Blog

Creating a community here at Raw Power is a BIG goal of ours.  Want to know what we think about when we're not teaching?  Read up on it here, then let us know what YOU think!  Please comment, agree (or disagree!), and share your thoughts too.  This is our place to share recipes, great articles, up and coming (effective)  trends in fitness, and general musings on anything and everything.

fitting in Exercise when There Just Isn't enough time...

In a perfect world, we get our workouts in 5-6 days per week and we follow our nutrition plan 100%. We’re healthy, energetic, and unstoppable! But really, life isn’t always like that. Imagine this scenario: It’s a busy day, you missed your morning workout and are wondering how you can fit SOMETHING in today that might count as exercise. If you can get outside over lunch, go take a walk!  Every chance you get, take the stairs. Have a conference call?  Put them on speaker and hold a plank.  Even if you’re stuck at your desk, here are 5 exercises you can do that will leave you feeling energized and strong.

 

1)      Simply sit on a stability ball:  Sitting on a ball forces you to sit up straight and use your core.  No slouching allowed!  Try a ball like this one: https://www.prosourcefit.com/collections/yoga-pilates/products/stability-exercise-ball?variant=5943846659 Strengthen your core and pelvic floor even more by tilting your pelvis forward, back, left and right.  Keep repeating and changing direction. This is one also great to give a nice stretch to your lower back.

 

2)      Leg abduction:  You can discreetly work those thighs and glutes without anyone knowing. Feel the burn with this band placed above your knees: https://www.prosourcefit.com/collections/resistance-bands/products/loop-resistance-bands-set

 

These bands also make great travel equipment!  So tiny to pack, and yet so many uses.  Looking for bands that can really give you a full body workout when you’re in your hotel room?  Try these https://www.prosourcefit.com/collections/resistance-bands/products/stackable-resistance-bands-set.  Not only does this little package come with a huge variety of resistance bands, it also comes with a booklet detailing all the exercises you can do, simply by anchoring your bands into the door with the supplied anchor.  Easily get in a full body workout in 30 minutes without ever having to leave your hotel room.

 

3)      Take a break to strengthen your shoulders and chest.  Place a pilates ring between your palms, extend your arms and squeeeeeeze!  https://www.prosourcefit.com/collections/yoga-pilates/products/pilates-resistance-ring?variant=5944109315 Alternatively, work your shoulders and back by slipping your wrists in the ring and pressing out against the pads.

 

4)      Use your same pilates ring to work your inner thighs by placing the pads on the inside of your legs, just above your knees.  Again, squeeeeeeeze repeatedly.

 

5)      Another discreet way to strengthen your legs and core with this one:  Strap on some ankle weights.  Sit up tall and extend one leg straight forward.  Lower and repeat. Switch sides when you’ve felt the burn. https://www.prosourcefit.com/collections/strength-toning/products/ankle-weights?variant=20777357955 Develop equal strength on the back side of your body by pulling your heel up toward the bottom of your chair. Lower and repeat. Stand up while on a conference call: balance on one leg and lift the other up and out to the side with control.

 

There are so many ways to fit exercise into your day that don’t involve having to go to the gym.  Don’t let your missed workout ruin your day!  The equipment we’ve linked to above is high quality for a very reasonable price.  It can all be discreetly kept and used at your desk or for travel (except the stability ball…that’s a hard one to pack!).

 

And as always, don’t beat yourself up for missing a workout!  We’re all human.  Life happens and naturally, other things take precedence. The key is getting right back on track and just doing what you can WHEN you can.  Every little bit matters.

 

If you could use some personal guidance in your workouts, let us know!  Susan and Bree are both NASM Certified Personal Trainers and Precision Nutrition Coaches. They can help you implement a solid plan to have you feeling and looking your best.

Life Resolutions by Lindsey Urbanek

Make a Life Resolution!

When you are a part of the fitness industry for 20 years, you grow accustomed to a certain fervor and excitement that surround the post- holiday season.  The hustle and bustle of preparing for all the celebrations and then the sheer panic that sets in when people want to make health and fitness changes ASAP!

