Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


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Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


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Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


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Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

  ·  7 min

Fantastic insights from Run Rocker Misty Phillips

Here at RockMyRun, we’ve initiated a series of blog posts featuring our awesome Run Rocker family. Each post will be rapid-fire questions that not only showcases the RockMyRun spirit but also presents unique perspectives on the sport of running, how music plays a role, and hopefully offers some tips on challenges you may experience in your journeys. For the second in our series of runner interviews from our inspirational RockMyRun family, we are proud to introduce Run Rocker, Misty Phillips. This time, we did it half marathon style, with 13(.1)   questions for Misty who offered some fantastic advice, ranging from improving marathon time to juggling running with family life. 1. How long have you classified yourself as a “runner” (or do you?)I started running when I was about ten years old.  I competed in cross country a couple of years in high school.  I also ran sporadically over the years and competed in local 5K races and a few 10K races here and there.  I really got away from the sport in my twenties when my children were small.  I became a serious runner in May, 2011, when I signed up for my first marathon. 2. How often do you run weekly/monthly?My current training plan consists of 5-6 runs in a 7 day time period. 3. In which conditions you prefer to run (time in the day, indoors/outdoors…)?I love to run on the road.  All-weather conditions are OK with me – except heavy rain.  Although I am not a morning person, I am growing to love early morning runs.  There’s less traffic and much more to observe in nature – I like to watch deer, birds, and squirrels. 4. What running accomplishment are you most proud of? Or what is your best running experience?I signed up to run my first marathon about two years ago.  My goal for that race was finishing.  However, the experience left such an impression that I wanted to go back to the drawing board, get a solid training plan together, and really see what I was made of.  I was afforded the opportunity to work with a wonderful “Koach” who provided me with a plan and weekly feedback.  Incidentally, he provides running tips via twitter @Marathon Koach to over 9,000 followers!  With his help and my dedication to that goal – I have improved my marathon time from 5:06 (October 2011 – Marine Corps Marathon) to 4:17 (October 2012 – Chicago Marathon) and six weeks later I was able to run 4:07 (December 2012-St. Jude Marathon).  Improving my marathon finish time by nearly an hour is my greatest accomplishment at this point.  5. Do you have any running-related goals for 2013? If so what are your plans for reaching them?2012 will be a tough year to beat, and I know that.  But, I am very optimistic about my ability to continue to improve.  One of the most fascinating aspects of marathoning to me, personally, is that it is possible to get faster and better with time and training.  I have a long term goal – I visualize this each time I run – that one day I will run in the Boston Marathon.  As for this year, I have a few marathons I am considering and I would love to break 4 hours.  I think it is reasonable and attainable if I can stay injury-free. 6. Since you started running, what is the biggest change in yourself, either physical or emotional that you’ve noticed?The most significant change I am aware of is my self-perception.  I used to think of myself as a back of the pack runner. As hard as it was to realize, I had to give myself credit for improving speed and endurance.  I needed to select the right starting corral in marathons to keep from being held back – and in 5 and 10K’s I needed to edge my way a little closer to the front before the gun is fired.  THAT has been tough for me – seeing myself as a competitive runner. When I look back at my Chicago finish time and (4:17) and compare that to my St. Jude finish time (4:07) – I realized that I positioned myself more accurately in the starting corral in Memphis (St. Jude).  In Chicago I was in the back of the 5:30 corral (which slowed my first few miles way down).  I learned from this and moved up to the 4:30 corral in Memphis at St. Jude. 7. What motivates you to run?I like the isolation of the training run.  I feel free from every care in the world. 8. What kind of music inspires you while running?I am a child of the ‘80s so most of what is on my MP3 player is from that era. There’s a lot of U2, INXS, The Police, etc.  The type of music depends on the type of run: for shorter and faster runs, I prefer faster-paced music like rap and hip-hop. I’ll sometimes dig into whatever my teenage son is listening to for help here.  My longer runs tend to be mellower; I love to listen to BB King in the dead heat of the Mississippi summer when the humidity hangs in the air like a curtain. 9. What one tip would you share with runners everywhere if you could?Surround yourself with other runners for support and encouragement. People who don’t run won’t understand what you are going through – good or bad! 10. How do you squeeze running time into your schedule?It’s tough.  Physically and emotionally running can literally tear you down if you’re not careful.  I am very fortunate that my family supports and encourages my endeavors, so sometimes I get away with a few household chores slipping here and there.  At the end of any given day, I will have run 10-15 miles and still have to make a trip to the grocery store and attend a girl scouts meeting.  When you are runner, it’s part of your day, so you have to figure out how to do IT ALL. 11. What words would you use to describe how you feel while running?When I run I feel very happy and peaceful.  There’s a certain clarity that comes to my mind when I am on the road.  I get my best ideas, dream up new goals and think about what I am truly grateful for in that moment. 12. How do you fight that “I don’t want to run today” feeling?I have learned to listen to my body.  Sometimes the “not want to run feeling” is a sign of fatigue.  That may be a call to prop up my feet and read a book instead.   MOST of the time I can start putting on my running shoes and I start feeling better about going. 13.  How do you power through tough stretches of a run?You absolutely MUST be your own best friend.  You must learn to encourage yourself to keep going, push harder and never give up.  You also have to learn to not be too hard on yourself too – it’s critical after a training run or race to reflect on THREE positive aspects of the experience before looking for areas of improvement.  Otherwise, you’ll burn out. 13.1 Which RockMyRun mixes truly rock your runs?DJ Little Fever’s Brooks RockMyRun Mix is my all-time favorite.  I had the opportunity to train with this mix a few times prior to the Chicago Marathon in October 2012.  On race day – the mix ended up starting at mile 23.  The end of the marathon was by far one of the most intense experiences of my life – hundreds of thousands of spectators lined the streets and as I neared mile 25, I was running like the wind (Marshall Tucker Band)!  Perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that I can now listen to the playlist and the music brings back very vivid memories of the end of the race.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

