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Rumble Roller Beastie
Putting together my annual “Best” Fitness Gift List (and my personal fitness wish list) for the holidays! Got a lot of new toys this year, and new favs I’ve been using like crazy.

This is the Rumble Roller Beastie: don’t let the cuteness fool you! It’s for DEEP tissue massage, best for people who train really hard and are used to foam rolling. It gets me making all kinds of sounds I’ve never made before, lol. Quickly became a “must” for me, and it’s so wee I can stick it in my purse.
Rumble Roller Beastie
Lots of Brene Brown, some Supple Leopardness, kitchen gear and a few DVD’s are making the list too this year. Plus a LONG list of stuff I kinda want/need.

Put it out in the universe!
What’s on YOUR wishlist? Anything you’re eyeballing or secretly hope for?

Ultimate Sandbag 20% Off Sale!

Passing along the deal! 20% your order when you enter the code “taxes” at checkout. :)

I love my bag, but it was an investment. A good way to save up s by putting $1-2 in a jar for every workout you complete! 4 workouts a week from now until June, will get you most of the way there! Great motivation too.

xo

Ultimate Sandbags Really Are The Shizz

So many of you have been asking about where to get my sandbag. Here ya go! Click here: Ultimate Sandbags (Pink Power Package)

Tip: DIY bags and cheaper models don’t come close to the real thing (I’ve done/used both. The DIY doesn’t have the versatility, and the cheaper models fall apart after just a few uses). My model has been BRUTALIZED over the last year, and is pretty much in brand, spankin’ new condition. My only regret is not getting the water fillers (makes it easier to travel with - you can fill up water easier than sand. Also makes the instability INSANE.)

I’ve never used a tool this much in my life. Absolutely in love. It’s incredible how much versatility and difficulty you can fit into a such a small tool. I’m forever coming up with new ways to use it & incorporate it in my workouts.

Ask anyone with a sandbag… they’ll say the same thing. :)

While eating disorders are serious, potentially life-threatening illnesses, there is hope. Help is available and recovery is possible.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, they are there to help. Call the toll free, confidential Helpline Monday-Friday, 9:00 am- 5:00 pm, Eastern Standard Time: 1-800-931-2237 or click hereThe helpline volunteers will be there to offer support and guidance with compassion and understanding.

Here are some general links to the NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) website. The information is for anyone seeking to learn more, help, inform, educate or seek help of their own.

Toolkit downloads:  Links not working? Click here.

Coach & Athletic Trainer Toolkit

Educators Toolkit

Parent Toolkit

Measurements 101: An alternative to the scale! 

And, if I may add, a better results indicator. The scale only measures mass, not composition change. Your body can make incredible, physical transformations without the scale showing the difference most people would expect.

4 sizes separate my body now from my body a few years back. Despite being the same “weight”. 

As you know, I don’t own a scale (former scale addict. Throwing that thing away was the best thing I ever did). And weight no longer matters to me, really. I know when my body is bigger, smaller and is performing the way it should. 

Grab a friend for best accuracy, and don’t cheat, lol. 

Xo

Measurements 101: An alternative to the scale!

And, if I may add, a better results indicator. The scale only measures mass, not composition change. Your body can make incredible, physical transformations without the scale showing the difference most people would expect.

4 sizes separate my body now from my body a few years back. Despite being the same “weight”.

As you know, I don’t own a scale (former scale addict. Throwing that thing away was the best thing I ever did). And weight no longer matters to me, really. I know when my body is bigger, smaller and is performing the way it should.

Grab a friend for best accuracy, and don’t cheat, lol.

Xo

Beginner Tools: Adjustable Dumbbell Sets

Adjustable sets are totally bad ass for beginners and intermediate exercisers alike. You can start with the light plates, and add on as you go. The set above is a great choice for most beginner women: 5- 20lbs per dumbbell. It comes with a case, stores easily and is totally affordable at only about $40 a set.

When it comes to dumbbells, you don’t need to go fancy: this is a simple set with one big perk: adjustable sets allow you to avoid buying several different sets over time.  It’s also easier to boost your difficult as you see fit, whenever you’re ready. 

No home gym is complete without weights! If you don’t already have them, GET THEM! Said with love, of course. :)

Cap 40lb Dumbbell Set

CHEAP TIP: Craigslist and other sites are awesome for finding old workout equipment for very cheap. Check often, avoid fabrics (bugs) unless new and sealed (think mats), and always disinfect before using it to get sweaty. 

