8 Tips to Help You Train for an Obstacle Course Race

Today I have a special guest blogger, Jessie Emeric, from It’s a Messy Life

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I will begin by clearly stating that I am no expert on obstacle course races (OCR), nor am I a personal trainer! I’m just an average girl who found she really loves to push her limits and see what she can do. Last year, I did 3 OCR, including Tough Mudder and this year I’m signed up for Tough Mudder again and Super Spartan. I will probably add a few smaller ones too by the end of the year….what can I say, I really do love OCR!

So that being said, I thought I’d share with you a few tips that helped me complete (read: SURVIVE)Tough Mudder last year and what I plan to do in these next 2 months leading to my obstacle course races in April.

•Eat Clean! They say a good workout can’t out-exercise a bad diet and I really believe this. I’ve noticed that when I allow myself a lot of “cheat meals” my workouts suffer. I’m more sluggish and slow and of course, I don’t see the results I want. So, eating clean in the month(s) leading up to your OCR will help you get lean & strong!

•Focus on Building Upper Body Strength! This was huge for me. Most of us ladies tend to have weaker upper body strength and a lot, if not most, of the obstacles you’ll encounter will require strong arms. Army man crawling, pulling yourself up walls & ropes, monkey bars, etc.. these all require strong upper body strength. Find a workout that is best for you and work on getting those muscles! Push ups, tricep dips, and pull ups (Disclaimer: I have yet to master 1 pull up. It’s on my to-do list!)

•Run! You’re not training for a marathon, but you should be able to run at least 3 miles nonstop. Work on sprints and hills to really get those legs ready for the 10 + mile course.

•Interval Training! You’ll be doing all sorts of things on an OCR from jumping over fire, crawling under barbed wire, and balancing on boards. You’ll have to build up your endurance and agility. Tabata, HIIT, Boot Camps, these are all great examples of high intensity training. Get lots of lunges, high knees, mountain climbers, and frog hops done!

•Burpees! I don’t know anyone who loves a burpee, but everyone agrees they get the job done. And if you’re planning on doing a Spartan race, just know that the penalty for not completing an obstacle is 30 burpees..Yikes!!

•Stretch! Don’t forget to stretch after your runs and workouts! This will aid in recovery, flexibility, and help prevent injury!

•Research! Look at the website photos of the race your doing. Most OCR will have a facebook page and will post photos from their latest race on their page. Also, go to YouTube and look for videos of the OCR you’ll be doing, specifically in your city. This will help you visualize what you’re going to be facing and get you pumped up! Tough Mudder has this great Boot Camp Training on their website where you can build your own workout circuit based on your fitness level and it’s designed to get you through their toughest obstacles!

•Have Fun! Obstacle course racing is all about pushing your limits and finding out what you’re made of, but it’s also about building camaraderie and working together as a team. It’s about having fun and trying something new!

I’m hosting a giveaway to 4 free entries to Pretty Muddy Run, a fun women’s only 5K mud run in a city near you. Click HERE for all the details and to sign up! Contest ends February 20, 2014.

Jessie Emeric
blog: http://www.itsamessylife.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ItsAMessyLife
twitter: https://twitter.com/JessieEmeric
instagram: http://instagram.com/jessieemeric

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What you should know about If It Fits Your Macros.

For the last year or so I have heard about If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) so I decided to dig a little deeper to find out more information about

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source: google images

IIFYM pays attention to grams of carbohydrates, protein and fats rather than total calorie intake. So many people have misguided notions about following macros rather than eating clean or counting calories. In truth, there are benefits and downfalls to anything you do. I’ve seen people shame others because they aren’t following the same diet.

I used to count calories but I had to stop. It made me crazy because I would follow the caloric intake I was given but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. Over time I realized it was because I was given too low of a caloric intake to follow, and those calories were used on so many simple carbs and not enough protein or fat.

I also used to eat clean. I always found ways around it because honestly, that’s just the type of person I am.

