Back in the Game

6 09 2011

Hey guys!

So, last time I posted there was wayyyyy too much going on all at once and after prioritizing things, I had to take a hiatus from blogging.

I did however promise you a surprise!

Here it is!

Beat-Your-Best.com

What is it?  It’s my new blog!  A more informative, and organized website!  I will now be blogging there so make sure to update your google readers! :-)

Sooooo Happy to be back!!!





Taking A Break

25 07 2011

Hey guys!  Happy Monday!

I have not been around much commenting on Bloggies or even updating my own.  There is a lot going on:

-I only have one month left to spend with Brandon before he leaves to go play pro bball in Switzerland for 9 months

-Moving into a brand new apartment!

-Working approx. 30 hrs. a week Personal Training

-Teaching 6 Group X classes

-Taking Classes (yoga-CrossFit) with the fellow Lemons (lululemon)

-Planning for our grand opening party as well as our Grand Opening Weekend (2 separate things in Lulu world!)

-Still Playing in Beach vb tournaments (this past weekend was Houston)

-oh yeah, and being a normal 23 year old in the amazing city of Austin :-)

I will be taking some time off to focus on getting all settled in!  Until then happy, healthy living!!!

When I come back there will be some VERY VERY exciting news!





Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies Review

17 07 2011

Happy Sunday all!

A few weeks back I got an opportunity to try the new Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies from Fiber One and General Mills through MyBlogSpark!  I was super excited but unfortunately, it turns out that I could not eat them myself (due to my celiacs disease) HOWEVER, I had my boyfriend, one of my clients as well as a 10 year old’s opinion on the bars.  Along with the bars I received a jump rope, tupperware, water bottle, traveling bag, a wrist band, and a red head band!

I was sent both the chocolate fudge and the peanut butter chocolate bars

Brandon thought the bars were great taste wise!  He had one of each flavor, and especially for a fiber bar it was very tasty as opposed to the bland taste most fiber bars have.  Brandon claims that he could eat an entire box or two, and is very similar to brownie!

The 10 year old did not like them. Tasted very chalky, grainy and left a bad aftertaste in her mouth. Out of the two favors she prefers the Chocolate Fudged Brownie over the Peanut Butter. She said that the Peanut Butter had a horrible after taste more so than the Chocolate fudge brownie.

One of my clients tasted them and did not care for the Peanut Butter one as well. She claimed that the peanut butter did not taste like peanut butter and it left a nasty taste in her mouth. However, she did like the chocolate fudge brownie and said it was a little chalky but it did not bother/ overwhelm me. She also said that next time she goes grocery shopping the chocolate fudge brownie WILL be on her list!

The smell of these brownies were wonderful, I wish I could have tried them myself, but I got 3 different opinions, and overall the feedback I got from all 3 of them is that these brownies are definitely a good healthier substitute for the everyday unhealthy brownie that we all tend to gravitate towards!

I love how these bars serve as a healthier alternative to normal brownies, and they are definitely something we all should try!  I have several of my clients eat these when they have cravings now and I have not gotten a negative review yet!

Have a wonderful week!





Happy BURP-Day!

8 07 2011

TGIF!

Man, this week has been busy-awesome, and full of DOMINATION!

I started out the week right by training clients all Monday morning, then heading out for a fun lake sesh with Brandon, and then an early Tuesday morning bootcamp class (everyone that took it completely owned it!), sorting out of the storage unit at ACTIVE Life, then off to Bikram Yoga with some potential Lululemons!

Ok, so I have some good news…..

I have been spending the past few weeks interviewing for Lululemon (opening up a brand new store in The Domain here in ATX in September!) and today I found out I GOT THE JOB!  I am so stoked, ya’ll I have been wanting to work for this company for years now, so it feels amazing to actually have been extended the offer!  I won’t start till the end of August when training starts, but I’m so stoked to know that I will be a part of such an amazing company with a great purpose!

