Workout Wednesday: Shoulders

It’s funny that I initially wanted to start this blog to tailor it around fitness and instead, it has more morphed more into me talking about life experiences, my perspective on self-love and mindset, even a handful of healthy recipes, with very few posts in the “fitness” section of my site.

I want to change that!

I am starting a new series called Workout Wednesday! Twice a month (hopefully more regularly down the road) on Wednesday I will post a new workout.

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To kick off the inaugural Workout Wednesday — I thought I’d start with my FAVORITE muscle group: SHOULDERS!

Here’s how I’ll break the workouts down for you:

  • Name of exercise, equipment, numbers of set x number of reps
    • I.e. Shoulder Press (exercise), dumbbells (equipment), 4 (number of sets) x 10 (numbers of reps)

The higher the rep range, the lower the weight. The lower the rep range, the heavier the weight.

Easy enough, right? Okay, good.

Now let me throw my not-so-experienced lifters a curveball. If an exercise is listed with // in between the name of another exercise, this signifies a superset, or set in which you do a set of two exercises for the listed number of reps with no break in between. Instead, the rest is taken after both exercises are completed.

  • I.e. Lateral raise // Front raise, dumbbells, 4×10
    • This means you’ll do 10 lateral raises and immediately do 10 front raises before resting and doing it again for 4 sets, instead of doing 4 sets of lateral raises and 4 sets of front raises separately.

Also to note, a dropset is where you do as many reps as possible with a certain weight and when you hit failure, you go down in weight and repeat. Doing as many reps as possible until failure and drop the weight again. Typically, I’ll drop weight 2-3 times. Dropsets should be done with little to no rest in between sets.

Delt Workout

  • Quadset (this quadset is courtesy of Dana Linn Bailey! It is done like a superset except with FOUR exercises straight through, no breaks until all reps in the set are done! This one is a killer but I love itttttt! 😉 ) Overhead Press // Behind-the-Neck Press // Front Raise // Upright row, weighted barbell, 4×10
  • Shoulder press, dumbbell, 4×10
  • Lateral raises, dumbbell, 1×15, 1×12, 1×10, 1×8
  • Arnold press, dumbbell, 4×10
  • Incline shoulder press, dumbbell, 4×12
  • Reverse cable flyes, cable machine, 3×15
  • Face pulls, (use rope attachment) cable machine, 4×12
  • Lateral raises, dumbbell, 1×8, 1×10, 1×12, dropset to failure
  • Battle ropes, 4×30 seconds

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Give this workout a go and let me know what you think!

Not sure how to properly execute any of the above exercises? Bodybuilding.com has an incredible database of exercises that lists you can look at that breaks down each exercise for you! This exercise database is an incredible resource for weightlifters of any experience level. You can access the database here .

 

What do you want the next Workout Wednesday to feature? Legs, back, arms, core? Maybe you want some HIIT cardio variations? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Xo,

Leta

4 Things Every Beginner Yogi Should Have

September is National Yoga Month, so I thought it would be fitting to share some of the essentials that every yogi should own if they’re really interested in delving into their own yoga practice.

If yoga has been on your to-do list, now is the time! Many yoga studios have discounted passes this month. If you’re ready to get started, here’s what you’ll need:

1. Yoga Mat

As if this isn’t the most obvious yoga essential! While many gyms and studios may have mats for members to use, if you’re really going to devote some time on the mat… it’s worth the investment to just buy your own. This way, you can practice at home, and when you aren’t at home you don’t have to worry about using a (potentially dirty) mat that’s been used countless times by others at your gym/yoga studio.

One yoga brand I really love is Gaiam. Gaiam has everything a yogi needs, for any and all levels of yoga or meditation.

Gaiam mats come in a wide variety of thickness, material, and patterns. Of course, you can just go for a basic mat, but again, if you’re going to start spending more time on a yoga mat, you might as well buy one that you like to look at! Mine is reversible: pink on one side and navy on the other. I’m very minimalistic in style, but a fun pop of color sold me on my mat. Gaiam also has lots of mats with beautiful designs.

Tip for beginners: the “basic” thickness of a yoga mat is ⅛ of an inch (2-3mm). However, the thicker the mat, the more comfort/cushion that you have. Consider this when purchasing. But also take into consideration that the thicker the mat, the harder some poses that require balance can be as the cushion can affect your equilibrium in certain asanas. If you’re looking for a little extra cushion go for a 4-5mm, but any higher than a 5 and you risk having too much cushion to successfully balance in your poses.

2. Bag/Sling

If there’s one awesome thing about yoga, it is that you really only need YOU and your mat. You just roll it on up and head to class. You don’t have to carry around a big gym back when you’re heading to yoga, you can simply opt for a sling to wrap around your mat so it doesn’t unroll when stored or when in transport.

