Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Abs and Legs: Oblique Squats

Work multiple muscles by doing this simple exercise. It does involve some good form and focus though. I like to call them oblique squats as they work your obliques (sides of the abs), glutes (bum), and quads (thighs). How do you do them?
  • Sit very low in a wide squat. Try to keep your knees over your ankles so your hips are square.
  • Tighten your pelvis so your bum is really working.
  • Tighten your abs and keep your upper body upright.
  • With your palms behind your head, bend your waist to the right side until your right elbow touches your right knee. Make sure you are bending just from your waist and keeping your abs tight!
  • Come back to the starting position and repeat on the left side.
Watch the video below for a demonstration.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Eights & Weights is Featured in "Beautiful Inside and Out"

Lifestyle coach EJ Ogenyi releases an e-book called "Beautiful Inside and Out" around the holidays to talk about healthier choices we can make for the new year. This year, I contributed to the e-book. Of course, I talked about food and how snacks can be adding to our waistlines over the holidays. This e-book is free and you can view and download a copy here.

Please download and show your support for Nigerian fitness :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Abs and Glutes: Exercise Ball Rolling Bridges

Want to work your abs and glutes at once? Try this exercise using just an exercise ball. Make sure you have your balance as you roll in and out of the raised bridges. As you come up, really squeeze your glutes at the top, and then slowly roll back down. Repeat for 3 sets of 20.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Triceps: Pike Pushups

Triceps are tough. They are painful to work out but you usually have to do very targeted exercises for them. Well, here is one: the Pike Pushup. You will start to feel these pretty quickly. I usually like to do 3 rounds for about 1 minute each.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Abs: Extended V-Sits

Abs are tough because they require cardio, strength, and a good diet. And depending on the shape of your body, they could turn out the way you want them, or look different from what you would expect. However, one thing is certain, you have to work on them for any kind of benefit. Here is one great abs routine to get you going. 

Extended V-sits are tough, so start slow. In the video, I am doing them with my legs straight, but for an easier option, try them with your knees bent. Do 3 sets of 15.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Abs and Arms: Up and Down Planks

Not a fan of regular crunches? Me too. Here is a great plank variation you can try. The up and down motion works your abs a little harder. And of course, if you find it difficult to stay in the plank position for a long time, this helps make it more dynamic.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Leg Day Routine: Donkey Kicks, Supported Lunge, and Static Raised Lunges

Well, it's leg day somewhere always :) If you are looking for some new exercises to diversify your leg day routine, here are some. All you need for these is a chair, table, or stool. Do each of these for about 4 sets of 10 reps on each leg (that's 20 per set) to really burn those glute, quad, and hamstring muscles.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Abs Work: Spider Planks!

I always get the questions about how to build abs, and so I write about abs exercises a lot. Remember that abs requires 3 things: A good diet, Lots of cardio, and Some strength training. Strength training is mostly the exercises that we all know (like planks and sit-ups) that help build the abs muscles. In order to build the muscles, you have to target all the different abs muscles.

The muscles we are focusing on today are the obliques (sides of the abs) and spider planks are great for the obliques. You start by doing a few sets of a few of them and build up as you grow stronger. Start with about 3 sets of 10 reps. Watch the video below for a demonstration of the exercise!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, November 3, 2014

My First NYC Marathon is Done!

Oh Lord, I can't believe I actually qualified, trained for, and ran this marathon! I have had my eyes on the NYC Marathon for a long time as the biggest marathon in the world. In fact, I have had my eyes on a marathon for a long time. It's so difficult to believe you can actually make your body run 26.2 miles at once.

But with the support of my friends, the right running schedule, and the right strength training and stretching schedule, yesterday I successfully ran my first marathon. This is totally going on my resume by the way.

Monday, October 27, 2014

One-Legged Deadlifts

It is important to push your body to get the maximum impact. So here I am doing some deadlifts on one leg. This really tests your balance, as well as the other parts of your legs and glutes that deadlifts work as well. Try it out. I used only one arm and did lighter weights to really focus on balancing before I gradually increase. How about 4 sets of 12 reps?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My Diet Tips

Last night, a friend asked me about my diet, and I remember saying something like I eat normally. I woke up thinking about this, and I realized that I lied terribly. And what's worse is that I hate people that do that when they talk about food. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Hip Hop Spin Class with KTX

I don't know where this class is, but I totally want to go! I was looking at how fierce the women felt just because of the instructors energy. This is how fitness should make you feel. Amazing.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

In NYC and Want Access to Several Gyms? Try Allfit

No longer inspired by the same routine at your NYC gym? Want to try a new exercise class, use a swimming pool, or try new equipment your gym doesn¹t have?

Allfit gives you member¹s access to over 25 of NYC¹s top health clubs. Instead of being stuck within a single chain, you now have access, under a single fully flexible membership, to all NYC¹s top fitness centers.

