Working Out After the Holidays- How to Get Back in Your Groove

It’s no surprise that after two weeks of eating the best casseroles and most divine desserts every night, that working out is kind of the last thing on your mind… and sometimes the last thing on mine too!

Let’s cover how to get yourself back in the mindset of a healthy lifestyle. Working out after the holidays doesn’t have to be bothersome; after all, we are working out to maintain the best version of ourselves possible.

Do NOT Get Stuck on What You Ate Over the Holidays

This is HUGE. We are our own worst enemy, criticizing and shaming ourselves for every little snack and dessert we let ourselves thoroughly enjoy over the most wonderful time of year. It is time that we put an end to worrying about what we ate. Why, you may ask? Simply because we already ate it, and probably loved it. Accept that we had some not-so-great foods the past couple of weeks and realize that this week is a time to start fresh.

Instead, think to yourself that you let your body get a break from the everyday healthy eating we try to maintain every other day of the year. Now that we have accepted what we have enjoyed, it’s our time to put into focus our health goals for this year.

New Year, New You?

We’ve all heard the saying. Is this year going to transform you into a completely new you? Only eating clean, unprocessed foods or purchasing more organic foods than you would have ever thought you would be buying? Or are you going to make subtle changes in your lifestyle, like eating slightly fewer carbohydrates in the evening, or upping your cardio routine by 10 minutes/day?

Whatever you chose as your new goals to start fresh, whether small or large, be sure to write them down. Grab a journal, or log it in your phone. Make sure the list is somewhere you can see it often. The more clearly we articulate our goals, the more likely we are to attain them. Be sure to make them attainable. Remember, these are lifestyle changes, not crash diets.

Everyone is in the Same Position as You Are

Again, since we are our own worst critic, it is time to put aside any negative thoughts about yourself prior to stepping foot into the gym. Who cares if you’ve gained 5 or 10 pounds; the guy next to you at the gym probably has too. Don’t hang up on the idea that this holiday season has allowed you to put on a few extra pounds.

Instead, push yourself a little harder, knowing that you need to get back to where you were; and even better than that.

Another key topic to mention here is that stress can inhibit your ability to lose fat. Basically, the more you beat yourself up about the way you look or what you have eaten, the more difficult it is to shed those pounds. Push that negativity away and look in the mirror and find positive traits about yourself (:

Put Those Extra Calories to Use

Time to put those calories that you’ve consumed to use. Those carbohydrates and sugars that we snacked on and did not get immediately used were then stored in our body for when they were needed.

Those carbs and sugars will serve as an advantage in every exercise, allowing us to lift heavier and complete more repetitions because we have more fuel- literally!

A little extra calorie consumption, on occasion, can really lead you to better performance in the gym!

Time to Get Going

There hasn’t been a better time to get back in the groove of feeling good in the gym and eating better than now! Put those negative thoughts away, accept what you have eaten, or not eaten (veggies etc), and set new goals for this new year.

Work hard, eat well and get lots of rest!

Feel free to comment on the ways you get focused after the holidays! I’d love to hear.


Benefits of Lifting Weights for Women

“The weight room is only for men.” “People are going to judge me if I go in there.” “I’m going to look manly if I go and lift weights.”

WRONGGGGG. All the above statements are incorrect. The weight room is a perfect place for women of all ages (okay maybe not those under 15). It is where we gain lean, toned muscle over time and show ourselves how strong we really are! Unfortunately, many women are afraid or feel uncomfortable about going into the weight room.

This article was written to shed light on the benefits of lifting weights for women & to help some of you get your workouts in the weight room ASAP!

Helps to Shed Body Fat!

A huge benefit of weight lifting is that the more muscle you have, the more fat you are burning. It has been proven that weight lifting allows you to burn fat while working out, and even long after you leave the gym. So as you are in your car heading home, your body is still breaking down fat.

Strength training, or weightlifting, has you consuming more oxygen than you normally would for your muscles. You continue to consume this oxygen even after you are done with the exercise. When your body is using this oxygen, it is burning more calories than normal and increasing metabolism.

Makes You Stronger- Without Looking like the Hulk

This is one of my favorite pieces of weightlifting- something I never thought I would be proud of, until it happened to me. I started weightlifting a few years ago to get a better figure, as many women do. 6 years later and I cannot get enough of the feeling when I lift something heavier than I did the week or month prior!

What girl doesn’t want to feel like they could knock down someone that was in their face if they had to!! I love feeling like I really could stand my own in this crazy world we live in without depending on someone else.

It is so rewarding to see how amazing the human body is and for YOU to blow your own mind at how strong you really are. Weightlifting allows you to show yourself what you are capable of.

