Archive | February, 2011

How To Be Successful With Your Trainer

18 Feb

I wrote this post for my company blog today but I thought I would share it here as well.

How To Be Successful With Your Trainer
I have been a NASM certified personal trainer for the last four years and I also have a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois. I work for a company called LifeStart which is a corporate fitness company and almost all of the employee’s have some sort of personal training certification or a degree in an exercise science related field.  This gives us the ability to work as personal trainers for the clients that workout at our fitness centers. If you have ever worked with a trainer you may know how helpful it can be in helping you reach your fitness goals whatever they may be.  There are a few things you can do to make sure you are achieving your fitness goals as rapidly as you should be.

  • Check your trainers certifications: Make sure that your trainer either has a NCCA accredited certification (ACSM, NASM, ACE, NSCA, IFPA, NFPT, NESTA, or NCSF) OR has a degree in an exercise related field.  You may also want to ask what their background is with different types of individuals.
  • Do your homework. You are guaranteed an excellent workout whenever you are meeting with your trainer but if that is only one or two times a week you are going to need to be exercising on your own as well.  If you are focusing mainly on strength training with your PT make sure you are doing cardio on your own.  Your trainer should be able to give you recommendations on what type of cardio to be doing, intensity level and duration.
  • Don’t forget about nutrition! While working out is a great component of weight loss and achieving fitness goals, you can’t eat whatever you want and still expect to achieve a six pack.  You must try and follow a healthy eating pattern most of the time.  If you are unsure what to do ask for help from a nutritionist.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “Well I worked out today so I can eat this cupcake and large latte.” It doesn’t work that way, ESPECIALLY if you are trying to lose weight.
  • COMMUNICATE: If you are not happy with the way your working out, say so.  If you are unsure what a specific exercise is working, ask.  If you are having a hard time staying motivated, express your feelings.  Your PT wants you to succeed as much as you want to so they will do everything possible in order to help get you there, but if you don’t give any feedback then it will be really hard for them too fully help you.

If you follow these 4 simple guidelines you should have an excellent experience with your personal trainer!

Three Thing Thursday

17 Feb

It was a beautiful day in Chicago today!! I am the happiest girl ever when it is nice out 🙂

Workout: I ran 4 miles tempo (8:30, 7:49, 8:15, 8:28). My “tempos” are supposed to be between 8:10-8:20..clearly I am not very good at this but I was really happy that my “easy” warm up and cooldown miles were both 8:30’s..thats goal HMP and it felt really quite easy! I also did 3 miles of walk/running with my client.  I am having the same debate as Caitlin in trying to figure out if these should count towards my weekly mileage or not.  They were much slower than my normal pace but I was still running..any opinions?


4 miles: 33:04


Best part was NO shin pain and only a little Achilles tightness! Whoo hoo! I am getting new shoes this weekend so hopefully that will take care of any lingering problems.

And now..3 things Thursday!

  • Thing One: I have a headband obsession.  I seriously wear a headband most days of the week if not all.  I think it started when I began my big girl job because I barely spend any time getting ready so putting a headband on saves time on attempting to fix my hair.  I think I have 5 with bows on them..normal for a 22 year old?

So many headbands

  • Thing Two: This weekend I am going home to Springfield for girls weekend! Every year my mom and her two sisters plus my grandma get together for a weekend of shopping, pedicures and food! I have attended in the past but it’s been awhile so I am excited to go home! I also have big plans to run 8 miles with my sister who is doing the half marathon with me so that will be an adventure as well!
  • Thing Three: I really need a camera so I can stop taking crappy iphone pictures and show you guys pretty pictures 🙂 Any recommendations out there? I always break cameras so I need something durable…and preferably on the cheaper side so when I do end up breaking it I won’t be out that much money.  I’m going to call it an investment in my blogging..I am thinking I should use my tax refund to buy I should probably file those…

Now I am going to attempt to find a fro-yo place.  In Champaign where I went to college there was the best make your own Fro-yo place called Coco Mero..mmm so yummy.  I have had a craving for it for the last few weeks so since its WARM here today I am going to get some!

Any recommendations on camera’s or good shoes for over pronators?

