P is for Push Ups

P is for Push Ups

Any and everyone who knows me knows I enjoy doing push ups.  I know that sounds strange but I do.  You know why?  Due to another “P” word, powerful.  It makes me feel powerful.

I do them in boot camp and with my personal trainer.  I do them on my own and while working out with my girls.  It is my go-to exercise.

I started doing them when I watched Janet Jackson’s concert “Velvet Rope”.  Her body was so tight in that concert I got on the hotel floor that day (I was consulting and living in extended stay hotels) and just started.  I started on my knees but after two weeks of completing them consistently daily, I was up on my toes in standard position.  That was a big accomplishment.

We’ve had several challenges incorporating push ups like a 1,000 push up challenge in March.  BOY it was tough and I will say I did not make it BUT there is always tomorrow…or rather next month.  LOL.

Here are some of variations of push ups you are sure to benefit from.  But wait – what does it work?  If you do it right:

  • abs
  • shoulders
  • triceps
  • biceps
  • chest

Beginner

 

Standard

 

Decline

 

Diamond

 

Tips:

Hold your abs in tight – will make the push ups easier to execute

Breathe out when you rise up and straighten your arms

Slow and steady, don’t rush through the movement

Try to bring your chest down to 1 inch above the floor

Use a yoga mat under the hands if the ground is too hard

 

How many push ups can you in 1 minute?

Don’t own a yoga mat, check out some of our recommended favorite brands.
Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.  Also, I am not a personal trainer or physician.  Always check with your physician before starting any exercise program.

 

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Get Insanely Hard Muscles with the 300 Rise of an Empire Workout

Hard muscles

Do you want to know how the hundreds of muscle bound bodies covering the screen in the movie 300 Rise of an Empire got so unbelievably ripped?  Well I did the research for you. Unfortunately the cast exercised for 3 hours a day under a very strict regime set forth by Gym Jones.  However, by researching the program I was able to take the core components of the regimen and create a powerful workout that anyone with one hour a day, a bit of determination and a desire to pack on serious muscle could do in their own gym.

The below is a 4 day a week program, you can do the workouts on any day you choose, but preferably with a days rest in between. Rest no more than 30 seconds between exercises. Do the below workouts for one month and you’ll notice a big difference in your physique.  Warning, this is an intense workout regimen! In addition to warming up adequately, you should properly stretch before and after each workout.

Dynamic Warm-up complex (no rest)

10 Burpees

15 Walking lunges (each leg)

25 Push-ups

40 Jumping jacks 

For the below exercises, use as much weight as you can while being able to use proper technique.  You should be using enough weight that you can barely complete your final rep. 

Workout 1 

Dynamic Warm-up complex 

15 barbell clean and press

12 pull ups

10 Strength Stack cards (with at least 1 Insane Pack card in the mix)

1 minute plank, 1 minute side plank on each side

20 two arm kettlebell (or dumbbell) swing

10 weighted ab crunches

50 yard sprint (preferably with a sled). If you cannot sprint at your gym, do 50 air squats as fast as possible. 

Repeat all the above exercises once 

Workout 2 

Dynamic Warm-up complex 

10 one arm kettlebell (or dumbbell) swing (each arm)

25 barbell deadlifts

10 Strength Stack cards (with at least 1 Insane Pack card in the mix)

30 box jumps

20 man makers

15 goblet squats

15 inverted rows

2 minute jog at 50% intensity 

Workout 3 

Dynamic Warm-up complex 

20 dumbbell military press

12 reverse grip pull-ups

10 Strength Stack cards (with at least 1 Insane Pack card in the mix)

15 walking lunges (each leg)

30 diamond push ups

20 floor wipers

15 barbell upright rows 

Repeat all the above exercises once 

Workout 4 

Dynamic Warm-up complex 

25 dumbbell deadlifts

15 dumbbell clean and press

10 Strength Stack cards (with at least 1 Insane Pack card in the mix)

30 bench step ups

15 inverted rows

15 barbell squats

10 man makers

2 minute jog at 50% intensity 

This article was written by military fitness expert Sergeant Michael Volkin.


Reasons Why I Wake Up Early to Workout

Early morning workout

I have determined the best time of day for me to get my workout in is first thing in the morning.  It took a while for me to draw this conclusion but several things helped me get here.  First let me start by saying I began a regular fitness program in 2005 after being inspired by a co-worker who survived breast cancer.  She was in her 50′s and running half marathons, 10K’s and the like and I said “If she can do it I can do it”.

She totally inspired me and actually invited me out to run with her.  She did not live far from each other so we would get together to run at 7 am every Saturday for a few months working our way up to running in the Susan G. Komen race in Baltimore that Fall.  I did it in honor of her victory against breast cancer.

