Tag: workout

Five Tips To Improve Your Run

This post is sponsored by Zappos and Brooks Running. All opinions are my own.

Cardio isn’t hardio if you incorporate awesome outdoor scenery, beautiful weather, and some awesome running gear into your workouts! I used to hate the monotony of running, but I’m learning to love it more and more and seeing awesome changes in my endurance and stamina. I currently do cardio once a week, and try to run outside on nice days. Here are some tips to making running fun and stick with your schedule!

Wearing Brooks Dash 1/2 zip (top) and Revel (shoes)

Tip #1: Dynamic Stretches Before and Static Stretches After Your Run

Often you see runners doing static stretches before their run. I always wondered about this, so I asked a marathon runner if it’s necessary. I also read through some articles in popular running magazines and discovered that most people don’t need to do static stretches before running. The best thing to do is dynamic stretches such as high knees before your run to get you ready, and then after your workout, static stretches are great!

Tip #2: Build Endurance Gradually

Part of the reason I used to hate running so much is because I decided to try a half marathon a few months after I had started running. The experience was so tough that I stopped running for years after that. It’s much better to build your distance and endurance slowly so that your body can get used to running longer distances over a period of time.

Wearing Brooks Chaser 3″ Shorts

Tip #3: Choose the right shoes

Cushion and arch support are crucial to having a running shoe that fits properly and won’t cause pain during your runs. The last thing you want to think about is how much your shoes hurt with every stride! I’ve found the perfect shoes by Brooks on the Zappos website, and they have the perfect arch support for me. The Zappos site has so many different options for a wide variety of athletic shoes to choose from.

Another thing I did was to do a foot analysis to determine what kind of support I need. It was determined that I have high arches, so I definitely need the right shoes.

Tip #4: Stay Hydrated

It’s so easy to keep running and forget to hydrate! I always remember to hydrated before beginning my run. If i’m feeling tired or dehydrated during my run, I always stop and be sure to grab a drink or bottle of water. It’s easy to forget and hydration is essential especially on a hot day!

Wearing Brooks Distance tank

Tip #5: Wear the Right Clothes

Having running gear that keeps you dry especially for those hot days is essential for optimal health! I love gear that is sweat-wicking like these shorts from Brooks. What I also love about them is the hidden pocket – I always make sure my shorts or leggings have hidden pockets for my keys and other essential items.

I hope you enjoyed these tips and that you have an awesome workout on your next run!

To shop  my outfit, click the links below!

Brooks long sleeve zip top

Brooks Revel shoes

Brooks Chaser shorts

Brooks Distance tank top

Exercises to Try Next Time You’re Outside!

It’s finally spring, which means it’s time to get outside, and today I’m going to share some awesome outdoor workouts, sponsored by Zappos!

The weather has been gorgeous here in Northern California. So in between the rainy days, I take every opportunity for a hike or outdoor workout because the scenery is much more breathtaking than the inside of the gym!

The start of a new season is also my favorite time to get new gear. Because I’ve been doing a lot more outdoor HIIT (high intensity interval training) up and down steep hills in addition to bodyweight workouts on uneven ground, I have to make sure that my shoes have good traction and are stylish too! I just got a new pair of Brooks Pureflow 6 shoes, top and leggings from Zappos, and I’m loving them! More about my shopping experience a little later. But without further ado, let’s talk about workouts!

HIIT Sprints

For HIIT, my favorite is HIIT sprints. Doing this once or twice a week definitely burns fat and elevates your metabolism so you can even be torching calories when at rest. One way I stay lean is to get in my sprints as my form of cardio. I like to add intensity to my sprints by doing them on the trails for a bit of an incline. Try this workout and let me know what you think!IMG_7676_E

Sprint uphill 50 to 70 percent speed and then walk or jog back down the hill for your recovery. I usually stop after I’ve sprinted and walked back down 10 times. Then I climb the hill for a nice scenic view!

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Bodyweight Workout

Another type of workout I love to do when outside is bodyweight workouts. This includes dynamic lunges, squats, and if you can find a bench, push-ups and tricep dips! But in order to do this, I need a lot of good traction, and once again, my Brooks gear from Zappos came through!

