Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Word & Weight: Lat pull over

Word & Weight

Word: James 1:2-3 
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

We feel like when we are in trials we are getting second best. BUT we can use every situation we face to build patience and give God more glory! Being patience isn't easy, its being consistent in all things all the time, regardless of what happens! It's a refining process for sure, but will we allow ourselves to go through it? 

Weight:Lat Pull Over
Try to keep your back flatter than mine!

You can have your arms straight with only a slight bend in the elbow OR you can keep them in a triceps skull crusher position like in my video.   Raise the bar toward the ceiling and lower it behind your head (as far as possible without pain or discomfort) in one fluid motion (shown). Squeeze your shoulder blades together, then pull the weight back over your head and lower it toward your belly button or waist.  Do three sets of 12-15 reps.

IFBB PRO Felicia Romero:
I had the treat to meet and sit in on a seminar with Felicia Romero, IFBB Pro Figure girl, fitness model and trainer! She was amazing and even took time to critique some girls at the seminar! 

I asked her what I should be working on and she said one thing was growing my lats! It's taking patience let me tell you, but I am working on it! Hard to pose and take a pic, but I had an OK pump today after about 6 sets of work. Getting there one rep, one step at a time!  

What is one area that YOU would like to improve on? Have a blessed week! 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Getting results and chasing dreams!

Hey Fit friends!! Hope your first week of December is rocking out your goals and that you are feeling great!! I am feeling encouraged this week for a few reasons! OF course I am going to share them with you!
First reason is that I am LOVING my morning hours at work! A few days have been working split shift, so a couple hours break in the afternoon and then back to the gym for more clients. But I am SO GRATEFUL for my job, for the opportunity I have to work where I do and to impact people and show them health and Gods love, there are no worries about a few split shifts!

So I am encouraged by my mornings, it's a routine that I was made to do and I feel I do well. I am also encouraged because my lifting is, again, taking a new shape and new direction. I am taking my reps AND sets up and really focusing on some basic compound moves.
For a little while, I wasn't working up to my potential, I wasn't working as hard as I could have been. I really had an eye opening moment when I was watching the "Weak Point" series of videos from Joe Donnelly. They are pretty ripe with curses, but the content is great! If you can get past the offensive language, they have tons of nuggets worth putting into your workouts. Basically

I wasn't going to be upset with not getting results I want from

I was not working hard enough in a number of ways and am now on a straight track to the stage in spring! I am feeling really encouraged and am reminding myself that as I work hard, push myself and push a little more, more than I think I can do, I will find myself exactly where I want to be.
On a side note to that, I spoke at my recovery meeting this week and covered Humility, well, covered what little I could on it as the subject is huge. Can I put Christ first, focus on him, align with him in every situation and goal and still chase my dreams?

YES. I can.
He wants me to shine in all I do so I can point to HIM in it. After all, when I shine it's simply Jesus that I am reflecting anyway! So don't worry about going after your dreams and goals. As long as they aren't against the word of God, he will bless your work as you reflect him daily!  

Next week, success stories are back
as is WORD and WEIGHT! Watch for it!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Half Size interview & holiday check in!

Happy Monday! 
I am so pumped for this week! My hours at work changed and I am NOW an early morning trainer!! Changing lives at the crack of dawn and able to spend evenings with my family! What a huge blessing!! 

PLUS, Thanksgiving was a sweet special time with my family!
I made my FAVE brussels sprouts with bacon and enjoyed everything at the table! 

Once a year, mashed potatoes! 

Half Size Me
SUPER Excited to share with you that my interview with Heather from Half Size Me! 
It talks all about my history of fitness and nutrition and what I went through to lose 40 pounds and keep it off! HERE is the link! It's about a 50 min interview--enjoy!!


The rest of the holiday weekend was great, we did a lot of family activities, my brother is in town from Germany! We went for a hayride and got our Christmas tree and then spent Sunday decorating the house, it was SO much fun! 

On Facebook, I posted a body weight workout which I did with my family, but other than that, I took time OFF of lifting. It's always a little scary when I take time off, but TODAY it totally paid off in that I increased reps on my bench press! Rest is vital to growth and to muscle recovery. My few days off made all the difference, even in my attitude--I felt renewed and excited to be in the gym!  

What was YOUR fave dish over the holiday?? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Recipe: Low-fat Pumpkin cookies & Peanut butter glaze

Happy Tuesday! Three days till Turkey day and I am in a baking and cooking mood! For this years meal, I am bringing my brussels sprout recipe, it's here, I made it last year. 

