workout updates

I’m quite pleased with my new workout routine I crafted a week ago. Before, I would either do total body almost every day or break it in different variations of triceps, biceps, chest, back, shoulders, and legs. For whatever reason, my body rebels against leg day and I have struggled to not resent those days.

However, I think I’ve found my antidote. Many people who do split routines do legs all in one, but this time around, I decided to break it up much like I do with the upper body. Here’s what my new routine looks like:

Day One: Triceps, Chest, Quads, Core

Day Two: Quick Total Body (Run Day)

Day Three: Biceps, Back, Hamstrings, Core

Day Four: Quick Total Body (Run Day)

Day Five: Shoulders, Ab/Adductors, Glutes, Core

Day Six: Yoga (Run Day)

And on the seventh day, I deserve a helluva rest!

Again, I’m only on my second week of this routine, but my muscles are sore and feel as though they have received the proper attention to each group. On Week 1, I ran through each exercise in three sets of twelve reps and Week 2 is four sets of ten reps at a slightly higher weight. For Week 3, I’ll do three sets of fifteen reps at a lower weight, and then my highest weight on Week 4 for five sets of eight reps.

Repeat.

For strength training, I like to incorporate body strength moves with weight training for the best results. For example, I’ll throw in some plyometric moves to hit my lower body, such as jumping lunges or jumping squats, and for my upper body, I’ll add a lot of push-ups and triceps dips. This adds a nice little dose of breathless to the equation.

For my core training, which I do every day at the end of my strength routine, I’ve tried to be better about hitting each spot of the comprehensive core. I do a lot to hit the obliques, like twists and lean downs, as well as stretch out the upper and lower portions of my stomach with rollouts or leg lifts, and finally strengthen the lower back  and pelvic regions with supermans and hip lifts.

On my non-run days, I do little bouts of high intensity cardio, including the spin bike and jump roping. It’s been awhile since I’ve jump roped, but I’m getting back into it and I just love it. It’s one of the best total body workouts you can do.

I’ve left the gym feeling sweaty and accomplished, which is really the reason we go in the first place. Or at least for me. I can’t speak for you.

My workouts are intense, but I love the challenge. My problem area has always been the eating and I know I need to rein in the sugar and extracurricular eating I tend to do when stressed or bored. Mindlessness is nobody’s friend, but I am feeling better about it.

What makes you feel strong?

Snow Day Does Not Mean Rest Day

The snow may have held captive many people yesterday, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun. For instance, binge watching The Office and sipping on a hot mug of cocoa, or having shoveling parties with the neighbors. Best of all yesterday, was the kickass workout I put together to raise that heart rate. I keep harping on moderation, but really, there’s power to it.

Here’s a glimpse:

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I wanted to do a full body attack, so I incorporated four different circuits that would best get me there- legs, arms, core, and cardio. This was a complete equipment free workout that helped work up a sweat, except for jump roping. The jump rope is an awesome tool that is killer and inexpensive, so I highly recommend investing in one.

Breakfast yesterday was scrambled eggs with cheese and toast, which I happily dug into without taking a picture. Whoops.

For lunch, I had a cup of soup and this pulled pork taco I threw together using a whole wheat tortilla, leftover pulled pork, and fresh chopped veggies.

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This was enormous and filling, so I wasn’t starving when it came time for dinner. I kept portions small with chicken, rice, stuffing, asparagus, and spinach.

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This morning, the toaster was out of commission, so I had to get creative with breakfast. This bowl of kefir filled to the brim with berries and red grapes got things started.

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I paired this with a bowl of Raisin Bran with chopped banana. Now off to get some work done.

 

Quick Check In

I don’t know how we’ve made it to Wednesday already. The days are flying by far too fast, especially the weekends. I’m glad for that because it brought the warm weather fairly quickly, but if things want to slow down during the summer, I’d be okay with that.

This morning started with a body strength workout. I did four sets of ten reps of a circuit: squats, lunges, kickbacks, calf raises, tricep dips, step ups, push ups, mountain climbers, mermaid raises, Russian twists, hip lifts, v ups, bicycle crunches, and reverse crunches. I did a few planks before diving into the pool. I was definitely sore when I first got started, but once I warmed up, I took off and got in my mile.

