I’ll often hear many people, usually women, complain about their upper body strength. Most likely, this is because women (and I know I’m generalizing here) tend to stick to cardio like running, biking, or ellipticalling, which is great for their health, hearts, and legs, but they’re completely ignoring an important part of their body! Or else, they aren’t working out at all.

There is no judgement in this post, I’m just pointing out what I’ve heard and trying to remedy that! Cardio is easy- hold the pitchforks- in the sense that you hop on the machine or head outside and you pretty much know what to do.

Strength training is intimidating. There is equipment involved, whether complicated looking machines, funny-looking dumbbells, heavy-looking barbells, or the even stranger kettlebell to name a few. Also, it can be difficult to know what to do and why.

If you are starting out with weight training, exercising, or coming back from an injury, I recommend checking out the weight machines offered at the gym (this is the only time I’d recommend the machines for the record).

Otherwise, if you’re interested in lifting, take the time to do some research, whether in online tutorials or trainers at your gym (we’re always happy to help!) to learn exercises and the proper technique, whether the workout involves equipment or body strength.

Below is an upper body workout that targets all the main muscle groups, including the biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, and chest. If you perform each move properly, the core will always be engaged.

Upper Body 1

Come back next week to check out the lower body workout!

work it on out

After my long weekend away, last weekend, I was ready to hit the gym…kind of.

It was a vacation of indulgence between the vineyards, Ghirardelli, and In-n-Out, which is all well and good (except for my stomach) and we did our fair share of walking, but I was ready to return to normal.

When I did get back, I was up and early for the Red Sox/Angels day game in Anaheim and I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back in time for the gym, coupled with the fact I didn’t touchdown in LA until 2 the previous morning. However, it was still late afternoon when I got back from the game (boo, we lost!), so I revved myself up to go!

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I wasn’t feeling my routine of late, so I worked through a standard total body workout targeting all the major muscle groups and finished with a half hour on the bike. It was good to work up a sweat.

That night, it was time to rejuvenate my workout routine. I’ve been doing total body lately, so this time, I broke it down into a split routine.

 

Workout Routine

Always gotta get in that core!

I’m a big fan of breaking up leg day like upper body workouts. I still feel the pain of my efforts, but I can target the muscle groups more effectively without tiring too much. Currently, I’m feeling the beautiful repercussions of mixing up my routine with those DOMS all over and a twinge in my core every time I laugh or sneeze.

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.”