Jumping Jack Flash Workout, 1/30/13

A couple of weeks ago, Kara made up a great quick workout; it was a simple set of 8-10 moves that we went through just once with a set of 20 jumping jacks between each move.  It was great — we got our heart rates up, maintained our muscle, and got in and out of the gym quickly.  I’m definitely in that sort of mood again today — get in, and get out.  I have some errands I’d like to take care of after the gym, so a big workout just ain’t happenin’ today.

Besides, Monday’s workout (also courtesy of Kara) was a doozy, and I am sore.

So here’s my version of Kara’s format.  This set of 8 exercises is meant to be completed only once through, though you could certainly repeat it, if you have time.  Do a set of 20 jumping jacks between each exercise.

  1. T- pushups (x10 pushups, x10 left side planks, x10 right side planks), alternating pushups with plank, and alternating sides.
  2. Walking side squats with resistance bands around your ankles (x10 right, x10 left)
  3. Cobra, holding 2 or 3-lb weights (20 seconds, rest, 20 seconds more) – this is just a “superman,” but without lifting your legs. Adding the small weights makes it more challenging.
  4. Lateral raises, two 5-lb dumbbells (x20)
  5. Wall squat with yoga block held between your knees (1 min)
  6. Incline bicep curls on body ball, 12 lbs (x20)
  7. Pilates heel taps (x20) — see video below
  8. Overhead tricep press — one arm at a time, 15 lbs (x10 right arm, x10 left arm)
T push-ups from Women’s Health
Lateral raises
Incline bicep curls on body ball



Upper Body Day + Ab Tabata, 1/23/13

It’s just Kara and I tonight — seems like it’s been forever!!  But I’m looking forward to it.  We’re focusing on upper body, with a couple of tweaks on our typical format.  I wanted to lower the reps and increase the weight for a few of our moves today.  I’m aiming to build more muscle, so it can get to work eating up my fat “reserves” (what?  it’s winter.) when I’m sitting ALL DAY at my desk, yo.  😉

And at the end, instead of a third weight-lifting circuit, we’re sliding into home with an ab burner.  I figure, why not?  Why not mix Tabata-style cardio, with some ab moves?  I couldn’t think of any good reason, so we’re gonna give that a try tonight.  Maybe I’ll come up with reasons then.

Circuit 1 (repeat 4x)

  • Bent-over rows with 15-lb kettlebell (x10 each side)
  • Simple bicep curls, keep your elbows glued.to.your.waist. 15lbs (x10 each arm)
  • Overhead tricep press on Bosu (you can do these like the video below, with the round side up, or with the flat side up, which requires better balance), use two hands to hold one 20-lb dumbbell (x10)
  • Jumping jacks (x50)
Bent-over rows with kettle bell

Circuit 2 (repeat 4x)

  • Bench press, heavier weight.  For me, that means ~65 lbs.  (x10 — break up the reps if you have to, but git’er’dun)
  • Back extensions with 10-lb plate (x15)
  • Overhead kettle bell swings, 20lbs (x15)
  • Rowing machine (500 meter sprint)


Tabata Abs.  Do each exercise (or recovery) for 30 seconds, then move immediately on to the next one. You’re done in just 7 minutes, if you don’t count the last recovery.  😉

abs tabataHappy Hump Day!


Leg Day, 1/14/13

This was a really successfully designed workout, if I do say so myself.  It has the awesome qualities of (1) being short for a circuit training day (about 50 minutes), (2) containing a few blasts of cardio, and (3) making me sore enough the next day that I can feel I’ve worked hard, but not so sore that I avoid the stairs at work!  Triple win!  At first, I could tell that my workout buddy, Doha, didn’t like the idea of doing 4 rounds of every circuit, because usually when we do that, it takes about an hour and fifteen minutes to get through everything — it can be exhausting and daunting.  But I could see she was warming up to the idea when it was clear we were going to be done much more quickly than usual.  I felt the same way.  More time to get home and cook some healthy dinner, right?  Anyway, here’s how it all unfolded this Monday.

