Where my girls at? Let’s talk skincare!

You know that game where you say… “If you really knew me, you would know…” Then you proceed to say something silly about yourself, or something emotional and deeply profound or completely random and shocking. While I don’t really have anything THAT exciting to add to this fun little game. I can say….

“If you really knew me, you would know that I am INTENSE when it come to my skincare routine.”

Yes, I have great skin! Yes, my skin looks like I’m in my 20’s instead of inching closer to 40! I am not going to apologize for this fact because I have earned my skin over the course of the last 23 years. I am diligent and consistent and work hard to keep my skin hydrated and healthy. Because of this, I am asked all the time…

  • What do you use on your skin?
  • What’s your favorite moisturizer?
  • Where you you get you skincare?
  • What brand do you use?

I know what products I love. I know I love my routine. A few of our HellaBella Athletics clients have asked about my routine.  So I decided to unlock my skincare secrets!

Let’s first set the tone with WHY I became so obsessed with great skincare.

I had one of my favorite days when I was 13 years old. My mom and I went to the Northwest Womens Show at the Convention Center on a rainy Saturday afternoon to spend some time being “girly girls”. We roamed up and down the long aisle ways that featured a zillion vendors who were ready to show you the latest and greatest in beauty products. There were SO MANY women at this event! I stuck close to my mom as we dodged through obnoxiously loud female cackles, fragrance models who attacked with perfume as you strolled by and women who had zero sense of spacial awareness as they glided on the brightest new lip colors and powdered their noses in the middle of a sea of women. It was nuts!

We finally stopped at the end of the aisle way when my mom was greeted by a beautiful young woman with perfectly done hair and makeup. I remember thinking, “Wow, she looks like a TV newscaster.” Her hair was perfect. Her skin was perfect. Her makeup was perfect. She was positively flawless and I was in awe! She chatted quietly with my mom for a few moments before she turned to me and smiled. “Hi Kelsey,” she greeted me, “how would you like to get a facial and makeover?” I looked at my mom who smiled and nodded that it was ok for me to say yes. I simply smiled and she opened her hand to guide us to a pair of blue director chairs that were shielded from the crazy crowd of women. She introduced herself as Amanda and she quickly got to work. Now….I don’t remember much of what she said. I was enamored as I watched her delicately and gracefully open and close containers, jars and various tubes to extract products to apply to my face. Everything smelled amazing! My skin felt amazing! Every few minutes I would glance at my mom who was in the exact same boat I was in. She was being pampered as well and was loving every second of it. The two women took their time explaining WHY each product had a place on top of our counter at home. My mom apparently agreed because she bought very single item that was applied to our face! I was ecstatic! Amanda took the time to make me comfortable with my new skincare regime. She even spent a little time showing techniques to make my makeup look flawless. I was determined to adopt the regime every single day so I could one day look like her.

As we walked away, I will never forget the last thing Amanda said to me. She said, “Kelsey I want you to remember one thing. Start early and stay consistent. When you’re in your 20’s, you have the skin you are blessed with. When you are in your 30’s, you have the skin you have worked for. And when you are in your 40’s and older, you have the skin you have earned.”

I will never forget this experience. This was the first day that I decided to take care of my skin! Sure, I was overweight and “uncool” but I was at least going to have some bomb ass skin! So from that day forward, I adopted a very serious skincare routine. While the products have varied slightly over the years, I always stayed consistent with the following…

  • Step 1: Cleanser
  • Step 2: Make-up Remover
  • Step 3: Balancer/Toner
  • Step 4: Serum for specific need
  • Step 5: Moisturizer
  • Step 6: Eye Cream
  • Optional Extra Steps: Facial massage cream, various masks, various facial oils etc.

Seem like a lot? I love every single second of my skincare routine. It’s when I get to relax for just a few minutes and take time to take care of me. I do these steps every morning when I wake up and every evening before crawling into bed, without fail! I cannot tell you a single evening where I have left makeup on my face. I cannot tell you a single morning where I have not taken the time to go through each step of my routine. I love it and will continue to love it till the day I die.