Yay! New toy! On its way! In Pink! 
Just ordered my pink sandbag and I’m crazy excited. Been using a makeshift sandbag forever (pretty cleverly, I must add), but it’s been frustrating to compensate for its…ummm… lack of craftsmanship. It IS an awesome tool, and I love using it, but I’m kinda DONE with cleaning up sand, replacing handles, carefully placing it down and swinging it away from anything breakable, in the event it’ll suddenly fly through the air, like a 30lb cannonball. And there’s only so much duct taping this girl can handle. Sad little bag, lol. 
Aside from its damaged appearance, it’s also not nearly as versatile as a real bag, but I modified and survived. At this point though, I’d like something a little sturdier. It takes a lot for me to justify spending so much on equipment unless I REALLY see the value. And I’m satisfied with this choice. See the bag deets here: Ultimate Sandbag Training Systems: Pink Power Package
You DON’T need fancy equipment. But sometimes it’s nice. :) I’ve read all the reviews, done my research, and by far this seems to be the winner (also looked at a cheaper model, and the reviews were mixed. Hard to tell if it was a quality issue vs. misuse, but this model seemed favorable by the majority of people. That… and the others didn’t come in pink (I’m a sucker for new equipment in general. But offer it in pink and I’m YOURS). I started with a DIY bag and after realizing how much I would use it, decided to level up.
 How To Make Your Own Sandbag Been DYING to get my hands on this one for YEARS (inspired by BodyRockTv videos). Debated getting the water filler one, but this won out! Also comes in camo, black and different sizes: this one goes up to 30lbs. Yay! Can’t wait for it to come in! Fingers crossed it doesn’t take as long as my TRX. I want it NOW. :)Anyone have this one or a similar one? How do you like it?

Yay! New toy! On its way! In Pink! 

Just ordered my pink sandbag and I’m crazy excited. Been using a makeshift sandbag forever (pretty cleverly, I must add), but it’s been frustrating to compensate for its…ummm… lack of craftsmanship. It IS an awesome tool, and I love using it, but I’m kinda DONE with cleaning up sand, replacing handles, carefully placing it down and swinging it away from anything breakable, in the event it’ll suddenly fly through the air, like a 30lb cannonball. And there’s only so much duct taping this girl can handle. Sad little bag, lol.

Aside from its damaged appearance, it’s also not nearly as versatile as a real bag, but I modified and survived. At this point though, I’d like something a little sturdier. It takes a lot for me to justify spending so much on equipment unless I REALLY see the value. And I’m satisfied with this choice. See the bag deets here: Ultimate Sandbag Training Systems: Pink Power Package

You DON’T need fancy equipment. But sometimes it’s nice. :) I’ve read all the reviews, done my research, and by far this seems to be the winner (also looked at a cheaper model, and the reviews were mixed. Hard to tell if it was a quality issue vs. misuse, but this model seemed favorable by the majority of people. That… and the others didn’t come in pink (I’m a sucker for new equipment in general. But offer it in pink and I’m YOURS). I started with a DIY bag and after realizing how much I would use it, decided to level up.

How To Make Your Own Sandbag 

Been DYING to get my hands on this one for YEARS (inspired by BodyRockTv videos). Debated getting the water filler one, but this won out! Also comes in camo, black and different sizes: this one goes up to 30lbs. 

Yay! Can’t wait for it to come in! Fingers crossed it doesn’t take as long as my TRX. I want it NOW. :)

Anyone have this one or a similar one? How do you like it?

Rip 60 Fitness DVD & Suspension Trainer Set
When I ordered my TRX  Trainer, I was VERY tempted to drop it in favor of the Rip 60 set. I’ve only ever used a TRX before and ultimately chickened out, favoring familiarity.
Allison, one of my bootcampers, recently bought herself the Rip 60 set and swears that it’s AMAZING. She LOVES following the DVD’s, which may be something that beginners might find beneficial (while the TRX comes with one DVD, it’s more of a tool you can use on the go or on your own). She also says that it’s HARD (not as hard as bootcamp, of course. :)
I have yet to test it out, but for those of you looking for something to rev up your body for summer, this set seems like a great investment and WAY less expensive than some other fitness series out there! It’s like a cross between P90X and TRX. Intensity guaranteed!
The Rip 60 set comes with…
A pair of workout straps (support up to 600lbs)
8 DVD progression to keep your muscles guessing. 
4 Bonus workouts (George St. Pierre & Jillian Michaels each have their own DVD, plus there’s a bonus Yoga disc and one for runners).
Nutrition guide, wall chart & travel bag. 
Has anyone tried Rip 60? How did you like it?

