Mud Run Prep Workout!

Mud Mash Run Workout!

This past weekend I completed a mud run in San Luis Obispo with nine friends, it was a blast! We dressed up in costume, helped each other through the obstacles and all crossed the finish line together. The 5K race was full of rope climbs, barbed wires to crawl under, big, slippery hills, 8ft walls to climb, and swimming & slopping through mud, water, and soap bubble pits. A great weekend workout with friends that’s for sure! If you are thinking about doing a mud run – or just want a good workout- here you go! Give it a try and imagine yourself racing through the toughest of obstacles!

Mud Run Prep Workout 

  • 10ea Crawl pivots (see below*)
  • 3 Vertical Rope Climbs (Don’t have a rope? Do 10ea single arm cable lat. pull downs; adjust weight as needed)
  • 5 Hill Sprints (at least 25m long) – If you’re in a gym do 20 Box steps (alternating the step up leg)
  • 10 Pull Ups (Can’t do a full pull up? Do jumping pull ups)
  • 20 Push Ups (Easier: either do from knees or with hands elevated on a step)
  • REPEAT 3-5 times 🙂

*CRAWL PIVOTS: Get into a push up position; now move your RIGHT arm and your LEFT leg forwards, like you’re crawling, and then backwards. That is one pivot (pivot= forwards then backwards). Do 10 pivots on one side then 10 on the other. Notice the that LEFT arm and RIGHT leg stay planted the whole time the right arm and left leg are moving. You got it!

Be Happy. Be Fit.

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The BEST way to do your Cardio!

There are so many benefits to doing your cardio work in intervals read my post Why Cardio Intervals are so Dang Effective to understand why!

Now that you are convinced that intervals truly are THE GREATEST, try this amazing interval workout. It can be done on the treadmill, bike, elliptical, row machine, etc. or even outside via running up and down hills or changing the pace of your run! Work it ladies and gents!

CARDIO INTERVALS
5 min walk/jog warm-up

1 min RUN (as fast as you can go!)
1 min jog/walk/or rest
2 min moderate effort (about 60-70% your max)
1 minute jog/walk/or rest    
(Repeat 4-5 times)

Be Happy. Be Fit.

 

Why Cardio Intervals are so Dang Effective: A MUST READ

Intervals are BY FAR the most efficient way to do your cardiovascular workout. These are the reasons why intervals kick long, constant-cardio workouts in the butt:

  1. Your metabolism will sky-rocket! It will stay elevated post workout for so much longer than if you just jogged at one level pace. This is due to EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption). To the average person: all this means is that you will continue burning calories at an elevated rate even as you are sitting on your booty throughout the rest of the day!! Wahooo! (Note – weight training + cardio intervals has an even higher EPOC :))
  2. You put your body into neuromuscular confusion – a state where the body doesn’t know what is coming next and must “re-boot and re-assess the neuromuscular patterns of your body every time you change speed, rather than allowing the body to find a calm state of homeostasis. This challenges your body so much more! Think about how much easier a math test would be if it was the same question 20 times vs having a test with 20 different questions… same thing with your muscles and body!!
  3. The periods of high-intensity followed by rest allow you to reach higher thresholds of your VO2max (Think about this being your maximum effort level possible).
  4. You burn way more calories in a shorter amount of time!! (Due to reason #2 and #3)
  5. It is great for your heart!! You receive the same (or more!) cardiovascular benefits when only doing 20 minutes of intervals as you do 45 minutes of a constant jog!! Talk about efficient! 🙂

Bottom line: Intervals are effective, a great calorie burn, and can be done when you are short on time. Long runs are great too, but this is just another tool to add to your repertoire. Intervals can be done on any cardiovascular machine (treadmill, row machine, elliptical, bike, etc) and even done outside via hills or just changing your pace as you run.

Try THIS for an example of an interval workout, enjoy!

Be Happy. Be Fit.

Letter from a Happy Client :)

This letter was written to my boss from one of my female clients. I am so thankful to have a job where I get to help other achieve their goals and feel better about themselves. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my job and seeing all of your smiling faces every day! 🙂

“Hi, I just wanted to share how much I enjoy training with Amanda Nespor!  I’ve had 1:1 sessions with her a couple times a week for a couple months, and I cannot rave enough about her.
  • She brings expertise, energy, and focus to each of our workouts.
  • Each session is physically and mentally challenging, and push me as far as I can safely go — while actually being fun!
  • No two sessions are alike — I’m learning so much!
I used to teach aerobics many years ago, and almost became a professional dancer, so I have a high bar on what I expect from a trainer.  Of the two trainers I’ve had at Google, Amanda is in another league better.
Thank you for hiring her, and making such a great service available to us!
With much appreciation,
Awesome Anonymous Lady”

Client #3 – Better balance, stamina, core strength and 10 pounds down!

