How I Decided on my Training Splits

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A while back when I was still knew the the weightlifting world but starting to fall in love with it, another girl had asked me what my splits are. At the time, I was hardly familiar with the term “splits”. Before replying with, “I used to be able to do my right splits but not quite my middle or left side…back when I was more flexible,” I thought more about the context of our conversation. I took a swing at it and told her how I split up my leg days/arm days/etc. She didn’t give me a weird look, so I was hoping I nailed it—either that or she was just being polite.

Luckily, my guess was right and I felt like less of an amateur. For those of you that don’t know of the term “Splits,” let me save you from a situation similar to mine.

 

Split System Training (as defined by weighttraining.com)–

 

“Split system training is a system of weight training that divides training sessions by body regions—usually upper and lower body training.”

 

Therefore, when somebody asks you what your training splits are, they’re essentially asking how you divide your muscle groups when weightlifting.

I’ve toyed with a few different ways of training in the gym, and here is a little run down of my trials & errors:

 

Before becoming serious about fitness

Before I ever knew what I was doing, I did what almost any typical girl did in the gym…stuck to cardio (my, how things have changed) and a few of the machines that I actually knew how they worked.

 

When Alex made me a 12 week workout plan

Shortly before I created this little blog of mine, Alex (my boyfriend, for those of you who are knew around here) was studying to take his exam to become a certified personal trainer. I asked to make me a workout plan because the structure of having a plan would help with my problem of not staying committed to working out consistently. Because I was new to weight training, he created a plan that focused on stability and simple movements. Thinking back to it, it was primarily divided into upper body exercises and lower body exercises with a few days of cardio a week. This worked really well to introduce me into weight training.

 

Total body workouts every other day (or every 3rd day)

I actually did my current splits (see below) for a while before I tried this out. I took a weight training class at my college and since it was only 2 days a week, we created workout programs that trained our whole body. I tried this out throughout the whole term (continuing with total body workouts about 2 days outside of my weight training class). I think this format was okay, but I eventually switched back to what I was doing before, and what I’m currently doing now.

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Current splits

Now that I’ve learned a little about how the muscles work and also how they work together, I’ve come to find what works best for ME. Everyone has their own way of splitting up their training, and it’s okay that everyone does it differently! I’ve learned that both nutrition and fitness is like politics—one person can say one thing, and another can say another thing, neither are wrong but both just have their opinions.

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First of all, I always have and always will do legs on their own day. All of the muscles in the legs don’t really work in conjunction with upper body muscles (unless doing more functional like movements), so I don’t have to worry about overtraining any muscles. Therefore, on leg day I work my quads, hammies, calves, and glutes. And then I can’t walk the next 2 days.

As for upper body, this can be a little more controversial. The biceps, triceps, back, and chest muscles often work together since they are all in close proximity and recruit each other to complete a movement. In general, chest exercises usually use the triceps a little, and back exercises engage the biceps. Because of this, it’s important to be aware of the muscles your working so you don’t end up overtraining them.

From what I’ve observed, a lot of people will do back and biceps on one day and chest and triceps on another. When doing this, you are training the muscles that work together on the same day so that you aren’t working them the next. I’ve tried this before, but I feel like if I do a back exercise after a bicep exercise, my biceps give out before my back. This works for a lot of people, but I personally do it a little different.

I pair back and chest together on one day and then triceps and biceps on another. Yes, this means that some muscles are being trained two days in a row. However, I’ve toyed with this a little for it to work for me. During back and chest workouts, the biceps and triceps are being used but they aren’t being fatigued. Because of this, I always train back and chest BEFORE I train biceps and triceps. If I were to train biceps and triceps before back and chest, my bi’s and tri’s would be fatigued and therefore being overworked. Here’s a rundown of how all of my splits would go together in a typical 2 week period:

Week 1 Week 2
Monday Legs Rest
Tuesday Rest Bi’s & Tri’s
Wednesday Back & Chest Legs
Thursday Bi’s & Tri’s Back & Chest
Friday Rest Rest
Saturday Legs Bi’s & Tri’s
Sunday Back & Chest Legs

As for abs, I usually will include a few ab exercises in 2-3 days a week when I have time. I’ve noticed that when I do weighted ab exercises (which I used to do a lot), my torso becomes wider and bulkier which is not what I’m aiming for. I’ve switched to doing ab exercises such as scissor kicks, v-ups, oblique crunches, regular crunches with pulses, Russian twists without any weight, etc.