  ·  3 min

Fit vs Skinny: Why You Should Run to Be FIT

The time is again upon us when we set off on our year-long journey to improve something about ourselves. Our goals and resolutions have been set, and we are off with the “New Year, New Me” attitude.  I personally think this mindset can be beneficial for many people, given that they continue to work toward their goal.  The one problem I see, however, is how people set their New Year’s Resolution.For a large majority of people, when they have a health-related resolution, it revolves around purely weight loss.  Maybe they want to lose 20 pounds, get ready for bathing suit season, or my personal favorite “tone up a bit.”  Now let me say, first and foremost, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight.  But I want to encourage you to take a new approach to weight loss this year.  I have used this approach with my own clients and have found it very successful.This year I challenge you to make your primary goal something that is fitness-oriented, as opposed to weight-oriented.  Maybe you would like to simply get in better shape, run further, run faster, or just be physically healthier altogether.  I am a big proponent of goals of this nature because they allow you to put your focus on something other than the scale.  I have found that when individuals put their time and effort toward improving their physical fitness, then the number game tends to take care of itself.I know that for some of you this may be a new and unorthodox way of approaching your weight loss journey.  So, in order to help you get started, I want to give you a quick tip and a challenge for this year.Tip:  Find a very specific fitness-oriented goal to work toward. Run your first 5k or 10k race.  Improve on your mile time or increase your overall distance.  It could even be something as simple as running for 20 minutes without stopping.  Essentially, come up with a physical goal that you can achieve with some time and effort.  Now, put your time, focus, and energy into that goalChallenge:  DO NOT look at the scale.  I know that seems a little ill-advised, but remember, we’re working toward a physical goal instead of a weight goal.  Allow yourself to check the scale once every two weeks.  That’s it.  You might think this sounds crazy, but it’s by design.  Taking your focus off of the numbers on the will allow you to focus on the bigger picture (improving overall health, running faster, running further, etc), which is much more important.I understand that it may seem difficult to change your mental approach to running.  After all, you’ve been told for years that if you want to lose weight, you need to run.  Well, it’s time to change that approach.  Don’t run to simply lose weight.  Run to be fit.  Run to be fierce.  Run to be a bad ass.  Then let everything else take care of itself.Are you ready to try this new approach?  Leave your new goal in the comment section below!Post contributed by Brock Jones.  Brock is Co-Owner and Head Trainer with BodyFIT, Inc. in Lexington, KY. He holds a Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky and is an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.  You can read more of Brock’s posts about fitness and exercise on the BodyFIT Punch Blog.


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


Are You What You Listen To?

  ·  4 min

Are You What You Listen To?

