Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Workout at Home Tuesday: Turbofire Series Overview

(I reviewed this program in January, but I wanted to do a new, updated version of the program as a whole. You can still find some individual reviews in the archives).

Turbofire: The program
What is it?
Turbofire is a series of workouts that focus on cardio training, with some strength training included. The program also includes a nutrition guide, and a "5 Day Inferno" plan for rapid weight loss.

Turbofire is the next step up from TurboJam, a workout system released in 2005. Turbojam is the home version of Turbokick, which is a popular class taught in gyms and health clubs. I became a certified Turbokick instructor in 2003 and taught until I was pregnant with my son in 2007. It's been interesting to see it evolve during that time, and I also think it gives me insight into these new workouts. I am planning to attend a recertification for Turbokick in August, and to start teaching again- even if it's in my living room :-)

Fire: Fire workouts are based on the format of live Turbokick classes. They include cardio kickboxing, a little dancing, and "Fire Drills". "Fire Drills" (which are also known as "Turbos" in the Turbokick format) consist of short, intense drills where you work AS HARD AS YOU CAN, usually from 45 seconds to 1 minute. Fire workouts in this set range in length from 30 to 60 minutes.

Hiit: Hiit (High Intensity Interval Training) are short, intense workouts consisting of fire drills. These are designed to get you to work at your maximum capacity and then recover multiple times in the workout. The Hiit workouts range from 15 - 30 minutes.

Strength and Stretch: There are a few resistance workouts included with the program, some ab work, and stretching workouts. Resistance is not the primary focus of this workout (compared to something like P90X), so they are short and use light resistance (most of the time a resistance band).

Who is it for?
Someone who wants to put an emphasis on cardio would really enjoy Turbofire. The creator, Chalene Johnson, stated that she wanted to create a workout that anyone, regardless of their fitness level, could do. Each workout includes a modifier who does everything with low impact (but still intensely).

I do kind of a half-modified version. There are some moves I just can't do full out, so I do the modifier's version in those cases. On days when I'm tired, or injured, it's nice to have the low-impact option. I can still get a great workout without hurting myself.

The Fire workouts include an option called "new to class", where, before each section, you go through the choreography. I think this is a great idea for ALL fitness videos that involve choreography (you know, as opposed to 50 jumping jacks or something easy to catch on to). You can choose this option the first few times, or as long as you need, and review the choreography before the section, without a drastic drop in heart rate, and then you perform the section with more mastery. Chalene moves fast, which is great for keeping it exciting and intense, so this option insures you don't get lost.

The Good
The music is amazing. Ever since I received my first Turbokick Round (Round 13...I think they're on 45 now. That doesn't make me feel old-school at all...), I have been impressed with Chalene Johnson's ability to match music with movement. She does a great job of that here, as well.

The Not-As-Good
I hate to say there are any negatives to this workout series, but surely, it won't be for everyone. If you are focused on heavy strength training, this series (as is) is not for you. You can use the Hiit workouts to go along with an existing weight training or bodybuilding program, but the program as a whole is primarily for cardio conditioning.

What is the difference between Turbofire, Turbokick and Turbojam?
Well, absolute beginners should probably start with Turbojam. It's geared towards multiple levels, but the pace is much slower than Turbofire. The choreography is also much less intricate. There are also not as many workouts available. They are less intense, but can be modified to a higher intensity *to a point*.

Turbokick is the version of the workout that is taught by certified instructors in the gym. It is slightly more intense and possibly more complicated than TurboJam. Each round has a similar format. The music is often the current top 40 or hip hop hits. I highly recommend finding a class and trying it, provided you can find a good instructor (I'm kind of an instructor snob, and am very picky).

Turbofire is the only one of these programs that includes Hiit workouts. The pace is faster than both Turbojam and Turbofire, and (in my opinion) the music is better than Turbojam.

My personal favorites of the system:
Fire 45 (Love the music on this one) (Here's a link to a review)
Fire 30 (I reach for this often because it's short) (Here's a link to a review)
Hiit 15 (I combine this with a strength workout, or Fire 30. It has the best music of the Hiits, I think.
Remember, the best workout program for you is the one you will do!
Stretch 40- This is a good yoga style workout.

I like the others, too, but these are the ones I reach for most often.

Have any of you tried Turbofire? Do you have any thoughts? Anything to add?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Motivational Monday- Special Edition

Happy Memorial Day! Many of us have the day off, but I wanted to go ahead and post a Motivational Monday that would inspire us while we honor our heroes. Remember the courage it takes for the heroes to do what they do, and see if you can apply a little of that strength to your own life today!

"Courage is the discovery that you may not win, and trying when you know you can lose." ~ Tom Krause

"Fight til the last gasp."~William Shakespeare

"Without courage, all virtues lose their meaning." ~Winston Churchill

"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength." ~Unknown

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it." ~Thucydides

I've also joined the following Blog Hop today. Welcome new friends! Please leave a comment so I can follow you back!

Have a wonderful, thankful day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

High Five 5 Question Blog Hopping Random Awesomeness Friday!

It's a medium five.. but I'm really happy about my hair today..