Oh, and for cardio…I try and squeeze some in a few days a week in the form of the stair mill, bike, or circuit training. You will never see me on a treadmill.

What I like about the splits that I do is that my rest days don’t have to be planned. Regardless of my rest days, I generally won’t be overtraining any muscles. Because of the fact that I work 3 jobs and have quite the busy schedule, my rest days are usually forced because more often than not, around 2 days a week I am on the go from when I wake up until when I go to bed.

 

So there you have it! This is currently what works for ME. Like I said, everyone is different and has their own opinion of how they should train their muscles. It’s taken a lot of experimenting for me to find my happy spot, and what I do may be a failed experiment to somebody else…and that’s okay! Diversity for the win ;)

 

Erika

 

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a certified personal trainer nor a fitness expert. All thoughts and opinions are my own and may not work for everyone. Always consult your doctor before starting a fitness program…or somethin’ like that.

Blend 2014 Recap (Day 3)

Hey world! It’s Friiiiiiday!

If you need to catch up on my Blend recaps, click the links below:

Blend 2014 Recap (Day 1)

Blend 2014 Recap (Day 2)

 

And now….the last and final recap….BLEND RETREAT DAY 3!

Blend 2014 Day 3

I don’t want to leave!

All of my exhaustion sunk in Saturday night and I slept like a ROCK. I didn’t want to get out of bed Sunday morning but I knew that the morning boot camp would wake me up! Sunday’s boot camp was sponsored by GPP Fitness, who has a philosophy of functionality and health rather than bigger/faster/stronger. We first warmed up with a run and a few simple exercises outside. We did a group workout (in somewhat of a relay style) full of running, pushups, burpees, squats, tricep dips, and crunches. Our team finished in 17 minutes but my body felt like I had been working out for an hour.

Team 5 REPRESENT

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Left to right: Me, Vanessa, Lindsay, Nicole, and Katie

After the workout, doTERRA gave us some smoothie shots made with their special (and deliciously fragrant!) oils.

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Oh, and I also did a quick outfit change (as you can see in the picture above) into my elmo shirt because Janae brought her daughter Brooke and if you read Janae’s blog, you know Brooke LOOOOVES Elmo. I wore my Elmo shirt during the Fun Run on Friday, and Janae asked me if I could put it on when she brings Brooke on Sunday. Anything for little miss Brookers!

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She is just TOO cute.

When I realized that basically everyone left for breakfast while I was zoning out on Brooke, I headed to the dining area to join everyone. Breakfast Sunday morning was sponsored by Nature Valley and Yoplait Greek!

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Following breakfast was the closing ceremony where everyone received a prize! However, I was taken out of the raffle because I had already won the Vitamix…which was a-okay with me!

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Group shot!

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Shortly after the closing ceremony, I had to say goodbye to my roomies, as well as most everyone else that was there. SO SAD!

I, along with a small group of girls, didn’t need to be at the airport until way later because our flights were all leaving around 8pm. Check out time at the hotel was 12pm, so Candice was nice enough to take a few of us to her house (she lives in Salt Lake City) to hang out with her little family, eat snacks, and just relax & talk in the sunshine.

She has twins (one boy and one girl) who are the CUTEST. I snapped a picture with this little diva:

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Candice also drove us to a place where we could take the most gorgeous walk.

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Left to right: Me, Ari, Nicole, Brittany, and Candice

We then browsed around a nearby mall before heading out for one last meal in Utah.

Red Rock Brewery!

I got a warm shrimp salad and some (unpictured) sweet tater fries.

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With my tummy full and my heart even fuller, we were off to the airport.

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SO MANY bags to fit in one tiny car.

Nicole, Ari, and I found out that there was froyo in the airport so we obviously had to make that happen…even if it was in an entirely other terminal.

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I then experienced my first flight delay (about 3 hours) so I started up on my Econ final in the airport. Back to reality…

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On the plane ride home, I probably looked through all of the pictures from the weekend 20 times….and since I’ve been home, another 3,939,492 more.

This weekend was beyond what I could have ever imagined it to be. There’s just something about being surrounded by people with the same passion as you that really makes you feel whole. I honestly don’t think words will ever do justice of how great Blend Retreat is. Instead, you just have to go! And you better believe I’ll be there next year in Boulder, CO! And I better see you there, Jen! ;)

Again, I want to thank Lindsay, Janetha, and Lauren for putting this all together. Blend would (literally) be nothing without you three!

