Learning to perfect your posture.
I’m SO TIRED.
Warm Up (2 rounds)
5/5 Around the World Lunges (also adding Curtsy Lunges into the mix)
1-min of Jump Rope
Oxygen Magazine: Get Your Rear in Gear
3 sets per exercise, each set at a different tempo.
Rest 30-secs of rest between sets & 60-secs of rest between exercises.
45-Degree Leg Presses (modified to Weighted Wall Squats)
Stability Ball Hamstring Curl
Deadlift (with dumbbells)
Curtsy Squat (with dumbbells)
One Leg Heel Drag
WHM: Stand Up for Flat Abs (3 rounds)
10/10 Dumbbell Side Bends
20 Standing Core Stabilization
10/10 Box Extension
10/10 Reverse Dumbbell Chop
I did a (brand new!) lower body workout from Oxygen Magazine. The concept behind it (no pun intended!) is to shake up the routine by doing all the sets at different lifting tempos. The workout gives VERY SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS as to how you are going to position yourself and what rhythm you are going to use per set. READ CAREFULLY…’cause it can get confusing as hell. I read carefully and still got confused. As hell. I love the concept of the workout itself, but in practice it got a little confusing. (I am whatever you say I am. If I wasn’t, then what would I say I am?). All the figuring-out-what-the-hell-I’m-supposed-to-do-now ended up taking up more time than it should have. (I guess that MAYBE I didn’t read as carefully as I thought. Meh.)
As for equipment and modifications:
- Weighted Wall Squats (with a Stability Ball) in place of the Leg Presses. I don’t have a Leg Press machine at home (duh!) so I went for the next best thing. The Wall Squat works the same muscle groups and mimics the movement pretty closely. I held a 10-lbs dumbbell on each hand. Tip: You can control the angle of your squatting by adjusting how far in front from the Ball you position your feet. Aim to get that 45-degree angle on the squatting position.
- I substituted the Barbell for dumbbells because that’s all I got. I used my 10’s.
- For the One Leg Heel Drag, I used a paper plate. (Lame! Ha. Slightly lame, I know. I’m OK with that.)
Well that TOOK A WHOLE LOT OF TIME.
I had scheduled the Standing Abs routine by Women’s Health Magazine I love to do every now and then. I was quite tired after I finished the Oxygen’s stuff, though, so I only did 3 rounds of it…which it’s pretty good. I used 20-lbs of free weight for the Side Bends and a 10-lb dumbbell for the rest of the moves. And that felt like more than enough! Even my arms were ready to STOP. So I let them.
In related news, my buttocks are FIRED UP right now.
Back at it! Back in control and with my workout gloves ON. (This means “business”.)
Blogilates: 1000 Workout
100 Jump Rope Skips
- 25 Regular Squats
- 25 Plié Squats
- 25 Narrow Squats
- 25 Squat Pulses
100 Mountain Climbers
- 25 Crunches
- 50 Oblique Crunches (alternating sides)
100 High Knees
100 Half Cobra Pushups
100 Bridge Pulses
- 50 Bridge Pulses
- 25 Bridge Pulses with One Leg Lift (right/left)
100 Walking Lunges
- 50 Walking Lunges
- 50 Side Lunges (alternating sides)
100 Tricep Dips
- 25 Tricep Dips with Bent-Knees
- 25 Tricep Dips with Leg Extended
- 25 Tricep Dips with One Leg Lift (right/left)
100 Hover Jacks
Upper Body Dumbbell Giant Set (10-12 reps per move, 3 sets)
Blogilates: Brokenhearted Ab Challenge (4 min)
I skipped the workout yesterday and then my whole night went to hell. It didn’t have anything to do with me skipping my workout but, in the end, moody me didn’t feel any better about the fact that, on top of my night going to hell, I also didn’t work out. Does that make sense? *awkward silence* (I don’t mean this as an example of the "you are only a workout away from a good mood" thingy either. Don’t even get me started with that quote. I’ll spare you the rant.)
That bring us to today. Today, I gave a chance to the Blogilates’ 1000 Workout. I kept meaning to try it back when it was first posted, but then I completely forgot about until Cassey mentioned it on Saturday. Most people do this workout as a time challenge. Um, even though I timed it (as I always do), I wanted to add weights into it. So, of course, I knew from the get-go I wasn’t going to complete it in 20-minutes. I added some variations for some moves (squats, crunches, bridge pulses, lunges and tricep dips) in order to keep it fun and/or target different areas of the muscle. For the Mountain Climbers and High Knees: right leg + left leg = 1 rep. I held my 10-lbs dumbbells on my shoulders for the squats and side lunges, and to my sides for the walking lunges. I used a mini stool to do the tricep dips. Overall it took me around 35 minutes to complete. Hardest parts to complete? 100 Half-Cobra Push Ups, Lunges and Tricep Dips (especially after the previous 100 Half-Cobra Push Ups).
