For those of us with a packed schedule, it’s super difficult to find time to meal prep and eat, let alone make it to the gym and get a full session in. We’ve got jobs, relationships, families, school, and a litany of extracurriculars that make it nearly impossible to get to the gym. If you struggle with fitting your entire routine in or even making it to the gym, you’re not alone. The last few months were crazy for me (in a great way) but it became increasingly apparent that I needed to tighten up on my strategy. I’ve thrown together a list of things that helped me get my life:
- Pack your bag the night before and review your check-list. I go to the gym in the mornings and I shower there after my workout. My check-list includes flip-flops, a towel and wash cloth, toiletries, a comb, a brush, my scarf, my lock, ear phones and of course, my clothes and shoes I plan to wear to work. It really doesn’t seem like such a big deal but this is similar to packing an overnight bag. For most of us, it’s no easy feat. We can get stalled on something as simple as bobbie pins…the black or the brown? The curved or the ridged? Body wash suddenly becomes a life decision. Caress or Shea Moisture? Bar soap or liquid? I can’t be the only one! Lol. Therefore, I go on ahead and get all that out of the way the night before.
- Know what you want to do before you get there. It helps when you have an idea of what you’re going to accomplish that day as opposed to going and just winging it. I’ve winged it a lot in the past and sometimes it’s great, other times I leave the gym feeling like I wasted my time because, quite simply, I did. I could’ve moved with phantom speed, flowing from machine to machine, mat to wall, track to stairs but, no. I couldn’t decide between the inclined leg press or an overhead press. What part of my body needs more work? All things I should have given thought to before my workout.
- Create your playlist ahead of time and resist the urge to mess with your player during your workout. I know for sure that when I don’t follow this rule, I get pulled into so many distractions such as JUNKFIT.org, a random text or a work email. Focus on the workout, not your phone.
- Give yourself enough time to move between locations. Meaning, if you want a 90 minute workout and it takes you 30 min to get to the gym and another 30 to get from the gym to work, you need to do the math so that you’re comings and goings allow for the workout you want. Don’t let a killer 90 minute sesh turn into a lackluster “at least I made it the gym” 30 minute kinda thing.
- Lastly, your workouts should fall under your category of “non-negotiables”. There is no IF you can make it to the gym that day. There is only WHEN. You will make it to the gym because you’ve planted that seed and you WILL see it grow. Remember, being healthy, fit, in shape, whatever you call it, it’s a lifestyle. So, get with it. Fall in love with it. It will only love you back!
I made a random trip home this weekend for some personal reflection and to support my sister during a rough patch. Whenever I’m home, I always head to RIT’s Gordon Field House. Its fully equipped with an Olympic sized pool, a whirlpool/mini water park, tennis courts, basketball courts, indoor and outdoor tracks, dance studios and of course a fitness facility. It’s my dad’s alma mater so he’s there all the time and I’ve grown quite accustomed to the luxuries (I call them luxuries) available at this place. So much so that even when the field house isn’t open, I still go to the outdoor track there as opposed to the one around the corner from my house.
This time I dragged my sister with me. First of all we spent an hour getting her a nice little workout fit from the mall which I didn’t complain about because I know it helps to have on a nice fit especially if your just beginning to workout. That confidence booster can make a big difference. Anyway, I’ve been desperately trying to convince my sister, Sasha to get in better shape. It’s great that I’m in shape and plan to live a long, healthy life, but I often worry about those I love and their health. I figured if I can at least get Sasha to the track, I will have won a small battle and checked off step one in getting her to an active lifestyle.
We started with a lap around the track with lateral arm raises. Our second lap consisted of frog leaps, lunges and lateral run intervals. I then took to the bleachers and did three rounds with some dips and inclined push-ups. This was a very light workout for me but I am very proud of my sister for trying her hand at this whole fitness thing.
I am the youngest of five. With that being said, I’m normally the one who’s being reckless, aloof and sometimes just plain wrapped up in myself. It felt great to be there for my eldest sister in her time of need and to motivate my other sister in becoming healthier. They actually helped me forget about my little troubles and focus on things more important.
