Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Looking Back: What it's like to be out of shape at the gym

If you haven't watched this video yet... Get on it and let's talk. It's hilarious.

Funny, right? All kidding aside, what's it really like to be out of shape at the gym? Basically, it's just plain depressing. We all have an idea of where we want to be physically. Super strong, super fit, super flexible. We hit the gym with high hopes, only to realize that we've got a long way to go. It's depressing.

You may be thinking, what does she know about it? Let me tell you... I know about it because I was that girl. No joke.

Can you believe that when I met my husband I told him, " I'm just not a gym girl. I don't like it. Never have. Never will."

Sounds crazy that only a year later I started teaching fitness classes.

I found what I was passionate about. It started with a daily 6 mile walk on the beach (oh, how I long for the days when I had two hours to take a walk!) and emerged to finding the perfect beachside barre studio. I was immediately hooked to this new barre craze.

From there, I moved home to Orange County where there were no barre classes around. What's a girl to do when her fave workout goes MIA? ... become a barre instructor, duh. 5 years and several class formats later and here I am. A full blown fitness fanatic. It's safe to say I'm on the other end of that video now, but I gotta tell you I still relate... "I earned this cheeseburger!"

So how are you going to get to the other side? How are you going to own that gym and your workout? With time and with dedication. It may take a few tries, but soon you won't ever have to feel out of shape at the gym ever again. And that's a pretty good feeling. xx

Friday, July 25, 2014

It's not just genetics

I was visiting with a friend not long ago and she commented on how good I look post pregnancy. She told me, "You're lucky that you have such good genetics."

While I am proud of how I look just two months after giving birth, I worked hard for this body. I had to remind her that I taught fitness classes up until the day I went into labor. As a matter of fact, I was supposed to teach two classes on the day I gave birth! Not only did I maintain a strict workout schedule throughout my pregnancy, but I returned to exercising and teaching as soon as I felt my body was ready (about 3 weeks postpartum).

Again she said "Yeah, it's genetic."

I didn't think much of her statements until my drive home. I realized that I was kind of offended.  Why couldn't my hard work be validated? Yes, my mom and my grandma are both in excellent shape (you can read about them here) but they too workout 5-6 days a week.

Unless keeping a strict workout schedule is genetic, my body is absolutely a product of the work and food that I put into it. Whether it be diet or exercise, my lifestyle dictates my healthy physique.

Do we have a propensity toward the same circumstances as our parents and grandparents?

Absolutely. However, we also have the ability to change that propensity. For instance, if you're family is prone to heart disease, it's extra important to pay attention to your cardiovascular health. If diabetes runs in your family, pay attention to how much sugar is in your diet. Substance abuse, cancer, you name it, we all have someone in our past with some kind of disease or illness.

We are also all given the freedom of choice. You can look at your parents and say "Oh, they're unhealthy so I'm automatically going to be unhealthy too." Or you can change your genetic make-up. 

You can eat healthy, workout, get your behavior in check. You make your priorities, not your parents, not your grandparents. We can make an excuse for absolutely everything.

Yes, I'm fortunate to be a fitness instructor. Since I get paid to workout, I don't really have an excuse to be out of shape or to skip a workout. But never do I think "Oh boy, I'm lucky I have such great genetics!"

It's not luck. It's hard work. And dedication. And commitment to making healthy choices on a daily basis for me and my family. I'm more than genetics. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Look Up

Between my computer, my cell phone and now nursing my newborn, I am constantly looking down. Luckily I see my chiropractor every week and I take care of my body by eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, and exercising, but improper posture by looking down all of the time can lead to a variety of health problems including... headaches, neck and back aches, pinched nerves, and numbness (just to name a few).

Inspired by smartwater's new campaign to look up, I've started to take breaks throughout my day and my workouts to...look up! Not only is my neck appreciating the much needed break from glancing down, but I'm constantly inspired by what I see.

One of my favorite parts about living in Southern California is the skyline... aka the palm trees (as if my logo didn't already give it away!). In fact, some of my greatest ideas come about when I take a technology break, go for a workout, and admire the world around me. After all, the real world is out there, not on here.

As a new mom, juggling my recent responsibilities while trying to maintain my sense of self can be overwhelming. I've learned that sometimes all it takes to "reset" is to stop. drink some water. look up. take a breath. watch the clouds pass by. say thank you... Suddenly things are "looking up" in no time.

