Upper Body & Ab Workout for Women

Upper Body & Ab Workout for Women

This Upper Body and Ab Workout for Women will tone ya, strengthen ya and make ya all happy and sweaty. Trainer’s promise.

1) Offset hands push up
2) 2 arm row
3) Bicycles
4) Chest fly + crunch
5) Kneeling reverse flys
6) Spiderman mountain clmber
7) Tricep presses
8) Pullover with leg drop
9) Wide 1-arm row

Upper Body & Ab Workout for Women

 

Upper Body and Ab Workout - Fitness with PJ

 

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A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 8

A Trainer’s Weekly Menu – Week 8

Well, it has arrived. The start of my two-week vegan food diet. I am starting a vegan food diet today to see if my skin and energy levels improve.

Loving husband has called today ARMAGEDDON, and he personally asked me to bold the word and capitalize it (he will not be participating).

This Is Not a Cleanse or a Detox

My two-week vegan food diet is not a cleanse or a detox. I do not believe in cleanses. I feel (and so does science, read the research here, here and here) that the body is designed to filter out toxins efficiently enough.

There is no build-up of toxins that we need to get rid of.

Instead those cleanses you see in the health food stores, or on the internet, are pseudoscience and hype to grab your attention and your money.

However, if changing your diet temporarily is done because you are noticing:

  • Your energy levels are low (one BIG reason I am doing this 2-week change to my diet)
  • You don’t feel like yourself
  • You feel bloated and “heavy”
  • Your skin is acting up (second reason I am doing this)
  • Your body aches
  • You are experiencing brain fog

Or, if you need to:

  • Reset yourself back to a healthier eating pattern
  • See if you have allergies by eliminating food groups and then slowly adding one in at a time

Then you are doing it for the right reasons.

Why Am I Doing This

While I eat fairly healthy (however I will be the first to admit that I love spiced rum & Coke Zero, pizza and cookies), I am just not feeling myself lately and want to reset my eating patterns.

For one, I have been enjoying myself far TOO much on the weekends, and two I want to see if the meat and/or eggs, and the small amount of dairy that I consume in a week could be at fault for my lagging energy levels and dull looking skin.

I also know hormones are at play too, thank you Menopause fairy, and the weather (I think I suffer from mild seasonal affective disorder).

But, I have never been one to just stand still and accept the status quo.

Perhaps with a few more tweaks I can get rid of my symptoms completely? Or, perhaps not. But at least I tried.

Symptoms and Tweaks for Menopausal Blues

Because of what I eat, and how much I exercise, I have been fortunate to keep most of my peri-menopausal symptoms at bay. If you suffer from menopausal symptoms I recommend the following:

  • Take a long hard look at your diet (and at the very least eliminate sugar)
  • Walk everyday
  • Stretch everyday
  • Weight train three times a week
  • Meditate, or take just a few moments each and every day to just be still and breathe
  • Laugh more, frown less

All of these will help lower your cortisol levels, perhaps decrease (or eliminate) your hot flashes, stop the weight gain that happens with most women when going through menopause and assist in keeping you sane while your hormones are trying to get you to be otherwise.

 

Why a Vegan Diet

While I initially was planing to do a two-week raw food diet, after some research I decided against it. There are a lot of professionals, holistic nutritionists and Chinese Medicine doctors that warn people against a raw food diet.

You see we need to lightly cook, or steam, a lot of our vegetables in order to properly digest them. As well, a raw food diet is a HUGE commitment. I am talking about making every single meal, for every single day.

It just seemed completely unrealistic for my busy lifestyle.

Whereas a plant-based lifestyle is far easier for me to wrap my head around and it works well for people looking to have more energy (hello!), as well anyone interested in adding more nutrition to their diet.

And there’s the other two obvious pluses to a plant-based life – it’s better for the planet and kinder to the animals.

All around everyone wins… except loving husband.

Catch Up On Previous Week’s Menus

Notes about last week’s meals

  • Last week I implemented the apple cider vinegar hot drink every morning and within a couple of days I felt a positive difference, so I am going to keep on going with it.
  • The Blueberry Chia Pudding is awesome, I highly recommend it!
  • I am also a HUGE fan of the Loaded Sweet Potatoe (and you have to make the yogurt dressing too).
  • What I will probably not make again? The Tilapia Tostadas. Sorry Whole Foods, but they were kinda bland and boring. It was like a Saturday night without a drink.

