Friday, January 31, 2014

Full Body Real Time Workout 19 minutes: Melissa Bender

Hi Everyone!

I has been a crazy week in the Bender household! I am filming a brand new workout tonight, but in the mean time I am sharing one of my older workouts. This is a full body workout routine. In this workout I use a stability ball and a kettle bell. 

Today is also the last day of my Month long Cardio Challenge! If you accepted the challenge don't forget to check in with your miles/minutes for the month! You can check in on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

I mentioned yesterday on my Facebook page that I had an allergic reaction to some organic face lotion. The not-so-fun result of this reaction was my face swelling, and turning bright red as if I had horrible wind burn. I am much better now, and my skin has returned to normal. Lesson learned: also test new products (even if they are organic!)

I hope you enjoy this workout. I will be adding it onto my workout routine today! I will post the new workout tonight or tomorrow afternoon. I work tomorrow so it's an early bedtime for me. :)


PS You can also complete this workout for maximum reps as a 15 minute HIIT workout with 10/50 second intervals. 

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

Repeat 1-3X

1. Jumping Jacks
2. Side Step Up (right)
3. Side Step Up (left)
4. Sprinter Abs
5. Rock the Boat
6. Donkey Kick Plank
7. Leg Lift on Ball (right)
8. Leg Lift on Ball (left)
9. Side Lunge Twist (right)
10. Side Lunge Twist (left)
11. Dive Bombers
12. Side Angle Twist (right)
13. Side Angle Twist (left)
14. Goddess Squat Reach
15. High Knees (Beginner: 30 seconds, Intermediate: 45, Advanced: 60)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt: Workout 14: Sculpt and Tighten Full Body Workout

Hi Everyone!

This was my workout last night. We also taught a modified higher intensity version of this workout at our boot camp class tonight. 

This is a full body workout. I paired it with a 4 mile run on the treadmill. The temperatures here are still in the negatives so I haven't been able to run outside. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of warm weather!

I hope you enjoy today's workout. I will see you tomorrow with a new one. :)

The Cardio Challenge is almost over, so be sure to get in your miles or minutes! Don't forget to check in on: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

Have a good night!

10 Seconds Rest, 50 Seconds Max Reps

1. Walk the Plank
2. Pulsing Leg Lift
3. Half Burpee
4. Warrior Deadlift (right)
5. Warrior Deadlift (left)
6. Side Plank Reach Through (right)
7. Side Plank Reach Through (left)
8. Hydrant to Bird Dog (right)
9. Hydrant to Bird Dog (left)
10. Side Lunge Lift (right)
11. Side Lunge Lift (left)
12. Heel Tap Plank
13. Temple Tap Abs
14. Single Leg Squat Stretch (right)
15. Single Leg Squat Stretch (left)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt: 5 Moves of Doom: Workout 13

Hi Everyone!

This workout is short, it only has five moves, but it is still an intense full body workout. I used a barbell and dumbbells during this workout, but you can also complete the moves with body weight only. If you want to use weights, but don't have any at home consider using canned food or milk jugs filled with either sand or water. 

This workout can be repeated up to 4 times. Always listen to your body and maintain the correct form throughout. 

I am still behind on posting, so I should have 1 or 2 new workouts up on the blog today!

Have fun!

Repeat 1-4X
*When using weights I typically have a goal range to ensure I am using proper form throughout the exercise. If you can easily make it to the top end of the range you are ready to increase the amount of weight you are using. 

1. Frogger Handstand Pushup
   -With Handstand 5-10 reps, without handstand 20 reps

2. Squat to Lunge with Weights
   -10-20 reps 

3. Weighted Temple Tap
   -10-20 reps (right and left=1 rep)

4. Side Plank Double Lift
   -10-20 reps per side (Right and Left)

5. Single Leg Squat to Jump Kick
   -10-20 reps per side (Right and Left)

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Homemade Chicken Vegetable Soup Recipe

Hi Everyone,

I love soup at any time of the year. It's delicious, relatively easy to make, and you usually have left overs. This winter has been exceptionally cold (wind chills between -15 to -20 degrees Fahrenheit). 

I used my crockpot for this recipe, but it can also be cooked on the stove. When I was cooking I didn't measure the ingredients, but I will give rough estimates below. If you like a broth-ier soup decrease the additions and/or increase the broth and water. As you can see from the picture above I like my soup full of ingredients. 

