06-27-2016

Glute Strengthening Exercises Pt. 2

Now that marathon training has started, I really need to make sure to work on my glutes, especially my glute medius. I wrote a previous post (that somehow blew up on Pinterest) on strengthening your glute medius (and why it’s important).

Today I wanted to talk about some of my favorite glute exercises. I haven’t been strength training much, mainly because I have been balancing running, cycling and yoga. But I need to get back into the gym this week.

Your glutes are your powerhouse. When you’re running, you need strong glutes to push off the ground and give you, well, power. It’s not uncommon at all for runners, and most people in general, to have weak glutes from sitting all day and not really activating them. So here are a few exercises you can start incorporating into your routine. Plus, you can do them anywhere, either bodyweight or with dumbbells. So add a few reps and sets in after your runs and you’ll be on your way to buns of steel.

Here are my top 5 exercises to strengthen and grow your glutes! | http://reach-yourpeak.com

Step-Ups

These are so easy to do anywhere! If you’re out for a run, you can find a park bench or table to use. If you’re at home, you can use a chair or your stairs. You want to make sure your form is right with these, and that you’re not using your back leg to bounce you up onto the step. Your back leg should stay completely straight, and you should focus on using your front let (the one on the box) to push you up. Here’s an example of someone using that back leg to power them up (which means your front leg and glute are working less):

It might take a little practice, which is why it’s good to start off with your bodyweight only, and then progress to adding dumbells. Here’s an excellent tutorial video:

Walking Lunges

Another one that can be done anywhere, with or without weights. If you have knee issues or knee pain, you may want to stay away from walking lunges. You can do do split squats (stationary lunge) or reverse lunges instead. You can also switch those up by elevating your front foot. Lots of options here.

With walking lunges, take a step forward and really focus on keeping your chest up and shoulders back. Lower your knee as low as it can go, and then switch. Do not force yourself to go lower than what is comfortable. You also want to make sure that your heel on the foot that is stepping forward is planted on the ground. If you step forward and your heel is up or you’re on the balls of your feet, it means you’re not taking big enough steps.

Hip Raises

Hip raises are probably my favorite exercise, mainly because I can lie down while doing it :-P

Did you know hip raises are more effective at growing your glutes than squats are? Start off with just body weight hip raises. Lay on your back with bent knees. Plant your feet and lift your hips up as high as you can. Squeeze your glutes as you lift and really focus on utilizing those muscles. You may feel this in your hamstrings and calves too. Hold at the top for about 2-3 seconds, lower and repeat. In order to see if you’re using your glutes and not your hip flexors, try doing a single leg hip raise with one knee bent. What I mean is, take one knee to your chest and hold it there with your arms. THEN, do a hip raise. You should really feel that in your glute. Once you get the hang of it, you can add a weighted plate or barbell on top of your hips in order to make the move more challenging. 

Bulgarian Split Squats

This is a more advanced exercise, and a variation on lunges. You can work up to this by doing reverse lunges with your back foot elevated on a small box or step. Eventually, you’ll be able to do it with your back foot on a bench. Here’s what it looks like (including good cues and common mistakes):

Remember to always keep your chest up and shoulders back. You don’t need to lower yourself all the way down if you can’t. Go until you can, and then come back up. Work your way lower and lower over time.

Back extensions

You will need a back extension machine for this one, or you can get creative and use the end of your couch or bed. I’ll show an example after I explain.

Doing back extensions on an incline back extension machine will target your hamstrings and glutes, maybe your calves too if they’re a little weak. If your lower back is weak, you’ll feel it in those muscles as well. Lower down all the way, then squeeze your glutes to lift yourself up. Be careful not to hyper-extend. See how he is in a straight line?

Photo source

If you want to add weight, hold a weighted plate to your chest to make it more challenging.

Start incorporating these exercises into your routine and not only will you have stronger glutes, you’ll be helping your body stay injury free. Writing this just motivated me to get my butt to the gym this week. Another thing I need to work on ASAP is my core strength. Please leave me your favorite core workouts below because core is my least favorite thing to do haha.

What is your favorite glute exercise? How often do you train your legs/glutes?

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02-01-2016

3 Reasons Exercise Programs Fail & How To Overcome Them

It’s February 1st! A new month…a clean slate…

Did you know that a third of those who make New Year’s Resolutions don’t even make it to the end of January? We need to stay strong and committed as a new month rolls in!

