Saturday, July 25, 2009

Inspired To Go For A Run

Boris and I shot a bunch of pictures of horses for upcoming paintings at a nearby stable the other day and, once we were at home looking at our pictures on the computer, seeing this one made me feel compelled to drop everything, put on my running shoes, and go flying down the street. When we were shooting these pictures, you could see how much this horse loved the feeling of running. He would trot for a bit and then just take off. Inspiring for sure!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Are you at Comic Con?

If you are one of the 120,000 people (give or take a few) attending Comic Con, you're going to eventually get hungry and I HOPE you're not just going to grab a hot dog or something equally full of chemicals/devoid of nutrients!

Eating well while traveling is always a bit of a trick, but the best place to find food is at a grocery store. Not only will you save money, but you can actually find real food that will keep your energy up (something you need for sure at Comic Con!). Some good suggestions are trail mix (not granola, which is full of sugar), rice cakes with hummus or small pieces of good quality cheese, and fresh fruit (of course!). If you're lucky enough to find a supermarket with a salad bar, you've hit the jackpot. Just stay away from the salad dressing--most pre-made dressings are just more chemicals, fat, salt, and sugar. A little olive oil and some vinegar are not only tasty, but actually beneficial to your health. Vinegar boosts your fat-burning metabolism and also increases the good bacteria in your system (this does great things for your immune system!) and olive oil contributes to the healthy fats you need to break down nutrients.

Be sure to drink lots of water while you're traveling. I know it makes for more trips to the bathroom, but that's really healthier than temporarily shutting down your filtration/hydration system. Besides, every trip to the bathroom is more exercise! Yay for exercise!

Have fun, you lucky Comic Conners! Sorry we're not there--we miss you all!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Rebecca Guay

By now, you all know about the Illustration Master Class that Boris and I taught at a few weeks ago. And you're probably also familiar with the beautiful lady who is the driving force behind bringing the Master Class to reality, Rebecca Guay. I've always admired her art as well as her strong, graceful form and her background in classical ballet (not to mention that she's a sweetheart!), so I've asked her to answer a few questions to share with all of you!

Me: How does your background in ballet affect your paintings?
Rebecca: One of the things that dance really gave my was an attention to detail and an awareness of the small things that make a pose beautiful when things are done well or awkward if they are not.
There is such scrutiny to detail in dance- the perfection of the line, the gesture of the body that leads the viewer out into the visual space surrounding the dancer. My training is in ballet, and although my anatomy is is totally wrong to have ever been a dancer in any real way myself, I did get the opportunity during years of classes to pack my visual memory with the beautiful forms and lines of truly gifted people. If I cannot have that "line" myself in life, I can have it in my art.

Me: How does your background in ballet affect your fitness routine?
Rebecca: I think I have a really good sense of body awareness from ballet that helps immensely in doing weights and cardio- as well as really good balance and core strength for things like kickboxing, which I love.

Me: Is it difficult to keep your fitness/nutrition routine consistent when you're under the pressureof deadlines?
Rebecca: Yeah- I'm bad with sugar, especially under stress- it's a problem. I try to use TRUVIA ( a derivative of stevia)- but I fall off the wagon.
If I keep a lot of fruit around I'm better, the summer is better overall.

Me: I heard you had a cool fitness breakthrough recently (pullup). Can you
tell us how great that was and how ecstatic you were?
Rebecca: I've been doing a rotating weights/cardio/ weights/yoga/weights/cardio routine in the last three months that includes a lot of pull up and chin ups ( assisted mostly with a chair).
I've always had lean looking arms, but not strong arms, now I can actually do a pull up un-assisted- which seems like diddley squat to most people but makes me totally giddy!

Thanks Rebecca!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Back and Chest Poem

After doing a 35-minute cardio session on the StairMaster (which emphasizes a strength move for legs), I did an interesting back/chest workout today. It went like this: (one set each exercise)

Lateral cable pulldowns, 15 reps (back)
Seated cable rows, 15 reps (back)
Bench press, 15 reps (chest)
Flat dumbbell chest press, 15 reps (chest)

Then I increased the weights and dropped my reps down to 10 for each set.

Bent over rows with a barbell, 10 reps (back)
Bent over rows with a dumbbell, 10 reps (back)
Bench press, 10 reps (chest)
Incline dumbbell press, 10 reps (chest)

Then I increased the weights a little more and dropped the reps down to 8 for each

Lateral pulldowns on a machine, 8 reps (back)
Seated rows on a machine, 8 reps (back)
Bench press, 8 reps (chest)
Incline dumbbell press, 8 reps (chest)

Hey, this workout is structured like a poem!

So, you see, the point here was to do 2 exercises for back, then immediately do 2 for chest, back and forth 3 times, increasing the poundage and decreasing the repetitions.
I finished with a bunch of regular old pushups and 4 sets of leg raises for abs (15-20 reps each set).