Monday, May 23, 2016

Squat Triangle Pyramid Workout

THIS WORKOUT.

Only after finishing this workout for the first time did I realize what a serious lapse in judgment I had when I decided pyramid training was a good idea for increasing my squatting skillz.

I'm pretty sure the workout gods were laughing at me from who knows where as I started that first set.


Source

Just kidding.

This workout brought my back squat one-rep max from 190 lbs. to 225 lbs. in a month. So if you've hit a back squat plateau, check out this sucker.

The workout takes about 25-30 minutes, and it's really an all-in-one deal. You get a warm-up on the first few sets, an attempt at your one-rep max, and a nice little cool down on the way back "down" the pyramid. The key is to not go heavy on those first few sets. If you do, you'll be too gassed to truly attempt your one-rep max.

So if you're ready to get the benefits of intensity and volume in one workout, give it a try.

Hungry Gator Gal's Squat Triangle Pyramid Workout

I did this workout once per week with some running, stadium conditioning, and swimming sprinkled in my routine throughout the rest of the week. Once per week is all you need.

I also only did this workout for four weeks. If you continue to do it for more than that, your results may diminish. I'm not a personal trainer or athletic coach, so speak with one for advice and to make plans customized to your goals.

Let me know what you think if you try it! :)

Questions:

  1. Have you ever used pyramid training?
  2. If so, what lifts/movements did you use it for?
  3. If you used pyramid training, what were your goals and did you reach them?

Related HGG Posts:


26-Minute Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workout

26-Minute Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

5-4-3-2-1 Lower Body Blast

5-4-3-2-1 Lower Body Blast Workout from hungrygatorgal.com





Basic 8 Leg Workout

Basic 8 Leg Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Monday, May 9, 2016

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 5 (Spotify Playlist)

Alright, so another playlist means another story. (See my last story and playlist here.)

I've been *really* bad with stretching in the past 6 months. I foam rolled for maybe 5 minutes before my workouts. But aside from that, I didn't stretch at all, and I didn't go to yoga once this semester.

So about two weeks ago, my lack of stretching finally caught up with me. I developed a weird tightness in my left forearm and wrist, which was 100% because (1) I've been doing pull-ups every day and (2) I went heavier too fast on some pulling exercises. My advice - don't do that.

On top of that, my back and hamstrings became so tight that I had a strange twitch run up and down my leg a few times for a day or two. That tightness was definitely due to starting a new dead lift program and not stretching after each *brutal* workout.

So yeah. I was asking for an injury. And I don't think sitting, studying, and typing on a computer for exams basically 24/7 for two weeks helped the situation either.

I took all of these symptoms as a sign to just chill for a few days despite how much I love getting outside, getting sweaty, and taking a mental break every day to work out. I did some serious foam rolling coupled with some yoga movements. I even got two massages, which were magical but also kinda painful in the best way possible.

When I returned to my regularly scheduled workouts, I felt super fresh and flexible. I even hit a few new PRs (personal records). So chilling for 3-4 days was 100% the right decision.

Moral of the story?

Go to yoga once per week if you can!!! In the very least, spend 5 minutes doing a *really* thorough warm-up and at least 5 minutes stretching after a workout. You could also foam roll for 10 minutes every day. In my opinion, 10 minutes is a completely manageable amount of time. I'm holding myself to 10 minutes of stretching every day to avoid weird cramps, tightness, and soreness . . . 

and I'll be listening to the playlist below while doing it. :) 

P.S. See the links to the playlist, my Spotify profile, and my favorite stretches below this image!

Hungry Gator Gal's Yoga Workout Playlist No. 5






Questions:

  1. Do you stretch every day?
  2. If so, for how long do you stretch?
  3. Do you have any favorite yoga playlists? If so, please share a link to the playlist in the comments! :)
  4. What are your favorite stretches or yoga poses? In the comments, please share links to photos of the stretches if you can! :)

Related HGG Posts:


Yoga Workout Playlist No. 4

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 4 from Hungry Gator Gal (Spotify playlist)

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 3

Yoga Playlist No. 3 from Hungry Gator Gal (Spotify playlist)

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 2

Yoga Workout Playlist No. 2 from Hungry Gator Gal (@spotify playlist included)



Friday, May 6, 2016

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

So story time after a two-month hiatus from posting. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I created the *perfect* Spotify playlist (located at the bottom of this post!) for the Army Ten-Miler Race in D.C. last October. And guess what? The race "rules" online said headphones and electronic listening devices weren't allowed on the course.

