Fitness and Exercise Resources

Heyyyy friends! Whaaaat’s happening. This is me pretending to be perky. It’s not working :P Today’s been an odd day with a lot of heavy things on my mind :( I spend far too much time worrying about things I shouldn’t. I’d ask if anyone else has this problem, but I know I’m not the only one!

On the bright side, I slept for over 7 hours last night and felt pretty good when the alarm went off! Finally! I was nice and energized for my upper-body weight lifting session today. You may notice I do more upper-body than lower. This is because 1) I torture my legs enough with running, biking, step-class and other forms of cardio and 2) I’m actually trying to bulk up!! I have naturally scrawny limbs so I’m trying to get some solid definition happening. I still do at least one full-body workout a week, but an excess of squats and lunges aggravates an old hip injury.

Anyways! Today’s workout was stolen from the March issue of Oxygen Magazine. I don’t love a lot of fitness magazines geared towards women, but this one I do because it has real and useful information. (and THANKS to Janetha for the subscription :D ) The moves were designed to be divided into different days, but I threw them all together :)

 

Exercise Weights Reps Sets
Alternating Chest Sets:      
Machine chest press 40 lbs 6-8 4
Incline dumbbell fly 15 lb dumbbells 6-8 4
Alternating Back Sets:      
Barbell bent-over row 60 lbs 6-8 4
Close-grip lat pulldown 75 lbs 6-8 4
Alternating Shoulder Sets:      
Seated dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 lb dumbbells 6-8 4
Cable lateral shoulder raise 5 lbs 6-8 4
Alternating Bicep Sets:      
EZ bar preacher curl 30 lbs 6-8 3
One arm cable curl 12.5 lbs 6-8 3
Alternating Tricep Sets:      
Forward tricep extension 20 lbs 6-8 3
Bent-over dumbbell kickback 12.5 lb dumbbells 6-8 3

Heckyes. I warmed up on the elliptical for 15 minutes first, then I finished it off with 10 minutes on the stepmill and a random assortment of crunches and planks. My arms were shaking by the end!

I was a hungryhungryhippo by the time I primped and got outta there. I usually have my lunch bag open before I even get my office door unlocked.

IMG_4905

Same thing as yesterday! Greek yogurt, stevia, strawberries, almond butter, homemade granola.

IMG_4908

Love that little peek of morning sunshine :) I know I was all “what’s the big deal” about greek yogurt in the beginning, but I think I was able to truly appreciate its greatness today. It’s nice to not have to add extra protein to yogurt. Plus, the thick texture is pretty amazing. Kinda like Cool Whip, which I admittedly have a huge soft spot for.

Snacks – yes snackS, because I ate two today – were a fresh batch of homemade protein bars. This time in Cherry Dark Chocolate. Take that Kashi!!

IMG_4903

  • 2 cups (dry) rolled oats
  • 2 scoops (60g) vanilla protein powder
  • 2 scoops (60g) chocolate protein powder
  • 5 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup water

All stirred up until powder is just dissolved, and mix is crumbly/sticky (not gooey!!). Flattened into a 9×9 pan and left to harden in the fridge. Makes 8 bars. I haven’t calculated the exact nutritionals on these, but I assume they’re around 200 calories each and 16g protein. The basic recipe is always the same, I just change the add-ins, kinds of nut butter, and protein powder flavour.

Oh yes, and it was delicious!! Both times! ;)

I was out of the office editing a promotional video all day, so I got to come home for lunch. I thought of making something fancy, but got lazy and just ate my packed lunch while watching The View.

IMG_4916 
Maple smoked salmon sandwich with laughing cow cheese, honey mustard, fresh dill and spinach. Between the honey mustard and maple flavour, it was sweet!

The usual beta carotene on the side…

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Speaking of the View, I am so sick of hearing about famous men having marital affairs. Ugh. Can we please stop giving those men airtime? Thanks.

Supper! IMG_4920

Look familiar? My meatloaf pizza was so good yesterday, I wanted to eat it the exact same way today!

IMG_4926

Just as delicious the second go around. This is definitely being added to my list of favourites!

 

I don’t have much to ramble about today, but I thought it would be useful to share some of my favourite weight lifting resources. I will fess up – I have two big goals I want to achieve with this blog: I want to address anxiety disorders, and I want to get women weight lifting! Different, kind of, but I’m sure connections can be made.

Anyways, if you’re looking for some weight lifting inspiration, get click-happy!

Men’s Health
Women’s Health (although Men’s Health is better)
Bodybuilding.com
http://exrx.net/
Oxygen Magazine
Fitness RX

And my absolute bible for weightlifting moves can be found here:

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

It’s a directory of copious amounts of moves. I still like reading other magazines like Shape and Fitness from time to time. While I think they’re mostly fluff, I have stumbled upon some great moves and workouts in them before. Basically, if it’s got fitness in it, I’ll read it! :)

 

Okay, so let’s expand on my list: what’s your favourite fitness and exercise resource?

