Fitness
Weekly Workouts + Recipe

Weekly Workouts + Recipe

 

Recipe:

We’ve added one meal into rotation to have once a week. When I was younger, I called it “sausage chicken” and the name stuck. It’s super easy and nutritious, so I thought I’d share it with you! There are few measurements to this recipe, because it’s that simple

  1. Place however much chicken on a pan. Place 1 tsp of butter on each breast or tender of chicken.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Flip the chicken over. Add chicken andouille sausage all throughout the pan. Make sure it’s cut up so that the flavor can permeate the chicken.
  4. Some of the butter will have melted in the pan. Spoon it over the chicken again.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes.
  6. DONE! 🙂

We typically serve this with any greens.  Okra, zucchini, or asparagus are our favorites right now.

Workout Lingo

Workout Lingo

When Zach and I first started dating, my roommate and I joked that she would make flashcards and quiz me on all the “CrossFit” terminology that he regularly used. Many of these are not actually affiliated with CrossFit, but once upon a time, I assumed everything that wasn’t Flywheel or Yoga to be CrossFit. After asking for clarification a million times, I’ve gotten most of them down. That learning curve wasn’t easy, so I thought I’d save you some googling and organize everything here.

 

WOD: Workout of the Day: self-explanatory. Many organizations post their own programming each day, so it’s called a WOD.

Metcon: Metabolic Conditioning: usually intense breathers, also functional training shoes from Nike (linked below)

AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or reps) As Possible: These usually have a certain time attached to them & you complete a certain movement/set of movements as many times as possible in that time period. Example: 5 min. AMRAP of 10 burpees, 10 squats, 10 push-ups OR 3 min. AMRAP 150-lb back squat.

For Time: There would be a set amount of movements and you just do them as fast as you can!

EMOM: Every Minute on the Minute: Movement(s) to be done on the minute. When complete, rest until the next minute.

PR: Personal record

CTB or C2B: Chest to Bar: a pull-up variation

KB: Kettlebell

DB: Dumbbell

Tabata: 20 sec work + 10 sec rest for 4 minutes

Reverse tabata: 10 sec work + 20 sec rest for 4 minutes

RX: “prescribed”: doing the workout exactly as it’s programmed vs. scaled (see below)

Scaled: programmers will often provide scaled down versions to make the workout achievable for everyone. I.E. lighter weights or box step-ups instead of box jumps.

1RM: 1 rep max. A lot of programming calls for doing a lift at a certain percentage of your one-rep max. It helps give you an idea of just how heavy a certain workout should be.

#X#: Whichever number is first is the amount of sets you do. Whichever number is second is the amount of reps you do! Example 3X2 = 3 sets of 2.

Weekly Workouts + Speed Flex + PR

Weekly Workouts + Speed Flex + PR

This week, we had the opportunity to try out Speed Flex in Dallas. We were stunned to find out that the studio has been open for 3 years! It is the first of its type in the entire country. This 30 minute class uses machines that elicit isokinetic contractions. This class is meant to provide a personalized intensity of workout, because it’s resistance-based, meaning it allows for “a professional athlete to train alongside a retiree”. There should be little to no muscle soreness after taking the class, because it is made up of solely concentric movements. The class we took was a HIIT-type modified Tabata, spending 20 sec at each station & 8 sec to rotate. We wore heart rate monitors around our chest, and mine said that I burned 360 calories in 30 minutes. I did wear my Polar watch, as well, but that only said I burned 180. It was a fun upbeat class, and we would definitely attend again! Info can be found at the link below.


How to Work Out in the Morning

How to Work Out in the Morning

Two years ago, my friend invited me to a 5:30am Flywheel class before work. It took a couple invitations to get me to go, and even when I did, I was half asleep for the first ten minutes. These days, I bop into the gym around 4:15 bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (for the most part). Here are my secrets:

  1. Great tasting pre-workout: I don’t know about you, but I crave sweets in the morning. A donut? Waffle? Muffins? Yes, please. So a sweet pre-workout can literally get me out of bed. My favorites right now are  PEScience prolific in raspberry lemonade OR Optimum Nutrition in Blueberry Lemonade. I try to drink this as I’m getting dressed and gathering my things. That way, the caffeine has started to set in by the time I walk into the gym and start warming-up.
  2.  Go to bed: I’m always exhausted in the evening times. It’s the nature of my job. But knowing I can get up and get a good morning workout in always motivates me to close my eyes when I want to keep scrolling Instagram or reading my book. I personally don’t feel the need to use it, but the bedtime alarm system on the iPhone is fascinating!
  3. Remind yourself of the benefits: Fitness at anytime won’t hurt, but these articles are great to read if you need a little push in the right direction. #1: Bodybuilding.com or #2: Cosmopolitan.com
  4. Make use of the extra time in the day: This really turned into a habit for me when I was planning a wedding. I was constantly meeting with vendors after school and knew that if I waited to work out, it wasn’t going to happen. If I work out in the morning and want to go to happy hour with a friend, I can, because I’ve already worked out. I can stay as late as I want at work (which isn’t late!), or I can take a nap–is there any better motivation than that?
  5. Find your Mindset: When people ask (because they do…often) WHY on Earth I would workout at 4:15am, I always respond with my true reasoning. I’m not trying to lose a certain amount of weight or get in shape fast. It’s mental. If I can get up and workout for an hour BEFORE I start my day, I know I can handle whatever the day throws at me. Lifting heavy weights by 4:30am reinforces the idea that I am strong, and if I’m strong in the gym, I can be strong in my classroom and in my family. And besides? Have you heard of an endorphin rush? I’m a much nicer person when I’ve worked out in the morning.

