I’ve Got a Couple Questions for You…

reader-feedbackHey guys!! I’m back! I’ve accepted the fact that Boston is, in fact, Antarctica; almost dug myself out of the post-vacation email inbox hole; and readjusted to the time change. I’m ready to get back to “work” (blogging doesn’t feel like work, but you know what I mean).

I’ve got lots of posts coming your way, but wanted to use today to get your feedback on two (exciting!) things.

Exercise video tutorials—what do you want to see first?

youtube-tvThis is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. In fact, my 2014 New Year’s resolution was to finally start a Pumps & Iron YouTube channel. Clearly that went well…

I keep putting it off because the thought of taking on another project seems a little overwhelming—especially since I have no clue what I’m doing when it comes to videography. Do I need a mic? Should I use iMovie to edit them? Can my DSLR camera even take videos? How do I make the final product not look like a middle school homework assignment? Do I need to buy equipment? What music am I allowed to use? Should I hire a videographer with all that money I don’t have? Ahhh.

Maybe it’s because I’m still feeling all laidback from two weeks of vacation, but yesterday I stopped over-thinking it am going to start shooting videos next week for the blog. The first couple will probably be a little on the ratchet side while I figure out what I’m doing, but who cares? The first workout pictorials I posted were rough, too. Gotta start somewhere.

Eventually, full-length, real-time workout videos are something I’d love to do. Maybe I’ll even try one next week. But I also want to build up a sort of reference library of individual exercise tutorials. My vision is for workout posts to contain a pictorial (per usual), and then with the written exercise descriptions, I’ll embed a video demonstrating each move. The video will thoroughly break the exercise down, include ways to modify it if you’re a beginner, talk about common form errors and ways to correct them, pinpoint the muscle groups it works and where you should be “feeling it”, and go over any other tips I have.

If you’re familiar with some exercises in a workout but not others, this will allow you to skip the videos you don’t need and watch just those exercises which you want demonstrated. Another benefit of doing this is that I can easily go back and update older workouts with them. It’s unrealistic for me to shoot a real-time workout to accompany every workout I’ve ever posted, but if I have individual exercise examples, I can go back and quickly embed a burpee video, for example, in each workout that utilizes it. This actually sounds like a great project for a Pumps & Iron summer intern…anyone in Boston looking for a low-paying internship? ;)

Anywho, it will clearly take some time to do this for every exercise, so I want your input in prioritizing the video shoots. Are there certain exercises I’ve included in workouts that you don’t understand? Which are the most confusing for you? Which don’t you feel confident performing on your own? Have you ever skipped over a workout because you’re unsure what I want you to do? I’m guessing there’s not an urgency to see a how-to video on planks, for example. But it’d probably be useful to see the less common moves and combos I post. Let me know what you want to see first!

 

DietBet—Yay or Nay?

Pumps & Iron DietBetI’ve gotten a few requests for me to host another DietBet. If you’re unfamiliar with DietBets, basically you buy into a month-long weight-loss challenge, and if you lose 4% of your bodyweight in that time, you split the pot with the other winners. There are so many wonderful things about DietBet. For a month, you’re a part of this incredibly motivational and supportive online community—everyone is working towards the same goal, sharing their struggles and accomplishments and cheering each other on. It holds you accountable and is actually really fun! At the end you don’t win that much money (typically you double whatever you invested, and usually the buy-in is $25 or $30), but it’s still awesome being rewarded for your work (and the real reward is losing the weight!).

So if it’s so wonderful, why did I stop hosting them after doing two? A couple things don’t sit well with me about it:

It’s based solely on weight loss (vs. change in body composition). This is no fault of DietBet’s—almost everyone has access to a scale; few people have access to equipment that measures body composition (percentage body fat, etc.). This isn’t a problem if you have pounds to lose, but I wish everyone could take part in it—those trying to lose weight and those just trying to get more fit (more muscle mass, less fat mass).

I (or any host) gets 10% of the pot. I mean, I do think hosts should get paid, but I don’t like that it comes from your potential winnings rather than DietBet’s pocket. I don’t know how else DietBet could do it—I understand that it’s a necessity of their business model—but I still can’t help but feel a little grimy about it.

While hosting my first DietBet these two aspects of it started to bother me, so while hosting my second one, I tried to make up for them by also doing weekly workout challenges and giveaways on the blog during the DietBet. This way, if you didn’t have 4% of your bodyweight to lose, you could still play along with my workout challenges each week. And I guess the giveaways were a way to assuage some of my guilt in getting paid from the pot, while also providing all the DietBetters some added motivation.

So I guess my question is this: do you guys want me to host another DietBet? I was thinking April would be an awesome month to do it because the weather starts to warm up, you can workout outdoors again, and everyone starts to feel motivated to shape up for the summer months. Would you prefer me to do some sort of get fit/lose weight challenge solely on the blog without DietBet? I will say, the commitment of buying into a DietBet really is an awesome way of keeping yourself accountable and motivated to stick to the challenge. But I also understand the unattractive parts to it.

