fitness

3 Core Exercises You May Not Be Doing

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Almost every client I work with wants abs. I get it. Society has molded our mindset that abs correlate with health. Which is in no way at all the case! What your stomach looks like does not define your level of "healthiness". Your core wasn't made for show and tell. While there is NOTHING wrong with being proud of what it looks like, it's use is not as materialistic as the world has made it out to be.

If your core is strong (not just flat), you can:

  • Squat more weight
  • Perform push ups
  • Overhead press more
  • Begin to do more advanced moves in your training
  • If your core is strong and positioned well, your stomach will look smaller. EX: if you're in anterior pelvic tilt all the time, with a lack of core control, you not only put strain on your low back. But you are also pushing your stomach out, making it look bigger than it actually is.

The moves you do matter. Excessively doing sit ups isn't really going to get you far. You want to mix a combination of moves that are fighting rotation (side to side twisting) and fighting extension (Think resisting the urge to have a huge curve in your low back: ie-upward facing dog!).

Exercise #1- Deadbug

How To:

  • Start laying flat on your back. You can put your hands on a kettlebell/rig or pole for more stability.
  • Think about keeping your back smashed into the ground.
  • Engage your core, keep it nice and strong the whole time while maintaining your breathing.
  • Bring your knees up to a 90 degree position. Knees in line with hips.
  • Slowly lower one heel to the ground while maintaining core control. Then slowly bring that knee back up and lower the opposite side.
  • Repeat for a total of 10-12x per side.

The progression for this movement would be to extend your legs longer, instead of keeping the knee bent. There are more progressions to the movement, but, our focus is training smart and nailing one movement at a time. So lets become a beast at the basics first! #SCRtrainsmart

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Exercise #2- Suitcase Carry

Any kind of carry (farmers carry, racked suitcase, bottoms up suitcase and the regular suitcase) are all pretty bad ass in my humble opinion. In these movements you aren't only focusing on your core by fighting rotation, but you're also working on maintaining good posture through the movement.

How To:

  • For the suitcase carry, start with the weight on the floor on one side of your body. The way you'll go down to grab the bell is similar to your dead-lift potion. Butt back, bend the knees and keep the chest tall. The way you pick it up DOES MATTER. Being careless with any weight is one of the easiest ways to injure your body.
  • Once you have the bell in your hand, squeeze your shoulder blades together so you're standing up nice and tall.
  • Brace your core (keep it nice and tight). Now walk at a normal pace (NOT fast), about 25-30 ft one way, then keep it in the same hand and turn around to walk back. Once you go up and down one way, switch hands and repeat.
  • You want to choose a challenging weight, but not one that's so challenging that is collapses into your body. You do NOT want the bell to lean against your body as you walk.

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Exercise #3- Half Kneeling Pallof Press (AR press out: Anti Rotation press out)

I also love these so much. A movement that you can start at square one and continue to make as hard as you need to for your fitness level.

How To:

  • Start in a half kneeling position. Outside knee is up and outside hand grabs the cable first. Then wrap your inside hand around the outside hand.
  • Squeeze your butt hard underneath you. We start in this half kneeling position with the butt squeezed because it takes out any low back you may start to bring in the movement if you aren't strong enough or get fatigued.
  • Chest stays up nice and tall. No rounding of the shoulders here! Keep your eyes up and chest up the whole movement.
  • Press out from the center of your chest, don't let the cable pull you into the machine.
  • Hold the arms extended position for 1-5 seconds. The longer you hold, the more challenging you make it.
  • Then bring it back to center.
  • Repeat for 8-12x per side.
  • Make sure you continue to breathe through the entire movement.

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Workout

As you begin to add these to your workouts, you just need to pick one or two per workout and you're golden. You don't need to get crazy and have a whole core day.

As you progress, you can begin to make each move more challenging!

 

Here's how I would add one to my workout:

A1-Goblet squat x12

A2-Half kneeling pallof press x8 R/L

B1-Banded glute bridges x20

B2- Half kneeling overhead press x10 R/L

C1-Plank 30 seconds

C2-TRX row x12

Finisher:

Set a timer for 5 min and complete as many rounds as possible with good form :)

  1. 12 burpees
  2. 12 med ball slams
  3. 10 jump squats

 

**I would complete 4 rounds of the A group before moving onto group B. Complete 4 rounds of group B. Then move onto 3 rounds of group C. Once completed I would move on to my finisher.

 

Which move will you be adding to your workout first?

 

So You Want A Strong Butt?

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If you thought a big butt meant a strong butt--there IS a difference. You can get a big butt from simply over eating...well, a lot. But I have a feeling that's not the type of butt you want.

Let me break this other thing down real quick: a heavy "leg day" doesn't equate to a bigger or stronger butt.

A strong butt is muscular--no, not in a "bulky" or manly way. It's used for a purpose, not for the viewing pleasure of men or to fill out your yoga pants better. Having a strong butt will literally make you better in all aspects of training. You'll be able to do more challenging moves, lift heavier weights and move more efficiently through each movement.

Have You Found Your Butt?

I can speak from some seriously sad personal experience, for YEARS I was squatting and deadlifting and never once did I feel anything in my butt. No soreness, no muscle activation--nada. Effing zilch. I thought my ass was broken, it was dead..someone call the coroner and get my butt to it's funeral.

Have you ever been training and can't feel your butt? No soreness, no sensation back there? (maybe that isn't the most appropriate word but you get it)

Our glutes--as in everyone in the world, are pretty much dead  asleep & need to be woken up a bit so you get the most out of your training. When you aren't actively using a muscle, it will inevitably stop working to it's full capacity.

Rachel, How Can I Find My Butt?

I'm so glad you asked. There are specific glute activation exercises you can do to, well, wake your ass up. Here are my favorite:

You don't have to do all of these before each workout, pick 2 or 3 that work best for you after you've tried them all!

Okay, now you know how to wake up your sleepy glutes. Even if you can feel your butt when you're working out--still spend 5-10 min warming up before your workout by choosing 2-3 of these movements so you get the most out of each training session!

Build Your Strong Butt

While things like deadlifts and squats will most definitely make you sore, I don't feel as though they are the best at necessarily building a strong butt. Don't get me wrong, they will aid for sure in the progression of building your butt, but I feel like my favorites below are missed out on and if you don't have access to a barbell to squat/deadlift with these are great options!