I am also bringing a great little recipe I modified from Love From the Oven, a low-fat, oatmeal pumpkin cookie! 
I love treats and sweets actually! These easy, little cookies are low-fat, filled with good ingredients and with the right topping, satisfy your sweet tooth!! 


1 CAN (15oz) pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling…)    
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 cup white wheat flour, 2 & 2/3 cups rolled oats, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Optional Mix Ins – 1 cup of pecans, walnuts, raisins or chocolate chips, 1 scoop whey protein! I didn't do ANY mix in's this round. 
Directions:   Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine pumpkin, eggs and vanilla until well combined.   In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and spices and mix ins.

Bake at 350 for 12 min! Cool on parchment paper before icing or enjoy alone!

Optional Icing: 
Not clean, but a nice touch of sweet and protein too! 
2/3 Cup powdered sugar, 4 teaspoons of water, 1 Tablespoon of creamy nut butter ( I used peanut butter) 

Drizzle on cooled cookies and enjoy!

My modifications: I used a whole can of pumpkin and 1/3 of a cup LESS oats than the original recipe, they are soft and not dry! I also doubled the above icing recipe and used it over the whole batch!  

Holiday TIPS! 

My reverse resolution challenge girls are ROCKIN' it out! They are all doing great with their goals AND their accountability, shout out to them! 
Here are some healthy holiday tips I gave them, that I want to share with you for Thursdays big day. Remember, it's a lot like any other day! Do the same you would on a regular weekday, workout, rest, drink that water etc...and ENJOY! 

- Drink A LOT of water, your same amount you would normally
- Eat breakfast and a snack like normal! 
- Have one plate of food and drink a glass of water 
- Aim for MORE GREENS (or colored carbs) than grains
- Eat your favorite treat, have that sliver of pie and enjoy 
- Go for a walk after, play food ball, do a body weight workout with your kids to instill great habits! 

What is your healthy holiday tradition?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Traffic Jams & your destination

Happy Monday! Today, I sat in traffic for over an HOUR and went about 2 miles! That's right, here in Minneapolis, we got a little dusting of snow and the roads were a bit slick. Welcome to winter driving!

As I sat there, at a standstill with my 5 year old in the backseat, I realized that God is in control of something as small as my drive to school or work in the morning. He knows what time I need to be where, he knows the roads, the traffic, he is in ultimate control and I will get to my destination when I am supposed to. 

I will get to my destination when I am supposed to. 

Wow, I laughed out loud. What a metaphor for the last two years of my life! How many times have I sat in the same place, FRUSTRATED with the progress, instead of just giving over my control and allowing him to do what he will, knowing I will get to my destination when I am supposed to. 

Your path is not my path. 
Your success is not my success. 
Your life is not my life.  

My path is HIS path. 
My success is HIS success. 
My life is HIS life. 

I can LOSE my life, my own selfish ambitions, my own agenda and goals and allow Christ to be all he is through me, to use me, to let me play a part in HIS story. Will I still enjoy my life? YES more than ever. Will I still see my dreams come to pass, Yes of course! Will things go smoother and BETTER than I could have imagined, yes. But I can't fathom it now, in the midst of this traffic jam. Will I be in control of my destiny? No, I am not in control whether I fight it and kick against it or whether I just sit back in the warmth and comfort of Gods love and let him drive.  

We can be on the right track and still get run over. But ask this: are we on God's track or our own? Are we driving the train or is God? Are we struggling to move forward or are we submitting and TRUSTING that he is in control, loves us and will get us there? 

Weekend fitness

We had an amazing weekend at my Mom's place! Mini Mack and Mr. MACK enjoying the swings and cool playground equipment. A trip to the park of course would not be complete unless I did some flipping around on the monkey bars! I am always thankful that I can be active, strong and able to do all I want, like run and play with my new son! 

Friday I got my own workout in and ended a really HARD chest and triceps day with Medicine Ball pushups!! You place one hand on the MB, do a full (extended) range pushup, roll the ball to the other hand and repeat! What an effective BURN out for your upper body!! I recommend it! 

I know that God will honor my hard work in the gym, he knows my heart and my desires to meet certain goals. He also knows that I point to him when people talk about my strength! When you do a challenging workout and feel you can't do those last few reps--hang in there. Do as much as you can and then do THREE more! That push makes all the difference! Have a great Monday! 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Exercise your rights! Short set workout!

Only 25 or 30 min to workout you say? Not enough time to even get into it you say? I say NO way! Exercise your right, your right to a quick, intense workout with short sets, there is no debate about it!! 

