Week 8 – 12 Weeks to a Stronger, Sexier, More Confident You

I meant to post this up yesterday, but was feeling pretty sick, so I decided to take the day off. Once you get into a routine it can be just as hard to take a break as it was forcing yourself into the routine in the first place. Believe it or not, yesterday was an act of sheer will-power for me, because I wanted to work, but I knew that had I not taken the time to take care of myself it would have only made things worse. So, my tip within a tip for you today is work hard and challenge yourself, but be honest about how you’re feeling. Listen to your body and the cues it’s sending you and take a day off once in a while if you feel you must. It’s not the end of the world and there’s always tomorrow to get back on track.

We’re 2/3rds of the way through this 12 week program and by now you should be feeling the effects of all your hard work. You probably feel stronger, lighter, and more sturdy in your shoes. I’m sure that one set of each exercise isn’t as difficult as it used to be, which is pretty awesome, which means that we’re going to be changing things up by completing this routine as a circuit 3 times. All of the work that you’ve been putting in has really paid off. I’m also sure that it’s becoming more of a routine then a tedious job, so you can see that with just a bit of effort even the toughest things become more bearable. Keep it up, because you’re only going to get stronger and more motivated.

The Workout:
Week 8

The Playlist:
- Warm-up
Love Lockdown – Kanye West (If this beat doesn’t want to make you move and sing then I’m pretty sure you don’t even have a pulse :)
Sexy Back – Justin Timberlake
Honey – Moby

- Workout
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Song 2 – Blur
Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
Need You Tonight – INXS
Plowed – Sponge
Running Down A Dream – Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers
Been Caught Stealing – Janes Addiction (I put this one in here for you, Valerie :)
Epic – Faith No More
Girl, You’ll Be A Woman Soon – Urge Overkill

- Cardio
Enjoy The Silence – Depeche Mode (Depeche Mode totally makes my heart hurt, but in a good way.)
Don’t Stop The Music – Rihanna
Sober – Pink
Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes
Lost at Birth – Public Enemy
Dance Sucka – T. Ray
Run – Gnarles Barkley

- Cool-Down
Radio Retaliation – Thievery Corporation
Smalltown Boy – Bronski Boy

Ask Dani – Help, I Like My Boobs!

Dear Dani,

My friend, who recently got engaged, and I were discussing wedding gowns and how they usually only show off your upper body and arms. She said she wants to “tone up” for her wedding, but is only concerned with losing weight in her arms — not anywhere else. She likes her current bust size and thinks that if she loses any weight, she’s likely to also lose some boob-a-licious-ness. I told her I didn’t think it was possible to lose weight only in one part of your body. Can you clear this up? Is it possible to lose weight in one area, like your arms, without affecting any of your more, um, valued assets?

Sincerely,
Loves Her Assets


Dear Loves Her Assets,

Unfortunately for your friend you are right. You can’t lose weight hoping to lose in just one area of your body. In industry terms that’s called “spot reduction”. The way you lose weight usually depends on your body type. Pear shaped girls for instance lose from the top down. The first thing you’ll notice thinning out is her face, then her collar-bone, then her chest, waist, and then finally the hips and legs. But take a more ruler shaped girl and notice that she will lose weight pretty much evenly all the way from her head down. And that’s because of her body’s proportions. You can change the measurements of your body by losing or gaining weight, but you can’t change the overall shape of it. As I always say, “once a pear always a pear.” Actually, I don’t always say that, but it fits.

Your friend can work out and lose weight in hopes of toning her arms, but she can’t spot reduce in hopes of not losing her bust. Here’s my advice though, strength training and cardio are important whether you want to lose weight or not. If your friend is at a good weight now and begins working out, but doesn’t change her diet then most likely she’ll lose only about 3-5 pounds, but she will tone up. Now, I’m not guaranteeing that her bust size won’t change, but as long as she’s not going to any major extremes she shouldn’t see any drastic changes. If she keeps up with a 2-3 day per week weight routine and a 5 day per week 30 minute cardio routine she will start to see her arms take shape. Begin with light weights and high reps (about 12-20) for the first four weeks and then heavier weights and lower reps (8-10) for the next 4 weeks. Keep toggling back and forth between the two rep ranges to keep the body challenged.

