Category Archives: Fitness
If this title sounds familiar, chances are that you’ve done some Chalean Extreme. Ah yes, I can hear the music and Chalene saying that line already in my head.
I believe I first started doing Chalene Extreme around Jan/Feb of 2012 – and I can say, it’s still one of my most favorite workout programs ever. Other than being a self professed Chalene Johnson junky (Hey Chalene, call me! ) I have personally gained and learned a lot from this program.
What is Chalean Extreme?
Like most Beachbody programs, Chalean Extreme is a pretty well rounded program, but it’s emphasis lies in lifting weights. Before I started this program, most of my weights were smaller weights set in dynamic type movements. Meaning my use of weights was pretty much aimed at caloric burning and toning, not necessarily muscle building.
You go through 3 phases of the program called: Burn, Push, and Lean
Phase 1: BURN Start lifting weights to jump-start your metabolism.
Phase 2: PUSH Learn how to lift heavy to build the muscle and burn more fat.
Phase 3: LEAN Once you’ve built a foundation, Chalene brings it home with new routines and dynamic moves that melt the fat away.
In between 3 strength training workouts a week, there are also cardio, interval workouts, and ab routines. The interval workouts in this program are ass kickers! I’ve actually never followed the program by the book – but when it’s in my rotation, I make sure I do the 3 designated strength workouts during the week integrated with my other workouts.
While the workouts are shorter in time frame (30-40) mins, don’t be fooled into thinking this isn’t hard work. I like that all the lifting reps are incorporated into a dynamic movement. IE: You might be doing a tricep kickback, but at the same time you will also be doing a lunge. So pretty much the entire time you are working, upper, lower and having to engage your core because of this. Pretty smart eh?
You can take a look at the printable workout sheet that lists all the exercises you’ll be doing to get a better sense of what I mean about working your entire body through each movement.
The program comes with a resistance band, and during the workouts there will always be someone using them – although I knew from the start that I would be using weights. Adjustable weights are really helpful here because in the end they are much more cost effective. I have Bowflex SelectTech Dumbbells, and I love them.
My selecttechs were a 30th birthday gift. Probably one of the best presents I’ve ever received! If you don’t already own a lot of free weights, I think the investment is very well worth it.
Now, don’t be fooled into thinking that this program is just for women. There is always a guy in the workouts as well so get over your ego boys and don’t be judgemental just because a woman trainer will be leading you. Now would men ever do that?! Naw, of course not. Although jokingly my husband would call these my “lady workouts” when I began the program. He kinda stopped that after he did a few himself and realized they were in fact, not a cake walk.
I learned a lot doing this program. It taught me that even when sometimes I may have doubted myself, I was capable of doing hard workouts. Most importantly though, I learned that I love lifting weights!
Have you ever done this program?
Are you familiar with Chalene Johnson?
How do you incorporate strength training into your workout routine?
If you don’t follow me on instagram I feel the need to share some sweaty photos with you because I haven’t done that on here in awhile. Since I’ve been a little more free with my workout schedule as of late, Tuesday’s workout was pretty up in the air for me. I didn’t have anything planned, and was going to roll with whatever my body felt like doing that day. Dealing with some personal issues that morning and some agitation left me in the mood for punching shit.
Ok, by shit mean punching and kicking air really, because I workout at home and I got my Les Mills Combat on. It was what I really needed, a good stress reliever and always a kick ass workout. I’m not a heavy sweater, but man these workouts always get me. I also realized how dang sore my upper body was as soon as I started warming up. It’s been awhile since I’ve done these workouts consistantly and yesterday I just felt stronger – like there was more power behind those punches, even if I was punching air.
After that sweatfest, I had to shower and throw myself together real quick to get to the Dr’s office for my annual OB checkup. Oh geez, ladies aren’t those just the highlight of our year eh? It was a little more stressful because my office had switched to a new system for records etc since I had last been there. While the nurse was checking me in and going over my record, she stated “no, this can’t be you – history of obesity? That’s a mistake”.
I assured her that it was accurate, and it was my record.
After which she looked me up and down. A little uncomfortable for me mind you (fat girl demons I suppose). But then she was just very sweet and congratulated me. It’s actually nothing new, I had lost the weight since I had been there last, but I guess this happens when you only see people once a year.
Insert sitting there in paper napkin waiting for my doctor to appear. She looks up my record by date of birth and starts going over my kids births with me. She was reading off my record and showing it to me at the same time when she gets to the portion about me weighing around 280 pounds. She pauses and says, “wait, we have the wrong record this isn’t yours”.
Again. Yes, yes it’s mine.
Insert looking up and down by my doctor and the medical student. And yes, I felt awkward again – but then she tells me that I don’t look like I’ve ever been overweight in my life. Probably one of the nicest things I’ve had someone say to me. Although I’m still not sure why I felt weird about being looked up and down. People aren’t doing it to be rude I know that – just still a little uncomfortable with it.
Also yesterday my daughter also called me “Flat Stanley“. But crap, that’s a whole nother post right there.
Would something like that make you uncomfortable?
Do you like kickboxing or mixed martial arts workouts?
