So, I’ve seen the gym in how long?

So, it’s been a while since my last post.

It’s also been a while since I last worked out.

However, I have been mentally at peace – because of a few other things I’m doing.

When you look good, you feel good. I love feeling like this.

When you look good, you feel good. I love feeling like this.

I now finally have time to write something. But I need to write something with substance. Something that relates to what this blog is for. I mean, because that’s the whole point. Right?

Later on today (like in about 21 minutes to be exact), I’ll be heading out to the gym. I’m going to do cardio and then lift weights. For my arms.

I’ve started running again. I keep starting and stopping for a few weeks at a time and that’s no good. Especially, if I’m going to run in the Gate River Run 15k. I’ve been running it for three years straight. This year it will be no different (hopefully). I have to get pass these miserable 3 miles. However, once I’m at six miles then I know that running the 15k will be a breeze. It’s a runners thing. Like, you just know.

I hate that I haven’t been as consistent as I usually am. I don’t know why I haven’t gone running or been in the gym, like I use to. It feels like at times,  I’m trying to do to many things at once. Then, once I get home all I really want to do is cook some food, clean up my apartment and watch T.V. with my boo. Sometimes, life is just good like that. Still, fitness is something that I’ve worked hard for and I realize that sometimes you have to make a sacrifice. Whether it be getting up early in the morning before work to get that morning workout in, or right after work, it is paramount (at least for me) to make that effort.

I know that and sometimes I just need that extra push to get me going. With that being said, I have to get dressed to take my butt to the gym.

It’s calling my name. Not literally, ofcourse.

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Starting New 12 Week Get my Body Right plan !

Today I started Lee Labrada’s 12 Week Lean Body Trainer. Why? Because I’ve been goofing around a bit – I mean I’ve been working out – but I haven’t been on a plan. So, I decided why not try a stable plan by someone who’s pretty well known in the fitness world, with his own company that provides a line of nutritional supplements and functional foods and once got the fattest city in America fit (that was Houston, Texas by the way). The plan seems pretty challenging but I LOVE a challenge.

I will follow the fitness execercises to a Teee – but not so much his food recipes. I have to work with what I got, however that’s not to say that I’m going to be eating like crap. That wouldn’t make sense. I will eat the appropriate foods and follow the guidelines for which foods I should and shouldn’t eat. And now I’m super excited to be able to document my experience with all of you… I mean I could just get my body builder’s physique that I’ve been so desperately wanting by the end of these next 3 months.

If you feel up to it and want to join the lean body 12 weekly daily trainer – hit me up and we can do this together!!! I love having a workout partner, even if we’re just motivating each other via online – what better way then to have someone encouraging you back? Right!

If not, stay tuned for the ride to see my progress and get inspired!

Today, I began day one. It was “Back/Biceps” workout.I did four exercises, two for back, two for biceps and 3 sets of each exercise. The last set I completed to failure.

When doing the last set to failure, Labrada make’s sure to point out what it means. He says performing a set to failure is, “That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of movement with strict biomechanics.” And that my friends, was my first time EVER doing that in my life with a back and bicep workout; and I’ll tell you what – I’m totally feeling it right now.

W1D1

At the end of my weight training, I did cardio, and although cardio is my thing the plan’s cardio kicked my butt.

I ran on the treadmill but in intervals. For example: Minutes 1-2: level one (Easy resistance), Minutes 3 – 5: level two (Moderate resistance) Minutes 6 – 9: level 3hree (Difficult resistance) and so on and so forth for 30 minutes. I tell you what, it’s not easy doing that while running.

The reason for the intervals is so that I can challenge my metabolism. I’m sure if my metabolism could speak it would’ve been like “oh, so your just going to try and switch it up on me now, huh!”

Lol. Humor me.

Needless, to say today was pretty successful… And I can feel the pain in my biceps. Like serioulsly, it’s just a good soreness. I’m ready for tomorrow – it’s chest, shoulders and triceps!

Woot. Woot.

Muscle soreness. That’s a good thing, right?

Remember that day you worked out your biceps a little longer than usual, using different machines, adding on more weight and increasing your reps? And then a day and a half later you woke up and realized your arms felt really stiff and felt like you were moving them like a robot? Yeah, that’s the day you experienced muscles soreness aka Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).