Breakfast was an overnight oatmeal chilling in the fridge. I mixed things up a bit and did my standard base with chopped strawberries band walnuts, it was quite refreshing. For an added bite of protein, I had a cheesestick.

  
Lunch delved into a little Cinco de Mayo celebration. I had a chicken quesadilla that we as tasty but very filling! My stomach was mad at me for the rest of the afternoon and I didn’t eat dinner until much later. Dinner was a stir fry using the leftover swordfish. Swordfish does not translate well into leftovers. At least not like this. I wasn’t too into this meal, but it was small anyways. Just the fish with a medley of veggies. I did eat most of the vegetables to fit in my servings.

Now im off to fit in some writing before falling into bed early!

Happy Wednesday!

An Appointment with the Hair Doctor, Ham Solo, and Birthday Wishes

You know those great moments in the middle of the night when you wake up and have to pee? You glance at your clock and you still have a few more hours rest, so you snuggle under the covers and full back to sleep blissful and cozy.

Yeah, that happened to me this morning and it was 4:58. Technically I still had 17 minutes of rest, but that flew by and I was a miserable lump. And I couldn’t hold it in until then so knock off another three minutes. Whiny, I know.

Once at the gym, I built up more motivation. First up was a body strength workout using some stretch bands and a medicine ball. I did squats, lunges, kneeling kickbacks, push-ups, hip lifts, Russian twists- or as I prefer to call them, rushin’ twists because they hurt so good- mermaid raises, v ups, and sit ups. I finished with some planks, a couple that were elevated. By the time I hopped into the pool, my abs were burning. Today was sprint day in the pool. By the time I was done and out of the pool, I was still catching my breath. The key to sprints in the pool is continuous and fast kicking followed by long, quick strokes to get into a groove. Wooo-eeeeeee.

Breakfast was a stovetop oatmeal that came together quite quickly. I did my usual stovetop oats with some white chocolate peanut butter and raspberry peach jam mixed in. Strawberries and blueberries joined the concoction. 

 

Stir frys are so simple, healthy, and delicious. I’m liking the buckwheat noodles for something a little different and heartier. I paired them with a combination of chicken and chickpeas, veggies, sesame oil, and Thai peanut sauce. A bag of popcorn came on the side.

 

  

After work, I had a hair appointment scheduled, but I accidentally said I had to go to the hair doctor, which is just funny. The dead ends needed to be chopped badly and after it finished, I felt so refreshed!

 

 I was on my own for dinner and had a hankering for pizza. Some slices and a great big salad popped into my mind and wouldn’t waver! I ordered a small so I could take the same for lunch. Delightful!

  

I feel obsessed with weather lately, but HELLO!? It’s been crazy nice out lately and we have had such a long, cold, butter, snowy winter. A little sun and warmth- and appreciation for it- won’t hurt you!

Also, I need to mention the new Star Wars trailer because HAN SOLO! (Autocorrect tried to make it say Ham Solo, which is just funny). I can’t wait to see Leia in it too, specifically with Han. Don’t even get me started if they aren’t happily married. Stay on my good side, Abrams.

Finally, a very Happy HAPPY birthday to one of my oldest and dearest friends, Molly! Have a great day, brotha! (Yes, that was a Lost reference).

Top o’ The Mornin’ To Ya

We are ignoring the constant sniffling and soreness sneaking its way down my throat. We’ll chalk it up to the wind and singing as loud as I could on my way home. To stave off this impending cold, I’ve been popping vitamin C cough drops and drinking as much tea and water as I can stomach. The gym was fine this morning because once I got up, the sniffles weren’t so bad. I knew that getting up and going to the gym was my only option because once that alarm goes off, I’m pretty much up anyways and I wouldn’t make the best of the extra sleep I could have had.  I told myself that if I ever got to the point where I wasn’t feeling well, I could take it easy, but it never reached that.

