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!

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weekend and travel plans

This weekend was one of relaxation after traveling. I did a lot of nothing, with some exercise thrown in to assuage the guilt.

I had taken a week off from working out thanks to my travel last week and it was much needed. On Saturday, I got back to it with a total body strength routine and some spinning and I was feeling those DOMS on Sunday. A run/walk combo helped stretch out my sore legs in particular, but they were still achey on Sunday night and this morning! I have a love/hate for this kind of pain, but it is the good kind of pain. I guess it was time to mix things up with my plan.

I was also able to catch up on sleep, which had gotten messed up when I took a red-eye to Boston last Friday. I don’t sleep well on planes, especially with my legs feeling a bit cramped. I had a couple of hours to nap once arriving home before my mom and I got mani/pedis for my cousin’s wedding. It was dancing time at the beautiful ceremony and reception and we were up past 2 am, which meant I was awake for the better part of 24+ hours and jet lagged. Whew. But it was well worth it.

The rest of my break was spent with my family, shopping, going to movies and dinner, and spending some quality time. It’s always hard to leave, but it was great to see everybody. Even though it’s a long flight from coast-to-coast, particularly east-to-west, it was nice to gain three hours of the day on the way back.

I captured some snapshots from the plane:

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It was hard to not include the wing of the plane in my photos, so that accounts for the odd angles.

Somehow, it’s Monday again. Enjoy it!

Beware the Pigeons

Happy Monday! A little recap of the weekend lies ahead.

On Friday, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than sit on my couch and veg. I watched some 30 Rock and just chilled, but was lulled to sleep fairly early.

I even ended up waking before my alarm on Saturday to eat a pancake breakfast and work it out at the gym.

In the afternoon, I went to the Science Center to try and be smarter see the Pixar Exhibit. My first impression was of these beautiful trees that made me feel as though I was transported to a magical world.

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Expectations were high, but then I met up with my cousins and we got lunch. Tables were full, so we ate outside and I can’t tell you how many birds surrounded the seating area. Every so often, as one, they would fly away suddenly. Long story short, on one of these instances, a pigeon clipped my head with its wing.

I got hit in the head by a pigeon.

I don’t know how else to emphasize this. Such an instance has inspired me to blog again because although ridiculous, it is also hilarious. A few minutes later, I was then hit in the head by a balloon that a kid popped. On the way home, I was worried for my noggin, you know, rule of three, but thankfully, all circumstances seemed to end there.

Back to the reason I was at the museum in the first place, the Pixar Exhibit, it was cool, but overcrowded by kids with minimal supervision and limited understanding of any of the science behind it. I give the museum itself an, eh, but that, as my cousin Sebastian pointed out, is probably thanks in large part to the Boston Museum of Science being amazing. Nothing else can quite live up to it.

Because I’m a cool cat, the rest of my Saturday included grocery shopping, meal prepping for the week ahead, lots of Netflix (30 Rock and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), writing, and reading. I wanted to watch Saturday Night Live, well, live, but I was tired and ending up falling asleep early.

On Sunday, I slept in a bit, enjoyed breakfast, and tried to make a lentil soup that ended up looking more like lentil goop. I’m sure you’ll see evidence of this travesty at some point this week because although it looks disgusting, I’m not above eating it. For the record, it still tastes well enough.

I was quite active, starting with Yoga on the new mat I purchased for 7 dollars. This feels like a steal, so please don’t take that away from me. I ran through my own routine, which oiled me up for the best run I’ve had in awhile.

Speaking of running, while my family suffered another snow storm back home on the east coast, I took to the sunny streets of Los Angeles for a sweaty run. It was in the seventies something and amazing outside.

Maybe I wasn’t the nicest daughter/sister/cousin by sending out this shot, but I couldn’t resist. At least many of them get a snow day today!

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After my run, I fueled up with a piece of peanut butter toast and yogurt with strawberries and lots of water before I decided it was far too nice out to be locked up inside and took my bike out for a spin.

With the beach on my mind, there was only one destination intended, but the ride was not smooth. For whatever reason (there’s a reason), this ride was hard and slow (-er than usual) and I realized, on my eighth mile back from the beach and because another rider called out to me, that my back tire was low. Whoops. Here I was thinking I was out of shape, when really, I’m in excellent shape to ride that long on a flat tire. That’s what I’m telling myself.

Once at the beach, I pulled over to do some writing while taking in this view.

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Had I not been by bike, I would’ve stayed to watch the sunset, but it’s February and the weather has been what it’s been, so I think I’ve got some sunsets in my future (knock on wood).

For the rest of the afternoon, I had some errands to run and things to do, but once I got home, I made myself dinner, threw in the laundry, and prepped for the week ahead, including a new workout plan. Call me a nerd, but there’s something satisfying about a new workout plan.

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As I write this on Sunday night, I’m hoping to wake up earlier than usual and exercise in the morning. It all depends on how I sleep tonight. It would be nice to just go home, eat, write, and sleep in the evenings, but thus far, I’ve been consistent with my post-work exercising. My body’s ideal workout time is late morning, early afternoon, which is prime for very few people’s schedules. Pick your poison I guess!

