Before & After | Bender Fitness Lean Muscle Building Challenge

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lean body back3This past weekend I completed the Bender Fitness 4 Week Lean Muscle Building Challenge. I really wasn’t expecting much in just 28 days. I mean, I am a realistic person. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the progress concerning my physique in just 4 weeks!lean body front3

The upper back portion of my body looks tighter, my lower back looks the same. My arms have slight definition and look broader. My legs are definitely leaner and stronger. Best of all, my stomach is shows just a little bit more definition and my “love handles” are a little less pronounced. Overall, I am quite happy with my four weeks of progress.lean body side3

This concludes the second phase of my 90 Day Lean Body Building Plan. The last portion concludes with the 21 Day Challenge. Alas I did not make my DietBet goal, but I’m ok with that. I lost two pounds and probably some inches (I did not track the inches “doh”) My overall goal this year is to obtain a leaner body, not lose lots of weight. I will do more comparison photos at the end of the challenge. On a totally separate note, I’m definitely tan! Gotta love Florida!

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The 21 Day Total Fit Challenge

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No, I’m not talking about the 21 day fix. MrShutUpandTrain is a personal trainer to many celebreties, and once a year he shares a 21 day challenge for free! The challenge includes workouts as well as meal suggestions. 

I have been waiting for the announcement, and it’s here. The challenge begins this Sunday and is for 3 weeks. It’s right on time because I finish the Melissa Bender Lean Body Challenge this Saturday and was trying to decide what to do next. I will post pics next week of my Bender Fitness before and after, but in the mean time I am geeked for this total body fitness challenge.

The woman pictured lost 12 lbs and several inches in just 21 days! Photo from Facebook

What about this challenge appeals to me most?
The challenge is actually completely free! There are no shakes, supplements, etc to buy. Its a combo of clean eating and great exercise. All you have to do is sign up here, and you will receive emails with grocery lists and links to the workouts. Check out the website for more details and then join us! Like I said it’s a completely free challenge, so why not? 

I will be sure to post my results, continue with #whatiatemonday on instagram and I will of course share on social media outlets along the way. It’s time to Shut Up and Train!

*All photos are from the Mr. Shut Up and Train Facebook page

Week In Review | June 8th to June 14th

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The heat and humidity are in full effect which means slower runs. The temperatures here in Florida are quite high, so I have slowed my runs down by a minute or more, but the length has not decreased. garmin

I have upped my base run to 4 miles, which I probably should have done awhile ago. I ran 5 days out of this week and spent six mornings out of the week working through week 3 of Melissa Bender’s 30 day Lean Muscle Building challenge. I logged 22 miles this week including a trail race!oak hammock

The race was full of roots, humidity and fast runners (of which does not include me). My BGR #solesistas joined me and kept the 4.6 miles entertaining.  The next trail race I have signed up for is next month at 4.5 miles and I hope to finish in under an hour. I am adjusting to the humidity, but it’s a slow process, none the less I am hoping that I will have adjusted by then.
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I am still in maintenance mode until I begin training for my next marathon late next month. I’ve been eating my homemade protein bar as pre-running fuel. This weeks menu was quite delightful. I always enjoy a sweet potato based breakfast bowl, and with good meal prep, its an easy morning meal to prepare. My favorite meal this week has been my snack which was 1/2 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup Goji Agave Granola and 1/4 cup blueberries. yogurt granolaTrader Joe’s Nonfat Vanilla Greek Yogurt is such a treat. It is high in sugars, but considering the other meals in my day I’m not concerned. Next week’s meal plan will post tomorrow.

 

Current Fitness Routine | Strength and Cardio

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As race season ended, I immediately began to think about spring training. I am running a marathon again in November, along with a few Half Marathons along the way. This means that I need to stay in training shape this Spring and Summer. Plus I want to get more strength training in to reach my goal of a leaner physique this year.

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Along those lines, about a month ago I began to wake up 45 minutes earlier each day to get in a short strength training workout from Melissa Bender of benderfitness.com. I love her workouts as they are short, intense and effective workouts that are meant to be accomplished at home. This means that my home gym  has expanded just a little (more on that in another post). I will finish one of her 30 day challenges this Sunday, take a week to focus solely on core and then I will hit another 30 day challenge to push into summer. These challenges keep me active 5 or 6 mornings a week, which means that I save my running for the evenings.

I am currently in the second week of the Hal Higdon Spring Training program (Intermediate level). I particularly like his schedule because it includes tempo runs, strength training, speed play and long runs. Basically everything I need to stay in shape until I begin Fall training. I am still racing over the summer, but nothing over 6 miles. The Florida heat and humidity is already serious!

 

I signed up for a DietBet challenge, and I plan to post pics of my before and after as well as nutrition along the way. As always, you can see photos of my training on my Instagram (Missmusic12) and through the hashtag #morfitme.

Keeping Track | My Fitness Journal

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I have decided to work harder to reach my 2015 goal of a leaner me. This means that I need to keep track of my weight lifting, and what is working and what isn’t working concerning all fitness. I researched several options including running journals, print outs, etc., and I decided to just go with the simplest route.

The Moleskine journal is just the right size for the gym. I can stick it in my desk drawer at home, in the glove compartment of my car, in my FitBelt, etc. Plus, the size discourages me from writing more than is really necessary. It has truly been great for the New Rules of Lifting for Women program, because I cannot always remember which workout I am on, or how much weight I lifted the previous week. Plus, its easier to keep track of my splits for speed workouts when they are written down. With this journal, its all written down for easy reference.

Tell me, how do you keep track of your fitness? Do you?

Get Lean in 2015 | The Before

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As you may know, I have managed to keep the pounds that I lost over a year ago off, staying under 140 lbs until January. At which time due to the Holidays, I have maintained at 143 lbs. My Goal for 2015 is to lean out, which may or may not require me to loose more weight. Accordingly, I am changing my eating habits from maintenance again as well as amping up my fitness to break from maintenance to change.

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I have decided to do the weight lifting program as outlined in The New Rule of Lifting for Women, which I began last week. I took before pictures and recorded what I look like now, so I have a starting point to compare again in the coming months. I will go into more detail in later posts, for now, check out my starting point, and say goodbye because I will look different in just one month!