Also, a big shout-out to Silk for being the main sponsor of the retreat. They put forth so much to make this happen! I truly love supporting companies like Silk (and all of the other sponsors) that have a passion for healthy living and supporting this community.

Welp, there ya have it! All three days of Blend…does this mean I have to stop talking about it now? HA. I could never.

 

Erika

Blend 2014 Recap (Day 2)

Hey all! If you missed my recap of day one, click below to catch up:

Blend 2014 Recap (Day 1)

On to day 2 we goooo!

Blend 2014 Day 2 again

What is sleep?

When I woke up Saturday morning, I was EXHAUSTED. I hardly slept at all that night which is hard to believe considering I had been up since 2:30 the morning before! I guess I was too excited for my own good. Good thing that excitement keeps me awake because aside from the struggle of physically getting out of bed Saturday morning, I was good to go for the rest of the day!

I took a preworkout that was in our swag bags from Onnit. I figured it should help since the morning boot camp was also sponsored by Onnit and led by an Onnit employee :)

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You can probably tell how tired I was in the above picture…opening my eyes was a struggle. After we got sweatin’ though, I was wiiiiide awake.

We warmed up with a few yoga moves and then did a series of pushups, squats, jump squats, burpees (barf), and lunges of all variations imaginable. The altitude totally killed me in this workout. I could barely breathe before my muscles were even fatigued! I never realized how much a higher altitude can make such an altitude of a difference (get it?..get it?).

After the main workout, we were “offered” to participate in a little plank challenge. At the time I was thinkin’ No fricken way, I need to breeeeathe! Then Orlando (leading the workout on behalf of Onnit) said that the three people who hold a plank the longest get a $100 gift card to Onnit. When there is that great of a reward involved, opting out is not an option.

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I lasted for I think about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. I don’t usually do long planks (usually 30 seconds of regular and side planks on each side) so plank endurance is something I don’t possess. I pushed myself real hard though, and the last minute I just kept telling myself Body says no, brain says yes, body says no, brain says yes, etc. The mental push powered me through the last minute, but then my body gave out. The three girls left standing (errrmm..planking) lasted over 6 MINUTES! They are crazy in the best way possible. I love being surrounded by such strong women. Love. It.

After we were done dying working out, we were graced with some of Lindsay’s Healthy Bites!

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I’ve wanted to try them for SO LONG and I finally got to. She incorporated Nuttzo into them (one of the sponsors) and we all went NUTZ(zo) over them! I literally can’t stop thinking about the lemon shortbread flavor. I even offered her my soul for them. When I find a food I love, I don’t back down ; ) She said the recipe will be in her next E-book….I’m sold!

After making too many jokes about how us bloggers love our balls, we wandered over to the dining area where we had a spread of yummy breakfast delicacies brought to you by Quest Nutrition!

Check out these Quest bar creations:

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Those things stole the show, but there were lots of other goodies!

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When we went to our seats, we came across TREASURE. Yes, TREASURE!!

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In a healthy living blogger’s mind, treasure = bags with an entire sample box of Quest bars along with all the other bars that weren’t included in the box! We were then told that since they forgot to include their newest flavor (cookies & cream….my fave!), they were going to send us all an ENTIRE BOX of cookies & cream bars! We were all beaming with excitement and Nicole & Jayne modeled the bags for me. Yo Quest, you lookin’ for some models? ; )

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When we headed back to our rooms, one of the employee’s from the Hyatt came by with another room drop! We may have freaked him out a little bit with our enthusiasm and with the fact that we called him Santa four too many times. Seriously though, this was better than Christmas!

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Next on our agenda was a hike sponsored by Organic Valley. We got ready in our rooms and put our new blue backpacks to use!

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Before we left for the hike, we stopped by the expo room to fill our tumblers that came in our swag bags with smoothies from Silk! The people from Silk said we were the first people to bring our tumblers (there was a note inside our tumblers that said to bring them for a smoothie), and they were really excited about it so they took a picture of all of us with our tumblers!

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While we were there, we entered to win a Vitamix plus a year’s supply of Silk! I’ve basically dreamed of a Vitamix ever since I entered this world of healthy living (if you’re into this stuff…you know what I mean.) I told the people at Silk that since I brought my tumbler, they should give me an extra entry…unfortunately that wouldn’t be fair ; )

After we sucked down our smoothies, we were ready to hike! We got to take gondola’s halfway up the mountain and then hike the rest from there. The view from the gondola’s was breathtaking!