I think the whole idea around New Years’ resolutions sets us up to make big and sweeping changes that are often not sustainable or realistic.  When I talk to my clients about making changes, I like them to think of baby steps that over time add up to consistent habits and eventually life altering changes.

A couple of small changes that can get you moving in the right direction:

  1. Eat breakfast every morning to get your metabolism kick-started for the day.

  2. Focus on smaller meals and snacks throughout the day with lean proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs.

  3. Move your body every day, whether it’s a group fitness class, working in the yard, or jogging with a friend.  Try out new ways to exercise and stick with those that you enjoy!

  4. Write down what you eat and make yourself accountable for your workouts by meeting up with others or setting appointment reminders.  

  5. Life is all about balance, so you are entitled to some rewards and small treats during the week.  

  6. Show yourself some grace!  Some days you will be more health conscious than others, staying consistent the majority of the time will lead to the lasting results.

Here are a couple of my favorite recipes:

PB Chocolate Chip Energy Bars:

2 cups (dry) oatmeal (I used gluten-free thick cut oats)

1 and 1/3 cups coconut flakes (Let’s Do Organic is my favorite brand!)

1 cup peanut, almond, or other nut butter (Pick your favorite!)

1 cup fresh ground flax seed

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional, I used Lily’s brand sweetened with stevia)

2/3 cup raw honey (Buy a local honey) 

1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients together in a medium bowl until very thoroughly mixed.

Press mixture very firmly into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Place in freezer for approx. 1 hour, then slice into bars/squares with a sharp knife. 

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a week

OR

Alternately, you can roll into balls of about 1″ in diameter.  

Place on a cookie sheet & Freeze one hour. 

Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.


 

HONEY BALSAMIC ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs brussels sprouts

  • 3 tbsp olive oil separated

  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tsp raw honey or agave

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.

  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or use a Silpat silicone baking mat.

  3. Trim off the outer, dry leaves, cut the bottom off and slice sprouts lengthwise.

  4. In a large bowl, toss brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to coat thoroughly.

  5. Transfer the brussels sprouts to baking sheet and roast until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

  6. Place brussels sprouts back in bowl. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and toss to coat evenly. Taste and season with kosher salt if necessary and serve.

Reviews on the Best Yoga Mats

So many mats to choose from!  Although we do offer mats to borrow in the studio, it's really best to have your own.  Not only for sanitary reasons, but because the mats in the studio are not TRUE yoga mats.  A true yoga mat will support you in a hot, sweaty class...so no slipping and sliding. Check out this resource to find a mat you'll really love and one that will pass the test of time. There are several with high rankings, but the at the top of the list is the Manduka Pro Lite, which we sell in the studio.  This is the brand both Susan and Bree have for their personal practice.  They take years of abuse and sweat, clean up nicely, and are truly functional for hot classes. Check it out:

 

http://www.reviews.com/best-yoga-mat/

Working out smarter, not harder!

By Susan Doerr

Good Nutrition, cardio workouts and strength training may already be in your life in 2017.  How about yoga, Pilates, meditation , massage, supplements such as collagen protein, fermented drinks(Kombocha and water kefir), essential oils like lavender to calm or peppermint to boost energy, plant-based proteins, wellness vacations, and a community place to share similar goals like Raw Power.    "Surround yourself with positive people that lift you up" is one of our mantras for 2017.  Power up your mind, body and life is RAW Power Fitness Studio's vision!   

We see friendships forming at the studio everyday whether it's attending a Dance class like WERQ, Hot yoga class or a Strength class like Barbell.   Our clients may come in with stress, but leave with a sense of accomplishment, a smile, and upbeat attitude to help them face the rest of their day!   Raw Power has become a family of strong, like-minded people who truly want to be the best version of themselves.   Check out all the RP coaches, variety of classes and nutrition guidance and you will be ready to make Raw Power your second home!   The conversations at the studio before and after class are about meal prep, next class to take together,  family and kids, Kansas City happenings, and ways to improve health!      

Strive to make this your year to recommit! Try not to compare yourself to others as they may have a different set of goals or genetic make up and that will just leave you feeling depleted.    

Plan to take at least one hour out of your day to focus on YOU!    Start today!  Your next vacation may be a WELLNESS retreat, book a massage and/or a facial, call a friend to meditate together or walk the trails,  and connect for a coffee or a yoga class.   What is your mantra, what inspires you, how can you make your life better?   

