Monday, February 27, 2012

Personal Trainer (& exercise video links!)

I saw a personal trainer today at my school. She coaches students for free so I thought why not!
She showed me a lot of different exercises with the barbell like skull crushers, deadlifts, chest & shoulder presses. I also worked on my lats and back extension. My arms feel dead right now but at least I know I got a great workout. :)

On a similar topic, I found another personal trainer in my area that has a team and I'm really serious about maybe joining. I really think he could help me achieve my fitness goals because a lot of the people he's coached went on to compete in pro fitness competitions like IFBB, and I'm pretty sure he and his wife are pro fitness competitors & fitness models.

Anyway, this is for Summerwind as she wanted some TaeBo and Shadow Boxing video links. These are such good exercises, especially the Tae Bo it is intense cardio. Hope this helps!

Tae Bo:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Shadow boxing: 
Shadow boxing
Kicking Combo
Shadow sparring

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Tired of boring cardio? There's a cure for that.

Sorry it's been a few days since my last update! I've been really focused on my training between HIIT and strength training. On Friday I focused on cardio/core, doing 20 minutes of HIIT, 5 minutes low intensity cardio, and a KILLER core circuit. It was intense. My abs still hurt today even though I take a muscle recovery supplement. I did MMA today at home since I don't have gym access on weekends. I'm a black belt in Taekwondo so I have all the equipment at my house. It was a lot of fun, nice to take a break from strength training for a day or two. (:

Anyway I don't know about you guys, but nothing is more boring to me than a grueling session of cardio, going at a constant pace, on the elliptical or treadmill. There's no excitement about it, and the only way to keep yourself entertained is by reading a magazine or listening to music, or both. Those 30, 45, or however many minutes seem like hours.

So, how can you make cardio sessions less boring and more engaging? Actually, there's a lot of different ways.

MMA style training, Interval training, any form of dance or circuit training (AKA cross-training) are great ways to pump up your heart rate, burn fat, and have fun all at the same time. Most of these alternative cardio methods engage more muscle groups than running or jogging, which burns extra calories among other benefits. You can also be really creative and set up obstacle courses for yourself and try to finish them as fast as you can. (Also you don't have to join a class to do MMA or dance, there are plenty of free videos online that guide you through these types of workouts. I have a ton of links if anyone wants them.)

Cardio doesn't have to be a pain in the ass. If you don't like spending tons of time on the treadmill, maybe try a new method. You may find it to be your new favourite part of going to the gym or exercising in general. (:

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

See any Progress? (Pics)

I think I've made a little progress! Its only been about 10 days since I began this blog, but I think I look less bony. I mean, its too early to see any progress in my arms and legs, but my abs look like they're getting better. What do you think? (:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eat Like a Champion

This is for Fragile Heart as she asked if I would post my typical meal plan. Haha I don't know about the title,  but I thought I needed something more creative than "Meal Plan" and this is what came to mind first.
But really, I feel like I'm eating like a body-builder! Supplements and powders currently make up soo much of my diet.

Seriously, I just had a 500 calorie lunch. That's more than I used to have in a DAY. I'm proud that I've come that far.

Anyway I don't follow any specific meal plan perfectly, I just like to look at 3 or 4 different plans and base my own meals on the pre-written ones. This is basically a run down of what I'll eat in a day. be warned, it's super high protein.

MRP = meal replacement powder
Assault = pre-workout formula (amplifies performance)

Breakfast: 270 cal
Quaker original oatmeal with cinnamon and raisins (150 cal, 30 g carbs, 4 g protein)
1 scoop whey protein isolate mixed with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or water (120 cal, 25 g protein)
1 capsule CLA
1 capsule Flax oil
1 multivitamin

Snack: 60-100 cal
1 orange or small grapefruit (60 cal, 15 g carbs)
OR an apple (100 cal, 20 g carbs)
OR 6 oz FAGE non-fat greek yogurt (100 cal, 18 g protein, 7 g carbs)

