Workout Wednesday: Travel-Friendly Workout

Happy Hump Day!

Wow, what a crazy week! After a film shoot this weekend, and a couple of gigs, I’m ready  for the road trip that Micah and I and our good friend, Elizabeth are going on in l.5 weeks 🙂 Yay!!! I love Holden Beach! A few days of boogie boarding, and running on the beach are going to be amazing!
That being said, I don’t plan to spend much time indoors. Morning workouts will work just fine, and I’ll probably only do a 15 minute workout, utilizing body weight and a band, and for all you cardion junkies, circuit style strength training also provides cardio while giving you that lean muscle that you need if you expect to look “toned”. Even though it’s a circuit,  this routine shouldn’t necessarily be rushed. You need to think about the muscles you’re using, in order to get the full benefit of the exercises. 
Curtsey Lunges – These are amazing exercises for the  legs! Start out standing, with feet hip-width apart and band anchored under your right foot. Maintaining tension in the band, take a step back with your left foot, stepping back and across with your left foot. Contract glutes and thighs, pressing through the front heel to return to standing. Repeat for time and complete reps on the other side before moving on to the next exercise.

Bent Row – Hinge from the hips. Abs in tight. There should be a straight line from your head to your hips. Anchor the band under both feet with 1 end in each hand. Contracting shoulders, pull band towards you, keeping elbows close to the sides of your body. Lower slowly. Repeat for time.

Plie Frog Hop- Standing with feet wider than shoulder width apart, hinge forward from the hips – straight line from head to hips, and squat down, bottom back behind you. Maintaining hinged position, lightly hop feet off the floor, or rise onto your toes. Press heels into floor and squat down again. Repeat for time.

Push Up – From knees or toes, with body in a straight line and abs contracted, and hand shoulder width apart. Lower yourself towards the floor, rise, pushing the floor away from you. Repeat for time.

The trick  to this workout is that it uses multiple muscle groups, and it also uses large muscle groups, so that you burn more calories. Do you workout on vacay? How? Do you like vacationing where you can be active? Comment below! 🙂

see you soon!
– Julie

5 Reasons to Strength Train

 Strength training, it’s something not a lot of women look forward to. Many women I know love, or at least, tscles in order to unload the car, and pick up children and do a physically demanding job. Just in case you think some pushy trainer is the only one who thinks you need to strength train, think again! The American College of Sports Medicine makes the rules for strength training, and also has a free list of studies you can read about the positive effects of strength training. http://acsm.org/docs/current-comments/strengthtrainingforbmh.pdf?sfvrsn=4 e

Here’s my 5 Reasons to strength train:
1. It cranks up your metabolism – big time. You need muscle to burn fat. Muscle burns more cals at rest than rfast…aka…staying on the treadmill for hours only burns calories for the amount of time one is on the treadmill. Circuits and tabata style workouts even allow one to combine strength and cardio if crunched for time

2. It builds bone density. Did you know that a woman can lose up to 25% of her bone density over a lifetime? Imagine losing 25% of your height…. yeah, you might want to start pumping bands or iron.

3.Muscle is what causes muscle tone, not cardio. Cardio will help remove any excess fat on top, but what we refer to as tone is actually a healthy, defined muscle showing through skin…no muscle, no tone….skinny flab. Ladies, we only have 25% of the testosterone that a mna has. We only have one-fourth the mass-gaining potential…and the average man does not build muscle like Arnold.

4. It provides me with  a means to live life better, with more energy. Because I do push-ups, I can swing my nieces and nephews around. Because I do dead lifts, my back is pain free.Because I
 do planks, I’m not as winded when I hit those high notes in band practice.

5. It helps me get out of my own head, and take time for me. That’s not sinful, it’s Biblical. I can do something that will allow me to serve others better! If I’m wearing down my body in the name of doing all this stuff for others, but meanwhile, my energy suffers. There will come a day when I’m no longer able to do for others because I didn’t invest in myself. This is more of a personal reason for me, but it’s practical.

I hope you’ll start a new habit, or pick up an old one and try strength training. I feel that at least one of . these reasons applies to everyone, and I know how it has changed my body inside and out!

What’s your favorite format? supersets, circuits, tabata?
Comment Below!

 Julie

5 Tips toSimplify Your Workouts!

Hi! Hope you’re having a great week! Today is Workout Wednesday, and I thought I take today and offer you some tips to simplify your workouts, so you spend less time thinking about what to do and more time DOING! You don’t have to plan your workouts this way, but this will take out some of the guesswork and set up time.

