Sunday, June 29, 2014

Round and Sculpted Butt Stability Ball Workout (15 Minutes)

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout uses a stability ball, and it is focused on sculpting and shaping a firm and round butt. If you don't have a stability ball most of these moves can be performed without a ball. The ball adds an extra dimension of balance, and muscle activation. It's good to change your challenges during your workouts. 

In the video I completed the Curtsy Lunge alternating sides, and repeated it 2X in a row. You can do it this way, or choose to repeat one side at a time. 

I went through this workout 1X and followed it by a 6.7 mile run outside with Jesse. On Sunday's I am starting to incorporate a longer run day to help progress my speed and build my blood volume. We kept the mileage at 6.7 because it was a very hilly course. We tried a new route today, and it was hillier than anticipated so we cut down the mileage a little bit to keep the effort the same. 

Remember to train smart and listen to your body!

I hope you enjoy today's workout!

PS You can find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. Jesse has also been posting sneak peek workouts moves/tutorials on his Instagram page. 

Click the link to get your own Gymboss Interval Timer!
Set your timer for 15 rounds of 10/50. 

1. Squat and Lift
2. Butt Lift
3. Ball Pull
4. Warrior Tap (right)
5. Warrior Tap (left)
6. Side Lift (right)
7. Side Lift (left)
8. Superman Lift
9. Leg Series (right)
10. Leg Series (left)
11. Curtsy Lunge (right)
12. Curtsy Lunge (left)
13. Balanced Prone Heel Tap
14. Goddess Squat Reach (right)
15. Goddess Squat Reach (left)

Repeat 1-3X

Savory Roasted Butternut Squash (Two Healthy Recipes!)

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika (I just used regular paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (I didn't have it so I didn't use any, and it still turned out great!)
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt (I used half a teaspoon of sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • *Optional: Sliced cherry tomatos

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
  1.  Preheat oven to 375.
  2.  Cut ends off butternut squash, peel, and slice lengthwise.
  3.  Remove seeds and chop into 1 inch cubes.
  4.  In a medium bowl, combine spices, oil and vinegar into a paste.
  5.  Add squash and toss until coated. (I put it in a bowl with a lid and shook it to make it easier!)
  6.  Arrange the squash cubes in one layer in a roasting pan.
  7.  Roast for 20 minutes, toss once, and cook for an additional 25 minutes or until the squash is browned and is tender throughout.
 Eat and enjoy!
You can serve this as a side or you can eat it with rice or quinoa as a dinner. (I am having squash with whole grain and veggie rice for lunch right now!)
I am going to be making a green curry medley meal sometime in the next few days. If it turns out well I will share. :-)

Alternate Preparation Option:

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 diced tomato
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, brushed over the bottom of your pan
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil (or you can use olive oil again)
  • 2-4 cups of fresh baby spinach
  • 1 Handful of dried cranberries
  • 1 Handful of raw walnuts
  • Optional: Handful of feta. 
Total Time: 1 hr
  1.  Preheat oven to 375.
  2.  Cut ends off butternut squash, peel, and slice lengthwise.
  3.  Remove seeds and chop into 1 inch cubes.
  4. Dice tomatoes and onions, and mix with cubed squash. 
  5.  Brush the bottom of your pan with olive oil (or line with tinfoil and brush the foil with olive oil)
  6.  Arrange the squash cubes, onion and tomatoes in one layer in a roasting pan.
  7. Lightly sprinkle the coconut or olive oil over the top of your vegetables. 
  8. Cover with tinfoil before baking. 
  9.  Roast for 20 minutes, toss once, and cook for an additional 25 minutes or until the squash is browned and is tender throughout.
  10. During the last 10 minutes add the fresh baby spinach and stir into the vegetables. 
  11. Remove from the oven: carefully toss with cranberries and walnuts (and feta if desired). 
  12. Your dish is ready to be served! Be careful, it's hot!
*This meal is great on it's own or served with rice, quinoa or your meat of choice.