Improves Bone Health/Density

This is HUGE. This one is something many women do not realize. As we age, and become post menopausal, the risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures increase since we secrete much less estrogen.

Resistance training is proven to increase bone mass over time, therefore increasing overall bone health and decreasing the chance of fractures. I mean c’mon, that’s pretty impressive; you can build your bones while building your muscles.

The earlier/younger you start, the better!

Increased Energy

As we mentioned above, weight lifting causes increased metabolism because of the increased oxygen our muscles require. This translates to being more energetic after working out as well.

Who doesn’t love that endorphin rush that comes after a run?? This feeling of increased energy is almost the exact same!

Forget About Everyone Else

It’s as easy as it sounds. Do you see the benefits listed above? It’s time to put aside your worries about other gym goers and their thoughts, and focus on the most important person there, YOU. Besides, their probably only focusing on their own workout.

Any time you want to think, “Oh that guy is judging the exercise I am doing,” etc, think to yourself how much weight you want to lose. Think about how energized you will feel at the end of the work out. Think about how your bones are getting stronger EVERY time you lift weights. Focus on the outcome. You can most certainly do it! It is a mindset.

Also, never be afraid to ask for guidance and assistance. The best people to ask are the personal trainers. You could sign up for some personal training packages and ask them to focus on weight training/showing you exercises. Another option would be to simply ask them about a couple of exercises (definitely do your research before and ask them to just critique your form etc) so you do not get charged for a personal training session.

Overall Thoughts

Women of all ages and strength levels, even if you to start with the lightest weight there is, it’s time to get out there and do just that, start. Get out into that weight room and get strength training. You will lose weight faster, become toned quicker, become re-energized and feel such a sense of accomplishment. Get out there and be the best you!!

Feel free to comment and let me know your thoughts about weight lifting, and times you have overcome weight room fear.

Thanks for reading!


TRX Suspension Training Review- Why I Fell in Love with TRX

Product: TRX Home 2

Price: $199.95


  • Home 2 Suspension Trainer
  • 1-year subscription to TRX application
  • Over the door anchor
  • Suspension achor
  • Mesh carrying bag to place all items inside

Warranty: 5 years


Let’s run over the basics of the TRX Suspension Training System- a system originally designed for Navy Seals. I personally use TRX roughly 1-2x/week. On weeks that I need more of a recovery from weight lifting, I will use TRX for the entire week to make sure I complete my daily workout.

Read along to see why I love TRX and you will too!

Simple to Use

Simple; it’s one of the first words that comes to mind when thinking of TRX.  The exercises are designed in such a way that they are very easy to understand from the very first time you use the equipment.

There are various resources available to those using TRX, so if you are new to it, never feel intimidated or overwhelmed. They even have an app for your phone and most packages have a free year included!

Videos online also serve as a great resources for those just starting out with TRX. The system is designed in such a way that it can be used by the first time exerciser to the most advanced athlete- everyone is able to get the perfect workout in.

The system is a set of ropes and carabenas that interlock and dangle from a support, allowing you to exercise virtually anywhere with ease (inside your home, the gym, over almost any standard door frame, a tree limb, and much more).

TRX can be taken anywhere with you, especially beneficial if you are on the road frequently.

Cost Efficient- Who Doesn’t Love That?!

Since TRX is so versatile, can be used almost anywhere, and is proven to yeild results, the cost you can purchase TRX for is a complete steal!  In comparison to home cardio equipment, TRX costs 1/10 of the price (although other cardio equipment can be extremely useful at home, TRX is a great purchase to start building your home gym).

Perfect for Active Recovery

We all have those weeks where we are still extremely sore from the last week of training and putting 120% into every single exercise. TRX is the perfect way to exercise, and not use anything but your own body weight and gravity for a workout. This allows your muscles to get a full and total break from weight lifting while still challenging each muscle.

Improves Overall Performance

TRX focuses on improving stability and core strength through using their equipment. For example, think about using the handles and lowering yourself into push up position. Now think about lowering yourself into position with your arms a foot wider; exactly. Much more challenging on your core.

If you’re anything like me, you like to see facts. TRX has performed a study that proves that blood pressure, waist lines and body fat percentages have decreased on those that were consistently using TRX. Visit their site to see the entire study.

Your turn!

It’s your turn to invest in one of the best and most versatile fitness products on the market. I hope this review helped you to see how beneficial TRX really can be. Feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you have any questions or what you thought of TRX yourself!


Have a great day.








Best Upper Body Workout for Women; Sculpting Those Arms

It’s time that we talk about shaping and defining our upper body. We all want that large booty to be perfectly shaped, but we must not forget about the rest of our body. We’ll cover the most beneficial exercises to give you the best upper body workout there is.

