Burpee & Squat Pyramid – Sarah from Creating a Better Tomorrow

Hey everyone!  I am super excited to bring you this week’s post! Today we are welcoming back Sarah from Creating a Better Tomorrow. If you missed my interview with her a couple of week’s ago, I encourage you to check that out as well! Her story is amazing! And today she is going to push us to push ourselves with this awesome pyramid workout!

Enjoy! (Also, let’s take a second to celebrate that this is the first ever video on the blog!! But hopefully not the last 🙂 )

Every week (or almost every) over in my blog world at CreatingBetterTomorrow I share an at home workout.  As a busy mom of toddlers I know how precious every minute of your day and workout can be.  Forget wasting time and money driving to a gym you can get in an amazing workout at home with little equipment and space.  All of my online programming and personal training is designed to be 30 minutes or less and only ever require minimal equipment (if any!).  Today I wanted to put together a special workout just for you all Nymph in the Woods folks.  It’s a burner…and it has two of my favorite moves featured in it…squats and burpees!

You’ll notice it is a pyramid style so you’ll go down in one move and up in the other move.  It’s a twist on the traditional counting of repetitions or timing your moves.  I like changing up the style of my workouts.  By simply changing up the format (like pyramid vs. rep counting), it keeps me from getting bored and tends to make the workout seem to go faster!

There may only be two moves in this workout, but don't be deceived! This workout will leave you sweating and burning in the best way!

Only two moves but this workout will leave you sweating and your heart beating!

But I can’t Do Burpees!

I know what some of you are saying…”but I can’t do burpees.”  I beg to differ.  In my bootcamps I provide video demonstrations for each and every workout.  I just finished putting together all new videos for my 30 Day Total Body Bootcamp programs.  And here is one of the old videos.  I show you how you can modify a burpee to be low/no impact!

The only limitations you have in life are those you set in your mind.  You may have to MODIFY but MODIFICATIONS are not limits they are just stepping blocks to help you reach the next level.

The full program includes many workouts just like this for the 30 days.   I’ll provide you 5 workouts a week.  You then pick the 6th workout for the week to ensure you get some true movement you LOVE in and one rest day.  Only equipment needed is one set of light dumbbells and one set of medium to heavy dumbbells.  The workouts range in length from 25-40 minutes. Almost every workout will come with a video demo sent directly to you each week. THE BEST PART? You get a daily email message motivation and support from me!  ARE YOU IN?!?!?

I have a special coupon JUST for you Nymph fans.  Enter code nymph15 to save $15 off the total body bootcamp program or the total body and nutrition bootcamp program!  This is only good through the end of March 15, 2017.

I just want to say thank you to Sarah for that awesome workout! Want to see more from her? I definitely encourage you to head over to her blog and check out her programs and information!

finding fitness Sarah Creating a Better TomorrowSarah is a full time stay at home mom who blogs at Creating Better Tomorrow.  Her twin, 2 year old boys keep her active and fit no matter the day but she also enjoys teaching group fitness and training clients one on one.  She has a love for the garden and dirt…and eating all the things from the garden.  Her and her husband live on 7 acres out in the country where she can get her hands dirty and the boys can chase their chickens.
Sarah suffered from anorexia in college and through that experience has grown stronger in her relationship with her Lord, her body, and her family.  She know shares through her blog and fitness work a balanced approach to loving your body and moving in ways that make your body and mind stronger than ever.

Where to find Sarah:

On her blog at CreatingBetterTomorrow.com

Twitter: @CreatingBetter

Instagram: @CreatingBetter

Facebook: Creating Better Tomorrow

Pinterest: Sarah @creatingbetter

turning fitness into a habit

Can you believe it’s November already!? The year seems to have flown by! And as the year is coming to close, many people will start thinking about how 2016 went and how they want 2017 to go. For many, this process usually includes declarations of “I’m going to eat healthier, work out more!” and so on. Fitness is one of the most common things that people think of when setting their annual goals. But sadly many of those same people won’t make it past the one month mark. Why is that?

Well, a lot of it comes down to habit. Too many people depend on motivation to get them to their goals, which is simply not enough. Motivation is great for the first week or even the first month! But eventually motivation dissipates and the goals that seemed so important suddenly don’t rank so high on the to-do list. So how do we change this and go from depending on motivation to creating a habit? This is a question I have struggled with myself.

