Week #13 - LAST PHIT Challenge!

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We are in the LAST week of this PHIT Challenge!  You have made some amazing changes so far this year!  Here's what we've accomplished...

  • Week #1:  CLEANSE - 90 oz of water per day, one green shake per day, and no added sugars.  This 1-week cleanse can be done any time you feel the need to de-bloat or just hit reset.  Spring break prep week is a great opportunity - wink, wink :)
  • Week #2:  Couch to 5k Challenge - www.c25k.com - this is a plan to build your running distance slowly up to a 5k race.  
  • Week #3:  Sugar Detox - keep your sugar intake as low as possible... NO processed foods with sugar content above 7 grams per serving.
  • Week #4:  Pushup Challenge!  You should still be doing these daily... pushups make for pretty sleeveless arms :)
  • Week #5:  Food Prep - I recommend Sundays, but you can choose the day that suits you best!
  • Week #6:  Resistance training - building muscle gives you curves, not bulk!
  • Week #7:  Simple, clean food - keep your meals simple (lean protein + veggies) to get the best results!
  • Week #8:  Resistance training (again) - revisit this blog for some great workout options!
  • Week #9:  Partner Challenge - workout, meal plan, and stay accountable with a friend!
  • Week #10:  Water - I challenge you to keep working on this one!  If you are currently at a gallon per day, great!  If not, make that your goal :)
  • Week #11:  Hypertrophy/increase your resistance - this one seems to be scary to some... but I promise, you will not be disappointed with the results that increasing your resistance will give your body!
  • Week #12:  Greens and abs - keep adding extra greens to your diet and an extra day of abs to your workouts!
  • Week #13!!!!   This one wraps up the Challenge... SPRINTS!

Adding sprints once per week (or more) can help you really cut that body fat.  Pick one day - I do this on the weekends usually - start by warming the muscles with light movement, such as a light jog (you want to get the circulation going before you start).  Then, stretch the hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, and hips.  After you feel loose, you are ready!  You are going to do 4-5 sprints with 2 minutes of rest in between.  Pick a short distance (200-300 m) to perform your all-out sprint intervals... sprint, then use the break to walk back to the starting position, and repeat.  

Have a great Spring Break!  

XO,

Meg

 

Week #12 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

We are coming down to the last few days before Spring!  ... shorts, tank tops, bathing suits... So it's literally CRUNCH time!  My favorite CRUNCH is the bicycle crunch... see below...

 Bicycle crunch - keeping your elbows extended out wide, lift your left shoulder blade off the ground reaching that left shoulder towards your right knee.  Switch (right shoulder towards left knee) in a fluid manner.  Try to keep a moderate pace going for 1 minute.  Engage (squeeze) the core as tightly as you can as you switch from right to left side.

Bicycle crunch - keeping your elbows extended out wide, lift your left shoulder blade off the ground reaching that left shoulder towards your right knee.  Switch (right shoulder towards left knee) in a fluid manner.  Try to keep a moderate pace going for 1 minute.  Engage (squeeze) the core as tightly as you can as you switch from right to left side.

This week is a double-challenge:  abs and greens!

 1) focus on abs for at least 10-15 minutes per workout, 2-3 days per week.  I like to add abdominal exercises at the end of my regular workouts and then stretch while I am still on the floor.  Here are some ideas to try:

  • bicycle crunches - 1 minute (slow)
  • plank - 1 minute
  • bicycle crunches - 1 minute (faster)
  • side plank - 30 seconds per side
  • reverse crunches - 1 minute

repeat (this gets you to about 10 minutes of ab work)

 

2)  add in extra greens to your diet this week!   I like to drink extra protein shakes w/the greens mixed in as a meal replacement once per day, as well as darker leafy greens in my salads at night.  Here's my favorite kale salad recipe... you can add grilled chicken to it for extra protein.

Kale Salad

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

3 garlic cloves, mashed

1/2 teaspoon salt

pinch of red pepper flakes

2 bunches kale (ribs removed and leaves sliced into 1/4 inch shreds)

1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

In a salad bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes.  Add the kale and toss well to coat.  Let the salad sit at room temperature for 10-30 minutes.  Add the grated cheese and toss again.   Garnish with additional cheese shavings before serving.  