Say whhhaaaat? Run 10 miles without any music?!?!

Inside I was like "Well sh** sh** sh**. I don't know how well I'll run it now..."

I had only ever run 2 miles without music a handful of times for the Army's PT test. And with that run, I never think about music. For PT test runs, I'm always waaaay too focused on not dying or puking since I'm running full throttle. So I'm kinda like this photo minus the sitting down and hammock part.


As you already know if you've read my previous posts, I finished the Army Ten-Miler Race, and I ran it really well for me (an 8:16-per-mile pace). And now with this story, you know I did it without any music whatsoever. Just me and my thoughts for 1 hour and 22 minutes. Good times.

To be honest, although music would've been nice, I didn't need it. Racing past the monuments and the thousands upon thousands of other runners gave me such a cliche runner's high that I didn't even think about music. It's a really unique, patriotic experience that I encourage runners and non-runners to do at least once. It's definitely a bucket-list type item. :)

So after hearing my story about how I didn't need music for the race, I'm sure you're ready to listen to this playlist!

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal

Just kidding. I really do prefer running with music, and this playlist contains some recent hits and really solid motivational throwbacks. <--- I'm talking to all of you 90s kids.

So if you're doing longer runs for race training or if you're running distance just for fun, feel free to give this playlist a try. I still use it when I feel like doing a long run. I'm on a more strength-focused routine and have turned to cycling and swimming lately more so than running for cardio. But the reason for that switch is the topic of an entirely different post.

More to come on (1) preparing for a ten-mile race and/or a half marathon, (2) workout playlists, and (3) my favorite workouts lately (cardio and strength). Stay tuned!

P.S. Follow me and my playlists on Spotify here. Oh, and did I mention how everyone on the course had their phones, headphones and music? So much for "rules."

Also, early registration for the 2016 Army Ten-Miler Race opens May 11 for service members and for persons who have run the race seven times or more. Mark your calendars!!!


 

Questions:

  1. Do you prefer to run with or without music? <--- With music for me, for sure.
  2. What's your current favorite running song? <--- Mine has been any remix of "Roses" by The Chainsmokers for like a solid 6 months now, haha. 

Related Posts:

Running, Surprising People and Surprising Yourself 

 

Fast-paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Running, Surprising People, and Surprising Yourself



I came across this quote a few months ago, and it really stuck with me. At first, I read it literally as "Make sure others can't guess what you're next move is." But then it hit me - I'm one of those "people" the quote refers to, which means I should be surprising myself.
 
So I started thinking. Do I surprise myself? What IS the fun in completing a task you know you can do?

For me, the most fun adventures are the ones I never thought I'd have. The risks I never thought I'd take. The gambles I never thought would pay off. The physical feats I never thought I'd overcome.

So I started on a mental list of things I never in a million years thought I'd do but did: ROTC and law school at the same time, living and interning in Washington, D.C., having my own business/blog (!!!!).

So what had I written off as impossible and not yet faced? Number one on that list . . .

Running.


Why had I given up on it? For one, I always told myself and others that I "just wasn't a runner." As a kid, it was because I lacked any type of athletic ability to run. When I reached ROTC in August 2014, it was because I was obsessed with training purely for strength and not endurance. Cardio was a no-go.

Constantly Varied Gear Running Tank Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

So when another cadet in ROTC asked if I wanted to run the Army Ten-Miler Race in Washington, D.C. in October 2015, I was hesitant. I thought, "There's no way I could run 10 miles straight. That's too far. I feel like I'm going to die on the APFT's 2-mile run."

But I stopped myself. Sure, running 10 miles is a challenge, but I like challenges. And I knew I could find a "beginner's" running plan that worked me up to 10 miles while avoiding injuries and over training.

So I said yes to the race. I was a little overwhelmed, but I was in.


