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Brit’s Beach Bikini Workout

Brit's Beach Biki Worout

Brit’s Beach Bikini Workout

As we savor the last few days of Summer, I wanted to share a workout my friends and I did last weekend in Miami.  The workout is fun, simple and effective (instructional photos are below).  Give it a whirl this Labor Day weekend and let me know how it goes.  Lots of love, Brit

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Alternating Forward Lunges

Standing Abductor Leg Raises

Standing Abductor Leg Raises

Chair Pose Hold w/ Heel Raise

Chair Pose Hold w/ Heel Raise

High Push Up Plank

High Push Up Plank Hold

Dolphin Pose w/ Toe Raises

Dolphin Pose w/ Toe Raises

 


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G.R.I.T – The Secret to Success and Happiness

Hello friends.  A colleague of mine forwarded me an AMAZING article from Forbes.com.  You can click here to read the full article, but below is an excerpt of the GRIT section by Scott Petinga – it’s just too good not to share…

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  • “G” is for guts, that secret superpower that allows us to overcome adversity and steer a course over, under, around or straight through life’s many obstacles and challenges. Having guts is about living in the moment and doing things you’re afraid of right now — not tomorrow, not five years from now. It’s about being confident in your opinion, voicing that opinion and not being afraid to disagree with people.
  • “R” is for resilience, which allows us to bounce back from life’s many defeats to enjoy the fruits of our labor and eventual success. Perseverance is a major part of that. The journey that got me to where I am today gave me this insatiable drive, this compulsion to create change — to be change. It also taught me to genuinely care about people, to care about the community around me and to care about the impact I have on the future. Don’t limit yourself to what’s immediately doable. Instead ask, “What’s possible?”
  • “I” is for initiative, that entrepreneurial spirit that inspires us to act on our biggest ideas and build a life and career for ourselves. With initiative comes the risk of failure, which is why doing so is well worth it. Either it takes you forward into a new direction, or you fail, and those failures take you in a new direction.
  • “T” is for tenacity, which ultimately determines how hard we fight for our dreams. Tenacity can be summed up as, “improvise, overcome, adapt,” regardless of the odds. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. A tenacious person never has to say “would have,” “could have” and “should have.” Don’t think too long about things, just go for them.

Those of you who have been following me from the beginning know that helping people develop GRIT is the core purpose of my blog.  I believe fitness is about so much more than a strong body.  It’s about transforming your mind, CHOOSING to think positive thoughts and having the courage to believe in and work for your goals.  The great thing about GRIT is that can be developed.  Unlike talents, we aren’t born with GRIT.  This means that each of us has the opportunity and the means to make our dreams come true.  True that.  xoxo, Brit

What’s your dream?  

How are are you fighting to makes your dream come true?

How do you show your GRIT?


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Labor Day Leg Workout & Lucy Activewear Giveaway

Yo Yo – Summer is sadly coming to an end, but I’m very much looking forward to the Labor Day Weekend.  My company gives us the Friday before Labor Day off too so I’ll enjoy a nice 4 day weekend – woop woop!  As usual, I want to encourage you to enjoy the holiday, relax and take some time off.  BUT don’t skip out on your workout!  Here’s a quick and effective leg workout that I did on Labor Day last year.  You guys liked it so much, I figured I’d pull it out and “beef it up” a bit.  This year I added a few more intensity intervals to elevate the heart rate.  Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes!

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Also, 24 Hour Fitness in Dallas is having a special event for Labor Day – FREE ADMISSION to all clubs all weekend as long as you attend with a club member!  If you live in Dallas, come take my Turbo Kick class at 3pm on Sunday, August 31st in Mesquite.  Click on the image below for details.

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And now for the fun stuff – I’m hosting a giveaway for a pair of Lucy Powermax X-Training Pants (Black, Small, Wide-Leg).  These things retail at $89 but I’m giving them away to one lucky reader.  Just post a comment telling me your favorite leg exercise and why.  Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you!  I’ll pick a winner next Tuesday, September 2.  

Happy Labor Day!  Lots of luv, Brit

Tell me you favorite leg workout and enter to win these cute Lucy Training Pants!

Tell me your favorite leg workout and enter to win these cute Lucy training Pants!