So now I follow IIFYM. This is not a license to eat a bunch of junk contrary to popular belief. I don’t eat poptarts, cake, soda and candy just because ‘it fits in my macros.’ I understand that some people do, but I just feel so much better when I eat healthy.

I eat about 85% good foods and 15% not so good foods. For me, if I decide to have a cheat day then I don’t even follow my macros. But on normal days I do follow them because it limits the amount or carbohydrates I eat and it encourages me to eat more protein and fat.

What do I eat? Well I like lean meats & fish like chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon and tilapia and I also use protein powder. For carbs I eat oats, berries, bananas, blood oranges, sweet potatoes, apples, shredded wheat cereal, etc. I also like peanut butter, low fat cheese, skim milk and lots of veggies.

So should I be shamed for using IIFYM? Absolutely not. Some people use it as an excuse to eat like crap, but there are those of us who use it to make sure we get enough of what we need to eat. I’m sick of people telling me that eating clean will work better. Guess what? I do eat pretty clean and this works for me. Just like you shouldn’t body shame, stop diet shaming. It discourages people. Talk to people about how they eat in a loving way. Some people don’t know how to eat healthy and it’s okay to give advice, but you cross a line when you start making them feel badly about their choices.

I encourage all of you to do what’s right for you and your body! Feed yourself with healthy foods to feel great. Never hesitate to email me!

xo

Women Who Lift

Grab a pen and paper and get ready to take some notes!

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There is a huge social stigma about women who lift heavy weights. Apparently we’re supposed to be all weak and frail and needy. Wrong. Women lift heavy because of all different reasons. Personally, I like feeling strong and being able to move heavy objects around my house without worrying. Other reasons include losing fat, sculpting muscles, competing, etc.

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Women who have huge muscles either take steroids, trained for YEARS with amazing nutrition to build up that muscle, or both.

Women naturally do not have enough testosterone to build that much muscle if you’re just going to work out. Testosterone is a hormone, the hormone that men have most of and that’s why it’s so easy for them to put muscle on. Women have more estrogen, which is why we have more fat. But women still have a little testosterone and men still have a little estrogen.

I can’t tell you how many times I have been told “don’t get too big” when I say lifting is my favorite form of exercise. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves. It’s also a huge turnoff to hear it from a man and when they say that I usually discount dating them. Sexist, much?

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In all seriousness though, everyone needs to stop with the “real women lift weights” campaign. It’s great to educate the population on the physical and mental components of women lifting, but it’s not the best thing to say. So runners aren’t real? Yogis and cardio queens aren’t either? Last time I checked, we were ALL real because we aren’t robots.

Guess what I’m going to go do right now? Lift some heavy ass weights.

These photos aren’t mine, I got them all from Pinterest.

Friday Five: Food I Eat

I decided to do my Friday Five in recipes that I frequently make because I love food!!

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1. Energy Smoothie

I love this for mornings or before a workout!!

In a blender:
•1 cup of caffeinated green tea
•1/4 cup each raspberries & blueberries
•1 tbsp chia seeds
•1 cup kale
•1/2 cup strawberries
•1/2 of a Granny Smith apple

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2. Egg wrap

I used to eat this for breakfast but lately I’ve liked it as postworkout! I always sautée the veggies first, and any veggies can be used. I didn’t add a serving size for veggies because I love a TON in there, so it’s up to you. I sometimes throw green peppers in there. Then I add the egg whites, then cheese and then put into the wrap. I also add salsa onto the finished product.

•4 egg whites
•2 handfuls spinach
•Red onions
•Chopped broccoli
•Green peppers
•1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese (opt)
•Whole grain flat out wrap

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3. Oatmeal Bake

Mmm love oatmeal bake! I don’t like any other oats.

•Add 3/4 cup blueberries in the bottom of a pan (I spray with olive oil first) – note: my recipe says to slice 2-3 bananas and add onto bottom before blueberries, but they don’t fit into my macros with the oats so I leave them out. But I used to use them and they were awesome! Make sure they’re ripe because the green ones (my fave!!) taste funny cooked.