Today I'm celebrating High Five Friday by participating in the following blog hop:

TGIF Blog Hop
So, if you're a new follower, WELCOME! Please leave a comment. I want to be friends!

Now, let's chat...

Random things I'm thinking about:
1. So, you know how I'm planning on doing the Whole30 challenge starting June 1? Well, the more I read and research, the more I want to start right now. Last night my husband made a feast- fajitas with whole wheat tortillas, black beans and rice. I ate the fajitas and the tortillas (with a little cheese) but I just couldn't bring myself to eat the beans and rice (however, I did bring myself to eat 2 cookies after dinner. I regretted it almost immediately). I'm not prepared though, so I'm not technically starting. May start Monday if I have time to prepare on Sunday...

2. I did some yoga-ish today: Chalene Johnson's Turbofire Stretch 40. 

(What is Turbofire? Here you go:)

My P90X recovery week has not been very P90X-like. I usually don't do it as prescribed. I have been running and doing yoga, and that's pretty much it. I enjoyed the Yoga-like workout so much this morning (despite the screaming baby during savasana) that I almost want to do another week... but I need to get back to my X Strength work. I do miss the pullups...

3. I want to start something today. After you read this, can you find one person around you that you can make smile? Go find them, find something genuinely nice you can compliment them about, give them a hug, tell them they are important (of course, this will all depend on how well you know the person). If it's a stranger, and you like their hair, tell them. If it's one of your kids, give them a hug and look straight into their eyes and tell them: "You are special. I love you." 

I just feel like we need to raise the happy-level of the planet right now. So, see what you can do :-) And here's some cuteness to help:

And now, 5 questions:

1. Do you speak a foreign language? If so, how well? On a scale of 1 - 10, 1 being "What? I don't understand a word you're saying" to "Drop me off in the middle of the city where no one speaks anything but that language and I'll be just fine..."... I minored in French in college, but I haven't used it in a while. I'd love to get a chance to try. Right now the most I get to do is cataloging French music at work :-)

2. Dogs, cats, both or none? I'm a cat person, but I like dogs too (well, as long as they don't bite me..)

3. Do you like the TV on or off in the morning? I prefer total silence, but my husband likes "Morning Joe", so we end up watching that a lot... Sometimes it's "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse"...

4. Coffee, tea or neither? Me: Coffee. So. Much.

5. What was the last workout you did? Mine was the Yoga-ish workout this morning...

Now, go out there and have a WONDERFUL Friday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New Songs to Run To

Music is the best part of running for me. It has always moved me. Now, I'm a classically trained musician and music scholar (yawn), but the music I like the best is "anything that's good to run to." I mean, I'm serious- I will have a spiritual experience if the music and movement are together just right. It's magical.

So I have a few songs that are my current favorites. I will share them here:

A few songs have an absolutely perfect B.P.M. (Beats Per Minute) and they help me keep perfect pace.

I ran today with this one and it was PERFECT for my almost 10 minute mile (hey, it was hot).(And by hot I mean 80).

This is another one that is perfect. Not only is the pace perfect, it's about 5 minutes long, so I can say, "I just have to finish this song!"

I like the "clean" lyrics, but I must admit when I have a rough time on a run, I sometimes shout out the expletives. (Don't tell my kids).

Another new one that's not really about pace, but just feels good to run to:

I know this one is overplayed, but I still really like it:

(and whenever my son hears it, he says, "Hey, Mommy! That's your song!")

And, of course this one:

What are your favorite "Songs to Run To"? Or, what's a song that gets you going?

Thankful Thursday: Random thankfulness...

I had a great Awesomeday yesterday. I hope your day was awesome as well. This week I decided not to regurgitate everything that was awesome yesterday, and instead just list random awesomeness. It's important to be thankful...
I am thankful for the motivation I get from the folks at Sarah Fitness. I try to be motivating, but I also get a lot from them. So, thanks everyone!
My daughter is quite a diva. She just didn't like that particular fashion accessory that day. But I'm beyond thankful for her, and the fact that every day she is growing and healthy and happy...
A wonderful friend passed on some boy's clothes to my son this week, and he is positively in LOVE with the Cowboy boots. He wants to wear them everywhere. I am consistently amazed at my wonderful little man. I can't believe how grown up he is.
There is not a lot in my life that is organized, as painful as it is for me to admit it. I mean, I'm a librarian (a trained cataloger, no less). However, my coupon binder is finally organized, and I just love looking at it. Soon I will have enough of a stockpile to be organized, and I will gaze upon it, ignoring the surrounding chaos...

Did I mention I'm a half-marathon finisher? I don't have my own car yet, so I haven't gotten my 13.1 sticker to put on it... and sometimes I forget that I accomplished my big goal that I had been working for for over 2 years (lots of obstacles). Now that I've done it, I'm moving on to the next race, which is in September... but I still like to stop and think about it :-)

There are so many things to be thankful for. What are some things for which you're thankful on this Thankful Thursday?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday: Paleo-tastic!

It's like "Ice Age" over here..

Paleo Paleo Paleo... It seems to be everywhere I go. Many bloggers I follow are trying it, and seeing great results. Personal friends are doing it. Is it a sign that I should try it? Well, yeah, I think so...

