lower body workout

Here’s that lower body workout I promised two weeks ago!

I focused on the major muscle groups of the lower body. First set includes work on the quads, one exercise with heavy weight, the second with body weight in an explosive movement. Remember to sit back on those heels!

The second set focuses on the hamstrings, with a heavy deadlift that will stretch the back of your legs followed up with hamstring curls that will be a slow burn.

Next, we’ll focus on the ab/adductors to work the sides of those upper thighs, on the inside and outside. Side lunges will be with some weight and move slowly, while the skaters should be explosive and quick.

For the glutes, bridges can be made more difficult either with weight resting on your hips or performing them elevated on a ball or incline of some sort. Step-ups are one of my least favorite exercises, but they are effective!

To finish off the strength portion of the workout, work the abs! Leg lifts and plank jacks will get the lower body moving along with the core.

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Enjoy the burn!

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?

lately

 

I’ve eaten some great meals lately. My meals are not the problem, it’s the eating inbetween that I need to watch! The holidays did a number on me, but I’m feeling better and back on track.

Let’s take a look.

Saturday pancake breakfast.

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Breakfast sandwich: eggs, cheese, toast.

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Eggs, a piece of toast, and an unseen strawberry smoothie.

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Yogurt, berries, and walnuts for a snack.

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Chicken, broccoli, ziti (with red pepper). Kind of a soup dish, but definitely delicious. Ate this when it was still burning hot because I needed to make a movie time. Worth it.

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Steak caesar tacos because life is awesome. With spinach.

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The secret to cooking anything covered in bread crumbs on a stove top is to do it for a long time over low heat. This piece of fish was divine and paired with brown rice, spinach, broccoli, and covered with sesame ginger sauce.

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The one lunch that made it in here. Tacos with cheese, deli turkey, spinach, tomato, sour cream, and sriracha.

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Workouts as of late included that hike from the other day.

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Monday’s upper body strength workout included lots of work on the biceps, triceps, and shoulders. So much so that I’m still sore in the triceps, though that could have been manipulated further by my chest/back workout on Tuesday. My workout on Wednesday was lower body. Every day was topped with some core and cardio: biking, running, elliptical(ling). I’ve got one last formal workout of the week before my friend Katie comes for the weekend.

Eat well. Live well. Feel well.

Chef Caitlin

In another life, maybe I should have been a chef. Let’s discuss.

At breakfast, I put together this bowl of oatmeal and cooked it in the microwave…about five seconds too long because a bit spilled out over the sides. But only a little- every great chef has a kitchen mishap or two. Topped with banana, raisins, and walnuts, it was a tasty treat.

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For a snack, I pulled the microwave trick again and cooked an egg and put it atop a piece of toast and cheese.

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I happened to enjoy it so much that I had another with my quinoa, chickpea, and veggie lunch.

I was raring for dinner after my workout and grilled a piece of cod in a buttery, garlic sauce and placed it on two corn tortillas with a drizzle of soyaki. On the side, some green beans and a giant caesar salad made with baby spinach leaves, a sprinkling of parmesan, caesar dressing, and crushed tostitos.

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They may not look restaurant-worthy, but the dishes tasted great and I think that merits some points.

Speaking of my workout, it was upper body day, so I worked my biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, and back. For the bi’s, tri’s, and shoulders I did two exercises per muscle group. For the chest and back, I worked three exercises, all three sets of twelve reps. To top things off, I did three core exercises and ended with 20 minutes on the bike.

Happy December- it’s officially Christmas time! No matter that it’s in the sixties and I’m finding this “chilly.”

Fit Life

Let’s talk workouts! I’ve been going back and forth with how to split my routine throughout the week and I think I came up with the dynamic that works best for me.

*Please forgive the rattiness of the paper in which my workouts are scrolled. It’s been through a lot this week and its appearance cannot be helped.

This week of workouts started on Sunday with some bicep and shoulder action. As last week included six sets of eight- sometimes a drag- this week was four sets of twelve reps so we were focused on endurance and power! Performed in circuit fashion, I did six exercises of each muscle group before continuing on for the next three sets. After my biceps and shoulders had their fill, I moved onto core exercises, which I try to do every day.  For cardio, I had walked with my mom and the dog beforehand, so I headed out.