After that, I did 3 sets of an upper body circuit with dumbbells. My arms been missing it! You are left with this awesome tightness in your muscles after a good arm workout, and that alone makes you feel pretty strong! Argh! (OK. I’ll stop now.) I used the “giant set” format (you can read all about it HERE, but you can use whatever format you like) because I feel like I waste less time resting. The idea is to complete the reps for each of the 6 moves, back-to-back, with little-to-no rest in between. I rested for 120 seconds before I tackled the next giant set. During those 120 seconds, I danced around a little to the beat of my workout playlist, just so I didn’t feel like I was taking the rest too much to heart. (I’m weird.) I used 10-lbs dumbbells for all the moves, except for the alternating arm raises (8-lbs dumbbells) and the cross-bench pullover (15-lbs of free weight). Oh, and of course, I used my Stability Ball as my bench.
I did the newest Blogilates’ Challenge video at the end: a one song ab challenge, performing an ab move for the duration of an entire song. The move of choice was this combination of a Double Leg Lift, a Pilates Rollover, and wide Double Leg Circles. It felt awesome all over my core and legs, so make sure to give it a try. I finished with 5-min of Jump Rope and stretching.
I took it easier today, given that I went really hard yesterday and I’m feeling the aftermath on my entire core. Back included. My obliques got the worse of it, though. Weighted side bends rule.
10 Walkout Push Ups
10 Prisoner Squats
10 Click-your-Heels Jumping Squats
20 Shoulder Taps
There isn’t much to break down, really. I did the Pick-Me-Up workout as a little warm-up because I was craving for that “Dogging Cobra” back stretch at the beginning of the video. This routine had tons of push ups, a bit of lower body and ab work (which I totally felt). It covered all the basics to be considered a total body workout.
I finished with the “Beach Body Crank” from Oxygen Magazine. Well, I used the moves from the circuit, but I altered the reps. I went for 10 reps of each move and 4 rounds of the entire circuit. It took me about 14 minutes to complete and got my heart up for a little cardio burst at the end. The heat index was around 92 degrees today. Summer will fry us all. That is all.
10 Push Press
10 Back Curl Lunge
10 Preacher Curl
10 Weighted Split Squat Jumps
10 Broad Jump Burpees
WH/Oxygen Mag: Back Circuit (4 rounds)
Women’s Health Mag: Standing Abs Circuit (4 rounds)
10/10 Side Bends
10/10 Standing Core Stabilization
10/10 Bow Extension
10/10 Reverse Dumbbell Chop
ZWOW #14: I used my 8-lbs dumbbells because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to handle 50 reps (total) of Preacher Curls with my 10-lbs ones. It didn’t matter, though. By the end of this thing, I felt like I should have gone with the 5’s. Talk about exertion! I’m not enjoying these workout induced "I feel like I want to puke" feelings. Weather doesn’t help either. Our heat index was around 94 degrees today. I can’t imagine what working out is going to feel like in the dead of summer. Anyway, I pushed through, with lots of hydration and mandatory breaks in between (my heart was beating as fast as it could) and completed the 5 rounds in 29:07 minutes. Horrible time. Zuzana’s time was 18:22 minutes. I was humbly aiming for 25 minutes or less and, as you see, failed miserably (and not even gracefully). My ass was kicked. Those were 20 (*grumbles* 30 for me *grumbles*) well-spent workout minutes.
After a much needed cool down, I did two additional circuits: one targeting the back, and the other targeting the abs. Yes, you noticed? Working opposing muscle groups. Yes, indeed.
Back Circuit Equipment
Stability Ball (moves can be done in the floor if preferred)
8-lbs dumbbells (for the Bent-over Rows to Reverse Fly)
Resistance Band (for the Lat Pulldowns)
Standing Abs Circuit Equipment
10-lbs dumbbells (for the Side Bends and Standing Core Stabilization)
8-lbs dumbbell (for the Bow Extension and Reverse Dumbbell Chop)
For the Side Bends, I held 20-lbs per side, the two 10-lbs dumbbells held together. For the Standing Core Stabilization, I just held one 10-lbs dumbbell, fully extending my arms away from my chest as I did the rotations. For the Bow Extensions and Reverse Dumbbell Chops, I held one 8-lbs dumbbell.
Both circuits kept my heart rate up, not to the disturbing levels of the ZWOW, but still going! For one, the back is one of the largest muscles in your body and, for two, those standing abs moves have certain cardio element to them. So I felt pretty dead by the end of this routine. Thanks, Zuzana and humidity!
Nothing spells success like the comfortable soreness I’m feeling all over my hamstrings butt and calves. Nothing too bad, just enough. Perfect motivation for today’s scheduled upper body routine.
ZWOW #2 (3 rounds)
10 Twisted Push Ups
20 Low Burpee Hops
25 Competition Sit Ups
OXYGEN Mag: Upper Body Giant Set (3 rounds)
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press
Two-arm Bent Over Dumbbell Row
Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press
Alternating Dumbbell Curls
Two-arm Lying Tricep Extension
POP Pilates: Corset Workout (~8 min)
POP Pilates: You Got Abs! Flat Abs Workout (~7 min)
My previous ZWOW #2 time was 19:09 and I managed to beat that today by 50 seconds! I completed the 3 rounds in 18:19, using 10-lbs dumbbells for the Manmakers and
miraculously doing all Push Ups on my toes. Minus the leg lift. I’m still no where near Zuzana’s time (14:43), but I rather take a bit longer and push myself to finish the Push Ups on my toes. Those always slow me down a bit. Very happy with my time, though.
