Get Those Legs Moving

Not everyone is a morning person…  I’m not but I’ve trained myself into a ‘fake’ morning person.  I’ve noticed that when I workout early, my energy level is much higher, and my coffee intake is lower.  Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet or in my case not snooze a thousand times – just get up and get moving! 

Nothing screams Monday better than working your legs. Try the workout below for an extra oomph and challenge yourself.  I promise you’ll feel the burn tomorrow.

Warm-up: Air Squats; 25 reps, 3 sets

Exercise #1: Shoulder Width Smith Squats; 10 reps, 3 sets (add weight each time)

Exercise #2: Barbell Good Mornings; 15 reps, 4 sets (increase weight each time)

Exercise #3: Seated Leg Extension; 15/12/10/8 reps, 4 sets (increase the weight each time)

Exercise #4: Medicine Ball Abdominal Twists; 30 reps, 3 sets

Exercise #5: Lying Leg Curl; 15 reps, 4 sets

Triple Superset/Exercise #6: Leg Press – wide stance (10 reps), feet together at the middle (10 reps), and toes/calf raises (25 reps) x 4 sets

Exercise #7: Decline abdominal sit-up; 15 reps, 3 sets

 

Walk it off, shake it off, and strut it off… 

 

xxx – Sarah

 

To Be a Yogi or Not To Be…

So…  I haven’t done many fitness posts in a while but I have still be quite active.

I acquired a FitBit not long ago and since then aka late January I’ve been having lots of fun keeping track of my ‘steps.’  I have the Charge HR which helps better understand my heart rate and has an amazing alarm that has the perfect buzz to help me wake up.  According to the American Heart Association walking 10,000 steps+ daily can help reduce your risk of heart disease aka number one killer of humans.  This is much harder than it looks and the FitBit offers the chance to join ‘challenges’ that can be weekly or daily with friends, family, and coworkers.  I absolutely love being kept accountable when at work or even at home.  Try it!

Crossfit – back at it about 3-5x/week since January and super happy.  For two years I was strictly doing the Crossfit Powerlifting segment and got pretty bored so I went back to the basics.  My strength is much improved as well as my cardiovascular endurance (total bonus).  The negative includes shredding my hands on my first week back but then again I should have known to pumice it up in the shower the night before.

As many know, I’m pretty busy and tend to have trouble winding down, so after much thought, contemplation, and disagreements, I started doing yoga about once weekly.  It is a good way to stay grounded – literally.  My stability is on point but can clearly get better along with my flexibility which definitely needs a boost.  I’m loving the local classes at Mobile Om due their plan to take yoga out of the typical studio with four walls and popping up at unconventional spots like the Hays Street Bridge.

As a trainer I also like to put together my own workouts that include various plyometric and core movements.  My goal is to have a strong core as well as to continue improving my endurance through various movements which include those I detest (tuck jumps, jumping split lunges, 5K runs, and obviously burpees).  Check out my Workouts for the Modern Workaholic’ for ideas.

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Post-yoga feels at the Hays Street Bridge.

Here’s a sample of what my fitness regimen looked like last week (Monday, February 29th – Sunday, March 6th):

Monday:  5:30 am Crossfit class (60 minutes) – 9,138 steps

Tuesday:  4 pm Crossfit class (60 minutes) – 7, 412 steps

Wednesday:  5:30 am Crossfit class (60 minutes) – 10,253 steps

Thursday:  Plyometrics and Core Work (45 minutes) – 7,300 steps

Friday:  Plyometrics and Core Work (45 minutes) – 8, 604 steps

Saturday:  Stairmaster (20 minutes) in the morning followed by a 90 minute hike at Eisenhower Park – 16,069 steps

Sunday:  Yoga class (60 minutes) – 11,223 steps

The takeaway, I’m trying to illustrate is that no matter what you do, stay active, it is rewarding.  You will feel phenomenal.  Let go of your fears, forget about others, forget about winning/losing, and concentrate on being the best version of yourself.  Also, make a fool of yourself sometimes and laugh – I sure do, everyday.

xxx – Sarah

Workouts for the Modern Workaholic – Session #9

TGIF… Start your weekend right with a killer back attack workout with a mix of glutes.  This should be a workout that lasts no more than 45-60 minutes if the rest sequence is followed as listed below! 

**All sets in this workout are to start with a light to medium weight for the first set and then progress in weight without compromising form or remain with a challenging weight.

**When moving from exercise to exercise or waiting between sets keep the rest no more than 60 seconds.  Always keep the tempo of the exercise the same ‘1-2-3’ as you start and ‘1-2-3’ as you end.

