Tag Archives: circuit workout

Kettle & Pedal

29 Jan

Two weeks ago, I tried spinning for the first time.

The setup was totally awesome – all of the bikes were in a dark room, with colored lights on the walls.  It was like spinning in a nightclub (seriously).  The instructor had a bumpin’ playlist, and there was a huge flatscreen TV that was playing music videos.

tumblr_md9ph47DHt1qej93ko1_250Watching Beyonce will make anyone work out a little harder.  My spinning got ten times faster when I saw her on that screen.

About 35 minutes of the class consisted of spinning.  The instructor led us through a series of hills and jumps at various resistance levels.  She was awesome – I love a motivating instructor who isn’t too in your face.

After the spinning portion of the class was complete, we went into another room to complete a group circuit workout.  There were four stations, so we split up with about 3-4 people to a station.  The instructor changed the exercises each time we went through the circuit (burpees, pushup variations, frog jumps, weighted exercises, plyo lunges, the list goes on…), but one exercise stayed the same:

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ROWING.  The dude above makes this look super sweet and effortless.  I worked muscles I didn’t even know I had and my heart was pounding out of my chest by the end.  The circuit did not advance until all of the rowers completed 200m (i.e. those doing burpees did as many as they could until the rowers were done, then advanced to the next exercise).  The class ended with Kettlebell arm exercises back on the bike (bicep curls, triceps extensions, front shoulder raises, etc.).

bodycraft-kettlebell-10lb-yellowIt. was. awesome.

At first, however, I wasn’t sure if I liked the class that much.  During the spinning portion, my legs tired out very quickly and my butt was uncomfortable on the seat.  When she explained the circuit to us, I was initially intimidated.

But once I let all of that go – I was hooked!  It was such a fun class, and I had forgotten how awesome and motivating it is to work out in a group.  I hadn’t taken a fitness class in a looong time, so this was a great way to switch it up.  I’ve taken two classes since and I’m already signed up to go again tomorrow.

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  • What was the last new fitness class you tried?
  • How do you overcome discomfort or intimidation in new situations?
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Volunteering & Resistance Bands

3 Aug

Is anyone else in shock that it’s already the beginning of August!?

This week was my last week volunteering at the senior home I have been at all summer.  It was a wonderful experience and I’m glad that I could use some of my free time to help others.  My work mostly concentrated in their marketing/PR department, so I assisted with various computer tasks, took photos of residents and improved the organization’s Facebook page.

I know it can be hard to find the time to volunteer as most of us are busy with work, family and other commitments.  It can also be a challenge to devote time to something that won’t result in a paycheck.

What I’ve learned over the past few months is that any amount of volunteering makes a difference.  I volunteered 12 hours a week, but I met some people who gave just one hour a week.  It all adds up.

Find something that inspires you.  Evaluate your schedule and consider whether volunteering is something you could do.  You might meet great people along the way, make someone’s life a little easier or find a new passion within you that you didn’t know existed.

In other news, I have discovered a love for a new-to-me fitness toy…

Resistance bands!

My boyfriend Dan bought resistance bands in the beginning of the summer to do P90X.  I had never used resistance bands until this week when we did a work out together.  We did a circuit that looked like this:

  • Biceps
  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • 30 sec. plank

For each set we did as many reps as possible.  We did this circuit a total of five times through, mixing up the exercises each time to target the muscles differently.  It was an effective workout that went by quickly and it was all done right in his living room.

After loving this workout, I knew resistance bands needed to be purchased to come to school with me.  I got the ones pictured above at Target for $19.99.

The set came with three bands – light, medium and heavy.  They all attach to the same handles for minimal equipment and an easy way to vary the resistance.  I’m really excited to use these for at-home strength training and for quick workouts while I’m at school.

Questions for the Afternoon:

  • Have you ever volunteered before?  If not, where would you like to volunteer?
  • Do you ever use resistance bands for strength training?

Back into it & Jump Rope Circuit Workout

31 Jul

Good afternoon!

How has your day been so far?  Mine has been productive and it feels great to be back in the swing of things.  After sleeping 10 (!) hours last night, I made myself breakfast and then got to work on my backed up to do list.  I sent a bunch of emails, ordered my books for law school (eek) and got myself organized for these last few weeks of summer.  I cannot believe how fast the time has gone!

Next, I had a long overdue sweat session planned at the gym.  After over a week of not working out, I was really excited to get back into it.

I started my workout with 20 minutes on the treadmill.  I ran two miles in around 18 minutes, then walked the rest of the time.  After that, I moved into the studio room at the gym for a circuit workout!  I knew I wanted a heart pounding cardio sesh after so many days off, and I wanted a mix that would keep me interested and target a little bit of everything.  I alternated various exercises with 30 seconds of jumping rope:

The circuit took me around 20 minutes to complete and I was a sweaty mess by the end.  You could also do it another time through for a 40 minute workout.  Enjoy!

Happy Things

21 Jul

Good morning!

Today is the day I go to London!  When I planned this trip in February it felt so far away, and now I can’t believe that it’s already here!

My flight isn’t until later this evening, so I’m glad to have time to get some normal food in me and get a workout in.  Aside from my family and friends, the thing I miss most when I’m away is my normal routine and my own food.  Is that weird?  I love trying new meals but even when I was in Italy (!) I was so ready for my own food when I got home (living more than a few days without peanut butter is just too hard).

