Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Slim and Sculpted Arms: Home Workout

Hi Everyone!

Tonight's workout is tough! My arms were trembling at the end of it! The video is below. :)

I used two 20 lb dumbbells in this workout. Choose a weight that is appropriate for you. How do you know when it's time to upgrade your weights?

8-10 reps: Body Building
10-15 reps: Strength
15-20 reps: Strength and Endurance
20-25 reps: Endurance

So, if you are doing more than 20 reps with ease it's time to upgrade your weights. I'm an Occupational Therapist so my focus is always on what's most functional. For me, that means I want to build strength and endurance at the same time. For muscular balance and optimal benefits you need to have both. This is why I typically structure my workouts for 15-20 reps, with beginners starting at 10 reps. When you are starting out you need to build strength. Once you have a base you are able to start working on strength and endurance, and progress your fitness and health upward from that point. 

I followed up today's workout with a 4 mile run on the treadmill. My ankle felt great the entire time! Woohoo! That means my time off was well worth it, and I'm back! 

Full steam ahead! Enjoy the workout. :)

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

*If you max out during the workout (can not do any more of the exercise with proper form) that's okay. You will see that I max out a few times during this workout. It's a great way to build strength, and to monitor your strength gains when you repeat the workout. 

1. Row Lunge (right)
2. Row Lunge (left)
3. Tricep Drop
4. Mountain Pushup
5. Curl (right)
6. Curl (left)
7. Chest Press
8. Tricep Extension (right)
9. Tricep Extension (left)
10. Decline Pushup

Monday, October 28, 2013

Full Body Fitness Makeover: Monday Night Workout

Hi Everyone!

I am still easing back into working out. My ankle was sore yesterday and a bit this morning after my workout on Saturday so I decided to take a couple more days off. It's not fun. I miss my workouts, but my priority is taking care of my health for the long term. I am planning a new workout for tomorrow. 

I did the workout below at the beginning of the year. Since then I have achieved several of my new years goals (competed in my first NPC bikini competition, ran my first Half Marathon, bought a house...) 

It's time to set some new goals. :) Any suggestions? 

I think I will be returning to the NPC stage, but I also want to train for a new fitness goal. 

Enjoy the workout. I look forward to being able to workout with everyone and share a new one tomorrow!

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

Repeat 1-3X

1. High Knees
2. Reverse Lunge Step Up (right)
3. High Side Plank Reach Through (right)
4. Reverse Lunge Step Up (left)
5. High Side Plank Reach Through (left)
6. Temple Tap Abs
7. Plank Jumps
8. Squat Jump
9. 1 Leg Hip Thrust (right)
10. 1 Leg Hip Thrust (left

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Butt & Thighs: Lower Body Shaping Home Workout

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

Repeat 1-3X

1. Chair Squat
2. Ball Pull
3. First Position Plie Squat
4. Hip Thrust
5. Front Weighted Squat
6. 2nd Position Plie Squat
7. Single Leg Extension (right)
8. Single Leg Extension (left)
9. Pistol Squat (right)*
10. Pistol Squat (left)*

*I did 5 reps per leg of pistol squats 2X today. With this exercise go as low as you can, and push through the heel to get back up. It's a difficult exercise so don't worry if you have difficulty with it. Focus on going at your own pace. Variation: Sit on a chair or bench with one leg extended in front of you. Without using your hands stand up on one leg. 
Hi Everyone!

My ankle is feeling much better so I am back to working out! This is a challenging workout, but I left out any jumping because I didn't want to over-do it my first day back. I am looking forward to getting back to some of the dynamic movements, but long term health is more important to me than pushing through a workout and risking further injury. 

I used two 20 lb dumbbells during this workout, and really focused on using proper form during each movement. End result: I was dripping in sweat when the workout was over, and my ankle still feels great.

I made a great dinner in the crock-pot today, pulled chicken with spinach and tomatoes. I love being able to eat healthy, and still get all of my errands done. We started our Christmas shopping, and I got to visit one of my favorite book stores. I left with two biographies: Einstein and Sophia Loren. 

Don't forget to incorporate things that you enjoy into your lifestyle. :) I am going to relax and read in front of the fireplace with Jesse and my cats. 

Have a great night. I'll see you tomorrow!

HIIT It, Sweat It, Tone It: Home Workout and Weekend Update

Good Morning Everyone!