     Hip thrust:

  • This can be done with a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell or sandbag (even a small child--make sure it's yours). Before you load this up though make sure you've mastered doing a glute bridge on the ground, then progress to elevating your feet, finally you can move yourself to a small box or chair and start with your back elevated and feet on the ground. You can make this move challenging no matter what level you're at! If you're still working on getting the basic movement pattern down, I'd suggest staying with your feet on the floor, once that becomes easy elevate your feet and add a band around your knees--think about driving your knees out to further activate your glutes and focus on higher reps here. Once you've mastered that--then it's time to load weight onto your hips (you can use a soft padding here to protect from bruising) and elevate your back as shown in the video below.
  1. Hip Thrust NO weight
  2. Hip Thrust WITH weight

When adding this move into your workout, I would do:

  • Floor: 2-3 sets of 15-25
  • Feet elevated: 2-3 sets of 15-25
  • With weight: 2-4 sets of 10-15

     Kettlebell Swing:

  • This move is not only phenomenal for your butt, but your whole entire body! Click HERE to see a demonstration. A few things to note:
  1. This is a hip hinging movement, NOT a squat.
  2. Before you try this move, it's ideal to be able to first properly RDL (Romanian deadlift)--as this teaches the essential hip hinge movement.
  3. This is a ballistic and powerful movement, it is NOT slow--use your hip thrust to power through the movement quickly.
  4. Keep your core braced and squeeze your glutes at the top like you're trying to keep diamonds in there.

    Cable Pull Through

    If you are still trying to master the KB swing, this is a similar movement but easier to learn, while still providing you with strong glutes! Click HERE to see it done.

  1. Don't squat. Think about pushing your butt back towards the wall. Imagine you have glue on your butt and you're reaching back to grab $100 bills.
  2. Keep a wider stance than squat position.
  3. Your head goes with your body. Try to not to bob your head like a chicken but keep your neck in line with your spine through the whole movement!
  4. Squeeze your glutes when you get to the top of the movement, making sure that you don't hyper extend and create an arch in your low back though!

When adding this move to your workout I would do: 2-4 sets of 10-15 reps.

 

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Finally, a sample workout of how I would incorporate one of these moves into a training day for myself or a clent.

Workout #1

Warm up with some foam rolling + lax ball if needed and pick 2-3 glute activation exercises.

  • 2x10 lateral band walk
  • 2x20 glute bridge (feet on ground)
  • 2x30 seconds half kneeling hold R/L

Strength:

  • 4x10 push ups (modify if needed)
  • 4x12 goblet squat
  • 4x10 single arm cable row R/L
  • 4x12 hip thrust

Core:

  • 3x20 seconds side plank R/L
  • 3x10 pallof press R/L

Finisher:

30 seconds on//15 seconds rest-- after first round of exercise is completed, rest 2 min and repeat for a total of 3-4 times through.

  • Wall ball
  • Burpees
  • Jump squats
  • Mountain climbers

 

 

Do you feel a little more confident in the process of building yourself a strong butt now?

 

What questions do you have about creating strong glutes?

 

xoxo

Rachel

 

The Ultimate You

Oh Columbus ladies do I have an amazing surprise for you. Over the past four years I've worked with hundreds of women doing online personal training--many of those clients have been Columbus natives but only had the option of online coaching with me because I hadn't opened up more one on one availability. Now though, as SCR continues to grow and I'm able to open up more in person sessions I wanted to be able to offer those local to me not only the ability for in person coaching , but a mesh of online too. It doesn't stop there, SCR's foundation for all clients is to help them rock their life. We help you find and build your confidence, we help you become healthy from the inside out.

My girls make amazing transformations, and that's all on them--not me. I give them the tools to take control of their life, and the rest is in their hands. They do the workouts, they eat each meal mindfully--fueling their body well.

So when it came time to create this new structure, I wanted to add a little new bonus. While you're rocking out at life, learning to love your body and becoming the best version of you--we wanted to bring you outside resources to help you display your new found confidence and self love in a way that I can't.

Because SCR focuses on healthy from the inside out---our new program: The Ultimate You, is now giving you access to 2 major business to help you take your transformation to a whole new level.

Bring in Tawny Turner, our official Master Stylist and Colorist:

tawny Why Hair?

You're making huge changes from the inside out, your body is becoming healthier and stronger. your clothes may be getting looser, you are blossoming into a newer, and more confident version of yourself, with that may come the desire to take your transformation to a new level. Brighten up your look? Cut it all off? It's up to YOU! Tawny has been my stylist for the past year and has helped me in my own personal journey feel more confident. My fitness journey has been one of deep internal self discovery, with that came the desire to chop off all my hair, something that I let define me for so long. She played a huge role and helping me become more free.

So, that's why hair. Not because we are superficial and I think you need to change the way you are, but because this journey inspires change in so many areas of your life. With this new program, you are able to unlock a 25% discount on any of Tawny's services.

 

The W Nail Bar, our official nail salon.

theWNails, yes nails. Another perk to The Ultimate You program. The W Nail Bar located in The Short North has so kindly offered a 20% discount to all Ultimate You clients.

When you're learning how to pick up heavy things and put them back down (properly), your hands take a pretty beating. Nothing makes me feel more classy and put together than rocking out some kettlebell swings with a fresh coat of paint on my nails.

The owners & nail techs both are so full of passion for what they do and love making YOU feel pampered and beautiful. This all natural salon is my absolute favorite in Columbus and I'm so happy we are able to offer you another way to bring out your personality and confidence with a little pop of color (or black, I dig it) in your life.

 

 

 

The Ultimate You Program:

-Initial assessment and review -Customized 90 day training protocol based off current fitness level, goals and availability to equipment (none required). Delivered via email. -Nutrition analysis (menu revamp, meal coaching, learn how to eat for YOUR body, hand outs, food lists, grocery list) -Weekly Check in’s -Lifestyle coaching -Open communication with your coach ( Rachel Turner) 7 days a week. -Exclusive access to SCR accountability group (rad group of women all working towards being the best versions of themselves possible, all sharing ideas/recipes, motivation, asking questions ect) -NEW: 25% off with Master Stylist and Colorist Tawny Turner NEW: 20% off at The W Nail Bar -NEW: 3 in person sessions (60min) -NEW: 1 FREE entry to Sunday Brunch)

 

Not only does this program offer you rad discounts to people we love in Columbus, who all want to help you bring out the most confident version of yourself. This program also offers you an insane discount, giving you THREE free in person sessions with me (valued at $75 a session), that's in addition to your 90 days of online coaching as well. I created this program to help you completely rock your life!

 

With that said, if this program sounds like what you need in your life to help you reach your health and fitness goals, learn how to love your body, learn how to eat for your body and simply rock life--well, I would love to work with you.

