Saturday, April 30, 2011

30 Day Shred Challenge: Call for Celebrations (plus OOTD redux)

Hey Shredders!  The end of our shredding is fast approaching!  The last day of Level 3 is coming up on Tuesday, and I'll be running my challenge-concluding post on Thursday after my last final exam.

I'd love to include your celebrations in my last post!  Any positive results you'd like to share would be fantastic---photos, measurements, funny progress stories, challenges/victories, even a few sentences telling me how you feel now that you've completed the challenge---absolutely anything would be great!

Email me at JewishGirlBlog@gmail.com to be included in the post.  Be sure to include your name, your blog link (if you have one), and any other information you want us to know about you.  You can be as anonymous as you like, but you deserve to celebrate your participation!

Please send me your info/results/photos/measurements/sentences by Thursday, May 5 at 8am.  I look forward to hearing from you!

-----

Also, I wore the same thing twice in a row.  (See last time here.)  This time, I nixed the rain boots and finally debuted my Purple People Eaters:



Eh?  Thoughts?

FWIW, if I could go back in time, I wouldn't have bought these.  But I can't go back in time and I foolhardily threw out the box when I first got them so returning them to Endless is not an option.

At least their day-glo green is slightly more "appropriate" in the warmer months.

PS: They're not comfortable!

The same necklace as before, but I doubled it over on itself to make it shorter.  It created kind of a cool, messy look.

In this outfit:
Anthro Camera Obscura Chemise (M)
Anthro Shadowsleeve Cardigan (M)
Express Earrings and Necklace
JCrew Belt (M)
Fossil Watch
TUK Pumps
Coach Purse

Friday, April 29, 2011

OOTD: Obscurely Stormy

Dear Weather,

WTF?!


Where the heck was the torrential rainstorm that was supposed to happen yesterday?  You told me the apocalypse was coming and that it would take the form of an unstoppable thunderstorm, so I acted accordingly.  I put on rain boots before I left the house.  Do you understand me?  RAIN BOOTS.  Do you think I like wearing this crap?


Well, let me clear things up for you:  I DO NOT.  No.  Even more, I don't like putting on rain boots **AND** a raincoat and then walking around like a first-class idiot because you, environment, have decided to be just a bit muggy instead of actually pouring like you're supposed to.


I can't blame you for slacking on the job; after all, I was supposed to be writing a paper yesterday and clearly I was not---I took OOTD photos and then whined on my blog---but guess what, weather?  I am not an all-encompassing force of nature.  You are.  Get your act together for crying out loud.

In this outfit:
Anthro Camera Obscura Chemise (M) (PS: Do we think this is blue?  This looks black in every other light I've put it under but looks navy in the photos.  Perhaps it's just the much deeper black of my cardigan that's making it look blue?  Or what?)
Anthro Shadowsleeve Cardigan (M)
Calvin Klein Raincoat (S)
ALDO Duell Rain boots (39) (PS: these developed a small tear on the toe, so I can no longer recommend you buy them.  Boo, poor showing, ALDO.)
J.Crew Skinny Belt (M)
Express Necklace
Earrings via tjbooboo on Etsy (no longer available; the store closed and re-opened and the merchandise looks a lot different than it did in the first go-round...)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Middle East Recap: Days 9 & 10

[Catch up: Days 1 & 2, Day 3, Days 4 & 5, Day 6, Days 7&8]


March 16, 2011

Photo of me, courtesy of Becky.

A quiet moment on the rockery overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  It's almost 80 degrees and a cool breeze ebbs and flows with the clean sea green waves.  After an awesome night out in Tel Aviv last night, dancing like American tourists in a packed club randomly situated inside a trashy shopping mall, we could all use this moment of calm.  The only reason we're not more hungover, frankly, is that drinks were nearly $20 USD each so we all had to cut back a bit.

This weather, this breeze, this sea does more to replenish me than an egg sandwich and hot cup of tea.

A shot of me writing this entry in my travel journal.  Meta!   Photo courtesy of Beth.

