Tag Archives: motivation

Leg Day Lover’s Workout

leg day cover

Grab your dumbells, sand bag, barbell, soup cans, or whatever you have handy and enjoy this simple yet effective 3 move workout. This workout will challenge your legs and butt by forcing you to balance, and focus on independently strengthening each leg. By utilizing lunge type movements, your stronger side won’t be able to take over to complete the reps, and you’ll be more effectively targeting individual muscle groups.

It is important to push yourself to a challenging weight, but only as long as your form takes priority. Push through the heel, keep your shoulders back and down, and always make sure your core is engaged and tucked in tight to protect your back. Get low, and really focus on using the glutes with each movement.

Have fun with it!




Repeat this circuit 5 times. For your first 2 rounds, use a lighter weight and go for 10-15 reps for a good warm up. For the final 3 rounds, push to the heaviest weight and go for 5-8 reps. You should aim for a weight that challenges you to barely be able to complete your last rep.

  • CURTSY LUNGE (each side)
  • OVERHEAD LUNGES (20 reps for every round, alternate sides)

Upper Body Building Circuit


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!




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)

Today is Going to be a Good Day


Soaking up the Tahoe Sun. 🌲🌞Today is going to be a good day.
If you want something, you have to go out and get it. You have to work hard for it, be persistent, and don’t give up because the going gets tough. The moments that we overcome challenges are the moments that will define us.
There is something about pushing ourselves physically through a tough workout – pushing our bodies to their limits that carries over into the rest of our lives. Overcoming the difficulty of a hard workout is a small daily victory that gives us confidence and strength to let life’s little challenges roll off our back.
Be bold or be ordinary. Its your choice. Make the choice to be the best version of you. Every. Damn. Day.

5 Tips To Reach Long Term Success Faster!


I firmly believe that every person alive struggles with motivation, fear, and the feeling of defeat when it comes to our goals – whether they are fitness, job, family or work related. I think the main culprit of these feelings lies in the desire for a “Quick Fix,” which has somehow become a major illusion that our society seems to continue to poison our heads with. Trying to get to the finish line before you’ve even learned to walk is not gonna work, folks!!!

I’ve come to crossroads in my life and fitness journey that have left me feeling a little worse for the wear, beaten down, and simply TIRED! I have wrestled with feelings of total defeat, the desire to give up, and the idea that I will never reach my goals. I’m only human, after all. These feelings are GOING to come about, and are totally natural. This is all part of mine and many others’ struggle to find a healthy balance, and stay motivated to continue on the path to righteous healthiness!

The good news is that there are steps we can take to help ease, and rise above the weight of life’s seemingly relentless demands. We have to learn to take a step back, and start with the things we can immediately control. Set healthy habits by breaking your goals up into smaller, more manageable time frames, and the long term success will absolutely just fall right into place.

1. Set smaller goals: Setting a long term goal is great, and I wholeheartedly support them. However, sometimes we make deadlines for ourselves, and set goals that are too vague, setting ourselves up for failure. Start small. Set a weekly goal, and follow through on it. Hold yourself accountable for your goal each day of the week, and don’t fold. Making a schedule for yourself for the entire week can be an incredibly valuable tool to keep you accountable, on track, and can relieve the stress of thinking about your next move on the fly.

2. Get Specific: When looking at your weekly goals, think about what you are trying to achieve in the long term. Are you trying to lose weight? Build muscle? Become faster? Gain endurance? Clean up your diet? Ask yourself what it is that you really want, and apply that to your smaller, more immediate routine. Let’s say your goal is to overall lose some fat, gain a little muscle, and clean up your diet. This week, start by planning a few meals out for the week, along with a few healthy snacks. Grocery shop accordingly and prep your fridge and cabinets to support your diet. Write yourself an exercise schedule that includes some weight training, some intense cardio, and a rest day or two. Post your schedule where it is easily seen and acknowledged, and be prepared to follow through on your meals and workouts.

