Monday, January 28, 2013

Body Rock's Hiit Workout

So prepare yourself for the madness that is about to hit you. I found this core and arm workout on called Girl On Fire. It is part of their Hiit Workout Series. I tried it, and thought I'd share it with you. Please note that this involves standing upside down so if you get queasy or you feel you are not strong enough, do not attempt this workout. Otherwise, give it a go! You'll feel amazing after! I didn't do it for all four minutes, so just do as many as you can.

Check out the video below.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What’s All This Hoopla About the Scale?

As a person in fitness, I hear this at least 10 times a week: “I need to lose XXX kilos or pounds by XXX month. The scale has become the universal obesity measure.

I agree that if a person weighs 300 pounds, there is probably an indication that he/she needs to shed some of those pounds. And of course, if a full grown adult weighs 90 pounds, that’s probably a problem too. However, the weight you see on the scale is affected by so many different factors, including your height, your bone density, your muscular structure, etc. And because every single body is different, how do you use this number to tell you all it needs to?

In this fitness journey, it is important to take several things into consideration rather than just focus on the scale and compare it with what Eva Longoria says she weighs today.

Body Mass Index
You may have heard of the BMI calculator. This is a fairly reliable estimate that takes your weight and height into account to help determine if you are overweight or underweight. The BMI formula has been disputed as being reliable because it is not completely accurate and does not take other factors like muscular structure or activity level into account. But at least it is a great start to help you identify if you may be at risk for some diseases.

Want to find out your BMI? Just input your height and weight into the BMI calculator below. If it is under 18.5, you may be qualified as underweight. If your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9, you are considered to be of normal range. If your BMI is between 25 and 29.9, you may be considered overweight. And if your BMI is over 30, you may be considered obese. For folks with BMIs not in the normal range, please see a doctor for confirmation and advice.
Body Fat
Men and women store fat differently. Women tend to store fat in their hips, thighs, and triceps first, while men store fat in their abdomens first. Because your bones and muscles take up different percentages of your body than the next individual, the major reliable way to tell the difference between two people is by figuring out how much of their weight is actually fat. Of course, you want to have more muscle than fat because besides making you warmer in the winter, too much fat really puts you at risk for some diseases.

How is body fat calculated? Well, here is the problem. It is not as easy as buying a scale (which is probably why most people turn to the scale for guidance). You have to use calipers, infrared, or underwater weighing to give you a fairly accurate reading. Which means you would probably need someone else – a personal trainer, doctor, or other healthcare professional – to do it.

Once you get your reading, you can put yourself in a range. Healthy body fat range is 8 – 22% for males and 20 – 35% for females. Anything above that is considered obese.

Waist circumference
Your waist circumference may not tell you enough because it usually depends on your overall body width. And if you are already overweight when you calculate your BMI, this just confirms that you need to take action. However, if you are of normal range when you calculate your BMI, the waist circumference calculation simply helps confirm if you are within ‘safe’ range (i.e. not incredibly at risk for certain diseases). Again, BMI does not tell us much because it relies just on the scale and your height, so if you are unable to get your body fat ratio, the waist circumference may be a good way to go in addition to the BMI.

What waist circumference is considered a risky range? If a man has a waist circumference greater than 40 inches, and if a woman has a waist circumference greater than 35 inches, this is considered high risk.

Lean Body Mass
LBM is also calculated from your body fat ratio, so you’d need that number before you can get this one. From the name, you can tell what it is really. It’s basically the inverse of body fat. If 20% of your body is fat, then the remaining 80% is what is considered LBM. It is calculated by multiplying your body fat ratio by your weight, and then subtracting that from your weight.

LBM = Weight (lbs or kg) – [Weight * Percentage of body fat]

Why do we need the LBM at all? When you are determining how much you want to drop, you should be using your body fat ratio if you can. The LBM just helps you keep track of how much muscle you are building as opposed to fat. When you work out intensely (both cardio and strength training), and your muscles develop, you may not see the number on the scale drop like you would expect. So it is important to note that the scale does not always drop when you burn fat.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Best Workout Songs of 2012

I don’t know what you like to listen to when you exercise, but I do need something that gets my blood going. You know, those really descriptive songs that tell you exactly what you need to do? Yes, those. The ones that you try to sing along to but have no idea what the musician is saying. Basically, angry music.

