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“I always think about the cupcakes I’m going to eat at this moment”

April 14th, 2014 No Comments

It’s true…and I actually say that in the video…

My latest video for the SELF magazine #Burn100 series: a total body workout circuit without equipment.

It’s funny, the other day I was telling my friend that during my recent travels I have yet to do one of these workouts. Even though I plead with you to stay focused while you’re away from your routine. She then reminded me I also encourage you to rest your body when your muscles are tired. After 10 SoulCycle classes this week, tired is a bit of an understatement.

This circuit is probably the hardiest to complete but the easiest to execute because you know most of the moves. You just refuse to do them. (Burpees, ehem.)  The challenge is to maintain your form when you get winded, as you will see I am for most of the video.

See my other favorite SELF workouts here.  All are great to do alone or incorporate into your normal workout routine.

P.S. I’m back on the blog this week.  Apologies for being MIA.

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Biggest Loser Pyramid Workout

March 24th, 2014 No Comments

Brett Hoebel is one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser.  In this episode of Burn100 (100 calories in 10 minute circuits), he creates a circuit by adding one exercise each round.  It’s a tough one!!  Don’t worry, he gives you an active rest.

For more #BURN100 episodes, click here.  They’re all different and easy to incorporate into your normal routine or do when you travel.

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1 bench, 10 minutes, 100 calories.

March 17th, 2014 No Comments

In my second episode of #BURN100 for SELF Magazine, I put together a dynamic circuit workout to hit every muscle group in your body.  All you need to do it?  A bench, step, or high curb.  And of course the ability to overcome  your unwillingness to workout.  I’ll admit, this weekend, I drowned out any voice of reason with sauvignon blanc.  Oops!

Burn100 is a new web series in which every workout is 10 minutes long and guarantees you’ll burn 100 calories.  The key to hitting the calorie count is to keep moving.  You’ll see how I modify at times to catch my breath.  Push yourself to your breaking point and then take it down a level.  The important part is that you get your heart rate up to its max.  If you simply go through the motions, you might burn about 50 calories.

I’m posting the SELF episodes I think you’ll find the most useful, so check in every Monday for a new one.

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Exercising on a juice cleanse

January 27th, 2014 No Comments

Mary Rambin SOULCYCLE BVHL 6am crew

First of all, meet some of my regular “rooster” riders who get up at 5am to rock out with me at 6am in Beverly Hills.  These are some of the strongest people in town, and the best part is that they have KNOW their own strength!  That, my readers, is harder than it sounds, so I’ll get to that later.

When I did my 4-day juice cleanse, 5-day total cleanse (one day juice and vegan), I had to teach my SOULCYCLE classes.  Thankfully that week I only had 6 classes which is a cake walk for me.  Because my tolerance is so high, I scheduled other forms of exercise: yoga and lifting with a trainer.  As most people said, “You’re crazy.  How can you do that?”  My body is admittedly unique in that my fitness level is really high.  Throughout all of the activities, I never felt fatigued.  Later in the day, of course my energy would drop so I would schedule naps.  Thirty minutes of napping for each hour of exercise.  Everyday I slept an hour.

What I’m trying to prove to you is not that you have to push yourself on a cleanse to get results, but that you shouldn’t be afraid to maintain your normal routine. 

STAY STRONG MENTALLY TO BE STRONG PHYSICALLY. 

Be confident in your own strength and keep your exercise routine.  If you worry about being hungry and losing energy, you will be desperate and depleted.  Your mind, not your body, will make that happen.  Also know that you can always STOP.  No one says you have to finish each workout or that you have to continue your routine.  Do what makes you feel good.

A lot of you don’t have the ability to take a mid-day nap, which is why I call it a luxury and don’t advise straying from your routine.

BENEFITS OF EXERCISING WHILE ON A CLEANSE

Exercise keeps your metabolism revved up to burn the sugar (from fruits) in the juices.  There is A LOT more sugar than you realize involved most cleanses so your calorie intake is high.  As you won’t have fiber in your diet, staying active helps your digestive system move along the stuff your colon sluffs off as well as the toxins your lymph system releases.   Sweating is another powerful way to expel the toxins.

Remember, you can always take a day off or stop altogether.  But I truly believe that if you keep your days the same, you’ll worry less about the cleanse and feel the benefits of it more when you’re done.

