Shoulders and Back

shoulders and back

A lot of girls (me included, at one time) don’t think they need to develop their shoulders and back because they don’t want to look manly. But trust me, a well-toned back is one of the sexiest body parts you can have! This workout will help build narrow shoulders, help get rid of “armpit fat,” love handles, and back fat. Yeah, none of that is attractive. And the benefit to having muscular shoulders is that it makes your body more proportioned and narrows your waist, giving you more of that desired V-shape.

Circuit 1: Shoulders

1. Heavy alternating dumbbell shoulder press

shoulder press (Use the heaviest weight you can for these, if you want to build some shoulder muscle and definition. If you only want to tone, use light weight. Heavy weight= a weight where your max reps is 6-10. Light weight max reps should be 15-20. I like to do these seated on a bench, especially when using heavy weight.)

2. Front raise (20)

front raise (Use a light weight)

3. Incline bench lateral raise (15)

incline bench (Use a light weight. The reason for doing it on the incline bench is to keep constant tension on the shoulder to make the exercise more effective.)

4. Rear delt flys (light weight, 15)

You can either use dumbbells while bent at the waist as in this picture:

rear delt fly

Or you can use a rear delt machine:

rear delt machine

Rest 45 seconds. Repeat for 3x total.

Circuit 2: Back

1. Chin ups (on assisted machine if necessary) (15)

assisted chin up

2. Lat pulldown (15)

lat pulldown (use a medium-wide grip as shown)

3. Bent over row (barbell or dumbbell) (15)

bent over row (Be sure to use the underhand grip as shown. This recruits your lower lats, which gives your waist a more tapered look!)

4. Seated row (15)

seated row (Be sure to keep your back straight and chest out. Feel free to use this, or any seated row machine that your gym has).

Rest 45 seconds. Repeat for 3x total.

Circuit 3: Cardio

I purposely left out an abs session today so that they can recover, and so that you have plenty of energy for a good cardio sesh! Sometimes I like to do my cardio first, sometimes I feel like doing it after, so the order is up to you. Just make sure you get a solid 20-30 minutes of HIIT or 40 minutes of steady-pace.

Click here for my absolute favorite treadmill workout that doubles for a leg-slimmer too!

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Spring Break Workout Plan

Spring Break Workout Plan

It’s starting to show up everywhere. In Target with the huge bikini display, the mall with all the workout clothes, and definitely Pinterest with everyone’s “get into shape” boards, showcasing motivational toned abs and a perky butt. Oh yeah, and at the gym! Did you even know that many people have a membership to your gym?? Welp, you guessed it… IT’S SPRING BREAK SEASON!!!!

And unless you’re a crazy gym-goer and have eaten nothing bad for you at all since the holidays, you might be getting a little panicky about how to lose those last few pounds and get that toned muscle that you know is hiding somewhere beneath your winter layer. Instead of frantically scouring the Internet for quick-working fad diets that you know you’ll give up by this weekend, keep calm and read on :). I’ve got you taken care of.

I’m going to share with you my meal plans and workouts that have helped me make more progress over the past 2 months than I’ve ever had, ever. We’ll be doing these together since my spring break vacay starts EXACTLY one month from today, and we can record our progress together!

The Way It Works

You’ll be following a basic 5-day program that you repeat every week until your deadline. Since our bodies quickly adapt to any workout, you can modify the workouts to get some variety week to week, and I’ll post my modifications so we can all be on the same page.

Workouts

Here is the 5-day plan to be repeated (with modification) week to week:

I will post the exercise circuits and modification ideas for each day on a separate post and link them back to that list.

Diet

The best way to lose weight, burn fat, and tone up is to have a diet high in lean protein and healthy fats, and low in carbohydrates. You should only be eating carbohydrates at breakfast, if you want, and after a workout. Vegetables are free-for-all and should be consumed at every meal! Fruit is ok, but stick to the ones lowest in sugar and high in antioxidants, like grapefruit, and berries.

Proteins:

  • ground turkey
  • extra lean ground beef
  • chicken
  • fish
  • salmon
  • egg whites

Fats:

  • almonds
  • mixed nuts
  • avocado
  • natural almond butter
  • natural peanut butter (I don’t recommend a lot of peanut butter though)
  • fish oil
  • egg yolks

Healthy Carbohydrates: (slow-digesting as opposed to quick-digesting)

  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • sweet potatoes
  • oatmeal

Try to eat at least 4 small meals a day, so your metabolism increases and you burn through calories quicker. To help you out, here is my basic meal plan for a typical day:

  • First I have a detoxifying smoothie with spinach or kale, cucumbers, peppers, celery, lemon juice, and half a banana. You can find more recipes for delicious ones here!
  • Breakfast: Ground beef and eggs, oatmeal if you want (fats in the morning keep your energy levels up all day!)
  • Lunch: Spinach salad with grilled chicken, veggies, and a vinaigrette dressing
  • 2nd Lunch (?) or Post-Workout Meal: Ground turkey with eggs, brown rice, steamed broccoli + mixed nuts
  • Dinner: White fish or chicken, steamed mixed veggies
  • Snack: Mixed nuts, berries, raw veggies

Other, more exciting recipes to choose from are here!

