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The First Women’s Strength Nation LIVE Event Motivates Women to Take Back the Weight Room

holly womens strength nation

Sunny San Diego was the backdrop for the first Women’s Strength Nation LIVE event April 10 – 12, 2015 and Diets In Review was there every step of the way. The kickoff was part of the launch of Westin Hotel and Resort’s new Westin Wellness Escapes, a series of weekend-long events devoted to helping you live your best life, even on vacation.

Hosted by celebrity personal trainer and fitness expert Holly Perkins, CSCS, the weekend was full of enlightening information to equip women with everything we need to walk into the weight room, confident and ready to work.

The mission of Women’s Strength Nation is to improve the ratio of women to men in the weight room. In order to do that, WSN provides you will all the tools you need to confidently walk into the gym and crush it every single time. Using strength training as a metaphor for building strength inside and out, we learned that in order to illicit change, you must have adversity. Like your muscles, you must be torn down before you can be built back up. When met with resistance and adversity, either in terms of weight vs. your muscles, or life vs. you, in the words of Holly Perkins herself “how you show up for this is how you show up for everything.”

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Through individual and group exercises, group workouts, workshops and lectures, we learned the indisputable science that supports strength training’s affects not only on the body, but also the mind. We learned how a woman should train differently than a man, despite the fact that all the information out there is written for a man and a man’s body.

With so many takeaways from the weekend, it’s hard to choose which to highlight. Here are just a few nuggets of wisdom:

Kelly Womens Strength Nation

EMBRACE  CHANGE

Change, positive or negative, is the biggest stressor: marriage is stressful the same way divorce is and a promotion is as stressful as a job loss. Our bodies crave homeostasis, to keep the status quo. Everything in our beings wants us to stay the same. The purpose of fear is to maintain that homeostasis. Whether in the gym or in your life, your body will naturally resist. To overcome, just breathe, acknowledge this, and do it anyway.

WOMEN CAN BULK

The women can’t bulk myth was busted. Rejoin, easy gainers! Women can bulk (if they want!) — it just takes a very specific physiology and/or a specific type of training. It has to do with testosterone and yes, some women have more than others which gives them a propensity to bulk, so no, you aren’t crazy if you fit the bill.

STRENGTH DOESN’T HAVE TO BULK

That being said, you can get stronger without getting bigger (they are not synonymous) you just need proper programming. To find the best program for your body type, pick up a copy of Holly’s new book Lift to Get Lean. It’s a female-focused strength training bible, and in it Holly shares four unique programs for each body type and goal type so you can bulk (or not!) how you want.

PULL vs. PUSH

Pulling mechanics are very important for a woman’s body, which is why you need to do three times as many pulling exercises as pushing ones. It has to do with our evolution from the days when we walked on all fours, and the muscles it takes to keep us standing upright.

FORGET THE EXCUSES

In the end, we learned to let go of the excuses that have been holding us back for so long and why it’s vital, as women, not to dim our lights to make others feel comfortable, but rather it’s our responsibility to let our lights shine to motivate and inspire other women to do the same. Together, thirty perfect strangers laughed, cried, shared, and bonded — and will forever be connected. We are strong. And so are you.

stronger she became quote

Here are three things we learned from Women’s Strength Nation LIVE! that you can work into your next workout:

The 3 rules of strength training

1. Technique trumps everything

2. Manipulate your speed of movement

3. The last 2 reps should threaten #1.

The 5 form cues to make every exercise a full body exercise

1. Pull up your arches

2. Push out your knees

3. Tuck your butt

4. Brace your core

5. Anchor your shoulders

5 essential exercises for every woman

1. Leg press

2. Deadlift

3. Reverse grip pulldown

4. Chest press

5. Overhead press

Also Read:

How to Strength Train Without Weights

4 Effective Ways to Make Body Weight Exercises Harder

5 Strength Training Exercises for Runners

images by Lauren Milner Photography courtesy of Westin



How to Make Your Own Perfectly Roasted Chickpeas with Help from 2Armadillos Crispy Chickpeas

2-armadillos-chickpeas

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a staple Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and African cuisine, making them second only to the soybean as the most widely eaten bean in the world. The primary ingredient in hummus, chickpeas are a great source of lean protein and filling fiber: a one cup serving of chickpeas contains 268 calories, 12.5 grams of dietary fiber, 14.5 grams of protein, and 4.2 grams of fat.

