Who would have thought… The gym has become my playground!!

I know I have posted this motivational quote time and time again. tumblr_mijzdgHfwG1rwkaswo1_500

But I had to post it again, because it is the TRUTH! I am actually very shocked I have seen such results this quickly. Maybe it is because I have always had confidence in my body, and didn’t feel like I needed to change much. I went into this trainer, hoping to build strength so I could better myself as a runner, not really thinking about what I would physically change appearance wise.

My upper body has always been skinny and weak. My core was by far the weakest part of my body. People always told me strengthen your core and you will be able to run further and faster. So that is what I did, during this trainer, and now I am running better than ever.

PROGRESS PIC

Anyway, I wanted to post a progress pic. I found a photo of me from 6 months ago wearing the same outfit as I was a couple days ago. week 9 results

6 months ago I had already ran the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2012 and The Parkway Classic 10 Miler 2012. I was running 5-6 days a week and I had been training for the Annapolis 10 miler. In the photo above I was at the Annapolis 10 miler expo getting my bib. So I was very athletic, but running my body was not sculpted with muscle.

As you can see in the photo above my upper body was very weak and skinny. My core was weak as well, and my body overall was just not as toned. I had a different shape. If you look at the current photo, taken April 5th, you will see my shoulders are starting to take shape, my arms and chest are much more toned. My core and hip area are showing strength. Overall my body has a more sculpted shape. I feel stronger and my running has improved.

LIVEFIT TRAINER UPDATE…

At the moment, I am currently finishing up week 9 of the livefit trainer! Week 9 is the first week of phase 3. In this phase we are incorporating (all of these are defined by bodybuilding.com.

  • Supersets:¬†performing the first exercise and then immediately do the next exercise. Only then do you take the 2-minute rest in between before repeating again.
  • Triple set:¬†Perform the first exercise, followed immediately by the second exercise, followed immediately by the third exercise. Only then do you take the 2-minute rest in between before repeating again.
  • Active rest:¬†Do the first exercise, and then instead of resting, perform the active-rest movement (for example, jump rope). Immediately repeat the first exercise.

The supersets is something that was introduced in phase 2, but the triple set and active rest is something that is new to phase 3. The superset and triple set is suppose to help you continue to build muscle and maintain the muscle you have. The active rest period gets your heart rate up so you are able to burn fat. I actually really like the active rest part, way better than just resting. Before when it was mandatory to take a minute or two in between sets, I always felt antsy to continue on. I love having active rest periods, but boy does it kick my ass. 

On leg day, some examples of an active rest periods are squat jumps and jumping rope. So I bought this new jump rope, so I would personally have my own at the gym. 529476_10101060508754006_1519705170_n-1

On upper body days, active rest periods consist of ab work/core strengthening, and tons of push ups. The hardest push ups yet are kettle bell push ups.  (photo found on bodybuilding.com)

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My favorite new core strengthening exercise is the Exercise Ball Pull In. (photos found on bodybuilding.com.)

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Anyway, those are my two favorite new exercises, and above are the new terms added to phase 3 of the livefit trainer! Another new thing added is treadmill sprints. This is something that I can tolerate, because it is switching up routine on the treadmill, so it is not as boring.

I never thought I would enjoy weight lifting as much as I have. The work has been hard, but I really do like pushing my body, and challenging myself. I have seen amazing results, in myself, and my running.

Although, I always head outside for my runs. When it comes to weigh lifting… The¬†gym has become my playground!!

Question for You…

  • Where is your playground? examples:¬†pool, the ski slopes, the¬†half pipe, the trail, yoga studio, the gym, tennis court …
  • Do you prefer to work out indoors or outside?

© 2013 sweatdaily

To Snowboard or To Ski?!

HOW IT ALL BEGAN…

As long as I can remember I was a skier. I was that little girl in a puffy pink onesie, snowplowing (aka the pizza), fearlessly and poleless down the mountain. My parents got me on skis at a very young age, even my girl scout troop went on annual ski trips.

When I was 16, I went with my high school, to Seven Springs, a ski resort in Pennsylvania. It was there that on my second day of skiing I decided to trade my skis in for a snowboard. I have been on a board ever since.

I am definitely a better skier, than snowboarder. However, I enjoy snowboarding because it is a challenge for me, and I always love a good challenge. When I first got on a board I realized how truly different it is compared to skiing.

THE DIFFERENCE 

In skiing, each leg is attached to it’s own individual ski. While in snowboarding both legs are attached to one board. In skiing, it is a lot of hip action. While in snowboarding it is distributing weight on to your toes and then on to your heels. This creates an S shape in the snow, called carving. ¬†In skiing, you have poles to push you along on flatter services, or to help create speed. On a snowboard, you have to unbuckle your back foot. This freed foot can go in front of your board or behind your board, in order to comfortably shuffle your way along on flatter services. Most snowboarders choose their stance, goofy or regular.

Maybe it is because I have been skiing longer, and learned to ski before I learned to snowboard. But because of the obvious, having both legs attached to one board, compared to having legs individually attached to their own skis – skiing is more freeing and I feel much more in control.