PS You can find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. Jesse has also been posting sneak peek workouts moves/tutorials on his Instagram page. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

15 Minute Stomach Sculpting Workout HIIT

Hi Everyone!

Tonight's workout is focused on sculpting the midsection and burning fat. One round takes 15 minutes, and you can repeat it up to 3x. The routine incorporates movements to get your heart rate up and burn fat, with core strengthening moves. It works your midsection from every angle, which is key to having a tighter, more sculpted core. 

Tonight I went through the workout 1X and paired it with two mile repeats on the treadmill. I did my first mile at a hard pace. It was mentally challenging. During runs my mind wants to give in and quit, even when my body is handling the workout. I like running at a comfortably challenging pace, but pushing beyond that is tough. That push (and struggling through it) is one of the best ways to improve your running speed, so I am going to keep incorporating faster running into my workout routine. 

I completed my first mile in 6 minutes and 31 seconds. I took a quick rest and then I slowed down my second mile to 7 minutes and 28 seconds. The second mile felt so good, and like a comfortable pace compared to the first mile. It doesn't matter what your paces are, incorporating speedier work (at  your own pace) will help you get faster. You will be amazed at what you are able to accomplish, and how quickly your perception of your running paces will change. 

I hope you enjoy today's workout! See you tomorrow. 

PS You can find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. Jesse has also been posting sneak peek workouts moves/tutorials on his Instagram page. 

Click the link to get your own Gymboss Interval Timer!
Set your timer for 15 rounds of 10/50. 

1. High Knees
2. V-Up
3. High Knees
4. Side Plank Leg Lift (right)
5. High Knees
6. Side Plank Leg Lift (left)
7. High Knees
8. Bicycle
9. High Knees
10. Crab March
11. High Knees
12. Frogger
13. High Knees
14. Rock the Boat
15. High Knees

Repeat 1-3X

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

23 Minute HIIT: Full Body and Fit Fashion Shout Out (and discount code)!

 Hi Everyone!

This is a throwback workout that kicked my butt (the video is below)! Make sure you warm up (jog in place, do some walking or jump rope) to get your body ready to work hard. Warming up increases your ability to maximize the effort put out during the workout, and improves the calorie burn. 

This is an intense workout. The breakdown is similar to the breakdown I use in my Boot Camp classes. If you are just starting to build up your endurance and strength, or find that this is to intense you can substitute rest or marching for the high knees between rounds. You can also shorten the intervals. 

I have mentioned before, HIIT workouts are one of the best ways you can burn fat while maintaining your lean muscle mass. This allows you to keep your shape and strength, while improving your metabolism. 

I also want to give a shout out to Chase Infinite. This company does more than make cute clothes. They donate $1 for every shirt they sell to various charities including: the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, American Heart Association, Wounded Warrior Project and Breast Cancer Research Foundation. 

The Strong Women tank (pictured above) is aligned with fighting domestic violence. 

Chase Infinite is offering a special Discount Code to BenderFitness Fans: enter the coupon code "fitness" to save 20% off your order at their website:

Lately, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about what I can do to help make a difference in the world. I like that this company has incorporated motivation and charity into their mission statement. 

Have a great night and enjoy the workout!

Click the link to get your own Gymboss Interval Timer!
Max Reps During Each 60 second interval, 30 seconds of High Knees between exercises. 

*Beginners start with 30 seconds of max reps, 15 seconds of rest (or high knees) between exercises. 
*HIIT workouts are very intense. Push yourself, but also listen to your body. 

1. Decline Pushups
2. Double Squat Jump
3. Burpee
4. Reverse Hook Crunch
5. Spiderman Plank
6. Frogger
7. Lunge Jump
8. Surfer
9. Single Leg Frogger
10. Temple Tap Abs
11. Frog Hopper
12. Curtsy Lunge Kick (right)
13. Curtsy Lunge Kick (left)
14. Rotating Side Plank Crunch
15. Squat Twist

Monday, June 23, 2014

Quick Full Body Workout: Burn, Sweat and Sculpt

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout will work the entire body. One round takes 15 minutes, and it can be repeated up to 3X. 

