Happy First Day of Summer!

Today is exciting because it is the official first day of summer.  Woohoo!

I think the official start to summer happens on Memorial Day Weekend, but today is still pretty cool.

Let’s rewind to last night!  Lots to talk about!

Pre-Workout Eats

I’m SERIOUSLY low on food this week, but don’t want to go grocery shopping since I’m leaving for Colorado on Friday.  Random salad for dinner it was!

Spinach leaves with a scrambled egg, sliced red pepper, chopped avocado, some shredded mozzarella, and a sprinkling of sunflower seeds.  I actually really love the combo of scrambled eggs with avocado.  You should try it so you can love it too.

Two A Day Tuesday

Last night marked my return to kickboxing.  HOORAY!  I wasn’t able to do everything as big and full-out as I normally do, but at least I could go.  That made all the difference in the world to my mood.  After Kickboxing, I taught Circuit.  It was a pretty crowded Circuit class because it’s Group Exercise Open House Week at my gym, and my class was one of the featured classes.  It was great to see some new faces though!

FYI if you are wondering about Group Ex Open House Week, you can drop in and try out the featured group ex classes for free this week!  We are running a lot of fun giveaways with water bottles, bags, and iTunes gift cards.  The other night in Core Strength we gave away a bag to the person in class who had been a Y member the longest, but tonight I incorporated the giveaways into my lesson plan (noted below).

For the workout, I adapted Fitnessista’s Summer Shape Up Week 2 Workout into a Circuit Class format.  I used her Week 1 Workout last week and loved it, so I decided to keep up with it this week.  I’m going to write out how I adapted and changed the workout below, but her original one can be found (with video demonstration of moves) in the link above.  Do whichever way floats your boat!

Here’s the main circuit I used tonight:

Here’s how I adapted from the original and some notes for some of the moves:

  • After the warmup, I immediately did our Challenge #1 — who could hold a plank the longest.  We had a tie!  And boy do I think I need to start making planks harder.  Everyone ROCKED them.  So as people started getting up one by one, I had them jumping rope and doing other cardio moves for way longer than 30 seconds as indicated in the first move above.
  • The alternating front lunges with dumbbells by the side were in lieu of split squats — no step.
  • **The side plank with leg work** — This was new to me, and it was TOUGH!  We came into a side plank with a light weight in the raised hand.  For round 1, we made the letter “T” so the lifted arm extended straight out from our shoulders, then we brought the arm forward and leg forward like we were kicking for 10 reps on each side.  For round 2, we raised our top legs up and the weight down to touch the leg.  Next week maybe I’ll try the combo like the original workout has!
  • In Round 1 of the Circuit, I did our pushup challenge instead of the diamond pushups as prescribed.  Since I had the class doing cardio again as they came out of their pushups, I opted out of the side to side hops after.  In Round 2, we did the 10 diamond pushups.
  • We didn’t use stability balls, so I had everyone do single leg deadlifts for hammy work instead of the stability ball curl.  Also adapted the stability ball ab lift with just regular crunch + leg lifts.

Final class looked like this:

Warmup
Round 1 of Circuit (keeping in mind notes above)
Tabata Cardio — alternating between jumping jacks + burpees
Round 2 of Circuit (keeping in mind notes above)
Floor Work — Triceps/Glute Combo and Ab Ladder
Cooldown

What did you guys think of tonight’s class!?

The “Yay It’s Summer” Workout Playlist!

To honor the start of such a fab season this week, I pulled out an oldie but damn goodie themed workout playlist last night.  Every song had to do with something “summer” related.

Don’t be jealous of how cool I am!  By that I mean when I used this last year Jen was the only one who laughed in class.  Last night was a bit better, since I could actually hear chuckling!  I do have a confession though:  I decided since it was Open House week that I would take off the “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” song in fear of nobody ever wanting to come back to my class again.  🙂

Some crowd favorites:  Miami, Hot in Here, Will Smith’s Summertime (LOVE that song!), and LFO — duh.  For those who came to class last night, what did you think of the playlist!?  I’ll be using again in class on Thursday morning.  And next week is my Michael Jackson tribute, so definitely come!  It’s going to be super fun!

Post Workout Treat

Slesh made scones.  Enough said.

Summer 2012 Bucket List

Phew!  Back to what I set out originally to write about.  The first day of summer!  Usually at the start of every season I get really excited for all the potential fun things the upcoming months have to bring.  This usually results in me making some sort of list and annoying Tim talking with my boyfriend about ALLLL the things I want to do.  This year, I’ve decided to share with all of you my Summer 2012 Bucket List!  I know I won’t be able to do everything on here because there’s clearly not enough weekends in the summer, but that’s okay.  Here goes!

– Have a date at Tia’s by the waterfront
– Enjoy roofdeck drinks at Daedalus in Harvard Square
– Watch a Free Friday Night Flick on the Hatch Shell
– Take a day trip to Provincetown
– Visit the Cape Cod Brewery
– Go to the Boston Chowderfest
– Go hiking on a new trail 
– Go on another picnic!  
– Read outside more often 
– Redesign the blog
– Go to the beach at night
– See the sunrise
– Build a sandcastle at the beach
– Make s’mores
– Kick a lot of butt at mini golf 
– Go to a Boston Harbor Island
– Draw with sidewalk chalk and take pictures
– Canoe or kayak on the Charles River
– Make homemade popsicles
– Another gym girls night out that I can actually go to!?  With Jen!? 
– Splurge on lululemon
– Buy produce at a Farmer’s Market or Haymarket
– Have a date night (or double date or group date night) at Providence Waterfire
– Take advantage of brunch!  Two I want to try are the Devlin’s Seafood Brunch and the Captain Fishbones Brunch
– Have lunch or at least visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
– Make at least 3 homemade sangria recipes (check off 1/3 of this!  See this morning’s post!)
– Go dancing with the girls at Zuzu
– More TBD, I’m sure!

