Friday, February 13, 2015

Fitness Friday pt. 4

Thanks for allowing me to stray from actual fitness last week and instead let you have a sneak peek into a "normal" (she says as she rolls her eyes) day with my five.

Two weeks ago I wrote about my love for running...that love is still very strong but after about 2-3 months of daily running I needed something else. My weight loss had started to plateau and my knees were starting to demand that I give them some days off from constant pounding.

I am very fortunate to be in a school community with several coaches who are known for their weight room knowledge and results. I quickly gathered up several of my teacher girlfriends and we hired us a personal trainer, aka Jr. high Coach.

Let me tell you that starting my weight lifting routine with other women who were just as clueless as I was had to be the best decision ever. It was the highlight of my week to meet them on Mondays and Thursdays at the crack of dawn and attempt to lift heavy things and develop 6 packs.

We fell over, fell off, rolled around and straight up laughed through our 1 hour sessions every week. We even caught up on each others personal lives while doing wall sits and plank holds. That personal trainer didn't stand a chance with us 4 and he often times would take a break so that he could gather himself and get serious again. It was the best. Those 4 are also who I go out to eat with the most, so holding each other accountable in the gym and at lunch in the teachers lounge or at a restaurant went hand and hand.

Our trainer would focus each week on a different section of the body. So after the first week of arms, we all found it slightly entertaining that we couldn't write a whole sentence on our white board without the assistance of a prop or without using the other hand to hold it up. And don't get me started on the inability to squat to use the potty after our week of leg and tush. It almost wasn't worth it...I am a teacher, I can hold it all day if need be :). There may have also been a time where Adam had to shampoo my hair because I literally couldn't lift my arms above my shoulders.....thats true love!!

The great thing about hiring a trainer is also the amount of knowledge you can reap about proper form when using free weights and how to use the weight machines to get the maximum results. I would encourage anyone who is just starting out to hire a trainer for 8-12 weeks to kickstart your circuit training, gain knowledge and push yourself to do things you wouldn't normally do.  Many people find that group training, personal trainers and classes are the best form of motivation for them. Personally, after 2 months with our trainer I discovered that I love the challenge of creating my own circuits and racing against the clock to see how many reps of a certain circuit I can get in inside of 1 hour.

This has become one of my favorite weight room circuits. It works every main muscle group, leaves me exhausted and burns!!!

1-Hip ground taps from a side plank position  **10 each side first 2 rounds, *go to failure in 3rd round, normally 12-15 for me

2-Dead Lift with bar and 20 additional lbs. **10 each leg first 2 rounds, *go to failure in 3rd round, normally 15 each leg for me

Lower bar until it touches top of front foot with back leg extended.

Come up slowly until you are standing straight up.

 3-Butt lift from sitting position. ** 10 reps at 10 seconds each with 5 second rest in between each one ** Failure is 12 reps for me.
--I didn't get a picture of this exercise but I saw it on pinterest. You sit on your tookus with your hands at your butt, legs extended. Lift your body up about 2 inches off the ground with your hands while squeezing core.

4-Hang clean ** 16 lifts side to side so it ends up being 8 lifts on each side. Lift your whole leg, not just your toes * to failure is normally 20-25 for me

5-Leg Press with 90 lbs (45 weights on each side). **10 reps, *Failure for me is 12-15.

 You like those neat weight gloves? It only takes one time to forget those suckers and you will have nasty blisters for weeks. Plus, I like to think it makes me look legit :).

6-Plank Jacks. Start in the high plank position and them jump your legs in and out as if you were doing a jumping jack. **20 times first 2 rounds, **30 times failure. I normally end these with 60 seconds of holding a high plank.

7-Ab Machine (which I lovingly refer to as the TORTURE DEVICE). **20 side to side curls **25 straight up curls is my normal failure. This sucker burns and I normally have to do some self motivation to get up on the last 5 to 10 reps.

I thought pictures would make this post more intriguing, more approachable, bring it to life...fortunately for me, unfortunately for Adam, he was feeling nauseous today so he agreed to be my photographer...its still quite awkward though to be photographed while working out though :).

8-Leg Resist Machine. This machine allows you to slip your calves in between two cushions, crank up the resist and push up and them push back, working both your upper front and upper back thighs and tush. ** 20 reps per leg at a resist 4 in the first round, **30 reps at a resist 5 to failure (at failure, my legs are shaking)

9-Bar, normally thought of as a mans exercise but I love the way it works out my biceps, shoulders and upper back as well. I hardly ever add on weight, the heaviest bar is enough to make me shake at failure.  ** 15 reps for two rounds, **20 reps is my normal failure

10-Nose breakers--probably not the right term but a great description. This works out your triceps. You hold the bar straight up from your shoulders. Then you drop it to your nose, only bending your elbows. **15 reps for 2 rounds, ** 20 is my normal failure.

11-Tush Dips-These are also called bridges. I normally hold a 20 or 25 lb weight as I perform those to make myself work a little harder. This works your tush and legs. I admit that these are somewhat awkward to do amongst mixed company .... lucky for me, there is no one else but Adam around at 4:45 in the morning :).  **20 reps with 20 lbs weight, **25 reps with 25 lbs weight (BURN BABY BURN)

12- Row Planks. Begin in the original high plank position with weights in both hands. Raise weights one at a time to your shoulder. ** 10 reps on each side with 15 lbs weight, ** 15 reps on each side with 15 lbs weight is my normal failure

 This full circuit normally takes me a little under 1 hour to complete. If I have any time left I will add in some push-ups or jumping jacks. 

On days that I lift weights I AM HUNGRY ALL DAY LONG so I will normally add a protein bar into my breakfast to keep my stomach from being ridiculous while I teach my sweet students :). 

I hope this inspires anyone who is scared to enter the world of weights and resistance bands and sweaty bulky men. Ladies, don't worry about lifting heavy weights, our bodies don't have the testosterone to turn us into beast. 

After adding weight training 2x a week I finally shed those last stubborn pounds to hit my goal of losing 20 lbs.

I am enjoying all of the emails and facebook messages with your comments and questions. Keep them coming. You can reply to me personally at or comment on this post below.

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