Part of the interviewing process was to go to a group class (such as yoga, which is staying true to the roots of our company) so we all went to a Bikram yoga class at Yogagroove here in Austin, and I LOVED IT!  It felt so amazing to be back in the Bikram studio getting my stretch on and my sweat on.  I have been going every single day and I already feel the changes in my body (positive ones).  I will be dedicating a post solely to Lululemon, and then another one to Bikram Yoga so ya’ll get understand both of my obsessions.

TODAY’S OBSESSION is…..

dun dun dun…..

BURPEES!

My ALL TIME favorite move ever!  Seriously, it is such a wonderful move, and especially in tabata format you will most definitely reap TONS of benefits!

A Few benefits are…..

“The burpee is the ultimate full body exercise. There’s a reason why football teams, CrossFit practitioners, and elite military forces use the burpee in their workouts. Just one simple movement tests both your strength and aerobic capacities. Below we go into a few more details on the benefits of the burpee:

Strength. The burpee is a full body, strength training exercise. With each repetition, you’ll work your chest, arms, front deltoids, thighs, hamstrings, and abs. Trust me. Your legs will feel like they’re pumping battery acid after you complete a set of burpees.

Fat burning. Because you’re using your full body when doing burpees and because they’re such an intense workout, the burpee is one of the best exercises to burn fat. Studies have shown that high intensity exercises, like burpees, burn up to 50% more fat than conventional strength training exercises. They’ve also been shown to speed up your metabolism which helps you burn more calories throughout the day. If you’re looking to get rid of that spare tire, step off the elliptical machine and start doing burpees.

Conditioning. Many men today spend hours a week in the gym sculpting washboard abs and bowling ball biceps. While those muscles look nice, they don’t do much for you when you have to split a giant pile of wood or even save your own life. Burpees are an effective exercise for developing the conditioning and endurance, the manly vim and vigor to tackle any challenge. They’re also a great exercise to include in football conditioning drills.

Free. There are no fancy gizmos, classes or gym memberships required to perform a burpee. All you need is your body, a floor, and an iron will.

Portable. You can do this exercise anywhere. On the road? Bust some out in the hotel room. Don’t have a gym membership? Get your burpee on at the park. In prison? Do them in your cell.”

(http://artofmanliness.com/2010/01/27/the-burpee-the-one-exercise-to-rule-them-all/ ).

Here is a video of me doing a few burpees so you can visually see what the technique should look like :-)

ALL my clients have been doing them today, my bootcamps, and if my spin classes could do them on the bike you better believe we would! :-)

I hope you all have a wonderful “burp-day!”

for more workout options check out these videos:

and last but not least :-)

watch?v=1tYuaBGLKs0&feature=autoplay&list=ULOX3gToD2gow&index=2&playnext=1





Gnarliest Workout in Weeks

1 07 2011

Hey everyone!

So glad to see all your wonderful comments!  I’ve missed blogging a lot but I’ve been so busy, and with Brandon leaving soon any bit of time I get to spend with him I’m going to take!

I’ve recently become a little obsessed with Tabata Training.

What is it?  The fastest way to burn fat!

“The High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), also known as the Tabata Protocol, was developed by the head coach of the Japanese speed skating team. It was named after Dr. Izumi Tabata because Tabata and his team (at the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya, Japan) studied the speed skating coach’s workout to determine the optimum protocol [1].

A 4 minute cardiovascular training routine has been proven to improve fitness. The whole session last 14 minutes and comprises of a 5 minute warm up, 4 minutes of intense exercise and a 5 minute cool down. The 4 minutes of intense exercise comprises of 8 repeats of 20 seconds of maximum effort work of your selected exercise followed by a recovery of 10 seconds.

In Tabata’s study, the researchers found that athletes who used the routine five days a week for six weeks improved their maximum aerobic capacity by 14% and improved their anaerobic capacity by 28%. A study of traditional aerobic training of running at 70% of aerobic capacity for 60 minutes for six weeks showed an improvement in aerobic capacity of 9.5% and no effect on anaerobic capacity.

