My Booty Might Wobble But It Won’t Fall Down

Chile. Last week felt so good. First of all, I got my butt back into the gym full swing. Like, every single weekday (plus a quickie on Saturday) AND I doubled back on two nights to train a new client and participate in my adult volleyball league as a “free agent”. I had to include that detail cause it makes me feel sort of like a highly sought after mega athlete. Lol.

Do yall see me? I mean do yall see me though?

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I am not a football fan but it is football season so what the heck, right. Long story short, my restart is no longer a restart. I’m in this bihhh! All in. The crazy thing is I’ve always been “in“, but I wasn’t “all in” this summer. Number one, I was feeling myself. You know how you get when your body is coming together and you begin to rest on your laurels. Yeah. That’s what happened in addition to the fact that summer ’16 was the pits for me. But I’m back like I never left. Who’s with me? I’m so excited about my restart that I just can’t keep it to myself. Below, you’ll find the details of my everyday leg routine. You should also follow me on the gram where I post all my workout snippets.

By now you know there’s 2 things I don’t play about–my legs and booty.

I keep it tight or at least I try my darndest to (hence, this post’s title)! The conditioning and cardio portion of my leg workout is not for the faint at heart but it’s nothing you can’t complete or work towards. Complete with high intensity for the best burn. Keep Scrolling:

Stair runs x 3 (two flights)

20 step ups / leg (dumbells optional)

20 Box jumps (Mine are about 3 feet off the ground but go with what you're comfortable with)

40 Frog Leaps

90 sec rest
*Repeat 5 times

Why am I so leg focused? Well, because we all have our problem areas, right? My legs are where my fat likes to hide. I like to seek it out and turn it into nice firm muscle. Simple.

But let’s discuss your booty, right quick.

Are you giving it the attention it deserves? Are you giving your workouts the attention they deserve? Are you giving yourself the attention you deserve? I mean, part of why I love working out is because it makes me feel good about myself. How are you feeling about your health and wellness? Are you keeping your junk fit? If not, what’s stopping you, girl? If tidying up your wellness corner is high on your list of priorities, why haven’t you committed yet? Like, really committed. Not gym membership commitment, but gym attendance commitment. You could have a litany of reasons but it really all boils down to the fact that you haven’t prioritized it. But if you think about it, you’re useless to anyone and anything else if you haven’t first taken care of your number one player…you.

Now let’s talk about how you can rearrange some things so that you are prioritizing yourself.

  1. Let it be known that this day henceforth, you are a servant of the queendom of (insert your fictional goddess name here). Mine used to be Princess Jasmine but I’ve transitioned to “Queen Jasmine Of JUNKFIT, Mother Of Peaks & Valleys”. Lol. You ARE a queen and your kingdom is your temple. If you don’t prioritize yourself, nobody else will. Show people how serious you are about becoming healthy! Don’t let people schedule you for anything else during your workout time. Tell your hubby that he’s got to hold down the fort while you hit the gym for an hour. Trust me, once people know it’s non-negotiable, they’ll respect your hustle and it’ll become easier to commit to.
  2. Place your workouts on your calendar. If you don’t take your workouts serious enough as it is, maybe it’ll help if you write them in with reminders and maybe even a description of what you’ll be doing in the gym or even a link to a workout via my blog ;-).
  3. Don’t let yourself out of it! This is SOOOO crucial. You have the angel on one shoulder and you have the devil on the other. To work out, or not to workout…that’s the big question. Allow the angel to guide and help you reach your goals. Don’t get into the habit of talking yourself out of things that you desire in your heart. You are worth the commitment, you can reach your goals, you can lose weight, you can gain muscle, you CAN and WILL look and feel amazing if you make the right choices.
  4. Eliminate unnecessary stress. You’ve got plenty on your plate, right? So do I. The trick is that I’ve slowly but surely learned to remove myself from situations that stress me the hell out. Like, seriously. I do it without even knowing it these days. The instant I’m stressing over something stupid or something that doesn’t contribute to the grand scheme of things, I bump that sucker right out of my life. Walking papers. Gone. This way, my mind space opens up and I’m more focused at work, getting things done at phantom speed. I actually begin to do even the simplest of things more quickly and seamlessly. Take blogging, for example…things move so much more quickly and my creative juices flow when I’m not stressed. Less stress means I approach my workouts in a totally different way.
  5. Don’t feel defeated. Look, I’ve fallen off at least 3 times in my fitness journey. For one reason or another, I just could not find the time or energy to do it. But that DOES NOT mean it is okay to completely stop or give up. So you were down to 150 and you went up to 170 once you started your new job?! Lose the weight again! That’s the beauty of life. Try again!

