My Workout Plans

I am always changing up my workouts. It may have something to do with the fact that I love to "create" in all areas of my life....thus the whole art teacher gig...but create workouts is highly satisfying.

For any given week my goals are to complete 2 HILT workouts (high intensity, high heart rate), 2 weight room circuits (meaning pushing against weights), 1 bodyweight workout (only using my body to create resistance) and everything else is Cardio or a Cardio Circuit.

Lets break each one of these down and then go through a normal routine.

6-14 miles at a moderate pace. Remember to stretch before and after. Drink LOTS of water, even if it means adding time to your run. Plan your route ahead of time so that you aren't making decisions while rounding a corner and take yourself out over a fire hydrant (thats not from a real life experience or anything). Wear shoes that you have already broken in, not brand spankin new cross trainers that you hope will work. (TIP...break in your running shoes by doing some bodyweight workouts in them, this will allow them to stretch and will let you know if you need any further padding or sock with a lip). Aim for time, not mileage. That way your goal is based on duration and pacing, not how fast you can run, which normally leads to cramping, muscle spasms and dehydration.

 Cardio circuit
 A cardio circuit is where you are running a certain distance but you intersperse weight reps in between certain distances. For example, I normally aim to run 3 to 4 miles on my circuit days. I know that 17 laps around my indoor track is 1 mile so if I want to run 3 miles I will run 3 laps, stop and complete reps with a weight, run 3 laps, stop and complete reps with a this 17 times and you got yourself an awesome circuit. This not only rises and lowers your heart rate continually but if you want to bump it up a notch you can sprint one of those laps and get in a great ab/leg workout as well. Here is sample cardio circuit.

3 laps
*12 oblique stretches on each side
3 laps
*20 bridges with leg raise
3 laps
*12 pushups
3 laps
*15 bow ties with weight
3 laps
*6 deadlifts on one leg
3 laps
*35 flat crunches
3 laps
*20 flat footed spiders
3 laps
*high plank for 1 min
3 laps
*15 ballet squats with weight thrust
3 laps
*20 donkey kicks
3 laps
*20 dumbbell snatch
3 laps
*30 weighted mason twists
3 laps
*25 opposite toe sit ups
3 laps
*25 reverse sit ups
3 laps
*side planks (30 seconds each side)
3 laps
*20 peeing dog with kick
3 laps
*20 high knees

You probably didn't notice but I make up some pretty fancy names for exercises. I left off chicken hammer because I want to sound the tiniest bit credible :). When other people work out with me I always demo the move first....I mean I think my names are pretty self explanatory, but others are not down with "peeing dog with kick".

Also, if your mile goal is higher you could run more laps in between each weight exercise or you could do the whole circuit twice.

Weight Room
There are two types of circuits that I plan out for weight room days. The first is a circuit of 8 exercises that I go through 5 times. The second is a circuit of 10 exercises that I go through 2 solid times and then go through to failure on the 3rd. (the second choice always brings lots of fond questions throughout the "why are you walking like that?" or "dang, you look tired today".
"To Failure" means to do the exercise until you are literally shaking and about to drop the weight :). Sounds fun right?!!!!

Here is a 1st option circuit, 5x through.
1. Bar (normally the heavier bar with 5 lbs on each side or the lighter one with 25 lbs on each side). I go with whatever is already set up. 8 reps
2. Lat Machine (25 lbs on each side) 20 reps for both arms...The first time I hold on overhand, the second underhand, rotating through all 5 times.
3. Leg Machine (cranked up to a 3 resistance) 20 reps on each leg.
4. Ab Machine (not sure if thats what it is called but in my mind I lovingly refer to it as the torture device. You lock your feet in and lean backwards then complete a sit up while hanging in the air. 20 reps.
5. Hang Clean. Lifting legs so they are perpendicular with my waist, not just lifting knees ,15 reps
6. Bridge with shoulders on a weight bench, holding 20 lbs weight on stomach ( I can feel the burn in my tush just by typing this).
7. Nose Breakers with lighter bar. I lay on weight bench and lower bar to nose only using triceps. 15
8. Plank with rows, 15 lb weights, 1 row at a time, 10 each arm.

This normally takes me 45-55 minutes to complete depending on how often I stop for water. If I am feeling really good then I will compete 100 jumping jacks to kinda stretch out my body and get my heart rate up really quick before I leave.

Option 2, 1st 2 times through at determined reps, 3rd time through to failure.

1. Plank rows, 15 lb weights at 20 reps. Failure for me is normally 35-40
2. Push Ups, 12 reps, Failure is usually 25 and jello arms for the rest of the day :)
3. Leg Machine, resistance 3 at 20 reps each leg, Failure is normally resistance 4 at 30 reps each leg
4. Bar, Heavier one with 5 lbs on each side 10 reps, Failure is 12 (i am a bar weenie)
5. Hang Clean, 15, Failure is normally 25/30
6. Lat Machine, 25 lbs both sides, 20 each arm, Failure is 30 for sure
7. Deadlift with medium bar, 15 reps, Failure is 25 for sure
8. Double Tap Knee crunch, 10 reps each side, failure is 15/20
9. Bowtie with weights on tiptoes, 15 reps, failure is 25
10. Bridge with weights, 20 lbs, 20 reps, failure is for sure 30
11. Reverse sit up, 20 reps, Failure is 30 but only because I am bored and because these hurt my back

This normally takes me 50-55 minutes to complete and I am soaking buckets.


These routines are great because you do them anywhere without any equipment. I save these workouts for days when there is just no way I am gonna make it to the gym. I fit in as many rounds of these circuits as I can....even a 15 minute session is WORTH DOING!!!

1. Burpees (10)
2. Rotating t's from plank position (10 each side)
3. Push Ups (12)
4. Narrow squats, ballet squats, sumo squats, you choose (15)
5. Peeing Dog with Kick (10 each side)
6. Reverse Lunges (20)
7. Tricep Dips (from bed, toy box, coffee table, etc...anything stable)
8. Jumping Jacks (20)


Hilt stands for High Intensity Interval Training. I first got hooked on this method by attending an Orange Theory class with a good friend. By changing up my pace and incline on the treadmill, along with quick burst on the rowing machine I was able to burn around 550 calories in less than an hour. The only thing I didn't like is the fact that you wear a heart rate monitor right below your chest the whole time. I honestly couldn't feel it but after doing some research I found out that nothing that sends pulses into your body to get your heart rate should ever be that close to vital organs. So here is my version of HILT.

Find a basketball court or a field.

Spring down one long side, jog across short side, sprint down one long side, jog across short side.
Stop, drink water, perform a bodyweight exercise (weighted exercises tend to drain my energy and I don't last as long).

When I say sprint, I do mean sprint, like zombies are chasing you!!!!!!!!
I can normally get in 2 miles worth of sprinting before my thighs and abs ARE ON FIRE!!! Did you know that sprinting is one of the best ab workouts? I mean think about those who run the shorter races in the Olympics vs. those who run long distance? The short distance runners are BUILT, LIKE HOLY COW BUILT and the long distance runners are long and lean. Neither is awful but if you are looking to improve muscle tone the lower abs are often the hardest to define.

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