Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Workout Wednesday: Success Isn't Straight

Hey Preps!

I LOVE running in the Fall when all the leaves are changing.  Absolutely breathtaking. 
It's October.  That means running leggings, warm gear, and bright clothing to ensure safety while hitting the roads and trails in Western Pennsylvania.  I love my North Face reflective windbreaker.  It's bright and keeps me warm.  

Today I filled in for a fitness class that I usually do not teach.  The instructor was sick, and since I practically live at my fitness center, I was guilted into helping out.  I walked into the aerobics room, and the class members made eyes at one another.  No, I am not being sensitive.  They literally rolled their eyes at the fact that (as someone put it) a 'little blonde barbie' was going to be teaching them.

Guess What?  I kicked their bums.  Instant respect from them.

Not only did I kick their tooshies, but specifically explained each exercise and why we were doing it.  After class, they told me they never knew why they were doing certain exercises.  They were impressed.

The lack of confidence in me they had when they initially met me diminished as they got to experience my teaching.  Trust me, it's not the first time I have had to prove myself.  Throughout my entire life I have had to prove to people that I am not the typical stereotype they initially view me as.  Being a biochemistry major taught me that it's best to wear glasses the first day of school.  Professors see a blonde girl, and think she's incapable of getting an A in their Advanced Organic Chem class.

Now, in the real world, I meet with a new client or a new class, and if they don't know me or my resume; they automatically think I am too young, inexperienced, skinny, blonde...little do they know that I gained 30lbs. my freshman year of college.  That I since have lost it all, and have made fitness and nutrition a priority in my life.  They don't realize how many certifications I have and long weekends I have spent researching everything on the fitness spectrum to be able to put together a program that works specifically for them and their needs.

Sure it's frustrating.  I don't appreciate being underestimated, yet at the same time it gives me a determination in my spirit to prove them wrong.

Many of you who have e-mailed me are frustrated.  You want to achieve a fitness goal whether it's running a 5k or a marathon, losing weight, even competing in your first triathlon.  You aren't seeing the results you thought you would, and you want to give up.  I have totally been there.  It took me over a year to lose the weight that I gained my freshman year of college.

It was frustrating to see girls skinnier than me at the cafeteria eating pizza and french fries, while I ate the same salad and self-made sandwich every day.  I didn't lose the weight over night.  There were many days (and still are) that I wanted to eat a huge bag of peanut butter M&M's.  It takes discipline, time, and the understanding that success doesn't happen over night.  It is a process, but I am telling you...that even if you fail once or twice, you can reach your goals if you set your mind to them.  If I can.   I promise.

One of my favorite illustrations of success is shown below:

We all want instant results when we put in effort.  I am telling you right now, that is not the way life works.  It takes perseverance to reach success.  There will be times where you find yourself back peddling, or having to start over again.  That's okay.  You will get there.  I am a firm believer that those who work harder to succeed, appreciate their success more.  Don't be discouraged if you aren't reaching your fitness goals right away.  Use your disappointments as leverage to prove yourself and others wrong.  Once you reach your goals, you will look back and appreciate the time and work it took to get there.  Keep pushing guys.  Make it happen.  Only you can achieve your own success.  

Stay tuned for a Workout Wednesday Circuit that I will be filming in my boot camp tonight!

Have a blessed day y'all!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Workout Wednesdays: The Killer Core Circuit

Hey Preps!

Did you guys know that you are awesome?  I have been LOVING the e-mails that many of you have been writing me about reaching your fitness goals, and how I have inspired you to get back at things.  Several of you have been asking me how I get a defined core.  So, I have decided to start a new series called 'Workout Wednesdays' where I will film myself doing one of the circuits that I often do with my Personal Training clients or Bootcamp members.  I know it can be hard to get back into exercising, but hopefully this will inspire you do keep at it.  This is an advanced circuit, but don't let that scare you, I promise you can make it through, and that if you do this circuit three times a week, you will start getting that rockin' core you are striving for!

When it comes to some gym motivation, I love looking cute at the gym.  I think when you feel good about the way you look, you have more confidence to get in the gym and work your cute little bum off.  So I put together a few things that I have been reppin' at the gym lately.  What motivates you to get to the gym?

Workout Wednesday Gear of the Week

Workout Wednesday Gear of the Week by pittsburghprep featuring nike

1. Asic's Zip-Up Running Hoodie.  I love zip-up warm up sweats.  I am naturally freezing all the time (unless I'm mid-workout) so anything that keeps me loose during my workout and is easy to remove works well for me.

2.  Nike Shirt.  I love shirts that are motivating.  What is more motivating than Nike's classic slogan...Just Do It? Stop making excuses.