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Orlando (there on behalf of Onnit) said he had never been on a ski lift, gondola, or anything of the like. Remember this was the guy that also hadn’t had a s’more before? After making fun of him for not having lived, he got a little freaked out when we were reallllly high off the ground—I like to consider it revenge after he killed us in the morning boot camp.

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After the gondola ride, celebrity trainer Joel Harper lead our hike and began by stretching us out.

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Off we went!

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On the way back down, I got to talk with Heather (who’s blog I’ve been following for a long time!) and I loved hearing about her upcoming bikini competition she’s competing in. You go, girl!

Once back to the hotel, we had a snack break sponsored by Kidz Shake!

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We all got our own little shaker bottles and could choose to fill them with a strawberry banana shake or a choco/pb/banana shake. Being as indecisive as I am, I asked them to fill it with half of each : ) I love that this company is aiming good nutrition at kids. Their products are specially formulated for kids health and made with REAL ingredients….and we all know we’re all kids at heart ;)

Saturday afternoon & evening was our chance to check out Park City. Being the kind of people we all are, checking out the food scene in new cities is a must!

Before we headed out to explore the town, I got a text from Lauren to come down to the expo room.

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I wasn’t sure why but I headed down and…..

I WON THE VITAMIX!!!

My excitement was UNREAL. I literally felt on top of the world…I’ve wanted one for SO LONG. I’m still in shock that I won it. Whenever you enter a drawing, especially when it’s something HUGE and lots of people are entering, you don’t think you’ll get chosen. BUT I WAS FREAKING CHOSEN. Lauren drove it home to Colorado with her and will be mailing it to me. I can’t wait!

After calming myself down from excitement, we all headed out on the town!

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After checking out the local shops, we went into High West, a whiskey and vodka distillery where everyone got some drinks. Check out these cool lights on the wall!

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We had plans to go somewhere else for dinner, but I was HAAAANGRY so I got some mac n cheese balls to tide me over. I have no words. Again, more jokes about bloggers liking balls. :P

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Nicole ordered a flight of whiskey samples and our amazing server told us all about them. As a server myself, I know a good one when I see one. She was awesome!

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For dinner, we went to Wasatch Brewery which we had heard good things about! I’m a buffalo meat lover, and apparently so was everyone else! Lots of us got the buffalo burger. Our server was hilariously rude and awesome at the same time. Dealing with a group of people who know their food isn’t easy! ;)

Sweet tater fries on the siiiide.

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It was DELISH. I was stuffed. And what do I do when I’m stuffed? EAT ICE CREAM! I don’t have a picture of the ice cream because my phone died, but it looked a lot like the ice cream in this post (<—click there) because it was HONEY LAVENDER ICE CREAM! It’s my all time favorite ice cream and I’ve only seen it at Salt & Straw in Portland. I couldn’t say no to that.

So at this point, I’m entirely too full for my own good. So what do I do when I’m entirely too full? Go to a scone party hosted by Momma B. (Janetha’s mom) and eat a Utah scone!

Blend: The only place where you can geek out with friends over salads…and be high fived for eating a burger, fries, ice cream and scone…all in one weekend.

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Utah scones are nothing like your typical triangle shaped cookie-meets-biscuit pastry. The only thing I can think to compare it to is a donut! Momma B. is infamous for her Utah scones so I had to at least try ONE. Smothered in peanut butter of course!

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At this point, my stomach was ready to explode and all I could think about was lying down and sleeping off that food coma.

And that is exactly what I (as well as the rest of my roomies) did.

 

The next (and final!) blend recap will be up soon.

 

Erika

Blend 2014 Recap (Day 1)

Blend 2014 Day 1 again

My heart is so full. So, so full. This last weekend was one of the best of my life and just writing about it puts a smile on my face.

For those who don’t know what Blend is, here’s a little blurb from the Blend website itself:

“The BLEND Retreat (named so because we wanted to combine “blogger” with “friend”) is a relaxed, laid-back weekend retreat for healthy living, food and fitness bloggers from across the United States and Canada. Instead of focusing on seminars and formal speakers, our focus is on friendship and having a weekend away to get to know and connect with one another in real life.”