When it comes to psychology, there’s no shortage of ways to describe and understand personality. Open to experience, extroverted, agreeable, conscientious, emotionally stable, quiet and serious, enthusiastic, original, direct, cautious, inspirational, steady…you get the idea.And it seems that knowing something about the type of music one prefers may be an effective window into understanding some types of personality. Of course, you can give someone a cumbersome personality test, but that’s not nearly as much fun as peeking into someone’s iPod, as a way of getting to know someone, is it?How Does Your Brain React to Music?Before you start scrolling through your buddy’s playlist, it might be useful to look at what brain function studies tell us about the brain. You see, there is science behind it all. Our brain’s motor cortex is involved in movement, foot tapping, and dancing while our amygdala is involved with our emotional reactions to music.  Our sensory cortex provides us with tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing, and our auditory complex gives us the perception and analysis of tones. Finally, our hippocampus is involved in our being able to recall and have memory for music.How is Music Tied to Personality?Now, of course you aren’t going to ask that person you are interested in getting to know to fill out a personality assessment or take a quick jog over to the nearest ER for a brain scan. You can read body language, make some judgment about their physical appearance, groom and clothing style. But a psychological study of primarily younger-aged subjects found that the most popular topic that same- and opposite-sex pairings talk about is music, followed by books, movies, TV, football and clothing (Rentfrow and Gosling, 2006).In the study, musical preferences demonstrated reasonably accurate abilities in conveying some aspects of personality. Many theories are given as to why people prefer one genre of music over another. Some find one type of music leaves them feeling relaxed, while other use specific genres of music to pump them up. Some listen to one genre over another because they believe it helps them identify with a group or promotes a certain self-identity. Our brain’s motor cortex, amygdala, sensory cortex, auditory cortex and hippocampus are all part of our physiological responsiveness.Not all personality traits are easy to identify through musical preference. For instance, openness to experience, extraversion and emotional stability are the easiest to guess correctly. On the other hand, music preferences don’t seem to say much about whether a person is conscientious or not.What Does Your Favorite Music Say About Your Personality?As for specifics, the research found some surprising and perhaps even debatable results. Extraverts seem to prefer vocals, while country music with all of its heartache is a preference among the most emotionally stable and hard-working. If jazz is pouring out of those headphones, it’s likely an intellectual with high self-esteem, who’s creative, outgoing and often at ease, may be listening. Rap fans were found to have high self-esteem and be outgoing, while dance fans were found to be creative, outgoing and not particularly gentle. Pop music aficionados are often filled with high self-esteem, are deemed to be hard-working, outgoing and gentle, but not typically creative or at ease. Finally, rock/heavy metal fans were found to have lower self-esteem, to be creative and to be at ease people, as well as not hard-working, not especially outgoing and frequently gentle.Of course there are exceptions to these, and all research findings. But the data does indicate that different types of musical genre preferences can be helpful in sorting out some basic personality types.At the same time, different music genres have different tempos which impact behavior, especially when exercising. Therefore, the tempo one prefers may not necessarily be related to personality but to an effect one wants while running or working out in the gym.Whether you tune in music to relax you, build focus, drown out fatigue, block distractions, set a romantic mood, or pump you up to get moving on the track or to knock down your to-do list, sharing the type of music you choose and/or the bpm’s may be giving off signals about you. And that could just be about the best thing you could do if you want to reach out to that interesting looking person sitting next to you at the coffee shop, on the plane, in the student center or at the gym.What’s your favorite genre of music? Do you think it aligns with your personality traits? Let me know in the comments below.Post contributed by Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.  Dr. Mantell has served as a long-time Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and today is the Senior Fitness Consultant for Behavioral Sciences for the American Council on Exercise, a behavioral sciences coach, an author and a national fitness-health speaker. In 2013, Greatist.com named Dr. Mantell as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in Health and Fitness.”


