Scenes from the Weekend + Weekly Workouts

This weekend was a good one, despite Tim being away for a bachelor party.  Here’s a rundown of what I did.

I reunited with PCDC.

Me & Erin

Friday night, Erin and I tried a new restaurant in Harvard Square.  Park Restaurant & Bar was seriously awesome.  I loved it the minute we stepped inside.  Our meals were delicious and the wine kept on flowing.  I will definitely be going back.  Check out how awesome the food looks.  I ordered grilled lamb belly over a bed of quinoa, butternut squash, and brussels sprouts.  Unreal.  I wish I had leftovers.

Park Restaurant

Saturday morning, after Erin and I chatted over coffee some more, we did a little shopping.  The Macy’s close to my apartment is closing, so I decided to take advantage of their sales.  I didn’t get much, but I’ve been in the market for new stud earrings, so I was psyched to get a good deal.

Earrings

Saturday afternoon I caught up on my Y emails, then hit the gym.  I did 40 minutes of cardio intervals from BBB on the elliptical, then a timed plank since I knew I didn’t do my best timed plank on Tuesday in class due to time restrictions in general.  I’m up to 4:30.  Woohoo!

Elbow Plank

Saturday night, I went to my parents’ house for dinner.

Dinner at parents

Along with dinner came an abs challenge photo shoot, a clothing giveaway, and a Homeland rerun since they are taking full advantage of the free Showtime weekend apparently.

Sunday was a productive day!  I woke up around 8am and cleaned the entire apartment.  Then I hit the gym again.  I love making it to the gym both weekend days.

Circuit Workout

After warming up on a bike, I did the above exercises in a circuit format with five minutes of random cardio (jumping jacks, jump rope, front and back kicks, jogging in place, speedbags, burpees, hopping in place… you get the idea) after each of the three sets of controlled resistance moves.  Felt so good.

I was actually craving a smoothie after my sweat sesh, so I whipped one up using my new immersion blender.  Normally I only crave smoothies in the summer, because I’m too cold to drink them in the winter.

Smoothie

Yum.  I also did our weekly grocery shopping.  I went a little over the $75 weekly limit that Tim and I like to stick to, but both Chobani yogurts and Clif bars were on sale, 10 for $10 so I stocked up.  I also got a little more produce than usual, so next week I’ll have to cut back a bit to even things out.

Grocery Shopping

What else, what else.  I felt inspired to make a crock pot dinner, so I put together this pumpkin and apple stew.  I’ll post the recipe soon!

Pumpkin and Apple Stew

I also prepped a tuna salad to have for beginning of the week lunches.  I used Dawn’s recipe from when she brought one in for our salad club lunch at work.  After that I put all my snack baggies together for the week, and then made homemade salsa.  Just cause I felt like it.

Dawn's Tuna Salad

I was on a roll, and now I feel ready for the week!  Oh, and my Fitness & Feta Facebook page hit 500 fans.  So exciting!!  If you don’t follow me yet, click over to my page and like it.  Please?

Let’s talk Weekly Workouts now.  Cause that’s what I do on Mondays.

Weekly Workouts

Last Week’s Workouts
The first week of Best Body Bootcamp went well, and I loved all the control work we did.  It seriously makes a difference to slow things down.  My arms were definitely still feeling it by the end of the week, even though the moves themselves were basic!

  • Sunday:  20 minute cardio interval workout + 3 rounds of core strength circuits
  • Monday:  40 minute cardio interval workout + last week’s Monday morning ab burner
  • Tuesday:  Took Liz’s Kickboxing class, then taught Workout A from BBB in Interval class.  We felt the burn!
  • Wednesday:  Off day, except for the bedtime ab ladder
  • Thursday:  Taught Workout C from BBB in Sculpt class + Tabata Thursday later on.
  • Friday:  Off day (was too sore from BBB!), except for 60 seconds of pushups
  • Saturday:  40 minute cardio interval workout + timed plank

This Week’s Workouts

  • Sunday:  Workout C from BBB (above)
  • Monday:  40 minutes of cardio interval + Monday morning ab burner
  • Tuesday:  Kickboxing, then teaching the core circuits in my interval class
  • Wednesday:  Off, except for the oblique work before bed
  • Thursday:  Teaching Workout A from BBB + this week’s Tabata Thursday later on
  • Friday:  Off, or cardio intervals, or a class
  • Saturday:  Off, or cardio intervals, or a class

I’m feeling really good lately.  Definitely happy to not be consuming as much sugar as I was during the holiday season.  Makes such a difference.

Before I go, just a reminder to do today’s Morning Ab Burner if you haven’t already!  It takes two minutes, that’s it!

Monday Morning Ab Burner Week 3

What did you do this weekend?  What’s on tap workout wise for the week?  Anything else you’d like to share?

Catch you guys later!

31 Day Abs Challenge: Week 2 Plan & Notes

For all you ab-tastic followers, here you go!  Links to the week’s various exercises and instructions are below.  They won’t be posted again throughout the week (just the reminders) so you’ll have to come back to this post if you need to reference any of the notes again.

January 2013 31 Day Ab Challenge

Sunday 1/6:  Sunday Circuit

The first Sunday Circuit of the series!  These will take a little longer than the other challenges have, but they are good, and don’t need any equipment.

