Friday, 12 June 2015

Fitness Friday: Tone It Up 28 Days to Fit, Fierce and Fabulous

Good morning!

Today I have a Fitness Friday post ( a week later than planned...) on the wonderful 28 Days to Fit Fierce and Fabulous from Tone It Up!


If you haven't heard of Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, also known as the Tone It Up Girls, then you have been truly living under a rock.
They have an absolutely massive following in America and now worldwide and its easy to see why. They are absolutely beautiful with toned abs and winning smiles - I'd like to find any individual who doesn't want to look like them!
Not only that but they are truly genuinely THAT nice - you just need to add them on snapchat to see how happy and fun they are.


They have therefore brought out a book, full of recipes, tips, tricks, workout ideas and general life advice. It's a bible of sorts - I have loved reading it from start to finish and can't wait until all of my house moving stuff has finished so I can get on with my 28 day challenge!

I was gutted to weigh myself the other day and find that I have put on 'more than a few pounds' so I'm planning on stepping it up a gear at the gym and reigning in my eating. It is so hard when trying to be sociable but keeping your diet in check, even at work there is a constant supply of cake and 'Friday treats' that I am sometimes force fed!


With recipes and images that look like this how can you possibly not want to eat and drink healthy things like this?!
I love the recipes and cannot wait to try them all out, what I really liked most was that most days there are suggestions rather than a super strict menu plan that you have to follow - it's great to have that flexibility in your life.


Each day has a particular food and recipe to try (only if you want to) and also a mantra and fitness challenge. This doesn't only feed your body and challenge your muscles but also addresses any self esteem issues by getting you to build up your confidence.

I always think you should treat the body as a whole package and balance mind body and soul so this book is perfect for that.
There's also a HUGE section at the back with seemingly endless workouts that I cannot wait to try out, they all have pictures and guides for doing it properly so you know you are in safe hands.



This book is currently £14.88 for the paperback version that I have above, but it also comes in the kindle version for £9.49

What do you think of the Tone It Up 28 Days to Fit, Fierce and Fabulous book?

Do you love fitness plans like this? Do you need a plan to follow and tips and tricks to guide you?

I definitely need to put some structure back into my fitness regime and come up with some new diet ideas to keep me on the right track. These girls always look happy so it would be rude not to be infected by their happiness and zest for life wouldn't it??/

Hopefully in a few weeks I can get started and I'll come back with a full on review and progress report!

L xxx


Friday, 29 May 2015

Fitness Friday: South Beach Official

Good morning!

There's nothing like some new gym wear, and I've come across a new brand of funky fitness wear that I just had to share with you!

South Beach Official have some super bright pieces that you just have to see.

Neon Aztec Print Panel Capri Leggings £20

These leggings are my favourites - super bright with an amazing funky aztec pattern, and who doesn't love an aztec pattern?!
Looking at the picture it seems they fit on the waist which is ideal for me. I just love the bright colours and the summery Ibiza type feel that they have.

Black Printed Side Panel Capri Leggings £20

They also have a black version, with the neon aztec print just on the sides so if you're after a more subtle version they also have that too. If I'm honest I'd buy both!

Black Neon Aztec Print Contrast Lime Back Panel Fitness Vest £18
There is also a matching fitness vest too - I'm not normally one for matching but the black fitness leggings and this fitness vest would go really well together. Too much neon aztec print would look weird on anyone but I think with the black leggings it would look really good, but I do love the neon!

Kacey Black South Beach Canvas Bag £20

Their bag section is also really cute. This canvas bag would be perfect for storing your kit in on the way to work.
The Kate Holdall bag below would be beautiful for summer, at the beach and shopping trips.

Kate Navy Stripe Canvas Holdall Bag £25

I loved browsing through the website and was really impressed with the prices of everything, £20 for leggings is a great bargain when some can cost upwards of £70.

You can check out their website here, let me know what you pick up as I'll be putting in an order soon!

