How to get your arms ready for tank top season

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Spring is upon us and when the weather starts warming up, it’s time to happily pack away your sweaters and coats (or at least shove them to the back of the closet) and break out the tank tops and short sleeves. But to your horror, all of those delicious winter goodies have made their way straight to your…arms! Not only are your arms not toned and defined, they actually jiggle! You need to get your arms fit, fast! Here are a few easy to do work outs that will reduce embarrassing arm flab quickly, so you can get into your tank tops ASAP!

(OK, first of all, you have to ditch the bad eating. That’s a no brainer – all the arm workouts in the world won’t help you if you’re still packing pies. Check out these fresh summer salad ideas to satisfy your hunger instead!)

Tricep Kick Back

To start this exercise, kneel on a bench with your torso slightly bent forward. With the dumbbell weight of your choice, hold your arm at a 90 degree angle with your dumbbell in front of you. Then, extend your arm back and bring the dumbbell behind you, raising it above your back. This move will define the backs of your arms.

Lateral Shoulder Raise

To start this exercise, sit on a bench or stand. With the dumbbell weight of your choice, hold your arm to your side naturally. Extend your arm straight out until the dumbbell is level with your shoulder. This move will define the underside of your arms.

Upper Back Fly

Sit on a bench and lean forward a bit, with your arms hanging loosely in front of you. With the dumbbell weight of your choice, bend your elbows and extend your forearms just a bit. Flex your shoulder muscles as though you are trying to bring your shoulders to touch behind you. Hold for a few seconds, and release. This move will define your upper back for those spaghetti straps! 

Pushups

Push ups are an old standby that can be done almost anywhere, and can really get those arms looking great. You don’t even need dumbbells for this exercise. If you don’t have the space to lie down, simply stand a few feet from a counter, lean forward and use the counter to push yourself up and down.

Do each of these exercises ten times, with three repetitions. Soon, you notice that your arms will lose their flab and take on a defined appearance that looks absolutely fabulous in a tank top! 

Committed to your success,

Stacy Papakostas

NYC Adventure Boot Camp for Women
www.NYCAdventureBootCamp.com

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Why feel sore?

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Ever wonder why after heading back to the gym after taking few weeks off from working out we feel stiff and sore the next few days. Or if you have to shovel snow or clean out the garage does your back, legs and shoulder ache. Everyone has experienced this muscle stiffness and soreness at some time or another after physical exertion, but why?

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, also known DOMS, is described as muscle pain, soreness or stiffness that usually occurs 24-48 hours after working out. It generally peaks around the 24 hour mark and in severe cases can last for 3-4 days after.

Causes

The causes are not fully understood but are theorized to be due to small micro-tears of the muscle fibers and are thought to be related to certain types of muscle contractions. The severity of the pain is not necessarily related to the severity of muscle damage but it does depend to a large extent on the type of exercise, the duration and the intensity.

Treatment

Depending on the level of soreness, working out the next day is okay and can actually help relieve the stiffness. You should take it easy and not overdo it especially with lower body/leg exercises. Warm up well beforehand and perform some light sets of the exercises before the real sets. Stretching can also be very beneficial in relieving the soreness. For severe soreness, icing and massage the affected areas can also help. You can also just wait it out as it will simply go away after a few days.

Prevention

Most people experience some level of being sore after beginning a workout program, or performing an activity that they have not participated in for a while. This can be avoided by taking it very gradual when beginning a program and progressing with very small increments. As the body adapts to exercise so to it should adapt to the response to increases in exertion levels. Contrary to the popular belief that once you have been working out for a few weeks you should not continue to experience DOMS after your workouts. If you completely change your program and start something very different then you will experience a certain amount of soreness but not the same levels as when you began your program first.

Not feeling any soreness after working out does not mean you are not working out hard enough or that you have hit the plateau. It just means that you have both adapted to this level of exertion and also your body has adapted to the pain response related to exertion. It is okay not to feel stiff or sore after working out.

There is a distinction between soreness and pain. Pain is a message from the body – “too much!” So when we feel pain, it is our cue to stop, take a breath, and reassess. Sometimes the act of stopping and breathing is enough to ease the pain and then we can continue. But other times, a different approach is called for. Easing off, going at a slower pace, or trying a different exercise may be more appropriate.

At times like these, it can be useful to look at our health and wellness from a long-term perspective. In the long term, developing a loving and honest relationship with ourselves and our bodies is a much more effective way of getting to where we want to be. If for today, we ease up, soften our approach, we may just have the energy and wellness to push a little harder tomorrow. Certainly our motivation to exercise our bodies, and the likelihood of training again, will be much higher if we are kind to ourselves.