I used the vegetables that I had on hand, but you can always switch it up and vary the vegetables. Feel free to experiment!


-Chicken Breast (about 1.5-2 lbs). 
-4 to 5 cups Organic Low Sodium Chicken Broth
-1 cup water
-2 to 3 teaspoons minced garlic
-1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
-1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
-diced tomatos (if using canned try to find organic no salt added diced tomatoes).  
-2 Cups frozen Corn
-1 Cup Green Beans (fresh or frozen) 
-2 Stalks Celery chopped
-2 to 3 carrot sticks chopped
- 1/2 Cup Kidney Beans (I used canned, thoroughly rinsed)
-1 Cup Peas
*Optional: 1-2 teaspoons diced jalapeño or jalapeño seeds for a spicier soup and/or sun dried tomatoes. (I didn't have onion on hand, but I would have added diced onion as well). 
*As noted above, feel free to vary portions to achieve desired soup density. 

1. Pour broth and garlic into crock pot. 
2. Add Chicken (You can pre-cook the chicken or add it raw. Raw chicken will require longer cooking time). There should be enough liquid in the pot to cover the chicken. 
3. Add Water, Olive Oil and Balsamic. 
4. Add Vegetables. 
Cover and cook. Chicken should easily fall apart or be pulled apart when the soup is fully cooked. 
Additional spices you may enjoy: 1-2 Bay leaves, thyme, oregano. 
*For Raw Chicken Cook on High 4-5 Hours in crock pot or on Low 8-10 Hours. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Tighter Midsection/Core: Workout 12

Hi Everyone!

This workout is all about core. This is a great workout to tighten your midsection and pull in the waist. I used a dumbbell for two of the exercises, but that is optional. All exercises can also be completed with body weight. 

I did this workout last night. Tonight Jesse and I teach a boot camp class. We will be doing a variation of the Plyo Cardio Fat Burn workout I posted yesterday in class. We will complete 3 rounds. Typically I create a brand new workout for my Boot Camp classes, but I really enjoyed this one and I think it's a great way to start off a new semester. 

Have fun with this one! 

PS Don't forget to check in after you complete your workout for the day! Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Max reps 50 seconds, 10 seconds rest between exercises. 

1. Crunch & Tap
2. Temple Tap Abs
3. Wheel Pushup
4. Russian Twist
5. Leg/Hip Lift
6. Spiderman Plank
7. Scissor
8. Elbow Tap Hip Lift (right)
9. Elbow Tap Hip Lift (left)
10. Cheek to Cheek
11. Heel Tap Leg Lift
12. Starfish V-Up
13. Reverse Plank
14. Boat Leg Lift
15. Hip Lift Twist

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bikini Prep Body Sculpt: Plyo Cardio Fat Burn: 15 Minute HIIT: Workout 11

Hi Everyone! 

This is workout #11 of my Bikini Competition Prep/Body Sculpt Workout series. This one is intense, but fun. 

This exercise series combines plyometric movements that are designed to sculpt lean muscles, while burning fat. The goal is to complete the maximum number of reps you can during each 50 second interval, with minimal rest between exercises. *Form is always more important than number of reps. You will get more benefit by doing half the reps with appropriate form than double the reps with poor form. 

I am still chugging along with the cardio challenge, and got in 3 miles after finishing this workout. It felt good to start my week off strong!

If you are still hanging in there with the challenges don't forget to check in on: Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter

Have fun!

Max reps 50 seconds, 10 seconds rest. 

1. Cross Donkey Kick
2. Jump Rope (or Ropeless Jump)
3. Surfer Burpee
4. Jump Rope
5. Lunge Hop Switch
6. High Knees
7. Mountain Climber
8. High Knees
9. Russian Kicks
10. High Knees
11. Jump Kick (right)
12. Burpee
13. Jump Kick (left)
14. Burpee
15. Punching Side Lunge Hop

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Plank Your Way to Sexy Abs: Workout 10

Hi Everyone!

This is a fun workout, that incorporates several different plank variations to strengthen and tone your core. I also included some great cardiovascular moves to increase the challenge and promote fat burning. 

This is an older workout, but I will be repeating it today. I also have two brand new videos to upload. It was a busy weekend so I am a bit behind on my posting. I am working on getting both videos up today. 

