Weekend Wellness - Legs & Abs By Liv

What an amazing season it has been here in sunny Palm Beach! Great weather, tons of fun events, and LOTS of fitness. In addition to my year-round clients, I had the pleasure of working with people who were here for a few months and some for just a weekend. But the highlight of this season was definitely my monthly workouts at The Royal Poinciana Plaza. One Saturday each month I held a workout that was focused on legs and core – Legs & Abs By Liv. It’s an hour long workout (all levels welcomed) designed to safely tone the legs, glutes, and core using stretch bands and body weight movements. From beginners and new moms to advanced individuals - this workout with leave you feeling energized and motivated. Legs & Abs is my signature group leg workout where I teach all of my favorite moves that will have you sore the next day. Participants were encouraged to bring a mat, towel, and water. Not only is the Royal Poinciana Plaza a gorgeous place to sweat and spend the morning, the workout was complementary!  

palmbeachworkout

Fitness can be such a great community activity for men and women of all ages and a fun way to meet new people. The Royal Poinciana Plaza did such a great job promoting these weekly workouts and each month I had more new people attend. I loved seeing so many people show up, work hard, and have a blast. And to top it off, all participants of the workout were given discounts at Celis Produce and Sant Ambreous for a post workout bite. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning!


Looking forward to being back out on the courtyard for a fun and sweaty workout. Stay tuned for the summer schedule and be sure to follow me and The Royal Poinciana Plaza on Instagram for future updates.

<3

Amy's Three Years

January marks THREE years that I’ve been training Amy. (If you are new to my blog, click here to read her transformation story I wrote a year and a half ago.) Amy is the girl in my Instagram stories who works out with me five days per week in her awesome garage gym. She does a mixture of strength training exercises using weights, a leg press, TRX, and bands, plus some toning/barre exercises. You can often find her in my weekly barre classes, my monthly Legs & Abs class at the Royal Poinciana Plaza, and at the beach for a Sunday morning workout. YES, she is that dedicated. Training her always reminds me that I have a dream job. Her attitude is always positive and her commitment to health and wellness makes me so proud. I’m mostly proud because like many people she’s had to overcome struggles in the past. But no matter what’s going on, she makes time for her workouts and makes clean eating a priority. While feeling good naked is a plus, fitness is so much more than aesthetics. It’s about building a better mind-body connection, improving self-esteem, finding balance, and learning discipline. Fitness means making daily positive changes (big and small) which impact so many other areas of life (in a GREAT way). I help people like Amy create healthy habits that can be life-changing. But being fit requires lots of effort, and Amy is definitely seeing the fruits of her labor. Instead of going on and on about how much I adore Amy and how much fun we have in the gym, I figured I’d do a little Q and A with her to share her perspective!

Q: What do you love most about working out with a trainer?

A:  I love having someone to hold me accountable and encourage me. Life can get so hectic, if I didn’t have someone I was scheduled to meet, I’d be more likely to miss workouts. It’s also nice to have someone push you to work harder and when your trainer looks amazing, it really inspires you to stick with it! 

Q: What are your thoughts on weight training for women?

 A: It’s so important! Before I worked out with Liv, I didn’t understand that. I just ran 5 miles every day and I wasn’t getting the results I wanted. Now that I’m weight training, I feel so strong and healthy! Even my clothes fit so much better. I weigh more, but I’m actually so much leaner. Now I definitely understand why it’s so important to add weight training to your routine. 

Q: How much does diet effect your workouts and overall mood?

A: A LOT! Working out and seeing results inspired me to really improve my diet. When I’m eating healthy, I just feel better mentally and physically. My body feels nourished and strong. I don’t count calories or follow any particular diet. I just try to avoid any added sugar, highly processed foods and limit alcohol. 

Q: What motivates you everyday to be healthy and fit?

A: The results I’ve seen really motivate me a lot. I just want to keep improving, but I’m careful to still appreciate where I currently am. There’s no better confidence booster than feeling healthy. When I look back at how exhausted I used to feel mentally and physically, it’s crazy. Now I just feel so strong and healthy. 

