Last week’s workouts + CrossFit update

afitmess
March 20, 2017

Hello there. Did your weekend go well? Whatever you did, I hope you enjoyed yourself. My workouts were on point this week. I had five days of hard training and two days of complete rest. On Tuesday, I kind of tweaked a muscle in my hamstring (ugh…lazily putting my sneakers on!) and so I took an unplanned rest day and was cautious while running in Orangetheory on Wednesday. I included a lot of foam rolling, rolling on a tennis ball, and stretching. It feels A LOT better now and I’m just glad I didn’t push it and make it worse.

 

So here’s a rundown of last week’s workouts and my thoughts on CrossFit so far. As always, I’d love to know what your workouts looked like, what kind of fitness groove you are in (or not) and what’s going on with you in general.

Last week’s workouts

 

Monday 

CrossFit SS

WOD

1) 2 back squats EMOM for 10 minutes (I used 95#)

2) 4 rounds for reps:

  • 30 ME power cleans 55#
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds wall balls
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 30 seconds burpees
  • 30 seconds rest

 

Total work time = 22 minutes

 

Tuesday

REST

*I planned to do a quick upper body workout, but my hamstring was not feeling great so I just rested. I spent a lot of time stretching out my hips and hamstrings which seemed to help a lot.

 

Wednesday 

Orangetheory – Power Day (10 minuts of 30 second sprints)

 

Thursday 

CrossFit SS

WOD

1) 4 rounds for reps:

  • 1 minute strict pull ups (my best count in 1 minute was 7 pull ups)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute L-sit holds (best unbroken time was 30 seconds)
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1 minute double unders

 

2) 15 minute AMRAP

  • 20 hand-release push ups
  • 100 meter right arm kettlebell front rack carry (30# KB)
  • 20 kettlebell swings
  • 100 meter left arm kettlebell front rack carry

 

I completed almost 3 rounds

 

Friday

REST

 

Saturday 

Orangetheory

 

Sunday 

Orangetheory

Thoughts on CrossFit

I’m going on my second month of CrossFit and I’m definitely enjoying it. I still get a bit nervous before class, especially if we’re doing a movement that is new to me or one that is particularly challenging (I’m looking at you, snatches!). But each time I get to the box, I’m greeted with warm smiles, friendly people, and laughter which all help me relax. There are usually at least two coaches nearby to watch your form, answer questions, and offer suggestions. I always learn something new or a tip in each class.

 

The membership I initially signed up for includes two classes per week. I’m sure I could attend additional classes for a small fee, but I haven’t looked into that yet. I do think it might be more effective to attend at least three classes per week in order to pick up the movements quicker and get more out of the program, but I’m still debating on whether I want to put even more money into gyms/exercise at this point. It adds up fast!

 

If you are considering trying CrossFit then I would encourage you to check it out. It seems intimidating at first, but once you get out of your own head you see that CrossFit is for all abilities and fitness levels. I would also recommend moving slowly and cautiously at first. If you start to focus on your time, your weight, and intensity too soon then you might not learn the movement properly and you could end up hurting yourself. Slow it down and work on actually performing the movement the right way before adding speed and power.

 

Anyone have some especially good workouts last week? Any seasoned CrossFitters have some advice on starting CF?

 

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

 

5 ways motherhood has changed my views towards health and fitness

afitmess
March 2, 2017

 

Becoming a mom shifted my perspective about a lot of things. Like other parents, my views evolved and I gained new insight into many areas of my life. In particular, my views toward health and fitness changed quite a bit when I entered parenthood. Today I thought I’d share some of the ways my outlook on exercise and health has evolved and what I’ve learned along the way.  

 

1.  It’s about quality over quantity.

I used to spend over an hour at the gym most days (much of that time doing cardio). I thought more time spent working out meant better results. And I felt that if I couldn’t dedicate at least a full hour of time then it wasn’t really worth it.