However, if you’re like me, you could be ever-attached to your phone and need a little more than a sling. I just bought the Gaiam On-The-Go Mat bag, so I have an option outside of my gym bag to take to yoga class and yoga teacher training with me. It’s not a big bag, but more functional that a basic sling as it has a pocket for my keys, gym card, cell phone, etc.

Gaiam also offers gym bags with compartments to hold your yoga mat, depending on your needs.

3. Yoga Block

Yoga blocks are perfect for all levels of yogis! Yoga blocks have many different uses. They can be used as a seat for meditation, for stability purposes in standing poses, and can also be used as an extension of the floor when your flexibility just doesn’t allow you to touch the ground.

4. Yoga Strap

Yoga straps are used to increase flexibility and further your stretch into poses. They can also be used to aid in stamina, as you’ll be able to hold poses longer with the assistance of a strap. Check out this tutorial from YogiApproved to see how a yoga strap is used.

These are my four yoga must-haves!

Gaiam even put together their own Yoga for Beginners Set, where you can purchase a mat + block + strap + beginners yoga DVD for less than $25! Complete steal! Add in a sling/bag and you could be getting all four of my yoga essentials for less than $40!

OR — you can just do what I did and pull together all of your favorites and curate your own yoga kit. Right now, you can Save 20% Off All Yoga Mats & Accessories At Gaiam.com! THANK YOU NATIONAL YOGA MONTH! But, this sale ends 9/13 — so don’t pass up this chance for a great savings!

 

Are you a practicing yogi? What are your must-haves? If you’re just starting out, why are you starting yoga? I’d love to know! Let’s chat in the comments below.

 

Xo,

Leta

Product Review: The Lion’s Choice Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough

Just call me a cookie monster, y’all! It doesn’t matter if it’s cookie dough, real cookies, Oreos (they aren’t real cookies, they are their own monster), you name it… if it has to do with a cookie, I probably want it. So when I saw that The Lion’s Choice made a macro-friendly edible, raw cookie dough with a lot of protein — I had to try it for myself.

I ordered the Chocolate Chip Cookie SuperFood Edible Cookie Dough (1/2 Pound Container).

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Here’s what I thought…

PROS

• IT IS BEYOND DELICIOUS, although it doesn’t taste like true cookie dough, the chocolate chip flavor did taste like a scrumptious chocolatey-y oatmeal cookie (I say oatmeal cookie because that’s the texture that the “dough” has, as you can see in the picture above). I didn’t want to stop eating it.

• The macros are great for a full serving (30g): 8P | 10C | 7F

• It is yummy raw or heated in the microwave (I preferred to heat mine because it was melty and gooey and that’s how I like my cookies).

• You can eat it out of the jar or put in on top of rice cakes or in your oatmeal, on top of your pancakes, etc.

• It is made without dairy, eggs, gluten, soy, peanuts, or hydrogenated oils.

• 10% of the proceeds of each purchase is donated to charity! The Dream 2 Achieve Foundation is a non-profit organization giving underprivileged youth the opportunity to become involved with youth sports, after school programs, and other activities.

CONS

• If you want something with an actual cookie dough texture, this is not for you. I knew going into it that this would not actually taste like true cookie dough but I know a lot of people will expect this to have the texture and taste of a true, raw cookie dough (because it’s called cookie dough) but if that is what you are looking for, this will disappoint you. It may seem weird to even mention, but I see a lot of people put down companies/brands/products because the “faux” version they make isn’t EXACTLY like the real thing (i.e. people hating on Arctic Zero ice cream because it doesn’t taste like real ice cream… well it isn’t real ice cream, it’s a frozen dessert made to give you a lower calorie option to ice cream, so…).

• The price. It’s $14.99 for an 8 ounce container. That’s almost $2 per ounce and doesn’t include the shipping fee (about $6.50) which comes out to almost $3 per ounce. Even with a 10% off discount code (you’ll find lots of them on Instagram) you’re still probably paying $2-3 per ounce of cookie dough if you aren’t buying anything else.

 

Final Thoughts…

I loved the cookie dough, even despite the price. I’m not price sensitive to products that taste good, are made well (i.e. great ingredients, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free), and donate to good causes. I will definitely be ordering more cookie dough from The Lion’s Choice.

The edible cookie dough isn’t the only product they offer. The Lion’s Choice has a full line of nut butters, protein pancake and muffin mixes, cookie doughs, and powdered peanut butter. I’m actually dying to try the Maple Donut and Butterfinger Bar flavored nut butters! Yum!

All in all, I love a company that stand behinds high quality products and gives back to the community. The Lion’s Choice is definitely worth checking out if you feel the same way.

 

Have you tried any of The Lion’s Choice products before? If so, what did you think? Any favorites I should try? Let me know in the comments below!

Xo,
Leta