I’d love to know when YOU like to workout and how that helps you!

 

Weekly Workouts

Weekly Workouts

On Saturday, we went for a walk along the Katy Trail in Dallas. Once upon a time, I lived Uptown and brought Zach to the Katy Trail on his first trip down to visit me. Maybe it’s the sentimental part of us or maybe its just the paved shaded path, but this is one of our favorite places to get some outdoor activity. We love to park near Knox/Henderson, grab a coffee at Starbucks and walk about 1.5 miles and back. If you haven’t checked it out, definitely give it a visit.

Top 4 Dumbbell Workouts

Top 4 Dumbbell Workouts

I’ve recently started a new job, and with that comes traveling + a busy schedule (and wearing suits vs. lululemon). This doesn’t mean fitness has to go on the back burner, but it DOES mean that sometimes it means working out without a barbell. One of the first things Lauren and I check out when traveling is the hotel gym. Lame? Maybe. But there’s comfort in knowing that most hotel or apartment gyms at least come with a rack full of dumbbells. Whether the collection is small or large, you can still train to reach your goals using only dumbbells.  Obviously Dumbbells can be great for convenience sake, but they can also serve very valuable training purposes as well. Just to highlight a few, improvement in stability and range of motion, easier adaptations to changing grip/angles as well as loading/transitioning into other movements.  This makes the dumbbell a great training tool when dealing with injuries or any training limitations.

 

  1. Upper Push/Lower Pull
    • DB 45 Degree Bench Press
    • DB RDL(Romanian Deadlift)
    • DB Arnold Press
    • DB Single Leg Deadlift
    • DB Incline Alternating Press
    • DB Goblet Good Morning
  2. Lower Push/Upper Pull
    • DB Goblet Squat
    • DB Single Arm Bent over Row
    • DB Reverse Lunge
    • DB Upright Row
    • DB Lateral Step-Ups
    • DB Rear Delt Fly
  3. Power
    • DB Hang Power Clean
    • DB Thruster
    • DB Single Arm Snatch
    • DB Push Press
    • DB Split Lunge
  4. Gun Show
    • DB Hammer Curl
    • DB Skull Crusher
    • DB Front Raise
    • DB Underhand Curl
    • DB French Curl
    • DB Lateral Raise
    • DB curl 21’s
    • DB Tricep Kickback
Weekly Workouts + Mini Cut

Weekly Workouts + Mini Cut

Hi everyone! I know I’m late on weekly workouts, but I wanted to add a second component this week.

For those of you who may have read about my fitness journey (here) or followed for a little while, you may know that I’ve been “bulking”. I say that lightly, because it’s been a slow process and really nothing extreme. I’ve gotten to the point where I want to start “cutting” back down again, and I’ve been looking for some guidance/a program to follow. Zach recently downloaded The Bulking Protocal (here) from Power Athlete, and he told me about The Leaning Protocal (here). Well, I downloaded it on a whim and thought I’d share with you some of my “tricks of the trade” from when I originally cut down 20+ pounds (over 2 years) and what I’ll be TRYING to keep in mind over the next few weeks. Keep in mind that I am not certifed as a trainer or nutritionist. All of this information has come from trial and error and the guidance of my sweet husband (who is a CSCS and studied nutrition in college). I really encourage you to seek out guidance from professionals.

 

  1. Portion control: No, I’m not talking about eating an entire plate of spaghetti or ordering two double-doubles from In-n-Out. I’m talking about portion control even with our “healthy” foods. When we created our wedding registry, we invested in a good food scale. It may sound obsessive, but I found that it has made a huge difference in tracking macros. I used to eyeball my 4 ounces of chicken for meals, and it turns out I was only eating 2-2.5 ounces. I was not getting the amount of protein that I thought I was. Similarly, when it comes to items out of a jar or a bag, it’s so easy to track one serving size but actually eat 2-3 at one time. These informative posts are pretty eye-opening.