In an average week, you could be swimming laps in the rooftop pool at Complete Body on Friday, indoor rock climbing at Chelsea Piers on Sunday, and a Sculpt exercise class at Manhattan Athletic Club on Wednesday.  Variety will keep you engaged, motivated, and keen to try new challenges.

The clubs are spread throughout Manhattan, and are among the most exclusive and luxurious in NYC. They include The Sports Center at Chelsea Piers, Complete Body, Athletic and Swim Club, Sheraton Fitness and many more high-end options.

Plans range from 10 visits a month, to unlimited visits, for the truly dedicated athlete. Flexibility is important to us ­ you can cancel at any time, or put your membership on hold at zero charge.

Allfit keeps your workout engaging and motivating, through variety and flexibility.

For more information, check out www.allfitnyc.com

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

You Can't Do a Full Pushup? That's Okay!

The push-up is one of the most dynamic exercises, working various muscles in your upper body and core. However, building strength to be able to do one or more full push-ups is not that easy. I know you see various people post videos and photos, and you are probably like "Why can't I do that?". Well, it takes time and effort.

Before you jump right into it and give up, start with other simpler variations. Trust me, the variations are tough too and put you to work, but they give you the chance to build your strength. 

One example of a push-up variation is in the video below. It is pretty much a push-up on your knees. Now, as you do it, try to keep your back straight (not curved in or out much), and lower your chest right between your palms. 

It is hard work and you should feel it after a couple of rounds. As you do the variation, also try doing a couple of full push-ups a few times a week. This helps your body slowly build up.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Abs Day: One-legged Jack Knife

Want to work every angle of your abs? Try these! Your upper body lifts and your lower body lifts, really building your core strength. Aim to do 3 sets of 20 (10 on each side). This is tough.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Leg Day: Weighted Wide Deep Squats

Squats are pretty well-known, and easy to do. But varying your squats can help you target different muscles. Check out the video below for the form for wide squats with 10lb weights to work on that booty and those legs.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Are you Cardio-ing for Those Abs

I think the question I get the most on social media is about how to get abs or how to flatten the tummy. It is a very complex question, and you can tell people usually don't get the answer they want. People generally want to do crunches and be over with it, but get very anxious when it is not working.

So here is what I tell people: Crunches alone will get you nowhere. It is a hard message to take because it has been somehow spread across different societies. To flatten your abdominal area, you need a combination of three things:
  • Good nutrition: You cannot eat everything, do crunches, and expect abs. Abs are difficult to get; otherwise, everyone would have them. You have to lose the fat on the abdominal area to see any progress, and to do this, you need to be burning more than you are eating. This means you probably should be eating better (fewer calories, more whole grains, less salty food).
  • Cardio, Cardio, Cardio: To me, cardio is more important than crunches. This is where a lot of the fat loss happens to burn off the excess. If you are not doing cardio, you should be starting.
  • Strength training: This is where crunches come in. But I actually prefer to do non-traditional crunches because they are very repetitive, and most people do not do them right. Focus on building core strength with planks, kick-outs, russian twists, etc.
But remember that it is a slow process usually. Weight did not happen overnight and so getting fit does not happen overnight as well. Take your time.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Are you doing our plank challenge?

If you are following me on Instagram, you may have seen the plank challenge I put up a couple of days ago. I get asked about how to get abs and build a strong core all the time. So I figured I'd turn this into a challenge. Plank for 3 minutes every day for about 5 days. Your 3 minutes can be broken up across the day, but the longer you can hold it at once, the better.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Leg Work: Single Leg Deadlifts

Compound exercises that work a variety of muscles are great, especially for runners as we need a strong core and strong legs. The single leg deadlift works your core as it forces you to balance, but it also works your legs and your glutes with the weight that you are lifting. Check out the video below for how to do this exercise.

Try this with light weights first and progress. As you do this exercise, lift your leg slowly. A lot of people make the mistake of speeding through, which may not put as much emphasis on the muscle they want to attack. So go slow. It hurts a little more, but you can do it :)

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, August 25, 2014

I ran my first 20 miles!

So it's no secret that I have been training for the NYC marathon. I'm excited, scared, nervous, happy, all things at once. And I've hurt myself a couple of times. So when I do reach a big milestone, it is celebrated as a BIG milestone. This weekend, I ran my first 20 miler. I am so proud of myself and I wanted to share it, but the journey continues and I will be back at it next week.

Are you training for any races?