 

After the girls were born, my time became limited. My workouts needed to be short and smart. Because I didn’t have a whole lot of time, I needed to be more thoughtful and focused with my exercise. I soon realized it’s more important what you do than how long you spend doing it. A twenty-minute workout can be just as effective – if not more – as an hour spent in the gym if you know how to properly structure your workout. I’m learning this right now with CrossFit. An eight-minute workout can seem like an eternity!

2.  Strength training yields faster results.

When I started to consistently strength train, I couldn’t believe the change in my body. It’s absolutely true that increasing your muscle mass will give you the lean, toned look you desire. Strength training increasing your metabolism, burns fat, and improves bone density. Using free weights or even your own bodyweight are great ways to achieve results. HIIT and Tabata workouts can be short and effective. Plus, they are easy to squeeze in during naps or when you only have a small amount of time to spare.

 

3.  Maintaining my health has new meaning. 

Now that I have children I am motivated even more to stay in good health. I’m not just exercising for my own benefit—I’m doing it for my family. Growing up without a mother was really difficult for me and it’s something I never want my kids to experience. Maintaining my health will help ensure I get to be there for the girls’ future and watch them grow up. I never want to miss a moment!

 

4.  Exercise makes me a better parent and person.

Unquestionably, exercise makes me a happier, more focused, and relaxed person. As someone who has struggled with anxiety my whole life, I’m certain that exercising has been key to maintaining my emotional health. Working out helps me balance stress and gives me an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety. I have also noticed that I’m able to process and work through issues during a run or workout. All of this translates into being a better mom, wife, friend, and person.

 

5.  It’s not a big deal to miss a day or two.

As a parent you can never anticipate the random things that will come up during your day. Your child gets sick or has to go to the doctor. A nap is missed or your sleep was horrible the night before. Sometimes you have to miss your workout and that’s okay. Obviously, my family is my first priority so if I need to skip a day or two then it’s no big deal. That’s life and you just have to roll with it.

 

I would love to know how your views towards health and fitness have changed over the years. Share below. 

 

 

 

{Guest post}: 4 simple changes to better health by Matthew Alegre

afitmess
February 28, 2017

Hi friends! I hope are doing well. Today’s post is brought to you by my husband, Matthew. When we’re not chasing after the girls or trying to break up an argument over Shopkins, we have some pretty interesting conversations. As you can imagine, they typically involve something about health and fitness, a podcast we listened to, a recent study that was done, Carpe Diem Personal Training stuff, or good food we want to devour. The other day we started talking about the challenges of eating healthy, the role stress often plays, and the little things we can do to get back on track. So Matt’s going to take it away and I’m going to make sure he doesn’t use any offensive language before hitting “publish.”

Common challenges we face when it comes to eating healthy

 

It seems like we have less time in our day than ever before. It’s difficult to try to balance all of our daily commitments (like work, family, and household tasks) and the various forms of stress that we face with proper care for ourselves. As a parent, I understand what a lot of my clients face each and every day – we are all incredibly busy.

 

In my experience, one of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to eating healthy is not being prepared. Between taking kids to school, chauffeuring them to various activities, working full-time, to maintaining your home there’s just not enough time in the day. Less time and more stress leads to poor meal choices. We end up eating whatever’s convenient or easy.

 

I try to encourage anyone who wants to establish better eating habits to focus on being prepared. This means spend a day on the weekend prepping food for the week ahead. Have real food on hand so you aren’t tempted by garbage. Use your crockpot for mid-week meals. Don’t buy junk. Have items that are simple and easy to make and can be thrown together quickly. Make and bring your lunch to work. Small changes can set the foundation for better longterm habits. 

 

Another common issue may be that the person who wants to eat better is met with resistance by his or her family. It can be difficult to get your whole family on board with a better lifestyle. Listen, I totally get the issue of trying to feed picky toddlers. However, this is where you have to show a little tough love. If you are making the meals then your family will just have to eat what you prepare. If they don’t want it then they can get their own food. One of my favorite expressions is lead by example. Show your kids that you care about your health as well as theirs. They will catch on to your actions.