Circuit 1 (four times)

  • deadlifts, 45lb bar (x15)
  • leg extensions on machine, first round at 50 lbs, then 70 pounds for the next three times through (x15)
  • Bosu Ball bicycle situps (x10 on each side)
Bosu Ball Bicycle Situps

Circuit 2 (four times)

  • wall squat, 45 seconds
  • calf raises on a block, holding 2 12-lb dumbbells (x15)
  • clam diggers, resting a 10-lb dumbbell on your hip (x10 each leg)
  • 30 jumping lunges
Clam Diggers With Dumbbell

Circuit 3 (four times)

  • oblique twists on incline bench, holding 8lb medicine ball (x30, so 15 each direction)
  • butt bridges on medicine ball (x30)
  • bench step-ups, with three levels under the bench, holding two 12-lb dumbbells (x10 each leg)
Butt Bridges on Medicine Ball
Butt Bridges on Medicine Ball
Oblique Twists, demonstrated by Janetha from Meals & Moves

Let us know if you give this workout a try!  Have fun!


Turkey Stuffed Peppers.

Last week I made one of the BFs favorite weeknight meals – stuffed peppers.  I like my weeknight meals in 30 minutes or less and I found an amazingly quick recipe for it a few year back in a cooks illustrated magazine.  It’s been in the weeknight dinner rotation ever since!

pep1This time I made stuffed zucchini with the stuffed peppers. I must say, the portion size of the zucchini is perfect for me.

One key trick to making this dinner classic in less time than normal is to microwave the peppers for a few minutes in the microwave before cooking in the oven.
I’m a bit of a food snob. And, I refuse to use the microwave unless absolutely necessary.
In this case, however, microwaving the peppers is brilliant because it cuts the cooking time in half. I’m always in favor of methods that get food on my plate faster during the week.

The Recipe

4 – 5 green, yellow or red peppers with the stems removed and insides cleaned
3 peppers and 2 zucchini halved, and cleaned out, like a hollow zucchini canoe

1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1lb ground turkey meat
2 spicy italian sausages, chopped small
1/3 cup of dry rice, cooked as needed. I use brown, ten minute rice from Trader Joe’s
hot sauce
Cheese to top.

Cooking Instructions 

  1. Preheat the Broiler
  2. Place the peppers or peppers and zucchini on top of a microwave safe plate and insert into the microwave. Cook on high for 3 – 4 minutes. Once complete, flip and cook again for 4 minutes. BE CAREFUL. The peppers will be hot and may have steam in them when you flip them over.
  3. While the peppers are being nuked, place the turkey, sausage, onion and garlic into the pan and cook until the onion is soft and the turkey is cooked through. Around 10 minutes.
  4. While the turkey mixture is cooking, cook the rice as necessary. I’ve also replaced the rice with faro from time to time and you hardly notice the difference.
  5. When the rice is cooked, add it to the turkey mixture.  Add hot sauce to taste.  I like a little more than 1 Tbsp.
  6. Spoon the meat into the peppers or zucchini and top with cheese.
  7. Stick in the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned.
  8. Enjoy!


Welcome to the Morning Report.

The title of this post, while very generic sounding, is actually a throwback to the morning show on 89x, a Detroit radio station.  I listened to that radio show every. day. on my way to school during high school.  I could probably even sing you some of the jingles from the show should you desire.  I know someone … out there, somewhere… is reminiscing with me 😛

A few updates –

First, the workout last night was perfect.  We had Doha, Amanda, Ella and myself there and all of us were feeling the burn near the end.  The total tallies for each us during the AMRAP were 5 rounds plus a little more.  A fantastic job by all of us.  If you do the workout, let us know how many you complete!

Second, you may have noticed the new layout.  In honor of our one year anniversary, we are trying out some new designs.  Most likely, the site will be updated further over the next few weeks as we settle on the final layout.  Just wanted to give you all a heads up that the look will be in flux.

