#15 Full Body Circuit Workout

After all the decadent food, sweet treats, and flowing drinks we’ve all been consuming lately, I hope y’all have made it to the gym or done something to stay active.  (Yes, I’m lookin’ at YOU!)  You know how I feel about that!  If not, don’t beat yourself up; instead, START NOW!  Itz never too late to MOVE.  And I’ve got the perfect routine to whip your booty into shape and sweat out some of that blissful holiday food.  Itz a FULL BODY CIRCUIT WORKOUT!

#15 Full Body Circuit

Ooooh baby – this was a good one!  My friend and I did it together and we were sweating, hearts racing, and were SORE the next day.  All signs of a stellar workout in my opinion.  You can, of course, substitute dumbbells for the barbell or not use any additional weight at all.  I prefer barbells for lunges and squats as I think itz more comfortable and less awkward than holding dumbbells.

Last night I dropped by my sister’s house because the Chanukah gift she ordered me came in.  I decided to do a last-minute vlog on how to do plank walkups because I’m not sure that’s a very common exercise.  Stephanie got me new pajamas, so I’m sporting them during the video.  Don’t mind my long underwear!  Jacob, my nephew sidekick, is right alongside me helping out (and is in his jammies, too!).

You even got a quick glimpse of my niece, Audrey!

15 full body circuit

See?  #PROOF I did it!

Which do you prefer for lunges and squats: barbells or dumbbells?  Have you ever done plank walkups before?

Vlog: New Workout Routine

Happy Monday!  I’m in the greatest mood after such a relaxing weekend and a short work week ahead.  My weekend in a nutshell: Friday evening I had dinner with my best friend Diana then we went shopping.  Saturday started off with a fabulous bikram yoga class, breakfast with my dad, brother, and nephew, and then lots of quality time with my mom.  Jonny and I met my brother for dinner on Saturday night.  Sunday entailed sleeping in (until 6:30 – woot!), a gym session, coached my last soccer game of the season, got some schoolwork done with my co-workers/friends at Panera, then family dinner at my rents house.  Busy, but low-key and productive.  Just what I needed.

So for my post today, I want to tell you about my new workout routine and how that’s going.  Instead of writing about it, I’m vlogging!  Yes, that’s right.  While I had my first vlog debut with other FitFluential Ambassadors during the Runner’s World event, I’m here with my very own vlog.  My sister was video taping me, and at the end I got a bit tongue-tied and started cracking up.  So just don’t mind that. 🙂

For the chest and back workout that I spoke of, I do three sets of each exercise with 15 reps during the first set, and 12 for the latter two with a bit heavier weight.  I superset opposing muscle groups which I find makes the workout go faster with less rest time in between.

Chest & Back Workout

  • *Superset – Barbell Bench Press
  • *Superset – Bent Over Barbell Row
  • ~Superset – Incline Chest Fly
  • ~Superset – Reverse Dumbbell Fly
  • *Superset – Push Ups
  • *Superset – Lat Pull Down
  • ~Superset – Hyperextensions
  • ~Superset – Decline Sit Ups

Obviously, decline sit ups are for your core and not your chest or back, but I like to superset them with hyperextensions.  That’s it.  Pretty basic exercises, but a good place to start if you’re just beginning to lift weights [again], like me.

Ladies, don’t be afraid of pumping iron!! Itz SO good for you!!  And taking care of your body, bones, and health is a marvelous thing.

Marvelous Monday with Healthy Diva Eats

What’s your workout schedule look like?

Eat Whole Foods

So last night I attended the first of five sessions of the Healthy Eating Challenge hosted by Whole Foods.  The class was sold out at 23 participants and was held in a small room at my local Whole Foods.  When we walked in the room, each person received a bag filled with Whole Foods goodies!

I’m really excited about the red lentils.  I’ve eaten lentils before, but bought the pre-made kind, so I’ll need to do some experimenting with actually cooking them.  The other items are always good to have on hand and I can always use another reusable bag and kitchen utensils!  We also got a suggested meal plan with tons of recipes.