Many women think that working on their upper body is going to make them look ‘manly’ or ‘masculine.’ This is an enormous misconception. In reality, it is crucial that we train all parts of our body, including our arms. Women do not easily gain excessive muscle mass- so do not worry, you will not look like a man after 6 months of training all muscles. You will gradually develop lean muscle mass over time.

This article is broken down into exercises for different muscle groups. As always, feel free to take some exercises from each group and make your own workout, or train one or two muscle groups each day. As long as you are performing the exercises consistently, you will see results!!

Building those Biceps

Let’s cover some bicep exercises that will leave them aching! Bicep and triceps exercises allow the body to move through natural movements, with weight added. For example, your biceps are used in everyday life to help you lift things upwards by bring your wrist towards your face and your triceps are used to bring things down by bringing your wrists towards your sides.

Now let’s add some weight or resistance bands to make those muscles grow!

Alternating Incline Curls– Lay on an incline bench and ensure that the bench is not at a 90 degree angle, but slightly tilted back. Grab a set of dumbbells that is on the lighter side (5-15lbs) because you really want to focus on squeezing your bicep at the top of each repetition. You then sit with your back against the bench and have your arms by your side. You hold the weight and curl upwards; you want your palm with the weight in it to be facing the inside of your arm at the top of the repetition. Perform 12 reps on each side x 4 sets.

EZ Bar Curls– This bar is the one that is shaped similar to a W and helps you grip the bar in a more effective way. Grab the outer part of the ‘W’ with each hand and simply curl upwards. Grab a weight that you can perform this exercise for 25 reps x 4 sets.

Hammer Curls– In this variation of curls, you continue to curl upwards, but you do not want your palm to be facing your inner arm at the end. You curl upwards and want your index finger/thumb and the head of the dumbbell to be facing your inner arm. Perform 12 reps on each side x 4 sets.

Tightening Your Triceps

As mentioned above triceps exercises are those in which you are extending your arm from a flexed position to an extended position.

Skullcrusher– Using an EZ bar, grab the more narrow position on the bar and sit on an incline bench. Push the weight upwards so that your hands are straight over your shoulders. Now carefully lower the weight towards the top of your head, only using your hands to move out of the original position. Your hands will be slightly above your head and your elbows should remain in alignment with your shoulders. Complete 12 repetitions x 4 sets.

Cable push down– With this exercise, there are various different methods, all of which depend on which type of attachment you want to attach to the cable system and if you want to use one arm at a time or both.

Here we will talk about an example where you use both hands and a rope attachment. Attach the rope to the cable and ensure that the cable is at the highest slot in the machine. You then grab the rope on each side at the lowest part of the rope and push the rope until your arms are straightened and your arms are by your hips, instead of bent in a 90 degree angle like they were when you started. 10-15 reps x 4 sets.

Kickbacks– Here you can grab either 5lb plates, or light dumbbells. From a standing position with the weights in either hand, bend your body in half so your torso is parallel with the ground. Start with your arms bent in a 90 degree angle at your sides and then push both arms backwards so your arms are then parallel with the ground. 15 reps x 4 sets.

Triceps Push-ups– This exercise is very similar to regular push-ups but instead of having your hands directly under your shoulders, you move them inward to really target your triceps. This exercise is often best started on your hands and knees and as you progress and the exercise becomes easier, then moving to your hands and feet.

Push Yourself; Even Harder

All the above mentioned exercises can be performed in various ways to make the workout more challenging.

Examples of how to make these exercises more challenging for those that are advanced:

  • Superset 2 or 3 of the exercises (complete them back-to-back without any rest)
  • Drop set (after completing the set with your desired number of reps, decrease the weight and complete another 10 reps, and so on)
  • Burn out set (similar to drop set but continuing each set after the first until failure or you simply cannot do another repetition, then decreasing the weight and continuing until failure again)

Final thoughts

Workouts for your upper body are just as beneficial a those for your lower body. You want to maintain an even appearance and ensure that you are giving each muscle group attention. Try each exercise, and remember to squeeze each muscle at the top of every repetition.


Thanks for reading. And please feel free to leave a comment or message and I will be sure to get back to you!!


Best Workout Equipment at Home; For When You Simply Can’t Make it to the Gym

The intention is there. We all aim to go to the gym 3-5x/week. Sometimes, between long work hours, commuting, bringing the kids to soccer games, or finishing your degree, there isn’t enough time in a day to make it to the gym, work out, and drive home.

Let’s cover the best workout equipment at home. Whether you keep the equipment in a spare room, the garage or keep it in the closet for easy storage, there are definitely numerous items you can have at home for those days you simply can’t make it to the gym!

