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Increasing Metabolism and Strength

So in my previous post I started the 21 day program from Ashley Conrad. I did it but not exactly all 21 days. It is a great workout and one that I will go back to when I need a full body intense workout. Now, I have started another workout program. It is by Erin Stern and it is called the Elite Body Workout. She is a figure competitor, Ms. Olympia and a track and field athlete. I was inspired by her workout because I love her style and the way she trains. I love to run so I have to include it in my workouts and her training method always includes HIIT (high intensity interval training) which works great with my runs too. I am feeling so much stronger! IMG_20140527_090738 I began the workout 2 weeks ago and I can see a difference already. I am following a clean eating plan similar to hers also. The workout is for 4 weeks but I am stretching it 6 weeks. I have been progressing with the weights and getting stronger. I find that when I follow a complete plan I stay motivated and really enjoy it more. The only thing I changed was adding another leg day. I know my body and it responds better to 2 leg days per week, of course with plenty of recovery between. Legs are shaping up! IMG_20140528_133706   I am doing this program because I reset my goals. My new goals are to increase my strength, power, muscle, and speed. I took before photos in a swim suit so I can really see my progress by the end of the 6 weeks. My nutrition consists of lean protein, vegetables, fruit, brown rice, quinoa,  sweet potatoes, oatmeal, almond milk, protein shakes, and nuts. I avoid processed food. No bread, cheese, milk, sugar, butter, sauces, junk etc… It is going pretty smooth because I eat clean most of the time. I love lifting weights and learning more about different styles of lifting. I believe if you really want to change the shape of your body, increase strength, and increase metabolism you must lift weight and I mean weight, not the dinky vinyl covered weights. It is time to pump some iron. There are great workouts and articles about lifting, nutrition, and supplementation over at http://www.bodybuilding.com and below is a clip of the Erin Stern’s training philosophy.  Check it out. My actual workout split is: Monday-rest Tuesday – Plyometrics and Legs Wednesday – High Intensity Cardio Thursday – Chest and Shoulders/Sprints Friday- Back/Sprints Saturday- Plyometrics and Legs Sunday – Shoulders and Arms/Sprints I vary my cardio and sprints. It will sometimes be running, spinning bike, stepmill, or the elliptical. I always keep it high intensity. I will have more on HIIT and steady state cardio in my next post. Have a great day everyone! Go pump some iron! 🙂

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Workout at BodyBuilding.com

Hi, just a quick update on the new goals and workout happening at nthefitzone. Since I finished up my half marathons recently, I am shifting my focus to shorter more intense runs plus hitting the weight room more. Confession: since I finished my half in Utah, my nutrition has been terrible. I decided I would just eat whatever and I quickly began to feel awful, no energy and laziness kicked in. That has changed. I am very goal oriented. I now have a new focus. I want to get faster, stronger, and add  muscle. So I went to bodybuilding.com to see what is going on over there and it is full of info, workouts, nutrition plans etc.. One plan I found was by a trainer to celebrities, Ashley Conrad. She totally makes sense to me with her training and nutrition philosophy. I totally agree with how she trains her clients and herself.

So I started one of her workouts and nutrition plans about a week ago and I can already see a difference. I am so motivated to progress forward with this. Even trainers need trainers. Check out this video about how she trains her clients and how she gets them the results they are looking for. This is exactly how I like to train. If you want results, you have to commit to the work. You have to find the time and stay consistent, dedicated and focused on what you are doing and why you are doing it.

I will keep posting about my progress with this program. Have any of you done any of the workouts at bodybuilding.com?

 

Half Fanatic

Hi all, just wanted to give a little update of what has been going on here at nthefitzone. A few weeks ago, I finished the Salt Lake City half marathon. It was a goal of mine since the beginning of this year and I am proud to say I finished and in under 2 hours. I was not sure how I would perform since I had never ran a race in altitude before. I struggled in the beginning with my breathing. There were hills the first couple of miles and then things began to level off and the downhills began 🙂 A minor injury had been nagging me a couple of weeks prior to the race and it surfaced about mile 7 causing me to slow down. I walked a few times, but in the end I still finished with a time I am proud of (1:57:00 official). Overall, the race was well-organized, the weather was perfect,  and it was a beautiful course.