I have read millions of recaps from the previous years in total envy of the extreme awesomeness of the Blend Retreat. This year, I joined in on all the fun. AND I AM EVER SO GLAD I DID. (<—sorry for yelling, but my excitement is unreal.)

It’s rare that I meet people that have the same passion as I do, and when I do, my giddiness goes on overload. This last weekend, I was SURROUNDED by people who all share a love of healthy living…needless to say, it was basically euphoric.

I’ve decided to recap the experience day by day because it’s kind of hard to jam the 3 best days of your life into one blog post. I realize how cheesy I sound but….cheese is really good so I’ve decided it’s okay to be cheesy. Mmmm, cheese.

Before I blabber on about Blend, I first want to thank the three amazing women that made it all happen: Lindsay, Janetha, and Lauren. It couldn’t have happened without you three!

 

Peace Out, Portland

On Friday morning, my alarm was set for 3:30am, but after I awoke at 2:30, I was too excited to fall back asleep. Off to the airport I went…took an obligatory PDX carpet photo (it’s a Portland thing..) and I was off to Utah!

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When I arrived at the Salt Lake City airport, I strutted through the airport terminal with a grin the size of banana plastered on my face. Lindsay was kind enough to arrange a shuttle to the hotel for a group of us girls. The shuttle took us to the BEAUTIFUL Hyatt Escala Lodge. Nicole, one of my roommates was on the shuttle and when we checked into our room, Jayne (another one of our roommates) had already made it to the room!

We geeked out for a little bit over all things food & fitness, and checked out our first room drop!

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We then headed down to registration and received our swag bags. The bags were stuffed to the brim with goodies and I swear it almost exploded when I opened it!

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It was around lunch time and everyone was still arriving, so a group of us went to Cafe Rio to eat the best salads EVER. We waited in line for close to 30 minutes….ohhh the things bloggers will do for good food.

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Cafe Rio, come to Portland please! (I can never eat Chipotle again.) (I literally just looked up the closest one to me. 313 miles. Is it pathetic that I’m actually considering driving 313 miles for salad?)

The first activity on the schedule was a “Fun” Run lead by Janae. I put “Fun” in quotations because for me, running ain’t exactly my idea of fun. I can hardly run in Portland where the elevation is under 1,000 feet, let alone in Park City where the elevation is above 10,000. I ran the first half but ended up walking with some others :) Apparently the elevation was killing a lot of people!

After the run, we refueled with a snack break sponsored by Arctic Zero. It consisted of samples of their 3 new flavors, ice cream sandwiches, and smoothies.

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Tori, our last roommate had arrived and we all joined each other in our hotel room and got all dolled up for cocktail hour and dinner!

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The cocktail hour was sponsored by Fluro water and Sizzlefish, two amazing companies! Sizzlefish’s salmon was TO DIE FOR. I’m dreaming of it right now.

I love this picture below…a bunch of food bloggers in their element—taking pictures of food!

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Taking shots of Fluro water! The kiwi cucumber one is so refreshing.

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I chatted with Lindsay and Janetha for a bit, two of the ladies behind this whole event! I’ve been reading Janetha’s blog for a looong time so it was really great to meet her! Check out baby Porter’s adorable bald spot.

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After the cocktail hour, we all headed into the Hyatt’s ballroom which is where our dinner took place. Pizza and salad—one of the greatest combos.

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They even had a separate table for vegan & gluten free pizza to accommodate to some people’s food allergies! I had two slices of pizza, two different salads, and way too many desserts. When in Utah, right?

As we were all finishing up dinner, Ashley came around and hooked us all up with some Fabletics gear!

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The headbands are AMAZING. I have a really hard time getting headbands to stay on my head and these don’t budge in the slightest.

There was a photo booth set up for us in the lobby, but it wasn’t working so we improvised and used the props while the people trying to fix the photo booth took pictures with our phones : )

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We were all exhausted so we decided to go relax by the fire outside and the wonderful folks at the Hyatt gave us all the things we needed for s’mores!

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Orlando, one of the sponsors attending from Onnit, claimed he had never had a s’more before. We decided that he has not lived so we gave him life, and by life I mean a s’more.

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This was a huge moment in his life so we all caught it on camera.

Most of us hit the sack around 10 because 1. we were exhausted, and 2. us healthy living people are all about the go to bed early & wake up early life. MY KINDA PEOPLE.

