I’ve always been a very active person. As a kid my mom pushed me and my brother out the back door and made us ride our bikes. As a teenager I played sports and would run in my neighborhood. I never struggled with weight issues, that is until I went to college. A combination of swiping my student ID card at Baldwin (our cafeteria), making 3am Taco Bell runs, and attending fat meal on the regular left me not fitting into the clothes I had brought with me to college (yes, it was really called fat meal and it was late at night, involved fried food, biscuits and gravy, and sweatpants). I was extremely frustrated because I went to the gym regularly, usually three times a week, and never saw any results. Looking back it’s obvious why, however, it wasn’t so obvious at the time.
In the past when I went to the gym I went straight for what was easy, machines. I would hop on the elliptical for thirty minutes, with minimal to no resistance, while reading a magazine and barely break a sweat. I would then transition to another machine where I would sit down while my bicep moved up and down, then proceed to another machine where I would sit and kick my triceps back. I would throw in a couple crunches and feel good about myself for being at the gym for 40 minutes. In college our free weight room and machine room were completely separate. I didn’t dare enter the room with free weights. I rarely saw any girl ever venture in there. Even if I did want to use some free weights God only knows what I would do with them once I picked them up. And there lies the problem. Women go straight for machines because it’s easy and comfortable. No more!
If you hang out at The Resource Girls for more than five minutes you will quickly learn I have a Jillian obsession. I began to do her videos in the privacy of my own home and started seeing results, fast. I was baffled as to how I was seeing such quick results for working out for less than 30 minutes four to five times a week.
What Jillian has taught me along with hundreds of hours of yoga, boot camp, barre and palango (future posts to come) is that you have to use your own body weight, work multiple muscle groups, and not be afraid to pick up a pair of hand weights. We're talking about quality, not quantity.
PULL // PULSE // PAUSE
1. Grab a bosu ball (pictured). I have never been to a gym that did not have one of these.
2. Get a set of hand weights. I would recommend grabbing a three pound set and a five pound set. Fear not, you will be sore. The key is light weights and multiple reps. You will also be using your core to balance.
3. Need to make it harder? You can always increase the weight and decrease stability (use bosu ball, stand on one leg, etc.)
4. What are you waiting for? It’s time to hit the gym – PULL. PULSE. PAUSE.
5. You can repeat this same sequence of three moves on any major muscle group and then start again - biceps, triceps, chest, back, etc. Always pull ten times, pulse ten times and pause for ten seconds.
Both feet flat on the floor. Slight bend in knees to a squat position so the legs are working. No balancing here so core isn't as involved.
Slight squat position on bosu ball. Using both legs and core to stabilize.
Balancing on one leg. Begin to work stabilizing muscles. Core is helping with stability, keep your abs tight.
Turn bosu ball upside down. Again, using legs and core to keep yourself upright.