Blueberry-Almond-Chia-Seed-Pudding-Fitness wth PJ blog Blueberry Chia Seed Pudding

MONDAY

  • Pre-Breakfast: 1 cup hot water, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar (from the mother), a sprinkle of cinnamon & a tsp of organic maple syrup (can’t do honey while on a vegan diet). Sip and enjoy before food.
  • Breakfast: Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with shredded apple, coconut, almonds and I will also add nutmeg (prep Sunday, make a double batch for 4 servings)
  • Snack: apple dipped in almond butter
  • Lunch: Spiced Lentil & Tomato Kale Soup with veggies and hummus as a side and a Mandarin orange for dessert.
  • Snack: Protein shake blended with almond milk, ice and a 1tbsp of peanut butter. I fear that I will not be getting enough protein on this diet so this mid-afternoon shake will help cover me. The powder I will be using is Vega Sport Protein Powder, in chocolate of course.
  • Dinner: Artichoke and Tomato Salad (from The 22 Day Revolution book)

red-lentil-tomato-soup-Fitness-with-Pj-blog

Spiced Lentil Tomato & Kale Soup – Oh She Glows

 TUESDAY

  • Pre-Breakfast: 1 cup hot water, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar (from the mother), a sprinkle of cinnamon & a tsp of organic maple syrup. Sip and enjoy before food.
  • Breakfast: Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
  • Snack: apple dipped in almond butter, or an apple with some mixed nuts
  • Lunch: Lentil soup with veggies and hummus and my trusty orange for dessert
  • Snack: Protein shake blended with almond milk, ice and a 1tbsp of peanut butter
  • Dinner: Raw Walnut Tacos and cut veggies with hummus (from The 22 Day Revolution book  – and this recipe alone is worth the price of the book. I have made this before and I love, love, love it!)

WalnutTacos-Fitness with PJ blog Raw Walnut Tacos

 WEDNESDAY

  • Pre-Breakfast: 1 cup hot water, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar (from the mother), a sprinkle of cinnamon & a tsp of organic maple syrup. Sip and enjoy before food.
  • Breakfast: Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
  • Snack: apple dipped in almond butter, or an apple with some mixed nuts
  • Lunch: Lentil Soup with cut veggies and hummus
  • Snack: Protein shake blended with almond milk, ice and a 1tbsp of peanut butter
  • Dinner: DIY Burrito Bowls (prep in the morning for easy assembly when I get home from work + make a double batch to have for lunch tomorrow). I do not eat white rice, so I will use quinoa and loving husband can have the rice.

Vegan Burrito Bowl – Oh She Glows

 THURSDAY

  • Pre-Breakfast: 1 cup hot water, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar (from the mother), a sprinkle of cinnamon & a tsp of organic maple syrup. Sip and enjoy before food.
  • Breakfast: Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
  • Snack: apple dipped in almond butter, or an apple with mixed nuts (are you sensing a pattern with my snacks?)
  • Lunch: Vegan Burrito Bowl leftover from last night’s dinner
  • Snack: Protein shake blended with almond milk, ice and a 1tbsp of peanut butter
  • Dinner: Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing (make double batch so that I have lunch tomorrow), add more white beans and loving husband will have salmon on top of his.

Kale-salad-vrgan-tahini-dressiing-fitness-with-PJ-blog

Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing – Love and Lemons

FRIDAY

  • Pre-Breakfast: 1 cup hot water, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar (from the mother), a sprinkle of cinnamon & a tsp of organic maple syrup. Sip and enjoy before food.
  • Breakfast: Blueberry Chia Pudding
  • Snack: apple dipped in almond butter, or an apple with mixed nuts
  • Lunch: Kale salad left-over from last night’s dinner
  • Snack: Pumpkin Pie Protein Shake. I also have some vegan vanilla protein powder so I am going to blend it up with 1/4c pureed pumpkin, 1tsp pumpkin pie spice, 1.5 cups of unsweetened almond milk and some ice. If it’s any good I will add this to my afternoon snack list for the future.
  • Dinner: Cauliflower Crust Pizza, loving husband: medium double pepperoni from Panago

[cauliflower-crust-pizza-Fitness-with-PJ-blog

Cauliflower Crust Pizza – Detoxinista

 SATURDAY

 Pre-Breakfast: 1 cup hot water, 1tbsp apple cider vinegar (from the mother), a sprinkle of cinnamon & a tsp of organic maple syrup. Sip and enjoy before food.

Zucchini-Noodles-Fitness-With-PJ-Blog

Zucchini Noodles with Marinara Sauce – The Iron You

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40-Minute Total Body Killer Workout

40-Minute Total Body Killer Workout

40-Minute Total Body Killer Workout

AKA: The Gladiator Workout

There are some workouts you just love to do… and this is one of them. Not only do I love to do this workout, I also love to teach it.

Why is it so damn good?

  • It works on building your lean muscle – so you become a better fat burning machine
  • It is intense enough for the most advanced exerciser, yet easily modifiable for the beginner (I’ve actually taken one of my clients who is 75 through this workout)
  • It trains the heck out of your legs
  • It strengthens your core
  • It can be done in your home (requires just 1 pair of moderate weights and 1 heavy weight)
  • It can be done in 20, 30 or 40 minutes – depending on the time you have available
  • It tones your legs, abs, glutes, hips and upper body
  • It flows like a ballet 🙂

40-Minute Total Body Workout

The Workout

Gladiator Workout - Fitness with PJ

 

 

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Over 40: 4 Tips On What To Do In The Gym

Over 40: 4 Tips On What To Do In The Gym

Over 40: 4 Tips On What To Do In The Gym

So, you’re in your 40’s or 50’s. Congrats, God willing you have reached the midway point of your life.