I was so good last week. I stayed within my calories. And then, on Monday after my run at the gym, I weighed. I gained 2 pounds. Again. WTF?????

I worked out like a crazy person. But the things I ate (other than my Shakeology) were not pure, whole foods. There were processed foods. There was dairy. Things that you think are healthy because the calories are low.

So, I'm going to do something drastic:

The Whole 30.

30 days of super clean eating, based on the Paleo diet. Here are the rules:

  • No added sugar of any kind, real or artificial.
  • No processed foods
  • No alcohol
  • No grains. (This is going to be rough for me)
  • No legumes. (Also rough)
  • No dairy. (The worst part of this will be black coffee. BLACK COFFEE, PEOPLE!)
    • [Disclaimer: I do plan on drinking my Shakeology daily. It is pure and whole, and the only "dairy" is the "whey protein". There is a vegan version coming out soon, and I'll switch to that when it happens. Just not willing to go without Shakeology- it's too awesome].
  • No white potatoes. 

Also, for the whole 30 days, no stepping on the scale. No portion measuring.

I'm going to do it, starting June 1. Hey, that's a week from today... (gulping coffee with creamer).

This is not just about weight loss. This is about health.

When I was eating mostly raw foods, I was the healthiest I had ever been. I remember waking up one day, after an ozone detox, and thinking, "I didn't know I could feel this good!". I think I go through the day thinking this is as good as it gets- I'm pretty healthy. But, what if it can be better?

I agree with the principal of not weighing and not worrying about weight. I just want to be as healthy as possible. So I'm committing to 30 days. It's going to be rough. My wedding anniversary is June 21. I'll be at Beachbody Summit for 3 days in June. But my desire for change is going to have to be stronger than my desire to cheat.

I have a week to prepare. I have a week to research how to do this "diet" frugally. But I'm excited.

Here is a link to the website's "Resources" page, with a lot of info that is helpful: http://whole9life.com/resources/

And, here are some pics of some possible things I might eat (all of these are from the Whole9 website):

Okay, these all look pretty good. You can also just simply put the ingredients together. I still have a week to plan, but this makes me hopeful.

Yes, I am jumping on a bandwagon. I completely admit it. But, there is a reason there is a bandwagon. It must be good. So, why not try it?

If you have any thoughts, experience or resources to share as I prepare, I would *love* to hear them!

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Can I just say...

Moms- is it just me, or do you *never* look this good when walking around with your kids? Me?

I would post a picture of me walking with my kids, but it's just too much of a contrast...

Darn you Angelina Jolie! You're making the rest of us look bad!

Workout at Home: Review of Eoin Finn's "Pure and Simple Yoga"

This is one of my favorite yoga workouts. It's not complicated, it's not too long, and there is just the right balance between challenge and relaxation.

I should start off by saying how much I love Eoin Finn. I mean, he is such a gentle soul. It comes across in his instruction. I've done many yoga practices of his (he has lots more, including free downloads if you'd like to check him out) and just love the joy he exudes.

This is a 40-minute practice. It's designed for beginners and intermediates. One of the great features of the DVD is that you can choose the beginner track (where Eoin demonstrates the beginner versions of each pose), the intermediate track (He demonstrates the intermediate version) or both in a split screen. You can also choose to have music or no music, music and no instruction (the "Zen" track), or tidal breath (which is quite calming, but not for everyone).

Here is a general breakdown:

Sun Salutations: A and B
Forward bends
Right angle pose
Crescent/hip flexor stretch
Pigeon (YES! My favorite)
Boat Poses
Happy Baby/Reclined pigeon

I always feel good after this. It's not "Power Yoga Kill Yourself ARRRRRGGGGGHHH!" but a nice recovery from all the running and crazy workouts I do the rest of the week.

If you'd like to learn more about Eoin Finn, please check out his website (I highly recommend it): http://www.blissology.com/

(P.S. Kind of a disclaimer: I don't sell this workout, you can't get it from me, and I did not get a free copy. I just really really love it...)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Me + The Treadmill= BFF..

This was *not* me today:
From here
So, I took the advice of some readers (Thanks you guys) and did some interval training today. I'm so glad I did.

I worked on speed and incline (at different times- no I did not run fast hills or anything crazy like that) and feel like I got a great workout. Another day's workout will be running for 30 minutes straight. Today was about BRINGING IT... and then taking a walk break... and then BRINGING IT!!!!...

Here's what I did:

Walk 5 minutes to warm up
6 cycles of the following:
1 minute of running flat at 5.5 pace
90 seconds of running at 2.5/3 incline at 5.5 pace
90 seconds of running flat at 7.1 pace
1 minute walk to recover

Then I walked 5 minutes to cool down.


I think if I do this workout once a week, I'll definitely see some improvement. Plus, it was different enough from a track workout that I feel like I could even run 30 minutes on the track tomorrow and not feel like I did the same workout...

The treadmill finally has a place in my life... thanks everyone for the suggestions!

Motivational Monday! Yes!

Good morning! It's Monday! Hooray!