•In separate bowl combine: 1 cup oats, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tbsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Then evenly pour over blueberries.

•In another bowl mix: 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 cup milk (I use skim). Add that over the dry mixture.

•Add 3/4 raspberries and chopped walnuts (opt) then bake at 375* for 25-35 min.

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4. Protein Shake

I make different variations of these, depending on my mood. Right now it’s 1 cup of skim milk, 1/4 cup raspberries and 1 scoop of Optimum Nutrition Mocha Cappuccino protein blended in the blender.

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5. Pancakes

I know what you’re thinking, but these are healthy and amazing!!! They sound weird, but I promise they’re not. This is a variation of the Biggest Loser Oatmeal Pancakes that I made my own. This makes a single serving which is about 2 pancakes. Let me tell you they are very filling too.

•First grind 1/3 cup oats, 1 tbsp cinnamon, a pinch of ground cloves and a pinch of nutmeg in a blender

•Add 1 tsp vanilla, 1/3 low fat cottage cheese and 2 egg whites then blend

•Pour into a frying pan or onto a skillet and sprinkle a few blueberries onto them.

These are so good with peanut butter or chocolate peanut butter on top!! I hate cottage cheese with a passion, but I cannot even tell it’s in these. The texture is smooth and you can’t even taste the cottage cheese.

Enjoy!

xo

Give Me a Beat Playlist Linkup!

This morning I went to run sprints with Zeus. Wow. He realllly liked it and actually pushed pulled me to do better. Thankfully I took him because I didn’t have to run as many since we went so fast. It was too cold and windy!!

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So during my sprints I remembered the playlist linkup from Mar on the Run! Here are my favorites to use:

1. The Phoenix – Fall Out Boy

2. Diary of Jane – Breaking Benjamin

3. No Better – Lorde

4. Work B*tch – Britney Spears

5. Hey, Soul Sister – Train

6. Breathing – Yellowcard

7. Start Me Up – The Rolling Stones

8. Flashdance…What a Feeling – Glee

9. Living Free – Tiziano Lugli

10. Telephone – Lady Gaga

I can’t wait to see what everyone else’s favorite songs are. Feel free to join the linkup!

Mar on the Run

Friday Five in Links

Today I wanted to give some love to some posts I’ve really connected with in one way or another. These are specific posts, but I encourage you to read more!

Enjoy 🙂

1. Tips for Setting Realistic Fitness Goals in 2014

I think this post is good whether you’re new in the fitness world or have been in it for a while.

2. Healthy Gluten Free Recipes

OMG these look so good!! I don’t follow a gluten free diet, more of a cleaner diet, but these look amazing!! And who doesn’t like new recipe ideas?

3. Meal Prep for Beginners

Perfect. If you are unsure about how to meal prep, this is what you need to read. She breaks it all down for you. Meal prep is so easy for fast paced lives. I used to do it, and need to get back to it!

4. Free Printables

Here are some fitness printables! Completely free.

5. 5 Killer Core Exercises for Your Foam Roller

This is a cool post! You do your core work using your foam roller to get a different kind of burn. I’ll be trying these soon!!

Hope you enjoyed reading some different blogs. Have a wonderful weekend!

XO

Weekly Wrap-up: Grad School, GGS ambassador!

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1. So this weekend I’ve been prepping for my first day of grad school!!!! I’m so excited that I finally get to start school tomorrow and that I’m a new member of the NC State Wolfpack! I even have pretty good classes for my first semester! Exercise nutrition, maternal & child nutrition and lactation & milk (which sounds…okay lol).

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2. Ibecame a Girls Gone Sporty Ambassador! How fun!! I’m thrilled to rep the brand. Use the hashtags #ggs and #girlsgonesporty so we can see all your pics on Instagram and Twitter statuses!

3. I started Insanity on January 1st. I did the first month of it last year, but I’m wanting to do the WHOLE thing this time. So far, it’s been going well!! I finished my first week and I feel great. Granted, my accountability partner DJ had to force me to workout via text, but it still got done!

