Category: Life

Hump Day Booty Circuit

Giphy

 

Happy Hump Day Everyone! I thought it was only appropriate to post a booty circuit workout today.

I apologize for being MIA but life has been pretty busy! I’m currently working full-time, I’m studying for my CPT exam, I’m about to start classes for my second Bachelor’s degree, AND I just started as an online health & fitness coach with Beachbody. I will keep you guys up to date with all that! I may be posting more sporadically than before but will still be posting! This blog is my fun time!!

Back to the booty gains —

The exercises in this circuit use mini resistance bands. You can get these on Amazon and I just got some more from Beachbody. They range from light-heavy resistance and feel free to double up the loops as well. For example, pairing together a heavy and light band for additional resistance if needed. These are excellent to use to isolate your glute muscles and activate them during the workout. I promise you, you’ll feel it a lot more than without it!

Circuit:

Perform 10-15 reps of each exercise back to back. Complete 3-4 sets for the entire workout. Place the resistance band a few inches above your knees for all exercises.

Exercises:

  1. Glute Bridges: lay down and put your feet up so that they are hip width apart. Move your glutes upward pull your pelvis bone to your nose. Squeeze your flutes at the top. Return to starting position.
  2. Glute Bridges with Hip Abduction: Perform the same movement as the regular glute bridge. Once you pull your pelvis up, pause and push your knees out. Keep control and bring your knees back in. Return to starting position.
  3. Froggy Glute Bridges: Same as regular glute bridges except your feet aren’t going to be flat on the floor. The bottoms of your feet will be touching each other so that your hips are open and your legs are spread apart.
  4. Glute Kickbacks: Stand on your hands and knees. Take your left leg back and straight with your foot flexed. Lift your leg up, control it, and return to the beginning. Once you complete the reps on this side, perform the same amount of reps on the right leg.
  5. Fire Hydrants: Stand on your hands and knees. Rotate your left knee out to the left and keep your leg at a 90 degree angle. Return to starting position. Perform the reps on the right leg. They’re called fire hydrants for a reason – you’re going to look like a dog going to the bathroom!
  6. Mini Rainbows: Similar position to the Glute Kickbacks except you’re going to draw a mini rainbow with your leg. Your left leg will go up and out to the left and then over the right leg, that’s one rep. Complete your reps and the switch to the right side.

Try integrating this workout into your next booty day and you’ll get a little sore the next day I promise! 🙂

NOTE: If anyone reading this is interested in being a coach or interested in learning more about the fitness and nutrition programs that are offered, feel free to email me at tloftonfit@gmail.com and I will get back to you! It’s such a great opportunity to help yourself and others with their fitness goals!

Project Comeback and Setbacks

I’m here to show you that life’s setbacks can transform into major motivation into your very own comeback. 

Setbacks

Just when you’re on a roll with crushing your goals and feeling great about everything you’re achieving, life seems to get in the way. Life happens, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing!

At the beginning of the new year, my boyfriend and I started to set each other accountable for our workouts and our meals. It’s always great to be on a fitness journey with someone else so the two of you can stay motivated together! The past 4-6 weeks we really kicked things into gear to prepare for our Miami/cruise vacation we went on last week.

Before going on vacation, we planned to go to the gym on the cruise at least 3 times during the week. How many times did we actually go? 0. And I packed my small resistance bands and everything!!

We also weren’t prepared for the amount of food served on board. There was food available 24/7 and dinner every night was a 3-course meal including a starter, main course, and dessert.

We had an unlimited drink package on the cruise that we definitely took advantage of as well.

I knew we would indulge a little here and there on vacation but we definitely over-indulged.

I wanted to write this to show how easy it is to have a set back or a misstep when it comes to obtaining your fitness goals, that’s why it’s called a lifestyle! It’s more fluid than being one set, determined path to take.



Vacation is a time to indulge and take advantage of being in new places, especially if you’re traveling abroad! Don’t be so hard and restrict yourself! Don’t hold back from tasting the foods or wines, etc., from your destination because you might miss some pretty important memories. This goes for working out, too. If you have time to squeeze in a quick workout – go for it girl! If not, don’t stress! You’ll have more time to enjoy yourself and your surroundings! There is plenty of time to get back in the routine once you get home.

