Early morning wake ups and jam packed schedules can make cooking breakfast a hassle. If you’re the type of person who would rather not cook a full meal in the morning and need something healthy you can bring with you in a pinch, look no farther.
Egg white muffins are an easy way to have a healthy breakfast on the go and are super easy to make. This way you can get protein, fibre, fat, and minimal carbs in a complete customizable meal.
All you need is 5 minutes to prepare them and 25 minutes to bake them.
coconut oil (or another oil to grease the muffin tin)
any other toppings you could want (meat, cheese, etc.)
Grease as many muffin tins as needed to create your desired amount of egg white muffins (I usually eat three for one meal.)
Put any meats, vegetables, cheese or desired fillings in the muffin tin.
Fill the remaining space of the tin with egg whites.
Bake in the oven at 350F for 25 min.
Once cooked you may store the muffins in Tupperware or eat them fresh.
Chains are a great tool that often get misused. I’ve seen an abundance of videos of people using chains just to make themselves look “badass” yet only succeed at making themselves look incompetent.
So to set you on the right path, I am going to explain to you what chains are used for and how to use them.
WHY YOU WANT TO USE CHAINS
Chains are most commonly used to add additional resistance to a lift on the way up. This works by having links come off the floor one by one on the way up. The movement will be easiest at the bottom when there are more links resting on the floor, and it will be most challenging at the top and on the way up when the links are coming off the floor. Chains are commonly used on squats, deadlifts, and presses, but can be used on a variety of exercises.
This permits the trainee to get stronger on the top portion and lockout portions of the lift. It also makes the eccentric easier, allowing you to preserve more energy and strength for the upward (concentric) part of the lift. Chains are a great tool to use to get through a strength plateau.
The more links that are off the floor, the heavier the total weight is.
The more links that are on the floor, the lighter the total weight is.
SELECTING YOUR WEIGHT
To load a bar or weight with chains, you will need to use a weight that is lighter than what you normally use without chains. Different chains have different weights, so knowing how much the chains weigh will help you determine how much weight you should or should not use. You want to make sure you have extremely good control of the weight as any slight deviation in movement will cause the chains to swing which will be very destabilizing.
LOADING THE IMPLEMENT
Once you have selected your weight, you will hang the chains on each side of the bar and then secure them with safety clips for the barbell. If using a dumbbell or kettlebell, the chain should have a clip that you can use to attach it to the weight.
Once you’ve set everything up, perform your sets and reps as desired 🙂
For a lot of women, achieving their first body weight pull-up is a huge milestone. It’s a feat that requires adequate mobility, stability, and strength in order to perform it correctly.
Often times, when people ask how to do their first pull-up they often receive the answer: “Well, just do pull-ups.” Which is redundant and useless. If a person could already do pull-ups, they would.
So where do you start in order to get your first pull-up?
In general, you would want to progress to doing a pull-up as follows:
owning the isometric (being able to hang on the bar at the top and bottom)
owning the eccentric (being able to lower yourself in controlled manner through a pull-up pattern)
owning the concentric (being able to pull yourself up through the pull-up)
Owning all parts of the pull-up will having you banging out your first full rep in due time. It’s all about developing the requisite endurance, stability, patterning, and strength to do the movement correctly and efficiently.
So let’s start with the endurance and stability portion by using isometric drills. You want to start first by building your endurance at the bottom of the pull-up and building your grip so you are actually able to support your own body weight in an active hang. Once you can hang from the bottom you can explore doing a flexed arm hang at the top of the bar. Work on holding your hangs for 30s-60s. I would recommend being able to hold for at least 60s in both positions before progressing to more dynamic movements.
Once you have achieved strong isometric holds with your hangs, you can work on doing scapular pull-ups. In this movement you will be initiating the beginning of the pull-up by pulling maximally with the shoulders, holding at the top position, and then relaxing the shoulders into a deadhang for 1 repetition. Build this movement in sets of 5-10 reps. The scapular pull-up will also serve to improve your grip strength. The scapular pull-up is going to help you with the movement portion of initiating the pull-up.
After achieving some strong scap pull-ups, you’ll want to progress to negative pull-ups (eccentric pull-ups.) This will allow you to pattern the pull-up with good technique so that when you do get strong enough to do them, you will be using the right muscle to perform the movement (primarily the lats and biceps.) To perform a negative pull-up, jump up to the bar or have someone lift you to the bar and then lower yourself down with a controlled tempo ranging anywhere from 10s to 60s. If you are able to do a 60s eccentric you are most likely able to do a full pull-up.
