Workouts of Late

This week, I am down 1.8 pounds.

I’ve collected quite a few sweaty selfies of late thanks to my fitness Instagram- Stronger with Caitlin. Here’s a few of them, along with what I’ve been doing for my workouts lately.

Lots of running.

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Summer into fall is my absolute favorite time to run and I always pick up my pace and length once the weather cools down just a bit. Of course, I try to run outside in the winter, but it’s never for as long. I also detest the treadmill and cannot go for miles unless I’m somehow in a trance-like state.

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I’m excited to see how fast and far I can go now that I’m dropping a few extra pounds. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts, ranging from True Crime to Disney World themed, during my workouts, although I’ll always return to my favorite playlists and upbeat musicals when I just want to cruise.

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I’ve also been a sweaty mess during my strength training workouts, which I do three times a week. I try to add 15-20 minutes of faster cardio to the end or throughout. My cardio of choice on these days has been jump roping. It’s such a great workout that you don’t have to suffer through for an extended amount of time. I like to do a set of jumps 50-100 after each set of exercises to get the heart rate UP.

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In conclusion, I aim for six days a week of challenging workouts. 3 running days and 3 strength training days. Thus far, I’ve been enjoying the results.

Stay-tuned for the fall when I’ll be mixing things up!

body strength workout

For today’s Wednesday Workout of the Week, I want to talk about the value of body strength training. If you only have 20-30 minutes to spare, you can do this workout any and everywhere!

Tricep dips

Tricep dips target the back of the arms, which is a consistent weak spot for women. To make these more challenging, straighten your legs, but make sure the sensation is focused on the back of the arms, not the shoulders or wrists.

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Push-ups

Push-ups are much maligned, but they are the perfect exercise. It works the total upper body and the core and they can be modified to make easier and more challenging in so many ways. Mastering the push-up is a work of art. Keep

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Squats

If you have sensitive knees, try using a TRX, if you have access to one, of course, or simply focus on sitting up and standing from a chair. If you feel an air-squat without weight is too easy, try adding a jump to it. Your legs will hate and thank you at the same time. (I didn’t like the picture of my squat from this photoset)

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Step-ups

I hate this exercise and that’s a good thing! They are challenging and work all of the lower body, while also utilizing the core and testing your balance. Try them on stairs, two at a time if you want the challenge. You can alternate legs or do one at a time with minimal momentum to make it more difficult.

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Plank

Never are seconds so long then when you are planking. I’m almost sorry. If you must avoid holding a plank at all costs, try them with movement by performing mountain climbers or tapping one shoulder at a time.

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For body-weight exercises, work on perfecting technique and performing higher reps. These exercises are great when you are starting a routine, looking to keep things simple and quick, or as a supplement to heavy lifting to work on form.

Get moving!

daily living

My typical Monday post is a recap of the weekend, but I don’t often post anything regarding the rest of the week except for food and exercise. Now that I’m back to personal training, my day is more chaotic, in a good way.

On Monday, I had one client, so I had a leisurely breakfast in the morning of my favorite pancakes before heading to the gym to train. After, I fit in my own workout. By the time I got back home, it was time for a lunch of leftovers. I’m still getting used to my sporadic routine and I have a hard time enjoying leisure time for myself when it’s in the middle of the day, but I did watch an episode of The West Wing and do some reading, while also spending ample time with Simba, who wanted my full attention.

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Then it was back to the gym to work a shift at the front desk. By the time I got home, I was ready for dinner and bed.

Tuesday was a different day than normal as I had to drive into the city for a training opportunity. We finished after lunch time, so I fit in a quick workout of all the exercises that required equipment before driving home to check in on the kitten, finish up some body weight training, then head out on a run. I spent the rest of the afternoon reading and writing then had a client after dinner. Pretty much by the time I got home, I was ready for bed because Wednesdays are one of my 5am call times!

The hardest part of waking up early for me are the few moments after the alarm went off and now not wanting to leave a cuddly kitten behind, particularly when he’s meowing at me because he wants to be patted.

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Duty calls though, so I grabbed all my stuff I had organized the night before and got to work. After finishing up with my clients, I fit in my own workout of strength training and a session on the elliptical before heading home for lunch! Leftovers are my favorite lunch because it requires minimal preparation, especially when you’re already hungry! I typed up this post, among other little chores around the house, then headed back to work to train.