What’s your fav workout that always gets a major sweat on?
Disclaimer: This post contains products that were sent to me from the company to test. This in no way reflects my thoughts within the post.
The first goodie I was sent was a Moto X smartphone. I’m an iPhone girl, so this was a whole new experience to me! I’ve never owned an Android smartphone, so it took some getting used to – platform wise. I’m not going to spend too much time talking about the phone because well, it’s a smartphone, and that would take forever. You can read the specs here on the Verizon site.
Physically it’s a nice size phone. Feels roughly the same weight as my iPhone 5 although the screen is a smidge bigger on this. I think this is a solid choice for anyone who is interested in what is considered a “midsize” Android smartphone at the moment. More importantly than the phone itself, is the cool things you can do with a smartphone – and the other cool gadgets you can use in tandem with them.
Most of you know that I use a Polar FT60 Women’s Heart Rate Monitor, which I swear by. Since I’ve been speaking a lot about cutting back on the amount of exercise I’m doing – I was excited to test this little guy out. I’ve heard a lot of good things about various models in the FitBit lineup.
In a nutshell the Fitbit One tracks:
- Calories burned
- Steps you take
- Stairs climbed
- Distance traveled
And since it’s an activity and sleep tracker, it also tracks: hours slept, and quantity of sleep. Now I can’t comment on how this gadget performs with the sleep functions, because the particular one I was loaned as missing the sleep wrist band that’s included in the package. Yours will include: The One™ tracker, silicone and metal clip, wireless sync dongle, charging cord, sleep wristband, and a free Fitbit.com membership.
You can sync this guy with a whole bunch of different devices (android and iPhone’s) – and it’s super easy to set up. Also for the techy nerds like myself, the Fitbit One can be linked to a ton of apps you may be using – likes like: Map My Run, My Fitness Pal, Lose It!, and more.
Differences between a FitBit and Polar
I figured I’d address the distinct difference between a Polar Heart Rate Monitor and the Fitbit One. A Polar is moreso a Training device that gives you specifics about where your heart rate falls within your aerobic and anaerobic thresholds; whereas FitBit is an activity tracker that counts steps, mileage, etc. Although yes, the FitBit does count calories expended as well.
I was actually curious as to how the FitBit counted calorie burn, and I found this tidbit of helpful information via the FAQ. Basically it uses your BMR calculated by your height, weight, etc that you input into your dashboard at setup. The more you use your FitBit, the more accurate the caloric burn in turn becomes because it stops guesstimating.
Because I was curious (ok and nerdy) there were a few times where I wore both my Polar FT60 and the FitBit at the same time to compare. I always burned more calories based on the FitBit because it isn’t a heart rate monitor.
I really liked the FitBit One. I think if I were to own a FitBit model, this would be the one I would personally purchase.
Do you own a FitBit? How do you like it?
What kind of phone do you use?
Let me know if you have any questions!
Disclaimer: I was loaned these devices by Verizon Wireless. I was not paid for this review. All opinions are honest and my own
I took an online quiz earlier today talking about which side of your brain ‘rules’. Right or Left. I was actually sort of surprised of my personal outcome. Although I consider myself to be a creative type, my brain weighed equally. Of course, I blame that possibly on my slight tendency to be a little OCD. I say that somewhat jokingly because I’m not diagnosed or anything. I guess perhaps anal or uppity may be a better descriptive for myself. But that’s actually not what I wanted to talk about at all.
I may have seemingly “been absent” as of late. If you haven’t noticed – then just ignore that and carry on reading this… I’ve had a lot on my mind (both sides of it according to the above quiz results). I started talking about feeling worn down and generally hurt in January when I opened up about my personal rest + rejuvenate January.
But unfortunately January came and went, and I can’t say I was feeling that much better, or more positive for that matter. This past week marks the most amount of time I’ve taken off of working out since my fitness journey began a few years ago. A lot has been weighing on my mind about where to go from here. Things like:
- What do I want my workouts to look like from now on?
- Do I have any current personal fitness goals I would like to achieve?
- Can I achieve those without putting my body through the ringer like I have in the past?
- Why is finding this balance SO DAMN HARD?!
But with that negative, I believe there also came a little positive. I’ve come to some realizations over the past few months. Some about myself, and about how I want to live my life.
- I am healthier than I have ever been. Despite feeling down lately, I am still a better version of myself.
- I’ve come to realize that I need to address my workouts in the same fashion I have come to address my eating. 80/20 (meaning 80% of what I eat is healthy, the other, not so much). Applying this to my workouts will be a great step for me I think. Not every workout has be a calorie blaster. I do not have to workout everyday.
- I workout now not only because I want to be healthy – but I enjoy it. I will take more time to do workouts that I genuinely enjoy.
I liked this quote. And although some days I may feel defeated – I know for me it’s just part of the process. I have never been really defeated along my journey. Because I would never let myself be. And this is just a new journey for me. A step along the way.
Also I’d normally insert the “what about you?” question here. But sometimes I don’t feel like I need a question. I’m just sharing with you where I’m at, and what I’ve been up to. Hope you’ve been well.