 

A Fit Mess

Small changes can yield big results down the road. Here are a few, simple steps you can make today for better health tomorrow: 

 

1. Eat your first and final meal within a 12-hour window.

This means if you eat breakfast at 7:00 am, then you shouldn’t be eating anything after 7:00 pm. This is beneficial for several reasons. First, it encourages more consistent and fulfilling meals. It also supports liver function as well as digestion. Finally, it hinders snacking throughout the day and bingeing at night.

 

2.  Cut out processed foods and anything that comes from a box.

Learn to cook real food.  Your meals don’t need to be elaborate. Prepare simple, healthy items. Meat, nuts, and vegetables are great choices. Contrary to public opinion, meat and fat are not bad. You don’t need to follow a Standard American Diet (SAD) simply because that’s the norm. Otherwise, you might end up like Joe Schmo Couch Potato.

 

3. Plan! Success comes from being prepared.

If you don’t plan, you plan to fail. Make your food in advance, carry healthy snacks, and stock your fridge with whole foods. Be sure to eat every 3-4 hours. When you go too long between meals your body can’t function properly. You get tired, moody, and hungry which makes you more likely to grab junk food.

 

4.  Understand your food triggers.

Stress is a huge contributor to poor eating choices. If your cortisol is high then you are going to crave foods that spike your insulin (sugar, carbs, etc.). Ask yourself: what are the sources of stress in my life and how can I find ways to reduce them? When you feel stressed at work, do you want to hit the vending machine? Understanding your triggers is a huge part of redirecting your habits. Once you are aware of what may set you off then you need to figure out how to combat them. One small trick I use to curb sugar cravings is to mix 2 teaspoons of L-glutamine with a glass of water (or a small amount of heavy cream). It’s an effective way to satisfy a sweet tooth.

 

Additional links:

Carpe Diem Personal Training, Inc.

Poliquin Group Supplements 

Lower body bodyweight workout + dislocating your ribs is not fun

afitmess
December 30, 2016

About a week before Christmas I thought I pulled a muscle in my back. I’m not sure what caused it exactly–I didn’t notice it happen and I didn’t fall, but I remember feeling really sore after my workout. Thinking I might have just overdid it I backed off from lifting and focused on lower body and running. The pain lessened a bit and then got worse. I wasn’t making a big deal out of it at first, but eventually the pain got so bad that even taking a deep breath hurt. I felt a sharp pain that wrapped around my back and I started getting worried that it was something more than a pulled muscle. Matt encouraged me to get in to see a chiropractor right away and, luckily, I was able to set an appointment a few hours later.

 

Fast forward to my appointment, I learned that I dislocated a few of my back ribs. Um, huh? I assumed that dislocating your ribs happened if you got hit or fell. Apparently, it is more common than I thought. The biggest indication is when you have pain while taking a deep breath. Sometimes you will have bruising, swelling, or a lump, but I didn’t have any of those symptoms. After a rather uncomfortable adjustment, my ribs were put back in place. Seriously, it sounded like he was crushing egg shells. 🙂

 

I’m feeling quite a bit better, but I’m really sore and achy (I was adjusted on Wednesday). I’m told the soreness should last up to 5 days. The chiropractor told me to avoid pulling and any compound back/shoulder exercises or anything that could compromise the integrity of the ribs. Running and lower body work are fine to incorporate. Because I’ve been feeling all sorts of holiday indulgences right now I created a quick lower body workout to do at home.

 

Lower Body Bodyweight Workout

This workout takes about 20 minutes and can be done anywhere. It requires no equipment – all you need is a body. 🙂 Note that there are 15 reps for each side. Meaning, you’ll perform 15 forward lunges on the left and then 15 on the right. Alternatively, you could just alternate sides and complete 30 reps total. Let me know what you think!

 

A Fit Mess

 

Want more workouts? Check out my Pinterest board or my workouts page.

Have you ever dislocated or bruised your ribs? It is NO kind of fun.