Susan G Komen Breast Cancer 5k

Saturday I partook in my first 5k run — and I did it to raise money for breast cancer. I met some new people and took some selfies with my team afterwards. If you want to check out more photos from the race, follow my Instagram page —¬†ShayFitnessWonderWoman

It was a wonderful time and I was happy I could partake in an event with a great community & to have had a team with my gym I work at. I definitely found the run a challenge considering I am not a long distance runner by any means, but I finished and that is truly awesome in my book! The last picture is of a gentlemen who stopped me after the race to applaud me and made mention of how he runs for a living; he was from out of town and we both shared stories of having members of our family either battle or die from cancer. I found out later he won 3rd place in his age group and funny story, because I ended up keeping up with him the whole time and I feel honored to have done so, because he did amazing!

If you haven’t had a chance to do a 5k , please give it a go, just for the experience. I think it feels good when you finish a race — especially when you have no plans on winning or beating a certain time, you just do it for the community involvement and the cause and for the pure enjoyment of knowing you did something new and worthwhile for yourself.

If you are a 5k runner or have done one in the past, share your experiences in the comment section, get more people running and staying active ūüėÄ

BCAAs — Supplements

Take What You Need

“Branch-Chained Amino Acids”

Never taken BCAAs during.before or after your workout? You probably aren’t missing out on anything if you eat a variety of foods & keep your health maintained with ample water intake, but even with a perfect nutritional base — some people still decide to take BCAAs, and you probably want to know why.¬†

For starters, you probably didn’t realize what these BCAAs are: they are your “essential amino acids consisting of leucine, isoleucine, and valine — basically to sum it up these 3 words comprise close to 35% of your body’s muscle protein. I’ll assume you understand protein & muscle — if not, I’ll explain in a future post.¬†Why are these essential? because your body doesn’t make them on its own!¬†YOU GUESSED IT: if we have to get these from food or supplement sources — easy enough?¬†

This post is for informational purposes only, so opinions are welcome. but I am not here to lecture you in either direction — I have always been an advocate of getting the most from your food groups then if that becomes an issue, to extend your horizons and choose healthy alternatives –– so if you take them, GREAT! if you don’t, GREAT!¬†

The purpose of BCAAs?

  • help with enhancing muscle recovery after your workout
  • GNC referenced “leucine is the star player in higher quality BCAAs”¬† more of it and less of the other two make it worth your dollar.¬†
  • Helps to limit fatigue
  • Can benefit those during their weightloss journey when paired with good nutrition, good workout regimen, and when paired with glutamine (i’ll go over this supplement in a future post) which will help normalize visceral fat
  • BCAAs can reduce your D.O.M.S – delayed onset muscle soreness¬†
The best BCAA supplements are up in the air, but when it comes to food try eating more chicken, eggs, tuna, salmon, cottage cheese, etc (aka do your research)  & the fun fact: BCAAs can be taken during, before and after your workoutРno harm done! 

Single leg kettlebell Deadlift

Kettlebell Deadlift variation

An underrated movement that needs a lot of attention because it provides a lot of benefits that can go towards your compound lifts & also provides a means of working on balance & coordination, stability, core strength, hamstrings, and mobility of the hips, back and legs. In the above video, I am demonstrating this workout utilizing a 12kg kettlebell.

Now because I have a harder time with my left leg keeping its balance, I tend to add more reps to this side to help build it and focus in on it, but naturally I usually do between 12-15 reps on each side.

One thing to keep in mind, is this exercise is not meant to be fast paced, take your time and really focus on keeping your balance and utilizing the proper muscles with good technique/form. I tend to move a lot quicker in this video but if you are a beginner, do this exercise with little to no added weight and either hold on to something until you get more comfortable not having to do so, or touch the floor with the moving leg between reps (allowing you to keep your balance).

Muscles Utilized:

  • Hamstrings
  • abs/core
  • forearm
  • back muscles
  • Traps
  • Glutes
The benefits are listed above. Also keep in mind this exercise can also be performed using a dumbbell or a barbell.
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to view this video & more!

