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Your Frequently Asked Fitness Questions Answered

faq Jul 13, 2019
 

If you have fitness questions, I have answers

If this is your first time here, Hi! My name is Emily and I am an online health coach, group fitness instructor, and national level bikini competitor.

I have spent the last year and a half helping women just like you transform their body and their lifestyle with customized nutrition and training programs.

See Client Success Stories Here

It's safe to say I have a good grasp on the common struggles that are keeping women from hitting that goal weight and building that dream body! And I am well versed in how to get you results the healthy way - no dangerous lose weight quick gimmicks and no unhealthy weight rebounds post diet! 

If you have fitness and nutrition questions you need answered, this article is for you!

Between online training and nutrition clients, group fitness participants, and my mailing list, I receive a lot of questions around exercise and nutrition so I thought I would offer up some answers here. Consider...

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55 Min Spin Class Routine, Drills, and Playlist

cardio spin workouts Jul 12, 2019
 

If you've never tried a spin class before, you're missing out! I'm a little biased as teach 2-5 spin classes each week but I promise you, you won't regret it if you give it a shot! 

The Benefits of Spin

Spin is a great form of cardio. It's lower impact than running and supports muscle building rather than working against it. For the entirety of the workout, you're challenging yourself with gear on the bike, which helps you build strong quads, hamstrings, glutes, and core. 

As a bikini competitor (currently in my improvement season), my goal is to add muscle size to my legs so it's vital that I choose my cardio wisely. I've found that cycling has had little to no effect on my ability to build my legs while also helping me to burn major fat. 

There's also a fabulous sense of community in an indoor spin class. You'll notice you feel a lot more motivated to push yourself when you look around the room and see people of all ages, sizes, and activity levels...

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4 Best Resistance Band Exercises for Glutes

glutes workouts Jun 30, 2019
 
 

These exercises use resistance bands to achieve round, full glutes. If transforming your glutes is your main goal, it's important to incorporate high volume each week to really stimulate these muscles. 

Anatomy of the Glutes

The glutes are made up of three muscles.

The gluteus Maximus is the largest gluteal muscle and is mainly used for hip extension. For example, it's the muscle used to rise from a squat or deadlift and perform a glute kickback.

The gluteus medius and minimus are the smaller upper and outer portion of your glutes. You use them for thigh abduction, thigh internal rotation when the hips are flexed, and thigh external rotation when the hips are extended.

In order to achieve rounded glutes, you need to be working all three of these muscles so understanding how they work and the function of each of them is important. 

The Squat Myth

If you're a woman focused on building the booty, chances are you've encountered the "do your squats" advice. Many...

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Dumbbell Arm Workout for Beginners

arms workout Jun 29, 2019
 
 

This simple 4 exercise arm circuit is great for building the bicep and tricep muscles! The exercises are meant to be performed circuit style 4x12, meaning one after the other (12 reps each) without rest in between them. Take 60 seconds rest after completing one set of all 4 exercises. Then perform them all again. 

This circuit style of training is a huge time saver and keeps the intensity high for some major fat burning. 

Equipment

All you need for this workout is a single pair of dumbbells. Keep in mind that the weight you select should be challenging enough but not so challenging that you cannot perform all prescribed reps with good form. I advise my clients to pick a weight that they could pump out 2 additional reps if they had to (but no more) with good form. 

It's helpful to do a warm up set with lighter weight to get a feel for how much weight feels right for you. 

Additionally, because these exercises are being performed without rest in...

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Pyramid Bodyweight Ab Workout

abs workouts Jun 27, 2019
 
 

Buckle up! This intense ab workout uses just your bodyweight to build a strong, tight core, ladies! No equipment needed. Most women are focused on building an hour glass figure with a small waist. 

In order to build this shape, it's best to stick to high rep bodyweight movements or light weighted movements. You also want to steer clear of overworking the obliques, which can make your waist thicker and "blockier" so to speak. 

How to Perform this Workout

This is meant to be performed pyramid style. This means you will perform lower reps, then higher reps, then back down to lower reps. 

In this case, the pyramid is meant to be:

15

20

25

25

20

15

Perform each exercise in this fashion. 

The Benefits of Training Pyramid Style

Implementing pyramid training has significant benefits.

High Volume

This training style allows you to pack a lot of volume into your workout. Heavy volume is what creates progress in your muscle building and fat burning. To put it...

