Upper Body Day, 12/17/2014

Yesterday’s workout, below.  Not a lot of moves, but it takes a full 45 minutes.  My arms were dead at the end.  Like, “it’s-hard-to-wash-my-hands” dead.  Good stuff!

Circuit 1 (four times)

  • holding 10-lb dumbbells, pop out into plank, do renegade rows with each arm, pop back up, do bicep curl (do the series 10 times, because you’re a badass.)
  • KB side lunge to overhead press, 20lbs (x10 each side)

lunge press

Circuit 2 (four times)

  • oblique lifts on Bosu (x10 each side)
  • chest flyes on body ball, two 8-lbs dumbbells (x15)
  • backward lunge to hop (touch a high bar overhead), bodyweight (x10 each side)

(when you’re lunging back with your right foot, and then coming up to hop, try not to touch your right foot to the ground before hopping.  Keep the burn in your right quad going.)

  • assisted tricep dips (x15)

Oblique Lifts on Bosu (source)

That’s it!

-Amanda

Yesterday’s quick, one-person workout

This is definitely somewhat of a “token” workout.  I almost talked myself out of going to the gym yesterday, but I knew I needed it.  I’ll hit the gym today too, with buddies.  Since I was alone, I focused on some moves that might not be safe for the buddies I am working out with these days.  Hence the overhead squats, heavy deadlifts, and KB swings.  I’m sore today, but not horrible. =)

Circuit One (repeat 3x)

  • Bike HIIT (30 secs on, 30 seconds off) for 3 minutes
  • 10 Overhead Squats, just the bar
  • 10 Barbell Deadlifts (65lbs on first set, then 75 pounds on set 2 and 3)
  • 10 assisted pullups with no breaks between reps

Circuit 2 (repeat 3x)

  • 2 minutes on Stairmaster
  • 30 oblique crunches with leg lift; that’s 30 each side.
  • 15 KB swings, 25 lbs
  • 15 KB sumo squats + upright rows, 20 lbs

In other news, I’ve recently been considering trying out the Strong Lifts 5×5 program.  It’s simple, and probably yields great results.  But I suppose my main concerns are:

  1. I need to have a cage and bar to myself for 45 minutes.
  2. It’s the same exercises all the time — will I get bored?
  3. I don’t really have buddies I can do this with.  And buddies drastically increase my commitment level. Hm.

But still, I’m considering it.  Hm, hm, hmmmmm.

-Amanda

Full Body Day, 12/8/14

I am still a bit sore from all of the workouts last week, but I’m pretty happy about it.  =)  I feel good enough to hit another workout, though, so this is the one I came up with for today.  It’s more cardio-focused and less heavy-weight-focused, just to give my muscles another day to recover.   Maybe we can rock the upper body day my sister sent me… on Wednesday?

Circuit 1 (repeat 3x)

  • burpees (x15)
  • squat machine: squats (x15) and calf presses (x15)
  • body ball crunches (x15)
  • tricep dips (x15), this time with feet on a bench or body ball too.  Because you can.

Body Ball Crunch (from the awesome blog Power Sculpt Fitness)

Tricep Dips (source)

Circuit 2 (repeat 3x)

  • Assisted pullups (x15)
  • Box step-ups (x15)
  • Hip adduction machine (x15 + 10 second hold at the end of each set)
  • Bear crawl, up and down the hallway. Keep your butt down!

Bear Crawl (source) – Keep that bootie down.

Upper Body Day, 12/3/2014

Lots of posting today!  Here’s the workout I have planned for tonight.  It’s difficult to plan for three ladies, particularly when the gym has been so crowded, but hopefully we can stay out of each other’s way.   I tried to choose moves that can be done in a number of areas at the gym.   Also tried to get a lot of cardio in.  I’m really trying to save my legs for Friday’s workout with The KareBear.

