Gym Buddies

gym buddy

Gym buddies…

Everybody has one, right?

…Right?

I have found over the time I have been attending Sandcastle Fitness, that most of the regulars have their own group, or gym buddy.

Some (I’ve noticed) decide to go alone.

I myself have a gym buddy and wouldn’t know what the heck to do without one!!!

Maybe for some people it’s easier to focus working out alone? Perhaps it’s too distracting to be working out with another person, let alone a few? Sometimes you get to talking, then decide to stop and grab a bite to eat after only completing two sets.

Whoops. I can’t say that’s ever happened before… *wink wink*

For me personally, having a workout buddy is a fantastic thing. It’s like having a personal cheerleader rootin’ you on to lift. It’s a wonderful thing. That’s why I love the partnership. Whether it’s a friend, school colleague, sibling, or other half, getting that motivation from them just makes you want to do better, does it not?

I would love to hear from those who workout alone!

What are your methods? Why do you like working out alone?

 

 

 

Cheat Meals

 

Eating well is a very significant part of exercising. It’s mandatory. Otherwise, you won’t reap the benefits of weight loss! But sometimes, you gotta have a cheat meal once in a while…

I find that some people get so caught up in dieting and practically starving themselves to shrink down to a preferable size. But let me tell YOU, that is NOT the way to do it!

Just a like a kid, when he/she does something good, they get rewarded for it. We adults should follow the same path.

If we kept continuing to avoid carbs forever, or try to put the thought of chocolate out of our minds, we’d  go CRAZY! It’s so important that we treat ourselves for our hard work at the gym. Some of us may feel that we aren’t working hard enough because we don’t really see the results so much. But let me tell you…

You are a golden god/goddess! Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t see results right away! If you are stepping foot into that gym and doing the absolute best you can, HAVE A BURGER, you deserve it, you rockstar!

Happy Monday!

 

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How to Start a Diet: 5 Steps

Listen up, this is important.

Changing your diet is a BIG DEAL

When starting a new diet, or making changes to your current diet, you are modifying the fuel your body uses to do literally everything.

We have said this before, and we will say it again: everything your body does takes energy!  From exercise to your immune system, even thinking uses energy!  This is why the food you use to fuel your body is so very important.

For whatever reason you are starting your diet, whether it be for a fitness competition, just to lose some excess weight, or to feel better all around, it is important to make sure you feel good, on the inside and out. 

Sticking to a diet, and dieting safely are two surprisingly difficult endeavors to undertake, so here are a few tips to help!

  1. Make Small Changes!  Especially if you have never changed your diet, or started a diet plan before, make small changes towards your dieting goals even months before you start.  For example, if your diet consists of less bread and more vegetables, start slowly cutting out bread in your current diet week by week.  Going cold-turkey will increase your chances of binge eating later down the road.  Or, if you want to become a vegetarian, try cutting out seafood for a month, then add red meat to the list!  Progress as your body adjusts.
  2. Do You Have a Diet Buddy?  Making yourself accountable to someone else will increase your chances of sticking to your diet.  If you know you would have to text someone at the end of the day that you had three donuts and a bag of chips, you are less likely to make that decision in the first place.  You can also do your diet research together, because it is vital to know exactly what you are about to do to yourself!  Make sure your diet is safe, effective, and healthy!  Weight loss will happen, health problems are avoidable, (in most cases.)
  3. Experiment, Experiment, Experiment!  We said it three times because it’s important.  You need to find what works for you!  You are different, physically and chemically than other people, so what works for some people, might not work for you.  You need to find a diet that helps keep you fit, full, energetic, and healthy. Your diet needs to fit with specifically your lifestyle.  How busy are you?  How active are you?  How tired are you?  These are all important questions you need to ask yourself.
  4. Eat Enough Food!  Like we said earlier, everything you do takes energy, and you need to make sure the diet you are on gives you enough energy to do everything it is that you do!  When you just cut out food from your diet, most of the time what you are doing is simply depriving your body of the energy it needs to function and let’s face it…that’s how starvation works.  If you want to make a diet that lasts and is healthy, you want to make your body want more fuel, not less.
  5. Talk to Your Doctor.  Yes, changing your diet can be that big of a deal.  Take a blood test.  You might be low on iron, or b vitamins, and not even be aware.  You could change your diet and unwittingly cut out your supply of a certain vitamin or mineral and cause yourself serious health problems down the road.  If you are not sure, talk to a professional.

Be smart, be safe, work hard and don’t give up!  A successful diet can make you feel leaner, more energetic, and actually make you more productive!

 

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“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.”

-Les Brown

6 Horrible Truths about being A Girl Who Lifts

So, in the very recent past, or maybe over a longer period of time, you have become a person who enjoys working out… a lot.  The gym preoccupies your thoughts, and you find yourself there more and more frequently.

Whatever the time frame, it appears you have transformed into a being that can be socially referred to as “a girl who lifts.”

