Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Snowed in Shoulder Workout

So Saturday morning I woke up like most of the east coast to tons of snow! Luckily, Pittsburgh didn't get quite as much as some places but we were still snowed in for the day. I had already planned the night before to do my workout at home just in case the snow did come as promised and the forecast was actually correct. I'm not gonna lie I thought this storm was gonna be a big hype but it turned out to be pretty much what everyone was saying. 

Maybe it's just me but I love the snow and getting snowed in! I think I might be the only person who genuinely enjoys winter? It was the perfect excuse to curl up with Layla, do some studying, catch up on Parks and Rec, anddd drink tons of hot chocolate! 

So I just completed week 3 of my reverse diet and I have yet to do a single cardio session since I started #whoops but I'm not sorry about it. I just haven't had any interest in cardio which is actually a first for me. Usually I can't go this long without the itch to do cardio but since I haven't I'm not about forcing myself to do anything I don't like. 

Instead, I like to add in a mix of HIIT moves in my workouts to keep my heart rate higher, and the circuit training gives the feel of cardio. My favorite workout to incorporate HIIT is shoulders and arms so that's just what I did! 

I did three separate circuits with some sprints in between. Usually I would do hill sprints but that wasn't an option so I just sprinted my staircase 5 times. It's a pretty standard sized staircase with about 15 steps. 

At the end of my workout I did another small circuit that just focused on my shoulders to really burn them out. Let's just say my shoulders were on fireeee by the end! 

For the seated arnolds, I actually sit on the floor with my legs straight out in front of me. I find that it helps with greater activation of my core, and it's killing two muscle groups with one stone! 

If you have any questions about the dive bomber push-ups you can watch this video here

The whole workout took me about 50 minutes and then I had to go shovel tons of snow afterwards. You think I would've planned ahead and thought it out that having my shoulder workout the same morning as a blizzard wouldn't be the best idea haha! Oh well it'll all pay off when I finally build up those little boulders! 

Monday, January 25, 2016

My Family's Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This is the recipe that my aunt has used to make chocolate chip cookies for as long as I can remember, and it's just one of those family recipes that gets passed along. I don't think I'll ever really make any other chocolate chip cookie recipe! Unless I need something more macro-friendly because this it notttt at all haha and I'm still reversing my way up to luxury macros. 

Which meant that I didn't get to enjoy these cookies but I was making them for friends anyway! I wanted to say thank you to two good family friends for some acts of kindness this past weekend with all the crazy snow and everything. So I thought baking some goodies would be a nice way to say thanks because I mean who doesn't love freshly baked homemade cookies?! 

So here's what you'll need: 

3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 cups of flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups of chocolate chips 

I halved the recipe since I was making it for two but I still got about 20 decent-sized cookies. So you could probably get about well over 3 dozen cookies with the full recipe depending on the size you want. 

1. Preheat the oven to 350

2. Cream sugar and butter together. 

3. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well. 

4. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt separately then add that flour mixture into the wet ingredients. 

5. Mix well until it's all incorporated and then fold in chocolate chips. 

6. Bake at 350 for about 10-12 minutes. 

Ta-dah! I made them to be very generous sized cookies and they came out perfectly! I cooked mine for about 10 minutes and pulled them out while they were still underdone to let them finish cooking on the sheet as they cooled. 

Let me know if you try the recipe out! I'd love to see all your creations :) 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Back to Basics: Let's Talk Macros

When people ask me about my nutrition, the first thing they ask me when I explain how I track my food is: 

"What are macros?"

Macros is short for macronutrients and there are three major macronutrients your body needs to function properly-- carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These are the three main sources of fuel your body needs, and it is important to have a balance of all three. 

An imbalance of nutrition can lead to a lot of things: hormonal issues, weight gain/loss, mood swings, fatigue, etc. A lot of common problems that people complain about can have a simple solution as easily as tweaking their nutrition. If our bodies aren't fueled properly, then we don't feel our best. It can be something that people take for granted and reach for that extra caffeine rather than taking the time to get to the root of the problem.

