Tuesday, May 27, 2014

2 Favorite Ab Moves!

Hey everyone! So I have a weekend recap in the works for ya but don't want to leave you hanging and waiting around for that  so in the meantime, I want to share a few of my favorite Ab exercises that I did one night last week. Man was I sweating and sore by the end of 3 rounds of these! Phew! 

So there are 2 exercises:
1. Ab "crunch-up" on the stability ball
2. Leg raise + "Butt-up" on bench (Like my made up names? lol)

So you will perform 3 rounds of 10-15 reps each, in super-set style. 

All a superset means is: Perform #1 x 15 then immediately move on to #2 x 10; then rest if you need to and go again. 

You could also do these in circuit style with other exercises for added difficulty. For that, pick another 1-2 exercises and perform 1 set of each move back to back, then rest at the end for 30-60s and repeat the circuit. Do that 3-4 times for a real burner!

Here are a few video tutorials to help with those too!

Nicole Wilkins demonstrates #1 towards the end of the video (at around 1:55, performed on floor with a med ball). 

You will use the same positioning on the stability ball as she does for the regular ab crunch in the beginning. Notice how she slides farther back on the ball to emphasize more tension on the abs. I used a 15lb dumbbell for these.

Then I demonstrated the leg raises and reverse crunches or "butt-ups" with this video from January. BUT try not to let your back come off the bench at all! 

I have really been working on strengthening my core this last year; and more so for the past 6 months or so with really heavy abs exercises or difficult ab exercises, at least 3-4 times a week (of course with rest days in between). This time around doing this move, I found that I was able to keep my back flat on the bench throughout the leg raise even it burned . And also it will be harder, but try to 'scoot your body' so that your butt is almost off the bench. This will put more reliance on your core when you perform the exercise. If you have to, only perform the reverse crunches on bench then progress into doing the combo! 

 Try it out and Let me know what you guys think! And what are some of YOUR favorite ab moves? I would love to know! Comment below! 

Always a work in progress! :)

Friday, May 23, 2014

Shoulder Day! + Heavy Abs + HIIT Sprints

Hope you guys are having a fantastic day today! I will be as soon as that clock hits 5! Sometimes I really think it's sad that I count down hours in the day. Perks of working a state agency desk job I suppose! ;) So since today is shoulder day, I want to give you guys a shoulder routine that I did a few weeks ago. 

I posted this on Facebook but if you don't want to have to scroll through everything you can Pin the picture below to your Pinterest board for later! BUT just in case, this is also in a Notes document on my Facebook page too :) See I've got you guys covered!

So here you go! If you do it, leave a comment below and tell me what you think! 

Keep in mind that the calorie burn below is for my body specifically; but to keep your own calorie burn high, keep your heart rate up throughout the workout. Warm-up really good, only take minimal rests (I did 30 seconds between each set or super set) and lift as heavy as you can!

Shoulder Workout

3x12, drop sets on some exercises. 30 sec rests

Selectorized lateral raise
Barbell shoulder press (seated)
Selectorized fly SS Dumbbell front raise
Dumbbell upright row
Cable lateral raise (cross front)
Dumbbell scarecrow

Alternate exercise: Dumbbell Clean n press (no squat)

Abs- HEAVY cable crunches- 3 sets 10 each side (obliques) then 5 in the middle (25 total)

Then afterwards, hop on the treadmill and bust out some HIIT sprints (incline or regular; I did regular this day). 

Shoulders burned about 75% of i

Hope you guys have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and look out for some more great posts coming your way soon! 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Clean Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice

Hey guys! Happy HUMP Day! So I promised multiple awesome posts this week and darn it I'm delivering them to you!

So this is going to be a bit shorter than normal but still no less than great for my readers out there. I know right?! Haha...progress. Anyways, I just want to share a recipe with you all that I "health-ified" for meal prep a few weeks back. And it turned out AH-MAZING!

So here goes...ready for it? Well I kind-of already gave it away haha (see title) ;) Oh well. 

Of course mine didn't look near as good haha! And I forgot to snap a pic! Darn.

 Clean Chipotle's Cilantro Lime Rice!