Rip 60 Fitness DVD & Suspension Trainer Set

When I ordered my TRX Trainer, I was VERY tempted to drop it in favor of the Rip 60 set. I’ve only ever used a TRX before and ultimately chickened out, favoring familiarity.

Allison, one of my bootcampers, recently bought herself the Rip 60 set and swears that it’s AMAZING. She LOVES following the DVD’s, which may be something that beginners might find beneficial (while the TRX comes with one DVD, it’s more of a tool you can use on the go or on your own). She also says that it’s HARD (not as hard as bootcamp, of course. :)

I have yet to test it out, but for those of you looking for something to rev up your body for summer, this set seems like a great investment and WAY less expensive than some other fitness series out there! It’s like a cross between P90X and TRX. Intensity guaranteed!

The Rip 60 set comes with…

  • A pair of workout straps (support up to 600lbs)
  • 8 DVD progression to keep your muscles guessing.
  • 4 Bonus workouts (George St. Pierre & Jillian Michaels each have their own DVD, plus there’s a bonus Yoga disc and one for runners).
  • Nutrition guide, wall chart & travel bag.

Has anyone tried Rip 60? How did you like it?

Bad Ass ‘At Home’ Tools: Dip Stands!

There’s a reason why it’s a Body Rock fav!

Dip Stands are incredibly versatile and make a range of exercises possible without heavy, awkward and space consuming equipment. The dip stand can allow you to target your abs, shoulders, triceps, biceps, chest, back, booty & thighs in ways that floor work and weights simply cannot.

It supports up to 300 pounds, is suitable for users up to 6’ 5” tall, and can be stored underneath your bed.

At about $97 bucks, it’s a bit pricier than other tools out there, but it MORE than makes up for it in terms of usefulness. Hundreds of exercise options, a lot of variety and a great way to train intensely out of the gym.

Click here for a video guide to Body Rock workouts featuring the Dip Station!

TRX Yoga Kickbox Fusion

I’ve been patiently waiting for my TRX Trainer to come in from Amazon (various shipping issues - some my fault, some there’s). It’s FINALLY coming in this week and I’m giddy with excitement. I’ve worked with a friend’s TRX for over a year (whenever I could grab it) and am looking forward to finally having my own! Yay, new toys!

I mix things up constantly, and am ALWAYS looking for tools that are multi-fuctional, offer TONS of options and variety and are easy to store/take with me. TRX fits the bill! Loved some of the core training exercises in the video above (Steady Sorceress is my fav).

Do you have a TRX trainer at home? How do you like it?

Bad Ass Tools For Fit Freaks:  Speed Resistance Training Parachute

Who’s it for? Runners, sprinters, athletes & anyone looking to boost power & speed.
Cost: $20-$30
What it does: The speed parachute adds resistance to your sprints, improves your stride, boosts acceleration & powers up your runs! The chute fills with air as you accelerate forward, adding about 15-30lbs of resistance (depending on speed). The design is light, compact and simple, allowing the user to move freely without sacrificing form. It’s designed to use during short, fast sprints: this isn’t a tool for long runs.
Pros: Lightweight, portable, adjustable & very affordable. Great tool for instructors/CPT’s.
Cons: Looks a little ridiculous if you’re using it solo, but hey, it’s ALL in the attitude. I know I’d be impressed watching someone run sprints with a parachute. :)

Bad Ass Tools For Fit Freaks: Speed Resistance Training Parachute

Who’s it for? Runners, sprinters, athletes & anyone looking to boost power & speed.

Cost: $20-$30

What it does: The speed parachute adds resistance to your sprints, improves your stride, boosts acceleration & powers up your runs! The chute fills with air as you accelerate forward, adding about 15-30lbs of resistance (depending on speed). The design is light, compact and simple, allowing the user to move freely without sacrificing form. It’s designed to use during short, fast sprints: this isn’t a tool for long runs.

Pros: Lightweight, portable, adjustable & very affordable. Great tool for instructors/CPT’s.