Getting through a tough workout can be, well, tough. But your music affects your energy level too, and so your playlist could be the difference between you completing your routine, or faltering halfway. I do not change my workout music as often as I’d like, but there are some songs that I know will get me through a tough workout. It does change every year, and since we just started the year, I thought I’d share some of the music that got me through some tough runs in 2012.

Pink – Blow Me One Last Kiss
Neon Trees – Everybody Talks
Calvin Harris and Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing
Kanye West – Clique
Cher Lloyd – Want you Back
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Thrift Shop
Rihanna & Chris Brown – Birthday Cake
Maroon 5 – One More Night
Psy – Gangnam Style
Usher – Scream
Linkin Park – Burn it Down
Adele – Rumor Has it

So if you were looking for some great angry music to punch that bag to, there you go! What was on your workout playlist for 2012?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

2013 New York City Bike Tour!

If you’re scared off by the word ‘race’, and you love to cycle, this may be for you. If you don’t know how to cycle, now is the time to learn. I will forever be grateful to my brothers for laughing at me every time I fell off my little pink bike as a child. It helped me learn to ride like a pro. Now I go on tours and stuff… what!

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour is sponsored by REI and organized by Bike New York and the NYC Department of Transportation every year. This year’s tour is scheduled for May 5th. It’s not as easy as it sounds though. When we say ‘tour’, we’re talking of a 40-mile car-free ride across the five boroughs of NYC.

Registration opened today at noon, and it fills up pretty quickly. I’ve got my registration. Are you going? Register today at Bike New York.

This is America’s largest cycling event so do not miss out!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

PS. TribeSports just did a feature on me and this blog. Check it out here. I'm super excited!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to be Healthy on an African Diet

A couple of days ago, I received a link to a video in my inbox. I thought it was awesome so I wanted to share. These are a few basic tips on foods you can cut down to stay healthier. It is not the be-all and end-all, but it is certainly very informative and very comical.

Africans tend to go overboard with some unhealthy decisions, and this was a light-hearted, funny way of asking folks to cut back. Watch, enjoy, take some notes, and maybe share with your momma. As Ziggy says in the video, just a few changes can make all the difference.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Inner Thigh Workout

I shared this inner thigh exercise on Instagram, and wanted to share it with you as well. Whether you are trying to simply strengthen your legs all over, improve your balance, get a better looking butt, or crack a coconut with those babies, your inner thighs are a very important part of your lower body, but they are often overlooked.

For this exercise, follow these steps:
  • Lie on your right side
  • Hold your core tight
  • Make sure you are not leaning backwards, but lying completely on your side
  • Bend your lower knee (your right) 90 degrees
  • Lift that right leg off the floor using your core. Do not lift your knee.
The strength of your inner thigh, your butt, and your core should be what is lifting your leg. Make sure your other leg is not lifting off the floor, and your body is not leaning backwards. Do about 4 sets of 15 reps.

When you begin, you may not be able to lift your leg that high, but the more you do it, the higher you can lift.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Carbs, Why Your Body Stores and Uses Them, and All That Jazz...

You may have memories of your parents telling you you could not have dessert after a certain hour, and if you don't have kids yet, you may not understand why. Well, as always, I'll tell you :)

First off, you have to have a basic understanding of how the body processes food - and when I say food, I mean the major groups of food, i.e. carbohydrates, protein, and fat. But since that is heavy material, let's focus on how the body processes carbohydrates, since sugars are carbs. 

Each gram of carbs contains about 4 calories (compared to 9 calories per gram in fat). Doesn't sound too bad, huh? But carbs are your body's major source of energy. In fact, 45 - 65% of your body's energy should come from carbs. So no matter what you hear, carbs are not the enemy. Processed carbs are. Why?

