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HomeBody Workout

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Just read your article at noozhawk.com and I’d love to hear your suggestions on how to add 15-20 minutes of weight-training exercises at home 3-4 times a week using free weights, bands, etc.  The more specific the better! I do different types of cardio during the week, all outside here in beautiful Santa Barbara! I realize at the age of 52 that it is more and more difficult to tone up and lose some fat and weight, just about 5 pounds. I do not belong to a gym and so would like to have the tools to do this at home so my metabolism can rev up and that flab can turn to leaner muscle! many thanks

Alexandra, Santa Barbara, CA.

Alexandra: Let’s start with two wondertastic exercises you can do at home with NO equipment where you could get lots of ROI (Rugburn On Impact) – squats and push-ups. The problem is that most people do these with poor, less-than-ideal, blackmail-photo-worthy form. Let’s just say this is where trainers earn their money. But this site has some very specific total body and lunchtime exercises that will have you worshipping me so much that you’ll want to change your name to Alexandra, just to be like me! Hey, wait a minute!

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Kymberly: Disclaimer – this is not my sister questioning herself. That could happen, mind you. But in this case, TWO Alexandras exist in one website. 2 Good + 2 Be = 4Gotten. Next to acknowledge is that reading our posts at noozhawk will lighten your day. And maybe your body weight! .

A: One of the all-time best workouts we’ve experienced that will kick-start your metabolism comes from Aileen Sheron. You might like to check out her tubing variable resistance DVD. Or get a motorcycle and pump it over your head a few times. Zoom Zoom.

K: Just get the darn DVD. You will have so many awesome (euphemism for “butt kicking”) exercises to choose from. And, no we get no kickback from the Fun and Fit bump we just gave the DVD. (Aileen, if you are reading this–and you should, geewillikers!–send us free DVDs will ya??!) Not too proud to beg.

Back to you, Alexandra #2: Also perform ab exercises as part of your program. I LOVE reverse curls as they activate the ab muscles from the bottom up, instead of the top down. No, that is not a suggestion of how to wear your sports bra when training or how to drive your convertible. Ab exercises involve the spine, which can flex and bend all over the place. So you can pull your hip bones toward your rib cage (bottom up) or you can pull your rib cage toward your hip bones (top down). Either way, the move is free, portable, available at home, and important for your goals. The one thing I would change in this video is to keep your legs parallel, NOT crossed at the ankle. I always suggest training to achieve symmetry and balance, so minimize the crossed feet. Maximize the name “Alexandra” though as it is a way cool name. Almost as cool as my name.

Photo credits:Photobucket

Readers: What is your all time FAVE home weight training exercise and why should we care?


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Fabulosity Comes to Those Who Weight

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dearest Fun and Fit:Kymberly and Alexandra

I’m a glamorous lady person in need of your hilarious sarcasm and expert advice.  I am on a quest to create home improvement magic but have found a limit to even MY glittertastic capabilities: that drill can get quite heavy after awhile.  Even though I have a fantastically large amount of shoes I have an embarrassingly small amount of upper body strength.  The only workout my arms probably get includes swiping my credit card at the hardware store and raising martinis to pour down my throat.  Unfortunately I have a busy schedule of kicking ass, taking names and other general fabulosity. (I need) general upper body strength not just biceps – things like … painting ceilings or weedeating for long periods of time, etc. get to be a problem and I’m too independent (cheap) to hire that (&$%*&) out. I’m thinking I’m not the only girl who has this problem so I hope others can relate!! Can you recommend some effective exercises to tone me up in no time so I can show my house who’s boss?  I toast my martini to you!  Ok it’s really just a glass of cheap wine.

