Weekly Workouts

I find that pre-planning my workouts make for more efficient, butt-kicking exercise. I don’t dramatically change everything up every week, but I do switch things around to keep my body guessing. Making something up in advance, helps keep you motivated and present. Exercise is all about routine because once you get to that point, it sticks, and it’s hard to live without it!

Day One started on Sunday with a run. I haven’t gone four miles in awhile, but it felt wonderful. I finished with a cool-down one mile walk.

Day Two is strength training day one, including chest and triceps, biceps and shoulders, and core- ALWAYS core. Three exercises for each muscle group, five sets of eight reps a piece, means I’m lifting heavy!

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Day Three (two for strength training) is all about the legs, back, and core. Same set-up with that first day of strength training, heavy lifting five sets of eight reps. For legs in particular, I like the combination of heavy compound movements with fast-paced plyometrics. Jumping lunges are pretty close to death.

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Day Four is another run, this time with some time and speed intervals tossed within. It keeps my heart rate up without allowing my body to fall into a steady-state rhythm. After I finish, I like to do some Yoga, whether it’s just planking or getting into a full sequence, depending on time.

Day Five is more strength training focused on chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and core. This time, I’m lifting lighter weights at three sets of twelve reps, which helps build my endurance.

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Here we go at Day Six! Legs, back, and core get the three sets of twelve reps endurance treatment.

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Though strength training is the focus four out of six days of exercise, I do usually finish up my workouts with at least 15/20 minutes of cardio. Lately, I’ve been completing a super sweaty and crushing ride on a spin bike, which I much prefer to the other types of stationary cycles. I’ll occasionally spend a few minutes on the elliptical or treadmill amping up those intervals. On days where I don’t have a lot of time, it’s all about jump roping and battle roping.

The seventh day is always built for rest! You don’t have to workout six times a week to be healthy, I just happen to need it for my wellbeing. Rest is always important!

Sometimes, You Just Need Whipped Cream

I shared this note last night on Facebook, but I wanted to extend the sentiment on my blog:

The beautiful thing about people like David Bowie and Alan Rickman is that they lived as their authentic selves. Creativity sparks ideas, inspiration, and movement. Such endeavors appeal to our humanity. It’s why we love them. It’s why we mourn. At the end of the day, we are all human. We all suffer, struggle, and fail, but these passionate types, these people, they, we, we all triumph, shine, and overcome. In death, we love and we grieve, but we also remember that they have lived, with us and for us, and that is a remarkable thing.

So when they say, “Let’s Dance,” we respond, “Always.”

A bit on the less serious side: Exciting news! According to Facebook, I joined the social media world 10 years ago from this very day. I don’t know how to feel about this. Old, for one. I was in high school 10 years ago. From my calculations, I would have been 16, so a sophomore? Yikes. A lot has changed in the past 10 years and I’m not ashamed to say, the majority of that has been for the good. If we’re being real though, that’s not so much a milestone for me as it is for Facebook. Good for you, book of faces.

On a list of other random happenings in my life, I’m beginning to suspect that I’m just into hot chocolate for the whipped cream on top. I’m not even sorry. Yes, the chocolatey, warm goodness makes the melty whipped cream taste that much better, but when I’ve had my share of the cream and it’s just the hot chocolate left, I’m all, eh.

My morning started with a quick, repeating meal before my Spin class. Peanut butter and jelly on an English Muffin. Wrong cannot be done with this combination. Warm, toasty, peanutty, and sweet.

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For my workout, it included the aforementioned Spin class, which was killer thanks to a ton of sprints and hill climbing. It’s butt-kicking, but works up a great sweat! I finished with a brief core workout before heading home to get my inner- Yogi on.

I’ll also take you back to last night’s dinner of chicken drumsticks, brown spinach rice, roasted Brussels sprouts, and a big salad.

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Now onto the work, work, work that needs to be done. It’s Friday though, so Happy Weekend-having to you all!

Beware Nastly Little Bundles of Unblended Spinach

I woke up this morning not feeling my usual self, so instead of hopping over to the gym for a strength session before my spin class, I just stuck with spinning. I felt pretty good throughout it all, so I’m happy for the workout. Yoga might come a little bit later in the day.

I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I’m sick, more just “off.”

This morning’s breakfast was light, consisting of a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter and a cheesestick. I just ate a chopped apple with another tablespoon of pb and all seems well!

Yesterday’s dinner was pizza! I enjoyed two slices and complemented them with a ton of veggies- roasted brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and a hunk of a salad.

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For a mid-day snack yesterday, I knew I was hungry but I wasn’t too big on the eating thing (unusual, I know), so I blended a smoothie. I’m not huge on juices and I usually prefer to eat my calories, but this wasn’t bad! I tossed in some greek yogurt, peanut butter, strawberries, blueberries, half a banana, spinach, ice, and milk.