I started out with a body strength workout and some stability/medicine ball action. I did have Burpees on the menu, but I cut that out the second I got there. It wasn’t the day to push myself that hard. The first circuit included step ups, split squats, push ups, mountain climbers, hip lifts, and side plank twists. The second circuit had rollouts, kneeling kickbacks, mermaid raises, hundreds, sit ups, and Russian twists. After, I headed down to the pool for some cardio and fit in a half hour of laps. The cold didn’t hit me so bad until well into the work day, so at least I got in a great workout! My meals for the day started with a little sweetness in the form of French toast. My batter included an egg, a splash of milk, pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon. I soaked two pieces of whole wheat sour dough bread and after frying it on the pan, topped it with peanut butter, jelly, and some shredded coconut for staying power. It was so satisfying and yummy and kept me nice and full until lunch. photo 1 For lunch, I threw some leftover macaroni and cheese into a dish and served it with a fresh salad. I love the combination of the vibrant, crisp veggies and the warm, cheesy goodness. photo 2 Dinner took us to our Irish roots. Since the weekend is looking pretty busy for us all, my mom wanted to cook a traditional Irish meal in honor of St. Patrick’s Day while we were all around. We always have smoked shoulder instead of corned beef, with boiled potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and turnip. Once a year it’s a treat! I remember only ever liking the potatoes when I was younger and my Nana would make it for us, but now my favorite part is the cabbage.

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Good Habits And Why They Matter

Spring just might be in the air after all! This morning, even though snow coated my windshield, it wasn’t too cold out. I didn’t need the five layers I usually dress myself in for 5:30 AM and dare I say it felt downright balmy. Although, I hear more snow is in the forecast and tomorrow will drop below the tens again. Wishful thinking. Perhaps the fever is breaking…gradually…

This morning when my alarm went off it came as a bit of a surprise. I was wondering how it could be going off so early, but the harsh reality was it was already that time. I got my day started with a spoonful of peanut butter and chopped banana on a piece of whole wheat bread.

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My workout started with some heavy body strength with squats, lunges, kickbacks, step ups, push ups and more. For cardio, I went through a Plyometrics workout with box jumps, jumping jacks, skater jumps, and high knees before jumping on the treadmill for a quick 2 mile run. My legs were really feeling the strain by the end.

Breakfast had to be quick because today was a slow-moving morning for whatever reason. I threw another spoonful of peanut butter into a cup of Greek yogurt, along with some blueberries and raspberries. On the side, I had a bowl of raisin bran with some more banana. I don’t frequently like cereal, but when I crave it, I like raisin bran. Don’t ask me why.

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Lunch was delicious! I made a huge stir fry a couple of nights ago that would make two dinners. It doesn’t take much time at all. To make things even tastier, I drizzled in some teriyaki marinade. Chicken meatballs were the main protein.

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Dinner was a nice surprise in the form of MACARONI AND CHEESE. Barbecue chicken, spinach, peppers, and mushrooms completed this delicious meal. I ate a little too much macaroni, but I can never help myself with this stuff.

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I’ve been working at drinking more water lately. I drink a ton in the morning, but when I get busy, it starts to fall off. I also drink a lot of tea and seltzer and though they’re better than other choices, it’s still important to drink more water. My skin is dry from the weather and the heat blaring, so I need to make sure I’m taking care of myself better.

Traveling always makes consuming water more difficult because I don’t have access to filling up my water bottle as I usually do. This weekend in New York, I got a pretty bad headache from dehydration and a ton of walking. One night I went to bed with my throat dry and craving water, but of course it’s hard to make yourself get up for water when you’re half asleep. Not good feelings.

Get guzzling the good stuff!

Another habit I need to get into more is standing while I work. I made a little set up for myself to be able to stand, but many times when I’m focusing, my go-to move is to sit because that’s what I’m used to when concentrating. It’s all about training yourself to fall into new habits and grow comfortable with things. A trick of the mind.

I keep telling myself that when I was starting to workout, it was a process because I wasn’t used to it for so long. After that initial motivation and discomfort, I fell into the routine and now I can’t imagine my life without my daily sweat session. This can be true of any habit if you remain focused enough. It’s not easy when you’re tired, busy, etc., but it’s the days that you do something despite the world being against you that make the difference in the end.