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leg Day Routine

It's leg day! Here is a great routine you can do with minimum equipment. You just need dumbbells for the stiff-legged deadlifts. 
  • Standing kickout (15 each leg) 
  • Donkey kick (15 each leg) 
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts (15) 
  • Elevated lunges (15 each leg) 
Do 4 rounds! This should burn. If you have ankle weights, use them for the first 2 exercises.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Abs Workout: Variations of V-Sits

To work on your abs, constantly do exercises that force you to balance. The v-sit is one of such exercises. There are many ways you can do it depending on your body, your limbs, and how strong your core is. Start by sitting on the mat and using your hands to lift the knees towards the chest. Try to balance in the pose.

To go a level up, try to either stretch your arms in front of you or above your head. 

If level 2 feels stable, then try to straighten your legs and lower your upper body just a bit back until you are really in a "V". Hold this for as long as you can. You should really feel it in your core.

Remember that it is okay to stop at level 1. Our limbs are different lengths and our bodies balance differently. It is better to be able to balance in level 1 than try to force a higher level that just isn't happening. 

Here is collage showing the different levels.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Butt Workout: Modified Bridge with a Ball

You probably have done the regular bridge. Here's my twist on "the bridge". You'll need an exercise ball. How to do it: 
  • Lay on your back with your hands straight beside you. 
  • Lift your knees and bring your feet closer to your butt. 
  • Open your knees and put the exercise ball between them.
  • Squeeze the ball tight and use that energy to lift your butt off of the floor. 
  • Keep squeezing your butt as you hold your hips up. 
  • Try to hold your hips up for about 1 minute. 
  • Hold your core tight the whole time. Then release back down. 
The lift works your glutes but holding the ball adds in more tension and works your inner thighs. This should burn!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Stepper HIIT Cardio Exercises

I like steppers. I can do lots of fun exercises with them. The two videos below show two HIIT cardio exercises you can do with steppers. Try each as part of your cardio routine for about a minute. With both, make sure you land on your heels and soften your knees throughout the movement!

Box Jumps


Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Leg Day: Leg Lifts with an Exercise Ball

The leg muscles are so large that they require some dedication to build. These are Leg Lifts with an Exercise Ball, and the key here is to really squeeze the ball with your legs and control the motion as you lift and lower. It works your core as well. Try out 4 sets of 15.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Core Workout: Captain's Chair Leg Raise

Looking to work on your core? Try the Captain's Chair leg raises at your gym. Repeat this for 4 sets of 15 each. Try to keep your upper body straight and grip the handle bars as you do this so that all the power to lift your legs is coming from your core. 

The video shows this exercise with straight legs lifted, but you can also try this with knees lifted towards the chest.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July Yoga Newbies Challenge

Looking to get into yoga? Not sure where to start? Two of my friends and I have partnered up to host the July Yoga Newbies challenge this month. Each day, we will show you a basic yoga pose, and describe in detail how to get into it and what muscles it works. This challenge is on Instagram so please check us out and follow @eightsnweights, @adura_o, and @bellajoya. You can also follow on Twitter because we repost there as well.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

My 100 Happy Days Challenge

There is nothing more awesome than living in the moment. I believe that the past should not drive our today, and the fear of tomorrow should not stop us from achieving greatness now. No, I don't always live like this (although I want to). So I decided to take it one step further to finding happiness in the moment by participating in a 100 Happy Days challenge.

How does it work? Sign up at www.100happydays.com. Then challenge yourself to find at least one thing a day that made you really happy, and post a photo of it. Easy!

Okay, it sounds easier than it is because sometimes, we go through entire days without many happy thoughts. So it is pretty challenging to find something every day that makes you happy, especially on tough days. But you'll probably find that looking for joy in the small things makes you realize that you have so much more in your life than you thought.

Above is a photo from my day 1. I got these new Brooks Pure Connect running shoes courtesy of my brother. He says they will help me with my marathon training :) How many people have brothers that support them on their fitness journeys? 

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Want to Try Some Burpees?

We all love (or hate) our high intensity workouts. Burpees? Ugh! But we do them because they are so effective. Try this burpee combination today and you'll be sweating and breathing hard when you are done.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Check Me Out on Ada's Workout Video!

I love when Africans work out. It shows that we are beginning to think about our health, and trying to live longer. One personal trainer I admire, Ada Agbim, makes workout videos on Youtube to mostly Nigerian and Ghanaian music. When she invited me to be part of one of her videos, I was so excited!

Here is the video to Fuse ODG's Antenna. This is one of my favorite Azonto songs too :) This cardio workout really burns out your legs, and though it looks easy, it is such a great workout. Check out the full video on her Youtube page.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Try this HIIT Workout

Looking for a HIIT workout to try? Here's one. Do 30 seconds of each at your highest intensity and rest for 10. Repeat 4 times. 
  1. Jumping jacks 
  2. Jump squats 
  3. Mountain climbers 
  4. Burpees
  5. High knees 

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Victoria's Secret Sports Bra Review

I love sports bras. I have them in various colors and feels. I am not a big girl up there so finding a sports bra that holds the girls down is not so difficult. However, what I have trouble with is finding one that looks good, actually fits (not fits one boob and feels loose on the other), stays in place during high impact workouts, and makes me feel great. I have a few that I honestly just reserve for when my cute ones are in the wash.

