Legs + Glutes Workout

Warm-Up: Treadmill for 10 minutes at 2.5mph/5% incline. Stretch

Barbell Squats: 3×8 (same weight as last week, heavy weight)

Barbell Split Squats: 3×8 (same weight as squats)

Goblet Squats: 3×12 (medium/heavy weight)
*Superset with
Barbell Straight Leg Deadlifts: 3×12 (medium/heavy weight)

Kettlebell Swings: 3×20 (medium weight)
Superset with
Dumbbell Kneeling Squats with One Knee on Round Side of Bosu: 3×15 (medium/light weight)

Seated Calf press: 2×12 (medium/heavy weight)

*Superset: Perform the second exercise immediately after the first without resting in between.

I recommend stretching and foam rolling for 10-15 minutes once finished.

Pin the graphic below for quick reference during workout.

Legs + Glutes Workout - Lower body workout for strong and lean legs.

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Arms + Abs + Cardio

Circuit 1
Bird Dog Crunch: 3×15
Bent Knee Windshield Wipers: 3×10
Burpees: 3×15
Bicycle Crunches: 3×15

Barbell Curls: 3×6 (heavy weight)

Ez Bar Preacher Curls: 3×10 (medium/heavy weight)
*Superset with
Dumbbell Overhead Extension: 3×12 (medium weight)

One Arm High Cable Bicep Curls: 3×10 (medium/heavy weight)

One Arm Tricep Cable Pull Down: 3×15 (light weight)

Tricep Push Down with V-Attachment: 3×12 (medium weight)

One Arm Cable Bicep Curl Facing Away From Stack: 3×10 (medium weight)

HIIT on Stair Climber for 10 minutes: Alternate between level 6 for 1 minute and level 17 for 30 seconds.

*Superset: Perform the second exercise immediately after the first without resting in between.

Pin the graphic below for quick reference during workout.

Arms + Abs + Cardio Workout - Tone and strengthen your arms and abs while improving your cardiovascular system with this challenging upper body workout.

 

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean eating healthy and exercising. It also means having healthy relationships. A healthy relationship with yourself, with your partner, with your friends, and whoever else you surround yourself with.

Super Couples
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to talk about healthy relationships with your partner. Years ago Derek and I took a pre-canon class prior to getting married and one of the speakers discussed her research on what she called “Super Couples” and their secret to a successful marriage. These couples consistently rated their happiness in their marriage at 10 out of 10. From the outside their marriages seemed perfect. Were they perfect? Of course not. They’re just like us.

Their secret, and this really stuck with us, was that they always tried to outdo each other. It was almost as if they were competing to see who could be the more considerate partner. After learning this I noticed that both Derek and I started adopting that trick. I can’t tell you how amazing it was when we stopped keeping track of who did what and instead did things to help each other, doing things out of genuine love and caring because it felt good to help each other . We are partners after all, in this journey of life together (I’m dying over how corny that sounds).

One More Tip
This “secret” goes along with something Derek and I have always done in our 11 year relationship that’s a relationship strengthener. Something small and easy but that has a big impact…showing appreciation for each other. We regularly thank each other for stuff. It doesn’t matter if it’s for a task we should be doing anyway, aka cooking dinner or taking out the trash. We appreciate when the other person does it. When he takes out the trash that’s one less thing I need to think about. When I cook dinner he gets to eat (kinda a big deal). It doesn’t matter if it’s a small thing, it’s nice when the other person notices and acknowledges it.That leads to wanting to do more for each other and loving the feeling we get from knowing that we helped out each other.

I hope these relationship tips can help you in your relationship or help you think of other ways to strengthen your partnership. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Here’s a little #TBT to the early years of our relationship in college. Don’t we look so young?

Pic3(Stick It In used to be a football cheer at Virginia Tech. No longer used because it was deemed inappropriate….I wonder why?)

Pic2

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Pic1

And us now…all grown up, married, and expecting a baby. It’s been a great 11 years!

Pitcure.jpg

 

 

 

Back Workout

Warm-Up: Treadmill for 10 minutes at 2.5mph/5% incline. Stretch

Barbell Deadlifts: 3×6 (same weight as last week), 2×8 (20lb less), 2×8 (20lb less)

T-Bar Row: 3×8 (medium/heavy weight)

One Arm Landmine Row: 2×8 (unweighted)

Wide Grip Lat Pull Down: 3×10 (medium weight)

Close Grip Pull Down: 3×12 (medium/light weight, perform reps slowly)

Medicine Ball Slams: 3×20 (medium weight)
*Superset with
Seated Resistance Band Row: 3×20

Row machine for 10 minutes at moderately fast pace.

*Superset: Perform the second exercise immediately after the first without resting in between.

I recommend stretching and foam rolling for 10-15 minutes once finished.

Pin the graphic below for quick reference during workout.

Back workout to give you a sculpted and defined back.

I read an encouraging article on Monday about a paper that was published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry (a peer reviewed journal published by the American Medical Association) about the benefits of weight lifting on decreasing depression symptoms and managing anxiety symptoms. Usually that kind of research looks at the effects of cardio and shows that cardio improves mood but you rarely see ones about weight lifting. As someone who doesn’t care for cardio but who loves weight lifting, seeing research which confirms that weight lifting helps you mentally was welcomed.

It linked weight lifting to improvements in a variety of symptoms such as low mood, loss of interest, and feelings of worthlessness. It’s not a cure but it does reduce these symptoms when done regularly. If you’re not one to exercise every day, it might make you happy to know that the benefits are the same whether you lift twice a week or five times a week. Lifting twice a week led to a remission rate on par with antidepressants.

