Michelle Bridges Body Transformation Challenge

I have some more exciting news! I feel like that’s all I’m writing about these days, but hey that’s not a bad thing! For those of you who follow my Facebook or Instagram are already filled in… but I am so excited to share that I am deep into day 2 of a 4 week preview of Michelle Bridges 12 week body transformation  (we will call it “12wbt“). By being a part of a fabulous group called Girls Gone Sporty I was chosen to preview this program before Michelle opens it up to US peeps. Seriously debating at first, as I knew it would be a HUGE commitment to sacrifice the food I love and my regular workout routine. But I am SO glad that I decided to take the plunge!

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Michelle is the workout queen of Australia who hosts the Biggest Loser over there as Jillian’s counterpart here in the US. This plan is AWESOME in every way. And trust me, I am not paid to say that! Each meal, snack, drink is planned for my specific needs and each workout (6 days a week) is tailored to suit my goals and fitness ability. I have only gone through 2 workouts so far, and let me tell you…I have never been through a tougher session in my life! And loved every minute of it. That feeling of going to bed with a sense of accomplishment and waking up ready to do it again, is what it’s all about for me.
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Some of the “pre-season” tasks included:
  • Setting goals- doing my personal best, dedicating and committing 100%, seeing my best personal results
  • Gearing up- mentally and physically
  • Getting rid of all the junk in the kitchen- out of site out of mind!
  • Organizing the plans- I have a folder of all the information I need as well as meals posted on my fridge
  • Measuring  and taking a pre season fitness test- testing will be taken throughout the 4 weeks
Check, check and check!! Now onto the workouts, delicious meals (there are so many to choose from) and weekly challenges to get motivated.
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This my friends, is going to be it for me. This is what is going to get me 150% dedicated and I cant wait to see the results! There is no way that I will get off track these next 4 weeks. No matter what fitness level, age, or weight, this plan gives you all the tools to succeed. Not to mention, Michelle is a superstar with the best attitude! Stay tuned for much more to come. Can’t wait to share my journey with you guys and keep you posted as to how things are going!
Have you every used an online personal trainer? If so, please do share in the comments!
Keep up with Michelle Bridges: Website / Facebook / Twitter
Disclaimer: I am being compensated for this campaign, however all opinions are my own.

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Nike Women’s Half Marathon / Post Marathon Tips

Yesterday was very special day…it was my 3rd Nike Women’s Marathon. Year after year, I am amazed by this event. Nike does an UNBELIEVABLE job with this extravaganza! Each year they have continued to improve certain aspects of the expo and race day activities. If you are to do any marathon, I highly suggest this be the one. Although a VERY hard course, hilly, foggy and cold… 30-40 thousand people gathering the streets of union square is an amazing sight to see, it gives me chills every time and I am already looking forward to next years experience.

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// Photos compliments of NWM Facebook page. //

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(And a pretty cool guy waiting for me at the finish ;))

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(The blue box gave me a little kick to get my butt to the finish!)

After many trials and tribulations, ie- super longggg tiring runs on the weekends and waking up at the crack of dawn to get in a quickie before work…..I am so over the moon about setting my new PR!!! I ran an 8’37″/mi pace, 1:55! Never regret a workout. Never regret a run. Because when it comes down to it, it was all worth it. This course was insanely hard, but you can truly conquer anything you put your mind to.

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You did it!! Now what? Here are some post marathon tips that have worked for me.

