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You said six months of the same workouts…? Bored already.

Are you ready to sweat??

Your answer is YES and I have the workouts for you!

I am sure we have all bought a workout DVD or 2, maybe even 20. Never a bad thing, They can give you the push you need to get you familiar with exercise again and they can also make you lose weight.  But how many times can you really watch the same thing over and over again before you really don’t want to do it EVER again?

Maybe 10…?

It is like the movie Frozen, totally loved it the first handful of times I watched it but now if by some small chance that DVD was purposely broken lost I would not miss it one bit.  Workout videos can feel the same way after months of repeating them.  Being bored does not encourage motivation. We easily see this in kids. When they lose interest in an activity they chose not to do it.  It takes a little creativity and mom to the rescue to change up the activity and try something new for the spark to come back.  We are the same though we may not see it.

If you love workout videos, keep doing them!  Everyone has a different workout style they love. However, there are many, myself included that get bored with workouts easily.  I love adding new challenges and different styles to my cardio.  I switch it up by using all machines to just body-weight or to low weight strength circuits.  Having the variety can keep you motivated and have you falling in love with fitness week after week.

Switch up your cardio this week with these two workouts.  This elliptical workout is a great one to add to any weight training workout.  Incorporating intervals into cardio machines is the must effective way to scorch some calories.

This 60 min power cardio circuits is an all around body buster!  It will keep you moving and challenge all parts of your body, and burn some serious calories. It can even be modified for home. (Modifications are in the exercises descriptions)

For the circuit complete all exercises in the round before taking a short 1 min break.  Continue through all the rounds and then repeat 2-3 more times.  Remember to modify to your fitness level.  If you can’t do a full push-up, go to your knees.  If you need to eliminate the jumping, do so. This in no way means take it easy.  Push yourself further and harder than you think you can and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish!

Interval Elliptical workokout

As always, adjust the levels on the elliptical according to your fitness level.  Complete all five intervals before recovery.

Then repeat.

 

Power cardio strength workout

Exercise descriptions

Round 1

  1. Goblet squat- Begin with your toes pointed outward and your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and a dumbbell held up by your chest. Squat down keeping your toes out (think plie) while keeping the dumbbell held up by your chest. As you come up squeeze  your glutes and push your hips forward.  Remember to keep your booty back and your chest up
  2. Toe taps-  Start with feet right in front of the bottom stair on a staircase  or an aerobic bench.  Moving your feet quickly alternate tapping tops up and             down.  Move quickly to get the heart rate up.  The higher the elevation the harder it will be.  Modify height to your fitness level
  3. Squat jumps– Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, hands down at your side. Squat down keeping your shoulders back and booty low while bringing your arms up. Immediately jump as back up as high as you can swinging your arms  back and engage the core.  Make sure to land gently and slowly bend back down into a squat.
  4. Push-ups– Begin in a plank position with hands place right under your shoulders.  Slowly lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees all while pulling the bellybutton inward to keep from arching your back.  Push up to return to plank position.

Round 2

  1. Suicide plank- Begin in plank position with hands directly under shoulders. Engage the core and lower back and you lower one arm to your elbow followed by the next. Reverse the order until you return back to the original plank position.  That continued movement is one rep.
  2. Ab roll up- Begin standing with feet hip width apart. Jump up high with arms above the head.  As you come down slowly lower yourself backwards into a sitting tuck position.  Roll backwards lifting feet lightly up and over your head and arms down at your sides on the floor.  Quickly Roll back up into the sitting tuck, engage the core and stand up.  That continuous movement is one rep. Try not to cross your feet as you stand or use your hands to help you.
  3. Kettle ball swing– Begin with feet shoulder width and a kettle ball held with both hands down in front of you. Squat down keeping the knees over the knees and the shoulders back. As you come up immediately engage the core and swing the kettle ball straight out in from of you making sure not to raise it higher that shoulder height .
  4. Wall sit- Begin by leaning your back against a wall and your feet slightly out in front of you and hip width apart. Slowly slide your back down the wall until your knees reach a 90 degree angle and your heels are pressed into the ground. Hold this position for the duration stated.

Round 3

  1. Screamer lunge- Begin by standing with your feet hip width apart. Slowly step backwards with one foot and bend the front knee to a 90 degree angle.  AS you come up engage the cor while you bring the back leg back to the front and jump on the front leg while the opposite knee comes to the chest.  Be careful to slowly come back down and right back into the backward lunge position. Stay on the same leg through the all set counts and then switch.
  2. Bosu push- Begin with the flat side of the Bosu on the floor. Bend down with your hands in the center of the Bosu and your weight behind you.  Using the power in your legs and engaging the core push the Bosu across the floor for a set distance. Repeat back to the start.  (At home modification:  Use paper plates or washcloths under ,if on a hard surface, under your hands and push up and down a hallway).
  3. Mountain Climbers- Begin in plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keeping your core engaged, bring one knee toward your chest. Return to plank position a quickly switch legs, bringing the opposite knee towards your chest.  That is one rep.  Complete the movement as if you were running.
  4. Tricep-dips- Begin standing with your back to a bench legs straight out in front of you, arms straight and hands resting on the bench with fingers hanging over the edge. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and elbows back as you lower your body. Continue until your elbows reach a 90 degree angle and then push back up.