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Posted on March 16, 2010, in Workouts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 32 Comments.

  1. Runner’s World is my Bible lately. I can’t throw old issues away–I refer back to them all the time!

  2. Sweet work out! Maybe between the 2 of us, we will inspire a lot of women to lift (along with April).

    I hear you on the anxiety. I have to make it through this week. There are 2 huge things going on, and a lot depends on the results of them. I can’t do anything else at this point other than wait, and it is very hard.

    Oxygen is probably the best mag out there for real work outs. I love to go the the library and get training books out, even though most of them are for men….. (boo)

  3. I don’t have time to join a gym these days, but you sure do make me wish I could throw some weights into my excercise regime. Good for you. Your meat loaf pizza….I’m going to try it. My mother in law left her copy of inspired” here last night. I was happy to see she forgot it.
    Don’t have a fave fitness resource, blogs perhaps.

  4. I love your goals for the blog! They are certainly working out. I have become really interested in weight lifting and once I’m done with this semester and have the time I intend on creating my own regimen to follow – which I will surely get ideas and a basic plan from your blog!

    Happy Saint Patrick’s Day tomorrow!
    Nicole G

  5. LOVE THE LINKS! gona check those out right now girl! THANK YOU!

  6. Thanks for that list! I’m really liking NROL and I’m hoping I can finally get into a real habit of weight training with it. I tend to give up on it because I feel like I don’t “see results” but I know I’m getting stronger! One thing I’m not sure of, though, is if I’m lifting enough. It seems like I am, as in I’m working hard and sweating and all, but I don’t really get sore afterwards…maybe a tad but not much. I’m like you and I love the burn! Any thoughts?

    • Because lifting to “burn” means nothing. Being “sore’ also means nothing. They don’t have a reflection on how you are progressing in training. Things that will help you progress are 1) lifting frequency 2-3 times a week, 2) lifting heavy enough (rep range 8-10) and progressing there, and 3) EATING enough, unless you are gaining you are not gaining any muscle, oh and 4) REST (not overdoing the cardio)

    • Hmm…I can’t remember, did you start Stage 2 yet?? I found the first stage to be pretty easy. It was more designed to get people used to lifting, and it didn’t challenge me that much. However, I made most of my strength gains during that first stage, so it’s still worthwhile! Once you get into the latter stages, you’re changing it up more often, so your muscles don’t have time to get used to it. I got reeeally sore then. One good way to tell if you’re lifting enough, is to ask yourself if you’re struggling to push out the last two reps. If it says to do 10 reps, and you can get through them all without grunting or shaking, then you need to increase the weight ;)

      Oh, and sweating is not an indicator of how hard you’re working. It’s more based on the outside environment. Hope that helps! :)

      • I’m finishing up level 2. And yes, I’m usually struggling at the end of each set, and sometimes have to drop to a lower weight for the second set.

        I know being sore and all doesn’t mean anything…but still I like that feeling, and I miss it when it’s not there. And…I don’t think eating too little (save for a bootcamp program we won’t talk about) was ever my issue…

        Thanks for the advice! Sounds like I’m doing everything right and I just need to take a chill pill.

        • You shouldn’t go to failure on each set, that is overkill and you won’t progress that way. You should obviously lift “heavy” and try to improve but if you are trying to bang out each and every set/rep to the max, you are going to be over working and not gaining strength or size.

  7. I lift upper body more as well, simply because I don’t want anymore muscle with the legs. Im happy as they are and dont want anymore. Plus, lifting upper body is fun I think!

  8. I LOVE lifting. It makes me feel sexy. Nothing better then seeing triceps in the window reflection :)

    I hope that we hear more about your anxiety condition, because mental health issues are think are important to discuss. Not only for those who have them, but for those of us who don’t have them.

    Thanks for always being open and honest. That’s why we adore you.

  9. I adore Oxygen magazine, but have recently discovered Muscle and Fitness Hers and it has some great workouts.
    I can’t wait to try your Cherry Dark Chocolate protein bars. I love the Kashi ones, but they only have like 5g of protein and that just doesn’t cut it. Yours sound (and look) amazing!!

  10. I refer to a lot of my running and cycling magazines, but truthfully, I work and am friends with so many amazing athletes that I rely on them for advice more than anything!

