Fab Abs

With summer around the corner lots of people are busy getting “bikini ready”. This includes firm legs, a bubble butt, chiseled arms and most importantly – a flat tummy. Although it takes dedication over time, showing off well earned abs of steel is a sweet feeling. Not to mention, your abdominal muscles are essential for overall well-being. Upper body support, better posture and less back pain are huge perks of having a strong core. But the truth is, there's no lazy way to a toned midriff. So whether you’re looking to get sexy defined abs or simply just trim down, there’s a few things you must keep in mind when it comes to your abs.

  1. Diet – Without a doubt, the most important part of your journey to a better midsection. The saying “abs are made in the kitchen” is absolutely true. You cannot expect to see results or abdominal definition if you are chowing down on breads, sugars or processed foods. You can lay on the floor and do a million crunches, but until you clean up your eating habits, your abs will never be able to truly shine. Kick the sugar, processed carbs and empty calories out of your diet and fill your plate with lean proteins, tons of vegetables and complex carbs. Using a tool such as myfitnesspal is a great way to help track your daily food intake and helps to avoid over-eating.
  2. Workouts – Anyone who’s ever trained with me knows how much I love giving core work. But the key to a great ab workout routine is variety. The core is a complex series of muscles that run in different directions. In order to really fire all of the muscles in your abdomen, you must be willing to switch up your exercises. Sure, good old crunches will give you an ab burn, but there are so many other ways to effectively hit all ab muscles. For example, there are so many great exercises that don’t even require you to lay down! Also, using unstable surfaces (like a ball or Bosu) while working out other body parts can trigger the core muscles at the same time.   
  3. Consistency – Being consistent is super important when it comes to abs. Just like many other body parts, it does NOT happen over night. Stay away from two-week or one-month crash diets and workout plans. Start looking at the big picture and make more realistic goals. My biggest tip for a lot of my clients is the weekday rule: stick to a clean routine during the week and save any cheat meals and cocktails for the weekend only. I also encourage my clients to take a few photos each month to track progress. With consistency over time, you’ll be going from flabs to FAB abs!

Try this workout:

Forearm Plank Hold – 60 seconds

Forearm Plank Alternating Knee Taps – 30 seconds

Reverse Crunch (legs in table top) – 15 reps

Flutter Kick – 30 seconds

Ball Pass Abs – 10 reps

Long Arm Plank w/ Twisted Knee Tuck - 10 sets

What I'm Sweating In

When it comes to workout gear, I'm all about wearing pieces that make you feel your best before, during AND after your workout. Check out a few of my current favorites!

 

Adidas PureBoost X - Seriously obsessed with these! I'm really loving the adidas styles i've been seeing lately. This is my second pair of PureBoost sneakers and certainly not my last. Whether I'm training clients all day, teaching barre or working out, the level of comfort is beyond amazing. I love the pattern with the neutral colors...funky but fresh.

lululemon Fast As Light Muscle Tank - I just can't get enough of this material. I have several tops in this exact material and they're all amazing. It's anti-stink (no, really!) and really soft. But what I really LOVE about this style is the higher neckline, it's shorter in length but not a full on crop top, and the open crossed back. Such a sexy fit!

lululemon Hot Spell Bra - This is my absolute favorite bra right now. It's flattering, comfortable...A MUST have. I love to pair it with a top that's open on the sides or in the back to show the back straps. 

Beyond Yoga White Crops - Sorry, not sorry! Summer is NOT over yet. Still rocking my white crops in the gym and in the studio! Click HERE to shop on Carbon38.com using my code LIVFIGUE50 for a sweet discount on your first purchase!

 

Catch me at the studio tonight!

5:15 barre // 6:15 total body fit

Dumbbells before wedding bells

With wedding season in full swing, it’s no surprise that there’s been lots of wedding buzz going on during my work days. Whether it’s your own wedding, walking in a bridal party or even just attending as a guest – weddings can be a big deal. It’s one of the biggest and most memorable days of a bride’s life and everyone wants to feel their absolute BEST on their big day. One of my best friends recently tied the knot in June and three of my current clients are preparing for their weddings in the fall. As I always tell my clients, being fit is a lifestyle that requires consistency over time. However, I’m all for setting goals and CRUSHING them so a wedding can be the perfect motivator!

