Category Archives: Workout

TJ’s Hummus & Ab Circuit

Are you a hummus lover?

trader joes cilantro and jalapeno hummus

If so, you must try this stuff!  Creamy Cilantro and Jalapeno Hummus – I bought it at Trader Joe’s the other day and just opened it up yesterday morning to add to my scrambled eggs.

BFAST22I sauteed up some pre-roasted asparagus, zucchini, summer squash and red onion first before scrambling in a couple eggs.  Once the eggs were cooked through, I stirred in a few spoonfuls of jalapeno cilantro hummus and topped with melty Parmesan cheese.  WOW!

(The only thing I forgot was my beloved avocado. But there will definitely be a next time!)

cilantro jalapeno hummus and flackers

It has just a slight spicy flavor so if you can’t handle a lot of heat, I think you would still enjoy it.  I loved the hummus so much that I immediately dug in as I was preparing dinner.  Half the container gone in one day!

Quick Medicine Ball Ab Circuit

I always like to end a good cardio workout with some core work incorporated into my stretching.  I did the following workout with a medicine ball this week and I was surprisingly sore the next day!  Must’ve done something right. 😉

quick medicine ball ab circuit2

LA Fitness was slacking in the medicine ball department that particular morning and I was left with the choice between either a 9 or 4 lb ball.  I’m glad I chose the heavier of the two because I believe that’s what caused the soreness!  No pain, no gain 😉   My recommendation if you complete this circuit is to pick a challenging weight for yourself since it’s a quick little workout!

I always struggle with remembering the names of these core workouts, so here are some pics I grabbed from the internet for reference.

Russian Twists

russian twist with medicine ball

1 rep counts as touching the left side once and the right side once.

Vertical Sit-Ups with Medicine Ball

vertical sit ups

This is showing the down position.  Raise up into a sit up holding the ball with straight arms while raising it straight up into the air.

Medicine Ball V-Ups

v ups with med ball

This move gets rather difficult, especially if the ball is on the heavier side.  I did a modification by raising one leg at a time instead of both.

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Crossfit Open 13.2

Whewww today’s workout was TOUGH.

Although I’m not competing in the Crossfit Games this year, I still attended Crossfit this morning and joined everyone in the 13.2 WOD (Workout of the Day).  The Crossfit Games are very new to me but basically it is a competition among Crossfitters nationwide.  It has three stages, beginning with the Crossfit Open which is 5 weeks long, 1 workout per week and anybody can compete.  Today was the second workout called 13.2 and it. was. killer.

13.2

For women, the prescribed 13.2 open workout consists of:

  • 5 Shoulder-to-Overheads (push press, overhead press, push jerk, etc.) 75 lbs
  • 10 Deadlifts 75 lbs
  • 15 Box Jumps (or step-ups) on a 20 inch box

Each person completes as many rounds as the can of these 3 exercises in the alotted 10 minutes.

wod

I loved the motivation written on the board!  Your mind definitely plays tricks on you with many of these workouts and often times you begin thinking you can’t get through the whole thing, but in the very end if you keep pushing and you give it your best, you end with a very rewarding feeling!

I accomplished a total of 7 rounds, plus 15 reps into the 8th round.  Five rounds were at the prescribed weight and then I had to drop down from 75 lbs to 55 for my last 2 and a half rounds.  This is actually much better than I anticipated so I’m very proud of myself!

Breakfast

bfast 2

Immediately following the 13.2 WOD, I was craving a big bowl of eggs so I had to pop in the grocery store on my way home to grab some since we were all out.  Dave and I have both been on a major egg kick recently and we’re going through them like crazy!

bfast 1

Scrambled eggs with sauteed green onions, red bell pepper, and mushroom, plus avocado stirred in at the end.  Perfect fuel to get the day going!

Now, Mac Daddy and I are off to the dog park to burn off his puppy energy so I can get some serious studying in today without distractions. 😉

Hope everyone has a great Saturday and if you’re celebrating St. Patty’s Day today/tonight, be safe!

Pain in the Neck & 30 Minute Interval Treadmill Workout

So the strangest thing happened to me this morning.