Having trouble getting going today? Here is some motivation:

The best way out of a difficulty is through it.~Will Rogers

You must begin to think of yourself as becoming the person you want
to be. ~David Viscott

Health is not simply the absence of sickness.~Hannah Green

Just because you're not sick doesn't mean you're healthy.~Author Unknown

It is exercise alone that supports the spirits, and keeps the mind in vigor.~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body. The more
efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your
talent to produce outstanding results. ~ Anthony Robbins

If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else.
It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits.
There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go
beyond them. ~ Bruce Lee

You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five
miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where
the hell she is. ~ Ellen Degeneres

Have a great Monday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

The treadmill and me...

This is how I feel running outside right now

It is about 85 degrees outside here in Tennessee today. I have trouble walking outside when it's 85 degrees (I think it's some kind of post traumatic stress disorder from being 3rd trimester pregnant during the summer... twice...). So, I decided not to run outside, and to try to make friends with the treadmill.

Now, the treadmill and I have history. When I first started running, I *only* ran on the treadmill. I ran well on the treadmill. But, I had trouble running outside. It was much harder. Since most races don't happen on treadmills, I decided to train more outside. But then, weather happens, and luckily I have access to an indoor track, so I did a lot of training that way.

Last summer I didn't run at all. We moved really far away from work and I was spending 2.5 hours commuting. It was dark when I left the house, and dark when I got home. Plus, I was very pregnant, so that was a pretty good excuse. After my daughter was born, I started running outside and on the track.

So, now, I go to the treadmill and can barely stand it. I feel like I should do it to measure my pace. I would love to train myself to run exactly a 10:00 mile for 3 miles... but I just can't stand the treadmill.

Part of me thinks the treadmill is stupid and I should just never do it. But part of me feels like I need to conquer it! GRRRR!


Anyway, I ran. I may run outside tomorrow but for a very short time so I don't have heat stroke.

How was your last run?

High Five 5 Question Friday!

It's Friday! Here's your high five!

So, instead of five actual "questions", I want to list 5 "things". So, I'm listing 5 things for which I'm grateful.
(I got this idea from The Clothes Make The Girl, and you should totally check out her blog because it's AWESOME).

1. Coffee.
You probably could have guessed this. I never get tired of proclaiming my love for coffee. I have tried living without coffee. I've tried giving up caffeine. I've tried enjoying tea. None of these last very long. So, for now, I embrace my great love of coffee whole-heartedly. Maybe another day I'll quit... but not for a very long time.

2. Social Media
"Wow. How shallow!" you may be thinking. But honestly, social media has changed my life. When I moved from my home of 10 years in Texas to another state, I didn't lose all my friends. In fact, there are some friends I talk to *more* often now, even though we are in different states. And, also, there are folks I've met through Social Media and my Beachbody Coaching business that I've never even met in person, but who are some of my closest friends. My life is richer for these folks. Also, I enjoy entertaining people through my social media platforms, such as Facebook (my favorite).

3. Running
I spent years trying to be someone who enjoyed running. Well, I didn't try very hard. I would start running, and have to stop, and say, "Well, that's too hard. Guess I'm not a runner..." It was only when I worked up to it through Couch to 5K that I finally *became* a runner. I still have days when I don't feel like a runner... but I'm so thankful for my ability to run (and walk and do other things as well).

4. My children
Holy moly! It amazes me that I grew 2 healthy, perfect people inside my body! They are perfect. Yes, they are challenging, and I admit to worrying about all the bad parenting karma I have coming to me, but I can never let myself forget how lucky I am...

5. You
Yes, you. You're reading this, therefore, I'm thankful for you. I like to talk about myself. I think I'm hilarious. However, it's more fun to know someone is listening. So, thanks!

Play along and list some things you're thankful for (and ignore my bad grammar).

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Awesomeday Recap (and more)

Have you participated in Awesomeday yet? I highly recommended (and not just because I co-created it!)

I made a decision a while ago to focus on positive things. I wanted to change my attitude. I wanted to attract positive things. I wanted to be happier.

I decided that I would focus on the blessings- the little ones, the big ones, and just kind of ignore the things I didn't like (well, I can't completely ignore them- I have to pay taxes, for example..).

I found that when I focused on blessings, everything seemed a little better. Soon I noticed things started to actually get better. I didn't really care if I was imagining it or if it was real- I was actually happier!

So, when one of my friends suggested she was having such a great day, she wanted to rename Wednesday "Awesomeday", I ran with it...

So, every Wednesday, we have "Awesomeday". There aren't really any rules- just list the "awesome things". Little things, big things... the more you list, the happier you are!

With all that in mind, here is my list from yesterday:

Things that are awesome, #1: a good night's sleep!

Things that are awesome, #2: Coffee.

Things that are awesome, #3: Shakeology "ice cream"...

Things that are awesome, #4: Casey Jones, from Quints By Surprise- running while pushing a jogging stroller full of 5 children! I'm pretty impressed with her!

Things that are awesome, #5: TEAM AWESOME! You guys ROCK. SO. MUCH

Things that are awesome, #6: The run I just took. Also, not being bitten by dogs while running is awesome.