Fast forward a year later, I was pregnant with my second child and totally dropped out of working out completely.  No more runs or anything.  I was honestly overextended.  I was in the Greater Baltimore Committee The LEADership program which had mandatory all-day meetings.  I was in a Six Sigma Black Belt course at work which meant I was in class 1 week a month, off site to learn DMAIC and I had my regular job in Healthcare I.T. managing major projects for the organization.  I was stretched beyond compare.

After having my son in 2007 I still did not pick up my regimen.  I felt overwhelmed with a newborn and the changes going on at work.  I went out with a friend for Morgan University’s homecoming and she looked AMAZING.  Slim, trim and glowing.  I wanted whatever she was having so she hooked me up with her personal trainer and the rest is history.  I work out with her still to this day.

I mustered up the money and strength to work out with this personal trainer in the evenings after a rigorous day at work at 6 pm 2 days a week.  It was very difficult for me because by the end of the day I was exhausted.  I spoke to my husband and he was also complaining a little about the time I would get home and still had to cook, bathe children and get everyone in bed on those days I had evening workouts.

He suggested I change up my schedule and go first thing in the morning.  I thought I would NEVER be able to get up before 6 am to work out but honestly I did not want to.  I eventually decided to totally change up my schedule and I have been better for it.  Now it is second nature.

Here are some key reasons why I changed up and workout in the early morning:

1.  I am actually a morning person and spending time doing something for myself first thing is like my own “quiet time”

2.  The day gets so hectic, if I don’t get it in then I won’t.  I just know I won’t.  I know me.

3.  I have energy for the remainder of the day which helps to power me through

4.  It feels great afterwards knowing I took time for me.  The later in the day it gets it is not guaranteed

5.  I hear waking up early, working out on an empty stomach helps burn extra fat calories.  There’s still opposing professional opinions on this topic but I would like to think I burn more kcals on an empty stomach

6.  I have more energy in the morning so I can give 110% during the workouts

7.  It’s nice and quiet so I can sort of meditate while I work out

8.  If I go to the gym I have free reign because it isn’t ever crowded.  I have my choice of machines

I also found this interesting video on the topic.

Video: Rising Early Could Help Keep You Fit & Slim
http://msnvideo.msn.com/?videoid=b31b3d5c-a351-4b75-9c74-e0f4dd057f1&src=v5:share:sharepermalink:&from=sharepermalink

 

If you ever wondered if it is worth it, these are my reasons why I do it and it has really worked well for me.

What is your workout routine? 

Are you a morning maven? 

Lunchtime diva? 

Or an evening gal who prefers to get it in later in the day? 

Leave a comment and let me know.


Loyal Workout – WOW Link Up #23

Welcome to this week’s Workout Wednesday (WOW) Link Up!

Brought to you by your hostesses 

Diatta Harris | Femme Fitale Fit Club and Sheila Simmons | The Frugal Exerciser.

 

Workout Wednesday Link Up co-hostesses

Intro, intro, intro, introducing……our new co-hostesses of this link up

Amanda | Eat Hard Work Hard, Natalie | Mean, Green, Clean Eating Teen and Jenn | Comeback Momma

Co-hostesses

Meet our lovely co-hostesses

They all have really cool blogs full of information so stop by there, read some posts, leave some comments, share and subscribe of course so you constantly receive their latest and greatest blog posts.  

You can also check them out on the social media channel scene.

Amanda | Blog | Twitter | Instagram

Natalie | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Jenn | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We are very happy to have you join our Link Up Party.  *Ahem* have you noticed how I keep naming these link ups after party songs?  Cause this is a PARTY!!!

This week’s song title is Loyal by Chris Brown.  My hubby has been singing the hook to this song all week and I finally decided to add it to my workout music list.  This song (clean version of course) cracks me up with how simple it is.  Actually I’m being nice using the word simple but you get my point.  

Several of us bloggers also got together to create a FitTube Tag video tag on Youtube to share more about what we are about and why we do what we do.  Go to YouTube and enter hashtag #fittube to find our videos. 

Now let’s get on to the party!!

Disclosure:  Regardless of which blog you post your link, it will display on Femme Fitale Fit Club,  The Frugal Exerciser, Eat Hard Work Hard, Mean, Green, Clean Eating Teen, and Comeback Momma blogs. 

Point & Purpose:

The purpose of this link up party is to mix and mingle and support each other’s sites by visiting, subscribing and/or leaving a comment.  Please do not drop a link here, disappear and not follow through by visiting other party goers’ sites. 