If you are building up to a plank the variations may be difficult. That's okay! Start out by holding a plank, or side plank for as long as you can until you build up to 1 minute. As your core strength and stability increases you will be able to move on to the variations. Pay attention to form. Plank is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do for your core when it is done correctly. 

Have fun! I will see you later with a brand new workout. :)

Complete as many reps as possible during each 60 second interval. I had 10 seconds in between each exercise to rest/prepare for the next move. In any interval workout listen to your body, push yourself, but rest as necessary. You should only compete with yourself. Find your starting point, and then repeat on a different day and try to improve your reps.

1. High Knees
2. Heel Tap Plank
3. Tricep Leg Lift Plank
4. Russian Kicks
5. Prisoner Squat
6. Mountain Climber
7. Pendulum Plank (right)
8. Pendulum Plank (left)
9. Chair Pulse
10. Side Plank Hip Drop (right)
11. Side Plank Hip Drop (left)
12. Reverse Plank
13. High Knees

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Workout 9: Back Strength and Stretch

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout has two sections: Strengthening and Stretching. This is a workout for your back. It is important to maintain back strength as a balance to your abdominal strength. It will also help you maintain form for all exercises that you perform. It is equally important to maintain back flexibility.

In this video I demonstrate some basic back strengthening exercises with dumbbells. I have also included my pull up video. Exercise number one in this workout is pull ups. Pull ups are my favorite exercise for back strengthening. If you are reading this and thinking "I will never be able to do that" think again. From the time I turned 12 I believed that I couldn't do a pull up. I started doing Bender Fitness workouts, and my friend's husband challenged me to try a pull up. I told him that I couldn't do it, but I tried anyway. Much to my own shock I succeeded. 

You will get there with consistency and practice. 

Enjoy the workout!

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

Repeat 1-4X

1. Pull Ups
2. Bent Over Row
3. Bent Over Fly
4. Back Extensions or Supermans
5. Leg Extension or Prone Heel Tap
6. Deadlift

1. Up/Down Dog
2. Pelvic Tilt
3. Knee to Chest and Extend (right)
4. Knee to Chest and Extend (left)
5. Twist (right)
6. Twist (left)
Foam Roll

Building to a Pull-Up:

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt: Workout 8: 20 Minute HIIT: Jump and Squat

Hi Everyone!

This was my workout last night. It's a quick 20 minute HIIT workout that combines jumping rope and squats. It's a great workout for fat burning and strengthening. 

For a few of the moves I used dumbbells, but all of the exercises can be performed with or without weights. It's important to work to your own level and challenge yourself. 

If you don't have a jump rope you have a few options: rope-less jumping (same movement sans rope), high knees, or mountain climbers. Another fun alternative is hula hoop intervals. :) Your workouts should be something that you enjoy and have fun with. 

Have a good night, and don't forget to check in with your progress: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. 


30/50 Second Intervals. Jump Rope (or alternative cardio between each exercise). 

1. Prisoner Squat
-Jump Rope
2. Elevated Plie Squat
   -Jump Rope
3. Warrior Squat
   -Jump Rope
4. Deep Squat
   -Jump Rope
5. Sumo Squat
   -Jump Rope
6. Split Squat (right)
   -Jump Rope
7. Split Squat (left)
   -Jump Rope
8. Wide Squat
   -Jump Rope
9. Narrow Squat
   -Jump Rope
10. Single Leg Squat (right)
   -Jump Rope
11. Single Leg Squat (left)
   -Jump Rope
12. Plie Squat 
   -Jump Rope
13. Pendulum Squat
   -Jump Rope
14. Lateral Squat
   -Jump Rope
15. Overhead Squat

Bulgarian Split Squat Standing
Bulgarian Split Squat: From standing lower your hips directly down, keeping the chest lifted.
Knees stay behind your toes. 
Pendulum Squat: Knee and toes face forward as you lift your leg. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Workout 7: Lean and Sculpted Arms

Hi Everyone!

After Workout #4: The Tight and Toned Lower Body Workout, I got a lot of requests for a weighted workout focused on toning your arms. So get your dumbbells ready for today's workout!

If you don't have dumbbells you can use soup cans, or milk jugs. One gallon of water weighs approximately 8.34 pounds, and the uneven distribution of weight can actually increase the challenge. If you have access to sand, one gallon of sand weighs around 12.5 pounds. Although it is useful to have dumbbells it is also possible to find alternative ways to challenge yourself in your home workout without spending a lot of money. 