1. Choose your goals first, then your workout according to those goals. If you want to lean out, you may want to choose a circuit or super set workout. If you’re trying increase muscle size…you may want to look into multiple sets of super low reps… It’s up to you! A little homework on format will pay off in the long run. If you’re looking at a home workout program, look for testimonials of people who accomplished their goals with that particular dvd or program.

2. Base your workout around 1 or 2 pieces of equipment. I recently completed a program that only used dumbbells and/or resistance bands. It took soooo much guesswork out of organizing and planning my workouts! Nothing drives me crazier than seeing workouts that are effective, but utilize 10 different pieces of equipment…by the time you gather all the paraphernalia needed, you could be finished with a workout!

3. Get a workout journal, and schedule your workouts a week in advance. Make it a priority…oh and by the way, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel and do completely different exercises with completely different times, sets, and reps each time. Change up just one thing each time. Your body will thank you for it…and you won’t get frustrated because you’ve wracked your brain trying to come up with a workout! Trust me, I learned this the hard way!

4. Have your post-workout snack ready in advance. This will save you time and your metabolism. You need to fuel your muscles…without muscles…there is very little metabolism. This will also keep you from reaching for junk, thus delaying your progress.

5. Less is more…I usually use about 3-5 exercises per muscle group, anything over that tends to be counter productive for me… start or end with isolation exercises to prime you muscles, and put compound moves at the polar end of the workout from your isolation moves.

One of my favorite ab moves to do after a warm-up: (The amazing Edgar Matos took this shot during a Fit Club at my house!)

There! That covers it! I hope this saves you time and energy when you’re planning your workouts! What’s your favorite workout format? Comment below!
Julie Auler Fit
Happy Sweating!

– Julie

Workout Wednesday: Glute Bridges

Hi There!
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a strength training move tutorial for the abs….well, today, it’s time for a lower body strength training move! Lower body is my favorite to train, but it wasn’t always that way! (No pun intended.) I love lunges, and plie squats, but bridges are probably my favorite move. Now, I know there has been a glute craze recently, but there are far more reasons to strengthen the largest muscle group in your body other than getting rid of cellulite! Here are 3:
1. To prevent back pain – your glutes are part of the posterior chain of muscles that include the erector spinae (the muscles that run vertically along side your vertebrae) and your hamstrings (backs of your legs). If one link in this chain is weak, then your back health is greatly put at risk, because the largest muscles in your body can’t do the job…think about it.
2. To burn more calories – muscle builds calories. The larger the muscle, the more calories you burn, but steady state cardio will not build muscle. Strengthening the glutes will burn more calories, because you need lean muscle to burn calories, even at rest…no muscle…no burned calories…no glutes, less calories  burned…Make sure you strength train the rest of your body too!
3. To protect your knees – I love squats and lunges, but depending on how they’re performed, a too much emphasis can be placed on the front side of the knee or the quads…Your muscles support your joints, and your hamstrings need to be strengthened as well. Glute bridges also strengthen your hamstrings, and your strength for certain movements, such as running will come from your glutes, not just your quads.

The how to: lie on your back. Feet flat on the floor hip width apart. (Feet should be about 12 inches from your glutes.) Pulling your navel toward your spine, press into your heels, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off the floor…keep squeezing your glutes as you pause at the top.
Slowly lower your hips back to the start but don’t quite touch the floor. This is a great move to incorporate into the beginning or end of a workout!

Once you master the beginner version try this more advanced version! Just plant one heel into the ground. contract abs and glutes, and lift!

What’s your favorite lower body strength training move? Let me know in the comments below! Want better muscle definition, contact me to find out about a plan to help you get there!

Happy Hump Day!
Julie

Fitness 5 Friday: My Review of 21 Day Fix

Hi!
So it’s been over a week since I’ve posted, but I have soooo much to tell you! The past 21 days, I’ve been a bit preoccupied with the 21 Day Fix challenge, and whoa, the results are amazing, both inside and out! I’ve had so much fun working out with my hubby as we’ve completed this challenge together! We also cut back on our grocery bill! I’ve been reminded through this experience, that I need accountability as much as the next person, and love the community I’ve found through this! I plan to do a round 2 starting next week! The workouts are great, and you get to do a different half-hour workout daily, and the meal guide was amazing! There’s no guesswork in this, and I was eating a wide variety of foods and taking my Shakeology daily! I plan to buy the barre leg workout and the flat abs fix workouts to go with this series. There’s even a plyo dvd that can be dialed down a notch…or two or three for those who want to try plyo but aren’t sure if it’s for them. I love the modifications, and the warm up helped me to recruit the right muscles during strength exercises! There’s even 2 active rests days and a variety of workout types. I would recommend this program for almost anyone, whether a beginner or a pro. There’s something you can do. The only equipment needed is a resistance band.

