Fitness

The 5 Pieces Of Equipment You Need For A Workout At Home

Let’s face it, we’ve all had those busy weeks where your workouts take the backseat in our daily routine. However, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out completely. With the help of some home additions to your fitness routine, you can bridge the gap between the gym and your free time at home! The following pieces of equipment are easy to store, and extremely versatile when it comes to a variety of workouts and exercises. Another great perk? They’re all really affordable!

Kettlebell

This is one of my favorite pieces of equipment for a reason. After getting certified to train clients with them a few years ago, my eyes were opened to so many effective ways to use them! Take a class or book a session with a trainer to get the basics down, then add this to your home arsenal for some seriously power-packed lifting (and low impact cardio!) sessions.

TRX

This one is also one that is wildly versatile! You can workout every muscle group in your body, and most importantly, scale it to your ability level. Use it to deepen your stretches, yoga poses, or boost your bodyweight exercise strength! It’s a piece of equipment you’ll never outgrow. This particular TRX system is made for home, hooking right onto your door, a tree, or anywhere you want to add an anchor.

Jump Rope

This is a classic for a reason. If you’re not a runner, this is one of the best ways to sneak in your cardio work for the week without a trip to the gym or a long out and back run. I take mine downstairs to my apartment’s outdoor courtyard or garage and knock out a killer Tabata circuit with it, and am done in 20 min or less! This jump rope is easy to pack too, so it’s perfect to take on vacation or a work trip!

Resistance Bands

Bands eliminate the need to invest/clutter your house with free weights. With three different band strengths, you can be challenged across all body parts and resistance levels. The above-linked set is amazing and works for anyone at any fitness level.

Foam Roller

Who wants to lay around at the gym doing this? I used to be a hater of foam rolling, but after seeing how it helped my tense shoulders and back, it got me hooked. I now make sure I spend at least 10 minutes rolling and breaking up knots while I’m watching TV in the evening. It helps me get better sleep too, as a bonus! This particular foam roller is THE best and actually gets your knots out. If you’re going to invest in one, this one’s the way to go. It’s even on sale right now!

Outfit Details

Top: Heathered Gray Cropped Hoodie, Forever21 (OLD), similar here

Pants: Align Pant II 25″, Lululemon

Shoes: Wool Runners, Allbirds

Sunglasses: Aviator Sunglasses, Ray Ban in Black

Makeup Details

Foundation: c/o Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint, Medium

Primer: Hourglass Ambient Light Correcting Primer, in Luminous Light

Blush: Marc Jacobs Air Blush, in Lines and Last Night

Highlighter: c/o Glossier Haloscope, in Quartz and Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder, in Incandescent Light

Brows: Marc Jacobs Beauty Brow Wow, in Medium Brown

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette

Lashes: Everlasting Lashes, House of Lashes x Sephora

Lips: Patent Finish Lip Color, Tom Ford in Erotic

Makeup c/o Caitlin @ Sephora Union Street

Photo by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

3 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Results

If you’ve ever busted your ass to get the most out of your workouts/eat healthily, yet somehow come up short when it comes to visually seeing or feeling your results, this week’s fitness post is for you.

I have been getting TONS of questions on this exact topic from clients, and also hearing lots of complaints from my friends: “I work out 5 times a week! What the HELL am I missing here?!” It’s a feeling that’s super frustrating, and I feel you, as I’ve been there too before.

From past experience, I’ve determined that there are three main factors that flush your results down the drain faster than anything, and I’m breaking down the best way (and with the best apps!) to tackle them.

Sleep.

It goes without saying: getting consistent sleep is the key to staying on top of your shit across all areas of your life. Consistency: getting the same amount of hours a night, between 6-8 ideally, is the recipe. Your body performs nearly all of its regeneration process at night, so if you’re burning life at both ends, you’re going to see a serious downturn in your body’s productivity when it comes to working on your body’s metabolism or being efficient at fat burning. What’s that mean? Pro tip: If you want to make your body burn more fat while at rest, hold off on the carbs before bed, or really any food within 2 hours of bedtime if you can. If not, opt for a protein, which is the last macronutrient to burn off. 

