Comment

For The Gram: 4 Ways to Set Thirst Traps on Instagram This Summer

June 20th marked the first day of Summer, aka, the only time of the year when it's perfectly acceptable to barely wear clothes in public. Yes ladies, now is the time to whip out your crop tops, bikinis, strapless summer dresses, and whatever else keeps cool in the scorching heat. And if you've been following our posts, plank challenge, and exercises, or took a trapaerobics class over the past few months, then your summer body should already be here. Why not show off all of your hard work? Here's 4 full proof ways to set thirst traps on your gram this Summer:

2. The Beach Trap - Real New Yorkers value their Summers like they value restaurants that stay open until 4am. A beach trip to the Rockaways or Jones is bound to happen this Summer. Start counting those water drop emojis with a classic “hey, I'm in my bikini on the beach” pic.

Level 1: Take a birds eye shot that only showcases your bottom and legs.

Level 2: Have a friend take a full body shot.

Level 3: Have a friend take a gif or boomerang of you jumping on the beach.

2. The Gym Trap - Keep the momentum going on your workouts by hitting the gym at least once per week. It's easy to get caught up in boozy brunches and rooftop parties during the summer. In fact, it only takes 2-3 months for muscle gains to reverse after periods in inactivity, so only let them see you sweat at the gym.

Level 1: Take a sweaty gym selfie.

Level 2: Have a friend take a full body shot while flexing.

Level 3: Have a friend take a gif or video of you working out, bonus points if you're squatting.

Image Source:  Pinterest

Image Source: Pinterest

 

3. The Music Festival Trap - This Summer, New Yorkers have been lucky enough to snag Governors Ball, a Beyonce concert, a few Drake Concerts, and the newly added Panorama fest this Summer. Use these shows to your advantage; show the world how eclectic and stylish you truly are.

Level 1: Take a picture with your squad in your best festival outfit. There's nothing better than seeing gorgeous women unite.

Level 2: Take a “us-sie” with a friend. Show the world that y'all were there.

Level 3: Have a friend take a full- body mid-crowd shot while you're dancing. Show the world that you're one with music, and hella cute while doing it.

Image Source:  Remy Deklein

Image Source: Remy Deklein

4.The #AllSummer16 Trap - Trappin ain't a hobby, it's a way for you. Or at least that's what Future said on Jumpman. Show your followers that you'll be slaying all Summer this year.

Level 1: Take a boozy brunch group shot with your gal pals at the table with you.

Level 2: Take a full body shot with your best friend at a Summer BBQ or rooftop party, because even on a regular day, you slay.

Level 3: Have a friend take a full body shot of you classily standing with your legs crossed at a Summer event, because you're Summertime fine.

Image Source:  Pinterest

Image Source: Pinterest

 

Better stock up on water now, because with all of you beauty, the thirst will be that real this Summer. Happy trappin!

Comment

Comment

Do Better: 5 Life Hacks to Get The Most Out of Your Gym Visit

Let's be honest; exercising isn't always fun. It's no secret that everyone doesn't enjoy going to the gym. Squats and lunges make you sore. Cardio is as uncomfortable as waiting those 5 seconds to skip ads on YouTube. And let's not forget the people. You know, those the machine-hogging gym rats who only “do it for the gram” or those groaning and grunting body-building wannabes who lift weights like they're suffering from constipation. Search #gymlife on Instagam, and prepare yourself for a plethora of narcissistic gym selfies, thirst traps, and memes that validate every point I've made so far.

But you, you can do better. I’m talking Kanye’s second version of Pablo better. Want to know how? Read on for 5 life hacks for improving your experience at the gym.

  1. Go in With a Plan. Dislike your muffin top? Want to make your arms leaner? Google exercise routines for abs and arms, print out the routine, and stick to it. But beware, the Internet can be your best friend or worst foe. Make sure you use credible sources like Bodybuilding.com and Fitness Magazine or follow routines created by certified fitness professionals.

  2. Be Mindful of Time. Start by going to the gym at varying times of the day. Try going in the morning on one day, and afternoon on another day. Take note of how busy/ empty the space is, and commit to a time that works best for you and fits your people preferences. Pro Tip: Scoring and elliptical at 6PM on a Wednesday is tough.

