Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Low Impact Lower Body Workout

 Hi Everyone!

This is a fun, but challenging Low impact Lower Body workout. It's a great way to wrap up the Lower Body Challenge. Have you improved your reps or time on the Lower Body Fit Challenge

I repeated this workout 2X tonight. I filmed the second round, so I was feeling it during the video! This one works the entire lower body from every angle, in multiple planes of movement. You will build functional strength, and lean, sculpted muscle with this routine. 

Tomorrow I am starting the Sculpted Abs challenge. It's going to be organized more like the 30 Day Challenge. I will post the details tomorrow, so be sure to check back. 

I hope you enjoy the workout!

Beginner: 10 Reps
Intermediate: 15 Reps
Advanced: 20 Reps

1. Standing Kick Back (right)
2. Standing Kick back (left)
3. Leg Series (right)
4. Leg Series (left)
5. Plank Leg Lift (right)
6. Plank Leg Lift (left)
7. Chair Heel Pulse
8. Push-up Squat Reach
9. Cross Leg Hip Thrust (right)
10. Cross Leg Hip Thrust (left)

Repeat 1-3X

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Fifteen Minute Interval Fat Burn

Hi Everyone,

This is an Interval Fat Burning Workout. If you go through this workout once it will take around 15 minutes, but you can repeat it up to three times depending on how much time and energy you have. 

This is an older workout. Jesse grandfather passed away a few days ago, and we had his funeral today. It has been a tough time for us, and it's been an important time to focus on family and providing support to the people we love. 

On a positive note, today is also my Mom's birthday. We are going out for a celebratory dinner tonight. Tomorrow I will be back to blogging with a new workout. For today I'm glad that I have over 500 workouts on my blog to pick from. :)

I repeated this workout twice and the second time that I went through this routine I substituted jump roping for all of the cardio bursts. I also finished my workout by running a mile on the treadmill. I haven't chosen my next 5K yet, but I want to improve my time.

I hope you all enjoy the workout, and have a great evening. 

Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer

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

Repeat 1-3X

1. Plank Pull (I used a 15 lb Kettlebell)
2. High Knees or Jump Rope (timed)
3. Crossed Table Right
4. Crossed Table Left
5. Sideways Jump (timed)
6. Standing Heel Press Right
7. Standing Heel Press Left
8. Forward/Backward Jump
9. Boat Pulse
10. High Knees or Jump Rope (timed)

*My second time through I substituted jump roping for all of the timed exercises. I did 150 jumps each time, and it took me about 1 minute, 10 seconds each time. I counted jumps instead of going by time to make up for any times when I stepped on the rope. :)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

How to Eat Clean: 5 Tips for Success

Clean Eating. It's a phrase many people throw around, but when you talk specifics with people it turns out it means something different to everyone.  For example, to a body builder the fruit in the picture above might not be "clean" because it has sugar in it.  

Everyone approaches clean eating differently. If you want to lose weight caloric expenditure must be higher than caloric intake (this is true no matter what you eat. Binge eating "clean" foods is still binge eating.) I also want to stress the fact that there is no evil food. There are foods that are higher in nutrients and foods with low nutritional value. 

This is my approach to clean eating. The more closely I stick to eating clean the better I feel, and I see much more definition in my body. I have been re-focusing on incorporating these techniques into my diet, and I am already seeing results. Check out 5 Rules to Improve Your Nutrition and Diet for more healthy eating ideas. 

Clean Eating means eating food which is minimally processed, and as close to it's natural state as possible. Eat whole foods: lots of veggies, lean meats, nuts and fruit. At it's heart, this is the key to clean eating. 

This means that you have to put a little bit more preparation and planning into your food choices. 