Sleep Cycle

This app tracks your sleep, and also offers you analysis on just about every detail imaginable. I have 6 years of data and love seeing it change over time.

Time management.

Also important. The more you can plan out the stuff you CAN control, the better you can weather the stuff you can’t. I spend a couple hours on weekends prepping my healthy meals, doing chores, writing blog posts for the month (that are previously calendared into my schedule), and it makes a huge impact on my week. I stick to my planned workouts, I’ve lowered the number of times I order takeout, or raid the corner store for junk food because I already got my shit in line over the weekend. Every hour during the day has a purpose. Every little detail (seriously.) is Google calendared. Even showers. I know. I’m a psycho. But it works.

Trello

This app is great for project management and allows you to set completion dates/comments. If you hate calendars, this is a viable option. I use it for managing my blog.

Focusing on others’ journeys.

I cannot stress this one enough. The more you focus on how others get their results and how quickly it happens is one of the most toxic things you can do when it comes to maintaining your sanity on making progress in your own lane. What works for someone else may not work for you, and that’s totally normal. Focus on what changes work best for you, and navigate that way instead. It’s easier said than done, and I get it, I’ve fallen victim to it too. Try working with a trainer, life coach, or a group that keeps you focused on your individual goals, and set ground rules/goals centered around your progress.

Chorus

This social group training app allows you to not only work directly with a personal trainer but also gives you a team full of like-minded individuals to help motivate you toward your fitness goal. I am a trainer with Chorus, and it’s been revolutionary for my clients; their motivation has increased with each week, and with my clear defined plan, they’re sticking with their goals.

Photos by Rachel of Rachel Radcliffe Photography

4 Items You Need In Your Gym Bag Now

After years of working out, racing, and teaching classes, I’ve seen it all when it comes to workout gear, mishaps, and the supplements that actually work. Half the battle of your workouts is being properly prepared with the right extras to take your workout (and motivation!) to the next level. I’ve got you covered on the four must-haves that will change your game for better.

Hair elastics that actually work.

As someone who has logged thousands of miles on the trail and in the gym, I’ve tried just about every hair tie imaginable. Over the years, I’ve had waist length hair all the way up to a lob, and extensively process my hair color, which means I need something gentle but still effective. These ties are the ONLY ones that actually do what they say, and are actually unbreakable. I’ve never had one snap; they simply stretch out after months of wear. It takes me about a year to get through all of them (unless I lose them- which is a somewhat regular occurrence), and they don’t break the bank like those stupid ribbon ties, or rip out your hair like the sport ties.

Scunci No-Slip Grip Evolution Jelly Ponytailers

No fuss headphones.

We have all had the struggle of crappy fitting headphones, ones that hurt, and ones that break after a couple weeks. I’ve trained for and ran multiple ultra-marathons, so finding a legit pair of headphones that will withstand the elements, my sweat, and not fall out is HUGE. My ears are small, so it’s always been disheartening never being able to wear earbuds, as most fall out while walking. While I love my Dr. Dre Beats Studio Over Ear Headphones, I need something that’s more practical for the gym and the trail. These are THE BEST, bar none: clear sound, comfortable and adjustable buds, and lightweight. They’ll be the best $29-59 you’ll ever spend, and put your Apple headphones to shame.

Yurbuds Inspire Sweat and Water Resistant Earphones

Yurbuds Leap 100 Wireless Headphones

Fatigue/travel friendly water bottles.

