Archive | April 2013

Lemon-Ginger Refresher

Ginger Refresher

Warmer days often leave cravings for cold, refreshing drinks. Often, we reach for a margarita, martini or a n ice, cold beer. And there’s nothing wrong with having a drink every once in awhile. But, for the days when you want the refresher sans alcohol, I’ve got the ticket. All you need is:

– seltzer water (carbonated water)

– fresh ginger root

– a lemon (or lime).

You could definitely use pre-minced ginger, but if you have a zester, zest some fresh ginger and rinse your zester off in a glass filled with the seltzer water. Using a fork, extract the lemon juice (and some pulp!) from 1/2 a lemon. Add ice, toss back and forth between 2 glasses and enjoy. You seriously are gonna love this. I may or may not be slightly addicted at the moment.

lemon juice

*This is also a great drink for anyone trying to kick soda consumption. The fizz and flavor are better than any soda when you’re craving bubbles!

MMo Testimonial: An amazing story and one incredible human.

A Note From Whitney:  The impact of this testimonial on myself was unspeakably profound and one of those life-changing moments to say the least. To say that Shirley means a lot to me is an understatement, in the same way that telling you: “people are my passion” hardly gives insight to the magnitude of the joy it brings me. In creating Macks Mo, it was Regan & my goal to help people get MO(re) out of their lives through fitness + nutrition, with some inspiration on the side. However, our lives have been the ones truly changed by our clients. Shirley is one such (very special) inspiration and here’s her story…

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I did not want to sign up for Whitney’s class. I signed up because I had to. I’d been sort-of-not-really going to a gym for several years, and I was sort of really frustrated with the lack of results, and how boring elliptical machines are, and how I could not find the time or the energy after working long days at an fast-paced ad agency, and with my persistent, decade-long struggle with depression.

Three years after barely surviving my first class with Whitney, I haven’t looked back.

Here’s what to expect. You show up sleepy; she shows up bright-eyed and bushy-ponytailed. You have no idea what’s next — you just go. After she warms you up, you basically maintain a consistent sensation of about-to-throw-up-ness for roughly 45 minutes. You use muscles you never thought you had, until you have to use them. Whitney is by your side, nudging your form, nudging you to go harder, cranking up the music, cranking up the intensity. Her energy keeps you going at the exact point you feel like giving up. At the end, you are both utterly exhausted and strangely invigorated.

Once the first few weeks of can’t-sit-down-right pain have subsided (it will, don’t worry) your body just… changes. You wake up one day, and you can see it. You can feel it. You fit into things again, and those things look better on you. You have contours and definition where shapeless blobs used to be.

But more than that, what forever changed my perspective on exercise — and, really, my life — is what Whitney’s approach does to your mood, your posture, your energy. She challenges you to ask your body to do new, unfamiliar things — and it can do them, and you are amazed. You feel strong, and capable. You finally know what good form feels like. The aliveness you begin to feel reminds you of being a kid. If this feeling hasn’t sufficiently hooked you to the point of die-hard obsession, and you decide to skip a few classes, Whitney will, very lovingly, get on your case with a friendly text or encouraging Facebook message. Because with her, you don’t just get a great coach and motivator — you get a friend.

Because of Whitney, I’m in the best shape of my life. For the first time, I know proper form — I know when my body feels right, and I know when my body feels wrong. I am instinctively in touch with how I move and how I sit in a way that makes my body feel strong, and confident that it can do almost anything I ask it. I can do real pushups. I sleep better. I am happier.

This last part is important. I was recently diagnosed with bipolar, having suffered from severe depression for most of my life. Whitney’s class was instrumental in starting my road to an accurate diagnosis and treatment. I finally got the boost of energy to tackle my disease once and for all, at a time when it was progressively and hopelessly getting worse. Moving my body and feeling its strength gave me the self-confidence I desperately needed to get out of an increasingly dark hole. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the winning recipe of Whitney + medication + therapy saved my life. And that’s why I’ll never go back. Exercise now, for me, is not a luxury, or a maybe, or an if-I-have-time. It is a permanent part of my life, and it always will be. I can’t and won’t go back — now, I can only get stronger, I can only go forward.

Shirley Blog

Workout for Your Travels

If you travel often for work or want a quick, full-body workout anywhere/anytime, check out this 3 round no-equipment routine. 

Directions: Do all 5 exercises, back-to-back 3x through. Try to make transitions between exercises as quick as possible and don’t stop until you’re done. Your heart rate will be up the entire workout and you won’t really catch your breath until you’re done. Make sure to time the workout and POST your results below.

1. 15 Pushups

2. 30 total Cross-Body Mountain Climbers (15/leg alternating)

3. 50 total Bicycle Crunches (25/side alternating)

4. 15 Squat Thrusts

5. 15/leg Split Squats with back toe on a chair (complete one side, then switch)

 

Exercises Explained:

1. Pushups – you choose knees or toes (or combo of both), but be sure to challenge yourself the entire time!

2. Cross-Body Mtn Climbers – from plank position, keep chest square to the ground & shoulders back while you pull R knee across towards L elbow. Return to start, then pull L knee across to R elbow. Alternate quickly for 30 total reps. (Standard mtn climbers are like doing standing high knees, but in a plank position; for these, it’s the same “pacing”, but knee goes across the body, targeting your obliques more). Be sure to stabilize in the shoulders, keeping them right over the wrists and try not to “bounce” in the hips.

3. Bicycle Crunches – start on your back, legs in tabletop position, hands cradling head and core contracted (you want to pull both your sacrum & bottom of the rib cage towards the ground, using your core – making sure not to arch your back at anytime). For one rep, use core to twist and lift R shoulder towards L knee as your fully extend your R leg (still keeping low back/sacrum pressed to floor), then switch and perform on other side.

squat thrust

4. Squat Thrusts – the picture illustrates the movement, but think of it this way: start standing, then move into a squat. From squat, hands to ground and hop back into plank. From plank, hop feet back up and land in a squat, getting hands off floor as quickly as possible, and heels to ground. From that squat, hop straight up and land back in a squat. That’s one rep. So, squat, plank, squat, hop up and squat.
Bulgarian Split Squat

5. Chair: Split Squat – use a chair just as the picture demonstrates. You’re going to feel this mostly in the back quad, but you want equal weight over hips and drive through the front heel to come up. Start the movement by bending into the back knee, keeping front knee over front heel the entire time. You will be lowering straight up & down over the back knee/hips (avoid rocking forward & back, thus weighting in the front knee). Focus on keeping the core strong (you want to avoid arching at the low back & pressing hips forward).

– Questions? Email Regan: regan@macksmo.com