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Row, Row, Row to Get Fit Like Frank Underwood (It’s Better Than Spinning!)

frank underwood rowing

Oh, boy. House of Cards is back this week, and who isn’t excited? The extremely popular television show premiered on Netflix two years ago, and even though we got a brief flirtation with a third season, our long wait is finally over. Though we all appreciate the entertainment value in House of Cards (or any Netflix-binge-worthy show), we have to at least mention Frank Underwood’s stellar shape.

In the first season of House of Cards, Frank’s wife Claire buys him a rowing machine, to which he replies, “It looks positively medieval, doesn’t it?”. He isn’t as avid a runner as she is, and she wants him to stay fit so the two of them can continue their Napoleon-esque takeover of D.C.

Claire is certainly a healthy fitness inspiration, but her reign of influence has caused a boost in the popularity of rowing since a machine moved into her basement, and it is no wonder why. Rowing is a tremendously beneficial activity to add to your fitness routine.

“Rowing is awesome because it pulls double duty,” explained DietsInReview’s Kelly Turner, a personal trainer and fitness journalist. “It’s an amazing cardiovascular workout, but the motion and resistance of the rowing machine also counts as strength training.”
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How to Beat the Winter Workout Blues Without Leaving Your Couch!

winter-blues

If you’re anything like me, the second it gets cold you want all the blankets, all the creamy soups, all the Netflix on the couch, ALL THE TIME! Who wants to change into tight workout clothes and attempt to bundle up and leave the house for a run or a trip to the gym when your cozy chair and favorite knit socks simply won’t let you go?

Well fear not fellow homebodies! I’ve gotten pretty creative this year on how to stay moving without moving too far at all. Here’s how to beat winter at its own game, and do it from the comfy-cozy confines of your house.

Dread commercials? Make ‘em count!

While I fully endorse the 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon, nobody needs 25 full days to sit around. Use those dreaded commercial breaks as an excuse to move around. The average half-hour TV show has at least 8 minutes of ads, double that for an hour, so if you’re binge-watching Gilmore Girls that adds up quick! Think pushups, jumping jacks, squats, lunges, no equipment, and only a few minutes to push it hard before your show is back on!

Here’s a TV Commercial Break Workout you can squeeze in between scenes.
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The 9 Best Gilmore Girls Food Indulgences, or the Gastronomic Nightmare That is the Gilmore Girls’ Diet

gilmore girls food

If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent the last 10 days or so in a Gilmore Girls-induced haze. Ever since the entire series was added to Netflix on October 1, I confess that I’ve been binge watching almost every night.

Several things have stuck out to me while re-watching the series. I’ve marveled at the quick, witty script, cringed at the awful early 2000′s fashion, and enjoyed pre-Bridesmaids Melissa McCarthy. However, the thing that’s stuck out to me the most has to be the food. It’s a running gag that the titular Gilmore Girls eat like crap and somehow manage to still look amazing. To celebrate (and condemn) the gastronomic nightmare that is the Gilmore Girls diet, here’s a countdown of some of their top indulgences.

gilmore girls chinese food
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Rachel’s 60 Percent Weight Loss is Nothing to Celebrate; Biggest Loser Should be Ashamed

UPDATE: Editor Brandi Koskie spoke with WCCO radio in Minneapolis, MN, about Rachel’s shocking weight loss. Listen to the conversation here:

 

 

105 pounds. 60% loss? Rachel is beautiful, but @biggestlosernbc that is not healthy. We both know that. We shouldn’t celebrate that.

That’s what I tweeted tonight once the confetti fell on the Biggest Loser stage. Reactions of shell-shocked viewers, like this one, poured in. And there are more below.

 

rachel-bl-winner

Rachel Frederickson may have won Biggest Loser season 15 tonight, but there’s very little to celebrate. She looked stunning when she was finally revealed during the live finale, but awe turned to shock when millions of viewers at home noticed her frail, skeletal frame.

“I knew it would come to this someday, just wish it hadn’t,” was the comment from a trusted insider who attended the finale. For years people have wondered if the $250,000 prize money would push contestants too far. This isn’t the first time a finalist has looked too thin on that scale; but no one has ever looked as frighteningly emaciated as Rachel did tonight.

rachel-bl-finale

“It’s so much worse in person, isn’t it?” I texted, following the show’s ending.

“I legitimately cried,” our insider told us upon seeing Rachel in person. “[NBC] should be beyond ashamed.”

NBC has “no statement,” confirmed at 9:15am today.

My sentiments were the same as my insider’s. Rachel’s final weigh-in put her at 105 pounds. That’s not how much she lost, that’s her current weight, a 60% total weight loss off of a starting weight of 260 pounds. That percentage, most likely one of the highest in show history, absolutely secured her win.
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The Biggest Loser Premiere “Drinking Game” Workout

I’m a huge fan of The Biggest Loser. Like many of you, I’ve been a faithful viewer since the very beginning and have been eagerly anticipating the start of season 15, which is all about second chances. I always look forward to “meeting” the contestants and seeing what kinds of twists and turns are going to be thrown into the show.

One of the big twists this year is that the episodes are only one-hour long. While I love watching the show and definitely don’t look forward to it being over, the previous two-hour format was a long time to be sitting on the couch. And while there’s definitely nothing wrong with spending some time relaxing at the end of the day, if I can get a workout in while watching my favorite show I call that a win.

The Biggest Loser - Season 15
Something that I’ve started doing recently while watching some of my favorite shows is creating my own drinking game-style workout. Just in case you’re not familiar, a drinking game means taking a shot of liquor every time a “buzz” word is said. While that sounds like fun, it’s not exactly conducive to calorie burning. The difference with my game is that instead of taking a shot each time a buzz word is said I perform a specific exercise; burning instead of gaining.

Play along with us! Here’s a full body workout that you can do in the comfort of your own home (using your own body weight) while watching the premiere of The Biggest Loser, Season 15. You will not be exercising for the entire hour and have the option of performing more or less exercises during each segment of the show.

The Biggest Loser - Season 15

During the Introductions:

As contestants are being introduced, start by warming up with some dynamic stretching such as arm circles, side to side lunges and toe touches. Every time footage is shown of a contestant eating unhealthy food or says I need to start taking care of myself or second chance, do 15 jumping jacks.
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