---

We spent the day exploring Tel Aviv.  We began on a somber note, walking to the spot on which Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated.


The government has placed small metal discs on the ground indicating where everyone was standing when the shooting occurred---the locations of the security guards, Rabin, and his assassin are all marked.

The distance between Rabin and his assassin.  The disc with the bright silver border is Rabin.  The disk on the far right (with writing on it) is his shooter.  The third disk in the middle is a guard.  The assassin walked right through the security detail and stood right behind Rabin when he fired.

The post-assassination graffiti is immortalized behind a wall of plastic.  That Hebrew word on top says "S'licha," which means "Sorry." 

From there, we walked towards the ocean and had a reflective moment on the rocks overlooking the sea.  We walked along the ocean to the ancient town of Jaffa, where Jonah (of being-swallowed-by-a-whale fame) lived.  All of the streets in old Jaffa are named after Zodiac signs and are marked by beautiful tile plates with happy cartoonish animals smiling at you.

Tel Aviv Beach.



Street signs in Jaffa.

Jaffa.

I took this picture to remind myself of the door I want somewhere in my future house.

After watching a presentation in Israel's Independence Hall, the spot where Israel declared its Independence, we had some free time to eat and shop in Tel Aviv before our evening departure for the airport.  Hilariously, many girls---myself included---needed to buy a second piece of luggage at the Tel Aviv market to fit all of our souvenirs!  With airline overweight fees clocking in at a massive $150, and with a second bag being free to check, the luggage practically paid for itself.  (Plus, I spent about $25 on mine, and it's cute!)

At the Tel Aviv Market.  I don't know why this was happening.

Tel Aviv Market.

The bag I bought.  It even has a pull-handle and roller wheels!

We left the market and, with most of the day behind us, our tour guide found a beautiful circular dais overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.  We sat around the border of the dais and reflected on our "aha" moments during the trip.  I think my most significant moment was on the dais itself while I reflected on the note I put in the Western Wall.  The things I prayed for were relatively general, and I realized I did that because I was afraid that if I asked/prayed for something specific and it didn't happen---well, I think I just wanted to believe.  I want there to be some force that reads those notes, and to believe that everything happens for a reason.  The blissed-out Kabbalistic artist in Tsfat told us that if we knew the master plan for us, we would all be jumping for joy every second of every day because it's all leading up to infinite happiness.  It would be nice if that were true.  I guess some part of me wants it to be true.

Sun setting on the dais.

The core of this realization goes back to something I've already mentioned:  I want to find a way to bring some amount of faith back in my life, even in a small way.

After dinner at a delightful outdoors restaurant called "Doctor Shakshuka," we all went to the Tel Aviv airport.  Those of us who extended our trip still had to go to the airport, according to the Birthright rules.  We said our goodbyes as the group went through security (a long preliminary scan just to get to the ticket counter!) then the small group of us trip-extenders made our way back to Tel Aviv.  Our amazingly generous group leader, Jake, has an apartment in Tel Aviv that he opened up to anyone needing a floor to crash on.  My sister and I took him up on this offer partially, leaving our bags at his apartment and taking only small pieces with us on the solo leg of our trip (see the adorable rolly-bag purchased above).

Jake is in the middle.  And yes, he had these hats printed himself.  Long story.  Image courtesy of Jake, taken on a different Birthright trip than mine.

As I write this, my sister and I are on the midnight bus to Eilat at the very southern tip of Israel.  We learned on Birthright that Eilat is world-renowned as an excellent place to scuba dive.  Neither of us scuba but we do snorkel.  We hope to find a place to snorkel, but since we haven't researched anything we may just end up on the beach all morning.  We arrive at 5am and don't need to cross the border into Jordan until 4pm or so, so there's some time to figure things out.

I feel very anxious about traveling on our own without a tour group.  Becky and I read and understand a few basic Hebrew words, but we are still dependent on people knowing English.  Fortunately, it is common here.  Not sure what things will be like in Jordan---neither of us speak or read a word of Arabic---but at least we'll be traveling with friends once we get there.  Getting on this bus was a scary prospect in itself; although we asked whether the bus we boarded was going to Eilat, it's hard to feel comfortable when English is not the first language of your driver and when you don't actually know what Eilat looks like.

