Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Well, I did it. I competed in my second NPC figure competition on October 29th in San Diego. I had an amazing time! I learned a lot about myself in the process….
I have always been one of those people that reach for the moon but expect to grab nothing but dirt. In other words, I aim high with low expectations. I usually say things like “I so failed that test….NO, I KNOW I failed it” when it turns out I really got like a B+ or better. Well, that kind of attitude can get very annoying to people rather quickly. So when I went into this competition, I went in with realistic expectations, a positive attitude, having worked my ass off, knowing that the only variable I can control is myself.
It’s not like taking a test, where the harder you study, the better you do. You cannot control who you compete with. You may step on stage with women who have never competed before, you may only have 2 other women in your class, or you may compete with 15 other people who are practically pros at this! The only thing you can control is yourself. I told myself all during prep, and during the show, It doesn’t matter how I place, because I KNOW I am bringing a better package than my last show. And guess what? I actually meant it. I mean, who doesn’t want to bring home a trophy? But the reality is you cannot control it.
I competed with seven other women, all who looked phenomenal. I was so happy when I took 4th. I took fourth in my first competition, but I competed with fewer ladies, and they didn’t bring the same packages. I feel like I came in slightly leaner, more muscular, I hit my poses as best as I could as a second time competitor, and my hair, makeup and tan were phenomenally better. All in all, I looked and presented myself much better!
Because of everything I WAS able to control, my diets, workouts, posing practices, etc., I was better. Who cares if I was fourth, AGAIN? That is SO GOOD! So for all competitors out there who are so focused on the win: Yes, reach for the stars! Work your ass off knowing that other girls are bringing their best. Try your damndest for that first place spot. But most importantly, strive to be a better YOU. If you came in looking your absolute best in that moment, then you ARE A WINNER, no matter what spot you stand in on that stage. And you know what, next time you will continue to develop. You are your biggest competitor. Beat yourself every time, then you are WINNING always.

The red suit is my first competition in June, the Blue is my second in October.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Elliptical Workouts: For Total Body Toning!

I don't know about you, but I LOVE the ellptical...mostly becuase I hate running, but also because it burns a lot of calories, but can also activate so many different muscles!
Ellipticals are those machines in the gym that burn a lot of calories, save the joints, and are not as tasking as running. They are practically the perfect cardio. However, sometimes that repetitive arm and leg circular movement can get boring, especially if the elliptical has been your cardio of choice for months and years. Boring means no longer challenging. In order to keep experiencing health gains from exercise it has to challenge you. Here are a few ways to change up your elliptical workout to keep it challenging, interesting, and work your whole body.
The Moves
Use just the arms. Relax the legs a little (not so much that you fall off of course) and only use your arms to propel the elliptical. Try to keep a fast pace. If this is not challenging enough, increase the resistance so your arms really feel the burn.
Push with your arms only. With your legs still relaxed, lean forward slightly, open your palms and only push on the handlebars, do not pull. You will target your triceps and chest muscles.
Pull with your arms only. Hook your hand behind the handlebars and pull on them only, still not using your legs. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull back. This will work your biceps and your back.  All three of these moves will help tone the upper body and spike your heart rate for added cardiovascular gains.
Single arm isolation. For the ultimate arm challenge, let go of one of the handles so you are now just holding on with one hand. Still keeping the legs relaxed, propel the elliptical with only one arm.
Legs only pedal forward. This time focus on only using your legs. Your arms are simply there for balance control. Remember to increase the resistance, especially if you do this following isolation of the upper body. The lower body is typically stronger and can withstand greater resistance.
Legs only pedal backward. Same concept, but now reverse the elliptical so you are pedaling backwards. This puts a greater emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings.
Squat low backwards. Take your hands off the moving handlebars and put them on the stationary handles. Squat low and push your hips and butt backwards so that as you pedal, your knees stay behind your toes. This will really work your glutes.
The balance challenge. Take both hands off the elliptical and balance while pedaling both forward and backward. This will engage your core and help with general coordination too. 
Alternate these 8 moves during your workout and you will get an awesome workout for your biceps, triceps, chest, back, abs, quads, hamstrings and glutes.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

10 Reasons to Exercise: Better Quality of Life

Most people have one very specific exercise goal: weight loss. But exercise is beneficial in many other ways. In fact, when your only motivation for exercise is weight loss, you are more likely to fall off the wagon and gain weight back. If you exercise for health and wellness, in addition to weight loss, it will help keep you on track and motivated. Here are the best reasons why exercise is a lifelong commitment and how it can better your life.

