts: use the corner of your kitchen cupboards to rest your arms on. You can still pull your knees up to target abs.
Not shown:

  • Hanging leg raises and pullups: use your pull-up bar or monkey bars at the park. I don’t have these in the video because I didn’t have the equipment readily available while I was filming.
  • Lying T-bar row: belly on ball, perform a row

I hope this helps some of you tackle this excellent program at home. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.

How to Pass The NASM Exam

First of all, let me just clarify that this post doesn’t guarantee that you will pass the exam. This is just a friendly, helpful post with the best tips and tricks that I myself used to successfully pass the exam, one of the most challenging in the industry. What worked for me might not work for you and you have to do the necessary work and take this seriously enough to pass; I can’t do that for you.

With that being said, I want to offer as much help as I can to anyone out there thinking about or just about ready to take the NASM exam. It’s tough, but it’s so rewarding to be able to walk out of that testing center with a “Congratulations, You Passed” letter in your hands and a ginormous smile on your face.

I had wished there was a comprehensive post like this out there, but only came across bits and pieces through extensive searching. So, I decided to write exactly that for you:

Study Plan

1. Read through the textbook at least twice. The first time, I took diligent notes like I learned and always did in school. I take down important notes in a notebook with highlighted, clearly-designated headlines and subheadlines. I write and underline all terms from the book in the notebook. For one, the act of writing helps cement ideas in the brain. For another, putting things into your own words–just the act of thinking about how you want to explain it to yourself–helps you understand the concepts so much more clearly. For even another, it’s much easier to study out of a succinct, organized notebook than the entire textbook.

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2. Go back and read the book again. This time, take extra time to study the things you’re struggling with. I also made my flashcards during my second reading of the book. By now, I had written and rewritten so many terms that they were becoming quite familiar by repetition. Also, follow along with your study guide and make sure you understand the concepts outlined in there and have them written in your notebook or flashcards.

3. Use every online resource offered to you. The textbook comes with login information for thePoint software. Test yourself with the questions there after each chapter. Your NASM login will take you to a whole different set of helpful information and video modules. Play all the videos, try all the self-tests. Go back later and playback the ones you’re struggling with. The quizzes on the NASM website and thePoint website are quite unlike what you’ll find on the actual test, but do them anyway. I think they’re actually harder since they’re application-style questions, which will only help you in the long run.

4. Now, actually use those flashcards and notes. I had a stack of flashcards that consisted of at least two packages of index cards. Every time we went visiting family or sat in a car, I had my notebook and flashcards with me. I didn’t have to lug the whole textbook with me because my notebook offered a much more condensed, digestible source of all the critical information. Instead of playing Farmville, use your work breaks to shuffle through your flash cards. Make sure they’re not in any specific order so you don’t memorize things based on their location in the book.

5. Start right away! There is no way you will be able to complete all of the above things in your last month or week. You have 180 days from when you register until test day. Crack that spine the day you receive the textbook. I used my entire 6 months to prepare, and I suggest you do so as well. Pace yourself. However, you don’t want to forget everything you read in month 1 by month 6, so make sure you’re continually reviewing older content as you go. That’s why flashcards and notes are so great!

6. If you can, attend a workshop: I think I intended to take the exam prep workshop, but signed up for the training workshop instead. No worries! The workshop I attended really helped me to understand how to put what I learned into real-life context. And the instructor used only terminology and concepts true to NASM text, so you’re never left trying to sort out and apply what they’re teaching to what you’re learning about in the book–it all coalesces. We also talked so much about reps, sets, progressions/regressions, tempos and that sort of thing that I was easily able to remember it for the test. I don’t think you necessarily need a workshop to pass the exam, but it’s a cool way to meet other new trainers and increase your understanding. Plus, if you’ve never trained a soul before, you get hands-on practice to make you less unsure of yourself.

7. Get excited! I love the world of health and fitness, so it was easy for me to be excited about becoming a certified personal trainer. That also made me into quite the information sponge. I love this stuff! I love learning about every aspect of it. And that excitement and passion were the reasons why I could digest all of that information. I simply wanted to!