You can also use band assisted pull-ups to help build muscular strength and the concentric portion of your pull-ups. Make sure to use negative pull-ups and other progressions otherwise you will end up being reliant on the band to perform the movement. Bands are also a great tool to fine tune technique if you struggle to maintain to good form while performing bodyweight pull-ups. To perform the band pull-up, loop a band around your pull-up bar, then place on of your feet on the band to get into the bottom position. Initiate the pull, imagine you are closing your armpits in order to pull your collarbones up to the bar. The band will provide the assistance needed to help you up towards the bar,If you are swinging and bouncing around, you are not performing the movement correctly. You want your band assisted pull-up to be smooth and controlled, as it will translate better into your full strict pull-up.
Some additional assistance work that can help to get your first pull-up would be:
Inverted rows (rings or TRX)
Biceps curls (especially preacher curls and incline curls)
There are many exercises you can do to get strong at pull-ups, however any movement you do to help you build your pull-up skills should address the endurance, stability, movement patterning and strength aspects of the pull-up. As long as you address these attributes of the pull-up, you will be well on your way to getting your first rep.
This is typically something you will not hear from someone who works in my field. Personal trainers have been profitting off of the negative self-image of others for a long time. Promising that when you lose 20lbs or you have a more shapely butt that you will just start to ooze confidence.
Unfortunately, a change in the number on the scale is unlikely to unravel your whole self-belief system you have held for the majority of your life. If you view your body negatively, the way you see yourself is not going to change just because you lose weight. The way you carry yourself is not going to change just because you lose weight.
As someone whose weight has varied from its heaviest at 220lbs and at its lightest 135lbs, I can tell you that even at the times in my life when I was my leanest I was never satisfied with how my body looked. I was in what a lot of people consider to be “great shape” and still I had no confidence – I was painfully shy and the idea of wearing shorts in public would send me into a frenzy of tears and panic. I would constantly compare myself to other women – especially models and actresses – and try to validate myself by making my body and my overall look similar to them.
Nowadays, I maintain a fairly consistent bodyweight, and although I am not at my leanest – I am probably the healthiest I have ever been mentally and physically. I am strong and mobile and I can do things I was not even able to do as a child – such as handbalancing. I now maintain eye contact with people when I am talking to them, I don’t speak quietly or mumble anymore, and I am no longer petrified of wearing shorts in public. And even though I am not what society considers traditionally beautiful – I am happy with my body: how it looks and all the wonderful things it does. And this confidence has trickled into all aspects of my life.
But I know not everyone feels this way about their bodies. We have it hard, as women society tells us that if we are not “conventionally beautiful” à la Victoria Secret Angel than we are not valued. By no means am I saying that looking like a supermodel is wrong, however there are maybe 5 people in the world that look like Victoria Secret Angels and there are 3.5 billion women being told to look like that and being told that they are not worthy or valued based on how they look right now. And this is a HUGE PROBLEM.
There are 5 women in the world that look like this and it shouldn’t matter that you don’t look like them.
We, the people, come in a variety of shapes, colours, sizes, ages, ability, and body compositions and we should never feel guilty or ashamed of being ourselves nor for simply being in our bodies. The sooner we acknowledge and accept that, the sooner we can heal our broken relationships with our bodies and develop a stronger and more positive self-image. We can ask for better representation of our diverse bodies by voting with our dollars with the products purchase, by purchasing from companies that showcase our diversity. Hopefully over time we will achieve better representation of our physical diversity and this will normalize all bodies.
There is a strong need for a more diverse range of people in our modern day media.
Outside of asking society to change the narrow representation of the female body there are things we can do ourselves. We must first start by accepting our bodies and loving them. We can do this by:
doing things that make our bodies feel good; moving, eating, resting, sleeping, laughing, dancing, singing, exercising in ways that we enjoy, etc.
wearing clothing that is comfortable and makes us feel good
surrounding ourselves with positive people
keeping an inventory of the things we like about ourselves and our bodies
being grateful for all the wonderful things our bodies can do such as breathing, healing, running, etc.
protesting messages and media that are non-inclusive with regards to our bodies
calling people out for body policing and shutting down body policing
I also strongly believe an integral part of developing healthy body-image also begins by detaching our value as human beings to our looks. I am not saying it is wrong to want to change the way you look – however knowing that are valued outside of your looks is highly important. We are whole people – with skills, abilities, and smarts that can contribute to the world in so many positive ways outside of our looks. Taking the time to acknowledge, develop, and use our non-aesthetic assets will allow you to positively impact the world and in turn reward us with confidence and happiness that conforming our bodies to a societal iron maiden never could.
