Wednesday, October 27, 2010

pilates: glute 15/30...

I've been trying out a few different options for strength training recently. I don't mind doing weights and do find the repetitive nature somewhat soothing. But I had a moment of frank honesty with myself and realised from the moment I start doing weights I'm waiting for them to be done and finished. And who wants to be doing that a couple of times a week? Not me...

So I am trying to hunt down a variety of ways to strengthen my musculature because we all want to be able to say "today I strengthened my musculature" with enthusiasm :)

I turned first to Jillian. Of course! I loved her No More Trouble Zones workout, but it is hard and committing to doing that more than once a week is something I'm not up for. So who to turn to after Jillian? The bff, of course! She has recently lost numerous kilos; 3, or so, of which have miraculously recomposed themselves into a gorgeous baby boy.

One of the baby-whisperers mentioned to her that pilates is a great form of exercise. I think the baby is too young to start exercising myself but who am I to question :) But, if its good enough for the bff & junior then its good enough for me.

So I tried an "everyday pilates workout for beginners" from iTunes - about 5minutes into the routine the demonstrator mentioned the workout was specifically designed for "all you over 50's out there". Which is not me by the way. It should have been easy then, no? Well, no it wasn't. But it wasn't much of a challenge either.

So I learned my lesson, read the reviews for some other dvds and found one that offers beginners, intermediate and advanced options. Love it. Its relaxing and centering but challenging. And there are some killer super glute maneuvers in there.

The side kicks were a hit with the landsoftly glutes and are getting a special mention as glute exercise number 15. The routine I do has quite a few of these and I have to say the whole side area from the waist to mid thigh is burning - afterwards the instructor tells us to make a fist and rub that area. If I could purr I would - it is bliss, and I have taken to doing this when ever I do anything that remotely using my glutes.

LandSoftly Out.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

wrestling: glute 14/30...

I'm pleased to introduce glute exercise number 14...the sumo squat. I quite enjoy these, they feel like a stretch exercise as well as a booty shaper. Surprisingly though, I do not like them enough to challenge this record.

Using a wide stance, feet out turned and back straight I did a reasonably fast set of 30 of these, trying my damnedest to get as low as possible on each repetition, then followed it up with a set of 20 at a much slower pace and concentrating more on my form. As with all these exercises, they were mixed in with other strength exercises after some cardio. I didn't notice a "burn" as such with these but I was pretty darn grateful when I was upright again.

The argument between the scale and I has escalated since my last post. It is such a punk, it seems to think I'll quit exercising and eating well if tricks me into believing my weight is not shifting at the moment. I fear our patience with each other is dwindling, but I am determined that I shall not break.

A day late, but every day in heart, soul and spirit, I support Spirit Day

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

wrong side of the bed...

Sometimes I meet people and all they do is whinge, nothing is good enough for them, nothing they do is worth celebrating, nothing is the way they want it...blah blah blah. I have a limit on the number of understanding-muffins these people can take from my baked-with-kindness basket and when their order is filled, its filled and they ain't getting any more soft, sweet cake crumbs to help get them out the funk they've gotten in.

This morning, I was unlucky because that person was me and I flew through my basket in record time. Which left me grumpy and, well, grumpier; not a good way to be.

The trigger was my old friend, the scale - I swear it logs on to my blog each evening and if I have said anything regarding its decreasing output in my latest post it decides to frighten me the next morning with some kind of anomaly. I'm so on to you scale...I'm deleting your username and password...

After my weigh in everything was wrong, my coffee wasn't right, one half of my english muffin was too toasted and the other was under done, the butter was too oily, the milk was too white, Mr C was too lovely, then not lovely enough - oh man, my life is so tough people!

Have I gone through your basket now too?

I wanted to sit on the couch watch some sappy drama and eat poptarts covered in nutella. And probably cry a bit too. Or alot.

I thought about what Mizfit would say, and that Dietgirl would probably kickbox my butt, SkinnyLatte would totally back them up and want to shake sense into me, my dear friends would give me a heavy dose of slap therapy, even the bff would whack me around a little, the DragonLady would save all the cake for herself, give me tough love, and tell me to wake up to myself. Jillian would be so over me that she'd be speechless at my self dramatics.

So, after that session of self-help, I did some exercise instead. 