Anyway, gals and guys, I just wanted to share with you all how lit I’m feeling after my latest restart. Feel free to slide in my comments or even my inbox (lol) if you have comments, questions or anything.

Xo,

Jazz

 

 

 

5 Reasons Going Natural Will Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Admit it. Black girls will completely forgo any sweat-provoking activity if they’re rocking any semblance of a straight style. Let the dewpoint read something like 65…there are lots of us who will opt to stay in the house or limit our activity to indoor, air-conditioned spaces. Unless, of course, there is a cookout or day party. That changes things a little. Lol. We might go ‘head and make it do what it do.

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I don’t care if it’s a 3 week old doobie from 125th, that they’ve most recently transitioned to a crimpy braid out, they ain’t sacrificing it for nobody’s workout. No way, no how. There is, however, a rare breed of us black women who, despite the straight style, will bust a move or two in the gym in an attempt to keep the body nice and tight. In fact, lots of millennials are hitting the gym…in droves. I’d actually venture to say that the spike/increased popularity in fitness may be consistent with the spike in naturalistas. I won’t pretend to have some sort of trend report on this matter but If someone did the numbers, I bet these trends would coincide enough to make a valid argument. Reason being, you aren’t going to pull off the 18 inch peruvian with a leave-out in the gym. Nor will you be pulling off that brazilian half wig. It’s an IG illusion.

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Lots of us have found the natural to be far more realistic when it comes to hitting the gym. Anyway, I know there are some who’re eager to join the fitness wave but you can’t seem to get a handle on your straight hair. I’ll be direct-YOU NEED TO GO NATURAL ALREADY! Here’s why:

  1. Sweating your natural hair out is nearly impossible. It’s already in it’s natural state. Even if you work up a heavy sweat during your workout, it won’t look much different from the style you came with. I normally like to lay my edges and I know I’m not alone. For many of us, if nothing else is laid, those edges will be! Lol. My edges are usually super fuzzy after my workouts and depending on how close to perfect I feel like being that day, I may or may not relay them. Twist outs may frizz up a little bit but you can combat that by leaving it twisted until after your workouts.
  2. Repetitive straightening causeses mad damage and breakage. Not cute. Now think about how much more you’ll have to straighten it after workouts to maintain the straight look you’re rocking-to match your roots to your tracks. Going natural is simply the healthier option for your hair provided that you detangle carefully and nourish your tresses.
  3. You’ll use healthier hair products by default. As opposed to the use of harmful chemicals with your relaxed look, most natural looks call for healthy and nourishing oils and creams. As a matter of fact, natural hair care products generally steer clear of parabens and sulfates that are abundant in relaxed products.
  4. Going natural can be a healthier option for your pockets as well. With most natural styles requiring minimal professional upkeep such as trims and cuts every now and then, you can vastly reduce your beauty spending and you can put that cash towards a vacation or  a weekly shopping sprees at Whole Foods. See how that worked out for you?! Two birds, one stone.
  5. The versatility of the naturalista just cannot be underestimated. You can literally rock a gazillion styles and look flawless. Many of them are a one shot deal and you’re good for the next couple of days or in some cases, weeks. You have the option of rocking a straightened look without the commitment. Not to mention that your blow outs will look bomb because you haven’t stripped your hair of all it’s moisture and lipids thus combating heat damage and split ends to the umpteenth power!