Circuit 1 (repeat 3x)

  • Bicycle Abs on a Bosu Ball (x50)
  • 90 seconds on the rowing machine
  • Static Lunge with bicep curls (x10 each leg):  do all of the 10 bicep curls while sunk in a static right leg lunge.  Then switch sides and do 10 more of the bicep curls.
  • KB push press (x10 each side)

KB push press (source)

Circuit 2 (repeat 3x)

  • Dumbbell chest press (x15) with 15-20lb dumbbells.
  • Side plank with single-arm reverse fly (x10 each side), using a 5-lb dumbbell
  • Bosu cable pulls with squat (x15)
  • Jump rope, 1 minute

-Amanda

Full Body Day, 12/1/2014

Here’s what we did this monday!  This was a good workout — took about an hour, had good cardio throughout, and I’m still sore on the second day.  =)

Circuit 1 (repeat 3x)

  • Bosu Ball, get-down-get-ups (x15) – squat down and then lay on round side of bosu ball, and keep your feet slightly lifted off the ground, to keep your abs in action.  Come back up, using a squat, and go ahead and put a little hop in there at the top.
  • Bike HIIT: 30 second sprint (standing), 30 seconds sitting (repeat three times — takes 3 minutes)
  • Side to side bench hops (x30)
  • KB deadlift (x15), 40 lbs

Side to Side bench hops (source)

Back Squat AMRAP

1 minute at 55 pounds.  I made it to 27.

Circuit 2 (repeat 3x)

  • TRX jackknives (x20) with your feet hooked into the TRX loops, bring your knees in diagonally toward one elbow, so you’re hitting obliques. Alternate sides.
  • Walking lunges with overhead press (x20).  We did this in the hallway.  Do an overhead press after each lunge.  We used two 10-lb dumbbells.
  • Plie squats with upright row (x15) – 15lb KB.  This was too light.  I admit it.
  • Tricep dips on bench (x15)  This is also getting too easy I think.  Next time, I’ll put my feet up on a bench across from me.  =)

And now… I still need to plan today’s and Friday’s workouts!!!  I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with it!  But I know you wanted to see these, so I decided to just get ‘em out, even if they’re kinda sloppy.  Hope you enjoy!!

-Amanda

Sister Leg Day, 11/24/2014

Here’s the really tough one we did last Monday (before Thanksgiving).  This is basically copied from the email my sister sent me, with some edits for the actual weights, etc. that we did.  Doing three rounds of each circuit took us about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  We were absolutely dead at the end.  The last circuit hurts.  =)

Circuit 1 (repeat 3x)

  • 14 Spiderman Pushups (as your chest goes towards the floor, one knee comes towards a shoulder – alternate sides)
  • 20 Barbell reverse lunge to squat (lunge right leg back, come back so feet are shoulder width apart, squat, then do left lunge back).  We did this with 45 lbs.
  • 20 Leg Throws with partner. (lying on the floor facing same direction as partner, who is standing with feet shoulder length apart, hold their heels, raise your legs and they throw them down)

 Circuit 2 (repeat 3x) 

  • 15 T-bar row w/10lbs added
  • 15 Back extension, 10lb plate
  • 20 Oblique Sliders

T-bar Row (source)

Back Extension (source)

Oblique Ab Sliders (source)

Circuit 3 (repeat 3x)

  1. Walking lunches with shoulder presses.  Holding bar up above your head, do 10 walking lunges in one direction.   Then do 5 overhead presses with the bar.  Turn around and do 10 more walking lunches with the bar above your head, and the reapt 5 overhead presses at the end. We used a 25-30 lb bar.
  2. 20 barbell chops (watch video) THIS IS SO HARD!!!  What we really ended up doing was more of a press, because we weren’t quite strong enough to keep our arms straight and use our abs to swing the bar up.  Still, there was some ab action the way we did it too.
  3. 15 Squat thrust to box jump. With a step in front of you, start on floor. Pop out to a plank (like you’re doing a burpee), then jump back in so hands are back to where your feet are, and THEN jump up to step and back down. Repeat.  This killed us at the end.  In a good way??

-Amanda

23.5

Amanda,

Hello.  I’ve missed you.  And again, I really appreciate this blog.  It is the motivation and inspiration I need right now and am incredible grateful that you thought of it.

The workout plan of attack for this week:

Tuesday:  Spin!  Followed by the 1 minute squat AMRAP with 55lb.  I made it to 23.5 today which is a huge improvement over my 20 last time.

