Spartan Races, Updates & Gifts for Dads

Whoever says summer break is stress-free, doesn’t know summer at my house. So far, since school let out two weeks ago, I’ve been on a whirlwind family vacation to New York City (12 of us), run the Spartan AT&T Stadium in Dallas (and earned a World Championship Coin) and made some hefty purchases like a new air-conditioner, new car for middle son and paid the tuition bill for oldest’s third year at a private college. jennifer fisher spartan

Money is flying out of our hands at a pace faster than the Nike Sub-2 Marathon attempt, which did fail by 1 second a mile but was still smokin’ fast.  With Father’s Day around the corner, I need a few thoughtful gifts that will appeal to the sporty dads in my life, but won’t bust the bank. Check out these Spartan-worthy ideas: Continue reading

May Food and Fitness Finds + Spartan Emoji Recap

I have lots of great food & fitness to share, so Iet me just jump right into it!  First up, I ran Spartan Race Austin last Saturday and earned a spot on the Master’s Podium!

spartan race jennifer fisher

I made a zillion mistakes in the race, but hung in there despite wanting to fuss at myself, give up and bail!  But, since at this more mature age, my strongest athletic asset has dwindled down to just good old-fashioned grit, I didn’t quit. Plus, I had the satisfaction of coming home and reminding a son (for the 1000th time) that “quitters never win, winners never quit.”

Keep reading on to get the remainder of the recap in a single series of emojis — yes EMOJIS. No need to take this too seriously. Also, I have some other great finds to tell you about. Continue reading

Mother’s Day Gifts the Fit Mom will Love

Mother’s Day 2017 is almost here, how are your honoring the special woman in your life? I’ve rounded up six of my favorite gift ideas for the fitness-focused, active mom – perfect for your mother, daughter, sister, or other important female in your life — including YOU! Mother's Day Gifs 2017 for Fit Mom

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SPARTAN LIVE Details, Spartan Marriott Rewards & More Deals

I have a bunch of Spartan Race stuff to update you all on. First, and this is so exciting, SPARTAN LIVE is launching this weekend at the U.S. Championship Race in Seattle. The entire race will be broadcast on spartan.com with obstacle by obstacle commentating! The 5-hour live broadcast begins this Saturday morning (April 22) at 7am PST / 10am EST.

Keep reading to get other great race discounts and deals.

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10 Women Slaying Pull-Ups, Calisthenics & Ninja Skills on Instagram

I’m celebrating strong, fit, badass women today by sharing my my list of 10 Women Absolutely Slaying Pull-Ups, Calisthenics and Ninja Skills on Instagram.  Of course, this is not an all-inclusive group, but just some of my favorites that I check in on from time to time for workout inspiration. There are American Ninja Warriors, Spartan Pros, CrossFit Champs, Street Workout winners and more. 10 Women of Instagram Absolutely Slaying Pull-Ups, Calisthenics and Ninja Skills

Check out the list!

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Wondering What Type of Race You Should Run?

It might take a couple months, a year or even half a lifetime, but eventually most folks who start running on a regular basis decide to take it one step further by signing up for a full-fledged race. Even for those who don’t consider themselves “competitive,” running in an organized race is a great way stay motivated, test current fitness levels, breaking a sweat and bask in personal post-race glory alongside hundreds, if not thousands, other runners on a like-minded mission.

what type of race should I run

But, if you’ve never touched toe to the start line of a race, the sheer variety of endurance events and unfamiliarity of the “scene” can make it overwhelming and even intimidating to click the “register me” button. The best advice is to seek suggestions from seasoned veterans, poke around to find out what local races friends and family have found to be newbie-friendly. Even then, the “type of race,” should suit your own unique personality and running preferences. Read on to get the high-level low down on some popular “types” of races: Continue reading

Five . . .err, Make that Fifteen for Friday!

I don’t usually do a “5 for Friday” shoutout, but this week has been full of so many interesting, fun, amazing things that I though I should. Then, I realized I had excessively more than 5 things to share – so, you’re getting “15 for Friday!”  I’m talking about everything from amazing eco-wellness products from Shiftcon, the lotions I put on my face, a really cool app-based, customized meal delivery service, my latest ambassadorships, the 3M Half Marathon, mystery excitement news, and more! You have to read on to find out all the deets!

Jennifer Fisher 3M Half Marathon Austin, Texas 2017

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Get a Grip Workout + ‘Tis the Spartan Race Pass Season #Giveaway

Note: After you “get a grip” make sure you pop all the way down on this post to find out about 2017 Season Passes for Spartan Race (hurry, they are rumored to sell out soon) an also to enter my giveaway for a chance to win a free Spartan Race registration. 