What's your favourite in this post? Do you like neon prints?

L xxx


Friday, 22 May 2015

Fitness Friday: Spitfire Athlete App


I've been trying to branch out and vary my routine as much as possible recently - it's hard enough getting to the gym and working it in around your life let alone now that wedding season seems to be in full swing along with trips for work and basically it's endless!

The other day I found this amazing app on the iTunes app store. Now I will straight away tell you that I've seen a number of complaints because the app is only available on iPhones and therefore not Android - so if you like the look of it feel free to make complaints as I'm sure they will have to create an Android one soon with demand!

The Spitfire Athlete app is an app that teaches you how to train to reach your goals. They follow these basic principles:

  • The training plans are created by certified coaches
  • Guides on training, nutrition and recovery
  • Detailed exercise instruction

The most important factor? They built up Spitfire Athlete for women to show them how strong and powerful they can be.

They'd like to promote the 'athlete's mentality' to help you set and achieve your goals whether they are strength, power, flexibility or physique.

You can check out their website here, and see a quick bio of each of the two female founders Erin and Nidhi showen below, respectively.

The plans are separated into Gym workouts and Bodyweight workouts. They all have epic names that motivate you and make you strive for more: The Fighter, The Warrior, The Heroine. 
Some look totally out of my fitness range if I'm honest but working towards them is something I can definitely do. 

I would love to complete The Dauntless, a 12 week training plan to build serious muscle with each and every day with set exercise routines and rest days. Each day is dedicated to a different muscle group and contains a warm up and cool down. More impressively they include a timer for those exercises that require you to complete it in a set time - this is something that always makes me so annoyed with running apps that suggest you run for 1 minute and walk for 1 minute, they don't make it easier!

Personally I will be trying The Heroine, a HIIT based plan whereby you will build muscle, lose fat and increase metabolism, most ideal for me. It's only a 4 week plan so will give me a good feel for the exercises and hopefully some new challenges!

More importantly than anything else the app is totally free and they also have a facebook group to join (Spitfire Athlete) for you to join others and socialise.

What do you think of the Spitfire Athlete app? Do you think it sounds like something you would like to try?

I think it's a great idea and I love that the whole idea is created by 2 women, I will certainly be promoting this app and I hope more people try it out and come up with ideas like this!
It's so motivating and inspiring to know that there are other women doing the same exercises.

L xxx


Friday, 15 May 2015

Fitness Friday: Food Cheats

Hello there! Apologies for the super late post today - I didn't get home from work until 10.30 last night. Writing posts in the week is getting harder and harder!

I don't know about you but regardless of how hard i work at the gym I need to keep my diet in check with good food and staying strict.

Any kind of cheat is helpful, and a food cheat is even better right?? Here's a few things to add to your diet to help your body throughout your fitness journey:

1) Coconut oil. Probably listed in every 'must have' list of foods for the fit and healthy, coconut oil really is a wonder food. You can use it to cook with, on toast, in cakes and generally you can smother yourself in it too! 
Adding this to a protein shake will boost your metabolism and elevates growth hormones,so this stuff simultaneously burns fat and builds muscle. Sounds pretty super to me!

2) Cottage cheese. I love this stuff, its really versatile. You can use it in salads (it then doubles up as dressing too), and as a replacement for cheese on top of pasta bakes for some melted stringy goodness. It's high in protein, low in fat and high in calcium so it packs a good punch into your body as it is, helping you to boost muscle mass. I also find it easy to snack on too, straight from the fridge with a spoon....the one with pineapple is the best!

3) Cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ginger. They all have a thermogenic effect, i.e. they increase your bodies temperature and therefore its metabolism and fat burning level. Adding cayenne pepper to savoury food and cinnamon to sweet food you can boost your fat burning rate, who doesn't love cinnamon on things?? I'll be adding this to my protein pancakes for sure!