So what do I use? Here is a list of some of my current and all time favorite products with the links on how to find them!

Cleanser: Shiseido Gentle Cleanser

This smells amazing, is super concentrated and the anti-aging technology is rock solid and ahead of it’s time! I have been using this one (has been reformulated a time or two) for 19 years!

Make-up Remover: Bobbi Brown Makeup Remover

I have been using this for 8 years! I switched when my lashes started getting dry and brittle. This makeup remover is gentle, hydrating and keeps my lashes deeply conditioned so the don’t fall out!

Balancer/Toner: Eudermine Revitalizing Essence

I am a stickler on this step! I LOVE this product and have been using it for 19 years. It’s a smart balancer/essence that reads how much moisture you need every day. It’s the “prep step” before your moisturizer. I will never stop using this product. Game changer!

Moisturizing Oil: Future Solution LX Replenishing Treatment Oil

When I need a lift and serious moisture! So this product is expensive but I can’t live without it. It has cutting edge technology for reversing the signs of aging. I use this one on the evenings when I feeling especially indulgent, need some extra moisture or have spotted a new wrinkle that I refuse to accept. I have a love affair with this product.

All around Moisturizing Lotion: Christina Moss Moisturizer

A good every day moisturizer! I am obsessed with the smell of the moisturizer! It smells like licorice and I love that! There is an unscented option too. Sometimes when I need a little more, I mix this with Future Solution LX Replenishing Treatment Oil to give me that extra boost of moisture and anti-aging properties.

Eye Cream: Eye Contour Cream

This is another one I have been using for a zillion years! We have no oil glands around our eyes, so this is where we age first. Therefore, we need to use eye cream around then in order to combat lines and wrinkles. No, you can’t use any ol’  face cream! Trust me…

My Favorite Extra Goodie:  Dr. Dennis Gross Face Peels

When I look in the mirror and notice my skin is looking a little dry and dull, I pull one of these out and make it happen. While they are designed to be used daily, I like to use them on occasion because I don’t “love” the idea of using a peel every day. However, on occasion they are AMAZING! My skin gets an instant lift and boost of hydration. Obsessed with these.

Phew! Those are some of my absolute favorites! I hope this post helped and you find some products that you add to your skincare routine. Good luck getting your glow on!

Honestly,

Kelsey


Building the BEST Overnight Oats in 3 STEPS! My FAV 5 recipes!

Every Monday morning I get up and do the same thing… I make my hubby super happy by making his favorite pre and post workout meal. Overnight oats! They are insanely easy and fast to make, not to mention you can eat these any time throughout your day! It’s the perfect grab and go snack! They take me five minutes or less every single Monday morning and require minimal ingredients. Winning!

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I know there are a million overnight oats recipes online that you can follow and use. What makes this recipe different? Well, remember I’m a health and fitness expert! Sure, you can easily find overnight oats out there that look amazing and taste great! But this recipe is perfectly macro balanced, contains less sugar, less fat and is freakin’ delicious!

This recipe makes FIVE SERVINGS so you can be prepared all week long.

There are three steps to making overnight oats blow your mind…

STEP ONE: The Perfect MACRO BASE!

Every recipe starts the same and has the same base. In order to keep your body burning through fat and building muscle, you need to fuel it correctly all day and with the right macros and food choices. So let’s break it down…

  • 4 cups non-fat plain greek yogurt (I like a container of Fage 0%)
  • 1 1/4  cup plain rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk (more or less depending on your texture preference)
  • 2.5 tbsp whole chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Macros per serving…

  • Calories 226
  • Protein 22
  • Carbs 23
  • Fat 4

STEP TWO: Sugar and Spice and EVERYTHING NICE!

