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Spotlight Series: Vale C.

Today on the blog it’s all about Vale. Her starting weight on her fitness and health quest was 72.8 kg, and she is now sitting at 66 kg, and has totally changed her habits and lifestyle! We got the scoop on Vale, and how she went from spending her days eating and watching TV, to exercising at least 4 times a week and eating healthy foods. Vale joined PumpUp with the hopes of shedding some extra weight, not only has she done that, but she’s gained muscle, endurance, and so much more confidence! Keep on reading for Vale’s entire story.

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Vale has been using PumpUp for a whole 7 months, and started simply because she wanted to live a better lifestyle. Vale shares, “I wasn’t feeling good about my body and was having image issues.”  That was because before Vale started using PumpUp, she wasn’t doing much to get healthy or active. Vale says, “Before PumpUp I barely moved. I was signed up at a gym but never went. My day was basically getting up then eating all day while watching T.V.”

That all changed when Vale went to a nutritionist in order to get help with creating a food schedule. Vale tells us, “She has been awesome with me, and I’m never hungry. She made me delete sugars and concentrated fats like butter and cheese.” Now Vale exercises at least 4 times a week, with a 1-hour cardio session, and good ol’ squats every night.

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Vale shares her advice with you guys, “To anyone struggling with how you feel about your body and health, do something. Any changes you make should start with knowing that you’re doing them for you, not for anyone else. If people notice your changes, good for them, but the most important person you need to impress is yourself. Everyday can be better than yesterday, and try to be better tomorrow.”

Vale’s Favourites:

Fave Drink:  “Fruitshakes. They are my total weakness! Once a week I get my blender and throw in half a banana and any fruit I feel like having, plus some ice cream and a bit of milk.”

Fave Saying: “‘No pain, no gain.’ Cause nothing is easy. You need to work for everything you want.”

#1 Exercise: “I love dancing, its what I’m best at. The way your body just flows with music… It just traps me.”

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More About Vale: “I have an awesome listening capacity, and singing for me is very easy, same as playing guitar and learning other languages, so if you ever catch me off guard, you’ll probably hear me singing and inventing lyrics out loud.”

Vale’s biggest motivation comes from a local Chilean athlete, Isidora Jimenez. Vale says, “I really admire for her strength and enthusiasm, besides being very beautiful and encouraging.”

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While Vale was starting to make a change to her lifestyle she experienced setbacks with the passing of her Grandpa. Vale tells us, “When I started using PumpUp, my grandpa was the person who really kept me motivated to go on and keep pushing, to basically do something about me. About 5 months ago, he passed away, and a huge part of me left with him. I was frustrated, and I fell into a small depression. I then realized that he would have LOVED to see me happy, so I started working out again, not as much as before at first, but once I started noticing changes, most of my days were finished at the gym.”

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Vale’s goals for right now are to lose a little more weight. She says, “ I want to lose those extra pounds in order to be 100% happy with my body, without wanting to hide it behind big shirts and baggy pants. At the moment, I have lost over 12 pounds, but also I’ve gained endurance and strength on my core, arms and legs.”

Give Vale a follow on PumpUp @valecarvallo97 to get inspired and to watch her achieve all of her fitness and health goals. 

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It’s #PumpDay everyone! Do you do a crazy amount of pushups in hopes of getting rid of arm fab or toning up your muscles? We hate to tell you, but push-ups don’t actually help you lose arm flab. Push-ups do play a role in fat loss, but they won’t specifically burn the fat around your arms. To burn more fat from the upper-body area, incorporate bicep curls, tricep lifts and shoulder presses as exercises to tone your arms!

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Happy #SweatySunday to this amazing Member, Marieta. Want to know her workout? 

4 sets of: 25 barbell squats, 20 spider planks, 100 reps skipping rope, 25 hip raises, 20 leg raises, 20 barbell reverse lunges, and 25 crunches. Give her #SweatySunday workout a try, and see if you survive! 

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PumpUp Member chanelblz’s core is to.die.for. Notice how I didn’t just say her abs? Your core is made of so much more! To be precise, your core is the foundation of your body. It helps you look thinner, it supports your spine, and helps with your balance. Your core muscles are connected to your legs, to the way you stand, squat, and sit. Core Training is not just about your abs - it is also about your back, glutes, and the area that connects your spinal cord! So start strengthening that core to be an all around stronger force to be reckoned with! 

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It’s #PumpDay & here are some tips to make sure you are pumped for your workout. 