 

Please head here, and fill out an application. All applications are responded to within 24 hours!

 

I can't wait to help you fall in love with YOU and rock life.

xoxo

Rachel

 

Workout Wednesday

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At last, Workout Wednesday is alive again! I love working out. Granted there are some days I don't have a shit ton of energy and may not want to kill it in my workout, everytime I choose to honor my body through some form of movement..I've NEVER regretted it. I also really love blasting you guys with good solid content that you can take and apply to your own life/workout/lifestyle. So, without further ado..I hope you enjoy the workout below :) It was written in a way that focuses on maximizing your time while giving you the best results possible!

Workout:

  • Push ups x8-10
  • Banded hip bridge x15-20 (band above knees--driving knees out as you bring your hips up)
  • Single arm row x8-10 each side
  • Goblet squat x10-12 (squat to box if needed)

Complete 3-4 sets of the above, then move on to:

Core:

  • 3x30 second plank
  • 3x10 pallof press each side

Finisher:

Set timer for 5 min and complete  as many rounds as possible in the time alloted:

  • Crawl 30 ft (keep butt low to ground, engage core, and keep hips as still as possible)
  • TRX jump squat x20
  • Med ball slams x10

As always, adjust these moves based on YOUR fitness level. There is zero shame in regressing a movement if needed. Solid foundation of basic movement patterns is what will lead you to a happy, healthy and strong fitness journey!

 

I hope you guys (safely) kill it on this glorious hump day ;)

 

 

 

 

Confessions Of A Personal Trainer

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I can't even begin to tell you how passionate I am about my job. I absolutely adore it. I get super jazzed when people ask me what I do and I get to tell them..but, the moment I do, they get this look on their face like I suddenly have x-ray vision and can see into their stomachs, viewing the pizza they ate for dinner last night. P.S- I can't. OR

I get the look of "oh great, she thinks shes better than me. Her and her damn celery sticks." P.S- I don't like celery.

Here's The Deal..

I don't need people to love health and fitness the way I do, so you'll never find me shoving my views or opinions down your throat. There are some things I'd like to confess though, and let you know. So next time you see me you don't run the other direction in fear I'm judging you.

Nope--none of that happening here. Also, I really just dig sharing my heart, mind and life with you guys.

Without further ado, here are my confessions.

  1. I don't care if you ate pizza last night. That doesn't change your heart, your drive or who you are as a person. What I care about is how you feel, how you're rocking life, and how you feel about you. Don't feel like you need to hide any aspect of your life from me--zero judgement here.
  2. I want you to feel strong and healthy and in order to get you there in a healthy and safe way, we may do things that aren't the fitness norm. So no, you're not going to run on the treadmill with me, you're not going to do 100 sit ups and your definitely not going to spend 2 hours in the gym (unless you dig that kinda thing--then by all means go ahead.). We will do things that you may think "what in the flying fuck?"..for example: crawling. My clients crawl, a lot. Yeah, it may look and feel weird at first. Talk about a full body movement though, stabilizing the shoulders, bracing your core (uh, hello burn) and focusing on breathing patterns just to name a few of the benefits. Bottom line: I'm different, I like it this way--and I hope you can welcome the differences that create SCR.
  3. I like taking pictures of my food and life. Better yet, I love sharing it. I started sharing "clean recipes" on my instagram almost four years ago. I did it out of pure joy because I loved what I was eating and I wanted to inspire others to rock a healthy life too. So yes, I share a lot. I hashtag a lot. I share my personal and professional life because this business is lead by roots of strength and authenticity. Strength doesn't just happen in the gym. It happens in my family life, through my relationship, my friendships. EVERYTHING. So I'm going to keep sharing, because the story of my life is what made SCR happen and I have loved every minute of it.

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  4. I'm not a food nazi.  Yo, I love food. I feel like memories are created over food, passion is shared and love is expressed through the act of eating it and creating it. So lets be clear, I love Mama Mimi's Amore pizza (YESSS), I also love donuts. And when the mood strikes me, when I feel like those things will add to what I'm doing, or I simply want one--I may have one. What I love more though is feeling good before, after and during my meals. While I choose to eat primarily whole, real foods, I do it because that's what leaves me physically and mentally feeling good. Will I have a piece of pie on Thanksgiving? I mean maybe. I know I'm not the kind of person who wants one piece though. I want it all. So instead, I'll come prepared with my "healthier" version that leaves me feeling good and I don't have to have the mental battle of "is it worth it?", and if I do decide it's worth it..I'll eat it. I don't cut foods into "good" or "bad" categories, I eat what makes me feel damn good.

 

So that's all she wrote, friends. I'm "real", whatever that means--and I really love what I do.

 

xo

Rach

MY TOP 5 FAVORITE PROTEIN POWDERS

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I'm an open protein-oholic. I just love protein bars and powder. As a trainer and fitness nutrition specialist though, I know my love of protein crack isn't the best. It's always best to get your protein from whole food sources things like:

  • Meat (chicken, fish, steak ect)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Eggs (specifically the whites, as the yolk is a fab source of healthy fat)

 

However, sometimes a protein shake is just necessary (well, sorta). Whether you're time crunched, can't keep food cold, have a hard time reaching your protein intake for the day ect, a shake or bar is a great thing to have on hand to get the protein you need if you're lacking it.

With SO many protein powders on the market it's hard to know which is best for YOU and your goals/body. Not all protein powders are made the same way. Just like with the meat or veggies you buy, you want a protein that is good quality and not a cheap one that is created with more fillers than it is protein.

My Top 5:

Below are my top 5 favorite protein powders, I've chosen five in all different price ranges and I explain why I like them!

 

1. Jay Robb

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Jay Robb is by far my favorite protein powder on the market as far as ingredients goes, and overall high quality. 100% natural, no funky ingredients coming in with 25g of protein per serving.

Pros: Great "clean" source of protein.

Cons: Most expensive on the list. Amazon sells it for $37.00 for 23 servings BUT you can find it at your local grocery store for $25-27. Also, this is NOT good for baking.

Overall: If you're looking for a clean and natural protein powder solely for drinking, you won't find one better than this.

Price: $$$

2. Quest Protein

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Quest is an awesome protein! The first time I tried this and I had vanilla, my initial reaction was that it was too sweet for me. I used it to make fruit smoothies and it was perfect though. Fast forward a few months and I got my hands on chocolate and it's PERFECT. Quest is a high quality protein blend and is phenomenal for cooking with. It's good mixed with water, baking or a blended shake. It's thick JUST like ice cream (though you can water it down to a consistency you like). This is the only protein powder I will bake with now because it's that good.

