Boot camp strike 2

Jesus Christ, I just got back from the start of week 6 (!!!) of boot camp and I think I’m about to die. Because I exercise as much as I do, boot camp has only been ‘just another workout’ of the week sort of. I’ve of course pushed myself and done what I’ve been told, but there has always been energy left, whereas those who might only be doing boot camp 2-3 times a week as their workout has been all out of energy, knowing that they didn’t have another session to complete in the afternoon. Today, on the other hand… If I was told we had to do one more round of burpees, squats and push-ups, I would’ve collapsed. I am no runner, and I technically don’t function without music, but because we’ve changed from running on solid ground to grass, I’ve started just going for it. Not to mention the fact that my friend Mari is so bloody fast when she runs, making me angry I can never keep up with her. Getting up at 5 in the morning kills me every time and I look just about this excited on my way there

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When I finish, however, life is normally extremely good

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I’ve never been a girl with much muscle on the upper body (my legs are a different story), but ever since I started boot camp, both my core and my upper body strength has significantly improved. When doing push-ups before, I used to struggle with pain in my shoulders and could in general not go as low as I was supposed to. Guys tend to know how to tense their chest muscles and push off with them, whereas girls overuse their arms most of the time, but now that my core strength is improved and I’ve started thinking about how to properly do a push-up, I’m not struggling (as much). Not to mention the fact that I finally have a visible muscle if I flex. It’s tiny, but anything is better than nothing!

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My days here in Melbourne generally flick between studying PT-material (I forgot how incredibly shit I am with complicated science related things, might be freaking out), living in the gym or going to the beach (whenever Melbourne is not bipolar in its weather, I wore wool yesterday…), and the other week I managed to lock myself out of the house. No phone, no food (!!!), no shoes, no top and see-through hotpants. 5 hours and a decent sunburn later…

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I’ve also spent a day trying to convince myself I enjoy public speaking (it is literally one of my biggest fears),

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and I’m now qualified to save your life, should you manage to stop breathing or cut your finger off in the blender (but please don’t). Even made a friend doing this first aid stuff, he decided to start talking to me based on the fact that he noticed all the weird fruit and vegetables I was snacking on when I got bored.

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Having such an interesting life like mine, often requires quick solutions in terms of lunch/dinner, and sometimes the simple stuff is great, let me just say I’ve had a few days looking like this

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I always bring tupperware-boxes packed with food of some kind no matter where I go. Tomorrow I know I’ll be going to the beach, so when cooking today I’ll make sure I cook more than what I’ll eat and simply bring the leftovers and some fruit in a few containers. It doesn’t have to be complicated, and you don’t have to resort to eating crap because you think planning is difficult. Failing to plan = planning to fail, is what I always tell myself.

Wow, this turned out to be a big-time selfie post. Oh well, I am a big-time selfie girl, so I’m not even ashamed. Spend the upcoming week working hard and eating right, your bodies will thank you!

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Nutrition for a healthy mind and body

So I’ve been gone for a while, friends in hospital and a full schedule (and a frozen yoghurt here and there) has kept my mind a bit occupied. Not to mention my workout routine has been reaching insane levels lately.

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Seeing what food they give patients in the hospital made me so angry. My friend has lost heaps of weight (muscle mass aka not the good way to lose weight), and a “””nutritionist””” came to see her and suggested she should eat cheese and crackers in-between meals to put that weight back on. REALLY? Fruit salad means canned fruit, baby food for breakfast, overcooked pasta for lunch.. Let’s just say my worried brain couldn’t leave her like that, so I bought fruit, veggies, nuts, quinoa crackers etc for her to snack on. I believe that eating the right food helps recovery and maintains a healthy mind. And as I’ve said before, for my life to turn around, all I did was change the way I eat. Food is medicine.

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I also decided that last week was the week to hipthrust 80kg. So I did. I literally increase my weights with about 2.5 kg every two-three weeks for legs, it all has to be done at your own pace, you’re only competing with yourself.

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During busy times I try to keep my food simple, and an easy way to prepare your meals is to chuck whatever root vegetables (or any other vegetables) and chicken breasts/fish/lean meat in the oven and roast it. It cooks on its own, is almost as yum the day after, and not to mention, very healthy. Roasting onion and garlic for about 45 minutes is incredible by the way, and very cleansing.

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Keep in mind though, that I eat twice as much as what is on that plate. I don’t know/understand why girls think they should eat as little as possible to get thin, you need to eat the right amount of food to protect your inner organs and help your body recover and rebuild itself! If you’re really worried, skip the god damn ice cream, leave the white bread alone and EAT ENOUGH FOOD.

We’ve had a few experimenting days here in Melbourne, with exploring new food and back-stretching sessions via YouTube.

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Yeah and a little chips-feeding sessions for those who don’t know any better.

I didn’t think I liked prawns/scampi, but have a Norwegian cook it for you and drench it in garlic and fresh chili; voilá, a new protein source right there.

IMG_4313(That green-yellow stuff is mango-avocado salsa, it is delicious – mango,avocado,lime juice and fresh chili).