I woke up bright and early today, full of energy and ready to go. :) 

I planned on working out last night, but I unexpectedly worked 11 hours yesterday. That gave my ankle an extra day of rest. I will be filming a new workout today. Remember, missing one day doesn't ruin your efforts or mean that it's time to give up. 

Often people get thrown off course when they miss a workout. It can be hard to get back into the groove, but you can do it. You are creating a healthy lifestyle, and that requires flexibility. 

For those of you that can't wait for today's workout this is an older one that I really enjoyed. The day that I filmed this workout I followed it by 4 hill sprints. 

Enjoy the workout! There will be a new one posted later today. 

All Levels: Max reps for each 60 second interval, 30 seconds cardio of choice between each exercise.  

*I wrote my cardio bursts in the breakdown, you can follow along with me or select your cardio of choice. You can select one form of cardio or alternate. 

1. Curtsy Lunge Hop
cardio: high knees

2. Mountain Climber Hop
cardio: burpee

3. Angel Abs
cardio: high knees

4. Sumo Pushups
cardio: Jumping Jacks

5. Leg Series (right)
cardio: high knees

6. Leg Series (left)
cardio: burpee

7. Temple Tap Abs
cardio: high knees

8. Frogger Crunch
cardio: Jumping Jacks

9. Chair Twist
cardio: burpee

10. Prone Heel Tap
cardio: burpee

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Half Marathon Playlist

Hi Everyone!

I love listening to music when I run. I don't do it all the time, because I also love the meditative state that comes with running: the connection to the moment and each breath you take. 

For my half marathon I had a great playlist that kept me motivated the entire time. I kept it upbeat, and I put my i-pod on shuffle. 

One of my favorites is always "Seven Nation Army" the Glitch Mob re-mix version. 

I made my playlist exactly two hours because I was confident that I would finish the race by that time. (Woohoo for surpassing that goal!)

I am always looking for new songs to add to my playlist, so if you have any recommendations feel free to post them in the comments below. 


PS I tweaked my ankle at work on Monday, and it's been a bit sore so I have taken the last few days off to let it heal. Taking time off is never fun, especially when the rest of you feels great, motivated and ready to go. It's worth it to take a few days off and make sure you're 100% healthy and healed in the long run. Planning a workout tomorrow. :) See you then!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

On the Mat: Core Training for a tighter Midsection

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps


HIIT: 50 seconds max reps, 10 seconds of rest between exercises. 

1. Leg Circle (right)
2. Leg Circle (left)
3. Rock the Boat
4. Side Crunch Toe Touch (right)
5. Side Crunch Toe Touch (left)
6. 3 Part Abs
7. Bicycle
8. Boat Scissor Twist
9. Super Swimmer
10. Tick Tock Abs

Hi Everyone!

This was my workout yesterday. It's a challenging mat based core series. This one definitely kept me working hard, and I struggled to keep form a few times during the movements. 

Remember, it's always better to complete the exercise with proper form, rather than doing more reps incorrectly. To really challenge your muscles you want the movements to be controlled throughout the full range of motion. 

My body was tired from running a half marathon on Saturday, and going to a climbing wall on Sunday. I enjoyed the challenge of this workout for both my strength and endurance. :)

Gambit and Buffy <3 Workout Time!

Climbing Wall: Fun Activities for a Fit Lifestyle

Hi Everyone!

On Sunday (the day after my first half marathon!) I got in a great, and different workout. I headed to a local rock climbing gym with my friend Giles Lajevic Augustine. 

Giles is one of the most interesting people that I know. Jesse calls him an "International Man of Mystery." He has found something that he loves, and he lives his life around it. He is a world traveling skier, rock climber, film maker, writer, and all around adventurer. 
You can follow him on Instagram here: www.instagram.com/500snowdays
and Tumblr here: 

Giles gave me some great tips, and made all of the climbs look much easier than they actually were. :) 

Remember, fitness comes in many forms. It's good to go outside of the box and try something new (rock climbing, biking, skiing, hiking, kyacking, etc). Rock climbing is incredibly challenging, requiring full body strength, endurance, and forethought. When you try it don't be surprised if you find yourself breathing heavily and dripping sweat. 

We have two rock climbing gyms locally. Both have bouldering areas (which do not require ropes or harnesses), and top roping courses. If you have a climbing gym near you I highly recommend checking it out. 