I woke up just like any other Saturday morning and headed to the gym.  Most of my half-marathon training has been steady runs at one constant pace to work up my mileage and endurance.  However, this morning I felt like switching things up a bit so I threw in a few intervals to keep boredom at bay.

spring into action treadmill workout

You can probably see I had a little fun with PicMonkey graphics this morning! 😉

As my treadmill workout was nearing an end, I started feeling a bit dizzy so I slowed my pace from a run to a walk to gain my composure.  My vision gradually blurred and ‘stars’ appeared in my peripheral view.

I instantly panicked and came to a stop.  I walked over to the area where all the mats are and sat down before I hurt myself or fell over.  It was at this point that I felt a slight headache and realized how tight the headband was around my head so I removed it.  I sat there in a daze for a few minutes and slowly came back to reality.

I have no idea what really caused me to get so lightheaded but ever since, I just haven’t been feeling my usual self.  I have a dull headache in the back of my head, as well as a pain in my neck which feels like I slept on it wrong.  My only guess is the combination of my super tight headband and a strain from sleeping in an odd way but man, I hope this goes away!

Breakfast

Speaking of pains in my neck, this little guy has been very needy alllllllll morning.

mac2

I think we’ve set a new record for number of bathroom breaks before noon.  Gotta love him!

mac

In between our numerous walks, I prepared a big bowl of eggs for breakfast.

bfast 030913

Three scrambled eggs with smoked turkey sausage, avocado and salsa.

bfast 2

Totally hit the spot!

Now I’m off to get a few things done (i.e. homework, cleaning, showering) before I head to a wedding this afternoon.  I’m hoping my neck feels better! 😦

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday!

Football Rice Krispies Treats & Strong Core Workout

I first found the idea for these Football Rice Krispies Treats on Pinterest. Of course, they had me at hello ‘peanut butter and chocolate’ so I made them for last year’s Super Bowl. Since they’re so cute and easy, I went ahead and made them again for our Super Bowl party this past weekend.

football rice krispies

I followed the recipe exactly from the Rice Krispies website so I take no credit, but here it is in my own words for quick reference.

football rice krispies treatsFootball Rice Krispies Treats

Ingredients:

3 tbls butter

1 10 oz package of mini marshmallows

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

6 cups of Kellogg’s Cocoa Krispies

White canned decorating icing

Directions:

RK Stepss

1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat.

2. Add marshmallows and continue stirring until completely melted.

3. Turn off heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth.

4. Add Cocoa Krispies and stir until evenly coated with marshmallow mixture.

5. Let cool for just a few minutes so you don’t burn your fingers. Then grab small handfuls and mold into football shapes.

football shapes

*Don’t worry about making them perfect. The laces hide some of the imperfections.

6. Draw laces on one side of each football with white icing.

icing

I must have picked a bad can of icing this year because it was acting up the whole time, sometimes coming out super fast, other times barely crawling out. As a result my laces were all over the place and a little squirrely looking. But I did my best!

Strong Core Workout

I came up with this ab/core workout sometime last week and have done it a few times now. All you need is one dumbbell.

STRONG CORE WORKOUT

Here are some links to explain some of the exercises.

Russian Twist

Slow Crunches – just regular style crunches but hold at the top for a second or two.

Wood Chopper

Standing Oblique Lifts

Plank with Knee Drives

I used a 12 pound dumbbell and the entire workout took less than 10 minutes for 2 rounds. I finished up feeling nice and strong!

-Lauren

40 Minute Treadmill Walking Intervals

Welp I have to say, I’ve had better mornings.

I mean, I was hoping it would take me nearly 2 hours to get to work…

snowflakeCartoon

…when there was only 1 inch of snow accumulation.

Obviously, just a little frustrated at the time… but ya gotta remember, things could always be worse, so no biggie.  Plus, on the bright side, it’s Friday!

Extra Precautions

During my first half-marathon training a couple years ago, I had issues with my knee so I vowed to be extra cautious during training this time around.  When I woke up on Monday and my knee was just a tiny bit sore, I decided to skip my next couple runs.  I’m not sure what caused it, whether it was running-related or something else.  Either way, I’m keeping my promise to myself to train the right way.

