Everyone has a love-hate relationship with certain supplements and exercises – ahem, burpees – but here’s how Amy Updike, an IFBB Bikini Pro and NLA For Her athlete, uses that to play to her strengths.
Lower body love
“I love squats for so many reasons,” smiles Updike. “They burn tons of calories, make me feel strong and are super challenging for me. Plus, when I’m really short on time for a workout, as long as add in some squats, I’m sure to get a quick, intense workout in.” She’s not alone because papers in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research support the notion that squats activate a huge volume of muscle fibers throughout the entire body, making it the true queen of all exercises. Do them at least twice a week to work and gain more muscle with every rep.
Finding the love
Not every exercise is guaranteed to feel comfortable, but that doesn’t mean you have to ignore that body part. “I don’t like to do Good Mornings,” explains Updike. “They never feel right to me. I don’t feel like I’m activating the correct muscles. They feel awkward, yet unchallenging. Instead, I choose to do straight legged deadlifts or back extensions. With these alternative exercises, I’m able to FEEL the muscles I’m trying to work. This is an example of how there are always alternative exercises you can choose to do if you don’t like an exercise.” Words to live by.
The move everyone should do
Everyone has their pet favorites, but Updike’s is one everyone can enjoy. “Push-ups,” she says grinning. “Its one of the best exercises for building overall upper body strength. They work the arms and lats, as well as the chest. Plus, they can be done anytime and anywhere. I feel that push-ups are a severely underutilized exercise.” It’s one you can do everyday if you need to so set yourself a target number of reps you’d like to be able to do and do a little bedroom workout to make them your new favorite.
Supplement your favorites
If you love certain exercises you should learn to love certain supplements. “NLA for Her Hair, Skin, and Nails, NLA Her Omegas, and NLA Her Probiotics,” explains Updike when quizzed about the supplements she feels every woman should be taking every single day. It’s the recipe for a body that looks as good as it’s performs.