HIIT Me Baby

A couple of weeks ago, I asked y’all in the QOTW what your favorite work out was. It didn’t surprise me at all that the elliptical won out. The elliptical is a great way to get your cardio in while avoiding the injuries you’re at risk for while running. What I’ve found, however, is that those 20+ minute elliptical sessions where you maintain a steady 150 RPMs (rotations per minute) are not only boring, but pretty ineffective.

More and more research has come out regarding the advantages of HIIT, or high-intensity interval training. When doing a HIIT workout, you alternate between performing at a 10 (“Holy $%#*, my legs are going to fall off, I’m going to puke, I hate this, I can’t do another second, holy $%#*), and a 4-6 (“Oh, cool, got through that, this isn’t so bad”). By working your body as hard as it can during those short but tough intervals, you trigger what’s called the afterburn effect, or your body’s ability to continue burning an increased amount of calories even after you stop working out. Holy $%#*, right?!

Here’s a HIIT set I designed using the Little method for the elliptical, but you could really use it for any form of cardio– running, cycling, swimming, etc.

Adjust the RPMs as you see fit, these are just guidelines and will vary according to your fitness level. Read more about the HIIT, Little method, others here!

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The Final Five

Answer this week’s new QOTW!

If you’re a human and you’re a female, there’s a pretty huge chance that you’ve battled with those last five pounds. Even if you’re sticking to a slender diet and fitness regimen, they can be the hardest to whittle away. I’m nearing what I believe (/hope/pray) will be my final five, and will definitely need some motivation to power through them.

Setting smaller, more reasonable goals leading up to your ultimate goal weight will keep you from losing that light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve found that rewarding myself at specific points in my journey to slenderhood encourages me to keep going.

Here is the reward system I’ve come up with. Putting the rewards on little notes stuck to my mirror (specifically the mirror above my dresser where I get dressed and, therefore, spend a lot of time thinking about slenderhood), ensures that these motivators are on my mind, even when I’m most tempted to stray.

Of course you can always adapt the weight loss goal and its respective reward as you see fit in terms of price and what will motivate you! This probably goes without saying, but making them food-related is a bit counterproductive.

If you think I’m delusional for choosing grilled chicken over a cheeseburger in promise of a new bottle of OPI, let me know what would motivate you!

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Slender Sips: Berry Minty Vodkito

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Tomorrow’s a really big day for me. Like, huge. Like, monumental. Like, my life won’t be the same after tomorrow. Tomorrow is finally, after an excruciatingly long, seemingly neverending wait, MY TWENTY-FIRST BIRTHDAY.

But I mean, I’m obviously being totally chill about it… If making your own slender cocktail in honor of your own birthday constitutes “being chill.”

This is my take on a mojito, using vodka instead of rum. The reason I used vodka is because a) I like vodka, it goes down smoother than nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol, and b) there was no rum to be found in the house.

Berry Minty Vodkito

 Calories: 137 | Fat: .1 g | Carbohydrate: 14.3 g | Fiber: 5 g| Protein: 0 g

Ingredients:
1/3 C water
1 1/2 T Splenda (or your sweetener of choice)
6-8 fresh mint leaves + a few extra for garnish
1/2 C frozen mixed berries + a few extra for garnish
1 1/2 oz vodka
2 oz club soda
ice

Directions:
1. To make the Splenda simple syrup, heat the water until it boils, then add the Splenda and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool before mixing in the drink.
2.  Nuke the 1/2 C of frozen berries in the microwave for about 15 seconds. They should be softened at this point, but not warm.
3. Pour half of the cooled simple syrup, the mint leaves, and thawed mixed berries to the bottom of your glass. Muddle them with a muddler if you’re fancy,  or smash everything together with a wooden spoon if you’re me.
4. Add the vodka, club soda, ice, and pretty garnish.
5. Sip and be slender!

Note: if this is too sweet for you, add a little more club soda to stay slender, or add a little more vodka to stay fun.

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The Slender Set: Arms + Back

Answer this week’s QOTW!

Sometimes it’s shocking how much Beyoncé and I have in common. We’re both from Houston, we both love Jay-Z, we both look amazing in diamond-encrusted leotards. I could go on forever, but I can’t keep you here all day when you should be doing this upper body workout.

This is the second addition to The Slender Set. Add it to your cardio routine with or without the lower body set I posted earlier this week. Soon, you’ll have an entire series of songs to get you through a full body workout. Leave a comment if you’ve tried either one of the sets and let me know how you liked it! If you have any other song ideas, leave those in the comments too!

Oh, p.s., you’ll need a set of free weights for this one. If you’re a female, start with 5 lbs and see how that feels. If you’re a male, start with 8 lbs. If you’re a swoldier and don’t need my advice on how much weight to use, tell me to step off.

tips:
- On the push ups, try and do them from your toes until you reach the point of failure and then drop to your knees. Don’t tell yourself you can’t do a real push up if you haven’t even tried!
– Push up form: normal, wide (to target your shoulders/chest), narrow (to target your triceps)
– Check out proper form for rows
– Here’s the hammer curl to add to your jog
– And since I know you’re not even feeling this yet, here’s the lateral raise!

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