If you’re not training grip, you’re likely sabotaging any chance getting through a Spartan Race burpee free. Reflect back to your last race and count up the number of obstacles that require a strong and lasting grip. These grip-intensive obstacles include the rig, the monkey bars, the bucket carry, the rope climb, the Tyrolean traverse, Tarzan swing, wall jumps, and, lemme see, nearly everything . . . including shaking hands on the podium!

Grip Training for Spartan

By adding grip-training exercises to your workout a few times per week, you can achieve lower-arm and grip gains which will increase your strength to handle more weight and more reps  — or, basically hold on longer! The muscle guys in the gym swear by grip training maximize strength and size, but don’t worry girls – I work out my grip often and don’t have Popeye-sized forearms, pretty sure you have to be genetically predisposed or questionable supplement enhanced for that to happen.

There are three types of grip including. support grip (hanging and holding), crush grip (clenching and squeezing) and pinch grip (pinching). Training these different grips oven overlaps one another, but here are some basic categories of grip-strength exercises:

Hanging – Try to hang from any surface with shoulders fully extended, in the “deadhang” position until failure. Grab onto a variety of surfaces (safety first) including traditional pull-up bars, fat bars, the ends of towels or functional straps (like GripSling … use code thefitfork20 to save 20%) ropes, tree limbs, rafters, vertical pipes — each provides a different challenge to the grip.

Dead hang for grip strength.

Lifting – Grip is always involved in lifting, unless you are doing legs on a machine. The fatter the bar used in your lifts, the more difficult it will be on your grip. That’s why those chubby monkey bars at Spartan Race are harder than the garden variety playground version. A wider diameter bar redistributes stress from the joints and onto the muscles as the weight is transferred to a larger area of the hand.  If your gym has a fat bar, try it. Or, purchase special grips to slide on (check out Fat Gripz), or simply wrap a strap or towel around the bar.

Carrying – Practice carrying objects of different sizes and poundage, your body will have to adjust accommodate the varying loads. Of course, the whole body is involved in toting stuff around, a strong grip can help you hold more and go further. Carries to practice include farmer carry with plates, dumbbells, kettlebells or any other luggable item with a handle. For greater grip gains, try threading a towel through the handle and carry grasping onto the ends of the towel. Also, practice carrying non-handled, heavy objects such as sandbags, pancakes, loaded buckets from the base.

Farmer Carry with a towel for grip training.

Pinching – Improve your pinch grip, and hopefully maintain contact with the Z Wall or Horizontal Climb obstacles, by mastering exercises that require maintaining contact with an item placed between thumb and fingers while leaving palm open. Classic pinch grip exercises include the one hand pinch plate, two hand pinch plate and pinch plate curls.

Pinch Plates exercise for grip strenth.

Example: Pinch Plates

Farmer Carry with a towel for grip training.

Example: Plate Curls

Crushing – Maximize your crush grip strength by squeezing grippers, tennis balls or beer cans. I also think the mobility balls from ACUmobility work pretty well for gripping — save 20% with code AcumobFitFork Look at that grimace below, I’m having my crush grip strength measured.

jennifer-fisher-thefitfork-com-death-grip-fittest-fitfluential

Get a Grip Workout will strengthen your lower arms for better obstacle crushing in Spartan and other obstacle course races.

So, ready to give grip training a try? Work in any of the methods I’ve described above, or try this “Get a Grip Workout” I like to do every week.  Use the appropriate poundage for your strength and frame, and progress slowly – these exercises are way harder than they sound, and honestly, the first few sessions you may think nearly impossible (or at least I did).  For those who’ve crushed the workout, I’ve added challenge modifications – have fun!

Spartan Season Pass 2017

Also, before I slip away for my Spartan training, I wanted to tell y’all to HURRY and get your Spartan Race 2017 Season Passes ASAP, they are very likely to sell out quick. Thankfully, there are three Season Pass options – Trifecta Pass, Open Pass and Elite Pass – so one should suit your level of crazy. I opted to get my husband and I each the Trifecta Season Pass – it’s good for three races in any division (elite, competitive and open) and comes with additional perks. It can be used for Beast, Super and Sprint – but the fine print actually says you do any three distances of your choosing, even if all the same.  The Open and Elite Passes are more expensive, but your get #ALLTHESPARTANALLTHETIME

So, head over and get your Spartan Race Season Pass today – it also makes a great holiday gift for the obstacle course fan in your life. Meanwhile, enter my giveaway for a code for FREE entry into a Spartan Race of your choice (U.S. Open Division only). But, don’t let entering stop you from getting the Season Pass – if you win, you can use it to encourage a significant other, one of your children or a buddy to try his or her first race!

Disclaimer: Giveaway and promotion of Season Pass sponsored by Spartan Race, however all opinions, comments and enthusiasm are my own.
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