Theme:

We are linking up blog posts, Google+ posts or Facebook posts related to FITNESS, RUNNING, HEALTH or WELLNESS.  

Simple Rules:

1. Follow, Like and Subscribe to your hostesses and co-hostesses:

2.   Don’t be a wallflower.  I can not stress this enoughShow some comment luv and support to other party goers of this link up by visiting their blogs and either leave a comment on a post, subscribe or both!  Visit at least others who have joined the party.

4.  Invite your like-minded friends!  We love finding and reading new blogs so spread the word so we can increase the size of our parties every week til we make the walls sweat!!!!  I told ya we party hard!  :-)

5.  Use hashtag #wowlinkup when you comment on someone’s post for easy identification.

6.  Last but definitely not least, HAVE FUN!  This IS a party.

Femme Fitale Fit Club
GRAB OUR BADGE CODE 

 

 



FitTube Tag

FitTube Tag

I am extremely excited.  Femme Fitale Fit Club is teaming up with some amazing and awesome fitness, health, wellness and running bloggers to bring to you our first ever FitTube Tag.

What is FitTube Tag?  It is basically 20 questions each of us answers via video.  I am sure to learn some new things about the ladies I’ve been linking up with each and every Wednesday during our Workout Wednesday Link Ups and vice versa.  Each new FitTube Tag series is theme based. 

The theme for this first one is:  Getting to know you (very original I know – but hey it’s a start).

Want a sneak peek of who is joining us for this initial round? 

See below and click on their names to get to their Youtube Channel and subscribe so you don’t miss ONE FitTube Tag video as it’s published.  You can also search for our videos using hashtag #fittube on Youtube.

Diatta | Femme Fitale Fit Club

Markita | Sweshfit

Tiki | Healthy Living Tiki

Natalie | Clean Eating Teen

Pamela | Gym Free Fitness

Sheila | The Frugal Exerciser

On the other hand – if you are a blogger/vlogger and would like to join in on the fun simply send an email to Diatta at Diatta@femmefitalefitclub(dot)com and we will take it from there.

Twenty Questions

  1. How did you come up with the name for your blog
  2. Why did you start your blog?
  3. Do you have tattoos?  Where?
  4. What is the shortest you have ever worn your hair?
  5. What is the first job you ever earned a paycheck?
  6. What high school did you attend?
  7. Who is your best friend?
  8. What is your favorite dessert?
  9. What’s on your music playlist right now?
  10. Are you a type A or Type B person?
  11. When’s the last time you received a speeding ticket?
  12. Do you prefer men with long or short hair?
  13. Do you prefer to workout in a group or alone?
  14. What is another fitness/running blogger you like and why?
  15. What is your favorite TV show?
  16. What is your favorite book?
  17. What is your favorite food?
  18. What is your favorite way to relax?
  19. What is the next trip you have planned?
  20. Did you have a New Year’s Resolution? How is it going?

We kick this off Wednesday, April 16, 2014 all throughout the day so join us, leave comments on our Youtube channel and spread the word.  

We will be doing this once a month so stop back by to see the next series of #FitTube Tag.

 

 


The DCNs of Fitness

Military fitness trainer and inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards,  Sergeant Michael Volkin, has only three main rules for staying in shape. He refers to all three of these rules as the DCNs of fitness. “If you use my rules of DCN, you will have a killer body and be healthier than ever” he claims. So what is DCN? We wanted to know too, so we asked Sergeant Volkin.

Question: Sergeant Volkin, you have said the DCNs of fitness encompass everything you need to get and stay in shape, can you tell us what DCN stands for and why it’s so important?

Sergeant Volkin:  DCN is an acronym that stands for diversity, consistency and nutrition.

Diversity is important because your body has an amazing ability to adapt to exercises. But people don’t realize that. I see the same people in the gym month after month doing the same exercises. I call those “zombie workouts”. They are just going through the motions. What they don’t realize is after a while (about 4-6 weeks typically) your workouts start to become less and less effective.  If you spend about 15 minutes a day planning to make your workout the following day a bit different, the difference it would make in your workout is enormous.  Major changes aren’t needed, you could plan to do a new exercise or even change the speed at which you perform your normal routine.  That’s one of the biggest benefits to Strength Stack 52. These fitness cards allow you to constantly introduce new exercises into your routine.

The C in DCN is the hardest for most people to accomplish.  This stands for consistency. You must exercise consistently to get the results you want. Too many people get motivated sign-up for a gym membership then stop after about a month. Have you ever been to a gym in January? It’s a zoo! New people flood the gym every year because of new year’s resolutions, but by February the newbie’s are nowhere to be found.  The best way to exercise consistently is to plan time for your workouts. If you block off an hour a day 7 days a week to work out, you are much more likely to complete your workout. Yes, you should plan for 7 days a week because a couple days out of your week something is going to cause you to cancel your workout. If you plan for 7 and do 5 workouts, that would a fantastic accomplishment. It’s important that you do whatever you can to not schedule anything over your workout time.