Here are exactly 6 horrible truths about the gym-lover you have become.

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1) You will be hard pressed to find jeans that fit properly again.

So you have said goodbye to a lot of excess fat, and gained a whole bunch of muscle.  Odds are, you have what is colloquially referred to as “a booty,” or more formally, a developed gluteus maximus.  Your quads and hamstrings have grown and you can see their amazing curves as a result of your hard work.  After all of this, your old pants don’t fit anymore, and when you go shopping to get new ones, they just don’t fit right.  Your waist is too small for the jeans that fit around your shiny new leg muscles, and the jeans that would fit around your waist refuse to make it over your glutes.  If you find a pair of jeans that fit, you better stick to that brand, or by them in bulk, because my friends, you have just found a unicorn.

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2)  Your boobs seemingly vanish into thin air.

The amount of boob-disappearance is entirely dependent on the person, but in the process of losing fat and gaining muscle, it is likely that you have gone down in cup size.  All the push-ups and chest-press have eaten away at your chest, and the new muscle there has taken up residence in place of your…bosom.   The main act in your own personal magic show, you can look down to see that your feminine chest has somehow, disappeared!  Just like magic!  The best part is, that you care more about your new bench personal record than your own personal disappearing act.

 

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3)  Your wardrobe is suddenly comprised entirely of workout gear.

Think about it.  When was the last time you stepped out of the house, especially on your own time, in anything other than workout gear?  You live in your runners, and spandex…oh the spandex.  Can you remember the last time you went out in jeans?  All your normal clothes are pushed to the back of your closet, and both the front of it, as well as your hamper, are full of workout gear.  Wearing a normal bra is a painful and scarring experience.  Going out in a nice dress, or dressing up jeans with heels feels absolutely alien.  At work, or anytime you are required to dress up, you long for your beautiful spandex, your comfortable workout tee, and your runners.  Why do you have to wear normal-people clothes anyways?

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4)  You annoy people by talking about working out all the time.

You have found a new passion.  Every time you go to the gym, you are excited about hitting a new personal record in some way, maybe heavier weights, or being able to finally do a certain exercise.  Your cardio is improving in your interval training, or maybe you have found a new style of training that is working for you really well. Sometimes, people who don’t work out may not understand why you get so excited about picking up heavy things and putting them back down again.  Just remember, anybody who is passionate about something wants to talk about it all the time, it’s only natural!  Even if you keep blabbering on to anyone who will listen about your new squatting weight, enjoy it.  That is the essence of passion and vivaciousness, the happiness that exists in doing something you love, and that makes you feel good.  Blabber away.

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5)  Your social life takes a back seat to your workouts.

Your friends invite you out on Friday night to a bar, and you’d really love to see them…but you had a workout planned with your gym buddy, and you wanted to do some interval training on Saturday morning.  Odds are, going out drinking will ruin both of those things.  Plus, when you finish your workout on Friday, you have to go home and eat, and shower, and by the time you’ve done all that your pajamas look really, really inviting.  So with your workouts as first priority you can either go out, and not drink, or stay at home and watch Netflix in your pajamas.  Pajamas win, every single time.

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6)  You are completely, irrevocably, and undeniably obsessed with food.

Fueling your workouts, and re-fueling your workouts is a new obsession.  No matter if you do macro counting, another system, or no discernible system at all, you pay attention to the things you eat.  Your fit and muscled body demands sustenance, and you are happy to feed its nearly insatiable appetite.  You do not skip meals, ever, as that would be blasphemy.  You want to grow your muscles, and improve your workouts, and you are smart enough to know how important food is to that equation.  Gone are the days when you would just count calories and be done with it, you have become an energy-burning, muscle-building machine that cannot function on nothing!  Eating food, prepping your food, and thinking about food dominates your life.  “Sorry, I can’t make it out, I have to go home and eat,” is an actual phrase in your vocabulary.  Food comes first.

There you are, six horrific, life-changing truths that will permanently alter your entire world!

…Okay, that was slightly dramatic.

One a scale from one to things that actually matter in the world, these don’t really rank.

However, they do resonate with those women who live in a world of iron.

The thing is, you have to ask yourself whether or not you would change any of these “horrible” truths. Leading a fitness oriented lifestyle is one of the best feeling, and most empowering changes a person can make in their lives.  As you add muscle, especially as a woman, it gives way to a momentous rise in self-confidence.  You feel assured within yourself and your body, and that confidence echoes throughout every other facet of your life. With a powerful body, comes a powerful mind, and getting to that point develops an intimate relationship with yourself and your body.  It is a deep sense of self awareness that encompasses your physical self.  You begin to wonder whatever it was you were doing before, or why anyone would ever avoid being physically active.

All of it starts with a good workout…and then you come back for another.

Happy lifting!

