Category Archives: circuit workout

Treadmill Circuit Workout

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I have been getting bored with straight running lately. Especially inside on the treadmill when its a perfect 60 degrees outside to run in. But one of my best opportunities to workout is while Cassody naps unless I want to push a double stroller and that is starting to be more of an arm/shoulder workout than a run. I still run outside in the evenings but that means I am pushing almost 100 lbs including stroller and kids! I have been incorporating my treadmill into my circuit workouts to fight boredom. It helps get my heart rate up and makes me sweat more. And the sweatier the workout, the more accomplished I feel.

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REPEAT THREE TIMES

And of course my circuit has to be organized by numbers in some way. I could never do .75 miles, 50 plank knees, and 60 scissor kicks. There’s my OCD tendencies kicking in.  Even though for some reason I feel kind of goofy bear crawling across my living room. But every time i do it, my back is nice and sore the next day. I know I am not the only one who loves that feeling of being sore! It makes the workout seem totally worth it. It hurts so good!

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Burpee Circuit Workout

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Circuit workouts have been my thing lately. I feel like its killing 2 birds with 1 stone. I get cardio and lifting in the same amount of time my normal runs take me. I think they have also made my body a little more toned even though I have been working out less overall time.  This is compared to my body while running and doing regular lifting. This circuit is one I did while visiting my mom in Maryland. No weights needed, not even a mat. Just your body weight and a small piece of floor space. Definitely gets the entire body and left me winded and sweaty. Perfect vacation quickie!

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You will end up doing 55 of each exercise total and 10 full minutes of planks. Great for the post baby core strength!

Now if I could only stop eating my kids Halloween candy, these abs may be able to show through a little more…Priorities…

Lower Body Sculpt

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I usually go in phases as to what body part I work on. I workout and eat well mostly for health reasons, but I’d be lying if vanity had nothing at all to do with it. My body part of choice is usually abs since I don’t have one of those naturally washboard flat stomachs, I have to work at it. And having 2 kids didn’t help matters. But I am actually pretty pleased with my abs at the moment, so I decided I was going to work on my butt and legs some more. Normally I just figure running works my lower body pretty well so I do some burpees and squats here and there but I rarely have a “leg workout day”. Well lately I havent been runnnig quite as much since I have been loving circuit workouts instead. Enter, my first lower body workout in a long time…

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Sliders: get in a squat position and slide across the room in one direction. Stop and slide the other way.

Dead Lifts: focus on using your butt and hamstrings to raise up and not your back. Use two 15 lbs dumbbells

Plank Jacks: In raised plank position, Jump feet out, jump back together, just like a jumping jack. Keep back straight.

Cleans: I used two 15 lbs dumbbells

Sidewalks: Tie resistance band around ankles, feet shoulder width apart, walk sideways to left across room, then right.

Diagonal Raise: feet wide, legs straight, dumbbell in right hand. Raise dumbell up then lower to left foot. repeat. Do for 30 seconds, repeat on left side.

v-sit crunch: place hands on ground behind you if needed

dumbell swing: may use kettle bell instead

Supermans: hold for the minute, rest when needed

Frog Jumps: Squat, touch floor with fingertips, jump high as you can, extending hands upwards. repeat.

It still has cardio moves and ab moves and even a little arm action, but it is mainly focused on the lower body. My legs were pretty fatigued afterwards going up the stairs to get Cassidy up from her nap. I really need to workout legs more since they contain some of the largest muscles in the body.

Entire workout takes 21 minutes if repeated twice and 32 minutes if done 3 times. And if you only have 10 minutes in your day, just do it once, every bit counts!

2 Quick Naptime Workouts

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When summer hits, I have less motivation to work out. For one, its too dang hot outside and two, there are so many fun things to do that we are always busy and never home! I have been heavily relying on quick 20 minute workouts while Cassidy naps. They are intense, quick, and get the job done! Even though I have the most amazing sleeper ever (I am going to be cursed next time with an insomniac baby to make up for her), I still try and get my workout finished quickly so I can do chores and start dinner before she wakes up. I have done 2 workouts this last week that only took 20-25 minutes and left me nice and sweaty, especially since I did them in the garage in 90 degree heat. Both workouts are posted farther down after my What I Ate Wednesday.