4) Quinoa. Long have I been eating this amazing grain, higher in protein than others it can double its magic by being your carb portion and adding more protein to your meal.Not only can it be used in salads but also to replace rice and pasta and even oats. I regularly cook a bag and store it in the fridge and use it in whatever I want throughout the week - replacing my oats with greek yogurt and fruit, in salads and also to make my own version of egg fried rice.

Try swapping some of these foods into your diet and see what happens! I will be trying to add cinnamon to my diet as I can't stand cayenne pepper....!

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list?

L xxx


Friday, 8 May 2015

Fitness Friday: Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me

I don't know about you, but I love reading lists and tips, especially when the tips are concerning fitness and diet.
I've been coming up with this list of tips recently that I wish I had known before I'd set out on my fitness journey, so I thought I'd share some with you, I may need to add to this in future!

Image from Pinterest

1) Progress is progress, and most progress is slow. Don't get disheartened because progress is always a step in the right direction

2) Regardless of your diet, unless you are eating enough to sustain your body through your exercise and general life you will not be able to function nor progress

3) You also need to stop yourself from going OVER your calorie allowance - it doesn't matter how 'clean' you eat if you are taking in too many calories for your body to burn

4) Don't make a big deal of your gym sessions - there's no need to snapchat, instagram or facebook your every workout. If I did that I would be doing it 4 days a week and lets be honest, nobody wants to see it. I am also firmly of the belief that posting your workouts on social media makes them seem like they're special - you don't post every meal or when you go to sleep, why post your workouts and make them more special than they need to be? Save it for your cheat meals and you know you've earned them!

5) Don't cut out food groups or foods unless you really do have an allergy/intolerance. Cutting something out just makes you feel like you're missing out, a balanced diet is the best lifestyle to live

Image from Pinterest
6) Save your money on the latest 'must have' products - a decent protein and caffeine are probably all that you really need to complement your fitness plan

7) If you're tired or run down, don't force yourself to the gym. Your body is telling you it needs a break - don't make it worse by running it down even further!

8) Put down the slimmer teas, stop drinking your calories in the forms of juices and fizzy drinks. Just stick with water and normal teas such as peppermint (good for bloat) and green tea (good for metabolism and natural caffeine) and you don't need to spend £25 on a few bags of stuff that will give you stomach cramps for a few days.

9) Concentrate on warming up, form, and cooling down. The benefits of these cannot be underestimated, it's no use pumping weights if you're doing it wrong and injure yourself.

10) Everyone is different, embrace advice and suggestions but know what's working for you - notice someone at the gym doing something you might want to try? Go for it, don't feel like you need to use the same weights or do as many reps

What do you think of my list? See anything on there that might help you?

I'm nowhere near perfect but if I had known some of these things a few months of years ago then maybe I wouldn't have fallen off the wagon so many times in frustration!

L xxx


Friday, 1 May 2015

Fitness Friday: 5 Ways to Swap Fixed Weight Machines for Free Weights


I'm really getting back into my routine so I thought I'd share some ways I'm trying to vary some exercises and make my time spent in the gym the most efficient.
Swapping out using your fixed weight machines for free weights is a great way to use more muscles and burn more fat. So here's my top ones to swap out!


1) Seated Leg Extension. This trains your quads, the huge leg muscle at the front of the thigh.
Now I think we all know that isolating your quads from other leg muscles isn't going to get the results that you want very quickly.
Squats will most definitely help your quads and glutes together, ranging from wide leg squats to one leg pistol squats.............ooh err!

2) Seated Chest Press. This trains your pectoral or chest muscles.
Using your upper body muscles is much better when you use them all at the same time, performing push ups will not only use your chest muscles but your core and shoulders too. Doing them on a box as an incline push up will maximise all of these muscles and help you build up to full push ups when you're strong enough.

3) Seated Leg Press. Another that targets the leg muscles, including quads, glutes and hamstrings.
As mentioned above, squats are the best exercises for these muscles groups. Starting with body weight squats get used to the movement and ensure your form is perfect before progressing to holding weights in each hand or even a barbell.