 

2. Ditch the scale: I still struggle with this, I really do. But having my body fat measured on a weekly basis gave me a whole new perspective. When I decided I wanted to do a small “bulk”, I knew I’d have to watch my weight go up. But as I did so, I experienced some newbie gains and saw my weight go up while my (overall) body fat percentage went down. That doesn’t mean I didn’t gain any body fat–it just means I gained more muscle than fat. This is possible. At this point, I’m working on cutting down a bit, but I have a little more freedom to let go of that scale number.

3. Protein: I see some  YouTubers or Instagrammers claim that you can protein from things like hummus and nuts, but y’all–how many nuts & tubs of hummus are you eating?! These new macros have me aiming for MORE than 1 gram per pound of body weight. When I used to just track calories vs. tracking macros, I ate probably 60-80 grams per day. I’ve had to up that quite a bit, but it makes all the difference with recovery, muscle growth, fat loss, and basic functioning of the human body.

4. Cross-training: What I have found works best for my body is incorporating more than just one type of training. I’ve gone through points in my life where I just did yoga, or just did spin classes 5-6 times a week. Those workouts are great in isolation, but the best results I’ve come from mixing up the workouts and training all parts of the body. I do a lot of weight training currently and the beauty of that is the room for variety within the workouts. I’ll do a super intense Crossfit-esque WOD, a slow body-building type workout, or add in cardio. Zach and I have been hitting a lot of yoga classes in DFW too!

 

Do you have any tips for a small cutting phase? I’d love to learn about your favorite tips and tricks!

Weekly Workouts + Polar Watch

Weekly Workouts + Polar Watch

Hi everyone,

Along with this week’s weekly workouts, I wanted to include something that has changed the game a bit for me. Keep scrolling to learn more!

Click this link for workout video.

So, the game changer I mentioned…over Spring Break, I found myself wondering how my home all-day activity level compared to my teacher life activity level. It certainly seemed like I was expending a lot less energy on my couch watching Netflix than my typical chasing around 7-year olds. I read a few reviews and impulse ordered the PolarA360 watch on Amazon same-day shipping.

I absolutely love being able to check my steps & calories burned throughout the day, BUT I find this most helpful during my workouts. You can use the touch screen to display exactly what you want during your workout. I usually default mine to current heart rate and time spent during workouts, but you can see the percentage of time spent in different heart rate zones or calories burned during the workout.

It’s been the most fascinating to wear my watch consistently during cardio, weight training, barre, and yoga classes!

If you wear it all throughout the day, it tracks your activity level, notifies you if you are inactive and gives you graphs to show how your day was. The examples above show an ACTIVE day with a workout, and the second shows a more typical day with afternoon workouts. You can see the time of day when I was taking an afternoon nap and the times during the day when I sat consistently. Pictured below are screenshots of the daily summary VS a screenshot of the workout information it gives you.

I find myself setting additional goals throughout if I notice my heart rate is low OR if I don’t seem to be burning very many calories.

 

Do you have a recommendation for a heart rate monitor? What’s your favorite workout watch?

 

Protein Powder Review

Protein Powder Review

You may have read my review on protein bars here. Since then, I’ve tried out a couple of new protein powders and wanted to share my thoughts. With that being said, I want to highlight that these should be treated as a supplement, not a meal replacement or replacement for eating real protein-packed foods. Almost all of my choices are chocolate flavored, but note that these products do come in other flavors–I just haven’t tried them all : )

Carnivor Chocolate

Taste: This is a pretty no-fail choice if you want a tasty chocolate protein. A worker at Vitamin Shoppe asked me how I could stand the “meat taste”. I must have given him the most confused/disgusted face, because he quickly retracted his question and said “oh it must just be me…” ha!

Nutrition: 120 calories per scoop-23P, 8C, 0F. It as added BCAAs and added Creatine.

Overall: This protein is a little foamy when mixed, but it mixes well. I think this is the perfect option for people with casein or whey intolerances/allergies. It’s an alternative to a “green” or vegan protein powder, if you’re okay with animal products.

PEScience Frosted Chocolate Cupcake

Taste: SWEET! The first two or three shakes I drank with this protein were almost nauseatingly sweet. I eventually got used to it, and other proteins started tasting bland in comparison.

Nutrition: 120 calories per scoop-24P, 1C, 1.5F. This is a whey + casein blend.

Overall: I like having the benefits of both whey + casein. Zach explained to me that whey protein is quick-digesting, so it causes a spike in protein synthesis. Casein is slow digesting, so it releases amino acids over time. If you can get past the sweet flavor, I do recommend this choice.

Dymatize Elite XT

Taste: Like I mentioned before, this tasted bland in comparison to PEScience, but either way, I like the flavor. It’s easy to get down post-workout or early in the morning.

