Category: workouts

Self Acceptance & my Annual (anti) Resolution

Over the past few months, I’ve gained weight.

Its not something that a group fitness instructor or anyone who makes a career in the fitness industry likes to admit. That said, we are human too, with the very same struggles.  I’ve gained enough weight that I’m not comfortable in my own skin, in spite of how others see me.

Struggling with a wrist injury, a busy schedule and not planning or choosing food properly, all the hard work that I I put in slowly unraveled. I’ve fallen into some old habit patterns, the ones that got me to this point, and I’m trying to avoid the patterns that I would have previously taken to “get out” of this situation.

One of my favorite quotes is by Robert Holden. We share often in our yoga teacher training and even in classes.  He says that no amount of self-improvement can make up for a lack of self acceptance.

Today, I accept me, as a I am.  Not where I want to be but knowing exactly where I want to go – not just physically, but in my path as a yoga teacher and fitness professional.  This isn’t a resolution; I don’t do resolutions.  I set goals and I go after them.  The timing here is simply coincidental.

Accepting me, today, as I am and everything, today, as it is, will clear the way, the energy will flow and all this good shit that the universe has to offer will be even *more* available.

Self Acceptance and Resolutions #newyear #goals #weightloss Click To Tweet

Want to learn more about my nutrition and training plan?  Head over to Growth Stimulus Training and check out what Ryan and Adrianne have to offer!  I’ve been working with Adrianne for almost a year and her sanity in nutrition and a sound training plan is refreshing amidst a world of “Instagram trainers” and bikini models peddling teas.  If you have more questions, email me or get in touch with Ryan and Adrianne directly!

 

Total Body Workout in 30 Minutes for Fitness Friday!

In honor of the impending blizzard, I wanted to share a total body workout I created for my group fitness classes!

Back in December, when it was mild, sunny and snow was no where in sight, we played the Snowman Challenge in my Strictly Strength class at Life Time Fitness.

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After each set of exercises, we earned a body part to our snowman.  In 30 minutes, we were able to go through four sets and complete four snowmen!!  It was a killer workout, hitting every major muscle group and it was FUN!

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I wrote out a plan that you can do at home with minimal equipment – in 30 minutes!  Even better, you can break it down into sets, so if time is crunched, you can work through what you can and still get a burn.

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Here are some tips to maximize this total body workout!

  • Add as much or little weight to make the moves challenging.  For example, you can hold one weight “goblet” style for your sumo or you can load up two dumbbells at your shoulders.
  • You can do a forearm plank, high plank, add thigh taps to your plank, etc., to make it more interesting! Just keep your awesome plank form – squeeze your glutes, inner thighs, pull your belly up and keep a nice straight line (drop the butts! drop the butts!)
  • Add weight to your glute bridges by holding a dumbbell on your hips.  Raise those hips to ceiling and squeeze your glutes at the top!
  • Try varying your bicep curls by only coming halfway up, halfway down (to 90 degrees), doing wide curls or hammer curls.  Keep it consistent for set of 10 but have fun with each round.

Tweet this post to share the love!

Total Body Workout in 30 Minutes? Yes, please! #fitnessfriday #flexfriday #sweatpink Click To Tweet

Questions on the moves? Need help with form or modifications?  Let’s talk!  Leave a comment or email me at leigh@theleighryan.com.

P90X On Demand!

Remember that time I did something crazy and sent my information into a casting call for a Beachbody On Demand Challenge Du Jour featuring the workout I TEACH, P90X Live?

On June 30, I found out I was picked!

And on July 1, I booked flights.

And on July 8?

I got on a plane and flew to L.A.

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Philly Airport at Foolish o’Clock AM

FOR THE SAME WORKOUT.  WHAT!?!The best part of this whole surreal experience was that not only was I picked for P90X Live (out of Insanity, TurboKick and Piyo) – which is my favorite new group exercise format – my girl, my partner in crime, my UPLINE COACH and the REASON I dove into Beachbody, Amanda, was picked too!

So, naturally, I did what any good friend would do and I flew to Denver to pick her up.