You can get in a super effective resistance training workout in less than 30 min that will leave you feeling like you worked hard, pushed yourself and burned all the fat that 30 min can! When you lift weights you build lean mass and you burn fat. 

When faced with a short amount of time, so many people turn to a 30 min run or 30 min of cardio when a little fat blasting, FAST weight routine is a better option! But cutting down rest, and moving through the sets fast, you will be out of breath the same if not more than a cardio sesh on the elliptical!

Chest and Triceps short set 
Warm up 2 min
DB chest Press 8-10 reps
Tricep rope pushdown 8-10reps 
Decline pushups (feet on a bench or box) 8-10reps
Tricep dips off a bench, feet elevated 8-10reps 

With feet elevated during push ups and your feet on a bench in front of you during dips, both moves are made just slightly harder.  

You can sprint in between or do burpees also, or just move through those 4 moves for three sets.  

Shoulders short set
Warm up 2 min
Overhead press drop set (starting with the heaviest of 3 weights, doing 8-10reps, and moving down.) 
Prone rear delt fly 8-10reps
Lateral raise 8-10reps 
KB squat into upright row 8-10reps 
Repeat three times

This month is definitely one of transition!! We are voting, we are preparing for winter (we did a FULL weekend of fall cleaning, purging and winterizing our place)preparing for advent and working on maintaining our healthy life style through ALL the upcoming events we love each year!! Make this a NOvember to count, say NO to all the negatives that float around in your heart & head and give this month your 110%! 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Recipe: Frozen veggie frittata & DRAG CURLS!

Since getting married, I have done a lot more cooking and a lot more experimenting with recipes, many off amazing blogs and a few of my own. This is one such recipe. I love eggs and am always clamoring for people to get more veggies in their diet. FRITTATA! Proof that God loves us and wants us to be healthy!

Pre heat the oven to 350
Frozen veggies of your choice! I used the simple: Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and onions. 
1/2 the bag 
2T healthy oil ( I suggest coconut) 
4 eggs, 3 whites
1/3 Cup cheese of your choice
Pesto, powdered or pre-made 2T.

On Medium heat Saute the veggies in the oil till done, just under 10 min if frozen. Add in your 2T pesto or pesto powder, mix till all the veggies are coated. 

Mix together your eggs/whites and about 1/4 Cup of of water, pour over the veggies, like a scramble. DO NOT mix. Sprinkle cheese on top of the mixture and let stand on Medium heat about 6 -8 min and then place in a pre heated oven for 20 min. Done and Delish!   

I am loving this move!! It's a bicep move that will challenge and grow you, no matter what level! 
Keeping the bar close to your body, you angle your elbows back as you lift the bar. Essentially you DRAG the bar up your body. Keep your core tight as your draggin! Doing this isolates the biceps nicely and prevents your shoulders from helping, thus taking tension off the bicep. 

It's an excellent isolation lift. Don't try and go higher than your chest or you will lose that isolation. Because of this, you may have to take your weight down a pinch. No worries though, hard work is dead ahead! 

Here is my drag curl from a few angles! Enjoy!! 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Recipe: Clean Eating Turkey Meatballs UPDATED

Happy Friday!! 

I had such a great week of clean eating, lots of new recipes and old standards making appearances! I also had an awesome week of workouts including a sweet interval run on a sunny fall day! 
I have really been in the fall mood, we carved a pumpkin, roasted seeds, have been eating squash! It's been a real festive few weeks and the temp here in Minneapolis hasn't turned too cold yet. 

I feel like we are still hovering around square one, but there is nothing wrong with going back to basics and moving forward from there. After all Vince Lombardi, legendary football coach was known for sitting his players down and beginning: "Gentlemen, this is a football." I am down for that. 


1.5 lb turkey
1 cup oats
3 Tablespoons tomato chopped (canned or not)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 table spoon italian spice
1/2 table spoon chopped garlic
1/4 table spoon ground cloves
*1 EGG (left out of original version!)

Mix ingredients well, the cloves give these a very nice, fall feel to them! 

Make into about 20 palm size balls, place on parchment paper or baking sheet and bake at 400 for 20 min!

They were DELISH!! I paired them with mixed veggies all week and loved the quick simple ready to "roll" meals we had. I spent a little time this week running, mostly intervals of 3 min run and 1 min walk. It was a good workout, blasting fat and conditioning! 


