Posts tagged ‘elliptical’

August 23, 2011

It’s my birthday, and I’ll blog if I want to.

Despite the lingering food coma and the time change from the weekend’s travel, yesterday wasn’t awful. That’s surprising for a Monday! Don’t get me wrong, I was still in dire need of caffiene, but it could have been worse.

Maybe it was the kitty snuggles in the morning, or it was my good workout that helped. Maybe it was that I wore these adorable shoes.

Pretty Shoes!

Then again, maybe Monday went relatively well because I was excited about my birthday.

Flashback to My 21st Birthday

Happy Birthday to me! Yaaaaayyyyyy! Okay – that’s about enough of that. I got all the celebrating out of my system this weekend. This is more-or-less a typical Tuesday. There’s just 1 minor difference: additional self reflection.

I’m done celebrating, but I still have things to think about. It’s not like you turn a quarter-century old every day! I’ve done a lot; I’ve seen a lot. And I am pretty excited for the next quarter-century.

24 was a great year for me. In fact, it may have been my best yet… well, I’m not sure if it topped year 4. I think that was a good year too, but I guess it doesn’t count if I can’t remember most of it. I’m sad to let go of 24, but I’m happy to be moving on.

*****

Early in the post, I briefly mentioned yesterday’s good workout, and I’d like to fill you in on it. The workout included 30 minutes of intervals on the elliptical trainer, along with a cool-down, and the “Monday” portion of Muscle & Fitness HersVacation Countdown” workout.

I really enjoy this circuit workout, but I may cut it a week short. I still kinda’ feel the burn, but I’m in the mood to lift heavy. Next week, be prepared for a new routine.

Today will include some pool time and yoga or pilates. Wish me luck with my laps!

I look like a bum in the gym 90% of the time.

Oh, and for those of you who read my pre-birthday post, the eye cream is working marvelously!

August 11, 2011

Strength Circuit & More Nom Nom Noms

I started a new workout this week, and I think you might like it. It’s easy on my “injured” feet but isn’t too easy everywhere else. I found the routine in a 2009 issue of Muscle & Fitness Hers, and they have a guide to “The Vacation Countdown” workout on their site.

This is a four day split that has you lifting on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Follow this for weeks 1-4:

  • Week 1, complete the circuit on the given day 2 times, resting 60 seconds between exercises
  • Week 2, complete the circuit 2 times, but rest only 45 seconds
  • Week 3, perform 3 rounds, and rest 30 seconds between the exercises
  • Week 4, complete 3 or 4 rounds, resting 15-20 seconds

The pics in the magazine are pretty motivating, but they’re intense. Yeah, I guess M&F Hers thinks I should try to look like this…

The 1st circuit includes the first 7 exercises on the list, Dumbbell Swing to Walking Abduction. The 2nd circuit, which you perform on Wednesday, goes from the Dumbbell Squat to the Abs Circuit. I also added in weighted Leg Lifts before the Dumbbell Squat.

Friday’s circuit includes the Romanian Deadlift through the Arm Circuit. I may add something else here as well, but I’m not sure yet. The 4th circuit includes the last 5 exercises.

Even after all this sweating, I’m still happy enough to be like this… (except for the half-smile/half-tough-girl expression)

buff stuff

So far this week, I completed 25 minutes on the elliptical Monday, and I had an excellent swim Tuesday. I also completed 25 hard minutes on the stationary bike Wednesday, and will go for another swim today. Hopefully I’ll have more time Friday or Saturday for at least one long cardio session. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

Oh, and last night’s dinner of eggplant, zucchini, basil, and grape tomatoes topped with sauce and feta was pretty yummy.

bake

I thought I might get away with eating one third of this so that I could have 2 nights of leftovers, but after seeing how empty my little plate looked…

half baked?

I decided to just go ahead and eat half of the pan anyway. Oh, and I also snacked on quite a few Kashi Pita Crisps in sea salt flavor. These things are fairly processed, but for junky snack food, they are darrrrrn goooooood! (To be honest, they aren’t thaaaaat junky.) There’s even a coupon on their site right now, so check it out if you want to save a buck.