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

  ·  6 min

How RunRocker Shantal Rocked Her Competition

We recently caught up with personal trainer and RunRocker Shantal, to chat about staying fit and how music helped her reach her goals. A personal trainer, nutritionist and group fitness instructor, Shantal also competes in bodybuilding competitions—recently placing second at the prestigious International Drug Free Athletics (IDFA) Pro Universe event. Keep on reading for a Q&A with this inspirational athlete!What inspired your interest in fitness?My first fitness endeavor was in my parents’ basement using an ironing board for an incline bench, a table leaf and two cement blocks for a step board and a few dumbbells. I remember exercising from workouts featured in Shape Magazine, along with Olivia Newton John’s “Physical” blasting in the background!  I was 13 and found myself enjoying the rush and pump of lifting!Fast forward to today. I have over 20 years of experience as a successful fitness leader and have started to tackle different areas of fitness including, running two half marathons, several 10k races, mud runs, Olympic weightlifting, CrossFit, endurance running and hot yoga!  I love how I can adapt so many different varieties of fitness to my clients and myself.In 2009, I hired my trainer Leah Berti to help me diet down and get ripped up for my first Figure competition with FAME.  I placed very well with two, first place trophies anda second andthird as well!  I was hooked!  I then placedfourth during Provincials with the Alberta Bodybuilding Association (ABBA).After a four year break from competing, my goal was to compete again before I reached the age 45.  My IDFA Pro Card was my goal this time, which I achieved in June 2013 and few months later I placed second for IDFA Pro Universe.  Perfect!!!!That is a huge feat, placing second at the IDFA Pro Universe event. Can you tell us a bit more about that achievement?Receiving second place in my first pro show was crazy awesome!  I am so proud to be able to achieve this goal!In January 2013 I weighed 160 pounds, with the guidance of my trainer, the support of my husband and boys, and the mind blowing mixes of RockMyRun, I dropped 40lbs.  Endless Hours of cardio and lifting could not have been easier listening to mixes like Rock to the Beat, This Is Why You’re Hot and Fitlicious to name just a few.You’ve lost a lot of weight in the last year, how much did you lose and what advice would you give to women who are making weight loss a 2014 resolution?In the before picture I was 160 pounds. I dropped down to 123 pounds for the competition in November and currently am holding steady at 135, which is an ideal weight to put on muscle without adding too much extra fat.This fat loss did not happen overnight, was not easy and took a lot of work and commitment to stick with the plan. A few words of advice for women who want to drop fat would be to:Be realistic and consistent with your training, diet and goalsYou cannot out train a poor diet, so don’t lie to yourself about food.  It all counts!Find a certified personal trainer who has a nutrition backgroundYou may not like it (calorie restriction and working out everyday), but you still gotta do it!Acknowledge your feelings when you don’t want to work out or eat to the plan, then move on!!!!Lastly, keep RockMyRun close at hand, it’ll give you the edge to keep going strong!What’s a typical workout day or week for you like? Do you focus on strength, cardio or a mixture of the two?I start each and every day with 60 minutes of cardio at 6 a.m. before getting the boys ready for school. We have a gym in the garage that we named, GGYM, so convenient.  My work day of training and teaching at the YMCA would start at 9 a.m. and I would fit in my lifting program five days a week between clients or later in the evening.When things get busy how do you make time to fit in your workouts?I believe it’s always a choice to train or not and you don’t find the time you have to make the time, it’s never an issue!Some days working out just doesn’t sound fun—due to weather conditions, a long workday, too much holiday pie and more—how do you get yourself out the door and working out on days like these?I always feel better after a workout.  If I am lacking motivation I focus on RockMyRun and it always pushes me.  The sound, the tempo and rhythm is like a workout partner waiting for me at the gym.You’ve mentioned you use RockMyRun regularly, how does music help you keep moving and motivated?I have always been moved by music, so when my husband first found your app I was hooked immediately and we signed up for the premium membership within a week.The mixes on RockMyRun are amazing and so motivational.  I enjoy the variety of the songs and I appreciate the length and BPM being featured as it helps me choose the mix to fit my mood and workout.  I believe training and lifting is not all physical, and that the mental, emotional and spiritual aspect of training is a big part of success.The mind is a different tool than the body and when the two work together, anything is achievable.  RockMyRun ALWAYS…ALWAYS puts me in the right frame of mind to block any restrictions out so I can push through my training and push through it hard!You’re also a wife and mother to two boys—what role does your family play in your fitness and bodybuilding achievements?Everything!  I could never have come this far without the honesty and commitment from my husband – plus he enjoys my tight butt and hard body.  Our boys have shown patience and support as well.  They are the first to remind me of what I should not be eating during the diet down and have spent their share of time in the gym waiting for mom!What’s next for you? Do you have any future competitions or races in the pipeline?I am going to spend a few years building my physique and improving my muscle mass.  I would like to compete in a few more competitions before I reach 50, focusing on masters, but never saying no to an open category.  I love competing with women who are younger!In 2014 I am going to run a few half marathons and perhaps enter a strong woman competition later in the year.  Until then I will continue my fit lifestyle with my family and am thankful RockMyRun will be with me through this coming year of long runs and heavy lifting.


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