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On Monday, it was time for the triceps and chest! Similar set up for this round: six exercises for each muscle group, four sets, twelve reps. Burn! More core work followed up with cardio- heavy ropes, tabata style, and a few minutes on the row machine.

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Day Three brought us to the leg and back portion of the week. I like the combination of legs/back especially when it comes to deadlifts and bent-over rows because those muscle groups are working hard together to get the exercises done. The difference in this day is that I did not perform each exercise circuit style, but completed all sets and reps of one before moving on. It takes more time, but the set up on these are more complicated than just grabbing a kettlebell or a pair of dumbbells as I had to fix up the barbells and the cables, running all over the gym. I did finish the core part via circuit and got some good jump roping time in there.

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Today was run day and the weather was spectacular! It’s 70 degrees in early March, no snow or ice on the ground, and I can’t help but feel a little giddy. I snapped these pictures mid-run, so go ahead and be impressed!

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Since it was so nice, I wanted to extend the run and make it a little more special. I haven’t run around the lake since early fall when I was trekking out for 6.25-10 miles on the regular. As you might remember, I had to cut back because my muscles were overexerted, causing my feet to fall asleep! I’ve kept it to about four miles ever since, but the push felt nice today! 6.25 miles overall!

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Look at this view!

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The very worst part of this workout was the final climb back home. I walked it and it’s all uphill and after a long run, I was struggling. Phew! Happiness and a little bit of pain is pretty much the grounds for a solid run!

Since I’m nice, I’ll also give you a sneak peek of Thursday’s total body workout. This one is kettlebell and plyometric heavy and I’m already feeling tired! I tried to incorporate some compound movements into the routine as well. We’ll see how well that jump roping and sprints come out at the end.

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Friday will include some kind of cardio and then Saturday is a much-deserved rest day!

Happy exercising! If it’s nice out, take it outside, even if it’s just for a walk!

Weekend Update With Caitlin

I’ll just let that title be my audition for SNL!

I intended to do another Weekend Recap of pictures for you this morning, but I only came away with two pictures to share. Whoops. I fell out of the habit of snapping my food and whereabouts and it makes for a sad blog post.

Before we go into the weekend, I should take this time to shoutout a Happy Birthday message to my dog Mac! We usually have about 80 birthday celebrations for him in the month of March, but today is the actual day. If I didn’t include this, my mom would have been furious.

This weekend included some quality friend time. Starting with Friday night when I met up with some work friends for dinner, drinks, and fro yo. Life is not complete without a little sweetness to end the day!* (*Too much sweetness lately, but I’ll get to that in tomorrow’s post!)

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After work and a run on Saturday, it was time to catch up with a few friends from college. We made chicken with peppers, zucchini, and lots of chips and salsa to go with our fancy pants margaritas. To make the drinks, we chopped off a ton of fresh strawberries and limes and blended it all together. Yum!

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After a night out, we woke up hungry! Scrambled eggs, english muffins, and bacon were on the menu! A little later, we were all curled up on the couches and watching Harry Potter Weekend. Those movies (but especially the books) never get old! They are…wait for it…MAGICAL!!!! We also ended up getting some pizza for lunch and I have no regrets!

I did manage to make myself workout on Sunday. Since it was so nice, I started things off with a brisk two mile walk with my mom and the dog. At the gym, it was biceps and shoulders day, so I did six moves, four sets, and 12 reps for each muscle group. To top things off, I also did a circuit of core exercises, which I try to incorporate into every workout.

The core is so important and not just to work that six/eight pack! I for one have what’s equivalent to a one pack, but I’m proud of that bad boy because I’ve been working HARD at it these past few months. Ever since I started studying, I realized how important the core is to the success of the entire body and so I pay it special attention. When I first started, I pulled something in my abdominals using the roller, so I stopped using it and decided to build up those muscles another way. A few months later and I’m finding the roller to be too easy. Hard work leads to success, there are no shortcuts (that will make worthwhile progress!)

The rest of the night, I spent doing laundry and taking a bath to try out my first Lush bath bomb. LOVED it! I think I’ll have to make it more routine in my life.

This morning, I started my day with scrambled egg whites, french toast, and the sweetest berries! Again, I forgot to take a picture, but I will be better about it! Now I’m listening to Adele and getting some work done.

Happy Monday!

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.