Wednesday Workout: 2 Upper Body Circuits & Cardio Blasts

Good morning! I don’t know about you, but I am ready to have mornings where the weather is warmer than 35-40* when I wake up. While I appreciate that it’s lighter out, warmer temps would be more encouraging for early morning runs 😉 Since the weather was chillier than I’d like to run in first thing in the morning this past Saturday morning, I opted to keep my workout inside. It actually worked out well since my legs were still sore from a lower body focused workout I had done on Thursday- it was pretty killer, if I do say so myself!

Anyway, I woke up Saturday not really knowing what I wanted to do for a workout, but I knew it couldn’t be long which is why I worked out at the house instead of going to the gym. I was on a tight schedule since I had to leave by 9:45 for my bridal shower and knew I would need extra time than normal to get ready so I decided to forego the gym. I don’t know about you, but between the time it takes to get to the gym, get started on a workout, pack up after and get home my whole workout experience takes longer than I’d like it to.

All you need for this workout is a set (or two) of dumbbells and a stability ball- easy enough, right?

Upper Body Circuits & Cardio Blast

Please make sure you do a good, dynamic warm up before jumping into this! Once you’re warmed up, grab your dumbbells & stability ball and get going 🙂 You’ll do 4 rounds of circuit 1 and then 50 reps of each cardio exercises. Then, you’ll move to circuit 2 and then finish with 25 reps of each cardio exercise. I was done in about 45 minutes!

Here are some explanations or links to videos for some exercises that aren’t very common on B2B:

  • Clean & Press– This video will give you the general visual of a clean. Think about sinking low in the legs, hinging through the hips with your back flat and arm extended straight towards the ground. Focus on using power from the legs to bring the weight up- it should come up weightlessly rather than you curling it to bring it to the racked position. Once you get it in the racked position, press it up to the ceiling, bring it down to the racked position and then shoot your hips back & let the weight pull you back down to the starting position. Try not to put the breaks on to stop the momentum.
  • Stability ball chest fly
  • DB Pullover
  • Front raise & upright row- With a light set of weights, perform a front raise, making sure to not bring the arms higher than shoulder height. Bring the weights back down and then perform an upright row by leading with the elbows (think about someone pulling your elbows up to the ceiling by strings) and stopping the weights at chest height. It’s almost like you’re zipping up your coat, but with 2 hands.

Hope you give this a try!

Questions for you: Do you prefer to take the time to get to the gym for your workout or do you prefer saving time and working out at home?

Advertisements

Weekending: Gym friends, Southie, How to prepare for a busy week

My weekend recap is a little late this week, but it was a good one, so it’s better late than never, right? Although I was super tired on Friday night, I was excited to head to Needham for a gym friends party. A gym friends party, you might ask? What is that? Well, it’s when a bunch of gym-going, gym-loving ladies get together to eat good food, drink good wine and share horror funny class stories (most of us are instructors, so we’ve got stories for dayssss). Athena wrote up a really nice post about why she loves gym friends and I couldn’t agree more. It’s funny because when I was telling my mom about it on Saturday, I used the same exact “they just ‘get’ me” line that she used in her post. gym friends (photo credit: Athena!)

On top of good company, I love gym friend parties because the food is always delicious… and usually healthy! There were so many different appetizer treats to snack on- I was a happy camper 😉 IMG_6833 I brought a dessert treat that I came up with fairly quickly. Could’ve been a hit or miss, but, luckily, it seemed to be a hit. I’ll share it with you soon, but here’s a sneak peak: IMG_6829

I had so many people to catch up with! These girls all frequent the Oak Square YMCA as their “home” gym and get to see each other at least a few times of week, but I only see them every other Saturday if they come to my class. Womp. Needless to say, the wine was flowing, conversation was non-stop and before we knew it, it was time to do the Pink-themed Yankee Swap!

IMG_6832 IMG_6836 IMG_6835 IMG_6834

I put together a cute little “relaxing night in” package which had an OPI 4 color sampler nail polish package, a candle and a bottle of wine. I wouldn’t have been mad if I went home with that, although I was SO HAPPY to go home with a stability ball. It’s been on my list of things to buy for a while now (for exercise and to use as my chair when I work from home), I just keep forgetting to get one. Problem solved!

IMG_6842

Big thanks to Liz for having us and thanks to all the girls for being such fun gym friends!!

Saturday started off my favorite way: kickboxing. Even better, was knowing a bunch of girls from Friday night would be there… they asked for burpees and I aim to please 😉

gym friends fb status

The rest of my Saturday was busy with lunch plans and then going to Southie to see my sister’s new apartment. Her roommate, Amy, bought a condo in Southie and they moved in on Friday night. I was a bad sister and didn’t visit until Saturday night, but I did come bearing gifts of Prosecco, Bud Light and an AMEX gift card, so I think that counts for something, right?! 😉 We grabbed dinner and drinks at The Playwright Bar since it’s literally a 3 minute walk from their new place. I am so jealous that they are so close to so many fun places!