Cons: Looks a little ridiculous if you’re using it solo, but hey, it’s ALL in the attitude. I know I’d be impressed watching someone run sprints with a parachute. :)

I might be late to the party (seriously, why haven’t I heard of these before!), but I’m in LOVE with Fit Decks! A friend of mine recently ordered the bodyweight deck and we played with it this morning. Ah-mazing! We got sweaty, had lots of fun, and personally, I liked not having to pre-plan the workout.

Fit Decks are an inexpensive way to take the thinking out of your workouts, and mix things up from time to time. Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced, you can use Fit Deck pretty much anywhere to get a challenging workout. Most decks cost between $10-$15 and can be used over and over again.

Shuffle & go OR use the cards as a circuit maker. You can play with friends, solo, bring it to the park/gym or use it while you travel.

Hot Fit Decks Work

Fit Decks are unique decks of Exercise Playing Cards which come in 56-card and 26-card Booster decks.

56-card FitDecks specialize in bodyweight-only exercises (i.e. Bodyweight, Junior, Senior, Yoga, Pilates, Stretch, Prenatal, and Postnatal).

26-card Boosters may require certain equipment (i.e. Exercise Ball, Pull Up bar, Dumbbell, Office, Travel, Kettlebell, etc.).

Boosters can be used as a standalone workout or they can be combined with other FitDecks to create an even more challenging routine. Shuffle cards before every workout to get a random sampling of upper, middle, lower, and full-body exercises.

Modifications for ALL levels: Each card has three fitness levels to accommodate different abilities (beginner, intermediate, advanced).

FitDeck Bodyweight

Read More

The numbers on the scale do NOT tell the whole story.
Make sure you have more than ONE way to measure your progress. I don’t own a scale, and my results & focus have never been better. For many women, the scale serves as a de-motivator: if they aren’t seeing the numbers they want (despite other evidence of change), they become apathetic, sabotaging, less enthusiastic and feel hopeless. Nothing kills results faster than those 4 bubble bursters.
Scales aren’t all bad, but they are also NOT the end all, be all of fitness & results. Other ways you can & SHOULD measure your progress include;
Fitness level (can you do more pushups, squats, lift heavier etc). Even if you go from 1 rep to 3, that’s 300% progress.
Inches & measurements. Have you lost inches? Do your clothes fit better? A pair of 'tester' jeans might be a better indicator than a scale.
Body fat percentage. Probably the biggest indicator that you’ve made significant change. More so than weight.
Skill. Are you getting better at something? That”s AWESOME.
Confidence. Are you feeling better about yourself? Don’t let the scale tell you otherwise!
One of the easiest ways to measure progress is by using YOURSELF for comparison. Take a before pic! (It’s not too late). We get used to seeing ourselves every single day: you may not notice if you’ve made significant change until you visually see it. (Imagine the woman in the picture above? Would she have anticipated such a body transformation while watching the scale go UP?)

Note: perfectionists often feel like they should only celebrate once they hit their goal. Not true! There are opportunities for celebration at EVERY STEP along the way. Take ‘em! Trust me, it’s much more fun. If you hear that voice in your head telling you that you shouldn’t celebrate yet, KICK THEM OUT. As many times as it takes. :)

Unlike our after photos, before pics should be fugly (a little dramatic, but it”s true). Use some of the guidelines before to help take the ‘perfect’ imperfect before pic.
Guidelines For Taking The Perfect Before & After
Show some skin! A proper before & after will show you ALL the changes you’ve made. If you cover up your body with a T-shirt, or long pants, you won’t be able to see the changes in your after photo. Wear a swimsuit, bikini, bra & undies/shorts, or something that shows off your body. The more you show now, the more you can show off later.
Go LIGHT on the makeup & pull your hair back. When you’re taking comparison pics, it will be hard to replicate exact makeup/shading etc. (plus tans). Do your best to keep it natural. This isn’t Tyra.
Remember that the pic is for your eyes only. Many people who take before shots don’t share them until they’re pleased enough with the after to show how crappy they looked before. I would have NEVER posted the awful day one photo I had from my Asylum challenge, had the after shots not been so worthwhile.
Wear the same clothes for your before & after shots. Even if they don’t fit 100% properly, you’ll really see the difference. If they start to REALLY not fit? Time to restart your before and afters with a new workout outfit. And, YAY you!
Despite your inclination to do your ‘skinny pose’ or suck in your tummy, don’t. Face the camera head on, arms by your side, at approximately eye level. Why cheat? The thinner you appear in the before, the fewer results you’ll notice on the after. That’s de-motivating, you deserve ALL those results! And for those of you looking to GAIN muscle, don’t push it OUT. Same rules apply. Be you as you are.
Use a plain background, that’s well lit. This just makes for a better picture in general, but also doesn’t distract from your body. 
If you want, ZONE in on certain areas, but do this EVERY time you take pics. Thighs, bellies, arms, back. It’s good to get before and afters from all angles. This is especially true for your back, which you usually don’t see in the mirror. 
Take pics on Day 1, then every 2-4 weeks afterwards. The fitter you are, the more time you should take between shots. Don’t take pics every week. Unless you’re turning this into some kinda stop animation film, every 30 days is fine. 
xo

