Today starts the beginning of week 3 of boot camp, but I thought I’d recap the first two weeks of it.
These workouts are FUN! I’ve never worked out in a setting where partner work was such a big portion of it. Sure, I’ve worked out with other people or in groups, but you always went off and did your own thing. This is different because the work is done with a partner very often. I’m finding that this “i like to work out alone” girl is quite enjoying this change of pace!
Unfortunately, I’m battling a gnarly cough at the moment. It started with flu-like symptoms (minus the puking, thankfully) and by the 3rd day, the achiness had left and the coughing had begun. I’m on day 7 and really, cough, any day now would be a great one for you to get the hell out of here! Regardless, I’m still pushing through. Taking more rest days than I’m used to, but trucking along nonetheless.
This week’s workout plan:
Monday: Rest (coughing lungs up, no bueno)
Tuesday: 30 minutes of cardio; WBBC
Wednesday: Strength Train; Bouldering
Thursday: 30 minutes of cardio; WBBC
Friday: Strength Train; Bouldering
Sunday: Rest or Yoga?
I have a really hard time settling down for yoga. I just have never been able to get into it. Maybe it’s because I’m not good at it? Any tips to help me “find my center?” Everyone says its all about the teacher. I’ve tried several and while they’re great, it’s just not me. I like to run and jump and lift heavy things. But I do think it would be good for me. HELP!!
Wowza! It’s been a while. I’ve been a busy little bee, working my tail off. But hopefully I’ll be posting a bit more as of now. Hope you’re having a great week! November is truckin’ along….
This past Saturday (November 2nd) marked the 1st day of the WBBC 6 Week Challenge. What is the WBBC you ask?
The World’s Best Boot Camp is just as it implies. It was started by a former Desert Storm Vet, John Burch. I met John at my gym in Santa Monica and when he told me about the upcoming challenge, I was all about it.
So what does the 6 week challenge entail? Well, as you can imagine, I will be attending a boot camp 2-3 times per week that focuses on a lot of the basic movements mixed with CrossFit movements: squats, push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, kettlebells, and more! The other part of the challenge includes cleaning up my diet (which is pretty clean already, but tightening up a bit), and doing my personal best to accomplish my goals.
To give a little insight, on Day 1, we did a baseline workout and took measurements. I will be doing some video diaries each week to update my progress (I’ll post the links as soon as they’re posted each week) and I’m hoping to come out with successfuly results at the end! By December 14th, I will be re-testing my baseline workout from Day 1 and taking measurements again. I’m IN IT TO WIN IT and hoping that I will have some GREAT results to share!
There is no better time than now as the holidays approach, so I’m pretty excited. While I’m pretty comfortable in my body and like the way I look now, I am excited to lean out a bit more and as the slogan says, “have the most fun proving myself!” Love that.
I want to be 100% compliant. What does this mean for me?
-I will attend bootcamp 2-3 times per week
-I will stick to my diet 6 days per week with one day to splurge (within reason of course)
-I will get enough rest and WATER
-I will continue running, rock climbing, weight lifting, and all of the other activities that I do in between boot camp days.
For the first time since I competed in 2009, I feel ready for this. I’ve actually felt ready for a while, but I needed something like this to come along to spark my fire and get me going again. In good fashion, I dragged my boyfriend into the competition as well. On a weekly basis, he tells me he needs to lose 10 lbs, so I’ve enlisted him in the challenge with me! While he won’t do all of the workouts that I do, he will be following the diet with me.
I would love for you all to follow me along on this journey! I will be posting pictures, videos, thoughts, challenges, and more!
Have you ever done a challenge?
What motivates you the most?
Wow, what a week/weekend/month this has been. Can you believe we’re in the final week of September? I can’t. I’m definitely ready for the holidays and fall weather!
This past Saturday, I participated in the Malibu Canyon Dirt Dash. As I was looking for races online a few months ago, this one caught my eye. The price was right, and the challenge seemed like a fun one. You had the option to run a 5k Trail Run, 10k Trail Run, or 5k Obstacle Course/Mud Run. You could also choose to run the trail run AND the mud run. I decided I was up for the challenge and signed up for the 5k Trail Run followed by the 5k Mud Run. A decision that made me question my insanity multiple times on Saturday…
5am: The alarm clock went off and it was time to get ready and head out. We hopped in the car, made a few stops for staples like gum and egg/cheese bagels (this was a gamble as to whether it would sit well in my stomach; it worked fine), and made the 30 minute drive to Malibu.