Do you work out at home or the gym? How do you push yourself to reach the next level in your training?

July 20, 2011

What I Ate Wednesday

Is it Friday yet???  No?!?  Okay, then it must be Wednesday at least.  You know what that means – it’s What I Ate Wednesday time.  Woohoo!

First, I want to share a little bit about What I Worked.  As I mentioned, I was in a funk Monday, but I woke up feeling refreshed and ready for action Tuesday morning.  My great workout helped power my good mood, and I bet it gave my metabolism quite a boost too.  I completed the ab work for my July workout, and I did this 45-minute elliptical routine.

Time (minutes) Resistance RPMs Cross-Ramp (optional)
0 – 3 3 145 – 150 10
3 – 5 5 160 – 165 10
5 – 10 6 160 – 165 10
10 – 11 6 150 – 160 7
11 – 12 8 145 – 150 7
12 – 13 10 135 – 145 7
13 – 14 12 120 – 135 7
14 – 15 14 110 – 120 (faster if you can!) 7
15 – 20 6 160 – 165 5
20 – 25 Repeat Minutes 10 – 15 Repeat Minutes 10 – 15 5
25 – 30 6 160 – 165 5
30 – 35 Repeat Minutes 10 – 15 Repeat Minutes 10 – 15 5
35 – 40 6 160 – 165 5
40 – 45 7 – 2 (gradually decrease) 145 – 160 5

Work has been crazy this week.  I stayed late last night and will go in early today.  Sooooo, that means I had to skip my workout this morning.  Have no fear – body pump is here… or at least it will be come 6:15 tonight!

Now that the workouts are out of the way, let’s get into the goodies.  This week I’ve been enjoying my three-part breakfast: pre-workout rice cake, 70-calories of protein shake after the workout, and oats with fruit once I finally get settled at work a couple hours later.  I’ve been loving breakfast lately because I splurged for cherries at the store.  Totally worth it!

bowl

I even threw some NuNaturals alcohol-free vanilla stevia into the oats.  Not bad.  I tried putting some in work coffee.  Very bad.  Sticking to tea from here on out…

Lunch is a salad with goddess dressing.  That sounds boring, but at least it’s pretty.  I also enjoy a few almonds on the side.

salad

Snack is half a bell pepper and homemade yummus (aka: hummus).  I had been wanting to make my own hummus for a while, and I finally did it.  Yay!  It was easy, but I don’t know that I’ll do it often.  Tahini isn’t cheap, so it’s not all that much cheaper to make it yourself – especially when you compare it to TJ’s low hummus prices.

hummus = yummus

Dinner has been great so far this week.  I had salsa chicken two nights and light dinner Monday night to make up for my funky mood.  Tonight will be baked chicken (no added fat in cooking), a mini baked sweet potato, and steamed broccoli.  Yum, yum, and more yum.

After dinner a few nights this week, I’ve snacked on cheesecake ice cream.  It’s sooooo good!  I felt hoodwinked after buying it though.  It’s labeled “naturally flavored,” but I’m not so sure anything in it is all that natural.  There are few FDA regulations on “natural” claims, yet I still don’t always read every package like I should.

cream de chemicals

At the store I thought this ice cream said “natural,” not “naturally flavored” (impulse buy?!?), but I still feel tricked.  The mile-long ingredients list includes HFCS, corn syrup, modified food starch, hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oil, and more.  I think I’m going to start calling it ice chemicals instead, but at least it’s yummy!

Be sure to check out Peas and Crayons’ WIAW blog hop to see all the other great eats!


What was the best thing you ate today?

Are there any ingredients you avoid, or do you buy what looks/tastes good?

June 21, 2011

Breaking a Sweat for Summer

Happy First Day of Summer!  With all the boating, grilling, traveling I do, I’ve felt like it’s been summer for months, and the insanely hot weather hasn’t helped.  Regardless of my personal feelings, it’s finally official.