Things that are awesome, #7: The sweet bonus anyone who orders Shakeology on HD gets from me this month.... Hmmmm, are you curious what it is?

Things that are awesome, #8: The fact that tomorrow is yoga day. I need it...

Things that are awesome, #9: My son: Cleaning is a party.
My son rocks.

Things that are awesome, #10: Amazing friends... some I've never met in person but talk to every day; some who live in another state, but I talk to them every day; some I see every day. I am lucky to be blessed with ALL of you!

So, I hope you all had a wonderful Awesomeday, and if you don't celebrate Awesomeday, I hope you had a wonderful Wednesday, and found some things to be thankful for...

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday: How do you eat?

Well, this was my week to get my eating under control, and I have to say I did pretty well. I kept my calories below 1900 every day (which was my goal), and I noticed a few trigger points:

* At night, when making dinner/cleaning up dinner/taking care of and juggling children- this is when I tend to shovel food in my mouth mindlessly. I did my best to be aware of it and avoid it...

* Measuring: I've been pouring chocolate chips into a bowl and eating them as a snack, telling myself it was one tablespoon. Um, once I actually got a tablespoon and measured it, I realized I have been eating a LOT of chocolate. So, for the jumbo semi-sweet chocolate chips that I like, 1 TBS is 15 pieces. I have been counting them out. 15 pieces = 80 calories.

Shakeology "Ice Cream" (yes I measured those chocolate chips)

* I haven't been drinking nearly enough water. On Monday last week, I made a real effort to drink 10 BIG glasses of water, and I noticed a difference. I felt better. I was "clearer". I peed a lot, but I did notice a difference. So, this is a very important discovery.

* The things that are easier to make are not as healthy. The things that are healthier take more time. Dang it. But, it does help to prepare foods in advance, like I did with this salad and chicken:
Yep, I eat my salad with a spoon. I can't be great at planning ALL the time..

My workouts went pretty well. I adjusted a little bit from the original plan, but kept it consistent:
Monday: P90X Ab Ripper X, Chest and Back; Run 2 miles
Tuesday: Accidental rest day (overslept)
Wednesday: P90X Ab Ripper X, Shoulders and Arms; Run 2 miles
Thursday: Turbofire Hiit 20 and Hiit 15
Friday: Run 2.25 miles
Saturday: P90X Ab Ripper X, Legs and Back
Sunday: Yoga (Tony Horton Fountain of Youth) (to make up for missing yoga earlier in the week)

I've also been experiencing some serious information overload regarding diet. Vegan, Raw, Paleo... everything seems to have a benefit. So, I think that's what I'm going to be talking about next week...


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Workout at Home: Review of Shaun T.'s "Insanity: Fast and Furious"

This workout is a bonus workout for the Insanity program. Its billed as a 45 minute Insanity workout in 20 minutes.

If you've done any of the Insanity workouts, you know the concept is "Max Interval Training", where you work really hard, and then rest. Well, this is like one long max interval training interval... there is NO REST in the bulk of the workout!

It's filmed in a small gym space. Shaun T has two background exercisers, a girl and a guy. They are both super fit but still struggle to complete the workout (this is comforting to me!)

Equipment Needed: None

Breakdown of workout:

Warm Up:
- Jog it out
- Jumping Jacks
- 1-2-3 Heisman
- High knee abs/jumprope
- Fall squats: Like squatting jumping jacks, but you touch the floor on the squat.
- Plank squats: Holy moly. Kind of like burpees but you come all the way into a squat and don't stand up.

Go through this whole thing twice, then the stretch.

Each of the following is one minute. No breaks. Holy cow:

* Sprints: high, low, floor, and moving pushups

* Power knees/Diamond jumps

* Ski abs, In-and-out, oblique pushups

* High Knee Oblique Twist

* Burpee/Pushup jacks (with a jump, of course)

* Power jumps. For one minute. (if you're still alive). (The 2 folks in the cast actually stop here and Shaun T. calls them out. "Come on! Nobody's jumping! Let's go!")(At one point all three of them are just standing there looking tired!)

* Football runs/plank holds

* Plank punches ("This **** is crazy, I can't even talk!")

* 100 meter dash sprint

Holy cow.

"My goal is not to kill you. My goal is for you to kill yourself."
- Shaun T.

Good stuff: If you like getting an amazing workout in a short amount of time, this is the one for you. It is *amazingly* difficult, even though that workout portion is only about 12 minutes long (it's the whole "no breaks" thing).

Not-so-good stuff: 
- The production is not as fancy as the other Insanity workouts, so I thought that might bother me. That was silly, because the last thing I cared about while gasping for air and dying was the video production...
- Did I mention it's hard?
- Seriously, finding a workout that is as challenging like this is great, because you have room to grow.

Not for beginners. However, I do believe you should go at your own pace, and can take breaks as needed. The whole point, though, is to push yourself really hard, so you need to know you're capable of doing that. I look forward to getting better at this and taking fewer breaks.

(Oh, and on the back of the case, they suggest pairing it with another Insanity workout. Maybe one day. It wore me out so much I felt like I could just go back to bed...In fact, I got worn out just previewing it!)