When it comes to selecting an appropriate weight you want to choose a weight that you can do between 8-15 reps. If you are primarily looking to build muscle stay in the low range (8-10 rep maximum). If you want to improve both strength and endurance aim for 12-15 reps. If you can easily surpass 15 reps and you are trying to build lean muscle it is time to increase the amount of weight you are using. At my job I utilize the Oddvar Holten Diagram as a scientific tool to prescribe an appropriate amount of weight during exercise, and determine an individuals 1 rep maximum. The number of reps that I am recommending for these exercises is based upon his formula. 

I hope you enjoy today's workout. If you are looking for more weighted arm exercises check out: 

Have fun!

Cardio Challenge Check In: I was short on my miles for the week due to an unexpected rest day yesterday. It was supposed to be my long day. I only got in 10.5 miles this week, but I am still on track to hit my goal for the Intermediate level Cardio Running Challenge. I am at 22.5 miles of running from January 1-11th. The miles that I got in were also high quality runs that included hills, mile repeats, and intervals. 

Today Jesse and I braved the cold and got in a 7.5 mile run outside with our favorite running guru, Shep. I am already on track to get in some great miles and hit goal this week. After the -20 to -30 degree wind chill temperatures we had last week, having a day in the low 30s felt almost balmy. :)

Complete 8-15 reps per exercise. 30 second plank between exercises. 
Repeat 1-3X. 

1. 90 Degree Dumbbell Curls
2. Forearm Plank
3. Dumbbell Press
4. Forearm Plank
5. Supine Dumbbell Extension
6. Forearm Plank
7 Tricep Extension
8. Forearm Plank
9. Alternating Deltoid Raise
10. Forearm Plank
11. Bent Over Row
12. Forearm Plank
13. Deadlift
14. Forearm Plank
15. Dips

Friday, January 10, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Workout 6: Tight Legs, Tight Tummy

Hi Everyone!

This is a fun and quick workout that had me dripping sweat, and feeling the burn. This workout uses plyometric movements to sculpt your lower body, and core exercises that will challenge you from every angle. 

You can do this workout once or repeat it. Each round takes 15 minutes. This is also a great workout to improve your VO2 Max. It will challenge you cardiovascularly while promoting lean muscle mass. 

I hope you all enjoy this workout! Jesse is getting warmed up for this workout right now. He has been doing the Body Sculpt Challenge, and is loving the results so far. :) Jesse was dealing with some low back pain after hard runs, and incorporating this workouts has helped stabilize and strengthen his back, core and glutes. His back pain has disappeared, and this should translate into better running form during races. 

Have fun! I'll see you tomorrow with a new workout!

10/50 Second Intervals. 10=Rest. 50=Max Reps. 

1. Windshield Wiper Plank (Plank Taps)
2. Squat Jumps
3. Angel Abs
4. Lunge Jumps
5. Side Plank Elbow Tap (right)
6. Squat Jumps
7. Side Plank Elbow Tap (left)
8. Lunge Jumps
9. Bicycle Abs
10. Squat Jumps
11. Hip Drop Plank (right)
12. Lunge Jumps
13. Hip Drop Plank (left)
14. Squat Jump
15. Lig Lift/Hip Lift

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Workout 5: Cardio Belly Fat Burner

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Workout #5 of my Bikini Competition Prep/Body Sculpt Workout Challenge. One round of this workout takes 15 minutes, and it can be repeated between 1-3X. 

This workout combines cardio/plyometric movements and exercises to strengthen your core from every angle. This exercise series will help you increase your fat burning, while building/maintaing lean muscle mass. 

I am also sticking to the cardio challenge. I got in 2.7 miles last night. We have been having extremely cold temperatures here with wind chill between -20 to -30. I have a harder time getting motivated to workout when it's this cold, but I feel so much better when I get moving. :) What motivates you to get your workout in?

I hope you enjoy the workout!

10/50 Second Intervals. 