6:45am: We arrive at the destination. I got my race bib and chip and we walked around for a bit to see what the competition was like. I’m not competitive at all. There weren’t many vendors, as it was a small race. I was nervous for this race, as I’d been training a bit but mostly on flat roads, not trails. I wasn’t sure what to expect.
7:45am: They called all of the 5k Trail Run participants to the starting line. I grabbed my headphones, got my music going, and stood near the front while my heart raced. It was serious mode time and I was ready to go. I was excited and nervous all at once. I was really hoping to break a PR, but just didn’t want to finish feeling disappointed.
8am: The gun went off and out I went. The first few hundred yards of the race was through wood chips. If you’ve never done this before, it’s a cross between running through dirt and running through loose sand. It was difficult and kind of nerve-racking since my ankles didn’t feel very stable. Soon enough, we settled into dirt trails and I was feeling pretty good. I knew I was pushing myself hard, but when my 1st mile pace was around 7 minutes, I knew I had started way too fast. I am an 8-8:15 pace runner. I was surprised with how long I was able to sustain that. I came up on mile 2 and was still feeling like I could keep it up for a bit longer (although I was definitely feeling it). I think at this point I was running at about a 7:15 pace.
At mile 3, I realized we were about to run UP THE MOUNTAIN. I didn’t look at the course map too well beforehand and failed to realize that the final part of the race was almost completely uphill. My pace slowed a ton and I even had to walk for a few seconds at the top of one of the hills. I tried not to, but I couldn’t breathe at one point. I think I was at around a 9-9:15 pace through this.
After my short walk break, I started running again and decided that even if I felt like I was going to puke, I was going to run my heart out. The course actually ended up being longer than 3.1 miles (3.31) so I knew my time wouldn’t be the 25:30ish I’d hoped for.
I crossed the finish line feeling like I was going to die, but feeling that I had given it everything I had. I knew that I couldn’t have given it any more. That’s a good feeling. My final time was around 27:22. I was good with that considering the uphill and the extra .2 miles.
Since my genius brain had signed me up for the first wave of the mud run (I picked the 9am start time, so I basically got a 30 minute break before my next 5k on the SAME TRAIL, but not with obstacles too!), I didn’t have much time to chill. At this point, I was quite sure that I was crazy for signing up for both races. I didn’t have a ton left in me and made the executive decision that I didn’t have any time goals for this and it was going to purely be fun. If I needed to walk, I would walk (although I didn’t end up having to). I ate a few Sharkies and headed to the start once again.
9am: Once again, the gun went off and I set out on the same trail. My legs literally felt like led stumps. They were HEAVY. The first 1.5 miles was just running. I fell into a comfortable pace and just waited until I came up to some obstacles. I was probably running around 8:45-9 min. miles. At around 1.75 miles, the obstacles started. This was all new to me, but I knew I’d love it. There were piles of tires to climb over, walls to climb over, slippery hills, mud crawls, tunnels, rope climbs etc. I was tired and pushing everything I had, but it was SO much fun.
I crossed the finish line in about 38 minutes. I was done and felt completely exhausted. In an amazing way.
As I was showering off and trying to decide if I should just throw away all of my clothes and shoes (and maybe myself?), I heard my name over the loud speaker. It took me a second to realize what was going on, but my boyfriend and I looked at each other and realized what the announcer had said. “1st Place, Lizzy Ostro!!!!” My eyes got wide and I ran to the stage to collect my medal. It was SO unexpected and it solidified all the hard training I had put in and the hard work that I had mustered out throughout the race.
This race was SMALL, so it wasn’t like winning the Rock n’ Roll Marathon, but I was still happy with how I did. I got 1st place out of 10 in my age group, 4th female overall, and 10th runner overall out of 66 participants.
I would highly recommend running this race if you are local in LA. It was a small but well put together race. Everyone was extremely nice, the course was mapped out pretty well, and the price of the entry for both races was very reasonable. I think I paid around $65 total for both races.
What is the best race you’ve ever run?
Any fun races in LA I should know about?