31 Day Abs Challenge Sunday Circuit Week 2

Notes:

1.  Side Lunge to Knee Lift – After bringing your body down into a side lunge (keep knees and toes forward), take the leg that’s extended out and lift that knee up in front of you.  This is a good exercise for working on balance, which you need core strength for.  If you have dumbbells, you could hold them if you want, but doing without is fine for the challenge.

Side Lunge and Knee Lift

2.  Plank with leg lifts — Do these as a straight-arm plank instead of elbow.  Take turn lifting each foot off the ground for a few seconds at a time, again trying to work on balance.

Plank with leg lift

3.  Lunge with rotation – Step forward into a lunge, twist your torso toward the direction of whichever leg is in front, bring yourself back to center, and step back to starting position.  If you have a dumbbell for these, feel free to hold.

lunge and rotation

4.  Side Planks — Beginners, keep your knee down.  Intermediate, balance on your feet.  Advanced, balance on one foot.  Your choice here — either hold for as long as you can on each side (keep bottom of hip lifted!) OR do the prescribed reps of hip raises (drop hip down and lift back up) on each side.  Wherever you are, the hand on the ground should be directly beneath your shoulder.

Side Planks

5.  Glute Bridge March – Bring body into a bridge, and take turns “marching” each knee toward you – while keeping your hips lifted.

glute march

6.  Finally, finish with reverse crunches – a very small crunch (lifting up) as you lay face down, for your lower back.  These you can’t do on “each side” so just do 10, 12, or 15 in the center.  Careful not to jerk your back as you raise yourself up.

Reverse Crunch

Monday 1/7:  Morning Ab Burner

Get yourself energized for the day and the week ahead with the first Monday Morning Ab Burner.  Five minutes or less!!

Monday Morning Ab Burner Week 2


Details:

  • Jumping jacks:  Do as many jumping jacks as you can in 60 seconds.  If you need a lower impact option, just tap one heel out to the side at a time instead of doing the full jumping jack.  You can still count how many taps you do.
  • Bicycle crunches:  Do 3 sets of 10 reps.  Note that 1 rep equals right knee then left knee in <— that’s not two reps.
  • Timed 6 inch hold:  See how long you can hold yourself in the position I’m holding below.  You can place your hands under your butt, then lift your upper back off the floor.  Lift your feet no more than 6 inches off the ground (legs shouldn’t be high at all) and then look at your feet and breathe as you hold yourself there.

6 inch hold

Tuesday 1/8:  Plank for Time

Timed Elbow Plank

Hold an elbow plank for as long as you can, trying to beat last week’s time!

Wednesday 1/9:  Ab Ladder Before Bed

Do an Ab Ladder series before you go to bed on Wednesday night:

Ab Ladder Series 1

Ab Ladder Series 2

  1. Start lying on your back, legs extended out straight in front of you with feet flexed.  If you prefer to keep your elbows in for this exercise only, that is okay.  Otherwise, keep your elbows out.  Lift your upper back off the floor and look at your feet.  This is your low point.  Do 20 mini crunch pulses in this position.  Note that this is a small movement, NOT a full crunch.  You never bring your back down to the ground with this one.
  2.  After 20 mini crunch pulses with legs extended on the ground, bring your feet flat on the floor and do 20 more mini crunch pulses.
  3. After 20 mini crunch pulses with feet flat on the floor, lift your feet off the ground, keeping your knees over your hips.  Do 20 mini crunch pulses here.
  4. Then straighten your knees so feet are over your hips and legs are straight.  Do 20 mini crunch pulses here.  This is the top of your ladder.
  5. Start working your way back down!  Bend the knees – 20 more mini crunch pulses.
  6. Feet flat on the ground again – 20 more mini crunch pulses.
  7. Finish strong with the last 20 mini crunch pulses with legs out, just like you started with.

A lot of directions, but it shouldn’t be hard to follow.  If you don’t feel your abs hurting by the end, do it again.  😉

Thursday 1/10:  Tabata Thursday

Four minutes!  This week we will only do two moves as opposed to the four from last week’s.

Week 2 Tabata Thursday

Notes:

  • Plank jacks:  A jumping jack, but in a plank position.  Modification – tap your feet out to the side one at a time instead of doing the full jack.
  • Butterfly Situp:  If this move bothers your tailbone, modify with a regular situp instead.

Friday 1/11:  Focus On Chest

On Friday I want you to take a break from focusing on your abs, and do an exercise that focuses on your chest instead.  We’re doing pushups, people!  All you have to do is take one minute out of your day, and do as many pushups as you can in 60 seconds.  These can be done on either your feet or your knees, but stay consistent in whichever you pick.  Please rest as needed during the minute (you will need to!), but make sure to count all pushups you are able to complete with good form.

Saturday 1/12:  Rest and Read 

Stay tuned for my second core strength tip, and rest up those abs for week #3.

Have you been enjoying the 31 Days of Abs Challenge so far?  Are you feeling more motivated?  Feedback welcome!  Don’t forget to “check in” on the blog or on my Facebook page to get your entries into a prize drawing at the end of the challenge.

Keep on rocking!