I’ve had many starts and stops when it comes to my fitness journey. I can look back 10+ years and see different points where I tried to include fitness into my life more, but it never lasted. I would lose motivation or hit a roadblock and I would give up. I tried obsessive calorie-counting, programs at gyms that made big promises, and many other things. And most of them probably would have worked! Except the obsessive calorie-counting…that one was terrible. The problem was I didn’t know how to turn fitness into a habit and so I was never able to keep it up.

Fast forward to 3 years ago. I had lost a decent amount of weight already through some lifestyle changes and a highly physical job and was feeling pretty good! But I knew I wanted to make a bigger change and put more focus on my health and my fitness. So I started trying to work out more. There were some more start and stops, but there was less time between them.

And finally to last year. I started getting more consistent and even started a great program! If you were with me back then, you know that my attempts at Kayla Itsines’ BBG didn’t go smoothly and there were a lot of obstacles! But I did finally complete it and the community around BBG really helped me to make fitness into a habit!

And now? I am at the gym 5-6 days a week, I am active outside of the gym and I do a few workouts at home too! Are there are days I don’t really want to work out? Of course! But most of them I do anyways and I always feel better afterwards!

Working out has become a habit in my life and I know it can in yours too! These 5 methods helped me make the transition from depending on motivation for my workouts to having a steady fitness habit!

To succeed in your fitness journey you need more than motivation...fitness needs to be a habit! These 5 tips can help you build that habit and succeed at your fitness goals!

5 Things that Can Help You Turn Fitness Into a Habit

Schedule your workouts

Just like any other appointment, you need to make appointments with yourself. Write down when you are going to exercise and what you are going to do. At the beginning of each week I sit down and write out my schedule for the week, including my workouts!

Find something you enjoy

Don’t like walking on the treadmill? So don’t! Especially at the beginning of your fitness journey, finding things you enjoy is so important. There are so many activities out there that will improve your fitness, so try some out! Take a kickboxing class, go hiking, try out a climbing wall! There are even groups in many cities that you can join that are centered around fitness. If you aren’t sure what you want to try (and you have the budget for it) you can join a gym that has a variety of classes and try them out! I recently joined the YMCA and have been loving the classes available, especially kickboxing!

Find your “why”

Now, I understand that finding your “why” might sound a little silly, but it works! Knowing your reason or reasons for wanting to work out. Really give this one some thought and preferably find a “why” that is long term. If you goal is to look great in that dress for an upcoming event, you may have a hard time keeping your focus after the event is over!

Find other like-minded individuals

This can either be on-line or in person (I do both!) but having a community is so helpful. There are many challenges that can come with changing your lifestyle and making fitness a priority. Having others to turn to and find support from can be the difference between pushing through them and giving up, especially at the beginning! Also, it’s just a lot of fun!

Look for the small victories

It can be disappointing when you are starting to work out and you don’t see a huge change right away. It can feel like all your hard work isn’t paying off and can really kill that motivation that got you started. Instead, look for the small victories! Did 5 push-ups last week? Maybe this week you can do a few more! Maybe you can lift something that last month you wouldn’t have been able to. Or you are sleeping better and having more energy. Paying attention to those smaller things can really help you push through the difficult moments and be reminders as to why you keep going!

Have you turned your fitness practice into a habit? What techniques have helped you do it? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment below!

Fitness Mini-Update

It’s been one month since I finished Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide! Sadly, I can’t tell you that I’ve been doing much since then 😕 My body seems to have turned on me and my fitness journey has stalled (again). It does that a lot, doesn’t it?

That is not saying I haven’t been able to work out some…it’s just been limited to mostly treadmill and exercises they gave me in Physical Therapy.

Setbacks can be difficult to deal with. I know I’ve had some ups and downs over the last month. Times where I felt like I was never going to get back into my fitness routine. Heck, there were times it felt like I was never going to feel well again at all!

Of course, that was (mostly) in my head! I am feeling better now, though I have come to the realization that the PT exercises for my back have to become a part of my daily life.