Pros: Taste is 10/10, great for baking/pudding, moderately priced for such a high quality, good no matter what it's mixed with (water/milk). 22g of protein per serving!

Cons: Honestly, can't think of any.

Price: $$ Can be bought on www.questnutrition.com OR at your local supplement store.

3. Metabolic Nutrition: Protizyme

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I'm a huge fan of all of Metabolic Nutrition's products. My body responds really well to their whole line and their flavors are on point! I've tried the peanut butter cookie and it's hands down my absolute favorite flavored protein powder out there. This tasted great mixed with water and milk and baked really well too.

Pros: Taste is 10/10, comes in multiple flavors, is well priced per serving, 26g protein per serving! They also have a great digestive enzyme complex that makes this protein powder easier on your body to digest.

Cons: The ingredient list is a little bigger than the ones I've listed, however this doesn't rule it out for me as I trust the company and the ingredients aren't foreign to me.

Price: $$ Rounds out to be $1.90 per serving. $49.00 for 2lbs, with 26 servings. Supplement stores carry this for a cheaper price though!

4. Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey

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This was one of the first protein powders I ever used and it's always my go to if I can't decide. It's a high quality protein that tastes great. Simple and to the point with buttloads of flavors to choose from.

Pros: Can be found at all supplement stores, high quality, flavor is 9/10 and is one of the more inexpensive protein powders I like.

Cons: Not as great to bake with.

Price: $ This is pretty much always on sale at supplement stores or on www.bodybuilidng.com

 

5. Cellucor

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Cellucor is probably one of the most popular protein powders out there. I love it because the flavors are 10/10, it tastes great and again this is another great protein to bake with.

Pros: Easy to find, inexpensive, great flavor, 25g protein per serving!

Cons: None that I have.

Price: $ Can be found on their site, or www.bodybuilding.com

SCR MEMBERS ONLY

BONUS WORKOUTS BONUS WORKOUTS (1)

FOOD:

In the summer I LOVE light and fresh meals. Again this is your basic list so change/add things as you see fit!

Breakfast:

  • Fruit salad with poached eggs
  • Salmon omelet
  • Ezekiel bread French toast
  • Avocado egg bake
  • Fruit & nut parfait
  • Sweet quinoa with fruit (just like oatmeal but quinoa instead)

Lunch/Dinner

  • Chicken salad sandwich (Ezekiel bread, greek yogurt as dressing w/ grapes)
  • Watermelon salad with goat cheese + chicken +basil
  • Burgers (forgot to add ground beef to the list) w/ sweet potato fries
  • Shrimp over ZOODLES (zucchini noodles)
  • Grilled salmon with grilled asparagus + fruit salad
  • Stuff sweet potato (chicken/onions/goat cheese) with fruit salad
  • Grilled peppers + grilled chicken with avocado cream sauce
  • Quinoa shrimp salad with raspberry dressing and goat cheese
  • Sweet potato chicken salad (eaten cold)

 

 

 

SUMMER LIST

Why I Run Free Training Groups

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It's huuuump day (emphasis on the UMP). Blame it on the two cups of coffee, or the fact that the universe has placed some truly wonderful women in my life who encouraged the heck out of me yesterday. But, whatever it is..I AM HAPPY.

I wanted to talk about the free challenge groups I run.

I know sometimes people are like "wtf, how is this free?". Yeah, I get that. It sounds too good to be true doesn't it?

Why

Since starting Strong Chicks Rock 2 1/2 years ago I've spoken to hundreds of women about their goals and have helped many of those women reach those goals. One of the biggest things about getting these women started though is cost. I totally get it.

I use to be the type of girl who would rather buy 5 pairs of $5 yoga pants that would rip in a few weeks rather than spend $20 on one good pair. Or I'd mindlessly spend $5 at Starbucks in the morning, then $9 at Chipolte for lunch (yes, I know guac is extra) and at the end of the day realize I'd spent $14 (A DAY) but I wouldn't spend $35 a month on a gym membership.

So I know when talking to ladies about their goals, they see a price tag and are like yeah see ya later.

The Issue

Here's the issue: Upfront money isn't fun. Here's the cool thing: My training is a one time fee, then I'm your coach for LIFE.

Solution

Give away a free week of training. By me doing this, you (aka: my future rad ass client) are able to see what being a part of Strong Chicks Rock is like. Each free group is a little different so you can see the many different components that make up SCR. We do groups  focused on:

-Learning to eat healthy

-Self love

-Different methods of training (home/gym/outside)

-Confidence

-Summer training

Every group is different. Every group is 100% FREE. Every group leaves with FREE goodies.

 

I want you to feel confident in joining SCR. I want you to make sure my team is a good fit for you and your goals because I understand making and investment upfront can be freaky.

 

My Promise

I promise that you won't regret in investing in yourself, to become the best version of YOU possible.

I promise that I won't give up on you and your goals

I promise that when you join SCR, you are entering a JUDGE FREE zone.

I promise that if you give 100% to your program, you WILL achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

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I hope this answers some of your questions, and allows you to see why I offer my free training. If you are interested in joining our next free training group: Punch Fear In The Face, starting 6/19 please head here and drop your email so I can send you the info :)

SCR MEMBERS ONLY W7F&W

Hello my wonderful Strong Chicks. To make things easier, I'm going to upload the workouts & grocery guide in one post from now on.

This week you are getting TWO awesome HIIT routines. I'm obsessed with HIIT. If you're someone who is trying to lose body fat, these types of workouts are made just for you. Strength training alone is awesome, you'll burn fat and gain lean muscle BUT pairing it with HIIT is the perfect recipe for success as it burns 4x the amount of fat as steady state cardio (things like the treadmill/the elliptical), AND high intensity interval training when done right also allows you to continue to burn fat for up to 72 hours AFTER the workout...uh, that's what I'm talking about.

Food wise, here are some more ideas to help you keep things fun and exciting :)

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WEEK7

Weekend Warriors Unite + FREE Workout

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Hello you beautiful, strong, bad ass woman (or man). Can you do me a favor? Can you believe in YOU this weekend, please?

If you're someone who gets lost in the rush of the weekend, or in Nextflix a la pint of ice cream and by Sunday night you find yourself 2 pints deep and full of guilt, you just can't get out of this weekend slump..but M-F you are on point? Girl, I get your struggle.