Changing up your workouts for results

A Week of Weight Training

I know what you are thinking when someone says “heavy weight training.”  The loud grunts and groans coming from the testosterone driven men as the try and lift a PR (personal record).  While this can make you regret your decision to try a weight training program let me tell you why to keep going!

I started weight training about five years ago when I needed to stop being such a cardio queen so I could get pregnant.  I needed an exercise that I could do without getting my hear rate up too high.  I didn’t know how much I would love lifting weights until I tried it.

It was something different. Something new.  It challenged my body in a a whole new way.  I love feeling strong.  I don’t just mean physically.  Weight training gives me a mental strength that makes me feel like I can battle whatever crazy children problems the day brings.

Cardio can push me to want to go faster or harder but there is something rewarding about watching the weights stack up as I get stronger and stronger each month.  Each workout can be something new.  Weight training allows for so much creativity that staying on a cardio machine lacks.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do cardio. I have a love/hate relationship with it.  That treadmill and I have had a few choice words back and forth on multiple occasions.

However, both forms of exercise have their health benefits outside.  Cardio helps with heart health and endurance as well as keeping the joints moving.  Strength training aids in muscle growth, which helps support the structure of the body.  This leads to better posture and balance.  When you can combine the two forms you will end up with the fat fighting workout you deserve.

Anyone can do weightlifting.  You don’t have to be thin and in shape already to start.  Weight training is all about starting out slow and increasing as you get stronger.  If you haven’t been active for quite some time you will just start with lower weight.  You will be surprised at how quickly you will gain strength.

To get you started, try out this week of weight training.  Each workout focuses on a certain muscle group.  You can combine any of these workouts with 15-20 minutes of any form of cardio.  Pick a weight that pushes you.  For more advanced fitness levels pick a weight that you really have to push through the last 2 reps on each set.  If you could do more reps than listed increase the weight.

Don’t be scared to go heavy!  Your muscles will thank you.

Day 1

Shoulder Workout

Complete all four sets of the exercise before moving onto the next exercise.

For a drop set, go down in weight one increment and repeat the rep count with no break.  That is one set.

 

Day 2

Chest and Back workout

Complete all three sets of the exercise before moving onto the next exercise.

Day 3

 

Bicep and Tricep Workout

For a superset, do both exercises in the set back to back then take a small rest and repeat.

 

Day 4

Leg day Burn

For a superset, complete both exercises back to back then rest.  For the Bosu push, find a place that you can push the Bosu ball for a good distance, about ten yards. Turn around and go back to the start.

Treadmill, it isn’t just for the casual runner

Another day, another time to sweat!  I have a quick 25 min treadmill workout that is waiting to push and challenge you physically and mentally.

Running on the treadmill can feel like you are running into a black hole.  I know from experience too many times.  Living in rainy WA and with a husband gone all the time I had to train for a half marathon on a treadmill.  The half marathon seemed way shorter than those 11 miles on that beast. However, I did what I could at the time and learned how to make the treadmill more bearable.

What’s my secret, you ask…? Intervals.

Adding speed and incline intervals will make those miles and time fly by.  Don’t just jump on and run mile after mile.  That will do nothing for your heart rate training or increase speed and strength.  Going further and faster is all a result of interval training.

Interval training is also a great weight loss tool.  Both high and low intensity exercise have their benefits.  Low intensity exercise pulls energy from your fat stores and can burn calories to make you leaner.  High intensity exercise tends to pull energy from the muscle glycogen (sugar or carbohydrates)  instead of fat storage.  When your glycogen is depleted your body needs to replace it from elsewhere, like food and the fat stores.  So now you have energy being pulled from the fat stores for the low intensity workout followed by energy burned from the glycogen for the high intensity workout which is then is partly replenished by the fat stores.

You get an extra fat loss!

For example, jogging at a steady speed for 30 minutes will burn roughly 300 calories, with half of those calories burned coming from your fat storage.  This will work in achieving weight loss. However, if you do a high-intensity workout for 30 minutes you can burn roughly 450 calories and 150 of that is coming from fat stores.  This workout would not only benefit your weight loss goal because you are burning more calories it improves your muscle strength.  And even better, the long term effect is your muscles get stronger and in turn need more fuel to perform, so they burn more calories!  Each has the same duration of time so why not make the most out of the 30 minutes you have?!?