This workout utilizes movements that work your body from every angle. This helps create balance and strength in muscles that are often neglected in workouts. It also assists in keeping your body biomechanically sound so that it can work optimally. 

I went through this workout 1X and paired it with a 5.6 mile run outside with Jesse. If I had done a shorter run (or no run) I would have increased my workout to 3 rounds. 

As always, work to your own level! The more consistent you are the more efficiently your body will start to handle the workouts. 

Have fun!

PS You can find me on FacebookInstagramTwitter and Pinterest. Jesse has also been posting sneak peek workouts moves/tutorials on his Instagram page. 

Click the link to get your own Gymboss Interval Timer!
15 Rounds: 10/50 Second Intervals 

1. Burpee
2. Hip Lift/Elbow Tap Side Plank (right)
3. Hip Lift/Elbow Tap Side Plank (left)
4. Tuck Jump
5. Pendulum Hop
6. Hip Thrust (right)
7. Hip Thrust (left)
8. Shoulder Tap Pushup
19. Sumo Squat Jump
10. Angel Abs
11. Frogger
12. Forward/Backward Lunge (right)
13. Forward/Backward Lunge (left)
14. Cross Donkey Kick
15. Hip Lift Hook

Repeat 1-3X

Friday, June 20, 2014

Full Body Bender: Home Workout

Hi Everyone,

I have another throw back workout for you today. I will be filming a new workout tonight, but it won't be posted until tomorrow. 

This is a great full body workout. Be sure to warm up before the workout. I use weights for the last two exercises in this routine. Dumbbells can be used for the bent over rows. 

The final exercise is a Good Morning. It is a great exercise, but only if you are doing it correctly. Keeping your back in the proper position during this movement is imperative for keeping you safe and reaping the benefits of this movement. If you aren't sure about form substitute Supermans in place of this exercise. 

To complete a Superman: 
Start out in Prone (face down, on your belly) on the floor. 
Lift both arms and legs out and up, contracting your glutes and keeping the core tight. 

Have fun!

PS You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Jesse has also been posting sneak peek workouts moves/tutorials on his Instagram page. 

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

Repeat 1-3X

1. Supergirl Push Ups
2. Lunge Hop (right)
3. Lunge Hop (left)
4. Scissor Touch Abs
5. Prone Heel Press
6. Boat Tap
7. Bird Dog (right)
8. Bird Dog (left)
9. Single Leg Hip Thrust (right)
10. Single Leg Hip Thrust (left)
11. Bent Over Row
12. Good Mornings

***For an extra challenge add 2-5 minutes of jump rope or running in between each round.***

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Intense Cardio Interval Workout

Hi Everyone!

Yesterday I took my workout to the track. This is a very challenging cardiovascular workout, that will burn fat, strengthen your core, and improve your speed. Even if you aren't concerned with running speed this workout will help you improve your bodies ability to work at a higher level of effort and improve your V02 Max. 

Make sure you do a warm-up before completing this workout, and finish with a cool-down. I did a warm-up jog (2 laps around the track, which equals 800 meters), and 1 mile cool down at an easy pace. 

When I wrote the workout I planned on doing a 3 minute jogging warm-up and 3 minute jogging cool down. You can choose whichever suits your needs. 

I hope you enjoy this one! It's tough, but a great challenge! 

Click the link to get your own Gymboss Interval Timer!


-High Knees (1 Minute)
Jump Rope (or invisible jump rope) (2 Minutes)
-Run (3 Minutes-Harder than race pace)
-Burpees (2 Minutes)
-Mountain Climbers (1 Minute)
-Run (3 Minutes: Harder than race pace)
-Jump Rope (2 Minutes)
-High Knees (1 Minute)

Cool Down

Alternate Workout Burst for those who do not run:

All Levels: Max Reps during each 50 second interval, 10 seconds of rest between exercises. Followed by 1 mile run, or 5-10 minutes of cardio of choice. 