No matter how your Monday or week goes, at least you won’t get hit in the head by a pigeon. Probably.

These Legs Were Made For Walking

My  poor legs are so tired at the end of the work day that the last thing they want to do is run. At least, that’s what I’m going with.

For my Tuesday night workout, I hopped on the treadmill (ugh) and did a 5-4-3-2-1 run/walk. Walk for 5 minutes, run for 5 and so forth. My body wasn’t happy but it made it through. I ended my cardio with a quick Tabata HIIT Training, four minutes, 20 second sprint and ten second rest.

My body did enjoy the Yoga sequence I worked through after. At least I’m still flexible!

Food was a success, starting with this omelet, toast, and fruit.

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A little bowl of oats with a spoonful of peanut butter, jelly, and blueberries made my first snack of the day.

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Lunch was another bowl of quinoa, chickpeas, red pepper, zucchini, and carrots with soyaki. I also had a cheesestick and a handful of wheat thins to accompany it.

My second snack of the day fueled me through my workout. A salad with lettuce, cucumber, carrot, a dash of shredded cheese, deli turkey, and a handful of almonds on the side.

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For dinner, I baked some chicken tenders and zucchini sticks and matched them with spinach rice and broccoli. Before the white sauce:

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After the white sauce:

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The “white sauce” looks more brown because I used whole wheat flour instead of white.

In other news, my first LA radio station is one that plays Christmas music non-stop. I make my mother proud.

 

Reflections

September has always felt like a fresh start thanks to countless years at school, but this one passed by in a blur thanks to my move. It strikes me how 2016 has been such a bizarre and impactful year in my life, both good and bad, from the very beginning. I lost my beloved cat and  aunt, both who I still can’t believe are gone. I became a personal trainer. Made new friends. Moved across the country. Started a new job. And I’m sure there are many other factors that have gone into this year. I’m not sure what’s to say about it other than a person’s ability to adapt is weird and empowering.

Tuesday’s most exciting part of the day was the fact that I mastered how to make a latte. My mom insists the foam makes a woman, but I was just focused on getting the milk to look like that. Yay me. Listen, it’s pertinent to my job.

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Breakfast was a yummy bowl of oats with almond milk, banana, raisins, walnuts, honey, and cinnamon. The picture makes me want to eat more right now.

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Lunch was another serving of quinoa and red beans with Brussels sprouts and spinach. No picture was snapped, but it looked just like it did yesterday.

Since it was National Taco Day, I decided to make more tacos for myself. This time, I grilled up some cod and served it over a medley of zucchini noodles and red pepper. Topped with soyaki and some hummus on the side.

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I’m doing pretty good for myself cooking. According to the scale at my new gym (that I don’t know if I trust or not), I’m down four pounds since I’ve moved. I’ve felt lighter and my clothes fit nicely, so I’ll roll with it.

I’ve remained solid in the exercise department even though it’s not my livelihood at the moment. Tuesday’s workout was a run/walk combination that ended with four minutes of HIIT that left me breathless. After a little yoga, I called it a night!

I already prefer working out in the evening to waking up before the sun, so long as I go to the gym before heading to my apartment. Routine, people. It’s a beautiful thing!

Happy Wednesday! We’re halfway through the week!

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!

I’ve Just Been Collecting Food Pics

Hi! I’ve been a bad blogging lady lately and I have no excuses. I’m back with a vengeance and a ton of pictures of food as my trojan horse back into your hearts.

Let’s start with this smoothie I threw together before work one day when I was hungry but didn’t feel up to eating (a rarity for certain). This bad boy includes ice, half a banana, spinach, strawberries, a scoop of chocolate peanut butter, greek yogurt, and a mixture of milk and water. Note to self: smoothies look far nicer in glasses than in the blender you mix it in.

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A protein-powered waffle smothered in peanut butter and jelly and plated prettily with chopped banana.

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My most frequently eaten breakfasts as of the past few months: a scrambled egg and egg whites with cheese, toast, and a medley of fruit.

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This morning’s egg and egg-white omelette with cheese and ham, a blueberry english muffin, and fruit.

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Moving onto lunches, we’ll start with a packed salad and turkey burger. When it came to eating, I think I enjoyed the salad separate from the turkey burger I stuffed in a small whole wheat pita with hummus.

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Leftover turkey burger with a side of veggie-filled pasta salad I made a huge batch of for lunches. Recipe to come tomorrow!

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A chopped salad with grilled chicken. The colors speak for themselves.

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I’ve got one picture of dinner to share. Whoops. Turkey burger, salad, and fresh corn.

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A few pictures to prove I’ve still been getting my sweat on. Side planking.

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Post-run glamour shot. It’s been H-O-T.

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A picture to prove that not all fit bodies are the same (in response to the super model who tried to body shame another woman at a gym of all places).

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Keep it real, folks! I’ve got a recipe and some big news to share coming up this week.