2 favorite weight circuits

Lately I’ve been loving myself some free-weight circuits.  Now that my knees are finally feeling better (clearly they are glad I didn’t run Hood to Coast even though I was not) I’ve been doing some sort of circuit at least two times a week…on a non pilates reformer day.  I have yet to do a circuit and then pilates back-to-back so we’ll see how sore I am.  Tomorrow will be the big test.

On circuit days I usually go straight to the weights area and grab a bench.  Typically these take me about a half an hour and then I follow-up with 30 minutes of cardio.  Last week I did 30 minutes of cardio intervals where today I just did 15 minutes on the rowing machine followed by a leisurely 15 minute bike-ride while reading a magazine.

Side note – my fave lady Jillian used to say you could never read a magazine while on a cardio machine at the gym but in the newest issue of Shape (or Self…) she changed her tune.  She said now that she’s a mom, she’s had to become all about multi-tasking and can often be found returning emails while getting her cardio in.  And while we’re on the topic of Jillian.  How excited are you that she’s coming back to the Biggest Loser?  I seriously can’t wait.

Ok and now onto the circuits.  Both get your legs where the 1st one focuses a little more on back and biceps where the 2nd focused a little more on chest.  When using the Bosu, I stood and did my push-ups with the dome-side down.  These are also great at-home workouts even if you don’t have a bosu or bench :)

Any questions?  Thoughts on these?  Do you guys like doing circuits with free-weights?  I could spend hours in the gym doing them.  I am a gym dork.

From pin to plate + killer legs

Pinterest has seriously become my go-to place for recipes and I pinned this one on there what feels like months ago (if you don’t know about Pinterest then I’m pretty sure you’re living under a rock. Go there now and thank me later).  In fact it may have been one of my 1st pins.  There have been many weeks that it goes on our menu but for one reason or another we never get around to making it.  But not this week.  Today I made the BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad that has been staring me in the face every time I log on to one of the most amazing websites ever.

And it was good.

BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad 
Original recipe belongs to Gaby at What’s Gaby Cooking.  My version of the recipe below.
Serves 4

2 boneless organic chicken breasts – marinated in BBQ sauce overnight and grilled on the BBQ (this is separate because you need to at least marinate it ahead of time)

  • 1 can corn – rinsed and drained
  • 1 can black beans – rinsed and drained
  • 1 jalapeno – washed and chopped (including the membrane and seeds)
  • 1 avocado – chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro – chopped
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa (3/4 cup dry)
  • Shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • Light sour cream

Directions:
Mix corn, beans, jalapeno, quinoa, avocado, BBQ sauce and chicken together.  Add cheese and cilantro.  Top your bowl with sour cream if desired.

So easy and so good.  We’ll have leftovers for tomorrow and I can’t wait.

If you want to see more of my Pinterest finds, head on over there and follow me.

And because today has been all about things I found on the internet…I was so inspired by Young Married Chic’s awesome legs that I decided to add a little weight training to my usual cardio day.

My workout:
60 minutes on the elliptical.  30 of those minutes were dedicated to steady-state cardio of a level 8 resistance at incline level 1.  The next 30 minutes were spent interval-ing it up:

  • Min 30-40: 30 sec speed/1:30 recover
  • Min 40-50: 30 sec speed/1:00 recover
  • Min 50-60: 30 sec speed/30 sec recover

And after that I worked out my legs.  I did this circuit 3 times through with a 30 lb barbell and no rest.  Just plain old wham bam thank you mam.

  • Deadlifts to upright row x 10
  • Deadlifts x 10
  • Squats x 10
  • Side squats x 10 (per leg)
  • Calf raises x 20

After that, I headed into the stretching room and did this 4 times through:

  • Roman twists with a 6 lb medicine ball x 50
  • Fire hydrant leg lifts x 10

And I ended the whole workout with a 60 sec wall sit followed by a 60 sec plank.

Phew.  I’m exhausted just writing it out.  I’m off to watch some TV with Chris and enjoy some popcorn.  But I shall leave you with an adorable picture of Chance during our walk today. And a question:

If you could have any celebrity’s legs, whose would you pick?  I’d go with Carrie Underwood.  Hands down.