Many people make resolutions to be healthier, work out more, etc. So why do they fall off within a month or two? That’s what I wanted to talk about today AND invite you to participate in a FREE 5 day fitness challenge that starts next week, so we can hold each other accountable and motivate each other. I’ll talk about that more in a bit.

Here are 3 reasons why exercise programs fail, and how to overcome them. + a FREE 5 day fitness challenge to re-ignite your goals and motivation! | http://reach-yourpeak.com

Getting to the gym is a hassle

For many people, in the beginning they’re going to the gym every day, and then it starts to taper off. Why? Because getting to the gym might be a hassle. If you’re going after work, you might have to sit in traffic to get there. If you’re going in the morning, you might opt out because you don’t want to lug your work clothes, towel, shampoo, etc. for the post-workout shower. These small annoyances might start leading to, “I’ll just go tomorrow.” Here are a few ways to get back on track:

  • On days you get out of work late, or you wake up not wanting to drive to the gym, do an at-home workout video. Even if it’s just 15 minutes, it is better than nothing, and you’ll feel great. I love Fitness Blender on YouTube for home workouts.
  • Sign up for fitness classes. I’ve been staying consistent with my morning cycling classes because if I cancel I have to pay $20. When you have a commitment, you’re more apt to go. A second idea is to schedule a workout time with a friend…you can’t bail on your friends!
  • Create your own dumbbell workout routine that you can do at home. I wrote more about creating a full-body routine here.

Gym equipment is confusing

Alright so maybe you get to the gym, but then what? There are so many pieces of equipment, how do you know which to use OR if you’re even using them properly? This overload can cause some to feel intimidated and stop going to the gym all-together. Check out the link above on how to create your own routine. You can also use sites like bodybuilding.com that have a ton of workout plans and show how to do each exercise. My advice is to just stick to dumbbells or kettlebells. You can get a great workout with just those pieces of equipment, and oftentimes a BETTER workout than using a machine.

No accountability

If you’re trying to go at this alone, it will get tough at times. Even though I train with my mom, there are days I dread going to the gym or running. And that is even with a workout partner, so I can’t imagine if I didn’t have her! You need people to hold you accountable. Find someone to go to the gym with or run with a few times a week. Tell yourself you can only do X if you go to the gym that day (watch Netflix, get a manicure…whatever you think will work for you!). It doesn’t necessarily have to be a workout buddy either. Tell people about your goals and ask them to check in with you. When you know that people know what you’re working towards, you’re more apt to actually achieve those goals. Which is why my 5 day fitness challenge is perfect for you if you want accountability…we will all be checking in with each other and supporting each other!

So what will this 5 Day Fitness Challenge entail?

  • Daily 15 min. workout videos by me, sent to you for 5 days so you can work out right at home (and you only need dumbbells)!
  • PDF printables of the workouts in case you want to do it at the gym.
  • Instagram hashtag so you can connect with other challenge members and support each other.

AND

  • PRIZES! One lucky winner will win a PlantFusion prize pack with 1 full-size PlantFusion product of their choice (Thanks PlantFusion!). PlantFusion is a plant-based protein powder (which I love) that is perfect for smoothies and post-workout recovery shakes.

So here are the quick details:

WHEN: Feb. 8 – Feb 14

HOW DO I SIGN UP: Click below and enter your email to sign up. I will send you all the details before Feb. 8 so you’re ready to hit the ground running!



 
Leave a comment below and let me know if you signed up! :)
 
 
What do you think is a reason many people “fall off the resolution wagon” come Feb. or March?
What steps do you take to make sure you stay strong and committed?

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02-24-2015

The Importance Of Proper Exercise Form

Today I want to talk about proper exercise form. A friend of mine just joined Crossfit and was telling me about an incident. Now before I start, I’m not bashing Crossfit. But I am bashing personal trainers who don’t teach proper form and who don’t modify exercises for beginners.

The Importance Of Proper Exercise Form

My friend is someone who is new to lifting…I personally don’t think she should be thrown into a barbell deadlift right away, but she was. The next day she was telling me how her back was killing her and she couldn’t even stand up straight because she was so sore. I asked her how much weight she did. She said she asked one trainer who said, “Ummm…just do 95 lbs,” which she knew would be too heavy, so she asked another trainer who said 70 or 75 lbs, I can’t remember.