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Have a little fun and draw hearts when studying the heart.
What to Study

Off the top of my head, I’m going to spout off what I remember to be pertinent for the exam (i.e. this is NOT an exhaustive list and this is only based on the version of the exam that I was given):

  • You are really going to need to understand flexion/extension, concentric/eccentric phases, planes of motion, etc. If you understand these and can clearly picture what’s happening during various exercises, a lot of things will be much clearer. You will have application questions related to these that you’ll be able to answer if you have a solid understanding of what’s going on with these.
  • Related to that, you’ll need to memorize the eccentric/concentric and agonist/synergist/stabilizer/antagonist contractions during the specific examples given: squats and overhead presses.
  • You will have one question from the Code of Professional Conduct. How many years should you keep files (four)? How many CEUs do you need within how many years to recertify? That sort of thing.
  • You will need to know how to progress and regress the various exercises in the book. For example, you need to know how to progress and regress with stable/unstable surfaces and two feet/one foot.
  • You should definitely understand the parts of the heart and their functions, including but not limited to:
    • Sinoatrial node is the “pacemaker of the heart.”
    • Understand the functions of the left/right aorta/ventricles
    • The exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the lungs and heart
  • The structure of skeletal muscle: you might even want to make a copy of the picture of this and tape it in your notebook. You’ll need to know about all the various parts like the epimysium, endomysium, sarcolemma, and all the rest. You’ll have to understand these, know their location, know their function, etc.
  • Golgi tendon organ: understand function and how it works. Know the difference between autogenic inhibition and reciprocal inhibition and how it relates to stretching. This is a great article for understanding the difference. I had a hard time with this concept and this resource finally helped me make sense of it.
  • Understand flexibility exercises and the stage of the OPT model they are associated with: static (phase I), active (phase II), dynamic (phase III).
  • You’ll have to know the various strength, core and SAQ exercises and which Phase of the OPT model they are appropriate for. Notice that many of the stabilization exercises are on a stability ball and many of the power exercises involve throwing a medicine ball. Recognize those patterns to help you remember those. Endurance exercise have more reps than strength. Hypertrophy has fewer reps. You shouldn’t need to know rest periods, etc, just a good solid knowledge of reps, sets and tempos.
  • Core: what are the parts of the local stabilization system and what are the global stabilization?
  • Be pretty darn familiar with the processes of ATP-PC, glycolysis, and oxidative systems and at which point in exercise they kick in.
  • Have a clear understanding about how the sarcomere works and the function of myosin/actin.
  • Memorize how fast-twitch (Type II) and slow-twitch (Type I) muscle fibers work.
  • Familiarize yourself with the general adaptation system: from alarm reaction to resistance to exhaustion.
  • Resistance training systems (supersets, pyramids, etc): know the difference between them and when they’re appropriate to use.
  • Memorize the number of and types of essential, nonessential and semi-essential amino acids.
  • Know the carb, protein and fat recommendations as well as their calories per gram.
  • What are the water recommendations for various populations?
  • Understand the stages of change: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action and maintenance. 
  • Know your acronyms, such as SMART goals: what’s the difference between Attainable and Realistic?
  • I think I had a CPR question on my test. Not sure if it was a research question or not, but you should have a pretty good idea what the answer is because it’s pretty self-explanatory.
  • Know how to identify and know what muscles are lengthened and tight in upper crossed, lower crossed and pronation distortion syndromes.
  • You must know the stretches that should be performed for different compensations on the overhead squat assessment table. You will have lots of questions pertaining to these corrective-type exercise. In fact, you should pretty much know the overhead squat assessment table by heart.
  • Know how to perform and understand what you’re testing with the various assessments: Shark Skills, Davies, Rockport Walk Test YMCA step test, etc. Know how to perform them and what you’re actually testing.
  • What is the different objective vs. subjective information you’ll be getting from clients?

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This list is by no means comprehensive, these are just the things that are fresh in my mind and were covered on my specific exam. Make sure you don’t hone in on only these specific things to the detriment of other important concepts.

Some amazing resources:

1. Yahoo Body Maps I didn’t actually find this amazing tool until after my exam, but I’m pretty sure that this would’ve helped me immensely. I printed off muscle maps online (Anatomy Man), but this Yahoo one is interactive and 3-dimensional and explains muscles in laymen’s terms. You almost feel like you could play doctor after looking at all the bones, tendons, nerves, muscles, etc.

2. NASM Trainer Exam App (by Upward Mobility): the NASM app is the same price but offers only a fraction of the questions that this one does. The Upward Mobility app is really great at making you aware if you understand certain concepts or not, since they kind of go in order by chapter. It’s great to pull out when you’re stuck by a train or waiting for your kids to get out of school. Not that I know anything about that!