So Influenster, in partnership with Victoria's Secret, sent me the "Victoria's Secret Incredible" sports bra  for testing purposes to write this review for you folks. I didn't expect to, but I quite liked it. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Medplus Health and Fitness Twitter Campaign

Have you heard of the new Nigerian Twitter fitness campaign? I think it's really cool. #Medplushealthandfitness is a campaign to promote and encourage people to live healthier lifestyles. In an environment where everyone is so busy we tend to forget the importance of our health and wellness.
There will be discussions, question and answer sessions by influencers of different backgrounds every week from health professionals to beauty experts to your favourite celebrities sharing their tips and secrets on how to live a healthier lifestyle. These sessions will be held on Fridays from 6-7pm West African Time (1-2pm EST).
Medplus knows how busy life can be so they decided to make this easy for participants by making this interaction via Twitter. Follow @MedplusPharmacy and use the hashtag #medplushealthandfitness to join the conversation.

I will be a guest participant on June 27th so tune in! Follow me on Twitter @eightsnweights.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Squat Burpees

Work your entire body, especially your quads and hamstrings with this variation of the burpee. Rather than jump up when you come out, go low into a squat. Want to try these? Cardio and strength training in one!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jump Lunges

Looking to incorporate some HIIT in your routine? Jump lunges are awesome. Tons of cardio and you still really work those legs. I usually jump for 30 seconds and rest for 10.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Maintenance Exercise: Bosu Ball Standing Donkey

If you are a runner or do high intensity exercises, you know how much they can impact your joints, especially your knees and ankles, if you do not work to strengthen the surrounding muscles. So I thought I'd show you a video of an exercise I like to do.

This really strengthens your butt, thighs, and core, and helps you put pressure on the right muscles when you land. Hold a wall if you have to (initially) but keep your core tight and your upper body straight as you do this. You can do this without a bosu ball, but try to use something squishy and uneven to get the most out of this exercise.

Check out the video below:

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Work your Obliques with Side Planks

Everyone wants those abs and it's no wonder why. However, the best abs require work on all the ab muscles (front, side, lower back). And so today, I am taking some time out to make sure you are incorporating oblique workouts (side abs) in your routine.

One great obliques exercise is the side plank. How does this work? 
  • Lie on your right side with your left leg stacked over your right. 
  • Lift your waist off of the floor balancing on your right elbow. Keep that elbow under your shoulder.
  • Lift your left arm up so your left palm is directly above your left shoulder. 
  • You can stack your legs like I'm doing or put one leg in front of the other to make it easier. 
  • Keep your waist lifted (not sagging). Abs tight.
  • Try to hold for 30 secs to 1 min on each side.
  • Smile!
Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, June 2, 2014

June Abs Challenge

Who wants to join in this abs challenge this month? You should have a stronger core by the end of the month. However, remember that to get abs, you need a combination of strength training, cardio, and healthy eating. This is just a little part of that.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, May 30, 2014

May Fitness Basics: No Calories?

People make a common mistake with food: think "low ---" or "organic" means we can eat however much we want. But words like "organic" just mean it is better for your body because artificial fertilizers and hormones were not used to grow, feed, or produce it. They still contain calories and we still have to watch our portions. Portion control is always key.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, May 26, 2014

Work your Core with Up and Down Planks

I have a love-hate relationship with "up and down planks". Well, I mostly hate them. But I do them because they are so effective in building core strength. They also work your arms as well because it is almost like doing a pushup.

If you want to add an extra level of intensity, attempt to get through these as fast as you can. You can break them up into sets of 10 and do 3 sets before going on to another exercise.

Cheers Eights &Weights!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

May Fitness Basics: The Anatomy of the Plank

Let's talk about the anatomy of the plank. It is a great exercise for your core when done right. What does 'right' mean? Try to keep a straight line from your heel to your head (as straight as possible), tighten your core so that your lower back does not sag in, and tighten your glutes so your bum does not lift up. Look down. Looking forward or upward causes your back to curve in as well.

Want better abs? Work on your planks.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Carbs or No Carbs?

Have you cut out all carbs to lose weight? No-carb diets are constantly in high demand. However, is the premise true? In fact, most no-carb diets still contain foods with carbs like beans that people think are purely protein. But our mindsets need to change. We don't simply put on weight because we eat carbs; the body needs carbs for energy. We put on weight because we eat more carbs than we need. 