  • 2 cups Brown rice (I used 2 cups dry rice, for the week for lunches)
  • 4 tsp MCT oil (only for tossing- so 2 tsp per cup) or olive oil would work too
  • 2 tbsp lime juice (1 tbsp per cup)
  • 1-2 tsp salt (I used a few grinds of salt in the water then a few in the mix)
  • 6 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (I grabbed two small handfuls from the bunch and chopped it)

  • Optional:  3-4 cups water for boiling rice (I put 3 in my rice cooker and it comes out perfect)
  • 1 tsp oil and salt for rice cooking

Now I have a rice cooker, so rice for me is cake to make! You don't want to ask my hubby what happened when I tried rice on the stove haha. Nah it came out alright-- but it took forever! And I much rather just add the water and rice and let it cook for me. Duh! Who wouldn't? Anyways...If you don't have this handy dandy gadget, GO BUY ONE...NO DON'T just kidding! :)

  •  So cook your rice, however you wish
  • Chop up the cilantro. I like mine pretty "finely" chopped so I used my hand chopper (that sounds odd...you know the one you press?)
  • Then in a large mixing bowl, combine oil, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and rice and STIR STIR STIR! 
  • Enjoy!

I portioned mine out into 4 oz portions which yields:

204 Calories
40g Carbs
4 g Fat
5 g Protein

It sure does taste good, especially paired with Greek seasoned tilapia. Yum!

Here is the original for reference:

If you try it out leave a comment below and let me know what you think! 

The Hump Day Blog Hop

Don't forget about the Hump Day blog hop today too! Go check out some of the awesome blogs happenin over at Fitness Blondie's page-- and this week's co-host Tricia @ "Tricia's (Mostly) Healthy Lifestyle"

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Weekend Recap: A little dancing and a lot of fun! And a lesson or two from yours truly!

Hey hey!! So like I promised I want to recap this weekend and tell you guys all about it! It was a lot of fun and still relaxing by the time Sunday rolled around. Did you guys have a good weekend? You'll have to post below and tell me about it!

I really like sharing things with everyone especially my weekends because that's where we have time to actually do things; plus it lets me reflect on how blessed I am by recapping all of the fun or just normal things we do. I find that the more I share with people, the better I get in touch with myself, and all of you guys! Do you guys want to see more weekend recaps? Comment below or send me a facebook message and let me know what you want to see!

So the weekend technically started for me Friday afternoon because I took a half day at work to leave early to get ready for the event we had Friday night, and to run an errand.

I set off Friday morning, driving myself so I could leave early and had all the necessities with me: my 6packbags cooler filled with meals for the day, my coffee for sure, water in my big bottle, and breakfast which was egg whites and rice cakes. I only had two rice cakes and saved the last one for later that day. Since Friday was my low carb day before my photo shoot, I changed my breakfast to fit instead of having my normal overnight oats. Sad face I know! :(

It really is about preparing for any situation that is the key to success in living a healthy lifestyle; even though I wasn't going to be at work all day, I still packed enough so I could eat on the run. I'm not afraid to whip out the fork and Tupperware at a red light. It definitely happened after I left that day. Hey a girl's gotta eat! And I was on a strict schedule last week more than ever!

So I'll be really honest here and I'm not proud of it lol; but after a kinda pathetic mental breakdown/cranky low carb Rachel trying to do her OWN extensions and hair for friday night's event...we finally made it there at around 8pm. I don't know where this wild hair came from that I thought I could learn AND do my own hair for that night...haha. But I thought I could! Man I tried! But the good news is...after a little practice and a new smaller curling iron, I think eventually I'll be able to do it myself woohoo! But I ended up showering and just doing the simple, straight, normal "Rachel-hair-do" and I should've went with that to begin with haha. I digress.


We still had a lot of fun! It was so nice getting all dressed up and hanging out with friends that night. 

 I think it's pretty funny...one of our friends who hasn't seen me
dressed up a lot, thought I was a mannequin! LOL

I think that's a compliment? ;)

And they had something pretty cool set up there...A Selfie Station! Umm heck yeah! lol. Who doesn't like goofing off and taking crazy pictures to remember! Duh!
And this left picture - I figured he wrote some #funnyguy saying on it ;) Has to pull the blonde card I tell you. It's ok I still love him for it! It was a lot of fun! In the first picture we attempted, just my saying was on a card; I laughed so hard that the picture didn't get taken in time before I was doubled over laughing at how funny I thought it was. I just can't keep a surprise or surprise him to save my life. LOL

I'm telling you...always the funny guy ;) Gotta love him! And can we please talk about that delt in the top middle picture?! What?! Freakin awesome I tell you!

