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250 Reps..and some

6 Dec

Happy day after hump day!

And Workout Wednesday Thursday..of course :).

Yesterday morning started bright and early with BLAST. We’re in the home-stretch now, so the workout is T.O.U.G.H. Walking lunges along the straightaways, side squats around the corners on the track, BOSU push-ups, upper body work ON the BOSU, and tons of core in the mix. I know the participants secretly love it.. 😉

Afterwards, I decided to get my workout in but I only had ~35 mintues. HIIT! Thanks to “pin”spiration from Danica, her December workout challenge seemed the fit the bill. I wanted to up the ante by adding more plyometrics to the workout, so jump sumo squats and jump squats did the trick!

PicMonkey CollageAdvanced-stay with the plyometrics throughout the entire 5 rounds! WITH good form please.

Intermediate/beginners

  • try as many push-ups on your toes as possible
  • if you’re completely new to the exercises, don’t add the jumps (yet!)
  • walk your feet back and in and don’t jump at the top with the burpees
  • hold a stationary plank (toes or knees) for the plank jack

Enjoy!

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Halloween Core and Cycle Class

30 Oct

First things first, everyone please be safe!

Secondly..

It’s Halloween week!

This is like a fitness instructors’ dream come true..do you realize how many exercises can be morphed into a Halloween-name?! Amaze.

I taught Core & More and named all of the exercises after Halloween; descriptions of the actual exercises are below: 

  1. Supine Frankenstein leg drops
  2. Eerie Plank (up, up, down, down)
  3. Creeping Spider (plank w/ knees to the side)
  4. Scared Cat (Down down to plank)
  5. About to Pounce (Down dog to plank)
  6. Dead Cat (Spine Bridge lifts)
  7. Witches Brew (butt on knees, lift and torso twist right and left)
  8. Hexes (star crunch)

Right after was Cycle! Of course I had to include songs like Thriller, Ghostbusters, and Werewolves of London-only appropriate ;-).

Are you going Trick or Treating tomorrow night? If so, here are the healthiest candies to nosh on:

  • 3 musketeers mini-24 calories
  • fun-sized lemonheads- 50 calories for 10 pieces
  • full-sized york peppermint pattie (fave!)- 140 calories
  • peeps pumpkins- <100 calories for 6 peeps
  • Tootsie caramel apple pop- 60 calories

Notice how the first 3 candies are bold? It’s all about portion size! Obviously the mini versions of our favorite candies are going to have fewer calories than the full-sized versions, but we tend to overlook those intricate details and only read “3 musketeers” and “24 calories”. Pay attention to portions and I have no doubt that you can celebrate Halloween like it’s supposed to be celebrated:

with family/friends, tons of spooky fun, and candy!

ROCKtober Review & Workout

17 Oct

Happy Wednesday! Did you try any of the pumpkin-full recipes yet?

It’s about halfway through the fall semester-where does time go..seriously!!? I can always tell when it’s midterms week; the gym is empty. Once that week is over though..mark your spot cause it’s packed!

Exercise is a GREAT stress reliever; taking your mind off of school work and putting some of that effort in your workout will leave you feeling rejuvenated, relaxed, and those endorphins will pump you up to ace that exam! It doesn’t even have to be a long, drawn-out workout; even a quick 20 minute circuit, strength training, cardio workout, or yoga/Pilates session will do the trick. It’s about finding “you” in the workout; you’ll put more effort into the workout and get more out of it. #sweatandforget

Speaking of a good stress reliever..

I completed Katie’s ROCKtober workout yesterday and got rid of lots of stress! I’m always up for using someone elses workout; it adds variety to my routine and takes the guess-work out of creating one for myself. I thought it was a well-designed workout and structured appropriately but was way too long for me, personally (it was ~75 minutes); I don’t think I’ve completed an hour+ workout since my high school days-who has the time anymore? Also, for as many push exercises as we did (chest press, shoulder press, triceps dips, push-ups), they’re weren’t an equal amount of pull exercises (biceps curl). I’m extremely OCD about balancing the front AND back out in every workout.

All-in-all though, awesome workout! It constantly kept me moving becauseIwantedtobedone and switched between strength training to cardio utilizing different equipment-thanks Katie!

My challenge for you Workout Wednesday-er’s..give this ENTIRE workout a try! You’ll complete each set, 3 times through, for the recommended repetitions.

  • if you’re a beginner and new to workout Wednesday’s, I challenge you to complete the workout 1 time through each set. Use light weights and/or body weight where applicable.
  • if you’re intermediate/advanced, no excuses! I know you can do this workout. It’s definitely more challenging, but if you’ve been active for the entire semester, you can handle this.