Beyond the language barrier, though, I feel a great deal of responsibility for the trip in general and for Becky's safety, both as the primary instigator of the Jordan leg of our journey and as The Big Sister.  We waited in the bus station for about half an hour before the bus arrived (the bus was on time...we were early) and I felt myself getting nervous when it took Becky a long time to come back from the bathroom (which, I later learned, was because it was kind of far from our gate).

As Becky and I packed our small travel bags at the Tel-Aviv airport, she asked me in a somewhat worried tone if I still planned to wear my necklace.  I looked at her neck and understood what she was talking about when I saw that she was wearing one, too---a star of David.  A Jewish symbol.  Were we ready to walk into an Arab nation with our Jewish faith displayed so prominently?  It's easy to forget in the haven that is Israel that this part of the world isn't exactly friendly to Jews.

We decided to wear them.  I mentioned that I might rethink things if our cab driver is mean to us.

...I hope he's not.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

OOTD: Primarily Warm Weather

The weather has utterly stumped me lately.  One day it's cool, one day it's sweaty-hot.  Every day, my iPhone warns me that there will be a torrential downpour, and yet I'm greeted by clear weather.  It's difficult to figure out what to wear when the environment is having trouble deciding what to wear, too.

So, I went simple.


Primary colors.  The fundamental shades that make up all other shades.  "Back to basics" in the most Sesame Street way possible!

This outfit may also be a reflection of the fact that, as finals approach, I am less and less capable of sparing anything resembling complex thought for anything other than studying.

What a sad, sad prospect for such happy, happy colors.
In this Outfit:
Banana Republic Shirt
Izaac Mizrahi for Target Skirt (thrifted)
Anthropologie Gift Bow Belt
Coach Necklace and Ring
Gold hoop earrings (gifted)
Lovely People Judy Flat ($60 here) (These fit TTS or slightly big. I have my usual 9 with heel grips and it's fine.  Didn't try on the 8.5 so can't comment on the sizing!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

30 Day Shred: Level 3

We're almost there!  Just one more week of shredding and we'll have finished this crazy challenge.  If you haven't already seen it, check out Lauren-the-personal-trainer's fabulous post on weight training here.

This post will serve as a discussion forum while we complete Level 3 of the Shred!  A link to this post has been posted on the top right side of the website under "30 Day Shred Challenge---Resources."  Feel free to pop back in here to talk about the successes and challenges you're facing in working out.

For those unfamiliar with the shred, the basic premise is that you do 18 minutes of intense activity, cycling between strength (3 minutes), cardio (2 minutes), and abs (1 minute).  Within each unit, you do two exercises that are repeated once.  Strength exercises in level one all involve weights except for two sets of about 15-20 push-ups.  Cardio exercises involve jumping and punching.  Abs involve crunches of various kinds.  You can read some background on the challenge here.

Level Two Assessment:

Goals: 

  • Use the DVD for 9 out of 10 days (all ten if possible, but no less than nine)----NO.  I suffered a very painful neck sprain midway through this level.  I tried to work through it, but it became too painful to move so I was forced to rest.  I missed four days in this level.
  • Work in the five-pound weights as soon as I feel that the three pounders are too easy---YES.  Although I think I may have worked them in too early and caused my neck injury by straining against too-heavy weights with bad form.
  • Go for two runs---NO.  Totally forgot about this goal, honestly.
  • Stick to my Weight Watchers Points+ (includes weekly and activity points)---NO.  I went to Atlantic City over the weekend and definitely went over my points.  Not by a WHOLE lot, but probably by at least 20.


Discussion

Despite my somewhat poor showing with my goals, I felt pretty good throughout level two.  I'm happy that I made the time to work out when I did; there were several days when it was horribly inconvenient to use the tape but I did anyway.