Pilates Jumpboards + Easy Dijon Chicken

Today was jumpboard day in pilates. While I love jumpboard day my legs think it’s pure torture.  I love doing pilates on the reformer and I give it 100% credit for my arms and abs.  I could never lift another weight or do a sit-up for the rest of my life and as long as I went to a reformer class 3 days a week I think I’d be in amazing shape (too bad I don’t always get to class 3 times a week). If I did jumpboards 3 days a week I could probably be a swimsuit model???  Eh, maybe if I never ate candy.

For me, pilates is one of the best ways to lean out and tone my muscles and even though I’ve been doing it for 3 years I still don’t really know the proper term for everything.  I’m working on getting you a guest post from a pilates instructor who can explain everything to you but in the meantime, here’s a short video sort of showing what my workout looked liked.  We didn’t use the ball like she does but I did all of those leg moves plus more. Including my new fave where you were laying on your side and jumping with one leg.  Booty burning.

After that I did 30 minutes of steady-state cardio on the elliptical…incline 1 at a resistance level 10.  And I got sweaty. But I loved it.

Food today was more or less routine…Blueberry smoothie for breakfast.  PB & J for lunch.  Greek yogurt with berries after the gym followed up by an apple and hard-boiled egg as a hold-me-over-till-dinner snack.  But I did try this:

I grabbed a coffee before a meeting around 10:30 (it was a 2 hour meeting.  I needed the caffeine) and not necessarily because I was hungry but more because it looked delicious, I tried the Kind bar.  It was so good, perfect coconut flavor without being too overpowering but I need to be careful not to get into a habit of buying these.  Not only will I be spending unneccessary money but it was 200 calories to consume when I wasn’t even hungry.  I’ll save my extra calories for chips thank you very much.

Am I just totally behind in this Kind bar thing?  The coffee cart lady told me the above was her favorite flavor.  Are there other bars that you guys love?  I’ve also recently tried Skout but I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about the Cliff Mojo’s and the Larabars.

And apparently since today was all about delicious new things…the new to me recipe I tried for dinner was a hit!  The Fitnessista posted a couple of recipes to go along with her summer shape up and this one sounded pretty good.  Plus, some of the ingredients are household staples.  No matter what, we always have these things in our pantry:

Which came in handy as I made this:

Dijon Chicken with sun-dried tomatoes (recipe belongs to the Fitnessista)

Chop up two organic chicken breasts.  Brown with olive oil, granulated garlic and Italian seasoning (she uses the real spices FYI). Add in 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, 1/2 T Dijon mustard and a little honey and lemon juice.

While the chicken is cooking, make the quinoa – 1/2 cup dry quinoa rinsed and added to 1 cup water.  Bring to boil.  Turn to low.  Cover.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until all the water is gone. And while all of that going on grill some asparagus on the grill by spraying with a little olive oil and sprinkling on red pepper flakes.

Add your chicken mix to your quinoa and serve with asparagus.  Delish.  Even got two thumbs up from Chris.  Winner.  Winner.

And I’m out.  Off to watch more Grimm because that’s what we do here.

Hope you all have had good weeks.  Can you believe it’s Thursday tomorrow?

Strawberry oatmeal + little black dress prep

Tonight is the wedding of two very awesome people and I can’t wait to celebrate. It also concludes what we’ve been referring to as the “wedding gauntlet” (3 weddings in 3 weekends) and I’m going to be really happy when they’re all over.  I’ve absolutely loved celebrating the biggest moment in my friend’s lives but it will also be really nice to get back into a normal routine again.

