Favorite Leg/Glute Workout

Show me some leggies

It’s been some time now that I’ve been wanting to share some of my personal workout routines.

Let’s just say that, by far, this one has been my favorite. This workout is a variation from a leg/glute workout plan by trainer and Glute Guru,  Bret Contreras. I must warn you!, this workout is definitely not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up for the challenge- get ready!

But, before I go onto the workout details, I feel a big need to explain in more detail why this program has been my favorite so far.

You see, my legs grow quickly. They get bulky really, really, fast..and not in the good way. But guess what doesn’t grow proportionately to my legs?? My butt.  My tushy,  derriere, booty, butaay, glutes, whatever you want to call it, does not grow no matter how hard I was hitting my compound leg movements. There lies my frustration. I can do a thousand lunges, squats, deadlifts and nothing, nada! You see for most, the great majority that is, doing compound movements such as the infamous full squat, produce great, wait, not great, FANTASTIC results in the tushy area. But NOT me…ahhh damn you genetics!!

Ok I have to say that alongside this great workout, sprinting and stair running has definitely changed the shape of my legs and butt. Ever seen a sprinter’s lower body? Makes me say wanna say (with my index finer held high, of course), “Yep, I’ll take 1 of those to go, please.”  Losing body fat will make that booty and legs pop on its own. But, it’s also a great idea to help shape them with a good workout plan.

The following is a variation of a program by Bret Contreras. I say variation because some of the exercises are out of sequence, didn’t use all of the exercises he uses/I added some, my reps/sets are different and I improvised using the machines that are in my gym.

Since I’ve been on this plan, I’ve noticed major results in my posterior-chain (erector spinae group, hamstrings and glutes). I suggest to take a before workout picture of a side butt shot, and then one right after you complete this workout. You are sure to see a good pump!

I’m also going to include the weights I use just to give you an idea. BUT, keep in mind that you must cater to your own needs. Your weights are going to be different than mine. For example, in Full Squats the heaviest I can safely and with proper form, perform is around 80#, which is not a lot, but it’s a lot for me. Remember is not about EGO. It’s about doing ’em right! So be SMART and challenge yourself!!

Oh, oh, oh…do some dynamic stretching beforehand! Stretch out those hamstrings and quads really well!

Without further ado:

A.) Full Squats: 6-8 reps x 5-6 sets  (75# and may drop 5-10# throughout) 30 sec rest

B.) Hex-Bar Deadlift (my very favorite contraption ever!!)  4-6 reps x 5-6 sets (150-160#) 30sec rest

C.) Dumbbell High Step-Ups (I use this one) 12-15 per leg x 4-5 sets (10-12#) 30-45sec rest

D.) Weighted Hip Thrusts: 12-15reps x 5-6 sets (30-35 #) 30 sec rest

E.) Cable Single Legged Kick-Backs: 12-15 reps per leg x 5-6 sets (30-40#) 30 sec rest

F.) Weighted 45° Back Extension: 10-12 reps x 4-5 sets (25# plate) 30 sec rest

G.) Weighted Hip Bridges 8-10 reps x 4 sets (40-45#) 30sec rest

F.) Hip Abduction “Bad Girl Machine”: 12-15 reps x 3 sets (50#) 30sec rest

Now that you’ve successfully completed this awesome workout, go dip your lower body into some iced water! just kiddin’.. No, but, seriously you should, if you’re brave enough, you’re gonna need it!

Ice bath or not, you should definitely foam roll soon after and about 4-5 hours after that. Foam roll, foam roll, foam roll.

p.s. Please don’t hate if you can’t sit on the toilet for the next 3 days

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Awesome Resistance Bands Workout

Bands for you, bands for me

Pick a flavor, any flavor

Let’s talk BANDS, resistance bands that is! They come in bright colors, they’re flexible, they look fun, and you think, “Oy the possibilities are endless with these babies!” You end up buying them, and then you’re like what the heck? how do I use this wiggly thing?

But oh my dears, those wiggly things are a great investment!