This gem is going right in my carry on bag.

Recent happy things:

New work out swag!  Kohl’s had a great sale this week and I took full advantage.  Fila might be one of my new favorite fitness brands.

A trip to the zoo with some residents at the senior home where I volunteer.

This face.

Good eats:

Veggie burger with sautéed zucchini, scrambled eggs with turkey, broccoli and spinach, and fruit salad.

Another kickball win!  Still undefeated!

Old photo – me and my friend Julia after ANOTHER successful win!

(source)

A killer workout courtesy of The Fitnessista:

What happy things have happened to you lately?

I’m off – definitely need to get a run in before the traveling begins.  I’m glad I’ll have my FitBit to help me track my steps, but sitting on a plane for so many hours always makes me feel restless and gross.

Question for the Morning:

  • What are your tips for staying active while traveling?

For me, I try to walk around the airport as much as I can instead of sitting at the gate while waiting to board.  On this trip, I’m not sure I’ll get many “formal” workouts in, but I do expect we will be walking a lot.

The World of Gym Goers

12 Jul

So, you’re headed to the gym.  If you’re one to plan (like myself), you know exactly what kind of workout you’re about to do.  Maybe you have a new playlist on your iPhone.  You’re ready to get after it.

For the next hour or so you will not only get your fitness on, but you will experience the circus that is the gym.  As a regular gym goer, you start to see a wide variety of “types” of people who work out.

Okay, I don’t go to the gym to judge people.  BUT, I think we can all admit that we’ve seen the following characters at the gym:

1.  The Grunter

That guy who is lifting heavy weights and wants everyone in the gym to know it.  You’re strong, bro.  We get it.

2. The Smelly One

That guy who apparently doesn’t own deodorant.  Or soap.  (Remember our encounters with this, Olivia?).

3. The Bro Pack

Groups of men who travel around the gym in packs of 4 or more.  They socialize while doing a rep here or there and they make sure everyone notices it (see #1).

4. The Cardio Queen

That girl who has been on the treadmill or elliptical for more than an hour and a half.  You aren’t sure if you should congratulate her or have paramedics standing by for her collapse.

5. The Lingerer

That person who uses a weight machine and then sits there for ten minutes.  Are you going to do more?  Or are you just keeping the seat warm for me?

6. The Old Guy with Tight Gym Shorts

You’re impressed with his fitness level and you hope you can do the same when you’re that age.  You just hope you remember to wear more conservative gym clothing.

The variety at the gym always keeps me entertained.  Good people watching makes your workout go by so much faster!

This afternoon’s workout was Julie’s Burnin’ Legs & Abs Circuit  followed 15 minutes of incline walking.  My legs were jello by the end.  I encountered a Bro Pack and Cardio Queen but it was otherwise uneventful 😉
Question for the Evening:
  • What “types” of people do you find most entertaining at the gym?

It’s already Sunday?

9 Jul

Did this weekend (and entire week) fly by for anyone else?  With the holiday on Wednesday, it felt like we got two weekends this week.  I’ll take that!

Apparently, I’m not great at this whole blogging thing yet as it has been several days since my first ever post.  Let’s do a quick recap:

The 4th of July was spent hiking with my boyfriend Dan in Stonybrook State Park.

The gorge path in the park was really crowded.  Everyone wanted to be in the water on such a hot day!  When we ventured into the wooded trails though, there was almost no one around.  It was nice and quiet and we got in a great 5 mile hike.

On Thursday, I went golfing for the first time in almost a decade.  As a birthday gift to my grandpa, I promised him 9 holes of golf this summer followed by a lunch date.  Surprisingly, I wasn’t nearly as terrible as I expected and was able to shoot a 53!  Not the next Tiger Woods, but it could have been way worse.

Obligatory golf outfit mirror shot.

Later that day, this happened:

Oatmeal peanut butter cookie baking success!  I used Julie’s recipe and the cookies came out amazing.

***

On Fridays I usually don’t have much of a schedule.  With nothing to rush out the door for, I figured it would be a perfect opportunity to make pancakes.  I usually revert to an easy, microwaved oatmeal beast or some scrambled eggs for breakfast, but I’ve been wanting to try out the protein pancakes I’ve seen floating around the blog world.  I used the Fitnessista’s perfect protein pancake recipe.

They were SO good.  Usually pancakes leave me feeling guilty and still hungry, but these were awesome.  So easy to make, great nutrition stats, and tasted delicious.  Make them ASAP!

Friday afternoon consisted of a gym sesh and my first attempt at baking bread.  My mom helped me (she’s unbelievable in the kitchen), so I don’t have an exact recipe, but it was a cinnamon walnut whole wheat dream.

While the bread baked, I headed to the gym and did Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up Week 4 Workout followed by 15 minutes of treadmill HIIT.  A minute of burpees followed by the walking plank, push up, plank jack combo is no joke.  It was definitely a circuit that challenged me.  I was so sore the next day!

So true. Hate ’em.

This weekend was very relaxing and had the perfect combination of doing a lot of fun things AND doing a whole lot of nothing. The highlight of the weekend was trying a Belgium beer bar called “Victoire.”  It’s only been open for two weeks and I highly recommend it if you are in the Rochester area this summer!

Okay, time to wrap this up.  Lesson learned not to let five days pass before the next blog post!

Hope you had a great weekend!

-Annie