If you are just starting out don't be afraid to ask for advice. Most gyms have climbs marked for all different levels (beginner to advanced).

Over the past few years I haven't climbed as much as I like, but I plan on changing that. :) 

See you tomorrow with a new home workout,

PS You may remember Giles from his article about the Paleo diet: Walk Like a Paleolithic Ancestor

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Bender Bikini Competition Diet

Hi Everyone,

Since competing in my first NPC Bikini Competition and sharing my training here, I have received a lot questions about my diet. 

There are a lot of scary and dangerous diet plans out there, especially when it comes to the world of fitness and physique competitions. People often go to extremes to get the physiques that you see on stage. 

I used a completely different approach to my diet and training than you typically see. I never stepped foot in a gym, and did all of my workouts at home. Also, the lowest my caloric intake ever went was about 1800-1900 calories per day. That is lower than my normal calorie consumption, but not dramatically. I averaged between 1900-2000 calories per day over the course of my 12 week prep. Some days my calories were 2200-2400.
Lunch packed for work:
Tilapia, fresh baby spinach, tomatoes.
Sweet Potato, zucchini, squash, eggplant.
Granny Smith Apple. 

A diet is not necessarily about restricting calories, it's about determining what type of fuel your body needs. I was never hungry during competition prep. When I stepped on stage I wasn't drained, I felt healthier and stronger than ever. 

The biggest change I made was cutting out sweets for the last 6 weeks. I satisfied my sweet tooth with healthy options like fruit, and recipes like this one: Peanut Butter Oat Stuffed Baked Apples. I also cut out my french vanilla coffee creamer, and used Almond/Coconut milk instead or a homemade clean coffee creamer. 

I have shared my meal prep, grocery list, and a typical day of meals during my competition prep. 

I also logged a majority of my meals during competition prep. I am sharing some of them below. *I logged my food at the end of the day instead of pre-logging because I wanted to be sure I was following my bodies hunger signals and not getting to caught up on the numbers. 

You will see that my diet stayed consistent throughout my prep. I did not carb deplete, but I did focus on getting a lot of my carbohydrates from vegetables.

If you are preparing for a competition please remember to focus on keeping your body healthy throughout your prep. Your diet should be individualized to your needs, but you should never feel like you are starving. Food is nourishment and fuel for everything you do. 

Example 1 (5 days Out from Competition):

Coffee with Organic So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk
100 Calorie Whole Wheat Flat Bread Roll 
1 Large Egg
Fresh Baby Spinach (on my egg sandwich)

AM Snack: 
Fruit and Nut Trail Mix Bar

2 Cups Baby Spinach with 5 Cherry Tomatoes
2 Cups Baked Spaghetti Squash
4 oz Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
2 Stalks of Celery with Smucker's Organic All Natural Peanut Butter (2 Tbsp)
1/2 Cup Black Seedless Grapes

PM Snack:
Green Smoothie (This recipe minus the kiwi: She Hulk Smoothie Recipe)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cup 0% Greek Yogurt Plain
2 cups spinach
1 tablespoon almond butter
1/2 Banana

Quinoa Vegetable Pilaf (Quinoa, spinach, cherry tomatos, eggplant, zucchini, onion, tomato, extra virgin olive oil)
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast with 1 tablespoon cream of chicken soup

Example 2: (2 Weeks out from Competition):

Coffee with Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk
2 Slices Ezekial Bread with 1 Egg and Baby Spinach
Plain 0% fat Greek Yogurt mixed with 2 tablespoons of PB2

AM Snack:
Fit and Active Double Chocolate Protein Meal Bar

4 oz Boneless chicken breast
Fresh Baby Spinach with Cherry Tomatoes
5 Stalks of Asparagues (baked with olive oil)
1/2 Acorn Squash (baked)
2 oz baked sweet potato
Granny Smith Apple

After Work Snack: 
1 Slice Ezekial Bread
2 Tablespoons Smucker's Organic Natural Peanut Butter

4 oz baked Chicken
2 oz baked Tilapia
Zucchini sauteed in olive oil
Sweet Potato Chips

Example 3 (4 Weeks Out for Competition):

Coffee with Unsweetened Almond Milk
Egg Sandwich on Whole Wheat 100 Calorie Flat Bread
1 tablespoon of hummus
1 Homemade Gluten Free Protein Muffin (10/10 Protein Muffin)