I have to say one more thing before I go, otherwise I wouldn’t feel good about this answer. I have pretty strong opinions about bridal bootcamps, which is that I think they are CRAZY! I know they’re popular, but being engaged and planning a wedding is hard enough, so don’t make yourself even more stressed out by becoming obsessed with the way you look in your wedding dress. Your fiance’ wants to marry you just the way you are now and all your friends already know what you look like, so walking down the aisle looking like a skeleton in a dress is just pure insanity. Plus, you’ll end up gaining it all back and then some after your honeymoon. I know that your wedding day is something that you’ve imagined forever and you want it to be just perfect, and I promise that it will be whether you’re a size 0 or a size 14. It doesn’t matter! Really! And I know this, because I gained 15 pounds right before mine!

Congratulations!

Products I’m Obsessed With: Skweet

Starting today I’ll be posting a new feature every month called ” Products I’m Obsessed With”. There are tons of products that I come across that have made my life so much easier, so I thought, why not share them. Hopefully they’ll make your life easier too! P.S. I don’t get paid for these. I’m just simply passing along some great products that I hope you’ll be obsessed with too.

Get your sports bottles Skweety clean.

This month’s product is Skweet. Ever taken a sip of water from your sports bottle and gotten a whiff of something that wasn’t all too pleasant? And then tried to wash it, but either couldn’t get the soap out, couldn’t get a good scrub all the way down the inside, or just couldn’t get rid of that disgusting funky smell? Skweet will take care of all that for you in under 60 seconds. It’s an effervescent powder that comes in a small container and all you have to do is put a teaspoonful of the stuff into your sports bottle add warm water and shake. Rinse and voilĂ  your bottle is like brand new! Plus, it’s all natural and doesn’t leave a soapy aftertaste. And, a 6 oz. tub is only $8.99! Not too bad. I have this awesome and beautiful glass water bottle that I seriously would cry over if I had to get rid of it just because I couldn’t clean it all the way through. I’ve used Skweet a bunch of times and am mega happy with it.

If you’ve used it I’d love to know what you think!

Products I'm Obsessed With: Skweet

Starting today I’ll be posting a new feature every month called ” Products I’m Obsessed With”. There are tons of products that I come across that have made my life so much easier, so I thought, why not share them. Hopefully they’ll make your life easier too! P.S. I don’t get paid for these. I’m just simply passing along some great products that I hope you’ll be obsessed with too.

Get your sports bottles Skweety clean.

This month’s product is Skweet. Ever taken a sip of water from your sports bottle and gotten a whiff of something that wasn’t all too pleasant? And then tried to wash it, but either couldn’t get the soap out, couldn’t get a good scrub all the way down the inside, or just couldn’t get rid of that disgusting funky smell? Skweet will take care of all that for you in under 60 seconds. It’s an effervescent powder that comes in a small container and all you have to do is put a teaspoonful of the stuff into your sports bottle add warm water and shake. Rinse and voil

Week 7 – 12 Weeks to a Stronger, Sexier, More Confident You

Ok, here’s where things are going to get a little bit spicier. We’re moving on to a total of three sets of each exercise this week, which will definitely ramp up the intensity, but it will also rev your metabolism, burn calories, and help you get rid of body fat and build lean mass. Allow only 30 seconds of rest in between each exercise and move through each exercise one after the other. At the end you’ll rest another 30 seconds and then begin from the top. We’re also going to add a slow jog to the cardio portion, so look out for that. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but I promise that if you challenge yourself a bit it will get easier within the next few weeks. You’ve got to just keep it up though.