3.  Kettle Bells.  They rock.  My bootcamp uses them on a nightly bases.  They are great for high intensity/full body workouts (I will show ya one some Wednesday).

4. Ironman Timex Watch.  I love mine.  I can wear it in the pool, on my runs, and use it a ton when I am timing my speed-work intervals, or keeping a class I teach on track.  My watch has a heart rate monitor with it, and will beep at me when I am not in my target heart rate zone.  It's so annoying that sometimes I work harder so it doesn't beep at me.  

5.  Nike Crop Capris.  Listen, I have always been a running shorts person.  I have a tiny waistline and muscular legs, so capris never fit me right because they are always too loose in my waist.  These Nike ones fit me perfectly, and I think they are a cute girly accent you can rock when at the gym.

6.  Yoga mat.  How many times do you go to a gym and there are gross people all over the exercise mats?  If I'm at a huge gym and don't know the last time something has been cleaned, I whip out my own yoga mat.  That way I can ensure I am not contracting someone else's skin disease. Ewww.

7.  Nike Sports Bra.  Colorful sports bras are so fun.  You can always see a little bit of yours if wearing a tank top.  Why not wear a cute one?

8. Asics Gel Kayano 18 Running Shoes.  These are my babies.  We ran the Pittsburgh Marathon together.  I have flat feet, and the Asic Kayanos have the perfect amount of stability that correct my over-pronating flat-fooded stride.  I used to struggle with shin splints, but since I have been rockin' these digs (for four years now) I have had zero problems.  

9. Running Socks.  I love em.  I especially love my Injini Toe Socks, but I highly recommend investing in a few pairs of breathable, padded, running socks.  They feel so much better than normal athletic socks.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Loosen Your Grip

Hey Preps!

Type AAA personality.  Ashamed to admit it sometimes, but that's me.  I set my mind on something, and I want to achieve it.  I dive head first, and I refuse to fail.  Yet, it is impossible to be perfect at everything...and everyone fails at some point in their life.  Why are we so ashamed when we do?

Perfect example was today, I was teaching a Silver Sneakers fitness class (for Senior citizens) and we were working on a drill to help with finger strength (grip).  As we get older arthritis and years of picking up heavy items can lead to the loss of strength in our digits.  So, to strengthen that, the drill we do involves a small inflatable ball.  Holding the ball, we extend the arm out; hand placed on top of the ball, and squeeze and release our fingers to exercise that finger strength.

Someone always looses their ball.  It goes flying the other direction and everyone stares...the person who lost it, rushes over to claim the ball, and looking completely defeated sulks back to their seat.
Who cares!?  I couldn't tell you who lost their ball this morning, even though I know someone did.

Yet, how many times are we completely embarrassed by our faults and cannot seem to acknowledge them, learn from them, and get back up and start fighting again?  Seriously guys.  Stop trying to hold on so tight to your life that you are unable to grow into a better person.

We really do take life too seriously.  Just like my Silver Sneakers take their grip exercises.  Little do they know that if they just loosened up their grip a teeny bit, that the ball would be easier to hold on to. When you grip the ball too tightly, the pressure in the ball is compressed, making the probability of it shooting out of your hand far greater when you go to slightly release that tension.  Just like in life, the more pressure you put on yourself to be perfect, the harder it will be when you fail.

So that is my psychological advice to you today, now for some fashion advice...

It is now officially fall, and almost October, and in Kalyn terms, Pennsylvania is officially too cold.  All weekend it rained, which is tough when I just returned from sunny California.  So, what is a girl to do if she wants to be fancy and practical huh?

For all those college girls in cold climates; what I have found is that there are many fun ways you can pair rugged pieces with classy essentials to put together a perfect casual outfit for class.  I used to see so many girls wearing pumps and 'clubwear' to class...and then turn the corner and see girls in sweats who clearly didn't even brush their hair that morning.

I am telling you first hand, professors aren't diggin' the clubwear or the "I never try" look.  You should always try to look simple, classic, and clean (at least clean for goodness sake).

Fall Practicals

Fall Practicals by pittsburghprep featuring slim pants
1. Excursion Quilted Vest by J. Crew
2. Oxford Button Down from Lands' End Canvas
3. Matchstick Cord by J. Crew
4. Large Le Pliage Femme Bag by Longchamp
5. Duck Boots by L.L.Bean

One of my favorite outfits to wear in the fall/winter months is a pair of Duck Boots combined with a polished pair of corduroy skinny pants.  I like to keep the chunky theme in place by adding a loose-fitting oxford button down shirt, with a quilted down vest.

If you get too warm in class, the vest is removable, and you still look polished.  So, ladies and gents...stop trying too hard with you wardrobe (or not trying at all) and loosen up that grip on life while your at it.

Everything turns out okay.  I promise.