I am back to teaching spin this fall as well, so it's a nice way to start melting the excess off while I build muscle and work on building strength I love when you lean out a little and your muscles begin to really POP! I posted on FB this week about focusing on performance based goals. Meaning if you aim to lose 10 lbs you may not see results, if you aim to do 100 pushups, in DOING that, you will lose some of that weight. Essentially it's a better way to aim for the goal. 

From FB: 
Are you hitting a plateau, physically OR mentally? Switch your goals from results to performance based. Instead of aiming for that body fat to go down, or LBs on the scale, aim for doing a certain number of pushups, pull ups or running a certain distance. Performance goals will bring about RESULTS, but not always the other way around!! What's a good performance based goal for YOU?

I am going to work on doing hand stand pushups! WHEW, it's scary, I tried a few already and need a spotter for sure because the mental barrier is bigger than I expected! 
Here is yesterdays back and bicep workout: 

Assisted Pull up (30# assist) 
Cable curls 17.5 each 
Lat pull 100# 
Alternating renegade row 25# each
three rounds 12 reps

Happy Friday, GIT after it!  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"WE Are Never Getting Back Together" workout

Have you met your goal, saw awesome progress toward it or have been hovering right over it for a while? 

If your like me, you HAVE to keep things fresh or you will lose interest in the journey. Losing interest in the journey means that we are in danger of backsliding, relapse, losing ground and for the RECORD, I am NEVER getting back together with my FORMER self! (see 2 Corinthians 5:17: Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. ) It's BIBLICAL to move forward and let the old things, old habits and old life fall away! I am sold on it.

So, it's the We Are Never Getting Back Together workout! 

Set One: DB or Plate Front squat
DB Chest Press
Mt Climbers
Triceps dips on a bench
box jumps OR step ups
assisted pull up (with a machine, band or partner)
MB crunch 

Set TWO: 
with a barbell do a burpee to a clean and front squat * Demo in video  
DB Chest Press
Mt Climbers
Tricep dips on a bench
box jumps OR step ups
assisted pull up (with a machine, band or partner)
MB crunch 

Tiny living room, messing up the cleans! 
gotta love apartment living! 

Set three: 
 Dead lift to clean and press * Demo in video
DB Chest Press
Mt Climbers
Tricep dips on a bench
box jumps OR step ups
assisted pull up (with a machine, band or partner)
MB crunch 

The workout has some nice focus on Chest work which incorporates SO many muscles and full body moves which help to boost metabolism and keep your heart rate roaring! Enjoy and do something everyday OUT of your comfort zone, that's where the MAGIC happens!! Burn that fat and never look back! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Recipe: Cauliflower Breadsticks

Happy Friday Gang!! 
I have to say, this weeks been a doozy. A number of trials were thrown at the little Mack house, but we are OVER COMERS!!! I posted this on my personal Face Book Page: 

People think I never have a bad day, but I am like everyone else, I just know that my circumstances are not the last word in my life. I know I can't control other people and what they do and say, I know my heart whether or not I get a chance to say what I think or how I feel, and most important, when I feel like I am defeated, tired, worn down or at my ropes end, I know this:

I know Who goes before me
I know Who stands behind
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side
The One who reigns forever
He is a Friend of mine
The God of angel armies
Is always by my side.
-Chris Tomlin

There are a number of area's where we feel like we were making progress in our spiritual life, relationship and our dreams and we got knocked back to square one. It was discouraging till I cried out to God and he said "I AM square one, you start with me and build again." That was amazing. If I am at square one for the rest of my life and it is HIM, than I will perfect it, drink it in and be content. 

Ok, on to food-- I love breads, but they don't always love me back. So  I decided to try my hand at Cauliflower bread sticks! 

2 eggs
2 cups Cauliflower, shredded/riced
1 Cup mozzarella
1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese
pepper, salt, parsley 

Optional: garlic, additional spices

Preheat your oven to 450. 
Rice or shred the cauliflower with a food processor till you have 2 cups. Heat in microwave, or stove top for 3-4 min with NO water, till the cauliflower is soft. 
Combine 2 eggs, 2 cups cauliflower and 1 cup Mozzarella. Add in a dash of black pepper and a pinch of salt. 

Spread on Parchment paper and bake at 450 for 15 minutes! 
Sprinkle top with garlic if desired, about 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley and the Parmesan cheese, place back in the oven for 3 min, cool and serve!! 

I loved these, and am going to try the same recipe for pizza crust SOON! This recipe was modified from Christi at Mom, What's for Dinner who writes about living Gluten Free! 

Have a great weekend and remember, our journey is one step at a time, if you find yourself at square one, smile that you at least know where you want to go from there--FORWARD!! 

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