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Get in summer shape while looking your best

By Bianca Montes
June 4, 2014 at 1:04 a.m.


60 Pounds Gone

Brandi Ramirez gained 75 pounds when she was pregnant. It was her third son and twice the weight she'd gained with her other children.

"I got tired of walking into my closet and crying," she said.

So she did something about it.

Ramirez, 29, joined the gym in January and through five months of pain, sweat and probably some tears, she's lost 60 pounds. Ramirez joined Elite Fitness, a small gym in Victoria, and learned what to eat, what to lift and how to workout.

"I think it's important to find a good group," she said about her journey. "You have to have a support group and a game plan."

Ramirez said she goes to the gym five times a week and works out one to two hours a trip. She also keeps her nutrition on point, she said.

"I slip up," she admitted, "but just because I mess up doesn't mean I'm not back in the gym after. Before I started working out, I had so many excuses, but I've learned that you just have to make the time."

That and not be ashamed.

Ramirez, who now works out at Gold's Gym, said when she first walked into the franchise, she was intimidated by the rows of machines and the buff dudes lifting.

"I was afraid to squat my 140 pounds," she said, "especially when they're benching twice that."

Ramirez got over her fears and plans to lose another 25 pounds. "I went in there with a game plan; I didn't waste time, and I've seen results."

Rock my Run

Have you ever heard the saying, "music makes the world go round"? Well, the right song also has the power to inspire another rep of lifting, an increase in speed on the treadmill or just the motivation to try a little bit harder.

However, listening to the same songs over and over can get boring, and who has time to make a custom playlist every day? Not this girl. Rock My Run is a mobile app that pulls together mixes based on beats per minute, genre and time, and I love it. Did I mention it's free? There is a premium version of the app that runs from $2.99 a month in which you can access longer mixes and additional features. However, I've found mixes as long as 120 minutes on the free version, and if you're exercising for more than two hours a day, you're beyond music.

What I like about Rock My Run is that it's like owning a tiny little disc jockey in your cellphone. If I want to lift more, I reach for my female empowerment by "twerking" my run with a Miley Cyrus-inspired mix, and if I want to go that extra mile on the treadmill, I bump "The Comeback" by DJ Little Fever - hey, it's got the "Rocky" theme song in it.

So I have to ask, Crossroads, what's your motivational workout song?

  • "Stronger" by Kanye West; Brandi Ramirez, 29, of Victoria
  • "Dollar and a Dream" by J Cole; Tyler Flores, 20, of Fannin
  • "Hall of Fame" by The Script featuring will.i.am; Briana Flores, 18, of Fannin
  • "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor; Clarisa Gonzalez, 31, of Victoria
  • "Don't Stop Me Now" by Queen; Claudia Flores, 30, of Victoria
  • "Bang Bang" by David Guetta; Monica Chavana, of Victoria
  • "Dark Horse" by Katy Perry; Keriann Leenerts, 30, of Inez
  • "Party Ain't Over" by Usher and Afrojack; Yvette Laqua, 35 of Victoria

Other popular songs

  • "Fire Burnin'" by Sean Kingston
  • "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" by Drowning Pool
  • "Till I Collapse" by Eminem
  • "Harlem" by New Politics
  • "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke
  • "Waking the Demon" by Bullet for my Valentine

With summer right around the corner, the thought of getting in shape is on my mind, and as a true fashionista, my first thoughts are "What am I going to wear to the gym?"

Lucky for me, fitness powerhouse and brother-and-sister duo Briana and Tyler Flores, both of Fannin, made a stop at the Advocate newsroom to tell me all about what works when you're working on your fitness.

Keeping cool

If you're going to get a serious workout on, the breathability of 100 percent cotton isn't going to cut it. Tyler Flores says compression tops such as the Nike Men's Dri-fit Core Compression Top keep you cool and comfortable.

Show your guns

Being able to see your form while lifting is important. A fitted tank top does the trick.

Staying put

Ride up is the last thing Briana Flores said she wants to worry about while working out, and she says Nike spandex shorts are her favorite brand for the perfect fit. Spandex is also a good option under basketball shorts for the fellas.

Getting it right

Wearing the wrong style of shoes while working out is one of the biggest mistakes newbies make. Asics Gel Duramax are not only ideal for running, but guess what fashionistas - the colorful patterns make them ideal for mixing and matching gym attire. Briana and Tyler also recommend Nike and Under Armour shoes for running and other cardio activities. However, if you're looking for the perfect flat shoe for lifting, they both said Chuck Taylors are the way to go.

He said, she said

When it comes to socks, the brother and sister duo are split. Tyler says he prefers a black crew cut, while Briana only wears ankle socks - unless she's rocking a knee-high Superman pair, "'cause that's just cool," she said.

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