Tabata Warm-up:  Jumping Air Squats (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off x 3 rounds)

Exercise #1 and #2 – Superset:  Dumbbell Single Arm Rows – 4 sets (15/12/10/8), and Stability Ball Frog Kicks – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #3:  Parallel Grip Lat Pull Downs – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #4:  Seated Machine Rear Delt Flyes – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #5:  Standing Cable Rope Pull Aparts – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

(Methodology:  Attach a rope connector to a cable machine at the highest point then step back about 4 steps into a squat form and lean forward.  Pull the rope apart from the top while keeping your elbows up and bring arms to your sides allowing for a squeeze in your lats then return to the starting position.)

Exercise #6:  Barbell Good Mornings – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

(Methodology:  Stand shoulder width with a slight bend at the knees and have barbell atop shoulders.  Lean forward toward the ground until you feel a pull at the hamstrings then return to the initial starting position and continue.)

xxx – Sarah

Workouts for the Workaholic – Session #8

Everyone needs a mid-week ‘pick me up’ and mine is going to the gym.  I have always had a weak upper body but in recent years I’ve witnessed transformations – more toned, able to sustain more weight, and form that looks professional rather than sloppy.

Years ago I hated pushups but now they’re a staple.  A simple pushup allows for focus not only on muscles of the chest but keeping a firm core.  As you’ve already guessed, this workout focuses on the chest along with a mix of core, triceps, glutes, and some tabata for a sweat boost.

**All sets in this workout are to start with a light to medium weight for the first set and then progress in weight without compromising form or remain with a challenging weight.

**When moving from exercise to exercise or waiting between sets keep the rest no more than 60 seconds.

Tabata Warm-up:  Air Squats – 3 sets (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off)

Exercise #1 – Tabata:  Lateral High Jump Side Skaters (click the link to see the video) – 5 sets (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off)

Exercise #2 and #3 – Superset:  Stability Ball Decline Pushups – 4 sets (15/12/10/8), and Stability Ball Reverse Plank Glute Raises (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #4:  Flat Bench Press with Barbell – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #5:  Cable Barbell Tricep Pushdowns – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #6:  Cable Chest Flyes – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #7:  Dumbbell Tricep Extensions – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #8:  Dumbbell Chest Flyes – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #9:  Clapping Pushups – 1 set to FAILURE/EXHAUSTION

**Alternative to Clapping Pushups:  Chest-to-Ground Pushups traditional style with feet on the ground or work from your knees

 

xxx – Sarah

PS – I am working on creating more videos… Stay tuned!

Workouts for the Modern Workaholic – Session #7

These days all the social outlets such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are populated with workouts or ideas that women need to focus on their bums/butts/glutes/tuchis…  However, the body is a frame and we need to work everything not just one part.  I’ve asked tons of male friends what they’re attracted to and the answers are primarily fit/curves/lean.

This workout focuses on my favorite body part: shoulders with a mix of abs and tabata.  No one likes a slouch or droopy shoulders – get to work!

 

**All sets in this workout are to start with a light to medium weight for the first set and then progress in weight without compromising form or remain with a challenging weight.

**When moving from exercise to exercise or waiting between sets keep the rest no more than 60 seconds.

 

Tabata Warm-up:  Jumping Jacks – 3 sets (30 seconds on/30 seconds off)

Exercise #1:  Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets (15/12/10)

Exercise #2:  Seated Stability Ball Dumbbell Lateral Side Raises with Palms Face Up – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #3:  Standing Alternating Hammer Front Raises – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #4 – Tabata:  Jumping Air Squats – 3 sets (30 seconds on/30 seconds off)

Exercises #5 and #6 – Superset:  Stability Ball Weighted Abdominal Crunches – 4 sets (30/25/20/15), and Abdominal V-Toe Touches (30/25/20/15)

(Methodology for Abdominal V-Toe Touches – start in a ‘v’ position with feet together and apply a single pointed foot to the floor then return to the starting position which signifies rep #1 then repeat with the other foot to start rep #2.)

Exercise #7:  Wall Handstand Holds – 3 sets (45 seconds each)

 

xxx – Sarah

Pulled Garlic Chicken and Onions – Serves 3

I am a foodie without a slow cooker…  Yes, I know, I have yet to get on the bandwagon, and when I do, y’all will certainly know.  To get the consistency of chicken from a slow cooker without actually having one is NOT impossible.