Yours always in Fabulosity,

Madame Sunday

Chattanooga, TN which I call Chattavegas because it makes me (and it) seem waaaay more glam

Dear Madame Sunday:

A: You want to look like the ladies above, but instead you are more like this:

:

First of all, for triceps, do this exercise,  

To make it easy for you, Fun and Fit are only suggesting beginner exercises that require hand-held weights and/or your body weight. But we do recommend these weights for the triceps kickback (where’s our endorsement fee Centurions?):

Then do this exercise for shoulders, chest and triceps:  

After which you will be able to do this for painting the ceiling:

Glam people inspire jealousy so you have to accept that people will be talking behind your back. So make sure it’s a well-toned back.

And, finally we come to the core. Are you rotten to the core? If so, place your exercise mat on top of this:

so you can be carried around in true glam style while doing the side plank.  

So, have you figured out that we are recommending a complete upper-body overhaul? No oil change or tire rotation required. When you have done all these exercises and are super hot glam fab toned shiny and sparkly, let us know so we can give you the biceps and latissimus dorsi exercises too! Ahahaaaaaaa. Get to Work Lady Person!

K: You set a high bar with your humor and fabulosity (you can pick whether I am referring to high barbells, highballs, or high people in bars). You would be well-served (and who doesn’t want to be well-served?) to add push-ups to your repertoire.  Ideally you would do these suggested upper body and ab exercises (especially the push-ups) at least three times a week, 15-20 repetitions of each exercise with good form, to fatigue. Not collapse or dishevelment, but fatigue that looks like malaise or ennui or the vapors. You know, something Victorian ladylike.

Readers, lady persons and man persons: What around-the-house activities get you in shape? Which ones leave you less than glamorous and glowing?

Photo credits: Creative Commons (Rennett Stowe, Nan Palmero, Quinn.Anya, loosepunctuation) and Photobucket

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30 Days With the Grateful Shred

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: K and A

I am doing a DVD called “30 Day Shred.” The DVD has 3 levels. I’m doing level 1 currently and my muscles still fatigue at this level but cardiovascular-wise my heart rate (HR) is not getting as high. I feel cardio-wise I am ready for next level. Should I stay with this level and add more cardio or try to go to the next level?

Tamie, Lathrop CA

A: First of all, let me explain for any readers who are unfamiliar with this workout, it does NOT refer to chipped beef on toast (and I DO know the slang term for it – Fun and Fit get out a lot). “30 Day Shred” is a work out that combines muscle work with cardio moves. Tamie, if your muscles are fatigued in a good way (you have some soreness, but can still crawl to the DVD player to push “stop”) then you can move up a level, sure. But why would you want to do that? It wouldn’t be fun, so you wouldn’t continue, right? Just like me trying to live with Kymberly (I call those the “Bossed Years”). Because my metabolic set point is stuck on “lethargic,” I am almost too inert to tell you that……zzzzzz….cardio…next level…snork. To get to the next level, push the “up” button on the shred cardio elevator.

K: Answer-wise, you are cardio-wise to wonder. Like me trying to figure out what Alexandra just ad-wised. Can you pretend you are at Lululemon trying on clothes that Mix and Match? Is the DVD workout set up in a way you can view Level 1 for the strength training part and jump to Level 2 for the cardio part? Sounds as though you do have the option to select a higher intensity cardio portion while sticking with the initial level of resistance work. Ideally you want to enjoy both the process and the goal. If you are too wiped out to move up a level with joy and eagerness, you have entered the “30 Day Dread” zone. You are probably not a’gonna last 30 days into Infinity and Beyond! (Toy Story, Level 1).

A: I think I’ll put this whole thing into terms I can understand. You have a new boyfriend.You expect eternal joy to occur in 30 days. You like going for walks on the beach with him, but it’s kind of boring and your heart doesn’t go “Ka-thunka, ka-thunka” like you wish it would. But he has these other fine qualities that make you go skippity-hop through the tulips until you are all tuckered out. You are asking if you should go bounding through the sunflowers and get exceptionalistically (definition found in “Nabokov’s Dictionary”) exhausted or stay with the eye-gazing beach stroll-a-thon. I say, stick with the tulips (my favorite flower), but start running on that beach. If he (let’s just call him Hearty Rat – or HR) really loves your body, HR will catch up and adjust. I shall now sip a beverage of deliciousness while Kymberly translates.