This week, I’ve experienced several blessings that I’ve overlooked…for some crazy reasons, this week has been more stressful than normal…and oh, how I felt it. Here are 5 things that I am thankful for this week.
1. My wonderful husband giving me a foot massage yesterday.
2. My amazing sister-in-law and dear friend, Elizabeth helping me organize and spring clean my house this week!
3. Getting an offer to teach classes at a rec center near our house.
4. Getting mentioned on a National Coach Call by the CEO of Beachbody
5. Being anonymously gifted with money for a nice date night for my hubby and I.

It’s so easy to overlook the amazing things around us when we are bombarded daily by all that’s going on in the world, but when all is said and done, it’s nice to know that I can get away, pray, and relax for a moment. I’m so grateful for the loving husband I have, and thankful for so many simple things, such as having arms and legs that are strong and healthy. So many people take this for granted. Don’t make the same mistake. Count your blessings this week!

Friday 5 and a Yummy Dinner Idea

Hi Everyone! It’s my last post of the week before I head to South Carolina for the weekend! I’m very excited because it’s my dad’s birthday weekend! So Micah and I are packing up Orion and headed to SC. That said, I’ve had a busy week, and the 5 ways I’ve been active are

1. Working glutes and shoulders on Monday. (Ultimate Booty Workouts – Phase 1) and teaching Aqua Zumba ®
2. Circuit workout from http://strongbrees.blogspot.com/2014/01/total-body-circuit.html
3. Taking pics for and doing the Total-Body Tone Up I posted on Wednesday. See below for pics.
4. A Cardio Killer Workout http://www.pbfingers.com/2014/01/29/cardio-killer-workout/
5. Packing and Cleaning house for our trip this weekend…oh and Doing Monday’s glute workout again, and teaching a tabata class!

Oh and by the way, I experimented with spaghetti squash. Here’s what I did: 
1 lg. spaghetti squash roasted at 400 for 30 min. 
1 jar of organic, low-sugar tomato sauce
1 c. of cooked lentils…I don’t soak them, but I do rinse them very thoroughly before I cook them.
After the sauce was warm and lentils were cooked, I combined the two. The result, a yummy meatless meal high in protein and filling fiber! It was a hit at our family gathering! 

Have a wonderful weekend, we’re supposed to have weather in the 60’s where I’m going, so YAY!!!! 🙂

Book Review: Ultimate Booty Workouts

Hi There! 
So I started a new lower body program today, and I’m super excited!!!! (Glute days are my favorite days to train, as all my friends know.) So while many pics of extreme bubble butts are circulating pinterest and tumblr…there are many pics of flat butts that are glorified(i.e. runway models). So let me be the first to say, a particular friend of mine, Jessie, in college, used to always say “Bertha” when I turned around…but okay…enough jokes. 

If you’re looking for a lower body transformation workout… let me say it. Ultimate Booty Workouts is for you. While most people would tease you if you kept this book on your coffee table, let me just say, it is no joke. This gem of a book was written by Tamara Grand of http://fitknitchick.com/ . Tamara is so knowledgeable! This book was written by a woman who knows her field and understands the importance of adding variety to workout routines, while mastering the movements involved in pursuing this particular goal. There are no fad exercises here. The workouts were well thought out, with detailed explanations and cuing. The nutrition guidelines are simple, no complex meal plans, but a list of healthy foods to give you an idea where to begin. The program goes through 3 4-week phases, and there are also cardio guidelines and ideas. This is hands down the most comprehensive book I’ve ever read on the topic. (And believe me, I’ve read a few; which comes with being a fitness coach/personal trainer for 5 years.) My workout buddy and I have challenged ourselves to complete this 12-week program. I’ve even taken my own measurements today.  The other refreshing thing about this book is that there is not one solitary endorsement of plastic surgery, AND she explains the HEALTH benefits of glute training, such as increased metabolism and reduced lower back pain, which are way too often overlooked in articles on the topic. Thank you, Tamara for writing a book that I will continue to use as a resource for years to come! You can order this awesome book on Amazon.com

Go break a sweat!

Julie A


Quickie Cardio

Hi There! So it’s been a crazy week, with non-stop…well, everything! It’s my first week back at work since Christmas, and I’m having a rough time getting into the swing of things. Today’s workout is a way to break a sweat without leaving the house. I haven’t had much time to drive to the gym, so I need a way to stay warm…with the weather getting creepily close to 0 lately. I haven’t had time to take as many pics as I’ve needed to for this workout, so here goes. My philosophy is, being functionally fit and in shape should not take hours out of your day…who has time for that? I go to the gym to live, not live to go to the gym! This cardio workout uses just your body weight, but gets your heart rate going by using large muscle groups. 
Challenge: Each time you do the workout, add a round to each tabata set or 2 rounds for exercises that work one side at a time.. Example – 1st workout= 4x each set; 2nd workout = 6x total for rounds using one side at a time. Work up to 8x total. Enjoy this sweat fest!

