Review: Nike Women’s 21 Days of Better For It

Hi friends (and total strangers)! About 21 days ago, I told you that I was going to take on Nike Women’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt. Now, I’ve gotta be honest here, I did most of the workouts but during that 21 day period I went on a five day vacation and we had a three-foot blizzard that isolated me in my home for four days. Needless to say, there were some interruptions, but I am here to report back to you all now that I’m finished!

BIG PICTURE:

Each morning, I awoke to reminder message in my iPhone. The reminder took me directly to that day’s workout plan. So seamless! The program gave me a balanced workout that was thoughtfully prepared and included stretching and rest days. Those Nike folks must know a thing or two about fitness.

THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS:

200m sprints: It’s been years since I had a proper track workout and it felt amazing to stretch out my legs with these 200 meter sprints.

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Stretching before sprinting = smart.

Drop Squats: Start in the standing position, drop down to a squat touching one hand to the floor while the other stretches out behind you. Jump back up. I love squats, nuff said.

Lateral bear crawls: This exercise isn’t as difficult, coordination-wise, as it sounds. But it kicks your butt (and back, and core, and hips)!

FullBearCrawls
Bear crawls are the bees’ knees. Or something like that.

Chest press with dead bug: The dead bug may make you look silly in the gym. But combine it with a couple dumbbells and you’ve got yourself a hard-working move.chestpressdeadbug.png

Rear foot elevated single leg squat: Put your back leg up on a box or curb, it doesn’t need to be high. Squat down, similar to a lunge and feel the burrnnnnn!

Diagonal bounds: I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. These little jumps (or slides, if you have the proper equipment) are a daily must.

diagonalbounds
Leaps and bounds!

AND YET:

As with any workout, there were a few things I avoided. Burpees, for instance. I fail to see the true benefit of burpees. Without perfect form, you’re much more likely to hurt yourself than do any real good. Burpees = the plague. Keep back! Another activity that I was cautious with was sprinting at the track (surprisingly, this was also my favorite activity). But I am 31, and about 12 years past my last track workout, so in the early morning cold temps, I was pretty nervous about pulling something while trying to prove that I was once a good sprinter.

All in all, I’d say that Nike’s 21 Days of #BetterForIt was a success. I learned a ton of new activities to add to my workout regime, and there was something motivating and exciting about having a little personal trainer in your phone that wakes you up with new workouts each day.

If anybody is interested in doing the 21 day routine, I’ve got all of the workouts saved and would more than happy to send you the details. Comment below if you would like me to share them!

LOVE YOU ALL!
loveB

 

 

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Start 2016 With More Than A Resolution

This time of year always makes me cringe a little bit, especially when marketers try to capitalize on our insecurities by pushing “fitness resolutions.” Don’t get me wrong, getting healthy should most definitely be a top priority, but not because 2016 is upon us. It should be a priority because you only have one body and you need to treat it right. All year, every year.new-years-resolutions-seinfeld

My “resolution” this year is to recognize that my health, my mind and my body are a constant work in progress and I cannot accomplish everything at once. Just as I did in 2015, I will work on each of them but will not expect any certain results.

My Health: Anybody who knows me knows that I am a pretty unhealthy eater. This is an area where I have a TON of room for improvement. I cannot resolve to give up sugar, because I will fail. But I will consciously work to make more home-cooked dinners with more vegetables. The goal is simply to feed my body more of the nutrients that it needs to meet the demands I put on it.
ThoughSheBeSmall
My Mind: This past March, I made the decision to leave a very toxic work environment. The decision, which was not a New Years resolution, was one of the most important choices I have ever made and has proved to be a very big step in improving my mental health. This year, I will continue to find ways to let go of unnecessary stressors, which will not only impact my mind, but my heart as well. Here are some tips on ways to improve mental health every day.

My Body: The biggest thing I noticed as my twenties passed me by was that my body is different day-by-day. The body I had when I was 21 is very different than the body I have now at 31. I can’t expect the same results, and I cannot make goals for my 31-year-old body that are based on 21-year-old me. These days, I am working on being more aware of how I feel. I am trying to see how my diet and stress may impact my physical output. I am always working on tightening and toning, but I am also thinking about recovery and proper care for my muscles. My roller is one of my best friends these days. RELATED: Have a Body-Positive New YearIMG_9382

Those are my “resolutions.” They’re not really measurable, and they do not have an expiration date. They’re fluid and always changing as I learn more about myself. So instead of a New Years resolution in 2016, I challenge you to take a holistic view of your health, your mind and your body. Self-improvement doesn’t ever end, and it is defined differently by everybody. #YouDoYou.23d45062-b649-4be8-b2d0-348c78b9be46

Happy New Years, see you in 2016!
loveB

 

 

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Taking my Newtons on the Road

If you run back and forth across the Red Rocks stairs, it equals a 5K!
If you run back and forth across the Red Rocks stairs, it equals a 5K!

