Living Fit For Life: Success Story: Tonya
I had the privilege of meeting Tonya when I was in the hospital with our daughter Angelina. We were a few doors down from their sweet family. We instantly bonded and occasionally hangout during our hospital stay.
When we were in the hospital Dennis and I would bring out resistance bands and workout together. Tonya spotted us one day and contacted me when she was interested in coming up with a workout plan she could do at home. Tonya shares here:
I met Michelle through our daughters-Angelina and Harper, in 2014. I learned she was a personal trainer and would see her working out in the hospital sometimes. I thought, “Wow-now THAT is commitment!” My husband ended up getting deployed in February of 2015 for nine months. I knew that there was no way I could go to the gym. I contacted Michelle and she came up with plans every month for me to do at home”.
When Tonya’s husband was deployed she didn’t have a lot of time and needed quick effective workouts. She wanted to get back into shape after having her daughter and needed a workout plan that could work with her lifestyle. Tonya expands on this here:
” I was completely out of shape after having my daughter and I knew I needed to get back into the swing of things. I had always been in okay shape, but after spending many months in the hospital with Harper, the stress and hospital food had gotten to me. I am a person who gets bored easily with workouts. I told Michelle this and when she made my plan each month, every week was different. It was perfect! I had also mentioned that I didn’t have a ton of time. Most of my workouts happened after 8:30 pm when the kids had all gone to bed. I was usually exhausted but knew I needed to workout. She tailored them so that most of the workouts could be completed in thirty minutes. After a few months, I was running some 5K’s again. I began to lose weight, was getting stronger and fitting back into old clothes again. When my husband returned home, I needed to continue to workout. Now that he was back, I was able to join a gym again, but I continued to use some of the workouts Michelle had made for me on the days I couldn’t make it to the gym. Just this past April, I ran my very first half marathon in under two hours”.
Michelle provided me with support by: “I loved the text check-ins every week. I knew she was just a text or phone call away too if I had any questions about the workouts or moves. I also like the little challenges she does throughout the year.
One thing I learned while working out with Michelle is how to lift weights. Michelle continues to motivate me and help me reach new goals by helping me understand the important components of an exercise program. Tonya expands about the components of a well-balanced workout routine: “I had never really lifted before working out with Michelle. She taught me that a good balanced workout routine included lifting. I lost weight but I also gained muscle (and definition!). She is very encouraging and willing to help at any time”.
Tonya learned to implement fitness and turn it into her daily routine by: “Once my husband returned home, I needed to get out of the house to workout. It was my time to unwind and focus on myself again. I can tell the days I don’t get a chance to workout-I am cranky, irritable, and just feel “blah”. Even if all I can fit in is a walk with my family, I try to do something every day now”.
One other important aspect of a living a fit lifestyle that Michelle incorporates when working with clients is the online Facebook group is about eating healthy. Tonya learned about healthy portions and nutrition by: “The quick articles she posts or the pictures of her own meals are very helpful in seeing what is a healthy portion”.
My name is Tonya. I am an elementary teacher. I have been married to Aaron for almost 8 years. We have three kids; Kaitlyn (11-his from a previous marriage), Landon-6, and Harper-3. Harper was born with Down syndrome and is the reason Michelle and her family came into our lives. ❤
This past week I had the opportunity to contribute to Still Standing Magazine. This is a magazine to help grieving hearts, those struggling with child-loss and infertility. Writing has really served as a great aid in my healing. My heart in sharing Angelina’s story through writing is that it can bring HOPE to hurting hearts. You can read more about Angelina’s story here:Angelina’s Story.
Working out during my grieving journey has really aided in my healing. It has served as such a healthy outlet and a way to process. We all workout for our each unique purposes. To release stress, for our health and maybe as a fun past time. Over the last few years in my life this discipline I had created in my life has served as much more than just a workout. It has provided an escape in which I can engage, process and move through grief.
Whatever unique reason you workout. I encourage you to get up and get moving with these bodyweight exercises. I am sharing two separate video’s today in this bodyweight bootcamp. This may have been a film blooper!
Video 1: Lateral Burpees (this can be modified by taking out the hops and stepping). A few prerequisites for burpees: good trunk stability and perform deep squats with good form. The lateral burpee targets more of the adductors by adding a lateral hop.