1.       Basal metabolic rate (metabolism) decreases with age due to loss of lean tissue (aka muscle mass), so keep up with exercise and increase muscle mass to keep your metabolism high as you age.

2.       Regular exercise will keep blood pressure low. According to National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, about 90% of sedentary people who do not have high blood pressure by age 55 will have hypertension within 20 years, so keep exercising.

3.       Bone density naturally decreases with age. Strength training increases bone density. So hit those weights to keep from getting osteoporosis. Even if you already have signs of osteoporosis, it is never too late to begin lifting weights.

4.       Exercise for better coordination.  As we age, proprioceptive awareness (awareness of the space around us) decreases due to lack of movement and functional training. Exercise will train those muscles to respond to changes in balance, preventing falls and injury.

5.       Exercises decreases LDL cholesterol (the “bad” stuff that causes plaque build-up in arteries) and raises HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol that removes that bad stuff). Too much LDL leads to heart disease, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, etc.

6.       Exercise reduces blood pressure. Whether you currently have high blood pressure or not, consistent aerobic exercise will reduce it. High blood pressure leads to hardening of the arteries and causes the heart to work much harder to pump blood to the body. Exercise releases that tension and allows the arteries to expand and contract, allowing blood to pump more efficiently.

7.       Keep stretching. As we age our muscles, tendons and ligaments become tight if not regularly stretched, which can cause muscle imbalances and lead to injury. So stretch after every workout, or 5-6 times a week to maintain or increase flexibility.

8.       Diabetes prevention. About 90 to 95% of people who have diabetes have type II or adult onset diabetes. Type II diabetes is preventable to a degree with a healthy lifestyle, diet and exercise. More and more adults are being diagnosed with it, and that leads to eye problems, heart disease, nerve disorders, increased risk of infection and amputation.

9.       Better posture. Muscle imbalances become more apparent as we age. Many older adults walk hunched over which can develop because they have a fear of falling. Eventually their muscles form in that position and make it worse. Eliminate that fear by exercising for coordination and the posture will improve. Strengthen your back muscles to help pull those shoulders back and keep the spine in proper alignment.

10.   Use it or Lose it. Remember, fitness is a lifetime commitment; it is not something that you can quit at. If you do not USE IT, you WILL LOSE IT. Once you hit your exercise or weight goal, you need to keep it up! If you quit, you will lose all benefits. Keep in mind that relapses will happen. Just re-establish new goals and get back on the regime.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Personal Best: Health, Fitness and Nutrition: Time Saving and Body Enhancing Workout Tips

Personal Best: Health, Fitness and Nutrition: Time Saving and Body Enhancing Workout Tips: "Sounds like a dream-come-true right? How many of you like to go to the gym, but like it even better when it’s over and done with? I LOVE wor..."

Time Saving and Body Enhancing Workout Tips

Sounds like a dream-come-true right? How many of you like to go to the gym, but like it even better when it’s over and done with? I LOVE working out; however, I have the attention span of a gnat, so usually my workouts last only a half hour—no more, no less. Sometimes this results in me doing two workouts a day, but other times I learn how to use my time wisely and get the most out of that half hour as possible. Here are some tips to maximizing your workout, and still get you in and out in a timely manner.
Combine you Cardio and Weight Training: Instead of doing your weight training, followed by your 30-45 minutes of steady-state cardio, try adding your cardio to your workout! Do one or two exercises, and during your rest, do three to five minutes of higher intensity cardio, like cycling or jogging. If you did that between every set or two of exercises, you would accumulate 20-30 minutes of higher intensity cardio in less time!
Take it Outdoors and Just Keep Moving: Try a track, beach or even mountain workout. Go for a brisk walk or a jog, and intermittently add squats, push-ups, lunges, mountain climbers, and planks. Burn some calories, tone your body, and get outside in nature!
Add HIIT to Replace Your Rest: After each set of exercise, instead of sitting there twiddling your thumbs and watching the clock for your rest to be over, add do some high intensity interval training. Do squat jumps, jump rope or other plyometrics. If you can, hope on a treadmill or a bike and do 30 seconds of an all out sprint.
Opposing Sets:  While you are waiting for one muscle group to rest, work the opposite one!  If you are working your back and just finished with a seated row, go immediately into a dumbbell chest press. It will keep your heart rate elevated and still allow your muscles the appropriate recovery they need.
Quit Focusing on Reps and Just DO IT (often called Drop-Sets): Sometimes the same old 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions can get boring and repetitive, plus it can take a while. Add more weight than you are used to and just pump out as many as you can! Once you have fatigued your muscles, immediately reduce your weight by 5-10-lbs, or 10% if lifting very heavy, and do the same thing. Repeat without stopping 4-5 times or until you have reached the lightest weight.
Train that Stubborn Body Part during Active Rest!:  Everyone has that stubborn area body part they really just want toned! It might be your abs, butt, biceps, shoulders, etc. Do your normal training split, but in your rest time, add a light exercise that targets your trouble spots. It may be chest day, but do crunches or planks while you are waiting for your chest muscles to recover. You may be exercising your back, but do dips, pushups, or triceps extensions while you recover. You'll start to see those muscles shine through in no time!
For Blog Updates, follow me on facebook at www.facebook.com/RianaRohmannFit
Happy Training!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