  3. Take a Class. If lifting weights over and over again, and running like you're on a hamster wheel just isn't your thing, take a class! Classes are a great way to make friends who are just as committed to getting git as you are. They're also a great way to learn new techniques and moves that you can perform outside of the gym. Boutique fitness classes like Trap Aerobics and Light Saber workouts are increasing in popularity.

  4. Get in Your Zone. The hardest thing about exercising is being consistent by not giving up when the lifting gets rough. Create playlists that motivate you to keep moving. If the routine is your bible, your playlists are your hymns.

  5. Clap for yourself. Remember that it requires consistency, will power, and time to see dramatic results. Regardless of who and what you see at the gym, your fitness journey can't be compared to anyone else's. And honestly, it shouldn't be. Celebrate small wins like holding planks a bit longer and completing an extra push up, and keep going. Just clap for yourself and keep going.

Comment

Comment

Strengthen Your Core and Posture with This 30 Day Plank Challenge!

“Life only gets harder

But you gotta get stronger”

-Jhene Aiko on “W.A.Y.S.

Fact: As we grow older, our lives gets harder. The responsibilities begin to pile on and free time becomes a luxury often spent at the bar rather than the gym. What’s even more disturbing about adulthood is that although we have less time, our bodies demand more. Aging means that our metabolism moves slower, our bones grow weaker, and our muscle volume decreases.

So what can we do combat these changes? Plank.

What’s planking?

Planking is an exercise that strengthens the core via an isometric contraction.

What are the benefits?

  • Improves your posture and core strength
  • Reduces your risk of back pain

  • Improves your balance

  • Boosts metabolism through muscle strengthening

  • Boosts mood through exercise

How can you do it?

Planking is easy. Simply plant your arms or forearms directly over your shoulders. With your spine and neck in a neutral position, lift your body up off the ground. Your your toes will be firmly grounded in this position, so be sure to squeeze your glutes and core to maintain balance.Check out the gif’s below to see how to plank at three different skill levels.

Level 1: On your forearms.

Level 2: On your hands, legs together.

Level 3: On your hands, legs apart.

What’s the 30 Day Plank Challenge?

The 30-day plank challenge is a month long fitness regimen to help you reap the benefits of planking. With gradual increases in duration, and rest days built in, by the end of the month, you’ll notice a difference in your core and posture. Screenshot it below!

Comment

Comment

GRILLZ: The Return of 90s R&B Soul Music: Rashad

"Players gonna play
Haters gonna hate
That's not the life for me
Stay sucker free"


-Rashad, on "Slow Jam"

With contemporary R&B artists like August Alsina and Chris Brown referring to women as "hoes" who ain't loyal and fan favorites like Frank Ocean releasing albums once every 4-5 years (if we're lucky), it's exciting when an artist like Rashad, who's been in the music game for a while, releases a project that reminds you of why you fell in love with R&B in the first place. We're talking Keith Sweat, 112, and Tevin Campbell R&B soul.

The self-proclaimed Ohio Renaissance man and musician demonstrates all that he's learned after studying at the true school of R&B by infusing soul and hip hop in a way that makes you believe that f****boys don't exist.. His latest project, entitled The Quiet Loud, is a pure, concentrated, sample of Rashad’s soul. As the only singer, producer, writer, arranger and engineer on the project, Rashad lets the listener into a world devoid of outside influences, and tackles the lives, loves, loss, and relationships that entered his orbit in 15 tracks. Sonically, visit Rashad's planet by checking out his "The Quiet Loud" album below. 

Comment

Bae Watch: 5 Tips for Keeping Fit and Healthy on Vacation

Comment

Bae Watch: 5 Tips for Keeping Fit and Healthy on Vacation

“I know you've been runnin' on empty, runnin' on empty
The way you move it's like you could use a vacation
Drink in your hand and the harder you dance
I swear right now it look like you on a vacation”

 

 

Tune:  “I Know”Big Sean, ft. Jhene Aiko

 

Revelry. That's what vacation is all about. Indulging in food, booze, and relaxation on what our European counterparts refer to as “holiday, is a major key for anyone who’s ever “ran on empty,” working overtime or multiple jobs to make ends meet. On vacation, there are no limits to happiness; the beautiful scenery rules the eyes, the experience rules the soul, and the exotic foods and frozen, alcohol-laden drinks rule the belly.  But before you dip your feet in the white sand and chug frozen margaritas poolside, here are a few tips to keep your body  in check on vacation:

 

  1. Be in love with the Coco. Stay hydrated by drinking coconut water or regular water throughout the course of your stay.. Between alcoholic beverages and excess heat, it's easy to become dehydrated on vacation. A good rule of thumb is to drink one  glass of water for every 1 -2 alcoholic drinks you consume. Coconut water  is recommended, because it provides additional nutrients such as potassium, and is usually abundant and fresh ( sorry not sorry Vitacoco) in tropical places.