Lunch: 513 cal
2 scoops MRP with 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and 3/4 cup water (253 cal, 33 g protein, 16 g carbs)
5 oz Tuna (160 cal, 36 g protein)
1 packet oatmeal with cinnamon (100 cal, 4 g protein, 30 g carbs)

Pre-workout: 40 cal
1/2 scoop Assault mixed with 14 oz cold water (40 cal, 9 g carbs)

Post-workout: 216 cal
2 scoops whey protein powder (216 cal, 50 g protein)
2 scoops L-Glutamine

Dinner: 463 cal
Small handful raw organic almonds (70 cal, 2 g carbs, 8 g fat)
2 cups vegetables (raw or cooked) (60 cal, 15 g carbs)
1/2 avocado (113 cal, 10.5 g fat, 1.5 g protein, 6 g carbs)
Small sweet potato (100 cal, 24 g carbs, 2 g protein)
4 oz lean fish (120 cal, 25-30 g protein) or salmon (18 g protein, 6 g fat)
1 capsule CLA

Although it looks like a lot, its only about 1500-1600 calories of mostly protein. Depending on whether I maintain, gain or lose weight, I may or may not add in an MRP shake as a meal in between post-workout and dinner. I also need to find ways to add more fat to my diet. It's a work in progress.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Fitspo + Fitness tip of the day (:

Daily update: 
Today at the gym I did 20 minutes of HIIT, stretched a lot, and did some abs, chest and back strength training. I mixed my protein shake with some spirulina and acai berry extract for added antioxidants and it tasted really good.

Fitness Tip of the Day:
If you listen to your iPod while you do cardio, turn up your music so that you can't hear how hard you're breathing (but not loud enough to hurt your ears) because if you don't know how hard you're working you'll be encouraged to push yourself harder! If you're thinking of throwing in the towel early, always keep in mind: "I don't stop when I'm tired; I stop when I'm done."

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Inspirations / Day 5 & 6 of my Fitness plan

I thought I should share with you all my major fitness inspirations. They are Andrea Pasutti (above) and Carissa Monroe (below). Andrea majorly inspires me because she achieved exactly what I want to achieve. She went from being very underweight, 80 pounds, to a healthy, gorgeous and lean 107 pounds and she doesn't even look an ounce heavier. In fact, she actually lost inches around her waist from building muscle. Carissa Monroe also went from skinny to getting fit. She almost died after an SUV smashed her against a steel fence. She managed to get back on her feet and in the gym just months after having both of her legs completely shattered. They're both so beautiful and amazingly inspiring to me.

As for my exercise, yesterday was day 5 but I didn't get a chance to go to the gym. I did calisthenics and some resistance/toning exercises on my bum and abs. Leg lifts, lunges, squats, leg kicks, back kicks, side planks and oblique raises! My lower half was so sore afterwards! Today was day 6 and I didn't get to go to the gym again, so I decided to use it as a rest day. I'll do 4 days of cardio next week to make up for my not going to the gym. But that's okay because I love cardio and HIIT. (:

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 4 of my Fitness plan

Sorry I forgot to post this yesterday. I did about 15 minutes of HIIT on the treadmill and then did a 5-10 minute cool-down at a medium pace. I also did some strength training on my back and calves, and a little yoga to keep myself stretched out. I really like HIIT. I meant to do more today but I woke up too late. Today I'll probably do some low impact cardio and yoga since I can't go to the gym.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Fitness tip of the day + fitspo!

Fitness Tip of the Day:

Don't take ibuprofen or painkiller after a workout! They are highly ineffective at relieving muscle soreness, and some studies have shown that the drugs may actually suppress muscle growth when taken after a workout! Instead, take a supplement called L-Glutamine, an essential amino acid that helps with soreness, muscle recovery and protein synthesis. It's calorie free so why not? :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Day 3 of my Fitness plan

Today's a cardio day. My leg is still swollen and hurts but I powered through it. I did 30-45 minutes of dance and aerobics. 

A woman named Sonya has a dance company in Russia and posts online lessons like this one: 
She's my inspiration to get fit. She looks so amazing. (Both pictures here are Sonya)

Also its okay if you don't speak Russian, its still easy to follow along if you're interested. (:

Fitness tip of the day!

