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July 30, 2012

MAC FIt Moves Make Muscles More Mighty!

Ladies! Great job in your health journey.  You are taking the necessary steps to protect yourself, to grow in strength and productivity,  and just to feel better! Here are this week’s MAC FIT MOVES.  Remember, try to hit Pair 1 one day, then PAIR 2 the next!  Do each exercise for 10 reps, 3 times through.
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all  He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice - the kind He will find acceptable.
Romans 12:1 (NLT)

 PAIR 1:
·        Chest Fly to Lat Pullover (Back and Chest COMBO!)

o   Laying flat on the ground, hold a weight in each hand.
o   With the weights above your chest, lower your hands down away from your body – until your elbows reach the ground. Squeeze the chest muscles and bring the weights back up to start position.
o   Now lower your weights backwards, keeping them together with straight arms, until your shoulders are by your ears. Squeeze the back muscles underneath your armpits to pull the weight back up to start position.

Chest FLY!                                                                                               LAT PULLOVER!


·        Bicep Curl with Band
o   Standing on band with both feet, handle in each hand, curl the band up so that your hand is by your shoulder. Elbow stays still, near your side!
o   For a change of pace, curl the first set up normally, curl the second set up focusing on the handles coming up towards the outside of the body (elbows in – handles out), and the third set focus on the handles coming up towards the inside of the body (handle comes up the middle of the body towards inside of chest).

* Unlike this picture, keep your wrist at nuetral at the bottom (palm facing leg).

·        ABS: Oblique Reach
o   Laying flat on your side, pull your knees in so legs are bent, knees together.
o   If laying on right side, put the left hand on your head, the right arm can either rest on the floor, it can hug your waist, or it can even sit between your knees.
o   Reach that left elbow up and away from you, keeping your hand on your head!  Feel the crunch in your obliques (side-abs).
o   Do the same on the opposite side! Focus on squeezing with the core instead of pulling with the neck/head to alleviate any unnecessary strain.

·        Wall Sit with Shoulder Circles
o   With your back against the wall, lower your body down so that your legs are at a 90 degree angle (or just about!), with your knees directly over your heels.  Begin holding your wall sit for 30 seconds.
o   For the first 15 secs – hold your arms straight out and perform small arm circles  
(5      forward, 5 backward).
o   For the last 15 secs – hold your arms straight out and perform large arm circles  
(5 forward, 5 backward)

·        Overhead Tricep Press with weight
o   With one weight in one hand, press the weight up so that it is above your head, (CHECK HAND POSITION IN PICTURE).
o   Lower the weight down behind you, keeping the elbow stationary near the ear.
o   Squeeze your tricep (rear-upper-arm), and pull the weight back up to starting position.
o   Feel free to spot yourself by holding the elbow in the right place, offering a bit of assistance on the lift up.

·        abs: X ups.
o   Laying flat on the floor, simultaneously lift your left foot and right hand to meet each other in the middle of your body. Straight leg and arm, like an X!
o   Lower them down, staying straight, and do the same thing with the opposite extremities.

Do I want to build muscle? The answer is YES!

We at MAC fit focus on strength as an important aspect of our overall fitness and health.  Please click on the following link to read more about why MUSCLE is good! 


Don't be worried about getting bulky  - MAC Fit moves are good, but not that good!You will have to workout a lot harder and longer and heavier to have that problem in mind!

So, when we emphasize the MAC fit moves as being important in all your health goals, now you know why!  Here is the quick summary:

1) Muscle decreases risk of injury, and osteoporosis in your future!
2) Muscle increases your metabolic rate (calorie burners!).
3) Muscle improves balance.
4) Muscle can help with blood-sugar control.
5) Muscle can burn calories, even after you're done working out!
6) Muscle can help you sleep better, and keep you happy! (workouts invovling muscle building exercises release hormones that help with sleep and happy feelings. A natural anti-depressant!)

Food for thought!  (always a zero calorie meal)

July 23, 2012

Don't MISS these MAC fit MOVES!

