My Life

Christmas Goodies: What I Got For Christmas 2017

Hello and welcome everyone to another Fey Fitness blog entry. I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday weekend, even if you do not celebrate Christmas in your home or country. My house has never been big on the gift giving side of Christmas, but I did get a few wonderful items this year that I thought I would share with all of you.

Box, Card, Celebrate, Celebration

Now, I should preface this with the fact that I prefer useful gifts over ones that are expensive or highly decorative. For me, being able to make good use out of something far outweighs how elegant it is.

Cinnamon Stars, Cinnamon Sticks

So without further ado, here is a slideshow of what I received this year from my husband:

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We also had some neighbors drop by and bring us handmade treats!

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A gift from our neighbors.

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Fitness Videos

Grow That Booty With A Bodyweight Squat!

Ah, the bodyweight squat. It’s a definite fundamental exercise in any fitness enthusiast’s repertoire. Once you have the basics down there are a whole host of variations you can use to keep the exercise relevant and interesting.

With this in mind, today I thought I would share with you how to safely and correctly perform this exercise so you can use this as a building block in your lower body workout routine.

How to Perform a Bodyweight Squat:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip or shoulder width apart.
  2. Place your hands behind your head, out to your sides, straight in front of you, or lace your fingers together and keep them in front of your chest- we really just want to keep them out of our way for this exercise.
  3. Tighten your knees, hips and legs while slowly lowering yourself down and back like you are going to sit down in a chair. Stop when your thighs are parallel to the floor.
    1. Note: Your booty will be pretty far back behind you, and that’s perfectly alright. Your knees should be relatively straight over your feet/ankles, and NEVER farther forward than your toes.
  4. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Make sure your knees stay over your ankles and do not shift forward over your toes, or angle inward toward each other. Try to keep the shins straight.
  5. Repeat this movement for 15-20 reps and 3 sets as a part of your lower body workout.

This exercise is great for a beginner, or someone with Atrial Fibrillation. The movement is slow enough to not spike the heart rate too much, and it still gives your quadriceps a nice workout.

Sport, Sports, The Squat, Squats

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Fitness Videos

Holiday Gift Buying Ideas: Gym Clothes

With the holidays in full swing, I wanted to take a moment and talk about a gift idea that you may be pondering for that special gym rat in your life (or for yourself!). Many people buy me gym clothing for the holidays, and from what I hear from my other trainer buddies they are in the same boat. Buying clothing for your special workout friend or coworker isn’t a bad thing- heck, with as fast as some of us go through clothes it is a blessing- but not all gym clothing is created equal.

So today I wanted to take a moment and talk about the differences in gym attire so you can be more informed as you brave the stores for possible gift ideas.

Box, Card, Celebrate, Celebration

Cotton vs. Synthetics: What’s the Big Deal?

In short, everything.

For the longest time cotton was king. It’s cheap, easy to find, and comes in a variety of colors (or with fun logos). Some people even tout that the fabric itself helps grip barbells for squats or hip thrusts.

TRAINING TO BEAT ALL MIGHT Women's Tank Top Front

However, that’s about where cotton’s usefulness ends. Why, you ask? Because cotton has a huge flaw, and we find that flaw in science.

To better understand this we need to look at thermoregulation.

Thermoregulation is the process in which the thermoregulatory center in the hypothalamus readjusts body temperature in response to small deviations of a set point.1

This is just a fancy way of explaining how our bodies move heat out of our system. For example, when we workout our internal body temperature begins to raise, when that happens our thermoregulatory system activates to remove that excess heat from our body.

We mainly see this as a flush of pink of red in our cheeks and sweat under our arms. This excess heat in your body is moved through your blood to your skin where it is released out into the world around you. Additionally, your clothing can act as a heat conductor to transfer this heat from your body to your clothes.1

However, if you are wearing something that traps all that heat, like cotton, then your body isn’t going to cool down as quickly or as effectively.

Cotton also traps moisture, like sweat, and hangs on it. Meaning if you are wearing a cotton top and playing an intense game of basketball, then your sweat soaked clothing is going to cling to your body- while also holding onto all that excess body heat.

People, Woman, Exercise, Healthy, Fit

Sounds pretty gross, right? Well, luckily there is hope.