Day 2 will be up tomorrow! I’m still in awe of the whole weekend. I JUST LOVE THESE PEOPLE SO MUCH.

 

Erika

WIAW 2

The week before last, I joined in on the What I Ate Wednesday fun and decided to do so again! And just like last time, this is what I actually ate on an actual Wednesday which is actually today. Actually.

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Lately, I’ve been buying giant iced teas from Starbucks and they last me for about 2 days.

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Having something that is flavored encourages me to drink more liquid so I’ve found this works well for me. But still….how would this last me 2 days? Let me tell you….I kind of cheat the system. I get a trenta passion tea with no sweetener, no water, and super light ice. It’s $2.95 for this and I basically get a billion ounces of super strong iced tea. I take that home and pour some into a cup as I need it and add water & ice. At Starbucks, they brew their tea really strong and then just add water to when someone orders it—which makes sense. Sometimes I feel bad because I basically wipe them out of their jug of super strong passion tea between the requests for light ice and no water…..but then I quickly get over it ;)

 

Breakfast

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2 waffles. Vanilla Greek yog mixed with PB2 & cinnamon. Sprinkle of dark chocolate chips. Doused in love.

Iced tea on the side.

 

Snack

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This was just a little snack to fuel me through my workout. It was half of an apple with (not enough) peanut butter and a few goldfish grahams. This actually left me feeling really full which worried me because I don’t like working out on a full stomach. I was fine, but what the heck? I can eat a burger with fries and still have room for dessert but half an apple and some goldfish fill me up? Nonsense.

And on leg days we wear pink.

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And by “we,” I mean “me,” and by “me,” I mean “I” because saying me wouldn’t make grammatical sense.

Welp, that’s the last time I try and make a Mean Girls reference.

 

Lunch

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A piece of toasted bread topped with egg salad, cukes with lemon & salt & pepper, and some of these crunchy, cheesy, sticks. I would usually have another piece of bread on top of the egg salad, but I knew I’d be getting bubble tea later (which has some sugar) so I cut out the top piece of bread to balance out my carbs a little. Then I ruined it by eating 15 more of the cheesy puffs.

 

Snack

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Bubble tea and a jerky stick. The jerky stick is made beef and elk! I’ve been meaning to try them before and finally bought one the other day. LOVED IT—and it is surprisingly low in sugar and sodium for jerky. Winning. I’m not sure it is politically correct to call these sorta things jerky, but jerky sounds so much more appealing than meat stick.

 

Snack

Yet another snack…

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I just had a few bites of this cereal before I headed back to the gym to try out a Turbo Kick class for the first time. It is confirmed, I still have no coordination.

 

Dinner

My Dad was nice enough to get me a sub from our favorite sub shop : )

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I cut it in half (saving the other half for tomorrow) and served it alongside two deviled eggs and some sun chips. I’m the kind of person that likes to save the best food on the plate for last and with every bite I took, I thought it was the best part so I would switch to another….then I would think that that was actually the best part….and so on. Love it when that happens. Is this normal? No? …….

 

And that’s it for today!

PS. Alex, my lovely boyfriend, just launched his site. Click here to check it out : )

 

Erika

Fitness Portrayal in the Media (Men vs. Women)

As a society, we have come a long way in regards to treating everyone as equal. Of course there are always going to be things that can be improved on—but in general, I think we can all agree that everyone deserves to be treated as one in the same.

During this term in school, I’ve been in a gender communication class in which we study a lot of gender stereotypes. Even though we all (as in society) generally believe that people are fairly equal, it’s crazy to see all the subliminal messages the media sends to the public. I could probably write a 10,000 word blog post on this topic as a whole, but I just wanted to briefly mention the way that men and women are portrayed in the fitness industry.

*Note: I don’t believe that all of these or other advertisers are entirely bad, I just think that sometimes the way men and women are targeted differently is upsetting. However, even some of these magazines listed below do have good articles, stories, and intentions.

First, let’s look at a few women’s magazine covers:

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And some men’s:

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Notice any differences? What stands out to me the most is how much pressure there is on women to lose weight. On the first magazine cover (which is blurry, sorry!), it says “A slim, happy, you!” Since when does being slim determine your happiness? It’s so wrongly portrayed that once you have the “perfect” body, you will be happy. In reality, most people aren’t ever entirely satisfied with their bodies! Some of the healthiest people aren’t as slim as models on the front of health and fitness magazines.