Project Comeback

And this brings me to what Sarah’s Day would call a “Project Comeback”. Basically, I’m aiming to get back in my healthy, everyday routine and stick with it. My goals are:

  1. Workout at least 5 times a week, with at least 1 rest day
  2. Meal prep each week to have healthy meals ready
  3. Get back to my skin care routine (failed at this during vaca)
  4. Consistency with blog posts and creating content

These are my personal goals and you should tailor your goals to match what you want to see in your own Project Comeback. I just want to be more consistent and get back to where my routine was previously because I really enjoyed where I was at.

I hope this holds me accountable of my goals and helps someone start their own Project Comeback! It’s never too late to start back up after taking some time off. We’re all in this together and there’s no day like today to get fit!

Stay tuned to read about my trip and watch a little vlog of what we did!

At Home/Outdoor Leg Circuit Workout

An easy and effective, minimal equipment leg circuit workout that can be done at home or outside.

With the weather (finally) starting to get nicer, I like to try to come up with workouts I can do outside and with minimal equipment. These kinds of workouts are also perfect if you’re running low on time. This leg circuit is very intense and effective – I was definitely sore afterwards!

Since I live in an apartment complex, I have lots of staircases around to take advantage of. You can also find a staircase at a park near your house, bleachers at the local school, or even the one inside your house!

For the circuit workout, I added in a band to go around my thighs. If you don’t have a band like this readily available, you can still do the workout without it! It just adds more resistance and activates your glutes.

Warm Up:

Stair Sprints – 3 sets of 10 sprints up the stairs. Walk or jog back down the stairs



Circuit Workout:

Perform each exercise back to back and complete 3-4 sets of the circuit for the complete workout. Use the stairs for these exercises.

Exercises:
  1. Banded Squat Walks
  2. Banded Sumo Squat Jumps
  3. Banded Side Steps – Left Side
  4. Banded Side Steps – Right Side
  5. Lunges or Jumping Lunges (20 total)
  6. Stair Sprint

After this circuit workout, I usually throw in an additional superset or two to finish off the workout. A superset is when you perform two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between.

Superset 1 (3 sets):

This superset is performed without the staircase.

  1. Banded Sumo Squats – 20 reps
  2. Banded Narrow Squats with Added Pulse – 12 reps

Superset 2 (3 sets):

  1. Banded Step Ups with Glute Kickbacks (performed on the stairs) – 10 each side
  2. Side Lunges – 15 each side

Enjoy & get sweaty!!

Fitness YouTubers You Should Know

Providing you a list of my favorite fitness ladies to follow (and subscribe to!) on YouTube.

These ladies provide so many workout ideas, a lot of motivation, meal prep recipes, and just all-around positive vibes! Here’s some in-depth information of my Top 3 YouTubers and then some others below for you to check out.

Whitney Simmons

Whitney Simmons is a fitness YouTuber and Gymshark athlete based in Utah. She focuses on weightlifting workouts, HIIT routines, meal prep ideas, with some beauty and clothing hauls thrown in the mix. She has such a high energy and is easy to relate to. Whitney really helped me get into more of the weightlifting scene at the gym. She has so many workout ideas that can be found on her Instagram or YouTube channel. Instead of vlogging like other fitness YouTubers, Whitney’s videos are short and to the point. They get straight to the workout which is awesome! I love that you don’t have to scroll to find the workout part of the video. All the exercises are listed in the description box of the video for quick access or to screenshot it for the gym!

She has started a merchandise line and a collaboration with Tula as well!

Sarahs Day

Sarah Stevenson is the Austrailian vlogger behind Sarahs Day. She believes in natural, holistic remedies to conquer any sickness she’s facing, as well as improving her hormonal acne (which is how her channel started!). She’s a Paleo-based eater and all the recipes she shares are normally gluten-free, dairy-free, mostly vegan and refined sugar free. Sarah focuses more on bodyweight movements and plyometrics in her workouts as opposed to strictly weightlifting.

She has her own workout e-book called Sweat It To Shread It, which is an “8-Week active lifestyle challenge”. I have purchased this myself but haven’t had a chance to do it yet! Once I do, I will post a review of it, but I’m sure I will love it!

