Category Archives: Workouts

A Christmas Workout

Merry Christmas!!! I hope your holiday was filled with lots of family time, food, and fun! I know mine was 🙂

I have plans to do a big shopping trip tomorrow after a photo session I’m doing. Lots of Christmas money to spend! Did you get anything fun?!

I’ll share more about our holiday tomorrow, but for now, I have an awesome Tabata-style workout for you!

We do a big family dinner at my in-laws on Christmas Eve, so I did this workout yesterday morning to get my metabolism revved up for the big dinner! It was an incredible workout and I plan to do it again this week, maybe even tomorrow!

If you’re not familiar with Tabata, it is a four-minute workout in which you do full body moves at very high intensity for just 20 seconds at a time. After the 20 seconds of work, you rest for 10 seconds before doing your next 20 seconds of work. You repeat the 20/10 work/rest 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. Most moves you do with Tabata require little equipment, which is nice for when you travel. It sounds easy, but it is TOUGH! Your heart will almost beat out of your chest and you should barely be able to catch your breath!

Since I have been doing Tabata-style workouts for about 2 years, I kick mine up a notch when I’m feeling strong! (Or when I need to get my furnace going to burn a big dinner!)

I did this set of 12 moves for a total of 6 minutes. You can just pick your favorite 8 and do only 4 minutes, or you can pick your favorite four moves and repeat them however many times you’d like.

6 Minute Tabata Christmas Workout

  • Burpees
  • Pendulum
  • Plank jacks
  • Jumping jacks
  • Mummy kicks (from Insanity)
  • Mountain climbers
  • Kettlebell swings
  • High knees
  • Speed skaters
  • Ski hop side to side
  • Plank butt squeezes
  • Plank with leg raise (alternate sides)

I actually did this workout, then took a 3 or 4 minute rest (went upstairs and checked on my turkey!) and then I repeated it one more time for a total of 12 minutes. I felt phenomenal afterwards!

Let me know if you try it!



Double duty workout

I realized that I never filled you all in on how my presentation went last Tuesday.

Basically, it could have gone a whole lot better. We were short a group member and had to fill in her parts, which proved to be much more difficult than we thought it would be. I felt like I did a really great job with my part (especially when I led the audience in some exercises!), but as a whole, we lost our footing a few times.

We didn’t end up winning, but it wasn’t because of our presentation skills. We technically have someone at the university who is willing to roll out our project starting in January, so the judges basically said we had already ‘won.’ I’m just so thankful it is over and I can get back to giving 100% to my regular job! I’ll keep you all updated on how the classes go because I’m pretty sure I’ll be signing up for some.

For now though, I’m going to stick to the crazy workouts I get to do at home.

Yesterday, I did three separate workouts. Two were planned, but the third wasn’t.

I’ve been neglecting my abs lately, so I knew I needed to dedicate a workout to just my abs this weekend. I did a 25 minute hodge-podge workout with any abs exercise I could think of. It was great! And I felt really strong for having not done a proper abs workout in forever.

Then, I wanted to go for a run because I’ve also been skimping on that since it has gotten cold. I did a quick two mile run and I felt like I could run forever!!! It was the perfect temperature outside and the gorgeous sunshine made everything look especially beautiful. I would have run longer, but before I left, my honey said he was going to do another type of workout and I wanted to make sure I was back for it.

He was cutting wood for our stove!

Instead of a traditional heating system for our house, we heat with a wood stove. They are very common in our area and my honey grew up with one in their basement. The stove also heats our hot water, and it is the most cozy heat you could imagine. The actual stove is outside and looks like this.

This was the very first fire in the stove!

Now, I can’t really get into all of the specifics about how it actually works because I’m not really sure. But, I can tell you how we cut the wood for it!

Obviously we need a lot of wood in the winter to keep the stove going (we usually put wood in the stove in the morning and in the evening when it gets really cold). Luckily, we live on 82 acres, most of which is woodland, so there is no shortage of trees to chop up. However, we rely on our own (wo)manpower to do the chopping! This has proved to be one of the best workouts I’ve ever done and is now one of my favorite ways to get a full body workout in!

When I first met my honey, we cut wood for his parents’ stove. I was pretty weak back then and could really only load the cut up wood onto the truck (and sometimes I could barely do that!). Every once in awhile I would try splitting some pieces with the splitting maul, but I wouldn’t have much success.