1. High Knees
2. Burpee
3. Plank/Knee Drop Plank
4. Butt Kick
5. Jump Squat
6. Super Snow Angel
7. Cross Jack
8. Lunge Jump
9. Heel Tap Abs
10. Ropeless Jump
11. Russian Kicks
12. Hip Twist Abs
13. Mountain Kickers
14. Frog Hopper*
15. Cheek to Cheek Plank

*If Frog Hoppers are to difficult at this time substitute regular froggers or mountain climbers. 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bikini Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Workout 4: Tight and Toned Lower Body

Hi Everyone!

This was workout #4 of my Bikini Competition Prep/Body Sculpting Challenge Workout series. For this workout I used my barbell and dumbbells. When choosing an appropriate amount of weight you want to select an amount that challenges you. You should be able to complete 10-15 reps of each exercise with good form. 

Building muscle is one of the best, and most efficient ways to improve your metabolism and your overall athleticism. For every 3 lbs of muscle your body burns approximately 120 extra calories per day, even when you are at rest. 120 calories is close to what you burn by running 1.5 miles. 

Last year I posted this picture: 
5 pounds of fat VS 5 pounds of muscle. 

This demonstrates the difference in density between muscle and fat. Both weigh 5 pounds, but that 5 pounds will look radically different in your body. Don't fear building muscle! Don't get mad if the scale doesn't move as much as you want! If you're losing inches, but not weight this is why. This is what you want for a rocking metabolism, and some fabulous functional strength. 

Don't be afraid to pick an amount of weight to use during your workouts that will challenge you. 

Here are some ideas:

I have an Olympic size barbell (45 lbs) and I added 30 lbs to it for a total of 75 lbs. I also used 2 20 lb dumbbells. 

I hope you all enjoy the workout! I followed this one up with 4 mile repeats at varied paces. I am sticking with the challenge


PS I still want to see you checking in! If you are doing any of my challenges please check in on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

10-15 Reps Per Exercise
This can be repeated 1-3X. 

1. Deep Squat
2. Romanian Deadlift
3. Lunge Lift (right)
4. Lunge Lift (left)
5. Plie Squat
6. Warrior Deadlift (right)
7. Warrior Deadlift (left)
8. Good Morning
9. Wide Stance Front Squat
10. Chair Squat
11. Deadlift

Monday, January 6, 2014

Bikini Competition Prep/Body Sculpt Workout 3: Full Body Fat Burn

Hi Everyone!

This is Workout number 3 of My Body Sculpt and Bikini Competition Prep Workout series. It's a great workout that combines muscle shaping exercises with high intensity cardiovascular fat burning. 

I went through this workout twice, and Jesse went through it with me once. We were both dripping sweat by the end of the workout. 

For the Cardio Challenge, the first day of the month was a Wednesday, so I only got in half of my mileage for the week. I ran 11 miles from Wednesday-Saturday. I took Friday off because I was exhausted and needed a rest day. 

My mileage looked like this:
Wednesday: 4 Miles
Thursday: 4 Miles, and Leg and Belly Blast
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 2 Miles (2.0 Incline), 1 Mile (no incline) Plus 15 Minute HIIT and Burn Workout

Jesse's total Mileage starting from Wednesday-Saturday was: 13.6 Miles. 

How are you doing with the challenge? Let me know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!

Have fun with this workout! I am getting ready to film a new one! 


10/50 Second Intervals

Repeat 1-3X

1. Burpee
2. Sumo Squat
3. Burpee
4. Pendulum Squat
5. Burpee
6. High Knees
7. Up/Down Dog (Dive Bomber)
8. High Knees
9. Walk the Plank
10. High Knees
11. Frogger
12. Temple Tap Abs
13. Frogger
14. Leg/Hip Lift
15. Frogger

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bikini Competition Prep/Body Sculpt Challenge: Workout 2: 15 Minute HIIT and Burn

Hi Everyone!

I was very excited to have two special guests during today's workout. My sister, Kristen, and her fiancé, Jason joined me for another workout. They joined me during the 30 day challenge for Day 7: Wedding Boot Camp workout. 

Last time we filmed the workout as a tutorial, this time Kristen and Jason bravely agreed to be filmed real time. I want to take a moment to say that it took a lot of courage on their part. Pushing hard during a workout is tough at the best of times, and it is even harder when you know there is a camera on you. 