 Q: Describe that feeling when you start seeing your hard work pay off:

 A: Omg it’s AMAZING! I remember going through a period where I didn’t feel like anything was happening. One day it was just like oh wow, I’m started to see some definition... and it just got better and better from there! Now 3 years later I couldn’t be happier with where I am. I feel so proud of what I’ve accomplished and feel so much better about myself. I’m truly so thankful for my workout sessions and the positive impact they have on my life. 

 Q: What is your biggest tip for someone who is trying to live a healthier lifestyle?

A: I would say set reasonable goals for yourself so you don’t get discouraged. If you’re super busy, commit to working out certain days/times. If you don’t have it scheduled in, it’s easier for it to get away from you. I’d also say focus on easy dietary changes. If you’re going to choose one thing to try to stay away from, try to avoid added sugar. Do easy recipes and plan ahead. Foods like frozen broccoli, crockpot chicken and a microwaved sweet potato are so healthy and easy!! 

 

 Be sure to follow me on Instagram and subscribe to my blog for updates!

♡ Liv

 

What I'm Loving Lately

If you follow me on the Gram, you know that I’m always posting about my current favorites. Sneakers, food, leggings, workouts, my golf highlights…the usual. But I feel like every so often there’s some items I’m loving that need to be shared with you all on my blog because they are just that amazing. There are quite a few things I’ll GLADLY leave behind in 2018, but here’s a list of some items I’m loving lately that will be coming with me into the New Year!

 

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer

Now, I know you may think that dropping a few hundred on a hair dryer seems silly. But let me tell you, this thing is amazing. What excited me the most was how much less damaging it is on your hair. Being in the gym daily and constantly having to tie my hair up has really taken a toll on my locks. Compared to my old dryer, the Dyson leaves my hair much smoother and isn’t harsh on my ends. Aside from that, it makes styling so much easier and my blowouts have never looked better.

20-Dyson-Supersonic-hair-dryer.w700.h467.jpg

 

WorkParty by Jaclyn Johnson

Just the other day I discovered this book on Instagram and read wonderful reviews. I’m half way through the book but I can tell you it’s a great read. Jaclyn, now CEO and founder of a successful online platform, shares about her struggles as a young entrepreneur who was hungry for success. Even after many setbacks she was determined to build something amazing. I find that it’s super relatable and very inspiring for me as a woman and business owner in today’s world.

71YCUSRkAGL.jpg



 

Nike Women’s Free RN Flyknit

Technically I’ve been loving this shoe for all of 2018, but I just got my 3rd color and I have no plans of stopping in 2019. It’s my favorite shoe for indoor weight training, hands down! They’re light weight, flexible, and super flattering on the foot. I can comfortably wear them to train clients all day long. They are an important part of my Nike collection!

nike--Free-Rn-Flyknit-2018-Wmns-Mica-Green-Smokey-Mauve.jpeg

 

Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones

My boyfriend got me these headphones before we left for South Africa during Thanksgiving week and they’ve been SO great. I had really been wanting an over the ear pair of headphones because I’ve always found the smaller in-ear sets annoying and uncomfortable. These Beats aren’t bulky and the battery life is amazing. They are great for workouts, travel and FaceTime. They fold up to a compact size and can easily be stored in a purse or carry on.

solo-3-wireless-6-1-1024x576.jpg

 

The New Primal Marinade

If you’ve known me or have been following me for a while, you know that Crockpot Chicken Breast is a MAJOR staple in my diet. But recently I’ve been using The New Primal Marinade (classic and citrus herb) and I cannot get enough. It caught my eye at Whole Foods one day because of its low sugar content (only 3g) and the ingredients are all simple and clean. Not to mention the taste, OMG! The chicken turns out so tender and delicious and goes perfectly in my kale salads. Obsessed!

NobleMade_fullwidth2.jpg

Amy's Transformation

The main reason why I love what I do is because I get to connect with people on a personal level. I coach them through workouts, provide nutrition guidance, and teach them to love the journey to fitness. It's called Personal Training because every client is unique; what works for one may not work for another. Regardless of who I'm training my goal is to teach them that fitness is a lifestyle that requires healthy habits and lots of effort. There is no easy way to reach fitness goals, but a lifestyle change is possible for everyone and totally worth it. I’m on a mission to help my clients look and feel their absolute best while loving the body they are in.

