A Few of my Favorites Things! 1st Edition

It’s officially s-u-m-m-e-r and there are a lot of little things that I wanted to share with y’all, so we’re doing it compilation style instead of parsing it out niblet by niblet.

1. Kettle Guards.

kettleguards

I’m starting my path to the StrongFirst Certification, which means lots and lots of Turkish Get-ups and Kettle bell snatches…hard on the wrists, but much less so with a little cushion, for a little less pushin’.

2. Summer Fruit.

summerfruit

Watermelon, fresh, local strawberries, nectarines, peaches…um, yes please! I can’t get enough. Expect more fruit porn shots all summer long on my Instagram n’ Facebook.

3. Get Sh*% Done mug.

gsdmug

I needed a new mug and who can’t use a little extra kick in the motivation pants with their morning coffee? I know I can! I’m enjoying the mug so much that I keep washing it every morning just so I can use it again. I think my other mugs are going to get lonely.

4. Argus app.
argus

A few weeks back I put my beloved Fitbit through the washing machine. It worked for a day…then it went on the fritz 100%. I was sad to lose it, but didn’t replace it since I don’t need it. While it’s great for providing motivation, I do already, um workout quite a bit. So while it was a nice thing to have, it would be a wasteful for me to buy another. About a week ago, though, I found out about this Argus app, which also tracks your steps! It also allows you to track a bunch of other stuff, like your workouts (duh), water consumption and you can also take pics of your meals (fun, but beware if you are someone that struggles with any sort of eating disorder past or present).

A few other drawbacks are that you have to take your phone with you all the time to get an accurate reading of your steps…which, lets be honest, we do anyway, but sometimes it’s nice to leave the ol’ ball and chain behind. And I also don’t believe it’s available on most phones/platforms…believe it’s just iPhone 5 for now (but don’t quote me on that).

5. Anderson Valley Holy Gose Ale.

goseale

Beer on a fitness blog? Waaaat? Yup, hello and welcome to my world:  I’m a craft beer lover. Many ladies love the wine, I love the high quality beers. Mostly, though, I’m into IPAs, which are higher in alcohol content — it’s seems to be trendy to get as high as possible. So, I just can’t enjoy them as often as I might like. Which is fine, too much alcohol consumption can get in the way of fitness goals…and well, a healthy life in general. Unfortunately, my taste buds think that most lighter beers pretty much taste like, well…crap (think Bud Light). But, this Gose? It’s 4.2% alcohol content! Yay! And it tastes good, it’s a bit tart, citrusy and light. So, it’s much easier to allow this beer as a treat on a random evening. Oh…and? Less alcohol content also means less calories. Lots of win, here.

6. Whole Foods maximum moisture lotion.

wholefoodslotion

So, this is how my hands look from so much kettlebell work this week:

calluses

Not real pretty, right? Well, part of callus management is keeping the hands well hydrated and moisturized. I randomly picked up this lotion this week and was super surprised at how awesome it was. Guessing part of that is the macadamia oil and shea butter. Whatever it is, at $3.99 a pop, I’m pretty sure this will be a staple in my world all summer long.

And…that’s a wrap folks! Favorites list, complete.

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Core + Conditioning Workout

Image-1

Here’s a little workout for y’all. Conditioning work for my purposes in this workout is about getting your heart rate up and “conditioning” your cardiovascular system.

Historically, I am not one to prioritize abs in my own workouts — we use our core in most movements, particularly in heavy lifting, but lately I have been doing a little bit more ab-specific work. And after a few months, I am definitely seeing some results of this labor, so I wanted to share the love. I don’t love traditional crunches for a variety of reasons, but what I do love is a good challenge, so things like v-ups and hollow rocks are right up my alley 🙂  Because, well, they are hard and I love that.

In general,  this workout is geared towards advanced/intermediate exercisers. It is not intended for beginners, though I do offer some modifications below for injuries and places where you get hung up — I encourage you to do things well, rather than rushing through reps just to be down with it. Please reach out with any questions! Tips and links for each exercise below!