Thursday: Turkey Trot 5k.  We signed up last week and I’m looking forward to it.  I have run once since your wedding, so we’ll see how this goes.  My lofty goal is under 27 minutes.

Saturday or Sunday:  Angela Leg day!  I’m excited for this.

Huge thank you for that Pinterest board.  Love it!  It reminded me of all the Zuzka Light workouts on youtube that I can be doing at home.

Hugs and Happy Pie Day!

Kara.

POST-WORKOUT UPDATE

Man, yesterday was such a cluster-eff at the gym.  I had already set up my bar for the squat AMRAP, and went to grab a step (I use it to make sure I’m getting low enough to touch my butt).  I was gone for one minute, max.  I got back, and my bar was being unloaded by a guy.  Nope.  nopenopenope.  I said “hang on, I had that set up, and I only need it for one set.  It’s all yours, after?”  He was very kind actually, so it was ok.  Then I was trying to rush setting that back up to get out of his way as quickly as possible.  I felt the pressure of him waiting, and another guy was watching me (why?  stop staring.).  I was stressed.  I was irritated too, because my heartrate was up, from quickly setting up, and I thought it would hurt my performance for the AMRAP.  And I didn’t want to take a break to catch my breath, because again, people were waiting.  AGH.

      ≠          

In my haste, I had put 65 lbs on the bar, instead of 55 as planned.  I started my one-minute set, and was thinking “ummmm, something’s up, here.”  Realized what I’d done.  WHATEVER, just squat it.  So I did.  I pushed out 16 reps in one minute at 65 pounds.

OK.  Fine.  I mean, I’m building muscle.  I’ll just tell myself this will improve my performance the next time I try 55 lbs. Right.

I did the first circuit.  I did the jumping pull-ups for the first round, but then switched to pullups with the elastic band around my knee.  I could squeeze out 3 or 4 at a time that way.   It was ok.

The squat machine seemed hard yesterday.  Really heavy.  I mean, that’s ok too.  Why do I just feel lame about the workout?

And in the end, I didn’t even get through the second circuit, because the gym closed.  I was working out for 45 minutes, and I didn’t get to the 2nd circuit? That is really weird.  I designed it poorly, I suppose.

One thing I will tell you is that I am pretty sore.  I don’t know if it’s from running or from squats, but I think it’s from squats.  I’m glad I’m sore at least.  Got some work done.

Another thing I will tell you is that Turkish Get-ups with a 20-lb KB is way too heavy for me.  I did a round at that weight, and it was very hard.  If I’d had a chance to do another round, I’d have gone down to 15 for sure.

Anyway, just wanted to keep it real.

Check out this pinterest board of AMRAP routines!  Good place to pull a quick workout.

Full Body Day, 11/20/2014

I’m on my own today.  No workout buddies.

My sister sent me what looks like a completely ridiculous Leg Day to try.  So I’m saving that for Monday — I’m not sure I would really do it justice alone, so I’ll wait until I’ve got a buddy.  It looks tough.  I’m pretty sure J is going to hate me.  Kara, you will love it.  It’s brutal.

For now, here’s my plan for tonight.

1-min Backsquat AMRAP, 55 lbs

Circuit 1 (repeat 3x)

  • Forward lunge to overhead press, small bar with maybe 10 extra pounds on it (x10 each side)
  • Sit-ups on a decline bench (x15)
  • Jumping Pull-ups (x5-10): starting from the ground or a step, if needed, just jump to the bar and try like hell to pull up.  Stuggling is kind of the point.
  • Squat + calf raise on machine (two 45lb plates, x15):  do the squat like normal, but at the end of each one, go straight into a calf raise

Circuit 2 (repeat 3x)

  • mountain climbers on bosu ball, 45 seconds
  • bike HIIT: you know the drill.  30 seconds sprint, 30 seconds recovery for 3 minutes.
  • TRX skull crushers (x15):  these are so effective, and I’m so glad you showed them to me!
  • Turkish Get-ups (x5 each side): with 20-lb KB, certainly not as heavy as the lady in the video below — holy shit, half her body weight.  And I know you hate these.  It’s because they’re hard.  ;)

So guess what?  I went on a run yesterday with Brian.  We ran just 1.5 miles, but it was one of the easiest runs of my life.  It’s seeming more and more likely that I’ve had small clots in my lungs for most of my life… and only after fixing that can I really feel what it’s like to BREATHE normally.  I am so happy I’ve figured that out!!  I’m hoping my capacity increases, too.  I’d love to have better numbers on my race times.  Here’s hopin’!