This is me about mile 6 feeling pretty good.

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and after the finish feeling great.

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Then, the very next weekend, I got wild and crazy and decided last-minute to run the Auburn Running Festival, Finish on the 50 half marathon. I graduated from Auburn and I wanted to run this race last year but unfortunately I did not. My intention was to do the 10k but I woke up that morning and said why not just do the half. The course was very hilly and it was warm. My nagging injury returned about mile 8 but I kept moving forward the best I could. I took a trip down memory lane as I ran through campus and I proudly finished on the 50 yard line of Jordan-Hare Stadium, the home of the AUsome Auburn Tigers. I also got to pose after the race with Cam Newton. Haha!

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So here is my bling and bling 🙂

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So after I finished on the 50, a couple of people told me that I qualify to be a Half Fanatic. I had never heard of this but apparently it is an official group. By finishing back to back half marathons, I qualify to be in this group, eeeekkk, fun! I will definitely check this out. FYI: there is a Marathon Maniac group too.

So that is a quick update of the happenings over the past month. I do not have any big races planned until the end of August. I am meeting some friends in Atlanta to do the first “Hotlanta” half marathon that starts in Underground Atlanta. Sounds like a burner! I do have some new goals and a new workout that I am excited about that I will share with you in the next post. For the next month or two I am keeping my runs shorter. I feel the need for speed!  Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

Have you heard of the Half Fanatics?

 

Half Marathon Training

For those of you who run and race, have you ever had the day-to-day ups and downs during training? Well, that is what my training has been like during this half marathon prep. I know there are going to be bad training days but it seems like I have had a too many. One thing I have learned during these days is that these types of runs are what make me stronger. It is so frustrating having a bad run, but I learned this weekend that it motivated me more to go out there and try again.

This weekend’s training was supposed to be 8 miles on Saturday. It was a beautiful spring day, not a cloud in the sky, and this happened.

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I only got in 4 miles. I was sluggish and tired. I did not sleep well the night before so I knew ahead of time it was going to be tough. I finished this run with a little stretch and told myself I will not give up. I immediately planned on running the next day and wow what a difference a good sleep will make.

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Another beautiful day and my run was strong. I totally got my confidence back and feel like I am right on track. After this awesome run yesterday, I sat by the lake and enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Now on to the yum yums. I do the best I can to avoid processed foods especially when I am training for a race. Whole foods give me the energy and nutrition I need. After my run I was craving a green drink but I wanted something  besides just spinach as my base so off to Earth Fare I went. The kale was beautiful and on sale. I got a bunch of kale and then I thought about dinner and found these Natural Beauties 🙂

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I decided I wanted roasted sweet potatoes for dinner, so while thinking of what I wanted to go with my lovely potatoes, I made my kale drink and headed to the porch. There is nothing like a gorgeous Sunday afternoon sipping on a kale drink. Hale to the kale! 🙂

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I can say the weekend training was a success even with the bad run on Saturday because it only made me stronger! Dinner was baked chicken with roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli on the side.

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To prepare these beauties, I just gave them a good wash, chop, and tossed them lightly with EVOO, sea salt to taste, and sprinkled with fresh rosemary, then roasted at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Simple and delicious.

What’s on your dinner plate when training for a race?

 