AM Snack:
Kashi Dark Chocolate Coconut Granola Bar
Protein Muffin

Salmon Salad with Baby Spinach and cherry tomatoes
Granny Smith Apple
Greek Yogurt mixed with Almond Butter

After Work Snack:
Ezekial Bread with almond butter and half of a banana

Tilapia in a Whole Wheat Tortilla with Greek Yogurt (in place of sour cream)
Baby Spinach
Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
Tilapia, Whole Wheat Tortilla
Salsa, Baby Spinach
Greek Yogurt

Example 4 (8 Weeks Out from Competition):

Coffee with Unsweetened Coconut Milk
Maple Brown Sugar Oatmeal with fresh Walnuts
Fit and Active Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Meal Bar

AM Snack:
1 Slice Whole Wheat Bread
1 Tablespoon Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter

Crockpot Spinach and Tomato Chicken 1.5 cups
Walnut and Spinach Salad
Granny Smith Apple

After Work Snack:
Peanut Butter Greek Yogurt with dark chocolate chips 

Sushi (A mixed combination)

After Dinner Snack:
Almond Coconut Milk
Crunch Cranberry Almond Multi-grain cereal (1 cup)

My First Half Marathon!

Hi Everyone!

Four weeks ago I signed Jesse and I up for our first half marathon. Today was our day of reckoning. :)

I am proud to say that Jesse responded to this new challenge beautifully. Jesse was a collegiate runner, but this is the first time that he has trained for a longer distance. In college all of his races were between 5-6 miles. The half marathon is more than double that. 

The result? 

He ran 13.1 miles in 1 hour and 16 minutes!!!! That's just insane. :) He won first place in his age group, and averaged 5 minute and 50 second miles the entire time. To top that off he was able to chat, and make jokes with another runner the entire way. 

I don't have anything nearly that exciting to report, but I was very happy with my first half marathon. I finished in 1 hour and 46 minutes, which is an average pace of 8:08 the entire time. The good news is I felt amazing the entire time. The bad news is that means I could have finished a lot faster! When I finished I felt like I had enough energy to do it again. I enjoyed the beautiful scenery, and I had a great playlist on my i-pod, but I didn't push nearly as hard as I could have. I was nervous about not having enough energy in the second half of the race. 

My first mile was my fastest at 7 minutes and 21 seconds, and the whole time I was holding myself back to make sure I didn't wear myself out to early. By mile two I was able to settle into a comfortable pace that I felt like I could hold forever. 

As I ran in the last mile I started passing people, and another runner cheered me on. As I passed him he yelled, "Go get it! You can do this!" 

Running is more than a sport. It's a community of people with a common interest, and everyone there understands the hard work you have done to get to that point. 

To me the time that you finish in isn't the most important part of the race. Getting out there and challenging yourself is what matters. Putting in the work that it takes to get there in the first place is what matters. In the end we all cover the same amount of distance. 

I didn't get any pictures on my camera, but they took a lot of pictures at the race so as soon as they are available I will share them. 

Overall, I felt like a Half Marathon is the perfect distance for a race. It was easier for me than the pain of racing a 5K, and a short enough distance that I was really able to enjoy it. Running much of the race on a trail with a creek flowing alongside me, surrounded by beautiful trees and nature felt amazing. The temperature felt freezing when we waited to start (it was in the 40s), but as we ran it felt perfect. 

Have a good day! I am feeling a little bit tight today, but not sore so there will be a new workout. See you soon!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Full Body Sculpting: 20 Minute Fat Burn HIIT

10 Seconds of Rest, 50 Seconds Max Reps
*5 Minutes Per Round
*Total Time: 20 Minutes

Round 1: Cardio Blast

1. Cross Jacks
2. Frogger
3. Russian Kicks
4. Lunge Jumps
5. High Knees

Round 2: Sculpted Arms, Shoulders and Back

1. Reverse Push-up
2. Dips
3. Plank Rows (with or without push-up)
4. Chair Curl
5. Decline Spiderman Push-up

Round 3: Toned Glutes and Legs

1. Squat Jump
2. Hip Thrust (right)
3. Hip Thrust (left)
4. Box Jump
5. Burpee

Round 4: Tighter Core

1. Russian Twist
2. Hip Lift
3. Mountain Climbers
4. Temple Tap Abs
5. Knee Tap Plank Jacks

*Be Sure to Cool Down

Hi Everyone!