And how do we get to the root of the problem? Well, the first step is to gain some basic knowledge in order to make educated choices.

Maybe it's just because I feel like a lot of people in my life right now have been reaching out to me asking advice on nutrition, but I've noticed a lot lately that there are a lot of misconceptions about nutrition. I can't tell you the number of times people will tell me "oh I loaded up on peanut butter for protein" and then I'm thinking "no, no, no peanut butter is not a protein source".

SO, I wanted to do this post and kinda clear things up because there is a ton of misleading information out there. Lord knows I love Pinterest but I swear sometimes it can be one of the biggest culprits! There are so many pins where I just want to hit the report button and be like THIS IS ALL FALSE INFORMATION PEOPLE haha!

Don't even get me started on the "no-carb" diet pins. This post would literally go on for 20 pages...

Anywayyyy, let's talk about some basic foods and their macro categories! As always, I am not a professional but this is just going to be an informative post about which foods fall into certain macro categories. If you want to get help with your own nutrition I'd suggest talking to your doctor or a professional like a macro coach!

First, let's start with carbs because carbs = love. You might not find that in a nutrition book but I think it's pretty much true. Carbs keep people happy! So don't cut them out of your diet because we don't want to be unhappy do we?

Here are some extremely basic carbs: oats, pasta, quinoa, potatoes, rice, vegetables, fruits, and bread. Now, this might get confusing because you hear a lot about foods like quinoa being protein-packed. BUT quinoa has only about 6g of protein per serving and 31g of carbs, which means it ain't a protein source at all like look at that carb content. You can pick a carb source that might be a little higher in protein like quinoa vs. pasta but that is still going to be a carb. My advice is if you want more protein without extra carbs or fats (like when trying to hit your macros) then stick with a lean meat like chicken or fish.  You can't just eat one serving of quinoa and think that you got enough protein because 6g a day is hardly anything!

So next let's talk about some good fat sources: peanut buttaaaaaa (my #1 forever and always) or any nut butter really but let's be honest who can pass up peanut butter?, avocados, butter (yes, I eat real butter), cheese, and oils (coconut, olive, sunflower, canola, sesame, etc).  

Now, nut butters and cheese might get confusing because yes they do have some protein but SOME. Let's look at this example of peanut butter: 8g of fat, 3g of carbs, and only 3.5g of protein. I eat around 120g of protein a day so if I wanted to just get that from protein I would literally have to eat more than 34 servings of peanut butter to hit my protein goal. Which means my fat intake would be 270g for one day. That is literally about 7 times my normal amount of fat. 

No matter which way you try to spin it, nut butters are a fat. So if you're thinking about trying to add some extra protein in your diet, peanut butter is probably not the best way to do it. 

And finally we have protein! Yeah I talk a lot about my love for carbs and obsession with peanut butter but sometimes I think that secretly protein is my favorite macro. I'm not kidding when I say I get cravings for chicken and eggs haha! And turkey bacon oh my goodness do I love turkey bacon. 

Okay getting back on track here are some great examples of protein: chicken, fish, turkey, protein powders, tofu, plain greek yogurt, and egg whites. 

Again you have to pay attention to some other additional macros depending on which protein source you choose. For example, greek yogurt has a ton of protein but it also has a moderate chunk of carbs which is something to account for, and I don't even bother with flavored greek yogurts because that shoots the carbs through the roof. I stick with plain and then do some little add-ins to save myself some macros. Fish, chicken, and turkey might have some additional fats depending on how lean it is, which is something else to consider. The same goes with protein powders but for the most part you will get  a lot of protein for your buck if you pick one of those main sources. Honestly, egg whites are one of my go-tos because it's simply just protein. No fats, no carbs, just protein so I'll add it in to a lot of things like oats to get some extra protein!