If you love the taste of regular plain ol’ yogurt, then great! You are good to go with adding nothing to the base. I on the other hand, have a severe sweet tooth and NEED to add something fancy to my oats base in order to get them down with a smile on my face. I don’t want to add additional calories into my base because I would rather save them for the toppings. So I add a one or more of the following in order to make my perfect macros base taste like heaven…

  • Sweet Base: Stevia or truvia
  • Warm Maple Base: Maple syrup (no/low sugar)
  • Warm Spice Base: Cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Chocolate Base: Unsweetened cocoa powder

STEP THREE: Flava Flav TOPPINGS!

This is when you get to have a little fun! Now with that being said, don’t have so much fun that you screw up your “Perfect Macro Base”. Meaning, moderation is key! Choose your favorite flavor combinations to finish off this fab meal. Here are a few of my favorites WITH measurements for ONE SERVING of your oats.

Almond Joy Oats: Sweet Base

  • 1 tbsp dark mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp drizzle of chocolate syrup
  • 2 tbsp toasted coconut
  • 1 tbsp slivered almonds

Raspberry Cheesecake Oats: Maple Base

  • 1 tbsp cream cheese mixed with 1 tsp stevia or truvia
  • 1 tsp low sugar raspberry jam
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries

Peanut Butter and Jelly Oats: Sweet Base

  • 1 tbsp low sugar jam/jelly of choice
  • 1 tsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp crushed peanuts

Chocolate Fudge Oats: Chocolate Base

  • 1 tbsp cream cheese, 1 tsp cocoa powder mixed with 1 tsp stevia or truvia
  • 1 tbsp dark mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tbsp drizzle of chocolate syrup

Pumpkin Pie Oats: Warm Spice Base

  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (no/low sugar)
  • 1 tbsp chopped pecans
  • Dusting of pumpkin pie spice

Take one of these recipes (or all of them) and get to some prepping in your kitchen so you can have an awesome week full of great nutrition! I hope this helps you the way it helps our family stay on track and truly enjoy our food.

Honestly,

Kelsey

 

 

 

 


OPTIMAL MACROS for your BEST BODY!

It’s 2018 and I feel like society is finally catching up on what diets work and what diets don’t work. There are always dieting trends in that come and go like the wind. Let’s talk about some of these…

  • The HCG Diet
  • The Cabbage Soup Diet
  • The Blood Type Diet
  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Intermittant Fasting Diet
  • Weightwatchers
  • Atkins Diet
  • Nutrisystem
  • Medifast

Now, before you ask….YES! I definitely have some strong opinions regarding some of these diets. While I would prefer to stay politically correct, I WILL say that for a FEW of these diets, there is a time and place for them. Although, I want to stress that in order to execute them properly, you should always consult with a professional to make sure the diet is safe for you. You wouldn’t do research on open heart surgery then perform it on yourself right? YEAH NO!

I am a strong believer in LONG TERM HEALTH! With that being said, I believe in long term nutrition solutions. Trends come and go, right? That means, you results will come and go as well. These diets can give you immediate results and therefore get all kinds of rave reviews. But what happens after you come off the diet and you gain the weight back? Frustration! Maybe it doesn’t happen right away…but trust me, without getting off the diet with a solid plan, you will gain it back and MORE!

Sidenote: It’s pretty normal to gain all the weight back (and more) when doing one of these trendy diets. WHY? Because on many of these diets, your body loses muscle and the ability to burn calories and fat because you don’t have adequate sources of food entering your body to stay strong and healthy.  Therefore, you gain weight quickly and in an abundant supply. Don’t do that! Read on…

So let me get to WHAT REALLY WORKS! The tried and true “diet” that works for reaching your health and fitness goals is eating the right macros for YOU! This is NOT a new trend, although many people are just now hearing about this because it’s finally being brought to the fore-front of conversation.