Notice that the amount of calories tapers by the end of the day, so that when you go to sleep you don’t pack on pounds by unused calories consumed too late in the day. Make sure you avoid at all costs all fast food, processed foods, sugary foods AND DRINKS (yup that means Starbucks frappuccinos are out!), especially towards the end of the day. For best results, I would also recommend cutting out most dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Tips

I don’t know why, but by bedtime my self-discipline always dwindles, and I’m very prone to breaking my rules and having ice cream at night. That’s why I make a point to drink a lot of water towards the end of the day to stay full, have some of my favorite flavored tea to sip when I have a sweet tooth (honey isn’t too bad), and go to bed as soon as I start getting tired so I avoid staying up and eating.

I can’t wait to go on this journey with you guys! It’s going to be a hard road sometimes, but when you can post those pictures on Instagram and Twitter of you looking hot next to all your friends in a bikini, you’ll be SO GLAD you did this!

Good luck and let’s get started!

Read about the Top 5 Mistakes Women Make In the Gym , 10 Fat-Loss Tips for Women, and check out the Workouts page for more exercise ideas!

3 Exercises To Perk Up Your Boobs

chest exercises

I have seen so many girls focus so much on getting a nice butt and legs that they forget about their upper body. Don’t be one of those girls. An essential part of beauty is proportion, and to have an amazing lower half with only a decent top half is a shame. Most women don’t need to do a LOT of muscle building in their upper body, but a little definitely goes a long way.

One of the places most neglected by women when workout out is their chest. Doing chest exercises is something I definitely recommend, whether you think your boobs are too big, too small, or just “fine.” If you are trying to tighten up your chest area, these exercises are just what you need. They will burn extra fat, make your boobies perky and firmer, and give you the kind of lift that some people pay a plastic surgeon to do. You don’t need to use very heavy weight for these exercises if you only want to tone. Say you’re like me, and would like to build your chest more (maybe because you don’t have very big “twins”), lift heavier weights with sets of 6-8 to really get some definition. These exercises work your pectoral muscles that sit beneath your boobs, so when they are toned, they lift whatever is sitting on top.

These are very basic exercises that I personally use because they WORK.

  1.  Pushups. Yay!! Everyone loves pushups! (Not) If you can’t do a pushup on your own, start with your knees on the ground and aim for 3 sets of 10. These work wonders to your chest muscles, so DO THEM. You will be happy when you see the results.
  2. Chest press. You can use the chest press machine if your gym has one, and if it doesn’t or if you work out at home, use 5-15lb dumbbells. Simply lie on your back on the floor or on a bench, hold the dumbbells close to your body above your upper chest with fingers facing away from you, and press up. Repeat.
  3. Chest fly. Same for this exercise, use the chest fly machine if your gym has it, otherwise lie on a stability ball, a bench, or the floor and use 5-10lb dumbbells. Start with your arms straight above you and perpendicular to the floor, lower them to each side to form a T, then raise them back up to the starting position.

As you become comfortable with these exercises, start doing them from different angles. The chest press should be done on an incline bench, a decline bench, and also a flat bench to get all the benefits of the exercise. The chest fly can be done with any of these angles as well, and you will get a better workout if you use them all.

You can pair these three chest exercises with arms, back, or shoulders (although I do chest and arms together) or with a HIIT workout.

Good luck!

If you liked these exercises, go check out A Great Shoulders Circuit For Women, as well as an awesome Lower Body Circuit for your next leg day!

 

How To Do A Tricep Dip

how to do a tricep dip

Have you ever wanted to be that girl who does those seemingly impossible tricep dips at the gym?

Wait, you thought only men had enough strength to do those?

Nope! if you’ve ever seen a girl bust out a few unassisted tricep dips, you know how it feels to go back to your tricep extension machine and feel pathetic. Nothing shows off your upper body fitness level and competency as tricep dips, chin ups or pull ups. And nothing’s more fun than being able to have something impressive to do to show all your hard work.

Not to mention having nice triceps is the key to having toned and sexy arms.

So guess what? You can be that girl. I was in your shoes for a long time until I picked up a few tips about how to do a tricep dip, and boom, after a little time I got my first one! And so can you.

Here’s the secret:

  1. Practice them every day you go to the gym
  2. At first, start on the assisted tricep/pulldown machine and do 3 sets of 5. The weight should be set so that you can barely do 5.
  3. After a week or two (depending on how often you are practicing), go to the unassisted tricep dip bars and hop yourself up to a finished position (like the girl in the picture above). Lower yourself as slowly as you can, and repeat till failure.
  4. Once you feel the strength building after a few weeks, hop as little as you can till you can do your very first dip unassisted!
  5. Comment below and let me know when you do your first one!! Good luck!

If you liked this, read about How To Get The Inner Thigh Gap and The Best Way To Burn Belly Fat!

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