Overall rating:

Do you have any workouts you would like to see reviewed here? Let me know and I'll do it!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Motivational Monday!

Good morning! Another week is starting!

Found here
No! Monday is a good thing! Really!

I like to think of it as a fresh start! Why aren't there more songs about how awesome Monday is? They're all about how much we hate Mondays...

(Note to self: Write a super cool song about Mondays...)

Here are some thoughts to get your Monday off to the right start:

I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. ~Michael Jordan

It's not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not. ~Anonymous

Motivation will almost always beat mere talent. ~Norman R. Augustine

Fear is what stops you... courage is what keeps you going. ~Unknown
The finish line is just the beginning of a whole new race. ~Unknown

Have a great Monday! Remember- this is the start of a new "race"! You can make it whatever you want it to be!

Friday, May 13, 2011

High Five Question Friday!

Here's your High Five! *Smack!*
Good grief, Blogger!

Okay, now that I got that out of my system...

Happy High Five Friday! We made it! Let's celebrate:

And may I add, the awesomeness of this:
Go here for the most hilarious thing this week..

Now, for my 5 questions: Please answer them, because I want to know!

1. What are your plans for the weekend?

I am planning on cleaning my house. Or cleaning as much as I can while caring for my children, who don't like it when I ignore them to clean.  I also hope to take a nap, and catch up on the DVR.

2. What is your favorite show right now?

I rarely get to watch shows live, but I DVR them and try to catch up during the weekends. My favorites right now are Doctor Who, Modern Family and Extreme Couponing. If I have time, I watch Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice because I enjoy un-realistically sexy doctors...

3. What is your favorite TV show that's not on anymore?
For me, I still cry because I miss Lost. I loved Alias. And Buffy and Angel, of course. Luckily, these are all available on DVD. I still can't bring myself to rewatch all of Lost though. (It's too soon...)

4. What was your last workout?
I ran 2.25 miles this afternoon, and it kind of wore me out. Could I still be recovering from the half (2 weeks ago)? Either way, I'm going to work back up to the point where I'm running 3 miles 3 times a week, and it's easy. Then we'll talk speed or distance...

5. Does anyone know why I like this dang "Friday" song so much?

It's catchy and I can't stop singing it. And now that Glee has done it, it's even more cool...

Oh, and don't forget to LIKE the Facebook page. There is a challenge going on until 3:44 PM CDT Saturday: For every *new* like I get before then, I will do 1 pushup. At 3:45 tomorrow I will count them, and do them all at once. I may even videotape it. So, come on over and LIKE me!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Awesomeday Recap

Yesterday was my favorite day of the week: Awesomeday! That's the day where we list all the things that are "awesome"- anything, no matter how small... just to get your focus on what is good in your day.

Things that are awesome, #1: Team Awesome (my Beachbody team) welcomes a new coach! 

Things that are awesome, #2: This coffee is particularly good. Oh how I love coffee..

Things that are awesome, #3: Finishing today's P90X workout, then turning on the tv to see the
P90X infomercial! Love when that happens!

Things that are awesome, #4: 

Two of my three favorite people!

Things that are awesome, #5: 
Free samples of coffee!

Things that are awesome, #6: Someone just gave me a carton of eggs. For free :-)

Things that are awesome, #7: OCLC Connexion working with Millenium. Especially exporting. Yes.

Things that are awesome, #8: Working with nice people that I like :-)

Things that are awesome, #9: Having a workout that was so effective on Monday, you're still sore (in a good way) on Wednesday. Love. It.

Things that are awesome, #10: I got a spot early in the Murfreesboro Half Marathon "The Middle Half" before it sold out! (It just sold out)...

Things that are awesome, #11: Brooke Lippy (one of my team members) is going to BB Summit!! I get to see her in person!

Things that are awesome, #12: Having a nice talk with an old friendwho taught me *almost* everything I know about music :-)

Things that are awesome, #13: Going on the lunchtime run...

Things that are awesome, #14: You. Give yourself a high five for me.

Things that are awesome #15: in a little over a month I'll be at Beachbody Summit with too many awesome people to tag here! Hooray!

Things that are awesome #16: Making it onto the Team Infinity Beachbody Coaches call... even a little late.

Things that are awesome #17: My son: "I'm okay, Mommy. I just fell down on my bed a little." I think my son is the most hilarious person ever.

So, I'm thankful for all the awesome things this week brought. I also loved seeing other people post Awesomeday status updates throughout the day. The good mood is contagious, y'all!

Join us next Wednesday-- I mean Awesomeday- and count your blessings. You'll be amazed how doing so can improve even the worst day!

And, as always, I'd love to see you on our Facebook page! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday: The Smoking Doctor

(Yes, I did intentionally make that sound like an episode of Doctor Who..)

In 90s, I was a big fan of the show E.R. I was a fan in the early years, but after Anthony Edwards left, it lost a lot of its magic for me.

I remember a scene with Dr. Greene (Edwards' character) where he was smoking. I remember thinking, "How terrible. How could a doctor- someone who is so devoted to health- smoke? Gross."

