I have collaborated all of my favorite Beachbody Ab workouts from various programs!
Remember, exercise combined with a healthy diet with shed belly fat and build abs. People say abs are made in the kitchen, but you've gotta work them too!
8 Common Ab Mistakes
1. You’re working them everyday: Just like you don’t have leg day every day, you shouldn’t do abs every day. Your muscles need recovery time. I tend to schedule abs every other day or 3 days a week.
2. You’re not sucking in: You could be doing hundreds of abs and not feeling a thing. If your core is not tight you may not even be using your abs. Additionally, if you’re not sucking in and tightening your core it could provide abs that bulge out instead of slim you down.
3. You’re using neck and shoulders: If you find your neck getting really sore after a session targeting your abs, it’s likely that you’re using your shoulders and neck to pull you up instead of your abs. Tuck your chin to your chest and keep your shoulders back.
4. You’re not using weight: An 8 pound medicine ball might not be enough. I didn’t start seeing growth in my abs until I braved the free weight section of the gym. Grabbing a 15-20 pound dumbbell is incredibly beneficial. Adding more than just your body weight will help build more muscle.
5. You’re not getting variety: 100 repetitions of the same exercise may not be as beneficial as 20 repetitions of different ab exercises. Doing 100 sit ups wont transform your abs the way 20 fifer scissors, 20 oblique v-ups, 20 in and outs, 20 seated crunchy frogs, & 20 mason twists will transform your abs. Catch my drift? And yes, that’s the p90x Ab Ripper X workout!
6. Other muscles take first action: When you’re working any muscle group you want to feel those muscles take action first. If you’re doing abs and you feel your quads working, or your shoulders, you may not be targeting your abs at all. Remember to suck in and tighten up. If your abs aren’t the first thing you feel, make an adjustment.
7. You’re getting too much assistance: Someone holding your feet while you do sit ups, or your hands holding a stationary object behind your head, may be hurting your ab workout instead of helping it. Having assistance like this decreases the resistance you’re forcing on your abs, making it easier and in turn not tearing the muscle like you want.
8. Not enough rotation, or too much: Depending on the workout, you want to find a happy medium. Some workouts, such as leg raises, you may want to lay your back on a plyo box so your legs can rotate more than 90 degrees. Others, such as working your “upper abdomens” you may want to have less rotation. Doing a full sit up may not be as beneficial for your “upper abs” as mini pulses, where you’re only coming 2 inches off the ground.
Every Sunday I sit and plan, organize and set goals for the week!
Planning: Sundays are my grocery shopping days which runs right into meal prep.
Food: Before I go to the store I set my diet for the week. Each day I have an hour to hour list of food I’ll be eating. Typically Monday/Wednesday and Tuesday/Thursday I eat the same things. For example, every other day I’ll have chicken for lunch (M/W) and then ill have ground turkey (T/Th).
This way I’m not eating the same thing every day and I’m less likely to get sick of my healthy eating regimen. Then depending on how I’m feeling I mix it up week to week.
Friday/Saturday/Sunday are a little more relaxed because I’m home all day to cook.
Planning what I’m eating 4 days a week down to the hour helps me determine what I need to get at the store and in what quantities. It’s good to determine the number of calories you need to take in each day and how many of those calories come from fruits/veggies/proteins/carbs.
After my meals and snacks are written down for the week I hit the store and prep everything like this example:
Workout: Every Sunday I plan my workouts for the week.
It’s also good to set a time of day you’re going to workout. This will put you in the mindset at the beginning of the week that you’re either getting your put out of bed at 6 am or throwing your Nikes on right on after work without hesitation.
Consistency is key. Make it a habit and it will start to come naturally.
Organize: I don’t even think about it any more I just do it.
I pack my backpack with organized papers and binders for my Monday. For you this may consist of packing your purse with the essentials or putting the correct papers in your brief case.
I do anything I can to make my Monday a smooth start to the week.
What do I want to accomplish this week? What do I need to get done?
I wouldn’t be as productive and motivated if I didn’t have my list of to-do’s and my goals written out for the week. Goals for both school/work and fitness.
Mind set: If you start the week with thoughts like “Damn its Monday” Or “I hate Mondays” or “that weekend wasn’t long enough” … Yah you’re going to have a crummy day! Even if it doesn’t feel totally negative rolling off your tongue, it doesn’t have positive vibes flowing through your energy systems and its going to ensure you’re Monday really sucks.
Set your mind to thinking, okay tomorrow’s Monday, another day to kick butt, power through and make shit happen!
I guarantee starting your week off with that in mind will make it a productive well spent week!
Such a common topic - and it has always been an issue. But I think with social media these days and the increased popularity in health and fitness people - especially women, have the desire to look a certain way and end up comparing themselves to the fitness reps on Instagram.
This might be a touchy subject for some, and I certainly don't want to discount those fitness reps that work their asses off to achieve the goals they have physically. Further, I don't want to downplay their influence in transforming lives.