NO EXCUSES - Abs Workout

Ok, so I had a pretty uuunhealthy weekend. And being 14 weeks out from the NPC Titans, I cannot let that happen! However, we all need to be aware that slipups happen in our lives, whether its diet, exercise, or anything. The key is knowing that you can ALWAYS get it back. One slip up is not the end of the world--in fact, it is healthy! So I am going to chalk up this weekend as much needed veg and pizza time, and rededicate myself to getting back on track....TODAY....not tomorrow morning.

Remember, do not give yourself the "I'll start monday" or "I'll start tomorrow" excuse. Start now. Say " --insert bad food here--you were delicious and wonderful, and I probably needed you to keep from going completely insane! But now I am going to be good again. Till my next slip-up, which hopefully wont be for a loong time."

With that being said.....get off you couch and do my little 10 minute ab workout and bring your self-esteem and self-efficacy up. You do not need any equipment, and it only takes about 10 minutes! Let's Get Started.

Two minutes jogging in place, alternating doing high-knees and butt-kickers
Four Rounds of:
     10 jumping jacks
     10 push-ups
     10 squats
     10 mountain climbers

25 Abdominal V-Ups
30 second plank
10 deep squat jumps (or 15 squats if you are unable to jump)

25 bicycle crunches
30 second plank
10 squat jumps

25 crunches with legs straight in the air, reaching for your ankles
30 second plank
10 squat jumps

25 seated trunk rotations (russian twists)
30 second plank
10 squat jumps

25 double crunches
1 minute plank
10 squat jumps

Happy Abs!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Welcome to Personal Best! Get to Know Me

My name is Riana Rohmann and this is my first blog! I want a place to help spread the word about healthy lifestyles including sharing advice about exercise, nutrition, and health as well as current research in those fields. I called this blog “Personal Best” because I think it describes everyone’s goals. Your goals should revolve around yourself. It is great to have role models, stepping stones, and people to help you along your journey, but at the end of the day, your goals is to be the best you can be for yourself! Do it for YOU, be it for YOU and don’t let anyone tell you who to be or how to do it!
I have my B.S. in Kinesiology, specializing in Exercise Physiology from CSU San Marcos. I am an ACE Certified personal trainer, Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist. I also hold the CSCS (certified strength and conditioning specialist) Certification from the NSCA. I will be starting another blog shortly specifically about sport specific training for athletes and the military.
I currently write for Livestrong.com and have a few articles posted on Yahoo’s Associated Content. I have also written health newsletters for the Marine Corps. I am a former gymnast (and coach and judge), new NPC Figure competitor, personal trainer and fitness specialist, and proud mother and wife. I would love to eventually go Pro IFBB Figure, but right now, I am loving the NPC! In the future, I hope to complete my Master’s Degree in either exercise physiology to go into research and teaching, or recreation management. I haven’t decided yet. J.
In addition to anything fitness, I love to read! I am a big sci-fi and fantasy nerd, loving books by authors such as Mercedes Lackey, Tamora Pierce, George R R Martin, and Anne McCafferey.  I also enjoy computer games like World of Warcraft, the Might and Magic series, Baldur’s Gate, and Elder Scrolls games.
Visit my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rianarohmannfit  for links to new blog posts, health and fitness articles, training advice and inquiries, and posts from professionals in the field. Thanks for taking the time out to get to know me and I hope I can help you on your journey to achieving your Personal Best!