On the contrary, the men’s magazines gear more towards being fit. “Big arms fast!” “Ripped right now!” “Hard muscle made easy!”

Just like there is pressure on women to be skinny, there’s also a substantial amount of pressure on men to have crazy amounts of muscle. However, I think it’s better to promote muscle (even better—being fit!) than it is to promote skinny.

Ugh. “Skinny.” The word itself makes me cringe. The pressure on women, especially young girls, to be skinny has gotten out of control. Why can’t we empower women to become fit? To become strong? To become HEALTHY? To define their health based on their mentality and their ability rather than their aesthetic appearance?

While most of us don’t think we let these messages get to us, it’s unfortunately engraved in our brains. This kind of advertisement is EVERYWHERE and impossible to avoid. Not only does it come in the form of magazines, but also: commercials, television, billboards, websites, etc.

Even though it is nearly impossible to change the way the entire media advertises “health,” what we can do as individuals is define what healthy means to us and live by our own standards—not by stereotypical ones.

Be fit. Be strong. Be healthy.

 

Erika

WIAW

Hiiiiii! Today I’ve decided to link up with the ever so grand, notorious, internet sensation (drum roll please…)

 

What I Ate Wednesday!

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Since this is the first time I’ll be linking up with WIAW, I figured I needed to have a grand welcoming. I’ve posted a lot of my “Eats” posts before, and this is essentially the same thing…but with WIAW, we (as in bloggers posting their eats on Wednesdays) get to all link up and drool over each others food and have a party and be friends and YAYYY FOR FOOD.

Okay. Any who.

Most people will share their eats from a previous day because sharing that exact Wednesday’s eats is a little hard unless you wanna type up a post late at night. Considering how I love going to bed really early, this would seem like something I would do. But instead, I’m rebelling today.

What I Actually Ate On This Actual Wednesday Which Is Actually Today

*Side note: Do you ever go to type a title and forget which words can be left uncapitalized and so you just end up capitalizing them all? No? Oh, me either…

 

Breakfast:

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I realize this looks kinda sorta really gross. But I promise it was delicious. It’s basically overnight oats, except I mixed them right when I got up this morning and ate them a few hours later. I don’t like my oats to be super mushy so this works for me….therefore I like to call them “few hour oats.” Ha. Topped with peanut butter, chia seeds, and a crushed up belVita breakfast biscuit.

Snack:

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I ate the rest of the little pack of belVita breakfast biscuits to fuel me through my workout. Have you had these before? I tried them for the first time a few days ago and they are addicting. Lately, I’ve been all for anything with a sort of graham taste to it. I pretend they’re cookies. Mmmm cookies.

Lunch:

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This was a tuna & pickle sandwich with cukes, tomatoes, and some homemade tzatziki dip. I mixed the tuna with plain Greek yog, mustard, celery salt, and pepper. With the rest of the Greek yog, I made my own little (super simplified) tzatziki dip by adding:

  • Minced garlic
  • Garlic powder
  • Garlic salt
  • Tiny shreds of cucumber
  • Dill
  • Lemon juice

I didn’t measure anything…just kinda threw it together! It did the trick. Such a summery and fresh lunch! The weather is finally warm here, which means summer foods are around the corner! Mmmm berries.

 

Snack:

Speaking of berries…I picked up some strawbs at the store today because 1. they were on sale and 2. I bought a pack last week which were SO GOOD. So I had some for a snack paired with a baked cookies & cream Quest bar.

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I actually wasn’t a fan of Quest bars when I first tried them. However, once I tried broiling them in my toaster oven…there was no going back. It seriously makes a world of a difference! Oh, and those beautiful looking strawbs weren’t nearly as good as the ones I bought last week. Dangit.

Dinner

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Roasted chicken with roasted baby red with roasted asparagus. Roasted, roasted, and more roasted. Roast everything! Now that I’ve said roast a million (7 to be exact), it sounds and looks weird. ROAST. Roasted. Roasting. Roaster. Kinda like rooster. A male chicken. Mmmm chicken.

 

Dessert

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I sure love me something sweet! This is cookies & cream Arctic Zero, a few dark choco chips, one sliced strawb, a sprinkle of granola, and a drizzle of peanut butter.

Have a good rest of your week, y’all. The weekend is within sight! I actually have this Saturday off. I never have Saturdays (or any days) off. I don’t know how that happened between 3 jobs but I’m not even gonna question it.

 

Erika.