Pair #1: Legs, Shoulders, and Triceps
·        Frog Jumps!
o   With no weights, put your feet into plié position (just wider than shoulder width, toes pointed slightly out.) Bend your knees, keeping your chest and head up, and lowering your bottom towards the floor behind you.  Go as low as you can – some will be able to touch hands on the floor! As soon as you touch the lowest possible point, spring up while putting your hands in the air!  You should come right back down where you started, no forward motion. Repeat 10 times.
o   MODIFICATION: instead of springing up to jump , just stand back and up raise your heels off the ground.
*REACH down with hands between legs, instead of on outside of legs.

·        Tricep - Shoulder Press combo
o   With one weight held in both hands, hold the weight in front of your chest with elbows bent. Press the weight straight up overhead. Once overhead, lower the weight backwards behind you keeping your elbows stationary by your ears. (this is the tricep portion!) Raise the weight back up overhead, then lower back to your chest.
step #1

step #2

step # 3

·        ABS: IN and OUTS
o   With your legs in the air, reach up with your hands and touch the inside of the opposite foot, then reach as far as you can across your body towards the opposite wall.  Should go like this:  (IN- right, IN – left, OUT- right, OUT – left)
o   Go for 8 total reps!

Pair # 2:  Chest and Back
·        Lat Pullovers
o   With one weight in both hands, laying flat on the floor, start with the weight above your chest with straight arms.  Lower the weight backwards towards the floor behind you – keeping your arms straightened.  Once your shoulders reach your ears, raise the weight back up to the start position while keeping your arms straight!  To get a better overall workout, lift and keep your legs off the floor with your heels towards the ceiling during the whole set.

·        Modified Pushups
o   On the floor using your mats, position yourself into a modified push up where your body rests on your knees and your hands (body should be straight as an arrow from knees to neck!)  Keeping your head up, looking 20 feet in front of you, lower your chest towards the floor by bending your elbows. Don’t let your shoulders tense up into your ears! Your neck should be relaxed.  Once you lower yourself so that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle, push yourself back up and repeat 10 times! 

·        ABS: Standing up crunches
o   With your hands on your head, crunch your chest and elbow towards your opposite knee as you lift it up in a standing crunch. Do the opposite side.  Then Crunch your elbow towards your same side knee as you lift your knee out to the side to meet your elbow, repeat on opposite side. It’s a great oblique move!

July 16, 2012

more MAC fit moves for your MAC fit MUSCLES!

Ladies, you are doing so well on this journey! I am consistently seeing improvement in those of you who have committed to using MAC fit as a tool to grow stronger in your bodies, as well as in your faith! If you need more encouragement in your fitness goals, please feel free to contact me - I am more than willing to help!  I encourage you to keep working out during the week at home using different varieties of movement like walking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, water aerobics, ellipticals, etc! And use the MAC fit moves to help you get strong and stay strong!
I had a BLAST kickboxing with you last week, and we are going to do it again this week! See you saturday and bring a friend!
(like I mentioned last week, it will be very beneficial to set up a work out schedule where you can do Pair 1 one day, and Pair 2 the next!)
Pair 1:  Legs and Shoulders!
·        Chair sit-backs
o   With your feet together and knees together, slowly sit back onto a chair that is placed behind you, not too close, not too far away!  FOCUS on sitting back with your behind, with your chin and chest up comfortably. Your knees should easily be behind your toes and your weight into your heels, because you have a chair to catch you! Once your butt hits the chair, stand up quickly!  Slow on the way down, quick on the way up. Keeping your legs together the whole way will work your inner thigh even more than a regular squat would.

·        Side and front shoulder raises
o   With a weight in each hand, raise one weight at a time with an extended arm.  Don’t raise the weight higher than ear/eye level.  You should do it as such:  Right arm side raise, right arm front raise, left arm side raise, left arm front raise.  Keeping the arm straight, and the back straight as well. Don’t rock the weight up, as that could harm your lower back and takes benefit to the shoulders away from the exercise.  Do the split leg stance if you have any back issues!

