Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hows and Whats.

I have a lot of stuff I want to talk about today and thought it would be fun to combine the topics into one post, my current Hows and Whats.

HOW I'm currently sweating:

Personal Training With Jackie: Xtreme Timesaver Training

It's been far too long since Ms. Warner has put out a new DVD and her Power Circuit Training DVD left me anxiously waiting for more. Yes, I'm a glutton for punishment.

I must admit- I had this DVD sitting in my living room for about 5 days before I actually tried it. Jackie Warner + "Xtreme" = apprehension. But this morning, I put on my big girl pants and finally gave it a try. The verdict? Love it.

Back-to-back circuits of compound exercises quickly raise your heart rate and constantly challenge your muscles. (Check out this great Amazon review for a detailed list of all the moves!)

Since the pace of the Power Circuit DVD was so fast, I was worried that that was going to be the case with Xtreme. Not so much. While there is a general steady pace to the workout, Jackie seems to be more focused performing the moves properly and with full range of motion. This causes you to work harder because you're recruiting more muscles not only for strength, but for balance as well. The pacing of the reps and the compound moves create a unique cardio effect, without having to do typical cardio moves like jumping jacks or running in place. And of course, you get a good strength training workout as well; some of the moves were so new and challenging for me that I had to brush the dust off of my 3 lb. set!

In short, love this workout (you can't beat 30 minutes), love Jackie and loved how I felt afterward!

WHAT I'm currently reading:

LL Cool J's Platinum 360 Diet and Lifestyle: A Full-Circle Guide to Developing Your Mind, Body, and Soul.

I checked this book out at the library mostly for kicks, but also just out of plain curiosity. LL obviously knows a thing or two about maintaining a great physique, so I wanted to learn a bit more about his approach.

The first part of the book is really just about taking some time to clear your mind and learn to love yourself before picking up a dumbbell or chopping a tomato. LL wants you to cultivate the mental strength necessary for building a better body. He explains why you're worth the effort and how to create more positive vibes within yourself and the people around you. I was caught off guard by how honest and solid his advice was. Some of what he had to say may have been a bit simplified or maybe even a bit preachy, but overall, it made sense and I appreciated what he had to say.

The second part of the book is all about working out. I have to say, I really didn't pay much attention to this part of the book because the majority of the exercises are restricted to machines at the gym. Not a bad thing if you have a gym membership of course, but I was hoping there would have been more at-home routines and there simply weren't any. For what it's worth, this section did emphasize the importance of weight training and proper form. The workout plan also includes cardio, both high-intensity and lower-intensity. For cardio, LL suggests using the treadmill, bike or elliptical. Pretty standard advice, but effective nonetheless.

The final section is about nutrition. LL's diet plan is essentially a carb-cycling plan, something I'm familiar with and have tried in the past. If your ultimate goal is to lose weight within a specific time frame (in the case of the book, 8 weeks), this may be a plan to consider. After looking through his sample meals and recipes, there's nothing dangerous or strange about what he advises you to eat... Lots of lean protein, healthy fat (from nuts, avocado and olive oil), unlimited vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, beans and whole grains. He also wants you to stick with 3 meals and 3 snacks (mid morning, afternoon and a pre-bedtime protein snack so you don't go to bed hungry), each day.

The idea behind LL's carb-cycling plan is that you gradually reduce the amount of carbs you eat throughout the week and then replenish with a "cheat" meal (yeah, I kinda hate using that word) Saturday night and have a carb "refuel" day on Sunday. One aspect of his plan that I respected is that even on "low carb" days, you still can eat carbs like oatmeal or brown rice. The main goal, as with most successful nutrition plans, is to eliminate processed foods and refined sugars. I can dig it.

Personally, I haven't followed his plan as it's written because I simply have no interest. However, the recipes and sample meal/snack ideas are right up my alley and that brings me to...

WHAT I'm currently eating:

Protein Pancakes. I can't get enough of them. Perfect breakfast. I got the idea from LL's breakfast recipes. This is the version I've been using:
  • 3 egg whites (or 1/2 cup of liquid egg whites)
  • 1 scoop Designer Whey French Vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • Splenda to taste (or sweetener of choice)
  • cinnamon
That's the basic mix. Whisk together a cook in a pan as you would a pancake. (I like to pour all the mix into the pan at once so I end up with a giant plate-sized pancake.) I've added different mix-ins like blueberries, pumpkin and bananas & walnuts. I think the banana-walnut combo is my favorite so far. Serve with syrup and enjoy! Definitely packed with protein and relatively low in calories, depending on your choice of protein powder and mix-ins.

That's all for today- hope you enjoyed this edition of Hows and Whats!


Joslyn said...

1. jackie warner's first DVD kicks me ASS.

2. i saw ll cool j in person a few weeks ago in the audience at a maroon5 show, and dude is RIPPED.

Mari said...

Hey lovely!!!! I love the new layout.

I have been interested in trying Jackie's new dvd...I love her last one! but since I am doing turbo fire right now, I am holding off but now I can't wait to try it! thanks for the review....

hmmmm not sure if I would buy LL's book about weight loss, to me it is like getting kim kardashians workout dvd lol...hmm but maybe I should since we are both from queens =)