I'm usually an evening exerciser so the change of pace instantly got me thinking about things other than how terrible my life had managed to become in one morning. I did Pilates - me and my (still-not-recovered-from-banish-fat-workout) abs clunked through; afterwards we group-hugged and left together with the glutes and the rest of the core feeling much better about things.


Monday, October 18, 2010

side kick: glute 13/30...

I did a new class (via video) yesterday - it involved some truly heinous moves. The old nemesis, jumping jacks, brought along a new frenemy called burpees. I can't help myself, I love to hate to love-hate them...yes, that does make sense.

Anyway, side kicks were included and I noticed immediately that these really got the butt and outer thighs working hard. I am seriously pear shaped so something that works the ol'saddle bags (meet them here) is welcome around these here parts. Y'all, we are honoured to have side kicks as glute exercise number 12.

The exercise video was none other than Jillian's "Banish Fat Boost Metabolism" dvd - you all know I have some major love for Jillian. So this was a no brainer - I loved it. But it might easily be called "Wake Up Tomorrow and Have Trouble Walking, Bending, Standing and Sitting".

In other news, the downward trend on the scales continues. Some lounge pants that I bought last winter because I could not resist their plushy softness but could not squeeze into either have entered general circulation amongst the array of sloppy trackpants I love to get about it.

One of the side effects of shrinking in body is this weird perception of how loose clothes should be. Because baggy is comfy, people. It might look sloppy but its like walking around in a cosy quilt or something. And, who wouldn't want that?

I am off, to get about in my super comfy, baggy yet beautiful lounge pants. Welcome to the week everyone xxx

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

raising a glass: glute 12/30...

I'm not sure what to call this exercise - here it is in explanation form...

I have done this in several pump classes of old and one instructor would always ask us to imagine a glass of champagne was stuck on the sole of our shoe and we had to raise it up reading for filling. This instructor often appeared hungover judgement, I'm just saying :)

Anyways, I did two sets of 30 of these on each side and I have to say my butt was screaming. If butts had tear ducts they would have been weeping too.


And that would be very creepy indeed...a crying butt, ewww...suffice to say, this move really seems to target my glutes and banging out 30 one after the other was really difficult. I had to take a couple of breaks in there so my entire butt didn't fall off with shear exhaustion.

I realise my butt falling off and crying on the ground is an extremely sad image for everyone so here is a positive ending...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

over troubled water: glute 11/30...

So I built a bridge with my butt for glute exercise number 11 and got over it.

Check out this awesome set of exercises for some general guidelines on how to do the bridge.

Can't help but do some reflection on this exercise - just before Mr C and I got married I did the bridal thing and threw myself into some exercise classes. At the end of one of them we'd go through a series of cool down type strength moves and the bridge was one of them. I could barely get my butt off the floor - I would be trying with all my might and it looked like I'd just plonked myself on the ground and thought about something really hard.

Fast forward 7years, an extra 10 kilos gained&lost and I finally got it together, worked out which muscles I was meant to use for this dang maneuver and I could hold a bridge for a solid 60seconds. And it looked like I was actually doing something.

Fast forward another 3years to today, 20 more kilos lost and I'm doing these things on one leg - advanced style with my main girl Jillian cheering from the side lines. Those days of being unable to move my booty off the floor are water under the bridge baby. I'm a riot with these phrases :)

And it does work the booty (and the abs) - its an exercise where I feel it working immediately, clenching those muscles up off the floor and holding them there makes me pretty sore. There's no waiting for tomorrow to see if the glutes have been worked to their maximus.

I honestly don't even know what I was doing all those years ago, it doesn't seem like a masters in coordination is really required. But I remember looking over at the other people in the class and just not understanding how they managed to get their bootys so far off the ground. Makes me pretty darn grateful that I got myself together and worked it out.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

a friday favourite and glute 10/30...

I used to do Pump classes with the bff. We would go during our lunch break while we were "working" together. When we first started we would get changed before and after the class but slowly but surely we ended up wearing our sweats all day. We were doing said "work" together in an engineering department and lets just say the dress code was pretty lax. We were the only ones who noticed our slip in sweatsville. We were very comfortable.

The dead lift is a favourite of any pump class - Jillian incorporates this move with a bicep curl in her No More Trouble Zone workout. I realise now that back when I did all those Pump classes that I wasn't doing this maneuver properly. So, here it is being highlighted as number 10 in the world renown glute exercise challenge.