There are some major problems here. One being, why is she doing a barbell deadlift as a beginner as opposed to learning proper form with lighter weights first? Two, what are those weights??? And why are these trainers just throwing around random numbers?? She sucked it up and did it, and then couldn’t walk up-right for a few days because her lower back was killing her, which usually means proper form was not used during the deadlift.

This actually happened to me once too. I went to a group bootcamp class and one of the exercises was a barbell deadlift. The trainer made it heavy enough for the strongest person in the class but it was way too heavy for me, which I expressed. But he told me to try it anyway. So I did (and couldn’t go down far enough either but he kept telling me to go all the way down), and I couldn’t walk for a few days because my back was killing me.

I’ve written about proper form cues for deadlifts before, but I want to talk about it again. Yes, the deadlift does recruit lower back muscles, but your lower back shouldn’t be that sore afterwards. You should mainly feel it in your hamstrings and glutes.

Here are a few key things to remember:

  • As you lower the weight, keep your core tight, which will keep you from only using your lower back.
  • As you lift the weight back up, focus on squeezing your glutes.
  • Keep your back flat throughout the exercise.
  • Keep your neck neutral, don’t look up and crane your neck. Look a few inches ahead of you or down – whatever keeps your neck in line with your spine.

There’s nothing wrong with starting with a lighter weight or modifying exercises. And that’s what personal trainers are for!! That’s what this rant is about. The trainers in the experiences above should have realized that the weight was too heavy, and also been there to provide form cues for my friend so that this didn’t happen. It makes me nervous that as someone who is a total beginner to lifting (she’s only really done exercise DVDs) she’s thrown into barbell exercises and Olympic exercises.

Here are a few glute/hamstring exercises that you can do as you build up to a full deadlift:

  • Glute/hip raises –> make it more challenging by adding a plate or barbell onto your hips
  • Romanian dumbbell deadlifts –> progress it by increasing dumbbell weight until you feel comfortable with this exercise
  • Romanian barbell deadlifts could be the next step from the above exercise.
  • Trap bar deadlifts are a good way to take some load off the lower back.

I’d say my favorite would be Romanian dumbbell deadlifts. Easy to progress and you’ll really feel it building strength in your hamstrings.

If you don’t have a trainer, just do some research on how to progress. Trainers I follow with great tips are Tony Gentilcore and Bret Contreras (“The Glute Guy”).

If you do have a trainer, make sure you hold them accountable. Speak up if you’re afraid something is too heavy or too challenging for you. There is no shame in that! Better to be safe than injured. Ask them questions about the exercise. What muscles should it recruit? Where should you feel it? What’s the point of doing it? What are some modifications?

Okay, rant over ;)

If you’re a Crossfitter, how does your gym help those who are totally new to lifting?

Have you had a bad personal trainer experience?

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02-19-2015

How To Organize Your Workout Gear

If you’re like me, your fitness stuff makes up about 90% of your wardrobe (and laundry). I don’t really have a “system” on organizing all of it, which is what inspired me to write this post and see what others are doing. My system right now is just having a drawer for gym shirts, shorts and sports bras. And it ends up getting pretty messy since I dig through it each day to find the write outfit. So the research commenced to get some good tips from other runners and fitness lovers! So let’s talk about how to organize your workout gear:

How To Organize Your Workout Gear

Tanks & Shirts

Use shower hooks. A great idea I saw on Instagram is from @kariofitness:

 

A photo posted by Kari Merrill (@kariofitness) on


She uses shower curtain hooks to put on hangers and hang her tanks and shirts. Another instagrammer commented that in order for them to not slide around, she puts the hooks through rubber bands on the hanger. Genius I say! Easy enough to get shirts off the hooks and put them back on.

Stack vertically instead of horizontally. Why have I never thought of this? This is a great tip from Running On Lentils!

tops-1
Photo source

This will totally solve my problem of digging through my drawers, because I can just grab and go. Click through on the photo to read her full post on organization.