If you choose to eat no carbs, your body will look for the energy elsewhere, especially if you exercise a lot. So for instance, it will look for the energy from the protein you eat. Thus, instead of this protein being used to replenish muscles and tissue, it is being used for something other than its intended purpose.

Eat your carbs, but remember that portion control is key!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Try this Tabata Routine

Looking to spice up your workout? Try adding in some intensity with the Tabata workout. What is Tabata? Well, I'll tell you! Tabata is a 4-minute workout program that has you do 8 rounds of 4 exercises. Each exercise is done for 20 secs as hard as you possibly can, with a 10 second rest before the next exercise. Sounds easy? Give it a try and you'd be sweating like crazy.

I found the exercise below on Pinterest and wanted to try it out because it incorporates both Tabata and regular HIIT. It is a total of about 16 minutes so I did it 3 times. Just so you know, it wasn't easy! Which means you should definitely try it out. Download it, save it on your phone, and do it when you get home.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, May 12, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Losing Weight

One mistake a lot of people make is with the fad "lose 10 pounds in 10 days" diets. While losing weight is great, losing weight too quickly can negatively impact your body (organ function, etc) and let's be honest, when it's too quick, you're probably not making healthy choices a habit. Do it slowly and make it last a lifetime.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Metabolism

I think it is important to understand metabolism. Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy. The amount of energy your body needs to perform basic life functions is called Basal Metabolic Rate. Everyone has a different BMR and it is based on factors like your sex, age, amount of physical activity, etc. e.g. Men naturally burn more than women. However, these basic life functions take up about 70%of your energy needs.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Running

Think you are not fit enough to run? Well, it is probably mostly mental. Runners train very hard, but that training is not limited to the physical. It is a combination of mental and physical. What are some ways you can get over the mental block? Research has shown that actually calling yourself a runner really helps. And while you train, be confident in the time and miles you are putting in.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

May Fitness Basics: Pushups

It is no mystery that females tend not to like pushups. The pushup is one of the most dynamic exercises. It works several muscles in your upper body and your core. Ladies seem to be afraid of pushups because we think men can do them and we can't. But pushups are a result of persistence; continuously doing them and building more strength and a better body as you do. Want abs? Incorporate some pushups in your workout. Want to get rid of arm flab? You already know

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Diet and Exercise

Your diet AND your exercise habits are equally important to lose weight and tone up. Don't exercise endlessly without eating healthy and don't starve yourself and not work out. We all need a healthy balance of both to achieve our goals. And let's not forget the right mindset!

Cheers Eights & Weights

Monday, May 5, 2014

May Fitness Basics: Lifting Weights

Women sometimes have the impression that if we lift weights, we'd just become Tyrese. Men produce hormones that allow them grow larger muscles than women, and so doing cardio and lifting weights alone will not usually make a woman huge. A lot of the women you see that have larger muscles are either not doing cardio to burn the fat over the muscles, or are taking supplements because they want to look that way. Building muscles actually helps your body stay in fat burn mode, and gives you that toned look. Don't neglect your lifting!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

May Fitness Basics: The Abs Myth

A lot of people make the mistake of just doing thousands of crunches and hoping for abs. The truth is that you need a good combination of cardio, strength (e.g.cCrunches), and a healthy diet to get abs. 

People tend to struggle a lot with stomach flab and crunches do not resolve the issue. Focus on eating well, lots of cardio to burn the fat, and then strength training to build muscle tone. I am not a fan of regular crunches as they strain the neck if not done right, so I get my strength from other forms of abs exercises like v-sits, planks, and even deadlifts.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, May 2, 2014

May Fitness Basics: HIIT

I thought I'd start with a question asked by about the effectiveness of HIIT. If you haven't heard of HIIT (high intensity interval training), it is a mode of exercise where you alternate between very high intensities and low or moderate intensities continuously. 

This helps the body burn more fat, build more endurance, and continue with the fat burn for more hours than steady state training. You can do HIIT with the same exercises you know (like running, elliptical, body weight exercises, etc). With HIIT body weight exercises, you are actually mixing up some strength with your cardio too. So uber awesome fat burning capabilities.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

May is for the Fitness Basics

For our May challenge, I will be discussing some basics to help you in your fitness journey. This includes information about how the body works, and talking about some fitness myths that may or may not be true.

Feel free to ask questions if you have any!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 30!!!