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So, let’s move on to styles, shall we! When I consider my hairstyles, one of the biggest considerations is the maintenance. I’ve found some tried and true styles that work wonderfully with my active lifestyle:

 

Let’s begin with the snatchback. It takes a few days for my edges and puff to take flawless formation but once they do, it’s all gravy. I use water, olive oil and my eco-styler gel to achieve the waves. The rest is me in all my nappy-headed glory. I can literally wake up in the morning, re-apply some water and gel and be on my merry way. I hit the gym, work up a tremendous sweat and won’t have to do a single thing besides finger my edges back into place.

My micros are by far my favorite workout style. I literally left these things in for an entire month. Add to that, I did them myself. It started out of sheer boredom. I then found myself on a three day mission to finish my head. I was braiding on the bus, on my lunch breaks, on field trips-it was bad. But once I finished, it was all good. I could wake up and literally GO! Working out was a breeze because I didn’t have to give my hair one inkling of thought aside from, of course, my edges. Lol. They were a b**** to take down but the style gave me so much freedom that I didn’t mint at all. Peep that glorious braid-out, too! Worth it, all worth it. It might also be worth adding that I rocked that braid out for about a week. So, yea, the micros were a 5 week style. Lit.

The two-strand twist back is arguably my signature look. I have yet to come across a naturalista who can rival my version of the style and believe me, I would give credit where credit is due. I’ve gotten it down to a science. I condition the crap out of my hair first, because this style requires some thorough detangling if you like it neat, like I do. Then I place my part, normally it’s down the middle because side parts make me look like someone’s great auntie. I then sop my crown with my handy dandy eco-styler gel and olive oil combo. I usually use a generous amount to avoid fly-aways. The next step is to take a soft bristle brush and lay my crown down. You kind of want to lay it so much so that the waves begin to sprout. Once they’ve appeared, I can begin twisting. Start with a teeny, tiny amount near the edge and progress back. Remember to carry the twist down the hair line to establish a little bit of a crown look. This style can usually last me 5 days provided I’ve tied my hair with a silk scarf at night. Workouts are a breeze with this hairdo and I normally get a few compliments per day.

The twist out is…well, it’s a twist out. We each have our own version of this and although they’re super tricky to perfect, they are a good workout option. Reason being is that you can manipulate your twist out into a lot of different styles once it’s had time to set. You can do a high pony, a low pony, half up with half down…the options are abundant. I usually go with what the workout calls for at the given time.

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It was hard to tell me sh*t when these things were in my head. Lol.

Anybody transitioning for fitness purposes? Drop your stories below and do tell if you have any tips or workable hairstyles for us fit chicks!

 

 

Falling Off & Getting Back On

If you’ve ever checked for my blog or social media posts, I think its pretty obvious why I chose this topic for my comeback again post. But for those of you who are stumbling across my blog for the first time, things have been slower than molasses ’round these parts. New content is coming but before that happens, let’s chat about why I fell off of my blogging and workout game. For starters, summer ’16 was everything Aubrey said it would be.

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It was my first summer back in the DMV and I made it count. I mean there were boozy brunches galore, day parties, cookouts, rooftop soirees, amusement parks, cooking classes, comedy shows, museums, exhibits, camping, late night sh*t-talking with friends over bonfires, and add to that, I’m on Match.com now so you know the dates just rolled right in (we’ll discuss in another post). I frolicked ’til my heart’s content. Truly. Honestly. A girl just was living her life on the weekends. Cause when Monday hit, things got real.