3. This Bodybuilding forum: This forum is extremely helpful with what to study and what to pass over. Take this guy’s advice and learn the muscles as “groups.” For example, the muscular system appendix groups muscles by location in the body. The hamstring complex concentrically accelerates knee flexion and the various muscles of the quadriceps concentrically accelerate knee extension. Group your muscles and know which muscles are part of each group. It will save you so much time and overwhelm. Many of the questions mentioned in the forum also seemed to be on my test, so add them to your flashcards. (The only caveat is I think the page numbers mentioned in the forum are for a previous version of the textbook.)

4. Use some learning strategies from Holistic Learning: This is kind of abstract to explain, but I visualized and made up pictures in my head about certain concepts. For example, the right side of the heart receives blood low in oxygen and high in CO2 and pumps it to the lungs to be oxygenated. The left side pumps blood high in oxygen and low in CO2 to the rest of the body. So, I visualized two rooms in my heart, a right room and left room, with a bunch of smokers in the right “room” and healthy runners in the “left” room. The right room is filled with carbon dioxide (cigarettes), and the left side brings oxygen (from strong lungs) to the body. Get it? Visualization and metaphor-type learning is very powerful. I betcha you won’t forget the smoking/non-smoking one.

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5. Kim at Fittin Pretty has generously offered a FREE download of her entire document of notes. It’s over 100 pages, but it looks similar to my own handwritten notes in my basic college-ruled notebook. I still think (and it’s proven that) there’s great value in taking your own handwritten notes, but Kim has done all the work for you.

One more piece of advice: the night before the test, give your mind a break. Don’t study into the night. Just allow all the information that you know just synergize in your brain as you sleep. Get your 8 hours of sleep and do the test in the morning, or whenever your brain is the sharpest. Set out your ID and CPR card the night before so you don’t worry about or forget them. Then, decide on what you’ll reward yourself with when you successfully pass the exam. It really is worth celebrating–you deserve it! I’ll share what I rewarded myself with in a post soon, because they’re paying themselves off in dividends (business cards, a domain name and an Arc notebook).

I wish you all the best of luck with your exam! If you are on the fence about becoming a personal trainer, I say go for it, if you have the resources to do so. NASM is always running sales, so don’t ever pay the full price. Sign up for their emails and you’ll soon get incentives in your inbox. Although I haven’t taken on any “official” clients yet, I have absolutely no regrets for diving right in and getting certified. I could’ve gotten bogged down in the details about the PT job market in my area and wondering about liability insurance and on and on. But the best thing you can do is just go for it and worry about those details later.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions, and I’ll see if I can answer them. If these tips helped you pass your exam, I’d be more than honored to hear about it! Leave a comment to let me know how it goes.

Weekly Workout Rundown

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Monday:

  • 50 min 12WBT run in the AM with 10 min hard intervals
  • Tuesday:

  • 50 min 12WBT total body tone in the AM
  • 30 min casual walk with mom at lunch
  • Wednesday:

  • 50 min treadmill interval run in the PM, 3.43 miles
  • Thursday:

  • 50 min 12WBT run in the AM with 10 min of hard intervals
  • 30 min moderate walk at lunch
  • Friday:

  • 25 min brisk walk with 5-10% incline at lunch
  • 50 min 12WBT yoga stretch in the PM

  • Saturday:

  • 55 min 12WBT run with 10 min hard intervals

  • Sunday:

  • Rest
  • Friday’s lunch workout is what happens when a girl forgets her workout bra. #FitnessGirlProblems. If I couldn’t run, I could certainly walk on enough of an incline to get my heart rate just as high. It worked! I swear, I need a checklist or something for those lunchtime workouts. I’m always forgetting my towel or gym shoes or something. Ha!

    This week, I’m entering the 4th and final week of my 12WBT preview. I’m going to be sorry to see this program go, but I might just sign up for it when it goes live in the US. I’d totally pay for it! You must check into it if you’re looking for a fitness plan that not only helps you with food and fitness, but also motivation and underlying issues that might be preventing you from losing weight. The food alone is worth so much in my book–it takes sooo much guesswork out of food prep and most of the recipes are super easy and practical. And you’ll find your favorite things in there, like nachos! I printed the recipes and had them bound in a notebook so I will always have them as a reference.