It's the last day of the challenge! Thanks to all who participated. I hope you are well on your way to that bodacious booty :)

Now, for today's video, to end the month, I am giving 2 options of the same exercise:
  1. Front kicks: This is slower and more controlled
  2. Jumping front kicks: This involves some cardio work
See the video for more. If you are a newbie, it may be best to start with the first option and gradually build to the jumping front kicks. Whichever you choose, do it for 1 minute, and repeat 5 times.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 29

One more day to go! There are 3 exercises today and they all require doing one side and then the other. Do 30 secs on each side for a total of 3 mins. Repeat 3-4 times. 
  • Kneeling to standing: You'd be surprised that this actually works your bum. 
  • Side plank leg lift: If you are adventurous, try option 1 with palm on the floor. If not, do option 2 with elbow on the floor. Both are in the 2nd video. 
  • Lying inner thigh lift: Target those elusive inner thighs. Keep your foot straight and try to lift from your heel.
Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, April 28, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 28

If you have been following this challenge, you are probably wondering why there has been a gap. I have had limited access to the internet for the past couple of weeks and so I apologize. However, I have been putting these up on Instagram, so hopefully, you have been following it there :)

Back to today. We should be able to do these longer now since we've been strengthening our glutes and legs all month. So let's go for 1 min 30 secs of each (45 secs each leg for alternating).
  • Cross donkey kicks 
  • Wall sits 
  • Side plank with a leg lift

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 15

Do the 3 exercises for a total of 3 minutes. Repeat 3 - 4 times. 
  • Suicide lunges (1 min) 
  • Single leg Wall sit (30 secs each leg) 
  • Burpees (1 min)
Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, April 14, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 14

There are 2 exercises: 
  • Split squat lunge 
  • In and out jump squat 
The first one involves control and balance (upper body straight), and the second involves power. Do 1 minute each leg for #1, and 1 min for #2. Rest and repeat 3 to 4 times.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

April Booty Challenge Day 12

There are 3 exercises: 
  • Half leg circles with ankle weights 
  • Wide deep squats 
  • Lunge with a kick 
If you do not have ankle weights, do the first exercise without them. Open your feet really wide and squat really deep in the second exercise. Also do a pelvic tilt squeezing your bum when you come up. For #3, try to keep your upper body straight.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Inspiration: Do Something

Yoga pose: Lunge variation. Peekaboo :)

Inspiration: "If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place." - Nora Roberts 

Cheers Eights & Weights!

April Booty Challenge Day 11

We have lots of lunges today! Start with 20 (10 each leg) jump lunges, then 20 (10 each leg) backward lunges, and finish with a static squat for 1 minute. Repeat for 3 to 4 sets.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 10

We are incorporating some kickboxing today. So it's a squat, front kick, and round kick. For the round kick, you flex your foot and look in the direction you are kicking (not just throwing your leg back). Kick as high as you can, and squat as low as you can. Do 20 reps, and repeat that for 5 sets.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 9!

Let's really target and kill the glute muscles today. There are 4 exercises in this video: 
  • Deadlift variation 1 (standing)
  • Side hip lift 
  • Wall sit 
  • Deadlift variation 2 (bending knees)
Do each for 1 minute, break for 1 minute, and repeat 4 times. With the side hip lifts, make sure you are twisting your whole body to the side and straightening your leg. You'd be shocked at how much this works your glutes. 

With the deadlifts, looking forward helps to make sure you are using your lower not your upper body.  But don't raise your head and strain your neck. Just use your eyes. Another alternative is to look down to the part of the floor in front of you (not your legs!).

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 8

Doing squats with lunges in between each rep helps to attack different glute and leg muscles at the same time. Try this series for 3 - 4 sets of 20 reps.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, April 7, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 7

Today is Ball Leg Lifts! Hold the exercise ball between your legs (below knees), squeeze tight, and move legs up and down without moving your upper body. This works your core as well. The trick to working your butt and inner thighs here is squeezing as hard as you can. If you do not have an exercise ball, stack a few pillows or anything squishy and hold them tight between your legs. Do 5 sets of 20 reps.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

April Booty Challenge day 5

Scissor squats are a great way to wear your quads, hamstrings, and glutes out. Try doing them for a minute, and then repeating for 3 to 4 sets.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Inspiration: About Happiness

Yoga pose: Handstand
Inspiration: Being happy does not mean that everything is perfect. It means that you've decided to look beyond the imperfections.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

April Booty Challenge Day 4

Remember yesterday we did some donkey kicks? Now we are further isolating the glutes by holding the donkey kick high, and including just really small movements. Note that the lower back does not move at all; just your butt (you may need a mirror). You REALLY feel this in your bum. Try 20 reps on each side, rest, and repeat for 3 or 4 sets.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

April Booty Challenge Day 3

Day 3 of the April Booty Challenge! There are 4 exercises here: 
  1. Donkey kicks 
  2. Side clam 
  3. Star planks 
  4. Bridge 
Do each for about 1 minute, rest for a minute, and repeat 4 times.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

April Booty Challenge Day 2

Day 2 of the April Booty Challenge. Do each exercise for about 1 minute and repeat 5 times. The frog jump is a killer but gives you a great quads and hamstring workout.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

April Booty Challenge Day 1

Let's start with the squat. You can do it with only your body weight or increase the resistance by holding dumbbells. Note the anatomy of the squat: Sit back into your butt like you're sitting in a chair, not forward. So your knees should remain as static as possible. Squeeze your bum when you go down and when you come up, and look forward! Try to do 100 today (break it up as you wish).