1. Use music to get you fired up! 

2. Feeling unmotivated? Look at other peoples pics, and your own progress pics. 

3. Start lightly and give yourself a warm-up before going full force. 

4. Near the end of the day do you get lazy? Switch up your routine and workout in the morning to get it out of the way! 

Are you pumped to workout now? Good, we thought so! #TeamPumpUp #PumpDay

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This pic is of PumpUp Member landeros. On the left he is 280 lbs. and on the right he has lost 74 lbs. and is down to 206 lbs. Get this: his starting weight was 302 lbs. and he is trying to make his way down to a goal weight of 180 lbs! Landeros says he is here “to inspire and motivate.” So get motivated by his amazing progress today and put in an awesome workout.

Spotlight Series: Sofia Y.

Today on the PumpUp blog we got to know Sofia and uncovered the many layers that this amazing 18 year-old from NY truly has. Ever thought about going vegan? Sofia talks all about her vegan lifestyle and why it works for her. Have you struggled with body image or an eating disorder? Yep, Sofia tells us how she battled her anorexia and bulimia. You know you want to learn about Sofia’s story, so keep reading! 

Sofia joined the PumpUp Fam in March of this year, she learned about it from people on Instagram saying how great it was. Sofia says, “I didn’t want to post too much exercising stuff and food stuff on my Instagram because I felt like my friends would think that I was trying to be like a health-freak or something like that. PumpUp is a great community; it made me feel comfortable and I love its positive vibes and how everyone’s so nice and supportive.”

We wanted to know what Sofia’s life was like before she began using PumpUp and a lot was different. “Last year I was still a meat eater, even though I did try vegetarianism and pescetarianism (eat fish) for around 2 weeks each. However, I was still eating junk food.” Food was an especially difficult area for Sofia as she had been battling eating disorders. She lets us know, “I struggled with eating disorders, mainly bulimia, which developed from anorexia. I’ve tried not eating ANYTHING, which led me to water fasting for 14 days straight. My mind was messed up. I cried everyday and I was so hungry. It was terrible.” Sofia’s workouts were also inconsistent, “I would focus a lot on my cardio because I thought lifting weights would make me look “manly”, and I didn’t want to have any muscles. I wanted to be skinny like models. I would always come back home from school in the afternoon and search for unhealthy snack. Donuts, croissants, cookies, chips, cakes, muffins, you name it.” This was Sofia’s life last year, and she has definitely grown and changed as a person. She began to embark on a journey that was healthy for the long-term.

Since January of 2014 Sofia started to really kick it into high gear. She says, “I met this guy who was super fit and healthy, so he really inspired me to be my best as well. I started training 5-6x a week. I fell in love with it and I fell in love with that man who supported me. I started practicing yoga. Of course I still couldn’t do a headstand then. But one night 2 weeks later, I was trying it, and I succeeded.” That one night got Sofia hooked on yoga, and as she says, “I became addicted to yoga and the beauty of it. I started to practice every single day for at least an hour.”

Sofia’s struggles with her appearance didn’t just go away overnight either. She tells us that despite working out she was binging almost every night. Finally she decided to try something new and that was veganism.  She says, “I’ve tried it before last year at one point for 2 weeks, and it worked really well. I loved how this diet made me feel, so I officially transitioned into veganism around February, 2014.” Sofia watched a ton of videos, documentaries, read books, and questioned experts, that all made her realize a vegan lifestyle was one that suited her perfectly. Being vegan helped Sofia stay conscious and aware of animals, nature, our food markets, and most of all what she was putting into her body.

“After joining PumpUp in March, I was already well into my healthy routine, but being apart of the PumpUp community gave me more motivation and reasons to stick with it.” Sofia explains to us how other PumpUp members have coached her along the way. She says, “The members of PumpUp act as if they are my couch cheering me on through my workouts, I’d feel so useless if I couldn’t finish my workout! Seriously though, PumpUp has really helped me stay on track, stay healthy, eat the right foods, do the right thing, and most of all be the best that I can be.”

Want to know how Sofia lives her days now? “I wake up early in the morning to hit the gym and workout. Then I come back home, shower and get ready. I make myself a nice smoothie and drink it while driving to school. That’s my morning… and I FREAKING LOVE IT.” We love your transition into a way healthier lifestyle and a healthier person Sofia, keep it up!