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I was so afraid I was going to snag a nasty ball of unblended spinach, but all was good!

Happiest of weekends to everyone!

I Think I Broke My One Abdominal Muscle

Okay, I promise I know that there is more than one abdominal muscle in the body. I happen to be studying the muscles as we speak. But sometimes, especially in my regard, I feel like there is just a one-pack. Regardless, I just so happened to twinge one of those muscles yesterday and so I’m really feeling that little guy today.

I’m not certain what happened. Since starting my studying, I’ve realized just how important the core is, so I’ve been making an effort to extend that facet of training. One move that is uber effective is the ab roller and I even had my form checked to ensure that I was doing it correctly- which for the record, I was- but for whatever reason, it hurts in that NOT-A-GOOD-PAIN sort of pain. I did it on Monday with no issues, then tried it again on Wednesday and realized I needed another day of rest from it. Come Thursday, I thought, well hey, but I didn’t make it through one before the pain entered and did not go away. Great.

My workout before that was a fun one. I found a superset workout online, added a few exercises to make it a total body experience, and it killed in a super way. Supersets have you perform two (or more) different exercises back-to-back utilizing the same muscle groups. Whew. I haven’t felt that kind of tension in my muscles (this time, the good kind of pain) in awhile! Mission accomplished, I suppose.

After the ab roller fiasco, I stuck to other core exercises that didn’t twinge nearly as bad. Another fun part of my workout was this box jump/step up combination I thought up the other day. I start out jumping onto a smaller platform (I’ve got no game when it comes to jumping), jumping down, then stepping up onto a larger platform. I kind of felt like I was leap frogging, but there was barely anyone around and I had a blast (and an effective workout)!

I swear to you, I snapped photos of my lunch and dinner from yesterday, but my phone deleted them! Lunch was a salad using leftover steak from the previous night’s fajita dinner. For dinner, I gobbled down a piece of swordfish with brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and spinach rice. Both meals were excellent and they looked pretty too, so I’m bummed the pictures are gone.

This morning, I rolled out of bed later than I should have because I was a lady-on-a-mission to get to a spin class on time. First, I had to fuel up, which came in the form of and egg and egg-white scramble. I topped the eggs with a sprinkle of cheese and had a piece of whole wheat toast as well.

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Along with the all-important glasses of water and coffee, it was the perfect meal to energize me! Spin was a great class and once again, I feel like I’m improving. For the record, I made it just in time.

To follow up my cardio, I performed a few resistance moves, including tricep bench presses, lunge presses (note, hard!), clean and presses, seated rows, and lateral pull downs. There was no method to my madness as one of my goals this weekend is to formulate an entirely new workout plan. For today, I just went with what felt right in the moment. My ab muscle was feeling better, though still a little tender, and I focused on core moves that would stretch it out. In a circuit style, I did something I don’t know the name of but it required me holding a weight in one hand and leaning into it, leg ups, side box jumps, kettlebell goblet squats with pull ups, and kettlebell swings. I fit in some nice stretching before heading out.

My post-workout meal included a piece of peanut butter toast and a Greek yogurt with grapes!

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Have a great weekend!

Don’t Let My Brain Power Intimidate You (And Other Things I Should Never Say)

Happy Friday! I have a busy study day in front of me, but I’m procrastinating wanted to pop in and say hello before the weekend!

This morning, I set my alarm and intended to fit in a strength workout before my spin class, but when the alarm blared, I decided it was in my best interest to delay the workout and fit in an extra hour’s rest. It wasn’t a terrible decision, but I think I would have been fine getting up. I can get up no problem when I have to, but it’s finding that extra motivation when I don’t necessarily have to that is tricky.

So long as I get in my exercise!

Before exercising, my stomach was rumbling, so I fixed myself an egg, ham, and cheese on an English muffin, guzzled two large glasses of water, and sipped on a coffee.

Spin class was awesome today and I found I was able to push myself even harder than last week. Cycling is a great addition to my cardio workouts that mostly include running and swimming. I like keeping it to one day a week and adding a day of plyometrics to round everything out. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of sprinting (in the aftermath).

With my cardio done, I worked through a dumbbell circuit, 5 sets of 10 reps of shoulder presses, bicep curls, lying tricep extensions, shoulder/front raises, rows, and bench presses, followed by barbell squat presses and leg presses. Whew. I finished with a quick core workout- still feeling the effects of that ab roller from Monday!- and headed home nice and sweaty to a yogurt, peanut butter, pomegranate refueler.

Going back to yesterday’s dinner, here’s a look at leftovers: chicken with white sauce, spinach rice, and a fresh vegetable medley of spinach, peppers, and mushrooms.

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Now off to study so I can revel you all with fancy fitness terms like I did yesterday with proprioception. For example, you better believe I was proprioceptively aware of my quads during those final sprints in spin class today. (I’m not positive I used that correctly, but I trust you to believe in me blindly and not research).