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This summer was BY FAR thee most stressful summer I’ve had in a long time. Work consumed most of my energy during the week and I’ll be honest in that I did not push myself to go onward once 6 pm hit. I simply said “I’m exhausted so when summer camp is over in 6 weeks, I’ll resume my workouts.” But that was super weak and I know it. I knew it the instant I started telling myself that b.s. There were so many things I could’ve done to offset the fact that I wasn’t working out or blogging. I could’ve funnelled my daily nutrition to the blog and committed to at least one post per week. Don’t get me wrong, I made mindful eating choices (on weekdays) and worked out at least once per week but it was a far cry from the 5 day regimen I was on. By my standards, that meets the qualifications for “falling off”. But if you’re human, like me, you know that sometimes you just can’t go as hard as you normally would but you should try make sure you give what you do have in you. Obviously, I had more than one day a week and smoothies. Like really, Jasmine!?  Since my stress levels have gone back down, I’m back to the regularly scheduled program. Let me share with you how I got myself back in the game.

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First of all, the stress has dissipated. But there are a few factors that also contributed to me getting back on the ball again.

  1. I set a bed time and started “logging off” at least an hour before hand. I’d heard of this sleep improvement strategy before but somehow the Blameitonkway Instagram sketches would keep me locked in right up until I passed out. Anyway, unplugging in advance helps me get better quality sleep. Thus, giving me energy to last throughout the day.
  2. I noticed my family and friends that kept going. For starters, as of July, my dad was down 20 pounds and he always reminds me that I was his source of motivation. Then he turned around and motivated me. Funny how that works. Additionally social media provides me with so much inspiration at different times and from so many different people. I’ve got friends that are slaying the blog game, slaying their workouts and they really motivate me to step my game up.
  3. I ate dried fruit and nuts to give myself an added burst of energy. Dried fruit and nuts are a sure way to get a quick burst of energy and sustained energy throughout your workout.
  4. I bought some new gym gear.Idk about you but a cute new outfit is all the motivation I need. Might I also add that I am a certified maxanista these days. TJMaxx has the hookup on fitness apparel and accessories. You can get things at half the price or even less. It’s disgusting!
  5. I decided that I’d stop overbidding and commit to just a one article minimum per week. I had planned out this lengthy editorial calendar to cover every nook and cranny of wellness but it turned out to be a lot for me. One article a week gives me a small task to start with and of course I’d have the option of upping the ante once I get in a good flow.

Do you guys have any strategies to get yourself back into the swing of things after a hiatus? Drop a comment below!

In The Quest For Abs, Skinny Girls Need Cardio Too [New Client Valencia]

If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me “You’re skinny. Why are you on a diet/working out?”, I’d be rich. Yeah, I’m small and appear to be healthy but the truth is that size is no indicator of health or well-being. Nor does it mean everyone under a size 6 will have a flat stomach, toned legs or high endurance. The skinny girl struggle can be just as real as any other. Take my new client, Valencia, for example. She’s always been slender but was having difficulty getting rid of that stubborn belly fat. She’d tried adjusting her diet but what was missing was a targeted assault against her stomach fat with a combination of cardio, calisthenics and high intensity interval training.

Cardio is essential to EVERY workout regimen that includes fat loss. Contrary to popular belief, there is no way to target fat loss. It accumulates all over and it burns all over. Therefore, if you want to lose belly fat, you should use cardio as your main weapon of choice. Once Valencia has begun to burn fat, we can actually see the benefits of all those crunches. Make sense?

Being that Valencia is just beginning her fitness program, we spend a lot of time correcting form. Check pics below. Which one demonstrates correct form? I’ll give you a hint. Check out the difference in her back. A simple directive to “Tuck your pelvis” corrected her elbow and shoulder alignment, her lordosis (excessive lower back curve) and it caused her to extend her heels and fluctuate her weight to the balls of her feet as opposed to her toes.

valencia_junkfit_2Form is is important because when you train with poor form, you train your body to do the wrong things and over time, repetitive incorrect form can cause serious injury. Sounds like a given but you’d be shocked at how many people train incorrectly.

