HIIT it Up!

High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, workouts are a phenomenon sweeping the nation. What is it, and is it safe? Read on!

HIIT is a cardio session that consists of short, high intensity bursts. HIIT can be an incredibly effective way to work out to see the body composition and fitness results that you want, but you need to do it right. Numerous studies have shown that working your hardest is key when it comes to boosting endurance, increasing metabolism, regulating insulin levels, and losing body fat. HIIT routines that involve bodyweight work (e.g. push-ups) or added weight, such as kettlebells, medicine balls, or dumbbells, will tone your muscles while spiking your heart rate. All types of exercise will ultimately help you burn fat by burning calories, but the more intense the exercise, the more fat you will burn. As a result, it is a very effective way of helping people get the “shredded” look.

A true HIIT workout will involve pushing yourself to the max during each set, which should never exceed 90 seconds. These workouts are typically quick and convenient since they are such high intensity; they usually are 30 minutes or less. They can also be done virtually anywhere, with little to no equipment. The only stipulation is that you should rest in between sets. This may not be the first thing that comes to mind with such an intense workout, however, it is imperative. Recovery is essential so that the body works to adapt from the anaerobic (high-intensity) period to the low-intensity recovery period in HIIT. This workload results in high caloric expenditure, which can lead to fat loss.

That fat loss also comes from an increase in metabolism, which is a benefit to any high intensity workout. Research shows that this is due to an increase in post-exercise exercise oxygen consumption, or EPOC. EPOC speeds up your metabolic rate and can result in a metabolic boost for up to 48 hours after a complete HIIT routine! The high intensity cardio raises your metabolic rate to the point where you continue to burn calories even after the session ends—in some cases 15% more.

If weight loss is your ultimate goal, the old saying that you can’t out-train a bad diet is true…even if your workouts are super demanding. HIIT isn’t an excuse to neglect your diet, so keep it clean! By incorporating HIIT training into your exercise regimen and keep your diet in check, you’ll start to see some amazing results!

If you’re looking for a safe, yet awesome HIIT workout to try…subscribe to my weekly series on YouTube! https://youtu.be/1l6TamfSeko?list=PLcrZ2KJHxs8xBs1F3sT3jpUNjFVGGXjjG

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Adventures in YouTube Land


Well, folks…the day has finally come. I’ve teamed up with the gym that I manage to create workout videos! It’s something that people have been asking about for a while so when my boss suggested it…I ran with the idea. As great of an opportunity as it is, the venture itself into videoland hasn’t been all roses & sunshine.

I love taking pictures and posing for them. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve had a camera in my hand basically everyday since I was 5 or 6 years old…and I was a ham for the camera long before then. BUT there’s a very big difference between a still photo and a video. That may seem like an obvious statement but let me elaborate.

Despite being heavy on and off my entire life, I still loved taking pictures. I learned how to pose to avoid double chins and look as small as possible. Let’s just say Tyra (and ANTM) taught me very well. I also love taking pictures and capturing memories of pretty much everything and everyone I’m around. It’s always been a big hobby of mine. This new venture…on the internet no less…is an entirely different animal.

I try to be honest about my struggles and this video business has definitely been one. Mentally, that is. Every week we film and as I sit down to edit…I cringe. I love being in front of a camera but when I watch the action shots back, I die a little. I work very hard to be where I am. So when I see rolls on my stomach or a double chin or some sort of flashbacks to fatness staring back at me…it’s like none of that hard work matters. Now, the rolls and whatnot are likely due to my bad posture and discomfort shooting in front of certain people…but it’s still really hard to watch. When you are in a video, you can’t pose. You’re doing some sort of motion, in this case exercising. It’s great when it’s just you talking – you can stand a certain way, get a good angle….but when you are moving around it’s about the action not so much how you look. When I shoot my talking pieces, I have someone behind the camera who I’m very comfortable with and who seemingly calms my nerves, while helping me sort out what to say. It adds more work and more time to the project but it definitely turns out much better this way.

