Kettlebell Day: 12/31/12 – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

2013 Here we come!

2013 Here we come!

I can not express how GIDDY I am for 2013.  I am very proud to say that I kicked 2012 in the ass… lost a ton of weight, got healthier and *stronger*, and I am biting at the bit for 2013.  I have all kinds of races that I want to participate in this coming year, and I am excited to see how much stronger and faster I can get before race season starts back up hot and heavy.  Squeal!!! I am so freaking excited! (did I mention that I am excited!?)

If you have some how landed here because you are resolving to get healthier in 2013- CONGRATULATIONS! I am super pumped for you too-really! I have spoken with several friends lately that are setting health, fitness, and weight loss goals for themselves.  And while I hear the “damn… I gotta do *something*” in their voices- I have a big shit-eating grin on my face.  Why? Because, I miss some of the early days of my journey.  The days that I realized that I could do something, lift something, or push myself further than I thought was possible.  I thought I was too old, too much into motherhood and homeschooling our two Little S’s, too weak, too beyond hope to be able to approach life with any athleticism anymore.  What I found is that no- I am not to freaking old, motherhood is no excuse, and in return I watched that scale tumble down hill- and my physique improve in ways I had NEVER seen- even in my “more-athletic-college-days”. Now, however, my improvements more refined, the scale could only move 5-10 more pounds (not that I really care anymore), and I am trying to get *better* at those moves that I thought were impossible a year ago… not just be able to perform them.  I miss those big improvements that occurred in leaps and bounds in the beginning.  So if that is you- let me know! I love seeing others “catch the bug” and get excited about their fitness… it motivates me. And again- CONGRATULATIONS on your own journey- it’s gonna be a hell of a ride, and I am thrilled for you!

ANYWAY… Today’s workout was a kettlebell workout.  Another interval workout (40s work, and 20s rest) repeated for 3 times through the circuit.  My reps are in the brackets below:

  1. 25# KB Deadlift + Burpee {11, 10, 11}
  2. 25# KB Alternating Swings {25, 27, 27}
  3. Dynamic Push-ups (feet together, push-up, jump feet wide, push-up, feet together, on and on) {10, 12, 12}
  4. Skater Hops {35, 30, 33}
  5. 25# KB Alternating Ballistic Rows {34, 30, 32}
  6. 25# KB Single Leg Deadlifts {13, 14, 15}
  7. 25# KB Single Leg Deadlifts {13, 14, 14}

Oh, and I warmed up with a new (to me) Kettlebell move that I would like to get more proficient at and include in my workouts in the future: The Kettlebell Side Press…  I did 5 on each side.

Weightlifting Day: 12/30/12

This guy asked to borrow my warm-up weights...

This guy asked to borrow my warm-up weights…

I have attempted Front Squats quite a few times on my own- and they always seem to elude me, and I switch back over to my trusty back squats.  But I really do want to get these in to my repertoire.  I had Mr. S here with me again today- so I challenged him to help me get these damn things under my belt- correctly. Here’s a great little video on how to do them, and what a few of the common mistakes are. (Disclaimer: I don’t know what is up with the dude doing the intro, but whatevs… the tutorial is good).

Click Here for Front Squat Video.

So, I found out from that video that my wrist and elbow flexibility were the villains in my previous failed attempts.  I will keep working on my flexibility in those areas so that I can perform these bad boys one day with a “finger tip grip”. However, until then- I will work around it with the cross over grip.  The main reason that I wanted to learn these and start performing them regularly is for the ab recruitment that this type of loaded squat requires.  The dude in the video mentions it (“your abs will be sore”), but if you watch the chick- she is *really* straight up and down to keep that weight balanced.  That posture in this squat requires a crazy amount of core strength.  And since I HATE crunches, I am always looking for complex lifts that hammer at my core.  (Yet another reason Kettlebells are freaking fabulous).  So watch that video a few times, let your spotter watch it, discuss where your known weaknesses are so that (s)he can point it out to you.