Perform this exercise first for 30-45 seconds followed by the next two exercises in this post and take a 1-3 minute break and repeat 3-4x.
Video Two: The next two exercises are called Grasshoppers and Tuck Jumps. You can find a different way to incorporate grasshoppers here. Common cues I have used in the past for any plank exercise is keeping the fingers spread wide to protect wrists, line your shoulders and hands up. Keep the hips tucked under to prevent from putting stress on your low back and keep your core tight. For tuck jumps keep a very strong core while performing jumps.
I start with a more modified version and then add intensity by adding a hop. I end here with tuck jumps.
I hope you enjoyed this series! What types of workouts would you like to see more of? I would like to finish my series I started last fall, OOPS! 🙂 called Adding Variety to your workout
Happy sweating and blessings,
TGIF! I hope your week treated you well and you are gearing up for a fun weekend. This week I taught my classes and celebrated with my clients. I love watching them make the small steps to live a fit lifestyle. I made this smoothie yesterday after my last training session and it was so refreshing on such a hot day! You can find two other posts and a little more about bodyweight workouts here: Bodyweight Bootcamp Week 1 & Bodyweight Bootcamp Week 2
This week was the second week that I offered a free fitness class at our local church. If you are interested in coming the next two weeks please contact or send me a quick message. We would love to have you join. You can find the details about that class here: Free Workout Class
I met with my massage therapist on Tuesday. Let me tell you she is not only awesome but highly educated in her field. I was reminded how much we all need to take the time to care for our bodies not only in the gym but after we workout. I meet with her a few times a year. Michele specializes in Neuromuscular therapy, Active Isolated Stretching, Mattes Method, and Neurokinetic Therapy. If your looking for a massage therapist or interested in learning more about the areas Michele specializes in you can find more out on her Facebook page: Michele L. Sanders, LMT
I am going to share three quick and effective bodyweight exercises with you today. You can do this circuit anywhere and repeat it 4-8x’s. The first video is a modified level one bodyweight bootcamp and the video below it is a level 3 advanced video.
You can perform the exercise video below after a solid warm-up.
Perform each exercise all out for 20 seconds/rest 20 seconds repeat 4-8x
modified jacks (video 1) or jumping jacks (take out the hop to decrease intensity)
Wall sits(video 1) or squats (make sure that when your doing your wall sit your knee is in line with your hip and your quads are pararell to the floor) (When squating keep your chest tall, core tight and weight in heels)
wall push-aways (video 1) or push-ups (line up the shoulders and hands, keep your core tight and don’t let the hips sag) When you are at the wall for push-aways the closer you are to the wall the easier this exercise will be. The further away you are the harder this exercise will be. The same goes for the distance between your feet. The more narrow will make wall push-aways more intense.
Stretch 5-7 minutes
I’ll be posting these every Friday! Happy bootcamping! A special thanks to my oldest daughter who was my videographer today.
Living Fit For Life: Success Story : Kayla
I met Kayla through a referral of a family member. Kayla has such a sweet and gentle spirit about her. She was ready to begin a workout program to help combat low energy levels and improve her overall well-being.
Kayla and I worked together through a consultation to develop a foundational program in which she could build on each month. Kayla began working out and mentions how Live Fit Women’s Fitness programs helped her here: “The Live Fit programs have helped me in so many ways, I feel happier knowing I have a way to escape some of the stress I have. I’ve also found a love for lifting and intervals on the treadmill because of these programs. I enjoy the way I feel after a workout.”
Kayla continued working out on a consistent basis and utilized a private Facebook group that is used for Live Fit Women’s Fitness clients. Kayla took part in online bootcamps that I offer throughout the year through my social media sites. Kayla talks about those how the Bootcamps, accountability of both my support and the Live Fit Women’s Fitness Group helped her stay on track to reach her goals: “Michelle is awesome at providing support and accountability. When doing bootcamps she uploads videos of herself doing the workouts and also responds to you super quick if you have a question or need assistance on any of the exercises. She also checks in about once a week or anytime you’re really needing it! If you text her she always replies. She also posts different types of things on the Live Fit Women’s Fitness facebook page. You always have access to that if you are in the group. You have the opportunity to connect, encourage and look for support from the members of the group”.