1. Prepare: If you are hungry you often want to grab the first thing that's available. Keeping healthy options on hand will improve your chances of success. 
  • Cook in Bulk: Prepare extra food ahead of time. On Sundays I cook a large baking dish full of chicken (sometimes fish), and a dish full of vegetables. I can use these in my lunch, on a salad, in pasta, or as an easy addition to any dinners I might cook during the week. 
  • Plan for Healthy Snacking: If you are a snacker keep food items on hand that you enjoy and can eat in appropriate portion sizes. Raw Almonds or other nuts, Fruit, Greek Yogurt, etc. You can pre-portion out ingredients for your favorite smoothie.
  • Choose Foods that you Enjoy: You are not going to stick to a meal plan if you don't like what you are eating. Don't be afraid to experiment with healthy variations of your favorite recipes. Pinterest can be a gold mine of fun and healthy recipe ideas. You can check out my "Healthy Delicious" Pinterest Board here for some fun ideas. 
2. Portion: Making healthy choices doesn't make you exempt from eating realistic portion sizes. Just because an item is healthy doesn't mean it's low in calories. Two of my favorite foods in the world are Natural Peanut Butter and Avocados. Both foods have tremendous health benefits. Neither is a low calorie food. 
  • Check Portion Sizes: When you are first getting used to portion sizes don't be afraid to measure. Keep in mind that measuring is a tool. If measuring food is a trigger to compulsive eating behaviors for you, please skip this one. Having a healthy relationship with food is more important than having an exact portion size. 
  • Approximate Portion Sizes: Meat/Protein should be around the size of your palm, or the size of a deck of cards. One serving of cheese is about the size of your thumb. Vegetables should fill about half of your plate or two cupped hands. 

3. Check Labels: Take a quick peek at the ingredient list. I also check the sugar and sodium content of pre-packaged foods. Many otherwise healthy foods are overloaded with additional salt and sugar. (This is especially true of dried fruits and trail mixes. Dried fruit is already high in natural sugars, and many companies add significant amounts of sugar to the fruit during the drying process.)
  • Look for ingredients you recognize. For example, I prefer Peanut Butter where the only ingredient is Peanuts.
  • Ingredients are listed in order of quantity. Whichever ingredient is listed first is present in the largest quantities. If sugar is the first or second ingredient it's a red flag to me that the food item is not as healthy as it may seem. 

4. Organic/Gluten Free/Grain Free does NOT Automatically Mean Healthy: Just because it has a label, doesn't mean it's healthy or low calorie. Cookies are still cookies, even if they are organic and gluten free. It doesn't mean you can't enjoy them, but remember the term "organic" or "gluten free" does not make it a magic cookie. Keep your portion sizes reasonable. 

5. Stick to the Basics: Incorporate protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proper hydration into your diet. 
  • Try to include a vegetable at every meal. For me, the easiest and fastest option is fresh spinach.  I put spinach in salads, smoothies, wraps, sandwiches, pastas, spaghetti sauce, or as a side dish. 
  • Eat Carbohydrates: They are necessary for your body and brain to function correctly. You can get your carbs from fruits and vegetables, from grains or from a combination of both. Food=Fuel. 
  • Eat Lean Protein: Protein helps keep you full throughout the day and helps your body build muscles. 
  • Eat Healthy Fats: Healthy fats have been scientifically proven to improve endurance during workouts. They also help your hair and nails look their best. Healthy fats decrease your risk for a plethora of diseases (heart disease, stroke, and hypertension just to name a few!) Olive oil, avocado, coconut, nut butters, and nuts are great sources of healthy fats. 

Spaghetti Squash over Fresh Spinach with Tomato & Spinach Marinara Sauce and Chicken. 

There is no secret to healthy eating. The trick to it is finding a healthy approach that works for you. I don't eat whole foods all the time, but I make sure they are the foundation of my diet. Today I ate a donut (gasp!) and I don't feel guilty, or that I had to "earn it" or "work it off." I don't eat donuts every day. I do eat vegetables, fruits, nuts and lean meats every day. I exercise and try to make healthy choices.

Lower Body Blast: Burn, Shape and Sculpt

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

1. Lunge Hop (right)
2. Warrior Deadlift (right)
3. Lunge Hop (left)
4. Warrior Deadlift (left)
5. Jump Squat
6. Dumbbell Squat
7. Lunge Kick (right)
8. Bulgarian Split Squat (right)
9. Lunge Kick (left)
10. Bulgarian Split Squat (left)

Repeat 1-3X

Hi Everyone!

I posted a quick question on my blog to see if people wanted a new workout video tonight, or a post on clean eating. Clean Eating seems to be the winner for this evening, so I pulled out this older workout for the Lower Body Challenge. Check back tonight for my post on diet/eating clean. 

Tonight's workout is a doozy! I wanted to get in a serious lower body workout tonight. I created this workout to exhaust each muscle group. This workout is great for recruiting both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers. This translates to more speed, strength and endurance. It also means that the exercises should wear you out. 