However, there are individuals on social media who reshape their bodies and edit themselves to look more busty, have a bigger butt, smaller hips etc. This blog is meant to bring awareness to this as well as contribute to the fight against body image issues.
The above before and after picture was done with the app Facetune. It took 2 minutes to make my stomach smaller and my waist/booty larger. Don't believe everything you see on social media. And certainly don't work to try and achieve someone else's body.. when it's likely they may not even have achieved that body.
With that being said, the comparison game is a disappointing and jealous one. There's a difference between using someone's body as inspiration to reach your body's best potential, and admiring someone's body to the obsessive point of working to look like her. I want her abs, I want her butt, I want her hair.
What if we switched our thinking to be a little bit more selfish, I mean it is your body right? "This motivates ME to improve MY health, I wonder what MY body would look like If I worked on MY fitness."
Your body was beautifully and wonderfully made. Your body is capable of so many things.
You might not be treating your body how it should be treated, you might not be tapping into all that your body is capable of. Just as your body might not reflect it's best potential. But even chasing that potential should be personal, you're not suppose to look like anyone else but you!
Your body may not be built to achieve what her body looks like.. whether it's photoshopped or real.
1) Simplify it: It doesn't have to be a 20 ingredient recipe to taste good. The fewer the ingredients the healthier!
2) Use portion control containers instead of counting your calories or weighing your food.
3) Food: Eat more not less. The key is to eat more nutrient dense calories and less low nutrient calories.
To lose weight you don’t have to go hungry. You will actually lose weight at a consistent rate if you fuel your body instead of depriving it.
4) Alcohol: Set specific dates where you can have a few drinks on occasion instead of daily. Alcohol can be detrimental to weight loss as it is a poison to your body.
5) Fats: Don't be afraid of healthy fats!! Omega-3's, oils, avocados, peanut butter/almond butter. Your body needs fats to absorb nutrients and utilizes it as an energy source!
6) Carbs: Don't cut out carbs! Eat carbs for breakfast and lunch. They are your main energy source and aid in muscle growth --which burns fat more efficiently.
7) Dairy: Switch from regular milk to almond milk. Check the sugar contents on the carton!
8) Bread: Switch from white to wheat. Wheat is less processed and therefore has more nutrients.
9) Sugar: Cut down on SUGAR. When I began tracking my sugar intake was the month I saw the biggest transformation. I eat less than 15 grams of added sugar a day.
A regular can of coke has 35+grams of sugar..
I look for less than 10g in granola or protein bars and I check the label for amount of sugar per serving.
10) Consider eating more lean meat. Fish and turkey are amazing lean sources of protein.
Recently I have been sharing my story a lot more openly. I have experienced immense growth over the past year and it made me realize how little value I had in myself. With that growth came the confidence to share my story and though sharing my story I have attracted other women who are currently in the position I was just over a year ago.
It's not a coincidence that I have this platform.
It's not be coincidence that I have this voice, this story..
And it's definitely not a coincidence that my shift in attitude and mindset is impacting others.
God gave me this as a gift. A gift that he meant for me to share with you!
Nothing is by chance, you follow my blog, you follow my Facebook or you know me personally, whatever it is, I'm in your life for a reason. And I'm not saying this because I think I'm great -- I'm saying this because either you or I have a purpose in each other's life. Maybe my purpose for being in your life is meant to be a form of connection to one of your family members or friends who needs help with fitness, or nutrition. Maybe your purpose in my life is to test me, to tell my why my blogs suck and to help me see even more growth. Whatever the purpose is, it's there and it will either serve us now or later, short term or long term.
But I've found that sharing my positivity, my struggles, my mindset, my passion for health and fitness has served a purpose in a lot of peoples lives. The transformations I've be honored to see my clients get have evolved into more than just the physical. They inspire me with their feedback about mood changes, energy levels, confidence, self worth.. and it made me realize my focus is shifting.
I will always promote health and fitness -- but I'm starting to understand how God wants me to intertwine health and fitness with women empowerment. Which literally means: The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one's life and claiming one's rights.
My heart is racing -- That means passion. That means there's a break through happening in my mind.
I want leave this earth having helped one woman feel empowered. One woman feel beautiful. One woman regain their confidence, or know even what it's like to be confident.
You guys... I used to walk into a room with my head down, fearful of what people thought of me. I didn't think of myself as valuable or impactful to anyone..I feared raising my hand in class or presenting in front of students I had known for years... and look how far I've come, not by chance, not all by my doing BUT HIS.
The biggest thing I can share with someone struggling is to trust. Have faith. If you don't believe in God, have faith in the universe. Let go and just breathe. If you hold so tight onto where you're at now because you're afraid of what will happen if you change, then nothing is going to change. You may be afraid to try self improvement tactics for fears that it won't work, for fears that you're going to stay right where you're at... but if you don't try you're giving yourself that fear anyway, right? You're going to stay right where you're at.
If you're struggling with confidence, self esteem or body image issues and you're reading this right now, that's the universe giving you a sign.
