Quick and efficient lower body burn-out

Yes, you do have time for your leg workout! The key? Well, pulsing and supersets, of course! You’ll see (and do) them all over this workout! 🙂

The Warm-up

Dynamic Stretching 5 min.

Jumping Jacks 10 reps.

Narrow to Wide Squat Jumps 10 reps.

The Sweet, Sweet Burn-out
  1. 3-pulse Jump Squats 5-8 reps, 3 sets.

Deep squat, pulse 3 times, jump. You can also add the barbell (resting on your traps, not your neck), but make sure it’s not too heavy as this exercise is quite tough.

  1. Cable Squats Circuit (superset then rest for 45 sec. to 1 min. between circuits) x3
  • 2-pulse Wide stance cable squat 8-12 reps.
  • 2-pulse Narrow stance cable squat 8-12 reps.
  1. Glute Bridges Circuit (superset then rest for 45 sec. to 1 min. between circuits) x3
  • 10 sec. hold Weighted Glute Bridge (hold your position at contraction point for around 10 sec. for every repetition) 10 reps.
  • Singe-leg Glute Bridge 10 reps. each leg
  1. 2-pulse Side Leg Lift 15 reps., 2 sets each leg
  1. Leg extensions 15 reps., 3 sets
  1. Hamstring Curls 20 reps. each leg
The Cool-down

Stretching (Hamstring stretch, Calves stretch, etc.)

Fit Pancakes

I’m not a fan of smoothies. Nor porridge. Those textures are just not appealing to me. Pancakes, however… that’s a good way to start the day! These aren’t flour-based either (’cause nothing says breakfast like flour does).

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Rolled Oats
  • 1 tsp Chia seeds
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Banana (the riper, the sweeter)
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ or ¼ tsp Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • pinch Salt
  • Blueberries, Strawberries or Raspberries (optional)
  • Liquid sweetener and nuts for topping (optional)

In a food processor or blender, add the oats and chia seeds and mix until they become of a floury consistency. Then add the eggs, banana, vanilla, and powders and mix until combined. Add berries as you cook the pancakes, or as a topping alongside your choice of liquid sweetener and/ or crushed nuts.

You’ve got protein from the eggs, oats and chia seeds, carbs from the oats and banana, antioxidants from cinnamon, and some micros from the fruit. Quite a proper breakfast.

Thank you for visiting FHW!

DIY Bronzer

Who wouldn’t want that chocolaty summer tan all year long? Now, the quickest way we can obtain it usually involves some chemicals and UV blasting at the tanning salon, which I’m not really into. A natural tan at the beach already comes with some sun damage, so why would we add to that?

However, here’s a natural home-made bronzer lotion we can safely and regularly use to gain a bit of color and/or maintain our summer tans. It’s made of wholesome, natural, amazing ingredients that your skin will visibly thank you for.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Organic Raw Shea Butter
  • cup Organic Raw Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Almond Oil

Pop the almond oil in the microwave for a few seconds, just to heat it up a bit. Add the cocoa and mix thoroughly until it’s homogenized. Then stir in the Shea butter and you’re all done. If you want a darker lotion, simply add more cacao powder. If you want a lighter lotion, add a little bit less. It’s as simple as that. You can apply this daily.

Obtaining and maintaining a healthy tan concerns your Vitamin A and beta-carotene levels, as well as your Selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin E levels. That’s why we use Shea butter, which is high in Vitamins A, E, and F and almond oil (E), and that’s why this DIY, natural bronzer will promote a healthier and longer-lasting tan.

If you want to take it even further, you can make sure you get plenty of those nutrients up there through your meals as well. Nuts, spinach, carrots, and grapefruits (Vitamins A, C, E) are a few examples of what you should include in a high-protein diet (Selenium) to reduce sun damage and maintain your tan.

The Mindset

All the diets and workout programs in the world are nothing without a health and fitness oriented mindset. Eating and exercising feel like chores, and soon enough, we get off track and quit. Why would we do something we don’t enjoy, time and time again? It’s not sustainable. Sure, some days are better than others. That healthy meal is just what you’ve been craving and the day’s workout couldn’t have seen a better performance. But those other days… those days when you’d just stuff your face with all the fast food in the world, leaving you too lethargic to even leave the bed, nevermind exercising.

So what would constitute a fitness oriented mindset? What can we teach ourselves to remember and believe in during an off period?

  1. Exercising and eating well is not a imposition, it’s fun, stress-relieving and a self-gift towards your well-being. You’ve started because you’re mindful of its many benefits, you feel better and it only comes at the price of a 2-second decision to gear up and go exercise. That’s all it takes, a few seconds per day to simply decide to start.
  2. The decision you’ve made when you started was to push yourself into a stronger and healthier self. If change is what you desire, you can’t expect it to come without your commitment to new actions, new decisions. So we push ourselves out of bed, we put on our running shoes and we go that extra mile. That extra mile or that extra rep is the daily manifestation of our initial decision.
  3. Rest and regroup, not quit. Ok, we’re feeling down and all the motivation we can mustard only gets us from the bed to the kitchen, and back again. We just can’t do it. That bag of chips is faster than that proper home-cooked meal we were planning to make, so we grab that and return to the coziness of our beds. This goes on for a few days, maybe even a week, enough to take us off track from our healthy living routines. But does that mean we’ve renounced all ties with fitness and proper nutrition? Can’t we pick those routines and good habits back up again? So we felt beat and unmotivated, but we know we can do it. We’ve done it before and we will do it again.

Rest and Recovery

Almost every athlete – bodybuilder, runner or any other sort of sports person will encourage at least one rest day per week. Now, something I’m confident all fitness enthusiasts are guilty of in the early days is not resting. Unless the body painfully demands a recovery period, we are all inclined to push ourselves mindlessly for dat lean bod, since we haven’t yet passed the time to see that it truly does not happen over night. Or in a week. Or two.

Allowing the body to recover between sets and during the week will not only prevent injury, pains and aches, but it’s actually helping the process. So we don’t have to think of it as a lazy, unproductive day when in fact, it’s what ultimately leads to optimal performance.

Immediate rest and Metabolic rest

For what concerns rest between sets (immediate rest), it’s recommended to take 30 to 90 seconds between each set. We’ve seen how over-stressed cells behave, so take a few seconds to rest in-between sets. If you want to superset, start small and build the endurance for it.

Now, the necessary recovery time after a training session (metabolic recovery) depends on the intensity of your workout, rather than duration. The harder you work, the more time your body will need to regulate and repair itself. Obviously, a jogg and a weight training session will differ in recovery times.

Muscle growth happens through rest

If you’ve read about hypertrophy, you know that building muscle implies giving your muscle tissue something to adapt to (so you’re stressing the cells). Said adaptation happens like this: when you work out, the stressed cells in the muscle fibers undergo microscopic damage. The injured cells release inflammatory molecules (called cytokines) that call upon the immune system to repair the injury. After damage repair, the muscle is not only recovered, but adapted to an increased capacity.

So if you want to see dem gains, take that rest day and allow your muscles to recover. Your body will tell you when it’s done repairing itself, as your muscles will no longer feel sore. You can also aid recovery by stretching, walking, and other low-intensity activities after your workout.