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Body Weight & Plyometrics Circuit

I’m a big fan of all the activity taking place in August so far. I’ve uncharacteristically avoided the gym in favor of outdoor exercise each morning and evening. After work, I take a walk/run around the neighborhoods and enjoy all the sunshine I can. My mom has joined me a couple times and it’s a welcome dose of nature after sitting in an office for 9 hours. Lemon water for days….

Body Weight and Plyometric Circuit workout! Blog Post --> Stronglikemycoffee.com

This morning I blasted out a “Body Weight & Plyometric Circuit” that I’ll share with you! It took 35 minutes in the backyard, all done before the sun woke up :)

Plyometrics are exercises that incorporate jumping and explosive movement, using intensity and power for a short duration. The shock landing forces muscle contractions and aids in strengthening ankle, knee and hip joints (not recommended for people prone to joint pain/injury.) It’s in-between a strength workout and a HIIT workout.

 Body Weight & Plyometrics Circuit: 4 Rounds of 8 exercises

I set a HIIT timer (using the “Seconds” app) to complete 35 seconds of each exercise followed by 25 seconds rest.

*You will need a jumprope and mat. You can also add light weights for the lunges and squat jumps*

Body Weight & Plyometrics Circuit Blog Post from Stronglikemycoffee.com

Lately, I prefer to incorporate body weight exercise over weight lifting. At this stage of the game, I am concerned with being toned, not “making gains.” I want to use the muscles I have without building any more if that makes sense.

After 32 minutes of the circuit, my mom and I walked a cooldown lap around the neighborhood as the sun just started to light things up. We both agreed that we LOVE being outside at dawn and at dusk. Something about the glowy lighting. Sunrise runs are UNBEATABLE, nevermind the 4:30 wake up call. I will miss my sunrise runs with my high school teammate and good friend Matt. We’ve been doing summer cross country training together for six years now!

August Workouts and Summer Reads blog post on --> Stronglikemycoffee.com

Sweaty selfie!

 Summer Reads:

Another August trend I’ve been loving is trading an evening epidsode of House Hunter’s for some new novels I just bought. A friend at work suggested some titles including Beautiful Disaster and I already can’t wait to read it’s sequel, Walking Disaster.

Summer Reads on the blog --> Stronglikemycoffee.com

And the rest of August won’t be slowing down. Time for this morning’s balanced breakfast: oats with flaxseed, blueberries, and half a banana. You already know the coffee’s been loooong gone. ;)

Favorite summer workout and/or summer read…GO!

Backyard HIIT Workout

Yesterday morning, my backyard was transformed into an outdoor gym with 6 HIIT stations. We had country music, coffee and water bottles…all before 5am!

After discontinuing the LiveFit Trainer and re-committing to daily running, I set up a workout schedule for the first week of summer vacation that looked like this:

Monday: Cardio Carnival (35 min. run; 15 min. bike; 30 min. walk with incline)

Tuesday: Morning run on treadmill (5 miles); Evening run on treadmill (5 miles)

Wednesday: Morning at-home HIIT workout; Evening jog around park (5 miles)

Thursday: Morning run with Matt (5.5 miles); Evening run on treadmill (5 miles)

Friday: Morning run on treadmill (5 miles); Evening run around the park (5 miles)

Saturday: Strength workout at the gym followed by 7 mile run outside

Sunday: Long Run (8 miles)

Notice a lot of “Run” in that schedule? That’s because running is my FAVORITE activity. I don’t look at it as pure exercise or a chore. My mom said my enjoyment and enthusiasm for going to the gym and working out is “disturbing.” ;)

Yes there is a whole lot of cardio on that workout schedule, but I have tried a strength-dominant routine. It’s not for me. This is how I like it :)

So on to the HIIT sesh!

***HIIT is widely popular right now as many health and fitness enthusiasts have recognized interval training as one of the most effective cardio strategies. If you are unfamiliar, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It incorporates short intervals/fast and intense exercises followed by a short rest period, repeated for a pre-determined duration.****

At 4:55am, my parents and I headed into the backyard with some country music and coffee. I wrote out six exercises. Downloaded a HIIT Timer app. Set it to beep after 35-second intervals and 25-second rest periods. We did a light 5 minute warm up jogging across the yard and jump roping.