If you’re a corporate jet setter or just need a bottle that’s not going to take up half your briefcase/backpack, these bottles are the best. Both offer a small mouth, making them easy to drink out of and make spills less of an issue, especially when you’re tired and gasping for air mid-workout. They’re both pretty resilient too, I can’t tell you how many times my Bkr has flown off a treadmill or gotten kicked in a group fitness class and not shattered. The Nathan bottle is LIFE CHANGING. Being rubber, you can literally smash it anywhere. It’s my go-to for working out, hiking, and anything travel related.

Nathan FlexShot Water Bottle

Bkr 16 Ounce Glass Water Bottle

Electrolytes that don’t taste like sh*t.

These packets have changed my life, from grueling races, to kicking hangovers in the ass. It’s literally like an IV without the doctor’s visit. It reminds me a little of Hint water, with an electrolyte kick to it. I take it everywhere!

SOS Rehydrate

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

This Is When You Need To Toss Your Workout Gear

My limited edition Carbon38 leggings and sports bras always seem to find themselves at the top of my workout drawer, and I’m willing to bet your A-game pieces do too. However, how many times is too many, and does the limit actually exist?

Yup, it sure does.

Just like anything else, our favorite activewear has an expiration date, and it’s a lot sooner than you think. Why? Two major things: performance, and your health.

Performance

Today’s expertly designed activewear does provide a little pushback to performance lifespan, but not much. Technical fabric with sweat-wicking and/or compressive features fade as time passes, making them ineffective, and your exercise uncomfortable. Not to mention, you also run the risk of getting injured as a result.

Health Reasons

If you’re not sold yet with deteriorating performance, the detrimental effects that holding onto your gear has on your health will seal the deal. Fabric- regardless of type- holds onto bacteria more than any other type of surface, and it can cause some serious damage to your body. Fabrics with a higher nylon or spandex release your sweat more efficiently, keeping it slightly more sanitary for a longer period of time.

I’ve rounded up each individual expiration date for every type of piece, and care tips to keep them up to speed, and why it’s so important to retire them.

Sports Bras

The longest you should ever keep your sports bras around is a year and even less if you’re a lover of high impact workouts. The easiest ways to spot your bra’s demise are: chafing, riding up, and overall ease of getting it on (if it used to be super difficult).

Ways to tell it’s time: If the cups start to loosen up and you’re getting that bunchy look around the edges and on the straps, it’s time to say goodbye!

Ways to help lengthen their life: If it’s an adjustable bra, try to use the loosest settings first. Try to avoid drying them, and keep them free from fabric softeners and other add-ins.

Leggings

It’s even less! Especially if your leggings have compressive features and fabrics, their lifespan ranges from six months to a year depending on how well you care for them, and how often they’re worn.

Ways to tell it’s time: They start feeling awful: itchy and super pilly, or you find yourself feeling soaked for longer periods of time. If you’re constantly adjusting them, it’s also a safe bet they need to go.

Ways to help lengthen their life: It’s all about how you wash them! Use mild detergent, avoid drying, and avoid wearing your highly technical ones out on the town, or for extended periods of time. If you have super pricey activewear (think Michi/Lucas Hughes/etc), I HIGHLY suggest this detergent for those few items, and to hand wash them.

Sneakers

Your beloved sneaks have a functional life of three to six months depending on mileage/intensity of your workouts. Seriously. This is my own personal hell. As a self-proclaimed shoe freak, my closet is a museum of some of the most iconic heels and sneaks out there, and I feel like a piece of my soul dies every time I have to decommission a pair. However, it can be a big deal to your health if you don’t, making injuries/infections a more likely story.

Ways to tell it’s time: The cushioning along the heels and arches are wrinkling, shoes tilt inward when looking at them from behind, and if they’ve become easy to slip on.

Ways to help lengthen their life: #1: WEAR SOCKS. Next, make a rotation for your workout sneaks, it will allow them to get worn in equally and push out their lifespan a little longer than if you wear them every time you workout. Don’t mix work and leisure: save your workout shoes for the studio! I also SWEAR BY these cedar inserts that help dry out my shoes and keep odors at bay.