Why Sofia Turned Vegan and Why It Works:

“One saying really stuck with me, “If you can’t stand the way how your food’s made, don’t eat it.” I can’t stand the meat factories, and the horrible environments where they keep the animals before they are butchered. I can’t stand the genetically modified food they feed to the animals so they grow fatter, so they have more meat to serve to consumers. I can’t stand watching innocent animals die because WE want to eat a burger, a NY strip steak, or a chicken Parmesan. So that’s why I decided to become a vegan. I became a vegan to boycott meat or any animal products. I don’t feel the need to have that kind of food, and I can get just enough nutrition from plants. My motto? Don’t ask me about my protein if you don’t want me to ask you about your cholesterol ;)

I receive my protein through leafy greens, beans, and tofu. I receive my vitamins and carbs through fruits and starchy plants like potatoes and rice. I receive my fats from fruits like avocado and spreads like hummus. I stopped limiting my calories.

I used to limit myself to only having no more than 500-1000cal a day to now unlimited (around 2000-3000 calories.) And want to know the best part? I have not gained any fat weight. I’ve gained muscle and lost fat overall. I feel much healthier, stronger, happier, and more awake. I can wake up in the morning without feeling greasy because of the food I ate from last night. I can eat 2 bowls of rice or a whole basket of oven baked no-oil, no-salt potato fries without feeling guilty. And that is awesome.”

Sofia’s Favourites:

Fave Part About PumpUp: “I love being able to communicate with all the lovely members of PumpUp. I love it when people comment on my post, something about that just makes me so happy. I love it when people ask me questions about anything from “How did you start yoga?” or  ”Where you get that mason jar?” I love to inspire and be inspired by people.”

Best Advice: “Do not give up. Even if your progress is slow as hell, just keep doing what you are doing (ok, maybe kick it up a level), but keep doing your thing, don’t care about what people think of you. You WILL be rewarded.”

Go To Drink: “Oh you better believe my favourite drink is my chocolate banana smoothie! It is so delicious and easy to make. Just blend bananas, cocoa powder, and water together.”

Fave Meal/Snack: “One of my favourite meals is curry vegetables/tofu with rice and my 2 favourite snacks are watermelon and avocado on bread.”

Motivational Saying: “Don’t give a shit about what people think and what they say, just keep doing your thing, just keep working through it. Dance with it. Flow with it.”

Sofia’s Frappana Recipe:

“It’s a smoothie-coffee blend my friend and I invented. Basically blend your freshly brewed black coffee, banana, agave syrup/coconut sugar, and any kind of non-diary milk together. Super easy and yummy. Perfect on a Monday morning when you just need that kick of caffeine but you also want that sweet fruity smoothie as well. I have a video of it on my Instagram for everyone that wants to take a look!”

Want to know who motivates Sofia to keep pushing and living her healthy life? That’s easy, “My biggest motivation is my boyfriend, he’s also a member of this app! Also my friend, who I’ve inspired to start this healthy lifestyle. She became obsessed with working out and lifting weights as well. We would show each other our progress and gains.”

In starting her journey Sofia has learned to do a ton more cool ways to do handstands and headstands. She says, “I’m much more flexible than before, and definitely workout at least 6x a week now. Even on rest day I’d have the urge to workout cause I’m just so used training being part of my day and posting it on PumpUp right after.” And we love that you post – because seeing your pics motivate all of us! What is in store for Sofia now and what does she want to accomplish? “I hope to lose more body fat, gain more muscles, and be more flexible.”

With any success comes hard work and at times we have setbacks. Sofia understands this first hand. She says, “Because of my eating disorder history, I have to remind myself that I’ve come so far and I don’t want to go back to that horrible days. I’ve worked so hard to build up the healthy body of mine. I don’t want to screw it up again. I have to fight through my cravings of eating junk food like bakery goods (they are my weakness). I found a vegan bakery and satisfied my sweet tooth there. One time I wanted to eat fries so badly I ran out in the pouring rain and drove to Burger King’s drive-thru just to get a large order of French fries. Did I feel disgusting afterwards? Yes. Did I sort of regret it? Yes. But I get that we are only human, we all have setbacks. The next day I just get right back on track. I hit the gym like I normally would and I sweat all those negativities out.”

To stay active Sofia hits up the gym a lot, and also walks her dog everyday. She goes out with friends to the beach and they do yoga and go paddle boarding. She says, “I just try to be fun while being active. I don’t necessarily need to go the gym and seriously train but I like it.”

More About Sofia:

“I am trying to become a yoga instructor, but it costs a ton of money to take those classes, so I’m still figuring out. I just graduated high school and I’ll be starting university in September for a Pharmacy major. I’m also an artist. Well, I don’t want to speak too highly of myself because there’s always room for improvement and growth, but I do like to believe I draw and paint pretty well.