If you go all the way back to the days of Arnold Schwarzenegger lifting weights and being the hottest guy in town with an incredible body building presence, eating the right macros was HERE! Do you think he was doing Atkins? Hell no! Do you think he did the cabbage soup diet? Nope! Arnold had nutrition experts and coaches help him with his food intake to make sure he was performing at his best and building his best body. He consumed the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats in order to make it happen! Not only was he consuming the right amount of foods, he was consuming them at the RIGHT TIME! Do you want to look like Arnold? Probably not and that’s ok! But the same rule applies for you. Your body needs the right amount of protein to build and maintain muscle mass. Your body needs the right amount of carbs in order to have the energy to get through the day and burn excess body fat. Your body needs the right amount of fat to regulate your hormones and keep your body in homeostasis to BURN FAT! Great, right?

So how much does your body need of each macronutrient? It depends on your body composition and your activity level. Your body composition is what you are made of… muscles, fat, water, bones, organs, skin etc. Finding your “Optimal Macros” is not a simple math equation, it is a true calculus problem with several variables to consider.

So as I go through my Post Baby Body Challenge (now in week two), I have to consider my macros. Amy and I sat down and evaluated my body composition, activity level and lifestyle to come up with my “Optimal Macros”. While I have had to change them up a little bit as I am nursing and becoming more active, I finally have my macros set!

MY PROTEIN INTAKE

I will be consuming about 130 grams of protein every day! This may sound like a lot to you with, especially since most women only get about 60 grams! A common issue with individuals reaching their fitness goals is the consumption of a low amount of protein. If you don’t have enough protein entering your diet throughout the day, you will not be able to maintain or build lean body mass (muscle). In fact, you will lose muscle! Which in turn, means you will lower your BMR (calories you burn every day) and begin storing fat.

Long story short...NOT ENOUGH PROTEIN means you’ll burn less calories, store more fat and lose muscle. NO THANKS!

MY CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE

My carb count every day will be about 190 grams! As an active individual, I need the energy that carbohydrates provide in order to burn the body fat I am trying to get rid of! People give carbs a bad rep, which is fair because they are ABUSED heavily! If you consume too many carbs in one sitting, they can turn to sugar, and then into fat on your body. The trick is knowing how much to consume in each meal to get the results you need.

I also need carbs to get into my muscle and help restore them to build back stronger alongside the protein. Without carbs, your muscles will go “flat”. Think of a carbohydrate as an inflation device. I need those carbs to get into my muscle, pump them up to build stronger while the protein rebuilds them to stay that way.

Bottom line….CARBS provide energy and function to your entire body! They inflate your muscle in order to allow the protein to rebuild them with new growth!

MY DIETARY FAT INTAKE

Fat has A LOT more calories per gram than protein and carbs.  I will be consuming about 61 grams of healthy fats everyday while avoiding dairy (for my little ones tummy health). Fats regulate your hormones! This is insanely important for the overall health of your body. Oftentimes, when people think about hormones, they think about awkward pimply high school kids or creepy dudes that just wanna get with all the ladies. While that’s PART of it, I’m talking about those hormones that are critical for keeping your body regulated. Cortisol, Insulin, leptin, ghrelin, testosterone and many more! Without enough fat, these hormones will wreak havoc on your body! FAT BURNS FAT! Yes, it’s a thing! Low fat diets are terrible.

Basically….without the right amount of fat, your brain can’t function well and your hormones will freak out! This leads to body fat gain and and very cranky individual.

Now that I know my “Optimal Macros”, I can hit the floor running in the direction I need to go. Without knowing what I need to consume every day, I’m running around blind, in circles, making no progress. I don’t want to GUESS what I need! I want to KNOW what I need so I can lose this baby weight safely, effectively and quickly.

I’ve got my Nutrition app up and ready to go so I can log my meals, weigh my foods and be diligent for the next 7 weeks of the Challenge. I’ve lost 2 POUNDS in the first week and have 10 pounds to go! #killinit

I’m sure you are wondering how YOU can get YOUR “Optimal Macros”. Don’t use mine! You won’t get the results you want when you use random numbers or someone else’s numbers. You need to know YOURS!