Good luck this week!  I'm here if you have questions!

XO,

Meg

 

Week#11 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

Welcome to week #11!  This PHIT Challenge journey is meant to encourage you to take new steps each week towards a healthier and PHIT-er life!  Not every week will speak to you, but I hope some of the challenges have given you some new perspective or helped you adopt new habits.  

The last 10 weeks have been challenges that I have used for years and have proven to be very helpful in my fitness pursuits.  Most of these are fairly easy for me at this point because they have become lifestyle habits.  Today we hit on an area that I have really been pushing myself in since January...  HYPERTROPHY/STRENGTH TRAINING.  I told y'all we would circle back to this throughout this Challenge, and here we are again :)

Hypertrophy is defined as the growth/ enlargement of the size of the muscle cells.  Hypertrophy happens when the demand placed on a muscle is increased... in other words, if you want your muscles to grow, you have to progressively push them harder/heavier.

 Bench Row - this exercise targets the Latissimus Dorsi muscle group in the back.

Bench Row - this exercise targets the Latissimus Dorsi muscle group in the back.

The science behind building muscle is based upon two phases:  stimulation/damage & repair.  Every time you contract a muscle against resistance, it causes tiny tears in the muscle fiber.  The muscle growth occurs during the rest period that SHOULD happen immediately after your workout.  It is during this rest period that the new fibers are produced to replace the damaged ones... and you have hypertrophy/muscle growth.  

My last few months of training have been about building new muscle.  Not that I want to get bulky or bigger necessarily, but just feel stronger and, selfishly, maybe to see/tone them better ;)  Back in January I lost so much muscle while I had the flu for 10 days... it left me feeling so week, as if my muscles just couldn't control all of my usual movements as well as it did before I was sick.  I don't know if you have ever experienced that, but I was an awful, loss-of-control feeling for me.  Simple things that I do all the time felt off... I felt like a puppet when running!  The muscle growth I have seen since has been huge, but only because I have been very intentional about lifting heavier.  I have slowly added more resistance over the course of 7 weeks, and it has helped me gain control again, as well as tone to my atrophied muscles.

It is so beneficial to add periods of heavy lifting from time to time.  Just about every female goal setting consultation I do is about toning.   Toning your body is basically adding more muscle.  The fear a lot of women have is gaining too much muscle.  I've said it before,  but for most women, bulky muscle growth will not happen.  Our lower levels of testosterone prevent us from putting on muscle mass equivalent to men.  So, try adding 5 lbs to your current program... if you are doing rows with 15 lbs, try 20 lbs this week!  With shoulders, which are smaller muscles, adding 2-3 lbs may be enough... so if you are doing frontals with 5 lbs, try 8 lbs. this week!   Be smart... don't over-do it - we don't want an injury.  Keep your heavier exercises SUPER slow - for example, with a row, count to 2 as you lift the weight, and count to 4 as you lower the weight.  You will also need to reduce the number of reps per set.  Stay with 3 sets, but drop the reps from 15 to 12, or from 12 to 10, depending on what you're used to.

We will discuss this idea again before we end the Challenge, but please let me know if you have questions.  I can certainly help and I would love to hear from you!

XO, 

Meg

Week #10 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

WATER!  Are you drinking enough water daily?  It's so important to your health, fitness, and weight goals.  

 Photo by Hyrma/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by Hyrma/iStock / Getty Images

Water accounts for about 70% of your body's fluid composition.  Your brain is 90% water!!  Whoa!  So, it's obvious that your body needs proper hydration in order to function properly.  I can't always tell right away that I'm dehydrated, but when a headache comes on, or an untimely hunger paing, I eventually assess that it's my water intake.  

Here are several reasons I think you need to up your water intake if you are not currently intentional about it...