I'm mostly disappointed in my neck strain, to the extent that I could have avoided it by concentrating on my form while lifting weights.  I also suspect that if I'd taken a day off earlier in the week, when it first started bothering me, that I might have avoided needing to take two days off at the end of the week.

This week will be difficult for me, since I will be in utter crunch-time for final exams.  My tendency will be to stop taking care of myself while I attempt to remedy my woeful unpreparedness for Fed Courts, but I'll need to make it a priority to get in this very easy 20 minutes of exercise each day.


Goals for Level Three:
  • Use the DVD for 8 out of 10 days (all ten if possible)
  • Go for two runs
  • Stick to Weight Watchers points

Basically the same as in level two, but easier.

Progress measurements and photos after the jump...

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Fitting Room Reviews: Bottoms Up

Shredders, today we advance to Level 3!  Usually I would write a leveling up/progress post today, but I am in Atlantic City this weekend with the BF and some friends.  We saw Louis CK at the Borgata yesterday and played in a few poker tournaments; I'm also hitting the J.Crew outlet and returning something at the Coach Outlet (any bets on whether I walk out with something new?).  Since we won't get back into town until late tonight, the Level 3 discussion/progress post will have to wait until tomorrow when I can take proper pictures and measurements.

In the meantime, here are my remaining backlogged fitting room reviews to tide you over.

Americana Skirt, $90 here

(Top: Chiffon Swing Shirt, $30 here) (wearing a medium, which was too big; usually I take a small)


I've gotta admit, I'm kind of a sucker for such blatantly July-fourth-appropriate garb.  Two years ago, I sported this cute dress on the Fourth (at Coney Island):


...And this was TOTALLY purchased with the intention of sporting it on our nation's birthday.  Of course, I only wore it that one time...but still.  BUT STILL.

So really, I kind of liked this skirt in its kitchy goodness as a wearable piece of patriotism.  I also find myself gravitating a lot towards Eva Franco lately, and this piece was no exception.  I tried on my normal size six, which was comfortable due to a bit of give in the fabric, but was also bootylicious to the max:


I tried on a size eight later and it felt comfortable around the waist and a bit less tight around the bum, but the additional fabric took away from the sleek shape of the pencil skirt:


 I prefer the more fitted look of my true size (especially when looking at the side view), but reasonable minds can differ here.  The thing about this skirt is that I'm having trouble visualizing how I would style it for the winter, and I think it might too easily fall into the kitch trap of only being worn on thematic holidays.

That said, it's cute (seriously, I just typed "kute" --- kitchy/cute?), but I don't know how much wear this one is going to get from me.  It's certainly too rich for my blood at $90, but I'd reconsider if the price dropped to $30.  Seeing as how there are only two sizes available online as I type this, that prospect is not looking too promising, but ah well.  Not everything was meant to be mine.


Make a Wish Skirt, $128 here




Top: Billie Shirt, neutral motif, $30 here, reviewed here

This silk skirt by Blue Tassel drew me in with its colorful and lovely embroidered details.  I'm a big fan of elastic waistbands, as well---they add an element of simplicity and wearability to a skirt, making it a great piece to "just throw on" on those days you can't be bothered to think much about your outfit.

Still, something about this skirt just wasn't captivating to me in the way I'd want a $130 (or $70 on sale) skirt to captivate me.  Perhaps it was the bulk or the over-the-knees length that wasn't making my heart sing.  Also, as much as I love elastic waistbands, I remember thinking that this one was just a little too thick and obtrusive.  It doesn't look so bad in pictures, but it didn't resonate with me in person.

Regardless of my opinion, I suspect this piece will be reasonably popular; it's received 4.5/5 stars out of 5 user reviews on the Anthropologie website (4 of those reviews are 5/5 stars, and one is 2/5), so if you're intrigued you may want to try it for yourself.  I took my normal size small.


