04-24-2014

New Workout Playlist 12

rypplaylist

I’ve been loving the new Calvin Harris song, and the Austin Mahone song. I’m so ready to drive with my windows open, blasting music and singing in the car…why is it still chilly out?!? Will it ever get warmer? Though I read that the Farmer’s Almanac predicted that (for the NYC area) we will have a crazy hot and humid summer with lots of thunderstorms. Humidity is the worst! Oh well, I guess I’ll take it over being freezing.

Also, I love the Luke Bryan song…and can’t wait to see him in concert in September! My sister and I bought tickets last August, when they first went up. So we’ve been patiently waiting. Have any of you been to his concert or a country concert? My first (and only so far) was Blake Shelton and he was great!

What songs are currently on your workout playlist?

Do you like country music?

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04-10-2014

In A Slump

The past week or two I have felt like I’m in a major workout slump. I have not had the desire or drive that I usually do to get to the gym or go out for a run. It’s weird because during my 16 weeks of strength training on a program, I was motivated to hit the gym every day, no excuses.

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve just been lacking motivation. I took a few days off in case my body needed a break or something but it didn’t really help.

However, I still have been trying to remain active. I run a mile or 2, or go for long walks with my mom. I have been loving Blogilates abs videos too! I’ve really just been craving shorter workouts. Yesterday my mom and I did 5 sets of hill sprints.

It’s just weird for me because a few weeks ago I loved going to the gym to try to get some personal records on each lift. I’m trying to figure it out but hopefully motivation comes back soon. Perhaps it is just a case of wanting some time off from long, hard workouts. Or maybe it’s the fact that I have nothing to train for (and my 16 week program ended), so I’ve had no structure.

I’m going to seriously try to get back at it Monday though. For now, I’ll listen to my mind and body and take it easy, but Monday I want to get back to seriously lifting. I don’t want to lose all that strength I built up!

Basically, this post was to ask for your advice and insight.

Has this ever happened to you? How do you get out of a workout slump?

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04-03-2014

Dear Kate Underwear Review

Disclaimer: Dear Kate provided me with product to review for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.

Attention males: You probably will want to skip this post :) Or not, if you’re looking for a good gift for a lady friend…

I found Dear Kate through another blogger, and was instantly intrigued. I’m sure I can’t explain this as well as they can, so here is the description from their website:

Recognizing that most lingerie cannot keep up with a woman’s body, chemical engineer Julie Sygiel knew there had to be a better alternative to “period panties” and embarrassing mishaps.  So she hit the lab and developed the silky-soft, patent-pending fabric behind each pair of Dear Kates.  Made in NYC, each pair is wicking, stain releasing, and leak-resistant—preparing you for everything from cardio to just another day hanging out with aunt flo.

The founder, Julie, came up with this idea in a college entrepreneurship class. How awesome is that? As an entrepreneur myself, I love her story and think it’s amazing when someone has an idea and makes it happen.

dearkatelogo

What intrigued me about the underwear was that it was waterproof…which would be perfect for running and working out. As I have mentioned before, I sweat a ton. They actually also make a sports line of underwear for athletes as well.

DKxBIA_Fall_2013_Lookbook

Anyway, I wanted to try a pair because of how much I sweat. During workouts (and after obviously), my underwear is usually pretty sweaty…TMI I know, but I figure I need to write about this to properly explain why I love Dear Kates :)

As mentioned in the description, they are also great for that “time of the month” when you might have an accident. How many times has that happened to you? Blegh…the worst.

Dear Kate was generous enough to send me the “Amelia” and the “Ella.” They were out of the “hipster” style, so they sent me “full” and I was kind of nervous about that. I didn’t want to look like I was wearing granny panties or anything!

dear kate ella

The Ella

dearkateamelia

The Amelia

When I opened the package, I loved the silky feel of the underwear. Random side note: I’m calling it underwear because I hate the word panty….anyone else?

Anyway, here is their fabric content breakdown:

Body: 76% Nylon, 24% Lycra.  Lining: 100% Micropolyester. Lace: 81% Nylon, 19% Spandex

I decided to try them out at my most recent 5K. I wanted to test out the water resistance, but also whether they were comfortable or not. Sometimes underwear in tight, spandex shorts rides up or give you wedgies. No good.

dear kate ella

They felt silky smooth when I put them on, and when I put on my spandex shorts, they stayed put. My shorts rolled right on! Has anyone else had the experience of putting on spandex and your underwear rolling all up in a bunch? It happens to me more often than not because I don’t wear thongs, so I have to deal with all that material. But yeah, the Dear Kates stayed put!

As I said earlier, I was sent the “full” so it did have a higher waistband. But I actually liked it because it didn’t dig into your stomach.

dearkatecloseup

During the race, I didn’t even notice them. Not once did I have to pick a wedgie, like I have with certain underwear in the past. Sorry, I love Victoria’s Secret PINK underwear, but some are just not great for racing!