DOMS normally happens for two reasons: you either began a new exercise regimen after a long period of not working out, or you went harder than usual in the gym (or in an exercise regimen). Dr. Matthew Isner, contributor to Bodybuilding.com, best describes it as “a phenomenon of muscle pain and soreness that is felt 12-48 hours following exercise, particularly at the beginning of a new exercise program, after a change in sports activities, or after a dramatic increase in the duration or intensity of exercise…”

So, technically, it’s normal to feel muscle tenderness, and sometimes, even pain. The good thing about it is that once the body adapts, continuous repetition of the same exercise exerted for a particular muscle group will not cause the same amount of pain or discomfort. Pretty cool, right?

Preventing or Avoiding DOMS

Some experts say that extensive stretching can help, but if it’s been a while since a particular exercise has been done, then you can expect to experience a little bit of soreness. Paul Ingraham, who used to be a registered massage therapist, explains in his article on DOMS that his patients would request sessions for massages for the soreness but there was nothing he could do about it. He states, “Massage therapists certainly often claim to be able to do so, but without evidence or justification.”

leg-day

That soreness you get after leg day has me like this! Image Credit via Find Your Perfect Fit

However, in Dr. Matthew Isner’s article on Sore Muscles, he gives information on a study that was published in the Journal of Athletic Training in 2003 which conducted an assessment on ten healthy subjects, both men and women, with no prior experience or injuries on a muscle group. They engaged in muscle resistance training, and according to the article, massage therapy proved to help with DOMS. Dr. Isner informs that the study concluded massage therapy was effective in alleviating DOMS by approximately 30% and also, reduced  swelling; but even with that it had no effects on muscle function.

My opinion: Sure, massage might work, but at the end of the day, your more than likely still going to feel very sore. Especially, if it’s been a while, or you haven’t worked out a particular muscle group in a while.

Now, how do you know if your muscles are sore or if you actually pulled something?

Some people have a high tolerance for pain, while others who are just starting out on their fitness journey will more than likely feel the different changes that their body goes through and perceive it as pain. The key to deciphering whether the “pain” is actually pain or just extreme soreness lies in listening to your body.

I know that for me, once my body tells me “Hey, Alba! YOUR DONE, STOP IT!” I’m usually compliant. You have to use not only your good judgement, but get acquainted with your body so that you know how far you can push yourself. And as time goes, if strength is what your pursuing, continue to push little by little. Time is you friend!

:D Image Credit via Pintrest @ Eva Bill

😀
Image Credit via Pintrest @ Eva Bill

My most recent sore muscle groups?:

  1. LEGS (I mean, who doesn’t go hard on leg day???)
  2. ARMS (I worked out my biceps last week and the next 3-4 days were just the worst!)
  3. CHEST (I thought I was saw immediate definition the day afterwards. That’s how seriously sore I was.)

For more information on muscle soreness don’t forget to check out Dr.Isner’s article on Bodybuilding; and Paul Ingraham’s article on Save Yourself.Ca.

Remember guys, if your sore it is possible that your putting in that work and getting that body right, or you pulled something! Hopefully, it’s the first one, happy lifting 😉

Feelings After Leg Day…

Today was leg day at the gym and I went so hard.

My workouts:

3 sets of 15 reps of Walking Barbell lunge 1 min rest

Expect it. Photo Credit Via Bar Brothers Groninggen

Expect it.
Photo Credit Via Bar Brothers Groninggen

3 sets of 15 reps of Leg Extensions 1 min rest

3 sets of 15 reps of Leg Press 1 min rest

3 sets of 15 reps with the Thigh Abducter machine 1 min rest

3 sets of 15 reps with Thigh Adducter machine 1 in rest

lastly, 3 sets of 15 reps Barbell Deadlift

Oh yes, I went absolutely bananas in the gym.

And my feelings consist of…

  • People are going to look at me weird because I’m walking funny.
  • Can I lay in bed all day tomorrow.. Please?
  • Can you see the muscles in my legs, yet?
  • I just want someone to carry me everywhere.
  • My legs are going to look so good in those short, shorts.
  • I know the soreness will be worse tomorrow, but it’s sooo worth it!