Sarah has also just recently released a fitness line with White Fox Boutique.



Blogilates

Cassey Ho is the creator of this fitness empire, Blogilates. Blogilates started out small and has taken over the Internet! Cassey is filled with so much positivity that radiates out from her videos. She posts Pilates videos and no equipment is necessary, just a yoga mat if you have on! If you sign up for her newsletter on Blogilates, she sends you a free workout calendar every month. This calendar has the different YouTube videos to watch and complete on that particular day.

In addition to her YouTube channel and her blog, Cassey also has a PIIT28 fitness program and a 28-Day Reset Nutrition Program available for purchase. The PIIT28 program is like HIIT, but with Pilates moves. Each workout is only 28 minutes long. The 28-Day Reset is similar to the Whole30 program in which you eliminate all dairy, gluten, alcohol, processed grains, and added sugars. Each of these are slowly added back into your diet. From this, you are able to tell which foods cause issues with your stomach and start eating in a way that eliminates that!

And if that isn’t enough, Cassey has her own fitness clothing line called POPFLEX Active.

Other Fitness YouTubers to Follow:

Tone it Up

Power fitness duo Karena and Katrina run this huge Tone It Up Community! Check out their workouts on YouTube that uses minimal equipment or check out their app!

Brittany Dawn Fitness

Has all the Starbucks secrets! As well as workouts, meal ideas, the works!

Nicki Blackketter

Another fitness vlogger that’s part of the Gymshark family!



Boho Beautiful

For the yogis looking for full workouts!

BodyBuilding.com

An all-around great resource for all things weightlifting: workouts, meal prep, supplement information, exercise dictionary – they’ve got it all!

At Home Total Body Workout (Apartment Friendly!)

A total body workout designed to be done at home with little to no equipment, and NO jumping moves so it’s apartment friendly!

Happy Snow Day! At least to us who live in the Northeast. I was super excited to see this much precipitation because I haven’t had a snow day yet this year! I still had to work from home but I was able to multi-task and get a bunch of stuff done.

Since I was stuck indoors all day with no access to my gym, I decided to throw together a full body workout and film it for you guys, too!

The best thing about this workout is that it’s apartment friendly! This means no jumping moves that bother your downstairs neighbors. I like working out at home but I do a lot of jumping moves and always feel so guilty for disturbing my neighbors.

Second best thing is that this workout targets all your main muscle groups: upper body, lower body, and abs. What can be better than that?!

I’ve separated the workouts by muscle group in case you’d like to mix and match and not complete them all. All exercises use body weight and can be modified to use added weight.



Lower Body Circuit 

I found this lower body circuit workout from Kelsey Wells, the developer of the PWR program on the Sweat app with Kayla Itsines. I’ve been incorporating it into some of my leg days at the gym and it’s killer! This is only the activation phase of the workout…in other words, the warmup. It definitely gets your heart pumping to kick off a workout!

Directions:

Set a timer for 10 minutes. Complete each exercise back to back. See how many sets you can complete before the timer is up!

Exercises:
  1. 10 Glute Bridges
  2. 20 Sumo Squat Pulses
  3. 10 Stationary Lunges (each side)
  4. 10 Reverse Lunch & Knee Up (each side)
  5. 20 Sumo Squats with 2 Pulses

Booty Burn

This booty burn part of the total body workout focuses on more Pilates style movements to really target the entire glute muscle.

Directions:

Perform each exercise back to back. Rest. Repeat 3-4 times.

Exercises:
  1. 15 Glute Bridges
  2. 10 Glute Kickbacks each side
  3. 15 Glute Kickback Pulses each side
  4. 20 Donkey Kicks each side
  5. 10 Rainbows each side

Ab Attack

For this Ab workout, I used my sliders. These sliders were cheap and can be found on Amazon. You can use the sliders on hardwood floors or on carpet. If you don’t have sliders, you can use cloths underneath your feet on hardwood floors.

Directions:

Perform each exercise back to back. Rest. Repeat 3 times.

