I like my big butt and I cannot lie!

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So, a funny thing happened to me by accident over the past few months….I developed some pretty strong butt and leg muscles, and yes, a bigger butt!  Now, I didn’t go into this with the goal of getting a bigger, stronger butt, but that is the result and I have to admit I like it!

So, anyone out there interested in how to make that flat butt round? Anyone interested in how to make those skinny, shapeless legs firm, toned, and shapely???

Well, if you answered “yes” to the above questions please read on and watch the video clips so you can!!

The first thing I did was to mix my regular stuff up for 3 days of the week.  I run 4 times a week and while this keeps me strong and toned, it doesn’t build new muscles, and your body plateaus when you do the same thing all the time.

How did I mix things up you ask??

I now do 3 cross-training days instead of 2 and only 1 of those is spent on my stationary exercise equipment (Stationary bike, and elliptical).  The other 2 are spent doing high intensity cross training.

On one day I do what I refer to as my “Ladder Workout“.  Here I do a series of 15 or 10 down ladders of various exercises.  For those of you who don’t know what a ladder workout is, it is where you work your way down the ladder doing 10, then 9, then 8, then 7 on down to 1 of 1 exercise.  So, I do a 10 down ladder of “Burpees”  first with maybe 30 sec to a minute between sets. (By the end I have done 55 burpees)

Following this I do a 10-down push-up ladder with the same 30 sec to 1 min break in between sets.  In the break I actually do back exercises where I squeeze my shoulder blades together for 3 sec (10 reps) to work my upper back muscles. (Helps improve posture)

The next ladder I do I call “Fartees“!! Sorry for the somewhat offensive title, but these are basically reverse burpees, so I like to call them Fartees!  I’ll attach a video here as this is hard to explain.  These ones burn your butt and legs and I think have had a lot to do with my stronger, bigger butt!

The next thing I do is some arm exercises with my bands to rest up a bit from the “Fartees” as those are quite exhausting!  I do 2 sets of each exercise:  12-15 bicep curls then 12-15 triceps extensions.

The last ladder I do is a 15 down “Jump-Squat” ladder.  I personally LOVE doing jump squats as they are tiring and make my legs burn and feel SO strong!  I take a 20-45 sec rest between sets and work my way down the ladder to 1!

Then, the last thing I do is hop on my stationary bike for 10 minutes to do a quick interval session, then I’m done!

That’s the workout I do 1 day every week and it is tiring and oh-so-worth it!

My 3rd cross-training work out I do at a local place that has 2 stair cases, and 2 hills leading up to a large grassy area.  I run over (about 1.3km) then immediately run up 1 set of stairs then walk to cool down (30 sec) then run down and back up another hill, then walk (30 sec) then run down a hill, then straight up another hill then walk and repeat.  I do this for 6 sets total.

Next I go to the big grassy area in the middle and do 10 sets where I split between 3 jump squats, then, run backwards to the middle then forwards to the next spot where I do 3 squat-thrusts, then backwards to the middle, then forwards to the next spot for 3 jump squats. Repeat this until you have done 10 even sets (5 of each).

This is a “Squat thrust“:

Lastly I go back to the set of stairs and do 3 intervals with one set of straight up double steps in between each.  This set of stairs has a platform every 6 stairs so on each platform I do “something”.  This varies but the things I like to do are:  3 push-ups or 5 squat jumps, 3 squat thrusts, large stair climbs (3 on each leg), or 3 lunges on each leg.  What I do is I pick one of these and do that on each level (5 levels).  Then I run/walk back down, do a straight up double stair set then down and choose another interval from above.  And then repeat this until I have done 6 sets total.

There you have it!  So, as it turns out, all those jump squats, large stair climbs, squat thrusts, burpees, and fartees create a strong butt!

If anyone is local and ever interested in joining me, message me and we can set something up!

So, there you have it, your Simply Susan fitness tip of the day!

 

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Look good, work hard, feel great!

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2016-11-30-19.06.02.png.png“I look jacked!!!”😃😄At least that’s what my husband said to me when he got home from the gym the other day.

Now he was only half kidding, but what he was referring to was that he saw himself in the mirror in the changeroom after his workout and thought to himself “I look jacked!”.

Now truth is, he probably didn’t look much different after his workout than he did an hour earlier before his workout, but I think this is important to share because he felt good. Just working out made him feel better about himself, and that’s my message.

Whether it’s a walk through the neighbourhood, a training run for a 5 km race, a zumba class, or 2016-11-30-19.07.09.jpg.jpega Crossfit WOD, it’s amazing how a little activity or exercise can make you feel better about yourself!

So get out there, and get active, you’ll better doing it.

Your Simply Susan Quick Tip of the day!😆

 

 

Rut’s wrong with me?! 😣

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20160902_102910.jpgThis summer was a tough one for me as I found myself in that dreaded “runners rut“.  It was a tough one I’ll tell ya!