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Fun in the Sun! My Lovely Ladies Weekend in Miami

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Wishing you a wonderful day from Miami Beach! xoxo, Brit

Hello friends!  I have been coast to coast this week.  Last weekend I went to Anaheim, CA for the Idea World Fitness Convention and Sweat Pink Blogfest and now I’m just wrapping up a wonderful weekend in Miami Beach.  Me and 2 of my fab girlfriends from Dallas, Andria and Crystal, decided to take a long weekend and soak up some sun.  It was the perfect “End of Summer Getaway” to relax and refocus for the new season…

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Taking it all in – love the Miami Vibes

We arrived on Thursday and kick-started the weekend with dinner and cocktails at Larios on the Beach (Gloria Estefan’s restaurant).  I had a delicious lychee martini along with a hearty green salad topped with skirt steak – well deserved after  long day at work and 3 hour flight to Miami, right?  On Friday, I had to take a few conference calls in the morning but around noon I met the girls on the beach.  My friend Crystal rented a great little tiki hut that provided us some shade to sip our pina coladas under.

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Me, Andria and Crystal on Friday – just kickin’t it at the beach and sippin’ pina coladas ;)

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Our Tiki on the beach = perfection!

Overall the weather was great,  but because the sun was shining so brightly the sand was burning up our feet. We had a to make a mad dash in and out of the ocean.  I like to think that was my cardio interval training for the day (wink wink).

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My and Crystal sprinting back to the Tiki in the hot sand – ouch! LOL

But seriously, we did make up a fun “Beach Bikini Workout” which I’ll post later this week!  Each night we went out for an amazing seafood dinner and, of course, some dancing.  We had delightful brunch on Saturday at Mister Collins at One Bal Harbour Resort & Spa.  Later that night we a great dinner at Michael Schwartz in the Raleigh Hotel.  After dinner we hit up Hyde Night Club at SLS Hotel for a little booty shakin’.  I love the vibe there – it’s a cool Euro/hip hop mix.  Have any of you ever been?

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Lounging and dancing pool side at SLS on Saturday night

This morning I treated my self to some time at the spa and enjoyed a mani/pedi and full body massage.  Do you all prefer male or female masseuse?  I had a man today…

Now I’m on a plane back to Chicago for work.  I probably had more than my fair share of cocktails and desserts this weekend, but hey, it’s okay to indulge every once in a while.  This evening I’m going to do my 20 minute treadmill workout at my hotel gym.  Tomorrow morning I’ll go to CrossFit and Tuesday I’ll to Yoga Sculpt at CorePower yoga.  I’ll also be sure to drink lots of water and unsweetened hot green tea (the BEST natural detox drink).  What are your workout plans for the week?

Cheers to a wonderful weekend and an even better week ahead!  Lots of luv, Brit

Yay for mojitos (coconut flavored ones) - yuumy!

Yay for our mojitos (coconut flavored ones) – yummy!


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How to Minimize Knee Pain in High-Intensity Workouts

Hello friends!  Hope your week is going well.  Do any of you struggle with knee pain during or after workouts?  I definitely do.  Last year I wrote a blog post titled, “No More Knee Pain”  that provides information about the knee anatomy and knee injury prevention.  Today I want to talk about minimizing knee pain while partaking high intensity and even high impact exercises.  If you’re like me, you hate having to sit on the sidelines while others are having a blast and getting a killer workout.  Despite tearing my ACL and having reconstructive surgery, I’ve found ways to maintain my participation in high impact exercise.  Essentially, I abide by these key rules…