There are two major types of carbs: Simple and Complex. Simple carbs are mostly things like fruit juices, processed food, and other sweet food. Complex carbs are things like whole grain, potatoes, and other unprocessed food. Why does the type of carbohydrate matter? Because it dictates how quickly your body processes it. Simple carbs contain one or two simple sugars: glucose, fructose, and galactose (Your high school Biology is coming back to you now, isn't it?). Complex carbs contain three or more sugars.

When you digest carbohydrates, your body converts it to glucose in the blood to be used by the body. Excess glucose is converted to glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver. Anything excess above what the body needs in those organs is stored as fat. 

When the body senses that your blood glucose levels are low, it taps into the liver glycogen storage and converts that to glucose for emergency use. When even that reserve is gone, the body starts converting other non-carb sources to glucose for emergency purposes. The kicker is that the body finds that it needs a lot of water to continuously do this, and then you lose 'water weight'. So losing water weight really is dehydration. All the fad dieters, please note this. This is why you lose tons of weight initially.

Of course if the body rushes into emergency mode when you have little glucose, it also does the same things when you have too much. So remember how we talked about simple carbs above? Since simple carbs contain one or two simple sugars, the body digests them really quickly and converts them to glucose fast. And then your blood is left with the overload of glucose. So your mum had good intentions when she was feeding you 'Glucose' when you were sick. But what does your liver do then? It signals your pancreas to release insulin to force the levels of glucose down, but because your blood has too much, the insulin overdoes its job. Too much glucose is quickly converted to glycogen and stored in the liver, and the rest is stored as fat. This is why you go from a sugar high to a crash in such a short time. This is why you go from happy to zero after those cookies.

So why are complex carbs better? Because it takes your body longer to digest them, and so the glucose is slowly released into the blood. Your body sees this as normal. It doesn't mean that you should eat as many carbs as you like though. At some point, your body will have enough energy to carry it through, and then the excess is still converted to glycogen and stored in the liver. Anything beyond that is stored as fat.

See why eating simple sugars is not sustainable for a healthy diet? Consider eating brown rice instead of white processed rice more frequently, or consider eating whole potatoes instead of mashing them with lots of margarine. Making better choices when you select carbs is very important in sustaining your body fat and your energy levels.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Why is Exercise So Hard??!! (And Tips to Make it Easier)

Why is exercise so hard? Isn’t everything that’s good for you hard though? This could lead to a whole philosophical discussion about life, so I’ll steer clear.

But regular exercise tends to be one of the harder things for humans to accomplish today (well, besides nutrition or sleeping 8 hours a night). Back in the day, it was easier. Folks didn’t NEED to exercise back then because going to the farm or walking to your cousin's in a neighboring town 50 miles away was enough daily exercise. But today, we’ve been conditioned to sit on our butts all day and that doesn’t help us build the willpower we need to work out.

Exercise is basically forcing your body to do something uncomfortable so it works harder at burning calories and building muscles. Of course, when we use the word “uncomfortable”, it explains a lot. You don’t get too much out of a comfortable routine.

Okay, so we’ve established that exercise is hard. You didn’t need a genius to tell you that. If it is so hard, should you just give up? No. There are things you can do to help push your body into training mode.

Understand Willpower: Did you know we spend about 3 hours every day building up willpower to steer clear of certain foods, to hit the gym, and to do or not do other tasks? When you wake up in the morning, your willpower is at its highest peak during the day. So find a way to utilize that. Either schedule your workouts in the morning so you don’t kill your willpower battling about it all day, or schedule your routine at the same time every day so you’re not using your willpower at all to decide whether to exercise or not. Scheduling all your exercise sessions for the week make it mandatory and reduce the battle we have with ourselves in our heads.

Associate Exercise with Pleasure: And when I say pleasure, I don’t mean ice-cream! But look for something pleasurable to do either after every exercise session, or after significant fitness goals. For example, I like to exercise right before a meal (breakfast or dinner mostly) and so my brain starts to associate exercise with mealtime. That makes it easier because I know my reward is food. FYI, it also makes it easier to eat healthy after because I don’t want to ruin my hard work :) Alternatively, you can get a massage when you exercise every day for a week, or reward yourself with a nice pair of shoes when you’ve been diligent for a month. You could even have your partner reward you with something when you exercise consistently.