Bottemless Pit

16 Feb

Some days I swear I am a bottemless pit..I can just keep eating and I never get full!

Workout: Today was a cross training day, 50 minutes on the elliptical doing 2 minute intervals between levels 5-11 and then 10 min strength.  3 sets of 12 bicep curls to shoulder press, pushups, back rows with lunges and squats with tricep pulldowns.  Quick and effective.

So last night my valentine and I went on our date.  Such a good idea to go a day later, it wasn’t crowded and it was a regular menu and everything! We went to Tavern on Rush which is apparently a fancy smancy place in the Chi.  And let me tell was DELICIOUS.  We started off with drinks, Sean got a beer and I got a strawberry blonde martini.  YUM.  Then we got the crab artichoke dip for an app..spectacular.  For the main course I ordered a pasta carbonara with grilled was quite tasty as well.  I was sufficiently stuffed to the brim but then the waitress mentioned dessert so I had to at least look at the menu.  We ended up ordering this..


This picture doesn’t do it was the best brownie I’ve ever had.  I then proceeded to be so full I could barely breathe…even this morning I was still full!

But yet after work today I was hungry for I had  part of my leftover pasta.  Then leftover dessert from Monday. Then a graham cracker.  Then part of Seans leftovers.  Then a chocolate chip cookie.  WHAT! It took me all the way until the cookie to feel full..BOTTOMLESS PIT! Given I did not eat enough during the day today with my workout but still..this is a problem ya’ll.

What do you do when you feel like a bottomless pit?

Nuggets, Fishies and Tiffanys

15 Feb

Happy belated Valentines day everyone! I had an action packed weekend so this post may be a little lengthy.

First of All..Workouts!

I ended up cross training Friday and then only running 4.2 on Saturday.  My running meet up fell through so that was really disappointing but I figured lower mileage would help the random achilles pain. I ended the week with 13.7 miles..not what I wanted but oh well.

Then took both Sunday and yesterday off and did 400 repeats today on the treadmill.  Looked like this: 2 mile warm up @6.2-6.5 then 4 x .25 mi @ 8.5 (7:05 pace) with .25 @ 6.0 (10 min pace) in between then 1 cooldown mile @ 6.2.  Overall a solid workout..I still had some pains but it just seems like more tightness then anything.  I am just going to try and run 3 days this week and see if that helps.

So Friday night I went out to Sean’s house in the ‘burbs and we went out to dinner with his parents. Then Saturday was the big babysitting experience.  Awhile back Sean volunteered us to babysit his 7 and 4 year old cousins overnight because he thought it would be fun..and it was! Their whole family calls the boys the nuggets, so we went and picked the nuggets up around noon.  First stop: Mcdonalds. The way to a kids heart right? Then we took them into the city to the Shedd Aquarium.  We had to wait outside for over an hour because apparently it was corporate family appreciation day so it was PACKED..but luckily that also meant that through Sean’s company we got in for free!

We spent a few hours there seeing all the fishies, sharks, whales and seals and then drove back to Sean’s house for a pizza dinner followed up with ice cream and lots of movie watching.  The boys had a great time but unfortunately for their parents we let them stay up WAYY too late so I am sure they were a handful on Sunday.  I took tons of cute pictures I wanted to share but I don’t have a cord for Sean’s camera so maybe someday!

And then Sunday we just hung out all day and went to see “Just Go With It”.  It was actually really cute..better then the reviews said.  Way to go Adam Sandler!

We also exchanged Valentines Day gifts on Sunday..I was kind of being a brat because we didn’t really have any plans to do anything special but then Sean handed me this box and I was happy again 🙂

It was a pair of beautiful silver bead earrings, I love them! Last year he got me a necklace from Tiffany’s that has a small cursive A on it that I wear everyday.  And then tonight we are going out to dinner at Tavern on Rush to celebrate more.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of the delicious desserts my roomates and I had last night to celebrate our roomie valentines day yum!


Delicious Sweet Mandy B's cheesecakes

Chocolate Covered Strawberries..YUM

What delicious treats did you enjoy yesterday?