I’m Onto You, Suzanne Summers

I had a dream two nights ago that Suzanne Summers was stalking me, so you better believe I’ve been checking over my shoulder whenever I leave the house. We were cool Ms. Summers, don’t pull a Liza on me.* In the dream, we were participating in a Hunger Games-esque event, except it had nothing to do with death. If I remember correctly, then if Suzanne “tagged” me, then I had to go live outside in nature. This all seemed very plausible in my dream, but now makes no sense at all.

*If you forgot that Liza Minelli stalks me, then lucky you. It’s a thing. I’m sure I’ve written posts about it before. She’s remained stagnant as of late. Let’s not jinx that.

Anyways….is anyone else slightly alarmed that it’s already October 21? I’m sorry, but I thought it was still July of 2012. Time is flying! I better step up my studying because my test date is approaching.

Here are some eats from the past few days we’ve been away from each other.

Scenes from my dad’s birthday dinner Act I. Act II actually doesn’t have a picture, but my family went out and it was fun, happy, and delicious.

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A very interesting looking meal with waffles, scrambled eggs with a chicken sausage, and a big bowl of berries. My breakfasts are often big meals because they fuel me for my workouts and because it’s the best meal of the day.

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This stir fry was impressive. Steak, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach over rice with ginger sesame dressing drizzled on top.

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Peanut butter toast can do no wrong.

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Grilled tilapia, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, and rotini. Yum!

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This morning’s plate of cakes. I can’t get enough of these!

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Workouts the past few days included grueling strength training sessions, lap swims, spin classes, long runs (slightly painful thanks to new shoes which I’ll debut tomorrow!), and core workouts that left me with sore abs whenever I sneeze (I sneeze a lot, ouch!).

In other news, I hung out with my family a lot this weekend which is always good for laughs and fun, enjoyed the nice weather with a few walks outside, cleaned and prepared for fall/winter (still more to do, ugh!), worked (it’s a blessing to love what I do), and lost a few years of my life trying to buy Star Wars tickets. For whatever reason, they are starting to premiere the new film BEFORE midnight, so my friend Stephanie and I have our tickets for 11:50. We like to stick to the idea of premiering a  movie at midnight, but in this situation, beggars really can’t be choosers. It is very exciting though and we are now two months away!

I can’t get over this picture:

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I also bought another decal for my computer. I like the subtlety of my Harry Potter one that fits right over the apple on the Mac, and I thought I was continuing this trend when I bought this new one. Not so much. It’s huge! I had to cut it.

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I think my nerd is showing just a bit.

Also, my coffee mug looks super creepy in that picture and it was unintentional!

Happy Wednesday!

Food on the Brain

I think I mentioned that I’ve been running more, but I don’t know if I told you how I ran 10 miles. Straight. Yes, okay, so that run ruined my sneakers and is now the reason why my feet go numb when I run (I know I need to get to the store), but it was so worth it. Running 10 miles is a feat if only based on how long it takes me. Note, just short of 2 hours. So I’m not a fast runner, but my clip was consistent and I have the feeling that I could do it again. Even more, maybe. Half marathon, let’s go! Remember, if I can run, you can run. You just have to start.

After that shameless plug, I’ll get back into recap mode. Wednesday’s run seems like a walk in the park with just 4 miles and a few breath-taking sprints at the end, but it was still a great workout on a beautiful day! Thursday’s workout was an early one as I had to work later that morning. It included a kettlebell strength circuit, followed up with some body strength moves, and a swim.

But look what I had waiting for me at home!

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As promised, it’s baked oatmeal time again! My go-to baked oats recipe includes oats, baking powder, cinnamon, mashed banana, chopped dates, and milk of any kind. It’s fun to mix things up and tis the season for pumpkin and apple! I tossed in some chopped apple, canned pumpkin, raisin, and walnuts, baked it for 25 minutes at 350 and had myself a tasty, warm, and nutritious breakfast.

I made it the night before and heated it up for breakfast and it was still fresh and delicious!

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Um, yes, please and thank you. Some peanut butter might have been thrown on top because I can’t help myself.

Lunch was fun too when I got down to it. Quesadilla time! First step, grill those veggies!

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It’s nice to have already grilled chicken on hand like I did, but it doesn’t take much time to cook that up either. Once cooked, mix everything together nice and hot.

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Assemble the tortilla and cheese!

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Top with mixture on one side (you know, where the cheese is). Don’t forget to sprinkle another layer of cheese on top for the sticking factor.

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Let it brew before you chew.  I had to do it without actually doing it. I’m sorry.

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Savor.

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A comfort favorite packed with nutrition and YUM!

And on to this morning’s recap…I had a quick homemade breakfast sandwich before skipping over to the gym for a dumbbell circuit. I held some planks too before getting my butt kicked at a spin class. Nice to mix up the cardio sometimes.

Now time to think about lunch…HAPPY FRIDAY!