I was having such a hard time with my runs, and, the problem was I wasn’t doing anything different!  I was running the same amount and the same pace as always, but man was I struggling!  It was so frustrating to me as not only was I exhausted after a short run, but my body was aching and I was feeling old!  NOooooooooo!  I had not only plateaued in my running, I had started to regress! This really took a toll on me, so I really needed to figure out what to do and how to get back on track as it was really starting to get me down.

Now, who knows maybe it was the heat of the summer and the fact that most days it was over 25 degrees Celcius when I went out.  Maybe it was the thick, humid air?  Who knows! Whatever it was I needed to take control and get back on track.

So, I analyzed my runs and decided to come up with a plan.  What did I do you ask??? I decided to make a few temporary changes and hoped these would make the difference I needed.

Firstly, I cut back on the number of runs I was doing for a few weeks.  Secondly, I decided I needed to not care at all about my pace and run a comfortable, slow speed.  I also made sure that when I started out I started SLOWLY rather than my normal faster pace.  I had to really focus on being slow and making sure that I was comfortable.  The other thing I did was to change my routes a little and do shorter, flatter routes that wouldn’t challenge or tire me as much on those hot, humid summer days. The last change I made was to  cross-train on those in-between days (see my other blogs about great cross-training ideas!!).  Cross-training, as you all should know by now, is so very important to any exercise program you are doing.

20160902_102537.jpgThe verdict????? After 2 weeks of doing this I feel I AM BACK!!!  I did what I needed to do and I was able to beat the rut I was in and have had 2 1/2 solid weeks (so far) of good running!

What did I learn from this?  I learned that anyone can go through a rut no matter what sport you are in; running,dance, soccer, cycling, even going to the gym!  We all seem to get to a point where we are not progressing in our workouts, or worse yet, we feel as though we can’t keep up to even our regular work-outs!  It’s so frustrating and discourages the best of us!

I hope that what you have learned from this post is that if you are going through that dreaded rut, just take a moment, figure out what steps you can do to taper back for a period of time, and CROSS TRAIN!!!   This will help to not only regenerate you, but help you get back that “runners high” or whatever phrase it is your activity of choice uses!!

There you go, your Simply Susan motivational tip of the day! 😆

Keep happy and keep active!  You’ll be glad you did!

 

All Decked out!

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As you know, I love my running, but I also spend quite a bit of cross training as I truly believe that will make you better at any sport you do, and adds variety to your weekly exercise.  There are so many cross training options, but since I love the outdoors, one of my favourites is to do a workout on my backyard deck.

A fantastic workout outside, for 3 out of 4 seasons here in Canada, is skipping.

wpid-2015-11-08-17.49.22.png.pngSkipping is far more difficult than you think and it takes a while to get your rhythm.  It looks so easy, but trust me, it is very tiring!  It will get your heart rate up fast!

The plan here  is to break it up into a 20 minute workout, by mixing in some weights. Trust me,  just skipping will be hard!

First, start skipping and keep it up for 1 minute straight.   You will likely trip, so just restart regularly.   What I like to do is to keep count and start on one leg for, say 30 counts, then do the same on the other leg.

Once you have completed your 1 min., take a 30 sec. break.

wpid-2015-10-25-17.06.37.jpg.jpegNext, pick up your bands or weights and do 15 bicep curls on each arm.  The advantage to using bands is that you have resistance the entire way up and down so you are working your muscles the whole time.

Skip again for 1 minute. Rest for 30 seconds.

wpid-2015-10-25-17.09.38.jpg.jpegGrab your band/weights and work your triceps.  Step on the band and extend it behind your head. Pull up so your arm is straight, and close to your head. If you’re using a weight hold it above head, arm straight, and bend  arm down (reverse of band).  Do 15 on each arm.

Skip again for 1 minute.  Rest for 30 seconds.

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Superman. Lie face down extending arms and legs. Lift both arms and legs up holding neck level. Hold for 30 seconds. Then rotate, holding right arm and  left leg up for 3 counts, then repeat with left arm and right leg. Do these for 1 minute.

Repeat all 1 time!

You are done! Fun eh? 😆🍁  Now this is just one idea.  There are countless options you could do on your own deck!  Be creative and try one today.  If you need any more suggestions just comment below and I`ll help you out!

Your Simply Susan exercise motivation tip for the day!😆

Weight what?!?!😃

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2016-05-15-15.39.07.jpg.jpegI have collected a number of pieces of exercise equipment over the years.  I 2016-05-15-15.40.16.jpg.jpeg rotate them to keep my workouts interesting.  It is also important to rotate through different exercises so your body doesn’t plateau.

I own 2 pieces of large cardio equipment that I use on my cross-training days.  These have served me very well over the years and are both good pieces.  I don’t use them all the time, but they are always there so I can use them in a pinch on those days I can’t get outside where I really love to exercise.