Health and fitness can help you lose weight, yes. But it can also increase your mood, energy levels and confidence. With these changes I encourage my clients to reflect on how they're thinking -- you can control that you know? How has their thinking changed and what can they do to help their mind catch up with the transformation their body is experiencing?
In next months Pretty Tough Girl Fit Club we're going to be focusing on feeling EMPOWERED. Treating ourselves right mind, body and soul. If you're reading this and you need some development in all pillars of health, reach out to me.
I know it can be scary, I know you won't know what to say or do.. but all you have to do is fill out the form below and write "Everything happens for a reason."
I'll be here for you. I won't be your therapist - but I can share my experience. I'll shower you with the affirmations you deserve. I'll make you feel valued and supported. You will start treating your body right, eating well, exercising and overcome self-sabotaging, negative thoughts.
I've got you. A whole community of women has your back next month and for the rest of your life if you want. You just have to reach out. You have to take the first step..
YES I have male clients.. however I've had this vision in my brain for a few months and I'm finally putting it to action!
I love hearing testimonies of women's fitness journey with transformations of all kinds. We set goals relating to mental & emotional changes, physical changes, numerical changes and goals relating to abilities. Accomplishing a goal in one of these categories means you're tapping into all the others too. With a weight loss goal achieved you're hitting those numerical goals as well as physical, you're confidence is increasing, you're likely happier and more positive. With the changes you're experiencing on your health and fitness journey you're likely seeing your self differently. You have higher self esteem, a greater self worth and you start generating ambitions and a purpose for your life.
You see, a women's health and fitness journey isn't a start and end point. It's not a timeline. It's a somewhat curvy path with mile markers but one that is never ending. It isn't about setting one weight goal and crushing it. It's about what comes after you crush it and what happened to your mind body and soul while you were crushing it.. and then you get to go on and crush it some more!
The 6 of these words were used by an astonishing number of women who continue to hit mile marker points on their fitness journey. Every one of them used at least 2 of these words when giving feedback about what our programs and support groups have done for them!
It makes my heart so warm to realize God's given me this ambition to revive the self worth in women and he's handed me the tools to do so..
February's "accountability group" is going to be The Pretty Tough Girls Fit Club I'm hosting within an exclusive Facebook group to help women who are looking to achieve massive changes in their lives.
This group will have my dedicated time and energy to help you create a lifestyle change. Whether you need to lose 50+ pounds or you are looking to go from skinny to strong, I will provide to you the tools to help your body, and the support to reach your mental/emotional goals too!
Here's what's included along with an all access exercise program and customized nutrition guide:
Early registration is happening NOW. If you want in on this fill out the contact form at the bottom of the page. Spots are limited!
For more information, I'm hosting an event on Facebook Sunday, January 22nd from 7:00pm-8:00 PST to explain fitness programs, cost, testimonies and transformations!!
The hardest part of my job isn't picking people up when they get discouraged, answering silly questions on a daily basis, or pushing people along even when they're not seeing results.
My job gives me the luxury of being involved in hundreds of lives via social media. A large percentage of those lives are 20 something year old women with goals, dreams and ambitions. The hardest part of my job is hearing about all our generation aspires to do, and watching them do nothing about it..
The fear of accomplishing your dreams .. something I didn't know could even exist until about a year ago.
But it's a real thing!
It's being afraid to put yourself out there, to really go after it.
It's the fear of failure, of never accomplishing your goal.
It's about the fear of how much time and effort it will take, the work you will have to put in.
What's stopping you?
Think about if you're using those things as excuses, or if they're really holding you back from going after it...
If you responded to that, "No Kodie, one or more of the things on that list are actually holding me back from going after my goals.." then my gosh why continue to live out something that's holding you back?
If it's work, put in the time and effort after hours to build up what you actually want to do.
If it's time, ask yourself if there are pockets of time within your day that you could be utilizing more productively.
If it's money, figure out where you could be saving. Get a credit card and put a thousand dollars on it toward your goals.. you can pay it off later -- While building your credit!
If it's kids, well you really can't get rid of them ;). There's nothing to feel guilty about asking another parent to drive your child to soccer practice or working toward your goals while they're sleeping..
A fellow coach had the opportunity to interview her Grandfather as he was on his death bed. He was an extremely successful man, financially. He owned several car dealerships, provided well for his family and was very well liked.
She asked her Grandfather, What do you regret most in your 91 years of life?
If you have a passion you can think of off the top of your head, figure out how to make an income from it.
If you can't think of a passion, start dabbling in different hobbies and go from there!
You see.. life isn't meant to be lived just going to a 9-5 job you really don't care for just so you can pay the bills.
We should be out exploring, doing what we love, laughing every day, making the lives of others better because we've found our passion and we are spreading joy and happiness from pursuing it every day!
At the end of the day I go to my vision board and I look. Before bed every night I stare at my 12 week goals. Concluding every single day I'm crossing off a number that says "Yes, I did everything in my power today, January 17th, 2017 to make my dreams a reality. I took this day to move one day closer to my goals."