After my workouts, my underwear is usually pretty sweat…attractive I know. These really did do what they say they would, in terms of being leak resistant. They weren’t wet at all. After my race, I had to keep running to my car in order to drive 1.5 hours to my brother’s soccer game. I was totally comfortable sitting in the car, as opposed to what would have happened had I been wearing cotton underwear.

I really loved the Ella!

I really loved the Ella!

All in all, if you’re active and have my sweating issue, or if you have had your fair share of “leaks” during that time of the month, then you’d love these. They are stylish while also being extremely practical. Here are my pros and cons:

PROS

  • A lot of different styles and patterns
  • Leak resistant and stain releasing
  • Very comfortable and smooth material
  • No wedgies or riding up while you exercise
  • Full coverage (if you get the styles I got at least), so no panty lines in tight shorts or pants

CONS

  • The plain color, like the black one I pictured, can look kind of “granny panty-ish” but other styles such as the Ella are really cute.
  • More expensive than other underwear, but I think it’s worth it if you want a higher-end, comfortable panty (ugh, had to use it here), that is also extremely useful to have.

As you can see, I think the pros outweigh the cons here. Definitely check out their website to read more about the technology they use, and look through their styles!

And guess what? Thanks to Dear Kate, you all can get a 25% discount through April 30th! Just use the code ‘reachyourpeak’ upon checkout.

What do you think of leak resistant underwear? Which style do you like?

Do you sweat a ton like me?

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03-27-2014

Speed & Agility Drill

This quick workout/drill was inspired by a video I saw on STACK’s “13 Fitness Challenges That Will Destroy You.” It’s the “Triangle Drill” video, and you’ll need a partner to help you out.

Speed and Agility Partner Drill

Photo Source: compfight CC

My brother and I were working out yesterday and I said to him we need to try this drill, especially because he is a soccer player and wants to improve. He has a game this weekend so I thought this was the perfect time to test his speed and agility and for him to see how he can get faster.

The video in the STACK article is done in an athletic facility with turf…not all of us have access to that. So here’s what we did:

We went into a training room in our gym, and set up 3 medicine balls in a triangle. You might think a room would be too small (we initially did too), but you will definitely be thankful it’s not bigger once you start! I talk about how we did the actual drill a bit further down in this post.

The instructions in the video stated:

The Triangle Drill Challenge is a variation of a drill we use to develop speed and reaction time. But the challenge component causes further fatigue and improves decision-making during high-pressure situations during a game.

How To: Perform the drill as demonstrated in the video below. Choose a work-to-rest ratio that simulates your sport. If you’re a football player, work for about 10 seconds and rest for about 30 seconds.

So we set up the 3 medicine balls, and I told him which ones were numbered 1,2 and 3. He had to do the work for 60 seconds, and then take a 60 second break while I went. I stood there and said random numbers while also taking a tally of how many times he touched each medicine ball.

FORM

In the video, the athlete simply (well, it’s not so simple) quickly shuffles/sprints to each cone. This is how we changed it up a bit:

Sprint/shuffle to each medicine ball, then keeping a flat back (proper form for anything), squat down and quickly tap the ball, squat back up then get back to the center and wait for your partner to yell the next number.

Start with doing 30 seconds of work, and work your way up to a minute. I was so beat by the end of a minute! You will work your legs, core, and your heart rate will be through the roof. We repeated it 3x. Yes, it’s only a total of 3 minutes but it’s hard! Do it for as long as you feel like.

BENEFITS

So, “Why should I do a speed & agility drill?” you may ask. If you play a sport, it will obviously help with your speed and agility (duh), and quickness of mental decisions. But even if you don’t play a sport, it will help you build explosiveness and quickness, which is important all around.

As a runner, I realized the hardest part for me was side shuffles and back pedaling. No clue how I didn’t trip over my own feet. This is a great exercise for runners because we are constantly moving in one plane. This forces us to exercise in other planes, which will help build core stability.

Did you play sports in high school or college? I played club lacrosse in college and remember doing similar drills – running backwards is so hard!

Let me know if you try it out!

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03-19-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

It is literally almost spring! I’m so ready for it…the next few days will be in the 50s which will be nice. Let’s just hope it stays that way?

Here are your health links for today:

  • 5 Tips For Eating Healthier (Crazy Running Girl) – These are great tips…and really, who actually eats the serving size for cereal?
  • The Fatigue Fallacy (Nia Shanks) – Great points made in her post. You should not be finishing every workout feeling exhausted. Read on to find out why.
  • How To Make A Healthy Salad (I Heart Vegetables) – If you follow these simple “rules” you will have a delicious salad! She also includes a few recipe ideas.
  • Lucky 7′s Body Weight Workout (Blonde Ponytail) – No equipment needed & 7 rounds?!? This looks like a tough, but awesome, workout.
  • 9 Everyday Stretches For A Healthy Body (The Sweet Life) – We could all really benefit from stretching more often – I know I could. Start incorporating some of these!

Is it spring already in your state? What’s the temp like?

Do you stretch every day?