    I’m going to start creating my own workout schedule this week, so I’m prepared to challenge myself once the program is over. I’m definitely going to set it up like this plan though. Three days of cardio and abs, two days of strength training, one day of yoga stretch, and at least one day of complete rest. I’ve neglected yoga for awhile now and could really use the release, flexibility and calm in my life. I always love it when I do it, I just don’t always actually do it. I also think core work is absolutely essential and highly neglected. In my NASM training, core work is prescribed for every workout, so this plan is even in line with my studies. I can’t wait!

    Side note: I’ve decided that these weekly workout posts definitely need more pictures, so I’m going to make an effort to include some “setting” pictures for you, to make it more interesting and motivating. Perhaps inspirational images, pretty views from my lunch walks, or sneak peeks into my very own workouts. What do you think?

    How do you plan your week in workouts? Do you follow a prescribed plan or make up your own?

    Weekly Workout Rundown

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    Monday:
    Tuesday:
    • 25 min abs and shoulders in the AM
    • 30 min run, 2.75 miles in the AM
    • 30 min brisk walk at lunch
    Wednesday:
    • 25 min chest and calves in the AM
    • 30 min PM run, 2.7 miles
    Thursday:
    • 20 min biceps and abs in the AM
    • 33 min run in the AM
    Friday:
    • 25 min run at lunch, 2.23 miles
    • 10 min shoulders
    Saturday:
    Sunday:
    • Rest
    I only slipped up a tiny bit this week with shoulders on Friday. I was so tired, just not feeling it whatsoever, so I stopped, and forgave myself right away. You have to listen to your body when it’s screaming at you and I can say for certain that I’m pretty proud of myself for working out hard at least once, sometimes twice, per day and for sticking this program out and for doing it almost to a “T.” Saturday, I was able to come back full force, so I know I made the right decision. The LiveFit Trainer prescribed 60 minutes of cardio on Saturday. I chose a 60 min Fire video from the TurboFire series as my cardio. And holy man, burned over 800 calories! That set me up for a good day, especially when there was an all-you-can-eat birthday party spread that night. I ate extremely sensibly so as not to deter my progress.

    I actually start my new plan, the 12 Week Body Transformation with Michelle Bridges (a cute Aussie Biggest Loser personal trainer), this week too. I’m just going to allow the two workout systems to dance with each other this week. I want to finish the LiveFit Trainer like a boss, since I’ve put sooooo much time and energy into it so far. But, the 12WBT begins, and everyone begins together, so I can’t start it next week. It will be a song and dance, but I’m going to make it happen anyway.
    The only thing I’m worried about is the 1,200 calorie prescription on the 12WBT, which seems a bit excessively restrictive. I’m pretty sure a person needs more than that to just survive for one day, let alone move at all! I will most likely be adding to that calorie base–with unlimited veggies and some lean protein–especially on hard training days. I don’t want to pass out or lose all the muscles I’ve build up on the LiveFit Trainer. I know better than that!
    So far, I’m loving what I see with the 12WBT. It’s like having a personal trainer right there with you. They’re smart over there at 12WBT! They’ve built a strong social aspect into the training, which is scientifically proven to be essential for exercise adherence. They have little videos explaining a lot of the FAQs. The menu plans are all mapped out for you, so you don’t even have to think–and you can swap out meals as you see fit. The meals are pretty darn easy to prepare too, so there’s not so much fuss in my meal prep. The workout videos are all done and ready for you in the mornings, so you just have to follow along. Michelle also includes something that a lot of other trainers don’t include–mindset training. You can prescribe diet and exercise to a person all day long, but if you don’t break through their thoughts and mental challenges, you will get nowhere. I’ve only seen this strategy one other place, in Chalene Johnson’s 30 Day Push. This plan is pretty much perfect! I’m not only trying to squeeze out a few extra pounds, but I’m also gleaning some fantastic strategies for my own personal training business in the process. Learn from the best!
    How did you work out this week?

