Current faves: Sweat app, functional fashion and weekly workouts

Greetings, friends! Hope your week has been a good one. Everything was pretty run of the mill over here, including some work (I picked up a small freelance project, which I’ll be doing each month in addition to the blog), workouts, teaching classes, walks, a lunch date with a friend and a lot of momming. 

Let’s get right into our usual selection of food, fitness and fun favorite things.

Fitness

Switching up my workouts with the Sweat app

I’ve been meaning to change up my resistance workout routine, which I’ve mentioned a few times before, because I find myself repeating my weights workouts (and you can see those workouts that I do in this post) over and over again without a real plan in place. This week, I decided to do a free trial of the Sweat app, which is where the very popular BBG (Bikini Body Guide) Kayla Itsines workouts live, among others, and there’s a lot to choose from in this one app.

You can get your first week for free, which is what I did, and I tried two PWR workouts from Kelsey Wells, as well as a BAM yoga sessions from Sjana Elise. I didn’t actually do any of the Kayla Itsines workouts, but I may try some in the future.

I won’t get too deep into my thoughts, unless you guys would like a full review (let me know if so), but I will say that I really enjoyed following someone else’s plan, instead of having to make up my own. I also liked that the PWR workouts were structured much differently than my workouts too. The weight training portion had pyramid sets, in which you do a large number of reps, rest, then do decreasing amount of reps as you move through, repeating the same move with breaks, instead of circuit training. Overall, I liked the variety, the moves and the layout. 

PWR workout by A Lady Goes West

It felt good to switch things up and it reinvigorated my workouts for sure — using machines I never use and methods I never use — which is just what I was after. Let me know if you want me to dig deeper into the app and share more. Moral of the story: It’s good to try new things in fitness. Your body likes it and so does your mind.

Fashion

Super convenient belt bag

I know what you’re thinking. It’s a fanny pack, right? Yes, you are correct. I ordered this fanny pack/belt bag during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (it wasn’t on sale), and I’m so happy I did. It wasn’t expensive and is super casual and convenient. I have a feeling I’ll get a lot of use out of it.

New Herschel fanny pack by A Lady Goes West

Yes. This bag. And these are my new bright red leggings here.

Believe it or not, these bags are back right now, and there are some pretty fancy designer ones too. I didn’t want to invest too much, so went with the casual variety. And I already used it right after getting it, which never happens — for some reason I always wait a while before using new things. Anybody else?

Anywho, we live in walking distance to Starbucks, and over the weekend I was heading over to get a matcha latte for me and an iced coffee for Dave, and because I didn’t want a drink holder and needed both hands free, I required a place to put my phone and credit card. Well don’t you know the fanny pack came in handy. Can’t wait to wear it more often, because I loved having it on my hip.

Ashley outside Starbucks by A Lady Goes West

Friends

Barre and lunch visitor 

My friend Jill, who has made an appearance on the blog before and who has a blog of her own (which she is taking a little hiatus from), came out from the City over the weekend to take my barre class and go to lunch with me. I haven’t seen Jill in months and we had a lot to catch up on. She’s the sweetest. And it’s so nice to have a friend in class. 

Ashley and Jill after barre favorite by A Lady Goes West

We popped over to Lettuce in Walnut Creek after the workout, and then I dropped her back off at the BART so she could head back into SF. Our schedules hadn’t lined up for many weeks in a row, so it was awesome that we finally both had a free day. Hanging with friends is important!

P.S. The new red leggings I’m wearing are SUPER comfortable and high waisted, and they stay up during workouts.

Brunching in Santa Cruz

On Sunday, Dave, Rudy, Brady and I went down to Santa Cruz for the middle part of the day to have brunch with some friends who live down there. Dave’s little sister, Gwena, who also lives there, came over to hang with us too. We had quiche, fruit and the most delicious home-made coffee cake. 

Brunch in Santa Cruz by A Lady Goes West

It was a nice way to spend a Sunday and get out of town a bit. Although Brady wouldn’t sleep in the car and thus missed his morning nap, turning it into a one-nap day. It all worked out though. This little boy …

Ashley and Brady in Santa Cruz by A Lady Goes West

Food

Vital Proteins spirulina supplements

As part of my ambassadorship with Vital Proteins, I get to try out a couple of products a month, so I was excited to get my hands on these spirulina supplements.

Here’s the deal on spirulina: It’s considered one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, it’s an algae, it’s vegan, it has a ton of vitamins and minerals and it’s also a major antioxidant (which is important for catching all of the free radicals that can be bouncing around in your body) and it can boost your immune system too. But, the problem is that spirulina tastes gross. I like to find smoothies, juices and products that have quality spirulina in them, but only if you can’t taste the spirulina. (By the way, it’s even more important that the spirulina is high-quality for nursing moms, and Vital Proteins is.) That’s why I was excited to try it out in supplement form.

Spirulina capsules by Vital Proteins favorite by A Lady Goes West

I don’t like the smell of the pills, but I can take them quickly with a big glass of water and know I’m getting in some extra nutrition each day. Of course, taking spirulina is NOT a must-do to be healthy, it’s just an addition. I really don’t take many supplements right now outside of a daily prenatal and daily collagen peptides, and I’ll report back if I feel any new benefits from spirulina, although being that I’m already feeling in pretty good health, I don’t know if I will. But I will tell you that I’d rather take an algae pill than try to eat it! 🙂 

Fitness

Weekly workout recap

Here’s a look at my workouts from last week. And as a note, because I recap my workouts the week after they happen, you won’t see the PWR workouts from the Sweat app in this line-up, those will come next week …