Tonight's workout is an intense 20 minute interval workout. I broke this one up into four 5-minute rounds. Keep rest minimal between rounds, but be sure to listen to you body. It helps to have some water handy. I was dripping sweat like crazy during this workout!

This is one that I will definitely be repeating. :) It's a really great full body routine, with lots of compound movements to maximize fat burning and body sculpting all at one time. 

I followed this workout by running a few easy paced miles. I am running my first half marathon on Saturday, so I am tapering back my mileage a bit this week so I will be rested. 

My sister gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl yesterday. I was tired all day from the excitement (and staying up all night Saturday just in case the baby was born!) I am glad I made the effort to get in a hard workout today, because my energy was so much better afterward. 

Now I am off to bed. Sleep is imperative to maximizing your health and fitness. Don't skimp! :)


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Training to Race: What Kind of Runner are You?

Long runs give you a lot of time to think. As I was running, and trying to hit a specific pace for the first 5 miles of my run (which of course ended up being on a steady incline) I had a lot of time to ponder the type of training that I respond to best. 

Having had the opportunity to assist in coaching a high school cross country team, and watching Jesse and Shep coach together I have noticed that training needs to be individualized. 

One plan does not necessarily fit all. As an Occupational Therapist this idea is very familiar to me. All day long I modify different tasks to help people achieve their highest level of success and independence. This carries into my running and coaching. 

So what type of runner are you? You might recognize yourself in one of the descriptions below, or you might like to try out different methods and see which suits you best. If you are training for an event you should always incorporate easy runs, tempo runs, speed work, and hill workouts, but how you approach this workouts will vary. You may find that at different times in your training, the approach you prefer fluctuates. 

Pace Oriented: Many people respond to this type of training. This type of runner likes to know exactly what paces to hit, what their splits should look like, and focuses on achieving negative splits in their races (running the second half of the race at a faster pace than the first half). These runners often demonstrate an uncanny ability to mentally crunch numbers and vacillate accurately between miles, kilometers, meters and yards. They know exactly what their pace should be in each measure in order to hit their goal time in a race. 

If this describes you, the best way to structure your training is based on these goals. You might like Runner's World's Pace Calculator and Pace Wrist Band Creator which tells you what your times should be for each mile to hit a given goal time. 

Training: Incorporate pace related goals into all of your training. You should know your paces for the following:
 Easy: (talking) pace.
Race pace: The pace you can maintain for a race. 
Tempo pace: Comfortably hard, but sustainable for an extended period of time, typically 3-6 miles. 
VO2 Max pace: Your hardest working pace. The pace at which you are breathing hard and taking in the maximum amount of oxygen. 

Each type of run should have a numerical value/pace attached to it. 

Effort Oriented: Some people respond better to training which focuses on their perceived effort during exertion. Studies have shown that the RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion) is a very accurate rating scale which can be used individually to determine how hard you are working. The Borg RPE scale is rated up to 20, however, a simpler scale of 1-10 is generally sufficient. 

Effort oriented runners will often focus on maintaining a certain level of effort in their races. For example, when running up hill their pace slows down as the level of effort goes up. Similarly, when going downhill they don't relax, they keep their physical level of effort the same. 

This type of runner may respond well to training with a heart rate monitor, or may prefer to rely on their own physical experience of the pacing. 

The RPE scale is as follows:

0-1 No Effort. 
2-3 Light Exertion (stretching/warm up). 
4-5 Medium Exertion (you should still be able to talk comfortably). Easy Pace running. 
6-7 Moderate Exertion (harder breathing, able to carry on conversation in shorter bursts). Comfortably pushing, you are working hard, but know you can go harder. It feels good to know you don't have to go harder. 
8-9 Hard Exertion (breathing heavy, able to say only a few words at a time. You should wonder how long you can maintain this pace due to increased level of effort). Race Pace. You are working hard, but you can maintain this pace/effort. 
10 Maximum/Hardest Level Exertion (as hard/fast as you can go. You should not be able to speak. Typically you can only maintain this pace for up to 1 minute). Sprinting. 

Training: Focus your training based on effort. Although you may still have a time goal for a specific event and know your goal paces, maintaining a certain level of effort is more important to your success than pushing to hit your miles at a specific time. 