Well, I feel a little bit like the smoking doctor. I weighed at the gym Monday, and I had gained 2 pounds in one week. This was a week where I did all the workouts I was supposed to. I knew it had to be my eating.

Scale Pictures, Images and Photos

I love to workout. I could workout for hours a day. I have in the past. Before I had kids, I could spend up to 5 hours between my own workout and teaching class. That's how I made the money to pay for my wedding: Teaching 2-3 classes a day, and then working out on my own. I looked pretty good at my wedding. Of course, I was 29, and one might argue my metabolism was higher..

[I don't have any wedding pictures online or I would put one here. That's pretty sad.]

But, I've always had problems with eating.

I crave healthy foods. I just don't always eat the right amount. (And I don't always stick to the healthy foods, as well). I am starting to realize a lot of it is emotional eating.

My nutrition/diet/overeating- whatever you want to call it- has held me back for years. When I was 30, and Turbokick was still only in gyms, I auditioned to be a presenter. My notes said I was a great instructor, but that my physique didn't "show a commitment to fitness".

I trained for and completed a half marathon, but I've been pretty much stuck at the same weight for the past 6 months. I am not going to blame my metabolism (although I think in my 20s I could have eaten like this and lost weight... but since that doesn't apply anymore, it really doesn't matter). I'm not going to blame breastfeeding, or hormones, or "I just had a baby 8 months ago!"... I'm going to take responsibility.

I. Need. To. Eat. Better.

Now, the part I'm most ashamed of is that I know exactly what to do. I have helped tons of people get themselves to their desirable weight. But, it only takes a moment of weakness to shovel a bunch of food in your mouth.

So, here's where I am:
1. I admit that I eat when I'm stressed out or upset.
2. I know that it's happening when it's happening.
3. I always find an excuse why it's okay to keep eating. ("I've already blown it, I might as well finish the bag..")

From here, I've decided to make a public declaration: I will eat better. I will report back every Wednesday. I will finally "look like" a person who works out as much as I do!

Here's what I commit to doing:
1. Drink my Shakeology daily (It really does help me with the cravings. I let myself run out last month, but no more! Ordered some extra for May!)
2. Log everything I eat in Livestrong.com.
3. Post my weekly intake on Wednesdays, no matter what I eat!

You all are my witnesses. Are you going to hold me to it? Do you want to do it with me?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Workout at Home: Review of Cathe Friedrich's "Power Hour"

Cathe Friedrichs “Power Hour” is one of my favorites.  I *think* it came out in 2000 (I’ll check on that), which would make it about 10 years old. This doesn’t make it seem dated, though.
At the time this workout was released, Body Pump classes were becoming popular. They were strength training based group exercise classes that focused on an hour long total body working, with one body part per song. Since then, other instructors have picked up this style of training (Rep Reebok, Jari Love) but at the time, this seemed pretty new.
The basis for this workout is a high-rep, low-weight workout. However, the weights Cathe uses (and encourages) are substantial. I like that she tells you what weight she’s using for each exercise. It doesn’t mean you have to use that weight, but it either gives you something to shoot for, or something to surpass.
The workout uses a barbell, dumbells, and a weight bench/step.
Here are the sections:
1. Warm-up: The warm-up uses a weighted barbell (Cathe uses 20 lbs).  Many of the exercises that will be done later, such as squats, rows, dead lifts, bicep curls, lunges, are featured here with a lighter (in theory) weight.
2. Squats: Oh man. I remember when I first did this track, I didn’t think I would make it. However, as I’ve come close to almost memorizing the track, it’s gotten *a little* easier. (Just a little).
Cathe does both regular squats and plié squats. There is a short break in between. But the tempos are varied and it really is quite challenging. Down 2/up 2; Down 3/ up 1; Down 2/ hold/ up 4; Low ends (oh my). Just know it’s tough. And… Cathe uses a 40 pound barbell.
3. Chest: Cathe starts the chest track with push-ups: 16 push-ups, then some variations. She follows with a set of flys on the bench (using a set of 10 pound weights), and then a set of bench presses using a barbell (I think she uses 25 pounds, but I usually use 20. I’m pretty tired by that point).
4. Back: The back track consists of bent over rows with a barbell (35 pounds), dead lifts, and 1-arm rows (15- 20 pounds). It’s a great track, and I feel like it really works the back.
5. Lunges: Although there are only 2 lower body tracks in this workout (the squat track and the lunge track), they are both quite difficult, and thorough. The lunge track is tough! They are all static lunges, using rhythmic variations to keep it challenging (yes, there are some killer low ends). Each leg has one set with a barbell (I think 30 pounds) and another set using dumb bells (2 10s).
6. Shoulders: After the lunge track, I know *I’m* excited to be finished with lower body.  The shoulder track consists of a variety of exercises:
- Front raises, using a 10 pound plate (I often use a dumb bell, if I can’t find my plate).
- Lateral raises, using 2 5 pound dumb bells
- Posterior raises. These are tough. Cathe uses 5 pounds, and I can too now, but at first, I found I had to go really light.
- Barbell shoulder press: Using 20 pound barbell.
This track goes by fast, but it’s thorough.
7. Biceps. Wow. The bicep track. Oh man. Cathe uses a 15 pound barbell, which I’m sure doesn’t seem like much. Well….. My barbell is 15 pounds without any weight on it, so it looks easy. Let me tell you- this track is tough. I’m almost always sore from it. It’s just so many reps.
8. Triceps. The triceps track consists of two different exercises:  Lying extensions on the bench, using a barbell (I think it’s 25 pounds), and one arm triceps kickbacks. You do the extensions first, then get up and do the triceps kickbacks, then do another set of extensions. This is another track that leaves me sore (as long as I use enough weight).
9. Abs. A great abdominal section ends the workout. Cathe keeps it basic with crunches in varying rhythms, lower body crunches, and a set of planks! I do love the planks!
10. Final Stretch… AAAAAAAHHHHHH….
Strengths: This workout goes by pretty fast, and the music is pretty fun. Every body part seems thoroughly worked.
Weaknesses: I can’t think of many with this workout. I know some of the recent research in the “functional fitness” field says that plié squats aren’t good, but I haven’t had any trouble with them. Like any workout, you should rotate this, because while it covers each body part, there are some key exercises that are not done: hammer curls, triceps dips, posterior back flyes. Some might say this workout is short on lower body work (I think there is a total of 12 minutes), so if that’s something you feel you need more of a focus on, you would either want to add some, or do a different workout.
Level: I truly believe any level can do this workout, if they use light enough weights. I did it when I was pregnant, using no weight for lower body (I had enough extra weight). You also don’t need a barbell- you can use free weights. Then, when you feel like it’s too easy, add more weight.
So, that’s my breakdown of Power Hour. Have you done it? What do you think? I would love your feedback.
Keep watching for more reviews!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Motivation..