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5 Best Exercises for Sculpted Shoulders

 
 

Understanding the Shoulder Muscles and How to Build Them

The shoulders are made up of 3 muscles: the anterior (front), posterior (rear), and lateral (side) delts. In order to achieve the look of beautiful, round, sculpted shoulders you need to understand how to work all three of these muscles. 

Different exercises will hit the delts from different angles. 

The video above details the 5 best exercises for sculpted shoulders and the prime movers for each of them. A prime mover is the main muscle achieving each movement. These 5 exercises cover the front, rear, and side delts to ensure balance and overall definition. 

The Workout: 5 Best Exercises for Sculpted Shoulders

Equipment

All you need for this workout is 1-3 pairs of dumbbells of varying weights that you feel comfortable using for upper body workouts.

Workout Instructions for Various Training Intensities

For the Beginner

If you are a beginner to weight lifting, I recommend performing these exercises...

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10 Quick Tips for the Weight Lifting Beginner

workouts Jun 19, 2019
 

New to weight lifting?

I know it can be overwhelming to get started. There's so much to learn! It's a gradual process just to learn what exercises work each muscle and how to perform them. Then add to that figuring out reps, sets, training splits, etc. 

I remember being in your shoes. These 10 tips stem from the things I wish I knew at that stage of my fitness journey in addition to the questions I get asked most often by my online clients. 

Pin these tips for later

1. Slow down the negative. 

Every exercise movement is made up of three portions:

The concentric portion of the movement is the part where you're lifting the weight. This is where you're fighting against the resistance. 

The isometric portion of the movement is the part where you've reached the full muscle contraction and your stabilizer muscles are helping you to hold the weight all the way up. You are pausing before lowering the weight back to the starting position. 

The ...

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How to Make Sticking to Your Diet Easy

diet Jun 17, 2019
 

Let's be honest... I am no culinary expert. I see the cute recipe posts on Pinterest, and sometimes I even get hyped enough to pin a few to my teeny tiny, overly optimistic (I will probably never get around to cooking any of it) recipe board. But when it comes to meal prep... REAL meal prep... I like it simple, fast, and easy. 

I have burnt pop tarts several times... do not trust me with your extravagant healthy meals. 

And yet, I still manage to keep my weight down, my calories up, and my physique progressing. Your diet doesn't need to be complicated!

For anyone new here, hey girl hey! My name is Emily. I am an online health coach and national level bikini competitor with a side interest in pushing a squad of fiery, fit women over 40 through some kick ass indoor cycling classes!

It's safe to say, I know the meal prep struggle. I practice a flexible diet year round. This means I track my macros (protein, carb and fat intake) every day of the year, whether I am...

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Why the 1200 Calorie Diet Plan is Bogus and What to Do Instead

diet flexible dieting Jun 07, 2019
 

As an experienced training and nutrition coach and fitness instructor, I was absolutely amazed when I discovered how many articles were out there advising women to use a 1200 calorie diet to lose weight. Allow me to break down all of the reasons why you SHOULDN'T follow this plan and how to pursue your weight loss goals instead. 

Nutrient and Caloric Needs

First off, a little background information you need to make an informed decision about this plan: your body uses calories even when you're just sitting on the couch or sleeping. Calories aren't just burned from physical activity. Your body requires calories (energy), just to complete its normal daily processes, such as digestion. It also requires a certain amount of nutrients to perform these processes smoothly and regularly. 

The magic number here is 1200. Your body NEEDS 1200 calories just to ensure its getting the bare minimum number of nutrients it needs in order to survive and function properly. 

I...

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Full Body Exercise Ball Workout

full body workouts Jun 06, 2019
 

Using the same equipment over and over can leave your workouts feeling stale. Plus, challenging your body in new ways is a great way to up your exercise intensity and increase the burn!

Using an exercise ball to workout increases the instability of your standard exercises to provide a new challenge for every muscle group. Now you're not only focused on lifting the weight but also maintaining proper balance throughout the movement. This means you will also be using your abs for many of these exercises as a synergist muscle to properly maintain balance.

This workout should take you just 30 minutes to complete and works your entire body! Each exercise should be performed in 2 sets of 12 reps with no more than 60 seconds rest in between sets.

Get ready to feel the burn!

1. Back Exercise: Swiss Ball Back Extensions

1. Lie on your stomach on a Swiss ball with your feet hip width apart against a wall for support or just on the floor. Put your hands behind your head as you...

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