Posts tagged ‘strength’

September 10, 2011

Sweatin’ on Saturday

I have a new move for you today, and I’m pretty pumped about it.  You know what else I’m pumped about?  My pumped up kicks!  They make training much more comfy!  (And I just like saying “pumped up kicks” because I love that song...)

Okay… here’s the video.  This is me explaining my version of the bench step-up.  Yes, I still feel goofy watching myself on film, but due to the success of last week’s cross-back lunge video, I thought I’d make another.  Enjoy!

If you try this move, please let me know by linking up or commenting.  I’d love to know if y’all like it.  I’m also open to other suggestions.  You know I’m not physical therapist, personal trainer, or anything like that, but if you have a trouble spot you’d like to tone, I can tell you what works for me!

Lastly – don’t be jealous, but this was my awesome dinner.  I had spaghetti squash and meat-less balls.  Yum!  Kevin had real pasta.

Our friends that came over for wine last night brought bake-shop brownies.  I avoided them all night, but finally had a piece of a peanut butter one to be nice.  I was so proud of myself for not going overboard, especially after a couple glasses of Chianti!  I even got them to take the leftovers home.  Woohoo!

In addition, I have already completed my quick run for today.  I often forget how good it feels to make good choices.

Have a great weekend!

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.


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 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.


  • 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.




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


  • 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.


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


  • 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 6, 2011

Blog Birthday & June Workout

Did everybody have a super weekend?  What was the best thing you did?  I suppose I’ll have to pick boating since we met up with so many fun people out on the lake, but just being off from work was pretty darn good!  As Kevin always says, any day on vacation is better than a day at work.  (That was his catch-phrase in Italy when it rained on us daily, and he was sooooo very right!)

I have some big news to share.  As of Sunday, the blog has been around for one whole month.  Wow!  Time flies when you’re meeting new bloggies, practicing a hobby (writing), and pretending to have a valid excuse for photographing your food (and beers).

Now that it’s Monday, and we’re back to the daily grind, I want to share part of my daily routine with you.  I crafted this month’s workout a week or two ago, and I started it last week.  As you’ll notice, each day works at least one big muscle group.  This burns more calories.  Also, we start with the big muscle group then work smaller one.  This yields better performance and therefore better results.

Monday: Chest and Shoulders + 30-45 minutes cardio (elliptical)

Tuesday: Legs and Abs + 20-30 minutes cardio (stair climber)

  • Leg Extension Superset with Plyometric Squat Jump *Go directly into squat jump after extensions, then rest for 30 seconds to a minute.  I do 8 jumps holding a 2.5-lb plate
  • Seated or Lying Leg Curls 
  • Power Knee Tap & Touch  Superset with Calf Raises (Any way you like to do them)
  • Jacknife/Teaser  *I get the best results from this ab move!
  • Ball Crunch 
  • Crunch to a Knee *Like my art?  Keeping your feet flat on the wall is easier than holding them up yourself, but you get a better crunch doing this because it forces you to keep your feet still.  It forces you to crunch your elbow to an opposite knee instead of bringing your knee in toward your elbow.

Like My Art???

Wednesday: Arms + Cardio (any)

Thursday: Abs + Cardio (run) + Yoga (if you have time)

  • I do my three-mile Thursday, and I follow it with stretching
  • Complete the same ab routine as Tuesday
  • If time, do a little yoga.  I know yoga helps my running, but I never make myself do it.

Friday: Butt & Back + Cardio (I often do cardio-free Friday because it’s more fun.)

  • Bench Step-up  (If you’re new to this, use a step like in the link’s photo instead of a bench.)
  • Bridge with Crossed Leg  *Do it like the picture indicates, but extend that crossed let as you come up.  The ending position should have one foot on the ground while the other leg extends parallel to the stationary thigh.


Saturday: Run + Abs

  • Run (or walk)
  • Follow the same abdominal routine – if you’re extremely bored with it, feel free to sub pilates

Here is an explanation of the hand step-up from Monday.  I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted, but this looks pretty good:

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