Storm Stella Is Here, But Spring Is Coming, Let’s Spring4Prana!

Winter may be pounding away outside, but Spring is coming and I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for it!  I’m so over this snow and have spent today daydreaming about warmer days.

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What better way to think Spring, than to checkout the new Spring Collection from prAna and to take advantage of 15% off your purchase with code S4P17SMM? I am loving what they have to offer this season and look forward to rocking my new look during outdoor adventures in the warmer months.

These pieces are great for both lounging or running around town in.

The Chetan Capris are definitely going to be a new staple for me.  Seriously, they are one of the most comfortable and durable pair of leggings I’ve worn in a long time.

Aside from the fun and stylish look, the outfit passes the workout test.  I’ve already worn these a few times for my weight training days, but decided to test them out again with some light yoga work.

The entire outfit did not disappoint.  The top was both supportive, but also comfortable and flowy throughout every movement.  No worry of flashing your gymmates!

I’m actually surprised by the Mika Strappy Top and how much I like it.  I’m normally not big on super strappy or open backed tops because they often dig in and cause unsightly bulging, but this wasn’t the case.

The Chetan Capris have many great features as well.  The “raw edge” seaming details are super flattering to your curves and they lay flat so you won’t feel them.  They sit high on the waist (even though they are described as low rise) with an extra thick band of elastic that doesn’t dig in.

They are also great for movement.  Nothing gets exposed as the fabric is stretched and the wide waist band holds everything in place.  As someone with loose skin and a mommy tummy, this was a happy discovery.

And, bonus, there’s a secret pocket!  Perfect for stashing my rings when I’m using kettlebells or the bar.

If you haven’t checked out prAna’s Spring Collection now is the time to take a look and don’t forget you’ll save 15% off your order with code S4P17SMM.   Why not kill those winter blues with a wardrobe refresh?

 

 

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Product & Workout Review: ActivMotion Bar

**This is a paid review, but my experiences and opinions are my own.  As a blogger and fitness enthusiast I do my best to provide true and honest accounts of fitness products and routines.  

 

A few weeks ago I was awarded the opportunity to review the new ActivMotion Bar.  Have you heard of it?

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What is an ActivMotion Bar?  Acting on the premise of stability training the bar is filled with rolling weights that move as you work to stabilize them all while engaging your core.  This action of engaging and disrupting movements is called Disruptive Training.

“Disruptive Training progresses people through three phases of training, with the end results being increased core strength, improved mind-muscle activation and awareness, and smart muscles that will protect and perform.”

The closest thing I’ve tried to this were fluid filled pvc pipes at a crossfit booth last summer.  I remember being thrown off-balance when I used the bar for the routine, the shift of weight made the overhead squats that much more of a challenge.  So when I learned about what this bar did it seemed like it would be a great way to boost my workouts.

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Upon initial receipt of the bar I was a little disappointed in the weight.  I like to consider myself a strong woman and figured that this 6 lb bar wouldn’t have much to offer in the form of challenging my body.  Let me tell you this, I was wrong.

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I had just started up with Body Beast and many of the exercises called for a standard weight bar (which I didn’t have).  After seeing Tony Horton use the bar in some of his routines I figured it would be just as easy to adapt it to my own program.

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It’s come in use the most during leg day and I’ve found it to be great for focusing on proper form during those hefty leg exercises.  I have weak knees so there is no need (or desire) for me to go heavy on the weights when lunging and squatting so the bar worked well to challenge my form.

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After using the bar to focus on form during my Body Beast workouts I decided to change things up and give it a go and test out some of the moves in the Movement Library.

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This bar is perfect for core work!  It’s something that I often neglect (unless it’s built into my routine) and I was glad to see moves geared towards building my core strength.

 

Moves that might otherwise seem simple were amplified when I added in the bar.  Hip bridges and heel touches never felt more challenging.  I stood corrected and was thoroughly impressed with the workout.

I’ve yet to get through every workout DVD that came with the bar, but liked what I have seen so far.  At home workouts are obviously not new to me so I have a lot to offer in comparison.

My only gripe with the workout DVDs that I’ve tried so far is that they are obviously low-budget production quality.  The first DVD I used had issues of blacking out a couple of times through the workout and there weren’t any bells and whistles.  This is not a deal breaker.  If you’re determined to get a good workout in, then these minor issues won’t bother you much.

I blame my bias for these DVDs on my overuse of Beachbody programs and the like.  I’ll admit, I always compare other workout DVDs to my BB collection and it’s a hard habit to break. I’ve been using their programs for so long and have become conditioned to the format.

I do however see the value of a great product and look forward to using this piece of equipment in the future and adapting it to my current Beachbody routines.
Screen shot 2015-02-03 at 8.57.53 AMFor more information on the bar and how to order your own be sure to visit http://www.activmotionbar.com to view their great selection of products.  The bar is available in various weight increments and there are great combination kits up for grabs.

 

 

 

 

Body Beast Lean Phase I (Build): Quick Review and Progress

It’s officially been three weeks since I started my journey with Body Beast.  One of my goals this year is to work on better reviewing and sharing the programs that I use.   My first program of the year is Body Beast (Lean) and I am LOVING it!

After a very gluttonous holiday, I need something to get me back on track.  Body Beast was the obvious option because I had been wanting to get back into weight training.

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The first few workouts were tough!  Mainly because I was not ready to accept that I had lost a lot of the strength I had gained from my days of using P90X and was a little scared when I felt so challenged.  Would I really be able to give this program my all?

Well, the glory of these programs and others like them is that you can modify some of the moves and you don’t need to go crazy with the amount of weights you are using (there were many times when I didn’t use weights at all).

This style of lifting is really focused on building those muscles.  It took me back to my days of rowing and the weight training that went along with it.  I used to love finding my 1 rep max to see how far I could push my body.  This program works on a similar premise and most of the sets build in weight as they go down in reps (15, 12, 8, 8).  The concept of drop sets, supersets, and progressive sets are a little new to me, but I can feel the results building under my skin.

If I had to pick the most challenging workout of the group it would have to be Build: Legs.  I’ve not done a leg day (aside from running hills) in ages.  My body was not happy with me in the days following and I felt rather disabled as I hobbled around and avoided bending over at all costs.

Overall, thus far I am very impressed with the program and am surprised with how challenging it is (even with low weights).  If you are thinking about trying this program I do warn that you will likely need a good variety of weights and will benefit from having a weight bench at your disposal.  I’ll also warn that during phase 1 you might go through a phase of feeling bigger.  I know that this is normal as you build muscle so I don’t mind the initial fluffy feeling. In fact, as every day goes by I am starting to feel leaner and much more toned.

I hope to put up a more thorough review of each workout soon so be sure to keep an eye out!