Exercises:
  1. Knee Tucks
  2. 20 Mountain Climbers each side
  3. 20 Oblique Side Crunches each side
  4. 20 Plank Jacks



Upper Body Workout 

This workout was also inspired by Kelsey Wells. It was adapted and slightly modified from one of her Instagram posts and uses resistance bands. You can swap the resistance bands for dumbbells and can adjust the number of reps as necessary.

Directions:

Complete 12-15 reps of each exercise back to back. Rest and repeat for 3-4 sets.

Exercises:
  1. Lateral Raise
  2. Tricep Extensions
  3. Reverse Fly
  4. Front Raise
  5. Upper Row
  6. Bicep Curls
  7. Tricep Kickbacks
  8. Upper Back Row
  9. Squat to Shoulder Press

Hope you enjoy this workout! The how-to video will be coming shortly 🙂

 

FabFitFun – Spring Unboxing

Unboxing of the Spring box of FabFitFun. Take a sneak peek into all the goodies in the Sprint 2018 box!

What is FabFitFun?

FabFitFun is a seasonal subscription box (received 4 times a year for each season) containing full-size products, not samples like the other guys. They provide a wide variety of products to subscribers from many different brands: accessories, fitness gear, hair care, nail care, makeup, jewelry, etc. Each box contains over $200 worth of stuff and you get it for 1/4 of the price!!

Some items and styles can vary slightly from box to box. So you may have a different colored clutch than your bestie.



FabFitFun Spring 2018 Unboxing

Check out my unboxing video on YouTube to see what comes inside a FabFitFun box! This is my favorite subscription box and I always love what’s inside of them!

NOTE: This post and this video are not sponsored in any way. These opinions are my own.

 

OOTD 4

Switching the clocks forward made it finally feel like Spring is coming. It stayed light out until 7pm instead of the usual 5pm. This small change inspired me to start picking out spring colors to wear even though it’s still the same old winter temperatures outside.

For work today, I chose to pull out a darker floral dress with a pastel pink sweater. Since it’s still 40 degrees outside, I put on leggings underneath and wore with my TOMS wedges.



Lucky for me, I got this dress in my second Stitch Fix package. I linked a dress that’s similar below.

Get the Look:

Dress: http://bit.ly/2p2Z6pQ

Leggings: http://bit.ly/2p3Mf70

Sweater: http://mcys.co/2tJ0H8S

Slim Legs HIIT Workout

HIIT

HIIT is the best way to get your heart rate pumping and to burn fat in the shortest amount of time as possible. A good HIIT session can be done in as little as 10-15 minutes and will leave you feeling a great burn. It’s the perfect sweaty sesh to get you going before a workout or as a burnout afterwards.

Personally, I like to use HIIT as a warm-up exercise before I start weightlifting. And since I’m looking to decrease my body fat percentage, I try to incorporate HIIT into my workouts at least 3 times a week. I try to match the moves in my HIIT routines to what I’m working out that particular day. Here is an example of what I’ve been doing as my HIIT routine for leg day.

For this HIIT routine, I use a step with two of the risers on each end. If you’re a beginner or don’t have this piece of equipment readily available, there are certainly modifications that can be made. Try taking out one of the risers so that there’s only one per side or you can take them out altogether. You can also remove the step entirely if you’re doing this at home! For more of a challenge, add risers to each side or shorten the time of rest between exercises.



Timing

You can time yourself however you feel comfortable. Some HIIT is timed with 40 seconds working (performing the exercise), 20 seconds rest. I like to do 30 seconds working and 30 seconds rest.

There are 4 exercises in the routine. Complete the exercise in the working time of your session, then rest. Then move onto the next exercise, then rest and so on. Complete this for 3-4 rounds so that the workout is a total of 12-16 minutes.


Exercises

PSA: I don’t believe these are the technical names for these exercises but they made the most sense in describing the motions. See the video below for a how-to.
In and Out Squat Jumps

Start in a narrow squat position with both feet on the step. Jump out from off of the step to a sumo squat. Keep jumping back and forth between positions. Try adding pulses to the squats!

Jump Overs

Begin with your right foot on the step and your left food off of the step. Jump onto the step with your right foot then with your left. Once your left foot hits the step, your right foot should be off the step. Jump back to the left the same way.