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What You See, You Will Eat

We posted an article on our Facebook page a few days ago, which was about some research done by Cornell University, about the food we have on display in our kitchens:

https://www.facebook.com/Sandcastle-Fitness-Club-253556984696814/?ref=hl

This article stated something simple…really simple.  The point the article makes is so simple, in fact, it teeters along the border between simplicity and redundancy.  However, what you can draw from this simple point, is actually very extensive, and also quite helpful.

So, with that being said, what does it mean?

The article basically stated that the food you have on your counter directly relates to your weight.

Cereal

They photographed hundreds of kitchens, and found that they could predict how much more, in pounds, the owner of that kitchen would weigh, as opposed to their neighbor.  For example, they found that people with cereal out on the counter would typically weigh about twenty pounds more, or people with soft drinks on their counters could weigh thirty pounds more than their neighbors who did not!  Plus, those who had fruit on their counter weighed significantly less!  (Cornell Food & Brand Lab).

Moral of the Story?  Put healthy food on your counter!  But why will this even help?

  1.  If you have cereal, cookies, or some other unhealthy snack on the counter, you will eat it more often.  This study proved that.  We are not saying not to buy the cereal, or treats at all, but rather to hide it…a little…from yourself.  Make it that much harder to access.  Seriously, we all know those days when you are so tired and exhausted that even opening the cupboard seems like a momentous task.  Put a banana on the counter instead, and suddenly, your snacking effort is reduced to a happy zero!  This also means if you switch cookies with fruit, you are simply more likely to eat the fruit instead.
  2. Putting fruit on the counter is a great way of ensuring the rest of the family eats more fruit as well.  We don’t have to go on about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, but one thing that is a bit difficult is getting other people who aren’t as inclined to eat them to do so.  Just put some healthy food out on the counter and let it act as your healthy on-land fish bait, where the fish are your family, and the bait is the fruit and veg….okay we’re stretching this analogy already. The point is, everyone will be more prone to the benefits of healthy snacks if all they have to do is reach on the counter.  If you live alone, that means more fruity deliciousness for you!

FruitMake eating better slightly easier on yourself.  Make the things you can see, better choices.

Find the Science Daily article here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151019130759.htm

And the Page Citation here:

Cornell Food & Brand Lab. “The 20 lb. cereal box: Kitchen counter foods that relate to your weight.  ScienceDaily.ScienceDaily, 19 October 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151019130759.htm>.

30 Minute Arm Blast

Whether you want bigger arms, or more definition, or you just want to see how much weight you can throw around in general with your own two hands, we have the workout for you.

Given to us by our very own Eric Dunnill, pictured and described in our last post, by reputation alone this workout will definitely be killer.

Without further ado, here is Eric’s 30 Minute Arm Blast!

  1. Standing Barbell Curl – 5 Sets
  2. Barbell Lying Skullcrushers – 5 sets (15, 12, 10, 8, 6 Reps)
  3. EZ Bar Close Grip Cable Curls – 5 Sets
  4. Straight Bar Pushdowns – 5 Sets (20, 15, 12, 10, 8 Reps)
  5. Rope Hammer Curls – 4 Sets (20 Reps)
  6. Rope Pushdowns – 5 Sets

And there you have it!  An arm workout that will be sure to leave you unable to lift your arms or otherwise function like a normal human being for a solid amount of time!

Make sure to warm-up, cool-down and stretch properly, and if you have any questions, just ask, either here or any one of our trainers.

For those of you who are unsure about what these exercises are, this next section is for you.  We just included a basic definition.  Please comment below or ask us via email, (info@sandcastlefitness.ca,) or in the gym if if you have any further questions.

  • Standing Barbell Curl – Stand straight up, with your feet about shoulder width apart.  Curl the barbell with your palms up, towards your chest.  Don’t use a swinging motion or momentum to get it up, and control the ascent and descent.  Don’t forget to breathe.
  • Barbell Lying Skullcrushers – Lie on a flat bench, with your head close to the edge, and your palms holding the barbell facing forward.  The bar should begin behind your head, your arms bent and your elbows above your head.  Then, extend your arms at the elbows, bringing the bar up and over your head.
  • EZ Bar Close Grip Cable Curls – Attach the EZ bar to the bottom cable loop.  (It is the one that has two v-shaped peaks on it.)  Grip the bar closer than the Standing Barbell Curl, and otherwise the motion is very similar.  Control the bar both up and down.
  • Straight Bar Pushdowns – Attach a straight bar to the upper cable loop.  With your palms down, grip the bar with your elbows down, and then push down to extend your arms.  Keep your torso straight, and shoulders back.
  • Rope Hammer Curls – Attach a rope to the lower cable loop.  Grab each end of the rope with your palms facing inward, and curl your fists up towards your chest.  Keep your torso straight, and control both the ascent and descent of the rope.  Don’t forget to breathe.
  • Rope Pushdowns – Attach the rope to the upper cable loop now, and grab it with palms facing inward, your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor.  Extend your arms, bringing your fists down and out by your hips, using your triceps.  Keep your torso straight, and your upper arms still.

Enjoy!

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