Caffeine For Athletes

Performance Gains & Losses 

brown coffee beans

Photo by nousnou iwasaki on Unsplash

Caffeine, one of the world’s greatest inventions for many Americans. Typically people drink their caffeine in the morning for a boost of energy but now caffeine isn’t just in your coffee and can be used for different purposes.¬†

Like anything we eat or drink, we should be aware of what we add to this natural stimulant — which makes the difference in how our bodies react to it and how much we should consume of it before it becomes a “performance loss” — I use this word because I am going to talk about the pros and possible cons of consuming caffeine while trying to be fit/healthy.

Lets start with, how many of my readers and fellow bloggers drink some form of caffeine? How often? does it work? 

Questions to consider because why consume a beverage with a purpose if it doesn’t work and why feel the need to consume more of it in order for it to work? The problem that lies with caffeine for athletes and non athletes is when we use it, some of us then have a hard time without it in our systems; we start to depend on it (not healthy). Now I am not against caffeine and its uses, as a matter of fact, I take a pre-workout supplement before my actual workouts sometimes to aid in my energy levels and it helps to make me push through my workouts a little longer BUT I don’t depend on it and can go without caffeine in my day to day life & while lifting.¬†

None of this is new information if you are someone who has had caffeine in your diet or has been one who needed to ween themselves from it, but this information is good to know if you are someone who plans on using a form of caffeine to aid in your workouts or day to day lifestyles. 

We got the black and white important stuff out the way — let’s chat performance gains and losses with caffeine.

Performance Gains

  • Caffeine helps to improve endurance — some studies have shown it had greater effects on endurance athletes compared to carbs.¬†
  • Caffeine can increase your body temperature, it turn making it so you burn more calories during your workout
  • Caffeine can help reduce the perception of effort – making it so an athlete works harder and for longer periods of time
  • can potentially aid in muscular endurance activities — high reps, circuits, etc¬†
Performance Losses
  • too much caffeine intake can lead to becoming immune to its effects — which then leads to someone drinking more doses¬†
  • it creates a spike of energy but then drops & can cause drowsiness¬†
  • caffeine that comes with additives that have added sugars and unknown ingredients are more harmful than helpful
  • for those who are hooked on daily doses of caffeine and depend on it, are likely to have bad headaches and bad sleeping pattern when going without it
  • Can raise blood pressure and heart rate
  • can interfere with glucose metabolism
  • Impairs your quality of sleep
Nobody needs to up and quit their cup of Joe before a workout or stop taking pre workout supplements but everybody needs to be cautious of their caffeine intake, be cautious of the type of caffeine they intake, be cautious of how their body takes to the caffeine — does it help or hinder you? does it effect you negatively or positively and has it created a problem where you depend on it? Is it natural or have you added sugars? Like everything else in life, drink it/eat it in moderation and consume it responsibly #cheers

The Barbell Front Squat

When it comes to squat variations, my strong suit is the front squat due to having strong quad muscles — in the video I demonstrate the front squat from the back side view, doing 135 lbs on the barbell & making sure to hit the 90 degree angle on the way down and bringing the weight back up evenly against my traps.

Now this video might not show close up insight or a step by step direction — but you see the squat form and the depth I am doing in order to hit full ROM (range of motion). If you are new to this exercise or any form of exercise, be sure to start off with lighter loads to work on technique/form.

Muscles utilized:

Quadriceps
glutes
adductor magnus
soleus
hamstrings
gastrocnemius
erector spinane
anterior/lateral delts
suprapinatus
rhomboids
upper/middle/lower back
Benefits of the exercise
Improves core strength
glute activitation

Benefits of the exercise
  • Improves core strength¬†
  • glute activitation
  • huge quad development
  • possible decrease in lumbar and knee stress
  • increase my power clean
  • Total body mobility and stability
  • Total body strength gains¬†
  • Increased muscle mass

P.S I posted the video on my social media ShayFitnessWonderWoman

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