Resistance bands are great for toning and overall body strengthening. They allow your muscle fibers to elongate and to stay under tension throughout the concentric, when you shorten the muscle-such as when you curl your bicep, and eccentric movement, lowering movement-bicep curl when arm comes down  to the start position. Thus, it increases your strength. These bands are great for when you travel, are new to exercising, you become a new momma or if you are recovering from a light surgery. They are fairly inexpensive ($10-$20) and a super light weight/non-bulky. These things are muy fantastico!

Colors and their meanings:

Yellow-light resistance

Green-medium resistance

Red-medium to heavy

Blue-heavy resistance

Black–extra heavy resistance

If you are a newbie, I would suggest to start with a yellow. If you need more resistance you can always shorten the straps and that will add more resistance automatically. I suggest to keep rest periods short, very short. I’m talking about 30-60 seconds rest, kind of short. Start with 3 sets and work your way to 4 sets. I normally would suggest to pair up your exercises into super-sets, but because you’d need to set up the bands accordingly to each exercise, that just wouldn’t make too much sense. However, there are 2 exercises that are in a superset format (see Monday/Thurs: D1 and D2, Tuesday/Friday C1 and C2). And that is because the set up of the bands are about the same in both exercises. I recommend visuals to see where to place the bands, so YouTube it up beforehand.

Here is the breakdown:

Monday and Thursday:

A.) Resistance band Squats 12-15 reps x 3 sets, take 4 seconds to lower yourself (eccentric) and 2 seconds to come up (concentric). Rest 45 sec and repeat 2 more times.

B.) Resistance band Standing Good Mornings. ARCH your back a tad then start (NEVER round your back!) 3 seconds folding forward, 1 second retraction to upright. (you def need a video on this one). 8-10 reps x3 sets. Rest 45-60 sec.

C.) Resistance band Deadlift. Same goes here, DO NOT ROUND your back! Arch your back a tad, bring shoulder blades back, then you may begin with 3 seconds lowering, 2 seconds up. 10-12 reps x 3 set. Rest 45-60 seconds.

D1.) Resistance band Shoulder Press 6-8.Focus on holding it under tension. 3 second going up, 3 seconds down, pause 2 seconds at the bottom of the movement, then repeat for 6-8x. Rest 0.

D2.) Resistance band Lateral Raises. Same deal here, shoulders are stabilizers, and strengthen best when under tension. 2 seconds to ascend and 3 seconds to descend. 10-12 reps x 3 sets. Rest 45-60 seconds.

Tuesday/Friday:

A.)Resistance band Bench Press. (Alternative to a bench: Coffee table, exercise ball, floor). 3 sec to lower the band, 1 sec to push up it up. 10-12 reps x 3 sets. Rest 45-60 sec.

B.)Resistance band Rows (seated on floor). 2 seconds to pull, 4 seconds to retract. 12-15 reps x 3 sets, rest 45-60 seconds.

C1.) Resistance band Bicep Curls. Focus on squeezing your bicep at the top portion and slowly lower) 10-12reps x 3 sets. rest 0.
C2.) Resistance band Tricep Extensions 10-12reps x 3 sets. Rest 45 sec.

D.) Resistance band Upright Rows. 10-12reps x 3 sets. Focus on bringing the bands up to your collar-bone and lower within 4 seconds.

Drink a nice cold WHEY protein shake or eat a nice piece of fish/chicken/lean beef with a big ‘ol bowl of veggies right after and feel content!

Happy future workout days ahead! 

Motivation

With the weekend finally here (whoop whoop!)  I’ve  compiled a itty-bitty list of things to reflect on.  Feel free to add to the list and make it your own!