  1. Weight loss - water reduces food intake by filling you up before you eat (a glass of water BEFORE each meal is ideal), suppresses appetite, and aides in regulating your metabolism.
  2. Improved digestion - water helps your digestion and intestinal motility, because the breakdown and movement of food is reliant on water.  Dehydration can lead to constipation.
  3. Improved immunity - water helps prevent illness by creating a healthy function and flow throughout your body.  I've heard it said that you can think of the body like a body of water...   If you are not drinking water and exercising, it's like a still pond full of sludge.  If you are drinking enough water and exercising, your body will work like a rushing river:  clear, running water, carrying the grime (germs/viruses) away.
  4. More energy - If you are not drinking water, and the body is made mostly of water, how can you expect it to operate as designed?   Drinking water will cut out the extra energy expended trying to pull water from other areas in order to function properly - dehydration slows the body's operating systems down and uses extra energy to do basic tasks.  With enough water you will think better, move better, fell better!
  5. Flushes out toxins - drinking enough allows the body's excretion process to work correctly.  Urination and sweating are designed to get rid of toxins... without water, you won't do either of these well.
  6. Beautiful skin - water is the BEST anti-aging treatment around!  It will actually erase wrinkles and lines overnight if will start increasing your intake.
  7. Reduces inflammation - water is the best anti-inflammatory treatment, as well!  It prevents water retention because the body won't hold on to unneeded water if it's getting enough.  
  8. Healthy joints and muscles - water is like a lubricant to joints and muscles... it allows them to work properly.  You can prevent sprains and strains by simply drinking enough.  

So, how much should you be drinking?  I recommend starting with half of your body weight in ounces.  So, if you are 130 pounds, 65 ounces is the amount you need to aim to drink per day.  This is not exact, because everyone's body works differently.  If you are really active, you'll need more.  The best test to see if you are drinking enough is to pay attention to the color of your urine.  You want it to be clear/pale yellow.  If it's not, you are dehydrated.  Many clients have complained about the constant need to run to the bathroom while upping their water intake.  This is temporary... once your body gets used to the increased amounts it will get more efficient and excrete it less frequently.  

Now, go get some water!  It's your beauty product, medicine, and your weight loss secret!  

XO,

Meg

Week#9 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

This week is the Partner Challenge!  If you haven't already, you need to find someone to hold you accountable.  If your struggle is cardio/walking/running, you may want to find a friend that will commit to meeting you to exercise 3-4 days per week; if you get frustrated with your food intake, find a friend that will check in with you and hold you to your diet goals.  

 Patty-cake plank:  set a timer for 1 minute.  Hold plank, while 'playing' patty-cake with your partner.  Holding your body with one arm and shifting your weight to reach out and patty-cake, forces the obliques to engage as you switch from side to side

Patty-cake plank:  set a timer for 1 minute.  Hold plank, while 'playing' patty-cake with your partner.  Holding your body with one arm and shifting your weight to reach out and patty-cake, forces the obliques to engage as you switch from side to side

Over the years, I've done personal training, group training, and small group (2-4 people) training. The best results I've seen have been in the smaller group setting.  I truly believe that's due to the accountability factor.  These clients tend to set goals together and follow through together on a daily basis.  They don't just workout on the days that I see them, they meet each other during the week to walk, run, meal prep and plan, and encourage each other.  This is such a valuable piece to success!  

For most of us, Spring Break is 3-5 weeks away - yay!  My advice is find an accountability partner pronto!

  1. Meet your partner 3-4 times per week over the next few weeks to walk, run, take a class, etc.  
  2. Set goals together... If your goal is to clean up your diet, try a 7 day sugar detox (no sugar for 7 days); if your goal is to start running, train for a 5k together, using the couch to 5k program;  if your goal is to lose a few pounds, write down your food intake, then switch and assess each other's food journal at the end of the week - this will encourage you to make better decisions during the week!
  3. Meal prep and plan together.   Make a plan for your weekly meals, share recipes with each other, and even meal prep together... the prep will be so much easier!
  4. Encourage each other!  When you are feeling weak or incapable of choosing well... your friend should be your hotline to helpful advice and encouragement every time.  

So, go find a friend that will push you, encourage you, and hold you accountable!  

Have a great week!

XO,

Meg

 

Week #8 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

So, it's week #8!!  Hope y'all have adopted a few new habits throughout the last 7 weeks...  We've hit on resistance training a little already, but this week we are going to really get things moving with your lean body mass development.