Toe Taps

Similar to the all-familiar soccer drill: bring each toe up to the top of the step and gently tap each toe. Keep alternating each toe/foot that is tapping the top of the step.

Skaters

This is the only exercise performed without the step. I like to face the step on its length side so that I can measure how far I’m jumping during this move. Jump to the right with only your right foot and left leg should curtsy almost behind you. Jump to the left with your left leg and your right foot will be behind your left. This movement mimics the moves that inline skaters make on the rink. I try to jump laterally so that my foot aligns with the end or past the end of the step on each side.



Perform these back to back for a total of 4 minutes per round. Remember to repeat for 3-4 rounds to complete your HIIT routine!

See the video below on how to perform each exercise. Trying to type out what to do might be a little difficult to understand!

 

First Stitch Fix Experience: Honest Review

An un-affiliated, honest review of Stitch Fix from a normal gal who loves her clothes and a good deal. 

Subscription boxes are becoming my downfall in this world. Getting a box of goodies each month or 4 times out of the year without leaving my house?! Sounds like a dream—but luckily—this is the reality we know today. There are tons of different boxes you can get (most customized to you and your preferences) ranging from snacks, clothes, beauty products, and even toys and treats for your furry friends!

Today I welcome you to one of the growing subscription boxes for fashion. Meet Stitch Fix.

StitchFix.com

The Important Details:

What is Stitch Fix and How Does it Work?

Stitch Fix is, essentially, a virtual styling service for both men and women. When a user signs up, a style profile is submitted to a stylist that hand picks 5 pieces that matches the user’s personal style. These pieces include clothing items as well as shoes and other accessories.  The style profile submitted determines what the user likes and dislikes as well as what he or she normally wears or a particular style or patterns they are willing to try.

A ‘fix’ is then scheduled and delivered straight to the user’s address, which can be a one-time thing or can be set up on an ongoing delivery schedule and a fix will be delivered once a month.

StitchFix.com



Then, it’s like Christmas! Five new pieces are received and can be tried on at leisure to see if they will be integrated into his/her wardrobe. The return process is easy! The fix includes a prepaid envelope from the USPS. Keep what you want and return what you don’t and you obviously have to pay for what you keep.

For each fix, $20 is taken for a styling fee. This money is used towards the fix and is deducted from the total price of the items that are kept. This credit does not roll over to the next fix if it isn’t used.

When checking out online, there is a review section to fill out. Keeping it as detailed as possible allows the stylist to make the next fix even better and more tailored to the user’s personal style.



How Much Does it Cost?

No matter what, the fix will cost at least the $20 styling fee. From there, it depends on what each item is listed at. The total of the items you keep will be added up and sent to checkout.

Pertaining to the items themselves, feedback can be sent regarding the prices of the items received. Users are able to say if the price is too high, too low, or just right for each item. The stylist takes these notes into consideration for next time. There is also a section of the style profile in which each user sets a particular budget for what they would pay for each type of items in the fix.

If all items from the fix are purchased, there is a 25% discount automatically applied at checkout.

Returns are always free since a prepaid USPS return envelope is included.

What Sizes Are Available?

Luckily, Stitch Fix offers a wide range of sizes and promises to increase this range. Currently, sizes 0-24W and XS-3X are offered for Stitch Fix women. There are also petite and maternity sizes available.  

How Often Do I Get a Fix?

A fix can be scheduled at different frequencies including: every 2-3 weeks, every month, every other month, and every 3 months. It does not require a monthly subscription.

My First Fix

In my style profile, I mentioned that my work dress code is pretty casual and that I would like to see nice tops I can pair with jeans. I also chose that I like boho style and that I mostly wear casual outfits.

I received my first fix at the end of January. I received: one blouse, one sweater, one jacket, one pair of jeans, and a purse.