I plan to squeeze in all the summer fun I can.  As you know, Kevin and I drove to my family reunion last weekend, and we’ll travel to see his family this weekend.  We also have more boating, some camping, and a beach trip planned.  The next couple of months will be exhausting, but I think I’m up for the challenge – so long as I chill out with a cold one (or two) every once in a while.

Tiki

Tiki Bar = Oasis of Fun

I’m still keeping up with my June workout, and my runs have been stellar this month.  I’m a gym rat, not a runner, so I’m happy with the modest progress I’ve made.  Yesterday I spent some time on the elliptical.  The kitties and I snuggled in bed too long, so I got to the gym a little later than anticipated.  I think that’s a pretty good excuse though, right?

After a warm-up and a strength-training session, I did 35 minutes of cardio.  I used an elliptical with the moving arms because that kind burns more calories.  This machine happened to have a cross ramp, but if yours doesn’t have one, don’t worry about it.  The cross ramp’s not all that and a bag of chips.  (Is it rude to mention chips during a post about sweating off calories?)  Here’s the workout:

Time Resistance Cross Ramp RPE
0-3

3

3

3

3-5

6

3

5

5-7

7

3

6

7-8

9

3

7

8-10

7

3

6

10-11

10

3

7

11-13

7

3

6

13-14

10

3

7

14-16

7

3

6

16-17

6

5

5

17-18

7

5

6

18-19

8

5

7

19-20

9

5

7

20-22

7

5

6

22-23

6

5

5

23-24

7

5

6

24-25

8

5

7

25-26

9

5

7

26-27

10

5

8

27-30

7

5

6

30-33

5

5

4

33-35

3

5

2

I’d like to also note that I kept my RPMs between 155-165 (except during the cool-down part) and went with this scale for the Rate of Perceived Exertion.  The RPE of 7 could easily be bumped up to an 8 if you want a more challenging sweat session.  This isn’t a hardcore workout, but it moves your body and increases your heart rate.  Mission accomplished.

By the way, dinner last night could not have been more perfect, despite its simplicity.  I ate half a huge chicken breast, half a can of green beans, a little potato, and about half a TBS of Smart Balance Light Omega 3s buttery spread.  I don’t think this spread is the “smartest” on the market, but I always seem to have a coupon for it!

chicken

So Simple - So Yummy!

What summer activities excite you the most?

I am the most excited about eating ice cream and catching some rays.

June 13, 2011

Is it Friday yet???

Back to the daily grind.  Ugh.  Ma’, do I haaaave to go to work today?  I think I’m sick.  (Insert fake cough here!)  The weekend went by waaaaay too fast.  Let’s recap, shall we?

First, I wanted to run Saturday and couldn’t due to an injury.  Instead of running, I sat on my booty and wrote a post about plain vs black coffee – and by the way, I made a mistake.  Ooopsies!  I meant to say “regular” – not “plain.”  Nevertheless, I am still dumbfounded by the fact that regular coffee is not the same as black.  Now… moving on…

Kev, our company, and I had lake fun, beer fun, and dinner fun before indulging in a little more beer fun.  I was the designated driver for the weekend, so my tastebuds didn’t get tooooo much beer fun.  However, I did try a lovely new brew with my bbq bacon burger (heck yea I got it with fries) on Saturday evening.  It was a French Broad 13 Rebels pale ale.  It paired flawlessly with the burger.

French Broad

French Broad Brewery Pale Ale

My hip felt better Sunday, so I finally got to try out my new armband.  I guess tunes make you run faster because I did pretty well – despite running through a hilly nearby neighborhood on a hot day.  Yay!  I did 4.4 miles in 37:22, and the first 4 miles of it were completed in 33:47.  That made me feel pretty good.  I didn’t really want to get up and work out today, but I still got my sweat on.  I did a heavy day of chest + shoulders with 30 minutes on the elliptical.  What a great way to start the day!