  2. Protect your neck. Should you decide to take a jog on the beach (not likely, but recommended), wear sunscreen. Seriously. Sun burnt skin on vacation can be horrific, but repeated, unprotected sun exposure is dangerous. Sun damaged skin can cause cancer, which is life-threatening. Let that sink in.

  3. Take a dip in the water. One way to seamlessly fit exercise into vacation is by swimming. The absence of gravity and presence of buoyancy in a pool means that every movement has resistance to work against, forcing your body to work harder. Moreover, there's zero impact in a pool, which means your risk of injuring a muscle is minimal. In fact, aqua fitness is a highly recommended fitness option for people who are elderly and suffering from osteoporosis.

  4. Check out your hotel amenities in advance. Many hotels have fitness centers with cardio equipment like treadmills and ellipticals, and weights. Sure, it's not ideal to workout on vacation, but you never know how you'll feel once you reach your destination. Sometimes long days of travel call for a quick workout to lift your mood and energy. Bonus points if the hotel has a sauna.

  5. Get a massage. You deserve it! But more importantly, a professional massage can positively affect your circulatory, musculoskeletal, and nervous system. Massage therapy can hasten your recovery from exercise-related injuries by relieving stress and improving circulation. But what truly matters is that it feels good! You’re on vacation; go for it!

 

To discover new tunes and learn new moves, check out GrillzandGranola, a fitness experience for trap and R&B lovers, merging contemporary music with exercise. Or follow us on Instagram @grillzandgranola

Comment

Comment

A Total Body Workout You Can Do Right Now

"Ain't nobody got time for that!" Yeah, I know, you really don't. I don't have much time either. In fact, I have begun to value my time over money, because it's the one thing that no one can give back to me. I'm a huge proponent of getting the most bang for your buck.


My limits on time and resources have allowed me to be creative in all areas of my life. No hair tie? Cool, I'll use an old shoelace. No bread? Fine, I'll use pancakes or waffles.


No gym? No problem. I'll workout in my backyard. And that's exactly what I did! Using my body weight, here's a short, but challenging total body workout you can do in your backyard! I've included demos of each move including an entire sequence to follow.

Comment

Comment

From the Trap to the Treadmill: 3 Reasons Why I Love Working Out to Trap Music

Often times when I am super stressed out, I like to use Drake lyrics to describe the way I feel about situations that are beyond my control. Maybe it’s the exercise endorphins or the inner pseudo-thug in me, but when there are roadblocks I must overcome, I give myself  trap pep talks like “I move the game up, I’m reckless/ I’m Harlem shaking through the pressure.” In this case, my diction comes from “Digital Dash,” one of my favorite Drake songs on his “What A Time to be Alive” trap mixtape with Future.

For those who are unfamiliar with trap music, it’s origins come from the southern region of the United States (think Atlanta, GA and Houston, TX), where any music enthusiast turned music producer/rapper with an 808 machine can have a makeshift studio in their basement. While trap music is often created by people who literally live the “started from the bottom now we here” lifestyle, it has become widely accepted throughout the states, expanding to sub-genres like trillectro and EDM trap. But more importantly, outside of  it’s popularity, it’s a grittier form of hip hop that complements my workouts quite well.

3 reasons why I love working out to trap music:

1.The beats are easy to workout to.

Most trap beats are made on 808 machines, which means the instrumentals are consistent and simple enough to keep your crunches or squats at pace. No fancy guitar riffs here. Don’t believe me? Check out my working out to Drake & Future’s “Jumpman”here.