Dr. Tabata’s Team found that as well as improving your aerobic and anaerobic capacity it is very effective in lowering the ratio of lean body mass to fat without compromising your muscle size (http://www.brianmac.co.uk/tabata.htm).”

This workout is dedicated to those of you who love the feeling of being WORKED OUT, and I literally mean WORKED OUT!

Extreme Tabata

Warm-Up:

*Offset Loaded Front Pillar (30 seconds each hand)

*Push-up to opposite hand to opposite knee (10 reps, 5 ea. leg)

(you’ll see the push-up in this video)

*KB Dead lift —> burpee (12, I used 25′s)

x3

Workout:

4 min of 20 sec on 10 sec rest:

*High Knees Jump Rope

4 min of 20 sec on 10 sec rest:

Squat Jumps

4 min of 20 sec on 10 sec rest:

Plank Up->Up->Down-> Down….aka Norma Gene’s :-)

(this is me demonstrating the move in this video….i know I love seeing videos of other bloggers so I’ve added a few of me in here!)

4 min of 20 sec on 10 sec rest:

Sprints on Treadmill at speed of 12

4 min of 20 sec on 10 sec rest:

KB Swings with 25 KB (next time I’ll use a 30)

Then I ended with this favorite core workout of mine :-)

If you give this a try let me know what you think!  Tabata is by far my all time favorite thing ever!

Have a wonderful 4th of July Weekend, and stay safe!





What I’ve Been Up To

26 06 2011

Happy Sunday Evening!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!  I just want to say good luck to the Cotter Crew this weekend at the Half Ironman in Lubbock (my old stomping grounds)!

Last weekend, my buddy/future roomie, David flew out to CA for a wedding so I dog sat for him and here are a few pics of Vita and I :-p

She’s a little crazy, but I love her….one of the sweetest dogs!

Brandon also took me out to a nice dinner, so I got all dressed up for it!  Here are a few shots of my fit:

I kept my make-up simple b/c I really don’t like wearing makeup lol

mascara, a little bronzer and blush, + tinted lip gloss goes a long way!

I’ve been super busy lately with the It’s Time School Summit for the non-profit, which was a HUGE success!  We were able to bring together 500+ Coordinated School health Champions from all over the state of Texas to attend various seminars to help with implementing coordinated health into the schools!  I am so proud of all the hard work everyone at ACTIVE Life, PE3, TEA, and other groups to bring together a successful Summit!

I didn’t sleep for about a week and a half because I was bogged down with helping get everything ready for the summit, personal training, teaching group exercise, and then more stuff for the summit.  When everything was over on Tuesday, I was training all day everyday Wednesday and Thursday, then got Friday, Saturday and Sunday off.

Friday I taught bootcamp then trained a client at 10am and went to get a Pressure Point Massage by Nathan Kennett.  It was everything that I needed!  After working so many hours, and training so hard my body was a big ball of knots!  Immediately after my massage I felt 1,000 times better!

I then packed for my trip to San Antonio with Brandon, taught spin, and headed out!

When we got to San Antonio we just hung out and relaxed that night, Saturday morning we walked the river walk, had breakfast at Zuni Grill where I had the vegetable omelet with Cilantro pesto, fresh fruit and 2 corn tortillas.  Ya’ll, this cilantro pesto was amazing!  I loved the atmosphere of this place and the food!  Brandon ordered one kids cinnamon buttermilk pancake, eggs, sausage, bacon, potatoes, and flour tortillas (had a manly man meal lol).

We then walked around the riverwalk mall and stopped to listen to some music in the courtyard, and I ended up buying 2 cd’s for my parents :-p

We then stopped by a saloon place and I got a few butters for my parents!:

Pumpkin Pecan Honey Butter

Praline Pecan Honey Butter

I tasted them both and I give them an A+!