Last month marked a year and a half working with my client, Amy. In this amount of time she has made a huge body and mind transformation. After moving to Palm Beach from out of state she felt it was time to take control of her health. Like so many women all over the world she once struggled with negative body image issues. Her previous workouts were sporadic, consisting of mostly cardio and rarely any weights. She came to me for help and was open minded from the very first day. We started with a 3 day per week in-home training program introducing weights, core work, and focusing on proper form. After quickly getting the hang of things she started to notice a gain in energy and a huge increase in motivation. She was determined to get the fit body she deserved. Now, a year and a half later, she trains with me 5 days per week where I incorporate weight training, TRX, HIIT, battle ropes, cardio, and lots of core work. I give her challenging and effective workouts that burn fat and build a strong toned body. We discuss healthy recipes and diet tips daily that nourish and fuel the body. She’s become extremely fit (I mean, look at that bod!) and the increase in confidence I’ve seen has been incredible. While juggling wife duties and being a business owner, she demonstrates that self-improvement is possible (and necessary). Day in and day out she stays committed to her wellness and I could not be more proud. 

 Overcoming negative body image issues, eliminating an unhealthy relationship with food, and finding a strong workout routine is what I like to call positive behavior change. Understanding that NOTHING happens over night is the first step to getting fit. Hard work and consistency over time is what leads to success and lasting results. My goal is to empower and inspire others to take control of their bodies by sharing Amy's success story. I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my passion with others every day while building relationships with wonderful people along the way.

Before i after

Before i after

July 2017

July 2017

abs-livfitness

Always remember: the most important investment you can make is in yourself.

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

Knee Friendly Fitness

It’s been a little over five weeks since I tore my ACL and I can definitely say that it's been a humbling experience. My injury has not kept me from training clients and teaching my weekly barre classes. However, the real challenging part of this whole experience is having to drastically change my own workouts and knowing when to rest. Since running, barre workouts and group fitness classes are out of the question, I've had to find other ways to safely raise my heart rate. I’ve managed to work around my injury and still perform some killer upper body and core moves. Lately, I’ve been lifting heavier weights and using battle ropes for (seated) cardio. It’s so important to continue to move even when you’re faced with difficulties. Not only to stay healthy and in shape, but also for the mental health benefits of fitness! Each week I gain motivation and feel more prepared to tackle my surgery. Check out one of my workouts below.

Battle Ropes (3 sets total):

  • Alternating Waves – 45 seconds
  • Double Waves – 45 seconds
  • Russian Twist Slams – 45 seconds

Dumbbells (3 sets total):

  • Chest Press – 15
  • Seated Shoulder Press – 15
  • Overhead Triceps Extension – 15
  • Chest Fly (legs raised) – 15

Floor (3 sets total):

  • Triceps Dips - 15
  • Pushups - Close Triceps Position (pad for the knees) – 15
  • Weighted Sit-Ups - 15
ACL-Recovery-Knee-Fitness-Injury

 

Follow my Instagram stories for daily clips of my diet, clients’ workouts and my pre-surgery workouts! 

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

#MotivationMonday Count Down to Memorial Day Weekend

We've reached the middle of May and the count down to Memorial Day Weekend has officially begun. Personally, it's my favorite time of the year -  it's the unofficial start of summer and, more importantly, it's my birthday weekend! For many, this weekend is all about weekend getaways, board shorts and bikinis, cookouts, outdoor activities, and an all around good time. For me, I love to kick my workouts and clean eating in high gear...well, because, birthday cake and bubbly. It's a physically motivating time of the year - the weather is perfect for a bike ride, beach run, paddle boarding or rollerblading. Aside from my normal workout routine in the gym and studio, I take every chance I get to feel an extra burn. With so many outdoor fitness opportunities, I want you to know that summer bodies can also be built in the summer! I'll be posting some of my favorite exercises and meals on instagram for some added Memorial motivation. We've got two weeks until the long weekend, let's make every day count!

To prepare for the week ahead I hit the grocery store hard to make sure I was stocked up. Here's a list of what I took home:

  • Spinach
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Almond Milk
  • Ground Beef
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Protein Bars
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Romaine
  • Asparagus

Cheers to a healthy new week!