    Weekly Workout Rundown

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    Monday:
    • 20 min LiveFit arms in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.58 miles
    Tuesday:
    • 30 min moderate walk at lunch
    • 70 min legs and abs in the PM
    Wednesday:
    • 25 min chest in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.6 miles
    • 20 min FlashFit workout at lunch
    Thursday:
    • 25 min shoulders in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.6 miles
    • 30 min moderate walk at lunch
    Friday:
    • 45 min legs in the AM
    • 20 min walk at lunch
    Saturday:
    • 35 min shoulders and back
    • 30 min run
    Sunday:
    • Rest
    Holy man! Looking at that workout schedule, I’m actually quite proud of myself. That is a LOT of hard work that sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing. 
    My mom and I have really picked up the pace on our lunchtime walks. She’s in serious training mode now. She even took a bike ride with Peanut on Saturday so I could get some freelance work done. She hasn’t ridden a bike in years, so I’m so stoked for what this personal training experience will do for her. We’re doing “homework” each week along with her personal training, and this week was all about water. I even got her a cute purple water bottle. We measured how many ounces it holds and figured out how many times she needs to refill it during the day. She’s a coffee fiend who constantly has a coffee cup in her hand, so I’m trying to help her fuel with water instead. Next week, we’ll be working on thought transformation. I can’t wait! 
    My lunch workout buddy and I have decided to run at lunch instead of strength train or do FlashFit workouts. This will save me some time in the morning that I’ve been slowly losing. Instead of having our lunch workouts just be an “extra” workout for me, now they’ll actually be dedicated to parts of my training plan, which will really help me as long as neither one of us cancels. Plus, there’s just something about running at lunch that makes the rest of the workday seem much easier. You have to break up all that computer time with something active!
    I head into Phase 3 of the LiveFit Series next week, and I can’t believe I’ve made it so far! I tend to get really bored or overworked with other plans (the Supreme90Day schedule actually made me sick), but this plan has kept me interested and progressing without the complete burnout. I always have enough self-discipline, just sometimes not the interest or lactic acid-reduction capabilities, ha! I think I may have even thrown in an extra run this week that wasn’t on the plan. I’m feeling so so strong on this plan. I always have a berry protein shake within 30 minutes of completing a workout, and that is definitely helping with my recovery and muscle building capacity.
    See you next week, when I enter Phase 3, the final phase, of LiveFit. What did your workouts look like this week?

    Weekly Workout Rundown

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    Monday:
    • 20 min LiveFit arms in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.58 miles
    Tuesday:
    • 30 min moderate walk at lunch
    • 70 min legs and abs in the PM
    Wednesday:
    • 25 min chest in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.6 miles
    • 20 min FlashFit workout at lunch
    Thursday:
    • 25 min shoulders in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.6 miles
    • 30 min moderate walk at lunch
    Friday:
    • 45 min legs in the AM
    • 20 min walk at lunch
    Saturday:
    • 35 min shoulders and back
    • 30 min run
    Sunday:
    • Rest
    Holy man! Looking at that workout schedule, I’m actually quite proud of myself. That is a LOT of hard work that sometimes I don’t even realize I’m doing. 
    My mom and I have really picked up the pace on our lunchtime walks. She’s in serious training mode now. She even took a bike ride with Peanut on Saturday so I could get some freelance work done. She hasn’t ridden a bike in years, so I’m so stoked for what this personal training experience will do for her. We’re doing “homework” each week along with her personal training, and this week was all about water. I even got her a cute purple water bottle. We measured how many ounces it holds and figured out how many times she needs to refill it during the day. She’s a coffee fiend who constantly has a coffee cup in her hand, so I’m trying to help her fuel with water instead. Next week, we’ll be working on thought transformation. I can’t wait! 
    My lunch workout buddy and I have decided to run at lunch instead of strength train or do FlashFit workouts. This will save me some time in the morning that I’ve been slowly losing. Instead of having our lunch workouts just be an “extra” workout for me, now they’ll actually be dedicated to parts of my training plan, which will really help me as long as neither one of us cancels. Plus, there’s just something about running at lunch that makes the rest of the workday seem much easier. You have to break up all that computer time with something active!
    I head into Phase 3 of the LiveFit Series next week, and I can’t believe I’ve made it so far! I tend to get really bored or overworked with other plans (the Supreme90Day schedule actually made me sick), but this plan has kept me interested and progressing without the complete burnout. I always have enough self-discipline, just sometimes not the interest or lactic acid-reduction capabilities, ha! I think I may have even thrown in an extra run this week that wasn’t on the plan. I’m feeling so so strong on this plan. I always have a berry protein shake within 30 minutes of completing a workout, and that is definitely helping with my recovery and muscle building capacity.
    See you next week, when I enter Phase 3, the final phase, of LiveFit. What did your workouts look like this week?

