MORE . . . of Lorna Jane

Over the past few weeks I’ve managed to keep my nose in the books and my head in the clouds.   One of the books that made it onto my reading list is this one:

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MORE of the Fit Woman’s Secrets by Lorna Jane Clarkson was just released, and I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy a while back.  Full of motivational messages,  recipes and fitness tips, ‘MORE’ is a must read for anyone looking to gain some perspective on how to lead a healthier, more fulfilling life.

What books are you currently reading?  And where do you turn when you need to refocus and rediscover your motivation?

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What’s Beautiful pt. 2

Hear ye, hear ye: It’s my favorite time of the year! The temps are rising and life is getting busy!  I’m filming a role in a feature next week and I’m preparing to audition for a few more projects.  I’m also staying on top of my fitness goals because, HELLO, it’s beach season!  Well, it’s beach season all year round as far as I’m concerned, but ya catch my drift!  I recently jumped on board Under Armour’s What’s Beautiful campaign and it’s high time I gave you kids an update!

My goal is to be able to do a split.  Inflexible Hammies is the name of my game, so this has been exceptionally challenging for me. I’ve been rolling out and stretching and even took my split pursuing to the aisles of Toys R Us (thanks Gigi for the photo).

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My flexibility has impoved, but I have a looong way to go.  Do any of you have any tips on how to increase flexibility in my hamstrings? I’m 100% in on making this happen, so if you’re a gymnast, yogi or flexibility coach, please help your girl out by leaving a comment below!

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What’s Beautiful?

The most subjective question known to man: What’s Beautiful? In order to redefine what society has forced down our throats as the stereotypical idea of what it means to be feminine, Under Armour has once again launched a campaign encouraging women to create their own definition of the female athlete.  The What’s Beautiful 3.0 campaign gives women a platform to establish personal fitness goals and hold themselves, and eachother, accountable for achieving them.  I have been a feminist since I can remember, and as a lover of fitness, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get involved.

Under Armour

I like to push myself to my limit.  Notice, I said MY limit.  Although I look to others for inspiration, I try not to compare myself because we all have different strengths and goals.  So for me, I decided to push myself to achieve something I’ve never done before.  My goal is two-fold: first, I want to be able to do a split.  Sounds juvenile, but it’s been something that I’ve NEVER been able to do.  I have the tightest hamstrings in the world, and I worry that my inflexibility might lead to injuries (like when I pulled a hammie a few weeks back).  My second goal: to get down to 14% body fat.  This one obviously goes hand in hand with doing bikini competitions.

So how do you define beauty?  And are you ready to join me and Under Armour to set new fitness goals? Let’s do this!

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Track Workout

Since I recently touched on my sprint workout and sprinting biomechanics, I thought it’d be a good time to elaborate on exactly what it is I do when I hit the track and WHY.

Sprinting helps in burning body fat while maintaining and even building muscle.  Being that it is a high impact exercise, sprinting also helps build bone density and strength.  And of course, it builds endurance, so even if you’re a distance runner you can benefit from adding some sprint sessions to your training as it will help increase your speed and and allow you to go further during those long bouts of cardio.

So if you’re looking to challenge yourself and mix up your training, try this out to start.  And be warned, this is a full body workout – you can expect to feel soreness in everything from your chest, upper back, abs, quads and hammies.  Don’t believe me? Just take a look at a sprinter’s physique and tell me that they’re not using every single muscle of their body to work!

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Tuesday = Sprint Day

It’s Tuesday!  That means it’s sprinting day.  I have a love hate relationship with the track; it’s no secret that I hate cardio, but sprinting is A-okay (albeit physically draining)  in my book since you can see results quickly with regular practice.

In anticipation of hitting the track I thought I’d share what a sprint day is comprised of.  Before any knee driving takes place, I do a series of dynamic warm-ups.  Warming up is a workout in and of itself and takes at least 20 solid minutes.  This video does a good job of explaining what dynamic warm-ups are and includes demonstratons of a lot of the exercises I do:

 

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Lozilu Mud Run

This Saturday I’ll be participating in my first mud run ever!  It should be . . . interesting . . . and fun.  I have never done an obstacle course, nor do I regularly run 3 miles (in mud or otherwise).  But I’m really looking forward to getting dirty with my friend Carmen of Latino Fit Club, my training buddy Toneka of EmbraceU and my surfing partener Zums! The best part is that it’s for a good cause: to raise funds for lukemia and lymphoma patients.