Cheers Eights & Weights!

April Booty Challenge!

This month, we will be focused on our derrieres, aka the booty and the legs. A well shaped booty is always highly revered, regardless of size. And I'm going to give you some quick routines to help you get there :) Look out for the videos and photos on my Instagram page and on here too. Let's get that bum this month.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Another 10 Minute Abs Routine

Looking for another one of my quick abs routines? Here's one! There are 3 exercises:  
  1. Bicycle crunches 
  2. Six inches off the ground 
  3. Reverse plank crunches 
Do each for about 30 secs, rest for 30 secs, and repeat 5 times.

Do remember that crunches alone won't work. You need to do cardio, strength training (like crunches), and eat right to get some abs. This is just part of the equation.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Inspiration: What Makes You Feel Powerful?

Yoga pose: One legged wheel. This pose is powerful and makes me feel like a goddess :-)

Inspiration: "He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still" - Lao Tzu.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Don't Neglect Your Cardio!

Whether you are trying to lose weight or get that muscle tone to show or just get a healthier heart, cardio is very important. The general recommendation is at least 150 minutes per week. But of course, this could be more depending on your goals. Males tend to lift weights a lot, and sometimes forget that cardio is just as important. You could run, swim, use the elliptical, do HIIT exercises, or whatever. But make sure you get some in today!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Abs Routine: Russian Twists and V-Sits

Ready to work those abs this week? Here is a great sequence. Do 30 seconds of the Russian twist  and then 30 seconds of the V-sit. Rest between and repeat 5 times. 

Russian twists really work on those obliques and V-sits are great for overall core strength. (I have 2 options with feet off or on the floor). See the video below!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's Leg Day! And We're All About Our Deadlifts :)

I try to incorporate many different kinds of deadlifts in my workouts, but the two in the video below are the ones I spend a lot of time on. Why? The first one really torches your ab and glutes, while the other one really torches your glutes. Try them today. Do about 3 sets of 15 reps of each, and do not skimp on the weights you use.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Weighted Sit-ups

Want to try another abs workout? This one helps increase the tension of a regular sit-up by adding in a dumbbell. How do you do it? Lie back with your butt and feet on the floor, and holding a dumbbell over your head. I used an 8lb dumbbell. Open your feet wide. Slowly use your core to lift your upper body all the way up until the dumbbell is on the floor between your feet. Then slowly lower back down using your core strength to help you. Repeat for 3 sets of 20 reps.

Here is a video demo:

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Leg Presses

The leg press machine is a great way to work multiple leg muscles. The quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves are all worked hard during this exercise. There are different kinds of leg press machines, but the basis is the same: You draw the knees in and then extend the legs with as much weight as you can.

Here is a great video to show you how to do this exercise. Make sure you do not lock your knees as you extend your legs because this could cause injury. And of course while you should not be a pansy with the weight, do not go overboard as well. Learn to know your limits.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday Inspiration: This is My Light

Yoga pose: Side crow with eagle legs. If you want to try to get into this pose, remember that it is all in the core, not the arms. Cross your legs before you try to lift them, and lift them slowly. It may take a few tries :-)

Inspiration: "Yoga is a tool to follow your light" - Taylor Harkness. I truly believe that this is my light. I play, and I laugh. Find your light.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Moving Pushups

Want to incorporate more of your core in your pushups? Try these moving pushups. Take it slow at first until you are confident in your posture. Speed is great, but you want to make sure you are targeting the right muscles. How? Keep your core tight and your lower back as straight as possible.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, March 10, 2014

10 Minute Abs Routine

Working on those abs? Try this 10-minute abs routine! There are 4 exercises. Do each for 30 seconds for a total of 2 minutes. Rest for 30 secs and repeat that 3 times (10 mins total). 
  1. Pushups 
  2. High planks 
  3. Elbow planks 
  4. Spider planks
Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday Inspiration: Share Your Gifts

Yoga pose: Pigeon with clasped fingers. Try this for both an inner thigh and a back stretch. I like to add back stretches to everything because I have such a tight upper back.

Inspiration: "Part of your mission in life must be to share your gifts with as many people as possible." - T. Harv Eker.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ho Hey! You Can Now Buy Fitbits Through Eights & Weights!