4) Bicep curl machine. Pretty self explanatory, but I have to admit I really don't get this one!
I'm not sure why you'd use this fixed weight machine when you can pick up a pair of dumbbells and perform a better bicep curl and engage more of your muscles therefore burning more calories and fat.
The same goes for the tricep version, you can do so much more with tricep dips!

5) Any Ab machine such as a Seat rotation or Cruncher. I used to use these all the time and I can honestly say that I never saw any results from using them.
I hate to stick with everyone else but planks are the signle best exercise you can do for your core, you see progress really quickly and just need to persevere. I try to alternate normal planks with side planks, with and without pulsing my hip up and down and curling my arm underneath and back out again. 


Using bodyweight exercises are so much better than fixed weight machines. Not only do you use more muscles because you engage your core and require more muscles to help balance your body during the exercise, but you can see faster results and that's something I can agree with having experienced it myself!

What's your favourite bodyweight exercise? Do you have any favourite routines?

L xxx


Friday, 24 April 2015

Fitness Friday: Current Workout

Hello there!

Fitness recently has been a topic that I just haven't been able to get my head around.

I absolutely love it and still enjoy going to the gym and trying out new exercises, however with my training in work being seemingly endless and the copious amount of paperwork and appointments involved in buying a house it has definitely taken a back seat in reality and in my head.

The last two weeks though I have been getting back into it with all of the muscle ache to go with it!

Here's my latest program:

5 minute warm up on the cross trainer - a lot of people have a bit of an obsession or a loathing of the cross trainer, I have neither. I think it's useful for my 5 minute warm up as it loosens my legs and arms and gets my heart rate going!

Image from Technogym

After this I've been getting on the Wave Machine - it simulates speed skating which means your legs move on pedals in a similar way to a cross trainer, but instead they go out to the sides. You can stand in 4 different positions, leaning on the hand rail or standing freely for the intensity to be in different muscle groups, but essentially it targets your glutes, hamstrings, quads, lower back and if you manage to balance and stand up for whole time then you'll target abs as well!
I've been building this up as my lower back has a weakness but 10 minute blocks at a high level of 12 is how I've been doing it. The higher the level the wider the pedals move apart, therefore making it more difficult.

Once my 10 minutes on that are up (and I'm dripping in sweat, it really gets me working hard!) I head to the mats.

Image from
At this point I've been working on my Bulgarian Split Squats. If you don't know what they are you can view this video on youtube of Erin Stern.
I've been varying my weights whilst I get comfortable with the balance and the motion of squatting essentially on one leg, but I definitely need to work harder and squat lower, I am nowhere near Erin's level of almost hitting the ground with my lower knee where I've dropped so low, I need to work harder!

I've also been twinning this into a superset with tricep dips, and using the bench for those putting my feet as far out in front of me as I can. My shoulders are starting to look better for it but I can't say my triceps look any smaller! The arms always take such a long time to get smaller and show muscle.

Image from Women's Health Mag
After doing two sets of each of the squats and tricep dips I've been using 2 4kg dumbells and doing another super set of 15 x lateral raises followed by 15 x shoulder press. My shoulders need so much work and they burn after doing almost anything, I need to vastly improve on this area too!

Once I've completed this I get back on the Wave machine for another 10 minutes, as long as I've got some decent music plugged in this second set can go faster that the first set!

Needless to say I come off it a bit of a sweaty mess, last night it actually almost ran off my nose, then you know that you're working hard!

Then I get back to the mats. I've been loving doing some glute bridges recently as they were something I'd never tried before, here is a video for you to see. I've been trying to do them with a 5kg or 8kg weight to make it a bit more difficult, but you can feel the burn in these and the bonus is its a lying down exercise too!