Courtier Skirt, $130 at Anthro stores, $65 at Leifsdottir.com



Top: Lace Edged Slip, $58 here (wearing a medium, which was comfortable but not as tight as I would want a slip to be)

True story: I've been lusting after this skirt (originally almost $260) for almost six months, just waiting for it to get enough sale cuts for me to justify the purchase.  I love the amazing balance this skirt seems to strike:  it's delicate and feminine with its taupe color, light fabric, and frilly details; yet it has some bulk to it---some edge---that takes it out of the realm of the typical ultra-femmy attire (not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not my style).  I think this piece could certainly be styled softly and romantically, but I think it could also go "casual gorgeous" with some chunky shoes and either a very structured or very blousy top.

I found it in a store a few weeks ago and tried on my usual size six, even though I usually take an 8 in Leifsdottir skirts.  Much to my surprise, my size six fit comfortably.  I expected the length to be shorter and was pleasantly surprised when this skirt came only an inch or so above my knees.

Amazingly, as I was assembling this post and hunting around for the skirt on the Leifsdottir website, I noticed that it has received a FOURTH cut at Leifsdottir.com!  (When I saw this, I literally said "WHAT?!" out loud in my externship office.)  Originally $258, and $90-something the last time I checked, the skirt is now marked down to $65 and is available in sizes 6-12 (as of Friday afternoon).  I pounced on it!  I think this may be a challenging piece to style, but it will all be worth it if I can pull together something nice.  We'll see...I hate paying shipping online ($12 with Leifsdottir), but it's worth $12 to me not to regret missing out on this skirt.


Mid-Creation Skirt, now $40 here


Top: Bespoke Yoke Tee, $78 here, reviewed here

Bah humbug.  This Edme & Esyllte skirt made me angry from the get-go.  I sized all the way up to a 10 and it STILL wouldn't zip up comfortably.  I'm too angry at it to write a review for it, frankly, so you just get two pictures.

It's pretty straightforward, anyway.  Simple cotton skirt.  It's hand wash, which for me means I would toss it in the machine and not tumble dry it.

Just size up at least one size from what you usually wear in high-waisted designs (which for me is a size up from what I wear in regular skirts).  You may want to go up two sizes if you carry your weight in your gut like I do.


Ackee Pencil Skirt, $138 here

Top: Bespoke Yoke Tee, $78 here, reviewed here



Now it is a rare day when I get excited about the prospect of spending $70-$80 on a skirt (notice how my mind automatically jumps to the sale price?).  But THIS SKIRT...boy, am I excited about this one.  I suspect I will have no qualms about snatching this up on first cut and ripping the tags off immediately.

This pencil skirt by Corey Lynn Calter hits all the right notes for me.  The color is vibrant but not overpowering.  The pattern is interesting but still neutral enough to be mixable.  I found the shape to be flattering---although certainly curve-hugging---and the fit is comfortable (my true size 6 fit great, even though I usually size up to an 8 in other pencil skirts).  This skirt fits close to the bum and thighs, so if you know those are your bigger areas you may need to size up.

Incidentally, to you fabric experts out there: the instructions say that this skirt is dry clean only, but it's cotton (with polyester lining)...do you think one could save on dry cleaning (or dryel) and just toss this in the machine for a cold water wash?

This is just about at the top of my skirts wishlist!


Shade Made Bermudas, now $40 here




These Pilcro shorts have gotten nearly unanimous five-star reviews on Anthro's website, but I just wasn't all that enamored with them.  I found them to be unflatteringly clingy and the color looked faded in the "rummage bin" way and not the "cool vintage" way.  I believe I took my normal size 28, although there's an outside chance I was wearing a 27 here.  Sorry, I'm just not 100% sure.  Ultimately, I guess they just did not seem like a $40 pair of shorts to me.  I'd buy these for $20, but the quality/complexity/"wow" factor just was not there, and I wouldn't spend $40 on a simple pair of shorts unless those factors were present.

I suspect I'm an outlier when it comes to my lukewarm feelings towards these shorts, and probably comes down to a question of personal taste as opposed to fit or quality.  FWIW, I also felt lukewarm about the VERY popular Pilcro Cohort Cord pants that went on sale back in December; seemed like the entire Anthro-loving universe was in a tizzy over those and they just didn't do it for me.  If you're a fan of Pilcro, I'd recommend giving these a try.