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Resistance training can be scary for women, because they fear they'll bulk.  This really is not the case.  Here are a few reasons to build some muscle:

  1. Muscle gains will not create bulk in women because we simply do not have the testosterone levels needed to do so.  Resistance training creates curves and definition without the size for us girls!
  2. Muscle lowers body fat.  When you add muscle, you increase the body's ability (even at rest) to burn calories.  For each pound of muscle that you gain, you will burn 35-50 additional calories per day... over time, that really adds up and burns up that fat!
  3. Resistance training is the best way to avoid osteoporosis, by improving bone density.  Weight baring exercise and resistance training will improve the health of your bones.
  4. Improves posture and reduces risk of injury...  improves joint and connective tissue strength.  Also, improves posture, as it strengthens core and back, as well as the connective tissue and muscle that aide in holding the body upright.  
  5. Better mood, reduced stress and anxiety...  the endorphins produced from exercise can alter the mood like nothing else.  The mind is stimulated through exercise, thus allowing endorphins to release... endorphins are the neurotransmitters that prevent pain, improve mood, and fight depression.  

Wow!  So, clearly you NEED to build some muscle!    Hopefully you've begun using the list of exercises I gave you in week #6.   Keep using them, but start adding more weight/resistance this week.   Add 5-10 lbs to each leg exercise; 3-5 lbs to each upper body exercise; bump up the time or reps on the exercises that use body weight; and add some high intensity intervals into your routine, if you haven't done that yet.  Here's a list of HIIT exercises you can add at the end of your sets to get your heart rate soaring and your body burning additional calories:

  1. burpees
  2. mountain climbers
  3. jumping rope
  4. jumping jacks
  5. running in place or on the treadmill
  6. running steps
  7. skaters
  8. plank jacks

Here's a leg, back and shoulder workout for you to try, based upon the list I gave you above and in Week #6:

Circuit 1 - do each in order 1,2,3 and then repeat for 3 sets:

  1. 15 squats (with weights)
  2. 15 rows on each side (weights)
  3. 10 burpees

Circuit 2 - do each in order 1,2,3 and then repeat for 3 sets:

  1. 15 stationary lunges on each side (weights)
  2. plank with alternating rows (combined two exercises from week #6 list) - 10/side (weights)
  3. 30 seconds mountain climbers

Circuit 3 - do each in order 1,2,3 and then repeat for 3 sets:

  1. 15 dead lifts (weights)
  2. 15 upright rows (weights) - see pic above :)
  3. 1 minute jump rope

Questions??  Shoot me an email!  I am happy to help!

XO,

Meg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week #7 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

This week your challenge is to simplify your food intake...  This will eliminate the excuse that eating healthy is complicated :)  I promise, you will be relieved to find that the most basic, clean/healthy recipes can taste just as good!

 Take this week to clean up and simplify your food intake.  The easiest way to do this is to add smoothies, soups, and salads.  You won't believe how much better you'll feel by Friday!

Take this week to clean up and simplify your food intake.  The easiest way to do this is to add smoothies, soups, and salads.  You won't believe how much better you'll feel by Friday!

Try some new, simple recipes this week!  Here's the soup I made today that I plan to eat for lunches a few days this week!

Detox Immune-Boosting Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large celery stalks, chopped and peeled
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/s tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 2 cups baby kale leaves

In a large pot/dutch oven, heat oil over med-high heat and saute onion, celery, and carrots, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and garlic, cooking another 3 minutes.

Stir in the chicken stock, bay leaves, turmeric, crushed red pepper, salt and chickpeas, bringing to a boil.  Mix in shredded chicken, cover and turn down heat to a simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Add kale, cover and simmer an additional 5 minutes.  Discard bay leaves, serve and enjoy!

*serving size:  1 1/2 cups - Calories:  253 - Fat:  6.5 g - Protein:  28 g - Sugars:  3.5 g 

 

... and the smoothie I'm using this week for breakfast is...

Blueberry Crumble Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 serving Vanilla Vega Essentials or Vega Protein & Greens Vanilla
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 frozen peeled banana
  • 3 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tsp natural almond butter (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 6 ice cubes
  • Blueberries, granola, and/or almonds, to garnish

Add all ingredients except ice to your blender.  Blend until smooth.

Blend in the ice until no chunks remain.

Pour into glass and garnish with additional blueberries, granola, or chopped almonds.

 

Have a great week and REMEMBER to KISS - Keep It Simple Silly!  Simple ingredients are easy on the digestion and you'll be surprised how this translates to your energy level... and eventually your waist line.  There's no need to be fancy with ingredients.  Salads, smoothies, and soups are easy as it gets!