1. Burpees:  advanced burpee, i.e. chest to deck, please and thank you.

modification burpee (in my groups we call these a high-plank burpee)

2. V-Ups:  If you don’t have these quite yet or have lower-back issues, modify with 20 starfish sit-ups. For more of a challenge, do 10 on each side rather than alternating sides.

3. Reverse Burpees:  Be judicious with this one, particularly those of you with low back issues. The weight will help counter balance you and help bring you forward a bit, but it’s my opinion that it’s optional if you have the ability to do so without one.

4. Plank. I do believe this one does not require a link, but I do encourage you to do a high or tall plank and to practice full-tension (squeeze the glutes, lats, etc.).

5. Kettlebell swings! Again, practice full tension (squeeze the lats, shoulder are locked in their joint socket). If you don’t have a kettlebell handy, I will take 60 seconds of jump rope in lieu of this.

6. Hollow rocks. Another link here with more explanation. If this is your first time, take it nice and easy with these guys. Don’t expect them to be as clean and pretty the first time you try them — you may have a larger range of motion than these guys and that’s okay, as long as you’re safe and paying attention to how the exercise feels for you. The main thing to keep in mind is that you want your low back tied to the ground the entire time.

ETA: here’s another explanation of how to get into the proper position for hollow rocks. Also, note that you can also start with bending both knees, then just one knee as you progress to a full hollow rock. If you are a beginner this is good way to go.

Have fun with this one and let me know how it goes!

xoxo,

-Cat

My Week in Workouts

Today, I’m sharing a weeks worth of my workouts for a few reasons:

1. Being a fitness “pro” I often get asked about how much I workout. Like, OMG, you must workout ALL the time. Not true by any means! I appreciate days off just as much as anyone — maybe even more so, since not thinking about exercise is frankly, super duper healthy for my brain at times. The idea of becoming a one-dimensional fitness person scares me…so not appealing!

2. This particular week of workouts might seem sort of random — and it is. I didn’t plan in advance to go biking — it was simply what I felt like doing. After all, I’m not training for an event…right now I’m simply training to live a healthy and happy life.  And let me tell you, this week of workouts made me really happy! This week is sort of a classic “me” week in terms of the randomness coupled with challenging myself. This is what makes it share-worthy in my opinion, because it’s exactly what I want to shoot for each week, but it doesn’t always happen:

fun + challenging + breathless + a balance of hitting all fitness areas + working on a skill + rest days = a perfect workout week. 

Sunday 3/30/14

workout:  15 mile bike-ride on the Bay Trail. Ride took just under 60-minutes.

Monday 3/31/14

workout: 60-minute session with my coach, TGU, KB swings, cleans, presses, front squats, oh my. In particular, we worked on my power clean + clean technique. It’s a toughie for me, but I left knowing I’m heading in the right direction.

self-care: 60-minute yoga with my favorite yoga teacher

Tuesday 4/1/14

self-care:  rest day. I took the dog on a long walk, got my 10K steps in for the day!

Wednesday 4/2/14

workout:  Today I ran with all 3 of my bootcamp classes. Do I “count” this as a workout? yes. because it clocked in at well over 5 miles. Was I focused on my own running and caring about my splits? Not at all. Was I loving every minute of the fact that I get to do this? Without a doubt. In total this meant I was “working out” for about…45 minutes?

Thursday 4/3/14

workout:  I did a “homework” workout from my coach. kettlebell swings, TGUs, other strength moves. This only took about 35-minutes.

Friday 4/4/14

workout:  did a strength session in my garage:  back squats, reverse burpees, weighted sit-ups, TGUs and maybe a few other things in there too. I played around in the garage for a good 45 minutes.

Saturday 4/5/14

self-care:  Long dog walk! And then, lots of foam rolling/mobility with some clients. I did tinker around on my spin bike for a little bit, but was mostly just doing so to play around with my cycling shoe fit.

All in all, that accounts to 5 days where I worked out, 2 where I rested and plenty of other self-care items. For me, that is a really, really good balanced week!