Wednesday Workout: 2 Part (or partner) Stations Workout

Good morning! These days I don’t tend to share workouts that I’ve taught, mostly because I teach a Burn class with a standard format that isn’t supposed to change week to week so that would get pretty boring ūüėČ A few months ago, I subbed for Athena’s 6am Total Body class and I was reminded of how fun it is to create different workouts and formats every week. There are so many options between how you want to set up the class, what equipment you want to use, etc. Totally loved it!

I wanted to share this workout with you because there are two ways you can complete it: solo or with a partner. I had the class partner up so that each¬†partner did both moves at each station, but you could certainly do it on your own if you didn’t have a partner or workout buddy handy. You’ll be at each station for two minutes- 1 minute per move. Halfway through the circuit and at the end of the circuit you’ll complete a lovely little cardio blast- doesn’t get much better than that!

2 part or partner stations workout

Here are some explanations and/or demos of the exercises:

  1. TRX Row/Burpees– For the rows, you can make them easier by putting your feet closer to your body so that you’re at less of an angle. To make it harder, walk your feet out further away from you. Engage your core and pull your elbows back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Remember to keep your shoulders pulled down away from your ears. Check out this video for a TRX row demo. For the burpees- you can either jump your feet back, walk them back, drop your chest to the ground, do a pushup… whatever version of the burpee you want to do- rock it!
  2. KB Goblet Squat/Jump squats- Here’s a video for Goblet Squats. For the jump squats, you can either go for depth and make sure to touch your hands to the ground each time or you can go for speed and do rapid fire baby jumps.
  3. Squat hold/Battle ropes- If¬†you have a partner, one partner will get into a squat hold while holding the rope, acting as the anchor. Make sure to brace your core and position because it gets challenging to hold this as your partner does the ropes. Check out this video where I demo the battle ropes. If you don’t have a partner hopefully you have access to the standard rope setup!
  4. Dynamax ball Russian twists/cross body mountain climbers-With a Dynamax ball you’ll perform the standard Russian twist exercise (in a seated position, with your feet either in the air and bent at 90* or on the ground and moving a weight/ball from one side of your body to the next). For the mountain climbers, instead of bringing your knees straight forward to your chest, you’ll bring your right knee to your left elbow and your left knee to your right elbow. Go as fast or slow as you want/need.
  5. Forward lunge & twist/jumping lunges– As you step forward into a lunge on your right leg, lift your arms and extend a weight out in front of you. In your low position of the lunge, twist through your core and move the weight over to the right over your right knee. Repeat on the left & alternate right & left for the 60 seconds. Jumping lunges should be pretty standard ūüėČ
  6. Push-up w/frogger stamp/in & out plank jumps- Perform a¬† push-up (either on your knees or toes) and then jump your feet up to the outsides of your hands and then back to your high plank/push-up position. If you’re doing the push-ups on your knees, just drop down to your knees after you jump back. For the in & out plank jumps you’ll start in a high plank position (shoulders, elbows & wrists in line, neutral spine, shoulders pulled on your back, core engaged) and jump your feet straight up to your hands (not to the outsides like the first exercise) and then jump back into a high plank and jump your feet out like you would for a plank jack. repeat.
  7. Stability ball pass/Skier jumps– For the first move, check out this video– make sure you’re keeping your core tight and your back flat against the ground. If this is too hard, ditch the ball and either keep your legs bent, lower them not so far or do one leg at a time. This video demos the ski jumps well.
  8. Side lunge w/center press/TRX Push-ups- For the side lunge/center press, you’re going to hold a weight in both hands at chest height. You’ll step out to the right and do a side lunge (sitting your butt way back, keeping your knee in line with your toes on the lunging leg and keeping the other leg straight) and then when you come through center, press the weight overhead. Repeat to the other side. TRX push-ups are almost the opposite of the rows discussed earlier, except instead of pulling your weight up towards the straps, you’ll be pushing your weight away from the straps as you extend. Again, the closer your feet are to you, the easier it is; stepping your feet back away from you & making your body more parallel to the ground will make it harder

I think that should do it! I hope you give this a shot- everyone seemed to like it and my sister said she was a little sore the next day!

Questions for you: Do you  like partner workouts? Do you like using TRX straps or battle ropes?

Wednesday Workout: KB & TRX Total Body Workout

Well hello there! I have a fun workout to share with you today that I did a few weeks ago during my lunch break. As I’ve mentioned before, when I workout during my lunch break, I have limited time. Because of this, I make sure I make my workout before I get to the gym so I can get there and get started without wasting any time.

Before heading to the gym, I decided I wanted to work my whole body in a mini set sort of way. This is the best way for me to avoid boredom because I’m moving from one thing to the next in short sets. I’ve been LOVING kettlebell’s and TRX bands lately, so I put together a lower body exercise, upper body exercise and core exercise in each set using these “toys”. To get some cardio in, I did 20 TRX squat jumps in between sets.