It’s been a whirlwind of a week over here. I definitely wore myself out both physically, and mentally. Work has been pretty crazy and all over the place, and I’ve been kicking butt in the fitness department. Between running, rock climbing, hiking, plyometrics, HIIT, and heavy lifting, I’ve literally been doing it all. Next week I am even planning on taking an adult gymnastics class, so stay tuned for a recap of that! For now, I’m battling a little cold, but hoping I will heal myself by creating cocktails like this:
and drinking lots of fluids.
The Core 5 Exercises
With all of the different types of exercises out there, things can get pretty confusing. There are so many different movements and ways to perform those movements, that sometimes it can make your head spin. Of course, you can target your muscles in many different ways, but there are some basics that I believe are what build your foundation. Not only are they functional exercises, but they are strength building and work your entire body simultaneously. If you master these, consider yourself a master of strength.
1. Push Ups
We all know what a push up is, but are you doing them properly? When done correctly, the pushup will work your pecs (chest), deltoids (shoulders), abs, and triceps, but even your legs, glutes, and lats must work as stabilizers in order to do a push up correctly.
Modification: Start from your knees until you build up strength to do a proper push-up. The same flat-back form and movement should be kept.
2. Pull Ups
I have a love/hate relationship with pull ups. They are such a GREAT exercise, but take a lot of work to become good at. There is really only one way to get better (and do more) pull ups, and that is to…wait for it…DO PULL UPS. But you may ask, how do I work on pull ups if I can’t do a single one?! Well, there are several modifications that help you practice the movement until your strength is built up enough to do pull ups on your own. Here are a few options:
Options #1: Band Pull Ups – both legs
Option #3: Band Pull Ups – one foot in, straight leg (instead of your knee on the band, you put your foot on it. Both legs stay straight)
3. Back Squats
The back squat is definitely an important exercise for everyone to learn and practice. I always tell people the best ab exercises I know of are squats and deadlifts. Like the push up, this is a full body exercise. Your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and abs are all working very hard during this exercise. Your back is used as a stabilizer as well. The proper back squat involves a nice athletic stance, with your chest out, shoulders back, flat back, and abs pulled in through your belly button. Here is a video by my good friend (and my first trainer! He taught me all of these moves back in 2007) Bret Contreras. The video talks about proper form, problems, and corrections. It is well worth watching!
Probably my favorite exercise of all time. There are several different types of deadlifts, but for our purposes, I am speaking of the Conventional Deadlift. Unlike the squat, the deadlift is a hinge at the hips. This exercise works your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, upper back, and abs. It is another exercise that requires a lot of attention to form, as not to injure yourself. Learning your form on this exercise is the first priority before adding weight. Once again, I’ll let Bret take this one:
5. The Hip Thrust
Back in 2007, I learned about the hip thrust first hand from, of course, Bret Contreras. In his small Scottsdale gym that I trained with him at, I was introduced to this move and forever fell in love. With the exercise, not Bret. The hip thrust is absolutely the best glute exercise out there. It is a power movement that uses SO many muscles and truly targets the glutes in a way that squats and deadlifts just don’t do (not to take away from them, just a different reaction from the muscles). I am posting another one of Bret’s videos, as he is one of the first people to spread the word and research this amazing exercise in depth.
Side note: Bret is now selling the Hip Thruster machine! (you better believe I’m talking my gym into getting one.)
So there you have it folks. I can guarantee that if you master and practice these 5 moves, you truly need nothing else. Of course, you can always supplement with other exercises and focus on speed, power, or strength (which will all give you a different way to use these moves), but these are staples. Learn them, practice them, and watch your fitness level take strides.
- What is your favorite exercise?
- Do you practice any of these exercises regularly? If so, which is your favorite/least favorite?
Just popping in on this lovely Sunday evening with a fun little post for you guys.
I did a tough track/sprint workout today plus some spring cleaning/furniture moving (yes, I realize it isn’t spring. whatever.), so this evening has been very low key. I watched an episode of Drop Dead Diva (don’t hate) and browsed some of my favorite websites.
In college, one of my classes was a creative innovation class. It was actually pretty cool and focused a lot on start-ups, innovation (hence the name), and finding your creative passions. One of the websites that we were introduced to was Springwise.com
This website has tons of up and coming start-ups and inventions from around the world. Some are REALLY cool. Some are REALLY…umm…not thought out (in my humble opinion.) I decided it would be fun to showcase some of the articles I came across and give my thumbs up or thumbs down.