Now that I work out regularly, I can really tell how much stronger I’ve gotten. I’m actually able to split some of the wood!

Yes, I am wearing my running clothes. And no, I didn’t get this one on the first try! I say it’s a much better workout if you have to hit each piece multiple times 🙂 But, it’s not as efficient and we’d be there forever if I was the only one splitting.

However, my honey has been cutting wood his entire life, so he is much better at it than me!

Just look at that form! And I’m pretty sure he got this on two tries 🙂

Not only is splitting the wood an excellent workout, but loading the pieces onto the truck is also. I use different techniques to load it so I can work all parts of my body. I do the chest press pass, the side twist and heave (alternating sides!), and the squat and throw. I’ll even do overhead shoulder presses if I have two smaller pieces. Or some biceps curls 🙂

I’m telling you, it’s a great way to stay in shape during the winter months. If you’re looking for a new workout to try, let me know and I’m sure we will need the help 🙂

Below was two weeks ago when it was 60 degrees out! It just shows you how often we have to cut wood around here.

My honey first cuts up the trees with the chainsaw, and then stands them on end to split.

The main thing I love about this ‘workout’ is that I’m actually accomplishing something that needs to get done while torching calories and building muscle!

Anyone want to give it a try? 🙂

Rest Day

I did it! I actually set out a workout plan and I followed through with it. I even added an additional workout 🙂

So today, I am taking a well-deserved rest day! It started out with some good yoga stretches this morning, followed by a nice hot shower. Unfortunately, I had to do a bit of walking today around campus, so I didn’t get to properly rest my legs like I wanted to. I plan to do some more stretching this evening because my legs are starting to cramp up a bit and I can tell that tomorrow is going to be rough!

Speaking of rest days….have you checked out Tuesday Trainer yet today? It was another rest day over there, so you can find out more about your favorite trainers (like me!) by heading over there. My trainer and I did the 99 workout last night and it.was.awesome! She’s super encouraging and at the same physical level as me, so it was easy for us to keep up with each other throughout it. To give you a reminder of what all is involved in the workout, here is the breakdown:

  • jumping jacks
  • crunches
  • wall sit
  • leg lifts
  • push ups
You do 99 of each move (99 seconds for the wall sit) and then 9 push ups. Then, you do 88 and 8, and on down to 22 and 2. Then you finish it all up with an 11 minute run.

Because it can get tough to do 99 of the same crunch, we switched things up a bunch by doing bicycles, reverse crunches, toe touch crunches, Russian twists, and a few others. We did the same thing with leg lifts and did some side-lying leg lifts, alternating leg lifts, flutter kicks, standing kickbacks plus a few more. It was great because she had a ton of ideas for moves that I hadn’t thought of!

Overall, it wasn’t that tough. It’s a little mentally challenging at the beginning when you think about what you are about to do, but I promise it is easier than it sounds if you’ve been working out for a little bit. Also, it goes by pretty quickly, especially when doing it with someone else. Last time it took me about an hour and 15 minutes without doing the run. This time, it took about an hour and 5 minutes with the run.

I was surprised by how much the wall sits burned. I really worked my quads on Sunday during our hike, so they were super sore. I was also surprised by how strong I felt when we did the run. I ran faster than I have in awhile. We had to run around the indoor track at the gym, which I never do. Maybe it was a combo of that and the fact that I wanted to pass the other people on the track, but for some reason I was super motivated to run as fast as I could. It was amazing!

The only downside to the crazy amount of exercise I have squeezed into the last five days is that I am crazy hungry! And thirsty. I always drink lots of water, but for some reason, I can’t get enough today!

Off to do some more stretching! And to get to know all of the other fine ladies over at Tuesday Trainer!

I heart mountains

The hike yesterday reconfirmed why I absolutely love living where I do.

My honey and I have been on numerous hikes all over our beautiful town, as well as other areas in Virginia. Each time we hike, I am amazed by how beautiful the mountains are. Especially at this time of year when the leaves are so gorgeous!

I took a few pictures out of the sunroof of the car as we were driving towards the trail. These three turned out amazing!!

We weren’t sure how Titan would do on the trail, so we stopped quite a few time. Mainly to take pictures of him!