I recently posted on Instagram about building strength for push-ups, one of the most difficult exercises to do for those without a lot of upper body strength.  A great way to build the strength is to do push-ups on a bench or elevated surface until you can do a full push-up!

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Try doing 10 reps of these 4 times!

Awesome new Brooks Gear from Zappos!

So this season, I ordered a new pair of Brooks Pureflow 6 shoes – chosen because not only did they get awesome reviews on Zappos, but they are very lightweight, and have good traction on the bottom for those steep mountainous climbs. I also got a cute Brooks top and pair of performance leggings from Brooks to match my shoes! I felt great going up and down the mountain and got in my HIIT and some push-ups too!

I wanted to make sure that I got my new gear quickly and had the opportunity to return – often things online don’t work out for me or don’t fit right. Luckily Zappos has fast and free shipping and a 365 day return policy.

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I was shocked at how reasonably priced my Brooks gear was but how high-quality it was. The shoes were so supportive up and down the rocky terrain, and the clothes kept me dry even though I was sweating.

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Like my outfit? Get this look from Zappos.com!

Hope you guys all liked this post and that you get outside for some fun outdoor workouts!

Love from California,

Shannon

PS – Special thanks to my fiancee Kelvin, who came to work out and enjoy a beautiful day with me! 🙂

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BBG Bay Area / Sweat SF Meetup February

meetuppic-1A lot of people ask what BBG stands for, especially those who are new to the workout or have never heard of it before. And while the workout is intended to stand for “bikini body guide,” I really think it stands for BADASS BABES & GUYS! Because over 100 of us got together, killed our workout, and fostered a great sense of community that only burpees and a whole lot of sweat can bring!

The workout was held again at the beautiful Bay Club gymnasium, and we had so much fun with a circuit workout that included push-ups, burpees, squats, mountain climbers, and a whole lot of fun!

The day’s workout was created by Mickaela Roxas of Plants and Planks, and she took the best of Kayla Itsines’ exercises from her Sweat app, and compiled them into a full body workout. We had a great time working out together!

Special thank you to Women’s Best for sponsoring protein powder, shakers, and goodies (cookies, chocolates, wafers, BCAA’s, protein creme, and  more) for our attendees! They generously provided all of this workout fuel for 100 attendees to keep us motivated and going strong! Their protein powder and BCAA’s are the only supplements I am currently taking, and I would recommend them for everyone! We are so grateful to have them as a sponsor, and I’m so happy that our attendees got to try the products.

Also thank you to Bay Club San Francisco for their generous hospitality. For those of you who haven’t tried out the club and are local to the SF Bay Area, you totally should! It’s currently my gym (I’m a member) – and I would love to work out with you there! Also, you can join our Facebook group here, where you can download a free 3-day pass to try out the gym. The gym amenities are beautiful, including a luxurious locker room, weight room, multiple cardio rooms, as well as yoga and pilates!

Also thank you to Elizabeth Griffin for being our official event photographer! Here are some of the photos from the event! Click here for the full album!

Also thank you to Jeremy Wong of Where’s the Film Productions for the amazing video footage!

If you are interested in being notified of future events, you can head over to http://sweatsf.com/ and sign up for the mailing list!

We hope you all had fun sweating with us!

Peace, love and burpees,

Shannon <3

Sweat San Francisco Holiday Meetup

I love our San Francisco fitness community! It’s an amazing thing when a group of women come together not only to sweat, but to forge friendships and build community. When we first started, we had a small gathering of 25 women interested in fitness, and now, we have over 1,000 women in our Facebook group!

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This holiday season, we hosted a group fitness meetup sponsored by the Bay Club San Francisco in their indoor gymnasium. This beautiful gym is home to everything you need for a killer workout including a state-of-the-art weight room, basketball courts, squash and racquetball courts, yoga, pilates, and even an area where you can take a cycling class with your own bicycle. I recently joined this gym, and I am so proud to host our group here as well as call this my fitness home.

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I had such blast co-leading this workout with my fearless team members Mickey, Brooke, Maddie, and Jeanette, and Wendy! We made the most out of this beautiful space with a killer yet fun workout! We did superman planks, jump lunges, squats, drop push-ups, burpees, and more (full workout at the bottom of this post)!