*don’t have a treadmill nearby? No worries-jump rope, high knees, mountain climbers, stairs, jumping jacks, speed skaters, and/or burpees will substitute!

TGIFF

13 Oct

Thank Goodness it’s Fitness Friday!

Thanks to Katie over at Talk Less, Say More for hosting a day dedicated to fitness!

Who doesn’t love this idea?

My week in workouts:

  • Monday-taught Core & More and Cycling.
  • Tuesday- 5 mile run & 3 sets of 6 repetitions: 1) clean & press, 2) shoulder press, 3) squats, 4) bent-over rows.
  • Wednesday- NADA!
  • Thursday- taught Abs, Glutes, & Thighs and ran 2 miles on the awful treadmill.
  • Friday- Get Ripped-Slim N’ Lean workout

My morning started out with a tough total body weights workout; since I’ve been incorporating weight training back into my schedule, I’m trying to do one session solely dedicated to weights a week (no cardio included). Because I don’t include cardio, I make it a point to move from exercise to exercise in a quick and efficient manner; this helps keep my heart rate elevated throughout the entire hour!

Back when I relied on DVDs as my workout resource, I loved the Get Ripped! series. They were super challenging at first (because I never lifted in that way before. Scratch that. I never lifted before) but were a great way to track my progress. These DVD series worked more on muscular endurance, training the slow-twitch muscle fibers to be able to sustain longer sets/reps with lighter weights, rather than muscular strength, training fast-twitch muscle fibers for one heavy rep. Another benefit of the Get Ripped series is that each workout utilizes time under tension (TUT); training in a different way than I’m used to always leads to a GREAT workout and I know DOMS is coming to visit :). Nerd alert: I’ve memorized these workouts so I can perform them, sans DVD, in a gym setting.

Slim N’ Lean Mock-Workout:

  1. squats (40lb. barbel)
  2. pendulum lunges (12.5lb. dumbbells)
  3. chest press (12.5lb. dumbbells)
  4. dead lifts & single-leg bent over rows (12.5lb. dumbbells)
  5. push-ups & external rotations (body weight/8lb. dumbbell)
  6. triceps dips & extensions (body weight/ 12lb. dumbbell)
  7. hammer & biceps curls (10 lb. dumbbells)
  8. single-leg squats & plie squats (body weight/15lb. dumbbell)
  9. lateral raises & overhead presses (10 lb. dumbbell)
  10. calf raises (body weight)

AND

Has anyone (Michiganders mainly) tasted Biggby coffee?

life-changing.

Return of Body Pump

5 Oct

TGIF! I’m writing from Pittsburgh..my real home :). People always ask me “where do you actually live?” because I did my undergrad in Raleigh at NCSU, then went straight to grad school in Rochester Hills at Oakland, all while traveling to and from Pittsburgh. Can you see the disconnect?

After teaching Abs, Glutes, and Thighs (which was an amazing class BTW! Participants are always full of energy and up for ANYTHING, even when the classes continue to get more challenging), I hit the rush-hour traffic road and arrived in Pitt a little after 9:30. Salmon, grilled veggies, and a humongous piece of cake my family were awaiting me on the table (not my family); it makes the looooong drive so much more worth it when a home-cooked meal greets you! Right to sleep afterwards; sleeping in a queen-sized bed beats an extra-long twin sized bed’s bootay.

There’s really no point to this trip since I leave tomorrow (Saturday) morning at 5am to head straight to lululemon, but a girl needs some winter clothes! Why I didn’t bring any jackets, pants, UGGs, or winter scarves with me is over my head but it gave me an excuse to see my family :-D.

A relaxing morning

 (hi Kathy!)

and a long-but-not-forgotten body pump class

was what I had planned since my family has this silly thing called work. You guys remember how I was taking a break from heavier-lifting? I haven’t participated in a full hour-long lifting session until today and it felt great to get back to it! Sure some of my strength has dwindled but my endurance has improved and I was able to finish the entire workout- not missing one rep :).

What I used to lift in a Body Pump class:

  • squats= 40-50lbs
  • chest press= 15lbs
  • back track= 20lbs
  • triceps & biceps= 10-12lbs
  • lunges= 15-20lbs
  • shoulder track= 10-12lbs

What I lifted today:

  • squats= 17.5lbs
  • chest press= 10lbs
  • back track= 12lbs
  • triceps & biceps= 7.5lbs
  • lunges= 7.5lbs (added plyometrics to this track)
  • shoulder track= 7.5lbs and 8lb handweights

I felt I could have lifted heavier than I did but the above weight was perfect for my goals. I’m still not looking to get “bigger”, but rather continue toning, sculpting, lifting, and improving muscular endurance.