  11. fave resource..gosh. Google. :)

    xoxo

  12. I pretty much live on Women’s Health (the website)..and my boy subscribes to Men’s Health so i get the best of both worlds..Ahem…i have been known to read Muscle and Fitness too..
    They don’t sell women’s health here (UK)…
    and all the other women’s fitness mags out here are just..fluff..meh..so i don’t really bother..
    Def gonna check out those links!
    I really wish i had the confidence to lift weights..It’s certainly something i’m going to work up to the this year..
    I have little pink pathetic lady weights at home..which are an absolute joke..
    I know im weedy but i totally think i could lift more than i look like i can..
    I guess im just scared of venturing into the weight room at my gym…It’s like a ‘no-entry’ zone for women..It may as well be the men’s restroom… *roll eyes*
    I really need to stamp on that stereotype…I bet i could lift more than most men..
    LOVE your goals dear!
    Had an aweeeeeesome run this morning..Thought of you (is that creepy?..haha) and just stayed in the moment and enjoyed my run..no pressure..no expectations…it was loooooovely!
    xoxox

    • Oh gosh, I was SO nervous to first enter the weight lifting area at my campus gym. It was always full of intimidating guys. I started out slow though…I would venture in there for one exercise at a time, sometimes bringing notes so I wouldn’t get flustered and do a move improperly. Plus, the guys are generally really nice when you have questions about equipment! If anything, they get flattered when a girl comes up and asks for their help :)

  13. I do like Oxygen quite a bit, thanks for all those links.
    Those bars look amazing, I definitely need to make them and your cinnamon bars. I eat a protein heavy bar almost every day so these would be a great cheap substitution.

  14. Great workout! I’m glad you came around to greek yogurt, it is AMAZING =D

    I love Oxygen and Men’s/Women’s health, as well as Yogajournal for yoga moves. But my current favourite workout site is bodyrock.tv. Don’t get turned off by the hot-chick-with-big-boobs-in-tight-workout-gear. Zuzana is REALLY sweet, and her workouts are killer! Ignore the pornstar-esque look and have fun! Her workouts are awesome =D

    xo
    K

  15. My husband found a T-shirt body workout at menshealth.com that we’ve been doing together. It’s quick (just 20-30 minutes), but you’ll feel it the next day.

    Our cable package includes FitTV. Besides magazines, that’s one of my favorite workout resources. I love me some 80′s Gilad workouts. :)

  16. Another vote for Oxygen! I read Shape and Fitness sometimes but they annoy me a bit.

  17. i did that superset workout awhile back. loved it! i need to do upper body more often than lower body, for the wedding dress. but i LOVE lower body! hey what is your workout schedule these days, do you have one? like as far as cardio/weights/upper/lower etc go.. or is it whatever you are feeling?

    i need to get off my ass and make a batch of your bars. every time i see a new one i kick myself.

    favorites are similar to yours. LOVE oxygen of course, exrx rocks and so does the shapefit body map: http://www.shapefit.com/trainingmap.html

    xoxo!

  18. As far as magazines go, I love Runner’s World, and the fluffy mags – Shape, Self, etc..
    I get lifting ideas from those, but I also like to go to personal training sites – ACE, ACSM, NASM etc.. and their journals – IDEA, etc.
    I just love learning about new workouts, too :D
    Sounds like you had a killer upper body session!
    And that protein bar looks amazing!! I need to make those, stat. Have a great day, chica!

  19. This post couldn’t have come at a better time! I start official program next week (get my plan from trainer Sunday- wooo!) so will be lifting soon! So excited. I read the fluff magazines because I like fluff/wasn’t working out, but now am checking out all kinds of resources.

    Question: I am having so much trouble with the elliptical machine- like, cannot make it 5 mins with crazy burning in my legs. Bike and rowing machine I can do 15 mins on a medium intensity and get off feeling like I could keep going…what gives?! Which muscles do I need to fix? Did you struggle with the elliptical when you first started?

    • Hmm, maybe it’s not your legs, but the machine! The stride length on many ellipticals can’t be adjusted, so it can be an awkward motion for a lot of people, especially those with shorter or longer (me!) legs. I find most ellipticals make my knees hurt as it’s just not my natural range of motion. Have you tried out the different kinds? Most gyms typically have more than one. I did a post on s few different kinds waybackwhen: http://thegreatbalancingact.com/2009/08/24/running-races-and-more-ellipticals/

      Play around with the resistance level, and some machines have inclines. Maybe it’s starting too high?

      Let me know if you still have problems!!

  20. Sorry to be late on the draw here…but about 6 weeks ago I got the Womens Health Big Book of Exercises. I’ve had lots of weight lifting books but I’m just LOVING this one. I love the way it’s laid out, the variations of exercises and the sample programs. It’s given me a rejuvenated interest in my exercising and lots of new ideas!

  21. I love your protein bar recipe! Looks so yummy! I have one question though. I’m allergic/sensitive to nut butters (including soy, tree, and peanuts), so I was wondering, do you know of anything I could maybe substitute for the almond butter in this recipe?

    • You could probably get away with leaving it out all together, but it may result in a slightly harder bar. You could also try adding a couple tablespoons of butter or oil to make it a little softer. My favourite is coconut oil!

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