Nutrition 101: Mastering the Basics! Sign up for a 2 week course and learn ALL things macronutrients, calories, intake vs. output, clean eating vs. happy life balance and so much more!.jpg

If you want to learn more about Nutrition in general, Amy and I are running a Nutrition 101 Two Week Course that starts Saturday, February 17th. We will be running you through guidelines on how to come up with your own macros, how to food prep effectively, portioning foods, going to the grocery store and choosing the right items, learning about supplements and how to use them and so much more. This is the kind of stuff that everyone needs to know and incorporate to be successful on their fitness journeys. Check it out on the Vimify app on your smart phone and sign up for the Course. You’ll also get a Fuel Plan every day so you know what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it to reach your goals! Check it out HERE! Mastering the Basics with HellaBella

I could go on and on about this subject! However, writing a novel is not on my radar right now. I will continue to elaborate on this subject in future posts. In the meantime, please share and follow for more. If you have questions, just ask! I am here to help.

Honestly,

Kelsey

 

 


Drop it Like a SQUAT! Booty Work!

Do you hate working legs? This girl right here hates leg day passionately (pointing at myself)! Can I plan some dope leg workouts! YUP! Do I hate doing them? YUP! Do I do them anyway and give it my all? SURE DO! Do I secretly love it? Shhhhhh you caught me.

8 Week Challenge! LEG DAY BABY! Check out how to build some FAB GLUTES!

Leg day for me, is when I transform into a creepy psycho masochistic freak! Yep, it’s a thing. It is truly a love-hate relationship that I crave. Like that bad high school boyfriend who’s a complete A-hole but you stay with him anyway…Everyone has had one of those right? Or girlfriend! Girls are jerks too!

The last three months of pregnancy, I had to really dial back on my exercise intensity. While I was consistent with hitting the gym five days a week all the way up until the delivery of my sweet little handsome boy, I really needed to be aware of how my body and heart was responding to each workout. Some things felt great, while others had to be ditched because it wasn’t feeling right for me. And if it wasn’t feeling right for me, it wasn’t feeling right for baby. Long story short, I couldn’t get my heart rate very high and couldn’t lift weights at full capacity. Modification became my middle name. Basically, I was VERY pregnant but still trying to do it all.

So getting back to the gym for leg day yesterday was EPIC! I went in with a solid plan of what I wanted to tackle but also was realistic with what my body could accomplish two weeks after having a baby. Walking into a full gym of people in the evening is like watching nursing puppies fight and crawl over one another to get to mama to eat. Everyone wants a squat rack! Everyone wants the benches! And everyone is fighting for the leg machines! What’s a girl to do when Plan A doesn’t work out? IMPROVISE BABY! The beauty of being a personal trainer is the ability to improvise and throw a program together last minute and make it effective! Winning!

This workout will take you about 50-60 minutes from the start of your warm up to the end of your cardio. You will be performing Super Sets, so you can keep my heart rate up and exhaust the targeted muscle group with two different movements. All you need to do is choose a weight that challenges those last couple reps to the point of true muscle fatigue.

Need more info on Super Sets so you know what the heck I’m talking about? Check it out HERE for the full run-down!

Glute Activation Warm Up: 3 Sets total

Equipment needed: BEST HIP CIRCLES EVER! Amazon has the best price. Check them out!

Check it out HERE and add it to your leg day if you really want to start seeing a change in those lazy glutes! Yes, your glutes are lazy, no one is exempt, unfortunately.

SUPER SET 1: Full Leg Activation with heavy glute focus

  • Angled Wide Leg Press 15 reps
  • Dumbbell Lateral Lunges 20 total reps
  • 3 SETS

SUPER SET 2: Posterior Activation in hamstrings, low back and heavy glute focus

  • Cable Kickbacks 12 per side
  • Barbell Deadlifts 20 reps
  • 3 SETS

SUPER SET 3: Full Leg Activation with heavy glute focus

  • Dumbbell Plie Squat 15 reps
  • Step Down with Toe Tap SLOW (no relief of foot on floor) 10 per side
  • 3 SETS

CARDIO BOOTY BURNER: Treadmill work at 3.0 – 3.5 mph 

This cardio routine is heavy glute focused as well! After working on strengthening your legs and glutes, it’s so important to challenge them with cardio right after.