Speaking of routines, on days where I’ll be wearing a dress I always try to work out the part of my body that’s getting featured.  Typically I wear strap-less dresses to special events.  My upper body and arms are my favorite part of me and I enjoy showing them off.  But today, I’m going a little crazy and my little black dress will be showing off my legs.  I’m actually pretty nervous about my outfit but Chris (and my mom who helped me pick out the dress) gave me approvals.  I think in general I’m just really self-conscious about my legs.  I’m knock-kneed which is annoying plus no matter how hard I try I have never been able to get those awesome quad and hamstring defining lines.  Life problems I tell ya…hahah. To help me feel a little better about them, I’m going to do levels 1 & 2 of Jillian Michael’s Killer Buns & Thighs and then 20 min of intervals on the spin bike.  I have no clue if it makes a difference or not but I feel like working out a specific body part the day you have to show them off makes them look better.  We shall see…

And because I know I’ve got a long wine/beer/champagne drinking night ahead of me, I’m making sure to fill up on healthy, hearty foods.  For breakfast I had a blueberry smoothie (in the car while we dropped one of the bridesmaids off downtown to get her hair done) and some strawberry oatmeal once we got back home.  And then for lunch I’ll be having some black bean, sweet potato and quoinoa salad.

Strawberry oatmeal

  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 6-8 chopped strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

Bring water to boil, add oats and turn to low.  Simmer for approx 10-15 minutes.  Add strawberries and simmer for 5-10 more minutes.  The longer you simmer the oats the softer they’ll be.  Mix in honey and coconut oil. Enjoy.

And that, my friends, is all I have for you today.  What fun and exciting things do you have going on?  Does anyone else out there have tips/tricks  or a special routine they follow before a special event?

Snack Attack

Can we just talk for a minute about this amazing snack I had yesterday?  I mean, like seriously the best thing ever.  Are you ready?  Have I built up enough suspense?  Are you totally dying to hear what I’m going to say?  How about an iphone edited Instagram photo instead? (side note – I’m obsessed with Instagram.  You have to get it.  You can also follow me @whitlikesfit, but be careful.  You might find yourself turning all your iphone pics into fancy vintage shots).

What is that you ask?  I’ll tell you…

Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt

All you need is 1 non-fat plain greek yogurt cup, a bunch of cinnamon and an organic apple.

I considered chopping up the apple into the yogurt but I was a little lazy so I just stirred the cinnamon into the yogurt, chopped up the apple (yes, I store a sharp knife in my desk) and then dipped the apple slices into the yogurt.  I wish I could share taste with you through the internet but because I can’t, you need to trust me when I say that what I tell you here is the truth :)  You need to try this.  I will admit this was an amazing apple.  Super sweet.  It wasn’t a pink lady but something similar and I’m sure that helped with the sweetness so if things are still a little sour for you then add a tiny bit of honey.  It’s kind of like a creamy apple pie.  Yum. I will be having it again this afternoon.

To be honest, the above snack was the most exciting thing that’s happened to me in the past 24 hours hahah.  Dinner was leftover BBQ chicken pizza and a strawberry salad. My workout yesterday was a pilates reformer class, 30 minutes on the elliptical (varying between levels 7 and 15!) and then I did a 5 minute wall-sit!  I didn’t mean to sit that long but Boyfriend by Justin Bieber came on and embarrassingly enough rocking out to that song (in my head, my body was pretty static) helped carry me through.

This morning we got up and hit the gym before work.  I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill (my knees hate me by the way), 25 minutes on the elliptical doing 1 minute intervals between levels 7 and 12, 15 minutes on the rowing machine and this 3 times through with very little rest between (wearing a short dress to the wedding this Saturday and need to get my legs in shape):

  • 20 squats (20lb)
  • 20 deadlifts (20lb)
  • 20 step-ups (each leg)

And then I brought bags of ice back to my desk and held them on my knees while simultaneously holding the phone with my other hand and talking on a conference call.  Multitasking at it’s finest.

Do you guys ever do wall-sits?  My family is crazy and we would have wall-sit competitions to see who could do it the longest.  Try it and see how long you can hold it for.  Here’s info on how to do a proper one. Key things to remember – knees over toes with a 90 degree bend in the leg.  This video says you can put your hands on the wall or your thighs but I always keep my hands out in front of me or clasped.  For an extra challenge hold a medicine ball in front of you or over your head :)

Working out on vacation

I think I seriously have summer on the brain.  “Summer” in the Pacific Northwest really doesn’t start until the 4th of July and the calendar says it doesn’t start until June 21st, but my brain will always associate it with June 1.  June = Summer.  And with summer, comes vacations.  And with vacations come less working out.  It’s not always intentional.  Anytime I’ve ever gone on vacation I pack workout clothes and I tell myself that I will be doing something active every day…that I’ll run or hit the hotel gym or something.  But no matter what, even with my best intentions, there are days on my vacations where the only thing active I do is walking from my hotel room to the beach.  Eh, what can you do right? But I thought it wouldn’t hurt to be a little pro-active and throw out a couple of easy vacation-friendly workout ideas.  No gym required.