Breezy Paperbag Shorts, $68 here


 

These shorts, by Daughters of the Liberation, are a new release featured in Anthro's May catalogue!  They weren't online at the time of my original review, but I edited this segment on 4/28 to reflect its name and to provide a link to the item on Anthro's page.

Regardless, I liked these shorts more than the Pilcro shorts.  The color is an even, mustardy tone of yellow.  They are VERY high-waisted, but the high waist and buttons along the side give these shorts a cute vintage look that is quite different from all the other summer shorts in my wardrobe and creates a curvy, feminine silhouette.  I appreciated that these were a bit less clingy...in all areas except for one, that is:


I took my normal size six and liked the fit at the time, but the more I look at my butt in the above picture the more I start to think that maybe I should try on the next size up before I take the plunge (if these shorts ever make sale).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Guest Post: Weight Training for Women

With the 30 Day Shred Challenge in full swing---we start Level 3 on Sunday!---what better time than now to invite a professional into our midst to dispel some myths about strength training?  Lauren and I met on Birthright and I think she's the bee's knees!  Not only is she an amazing personal trainer (based in New York), but she's also one of the kindest, most caring people you'll ever meet.  She keeps her own blog over here.


Lauren was excited to write about how women should approach strength training.  I was surprised to learn that, even using 10-15 pound weights, I don't have to worry about becoming too "bulky" or thick.  Phew!  Now to just get strong enough to do *anything* with a 15 pound weight...

Lauren has been gracious enough to stick around the blog to answer your questions, so if you'd like to clear something up with a certified personal trainer, feel free to post in the comments section!  

Incidentally, if you live in the NY area, be sure to click here to pick up a fantastic coupon for a free personal training session with Lauren and 10% off any training packages.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Many women believe that if they work out with heavy weights and don’t stick with the cute pink and purple 5lb weights, that they will “bulk” up and look like the body builders and fitness competitors that they see in magazines.   This is not possible! Those men and women work very hard to look like that. It does not happen by accident.  They eat, sleep and breathe weight training.  Not to mention, they are often using illegal drugs and steroids to achieve that look.

Sometimes women may feel more “thick” in the beginning of weight training because you may be gaining muscle faster than you are losing fat.  Another reason why this can occur is you may begin to take in more calories than you realize.  When you are weight training and doing cardio, you are burning calories.   Your body naturally wants to replenish those calories that you have lost and therefore you may find yourself very hungry after the gym.  This is when self control comes into play.  You need to be very mindful of how much you are eating as to not take in extra calories that you just worked so hard to get rid of.   Another possible reason for feeling thick in the beginning of weight training is when you weight train, your muscles swell up.  Your body retains water and gases.  This can obviously give the appearance of “thickness.”  If you stick with a routine, trust the process and be consistent, you will see results.

Women have to challenge themselves when they work out just like men do.  You should choose a weight that you can do 3 sets of 12-15 reps with.  The last several reps should be challenging for you to complete.  This is how you see change and get the results you want.  If you are not challenging your muscles, they can’t change shape.   Those nice toned arms and legs that we all crave, that is from real weight lifting, cardio and eating clean.



If you are new getting into weight training, find a full body weight training routine to throw yourself into.  Again, make sure the weight you choose is challenging.   Don’t rest in between sets, keep moving.   This keeps your heart rate up and in the calorie burning range the whole time.  Don’t be afraid to sweat!!   It can be hard to not socialize at the gym, as many people do, but this is your time.  You want to see changes, you have to put in the time and trust the process.  Results don’t happen overnight.  Below is a starter full body workout for a female.