So today, I obviously spent a good bit of time on the Front Squat.  I kept my “max weight” for the day pretty low and non-challenging so that I could really concentrate on everything from my toes to my neck 🙂  Here’s the entire session:

Warm up: Jump rope for 1 minute

1. Front Squat:

  • 10lbs x 8 reps
  • 30lbs x 10 reps
  • 52lbs x 8 reps
  • 62lbs x 6 reps
  • 62lbs x 6 reps
  • 62lbs x 8 reps

2. Push-ups (goal was to perform 35 total, and I made it!). I took like a 1 minute breather between each set.

  • set of 8
  • set of 10
  • set of 8
  • set of 9

3. Deadlifts (82 lbs for all)

  • set of 12
  • set of 12
  • set of 10
  • set of 10
  • set of 8

Cool: 1 minute of jumping rope.

I had planned on getting some tricep work in- but I just ran out of time.  Ah well….

See you next time,
~J

Quickie Workout: 12/29/12

No time...

No time…

Today is a prime example of where my workout routine would have skittered off the rails if I had let it.  Yesterday was a planned rest-day (whee!), and today should have been a weightlifting day- big and heavy since Mr. S is here to be my squat rack for me 😉  Today was also one of my sproglings birthday- and many festivities were planned for the evening.  One thing after another- and before I knew it- I had *maybe* 10 minutes for any type of a work out before we had to get ready and leave for the evening.  In my previous fitness attempts, I would have figured that 10 minutes wasn’t enough time for anything, and skipped it.  That skip would mean two rest days- and for me, those 2 days can easily become 3, 4, and 5… And then figuring I am a failure and giving up for a long time.  I know that about myself now, and will FIND a way to get some fitness in every day- so that I am not tempted to give up when hit with the unpredictability of LIFE. I have learned so many lessons on my fitness journey this past year (and I do hope to continue learning)… a major one is to be flexible and find alternatives instead of throwing in the proverbial towel.  Whether it’s time, equipment, attitude, PMS… there is always an alternative to that excuse.  It’s not usually easy- but those days are the days that you will look back on and be most proud of.

So, here is where my good friend and secret weapon, Tabata, comes in handy.  I LOVE and HATE Tabata.  I love it for its quickness and efficiency, and I hate it for its ability to level me in 4 minutes.  You read that right- 4 MINUTES! Okay, so what is this Tabata that I speak of? It was developed in Japan- and is essenitally 8 rounds of intervals (20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest). However, the intervals are performed at absolute 100% max output.  Good exercises for a Tabata rounds are sprints, jump rope, KB Swings, burpees, etc.  It looks innocent enough, right? Just 20 seconds of work!? Oh put on your big girl panties and get ready- cuz that 10 second break isn’t even long enough for you to remember what your name is.  Tabata should leave you punch drunk by the end if you are doing it right. It’s a crazy awesome workout when there just isn’t enough time…  Well, Tabata actually proves there is always enough time.  😉  No excuses ladies, NO EXCUSES!!!

He's really saying "GET'ER DONE!!!"

He’s really saying “GET’ER DONE!!!”

So, here is what I did with the precious 10 minutes I had:

Tabata intervals (20seconds work and 10 seconds rest repeated 8 times- working as fast and as hard as possible)
1. 25# Kettlebell swings
2. Jump rope
3. 25# Kettlebell swings
4. Jump rope
5. 25# Kettlebell swings
6. Jump rope
7. 25# Kettlebell swings
8. Jump rope
~Lay down and cry. I kid, but you’ll want to.
For a bridging complex between the two Tabata series, I made this up- and just did it with the weight that was on the bar (read: no time to fool around with the plates).  With 55lbs, I did 5 deadlifts, then cleaned the bar to the rack position and did 5 standing military presses, then lowered it to my back for 10 back squats, back up to 5 military presses, lowered down for 5 deadlifts.  So its all one big movement- never setting the bar down… Deadlift, press, squat, press, deadlift.  I did that complex twice, and then re-set my Gymboss Timer for Tabata again (20s/10s) and repeated the circuit listed above.  I was done in 10 minutes, and in the shower (where I may or may not have cried like a little girl).