It can feel hectic sometimes, but I’m happy to be back and doing what I think I was meant to do! Am I sorry most of my pictures lately are of my kitten? No, I am not.

We’re more than halfway through the week!

Getting Back Into Routine

Happy birthday to my brother’s girlfriend, Cait!

So my sister and I might be the nerdiest sisters around. In truth, she’s the smart (and nerdy) one as she’s a librarian, but we both know more about Harry Potter than is probably the norm.

Such knowledge comes in handy when it’s trivia time. Listen, there are few things in life of which I am certain, but Harry Potter is one of them, so when it came time for trivia, you better believe I was confident.

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Lauren and I knew we didn’t need anyone else on our team and we ended up taking down the rest of the (much more stocked) teams to be crowned champions.

I think it’s okay to gloat a little bit!

It was the cherry on top of a great week of relaxation and vacation!

Monday hit full force with an early wake-up call, but it means I had a far more productive morning than I would if I slept in too late. Here was my beautiful breakfast.

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I love vacation and the occasional indulgence it brings, but I am always so ready to get back into my typical eating and exercise habits. It’s amazing how much the food you eat affects so much of your life, from how you feel to how you look. I tried to be careful-ish, especially when it came to eating between meals (which I didn’t), as well as alcohol consumption, but I definitely didn’t deprive myself of some extra savory and sweet foods.

To help get back into that healthy eating flow, I planned my meals for the week ahead of time. Lots of fruits and veggies make up some well-rounded and nutritious meals, but with a heavy yum factor!

Monday’s lunch was inspired by an unplanned trip to Trader Joe’s. In my defense, I only went to the store next door to pick up a prescription, but it wasn’t ready yet, so I stopped in! Chicken tikka masala minus the rice because I wanted that piece of naan and sautéed spinach. It looked heaping when I tossed it in a pan, but alas, it shrinks down to a mouthful.

Dinner was kind of a beauty, including salad topped with the usual selection of veggies, balsamic, and feta. For protein, I cooked up Buzzfeed’s garlic parmesan chicken tenders, and zucchini to use up the rest of the mixture! On the side, greek yogurt, blueberries, and almonds for a hit of fat and some extra protein.

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A quick breakfast of a hard-boiled egg and cheesestick fueled my Tuesday morning workout, before I came home for a post-workout whole wheat protein waffle and berries.

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Lunch was already assembled, so I apologize for the ugliness of the picture. Packed up includes more of those chicken tenders and zucchini, a medley of carrots, celery, and red pepper with hummus, and Greek yogurt with raspberries and walnuts.

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Inspired in part by the workouts of Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, and Katie Ledecky, because let’s face it, they’re amazing, I decided to go lighter weight with a heavy focus on bodyweight exercises, and higher reps. I’m not too fond of high reps, but I’m looking to slim down and those exercises lead to it! I’m also upping my cardio, particularly with intervals running and sprinting on the bike, as well as jump roping.

Monday’s focus was on the chest, triceps, and shoulders, with a heavy dosage of core- all day every day! I can’t tell you how great it felt to be back in action! After my strength training, I jump roped, 1minute on, 30 seconds rest x 5, and hopped on the treadmill for a 20 minute workout, 2 minutes walking, 3 minutes running at a higher clip than I usually would for a longer run.

Tuesday’s objective included the back, lots of legs, and more core! For my cardio dosage, I took to the spin bike and cycled happily away. Right now, I like to ride in position one (flat on the seat) for 2 minutes, position two (standing up straight) for 2 minutes, then position three (hovering over the steering wheel) for 2 more minutes x 3 or 4 depending on how much time I have left.

On vacation, I took the entire week off from standardized exercise. I contemplated going on a run or two, but it was honestly super humid outside and I wasn’t feeling it. I wouldn’t normally suggest taking a whole week off, but I go hard 5-6 days a week and my body needed it. It helps me in particular because I know I’ll get right back to it once that week is up. Much of that no-exercise allowance is mental as much as it is physical.

Glad to be back to it!