Overall we had a great night dancing and laughing and just enjoying each others company. I am SO glad we decided to go especially because this time next month they'll be on the way or already deployed! But let's skip that for now shall we?

Now ladies tell me again, how weight lifting makes you bulky...Here is a prime example of why you SHOULD lift weights. I am NOT complaining about these gains ;) Dang sucky bathroom lighting. Ladies you want your booty to look good in a bikini? Better get to lifting! 

And OK, #realtalk,  I had a glass of wine that night 😳 lol 😱 and it was good! ...I think I told you all when I posted this (below) on my IG page the next day. I mean since I had the photo shoot Sunday was this the best idea, no not really...and if and when I am on contest prep I WILL NOT have alcohol. But I chose to have it that night and I am OK with that. It wasn't the worst thing in the world and I did it the "smart way" if there is one. So sue me ;) 
Some of you may know the reasoning behind why I shouldn't have had the drink, but for those of you scratching your heads (It's OK I never used to think about it either I promise :) )...Before the glass of wine, first I had at least a liter + of water and waited until prolly 2 hours after I ate. Because alcohol stops your metabolism temporarily from metabolizing anything but the alcohol; Your body is not able to metabolize the foods you eat beforehand as effectively. So you aren't likely to get the full nutritional benefits of your food.

Moderation and consistency are key.

 This definitely is not something I do all the time, but honestly every now and then you can let loose a little...anyways I wasn't too worried because the whole past week and a half or so that I gave myself to really 'prep' for the shoot, I took out dairy and fruits and only ate clean protein, carbs and veggies. And drank a TON of water! This was something to prepare for that was for fun, and I learned a lot through the whole process. You get what you put in, so I expected nothing less from what I did to get myself to this point. 

Nutrition is definitely first in being able to see your hard earned muscle gains. Want abs? Gotta eat right! 

So later that day, after some pre-meal-prepping (because I was out of food for the weekend), I went to the gym for an awesome final circuit before my shoot the next day, and ran a few errands. I stopped working legs a day or two prior to the shoot to give my body time to recover; normally Saturday is my second leg day but the coach said no bueno! So this week is going to be ON for leg days! 

For this one, I did 4 rounds and added 45-60s jump rope after each circuit; rested for about a minute then back up and at it again! It was killer! Try it and let me know what you think! Don't forget the jump rope!

So I definitely had to make a trip to wally-world for a few necessities and then had to come home, because guess who forgot their debit card? Yep me! Luckily I had enough cash in my wallet I didn't have to come back there. Then I went back out and to the grocery store and managed to be out and on the way back home in almost under an hour which was awesome! We had crab legs and shrimp for dinner - YUM! We love to have a seafood night every so often, especially if there are good deals going on.

And of course I waited to go tan until later that night...didn't want to mess up the spray tan so I thought- Ill just go after dinner (thinking they closed at 10 or 11) Well...Not on weekends they don't! They had closed at 9. Apparently only Monday-Thursdays they are open to 11pm. Sigh! By the time I had everything ready for the next day (Note to self: pack before the night before!) I was SO tired and honestly worried about the sleep I hadn't gotten, I went to bed. I really need to work on that....speaking of- what time is it? :#

But it ended up being just fine! I got up the next morning, packed my meals in my cooler and got my make-up done. But first...I had to take a #selfie ;) LOL

Here's a little #transformationtuesday for ya! Beginning of last week after starting the changes to the end of the week transformation. I feel like my muscles popped even more by the time I got there at 11 or so and I never feel like pictures do it justice lol. Don't know if I was "right on target" or what but I have certainly made a ton of improvements to myself and I sure did feel like the best version of myself that morning. Seeing all your hard work come together really is cool! It makes you feel proud of what you've accomplished to get to that point.

Now make-up I can definitely do. I did my own makeup or my bridal shoot, our wedding day, and definitely for this shoot. I used a Pinterest look that I liked and went to town! To me it is fun creating different looks. Can you guess the look I wanted? Hehe. 

 Then I headed out and to a friend's house for her to help with my hair. After my time trying to teach myself Friday, my sweet hubby had asked her at the Semi-formal if she could help me. (everybody ready: Awwww! lol). She did a great job! It was nice getting to hang out and catch up with her beforehand.