For a full body workout, you're going to be hitting every major muscle group.  If you do one set of a back exercise, you are then going to do a leg exercise.   This allows those previous muscles to rest.  I'm NOT a believer in doing 3 sets on one exercise then going to the next one.  Go from an upper body exercise to a lower body exercise.  Switching it up and constantly moving, no long rests in between sets.  Do not speed through the exercise.  There are several tricep and shoulder exercises listed below, but choose only one per workout.  However, do at least 2 back exercises per workout.  Strengthening your back not only helps in posture, but stops osteoporosis and other ailments from occurring once you’re older.  The same goes for ab exercises.  Do at least 3 different ab exercises per workout.  Strengthening your core is so important and is key in performing other exercises as well.   Feel free to change up your exercise routine as you become more comfortable.  Along with weight training, cardio and eating right is a MUST.  Speed walking, jogging, running, elliptical machines or doing the stairs for 45 minutes 4-5 times a week at least.  And when you do your cardio, SWEAT. It drives me crazy when I see people reading magazines and walking slower on a treadmill than when they walked into the gym.  If you are going to put time aside to go to the gym, make it worth it!

Upper Body:
Back: Lat Pull Downs-weight at 40-60lbs, 3 sets of 15 (don't speed through the set and don't go too slow)
Back: Row on a cable-weight 40-50lbs, 3 sets of 15
Chest: Chest Press with dumbbells- 8-10lb dumbbells 3 sets of 15
Shoulders: Shoulder Press with dumbbells- 8lb dumbbells 3 sets of 15
Shoulders: Lateral Raises with dumbbells- 5lbs 3 sets of 15
Biceps: Curls with dumbbells- 6-10lbs 3 sets of 15
Triceps: Triceps pull down with rope- 35lbs (this is done on a cable machine at a gym) 3 sets of 15
Triceps: One armed triceps extension- 5-8lbs 3 sets of 15

Lower Body:
Forward Lunges: 3 sets of 15...make sure you are pushing through your heals, not your toes. Make sure your front knee does not bend over your toe. Bend your knees, don’t lean forward. Your back knee should hover right above the ground, not touch it.
Backward Lunges: 3 sets of 15...again, make sure you are sitting up straight, don't lean forward and throw your leg all the way back.
---When the lunges become too easy, add weight. Hold dumbbells in your hands or a barbell across your back. This will make the exercise more challenging---
Squats: 3 sets of 15 and a 20lb bar across your back...feet hip width apart, arch your back, chest out, butt out and pretend like you are going to sit in a seat and lean back and bend all the way down so your legs are at a right angle. Don't allow your knees to go over your toes.
Leg Curls: This is done on a machine. There is either a lay down leg curl machine or a sitting one. If it is a lay down machine, feet together, knees together, pull your toes towards you and curl the bar up to your butt. Set it at 30-40lbs. If the leg curl machine is a sit down, again, legs and knees together, pull your toes towards you and squeeze the bar all the way back. Same weight both 3 sets of 15
Glute Blaster: If there is a glute machine, 3 sets of 15, you can set it around 20 lbs.
Abductor and Adductor Machine: These machines get your inner thighs and outer hip area. 3 sets of 15 set around 30-45lbs. Play around with the weight with these machines. The weight should be challenging but not impossible.

Abs:
Crunches: 3 sets of 30...when your back is to the floor arch your back. When you do the crunch you should push your lower back into the floor. This is a correct crunch. Hands behind your head, chin always to the ceiling.
Reverse Crunch: Lay down flat on the floor, cross your feet and throw your legs up in the air, pop your butt at the top and slowly bring your legs down, do not allow your feet to touch the floor and repeat. 3 sets of 20. This exercise can also be done on a captain’s chair. Either bring your knees up to your chest and tilt your pelvis up OR straight legs, knees slightly bent and bring them up and slowly down. DO NOT SWING YOUR LEGS
Plank: On your elbows and toes, back straight as a board, hold this position for 30 seconds, 3 times.
---Any ab machines they have at your gym you can play around with too---

Lauren Eskenazi
A.C.E Certified Personal Trainer
www.empowermetrix.com

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Don't forget to leave your questions for Lauren in the comments section.  She's looking forward to chatting with you!
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