In addition to learning how to lift weights and incorporate interval training Kayla learned how to begin making changes to both her nutrition and improve her overall lifestyle by slowly adding in healthier habits. Here are a few ways Kayla serves as an inspiration to how changing and incorporating tiny changes in our habits can serve as a cataylst for life long healthy living: “I always try and work out everyday or try to get my 10,000 step goal on fitbit no matter what I’m doing. Before I thought it was silly and didn’t really care but now that I know how good I feel after a workout. I enjoy doing it. Also it helps to see how far I’ve come in progress pictures I have taken and when I increase the amount of weight I’m lifting. Michelle has helped me learn more about healthy snacking. Before I considered myself a very unhealthy snacker. Now if I have a choice I’ll try to have something healthier or even try and let myself have a few chips or something but add a fruit with it. I learned to eat to fuel my body. It helps that the ladies on the facebook page post new recipes ideas often”.
Congratulations Kayla and thank you for sharing your journey and commiting to Live Fit for Life!
A little more about Kayla: I am 25 years old. Have a degree in Early Childhood Intervention Specialists. I currently nanny and love it!
You can connect with Kayla and follow her fitness journey on Instagram: @_kayex3
This summer is sure flying by, isn’t it. It’s Fri-YAY. You know what that means? The day that I give you three body weight workouts that you can do from the comfort of your yard, home and maybe while you’re laying by the pool.
I hope your holiday treated you well. Here I am running in a July 4th race and we celebrated afterward with some pool time, ribs, and fireworks.
I also had so much fun meeting up with the ladies that I workout with at a local gym and we got together and made homemade freezer jam. Strawberries are about out of season but you could still make some jelly with other types of fruit that are coming into season. I made both freezer jam (no cook) and regular strawberry jam. I serve so many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in this house that having the homemade jam is worth the effort and tastes pretty incredible. It’s a summer tradition and I was excited to share that tradition and help some ladies learn how easy and quick making (no cook) freezer jam is. The difference between cooked jam is that you have to boil it with the pectin on the stove.With cooked jam you use the Ball canning jars and lids. (No cook) jam requires stirring in the pectin, freezer safe containers, and can be done in much less time. The Freezer jam can be stored for up to a year in the freezer. Canned jelly can be stored for a much longer duration.
We had lots of laughs and the kitchen was pretty gooey but it was well worth the mess afterwards! I use my homemade freezer jam and cooked jam in a lot of different ways. Below is a quick list of how I add a little flavor to different breakfast and dessert options.
- I put the jam in plain chobani yogurt
- In oatmeal
- I substitute on pancakes instead of syrup
- In Cottage cheese
- On cheesecake
- Peanut butter and jelly
- On Ezekiel toast
I have also been on an oatmeal bowl kick lately. I add just about everything to my oatmeal. Below is a photo of homemade jam, coconut flakes, and chia seeds.
Enough talk of food. I’m getting hungry. I hope these options help you come up with some new idea’s for breakfast to add into your morning meal rotation. Last week I talked about body weight exercises and you can read more information on them here: Bodyweight bootcamp
The video below is an advanced bodyweight bootcamp. You should be able to perform a side plank first in a modified position fifteen-thirty seconds before you begin bringing your arm under your body. You can start with wall push-aways or on your knee’s to bring down the intensity of the push-up and maintain good postural alignment through the exercises.
You can perform the exercise video below after a solid warm-up.
Side plank (hold 15 seconds, 3 reps of bringing your arm under with control)
3 push-up’s (wall push-aways or modified push-ups on your knee’s)
Side Plank (hold 15 seconds, 3 reps of bringing your arm under with control)
Return to plank and repeat 3-4x
Take a 1-2 minute break between each circuit
Stretch 5-7 minutes when you have completed this workout.
I’ll be posting these every Friday! Happy bootcamping! A special thanks to my hubby who is my videographer. Look for a post on Tuesday about an awsome success story I’ll be sharing about one of my clients.
If you are local check out my About Me tab and scroll down to Live Fit Ministry and Local Meeting Times. I’m offering a free workout class July 12, 19, 26 and August 2nd. If you want to get more information about this class please leave your information and I will contact you.
I hope your summer is going spectacular. Isn’t it semi-crazy trying to fit workouts in during the summer months? Work, picnics, the pool and extra-curricular events make it challenging to fit in your workouts.
I have been wanting to post a series for a while about bodyweight exercises. This bootcamp requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Each week this summer I will post a short video. The bodyweight bootcamp will have three exercises that make up the workout.