 

Let me know your thoughts using the widgets or in the comments! Have a great weekend, friends! It’s good to be back. :)

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30-Minute Jump Rope + Strength Training Workout

30-Minute Jump Rope + Strength Training Interval Workout - great mix of cardio and strength!This is the last of my scheduled vacation posts—I’ll be back blogging in real time tomorrow (or the next day … let’s see how jet lag treats me). :)

Also, don’t mind my struggle-bus pistol squat pictures—I can’t freaking do them (well) to save my life. But that’s exactly why they’re in this workout! Gotta keep working at them…

30-Minute Jump Roping + Strength Training Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll go through a circuit of jump roping and bodyweight exercises three times. The circuit alternates between 60 seconds of jump roping and 60 seconds of strength training (30 seconds on each side/arm/leg). To make things easier, I set my interval timer for 31 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. This setting will tell the timer to beep every 30 seconds, accounting for two 30-second periods of rest in between each completed round of the circuit. Keep in mind that while jump roping, you’ll go through one of the interval beeps, staying with it for a full minute.

30-Minute Jump Rope + Strength Training Interval Workout - great mix of cardio and strength!

GO THROUGH THE FOLLOWING CIRCUIT THREE TIMES:

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Side Plank Kicks | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

Start in a side plank (if you have wrist issues you can do this on your forearm) with right hand stacked underneath your shoulder, left leg hovering in the air, and left arm outstretched overhead. From here, kick your left leg in front of your body as you bring your left hand to meet it—it’s like a scissor chop. Return to starting position. Your goal is to never rest the left leg on the ground (or on top of your right foot)—always have it hovering.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Pistol Squats | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

If you’re not a pistol squatting pro, I highly recommend doing these on a bench or other elevated surface—it helps me a ton! This way, you don’t have to worry about holding the non-squatting leg up in front of you. Start facing sideways with your right foot standing on a bench/step and the left foot dangling off the edge. Squat down on the right side, sending your hips and booty back and down behind you (don’t let the knee jut farther forward than the toes). You’ll want to hold that left leg as far in front of you as you can while you squat, so that as you lower, it takes a good distance before that left heel touches the ground below the bench/step. When you’re as low as you can get into the squat, press up through the right heel to return to standing.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Side Push Ups | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

Lay on your left side, left arm hugging your torso (to get it out of the way), and right hand planted firmly on the ground in front of you, aligned with your shoulders. Push your upper body off the ground with that right arm (hips are your point of contact with the floor), then slowly lower without ever fully coming to rest back on the ground. Continue.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Starfish Crunches | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

Start laying on your back with arms overhead. Arms and legs should be out wide so that your body is forming an “x” shape on the ground. From here, lift your legs an inch off the ground, engaging your core. The goal is to never let them come to rest, but if you’re a beginner, do so in between reps. From this starting position, crunch up, bringing your right leg straight up into the air as you bring your left arm up and across your body to touch that right foot (get as close as you can—it’s ok if you don’t actually make contact). Slowly lower back to starting and then repeat, going in the same direction for the full 30 seconds before switching over to the opposite hand and foot.

Jump Rope | 60 seconds

Push-Off Side Lunge | 30 seconds right, 30 seconds left

From a standing position, step your right foot out wide to the side (both feet still face front), bending the right knee and lunging down to bring your left hand across the body down to the floor by your right foot. Next, push off that right foot to bring yourself back up to standing, and as you do, drive the right knee up towards your chest and hop up into the air on the left foot. As you land, send that right foot immediately back out wide, sinking into your next lunge.

I rested for 30 seconds in between each round. Feel free to stretch that out to 60-90 seconds. side-plank-kicks-exercise

WEARING | leggings, tank & sneakers c/o Puma

Enjoy the workout! Can’t wait to share some pics and stories from my Australia trip on the blog—stay tuned!!!

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Valentine’s-Inspired Workout Clothing Haul

Valentine's Day Workout Clothes HaulMaaji Full Length Legging • Maaji • $94.00  // Maaji Hi Low Tank Top • Maaji • $64.00  // Lorna Jane Ella Bra • $73.00  // Lorna Jane Run Around Excel Tank • $77.00  // Lorna Jane Tahli Long Sleeve Top • $61.00  // Anytime Tees NEW!Racerback Tank • Victoria’s Secret • $24.50–29.50  // Victoria’s Secret Sport NEW!Knockout by Victorias Secret Front-Close Sport Bra • Victoria’s Secret • $56.50–62.50  // All Sport Bra • Lululemon • $39.00  // Wild Tank • Lululemon • $64.00  // Mudra Scarf • Lululemon • $58.00  // Adidas stellasport Pink colour block sports bra • Topshop • $52.00  // Adidas stellasport Cropped sports leggings with contrast panels • Topshop • $68.00  // Adidas stellasport Pink colour block vest • Topshop • $60.00  // Nina.b.roze Heart Butt Capri • $85.00  // Nike Three-D Tank • Nike • $20.99–31.50  // Nike Pro Hyperwarm Hoodie • Nike • $65.00  // Nike ‘Free 5.0 14′ Running Shoe (Women) • Nike • $100.00

Before my trip, I was browsing the interwebs for bathing suits and when I searched Maaji (super cute swimwear brand), I discovered they had activewear now, too?? I love that more and more brands are coming out with fitness/active collections because as someone who literally wears leggings seven days a week, I need more options than Lululemon. And how rad are those Maaji printed leggings?! Granted, I’ve never tried them on, so have no clue how they fit or perform, but I sure enjoyed the window shopping. Once I found them, I ended up on an internet rabbit hole that led me to this list of red, pink and hearted workout clothes perfect for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday.

Happy shopping, lovers!

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Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. It’s in no way sponsored–I just use ShopSense to build links to clothing items I like so that I get a little kickback. I appreciate your support! :)

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