Resistance Bands – The Variations are Endless

I am a huge fan of resistance bands. They are one of the most affordable pieces of equipment to have at home. On top of this, there are SO many variations of exercises you can perform, both upper and lower body.

Another amazing benefit to having resistance bands at home is that you completely control how difficult an exercise is. Most sets of bands come in different resistance levels. Depending on how you are feeling you can decide if you would rather do a higher resistance exercise with lower repetitions (6-8) or a lower resistance with more repetitions (12-15).

The bands are small, extremely easy to store and provide a great workout.

Kettlebells/Dumbbells – Strength Training at Home

Thought you could only perform strength training while at the gym? Think again!!kettlebell- at home

The great thing about kettlebells and dumbbells is that you can buy adjustable ones, where you can change the weight depending on the exercise. This is a huge space saver for at home.

You can now perform all of those exercises that you would normally perform at the gym at home.

Punching Bag – Get Rid of Frustrations; Build Your Upper Body

punching bag at homeLooking for cardio mixed with a killer upper body workout? A punching bag is one of the best investments for you. Using a punching bag will help you to strengthen your core, improve your coordination, increase aerobic endurance and so much more.

Luckily punching bags for at home use are also affordable, and easy to store in a closet or spare room (although it is not as compact as kettlebells/dumbbells of course!)

Jump Rope – Jump into a Leaner You

This piece of equipment is a no-brainer. Jump rope is a spectacular cardiovascular exercise that is guaranteed to leave you with your heart racing and sweat dripping! This piece of equipment is so affordable and again, is easy to store when you are done with the activity.

Wrapping up

As we have mentioned, sometimes it can be challenging getting to the actual gym. Fortunately, there are numerous pieces of equipment that we can invest in to have on hand at home for those days. Please feel free to leave a comment and mention what equipment you have and what exercises you enjoy performing at home.





Best Cardio Workouts to Lose Weight- Move it to Lose it!

Cardio- some people dread it and some people yearn for the endorphin rush that follows it. It’s simple, cardio is such an important aspect when it comes to staying healthy. We are training every other muscle on our body to be in the best shape we can get it into when we go to the gym. We cannot leave the most important muscle out; our heart.

In addition to training our heart, cardio is a necessity to leaning out or losing weight. I want to talk about the best cardio workouts to lose weight on a day to day basis. You can change it up daily or do the same thing for a few weeks. It’s up to you!

Jumping Rope

jump rope- cardioThis method of cardio is one you see in all the famous movies of people prepping for competitions and fights. Why, you ask? Simple, because it works! It burns a ton of calories, increases agility, is extremely cost-efficient and will leave you dripping in sweat. Just pick up a jump rope and start skipping over it.

This cardio exercise is one you can perform pretty much anywhere!


Swimming is another spectacular cardio exercise. You have to use all 4 of your extremities to keep you afloat; meaning you’re working even harder than when simply jogging. It is a complete and total full body workout and one that it is guaranteed to increase your heart rate.

swimming- cardio

There are numerous variations/strokes of swimming and this can serve as a great benefit to you. This will help you avoid boredom and allows you to switch up what type of stroke you are performing each time you get in the water. You can tread water for part of the workout, swim to one side of the pool, tread water, and swim back. Another option is to simply swim laps. Get creative and find what keeps you motivated and engaged to complete the workout.


running-cardioThis cardio exercise can be incorporated almost anywhere as well. This can be in the gym on a treadmill, or in your local park/neighborhood. Running at a challenging pace will absolutely have you glistening in sweat by the end of the workout. You can set mileage goals each time you set out on a run (reaching 2 miles etc), or even time goals (running a 7.5 minute mile instead of an 8 minute mile).

You can make this more challenging with finding a path that has more hills to run and adding in exercises in the middle, if you easily get bored like I do. Simply add in some jump squats once you reach each quarter of a mile.


HIIT stands for ‘High Intensity Interval Training.’ You can really get creative with this type of cardio and you can do it in almost any setting. You combine short, high intensity intervals with active recovery periods. It keeps you engaged and working extremely hard.

There has been numerous research studies conducted proving that 15-20 minute HIIT workouts can actually be more beneficial and yield more results in weight loss than long, same paced exercises (example: running for 1 hour at the same pace).

Examples of HIIT would be sprinting as fast as possible for 30 seconds, then resting for 90 seconds, then repeating 9 more times. Another would be swimming a lap in the pool as fast as you can and then treading water lightly for 90 seconds or so, etc.