As a coach, it tears me up inside when a client comes to me discouraged that the number on the scale has yet to decrease. My heart sinks every time this happens, because I know how detrimental it can be to your journey when you don't see what you define as goal crushing progress. After having received a message like this nearly every week, I developed a goal setting system to push my clients toward defining their success in 4 different categories, mental/emotional, strength, physical, and measurement goals. Below I will explain what each of these goals mean and provide an example of each.
The next step to this process is writing down next to each goal 3 things that need to be done daily for you to accomplish the goal by the date you set.
Goal: I will be able to do 30 regular push-ups by April 6th.
This journey is hard, let's take the time to make it easier on ourselves and stick with it!
Our team is looking for 15 women who live a healthy and fit lifestyle and want to earn an income sharing their journey on social media!
You do NOT need to be in perfect shape + training is included so no experience or large following is necessary!
You MUST be a hardworking & ambitious to motivate and inspire others.
Earn part time or full time income.
Email me firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form below!
18+ years, US&Canada only
Your Sunday Power hour to get done what needs to get done for a successful week ahead!
In my online business we teach the coaches we mentor how to be successful with just one hour of uninterrupted dedication to their business per day. I was writing my to do list for today and realize that the Power Hour term can be a tool for people on their health and fitness journey as well. For some, meal prep, grocery shopping, planning for the week can all feel very intimidating and time consuming.
Here's how I break it up in 1 hour every Sunday!
8 Minute Meal Plan:
Jot down what you will be eating for breakfast, lunch dinner and snacks throughout the week. For some this make take longer, but the important thing is not to over complicated it!
Breakfast: Eggs with spinach and cheese, grapefruit, & toast
Lunch: Turkey K with rice and green pepper
Dinner: Turkey patty with brussels sprouts
1 Minute Grocery List:
From that meal plan you should easily be able to decipher what you need to gather from the store. If you're doing it right, the meal plan is pretty much the grocery list.
2 Minute Plan exercise for each day:
Follow a calendar that tells you which exercise to do each day. For example, Monday for 21 Day Fix followers may be PLYO, Tuesday, Upper Body, Wednesday Cardio etc... Along with knowing what exercise you're doing, schedule a time each day that will be a designated 30 minutes to get it done!
2 Minute Prep Exercise:
Lay out your workout clothes for tomorrow morning and set up your workout to stream online or on DVD. Make sure the equipment you need is set up where you'll be exercising. This is typically in my living room with two 8 pound dumbbells and a resistance band.
30 Minute grocery trip:
The key to a quick trip is to know what you're getting, get in, get out and pick a time of day on this fine Sunday that isn't going to be incredibly busy. Most often this is between 6-9 am here at Waco, Tx HEB haha. But quick trips typically mean you have a list, you're sticking to that list and you don't dilly dally!
So, I'm saying this leaves exactly 17 minutes for meal prep......? Let's not kid ourselves, we all know it takes longer to cook a weeks worth of meals than that. I like to do 2-3 days instead of the full week, it's easier for me to stomach food that is closer to fresh than 5-7 days.
What's important about the remaining 17 minutes is that you're simplifying your week by organizing your food in a manner that will save you time, whether you've prepped the entirety of your meals or not. Having everything you need and organizing it will allow quick and easy cooking or grab and go snacking.
Examples of things you can do in this 17 minutes that will end up simplifying your workout week:
Cut up the veggies for your snacks and put them in baggies.
Cut your grapefruit (or any fruit) in half and pre cut the wedges inside the fruit to quickly eat in the mornings.
Prep (5) lunch sacks with items that don't need to be refrigerated such as granola bars and almonds.
Put the coffee grounds and water in the coffee maker so you can just press start in the morning.
Taking just one hour out of your Sunday to prepare for the week will make you so much more successful on this journey. The most difficult health and fitness path is one that is unorganized, unplanned, and doesn't follow a routine.
This causes a lot of uncertainty about when you will workout, what foods you will be eating and when, as well as making you feel as though time and being busy won't allow you to live a healthier lifestyle. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. There's enough time, we just need to make use of it.
Our 1 on 1 mentor spots are now open for February! Be apart of our amazing fitness community with accountability, motivation and support through the duration of your journey. All of that as well as a year access to 1000's of workout programs, customize nutrition guides, calendars, grocery lists and more!
Let me help you in this journey --I will be here as your personal online coach to guide you in any way you need!
September 26, 2016 I walked into the grocery store with a list of only the necessities for my meal plan that week. I walked around the store and gathered everything in my cart that I needed and started toward the checkout. There was an overwhelming feeling I got in my stomach, it had been happening frequently. Almost like a nauseous knot in my stomach, I'm sure you've felt it before. I've never gone through a check out knowing that I didn't have the money to pay for what I was putting on the conveyor belt. That day, I knew what that felt like.
I had been the typical "broke college student" for 5 years, but I always made it work. Through school I was often working 40+ hours per week to pay for rent and groceries, who knows what my GPA would have looked like if I committed to school full time, but I don't regret having the ability to be independent. I took out student loans for tuition and books. Somehow, I always made it by financially.