What are your thoughts after leg day?

Happy Leg Day everyone.

Goal for the end of summer! Photo Credit via Tumblr

Leg goal for the end of summer!
Photo Credit via Tumblr

The Most Unused Gym Equipment

When thinking about the gym and which equipment your going to use, you never think “Rowing Machine!” In fact, you probably think of the most common ones: the elliptical, the treadmill and the stair master. Why is that? Why is it that we automatically latch on to the most popular exercising equipment, but tend to negate the Rowing Machine (Indoor Rower)? Even, the cycling and regular bikes get more use then the rowing machines. It really seems like the rowing machine is headed for extinction, but the question is: why?

Earlier this week I went to the gym to complete a Mankofit Challenge workout (Mankofit is Massy, my motivation chick). The challenge had me complete 5 different types of cardio exercises, completing a mile in each. One of them required me to use the  dreaded rowing machine. Now, prior to Monday (when I completed the challenge) I had never, ever, used that machine. It’s not that I didn’t like it, I just never used it, nor ever thought to use it. And I rarely saw anyone using it. It was like the unwanted step-child, the ugly duckling, like a sandwich where the two pieces of bread are alike but the middle (being the equipment) was different from the others; that’s how I perceived the rowing machine to be.

This is what a rowing machine looks like. Photo Credit: Fitsugar

This is what a person using proper form on a rowing machine looks like.
Photo Credit: Fitsugar

After using it for the first time last night, I realized “people are tripping!” I was breathing hard, I had burned close to 100 calories for that one mile, and I had a little bit of sweat going on (I mean, I tend to go hard in the gym, I’m there for a reason and there is no lollygagging allowed).

So as I began to think of what I wanted to tackle this week, I decided on the rowing machine; something that I believe to be the “most unused” aka “the most hated” fitness equipment at your favorite fitness center; asking the question of :  “Why does it go unused?” and “What are the benefits?”

So, Why does the equipment go unused?

The rowing machine is that one lonely machine in the gym, gathering dust as the day goes by. It’s the kind that does the exercise that looks like the person is rowing a boat. The benefits? Amazing.  These machines, that makes it look like your gliding in mid-air, allow for a nice burn, and conditions both the upper and lower body!

But it’s not the most commonly used machine, many times it’s because we don’t know how to use it. When we do try, we:

  1. Lack proper form
  2. Some of us are lazy and would rather have an “easier” workout
  3. Get bored easily, since the equipment sits kind of low, pretty hard to watch the TV’s.

As it turns out, when we work out with proper form, however, you get a hell of a workout! According to Stephenson, from SELF  magazine, the rower melts 8 calories per minute and tones your entire body. Pretty sweet, right?

But if we really sit down and think, who row’s outside of the gym? Like, who actually goes to the river, on their boat, and starts rowing away? Not many of us, so I can see how it would be hard for anyone to pick a machine that we normally wouldn’t do outside of the gym. Drummer Boy, from a City-Data forum discussing the reason for why the rowing machine goes unused states,”Also, many people who do the bike or the treadmill at the gym actually run or ride outside as well, so they are staying in shape for that by using machines that mimic that same exercise. Conversely, very few people row outdoors in real water very often; at least in comparison with those other two activities.”  Ain’t it the truth!

So, What are the benefits of using the machine?

concept2-rowing-machine-graphic

The muscles worked , while on the rowing machine. Photo Credit: EZIA

Aside from the obvious, like getting a great workout:

  • Low Impact (especially if you have bad knees)
  • Muscle Conditioning (Sexy Legs, arms, core and back!)
  • Burning Calories (a lot of the of course)
  • Looking Good

 

Can I mention this again, though:

Sexy Legs,  Sexy Arms, Sexy Core and Sexy Back (yes, yes).  Total body workout! I’m all about getting my sexy and strong on! The Indoor Rower is an effective machine, for muscle and for aerobic workout. Don’t let it go unused anymore! Just remember to have proper form, bring a good pair of headphones and start rowing!

Give it a try 😉

-Alba