The Stairclimber – The Ultimate Leg Burner

One of my personal favorites. You can feel the burn the second you start climbing. Since you are engaging your legs more by lifting them higher and fully pushing through them, it is building/maintaining lean leg muscle slightly more than jogging and walking alone.

stair climbing

This exercise is fun and beneficial to perform at different intensities. As mentioned above, you can perform a HIIT workout while on the stairclimber.

How to do it: perform 30-45 seconds of high intensity climbing at a rate that is challenging for you, followed by a 90-second active recovery (not completely stopped off of stairclimber but rather climbing at a steady pace).

Cardio Cool Down

At the end of all cardio workouts it is important to perform a 2-5 minute cool down to allow your heart rate to come back to normal. You will also want to stretch from head to toe to prevent all those muscles from cramping up as they recover.

Thanks for taking the time to read through some of the best cardio workouts to lose weight. Please feel free to comment and let me know what cardio exercises you like performing, and which ones you aren’t the biggest fan of.
Have a great day!





Tight Back Muscle Relief- What I Use and What I Recommend

I have had chronic lower back pain for a couple of years now. This pain had developed prior to starting weightlifting and exercising. I knew I had to figure out a way to keep the pain at bay so I could keep training. Continue reading below to see what I use for tight back muscle relief.

TENS Unit – Pulsating your Pain Away

I had first heard about this from a few friends in the gym that had been talking about it. TENS unit stands for ‘Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation’. The unit works by sending small, very low voltage, electrical currents to the specific area that you place the electrodes on. TENS units are also important for stimulating your body to release endorphins, the body’s natural pain killer.

I place them on my back and can increase the setting to a comfortable one. Each TENS unit has different programming on it, but what I’ve found is that most treatments can go for as little as 5 minutes and as much as 1 hr, if that is what you choose.

Each time I use my TENS, I usually do about 15-20 minutes in each area that I am trying to relieve pain (lower back, upper back, shoulder etc). There is always great relief after using the TENS. It is small, affordable and extremely easy to use. The pads that connect to the electrode are replaceable when they are no longer sticking. I also enjoy that I do not have to replace batteries as this one is recharged with a charger. I would highly recommend this to anyone that suffers from a tight back.

Make sure to read the detailed instructions that come with your device for your safety (:

** Added benefit- this TENS unit is also great for other parts of your body besides your back (calves, biceps, shoulders etc.)

Inversion Table – Hanging by your Ankles (On Purpose)

My fiance and I just recently purchased an inversion table as I my career involves me standing an extreme amount. I was thinking that along with standing placing pressure and making my back more uncomfortable that gravity itself was also pushing down on my vertebrae. And boy was I right! I have noticed a huge difference from using this bad boy. Huge relief. The set up itself was somewhat a pain; thankfully my fiance is super handy. After that, I have found that the inversion table has really helped with the tightness in my back.

You basically hang from your ankles, not all the way upside down because that would be extremely uncomfortable, but at about a 60 degree angle. There are three different settings on the particular one that we have, one that does not put you back that far, on in the middle and one that puts you back the furthest. I started with the middle one and worked my way up to the one that has you hanging the most upside down.

It definitely takes some adjusting, as I have not hung upside down since I was a child on a playground. However, I followed the instructions that mentioned only hanging for about 3-4 minutes and not starting at the lowest setting when first starting out, and I have quickly adjusted. I do it daily, sometimes twice a day and really have noted that my back muscle is less sore.

The downside, it is rather large and slightly awkward to store. In my opinion, the benefits highly outweigh this downfall. We simply store it in our spare room.

Foam Roller/Tennis Balls

As my back pain started to increase when I was nearing the end of college, I began foam rolling before and after my workouts to help loosen my lower back and leg muscles. Foam rolling and use of tennis ball rolling against a wall or on the floor serves to provide as myofascial relief, or relieving some tightness and pressure from fascia becoming too tight/restrictive around muscle.

Fascia is a type of connective tissue found in various parts of the body, especially around muscle. When we foam roll or use a tennis ball, we are helping in breaking down this excess tissue that is causing us discomfort. I personally have felt a great deal of relief after both foam rolling and tennis ball rolling. You can definitely feel where you have more built up tissue/knots as those areas are uncomfortable to roll over and you can feel them slightly move as you roll!
This method of tight muscle back relief is also extremely affordable, not time-consuming and easy to store.

**Added benefit, similar to the TENS unit, you can use this method for other tight muscles as well, not just your back (chest, deltoids, hamstrings, quads, etc)

Massage – The Ultimate Relaxation

massageThis one basically speaks for itself. Who doesn’t love getting a massage? It helps increase blood flow, loosens knots and that built up fascia, and aids in relaxation.