Last week I was looking for upper body routines and came across an OXYGEN Mag article on “giant sets”. You can read all about the concept of “giant sets” on the link to the workout but, in general:
Giant sets take [supersets and trisets] to the next level, grouping four or more exercises back-to-back with no rest in between, creating a heart-pumping, fat-burning workout that is short on time but big on results. (Source)
I’m not the biggest fan of working out in “sets”, so this seem like a perfect approach for me to work my upper body. I took their suggested routine (available in the article with a workout chart!) and gave it a try.
I used my 10-lbs dumbbells for the flat bench press, bent over row and seated overhead press, and my 8-lbs dumbbells for the alternating curls and lying seated extensions. (Note: Pick a weight that’s challenging. Your last rep, whether it’s 8 or 12, should take you close to 100% effort.) I use the stability ball as my bench. I went through the routine 3 times, taking the suggested 2-min break in between them. It took me around 20 minutes to complete 3 rounds of the giant set, rest between rounds included.
I finished with some POP Pilates to work my core (and my arms as a bonus!) a little bit, and then some stretching. Another great workout day! It feels good.
All I’m gonna say is: MY LEGS ARE SHAKY and MY QUADS ARE BURNING. And I lied. That’s not all I’m gonna say.
ZWOW #10 (10-min AMRAP, then 4 rounds)
100 High Knees Jump Rope Skips
20 Reptile Burpees
20 Kettlebell Jumps
OXYGEN Magazine: Yoga Booty (3 sets)
Flowing Warrior 1
Downward Dog Leg Lift
Flowing Warrior 3
One Legged Bridge Pulse
20 Wide Leg Squats
20-sec hold of Warrior 2/Triangle Pose (right leg)
20 Wide Leg Squats
20-sec hold of Warrior 2/Triangle Pose (left leg)
POP Pilates: Inner Thigh Insanity (~12 min)
POP Pilates: Amazing Upper Back & Leg Stretches (~11 min)
ZWOW #10 is truly an amazing short workout in AMRAP format (you try to do as many rounds as possible within 10 minutes). This one will get your heart rate up from the very second you start jumping rope. If you don’t have a jumping rope, you can do 100 High Knees in place. Jumping rope is the most basic move of the drill. (And you guys know how much I love it!) The other two are very explosive, high intensity moves that will surely kick your booty: Burpees (with a Spiderman oblique crunch) and Kettlebell Jumps (sort of a Kettlebell (I used my 10-lb KB) Deadlift + Squat Jump combo). Those ten minutes are gonna feel like forever!
Zuzana did 2 1/2 rounds in 10 minutes. My goal was to get as close to that as I could, and I end up doing 9 more burpees than her! Huzzah! I did the last Burpee after the 10-min buzzer, meaning I did 2 2/3 rounds in 10-minutes. I kept the timer and myself going in order to do 4 full rounds. I completed those 4 full rounds in 16:52 seconds.
And I could have easily stopped there and felt like I got in an incredible workout. I was possessed enough to continue, but not possessed enough to do POP Pilates: Food Baby HIIT, as I had scheduled. Ha. No chance. Not now. Not today. Scratch that.
I went with a Yoga-inspired butt workout by OXYGEN Magazine instead. I did three sets of that, doing the max number of reps recommended per exercise move. Um, it was good. Helped me settled down my heart rate from the ZWOW, but still kept me sweating a little bit. Favorite move of the routine: Downward Dog Leg Lift. I first learned this move on Sarah Fit's Yoga for Abs and Buns and have love it since. Toughest move of the routine: Flowing Warrior 3. I felt it in my calves even. It challenged my balance, core and leg strength. By the time I got to the third set, my shaky legs didn’t make it any easier.
For Mike Chang’s Apple Bottom Bikini Workout, I held my 10-lbs KB for the Wide Leg Squats. I completed the 6 rounds in 17:02 minutes, and I truly meant to finish there. The squats got my heart rate back up, while the yoga poses further worked my leg and provided a bit of muscle stretching. 6 rounds is an intense number, and it burned like hell to get through them. SOMEHOW I ended up adding POP Pilates’ Inner Thigh Insanity afterwards. Which was indeed insane because my legs could barely handle it. I guess I needed a bit of Cassey in my life today. I couldn’t back away. There is no sculpting like POP Pilates sculpting!
I still question whether I should have done that Yoga Booty routine after the ZWOW… I mean, it was good, but it took too long to do the 3 sets and the burn factor wasn’t equitable to the amount of time it took. I’m not a fan of working out in sets in general, unless it’s weight training. I feel like I should have done a couple of POP Pilates videos instead and then end with Mike’s routine. Oh well. Next time. A little bit of extra sculpting never harmed anyone.