1. Frog Hopper
2. Curtsy Lunge Twist (right)
3. Bicycle Abs
4. Curtsy Lunge Twist (left)
5. Jumping Jack Pushup

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fat Burn Body Toning: Shape and Sculpt

Hi Everyone!

I have another fun workout for you! This is a throwback workout. I was out of town for the weekend. We had a death in the family, so it was tough, but still great to see some of my extended family. 

The first time I did this workout it took me just over 20 minutes to go through one time. It incorporates cardio blasts throughout to keep your metabolism revving, and fat burning at a high rate. I will let you know how long it takes me to do it this time!

I will be posting a new workout tonight. I'm excited to get back to it, and get moving. I got in a nice run while I was away, but that was the only chance I had to exercise. 

I hope you guys enjoy the workout! 

PS I love to hear how your workouts are going, and see your progress! Let me know on: FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.  #BenderFitness

Click the link to get your own Gymboss Interval Timer!

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

Repeat 1-2X

1. High Knees
2. Hip Press (right)
3. Hip Press (left)
4. High Knees
5. Temple Tap Abs
6. Heel Tap Abs
7. High Knees
8. Warrior Deadlift (right)
9. Warrior Deadlift (left)
10. High Knees
11. Plank Step (right)
12. Plank Step (left)
13. High Knees
14. Triangle Hip Lift
15. Sideways Boat
15. High Knees

Friday, June 13, 2014

Tighter Tummy Workout

Hi Everyone!

This is an older workout. I am headed to NY for a funeral so I didn't have time to film a new workout. I will be gone for a few days, but I plan on sharing some old workouts and challenge moves over the course of the weekend. 

This is a fun and challenging workout. You should definitely feel your core working throughout to help build strength and definition throughout your midsection. 

You can repeat this workout up to 3X. As always, focus on using proper form. Although this is a timed workout, and you are going for maximum number of reps in a set interval, never sacrifice form for speed. Without proper form you aren't getting the full benefits of the exercise. 

I hope you enjoy the workout!

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

or complete this workout HIIT style: Equipment: Gymboss Interval Timer set for 10 rounds of 10/50. 

1. Mountain Climbers
2. Temple Tap Abs
3. Side Jump Abs
4. Oblique Reach (right)
5. Oblique Reach (left)
6. Speed Skater Jump
7. Windshield Wiper Plank
8. Extended Arm Pulse
9. Plank Jack
10. Downward Dog Cross Pushup

Repeat 1-3X

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

15 Minute Plyo HIIT Workout: Burn Fat Fast

Hi Everyone!

I hope you're ready to sweat with today's workout! This workout utilizes a lot of fun and challenging plyometric movements. Plyometric exercises have been shown to improve your speed, muscle power, endurance, and have a high caloric burn. 

This is a great workout for burning fat, and improving strength, overall athleticism, and power of movement. As always, focus on form throughout the routine. I was planning on repeating this 3X, but Jesse asked me to join him for a run. I switched up my plan and went through this 1X, paired with a 5.5 mile run outside. 

This is a non-fitness related shout out, but one of my best friends (and former Swing Dancing partner! High School photo flashback alert!) developed a new app. He has been a huge support to me, and even designed the logo for my website. His app is a free investment game where you can win gift cards to different companies from sports wear to restaurants. You can check it out here: If you have a moment and you like winning gift cards please check it out and support my friend. :) 

I hope you all enjoy tonight's workout!

See you tomorrow with a new one. 

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

1. Jump Rope (or Ropeless Jumping)
2. Squat Jump
3. Tuck Jump Burpee
4. Bridge Hopper (right)
5. Bridge Hopper (left)
6. Frogger
7. Warrior Lunge Jump
8. Speed Skater
9. Mountain Hopper
10. Tap & Punch Squat Jump
11. High Knees Burpee
12. Down Dog Hop
13. Wide Leg Frogger
14. Lunge Jump
15. Russian Kicks

Repeat 1-3X

Monday, June 9, 2014

Full Body Boot Camp Workout

Hi Everyone,

It has been a busy weekend for me. My sister, Kristen, got married on Saturday. She was a gorgeous bride. You can find her pre-wedding workouts here. Jessica (my other sister) and I had the pleasure of being her Maids of Honor. 