Succumb to Peer Pressure: The good kind, that is. Work out with a friend and make it competitive and fun. Do you play a sport? Great, encourage your friend to learn so you can play together. And hey, man up; don’t let your friend whoop your ass.

Find ideas to try: Ever heard of Groupon? Living Social? There are probably countless websites that provide deals around your area. Look at that as a chance to try something new. I have tried dance classes on Living Social, kickboxing classes and races on Groupon, and many other fitness activities on these sites. Obviously, they are deal sites so the opportunities tend to be inexpensive. You may even make some friends that become your workout partners.

At the end of it all, think about it like this: There is a law of reversibility that 2 – 3 weeks of inactivity can drastically reduce your fitness level to where it was when you started. So do everything in your power to keep yourself going and keep it as fun as you can. Because the effort to restart after you’ve quit is much more than the effort required to keep going. So keep going.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Monday, January 14, 2013

Have You Been Ignoring Your Core?

Everyone wants abs, right? Or at least everyone working out does. Now, the mistake a lot of people make when trying to work on their abs is that they tend to go hard on the crunches and the sit-ups without very much cardio, and then get worked up when there are little or no results. Are you one of those?

The core is our center. It’s where our strength comes from for most exercises. It’s where most of our balance comes from. And so it is very important to build a strong core besides just building abs. But as you do regular cardio to burn fat, and do exercises to strengthen your core, you will notice that your abs become more defined.

So if crunches are not the way, how do you strengthen your core? By activating your core with every exercise you do! Rather than spend time on the floor straining your neck going back and forth, back and forth, back and forth (this has me tired already), tighten your core when you do other exercise that work on other muscles. What exercises, you ask? Well, I’ve been waiting to tell you a few :)

Running/Elliptical: When you go running or use the elliptical, there is the tendency to just be thinking about getting through it. In fact, most people do not run with the right form because they are so focused on the finish line. But that is a topic for another day. Where does your strength come from when you do these upright cardio exercises? Your first response might be “the hips”, but in reality, it should be the core. Squeeze as you lift each knee. Squeeze as you push forward. Propel forward from your core. You should literally feel your core muscles working as you do these cardio exercises.

Planks/Pushups: When you do exercises that require holding your body up on the floor, e.g. planks or side planks, try to use your core to hold your body in a straight line. It may be a good idea to do this in front of a mirror the first few times to make sure you are straight and holding your core tight. Remember: butt neutral (not high in the air and not sagging towards the floor), core tight, and elbows under shoulders.

Squats/Lunges: This sounds strange, right? But when you do your squats and lunges, you are supposed to keep your upper body as upright as you possibly can, while making sure your knees stay behind your toes. To keep your upper body upright, you use the strength from your core. This is why the stronger you get, the straighter your body can be. So tight tight tight as you go down.

Chest Press/Weightlifting: A lot of the weight lifting we do comes from not only having strong arms and shoulders, but having a strong back and core. As you do chest presses, use your core to push your lower back into the bench while you lift. This activates your core muscles.

Stretching/Yoga: Of course this should be intuitive. As you do yoga, the power to keep yourself upright in most of those poses comes from your core. The more you do the poses, the more you strengthen your core. And you know it is uber important to stretch after every workout. Now you have even another great reason to do so.
Are you going to engage your core today?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

No Pressure Workouts

Every now and then, we need to take a day to let our bodies do their own workouts. What do I mean? I always say the best way to reach your weight loss or muscle building target is to have long term and short term goals. Which also means having a plan for the gym every day. But it is also important to set your goals aside once in a while and just let your body drive its own goals for the day.

Okay, so it sounds like I'm talking a lot of jibberish now. I'll give you an example. Yesterday, I woke up thinking I was going to go to a Total Body Conditioning class at my gym, do a few minutes of yoga, and then hold a training session with one of my friends (who by the way, was my first client for 2013. Yay!). 