I play piano as well, stop attending lessons after I’ve reach NYSMA level 7. Unlike a lot of girls, I love to watch sports and not just to watch those good-looking players running around with a ball. A ticket to see the world cup would be a dream come true!”

We at PumpUp LOVE everything about your journey Sofia. We are so proud with how far you have come and how you have turned your life around to be so much healthier. Sharing your story, your pics and your knowledge on PumpUp is so inspiring and we hope you keep all of your hard work up. Follow Sofia @sofiayang1204 because she’s just all around awesome. 

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We are so excited to share this photo of PumpUp Member thelulabelle86 on one of the best days of the week… Say it with us, it’s #TransformationTuesday!! Want to know her words of advice? “Embrace your old self, and love the new one! Be happy! I love where I am headed and excited to see what I will achieve and encounter along the way!” Love this pic, and love this positivity!

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Here it is, your #MotivationMonday pic and quote of the week - “You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.” No matter where you are with your fitness level, or what stage you are at in your health journey, it doesn’t matter. The fact that you are making an effort and trying your best, is what says it all. So keep it up, and go hard this monday, because in the end you want to be GREAT, right? :) 

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Do you want to tone a specific part of your body, get more fit overall, eat better, run a 5k, or maybe something totally not fitness related like travel somewhere or try something new! Think of your summer goals, and make them happen! S/O to PumpUp Member megabig for this sweet photo! 

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Our first #Transformation Photo from yesterday is from brookekatott. The pic on the left is from last August and the one on the right is from yesterday. She has dropped 10 lbs. But get this, Brooke has lost 10% of her body fat, and many inches! You’re hard work has definitely paid off Brooke, amazing job!

Blogilates: 6 Tips to a Flat Tummy

When talking about getting fit, basically everyone wants a flat tummy and some nice abs. For that reason I have a feeling a lot of you are going to want to keep reading! Todays blog post on 6 Tips to get that flat tummy, is written by none other than Cassey Ho, from @blogilates! She shares with us how to look awesome, and the tips are totally doable! 

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There are no magic secrets towards getting flat abs. The truth is that you HAVE TO watch what you’re eating so that the abs can show through. They are not flat because you have fat sitting on top. So like I always say, pair a great workout with a clean diet and you’re on your way to getting the body of your dreams. Here are some of my fave tips:

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1. Replace refined carbs with steamed veggies. Remove processed or “bad carbs” such as white bread, pastas, potatoes, and white rice from your diet. Eat brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and/or 100% whole wheat bread instead. If you don’t want grains, substitute that part of your plate with leafy greens for increased fibre intake and less calorie consumption! I love zero calorie Miracle Noodles for filling up if you still feel like you want to eat pasta.

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2. CARDIO MANIA! Melt the fat to let the abs show through. I am obsessed with HIIT workouts. High intensity interval training. Short bursts of really hard exercises that mix strength training with cardio blasts. See my latest HIIT routine here!

3. PILATES! Obviously. This is the BEST core workout around. The whole method was created based on strengthening your powerhouse which includes everything around your waist line. Forget those 100 crunches.

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4. Drink lots of water! You should be drinking at least 6 to 8 glasses per day. Not only will it help fill you up so you eat less, but it aids in digestion. This is one of the best natural weight loss remedies around.

5. Eliminate junk food.  No more soda, sugary drinks, fried food etc. But you know that already.

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6. Eat smaller more frequent meals. Body builders and fitness competitors do this because they say it revs up their metabolism, but results vary per person. I tried this during my 8 week bikini slimdown but found that it just made me hungrier because I was thinking about food all the time! Make sure that if you’re eating numerous times throughout the day, your overall calorie intake does not increase! Key word: SMALLER, more frequent meals.

All About Cassey:

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One of the most inspiring people on the internet, Cassey a.k.a. “Blogilates” has motivated millions of people to sculpt their bodies and live their dreams. Through her popular channel, award winning blog, top downloaded app, and POP Pilates DVDs, Cassey is the leader in empowering the next generation to live happier and healthier lives.

Check out more of Blogilates here: http://www.blogilates.com/

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It is #TransformationTuesday, one of the best days of the week to share your progress with everyone. This is an incredible photo from PumpUp Member @losingtolive_fitness. Her starting weight was 406 and her goal weight is to be fit, toned, and 180 pounds. How is she doing? She has just 54 pounds to go! 

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As soon as you change your mindset, you’ll be able to accomplish so much more than you ever thought you could. 

Need Some Motivation? 20 Pics to Get You Up and Moving!