Have fun with this. You’ll really push yourself but the effort is worth it! If you’ve been following my tabata workouts, this will be a great change of pace. In order to keep progressing, you must keep your body guessing!

Have fun! 


Julie A.

 

Christmas Memories…Getting back into my routine, Digital Cameras, and a Stocking De-Stuffer Workout

Hi There,
So, it’s been a wonderful, fun, crazy week! My husband turned 30 on Monday, so between birthday/graduation festivities, and Christmas, it’s been nuts around here. It’s all good though. I was able to get some precious retail therapy yesterday, which resulted in new workout capris, a red dress, a green blouse, tights, a new belt, and….dah dah dah dah….Riding Boots!!! I’ve been wanting some for forever…Thanks Dad, Mom, and GeeGee! I did workout on Monday and today, but am soooo ready for some normalcy in my workout routine…and clean eating again, I missed clean eating greatly.
It was my first Christmas with my husband’s family, so I wasn’t sure what to expect this year, but everything turned out wonderful for the most part. There were a lot of memorable moments, but one of the most special for me was hearing my husband read the Christmas story from Luke chapter 2. His dad normally reads, but wanted to recognize Micah’s coming of age, and 30 was the birthday that Jewish young men came of age in Jesus’ time…How cool to have my father-in-law recognize Micah husband as the leader of his home… teary eyes…

Then on to Parties…oh-my-lanta…I don’t think my energy levels can hold up to 5 days of parties like this…it was fun, but I’m so glad I have 2 more days off before I go back to work. I definitely enjoyed playing board games with Micah’s siblings and cousins, you never know what will happen…by the way, if you’ve never played Imagine Iff, you need too.

I thought it was really cool that Micah’s sister asked my mom what traditions my side of the family has at Christmas time. We did stockings with his family this year, and his sisters have no idea how something simple like that made me feel more at home.

But my husband always does some epic Christmas present every year, well epic to me…something that for whatever reason, I’m too cheap to buy for myself, but he always knows what I want. Well, this year, he got me a Canon Powershot camera, so expect the quality of pics on this blog to drastically improve! Here’s a pic of the two of us from the scavenger hunt I used to lead him to his surprise birthday/college graduation party! Each “clue” was a special memory of the two of us, at various points in our lives that led up to this point.This pic was brought to you by …ahem….my new camera. 🙂

Well I came up with a “Stocking De-Stuffer Workout” so you can break a sweat without leaving the house if you’re still recovering from guests. Why wait ’til New Year’s? You can do this workout with your own body weight or add weights. Just perform one set of each exercise, and move on to the next set without stopping. You can do it! I know it’s tough to get back into a routine, but the extra effort it takes is worth it!

Remember to let patience have it’s perfect work! I’m cheering for you!
Merry Christmas!

Good morning!

First of all, Happy Veterans Day! I’m so thankful that there are brave men and women who risk their lives everyday for us all here in the US!

Today being Monday, I’m back in my workout and food routine full steam. Today is lower body day on my personal calendar, but it’s also a day on which I have to teach a really challenging group fitness class! Not that I mind the challenge, but it can be tough discerning how much I need to push myself when I have a challenging class to teach later. So I said to myself, “Self, you should just put 3 exercises together and do the whole circuit 3-5x…” So there you have it. I took two of the most effective lower body exercises, the squat, and the bridge, and paired them with an easy-to-do ploymetric (explosive) move, the jumping jack and got a great workout! This workout is a quickie toner for your thighs, glutes, and calves! The key here is adding the pulses, squeezes, and presses at the end of each set. pulses really involve the gluteus maximus, while squeezes target the inner thighs, and presses target the outer thighs. I hope you enjoy the workout. Warm-up by marching in place and perfoming 15 kick backs for each leg.Here’s the tutorial:

Squats:
Put your arms out in front to help keep your balance, put your weight in your heels as you sit back. Newbies, put a chair behind you. Pro’s, add some weights or a resistance band. Oh, and keep your gaze up. Squeeze your glutes to stand up.

Split Squats:
Keep your weight in your front heel, then lower straight down as low as possible. Squeeze muscles and stand. Repeat.

Glute Bridge:
Put your weight in your heels.Squeeze your bum before lifting, this makes sure the glutes are doing the work.

Jumping Jacks:
Keep your knees and toes the same way…and absolutely no pidgeon toes. This will hurt your knees.

Here’s the workout:


 ENJOY and keep perservering! You will reach your goals!