No matter what, focus on maintaining proper form for each exercise. This is still more important than speed, even on the plyometric movements. Also, remember to warm up. I warmed up with some jump roping today. I did 300 jumps over the rope, alternating between traditional jump roping (hopping with both feet together) and high knees jump rope every 50 jumps. 

I went through this workout twice, and ran one mile after each round. I kept my miles pretty quick (7 minute mile pace). After my second mile I walked a third mile as a cool down. 

I was sure to stretch well after the entire workout: pigeon pose, king Arthur pose, lotus (both sides), and some extended side stretches. 

It was an intense workout day, but I feel fantastic, strong and energized!

I hope you all enjoy the workout!

PS If you are joining me for the challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

10 Minute Abs: Full Core Workout

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout is focused on the core (the video and photo workout tutorial is below). One round takes 10 Minutes, so you can repeat it or pair it with another workout or cardio of choice (Check out these 5-30 Minute Workouts). 

I love core workouts because they make you stronger for every exercise you do. With a strong core it's easier to maintain proper form during exercise. Core strength also provides balance to your body. 

This routine is challenging, but fun. I added in some new exercises which I hope you enjoy. 

Today we did the Superhero 5k run. Jesse (AKA the Blue Power Ranger) won the race in 16 minutes and 48 seconds. 
Superhero 5K Winner: Jesse Bender (16:48)
Kristen hit her goal time!
Patricia did her first Stroller 5K and I coached her through it. 

It was a lot of fun for a great cause. I'm looking forward to training for my next 5K. I need a new PR. :)

I hope you all enjoy the workout and have a great day!

PS If you are joining me for the challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)

Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer set for 10 Rounds of 10/50. 

1. Superman Plank
2. Leg/Hip Lift
3. Temple Tap Abs
4. Dolphin to Spiderman
5. Side Scissor
6. Oblique Twist Situp
7. Side Plank Crunch (right)
8. Side Plank Crunch (left)
9. Full Roll Up Situp
10. Superman Twist

Superman Plank: Core tight, hold plank position and reach forward. Alternate arms. 
Leg/Hip Lift: Starting Position, extend arms and legs. Keeping the feet together and legs straight lift.
Part 2: Hip Lift. In a controlled motion lift the hips as if you could press your feet to the ceiling. 
Temple Tap Abs: Keeping the core tight, lift the legs. Bring the hands to prayer position at your chest. Keeping the shoulders lifted reach the elbow toward the top corner of your mat. Return to center. Repeat the motion on the other side. 
Dolpin to Spiderman: Part 1: Start in a forearm plank. Lift the hips toward the ceiling, keeping the core activated and tight throughout the movement. 
Dolphin to Spiderman: Part 2: Return to Forearm Plank. Bring your knee toward your tricep. Return to forearm plank, dolphin, and then repeat on the other side. 
Oblique Twist Situp: Keep the back straight with both arms reaching forward. Rotate right, allowing your forearm to gently rest on the ground as you twist and reach the top arm overhead. return to upright position with arms straight, and repeat on the other side. 
Side Plank Crunch: Hold Side Plank with arm extended overhead. Keeping the core active bring your knee and elbow together. 
Full Roll Up Situp: Start supine (on your back) on the floor. Lift your body, gently rolling up from crown to the base of your spine, straighten your back into a forward fold. When you lift back up keep the back straight as long as you are able, then lower one vertebra at a time from tailbone up.  
Superman Twist: Lying Prone (face down) lift your chest and heels. Reach your arms back. Alternating sides gently reach toward your heels. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

20 Minute HIIT: Sweat to Sculpt

Hi Everyone!

I hope you're ready to HIIT It! This 20 Minute HIIT workout had me dripping sweat! 

This workout utilizes movements that strengthen your entire body, while focusing on the Lower Body. I love compound movements which require you to utilize more than one joint to complete a movement. Compound exercises are one of the most effective ways to maximize the results of your workout. 

As always, focus on form throughout the routine. If you need to stop and catch your breath or shake out your muscles that's okay, just get back into the workout as quickly as you can. 

If you are joining me for the challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)


Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer set for 15 Rounds of 10/50. 