Something that we all are guilty of, is not taking enough time to get massages. I personally find this difficult as I work 12hr shifts as a nurse. We all need to ensure that we are setting aside time as massages provide so many amazing benefits.

The only downfall besides maybe not always having the time, is that massages can get somewhat expensive. Luckily there are programs that if you sign up for monthly massages you can save large amounts of money.

Closing Thoughts

Knowing your body is key when you are an active person. When you are in pain, or even the slightest bit of discomfort, know that it is time to resort to some self-help tools before things get worse. Listed above are the products that I currently use and that I find very beneficial. Let me know what you use, what works for you and what doesn’t work so well. Thanks!




Female Gym Motivation- Keeping Yourself in it to Win it

Do you ever find it challenging to get yourself to go to the gym? Do you find yourself losing track of you’re goals? Do you sometimes think “If I miss today it’s no big deal, I’ll just go next week!” Let’s talk about how to completely dismiss these thoughts and keep ourselves motivated. Time to dive into female gym motivation.

Setting Goals

Even though it can be challenging, it is so important that we stay on track to meet our long term goals.

First things first, we need to put a realistic time frame on our goals. Don’t go telling people that you are going to be able to increase you’re squatting weight by 80lbs in 2 weeks- you’d be setting yourself up for failure. Devise goals that are realistic and can be accomplished within the said time frame.

Break the long term goal into multiple shorter term goals that you can check off when accomplished. For example, if my overall goal was to be able to lose 30 pounds in 6 months, I could set some short term goals of losing 5 pounds/month. I could even go further and set a goal of each week I only need to lose 1.25 pounds! This is much more encouraging and motivating than setting a goal of losing 15 pounds/month which can be somewhat unrealistic for long term, lasting results.

Keeping A Journal

What better way to keep track of you’re triumphs than in a notebook?! If you’re anything like me, then you love being able to check of a box next to a goal or task.

Speaking of writing our goals, it is also important to keep track of each workout and how much weight/time you were able to complete on each exercise. Let’s say that last month you were able to barbell bench press 85lbs on the flat bench, and this week when you are training flat bench you are able to bench 95lbs. That’s a huge accomplishment that deserves recognition! This easily could have not been acknowledged if we did not write down the weight from the month before.

This also helps you stay organized to know what exercises you performed, how many reps, and how much weight you were able to complete it with.

Music, Music, and More Music

When we think of going to the gym, what are the essentials that we bring with us? Water, gym clothes, a lifting belt, straps, and headphones!! They are crucial to a great lift, well at least for me (and 95% of the gym goers at every gym I’ve been to). We all have that music that gives us a little extra kick in our step.

Whether it’s the beat that is just palpable, the rhythm you can’t help to move with, or the motivating words that resonate with you, we all have the genre of music that gets us into ‘gym mode’. I personally love electronic music, or rap music when I am lifting. More often than not, when I have an amazing day in the gym, I attribute some of the days success from the music I was listening to.

Find a genre that works for you, and download some music to help get you into the gym today!

Social Media- in Moderation

Sometimes, researching others that have similar goals to yours can serve as a source of motivation. For example, let’s say I wanted to eventually be able to compete in Crossfit competitions; I could look online to see if I could find information about what you have to do to qualify to enter the competition.

Seeing what the athletes look like, the shape they are in and the workouts they are performing then drives me to do similar so I can accomplish what they are- make sense??

We all stumble upon fitness models/pros that are in amazing shape and sometimes watch their short videos to use as a source of motivation. This is an amazing way to get yourself to try different exercises and just feel overall inspired by what they are doing. Be careful that you do not begin to obsess about one particular person/exercise/competition. It is important in the fitness world to try to keep everything balanced when possible- it is easy to get ‘sucked into’ a sector of the fitness world and become completely inundated with it (speaking from experience here hehe).

Take bits and pieces from every fitness professional, swimsuit competition, and powerlifting competition you see and you’ll be sure to feel motivated and level headed.

Take Breaks

Wait, what? This is a post about motivation?!

Yes.. Take a break when you need it, whether you need it mentally or physically. If you’re stressed at work, have 13 things to worry about with you’re family life and barely have enough time to eat, take a break from the gym until you can manage it. If you’re body is hurting and not recovering as it usually does, o

r something just does not feel right, rest for a few days. Get a massage, or maybe even see you’re chiropractor.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how revitalized you feel on you’re first day back in the gym after a small hiatus. You will feel refreshed and newly motivated.

Final Thoughts

We all go through a day, or even a week here and there that we do not want to go to the gym. And that is okay! As long as you get back on track as soon as you are ready and follow these easy steps to stay motivated.