Even if you don’t have depression or anxiety, lifting weights is beneficial because it stimulates your brain just like it does your heart and lungs. This is because hormones are increased during exercise which then cross from your blood to your brain which trigger changes in it’s structure and function. Changes include the formation of new brain cells, stronger connections between those cells, and the creation of new blood vessels, which provide your brain with oxygen and essential nutrients. Six months of lifting weights increases the size of certain parts of your brain which leads to an improvement in mental function.

So there you have it, lifting weights is not only great for your body and confidence but also for your mood and brain health.

Back Workout
Active Wear Details:
Top and Shorts: Forever 21

Chest + Shoulders + Abs Workout

Warm up: Dumbbell bench press 1×20 (light weight), Dumbbell fly 1×15 (light weight), Dumbbell front to side raise 1×10 (light weight). Stretch

Dumbbell Bench Press: 3×8 (heavy weight)

Circuit 1
Dumbbell Fly: 3×10 (medium/heavy weight)
Seated Dumbbell Side Punches: 3×10 (medium weight)
Lying Leg Lifts on Bench: 3×15

Circuit 2
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 3×8 (medium/heavy weight)
Standing Dumbbell Side Bench: 3×15 (medium weight)
Bent Over Rear Delt Fly: 3×10 (medium weight)

Circuit 3
Overhead Plate Walk: 3×20 steps up and back (medium weight)
Front Plate Upright Row: 3×10 (same weight as plate walk)
Mountain Climbers: 3×30

Circuit 4
Medicine ball toss behind head: 3×20 (medium/light weight)
Plank into downward dog: 3×12
Standing Dumbbell Windmills: 3×12 (medium/light weight)

Pin the graphic below for quick reference during workout.

Chest + Shoulders + Abs Circuits

Legs + Glutes Workout

Warm-Up: Treadmill for 10 minutes at 2.5mph/5% incline. Stretch

Barbell Squats: 3×8 (same weight as last week, heavy weight)

Barbell Split Squats: 3×8 (same weight as squats)

Dumbbell One Leg Squats: 3×10 (medium weight)
*Superset with
Kettlebell Swings: 3×15 (medium/heavy weight)

Overhead Plate Walking Lunges: 3×8 up and back (medium/light weight)
Superset with
Plate Side Split Squat with Micro Jump: 3×12 (same weight as lunges)

*Superset: Perform the second exercise immediately after the first without resting in between.

I recommend stretching and foam rolling for 10-15 minutes once finished.

Pin the graphic below for quick reference during workout.

Legs + Glutes Workout - Lower body workout for strong and lean legs.

Monday Meal Tip

Happy Monday! Welcome to another edition of my series, Monday Meal Tip, where I share a tip to making healthy eating easier, faster, and delicious.

This week I’m sharing my top 5 favorite kitchen tools that make meal prep go faster which you know I’m all about.

1. Vegetable Chopper

My least favorite past of cooking is chopping vegetables. It just takes so much time!  I got this vegetable chopper years ago as a wedding gift and it’s saved me so much time over the years. The entire thing is dishwasher safe which makes clean up a breeze.

2. OXO Salad Dressing Shaker

This is another item I’ve had for years and love. I don’t prefer store bought salad dressing because most are loaded with fake ingredients and overall, I just prefer simple olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Things get messy if I store salad dressing in a small tupperware container and pour from it (seriously, oil everywhere) but having this bottle has been great. The top seals closed so it can be transported to and from work without leaking. I even though I shake it like crazy to mix the oil and vinegar, the dressing stays completely contained because of the tight seal at the top. This too is dishwasher safe.

3. George Foreman Grill

For those of us who don’t have an outdoor grill, this is an amazing alternative. Heck, even if you do have an outdoor grill, the George Foreman is still quicker and easier. It heats up quickly, you don’t have to outside in the winter to use it, it’s cheaper, etc. To top it off, the plates and grease catcher are dishwasher safe so clean up is easy (are you catching my favorite theme here?).

4. Hamilton Beach Food Processor and Vegetable Chopper

If you don’t have a food processor or if you’ve been depending on your blender to do a food processor’s job, I highly recommend getting a processor. I make lots of baked meats topped with chopped nuts and let me tell you, the chopping process goes much faster when using a food processor instead of a manual nut chopper. It’s also been great for chopping fresh herbs and vegetables so much faster than I ever could with a knife. Of course, it’s dishwasher safe.

5. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

The one item on this list that isn’t dishwasher safe but totally worth it! My parents got us a Kitchen Aid stand mixer years ago and it’s been such a luxury to use. Depending on the size bowl, this is definitely a splurge but worth it, especially if you’re a baker. I can’t tell you how nice it is to be able to set it to mix and then do something else.

Those are my five favorite and most used kitchen tools that I highly recommend. They make my life easier and make food prep and cooking go much faster than if I didn’t use them.

Kitchen Tools That Make Life Easier, Top 5 Kitchen Tools, Kitchen Tools That Make Cooking Easier

Legs + Glutes

Warm-Up: Treadmill for 10 minutes at 2.5mph/5% incline. Stretch

Barbell Squats: 2×8, 1×6 (same weight as last week, heavy weight)

Barbell Split Squats: 2×8, 1×6 (same weight as squats)

Barbell Side Split Squats: 3×10 (medium)
*Superset with
Squat Jumps: 3×15

Circuit 1
Banded Side Lying Leg Lifts: 3×20
Banded Donkey Kicks: 3×20
Alternating Jumping Split Squats: 3×15

*Superset: Perform the second exercise immediately after the first without resting in between.

I recommend stretching and foam rolling for 10-15 minutes once finished.

Pin the graphic below for quick reference during workout.

Legs + Glutes Workout - Lower body workout for strong and lean legs.