In the 6-7 weeks prior to the race, I miraculously fit three runs in per week (one speed, one tempo, one long) despite my insane schedule. I ate well. I slept as much as I could while still fulfilling my responsibilities. I sacrificed some "down" time along the way, but it paid off.

A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

The Army Ten-Miler Race pace below was my 2-mile pace a year prior to the race. It was a complete surprise to myself and at least two other cadets who ran that race. They knew I did NOT consider myself a runner.


But now, I do call myself a runner.

A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

I'm a runner not because I run every day (because I don't).

I'm a runner not because I have two long-distance races under my belt as of February (Army Ten-Miler Race and a half marathon).

And I'm definitely a runner not because I love running (because some days I loathe it).

I'm a runner because I surprised a lot of people by running the Army Ten-Miler Race and running it well. But more importantly, I surprised myself.


So whether you consider yourself a runner or not, ask these questions: "Am I immersed in the art of surprising others? Am I surprising myself?"

If the answer is no, find a challenge, big or small, and commit.

With work, take on a project that you've been hesitant to dive into for fear of failing or doing a "bad" job.

With food, meal prep on Sundays so you can finally stop making excuses for eating takeout every day.

And if you're willing to tackle running like I did, set a goal.

As a newbie, run once per week. If you've only run for fun in the past, train for a fast 5k. Or if you're finally ready to tackle a long-distance race, stay tuned for my next few posts.

In the coming weeks, I'll post a program for a speedy 10-mile race and a program for your first half marathon. Expect workouts, sample meals, and rest day activities/mobility work.

I'm excited to share what I've learned, and I hope you stick around for it. :)

Questions:

  1. How do you surprise yourself?
  2. What's a recent race/fitness goal you accomplished that you never believed you'd be able to do?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fast-Paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate



Fall 2015 was a combination of being exhilarated, terrified, happy, and overwhelmed . . . and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything.

Despite the suicidal pace of my life at times, I realized this fall that if you're afraid of how fast you're going, you know the journey is a good one.

With that said, I can't thank my friends, family, teachers, and classmates enough for being a part of this insane journey that is law school, ROTC and my personal life. And on the fitness front, I have SOS Rehydrate to thank for keeping me and my teammates hydrated while training for and competing in two fun, challenging events: the Army Ten-Miler race and my second Army ROTC Ranger Challenge competition.

So here's a recap of my fast-paced fall. More to come in 2016 about journeys in running, racing, competing, fueling and life as a officer candidate and law student. :)

August



My 2-mile time in August was 15:50. After a season of training and racing, my time is currently around 14:30, give or take a few seconds based on the day. Stay tuned for more on the simple program I used to shave those 80 or so seconds off my time.

September


A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

Long training runs in Florida heat and humidity are awesomely awful. Give me my IV drip of mango electrolytes stat.

October


A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

SO MUCH FUN. The energy of the thousands of runners during the Army Ten-Miler race was insane. Racing through our nation's capital was one of the best moments of my life . . . and I came in 7.5 minutes under my projected finishing time! Here are my stats (out of about 30,000 runners):




More fun trip photos!

A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on


Photo cred to our awesome UF Army ROTC cadre members.



This photo was taken somewhere in of the middle of the 10-mile ruck, which was the final event at the Ranger Challenge competition. Other events for the competition (which started at 3am!!!) included 1,000 ruck lifts & 1,000 sit-ups (total for the team of 9), a triage lane, a rope bridge lane, a shuttle run and a 5-mile relay run. Needless to say, we were TOAST by the end.

November 



A photo posted by Brianna Kolota (@hungrygatorgal) on

Army-Navy ROTC annual football game! I have no idea why my tongue is out. Maybe I was focusing? I've been told I do this when studying intensly. . .

December



Here's to 2016 and all of the hope, excitement, challenges and fun it will bring. I wish you and your family the best in the new year! :)



Note: SOS Rehydrate provided me and my teammates with electrolyte packets in return for me writing this post, promoting their products and wearing their gear. However, all opinions are my own.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Busy with Bulu Box

Busy. Busy. Busy.

I hate being busy. What I do like is being productive. In my mind, "busy" and "productive" aren't synonymous.

"Busy" is when you're so stressed out about getting things done that you actually don't get them done. What you end up with is a haphazard, half-finished job.