My thoughts: This seems pretty cool to me. I live in Los Angeles, where parking is a NIGHT.MARE. How nice would it be to be alerted about a space opening up? Or better yet, not have to fun up in the middle of a meal to go fill your meter!! It seems like there could be some issues with this though. Paying for the space you take up? Does this mean I have to pay more because I drive a truck? I’m not sure how I feel about that……
My opinion: Use it!
My thoughts: The possibilities of video are pretty endless as far as technology goes, but for regular, every day consumers that aren’t as tech savvy, this seems like a great idea! It would be great to be able to add in maps, photos, graphs, etc. to your videos in a clean, professional way that adds some creativity to it as well. I think this is something I would try.
My opinion: Use it!
My thoughts: Let me just start off by saying….I think this is an AWFUL idea. So what happens if you have a repair man at the house and they take a picture of your house key and use this service? I understand they are trying to be safe with only allowing credit cards, but if someone is going to try to break into someone’s house, there’s a good chance they are capable of having a stolen credit card as well. I don’t like the idea of this service being around. Of course, someone could always steal a key and do the same thing, but you are more likely to notice a key missing. On a second note, I think the margin for error would be high on something like this.
My opinion: LOSE IT
My thoughts: This made me laugh out loud. I actually do think it’s kind of a good idea, but it’s totally an ongoing joke with dieters all over the world!! My old roommate used to say she needed tupperware with locks on it. Welp, there ya go girl!! In all honesty, I think while this could be helpful to some, if someone wants to snack, they’ll find a way!! I could see this to be used as more of a reminder/accountability tool. Nonetheless, I want to hear the break-room conversations this will cause.
My opinion: Use it! And film people’s reactions!
My thoughts: This one just made me sit there and wonder…….WHY. Why is this a thing? I mean, if this is going to be a thing, then I’m going to invent a cookbook that let’s you braid it’s fake hair too. Maybe it will have a nano-pet attached to it so the life of the recipe book can be monitored. I just wonder what happens if you cut it wrong. Maybe you get half of one recipe and half of the other. And invent some crazy delicious new food that people go crazy for. And become instantly famous!!! I just…I don’t get it.
My opinion: Lose it!
My thoughts: As someone in the music business myself, this one makes me REALLY angry. DropBox is a very common file-sharing system with musicians/engineers/producers alike. Sometimes partial tracks are shared through Dropbox and finished copies as well. This would be great if it were done by all honest people, but the reality is that some punk-nose kid is going to start putting shit in his Dropbox and trying to sell it. Stuff that he doesn’t own and had no part of making. Music or media that may not even be released to the public yet. That kid is making money off of something he doesn’t own! I really hope this does NOT happen.
My opinion: LOSE IT LOSE IT LOSE IT!
I’d love to hear your thoughts as well in the comments!!!
Okay, first thing is first.
There are PURPLE BELL PEPPERS?!?!?! I had no idea. I stopped by the local Co-Op after my run today and happened to see this little guy. There was no way I could walk out of the store without it, even though they were $4.99/lb. When in Rome. Or Santa Monica. Is this something the rest of the world knew about?!
Speaking of my run……today I hit a BIG P.R. for myself. Ever since I started working out/running back in 2006, (I’ve never been just a runner and it comes in waves) I’ve always wanted to hit a sub 24 minute 5k. The goal is finally in sight and I’ve been training hard for it. (Oddly enough, most of my training comes in the form of plyometrics and weight training, but another topic for another day. I still run once or twice a week.)
I have a 5k trail run/5k mud run (they’re back to back and I’m completely stoked about it) coming up next month, so I’ve been really pushing myself.
Since I was out of town the last few days (I’ll get to that in a minute), I’m trying to play catch up on my training. I was planning on doing a long-ish run today, but once I started going, I realized how good/fast I felt. I changed my training plan on the spot.
My first mile was 7:48. I’m an 8:15-8:30 runner normally, so this was my first sign that good things were coming. Keeping this up for two miles isn’t too hard for me, but I typically hit a wall at around mile 2 when I’m running this pace. As I hit my 2nd mile and realized I still felt decent and was coming in under 16 minutes, my competitive face went on and I decided I was going to hit 3 miles in under 24 minutes no matter what.