As a child, I grew up going skiing a couple times a year during the winter season. But as an adult, I begin to get to the resort less and less. So last year, I decided I was going to make more of an effort to get to the mountain. Because of this, my bf and I both bought each other snowboards, and we have made it a tradition to always go snowboarding on my birthday.

THR GEAR

This Christmas, I was one lucky girl. My bf ended up getting me the rest of my snowboarding equipment.  This included: boots, gloves, pants, socks (made from merino wool, my favorite), and a helmet.

Growing up we never wore helmets, just a goofy hat. But honestly, a helmet keeps you so much warmer, and safer. Plus all the expert skiers and snowboarders are wearing helmets, so you just look like an ammature if you aren’t wearing one. WEAR YOUR HELMET!!

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** I love my new helmet, and it is my favorite color. Thanks baby, for an awesome Christmas present!!**

RESORTS

I am an east coast girl, so unfortunately I have only had the opportunity to ski of the east coast – maybe my dream will come true and I will find time to go out West to Vail or Jackson Hole.

In the past, I have gone up to Vermont a couple times, to a resort called Mount Snow. However, most of the time when I go skiing or snowboarding I am either in Pennsylvania or Maryland. The good resorts in Pennsylvania that I have been to are Seven Springs or Blue Knob.

There are some resorts down in Southern Virginia. Winter Green is the better out of the resorts down there. Massanutten aka Massanothing, has been taken over by college kids that attend JMU, and parents love to bring their kids because of the indoor water park.  There are some resorts in West Virginia. The most popular one is Snow Shoe.

Anyhow, over the last three years, my bf and I have gone skiing at White Tale, a resort right passed Hagerstown, MD. We have chosen this resort simply because it is the closest to get too. However, the resort itself is pretty simple, and small. The only food option is their cafeteria, and the county is a dry county – so no bar here. They do have an awesome fire pit, which warms you up after hours on the slope. The last couple times we have gone, though, it has been really over crowded. The chairlift lines were super long, and the slopes were over packed with kids.

So this year, my bf and I decided to try a different resort. Although, up north got dumped on with snow, we haven’t gotten any in the DC area. So our main concern was finding a place that had some snow. My mom suggested Blue Knob. She had told me that I had been as a kid, but honestly I had no memories of the place.

BLUE KNOB

Blue Knob is the resort located in Pennsylvania, on the highest mountain top. It is about a 3 hour drive from the DC area. When we looked at their website, they claimed they had snow, and all trails were open. So it was go time… we aren’t picky at all when it comes to snowboarding.

We headed up Friday night, spent the night in a hotel 30 minutes from the resort. Woke up early, and we were on our way. The ride up the mountain was beautiful. See for yourself…snowtrees

Driving to the resort was all up hill, or rather up mountain. The reason why is because unlike other resorts where the lodge is on the bottom of the mountain, at Blue Knob, the lodge is located on the very top of the the mountain. Instead of first having to wait in line and ride the chairlift, automatically you get to ski or snowboard right from the lodge Рwhich I loved.

21687_10151437679639660_613762191_nAnother awesome thing about Blue Knob is that the trails all intertwine with each other. You’ll see black diamonds in between green slopes. There are lots of trees, so you feel like you are skiing of snowboarding through the woods – very nature like.¬†76058_10151437679914660_1887698425_nAnother thing about Blue Knob, was that it was not overly crowded. It was a Saturday, but I rarely had to wait in lift lines. I pretty much had the slopes to myself. This could be because the resort is very secluded compared to the other resorts. It also could be because they have a lot more trails, and all of them were open with really great snow.¬†285689_10101001271495946_517169163_n** His and Her Burton Boards.**

When I had decided I was going to buy my bf a board. I started to research Nitro Snowboards.  The company seemed really good, and the board designs were visually pleasing. However, they were really expensive and hard to find. I ended up buying a Burton Board for him, and he bought one for me. I love my Burton Board. 

**My next post will be about tips for purchasing your first snow board, so stay tuned.**

THE LODGE

The food at Blue Knob was not bad, of corse it wasn’t the healthiest. They had a basic grill, where they could make you anything you wanted, from breakfast sandwiches to burgers. They also had soups in bread bowls, and other snacks. They do have a bar, and there was a band playing live music when we were there.

A GREAT WORKOUT

Of corse we went to hang in the lodge for lunch, and to warm up and grab a coffee. But for the most part, we were on the slopes, 9 am-4 pm. Seven hours of snowboarding is an amazing work out. But where I felt the most sore was my inner thighs, and my arms. I think this is because the shuffling movement on flat services works the inner thighs, and the constant being on the ground and then pushing yourself up works the arms.

IN THE END…

I highly recommend trying snowboarding or skiing if you haven’t already. It is tons of fun, and a great work out. If you are on the East Coast, I highly recommend Blue Knob resort. ¬†Although, it is March, the season isn’t over yet. The Mid Atlantic has just been issued a ¬†Snow Alert. So get out there and enjoy the snow, the winter, while you can.

Questions for You…

  1. Do you prefer skiing or snowboarding?
  2. Where is your favorite ski lodge located?
  3. What kind of board do you have?

© 2013 sweatdaily