The class began with a short introduction on what the “challenge” would entail.  I quickly learned that the class was more geared to the common person, which unfortunately, does not have a lot of knowledge of what it means to eat healthy, whole foods.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, but hoped it went a bit deeper, but it did give some good information for someone who is just getting started on their healthy eating endeavors.

This 28 Day Challenge included a daily food intake of vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds, beans, and whole grains/starch vegetables with recommended portions of each.  They suggested limiting fish, eggs, poultry, and meat and eliminating dairy, oils, white bread/pasta, processed foods, and sweets.  They did stress that each choice is a personal one and every person can decide how they want to attack this challenge.  Personally, I don’t necessarily agree with completely “restricting” particular foods such as dairy and oils and I don’t feel the need to limit eggs when I am eating mostly eggwhites.  (I usually consume two yolks a week which is fine.)  Dairy is not a category I typically eat a lot of anyway as I prefer almond milk to cow’s and I do keep cheese out of the house because I know it’s just not a super healthy choice.

Then we toured the store and I learned a couple of things.  For one, I did not know that the seasonal and on-sale items were kept in the front of the store in the produce section.  Also, Whole Foods is really trying to develop their “Health Starts Here” initiative, so they have placed that label on a lot of products to make shopping easier for those with specific goals in mind.

When we got to the meat department, I noticed a label on the glass which was a 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating.  This provides a rating on all of the meat on a 1 – 5 scale.  I do appreciate how Whole Foods stresses the importance of treating animals humanely and maintaining good relationships with their farmers.

I don’t buy or cook with a ton of meat, but if/when I do, I’ll be sure to check out the rating first.  After the tour, we went back to the room for a cooking demonstration.  The room was neat in that there was a slanted, hanging mirror, so we were able to see what was going on in the front of the room.

They made two “Bowls of Goodness” for us which includes a whole grain or starchy veggie, beans, greens, veggies, herbs & spices, and condiments or sauces.  Oftentimes I find myself making a bowl similar to this though I never named it. 🙂  It is a good basis for where to start in preparing a healthy dish using whole foods.  In fact, I made one for my lunch tomorrow!  You’ll have to wait for WIAW to see it though.  The first bowl they made included a greens mix of kale, spinach, and one other leafy green that I can’t remember, quinoa, peppers, onions, carrots, olives, and a Health Starts Here salad dressing with no oil.

The second dish was similar, but had chickpeas, avocado, brown rice, and a different Health Starts Here dressing.  A bit creamier due to the chickpeas and avocado and very tasty.  I love the simplicity of these bowls.

All in all it was a very good class and I am looking forward to delving deeper into some of the upcoming topics.  I’ll definitely be trying some new recipes, so be on the lookout!

My new goals of going to bed earlier, waking up, and working out are two days strong!  I typed furiously last night to complete this blog post in order to get in bed by 10, and I made it!  It makes so much of a difference if I get to bed before then in terms of waking up and getting to the gym.  Another circuit was on the docket today:

Week 11 Day 2: Back, Abs, & Cardio

  • Circuit: 20 reps each
  • Barbell Deadlift: 40 pounds
  • Bent Over Barbell Row: 40 pounds
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 45 pounds
  • Seated Cable Rows: 20 pounds
  • Hyperextensions: 25 pounds
  • Knee/Hip Raises
  • Airbike
  • Complete circuit 3 times
  • Cardio: 30 – 40 minutes

Due to morning time constraints, I must save my cardio for soccer practice this evening with my girls.  It’s not the best cardio, but I try and do as much as I can with them and it’s better than nothing!

Have you ever taken any sort of “healthy eating” class?

March’s Conscious Box

My positivity continued throughout the day even despite the crazy weather.  There was a lot of rain in the morning followed by sunshine and then showers on and off.  Jonny and I took a walk and watched the clouds change multiple times.

Crazy, right?  We did make it home before the clouds opened up, but I just couldn’t believe the changes we saw during our twenty-minute stroll!  Today I went to the gym when I woke up to complete a back, biceps, abs, and sprints workout.