I completed my in class credits in May, and moved to Texas. I had very little money saved, I had packed my Honda full of all my belongings and started a 40 hour per week, unpaid 360 hour inernship...
I graduated officially after my internship August 5th.. The day the real world started.. Adulting.
I jumped right into my online health and fitness business full time as I didn't foresee myself working in a gym and my budget couldn't afford to move to Africa and live with the orphan's quite yet..
As anyone could probably imagine, running your own business isn't easy off the bat and the income isn't exactly steady, although money was coming in it wasn't something I could live off quite yet without another form of income. The first month or so of being full time I was depending on my credit cards, and to keep this story short, I'm now seeing the downfall of that, although I didn't have a choice.
The point of this is to share that the stress of financial instability happens to us all and it is a stresser like none other. Whether you're single, married, or single with kids it's the same burden. We all have that same brick on our chest or load on our shoulders to worry about. And unfortunately, all economic classes have the same burden as we have different lifestyles we're trying to afford and keep up with.
So as a public health and fitness enthusiast I thought it was important to share that I am living a healthy and active lifestyle on a budget!
Healthy eating isn't actually expensive. I once went through a checkout line with about the same amount of food as the person in front of me. Their cart consisted of beef, cheetos, coke, and other unhealthy options. Although we had around the same number of items, my basket of nutritious options was actually $23.50 less then hers. It's a huge misconception that it's expensive to buy healthy food. It doesn't have to be organic to be healthy for you. The frozen bags of veggies are $1.50 tops and theirs 2-3 servings in a bag...a head of lettuce is like .50 for heaven sake.
I know many of you are shopping for a full family, but I hope you understand buying the extra snacks and goodies for your kids actually makes the bill higher and.. Well, why would you feed your kids something you wouldn't eat when you're trying to improve your own health?
If you're on a budget and you've created this barrier in front of you that isn't allowing you to reach your health and fitness goals because you're broke, I challenge you to try this for one week. Go to the grocery store with the same budget as your typical grocery trip in mind. I guarantee you'll be surprised at the price of your healthy cart.
I obviously didn't have any extra room in my broke budget for a gym membership, supplements or at home equipment. What I could have done is let my body go and eat crap foods... Because that's what most broke people do right? It's cheaper right?
I was getting all the food on my healthy meal plan for $40 per week.
I was doing at home exercises that cost me a one time payment of $140. After 3 months, I was saving $30-40 a month by not having a gym membership and around $15-20 on gas to get there. Not only that, but I was getting better results at home then I was at the gym.
Healthy eating and exercise isn't just for people who can afford it, there are ways around monthly fees and better options than cheap quick fixes.
I'm excited to report that my business is brining in a consistent amount each week and I'm able to start paying off my credit cards as well as my student loans. I credit this to saving a ton of money by eating healthy and working out from home, as well as sharing that health and fitness journey to help those of you going through the same thing.
I am now on the incline to a life of financial freedom, living by my design and being healthy while doing it!
If anyone else is looking for an at home program and affordable meal plans, I'm your girl! Let's get you set up with a program that is suitable to your fitness goals and your favorite form of exercise. I'll help you create a plan that fits your budget and ultimatly get you the resutls you want while saving you money!
Fill out the form below and let's get you started!
Every individual has their own caloric target that should be calculated prior to creating a plan to ensure they are consuming the correct number of calories for their body and weight loss goals. Disclaimer on this plan is that my caloric intake was calculated based off of weighing in at 115 pounds and aiming for weight maintenance instead of weight loss. If you'd like to have your caloric target calculated fill out the form at the bottom of this page and I'd be happy to help.
This meal plan is my own, created by me, you are welcome to utilize it as a tool to create your plan, but do so at your own discretion as I am not a registered dietitian.
The internet is becoming more and more saturated with quick fixes - detox teas, fad diets, wraps, facial sticks -
Most of you have heard my outraged rant about these things in the past.. a side of me that doesn't come out too often!
My heart wants to help people get the bodies they've always dreamt of and make it happen the right way, the way that is going to last longer, make you feel better and keep you nourished.
I get frustrated because I have all the tools you need in the palm of my hand for an extremely affordable price, and yet you spend $150 on a facial stick that "pops the fat" (Just one example ;).
A lifestyle is the way in which you choose to live your life. Lifestyles tend not to change drastically from day to day and therefore includes your regular work routine, your home life and what you do in your free time.
Today I want to provide some tips on how to incorporate healthy eating and exercise into your lifestyle.
Busy. Busy. Busy. This is often a huge barrier for people trying to insert healthy habits into their lifestyle. My biggest tip for busy people is take 2 hours on a weekend to plan your week. Plan what day and time you're going do a short 30 minute workout. I have found that scheduling an exact workout time prevents me from skipping it after a busy day. Plan your meals for you and your family in advance. Organize it so you're all eating the same foods -- it can even be prepped in advance to save time each day!