I am hoping to start BBG1 round 2 next week and can’t wait to get going again…hopefully with less injuries this time! 😀

How have your workouts been going? Have you been struggling this winter with your routine or had any setbacks? How have you dealt with them? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Sara (1)

Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide Round 1 Complete!…Well, Kinda Complete

Ever since I started Kayla’s guide the first time I have been looking forward to this moment. Through all the setbacks, the injuries, everything…I’ve been looking forward to being able to say I had completed it once and showing off these fantastic progress pics. Only…that didn’t really take real life into account.

This first round through has been full of difficulties. 3 injuries, 2 sets of stitches, 2 months of physical therapy (which I’m still needing to continue at home sometimes, this week included), sickness, the holidays, etc. All of those things were things I didn’t plan on when I started the guides. But that’s life. And that is a lesson that I think I needed to really learn when I started this journey. It’s a journey. It’s a lifestyle.

Life isn’t always smooth sailing. While I knew that, I don’t think I fully appreciated how that would play into my workout program, especially this workout program.

Weeks 9-12 fell during and directly after the holidays. Now, I’m not making excuses. I could have pushed myself harder some of the time and been more on top of things. But between work being crazy due to the season, the “winter blues” hitting me a bit and just a general feeling of exhaustion, I did not do as well during the last four weeks of the guide. I skipped some workouts, did LISS directly after my resistance workouts other times and just in general didn’t do as well as I had hoped to.

For a while towards the end and right after, I was beating myself up pretty good over my lack of performance. But I’ve come to the realization that just because I had an off few weeks doesn’t mean I failed or anything like it.

I am still in the best shape of my life! I can (usually) do 10+ push-ups in a row before I need to go to my knees! I can do box jumps and tuck jumps and all sorts of other jumps that I couldn’t really do before!

So while I may have not done every resistance workout and these progress pics aren’t as impressive as I had originally hoped they would be, I’m counting this first round as done and as a success! I have made so much progress over these last 4 months and I can’t wait to see what the next round of BBG brings! (Hopefully less injuries than the first round!)

BBGRd1FrontBBGRd1SideBBGRd1Back

 

We did take measurements, but our methods weren’t practiced enough for me to be sure of the accuracy, though I think we are getting better at it! I am pretty positive that a few things changed though, especially one that can’t just be user error!

  • Waist: 37 in –> 31.5 in!

Things to Improve On During This Next Round

  • Go back to working out when I wake up instead of after work. I kinda fell out of that habit over the last month.
  • Keep LISS separate from resistance
  • Keep tracking diet for this whole round

I am currently having some issues with my back again, so I’m down to exercises from my physical therapy, LISS and yoga until it stops hurting so much. I can’t wait to start round 2 of BBG though!

How are your fitness goals coming? Did you have any difficulties over the holidays or due to the “winter blues” like I did? I would love to hear your thoughts, so please leave me a comment below!

Sara (1)

Fitness Update: 2 Months of Kayla Itsines’ BBG Complete!

Two months of Kayla Itsines’ BBG done! For those of you who missed this post or may not know who Kayla is, BBG stands for Bikini Body Guide and is a 12 week workout program I am currently working my way through!

I’m not going to lie, this last month was rough, mostly schedule-wise. The holidays and my day job kinda threw everything off track. That being said, I’m really proud of myself for all that I did this last month! I did miss a few LISS workouts, and one resistance workout (kinda two, but that shoveling definitely should count as a full body workout!) but even with that being the case, my strength has shown improvements and I’ve been feeling much better overall!

The two workout sets (weeks 5 & 7 and weeks 6 & 8) are set side-by-side to show progress. The workout circuits are the same in each week, so I love seeing that I made it through a little farther in weeks 7 & 8! It wasn’t a huge amount of progress, but it is there!

Measurements Progress Kayla Itsines' BBG Week 8

These progress pics were taken a little late and after not working out for a couple days, early in Week 9. I’m loving that I’m actually seeing progress now! (Although I’m pretty sure some of it is finding clothing that actually seems to work for progress pictures)

Hopefully I will see more visible progress in the next set of progress pics, but either way I know that I’m making improvements, so I’m just going to keep at it and trust the process!

Also, the reason that the side progress pic is a Week 1-Week 8 comparison instead of Week 4 like the others is that the Week 4 side pic was really weird and not accurate at all!