IMG_6839

Another friend from home met us out, which was a nice surprise!

Sunday was a busy day. I wasn’t home for more than 5 minutes all day on Saturday, so I didn’t have time to do anything on my to-do list. But you know what? I survived. Funny thing about that! Between laundry, baking, cooking, grocery shopping, blogging, making workout videos and prepping for a busy week… Sunday was over in a flash!

I knew my week was going to be crazy busy between teaching 7 classes, going to the ClassPass launch, going to a wine tasting, etc., so I spent some time on Sunday prepping for the week to make it a little easier! I wanted to share some things I do to help make a busier week go a little more smoothly, especially when I have to be up and out of the house super early to teach in the morning.

How to prepare for a busy week

1. Food prep!! I can’t stress this enough. I don’t have the money to buy lunch out every day (or the snacks), so prepping my salads, fruit, snacks, etc. on Sunday night makes the world of a difference.

IMG_6854

Since I needed to be up and out the door by 5:30 on Monday, I even had to pack breakfast!

IMG_6855

Nothing exciting, but it did the trick!

2. Plan my outfit the night before. And, for me, it meant packing it up in my gym bag since I had to get ready for work at the gym.

IMG_6853

3. Plan my workout that I’m going to teach. If I don’t plan something out, I’ll keep thinking about it, so it’s better to just write it out and be done with it.

IMG_6852 IMG_6851

4. Make a meal that can be reheated throughout the week, especially for the nights I get home late (pretty much every night this week). This ensures that I have a healthy, well balanced meal that I can eat within 5 minutes of walking through the door. What can I say? I get hangry!

IMG_6858

5. Go to bed early. There’s no better way to end the weekend and start the week than getting a good nights rest. I’m not used to getting up on Monday mornings in the 5 o’clock hour, so that will certainly take some getting used to, but having everything literally ready for me as soon as I wake up makes it easier!

Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Do you have a group of friends that “get” you? How do you prepare for a busy week? Do you plan ahead and do prep work to make it easier or just go with the flow?

A Workout- Finally!

You guys! I have not given you a workout since BEFORE Christmas. Can you believe it?! Since Christmas was last Wednesday and New Years is tomorrow, they took place of my Wednesday Workout posts and I just wasn’t able to get anything together for a post on another day. It’s not to say I haven’t been working out, because I certainly have, I just haven’t been able to write them up to share with you. Shame on me 😉

This workout was a good one, though! I did it a while ago, but it’s been on a little sticky note near my computer as a reminder that it was good enough to share (sometimes I make up workouts and decide not to share them with you after I do them because I don’t like them).

Upper Body & Core Stability Ball Workout

Most of these moves are pretty common, but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Also, you can do this workout without a stability ball if you don’t have access to one.

Since the exercises only call for 10 reps, I challenge you to go heavier than usual. If you usually lift 10lbs for bicep curls, try 12 or 15. The last few reps should be hard- that means you’re working 😉

Questions for you: Do you like to separate you cardio and strength workouts or combine them?

Wednesday Workout: 30 Minute Total Body Strength Workout

Hey there! As I mentioned on Monday, I accidentally had a really intense strength workout after work on Tuesday. I went into the day not sure if I would get a chance to workout, or if I had the chance, not sure if I would WANT to workout, but once I got to the gym, I realized I was totally focused and feeling a good workout.

I warmed up with 5 minutes on the rower (I hate rowing, but it’s a really great way to fully warm up your body) before doing the following workout. I was literally in and out of the gym in 30 minutes, including the warm up, so if you have access to weights & a stability ball (not necessary, but it was a big part of what made this workout great) there’s really no excuse not to do this 🙂

30 minute total body strength

I don’t have access to a stability ball often, but every time I do, I remember how much I love using one. Make sure you have the ball against a wall when you do tricep dips, though, I almost had a party foul there 😉 Also, thanks to Athena’s Fall into Fitness challenge, I was reminded of how great lunge/knee lift/hops are for burning out the glute and getting your heart rate up.

Here are some links to the moves in case you’re not familiar with them:

Stability Ball Preacher Curl
Stability Ball Tricep Dips
Stability Ball V-Sit

I’m not sure if it’s because I increased my weights, worked out mindfully and totally focused on each exercise or something else, but this workout left me beat and quite sore the next day.

Questions for you: What’s your favorite gym “tool”? If you could only pick one piece of equipment to workout with, what would it be?