Circuit –> Move from one exercise to the next. Complete 5 total rounds of each. (30 minutes total)

Backyard HIIT Circuit (stronglikemycoffee.com)

My favorite station was jumprope and least favorite was mountain climbers. My mom and I modified the “push-ups with a clap” on our knees. We’ll repeat this circuit every Wednesday for 4 weeks before mixing it up.

We were way sweaty by then end. Even in the cool morning air, our shirts were soaked with SUCCESS ;)

This workout is easy to fit in at home or in your backyard. Should take 30 minutes & all you need is a jumprope! (Bonus if you get to watch the sunrise.)

Are you pumped yet? GO HIIT IT!

Week #2: Sugar Withdrawals, Coordinating Post-its, and Healthy Hair.

A little hodgepodge update on my Week #2 of Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Program! I have to say the hardest part is the clean-eating meal plan. The workouts are the fun part…I LOVE my afternoons in the gym.

But this girl has a sweet tooth. As per the clean-eating dietary guidelines, the only sugar my body consumes is from fruits and vegetables. I’ve been processed-food free for 11 days (do I get a pin or something?) and I can attest to the fact that my body is going through (refined) sugar withdrawals.

Last night I craved chocolate SO BADLY that I tried to concoct my own “clean” mug cake…..it turned out very poorly. :(

***My saving grace has been Quest Bars! They are primarily whey protein isolate, nuts, cocoa, stevia, and pre-biotic fiber.

Clean eating...My food is prettier than your food. (stronglikemycoffee.com)

Because we are the generation of convenience, our bodies have been nourished with processed and chemicalized foods for most of our lives. GMOs, preservatives, additives, refined sugars, corn syrups and the infamous red dye #3 have invaded our once-nutritious food products. Clean eating eliminates unnatural products from our diet, which rules out about 80% of the products in today’s grocery store (I made that percentage up but I’m assuming it’s pretty close…).

Our bodies are now hardwired to crave quick carbs (sugar), particularly when we are bored, tired, or stressed. It takes 21 days to make and break a habit….I’m over half way there. No cheating now!! I’m banking on the fact that in 10 more days my body won’t crave chocolate anymore. Wishful thinking, right? ;)

Let’s talk about workouts.

Workout Post its (stronglikemycoffee.com)

This was too cute not to get a picture of. Kerri and I both write down our strength exercises on post-its that are conveniently stuck to our water bottles. When we hit the gym together the other morning, we noticed that my blue water bottle/pink post-it combo perfectly complimented her pink bottle/blue note. Almost like we planned it right?

Today was only my second time venturing into the leg machines in my campus gym because I tend to avoid the weight room during crowded times. **My leg workouts usually consist of squats, lunges, running, stairs and arc trainer sessions.** Day 11 of the LiveFit program had the leg press, leg curl, leg extension, and calf machines on the menu. After 3 sets on the leg press, I decided to test myself for a set at my max weight. I did 12 reps of 190 pounds. Next week 200! These quads are on fire ;)

Oh I decided to make my hair healthier too! I chopped off a good 6 inches for a new fresh start. I haven’t had any recent picture opportunities so I settled for a selfie. I’m sorry.

Short Hair Don't Care (stronglikemycoffee.com) Lastly I wanted to mention my kickboxing class because it’s been another source of inspiration for my healthy lifestyle. Kerri and I signed up for the kickboxing PE class so that we would have a guaranteed workout together a couple times a week. Jimmy the istructor is pretty cool but this week we have substitutes. Today, a woman who has been a fitness instructor for 33 years and owns her own fitness studio took over. She was so HAPPY and always smiling at herself in the mirror while she taught. I couldn’t help but smile too! Who knows, maybe that will be me in thirty years :)

And as a firm believer that music is my single most powerful source of workout motivation, I will leave you with the latest and greatest on my iPod:

Love the line “take the curve, you may be stronger than you know.” Told myself that on the Leg Press machine today. Ha!

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