Leg Workouts for Women – Feel Better, Look Better

Who hasn’t dreamed of a more defined lower body? Who has seen the results they would be ecstatic to have but were unable to achieve them because they were at a standstill on what workouts would yield results? Let’s start out with leg workouts for women. We’ll cover different methods to achieve the lower body you’ve been waiting for with easy to follow, fool proof steps.

Circuit Training – Be Ready for the Burn!

woman performing circuit

We have all seen someone performing a circuit; whether it was in high school gym class or training in the gym. Why do we see it so often? Easy- because of the countless benefits, especially when it comes to defining your lower body.

Circuit training is an amazing way to sculpt your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes and calves. Circuit training has countless benefits while in the gym:

  • Increases heart rate
  • Improves blood flow
  • Increases perspiration
  • Increases flexibility
  • Keeps you engaged
  • Great for beginners and pros
  • As challenging as you make it
  • Fast paced

The list goes on and on and on!!


Let’s talk about how to build the best circuit for legs. We want it to include:

  • A body weight exercise
  • A jumping exercise
  • A weighted exercise

It’s time to talk about what each of these exactly means; so here goes!

Body weight exercise– an exercise where you only use your own body weight to perform it. Examples include lunges, squats, single leg squats, leg kick backs, calf raises (have your toes on a flat weight plate with your heels hanging off) and much more. These exercises encompass basically anything that contracts your muscles without using weight.

Jumping exercises include anything where you are in a bent knee formation (lunges, squats, etc) and you jump out of it so your feet come off of the ground. You can either land in the same position or a different one- or on a completely different surface- like a bench. These are similar to some body weight exercises but you add in an explosion from the bottom to really intensify and maximize the contraction of your muscles.

When you add in an object that you are holding- dumbbells, barbell, kettle bell, or even gallons of milk at home, you are now performing a weighted exercise. There are numerous variations to this type of exercise as well, weighted squats/lunges/bench step-ups/deadlifts etc.

You will begin to notice that many exercises are repeated in each type of exercise- that is the fun part! There are variations to each and everything we perform.

Building Your Own Circuit

To build the perfect circuit takes a little creativity and you are the one that calls the shots! You will take an exercise from each group listed above(body weight, jumping, weighted) and place them together- in total you will have three exercises.

The next step is to gather the equipment needed for all exercises and place it in an area that will allow you to move from on exercise to the next easily. If I chose body weight squats, bench/box jumps and weighted lunges, I would need to gather all equipment and put in a place so I was not walking all over the gym, or my house to gather supplies mid-workout.

Equipment needed:

Body weight squats- beautiful! Just me!

Bench/box jumps- I need the bench/box I will be jumping on

Weighted lunges- let’s say I am in the gym performing this circuit; I will need to grab the barbell/kettlebell/dumbbells I plan to use


The goal of a circuit is to be able to perform 10-12 repetitions of each exercise and then move into the next exercise- so make sure you are not grabbing the heaviest weight when starting out. The goal is to use heavy enough weight to feel a burn and start to sweat, but not to the point that you can barely get to 8 repetitions.
After gathering appropriate equipment I am set to rock and roll. I can now start my circuit and perform 10-12 reps of each exercise and take a brief break at the end of all 3. I will aim to run through the circuit of 3 exercises, a total of 3 times. Then I am done with the circuit!

Squatting – A Necessity for Stronger, More Toned Legs

Squatting, and all of its numerous variations is crucial to obtaining stronger, more defined legs. Weight lifting is essential to growing and then maintaining lean muscle mass.

First we will cover the appropriate technique and form for squatting. If you have never squatted before, please make sure to practice this numerous times with your body weight. When you feel like you have the form correct and that you are ready to move onto weighed squats, ensure that you have a knowledgeable person to spot you for your safety.

The first step to squatting is standing with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart, toes facing forward or slightly outward. Next, you lower your bottom half until your hamstrings and glutes are parallel with the floor. The entire time you should make sure that your torso and upper half do not fold in half to meet the top of your legs; they should remain upright with your shoulders back. A great weight to practice squat form without weight is to use your arms as a counter balance so you do not feel as though you are going to tip backwards while squatting (holding your arms out straight in front of you while performing the exercise).

After reaching parallel, it is time to squeeze all muscles in your legs, and contract your abdominal muscles to push upwards and stand up. Make sure that you are not locking out your knees (completely straightening your legs) at the top of the exercise.

Congrats! You have just completed 1 repetition.

Once you move onto weighted squats, you will follow the same exact form. If you are using dumbbells the best way to hold them when you are starting out is simply by your sides.

When you are using a barbbell, it is important to make sure you have centered yourself under the bar so that when you lift it you are not tipping to one side. There are usually markings on the barbbell to help you ensure that you are in the middle.