6 Tips to Avoid

  1. Wear Supportive Shoes. I know that minimalist sneakers are really in style (i.e. Nike Frees, which I LOVE). However you should make sure that your shoes provide enough cushion to support your fit in high impact exercise. That means your shoes should enable a soft landing when you jump and provide solid support when you run.
  2. Stay light on your toes. This is especially important when jumping. Be sure to land on the balls of your feels to minimize the impact of landing. Also, avoid landing on your heels and NEVER lock out your knees.
  3. Engage your quads and hamstrings. In plyometric workouts it’s critical that you use your legs muscles to drive the movement. Proactively tighten your thigh muscles (quads and hamstrings) before you execute an explosive motion. These muscles provide critical knee support. When properly engaged, they minimize strain on your patella tendon and IT bands.
  4. Keep your knees pointing in the same direction as your toes. When your knees and toes are misaligned you put yourself at high risk of twisting your knee and getting injured.  An easy way to ensure your leg is properly aligned is to keep you knees pointing in the same direction as your toes (espcially when squatting).
  5. When Squatting, never let your knees go beyond your toes. Related to tip #5, it’s equally important to avoid leaning forward or squatting too deep to the point that your knees go past your toes.  In my classes, I always say “make sure you can see you toes.”  If you’re doing a squat and you can’t see your toes, you need to sit back more or maybe not squat so low.
  6. Compress.  Wearing a compression sleeve or a knee brace can help increase blood flow.  Adequate blood flow is important for muscle repair and recovery.  Also, the compression provides added support to your joint during exercise.

 

On this last point, a few weeks ago I was approached by Opedix to write a review on their new compression tights. ​These tights incorporate a patented knee support and have “scientifically designed ‘tensioning’ systems in the base layer to enhance the kinetic functioning of your body.” Unlike traditional compression, they also help keep your joints aligned through “Torque Reform Technology.” Given my history with knee injuries I accepted the request.

First, off the tights came to me in this really fancy box.  I was like, “Whoa – this is serious business” …

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After I opened the box and pulled out that tights, I could definitely see that they had built in compression.  In fact, I thought they looked kinda funky.  Y’all know I’m keen on stylsih, cute activewear – style and functionality are equally important to me.  Fortunately when I tried on the tights, they didn’t look too bad.  Not amazing, but not terrible.   They fit low on my waist and snug throughout my leg.  I could really feel the added support around the knee joint.  On the down side, the compression squeezes right above my knee and makes me look like have an extra fat pudge on my inner thighs.

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Brit’s Opedix Compression Tights – Women’s Style

I went ahead and wore them to my kickboxing class that day. (You can check out my post-workout pic on Instagram)  During the workout my legs felt strong, stable and supported.  The tights didn’t slip down on my waist nor rub on my leg to cause discomfort.  Better yet, I had a pink headband that matched the waistband on my tights so I was lookin’ good :)  After the workout, surprisingly, my knees were not as sore as they usually are – very nice.  Final verdict – BUY.  These are a legit product especially if you’ve been battling knee injuries and are looking for a new pain-relieving solution.  However, keep in mind that knee pain, in most cases, is chronic.  So it’s hard to eliminate altogether.  Hopefully applying my tips  minimize your knee pain and keep you in the game for more running, burpees and squat jumps!  ;) Lots of luv, Brit

Which exercises cause you the most knee pain?  

How do you protect your knees from injury?


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IDEA World Fitness Blogfest Most Memorable Moments

I’m still riding high from attending my very 1st IDEA World Fitness Convention and Sweat Pink Blogfest. IDEA World is largest fitness conference in the world with people traveling from all over the globe to see exhibits of the latest fitness and nutrition developments, share expertise and listen to keynote speakers like Jillian Michaels, Tara Stiles, Cassey Hoe, Chalene Johnson, the list goes on and on… Simply put – it’s fitness heaven!

Fortunately, I made it back to Dallas in time to teach my beloved weekend Piyo and Turbo Kick classes before flying out again on Sunday night for my corporate career (double duty). As I reflect on my time at IDEA World, I want to share the most memorial moments that had the greatest impact on me.  In order of occurrence, here they go…

Cool California Vibes

Just arriving to Anaheim,CA and soaking up the sun and cool California vibes!

Just arriving to Anaheim,CA and soaking up the sun and cool California vibes!

I love me some “Cali Swag.” Every time I’m on the West  Coast I feel young, cool, hip, relaxed and imaginative. Sure enough, when I arrived in Anaheim, CA last week all of those feelings rushed through my mind, body and soul. I woke up each day at IDEA World and basked in the beautiful California sunshine, cool breeze and anticipation of all of the fitness excitement that awaited me. From day 1 I felt welcome, wanted and wonderful. I love California.

Being Surrounded by Passionate People

Brit and friends at Idea World

Hanging out with other fitness bloggers, connecting with old friends and making new ones!

