Category Archives: Interviews & guest post

Tips for Achieving Better Upper Body strength by Justina Triasovaite

Hello, dears!

Today I´m pleased to introduce you a new blogger and friend, Justina Triasovaite. She is a certified female personal trainer and also runs justinatraining.com, a site with useful information for those who are interested in general fitness and body transformation. A committed health and fitness fanatic, Justina is very passionate about helping people transform their lives.

London based, she´s offering first class free with each package! If you live in London, you shouldn´t miss this opportunity.

Without further delay, I let you read her refreshing tips. Enjoy!

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This article will reveal what it takes to build up strength in your upper body, including your shoulders, arms, chest, back, and core.

No matter where you choose to train – at the gym, in the park or in your own home, there are a lot of useful tips provided in this article that can be beneficial for building your upper body strength.

Ok, let’s get started!

Home and/or Park: A Great Start!

Have you ever thought of improving your upper body strength right in your own home, right in your terrace or garden, for example? There are different ways of getting stronger and it doesn’t necessarily require you to go out to the gym – just get started right at home or in any suitable park. In my opinion, the best place to train during spring-summer months would be outside – in a park or in your own home, maybe in the garden area. Fewer excuses and more exercise!

1) Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at Home or Park 

  • PRESS UPS

Press ups involve the majority of upper body muscles, which is great if you are trying to strengthen your upper body. What is more, these exercises improve your posture, enhance your cardiovascular system and help to prevent lower back injuries. Press ups do not require any additional equipment so you can do it right in the middle of your living room or terrace.

  • DIPS

Dips are isolation exercises that work miracles for strengthening your arms and gaining powerful and defined triceps. They can be performed at the gym on a special machine or simply at home using a chair or a bed frame. Although I think it is much more fun to do your dips outside – just find the right spot (e.g. a bench). Try this out today!

  • PULL UPS

Pull up exercises are compound movements which add strength to the whole back and arms. Nobody says they’re easy, but what you gain is most definitely worth it: by doing pull ups, several large muscle groups (back, arms and shoulders) work simultaneously. What I love about these exercises the most is that they don’t require expensive equipment – you can order a pull-up bar online and hang it above your door frame. Time to get thinking about this.

  • RESISTANCE BANDS

Resistance bands are amazing tools for working out at home with your own body weight with a goal of strengthening various muscle groups in your body, including your upper body. Most of these bands come with a special hook which allows using them on your door without damaging it. It should also come with thorough instruction regarding all of the exercises you can perform using these bands. Easy and fun!

2. Best Exercises for Getting Stronger Upper Body at the Gym

Say hello to the rowing machine as soon as you enter the gym, as this is the best exercise you can do to strengthen your upper body and build a great back. It doesn’t really matter which kind of rowing machine you choose – seated, standing, assisted, or single arm rowing – the benefits of these type of exercise for building a strong upper body are simply undeniable.

Another great exercise I highly recommend trying out is a shoulder press – machine, free weights, barbell or dumbbells – everything goes when we are talking about those beautiful and strong shoulders.

Don’t forget that a strong chest is the key to a strong upper body, so the chest press should become one of your favorite exercises as well. Choose a bench or a machine, dumbbells or bar – everything is suitable for your goal as long as you perform the exercises correctly.

And last, but definitely not least, a must exercise for everyone – pull down or pull ups. Pull down is a great machine for beginners if they want to build up their back strength and move on to pull-ups. Pull ups and chin ups work miraculously in building the so-called “triangle back”, which is often part of my clients’ wish list!

3) General Tips for Upper Body Strength

  • Carry the shopping bags yourself. This simple activity can highly influence the strength of your upper body. Forget shopping online: carrying your purchases daily will be a great exercise for your upper body and will also help you improve in the exercising field.
  • Get involved! Play outdoor games which put resistance onto your upper body – basketball, netball, tennis, badminton. This is a fun and easy way to build strength in your upper body.
  • Include Isometric Contractions (also called isometric exercises or isometrics). These are the type of exercises, in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. These exercises are well known for making your upper body muscles stronger. One tip – try holding a pillow right in front of you while keeping your arms straight… Not so easy, right? ☺ Try it for a couple of days and increase your holding time gradually – you will see how much stronger you will feel in a relatively short period of time.
  • Don’t forget the core! The strength of your upper body highly depends on the strength of your core, so don’t forget to include a variety of exercises that help to strengthen the muscles of your core. My favorite core exercises are various variations of the plank as well as leg raises – these work best for strengthening core muscles. Tip: always add one or two exercises that help to strengthen the core at the end of your training sessions.

Continuous Hard Work Pays Off!

