Pilates Inspiration

I’ve always liked the idea of Pilates, but was so terribly inflexible that I struggled during the classes, and I certainly can’t make myself watch a DVD.  Not that inspirational.  However, I’ve found that doing a few routines with difficult moves (like the one I show below) isn’t too bad, and brings a great challenge.  I’ve also been told by my physical therapists –  many times – that Pilates would be good for me.

Alrighty, then.

Drawing from POPilates (the blog is here), I’ll be doing one of her ab-Pilates routines.  Cassey makes wonderful printouts of all her workouts; check her out! [click picture for higher resolution]

I’ll also be doing my slightly longer elliptical routine since one of my favorite shows is on tonight (much love for USA’s White Collar).  I like to hold a moderate pace during the show bits, and up the speed and intensity during the commercials.  Frequently, I’ll also hop off during a commercial in the middle and have a good stretch – 60 minutes on one machine is a long time!

  • Do you have a favorite Pilates routine or website?

Superwoman

Superset style workout today!  Let’s be real, we all know we’re super anyhow, so we’re just amping it up.

Supersetting means that you do both exercises in each set once through without stopping, rest, then repeat.  When you’ve done each set two or three times (gauge how you feel, and if you think you can do the move with correct posture), move to the next set. [post-workout update: I did three times through each]

Strength

Set 1:

  • 30sec Power side-to-side jumps (squat low, power-up and jump to the side, squat again, repeat)
  • 10 Tricep dips

Set 2:

  • 30sec Mountain Climbers (keep your butt down, as in plank position)
  • 10 One-legged deadlifts with dumbbell

Set 3:

  • 30sec Plank
  • 10 leg-drops (hold your abs tight, don’t let your back come up off the floor)

Cardio

Tabata Style with long cool-down, ~20 minutes.  I do elliptical.

3 minute warm-up (assuming you’ve done the strength portion first)
4 minute Tabata Intervals (equals 8 intervals, total)
– 15 second sprint, 15 second moderate
8 minute moderate work (rate of perceived exertion ~5-6)
5 minute cool-down

I’m setting to work off my delicious Mexican lunch.  If you order right, Mexican can be really filling and healthy!  My personal favorite: steak fajitas.  Skip the tortillas, load up on the guacemole, lettuce and fajitas, and dig in.

They’re also insanely easy to make at home.

Happy Monday!

Deciding to get more serious…

I’ve decided to get a bit more serious about posting workouts on this blog, since it helps me stay motivated and focused!  Strong women!

I’m a big fan of “sprint” workouts.  I don’t like chronic cardio, even though I do engage in it sometimes (see my previous post about cardio during my favorite TV shows).  I always find that I feel more accomplished after sprint or interval cardio.

Likewise with weight stuff.  I’ve been getting a bit complicated in the past, throwing in 10-12 exercises per strength training day, and it mostly just confuses me.  I’m deciding to stick to no more than 5 strength-oriented moves per day, and really bust those out.

So, without further ado, introduction of the “daily workout” portion of this blog.  Yeehaw, let’s go!

Body-fat today: 25.9%
Notes to self: one hip surgery and falling off the wagon… but chin up!

Strength
4 repetitions of:
10x Step-Ups (onto box or bench, with weights in hands)
10x Kettlebell or DB swing
10x Bodyweight Squat (butt vertical to knees)

Cardio
Tabata-style Intervals
Machine: elliptical
5 minute warm-up
4 minutes of work:
      – 15 second, all-out sprint, on incline/level that challenges me
      – 15 second, complete rest, lower level and just keep legs moving
5 minute cool-down

Work to be done.

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Reunion & Weekly Workouts!

Hey all!

My Italian-side’s family reunion was today, so (as is wholly expected), I was welcomed to a feast of Italian delicacies.  What a spread.

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I actually ate pretty intuitively – a few too many nibbles of cookie at the end – and kept my pasta intake reasonable.  Pasta tends to upset my stomach, so I filled up on meats instead.  Yum! 

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Dancing was involved.

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As was much family-bonding.

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I also just finished watching the premiere of BBC America’s Copper.  Seriously good.  I love Irish accents (who doesn’t?!) and the lead man is brilliant: handsome, great actor, and not previously famous!  Love up-and-coming stars.  Definitely a show to keep up with.  Hate the Sundays at 10pm show time, but there’s a fair amount of nudity/violence, so I guess I understand it.

It’s Sunday, so we all know what that means!  Weekly Workouts and goals!

Goals of this week:

  • Eat when hungry.
  • Focus on eating healthy as a way of life, not just as a means to an end
  • Don’t overwork my hip muscles/tendons

Workouts:

  • Monday: long and steady elliptical (at least 40 minutes), plus focus on core work and hip rehab.
  • Tuesday: hard elliptical intervals [hoping that my hips will be back up-and-running] for 25 minutes, then focus on hamstrings, glutes and some quad work.
  • Wednesday: steady elliptical (30 minutes), plus focus on biceps, shoulders, lats and triceps
  • Thursday: hard elliptical intervals [again, bearing in mind limitations] for 25 minutes, then focus on core work and hip rehab.
  • Friday: long and steady elliptical (at least 40 minutes), with overall body workout focus.  The longest day in the gym.