When we start to claim our presence as whole people, we remember that we are not hollow shells meant earn our place in the world by pleasing the eyes of others. Only once we have accepted our bodies as they are can we begin to love them and act from a place of compassion and treat ourselves with respect and love we deseve. Maybe then we will fully acknowledge that losing weight does not cure negative body image.
Our remedy for negative body image starts with how we think and how we act. We need to act in line with how we want to feel and stand together to manifest the changes necessary to make us feel more positively about our bodies. We owe it to ourselves to take the steps towards feeling comfortable, safe, and confident in our bodies, and we are the only people who can make that happen.
I know I am ready for women to feel normal, happy, confident, and proud of their bodies.
The Turkish Get-Up a move that is loved, hated, and misunderstood all in one.
The Turkish Get-Up rose to popularity in the last 10 years or so in tandem with kettlebell training. Kettlebells are small, (relatively) light to moderate in weight, transportable weights that have become popular due to their ability to get people lean and strong in short and intense workouts. They have become the tool of choice for busy people who don’t have copious amounts of time to devote to training in the gym.
Keeping in mind that kettlebell training has exploded due to it’s convenience and efficiency – the Turkish Get-Up has also become popular for the same reason. Get-Ups provide a lot of bang for your buck in terms of how they can enhance and supplement your current training program. They can be used as a warm up to help stabilize wonky shoulders and they can also be used in finishers for conditioning. This movement can also be performed for a maximum effort, in fact it’s not uncommon that when people become proficient at the Get-Up they can often perform it with barbells and even other people.
Apart from being able to do a totally rad party trick if you get strong at this movement, it still offers so much more. The Get-Up is a rare beauty of an exercise for a few reasons. The first being that it involves movement in every plane of of motion:sagittal (forward/ backward movement), frontal (side to side movement) and transverse (rotation.) This is very important because in our day to day lives we tend to live almost exlucsively in the sagittal plane. This leaves our bodies open to different injuries and overuse because we only become strong and proficient moving in one direction leaving our other planes of motion weak and uncoordinated. Adding a Turkish Get Up into your training routine can help you to develop that movement proficiency and fill in some gaps in your “movement diet.”
The Get-Up also provides even more bang for your buck in terms of all the different movement patterns in contains. It has knee-dominant movement, hip dominant movement, and pressing. That is three out of four of the major movements patterns meaning it is only missing a pulling pattern. For one exercise, that is a whole lot of movement – what would typically take three exercises to do, it will only take you one movement. This means that the Get Up is a great exercise if you are short on time and using full-body workouts as a training tool.
Lastly, the Get-Up is a fantastic exercise to work on shoulder stability. The rotator cuff will be working during the whole movement to stabilize the shoulder. Given the amount of time it takes to perform one repetition of the Get-Up, this is a lot of time under tension in a very vast range of motion regarding the shoulder, allowing you to reinforce shoulder stability in many different positions. If you have a history of rotator cuff injuries or shoulder instability, adding get-ups into your program would be a very wise choice.
TIPS FOR PERFORMING THE TURKISH GET-UP
When it comes to performing the Get-Up there are a few tips that can help make it easier and safer:
Always keep your eyes on the kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell, person, etc. you are lifting. You should never look away from the implement you are lifting overhead.
Lock out the elbow. A little bit bent is like being a little bit pregnant, there is no in between. A locked out elbow is necessary for optimal stability.
Slow down. The Get-Up is in exercise not to be rushed. You want to create control in all of the movements, if you can do it slowly you can do it efficiently and effectively.
Breathe. A lot fo people forgot to breathe when they do Get-Ups, exhale every time you make a move, and try to stay cool as cucumber.
HOW TO DO THE TURKISH GET-UP
Lock out the loaded elbow and shoulder, bend the knee on the same side of the body.
Push your elbow on the free arm into the floor, and roll into position so the upper body is off the floor.
Push the free hand into the floor, so the elbow is now off the floor
Squeeze your glutes and extend your hips.
Pull your straight leg back and come to a half-kneeling hinge position.
Push yourself up from the floor into an upright half-kneeling position.
Lunge upward and bring the feet together in the standiting postion.
Lunge back into the half-kneeling position.
Reach to your side and bend into the hinged half-kneeling position.
Bring the kneeling leg through and extend the hips by squeezing the glutes.
Lower your hips to the floor.
Lower your elbow to the floor.
Lower your back to the floor.
USING THE TURKISH GET-UP
If you feel like you want to start using the Turkish Get-Up, here is a finisher or stand alone workout you can add in to your regular routine. This wonderful workout I am about to share with you comes from Shawn Mozen of Agatsu Fitness. It is called Turkish Delight; it contains movement in every plane of motion and every major movement pattern (knee-dominant, hip-dominant, press, and pull.)
