Post-Workout TropiKale PrOATein Smoothie

I woke up this morning and decided it was Mega-Burpee or “Man-Maker” Day (still cringe at that ridiculous name).  Forgot what Man-Makers are?  Let me refresh your memory.

Man Maker Demo

I advise using anywhere from 5 lb to 20+ lb dumbbells depending on how Hulk-Mode you’re feeling.  I used 10’s for 5 sets.  10’s may sound light, but trust me, they feel like 20’s by the last set.  Once you’re done, nothing better after a strength workout than a nice protein shake.  Today’s smoothie is a refreshing and filling oatmeal protein smoothie.  It’s got a bit of everything from greens to fruit to oats and then some.  DO IT.

Smoothie - PrOATein

1 Cup Frozen Chopped Pineapple/Mango Mix

1/4 Cup Steel Cut Organic Oats

1 Scoop Soy Free Vegetable Protein

1 Cup Organic Kale

1 Cup Vanilla Almond Milk

Food Key

– Pineapples: vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and folic acid

– Mangoes: vitamins A, B6, C, & E, antioxidants, fiber, magnesium, potassium and copper

– Oats: fiber and protein

– Kale: vitamins, A, B6 &C, potassium, copper, folic acid, calcium, iron, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and zinc (MEGA-STACKED!!)

Doga (doh- guh), Ashtanga Practice

This morning I had a very special partner for my yoga practice – my dog, Oppa.

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Today I went with a beginner Ashtanga Yoga class from Lesley Fightmaster.

I was reading up on the various types of yoga out there and Ashtanga sounded right up my alley based on my goals:

Ashtanga yoga metaphorically focuses on eight limbs. Considered a form of power yoga, Ashtanga is fast-paced and intense with lunges and push-ups.

  • Purpose: To help improve one’s spiritual self
  • Benefits: Relieves stress, improves coordination, and helps with weight loss
  • Good for: Fit people looking to maintain strength and stamina, and those who want to get in touch with their spiritual side

Dailycupofyoga.com has a great breakdown of 5 common styles of yoga which you can find here.

I found this practice pretty challenging since parts of me were a lot tighter than I realized.  I’ve decided to rock this practice out every other day until I can nail every pose just as Lesley does in the video.  Oppa is a natural and was breezing through the whole routine, taunting me the whole time.  I would have been upset, but how can you get mad at this face?

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Back 2 Back Back Routines

The amount of back and neck injuries I’ve sustained is actually quite staggering when I think about it.  Herniated disk in lower back, hit by car crossing street (3X), injured back lifting weights, fractured neck training jiu-jitsu…it’s a wonder I’m allowed to even leave the house.  Due to all these disasters, I’ve tried just about every back strengthening exercise there to try to keep myself right.  These two videos implement some of the better back exercises I’ve come across as well as some I’ve never tried before.  The first, from Tyler McCoy is a straight yoga practice for increasing back strength.  The second, from Ali Kamenova, is a yoga-based bodyweight exercise routine designed for back injury rehab.  Do them back 2 back (pun intended) for a low impact, yet still challenging workout.

Yoga for a Strong Back with Tyler McCoy

Back Injury Rehab Yoga Workout From Ali Kamenova

 

MY NECK, MY BACK…MY NECK & MY BACK

Tour De Dance – A SoulCycle Review

I decided to see what all the fuss was about and try a SoulCycle class.  After reading the reviews and testimonials I found online, I was expecting to walk into a spin class cult meeting.  One review that stood out to me was a woman who professed that she had a loving husband and great life, but SoulCycle was her true “happy place.”  I thought she sounded nuts.

The first thing that struck me when I go to the SoulCycle Studio (The 19th Street location in Manhattan) was how sleek everything looked, from the lockers to the studio itself to even the bathrooms.  The studio reminded me a bit of those dark, dingy nightclubs where I frequently busted moves back in the day.  The bikes and mandatory shoes you had to wear were kinda futuristic looking, and the instructor’s bike was up a candle-lit podium kinda like a Shaman/DJ.

The shoes you wear actually lock you to the pedals, which eliminates the possibility of your feet slipping off the pedals (or sneak out of the class unnoticed if it gets too intense).  That was what I thought was the most obvious difference between SoulCycle and other spin classes I’ve tried.  The instructor for my class was Anthony F (pictured below in black and white), who had more energy than maybe anyone I’ve ever seen.  It was infectious, and really helped me keep going.  The music also played a big part as Anthony played some of the sickest beats you’ll hear anywhere, much less during an afternoon fitness class.  Good Job, Anthony.

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The workout itself is equal parts amazing and brutal.  I was hurting during the early, leg-centric part of the class that was pretty much all pedaling, with your ass on and off the seat during different intervals.  After toughing through that, we got to the arm part of the workout which incorporates dumbbells.  You can choose dumbbells ranging from 1 to 5 lbs.  I was tempted to grab the 5’s since I roll like that, but settled on the 3’s, thinking I should ease into this.  You end up throwing what felt like 1,000 punches with the dumbbells, along with various pressing motions.  When the class finally finished, I was ready for it to end, lol, but I really felt like I got my money’s worth.  SoulCycle is definitely one of the best workouts I’ve tried, as well as one of the most fun.  I suggest going with some friends so you can motivate each other (or abuse/shame one another into not giving up).