  • Walk it out. Right after the marathon keep walking to reduce stiffness. You want to keep your blood circulating in order to repair damaged muscle tissue. Walk another mile (I know it sounds horrible but worth it) or you can just walk to your car.
  • Stretch. It’s SO important to stretch post marathon!! Your muscles will be sore and cramping will likely occur. Whether you decide to use a foam roller or not, make sure to make time for lots of stretching to reduce injury and bring length back to fatigued muscles.
  • Drink lots of fluids. H2O, protein shakes and electrolytes are your best friend. You just lost tons of water and you need to replenish your body. Nourish, nourish, nourish and take care of your body by adding the nutrients back that were lost during your run.
  • Snack time! After a run, you are depleted of calories and need all the nourishment you can get. This is a good time for carbs! Yippee!
  • Ice any painful areas. Often knees and feet will need a little attention. Ice 15 minutes on, 15 minutes off that same day after your race to avoid injury. Ice the following day as well if needed.
  • Continue to recover in the days after your race. Take a few days of rest directly after your marathon. Some people say to take even more than a couple of days off, but I like to run a short 2 miles 2-3 days after the race to relieve soreness.
  • Most importantly, listen to your body and give it what it needs. There are many different opinions of what your body needs post marathon, but this is what I have found has worked for me and I hope it helps for you!

Now, after the pain subsides, you finally feel a sense of accomplishment. Time to look into finding your next race? You decide. 😉

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Marathon Must-Haves

Marathon season is here! (At least I think so.) I am super excited for all the races coming up. Nike Women’s Marathon, Women’s Health Run10Feed10 10k, possibly the US Half Marathon, then last  but certainly not least, the Paris Marathon in April!! I thought I’d put a list together of a couple of my marathon essentials.

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1. CEP Compression Sleeves: OMG! These are my new best friend.  I have had a lot of knee and ankle pain the past year and these have completely turned things around for me. I honestly don’t think I can run long distance without them. Other than getting new running shoes, these have helped tremendously. They improve blood circulation, stabalize muscles and joints, prevent injury and I have noticed an increase in performance. They also have actual socks as well, which I haven’t tried but wouldn’t be opposed to.

2. iFitness Hydration Belt: I have not tried using a hydration belt, but I just ordered this one after getting a recommendation from a friend. She has used a few others that were not up to par and said this one fits low on your waist, is extremely comfortable and easy to use. Hydration belts are completely based on preference. Some people like to use hand held water bottles, but I’m really looking forward to avoiding the hydration stations and trying a belt.

3. GU Chomps /  GU Gel: Wow. I fly with these things. This is what got me through my first marathon. They give you so much energy and stamina to keep going. As soon as you feel like you’re loosing endurance, pop a chomp or some gu gel and you’re on your way. I like the caffeinated options the best and chomps opposed to gel during the race. Pre-race GU gel is okay, but doesn’t taste as good as the chomps. I couldn’t run a marathon without these!!

4. KT Tape: When not wearing a compression sleeve, this is good to wrap your knees with. Make sure to read up about how to apply. I used KT tape during my first marathon and it helped alleviate the pain in my knees. This is also personal preference when choosing to wear a compression sleeve or tape. Both work great.

5. Nike Fuel Band: This thing does it all. In fact, I love all Nike products. The fuel band tracks everyday activity, calories burned, movement and distance traveled using an LED screen. There is a second generation Fuel band coming out soon which also includes a heart rate monitor as well as other improvements including real time syncing, and notifying you when you need to get moving! Love the fuel band as opposed to other regular watches because it converts activity to “Nike Fuel” and allows you to compare activity with friends. This thing is amazing. You can read more about it here.

What’s on your marathon must have list? Do you have any runs coming up?

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Fall Inspired Cuteness

We are full swing into Fall around my house! Besides running 9 miles, I spent my Sunday getting in the Halloween spirit and baking these delicious pumpkin muffins. Skinnytaste.com has been my go-to for healthy recipes and I can’t get enough of their “Skinny Pumpkin Madness“. And yes, I even brought out the skeleton plates. 🙂

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Click here for the recipe.

Going to a Halloween party or need a cute idea for a Halloween lunch in the office? Ok, I wish I can say I thought of this, but leave it to good ol’ Pinterest. Such cute, healthy ideas, definitely planning to make these soon. (I don’t know who made these, sorry for not having a reference.)

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Are you excited for Halloween and getting in the spirit?