Photo credit:  Biokinetic

Photo credit: Biokinetic

The N stands for nutrition. Yes, working out alone could make you fit, but proper nutrition only accelerates that process. I could write a book about how to supplement an exercise program with nutrition, in fact, I have a product soon to be launched called Weight Loss Stack 52 that does just that.  But my advice to you is stop with the fad diets. You don’t need to starve yourself to lose weight, you don’t need to avoid all carbs or go on celebrity diets, simply make smart eating decisions. If you’re hungry, eat something, just instead of eating a bagel; eat something healthier, like a piece of fruit.

Combining those three elements, diversity, consistency and nutrition, you will become as healthy as you want to be.  Most importantly, accomplishing these three elements won’t change your life.  With a little bit of preparation and smart decision making you could make incredible health improvements.


Meal Mondays: Sticky Bourbon Chicken

Sticky Bourbon Chicken by Pinch of Yum

I was stalking …ahem looking at some food sites and found this recipe on Pinch of Yum.  Pinch of Yum has a delectable food site with recipes that will make your mouth water.  This dish in particular looked so delectable I just had to try it myself.  The name alone sounds delectable and I am always searching for new recipes to serve to my picky family and this one looked like the perfect candidate.  I used to make a bourbon chicken for my husband back when we were dating and I honestly can’t find it any more.

Try this one on for size and let me know how your family likes it.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ lbs. chicken thighs (I used boneless skinless – delish!)
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed or sliced ginger (fresh, not dried)
  • 4 cloves crushed garlic
  • 4-5 green onions, cut into thirds or sliced
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
Instructions:
  1. THE NIGHT BEFORE: Combine the soy sauce, oil, vinegar, bourbon, and brown sugar in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Place the chicken in a baking dish with lid and pour the sauce over the chicken. Toss in the ginger, garlic, and half of the green onions. Cover and marinate overnight (or for as many hours as you have before baking).
  2. THE DAY OF: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the chicken and place in greased baking dish with some of the marinade.  
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, basting the chicken with the sauce periodically and/or turning the pieces over to get them baking in the sauce on both sides.
  4. Cook the rice according to package directions.
  5. When the chicken is done, turn the oven temperature to broil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes to get a nice, browned exterior on the chicken. Be sure to watch it so it doesn’t burn.
  6. Remove and serve whole or cut, with extra sauce and scallions.
  7. Serve over the rice

Rating:

I definitely give this dish a 9 out of 10 stars.  It was so yum.  My husband took it to work and was truly enjoying it.  This was definitely a winner.

 Do you plan to try this recipe?


Our Fitness Favorites & Online Store

You may have noticed a new item on our top menu bar……at the end.  YES we opened an Amazon store with all of our fitness favorites from cookbooks, workout DVDs, exercise equipment and much more.  This way we can share what we have used, highly recommend and stand by.

We hope you peruse our “aisles” and check it out.   If there are any questions feel free to leave in comments and we will share our experience with you.

Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links.

 


New Workout Wednesday Co-Hostesses

Workout Wednesday Link Up

Sheila of The Frugal Exerciser and I decided to collaborate on our own blog link up targeting fitness, wellness, health and running blogs.  We named it Workout Wednesday (WOW) Link Up because it was catchy and fairly described what we were blogging about and linking up.

We kicked off our very first Workout Wednesday Link Up on Wednesday, November 6, 2013 and we have been going strong ever since.  We are very excited as this Wednesday will be our 23rd one and it has grown from where we started.

We are growing in other ways too – we have new co-hostesses who have decided to join us!  I am very excited as they have participated in our link ups week after week and have knock out blogs of their own.

Amanda of Eat Hard Work Hard

Natalie of Clean Eating Teen

Stop by their social media channels and show them some love.  Welcome aboard ladies!!!!!

Sunday Sale with Reebok – April 13, 2014

Women's Reebok Spartan Fan Full Zip Hoodie Long Sleeve Tops Z93682

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

Reebok Outlet Sale: $5 Off Purchases of $45+

As if the deals on Reebok Outlet aren’t awesome enough, this Sunday only (4/13) you can get $5 off every purchase of $45 or more !  Summer is just around the corner so you definitely want to make sure you have the right workout gear to keep your program going.

Since everything on Reebok Outlet is already marked down, this is just like getting perfect running weather on a PR day!


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