Week 9 Day 5: Back, Biceps, Abs, & Sprints

  • *Superset – Wide Grip Assisted Pull-Up: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • *Superset – Medicine Ball Twist: 3 sets of 12 reps (14 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 15 reps (10 pounds each side)
  • ^Tripleset – Low Pulley Row to Neck: 3 sets of 15 reps (8 pounds each side)
  • ^Tripleset – Reverse Crunch: 3 sets of 25 reps
  • *Superset – Bent Arm Dumbbell Pullover: 3 sets of 15 reps (20 pounds)
  • *Superset – Decline Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Tripleset – Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps (45 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Underhand Cable Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps (45 pounds)
  • ^Tripleset – Exercise Ball Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps (14 pounds)
  • *Superset – Standing Bicep Cable Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps (20 pounds)
  • *Superset – Spider Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Superset – Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 15 reps (15 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Tuck Jumps: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Barbell Curl 21’s: 3 sets of 21 reps (20 pounds)
  • Cardio: 1 minute Run/Walk intervals (30 minutes)

These Phase 3 workouts are long and totally kick my butt!  I love it.  You know what else I love?  Conscious Boxes!  What is Conscious Box?  Conscious Box is a monthly delivery of pure and sustainable products that are handpicked from businesses that care about the planet – just like you!”  Basically, it is a box delivered to your doorstep filled with goodies that benefit you and your body without harming our environment.  Love in a box.  The kind souls at Conscious Box sent me a box to share with you.  Right inside the box is a quick blurb to explain the given month’s theme.

How perfect for Spring!  The “stretch your body” part really hit home for me as I have been trying to stretch on a more consistent basis.  Stretching is not difficult, but I have been having trouble actually making time for it.  I think this Conscious Box’s message is pretty clear. 🙂  On to the goodies:

MixtBag: Haven’t tried these yet, but how can you possibly go wrong with tortilla chips?  Answer: You can’t!  Especially chips that are all natural.  Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Crackers: These had a good flavor and were strong to withstand some serious dipping.  And the ingredient list consisted of only 11 recognizable ingredients.  Score!  The next six items all go with the energy theme.

Tera’s Whey: Goat protein with high-antioxidant superfruits.  I can’t wait to make a smoothie with this!  Java Juice: I don’t love coffee, but do drink it when I need the boost. This extract would be a fast and easy way to get the boost I need!  Good Kind Coffee Creamer: When I do drink coffee, I need to use cream of some sort.  This kind is GMO, gluten, trans-fat, and artificial flavor, color, and preservative free!  What more could you ask for?  Tea Forte Minteas: Perfect for popping in your mouth after a meal and I love the ginger pear flavor – different and tasty!  Healthy To Go! Acai Energy Boost:  You know how much I love acai.  This will be the perfect pick-me-up once spring break is over and I return to work.  EBOOST:  This reminds me of Airbore or Emergen-C, but EBOOST uses real ingredients to boost the immune system. And the pink lemonade flavor was good!

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds: We have a mini-garden in our backyard thanks to my father-in-law.  Maybe carrots could be our next garden project?  I promise to help!  😉  Olivella:  I’ve never used lotion with olive oil, but now I’m going to start.  This left my hands so silky smooth, and there are no added weird ingredients.  Double win.  Olbas Lozenges:  I’m saving this guy for when I really need it, but they claim to fight coughs and soothe sore throats.  The Conscious Box also included numerous coupons to use online for purchasing products.  Isn’t it amazing?  I told you so!

Have you order your Conscious Box yet?  It is a fabulous way to find out about companies and products that are good for our bodies and our earth.  For me, both factors are crucial when purchasing food, household items, and/or body products.  In addition, Conscious Box makes for such a fun gift!  I gifted a box to my parents and in-laws during the holidays. You can choose a single box or a package.  They are reasonably priced for ALL of the goodies you get.  Thank you, Conscious Box, for sharing this amazing box with me!

What would you want to try out of March’s Conscious Box?

Busy Bee

Hello!  Ever since coming back from vacation I have been go-go-go!  Would you believe that I even unpacked our bags the day we got back?  Believe it because it’s true.  Not like our last trip when our suitcases sat for several days… It definitely helped that we arrived mid-afternoon as opposed to late at night.  Plus, we were greeted with warm weather and after a couple of cold, cloudy days in Arizona we welcomed the heat!  In addition to the high temperatures is the fact that spring is here!