To sum up, continuous hard work and the right choice of exercises definitely pays off, leading to a well-trained upper body, built up strength and an improved physique.

There is no need to invest in expensive machines or training equipment: there are plenty of exercises available that require only your own body strength. Easy!

Even your everyday activities, such as carrying the shopping bags, can strengthen your upper body, so definitely no excuses!

 

 

How to Make This Year Your Healthiest Yet – Guest post by Paige Johnson

Do you need to change some habits and get healthier? Who doesn´t?

Paige from Learnfit.org is here to give you the guidelines to start right now. There is no better time than now. I hope you decide to follow her advice! Without further delay, here´s her great insight.

“If you are ready to commit to getting healthier, you don’t have to wait for a special holiday or moment. The sooner you get started working toward health, the better you will feel and the more you will thank yourself when you start seeing results. If you’ve struggled with poor health, obesity, addiction, or depression, you will find that improving your nutrition and exercising will improve your overall well-being and give you the energy you need to stay on track toward a healthier you. If you’re not sure where to start, these tips will help.

Understand There is Time to Fit Healthy Habits into Your Daily Life

Many people wait for the right time to get healthy because they think they are too busy to start right now. The truth is, no matter how busy you are, you can fit healthy habits into your schedule with a little preparation and inspiration. By starting small and committing to a few healthy life changes, you’ll find that you can make this year your healthiest yet.

Frau auf Waage mit ObstFirst, work on improving your nutrition by making healthier eating choices. Replace sugar in your coffee with almond milk. Replace sugary cereal with a one-minute mug quiche or cinnamon breakfast quinoa that you can cook in the microwave before you head out the door. Spend time on the weekend prepping lunches and dinners for the week so you won’t be tempted to hit the drive-thru at a fast food joint on your way home or between meetings. You can cook chicken and other protein for the week and slice it before storing it in the refrigerator so it’s ready to go for salads and wraps for the week. You also can keep sliced veggies and fruit in the freezer for the week, too.

Wake Up with Lemon Water

Of course, we all know that we should be drinking water throughout the day and fulfilling our daily ounces to stay hydrated and healthy. Water is free natural and healthy helps keep you full so you don’t overeat. But, water can be a bit boring. Squeezing some fresh lemon juice into a tall glass of water in the morning is a wonderful way to start your day because it boosts your immunity with vitamin C and improves digestion. It’s also good to start drinking water as soon as you wake up to help flush your system and to keep you on track you’re your daily water intake. Lemon water is a healthy alternative to plain water. Just remember that lemon is acidic, so you should rinse your mouth after drinking it.

 Find a Workout Buddy

Working out alone is not as fun as working out with someone else, so find a friend or coworker or ask your spouse to be your workout buddy. You’ll be able to hold one another accountable, and you’ll find that your workouts go more quickly when you have someone to complete them with. Workout buddies also are great partners for trying workouts that you may shy away from on your own, so sign up together for a class you were hesitant to attend alone. Or, try out some new fitness equipment with your workout buddy to change your workout routine a bit.

Keep a Fitness Journal

It’s also a good idea for you to keep a fitness journal throughout the year so you can vent your frustrations, track your progress, and discover patterns of overeating, stress eating, poor sleep, and the like. Some people find that looking over their entries keeps them motivated and inspired to keep up the hard work, especially when they begin the journal by explaining why they want to get healthy and what their goals are. You’ll be able to hold yourself accountable for healthy eating, healthy habits, and workouts when you write down your food and activities each day.

You can make this the healthiest year yet if you develop healthy habits and fit them into your busy schedule, drink lemon water first thing in the morning, work out with a buddy, and keep a fitness journal.”

If you decide to follow Paige´s advice, I may help you with the fitness journal. I´ve been working on a digital fitness journal, and it´s ready to use. You can read more about, and download it, here 🙂

 

Diet and exercise by Paige Johnson

Hello, dears!

Paige from Learnfit.org is visiting us again! She loves offering her advice on weight lifting and strength training. Today she´s here to talk about diet and exercise.

“Diet and exercise are oftentimes directly associated with a slimmer waistline and improved muscle tone, but the pair can affect your physical health in more ways than just physical appearance.

What Are You Eating?

The food you put in your body can reduce the occurrence of negative health issues and promote a healthy heart and prevent disease. High blood pressure, or hypertension, may result in heart failure and premature death, but by incorporating heart-healthy foods into your diet such as whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, you can reduce your risk of developing hypertension.  Eating right can also boost your immune system to build up your body’s defense against communicable diseases, and even help combat depression and addiction.