LoziLu_5k_mud_run_LA_e

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Treating a Strained Hamstring

I don’t know where it happened.  Could’ve been at the gym, stretching during ballet or at the track, but I’ve managed to strain my left hamstring.  I vote the track – sprinting is brutal! I consulted with a trainer after feeling sharp pains at the insertion point of my hammie (that would be the point where the muscles meet the glutes) every time I’d stretch, and feeling a dull pain pretty much at all other times.  I’m not known for resting, taking it easy is not my ‘thing’ in any aspect of life, but I have to listen to my body . . . I suppose.  So I took today off from training, but will be back at it with some modifications.  A bit of light reading led to my discovering that stretching a strained hammie too soon is counterproductive; well don’t I feel sheepish, I’ve been stretching that bad boy out thinking that it was just tighter than normal!

most common hamstring injury locations. Biceps demoris, semimembranosus, semitendinosus

I decided to do more research and this is what else I’ve learned regarding strained AKA pulled hamstrings:

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Diet to Go

We’re in the throws of awards show season!  From the Emmy’s to the Grammy’s at the start of the year to the Imagen Awards and Oscar’s this weekend, this town has been in a frenzy.  I too have been in a frenzy. 

I’m still figuring out which is going to be my first bikini competition of the season and I’m almost at a decision:  sometime in late April or early May.  While I figure the specifics of that out, I am being mindful of my diet and training and have started cutting back on my carbs.  This week is going to be my first ‘official’ week of competition dieting, so begins the challenge of prepping food ahead of time and staying on my plan.  I decided to try out Diet-to-Go for a few days this past week because, quite frankly, I’ve been having 14 hour days between training, work and auditions and haven’t had the time or the mental capacity to think about food prep.  Diet-to-Go is a meal delivery service that offers a variety of options such as low carb, vegetarian and low fat weekly meal deliveries – and it’s the most inexpensive fresh diet delivery system on the market, which makes choosing it a no-brainer!  I opted for low carb (duh!) and I was pleased not only with the convenience of not having to figure out what to eat when, but also the quality of the food. 

diet to go breakfast

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Crushing it at the Gym

My training schedule has been all over the place.  I’m still lifting and sprinting  (and now doing ballet) but I don’t have set times for anything because of my hectic work and audition schedule.  I made it back to the gym today to lift heavy legs and it FELT SO GOOD!  Heavy is relative since I can usually do heavier than I did today, but it’s been a minute so I thought I’d take it easy.  Here’s a list of the leg exercises I did:

  • Warm up: thoracic spine stretch, foam rolling, hip matrix
  • Leg Press: 3 sets of 8 at 230 lbs alternating with:
  • Lateral Band Walks.  10 in each direction with my blue (medium tension) band
  • Squats: 2 sets of 8 at 95 lbs (freeweight – 2 x 45 lb plates) 1 set of 8 at 75 lbs
  • Step ups with kick backs on 36″ box, 2 sets each leg,  alternating with:
  • Medicine ball slams (12)
  • Overhead Squat with 45 lb bar, 3 sets 8, alternating with:
  • Lateral lunges with 2 x 12.5 lb dumbbells, 3 sets of 6 each side
  • Stiff leg deadlifts with 2 x 40 lb dumbells, 3 sets of 8
  • Single Leg Leg Extension at 50 lbs, 3 sets 8
  • Prone Hamstring Curls at 55 lbs, 3 sets of 8

vianessa leg press

I feel pretty darn good today and I can’t wait to get my booty back in top form! And speaking of crushing it at the gym, there was this suuuuuper cute guy there.  Granted, there are cute guys at the gym all the time, but he oozed all sorts of hotness and . . . I’m not one of those girls that gets insta-crushes on guys.  This time I did.  He was rehabing some sort of shoulder injury so I was going to use that as my ‘in’ but I totally chickened out :-(  Since my training schedule is not set as of now, who knows if I’ll see him again – maybe I should head back at the same time next Sunday and hope for the best?

*Sigh* The life of a single workout addicted chick in the city ain’t easy :-/

vianessa squat

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Building a Ballet Body

I’ve heard people say that ‘no one likes to work out’. That’s not true. I for one, like many others I know, love putting in work at the gym (less doing cardio, blech!).  On my quest to test out new methods to reach my fitness goals, I decided to take up ballet. Yep, you read it right, I’m adding ballet to my current routine of lifting, sprinting and occassional plyos.

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I’ve been fascinated by ballet my whole life. The artistry is breathtaking and the quads on those ballerinos make them my favorite male athletes to admire :-) I can lift and press more than my own body weight in quite a few exercises, but I’ve always struggled with body weight work.  So that coupled with my need to increase both my flexibility and gracefulness is what led me to Ballet Bodies in West Hollywood.  I’m still waiting to try out their pilates reformer classes; owner Andie Hecker has her own method of doing things and it’s won her a legion of celebrity clients that keep coming back for more.  In the meantime, it’s strictly tendu, plie, and sosou for me.

There are some real benefits to doing ballet (besides the fact that going to class genuinely makes me happy – I know, HAPPY). Doing ballet helps with your posture and with musculo-skeletal problems and helps strengthen muscles.  The latter should be pretty obvious, but I’d like to stress the fact that ballet is a REAL workout – my muscles get as sore as if I had done a lifting session at the gym, and it just creeps up on you because you’re having so much fun you don’t notice the work you’re putting in!  And of course these days that I’m so busy, ballet has offered me a great mental outlet to destress.  Yes folks, I think I’m in love.

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