Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Let's get inspired!

On saturday, this weekend, the Washington State Natural Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure & Bikini Championships will be presented at the Moore Theater in Downtown Seattle. Who wants to go see it with me and get inspired to get ripped? I am going at 5ish...

In other news... I don't know why, but whenever I have to take a break from my regular work out routine it is so so hard to get back on track. It is like I get used to having the extra hour-2 hours back in my day and then when it is time to put it back into my fitness routine I feel like I don't have the time. Anyhow I did a great Arm and Shoulder workout today and I am gonna shoot for yoga tomorrow... GO ANKLE! I have been riding my bike a few miles the last couple of days and am attempting to get a little time in skateboarding on flat ground each day so that I can re-strengthen my ankle. It isn't quite ready to go balls out (hmmm, what is the female equivalent to this?) I have to be very careful with it, but I am able to use it which is AWESOME!
Also I found this good core exercise for all my 6 pack challengers...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Injury is the enemy

So it never fails that once I get a little bit ahead, or even on track, with my fitness I inevitably injure myself. That's life though, and in an effort to make fitness a lifestyle and not an occasional binge I am trying not to stress about it, give my body the time off it needs, and get back on the wagon as quickly as possible within my limitations. A week ago I sprained my stupid ankle skateboarding. Not like a nice mellow sprain that you can walk on the next day either, more like a gnarly torn ligament. Hummingbird had to show off his man strength and carry me fireman style out of the bowl cause I couldn't put weight on it. Ladies, let me advise you- it never hurts to keep a dude around that can pick you up and carry you if an emergency arises...

This week vs. a week ago... better by the day

Anyway, if you know me, you know I have a real hard time sitting still, but I realize the best thing to do in this situation is to rest.ice.compress. and elevate, so I did. My coping mechanism has been to lock myself into the world of young adult paranormal fiction- and I think I've read almost every YAPF book under $5 that amazon has for kindle in the last 5 days... Well at least 24 books or so. See my recent purchases if you are in the market ;)
Anyhow yesterday, a little stir crazy, I decided to see if I had lost all ability to do a pull up in the last week of no physical activity, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was actually able to do 5 reverse grip chin ups (the kind where your palms face you). So yay me. Apparently giving yourself a week off isn't always a bad thing. You might be saying "sara, if your foot was hurt why didn't you try to just do an upper-body workout?" Here's the thing- 1) my foot was literally so bad that I couldn't stand on it for more than a few minutes, let alone add weight to the equation. If I were to stumble a little bit or step wrong it wouldn't have been pretty. I suppose I could have done a seated workout like an old person but 2) if you haven't picked up on it yet I'm kinda lazy, so if too many obstacles are put in my way I tend to slack.
Today I decided I'd been lazy long enough, and that it was time to start making my ankle do a little work so I did a short chest and back workout, and stopped early when my ankle told me it had enough- I am trying to listen to it so I don't aggravate it more. It felt good to use my muscles again and I was instantly in a better mood.
It made me think about a conversation I had with a lovely lady who writes the blog Illustrated Women, a few weeks back... She was saying she now shuns formal exercise after getting heavily into crossfit and developing what she felt was an unhealthy relationship with fitness. I could definitely see where she was coming from and relate as I really tend to be an all or nothing kind of girl and have seen myself go overboard more than once... I definitely don't want to repeat her experience, but it also made me think about and realize how important it is for MY mental and physical health that I keep a regular exercise routine and stay active. I'm prone to depression and reclusiveness, and especially during my "lady times" it is super important for me to release my anxiety, nervous energy, and good brain chemicals through a tough workout. When I don't, I notice myself getting a little bit, well, not "myself". Plus I find the regularity of having a routine to be very grounding and stabilizing for me. It's nice to remind myself when I'm feeling a little grumpy and anxious that a run, walk, or good weight session will probably take me out of my doldrums.
My ankle is (agonizingly) slowly getting better. I can almost fake like I don't have a limp now. I really really want to be skating again by the weekend, but we will see. After I nearly took myself out trying to jog through an intersection the other night I am feeling a little more cautious. If I'm not quite ready and I try to skate and step off my board the wrong way I will just end up laid up for another week. It is so frustrating to get behind though, I have some serious progress goals in mind! The bright side is that all my other little scratches and dings are being given a chance to heal up so by the time I go back I should be in right proper shape.
Needless to say, I've been a bad six pack challenger this last week. How about you? Anyone run across a cool new core exercise we all need to try?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Meet The Challengers

Alright, time to get this show on the road... I had a lot of people express interest but only 10 of you sacked up and sent in photos. The end date for the challenge is September 3rd, so we still have plenty of time. I have to start off by saying that I think you all have adorable tummies! I never knew there could be so many belly personalities and I would love them all. I am posting a video at the end that someone shared with me. It is a great core exercise and should point you in the right direction as far as workout ideas. I will continue to share more stuff with you as I find it.
Without further ado... The Challengers!
I am assigning numbers, as some people wished to remain anonymous... Obviously you will all know which one is me so I am going first...











Here is the video shared with me by the lovely Candace Puopolo. If you don't have dumbbells or are not yet ready to use weights you could do this with no weight or improvise with household items ;)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I was asking for it... 6 pack contest

After my last blog post where I casually threw out that the only way I would make myself do an ab workout was if someone challenged me to a contest, I was immediately challenged. I guess I was asking for it. We made this Sunday our deadline for taking our photos. The contest is open to everyone, so if you would like to join us we would be more than happy to not be the only ones showing our half naked bodies to the internet.
Even if you don't feel like sharing photos feel free to join in on your own :)
If you do want to participate here are the photo details: They should be of mid-section only from top of the solar plexus to right below the pelvic bones (as low as is tasteful, haha) and there should be a front and side profile photo taken with decent lighting in a relaxed but not slouchy position. In two months we will take after photos wearing the same clothes and in the same lighting as the original photos, no diuretics cheaters! We are also advising taking measurements at natural waist and lower abdomen, but you don't need to share those if you don't want to- they are more to have a concrete measurement of your progress. Currently we are just looking at most improved, but if a bunch of other people want to join in we will look at adding some other categories.
The main point of this contest is to challenge us to step up our already solid workout routines and active lifestyles to increase our focus on our core and stabilizing regions, and help us to improve our athletic performance. (But even if you are just starting to workout we want you to play!) Due to this, exercises should focus on full core and not just on the front area of your stomach...
Exercise guidelines: no fixed weight machines for abs like those in at home or on-sight gyms. No traditional crunches/sit-ups. Allowed exercises: Any compound lifting and weight training, bodyweight exercises, and full body synergistic movements. Basically just don't lay on your back and crunch up- it isn't good for your neck or back and doesn't actually strengthen much of your core.
To help clarify: side v-ups, full range of motion exercise ball exercises, yoga poses like boat, medicine ball exercises, are all allowed... just not standard sit-ups.
Here's the idea, via Coleen "There's really something to be said for opting to build functional strength that challenges ALL your core muscles vs. Traditional ab focused exercises" Get it?
Send your before photos to me at sarabethxvx@gmail.com. I will post them here next week. If you hear about this a little late but still want to join the contest feel free- you will just have less time to workout.