This might sound strange, but my favorite part of traveling, whether for work or vacation, is finding new and beautiful places to workout. It is pretty interesting that, like many other sports, fitness is a universal language.

I find that running is the easiest workout to plan. You don’t have to rely on hotel gyms, or bring any extra equipment. Do you have any big trips planned? If so, here are some running tips to keep in mind:

  • Bring your runners. My choice of running shoes are Newtons. Don’t just run in your regular walking shoes, that’s a good way to get hurt.
  • Running is the best way to navigate a new city. While you’re out, keep your head on a swivel (soccer term, sorry) and look for restaurants, bars, stores, cafes, parks, and museums that you may want to try.
  • Check a map before you head out, or use Nike+ Running App‘s built in map, there may be a park or running trail nearby that you can easily hop on.
  • Always bring your phone and the address of the place you’re staying with you, you don’t want to get lost!
  • Don’t feel bad if you want to stop to take a picture, or in my case, too many pictures. Those are memories, CHERISH THEM!
  • Wave to other runners. Or give them a friendly smile. One thing that I’ve found is that in every place I’ve run, including foreign countries, this is pretty standard etiquette.
  • Document those miles using a GPS-based app, like Nike+. It’s a souvenir that costs you nothing.
  • Stretching on my balcony in Cancun, Mexico.
    Stretching on my balcony in Cancun, Mexico.

    Always remember to take care of your body. On the road and at home. Hydrate and stretch really well after every run. You don’t want any injuries to put a damper on your trip.

  • Have a blast and love yourself for getting out there. You’re #betterforit.

If you’re thinking that I am crazy for wanting to work out while I am on vacation, just try it and you’ll see. It doesn’t feel like a chore, it feels amazing and will probably help create some of your favorite travel memories. Plus, you won’t have to feel guilty for indulging in incredible local cuisine the whole time.

If you haven’t already, check out more running tips from Paige, and more tips on getting creative with your vacation workouts from Molly!

loveB

No More Excuses

There are so many excuses not to exercise. No equipment for strength training, no sidewalks or shoulders on the road for running, and I’m too tired are just not valid excuses.

My Current Situation

Adorable, amazing house in Red Hook, NY
Adorable, amazing house in Red Hook, NY

I am at a house in Upstate New York with my family. When I say Upstate, I mean no cell service, backwoods, 25-minutes to the nearest grocery store Upstate New York. It is absolutely beautiful. We rented a house at the end of a LONG, HILLY, GRAVELY driveway with a pool, tennis court, bocci ball and horseshoe court (or as my brother just said, you should call it a horseshoe arena), a pond and wonderful people I call my family.

The Problem

I rarely have the urge to go on a run, just like Paige rarely has the urge to pick up weights. Today, though, I was feeling it. I was so exited to get up to this house, work for a bit and then go on a nice, long run. The problem is that about every 200 ft, there is a deathly curve in the road and you seriously cannot see what is 5 ft on the other end of the curve. So running in the street is out.

Bacci Arena (Horseshoe Arena just underneath this)
Bacci Arena (Horseshoe Arena just underneath this)

My mom brought ten pound weights, which is more than enough for a killer workout, but like I said, I really just wanted to get a run in.

Enter: Adam

Adam is my oldest brother, an Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach at Butler University and a bit of a crazy person when it comes to exercise. So, after already running this morning and playing about an hour of tennis with my other brother Danny, he suggested getting a workout using the driveway.

*Please see description of driveway above. Read it again, but this time in a louder-than-appropriate voice and the tone you’d image the Devil to use when speaking.

The Workout:

Find a friend. Jog down the .3 mile-long driveway. Look up at the hill in front of you. Think unpleasant thoughts. (Adam described this as the opposite the feeling you get when you are super pumped to ski a double black diamond, then you get to the top and think about how stupid an idea this was) Change those unpleasant thoughts to positive, motivational, YES YOU CAN thoughts. Take off up the hill. Curse at each other the whole way up. Walk back down to recover. Repeat as many times as you can, then do one more.

The top of the driveway, where we finished, which seemed to get further and further away
The top of the driveway, where we finished, which seemed to get further and further away

The Finisher

5 Minutes of arms: Push ups 10x, Tricep Dips 10x, Plank Up/Downs 10 e/a

5 Minutes of abs: Slow Cross Crawls 20 e/a, Reverse Planks 10x, Side Plank Pulses 10 e/a.

Pro Tip: 

Bring bug spray with you to do the abs and arms.

I am currently working on tomorrow’s circuit training for Adam and I to do. There MIGHT be a guest appearance from my mom, in which case, I’ll explain the workout and all the ways you can moderate it for your fitness level. Until then, over and out fitness peeps.

– MB

Just Show UP

Partner planks with my friend Chuck at November Project.
Partner planks with my friend Chuck at November Project.