Does anyone else love making lists?  I am slightly obsessed with lists, to the point where sometimes I’ll even add something to my to do lists that I’ve already done for the mere satisfaction of being able to cross out an extra thing.  I think this may be borderline crazy, but I don’t care.  Bring on the lists!

Anyone else excited for the start of summer?  Who liked the Summer Playlist last night?  What’s on your Summer 2012 Bucket List?  Anyone else share in my list obsession?  I know you’re out there.

Busy day ahead between PT, heading into the office, and a work outing tonight.  Won’t be back until tomorrow!  Have a fab day 1 of Summer 2012! 

Picture Post: Circuit Training Class

Want to try a class for free?  Click here for more details.

Be Thankful Challenge:  I’m thankful for Ali Campbell for opting out of a few extra lunges and side planks to take these pictures for me!  Normally that’s not allowed 😉

Another Kick Butt November Workout

Hi everyone!

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend so far.

If you liked my “Start November Off Right” workout this week, here’s another kick butt routine for November.  This is what I did with my Circuit Training class on Thursday morning, with some inspiration from the September 2011 issue of Fitness Magazine!

Remember to check with a doc before starting any new kind of fitness program!

Warmup

Cardio
In class, we did this in a big circle around the perimeter of the room.  If you try this workout on your own, you can modify to a machine, a track, etc.

  • 5 jogging laps
  • 3 laps high knees
  • 3 laps shuffle steps
  • 3 laps cross overs

Supersets
In the Start November Off Right workout, I had the supersets be as many reps as you can do in a designated amount of time, right into the next move.  For the supersets in this workout, do a specified amount and then switch right into the move for the opposing muscle group.  The difference will be that you do each move 3 times (so 3 alternating sets of each).

  • Straight Standing Row / Decline Bench Press
    This works back and chest.  For the row, stand straight with elbows back.  Pull elbows back and then push weights forward, palms facing in.  For the decline bench press, you may want to use a heavier set of weights for chest.  Lying on the floor, raise your hips so you are in a bridge.  Press weights over the chest, palms facing front.  Do 15 reps of each, again alternating for 3 sets of each.  Do not rest between sets.
  • Bicep Curls / Tricep Press Backs
    Works biceps & triceps.  Regular bicep curls, palms facing front.  Use heavier weights.  For the tricep press backs, bring your arms behind your back and flip your palms so they are face up.  Press to the ceiling and lower back down (small movement).  Do 15 reps of each, alternating for 3 sets of each.  Do not rest between sets.
  • Glute Presses / One Legged Squats
    Works glutes, hams, quads, calfs.  On all fours, keep one knee on the ground and press the other foot flexed directly to the ceiling.  Do 15 on one side, then 15 on the other.  Then switch to one-legged squats, only do 8 on each side.  Alternate between moves for 3 sets of each, not resting between sets.
  • Criss Cross Abs / Roll-ups
    Works obliques and deep abs.  For the criss cross abs, sit up tall with your hands behind your head, elbows out.  Raise legs off the floor and do bicycles, pulling the knees in as you twist side to side.  Do 16.  For the roll up, reach your arms in front of you and curl forward toward your toes.  Slowly roll back all the way to the ground then come back up.  Do 8.  Alternate between moves for 3 sets of each, not resting between sets.

This kind of exercise is so good for you because you keep your heart rate higher by not resting in between sets.  And then your body works harder during recovery.

Cardio
Same as earlier but in the opposite direction.

  • 5 jogging laps
  • 3 laps high knees
  • 3 laps shuffle steps
  • 3 laps cross overs

Countdowns
For this, start with 10 reps, then 9, then 8, all the way down to 1.  Alternating between moves.

  • 10 regular squats, 10 seconds of jump rope in place
  • 9 regular squats, 9 seconds of jump rope in place
  • And so on

Floor Work

  • Abs:  Lying flat on your back, extend legs out straight in front of you, pulling the toes back.  Hands behind head, elbows in.  Do 10 regular crunches.  Then lift right foot a couple of inches off the ground, do 10 more crunches.  Switch to the lift the left foot, 10 more crunches.  Finish with 10 in the center like you started with, both feet on the ground.
  • Abs:  Start lying flat on your back.  Bring yourself up to sitting with arms reaching toward legs which lift off the ground.  Do 10 of these, holding the last one for 5 seconds.  Then do the same but right arm to left leg, then switch left arm to right leg.
  • Abs:  Finish with one full minute of plank.

Cooldown / Stretch

Enjoy!!!

And as always, let me know if you have any questions about any moves if you are going to give this a go!

Question of the Day:  What’s everyone up to this weekend?  Are you squeezing in any time for fitness? 

P.S. Be thankful challenge for today: I’m thankful for all the fun and exciting new things I’m actually learning this weekend! 🙂