Songs for motivation and a fat burning lower body circuit

Hey guys! I hope everyone had a fabulous holiday weekend! Mine was so much fun. I FINALLY got to take my new bike to the mountain for a ride. We have been waiting to go until Charlie’s shoulder was back to normal and it has taken forever! It was such beautiful weather and we had a blast. I only busted a couple times and once wasn’t even on the mountain! We rode downtown after to get some ice cream and a beer and after we finished I tried to go over a curb and totally misjudged the distance and literally busted my ass, falling off my bike and everything! haha it did hurt, but I was laughing so hard I didn’t think about the pain until later. I blame it on the one beer I had..

we also went to the lake for some relaxation time.

lake

My depiction of a summer Memorial Day. Notice the money beach towel.. real classy, I know.

For some reason it’s hard for me to come up with a really great workout playlist. I tend to get bored very easily when it comes to the music I exercise to, so I am constantly on the hunt for new songs that will keep my attention and get me through the rough workouts, or the long runs that tend to get a little boring.

Here are some songs that I seem to never get tired of and can hit the repeat and still not get bored! I hope these songs will help spice up your routine and give you some new-found motivation. Let me know if you enjoyed these and what are some of your go to songs when trying to get though a grueling workout.

Metronomy- a thing for me (funny video )
Lorde- royals
Carolina Chocolate drops- Hit em up style 
Grimes- oblivion
Ellie goulding calvin harris- I need your love
Pretty lights- hot like sauce (good cool down)
Justice- D.A.N.C.E
Daft Punk- Get lucky
asaf avidan and the mojos- One day/ reckoning song ( Wankelmut remix)

Passion Pit- Sleepyhead 

This is a killer lower body workout that combines cardio and strength training. You will do a strength move followed by a cardio move.

You can go over to the exercise dictionary page for links to the exercises!

pool party workout

Have a great week and stay active!!

A hardcore holiday workout you can do anywhere

Hey guys!

I hope everyone has had a great week and is ready for the holiday weekend! Since many of us will be traveling and spending lot’s of time in our bikini’s I wanted to share a quick workout that you can take anywhere and will make you feel confident about stripping down!

Have a great weekend and stay safe!

*UPDATE- ha, so I didn’t realize I put NO break in between the exercises, but you are going to need to take a 10 sec break! So sorry! It is tough and you will NEED it!

Links to all of the exercises are on the exercise dictionary page!

shape up or ship out

A tasty and healthy Spaghetti recipe and a back and arm workout

Hey everyone,

Today I want to share with you a go to recipe that I probably make at least once a week. It is extremely easy and delicious! I discovered it on Cleaneatingmag.com, which I love because they offer hundreds of healthy recipes free of charge! Most of the recipes are quick and easy, so they are perfect for those of us who have about a million and one things going on all at once.

The recipe is Spaghetti Carbonara with Chicken sausage. It has all the delicious flavor and texture of traditional Carbonara without the cream. I use turkey sausage instead of chicken simply because it is easier to find.

Spaghetti Carbonara with Chicken Sausage

SpaghettiCarbonaraWithChickenSausage_Article (1)

Photo: Ryan Szulc

By Julie O’Hara
Serves: 4
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
INGREDIENTS:
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 1/2 lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
• 2 large shallots, sliced
• 1/8 tsp sea salt
• 1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper, divided, plus additional to taste
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 3-oz links all-natural, cooked chicken sausage, diced
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
• 8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti
INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, heat oil. Add asparagus, shallots, salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add 1/3 cup water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes more, until asparagus is crisp-tender and liquid evaporates. Reduce heat to low, add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until garlic has softened, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a medium bowl.
2. Increase heat to medium and add sausage to skillet. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and heated through. Add to bowl with asparagus.
3. In a small bowl, whisk eggs. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese and 1/8 tsp pepper; set aside. To boiling water, add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions. Drain and return pasta to pot, off of the heat. Immediately add egg mixture to hot pasta and stir vigorously until thickened and creamy, about 1 minute. Add asparagus mixture and stir to combine. Season with additional pepper. Divide among serving bowls, top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese, dividing evenly.

Nutrients per serving (1 1/2 cups spaghetti carbonara): Calories: 354, Total Fat: 9 g, Sat. Fat: 3 g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g, Carbs: 51 g, Fiber: 8 g, Sugars: 4 g, Protein: 25 g, Sodium: 508 mg, Cholesterol: 146 mg

This weeks workout focuses on your back and arms. In it  you will  do a strength move followed by a cardio move. Combining strength and cardio will take your fitness level to new heights and you will continue to burn fat long after the workout is over.