On New Years Eve 2015, my client/friend Kathleen married the man of her dreams. Not only was I there to witness their union, I had the honor of walking as a bridesmaid. She came to me with a goal four months prior to her big day and was ready to rock. Coming from an athletic background, she had great strength and working out was something she enjoyed. But it was time to kick things into high gear – challenging workouts, meal preparation and tons of motivation. She trained with me five days per week in the gym and would sometimes throw in a barre class on the weekend. Aside from the physical benefits of training, working out helps to minimize any wedding planning jitters (it’s a real thing!). We also spent lots of time in the kitchen together cooking delicious and healthy meals to ensure consistent clean eating. With all the hard work and dedication, Kathleen’s results were showing…and fast. So fast, that with each visit to the dress designer the dress had to be taken in. (Although she was looking fab, I don’t think he was too happy with me.) Her wedding turned out to be beyond perfect. She was glowing, healthy and stronger than ever. Looking stunning in her wedding dress was also a plus!

As for my current brides-to-be, they are on the same path and I couldn’t be more proud of them. They’re staying focused with awesome workouts, daily motivation, lots of clean eating and having so much fun along the way. Truth is, even with a wedding planner the preparation seems endless. Not to mention juggling work schedules and other things that life throws at you. (Major props to Kandace for working crazy hours per week at the hospital but still managing to make time to stay wedding-ready!) Just remember that it’s all worth it and hard work always pays off.

Cheers to FIT brides!

Say YES to Weights

When most people hear the words “strength training” they immediately think of body building, power lifting or strenuous workouts. To the average person or someone newly into fitness, strength training and using weights can be intimidating. A lot of people think that strength training is only associated with athletes and experienced individuals. Although I believe any form of exercise or movement is beneficial, incorporating weight in some or all of workouts is crucial.

As we age, we face an inevitable decline in bone density and muscle strength. It has been scientifically proven that aerobic exercise alone is not enough to sustain bone health, muscle tone, posture and an all-around functional body. Stronger muscles lead to stronger bones which can prevent injuries and osteoporosis. Strength training can involve dumbbells, stationary machines, weighted bars, suspension training and resistance bands. The intensity of strength training routines can vary and can be suitable for any level of fitness. For individuals who are trying to lose weight, weight bearing exercise is needed for fat loss.

Being a female in the fitness industry, I am constantly being asked by other women about my views on lifting weights. Not only am I in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, but I also teach barre which is known for little to low weight and high repetition exercises. The idea that weight will make someone look “bulky” versus “long and lean” is a common misconception and could not be further from the truth. I have often heard well-known trainers discourage women from using challenging amounts of weight and I am constantly encouraging my female clients to eliminate this mentality. With proper form, a great workout routine and a balanced diet, weight training can take your body to the next level of awesome.

With clearance from a doctor and expert advice from a fitness professional, anyone can start a safe and effective workout program which incorporates strength training. If you are still not convinced, the fact that you don’t technically need a gym membership to maintain a routine should seal the deal. All you need is a set of dumbbells to get started in your home, garage or outdoors. Eventually, a beginner starting with minimal time and equipment can progress into more advanced movements and longer workouts. Aside from the physical benefits of strength training, it increases cognitive performance, mood and confidence for both men and women of all fitness levels.

livfitnessWPB_Training

Summertime Salad

Happy Monday! But more importantly, happy Summer! Bikini season has already started but today is the official start of Summer and I couldn't be happier. I’m here to remind you that your bikini body depends on your workouts AND what you are putting on your plate. I am constantly reminding my clients of this and diet is a common topic in most of my sessions. In general, I would have to say that most people get stuck at lunchtime over any other part of the day. Whether you work in an office where everyone orders fast-food take out or you're like some of my clients who just don't have the time in the day to cook, I've got a tip for you. The key to a successful and easy lunch is being prepared the day before. Having foods prepared such as chicken breasts, quinoa, cauliflower and boiled eggs make a healthy lunch possible in just a few minutes. Check out one of my staple summer salads below.

