workout wednesday

I switch between full-body and split routines every few weeks/months to keep from plateauing and right now, I’m in the thick of full-body madness. If you’ll remember, my latest workout was inspired by Gal Gadot’s training for Wonder Woman and it has been kicking my butt in the best way.

On Mondays, I start with 30 minutes of cardio, usually on the spin bike, alternating between jumps, sprints, and hills. I follow it up with a half-hour of strength training targeting every muscle group, 2 sets of 20 reps.

Tuesdays are all about compound movements. My first circuit includes rows, deadlifts, front squats, reverse curls, and overhead presses, all with the barbell. I start with 2 sets of 5 with just the weight of the barbell all sequentially. Then, I move onto the individual movements with 4 sets of 5 because I can lift more weight with some exercises. I’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and I can already feel myself growing stronger. I end with about 10-15 pounds on the barbell and do another set of 5 in a row. My second circuit includes chest presses, assisted pull-ups, tricep dips, hanging leg raises, and oblique lean downs, same sets and reps. If I have time at the end, I try to do 8-10 minutes of jump roping.

Wednesdays are a run day, going between 3-5 miles.

For Thursdays, I fit in more cardio on the spin bike, either a straight 30 minutes or two 15-minute workouts with strength training, this time 3 sets of 12 reps.

My Friday or Saturday workout involves more circuit training, 4 exercises in 5 sets of 10. More jump roping at the end.

Either Friday or Saturday will by my rest day and then I go for another long run on Sundays.

It’s been killer, but effective!

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Workout Shake-Up

These next three weeks of workouts include total body compound movements that have consistently left me sore. I took a week off when I went home for a few days and my body paid for the absence. Though it was a struggle some days to move, it was the good kind of pain — I realize I probably sound crazy.

For this cycle, I’m strength training three times a week with a few minutes on the bike, as well as running and (in theory) working through some yoga sequences three days a week. While my morning workouts continue to be consistent, I find it difficult to wake up with enough time to fit in my yoga and just end up running. Yay for cardio, but also, I could use the yoga. Awake and alert me understands this. Sleepy Caitlin does not.

I’ve returned to circuit training, performing three moves consecutively, four sets of twelve reps, four total circuits. In between sets, I rest for about 45 seconds and a minute between circuits. Such exercises include squats with lateral raises, curtsy lunge step-ups, skull crusher chest flies, jumping squat chest throws, and more. In total, these workouts take about 45-60 minutes. I’m quite proud of myself on this routine because I hit each muscle group multiple times a workout.

Maybe because I’m organized or perhaps because I’m enthusiastic about exercise planning, but I’ve already written out my next two three-week cycles of workouts, which I’ll be sure to share. Next week, I’ll share Day One of my strength training routine for the week. Consider this a teaser.

Get moving!

Birthdays and Leg Days

I want to start off with a Happy Birthday message to my Auntie Bea! We had a party to celebrate a few months ago and another small one this past weekend because when you are as great as her, you deserve a whole year of celebrations!

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Do you know what’s really fun? The day after Leg Day, when you can barely hobble out of bed and down the stairs. Fortunately, I’m always hungry in the morning, so the call for eggs was too strong for me to ignore.

Let’s take a look at that workout.

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In total, it took about an hour and twenty minutes to get through it all. So yeah, I’m sore, but it was a kickass workout!

On the workout menu today is a run that will have to be taken to the treadmill thanks to the rain and griminess outside. It might sound crazy, but running is actually a great way to stretch out those legs!

Happy Wednesday!

 

Get Moving!

I am a bad blogging lady and I am sorry. Please let me make up for it by regaling you with some ridiculous antics that make up my life.

Looking back at the weekend, I spent a lot of time working, which is fine because I love what I do. Saturday was particularly elongated, but I had gone to Lush for the first time on Thursday in anticipation of this and was looking forward to a bubble bath and face mask. It also happened to be freakishly cold these past few days, so there was a lot of anticipation building into this bath. I watched as water began filling up the tub and steam started billowing from the heat. It would never come to fruition as the stopper wouldn’t work. No matter how much duct tape I applied, the tub would not fill more than a few inches. To say this was sad is an understatement, however, I did happen to have a nice, warm heated blanket, cup of cocoa, and sturdy house surrounding me and so I can’t complain much. Just consider this another but of course in my life!

On Sunday night, when the cold was its coldest- and at some point you have to think cold is just cold and all the same, but it’s not- I had a cup of what I thought was lemonless tea, but as I took my final sip, I almost choked on a lemon seed. Apparently, the dish washer needs to be more vigilant in its cleansing. Ew! The good on Sunday is I saw How To Be Single with my friend Molly and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. For dinner, we ate yummy burritos. I filled mine with grilled steak, chopped veggies, black beans, and a dollop of sour cream. SO good! I also enjoyed some popcorn during the movie since the theater uses real butter.

I am left with only two pictures of my meals to share and one of them happens to be my breakfast from this morning. I can’t feel too sorry about this.

First, this dish was actually a Trader Joes’ frozen meal, chicken tikka masala with rice. I juiced it up by adding grilled zucchini, red bell pepper, and spinach to the mix.

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Next up, this morning’s breakfast of eggs, toast, bacon, and fruit. Pretty much a perfect combination.

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This weekend, I also spent a good amount of time reformatting my workouts. I decided to split the strength training pieces differently- arms and shoulders, legs, chest and back- with core and some amount of brief and high intensity cardio each day, a day of total body strength training, two longer and moderate forms of cardio, and a rest day! Sunday got things started with the arms and shoulders, which were sore but not overly so. Yesterday’s workout was leg centered and they are definitely sore today! I think all the box jumps and jump roping really put me through the ringer!