Roll up your shirts. If you ran out of drawer space, you can use storage bins for your shirts. I knew rolling clothes up = less space taken up, because I always do this when I pack for a trip, but never thought to do it with my workout gear. This is a tip recommended by MCM Mama Runs and Confessions of a Mother Runner. Here’s MCM Mama’s photo:

skirt-sports-skirts-capris-tights-1024x341

Photo source

Capris/Pants/Shorts

Basically the same tenants can apply here – roll them up in bins, store in your drawers or hang them. Some people use the pants hangers for their capris but I hate unclipping and clipping them in. I think for me, the best thing will be stacking vertically in my shelves.

Headbands

Use an over the door rack. You know, the ones that are for shoes or beauty? Store your headbands in those in order to quickly access them.

Use a bin or bag. Running on Lentils suggests having a separate bag for headbands and hats/visors. Yes, you might have to dig around a bit, you’ll know where they are and you can keep them hidden away in your closet.

How cool is this idea I found on Pinterest? (click through didn’t lead me to a website so I don’t know what the source is, sorry!)

145ccee743c67893257593b96e2997b2
 I found this one on Pinterest too from The Scacci House:

headbands
Photo source

I think that might be the winner for me! A ribbon stuck to the wall with some clothespins = genius idea to hang your headbands, and other stuff too like gloves!

A random tip I liked from Straighten Up With Kristen (full article below) is to create gym outfits and put them together in your drawers that way. And to have an extra outfit and sneakers in your car at all times. I can’t count how many times I’ve been out and want to go to the gym but don’t have my gear, or go to the gym and realize I forgot something like a sports bra.

Thanks to these bloggers for being organized (unlike me) and sharing their organization tips!

Here are a few other helpful links that might help you with spring cleaning:

What tips would you add on organizing your workout gear?

Are you generally an organized person? Because I’m definitely not :-P

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02-17-2015

Upper Body Strength For Runners

Random start to this post but I had a good idea for a post I wanted to write the other day, and now I can’t remember what it was for the life of me! So this one will have to do ;)

I’ve noticed that gaining upper body strength has really helped my running. We all know how important core strength is, but upper body strength is just as important. Your arms are what propel you as you’re running, especially during accelerations and/or sprinting to that finish line.

For me, lifting for biceps and triceps isn’t my favorite thing to do. I much prefer exercises like pull-ups, bench press, etc. which hit those bigger muscles. And I believe those are key exercises to help you with your running as well.

Upper Body Strength For Runners

Here are a few exercises to incorporate into your strength routine:

Rows

My favorite type of row is a supported bent over dumbbell row.

Bent Over Row
Photo Source

Single arm (and leg for that matter) exercises utilize more core strength which is obviously a plus. A few cues I’d give for this exercises are:

  • Keep your back flat throughout, don’t let it sag when you lower the weight.
  • As you lower the weight, don’t use momentum to row it back up. I see people lower and let there shoulder and back go down with the weight in order to almost swing it back up. Keep your torso steady as you lower the weight, then before you row up focus on squeezing your shoulder blade/the muscles in that area to row up. Those are the muscles you want to recruit. Try to keep them “flexed” throughout the exercise.

If you have a cable machine, this exercise will really help your running, since it mimics arm strength. I was doing this one about 2-3 times per week:

 

A video posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


You want to pick a challenging weight but not one that will cause your torso to move as you pull or let the weight go. Once again, focus on using your back muscles as you pull in (think “squeeze your shoulder blades”)Pull in with force, then let it go slowly (count 3 seconds). That explosive movement will help your arm swing during that last sprint of a track workout or race. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps to start, and each week try to add more weight.

Those are my 2 favorite exercises for upper body strength relating to running, but here are a few others to incorporate into your routine:

  • Pull-ups (assisted or unassisted)
  • Negative pull-ups
  • TRX rows
  • Barbell or dumbbell overhead press
  • Push-ups (great for core strength too)
  • Bent-over barbell row
  • Inverted row
  • Lying barbell tricep extension (video) –> much more effective than tricep kickbacks and other tricep exercises.
  • Single arm dumbbell overhead press
  • Tricep rope extension

I forget what video I was watching but it was one of Mary Cain doing a track workout, and her coach (Alberto Salazar) was yelling, “Use your arms! Use your arms!” Next time you feel you’re getting tired during a run, workout or race, pump your arms harder. You’ll find that it will help you maintain your pace.

Do you incorporate these exercises into your strength routine? 

What’s your mental tip for when you are really fatigued at the end of a track workout or race but want to finish strong?