This is where synthetic fibers come in. Things like polyester, rayon, nylon, latex, bamboo and spandex are all great examples of synthetic fibers. These fibers are amazing work horses that wick the moisture (sweat) away from your skin and release it into the atmosphere. They do the same thing with body heat, removing it from your system so you feel and stay cooler, longer.

Synthetics are also softer (in my opinion). While you might be paying a little more upfront, the synthetic clothing I own has far outlasted the cotton textiles that are exposed to the same gym conditions. Synthetics also glide across the skin better, which is ideal for people with sensitive skin that could get irritated from how cotton can catch or rub.

The ISSA, which is where I received my certification, has this handy infographic that I thought I would share to illustrate the differences between cotton and synthetics.

Synthetic and Cotton Explanation Graph

So there you have it, the main differences between cotton and synthetic fibers in gym clothing. Please let me know if you have any questions, and happy gift buying!

Decorating Christmas Tree, Santa Woman

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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References

1. Wilmore, Jack H., and David L. Costill. Physiology of sport and exercise. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2004. Print.

Cooking Shows

Meal Planning for a Healthy Diet

Hello and welcome everyone to today’s blog post on eating healthy. This is a huge topic so I thought I would start off small and just touch on the topic of meal planning. Meal planning is amazing. It’s saved my butt so many times and kept me on track to meeting my fitness goals. How, you ask? Because meal planning means I have everything I am going to eat for the week mapped out and ready to go so it takes the thinking and guess work out of what I eat in a day.

Grilled Meats, Steak, Sausage, Meat, Beef, Food, Grill
My typical strategy is to make all my breakfasts and lunches on Sunday, package them in Tupperware containers, and then nab them each morning as I race out the door. Dinners I tend to cook in smaller batches that only last for two or three days.

Chicken, Raw, Oven, Food, Eat, Frisch, Cook, Garlic
Now, this might sound dreadful, but not to worry, I’m not eating the exact same thing every single day. When I cook on Sunday I make several smaller meals all at once and bake them all in the oven together or on the stove top. For example, say I got a bunch of chicken thighs on sale at the store on Sunday. I’ll take aluminum foil and put some chicken, carrots, onions and cumin in one packet and wrap it like a Christmas present. Then, I’ll take another packet of aluminum foil and place some chicken in it with asparagus, mushrooms, shallots and garlic. I’ll keep adding different veggies and spices to each packet so that I can pop all of that in the oven together and have instant meals to eat throughout the week. But did you notice how each aluminum foil packet was different? They all may contain the chicken I bought on sale, but there is enough variety in vegetables and spices to keep it interesting and so I won’t get bored eating chicken all week.

Breakfast, Oatmeal, Walnuts, Blueberries, Berry
I do something similar with breakfasts. I adore oatmeal- really, it’s my jam. So I’ll make a week’s worth of oatmeal, then add various fruits, spices or other ingredients to keep it interesting. Like this week, I added the following items to my oatmeal: cranberries (because why not), chia seeds, coconut milk, cinnamon, fresh mango, diced apple and raisins. See? Even a tiny addition can really change the flavor and texture of a dish.
However, if you’ve never done it before, here are some handy tips on how to meal plan. (I also did some digging and found an interesting read on the MyFitnessPal Blog that I’ve linked for you to read as well.)

Time, Calendar, Saturday, Weekend, Day, Days, Date
First, take stock of the upcoming week. Whip out those phones and open your calendars. What do you have going on? Are you racing from work to soccer practice with the kids? Do you have late meetings? These are things you need to take into account when meal planning. If you are running with the kids to practice directly after work, you’ll probably want to make meals that are more portable and easier to eat from the stands while the kids practice. If you’re staying late at work, does your office have a refrigerator where you can put your lunch and dinner to eat later? Nothing kills good intentions better than having to get fast food for a meal rather than eating something nutritious and homemade. Also, look to see if you’ll have time to make dinner each night, or if you need to make a large dish that will last several days (like I do).

Spices, Jar, Kitchen, Cooking, Wooden, Pepper, Glass
Next, poke around in your kitchen to see what you already have. I like saving money, so anything that I already have at home that I don’t need to buy twice is great. Try to think of meals that can incorporate what you already have to save money. Google is a great resource for finding yummy recipes using what you already have on hand. Another great thing for new cooks is that most recipes will tell you how many people the dish feeds (or how many days of leftovers you can expect), this is valuable information when planning your meals for the week.