Weekly Workout Recap by A Lady Goes West

  • Monday: 30-minute full-body weights workout, 11 a.m.
  • Tuesday: 30-minute BODYATTACK, 30-minute CXWORX, 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday: 30-minute full-body weights workout, 12 p.m.
  • Thursday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 12 p.m.
  • Friday: 1-hour BODYPUMP class, 12 p.m.
  • Saturday: Taught 1-hour Bootybarre class, 11 a.m.
  • Sunday: Rest day

This past week was a good one for resistance training. I did three full-body weights workouts with a day off (of weights) in between each, which is the best way to do it. I taught two classes and took some classes too. I haven’t been doing BODYPUMP the last few weeks (I don’t have a regular class right now and am still crossing my fingers one opens up soon), so it was super tough to return to a full hour of it this past week. But I need to get back into BODYPUMP shape, because I’m subbing it at the end of the month — BODYPUMP is one of those workouts that you have to be consistent with, or it hurts. Overall, I felt fine with my other workouts this week, but could’ve used a yoga session or something different to add in.

Suggested reading

Best links from around the web

  • Stretching and cool-downs. This is an interesting study basically saying that active (moving) cool-downs aren’t very effective, and static stretching after a workout is the best way to recover. Hmmm. I’ve been taught that you need to hold a stretch for 30 seconds, but this study says shorter is fine too. I guess the moral of the story is that you should try to aim for 30 seconds with your stretch, but something is better than nothing. And those static stretches should happen AFTER your workout.
  • Hurts-so-good release point. I learned this trick while working as a trainer at Equinox and haven’t done it in far too long. This is the ultimate calf release.
  • Quick chest workout. I like a lot of the Blogilates workouts, because they are all bodyweight only, short and effective. This chest one has some good and unique moves worth putting into your routine. And it’s only seven minutes if you do the whole thing through.
  • Kombucha. I definitely want to try out the new kombuchas launching at Starbucks. Yay.
  • Anatomy. Have you heard of the psoas? Here’s why you should know about this muscle in your body and learn to treat it right.

A Lady Goes West favorite archives

Have a great day and weekend, my friends! See you back here on Monday! And over on Instagram, until we meet again. 🙂 

Questions of the day

What’s one good thing that happened during your week?

What are you up to this weekend?

Fanny packs. Yay or nay?

When you get something new, how long does it take for you to use it?

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11 Comments

  1. You’re so right about body pump! I wasn’t able to make it to either of my usual classes this week and then my gym is closed next week for yearly renovations and cleaning – I know I’ll be hurting when I go back the following week! Luckily I’ve still been doing some weight training on my own, but I find nothing gets that burn quite like pump…

    1. Totally! It’s such a good burn with PUMP! You get used to it, but you can see why people struggle so much their first time. That’s cool your gym does a yearly cleaning hehhe. Hope you have a nice weekend, Ash!! 🙂

  2. I am definitely interested in your full review of the Sweat App. Are you going to get a subscription? I have been tempted by it particularly for the Kelsey Wells portion. But it might be just because I hope that her workout will make me look like her… I am interested in your professional opinion on the matter rather than an insta fan girl’s 🙂

    1. Hi Lauren! Totally feel you! Her Instagram and Facebook ads have been RAMPANT lately, and it’s totally sucked me in hahaha. But of course, her body is definitely not attainable with a truly “normal” lifestyle if you ask me. Women are naturally supposed to have a little bit more bodyfat, and if you look at her past pictures, she used to. But yes — I feeeeel ya on the fan girl thing. I’m not entirely sure if I’ll do a subscription, but I’ll try more workouts — perhaps and share! Thanks, lady! Have a great weekend! 🙂

  3. I’ve totally started seeing a few people brining back the fanny pack! And the one you have is super cute. And a workout class and lunch date is like my perfect day! I wish we had more salad or healthier choices near by, I usually need to venture into the city for those options. We’re launching Bodypump 106 tomorrow at my gym, I honestly think it’s one of the hardest releases I’ve done so far! Have a great weekend Ashley.

    1. Hi Patricia! Ohhhh that lunge track in BODYPUP 106 is SO hard, but I love the inclusion of side-stepping squats. Such a good change! Good luck with the launch, it’s always fun to teach what you learned and practiced for the first time! Good thing the members will likely never know if you mess up hehehe.

  4. First, LOVE the Danny pack and may now order one of my own! Moms need BOTH hands Haha! Second, I’m looking to gain some muscle so I’d love to hear your deep feelings on the Sweat app! Lastly, I see you do the collagen and eat well balanced but do you have a recommendation on a whey protein powder? I love shakes and already have a favorite pea based product but would like more varieties. Thanks!

    1. Hi Alaina! Whey proteins — great question, I honestly mostly used plant based. I like the taste of the Quest protein powder, although it’s not the cleanest ingredients. I’ve heard great things about IdealFit too, but haven’t tried it. If you’re happy with pea though, you can stick with it! 🙂 Vega is one of my favorite plant-based protein powders.

      1. Thanks, Ashley! Thanks for responding! I understand about the plant based but agree with the delicious flavor of Quest and IdealFit whey powders. The problem is that (I agree) their ingredients are not my favorite either (ie. Sucralose, etc.) . I am currently having the Sprouts brand chocolate whey as it has none of those bad ingredients, but always looking for affordable, healthy new ones to try! Have a great weekend!

  5. Yay for hands free!!!! I love it 🙂 Oh the psoas, that little muscle gets me every time! We bought some new ceiling fans over the weekend for our other bedrooms, #adulting, and had a bbq with friends and our pups. Brady is just too cute!

    1. It’s hard to pronounce, psoas, but it’ll get ya every time! I love ceiling fans! I like one in every room ehehhe. Hey, adulting is important! Glad you had a good weekend, Jessie!

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