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How to Structure Your Workout & Avoid Plateaus

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Hitting the gym day after day can get monotonous especially if you are going through the same routines over and over again. But I’ve noticed that I get comfortable with the same machines and exercises and keep going back for more because that’s what I know. Recently I’ve hit my plateau which has got me thinking it’s time to switch things up. My regular routine consists of the following:

  • Leg day
  • Biceps and back
  • Triceps and cardio
  • Full cardio day
  • And just a smidge of chest exercises here and there
  • And most recently a lot of glute exercises!
  • (no shoulders- but they are still hit with other exercises)

To be completely honest this does get a little boring, but not only that, my body has gotten used to these exercises and knows what to expect. We want to make sure to keep our bodies guessing. It is important to constantly change your routine, work new muscle groups and get your heart rate up with different forms of cardio. There are SO many different ways to switch up your routine. Here are a few to try:

  • Get out of your comfort zone! Try yoga, take a kick boxing class at your gym, get outside for a run or an outdoor bootcamp or circuit training, whatever is most foreign to you! Ive recently fallen in love with Nike Training Club and Burn Pilates.
  • Include supersets or dropsets. A superset is two exercised back to back with no rest in between. A dropset is when you perform your exercise and immediately drop the weight and continue with more repetitions.
  • Increase the weight and decrease repetitions. Make your workout challenging, don’t just go through the motions. Focus and increase difficulty levels! (Pre workout helps here of course. I love Optimum Platinum PRE)
  • Add in or swap for new exercises- there are tons out there peeps! Don’t be afraid to try something new.
  • Incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training). You will burn FAR more calories and a shorter amount of time. Make use of your precious time and burn as many calories as possible!!
  • Reverse the structure of your workout… —->

Depending on who you ask, each will tell you a different theory behind how to structure your workouts. A routine that works for some may not work for others. We are all different, it’s just a matter of finding what works for you. I have found best for me to train a focused body part first then finish with cardio because I want all my energy focused on a specific muscle group and I am most focused when I first arrive to the gym. I usually start with a couple of core exercises to get warmed up, then move on to compound exercises. A compound exercise is a multi-joint movement that works more than one muscle group. Compound exercises typically use more energy to perform and don’t isolate one muscle group. For example, I like to start with push ups, tricep dips or pull ups on arm day and lunges or squats on leg day. After compound exercises I then prefer to go into the more isolated exercises. Isolated exercise means you are focused on a specific muscle with one single joint movement. Lastly, cardio if there is any energy left to spare. 😉

My point here? Get creative! Try new things, change the structure of your routine and constantly keep that body of yours guessing. I know a lot of you here are beginners, so why not find a gym in your city that can help you achieve your goals? If you are in the Sacramento area, find a Gym in Sacramento. I can also give you some suggestions of gyms, training, different classes and boot camps here in San Francisco. Start today, so you can look back a year from now and see how far you’ve come.

What is your favorite way to bust out of a plateau?

*I was financially compensated for this post. The opinions are completely my own, based on my experience.

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Meet Lisa Corsello of Burn / Top 5 Reasons to Circuit Train

Hey everyone! I was recently invited to attend a Burn pilates class here in San Francisco, and LOVED it! It’s not your ordinary pilates class, but super high intensity circuit training involving both strength training, cardio and much more. This class kicked my butt (in a good way) and I cant wait to go back! So excited to introduce you all to Lisa who is the owner AND founder of Burn. This woman does it all and is such an inspiration to me. She will also give us the top 5 reasons why circuit training is so important to include in your workout regime. Here she is:

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Top 5 Reasons to Circuit Train

By Lisa Corsello, owner and found of Burn

Circuit training, put very simply, is all about doing a variety of exercises with a relatively short amount of time in between each set.  Circuits can be done just about anywhere, with just about any combo of exercises.  Not sold yet? Read on for the Top 5 Reasons To Circuit Train.  I guarantee once you try it you’ll agree. . . . .

1.  Efficiency:  If you’re looking to get the most out of your workout time, circuit training is the best example of quality over quantity.  Moving from one circuit to another keeps the heart rate up and helps increase endurance due to the lack of rest time and the different challenges presented by each exercise.