I’m no fitness model. I work really hard to maintain my size 2/4 and keep my weight in the 130s. I found balance with food, where I can enjoy beer & various treat meals without a ton of guilt afterwards. However, I still struggle with body image issues. I have loose skin and suffer from mystery stomach problems…which together can sometimes mean my body doesn’t look like it should. Still, I manage to push all of these internal conflicts aside and I post my videos weekly anyway. I’m not perfect but I know my story is one that many people can relate to…and hopefully my workouts can help someone get started on their journey…just like certain videos helped me. The people watching likely aren’t nitpicking like I am. They are watching the workout and seeing a girl who has struggled her entire life DO IT. So while I may nitpick over some stomach rolls or weird faces., I find comfort in knowing that there may be a girl out there just like me who will watch my video and get motivated to jumpstart their own journey.

I may still struggle mentally…especially with this nagging shoulder rehab…but deep down I know that I’m not the same 210lb girl I used to be. Mentally or physically. While I can’t do many of the things that I want to do or that I used to do, I’m learning to adapt. The old Gina would’ve given up the minute she got hurt…and probably gained all of the weight back. This Gina has finally figured it out. It’s not easy. Every single day is a struggle but I try my best to put one foot in front of the other to keep going. I’m not the girl I used to be – and I’m so much better for it.

If you want to check out my Fight to be Fit video playlist, you can find it here. I welcome any & all feedback!

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

Take Fitness on Vacation

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It’s hard to believe…or even accept…but summer is almost over! With Labor Day weekend upon us, I thought this would be the perfect time to share some of my tips for staying fit on vacation!
Let’s face it – we’ve all been guilty of considering a vacation our “reward” after dedicating ourselves to eating healthy and working out. It’s perfectly fine to indulge a little and let yourself truly enjoy your vacation. However, you can make tons of memories without destroying all of your hard work!
For starters, you can keep up with your workouts! One of my favorite ways to get some exercise while on vacation is to run or walk by the beach! Get up a little early and hit the boardwalk before the heat kicks in! You can even add some strength training to the mix. Be creative and just soak in the moment – after all, it’s not everyday that you can run next to or on a beach! Another great idea – hiking! Find a trail or mountain near where you’re staying and spend your morning exploring. You can even include your whole tribe on the fun! Lastly, when all else fails – workout in the hotel! Even if the hotel you’re staying at doesn’t have a gym on-site, you can get creative and workout in your room. A short workout to begin the day is better than none at all 🙂
Now, the hard part – food & drinks. I’m okay with indulging here and there – especially if it’s foods you would not be able to get or wouldn’t eat at home. However, often times people use a vacation as an excuse to just eat everything in sight. You’ve spent months getting ready for this vacation – so why throw it all away now? You can still eat reasonably healthy while enjoying a few treats from time to time. Pick and choose! For instance, if you want that Belgian waffle for breakfast make sure to have a salad for lunch and a sensible dinner. If you want to enjoy a few pina coladas poolside, just make concessions elsewhere throughout your day.
It can be hard to stay on track especially when you go to a fast-paced place like Las Vegas. Las Vegas is known for many things…but being a healthy vacation destination is not one of them. However, you can make it work no matter where you are! In Las Vegas, you can enjoy all of the sights and sounds the town has to offer…by walking the strip!
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The Las Vegas Deals page on Vegas.com has deals on tours of that very strip as well as tours of the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and more! It’s the perfect way to exercise while exploring & enjoying time with loved ones. Vegas.com also offers some fantastic deals on hotels & those once in a lifetime shows that only Las Vegas can offer. Go check them out!
Whether you’re hitting the Vegas strip, heading to the Caribbean on a cruise, or just heading to your nearest shore point, you can still be healthy while making memories that will last a lifetime. The most important thing to remember is to enjoy yourself and not spend every waking second agonizing over a few extra calories or a few less workouts. Don’t stress it; just do your best to be as healthy as possible while having the time of your life.
As always, feel free to shoot me an email at TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com if you have questions about anything in this post or any of my online coaching/nutrition packages.
Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

 

When in Doubt, WORK IT OUT!

Well…it had to happen sometime I guess. Winter has come in full force and brought a blizzard with it. I hate the cold weather but living in NY it’s sadly part of life. If you are like me and go completely NUTS being stuck inside – work it out! Press pause on your literal “Netflix & chill” kinda day and get moving! Hell, you can even keep your favorite show or movie running as you do it. It’s a total no-brainer.