It doesn't have to be this way though, you CAN enjoy the weekend and still come out strong on Monday feeling confident, happy and guilt free. #balance

 

Here's how....

The SCR Weekend Warrior:

  • She honors her body. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy a slice of pizza, it means you won't trash your body with binge eating. You won't eat until you can't breathe, you will make choices that make you feel good physically and mentally.

 

  • She is intentional. Not just with your food and the choices you make, but it movement and life. If your weekend is jam packed find a 15 min junk and do a quick HIIT session. Be intentional with those 15 min so your time is used to get the most bang out of your buck. If you know that you feel more alive and happy when you make time for yourself, whether it meditation, a manicure ect--make sure you do that. Nothing brings you off "the path" more than losing yourself and not making time for me time.

 

  • She plans. You don't need to be a crazy planner and plan out every single moment that is going to happen. If you know you're going to want to go out to eat and don't want to end up in a "No you pick" situation and then they pick somewhere that has deep-fried everything and at that point you say f*uck it and eat as many fried Oreos as possible. Instead, it helps to have an idea of 3-4 places you enjoy that you know you feel comfortable eating at! If you're going to a party and you know you like to binge at the snack table, plan to eat a little before you go so you don't show up ravenous.

 

  • She is confident. Not in the sense of "hey look at me", but confident in your choices. I know it's easy to go with the flow of friends because you don't want to feel left out. Own the commitment you've made to honor your body though. If you know you can't go to such and such restaurant because there is too much temptation but your friends want to go--be confident in your decision to say no. Your goals aren't weird, I promise.

The SCR Weekend Warrior Workout:

This quick HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout is just want you need to keep you focused on your goals, murder some fat and keep you active this weekend. The point of this workout is to give the 20 seconds of movement your 100% effort (max intensity) and then rest for 10 seconds before moving to the next exercise. Form is KEY. If you feel your form start to break, slow your pace so you are still moving but with proper form. P.S- If you don't have a kettlebell you can use a dumbbell or gallon jug of water. You DO want a challenging weight. One that makes you sweat, but still allows good form!

Let me see you crush it this weekend. Sweat selfie? Food? Post your pictures to social media using #SCRweekendwarrior so our team can motivate and encourage you!

 

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How I Broke Up With Binge Eating

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Sharing this part of my journey is something I've actually always wanted to do. I just wasn't sure when I'd be ready, I'm ready now. I'll begin this by saying I don't like labels.I don't like thinking I have "a problem".  Today though, I want to share my story because I know from working with over 100 women that I am not alone in my struggle and for a long time my WHY--the reason I didn't give up on myself, was to be able to share this story. I wanted so badly to break the horrible habits I had with food to be able to help women do the same. I knew I could never be of help, If I didn't get my own shit together.

icecreamMy First Lie

I'll start with this picture. I had my bestfriend take it one night after we went out for a cheat meal *cringe*. We got Jenni's ice cream--a massive amount. I had already stuffed myself from dinner, then we ventured to get this HUGE cone of 3 different flavors. Then? We went up again and I got a huge sundae.

"I feel sick but I want this"

"Why am I ruining my own progress"

"You know you don't need this"

"I'll get back tomorrow"

Those were a few of the things I told myself as I went back up that second time. The thing is, I wasn't hungry. I'm sure you could have guessed that though. I went up there though because I couldn't stop, I didn't know how to stop.

The personal trainer who is suppose to have her shit together didn't know how to stop. I told myself it was just a cheat or relaxed night though, that I would be fine if I went out. I knew though, I knew I wouldn't know how to stop.

That's the thing. Extremes for me are easy, I can eat super clean and boring and it's simple. I can eat paleo, simple. It's because I have set guidelines, I know this is what I can and can't do. Finding that balance though--how the fuck was I suppose to do that?

I Created This

I never had this problem in the past, the feeling of not being able to control my body and binge on food even if I wasn't hungry. I was raised by a strength coach in an extremely healthy environment. Scales? We didn't have one? Body image issues? No way--all I knew was self love. It wasn't until I became a trainer. After a year of coaching, I saw people experiment with new ways of eating. I let everything I knew go away, and I gave into to eating and training for a body..not for health.

That started this cycle of eating for a body I thought I needed, then a cheat meal would turn into a binge because I had restricted myself so bad and I couldn't control the aftermath. I'd feel extreme guilt for the first time in my life then, I'd learn what it was like to actually hate myself. It was horrible.

I had created this mess, because I craved a body that wasn't mine. I got lost in a world I didn't know. Which led to binge, restrict, hate, binge, restrict, hate more.

I know healthy. As I write this I'm sad for the fact that I lost myself for so long--yet proud and humbled that I fought like hell to get out. I know what healthy is, and through the issues I had struggling with food, I was coaching women on how to love themselves and reach their fitness goals while simultaneously sabotaging myself like it was my job.

failure.

fake.

liar.

stupid.

That's how I labeled myself. How I  treated myself.

Breaking Free

I can't tell you how many times I said to myself "NOW, right now you will get back on track. You have to." I would, but I would "fall off" again. Here's how I changed it.

I knew from working with so many women that I wasn't alone in this horrible cycle, and if I ever wanted to help other women break free from this pattern that I HAD create a healthy relationship with my body, and with food again. I created a mess, and if I could create something so big (on a bad scale of course), I could create something even greater--that served me and others and was good.

You see, there's no magical diet. I can't write you the perfect workout program and all will heal. I wish there was, I wish I could pull all the women who struggle with this from the ashes and make them feel worthy again and like food doesn't control them.

 

It's a choice though. I know, oh my gosh how I know, that it in no way at all feels like it is. We do have the choice though to commit to ourselves and not let food control us.

I have sat down and eaten a whole pie. I don't say this because I'm proud or I think it's funny. I ate this fucking pie and after 6 bites I didn't like it anymore, I ate it anyway because I felt like something In me was making me.

So when I say I get it, I do. I have a game plan for breaking free though, this is how it works:

Step One: Evaluate your relationship with food, are you in this kind of cycle that I've explained? Do you binge and restrict? Do you have a hard time finding balance and simultaneously reaching your goals? Acknowledge it. A lot of your issues here stem from thinking that you're the only one going through this. That you're the only one who could possibly be addicted to food, or binge eat like a crazy person. We think something is specifically wrong with us because we don't understand what is going on. So think about your relationship with food. Is it healthy?