·        ABS:
o   Heels to the heavens!
§  Laying on your back, with your hands palms down underneath your bottom, put your legs straight up into the air.  
§  Feet together, Raise your heels towards the heavens - Focus on your legs and feet going straight up and down, ceiling to floor, without much or any movement front to back! This is a great core, lower abs move!
§  The movement does not have to be big, it’s more about focusing on straight up and straight down, without using a swinging motion to get your feet in the air!

Pair 2:  Tricep and Bicep!
·        Overhead tricep extension with band
o   With your legs in split stance, put one end of band under the back foot, the other end in your same side’s hand.  With your elbow close to your ear, extend your hand up towards the ceiling! Slowly lower back down – always keeping elbow in a stable, unmoving position.  Switch stance, switch sides!

*use the split stance, not shown here
one leg forward, one leg back

·        Bicep curl with band
o   With the band underneath both of your feet, handle in each hand, curl the band up keeping your elbow stable and unmoving. Slowly lower back down!  At the bottom your wrist should be in neutral position (palms facing legs), and at the top your palm should be facing your shoulder!

·        ABS:
o    PLANKS Variated
§  You are going to hold your body in a plank position with your hands on the floor for 5 secs, then you are going to move yourself to rest on your forearms with a straight body, for 5 seconds, then up to hands for another 5 sec, then down to forearms for another 5 sec. This a total body move! But so great for the core J
§  If you are unable to do this move, or if you struggle with shoulder, neck, lower back issues – feel free to do a regular plank on your forearms or hands for 15 sec intervals!

July 9, 2012

Moves that make you mac FIT!

Like last week -  I've set up the moves of the week in pairs! To give you an example, this is how I'm doing my workouts this week!
Mon- walk/jog and Pair 1, Tue- bike ride and Pair 2, Wed- walk/jog Pair 1, Thurs - walk/jog Pair 2, Fri - going for a long bike ride and abs only!  Sat - MAC FIT KICKBOXING!
Pair #1:
·        Chest Flies
o   Laying flat on the floor, have a weight in each hand extended straight above your chest.
o   Slowly open up your hands and bring your weights closer to the floor until your elbows touch the floor.  (For the best fly - weights in hands should be out  farther from your body than your elbows are.)
o   Squeeze your chest muscles and bring the weights back to the start in the same motion they came down!

·        Lat Pullovers with leg lift
o   With one weight in your hand, straighten your arms and start with the weight directly above your chest, and lift your legs so they are up in the air.
o   Keeping your arms straight, lower the weight backwards to the point when your upper arm is directly next to your ear.
o   Lift the weight back up keeping your arms straight, and when you get back to the top – push the weight up towards your feet!

*Unlike the picture, you do NOT have to lower your legs down when you lower the weight down. That is optional!

·        ABS: spell MAC FIT….  SWEAT ….. ROCKS!
o   With your legs extended straight out from your body, keep both feet together and spell the word MAC FIT! You can make big or small letters, either way!
o   On the next set, spell SWEAT, and the next set spell ROCKS!
o   IF YOU HAVE BACK ISSUES – you can still do this exercise, but keep your legs up high in the air and spell the words up high, instead of extended out low.  This alleviates most of the back pressure.

Pair #2:
·        Tricep kickbacks
o   Using one weight, either place your off hand on your knee or on a chair – keeping your back straight!
o   Without moving your elbow, kick the weight back behind you using your tricep!  Slowly lower the weight back down.

·        Plie squats with shoulder row
o   With weights in both hands, feet slightly wider than shoulder width, and toes point barely outwards like a ballerina in a plié… lower the weights down between your legs – THINK BUTT BACK and CHEST UP!
o   As you bring the weights back up, stand up into your plié and pull the weights up leading with your elbows into a shoulder row.  Weights should never be higher than the elbows.