K: Translate??!! Alexandra, we already established that we do not have twin telepathy. (See “Spinning, Walking, Treading Are Big Fat Pains,” June 2010 post ) We don’t even have the same parents or husbands. Stick with Level 1 for metaphors but jump to Level 2 with Hearty Rat HR attack while Tamie mixes, matches, and shreds in batches.

Readers: What do you do when your heart rate says “yes,” but your muscles say “no?” Would you rather work out with Woody or Buzz? And does anyone actually eat chipped beef on toast?

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From 1 to 10 for your 6 pack

Kymberly Williams-Evans,MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Dear Fun and Fit: Hey Wondertwins!

More a diet question than a fitness question, but here goes: I work out fairly strenuously and notice definite strength benefits from it. However, my diet is awful and I am simply not making a dent in the gut. For the life of me, I can’t say no to the splurges on sweets and other carbohydrates, and I find preparing an army of chicken breasts for my various meals and maintaining greens that will wilt after a few days to be a real pain. Any tips on how I can shake my frame of mind that has me living off of fast and/or processed food and instead be happy eating my grilled meat and greens? Thanks! Keep up the great work 🙂

John from somewhere in the US

K: Hello John and thank you for submitting your question to Fun and Fit. We look forward to answering it , but be prepared that we may take our sweet ole time. Genius cannot be rushed.  Meantime, keep reading and moving! Sincerely, The Wondertwins (we liked this moniker, so have to use it, of course)!

John: The wait’s no problem. The weight is 😉 ooooh delicious puns. Can’t wait to see you two make it big!

K: Excuse me, did you say “delicious puns” or “delicious buns?” We get so confused once baked goods enter the equation. But let’s talk now about your wilted greens and withering will power. Dear boy, you are really talking about priorities and trade offs. While we are not nutrition experts, we know a self-sabotage when we see one. Why set up the choice as either fast food or ascetic eating? We are not proponents of forcing yourself to eat food you don’t like just because you think you should. Instead we believe in forcing people to do our exercise bidding. And finding foods you enjoy that are not on one end of the spectrum or another.

A: According to my favorite medical expert, Dr. Me, I believe you are suffering from a common disease known as “Budweiser Tumor.” Why go from 1 (stuff like that KFC double down fried chicken with bacon, 3 trillion calories and enough sodium to refloat the Dead Sea) to 10 (wilty greens)? Can’t you go from 1 to 2, then move up to 3 after a while….and so on until you reach nutrition improvement? First step, switch out one thing you can live without (processed food product #1) for something that is healthier and that you like (non-processed delicious thing such as a fruit smoothie). Until you get away from your bad-boy fitness attitude of “either – or” you will be stuck correlating healthy with “icky, nasty, wilty, lots of prep,” and fast food with “I’m in charge and no-one can make me not enjoy this lump of lard with seasoning.” Notice how you’ve put “grilled chicken breasts” right there with the military allusion, and splurges on sweets with “I can’t say no.” One is rigid; one is all loosey-goosey. And, yes, I do have a counseling degree, so I can say that “loosey-goosey” is a real diagnosis! You can say “no” – you just don’t want to. I suspect you are very popular on dates. BTW, I have no tips on making you happy. You already worship us so I am mystified as to what else you might need.

K: What you may need is simply to clarify what you really want most: sweets and splurges or abs that have more definition(s) than wikipedia. The other tip is for you to set a goal to find healthy foods you LIKE. Your words “real pain” and “happy” do not usually mix well at a party. Ditch the foods you hate but think you should eat for the nutritious foods you like that also taste scrumptious. Those foods are out there. I found them over at Alexandra’s house. And I ate them before she got home. result = happy.

Readers: What do you tell yourself when faced with a tempting non-nutritional food that will undo all your workout efforts?

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