Little buds and flowers are popping up all over the place and I am definitely loving the greenery and spring colors.  When I got home I had a package waiting for me.  (Actually I had three packages waiting for me, but you’ll have to wait to find out what the other two were! ;))  Last week I won a giveaway that Rachel at Passing Daisies hosted.  She sent me a box of six EcoTrek Fitness bars.

(Yes, I sure did put this bar in the grass to take a picture.  I told you… I’m loving the green!)  Best part?  The flavor is Chocolate Raspberry.  Mmm!  I literally ate this for dessert one day.  It is packed with 10 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber.  Plus each bar has six servings of fruits and vegetables in it.  Winner winner!

I jumped right back on the workout wagon when I came to town.  Week 9 Day 2 of LiveFit went even better than Day 1.  A man actually commented to me at the gym, “Wow, that looks really hard!”  It was hard… Hardcore! 🙂

Week 9 Day 2: Back, Arms, Abs, & Sprints

  • *Superset – Wide Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps (50 pounds)
  • *Superset – Underhand Cable Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 (50 pounds)
  • ^Superset – One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps(15 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Exercise Ball Pull-In: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • *Superset – Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 15 reps (12 pounds)
  • *Superset – Jack Knife Sit-Up: 3 sets of 15 reps
  • ^Superset – Bent Over Barbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps (30 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • *Superset – Dumbbell Alternating Bicep Curls: 3 sets of 20 reps (15 pounds)
  • *Superset – Bench Dips: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • ^Superset – Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps (20 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Push-Ups: 3 sets of 12 reps
  • *Superset – Tricep Pushdown (rope): 3 sets of 12 reps (25 pounds)
  • *Superset – Mountain Climbers: 3 sets of 20 reps
  • ^Superset – Cable Rope Overhead Tricep Extension: 3 sets of 12 reps (15 pounds)
  • ^Superset – Air Bike: 3 sets of 25 reps
  • Cardio (30 minutes): alternating 1 minute walking (3.5) with 1 minute running (7.0) at incline 1.0

Hardcore is right!  LiveFit suggested doing 30 second intervals of running and walking, but I think that is too short.  By the time the treadmill actually reaches it’s given speed, it’s time to change again!  One minute intervals suited me just fine.  I covered 3 miles in about 33 minutes which I was happy about considering I walked half the time.

After the gym, I went to Trader Joe’s and then our local grocery store to stock up since our house had absolutely no food in it.  I was a busy bee in the kitchen as I prepared dinner for Jonny and for my good friends who just had a baby.  Preparing two full meals at once is a lot of work!  I loved it though and now we have leftovers for lunch and dinner for a few days!  I took my friends dinner and got to meet Baby Ainsley for the first time.

Ainsley is a doll!  She is literally perfect and was quite content sleeping in my arms while I was visiting.  I get to see her again on Friday.  I love babies!  Speaking of babies, I’m helping my sister with a photoshoot this morning.  Yay!

In between my business, I needed to give Zoey a bath as she has been a bit itchy lately.

Why, Mommy?

Zoey does not like baths one bit.  It doesn’t help that we need to leave the shampoo on her for a good five minutes as she stares at us with puppy eyes and whines pitifully.  Once she dries, she smells so good and her hair is so soft (not to mention clean!).

Have you been busy lately?

So Early In The Morning

I love weekends.  There’s no surprise there considering I started last weekend by saying the same thing.  Another reason I love weekends are because I can sleep in.  During the week, I wake up around 5:15 am in order to squeeze my workout in before school.  The weekends do not require me to set an alarm clock although my internal clock usually has me up pretty early, as well.  Jonny is the same way.  If we make it until 7:00 then we consider it a great success.  And 8:00?  Wow, we must have gone to bed late.  Like midnight.  Big partiers over here. 