XO,

Meg

 

 

Week #6 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

This week's challenge is RESISTANCE TRAINING!   If you are currently performing resistance exercises each week, yay!  you are on the right track!  If not, you will definitely want to after reading my blog this week!

 Side Plank:  stack your top shoulder over your bottom shoulder, stack your top hip over the bottom hip, and stack ankles, as well.  Make sure you keep your bottom shoulder directly over your elbow.  Squeeze the core and make sure to keep the hip lifted off the floor.

Side Plank:  stack your top shoulder over your bottom shoulder, stack your top hip over the bottom hip, and stack ankles, as well.  Make sure you keep your bottom shoulder directly over your elbow.  Squeeze the core and make sure to keep the hip lifted off the floor.

Fact:  resistance training will make you LEAN and it will make you look great!  The key: you have to alter your diet to create a calorie deficit and add resistance training to keep muscle.   With diet, the equation is simple, it's calories in vs. calories out.  If you eat more calories than you burn, you will GAIN weight.  If you eat less calories than you burn, you will LOSE weight.  In regards to building and/or keeping muscle, it requires resistance training!  To build muscle, you must add heavy resistance, and then increase the resistance slowly + feed the muscle by increasing your protein intake and modifying your diet.  

So, why do we need all this muscle?  Nothing else you do can increase your metabolism like lean mass (muscle) will.  More muscle also means more energy - all day long.  Muscle mass supports healthy posture, balance, functional movement, and gives you a sculpted appearance.  As we age it's important to know that weak muscles compromise joints, which affects balance and coordination.  

My recommendation for adding strength training into your regimen is to add 3-4 days each week.  Focus on basic exercises that are easy to do.  DO THEM :)  And slowly add more resistance each week to push the muscle to grow.  Here's a list of exercises you can add into your plan to hit all the muscle groups each week:

  1. Squats
  2. Push-ups
  3. Bicep curls
  4. Tricep dips
  5. Rows
  6. Plank
  7. Side plank (pic above)
  8. Walking lunge (stationary if you have knee issues)
  9. Dead Lifts
  10. Flyes
  11. Overhead Press
  12. Frontal Raise
  13. Lateral Raise
  14. Glute Lifts
  15. Bicycles

Get through this list of exercises at least once per week and watch those muscles grow!  If you workout 3 times per week, break this list into 5 exercises per day.  If you prefer to group the exercises by muscle groups, try doing Monday:  Legs and Back; Wednesday:  Chest and Shoulders; Friday:  Arms, Glutes and Abs.  You can do this however you prefer, just DO IT!

We will continue to build on this basic plan over the coming weeks!  I know you will be glad you started when you start seeing the curves and definition that adding muscle gives your physique!

Good luck this week!

XO,

Meg

Week #5 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

Here we are at week 5 of the PHIT Challenge!  This week, the challenge is FOOD PREP!

This step has a huge impact on your food success through the week.  It's not overly complicated, and you probably already do some of the steps I am going to share with you, but without it, you will not be successful with your food goals.  I try not to be overly rigid with this, because obviously there are things throughout the week that change the plan.  Here's how it works for me:

  1. sit down with my calendar and plan/write in the week's commitments and events.
  2. identify the tight spots where food NEEDS to be pre arranged for convenience.  For example, if there's a night where we will be running in the door late and probably starving, I will pre plan a crock pot meal.  If I am running out the door before everyone else in the morning, I will have a breakfast option pre made so the family has something healthy to eat without my assistance.  
  3. go through my recipes and jot down all the ingredients that are needed for these options.  I typically shop during the week, so when I prep on Sundays, everything is already purchased.  
  4. the only meals that are written into my calendar are breakfast and dinner.  My kids make their own lunches, so that is up to them.  I do pre make things like salads, chicken salad, protein balls, etc., so that they have healthy, quick things to grab and add to their lunches.

Here's an example of our week ahead:

Monday Breakfast:  Smoothies and fried eggs - the smoothie is very basic:  frozen fruit, spinach, Vega Protein, almond milk, ice, and a splash of orange juice.