I encourage you to take advantage of the summer weather and try some outdoor workouts. When you do, don't forget to "look up" and stay hydrated. Please follow @smartwater on Instagram, and join the smartwater Instagram Challenge here. Be inspired by your workouts this summer and join the smartwater look up contest. Not only will you feel rejuvenated, you may just win the smartwater #lookupsweepstakes (a trip for you and a friend anywhere in the U.S.)!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by smartwater through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about smartwater, all opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Back Extension... Land Swimming!

Hi Babes! I'm so excited to share a brand new Beach Babe workout video! Oh yes. It's been a few months but now that my baby is 8 weeks, I'm feeling confident with my post baby body and I'm sharing an exercise that I did about 3 weeks post pregnancy (part of this postnatal workout).

This back extension exercise (that I like to call land swimming) strengthens the lower back and it's a great workout to open the front side of your body including your hips and chest. I often do this exercise at the end of my workouts following a lot of lunges or squats. To keep the body balanced, we need to make sure that we open the hip flexors and keep our lower back strong. Side note: It's a great stretch for breastfeeding moms!

Enjoy this 3 minute exercise and feel free to modify or advance to your needs! xo

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Beach Babe : Becky Schaller

I'm so excited to introduce you to Beach Babe, Becky Schaller. This babe has got it going on. With a degree in Kinesiology and over 12 years of experice as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, Becky has worked with some of the biggest names in fitness like Bob Harper, Brooke Burke, Billy Blanks, Gunnar Peterson, and Jackie Warner... Sound familiar?

Not only has this maj babe been a cover girl for shape magazine, but she's also a badass. She played professional football for The World Champion Franchise: LA Temptation Legends Football League.

I absolutely love her zest for life and all things fitness related. I'm learning a lot from this babe today!

What's your philosophy when it comes to fitness?
Refuse the idea of failure. Train smart. Have fun. Avoid complicity. 

What's your favorite workout and why?
90 minutes of Hot Yoga Vinyasa Flow is my personal treat to myself once a week... really good music in a really hot room. I always leave feeling detoxed and renewed.

You’ve worked with some of the biggest names in fitness. Who was your favorite to work with and why?
Richard Simmons because he truly cares on a level deeper than human in regards for what he does for other people.  He makes others better for the greater good, he gives totally unselfishly, and he absolutely loves it, he is a beautiful person.

How do you keep your clients motivated on a daily basis?
For my private individual clients I have them report to me daily, this goes for their food level and their activity level.  I am a firm believer in honest ACCOUNTABILITY.  Taking responsibility for individual loss and gains of the everyday is very reflective of overall progression.

For my Group Exercise Classes, my students, I have to keep it a little more manageable as I teach over 100 students a week.  I discuss their personal goals and check in with them as best I can before and after class.  I always get to my classes at least 15 minutes early, and my students know this, so those that have individual needs/guidance come to me then and we make a plan specifically during this time. (I need to start doing this! ) I also always use life examples of positive overcoming to start and end my classes.  

Do you have a favorite healthy snack or recipe that you can share with us?
YES!!!!!!!!! Celery and ALL NATURAL peanut butter and/or Sunflower seed butter with dried berries.

What’s your favorite exercise that we can try at home?
Plank variations – they are simple and can be done anywhere and they are full body. Full arm extended planks, forearm planks, lift one leg plank, side plank, hold each for a minute. . . do it NOW, it works so good and hardly ever gets easier: It’s simple Stillness of MIND and Body and yet it is the most challenging exercise the most advanced athlete still struggles to do. One minute is less than 1% of your day, we all have the time to make ourselves better, we just have to make the time to do it.

If someone has a month to get bikini ready, what should they do?
Eat Healthy, Eat Clean and do this Bikini Body Workout created by Bob Harper and myself and Shape Magazine: click here 

If you weren’t in the fitness industry, you would be…
I will always be in the fitness industry on some level because it’s a passion I could not live without.  I live to help other people, I am incomplete without the personal therapy I gain of helping others make themselves better.  I always tell people my choice in profession is selfish really because it makes me happy knowing I helped others find their happiness by overcoming the physical challenges they never thought they could feat, and they do.  Overcoming the physical transcends into the mental, as she says in Legally Blonde so perfectly: “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.  . . “

With that said, if I was not here in LA today, I would be in Kenya helping the baby rhinos survive and fighting off the Poachers that kill these nearly extinct preciously BEAUTIFUL animals.

Word to live by?
NEVER GIVE UP Mannnnnnnn, and BE true to YOURSELF.

Becky currently resides in Los Angeles and teaches TRX, SculptWorks, and BarWorks at www.YogaWorks.com. She trains her private training clientele at www.beverlyhillsprivatetrainers.com. You can follow becky on instagram, twitter or Facebook and be sure to check out her website, Body by Becky


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