Hiking
On every vacation Chris and I have taken, we’ve hiked or walked somewhere.  He is huge into exploring.  To see how the locals experience whatever place we happen to be.  Sometimes this drives me nuts because all I want to do is lay down on a beach towel with a book. But I admit, I’m always glad we check things out.  Plus, you get a great workout.   Make sure to pack a good pair of sneakers because even if it’s just walking to the store to grab some snacks, your feet will like them better than flip flops.

Hiking – Maui 2012

Swimming
I love to swim.  My grandma lived on lakes my whole life so I grew up in the water but somehow I’ve never managed to figure out how to swim the freestyle.  I think it’s the hand-eye-breathing coordination that does me in… But I can swim a mean breaststroke (as long as no one expects me to put my head in the water).  Did you know swimming for an hour burns about 600 calories?  And it’s a total body workout – every muscle is firing to keep you moving.  I’ve also found that swimming doesn’t feel like a workout to me.  It’s just having fun in the water.  We’ve swam in oceans, rivers, lakes and pools.  Even if we’re just somewhere with a small hotel pool I’ll crank out some laps to get some cardio in.

Swimming – Bora Bora 2010

Paddle Boarding
If you’ve never paddle boarded, you must!  It’s so fun.  And a much harder workout than I initially anticipated.  You really have to have strong core muscles to keep yourself up on that board and you can burn around 300 calories in an hour (more if you’re battling serious currents).  Here’s a little background if you’re not sure what it is. We wanted to go when we were in Maui but the surf was too rough from storms so I’m hoping to try it next time we’re in Mexico or even Bend this summer.

Paddle Boarding – Sayulita 2011

Hotel room workouts
I’ve been doing a lot of these types of workouts lately.  No gym or equipment needed interval circuits that get your heart racing and tone your muscles.  A couple recent examples include my 200 push-ups and rainy day workouts.  Really, you just need to mix in short cardio intervals – think 30 sec to a minute with some toning exercise (squats, push-ups etc).  Pick about 5 that you like and do them 5 times through.  Here are a few options to pick from:

Cardio bursts:

  • Jumping jacks
  • High knees
  • Jump rope
  • Double jump rope
  • Butt kicks
  • Skaters
  • Moguls
  • Single leg hops
  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Plank jacks

Toning:

  • Sit-ups
  • Crunches
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Planks
  • Leg lifts

So there you go.  A couple of ideas to help you keep moving on your next vacation.  Make sure you pack some sneakers, a pair of shorts and a sports bra (for the ladies).  Don’t get me wrong, vacations are meant to be a time to relax and you can certainly find me with my nose in a book but I do try to do something active every day.  Even if it is just walking down to grab a coffee at the local cafe.

What about you guys?  Do you have any sneaky travel workout ideas for me?

 

 

What to do with a BOSU Ball

Are you excited that it’s Friday?  Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?  We’re staining the deck today, and tomorrow we’re going wine tasting with the in-laws.  I can’t wait!  Plus it’s still sunny here which has to be some sort of record especially because the sun is supposed to stick around at least through the weekend before it starts raining again (which is fine with me because we leave for Mexico in a couple of days).

Speaking of sunshine, Chris has been taking advantage of it and sanding our deck every night this week after work and I wasn’t able to get to the gym yesterday because he wanted to go straight home to take advantage of every last ray.  Which meant I worked myself out with equipment I had at home. I rode the spin bike for 20 minutes at an easy pace and then spent the last 10 minutes doing intervals – 1 min with the highest resistance I could handle, going as fast I as could, followed by 30 sec of rest (turning the resistance way down).  After that, I made up this little circuit and did it 5 times:

I ended everything with 1 minute front and side planks also on the BOSU.