I have come to love creating calendars from a blank template with my workout schedule and meals for each day.
Know your intake target. The number one thing that messes people up is under eating. Most of the detox and fad diets make you go hungry for a select number of days to lose X number of pounds. The problem is, after you start eating a regular diet, healthy or unhealthy, you will gain the weight right back. This is because your body has gone from a metabolic state called catabolic where it thinks it's starving, to a fed state where it thinks it has to store up all the nutrients you're now feeding it for future catabolic states.
Knowing the number of calories your body specifically needs means estimating your caloric intake from your body weight. (I can provide this equation to you if you fill out the form at the end.) Consuming the right number of calories will allow your body to burn off fat over a duration of time, which is the healthy way that creates a consistent lifestyle and longer lasting results.
It's common for women to think that a ton of cardio and ab exercises is the route to a flatter tummy. Although cardio and abs will take you in the right direction, there are several aspects missing from that equation.
Whether you want a full on six pack or just a nice flat tummy in order
1. Diet. We have all heard Abs are made in the kitchen but for someone with little nutrition experience it's really hard to know what that means. From my experience with my personal fitness journey as well as my hundreds of clients, I have found a full nutrient dense diet to be the key to weight loss and/or a flatter tummy. Again, what does this mean? Protein, carbs, veggies, fruits, healthy fats, oils. The secret to a six pack IS NOT taking out food groups. If you want to read more on each food group and how they benefit your fitness journey click here and it will open a new window:
2. Resistance training. A common mistake I see is the cardio bunny. Often people don't know what to do at the gym so they hop on the elliptical or the treadmill. OR sometimes it's due to the misconception that a ton of cardio is the key to losing weight. However, participating in a well rounded fitness routine that includes resistance training will actually help you lose weight faster. Lifting heavy weight breaks down muscle and allows your body to burn off calories throughout the day as the muscle is repairing. With cardio, you're only burning calories as your performing the exercise. Further, the "fitter" you get, meaning the more muscle you have, the increased ability your body has in burning off fat.
3. Don't work your abs every day. You shouldn't work any muscle group every day. Your muscles need time to repair so they are capable of breaking down again. If you break down muscle that has yet to repair your muscle growth won't be as efficient and you'll likely experience injury. You won't see anymore progress in your abs with doing them every day then you will if you do them just every other day.
4. Don't do the same circuit constantly. We all fall into routine doing the same ab exercises we know off the top of our head. Our bodies are equipt to adapt which means after adapting to the ab routine we know and love, we will stop seeing progress. Introducing your body to a new stimulus is how we avoid the plateau and continue seeing growth.
4. Add weight to ab circuit. This goes along with introducing your body to a new stimulus -- meaning putting more stress on your muscles, which is a good thing!
5. Don't under eat. Starving yourself may make you lose weight, but once you start eating again you're going to put on more than before. Maybe you don't even consider under eating as starving yourself, but eating fewer than 1200 calories a day is not beneficial to several aspects of your health. In terms of a six pack or a flatter tummy, eating a full nutrient dense diet will shed fat faster and keep your body in a state of constant caloric burn --This will provide faster and long term results.
6. Don't use assistance in your ab exercises. Try not to use something that holds down your feet or grasp anything with your hands during an exercise. The best ab exercises are they one's you perform without touching anything but the surface you're sitting on.
The last year I have come a long way. In my fitness and health, yes.. but mostly in my mind. In my confidence. In my sense of security.
I would walk the halls of the university I atteneded with my head down, dreading what other people thought of my every move.
My heart would race for fear of being called on in class.
I had no social life and didn't find college to be my "thing."
What I did know for sure was I had a passion for health and fitness, and I had a passion to help people. I just didn't know what direction that would take me in life and I had been eager to find out!
Over the past year, I have built up my personal online health and fitness brand which is continuously evolving into a full time business. As my business evolves so do I. Through this coaching community, the community I have created with my clients, and my social media community, I have found my voice. I have found my reason. I have realized my worth.
As of January 1st, 2016 Amy Pollard and I are co-founders of our own team of online health and fitness coaches called Team Pretty Tough. We are overwhelmed with excitement to mentor other women who have a passion for health and fitness and want to turn their passion into a job while finding their own voice. We want to teach other women how to share their stores to motivate and inspire others, while pulling in a substantial income.
We are a team of resilient women who chase after dreams as goals instead of wishes.
We are genuine but sassy
We are hardworking yet fun
We are strong on our own but stronger together.
We are a badass team
-- We don't let anything get in our way --
We are determined to make life happen instead of letting life happen to us.
And through all these qualities that have been given to us, we channel it to change lives.
We are currently looking for 10 women who would like to join us on this mission.
We want to personally mentor you to experience the growth we have and overcome the obstacles standing in your way while making a public name for yourself. If you're interested, we are hosting a 3 day informational group via Facebook to share the in's and outs of our business and how you can join us.
Click the button below to be linked to the group and feel free to check out our DAY ONE video below to get to know us!
See you there!