Step Two: Now is the time where the focus of eating has to turn away from getting abs, or looking a certain way. When we are so focused on reaching physical goals, all we see is the body we want. Resulting in turning to crash diets and pills ect to reach those goals. The focus needs to turn on health. I think it should be a requirement to starting any weight loss plan that you have a healthy relationship with food first. That you understand why you should fuel your body right, why we need certain things and why having a healthy relationship with food is critical to you reaching weight loss goals, and most importantly those goals staying life long. Not a continuous cycle of losing and gaining.

Step Three: Start eating foods that honor your body. Meaning foods that make you feel good, foods that don't make you sick or hate yourself. We should treat our bodies like we love them. When we decide to say fuck it, and eat whatever we want--we are basically saying screw you. That's the last way we want to treat the vessel that carries us through life.

 

What Now?

I can proudly say, I've won. I beat the shit out of whatever it was in my mind that I let control so many horrible actions I took against my body. I want you to be able to say the same thing. Break free from the chains that you feel are holding you from being happy with your body, with food and with your life.

Tips For Success:

-Focus on the task, not the outcome: Focus on eating a healthy breakfast, then lunch, then dinner, workout ect. If you have 50lbs to lose and are constantly thinking about those 50lbs and how long it will take, it is more than likely that you're going to spend so much time dwelling on that, that you won't put the effort that needs to go in NOW.

-Win the day: Starting a new workout program is great, but again when we focus on 90 days from now it's harder to be intentional with the present moment. So I don't like to think 1 week, 2 weeks or 90 days from now. I focus on "winning" one day at a time. Eat well, sweat and love your body for one day at a time. That is much more helpful than trying to focus on a huge chunk of time all at once. Remember, healthy is for life--not 90 days.

-Practice self acceptance then, self love: Everyone tells you to love yourself, as they should, you should love yourself. The problem is, you have to accept yourself as you are currently before you can love yourself. Allow yourself to accept where you are. It doesn't matter where you are or how much weight you have to lose. If you don't love yourself at 50lbs overweight, what makes you think you'll love yourself when that's gone? True self love is going to come from being at peace with who you are on the inside. Accepting doesn't mean it's okay to be unhealthy, accepting means that you are acknowledging where you currently are so you are able to move forward and allow loving thoughts to flow freely.

-Find what works for you: Where does a healthy relationship with food start? It starts with doing you. Everyone in the world isn't following one "diet", because there isn't one specific plan that works for everyone. This is where you have to experiment. Listen to your body and how it responds to certain foods. Find the foods that you like, that taste good, that honor your body and your goals...that's when a healthy relationship with food is made. When you finally are doing what works for you, and trying to follow 490458 different plans.

 

I wish I could have given you a three step simple plan that told you exactly how to break these habits. It has to come from within though, and I can't do that for you. I hope though, that my story made you feel less alone and gives you hope that there IS freedom. You can have a healthy relationship with food and your body.

Strong Chicks Rock

My mission with SCR is to help women get unstuck. Unstuck with their health and fitness and unstuck with life. To teach self love and acceptance. To help you punch every excuse in the face and to find fitness freedom.

If you need help, advice, a listening ear, or guidance please email me: stongchicksrock.rachel@gmail.com

I am happy to help you in any way I can. I want you to be free.

 

xoxo

Rachel Turner

 

SCR MEMBERS ONLY W5

Below are your bonus workouts AND meal guide. This week we are focusing on your core--woohoo :)

Tips for your core: -Abs don't define you or progress--always remember that! -Your core is most engaged doing things like kettlebell swings, planks, squatting and deadlifting. That doesn't mean that other moves won't work it and strengthen those muscles, its just a reminder that crunches aren't really where a defined core comes from. -FOOD: When woman gain weight, most gain it in their mid section or legs first. This always means it's where you'll lose it last too more than likely. That is why nutrition is key, if having a defined core is something you desire, nutrition really plays an important role here.

WEEK5

 

Grocery List:

SEE ATTACHMENT

50 Shades Of Healthy: Megan's Shade

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Happy Wednesday my friends! Today I'm excited to share Megan's story. Megan is a busy mom who I just so happened to meet on instagram. Isn't social media cool? From day one, I've wanted this site to be an "organized pinterest" so to speak. I want to be a place that shares real life fitness, real tools and approaches that will help you reach your goals. I also want you to see that my way isn't the only or best way out there. With that, I've started the interviewing process with women on their own fitness journey as well as with other fitness professionals so you have a real and honest place to learn and grow.

That brings us to Megan. She's a mom who sparked my attention, her drive and passion (that emits through each post) inspired me to reach out to her so she can share with you all how that even though shes a busy mom, she's found a way to put herself first. Let's learn how!

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Q:How long have you been living an active/fit lifestyle?

A:I got very serious about my fit lifestyle around two years ago.

Q:What made you decide to make a lifestyle change?

A:I was letting myself slip into a pattern of making excuses and being insecure, wanting to change and then doing nothing about it. Eventually I had to do something to live a happy life and not one full of regret. I was also motivated to get into shape for my wedding.

Q:What were some factors that got in your way, but you pushed through anyway on this journey?

A:I've had multiple road blocks along the way, such as an eating disorder mentality, financial instability, knee injuries, as well as the every day struggle of balancing my responsibilities as a mom.

Q:What type of training do you do and for how long?

A:Typically I lift weights 5-6 days a week for at least an hour. and I do short 20 min HIIT sessions (sprints on the dreaded treadmill) 4 days a week.

Q:Describe a typical workout:

A: I always start with whatever cardio I'm doing that day, then I usually move on to lifting, focusing on a specific body part. I finish up by doing floor work, such as planks, glute bridges, bear crawls, all those fun moves that engage most of your body.

Q:What is your favorite workout OR body part to train and why?

A: My favorite body part to train would be my glutes. I enjoy almost every exercise that targets those muscles. I'm confident about my butt, so it's enjoyable to work on improving something you love about yourself, rather than "fixing" something you hate.

Q: Mentally and physically how has this journey changed you?

A: Mentally, I've learned to love myself for my dedication and it's made me more confident over all. Self love is a huge thing I'm always working on. Physically, let's just say I finally look forward to wearing certain clothes, swim suits etc, rather than dreading it.

Q: Describe your style of eating:

A: I don't follow a diet plan. I just try my hardest every day to make healthy choices. Sometimes I eat 'perfectly' and sometimes I don't.

Q: What's a typical day of food look like for you?

A: I'm one of those people who struggles to eat breakfast, I usually have a protein shake, a smoothie with Greek yogurt, some fruit, something very small and simple. I snack on things like almonds, cauliflower, applesauce or just plain turkey slices. For lunch and dinner I just make sure to have lots of protein like chicken breast, fish, or ground turkey. with asparagus, broccoli, spinach, or something else along those lines. I eat really simple foods because I don't like to cook or spend money on fancy ingredients!

