Wednesday Workout: Upper Body & Cardio Circuits

Ahhh… it feels good to be back! While my schedule still isn’t allotting as much time as I would like for all the blog posts I want to write (wedding recap, pig roast recap, #buffbride workout plan recap, etc.), I’m doing my best to pop in when I can with what I can, which means today I’ve got a workout to share with you! I was telling Athena last night that my workouts have been all over the place lately, using and doing what I can, but I’ll be honest, I’ve just gotten a whole lot more lax when it comes to working out. These days, I really don’t feel like working out for a long time so my runs have been shorter, I haven’t lifted heavy weights (or even worked out in a weight room) in weeks and I’ve been doing a lot more low-impact stuff. I’m not really sure why there’s been this recent change, but I’m so proud of myself for really honoring my body and doing the best I can on any particular day.

For instance, the other day I ran 2 miles and that was it. While that may be a lot for some of you, I generally run at least 3.5-4 so it FEELS like so much less for me, but rather than feeling like I didn’t really “workout”, I feel great that I got that much in. And then yesterday morning I set my alarm to get up and workout and literally got up out of bed and started changing and realized my body was sore and needed extra rest so I got back in bed. ha! who does that?! But I knew I would’ve been pushing myself too much had I not so I did what I knew I needed to do.

If there’s anything I’ve realized in the past few weeks is that I don’t NEED to workout hard all the time or constantly have a schedule or anything like that. It’s perfectly fine- good, in fact- to take it down a notch every once and a while and keep movement up, but just a lighter type of movement. If you’re feeling like you’re forcing your workouts and just not feeling into them, I urge you to listen to your body and give it- and your mind- a break!

With that said, today’s workout is another quickie and has been one of the first “normal” workouts for me in a while. All I used was a set of dumbbells and a resistance band. I really liked it!

Upper Body & Cardio Blast Circuits

Few explanations:

  • For the push-ups to side plank, do a total of 10 push-ups, meaning you’ll only do 5 side planks on each side. It goes: push-up, side plank right, push-up, side plank left
  • For the combo moves, you’ll do the first move and then the second move and that’s 1 rep
  • For the seated rows, place the resistance band around your feet as you sit with them extended out straight and create enough tension so that you have resistance as you pull your elbows back.
  • Front pull aparts- In a standing position hold the band out in front of you. Make sure you have enough tension so that it’s taught at the start and then while keeping your core tight, pull the band apart- you’ll feel this in your back for sure!
  • For the leg lowers w/OH DB extension this means you’ll start on your back with your feet extended up over your hips. Hold one dumbbell with both of your hands and extend it over your chest. As you lower your legs, lower the DB back over your head. Make sure to keep your core engaged and your lower back pressed down into the ground/mat.

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!!

Questions for you: Do you ever take breaks from your normal intensity workouts? 



Wednesday Workout: Men’s Health Inspired Circuit & Cardio Blast Workout

Good morning! Hope your Wednesday is off to a great start! I’m here to share a workout that I did at home a few weeks ago. It was a rainy Monday, which meant no running outside for me- I’m not ashamed to admit that I am a fair-weather runner 🙂 I put this workout together by combining a workout I found in RM’s Men’s Health magazine with some other exercises I wanted to do on that particular day… plus a little cardio blast… #becausecardio.

The way you complete the workout is by (after a warm up, of course) completing each exercise in the strength circuit for 60 seconds, moving from one to the next with little or no rest. For exercises where it says (30R/L), it means to perform the exercise on each side for 30 seconds. In between the strength rounds/circuits, perform the cardio blast.

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Wednesday Workout: Strength & Cardio UXF Burn Workout w/Burpee Blasts

Burpee blasts caught your attention, didn’t it? I thought so 😉

As you know, I teach a UXF Burn class at the Central Square BSC on Wednesday nights. UXF Burn is the BSC’s signature calorie burning, high intensity group exercise class that is meant to somewhat mimic CrossFit workouts, but in the group ex setting. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that statement, but I will say it’s a max calorie burning class that always leaves us dead at the end!

We have a fairly strict format to go by, but I’ve come up with my own format that I think is better (harder) and that my members like more. I follow the basic 60 second strength exercise and 60 second core exercise format, but between each I’ve added in a cardio blast. It can either be 10 reps of something or 20-30 seconds of something. Last week, I brought back the amazing Surfer Burpee variation- I hadn’t had my members do that type of burpee in forever!