Photo by Christine of Christine Hanks Photography

….andddd….

Surprise!

I and some of my fellow bloggers have collaborated to host a $1,000 Nordstrom gift card giveaway for you! Keep reading for details on how to enter:

 

Destination Sweat

San Francisco is the hub of amazing startups and the coolest ways to sweat, so it comes as no surprise that our fitness startups are one of kind. I am excited to partner with Sculpt Escapes as a Barry’s Bootcamp instructor, leading our locals in a fun and challenging outdoor beach workout on Crissy Field on January 9th, called Brunch & Burn here in the Marina.

…because… FOOD. WORKOUTS.  My two must haves in life. Plus, its guaranteed to be amazing, as the Marina is the epicenter of brunch and fitness here in SF.

Sculpt Escapes is a startup that puts on local and destination retreats for yoga and fitness, to include places like Costa Rica, Tahoe, and many more. Stay tuned for their next destination retreats in 2016. I can’t wait to take a trip soon!

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For January’s Brunch & Burn, I’ll be bringing my Barry’s class sass and resistance bands, and motivating you though fun partner exercises and some ass-kicking beach exercises from my military days. Additionally, if you haven’t pulled the trigger yet on signing up for one of my Barry’s classes, you will also get a 20% off sign up code for one of my classes, as a part of your registration for the event! Double win.

Signups are open now online here: https://www.sculptescapes.com/brunch-and-burn.html

For current updates and more info, check out our event on Facebook as well.

Outfit Details:

Bra: Michi Antigravity Bra in Black

Top: c/o Barry’s Bootcamp Tank (OLD)

Bottoms: Lululemon Wunder Under Rolldown *Luxtreme

Beauty Details

Foundation Primer: Becca EverMatte Poreless Priming Perfector

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Medium

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Smoky Palette (High/Combust/Thirteen)

Mascara: YSL Shocking in Deep Black

Brows: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown

Lips: YSL  Rouge Volupte Shine, in Fuchsia in Excess

Nails: OPI Do You Have This Color in Stockholm?

 

Photos by Julia McBee

The Surfer Girl Workout: How to be One, or Just Train Like One

It’s no secret that surfers have some of the most amazing bodies out there: they aren’t overly muscular, just perfectly toned. They house a surprising amount of strength given their build, and can usually out perform some of the most fit athletes in other sports due to complete body awareness and killer core stability. I’ve been on the water most of my life, and have always loved challenging myself against the surf.

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The key to gaining that surfer strength is conditioning yourself for endurance, using the amazing outdoors as your gym, just as you would in the water. Circuit training is a great way to incorporate strength training into your cardiovascular endurance training. Let the following circuit be your guide the next time you find yourself taking a walk or run on the beach! Pair two of these exercises back to back for 4 rounds each, and end with a round of pull-ups and you’ve got yourself a solid workout, no gym required.

Sand Dune Sprints

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Your legs and core are everything when it comes to staying balanced on the board. The soft surface of sand increases core engagement, and helps mirror the water’s instability for your legs when you are dropping down or ripping up a wave. For an added challenge, try running with a parachute or a baggy jacket for extra drag.

Sand Low-Crawls

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Arm and chest strength is EVERYTHING as a surfer. Plus, who doesn’t love toned arms and a perky chest? Get into a prone position and crawl using your elbows, or just hang out in plank. The added core benefits of low crawls will help you build the balance you need to stand up on your board, in addition to the arm and chest strength needed for that initial press up off the board.

Water Runs or Sprints

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Wade into the surf until you are around waist or chest deep, and run! Run the shoreline length in the water for 5 to 10 minutes. Added bonus: carry your board if you have one!

Pull-ups

There are usually bars around or trees that will allow for you to get pull-ups in. These are a great way to not only tone your back and arms, but also develop the necessary paddling strength you need if you are a surfer, or just looking to start.