Chicken is a great source of lean protein and is readily absorbed by our body.  Like other animal based proteins chicken is a high biological value (HBV) protein.  Our bodies crave protein to keep our skin intact and our muscle fibers bound (also serves as a great post-workout meal or snack).  This is a great savory dish that allows you to get the protein you need and it can be paired with just about anything!  I opted to pair with asparagus and sweet potatoes… 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1.2-1.5 pounds, chicken breasts – thick slices
  • 1 tbsp., rosemary – minced
  • 2 tsp., garlic – minced
  • 1 medium-sized, yellow onion, thin slices
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp, paprika – granulated/ground (aka looks like salt but red in color)
  • To taste:  Salt (use at your own risk)
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Ooops… Photobombed by Master T!

Methodology:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and set up your ingredients.
  2. In a large pot or stockpot over medium heat add olive oil, onions, rosemary, and garlic then mix well.  Inhale the aromas for about 5-7 minutes or until the onions are slightly golden in color.
  3. Stir the chicken into the onions/oil piece by piece and follow with the paprika.  Mix the spices, onions, and chicken well for about 2-3 minutes.
  4.  Add the cover to the pot and put into the oven for about 25-30 minutes until the chicken is tender.  If you feel the chicken is too dry or not tender enough – drizzle in some olive oil.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and transfer to a bowl.
  6. Utilizing two forks – start to pull the chicken apart piece by piece.  If desired, this is the time to add some salt.
  7. Serve with sides or add to a sandwich…
  8. Happy, happy noms!

 

xxx – Sarah

 

Workouts for the Modern Workaholic – Session #6

Working out should not be feared or stressful to add into your schedule.  Rather it should be enjoyed, exciting, and an outlet to focus on yourself away from societal pressures.  This is a great workout that focuses on legs with a mix of glutes and abdominals added in.

 

**All sets in this workout are to start with a light to medium weight for the first set and then progress in weight without compromising form or remain with a challenging weight.

**When moving from exercise to exercise or waiting between sets keep the rest no more than 60 seconds.

 

Tabata Warm-up:  Air squats (60 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 3 rounds)

Exercise #1:  Step-ups with Dumbbells – 3 sets (15/12/10 reps on each leg – no alternating steps)

Exercise #2:  Bulgarian Split Lunges with Dumbbells or Bodyweight – 3 sets (15/12/10)

Exercise #3:  Romanian Deadlifts with Dumbbells – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #4:  Sumo Deadlifts with Dumbbells – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #5:  Wall Sits – 3 sets (60 seconds with 30 seconds rest, then 45 seconds with 30 second rest, and 30 seconds on)

Exercise #6:  Decline Weighted Sit-ups – 3 sets (25/25/25)

Exercise #7:  Shoulder Height Cable Twists – 3 sets (25/25/25)

Exercise #8:  Bicycle Crunches – 3 sets (25/25/25)

 

(Bonus Lab:  If you are looking for an extra quick workout or to get your heart rate up, make exercises 6-8 a Speed Set which is sure to get you sweating.  Speed sets should be done with no rest until all the sets and reps are completed.)

 

xxx – Sarah

Workouts for the Modern Workaholic – Session #5

Time to get back at it!  This workout is like the others – short and sweet with a touch of ‘glistening.’  The focus is the chest with a mix of some other details.

 

**All sets in this workout are to start with a light to medium weight for the first set and then progress in weight without compromising form or remain with a challenging weight.

**When moving from exercise to exercise or waiting between sets keep the rest no more than 60 seconds. The supersets can have a 60 second rest before starting up the second or third set in the series.

 

Warm-up:  Light jog for 3 minutes on the treadmill or speed walk

Exercise #1:  Flat Bench Dumbbell Chest Press – 3 sets (15/12/10)

Exercise #2:  Incline Chest Flyes – 4 sets (15/12/12/12)

Exercise #3 – Superset:  Seated Machine Chest Flyes – 4 sets (18/15/12/10) and Stability Ball Abdominal Planks (60 seconds)

Exercise #4:  Push-ups from decline position on bench – 1 set (shoulder width to FAILURE)

Exercise #5:  Side Planks – 3 sets (60 seconds)

Exercise #6:   Cable barbell bicep curls – 4 sets (18/15/12/10)

Exercise #7:  Banded Bicep Hammer Fist Curls – 3 sets (15/12/10)

(Methodology:   From standing position step on a band of moderate resistance and curl up like a h’ammer’ bicep curl – keep the tempo the same going up/down.  In other words, keep your grip firm and make a fist like you would attempt a punch.)