But instead I decided that I was going to let my body decide what it wanted, and of course, I was leaning towards a run. So instead of taking out my Nike+iPod like I normally would, setting up my fast-paced music, and setting up the number of miles I'm 'supposed' to complete, I took a different approach. I simply took my iPod, my shoes, and headed out the door.

My iPod basically played slow music throughout my workout, I did not have Lance Armstrong's voice telling me that I have completed 1 mile or whatever, and I did not plan my route. I just ran. And ran. And ran. The entire run, I wasn't competing with myself or anyone else. I tuned out completely and just focused on my body and getting my stride right. I felt my calves much more because my form was perfect.

By the time I got to my friend's for our session, I had run more than 8 miles. I felt amazing, and I was zen. Ready to do some core and butt workouts.

I wrote all that to say that sometimes, it is important to take the pressure off, give ourselves a day to not think and just do. Those may turn out to be the most amazing workout days ever.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Have You Entered to Win Your Allen & Fifth T-Shirt?

A couple of days ago, we announced the Allen & Fifth T-shirt giveaway. For this giveaway, Eights & Weights is partnering with Allen & Fifth to give one reader an awesome T-shirt. 
Allen & Fifth is a fashion line inspired by pop culture and urban fashion, with amazing T-shirt designs like the ones above. To view all T-shirts available in the line, check out
The T-Shirt we will be giving away is the white UniTee T-shirt below. And for the ladies, no you cannot win the man with the Note that this giveaway is open to both male and female.

Alright, so how can you enter to win? 
  1. First off, you must have an account on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (or all three!). 
  2. Follow bothAllen & Fifth and Eights & Weights on one of the social media links below:
  3. Email with the header "Allen & Fifth". Be sure to include your social media name and what media you used.
You have until February 1st at 12AM to enter. After that, entries will be closed, and a winner will be selected. 
Got it? Easy peasy. Now, enter to win, and maybe you could be rocking one of these gorgeous tees on your workout :)
Cheers Eights & Weights! Good luck!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Interview with Cool Kay: Music is All I Do

An artist who is passionate about music and passionate about his body? Sign me up! I got a chance to talk to a budding recording artist, Cool Kay, about his music, and of course, his fitness regimen. The "Wind of Change" and "Molenu" rapper gave me some deets about what is currently happening with his music.

Eights & Weights: So tell us a little about Cool Kay? How did you get into music?
Cool Kay: Well, my name is Kayode Adekoya, and I was born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. I fell in love with music at a really young age. And no matter what I did, it continued to grow with time. After a while, I guess others noticed my affinity for music and started coming up to me to write songs for them. The more I got involved, the more it struck me that this was what I wanted to do with my life.

Eights & Weights: We've heard good and bad things about the Nigerian music industry. How difficult has it been getting into it? What kind of music out right now has served to inspire you?
Cool Kay: There is a good and bad side to every music industry. But if you work extremely hard, put in all the energy and consistency you’ve got, you will find a way to succeed. I fight for my music because it is my passion. So many artists in Nigeria have inspired me, and I don’t think I’ll be able to list them all out here. But there are so many rap and R&B artists both in Nigeria and around the world that have inspired me.

Eights & Weights: Obviously, after looking at a few pictures of you working out, I would say you spend some time on your muscles. At Eights & Weights, we are fiercely trying to promote health and fitness awareness, especially in Africa. What do you do on a daily basis to stay healthy? Is that something that is important to you?
Cool Kay: Fitness is necessary, period. I would advise everyone to get involved in some sort of physical activity. Trust me, your body will thank you later. I’m basically either making music or working out. When am not writing or recording, I make sure I hit the gym 3-4 times a week. I always have a planned out gym routine for the week to work on my muscles. Do you want to hear it?

Eights & Weights: Of course! That’s what we are here for!
Cool Kay: Okay, so I have a 4 times/week plan. On day 1, I focus on my chest and biceps, followed by 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio. On day 2, I focus on legs, triceps, and abs, followed by 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio. On day 3, I focus on my shoulders and back, followed by 30 minutes of high-intensity cardio. On day 4, I focus on chest, biceps, and abs.
Eights & Weights: That’s a lot of high-intensity cardio. I like it, especially since men sometimes think they don’t need to be doing cardio.

