Rise and Shine

I am not really a morning person, but I got out of bed at 6:45 this morning and I feel pretty smug about it. 

I did a conditioning circuit today, each of the following exercises for 2 minutes, with 30 seconds of rest between each exercise, 3 times around:

10 minute warm-up on arc trainer, 15 incline, 20 resistance

1. Body weight squats (feet shoulder-width apart)
2. Resistance band biceps curls (basically to failure in that 2 minute period)
3. Walking lunges with twist (medicine ball, 10lbs)
4. Back extensions
5. Decline sit ups
6. Deadlifts (straight leg, 45lb plate)
7. Push ups


Today’s Special (er…Workout and Food Journal)

Sorry, if you were expecting Jeff the Mannequin or Muffy the Mouse, you’ll be very disappointed by this post.


A1 Sprints (4 sets x 3 minutes x 30 seconds of rest)
A2 Barbell Squats (4 sets x 10 – 12 reps x 30 seconds of rest, 80lbs)
A3 Seated Rows (4 sets x 6 reps x 6 reps x 6 reps x 30 seconds of rest, 115lbs/105lbs/95lbs)
A4 Plank (4 sets x 1 minute x 30 seconds of rest)

B1 Straight Arm Chin Up (2 sets x 12 – 15 reps x 30 seconds of rest)
B2 Leg lifts (2 sets x 12 – 15 reps x 30 seconds of rest)


Meal 1: Omelette (1 egg, 1/2 cup of egg whites, 1 oz cheese, 2 slices bacon)
Meal 2: Protein shake and a wheatgrass shot (from Booster Juice, I was on-the-go)
Meal 3: 10 almonds and 1/2 grapfruit
Meal 4: 1 serving 1% mf cottage cheese
Meal 5: 3 oz boneless, skinless chicken breast with garden salad ( 2 cups Iceberg lettuce, 1 oz diced tomatoes, 3 slices cucumber), 1 tbsp light Italian dressing

3 litres of water
1 cup coffee, 2 tbsp heavy cream

Get Some Pep In Your Step with 8tracks.com

I can’t do very much without music; I’ll admit that I’ve skipped workouts because my iPod died or I’ve left the gym because I forgot headphones–once I actually went out and bought headphones and then went back to the gym. 

I’ve found an app that helps provide me with some variety in the music department: 8tracksImage

What’s great about this app is that you can put in search terms like “workout”, “motivation”, and “upbeat” and get a bunch of user-created playlists. You can love songs, you can save playlists to your profile (so you can find them with ease), and if you’re an American user, you can create your own playlists for other users to enjoy. It’s an easy way to discover new music.

Being a Canadian user, sometimes I lament my inability to create a playlist, but let’s be real: my musical selections probably won’t be missed by anyone. The other downfall of this app is that you can’t playback songs, you must run through the entire playlist to hear that awesome song again; also, you can only skip a few songs before the app tells you that you’re not able to skip anymore in that playlist. These limitations are only about a 3 on an aggravation scale of 1 to 10, 10 being most aggravating–considering you get to check out cool tunes for free, I think the limits are acceptable.

You can also listen to 8tracks online, so if you want to use your phone for say…a phonecall…you can easily access the site if you can’t use your app.




Legs & Back Day

Today I feel great!

I ditched my old gym in favour of a community gym with a track and a pool–thinking I might be able to add some much needed variety to my workouts.

To warm-up I did 1 walk around the track and 2 running laps and then a set of weighted squats (10 reps).

My workout today:

A1: 3 sets of 90lb wide-leg squats (10 – 12 reps, 30 seconds of rest between sets)
A2: 3 sets of 90lb bent-leg deadlifts (10 – 12 reps, 30 seconds of rest between sets)
A3: 3 sets of wide push-ups (10 – 12 reps, 30 seconds of rest between sets; I was supposed to do chin-ups, but the machine was in use, so I did a push-up, which I know is not the same thing, but I had about 15 seconds to think of something to do.)

B1: 3 sets of medium-grip 60lb lat pull-downs (12 – 15 reps, 30 seconds of rest before next exercise)
B2a: 3 sets of split-squat, with 15lb dumbbells (10 reps each side, no rest after or between)
B2b: 3 sets of body-weight sumo squats (12 – 15 reps, 30 seconds of rest afterward)

Next week I will actually do the chin-ups and I’ll add another set to my workout, but this is workout #3 this week and I’m feeling pretty darn good about it. Tomorrow is yoga and intervals.

Up and Running

So I switched to my tried, tested, and true trainer. I’m really happy I did that. I’m in the gym 9 x per week and the program is amazing, so far. I’ve been able to complete the workouts, but they are very challenging. My diet has improved dramatically (with the exception of a bender at a staff party on Monday and the hangover breakfast of brownies that happened on Tuesday).

My supplement regime has been tweaked to include magnesium, zinc, DHAAs (in serious quantities), and still includes BCAAs, whey powder, and a multi-vitamin.

I was pinched and weighed on Monday–14.7% body fat (goal is 10% – 12%); 142lbs.

The Program:

Sunday – Off
Monday – chest/back + muay thai
Tuesday – plyo/core
Wednesday – arms/shoulders + muay thai
Thursday – intervals + additional cardio
Friday – legs
Saturday – intervals + additional cardio

I am feeling really good. Really, really good.

Circuits! Circuits! Circuits!

I drew this program up to get in a pretty comprehensive workout that is flexible and will take some time to get old. Basically, I pick two circuits per workout; today was A and B (with one set of C, just for kicks). The way it’s set up is a non-stop workout, with only 1 minute of rest between sets. You don’t even really need a gym or complex equipment to do this workout. You can make it more challenging by adding an extra set and gradually increasing your weights. The second exercise in each circuit is geared towards keeping your heart-rate up.

Click on the exercises below for a demonstration and for the breakdown of all the muscles involved in the movement.

Circuit A

3 sets, 10 – 12 reps: dumbbell bicep curls – 10lbs

3 sets, 12 reps: weighted squats (or smith press, if you’re going heavy and don’t have a spotter) – I did the smith press and I used 2 x 45lb plates + 2 x 25lb plates

3 sets, 12 reps: wide push-ups (with ball, if need be) – I definitely used the ball for 2 sets today

Circuit B

3 sets, 12 reps: dumbell shoulder press – 15lbs

3 sets, 12 reps: forward lunges (you can choose to do them weighted or not) – 2 x 10lb plates

3 sets, 12 reps: skullcrushers (barbell) – 20lbs

Circuit C

3 sets, 12 reps: tricep dips or bent-knee triceps dips

3 sets, 12 reps: jump squats (basically you squat and explode up and attempt to land gingerly)

3 sets, 12 reps: seated cable rows – 40lbs



This Morning’s Workout

I woke up at 6:30 this morning and did cardio and abs this morning. 15 minutes on the stairmaster (I was hoping to hit a spin class, but I had written down the wrong time in my calendar), 3 sets of plank (30 secs); 3 sets of side plank (30 secs); 3 sets of 15 full sit ups, using the ball; 3 sets of 10 woodchoppers with a 7lb medicine ball; 1 set of 20 oblique curls; back to the ellyptical for 10 minutes. Back to the gym tonight for arms. Post-workout meal of cottage cheese (I had some high fibre cereal before I left this morning).

I felt like my back was really tight this morning. I’m noticing a difference since cutting down smoking (yes, I’m a smoker right now, but that too will be a thing of the past).