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!

Friday Night Lights

I’ve been out of high school for quite a long time, but my dad still announces the football games… and so I decided to pay a visit to my old stomping grounds!

Before I headed off, I was pretty hungry and didn’t want to stoop to eating concession-food.  Yuck.  I made a power-packed salad that I literally couldn’t finish.

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In the mix:  hummus (best dressing ever), baby carrots, green olives, slivered almonds, chunked chicken breast, hard-boiled egg, mixed leaf lettuce, dill pickle and a dash of sweet peas!

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I also drink the equivalent of four of those water bottles a day.  I take it with me everywhere.

Right, moving on to the football!

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Hey, Dad!

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Trying our best to be really, really excited… (I think it’s working)

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Work it out!

My legs are a bit stiff from yesterday’s workout (which had me a sweaty, sweaty mess).  I ended up doing 10/8/8/8lbs for the step-ups, 15/20/20/20lbs for the swings and bodyweight for the squats.  On the elliptical, I was at level 7 for sprints, and 4 for moderate.

Today’s looks like…

Strength/Cardio
Intermixed!
1 minute, each exercise:

  • Starjumps
  • Kettlebell/DB Swings
  • Skaters
  • Squat with medicine ball
  • Plank jacks
  • Bicep curls
  • Back lunge with kick
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Knee-ups (30sec each side)

If you have any questions about the form of each one, let me know!  I felt like combining my strength and cardio today, so here’s to interval training!

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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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!