The rest of the day I plan on spending time with my family, drinking wine, eating a steak-ish dinner, and enjoying a real piece of cake!

What else made this trip worth it?

10 Rounds X 10 Reps Challenge

3 Oct

It’s workout Wednesday!

I hope you all enjoyed the post last week about healthy eating on campus. There really are tons of better-for-you options, you just need to do your homework, plan, weigh options, and most importantly, not deprive your body of what it needs!

I completed this workout last week and was sore for at least 4 days. That’s when you really know you worked hard :).

In the Rec center, it sometimes can be more challenging to find a space to do plyometrics than the workout itself, especially if you come at prime time. With the exception of the stretching area (although it has no mirrors (for form purposes, not vanity!)), your next best option is outside in the common area. You can use the reflection from the group fitness room as a mirror and space isn’t an issue. Your options:

  • by the staircase
  • near the ping-pong tables (watch for flying balls)
  • outside the activity center
  • down the hallway near the courts and cycling studio

This workout combines plyometrics and toning exercises; you’ll complete 10 repetitions of each exercise for 10 rounds. Try to limit your rest periods! A Men’s Fitness article in the October 2012 issue says that research shows resting for only 30 seconds can increase the rate at which you burn calories by up to 50% compared to taking a full 3-minute rest period.

10 Rounds X 10 Reps

Burpees

Overhead Shoulder Press

Jump Lunges

Push-ups

*If you’re a beginner and not used to plyometrics, complete the burpee without the jump (step back into plank instead) and alternate lunges. Remember, proper form and safety all the time! As you get further into the workout, you’ll fatigue more every round; don’t sacrifice form for a good workout.

The 10X10 workout works wonders on its own, but if you’re looking for extra total body conditioning, here ya go!

  • 20 squats
  • 20 reverse crunches
  • 20 triceps dips
  • 20 alternating lunges
  • 20 leg raises (laying down)
  • 20 biceps curls
  • 20 squat jumps
  • 20 v-sits
  • 20 lateral raises

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Looking for another way to track your diets and workouts? Stay tuned for SlimKicker; a website that tracks your exercise and movements (the more you move, the more points you’ll accumulate). First, you’ll upload a picture of something you want to be rewarded with later (an outfit, accessory, electronic, etc.). When you’ve reached your points, they’ll remind you to reward yourself! There’s a lot more perks to this tracker than just rewards but that’s always the most fun :).

They hope to release it between March and April of next year; it’ll be a compact version of FitBit and in motivating colors (red, black, blue). I was contacted about trying SlimKicker and writing a review on it- what better motivation to get in shape for Spring Break! Who knows..maybe a giveaway is in store… :-D.

3 Evens & 4 Odds

7 Sep

Well good morning and happy day after Hump day! This post was supposed to go out yesterday but work, school, and life got in the way :).

Need an upper body workout with sprint intervals in between sets? Ask and you shall receive!

3 Evens & 4 Odds

In the first circuit, you’ll start by power walking/running/sprinting on the treadmill then hop off and complete 10 reps of 3 exercises. Repeat 3 times through (switching between the two):

  • 1 minute treadmill @ 1% incline, 3.5-5.0mph (power walking), 5.0-6.5mph (running), 7.0-8.0mph (sprinting)
  • chest press, bent-over rows, push-ups w/ knee tucks (alternate knees)

In the second circuit, you’ll start with 11 reps of 4 exercises then hop on the treadmill and power walk/run/sprint. Repeat 4 times through (switching between the two):

  • squat press, biceps curls, triceps extensions
  • 1 minute treadmill @ 1% incline, 3.5-5.0mph (power walking), 5.0-6.5mph (running), 7.0-8.0mph (sprinting)

Don’t be afraid to go a little heavier, weights-wise, than usual on this workout; the reps aren’t as high so we’re working on building strength rather than endurance. As always, proper form is CRUCIAL!

The Rec Center is set up in a way that makes circuit workouts (where you’re all over the place!) easy and doable; there are plenty of treadmills, so don’t be afraid to hog be near one for a while AND there are dumbbell options. You could either use the gray boring dumbbells or the pretty colored dumbbells..you’re choice 🙂

Enjoy!