The routine is a ladder consisting of the Turkish Get-Up and pull-up. It will allow to build strength, movement proficiency, and get in some excellent conditionining. This workout should not be performed for speed, but should take 30 minutes of less to perform. The goal is to add weight to each set of the Turkish Get Up and work up to a one rep max.
A1) Turkish Get Up x 5 reps per side
A2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
B1) Turkish Get Up x 4 reps per side
B2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
C1) Turkish Get Up x 3 reps per side
C2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
D1) Turkish Get Up x 2 reps per side
D2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
E1) Turkish Get Up x 1 rep per side
E2) Negative Pull-Up x 1 rep for a 10s eccentric
Bon appétit! 😉
Do you do Turkish Get-Ups? Do you love them? Do you hate them? Did this article help you? Leave me your feedback and questions in the comment section.
Don’t have more than 10 minutes to workout? This week’s kettlebell conditioning is here!
This week’s workout is fast and furious. It consists of 5 rounds of maximum repetitions and has a short but intense 5 minute duration. Have a partner record how many repetitions you complete and try to beat it the amount next time you try the workout.
As some of you may or may not know, I often describe myself as “body positive.”
Some people adore this, some people are confused by it, and some people find it down right offensive. For the last two, it’s mostly because people don’t understand what “body positivity” is and why it is.
“Isn’t body positivity just and excuse to be lazy and eat ice cream all day?”
I truly wish I had a dollar every time someone asked me if body positivity is just an excuse to be lazy and not take action towards living a healthy lifestyle. That is actually the antithesis of body positivity.
Body positivity is learning to appreciate all the different facets of your body in relation to form and function so we can feel good about the bodies we have and lead happier, more confident, and more productive lives. People who feel positively about their bodies will respect the bodies – and this will be reflected in their actions. People who love and respect the bodies will nourish themselves, move and exercise to feel good, rest and recover, and engage in self-care that sets them up for a life where they thrive physically and spiritually.
Conversely, when we hold negative views about ourselves and our bodies, the actions we take are often out of self-hatred and we end up abusing our bodies. As I’ve observed many times and have part-taken in during various times in my life, people abuse their bodies in a multitude of ways every single day and these behaviours are reflected on a spectrum of extremes:
eating foods that make them feel terrible
disordered eating patterns
not resting and recovery
conforming their body into an iron maiden of societal beauty standards
and much more…
“All you see is what you lacking, not what you packing.”– J. Cole
The by-product of this negativity we feel towards ourselves when we are not body positive is also reflected in how we treat other people. “We see the world not as it is, but as we are,” – if we are constantly criticizing ourselves, hating ourselves, and forcing ourselves into suffering we are incapable of feeling positively and feeling supportive of the people around us.
And this feeling is something that exists in people of all sizes and shapes – recall that body shame exists on a spectrum of extremes and these behaviours are exhibited in many different ways. This is why “fat-shaming” and “fit-shaming” are things, because people are so critical of themselves and suffering so much that they feel the need to shame others – misery loves company – so then there is this attitude that “If I have to suffer, you have to suffer with me.”
But the world doesn’t have to be this way. This spectrum of body-shaming wouldn’t exist if people took time to dismantle the negative thoughts and behaviours that keep them stuck in the same place. Evidently, there are a lot of external factors in our society we can’t control. However we can focus on the things we can control – the internal factors: how we think and behave towards ourselves and others.
It won’t be an overnight turn-around, but one day at a time, one action a time, we can change ourselves and the world around us. It starts within, changing our negative self-talk, being more compassionate to ourselves, and being less critical. Once we start taking better care of ourselves, we can evolve to a point where we are able to be kind and supportive to others – making our lives and the world we live in significantly better.
I want to introduce you to Chrissy. A benchmark Kettlebell workout from Agatsu Fitness – created by Shawn Mozen for some crazy fit woman named Chrissy.
As the story goes, Shawn was training Chrissy. Chrissy was super strong and fit, and came to Shawn one day saying “I like the workouts, but I want something harder.”
So Shawn got to work and came up with this devious workout that is more a test a mental fortitude than anything and named if after his lovely student Chrissy. And we have many full body sweat stains on gym floors everywhere owed to Chrissy. So thank you, Chrissy, thank you.
The workout is a timed ladder.
The exercises are the tuck jump burpee and Kettlebell swing.
And it goes as follows.
Tuck Jump Burpee : Kettlebell Swing
25 : 25
20 : 30
15 : 35
10 : 40
5 : 45
Complete the ladder as quickly as possible. Record your time, and try to beat it the next time you complete it.
I did mine in 10:51 – a big improvement since the last time I did it almost a year and a half ago now.