    Oshkosh Sports and Fitness Expo

    On Saturday, I loaded my mom and Peanut up for a trip to the Sports and Fitness Expo in our city. I was really excited to go to my first fitness-related expo and already knew of a few booths that I wanted to scout out when I got there.

    When we got there, I was a little taken aback by how small the expo really was. Now, don’t take this wrong, because it was still super productive! But compared to something like Deerfest, it seemed pretty small. And unless I missed something, I didn’t see any used sport or fitness equipment being sold, which was advertised. But I suspect that some of this has to do with the difficult website navigation–I had a hard time nailing down what was going on, especially the speaking schedules and such. Before we could even get inside though, we had to stop near the doors so Peanut could draw the camels and llamas, of course.

    I had a great time talking to some of the representatives there, even if some of them were trying for a hard sell. I still learned a lot. If I had more disposable income I definitely would’ve hired the nutritionist I talked to, bought a year’s supply of superfoods and vitamins, and signed up for a boot camp or six! I don’t buy into the wraps and spinal scans and things like that. Sorry! But there are some real neat things that I can get behind.

    I felt a little hesitant about bringing Peanut along, but Hubster was working and I knew we wouldn’t be there that long. After we got inside though, he did just fine because there was full-face painting, real live animals, disc golf, and massage to keep him occupied. Yes, the masseuse from a local parlor was even gracious enough to give him a tiny bit of a back rub after me, which was the sweetest thing ever. He’s definitely my kid, loving his massages. Peanut even got to ride a camel, because you know, it’s always natural that there should be camel racing at a fitness expo! Ha!

    Yes, his painted face is in that chair.

    Eli the camel

    Spidey showing off his moves

    I picked up some single-serving packets of Vemma Bode meal replacement powder to try. It is a brand endorsed by Chris Powell and his wife. And, if you remember, my workout buddy and I did some of his workouts for quite awhile there. This meal replacement protein shake has mangosteen in it, which used to be illegal to import to the US. I always have a protein smoothie in the morning, so I’ll try my regular berries + water + powder concoction with this and see how I like it.

    I also picked up some essential oils from Doterra. I’ve been hearing about the brand for quite some time now through my cousin who sells it, but never actually tried it. I was fascinated with hearing about how Lemongrass Oil actually helped one of the consultant’s friends heal her horse’s hoof maladies. Sometimes it pays to go natural and give chemicals the heave-ho.

    My tootsies have had a very rough summer since I tend to wear flip-flops and sandals all summer. So, I stopped at the Avon booth for some super hydrating peppermint foot cream that I’ve been pampering my feet with every night since, right after a good pumice scrub. I’ve not been very nice to my feet and it’s definitely something that I could improve on, especially since those are the extremities that keep my runs strong. I now keep a golf ball under my desk too to rub my feet with too. I’ve been doing some reading about Trigger Point Therapy to find out some more of the scientific basis and process behind these awesome foot rubs.

    I mentioned that I got a chair massage, and that is like one of the greatest things in life! In fact, one of the things we discussed in marriage counseling with our pastor prior to getting married was my need for back rubs. I kid you not! The lady that did my quick 5-minute one said I was super tense, which I can definitely feel. Believe it or not, she was using Trigger Point Therapy on me (I asked!) and it felt like heaven! She said I could definitely use at least an hour on the table to loosen up my shoulders, and I couldn’t agree more, whether she was trying to sell to me or not! If I could do an hour on the table every day of my life, I would be one happy little camper. Plus, my shoulders are pretty much chronically tight. I’ve had massages before and they always tell me about my tightness. Some of it can be attributed to the hardcore shoulder work I’ve been doing lately, but my shoulders just seem to be where my body holds most of its tension.

    I also did lunges to get this sportpack and played some disc golf inside the building. This was another thing that Peanut really enjoyed trying. We even own some discs, but we still have yet to make it golfing.

    I also tried some of these really good Juice Plus gummies that were so so amazing. I’m chewing on the price tag right now, but I think the concept is truly virtuous. They extract all the sugar, water and salt from dozens of fruits and vegetables and condense the fiber and antioxidants down into these little great-tasting chews. They’re great for kids, especially ones that don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets, and they’re highly clinically researched. The representative told us that it’s even approved by the Olympic committee, which is a pretty tough line to cross. Always the skeptic, I decided I wanted to give these a little more research myself before handing over my credit card. So far, they seem legit.

