“Dear Kara” Workout

Kara and I are now working in different locations.  We now go to different gyms.  I am so sad about it, but I need to get the eff back on track!!  So maybe getting back into this blog will help me (us?) to stay motivated.  We can share our workouts, complain about muscle soreness (it’s really gloating in disguise), and share recipes.  Is this is a love letter to my favorite workout buddy?  Maybe.

Dear Kara,  

Here is the workout I have planned today.  I’m feeling out of shape.  Jaione asked to join me, too, and I know she’s afraid of me.  ;)  So I’m keeping it simple (did you like how I blamed her for my apprehension?).  But I think this will still be relatively challenging.  I look forward to upping my game over the next few weeks.  Share your workouts with me too!!!

Circuit 1

  • deadlift with bent-over row, 20-lb kettlebell  (x15)
  • pushups (x15)
  • side-to-side squats with 20-lb kettlebell (x15 each direction)
  • oblique V-ups (x15 each side)

Circuit 2

  • TRX Skull crushers (x15)
  • TRX abdominal pikes (x15)
  • 2 minutes on the stairclimber
  • Alternating lunges with bicep curls, 10-lb dumbells (x10 each side)

I hope this hurts this weekend.  I am also hoping to get out for a short jog with my HUSBAND (!!!) on Saturday or Sunday.  Feel free to text me to call me out on this promise.  Miss you!



New Apartment, New Gym

I moved recently (hence being swamped), and my new apartment complex has a pretty sweet gym. There’s nothing like a new location, and new equipment to make my workout feel a bit more interesting.  There’s also a lap pool, so I might have to try to work that in soon, too.  Not that the work gym isn’t still my go-to… I’m sure I’ll be there much more often than the gym at home.  But here’s what I tried for another workout quickie (~30 minutes) the other day at the new apartment:

Circuit 1 (repeat 3x)

  • Power Lunges, holding a 20-lb dumbbell. (x20 — 10 each leg)  See video below at 0:35.  Pushing off your front heel is the key here — try to make sure your toes leave the ground before your heel does.  This will put more of the focus on your booty.
  • Chest press machine, 40 lbs (x20)
  • Kara’s evil ab triplet (x5). 1 V-up, 1 “flying” V-up with a knee hug, 1 V-up reaching between legs.  That sequence of three moves is one rep. This needs a video, and I think we will make one soon.  These could be replaced with 15 normal V-ups, until we clear up the confusion!

Circuit 2 (repeat 3x)

  • Lat pull machine, 40lbs (x10)
  • Hamstring curl machine, 70 lbs (x15)
  • Bicep curls, two 12-lb dumbbells (x10)

10-minute jog at the end!  Pretty simple, but I had to keep things quick!  Hope you enjoy.  =)


Full Body Day + Ab Blast, 4/3/2013

One thing that’s nice about having this blog is that, even if no one read it (and thanks to those of you who do!! Hi!), we have quite a collection of workouts.  This is great because it means that on days when we just don’t have time to come up with something new, we have pre-designed workouts ready to go.  And that’s exactly what I used on Wednesday.  I made some adjustments to Kara’s Full Body Day + Ab HIIT from August last year, and it was perfect.  I took out the lunges, since I had done that exact move the day before, and I didn’t feel like doing the ab reaches or push ups, so I put in some replacements, instead.  The rest was pretty much the same.  That Ab session is a killer, man.  Here’s the re-vamped workout:

One Big Circuit, repeat 3x

  • Side-to-side squats, holding two 10-lb dumbbells (x20 — 10 each side), see minute 2:30
  • 10 butt-kicks, followed by 10 high knees (repeat sequence 3x)
  • side plank with inner-thigh leg lifts (x10 each leg)
  • overhead tricep press with 20-lb dumbbell (x10)
  • burpees (x10)
  • assisted pullups (x10)

Ab Blast:  Do the first exercise for 30 seconds, as many reps as you can, then take a 30 second break before moving on to the next exercise.  Do the second exercise for 30 seconds, then take another 30-sec break, etc.  Complete the series of 4 exercises 3 times through.

Crab Kicks

This one was great, and took about 45 minutes to complete. Make your own modifications, if you like, and give it a try!



Promises, promises…

Well, so much for my promise to hold down the fort!  Turns out that I was pretty swamped at the same time that Kara was swamped, so blogging took a hit.  Oh well — I still hit the gym a lot, so I have a bunch of posts scheduled to show you what I’ve been up to with my workout buddy Doha.  Here’s the first.