Mild in flavor, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like a chickpea, unless it’s the mushy texture that turns them off. When roasted, however, they can offer a healthy, low-carb crunch to your favorite meals. If you’ve ever tried to roast them on your own, you are probably painfully that without the right recipe you’ll end up with scorched, bitter bits with a mushy center.

2Armadillos Crispy Chickpeas makes hand-roasted chickpeas that crunch like pretzels and taste like chips. They use nothing artificial, no preservatives, no junk and they offer a variety of delicious flavors like Tomato Basil, Spicy Cayenne, and Cinnamon Toast. Passionate about their chickpeas, 2Armadillos’ relationship manager Candice Cook shared with us her expert secrets to make your own delicious roasted chickpeas at home, plus tons of flavor combinations and unique uses you’ve probably never thought of.
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4 Effective Ways to Make Your Body Weight Workouts Harder

bosu workout

Strength training is a progressive thing: as you progress and grow stronger, the intensity and resistance of your exercises will evolve to continue to challenge you and keep those results coming. There are very specific variables that effect how hard an exercise is that you can use to increase that intensity incrementally. You can’t always just add more weight, so here are four other ways to ramp up the results of your body weight workouts.

How to Strength Train Without Weights

Change the angle: The steeper the angle of your body toward your exercising muscles, the harder the exercise will be. Example: elevate your feet during push-ups to make them tougher, or place your hands on a stair to decrease the angle for an easier modification of a standard pushup.

Decrease the stability: Reducing your contact with the floor instantly works more muscles groups to keep you balanced. You can do this by lifting one foot or hand off the ground, or getting off the floor completely with an unstable surface like a bosu, a balance board, or a stability ball.
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Beyonce’s Top 5 Killer Workout Moves Celebrate Let’s Move’s 5th Anniversary

beyonce workout

Celebs like Beyonce are sharing quick workout tips to help Michelle Obama celebrate the 5th anniversary of Let’s Move!

A-listers like Ryan Seacrest, Kerry Washington, Hugh Jackman, and John Legend have joined in on the fun by capturing a workout move on video. They’re all sharing videos of themselves doing five reps of a favorite exercise with the hashtag #gimmefive. A fitting tribute to a program that’s raised significant awareness for physical activity in the last five years!

Bey went the extra mile and shared five of her go-to moves that keep the Flawless singer in such great shape.

Try Beyonce’s killer workout moves yourself:
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Condiments Revealed! What’s Really in 14 of the Most Popular Condiments

condiments

Condiments are one of the easiest ways to amp up the flavor in your foods. While the addition of some condiments provides flavor and little else, some can actually ramp up the health factor of your meal, while some of your favorites may be heaping hundreds of calories and unnecessary sugar, fat, and salt onto your already healthy meals, sabotaging your efforts to eat lighter and cleaner.

Anything in excess can be bad for you, so just because a food is low in calories doesn’t mean it’s free license to eat as much as you’d like. To keep our condiment analysis true and accurate, always stick to recommended portion sizes.

7 Basic Steps for Cleaner Eating Without Going Paleo

Salsa: 1 oz, 8 calories, .9g sugar

Veggies, herbs and spices, what could go wrong? If you’re whipping up your own, not much, but grabbing a jar of name brand salsa off the shelf can mean you’re pouring on preservatives, chemicals, loads of sodium, and even added sugar if you’re a fruit salsa fan. Big companies will pump their salsa full of preservatives to keep it shelf stable. Think about it — how else can “fresh” veggies sit on a shelf for weeks and still be edible?

If you go fresh and all natural, salsa can be an amazingly healthy and delicious option for just about anything. If buying from the store, you should be able to recognize every ingredient on the label. If making your own, dice up fresh roma tomatoes, onion, cilantro, garlic and a little jalapeno and pile that pico high to sneak in an extra serving of veggies. Try it on eggs, over chicken, or mixed with brown rice and kidney beans for a satisfying meatless Mexican filling.
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