Happy Birthday to…

14 Feb

The Best MOM Ever!! Today (Valentines Day) is my mom’s 50th birthday! So happy birthday mommy dearest..can’t wait to come home and celebrate with you next weekend!

In honor of the big 5-0 here are some old pictures of my mother and I

A weekend recap of fun with fishies and nuggets plus my valentines present to come tomorrow 🙂

3 Things Thursday

10 Feb

So I decided that 3 Things Thursday sounds much better then 4 things Thursday.. so I lost a thing! This week I bring you 3 Random Things that happened today

  • Today I found out that I am going to be going to see Lil Wanye and Nicki Minaj on April 1st! I am SO excited..I love rap music 🙂 That means from April of last year to April of this year I will have gone to see Black Eyed Peas (twice), Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Dave Matthews, Lady Antebellum and Lady GaGa in concert.  So awesome and such a random mix of artists.  Lady GaGa is coming up in just a few weeks so I will give you all a great review of how amazing she is

    Rascal Flatts Concert

  • 2nd Thing: I really wanted to make a dessert tonight but I wasn’t sure what to make.  So I created Key Lime Pie cups.  I mixed together 2 containers of yoplait key lime pie (light-thick and creamy) with 4 oz of low fat cream cheese and a little bit of whip cream.  I then layered it in little cups with graham cracker crumbs.. delicious!

mm delicious

  • 3rd thing: I got really sweet Nike Shoes for Christmas from Sean.  He custom designed them on the Nike website and they even say Smash on the back! Today I looked like a goon though because I was trying to ice my shin and Achilles tendon at the same time.  I always ice my shin after I get done running because I got shin splints back in October when I first started running again but randomly today by Achilles started hurting too.  I had no idea what it even was until I googled it.  Hopefully it is just a weird twinge that goes away.  I am going to cross train tomorrow and then hopefully be good to go running with Sima and Jane on Saturday morning!

    Crazy leg full of ice



    Smash (that's me!)

    And that’s all I have for you this Thursday! Anyone else happy Sammy is leaving Jersey Shore tonight? And if you have any shin splint/achilles pain advice please please share!!


I ate a veggie..and I liked it!

9 Feb

Happy Hump Day! Wednesday nights are great..because now I only have 2 days of work this week and I get done at 3 both days so I feel like I have so much more time to do things.  Tomorrow I need to go grocery shopping and clean our house!

Yesterday I went over to my aunt’s house for dinner.  My aunt lives less than a mile from me but for some reason we never seem to hang out! She suggested trying to do dinner once a month so we finally had our first one this week.  I’ve mentioned before that I am not a big veggie fan.. unless they are in soup I don’t eat too many of them (besides sweet potatoes).  I think I just need to learn how to cook them..enter dinner at the aunts.  She made a delicious stir fry full of veggies, topped with some peanut sauce, and with some chicken.  It was DELICIOUS and I was shocked that I liked it.  Maybe I can learn to like veggies after all.  We also had beer bread *yummmm* and homemade sweet potato fries.  For dessert we had a bunch of fresh berries with whip cream.  It was all soo good I was in heaven.

I was feeling lazy yesterday and I didn’t feel well so I decided not to work out..whoops.  I did shovel snow for 45 minutes so that counts right? Today I decided I still wasn’t feeling running so I did 30 min on the elliptical then 20 min strength circuit that looked like this

  • Bicep curls to shoulder presses (9 lbs x 12)
  • Bench Press (45 lbs x 12)
  • Back Rows (5 lbs x 12/arm)
  • Tricep Pull downs on cable machine (40 lbs x 12)
  • Side to side band walks (12 steps/side)
  • Squat Jumps x12
  • Back lunges to single leg deadlifts (x12/leg)
  • Stability Ball Crunches x 20
  • Core rotations on cable machine (30 lbs x 12/side)

I did that circuit 3 times and it was a really good total body workout.  It kept my heart rate up while working all different muscle groups.  Finished up with 5 minutes on the bike.

Hopefully tomorrow I will feel like running again..this weekend I am meeting up with one of my friends from college for my long run so I am super excited for that!

I am trying to decide what to make for dinner tomorrow night and make my grocery list..

Any suggestions???