Q: Being a mom, you're setting a great example for your son--what are some things you teach him/have done about food/health so he carries that on with him as he grows up?

A: I want to teach my son the importance of trying new things. a lot of two year olds may not eat raw veggies, or green smoothies, but I try to include those things in his diet. That being said, I don't make him eat exactly what I eat, he still enjoys mac n cheese and pizza. just not all the time.

Q: What are three things you wish you would have known when you first started your journey?

A: I wish I would have known the importance of proper form! I injured both my knees and wasted time in physical therapy by trying to do too much too soon. Patience is important. so is the mindset that results are not instant.

Q: Tell us 1 thing your most proud of since beginning this journey and why:

A: I'm proud of the knowlege I've gained! I've developed a passion for not just fitness but learning, about fitness, nutrition, myself etc. I'm proud that I'm driven.

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us Megan!

Workout Wednesday

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Good morning beautiful ladies! Here's a brand spankin new workout Wednesday. This one will definitely make you sweat!

Training tips: As always, scale this workout to YOUR fitness level. 3-5 circuits is recommended but it depends physically where you're at. You want a weight that's challenging for each move but allows you to preform the move with precision.

When doing your KB swing remember you want to hinge at the hips and push your butt back towards the wall, NOT squat down. Let your thrust guide your arms up, don't force them, keep a slight bend in the knees just enough so you don't lock them out. When you thrust, squeeze your butt so hard like you're trying to keep pennies in there!

Now, go safely kick some ass. Xo Rachel

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Not Reaching Goals Quick Enough? Try This!

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Has your progress stalled? Maybe you aren't reaching goals as fast as you'd like? There honestly could be a few issues at play here but what I see most is this: a severe lack of structure in the programming.

What's that mean? How your program or workouts are structured are more important than you know. Did your trainer evaluate you and take note of where you struggle/areas you are weak? And did they apply those to your program? Or did they throw you into a shit ton of stuff? Does your program directly align with your goals?

Issue #1 Has your workout ever told you to do weighted jumping jacks, one legged bosu ball bicep curls or some other odd sounding move? While these moves don't suck, they have a time and a place and to be honest it's place probably isn't in your workout. Do these things make you sweat? Yes. Will you be burning calories? Yes. Does that mean you're reaching your goals? No.

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Here's the thing, just because you're sweating doesn't mean you're working toward what you want. Want to build a booty? Most likely, air squats, jumping jacks and mountain climbers won't get you there. Your programming should incorporate moves that not only are for you and your fitness level, but that help you achieve the proper booty gains you want.

Issue #2

So maybe your program looks like it's giving you what you want, your legs are sore on leg day so you think everything is great. Let's look closer...

Is this program wearing you into the ground?

If yes, read below:

There's a such thing as TOO MUCH work. A lot of programs have an obscene amount of volume (meaning a lot of reps--of A LOT of exercises) . When I first started coaching I sucked. True words, I'd put all the "leg workouts" in one day, and while this achieved a type of result..it didn't achieve the best result or smartest. You could be doing less..and gaining more definition, sculpting those muscles to get the defined look you want. By training very intentionally, ie: not over training the quads (like most people do) and instead focusing on working both planes of the body (AKA:front and back), this would be hammies and quads (this is just one example), it's result would be much greater and your body would be happy. So while you're working one, the other has more time to recover before you hit it again.

Let me say this, volume isn't always bad. In fact volume can be good. I know, did it just make you say "WTF make up your mind??". Volume when programmed intentionally and not as a massacre to a specific body part is good.

Basically, a little done right--you get you some bad ass freaking results. Compared to tearing your about apart.

Bottom line:

1.) Your program should be customized to you and your very specific goals, as well as the way your body currently moves and functions. This is why jumping into fitness classes causes issues for SO many people. These classes are a "one size fits all" approach, no personalization is taken into count. Your injured? Oh well. You want to sculpt your arms? Tough shit. Make sure what you do, is designed for you.

2. A workout isn't a compilation of 10 moves for a body part you want to fix. Your workout should be very intentionally planed. Does it make sense? Is it directly going to move you forward to your goals? Is it smart? Think about that next time you train!

Sample of bad, unplanned workout:

3x50 air squats 3x50 walking lunges 3x20 alternating jumping lunges 3x20 step ups 3x20 frog jumps

See how heavily quad dominated that workout was? Putting our bodies at a huge imbalance by completely ignoring our posterior chain (AKA:back side) , and you just murdered your quads. While some may think that's a good thing--not so much.

Here's an example of a well planed workout:

3x10 kettlbell swing 3x10 barbell bent over row 3x10 push ups 3x10 inverted row 3x20 seconds foot hand crawl

As you can see this was an upper body focused workout, however I still added swings to get a full body movement in. The swings as we know target every muscle group you have and are a perfect option for "cardio". You'll sweat, work every muscle and as a bonus you're even working your core :) Because we did the bent over row (posterior//back), I wanted to add the push up and inverted row to work the anterior//front side. To finish we did a crawl, why? Engaging every single muscle..hello abs!

Have questions? Let me know! Think you need some programming assistance? Email me at strongchicksrock.rachel@gmail.com .

I Can't Believe I'm Sharing My Fitness Secret

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HAPPY FRIDAY my beautiful friends!! I hope you all are off to a fantastic start. I've said it 100x but know this, your health isn't M-F, it's everyday. So don't lose sight of it this weekend.

Ok, enough is enough. I'm sure you're wondering what my big fitness secret is.....

Drum roll please.....

Less Is More.

Before you roll your eyes and click the page away (yes I know you were expecting the answer to be a magical trick to reaching your goals!) just listen.

Where It All Went Wrong

Be it through Pinterest, school, your boyfriend or Cosmo Magazine women (and men) have been programmed into thinking they need to spend 1-2 hours in the gym and that cardio is a must.

This couldn't be farther from the truth, I've trained over 100 women and successfully lost 45lbs myself, all without spending hours in the gym, doing a billion exercises or doing cardio. How? I'll tell you.

What Is Functional?

Your training should be functional and here's my version of that: Training that honors your body and it's natural movement patterns. Moving and using exercises the help you move better in everyday life. Crawling, pushing, pulling, carrying , picking up and putting down. When we train this way, we are training for life.

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Some may look at this say and say "no way", they don't see how doing things so simple could get them any sort of results. That's ok, maybe they aren't ready.