Opportunity only available to US or Canada + 18 years or older
Carbohydrates: Fuel for Muscles
You should increase carbohydrates proportional to your exercise.
When I feel fatigued and my feet are dragging throughout the day, that’s when I know I haven’t consumed enough carbs. It’s your body’s main source of energy.
>Personally, I consume carbs for breakfast and lunch every day, and allow myself an extra piece of peanut butter toast and an extra half cup of red potatoes on cardio days.
Simply put, when you do high intensity workouts you are utilizing a lot more energy from carbohydrates.
*People are scared of carbs because they think carbohydrates make you fat.
What makes you gain weight is consuming more energy than you’re expending. The correlation occurs when people on high carbohydrate diets are also not expending any energy.
Protein: Build and maintain muscle and tissues
On any workout regimen you should include a good source of protein at each meal and snack . Protein isn’t utilized as an energy source unless you’re starving, but it’s important for muscle growth.
>Personally, I eat protein in all forms for every meal. Breakfast it’s in eggs and a little in peanut butter. Lunch is usually turkey or chicken. Dinner I take in protein from tuna, beans, or any other type of meat. For snacks I typically have my nutrition shake,.
Fat: Concentrated source of energy, fat soluble vitamins
Focus on healthy fats! Such as Peanut butter and avocados.
Don’t be afraid of fats, just like carbohydrates they are essential for energy balance. When you’re doing resistance training or longer duration moderate intensity workouts, you’re utilizing fat as an energy source. However, this isn’t to say that you need to only do moderate, low intensity workouts to burn off all your fat. The more fit you become in your cardiovascular health (higher intensity workouts) and muscle growth (resistance training, low to moderate intensity) the more fat you will burn regularly and consistently.
If you want specific advice on a topic check out the blog Archives from 2016. You can search blog topics by typing in any key word by clicking the magnifine glass in the upper right hand corner of the page.
Starting January 8th my team of coaches and I will be hosting a Health and Fitness Challenge group to support those of you embarking on your New Years Resolution of a healthier and happier YOU!
We have been working long and hard on preparing this group to provide you with the best support, accountability, and motivation we possibly could!
Our mission as a team of coaches is to use our passion for health and fitness to change the lives of people around us. We genuinely want to help you make a change that will last a lifetime -- instead of a quick fix. We are here to teach you how to create a new lifestyle for yourself by providing you with the tools you need to transform, tools you will get to physically keep for a lifetime.
We are here for nothing other than to get you results the same way these women have:
The challenge group is a private group we host on Facebook + through our app (you choose) with particpants from all over the country working on the same goals as you.
The program you will be participating in will be dependent upon your goals and the mode of exercise you enjoy! We will chat with you about these things and help you select one of our top exercise programs.
All of the programs are at home 30-60-90 day programs that can be done an endless number of times. The programs are designed by the top fitness professionals in the world and are systematically created to get you the best results.
Each program includes:
The best thing we can give you on your health and fitness journey is our time. We are here as YOUR coach throughout the duration of your journey. We will be here to answer questions, help you track your progress, and push you along to get the results you're dreaming of. Your goals are our goals!
The entire package to participate in this opportunity is a one time payment of $160.
Yes, this is an investment into your health. We understand for many this is a costly reach, but we also understand our worth as a coach to you and the results these programs provide. We are confident that we will get you the restults you are hoping for and the investement will be worth it!
If you're ready to chat goals and check out which program would be suitable to you and your goals, contact the coach that shared this link with you or fill out the form below!
I ran this blog topic by Tanner, who is also a Health and Fitness professional, questioning whether this would hurt my credibility. We decided it may for some, but it could also help others to relate to me and to remind everyone, I am human!. I want to be open, honest and raw with my followers.
For those of you who don't know me well, or maybe this is the first blog you're reading, I am a full time Online Health and Fitness Coach helping people crush their goals! I have a degree in Exercise Science and Health that I have enjoyed applying to my own fitness journey as well as my clients.
I have always been incredibly active and over the last 3-4 years I have honed in on my nutrition and I've been consistently striving toward health and fitness goals.
Many of you may have seen my post when my 21 Day Fix round ended December 24th:
(Keep reading for my 10 day transformation December 25-January 3rd)
Going into the holidays Tanner and I had spoke about how we wanted to continue being healthy and not have a repeat of last year. The holidays are especially hard as we are in Washington traveling from Bellingham to the East side of the state and visiting several sides of the family. We went to 5 different Christmas's this year...
All including a Christmas feast and desserts.
The number one thing I reminded myself of was, it wouldn't be as enjoyable if I had a guilty feeling the entire time I'm with family over what I'm eating or drinking.
We had intentions of getting our shit together following those family parties. We even went to the store and bought veggies, lettuce and chicken.
With living in someone else's house for the holidays, being surrounded by left overs and tempted with fast food and restaurants I let myself go for 1 week and 3 days.
*This was not premeditated. Meaning I didn't purposefully eat horribly and skip workouts to gain weight and talk about the post holiday buldge.