2.  Work Harder: Because each exercise in a circuit is performed for a relatively short amount of time, it’s harder to get bored.  Think about it- if you know you’ll be on a spin bike for an hour, how likely are you to challenge yourself the entire time?  If you know you’ll be on the spin bike for 3 minutes and then onto something totally different, you are more likely to push harder on the bike.

3.  Reduce chance of injury:  Because circuits are designed to incorporate many different exercise techniques, the body becomes not only stronger, but better able to take on stress.  By training the entire body in many different ways, circuits help create a better overall fitness foundation and level of body awareness that can help reduce injuries in and out of the gym.

4.  Burn more calories:  Circuits work the entire body, which results in more calorie burn during and after the workout.  The after– burn differs, depending on the person, but studies show that the resting metabolic rate remains elevated after a workout and long-term as more lean body mass is achieved. In other words, you keep burning calories, even after your workout.

5.  Break through plateaus:  Plateaus can be caused by the body’s adaptation to a workout.  What was once challenging gets easier over time, if done consistently. Circuit training, therefore, helps keep plateaus at bay by offering a variety of different movements to keep the body focused and working.

Google top circuit workouts and follow the high-intensity exercises,without pausing, three times through, at least three days a week, and you’ll be showing off a sleeker body by the end of the month.

If you are in the Bay Area and prefer group circuit exercise, come to one of my classes at Burn in San Francisco and torch a few calories. See schedule at www.burnsf.com

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About Lisa Corsello
Lisa is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, nutrition consultant and group fitness instructor who works with clients to create customized, goal-oriented exercise and nutrition plans. Using her extensive training and fitness background, Lisa has developed a popular new fitness technique called
Burn. The 55-minute workout brings the benefits of dynamic individualized workouts to groups using a method that draws upon the best of Pilates, strength and core training for optimal results. Her programs emphasize constant movement using circuits to challenge and improve endurance, agility, balance and strength, with appropriate focus on stressing proper form and method. Each workout incorporates dynamic strength and cardiovascular training with active recovery techniques targeting all major muscle groups. Sessions are intended to be learning experiences that constantly evolve, keeping each one challenging and fresh.

She has successfully adapted and applied her methods to clients with a wide range of abilities and capabilities; absolute beginners needing basic knowledge, enthusiasts who want to increase lean body mass and reduce body fat, people recovering from sports injuries or serious illness, and professional athletes in training. Lisa, a Lululemon Athletica Ambassador, has been a featured fitness expert on WebMDas well as inMy Family Doctor Magazine, LowCarb Magazine, Current Health Magazine, and Cornell University’s Food & Fitness Advisor newsletter. In fact, Lisa is a regularly featured fitness expert on the KPIX Weekend Morning Show. Lisa is currently a contributing fitness expert on SingleMindedWomen.com.

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Thanks again for having us and teaching us your ways Lisa!!

WE HEART BURN!!!

Connect with Burn: Website / Facebook / Twitter / You Tube

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October Goal List

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I don’t know about you guys, but I love fall! Over-sized sweaters, boots, hats…well sort of. In San Francisco it’s now our summer? Anyways, I do love all things that come with fall! But since summer is over lets not get lazy and stop working out! With the holidays near, lets focus on balance. With home cooked meals and family get-togethers around the corner lets not feel guilty for enjoying them, but focus more on balance. Balance with nutrition, workouts and family time. Since yesterday was our first day of October I put together a list of goals this month.

  1. Find a boxing gym and learn how to box!
  2. Focus on portion control and measure portion sizes
  3. Nike Women’s Half Marathon and Run10Feed10 Event
  4. Find a new clean pumpkin recipe to master
  5. Spend time studying to get NCCPT certified- Need to buckle down and hit the books
  6. Inspire at least one person on their fitness journey
  7. Spend more time blogging, writing, and creative thinking
  8. Compile a list of scary movies to re-watch
  9. Rent a cabin with friends for a long weekend
  10. Sweat daily!!

I would love to hear- what’s on your October goal list?
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