We can all use a little pick-me up from time to time when we are losing motivation on our fitness and health journey, and we have it for you! We’ve got our top 20 motivational pictures. We promise after a look at these pics, you are going to crush that workout you are debating doing! You can thank us later! ;)

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We hope these pics will make you push a little harder today, and run a little further. As long as you’re breathing, it’s time to get moving! Spread the motivation! 

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Here’s a tip for you today - try training for something! Set a goal for yourself and start working towards it. Maybe running a 5k, or even a half marathon! To be able to do 10 reps of an exercise that is troublesome for you. Now don’t stop until you get there. Working towards something will keep you motivated and dedicated, and can actually help you get to your goal faster.

Spotlight Series: Kate E.

It’s Wednesday, which also means its time for a spotlight feature on the #PumpUpBlog! We’ve got the Creator of the #getfit50 challenge, the girl with an crazy amazing core and legs, and has the best workout clothes around … it’s Kate!

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Kate has been with PumpUp since March of 2014, and decided to kick her fitness journey into high gear when she realized her once super fast metabolism was now failing her. Kate tells us, “I’ve been very fortunate to have a fast metabolism most of my life. I could eat just about anything that I wanted and I still looked thin.  Once I hit my twenties, that luxury changed really fast. I didn’t even realize that my body had been slipping until I looked in the mirror one day and was not happy with what I saw.”

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For Kate it wasn’t just about the physical it was more than that. She wanted to be healthy inside and out. “Wanting a change was beyond the physical aspect.  I not only wanted to look good, but I also wanted to feel good! I realized that even if you have the world’s fastest metabolism, it doesn’t make you healthy. You still need to nourish your body. It’s not just about the looks!”

Kate explains to us, that you can be really active and fit but that doesn’t necessarily mean you are healthy. There is so much more to factor into the equation. Something that has stuck with her was about a marathon runner who actually suffered a heart attack during the race. She says, “I still think about that man to this day.  It made me realize that even though the athlete was athletic and super fit, he lived a very unhealthy lifestyle and did not eat nutritious wholesome foods.” 

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Before Kate’s health turn around and before she started using PumpUp she was about that cookie-dough and ice cream life! Really! She says, “My lifestyle a few years before PumpUp consisted of eating cookie dough and ice-cream as a meal more times than I can count. Something that I am certainly not proud of! Around 1 year before PumpUp I had been doing my best to eat healthy, but I was never consistent with my training.”

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Don’t worry guys, Kate’s cookie-dough meals have been put to rest once she started to use PumpUp, and she is now totally hooked on a healthy and active life. Kate shares with us, “my whole life has changed since I’ve started using PumpUp. I have found a new passion in life – health and fitness. And even greater than that I have a new passion in helping people. As cheesy as it sounds, I find such great joy in helping people along in their fitness journeys.” Kate has definitely helped us all be inspired and motivated but she hopes to take that even further. She now wants to become a certified trainer. She says,  “That way I can share proper knowledge, and help people learn to love their bodies. I also feel MUCH happier from exercising every day, and I want others to feel that same happiness.”

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Want to know what keeps Kate pushing day in and day out? It’s progress. Kate says, “When I look back on old photos and am reminded of how far I have come, it really gives me that push.”

Kate’s Favourites:

Favorite Exercise: “I love doing HIIT exercises! Anything that makes me sweat. I don’t feel like I pushed myself hard enough if I don’t leave the gym drenched in sweat and with shaky legs.”

Favorite motivational saying: "Your body is a reflection of your lifestyle"

Favorite Part about PumpUp: “I absolutely LOVE the motivating community! The PumpUp community has really helped push me. Especially on those days when I have absolutely zero motivation, I see a sweet comment, and it gives me that little push to get back up and go harder.”

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Something Interesting About Kate:

Kate actually grew up in a family with 9 kids! (Yep, that’s right, 9!) They grew up on a farm and she actually used to ride horses. Later on Kate got a BFA degree in Graphic Design & Digital Media. Then she worked at Walt Disney World Resorts doing recreation and entertaining the families at the resort pools. 

Kate isn’t done with her fitness journey just yet! PumpUp has helped Kate get stronger, and slim down. And when she first started PumpUp she tells us, I struggled to do one modified pushup and I couldn’t do a single pull-up/chin-up. Now I can do many regular pushups, along with 5-6 pull-ups and chin-ups!” Now that is some serious progress! Kate still wants to continue to tone her body and gain strength.

