September 28, 2008

End of the Push-up Challenge

Okay everyone -- the end is here or near, depending if you started the week of August 18 or had to take a week off due to illness (a few of you contacted me about that). If you've completed your 6 weeks, take a day to do as many push-ups in a row without stopping, and send me the count. You have until October 6 to turn in this number! We'll see who can do the most push-ups and who had the highest percentage of improvement. Also, let me know if you did your push-ups on your toes (boy-style) or knees (girl-style).

September 22, 2008

Muscle-building Monday

This week we're going to rock it Tamilee Webb style by creating our own buns of steel. I have no idea what the "real name" of this exercise is, but I know it tightens your glutes and is a sure winner for some burn!

One Legged Pelvic Lifts

Lie on your back, knees bent, arms at your sides, feet flat on the floor. While keeping your right knee bent, lift your right foot into the air. Now you're ready! Push through your left heel to lift your glutes (and the small of your back) off the floor. Keep your upper body very still. Complete your set and switch legs.

Start with 2 sets of 10 reps for each leg, alternating legs. If this is too difficult, do the same number of sets and reps but with both heels on the ground, remembering to push through your heels to lift your glutes, not your toes.

September 21, 2008

A slacker in blogging.

My apologies to all out there for the lack of posts this past week. Superman was in Hong Kong for 2 weeks on business, and it took everything inside me to stay sane -- including staying away from the computer (go figure)! But I'm back and ready to go. This is my last week (week 6) of the push-up challenge, and I'm excited to see what my final number will be! It'll also be time to test myself for my real goal...(perhaps I won't be too shy next week to post it; I'm quite certain I'll be able to do it now!)

September 15, 2008

Muscle-building Monday

Okay, I'll admit it -- I've been obsessed with push-ups lately. Ever since I started the push-up challenge over at, it's all I think about! I've got 2 weeks left to complete my 6 week journey, and I've already tripled my initial testing amount of push-ups. In light of that, here's your Muscle-building Monday idea!

Try this exercise 3 times a week, 4 sets of 6-8 reps, alternating sides.

One Foot Push-ups:

For this variation of the push-up you'll need to be in a formal push-up position; legs straight with toes on the floor (not on bent knees), stomach and chest on the floor, hands under your shoulders. As you push yourself up, keep your right foot in line with your glutes (rump) and shoulders. At the top of the move, your arms will be straight, your left foot (toes) will be on the floor, and your right leg, glutes, and shoulders will all be in a straight line parallel to the floor. Lower down to complete the rep (don't let your right foot touch the floor at all). Finish this set, then switch to complete a set with your right foot on the floor.

Keeping your leg in the air will help you concentrate on your form and help you move slower to really strengthen your chest muscles. For an added burn, squeeze your glutes together during your push-ups. OOOOOOOWEEEEEE!!!! Love that burn! Build your muscle and live well!

Have a great week guys!

September 11, 2008

Ramblings about how to unwind

After having spent the last week (and still have one more week to go) without Superman, playing single parent is seriously not something I ever want to do permanently. (He's away on business.) My hat goes off to all of you single parents out there -- you deserve on amazing vacation!

I've long believed a good dose of "me time" is required for a healthy mind (a.k.a. sanity). Some may find it hard to relax after their day at work, home, etc, turning to the television or a bag of goodies to help ease their mind of current frustrations.

For all things there is a time and a place, right? I won't go into details of when I've absolutely had to sit in front of the television with my Oreos/Chips Ahoy/ice cream (okay you get the point) to wind down and feel better. But more than one night of splurging literally will make me ill, and the feelings of relaxation are replaced with more anxiety of wasting time and calories. Do you ever get this way? Or can you "veg" regularly doing the TV and treat thing (maybe something's wrong with me??)?

After many trials and errors I've discovered how I can relax at the end of the day. As much as I'd love to brag about my deep breathing techniques or explosive kickboxing routine, I can't. What works for my "me time" is simple really; do something I've wanted to do all day but just wasn't able to do. HA!

The level of stress I have once the kids are in bed dictates my activity for the evening. If I didn't get any quiet time (laughing hard because that's just about every day) then yes, I'll do some deep breathing and enjoy the now quiet atmosphere. If I didn't get to exercise, then yes. I'll exercise. If I really want to catch the latest episode of my favorite show with 4 cookies, then yes. I'll do it. But I won't do the same thing every night.

For me it's all about variety to keep it fun. Every minute of my "me time" has got to be enjoyable so I can de-stress and be ready for the next (early) morning. It's not every night that I need some serious unwinding time, but sometimes I need to know that blessed evening will come so I can make it through the day.

After a long day of _______ (fill in your regular responsibilities), how do you unwind/relax/get some "me" time?

September 10, 2008

Laughing hard is so fulfilling!

This isn't very fitness related, but anything that makes us laugh helps us feel better mentally. There's my stretch. I really could be the only one to find this funny, and that's alright because I enjoyed a great laugh.

I was calling this guy (he sounded 20s/30s) about his ad for window well covers. I talked with him yesterday to get details and he wrote down my information. I decided to call him today to order them.

When I called him today he sounded out of it; he was mumbling and fumbling through papers trying to find my information. After asking him to repeat what he had just said for the 2nd time in the 40 seconds we were on the phone, he apologized and said his mind is crazy because his wife is in labor.

Me: "What? Your wife is in labor?"
Him: "Yeah. She's going to deliver in a couple minutes." (I can hear him still fumbling through papers to find my information for window well covers.)
Me: "HANG UP THIS PHONE RIGHT NOW. Then you apologize to your wife for even answering the phone. I'll call you back tomorrow."
Him: "Oh, yeah, okay."

I hung up the phone and thought, seriously, did that phone call just happen?!?!? Did he really just answer his phone listing a number he didn't know right when his wife was about to deliver their child? Really? I'm still laughing about it. I'M SO GRATEFUL FOR SUPERMAN who wouldn't on a really bad day even pull that!

September 1, 2008

Muscle-building Monday

Try this exercise 3 times/week, starting with 8 reps each leg building up to 12, 2-3 sets.

Combo lunges (glutes, quads):

This exercise combines a front lunge, side lunge, and back lunge. First, stand with feet together, hands on hips, left foot prepared to travel. Step forward and lunge with your left foot, keeping your right knee just above the floor and left knee in line with your left ankle. Push through your left heel and return to starting position. Take a step sideways and lunge with your left foot, keeping your left knee in line with your left ankle. Push through your left heel and return to starting position. Take a step backward with your left foot and lunge, keeping your left knee just above the floor and right knee in line with your right ankle. Push through your right heel to come up and return to starting position. Repeat and complete your reps for your left leg, and then complete the same number of reps for your right leg.

To add resistance, hold dumbbells in each hand and add a shoulder press by pressing up while you lower your body into the lunge. Lower your shoulder press to starting position while returning your feet to the lunge starting position.