    Last night, when I got home, I found this beauty in the mail. I won a lift ticket to a ski resort in Michigan! Now, I just need to find a ski partner. I haven’t gone skiing in forever. Any takers? 🙂

    When I got home from the expo, I worked with my mom to put together a personal training plan for her. We did the YMCA step test and took her measurements. She’s gracious enough to be my very first guinea pig and she seems like she’s going to be very receptive to the training as she has some very powerful reasons for getting healthier. Of course, wanting what’s best for my mom, I’m excited to give this a shot too. My ultimate vision and goal is to be able to share her success story on here.

    Peanut asked if I could train him too, just like I’m training grandma. That kid cracks me up and warms my heart all at the same time. Love him! Even though he’s a bit too young for weight training, it makes me so happy that fitness will be one of those things that just comes naturally for him. He’ll never have to start from scratch, like many of us have had to.

    So, what are some of the most phony “health” products you’ve seen out there? How do you avoid them?

    Oshkosh Sports and Fitness Expo

    On Saturday, I loaded my mom and Peanut up for a trip to the Sports and Fitness Expo in our city. I was really excited to go to my first fitness-related expo and already knew of a few booths that I wanted to scout out when I got there.

    When we got there, I was a little taken aback by how small the expo really was. Now, don’t take this wrong, because it was still super productive! But compared to something like Deerfest, it seemed pretty small. And unless I missed something, I didn’t see any used sport or fitness equipment being sold, which was advertised. But I suspect that some of this has to do with the difficult website navigation–I had a hard time nailing down what was going on, especially the speaking schedules and such. Before we could even get inside though, we had to stop near the doors so Peanut could draw the camels and llamas, of course.

    I had a great time talking to some of the representatives there, even if some of them were trying for a hard sell. I still learned a lot. If I had more disposable income I definitely would’ve hired the nutritionist I talked to, bought a year’s supply of superfoods and vitamins, and signed up for a boot camp or six! I don’t buy into the wraps and spinal scans and things like that. Sorry! But there are some real neat things that I can get behind.

    I felt a little hesitant about bringing Peanut along, but Hubster was working and I knew we wouldn’t be there that long. After we got inside though, he did just fine because there was full-face painting, real live animals, disc golf, and massage to keep him occupied. Yes, the masseuse from a local parlor was even gracious enough to give him a tiny bit of a back rub after me, which was the sweetest thing ever. He’s definitely my kid, loving his massages. Peanut even got to ride a camel, because you know, it’s always natural that there should be camel racing at a fitness expo! Ha!

    Yes, his painted face is in that chair.

    Eli the camel

    Spidey showing off his moves

    I picked up some single-serving packets of Vemma Bode meal replacement powder to try. It is a brand endorsed by Chris Powell and his wife. And, if you remember, my workout buddy and I did some of his workouts for quite awhile there. This meal replacement protein shake has mangosteen in it, which used to be illegal to import to the US. I always have a protein smoothie in the morning, so I’ll try my regular berries + water + powder concoction with this and see how I like it.

    I also picked up some essential oils from Doterra. I’ve been hearing about the brand for quite some time now through my cousin who sells it, but never actually tried it. I was fascinated with hearing about how Lemongrass Oil actually helped one of the consultant’s friends heal her horse’s hoof maladies. Sometimes it pays to go natural and give chemicals the heave-ho.

    My tootsies have had a very rough summer since I tend to wear flip-flops and sandals all summer. So, I stopped at the Avon booth for some super hydrating peppermint foot cream that I’ve been pampering my feet with every night since, right after a good pumice scrub. I’ve not been very nice to my feet and it’s definitely something that I could improve on, especially since those are the extremities that keep my runs strong. I now keep a golf ball under my desk too to rub my feet with too. I’ve been doing some reading about Trigger Point Therapy to find out some more of the scientific basis and process behind these awesome foot rubs.