I hope ya’ll like it.  It’s one of the few times that I just “winged it” and made up my own thing.

See you next time,
~J

Cardio Day: 12/27/12

It’s too cold for a run today (at least for a very thin skinned red-head)… So I opted for a cardio heavy body weight workout.  There are 9 exercises here, for three rounds- interval style of 40 seconds work and 20 seconds rest.  I rested just long enough between each round to catch my breath- but not completely recover.

1. Jump Rope (high knees)  {120, 112, 126}
2. Prisoner Squats {18, 19, 19}
3. Jump Rope (feet together) {118, 120, 122}
4. High Deficit Reverse Lunge- Right {13, 14, 14}
5. Same on Left {13, 13, 13}
6. Jump Rope (high knees)  {112, 115, 118}
7. Single Leg Hip Thrust- Right {20, 24, 24}
8. Same on Left {20, 22, 22}
9. Jumping lunges + Squat {7, 10, 5}

I didn’t think I could sweat that much when it’s *that* cold in the basement!

See you next time!
~J

Kettlebell Day: 12/26/12

20121226-143414.jpg

Today’s workout should really be called “a little of everything” as it really was a huge variety workout. I really enjoyed it as it was demanding and kept my muscles guessing. It’s another interval workout: 40 seconds working and 20 seconds resting. There were 2 sections- each section repeated twice. Follow this link to get the original workout, and some video of how it looks.
I had to switch a couple if exercises (I swear I will get a bench when I grow up), but I was able to do the step ups on a regular footstool.

First Section:
-40lb Front Squat plus Reverse Lunge (left) {10, 8}
-Same on right {10, 8}
-40lb Barbell Rows {23, 20}
-35lb Push Press on Right {12, 12}
-same on left {10, 12}
-KB Swing {26, 28}

Second Section:
-25# side step ups (right) {16, 17}
-same for left {17, 15}
-Toyotas {35, 27}
-Right Arm KB Swing {23, 25}
-Left Arm KB Swing {24, 25}
-Double Jump Burpees {8, 8}

So, I decided to go through the whole thing straight and repeat all of it, instead of repeating each section twice… Just because I like the variety. It left me spent and sweaty- and was definitely a challenge (hello 35# presses!).

Also I want to mention a great article and video that I saw this morning on dirty swings. It’s great for anyone to check out- so that you can visualize what your swing should look (and feel) like. So head on over to Girls Gone Strong and check it out- its a quick read and very informative.

See you next time!
-J

Kettlebell Day: 12/24/12

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Today had to be an uber quick but effective workout as today was a crazy busy day. So I did a HIIT workout that myomytv.com posted recently when she also found herself cramped for time. It took me 19 minutes total (and felt quicker than that)- I was done before the brownies were!

Here it is:
-25# Goblet Squat
-25# Kettlebell swing
-25# Curtsey Lunge
-Burpee (unless I note otherwise, my burpees are always *with* a push-up at the bottom)
-Toyotas (she calls them dynamic squats)
-25# Kettlebell Swing
-45# standing military press
-Toyotas
(Work 20 seconds, Rest 20 seconds, go for 3 rounds… I rested for 1minute between each round)

I substituted Toyotas for the bench jumps that she did- as I don’t have a bench. Quick, intense, effective… And that’s exactly what I needed today.

Tomorrow I will take the day off to celebrate Christmas with my family…I have so much to be thankful for- especially all of the changes from this time last year to now. See you Wednesday!

Merry Christmas!
~J

Running Day: 12/23/12

20121223-182947.jpg

Good Toes Vs Evil Toes

Today was the annual Christmas Reunion with Mr. S’s family. I look forward to this reunion every year. I am so blessed to have married into such a cool, loving and welcoming family (the fact that they are awesome cooks *may* or *may not* have something to do with my adoration).

The workout was simple- go home and just run. We ended up doing a 5k- in about 34 minutes or so (forgot to stop the timer when we cooled down- so I am not exactly sure on the time).

See you tomorrow for a quick HIIT! 😉
~J