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Want to hear Kate’s best advice to all of you out there? We asked her, and she said, “It’s not all about that PERFECT body. It’s about loving yourself and feeling confident in your own skin. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else! Focus on YOU and YOUR progress. Don’t strive for perfection; strive for progress & a happy healthy body!”

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Everything you have done has been amazing Kate! We love how you are taking your journey to the next level. The fact that you know what a healthy lifestyle is truly all about, is something to commend. Keep up your dedication and hard work towards fitness and health. We can’t wait to see what you conquer next! You can find Kate on PumpUp: @jatie! 

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We wanted to share with you our last #TransformationTuesday pic from yesterday, compliments of a new PumpUp Member, mickey_tony22. Yes pick up your jaws people, this is for real! This is some serious work and dedication. Mickey says, “You never know what you can achieve until you try!” So very true! So for all of you that want to have your own transformation photo, it is time to get off your bum and get to work! 

Spotlight Series: Allaine T.

If you use PumpUp, then it is safe to say that you know who Allaine is. She is one of the most motivating and dedicated PumpUp members who has seriously kicked butt on her fitness journey. We got the scoop on this 24 year old registered nurse who is living in New Zealand, and how she changed her lazy and unhealthy life to one that is now the epitome of health and fitness. 

Allaine joined pumped a while back in September 2013, you could say she is a PumpUp veteran! At that point Allaine was still unmotivated, she used the app for workouts but would always end up skipping a lot of the exercises. She started to kick it into high gear this Janurary, “I decided to stay focused and consistently use PumpUp at the start of this year because over the past few years I had gained so much weight and felt very unhealthy and uncomfortable in my own body. I wanted to change that and lead a healthy and active lifestyle.”

Allaine’s life before PumpUp was quite a bit different. She was naturally thin and pretty much ate what she wanted. She tells us,  “when I was a student doing my degree, I basically ate a lot of unhealthy food, like instant noodles, processed food, and I was always lazy to cook. I had the occasional healthy meal, but I was very addicted to fast food. When I started working fulltime, that even got worse, I was very lazy to cook, I would always end up buying lunch/dinner from a café. At my work, colleagues always bring treats like candies/chocolate/lollies and I would always end up eating them. Also, my boyfriend and I would eat fastfood like KFC/BK, because we were too tired to cook.” How many of us can relate to that? Being too busy is often a common thing, but is really an excuse, because we can always make time to be healthy just like Allaine eventually did. Allaine’s activity wasn’t the greatest either, “I didn’t really do much exercise. Sometimes I’d join a gym but hardly ever went because I didn’t want to go alone. The end of 2012 is when I had noticed a big change, I started to put on a heap of weight. I tried a lot of online workouts from YouTube but I was still lacking motivation and was not consistent. I wasn’t seeing any change in my body, and I realized that was because of my diet.”

Allaine decided to first change her diet. In September she started clean eating and lost a significant amount of weight, but she was still on a mission to be even healthier.

Allaine tells us, “at the start of the year when I was using pumpup that’s when a big change happened. With PumpUp I began to tone my body and maintain a healthy weight, in fact today one of my subgoals is to put on a little weight in muscle!” At first Allaine was using PumpUp 3 times a week and she has increased that now to 6 times a week, sometimes evern more. She says, “if I have time I like to do a workout in the morning and one in the evening.” Take that “No Time” Excuse!  Food wise Allaine has done a 360 as well. “I have muesli or cereal in the morning with fruits (mostly banana) and some greek yoghurt. For a healthy snack I have fruits and nuts, or a snack bar. And for lunch I usually have salad with tuna or meat or an omellete with a protein shake. Then my dinner typically consist of meat/fish, and veggies. I don’t deprive myself of carbs I eat a lot of sweet potato, brown rice and have pasta at least once a week.”

What is great for Allaine, is that she is cooking her own food unlike before when she ate a ton of fast food, she knows what is in her food and can make healthy choices. Allaine also tells us that she drinks less, consumes less sodas and juice, but still allows herself to treats and candies once a week – but makes them herself, a healthy way, like her vegan mousse that she is currently addicted to!

Allaine gets her motivation from seeing other women who are lean and healthy. She says, “it has motivated me to even work harder. In the past I always used to just wish I looked like them but never did anything about it.” Well, now Allaine, you are those women, congrats! Another big motivator for Allaine comes from looking at her old photos when she was unhealthy. She  tells us, “I push even harder because I certainly would never want to go back there. The Pumpup community and the positive vibes the people give had provided me a lot of encouragement as well!”