For starters, most of us have some sort of shoveling to do. As much as we all complain, it really is an amazing workout…so get outside and do it! Besides completing your shoveling duties for the day (or the hour), there are plenty of indoor workouts that can keep you moving. My favorite? HIIT! Nothing is better for fat burning and total body toning than High Intensity Interval Training. While these are typically done on a treadmill, I’ve created several HIIT circuit workouts that can be done anywhere…with little to no equipment necessary!

Here are just few to get you off the couch…and working up a good sweat. Try them out and let me know what you think!!

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Use any flight of steps in your house for this one:

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This one targets the booty and it can be done with either of the above circuits. I did this one last night and trust me – it’s NO joke:

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Last, but not least, ABS! This can be done anytime…anywhere…with any or all of the above workouts. This is one of my personal at-home ab routines…& it’s a killer!:wp-1453663354404.jpeg

I know firsthand how hard being stuck in the house can be on a weight loss journey. With all of the snacks available and so much free time, it truly can be a recipe for disaster. However, you have to remember your goals and just fight the urge to binge eat. Use your time productively! If you really want to be in the kitchen, use the extra time to meal prep for the days ahead. Keep in mind – summer is just a few months away! Don’t let the winter blues ruin all of your hard work and stop you from getting that sexy summer body! It may be hard to fighting the boredom binges but when you are happily strutting your stuff on the beach in a few months…it will ALL be worth it.

Stay strong & stay in the fight!

-Gina

TheFight2BeFit@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Winter Workout Tips

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Baby, it’s COLD outside! You’re curled up cozy on your couch watching your favorite programs, unwinding from a long day, thawing out from the cold weather outside—and the last thing you want to do is exercise. There are many days when that is certainly the case for me too but I remember that if I want to look good, I have to sacrifice the time.

If you want to be beach body ready this summer, NOW is when you need to work for it! Don’t use this cold weather as an excuse to slack off–you will regret it once the July heat comes and you want to hit the beach or pool. Here are some tips to keep you moving the rest of this winter:

  • With this weather, it may not be possible to get to the gym. If you are not within walking distance of your closest gym location, there are still ways to get moving. Shoveling snow is a great workout. One hour of shoveling snow can burn about 400 calories!
  • 30 minutes is all you need for a good at-home workout. Everyone has 30 minutes–push yourself as hard as you can and don’t stop for the whole duration. Some examples of easy cardio exercises that you can do in your living room: jumping jacks, skiier, high knees, suicides. For strength/abs traning:  squats, lunges with weights, press/fly/banger in bridge, spinner squats, scissor kicks, superman/sit-up combo, basic crunches, side plank, regular plank, push-up with row, burpees (weighted or not). Most of these are standard exercises however, you can go to Jillian’s website (www.JillianMichaels.com) for the proper technique if you are unsure.
  • Find something you really like doing. You don’t need to go out and buy an expensive machine to get a good workout. You don’t even need to buy DVDs. The DVDs are helpful in teaching you different exercises but they aren’t necessary. If you find an exercise that you enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it. This is especially important for at-home workouts.
  • While you don’t need DVDs, you may feel more comfortable getting a few to get you started. My recommendations (both from Jillian Michaels, of course): Hard Body and 30-day Shred. The 30-Day Shred provides an intense 20-minute workout and there are 3 levels for whatever point you are at physically. Hard Body is a 45-minute workout and has 2 levels. By the end of each of these workouts, you are dripping sweat—and you feel the burn the next day. I’ve tried other DVDs and at-home workouts, including P90X, but I would never stick with it. These are both excellent and I use them regularly. Find what works for you, and do it.
  • Exercising when sick: I’m including this because in this cold weather I get sick a lot. Combine cold weather and a head cold and you have a recipe for laziness. I have found that exercise actually helps when you have a cold. Now, I’m not suggesting that if you are very sick or if you have a fever that you should exercise. Your body needs the rest and sleep much more—however, if it is a simple cold you can push through it and you will likely end up feeling better once you do.

No matter what your obstacles are, remember: Nothing worth having comes easy!

Until next week, stay in the fight and stay strong!

-Gina

thefight2befit@gmail.com