However, eating right means eating the right foods such as fruits and vegetables, which contain key vitamins and nutrients. The following vitamins are essential to physical health:

  • Vitamin C – boosts iron absorption, enhances immune function, promotes healthy gums, resolves to bruise (citrus fruits, cantaloupe, mangos, kiwis, pineapple, strawberries, leafy vegetables, asparagus, avocados)
  • Vitamin A – prevents cell damage, heightens infection resistance, maintains skin of gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts (apricots, carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, yellow squash)
  • Vitamin B-6 and B-12 – vital for central nervous system, essential for the metabolism of amino acids and protein synthesis, improves immune system function (dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds)

As you make changes to your diet, make sure you eat at least three meals a day or five small meals throughout the day, and avoid skipping breakfast. Aim for balance, and eat a variety of foods such as grains, lean meats, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.

Get Moving

According to research presented by the CDC, physical activity can strengthen your bones, build muscle, and reduce risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Your bones, joints, and muscles support your body and enable you to move, so it is important to protect them. Physical activity can slow the loss of bone density, help with arthritis pain management, and help you increase and maintain muscle mass and strength. By getting active, you can also reduce the risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol and fat levels, keeping blood vessels flexible, and reducing inflammation of the arteries. Beneficial changes in cholesterol include a decrease in unhealthy LDL cholesterol, and an increase in healthy HDL cholesterol. Exercise directly affects the heart itself too. As you exercise, your heart grows stronger, enabling it to pump more blood with each beat, and work at maximum capacity with less strain. The resting heart rate of those who exercise is also lower, as the heart exerts less effort to pump blood through the body.

Blood pressure can be regulated through regular exercise as well, with sedentary people having a 35 percent greater chance of developing high blood pressure than those who are regularly physically active. Regular exercise keeps arteries flexible, benefitting blood pressure, but keep in mind that high-intensity activity may not lower blood pressure as effectively as moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, gardening, or dancing. If you have high blood pressure or heart disease, ask your doctor before starting any kind of physical activity to maximize the benefit and reduce the risk of causing further damage.

As you find ways to get moving and active, think of creative ways to incorporate it into your daily life. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn archery or a new style of dance. Include your family and friends by having an epic battle of freeze tag, or working together on a home project such as building a treehouse or planting a garden. Diet and exercise improve your health, so you might as well have a little fun while you are at it.

Guest post – The Easiest Ways To Stay Fit All Year Round

Hello, dears!

Today, I´m pleased to introduce you a new blog, LearnFit.org, and one of the bloggers behind it, Paige. She is a yoga enthusiast and avid cyclist. Loves strength training and weight lifting. And she is going to give you a few tips on how to stay fit all year round.

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These days, many people lead busy lives that leave little room for much besides work and sleep, but it’s important to ensure we eat right and get in daily exercise. So how do we balance those things and stay healthy? It’s not hard if you know where to begin, and with a little planning and some creativity, you can find a great work/life balance that is sustainable all through the year.

One of the first things to do is to get organized. Create a schedule that allows you a little extra time for workouts and meal planning, then stick to it. After that,  it’s a matter of following your schedule and finding ways to make do when the weather throws a wrench in your plan.

Here are a few ways you can get started.

Swim

Swimming is wonderful exercise that gets your entire body involved, but for those of us who aren’t lucky enough to live in California, it gets tricky finding ways to get in the pool once winter rolls around. Check out your local YMCA or city public pool to find out their indoor pool hours and ask about a membership; once we have to pay for something, our resolve to stick to it increases.

Create a home gym

You don’t have to spend money every month to belong to a big fancy gym; there are several easy ways you can create a perfect workout station in your own home, which will come in handy on the nights when you’ve just gotten home from work and can’t handle the thought of going back out into the world. You don’t have to fill it with expensive equipment, although a treadmill is always a great investment. You can also use simple hand weights, a yoga ball, resistance straps secured to a doorframe, and sand bags for resistance training.

Stay in bed

Yes, you can exercise from the comfort of your own bed; it just takes a little creativity. Try lying on your back, putting a good-sized pillow between your feet, and tossing it up to your outstretched hands. Grab it with your feet and bring it back down to the bed, then repeat. Or do stretches that are great for your back, such as lying flat on your back and lifting your pelvis toward the ceiling repeatedly. You can also bring one knee up to your stomach and move it across so that it touches the bed.

Eat right

This sounds like a no-brainer, but many people assume if they are exercising daily they can eat whatever they want. While it’s true that counting calories shouldn’t mean as much when you’re working out every day, it is still important to make sure you’re getting enough protein and vitamins. Dark, leafy greens, nuts, fish, fresh fruit, and berries are all awesome energy boosters that will give your body the fuel it needs and keep you feeling good.