We started on the trail with an older couple. They stayed ahead of us until we got up to Kennedy Peak.

My honey did what you always do in situations like this and asked if they were from around here. Turns out they live on the river where we did some waterskiing over the summer. They own a barn that has been transformed into a weekend lodge. We had heard about this barn and were really interested in seeing it. Luckily they invited us over to see it! So we followed them home to it and took a tour, which was awesome! I didn’t take my camera in, so no pics, but maybe if we stop by again to see them. They were so sweet for inviting us over to see it!

Anyways, up at Kennedy Peak is this little structure. There is an area to get in out of the elements and you could even set up your tent inside.

And lots of people have been here over the years, leaving their mark on it.

We also went up top to see the 360 view. It is incredible! Here are a few pics from up there and from right in front of the bottom part.

The river you see here is the Shenandoah.

The lighting on the hike down the mountain was absolutely stunning. I kept stopping to take pictures and ended up with a few good ones.

We were also very thankful for the couple we met on the trail because they took a new family picture for us! Titan looks great, but the sun was killing me and my honey, so we have sort of funny looks on our faces!

Not only was the hike great for us to spend so much time together (and get some exercise for Titan and ourselves), but it also took my mind off of my family….they are all in Cabo San Lucas right now! My honey couldn’t take time off from work and financially it just wouldn’t work for us right now, otherwise we would totally be there!!! The fam is staying at the resort where we went for our honeymoon. In talking to my honey about it, I mentioned that I could just picture myself laying in our little cabana area where we spent so much time… 😦

I’m so sad I can’t be there because one: Cabo is absolutely gorgeous! And two: I wish I could be with my fam enjoying such an awesome vacation! Oh well, there will always be a next time!

Quick Sunday Recap

We had quite the eventful day today, but I’m super tuckered out from it, so I’m going to make this quick!

Thanks everyone for the well wishes for my honey! I greatly appreciate it 🙂 He went to sleep at 9pm last night…then I remembered that I had to set the clocks back, so really he went to sleep at 8pm. He woke up at 8am this morning…he must have really been tired! Although he wasn’t feeling 100%, he said he was feeling better. I gave him more tea and more supplements to start the day.

I woke up at 5:30am to let Titan out and feed him. I decided to just stay up and get some stuff done around the house. Plus, I wanted to do a killer upper body workout, so I took advantage of the time alone. I did the following workout, which is a combo of a few Oxygen mag workouts.

  • Bench Press 2×15
  • Seated row 2×20
  • Bent-over row 2×20
  • Lat pulldown 2×12
  • Good morning 2×15
  • Arnold press 2×15
  • Seated press 2×15
  • Reverse curl 2×10
  • Hammer curl 2×12
  • Biceps curl 2×12
  • Triceps kickback 2×12
  • One-arm triceps extension 2×10
  • Triceps pushdown 2×12
  • Dumbbell pull and press 2×10
  • Rear delt row 2×15
  • Lateral raise to front pull 2×12
  • Overhead dumbbell arc 2×12

It was awesome and I’m pretty sure I’m going to be feeling it tomorrow! I did an upper body workout on Friday, and although I hadn’t planned on doing another one today, I figured I might as well since it had been 48 hours since I did the last one. Plus, I wasn’t sure when I would have time to do such an intense workout again.

As I mentioned the other day, I set out a 5 day plan for my workouts. Today, I was supposed to go for an 8 mile hike with my honey. However, I sort of forgot that we had nursery duty at church at 11am. Because the hike is about an hour and a half away and would take approximately 5 hours to complete, there was no feasible way we could make it out there and back before it got too dark. So instead, we took our pup for a 4 mile hike closer to our house. This was the second time we’ve done that hike, but it was Titan’s first time!

I’d say someone was excited!!!

Actually, he wasn’t…he seemed so tired, but he surprised us all by making it the whole time and still had energy to spare at the end!

Before we headed home for the hike, we went out for pizza at a local restaurant that now serves gluten-free meals. I haven’t had pizza in quite some time, so I was excited to try it out. Check out what I got with the pizza.

My very own pizza slicer! The server even let me take it home with me! The pizza looks really appetizing doesn’t it? It was actually pretty good, but you could definitely tell that it was pre-made and frozen…oh well. At least I got some pizza!

