Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Sculpted Ab Routine (Just 3 Exercises)

As I mentioned yesterday when I shared my meal plan, I'm currently 12 weeks out from my first bikini competition and this week, I start doing my ab exercise routine everyday.  I have definitely seen improvements in the last two weeks in the toning/tightening of my stomach. I'm sure it's a combination of my clean meals, workouts/cardio, ab exercises, and perhaps this cream I've been using.  The picture below was snapped on Monday morning (April 15, 2014).  


Now that I'm 12 weeks out, I'm doing my ab exercises every day.  I do 3 exercises in a row, and repeat them 4 times.  These exercises can be done in the comfort of your own home too.  

1.  Leg Raises- 20 reps
When I'm at the gym, I do leg raises on the roman chair.  

via

At home, you can do them lying on the floor.  

Watch the video HERE.


2.  Medicine Ball V-Ups- 15 reps 
These are really hard, but I'm getting better at them.

Watch the video HERE.


3.  Russian Twists- 20 reps
I don't use any weight, I just sit on the floor and touch my hands to the floor on either side. 

Watch the video HERE.


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Monday, April 14, 2014

12 Weeks Out // My Bikini Contest Meal Plan

This week we're turning it up a notch in both the workouts and meal plan.  I still have fat to lose so, right now, there will be no fat in my diet, no sugar, no dairy.  I have to say that the meal plan is not very exciting, just a balance of lean protein, carbs, and veggies - 5 times a day.  

This is similar to how I've been eating, but there are things I'm cutting that I previously had been enjoying:  coffee with creamer (I can have coffee but don't like it without a lot of creamer, so I'm trading it for black unsweetened tea), peanut butter and syrup (on my protein pancake), peanut or sesame oil, egg yolk, low sodium soy, salt-free seasoning (in my stir fry), and milk (in my cheerios), nuts.  

Keep in mind that this meal plan was given to me for my specific goal of competing in a bikini contest in 12 weeks, and based on where I am in my fitness journey.  I'm sharing it with you partly to document my process and partly to just give you an idea of what these "fitness girls" eat like if you're curious. 


Here are some examples of lean proteins and carbs:

Protein:
  • Tuna or most any fish.
  • Cottage cheese.
  • Eggs (especially the whites).
  • Chicken breast (boneless skinless).
  • Turkey breast (boneless skinless).
  • Lean beef.
  • Low fat or no fat cheese.
  • Low fat pork.
  • Milk protein isolate.
  • Whey protein.
  • Soy protein.
  • Essentially most any other source of protein so long as it is low in saturated fat and carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates:
  • Sweet potatoes.
  • Oat meal, oat bran, oat bran cereal (i.e. cheerios).
  • Bran cereal.
  • Brown rice.
  • Wheat bread (try to limit to 2 slices per day).
  • Beans.
  • Low fat popcorn (low fat butter spray makes this a delicacy).
  • Fruits (limit to 2-3 servings per day).
  • Malto dextrin (during workout).
  • Dextrose (during workout)
  • Vegetables.
  • Stay away from refined grains and anything that says “enriched” or “high fructose corn syrup” on the label
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My breakfast (egg whites and oatmeal) will be made into a pancake and eaten dry (no PB or syrup)- boo. 

Meals 2 and 3 look something like below, on a smaller (9-inch) plate.  It is actually so much food.  This is 5 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, 6 oz. sweet potato, and 1 cup veggies. 


I'm still eating on the go a lot.  


Meal 4:  3/4 cup egg whites, 3/4 cup brown rice, and 1 cup mixed veggies cooked in a skillet with nonstick cooking spray, but no seasonings 

Meal 5:  Protein shake with one scoop of protein, 6-8 oz water, 2 ice cubes.  I make it like this because it doesn't make a huge drink. 

I'm now buying bags of frozen veggies and frozen chicken because it's so much food to keep preparing.   


And I bought a food scale that I really like so I can get the measurements exact. It's super easy to use and lightweight.  I poured through all the reviews and think this was a great choice- well worth the money.  


I think I will get one cheat meal a week and I'm already craving my iced tall 2-pump mocha from Starbucks.  But, I'm so excited to see the changes in my body.  I can't say I LIKE to eat this way, but I've never done it so cleanly or consistently and I have been wanting to cut sugar for a long time, so here we go.  Since the beginning of this journey I just keep thinking, "Do the work. Trust the process." 



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