Five Move Upper Body Burn

Hi friends!

Today I have a new workout for you that I think your upper body will appreciate.

Five Move Upper Body Burn

Links to the exercises:

The rep schemes I provided in the workout graphic are just a guide. I recommend heavier weights for the first three moves, but you may need to decrease the number of reps depending on how heavy you go. Make sure to do a dynamic warmup before jumping into the circuit, and modify as needed. A warmup + three rounds of this should take you about 30 minutes! If you do four total rounds, it might take a little longer, but it’s something to work up to.

If you give this one a whirl, I want to know about it. Post your upper body burn pics on social media and tag me @fitnessandfeta. I would love to see you guys in action!

–Let’s chat–
What’s upper body exercise always leaves you feeling the burn?

Don’t forget to enter my New Balance giveaway for new sneakers and a fitness bag if you haven’t already!

The Holy Obliques Superset Workout

It’s been a while REALLY long time since I shared a workout with you guys. Sorry about that.

This is a workout that I taught in one of my classes a couple of weeks ago. It left everything on my body sore, but especially my obliques. Please note that while this exact workout is not directly plucked from the Modern Woman’s Guide to Strength Training program I’ve been doing, many of the exercises I chose for this workout are GGS inspired.

holy obliques superset workout

I used 20 and 25 pound dumbbells for this workout, but please choose weight according to your own fitness levels and the setting you are in. Just make sure you are using enough weight (and enough resistance with the bands) so that you are challenging yourselves. If you don’t understand why this workout is called “The Holy Obliques Superset Workout” the next day, that’s a pretty good indicator of needing to increase the amount of weight you are using.

Instead of putting my cardio blasts in between strength sets like I usually teach, I’ve been enjoying ending class with cardio finishers lately. For the cardio finisher after this superset workout, we did what my friend Jess called a burpee and bear crawl spectacular (this one is from GGS): 10 burpees, bear crawl half the group ex studio. 9 burpees, bear crawl the other half of the group ex studio. 8 burpees, bear crawl, and so on until you get down to your last burpee. This week in class our cardio finisher was to do 20 seconds of jump rope, 10 inchworm walkouts. Then 20 seconds of jump rope, 9 inchworm walkouts, and so on. This sprint workout (either outside or on a cardio machine of choice) is another go to of mine. Box jumps, kettlebell swings, rope or medicine ball slams, the list goes on. Basically the point of a cardio finisher is to get your heart rate up, and it’s appropriate if you are looking to work on cardio conditioning or decrease fat levels without spending hours on a boring machine.

For any exercise modifications or explanation of moves, please email me or leave a comment. That’s what I’m here for.

Happy sweating!

–Let’s chat–
What was the last superset workout you did? What exercises have you been loving lately? What move typically leaves your obliques feeling really sore? Do you add cardio finishers to your strength workouts?

I have a big presentation at work today. I’ll be happy when it’s lunchtime!

What Does Strength Mean To You?

On Tuesday I taught a timed circuit class that looked like this:

Two AMRAP Timed Circuits

My class members totally rocked it. They pushed themselves and powered through, even when the circuits seemed never-ending and tough.

After class, one of them posted on my Facebook wall:

“SO proud of having pushed myself harder than almost ever at tonight’s two-a-day workout. 2014=my year of strength! Thank you for an awesome night!”

This got me thinking about the phrase “year of strength” and what it could mean for someone. On one hand, there’s the concept of being strong at the gym and with your body. Things like:

— The amount of weight you can lift
— Pushing your fitness abilities
— Bodily or muscular power
— Taking care of your body even when it’s tough to do
— Constantly setting new physical goals to challenge yourself
— The concepts of willpower, discipline, and motivation
— Pushups, pull-ups, bench presses, squats, deadlifts, planks, etc.

Lifting

But strength goes beyond just these things. There’s a LOT of mental components to having strength, many of which go hand in hand with the physical. Here are some other things that come to mind when I hear the word strength:

— Something that you do best or excel in
— Standing up for yourself and what you believe in
— Mental vigor
— Trying new things
— Always trying to better yourself
— Overcoming something you once thought you couldn’t
— Having an indomitable spirit
— Following your dreams in the face of adversity
— Not giving up or losing faith
— Listening to your gut and following your intuition
— Persistence and the ability to keep fighting
— Admitting when you need help
— Despite the above, the power to accept that sometimes you cannot change things, situations, or people

strong

So when it comes to 2014 being a “year of strength,” think about what that could mean to you. For me, it’s definitely working on the fitness goals that I set for myself around New Year’s. But it’s also about a lot more than that.

I want to find more opportunities to showcase what I’m good at and passionate about. I’m very thankful for what I’ve been able to do so far at work and with the blog, but I want more. I can’t help it.

If there are things or situations that aren’t making me fully happy, I want to have the strength to either keep fighting or figuring out what needs to change. Sometimes just having the strength to make a tough decision can be really difficult for me. I always think about the worst case scenario and all of the “what ifs.”

I want to have the strength to realize that I’m human and that I can’t do it all. Being able to take a step back, take a deep breath, and say “it’s okay” are strong actions to me.

Letting go. Not harping on things. Not worrying about everything.

And finally, I just want the strength to be the best person I can be. There may be some sacrifices I have to make in the near future to accomplish what I need to do, but I know I have the strength to remind myself it will be all be worth it in the end.

Ali's Pictures - Jumping

–Let’s chat–
What does strength mean to you? How do you show physical strength? Emotional or mental strength? What are some things that would help you have a “year of strength?”
How do you power through situations when times get tough?