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02-05-2015

Day 1 of Morning Exercise

And probably the only day this week…maybe I’ll do it again next week ;)

But yeah, I woke up at 6:30 today to run before work…probably not a big deal to most of you but I’m SO not a morning person and never workout in the AM because I feel like a zombie. 6:30 probably isn’t even that early to some of you (I know some people are up at 4:30 am to workout) but it’s early for me. My usual wake up time before work is 7:30 AM and even then I snooze for 10 minutes before dragging myself out of bed.

Today I made myself just get up and go. I had my stuff packed already for the day so I just had to pack my oatmeal and snacks for the day. I thought, I can go and run for 30 minutes, that’s all I need to do.

So what motivated this change? A great article I read yesterday, The Brutally Honest 6 Reasons You’re Still Overfat, which I quoted on my Instagram (pardon the language):

 

A photo posted by pattyrivas13 (@pattyrivas13) on


It’s a longer read but worth it, especially if you need a kick in the butt. He talks about people making excuses (well, my coworkers brought in donuts so I ate a few) as opposed to owning it (I chose to eat donuts). While I know it’s my own fault my nutrition isn’t as good as it should be, I know that I’ve been guilty of making excuses before, especially the likes of “Well, I worked out for an hour so I can eat this cookie.”

He also talks about sacrifice…and if you really want something, you’ll suck it up and make a sacrifice to get there. My sacrifice today was that extra hour of sleep. I want to lose a few of the extra pounds that I have gained, and I need to take charge and do it as opposed to bi*ching and moaning about getting up early, or being too tired to run, etc. I’m soooo guilty of making excuses when I’m tired…just yesterday I skipped the gym because I was tired after a bad night’s sleep. Then I got home and read this post and was like, ugh…should have just gone to the gym!

Here are a few other points I liked from the article:

  • “This applies not just to fat loss but also to the rest of your health and fitness goals. If you blame yourself – success. If you blame everything else – no success. Period.”
  • “Life isn’t fair. Life is hard. You will get out of it what you put into it. And when you decide to make real changes, when you make a commitment to yourself to make a difference, YOU HAD BETTER STICK TO IT.”

  • “‘Treats’ are something out of the ordinary. If it happens more than once a month it is no longer out of the ordinary. Stop saying treat. You aren’t having a treat.”
  • It is awesome to have targets and goals. In fact it is imperative to have targets and goals. But those are simply markers, stepping stones, to the ultimate goals, which should be health and fitness until the day you die.”
  • It is either a workout you have to do or a celebration of the amazing gift your healthy body is.”

Some people don’t like this kind of in your face motivation but I love it. Sometimes I just need that kick in the butt and reminder that I’m lucky to be healthy and even able to exercise…so why complain about doing it?

Now, I can’t promise I will be regularly waking up at 6:30 am to run, but I’m going to try at least ONCE next week to do it again. I feel great right now sitting at work, and more energized than I ever feel in the mornings when I get here. Will I be more tired later though? I guess I’ll find out :)

Do you exercise in the mornings? What tips do you have for me for dragging myself out from under my warm covers?

What kind of stuff motivates you? Do you like the aggressive, in your face approach?

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01-14-2015

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Have you ever tried a new workout and a few days later you’re STILL sore?? I started a new plan Monday and still can’t walk right! It’s more focused on time than sets and reps (aka you’re out of breath the whole time), so we’ll see how it goes. I’ll keep you posted!

I haven’t done a link roundup in a few weeks…I got all discombobulated with the holidays so let’s get back into it.

Featured: Apple Cinnamon Blender Waffles (The Lean Green Bean)

Apple-Cinnamon-Blender-Waffles
How amazing do those look? I have been wanting a waffle maker for a while…I seriously need to get one. This recipe is so simple and quick…perfect for those lazy weekend mornings.