Before we begin though I have to give a major shout out to my client Theresa who proved this weekend that she really conquered herself. Theresa had been craving cake for days and finally on Saturday she decided that instead of making a whole cake she would allow herself to have 1 cupcake. She ended up buying 2 cupcakes (1 chocolate and 1 red velvet) and was annoyed at herself for this, so instead she shared them with her son. In the end she tasted a quarter of each cupcake and then left the room so she wouldn’t be tempted to pick at the rest. Theresa conquered herself on so many levels. First, and most obvious was that she ate in moderation and didn’t let herself get out of control. But the most amazing thing to me about all of this is that Theresa let that craving go on for a few days and finally on Saturday realized that it wasn’t going to go away unless she indulged a little. This is so important, because had she not allowed herself this little pleasure most likely it would have snuck up on her somewhere else. You can’t abstain from something that you love, because it will only backfire. Part of losing weight and learning how to live a healthier lifestyle is learning how to allow yourself to indulge once in a while and not freaking out about it. She proved to herself that she can literally have her cake and eat it too – but in control. Awesome job! I’m so proud of you!

Ok, back to the plan…

The Workout:
Week 7

{Hope you like the playlist, Amy :) }
The Playlist:
- Warm-up
Arched Maid Via RDJ – AFX
Fa-Fa-Fa – Datarock
In The Morning – Junior Boys

- Workout
Deceptacon – Le Tigre (This was on my first playlists when I just started working out.)
Burning Up – Ladytron
Vanished – Crystal Castles
Not Even Jail – Interpol
Ageless Beauty – Stars
Cherry Chapstick – Yo La Tango
He War – Cat Power
Thursday – Asobi Seksu (I Spin to this song at least every other day and had no idea what it was until now…)
We’re No Here – Mogwai (Wait for the drop…)
Screaming At Anything That Moved – Gifts From Enola (I think this one just sounds so beautiful.)

- Cardio
Glass Danse – The Faint
Galvanize – Chemical Brothers
The Hardest Button to Button – The White Stripes
The Heinrich Maneuver – Interpol
Gold Guns Girls – Metric
Of Foam and Wave – Caspian

- Cool Down
Lebanese Blonde – Thievery Corporation

** Combine this with my 12 week weight management program to maximize your results. Leave a comment if you d like some more info.

Short and To The Point

On a scale of 1-10 how badly do you want to lose weight (1 being not at all and 10 being that you’d rather die than not lose weight)? I’m going to tell you this one plain and simple: If you’re not at least at a 7 1/2 (and that’s being generous) it’s not going to happen. Your want has to be so strong that nothing is going to get in the way of it happening. All your trying isn’t going to get you anywhere, because if you don’t want it badly enough you won’t have the motivation or will to make it happen. And even if you begin to make it happen you won’t last very long, because your heart isn’t fully in it. It’s not just your mind that needs to want it, but your entire being needs to want it. What I’m trying to say is that you need to get frustrated and pissed off enough about it that nothing is going to get in the way of making it happen. You really can’t half-ass this, you need to be desperate.

Are you desperate yet?

Week #6 – 12 Weeks to a Stronger, Sexier, More Confident You

Woo hoo! This marks the half-way point! If you’ve been following these workouts and doing them consistently you most likely have started to see some results. You should feel stronger, more stable, and have an overall better sense of your body. I know it’s not easy, but isn’t it worth it? Consistency is the only way you’re going to see results, so if you haven’t been keeping up with your workouts then it’s never going to happen. You have to make sure you’re getting strength training in 3 times a week and your cardio in 5 days a week. It’s about a lifestyle change, and the past 5 weeks have been your introduction to easing into the big kid pool. There is no magic wand that is going to make it happen for you, so it’s all on you if you want to see results.

This week we’re sticking with the same exercises, but we’re just going to tweak it a bit by adding a second set to each one to increase the intensity.

The Workout:
Week #6

The Playlist:
- Warm-up
Bodyrock – Moby
Rockafeller Skank – Fatboy Slim

- Workout
Shut Your Eyes – Snow Patrol
Lapdance – N.E.R.D</strong>
Flathead – The Fratellis
Starlight – Muse
Panic Switch – Silversun Pickups
Zero – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

- Cardio
I Might Be Wrong – Radiohead
Hysteria – Muse
Going On – Gnarls Barkley
Lazy Eye – Silversun Pickups

- Cool Down
Empire State of Mind – Jay Z featuring Alicia Keys

** Combine this with my 12 week weight management program to maximize your results. Leave a comment if you d like some more info.