Red meat is another source of protein but it's not my favorite. I love a good steak or burger every so often but that can come with a lot of fat. If I have the option, I go for a bison or elk burger which is leaner but still can have some extra fat. I like to stick with poultry and leaner fish like tilapia or cod since salmon can also be higher in fats. 

So there you have it! Just some basic examples of foods and their macro categories. I know it can be overwhelming at first looking at macros and learning about them let alone trying to track them. My advice is to just start familiarizing yourself with nutrition labels so you can learn about the breakdown of the macros in the foods you're eating. That way you can start with educating yourself about your decisions and work from there. If anyone has any questions at all feel free to email me and I can try to point you in the right direction of macro coaches that I trust! 

Monday, January 18, 2016

What Does it Mean to "Lift Heavy"?

So this is SUCH a common question especially when people first start lifting that I wanted to address it. I was just as equally lost when I started out over a year and a half ago because I kept reading all these posts encouraging girls to lift heavy. I got these mental images of women bench pressing like 200 pounds or squatting like 400 pounds. Now, I'm not saying there aren't ladies out there who can't do that but the reality is a lot of us aren't even close to do that on a regular basis. That also doesn't mean, though, that we aren't lifting heavy.

In the beginning, I thought that meant I had to be lifting hundreds of pounds but I quickly found out, well, that it was hard haha! Duh, Sam. I was smart enough to know that I couldn't squat 200 pounds off the bat but I started out with what I could handle and what felt heavy to me.

Lifting heavy (to me) is selecting a weight that is challenging enough to push you through the set, bring you to failure by the end of the set, but isn't so heavy that it compromises your form. I know I've picked a right weight if by around rep 7-8 I think to myself "Jesus take the wheel I might not get to 10". BUT I can get to 10 and haven't slacked on form. The 10 reps in that example are completely arbitrary but what I mean is you really start to feel challenged with whatever weight/rep schema you've chosen.

I skip around so much with different reps, number of sets, and the weight. That can be true for the same muscle group that I'm working and different ones. Some days I work on strength, other days I work on muscular endurance, and some days I work on hypertrophy. Since I'm not competing in anything, I don't have specific goals that need an exact fitness program tailored to my needs. I just do what I want!

Another thing to consider is the muscle group you are working on, and your specific genetics (that is something you'll figure out along the way). For example, my shoulders and arms respond best when I train them on lighter weights with higher reps. A common thing I see a lot with people and training shoulders especially is they pick too high of a weight and use their traps too much or use too much momentum like when doing front raises. For shoulders I stick to around 10-20 pounds and do sets of 15-20 reps. I also like to use a lot of resistance bands and do sets of 20-30 and incorporate pauses where I hold at the contraction for 2-5 seconds. Talk about a burn! Even though the weight might be a lot lighter, I've had no problems growing my delts. It's about doing what works for your body!

My legs are the strongest part of my body and my quads in particular. It takes A LOT for my quads to reach fatigue, and I can go just about double the weight compared to my hamstrings and glutes. The reason I have to go lighter on my second leg day (hams/glutes) is that I don't want my quads to take over the workout because if I let them, they will.

Take for example the leg press. This morning was leg day 1 (quads) so I kept my feet in a narrow stance (less than 3 inches) to isolate my quads. I was able to use 450 lbs (5 45lb plates on each side) which I was also so happy about because it's a new PR! But on Thursday for hams/glutes I'll do a higher foot stance with my feet farther apart to really feel it in my hamstrings and glutes. I also keep the weight much lower 180-270 lbs (2-3 45lb plates on each side) and do higher reps around 18-20 so that I'm able to concentrate on not activating my quads but make my hamstrings do the work.

Chest is another muscle group that for me, genetically, is weaker and harder for me to grow. Right now I bench press around 75-85 lbs, and it's taken me awhile to gain strength from starting around 55 but I know the results will come! I used to hateee working chest and back, too but oddly both are growing on me! Back I can usually go moderately heavy (again, for me) depending on the exercise. For compound exercises like t-bar rows and rack pulls I do about 135-155, and anywhere from 90-110 on the machines and free weights.