It was so great to run into old friends like my Harvard Business School classmate Minal Mehta, co-founder of BollyX Fitness and also make some new fitness blogger friends like Tiffany and Tasha. To be honest, I was kind of in groupie-mode the whole time because I finally got meet, in person, so many of the  bloggers that I stalk on Instagram.  “Classy” people say you should “act like you’ve been there before” but, hey, I haven’t been!  No shame in my game :)

Being Inspired by Jillian Michaels (surprisingly)

Grit by Brit and Jillian Michaels

In awe listening to Jillian Michaels give the most inspirational keynote address EVER!

Okay so, real talk: I have never been a Jillian Michaels fan.  I appreciate hard work and brutal honesty, but I never really got on the Body Shred/Jillian/Biggest Loser bandwagon like most of America.  Wow – meeting someone face-to-face can really show you how judgmental you are.  That’s what happened to me.  I actually teared up during Jillian’s keynote address.  She’s so passionate and encouraging, not about weight loss, but about believing in yourself and having the courage and confidence to follow your dreams.  I wrote down several things she said that had a big impact on me, but the one statement that stuck the most is the quote I put on the photo I took of Jillian (above) - “Work with passion is purpose.  Work without passion is punishment.”  The moral of the story is, “Do what you love and work your butt off at it!”

 

PiYO Workout with Chalene Johnson

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Getting an afternoon PiYo sweat session and photo op with my #1 fitness inspiration – Chalene Johnson

Simply put, Chalene is my fitness inspiration. Actually it’s a tie between her andBilly Blanks (who was also at IDEA World). I was obsessed with Tae Bo when I was 15 years old,  but Chalene is the person who impacted my new-found love for fitness instruction and blogging. 3 years ago I got my very first fitness instructor certification in Chalene’s format, Turbo Kick.  Shortly after I started this GRIT by Brit blog. Since then, group fitness instruction and blogging have been my passions, my obsessions, the things that make me smile when everything else in my life is going wrong. So meeting Chalene in person was a very special moment for me – one that I will cherish forever, for the rest of my life.

 

Business and Blogging Tips from Cassey Hoe @Blogilates

Grit by Brit and Cassey Hoe

I felt empowered and inspired by Cassey Hoe who encouraged us to never give up on our dreams!

I totally look up to Cassey Hoe as social media guru and fitness entrepreneur.  Cassey writes one of the most well-known fitness and wellness blogs, Blogilates,  and quickly grew in popularity because of her effective and fun Pilates videos on YouTube.  Needless to say, I totally geeked out when I met her. Since started her blog she’s launched a clothing line, released several signature workout videos for her format, Pop Pilates, and done several top-tier brand partnerships.  I learned some really valuable tips for GRIT by Brit, like how I need to start writing a regular newsletter….looks like have work to do this week (P.S. Check your inbox).

 

Adding 3 New Headbands to My Collection

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Love these wide headbands from Living One Love

In case you can’t tell from my workout photos, I have a very serious headband obsession – I own over 50!  My excuse is that I have a big forehead (aka 5 head) so I need the extra coverage – hehe.   Any way, I’m always looking for new headbands that A) don’t slip B) are wide/thick C) have cool bright patterns.  Ladies and Gentlemen I have found what I’m looking for!  I love love love these headbands from Living One Love.  I just bought 3 for now, but there will be more…trust.

Winning a Lorna Jane Gift Card (yippee!)

Flipping through the Lorna Jane activewear catalog to pick out me free pieces!

Flipping through the Lorna Jane activewear catalog to pick out me free pieces!

I was already familiar with Lorna Jane active wear becaue my cycling studion in Dallas, Beyond Pedaling, carries their line.   Also, they just opened a store in North Park mall.  However, I don’t own any of their stuff. After seeing the Lorna Jane exhibit at IDEA World and realizing that their stuff is really freaking cute (i.e. super bright colors and inspirational saying like “run girl run”) I can already tell that I’m gonna be a Lona Jane addict. Yay for winning Blogfest raffle for a Lorna Jane gift card!  But I already feel sorry for my bank account when the gift card runs out, eek!

 

So Much Free Swag

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Let’s do the list:  A cross-body Zumba bag, Zen Planner water bottle, exercise-pilates ring and DVD, tons of healthy snacks, headbands, Sweat Pink shoelaces, sunglasses, ahh the list goes on and on!  Not much to say here – the swag speaks for itself.