And after all of that, I looked like this.  Yikes.

Not pretty

And as I was sweating through this workout I realized that not everyone may be as buddy-buddy with the BOSU as I am.  See, I’ve amassed quite the collection of at-home fitness gear over the years – fitness ball, medicine ball, yoga mat, free weights, resistance bands, kettlebells, foam roller…but my 1st piece of equipment (and arguably the most versatile) was my BOSU.

BOSU Ball

Besides awkwardly looking like a part of the female anatomy it is one of the most amazing pieces of gym equipment you will ever use.  This little half dome can work out every part of your body!  If you head over to the official BOSU website you’ll learn that BOSU was originally an acronym for “both sides up” meaning that the ball can be used with the dome up or dome down (you learn something new everyday).  You can also read about the science behind the ball, and that BOSU training really is for everyone. It’s quite possibly the most effective route to improving core stabilization and neutral spinal posture, both of which are the building blocks for moving better in athletics and in life.

Stabilization.  That’s the key word. Every move you do on that ball requires you to stabilize your muscles and balance your body.  Whether you’re standing on it for squats or holding it upside down for push-ups, you loose your solid ground and have to work harder to complete your set.  Imagine standing on level ground doing some bicep curls.  Easy, yes?  Now imagine you’re standing on a water-bed trying to do them…much harder right?  That’s kind of how I describe the BOSU.  It’s an unstable surface and it makes your muscles work harder.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use the BOSU but the possibilities are endless.

Upper body

Image source

  • Push-ups
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep extensions
  • Front raises
  • Shoulder press
  • Chest Press
  • Chest fly

Lower body

Image Source

  • Squats
  • Single leg squats
  • Bridge
  • Side leg lift
  • Runners toe touch
  • Lunges
  • Donkey kicks
  • Fire hydrants
  • Side leg series

Core

Image source

  • V-ups
  • Roman Twists
  • Sit-ups
  • Planks
  • Superman
  • Swimming

Cardio:

  • Burpees
  • Side hops

Really, you can do just about any exercise on the BOSU.  Just place the dome-side down and stand on the platform to challenge your core.  If you’re really feeling crazy, stand on the dome to challenge your stability even more.

Do you guys BOSU?  Do you have any favorite BOSU moves? Are there exercises I missed?

 

I have jello legs

My inner thighs are killing me.  Is that even appropriate to say out loud?  I mean like I’m hobbling down the hall.  Awkward.

Why you ask?

Well, on Monday I went to a pilates reformer class and only one other person showed up so it was basically like having a private lesson.  We flew through things and ended with side splits.  Here’s an example if you’re not familiar.  We did the 1st series you see but not the saw.  We also did a series where you “pick the flowers” meaning you bend down and circle your arms around as you come back up.  Followed by “skaters” and some plie squats…all of these still on the reformer.  If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, let me know.  I have a friend who knows way more about pilates than me and would be a great person to guest post on here.  Mandee…hint hint :)

I was a little sore when I woke up on Tuesday but it was so beautiful out (in the 80’s) that I decided to give it a shot and run anyway and somehow I managed to go 3.6 miles at an 8:30 pace!  I never run that fast, I’m always closer to 9’s.  I seriously couldn’t believe it especially because I felt like I was dragging during my run.  I don’t know if it was the heat or sore legs from pilates but I’m convinced that anyone driving by me must have gotten a good laugh.  It could not have been pretty.  In fact, I’m sure I looked like the bottom girl.

Image source

And because I apparently like torture I decided to do a quick weight circuit after I finished my run.

Leg press: 90 lbs.  3 sets of 12
3 sets of this:

3 sets of this on a weight bench

  • 25 V-ins
  • 50 roman twists
  • 20 step-ups each leg

Followed by some solid foam rolling.

No joke, when I got into the locker room to shower my legs were so shaky I could barely walk.  They’ll get like that during a workout but usually by the time I’ve stretched and cooled down they’ve stopped.  I’ll admit though, that I loved it.  I love the feeling of pushing my body hard and really working up a sweat.  By the way, my entire workout (run + weights) yesterday took me just under 60 minutes.  I dare you to try and beat it :)

Question for you – what’s your favorite legs workout?  The one you can always count on to make your legs shake like jello?