Then I was off! Ate my favorite Lara Bar on the way to get a nice muscle pump by the time I got there (I know but I just wasn't feeling the candy bar- crazy right?). It so funny to me because I was thinking- "Man, I can't wait to eat the candy bar!" -- but honestly, for me it's not a norm so when it came down to it, I wanted what I had cut out for a few weeks lol. The Lara Bars. If you haven't had one you are missing out! I eat one every day before my workouts. I know I probably shouldn't but oh well! May try to cut down...I did good- didn't have one today. 

And for anyone in the area, I'm telling you the girl that did my shoot-- Jessica Therese --is your girl! She does anything from couples sessions, to cake smash for your little ones, to boudoir singles, boudoir parties and boudoir couples sessions as well! She was fun and such a natural; she made me feel right at home! I HIGHLY recommend her as your next photographer...and I hear she even does weddings too ladies! And maybe a fitness shoot in my future! You WILL NOT be disappointed! Go check her out! :)

Headshot with a little contrast lighting - I think it turned out so well!
I got my sneak peaks and let me tell you...I LOVED THEM!!! She did such an amazing job I cannot wait to see the rest! So afterwards, I headed home with my tupperware container full of chicken and sweet potatoes out and eating on the ride home haha. Hey - I was HANGRY by the time we got finished. When I got home, I finished eating and was watching a movie...then I woke up. Lol- yeah I was pooped! So despite my better judgement to stay on the couch, I got up and started finishing up things we typically do on Sundays like laundry and then started meal prepping.

While I was getting the meal prepping done, Scotty cooked us steaks, and we fixed baked potatoes with the fixins  ;) (for all my Bama friends out there!) and I made me some asparagus. I can't seem to get the hubs on board with that one so I digress. It was really yummy! I love when it's time to grill! I would honestly rather grill everything and would if I could do it that way. And yes I definitely had a bite or half...haha...of the snickers. Man I'm telling on myself here! 

But, It's ok though. Because as long as you work hard, kill your workouts every day, and are mostly on point with your diet, you'll have success. I usually do at least a 90-10% ratio. 90% of the time I eat clean; like today and yesterday, I meal prepped and went right back to my normal routine so my body can start cleansing itself with clean foods, and be on the way back to normal. 1: because I like my routine and 2: because I definitely want to keep making serious gains and I know what I need to do to get there. When I get really ready for a real prep, I know that I won't be cheating myself any because I know what I want my outcome to look like. For those that know my habits now, you know these treats are not normal for me for every day. But in moderation, and whatever ratio work FOR YOU, as long as you stay dedicated and consistent...have a treat every now and then! 

(I'm starting to see a theme in this post...)

So the hubby and I wanted, well I had the bright idea, to go get frozen yogurt Sunday night. But really- I was overly stuffed; and it's never good to over-eat even if it's clean foods. I ate pretty normal that night. My body will definitely have to adjust to my normal intake again. With a little time, I'll be back in the 300g carbs (Almost!) a day club in no time! ;) Yes!!! 

We waited until yesterday night. I had taken off from the gym one more day, making it two rest days in a row. Honestly I was beat! Even at work I was tired and on the way home I almost fell asleep in the back of the carpool which is not normal for me. If it's one thing I know for sure, it's that sleep and resting are so important. And I can preach it all day long but I really need to start trying harder to practice it. It really does make a difference in your results too. I always wake up leaner and looking more refreshed when I have enough sleep the night before. So with that being said, I could write all night :) I am going to cut it short; well long haha. 

So goodnight friends! I hope you had a great beginning of the week and I will talk to you again tomorrow for HUMP Day!!!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stairs of Death + 3 Fat Burning Circuit Routines! 4 your entire body

Hey guys! So I really want to share some of my workouts that I did last week, because was different than my normal weight lifting routine and because they have been killer! I don't know if I am just not used to this much cardio or what, but I may have to add in a day like this every week! I tried to get this up for you all this weekend- but man...you know how life is!

So one reason why I changed my routine, is because I was prepping for a photoshoot that was Sunday. (Stay tuned for a weekend recap later today or tomorrow and I'll tell you all about it!) I wanted to look my best so I have kept that event in mind for the past 2 weeks and upped my intensity a bit. Not that my normal routine doesn't work-- BUT I wanted to come in a bit leaner, and tight for the shoot. Needless to say those of you who know what Boudoir is ;) may get my reasoning lol. 

Anyways, in addition to the different routines, I also changed my diet from normal -- to a different ratio breakdown -- to get different results. But we won't into that today. Today, I want to give you a few workouts from this week. 

