Category Archives: weight loss

Skulpt Aim Review

While I am a bit traditional when it comes to measuring body fat and quantifying fitness results, I was super excited when I was asked to test and review the new “Skulpt Aim” device. Skulpt uses leading edge technology to measure bodyfat and muscle quality. As a personal trainer I am always open to new products and ideas that take our profession to the next level.

skulpt

While opening up the package, I was very impressed with the quality of the packaging – I almost felt as if I was opening up a new Apple product. Everything was carefully placed and displayed in the box. Inside the box you’ll find the Skulpt Aim device, a charging cradle, USB cable, travel bag, as well as a spray bottle. After a few hours of charging the device, I was ready to start measuring.

The instructions are pretty straight forward – once you sync the device to your phone via bluetooth, you can begin measuring. Simply spray the sensors on the back of the Skulpt Aim device and press on the muscle you want to measure. Very easy to use.

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One great feature that I love is that there are how-to videos on measuring each body part correctly. Since I had a bit of trouble getting consistent readings at first, this was very helpful. Before using this on clients I wanted to make sure I had consistency. I felt that I was getting the most accurate readings from my abdominal region, while having some trouble with the biceps and triceps as I have a petite frame.

I was very surprised at how high my body fat and/or muscle quality was on certain parts of my body but I tried to disregard the actual number and tell myself that those are “areas that I need to work on more.” As someone who comes from a ballet background, I have some experience with body dysmorphia, so I knew the battle for me would be trying not to become obsessed over the number. (With that being said, I would not recommend this product to someone battling an eating disorder or body dysmorphia unless they are working with a professional.)

All in all this is a great product for those who are interested in the scientific side of fitness and are looking to quantify muscle quality.  It’s like the equivalent of a power meter for fitness!

In summary:
Pros-
• Easy to use
• Fun
• Simplified instructions
• Comfortable design
• Ability to measure “muscle quality”

Cons-
• Readings can be inconsistent (especially on petite arms)
• Could potentially become addictive for those with body dysmorphia, exercise disorders

I hope you all have a chance to use the Skulpt Aim device whether you are a personal trainer or fitness enthusiast. I am looking forward to using this device more and seeing the changes it helps me see in my fitness. For more information about Skulpt Aim visit their website at http://www.skulpt.me

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TRX Core Workout

I’m super excited to share three of my favorite core conditioning exercises utilizing the TRX suspension trainer with you! All you need is a suspension trainer – any will do but this is the one I prefer – Get a Suspension Trainer. In any case, check out the video below and I will explain how many to do afterwards.

Exercise 1 – Plank Frogger – Perform 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions, whichever suits your current fitness level.

Exercise 2 – Suspended Mountain Climbers – Perform 3 sets of 15-20 repetitions. This exercise will feel slightly easier than the previous.

Exercise 3 – Pike – Perform 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions as this is a challenging exercise for sure.

Add these exercises to your core conditioning ab routine once per week to keep that tummy tight and toned!

 

Banana Protein Cookies

banana protein cookies

Looking for an afternoon pick-me-up or quick breakfast alternative? My banana protein cookies are a healthy and tasty meal on the go. The ingredients are simple and you can whip these up in just 15-20 minutes.

Ingredients:
• 2 ripe bananas
• 1 1/2 – 2 cups of oats
• 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
(I use ProSupps TC-F Isolate Protein – only 90 calories, 0 carbs, and 20 g protein per scoop!)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mash the bananas well in a mixing bowl. Add protein, then oats. Add more until desired consistency is reached. Form into balls and place on cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Cooking time my vary. This recipe yields 10-12 cookies.

cookie mixture

cookie sheet

Nutrition Facts:
Per Cookie
Calories – 99
Carbohydrates – 17 grams
Fat – 1.5 grams
Protein – 7 grams

Reaching Your Goals – In Fitness & in Life

I was doing some thinking this morning while watching the Olympics – I realized that what you are trying to accomplish with your fitness goals is no different than what an athlete works towards. In order for each to be successful it takes the right mindset and lots of preparation.