So next time you’re out and over-doing it, take a breath and just stop for a moment. What is your body saying? The more we learn to listen, the more we can pick up on those cues sooner.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit  NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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The Best 9 Sources of Protein

Protein is essential for the buildup of muscles, fat burn and recovery in the body. This is because when you work out, micro tears happen in your muscles which require immediate recovery. For this recovery to happen, protein rich foods should be eaten along with carbohydrates. When it comes to building muscles and recovery, it is important to be knowledgeable about the nutrition that nourishes the muscles, leading to muscle growth and strength gains. There are different varieties of sources of protein out there that you can use for your recovery after the workout.

Here are the best food sources that you can use for overall fitness.

Whey protein

Whey protein is one of the nutrients found in milk. The production of whey protein starts with the simple process of milking cows. Depending on the brand or the name of the whey protein brand that you use, a typical serving of whey protein can contain between 24 to 30 grams of protein. One advantage when adding whey protein to your diet is that it is fast digesting for n even  recovery. It works well whether you use it for your pre-workout supplement or post workout snack. To maximize this essential protein source, you can take 20 grams of protein half an hour before your workout or within 45 minutes after your training. It is also good to take in protein for breakfast, preferably within 30 minutes of waking up, since your body requires protein and nutrients after 8 hours of fasting.

Casein protein

This type of protein powder, casein ranks second best source of protein because of its slow digestion rate. But due to its slow digestion rate, it makes for a great pre-bed time snack. This is due to its characteristic of being slowly digested to combat catabolism as you sleep. An additional reason to take this type of protein is that it makes you less full, making it a great addition for people who wants to gain muscle mass. Just like whey protein when taken post workout, it maximizes protein synthesis of the muscles. Casein is maximized by taking in 10 to 20 grams after your training.

Cheeses

Of all the cheese available in the market, parmesan cheese tends to have the highest amount of protein with 41.6 grams of protein per a hundred gram of serving. Other types of cheeses such as mozzarella, Romano and Swiss cheese provide about 22 grams of protein with every 100 grams of serving. You can use these cheeses with some dishes that you may want to consume or cook at home. In addition to that, they are also great workout snacks especially when paired with whole wheat breads or fruit.

Lean meats

Lean meats such as chicken breasts, turkey, goat meat, pork and lamb contain about 30 to 31 grams of protein with every 100 grams of serving. Chicken comes out on top among the lean meats with 33.6 grams per hundred grams of serving. Pork meat comes out second with 29 grams with every 100 grams served. The lean meats mentioned above can be used with almost any dish you can see during holidays or any given meals. So stick with the lean cuts to maximize your protein intake out of these super foods.

Seafood

Fish sources of protein are becoming more and more popular these days due to the latest discoveries and research proving the health benefits of the fats and oils that they contain. Coming on top among the fish list is the yellow fin tuna with 30 grams of protein in every hundred gram of serving, followed by anchovies containing 29 grams, salmon and halibut tied at 27 grams and snapper and tilapias both with 26 grams. These sources are seen on almost any fish market you find at your place. Look for them and enjoy them in healthy and fast dishes.

Legumes

It is said that the more mature a bean gets, the more protein you can reap out of it. The one containing the most are the matured types of roasted soy beans as it contains nearly 40 grams of protein with every 100 grams served. Beans have also been found as great alternatives when animal sources are not around. Keep these beans on your list and at your kitchen when considering a vegetable type source of protein.

Beef

The leanest cuts can provide around 34 grams of protein with every one hundred gram of serving. When selecting cuts, it is best to choose the leaner ones, with lesser fats. You may also ask your butcher to choose meatier and fat free cuts for you.

Egg whites

Egg whites contain about 7 to 8 grams of protein. You can take in two to three eggs for your breakfast. Another benefit that you can get from eggs is the easier method of cooking as you can have them boiled, sunny side up, or mixed up on your breakfast and snack dishes.

Soy protein

The protein in soy contains complete amino acids along with many health benefits that include improving cardiovascular function and muscle growth for over all fitness. You can use soy protein as one of your major protein sources if you would like to consider a vegetarian type of diet.

Conclusion: There are many different sources of protein that you can use in order to help you build muscle, recuperate and burn fat.  Always remember that proper nutrition and rest are the foundations of a strong, lean and a fit physique.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp  please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Get Bikini Ready In 4 Weeks With These Exercises

 Who doesn’t want to look good in a bikini? Summer is in full effect and that means that it’s time to get that body in good shape. If you haven’t already begun a steady workout regimen, then there is no time like the present. You can whip that body into shape and enjoy a bikini ready body before the end of summer—it really is achievable with the right exercises.

If you are diligent about this program and really push yourself at least five days a week then you can literally transform your body in just four weeks time. Yes this requires dedication and it’s not going to be easy, but it’s all about how bad you want it and so it is hopefully worth the effort. Push for high intensity workouts that incorporate as many of these exercises as possible each and every time. This is how you change your body into the bikini version that you’ve always wanted.