1. Single Leg Frogger to Warrior III (right)
2. Single Leg Frogger to Warrior III (left)
3. High Knees
4. In/Out Squat Jump
5. Curtsy Lunge Kick (right)
6. Curtsy Lunge Kick (left)
7. High Knees
8. In/Out Squat Jump
9. Single Leg Hip Thrust (right)
10. Single Leg Hip Thrust (left)
11.High Knees
12. In/Out Squat Jump
13. Table Heel Press (right)
14. Table Heel Press (left)
15. High Knees
16. In/Out Squat Jump
17. Down Dog Heel Press (right)
18. Down Dog Heel Press (left)
19. High Knees
20. In/Out Squat Jump

Monday, April 21, 2014

Full Body Sculpting: 20 Minute Fat Burn HIIT

Hi Everyone!

Today got a bit crazy, so I didn't have time to film a new workout. However, I went back and found this great 20 Minute Interval Workout that I have been wanting to repeat. 

This workout is an intense 20 minute interval workout. I broke the workout 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 a really great full body routine, with lots of compound movements to maximize fat burning and body sculpting all at one time.  

Now I am off to bed. Sleep is imperative to maximizing your health and fitness. Don't skimp! :) I will definitely see you tomorrow with a new workout!


If you are joining me for the Lower Body challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)

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

Tighter Stronger Abs: 15 Minute HIIT Workout

Hi Everyone!

This workout is focused on strengthening and tightening the core. When building a core workout it is important to remember to work your body from every angle. Each muscle works in a different plane of movement, so to effectively strengthen each muscle you need to complete exercises in each plane. 

I repeated this workout 2X yesterday (the video was actually my second time through). Jesse did this one with me. It's a great core strengthening workout for runners to help them maintain form and help them maximize their speed and endurance when running. 

I paired this with a 2.6 mile easy paced run last night. The weather was to beautiful not to run, and it felt great to get outside and stretch my legs. 

If you are joining me for the challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)

Have fun!

Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer set for 15 Rounds of 10/50. 

1. Frogger
2. Heel Tap Abs
3. Plank Knee to Elbow
4. Snow Angel V-Up
5. Heel Tap Plank
6. Temple Tap Abs
7. Mountain Climber
8. Hip Lift Hook
9. Shoulder Tap Pushups
10. Reverse Plank Leg Lift
11. Cross Donkey Kick
12. Singel Leg Boat Kick
13. Plank Crunch Pushup
14. Side Plank Hip Lift (right)
15. Side Plank Hip Lift (left)

Repeat 1-3X

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sneak Peek Workout Tutorials! Quick Exercises you can Add to Any Workout Routine

Hi Everyone!

I have been sharing Sneak Peek Workout Tutorials on my Instagram account for a while now. It's about time that I put them together on my blog. 

These are some great exercise moves that you can add to any workout routine, or do alone as an exercise challenge.  

I separated the different exercises into: Core/Abs, Lower Body, and Full Body/Compound Movements.  Have fun, and focus on good form!



Side Plank Double Kick
Side Plank Elbow Tap Hip Lift

V-Up Hop  Spiderman with Stability Ball 

Twisting V-Up

 Oblique Plank 

Hip Lift Hook

 Crunch and Tap with Dumbbell

Legs/Lower Body:

Stability Ball Pull (Leg/Hamstring Curl)

Plank Lunge Reach Warrior III Crunch

Plie Jump with Lateral Lift

Squat to Lunge 

  Elevated Hip Thrust 

 Warrior III Kick 
Prone Heel Tap

 Goddess Twist

 Pendulum Squats 

Romanian Deadlifts

 Curtsy Lunge 

Full Body/Compound Movements:

Man Maker Burpee 

 Burpee Tuck Jump 

Warrior III Curl 
Table Top Knee Touch 

 Down Dog Hop

Pull-up with Hanging Leg Raise 

Plank Crunch Squat 
Bear Complex 
Plank Down Dog to Knee Drop Plank Chatarunga Hold Plank Pop Up 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rock Solid Rear Workout

Hi Everyone!

Tonight's workout is focused on the tush! It's all about toning and shaping your backside, and lower half. I combined this workout with a 30 minute run at a comfortable pace. 

I repeated tonight's workout 3X. It was a great challenge. It is fun to incorporate some weights sometimes. Of course this workout can also be done with body weight. 