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4. I got this new protein in the mail. Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey in Mocha Cappuccino! I finally finished my Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cellucor Whey. It sounded good but there was wayyyyy too much sweetener in it. Hopefully the ON won’t be the same way.

5. Well, I have an orthodontist appointment in the morning to get my bottom teeth straightened out. Unfortunately my dentist waited to tell me (for 2 years) that my teeth have significantly shifted, and of course I haven’t noticed, so once he said that I made an appointment stat! Hopefully my orthodontist can fix it without having to put braces back on!!!!

Xoxo

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My resolutions, a 5k, detoxing and being kind

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

So firstly I’m starting out by saying be kind to others. How, you ask? Many people have a resolution by going to a gym. Sure, the gyms are crowded. I get it. But those new people probably feel awkward and uncomfortable. Instead of complaining about them, help them out even if it’s just with a smile. Remember this: you were a new person at the gym once. Help them reach their goals.

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Has anyone seen this picture floating around? I think it’s a great idea!! Which leads me to my resolutions:

1. 20 min of reading time per day, unrelated to school.

2. Lose 15% body fat by the end of the year.

3. Straight A’s.

4. Writing notes in the happiness jar. It sounds so fun!

So how did I spend my New Years Eve? By running a 5k right after it turned midnight! It was SO COLD! But having that memory will be fun.

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I love this water bottle!!! I’ve been wanting one for so long so finally getting my hands on one is great. I have lemon, cucumber and ginger in there. Great for detoxing! I’ve also put cinnamon sticks and apple slices for a good, clean taste. Yum!

Weekend Wrap-up: I’m Fit Possible Ambassador, football and lazyness

The last weekend of the year is here! This year went by incredibly fast…it’s so crazy how time flies by.

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1. I became an I’m Fit Possible ambassador!! Super excited to be joining such a fun team of people.

2. I was so lazy this weekend. I literally did nothing but watch Netflix and workout. Not even ashamed! It was a much needed break. I wish I had another week off from work with pay!

3. I detoxed my butt off this weekend from all the holiday crap. I drank about 90 oz of water a day, using my new infuser water bottle, and drank smoothies once or twice a day. I feel so much better now.

4. So from previous posts you’ll know I was excited to get my new ankle straps and triceps rope in the mail. It was like Christmas all over! Naturally I had to immediately try them.

5. I registered for the Running Under the Lights 5k! It’s in Tanglewood and starts on midnight on January 1st. I’m doing it with one of my best friends who may or may not have to drag me across that finish line. It’s been a long time since I’ve ran! This will be a starting time and in December 2014 I’ll do a finishing time. I want to measure and get better.

6. I took my Christmas tree down today, along with all the decorations. Sigh. I love the holidays and I’m sad we have to wait a whole year for them again.

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7. Panthers clinched NFC South!!!!

Leg day!

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Today was leg day! I love this picture, simply because I can see Richard Simmons saying this. It made me giggle! But anyways…leg day was originally scheduled for tomorrow. Until I received my new ankle strap in the mail! It was like Christmas all over. So, naturally, I had to try it out. (PS tomorrow I get my tricep rope in the mail so looks like it’s biceps and triceps day!)

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#truth. Granted, I do get lazy. I’m working on it. But I love lifting. Sooo I thought I’d post my leg routine. Now, I’m not a personal trainer, but sometimes it’s worth trying someone else’s routine to mix things up. Plus it can be good to try something new! I lift as heavy as I can on everything, unless my body is seriously protesting by the last set. I also superset everything (meaning do the first exercise then go straight to the second exercise before resting).

Superset 1
•Barbell Squats 4×10
•Straight legged dead lifts (barbell) 4×10

Superset 2
•Adduction (cable) 3×10
•Abduction (cable) 3×10

Superset 3
•Barbell Calf Raises 3×25
•Hamstring Curls 3×12

Superset 4
•Donkey Kicks (cable) 3×12
•Leg Extensions 3×12

Don’t forget to stretch! Have fun with it. Adjust your weights accordingly. If you have bad form, drop your weights. We won’t want any injuries!