Peas and Crayons

Every single meal I ate had zucchini in it…tis the season!

Breakfast: 8 zucchini pancakes (they were small) with homemade blueberry jelly + maple syrup

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Snack: decaf coffee with a little half and half

Lunch: Leftovers. A TON of sautéed cabbage and 1 chicken and zucchini enchilada. Plus a banana and peanut butter.

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Snack: 1 cup cereal with skim milk. I never eat only 1 serving of cereal so this was weird for me. I usually snack out of my kid’s bowls that are 1.5 cups so they are perfectly portioned snack size.

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Dinner: talapia seasoned with old bay, baked french fries, zucchini and cheese casserole. And a raspberry chocolate greek yogurt popsicle to finish it off.

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Dessert: 1 oreo plus 2 cups of homemade trailmix. I was starving so I filled this bowl up twice. Love trail mix but it is dangerously addicting and I end up eating a ton of it.

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Now on to those workouts…

The first one takes roughly 20 minutes. Do it as quickly as you can but proper form is more important than speed. That plank is just a little extra ab work since I have had 2 kids Smile.

5 to 55

The second workout is a tabata. I love my Tabata timer app on my iphone. If you don’t have one its just 20 seconds full on 100% effort, 10 seconds rest, repeat for a total of 8 times. Each set will take 4 minutes. Rest 1 minutes between sets. To complete a set, go through each workout list twice and it will give you the 8 times. So for set one do burpess for 20 seconds, rest 10, lunges for 20 seconds, rest 10, chair dips 20, rest 10, high knees 20 seconds, rest 10, burpees 20 seconds, rest 10, lunges 20, rest 10, chair dips 20, rest 10, high knees 20 seconds. Sounds easier than it is. Those 10 second breaks fly by! But it gives a great workout!

25 minute tabata

“enjoy” the workouts!

New Obsession: Tabata Workouts

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During high school I played Fall and Spring sports. Between seasons I ran occasionally to stay in shape. When I got to college and didn’t have organized team sports anymore, I took up running as my main form of exercise. I would do the same exact thing every time I worked out. Run 3 miles on the treadmill then lift weights, mostly arms, and do abs. I did pretty much the same weight exercises and ab exercises every time too. I did this roughly 3 times a week. I continued to have this exact workout schedule all throughout college and after. I got right back into this routine after having Alyssa. It wasn’t until after I had Cassidy 7 months ago that I started switching up my workouts. After almost 10 years of doing the same workout, I got bored, go figure! Running with a good lift afterwards still is probably my favorite workout but I have started trying different things as well. Who knows, maybe I’ll find something I love even more. Circuit workouts are a close second. Last week I tried a Tabata workout for the first time. And Today, I did one again. And I have to say, I really liked it. Like maybe as much as my running and lifting routine?! It doesn’t get anymore time efficient than these workouts and thats right up my alley as a busy mom!

A Tabata work out is 20 seconds full on, 10 seconds rest repeated for a total of 8 times, which totals 4 minutes. During that 20 seconds you go full out as hard as you can exert yourself then have a short recovery and repeat. You do the same exercise during each 20 second interval. Then you rest for a minute and start again with a different exercise. Most of the ones I found on the internet were more cardio based, using a rowing machine or treadmill. However I don’t belong to a gym and sprinting intervals on my treadmill would have woken Cassidy up from her nap (which would mean no workout for me). So I made up a Tabata workout that used a variety of strength and cardio exercises that I could complete in my garage.

tabata 1

Since Tabata workouts are very intense make sure you do some sort of warm up beforehand. I did 1 minute jumping jacks, 2 minute stretch, 1 minute high knees, 2 more minutes of stretching as my warm up. I used 10 lb dumbbells for the bent over rows, a 10 lb dumbbell for the squats, and this random tape line in my garage for the side to side jumps. I didn’t even have to put that tape down…not a clue why it was already there.