♡♡♡♡

Feliz Cinco De Mayo

To some people, Cinco De Mayo commemorates the Mexican victory over the French forces. But for most people here in the US it's the day where people of all ethnicities put on their sombreros and hit the nearest bar for tacos, burritos and mucho tequila. For me, Mexican food is not something I take lightly - it is hands-down my favorite type of food. But it wasn't until my trip to Mexico in 2015 where I really learned about authentic Mexican dishes and how they were much different from what I was used to. In Mexico, a simple taco exploded with flavor and all the salsas were made daily with fresh ingredients. Here in South Florida, Mexican food often means an overdose of cheese, salt, sour cream and not enough flavor. I am constantly inspired to make my own delicious (and CLEANER) dishes and always trying to find ways to replicate what I ate during that beautiful time spent in Mexico. Check out this simple recipe for shredded chicken tacos and guacamole below. 

Shredded Chicken Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup salsa (I used organic Que Pasa)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chilis
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, salsa, chilies, chili powder, garlic, pinch of salt and teaspoon of pepper. Cover, cook on low for six hours. 
  2. Transfer chicken to a serving bowl and shred with two forks, moisten with cooking juices.

Guacamole Ingredients:

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 or 2 limes
  • 1/2 red or white chopped onion 
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tomato
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped and seeded

Directions:

  1. Cut avocados in half around the pit, then scoop flesh out into a mixing bowl. Add lime juice and mash avocado leaving a few chunks.
  2. Add all other ingredients. Serve immediately.

 

This time, I used organic taco shells and skipped the chips for the guacamole. Carb conscious? Throw all ingredients over lettuce and turn it into a yummy taco salad.

Salud, amigos!

LivFitness On Deck

One of the most amazing things about being in South Florida is that you can pretty much always take your workout outdoors. Anything from running, bootcamp, suspension training, barre and yoga can be done outside during almost any time of the year. My personal training sessions and classes are typically done in a private gym, in-home or in a studio setting. But sometimes I have to “think outside the barre” and get creative for effective on-sight training. I’ve trained on the beach, in hotel courtyards, on polo fields and with stand up paddle boards just to name a few. In this case, I’m talking a luxury yacht called the Top Five. Anchored seasonally in downtown WPB at the waterfront, this mega yacht was the location for Thursday’s sunny, barre-inspired workout. We set up the space so it was fully equipped with mats, small weights, towels and music. There was plenty of deck space for floor work and big movements. We used the rails of the yacht as a barre and also for stretching. The weather was absolutely perfect for a group fitness session, bright and breezy with an incredible view. This was the second year I’ve taken this same deck and turned it into a space to sweat for a bachelorette celebration group. These girls came to visit at the perfect time and had big plans for their stay in West Palm Beach. What’s even better is that this awesome group chose to make fitness a part of their fun-filled party weekend (serious bachelorette party goals!). So excited to be back on board again this year and looking forward to more LivFitness on the water.

 

Yacht_TopFive_WPB
Yacht_LivFitness_Workout_WPB
2015 Workout

2015 Workout

Monday Motivation - TRX legs

One of my favorite pieces of equipment to use in and out of the gym is the TRX Suspension Trainer. Using the TRX, you take body weight exercises to another level. During every exercise, the core must be engaged in order to stay balanced and stable. When it comes to my leg workouts, adding suspension training to my routine is crucial. Since I absolutely LOVE any exercise that challenges balance, I am able to perform tons of great single-leg exercises with the TRX that really burn. Below are a couple of my favorite leg exercises.

Front Squat

LivFitness_WPB_Fitness_TRX

Set up handles under the arms, close to the chest. Walk feet back until body is in a strong plank-like hanging position, heels up. Keeping weight forward into the arms and heels up, bend the knees to a squat then return to straight legs. Perform three sets of fifteen reps.

Abducted Lunge

Stand beside the suspension trainer with one foot in the cradles and the other leg on the ground. Bend the supporting knee while extending the straight leg side, keeping tight abs and an open chest. Return to standing by firmly pressing into the ground with standing leg. Perform three sets of fifteen reps.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram @livfigueroa for more fitspiration!

Make it a great week