Eights & Weights: Have you found it difficult to stay physically active and eat healthy in Nigeria?
Cool Kay: Personally, I would say it’s not that difficult to stay healthy in Nigeria. A lot of the food is natural and fresh, and moderation really is key. I think that is where people struggle the most.

Eights & Weights: Alright on to you and what you have in the works. What music do you have out right now?
Cool Kay: A song called "MOLENU" which is already getting good response from the listeners.

Eights & Weights: Nice, so will we be seeing performances of Molenu soon? What can we expect from you in the near future?
Cool Kay: You’ll definitely be seeing some performances soon. I just released the new single and we have just started working on the online promo. After that, you will hear some airplay and then you’ll start to see more performances. Stay in touch with me online to find out what I have going on.

Eights & Weights: Great. Where can readers find out more about Cool Kay and your performances?
Cool Kay: You can find or hit me up on the following:
Twitter: @Coolkaymuzik
Reverbnation: Coolkaymuzik
Facebook: Coolkaymuzik

Eights & Weights: What would readers be surprised to know about you?
Cool Kay: I don't think I have done anything very crazy except for the fact that I could be in the studio for a whole week without coming out just doing what I love doing best: music.

Listen to Molenu below

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2013 Diet Trends

Everyone's rushing to the gym at this time of the year. Yes, we already know that. But things are not only hyped up on the exercise front. Diet-wise, people are running to all sorts of trends they've heard about or tried and failed in the past. 2013 is no different.

However, dietitians are also predicting that there will be some trends particular to this year. Low-carb had its year, fat-free had its year, gluten-free had its year, and even veganism had its year. So what's it looking like it would be this year?

Well, it does look like people are getting more knowledgeable about their bodies, and so 2013 is looking like the companies that gave us the "portion" diets will reign. You've already started seeing more commercials with more celebrities as the spokespeople for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, and so on. They are doing really well and will continue to do better as people become more conscious of the fact that portion control works, and as people realize that the other fads are not working.

Speaking of being more knowledgeable, people are also becoming more tech savvy, right? And so the prediction is that we will continue to see diet and technology merge. There will be much more information about diets online, and much more people will be able to track their nutrition information and see what it means to their lives.

Quality also seems to be becoming more important as people focus on muscle tone, not just fat loss. So quality carbs, quality proteins, and the necessity of fruits and vegetables in our diets will become the highlight of many diets and fitness programs.

All in all, these look like good things. We are headed in the right direction when it comes to diet. We just need to make sure we are aware of our bodies. Awareness is the key to good health. As you consider what your diet will look like in 2013, make sure you remember this: "Always make sure it is reasonable. Do not make unsustainable changes. Fitness is, after all, a lifestyle." And that's my tip #3 for this week :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

British Military Fitness Blue Challenge

So you woke up this morning and thought it was going to be an easy day, right? We made it to the second week of January 2013, the Mayans haven't set a new date for world implosion, it's hump day, life is splendid. And you know what happens when things are too easy, right? We have got to challenge you!

Adrian from TribeSports reached out to me this morning with a challenge I could not resist putting up. Why? Because it uses body weight (no equipment required), it has 'military' in the title (which is synonymous for ouch!), and it incorporates muscle toning exercises and cardio. Boom.

Okay, so what do you have to do? it's all laid out for you in the image above. Sign up on the TribeSports page to see more details of the workout, challenge others, upload your status, and see more challenges.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Spring into 2013 Tips Day 2

As we continue with our tips on successfully achieving your fitness goals for 2013, here is today's tip:

Tip #2: Find something you are passionate about; something you cannot imagine giving up. I like to run, not just because it burns calories, but because it helps me sleep better, and attack the day with much better enthusiasm. It gives me a chance to clear my head too, even just for a few minutes. Find that thing that makes you calm too and find a way to use it to get fitter.