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03-12-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Can someone explain to me how it was 60 degrees yesterday and will be back down to 25 tomorrow?? Well, it was good while it lasted I guess!

Here are your health links for today:

Do you shop at a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or just your general grocery store? I’ve been reading a lot about Aldi’s recently but have no clue what that is…none near me!

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03-06-2014

Step Interval Class Review

So I decided to try a new class yesterday at my gym (YMCA). I’ve been trying classes with my dad, but he couldn’t make it so I was kind of nervous to try it on my own. I honestly didn’t even know what step interval was, but figured it was a lot of step-ups and lunges on a box…I was kinda right…

The instructor helped me set up with my box, light and heavy weights, and a band for stretching.

Class started with a warm-up which I was fine with, but soon the choreography started…

It wasn’t that bad. It did consist of stepping up and down and lunges, but also hopping over/across the box, step-up with knee tucks, step-up with leg curl, and other moves. The one move I got confused with was “around-the-world lunges.” It involved crossing your feet over then onto the other side of the box? I can’t even explain it. I just watched the others and couldn’t help but laugh to myself because I felt so lost and uncoordinated.

When you think of step aerobics, you might think of something from the 70s or 80s, but this was definitely a great workout. I was sweating a ton and my heart rate was up. Perhaps it was because I was working EXTRA hard to get the moves right and not trip over myself ;)

In between the stepping, we took some breaks where we picked up the weights to do squats with bicep curls, plie squats with shoulder raises, balancing moves with tricep exercises and more. It was a great total body workout. The only thing I will do next time is make my step 1 step higher. I think I could have handled that, but didn’t want to try on my first class.

At the end of the class we did some abs and stretching.

I think I will be back for this class! If you’re interested and live in the NJ area, this class is held at the Somerset Hills YMCA.

After the class, I wanted to get in a tiny bit of running, so I did some hill sprints. I did:

10.0 incline, 9.0 speed -> 30 seconds

1 min. walk

9.0 incline, 8.0 speed -> 30 seconds

1 min. walk

8.0 incline, 7.0 speed -> 30 seconds

1 min. walk

5.0 incline, 7.3 speed (5K pace for me) -> 1 min.

2 min. walk

9.0 incline, 9.0 speed -> 30 seconds

Cooldown walk.

Overall, a great workout day! Heading back to the gym later for chest and back day.

I’m going to try to film a workout this weekend – which would you prefer? “Stair Workout (all you need is your stairs)” or “Total Body HIIT”?

Let me know if in the comments!

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03-05-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Found a bunch of great stuff these past couple of days that I have been excited to share with you all!

Here are your health links for today:

  • So You Wanna Start Eating Healthier? (The Healthy Maven) – Great tips on how to eat healthier but not feel too constricted.
  • What If You Don’t Have A Heart Rate Monitor + Bootcamp Workout (Fit N’ Cookies) – You don’t need a heart rate monitor to check in on how hard you’re working. Here are 2 ways to self-monitor.
  • Myths Of Stretching (Tony Gentilcore) – Great article as usual. Does holding a stretch for 10-30 seconds really do anything?
  • Tips For A New Fitness Routine (Toned And Fit) – Whether you’re starting this spring, or know someone who is, these are all great points to follow.
  • Hip Stability Exercises For IT Band Syndrome (Run To The Finish) – I definitely have uneven hips; 2 physical therapists told me :-O Will have to incorporate these into my own routine, because my IT bands are definitely tight!
  • A Guide to Working Out In The Morning (Holly’s Leaps Of Faith) – I really don’t think I will ever be a morning workout person but I like the point of, “I regret getting up early to workout – said no one ever.” True…

Do you prefer working out in the morning or evening? Why?

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02-26-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Is it the weekend yet?! I’m really excited for this weekend because I’m heading down to Atlantic City for a friend’s birthday…soooo Saturday needs to get here already. Anyone else like to gamble? (By gamble I mean play the penny slots) :)

Here are your health links for today:

  • Dark Chocolate Banana & PB Bars (9-to-Fit) – Um…yum?
  • What The Heck Are Macros (Toned And Fit) – Great, quick overview of macros and how the whole “If It Fits Your Macros” thing works. I actually wrote a post explaining it more here. I’m all for IIFYM if you are eating healthy foods too (and not-so-healthy ones in moderation).
  • Coconut Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies (Girl Meets Life) – I need to make these. I have so many things on my “to-do” cooking list…need to get on that…
  • 13 Fitness Challenges That Will Destroy You (STACK) – I really want to try the 10/10 challenge. The trainer says average people will probably last a minute or less. To quote How I Met Your Mother: Challenge accepted.

Check out those challenges…which do you want to try? Or do you have a fitness test of your own that you use to see how fit you are currently?

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02-19-2014

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Is this week dragging for anyone else? I keep thinking today is Thursday. Oh well, only a few more days until the weekend!

Here are your health links for today:

Do you like eggs? What’s your favorite way to eat them? I usually do hard boiled because it’s quick, but on weekends I like them over easy :)

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