A 30 minute workout!  We had to get in and out of there on a busy Wednesday, so I increased the weight to get maximum effect (given our short time frame) from lifting, and finished off with a Tabata to get extra long-term burn.

Circuit 1, complete three times through

  • Walking lunges, holding two 15-lb dumbbells (x20 — 10 each leg)
  • Sit-up + Overhead Press (x20)– laying on your back, hold a kettlebell upside-down in both hands (the most secure position), with straight arms, directly over your face. So yeah, don’t drop it. With the kettlebell in this postion, do a situp.  As you sit up, move the kettlebell over your head.  At the top of the sit-up do an overhead press, by bringing the KB down to your chest, and then pressing it back over your head.  Lay back down, moving the KB held with straight arms, over your face again. That’s one rep.  These are time-consuming… but really good.    We did them with 20lbs.
  • Speed Skaters (x30) — see video

Circuit 2, complete three times through

  • Deadlifts, 40-lb bar (x20)
  • Pushups (x20)
  • Squat jumps (x30)

Finish it off with 5 minutes of Tabata Training on the treadmill.  Alternate 30 seconds of sprinting (or 80-90% of your max effort) with 30 seconds jogging (or 40-50% of your max effort), until you get to 5 minutes!


Upper Body Focus Day + Ab Finisher

This was one Kara and I did last week — we’ve both been swamped at work, so it’s been tough to post things pre-workout.  Such is life!  Anyway, things are about to get even more insane at work for Kara, so I’ll try to hold down the fort here for a bit. Hope you all have an excellent St. Patrick’s Day!

Circuit 1 (repeat 4x)

  • Seated reverse flyes
  • Around-the-world pushups on step bench (1 pushup on each side of the bench, 2 “laps” in each direction”, for a total of 16 pushups, similar to the video below)
  • Walking lunges + curl + press, with two 10-12lb dumbbells (x20, 10 on each side)
Seated reverse flyes, from Oxygen Magazine

Seated reverse flyes, from Oxygen Magazine

Walking lunge + curl + press, from Women’s Health

Circuit 2 (repeat 4x)

  • Overhead tricep presses, holding one 20-lb dumbbell with both hands (x10)
  • 500 meters on rowing machine (keep it under 3 minutes, but shoot for 2:30)
  • Around the world combo with 5-lb dumbbells (x10)

Overhead Tricep Press, from Women World

Around the World

Around the World, demonstrated by my lady-friend, Kara.


  • 30 frog crunches
  • 30 V-ups
  • 30 oblique crunches on the right
  • 30 oblique crunches on the left



Leg Day 2/27/13

Ok.  ok.  Today’s workout will be a more typical leg day.  A little more weights, and more lower body focused with some cardio in there to keep the heart rate up.   Also after checking out Hermoine’s abs yesterday, I’ve added in some ab moves disguised as leg moves.  See if you can figure out which is which.  Hope you enjoy!

perform the each circuit four times through and finish with the butt blast at the end.

Circuit One
Front squat – 15 reps with a 45lb bar
One leg dead lifts – 10 reps each leg, two 20lb dumbbells or kettlebells
Calf raises – 30 reps with two 20lb dumbbells or kettlebells
Reverse burpees – 10 reps, check link for video demo

Circuit 1

Circuit 1

Circuit Two
Step ups with knee lift – 10 reps each leg
Curtsey lunges – 10 reps each leg with two 12lb dumbbells
Burpees with weight slide – 10 reps

Circuit 2

Circuit 2

Butt Blast
link for video demo and a reminder of what lisa marie from boy rock used to look like.
Butt Blast

Butt Blast

enjoy. kara.

Legday Update

Hi y’all! I wanted to send out an update to the workout yesterday. My workout buddy Doha and I completed it in about 35 minutes and were pretty schweaty by the end.

Let’sssss be honest though – it’s more of a full body/cardio day. The jump rope time was perfect for Doha and I and the overall workout length was perfect for Monday.  I’m usually hesitant about AMRAPs in principle because they end up focusing more on speed than form/performance and I thought this was the perfect solution – one longer circuit with a great combo of cardio and weights.  Check it out here.

Until tomorrow’s workout – here’s some inspiration via my favorite Harry Potter character!

Emma Watson Fitness Inspiration


Monday, Legday 2/25/13

Monday, monday.  My least favorite but most inspired day of the week.  I hate waking up Monday mornings, but I always feel the start of the week holds so much potential when I finally get myself to work.   I can’t help but think “How am I going to fill the next 7 days????”  Ohhh the possibilities…

Today I’m filling it with a Zuzka inspired workout.  I took one of her AMRAPs and lengthened it to a full circuit workout.  It’s a giant circuit workout, like fitnessistas of old times but it’s got lots of jump rope to keep your heart rate up.  The workout inspiration and photos seen below can be found here.