Hope you’re having a good week Kara!  See you Saturday. =)

-Amanda

Leg Day, 11/12/2014

Hi Kara!  Um, an 11-minute climb?  I mean, basically, you should be ready for Sandhill Road any day now.  That sounds TERRIBLE to me.  I’m such a cardio wuss.

Speaking of being a cardio wuss, the last three workouts I’ve had with J, she’s ended by doing an extra run.  Clearly I am not wearing her out enough.  My secret goal (shhhh) for next week is to make two workouts that are so brutal that she doesn’t want to run afterward.  *evil grin*

Anyway, I didn’t get a chance to post Wednesday’s leg day before we did it, so here it is now.  I am sore today still, so I think it was a good one.  Also, I happened upon a new move that I thought you would appreciate.  I’m sure you’ll be able to guess which one it is, below.  ;)

First things first:  1 minute AMRAP.  

Back squats with 55 lbs.  I think I got to 28 reps.  For the fitness challenge, I was definitely over 30.  I’m planning to hit this AMRAP again this week (and maybe every week for awhile) just to make sure I’m making headway.  I want to be able to power these out at this weight with no breaks.  And then I’ll consider increasing the weight.  Maybe.

Circuit 1 (repeat 3x)

  • Butt Bridges (x10), then hold at the high position of the bridge and do:
    • a 5-second hold with right leg extended straight, parallel to floor
    • a 5-second hold with left leg extended straight, parallel to floor
    • 5-seconds right
    • 5 seconds left
  • Walking Side Squats with Resistance Band (x10 each direction):  wrap a resistance band around your thighs, just above your knees.  Step to the right into a low squat.  At the bottom of the squat, pulse your knees outward, stretching the band.  Stand, bringing feet closer, but don’t let the band fall.  And repeat 9 more times to the right.  And then 10x to the left.  See cartoon!
  • Single Leg Deadlifts, holding two 12-lb dumbbells (x10 each side)
Walking Side Squats with Resistance Band (Cartoon by yours truly.  Yes, you're welcome.  I know.  It's beautiful.)

Walking Side Squats with Resistance Band (Cartoon by yours truly. Yes, you’re welcome. I know. It’s beautiful.)

Single Leg Deadlifts (source)

Circuit 2 (repeat 3x)

  • Step Ups with Hop + Backward Lunge, two 12-lb dumbbells (x10 each side): With your right foot step up onto a high (1.5 ft?) step.  Step up explosively, hopping as you get to the top.  Let your left leg just come along for the ride.  Then step off with your left leg, back onto the ground, and bring your right leg down too.  Then step back with your right leg, into a backward lunge.  The trick to not getting confused is that you step up with your right leg, and you step back with your right leg.  SAME LEG.  There is a little pause in the middle when you get off the step, before you step back into the lunge.  Make sense?
  • Wall Squats with Calf Raises (x20):  Sit in a static wall squat, and do the calf raises while in the squat.  Simple.
  • Jack knives on body ball (x15)
  • Tricep extensions, balanced on Bosu ball, 20-lb dumbbell (x15): with the Bosu round-side-down, balance your feet on the flat side with knees slightly bent/neutral. While balancing there, bring the dumbbell up over your head and perform the presses with the dumbbell going behind your head as you bend at the elbows.

Jack knife on Body Ball (source)

That’s it!  I am definitely a bit sore in the bum today.  And also my triceps!  20-lbs was a great choice for weight on that move.  So, did you guess the “Kara’s gonna like this one” exercise?  Obviously you did.

Good luck meeting your work deadline this week!  Missing you lots.  MASSAGES TOMORROWWWWWWW YESSSSS!

-Amanda