Just in case my review hasn’t convinced you to try SoulCycle, know that Schmidt from “New Girl” (funniest show on TV) not only does it, but apparently teaches it as well.  SOLD

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Maca PB&J Oatmeal Smoothie & Suns Out, Guns Out/100 Rep Squat Double Feature

I wrap up my Double Feature series with 1, 2 combo from Fitness Blender that’ll tone up those arms and legs as we head into tank top and shorts season.  The arm video requires dumbbells.  Choose whatever weights suit your goals.  The leg routine is 100 squats – 10 sets of 10 different variations, all bodyweight.  Do it.

Tank Top Arms Workout

100 Rep Squat Challenge

Today’s smoothie is a twist on the greatest sandwich ever invented, Peanut Butter Jelly.  Enjoy!

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1 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries & Raspberries)

1 Tablespoon Organic Peanut Butter

1 Tablespoon Organic Maca Powder

1/3 Cup Steel Cut Organic Oats

1 Tablespoon Honey

1 & 1/2 Cups Vanilla Almond Milk

1 Scoop Soy-Free Vegetable Protein

Food Key

– Blueberries: vitamins K & C, manganese, fiber and copper

– Strawberries: vitamins C & B5, potassium, folic acid and magnesium 

– Raspberries: vitamins C & A, potassium, magnesium and fiber

– Blackberries: vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and copper

– Peanut Butter: protein, potassium, fiber, vitamins E & B6, and magnesium

– Maca: Vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C & E, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids (MEGA- STACKED!!).  Also a libido booster (OH YEAH!!)

– Oats: fiber and protein

– Honey: less calories than sugar, source of good carbs for strength and energy, good for digestion

Sean Vigue Core Workout & Yoga for Athletes Routine

Double Feature Week continues with 2 great routines from Mr. “Plank or Die” himself, Sean Vigue.  The first routine is a great core workout that starts slowly and picks up the intensity towards the end.  The second video is one of the more advanced yoga routines I’ve tried from him.  Nothing crazy, but he definitely turns it up a notch from the previous yoga practices he’s posted on his YouTube channel.

Sean Vigue’s Ripped & Sexy Core Workout

Athletic Yoga Workout

For today’s smoothie, I went for a old favorite, my Peanut Butter Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Smoothie (click for recipe).  Enjoy!

Tyler McCoy Yoga Double Feature & Grapefruit Beet Smoothie

Today I bring you another Yoga Double-Feature, this time from Tyler McCoy.  I checked out Tyler’s YouTube page based on the advice of a neighbor and I owe her a thank you.  From all the different exercises, accidents, running and martial arts I’ve done over the years, my hips and back are tight pretty much all the time.  Anyone with lower back issue knows what I’m talking about.  This first routine focuses on loosening up the hips, and I felt a noticeable difference after the first time I tried it.  The second routine is a little advanced in parts (if you aren’t Plastic Man), so you may have modify or just sit and watch like I did.  Don’t sweat it, though, just try to get a little deeper next the next time you do the routine. 🙂

Yoga for Tight Hips with Tyler McCoy

Yoga Power Shoulders Workout with Tyler McCoy

Follow this yoga workout with a refreshing Grapefruit Beet Smoothie.

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1 Cup Chopped Beets

1 Grapefruit

1 Inch Piece of Ginger

1 Cup Water

Food Key

– Beets: potassium, vitamins A, B6 & C, magnesium, riboflavin, iron, copper, calcium, thiamine, folic acid, zinc and niacin (SUPER!!)

– Grapefruits: vitamins C, B1, B5 & A, lycopene, fiber, copper, potassium and biotin (STACKED!!)

– Ginger: stimulates digestion, combats flatulence (NICE!) and is effective against colds

Sadie Nardini Yoga Wake Up Double Feature & Apple Ginger Eye-Opener Smoothie

Here’s a Yoga Double Feature from my favorite YouTube Yogi and fellow Brooklynite, Sadie Nardini.  I did a bunch of HIIT and high impact training last week, so I thought all-yoga workout would do my body good.  These two practices are great by themselves and even better, in my opinion, when done back to back.  A perfect way to start your day.

Sadie’s Badass 30 Minute Energy Yoga Flow

20 Minute Fat Burning Yoga Workout

Follow that great yoga practice with an eye-opening apple ginger smoothie.

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(Makes 2 Smoothies)

1 Sliced Apple

1 Cup Carrots

1/2 Cup Sliced Cucumber

1 Inch Piece of Ginger

1 Cup Orange Juice

1 Cup Water

Food Key

– Apples: potassium, vitamin C and pectin (helps control cholesterol and blood sugar)

– Carrots: vitamins A & B6, folic acid and magnesium

– Cucumber: vitamins K, C ,B1 & B5, copper, potassium, magnesium & biotin

– Ginger: stimulates digestion, combats flatulence (NICE!) and is effective against colds

– Orange Juice: vitamins C  & B6, potassium, folic acid, calcium and thiamine

Killer Cardio & Core Workout

All the crunches and leg raises in the world are pointless if you have layers of soft covering them up.  Diet is important, of course, but you can buy yourself a couple of cheat meals by getting good cardio workouts in.  I put the following workout together with that in mind.  We start with a killer cardio workout from Sean Vigue followed by great ab routine compliments of Ali Kamenova.  I wrap up the workout with nice chest an back routine from Mike Chang (Six Pack Shortcuts).  I really felt this workout in my total upper body and got a great sweat on during the cardio portion.

Sweat Your Ass Off Cardio Workout

10 Minute Ab Workout

Ripped Chest & Back Routine