Getting rid of your "wings"

OK if you are like me (and Oprah) you have a bit of flab on your arms that looks an awful lot like wings that flutter in the wind. EWWWwww is what I say! and how the heck do you get rid of those pesky “wings”?

I’m working on some of these arm work outs (in the gym with heavier weights or at home with smaller weights but more sets) they are all geared for wings, but will certainly help with biceps, triceps and shoulder definition:

1. Tripcep kicks: With dumbbell in right hand bend over so your back is parallel with the ground. Use the left hand holding a weight close to your body to stabilise your position. Flex right arm to a 90 degree angle with the elbow even with the side of the body or ribs. Extend lower arm backwards until arm is completely straight. Turn the wrist while extending the arm back so that the Palm is facing the ceiling. At the extension point make sure you are contracting the tricep muscle (back of upper arm). Finish all repetitions with the right arm, and then move to the left arm. Do 20 on each side.
2. Arm Raises: With arms at your sides lift up both arms at the same time. Alternative, is to then pulse your arms in the air.  Do 20 of these.
3. Bicep Curls: with dumbbells in hands, let the arms hang straight down at your side with palms facing forward. Perform the curl by flexing the arm and bringing the weight up towards the chest. Keep the elbows tight to the side of the body and only move the lower arm. Lower back down to the starting position and repeat. Do 20 of these.
4. Bicep Curl/Shoulder Press: using dumbbells of whatever weight you choose, start in a standing position with arms hanging straight down to your sides with palms facing forward. Perform a bicep curl by flexing your arms and raising weights up to about chest level. Keep elbows locked to your side while performing this movement. From this position, extend the weights up above your head so that the weights are now directly above your shoulders. This is the shoulder press part of the movement. From here slowly reverse the movement until the weights are back at the side of your body in the down position. Do 20 of these.

5. I call this the sprinkler 🙂 With your arms by your side, lift up parallel to floor, and out, back to parallel to floor, back to sides and repeat. Do 20 of these.

6. Overhead Triceps Extensions – with dumbbells in the hands, extend your arms straight up above your head. Bending at the elbow drop the weights down behind your head until your forearms are parallel with the ground. Extend back up to starting position. While doing this exercise, as you drop the weight back your palms should be facing each other, and as you go back up your palms should face the same direction as your eyes when at full extension. As if you were giving someone high-fives.

7. Chair Dips: start by sitting on the edge of the chair with hands on the chair on each side of the body. Hands should be placed so that the heel of the hand is on the top or seat of the chair, and fingers are in the front of the seat.  Take two steps out with your feet so that your rear end is suspended in front of the chair. Lower your body down until your arms form a 90° angle. Push backup to starting position trying to use as much arms as possible and as little of your legs as possible. Try do 10 of these to start with…. they are a killer!
8. With dumbbell in both hands, bend over so your back is parallel with the ground, keep arms straight. Bring arms out and back to starting position, keep back straight. Do 20 of these.
9. Lie down on bent, with knees bent and legs relaxed, bend arms and push arms up in the air and back to starting position. Do 20 of these.
10. Start with you arms raised to your shoulders. keeping your right leg straight, twist your body to the right and turn left leg and extend your arm up straight. Go back to starting position and do the same on the other side. Do 20 on each side.
Try do 3 sets, but do what you can… when your arms start shaking you know that its working…

I have created a BEAST in this blog

So Yesterday I said I was off to the gym to do some cardio. However, yesterday morning everything went crazy: the maid was late and I was worried about being late for work that I forgot my gym kit at home. For those of you who don’t know.. I work above my gym! ARGH! Then I had to pick up my boyfriend from work in the afternoon and I was faced with this conundrum… what do I do about going to gym???

You see I have committed myself to being honest on this blog and I literally felt like I was a big fat liar for saying I was going to the gym and then ending up not… I felt like a fake. My boyfriend on the other hand, just didn’t get it! “Just switch your sessions around”, “do a run – that’s still cardio”… and so on. But the simple truth is that what this showed (besides how nuts I really am to get worked up about a blog post)  – it shows that I am committed. I am completely ready to work out and the that I actually got upset about not going to gym is something I have NEVER experienced.Regardless, I did a run – my first full loop (its a bit over 2 km) without walking – I ran the whole way! Which is a first! Determined to make it up to myself and to all of you reading!

Today I have my gym bag, at work, and ready to do the cardio I committed to doing yesterday – Bring it on Thursday I am ready for anything today – and nothing can stop me from reaching my goals!

So yes, the BEAST in this blog is pushing me towards my fit, happy healthy future! Have a Fab day – and thanks for motivating me to sticking to my goals!

Work out Wednesday

Back to the gym this eve – even packed a bag and brought it with! That’s half the battle – committing yourself to a goal and doing it. Like, “Tonight I am going to gym, I packed a bag and everything!” The disappointment of not working out will be far greater if you don’t actually commit to it yourself mentally.

So because I did abs last night and I can really feel it today! I am going to be doing some cardio:
1. 20 minute run/walk
2. 10 minute stepper
3. 10 minute bike or cross trainer

Back to feeling my ab workout, I LOVE that feeling, its like I can hear a tiny voice in my abs saying “yes we are here, and we working on coming out and showing you your six pack!”

40 minutes cardio session in store for me this eve – burn calories burn!

Working it out – Ab crunching time!

So I have had a lot going on at the moment, its the normal story really – I am battling to get to the gym! I have never been able to get up early and workout, I love my sleep too much! I much prefer to work out in the afternoons – work up a bit of a sweat and get myself exhausted so I get a good nights sleep.