Competitive Spirit: This type of runner responds best to running with a partner or group with a similar level of ability. In races this person is motivated to push as hard as they can to beat those around them. Training with others motivates them to run harder and faster so they can always be their best. 

Training: Train in a group, but be sure not to over do it! Easy days should still be easy, not a competition for who has the fastest easy pace. :) 

So what type of runner am I? 

I prefer effort based running. Time based goals make me feel anxious. If I don't hit my goal times I feel like I failed at my workout. Instead of getting motivated, I become discouraged. 

I ran the same course 2 times over the course of a few weeks. The first time I did it I was aiming for a comfortable pace (based on effort) and I felt amazing the entire time. The second time I did it I had a pace goal: hit a certain pace for each of the first 5 miles of the run, followed by 5 miles of recovery. 

The results: in the goal pace run my average pace was 25 seconds slower than on my easy effort paced run!

Why? For me the problem was mental, and it happens pretty consistently when I focus exclusively on time. 

When I focus on effort my thought pattern is: "You can hold this pace forever!" or when the watch beeps that I ran a mile "That was easy. You can do that again 5 more times no problem!" 

When I focus on time my thoughts go something like this: "Oh God! I need to pick up the pace or I'm not going to hit my time!" Look at watch. "I'm not going to hit it this time, what the heck makes me think I can do this pace for 13.1 miles if I can't even hit it on this mile in practice." The anxiety affects my breathing, and takes away the joy and feeling of strength I normally get from running. 

Note: As with all of my workouts variety is the spice of life. I like to switch up my training, and try different goals. Don't be afraid to challenge yourself in new ways. If one way isn't working for you or giving you the results you are looking for don't give up! I will continue to have pace based goals in some of my training, and I will get better at achieving them. I don't want to lose my love of running so I will use more than one training technique. 

Happy Training!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Strength and Stretch Yoga: 20 Minutes

Hi Everyone!

Last night was a yoga night (the video of the flow is below). I have just over a week until my first half marathon, so I also got in some easy (comfortable pace) running miles. It is super hilly where I live so it can be challenging to get in an easy effort workout. Sometimes it's just as important to slow down as it is to push hard. 

I really enjoyed this workout. It's a great combination of stretching and strengthening. As with all workouts it's important to push at your own pace/level of flexibility. It doesn't matter if you can't touch your toes (yet), what matters is that every time you do these exercises you recognize what your body is capable of and you respect that. If you respect your body it will return the favor and grow stronger and more capable. :) 

Stretches and yoga poses should not hurt. They should challenge you, and you should feel your muscles working, but never bounce in a pose or push a stretch further than you are able to. Flexibility comes with time and practice. It's something that I really need to work on because I am not as flexible as I used to be, and it helps keep you safe and injury free. 

Enjoy the yoga flow!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tone That Tush! Quick Home Workout

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

1. Chair Squat
2. Hip Thrust (right)
3. Hip Thrust (left)
4. Dead-lift Row
5. Step Up with Kick Back (right)
6. Step Up with Kick Back (left)
7. Plie Squat
8. Warrior Dead-lift (right)
9. Warrior Dead-lift (left)
10. Leg Series (right)
11. Leg Series (left)

Repeat 1-3X

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout felt great! Getting back on track with my workouts has increased my energy and stamina. I am already feeling stronger. 

This workout is great for improving lower body strength and shape. Remember, even if your lower body isn't a "trouble spot" it's important to build your fitness throughout your body. The large muscles in your lower body burn a lot of calories, and help provide some of the strength and stability required for your workouts and overall level of fitness. 

Immediately before going through this workout I did a 3.1 mile run with 1% incline on the treadmill. Yesterday was my long run day, so today was about recovery and moving at a comfortable pace. Less than 2 weeks until I run in my first half marathon!

Enjoy the workout! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Abs: Quick Workout to Tighten Your Core

Beginner: 10 reps, 30 seconds
Intermediate: 15 reps, 45 seconds
Advanced: 20 reps, 60 seconds

Repeat 1-3X

1. Plank Toe Tap
2. Curved Hip Lift (timed)
3. Reverse Plank Leg Lift
4. Curved Hip Lift (timed)
5. Knee to Nose Plank (right)
6. Curved Hip Lift (timed)
7. Knee to Nose Plank (left)
8. Curved Hip Lift (timed)
9. Cross Plank Pushup
10. Curved Hip Lift (timed)

Hi Everyone!