As long as you are pushing yourself and working hard you are benefiting from this workout. If you continue to do this your body will become more efficient and you will improve your form/number of reps. Listen to your body during the workout. If you need a break take a quick rest and then get back into the workout as quickly as possible. If you are just starting out and you have trouble making it to the end go as far as you can. The next time you repeat this workout try to make it a little bit further without taking a rest break. You will progress faster than you think. :)

I have a great workout written for tomorrow! It's a tough one, so get ready to sweat! I have also been staying on track with the Cardio Challenge. I will update you on my weekly mileage tomorrow. Don't forget to check in! Seeing everyone's progress with the challenges is very motivating. :)

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter

PS If you are on facebook please take a minute to vote for Kristen and Jason in this photo contest by liking their picture: HERE. Kristen has a chance to win a great bachelorette party. :)

10/50 Second Intervals. 

1. High Knees
2. Lunge Kick (right)
3. Lunge Kick (left)
4. Ropeless Jump
5. Lunge Jump
6. Plank Crunch
7. Mountain Climber
8. Angel Abs
9. Burpee
10. Windshield Wiper Plank
11. Squat Jump
12. Side Lunge Lift (right)
13. Side Lunge Lift (left)
14. Warrior 3 Lift
15. Warrior 3 Lift

Friday, January 3, 2014

Bikini Competition Prep/Body Sculpting Workout: Day1: Leg and Belly Blast

Hi Everyone!

This is Workout #1 of my Body Sculpting/Bikini Competition Prep Workout challenge. It's a quick workout that will get your heart rate up, and have you sweating. One round takes 15 minutes, and this one can be repeated up to 3X. 

I planned on repeating this workout, but my schedule was thrown off due to a nearly 2 hour commute home from work in a snowstorm. I followed one round up with a 4 mile run so I can stay on track with the One Month Cardio and Body Shaping Challenge

This workout combines lower body toning, with core tightening exercises. I used two 20 lb dumbbells in this workout, but you can use whatever weight you find challenging (or stick to body weight only). 

I hope you enjoyed day 1 of the Body Sculpting Challenge! See you soon with Workout #2. 


PS Don't Forget to check in with your progress along the way! Check In on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

10/50 Second Intervals

1. Full Body Mountain Climber
2. Chair Rows
3. Russian Kicks
4. Bicycle V-Up (right)
5. Bicycle V-Up (left)
6. Burpee
7. Split Squat (right)
8. Split Squat (left)
9. Sit to Stand Hop (right)
10. Sit to Stand Hop (left)
11. Curtsy Lunge (right)
12. Curtsy Lunge (left)
13. Russian Twist
14. Side Plank Elbow Tap (right)
15. Side Plank Elbow Tap (left)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

30 Day Workout Challenge: Day 29: Total Tummy Toning Workout

Hi Everyone!

This is Workout Day 29 of the 30 Day Workout Challenge! This workout is all about toning the mid section. It was a tough one for me! I was feeling the workout from Day 28. 

Core is one of my favorite areas to work because it gives you strength, proper form and improved endurance for all of your other exercises. This is a challenging series, because it utilizes all of the muscles that make up the core. You will notice that you use your core in every plane of movement to maximize the muscle recruitment. 

I have enjoyed the 30 Day Challenge so much that I will be hosting another challenge: One Month Cardio and Body Shaping Challenge

I hope you enjoy the workout today. Thanks for joining me!

10/50 Seconds Intervals. 

1. Mountain Climber
2. Super Snow Angel
3. Clamp
4. 3-Way Frogger
5. Unicycle (right)
6. Unicycle (left)
7. 3-Part Abs
8. Angel Abs
9. Plank Rock
10. Tick Tock Abs
11. Side Plank Hip Lift (right)
12. Side Plank Hip Lift (left)
13. Crunch and Tap
14. Hip Lift
15. Down Dog Plank

30 Day Challenge: Day 30: 15 Minute Cardio HIIT and Body Sculpt

Hi Everyone!

This is Day 30 of the 30 Day Workout Challenge! Congratulations! You have made it to the final day. :) Today is another quick 15 Minute HIIT workout, that combines cardio with body sculpting moves. If you're up for it you can repeat this workout up to 3X. 

Hopefully at this point you are feeling fabulous, stronger, and healthier than when you started. Consistency is the key to success, and one of the main goals of this workout was to build a healthy habit that fits into a busy lifestyle. 

If you took photos, or just want to share your progress through the 30 Day Workout Challenge please leave a comment below or on Facebook!