Throwback: My niece Paris’ first birthday.
Dips and guns!
Scissor lunges (that’s what I call ’em)
Just a quick chek-in! I haven’t been posting as much this week because I’ve been trying to get my life together! I missed the gym yesterday and I would’ve missed it today but I didn’t want to lose my progress. Today I found great booty workouts with Cassey on Blogilates. When I say these workouts were good, I mean they were REALLY GOOD. My booty was burning within the first minute. I added them with some pulsing sumo squats (30 x 5) and walking lunges 10 x 10. I don’t know about you guys but I really loathe working out at home. I normally start out great but then I’m distracted by either a notification on my phone or the TV. Cassey is super cute and her chatter really helped me forget about the pain and my at home distractions. Check it out below.
Isn’t she the cutest little thing? I really like her personality! Let me know if you try these!
You may or may not have noticed that I’m always in somebody’s park, running my fingertips through flower petals and snapping pics of thee most mundane, garden-variety happenings in nature. I’ve always been an outdoorsy type of girl. I just always loved the great outdoors. My childhood consisted of dirt hill bike rides, tire swings, tree climbing and an assortment of “fast-ass” hand games and sing-alongs. Lol. All of which took place outside. If my parents wanted to punish me, the first thing that went was my outdoor privileges. Ugh, it was absolutely devastating for me. During these trying times, I would take my cabbage patch dolls to the front porch and watch from a distance as my neighborhood friends zipped up and down the street. It was agony. As an adult, I still love nothing more than to be outdoors either alone or with a like-minded bunch.
A typical Bronx commute. Captured by yours truly.
As a resident of the boogie-down Bronx, I have a special appreciation for anything that doesn’t involve train packing, arguments, the scent of urine and dirty diapers. Sorry to anybody from the Bronx, but that is my experience on every single train ride. This past weekend, I managed to escape the bustle of the big city and spend time with my girl, mother nature.
Saturday’s workout was bomb thanks to my boo. We went to a local outdoor track and he put me on to frog jumps, which I had always avoided because my coordination wasn’t “on the level” (Chrissy Lampkin voice). But y’all! When I say my hips and thighs were burning!? It was exactly what I needed and the soreness still hasn’t gone away. DOMS to the max! It felt great because I’m always looking for ways to turn up my workouts. Here’s the entire routine:
50 jumping jacks
Frog jumps 50 meters
Sprint 50 meters
Walking lunges 50 meters
Backpedal 50 meters
Plank progressions :30/:59/1:30
:30 run in place
Nature workouts are perfect for me not just because of the scenery but because during the spring and summer I do NOT want to be inside. Nobody does! I found myself skipping the gym so many times when I first began working out just because I wanted to be outdoors frolicking and doing hoodrat things with my friends. Finally, I wised up and combined the two. It started with Central Park workouts, then I graduated to bike rides and then I just grabbed a margarita from Blockheads and took it with me to my workouts. I’m not recommending this, I’m just saying. It was much easier for me to adhere to my workout schedule when I learned ways to get it in outdoors and have fun with it!
What’s your favorite outdoor activity and how can you combine it with your workouts? Drop you stories below!
So ya’ll remember Big Booty Judy from ATL, right? Ok, so that’s where I got the name JUNKFIT Judy from. Silly, I know but I am desperately trying to get my booty together before my 30th birthday. I know I’m not the only one who wants a little more defined ass and thigh for summer 2015. Today I took the advice of a coworker and modified a few things in my leg and booty exercises.
Begin extended, tightening your booty and hamstrings.
