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Never wear an iPhone arm band again!

June 17th, 2014 3 Comments

I can’t stand wearing those iPhone armbands when I go for a run or workout in the gym.  Reluctantly, I slide my phone into the waistband of my pants or the strap of my bra.  No, I don’t care how weird it looks.  This solution is much more comfortable than those arm bands.

Thankfully there is a new solution on the market: The FlipBelt.


GENIUS in my opinion:

  • FUNCTIONAL: holds all of my stuff w/access for my earbuds to come out.
  • FITS TIGHT: spandex lycra blended belt sizes range from XS – XL
  • FASHIONABLE: comes in 10 colors and looks like part of your workout pants

Buy one online here.

Here’s a video intro.  A little lo-pro, but they have to start somewhere!

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GILT for the outdoor adventurer: TheCLYMB

September 10th, 2013 No Comments


You know the GILT sale drill.  At TheClymb.com, it’s applied to sportswear and gear, mostly for the outdoors.

Shop TheClymb.com

They also seem to have a collection of gear on sale without an end time.  Click CLYMB365 to browse the selection of shoes and apparel.


For those of you who are truly adventurous, they offer discounts on outdoor experiences as well.  Zimbabwe for $600, I would look into that!

Discount outdoor travel at TheClymb

Finally, I think the most valuable part of TheCLYMB is their info.  The blog offers so many stories, videos and tips for “adventure travel.” There are also several guides to help you prep for your trip.  It’ all written with a guy’s sensibility, which makes it more fun to read :)

TheClymb Luggage tips


Thanks for the intro Mike!

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Will I burn more calories exercising in the heat?

July 8th, 2013 No Comments



The general consensus among the experts – Livestrong and others – is NO.  All that sweat is just your body’s way of cooling down.  And detoxing, which we all need in the summer months.

You might be surprised to hear exercising in extreme cold weather helps you burn more calories.  Shivering is the action of your muscles contracting.  I didn’t know that. As someone who can’t stand being outside when it’s cold,  any exercise apart from skiing is torture.  For some reason, running when it’s cold makes my inner ears hurt.

Heat is my jam.  I’m a born and bred Texan!

So here’s the deal with the heat:

High temperature gets our heart rate up faster.  The heat expedites the muscles warming up period as well.  Unfortunately the heat tires our bodies quickly so we can’t physically DO as much.  This means, our bodies get exhausted quickly and our muscles don’t get their full workout.  I think this is why hot yoga is efficient: increased heart rate without a lot of movement plus strength and flexibility training.

To me it sounds like the ideal scenario would be to do cardio warm up outside in the heat and then move inside to do a lifting workout. Your heart and muscles are ready to rock after a little heat wave workout.

This is rare for me.  I either workout out inside or outside.

What’s the most effective outdoor workout?

If you’re wearing a heart rate monitor, you know the answer because the watch will tell you (if you have it set up for you specifically).  Cardio days will only require you move outside until your heart gets into zone 4 (anaerobic zone).  If you’re looking for a fat burning day or strength training, get your heart to zone 3  and then slow down, find some shade, and put your muscles to work.


Check out my outdoor Runyon Canyon workout here.  You have options all round you if you keep your eyes open.  If you just go on a walk, you can tone up your arms with weights or rocks.  See my video for movements.

Mary Rambin and Terry Rambin hiking


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Beach Workouts You Won’t Hate

June 25th, 2012 1 Comment

Last week reader Heidi asked for workouts she could do while at the beach.  I know it seems counter-productive relative to your R&R, but I actually feel better on vacation when I exercise because I WANT to, not because I have to.

Here are several posts to help you create routines:

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Toning Up with Angles and Reps: Saggy Arm/Triceps Edition

March 29th, 2012 No Comments

Because of my workout routine that involves spinning, weights, and yoga, my triceps get a lot of attention. That being said, most of those workouts only tone two of the three parts of the muscle. I’m sure you’ve noticed the inside of your upper arm is hard to target and therefore stays soft and flabby.  I’m not saying I have the answer for that, but Cederick’s exercises below will help.  They provide the definition for your triceps (the back side of your upper arm).

Remember, the name of this game is light weight, lots of reps, and multiple angles to get you in the toning zone!  Also, you’ll see with the exception of the pulls, you can do most of these exercises at home or at the park with free weights.

(Please excuse the numerous pictures.  My computer AND wordpress are both not cooperating today so I’m having to use Flickr to source my photos.)



Instead of just grabbing a handle and knocking out 3 sets of 15, we are going to utilize three handles to work each head.  The set up and movement is the same with only grip exceptions.

GRIPS: For the rope you will grab the top and pay special attention to your wrists – KEEP them straight at all times.  For the bar, as you will see below, you need to grab it from underneath.  The metal triangle you grab on top.

Angles and Reps: Triceps

Pull Downs: 20 Reps

Angles and Reps: Triceps

  • Attach the rope handle and add two or three plates of weight.
  • Back away from the stand and stand with your feet hips’ distance a part with the weight in your feet distributed equally.
  • Tuck your tailbone and engage your core.
  • Keeping your wrists straight , pull down and exhale.
  • Allow the handle to rise slowly. Stop when your arms are parallel to the ground.
  • Do 20 reps with one handle and then turn around to move on to this movement.