Some of the ab and core exercises we did today were:

Russian Twists

Hands Free Crunches

Toe Touches

Bear Crawls

Burpees

Planks

For your cardio, try keeping it fun with zumba, taebo, an outdoor run or even the treadmill. Just be sure to work up a healthy sweat before your core/ab work.

Adios,

Jazz

JUNKFIT of The Month| August- Quianna of Qui2Health

I am so excited to share with you guys some things and people that have given me inspiration along my fitness journey. When people ask where I pull my inspiration to stay in shape I let them know that some of it is intrinsic, meaning it comes from a desire within to be active and move around. The other large chunk of my motivation is drawn from other women who embody what it is to be “JUNKFIT”. Every month, I will be featuring a woman that embodies the essence of my blog.

My very first “JUNKFIT of The Month” feature must go to a woman named Quianna of North Jersey. Her posts are so inspirational and they always push me to want to stay on my A game. She helps so many achieve their fitness goals and she is really doing the work of spreading that self-love that I speak of all the time. Read more about Quianna below!

Introduce yourself. Tell us your name, age, where you’re from, your profession or what school you attend(ed).
Hi, my name is Quianna Burgess. I’m 31 years old from New Jersey. I am currently a Certified Personal Trainer attending Kean University majoring in Global Fitness and Wellness

*Tell us why you got into fitness and what it means to you.  Growing up I was always active…my background is dance. However, in 2012 I was going through a rough divorce, which forced me to drown myself in finding who I was while learning to love me more. Exercising was my therapy. I researched, experimented on my body, and worked hard at being a better me. With all my knowledge I took on the responsibility of helping others on their fitness journey. Fitness to me is a sign of self love. It means you exercise and care enough to live a healthier lifestyle.

*Why are you “JUNKFIT”? Ha! I’m “JUNKFIT” because I took my curves by the pound and defined them while still being “thickfit” in all the right places.

*What has been your biggest challenge with staying fit? How did you overcome it? My biggest challenge with staying fit would have to be finding food that was healthy and tasty at the same time! UGH! I love food but I really had to learn how to proportion my food and not eat to get full but to be satisfied.

*What are some tips you would give to other women of color who want to get their bodies/health together?

A few tips I live by are:
1. Give yourself 5-6 consecutive days of eating clean and have a treat meal on day 6 or 7.
2. Drink a lot of water.
3. Create a workout regimen that works for you.
4. Pay close attention to form to prevent injury.
5. Isolate your muscles when working out.
6. Be creative with .
7. Remember, what work for you may not work for others (and vice versa).
8. Trust the process.
9. Sculpting your body takes time….enjoy your progress.

Follow Quianna on Instagram @qui2health!

*Would you like to be featured? Contact me at junkfit@gmail.com.

JUNKFIT’s 10 Commandments: Gym Etiquette

Starting a workout plan can be really intimidating for newbies. Gym culture is something that most of us don’t acquire until we’ve been going for a while. Expedite the process with these 10 rules of gym etiquette I’ve learned along my journey!