Get enough rest

If you lead a very busy life, you know the importance of getting enough sleep, but you may not be getting quality sleep. Set a bedtime and stick to it, and turn off your phone, laptop, and television at least an hour before you lie down for the night as they can all interfere with your sleep cycle.

Guest post- Online personal training

Shay-lon invited me to write at her amazing blog, about online personal training. If you want to know more… head over STAYING HEALTHY ISNT A CRIME-FITNESS IS A LIFESTYLE CHOICE.

Staying healthy isnt a crime-Fitness is a lifestyle choice

Hello everyone, I wanted to start this Monday off right with a guest post from a fellow blogger friend, whom I have grown to respect as a writer and fitness professional.  Many of you know his site very well, and probably currently follow him, between his workout videos and beautiful quotes, & that ever so clever playlist he likes to show off for his audience, I would say he was one of many bloggers who I can honestly say I love being on his page! haha. I have done a guest post for him, which was an amazing opportunity considering, I never would have thought I could offer his audience as much as he does.  I decided to have him guest post for us: Chape, who will speak on “online personal training”.

I had never heard of “online personal training” until I had the chance to speak with…

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Online training, a blogger experience

Hello dears!

For those who haven´t met Mliae yet, she´s an awesome blogger from North Europe, who writes about her experiment, so called “life”. Fashion, recipes, travel, book & product reviews with her personal style. Take my advice and follow her, thank me later 😉

When we met, she was on a weight loss journey and she was having some issues to reach her goals.

Maybe you remember we reached her goals before summer. I´m delighted to have her here today, talking about her experience and how she keeps the results.

I hope you enjoy the reading as much as I did 🙂


I really must say that David has been a lifesaver for me! I was so frustrated with my weight and physique that I just didn’t know what to do.

Starting out at 76 kilos (168 lbs), my goal was to get under 60 kilos (132 lbs). Now some of you might be saying to yourselves that 150-160 isn’t actually that much. And, you are right. For most women, carrying that weight isn’t so bad – especially if it’s spread proportionality throughout the body. My problem is this: I’m short. With this weight on a petit frame, I suddenly looked like a berry. You know, men’s underwear commercial type. (What’s the name of that company? Oh yeah – fruit of the loom)

I’ve always been petite and most of my life I have had a metabolism that was on fire. Until recently, that is. The past two years have been a roller coaster ride from the ‘What the hell is happening to me’ theme park.

So I tried stuff. I mean I tried everything: Diets, fasting, super exercising, not drinking too much water so as not to get the water weight, etc. You name it – I tried it! Part of my issue was that I have always been a healthy person. I’m a vegetarian who occasionally happily indulges herself in seafood. I don’t drink fizzy drinks and I don’t over indulge in sweets. Just like everyone else on the planet, I do have my junk food days. I never ate large amounts of pastas or breads either. So what was happening? Is age this evil??!

I worked like a maniac to shed the weight, and I did. Until that it is, the last 7 kgs (or 15 lbs). Then for some reason, I just got stuck. Like really stuck. My weight loss had plateaued completely and nothing I did made any positive difference. Although it was extremely easy to pack on more weight, much to my dismay…

I had been following Chape Personal Trainer for awhile at this point. Trying to pick up tidbits here and there and suggestions that might help. After listening to my whining for a bit too long, David decided I wasn’t a lost cause and agreed to help me.

At first I was really worried that ‘OK, personal training agreement – I’ve got one month to get this nailed down’. Panic followed. I discovered shortly after that this wonderful man had signed on to get me to my goal, not just a month by month contract. David, God Bless you for that!

David spent many hours chatting with me about my habits. And my lifestyle. I kept a food and drink log (very specific) and my measurement and was even told to write down how new exercises made me feel. These were reviewed by him regularly and then adjustments were made accordingly. Somehow he magically knew that if sent too much info my way, my diet brain would kick into overload and fry. Then absolutely nothing would happen. Instead, David sent me weekly and monthly updates to my exercise regime, as well as the occasional lecture in a very loud voice about what I should be doing differently. This worked really well for me because once I got into the habit of my regime, tweaking one or two things wasn’t really so difficult. Well, maybe. There were the weeks David suggested I drop cheese, tofu, and tempeh all together, which were my dietary staples and I found myself pacing around the refrigerator like an angry bird.
These were some of my diet staples that week: Fresh veg, fresh fruit, vegetable sushi.