Repeat 4 times through

  • Jump rope with high knees – 1 minute
  • Squat and press – 10 reps with 10lb  dumbbells
  • Jump rope with high knees – 1 minute
  • Bent over rows – 10 reps with 10lb  dumbbells
  • Plank rows – 10 reps with 10lb  dumbbells
  • Jump rope with high knees – 1 minute
  • Jump lunge and twist – 10 reps with a 10lb  dumbbell
  • Jump rope with high knees – 1 minute
  • One leg toe touch and push up – 10 reps


Enjoy! kara.

Two Toughies – Leg Day, 2/20/2013

Circuit One (repeat 4x)

  • Walking lunges holding two 10-lb weights + pushups  (10 lunges in one direction, then get down and do 5 pushups, then 10 lunges in the other direction, and another 5 pushups)
  • Butt lifts with an 8-lb dumbbell held in your kneepit (x10 each leg)
  • Single leg calf raises, off of a step, holding two 10-lb dumbbells (x10 each leg)
  • Military-style situps;  for us, that just means keeping your toes off of the ground, heels dug in, and sitting all the way up. It’s not a crunch!  (x20)
Butt lift.  Where she has an orange ball, we will have an 8-lb dumbbell.  Image from cookinglight.com

Butt lift. Where she has an orange ball, we will have an 8-lb dumbbell. Image from cookinglight.com

Circuit Two (repeat 4x)

  • Bike Sprints (30s sitting, 15s standing, 30s sitting, 15s standing, 30s sitting,15s standing, 30s sitting) — less than 3 minutes, push yourself!
  • Oblique sit-ups, with legs (see video below) (x15 each side)
  • Dumbbell deadlifts, with two 20-lb dumbbells (x15)
  • Scissor legs, like this video at 2:58, but pick up the pace a bit (x15)

That’s it!  I think both circuits look to be on the tougher side, so I think just two of them (with 4 repetitions each) is still an excellent workout, especially when you factor in those bike sprints.  Kick ass, and have fun.  =)


Goofy Upper Body Day + Tabata Finisher, 2/13/2013

A couple of days ago, Kara, Doha, and I did a nice workout.  It was two simple circuits with a tabata at the end.  But it was a little too easy… so I wanted to kick it up a little bit today, but keep the same format.  We are (or at least I am) really enjoying the 2-circuit workouts with tabata finishers lately.  Those last 4 minutes really make you dump the rest of your energy — my heart rate stays high for about an hour after we finish.  That’s my favorite part;  I’ll be home and cooking dinner, and peek at my heart rate monitor to see that my HR is still in the 90-100 range.  Heck yeah, extended calorie burn, baby!

So this workout has two circuits, with some more intense moves than we did on Monday, and 4 repetitions of each circuit instead of three.  WOO!

Circuit 1, repeat 4 times

  • Inch worms (x10) – walking your hands out, and walking your feet back up is one rep.
  • Dumbbell flyes + situp on a body ball, two 8-lb dumbbells (x15) – as you bring your arms together at the top of the flye, do a simultaneous crunch on the body ball.
  • Pilates heel taps (x15)
  • Dumbbell press on a body ball, two 15/20-lb dumbbells (x15)

Dumbbell Flyes + Crunch

Dumbbell Press on Body Ball

Circuit 2, repeat 4 times

  • Concentration curls, 12 lbs (x10 each arm)
  • Single-leg tricep kickbacks, 8-10 lbs (x10 each leg)
  • Superman rolls (x10 – 5 in each direction, alternating) – see if you can do this without laughing!  I know I’m going to giggle.
  • Dumbbell pull/drag + hop over the dumbbell (x5 each arm) – alternate which arm you use

Concentration Curls

Single-leg Tricep Kickbacks


Dumbbell Pulls + Hop Overs

Tabata Finisher, 4 minutes

Do each exercise for 20 seconds at high intensity.  Push yourself!  You get a tiny 10-second break before switching to the next exercise. It will take 2 minutes to finish the first round… repeat it again for a total of four minutes.

  • frog jumps in place
  • bicycle crunches
  • arm circles with 3-lb weights (think of those tiny circles you used to do for gym class — and add some weight to make it tougher)
  • X hops (jump forward, backward, left, and right… repeat)

I’m pretty excited about this workout.  It looks a little bit silly and fun to me!  Let us know if you try any of our weird moves. Happy Hump Day!