Hint: If you are looking for a better booty, start thinking hard about power walking those inclines on the treadmill. When climbing hills, your posterior kinetic chain is constantly working! Translation: You’ll develop a great ass with strong hamstrings to match!

  • 2 minutes warm up walk at 9% incline
  • At 2 minutes, increase incline to the highest it can possibly go (mine has a max incline of 30%, which is ideal for this particular workout). Climb for 20 seconds before hitting 9% incline to return to your starting incline. Essentially, you are constantly working hard with a 9% incline but you are hitting some high hill intervals every couple minutes to really hit that booty work.

It breaks down like this….

  • 0:00 – 2:00 Walk at 9% incline
  • 2:00 – 2:20 Ascend highest incline (may not get to the top, that’s ok!)
  • 2:20 – 2:40 Return back to 9% incline.
  • 2:40 – 4:00 Active Recovery at 9% incline
  • 4:00 – 4:20 Ascend highest incline
  • 4:20 – 4:40 Return back to 9% incline.
  • 4:40 – 6:00 Active Recovery at 9% incline
    • Continue this pattern until you get to 18:00!
  • 18:00 – 20:00 Cool Down at 1% incline and 2.5 mph

DONE!

It feels incredible to get back into the gym and really sweat! I am thrilled to share these workouts with you to challenge your fitness journey as well. While we may not be at the same place with our journeys, we can cheer each other on as we make strides every day. Please follow me and share this blog. My dream and passion is to help as many individuals as I can! Your support is greatly appreciated!

If you have topics you want to hear about, ask me! I would love to hear from you!

Hugs and Support!

Honestly Kelsey


O! M! C! Oh My Core!

I’ve been lifting weights and super passionate about fitness for almost 12 years now. Over that course of time, I have learned SO MUCH about what needs to happen in create a healthy body. Now, I’m not talking about the crazy sexy lean hot body, ok? I’m talking about a body that moves well, has stability and balance, strong joints and so on! Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about looking good and wanting to feel awesome in my clothes (and out of my clothes, obviously). Although at the end of the day, if your body is not “functioning” the way it should in order to continue being  healthy and fit as you get older….You need to ask yourself….What are you really chasing with your own fitness program? Maybe that’s another topic…

With that being said, let’s talk about the fantastic nine month journey my CORE embarked upon during pregnancy. It sucked! As my little one grew in my belly, the strain on my lower back intensified. While I didn’t feel it at the time, my body went into shock as soon as I delivered and the weight dramatically decreased in my mid-section. Having babies is hard!

Alright, let’s be real…I’m not just talking about having babies. If you have a heavier load on your body in general, you are going to lower back issues. Without a strong core, especially in your abdominals your spine cannot maintain it’s own stability. Think of Indiana Jones crossing that rickety old bridge over a that river filled with flesh devouring crocodiles. That’s a pretty bad scenario, right? YOUR SPINE…Is that bridge when it’s not trained efficiently and often. Are you really going to send your perfect little Fitness Fairies across that bridge (for the sake of argument, they don’t have wings for this analogy)? NO! No you aren’t!

So what are you going to do? I’m so glad you asked! You are going to send out your awesome Fabio workers (or an army of Ryan Reynolds, whatever) to fix that bridge so it’s solid, stable and made of steel! Only then, would you feel comfortable enough to send your perfect Fitness Fairies to frolic across the bridge without a care in the world.