Now it’s time for breakfast (my second-favorite time of day).  No more parfaits here; I’m bringin’ back the oats!  Notice the little black things in my uncooked oats.  Those are chia seeds, which I tried for the first time just a week or two ago.

blueberrry chia

Blueberry Chia Oats

Chia, Cha-cha-cha, Chia seeds are the same little buggers sold as “pets” about 5-10 years ago.  So why am I eating these?  Well FitSugar helps to explain how these little buggars pack a strong nutritional punch.  Fiber, calcium, protein, and omega-3s, oh my!  Click here for the nutritional profile.

  • Did you have a good weekend?  What was the best thing you did?
  • Have you tried chia seeds?  If so, what do you think of them?
May 11, 2011

6-Packs Aren’t Just for Beer!

Get on the ball with this workout (and scroll down for the elliptical workout).  I ran at the gym yesterday morning, but I lacked time for my ab workout.  I completed this routine after I got home from work, which I am doing 2 to 3 times per week.  This gave me time to bake my giant sweet potato.  Those things are always worth the wait!

First, warm up your core by walking, doing light pilates, or anything else to get the blood flowing.

1 – Stability Ball Pass – I did 3 sets of 5 reps.  Start lying on the floor with your arms reached above your head, and hold the ball between your ankles.  Crunch your abs to lift your legs and arms; grab the ball with your hands.  Lower your arms (holding the ball) and your legs at the same time.  Passing to hands and back to feet completes one rep.  I never do these until failure because they can stress my hip flexors.  

2 – Weighted Crunch on Ball – I did 3 sets of 10 reps.  I held my 8-lb dumbbell behind my head with my arms relatively straight.  You still feel these even if you do not use any weight.  Simply place your hands behind your head.

3 – Torso Twist on Ball – I did 3 sets of 8 reps.  Hold a weight or medicine ball perpendicular to your shoulders with your hips parallel to the floor and in-line with your shoulders.  Keep back and arms straight while you twist over onto one shoulder.  You feel this in your obliques, but it is also good for stabilizer muscles.  Do this to the left and the right to complete one rep.  (Sorry for the crappy pics!)

Starting Position

Twist at Torso

4 – Weighted Toe Reaches – I did 3 sets of 10.  Keep your feet up and crunch up toward them.  Come as close to touching your toes as possible.

Leia wants in on the action!

5 – Plank – 1 set of 60 seconds.  I should have done more of these, but the sweet potato was calling!

Today is a rainy day that started off with 42 minutes of elliptical at the gym.  I’ll outline that for you here too.  I’ll be working all day (bleh) then heading back to the gym for my first body pump class.  I’m pretty excited! 

I’m also excited Kev will be cooking dinner due to my workout class.  That reminds me – I’m supposed to email him the recipe.  It’s my very own Chinese Take-In, which does not need a recipe!  The meal is rice, frozen mixed veggies, and scrambled eggs – all topped with low-sodium soy sauce.  Quick, cheap, and easy- that’s my kind of meal and perfect for a rainy day!

42-minute Elliptical Workout  (I kept RPMs around 150-160, but generally 156)

  • Time        Resistance     Incline
  • 0-5              1-5                    10  (increase the resistance 1% per minute)
  • 5-7              5                         8
  • 7-8             10                       8  (whew!)
  • 8-10           5                         8
  • 10-11         10                       8
  • 11-13          5                         8
  • 13-15         10                       8
  • 15-16          5                         4 (note the incline switch)
  • 16-17          7                        4
  • 17-18          9                        4
  • 18-19          7                        4
  • 19-20          5                        4
  • 20-22          5                        4 (stay two minutes here)
  • 22-23          7                        4
  • 23-24          9                        4
  • 24-25          7                        4
  • 25-27          5                        4 (stay two minutes here)
  • 27-28          7                        4
  • 28-29          9                         4
  • 29-30          7                        4
  • 30-32          5                        4 (stay two minutes here)
  • 32-33          7                        4
  • 33-34          9                        4
  • 34-35          7                        4
  • 35-42          7                        4 (decrease resistance 1% per minute)

*Ignore the “Incline” part if your elliptical does not have a crossramp.  If at all possible, use the long, moving hand grips, not the t-rex grips – you burn less calories with those dinky things.

Don't Use Reptar-Like Grips

 As always, thanks for reading!

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