I am starting a new challenge to welcome in the new year. You can find the details here: One Month Cardio and Body Shaping Challenge

As always, thanks for joining me! See you tomorrow with a new workout. :)

10/50 Second Intervals. 10 Seconds of Rest, 50 Seconds Max Reps. 

1. High Knees
2. Froggers
3. Mountain Climbers
4. Pendulum Squats
5. Chair to Lunge (right)
6. Chair to Lunge (left)
7. High Knees
8. Froggers
9. Mountain Climbers
10. Temple Tap Abs
11. Hip Lift Tap
12. Snow Angel
13. High Knees
14. Froggers
15. Mountain Climbers

One Month Cardio and Body Shaping Workout Challenge

Hi Everyone!

Traditionally today is a day full of resolutions and goals for the new year. My goals are plentiful this year, and I hope that you will join me in achieving them as I start out the month with a brand new challenge. There are three challenge options, you can choose one or two to participate in. 

Last month we did the 30 Day Workout Challenge. The goal of that challenge was to establish a healthy habit, and get in at least 15 minutes of exercise per day for 30 days. I heard from many people that they are excited to start this challenge for the New Year. Challenge option number one is to complete the 30 day challenge, and start out the new year by establishing a healthy fitness habit. 

Challenge Option 1: 30 Day Workout Challenge
If you follow the link for this challenge you will find 60 different home workouts that take between 15-25 minutes. This link explains the challenge and has 30 quick workouts listed: 30 Day Challenge Explained and this link has the new workouts that I completed during the challenge: New 30 Day Challenge Workouts. (*As of the time I am posting this I still have to upload the last two workouts to the 30 day challenge, but they should be up today). 

Challenge Option 2: Cardio Challenge
One of my goals for this year is to incorporate more running into my life, and compete in another half marathon. Cardiovascular exercise reduces your risk of heart disease, improves heart and lung function, improves cholesterol, increases muscle mass, and reduces your risk of osteoporosis. 

With cardio it is important to work at your own level and select a type of cardio you enjoy. Options include: running, walking, swimming, jump rope, HIIT workouts, cycling, skiing and more. I have the challenge broken up by minutes or miles. Select whichever is best for you, and then aim to meet your goal for the month. Keep track of this in a monthly calendar  or on your phone throughout the month. I will also be having daily check-ins on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Weekly Challenge Beginners: 100 Minutes of Cardio per week, 400 Minutes of Cardio this Month. This can be broken down any way that you want, but it is equivalent to 20 minutes of cardio 5X per week. You can select any type of cardio you want. 

Weekly Challenge Intermediate/Advanced: 150 Minutes of Cardio per week, 600 Minutes of Cardio this Month. This is equivalent to 30 minutes of cardio per day, 5X per week. 

For all of the runners out there I am including a monthly mileage challenge! If you want to become a runner this year this challenge is also for you! I am including running ranges because it is important to work from your current ability level. You want to build without over-training, but don't be afraid to challenge yourself!

Beginners: 5-10 Miles per week, 20-40 Miles this Month. Need Ideas to get started? Check Out: Running for Beginners

Intermediate: 15-30 Miles per week, 60-120 Miles this Month. I will be completing the intermediate challenge this month. 

Advanced: 30-40+ Miles per week, 120-160+ Miles this Month. Jesse will be completing the advanced challenge this month. 

Challenge Option 3: Body Shaping Workout Challenge

I have decided to complete in another NPC Bikini Competition. I have not officially selected my competition yet, but I am aiming to compete in late March, so I am starting another 12 Week Bikini Competition/Body Shaping Program. Even if you are not planning on competing this will be a great program to help you improve your strength, endurance and physique. 

You can find my last 12 Week Bikini Competition Program HERE, or you can follow along with me this month in real time as I go through the workouts. 

I will be posting 5 new workouts per week. These are the actual workouts I will be doing to prepare for my bikini competition, and they will all be performed at home. 

Is anyone else excited to start the new year?!?! I want to hear which challenge you are accepting. You can post in the comments below, on Faceboook, Instagram or on Twitter

I will be completing the Intermediate Level Cardio Mileage Challenge, and the Bikini Competition/Body Shaping Challenge. I can't wait to see who joins me! I encourage you to take Before/After Pictures and measurements as you go through the process. I would love to see your results, and even if you don't share them with me it is a great tool to see your progress.