You can take this bodyweight bootcamp to the beach, baseball games and at the park.
What are bodyweight exercises? Bodyweight exercises can be done with your own bodyweight and no equipment is needed! Bodyweight exercises help develop strength, power, and stamina. These exercises improve your body’s ability to move with skill and efficiency. These exercises are beneficial when paired with interval training. Below are a few tips for mastering bodyweight exercises.
- Start with foundational exercises first. Basic jumping jacks,planks, squats, mountain climbers, push up’s, and dips. I don’t suggest jumping in the jump squat in the video if you haven’t exercised recently. You could simply step each foot up and squat three times. Gain strength and form before you start adding high-impact to your body weight bootcamp.
- Focus on your form. I can’t stress this enough. Know your body and your limits. When in high plank, spread your fingers wide to protect the wrists, keep your core tight, don’t let your hips sag and line your shoulders and hands. Gradually increase the intensity and time your performing bodyweight exercises. You could start in a modified wall plank and progress to the ground, and perform plank on your knees. when you feel ready perform a full plank you can then add in the taps and oblique exercises.
- Consistency is the key in making progress. If you want to see results and progress in your workouts you have to remain consistent and gradually increase your workload over time. If you look back a month or even a few weeks you will start to see small progress in how long you can hold plank and your stamina increasing while performing squats and jumping jacks.
- Check with a doctor before beginning any exercise program. Warm-up 5-7 minutes and cool-down stretch when you have completed the workout.
- Maximum Interval Training- By: John Cissik and Jay Dawes was referenced and used when writing this post.
The video below is an advanced bodyweight bootcamp. You should be able to perform a plank fifteen-thirty seconds before you begin tapping and twisting. In order to perform the bodyweight frog hop you should be able to perform a minimum of twenty bodyweight squats and maintain good postural alignment through the exercises.
You can perform the exercise video below after a solid warm-up.
- 8 plank taps
- 8 oblique twists
- 3 frog hops
- Return to plank and repeat 3-4x
- Take a 1-2 minute break between each circuit
Stretch 5-7 minutes when you have completed this workout.
I’ll be posting these every Friday! Happy bootcamping! A special thanks to my hubby who is my videographer. I was gardening and decided to get a quick bodyweight bootcamp in!
If you missed week one of training you can catch up on this post: https://livefitwomensfitness.com/2015/02/12/half-marathon-training/
It is so cold here and the snow just keeps falling, falling and falling. Not the greatest recipe for the opening week of training as I want to stay curled up on the couch with coffee, my leg warmers and a good book.
This week I put one foot in front of the other as I began my half-marathon training. I had a fair amount of days that I wasn’t feeling my run but after completion I was loving the endorphin rush and boost of positive energy.
Here’s a recap of the week:
I always loved interval workouts and Wednesday I hopped on my treadmill and ran my 400 repeats. I broke down my desired mile pace for the half-marathon and my time for sprinting the 400’s (2:07) and took about a 3-4:00 minute break of running in between to fully recover between all four of the 400’s. I was able to finish up this interval (track repeats) workout in around 30-32:00 minutes. Thursday I ran 3 miles in around 26:00 minutes. Running on the treadmill has been a little hard to jump back into, but over time I will start to get used to it again.
Sunday I hit the local gym with my sister in law and we ran 3 miles on the treadmill in around 27 minutes.
I want to encourage you this week with this: Don’t Let comparison steal your joy.I was working with a training client who has done absolutely amazing. She started comparing herself to other women in the gym. I stopped her in her tracks and I said “Don’t ever compare yourself, stop and look how far you have come.” She is able to lift heavier, run farther, and hold yoga poses longer. My friends don’t waste your time comparing and worrying about everyone else’s journey. Focus on putting one foot in front of the other and running your race. Those comparisons creep up everywhere from the gym, to at work, church, and between you and your friends. God has us exactly where he wants us and the beauty is found admist the struggle of overcoming the tough stuff, whatever it is in your specific life. This reminds me of such an important lesson this week. To stop comparing my journey to others and to focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
“May The Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”
2 Thessalonians 3:5
This week my prayer is to try to become better at focusing on how to love like Christ and to pray for his perseverance when I am feeling weak. To appreciate exactly where he has me in this specific season and to not allow comparisons creep in to steal the joy the Lord fills me with.