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Get rid of the guilt before you chow down

November 25th, 2013 1 Comment

Mary Rambin tummy

Thinking about Thanksgiving, we all get concerned with the consequences of the feast.  Where will those extra calories will end up? As much as I wish my backside received the benefit of the extra inches, alas it’s my midsection, pictured above as I type this post.

However, I have a safety net for such occasions.  Since I exercise often, my metabolism can handle a big cheat day like Thanksgiving.  (These days, I’ve put it to the test on more than one occasion for Sunday brunch at Gjelina.)

Is your body prepared and trained for the big day, or should I say, the holiday season?

Exercise revs up your metabolism for 24 hours. So before your body is charged with dealing with turkey, gravy, stuffing, pies, and whatever else is part of your tradition, shift it into overdrive.

Some of you have the luxury of your gym, SoulCycle, or your favorite studio near by.  Others of you don’t.

If you’re in a major city, click here and find a group fitness class near you.

If you’re in the boonies while visiting family, click here and get a workout you can do anywhere.

Start ASAP and then eat to your tummy’s content!

Since you’ve started exercising, you might as well keep it up through the holiday season. Right?! :)

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Stop crunching! Try this 1 minute KILLER Ab Workout.

October 21st, 2013 No Comments

Besides Manhattan Beach being a great escape from Los Angeles, it’s also home to one of my favorite trainers: Meredith Miller.  She owns Level 10 Fitness, an awesome little gym on Highland where she holds one hour circuit training classes for professional athletes and her die-hard clients.  These people are some of the strongest, most capable people I’ve ever met.

What I love about her workouts is that she uses exercises I would never dream of or do on my own.  The ab circuit you see here I’ve used several times at the gym because I get so bored doing crunches.  Plus, it’s a great upper body workout as well.  You’ll see right away she’s going to use a TRX, so, she’ll review set up before we get started with the torture, I mean, routine.

Please excuse the production value.  We were at the gym before anyone else so I had to make do with a bench as my DP :)

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“How do I shred the pounds?”

September 30th, 2013 No Comments

Level10 Manhattan Beach

This was the question presented to me by Erika, a cute young actress at SoulCycle the other day.  It’s a small question, with a very large answer.  Losing weight and staying healthy isn’t an easy process.  You have to be METICULOUS with the details.  But here’s my first response: YOU’RE WORTH IT.  The better answer is you shouldn’t diet at all.  Instead, hit the reset button and put your eating and exercise regimen on the right track and create  a sustainable lifestyle.

If and when you’re ready, here are my suggestions on how to train your body to burn fat.  Click the links for more details and use the navigation above to find exercises and recipes and nutritional help along the way.

1.  CHOSE YOUR SUGAR WISELY.

Easier said than done, I know.  However, I’m not telling you to cut out carbs. Carbohydrates – fiber and sugar – found in fruits, veggies, and whole grains, are good for you.  What you need to cut out is the raw sugar, honey, agave, alcohol, etc.  When your body craves sugar, eat sweet fruits you love (like a banana, peach, or even dried mango) instead of cupcakes or vino.  You’ll find you mellow out as your blood sugar rises.  Over time, the intensity of your cravings will decrease and you’ll drop the fruits too.

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Click the chart to learn about how to choose carbs.  Read more here.

A cleanse can be a great way to kick the sugar to the curb quickly.  More on that here.

Bottom line: the sugar you don’t burn during the day gets stored as fat.  Hence the following:

2.  SET UP A WORKOUT SCHEDULE.

When you’re starting out, the actual exercise doesn’t matter.  Just do something, or rather, 3 different things you love to get your body in gear and your mind motivated.  Cross-trainging builds muscle while ramping up your metabolism.  My recommendation:

As I said earlier, the key to success is being METICULOUS.  So once you get going, buy a heart rate monitor and be smart about your workouts.  YOU HAVE TO KNOW YOUR HEART RATE ZONES IN ORDER TO TRAIN YOUR BODY TO BURN FAT.  If you don’t get your heart rate into the proper zones, you might not actually be hitting your fat burning heart rate zone.  For more on heart rate monitors, go here.