One more thing before I do though, I want to share a quick tid-bit of info for ya! These workouts below, are not my normal weight lifting routine...I normally and personally am trying to build muscle; so I like to do a lot of heavy lifting in the form of intense workouts. (You can check out the 'It'll Make You Sweat' tab for some of those). Because remember

The more lean muscle you have on your body, the more fat you will burn at rest! 

But on the flip side: Circuit training is great for maximizing your efforts in the gym, increasing overall strength, and endurance, and other benefits; but you shouldn't do these type routines every day. You still have to give your body time to rest, especially if you are not used to the intensity of these workouts. Drop the intensity if you have to at first. Try adding these into your normal routine (EX: 1-2 days a week) for an extra challenge and cardio all in one!

And a lot of people ask me how I come up with my routines, or how I get new ideas for workouts. So I'm going to fill you in on a secret -- this was where I got my routine inspiration:

For an HIIT routine and total body circuit
For workout inspiration/routines last week, this weekend, and some this week

So there you go! So sometimes I do make up my own routines to do, and try them out. Then there are sometimes that I don't and can't seem to come up with a routine at the time or maybe I am crunched for time. Or maybe I am not really sure what to do- like for cross training...I had never really done it before. So I got on the research train and started asking questions.

I look everywhere for new ideas and inspiration; but I also love trying to write my own workouts to see what works. I take inspiration from my trainer Cody Tucker (when I can get to see him), articles online, magazines, websites, my fitness app, and all sorts of things. So don't feel like you can't try coming up with things on your own too sometimes, because you can do it too. In the meantime, I will keep sharing a lot of my routines for you guys! :) And like I've said before-- I would LOVE to know what you think of my routines!

Anyways...now the goodies :)

So let me tell you about it...I saw this last weekend and though eh, how hard could it be? Right?

last Wednesday Morning cardio
Umm...Yeah. Not your normal stairs routine for darn sure. You get about half-way there (at level 12-14 I was at about 120 steps per minute I think maybe more...) It was INTENSE! You see those dips in the pattern right? Needless to say it'll be on my agenda for a while! Haha!

So then I came across this one...

And Oxygen Magazine even shows you how to do everything! With explanations too, which I like. I relied HEAVILY on things like this and video tutorials online when I first started - and still do because let's face it: I don't know everything! lol. So there is NO shame in my game. I will be the first one to ask if I am doing something right.

So after I got pretty familiar with the routine (I kept the mag in my car so I could look before hitting the gym); I put it in my handy phone app (click the link <-- seriously amazing $.99 I've ever spent! I use it almost every day.) Now normally, I like to do this on the way to work or at work before I get to the gym. For me it is nice having a routine set so I don't have to think about it when I get there. Cause if you saw the other night's Facebook post sometimes it can turn into an off day quickly, especially adding that you aren't prepared. So BE prepared!

Put the routine in my phone and hit the floor! I started straight off with the routine because I had done cardio that morning. Sometimes I will hop on the treadmill or stairs for a quick 10 min warm-up but my PWO had kicked in and I was SET! :) Make sure you stretch some between circuit rounds. 

Here's the routine:

Now if you looked at the yellow box (above) it has levels for all people. Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Advanced Intermediate. Now we all have to start somewhere so do what you are comfortable with. 


Here are the levels and specifications for each. 
  • Beginner: Do only one circuit. If energy is available try a second round. You can stop anytime during the circuit is you run out of steam. Practice form first; speed will come naturally. Rest 30 seconds between exercises.
  • Intermediate: Do 2-3 circuits. Not at the expense of compromised form! Rest 10-15 secs between exercises. Try a light 30 sec jog between the 1st and 2nd circuit rounds. 
  • Advanced and Adv. Intermediate: Do 3 circuits. Rest 30 seconds between circuits. Jog briskly 30 seconds between sets (high knee lifts if you're crazy ;) ).

Pretty good workout for 3 rounds!

So I mixed Intermediate and Advanced I suppose...I did 3 circuits; rested for 30-60 secs/as needed then started the next round. I could've jogged in between them but honestly forgot about it after the first round. I stretched out and walked around in between them to keep my HR somewhat up. 



Then afterwards I did a few sets of these from @hunnybunsfit They are supposed to be done on the bosu ball but after that circuit and in general those bishes are HARD! Im going to have to work up to it lol. 