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Wifi? Check!

Well, my connection in Denver was purely coincidental.  But off we went, headed for Burbank.

Sleep deprivation started to set in but once we got to the studio for the dress rehearsal?? Adrenaline.  Nothin’ but adrenaline.

A quick rehearsal and an early call time….we headed back to our not-so-swanky-but-perfectly-functional motel.  And by perfectly functional, we had exactly what we needed.

Shower. Bed. Check.

Up EARLY and over to the studio…to be greeted by the Master Trainer leading our workout, Rawlins Apilado. We chatted with him and our castmates and after learning more about each other, Rawlins used the perfect word…serendipitous.  Not only were Amanda and I partners in fitness, life and tattoos, our castmates had a strong friendship too.  Similar personalities and ideas about our businesses….clearly, we were chosen because we are just that awesome.
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Then Rawlins brought us some of the new Beachbody Performance Energize – an awesome pre-workout.  Energy, focus and some adrenaline and we were READY to go!

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Love me some pre-workout!

The workout, P90X Live, was shot continuously, with no takes to make it look and feel like a REAL class.  That meant we were dripping sweat, grunting, cheering…that’s all real, folks!  We were pushing!

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Rawlins and I working the P90X guns.

After the shoot, we were free to go….so we did what anyone in L.A. would do….and drove up a mountain, gawking at mansions and went looking for the Hollywood sign.

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Welcome to Hollywood, baby.

We got to experience the tourist spots of L.A. in a matter of 8 hours or so.  Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive….we were productive.

Back to the airport for our red-eyes…and we were quite literally bleary eyed.

Time for some tea….some reflection…WHAT JUST HAPPENED IN THE PAST 24 HOURS?!?!

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To say that the experience was surreal would be a great understatement. To say I’m thankful would not even come close expressing how amazingly lucky I feel.

But is it luck? I don’t think so.  I work hard every day, putting my dreams into plans, my plans into actions and taking risks.

This may have been the first shoot….but it won’t be the last.

Amanda and I have already picked out a better hotel.

 

That time I got picked to be in a workout video?? Yeah, that. Click To Tweet
>Related: Goal Setting & Goal Getting

Finding Myself Again

Do you remember me?

Frankly, I barely remember who I was…what made me tick, what inspired me. The past 6 years have been consumed by pregnancy, toddlers, play groups, pick ups, drop offs, cutting over 11 million grapes and changing enough diapers to earn a Pampers reward to Cancun.


For a while now (and maybe still, to a degree, I mean, they give me a LOT of material), I let my kids identify me. And before them? Well, I really don’t even remember.

But this is me now:

* legitimately confident, not faking it till I make it

* a work in progress, not a final product that is outdated and unchanging

* healthy, energized and strong, not “skinny fat” or struggling with being comfortable in a post-partum body (x3) body

* being an example, not looking for one

* knowing what I’m meant to be doing and earning an income from what I love and working with a team of inspired and supportive partners, not filling in the gap for a paycheck earned by work I’m just *doing*.

I have a CLEAR as day view of ME now. It just took a while to get here.

Do you remember you? Who are you NOW? Do you need help getting there? Maybe I can help.

Be the Example.

It has been a long day.

It has been a long week.

I’m sitting here unwinding, thinking about everything I do on a daily basis. 

I’m getting even more exhausted just thinking about it.

I don’t need to list out the things because if you are a mom reading this, whether you stay at home or work out of the home or work AT home (like me), then you know.

You know how it feels to try and hold on to the ONE thing that you can do for you.  For some, it is taking 20 minutes during a rare moment of quiet and reading a book.  For others, maybe its catching up on a mindless reality show.  

For me?  It is hands down, without question, my workout.

Sometimes, I second guess myself and think that it might be presumed to be a selfISH action.  To have a personal fitness goal.  But I forget and I have to remind myself – they are watching.  

My workout isn’t selfish. While it benefits me in all the physical ways that we know exercise is proven to do, it also clears my head.  It gives me focus to move on to the mile long to-do list.  My workout benefits this whole household. And those small people? They see how important it is, to me, for me, for them.