3. Make Effective Changes: As you are planning your schedule for the week, really look at what you have been doing, and make adjustments accordingly. Ask yourself if you are challenging yourself enough. Are you increasing your weights when lifting? Are you trying to run further or faster than you did last week? Are you incorporating different kinds of workouts? What about HIIT? How about sprints? Are you trying different exercises or doing the same ones every time? Are you trying to push yourself for that extra round of reps? How about incorporating a BONUS workout after your normal routine? These are all changes that will help you get the push you need to progress with each day. The same applies for your diet. Ask yourself what you are currently eating that is not helping your goals. Give up or substitute on of these items starting this week, and stick to it.

4. Keep It Real: Life is busy, demanding, and downright chaotic sometimes. We all have different schedules and responsibilities which require our attention for a good portion of each day. Take these things into account when you are making your schedule. Don’t make unreasonable requirements for yourself, or you set yourself up for failure. Think about your schedule, and plan your workouts accordingly. You can do it! Don’t let yourself fall to the age old rotten statement of “I just don’t have TIME to workout!” This is bologne and we all know it! It can be really simple and easy to follow with a little planning and scheduling. Do it, I dare you.

5. Stay Positive: The power of positivity is REAL and POWERFUL in every way. Life is too short to stress about the small stuff! Change the way you think about your daily routine, and congratulate yourself on every single small success you have. Do not give into lazy or negative thoughts. Stop yourself immediately from putting yourself down in any way, and instead think about how great it is to be taking care of your needs every day, nurturing your body and mind, and remember that you are worth every single second of it. Mind over matter is a very tangible practice, and is extremely effective in not only supporting your goals, but giving you the fresh, happy, strong, and bulletproof mindset that you will carry with you throughout all of life’s endeavors. Smile and press on – you’re a WARRIOR, dammit!!!


Finding Motivation

Hi Everyone!

should i work out

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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A Week of Workouts!


Sometimes our busy lives can prove challenging to make time to take care of ourselves, but it is very important to do so! Having a game plan for our goals is the foundation for achieving them! Following through on our plans is the final and most important step.

I am always trying to continue my fitness progression, get stronger, and work toward uncovering the strong muscles that I know I have been working so hard to create! I really want to shed the last bit of fat that surrounds my lower belly — this can be a problem area for many people! This means I need to really focus on eating clean, adjusting my caloric intake, and not missing any workouts. This week, I have prepared healthy meals for myself in advance, and also want to have a schedule of set workouts to follow each day, so I stay on track with my goals. I have created a week’s schedule that incorporates strength training, cardio, stretching, and rest. The smoke has cleared out substantially over the last day or two, so this afternoon I had to get outside for a run before it comes back! I went for a 3.1 mile trail run at a pretty comfortable pace, and it felt great! I plan to do about 20 minutes of stretching before bed, and wake up refreshed to finish out my week with a bang!

Follow along with me if you want to spice it up a bit, and get a well rounded week of fitness – and let me know what you think!


Day 1:

  • 20-30 minutes of sustained cardio (running, walking, hiking, swimming, biking, etc) – Get your heart rate up!

Day 2:

  • 15 Minute HIIT – Melissa Bender Fitness
  • 30 Minutes Cardio

Day 3:

  • Zuzka Light – Six Pack Abs
  • 25 Minutes of Stretching or Yoga – If you need ideas, here are a couple great websites with free Yoga flows for every level – Ekhart YogaFree Yoga Do Yoga With Me

**This workout is only supposed to be 12 minutes long, however, I have found that I get more out of doing a slightly longer session, so for these “AMRAP” (as many rounds as possible) style workouts, I always set my timer for 20 minutes, and push as hard as I can until the time is up. If you do not have a weight, use a rock, milk jug, or backpack filled with books!

Day 4:

  • Zuzka Light – Change It Up
  • 20 Pistol Squats on each leg – broken up into 2 sets with a 2 minute rest between

**I plan for a 20 minute session

Day 5:

  • Long Run, or 45 minutes sustained cardio of your choice
  • 20 minutes of stretching or Yoga

Day 6:

Day 7:

  • Rest and Stretch!

**It is very important to to always listen to your body, and take rest days when they are needed. Rest and Recovery are just as important to your fitness as your training is! You may need to adjust this schedule and the amount of rest days you take to suit your individual needs!