    I mentioned that I got a chair massage, and that is like one of the greatest things in life! In fact, one of the things we discussed in marriage counseling with our pastor prior to getting married was my need for back rubs. I kid you not! The lady that did my quick 5-minute one said I was super tense, which I can definitely feel. Believe it or not, she was using Trigger Point Therapy on me (I asked!) and it felt like heaven! She said I could definitely use at least an hour on the table to loosen up my shoulders, and I couldn’t agree more, whether she was trying to sell to me or not! If I could do an hour on the table every day of my life, I would be one happy little camper. Plus, my shoulders are pretty much chronically tight. I’ve had massages before and they always tell me about my tightness. Some of it can be attributed to the hardcore shoulder work I’ve been doing lately, but my shoulders just seem to be where my body holds most of its tension.

    I also did lunges to get this sportpack and played some disc golf inside the building. This was another thing that Peanut really enjoyed trying. We even own some discs, but we still have yet to make it golfing.

    I also tried some of these really good Juice Plus gummies that were so so amazing. I’m chewing on the price tag right now, but I think the concept is truly virtuous. They extract all the sugar, water and salt from dozens of fruits and vegetables and condense the fiber and antioxidants down into these little great-tasting chews. They’re great for kids, especially ones that don’t get enough fruits and vegetables in their diets, and they’re highly clinically researched. The representative told us that it’s even approved by the Olympic committee, which is a pretty tough line to cross. Always the skeptic, I decided I wanted to give these a little more research myself before handing over my credit card. So far, they seem legit.

    Last night, when I got home, I found this beauty in the mail. I won a lift ticket to a ski resort in Michigan! Now, I just need to find a ski partner. I haven’t gone skiing in forever. Any takers? 🙂

    When I got home from the expo, I worked with my mom to put together a personal training plan for her. We did the YMCA step test and took her measurements. She’s gracious enough to be my very first guinea pig and she seems like she’s going to be very receptive to the training as she has some very powerful reasons for getting healthier. Of course, wanting what’s best for my mom, I’m excited to give this a shot too. My ultimate vision and goal is to be able to share her success story on here.

    Peanut asked if I could train him too, just like I’m training grandma. That kid cracks me up and warms my heart all at the same time. Love him! Even though he’s a bit too young for weight training, it makes me so happy that fitness will be one of those things that just comes naturally for him. He’ll never have to start from scratch, like many of us have had to.

    So, what are some of the most phony “health” products you’ve seen out there? How do you avoid them?

    Weekly Workout Rundown

     photo 0e340d3e-62ba-4e55-9f4a-7258f16cd99a_zps3484b587.jpg

    Monday:
    • 15 min LiveFit back workout in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.44 miles

    Tuesday:
    • 20 min LiveFit chest and abs in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.55 miles
    • 25 min walk at lunch with mom
    • 20 min rest of LiveFit from Monday and Tuesday

    Wednesday:
    • 45 min LiveFit legs workout in the AM

    Thursday:
    • 25 min LiveFit arms and abs in the AM
    • 30 min run, 2.55 miles
    • 30 min bike ride
    Friday:
    • 15 min LiveFit shoulders in the AM
    • 30 min AM run, 2.57 miles
    • 15 min FlashFit workout
    Saturday:
    • 60 min LiveFit legs and more of Friday’s shoulders
    Sunday:
    • Rest

    I am past the halfway point of the LiveFit Series, baby! Every day since I got to add cardio back into my routine, I’ve beat my past mileage by at least a smidge. It really helps to have that little personal competition to be ~Better Every Day. 
    Today I feel like junk, so I’m not really that talkative. I was thisclose to leaving work early, but slugged my way through the day and actually got some things done. Can’t quite pinpoint what is wrong, but I’m just not feeling up to snuff.
    This past weekend, I went to the Sports and Fitness Expo in Oshkosh and had a great time. I’ll share more about that hopefully tomorrow. I also started training my mom, who gets to be my first personal training guinea pig. I’m so excited about doing this! And I really hope she gets some great results, because she deserves to feel good about that. After that, I worked on a writing project while watching a Big Bang Theory marathon. #BigBangBinge I’ve been challenged to put together a 4-5 page document for my church, so I’ve been giving that some of my undivided attention. Well, sort of…
    Sunday was just as busy with church, followed by a Donut Date with my Peanut (yes, I am human!) and then a living room screening of the Great Gatsby. That is one of my very favorite books of all time, so I love anything to do with the Great Gatsby. After that was Bible study and bedtime. Now, I’m dreaming of bedtime again. I just want to curl up and have someone sing Soft Kitty to me. Only my fellow Big Bangers will understand what that means:)

    Donut date after-church tradition