Pull-up progression

Pull-ups can be one of the most challenging bodyweight exercises you can do! It is a compound movement that builds strength in the back, biceps, forearms, grip and a beautiful V-taper.

For most people, even one to three pull-ups is a victory!  Gaining the strength and good technique required to do a pull-up takes time and patience. If pull-ups are on your list of gym-goals, here’s how you get started.
PULL-UPS ON A SMITH MACHINE
Position a bar or Smith machine so that you can hang under it with your feet on the floor. Allow your hips to drop directly under your body. You can use your legs to give you little boost to start the movement.  As you get stronger, try to rely less on pushing with your feet. Drive the elbows down by engaging the lats. Pull your chest toward the bar.  Slowly lower your body to starting position.
TRX or RING PULL-UPS
This is a good option if have tight shoulders.  The TRX and rings give more flexibility for a neutral neutral grip rather than a fixed overhand grip on a bar.
BAND ASSISTED PULL-UPS
Loop a medium-to light resistance band around the bar and pull one end through. Give it a little tug down to be sure it is secure. Step into the band and grip bar about shoulder width apart. Avoid swinging. Band assisted pull-ups are a great way to work eccentric portion of a pull-up! In this exercise, it’s when you’re lowering your body back down to the starting position. This is also where you can really get stronger! I like to use the Rogue monster bands.
If you have a workout partner, he/she can spot you at the rib cage or waist as you pull yourself up.  Try to control your body with minimal assistance as you lower back to starting position.
Avoid swinging and pulling with your shoulders and forearms.  It’s humbling to do pull-ups with strict form, but in the end you’ll gain true back strength and a beautiful V-taper!
For more tips and help for building a strong back, contact me HERE

20 minute Beach Body Circuit, Tulum MX

Sand, surf and sweat! Blast fat and build muscle at the beach!

Traveling provides a break from traditional gym workouts. The beautiful beaches in Tulum, Mexico are the perfect setting for a beach workout. It’s a Fit Chick’s Paradise!

This full-body circuit combines explosive plyometric movements that work the legs, fire-up the metabolism and mat exercises to challenge the upper body and core.

My goal for this beach workout:   short bursts of high intensity movements, followed by 30-60 seconds of recovery for two rounds.

Sand provides an unstable surface to push off, so it really cranks up the intensity! Doing these exercises barefoot in the sand will also work the smaller intrinsic muscles of the feet.  If you’re not accustomed to exercising barefoot, you may want to start a bit more conservative on the jumping movements until your feet get more accustomed to the sand.

This workout is quick! After all, if you’re on vacation, you have other things on your agenda; enjoying some amazing food, relaxing on the beach or visiting the local ruins!

FITastic travels, Friends! xoxo

Special thanks to Hotelito Azul for the beautiful accommodations and hospitality!

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/interval-timer-hiit-workouts/id406473568

Day 3 of Stay-at-home orders and it was time for a sweaty HIIT workout! It’s good to switch things up! I did this workout in my driveway.  It was fun, challenging and definitely brought the sweat!

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a great way to get in a full-body workout in minimal time.  This form of interval training alternates short periods of intense work with recovery.  Most exercises can be done anywhere with minimal to no equipment!

Intervals can vary based on your fitness levels. I used the Interval Timer app to set work/recovery intervals.  https://apps.apple.com/us/app/interval-timer-hiit-workouts/id406473568

A few good intervals to start with….

20 seconds work / 20 seconds recovery,

30 seconds work / 30 seconds recovery,

Or, increase the intensity by reducing the “rest” interval:

40 seconds work / 20 seconds recovery.

The exercises I used for this workout are:

  • Lateral lunge
  • Squat jump
  • Reverse lunge to knee drive
  • Skaters
  • Walkout to plank
  • Mountain climber
  • Cross body mountain climber
  • Spider-Man full plank
  • Diver bomber pushups

For more information on workouts you can do anywhere to stay on track with your goals, contact me at, http://vickidiazfitness.com/contact/

Stay healthy Friends!

Prime Fitness Lateral Raise

The Prime Fitness Lateral Raise has been a game-changer in my training. Shoulder day has always been one of my favorite days in the gym. I seek out variety in angles and range of motion to effectively work the entire shoulder. I have long arms so traditional dumbbell lateral raises often caused stress to my elbows; especially when increasing weight. I was particularly interested in incorporating the Prime Fitness Lateral Raise into my workouts to see if it could be the solution to this challenge.