The numbers on the scale do NOT tell the whole story.

Make sure you have more than ONE way to measure your progress. I don’t own a scale, and my results & focus have never been better. For many women, the scale serves as a de-motivator: if they aren’t seeing the numbers they want (despite other evidence of change), they become apathetic, sabotaging, less enthusiastic and feel hopeless. Nothing kills results faster than those 4 bubble bursters.

Scales aren’t all bad, but they are also NOT the end all, be all of fitness & results. Other ways you can & SHOULD measure your progress include;

  1. Fitness level (can you do more pushups, squats, lift heavier etc). Even if you go from 1 rep to 3, that’s 300% progress.
  2. Inches & measurements. Have you lost inches? Do your clothes fit better? A pair of 'tester' jeans might be a better indicator than a scale.
  3. Body fat percentage. Probably the biggest indicator that you’ve made significant change. More so than weight.
  4. Skill. Are you getting better at something? That”s AWESOME.
  5. Confidence. Are you feeling better about yourself? Don’t let the scale tell you otherwise!

One of the easiest ways to measure progress is by using YOURSELF for comparison. Take a before pic! (It’s not too late). We get used to seeing ourselves every single day: you may not notice if you’ve made significant change until you visually see it. (Imagine the woman in the picture above? Would she have anticipated such a body transformation while watching the scale go UP?)

Note: perfectionists often feel like they should only celebrate once they hit their goal. Not true! There are opportunities for celebration at EVERY STEP along the way. Take ‘em! Trust me, it’s much more fun. If you hear that voice in your head telling you that you shouldn’t celebrate yet, KICK THEM OUT. As many times as it takes. :)

Unlike our after photos, before pics should be fugly (a little dramatic, but it”s true). Use some of the guidelines before to help take the ‘perfect’ imperfect before pic.

Guidelines For Taking The Perfect Before & After

  • Show some skin! A proper before & after will show you ALL the changes you’ve made. If you cover up your body with a T-shirt, or long pants, you won’t be able to see the changes in your after photo. Wear a swimsuit, bikini, bra & undies/shorts, or something that shows off your body. The more you show now, the more you can show off later.
  • Go LIGHT on the makeup & pull your hair back. When you’re taking comparison pics, it will be hard to replicate exact makeup/shading etc. (plus tans). Do your best to keep it natural. This isn’t Tyra.
  • Remember that the pic is for your eyes only. Many people who take before shots don’t share them until they’re pleased enough with the after to show how crappy they looked before. I would have NEVER posted the awful day one photo I had from my Asylum challenge, had the after shots not been so worthwhile.
  • Wear the same clothes for your before & after shots. Even if they don’t fit 100% properly, you’ll really see the difference. If they start to REALLY not fit? Time to restart your before and afters with a new workout outfit. And, YAY you!
  • Despite your inclination to do your ‘skinny pose’ or suck in your tummy, don’t. Face the camera head on, arms by your side, at approximately eye level. Why cheat? The thinner you appear in the before, the fewer results you’ll notice on the after. That’s de-motivating, you deserve ALL those results! And for those of you looking to GAIN muscle, don’t push it OUT. Same rules apply. Be you as you are.
  • Use a plain background, that’s well lit. This just makes for a better picture in general, but also doesn’t distract from your body. 
  • If you want, ZONE in on certain areas, but do this EVERY time you take pics. Thighs, bellies, arms, back. It’s good to get before and afters from all angles. This is especially true for your back, which you usually don’t see in the mirror. 
  • Take pics on Day 1, then every 2-4 weeks afterwards. The fitter you are, the more time you should take between shots. Don’t take pics every week. Unless you’re turning this into some kinda stop animation film, every 30 days is fine. 

xo

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