Tag Archives: muscles

Project Tighten Up: Update 4 – Progress Photos

28 May

It’s been a crazy four weeks full of training and eating clean and it is now time to see what progress I have made! A lot of you have commented that I am brave for doing this but I read something interesting recently about motivation – if you do not put your goals out for others to see then you will most likely fail.  Letting others know that you are serious about your goals makes you want harder, because let’s face it, nobody wants to fail in front of an audience. I’m just doing it on a larger scale partly to spur myself on but also to show others that it can be done.  Yes, it’s hard, but it can be done.  🙂

I wasn’t expecting spectacular results in the first four weeks as I am still getting into the swing of the new training regime and diet plan but I am quite happy with the progress.

I can see new definition in certain areas, particularly my back (hello line down my back – you weren’t there before!) and my abs, but my legs are still letting team awesome down.  But that’s okay – I realise I may never have the toned and perfect legs of my dreams, I just need to keep working hard and see where they end up!

One thing on the diet plan I am thinking of changing is my morning oats – I do love them and they are a great source of energy but they may be what is causing me bloating and discomfort…  For instance, I had an egg white omelette today instead of oats and have had no discomfort.  Win.  So, I will probably go back to quinoa porridge this week and see how that goes.

Apologies about the photo quality – I have been taking them on my phone and then used Paint to put them side-by-side.  Next time I’ll use photoshop for better quality! (Oh and I still don’t know how to ‘pose’ so you will have to put up with my awkwardness!)

 

Before - 4 weeks in

 

Before - 4 weeks in

 

Before - 4 weeks in

 

Before - 4 weeks in

Who’s still with me on Project Tighten Up?  Share your stories below in the comments! 

Tried, Tested & Well Rested

1 Mar

Before I get started on this post I’d just like to state, as you know, I am not a health, fitness or weight loss professional. I am just a girl with an avid interest in all things health and fitness.  This post (as are the majority of my posts) is purely based on my own opinion as well as methods I have tried and tested.  This is what works best for me.

You are more than welcome to try these ideas for yourself however I do strongly suggest if you have any ongoing issues with muscle soreness or chronic pain that you seek professional advice.

Okay, now that that boringness is out of the way let’s get into it!  Muscle soreness.  Something I know only too well and it is also something that I have finally got a handle on.  Finally.  I have spent far too long walking like I just got off a horse.   It’s not very becoming for a lady like myself. *cough*

Basically, my theory is this – if you are going to spend ‘x’ amount of time on working out and pushing your body to its limits then you must spend ‘y’ amount of time working on recovery. What ‘x’ and ‘y’ equal is up to you but the important thing is that you find balance between the two.

I have seen far too many instances where people (I’m also pointing the finger at myself) keep pushing, pushing and pushing through workouts and spending no time at all on recovery and end up with injuries.  It’s really not worth it. Spend the time you need to on recovery and you will avoid the cost of physios, podiatrists, chiros and doctors that you will no doubt need to visit if you don’t pay attention to your body!

What I have found during this journey to fitness freakness is that your body makes most of its major changes when it is in recovery mode.  This is when the muscles relax and take shape.   Taking on a new shape is what we are so desperately seeking so we need to ensure that we aid recovery as well as we possibly can.

So, what can we do to help this process?

Stretching

A 60 second stretch at the end of a session is simply not enough.  You need to spend a good 5 – 10 minutes at the end of your session (when your muscles are warm) stretching.  You should hold each stretch for 20 to 30 seconds and focus on the areas which are tightest.   For instance, my hip flexors are usually the tightest so I spend the majority of my time stretching them, even going back 2 or 3 times to stretch them again.

Foam Rolling

Foam rolling is really a godsend.  Anyone who partakes in exercise who thinks they don’t need it should think again.  It’s like having a sports massage without the hefty price tag.

Foam rolling is great for stretching muscles and tendons and it also breaks down tissue adhesions and scar tissue.  You basically use your own body weight and press down on the roller to self massage the affected area to break up trigger points, soothe tight fascia and promote blood flow and circulation.

I foam roll a few times a week but you can do it as often or as little as you like.

Here’s a great YouTube clip to get you started on your foam rolling journey:

Magnesium Oil Spray

I’ve just started using this but, just like every new thing I try, I’m almost certain it’s going to change my life.

Rub a few sprays of this oil into your skin daily (it’s actually not really an oil – more a tonic) and reap the benefits of magnesium far quicker than if you were to take a supplement.

Not only does it help relieve sore and stiff muscles but it helps prevent stress as well as helps maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

It does sting the skin a little at first but the stinging sensation will ease as you get used to it.  Suck it up princesses!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Yep! I still drink my apple cider vinegar!  I usually have it as soon as I wake up in the morning but you can also have it immediately after exercise to help clear lactic acid.

Simply Rest

I always ensure I have one day of rest a week.   On this day I do very little physical activity and let my body just ‘be’.   Every now and then I find it’s good to take off 3 or 4 days and just do light activity.   As I said earlier, rest days are so important as it is during this period of recovery that our muscles change and take shape.   So don’t hammer yourself in training day after day without ensuring you give your body some rest! Got it? Good!