So let me bring it back full circle. It’s the first week of my Post Baby Body Challenge and I’m at the gym hitting shoulders, core and cardio. I get through shoulders on a complete high that I’m able to work HARD at the gym again. When my sets are complete and it’s time to hit my core, I have to admit I’m a little nervous. I know my core has weakened and will be my biggest challenge throughout the next 8 weeks.  My lower back has been bothering me and I can FEEL the difference in my strength and stability throughout my abdominals and back muscles. I’m done with shoulders and it’s time to hit a plank and I’m hating it! I have three sets of planks to do and the shortest is 30 seconds. It was HARD! Typically, I can hold planks for days! Today? WHOA! Eye opening moment for me. I have to make my core a focus. I get through the planks taking mental notes of how it feels and feeling the determination building within me to get that strength back as soon as possible.

So of course, I came up with a plan of action! Every day, I’m going to focus on my core for at least five minutes. Hitting this routine daily will strengthen my core and remind those muscles how to work, without complete exhaustion.

Did you know that your core is not just your abs? This is crazy important to know! For a full explanation on this topic, check out Amy’s post here!

AT HOME CORE BLASTER

Equipment Needed:Yoga Ball! This one is my favorite because it’s so much tougher than a normal stability ball. ANTI-BURST baby! Everyone needs a yoga ball at home! If you can add this short 5 minute routine to our day, you will LOVE your core and feel amazing!

  • Yoga Ball Slow Crunch: 10 reps

Lying on your yoga ball with the center of your back in the middle of the ball, reach arms above your head or support your neck with your thumbs and fingers interlaced. Maintaining space between your chin and your chest, elevate your upper body to the ceiling with in exhale. Inhale and slowly lower back to resting position on the ball. Repeat.

  • Yoga Ball Plank: 30-60 seconds

Standard plank position except with elbows on the ball. Be sure to keep your chest off the ball and maintain one line from head to heels. Squeeze your glutes and quads to support your body. Feeling frisky? Make circles with your elbow on the ball one direction, then the other direction. This movement makes your core work even harder.

  • Yoga Ball Glute Bridges: 10 reps

Sit on the stability ball with your feet flat on the floor. Walk your feet forward and roll your back onto the ball so your shoulders and upper back are supported by the ball Squeeze and lift your glutes off the floor. Your shoulders and back should still be resting on the ball while you hold for two seconds with hips as high as you can get them. Drop your hips to the floor, then squeeze and lift your glutes again.

  • Yoga Ball Plank Knee Tucks: 10 reps

In high plank position with tops of feet on the yoga ball and hands flat on the floor. Squeeze your core and elevate your glutes slightly as you bring your knees towards your chest. Stop knees at a 90 degree angle and pause for 2 seconds. Then return to plank position and repeat.

Complete THREE ROUNDS of CORE work

Viola! Add this to your morning routine and you’ll build strength incredibly quickly. Your body will have less aches and pains and your back with thank you for it!

Want a SHOULDER WORKOUT? Here it is!

3 Straight Sets with 12-15 reps of each…

  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  • Dumbbell Front Raises
  • Dumbbell Rear Delt Flys

Super Set with 12-15 reps of each…

  • Shoulder Press
  • Cable Reverse Fly

Complete Core Work as listed above! 3 Sets

Finish with Cardio Intervals for 20 minutes…

  • 2 minute warm up
  • 2 minutes vigorous effort
  • 1 minute medium effort

Repeat until minute 20:00

  • Cool Down for 2 minutes

Done! Phew!

If you aren’t sure what the difference is from Super Sets to Straight Sets, check this out! Until next time! Add this to your own 8 Week Challenge and let’s get after it!

Honestly,

Kelsey


Need a RECOVERY Workout? Here’s my DAY 1 Back to the Gym!

At some point in your fitness life you are going got have to overcome an obstacle in the form of injuries, surgeries, illnesses or some other kind of setback. It’s frustrating when you want to continue in your fitness routine but your body and/or doctor is saying, “Oh, Hell NO!”

Read on to hear about my post-baby journey back into my workouts and make a plan of your own if you are suffering from an exercise set back! Save this information for future reference if you ever need to gradually transition back into fitness after a set back.