As always, you can head over to the exercise dictionary page for links to all the exercises.

get your sexy back and arms

A few key components on using correct form and a plank and lunge core workout

Hey guys!

I hope all of you wonderful mothers had a fantastic Mother’s Day and got all the love you deserve! Mine was great. I feel extremely blessed to live so close to family, after all it is the most important thing!

I know some people may yawn whenever they hear people talking about correct form and technique when exercising. It is the boring part of fitness, but it is one of the most important aspects when it comes to injury prevention and getting the most out of your workout. Using incorrect form over and over can put a negative strain on your joints and muscles causing damage to them.

Here are a few key components to remember about form when strength training:

· Stand up straight and do not arch your back.

· Keep your head facing forward and Look straight ahead. This will allow for a neutral spine.

· Engage (contract) your core and keep it tight. This will allow for stability and control to your movement.

· Do not rock your body or use momentum to lift the weight. This makes the exercises less effective and can cause injury.

· Use full range of motion to increase flexibility, but do not exceed because this can cause injury to the joint.

· Always do a warm- up. Working cold muscles can cause tears and strains. By warming up you will increase circulation and range of motion in your muscles. It is good to do 5 minutes of light cardio and a few minutes of light strength movements that you will be doing in your workout. (e.g. If you are working your lower body you could do some squats and lunges.)

· Remember to breathe- Exhale through your mouth when you are lifting the weight and inhale out of your nose as you lower it.

Here are a few key exercises that should be in your workouts and an explanation of correct form for each.

Squat

Muscles worked– glutes, hips, quads, hamstrings and core.

Feet should be hip width apart with toes facing forward or angled slightly outward. Make sure shoulders are rolled back and down away from ears. While inhaling, slowly bend knees toward floor and make sure to keep your chest and shoulders upright and back straight. Exhale and slowly bring body to starting position.

squat

squat 2

Push- ups

Muscles worked– Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, back and abs.

Start in plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulders. Make sure body is in a straight line and your belly is not sagging and your butt is not lifted. Slowly lower your body to the floor and stop when your elbows are 90 degrees. Exhale and bring body back up to starting position. Make sure your core is braced the whole time.

pushup 2

pushup

overhead tricep extension

Muscles worked– upper arms.

Grasp the dumbbell directly above the head in the starting position. Bend elbows to lower weight. Extend arms back up lifting dumbbell back to starting position. Make sure to keep core engaged the whole time.

tricep extension 2

tricep extension

Plank

Muscles worked– Core, arms, back and legs.

Lie face down with elbows resting on floor below chest. Push your body off the floor in a push up position resting on forearms. Keep body tight and in a straight line. Make sure booty is not in the air or drooping. Keep core tight and engaged.

plank

Lunge

Muscles worked– most muscles in the leg.

Stand in split stance. Bend knees and lower body keeping front and back knee at 90 degree angles. Make sure to keep weight in the heels.

lunge

lunge 2

I hope you will try to remember how important having correct form is to your success, and if you are uncertain you are using correct form or not, it is a good idea to invest in a few sessions with a personal trainer. They can walk you through all your moves and teach you the ground work you will use for most exercises. Don’t hesitate to ask an employee if you are at the gym.

Here is a great core workout that is all about planking and lunging!

planking and lunging for rock hard core

Plank

plank walk out with knee tuck

Curtsy lunge with knee tuck

Plank jacks

Side lunge with dumbbell twist

Side to side plank dips

The Versatile Blogger Award

I am excited to share with you all that I was awarded by Wendy, over at The Scarred Runner, the versatile blogger award!  It feels great to know that my blog is touching people’s lives. I am so passionate about helping others with their healthy living pursuit and that is the reason I started this blog. Please head over to Wendy’s site. She is a tried and true Bostonian and training for the 2014 Boston marathon!

versatileblogger11

The Versatile Blogger Rules

1)  Add The Versatile Blogger award photo on a blog post.

2)  Thank the person who presented you with the award and link back to him or her in your post.

3)  Share seven things about yourself.

4)  Pass the award along to 15 favorite bloggers. Contact the chosen bloggers to let them know about the award.