1. I began adding 10lbs to my back extension. I never wanted to add weight to this exercise because I didn’t want to bulk up my back. It wasn’t until I realized that while weight might add more resistance to my back, it would also add resistance to my booty and hamstrings, thus building those muscles up as well. To do this, you have to be mindful of where you pull from. Remember, you should always pull with your glutes and hamstrings on the back extension machine. (3 x 20)
2. I modified my tired ass walking lunges. I think I may have lunged to the moon and back by now and as silly as it sounds, I was sitting there wondering why it’s been so hard to see gains in my legs. I’ve been doing what I’m comfortable with and not stepping outside of my zone. Today I added scissor lunges to my routine. I was shocked at how on point my balance was. (3 x 20)
3. I adjusted my tempo on the leg extension. I was originally extending and holding for just a 1 count but I’ve found that I get a better burn if I hold the extension for 2. (3 x 10)
How do you guys modify your exercises to keep your bodies challenged or to keep seeing results? Let’s share our journeys.
Feminine yet sculpted arms are so essential for me during the summertime. I’m always in something sleeveless, strapless or when I’m feeling more free-spirited, I might throw on a tube top. My arms are naturally thin but that doesn’t mean they’re naturally toned. I include exercises in my routine that are sure to keep my arms from wiggling when I hit my “nae nae” at the reception.
This week’s challenge included burpees and walk-outs which both help with upper body strength. In addition to those exercises, I do dips, big arm circles, bicep curls, shoulder presses, tricep press downs and inclined push-ups. I’m working on my chest definition but my results have been scarce because, well…there’s not much there to begin with. Lol. The bench press is a fairly new component to my routine as I formerly used the seated chest press machine. I’ve found the dumbbell chest press to be the more effective exercise. I can actually feel the muscles working and it puts less of a strain on my joints than the seated chest press. Here’s the rep/weight breakdown:
Big arm circles 3 x 100
Shoulder press 3 x 10 – 15 lbs
Triceps press down 3 x 10 – 70 lbs
Inclined push-ups 3 x 10
Dips 3 x 10
10 lbs Bicep curls 3 x 10
Dumbbell chest press 3 x 10 – 12 lbs
By the way, I got quite a few compliments on my arms at the wedding. I was definitely feelin’ maself! Check some more wedding pics below!
Maid of honor and my niece, Paris.
My sister Sasha. She caught the bouquet. ~_~
Duck lip in my picture!
There’s a certain level of preparedness that must go into a successful lifestyle change. Meaning, you gotta first wrap your mind around it. Transitioning from bad habits to good ones takes times and careful investigation. I know for me, it was all about classes and learning opportunities. I guess without even knowing it, I was trying to find physical activities that I actually enjoyed. Ironically enough, this is a real thing! The contemplation/preparation period is the mental work that goes into beginning an exercise habit. Anyway, I found my way into several free mau thai classes throughout New York City. I was pivot kicking and elbowing like a pro by my 5th class. I LOVED it! It took me back to the days when my father used to plant me in front of a mirror and coach me on how to throw a punch, tucking my thumbs and keeping my fists covering my face. I fake thought I was a G. But let me not digress. I enjoyed knocking the air out of the bag and kicking the pad. It was exhilarating. That’s when I got my first real dose of endorphins. ‘What’s the big deal about endorphins’, you ask?
In addition to decreased feelings of pain, secretion of endorphins leads to feelings of euphoria, modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhancement of the immune response. With high endorphin levels, we feel less pain and fewer negative effects of stress.
Chile, boo. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is. You owe it to yourself to find physical activities that you love! I’ve done some of the work for you and brainstormed a list of some cool specialty activities that may get your juices flowing:
Aquatic Classes (swimming) – I know, I tried it. Lol.
Pilates – all my mocha lattes
Dodgeball /Kickball– for your kid within
Stepping – seriously, join a team and watch the sweat drip
Pole Dancing – get your life for your man!
Pick Up Sports – think college intramurals
Karate – chop, chop
Mau Thai – the art of eight limbs
Thai Kwon Do – so much chopping here
Zumba – afro latin fusion
African Dance – learn the original twerk
Hip Hop Dance – learn the new twerk
Walking Clubs – a lil walk n’ talk never hurt nobody
Running Clubs – get your “runner’s high”
Hot Yoga – Mrs. Incredible
Or if you want one on one attention, I offer affordable packages. Ladies, there are so many ways to get into this whole exercise thing. Start today and set a goal of finding at least two activities that work for you. 😉