Leaving Inspired to Take Risks and Pursue My Dreams!

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As I mentioned last week, I’ve had a pressing desire to open my own chain of fitness studios.  I want to create a place that manifests the core values of Grit by Brit .  Starting a business is risky and stressful, but it’s also so rewarding!  After my time at IDEA World, I’m convinced that being a fitness instructor is my calling.  There is nothing I’m better at and enjoying doing more than using fitness to encourage people to live their best lives.  Most importantly, I want to do it in away that’s fun and positive!  That said, I’m riding this IDEA World inspirational high to get cracking on my new fitness studio concept.  Lots of work ahead, but I’m a gritty chick and up for the challenge!   What do you love to do?  What’s your dream?

“You are worthy of happiness and you deserve to sing everyday.”

Lots of luv, Brit


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My Herve Leger dress…and tips for turning 30

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Brit in Herve Leger Judith Metallic Dress

I recently celebrated my 30th birthday and it was absolutely amazing!  My photographer just sent the photos back from party so I now I have some to share (as you can see).  I’m not gonna lie, in the months leading up to my big 3-0 I was kind of in panic mode (as most 29 year olds).  However, I was determined to not freak about arriving to the “3rd floor” and instead proactively embrace my new decade of life.  Here are some things I did on and before my dirty thirty that made my b-day one of the best days of my life…if you are approaching your 30th milestone b-day, I highly recommend these activities…

  1. Plan a Celebration – At first I didn’t want to make a big deal about my birthday (I actually wanted to ignore it and pretend it wasn’t happening).  But then I decided to fully embrace it.  I’m a super social person and I love love love parties.  SO about 3 months before my b-day I booked a venue, hired a DJ and started planning the biggest, booty-shaking bash of my life.  Bottom line = so much more fun than sitting at home doing nothing.  My advice is to go ahead and plan a big part-tay!
  2. Get Fit – For me, feeling good and looking good have a very high impact on my overall self-confidence and state of well-being on any day, especially my birthday.  Because 30th birthday’s are inherently filled with life expectations (i.e. I should have accomplished this much in my career, have this much money, be married, be “almost pregnant,” etc.) it’s good to have some accomplishments that you can be certain of – like being fit.  A fit, healthy body is one accomplishment I think we should all strive for by the age of 30.  Not only so we can look good and feel good, but because we are “real adults” now and we have to take our health seriously and establish healthy habits that allow us to live a long, abundant life.
  3. Do something you love – The morning of my by 3-0 I woke up and taught my beloved PiYo class at the W Dallas Hotel. Being with my class, sweating, feeling the sunshine on my face are priceless experiences for me.  This helped me realize that every single day is a blessing because I have the freedom to do things I love to do.  I should appreciate and savor these moments every day - not just on my birthday.
  4. Reflect on your blessings – I don’t know about you, but it was really easy for me to think about all of the things I DIDN’T do by the age of 30 rather than all of the things I DID.  I highly encourage you to write down your greatest accomplishments and happiest moments from your first 30 years (yes, high school graduation counts – you did that!)  Simply looking over this list can make you feel pretty freakin’ great.
  5. Surround yourself with friends and family (don’t be alone) – 3 of my best friends from Harvard Business School flew to Dallas for my birthday party and to spend the weekend with me.  We have actually established a tradition of traveling to each other’s home city to spend our birthday’s together.  Even if I didn’t throw my massive twerkfest of a party, I still would have felt the love, acceptance and joy that I experienced on my birthday because I was surrounded the people who love me most.
  6. Go big or go home – Last but not least, live it up a little bit!  I’m very a conservative, risk averse person.  But I had been eyeing this Herve Leger Judith Metallic dress at Intermix and really really wanted it.  I debated whether or not I should buy it for 3 weeks and even consulted my best friends.  In the end I decided – Carpe’ Diem!  I may only wear this dress once in my entire life but I don’t care.  I work hard, I’m celebrating 30 years of life, I LOVE the way the dress fits and I deserve to reward myself.  Maybe I’ll even get 2 wears out of it – I’m planning to bust it out for my 60th birthday! hehe

Here’s to next 30 years… and the next 30.  Lots of luv, Brit