What are some good habits you’re working at incorporating into your daily routine?

Hello, Have You Seen My Pool?

The snow banks are officially taller than I am. This is startling in how fast and furious it came. People were actually complaining about the lack of snow mid-January and then BOOM a snow cloud exploded. I’m just about 5’3 and though that isn’t a lot of a person, it’s a lot of snow. This particular bank is way over my head, like three of me, but look at that gorgeous sunset! photoMac was intimidated by the huge snow banks and stayed out of the picture.

As I glance outside sipping on my cup of tea and enjoying a homemade chocolate chip cookie, I’m reminded of the days of summer where the sun was shining, the ground was clear, and I had a pool. It’s still there, kind of, but it’s been eaten by snow. If cold, slushy water is your thing, then good for you, but personally, I find it difficult to jump in when the temperature is 80 degrees. Don’t judge me! I’m sensitive.photo

In other news, I’m not too thrilled with my new WordPress app. It’s not posting when I schedule it and all of the text is showing segmented together instead of the paragraphs I write them in! I guess I’ll just have to play around with it a bit more. Is it too much to ask for things to be intuitive?!

Some of you may be wondering where yesterday’s Rave Review Tuesday was and for that, I apologize, because you didn’t miss it. I just didn’t write one. In my”free” time, I’ve been devoting my energies to writing. It’s a positive thing that I’ve been so consistent with my writing, but I need to learn how to balance. I’m in the middle of two different books right now, so hopefully I can finish those up soon. I also haven’t seen a movie in a long time. For me, watching a new television show is a commitment, especially on Netflix, so I’m staying away from the for awhile. I already miss Veep and can’t wait until April! Long story short, I’ll resume Rave Reviews once I consume something to write about!

Though I’m trying to complain less about the snow, it can’t be ignored because it affects so much of daily life. This morning, thanks to my neighbor, I was able to fit in a quality at-home workout. After a body strength routine with the usual squats/lunges/push ups/etc, I jumped on the treadmill and got through a 45-minute run/walk type thing. My legs are sore, even after the rest day yesterday, due to the increase in running. It felt good to work up a sweat and to start my day with a workout!

Breakfast today was pumpkin French toast, topped of course with peanut butter, jelly, and shredded coconut. The pumpkin, vanilla, and cinnamon work together to make this breakfast delectable, but it still borders on healthy with whole wheat bread, eggy batter, and peanut butter for protein! Such a combination keeps me full throughout the morning.

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Lunch came together quickly thanks to an assortment of leftovers. I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to find any Brussels sprouts in the fridge, but the roasted cauliflower and butternut squash combination sufficed. Along with my veggie fix, I ate a piece of blackened salmon and dove into the rest of the macaroni and cheese. Seriously, it’s so good.

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With the roads finally clearing, my sister Lauren and her fiancee Nick came over for a Chinese food dinner. To go along with this indulgent dinner, I chopped and steamed a variety of vegetables- spinach, peppers, zucchini, and carrots- and enjoyed some brown rice. The good thing about me and Chinese food is that when I overeat it, I feel shaky, so I am apt to pay more attention to my body’s signals.

If you would allow me one last note on the snow, I must say, it’s amazing that I haven’t fallen yet. That being said, I totally just jinxed myself. The walking is terrible out! I went from my house to my neighbor’s house and I was walking so slow. Not just because it’s slippery but because it’s hard to walk in snow and slop. I’ve seen a few brave runners trekking it in the snow, but I do not have the coordination for that. I would definitely slip, fall, and get run over by a car.

To end on a positive note, we are already a good chunk into February, which means once we are halfway into March, the weather should improve, BASEBALL will be on its way back- I know for a fact that the Red Sox are looking to make up for last year’s dismal season to me personally in the form of the handsome new pitcher Rick Porcello–Lester who?- and I have a couple of exciting things coming that we’ll have to talk about when they happen.

Keep the good mood grooving!