Practice Makes Perfect

Try to not allow your legs to go below parallel as you can begin to hurt your joints if you begin to go too low. A great way to practice getting your legs to the correct point is to look in the mirror and stop yourself when you see your legs at parallel. Another method is to find a bench that only allows your legs to go until they are parallel. When using the bench method do not sit down while practicing, but rather just have your bottom touch the bench and that will be your key that you are low enough and that it is time to move your body upwards.

As you practice squatting more, you will not even need to look in the mirror or use a bench for depth as your muscles begin to remember and feel when they are at the correct place throughout a squat.

Increasing Your Squat Weight

We previously mentioned that squatting is key to stronger, more chiseled legs. This includes increasing your weight when possible to make your legs stronger. The best approach to this is to find a weight that you are comfortable performing roughly 8 reps with. Once you are able to comfortably complete these reps with a that weight, it is time to increase the weight by 10 pounds- always ensure that you have someone available to spot you for your safety when increasing your weight.

If at this weight you can still complete 8 reps; move up again 5-10 pounds. The goal is that it will be difficult at the higher weight so that you are only able to complete 4-6 reps. Once you are at the appropriate weight where you can complete about 6 reps, aim to complete 4 sets. After a few weeks of heavy squatting 1x/week at this weight, you will be able to complete more than the 6 reps.

You are then at the point where you want to add more weight again. As you continue to do this every couple of weeks-months, you will undoubtedly gain more muscle mass and therefore, leaner legs.

Exercises that Focus on Glutes – C’mon Who Doesn’t Want a Bigger Booty?

Exercises that focus on engaging your glutes and upper legs are a hot topic right now. Who wouldn’t want to see that part of their body become stronger and more rounded/shapely?!

In addition to circuit training and squatting weekly, we must think about those exercises that solely target our booty!

We want to think of exercises that when you perform them you will only feel the burn, or mostly, in your booty. Exercises like this include sumo squats, light weight straight leg deadlifts, good mornings (here you use a light barbell on your back and keep your legs straight, with a slight bend, and bend at the waist until your upper half is parallel with the floor) and much more.

These exercises can often be done in a circuit formation of 10-12 reps and completing about 3 sets total. By the end you are sure to have your muscles burning and the sweat dripping.

Wrapping Things Up

Using any variation of the exercises listed above will help you move closer to your lower body goals. The key is consistency. Don’t give up if you are feeling like an exercise is challenging! Continue to work at it and I assure you that it will get easier with time.

About Olivia

Welcome to Lower Body Workouts for Women!


In high school I was an avid athlete, playing volleyball and running track throughout my 4 years. I am a competitive person and love accomplishing goals, especially in the sports world. As I entered my senior year, I soon realized that I needed to find a way to stay active, busy and fit once school ended. I joined a local gym where there was a large intimidation factor. I had never been in one before; there were so many large machines that I had never seen and some people looked like they walked out of a bodybuilding magazine! The first piece of gym equipment that looked familiar was the cardio machines; bikes, ellipticals, rowing machines etc. I walked towards an elliptical and spent an hour pedaling. I was dripping in sweat by the end!

As time went on and after countless days of doing cardio, my comfort level increased in the gym. I began to take notice of those around me lifting weights and becoming stronger/lifting heavier weights every time I saw them. I knew that I wanted to give weight lifting a try; especially given my competitive nature and drive to see results in the gym. In order to do so I enlisted in a personal trainer to help me achieve some of my fitness goals.

Things were going smoothly. I was sweating with every session with my personal trainer and feeling great. Most importantly, I felt motivated. However, I did notice that we were not doing the weightlifting exercises I was so interested in; I loved sweating and doing circuits of plyometrics, but I wanted to become even more sculpted and STRONG. My trainer had mentioned that I would not sweat as much if I did weight lifting and advised me to avoid it.


I began to venture into the weightlifting side of the gym on my own. In order to obtain information, I would ask those around me for advice on exercises for certain muscles, how to properly and safely perform them and their diet to stay as physically fit as possible. I gained so much knowledge; over SO much time.


I want to make weight training/circuits, specifically lower body exercises, easier for those that are in the same position as I once was. It was difficult for me to obtain information in one specific place. I had to research numerous websites, magazines and ask countless people for their input on exercises. That time spent researching and obtaining information could have been used actually performing exercises.


Here at Lower Body Workouts for Women, the goal is to provide simple, unique exercises that yield results. I am dedicated to helping other women achieve their fitness goals, in a faster timeline than they would have simply asking others at the gym.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below. I will get back to you as soon as possible!

Let’s make your fitness dream a reality.

Warmest regards,