To complete this workout, perform 10 reps of each exercise and repeat the exercises in each set for a total of 4 rounds before moving on to the next set (of course, with the 20 TRX jump squats in between).

KB & TRX full body workout

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Hot in the City. Literally.

Hey everyone! How are you??¬†I am back from a wonderful little getaway at a¬†work conference in Stowe, VT from Tuesday-Friday. The conference was held during a great week; being in VT and in a hotel during this crazy heat spell was amazing! Even if the temp was as high there as it is back in Boston (which, it wasn’t), there’s something about being surrounded by beautiful mountains that makes tolerating the heat a little more bearable. I’ll get to a full recap of my trip next week, but for now I just wanted to pop in, say hello and make sure that you checked out the two awesome guest blog posts from a couple of my friends:

Guest Post: It’s Not About Having Time, It’s About Making Time

Guest Post: Summer Favorites from The Truth About Vinyl and Bikini Tops

Big, big thanks to Athena and Rachel for helping me keep you all entertained while I was away!

Anyway! On Monday I had a long day at work trying to get everything ready for my week away. Doesn’t it always seem like work gets so much busier when you’re about to be out of the office for any amount of time?? By the time I left work, I knew I was in need of a solid workout. I knew I would workout while in VT, but I wasn’t sure how long or strong or intense they would be, so I wanted to make sure I got in at least one good workout during the week! And good workout it was! I hopped on the elliptical to warm up and then I created a circuit that I did 4 times through:

  • 500M row
  • 60 seconds ropes (If you’re not familiar, check out this video. killer!)
  • 60 seconds kettlebell swings
  • 1-legged push-ups up and down the ladder (a ladder is painted on the turf)
  • 60 seconds plank pikes with feet in TRX straps

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I did a few more ab exercises and a few shoulder exercises before calling it a day. I was SPENT! My knees were irritated from the turf, my hands were getting calluses. I call that a good day at the gym ūüėČ

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Post gym, I came home, watered my garden really well and then made myself the easiest dinner alive:

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English Muffin Pizza’s. Doesn’t get much better than that, right?! Brings me back to my childhood big time!

I got up early Tuesday to A. work out and B. try to beat the heat for my workout. I was feeling pretty sore from my Sunday and Monday workouts, so I ended up doing a jump rope and ab circuit which was perfect!

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After my workout, I showered and worked from home until it was time to pick my coworker, Tim, up at the airport. To ensure that we had healthy snacks for the road, I went shopping over the weekend and stocked up.

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I also brought a few peaches and a yogurt. I don’t have a huge appetite in one sitting, but I sure do love to snack! It helps keep me from being “hangry”, which, if anyone has seen the “hangry Monique”, I think you can agree she’s someone we all would like to avoid ūüėČ These snacks kept both of us totally satisfied and the 3 hour and 20 minute trip almost flew by! I went to Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT, so the ride up 89 (both through New Hampshire and Vermont) is one I could likely do with my eyes closed. Tim had never been in that area (he lives in Florida, originally from NY), so he was totally in awe of all the mountains and trees and beautiful scenery.

Driving past the Ben and Jerry’s Factory, Cabot Cheese store and Pie In The Sky¬†totally brought me back to my college years when my girlfriends and I would make the short-ish trip down to Stowe to (basically) eat our way through it. Ah, the good ol’ days! Anyway, it was fun reminiscing. #ilovermont ūüôā

Well, that about does it¬†for me today! I am¬†teaching my 10am kickboxing class at the Oak Square YMCA and then babysitting for Trent and Lila again from 1-??? Pending on how I feel after that, I am going to try to make it to a BBQ at Rachel and Dan’s apartment. I hope you all have a great Saturday!!

Questions for you: Have you ever been to VT? What is your favorite New England state? What’s your favorite “healthy” road trip snack that you always make sure to pack?

I’m back!

Hey everyone! Sorry for being so MIA, but between Dallas and then catching up on work stuff yesterday, I haven’t had much extra free time to blog:(¬† I talked to my dad today and he asked “so, uh, when¬†do you plan on¬†posting again? Your blog is getting kinda old and boring” gee, thanks, dad! So, I apologize to those of you who are feeling the same way! I will try to make it up to you over the next couple of days. I have a Dallas recap coming, but until I finish that up, I thought I would catch you up on the past couple of days!

Due to the snow yesterday, my two roommates and I all worked from home.¬† Surprisingly, I was able to stay focused¬†enough to get a good amount of work done.¬† Around 4pm, my sister asked if she could come to my class… umm, obviously that’s always going to be a YES! I LOVE having familiar faces in class:) I wasn’t sure how busy the gym would be on a snowy, friday night, but I was pleasantly pleased when I had 16 members show up with their game faces on.