The bottom line and my point is lift heavy for YOU. If you are giving it your all, working those muscles, and wondering where the heck you are at the end of your set (just kidding that might be a little too extreme haha!) then by all means just keep doing what you're doing. I do try to challenge myself each week and set new PRs whether that be in reps, sets, or weight but I always keep form a top priority. Depending on genetics and which muscles are easiest to build (again, different for each person), it might take shorter/longer to hit those PRs but I promise that if you keep up with the process results will come.

So go out there ladies, lift heavy, and chase those goals!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

My Latest Reverse Diet (January 2016)

It's true, I'm reversing again! I officially started on January 4th and it's been going great so far. I haven't weighed myself since before Christmas and I think I'll keep it that way for awhile. I'm happy in my skin, at peace with my body, and sticking to macros. I see no reason to hop on the scale but more importantly I feel no reason. 

I take measurements and pictures occasionally (basically when I remember ha!) but honestly I've just been going by how I feel. I can tell I'm leaning out a bit and my body simply feels good. I have more strength and energy which has been wonderful for workouts! I've also been seeing some more gains and particularly my hamstrings showing up and IT'S ABOUT TIME haha! But seriously I've been lifting for over a year and a half and those hammies are the most stubborn part of my leg #quaddominantforever. So the fact that I've built them up enough and gotten myself to a body fat percentage where they will actually show is pretty exciting to me! 

I plan on keeping you guys updated and answering any more questions about reverse dieting like I did the last time. I'm not going to lie reverse dieting is not always sunshine and rainbows because it can have mental games just like when cutting. Generally, though, going slow and steady with about 5g of carbs and 1g fat increase per week makes my body happy and it adjusts relatively well. I found out the hard way that the standard reversing route (10g carbs and 2g fat) was wayyy too quick for me. 

Anyway, I will keep you guys posted with the good, the bad, and of course the gains as I go along! Depending on how this reverse goes and how my body responds, I might be done cutting/reversing once and for all and make the switch over to intuitive eating (for real this time). I'm not sure yet as I'm still not even two weeks in so we shall see. 

Oh and one more thing that I am doing quite differently this time is introducing a low-carb day each week (my rest day so Sundays). This is a totally new thing for me during a reverse and basically a science experiment with my body. I want to see what that does since during a typical reverse you keep all the days the same. So I'll keep you guys updated on that, too! 

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Bites

I had no intentions of making banana bread any time soon but my original plan was foiled so I had no choice! I brought home pineapple from Sam's club last week and my plan was to distract Amanda from it with bananas. But it didn't work. So then we were stuck with lots of suddenly very ripe bananas haha!

I didn't want the bananas to go to waste so I decided to get back to baking this afternoon and actually come up with a recipe myself. I wanted to make it gluten-free because Amanda can't have gluten but we've tried out some other recipes we've found on Pinterest and they didn't quite deliver.

So I threw caution to the winds and came up with my own version! I was really pleased with how it turned out and the macros weren't bad either. I wanted to use as much macro-friendly ingredients that I could so I guess you could term this banana bread as "healthy" but you all know I've stopped giving foods labels a long time ago ;)

Here's what you'll need:

2 cups gluten-free flour
4 bananas (the riper the better)
2 eggs
1/3 cup baking stevia
2 tbsp sunflower seed oil (or any oil you have)
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp agave (or honey)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla 
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 

2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and stevia. 

3. In a separate bowl mash up the bananas until the mixture is fairly smooth but there are still some chunks (I personally like to have some bigger chunks throughout the bread). 

4. Add the eggs, vanilla, almond milk, sunflower seed oil, agave or honey, and greek yogurt to the bananas. I don't like a lot of sweetness, which is why I cut out white or brown sugar to replace it with stevia and agave. I waited until the end to add in the agave because I might not have needed it but I decided to add it anyway. I probably would have been just as happy without it but if you have a sweet tooth you might want to add in 1-2 tablespoons more. Just keep in mind that will change the carbs on the macros. 