Today I planned on filming a new workout, but we got very sad news. My brother's mom passed away unexpectedly. My brother is back home in New York and it's tough not being there with him right now. Some of you might remember Matt, he joined me for a workout a while ago (Arms and Abs Home Workout). If you could keep him in your thoughts and prayers we would greatly appreciate it. The loss of a parent is always difficult, but it is especially difficult when it occurs at such a young age, and so unexpectedly. 

I have included one of my favorite workouts below. It's one of my Bender Boot Camp Workouts. It's a tough one, but I hope you enjoy it. 

This is a full body, high intensity (HIIT) workout. Every other exercise is burpees, but depending on your level you can also substitute high knees. As long as you are pushing yourself you are getting benefits. HIIT workouts are especially effective at burning fat, while maintaining lean muscle mass. The result is a metabolism boost that lasts for hours after your workout. Also, as your body fat drops, and your muscle mass increases you become tigheter, leaner, and burn more calories throughout the day. 

I found this workout challenging, and I hope you do too! 


All Levels: Max reps during each interval. (60 seconds, 30 second Burpees)


Beginner: 10 reps, 5 Burpees
Intermediate: 15 reps, 8 Burpees
Advanced: 20 reps, 10 Burpees

1. High Knees
2. Burpee
3. Plank Jack
4. Burpee
5. Temple Tap
6. Burpee
7. Windshield Wiper Plank
8. Burpee
9. Ab Extension Pulse
10. Burpee
11. Warrior 3 Hop
12. Burpee
13. 1 Leg Hip Thrust (right)
14. Burpee
15. 1 Leg Hip Thrust (left)
16. Burpee

Plank Jack: In a forearm plank position jump your feet out as you would in a jumping jack. Jump them back together. That is one rep. 
Temple Tap Abs: Lay on the floor, lift your legs, and shoulder blades off the floor, hands at prayer position at your chest. Reach your elbow toward the top corner of the mat, following with your eyes. Bring your hands to center, and then repeat the motion to the left for one rep. Shoulder blades and legs stay lifted throughout. 
Windshield Wiper Plank: In a plank position step your foot out to the left, and then return it to central starting position. Repeat on the other side for one rep. 

Ab Extension Pulse: Legs and shoulder blades lift off the floor. Low back stays on the ground and arms extend over your head. Lightly pulse, keeping the movements of your legs and upper body small. Your abs should be pulled in throughout the exercise. 

One Leg Hip Thrust (part 1): Plant left heel on the floor with your knee bent at a 90 degree angle. Arms extend, fingers point toward your toes. Keep your right leg extended and foot flexed. 

One Leg Hip Thrust (part 2): Pushing through your planted heel and both arms press your hips toward the ceiling until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to knee. Press your heel toward the ceiling. The focus is on the movement of the hips. The leg will follow. Repeat this on the other side. 

Warrior 3 Hop: During Warrior III Pose the standing leg is slightly bent, back is flat, and your body hinges at the hips. Reach your arms and leg back behind you. Bring both feet together, hop into the air, and then perform this movement on the other side. 

Burpee: When jumping push up through the heels to spring toward the ceiling. 

Burpee: Jump up and reach as high as you can each and every time. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Quick Burn and Sculpt: Home Workout: Wedding Workout Series

Hi Everyone!

Kristen is back for her final workout before her wedding on Saturday! As you can see from the pictures above she has made great progress. She has improved her fitness and her body is showing the results. 

Her final pre-wedding workout routine is posted below. 