Pull Overs: 20 Reps

Angles and Reps: Triceps

  1. Lighten the weight by one plate and turn around.
  2. Step one leg forward and set your body at a diagonal.
  3. With the rope in your hands, reach your hands over your head so they are over your shoulders.
  4. Press the rope forward, keeping your wrists straight at all times.
  5. Do 20 reps.
Repeat for each handle. Don’t do them all in a row, spread out each set of 40 with one handle throughout your workout.

Tricep Kick Backs

Again the difference in the left and right side are the positioning of your hands.

Angles and Reps: Triceps
 **Click to make photo bigger.**

The left side is a kickback with your palm facing inward to start; on the right side you’ll see your palm is facing forward.

  1. Grab a moderately heavy weight.  I use 10 pounds.
  2. Place same hand and knee on a bench and position your body to create a square.  You need to really pull in your core in order to support a flat back.
  3. Start with your elbow cocked up and your palm facing inward (see top left photo).
  4. Without moving your elbow, extend your hand backwards until your arm is parallel to the floor (bottom left photo).
  5. Slowly return to your starting position.
  6. Do 20 reps.
  7. Switch sides.
  8. Return to your starting side and start with your hand facing forward (see the top right photo).
  9. You might need to lighten your weight for this version.
  10. Kick back your arm just as you did in the first movement.
  11. Do 20 reps each side.

Tricep Dips

Angles and Reps: Triceps

This should be the easiest of the exercises so don’t push yourself too hard here.

  1. Sitting on a beach, squeeze your hands next to your butt on the beach.
  2. Push up and move your self up and off the bench keeping yourself as close as you can to it.
  3. Adjust your feet in front of you.  The more bend in your knees the easier it is. (Above: easiest on the left, hardest on the right.)
  4. Lower down slowly and push up. Keep your butt close to the bench!
  5. 20 reps.

If you want to get crazy, you can lift one foot off the ground.

Skull Crushers

Angles and Reps: Triceps


By now my triceps are dying so you might need a little bit lighter weight than you are used to. I load 25 pounds on the bar. You can use the bar without weights, a weighted and padded bar (they go up to 18lbs), or even free weights.  If you use free weights you can do two sets of this changing the positioning of your hands like you did in the kickbacks.

  1. Load a bar weight weight.
  2. Lay on a bench and engage your core (I put my feet on the bench to support my back).
  3. Position your hands on the bar so they are directly above your shoulders. (In other words, not wide.)
  4. Bend your elbows and lower the bar towards your forehead.
  5. Repeat 20 times.

If you want to go crazy, do press ups quickly at the end, keeping your elbows in tight and pushing the bar up and lowering it down to your chest.

If you can believe it I go on to do weighted dips, but I think this is a well rounded workout right here. It should take you 20-25 minutes total if you throw in some crunches in between. Even if you combo it with another workout, try to do as many of these in order until your arms burn, then switch to another muscle group to give your triceps a rest.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. For more muscles groups using the “Toning with Angles and Reps” method, click here.

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Keep your eyes open for your outdoor exercise options

March 5th, 2012 No Comments

It’s funny this is the first picture I’m posting from the unbelievably gorgeous W Resort in Koh Samui Thailand.   Another thing you can’t see from this picture is the 80 degree heat and 99% humidity!  (As a native Houstonian, the intensity felt normal to me, but I would never request it.)

Most days I woke up early from jet lag, hit the gym for an hour, and then went to the most impressive and extensive breakfast buffet I’ve ever seen.  To get to the main building, I had to walk up both of these inclines above, the one on the left is much steeper than the one on the right.  On the very first day I thought to myself, “this will be a great place to do cardio one day.”  It took me four days to get around to actually running these hills, and the workout proved to be my best of the vacation.

My point is that you walk on, by, up, or down possible exercise “facilities” every day. You should use them to change up your routine and enjoy the outdoors!

My friend’s steep driveway and incline culdesac (ehem Susan) is the perfect example of my Koh Samui situation in real life.

Here’s how I created a workout:

I ran up the “gentle” incline 10 times as fast as I could and then jogged back down.  This worked my quads, calves and core and took me to exhaustion.

Then, to give my quads and heart rate a break, I lunged up the steeper incline. Pushing through my heels, I accessed my hamstrings and glutes.

After 10 sets of lunges, I ran up the steep incline 10 times to push myself to my limit.

Finally, I went down to the bottom of the gentle incline and ran up to the top of the steep incline.  Ahhhhhh!  (I was moaning in exhaustion by the end.) In total, the workout lasted about 25 minutes.  It was REALLY hot, so it took a little longer than expected.

I then hit the gym to lift shoulders for 30 minutes and topped off the morning with a fresh breakfast of pineapple, broccoli in broth, and poached eggs.

I know it’s hard to look for these opportunities, but they are valuable for challenging your body’s strength and your mind’s ability to stand in your way.

For my other examples of discovering outdoor exercise opportunities, click here.


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