Just A Thing

Happy mid-week! I’m only slightly ashamed to say that I’m excited that my favorite guilty pleasure TV show comes back tonight- Baby Daddy. I’ve discussed my adoration for the show before, so I won’t go into too much detail. It has a great cast (particularly Melissa Peterman from Reba), cute storylines, and isn’t terribly written (a huge plus for a sitcom like that).

I realize it has been awhile since I’ve posted some food pics so here we go! Let’s start with a black bean veggie burger two ways.

Numero Uno: A colorful and flavorful salad!

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Numero Dos: With rice and veggies!

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My favorite pancakes on a cloudy day. Oddly shaped this morning.

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Shoutout to my mom’s homemade chicken potpie and mashed potatoes from last night that was so delicious, I couldn’t capture its essence on camera.

As for exercise this week, I kicked things off on Monday with a strength training workout on the TRX straps. I don’t know much about TRX, but they appear to be so versatile, so one of my trainer friends helped me out a bit!

Even though I spent most of yesterday thinking it was Monday, I still had a great Tuesday workout. My strength training kicked my biceps, shoulders, back, and core before I hopped on the stairclimberI had been using that more often, then stopped, and coming back to it was whoa. Even though I’m super slow, it’s still effective.

I feel like I should have more to talk about, but this week has been moving in strange ways. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just a thing.

Workout planning time!

True Life: Sometimes I’m A Slob :(

Whoops! This posted before it was ready. This is what happens when I’m super organized and have it written and scheduled for the day ahead.

I want to first mention how sad I am to hear about Alan Rickman’s passing. I didn’t know David Bowie as much, but I know he was a fixture of so many people’s lives. With Alan Rickman, he brought a character to life so beloved in my memory, Snape, and my childhood, that I can’t help but mourn. RIP to the both of them.

I’m embarrassed to admit that my room is not the tidiest and coziest it can be. To the outside world, I am an organized person. I made two different versions of flashcards when studying for my test. I used to rewrite my notes from school. My calendar is in both written and wireless formats.

I just also have a terrible tendency to drop my clothes where they are, in part (and this sounds horrible, I know) because I have too many clothes filling my closet.

Listen. Okay. When I first got my office job over a year ago, I went ham at the store thinking I needed all of these clothes. And then I was making money to buy more clothes. And I wore such cute outfits (in my opinion) for the eight or so months I was working in the office.

Then, spoiler alert!, I quit that office job to start working in a gym that requires a somewhat bland uniform of black pants and a white or black shirt underneath a work-mandated jacket. Now I only wear a handful of the clothes in my closet along with exercise outfits and I won’t complain, especially if that’s really the only complaint I can offer, but my closet is kind of a sad place right now. All of those pretty and fancy clothes (so many dresses) just sitting there. So yeah, sometimes the not so pretty and fancy, but very well-worn clothes get tossed to the ground when I come home.

I’m sure one day I will find cause to wear them again, which is why I’m holding onto them, but I have donated certain items I won’t wear. So, in conclusion, this was a long-winded way of telling you that I need to do some organizing in my life.

It’s been a strange sort-of six months (seems longer and not long at all somehow), what with studying and passing my Personal Training test and now transitioning into that career, while figuring out where and who I want to be (but isn’t that just life?) Since graduating from college, I’ve found my life to flash in a series of unsettling moments and constant changes, but I know this is not a bad thing. It’s just a different thing, less comfortable. But when I feel a little (note, a lot) insecure about the happenings of my life and I allow the little details that I can control slip, I start to feel much more hectic than I should.

Long story short, I’ve got to pick up those damn pants and clean out my closets (I know, I’m the worst), and straighten myself out. Scary, fun, amazing, challenging, difficult, and inspiring things are happening, if only I keep a clear mind, heart, and soul.

You’re “welcome” for the rant, but I think most people just come to see the food.

We’ll start with last night’s dinner. Chicken cacciatore with whole wheat pasta, peppers, zucchini noodles, and asparagus. So.Tasty.

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We move onto this morning’s breakfast of this Champion. I can call myself a Champion sometimes because if not, who else would?

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The workout of the day will consist of Zumba taught by a friend! Followed up with some kickass kettlebell training I’ve strung together.

Happy and healthy living! Don’t be a slob (like me)!