I put my hands on the smallest step in the gym, positioned myself in plank position with my feet on the row and did 3 sets of 15. Really concentrate on pulling in with your abs and you should not be able to do more than 15 or so without feeling it pretty good. I actually recorded a video for you guys but guess who set up the camera to entirely miss most of their body while doing the exercise...Yeah need to work on that ;p

Got a pretty nice pump going from a circuit :)

And I will say one more thing about the circuits...especially this one. Like Cody told me; don't be afraid to go as heavy as you can (hard as you can) to max your efforts. Of course if you do need to modify the workouts for your level of difficulty feel free! But for those that want to; definitely push yourselves. You may be surprised! I know I was!

Here is the routine from last Sunday's upper body workout. I took inspiration from Jamie Eason's Live Fit program Week 3, here. I had done legs the day before so after this circuit for 3 rounds, I added 25 minutes on the elliptical. I wanted to hit almost all parts of upper body minus shoulders. 

For this do 3 rounds, with 3-4 minute rests in between. I started with a 15 minute warm-up on the elliptical also, but any form of cardio would work. To up the intensity, I would add 30-60 seconds of jump rope, jogging in place, or fast steps on a bench in between circuits. 

For the push-ups, I only put the on-knees exercise in there in case I couldn't do all of them on my feet. 


Last Monday I decided to take a shoulder circuit from Jamie Eason's program too. I made a few modifications but it is relatively the same except for the abs. Funny story, I actually forgot my sports bra...again. This definitely happens (not as often as it used to lol) sometimes even though I get my things ready at night. And I wasn't about to go back home after already going tanning before the gym...Which on that note, is NOT a good idea unless you want to sweat your balls off. HAHA! Yeah it was awesome. So luckily, I had one of those awesome "shelf-bra " tank tops...hey gotta do what you have to ya know?


Here's the routine I did for that workout. Do 3-4 rounds same as above. I took a shorter rest in between circuits. About 2 minutes or until you feel like you can start another round. 


I took no rests in between exercises on any of the circuits above. But do not feel like you have to do this the same way. Everyone is different and will have different levels of fitness. That is completely OK! You will get there or maybe even school me on a thing or two :)

By the end of the week, at least by this past Saturday (two days ago) I did 4 full rounds of a circuit with 8 exercises and lower rest times in between! AND I even added 45-60 secs of jump rope on the end of that one! KILLER! I was so excited that I had improved that much from only a week and a half of circuit routines and added cardio :) Heck yes!!

So to top everything off, I want to share with you my split for last week's training. With bikini season around the corner (especially for you guys out there ;) ) you may want to add in a week of circuits to lean out a bit depending on what your vacation or pool time schedule is. Remember though - you don't want to do these workouts all the time, especially is you need to build your muscles up first :)

Here's my split (I started the Saturday before):

Saturday - Leg Circuit (15-20 min intense cardio if you need it)

Sunday - 15 min Warm-up cardio,  Upper Body/Abs Circuit, 25 mins intense or HIIT cardio

Monday - Shoulders/Abs Circuit, 15 mins All OUT on stairmaster!

Tuesday - Rest day/ or short Leg Circuit or cardio

Wednesday - Morning Stairs of Death / Evening Oxygen Magazine Total Body Circuit

Thursday - Total Body Circuit (coming soon made by ME!) / 15 min Intense Cardio

Friday - Rest Day

Saturday - Upper Body/Abs Circuit (4 rounds)

Now, this split may not work for everyone and I know if my schedule had been different, etc. it may have changed. You have to find out what works for you and your life/schedule/family time/etc. I could focus on the 'coulda shoulda woulda...' part of it, but honestly I put in my all out effort (taking into account my body's response - note the Tuesday rest day) for the time I had. And I was so happy with what I saw even then, because I got myself to that point. You have to focus on the "what did I do" not the "what could I have done" because reality is, you are as ready for something as you prepare yourself for it. :) And there is always room to improve later down the line.

Overall, I would say my week and a half "mock peak week"/prep turned out great and I was stoked with the way I 'came in' on Sunday. I felt confident, muscles looked awesome, and everything fell into place in the midst of my excitement. This is all a learning experience for me and every chance I get is another opportunity to improve on myself and my best self for the future.

If you decide to try out any of the workouts please let me know in the comments below or send me a message through Facebook

And definitely stay tuned for a weekend recap, a recipe or two, and more workouts from last week coming to you very soon!!! Lots of great things to tell you guys so I hope you stick around! 