I know I wasn't doing it properly because I used to just flop over and let my arms hang down - seriously, it was a totally passive move. Now I realise I'm meant engage my abs the whole time, standing upright to begin with, knees soft but not bent, fold over at the waist and then actually use my glutes and hamstrings to pull me back up. I repeated a set of 30 of these, after some cardio and mixed in with other moves.

The area in the lower middle of each [ahem] cheek is quite sore now.

Because its Friday, and I just had an extra coffee while watching Project Runway, I want to celebrate another love the bff and I have: Tim Gunn. I know what you're thinking, Pump classes and Tim Gunn, we are tres chic :) If we were both gay men we might have a falling out over who gets to claim him. Or perhaps we'd just join forces and set up his biggest fan club. Oooo, maybe we'll do this anyway.

a lovely thought from this lovely site

Hope you're all having a fabulous Friday xx

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

plankety plank: glute 9/30...

The glute exercise challenge is ongoing and the ninth exercise I tried in this prestigious category is the plank. The plank involves suspending yourself parallel and horizontal to the ground, on either toes or knees and hands or elbows - thats a whopping 4 alternate configurations before you throw in options using only one hindlimb and one forelimb.

Nevertheless, this is actually an "everything" exercise - some people seem to be big fans of it as part of an ab-focussed work out; for me I need to motivate every muscle from the neck down to hold me in this awkward position for longer than 2 seconds. And for the whole time I am trying my hardest to not let my booty shoot up in the air, seriously focussing on hovering there and keeping my butt in line with the rest of my body is a feat of nature.

I did a series of planks mixed in with other exercises after some cardio, each time holding a plank for 45seconds or so. It was hard. And my muscles were shakey afterwards. And my brain hurt from all the concentrating too.

I hope you're all well out there. In the words of Jillian (whom I haven't mentioned for a record number of posts, but adore ever more), Peace!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

lazy sundays...

from here

Who doesn't love a lazy sunday morning? Lets imagine we're having a cuppa together and chatting away about our favourite things. And by things, I mean food :) I'll go first...

I've recently started adding them to salads. And, oh my, they add something pretty amazing. Try it! We love them especially with coriander (cilantro to you crazy northern americans) and mint. We also had them sliced up on top of a vege frittata the other night, along with some super smelly cheese. Mmmmmm.

Need I say more - a little goes a long way and a lot goes even further, yum!

Luna Bars
My favourite is a toss up between the chocolate raspberry and the protein cookie dough. Mr C loves the choc peppermint, but avoids looking at the label that says "the whole nutrition bar for women", hee hee.
These bars are staple in the pantry - they are our chocolate substitute. I carry one in my bag for those oot'n'aboot cravings. They hit the spot for sweet treat and they absolutely satisfy. A whole bar is 170-180 calories and half of one is a perfect coffee accompaniment.

Great big portabellas roasted with a little blue cheese on top. We have them instead of meat patties on our fake-away hamburgers, along with grainy toast, mushed avocado, tomato, lettuce and roasted bacon.

Greek yogurt
After years and years of searching, there is no substitute for greek yogurt. I think Australia has some of the best yogurts out there - of both greek and regular origins. At the moment, we eat quite alot of fage with cherry jam. My biggest problem with yogurt is that its not easily transportable, spilled yogurt will leave any handbag smelling pretty funkified.

I only just learned last night that dates come from palm trees! I feel completely ill at ease about this, because I adore dates but really dislike palm trees. I feel a little cheated by myself - first off, how can I dislike a tree? that is really kind of mean, what did the palm tree ever do to me? - and second off, its just wrong to dislike something that produces one of the worlds best dried fruits. I am working on this dilemma internally, but I think my attitude towards the palm must change henceforth.

Chicken sausage
I'm not sure if is purely a phenonomen of our household, community, country or if it involves the whole world, but we have some big love for the range of organic chicken sausages out there. These are one of our favourites. Cooked (or heated, because they are already fully cooked) and sliced over a salad makes a pretty amazing and satisfying meal.

Ok, my coffee is now empty and I'm starving! I would love to hear about your favourite things, food or otherwise :)

Happy Sunday y'all!