What I'm Loving on Thursday - Playing Personal Trainer

Playing Personal Trainer

I’m not a naturally-blessed skinny bitch girl. I inherited my mother’s thighs (thanks, Ma!) and realized at a young age I was going to have to perpetually kick my butt throughout life to maintain a relatively slender physique. While I’ve always been involved in sports (gymnastics, tennis, softball, basketball, track, you name it…) I started running seriously and lifting around the age of 16. What started as a means to keep my body in shape transformed into a passion. I love being fit. I love feeling fit. And if I can do anything I can to help others be and feel fit also, well, I love that too.

About halfway through my freshman year of college, I thought about getting my personal trainer’s certificate. The student rec center offered classes and certification, and I couldn’t wait to get started. Unfortunately, around the same time, a major trauma in my family completely shook my world as I knew it, and I was sidetracked, emotionally, mentally and physically. I never got back around to motivating myself to get my certification.

I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and am getting ready to take the steps to get my certification. It takes a lot of time (and money) to get it done. So it’ll come in time. But for now, I’m having fun setting up my own training programs – I love the science and technique behind building programs.

Based on the success of the Spartacus Workout, my boyfriend and I challenged each other to build our own total-body circuit workout. The workouts consist of 10 exercises, each one-minute long, and the circuit completed three times. I love circuit workouts. They go by so quickly and they really rock every part of your body. If you’ve only got three days to spare in your week to work out, you should really be focusing on squeezing in a 45-minute total-body workout, and switching it up every few weeks.

I did some research over the weekend and looked into the most effective total-body exercises. I incorporated some of my favorite moves from P90X as well as a few others I’ve picked up along the way, and I think I’ve built a pretty good workout, really focusing on hitting the major muscle groups, while activating some smaller muscles at the same time. I’ve yet to try it out, but once I do, I’ll give a full report. I’ll leave out the program for now, in case I need to do any tweaking.

I don’t want to recommend something to my readers that I don’t truly believe in! I just wanted to post about my excitement in building a workout that really took planning, thinking and athletic science to create. It was a blast, and I can’t wait to create more! It might be the thing to push me toward my personal trainer goal just a bit closer to reality.


What I'm loving on Wednesday - Mikey Burton Designs

Mikey Burton Designs

I was loafing around on the Interwebs last night, seeing what some of my favorite designs blogs were telling me I should love next when I found it - something I loved. 

I came across Mikey Burton's "Don't Lose Heart" coasters and swooned. I'm a born-and-raised Ohio girl who, since moving from my homestate nearly two years ago, has gained boatloads of Ohio ("The Heart of It All!") pride. I'm pining for these coasters SO hard. I love their design, I love their slogan and I love how Buckeye-proud it is.

Now, while I may bleed Scarlet and Gray, my new hometown of Milwaukee is my favorite city on this whole, wide world. So imagine my excitement when I came across Burton's gig poster design for a Wilco show at The Pabst! This poster rocks for a few reasons 1) It's mustard-yellow, a color I have been obsessing over for some time now. 2) Wilco has been one of my tried and trues for a while - a fab band who chose Milwaukee's own Von Trier rooftop (as well as an ironically-misplaced camel) as the cover photo for their latest album. 3) THEY INCORPORATE THE BAND NAME INTO A BIG-ASS BEER MUG.  I love it.

These are just a couple of Mikey Burton's designs that are near and dear to my heart. Not impressed? Take one look at his redesigned covers for classic books series and I bet he's won you over. As a super-talented Buckeye whose slightly quirky, very spunky design style is right up my alley, Mikey Burton has a fan in me.

Now who's gonna gift me those coasters?


[editor's note]

[editor's note]

Ok, so I am laughing at myself so hard after my most recent post about my affection of delicate peonies, directly following a post (paired with a photo of a man's ripped-as-all-getout torso) about a kickass, nothing-feminine-about-it workout. Am I a multi-personality or what?]


What I'm loving on Saturday - The Spartacus Workout

[Please, please do your best to focus on the content below,
the drool falling from your mouth as a result of staring at
the above photo may harm your keyboard...]

The Spartacus Workout

I haven't been to a gym in nearly a year. Once the definition of "gym rat," who spent two hours at the gym five or six days a week, I've abandoned the lifestyle of waiting for open treadmills and avoiding eye contact with the sweaty dudes in the free weight section of the gym. And yet, I'm probably near the best shape I've ever been in in my life...

I attribute this to discovering the P90X workout program. We'll get more into that later, but essentially it's what helped me realize you don't need to pay a monthly fee to get in fantastic shape - you just need the drive, determination and a little workout switch up every few weeks.

While I love P90X (I'm currently finishing up my second round of the advanced P90X+ version), I'm constantly looking for new ways to challenge myself, to confuse my muscles and thus garner the best results in the shortest amount of time. I wanted a supplement to my P90X DVDs that pushed me just as hard, if not harder, to keep things fresh.

Enter the Spartacus Workout. My boyfriend came across the workout in the January/February issue of Men's Health, where it was suggested to use this workout three times a week if it's the only workout you can squeeze in for the week. And yes, I'm convinced if you did this workout, and only this workout, three times a week, you'd still get absolutely ripped. You perform three sets of 10 full-body exercises, performing each exercise as many reps as you can for one minute each. With a two-minute break between sets, you don't get much time to rest, or to think about what's coming next. You find yourself getting through the first set of exercises thinking "Eh, this is challenging but I could totally bust out SO much more." About halfway through the second set though, you're crying for mommy. And by the third set, you're just mustering all the strength you have just to push through a few more moves.

Each time I've done this workout I've found myself collapsed on the floor, heart pounding for about two minutes after the very last set. What I love about it is you are working your entire body with every single exercise. From your shoulders down to your calves, every muscle is engaged for the entire duration of the workout. That's why, after just around 43 minutes of exercise, your legs are shaking, you're exhausted, but damnit, you are EXHILARATED. 

If you'd like a swift ass-kicking that you're going to feel great about afterward, I'd suggest trying it out. All you need are some dumbbells, a stopwatch and a slight taste for masochism. 

Here's to the Spartacus in us all.


What I'm Loving on Monday - Adorable Sneak Peek (via d*s)

[Seriously. Can I move in right now?]

Adorable Sneak Peek (via d*s)

All the way back on Saturday I posted about my love for Design Sponge. In one visit, on the very first post I looked at today, they did it again: they made my jaw drop.

Occasionally Design Sponge will feature a "sneak peek" into the home of someone who is typically a professional designer or stylist. The person in question shares professional photos of their home and, room-by-room, describes their thoughts and reasoning behind their own decorating personality.

Today's subject was Emily Hensen, a prop stylist and decorator, who lives with her husband, two children, two dogs and two cats in a 700-square foot bungalow in LA. Talk about making the most out of a small space! Take a gander at the sneak peek in its entirety to understand just how swoon-worthy her home is.

The space Emily's created in her home is absolutely adorable. It's eclectic and fun and cheery whimsical. It's as if she sat her children down with a 96-color box of crayons and said, "Here... dream up a house and show it what it looks like." Which, oddly enough, is what my dream house would look like (trust me... one of my living room walls is painted chartreuse. I've got a lavender dining room table with a child's painting of a bunch of brightly-colored leaves hanging above it).

I'm a firm believer that if you put yourself in a fun space, the more likely you are to have fun ideas. Just think of all the superbly creative thoughts that have been imagined in this home! I'm in total house-love. It truly shows what you can do in any space, on any budget if you've got some creativity, a little elbow grease and some chalkboard paint.



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