Confidence Is What Makes Anything Possible

Happy Friday everyone! I came across this video of a man today and was practically moved to tears. It may seem a bit corny to send this out to you today, but just watch it. We’ve all been in a place at some time or another where we’ve had a dream to do something, or lacked the courage to speak to someone, or just didn’t believe in ourselves. Maybe you feel like that today and if not, you might feel that way a few days or weeks from now. Confidence is the one thing that makes anything possible and it’s what’s going to separate you from the rest of the pack. I hope this video shows you that you should always believe in your ability to conquer yourself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__Gs02ZmUmE&feature=related

Ask Dani – Did I Make The Right Choice?

Dear Dani,

I was in the cereal aisle of the supermarket the other night trying to decide between two cereals. One had 100 calories per serving, but no fiber, and the other had 140 calories with 5g of fiber. I ended up choosing the one with the fiber, figuring that the fiber makes it better, but now I’m not sure if I made the right choice. Can you help me out?

Thanks, Munching Michelle

Dear Munching Michelle,

You definitely made the right choice by going with the fiber filled cereal. Just because something is lower in calories doesn’t mean it’s a better choice, because they can be empty calories and your body doesn’t use them as efficiently as nutrient dense calories. Fiber creates more bulk in your food which will help you feel fuller longer and ultimately help you eat less, plus it’s great for your digestion and colon. But, just because something has fiber in it doesn’t mean that you can eat whatever you want. There are a lot of products on the market now that tout added fiber, but that doesn’t give you leeway to eat 5 fiber filled cookies. Plus, the added fiber that they put in yogurts or even cottage cheese isn’t necessarily the same kind of fiber that is naturally found in grains and produce (but, that’s a whole other conversation…). If you’re looking to lose weight you still need to take in fewer calories than you burn. So, you did a great job at choosing the fiber cereal, but always pay attention to the ingredients and serving sizes to make sure that you’re actually making the best choice. It sounds clich

Be The Next Stair Search Winner!

2 of my husband's groupies

I am looking for the next “Stair Search” winner. For the next 21 days your challenge is to take only the stairs at work (and if you don’t work then take the stairs whenever you can) and to inspire as many people in your office as possible to follow your lead. This little challenge was inspired by my husband who began taking the 7 flights of stairs up to his office instead of the elevator, because he realized that he’s too tired to work out after a long day at the office, but at least he would get some activity in throughout the day. Sure, it’s not a substitute for working out, but it is a major step in the right direction when it’s a choice between that or nothing. He’s even got groupies now and at least 5 other people are choosing the stairs over the lazy man machine. It’s even become somewhat of a joke and he’s started to challenge even more people to do it.

Did you know that 15 minutes of stair climbing will help you burn at least 133 extra calories a day (based a 130lb. woman)? As long as you’re not replacing those calories with food, that’s one pound lost every 26 days. Depending on what floor you’re on that’s pretty much a done deal by simply walking up and down the stairs about four times. 6 minutes are already taken care of by getting to work, going out to lunch, and then leaving work. Find a reason to leave your office or just take a quick break to go up and down the stairs, instead of checking Facebook for the 4th time that day (Farmville, Mafia Wars, or your IQ test can wait until you get back). 133 calories is equal to 6 Hershey’s Kisses, 5 oz. of a peanut butter flavored Tasti-D-Lite (supposedly…), or a can of regular Coke. Think about it, you know there’s usually some sort of yumminess lying around the office, so by simply by taking the stairs, you can have that Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, or 2 Dunkin Donut’s Munchkins, or morning croissant with your coffee guilt free. Not bad!

So, here’s the challenge: For the next 21 days you need to start taking only the stairs at work and inspire as many other groupies as possible at your office to do the same. Submit your name, your company’s name, and the name of all other people following your lead as they join in. The winner will receive a 5 pack of Very Personal Training with me in my Park Slope, Brooklyn studio. Being as how there is no real way to prove that you are the honest to goodness winner of this challenge, I am trusting your honesty, and will only ask that you send along with the above information pictures or video of your “Stair Search” challenge.

Good Luck!