 

Thank you Jillian

So Tuesday night I did Jillian Michaels’ killer buns and thighs.  I’ve done that DVD a couple of times, usually level 1 so I switched it up and tried level 2.  It was definitely harder – hello 1 legged squats! and then there were a couple lunge combos I couldn’t do because of my knees so I did some squat leg lifts instead.  I finished the DVD, went about my business and thought I would be ok.  And I was until halfway through the day yesterday when I got up from my desk and could barely walk.  My buns were on fire!  It was like all the sudden that entire workout hit me.  I hobbled to the gym and struggled doing any sort of leg workout because mine were so tight.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love it when I feel sore after a workout, I just didn’t expect to be that sore after that DVD.  I was pretty jazzed. I love a good leg workout so I’m going to add that DVD to my regular mix and make sure I do at least level 2, maybe 3 if I’m feeling crazy.  If you haven’t done any of Jillian’s workout DVDs I highly recommend them.  I honestly think that if I didn’t have access to a gym I could do a couple of her DVDs a day and be in the same or better shape then I am now.  Plus they’re only around $10 a pop which is always nice.

Because my legs were on fire, yesterday’s workout was a little random.  I warmed up with 15 min on the rowing machine and then worked my way through some machines.  I was planning on doing chest/triceps but I was having so much fun on the machines that I ended up doing an overall upper body workout.

3 sets of 12 reps at a challenging weight

  • Bench Press
  • Incline bench press
  • Seated chest fly
  • Lateral raise
  • Tricep pull down
  • Lat pull down

And then I headed into the small studio to attempt some jump roping.  After what felt like a million years looking at all the ropes to try to figure out which one would work for me, I took one jump and realized the ceiling was too low  – Doh!  So that didn’t work.  The other studio has a higher ceiling so maybe one day I’ll head over there.

Instead, I jumped rope without a rope.  I alternated about a minute of “jump roping” with a minute of abs.  I ran though of couple of my favorites from here.  I did that whole thing about 5 times.  I ended with some planks and stretching and called it a day.

In the eats department, my breakfast yesterday was a smoothie with spinach from our yard.  It was the standard PB/blueberry recipe (1 cup blueberries, 2 cups spinach, 2 cups milk, 1/4 cup peanut flour, 1 cup greek yogurt) but I felt like it just tasted better because the veggies were grown by me.

My pre-workout snack was cold coconut oatmeal minus the honey.  The other day I’d made oatmeal with the intention of warming it up later but didn’t have time and just ate it cold.  Turns out I love it!  Who knew?  I want to play around with the recipe and try adding in some protein powder or something to see if I can bulk it up a little bit better.  I’m excited about the prospect of this though.  I really haven’t been able to get into the whole “overnight oats” craze but apparently I’m all over cooked oatmeal cold.

Lunch was another protein smoothie…I didn’t take a picture or write down the recipe.  Sorry.  And dinner was leftover pizza and a salad.  So freaking good.

I went to the gym this morning and seriously kicked my butt.  It was by far my best workout of the week and if I thought my buns were sore before, I can only imagine the pain I’ll be in tomorrow. But alas work calls so you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the recap :)

Question for today – Is anyone else out there a fan of Jillian Michaels’ DVDs?  Are there any other great at home work-outs I should be trying?

Have a great Thursday.  You only have one more day until Friday.

1st night bike of the season

To satisfy the patio Gods…we have all night HH tonight at the J.
All Drafts $3.50 (Wit and Cider are super low for you Keg Killers).
All Wines $1 off per glass ($1.50 off for club)…I have Rose!
All Cheese Bites are $5
Don’t forget – we now open at 4pm!!
The Adirondacks are out along with smiling, happy people.

Come on by and if it cools off enough…we’ll have a campfire too.
Cheers & raise a toast to the patio Gods!

That is the email I got yesterday from Journeys.  While sitting at my desk looking out at the sunshine streaming in through windows.  See somehow it was in the 80’s in PDX.  In April.  Which NEVER happens.  And so while we had plans to hang at home and dine al fresco we could not pass up such incredible weather or such an inviting email from our favorite neighborhood bar.