024I have to post this workout for you soon because everyone seems to love (err, ok they may hate it while we are doing it, but that’s only because it’s a good one!) it.

Today was my first Saturday in months and months where I wasn’t teaching or doing something else, and I have to say, it was a pretty great feeling to be able to be on my own agenda! I had all intentions of going to the 10am BodyPump class at the Wellington BSC, but I ended up being in the mood to run, so I skipped the class and continued running… 4.25 miles!! Haven’t run that far in quite some time.¬† After reading Athena’s recent post on drop set workouts, I decided I wanted to give it a try. I only got through a couple of upper body sets before my right shoulder started to bother me.¬† Ugh, the worst! Anyway, I finished up with some lower body moves and HIIT¬†cardio and then some TRX¬†abs. Have I mentioned how much I am OBSESSED with the TRX bands?!?! I want some for my apartment!

025Going to the grocery store after a long, hard workout is really never a good idea, but I literally drive RIGHT past it so I decided to just stop and get my shopping out of the way¬†today.¬† I was able to curb my hunger and refrain from snacking my way through the grocery store by grabbing a small coffee.¬† Dunkin’ Donuts is not my favorite, but it did the trick today!

026I made it out of the grocery store with only ONE splurge item.  Can you pick out what that might be?

028Please tell me I am not the only one who LOVES the Starburst JellyBeans?! Guilty pleasure for sure (mom, don’t forget to put a bag of these in my Easter basket, mmm k?). Also, has anyone seen this?

029Greek yogurt cream cheese?! It was on sale AND I had cream cheese on my grocery list so it was a no brainer to grab a container to try!

As for the rest of the day, I have a couple of blog related things to catch up on, maybe a little shopping and then babysitting for the evening. Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!! The weather is beautiful today so go out and enjoy it!

Questions for you: What is a guilty splurge for you at the grocery store? Any good workouts to share?

Where did my weekend go?!

Oh, that’s right… 8 hours of it was spent at the South Station BSC. It’s amazing how much faster the weekends go by when a whole day gets taken away from you!¬† Let’s get caught up, shall we? I don’t have many pictures, so I apologize in advance for the wordy post!

The kickboxing exam went pretty well, I think.¬† I won’t know for another 4-6 weeks whether I passed or not, but I think I definitely passed the practical part of it.¬† The written part, on the other hand, was incredibly hard! All those joint actions and muscle talk is so hard to keep straight! I found myself doing the movements-¬†awkwardly-¬†while I was trying to figure out if a jab had a shoulder flexion in the execution phase. Bored, yet? The best part of the day was the instructor. Her name is Aimee Nicotera and not only was she incredibly knowledgeable (and jacked!), but she was hilarious and totally made us feel like rock stars… definitely helped to settle my nerves! Plus, she gave us some sweet hand wraps:

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I mean, I felt pretty B.A. when I had these on! I wonder what my students would think if I showed up to class with these on?! I might try it just to see their reactions…

I finished the exam around 5 and I promptly opened the wine I had chilling in the fridge for me as soon as I got home. I bought it for the name, but I’ll be honest, it was not my favorite chardonnay I have ever had.¬†Now, don’t let that fool you into thinking I¬†didn’t drink it… that is basically a sin in my family… no wine shall ever go to waste!

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I got up this morning and immediately felt every muscle I worked yesterday (love that)… I was especially happy when I realized it felt like I had done 200 bicep curls yesterday.¬† The bicep muscle is one of the antagonist muscles when throwing a jab, meaning it is working to retract the arm in the second phase of the punch, so that means I was punching correctly, yay! (again, thanks Aimee).

Best way to loosen up tight muscles? Head to the gym, of course! I NEVER get to go to the gym to do my OWN workout anymore, so I was so excited. Plus, the Wellington BSC just put in this awesome work area:

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It was like play time at the gym!! My roommate has a personal trainer so I did a couple of rounds of one of her workouts-¬†killer! I am obsessed with TRX bands, but I could live the rest of my life without ever touching those ropes again:)¬† And, I was in Dynamax heaven when I saw all those balls! Anyway, amazing workout… I was especially happy about it when I saw the buffet at the Langham Hotel. Cafe Fleuri¬†sure knows how to serve an unbelieveable¬†brunch!! There was a sushi station, pasta station, omelet station, meat carving station, fruit station, crepe station… and a chocolate fountain. I died and went to foodie heaven!

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009Of course I had dessert, too, but I got too excited and forgot to take a picture.¬† If you’re in the Boston area and looking for a phenomenal brunch, definitely check out Cafe Fleuri… it is worth every penny!

Phew! That was a lot to catch you up on! I am hoping for a relaxing night filled with some cooking, a little wine and maybe even some TV! Really living on the edge now;)

Questions for you: What did you do this weekend? Busy or not busy? Go to brunch anywhere good? I want to know!