5. Add in half the flour mixture to the banana mixture, stir until it's incorporated, and then add in the remaining half of the flour mixture. 

6. Grease the bread pan. We have this nifty one that allows you to do four smaller loaves for different flavors. It comes in handy and I like using it also because it gives you better macro proportions. All four put together probably equals about the standard size for a loaf of banana bread. 

7. Bake for about 45-55 minutes at 350 until the outside is golden brown and the inside is fully cooked. Mine was done at around 48 minutes but it just depends on your oven's cooking time. I just used a toothpick to check if the middle was done. 

The finished product! I was really happy with how moist the bread stayed because a common problem Amanda and I have noticed with gluten-free baking is the texture and drying out. Next time I'll add in more things like chocolate chips or walnuts, but usually I just like my regular plain banana bread! 

And here are the macros! I got 16 servings as I cut each mini loaf into 4 pieces. 


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

40-Minute Workout in the Woods

Somehow this got lost in the queue but I've been meaning to post it for awhile! On New Year's Eve, I took Layla for a trail run at a wooded park nearby that has some really nice trails for running. She was positively thrilled and had a blast running around in the woods. I decided to do a little bit of a HIIT workout too with some sprints and running the stairs mixed in. 

Here's what we did: 
5 minute walking warm-up (from the car)
10 minutes of running
3 sets of sprints (1 minute each with 2 minutes recovery jog)
5 minutes of running 
Run up and down the stairs 2x (about 5 minutes; 1 min rest in between)
5 minute walking cool down (back to the car)

We have to go down this monster hill to and from the car so it served as a great warm-up and cool-down. Layla was nice and tuckered out, and the weather was perfect for her in the upper-20's. 

We had the woods to ourselves! It was kinda creepy at first because there was no one around and it's pretty secluded but I had my little guard dog. Just kidding, she's harmless. I honestly don't know what her reaction would be if anyone tried to give us trouble, but I don't really ever want to find out. The one thing that might save us, though, is if they mistake her initial lunging at them (in sheer happiness) for an attack haha! 

I tell her all the time that some day she'll have a Pittie or Rottie sister because I do plan on getting a more protective dog eventually (and I'm in love with Pit Bulls and Rottweilers) I know they get a bad rap but I don't like all that breed discrimination nonsense. Amanda told me she'd kick me out if I brought home a second dog haha! It might be worth it though...

After our run, we stopped by my office so my friend Yael could say hi to Layla. I never thought I'd meet as big of an animal lover as myself until her so she is always happy for some visits! Her dog is back home with her family so she gets supplemental puppy love from Layla. 

When we got home, I refueled with greek yogurt, pineapple, and cereal all mixed together. I've been getting these really good pineapples at Sam's club and can basically go through the whole thing by myself in 2 days. It's my favorite fruit and I simply can't control myself around it! I will squeeze in as much as I can into my macros! 

What's your favorite fruit?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Good CAN Come of This

So this is something that's been on my heart lately and I wanted to share because four years ago I wouldn't have thought it possible. January 2012 is the time I started to go down a very unhealthy path and one that I would travel for over 2 years. I can honestly say I have not felt true healing until this past year and in particular the past few months. Miraculously, good came out of one of the biggest struggles of my life. 

It's a long, long journey, and one that I so often questioned God because I couldn't understand the point of everything. I hated my body, was obsessed with the scale, and hardly eating. The worst was a year into it I started going through viscous cycles of restricting and binging, which made my body image and obsession with the scale even worse. Binging brought in a whole other set of mind games, and there were so many times I thought the rest of my life would be stuck in the cycle. 

But God had another plan for me. 