Sand Crab-Walks

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Start on your back, and move into an upward facing plank pose. Walk along the sand. Take it uphill away from the shore for an extra challenge! Working your backside will help with building a solid base to remain standing on the board.

Outfit Details

Bra: c/o Michi Antigravity Bra in Black

Top: c/o Barry’s Bootcamp Tank (OLD)

Bottoms: Lululemon Wunder Under Rolldown *Luxtreme

Beauty Details

Foundation Primer: Becca EverMatte Poreless Priming Perfector

Foundation: Maybelline Dream Pure BB Cream in Medium

Blush: Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Smoky Palette (High/Combust/Thirteen)

Mascara: YSL Shocking in Deep Black

Brows: Anastasia Brow Wiz in Medium Brown

Lips: YSL  Rouge Volupte Shine, in Fuchsia in Excess

Nails: OPI Do You Have This Color in Stockholm?

Toes: Essie Boom Boom Room

 

Photos by Julia McBee of Whole 30 San Francisco.

 

Hydration That Doesn’t Suck.

I’ll be the first one to own the fact that I hate drinking water.

HATE.

I like my water in my coffee, and that’s about it.

However, when I’m sweating it out 4 to 5 times a week between Equinox and Barry’s Bootcamp classes, I need something to keep me on my feet and performing at my best, that doesn’t include a triple shot of espresso.

That said, I am always up for trying anything that hides the boring taste of water, and doesn’t involve tons of added sugar or processed ingredients, like most of the better tasting sports drinks out there. I was invited to try a shipment of SOS Hydration, and I must say I am totally impressed by their ingredient breakdown, intense science behind their formulation, and the fact that the result is a taste that’s not barf-worthy.

EVERYONE’S first question is “WTF is in it?”

As a personal trainer, I’m gonna break down the science for you.

Made by docs, SOS actually focuses on getting you the stuff you need, and kicking out what you don’t. It includes 6 essential ingredients your body needs in order to hydrate successfully during your daily routine/workout:

Sodium

Sodium is what allows muscles to contract. It also keeps a balance with water, which is basically a word for water retention. It also helps in regulating blood pressure.

Potassium

This electrolyte allows for proper functioning of your kidneys and heart. By keeping your potassium levels stable, you can prevent heart arrhythmia and cramps.

Magnesium

Chances are you are depleted of this, and shouldn’t be, as it’s involved in all sorts of stuff, like immune system support, muscle and nerve function, heart rhythm regulation, energy creation, and protein synthesis.

Citrate

This electrolyte controls acidity, which means it prevents cramping and fatigue.

Chloride

Chloride helps control metabolic processes, and it the second electrolyte lost through sweat, the first being sodium.

Sugars

News FLASH: Glucose is the main fuel for the body. So if you’re sucked into that “anti-sugar” fad, listen up and learn. Sugar ain’t all bad, and your body actually needs it. SOS contains the ideal amount and the right kind of sugars (sucrose and dextrose) to help enhance the water absorption process and provide a constant and healthy energy source.

OK. Enough science-y shizzazz and back to why this stuff rocks:

EASY as hell to travel with and add to anything.

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I added it to my water bottle before my classes this week at Barry’s Bootcamp, and I must say I was impressed.  Most of the time, additives tend to settle in the bottom of your water bottle, giving you that gross grainy texture which is less than appetizing. Secondly, most taste gross, making hydrating during class impossible.

It doesn’t taste like crap.

SOS actually tastes good, and doesn’t you feeling worse by the end of the day with sugar and caffeine crashes. I love the Berry flavor, but for you Citrus fans, SOS’s Citrus flavor is equally amazing! Try one or both, and be prepared to change your hydration struggles forever, in the healthiest way possible.

Thank you Sweat Guru and SOS for letting me test drive some kick ass product! It has become a staple in my daily nutrition routine, and will quickly become a favorite of my clients!

For 10% off your order, apply the promo code SweatpinkSOS, and stop the struggle of hating your workout hydration routine.