When you can combine both high and low you end up with an intense fat burning workout that is worth every minute!

So hop on the treadmill and give this bad boy a try!

Elliptical HIIT

As always, the numbers do not fit into everyone’s fitness level.  These speeds are for a more advanced fitness level.  Decrease the speed and incline to match each other if you need to modify.  Adding any incline to your treadmill workout will add an extra workout for those amazing legs you’re transforming!

You will begin with a 5 min warm up.  Start with a fast pace walk  for a couple of minutes and then turn it into a jog.  You will then start the intervals.  You will work hard for 20 seconds and then jump off onto the sides of the treadmill using both hands for support.  This will be your 10 sec rest.  Always hold onto the treadmill as you jump back on and get running again before you let go.  DO NOT hold onto the handles at anytime during the run.  You will burn less calories and make the workout not as effective.  If you need to hold on, slow down instead. Don’t forget to BREATH!

Mom! What’s for dinner??

I can cook it, but don’t ask me to photograph it.

I know there are many that are a jack of all trades.  I like to believe that I can do anything.  I mean, I don’t doubt that I could if I put every moment into trying but how much do I REALLY, REALLY want to be good at food photography?

Now, when I say I want to be a jack of all trades I can confirm without a doubt I will never be a food blogger.  In the process of creating this blog I attempted some food photographing.  My attempt was laughable.  I took photos of food but it by no means was food photography.  My pictures made my cooking look like my 5 year old did all the work.  That just wasn’t going to make you want to say “Yum, let’s cook that for dinner.”  So despite my best efforts and lack of support from my amazing husband (who supported me 100% on the fitness blog) I decided it was in the best interest of everyone if I didn’t do the whole photography thing.  (Husband edit: You can’t teach a pig to fly; you can’t teach my wife to take photos.  Even Pinterest has its limits).

I want to give you the best possible nutritional information I have to help you achieve your goals.  This includes delicious and healthy recipes.  I have a pile of them to share.  I have found some I love, some I have altered so I can love it and some I have created and love.

So, what is my plan to get you the recipes you need?

Easy, link you to the other food blogger professionals!

Totally a cop out, I know.  I have plenty of recipes I will share and know that you will benefit from getting the recipe form the food blogger themselves.  I will, from time to time, post a recipe I have created but it will be just that, the recipe.  No fancy pictures.  Well maybe one of me inhaling it.  That is fancy!

So here is a list of my top 5 dinners that are quick and that my family loves them. BONUS!

  1.  Stuffed peppers.  So I kind made this recipe up. I found this recipe that is pretty similar to mine and she has some yummy pictures that I lack.  I add a can of black beans and 1 tbsp chili powder and replace the rice with quinoa.  The filling is so versatile! It is why I love this recipe so much.  I will make extra filling and put it on a sweet potato with a dollop of Greek yogurt for a yummy lunch the next day.
  2. Crock Pot Curry lentils.  This recipe makes enough to feed an army!  It is AWESOME! I usually freeze half and still have enough for dinner and a leftover night. You can add some grilled chicken or throw it over some brown rice if you need a heavier carb day.  Sometimes I just eat it alone with some veggies as a side.  It is a great dish to play a round with and change up. I really love the recipes from her site, Pinch of Yum.  Check them out
  3. Sweet and Spicy Pork Tenderloin.  Now, I am one that loves to savor the taste of my creations.  To taste them just as they were cooked.  No fancy sauces or toppings.  If you were to ask   my husband, this is one of his favorite dinners. However,  You would have me fooled because of his constant need to smother it in gravy.  Please do me and your health a favor and just enjoy   the amazing taste this recipe offers WITHOUT the gravy.  (Husband edit: But if you really want to enjoy this pig…) This recipe comes from the Biggest Loser Quick & Easy Cookbook.
  4. Garlic Lime chicken.  This is one of the easiest recipes I have and sooooo good!  I found this recipe somewhere years ago.  Nothing tastes better than grilled chicken, in my opinion. You       can make it to be really simple and just add some veggies on the side or  saute some peppers and onion for fajitas.  I will take the leftover marinade and pour some over the peppers while         they are sauteing. It adds a great flavor! Lettuce wrap for lower carb day or on a carb balance tortilla for higher carb days.  
  5. Chicken and Rice Soup.  I found this recipes years ago while looking up recipes for leftover thanksgiving turkey.  It is incredibly delicious with leftover smoked turkey but I don’t have that year  round.  I switched it up and add chicken instead of turkey and sometimes I replace the rice for quinoa.  It is a simple soup with a lot of flavor.

Nutrition 101 or 102 or 103…Where do I start?

All of us fitness coaches, trainers and athletes know that nutrition is key and we will continue to tell clients that.  Do I tell my clients this?