The greatest thing I have learned from God is that He loves me too much to have me stuck in those old unhealthy cycles. I believe we all have our own inner demons, our own struggles, and story. Mine happens to be my relationship with my body and how I treat it so that subsequently involves food. On the surface it might seem like I just struggle with food but it goes much deeper than that. The root of my problem is not food. It never was, and I know that now. The root of my problem is how I view my worth, and allowed insecurities about my body to dictate my worth rather than God. I got on that unhealthy path because I listened to society about how I should look, not God. 

It's taken four years but God finally got that lesson through to me. It probably could have taken a lot less time if I had actually cooperated in the beginning, but I'll be honest and tell you that my faith wasn't as strong as it is now. I didn't think God could heal me, could provide the peace I was so desperately seeking, or that it had anything to do with Him. 

But it did. It had everything to do with Him. Because if I'm not taking care of myself, if I'm saying such harsh words to myself, and wishing I could change things about my appearance than what am I saying to God? That I could have created myself better than He did? That I think I know better than the creator of the entire universe? That I was so ungrateful for the body He gave me that He created me, loved me, died for me that I couldn't even begin to appreciate that He took the time to do all that even when He didn't have to? 

...ouch. Talk about an ego check. 

When I realized that the harsh words towards my body were actually harsh words towards God, things got a whole new perspective. I began to treat my body better because I finally saw it for what it truly was-- a gift from God. He didn't have to do anything but yet He chose to create me. He also chose to stand by me when I was being ungrateful for that gift and kept trying to get an exchange for what I thought was a "better body". He also chose to lovingly guide me out and back towards Him. 

Looking back now, I wouldn't change anything about it. The lessons I learned from God are too valuable to just go back and have it as though it never happened. The pain, the struggle, and the hopeless days were all for a greater purpose. God was shaping me to be into the woman I am today, and I'm grateful for all He's taught me. 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

God needed me to go through these past four years because He knew long before I ever did how they would mold me into the person He needed me to be. Once I gave it all over to Him, relied on Him, and placed Jesus at the root of my problem is the day it all changed. 

My body is a temple and I treat it as such. I fuel my body properly because I do love to workout but also because if I take care of myself and keep myself healthy then I can better serve God. Through the past four years I found my passion for health and fitness, and my true calling in life. That is another gift I am so grateful for from God, and one I plan to put to good use in service to Him. 

I don't know where you might be right now in your life, and what is going on but I do know that God is there with you. I do know that God can take a mess and make it into something beautiful. But most importantly I do know that no matter what, God's got this and it's all part of a plan. Good can come of this. 


Friday, January 8, 2016

Back Day, Hiking, & Finally a Haircut

Good morning and Happy Friday! I'm off of work for the day but wanted to get a quick blog post up before I run off to do some errands. It's my first week back to working out since my rest week was the week before and let me tell you I am SORE. But I love it! It means I put in a lot of hard work this week so no complaints there. 

Tuesday morning was my first back and chest day so I thought I'd share that workout since for some reason I hardly ever share those workouts. Proooobably because I always used to hate working back and chest #realtalk but it's grown on me! Bench pressing especially was the worst but oddly enough it's becoming one of my favorites! 

My second back and chest day was this morning and it was a lot more strength-based like more sets (5-7) and lower reps around 5. There's no rhyme or reason to what I do (it's honestly just fun for me) but I like to throw in some strength sets every so often to keep my muscles guessing and to obviously gain some strength! 

I also made the prettiest salad I have ever made in my life for lunch so I thought I'd share a picture of it! I had never made a sunny side egg before and it kinda happened by accident since I was doing other stuff and forgot to flip the egg over haha! So I come back and was like "oo did I just make a sunny side egg?" but didn't want to die of salmonella or something (I have random anxiety, ok?) and had my mom come in to double check haha! She said it was fine so I ate it and the salad was delicious. 