2. The lyrics are motivating.

Say you’re going through a break up and decide to go to the gym to boost your mood and get over your ex. When you’re trying to get your gains in, there’s nothing more motivating than hearing someone who understands your struggle, like Kari Faux rapping: “Why would I even stress 'em when they be pressin'/ I just leave 'em guessing and move on to the next one.” Very inspiring, very bravado.

3. The songs are catchy.

Someone once said, “with the right music you’ll either remember everything or forget everything.” I say, if the music is catchy, I’ll probably remember the lyrics and push everything else out of my mind. Or at least that’s how I feel when I listen to “Blase Blase.” Catchy lyrics never hurt anyone.

Want to discover new trap music? Become the plug. Sign up for the GrillzandGranola Newsletter for new playlists and workouts every month!

Comment

Comment

Real Talk: 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Exercising Right Now

It’s never too late to start exercising!

  1. Exercise makes it  possible for you to feel like Beyonce.  Ok, maybe not exactly like Beyonce, but at the very least, your best self. When you workout your body releases chemicals called endorphins, and these endorphins not only reduce your perception of the pain, but they also trigger your brain into a state of euphoria. With Major Depression being one of the  most common mental disorders in the U.S., the psychological benefits of physical activity are well worth it!

  2. It makes your skin glow. Physical activity reduces stress, which often contributes to acne breakouts. The increased blood flow and oxygen delivery to skin cells from  exercise,  swiftly carry away pimple-inducing toxins. But there’s a catch: in order to reap this benefit you should 1) wash your face/body immediately after your sweat session and 2) wear a sun-protecting moisturizer when you workout outdoors.

  3. Physical activity makes you leaner. The weight loss benefits are pretty evident, but did you know that  nearly one-third of Americans are now considered obese? A healthy way to start losing weight via diet and exercise is to perform moderate to high physical activity for 150 minutes per week. That’s only 30 minutes per day! Leave the cayenne pepper and lemon juice cleanses alone!

  4. It’s good for your heart. Currently, heart disease accounts for nearly 25% of all deaths in the U.S. each year. There are  numerous studies that highlight the cardiovascular benefits of exercise. From lowering your risk of high blood pressure to improved breathing and blood circulation, physical activity  is a proven, natural remedy for various heart-related ailments.

  5. It helps your hair grow! Long hair, don’t care. Similarly to your skin cells, the increased blood flow from cardiorespiratory workouts also affects the hair follicle. More specifically, it’s the improved oxygen delivery that stimulates hair growth and the stress-relief benefits of exercise that prevent the hair from falling out.

Oh  yeah, and bikini season is only few months away, so get moving now! Here’s a simple interval workout to Drake & Future’s Jumpman to get you started:

Comment

Comment

Stretching With A Side of R&B: Why it’s Important to Cool Down

Credit: Vibe

Credit: Vibe

Gains Gains Gains, that’s the most commonly used phrase amongst fitness addicts online, and in the vein of Drake, “I get it; I get it.”  I’m an advocate of muscle building, increasing endurance, strength training, resistance and all of that, because  it’s the most effective way to see progression.  I can  also admit that, I am  gratified when I see more definition in my deltoids or when my triceps jiggle a little less when I clap my hands to Beyonce’s “Formation.” But where there is great effort, there is also rest, and in the fitness world, stretching is strength training’s best friend.

Why is it important to stretch?

  1. Stretching allows us  to cool down and return to our resting heart rate.

  2. It reduces tension in the muscle. Stretching elongates the muscle after we have continually contracted it to the point of fatigue (ex. lifting).

  3. It increases our range of motion, thus increasing our flexibility.

After a long and vigorous workout, my recommendation is to play some R&B, and perform static stretches to the point of tightness for 15- 60 seconds per muscle. Depending on the intensity of your workout, a complete stretch routine can last from 5 to 10 minutes. Nevertheless, try to use this time as a period of reflection and relaxation; throw on some R&B jams and get to stretching!

Check out GrillzandGranola’s SoundCloud playlist“R&B Stretch Songs”below for inspiration.

And for an added dose of fitspo, here’s a quick hamstring stretch tutorial:

Comment

Comment

The Labor of Love Handles: 3 Exercises to Eliminate Your Excess Belly Fat

We’re halfway through Winter, and Valentine’s Day, or what I like to refer to as “America’s National Day of Romance” is fast approaching.  This day for lovers epitomizes all things romantic: hand-holding, kisses, chocolate, waist-grabbing. And with an increased emphasis on the aesthetics of love, I firmly believe extra attention should be given to the aesthetics of the body as well. More specifically, let’s look at the love handles.

