Lady Lovin’ Workout Playlist

The Slender Student's Lady Lovin' Workout Playlist (a playlist to get you girls pumped in the gym!) | The Slender Student I don’t think I can count the number of times I’ve told y’all that I’m really not that into working out. I was born with zero athletic ability, so I give myself double points when I exercise for fighting against nature. That takes some serious work.

Nothing gets me more motivated to combat my inherent laziness than music. It’s a huge part of why riding at Cyc works so well for me. It’s also the reason why I walk around the gym with chronic B face. I’d classify the music I listen to while I workout as mean. It mostly consists of hip hop– songs in which the artist rattles off lyrics about how great he is, and how less great everyone else is. I, in turn, evoke the same attitude that’s being siphoned into my brain via my headphones.

Hey, it’s not charming, but it works. I truly believe that confidence can fuel a workout.

Since the conclusion of the holiday season, I’ve felt a lot of self consciousness and heard a lot of fat talk from both myself and my friends. I put together this playlist as a way to counteract all of this negativity. I hope not only that these songs get you in the gym, working toward your goals, but also that they give you a little confidence boost and remind you that you’re the HBIC. Heads up, language is explicit.

Thank you to my Instagram and Twitter followers who gave me song suggestions. It was really fun listening to what gets you all amped. Follow the playlist on Spotify so you can listen to it where ever you go, and leave a comment if you think I’m missing a crucial jam!

January 2014 Fitness Challenge: Try Something New

Keep your New Year's Resolutions and TRY SOMETHING NEW to keep from getting bored with your fitness routine! | The Slender Student Trying something new is arguably one of the more important parts of the January 2014 Fitness Challenge. Let’s be honest, going to the gym, warming up, lifting weights, and then finishing off with cardio can easily become redundant, no matter how many different moves you do. And with boredom comes a loss of motivation. And once you’ve lost motivation, it becomes that much easier to abandon a workout routine. That’s where trying something new comes into play. Getting your body moving and working in a way that’s unusual for you prevents that mental burnout. It’s a way to have fun getting fit and may even allow you to stumble upon a new favorite way to be active. I tried my first class at Cyc Fitness on a total whim and it ended up completely changing my point of view on indoor-cycling, cardio, and group exercise classes. Ya never know.

Far beyond any of that, though, trying something new allows you to prove yourself to yourself. I don’t know about y’all, but I approach any new physical feat with trepidation. Despite being a pretty active person, I sometimes revert back to my unathletic, overweight, self-conscious former self. That all disappears after trying something new and succeeding.

Enough fluff, let’s get down to business. Here are some suggestions for ways to try something new:

If you’re a member of a gym, attend a group class you’ve never done before.

Many private gyms/studios offer a free first class. Call around to your local yoga, Pilates, boxing, or cycling studios and see what they’re offering.

If you’re normally chained to a treadmill, try running outside instead.

Hop into that one piece and swim some laps (indoors, guys!).

Look online for a cardio dance video and get stupid in your living room.

Leave a note in the comments and let me know what new activity you’ll be trying! I’ll be heading out to Cayman for a few days tomorrow so maybe I’ll be doing cardio in the airport terminal or, more likely, going for a jog on the beach.

January 2014 Fitness Challenge: Shoulder Day

January 2014 Fitness Challenge: Shoulder Day | The Slender Student

arnold press

single-arm barbell jammer

barbell rear delt row

dumbbell shoulder press

upright barbell row

lateral to front raise

steering wheel

I never realized how much I like/value working shoulders until I started. I found that my delts and traps began showing progress fairly quickly after I began focusing on them, which that motivated me to keep working them every week, lifting as heavy as I could.

Speaking of lifting heavy, I have something to say on the subject. DO IT.

Girls, seriously, you’re not going to get bulky from grabbing a challenging size weight and getting to work. We simply don’t have the biology to do so. You’re not doing yourself any favors by grabbing the 3 or 5 pounders off the rack and doing these exercises. That won’t burn enough calories and won’t build (lean, slender, sexy, strong) muscle, so don’t waste your time!

Yeah, you might feel like a bit of an idiot changing weights in and out while you find one that’s comfortable yet challenging, but that’s temporary and it’s worth it. Lifting a weight that’s lighter than your purse looks worse. Trust.

January 2014 Fitness Challenge: Biceps, Triceps, and Chest Day

January 2014 Fitness Challenge: Biceps, Triceps, and Chest Day | The Slender Student

dumbbell curls

triceps rope pulldown

dumbbell flyes

burpees

hammer curls

skullcrushers

pushups

It’s time to work biceps, triceps, and chest! Normally one does biceps and triceps together, but I add chest because, quite frankly, I hate working chest. I mean, I spent my preteen years praying that fat would magically appear in the area, so I’m in no hurry to burn it off now. My compromise is throwing in a couple of chest exercises, just so I can say I did.

I know this looks like a lengthy workout, but there’s a method to my madness. Because these are such small muscle groups, they don’t burn many calories on their own, hence the addition of those wretched burpees. Burpees suck but they’re effective in building muscle, raising your heart rate, and burning calories. If that little note about the superset confuses you, it just means you’ll do one set of hammer curls immediately followed by one set of skullcrushers, take a break, and repeat two more times.

If you have any questions about form, refer to the links above or leave them in the comments below! Happy lifting!

Q + A, Part 4

Today I’m answering another handful of the questions y’all have submitted. Be sure to readpart 1part 2, and part 3 to see if I answered your question or just to check out the answer to something you probably wanted to know anyway. If you’re still feeling snubbed, please submit any question you’d like!

Answers to commonly asked nutrition and fitness questions! | The Slender Student

Will doing 100 ab crunches a day for thirty days give you evident results?
The most definitive answer I can give you to this question is no. Unfortunately, you can’t really target fat loss that way and, more often than not, the moves you make in the kitchen will deliver more results than the moves you make in the gym. Think about it this way: you can consume calories far faster than you can burn them. So, if you’re looking to get bikini-ready abs, I’d suggest a calorie-conscious diet full of whole foods, cardio, and strength training (including those crunches, if you’d like).

You mentioned that you did Weight Watchers when you were younger. What are your thoughts on it now?
I’ve had a couple stints with Weight Watchers and excluding my undergraduate nutrition education, it has probably provided me with the most knowledge about healthy eating. Recording your food as PointsPlus is a great way to exercise portion control and hold yourself accountable for what you put in your mouth.

My only qualm about their new system (assuming this is still how it works) is that fruit is zero points. For most people who don’t particularly enjoy fruit as a snack, this is probably an effective way to get them eating more. And while fruit is a nutrient-dense alternative to many snacks that are nutritionally empty, it still has calories. As someone who loves fruit, I was happy I could consume cups of it between meals to stifle my hunger without dipping into my daily PointsPlus for the day. That extra couple hundred calories or so, however, definitely stifled my weight loss, as well.

I have the BIGGEST sweet tooth ever, which has been a problem since I am trying to lose the 20 pounds I gained freshman year. What can I do to keep me away from the sweets?
I think your best bet will be to indulge in your cravings from time to time, but in a slender way. There are lots of lower calorie alternatives to satiate a sweet tooth, and totally avoiding the things you love is just going to set yourself up for failure. I like to have a 100-150 calorie “safety net” left over at the end of the night for sweets that satisfy my sweet tooth. This includes things like sweet slender nachos, single serving mug brownies, or chocolate Greek froyo.