This workout is focused on the core. It should have you working up a sweat, and working the core from every angle. I enjoyed this workout, it was quick, but challenging. 

My cat, Gambit, made a guest appearance. He loves when we work out. I had Jesse doing some foam rolling and as you can see in the picture below Gambit made himself comfortable. :) 

I hope that you enjoy the workout!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Half Marathon Training: Mileage

Hi Everyone!

My half marathon is 2 weeks and 2 days away! It is coming up fast!
This was my mileage from my first week of training: My First Half Marathon Training

I have continued training. All of my workouts are below.

Remember when running it is important to have a diet that supports your increased activity level. Carbohydrates are fuel for running. Carbs come in many forms: fruits, veggies, wheat, grains, etc. Be sure you are getting enough! Protein is also imperative for sustaining your endurance, and preventing muscle breakdown. Longer runs require more than just a strong cardiovascular system, it takes muscular strength and endurance. Food=Fuel. Make good choices!

Jesse making Protein Pancakes

I will also be posting about shoes. I had to switch mine, because the first pair I got was to large. My feet were sliding, I got blisters, and soreness in my right arch. Remember to pay attention to your body's signals. I returned my shoes (good running stores typically have a 30 day return policy), and haven't had any issues since upgrading to the proper size. 

My mileage and workouts are below. I had to modify my plan slightly due to the soreness in my arch. Keeping my body healthy and well takes priority. :)

Tuesday: Cross Country Challenge with 2 Mile Cool Down
5 Exercises to Strengthen Your Core
Run: 2.5 Miles at a challenging pace on a hilly cross country course. 
2 Mile cool down, easy pace on the same course. 

Stretching for Runners: IT Band, Shin Splints, Hip Flexors, Back
3.1 Mile Walk on treadmill

(*The arch of my foot was tender and I took 2 days off to heal). 


Saturday: Easy Mileage Builder
Sweaty 2 Sculpted: 10 Minute HIIT
4.52 Mile Run at a comfortable pace

Sunday: Longer Day with Sprints
7.65 Mile Run at a comfortably challenging pace followed by three sprints. 

Monday: Easy Recovery
Lower Body Shape and Strengthen
3.1 Mile Run Easy Pace

Tuesday: Interval Run with Heart Rate Monitor
4.68 Mile Interval Run
-5 Minute Warm Up
-5 Minutes Hard Pace
-5 Minutes Easy
-5 Minutes Hard
-5 Minutes Easy
-5 Minutes Hard
-10 Minute Easy 

Followed by 5 Minutes walking for cool down. 

Wednesday: Easy with Downhill Training
4.57 Miles at a Comfortable Pace with Downhill Training

*Training to maintain level of effort during downhill running. This will improve your overall race time, without consuming additional energy. Practicing downhill running can improve your running efficiency, and utilizes momentum. Be careful, you should always be in control of the movement, and run perpendicular to the ground. 

Thank you to everyone who has sent me race pictures on my facebook page! :) 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Lower Body: Shape and Strengthen

Beginner: 10 reps
Intermediate: 15 reps
Advanced: 20 reps

1. Warrior 3 with Hip Rotation (right)
2. Warrior 3 with Hip Roation (left)
3. Romanian Deadlift
4. Single Leg Hip Lift (right)
5. Single Leg Hip Lift (left)
6. Runners Lunge to Warrior (right)
7. Runners Lunge to Warrior (left)
8. Calf Raise with Extension (right)
9. Calf Raise with Extension (left)

*Weights are optional. I used 20 lb dumbbells. 
Repeat 1-3X

Hi Everyone!

I completed this workout last night. It was focused on the lower body, with emphasis on the glutes. This was a challenging routine for me. I repeated it twice last night, along with a 3.1 mile run at an easy pace with the girls from the cross country team. 

The season is changing, and the weather is alternating between hot and cold, which means my allergies are in full swing. I wasn't feeling well last night, but I didn't feel badly enough to skip my workout. :) I followed up the workout with some foam rolling to release any tension/stiffness. 

As always, focus on proper form with each movement. You will get the best results through proper form. Form and proper biomechanics will ensure that you are working the correct muscle groups. 
Gambit says Hello!
Enjoy the workout!