How It All Began: Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes




What’s the story behind the creation of Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes? Wow, what a loaded question. I won’t bore you with the long story but I won’t tease you with the short story either; it’s all about the happy medium, right?

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So here goes!

Body image is something I have struggled with for most of my life. So much of my self-value has been placed on how I looked, which then dictated how I felt. My self-worth was determined by if I’d exercised that day or how much I’d eaten that day. I was miserable… but never miserable enough to make a change. The picture to the right was taken a few months before I started my fitness journey. 

In 2012, as a junior at UGA, I decided to start going to the gym. I had to get braces that year for an upcoming jaw surgery… and I figured if my face was going to suck, my body should be amazing. I laugh at myself now for this mentality! My workouts consisted of cardio, cardio, and more cardio. The treadmill, the track, and the elliptical were my go-to’s. I lost a lot of weight that year (see picture below)… but I still wasn’t happy. In retrospect, I know now that I may have changed my exercise habits, but I never really changed my mentality (or my eating habits). Over the next 3 years, I had an “off and on” relationship with working out/cardio. Just as I went off and on with diets. My weight fluctuated and I tied my happiness to the number on the scale.

 

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In February of 2015, I started working out with a personal trainer at the local LA Fitness. I’d previously worked out with 2 trainers but I didn’t have the same results… and here’s why. From my first session with JQ, I could tell how knowledgeable and passionate he was about hIMG_8840is job. His workouts were creative, challenging, and (I hate admitting this…) also fun. But there was another layer to our trainer-client relationship.

JQ graduated from the high school that my elementary school students would someday go to. He lived one street down from the school I worked at. These schools are Title 1, with a very at-risk student population (70%+ Free and Reduced Lunch)… and if you know me, you know that I am extremely passionate about closing the achievement gap in schools (as well as the race and socioeconomic aspects involved).

During our sessions, JQ and I had real conversations: about race, about poverty, about his experiences and struggles growing up, about my experiences working with children who IMG_7907sometimes wouldn’t know where their next meal was coming from. His story in becoming a personal trainer was something that I wanted to share with my students (see future post about this!). Long story short, we were invested in each other’s success. Not only did he inspire me to better myself, he showed me how to do it too. My sporadic gym sessions became a daily occurrence as I was eager to learn something new to try or work towards a goal we’d set.

Since I started going to the gym everyday, it was all I could think about… and all I could post about on my instagram. My frequent fitness posts frustrated some of my friends, so I decided to create an “anonymous” account to showcase my workouts, accomplishments, struggles, and more. Over the next months, my passion grew. I wanted to learn more about fitness, healthy eating, wellness, etc. Not only that… but also, I wanted to show others what I learned. I wanted to share my experience.

As a counselor, I know that telling our personal stories can be IMG_4586therapeutic and empowering… just what I needed. Since my instagram was “anonymous,” I wanted community with people who loved fitness as much as I did. I became ambassadors for some organizations and joined groups for people with similar interests. From their expertise, I realized that I needed more than just an Instagram. So, I started my blog to be able to share more about my story and hear from others too… (since Instagram captions can’t be too long without losing the follower’s interest!). It only made sense to add the other social media outlets as well. So, I created a Twitter, a Pinterest account, and a Facebook page all for Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes… and that’s how it all started.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and Pinterest, as well as like the Cardio, Weights, & Protein Shakes page on Facebook!

 

Also, make sure you download your free workout planner to help you Get Fit this Fall!

http://www.cardioweightsproteinshakes.com/fitness-inspiration/workout-planner/ 

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How to Do a Pull Up

 
How to do a pull up for beginners or learn how to increase the number of pull ups you can do! This pull up training will teach you pull up technique and tips to do your first pull up. You'll train your upper body and learn how to do a pull up

Learn How to Master the Pull Up

 



 

A couple of weeks ago, I did my very first pull up. Oh what a journey it was to learn how to do it! This was a goal that I’d been working on for 16 YEARS! I’ve now increased that number from 1 to 3! How did I learn to do a pull up? I’m going to give you tips to mastering the pull up, which is one of the most daunting fitness tasks… ESPECIALLY for women as we don’t have as much natural upper body strength.

 
 

Learn to do a pull up:

 

So… How did I get there? I know I’m not the only one who wants to conquer this task. I’ve created a list of helpful tips to help you do a pull up for the first time! In addition to these tips, be sure to read The Best Upper Body Exercises to Help You Do Your First Pull Up Quickly!
 

 

1. Work On Your Upper Body Back

You’ve got to have some muscle to be able to lift your body up! Try this back workout to get started.