But, now that you are here does that mean that you need to start training your age, start training with precautions and restrictions because you might break?

First a Funny Story

My loving husband, who is 10 years older than me, gives me a heads up with every passing decade as to what to expect both physically and mentally for the years ahead.

For example, when he turned 30 he enlightened me that my body was going to start to change shape (in case you are doing the math in your head I meet the love of my life when I was 19 years old. 25 years later he’s still with me.).

Sure enough at 30 years my hips grew wider (a lot wider) and things shifted. I was happy though. Prior to that I was kinda built like a boy. Now I had me some curves.

At 40 he then warned me that simple tasks, like getting up and off the floor, was going to start getting harder. As well, things that I completely take for granted now, like reading the small print on food labels, or menus in a dark restaurant, would go the way of the dodo.

On top of that he coached me that I will also experience a big decline in my energy levels and I won’t be able to, nor want to be able to, be in a constant state of motion like I was in my 20’s and 30’s.

Sitting at 44 years now, with 45 staring me in the face, he has been, and is right on target.

About-PJ-Fitness-with-PJ

I’m Old So Therefore I’m Frail

Many people, including loving husband, think that as we age we tend to slow down and do less because of aging. For the most part this is complete and utter BS (sorry loving husband).

Much of the physical frailty attributed to aging is actually the result of inactivity, disease or poor nutrition.

The good news, many of these problems can be helped (or even reversed) by improving lifestyle behaviors, such as exercising on a regular basis and eating a whole food diet.

The Effects of Aging

Aging muscles:

  • Shrink and lose mass with age. This is called sacropenia and it is a natural process, but a sedentary lifestyle will also speed this nasty process up.
  • The number of our muscle fibers decrease as we age, which means that it takes longer to respond in our 40’s and 50’s than it did in our 20’s.
  • The water content of the tendons decrease which makes our tissues stiffer and less able to handle stress.
  • The heart muscle becomes less able to propel large quantities of blood quickly which means that we tire more easily and take longer to recover.
  • Our metabolism slows down (this is how quickly our body converts energy) which means we don’t burn fat like we used to.

Aging bones & joints:

  • The mineral content in our bones decrease (for both men and women) making our bones more fragile.
  • The connective tissue that attaches bones to bones (called ligaments) become less elastic which in turn decreases our flexibility.
  • Cartilage, which provides the cushioning between our bones and in our joints, changes. With these changes comes less water content and a joint more susceptible to wear and tear (ie. arthritis)
  • Our joint motion becomes more restricted due to these changes in our tendons and ligaments making us all around less flexible.

Over 40: 4 Tips On What To Do In The Gym

 

1. Build a fitness base.

If you are just starting a fitness program you need to build a base first. This is extremely important, especially in our later years as it is much easier to get injured and it takes longer to get better when we do injure ourselves.

Why is it easier? You can thank the decreased water in our tendons and ligaments, as well as our restricted range of motion in our joints and our loss of muscles mass and muscle fiber size.

 

My recommendation: perform a strength training workout 3 times a week, 1 set an exercise, and then the next week do 2 sets, the week after add about 10% more weight to what you are lifting and then on the fourth week add another set.

2. Lift heavy.

Once that base is built, or if you are already fit, start lifting heavier but for fewer reps. If your joints and cartilage have already encountered years of wear and tear (which we know that they have by mid-life), and they don’t have the water content that they used to, a weight training program with lots of reps will only inflame the joint further.

Instead, lift a weight that you can maintain good form with, but are starting to crack by the end of your rep range of 12-15.

3. Watch out for long distance, repetitive workouts.

Cross training is your goal in your later years. If you like running, great run but keep the mileage down and perform other activities as well. But, if you run and run and run (or bike and bike and bike, or swim and swim and swim) be prepared to hurt.

Unless you are one of the blessed individuals who can perform repetitive long distance workouts without injury you are going to inflame those joints of yours and send yourself to physio.

In fact, even my younger clients that only ran for their workouts prior to seeing me have a longer history of injuries than those who run as well as lift weights.

And if you are running for weight loss, just stop right now. Cause it ain’t gonna work as well as other forms of exercise will.

4. You ain’t dead yet.

I, personally, know that I could kick my 20-year old’s ass. I am stronger, faster and more focused at 44 than I was at 24.

So, once you have built that fitness base, layered on it for a year I want you to GO FOR IT – cause you ain’t dead yet.

With the advances in nutrition and fitness that we have seen in the last 5 years we can get better and live longer and play just as hard as we did in our 20’s and 30’s.

Keep training everyone.

 

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