The ability to adjust the peak resistance through the range of motion was key. The Smart Cam settings allow the user to work the muscle in the shortened position (2), medial position (1), and lengthened position (3). This gives the ability to recruit more muscle fibers which ultimately improves strength and muscle development. To start, adjust the cam where you are naturally weakest; the end of the motion (2). Move to the medial position (1) and finish where you’re naturally stronger; the beginning of the motion (3). Depending on the weight I’m using, I do 8-10 reps in each setting. Use setting 1 if you’re working these into a circuit or just want to hit medial delts in a traditional manner. I prefer to lean forward into the pad and slide my hips back slightly.

I have been able to increase strength in my medial delts without stressing my elbows. When returning to dumbbell lateral raises, the strength increase has been noticeable with correct muscle recruitment and reduced trap engagement. A win-win for anyone wanting to develop round shoulders and less trap use!

Be the BOSS of your day!

Oh if it were only that easy! If you’re like me with a mile long to-do list, I go into fit girl survival mode on the regular basis.  That’s why I love working with women who are driven and determined to be the BOSS of their days!  Preparation and flexibility is key to success.  I’ll admit I’m a little, okay.. maybe VERY obsessive about things I’m passionate about.  Planning my workout time and food options are at the top of that to-do list I mentioned earlier.  After all, happy Mom = happy home!  Getting up early to do cardio used to be something I dreaded.  Honestly, it has become a mind-clearing time that allows my day to be more productive.  Not to mention, the metabolism kick-start that leaves me feeling more energized! Take your ME-time whenever you can get it. Even if it means setting the alarm thirty minutes earlier to get a 20 minute sweat session in before you tackle the rest of your adventures.  If you really want to change your body, incorporate weight training 3-4 times a week!  With the right plan, you CAN be successful and see results.  Be the BOSS of your day and make it happen!

Got motivation?

I often get asked where I find motivation to get my workouts in and eat healthy.  Sometimes it’s the little things like my room key from Olympia that I turned into a magnet on my refrigerator which holds special notes from my daughter.  Most days, I’ve got my game face on and I’m ready crush it!  But, the truth is, some days I’m simply not motivated.  I have to make the decision to stay up late to prepare my food, schedule in time for a workout and actually do it!  The act of movement and starting the action puts me in a better mindset and once I get going I feel more energized.  There will never be a perfect time to start and you’ll never feel ready.  But, when you put the wheels in motion, it does get easier!  Some of the best workouts I’ve had are when I didn’t overthink or plan, I simply jumped in, did a mental reset and BAM… felt amazing!!  A few things I do the night before to launch my day for success:

  1.  Plan what I’m wearing to the gym. Socks, undies, shoes, all of it!  This leaves no room for procrastination and trying to pick out your outfit.
  2. Pack food, supplements, protein, water, etc. so that it’s ready to grab and go when you head out the door.
  3. Headphones charged and in gym bag!
  4. Pack an extra set of clothes for post-workout.
  5. Game-plan for the workout.  Muscle group(s) & cardio.  I don’t get to detailed with this, but I do have a workout focus or goal everyday.

YOU are worth it!  Taking time for yourself is not selfish.  Plug into audio books, music, inspiring friends who motivate you, and before you know it…  one day you’ll look back and wonder why it took you so long to get started!

Keep in touch!  Share what motivates you and tag me on social media @vicki_fit!

Resolution Reset

Resolution Reset

We’re one month into the new year!  We started the new year with big goals and ambitions for finally sticking with our health and fitness goals. Life happens, we get distracted and before you know it, those goals can slip away if we don’t recommit to our action plans.  Good news!  It’s never too late to get back on track!  After all, meaningful and realistic health and fitness goals are meant to improve the quality of our lives forever, not just for a spring break get-away.

If you’ve slipped away from your plan, recommit and rejuvenate your mindset!  If you haven’t been 100% on your plan, you have NOT failed.  Stop the negative self-talk from spiraling into disappointment.  Sure, sticking with your plan at 100% will yield faster results, but if you’ve doing 90% better than you were yesterday, you’re off to a great start!