Are you like me, and have a hard time getting motivated on Mondays? I've decided to rename Mondays "Motivational Mondays!" Let's get motivated!

I've collected some quotes that might motivate you. Whether it's to workout, to eat right, to take one more step towards that big goal, or just to get through the day....

From here 
A man's health can be judged by which he takes two at a time - pills or stairs.
~ Joan Welsh

Money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed. Health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied.
~ Charles Caleb Colton

A strong positive mental attitude will create more miracles than any wonder drug.
~ Patricia Neal

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.
~ Dale Carnegie

I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God's business.
~ Michael J. Fox

Have a great Motivational Monday!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five Question Friday!

Also known as "High Five Friday!"
Get to know some other bloggers on Five Question Friday at My Little Life!

1. Have you ever had roommates?

Not very many. I never really had any in college. But I lived with a friend and her family after college for a little while. I loved having people around all the time. 

Now I have 3 roommates. I'm married to 1 and gave birth to the other 2.

2. How many names do you/your children have? (i.e. Prince Charming William Phillip Arthur Louis John JacobJingleheimer-Schmidt)

When I got married, I had planned to hyphenate.. but I got so tired of saying both names. So, I just replaced my middle name with my maiden name. So I have the 3. My kids each have a first, middle and last as well. My daughter's middle name is "Soleil", and I have a feeling she may want to change it too when she gets older... (But she's still my sunshine).

3. Did you watch the Royal Wedding?

I so totally did. I woke up early in 1981 to watch Diana get married, and I woke up early last Friday as well. I eat that stuff up.

4. What is the messiest room in your house?

The bathroom and the kitchen are tied, I believe. I just have a really hard time cleaning the kitchen floor. It's hard to keep my son from running into the room long enough for the floor to dry... (there have been slips..)

5. What is your ideal mothers day?

For myself, it would be this:
- Wake up to breakfast/coffee in bed.
- My children thank me profusely for all I do for about half an hour, then leave for most of the day.
- I get a massage and mani/pedi. I may even lay in the sun for a while.
- Chocolate.
- Children come back around dinner time (with dinner) and I am served a wonderful dinner while children and husband constantly talk about how awesome I am and how thankful they are for me.
- Someone else cleans the kitchen and my house, and puts the kids to bed. I go to bed at a decent hour for once.

So, those are my answers. And, just to keep this focused on fitness, I just want to review my workouts for the week so far:

-P90x Chest and Back, Ab Ripper X
- 2 mile run

- Insanity Plyo Cardio Circuit (holy moly!)

- P90X Shouders and Arms, Ab Ripper X
- 2 mile run

Planned: Yoga and 2 mile run
Actual: Rest (sore ankle)

- P90X Legs and Back/Ab Ripper X
- 2 mile run (making up for yesterday)

Saturday (planned)(since it's not Saturday yet):
- 5K run
(And I may just throw in "Insanity: Fast and Furious")

So, I feel like I've been pretty successful on staying with my May plan. I modified just a bit since I had a sore ankle, and you really do need to be flexible in these situations. 

Eating has not been stellar. I'm having a really hard time finding that balance between eating frugally and eating healthy. Plus, if I cook chicken breast, brown rice and broccoli every night for myself, I'm good. My family, not so much...

Have a great day, and come visit us on Facebook! We only need 12 new fans to make it to 300!