Recently I've been getting as much ab and core exercises in as possible, planks are always the best but I can't say I'm good at them.
I actually prefer side planks with dips so I do a couple of them too,

My lower stomach area is definitely my worst feature, so I've been working double hard on doing leg drops but have to be careful with my lower back. I either hold a weight and alternate left leg, right leg and then both together, or I go crazy and do a many together as I can and I'm definitely improving.
I've been trying to push my hips up at the last minute to do a reverse crunch too and it's a killer ab combo!

So this is what I've been doing recently, trying to rev up my metabolism again and get back into fitness with some completely new exercises.

What have you been trying out recently? Have you mastered Bulgarian split squats? Do you have any tips?

Are you a fan of the Wave machine for burning calories and getting you sweaty?

I'm aiming to lose some pounds that I've gained recently, hoping to lose half a stone over the next few weeks by getting back into exercise and reigning in my diet.

What are you fitness goals?

L xxx


Friday, 17 April 2015

Fitness Friday: Instagram Inspiration 2

Happy Friday!

So two weeks ago I wrote a post on my favourite fitness related Instagram accounts, you can read that here. I follow a whole lot more than those so here are a few more!


This one is pretty self explanatory - beautiful female six packs.

I must admit sometimes it feels a little weird scrolling through my Instagram feed and seeing lots of half naked women on there, but it does also stop me from chomping my way through whatever I'm snacking on at the time - there's motivation all over this page!



Fitness Page For All  - this is a general fit body page, there are beautiful men to drool over, fit women to motivate you and also some funny quotes to give you a kick up the bum when you need it!



Female Physique - very similar to Female6pack, lots of beautiful bodies and more quotes to keep you motivated, even some from the wonderful Liam Neeson and strange Spongebob.


Healthy Food Advice - a great account showing all sorts of healthy recipes and drool worthy food, there are LOTS of food alternatives on this page, think healthy versions of cinnamon rolls and peanut butter cookies, along side copious meals with vegetables and lean meats. I really want to try out the two below, along with eggs baked in portobello mushrooms and zucchini parmesan crisps!



FastEasyRecipes is another very similar account to the one above, so many pancake recipes and amazing dishes like the wedges one below. They even have sushi recipes and I definitely cannot wait to scroll through them all and make a list of new things to try out!
Everything looks so colourful and enticing, it's hard to not want to eat healthy when you have dishes like this in front of you!



Lastly another girl crush, the Balanced Blonde. Not strictly always a fitness or healthy recipe poster, but she does eat a lot of beautiful food, as seen above with the fruit platter and her own homemade super food salad below looks gorgeous!
She seems to just always be having fun and living life, with a cold pressed juice in hand!


What fitness and healthy food accounts do you follow? Have you got any more suggestions for me as I am always looking for additional motivation!

Do you like the look of the recipes above? Do you follow any of the accounts already?

Let me know!

L xxx


Friday, 10 April 2015

Fitness Friday: Spring Shake Up


The last few weeks I've been struggling to keep up the motivation and focus. The 'New Year' enthusiasm has definitely packed up and gone so I've been looking into new ways to get back into it.
Working long hours with training, sorting out house stuff for my mortgage and solicitors and travelling with work have all meant that my exercise regime has all but disappeared. Now things with the house is mostly sorted and my work trips are only 2 days long I've been trying to get back into it.

I've been catching up on my fitness magazines and finding new workouts to try out but noticed that there were a lot of new programs starting online soon or that are available on the internet for free.

Tone It Up: Bikini Series 2015 - the TIU girls are amazing, I have huge crushes on both of them and I would absolutely love to look like either of them! 
Look at their beautiful abs!
I signed up straight away for their latest Bikini Series, they do it every year and it's an 8 week challenge. You get a new timetable every week with exercises and they regularly post recipes too - worth signing up for to give you motivation into your inbox regularly!