  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Chicken breast
  • Egg White
  • 1/2 Avocado
  • Green apple chunks
  • Quinoa
  • Cauliflower
  • Black pepper
  • Splash of EVOO & Vinegar for dressing

Have an awesome and active week,

♥Liv

Chickpea Coconut Curry With Sweet Potatoes

Happy Monday! I wanted to spice things up and start a new week with a new recipe. I knew I wanted to make something really different from my usual go-to meals and I've been really craving chickpeas (packed with protein and fiber!). So I googled some recipes in between clients this morning and came across this gem on Popsugar.com. It's filled with chickpeas, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach and SO much flavor. I rarely eat rice, but having this curry dish over brown basmati rice was delicious. I'm a crockpot fanatic so of course I am always up for new healthy dishes to try for dinner and next-day lunch. This was the perfect meal to come home to after a long Monday - and my house smelled amazing. 

LivFitness_Curry_CleanEating

Ingredients

Curry:
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoons minced ginger
15-ounce can chickpeas (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 cups canned or boxed chopped tomatoes
2 cups small cauliflower florets
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon garam masala
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups lightly packed baby spinach, chopped

Coconut rice:
1 1/2 cups uncooked brown basmati rice
1 can light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Heat oil in a pan and sauté onion, garlic and fresh ginger for about seven minutes.
  • Transfer the onion mix into slow cooker and add remaining ingredients except for the spinach.
  • Cook on low for six hours.
  • Before serving, stir in spinach and cook for about five minutes.

Rice

  • Add rice, coconut milk, salt and water to a sauce pan.
  • On high heat, bring it to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for about forty minutes.
LivFitness_CoconutCurry

AMAZING! Enjoy.

Remember: You can't out-exercise a bad diet to achieve your goals. Make it a great week!

♥ Liv


LivFitness Meets Hilton WPB

Over the last ten years, West Palm Beach has definitely seen some serious growth! Being an influencer in the community, it's been both exciting and rewarding to watch local businesses thrive around town - I'd even say they're booming! One new development I am currently pumped about is the new Hilton Hotel on Okeechobee boulevard. This twelve-story gem opened this past week and it sits in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach. Artwork, flowers, food and coffee are a few of my favorite staples you'll find there, and i'm totally thrilled it's all local talent giving the hotel a true WPB feel. The atmosphere is bright and welcoming, with a sophisticated lobby space and a sleek outdoor pool area. Even better, the staff goes above and beyond to meet the needs of each hotel guest. 

Why am I so excited? On Tuesday and Thursday of this week I had the opportunity to lead two 5:30am workouts on the event lawn for a corporate group of hotel guests. The hotel provided mats, towels and water for the multi-level bootcamp style class. The space was perfect for an early morning workout by the pool - lunges, planks, ladder drills to name a few. The guests were so great to work with and super enthusiastic, despite the early morning wakeup call. 

The BEST way to start a long day filled with meetings and work events is to get up and get your body moving. Looking forward to working with more groups and hotel guests in the future.

Total Body Fit - Gym to Barre

Aside from personal training, I teach classes at a fabulous studio called Xtend Barre West Palm Beach. It’s where I began my career as an instructor and it’s where my love for training really blossomed. I was teaching a ton of weekly Xtend Barre classes, a couple spin and abs classes, and had so many dedicated girls who took classes regularly. After a while, I knew some of the girls had the potential to take their fitness goals to another level and really tone their bodies by adding weight and circuit training. A few of them expressed that while they felt strong, they were starting to feel a bit stagnant and were willing to be pushed farther. I obviously LOVE barre classes (as do most of the clients who take TBF) but I am definitely a gym lover and a firm believer that weight bearing exercise is crucial for women. In order to really burn fat, it’s important to combine weights with cardio and a healthy diet. To me, giving clients the opportunity to incorporate weight and circuit training into their fitness regimens seemed like the perfect idea. So, almost two years ago, a small group training class was added to the schedule and Total Body Fit was born.

It’s a fifty minute class that begins with a 2.5 mile run from the studio down Flagler drive. Using the intracoastal wall for pushups, step ups and other exercises to really amp up the cardio. After the run, I give them a circuit: three rounds of eight-ten exercises. Fat blasting exercises that use the whole body for a total body workout. Weighted balls and bars, gliders, resistance bands are used for lunging, squatting, pressing, pushing and pulling. I also give body weight exercises and plyometrics to challenge the body using body weight only. Classes are high-energy, fun and effective to ensure a challenging workout for both men and women. 

Join me Monday nights at 7:15 and Wednesday nights at 6:15. Remember to bring h2o, a towel and a positive attitude! 

 Make it a great week!

Liv