In addition to bringing back an oldie burpee, I brought in some “new” exercises. I’ve been trying to get more creative with my exercises to not only keep my members on their toes, but to keep me excited while teaching. I think it’s ok to sometimes say “I know this isn’t anything new or fancy” when introducing a move, but I think what gets people even more excited is when I get excited when I’m introducing things: “you guys! I have a lot of new, really fun moves for us to do today- I’m so excited about them!”. Can anyone else relate?

With that said, let’s get to the workout. The format, as I mentioned earlier, is 60 seconds of the move on the left (strength exercises), followed by 60 seconds of the core exercises. In between sets, perform 10 surfer burpees (5 each side). At the end, if you’re feeling like you want more cardio before repeating the strength/core/cardio blast part of the workout, feel free to do the Pyramid Cardio Blast- it’s killer 😉

strength and cardio w. surfer burpees

Since some of the moves are new to B2B, I did a few video demos:

  • Wide squat, lift and twist:
  • Plie squat w/upright row and lat raise:
  • Shoulder press to tricep OH extension:
  • Weighted windmill:
  • Push-up and knee tuck:
  • Straight leg sit-up w/4 rows:

As always, if you need any other explanations or demos, don’t be afraid to ask!

Questions for you: What’s your favorite burpee? What’s your favorite way to use a household item in a workout?

Wednesday Workout: Full Body Pyramid Style Strength Workout

Hi there! I’ve got a fun workout for you that left me rather sore last week. I’m still not totally sure if I was sore for 3 days from this workout alone, or if it was also because of the towel workout I taught before this one. Regardless, I really liked this workout and felt like it hit all the bases for a full body workout.

I’ve posted a pyramid style workout before (Wednesday Workout: Pyramid Workout), and while this one today is similar to the other one, I did mix up the way the exercises were laid out and the cardio that I did with them. I went with 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest for the cardio format since I think people are sometimes more apt to “give it their all” when they have 45 seconds to work rather than 60 seconds. I know I push myself more to finish it without taking breaks! You’ll notice that the cardio exercises mimic or compliment the strength pyramid exercises… might as well give those muscles a little extra burn before moving on, right?! Also, if you didn’t want to do cardio and wanted to keep the workout shorter by just doing strength, feel free to leave it out entirely. I’ve done that before and I still finished the workout sweaty and tired.

Full Body Pyramid Strength Workout

To help save on time, I did break down some of the rep and exercise combos to be unilateral (no need to do 40 1-legged dead lifts on each side!).

Most of the moves here have made an appearance on the blog before, but if you’re confused about anything, feel free to shoot me an email or leave a question in the comments.

Questions for you: What’s your preferred time for a cardio blast? How long can you give it your all? Do you like to have your cardio moves match the strength move you’ve just completed?


Wednesday Workout: Full Body Supersets Workout

As I said on Monday, I taught a workout in SHRED last week that I loved when I did it on my own, but wasn’t crazy about it when I was teaching it. I based my workout off of Athena’s 35 Minute Upper Body Blast workout that she posted a while ago. I knew I wanted to do an upper body strength workout, but since I was at my apartment, obviously without a rowing machine, I had to do something to replace that piece of the workout. Enter: core supersets and short cardio blasts.

Since the workout left me really sore, I thought it would be good to teach (I’m evil that way 😉 ), but I knew I wanted to add in some lower body super sets so that my members could have a more well-rounded workout (when I workout on my own I can pick and choose what I want to do, which is why I loved Athena’s upper body focused workout). Here’s what I came up with!

Full Body Supersets

I’m not really sure why I didn’t love teaching this, perhaps because we did each superset 3 times through and it felt too repetitive? Regardless, I liked the actual workout and can see myself doing it again, which is why I’m sharing it with you today!

I think most of the moves are self-explanatory, but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Also, if you’re running short on time, but still want a full body workout, feel free to do only one or two rounds of each strength/core exercises. Or, you can skip the cardio! I do this all the time with workouts that I see online. I’ll change something, add something, remove something… you get the idea.

Let me know if you try this!

Questions for you: Instructor friends- do you like to teach different formats from what you do when you’re on your own?