Grocery Store, Supermarket, Vegetable, Shop, Tomato
Now it’s time to go to the store. If you don’t have a bunch of recipes memorized like I do, feel free to bring your recipe food lists with you to the store so you make sure you get everything you need for the coming week. I try to buy seasonal produce that’s on sale to further stretch my money. I do the same thing with the meat section. I head straight to the “Manager’s Sale” section and inspect the meats there for anything appealing to me. Remember those chicken thighs I was talking about earlier? I got those on sale for 50% off! The feeling of getting a pound of organic, non-GMO chicken for less than $5 is a great feeling.

Cooking, Pies, Vareniki, Pelmeni, Cook, Food, Kitchen
You’re almost done! You’ve looked at your week, taken stock of the kitchen, gathered your bounty from the store, and now you are home. So let’s get cooking. Now you just need to cook all this great food and you’ll be done. Granted, depending on your recipes this may take a bit, but your Future Self will be so grateful to Past You for being able to open the fridge and see all this amazing food sitting inside ready to be eaten.
And you’re done! Let me know what you thought about this post in the comments.

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Fitness Videos

Work That Core With The Knees-to-Elbow Exercise!

Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of Fey Fitness!

In today’s video I will demonstrate how to perform the knee-to-elbow core exercise. This exercise is perfect for those of us with atrial fibrillation because it works the core without spiking our heart rate. (NOTE: This exercise can be performed by anyone. Even if you do not have a heart condition you can still benefit from adding this exercise to your core workouts or to your dynamic warmups.)

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How To Perform This Exercise:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Place your hands behind your ears or interlace your hands behind your head.
  3. Tighten your core.
  4. Bend forward while bringing your left knee up and in front of your body while twisting to bring your right elbow over and down to meet the raised knee.
  5. Hold this position for a second or two with your core tight.
  6. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side.
  7. Perform 15 reps for 3 sets as a part of your core workout.

Pro Tip: Set a good pace for this exercise. If you have atrial fibrillation you don’t want to be too speedy and spike your heart rate too quickly. Go at a pace that is right for you. However, if you do not have a heart condition, you can really crank these out and get your heart rate up while working your core.

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Cooking Shows

Cooking with Fey Series Announcement and Life Update!

Hello and welcome everyone to today’s episode of Cooking with Fey. You may notice that we aren’t in my kitchen for today’s video, and that is because I have a channel announcement for you all.

As you may know, I have a day job and work as a personal trainer at night. Well, I’ve been getting a lot more personal training clients recently and I had to make a very difficult choice, to take on more clients on the weekends or keep filming my cooking videos. So after a lot of thinking and pondering, I’ve decided to put the Cooking with Fey series on hold for a while. I don’t plan on cancelling the series forever, but for the next few months I want to really focus on my second job and gaining more clients.

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The end goal to all of this is to become successful enough with my personal training job that I can quit my day job and stop working seven (7) days a week. At that time I plan on starting up the Cooking with Fey series again. My current plan is to quit my day job and move into personal training full time by the spring of 2018, but depending on how many new clients I am working with might push that timeline forward. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that business continues to grow and I can resume the series sooner rather than later.

barky

I really appreciate your patience and flexibility with me while I work towards this goal, and work up the courage to quite my day job. It’s a big step for me and one that has a lot of anxiety and uncertainty for me and my husband. So please bear with me while I work through this leap of faith.

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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Fitness Videos

Reverse Wide Grip Bent Over Barbell Row for Instagram Worthy Back Muscles!

Hello and welcome everyone to another episode of Fey Fitness!

In today’s video I will demonstrate how to perform a reverse wide grip bent over barbell row. I love row exercises. There are oodles of variations you can do to achieve a ton of different outcomes, all dependent on your fitness goals. For example, seated rows or bent over barbell rows are amazing for your back and getting those sexy V-shaped muscles we see on professional bodybuilders. But it’s more than just looks, rows can help strengthen the erector spinae to help keep your spine strong and healthy- which reduces your chances of getting injured while working out or playing a sport.

Some of the main varieties of rows are:

  • Seated
  • Bent Over
  • Yates
  • Pendlay

And some common grips are:

  • Narrow
  • Wide
  • Reverse Narrow
  • Reverse Wide

As you can imagine, changing the stance or grip will affect which muscle groups become the main focus of the exercise. So today we are going to look at the reverse wide grip bent over barbell row. Whew! That was a mouthful to say.