Rockstars And Cardio

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An awesome and random thing happened Monday, March 17, 2013. I was working the front desk at my gym, and someone called around 1:00pm and asked if we offer a day pass. This is very common as people are in town on business and such and want to get a workout. I told him that we do and he inquired about the treadmills and the elliptical machines. So about 3:00pm I got another call from the same person saying they were on our street but could not see us. I then directed them to the gym and a taxi dropped them off. When they walked in it was business as usual, I took their money and got them to sign in. I asked if they were just passing through and they were. They said their bus driver needed to sleep and they wanted to run. I kept trying not to stare but something was familiar and I asked what they did. The said they were musicians. So business as usual I showed them through the gym to the treadmill. Well, my curiosity peaked and I knew something was familiar, so I checked the sign in sheet and saw the name Scott Stapp, which was very familiar so of course I went to Google and yes, Creed. Ummm yes, I was excited and oh did we need some excitement around there. Of course I had to go check them out to see what and how they liked to workout so I did a walk through to check cups and water. When I got to the stairwell to the cardio room, I heard serious moving going on up there. He is a runner and his band mate, Andy Waldeck, was getting after it on the elliptical. I left them alone and told no one in the building because I could sense they wanted privacy. From then, I did not budge because I could not let them leave without a photo. Andy came down first about an hour later and I asked it they had a good workout. He replied yes. I told him I knew who they were and asked if I could get a photo with them because no one would believe this happened. They were very nice, asked if I could call their driver back to pick them up and I did and they posed for this awesome photo. What is even better is that they had to wait about 10-15 minutes for their ride so I got to chat with them. I asked how they found and chose us and he said (this is awesome) that I actually was about the only one that answered the telephone and I was nice 🙂 Made my day! I asked where they were off to and they said they start their #ProofOfLifeTour on Wednesday in Dallas and then move across the U.S. and then to Canada. I offered them a protein drink (on me) while they waited and we talked smoothies and such. Just a regular day, haha. I invited them to stay for my PowerPilates class but they had to go. These are two very nice guys with a very different life than me, but when you actually just engage in small talk with someone, we are all so similar. I love that they are finding time to stay healthy. They thanked me and said if they are ever in town, they will definitely workout here. Star struck! 🙂 Oh, my friend that took the photo, froze but she got a kick out of it too.

So now this leads me to our next #FitIn5 Challenge, The Cardio Blast inspired by my new rockstar friends who love their cardio!!

Let’s Go!!

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It is not every day that awesome rockstars walk in and inspire you to want to crush some cardio!

Not all exercises are suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or exercise program.

Burpee Day!

Hi all, happy it is Friday. Today’s challenge is going to be quick and intense. If you have no time for a long workout, no worries, this will be just the thing to get you going in just 5 minutes.

#FitIn5 Day 12

BURPEES! Woo Hoo!

1 minute of burpees ( modify by taking the jump out and step back)

1 minute walking lunges or walking high kicks

Alternate between the two exercises which will give you 3 minutes of burpees and 2 minutes of walking lunges/kicks. Below is a video of the burpee 🙂

You may have noticed there was no challenge yesterday. We will call it a rest day. Hope your weekend is great and let me know how this burpee day goes for you. Don’t forget to check in with me here, on IG, twitter or facebook.

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Some exercises are not suitable for everyone. Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or exercise program.

Get Outside! Day 6 #FitIn5

Today is a beautiful day! The sun is shining so I took it to the streets. I got an awesome 8.5 mile run done. I am training for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in April. I know the weather is not as beautiful everywhere as it is here but the challenge for today, day 6, is to get outside. Just get out there for 5 minutes of fitness, whatever you want to do. Walk, run, hike, push ups, jumping jacks etc. Breathe the fresh air and enjoy the great outdoors. You may surprise yourself and your 5 minutes of fitness may turn into 15 or 20 or more 🙂 Comment below and let me know how you crushed your 5 minutes of fitness!

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Have a great day!

Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program.

Effort Equal Results

There is a place that I manage to get to when I am working out, running or practicing yoga that takes me out of my “comfort” zone and I love it! No, it is not easy to get there, but once I am there I have this feeling of great accomplishment and success. What does it take to get there? Effort! This can relate to anything, not just exercise. I have always believed that “the results you get reflect the effort you put in” so if something is done halfway, sloppy or with a negative attitude making up excuses, that is what you will get back. I am not saying strive for perfection (no such thing). I am not saying compare yourself to the next person, what you are doing is not about them. I am saying to put your 100% effort in for that given moment and the results will be amazing.

Why am I saying this? Well, as an instructor and trainer in the fitness industry I can see when someone is focused and giving it their best. It is when I hear negative self talk, bad attitudes, sloppy form, and halfway effort that really annoys me. It is not easy, there is no quick fix, you have to put in the effort and time. Whatever it is you are striving for, set the goal, make your plan of action, and do what you have to do to make it happen. If you want things to change, you have to be willing to change. You have to move away from that comfort zone.