As a former dancer, I sometimes forget that not everyone knows what it feels like to be “all in.” To eat, sleep, breathe for a goal. To go after something letting go of all preconceived notions, defeat, hurt and FEAR. Yes, that awful word “fear” is the only thing that keeps us from reaching our goals. Why does the figure skater fall? Because for that one split second before takeoff, she doubted herself and tensed up with fear. Why do we not reach our fitness/weight loss goals? Because for that one split second before we decide what to order at a restaurant or before we are supposed to do cardio, we doubt ourselves, our progress, and our abilities. We slip into patterns, bad habits. He/she who succeeds is the one who is able to break the pattern, break the bad habits.

I have watched both athletes and clients alike hold back because of fear of success rather than welcoming it with open arms. I have had clients quit just when they have started to make a break through. I have watched athletes change their own plans that they had worked on for years. What goes on inside your head is the only thing that can change this. No one trainer, coach, diet, book, or therapist can do this for you – it’s all YOU. Whether you are striving for a gold medal, to lose 100 lbs or 10 lbs.

How do we let go of fear? One word comes to mind – TRUST. #1 is trusting yourself and your amazing abilities as a human being. #2 is trusting and confiding in your advisors, family, trainers, coaches, etc. #3 is communicating to those whom you trust with your goals and how they can help you achieve them.

If it were easy everyone would have a gold medal – and everyone would be in shape. I have news for you: It’s NOT easy!

The moral here: If it is something that you truly want, it is a goal – anything else is just a wish. Life is short so if you have a goal what are you waiting for? Is fear keeping you from going “all in?” For once in your life put 100% into yourself – I promise you will not fail.

XOXO,

Nikol©Nikol Klein Beach Stretch

Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Workout

This month’s print and click workouts will get you looking your best for your sweetheart for Valentine’s Day! There are three separate workouts that I recommend spreading out throughout the week.

Workout #1 is for the core.

Valentines Day Ab Workout

Workout #2 is for the legs.

Valentine's Day Leg WorkoutWorkout #3 is for the full body!

valentine's day sweetheartHappy Valentine’s Day and enjoy your workouts! Join me on my Facebook page Nikol Klein Fitness for more daily workouts.

Plant Fusion Protein Review

A few weeks ago my favorite brand of plant based supplements, Vega, had a product recall. This left me in a state of shock as not only was I completely out of my favorite supplements, but I could not purchase any since the shelves were cleared at my local Whole Foods stores. You may think that this is no big deal but as a girl who is on a strict bodybuilding program, I drink this stuff three times per day – I had to find an alternative and fast.

plantfusionsamples

I looked at the ingredients in many of the other plant based protein powders and was not impressed. They either had too many carbohydrates, too much sodium, or simply not enough grams of protein per serving. On the bottom shelf I came across a protein called Plant Fusion. After carefully studying the macros and Amino Acids profile I decided to pick some up and give it a try. The flavor that was in stock? Cookies and Cream. Sounded like a great alternative to the boring vanilla and chocolate I had been drinking at the time.

When I got home and opened the container, I couldn’t believe how smooth the consistency of the powder was compared to the other plant based protein I had tried. This meant that it would mix well and it did! The flavor was good too – although the Cookies and Cream did not taste like Cookies and Cream, it was a nice chocolate flavor that I would have no problem drinking multiple times per day.

protein

The next time that I went to Whole Foods I decided to try another flavor – vanilla. (yes, Vega still wasn’t in stock) This flavor was great as well. Plant Fusion was awesome to send me samples of the other flavors as well and I have to say, all of them are fabulous. This protein is easily digestible and doesn’t leave you feeling bloated or gassy like some plant based protein will. Check out the nutrition facts and amino profile in the picture below!

bcaa

After weeks of using Plant Fusion, I have made the decision to continue using it in place of Vega. Now only does it taste just as good but it is a better price point too! Afterall, drinking three of these shakes a day gets a bit pricey and if I can save $20 per tub, that’s a plus. Give this stuff a try. Go to plantfusion.net or check out your closest natural foods store to see if they have it in stock.