My measurements are due this weekend, and I honestly have no clue on how that will turn out. We’ll also change my workout routine a bit, now that I’m doing boot camp, to prevent my body from collapsing. I’m literally so sore, even laying in bed hurts, but sore muscles only means you’ve done something that your body isn’t used to, and that is no excuse to not exercise. No pain, no gain. Just do it guys. And remember to eat the proper food!

Swimming is the new yoga

As a result of my body sort of falling apart, and my desire of staying as active as possible, I have had to explore alternative ways of working out. Post surgery on my knee, I was told to swim. As treatment for my incredibly tense back, I was told to swim. When I tore my ligament in my lower back, I was told to swim. And now that I am limping around, I have been told to swim again.

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I dare say I am as hopeless at swimming as I am at body balance. I cannot swim freestyle, I do not like getting my hair wet, my eyes get red from the water. But I still gave it a shot. Yesterday was actually my third time returning to the pool. How about that for someone who is negative to anything new and scary?!

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Better Health claims that swimming is good exercise as you have to move your entire body against the resistance of the water and you are thereby provided with a full body workout. In addition to toning your muscles and building strength, swimming keeps your heart-rate up, builds endurance and cardiovascular fitness and helps in the maintaining of a healthy heart and lungs. It has also been proven to release stress and promote relaxation, whilst improving coordination, balance and posture, as well as providing good low-impact therapy for some injuries and conditions.

22 year-old Tonje Sønneland started swimming when she was 8 and has always loved spending time in water. From the age of 13 to 16, she was swimming about 18 hours a week.

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She enjoys swimming mainly because it is a great way of working out the entire body without emphasizing the use of a particular muscle group. “To become a good swimmer, you need a strong core and a flexible body in order to get your body into streamline – the body as straight as possible to go fast through the water”, Tonje explains.

She emphasizes that a strong core is important no matter what type of exercise you choose to do, and that she is continuing to include swimming in her workout routine to further strengthen a previous back injury. “I can really feel that it helps”, she says.

health_benefits_of_swimming_xenical_effective_weight_loss_lose_weight_gain_lifeI promise to attempt swimming once a week, if you promise to give it a try.

That ass

I have never been much of an “ass” girl. Not that I’ve ever had boobs either, though that’s a different story. But getting interested in working out has taught me that lifting weights (in a combo with proper nutrition of course) is the way to go to sculpt your body. Not dying on the treadmill every day. Not hating on the crosstrainer every day. But building muscle. Now, I am no bodybuilder, in fact, I barely have visible muscles. But I grow stronger, I push limits and I learn. Lifting weights = more muscle = burning more energy every day = toned body.

It has been requested that I put up my program for building, eh.. “that ass”. If I could choose, there is a plethora of other exercises I would rather include in my leg-day program, but because of knees not willing to cooperate (surgery gone wrong x 2) and a torn ligament in my lower back, I can’t. And well, this ankle injury isn’t really allowing for any leg program right now. I simply have to do the things that works for me and my body. My program is as narrowed down as it can possibly get and I am very happy I still can dedicate two full workout sessions a week to my legs.

I don’t have pictures of all the exercises that I do, but I will include them anyway.

Smith Machine Squats.

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90 degree legpress, I do one leg at the time simply because I am stronger in one leg, but doing both legs at once is fine.

Hamstring curls on a machine (-13kg old picture).

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Cable kickbacks.

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Hamstring curls on a swissball (yes, I struggle too).

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90 degree wall-sits (hate hate hate).

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Calf raises either in stairs, using the smith machine w/weights or on a step.IMG_1486

And I always finish my workout with the most awkward exercise in the book; hip thrusts. Now, I know we all read fitness blogs where the girls do crazy amounts of weights with their legs, but that does not mean you have to. We all have to start somewhere and work our way up. I found this photo the other day, and see where I started with my hip thrusts. I’m pretty sure this bar weighs about 20 kg..

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And now I am (after strongly motivating myself) doing 12 x 3 of 70 kg.

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I also tend to throw in the occasional supine bridge with one leg at the time, sumo squats and squats with elastic bands if I am feeling it (and have the time).

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If I could, I would also include, deadlifts (done properly, not the way I destroyed my lower back) bulgarian split squats, normal squats with weights and lunges. Promise me that you will google the exercises (or get help) before trying them for the first time, technique is so important to avoid and prevent injuries.

When I was at my physio, we discussed the fact that so many people eliminate leg-day from their workout routine because “they already use their legs enough”. You’ve seen them. The guys at Stereosonic with chicken legs and a massive chest. We concluded that they were lazy, as working out the largest muscle group of the body can be both challenging and exhausting. Including compound movement exercises, rather than solely relying on isolation exercises (bicep curls….) will allow for building of muscle and increase in strength, whilst attacking fat and sculpting your body. Furthermore, studies show that resistance training can promote bone re-calcification, enhance tendon and ligament durability and aid in the strengthening of joints.

We should not only lift weights for the sake of our own appearance, but also to minimize the risk of injuries and to enhance performance in other sports, such as soccer, running etc.