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Everyone pushed themselves hard, and did an amazing job. We were so impressed that over 100 people in the Bay Area brought their A-game and killed their workout! And not only did we sweat, but we had fun, forged new friendships and got reacquainted with old ones.

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We have the most amazing community, and we are so grateful to be a part of such an amazing crew. Thank you to all of our friends who came out to sweat, and we hope to meet new faces at the next one!

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We also couldn’t have done it without our sponsors. We only support brands that we truly love working with, and couldn’t have asked for a better lineup! THANK YOU to everyone below for all of your support!

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If you missed the workout and want to do it at home, you can! Here’s our workout circuits (one minute per exercise X 2)!

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Hope you enjoy the rest of these pictures, and hope to sweat with you soon!

Love,

Shannon

@caligirlgetsfit

Protein Powder

Protein powder is somewhat new territory for me. When I think of it, I would envision men with muscles drinking protein shakes to get more bulky! But after talking with both male AND female trainers, I learned that it can help me to gain lean muscle mass.

I did a little bit of research into the different types of protein shakes – everything from whey (the most popular) to soy, rice, pea, and even hemp protein. I decided to try the whey protein because in addition to helping to reduce fat and gain muscle mass, it has also been reported to improve the immune system (source: Men’s Health).

And that’s not all. According to Women’s Health, women may benefit even more than men from protein supplements because we don’t always get enough in our every day diet. The average woman consumes 46 grams of protein per day, but the American College of Sports Medicine recommends that athletes consume between 1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kilogram body weight per day. For a 140-pound woman, that would be between 76 and 108 grams of protein per day. (Source: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/food/protein-powder-guide)

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I decided to try the Designer Whey Protein because it was recommended by a friend as tasting good, and has no added sugars, hormones, or preservatives (this is not an ad or in any way sponsored by the protein powder company). I got both the vanilla (pictured above) and the chocolate (shown in the blender bottle below) and mixed it with  water, and it ended up tasting pretty good! I liked the chocolate slightly better. I’ve been drinking it for the past 3 weeks, and so far so good; I’ve seen some improvement in muscle tone!

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I also tried several different protein powder shaker bottles (I got one for free from GNC, and one from a friend), and ended up getting the Trimr shaker bottle. I found out that a whole bunch of people in my fitness circle love the bottle too because of its sleek yet efficient, spill-proof design and straw (rather than just a big hole at the top that can leak). I’ve chatted with some friends over there, and they’ve graciously offered a 15% discount to all of my readers with the code TRIMRGRAM if you want to try their bottles too! (This is not an ad; I don’t get commission or anything, just want to pass along the savings to you guys)!

What’s your experience with protein shakes? Please share in the comments; would love to hear recommendations from you guys!

 

Work Out With Me!

I was following the Kayla Itsines BBG Guide 1.0 and then finished all of the weeks! I am planning to start 2.0 next year, but in the meantime the great thing about her guide is that it gives you the tools to create your own workouts based on what area of the body you are looking to target!

Here is a workout that I put together and tried myself. It was great! Try it with me!

Time yourself and do each circuit twice for 7 minutes. You do Circuit 1 (7 minutes), then rest. Then do Circuit 2 (7 minutes) and rest again for a few minutes. Then repeat circuits 1 and 2 for a total of 28 minutes of workouts + a few minutes in between for rest!

Circuit 1

15 burpees

15 decline push-ups

40 x-hops

10 medicine ball smashes

 

Circuit 2

40 side taps

25 regular pushups

20 tricep dips

1 plank for 1 minute

What is LISS?

For those of you guys not on the Kayla training program, LISS is an acronym for “low intensity steady state” meaning doing cardio but not at your max capacity, such as a slow jog. If it’s done along with HIIT (high intensity interval training), it can produce the best results for weight loss and muscle definintion.

I use Classpass for my LISS days. It’s great because I can try a variety of different types of workouts. My favorites so far have been all types of dance, from hip hop to cardio dance, TRX, cardio barre, and cardio pilates. What are some of your favorite LISS workouts?