Nutrition: 130 calories per scoop-21P, 8C, 1.5F. This is also a whey + casein blend with BCAAs and 2.2 G Leucine.

Overall: This is a very inexpensive protein. I think a 4lb container on Amazon goes for about $30. In addition, it’s also an extended release protein with the whey + casein combination.

Vega Greens Smoothie

Taste: Y’all. This is not a favorite of my mine for taste. The only time I use this is in a smoothie, with lots of mango/acai/things to take away the green/powder taste.

Nutrition: 110 calories per scoops-20P, 3C, 2F. This is a combination of pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein. You get the benefits of spinach, kale, and broccoli too!

Overall: After having this in my cabinet for a while, I rarely find myself reaching for it. It’s one of those situations where I’d rather just plain eat broccoli OR drink a green juice if I’m desperate to get greens in.

 

If you’re looking for single-serve packets, my favorite are the BodyTech Whey Protein Powder from Vitamin Shoppe in Red Velvet or Mocha. These come in little packets that you can throw in a gym bag or lunch box and not worry about packaging anything up. I like to keep them on hand for a quick go-to.

Please note that I am not a nutritionist. I am simply sharing what works best for my body and my tastebuds. Zach and I are happy to answer any additional questions/comments you may have (he can share HIS nutrition background)!

Dallas Fitness Ambassadors: Silent Disco Yoga

Dallas Fitness Ambassadors: Silent Disco Yoga

Last week, I attended Silent Disco Yoga in West Village. I really had no idea what to expect, but I knew that I’d see some familiar faces and get the chance to try something out of the box. When I arrived, I couldn’t believe how many yogis showed up! Upon sign-in, we received two bottles of Muscle Milk to use as hand weights, and we got our headphones!

These headphones made me crave a pair of wireless headphones, because I loved the feeling of moving all over the place and never having the earbuds fall out. I mean, we were running in place, doing jumping jacks and inversions, and these babies stayed perfectly place! Once we all got situated, we could hear both music and the instructor’s voice through the headphones, and you could adjust the volume to your own preference.

We started in child’s pose and made our way through a combination of (what I would consider) traditional yoga poses, a lot of barre-esque pulsing movements, good core work, and some plyometrics to get our heart rates up.

After the class ended, I wandered through the amazing vendors that were a part of this event! I had my hair braided and got awesome recommendations/product samples for my chronically dry hair from Avalon Salons.

 

From Muscle Milk, I took home the two shakes I’d used for weights AND two of their protein bars (which are delicious). Buda Juice and SimplyFit Meals also showed up to share samples of their nutritious goodies. Some of the other vendors that I saw were Soul Cycle Uptown and Mini Luxe. 

 

It was so much fun to know we were in the middle of a bustling area–shops, restaurants, fitness studios and the like. But with our headphones and vibe, we were totally in our own zone.

Make sure to follow Dallas Fitness Ambassadors on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook so that you can take part in the next fun event!

Dallas Fitness Ambassadors
  • How beautiful is this breakfast bowl? Potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage, PERFECT runny eggs, cheese & avo.
  • Great morning at @bodymachinefitness with @dallasbloggerbrunch. Definitely worth trying out if you like circuit + treadmill workouts & incredible smoothies after 🍴💪🏻
  • @flywheelsports 60-min class for ALL the endorphins this morning. 🚴🏻‍♀️
  • This energy bowl from @soulbowlz in Fairhope hit the SPOT for breakfast earlier this week. Spinach + kale + acai blend + pineapple + whey + delicious toppings 🍴
  • We knocked out a sunrise workout on the Fairhope pier this morning, and it was so pretty to be next to the water. 🌊☀️
Lauren's: -50 lunges
-3 rounds: 5 push-ups + 5 step-ups
-15-10-5-5-10-15 bench dips + air squats -repeat 2-4X
Zach's:
10 rounds:
-20 push-ups -25 dips
  • Do y'all take a daily probiotic? I'm curious to know! Taking these gummies daily has been an easy addition to my routine, because they taste like candy. This serving of 4 billion live cultures is less than the recommended daily amount, BUT it serves as a supplement to other dietary probiotics that can come from sources like yogurt & kombucha. I'm so glad @influenster sent me this complimentary product to try out.
  • We picked up some peach marinated chicken from the @central_market taste of the south festival & paired it with roasted okra and white rice for a tasty & well-rounded dinner plate. Not pictured: @apothicwine rosé.
  • Coolest gym ever, but we're still Saints fans.
  • It's 4:15 and haven't touched a veggie today. Oops. I'm pretty loyal to the @drinkgreens renew blend, but this is a close second. 4.5 pounds of cucumber + celery + kale + broccoli + lemon + parsley + basil cold pressed into one bottle.