Happy almost Friday



Tomorrow is Amanda’s 2nd 29th birthday, so it’s a cause for celebration!

We want her to be able to fully participate in any celebratory activities tomorrow, so we’re restructuring today’s workout a bit. We don’t want to repeat last week’s killer, return to gym from the holidays, workout of death that left us all sore for days afterwards and thinking twice about taking the stairs. See here for that workout if you’re looking for an intense burn. With that in mind, I made today’s workout a bit more focused on cardio in hopes that our muscles will recover faster.

AMRAP is the name of the game today. Perform each move below 10 times (… we’re TENacious, get it?) and then keep track of how many times you repeat the entire circuit during the 25 minutes. The only pieces of equipment that you are going to need are 5lb dumbbell, 5lb medicine ball and a step or a chair with a height that is a few inches below your knees.

Warm Up

  • 5 minutes of cardio. Hit the treadmill, bike, stairmaster or elliptical

Repeat as many rounds as possible in 25 minutes

  • Box Jumps.
    x 10. Land softly on the balls of your feet. A good tip to keep in mind is to try to not make much noise landing. Also, be sure to stand up completely at the top.
  • Split Lunges.
    x 10. 5 each side for a total of 10. Place your back foot in the center of the step/chair.
  • Tricep Dips.
    x 10. Place your hands on the step and your legs out in front of you. When you dip down, try to keep your legs straight and your elbows in near your torso.
  • Weight Slides.
    x 10. In plank, place the 5lb dumbbell on the floor to the side of you just past your left hand. With your right hand, grab the weight and slide it to just past your right hand. Try to keep your shoulders square and not rotate your body. Let go of the weight and return to plank. Drop down to your elbows, right first then left, and then come back up to plank. Grab the weight with your left hand now and slide it to the left. Repeat 5 times on each side for a total of 10 slides.
  • Reverse Burpees
    x 10. See video below for demonstration
  • Sumo Squats
    x 10.



Upper Body Day, 1/7/13

Holy crap we were sore from last week’s Leg Day on Wednesday.  But we were also awesome, because we still managed to get to the gym on Friday with a quickie designed by Kara.  I was so glad we all willed ourselves to enter the gym, despite being so sore.  I always feel good about starting the weekend with a workout!  100% of the credit goes to having workout buddies.  It makes a big difference when you’re accountable!

Here’s the plan for today.  An upper body day, focusing on a lot of back moves.  I snuck a few leg things in there, but nothing crazy, since I really am still a tiny bit sore.  But I can’t ignore them altogether.  It is simply not in my nature. =)

Start with a 5-minute cardio warm-up.  Jog? Row? Bike?  Whatever you want.

CIRCUIT 1 (four times)

  • Bent-over rows + tricep kickbacks, two 10-lb dumbbells (x10)
  • Bosu Ball Mountain Climbers (45 seconds)
  • Bench Press (x10-15) – I’m going to do a light weight (50-60 lbs) for 15 reps, to avoid irritating my almost-healed elbow/arm injury, but the others may do something heavier for 10 reps.
Bosu Ball Mountain Climbers (source)

CIRCUIT 2 (four times)

  • Bosu Ball cable pulls + squat (x15) – see video below
  • Walking lunges + overhead press, two 10-lb dumbbells (x20) – after each lunge forward, do an overhead press as you come back to a standing position.
  • Upright rows with a bar, 30lbs (x15)
Upright Row (source)

CIRCUIT 3 (four times)

  • W cable pulls, 40 lbs (x15) – this, but in a static lunge position instead of sitting.  Focus on your lats.
  • Static lunge + bicep curls, two 10-lb dumbbells (x10 each leg) – hold a lunge position while you complete the 10 reps, then reverse the position of your legs, and complete another 10 curls.
  • Slidey Abs with towels under feet (x10)
Slidey Abs
Slidey Abs

Stretch!  Don’t forget to down some protein within 30 minutes of your workout, when your body is most happy to use it for muscle building.  I have been lazy about this lately, so I’m trying to get back on the protein train.  Choo choo.