I'm not saying you'll never touch a weight, because you will--a lot. The thing is, you can accomplish your goals doing very few movements, while simultaneously working your whole body, lose weight and gain that definition you want. All that, without pounding your body into the ground.

Here's How:

Take a look at this workout:

3x30ft foot hand crawl 3x12 kettlbell swing 3x10 inverted row 3x10 push ups

Breaking this down, you can see that when done right, the foot hand crawl uses every muscle in your body. Want to know how I got abs? I crawled, I kept my core tight and crawled some more. Our swings move us to the "cardio" portion of this workout. This is a ballistic movement, so much power, strength AND endurance coming from this move! Again, the swing uses every muscle! Now we go to the inverted row, because I added push ups to this I wanted to add a pull as well. Working both planes of the body (front and back) allows us to not just strengthen both, but get the most of our workout in a short period of time.

I see a lot of things like one legged bicep curls on the bosu ball. Why? Yes you are placed at an imbalance and your stability is being challenged but is this one move really helping you get the most out of your workouts and use your time wisely? Not so much!

So next time you train, think about your goals. Program your workouts to be functional and allow you to get he most bang for your buck each time!

Now go functionally kick some ass!

Rach

The Greatest Love Affair You'll Ever Have!

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Today, the day of commercialized love (you know it, let's be honest), I see so many women down on themselves for being alone. Let me say this loud and clear, I'm no love expert but you don't need anyone to validate your existence on this earth!!

I know that statement alone probably won't change how you may feel so today instead of giving you ideas on how to avoid love, or tell you to go indulge in a box of chocolates. I'm going to talk to you about loving the most important person in your life, YOU.

Being Honest With Yourself

How many times have you said out loud, to a friend or in your mind "I love myself" or "we as women should love our bodies!". I guarantee you've probably actually said it a lot, but more than likely you haven't meant it. We all like to act like we have our shit together, like we are happy with where we are, happy that your high school jeans don't fit anymore because you're embracing your curves. I can say this from personal experience and the large amount of women I've trained that we aren't, you aren't, truly okay with where you are (most of the time).

The obvious solution to this problem would be to change, to take action and commit to health and fitness, that is, if your value of yourself comes from body image. Where the real challenge stems from though is realizing that we've gotten ourself to this point, and the mental struggle ahead that has to be fought.

It's easy to look at the big picture, instead of focusing on the now. Being unhappy with your body or where you are in life can suck..if we let it.

So, how do you love yourself even if you aren't in ideal shape, or you don't have your dream job/boyfriend/life.

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I could give you some cliche answers, that everyone says. I won't do that though. I'll give it to you 100% truthfully, because that's what you deserve.

If you have low self esteem, which to be frank most ( a lot ) of women do. You need to do esteemable acts. Things like volunteering, helping others. Doing things that make you feel good, that allow you to make a difference or change in someone else's life will in turn make you feel good about yourself.

Finding You

Next, take a look at your life. Do you put your faith/hope in a man? In a grade? A relationship? Does your sense of self worth stem from how great others see you. Or how how much someone else loves you?

If that is the case, first acknowledge it. I didn't realize (or I didn't want to admit) that my self worth depended on how much others thought of me, or cared about me. If you don't know who you are outside of your relationship/job ect, then it's time to learn. LEARN WHO YOU ARE. Do you want to take dancing lesions? Go sign up right now! Is there a band you've always wanted to see, go get tickets! Want to color your hair? DO IT!

When you interlock who you are in someone else, you lose yourself. Your identity is now dependent on someone or something else. You need to find you. Discover what you enjoy, things you like and so on.

Ready, Set, Go

Knowing who you are, may be the single most important step in loving yourself.

The road to self love is amazing, and challenging. Challenging because if you've only ever known yourself through others, if you've lowered your worth based on others, then you don't know who you are.

I can promise you though that truly discovering YOU, is the best thing in the world. For the longest time I didn't even know what music I liked, because I liked what everyone else did.

When you know who you are, you see yourself in a new light and can love who you are because you know your value doesn't rely on anyone else accepting you, but YOU.

Go on, get down with your bad self and walk the journey of falling in love with yourself. Every part of you.

Rach

Finding Balance: My Yoga Journey

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I thought I'd switch things up and share my personal story with yoga so far. If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen bits and pieces of me attempting things the past few months. I get really excited about something then want to ball out..then can't accomplish it and I quit. That's sorta what had been happening with yoga. I really got into the idea of it a few months ago and went straight to attempting inversions and crazy nonsense, and as a trainer I should have known better to do.

Fast forward to last week and by some strange but awesome wave of events I ended up at the one studio that a beautifully spirited friend of mine suggested. I FELL IN LOVE. By the way, if you're in Dublin/Columbus Ohio --I'm going to GoYoga

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My first class was a heated power flow, man was it hard. It was also fun though and the teacher Melissa was AMAZING!

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I think that's what I love most about going, the vibes of being there. As a stay at home/work from mom I don't go out a lot --sad/hilarious but true. I pick up on people's energy very quickly and I've always been the person to have 1 great friend rather than 10 not so great ones. The moment I walked into the studio though I felt like Meredith Grey and Christina, I had found my people.

I honestly wanted to cry, (yes I'm that emotional) at how happy I was to be there. Just being around other people who are so genuinely kind, and are there to learn, meditate and grow. It was awesome.

I've continued to go almost daily and it's really darn hard. I went to one class that really pushed my limits, I had to continuously drop poses because I was so sore. The point of that teaching (taught by Amy) was to be holding the poses for so long that you reach a mental block and hopefully push through it. I however didn't do that. I fell out of poses left and right. The thing is, I know I could have gone longer--it truly was my mind getting in the way. Amy kept repeating "your breath will get you through". I thought I was doing it right, I wasn't though. I would hold my breath, breathe where I could and occasionally align my breath with my moves.

It wasn't until I went to a 6am class this morning taught by Jillian. The class was so small (yay for the 6am club!), and I really liked that. The beginning was hard for me because I was so sore from yoga/lifting daily. I broke a few poses to relax my muscles, then all of sudden as she was coaching us when to inhale/exhale I felt my breath align with my movements and it clicked.

Guys, I've never been so happy. It truly was an emotional moment. The moves were still hard, but my breath really was getting me through the movements.

I'm so excited to continue this journey. I keep saying its weird to be taught and not teach, but I love it. I love learning.

Here's to more zen, more balance and happy vibes. I'll keep sharing this journey with you guys if you'd like!

Xo Rachel