Posts tagged ‘cardio’

September 1, 2011

Tearin’ It Up

Want to hear something gross? When you strength train, you are actually putting little tears in your muscles, which often causes delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). When the muscles repair the tears, they build themselves stronger than they were… most of the time, anyway. Whenever I think about that, I get the heebie-geebies I am reminded as to how awesome the human body really is.

Why the tidbit of info? Today I’m sharing the workout I started this week. It focuses on lifting heavy, so you’ll be tearin’ it up in the gym. I don’t follow it exactly day-in and day-out, but I’ll be following it pretty darn closely through September.

The beach is that way....

For instance, I completed huge pyramid sets of dumbbell bench press instead of barbell bench press Tuesday night. All the barbell benches were taken, so I did what I could.

I may have taken bits and pieces from various sources, but if I remember correctly, this is a Tiff original. I’ve had it a few years, so I can only be 96% sure of this, not 100%. 96 is a pretty good percent, right???

  • Day 1: Legs
  • Barbell Squat: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Stiff-Legged Deadlifts: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Glute Kickbacks: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Day 2: Chest & Calves (Pilates at Night)
  • Bench Press: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Cable Crossovers: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Pushups: 2 sets until failure
  • Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Donkey Calf Raises: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Day 3: Back
  • Barbell Rows: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Lat Pulldown: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Reverse Flyes: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Day 4: Shoulders & Calves (Pilates at Night)
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raises: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Lateral Raises: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Donkey Calf Raises: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Day 5: Arms
  • Rotate in a Functional Exercise: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Barbell Curls: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Concentration Curls: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Triceps Kickbacks: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Rope Pushdowns: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Skullcrushers: 4 sets of 4-6 reps
  • Day 6: Cardio
  • Probably running or walking outdoors
  • Day 7: Rest
  • Alternate between 4 sets of 6 reps and 3 sets of 8/10 reps

Complete as much cardio as you’d like. This workout takes me about an hour to complete every day, excluding Day 6. That does not include the 20-30 extra minutes of pilates at night twice a week. If you are a cardio queen, feel free to extend that a bit. I allow myself frequent occasional cardio-free Fridays. You could also sub exercises for your main trouble spot once a week in lieu of calf exercises; it’s your workout!

Here are 3 free pilates workouts I’ve been loving lately. The first 2 are difficult, and the 3rd is for lazy days.

  1. Blogilates
  2. Pilates Power
  3. Less is More Pilates

As you all know, it’s important to refuel after a hard workout. Be sure to include protein and carbs in your post-workout munchies. The Greek yogurt I’ve been eating this week is full of protein, and it’s best when purchased in containers as big as your head. Of course, that’s just my opinion.

Wowzers! That's a lot of yogurt! And a double-chin!

How often do you change up your workouts? What are your favorite sites for workout videos?

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!

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?

July 11, 2011

July Workout

After my kinda-sorta-but-not-really time off from working out, it’s time to get down to business.  Did anyone try out my June workout?  If so, I’m curious as to what you thought.  It really built up my backside, and while that was one of the goals, I’m not sure I need to keep building.  So this workout doesn’t have quite as much booty work, but maybe you’ll still sweat your booty off, if that’s a goal of yours.

The two split-style workouts are similar, but it’s important to change up your workouts every four to six weeks, even if the changes are small.  (I want enough time to build muscle without reaching a plateau.)  For simplicity, I usually change it up monthly.  Next month, I hope to throw in more circuits and supersets, so stay tuned for the August workout.

This routine is not advanced, but this is not for beginners either.  I recommend completing 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions per set, depending on if it’s a heavy day or light day.  I change it up by throwing in drop sets, pyramid sets, 21s, or big sets of 15 reps every once in a while.  Just do what feels best for you, but 3 sets of 10 is the perfect place to start.  I’m not sure how easy or hard it is yet, since I have only just started it today.

Monday

  • Barbell Curl
  • Twisting Resistance Band Curl (or with Cable)
  • Resistance Band Triceps Extension (or Cable)
  • Dips <– hardcore dips or modified bench dips, whatever works for you
  • Reverse Curls (Feel these in your forearms) – I did it holding two 5-lb dumbbells and followed that immediately with some weighted punches and jabs to burn things out
  • Complete 35 minutes of cardio.  I often opt for the stair climber on Mondays.
fun

Tuesday

plank

Wednesday

Be sure to get your legs parallel to the ground, but don’t let your knees pass your toes.

Thursday

  • Run or Walk at Home – Enjoy Summer!  I usually go for about 3 miles.
  • Finish with a cool down, stretches, and yoga.  The yoga should challenge you.

Friday

I’ll most likely do this with an EZ Curl Bar on a bench, but you get the idea.

Saturday

  • Go for a long run, walk, or bike ride.  Enjoy the weather!  I run about 4.5 miles on Saturdays.
  • Finish with a cool down, stretches, and yoga or pilates.  The yoga should challenge you.

I hope you enjoy the workout.  If you give it a shot, let me know what you think of it.

Do you switch up your routine daily, monthly, or other?

How much cardio do you usually do per week?

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.

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