Muscle and Fitness 6 Week Fat Blast Program - another program this time for 6 weeks. This program consists of 3 full body workouts a week with 2 days dedicated to cardio and 2 for resting. This allegedly maximises fat burning and muscle growth and the workouts are detailed on the website, 2 full body workouts that you alternate and also 2 cardio routines. 
For someone that needs everything given to them at once so they can get their head around it and plan, this is perfect!

Shape's No Fail Fat Loss Plan is also another 6 week program. This program is also given to you in advance, it contains 11 different programs detailed in separate pages with videos and demonstrations so you know exactly what you need to do. The good part about this program is that there is a good range of exercises to keep you entertained including tabata, cardio, stretches, HIIT and metabolism boosters. 

I haven't tried any of these programs myself but having had a quick browse they look pretty good to me, a good range of exercises and catering to those who need time to prepare and those who need regular contact via email to keep their motivation up.

I will be reading through more closely and choosing some routines to try out myself, changing things up will boost my metabolism and keep my body guessing, both of which will help the fat burn faster!

Which of these do you think would be best for you? Will you be signing up for TIU as well as downloading the other programs?

It's 2 months before 'bikini season' arrives, it might not be bikini season in the UK strictly, but holidays are definitely looming and baring my body isn't going to be a pretty sight at the moment!
Hopefully this will keep me interested!

L xxx


Friday, 3 April 2015

Fitness Friday: Instagram Inspiration

Hey everyone!

I've been lacking in time, energy and motivation recently but this week I've dropped myself back into my routines and I'm exhausted in every possible way!
Not only have I been cramming 5 days of work into 4 and then getting back into my gym routines I've also been cramming in all sorts of appointments for my new house - solicitors, mortgages and estate agents!

So this week I thought I'd go through my favourite instagram accounts. There are sooooooooo many that I follow to give me motivation or inspiration so I'll be doing a few of these posts to share some of my favourite accounts.


Hazel Wallace has already featured in a few posts (girl crush anyone??) and it is not hard to see why. I've been following for a good while and its amazing to see her reach so many followers, 33.5k is absolutely amazing!
Not only is she absolutely beautiful as well as having a body I can only dream of having, she's super clever being a med student and also makes drool worthy food. Her recent Nandos style wrap has made it onto my meals list for when I move out and am cooking for myself again, every body loves chicken and sweet potato!



Carly Rowena is another absolutely beautiful woman, she is the absolute definition of beautiful abs.
Recently she said on instagram that she gets a lot of negative attention because of her abs being 'too bulky' but I would love to have that kind of definition! It's crazy what people will say to you, I think she'd beautiful and fully admire her dedication to her body. She also has IBS and regularly talks about the pain of bloating and general discomfort, healthy eating and exercise is hard work at the best of times!



Two Bad Bodies is a super fun and inspirational account I found randomly about 2/3 months ago. Two friends who met at uni and found themselves on the track together and have been working out together ever since.
They post regular workouts via their accounts and I can't even describe to you how perfectly synchronised their routines are, you have to watch them to believe it!
It's like watching one person with a mirror down the middle - so impressive and it makes you want to grab your friend and try the routines yourself.
Not only that but they also have a video from the one and only Michelle Obama on their account, these girls are instagram fitness royalty!



Lastly I'm sure we've all heard of Results with Lucy - the fitness business from TOWIE's Lucy Mecklenburgh.
She has changed her own body from being generally skinny to toned and with a core that most of us would be envious of. She also posts regular video clips on instagram of workout ideas and new things to try but it's also fun to follow her for pictures like the pug one below - she's very much a fan of living as well as fitness. Had a bad weekend? Eaten and drunk too much? That's ok, just get back on it this week and enjoy life!


Do you have some favourite instagram accounts for fitness and health? Do you have your own girl crush when it comes to instagram fitness gurus?

I will be writing another of these posts with some food and recipe based instagram accounts, do you enjoy scrolling through instagram for inspiration and motivation?

I'm really determined to get back into a routine and get back into some progression.

L xxx

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