Another funny story but I was cooking the brussel sprouts and go to add the spices. Everything was going fine until I picked up the pepper. Now, our container has two spouts where one is like just a giant hole and the other has the little holes so the pepper sprinkles out in reasonable amounts. I have never, ever done this but I MIXED UP THE TWO SIDES. So like a quarter cup of pepper comes out and I'm like "uh oh." and tried to convinced myself that it wouldn't be too much pepper. Well, it was. It was so.much. pepper but hey what are you going to do. The brussel sprouts were just extra spicy but it still didn't ruin the salad! 

Then, after lunch Hannah and I took Lola and Layla for a hike so the two of them could run around in the woods. It's so cute because now that Layla is older and not so much an annoying puppy, Lola likes her so much more and plays with her a lot more. It makes Layla SO happy, but it's also cute how she brings out the playfulness and puppy in Lola that we haven't seen in so long. 

Hannah and I also decided to take a cool hipster/Pinterest picture haha! 

Lola gets so confused because the turnpike runs very close but it's a bridge so she can't see the cars. So she always tries to figure out where the car noises are coming from since she can't see them. It's so cute to watch her! She'll just stand there and stare around determined to figure it out. 

Then Layla comes over and is like "what are we looking at? okay I'll pretend to look since you're looking, too" haha! She's always trying to copy her big sister. If Lola stops to smell something then you can bet Layla will turn around to smell it, too. Anything Lola does is important to Layla. 

The two of them had a blast running around together and I honestly have not seen Lola so energetic. Hannah and I both agree that it's awesome because for awhile there we joked she was in a depression but now we think she actually might have been. Call us crazy but I looked it up and dogs actually can get depressed! Either way Lola is so much more energetic now and Layla is thrilled about it. 

After hiking, Hannah and I went to get our hair cut because neither one of us have been since April. That might sound bad to some people but I have gone like two years before without getting a hair cut. I'm so low maintenance it's ridiculous haha! Right now as I'm typing this my hair is just air drying all on its own and that's how I'll leave it the rest of the day. The lady at the salon was like do you straighten or blow dry it at all and I said "ummm...occasionally" meaning like twice a year! I honestly hate putting effort into styling my hair so I just avoid it haha. 

Well, those are all my updates for now! I'm off to Target a.k.a. my happy place and will probably buy more things and spend more money than planned but I've just come to accept that every time I go there. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Week's Worth of Workouts (12/14-12/19)

Hey all! So I put together some of my recent workouts for you guys. Last week was my rest/deload week and I just did some light running with Layla so these are from the week before Christmas. Right now I do a workout split where I can hit all muscles 2x a week except for my leg split. I have that so one day is quads and the other is hamstrings+glutes. My legs respond best when I give attention to them separately! I'm an extremely quad dominant lifter and often struggle with keeping quads under control so having another day devoted just to hams and glutes is ideal for me. 

Here's my current workout split
Monday: quads
Tuesday: shoulders/bis/tris + light run with Layla
Wednesday: back/chest
Thursday: hamstrings/glutes
Friday: shoulders/bis/tris + light run with Layla
Saturday: back/chest
Sunday: rest

I'm really happy with this split so far and can't wait to see what happens during my coming reverse! I decided to end my cut and get my next reverse going because a) I'm hangry all the time b) I want to eat more and c) I want more energy. My body let me know that it was time to take a break after cutting for close to 12 weeks and I wasn't planning on going much longer than that anyway. 

I've been experimenting with drop sets and one that I like is the 6-20 method. You do 6 heavy reps then immediately drop the weight to crank out 20 more reps to reach failure. I like to do them on machines since it's easier to change the weight plus I feel it's safer since I don't have a spotter when I go to the gym (read: I am accepting all applications for a gym buddy :) haha!) 

So there you have it! That's usually what I'm up to each week workout-wise but I do switch up my workouts every week so it's different. I keep a lot of the core compound movements such as front squats, deadlifts, chest press etc. in my workout each week but I make sure to change up the reps/weight to make sure I'm challenging myself. 

If you want more weeks of workouts then let me know!