Quest Bar Cookie Recipe

questcookiedough

Looking for a healthy snack to satisfy your sweet tooth? I have found a great solution! First of all, you have to try Quest Bars. Quest Bars are high protein, gluten free, lactose free, no sugar added, with only 2-6 grams of active carbs (depending on the bar). Oh, and did I mention that they taste incredible?

I heard from various people that they bake their Quest Bars for added texture and taste so I decided to give it a try! Baking definitely enhances these already tasty bars. I can’t wait to try it with my favorite flavor – Apple Pie – which contains real apples.

Here is my recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies using the Quest Cookie Dough Bar:

• Take one Quest Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bar and break it in half for larger cookies, in fours for smaller cookies.
• Roll the pieces into balls, then flatten into cookie shapes.
• Place on a baking sheet. The will stick so olive oil or parchment paper are suggested.
• Bake at 400º for 5-7 minutes.
• If you want a crispier texture, flip the cookies halfway through baking.
• Let cool and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:
In one bar
Calories: 190
Fat: 8 g
Active Carbohydrates: 3 g
Protein: 21 g

Wondering where to find Quest Bars? You can pick them up at your local GNC or by visiting their website: http://www.questproteinbar.com.

Crispy Garlic Pepper Red Potatoes

Just in time for summer is my easy recipe for garlic pepper baked red potatoes. Baked red potatoes are a great alternative to french fries or potato salad at summer barbeques. I use a counter top oven instead of a regular oven (we have a 1920’s stove that doesn’t hold heat too well), but any oven will do!

potatoes

Ingredients:
(feeds 2-3)
• 15-20 small red potatoes
• Olive Oil
• Garlic Pepper seasoning (mine is from Whole Foods)
• Salt

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. While the oven is heating up, wash your potatoes thoroughly and quarter them. Place the quartered potatoes into a mixing bowl. Add olive oil to the potatoes being sure to coat them well. Once the potatoes are coated with olive oil, sprinkle your garlic pepper and salt to your liking. Place your seasoned potatoes onto a baking sheet (shown above).
Bake the potatoes for 30-45 minutes, depending on how brown you want them.
Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Cherries Jubilee Post- Workout Smoothie

I have a new favorite post workout smoothie that I want to share with you. I have named it “Cherries Jubilee” because it tastes exactly like my favorite Baskin Robbins ice cream that I used to get when I was a kid – but it’s better! This is a dairy free, gluten free, protein packed treat that I look forward to after a workout. Give it a try!

cherriesjubileesmoothieIngredients:

• 4 Cherries, pitted
• 1/4 of a banana
• 3/4 cup Almond Milk
• 1/4 cup water
• 1 scoop Vega Vanilla Performance Protein
• 4 ice cubes

Directions: Combine all of these together and blend. If you want a thicker smoothie, add less water.

Nutritional Facts:
214 calories, 26 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 2 g fat

Vega is a plant based protein and is very gentle on the digestive system unlike dairy based proteins. You can get it at your local whole foods, or if you don’t have one close by you can order it here.

Get Dancer’s Legs with Hamstring Curls

Want “tutu worthy” legs without having to put in all of the hours at the dance studio? My favorite exercise for getting the legs tight and toned in a pinch is a variation of the hamstring curl. Done using a large exercise ball, this exercise will leave your hamstrings popping whether you are looking to feel confident at the beach or for a night out on the town. Give it a try!

Tutu Tuesday Hamstring Curl

Directions: Start with the legs resting in a turned out position on the ball. Make sure your knees are straight. Now slowly bridge the hips up, keeping the arms at your sides for support. With the feet flexed, slowly curl the ball in towards your back. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions or as many as your fitness level will allow!

*For more daily workouts like this, visit my Facebook Page!