 

(Bonus Lab:  Make sure you eat 30-45 minutes post working out for maximal benefits with toning, muscle mass, and weight loss.  The best options are a mix of protein/fat/complex carbohydrates.  Your body works hard day in and day out but it needs fuel and that comes from food.  I usually tend to have 6 ounces of chicken/fish with greens such as Brussels Sprouts sautéed in olive oil and herbs.)

xxx – Sarah

Workouts for the Modern Workaholic – Session #4

TGIF – Finally.  What a week its been.  The holidays are approaching and that means the workouts are getting harder or so thats what my body is still saying from Monday’s workout which is a giant OW.  Again, these workouts focus on one body part but others are mixed in.  The workouts should be short and sweet – no more than 45 to 60 minutes total.  This is a great workout that has a varied focus but the primary body part worked are shoulders with a core/glute component.

**All sets in this workout are to start with a light to medium weight for the first set and then progress in weight without compromising form or remain with a challenging weight.

**Speed sets should be done with no rest until all the sets and reps are completed. Non-speed exercises and their sets should have no more than a 60 second rest. When moving from exercise to exercise keep the rest no more than 60 seconds. The supersets can have a 60 second rest before starting up the second or third set in the series.

Stability Ball Leaning Hip Abductions

Stability Ball Leaning Hip Abductions

Tabata Warm-up:  Speed Skaters or Side Jog Hops (60 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 5 rounds)

Exercise #1:  Seated Non-Supported Smith Shoulder Press – 4 rounds (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #2:  Standing Alternating Front Dumbbell Raise with a 2-second hold at the top – 4 rounds (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #3 – Speed Set:  Stability Ball Leaning Hip Abduction – 3 sets on each side (60 seconds on each side – total time spent should be 6 minutes)

Exercise #4 – Speed Set:  Lying Down Glute Bridge Raise and Supermans – 3 sets with each movement (60 seconds for each then rotate – total time spent should be 6 minutes)

Exercise #5 – Speed Set:  Stability Ball Frog Kicks and Weighted Full Crunch on Stability Ball – 3 sets with each movement (60 seconds for each then rotate – total time spent should be 6 minutes)

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Stability Ball Frog Kicks – starting position

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Stability Ball Frog Kicks – ending position

(Methodology:  Start face-down on the stability ball with hands shoulder width on the floor to push down and release your legs straight up on the ball and squeeze at the top then repeat.  Keep the pace a nice steady tempo of 1-2-3 to bring your legs up/down.)

(Bonus Lab:  Do this with a partner and keep yourselves talking to help work through the pain – especially during the Stability Ball Leaning Hip Abductions.)

xxx – Sarah

Workouts for the Modern Workaholic – Session #3

The week is almost over which means time to sleep in a bit longer, have an extra glass of wine or dirty martini, and get a cupcake or two…  There’s nothing better than a good workout as the week ends.  This is a short and sweet but powerful workout with a serious kick that’ll last after its over!  This workout like the two before it focuses on a specific body part with others mixed in – today’s focus is muscles of the leg.

**All sets in this workout are to start with a light to medium weight for the first set and then progress in weight without compromising form or remain with a challenging weight.

**Speed sets should be done with no rest until all the sets and reps are completed. Non-speed exercises and their sets should have no more than a 60 second rest. When moving from exercise to exercise keep the rest no more than 60 seconds. The supersets can have a 60 second rest before starting up the second or third set in the series.

Tabata Warm-up:  Side Skaters (60 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 3 rounds)

Exercise #1:  Smith Shoulder Stance Squats – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #2 – Superset:  Seated Single Leg Extension with Leg Extension Machine – 4 sets (15/12/10/8) and Seated Leg Curl – 3 sets (15/12/10/8)

Exercise #3:  Standing Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

(Methodology:  Stand slightly less than shoulder width with a bend at the knees and come straight down with the dumbbells until a pull at the hamstrings is felt then come straight back up.  Keep the tempo the same as you ascend and descend – 1-2-3 then 1-2-3)

Exercise #4:  Concentration Split Lunges with Dumbbells – 4 sets (15/12/10/8)

(Methodology:  Lunge straight forward with one leg and complete the recommended lunges then switch legs – this allows for isolation allowing for a greater impact on each leg)

Exercise #5 – Tabata Speed Set:  1) Elevated Straight Arm Plank, 2) Bicycle Crunches, and 3) Weighted Stability Ball Crunches

(Methodology:  60 seconds at each station then rotate until a total of 6 minutes are achieved aka 3 sets at each station.)

(Bonus Lab:  Remember to keep your rests between sets and exercises short and sweet.)

xxx – Sarah