Good luck :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Own First TribeSports Challenge!

You guys know about the affair I had with the TribeSports 12 days of fitness challenge last month, right? Yes, I loved it. And so how about we do our own challenge on TribeSports? The purpose of this challenge is to get you thinking about your inner thighs as you run and do other forms of cardio exercises. I always say it is important to protect your joints by strengthening your muscles. 

This exercise works both your inner thighs and your core as you are forced to work on your balance. What do you do? 
  1. Stand on a Bosu ball or a disc (or anything unstable) and tighten your abs
  2. Lift one leg in front of you till your knee is at a 90 degree angle to the floor 
  3. Move the same knee back as far as you can keeping your upper body straight 
  4. Do 30 reps on each side
Do this every day for 7 days and let us know how you did. Check out the entire challenge on the TribeSports site, register, and mark it off as complete when you are done!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

PS. I promised to share a tip every day this week to keep you on your toes as you work on your fitness resolutions for the new year. 

Tip #1: In doing a front lunge (lunging forward), always push back on your front heel before you get up. This reduces the pressure on your front knee. If you are not comfortable with front lunges, stick to back lunges (lunge backward).

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Discount Active Wear? Sign Me Up!

If you're like most people, the $88 tag on that pair of Nike tights is enough to scare you out of the gym for life. And what makes it worse is that it is important to look good as you work out so buying the perfect gear is essential. And of course, we all want clothes that are good quality, especially if we'll be sweating out in them all the time. So let's peruse the shopping aisles and see if we can find something priced on the low, shall we? I just thought I'd share some good places to get great affordable gear from my experience.

TJ Maxx/TK Maxx/Marshalls/Century 21 and similar overstock stores: I am a Maxxinista. There, I said it. Where else can you get awesome workout gear on the cheap simply because Puma decided it is time for a new season of outfits? I love that these department stores sell overstocked quality goods for discounted prices. If you are looking for shorts or t-shirts, you can get some for anywhere from $5, and jackets probably more from around $15. If you compare that to the actual sports stores, you'd see that that's amazing. And they have all ranges of sizes too. For the shoes, if you are lucky enough to have small feet, they work for you as well.

Old Navy/Primark and other similar discount clothing stores: I've heard all sorts of opinions about these discount clothing stores. However, I have bought active wear from Old Navy that have worked and have lasted, so from my perspective, they are fine. One thing I can say they do well is their fleece for winter workouts. Nice and thick. And of course, cheap. $7 for a t-shirt? $12 for yoga pants? You should certainly give them a shot.

Old Navy Control Max Capris $15

Target/WalMart and similar department stores: Target is another store I would vouch for because I'm not quite sure how they manage to balance great quality and low prices, but they do. I know it's customary not to trust department stores like WalMart because they literally sell EVERYTHING. But WalMart and Target carry well-known active wear brands like Hanes, Champion, and Danskin for sports bras and other active clothing. And having used these brands, I would say they are pretty good.

Target Champion Tech Muscle Tee for $10.99

Zappos: Okay, so Zappos is not quite what you would consider cheap, but for the free shipping, free returns, amazing size range, and the wide variety of sneakers they have on their site, I thought I'd throw it in here. Besides, when it comes to sports shoes, it is pretty difficult to find good quality ones for discounted prices.

Amazon: Amazon is another store I am quite addicted to because you can buy new, used, new styles, old styles, all sizes, from various countries, etc. If you cannot find something within your price range in a store near you, go check on Amazon. Someone could decide that they bought some shoes, hate it, and want to sell it for half the price. And what makes it even better is the free shipping option (for items fulfilled by Amazon), and the fact that you can use points from some credit card companies on the site.

Amazon ASICS Women's GEL-Lethal MP4 Field Shoe for $19.73

Thrift stores: If you don't mind wearing something someone else may have already worn, and don't mind going through rack after rack while you shop, thrift stores are another good way to go. Shoes may be harder to find, but t-shirts, shorts, pants, and tights would be easier to find. Plus, you get good deals as well because they are usually one-of-a-kind. Men find it harder to shop at thrift stores though. I guess sifting through each rack does not work well for them.

