Tag Archives: inspiration

Upper Body Building Circuit

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I can’t always easily decide on one particular muscle group to train. Sometimes my mood calls for a broad span of movements, sort of a way to tie up the loose ends from my week, if you will! This upper body circuit will work a little bit of everything: shoulders, chest, triceps, back, abs, and biceps. I hope you enjoy these moves as much as I did!

Cheers,

Crystal

UPPER BODY BUILDING CIRCUIT

SET 1: 5 roundsΒ (2 warm up sets at 10-15 reps, 3 working sets at 5-8 reps)

  • Dumbell Row (both sides)
  • Barbell Press
  • Bench Row

SET 2: 5 roundsΒ (2 warm up sets at 10-15 reps, 3 working sets at 5-8 reps)

  • Underhand Barbell Row
  • Resistance Band Ab Sequence – 15 reps every set
  • Bench Dumbell Pullover

SET 3: 3 rounds

  • Burpee Jump Tuck – 15
  • Bicep Curl/Front Fly Combo (5 bicep curls + front fly, then 5 regular bicep curls)

Finding Motivation

Hi Everyone!

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Whether you are a marathon runner, a Pilates instructor, or just someone who enjoys fitness, you are bound to experience the occasional lack of motivation. I know I struggle with this on a regular basis. Sometimes I feel so sluggish and “tired” that the negative bits of advice in my head start chattering. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating the idea that you should not listen to your body when it is telling you to rest. I am simply encouraging you to truly become tuned in to what your body really needs.

More often then not, our mind is trying to justify a way out of doing what is necessary by making excuses. For me, the biggest hurdle is motivating myself to exercise on busy days when I work. Cultivating the will power to overcome these counter-productive thoughts is something that we constantly have to struggle with. I can tell you from personal experience, that about 95% of the time, exercise actually makes me feel more energized than before I started! It is amazing how even just 10 quick minutes of activity can change my whole day around. Nobody has a schedule too busy for exercise. We have to make the time to take care of ourselves! In fact, it should be a priority.

Some things that help me get motivated when I feel sluggish:

  • Change into your favorite exercise outfit: Looking the part sometimes gets me motivated instantly!
  • Go for a fast paced walk: Getting my heart rate up a bit is sometimes exactly what I need to ease me into a good workout.
  • Do 10 minutes of yoga or stretching: This can and almost always does inspire your mind to make a quick switch into beast mode!
  • Do a 3 minute circuit of exercises as fast as you can: Let’s say 10 push ups, 10 jump lunges, and 20 mountain climbers, as many rounds as you can inside 3 minutes – You will be shocked at how this will almost certainly put you in the mood for a full workout – and it’s only 3 minutes!!! Everyone has time for that.
  • Make a list of reasons why you should exercise: Daily motivation and positive affirmations are sometimes exactly what the brain needs to hear to follow through with getting active.
  • Listen to your favorite music: Music almost always lifts my mood and changes my energy level πŸ™‚
  • Clean the house, or go outside for a little yard work: Incredibly, taking care of daily chores is almost always enough to A: get the blood circulating, and B: inspire you to take your productivity into a workout. I find that doing laundry makes a perfect window to get in a good workout between loads. πŸ™‚

More than anything, you really have to be the change for yourself. So many times we are weak, and allow little things to get in the way of our goals. Let’s be realistic though: YOU are the only thing either standing in your way, or helping you get what you want. So stop being the reason behind your failures, and start being the reason for your success. Nobody else is going to do the work for you. Also, take a minute to acknowledge the way you feel after your workout. This euphoria – the flood of endorphins and sense of accomplishment is so important to our well being! Take a minute to reward yourself by accepting the great feeling that a little bit of exercise gives you. You deserve to feel healthy, strong and HAPPY.

Now – Have a great day, and don’t forget to make time for you. You won’t regret it. πŸ™‚

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-Crystal

Fitness Junkee

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I’m Crystal McGehee and that is my amazing husband, Cody. We live in South Lake Tahoe, CA, with our 2 dogs. My husband is the love of my life, and I contribute much of my success in achieving a healthy lifestyle to him. Having someone who appreciates you and supports you in all of your goals is a very spectacular thing to find in life! He is an amazing skier, an incredibly talented juggler, and a cross country runner. He holds several state records, and really helped coach me to fall in love with running. We are very lucky to live in such a beautiful place, with so many outdoor activities to offer… and the dogs stay happily active too! We take full advantage of our surroundings – running, biking, hiking, camping, river rafting, canoeing, disc golf, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc. I believe that the key to a long, happy life is to stay moving, eat right, and get enough sleep! It isn’t really that complicated, or difficult when you break it down like that, right? πŸ™‚

Wherever you are geographically, there is always something you can do to remain active. There is something for everyone, right?! I definitely do NOT believe that you need to pay a gym to stay in shape! Honestly, you don’t need anything at all, but yourself. (and maybe a pair of shoes!) Being able to lift your own body’s weight is a great challenge in itself, and will make you very strong. Having that kind of strength actually goes much further in your day to day activities than you might realize. Having a strong core, good range of flexibility, and heightened endurance all contribute to easily navigating through life. Muscles cushion our joints, and protect us from becoming injured, while simultaneously burning fat, improving our posture and metabolism, giving us more energy and actually protecting our hearts from disease. Achieving an elevated heart rate and getting cardiovascular exercise is also very easy to do in a small space with no equipment. Cardiovascular training does amazing things for our circulation, increases our tolerance to exercise, reduces body weight, blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and actually increases good cholesterol and insulin sensitivity. Exercise even increases brain functions such as memory and information processing, and actually treats depression! Are you sold yet?

The purpose of my blog is to share knowledge, and hopefully spark inspiration within some of you who read it. I think one of the main issues which holds us back from achieving our goals is fear! We simply don’t know where to begin, and we don’t have the tools to get there yet. We are also afraid of the unknown! Achieving change requires a challenge…so If we do not challenge ourselves, we are not changing anything. A lot of our behavior only exists because we choose to reinforce it on a daily basis. For example, we brush our teeth on a daily basis because we have trained ourselves to do so over and over and over until it eventually it just became a part of our lives. So, if you are trying to change a behavior such as stagnation, or choosing to eat unhealthy foods, all you need to do is re-train your brain to habitually make decisions that benefit our health. It really is THAT easy. It is actually amazing how we actually begin to crave the healthy behavior, because the reward is mentally and physically beneficial. Our body and mind is capable of re-setting itself and re-learning the proper skills and behaviors for a healthy, happy lifestyle.

I look forward to continually sharing my regimen, along with delicious recipes and random tidbits of information! Let’s feed our needs and nourish a healthy addiction!

-Crystal