My perfect little munchkin entered the world 10 days ago. He’s great and I am recovering well, starting to feel myself again. However, I have a battle in my mind! I have done extensive research into the healthy recovery of a woman’s body after having a baby. I am well-versed in this area, with two other little ones in our family. 

Let’s talk about the bad news first….The research hasn’t really changed. Women still need to take it as easy as possible for about six weeks to truly let their body recover properly. The good news? There are a lot of great options for putting together recovery workouts that will still challenge you!

The ugly truth: It takes about the same amount of time for you to return back to your true fitness level that you took away from fitness during recovery. For example, if you had surgery and you have an 8 week recovery where you do NOTHING for maintaining your fitness level, it will take you at least 8 weeks to get back to where you were prior to surgery once you head back to the gym.

For this reason, I am anxious to get back to it! I really don’t want to take a ton of time away from the gym because I don’t want to have to start back at ground zero. That’s exactly why I came up with my own recovery plan! The name of the game is “slow progression”. Every day and/or week, I will “test the waters”  in the gym. Whether it is with duration of workout, rep counts, intensity, rest periods, weight load and many more.

GETTING BACK to the GYM! POST BABY! Here's a solid workout for you!

MY FITNESS RECOVERY PROGRAM

Day 1: Testing the Waters! 

It’s my first day back in the gym. While I’m feeling pretty good, I’m cautious about overdoing it. Oftentimes we can feel great during a workout, but later regret it with some setbacks and pain. So being sensitive to this fact (and knowing my doctor would kick my ass if he saw me there), I decided to “test the waters” with VERY light weight and high reps. My only goal for this workout was to get my muscles to fire and activate. They haven’t worked hard in 10 days, so getting the blood flowing through them and reminding them to WORK for me, was my only priority.

I chose to work major muscle groups to get as many muscles working as possible in one workout. Being sensitive to my core, I chose to work machine based exercises as much as possible. My body isn’t ready to engage my core muscles in their entirety yet. So again, I’m testing the waters with SOME light core activation. Otherwise, machine based movements needs to be my jam for a couple weeks.

My “Testing the Waters” Workout Routine: Remember, light weight!

Straight Sets: 3-4 Rounds of each exercise before moving on to the next.

  • 15 Angled Leg Press
  • 20 Leg Extensions
  • 20 Seated Leg Curls
  • 15 Lat Pull Down
  • 15 Standing Face Pull

Chest Super Set

  • 15 Lying Dumbbell Chest Press
  • 5 Tempo Incline Bench Pushups (5 second down, 2 seconds up)

Cardio: Steady State (same thing the entire time)

  • 15 minutes: Incline walk 3.0 mph at 9% incline

Done!

Now please remember, you are NOT trying to destroy your workout! You are trying to move your body and be very aware of how it feels while you are working every single rep. You are coming off  injury/illness/surgery/baby etc. So being sure you are tuned in to your body is CRITICAL. If you feel something that isn’t quite right….STOP! It’s better to take your time, listen to your body and celebrate the fact that you are able to MOVE at all!

You are certainly welcome to take this workout and put it in your own fitness arsenal should you ever need a recovery workout. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or make comments. I am here to help! I will be sharing my entire 8 Week Post-Baby Body Challenge with you! Hopefully it inspires you to start your own journey and work alongside me!

Tomorrow is my TRUE DAY 1! My bestie and business partner Amy will be taking over my life with my nutrition and exercise. Do I know how to do it? DUH! However, it’s so much better to have someone by my side pushing me harder and holding me accountable. She will be tracking my progress, making adjustments as needed and overall KICK MY ASS! I have 12 pounds to go and I’m ready to get back to my pre-baby body!

Follow me and Amy to to follow the journey! She will give you her perspective on me as a client. Ha! Should be interesting! And of course, you’ll get my perspective of being her client. She’s cray cray! HAHA!

Here we go! I’m ready!

Honestly,

Kelsey