A lot of people would be ashamed of this. Most coaches probably wouldn't talk about it in this light or share it at all let alone a before and after picture.
And I'm not saying this to toot my own horn, but I'm saying it to let you know that I'm not ashamed. I'm not going to put on a facade and pretend like I don't fall off track sometimes too. I enjoy what life has to offer.. This time I just went a little overboard, and that's okay because I know how to get myself back on track!
Let's talk about what happened...
Food: I ate what everyone else around me was eating and didn't limit my intake.
For the record, I don't regret it. I enjoyed the time I had with family and I savored every bite of the food I ate.
I am, however, facing the repercussions of it all now.
Exercise: I didn't go the full 10 days without a single workout, but I certainly wasn't working out every day like I had planned. I will say, it's not like I didn't have 30 minutes per day to work out, I definitely could have. But the motivation just wasn't there..
Here's the deductions I have made from my 10 vacation days:
1) When you're eating an unhealthy diet you lack motivation to workout and vise versa. When your diet is healthy you are more motivated to workout. Why is this?
A poor diet the last 10 days has made me feel:
-Achy/gassy in my stomach and poor digestion
This made me realize why it's so hard for people to make a change. Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand. If your nutrition is off then your motivation to exercise decreases. If you're not exercising you're often not eating healthy. To change both at the same time must be incredibly hard for people who haven't known any other lifestyle.
2) Eating poorly makes you crave crappy foods.
Tanner looked at me and goes "You know what I realized? I'm not craving my normal meals. Vegetables don't sound good at all."
We realized that both of us have been craving crappy foods. Our body isn't even craving the foods we normally eat any more.
This made me realize how hard it must be for people just starting out trying to transition from the poor diet to the healthy one. Your body craves the foods it's use to getting.
3) Performance in workouts decreases
The few workouts I did get in felt HORRIBLE. It was harder to breathe, I felt like I was sweating out alcohol and grease and I was terribly slow.
This made me realize why people who aren't use to exercising are so intimidated or often give up. It's HARD at first, it HURTS at first... If it were easy everyone would do it.
4) How easy it is to lose progress.
A week or so off can take away all my progress. These are the repercussions I'm dealing with now. I not only want to get the before body back that I had December 24th, but I won't be as efficient at my workouts since I have taken time off and haven't been feeding my body right. My workouts are going to be 10X harder now.
This made me realize why it's hard for people to get back on track once they've fallen off. People tend to Yo-Yo on their healthy and fitness journey doing really good for months and then falling off for a week or two. It's incredibly hard to see progress disappear. Starting over SUCKS.
5) Other symptoms from my poor 10 day habits:
-Sluggish and drained
-Orange foul smelling urine
-Constipation or Diarrhea
I have been on a health kick for a long stretch of time. I forgot what all of this felt like.. I forgot how to relate to my clients. Much of my progress may need to be regained, but I don't regret the 10 day's off, especially because I believe this will allow me to help my clients even more, know exactly what they're going through and how they're feeling.
I'm not completely against scales.
If you are brand new to your health and fitness journey you likely have goals relating to the daunting number you see appear on the scale. Your weight can be a good indicator on the effectiveness of your current exercise and nutrition plan. BUT there are reasons why you shouldn't expect to see those numbers decrease drastically each week.
As I've discussed before, when you want to burn fat you need to participate in cardio and resistance based exercises. We have learned that our body's fat burning ability increases with muscle growth. So, if you're burning fat while gaining muscle the scale is going to give you a number that is deceiving. Why? Because muscle growth comes with weight gain. Muscle actually weighs more than fat! The weight you gain from muscle growth is going to make your body more efficient at burning the excess fat you're hoping to shed. It is likely that some weeks your body will fluctuate by -+5 pounds due to the muscle growth you're experiencing. It's really important not to get discouraged by the scale. A lot of people depend too much on the numbers and their motivation dwindles.
But Kodie.. I'm only doing cardio, I'm not building muscle.. and the weight is still there, not fluctuating at all.
1) Even if you're just doing cardio, your body is still performing exercises it has yet to adapt to (If you've just begun). Your muscles are breaking down and rebuilding to perform more efficiently at that exercise; so you will still see some muscle growth. It's important to do variations of cardio and add resistance exercises (even light weight) instead of going to the gym and spinning for an hour or using the eliptical each time. If your body gets use to a workout, it no longer needs to adapt and you wont see muscle growth or weight loss.
2) Evaluate your nutrition, are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? What kinds of foods are you eating? Let's evaluate this together.. don't be afraid to fill out the contact form if you want help!
3) Instead of setting goals determined by the number on the scale, try setting goals that have to do with strength, clothing, inches, emotions, and energy levels.
Strength goals: I will be capable of doing 20 regular push ups by July 21st.
Endurance goals: I will run 2 miles without stopping by July 21st.
Confidence goals: I will wear my bikini on August 15th at feel comfortable.
Physical goals: Fit into my size (_) jeans by September 10th.
Emotional goals: I will reduce my stress levels by running every other day for 6 weeks.