Love handles are the tricky unwanted belly fat that rests below the waist. It’s a belt of goo that requires targeted resistance training just to get rid of it. There are three exercises that work the love handles pretty well.

Check out our 15-second Love Handles workout video below. Additional workout can be found on our Youtube Channel.

 

Move 1: Penguin

Lay supine (facing up), with your head slightly lifted (neck and spine still aligned). Place your hand parallel to your body and use your core to twist and touch your heels. Routine: 15 whole repetitions (left to right) 3 or 4 times.

Move 2: Russian Twist

Sit up on you tailbone with your knees bent at a comfortable sitting angle. Place your hands together in a fist near your belly button. Swiftly twist from left to right, with your fist touching the floor during each rotation. Grab a weight to add resistance.

Routine: 15 whole repetitions (left to right) 3 or 4 times.

Move 3: Elbow to Knee

Stand up with your pelvis in a neutral position, and your head and spine aligned. Start with your hands directly above your head and slowly bring your arms and legs to a 90-degree angle until your right knee touches your right elbow and vice versa.

Routine: 10 whole repetitions (left to right) 3 or 4 times.

Tune: By the way, we’re loving Rihanna’s  new song “Work” featuring Drake.

Comment

Comment

Cuffing Season: 3 Ways To Keep Your Body Tight And Suitor(s) Thirsty

Pop Quiz:

Do you know what winter feels like? (Yes) or (No)

Have you already dumped your summer boo thang? (Yes) or( No)

Have you experienced an influx of people sliding in your DMs? (Yes) or (No)

If you answered “Yes” to at least 2/3 of the questions above, then you, my friend, are right in the middle of the unofficial, official “Cuffing” season. The motives are simple: meet as many people as you can (digitally or IRL), establish a bond with one of them, and make him/her your cuddle buddy for those frosty nights in the North.

As basic as it sounds, Cuffing Season is not for the sensitive types who cry over Drake lyrics and take Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” as a serious apology. It’s for the lovable, sensual ones who know it’s cold in the North and that bodies were made for cuddling.

The risk in Cuffing Season is that too many bouts of rejection can leave a person feeling helpless and alone. So, take a more strategic approach to cuffing this year by checking out the three moves below. They’re guaranteed to help you snag a winter boo via a strong core and/or an intentional thirst trap.

“Better yet I’ll change my numbers for the whole winter”

The Anthem: “Cuffin Season” by Fabolous

Move 1: Great for arms and abs.

1.A3.GIF

Move 2: Obliques on fleek.

 

Move 3: Planks on planks on planks.

 

To discover new tunes and learn new moves, check out GrillzandGranola, a fitness lifestyle brand for trap and R&B lovers, merging contemporary music with exercise.

Comment

Comment

Anywhere & Everywhere: Exercises for Any Location: The Backyard

Temperatures are dropping, days are getting shorter, TV shows are premiering, and the gym is getting emptier by the day. Like a musician’s sophomore album, when it comes to exercise, Fall is the season for slumping.

But even as a grandmaster of solo Netflix and chilling, making gains in any setting isn’t as hard as it seems. As start, ask yourself “What would Ronda Rousey, or Serena, or any of your athletic idols do?”  They would put in work.

So, to get you started: here’s 1 tune and 3 moves you can do in anywhere, especially in a backyard:

Tune: “The Force” by Super Duper Kyle

1.The Jumping Jack: Essential for getting your heart going, this simple movement  will make sweat.  Start with 3 sets of 15.

2. The Pivoting Jumping Squat: A jumping squat with a twist from side to side, work your glutes and thighs with this challenging move. Feel the burn with 3 sets of 10.  Remember that 1 repetition = a full jump from left to right and right to left.

3. The Toe Touch: Keep your arms and back straight and try to make your toes and hands meet with this core exercise. Do 3 sets of 15 with your core tight.

DDB27D9B-77B8-46AD-B343-1468B3B70F26-3378-000003247CD01762.gif

Learn more moves and discover new tunes @grillzandgranola on Instagram.

Comment