That 3rd mile was tough. The first half of it was hard, but manageable. The second half is where it got rough for me. I started getting feelings of “oh shit I’m gonna puke” mixed with “holy shit i can’t breathe” mixed with “ouch, my lower back hurts”. But I honestly didn’t care. If my hip went out and I puked all over the place while losing all oxygen to my brain, I was just not going to stop. I can be dangerously competitive at times and this was one of them. Had someone walked into my path, I would have absolutely shoved them down and felt no remorse. I promise i’m not normally that evil.
As I hit mile 3, I heard the little lady on my Map My Run app tell me that I had run 3 miles in 23:47. I immediately went into party dance mode in my brain (still trying not to puke at this point) as I pushed for the last tenth of a mile. I hit 3.15 miles in 24:10. Ma-jor-vic-tor-y!!!!!!
While I didn’t hit the PR I’m hoping I get on race day, this was the first time I’d ever run 3 miles in under 24 minutes. And for that ladies and gentlement, I’M STOKED!!! The second accomplishment in this run was that I didn’t actually puke. High fives are welcome.
As I posted on Facebook, if I accomplish nothing else this week, I’m totally fine with that. But as we all know, this confidence boost is going to push me to conquer the world this week. Majorly awesome day.
So back to that vacation. A few months back, I purchased a smokin’ deal for a hotel in Vegas. I love little getaways, and when I can do them cheap, it’s even sweeter!! My man and I hit the road Wednesday and spent a few days laying by the pool, playing Blackjack, eating ice cream, and walking the strip in search of….nothing. All in all, Vegas is pretty boring when you’re not a partier and don’t want to spend a gazillion dollars on shows. I do like playing Blackjack, but I tend to lose money, which I don’t like. Either way, a few days off with my man is always a good time!
Our room at the Aliante Casino & Resort (not bad for $40/night)
On our way back to LA, we stopped in Calico. I have a weird obsession with ghost towns (and really anything abandoned or ghostly. actually anything weird for that matter), so we made a last minute decision to check out the town. If you’re ever in that area, it’s a fun little stop. It’s a bit commercialized for my taste (lots of gift shops/food stores), but the history there is pretty cool and you can pay $2 to walk through an actual mine. Freaking awesome. The views aren’t too bad either!
And just for some cuteness overload….my awesome nephew. He can already tell at almost 9 months old…his aunt Lizzy is crazy.
1. What’s a fitness accomplishment you’ve had lately?
2. What are some of your favorite weekend getaways?
3. Any ghost town recommendations?!?!?!
Ah, it’s finally more than halfway through the week. This means the weekend is in sight, which means….well I’m probably working. But that’s besides the point.
I thought I’d bring you guys a workout today that is sure to work your lower body until it begs for mercy. It hurts so good, doesn’t it?
I’m a big fan of pairing heavy-ish lifts with plyometrics. My theory is that you have given all you’ve got during the heavy lift…and just when you think you’re spent, you take that weight away and explode through the movement to total exhaustion. It’s effective, brings on the sweat, and makes you a more functional athlete (or mathlete…you have to keep track of your own reps.)
In blue, I denote what weight I used. Obviously, everyone is unique to their own strength. Know your body and your strength. I am not a doctor and you should always check with one before starting a new fitness program.
Burn It Out
Superset #1 – 4 sets:
Barbell Squats (8-10 reps) 75-85lbs
Squat Jumps (12-15 reps) *Advanced: use a 10 lb medicine ball
Superset #2 – 4 sets:
Barbell Walking Lunges (10-12 reps per leg) 30-40 lbs
Jumping Lunges (8-10 reps per leg)
Superset #2 – 3 sets:
Dumbbell Bulgarian Squats or Split Squats (10-12 reps per leg) 15 lb DB’s
Heavy Decline Leg Press (15 explosive reps) 90 lbs
Finish this workout with a 1 mile run as fast as you can or a few sled pushes if you have access.
Oh, and I almost forgot the most important part of this post. God happened to be at my gym today for a photo shoot. Yes, today was a good day…..
(Although it looks like I have a double chin in this photo, I don’t ACTUALLY have a double chin. I think.