Your health is your #1 priority!  Saying it and actually committing to the behaviors and habits that make it priority are two different things.  God willing we get to wake up each day and make decisions that impact the course of our day.  Taking time to eat healthy and exercise is not selfish!  Treat your body well so you can show up as the best version of YOU!

Instead of focusing on what you CAN’T eat, focus on what you GET to eat.  No one wants to feel deprived, so let go of what does not serve your goal.  Focus on what you can add to your diet like more healthy fats and protein.

Think of your workouts as shaping your body, not just loosing weight.  Weight training is the ultimate anti-aging activity we can do for ourselves.  Make your gym time consistent, safe and challenging!  Set short term goals that set you up for success in reaching your long-term goals!

Find a supportive tribe who helps keep you accountable and inspired.  If you’re not finding that support at home, there are plenty of groups focused on similar goals.  Find a trainer who inspires and motivates you!  We all started somewhere and no one is meant to do this alone.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Shoulder workout

My favorite muscle group to train… Shoulders! Whether you’re rocking your favorite tank top or posing on stage, round, full delts never go out of style. As we build fullness in the shoulders, our waists look smaller. Gone are the days of shoulder pads; so let’s build our own!

Shoulder workout 1/23

Lateral raise with dumbbells
Front raise with dumbbells
Rear Delt fly Reverse pec deck
4 Sets 12-15 reps

Lateral raise machine (15 full range of motion, 10 partial *increase weight on partial reps)
SS (superset) Rear delt fly on incline bench chest supported using dumbbells
4 Sets 12-15 reps

Single arm shoulder press with dumbbell or Hammer Strength Shoulder Press
3 Sets 10-12 reps/each arm

Shoulder press on Smith machine or any shoulder press machine
3 Sets moderate weight 10-15 reps, + 1 drop set to finish

Give it a try! Let me know what you think!

Confessions of a recovering Perfectionist

Hello, I’m Vicki and I’m a recovering Perfectionist…

Seriously, have you ever obsessed over a decision, wanting to make the right one that it literally paralyzes you from moving forward? Do you wait for things to feel perfect before stepping forward toward a goal?  Guilty!  The regret of unmet potential can spiral into feelings of doubt and excuses.  As I look forward to 2017 and the areas I want to improve, I realize that action must be equally as important as the goal.  Even if that action means embracing the idea of “failing forward” instead of remaining idle. Maybe your goal is to start exercising, explore a new business opportunity, start or end a relationship, or find a new hobby. Find or create an environment that supports your goal and helps you build a mindset that keeps you moving forward.  If you want this year to be different, we have to do something different!  Who’s with me?!

Prepare for Success!

While working with clients this past week, I noticed a consistent trend causing frustration….. Nutrition and meal planning.  For some it was the distraction of life’s busy-ness and for others it was boredom.  Some weren’t eating enough, some racked up calories by mindlessly snacking.  Sound familiar?  Eating the right food for optimal performance is a big key to success.  Some might say, it’s one of the biggest factors in whether you’ll succeed in your health and fitness goals.  Whether the goal is to loose that last stubborn five pounds, or to get stage-ready, commitment and consistency are essential.  It’s important that your nutrition be something that you see yourself adopting for the rest of your life.  Crash diets end just how they sound…. CRASH!  Whole foods should be the main ingredient in a balanced diet.  Supplements and meal replacements are meant to “supplement” a sound diet.  I am a firm believer that the right supplements have a role in optimal nutrition, but they shouldn’t be relied upon as a quick fix.  Here’s my routine, I typically cook all of my protein on Sundays and again on Wednesdays, if needed.  I cook a large pot of rice, baked potatoes and grilled veggies.   I measure and pack them in plastic containers and baggies for quick grab meals and snacks during the week.  This may sound tedious, BUT, without this preparation, I’d be lured by foods that could sabotage my results and keep me from my goal.  This plan is not about deprivation. Indulging in your favorite treats is okay when done at the timing and proportion according to your goals!

So, as the holiday season is fast upon us, a little preparation in the kitchen can help keep you from swaying that scale an extra 10+ pounds over the holiday months! For more info on nutrition and the supplements I use, contact me at vickidiazfitness@gmail.com.