 

7 Fascinating (ha!) facts about Mrs. Murphy’s Law if Fitness:

  1. I’m a southern belle and that means I can gossip in whispers about people (while drinkin my sweet tea in a mason jar on the front porch) and say ‘bless their heart’ after it and it makes whatever I just said in fact NOT gossip, just ‘concerned’. 🙂 Really only half of this is true- I do love drinkin my sweet tea in a mason jar on the front porch.
  2. I have a business management degree for no apparent reason what so ever. After taking a year off after my sophomore year trying to ‘find myself’ and still not knowing what my calling was, I went with the most generic thing you can get.
  3.  I worked at three different daycare’s while in college.  After changing diapers all day, getting asked out by a dad with three kids (I was 19!) and seeing teachers who should NOT be anywhere around children I decided even retail was better than that.
  4. I never write about myself on my blog. I tried a couple times, but it just felt self-indulgent and invasive. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about other people and their lives, but for some reason it feels awkward for me to do it..
  5. Full blown Pinterest addict. What more is there to say?
  6. I literally have the happiest baby in the world. He is the biggest flirt and already knows how to charm the ladies.
  7. I’m a national champion cheerleader. That’s right. My senior year in high school my cheerleading squad placed first at the UCA national championship in Orlando, Florida. Whoop whoop.

Now, here are some more fascinating women you should go visit!

1. Fresh Life Findings

2. Strong Like My Coffee 

3. Barbells and Buttercream 

4. Katieenpursuit

5. Sweat Like a Girl 

6. Strong- Fit- Beautiful 

7. She’s Losing It!

8. A Happy Lass 

9. Get Fit With Les

10. Muffin Topless

11. Diary of a Mad Crafter 

12. Lifting My Spirits 

13. Move Eat Create 

14. My Meandering Trail 

15. Apron Strings & Healthy Things 

Cheating your workout

Okay, so I was busy this weekend. I have been trying to make some improvements to the blog and that’s why I added the exercise dictionary page. It is a great addition, but I didn’t like having to find examples of the exercises online and sometimes not even finding exactly what I was looking for. When I did find the exercise and added a link I couldn’t guarantee that it would always be there. I would go back later and click on the links and the webpage had expired. This was  frustrating, so I decided to make my own videos of all the exercises I use. This way I will be able to show you the exact moves and I will know it will always be here! So when you click on the the links to the exercises you will be directed to my YouTube page with one of my video’s. I hope this makes the exercises easier to understand. Mind you, these are far from professional videos, but they get the job done! 🙂

So today I wanted to talk a little bit about how you could be cheating your workouts.

Making the decision to get in shape and live a healthy lifestyle is an important part of being the best you can be. The hardest part is taking that fist step.

Now you have been living healthier and hitting the gym more than ever, but you aren’t seeing the results you were expecting. What gives? It might be because you are cheating yourself at the gym. Little shortcuts here and there add up and you might not even know how you are sabotaging your goals.

Here are a few ways you might be cheating your workout and keeping yourself from being in the best shape you can be.

  1. You use ‘girly’ weights– Okay; I am not saying that it is bad to use 5 lb dumbbells. I AM saying that it is bad to use 5 lb dumbbells every time you workout and are not progressing in your weight lifting. The whole point of strength training is overloading your muscles so they become stronger. This is how you reap the benefits and how your body will change. You will begin to see more definition in your core and thinner thighs. You will no longer have flabby arms or a saggy booty. But, you will only see these changes if you continue to work your muscles to exhaustion, using the same 5 lb dumbbells every time is a waste of time.
  2. You rest for too long in between sets– This reduces the intensity of your workout, thus reducing your caloric burn. Your rest should be 30- 60 seconds long. It’s important to actually time it because it makes such a big difference in how many calories you are burning and how effective your workout is. This is why circuit training is so effective.
  3. You use no resistance when on cardio machines– When you are using little to no resistance while on cardio machines momentum is doing most of the work, as opposed to the muscles. This will reduce your calorie burn. Pump up the resistance- walk or run at an incline, or take your cardio outside where you can incorporate hills or even stairs.
  4. You workout at the same pace and intensity the whole time. A plateau is inevitable when doing the same routine at the same pace all the time. Your body gets used to it and you quit burning as many calories. You need to keep your muscles guessing. This keeps the calorie burn up and also keeps you from getting bored!
  5. Not using the right form– Just because it is hard does not mean it is burning calories. It could mean that you are doing the exercise improperly. This could be detrimental to your workouts and could also cause injury. If you have the money, spring for a personal trainer. Just working with them a couple times can benefit you tremendously. Research. Knowledge is power, so look up technique and the right form for staple exercises.

If you avoid these small mistakes you will see a big difference, I promise!

Now, here is an arm tabata workout that will add spice to your routine and give you serious results!

sculpted arms for summer

1. Kettlebell swings

2. Bridge with skull crushers

3. pushup to T position

4. plank side to side dips

5. mountain climbers

6. Spidermans

7. plank knee tuck with twist