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Some of the strange but surprisingly effective suggestions David made:
• Drink more water. This almost seemed impossible to me because I was so accustomed to not drinking very much of anything at all. Today, I’m guzzling water like a horse.
• Eat more?! When David suggested this, I thought he had completely lost his mind! I even told my boyfriend that ‘watch this, we’ll be out buying bigger pants next month’. I was shocked when it ACTUALLY WORKED! Apparently, I was eating like a little bird and he knew that if I just upped my food intake a little bit, that my metabolism would be thanking me.
• Walk, don’t run. What?! Seriously? I can laze my way through a dog walk and BURN MORE CALORIES?! Too good to be true. Nope, worked great for all involved. (Well, maybe not the dogs…they love to run)

Some of my favourite exercises:
Forearm plank. I love it. It’s not crazy difficult, but you can feel it working. I still do varying planks regularly.
Glute bridge. I love to mix these in with the plank sets. Feels like a bit of a break and you know you’re doing something great.
Bird Dog. This is just…fun 😉
Reverse fly. Not fun, not comfortable, but it’s a great shoulder and ‘bat wing’ fixer upper. Feel the Buuuurrrrrn, Baby!

Some of the really effective exercises that I hated:
Alternating shoulder tap plank. A great exercise, I still do it. But something about the amount of actual coordination needed to pull this off is a bit out of my league. If you’re a betting person, this exercise is much more fun when you have a running pool of how many times a person will face plant on the floor prior to set completion.
Reverse crunch. David, seriously….ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! The goal was sets of 20. The reality was I could maybe manage about 3 before falling over to the side like a little bug all rolled up. Persistence pays though. If you want fast results, give this exercise a go.

I’ve always been shy about my body. When I found myself getting closer to my goal weight, I had many long chats with David regarding whether or not I was brave enough to post a body pic. It was my idea, after all, I wanted the people reading my blog to see that I was a real person achieving real results, not some random teenage blogger filling time with tall tales of dietary frustration. You see, my subscribers had never seen a photo of ME. Not on any platform. So this was a MASSIVE step for me. Fortunately, David had been working with me regularly on my self-esteem and body image. For that, I am eternally grateful! And this is what we saw on my blog the following week: Not perfection, not yet anyway… but confidence and a great deal of anxiety and relief.

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Haha, you can even tell by my hands how nervous and uncomfortable I was. But I wanted to do it. I needed to step out of my comfort zone and I needed to celebrate my new body. You know what happened? Everyone was thrilled for me! All those trolls and horrible comments I was expecting never came! Freedom, finally! Operation Bikini almost complete!

I kept going and we kept celebrating. I had a few slip-ups. Just refer to the Nacho incident. That was a bad one… David forgave me and made sure I got back on track and STAYED THERE. Once again, in a quite loud voice. He told me that it was a new goal: to be able to have nacho night occasionally without having a meltdown over it. Guess what, David! I had nacho night last week and it was fabulous! 😉

The final push to my goal took longer than expected. I found myself apologizing to David for 2 weeks for being so close and not quite getting there for one reason or another.

And then, something magical happened. I woke up one morning on a weigh day and realized….I had reached my goal! I was so excited, I contacted David immediately with screeches of joy. Despite the fact that I had surely intruded on his morning, he was delighted for me and made me feel like a victorious princess the whole day long 🙂

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After reaching my goal, I was satisfied with my weight. However, I felt so much healthier utilizing the skills that David had taught me, so I decided that I would take it easy, but still use my newly developed skills. As they say, it’s a life change, not a diet. I fit perfectly into my pants, and pretty great in my swimsuit so I didn’t feel the need to weigh myself on the regular. Imagine my utter delight one day when I
stepped on the scale and saw this:

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58.3 kilos or 128.5 lbs! YEAH, BABY, YEAH!!!

I feel great now! Operation Bikini has been completed and surpassed!

If I had to offer any advice to my fellow get-in-shapers, it would be this:
• Keep at it! If you get frustrated and surrender, it isn’t going to happen. It takes TIME. Hang in there, you’ve got this!
• Find someone that won’t only make suggestions for you, but that will be there for you to listen to you bitch, moan and complain , to keep you on track, and to celebrate every victory! This did more to keep me motivated than anything else!

I feel absolutely awesome now! Thanks David, you are an angel! I could not, in any case could have done this without your direction and support!

Hugs!
-Mliae

 

KEEPING YOUR ROUTINE WHILE TRAVELLING

Hello, dears 🙂

Do you travel often?  The ladies at Ladyredot.com certainly do. They´ve invited me to share some tips for keeping your routine while travelling, and I couldn´t resist a short stretching routine I usually do at hotel rooms.

Just in case you need ideas on your next destination, you´ll find some amazing places reviewed at Ladyredot.com