First Impressions

I liked everything in my fix right off the bat except the jeans. This is just a general rule of thumb for me, that jeans are hard to shop for. StitchFix only asks for one size for each type of garment instead of providing a range. I’m usually a 4 or 6 depending on the store so it’s hard to pinpoint it to one size when Stitch Fix is pulling from many different stores and boutiques with varying sizing charts.

jeans

The jeans just didn’t fit correctly. They were labeled as a skinny jean but fit more like a straight jean and just wasn’t flattering. Needless to say, these ended up in the ‘return’ pile.

army green jacket

The jacket was great and in-line with current trends. It was an army green jacket with a hood. This fit a little tighter than I like my jackets to be. I want a jacket to fit loose so I can layer pieces underneath without feeling restricted. I would have kept it but I already had a similar jacket. This joined the jeans in the return pile.

red blouse

The blouse was so cute and very boho! It was in a dark red which my closet is lacking, so I was excited to see something different. This is a perfect shirt for work or to dress up jeans on a date night. I was going to purchase this but didn’t give myself that much of a budget to spend on Stitch Fix.

tan purse

The bag was a tan, oversized hobo crossbody bag, which is literally my favorite kind of bag. It was perfect because I’ve been wanting to get a tan bag for awhile now but haven’t found one that jumped out at me. When this bag came in the fix, I knew I had to purchase it. This was one of the items I decided to keep.

slouchy sweater

Lastly, the sweater was oversized with an open back and nice detailing. It was slouchy and black and white (my favorite colors LOL). I knew this would be perfect with my black bralette underneath since the open back could show off the detailing of the bralette. The perfect thing about Stitch Fix is that I was able to grab the bralette and pair the two together right then and there. It looked awesome and the sweater was so comfortable. This item was a must have in my closet and I have happily worn it about 5 times since purchasing!

Overall Thoughts

Stitch Fix is a great service! It’s so cool that there are actually stylists who hand pick each piece just for your personal style and preferences. Each fix gets tailored more and more to your specific tastes so they improve each time.

The pieces are more expensive than I would like. I like getting clothes with discounts and deals, but Stitch Fix doesn’t offer any. The quality is reflective of the price so you are getting clothes that will last and none of them are cheaply made. I would say the average price per item, in my experience, is $50.

It’s also nice to be able to try the ‘fix’ pieces on with items you already have in your wardrobe. This gives you a chance to see if you can actually incorporate the piece with what you own already.

The best part about Stitch Fix is that you don’t have to put in any effort when it comes to shopping. All the work is done for you! You just get to sit back and wait for the fix to arrive at your door.

 

Veggie Taco Recipe

Healthy veggie tacos in under 15 minutes! 

veggie taco two completed veggie tacos

The Importance of Veggies

Sometimes I feel like I’m not getting enough vegetables in during the day…is that just me? According to the USDA, women ages 19-30 and 31-50 are supposed to get 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. It doesn’t sound like much, but if you’re only consuming vegetables for dinner, it can be pretty hard to meet that requirement.

Even further, the USDA recommends that each week women should consume 1.5 cups of dark green vegetables, 5.5 cups of red and orange vegetables, 1.5 cups of beans and peas, 5 cups of starchy vegetables, and 4 cups of other vegetables. Now that’s a lot of veggies!

I don’t think I’m anywhere close those numbers during a normal week. I’m making a conscious effort, however, to incorporate more plant protein into my diet.

That’s why I’ve been starting to pick up more vegetarian foods at the grocery store, like the Gardein and Morningstar products. You can find these at almost every grocery store in the frozen section.

I picked up the Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground which I thought was easy enough to incorporate into veggie tacos. I hardly eat red meat as it is so I thought this would be the perfect type of meatless meat to try out first, since I’m not accustomed to a particular taste.



beefless ground, tortillas, and salsa

The Recipe

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped pepper (red or green)
  • Taco seasoning
  • Tortillas
  • Toppings of your choice: shredded cheese, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, lettuce

taco mixture

Directions:
  1. Combine the Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground, onion, and peppers into a skillet with some olive oil. Heat on medium and cook until all contents are heated through. Sprinkle in some of the taco seasoning until your desire and stir thoroughly.
  2. Heat tortillas on a flat cast iron pan or in the microwave. One serving of the beefless ground makes about 3 tacos.
  3. Put a spoonful of the taco mixture into each tortilla. Top your tacos with toppings of your choice! My favorites are salsa, shredded cheese, lettuce, and cilantro.

flat veggie tacos

And just like that, you scored some ultimate veggie points with this meal! Enjoy!