Some of you may know that when I started working out in January 2016 it was inspired by my impending wedding and I was motivated by getting in shape to look hot for my big day! One of the things top of my list of flabby bits to tone was ARMS. I always struggled with confidence around my upper arms and always felt they looked flabby in certain outfits. This would not do in a wedding dress!

So, my aim – to get toned sexy arms weren’t too muscley or ‘stacked’. Contrary to popular belief, if you lift weights in the gym – you will not get stacked over night!! Seriously I know so many girls who avoid the free weights because they think their arms will get too big. Body building takes months or even years of constantly lifting and using VERY HEAVY WEIGHTS. Trust me, you’ll be fine.

I’m really pleased with how my arms look now – I feel that they are slender and I have some muscle definition but not too much growth. I achieved this by doing one upper body workout per week where I worked all the muscle groups in my arm, and by keeping the weights mostly the same or increasing by a small amount (1kg at a time).

My favourite arm exercises:

💙 Push ups

💙 Pull ups (assisted or non – depending on how hardcore you are)

💙 Tricep dips

💙 Bicep & Tricep curls using the cable

💙 Bar bell clean & press (great all body toner)

💙 Kettle bell swings (tones the whole arm)

The important thing to remember is it’s okay to start with very low weights. If you think about it – the Bicep and Tricep muscles on your body are actually pretty tiny compared to, say, your leg muscles. The key is to complete the exercise slowly and controlled with a weight that is challenging, but still enables you to complete the movement.

So, get down the gym and boss those arms. Being strong is sexy!

Do you like upper body workouts? What’s your favourite?

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Let’s face it – sometimes we just cannot get to the gym. This is something that I’m contending with a fair bit at the moment. If you read my Midweek Motivation last week I talked about falling off the wagon with a new routine and the fact that I can’t workout in the mornings anymore due to my early commute to work. I still go Saturday & Sunday and I make myself go at least one evening midweek too. The rest of the time, though, between planning, paperwork, dinner, spending time with my husband and actually having an hour to sit down and rest it’s not easy to get down the gym much more than that.

So, it’s really helpful to be able to set up and work through a little circuit at home. Nothing too long or labourious, just a quick burst while I’m watching TV to get my heart rate up and keep myself active.

Last night we did a little circuit of 30 press up/ 30 sit ups / 30 mountain climbers (inspired by Alex Crockford’s Crockfit HIIT sessions) and it took less than 10 minutes.

Although it’s not as good as a full strength and conditoning workout a little burst of cardio/high intensity interval training makes me feel much fitter and generally better about myself! Put it this way – I don’t feel like I’ve slacked quite so much!!!

Ideas for things you can do at home without equipment:

Burpees//squats//sit ups//plank//push ups//mountain climbers//jumping jacks


That’s all for today! Remember to come back every Wednesday for motivation to get you through the week!

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Okay, I admit it. I have expensive taste in body wash! I love, love, loveeeee Molton Brown (all their products) and have a particular soft spot for their shower gels. The flavours are so yummy, they all smell amazing, lather up so much and are such gorgeous colours. Generally all round amazing products.

They arn’t cheap as far as body wash goes and since I’m a student I wouldn’t usually splash out on such a thing. However, my lovely mum has got this cute little thing where she always buys me a set of their minis for my birthday or Christmas because she knows how much I love them! I like to have lots of different ones so I can chop and change and the mini sets usually have about 12 small bottles of gel which lasts me a fair amount of time! Basically, I’m sorted for shower gels!

I recieved this set for my birthday and I wanted to tell you about my favourites.

How cute do they look lined up in colour order by the way?? Amazing decoration for my bathroom if nothing else!

Pink Pepperpod

Obviously I have a soft spot for this one because it is bright pink and I think it looks sassy as! It’s also a really lovely fruity smell and it gives off a really tropical aroma. The blend of fiery pink pepper and ginger make it kind of spicy which is really refreshing in a body wash. Great for waking you up in the morning.

Coco & Sandalwood

Coconut anything is my absolute favourite. I love it. The smell remind me of holiday so much it transports me in my head to a beach with a cocktail in hand. Plus, coconut has so many amazing properties to keep skin soft and moisturised. Soothing on the skin and nice for a relaxing bath.

Gingerlily

My all time favourite Molton Brown product is the Gingerlily. I adore the smell so much I have also purchased the body cream. It just smells divine – of lilies obviously so it’s quite a flowery smell but I don’t find it over powering. It’s an exotic flowery product with a hint of spicy ginger. 

Do you like Molton Brown or any other luxury bath products? What’s your favourite?

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Sometimes you lose your rhythm in fitness. It can be anything, a change in routine, an upset, difficult period in your life or maybe just you’re really tired. For me, I’ve recently started placement in a school and I have to leave the house at 7am. Given that my gym opens at 6.30am this is not realistically enough for me to have a workout in the morning. I now go 3 times a week (one evening and both days of the weekend) compared to my old routine which was 5 mornings a week.

This has been a really hard upset for me, not just because I enjoyed it and it really set me up for the day but also because I had genuinely become a morning person ! I loved getting up early and thrashing all my stress from the day before out in the gym. It made me feel alive, and awake actually! These days I struggle out of the house feeling sleepy and lethargic. I’ve also noticed I’ve put on 3 pounds which has been upsetting me a bit.

HOWEVER, it’s important to not be too hard on ourselves and recognise our achievements so far! I’ve still lost nearly 2&1/2 stone and managed to maintain it. The first picture was taken in January 2016 and the second is now. It’s still an amazing achievement!

I figure I’ve just got to stop giving myself a hard time and understand that it takes time to adjust to a new job and routine.

Do you find it difficult to fit fitness in around a demanding job? What are your thoughts on this?

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Now that I’ve been working out consistently for 9 months now I’ve began to notice some progress in the weights I’ve been lifting. I’ve tried to progress my upper body weights slowly and most use lighter weights/more reps for this part of my body because I’m conscious of becoming too stacked in my arms and shoulders.

In terms of my lower body though I am constantly trying to up the weights which I squat to continue to tighten and build muscle mass on my butt! Booty gains is what it’s about.

So recently, the barbells I’ve been using o squat have become too heavy for me to actually lift above my head without help. It’s time to venture into the free weights area and stack up the squat rack. I’ve always  intimidated and ‘out of place’ as a female in the free weights area, so Paul showed me how to work it initially, but it’s essentially very simple. It allows you to safely squat weight levels which would be otherwise too heavy for you to lift.


A few tips for women thinking of using this kit:

  1. You are strong.  DO NOT feel intimidated by the meathead guys in the free weights section. If your gym is anything like mine it’s a male dominated environment and they may look at you like, ‘what you doing on our squat rack?!’ You have as much right to use it as they do.
  2. There is NO minimum weight which ‘allows you’ to use the rack. When you first start you may be putting baby weights on the bar, or even no weights (as the bar weights 20kgs normally). This is fine, you don’t have to squat 100kgs to be ‘worthy’ of the squat rack. Build up slowly.
  3. On the subject of slowly; take your time. Don’t get flustered and end up rushing and hurting yourself.
  4. Give it a go!! Why not?

Do you use the free weights section?