2. The Assisted Pull Up Machine

This machine was integral to my success. This machine allows you to do the pullup motion, without having to carry all of y our body weight. It assists you (hence the name!)! In the months leading up to my first pull-up, I did 3 sets of 8 reps on this machine every single back day. Over time, I slowly decreased the assistance so that I was able to support more of my own weight.

3. Pull Up Assistant Bands

If you don’t have access to an Assisted Pull-Up Machine, then grab a pull up band. They will attach to the pull up bar. You put your feet at the bottom of the band and it will assist you as you perform your pull up. The band bears some of the weight, which is how it helps you pull your weight upward. For beginners, I suggest a pull up band that has a high resistance (meaning it will help you more). 

 

   

4. Hang Out

By hang out, I mean practice hanging like you’re about to do a pull up! This will help your body get accustomed to what you’re trying to make it do. It’ll also help your grip, which is REALLY important for a pull up! You can also do “Flexed Arm Hangs”, where you try to hold the top of the pull up position for as long as possible. This will help by strengthening your shoulders and biceps. When you do flexed arm hangs, lower yourself slowly – and you’ll feel the burn in your biceps!

5. Climb Things

If you’re lucky, your gym might have a rope machine that you can practice pulling yourself up on. Unfortunately, my gym doesn’t have this. So I practiced at a local playground on the fireman’s pole! Try to pull yourself up just a couple of reaches at a time. When I first tried, I could barely get myself up past my own height. But keep at it!

6. Master The Chin Up

Chin ups are slightly easier than pull ups. What’s the difference? First, in a pull up, your palms are facing the same way you are (overhand grip). In a chin up, your palms are facing you (underhand grip). Second, chin ups recruit your bicep muscles, putting less pressure on your back muscles to lift you up! Pull ups focus more on your back muscles (lats).

7. Be Patient

Rome wasn’t built in a day. It took me 16 years to do my first pull up. If you’re persistent and dedicated, it’ll happen!

 

 

Other Tips That Will Help You Do Your First Pull Up

 

1. Don’t look at the bar while you’re doing a pull up.

I know it’s really tempting to see how much more you have to pull up your body. But this actually makes it harder for you! And it can put a lot of strain on your neck!

2. Practice often.

Practice makes perfect, right?!

3. Keep a clean form!

Another crucial point when you train to do a pull up. You don’t want to injure yourself because the muscles involved can be easily injured or strained (i.e., your back).

4. Don’t jump.

I know it’s hard not to start your pull up with a jump but you need to be able to control your bodyweight. Learn how to do a pull up without that extra hop!

 

Check Out This Post

Learn how to do a pull up by working out and increasing your strength. These upper body exercises target your arms and back muscles so that you can pull and lift your body weight. Get lean muscle and get stronger with the Pull Ups for Beginners tips!You may also be interested in “The Best Upper Body Exercises To Help You Do Your First Pull Up Quickly!” Pair these great tips with these upper body exercises and you will be doing your first pull up in no time!

 
how to do a pull up

Meal Prep Firsts

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For awhile now, I’ve known that my eating habits and nutrition were standing in the way of me having the body I’ve always wanted. I’ve wanted to change these habits, but I’ve never really had the motivation to make the change. Until now. 

There are a lot of things that I can’t control in life. And one of the biggest lessons I’ve had to learn recently is that I can’t control what other people do. But you know what I cancontrol? Me. I am the master of my own destiny… And I’ve been the master of the body that I have. I control what goes into my body. It is all me. I’ll be honest. That thought was both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. I felt empowered to make the change, but also scared of failing. I have chosen to focus on the positive.

So, one of the best ways to accomplish healthy eating habits is meal prepping. I’ve been reading about meal prep ideas on Pinterest for YEARS.. There is so much out there! However, being the person I am, I needed more structure. I needed a plan written out for me that I could follow. Let’s get the clean eating habits down before I start creating my own meal plans! So where do I find this written out meal plan? Enter Sarah Bowmar (Bakian). I recently won one of her FANTASTIC workout programs… and I’m a huge fan of her workout Instagram. So I purchased a 1 month meal plan since she is an established Fitness Athlete and is ISSA Nutrition Certified. I have 18 options of meals each day and the measurements and instructions are all there for me. She has taken all of the guesswork out of it, which is a HUGE help when you’re a newbie. I’ll be meal prepping twice a week. Stay tuned for my next post on how THAT goes (hint: I’m not the best in the kitchen…)!

Do you meal prep? Do you create your own or use one made for you?

 


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