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I also downloaded this awesome app for free! I just searched “Tabata Timer”. It beeps to begin then beeps after the 20 seconds is up, then counts down with 3 beeps when the 10 seconds is over and the next 20 begins. When the 4 minutes is up it beeps quickly a couple of times. I made that sound way more confusing than it is. It is really simple and helpful! Its nice not to have to watch a clock and instead just listen for the beep. If even shows you what number repeat you are on by filling in a little numbered bubble. Just try it out, trust me.

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And please ignore my nasty iphone. I have an otterbox (which I highly recommend if you have kids, drop your phone daily, or let if fall off your jogging stroller then proceed to kick it across the road like I did yesterday) and I need to disassemble it and clean it.

My tabata workout today was just as great as the first! This morning I dropped Alyssa off a drop in preschool for 2 hours. By the time I ran some errands and got back home I needed to be back out the door in 45 minutes. That left 30 minutes for a workout so I could save the last 15 minutes for a shower and getting some snacks together for the kids while they sat at the dentist with me, fun fun. A tabata workout was the only thing that made sense. It looked like this.

I have a feeling I will be doing many more of these Tabata workouts, they were fun, quick, and exhausting!

And as always, only work out to your personal fitness level. If you have never done a circuit style, HIIT, or tabata workout then start out smaller. Maybe pick 2-4 of the exercises and give them a try. Don’t worry about how short your workout may seem, its intense so the duration does not need to be nearly as long. I have been this sore from a workout in a long time and it feels great! Yes, I love being sore. Its a reminder of the awesome workout I completed and I know it did its job!

Have you ever done a Tabata workout? Give it a try and let me know what you think!

29 Minute Bodyweight Circuit

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Spring is my favorite season to workout. I don’t sweat to death like I do in the summer (I am a sweaty person!) but my lungs don’t hurt from the cold like in the winter. And lets be honest here…impending bathing suit season gives everyone a little extra motivation. And luckily for me, I don’t suffer from seasonal allergies so I can be outside amoungst the pollen and still be able to breathe through my nose. Although unfortunately both of my girls inheritied their dad’s allergies and are currently all snotty.  My husband and all his dominant genes. My blonde hair and blue eyes were overruled and both my babies look just like him. At least I know Alyssa inherited something from my genepool because she is stubborn as can be :). Although so is Dave so she was doomed! Anyway, back to working out…I have been loving circuit workouts in my garage with the door open to get a nice Spring breeze. I made one up that used some similar exercises to my 50/10 circuit workout except this one is based off of time intervals. I think I liked it better this way actually.  Both Dave and I were sweaty as can be after it and Alyssa was out of breathe from partaking in her portion too (note: I never make Alyssa work out with me. I usually set her up with an activity if i workout while she is awake. She just joins in a lot of times because she wants to be doing whatever the adults are doing)

Do each exercise for 1 minute and then rest 1 minute. Repeat for a total of three times through.

Somehow I think I struggled the most on the leg raises, didn’t see that coming. And of course I had to throw mountain climbers in there to torture my husband, he hates them! Workouts that go by time like this are either really easy to cheat on or really easy to bust your butt. You get out of it what you put into it!

I have also been intruiged by Tabata workouts lately. If you don’t know what they are, its where you do a particular exercise for 20 seconds full on, 10 seconds rest, and repeat for a total of 8 times. Each exercise set takes 4 minutes total. I know they have been around for a while but I just recently strayed from straight running and weight lifting into HIIT and circuit workouts. Does anyone have any good tabata workouts they can link up? Does anyone do them and enjoy it? I figure they would be right up my alley since they only take about 20 minutes to do an entire workout. Short and sweaty, just the way I like my workouts!

Whirlwind Weekend

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I had one of the best weekends I’ve had in a recent memory. We had a jam packed weekend and I loved every second of it (well besides a certain 5 second incident I’ll get to later).

Dave rushed home from work early on Friday evening because we had a date! That’s rare around here. Our church is doing a series on Marriage and as part of that they provided free child care on friday night so the couples could go on dates. It was a great tie in with the series and a great opportunity. We dropped Alyssa off at 6 and went out for some seafood and froyo. Cassidy tagged along because I didn’t want to leave her in a day care setting quite yet. She also eats at like 730 and doesn’t take a bottle so she goes where I go. But she was her perfect angel self and sat in a high chair next to us and quietly ate some green beans while Dave and I talked. We picked up Alyssa by 815 so we could have them both home and in bed before 9 because we had a crazy busy day Saturday.

