Home Workouts

I’m a gym rat, but there are a ton of great things about working out at home! I pay $90 a month for my gym memberships which is absolutely outrageous. Working out at home can save you a ton of money. You also don’t have to sit in traffic or wait forever for machines to be free. My friend, Bri Hedley, is a boss when it comes to dominating home workouts. She kicked my butt with this quick paced, full body workout. We did each move for a minute per side and then repeated it. I seriously could barely walk for a couple days after. Sometimes it’s nice to spice up your workout routine. I will definitely be adding in more home workouts. If you want to learn more from Bri, check out her site: Bri Hedley’s Website !

 

Skincare Routine

I have dealt with acne since the age of 12. This wasn’t your average hormonal, teenage acne. My acne was unstoppable and didn’t just cover my face. I had acne on my chest, neck, shoulders, arms, and back. Being a teenager was hard enough, and this acne destroyed my self-confidence. After a round of Accutane, my acne began to lighten up. This wasn’t a cure, but it definitely helped. I continued to use topical creams, face washes, and even antibiotics to try and rid myself of acne. It still hasn’t disappeared even at the age of 25, but it has gotten so much better! I have decided to share with you all the current way that I take care of my skin. I use a combination of over the counter products and ones prescribed to me by my dermatologist. I suggest talking to your doctor before trying any of these products.

Face Wash: Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser with Clarisonic brush

Face Wipes: Clindamycin Phosphate prescription (I use these after washing my face.)

Moisturizer: Mario Badescu Protein Night Cream (I put this on before bed every night.)

Vitamins: Niacinamide 500mg twice a day (This is the over the counter version of Nicazel Forte, since my insurance doesn’t cover that.)

This isn’t a sponsored post. I just want everyone to feel confident in their own skin.

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BBG Is Much More Than A Workout Program

I began Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guides (BBG) a year ago. I had seen the transformation photos she had posted on Instagram and was convinced that I’d have abs in 12 weeks. Sadly my abs didn’t show up that fast, but I did gain something else instead: an amazing group of friends.

BBG introduced me to a community of like-minded women who are passionate about health and fitness. I never expected to meet new friends from a workout program, but now I cannot imagine my life without these girls! I am incredibly blessed to be living near a city, so there are a large number of BBG Girls (that’s what we call ourselves) in a concentrated area. We have monthly meetups where we work out and catch up over delicious food. Check online to see if you have any BBG Meetups in your area. I would recommend them to anyone. Most people show up on their own, so don’t be scared if you don’t know anyone.

These women provide me with the motivation to keep going even when I feel like giving up. They leave beautiful comments on my pictures that make me smile from ear to ear and are always there to add humor to my days. Find your girl tribe and keep them close!

The Booty Obsession

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Two days ago I posted a transformation picture on Instagram. Like most of my feed, it was documenting the changes my body has made through working out. Unlike a majority of the pictures I post, this one exploded with feedback! I got almost 50 comments in one day! They consisted of “What have you been doing? You look fantastic!!!!” and “Omg please post your routine! You look bangin *triple flame emoji*” I’ve already posted one booty workout video on my blog, but the demands seemed high enough to do another. So here you have another full vlog of exercises I have done to build my booty.

I give major credit to anyone who is a professional vlogger. This is way harder than it looks. First of all, everyone stares at you in the gym when you’re trying to set up your camera at the right angle and failing multiple times. Secondly, the vocals for this were recorded in my pitch black bathroom because the fan light made too much noise but so does everyone else in my house. Also, how do you time your commentary with the actual video?! SO HARD! Honestly, vlogging is ten times more difficult than any of these workouts.

Now you have all of my “grow a booty” secrets! Between the two videos and the information on this blog, you have my lifting exercises and a detailed description of the BBG program that I do. The rest is up to you!

Soulcycle

When I first heard about Soulcycle I completely wrote it off.  I was convinced that cycling was just the bike version of a treadmill, with the addition of the world’s most uncomfortable seat. Everyone on Instagram was going crazy about it though, so I figured I’d put my previous thoughts aside and give it a try.