I hope that helped! I know a few folks are refreshing your workout closets as you start the new year. Good luck :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Coupling Up: Work out with your Partner

Do you work out with your partner? Or do you want to work out with your partner and are not sure how? The benefit of working out with another person is that you tend to push yourself harder than you usually would, and you can get your body in positions that you may not normally be able to because you have someone to hold or push you.

Or maybe you’ve been looking for a way to get that man or girl of yours to the gym. Well, Eights & Weights is here with some ideas for partner workouts that you could always suggest. Bat those eyelashes, say you need this and cannot possibly do them without him/her, and pat yourself on the back as you help them also melt some of their fat away. It’s pretty much genius, isn’t it? Well, unless he/she doesn’t step back in after the first workout. Then, I’m not sure I can help you…

Wall squat (For your butt, thighs, and core) 

Do a wall squat with the other person as the wall with your backs to each other. Hold for 1 minute. Make it more competitive by squatting lower and lower and seeing who can go the lowest with your knees still behind your toes and your backs still touching each other. Consolation prize for the loser? A butt to butt workout. Need I say more?

Partner push-up (For your chest, arms, and core)

Face each other in an upper push-up position with about an arm length of space between you. Both lower into a push-up, and then come up. When you come up, both use your right hands to give each other a fist bump, and then lower back down. Obviously, you have to both move at the same pace or someone would be left hanging with his/her fist bumps. And we wouldn’t want that.

Floor chest press (For your chest and arms)

You’ll need dumbbells for this one. Lie with your back on the mat and your feet facing your partner’s feet. Both lift your feet off the mat and bend your legs until your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Now, rest your feet on your partner’s feet like it is a wall, so you both form like a rectangular shape with the floor. Lift your 2 dumbbells (at least 5 pounds) straight up over the chest with one in each hand, palms facing out. Bend the elbows and lower the arms down all the way to the floor and then raise again. The image above does not exactly describe the move, but it is close enough.

Medicine ball sit-ups (For your core and arms)

You’ll need a medicine ball. You should both lie with your backs on the mat and your feet on the floor. Your toes should be touching your partner’s toes. Hold the ball to your chest with both hands and come up into a sit-up position. Your partner does not have a ball at this time, but he/she comes up into a sit-up as well. As you are both up, throw the ball to your partner. He/she catches does a full sit-up, and then throws the ball back to you. Do as many as you can, with at least 20 reps.

Moving lunges (For your core, thighs, and butt)

Stand facing your partner with about a leg-long space separating you. Both move into a lunge with opposite legs (if you do right, the other person does left). Step back and do it with the opposite leg. Then take one step left (your partner takes one step right), and repeat. Keep going until you’ve taken 10 steps in one direction, and then switch and take 10 steps in the other direction. Again, the image above does not exactly describe the move, but it is close enough.

Don't forget to use the opportunity to *ahem* do some "feel up on me" stretching :)

Of course, if all else fails, you could bring your boxing gloves home and make your partner hold the pad so you can punch away. Just say you need to get your aggression out one way or another.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:,,,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year Fitness Resolutions

It’s the New Year! Yay! Happy New Year, folks. I’m sure with the new year also came new resolutions to lose weight, get fitter, eat better, and just become more health conscious. Yes, it happens every year.

As you are worrying about how you are going to achieve both your personal and fitness goals this year, I wanted to share something I came across yesterday that I thought was a great mindset to start the year with. Kellogg’s Special K brand is celebrating a “What Will You Gain?” day today. This is an attempt to make us all think of something other than the scale today.

The premise of the WWYG day is for us to all focus on the positive part of our fitness goals. When you lose that weight, gain muscle, or whatever it is your health goal is, what are you looking to gain? Many say sex appeal, confidence, even pizzazz. I say strength. I would like to get stronger, both mentally and physically.

So take a day to focus, relax, look at the end goal (and not just the work it takes to get there), and share with us. What are you looking to gain this year?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Photo credit:
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