"Productive" is when you use every ounce of your being to focus on one task at a time. You're not multi-tasking. You're laser-focused. And when you finish a project, you have some time to relax, regroup and choose your next project wisely.

Unfortunately, I've been more "busy" than "productive" these days. Answering texts all day long while taking notes in class. Working on an assignment that's due for one class while sitting in another class. Dealing with simple but time-consuming day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, dry cleaning. The list goes on and on . . .

Needless to say, I'm trying to automate more parts of my day so I can focus on the most important tasks (i.e. school, fitness and obligations for ROTC). Luckily, Bulu Box has allowed me to do just that - automate how I look for and try new food and fitness products.

So here's how it works: You order a subscription. Each month Bulu Box sends you a box filled with 4-6 samples to try, usually a mix of snacks, health products and supplements. Here's what I received in my first box:


The first thing that "jumped" out at me - cricket protein!


Up next: Fast running fuel from island boost, which has DEFINITELY come in handy since I started running 15-20 miles per week training for the Army Ten-Miler race.


 Fiber formula (a.k.a. what to drink when you've been less-than-stellar in eating veggies one day).


Favorite item in the box: mediterra bar - sundried tomato and basil. Snack bars are usually sweetened with chocolate chips, honey, etc. It was a nice change of pace to eat a savory snack.

meditera snack bar

Now for the products. True story - I call my backpack "Mary Poppins' bag" because, with the addition of this brush and toothpaste, it's now prepared for a weekend trip at all times.

Don't mind me. I'm just trying to brush my teeth in a public restroom at 1200.

And finally, anti-itch cream. I'm not going to lie. I thought this product was a weird addition to the box and didn't expect to use it. However, I developed a weird bumpy rash on my left forearm for about 3 days. I still have no idea what caused the rash, but this cool, thick cream stopped the irritation immediately every time I felt like itching.

Earth's Care Anti-Itch Cream

Overall, I liked the products in the box and will definitely buy at least one of the items again. If you'd like to try your own box, go to Bulu Box's website and enter the code SWEATPINK for 50% off a 3-, 6- or 12-month subscription!

Until next time,
Brianna :)

P.S. Share the @bulubox #LoveBulu @fitapproach #sweatpink love by tweeting, pinning and posting these product images on your social media channels!

Note: I received a free box with the products described here in return for writing this post and sharing Bulu Box on my social media channels. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Questions:

  1. Have you tried Bulu Box?
  2. What new health and fitness products have you tried and loved recently?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Stadium HIIT Workout

Alternative names I considered for this workout . . . "90 Aisles of Pain" and "Death by Intervals."

This workout is consistently difficult. It never gets easier. You just learn what your pain threshold is before your legs completely give up and you're gasping for air.

But just like anything else, the more you run stadiums, the better you become at it. Then it's time to raise the stakes. In Florida, add in 93-degree weather plus 90 percent humidity, and you're in for complete exhaustion because when you gasp for air, it's hot, thick and humid.

Fun times.

So have I convinced you to try my Stadium HIIT Workout below yet? If it's good enough for Tim Tebow, it's good enough for me. :)



Note: I usually warm up for this particular workout by running one lap around the stadium or completing this Stadium Workout Warm-up. Don't forget to stretch afterward too.

Fun facts: I ran up/down every step in Ben Hill Griffin Stadium (a.k.a. The Swamp) in 2013 as a senior in college, and my calves felt like they were on fire for three days afterward. But despite the torture, the Swamp is my favorite place to workout, and running stadiums is my favorite workout of all time.

Questions:

  1. Do you ever workout in a stadium?
  2. What's your favorite way to complete HIIT? Cycle? Running? Running stairs? Etc.
  3. What's your favorite workout of all time?

More About HIIT Workouts:

What Is the Best HIIT Workout?

3 Quick HIIT Workouts for Beginners 

HIIT Workout: What It Is and Why It Works

Related HGG Posts:

Stadium Strength Circuits Workout 

 

Quick Cardio Tabata Sets



Quick Cardio Tabata Sets from Hungry Gator Gal















26-Minute Boredom Busting Treadmill Workout

26-Minute Boredom-Busting Treadmill Workout from Hungry Gator Gal