Allaine is no stranger to society’s judgements and pressures. She shares with us, “throughout my fitness and health journey I have been judged pretty badly. People telling me that I’m too skinny and that I need to eat. To be honest it was very insulting and I did get annoyed by it. I then realized that no matter what people are going to make judgements about you. I try to ignore them now as much as I can. I’ll admit it’s quite hard sometimes because people have no idea that you work so hard and all they do is bring you down. But then pumpup always brings you up, with all the positivity you get, you end up forgetting that there are nasty people out there.” Allaine also deals with the feeling of not making any progress, “Sometiems I feel like im not making progress and it gets me really frustrated. I just tell myself that I can’t just transform overnight, so then I just push harder.” Some awesome life lessons to learn from Allaine right there, we love your strength!

Allaine’s Favourties:

Fave Snack:  “I usually have greek yoghurt with fruits, I also use my protein shake as a snack at times and I try to be as creative as I can, like adding fruits or cocoa for colour and flavour. I have a new addiction as well; protein bars called quest bars and ceres RAW snack bars.

Fave workout: “Lately I have been focusing on my lower body and abs, because I was never lucky enough to be blessed with a nice round butt haha! My workouts are pretty much a unch of everything. I work my core almost everyday, even on my active rest. I do a lot of squats (front, back, wide stance etc), lunges  deadlifts, bridges, donkey kicks, and jump lunges and squats, I try to use weights on most of my workout. I have also started doing a lot of youtube workout focusing on HIIT!”

Favourite Part About PumpUp:I love that PumpUp is a free download! The fact that pumpup generates the workout for you is great for a beginner and if you aren’t keen on one workout you can always customize a new one and you can also focus on muscles groups, which is pretty cool. Since I started using pumpup I have slowly transformed my place into a mini gym and I have started buying my own equipment.”

Favourite Quotes:You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream. I told myself this on my journey, reminding myself that its not too late for me to change, and be where I wanna be! It wasn’t easy, and like anyone I had my ups and downs, and sometimes lost motivation. But I really was determined to change my lifestyle and improve my wellbeing so I pushed myself to get there.”

“My other two fave quotes are, the start is always the hardest, and motivation is what gets your started and habit is what keeps you going.  As I started becoming more motivated and having the right mindset I found myself becoming more dedicated, or more like obsessed you might say!

Best Advice: “I know its not easy to start, I went through that, but if you keep in mind what you want to achieve, and focus on what a healthy and active lifestyle could do for you in the long run you will get there. I never thought I could do it but now im literally obsessed, and I know you can do it too. I feel so much more confident in myself, I deal with stress better, and most importantly, I am happy!”  

Get To Know Allaine Better:

“I am 24 years old. I am a Filipino loving in New Zealand. I have been a registered nurse for over 2 years now and absolutely love my job, because it is full of challenges, and I am planning on becoming a nurse practioner in the future! I also have a big desire to travel the world, so I basically just work and save money so I can learn about different cultures and see what the world has to offer. I know a ton of foreign songs off by heart and have no idea what they mean, so learning Spanish is definitely on my bucket list. Also, I LOVE cats, karaoke, and being a typical Asian.”

 

Allaine knows that she has come a long way since using PumpUp and changes have been evident both physically and mentally. Her goals right now are to be, “leaner, fitter, and to stay active.” She also shares with us, “I am hoping to use all the knowledge I have gained to share wih others and be able to motivate and inspire people on the app and people I care about.” We at PumpUp think you are well on your way of motivating and inspiring others! Keep up with your great attitude and zest for life Allaine, you are seriously going places! Follow Allaine on PumpUp @allainetoot, and IG @fit_nursey!

PumpUp's 9 Fave Ab Exercises

It’s all about the abs today on the PumpUp blog. We all want the rock hard abs of Michelle Lewin and Zac Efron, but it takes work. A lot of work! On the PumpUp Blog we have our 9 favourite and doable ab exercises, so you can feel the burn like never before, and to sculpt that perfect 6 pack!

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Like a lot of things in life, ab exercises are all about quality over quantity. You can do 1000 crunches a day, but if you are doing them in terrible form, you will see no benefit from these exercises. So slow down while you are doing these ab moves for a more effective workout that will take you one step closer to that washboard stomach.

1. Spiderman Plank Crunch:

Yep, the name doesn’t lie, this is taking a plank and a crunch to the whole next level, and that level is 6-pack city.

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 How To Do It:

  • Start in a normal plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body perfectly straight.
  • Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.
  • Repeat by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow. That’s one rep. Alternate sides for however many reps you want.