Lately, stuff just seems to crop up causing me to miss out on my workouts: late afternoon appointments; grocery shopping; winter so its getting dark quick! So I am going to try a alternative approach for the days I just can’t get a run in or a visit to the gym – workouts at home!

I have two small weights (I think 2.5 kg); a skipping rope; and walls and floors – YEAH! So for this post I am focusing on ABS.

I have a routine of ab workouts that literally can be done anywhere; try some of these and let me know what you think (see the pics to help explain them better!):

1. Plank: Lying on your tummy lift yourself up on your elbows and legs spaced apart in line with your shoulders. Hold for 20 seconds.

2. Arm out Plank: Same as above but hold out one arm. Hold for 10 seconds on each side.
3. Regular Crunches: Stretch your arms out and touch your knees – and crunch. Do 20 of these.
4. Side Crunches: With your arms behind your head, tilt your body and get your right elbow touching your left knee; and rotate. Do 20 of these.
5. Bicycle Crunches: With your legs in the air; your arms behind your head, tilt your body and get your right elbow touching your left knee – keeping your right knee straight in the air; and rotate. Do 20 of these.
6. Reverse Crunches: Your legs in the air and back on the floor; left your legs so your bum is raised from the floor in pulses. You can even hold a weight in between your shoes. Do 20 of these.
7. Mountain climbers (my old trainer’s favourites!) GI Jane this is for you! In a push up stance; arms spaced apart, bring your one leg up to arms, and then back and then other leg up to arms and back (as if you are climbing but in a stationary position). Do 20 of these.
8. Butterfly crunches: Legs straight up in the air, back and shoulders on the floor; holding a small weight in both hands bring you arms up. Do 20 of these.
9. Scissors: Legs lifted off the ground; spread out legs and then bring together, crossing over in a scissor motion. Do 20 of these.
10. Alternate crunches: Lie flat on the ground with raised arms above your head and raise your legs. Hold for 20 seconds.
Try do all of these; times 3 sets. And you are on your way to some great looking abs!

Putting yourself out there

Another surprise people might find about me, is that while I am super bubbly and talkative to people I know, I am incredibly shy when it comes to making new friends.

I haven’t had the best track record when it comes to making friends, which goes right back to high school days really and I think has a large part to play in my self esteem. When I was younger it was all about making LOTS of friends, and never really about the quality of friendships I had. I had friends that used me, treated me terribly, made me cry and I would still be friends with them because I thought I was “lucky” to have them as friends, I never stood up for myself and demanded great friendships.

So over the years I have really had to look inside at myself and at my friend circles and chose to be friends with people who truly are like-minded, care for me, and are true friends to me in return. Quality over Quantity. I have learnt the hard way that no matter how good a friend you are, there is no guarantee that a person will be a great friend back to you.

So I’ll admit, over the past few years I’ve become rather fussy in terms of who I spend my time with and who I truly want to be friends with… I have been hurt by previous friendships so badly that I have actually stopped trying to make new friends, and kind of become a bit of a recluse.

This is a bit of a problem, since all my best friends (the ones that know the real me from inside out) actually live pretty far away from me. I have a few select good friends up here in Johannesburg, but not as close as the friendships I have in Durban, Cape Town, and even in South Korea! 😦

I mentioned in my previous post that I went on a hike with a bunch of girls – this was a huge deal for me actually. I only knew one of the girls, someone I consider a close friend (one of a few up here in JHB) and it meant that I had to put myself in an environment of getting to know other girls. I don’t know why but these types of situations stress me out – I always feel awkward and out of place… Will they like me? Will they find my jokes funny? Will they want to be friends with me? All these negative thoughts go through my head… and very often I will find any excuse to get out of it. Even with this hike I started in the morning thinking: perhaps I should cancel? they won’t want me there? maybe I should just go for a run on my own?

I think the point I am trying to get across is that, in life, in training, and in finding happiness… its all about pushing yourself into a situation you have previously never been in. The only way you can change is by changing the way you do things, the way you think and most importantly the way you think about yourself

Hiking trail walk with the gals

Yesterday I went off with a bunch of girls on a hike at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. It was a very true reminder of how far I still have to go on this fitness journey. I was at the back of the pack and weezed most of the way, granted it started with a gradual incline to a straight up up hill right along the waterfall! STEEP!! However I did it and it was a different way to work out!

Its a beautiful walk (it terms of scenery) and I truly recommend trying it out. A nice outing, fresh air and when you got to the top of the hill – beautiful views. The hike we did was called the Geological Trail and is approx. 3km (so not too far) but with all the hills and rests it took us a little over 1hr30min.

This info is a bit out-dated in terms of prices, but to find out more about the botanical gardens check out this link. Cost to get into the gardens is R30 per adult, and they have several hiking trails.

And even if you don’t want to go all out with a hike, stop by and check out the waterfall – its a straight walk from entrance to the waterfall, and a great place to chill and have a picnic (which is what we did after our hike).

Revealing it all – The Bare Truth

Just a bit more than a month into my new blog and I am feeling braver, stronger, more committed. Thus this post, These are my before pics!

Technically they are not before (as in not the beginning of this journey) as I took them yesterday, but in order for me to real on this blog, I need to show you the real me. In my current state, so that at the end of this, you can see the new and improved gal.

I can already start seeing improvements in myself and giving myself a compliment like this is no easy feat. But I can see it in my back, shoulders, and slightly in my tummy area…

Its all a work in progress and slowly slowly I will update with pics to show my improvements.
So watch this space!