Abs/ Glutes Combo

https://youtu.be/d1fNEUH8sWA

This is a great finisher for your workouts. The elevated crunch targets the upper region of the abdominal muscles while the elevated bridge engages the gluteus muscles and hamstrings. To get better results keep lower back on the ground, lifting only the upper back off the mat.  For the bridges, remember to squeeze your bum and hold the contraction for a couple of seconds before lowering the hips.

Hip Thrust on Bench

Hip thrust is excellent exercise to isolate the glute muscles. However, you must focus on squeezing your bum and holding the contraction on the top part of the movement. You know if you are doing it right, when you start feeling cramps on your butt;)

My Current Diet

I am often asked what I usually eat in order to keep my slim figure, so I have decided to take pictures of some of my favorite meals and post them here. Most of my meals are home made and I try balancing my macronutrients (the ration between carbohydrates, protein, and fats) according to my fitness goals and body type. I am an ectomorph, which means that my body handles carbohydrates quite well and I don’t put on weight too easily. Also, I have been trying to gain muscle mass, meaning that my diet contains a little more calories, protein and carbs than if I wanted to maintain or lose weight. Besides, I have a very active lifestyle which allows me to indulge a little more than a sedentary person. That said, here goes a day worth of food in my life.

Breakfast – Wholegrain English muffin with spinach, avocado, smoked salmon and poached egg. Kiwi fruit and tea.

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Mid morning snack – Protein shake (after workout), banana, rice cakes with peanut butter.

Lunch – Salad with mixed greens, herbs, sprouts and carrots, basmati rice and chicken breast. Mandarin and water.

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Mid afternoon snack – Can of sardines with rice crackers. Apple and coffee (soy latte).

Dinner – Turkey ragu over polenta, wild rice pilaf, and rocket salad.

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Legs Superset: Quad Dominant

Leg day is my favorite workout. I’m trying to build my legs (more definition and a little bit of size wouldn’t hurt) but sometimes I get bored with mainstream exercises. So I’m always looking for ways to make my workouts more interesting and challenging.

This morning I had a killer training session which compelled me to share it with you;) I choose three exercises to superset (perform back to back with no rest in between sets).  I started with a heavy compound movement, followed by a single leg also compound, and finished with a single joint to recruit those extra muscle fibers. The result was a massive pump and a great feeling of accomplishment.

Here goes what I did:

Front squats with barbell – 10 reps (put enough weight to keep the last rep very hard to finish).

Single leg squats on step – 10-12 reps per side (perform this exercise close to a place you can hold onto in case you lose balance. I used dumbbells for extra challenge but I can start with just body weight if you are new to this exercise).

Kneeling sissy squats – 10 reps (keep you hips and your back aligned throughout the exercise while hinging from your knees).

Repeat 4 to 5 times:)

Product Review: Body Science Organic Vegan Protein

I have recently tried a new protein powder. I was looking for a supplement high in protein and low in carbohydrates to use as a post-workout shake during the cutting phase of my competition preparation. So, I went to the local health food store and stumbled across the “Organic Vegan Protein” from Body Science.

It is as the name says: a certified organic product, 100% vegan, gluten free, nut free, and lactose free. It doesn’t contain any artificial colours or flavours, and it is sweetened with stevia, a natural plant based sweetener that is very low in calories. The protein source is a blend of brown rice, pea, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and chia powder. Also, on the label, the manufacture brags that it contains super food extracts such as açai berry, mangosteen, goji berry, and green tea. With 18 g of protein and only 404 KJ (97 kcal) per scoop, I thought it was a winner.

So, I bought a small container (350 g) to give it a try. It contains 14 servings per package and a serving is only one scoop (25 g). I got the chocolate flavour, but vanilla is also available. I tried the protein in three ways: just with water (as my post-workout shake), mixed in my oatmeal, and blended with fruit.

When I had it just with water, it was quite disappointing to say the least. The liquid was thin and powdery. Even though it dissolves well in water (no big lumps floating around), there was a chalky texture that was hard ignore. Moreover, the chocolate flavour is very mild, barely noticeable with a strange after taste (probably from the stevia). I guess, the only plus was that it was a tiny portion (250 ml) so I could pretend it as a “medicine” and chug it down without thinking too much about it.

Next, I tried sneaking it into my oatmeal. I thought it would be a good way to add some protein to my bland breakfast. However, the result wasn’t very impressive. Again, I could still feel the funky powdery texture, and the flavour was quite bland, certainly not enough to sweeten the oatmeal.

Then, I went for a super shake which is when you add several ingredients such as fruits, veggies, nuts to the protein protein powder. On my shake, I used 1/2 banana, 200 ml of milk, 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, 1 scoop of the protein powder, and ice. For my surprise it actually tasted good! I guess it’s because I put back everything that the manufacture took off. But no matter how many ingredients I added or for how long I blended it, that grainy feeling on the tongue was still there.

The bottom line is the Organic Vegan Protein from Body Science has an awesome ingredient list, but let’s say that it looks better on paper than in real life. However, if you don’t mind the chalky texture, it can be a great addition to your super shake.

For more information on the product click here.

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1000 Reps Challenge

One of my clients said that she is very competitive and loves challenges. So this week, I gave her a massive challenge: completing 1000 repetitions of several exercises in the shortest period of time possible. She finished the whole thing in about 50 minutes. Do you think you can do better (or even finish it)? It goes like this:

  • 40 plank shoulder taps
  • 30 squats with med ball
  • 20 TRX rows
  • 10 burpees

Rest (as short as possible)

  • 40 plank rows (left arm)
  • 30 alternating lunges with bicep curls
  • 20 ski jumps
  • 10 prone get ups holding a dumbbell (left side)

Rest

  • 40 Mountain climbers
  • 30 ball slams
  • 20 cable touch down lunges (alternating sides)
  • 10 chest down up

Rest

  • 40 toe touch on med ball
  • 30 side walk with super band (left side)
  • 20 lunge switch slams
  • 10 Single arm TRX row with rotation

Rest

  • 40 crab toe touches
  • 30 band swimmers
  • 20 alternating single arm swing
  • 10 kneeling to standing with over hear press (left side)

Rest for up to 5 minutes then repeat the whole workout changing sides.

Good luck!