2. Bicycle Crunch:

Yes, we’ve probably all heard of, and even done bicycle crunches – so let’s just agree that yeah, it’s a simple name and a simple concept, but holy they work! Too easy for you? (Okay well you’re lucky), try holding the crunch position for 2 seconds to get a slower more concentrated movement.

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How To Do It:

  • Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, and your legs raised and bent at 90 degrees.
  • Alternate sides by bringing your right elbow towards your left knee then your left elbow towards your right knee.

3. Leg Raises:

Again, another easy to get concept but leg raises are an amazing workout. To get the full effect of leg raises you need to keep your legs all the way flexed to your feet, and make sure you have control of your legs movement. To make it harder go slower and engage those abdominals by sucking your belly button to your spine!

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How To Do It:

  • Lie flat on your back with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  • Straighten your legs so that they’re pointed at the ceiling. Keep your toes pointed and slowly raise your legs to the ceiling without bending them.
  • Slowly lower your legs to about an inch off the floor. Make sure you’re in control and you aren’t just flopping your legs back to the ground.
  • Slowly raise your legs back up to the ceiling.

4. Scissors:

Okay this one you have to do slow, try waiting 2 seconds before you switch legs. You’ll thank us for this one once you’ve tried it… remember washboard abs, washboard abs.

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How To Do It:

  • With straight legs raise your right leg to the ceiling and lower your left leg until it’s about six inches off the floor.
  • Lift your head and shoulders off the floor (optional)
  • Switch legs, but make sure not to let that bottom foot touch the ground and keep those legs flexed all the way through! 

5. Crunchy Frog:

Thank you P90x for this amazing ab move that we kind of LOVE here at PumpUp, this totally engages your whole core, and you can even feel it working your legs!

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How to Do It:

  • In a V-like sitting position, first wrap your legs with your arms.
  • Quickly open yourself up by moving your arms out to your sides and extending your legs out in front of you.
  • Bring them back in and repeat.

6. Frozen V-Sit:

“Let it go, let it go…” Is that frozen I hear? Yep, you’re right the FROZEN v-sit. This exercise will honestly have your body shaking, and when you start to shake try holding it for just a little more! The key here is keeping your spine and knees straight.

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How To Do It:

  • Lay on the ground with your arms extended above your head and your knees straight.
  • Raise both your upper body and your lower body up into the air until your body looks like a V.
  • Sit like this until you can’t hold it any longer.

7. Mason Twist:

The Mason twist is a great ab exercise that you can amp up by adding in a weight to bring from side to side instead of just your hands!

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How To Do It:

  • Sit down and bend your knees so you can place your feet flat on the floor, keep your abs pulled in, and your spine straight. Lean your upper body back around 45 degrees.
  • Raise your feet up until your lower legs are parallel to the floor.
  • Bend your elbows and clasp your hands together in front of your chest.
  • Twist your torso to the right side and try to bring your hands as close as you can to the floor. Move only your upper body and keep your abdominals engaged during the motion.
  • Twist over to the left side and bring your hands toward the floor and control the motion. Continue twisting from the right to the left.

8. Ab Roller

This exercise is great because the further out you roll out the more pressure it puts on your abs to stabilize your body, it’s a beauty!

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How To Do It:

  • Kneel on the floor and grab an ab wheel (you can use a towel if you don’t have a wheel)
  • Slowly push the wheel forward and extend your body as far as you can without allowing your hips to drop. Then, use your abs to pull your body back to the start.

Oblique V-Up: 

Want to get those v-lines and tone up your obliques? This one is for you! Try doing at least 20 reps of this one to really engage your core! Make sure you are getting contact with your elbow to thigh and make sure you switch sides to get the other oblique working!  

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How to Do It:

  • Lie on your left side, legs angled 45 degrees from your hips.
  • Rest your left arm on the floor and put your right hand behind your head.
  • Lift your straight legs off the floor, bringing your torso toward your legs.
  • Slowly return to start. That’s one rep. Do 15 to 25 reps on each side. 

Once you complete our 9 fave ab workouts, you can officially call yourself a PumpUp warrior! Do however many reps you feel works for you and make sure to take rests as you need them! Have an ABsolutely awesome day!

Sources:

http://www.freeworkoutguides.com/workoutguides/p90x-ab-ripper-workout

http://ashotofadrenaline.net/top-25-hardest-ab-exercises-ever-created/

http://www.mensfitness.com/training/build-muscle/5-exercises-to-work-your-abs-to-exhaustion?page=2