Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Little About Tone It Up and Following the Bikini Series for Free

Have you guys heard of Tone It Up? No?

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It seems like people are either really big into TIU or have no idea what it is. I'm somewhere in between. I first heard of TIU a few years ago by searching for workout videos on YouTube. I've done their videos occasionally when looking for a particular type of workout or targeting a specific area for toning. I think they (they being Karina and Katrina) are best known for their videos but they also have daily workouts and meal plans available through their website. A lot of it is free, but meal plans and newer videos/DVDs are paid. I've never paid for anything (well, I bought a tank through their store once), I actually don't know which girl is Karina and which is Katrina, though I find the brunette to be a little annoying, but I love their workouts and have found them to be really effective.

At first you may want to write them off, you see two thin girls in bikinis working out on the beach and you think it's all fluff. It's not, these are real workouts, some are right up there with the tougher PiYo workouts I've done. I'd also like you to notice where the top of their shorts are, they are not down on their hips, but instead, they're an inch or two below their belly button. While most "beach babes" may be into showing as much skin as possible, wearing your shorts a little higher like this is more flattering because you're less likely to get a little pooch that sticks out over the waistband.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about Tone It Up a little bit since they are in the second week of their annual "Bikini Series" right now and it's not too late for you to join. I wanted to share how you can get results from this series while spending little to nothing.

 I've been following along with the bikini series schedule, but loosely. Running is my priority, so if they have HIIT on the schedule and I've already ran 5 miles, I'm skipping that part of the workout.

Here's what you need as far as equipment:
1. Two light-ish free weights (I use 3lbs, sometimes 5lbs)
2. One resistance band (they have a set of 3, but really you can do it with 1. I have one that came with a Wii exercise game)
3. Exercise ball (I already had one, but you can get these pretty cheap)
4. Kettlebell (they use one that you can change the weight of by putting more or less sand in it, I don't like that idea, sand is going to move and throw off the balance, plus it makes the kettlebell larger than needed. I have a 10lb and a 20lb, I mostly just use the 10lb for TIU workouts)

Is that it? I think that's it. A yoga mat is optional and helpful.

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When you sign up for the bikini series, you'll get a weekly email giving you a link to the schedule for the upcoming week. Most days consist of 5 moves from the daily workout (these are demonstrated through a simple stop-motion image), a video to follow along with that's usually less than 20 minutes, and a suggestion to complete 20 or 30 minutes of cardio. There is no rest day. You might still be scoffing at this and think it's easy. Try it, this is no joke, you will likely be sore. I actually wonder if Karina and Katrina actually do all the workouts themselves. They definitely get longer breaks than we do in the videos. I like that with my phone or Kindle, I can do a lot of the workouts anywhere, especially the 5 daily moves. The other day I did them in the front yard while the kids played in the sandbox.

As far as the meal plan, you have to pay for those. They do have a good amount of free recipes on their website though if you'd like to try some. I've been trying some of their smoothie recipes (though not their protein powder, I use sunbutter for the protein). I'm pretty sure their plans consist of eating 5-6 small "whole food" meals a day and they push their protein powder a lot. Here's my short, free plan: no processed foods, eat more veggies, and a good amount of lean protein. Drink water. Simple enough?

What do you think? Will you join me for the rest of the bikini series? Do you do any other kinds or workout besides running/riding?

(I have not been compensated in any way to write this, it's just something I like that I wanted to share.)

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