Here’s a sneak peak of the arms and shoulders heavy workout. I performed each exercise in circuit fashion by muscle type in 4 sets of 12 reps. For the ropes, I did 30 seconds on, 30 seconds rest for 5 minutes and finished up on the rower for 12 minutes.

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This workout took about an hour and fifteen minutes, which is approximately what I do on the regular now- no more two hour sessions for this chick! I love putting together new workouts because it’s important to keep the body guessing, but it’s also just more fun to do!

Get moving!

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.

 

I’m Not Paranoid, But…

I’m not saying I’m paranoid, but if you have a Mac (or a computer in general), then you’ve probably noticed the little green light near the camera lens glow when you haven’t turned on the camera. I’d taken to ignoring it in the past, but then I was babysitting my neighbor and she had a piece of tape over hers and I had to ask about it. It’s a precaution that is unfortunate and not altogether overcautious considering this world in which we live. Regardless of whether it’s necessary, the tape that now graces my screen makes me feel just a bit better. Let’s not be creepy, people!

I’m ashamed to admit that it didn’t take long for me to forget to snap a photo of my meals before I eat. The only meal I have to show you in the past 24 hours is this one from dinner. Chicken stir fry chock full of vibrant veggies and brown rice.

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It is a thing of wonder.

My workout yesterday consisted of strength training that hit my triceps, chest, and legs. Lately, I’ve been doing four exercises for each part of the body and three sets of fifteen reps each. It creates a good burn, but a burn nonetheless. Since focusing more on endurance, I’ve noticed that I’ve still been able to go up in weight, which is satisfying. After the strength portion, I focused on some core work before hopping on a bike for some Tabata sprints.

Other than exercising, writing, and working, I’ve been watching Chelsea Handler’s new docu-series on Netflix, Chelsea Does, and thus far, I’ve loved it. I’ve always found her funny- i.e. when I met her at a book signing and she signed my book “Caitlin sucks eggs, Love Chelsea.”- and I watched Chelsea Lately a ton, but this new series has a serious and poignant edge to it that raises a lot of good questions and portrays interesting perspectives to difficult or not well-known topics. I’ll go more in-depth once I finish the series, but I highly recommend it and I am looking forward to her new series debuting!

As to how I’m doing, I can admit that the pain isn’t as fresh, but I’m not healed. There’s a sorrowful glow that sits in my stomach. This morning, the blankets had bunched up around my legs and it reminded me of when he would curl up on my bed and later, I heard a noise that sounded like the thud Bandit would make when he jumped up on my desk. Then I remember what happened and it hits me all over again.

Yet, we keep on going because living our lives is a wondrous thing.

Life After…

Coming back to a normal routine after death is a challenge. Bandit was such a fixture in my everyday life and I keep waiting for him to come around the corner, meow, or be lounging around on one of our beds or couches. The last week was a blur, but I kept busy with work and other things. It’s strange to be in mourning, yet keep going and finding a new normal. I wasn’t feeling especially inspired to blog last week because somehow logging my meals didn’t feel right when I was so sad. And I didn’t want to keep harping on the point. Things around here will be consistent again.

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It’s funny because while something so devastating has happened, other parts of my life are coming together. I am happy to announce that I will be starting to put my Personal Training certificate to good use officially! It’s so great to get to inspire people and help them find health and happiness.

Heading back to the weekend, it was packed, starting with Thursday. My workout included two kettlebell circuits with a friend before I hopped on the treadmill for a walk/run/sprint session. After work, I went out for Mexican with my friend Molly. I selected the steak fajita salad that had tasty grilled steak over greens with peppers, tomatoes, and cheese. Yum! We stopped for ice cream before heading home, despite how cold it was. Note: It is never too cold for ice cream. I will always persevere. I hadn’t seen Molly in so long so it was great to catch up!

On Friday, my day started with a crushing Spin class and some at-home Yoga. After my shift, I headed out for an impromptu dinner with a few of my co-workers. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time and I really needed it.

Saturday morning, my alarm got my heart racing because I had been in a deep sleep. Once I’m up, I don’t mind the morning shift, but it was hard pulling myself out of bed in the dark! When my shift ended, I fit in my workout that was a total body strength session. With muscles burning (in the best of ways), I met my parents and grandma for lunch before the semi-storm. The storm that never really was, at least to Boston standards, was calming in a sense as we all were bundled up inside, watching the Bruins and then Inside Out. There’s something special about sleeping in a warm bed when you know the snow is falling outside.

I can’t say that Sunday wasn’t a disappointment, at least when it comes to the Patriots. Neither team played particularly great, except the Broncos’ defense, but I always expect them to pull it off in the end, so it was a shock when they lost. The social aspect of the game was still fun. I went with my friends Nouha and Sarah to a local bar for some nachos, wings, and beers, then back to Nouha’s couch to lounge on the couch and watch the crushing loss. To ease our sorrowed hearts, we played a few rounds of a card game then got absorbed in some of those Buzzfeed personality quizzes. Sometimes, they are spot on, it’s weird.

I won’t feel guilty about all the indulging, especially on Sunday, because I did have a kicks workout, including a body strength circuit and a run. But I will say, I am very much looking forward to healthy eating today as I don’t love the feeling of being overly stuffed. Whew.

Now we’re back to Monday morning. Hope everyone survived the storm in their neck of the woods. Let’s make this week a good one!