“I have seen so many benefits working out with Ms. Nespor, not to mention she makes workouts enjoyable! She tailors the exercise routines to fit both my personal fitness goals  and her initial observations on my area’s that need development.  She also provides simple rules for a healthy diet. Within a few weeks I was able to improve my core strength, balance, stamina, and lost 10 lbs!

The exercise routines are effective and simple enough that I can workout even at home. My wife and family are also following the routines and dietary advice, my wife loves it!
Most of all, working out with Ms. Nespor is fun,  the variety of the exercises make the time go by fast!”
-J

Around the Field Workout

Ready for a workout?? Here you go! Scale-able for different fitness types and all you need is something to run around: a field, a track, backyard, a block in your neighborhood…

Whatever you choose to run around, identify 4 corners of your “lap”. In the first corner do move #1. Then run to the next corner, do move #2; run to the next corner, do move #3, run to the last corner, do move #4, and then repeat! Comment or ask questions if you are confused, I’ll be sure to respond! 🙂

Around the Field Workout – REPEAT 4x

  1. 10 Spiderman Push Up – or push ups from knees
  2. 20 180* Squat Jumps (Jump us a rotate 180 degrees while in the air-land facing the other direction)
  3. 10 Burpees (no push up, just keep arms extended)
  4. 20 Star Crunches (Easier: do 10 reps!)

Be Happy. Be fit.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Coffee Cake

This is one of the three amazing recipes I tried this weekend and it is INCREDIBLE! Perfect paired with a pumpkin spice latte, or pumpkin flavored coffee (they have this at Trader Joe’s right now!!!). Top it off with reading your favorite book and you have a delightful, relaxing (and tasty!) Sunday morning 🙂

Originally posted by ambitious kitchen. If you do not already follow her, do yourself a favor and do it right now! Every recipe of hers I have tried – both healthy things and treats – has been unreal!

Pumpkin Gingersnap Coffee Cake Crumble

Pumpkin Gingersnap Coffee Cake Dough

PUMPKIN GINGERSNAP COFFEE CAKE

Ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup almond milk (you can also use skim, 2% or whole)
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin puree)
3 Tbsp plain greek yogurt or sour cream
For topping:
2 cups gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
pinch of salt
1 1/4 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 baking pan.

To make the streusel:

  • Smash the gingersnaps until they resemble fine crumbs; you should end up with about 3/4 cup of crumbs. In a large bowl, combine the flour, crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Add the cold butter pieces to the bowl and cut with a pastry cutter or rub together with your fingers until the mixture resembles a crumble texture. Stir in the pecans and set aside.

To make the batter:

  • Brown the butter: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. The butter will begin to foam. Make sure you whisk consistently during this process. After a couple of minutes, the butter will begin to brown on the bottom of the saucepan; continue to whisk and remove from heat as soon as the butter begins to brown and give off a nutty aroma. Remove from heat and immediately transfer the butter to a bowl to prevent burning.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.
  • In a separate large bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, yolk, and vanilla together until combined. Whisk in the brown butter until combined. Fold in the pumpkin and yogurt. Gently stir in the flour mixture. The batter will be thick.
  • Spread half of the batter in the prepared pan. Generously sprinkle half of the streusel over the batter. Drop the remaining batter all over the streusel and gently spread it with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining streusel on top. Bake about 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Pumpkin Gingersnap Coffee Cake

Tuesday’s Tip: Treadmill Running vs. Outdoor Running

Happy Tuesday! I’m starting something new this week, every Tuesday I’m going to post some sort of fitness tip! Today let’s briefly discuss running on the treadmill vs. outdoors, read on to expand your brain and knowledge!

First of all, both are great forms of cardiovascular exercise! Running is not for everyone, nor is it the only type of exercise you should do, but it is great to incorporate into your routine. Here are a few cool facts about indoor and outdoor running:

  • Walking or running indoors requires less effort than moving at the same speed outdoors (According to a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research). This is due to factors such as wind and uneven terrain. A breeze of 9mph can increase energy expenditure by about 5%, and an uneven surface can up expenditure 10%!
  • According to the same study, increasing a treadmill’s incline to 3% most closely resembles the energy output of an outdoor run (without any hills).
  • To replicate an outdoor track, elevate your treadmill to 1% incline. (A track is level and usually an even surface – that’s why only 1% grade on a treadmill effectively mimics your energy output on a track)
  • Running uphill activates 9% more muscle each stride compared to exercising at the same  intensity on level ground (Researchers at the University of Georgia)
  • The impact of running on a treadmill can be very hard on our very important knee joints, but did you know that increasing the incline just 3% can decrease joint shock by 24%! (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise)

Well now you can say you learned something today! Questions? Thoughts? Let me know 🙂

Be Happy. Be Fit.