We hurried home from work, walked Chance, ate a quick dinner (leftover carne asada and stir fry) and pulled out the bikes. I mean, if we were going to go have some drinks, we at least had to get exercise out of the deal, right?  I swear it felt uphill all the way into the village and my legs were screaming with every peddle push.  I had already run 3 miles at lunch and my poor quads thought I was killing them or something.  Add in the heat and I was dying.  Chris however, hauled some serious you know what and made it to Journey’s in 12 minutes which had to have been a record.  He’s been killing it on the spin bike lately and it was super obvious that all that training translated into much faster actual biking time.  Looks like I need to turn that resistance knob up a little higher next time.

Pre-Journey's walk

When we finally got there the patio was packed!  I don’t think I’d ever seen it that full.  Apparently everyone was also coming out to take advantage of our unusual weather.  But luckily we scored some adirondacks and were able to enjoy a couple of hours of evening spring sunshine.

It was dark out when we headed home and surprisingly, I love night-time bike rides (except for one part through the park which kind of creeps me out so Chris makes sure to wait for me and ride through it together).  While it feels like uphill the whole way into the village, it definitely feels like downhill all the way back and something about soaring down a hill at night, with a warm breeze blowing past your shoulders while hearing frogs croak around you is awesome.  Such a great way to end our summer sneak-peek.    PS it took us 10 min to get home.  New. Record.

After all of yesterday’s exercise my legs were sore this morning but I still crawled out of bed at 5:15 and biked it out for 50 minutes.  I’ll admit it wasn’t the hardest cardio of my life but it was still cardio.  Later today I’m heading to the gym for some weights. Still trying to figure out what muscle part I’ll be working on… I’d like to do legs but not sure if they’ll be up for that :)  And then for dinner we’re doing homemade pizza.  My favorite!  Can’t wait.

And speaking of workouts, I wanted to pass along this post from Young Married Chic.  It’s all about jumping rope.  Apparently she was chatting with an instructor at her gym and he said that he tells anyone wanting to lose weight to incorporate 10 min of jumping rope into their daily routine.  My friend Steph at Tall Adventures has also jumped (punny!) on the jump rope bandwagon.  Sounds like something I need to get on.
Here’s a good circuit to get you started:

Sweaty Jump Chic Workout (Courtesy Young Married Chic)

  • 1:00 of jumping rope, both feet off of the floor
  • 50 jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • 1:00 of jumping rope, alternating feet (like skipping in place)
  • 1:00 of high knees
  • 1:00 plank on the floor
  • 30 seconds rest
  • 1:00 jumping rope
  • 15 push ups
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • 1:00 jumping rope
  • 10 burpees
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • 1:00 jumping rope
  • 30 seconds of rest
  • 20 bicycle crunches
  • 20 regular crunches
  • 1:00 plank on the floor
  • Stretch!

Let me know if you try out the circuit and/or your thoughts on jump-roping in general or any recommendations on brands/kinds of rope.  I’ve done fake jump-roping before where I jump and twirl my hands but haven’t actually used a rope in who knows how long.

Finally, in other news, I got my rings back yesterday and I was chatting with the jeweler (we’re talking nice, custom designs shop… not a random mall jewelry chain) and he said definitely do not wear your rings at the gym.  He recommended getting a ring box and leaving your rings at home when you head for a sweat session or if you can’t do that, to get a chain and wear them around your neck while you’re working out.  This seems weird to me and actually makes me more nervous about breaking the chain or something but I guess if the chain was sturdy enough it would work.  He also recommends taking your rings off every night.  He said “when you take off your face, take off your rings,” and then when you put your face back on in the morning to put them back on.  Basically because you never know if you do any weird things during your sleep (slamming your hand against a headboard etc).  I slept without them last night and it felt a little weird but I’m going to take his advice and see if I can keep them looking nice and shiny for longer than a day :)

So there you go.  Bike rides, jump ropes, rings…you get it all here my friends :)  Happy Tuesday.  3 more sleeps until we head to the beach for my birthday weekend and I couldn’t be more excited.