Although I’ve been pain-free for a few days now (pretty much since Tuesday) and may be too worried about it, I still erred on the side of caution and opted for no running this morning.

Instead, I completed this walking interval workout on the treadmill.

40 Minute Treadmill Walking Intervals

Don’t let the word “walking” fool you, this was still tough!  I was nice and sweaty by the end and ready to take on the day… err, the long drive. 😉

Happy Belated “National Peanut Butter Day”!

Sooo Thursday was “National Peanut Butter Day”!  I’m bummed I didn’t find out until yesterday, otherwise I would’ve planned a good peanut butter recipe since I’m obviously obsessed.  But instead, I had an extra large spoonful in my breakfast this morning to ‘celebrate’.

spoonful of peanut butter

By the way, who makes up some of these silly national holidays anyway?

-Lauren

Odd Gym Quirks

Brrrr!  I mean, c’mon… really??

neg 1 temp

Nothing like a minus 1 degree start to the work week!

Breakfast

If I hadn’t gone to the gym this morning for my Bootcamp class, I would’ve definitely made a nice warm bowl of oatmeal for such a frigid day.

But instead, I prepped ahead a bowl of peaches and cream overnight oats.

peaches and cream overnight oats

Okay, so technically ‘nectarines and cream’ but it just doesn’t have the same ring to it, right? 😉

peaches and cream oo

I followed the basic overnight oats recipe – minus the banana, add vanilla protein powder and sliced nectarine.  Plus, I sprinkled a giant handful of roasted pecans on top on the way to work.  Although it tasted great, I missed my usual scoop of nut butter!

Odd Gym Quirks

The combination of working out at a new gym and running on the treadmill more lately has brought to my attention a few of the quirks I have at the gym.

1.  I am definitely a creature of habit as I tend to:

– Store my stuff in the same locker

– Choose the same treadmill/elliptical/etc.

– Set up equipment in the same place in the studio room when I take group classes.

2.  When using a cardio machine:

– I cover up the time/distance with a towel and then judge how long I’ve been working out based on how many songs I’ve listened to on my iPod.  A song is usually about 3.5 to 4 minutes long so I count the songs as I go along to estimate.

– I love getting an even read-out of time and distance.  For example, I will walk an extra minute or two so the distance rounds out to be 2.10 miles instead of 2.03.

3.  An exercise instructor once motivated the class by saying, “You can do anything for 2 minutes.”  So I often find myself reciting this quote when I’m struggling to finish a particular exercise.

Does anyone else act similarly?  Even if it’s gym/fitness related or not?  I can’t be the only one… at least I hope not!

-Lauren

Tour de Cardio

I may have spoken too soon.  Remember when I declared one of my priorities for choosing a gym was this so-called “machines-to-people ratio”?  And how I prefer a gym where I don’t have to wait for a treadmill?

Well guess what?  Yep, of course no treadmills available this morning.  So I hopped on an elliptical to wait for one to free up but every time someone got off, another member swooped in and took it.  Not quick enough. BUT, on the positive side, it forced a little variety in my life and I ended up with a great workout after all!

I toured the cardio machines, completing 10 minutes each on the elliptical, stationary bike, and stairmaster and then headed downstairs for some weights.

Bodypump CIrcuit Workout

I used the same order of the Bodypump tracks as a guide for which exercises to focus on next.  These circuits took me about 20 minutes but it could easily be doubled for a more intense and longer workout.

Lunch

By the time I got home, I was more than ready for some lunch.

1-19-13 lunch

Bowl of whole wheat pasta with stirfry chicken and veggies.  I knocked off another recipe from the cooking scrapbook and now have plenty of leftovers to get me through the week.  Score!

pasta bowl

The temperature was about 45 degrees this afternoon so I was able to eat outside while Mac ran in circles in the backyard.

Now I’m off to tackle my usual Saturday to-do list like clean the house and run a few errands.  Fun stuff for sure.  I’m looking forward to dinner tonight at a new Mexican place in Geneva that Dave’s parents have been raving about.

Have a great Saturday!

-Lauren