Anyway, this morning it was not my alarm clock nor my internal clock that woke me up.  It was my little sweetheart of a furball Zoey.  She is usually a really good sleeper.  When Jonny and I get up and brush our teeth, Zoey is still snuggled up in bed.  We have to wake her up to take her potty and feed her breakfast.  However, this morning she started whining around 6:00.  No big deal, I figured I’d take her out and then come back to bed.  (occasionally this happens.)  I did and then she was still whining.  Oy.  Does she want breakfast?  Fine, I’ll do it.  So I did it and then just left her off the bed to try to get another hour of shut-eye.  I kept hearing her whine and whenever I tried to bend down and lift her on the bed she would run to the doorway.

Now what?  She already went potty and ate breakfast, what could it possibly be?  I tried to ignore her, but she kept on whining and wagging her little tail.  Every time I would make a move she would run out of the room.  Finally I decided to follow her and see what in the world she wanted so early in the morning.

Zoey wanted to play.  Now as a teacher, normally I would be ecstatic to see my pup with her newspaper wanting to read, even early in the morning.  However, Zoey didn’t want to read her newspaper; she wanted to play fetch with her newspaper.  And what did her obedient momma do?  Got out of bed at 6:00 in the morning on the weekend for several rounds of living-room fetch.  I’ll tell ya… I don’t know who trains who around here.  Since fetch lasted about 3 and a half minutes, I did have plenty of time to make a cup of coffee and arrive at the gym by seven o’clock when it opened.

Week 7 Day 6: Back & Rear Delts

  • Barbell Deadlift: 4 sets of 8 reps (70 pounds)
  • Lying T-Bar Row: 4 sets of 8 reps (25 pounds)
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 4 sets of 8 reps (55 pounds)
  • Seated Cable Rows: 4 sets of 8 reps (14 pounds each side)
  • Straight Arm Pull Down: 4 sets of 8 reps (25 pounds)
  • Reverse Flyes: 4 sets of 8 reps (12.5 pounds)
  • Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Raise: 4 sets of 8 reps (15 pounds)
  • Incline Walking: 30 minutes

And now I’m off to spend my morning with this little guy:

Well, just the little guy on the left.  The guy on the right’s not so little and doesn’t require babysitting.  And of course I had to choose a photo of Jackson and Jason sporting their Team Roxie shirts.  All the cool kids are wearing them.

Does your dog tell YOU what to do? 

Phase 2 Begins

This morning I listened to Jonny’s alarm clock go off at 6 a.m. (Not cock-a-doodle-do, thank goodness!)  Today is President’s Day (hopefully you knew that), so I don’t have work which means I have a much more flexible schedule.  Zoey was snuggling in bed and I really wanted to stay with her for a bit longer.

However, I met a friend at Starbucks at 9:30 to work on report cards, so I was pressed for time a bit this morning.  Today is the first day of Phase 2 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer.  Check out my Phase 1 workouts here.  Phase 2 reintroduces cardio to the mix and that makes me very happy.  Although I am not sure how I will accomplish it everyday that I don’t have work, but for now I was glad to have the time to get it in.

Week 5 Day 1: Back

  • Bent Over Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 8 reps (40 pounds)
  • Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 8 reps (14 pounds each side)
  • Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 3 sets of 10 reps (50 pounds)
  • One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 8 reps (20 pounds)
  • Hammer Strength Lat Pull Down: 3 sets of 10 reps (60 pounds)
  • Hyperextensions: 3 sets of 12 reps (25 pounds)
  • Cardio: 30 minutes (stairmill)

The first two exercises were supposed to be completed as a superset with no rest in between, but that was not very convenient with the way my gym is set up.  Instead, I completed each exercise individually with minimal rest between sets.  I lifted heavier than I had been (hence, the lower reps).  I recently read how doing high reps with low weight only builds muscular endurance, not strength or muscle. (source)  This encouraged me to go grab heavier weights, plus LiveFit suggests upping the pounds during Phase 2, as well.

After my workout, I came home to cook breakfast, shower (yes, again!), get some chili started in the crockpot, and get dressed – all before I was supposed to be at Starbucks by 9:30!  It was quite the productive morning in a short amount of time.  Now it’s time to work on my blog report cards.  Have a great day!

Are you off work today for President’s Day? What do YOU have planned?

PS: Are you a Pampered Chef fan? If so, or even if not and you need some stellar kitchen tools, AND you want to support Team Roxie, check this out NOW!