  • Jump Rope: This is just an all over good exercise. It’s cardio and a very accessible type at that. You will also find that you work the biceps, the shoulders, and of course the legs as you work through this exercise. No matter where you are you can pick up a jump rope and crank out this comprehensive exercise.
  • Running: Cardio is a must if you want to shed some fat to get to the lean muscle that you want. So if you want to burn the most calories and the most fat, then running is by far the best way to go. If you are newer to this then start with a run walk combination and then work your way up if you have to.
  • Squats: Nothing is better for the glutes than pushing through some squats. These can be done in a variety of different ways, from various angles, and using weights to increase the intensity. This will not only help you to shed some fat but also to build some crucial muscle in this stubborn area.
  •  Interval Training: Combining high intensity intervals of cardio plus strength training is an excellent overall workout. Work though this like an obstacle course and look for boot camp courses that do this. You will find that you feel challenged and you are combining various intervals of the two most critical aspects of your workouts.
  •  Tricep Extensions: If you don’t want that stubborn layer of fat hanging over the side of your arm anymore, then get those triceps into shape. You can do this with overhead tricep extensions. For an additional challenge try to do this while lying down and balancing yourself on an exercise ball, and then you incorporate several exercises at once.
  •  Push Ups: These are not easy but they are highly effective. What you may not realize is that you are not only getting in a good arm workout, but also strengthening the core as you push up and down while balancing your entire body.
  •  Bicep Curls with Front Lunges: The key to good exercises is to combine movements and this is no exception. You not only work through a bicep curl but you add in the legs with front lunges. This is great for going after those stubborn areas and giving them fantastic tone.
  • Lying Straight Leg Raises: You are lying down with your legs up at a ninety degree angle and then you slowly raise your body up using only your lower half. It sounds easy enough but by the next morning you will feel this in your abs—and that means that it’s working for you!
  • Bicycle Crunches: One of the best abs exercises out there, this is the type that you want to take your time with. Slow down and work each side and then switch. If you do it right then you will feel an intense burn in the abs even during the workout.
  • Shoulder Raises with Side Lunges: You are again creating a compound exercise so you work the shoulders and the legs with this combination. You want to really work at perfecting your technique and ensuring that you get the most out of it.

 This combination of exercises will take you to where you want to get and that is bikini ready. You may think it’s impossible but in no time at all you are going to burn calories, shed fat, and really build up some key muscle tone.

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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Why Boot Camp Works

 

Many women are fearful when they hear about a local boot camp, and this is a terrible mistake. This is not just the type of activity that is made for men and in fact women can benefit greatly from this type of workout. Though you may be new to it you are bound to pick it up fast and feel a challenge and empowerment that you have never felt before. This is the type of workout that every woman should try at some point in her life.

Though not all boot camps are created equally we can offer some really wonderful advantages. You are going to get in really great shape doing one of these and before you know it, your body will change and your strength will just continue to build. This is the type of workout that you will wonder why you ever did without and therefore it’s one that you should be focused on moving forward.

It Truly Challenges the Body

The problem with so many workout regimens out there is that they don’t offer enough of a challenge to the body. Either you get bored or the body becomes complacent after awhile. Just performing cardio won’t work in the long term and strength training alone can get really tiresome and make you feel like all you are doing is building muscle.

Therefore the one big advantage of joining NYC Adventure Boot Camp or one like it in your city is that it offers a very unique and real challenge to the body unlike anything else. You may feel as though you are doing too much but it’s because it’s an all over body workout. You are performing exercises that are more than likely new to you and that’s good because the body responds quite favorably. Therefore you end up doing some really great and challenging things and this is good for every aspect of your health in the long run.

It Works Every Muscle Group

Far too many workouts out there focus on one muscle group at a time. First and foremost there is no such thing as spot training. While you can focus on one muscle at a time, why would you want to do that when you can get it all done in one shot? With this type of workout through boot camp you are really training your entire body all at once. Far more effective and value for your workout time that way!

You are doing things that are cardio based as well as strength training based. So it’s a great aerobic and muscle building and endurance and stamina type of activity. It’s a great combination of activities as well so rather than spending time on one muscle group one day and then moving on the next, you are doing it all at once. This means you get some real bang for your buck and you will start to see that not only in your body changes but in your strength and stamina as well.

It Sheds Fat, Burns Calories, and Builds Muscle Tone

All the health experts out there will tell you that to lose weight we all need to do cardio plus strength training. Boot camp offers that and so much more as you are shedding fat off the body, burning some great calories, and you also happen to be building up some great muscle tone at the same time. This means that it’s a killer workout and you are getting everything you need all in one shot.

When you feel challenged like this is when your body will respond and change favorably. You will never get bored and you will continue to work towards that body that you’ve always wanted with this type of workout regimen. Boot camp really does work!

How are you feeling about your fitness level? Do you have any goals that you want to reach this summer? Please contact me, Stacy Papakostas for a FREE consultation.

If you are in New York City and interested in joining an all woman’s boot camp or Fitness Boxing Classes please visit NYC ADVENTURE BOOT CAMP, mention that you found us through our blog for and extra 15% off a membership. Come work out like a GIRL!!!

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