Weight lifting is usually a sticky spot for women, but we need it.  If you’re unfamiliar with how to use machines and set up a workout, HIRE A TRAINER.  In two to three sessions, they can teach you what you need to know and at least get you started.  Remember, YOU’RE WORTH IT!  And since you’ve cut back on the booze, you’ll have some extra cash to play with.

Beware of group fitness classes for your weight lifting days.  Usually they are better for your cardio days.  When you lift weights, you need to be using substantial weight, not 3-5 lb dumbbells.

3.  EAT MORE PROTEIN AND FAT.

On their own, carbs fill you up instantly and leave you hungry within an hour (an example of “healthy” meal that left me starving here).  Protein and good fats are what satisfy your hunger for at two to three hours.  In every meal, an active women needs 20-30 grams of protein, preferably from lean meats, eggs, or powders (cold pressed whey, pea, or hemp).  Because the protein is lean, you need to add a little bit of fat (about 6-9 grams):  almonds, olive oil, cheese, avocado, coconut oil, seeds.  If you don’t have the fat, your body won’t be satisfied and you’ll be reaching for food within the hour.

The goal is for each meal and snack to have the same amount of protein, fat, carbs, and calories.

It’s the part that sucks, but works!

For me, the breakdown looks like this:

  • 300 calories
  • 9g fat
  • 20-30g protein
  • 25-30g carbs

I eat every two to three hours so that my metabolism is constantly working.

Read more about being meticulous in creating your portions here.

4.  EAT WHEN YOUR BODY IS HUNGRY.

This point speaks to your metabolism.  If you’re hungry, your body isn’t satisfied.  When you don’t eat, your metabolism slows down and your body starts to feed upon itself.  Not a good situation.  For goodness sakes eat something.  Stock your purse and car with healthy snacks so you reach for something good instead of sweets.

Now, if you’ve JUST eaten your full meal and you’re still hungry.  Drink water.  Most of the time we’re dehydrated and your body is thirsty.

5.  OPT FOR QUALITY OVER CONVENIENCE.

In your food and exercise, you need to be efficient.  If you spend an hour in the gym and don’t know what you’re doing, you’ve wasted the hour.  If you feed your body processed food instead of natural goodness, you are pulling your body backwards instead of fueling it forward.

6.  LET YOUR BODY RECOVER.

Take one or even two days off of exercise so your body can rest.  If your muscles are exhausted, they can’t build strength.

 

Please note, I’m NOT an expert.  I have worked with experts in fitness and nutrition and this is the system I’ve found works for me.

(First photo I took at Level10 Fitness in Manhattan Beach.  My favorite circuit training….in the world ;)  Meredith is truly one of a kind!)

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Less reps, more weight. What does that do for you?

September 9th, 2013 No Comments

20130909-074730.jpg

The answer: builds strength. And not necessarily bulk.

As women, we want to maintain a lean figure so we do more reps and less weight. Using this tenant in your workout, you will gradually get stronger until your body plateaus. When your muscles know what to expect and learn the routine, they are no longer challenged and loosen up.

Incorporating heavy weight training days will confuse and challenge your muscles so you can continue to build strength.

Here’s what you you do:

  1. Warm up set with your normal weight to bring blood flow to the muscle group. 15-20 reps.
  2. Moderately heavy set so you can complete 10-12 with proper form.
  3. Heavy set. 5-8 reps, or as many as you can do with proper form.
  4. Drop set. Start with heaviest weights, do as many as you can. Then immediately drop the weight to something lighter and complete as many reps as you can. Do this 4 times until you’re down to about 5 pounds and burn out the muscle group with reps.

Ok, so if I apply this to a workout, say my “back and biceps” day, I would do this circuit 4 times. Notice dow I give my back a rest when I switch to biceps.

  1. Assisted Pull ups (all 3 grips, 9).
  2. Seated Rows (70)
  3. Squat-row combo (35, see pic above and explanation here).*
  4. Bicep curls (17.5)
  5. Bent over row on a bench (30)
  6. Cable row with a lunge (30, see pic below)*
  7. Lat pull downs (75)
  8. Bicep presses (15, Push weights out in front of you instead of pulling up).

For an breakdown of the back exercises, go here. Number in the parenthesis notes my heaviest weight. The * marks exercises that will get your heart rate up.

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