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40 DAY CHALLENGE - FIND YOUR STRONG SIDE đź’Ş

40 DAY CHALLENGE - FIND YOUR STRONG SIDE đź’Ş

Time for your next workout! This week is all about muscle, baby. 

Friendly reminder: Muscle will always pay for the party. It takes so much energy (aka calories) to operate muscle tissue. When you build and maintain it, it'll burn calories for you all day long. Bonus: After a weight training session, your body continues actively burning additional calories for hours. That's compared to basic cardio where, once you stop, the burning stops. And let's not forget: Muscle is also responsible for all those non-mirror strength-in-life victories. Dig in.

 

 

Day 14: Time to Body Build

#MondayMotivation: "Nothing will work unless you do." —Maya Angelou 

Time to break out double the dumbbells! This week's workout is all about building a strong body with some classic, all-over strengthening movements. Watch the video of Jen to get form tips and move instructions, or to do it right alongside her.

 How it works: Do 20 reps of each exercise, then 15 reps, then 10 reps, resting as needed. One round is just 10 minutes—repeat one to three times, depending on your current fitness level. Do this routine three times this week on alternate days. (Feel free to add some rounds of the Week 2 routine in your workouts this week too!)

  1. Squatting Triceps Press
  2. Squeezing Straight-Leg Deadlift
  3. Lateral Raise
  4. Arnold Press
  5. Reverse Lunge to Curl

 

Day 15: One-Pot Magic

 

PHOTO: INSTAGRAM @LIFEISBUTADISH

FYI, not all comfort foods need to be unhealthy. That's why today's challenge is a food challenge. Whip up this One-Pot Mexican Quinoa Chowder from Jen's book, Diet Right for Your Personality Type, and watch it become one of your new faves. 

"The focus this week is, in part, building strength in our bodies," says Jen. "To maximize your time in the gym, you need to give your body the right combination of foods when you leave it. Healthy starches are a key component to hardening and strengthening your muscle bellies, which is why quinoa is one of my favorite ingredients in this recipe." (These other foods are also great for building muscle.)

Give it a try and share on social and in the Goal Crushers Facebook Page with the hashtag #ShapeGoal40. 

GET THE RECIPE

Day 16: Humpday Pumpday

PHOTO: MIKE HARRINGTON/GETTY IMAGES

Turn your ~bleh~ humpday into PUMPDAY.
Step 1: Try a mood booster below to get psyched for the day.
Step 2: Go conquer this week's dumbbell workout.
Step 3: Hop over to the Shape Instagram page at 8 p.m. EST to hang live with Jen to talk through any of your fears or concerns about lifting. (Worried you'll get bulky? Let's debunk that myth right now.)

Mood Boosters

  • Pump it up: Put on a good pump-up song (anything that you can't resist dancing to) in the morning, pre-gaming for the gym, on lunch break—it will 100 percent change your mood.

  • Spa day: Schedule a blow-out or pedicure for this week or weekend.

  • (Fun)derwear: #Treatyoself a new underwear set.

 

Day 17: Welcome to #LiftClub

 

PHOTO: JEN WIDERSTROM WEARING ENSEMBLE BRA & SHADOW LEGGING

You're officially in the #LIFTCLUB. What that means: No matter what history you have with lifting weights, you're becoming an official fan as of right now. Jen's throwing the spotlight on some moves that may feel too foreign to try on your own. (Need convincing? These benefits of weightlifting will do the trick.)

Here, a little lifting 101 so you can incorporate these lifts into your routine with confidence:

  1. Key moves: 
  2. Rep scheme: For strength, a solid progression would be sets of 8-6-4-4-4. For shape and toning, you could do sets of 25-20-15-15. In both cases, you're increasing weight as you decrease reps to keep challenging your muscles.
  3. Nutrition: "You need quality starches paired with enough protein after weight training to optimize the work in the gym by replenishing your muscle tissue properly!!!" says Jen. A safe bet: 35 to 45 grams of protein (turkey, chicken, fish, protein powder, or algae) with 45 to 55 grams of carbohydrates (rice, sweet potatoes, quinoa, oatmeal).

  

Day 18: TGIFF

 

PHOTO: TORWAISTUDIO // SHUTTERSTOCK

Yep, there are two F's there: Thank God It's Friend Friday. Today's task: Grab your squad and work OUT, but cook IN.

Set up plans to train after work with a friend or two, or three.... Then host a potluck at your home right after! Share the responsibly of the meal with everyone included and let that family-style dinner buzz commence. "A community you choose and help cultivate will be one of your greatest assets not just for your goal but in your life," says Jen. "It reminds us of our value and that we're not alone."

Bonus: Use this Friday community to open up to about your goals and be honest in sharing what scares you about pursuing them. "You'll be surprised how many people believe in you, and often that's just the push we need to stay in it another day," says Jen.   

 

Day 19: Project Discovery

 

PIROUETTE BRA & PLIE LEGGING

Saturdays are the perfect day to try something new (no work stress, more time to prep before, and no rush to be somewhere after). Today, crush a workout you've never done before.

"Pick something outside the box for you," says Jen. "If you always are lifting weights, try a restorative yoga class. If you mostly run, try a cardio kickboxing class or silks class. Changing the way you move is not only great for balancing out your body but it's excellent brain training too." Plus you might find out you really enjoy something that you had previously written off! Talk about a breakthrough. (This woman uncovered a secret talent just by trying a new workout class!)

Not sure where to start? This choose-your-adventure workout flowchart will help point you in the right direction, or this cross-training guide will help you find the perfect pair for your usual workout. (Either way, you're about to reap all the benefits of trying something new.)

 

Day 20: Cravings 101

PHOTO: MARTIN NOVAK // SHUTTERSTOCK

A word on cravings: "At this point in the game, I know many of you are experiencing them," says Jen. "Cravings do not mean there's something wrong with you or that you have self-control issues! It simply means that your body is desiring a simple accessible sugar because it is low on energy/fuel." This feeling is usually due to one of two things.

1. You're dehydrated. If this is the case, your body is "reacting with a fight-or-flight response, reaching for accessible sugars to store," says Jen. "It does this because it can't decipher whether you're hungry or thirsty—so its reaction is to crave a starch because it can break down that energy source the fastest."

Solution: Keep your water intake up by tracking it like you did at the beginning of the challenge. "I can't tell you how often I work with people that say they're drinking tons of water and then when they actually track it, they are well below what they thought they were consuming," says Jen.

2. Your body wants quick energy. Your body's most accessible form of fuel is through sugar (glucose). It's found in really healthy food (e.g., sweet potatoes, oatmeal, fruit) but it's also found in not-so-healthy food like candy, baked sweets, and soda. "Because your body is only aiming to get immediate energy, you feel drawn to those very unhealthy junk foods, and therein lies your craving," says Jen.

Solution: It's all about nutritional timing. Make sure you're not going more than three hours without having a meal or a healthy snack—whether it's protein, healthy fats, starches, fruits, whatever. "Keep your body satiated with good fuel so you're not reaching for bad fuel," says Jen. (Craving something super specific? There could be another reason behind why you're craving that one food.)

 

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