 

Partner Workout!

Grab a friend, significant other, or family member and do this workout together! (Don’t worry there are no uphill sprints in this workout – however those are really good for you! :))

Partner Workout

This picture is from a few months ago when my boyfriend and I went on a hike on Mt. Tam and came across this rock amphitheater in the hills! It was so random haha. Of course he challenged me to 6 sprints – from the fence (you can see it in the background) up all the steps to the top. Unexpected intervals added into our hike!

Anyways here is a workout for you and your partner to do! Enjoy!

PARTNER WORKOUT –  One person does exercise A for 1 minute while your partner does exercise B for 1 minute; then switch. Do each set 3x before moving on to the next partner set. 

  • SET 1: A) Wide/Narrow Push Ups (Alternate 2 w/ wide hand stance, then 2 w/ narrow hand stance); B) Jump Rope (or “invisible jump rope” if you don’t have one – move arms as if you did)
  • SET 2: A) Speed Skaters (click here for how-to video); B) Forward Walking Lunges (make sure front knee does not go past your front toe – safety first!)
  • SET 3: A) Single Leg Squats (stand on one leg, decelerate SLOWLY until your butt touches a bench, couch, chair etc the stand back upright, switch leg every 3 reps); B) Four Square Jumps (keeping your feet together, jump forwards, right, backwards, left – like you are making a little box)
  • If you have time, finish with a two-mile walk or run with your partner!

Nobody to join you today? You can also do it by yourself! 🙂

Be Happy. Be Fit.

Strawberries in Greek Yogurt Dip!

Happy weekend everyone! Hope you all are having a great one! I just went to hot yoga, recovered with an AMAZING 90 minute massage and then started baking! I’m trying out many new recipes today (*hint a lot of the recipes include something that rhymes with smumpkin… any guesses? haha). If the recipes turn out well I will post them later tonight or tomorrow!

But for now, I needed a snack while baking and whipped up this little beauty. Fresh strawberries in a dip made up Greek yogurt, vanilla, and cinnamon. MMM! So simple. Took me about a minute to prepare – Plop a few spoonfuls of nonfat Greek yogurt into a little bowl, dash in a few shakes of cinnamon, and add a few drops of vanilla – Done! Easy!

Strawberries in Greek Yogurt Dip!

photo 2

Be Happy. Be Fit.

Breakfast of Champions

Those of you that know me or have followed me for a bit, know that I LOVE fruit! YUM! So it’s no wonder I piled the fruit onto my plate this morning 🙂

Besides the fruit, I ate two scrumptious little chicken breakfast sausages and a bowl of oatmeal. This is no ordinary bowl of oatmeal though… I added chia seeds, flax seed, toasted almonds, cinnamon, and a bit of brown sugar. SO GOOD! Give it a try someday.

What was your healthy breakfast??

Breakfast of Champions

Be Happy. Be Fit.

The Do Anywhere Workout #2!

Hey everybody! Here’s another workout that you can do no matter where you are! Whether you are on a business trip and only have a hotel room; a busy parent at home; in a park with your kids; or just need an at home workout after a long day at work, try this!

The Do Anywhere Workout #2!

The Do Anywhere Workout #2

Set some sort of interval timer for 45sec work/15sec rest* and do the 6 moves below for 3-5 rounds!  (There are a ton of free interval timer apps you can use! Or just watch a clock)

  1. Box Jumps  – Use any chair, step, bench, etc. (Knee issues? Just do box step ups!)
  2. Plank Toe Taps(Plank on your elbows, tap your right toe out to the side and back, then your left toe, continue alternating. Easier? Plank with your hands elevated on a couch or bench) 
  3. Sumo Squats – (Squat with a wide stance and your toes pointed out)
  4. Push Ups(Need easier? Elevate your upper body by putting your hands on a couch or bench; want harder? Elevate your feet!)
  5.  Jumping Jacks – (Harder? Do the jumping jacks with your legs bent at 90 degrees – like you are doing a jumping jack in a squat)
  6. Walking Forward Lunges  – (Harder? Hold something heavy at your chest/or in each hand)

* Want to make the entire workout harder? Set your timer for 50sec/10sec intervals. Want to make it easier? Set your intervals at 40sec/20sec 🙂

Be Happy. Be Fit.