  • 2 Steps To Make Healthy Eating A Reality (Love Live Surf) – Two great tips here. I need to do better with meal prep. Mainly lunches. Do any of you prepare all your meals ahead of time?
  • Hip Hugger Lower Body Burner (Running Escapades) – Definitely need to add this to my routine once I start running more. But anyone can benefit…strong hips = strong core!
  • Italian Chickpea Casserole (Strength & Sunshine) – This looks delicious and like the perfect meatless dish if you’re looking for one. I will be trying this for sure, especially now that Dan’s resolution is to eat healthier/more veggies :)
  • Make Your Gym Habits Stick (Dare You To…) – Did you make a New Year’s Resolution? These tips will help! I always prepare my gym clothes and bag the night before. Even though I’m not a morning exerciser, it’s right by the door so I don’t forget anything in that morning rush, and have it all ready to go for my workout later in the day.
  • Grocery Shopping On A Budget For One (Lake Shore Runner) – I’ve found that now that I’m mainly buying groceries for myself, it’s a totally different experience in terms of weekly budgeting, buying things that won’t go bad, etc. Question: If you live alone or with a roommate, how do you buy salad in the bags and have it not go bad??? Happens to me every week.

How do you prevent your groceries and veggies from going bad? Do you have a weekly grocery budget?

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01-12-2015

How To Motivate Yourself To Workout

I’ve seen many posts about gym resolutioners and people who are starting to work on being healthier and fitter…awesome! I’ve also seen a lot of posts in the past about finding a workout buddy in order to hold yourself accountable and get workouts done. But what if you don’t have one? You may want to take spin or run regularly, yet none of your friends are interested. That’s where these tips on how to motivate yourself to workout come in.

As awesome as it is for me to regularly work out with my mom, there are many days where our schedules don’t coincide, so I need to either run or lift alone. And some days I am severely lacking in motivation to go to the gym or run alone. Here are a few things that have helped me:

5 Ways To Motivate Yourself To Workout

Just go for 20 minutes. On days where I REALLY don’t want to workout, I tell myself I’ll do it for 20 minutes. Whether it’s a 20 minute video, 20 minutes at the gym, or a 20 minute run. Recently I did a 25 minute video, and once it was over I was feeling good so I drove to the gym to continue my workout. I bet you, 9 times out of 10, once those 20 minutes are up, you’ll want to keep working out. 

Text a friend. When my mom and I can’t workout or run together, we always Snapchat each other. Yes, Snapchat :-P I’ll send her a photo of my treadmill readout when I’m done and she’ll do the same. There have been plenty of times where I’ve gone or she’s gone and the other person says “Yeah I’ll probably skip today,” but then ends up going to the gym once we see the other person is there. Enlist a friend to be the one who encourages you and provides you with support when you need it. Just the act of sending “proof” to someone can motivate you to get yourself to the gym.

Instagram. So this actually happened last night…before bed I’m using the “explore” feature on Instagram to find new people to follow and ended up finding a few. I started scrolling through their pictures, and learning about their story, their results, their daily nutrition, etc. I was feeling super motivated to get my workout in today (was even going to wake up at 6:30 to do it but we all know I’m not a morning person), and even had all these dreams about going to the gym. Maybe it’s just me, but seeing other people’s results and hard work on Instagram are a huge motivator. Whether it’s their results from following a specific workout plan, or their journey to a BQ…I love seeing pictures and using that to fuel my own fire. Some hashtags I regularly go through are #fitfluential #runnersofinstagram #sweatpink and #runchat.

Try a new class. When I’m feeling really blah and lazy, I check out the group exercise schedule at my gym and pick a new one to try. That’s actually how I found BodyPump (and ended up loving it). You don’t have to do any of the (mental) work, like putting together a plan, picking out weights, etc. Just go to the class and follow instructions. And you might just find your new favorite class!

Take before pictures. Nothing motivates me more than wanting to have “after” pictures. Take before pictures and when you start forgetting about your goals, go through the pictures. I’m not saying to be self-deprecating here and hate on your body…but we all have things we may want to work on. For example, for me, I want stronger and more defined arms and abs. Seeing before pictures is a reminder of it. You can’t get what you want without putting in the work. If you’re a runner, then do a time trial test. Run a mile or a 5K and use that as your benchmark. You’ll want to improve in X amount of weeks and break that time.

Right now, my goals are simply to start lifting again and get back some strength. I always end up losing it once I start training for a half marathon or marathon…this will be the year I stop doing that! I found a workout plan I want to follow…and once I get into the regimen and do it for a few weeks, I’ll share what it is, my thoughts and any possible results. 

How do you self-motivate? Is it easy for you to workout alone or do you have a workout/running buddy?