For example, one of my goals is to complete the Salt Lake City Half Marathon in April in 1 hour 50 minutes or below. So that requires following a training plan. Yes, there will be days I will hate it, but in order to make that goal happen, I will have to get out of my comfort zone and probably do my runs in cold and rainy weather, some grueling hill work and speed work too.

This photo is of me doing 40 yard dashes in the cold snow, not feeling comfy, but I felt great when I finished 🙂

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My point is, if you really want it, you will find a way to make it happen and it does require effort on your part. I believe there is so much potential inside each of us. Give your 100% everyday and let your potential shine!!!

Do you agree?

Easy And Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan

This weekend was awesome and relaxing. Friday night I cooked fish tacos and Saturday night I cooked sea bass for the first time. It turned out great. Tonight was the slow cooker chicken parmesan. No frying is involved so that eliminates a bunch of fat that this dish is known for. Keep in mind it will not be crunchy, but it still has the yummy comforting flavor with fewer calories.

In a bowl beat 2 eggs with a fork. In a separate bowl combine 1/4 cup parmesan cheese with 1/2 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs. Spread a little olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker/crock pot. Take 4 skinless chicken breasts, dip each in egg and then into crumb/cheese mix and lay on the bottom of the crock pot. Pour 1 jar of your favorite sauce on top and cook on low for 5-6 hours. I served the chicken with whole wheat pasta. This easy, healthier version will be a hit with the family!

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Well, I have a lot going on. The 10,000 Steps For Health Challenge is still going strong. I was interviewed by our local paper about the challenge. I am hoping to get the word out to inspire people to make small changes that can improve their health. I am wearing my pedometer every day and I am averaging about 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day. I have also been doing the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak Challenge. I have completed 11 days in a row. Some days I do just a mile, but my streak is going strong. This challenge has really kept me motivated and I can already feel improvements in my runs.

I am still involved in the Under Armour What’s Beautiful Competition. I have been a part of the What’s Beautiful Community for over a year now and I love it. It is such a strong support of women from all over the world. We compete with each other but we all support each other too. These women are so inspiring and motivating! If you have not checked it out, go take a look at http://www.whatsbeautiful.ua.com and see what you are missing. I will be doing a separate post about the What’s Beautiful Community soon. I am also involved in an Instagram challenge from Under Armour. I have won 2 swag bags of their awesome gear. This is a fun challenge where you post a pic of yourself doing the challenge that is given for that day. They pick two winners every week to win a swag bag and trust me, they are very generous 🙂 To join just follow @Shauna_Harrison @UnderArmourWomen and tag them and use the hashtag #sweataday. Below is a photo of myself in a side plank challenge this week. Keep in mind, she always gives modifications for the challenges. The sweataday challenge is for men and women so check it out!

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I finished the weekend decorating for Christmas. Time seems like it is flying by and the New Year will be here before you know it. I have got to start thinking of my resolutions. Organizing will be one. What is your New Year Resolution going to be?

Pilates For Runners, The Standing Leg Lift/Leg Circles

November is a month full of running and racing, so for all of you runners who have been following my Pilates for runners series, this is one of my favorites. The Standing Leg Lift/Leg Circle. This exercise works the leg, the important stabilizers, the core and increases hip mobility.

I stand in Pilates stance engaging my hamstrings, abdominals, and inner thighs. I keep my arms up and parallel to the floor with my shoulders back and down. I then lift my left leg out to the side keeping my knee facing forward without locking it out. I am inhaling and exhaling as I lift and lower my leg about 8-10 times. I then hold my leg up and balance as I work into leg circles, first clockwise about 8-10 times, then counter-clockwise about 8-10 times. I release back to center in Pilates stance and then repeat on the other side.

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The six principles of Pilates can definitely apply to running. They are concentration, centering, control, breathing, precision and flow. Runners need all of these to run efficiently and with less risk for injury. So, I have always said that cross training is very beneficial for many sports. I know Pilates is an excellent choice for runners to incorporate into their training to strengthen their “powerhouse” and to reduce the risk of injury so they can run faster and with more control.

Piper loves being on camera any chance she gets. Sorry for the butt angle though. Have you tried the standing leg lift before?

Always check with your own doctor before beginning any new exercise or exercise program.

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