One of the moves is a box jump. If you don't have something sturdy to jump on a great alternative is a squat jump. 

This is an older workout (filmed about 2 days after my first NPC Bikini Competition last year!) I am looking forward to getting back into competition shape again. I will be hitting it hard, and this workout is a great motivator for me to get it moving again. 

I will be filming a new challenge tonight so be sure to check back. 

In the mean time, enjoy the workout!

PS I hope you guys are enjoying the lower body challenge so far! If you are joining me for the challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)

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

1. Kettlebell (or Dumbbell) Swings
2. Warrior Deadlift Press (right)
3. Warrior Deadlift Press (left)
4. Squat
5. Box Jump
6. Split Squat (right) (half reps)
7. Split Squat (left) (half reps)
8. Leg Extension (prone)

Repeat 1-3X. 

DumbBell or Kettle Bell Swing: Back stays straight. Arms extend with the weight. Glutes squeeze as you press through the hips. 

Warrior Deadlift Press: Part 1. Warrior 3 Pose with weight. Back leg extends, back is straight, bed at the hips. Slightly bed standing leg to reach weight toward the floor. 

Warrior Deadlift Press Part 2: Come to standing and press weight overhead. Shoulders stay relaxed  and should not arch toward ears. 

Squat: Front Weight. Thighs come to parallel. Hips press backward. Knees stay behind toes. Press up through the heels and glutes to return to standing. 

Box Jump: Start in a Squat. Jump up onto box (or substitute jump squat). Return to starting position. 
Bulgarian Split Squat: Knees stay behind the toes. The movement is up and down. Knees stay behind the toes. Toes of the extended leg are pressed down into the bench or chair behind you. 

Prone Leg Extension. Keeping feet together, extend legs, lifting through the glutes. Hips are placed over the stability ball, arms are lightly extended to the floor in front of you. This move can also be performed while lying on the floor. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

20 Minute HIIT Workout: Fat Burn Lower Body Challenge

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout is a 20 Minute HIIT workout that combines fat burning and body sculpting exercises. This workout will challenge your cardiovascular system and get you sweating. Scientific research has shown 20 minutes of HIIT to be the optimum for increased metabolic rates throughout the day. 

One round takes 20 minutes, and you can repeat it up to 3X. So far today I only went through it once, but I am planning to repeat it this evening 1-2 more times. (I had a dentist appointment so I didn't have time to complete the workout all at once!) Working up a sweat multiple times per day instead of in one longer session can be beneficial for regulation of your blood sugar levels, and keeping your metabolism boosted. 

I am also starting to focus on a return to clean eating, so I will be sharing more about meals and recipes. Today for lunch I had: Avocado Curry Chicken Salad. Remember, eating healthy doesn't have to mean eating bland! 

If you are joining me for the challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)

Have fun!

Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer set for 20 Rounds of 10/50. 

1. Sumo Surfer
2. Warrior III Plank
3. High Knees
4. Russian Kicks
5. Forward Fold Tap (right)
6. Forward Fold Tap (left)
7. High Knees
8. Russian Kicks
9. Side Plank Double Kick (right)
10. Side Plank Double Kick (left)
11. High Knees
12. Russian Kicks
13. Side Lunge Knee (right)
14. Side Lunge Knee (left)
15. High Knees
16. Russian Kicks
17. Double Plie
18. Lunge Hop Jump
19. High Knees
20. Russian Kicks

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

ABs-olutely Swimsuit Ready Core Workout

Hi Everyone!

This workout is focused on the core. This is a tough 10 minute interval workout. This is an oldie, but you can look forward to seeing a brand new workout tonight, along with another Lower Body Challenge move. :)

I love core workouts because a strong core helps you in everything you do. It improves your balance, posture, and helps protect you from injury. 

This routine works every aspect of the core. It's challenging and quick, but if you have more time you can repeat it. 


If you are joining me for the challenge don't forget to check in on FacebookInstagram or Twitter. The check in posts are a great way to stay motivated and on track. :)

Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer set for 15 rounds of 10/50. 

1. Right Plank Step
2. Left Plank Step
3. Up Dog/Down Dog
4. Bicycle Abs
5. Toe Tap Situp
6. Cross Plank (right)
7. Cross Plank (left)
8. Bicycle Boat
9. Temple Tap Abs
10. Knee Tap Plank Crunch