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.


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?

27 Responses to “Strength Circuit & More Nom Nom Noms”

  1. Good luck with the circuit, it looks hardcore! And I bet that dinn dinn tasted delicious 😀

  2. That dish looks fantastic! I always motivate myself to go further knowing that I get to eat yummy re-fueling food later!

  3. I work out at the gym, but try to run outside near my neighborhood, too. I am tall (5’9″) and the TV is in our basement which has a drop tile ceiling (we rent and can’t change this) so trying to do DVDs are… awkward. I started lifting with my bf and that’s definitely a lot different than what I was doing. He always pushes me to go up in weights if I can. 🙂

    • Haha, that does sound like it’d be kind of awkward. Before we got a house I tried to limit my DVD usage. I didn’t want to bother my neighbors below me who would hear thud-thud-thud for 20-40 minutes first thing in the morning.

  4. I love M&F Hers but don’t subscribe so I miss it from time-to-time b/c it’s kind of hard to hunt down here. I can’t ever take a picture of myself in a mirror. Anyway, I need to check out that circuit. I also need eggplant in my life right now. We have one little Japanese eggplant growing but need more than that to make any substantial dish.

  5. Yum! That looks so good! Feta on pretty much anything is guaranteed to be delicious!!!

  6. I want to get in some lifting. I don’t know if I want to look like that girl but I wouldn’t mind a tad more toning.

  7. Sounds like a good workout program! I workout at the gym..I don’t tend to do much if I’m at home haha.

  8. I have decided to start swimming too… I used to be a swimmer and I really want to get back to it – it’s such a great workout.

  9. your dinner looks delicious ! I understand why you ate more than planned !!
    Good luck on the training. I have started New Rules of Lifting For Women… I like the workout because they don’t take much time of your days. For this I train from home (yeah I don’t want all the guys to look at me in the weight room), and I go to the gym for cardio and classes (zumba, pilates, yoga, body pump…). When the weather is nice (ie not 100F /90% humidity), I like to run outside.. but I still need to wait about a month for this !

    • I’ve heard that plan is pretty popular. Let me know how it goes. I don’t blame you for strength training at home. Since I hit the gym early, only the other “regulars” are there with me. If I ever need to go in the afternoon, it’s packed with strange men I don’t know. I always feel so violated by the time I leave!

      • I am still at the beginning but I have discovered new muscles !!! My gym has a class called “body pump”, very popular. I was addicted to it last year (literally, to the point I was doing more harm than good to my body).
        Basically this plan has the same moves as body pump + some more. What I like is instead of the 1 hour of torture from body pump, I only get 20 to 30 minutes of torture… not too bad! I’ll post updates when I’m done with stage I on my blog (wait a few weeks!!).
        I understand the fact that you feel violated .. it always makes me wonder what is the real motivations of these guys when they come to the gym club…

  10. Yummy eats!! Love pita chips but some brands are too thick. I like the thin pita chips… haven’t tried Kashi yet.

  11. Anything with eggplant is a winner in my book.

  12. At first, I thought that first photo WAS you! 😉

    I work out mainly in my apartment complex’s convenient!

  13. I work out both at the gym and at home, depending on how I’l feeling. There are days where I just don’t feel like dragging my butt out the door to head to the gym, so I do my workout at home with a bunch of free weights and a stability ball. I’ve also been really loving plyometics lately, which you only need your own body for, so you can do the workouts anywhere. The gym is great for motivation, though… as long as you can get out the door first lol.

  14. Working out at home never really works for me. I live on a top floor apartment so I don’t think my neighbors would appreciate me jumping around. I do love riding my bike and walking outside so that kind of counts as home, right? I love doing yoga at my studio so I can really challenge and push myself. I would never try a handstand or arm balance at home, but I love doing them in class!

  15. Mmm, looks pretty good! I always like the idea of working out at home, but I just don’t have the motivation. Plus I love getting out of the house every once in a while, and the gym is a great reason to do so!

  16. Ugh… you know my feelings towards the gym. :p I wish I had more room at work and the extra $$$ to invest in some cardio equipment. I prefer doing it in the privacy of my own home.

  17. I prefer to work out at the gym, because I’m a huge slacker and I can’t get motivated at home 🙂 Once in a while it’s okay, but I prefer to run outside the most!

  18. I used to work out a the gym when I worked there but no I no longer have a membership. I have a gym at my apartment building but it just isn’t the same. There is something really motivating about working out with the crowds I miss it.

  19. Mmmm what a delicious dinner!! You should post the recipe. Sounds like a great workout.. you are inspiring! I went to the gym today and was proud of myself! 🙂

  20. Good luck with your circuit training! Your veggie bake looks amazing!!! 🙂


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