For the rest of the day we watched a movie, then got some sun at the rooftop pool at the St. Stephen Hotel and each of us had a cocktail.  Rum and coke for Brandon and Cranberry vodka for me.  They were small cups, and it was just one so we said why not? :-p

We then got ready to go to dinner at the Towers of America and ya’ll, if you go to SA you need to eat here!  I got the spiced Ahi Tuna (medium rare) with the asian green beans and it was AMAZING!  Brandon got a mixed seafood platter with salmon, shrimp, crab cake, asparagus and mashed potatoes and he loved it!

being goofs

haha uhhh? This was one of those, "we don't want to smile but have no idea what to do" photos lol

The view from our booth was amazing!

We just hung out after dinner and relaxed and this morning just headed back!  We stopped at the San Marcos outlets to go shopping at Nike and BCBG but I had a gluten attack (apparently something I had yesterday had a small trace of gluten in it) and we had to get out of there!

This was by far one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.  Brandon has become my best friend over time and every second I can spend with him I will definitely take advantage of because when August rolls around he will be heading out to Switzerland for 9 months to go play pro basketball overseas.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Have you ever been so busy that even just a small weekend getaway makes you feel like a million bucks?





Speed Training Spin Playlist

7 06 2011

Hey Everyone!

Today I’m going to share with you one of my spin workouts that has become an Austin 24-hour favorite!   

I do everything in levels:

1- 0 resistance

2- a little bit of road, but still feel like peddles have control over feet

3- Flatground

4- still able to move feet at a good pace (do a lot of sprints here) but start to get a burn in quads

5- burn deepens in quads, can still move at a decent pace (cruise intervals here, and sprints)

6- starting to climb up the hill, legs slow down

7- feels like you are peddling through sand

8- feels like you are peddling through mud

9- feels like you are peddling through quicksand

10- complete max, won’t be able to peddle at all (never reach this in class)

1 song- Warm up (seated hill climb, reach level 6.5)

2 song- Warm-up cont. (standing positions, going from regular standing to hover) hill climb to level 8

3 song- Seated bursts (seated sprints at level 4.5-5…hips bouncing? add road) 4 sets of 30 second sprints with 20 sec rest in between

4 song- 5 sets of 15 sec ISO sprints (isolate upper body, only legs moving/sprinting) at level 4.5/5

5-song- 4 sets of 20 second sprints (regular, rest 20 seconds) at level 4.5/5

6-song- 3 sets of 30 second sprints (rest 30 seconds in between) at level 4.5/5

7-song- 3 sets of Jumps ( about 8/9 jumps each set) add road after each set of jumps (start at level 5), then if extra time add road for a mini hill climb

8-song- Cruise interval (2 sets of 1 minute intervals at level 5) RPM between 101-105 (if resistance is easy add road)

9-Song- Rest and recover (resistance no higher than level 5.5

10-song- Hill climb seated to level 6, stand 2 sets of 10 second sprints at level 6, continue with hill climb all the way to level 9.5 (going between standing and hover), sit at level 9.5 don’t put hands on handle bars and focus on sitting tall, engaging lower abs to help balance while legs do all the work to push the pedals

11-song- sprint down hill climb for 20 seconds, then use the momentum from sprint and jump right back up to level 6, stand and go right into BIG hill climb #2. Go between, standing to hover to seated while working your way up to level 9.5 (will be here for 30 seconds) then at end of song sprint all the way down the hill (resistance at level 3.5/4 so its controlled) for 20 seconds then rest for 20 seconds

12-song- Cruise INterval #2 (same as the first cruise interval except at resistance of 5.5)

13-song- seated hill climb sprints (start at level 5, sprint when chorus starts-end) then stand, go to level 6 (when chorus starts sit down and sprint-end of chorus) stand, go to level 7 (after bridge sit and sprint till end of song….its a Loooooong one)

14-song- Hill climb, reach level 9, sit down and no hands

15-song- 3 seated bursts, 30 sec on 20 sec off at level 4.5/5

16-song- recover/stretch

**If you try this let me know what you think!**

Have a wonderful day!

-Salah








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