I love the wide grip bent over barbell row because it allows me to hit a lot of different back muscles at once. The muscles you will be working out are: the latissimus dorsi (the middle portion), the rhomboids, the lower trapezius, the biceps brachii and the erector spinae.

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What Grip Should You Use For Rows?

Unfortunately, as you’ve heard before with other health and fitness questions, it depends on your goals. The grip you use, and the width of that grip, will determine whch sections of muscles will be the focus of your exercise. If your goal is to have a broad, wide back that is very well defined, then I recommend narrow grip rows. However, if your focus is a healthy spine and good posture, then wide grip rows would be the way to go.

Or, you can be an all-star and do both! There’s nothing saying you can’t do narrow grip rows one day, then wide grips row on your next back training day. But remember, the amount of total weight you will be able to move could be less when you are doing wide-grip versus with a narrow grip, so don’t let that discourage you.

Next let’s talk about what I call “normal” grip versus reverse grip rows. A “normal” grip is when the exterior of your hand faces outward, and your palms are facing your body. This is the most common type of grip you will see at your local gym, or if you Google this term. Generally speaking, when we talk about the muscles used with this type of grip we are looking at the latissimus dorsi (the outer portion), the middle and upper trapezius muscles and the erector spinae. All of which are great muscles to work for a strong and defined back.

Now let’s look at the reverse grip. This grip has the palms facing outward with the exterior of the hand facing in the direction of your body. The muscles that are generally being worked here are the latissimus dorsi (note that it is the middle portion now being worked), the rhomboids, the lower trapezius, the biceps brachii and the erector spinae. See how we are working different portions of the same muscles? This is why you can do rows one way for one workout, then vary the grip and get a completely different outcome from another workout.

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Reverse-Grip Bent Over Barbell Row

Muscles Used: latissimus dorsi (middle portion), rhomboids, lower trapezius, biceps brachii, erector spinae

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend the knees and settle into a squat position.
  3. Pick up the barbell with your hands shoulder-width, or wider, apart in an underhand grip (where your palms face outward).
  4. Bend forward at the hip so you have a deep curve in your low back and your arms are hanging straight down from your shoulders.
  5. Pull the barbell toward your sternum by raising the elbows up and back. Squeeze your shoulder blades together behind you as the weight is raised.
  6. When the barbell touches your sternum, pause for a second or two before you slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position. When you return to the starting position be sure to not lock your elbows.

Pro Tip: Never let gravity take over as the weight descends. This is how people get injured and have negative impressions of a row exercise. Keep the muscles engaged and strong through the downward portion of the move so it remains as smooth as it was on the upward motion.

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Wide-Grip Barbell Row

Muscles Used: latissimus dorsi (outer portion), middle and upper trapezius, erector spinae

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend the knees and settle into a squat position.
  3. Pick up the barbell with your hands shoulder-width, or wider, apart in an overhand grip (where your palms face your body and the back of your hands face outward).
  4. Bend forward at the hip so you have a deep curve in your low back and your arms are hanging straight down from your shoulders.
  5. Pull the barbell toward your sternum/upper abdominal cavity by raising your elbows upward and back. Be sure to squeeze your shoulder blades together as you raise the bar up.
  6. When the barbell touches your sternum/upper abdominal cavity, pause a second or two and squeeze your upper back muscles.
  7. Now, slowly return the barbell to the starting position with arms fully extended, but make sure your elbows are not locked.

Pro Tip: Never let gravity take over as the weight descends. This is how people get injured and have negative impressions of a row exercise. Keep the muscles engaged and strong through the downward portion of the move so it remains as smooth as it was on the upward motion.

If you have Atrial Fibrillation, be sure to monitor how your heart is doing throughout this exercise. The movements shouldn’t spike your heart rate enough to cause an AFib episode, but still be aware of how you are feeling and stop if your heart starts beating erratically or skipping beats.

As always, please like and subscribe to this channel to stay up to date on new content, and head on over to Instagram (@fey_fitness) to give me a follow or to YouTube at Fey Fitness.

My Patreon page is now live, so please go show some love there as well. I’d like to make some upgrades to my videos to enhance your viewing pleasure, and any support would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Fey

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/FeyFitness

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fey_fitness

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/FeyFitness

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