You can find Kristen's other Wedding Prep workouts here:
-Wedding Boot Camp Tutorial  (this one is a tutorial instead of a full length workout)

Kristen's favorite Bender Fitness workout is the Lower Body Challenge: All Around Workout. She also did some running and walking. She ran a 5K in April in 29 minutes and 43 seconds. I am very proud of her for all of her hard work and accomplishments! 

On Day 1 (December 18, 2013) Kristen's Measurements were as follows:
Waist: 29"
Hips: 41.5"
Thigh: 35.5"

Kristen's current measurements (June 3, 2014) are:
Waist: 26.5"
Hips: 38.5"
Thigh: 22"

Kristen's favorite meal is breakfast. Every morning she starts her day with an egg white omelet with spinach, turkey sausage, and whatever veggies she has in the house (zucchini, peppers, tomatoes). Sometimes she adds feta for a little bit of extra flavor. Kristen works full time, and goes to school full time, so she loves the fact that it's fast to make and it gives her energy to get through her morning. 
I hope you guys enjoy today's workout. We had fun, and we definitely worked up a sweat! It's a full body routine that will get your heart rate up, build lean muscle, and boost your metabolism. 

Hope you're ready!

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

1. Burpee
2. Lunge Hop (right)
3. Lunge Hop (left)
4. Plank Jack
5. Leg Series (right)
6. Leg Series (left)
7. Leg/Hip Lift
8. Side Plank Crunch (right)
9. Side Plank Crunch (left)
10. X-Jump

Repeat 1-3X

*Kristen and I went through 1X and followed the routine with a 2.75 mile run/walk. 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Quick Sweat: 10 Minute Workout

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout is a fun, but quick, challenge. One round takes 10 minutes so you can definitely fit it into your day. Feel free to repeat it and/or pair it with some cardio to increase the intensity of the challenge. 

This routine is a full body workout, and uses body weight only. No Equipment? No Excuses. :) 

I went through this 1X today, and did a 20 minute run outside. Yesterday was a long workout day for me, so today I kept it a bit lighter. 

Jesse and I also started a simple stretching program today, which I will be sharing. It's important to maintain flexibility. I will be posting our routine tomorrow so be sure to check back. 

Have fun!

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

1. Low Jack Tap
2. Down Dog Climber
3. Squat Jump
4. Side Plank Leg Lift (right)
5. Side Plank Leg Lift (left)
6. Hip Thrust (right)
7. Hip Thrust (left)
8. Scissor Bicycle
9. Kicking Warrior (right)
10. Kicking Warrior (left)

Repeat 1-3X
Hip Thrust: Lift Your Hips and Form a Straight Line from Knee to Shoulder.
Press the foot toward the ceiling. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Arms and Back: Quick Home Workout

Hi Everyone!

Today's workout is focused on the arms and back (the video is below). I get a lot of requests for exercises that target the back of the arms, and the bra area of the back. This routine will assist with building strength and tightness in those areas. 

I have also included my video on how to Build to a Pull-Up below, along with the link to the original post. 

I also got in a great run with Jesse. It was my first long run in a long time, and it felt great to hit the trails and go. I have promised Jesse that I will let him help train me to increase my speed in races. Instead of just running for fun and fitness I am going to focus on incorporating more of a running schedule into my routine. 

I posted an article on How Often to Cross Train for Running, and I will be sharing a complete breakdown of my Bender Fitness workouts and my running program. I raced my last 5K in 23:16, and my last Half Marathon in 1 hour and 46 minutes. Let's see if I can improve that!

I hope you enjoy today's workout!

10-12 Reps Per Exercise

1. Pull-up/Bent Arm Hang
2. Bicep Curl
3. Tricep Drop
4. Plank Row
5. Shoulder Press
6. Decline Push-up
7. Dip
8. Tricep Push-up (right)
9. Tricep Push-up (left)
10. Walk the Plank
11. Chest Press Plank to Down Dog

Optional: *Bonus: Backbend Push-up*

Repeat Workout 1-3X

Building to a Pull-Up/Increasing My Pull Up Reps