Anyways, back to the hike. I took almost 300 pictures on our hike, so I am going to have to recap the whole thing tomorrow. But for now, I will leave you with my favorite picture from today.

How was your Sunday?


Getting back on track

This week, I am getting myself back on track with my workouts. I haven’t been as consistent, nor have I worked out as hard as I used to.

I have a plan to change all of that though.

I mentioned last week that I found some great workout apps for my phone. I am loving these workouts and plan to make them a regular part of my routine.

Also, the two latest issues of Oxygen magazine have some really awesome workouts. The first was for the upper body and the second was for the lower body. Each workout has 3 or 4 exercises per muscle group for each part of the body. You pick one move from each category to create your workout. Each time you work that part of your body, you choose a new move in each category, thus changing up your routine every single time.

These workouts and my apps have inspired me to get back to working out like I used to.

I made a 5-day plan that I started this morning. Here’s what it looks like:

Thursday morning: Oxygen lower body workout

  • Front lunge with dumbbells
  • Dumbbell squat
  • Reverse lunge with dumbbells
  • Dumbbell deadlift
  • Fire hydrant
  • Bridge
  • Lying hamstring curl
  • Calf raises
Friday morning: Oxygen upper body workout
  • Hammer curls
  • Dumbbell floor press (because I don’t have a bench upstairs)
  • Triceps extensions
  • Bent-over rows
  • Good mornings
  • Arnold press
Saturday morning: Run and abs workout
Sunday: Hiking with my honey
Monday after work: workout with my old trainer

I’m pretty sure I will be regretting the decision to do the 99 workout on Monday evening…but my trainer really wants to try it out. I’m excited to do it again as well because it shows me what I am capable of doing!

This is going to be a tough 5 days, but just after doing the short workout this morning, I had so much more energy today. I just need to keep reminding myself how good it feels for the rest of the day when I put a little effort into a workout in the morning.

I’ll keep you updated on how it all goes! And I will try not to complain about how sore my legs are after running on Saturday, then hiking on Sunday, then doing nearly 500 squats on Monday 🙂

What’s the best workout you’ve done lately?

Workout Wednesday- Smartphone edition

As I mentioned on Monday, my honey and I got Smartphones over the weekend. I got the EVO 4G to be exact. I’m pretty much obsessed already and have loaded a ton of free apps (I’m too cheap to pay for any at this point!!).

I knew I wanted some good workout apps, so I quickly found the Daily Workout series (abs, cardio, butt, legs and arms) and downloaded all of them!

This is a screen shot of their website: I just saw the yoga workout, but it is only available on Apple products. Hopefully it will be coming to the Android Market soon though!!

Each of the free workout apps offers a 5 minute, a 7.5 minute or a 10 minute option for one set of exercises (the paid apps have more options, but I don’t have the paid version so I can’t tell you what they have!). I have tried out the 5 minute workouts for all of them except the cardio and they were tough. You do each move for 30 seconds with no rest in between, but you have the option to pause the workout at any time.

I liked them because there is a person on the screen demonstrating the moves, so you can easily follow along if you are unsure how to do them. Also, it challenged me to keep up with her when I might have quit otherwise.

The other great thing is that they are simple exercises, with a few new ones thrown in to change up what I already do. So far, the arm, abs, butt and leg workouts have been done in my hallway, which is perfect for me, and shows that you don’t need a lot of space or equipment to do them.

The greatest thing is that I don’t have to have my computer upstairs or be in front of a TV to do the workouts. I simply just have my phone where I can see it and I can basically workout anywhere!

If you have a Smartphone, I highly recommend checking these apps out. I plan to look into some other ones as well and will share if I find some other great ones.

Do you know of any great workout apps??


A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to run a 10K in November. I’ve thought about it a little more and to save a little extra money, I’m not going to be running it. (Plus, I have an event that day for my direct selling business, so I figure I should be trying to make money, not spend it!!)

So, in an effort to see if I can beat my time from last year, I have decided that I will run the race all by myself. That’s right. I know the course and it is fairly close to my house, so one day I am just going to head over there and time myself running it. I’m hoping my honey and Titan can come to cheer me on. They can play on the school’s football field and track where the course starts. I’ll keep you posted on my progress and when I actually do the “race.”