Confessions of a First-Time Bodybuilder (Part 1)

Hello friends!  I’m now 18 days away from competing in my first-ever bodybuilding competition!  Somehow passing the 3-week mark has made it seem SO CLOSE!!!  I’ve been training for this since mid-November 2016, and now the finish line is in sight.  According to my coach, I’m coming in right on track.  And I feel on track!  I’m sooo excited for this event (it’s the ANB Universe International held right here in Manila), and I want to share with you some insights I’ve gained over the past 11 months of delving into this new sport:…

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20-Minute High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Jump Rope HIIT

So what’s all the hype about “HIIT” (high intensity interval training)?  Is it really better than say, going for a 45-minute  steady-pace run, or stepping it out at Level 5 on the StairMaster?  And if so, then why?

I’ll just get right to it… HIIT training has lots of benefits that steady-state training doesn’t.  First of all, it burns more calories and fat in the 24 hours after the workout than if you’d just gone for a 4-mile jog.  High-intensity training causes …

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The Best At-Home Leg Workout

Curtsy Lunge

If you’ve ever woken up with sore legs (hmm… not me, certainly not in the past 3 weeks… ha!), you realise just how significant these lovely limbs are.  The older I get, the more I’m struck by how often people lose their independence because of their inability to care for themselves physically, and this is too often a result of loss of strength.  It doesn’t happen overnight.  No, it happens little by little, that insidious weakness that gradually creeps in.  Then one day you sprain your wrist and all of a sudden you can’t get out of your chair anymore……

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5 Exercises that Will Get You Out of Your Chair

Chair Pushups

You’re probably sitting down as you’re reading this, and I hate to tell you this, but you should really stand up.  Too much sitting will kill you!!  Ok, so I’m being dramatic, but recent studies over the past 2 years have linked prolonged sitting (more than 8 hours per day,) with a number of health concerns, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  And what’s worse, being a “weekend warrior” (i.e., working out vigorously a few times a week) won’t offset these risks.

So what are we gonna do, friends? …

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The 5-Minute Ab Workout That Makes a Difference

Tuck-ups (balanced)

Abs, abs, abs… all over social media I see umpteen million ways to get the abs of your dreams…  “Just do this routine of 5 easy exercises,” they say, “and by bikini season you’ll have that 6-pack you’ve been waiting for all your life!”

Except “they” forgot to tell you that no matter how great your 6-pack is, no one will see it if your body fat percentage is higher than about 18% for women, 14% for men.  Um, whoops…

So let’s get another motivation for working our abs, shall we?  Just sayin’, but the amount of effort that goes into achieving (and maintaining!!) those low body fat percent numbers… well, that’s another blog post altogether.  And it becomes harder with each succeeding birthday. …

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The 20-Minute Workout You Can Do Anywhere


Mountain climbers

Let’s face it, friends… sometimes you just don’t have 45 minutes to work out.  Not when there’s groceries to be bought, kids to be dropped off or picked up from school, and those last 18 episodes of Downton Abbey or Lost to watch… I get it and I’m not judging. Nope, I’m here to provide solutions.

And my gift to you is this 20-minute workout you can do anywhere.  It’s a high-intensity metabolic workout that will …

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5 Flexibility/Strength Tests You Need to Take Now

My Pa says old folks are prone to “prairie dog pose.” (He’s over 65 so he’s allowed to say this, and he should know, he fights it every day!) What he means is that once we reach a certain age, we tend to stand with our upper backs rounded, tummies relaxed, and the palms of our hands facing backwards, letting our shoulders roll forwards. The first time I saw a prairie dog after he said this, I had to laugh… the visual is true!

prairie dog

But on a serious note, posture like this is a result of a gradual loss of strength and flexibility in the upper and lower back, shoulders, and hamstrings.  Over time, it becomes harder and harder to look up, harder to reach up, and harder to get up. …

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Cardio Circuit (HIIT)

HIIT (Jump rope)

Hello friends!  Summer is fast approaching, and in my bootcamp we’re discussing how nervous we are about working out on our own this summer… as in: WHAT IF WE DON’T???

What if we get out of our routine amidst all the travel?  What if we make excuses not to work out??  What if we get out of the mindset, stop working out, and lose the fitness we’ve worked so hard for all year???

To be honest, it could easily happen. …

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Body Weight Workout for Summer

Plank leg extension

Well, it’s that time of year again for us ex-pats… the (wild) anticipation of summer home leave!  Oh, the joys of being back in our home countries for several weeks!!  We all start counting down the days right about now…

One of the things I’ll miss, though, is working out with “The Fit Chicks of Alabang”… my bootcamp girls that meet 3 times every week during the school year.  These ladies have become super fit, and have kept me in peak condition all year as well.  So now we’re faced with the prospect of working out on our own all summer……

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