  • I own a few pairs of dumbbell weights.  I use these for both upper and lower body exercises.

moldiv_1463342902007.jpgI have a 10 pound medicine ball, and a 15 pound kettle bell  that you can do many different exercises with.  There are so many different exercise to do with these, and they are great way to mix weight training up!

Another good, inexpensive item to buy is a skipping rope.  You can get a good, intense cardio workout with a skipping rope and a hard surface to skip on.  Put on your favourite show, or music and start skipping.  It’s quite tiring, so do intervals and pick up those weights or do some push-ups.

A good investment is to buy some exercise bands for stretching and strength training.  They are excellent because they work all your muscles by both the pulling up and the letting down.

moldiv_1463342821922.jpgLastly, there are tons of things you can use a large exercise ball for:  Ab crunches, back extensions, use it to do your weights and work your core as well.

That is what I own, and I value each piece.  I vary my workouts and am always learning new exercises to use these pieces for.  There are so many great websites and blogs out there for new great ideas.

Go out today and pick up a few things!

You’ll be glad you did!

Your Simply Susan tip of the day! 🙂

 

 

Natural Love🍁🍃🍁🌳❤

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Have I ever told any of you just how much I love trail running?  To be out there with nature is one of my favourite things in the world to do.  I am also so fortunate to be blessed to live in a country where we get 4 different seasons and the incredible beauty that comes along with this!

2015-05-20_19.45.38Getting out there in the spring and watching the snow melt, and the trees budding their fresh leaves.  Seeing the trilliums bloom and bring the forest floor to life makes me smile.  Feeling the warm wind and the sun on your face.  Spring runs are gorgeous and invigorating.

wpid-wp-1445804446685.jpegThen there is summer, oh the warm and hot summer days on the trail.  The trail looks stunningly beautiful with all the different greens of the deciduous and coniferous trees, and all the various bushes and ground cover!  Beautiful!  You are forced to take more breaks, which is fine, because the heat can exhaust you!  Luckily the trails are in the forest, so you are likely to be cooler here in the shade  than doing a road run.

Then we have the beauty of the fall.  Sometimes the scenery is sowpid-wp-1445804840086.jpeg breath-taking that I find myself making lots of picture-taking stops! Fine with me!  Life is too short to not stop and admire the beauty in nature!   In the fall, it is the time of year when the trees are all changing into their fall colours, and if you are blessed to live in an environment where this happens every year you are very fortunate!    I just love the smell of the fallen leaves and the much-awaited cooler air. Fall runs are spectacular!

2016-01-17-15.41.59.jpg.jpegThen we have winter trail runs.  These are actually my most favourite which many people feel is very strange!!  I love getting all bundled up in layers and getting out there on a cold winter’s day.  The leafless trees allow you to see the beautiful rolling hills covered in snow.  The challenging trail takes you up and down those hills and you get warm with all that extra effort of running through snow and ice. I love the challenge!

I truly love my trail runs and even more-so because it is something I am blessed to be able to do with my loving husband!

Have I sparked interest in any of you to give trail running a try?
I sure hope so!

Your Simply Susan fitness inspiration  of the day!😆

15 minutes…

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Are you worth 15 minutes?  Yes, you are!  So, why not spend that time doing something to make you feel physically better?  Why not fit in a quick, intense, 15 minute workout that will not only leaving you feeling alive, but energized and happy!2016-05-15-15.30.32.jpg.jpeg

Let’s get this crazy idea out of your heads that to become healthy and fit means that you need to spend hours every week at the gym!  It absolutely doesn’t.  It makes me sad to hear people tell me that they just don’t have time to exercise; I hear this a lot!  Here’s the thing, exercise does take effort and you do actually have to put aside a bit of time on your own.  But, do you know what?  It is worth making this change and making it a habit.  We are ALL busy!  We all have 15 things going on at once!  It’s become normal to multitask and feel like you don’t have time to do anything for yourself.  I made a decision years ago that in order to be the person I want to be, I need to take care of my body inside and out.  I made a point to schedule in exercise every day and I am a better person, inside and out because of it!

So, you ask, what can I possibly do in 15 minutes that is worthwhile?  Tons of things; the list is endless actually!  In 15 minutes you could do an at-home skipping/upper body weight lifting sessions.  Or, 15 minutes of alternating between slow, low squats and lunges, and arm exercises.  Or 15 minutes of yoga stretches.  How about 15 minutes on a bike, stationary or road bike?  How about a 15 minute power walk outside.

2016-05-15-15.34.50.jpg.jpegDo you see what I mean about the list being endless?  I just spontaneously thought of 5 exercises without even really putting real time or thought into it.  I have so many more ideas too.  Just comment to me if you are interested in more ideas and I’m always happy to share.

Very importantly though, you need to want to make this change for the good of yourself.

Make a plan to start tomorrow and actually do it!  All you need are 15 minutes!  Let’s do this!

Your Simply Susan fitness tip of the day! 🙂