  1. Wipe Down The Machines. The gym is a germy place. I don’t know about your gyms, but mine is ALWAYS packed. The minute I walk in there, the air is thick, the activity is high and sweat is precipitating and dripping over everything. It can become a gross environment when people don’t wipe after themselves. From the crotch sweat to the palm sweat to the drops you left on the treadmill, WIPE IT ALL DOWN, thoroughly!
  2. Come Fresh. Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT cool to show up to the gym without a shower. That is actually sooooo rude. Come fresh and re-shower after your workout. If everybody showed up to the gym funky, then what? We’d be in trouble, right. Please come fresh and wear deodorant!
  3. Don’t Flirt Or Stare. This one is for the guys that may be reading. Don’t gawk when we (women) do our squats or donkey kicks. We are already in a male-dominated environment and some of us are intimidated. Don’t add to that by hitting on us or staring for too long.
  4. Put Things Back Where They Belong. This is different from where you got it. If you found the kettle bell off in some obscure corner of the gym, please return it to the kettle bell area when you’re done. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched high and low for a barbell and found it resting on a wall when it should’ve been on the rack. This helps both other gym members and gym attendants.
  5. Share The Machines. It’s common for people to ask to “work in” with you if they need a machine that you’re using. This simply means that they would like to use the machine during your rest periods. Sometimes this can be a hassle especially if the person is sweaty and you have to wipe down every time it’s your turn but, unless you’re in a rush, it’s the right thing to do.
  6. Don’t Hover. If someone is using a machine and can’t work you in, just respect it and ask how many more sets they have. Do not hover over them silently. Just move on to another exercise and keep your eye on the machine for when it opens up.
  7. Please Keep Unsolicited Advice To Yourself. Nobody, I repeat, NOBODY likes a know-it-all. Unless someone asks you for your input, refrain from critiquing them. Half the people there will not know what they’re doing and learning is a part of their journey. Don’t cramp their style unless of course they are doing something dangerous. In which case you should inform a trainer and let them handle it.
  8. Keep Grunts To A Minimum. While you may feel somewhat relieved when you grunt and moan during an intense workout, it makes others uncomfortable and annoyed. Try to control it.
  9. No Grooming. Ladies and gents, this can be done in the bathroom. Tie your hair, apply your lip gloss, whatever, before you start your workout. The mirrors are for watching your form and the occasional gym selfie—that’s it.
  10. No Lounging On Machines. I notice that a lot of guys work out in bunches and it turns into a social gathering. That’s cool and everything, but it kind of interferes with other people’s workouts when you use gym machinery as a chair or drape your body over equipment you aren’t using. Be mindful of this.

Do you have gym rules that you live by? Did I miss anything? If so, share below!

xo,

Jazz

Your Fitness Journey: Success Begins Where Comparison Ends

Do you know that I do what most fitness professionals would consider an intense leg workout, EVERY TIME I hit the gym? That’s about 5 times per week that I’m lunging around the world, frog leaping, leg pressing, squating, dead lifting, sprinting, jogging, stepping, pedaling, tippy-toeing and leg curling. Whew! It sounds like a lot but I’ve actually gotten accustomed to the process. I knew that legs were MY weak spot.

When I first began working out, my primary focus was my bottom half. I seemed to always gain weight in that area. To add insult to injury, it was all wiggly. Yes, I was what people call skinny-fat. I was thin however my butt and thighs and sometimes my calves were super soft and I had even been called chicken legs. I thought if I hit the gym daily, I could get my legs to look like something. I researched different exercises and tried some pretty intense routines. Day in and day out, I would BLAST my legs and while I have seen results, it isn’t nearly what I thought I could accomplish. While I still have time to progress, I’ve learned one thing about fitness. EVERYONE’S RESULTS WILL BE DIFFERENT!

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Do you know I visited body building websites and saw what they call an ‘intense’ leg workout and I’m like ‘hmmm’ sounds like my regular routine. I bust my ass in the gym EVERY SINGLE TIME and my legs are still small and could use some more definition. But that doesn’t mean I’m not giving it all I’ve got and I am still encouraged to keep at it and do my very best. I say all this to say, you are you, by the grace of God. That means your body, your mind, your experiences and all of that! Don’t stumble and trip on a comparison because there’s only one you. Be the best YOU. Some people will lose fat faster than you. Others will build muscle quicker. You might not be able to lift as much as the next person but don’t let that hinder you from trying! You won’t be the fastest, you won’t be the strongest, hell, you won’t be the smartest or prettiest but you’ll be YOUR fastest, strongest, smartest and prettiest. Put YOUR best foot forward. There’s so much POWER in claiming what is YOURS!

When you begin to compare your results, one of two things can happen. You can either get super discouraged and quit OR you can allow others’ successes to encourage you.

The choice is yours.

xo,

Jazz