Any of these days could be converted into a rest day and the schedule shifted, especially considering the irregular pattern of injury that my hips have been showing lately.  Ah well; must be flexible.

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30-Day Trials

First off: apologies for probably only one post a day for now, as my computer completely died last night and I’m forced to reformat. Whomp.

Secondly, I just got my 30-day trial for a gym nearby my house!  For someone who travels a lot and is rarely in one place for more than 30-days, these things are a blessing.  It’s $9 for a 30-day trial at this little gym, which is an awesome deal.  It’s a 24-hour spot, and while I don’t usually gym at odd hours, at least it’s open all of the time!  The only downside is that, for group fitness class lovers like me, they don’t provide that sort of service.  It’s pretty much a “do your own thing” kind of gym.  For 30-days, I can deal.

An update from the running yesterday: my TFL and hip tendons are certainly tight, but not painfully so.  Check.  My quads are also really sore from the sprinting portions.  Double check.  I made sure to slather some bengay (like icy hot) on my upper legs before I went to sleep last night as a preventative measure, and popped an Aleve, so I think that helped with the recovery.  Nice job, legs!  Keep it up!

Here’s the ab plan for when I gym-it-up with my 30-day trial later today:

Single-leg plank flex and extend; up to 20 reps each side with good form

Turkish get-up plank: hold final position for up to 10 seconds. Repeat 10 times with good form.

Modified push-up. Do up to 20 with good form.

Ball ab crunch. I do 50 slow crunches.

Leg drop. Keep back pressed to ground and drop legs as far as you can. When bringing back to 90 degrees, add small reverse crunch. Do 10.

I like to do this whole sequence twice; three times if my body is feeling up to it.

I think I’ll do a moderate elliptical session too to loosen up these legs!

Happy exercising – TGIF!

Run!

I haven’t been able to run without pain for close to four years.

Tonight, on my 40-minute walk, I decided I felt up for the challenge.  I did intervals of walking and running (with a sprint thrown in here or there.. I’m telling you, it was crazy) between telephone poles and mailboxes!  Quite entertaining.

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I live in country-ville, so you can see how nice and flat my roads are, and how pleasant of a distance the poles are apart!

Convenient.

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Jet says hello, too.

Before my run, I met a friend for Starbucks and a movie (The Campaign).  What an obscene movie – very funny, and playing up the American stereotypes like no other.  Can’t wait to watch it with some British friends in England.

At Starbucks, I had one of their new Refreshers (berry hibiscus), which I’m totally obsessed with.  Delicious.

I had a nutella and ice cream binge earlier today (no, really; it was bad), so I’m still recovering and getting my head back in the game.  I wasn’t hungry at all, even after my run, but ate a hard-boiled egg for protein.

The goal tomorrow is to focus on getting more veg and protein in!  I have a tendency to carb-load, so I definitely want to make sure that protein and veggies are the main staples of at least two of my meals, if not all!

Power to the veg and fruit!  Night folks!

Home at last!

Sorry for no post yesterday – I was en route from DC back to my home in Ohio!  Now that my 10-week internship is done, I have roughly 5 weeks to get my things in order to MOVE TO ENGLAND.

So excited.

Anyhow, let’s rewind!  Friday was the closing ceremony for our internship, meaning great food and great people all in the same place!

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The buffet was incredible.

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I filled my plate with veggies first (huge tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots), then went for the meat (salmon, chicken, flank steak), followed by a small scoop or orzo pasta salad, a strawberry and grapes.

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I did indeed have seconds, which consisted of more tomatoes, cucumbers, chicken and the black beans that marinated the chicken.  Delicious.

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Can’t believe it’s over so soon!  As I was leaving, I snapped one final picture of my home for the last 10-weeks…

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And how beautiful it is.  You can see words inscribed on the ground (which are the seven ‘parts’ of our mission) – a very beautiful lobby.

After having my flight delayed for two hours in Reagan Airport, and having had a long conversation with one of the top ranking officials in Global Development from the White House, I made it home to Ohio!  It was my parents’ 40th anniversary yesterday, so of course we headed to our favorite place: Joe’s Crab Shack!

I apologize for the picture quality – my camera was buried in my luggage, but I couldn’t miss this moment!  I had snow crab, scallops and mussels in white wine.  Holy cow was it delicious.

So, now that I’m home, I have a huge to-do list, which includes exercising, getting back to my “comfortable” coxswain weight, figuring out the small annoying details of moving internationally for an unknown period of time… and seeing/loving friends and family!

Please enjoy the small workout I did this morning to kick start my day:

Jumping Jacks

60 reps

Raised push-ups

15 reps

Wall-sit

45 seconds

Step-back lunges

10 reps each leg

Butt-kicks

50 reps

Plank

60 seconds

Leg drop w/ reverse crunch

2 x 10 reps

Didn’t have me breathing too hard, but I needed something to kick-start my day before my gym membership gets up-and-running for the month I’m home!

Happy Sunday!