I’m lucky if I get to squeeze in an extra 10 minute ab workout.  I’m even luckier if I get to make it to the gym to actually TAKE a class, rather than just teaching one.  

Its easy to lose focus on those personal interests and goals when everyone around you needs something – food, drink, attention, extra time.  Those things all come first, all the needs are always met….but the non-negotiable is still my workout.  Whether it is squeezed in during nap or while the littlest one helps “sweep” the floor, once there is a moment of still, I press play.

And after I’m done?  I’m refocused.  Recharged.  Happier.  

I know that it takes a big mental change, especially for moms, to come to the decision to make a lifestyle change.  To be healthier, to set an example, to feel better overall.  I can’t tell you do “just do it” or “schedule it” because we know that isn’t always the reality.  

But I will tell you to take it one day at a time.  Make it non-negotiable. 

“I will work out twice this week.”

“I will go for a run on Saturday.”

“I will take a strength class at the gym this week.”

Set the small goals, achieve them, feel successful and build the habit.  A habit is just like a muscle – you need to work at it to make it strong.

You deserve it.  Because it isn’t just for you.


Free Fitness Challenge!

Everyone loves a free fitness challenge!!

Each day during the month of February, I’ll be posting a mini-workout to incorporate into your workout schedule or if you are a beginner or just short on time, you can use these moves on their own to improve your fitness level! 

Email me at leigh@thefiteffectnj.com or fill out the Challenge Group Application to join! There’s still time to get in on the fun!


Inspiration and Shakeology

“Ooooh, you are another Beachbody coach? You sell another shake, right?”
Well.  Yes.  But…no, not really.
Here is my story.
My Beachbody journey technically started in July 2013.  That was when I bit the bullet and via a free fitness group, hosted by an “internet friend”, I learned about T25.
I say “technically started” because that’s when I signed up to coach.  That’s my official anniversary.

Flashback to my childhood, I was NOT athletic. Not into sports.  Not into exercise.  I was “skinny fat” (a term I loathe but it is totally accurate) – thin and not strong.  I gained the typical weight in college and used the gym sporadically and mostly just for social purposes.

When I met my now-husband, he was overweight and unhappy – a former athlete who fell into a miserable relationship.  When we started dating, he had just starting running again and was working towards a 50lb weight loss.  Because couples do things together, we started running – not literally together but it was something we both did.  This fueled my interest in nutrition and fitness and I started looking into going back to school for exercise science.

And then…we got married and the babies came. With babies came these elusive “internet friends” – the people I could talk to without judgment, whine to, laugh with…I had NO idea that they would be such a presence in my life.

When I became a coach after our third and last baby, again, I had no idea that a life changing experience was on the horizon. and I decided to become a Beachbody coach.


Yes, I lost weight.  Yes, I have great before and after pictures. Yes, I drink Shakeology. Yes, I make a nice extra income to help my family.  But what I DIDN’T realize was that I would join a family. A family with a leader right from that group of “internet mom friends” and a coach (who I used to argue with in the throes of hormonal mayhem!) that is now one of my closest friends.  And even better, a few of my best friends on the planet, other *gasp* internet friends, JOINED ME.  A completely inspiring and supportive group of women, who I talk to every day. Pretty much all day long.

My old aspirations of a fitness and nutrition “job” is coming to fruition in a totally unexpected and unconventional way.

So, now, I’m moving up this Beachbody ladder.  My “why” has shifted.  I still do this 100% to help people and to set a positive example for my kids. It is not and has never been about making a lot of money or thoughtlessly signing up coaches to build my team. Now (and this is the focus of my team name and our motto), my “why” is to be a motivating force.  Not just a casual cheerleader.  A rock solid, well informed, supportive leader.  A business woman. A health and fitness professional.
An inspiration.


That’s my story.  A lot of people out there will roll their eyes when they hear “Beachbody coach” and have visions of a shake peddling, pyramid-scheming snake oil sales person.

I can absolutely assure you that this has very very little to do with a shake.