I headed into my first class very skeptical and convinced that the only thing I was going to get out of it was a sore butt. As I opened up the door to Soulcycle, I was greeted by a crisp, clean ambiance. Everything inside was immaculately white with hints of bright yellow (Soulcycle’s signature color). In true city fashion, the place was tiny but packed with people. The front desk hooked me up with a pair of cycling shoes that actually clip into the bike. Picture black bowling shoes with even more velcro. As I wobbled towards the studio, I was impressed by all of the amenities that Soulcycle offered: showers, toiletries, self managed combination lockers, phone chargers, the list goes on. Soulcycle was so aesthetically pleasing that I knew this wasn’t going to be like the cycling classes I took in previous grimy gyms.

I entered the dark studio, only lit by four candles which were set on a small stage located in the front. A women helped me set up my bike, twisting and turning knobs to fit it specifically to me. I clipped in and slowly pedaled as everyone else filed in. The instructor took the stage and I was mesmerized from that point on.

As soon as the class began, I was no longer riding a stationary bike. I was transported to another place. Picture this: you are at this amazing club and your favorite some comes on. You and your friends are dancing and you are so high on life that you can’t help but smile. THAT IS SOULCYCLE. Soulcycle is more of a feeling than a way to workout. The energy in the room was contagious. The instructor DJ’ed the best songs while performing choreographed moves on the bike. The lights were in sync with the music and everyone in the room pulsed to the same beat. Words cannot describe how alive I felt at that very moment.

After that first class, I knew that I’d be coming back. And I did! I got the opportunity to Soulcycle (yes, I use it as a verb too) last night with my BBG girls. It was even more amazing than my first time!  Being surrounded by great friends while in that atmosphere was indescribable. I would recommend Soulcycle to anyone! If it’s your first time, they have a discounted rate so check it out!

*  BBG is a workout program & community of amazing people! If you want to learn more about it, check out the BBG page under my Fitness Tab.

Fitness Expos

This past weekend was the Arnold Sports Festival in Columbus, Ohio. It is a huge fitness expo that contains events, competitions, and an unimaginable amount of booths. This is my first time ever going to an expo, so in true Mel fashion, I planned ahead. I spent about an hour trolling internet forums for any information about the Arnold. I am so glad I did! If I hadn’t read ahead, I would have been totally unprepared. After attending the expo, here is my advice on how to plan ahead.

  1. Bring a backpack, tote, or duffel. As previously mentioned, there are tons of booths at fitness expos. They range from supplements, to clothing, to magnetized phone cases that help you selfie at the gym. Many of these booths pass out freebies, so it’s best to have a place to store them. My duffel bag was LOADED by the end of one day.
  2. Bring a camera. There are sure to be many famous athletes, YouTube stars, and Instagrammers there. If you have a solid camera on your phone, that’ll work just fine. Be prepared to wait in line to meet anyone famous. I waited over 2 hours to meet Heidi Somers. *worth it*
  3. Don’t plan on having cell service. When there is so many people packed into a confined area, cell service is sure to go out. If you’re going with a group of friends, stick together or pick a meeting place.
  4. Bring cash. Most booths take cards, but if there is no wifi or cell service they cannot run your card. You don’t want to miss out on deals just because you don’t have the cash.
  5. Pack a lunch and bring water. There may be places to eat near your expo, but the food is likely pricey. I threw a sandwich, apple, and water in the duffel bag I brought, and I was set! I didn’t have to miss out on the fun to find a place to eat.
  6. Do not have your tickets at will call. If possible, print your tickets at home or buy them at the event. We got there before the expo even started and the will call line was already wrapped around the venue.
  7. Uber or have a friend drop you off. Parking is likely pricey and limited. There is almost always traffic to get into these lots as well. Getting a ride to and from the venue is definitely the way to go!
  8. Get inspired! There were so many amazing athletes at this weekend’s expo! I left the event feeling motivated and uplifted. I will definitely be returning to the Arnold next year. I’m already looking to see if there are any local expos coming up soon!