Monday Dinner:  Healthy Bacon wrapped chicken with roasted potatoes and veggies

Tuesday Breakfast:  Baked Ezekiel French Toast (pre-made)

Tuesday Dinner:   Chile Pork Tacos (Crock Pot) and Spicy Black Bean Salsa (pre-made)

 Spicy Black Bean Salsa:  2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained & rinsed  1 (16 oz) can corn, drained  1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro  6 Tbsp lime juice  6 Tbsp Olive Oil  1/2 cup minced red onion  1 1/2 tsp ground cumin  1 (16 oz) can chopped tomatoes w/ green chiles  1/2 cup medium-hot salsa  salt and pepper to taste  COMBINE all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate, covered, for 24 hrs to let flavors come together.  Serve with chips or as a garnish to your tacos, or mexican dish.

Spicy Black Bean Salsa:

2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained & rinsed

1 (16 oz) can corn, drained

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

6 Tbsp lime juice

6 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 cup minced red onion

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 (16 oz) can chopped tomatoes w/ green chiles

1/2 cup medium-hot salsa

salt and pepper to taste

COMBINE all ingredients and mix well.  Refrigerate, covered, for 24 hrs to let flavors come together.  Serve with chips or as a garnish to your tacos, or mexican dish.

Wednesday Breakfast:  Protein pancakes (I use Kodiak Cakes brand - Buttermilk Protein)

Wednesday Dinner:  Community Group Night, so kids go out while we eat with our group

Thursday Breakfast:  Leftover Baked Ezekiel French Toast

Thursday Dinner:  One Pan Mexican Quinoa 

Friday Breakfast:  Crock pot cinnamon steel cut oats - so easy!  (2 cups steel cut oats, 8 cups water, lots of cinnamon - cook on low in your crockpot overnight)

Friday Dinner:  out!

All of these recipes can be found on my Pinterest page if you are interested!  Just look me up:  phitmeg 

Have a great week and reach out if you have any questions!

XO,

Meg

Week#4 - 2018 PHIT Challenge!

Week #4 is the PUSH-UP CHALLENGE!  

Week #1:  the CLEANSE - if you hated it, I get it, but if nothing else stuck from that challenge, try to start as many days during the week as possible with a cup of warm lemon water... you can ditch the apple cider vinegar if you have to... the warm lemon water is like an all-natural scrub for your insides and it WILL pay off to use it a few times (or more) per week :)

Week #2:  couch to 5k - this was meant to get your cardio kicked off.  I hope y'all are getting in to this challenge!  (If not, send me a private text... we can come up with a plan B for you).

Week #3:  sugar detox - how'd it go, guys?  I would love to hear some feedback on this one!  If you struggled, or are still struggling, give yourself a few more days.  This is the most life-changing of all the challenges.  YOU HAVE TO DO IT!  

.... and now Week #4!  

PUSH-UPS!  Look, I know they are not fun, but they work!  If you want your arms to look ah-mazing for Spring, this is the BEST way to do it!  A little honesty... when I don't have time to work out, I do push-ups.  I set a goal (let's say 200), I start doing laundry, and do sets of 20-30 in between loads.  By the time laundry is done, my arms are fried.  Push-ups, when done correctly, use every upper body muscle, as well your core.

 This is a parter, patty-cake, push-up :)  Do them however you can!

This is a parter, patty-cake, push-up :)  Do them however you can!

YOUR CHALLENGE:  (break into sets of 10, 20, etc.)

  • LEVEL 1:  100 Full Push-ups per day!  
  • LEVEL 2:  50 Full Push-ups per day!
  • LEVEL 3:  20 Full Push-ups per day!

Start wherever you are... if you rarely do pushups, start at level 3.  If you do them pretty consistently, start at level 1.  This should be a 'challenge'!!  

BASIC STEPS TO A PERFECT PUSH-UP:

  • Start in Plank - hands under, but slightly outside, shoulders
  • Lower your body as close to the floor as you can, while bending arms into a 45 degree angle.  Pause, breathe out and push off, back to the start position.  SQUEEZE CORE throughout the movement.  
  • If your hips move up or down during the movement, form is broken and you should modify (use your knees).  
  • If push-ups hurt your wrists, try using dumbbells in place of your hands on the floor - this creates a more neutral wrist for pushing off the floor.

GOOD LUCK!

XO,

Meg