Here is my half-marathon schedule for weeks 2-3:
Happy Running, Blessings
Once the middle of March hits the excitement that my treadmill brought me at the beginning of January usually begins to slowly loose it’s luster. At first it’s exciting to start back into a new training plan and over time things start to get a little mundane. This is when I like to spice things up in my running routine. It depends exactly what my goals are during the specific season of life I am in, but over the years these four ways to spice up your running routine listed below have always left me continuing to love my treadmill instead of dreading it after my 30 minute treadmill workout is completed.
I love to use the treadmill to help train for competing in local road races, to loose baby weight from pregnancy, to stay in shape, and to fit in my summer bikini. I have often used the 30 minute treadmill workout as a way to get a quick burst of cardio in to accompany my lifting and flexibility routine. I try to have a lot of balance when it comes to my training program incorporating cardio, weight and flexibility training spread through out the week. 30 minute treadmill workouts help me get my cardio in when I can’t get to the gym to participate and teach group exercise classes or outside to run at local trails. Our cardiovascular health is important and here are a few reasons why:
The 2011 American college of Sports Medicine guidelines recommend either doing 30 minutes moderate-to-intense cardio workout at a pace that works up a light sweat, fives days a week or a 20 minute vigorously intense cardio workout three days a week. If you are looking to loose weight and improve your fitness level 30-60 minutes of moderate-to-physical activity five times a week is necessary. Benefits of a 30 minute treadmill workout is boosting the health of your heart, increasing your all around cardio fitness, burns calories and fat (helping you loose or manage your weight), increases energy levels, and helps with stress.
This past winter I have been trying to ease back into my workout plan and shed around 25 pounds I gained from the birth of my third child. I have slowly worked my way back into running and started walking 15 minutes and jogging for a few minutes and gradually have worked myself back up to 30 minutes. You can adjust your speed to where you feel comfortable using each of the four ways to spice up your running routine listed below (listen to your body and start gradually).
Over time make sure that these four ways to spice up your running routine seem challenging. What happens as we begin to get stronger and more fit our bodies begin to adapt to our training program. This often leaves us not seeing the results that we are hoping and decreases our perseverance in our training plan. This is when you can adjust that speed dial to a faster and more challenging speed (I look at is as graduating to the next level, which is a huge deal showing consistency and hard work!).
It’s important to apply the overload principle and change up your workouts every 6-8 weeks. When exposing our body to the overload it makes it work harder then it normally would have to work, improving our fitness level and helping to prevent our bodies from plateau. Plateau happens when we constantly do the exact same workout for weeks at a time. Over time our bodies start to adapt to our workouts and we won’t see the results we once saw in the beginning. Changing up your workouts help you challenge your body in different ways, reduces chance of over-use, and injury.
30 Minute Treadmill Workout – Four ways to Spice up your Running Routine:
1.15 Minutes- moderately hard in which you could have conversation if you were running with someone and the last 15 minutes pick up the pace to were you are unable to hold that conversation. I do this often on Monday morning after the weekend when I feel tired and unmotivated. I give my body about 15 minutes of getting back into the groove for the week and then the last 15 minutes I hit it hard. This is also a great way to train your body to become stronger at the end of the race or workout, really burn some calories fast, and to help change over foot speed and pace if your training for road races .
2. Circuit your running. I use this midweek when a 30 minute treadmill workout just seems like to long to be on my treadmill. I’ll do 5 minutes on the treadmill, 1 minute explosive plyo-metric drill (jumping jacks, box jumps, high knee’s) followed by a set of lifting (depending on the day back and biceps, chest and tricep or legs and shoulders), followed by 2-3 minutes of lifting. I will circuit this until I have completed 30 minutes on my treadmill.
3. Interval using a 3:1 ratio. I will run three minutes hard and run comfortably hard for a minute to allow some recovery time. Repeat until you’ve reached 30 minutes.
4. Hill repeats. I will use the incline and run a pretend hill every 5 minutes for a minute or instead of hills just run quick bursts of sprints throughout the duration of the workout. doing this for 30 seconds at a time.
Each of these 30 minute treadmill workouts have really helped me beat boredom and make those thirty minutes of cardio conditioning fly by!
What’s your favorite thirty minute treadmill workout?