Recently, I’ve had a few people ask me about the workouts I do at the Lincoln Memorial. They’ve either seen my posts, or pics that I’m tagged in. Hooray for Instagram. Hi, my name is Rebecca and I am an Instagramaholic. But I digress…

The group is called November Project DC (shout out to Molly for introducing me to the tribe a little over a year ago), and their mission is to bring free fitness to cities across America. Oh, and it’s a group of anywhere from 50-200+ people. It’s freakin’ awesome. I found that it was a great addition to my routine, which mostly consisted of running days and lifting days. It got me outside more, and helped me work on muscles that I wasn’t reaching at the gym. It’s also a different form of cardio than my body is used to.

Question: What’s the key to great calves?
Answer: Running stairs. #JustShowUp

You can read more about NP, including the tribes from other US cities here. But the DC tribe meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. to 7:30-ish. (if you’re insane, they’ve also got a 5:30 a.m. group on Wednesdays). Here is a general idea of what the workouts look like:

  • Monday: Meridian Hill Park – Run hills. Die a little. Give sweaty hugs. Love yourself later.
  • Wednesday: Lincoln Memorial – Run stairs. Mix in some body-weight strength training and aerobic exercises. Leave with a phone full of sunrise pics, and a handful of new friends.
  • Friday: Location TBD – Each Friday, NP meets at a different location around the city. You’ll learn 15 ways to use a park bench for exercise, and other useful tips.

GO TO NP IF: 

  1. You want to change-up your workouts.
  2. You need motivation to get out of bed early.
  3. You just want to make friends.
  4. You like pretty pictures.
  5. You want to push yourself really hard, or take it easy and have a lighter day. Difficulty is TOTALLY up to you.
  6. You want to be a part of a free fitness group that is growing in size all across America and getting national media attention.

DO NOT GO TO NP IF: 

  1. You hate fun.
  2. You hate hugs.
  3. You hate the word “fuck.”
  4. You hate the idea of working out and have no intention of changing your mind about this (also, why are you reading this blog…?).
  5. You hate people.
  6. You hate pretty pictures.
  7. You hate dogs. Sometimes there are dogs there! Ahhhh I love dogs.
  8. You can’t get past the name. After a year, I still have no idea why “November” is in the name.

So, I am going to consider this my #verbal for tomorrow’s workout, and I’m going to leave you with an optional, but highly encouraged, FUCK YEAH!

#JustShowUp

loveB

Summer Spin Favorites

As a Spin instructor and all around music lover, I am a firm believer that a playlist can make or break your workout. So, I want to invite you all into my world of music. I will post all of my playlists here. If you have any questions, suggestions, comments, etc, shout at me on Twitter: @mollybruh or drop me a comment below! Spin Ride details: Mix of Endurance, Strength and Speed. Endurance: Keeping the same pace for extended period of time. The better your aerobic base, the better the rest of your ride will be! Strength: Includes hills and jumps. Speed: Flat road to moderate resistance, all out sprints. I hope you enjoy the tunes! Warm up: House Party: Sam Hunt Workout: Work This Body: Walk the Moon Are You Gonna be my Girl: Jet Booty: JLo, ft. Pit Bull Verge: Owl City ft. Aloe Blacc Waiting For Love: Avicii Jump: Kris Kross Fight Song: Rachel Platten King of Africa: Douster Whistle While You Work It: Katy Tiz Geronimo: Sheppard Runaway Baby: Bruno Mars It Girl: Jason Derulo Go Big or Go Home: American Authors Honey, I’m Good: Andy Grammar Cool down: Good For You: Selena Gomez Who You Are: Jessie J

It’s Your Workout

What’s up everyone? Becca and Paige kicked off this blog with awesome posts about creating their healthy lifestyles. I encourage everyone to check those out, because they are smart, wonderful and very different ladies with unique perspectives.

Sunrise, awesome people, sweat and tons of love.

For my first post, I would like to say something pretty obvious: Your Workout is Your Own. You might read that and think, well duh. But, here’s what I mean.

Too often, we (especially ladies) compare ourselves to others. Notice in Becca’s post, when she said “find your motivation,” she didn’t mention anyone else. It’s your motivation; do it for yourself.

Too often we look around the room and see everyone else’s strengths and only our flaws.

Too often we say beauty is on the inside and worry more about the outside.

Too often we chase after what we don’t have instead of honoring what we do.

Being a competitive athlete my whole life, it was only recently I learned that it’s okay to slow down. Every workout doesn’t have leave me completely exhausted.Every workout doesn’t have to be perfect. Every workout doesn’t have to be a competition with the person next to me. This is a still a work-in-progress, to say the least.

It’s your body, and it’s beautiful. It’s your health, and it’s your most important asset. It’s your life, and you only get one. It’s your workout, and you’re doing great.