 

 

Strength vs Cardio

STRENGTH VS CARDIO

By Bree Ginden

 

In a world where much of the time we don’t have the hours or the energy to do everything we want/need to do, I often get the question: Strength or Cardio?  Which is better?

 

And the answer is:  that depends on your goals.  And Strength training isn’t solely for muscle gain while cardio isn’t solely for fat loss.

 

STRENGTH TRAINING

 

·       Better for weight loss.  “But I burn more calories when I run for an hour!” you may say.  And this could be true, but while you may burn 10 calories per minute while running and only 8 while strength training, studies show that your metabolism is elevated for up to 36 hours after a good strength session vs only a few hours after cardio…and even that depends on the intensity and duration.  This is a phenomenon known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which is the extra work your body has to do to recover from exercise.

 

In addition, if you are squeezing in 30 seconds of jump squats or simply quickly moving from one exercise to another, your heart rate is likely to rise. This can end up giving you the same caloric burn as you would with steady state cardio during the same time period.

 

If you start to think of all those EPOC calories you’re burning over the period of weeks and months of strength training, you begin to understand why it wins here. To get a solid post workout calorie burn from cardio, you’d have to be moving pretty intensely for a loooong period of time…and most people that are capable of that aren’t the ones that are wanting to lose weight.

 

·       The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn 24/7. Realistically, females can expect to gain .5-1# of muscle per month with a good strength training program and proper nutrition.

 

·       Strength training can completely reshape your body. We’ve all seen someone who’s dieted off a large amount of weight and simply turned into a smaller version of themselves. While they may look much better in clothes, in the process they’ve probably lost a lot of muscle and just look “soft”.  While following a proper nutrition program AND strength training, one can lose fat and keep their muscles firm so that the end product is more visually appealing.

 

In addition, some women shy away from heavy weights because they “don’t want to bulk up”.  Friends, we don’t have enough natural testosterone in our bodies to bulk like that.  You may have genetically bigger calves, or quads, but that’s your body type. There are ways to train to give your physique a more proportional appearance, and that doesn’t usually mean reaching for the 3# weights. Heavier weights will boost your metabolism and give you a more defined appearance.

 

Utilizing weights you can lift for 15-20 reps will engage more of your slow twitch muscle fibers. Weights you can only lift about 8-10 times will use your fast twitch fibers.  Weights you can lift 30+ times? Pointless!  It’s just wear and tear on your joints.

 

·       Strength training favors a hormonal environment more friendly for fat loss. It favors muscle gain or maintenance, depending on your caloric intake. Cardio, however, triggers cortisol release. Cortisol is the main hormone that encourages muscle mass loss and fat storage around the abdomen.

 

·       It not only builds your muscles, but can strengthen your bones as well. It’s easier for many elderly or obese people to begin with weights than with cardio. In studies, weight training gave novices a bigger sense of accomplishment and success than cardio training did.

 

 

CARDIO CONDITIONING

 

·       This one wins points in the cardiac health area.  While your heartrate may get elevated with strength training, it probably won’t reach the levels it will if you’re out for a run.

 

·       Stress relief! While many people may enjoy strength training, people simply don’t report the same amount of stress relief with that as they do with a good cardio sweat session. It’s a bigger endorphin boost, with studies showing it can improve mood, anxiety and depression.

 

·       Easier to do with friends and minimal equipment. Hands down, going for a walk/jog is infinitely less expensive than purchasing weights or joining a gym. Cardio wins here.  And if it gives you much needed time spent with a running buddy, then it’s totally worth it.

 

WHAT DOES ALL THIS MEAN? 

 

It means that there is a time and place for everything, and BOTH should be a part of your exercise routine.  Hopefully now you are convinced that strength training is NOT just for perking up those muscles, but that it is a great strategy to focus on for fat loss as well.

 

Lastly, anytime you are interested in shedding weight or gaining muscle, you should have a proper nutrition plan to complement your exercise. Improper nutrition can defeat any gains or losses you may be aiming for in the gym, so make sure you visit with us to get the most out of your efforts!