That’s about it from me on the topic of rest and recovery!   I hope that you will now pay more attention to your recovery routine.

Do you put enough effort into recovery?  What’s your tried and tested tips for rest and recover?

Protein Shake Trial & Measurement Time

15 Nov

I started taking Define Women’s High Protein Powder by Vitalstrength approximately 4 weeks ago now and I have to say I’m really reaping the benefits! I was sceptical at first but the results speak for themselves.

I’m recovering quicker from training sessions and I have decreased muscle soreness (which was becoming a big problem for me!). Teaming the shakes with my already jam packed training schedule and my protein-rich diet seems to be just the thing I was looking for!

I can really notice my body changing and even my husband has been commenting on how my muscles seem to look leaner and more defined. And I can feel abs people! ABS! They are coming back with a vengeance. I can’t seem them just yet but they are coming. Oh, believe me, they ARE coming.

Also, once Chanel is finished her bottle of Hydroxy Liquid Lean I’ll ask her to provide a full report.

With that said, here are my latest measurements results! They aren’t as great as I would have hoped but I did have a week off from training this month and was a little more ‘free’ shall we say with my food intake… And let’s face it – you can’t have killer results EVERY month so that just means next month I’m going to smash it, yeah?

I was really pleased about my knee results though! They are my most loathed part… Damn you knees! I WILL demolish you! But my poor lady lumps… well I guess you can’t have it all! Or can I? Maybe a quick trip to Thailand is in order to get this situation sorted if you know what I’m sayin’!

I’d also like to inform you that it has been 4 days since I last weighed myself (“Hi, my name is Amanda and I’m a scales addict”) and my feet are itching to jump on the scales. This just further confirms that my morning weighing habit was becoming far too obsessive.

Some people commented on my last post that weighing themselves daily is something that keeps them on track and I think that is great! It’s really all about what works for you however for me I knew that my emotions were being affected by the number displayed and I was getting increasingly frantic with bringing that number down. I don’t need that stress in my life and plus I will be doing myself such a service by seeing my results week to week rather than day to day. Besides, the only numbers that should really matter to me are my measurement results and I just have to keep reminding myself of that!

How do you track your weight loss success? Do you track your measurements and weigh and if so, how often?

I love it when you flex like that…

12 Mar

…slow, fast, up, down… bring it back!

I’m starting to notice a difference in my muscles, particularly in my guns.  I’ve got two tickets to the gun show people! Step right up!  And I was complimented on my shoulders today.  An odd place to be complemented on but I’ll take it.  It’s nice to hear people are noticing a difference in me – I think I will ride on the tails of that for a while.  🙂

Boxing was tough yesterday.  Not only did we have to box non-stop we also included lots of push ups and burpees.  God how I loathe them.  Practically everyone in the class sweated their asses off.  I wish I could literally sweat my ass off.  Man I wish that was possible (or what about something like ‘Ass Off’?  You know like the movie ‘Face Off’ but asses instead of faces.  I’ll have Jennifer Anistons please!). We could have created a swimming pool with our sweat combined.  *VOMIT*  I especially hate it when the guys get sweaty and I’m watching them do push ups and their sweat is dripping on to the floor.  Oh, oh, and what about when you have to team up with one of them and their sweat is flying towards you whilst their punching the mits? Have you ever had that??  Oh goo!  Sweat is disgusting.  Anyhoo, I digress – it was tough and I was exhausted after it.

But I still had soccer to go!  Soccer is the only place where you pay $10 to get your ass kicked.  Seriously.  We suck.  We lost to apparently the comps worst team.  Well I guess we all know who the worst team is now.  Yep.  That’s right.  It’s us.  These girls uniforms were pink god damn it!  And they all had a full face of makeup on.  Some of them squealed when the ball came towards them.  It was disgraceful.  They had been playing for a year though so that’s a year more than us.  So we lost.  8 – 3.  At the end of the game we collectively decided that we needed training and we needed it now. So hopefully I can report a win soon.  Maybe.

This morning I got up before the sun (you have no idea how unreasonably angry that makes me – I’m getting angry just thinking about it now) and met my trainer.  We did A LOT  of lunges, dips, resistance training, burpees (have I mentioned that I loathe them?!) and step ups.  I think I’m getting better at them though – today I did not vomit a little bit in my mouth ONCE.  😉  I did break a bit of a cold sweat though when I had to do shoulder work.  Damn you to hell weak shoulders. I’ll show YOU who is boss!

Weekend lies ahead of me and temptation comes into play again.  Tapas tonight.  I WILL NOT OVEREAT.  I WILL NOT HAVE MORE THAN 2 GLASSES OF SANGRIA.  I have to keep replaying this in my mind.  It’s like the soundtrack to my life on skip.  Blah.

So I’ll cap it off for today where I started – I love it when you flex like that!  Merry Weekend everyone!