I am pleased to announce that you can now buy your Fitbit devices via our site. How does this work? Just click on the image above or the banner at the top of this page :) I have influenced so many folks to buy this device that it was about time that I became an affiliate. You know you want a Fitbit... Yep, you do. If you know anyone interested in buying one, have them come through me please! Thanks.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Why You Should be Lifting

Strength training gets a bad rap among females sometimes. The assumption is that if you lift weights, you become too bulky. This is not necessarily true. Strength training has a lot of benefits, from calorie burn to protecting your bones. So here are just a couple of reasons why you should be paying attention.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Fitbit Force is Being Recalled :-(

A few months ago, I raved about the new Fitbit Force wristband. I was longing for it, and waiting till a birthday or Christmas for someone to buy it for me as a gift. Now, due to some adverse reactions to the product, Fitbit is currently doing a recall.

As the CEO posted on the Fitbit site on February 20, 2014:

Friday, February 28, 2014

Friday Inspiration: Be Kind

Yoga pose: The Crow. Start in downward dog on your palms and feet, and slowly move your weight on to your palms. Balance your knees on your upper arms or elbows, and slowly lift your feet one at a time. Remember that it may take a few tries before your feet come off the floor. Look forward, not back toward your feet. 

Inspiration: "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible." - Dalai Lama.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

FDA Changes to Nutrition Labels

The US Food and Drug Administration is proposing that nutrition labels be overhauled (the left picture above is the old way and the right is the new proposed way). For some perspective, food labels have not really changed in the last 20 years. The premise for the change is that the real information people need should be highlighted to emphasize calories and added sugars. The FDA is also trying to make sure that serving sizes reflect how people really eat or drink, not random sizes to sometimes drive the calories down like what we see today. So a full bag of chips would reflect the calories on the full bag.

Great news! The jury is still out on whether it would really change the way people eat though.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Jacks

Get some cardio in by doing jumping jacks with a twist. It is Dumbbell February so that means we're including dumbbells. All you have to do is hold the dumbbells close to your chest, and do a regular jack opening and closing your legs. Try not to bounce your upper body back and forth as you jump. And note that my knees bend slightly and don't buckle as I land; this is to protect my joints. Do this for 3 rounds of 1 minute each. Mix it up with other cardio exercises.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Friday, February 21, 2014

In Nigeria? Join an Online Fitness Training Program!

Are you in Nigeria and are looking for a way to lose weight, get healthy, or stay fit? Have you heard of AllthingsFitnez? 

Allthingsfitnez is a Nigerian-based online company looking to help people reach their fitness goals through proper training and dieting. It can be difficult to get the right information that focuses on the food we eat and the lifestyle we live. And so I think this is a great idea. They currently have 3 programs:
  • The 12 weeks “fit and curvy woman” training program
  • Kaycee’s 3 month Ultimate Fitness Program
  • The ‘Perfect Body’ Online Fitness Training Program
You can find more information on their website http://www.allthingsfitnez.com, on Twitter (@allthingsfitnez and @lawreenzo), or by giving them a call (+2348164297612).

Check them out and let me know what you think.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Dumbbell February: Bicep Curl in a Squat

This works soooo many muscle groups, including your biceps, your glutes, your quads, and your core. Start in a standing position with the dumbbells in front of you (5 to 10lbs) and wrists forward like in 'Position 1' above. Squat and do a bicep curl at the same time with elbows inside your knees but not touching them. Keep your back straight. Return to position 1. Repeat this sequence 15 times. Rest and do 2 more sets of 15 (for a total of 3 sets).

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Toe Reaches

So this one is kind of tough. But it does really work your core. Lie on your back holding a dumbbell with your two hands over your head. Lift your legs until they are straight up and perpendicular to the floor. This is position 1. Get into position 2 by lifting the dumbbell to try to reach your toes. Your shoulders should come off the floor in the process, but make sure you are not putting a lot of pressure on your neck. Return to position 1 still keeping your legs up. That is 1 rep. Repeat this for 3 sets of 15 reps. And do not rush it. Do it slowly so you really work those ab muscles.

You can use a dumbbell from 5 to 15 lbs. But using one too heavy could restrict your motion so take note of how you feel.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Dumbbell February: Dumbbell Side Planks

As you probably know, abs are more than just the front of your midsection, and strength training for abs is more than just crunches. Side planks are a great way to work your core strength, especially your obliques (side of your abs). Let's incorporate more tension in the side plank like we've been doing all month by adding in some dumbbells.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Friday Inspiration: Be Open to Love

It's that Friday Inspiration time!

Yoga pose: Extended standing hand to big toe. If you are trying this pose, bend one knee and grab the big toe with two fingers. Straighten the standing leg completely before you attempt to extend the raised foot. The raised foot does not have to be entirely straight at first too. The more you do this, the better it gets. I love the openness of this pose :)

Inspiration: "The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." - Victor Hugo. 

Show some love today, but also be open to receive love from those sending it your way. Open your heart.

Cheers Eights & Weights!
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