Drink water! A lot of people forget that drinking plain water not only helps keep your metabolism up, but it helps to control appetite. Stay hydrated and you may lose more weight, your skin may clear up from acne & dryness, you may have more energy, and you can build or maintain muscle more efficiently! (muscles are 60% water after all.)

Picture is Marisa Miller (:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Before Pictures

I took these yesterday. I look pretty scrawny. I hope that I can tone up and put some muscle on. My current weight is about 87 or 88 lbs. I'm 5'5'' & my body fat % is around 12-15%
I'm aware that I fall in the underweight category. my body weight is naturally low, but depression has caused me to lose weight.


Day 2 of my Fitness plan

Hit the gym early today! I think it's better in the morning. I feel very pumped up even though my arms are sore. Today I did strength training on my arm and back muscles. 
I'm worried for tomorrow because it is a cardio day, but I fell in the pool last night and damaged my left leg. Its really swollen and bruised and it hurts to walk on it. I don't know if I should do cardio tomorrow because it may be too hurt for high/moderate impact exercise. 

Anyway, this is my workout for today. I did the following 3 sets in *super-set intervals followed by a short (45 seconds) rest and then continued with the last set. 

*Super-set means two consecutive sets with no rest in between
**Tri-set is three consecutive sets with no rest in between

Back Extension: super-set + 1 set of 10 reps with 4 kg kettle weight
Bent over rows: super-set + 1 set of 10 reps with 5 lb dumbbells
Seated cable rows: **tri-set of 10 reps at a resistance level 6
Bicep curls: super-set + 1 set of 10 reps with 5 lb dumbbells
Tricep Kickbacks: super-set + 1 set of 10 reps with 5 lb dumbbells
Hammer curls: super-set + 1 set of 10 reps with 5 lb dumbbells
Tricep extension: super-set + 1 set of 10 reps with 5 lb dumbbells
Shoulder press: super-set + 1 set of 10 reps @ 12.5 lbs

I'm about to post some pictures of myself I took yesterday. Hopefully I'll be able to see a difference later on.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 1 of my Fitness plan

Today was leg/abs day at the gym!

I did about 10 minutes of moderate cardio to warm up, then stretched. 

Leg Press: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 50 lbs
Lunges: 3 sets of 10 reps with 5lbs hand weights
Leg Extension: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 55 lbs
Leg Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps @ 27.5 lbs
Crunches: 3 sets of 10 reps
Oblique Crunches: 3 sets of 10 reps

And then I cooled down by fast walking for about 15 minutes

Feb 14th Intake

Breakfast: coffee with original Quaker oatmeal with raisins, splenda and cinnamon! 

calories: ~150
protein: 4 g
carb: 30 g
fiber: 4 g

Lunch: 20 small grilled shrimp and vegetable soup
calories: ~180
protein: 20 g
carb: 12 g
fiber: 4 g

Pre-work out snack: Strawberries and baby carrots 
calories: ~40
protein: 1 g
carb: 8.5 g
fiber: 2.5 g

Post-workout protein: FAGE total 0% (nonfat) plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and splenda (add for taste)
calories: 100
protein: 18 g
carb: 7 g
fiber: 0 g

Dinner: 12 small shrimp, 6 oz fish fillet (both pan seared), side salad with steamed carrots and baby tomatoes, baby red potatoes (I ate 2 of the 4) 

& of course I also drank water during the day!

calories: ~315
protein : 45.9 g
carb: 29.2 g

My Goals and Who I Am

My name is Zasha and my goal is to get fit and toned. I don't have any weight to lose as I'm already thin but I want to work on defining my muscle and eating better in general. I plan to use this blog to document my progress. I'll post my meals, exercise, and photos of my body as I go, and I plan to update everyday.

A bit about me:
I'm 17 years old, almost 18.
I'm am 5'5'' tall and weigh 87 lbs.
My ethnicity is Russian/Estonian & German
The only animal products I eat are fish, Greek yogurt and Whey protein
I have a black belt in martial art taekwondo