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12-10-2014

Health & Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

Holy moly…in exactly 2 weeks it is Christmas Eve! I have done like 1% of my Christmas shopping…anyone done already? If so, way to go…I always end up waiting until the last minute.

Today’s featured link is a really cute/nice video…it’s not health or fitness related but it put a smile on my face! Can I get pulled over today and given a present? :)

Featured: Christmas Surprise Traffic Stop

Isn’t that nice? I’m way jealous of the girl who got the iPad…and the girl who got the New Balance sneakers…because, running. 

Here are more links for you to check out today:

  • Holiday Gift Guide: Under $35 (Nutritious Eats) – For those of you who are still shopping like me…and this reminded me I would like a new pair of fleece PJs!
  • Arms on Fire (Running Escapades) – Looking for an upper body workout? Try this one – all you need are dumbbells.
  • Super Simple DIY Medal & Bib Holder (Erica D. House) – I definitely want to make a medal holder. I love this idea.
  • Become A Morning Workout Person (Lake Shore Runner) – This just won’t happen for me, but if you’re making some resolutions, this may help you!
  • Yoga Core Workout (Apples & Arteries) – Definitely trying this 20 minute video today or tomorrow.

How’s your holiday shopping going? Have you treated yourself to anything? I bought some “fiber” mascara from Sephora yesterday to try out :)

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12-09-2014

Gym Etiquette

I just joined a new gym and so far I love it. It’s big and has probably 30 treadmills, which means I’ll never have to wait again! (knock on wood)

But with a new gym comes new questions. I wanted to get your input on a few things, and then talk about general gym etiquette for those who may just be starting to go or plan on getting a membership for the new year.

Proper Gym Etiquette

Questions:

Okay here are my questions for you gym folks…

  • At my other gym, when you wanted to use the squat rack, you waited behind the person squatting (kind of a line I guess) and when they were finished you stepped in. Is this normal practice? If I wait behind someone at my new gym will they think I’m a creep?
  • Do you bring your dumbbells to other places in the gym? We had a room where people took equipment to do circuit type workouts. At my new gym, the way the treadmills are set up, it’d be perfect to bring dumbbells or kettlebells over to do running and strength circuits. Thoughts?

Okay so I though I had more questions but that’s basically it haha. I’d love to hear your input!

General Gym Etiquette

If you plan on getting a gym membership this upcoming year and aren’t sure where to start, here are a few “rules” people tend to follow at the gym. I mean, basically just be courteous and no one will give you the stink eye ;)

Wipe stuff down. Don’t leave your treadmill, bike, mat, bench, etc. without wiping it down. 1) Who wants to touch your sweat and 2) Think of all the bacteria that can be passed around that way. Let’s all try to avoid getting sick so we don’t have to skip days at the gym :)

Don’t hoard equipment. I know I asked above if I can take dumbbells to a room or the treadmill, but some people take dumbbells, kettlebells, a bench, a box, a jump rope, etc. etc. to their little corner and then the rest of the gym doesn’t have access for a while. If you’re doing circuits, just take what you need for the first circuit, then go exchange it for other stuff as your workout progresses (especially if it’s during peak hours).

Be quick. No one is saying to rush your workout, but don’t take a 5 minute break in between sets either. I hate when I’m waiting for a bench or the squat rack and the person on it is texting during their break, walking around talking to friends and just taking forever in general. When I know people are waiting, I take a short break, and then get right back into it. Plus, that’s a better way to keep your heart rate up anyway!

Ask someone to spot you. Don’t be afraid to do this! Personal trainers and gym staff are there for a reason. If you’re just starting out and unsure of the weight you’re lifting, definitely ask someone to give you a spot. You’ll stay safe and perhaps learn some cues and tips from the trainer who helps you.

Put your stuff away. Nothing peeves me more than when I go to the squat rack and someone left the bar on the rack with multiple weights on it. Why??? You couldn’t take the time to take the weights off?? Be courteous and put things back where you got them…isn’t that something we learned in Kindergarten? ;)

Let people work in with you. If you know you need to do 5 sets on a machine, let the person waiting work in with you. They’ll ask “Can I work in?” and then you just switch on and off. You can also ask people if you can work in. I mean, I know people who find this annoying, but it doesn’t bother me at all. What are your thoughts on this?

I want to hear your thoughts on gym etiquette…what would you add to this list? Or any general tips you’d give beginners?

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