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Good luck 😉

Friday five…in quotes!

Okay, so I love quotes. So in honor of that, I’ve decided to do a Friday five in quotes! This was hard for me because I have so many favorite quotes to choose from. But, here are five of my faves!

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I had this one as my phone background for a while. It’s a cool picture. Plus, I love it. Always think of yourself as a princess and never let anyone treat you as something less.

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Very true. Don’t ever be embarrassed about doing something out of the norm. You could inspire someone else to follow your lead.

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I love Blair Waldorf. We’d be bff’s if I was an upper east sider. But she’s right. That body you want? Make it happen. That job you’ve dreamed of? Make it happen. Want to go back to school? Do it! It’s not going to fall into your lap. You have to take charge and get what you want. Don’t be afraid to do it. Sure, it could be new and foreign, but it could be fun!

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This is just self explanatory. Another of my absolute favorites!

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Be happy. It’s simple…although sometimes we make it more difficult. It’s hard to purge some things that make is angry, upset or unhappy, but it needs to be done. You only get one life and you need to live it as happily as you can.

Resolution time

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So it’s now time to start your resolutions. This year I challenge you to stick with them. Many people use weight loss as their resolution and give up after a couple months. Why? You’re probably not using the right tools.

Use a calorie tracker like myfitnesspal or sparkpeople.

Try something new! Yoga, weight lifting, Zumba. Anything that you want to try. Fitness is fun!!! You just have to try what works for you (ps I got new ankle straps and a tricep rope from Christmas…yay!)

Find a buddy. Anyone. Having someone to keep you accountable is one of the best things, in my opinion. My accountability partners have all been found online in Facebook groups and they’ve become good friends of mine. I recently found another who is going to do Insanity with me starting January 1st. Excited!

So just keep going. It isn’t failure if you get up after you fall. There are always bumps in the road. Dust yourself off and get back up!

Lazy Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss

So we’re all pretty lazy in today’s age. Here’s an article I wrote for SF Gate on how to lose weight if you’re lazy. Click on the title to get directed to the page! Per the title it says it’s geared to girls, but realistically you guys can do this too! If you have questions or want more advice feel free to email me: clementac@me.com

Link

Wanna be a BOMBSHELL?!

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Do you want to get into the best shape of your life?
Do you want to learn how to properly lift weights?
Do you want to look HOT?

If you answered yes then this program is for YOU! The Iron Bombshells program is an inexpensive program that will teach you ladies how to lift weights. No, you won’t look like a man. I promise. Fellas, you can even get this program too!

Lifting weights allows you to shape sexy muscles, which everyone likes right? Yes. I lift as heavy as I can without compromising my form and I feel so much better for it. I know you will do great if you give this a try.

This is what you get:

*A 6 week weight lifting program. Even after you complete this you can change it up with heavier weights or switching from standing to sitting at an incline, etc.
*4 new Bombshell workouts for FREE!
*Support from me!

Click here to get this program!
https://sellfy.com/p/XyU4/

After you purchase, you will get an email soon with the workouts.

If you have any questions at all email me! Also, email me for that support I mentioned above or for some eating tips to maximize your results.

Train Dirty Fitness Ambassador!!

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I am so excited to officially be a Train Dirty Fitness Ambassador! I love fitness, nutrition and anything related so to be chosen for this is an honor. My fellow ambassadors are AMAZING and we’ve been having a good time friending and meeting each other.

I want you to check out what TDF is all about. Crystal, TDF creator, has had a great journey and I love that she shares it and is so open and honest about it.
http://traindirtyfitness.com/about-us/

She does offer programs with small fees because she is a trainer. BUT, she has TONS of free workouts on there too. That’s right, FREE! I know you all love free stuff. Check it out!
http://traindirtyfitness.com/tdf-class-schedule/workout-at-hom/

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