Kayla Itsines' BBG Week 8 progress pictures side viewKayla Itsines' BBG Week 8 progress pictures back viewKayla Itsines' BBG Week 8 progress pictures front view

I am redoing Week 9 next week, due to fighting a nasty cold all week this week. Even with that delay, I am loving this program and feeling better than ever!

How is your fitness journey going? Are you finishing the end of the year like you had hoped you would? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sara (1)

Fitness Update: I’m Finally Back at it!

Those of you who have been following my journey for the past couple of months know that these last couple months have been rough for me, fitness-wise. Two injuries and a flare-up from a recurring back problem have made it very difficult to do much more than cardio on the treadmill.

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Me after BBG Day 1 workout. I was exhausted but feeling great!

But I’m back! Yesterday was Day 1 of Kayla Itsines’ BBG1 and I’m so glad to be back to doing the program! It was definitely rough with my lower activity since I stopped, but I didn’t seem to lose much progress during my down time. I’m a little worried about arm day since I don’t have full mobility or comfort back in my finger yet, but I’m pretty sure it should be fine.

I also decided to participate in a wellness challenge through my work called the ZP Challenge. I am participating in 2 out of the 4 possible categories; fitness and food. This basically is a month-long challenge in which you track how well you do by checking off if you made healthy food choices that day and had more than 30 minutes of exercise. I figured I’m already focusing more on my healthy and wellness, so why not participate?! It definitely has provided that extra level of motivation and I love checking off the box for the day saying I met my goals!

That’s all for this month’s fitness update! Now that I’m back at it I hope that I will have more to say this time next month, including progress photos from my first month doing BBG!

How are you doing on your fitness goals? Find any new tools or programs to help with motivation lately?

Dealing with Setbacks: A Fitness Update

Hey everyone! This is not the fitness update I was planning on giving you this week. I was looking forward to telling you all how my first month of Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide went, post some progress pics and overall be excited and positive! Well, that’s not going to be exactly how this post is going to go.

Sometimes things don’t go the way you plan, no matter what you do. This has been the case for the last few weeks for me. First, as you may remember, I took a pretty nasty fall a few weeks ago, resulting in a trip to the ER, a head suture, some serious soreness and some healing time.

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So I took it easy for Week 3 workouts and then repeated Week 3 the following week. No worries and I was feeling pretty positive.

Fast forward a few days, to last Wednesday. I woke up feeling pretty stiff and sore, a feeling which rapidly worsened as the day went on. By Thursday morning, the right side of my back was mostly locked up, I couldn’t really move my neck and was in pain no matter what position I tried.

Before I continue, I need to add in that this is not the first time this has happened. So while very uncomfortable, pretty painful and overall a hassle, I was not and am not freaking out too much.

I went to the doctor, who prescribed me some medications to help and physical therapy. The first I expected, the second was VERY unexpected. However, my doctor believes that since this is a reacurring problem, I most likely need a least some physical therapy to help keep in from continuing to happen. I have my initial physical therapy appointment tomorrow and will find out more then. I am doing much better now, with some lingering stiffness. But overall much better.

So my BBG journey is on hold, probably for a least a week or two. I am hoping it won’t be longer than that. I can’t wait to get back to it! I have decided though, with the fall and now this, that I am going to restart from Week 1 once I am cleared by the doctors to start again.

That’s it for this update! I know, not the happiest one in the world, but I’m still thinking positively and am excited to get back to my workouts soon!

How have you dealt with setbacks? Any tips for getting back into your routine after something like this throws it off? I would love to hear from you!

Fitness Update

As I stated in my July Review, I kinda fell off track with my workouts for a couple of weeks. So I didn’t make much progress last month 🙁 But I didn’t really lose any progress either. Over my fitness journey, I have learned to accept that some weeks don’t go as planned.

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June Progress Pics
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BBG Starting Day Pics

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Ledges State Park: Discovering Local Treasures and Being a Tourist in Your Own Town

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Have you ever acted like a tourist in your own community? Or at least not like a local? Sometimes there are some amazing places right in your own backyard! Places that you may have overlooked or even forgotten about, because they have always been there.

For many years, this was how Ledges State Park was for me. I knew it was there, and even had been out there a couple times. But for the most part, I forgot about it. I had lived less than 10 miles away for over 6 years before I started going there regularly! 
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