Saturday started with a 30 minute circuit workout in the garage after a pancake and egg breakfast. Then Alyssa had her first soccer game of the season! There was a huge improvement over last season! She kicked the ball twice, which is 2 more times than she did the entire last season! She is still the youngest kid on the team but at least she is interested this year. She told me she wanted to score a goal and was kind of sad she didn’t. I told her she would get there and she would soon! After her soccer game we had a family St. Patricks Day party all afternoon.  Then we came home, fed Alyssa, changed clothes, and were out the door again.

But during this rush of getting changed, Alyssa and I had a little collision. She was walking in front of me, and all of a sudden stopped, and I didn’t. I kicked her heel with my baby toe. I wanted to cry. Not quite 24 hours later it looks like this…

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This would be broken toe #3 for me! I didn’t even bother getting it x-rayed this time because I know what it feels and looks like to have a broken toe at this point. Check out this red, black, and blue swollen little toe. Its been a couple hours since this picture and the bruise is already all down the back of my toe as well. Its also starting to move down my foot some too.

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But it didn’t slow me down. I tried my hardest not to cuss in front of Alyssa and then rushed out the door (in high heels no less). In my defense, I was hoping it was just badly stubbed and I thought it would stop hurting soon. Not so lucky.

This time it was just Dave and me. Yes, you read that right…no Cassidy. I left her for the first time with a babysitter. She was 24, cpr certified and all that, a nanny for a living, and a friend of a friend. So I felt safe but it was still so hard. But I know Dave and I needed it and the kids were only awake an hour before it was bedtime anyway. We headed out to an adult only St. Patricks Day party. We stayed out until 1130, woohoo! We are always home by 8 pm for the kids bedtime so this was a little crazy for us!

Sunday morning started with church. We have recently started going to a new church and we both love it. We feel like the preacher is talking right too us every Sunday, its just SO relatable. They also have a Sunday school class for Alyssa (And Cassidy too but we don’t leave her quite yet). Alyssa comes home with little bible verses and songs memorized, its so sweet.

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At the moment they are doing a series on Marriage and I swear this guy must have heard Dave and I argue and spied inside our household because it feels like he is talking right to us. It could be a one on one marriage counseling session.

After church, we rushed home to eat lunch and change, then right back out the door. Where to this time? A Spouses kickball game! My husband is a Marine and I am part of a spouses kickball team for his unit and we play other unit’s teams. Well today we challenged our husbands to a game. We ended up splitting the teams co-ed so it would be fair. It was a blast! Dave and my team won 7-6 and out of our 6 runs, 2 were mine and 2 were Daves! I wore my cleats for a little extra toe support and when you kick the ball its more with the top of your foot where it meets your shin, so it didn’t hurt my toe. The running did a little, but I sucked it up, and now have an elevated throbbing toe as a result. The kids played on the playground right next to us with a couple of teenage girls watching them. One of them loved Cassidy and didn’t put her down the whole time.

On another note,  my mind is officially change about beets, I loved them! I cut them up, tossed in olive oil and garlic salt, and roasted until tender at 400F. I ate 3 entire large beets by myself! Even Alyssa and Cassidy loved them. I

This truly was an awesome weekend! We had tons of family time, a little alone time with just Dave and I, and tons of fun with every single actually we did! Now this week looks like it will be full of rest time to help heal this little toe.

The first time I broke my toe, I belonged to a gym so I just used the stationary bike and lifted weights. The second time, I broke my toe and foot really badly and had to keep it elevated for 16 weeks! Yes 16, not 6 because it was broken in a spot they couldn’t cast. It just would not heal and my hairline fracture turned into a full on break all the way through and crushed cartilage before finally healing. My husband was deployed when that happened and Alyssa was 18 months old, so needless to say I wasn’t able to rest and let it heal like I should have. But this time, I don’t belong to a gym. I run on my treadmill or outside and use weights and do circuit workouts. I think weights may be the only one of those I can  still do for a couple weeks.

Has anyone else broken their baby toe before? What do you do as far as exercise? Any suggestion?