Sure do!

However, it is easy to say nutrition is key when you know what works and doesn’t.  Nutrition can be the hardest part for many of us busy moms.  It is easy to get caught up in making sure the kids get off to school on time, come home clean the house and maybe take a shower all before the thought of even feeding ourselves will happen.  With nutrition the same rules apply as fitness.  Take time for yourself.  Make fueling your body a top priority.  When you can make that a habit, you will see your hard work pay off.

So, before we can even get into posts about you should and shouldn’t eat here are my rules when it comes to nutrition and how to make it not so complicated.

NEVER skip breakfast! We demand ask nicely for our children to eat a good breakfast before they go to school so why shouldn’t we before our day is in full swing?  Breakfast doesn’t have to be a fancy homemade low card, sugar free banana nut muffins with a blueberry glaze (insert eye roll). My favorite go to is an egg white breakfast sandwich. Nothing fancy and no special recipe. Just quick, easy and yummy!

Eat what your family eats. The only exemption from this rule is for breakfast and lunch. However, Don’t make Cheese stuffed ravioli and breadsticks for your family and you eat a salad instead.  This is so depressing and not the example you want to set.  If that is what you made that night, eat it.  Eat the right portion size and don’t over indulge.  You want to teach your family that eating healthy is good but not restricting.

What do you say when your kids ask “Why is mommy not eating with us?”  “Mommy is not happy and can’t eat that.”

HECK NO!

You learn and teach moderation and self discipline. Find alternatives to recipes and make them healthier.  It isn’t every night that the family gets to splurge!

Cold turkey doesn’t work for everyone. While your totally ripped friend never eats sugar sometimes that isn’t realistic. Don’t compare yourself to them but instead make what works for you.

I LOOOVE me some sugar.  A fabulous cookie, good chocolate, cinnamon roll, ice-cream (I am talking the whole pint of ice cream) or some apple pie. Drooling…. I am obviously not a cold turkey kind of gal, did you notice?? What works for me is not cutting it out completely but choosing to limit my intake.  Others need to cut it out completely.  Find what works for you own it and control it. Don’t hid behind it.

Work to Eat. I live by this on a daily basis. Part of my motivation to workout and workout out hard is so I do not feel like I am a slave to eating the perfect nutrition every day.  Most of us women were not blessed with that amazing , eat what you want and not gain a pound, metabolism like most men.  Don’t get me wrong, age catches up to them and their metabolisms change. I won’t deny having smiled a little knowing my husband was now  “watching what he ate” due to him getting older.

Make food taste yummy and never boring. This is the number one problem that occurs with most of my clients and many people I have given advice to. Some people just hate to cook. I love to cook, bake and EAT.  It is what I would do all day long if I could. Cookies Baking is my specialty!  But for others the idea of making dinner is so exhausting they rather starve.

DON’T!

Healthy food can be fun, quick and so yummy.  This recipe is a favorite of my families and is prepared and in the Crockpot in 30 min or less.

Eat multiple times a day. Five times, no less. Your metabolism fuels off of calories that you eat. It can go into a sleep mode if you don’t continue to feed it.  When it sleeps you are not burning those precious extra calories.  Those are like gold to me. You want to keep it awake and busy.  This means you eat good foods every 3 hours or so.  Sweet, right?!? I knew you would like this rule!

Finally, plan a head. Make a weekly or even monthly calendar of your meals. I like to make a lunch and dinner menu. Knowing exactly what you need to make encourages you to actually do it.  Lunch can sometime be hard for me to squeeze in something that takes time so I prepare in advance.  I will have a day set aside to just cook the things I need for the week.  No, this is not me putting the exact same food for each day in Tupperware and refrigerating them.

Could that be any more boring??

I want to be excited about what I get to eat that day. Instead I will prep by boil a large batch of eggs, cook some quinoa and extra chicken breasts to throw into salads, or cook up sweet potatoes.  If I am being overzealous for that week I might even chop up veggies for dinner meals I have for the coming days.

Now, I don’t spend 3 hours cooking in the kitchen prepping for the coming week.  Just make extra when you do cook and refrigerate.  It makes the choice of eating the slice of delicious Costco pizza or eating your chicken and quinoa already prepared at home WAY easier.

This is a great menu I found that lets me plan my workouts and meals all on one sheet. You can get the free printable by clicking here.

 

That’s it.  Easier said than done, right?!?

Now, this is just the basics of what to do for nutrition.  There are so many more “rules” to follow when it comes to applying them to weight loss.  I won’t leave you wondering for too long.  Many more posts to come on nutrition but for now don’t get frustrated.  Start with the basics.  It is all up to you on how you want to change your body, mind and life.  Be the one in charge and in the driver seat enjoying the ride.  The back seat isn’t for you anymore.