·        ABS:  Bicycles
o   With both legs extended, pull one knee in towards the opposite elbow in a cross body crunch, leaving the other leg extended.
o   Switch legs and repeat.
o   IF YOU HAVE BACK ISSUES – instead of having your legs extended. Keep them bent with foot on floor.  You can still cross body crunch the opposite knee to opposite elbow, but avoid the back pressure.

July 2, 2012

Mac Fit Moves, in a new format!

We are going to approach this week’s MAC FIT MOVES a little differently this week! You can approach it in 2 ways, depending on your lifestyle or preference:
·        Do all the moves at once, every other day this week.
·        Do one pair of moves each day this week, alternating pairs every other day. 
·        Do the Ab move EVERYDAY if possible. Abs don’t need the recovery day that our other muscles do!

PAIR #1:
·        Front squat to shoulder press
o   With the weights resting on the front of your shoulders, sit back into your squat position. (butt back, don’t let your knees go over your toes, chest up!)
o   As you stand up, press the weights into the air overhead.  This should be a fluid movement.
o   Bring the weights back down to shoulders, then repeat.

<---TO THIS!

·        Tricep Pushup off counter, or chair.
o   You may be getting really good at these by now! If so, try moving yourself down to a sturdy chair, bench, or a sofa arm. Something lower than a counter top.  If you are still a the counter top – good for you! You are still doing a great move for your triceps, ladies!
o   Remember that your hands are just tighter than shoulder width apart,  keep your elbows in, shoulders stay down away from your ears, and push up equally out of both hands.  Bodies straight from toes to neck – like a board!
This picture shows no countertop or chair -  just shows the correct body position!

Pair # 2:
·        Wall sits with Bicep Curl
o   With your backs on the wall, lower yourself to a 90 degree angle of your legs (or close).
o   With weights at your sides, alternate curling one arm up at a time. Keeping your elbow secure, non-moving. 
o   Do this until you have done 10 curls on each arm.

·        Bent over Row
o   You can use either the band or a weight to do this back exercise.
o   Take a big step out, and lower yourself so that your front leg is bent, back leg is behind you are relatively straight,  and your back is straight from your hips to your neck, and you are looking at the floor in front of you.
o   Pull your arm holding weight or band back– pulling your elbow straight back towards the ceiling behind you.  Remember to go slow on the way down, and keep your shoulders down away from your ears.  *Helpful hint- if you use the weight, rest your coordinating hand on the front leg that is bent, and pull the weight with the opposite hand.  If you are using the band – arrange yourself so that you are pulling the band on the same side of your front bent leg!
 (Feel free to straighten that back leg and rest on bent front leg... this picture doesn't show that)

Perfect sit ups!
·        Laying on your  back with your knees bent, hands behind your head, focus on these 3 things SIMULTANEOUSLY.  (OY! – multi tasking exercise? – brain and body work!!)
o   Lift pelvis off of floor (Squeezing butt cheeks)
o   Pull belly button in towards spine… Suck it in ladies!
o   Lift shoulders off floor by thinking about Closing your Rib Cage towards your pelvis!
·        When you release this exercise, do not let yourself rest flat on the floor in between. Think about keeping a slight closure of the rib cage during the whole exercise… keep the shoulder’s slightly off the floor! You can do it! J  Remember to think about lifting your shoulders off by using your abs, not by pulling your head off the floor with your heands, that will crank the neck in bad ways! And if you do have neck pain, please feel free to relax when needed.  You will still get a good workout!

July 1, 2012

Becky's Challenge to You

During our last 30 minutes of Saturday's MAC Fit session, we talked about a lot of things.  We talked about the readings in our Jesus Calling books and shared some favorite scriptures from the past week's readings.  We also visited about how it takes great discipline in our lives to eat right and exercise regularly. 

This blog is one tool you can use to support one another in the journey to fitness of body, mind, and soul. I challenge you this week to leave at least ONE comment that will encourage other readers. 

Just Do It!  Click on the "Comments" button and leave a comment!
I'll be watching for you.  :-)