1. It’s never too late to start taking care of your body. Start today!
2. Patience is a virtue. It takes time so see changes in your body. Fat did NOT accumulate overnight, so you can’t expect to go away overnight (it would be great eh?)
3.Eat whole foods and avoid processed foods. It’ll make you feel oh-so-good in the insides. Oh, and you’ll be pooping it up in no time!
4. Keep moving. Even on day’s you take a break from the exercising , stay active. Go for a walk, hike, bike, yoga, Pilates, whatever rocks your boat! The point is to do something that is fun yet active.
5. Drink loads and loads of agua/h20/waterrrrrrr! How else is your body going to flush out toxins out of your body?? Rule of thumb: if your thirsty, you’re dehydrated. So drink up!
6. And finally–Never compare yourself to anyone. You are unique, and the only person you should want to be better than, is YOU. It’s great to have someone to aspire to, but understand that you will never look exactly like that person, you’ll look better, because you’ll be your very own version!… Ok, ok I know that sounds cheesy and all, but trust me, it’s true.

Hope you all have a happy Friday!

p.s. I’m gonna have me some sushi tonight! 😀

most importantly..

most importantly..

Mirla’s past was, What?.. covered in chocolate, potatoe chips and diet coke??

Let me tell you why I decided to start this new  blogging project…

I started working out not too long ago. Waaaa? Really?? Yes, really, it’s true, this year marked my two year anniversary of ever lifting a dumbbell in my life. My best friend from high school can testify that I WAS the laziest person ever. I was so lazy that we would hang out in the living room instead of her room because she was on the 2nd floor and that meant climbing stairs… I know, I know, pathetic! I will confess that now that I look back on that memory, I can’t seem match those past images with who I am now. In my mind, I feel like I’ve always been the way I am now. Well, anyhow, what I am getting at is we all have it in us to be fit. No matter what stage you are in life.
We all need that ‘fire’ to spark up our reasons to workout. I know this too well. Two years ago, I was going through a really rough patch in life. I was, among other things that I won’t bore you with, was overweight for my size–I’m tiny 5’1”, in a new state, knowing no one, job-less and away from my family. I was so depressed.  I ate a lot of junk food. Loved chips, drank Diet Coke, ate candy like no one’s business and refused to eat normal food. I felt like shit. I tried to eat salads or whatever ‘healthy’ foods I saw in the store, but it tasted all too bland for my palate. I would eat 1 meal and just couldn’t make myself to eat more of the same type of foods. It’s a hole that you just can’t seem to get out of. I would look up information on diets and workouts in magazines and on TV, but honestly it didn’t matter because even though I had a gym membership, I was too self-conscious to get myself there. I knew I had to do something asap!
That’s when I started to do some yoga. I started with a Monday class. Keep in mind I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect, I set my mat toward the very back of the studio and just copied what everyone else was doing. And guess what?? I loved it. So I went back the next day, and the next, and the next. I followed that pattern for about 6 months, unfortunately, I didn’t lose much weight (~2 pounds), I just got more flexible, started to sleep  better, but most importantly I started to feel more comfortable in he gym setting. After yoga, I would head over to the dumbbell racks and grab a 10 pounder and do some bicep curls. When I felt someone looking at me, I would turn bright red and put the dumbbells away and leave. I then decided to hire a trainer. Money well invested! I learned all about healthy eating habits, vitamins/supplementation and proper form when exercising.
After about two months of eating clean, weight lifting 3x/week and doing HIIT’s (high intensity interval training) 2x/week. I made huge improvements in body composition. I fell in love with the idea of having the ability to make such changes in my body.
Having had said that, I know the challenges that people who are trying to lose weight face everyday, It’s hard work, but you’ve got to search deep in you to find your reasons to make the necessary changes. Maybe it’s just for you? for health? for boyfriend/husband? for family? for _____________?
What ever it may be, I promise it’s all worth it. A month from today, you’ll be glad you ever started.
Until then, train smart y’all!

Let’s get started…

My intention with this blog is to regurgitate all that I’ve learned since day one. Like most of you all know, I love to workout! Over my fitness career I’ve become a certified trainer, competed at local events and have been featured as an athlete for the Oregon National Physique Committee. I love fitness and only hope to inspire more women into getting into the best shape of their lives. Weight training is no longer a man’s thing ladies!