Have a fantastic Monday!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Weekend Recap + ordering-clean + the leg workout that almost killed me ;)

Hey there long lost friends! I know I have been MIA for the past 12 days- to be exact...I wanted to post this monday, then tuesday, but life just gets ion the way a lot of the time. I've been working on a few posts on and off, but the main thing that has captured my attention was my hubby came back!!! YAY!

I swear, the man, is THE king of surprises...any chance he gets, he takes full advantage of it. And I can't say I don't mind them :) This time - Including not telling me when exactly he was coming home this past weekend. I say weekend because mine started last Thursday after work :) hehe. So he was supposed to come home on Friday around 4 pm, right? And on Thursday, he had asked me to put a key under the bricks out front so his friend could drop off his duffle bags while I was at the gym...Perfectly logical to me because their gear went before they did. I assumed that would make sense for it to come back before they did...Sounds kinda odd, but hey, whatever.

So I'm in the gym, about to hit up some cardio (like this guy ^ because you know that would be me haha! #hatecardio), because I have nothing better to do right...and I start getting text messages. Well, he is supposed to be dropping off his vehicle (he is a 68W Medic and drives the big tank things), and said he would text me later when he was done. Well he got done off-ly quick if you know what I mean lol. And now I need to come home because the guy dropping off the stuff doesn't know where he is going, where to put it, I don't know. Anyways, I head home...only to find that something feels off. I had told my carpool friend earlier that day that I knew he'd be there (Or at least really hoped I was right). Low and behold, he didn't think I'd notice something feeling different...or the fact that his ruck was sitting in the spare room.

yeah...didn't think to snap a pic ya know? haha

So then guess who comes popping out from the back door? Yep! I was SO happy, mad, and all sorts of emotions all at the same time. It was the best surprise I could have ever gotten. Don't know what I'll do without him for 9 months. But hey, we'll make it right #fitfam ? That's what I thought! :)

Anyways, I made the perfect protein pancakes for breakfast Friday morning and we spent the long weekend together of course - minus the half day Friday at the DMV because YOU KNOW that's what we wanted to do HA! Registering in another state I tell you...

We went to Texas Roadhouse on Friday night and I definitely indulged here -

But it's OK because I know how to order clean. All about that balance! Minus the half roll and bit of the onion blossom I'd say I did pretty good. I ordered the 8 oz filet (was starving due to the lovely time at the DMV and I had eaten all my pre-packed food), sweet potato, and side salad. And I usually order pretty clean, because you never know what may get added in to your meals. So I'm about to fill you in on a trick for ordering clean while out at a steakhouse. I ordered a pretty lean cut of meat; you could also get the sirloin which is pretty lean. But the filet was oh-so yummy and a "every-now-and-then" thing.  

Here is the key: order leaner meats, cooked in no oil or butter (they may ask you about seasonings and I am fairly explicit about my preferences - not a lot of added salt; some of the time the seasonings are OK), sweet potato cooked plain (no oil or butter), and side salad - I got Caesar, no croutons, no cheese (most of the time), and dressing on the side so I can use only a small amount. 

After dinner (yeah didn't plan this well haha) we went to the mall next door to the restaurant, because I wanted to get a dress for our Pre-Deployment Dinner and Dance this Friday. I found this awesome buy at the Body Central for a great price along with a pair of earrings to match. Who doesn't love a bargain? I actually used to buy a good bit of my 'semi-formal' dresses (homecoming, other dances) here when I was in high school. They serve the purpose and save my purse some dollas.

Afterwards we watched Ride Along at home, which was HILARIOUS! You should rent it.  And did I mention we hung out with our cute little furry critters too? Love them! It was just so nice being able to relax with my hubs!


Saturday we got up earlier and headed to the base for a softball tournament. They made it through 3 games then just couldn't hold it together :( They have a lot of turnover on their team so it gets rough to have consistently good players. Oh well! 

 Then I went to the gym on the way home for a literally KILLER leg circuit and cardio. I almost died...no but seriously haha. Check it out below for a new spin on your leg day! I will warn you-- it is something serious and will make you want to cry. But NO worries right?! ;)

workout burned: 933 (ish)
circuit (4 rounds) + cardio: 1223

For dinner, Scotty made some excellent chicken and veggie kabobs, and grilled them for us. I think this was an excellent idea for a clean healthy dinner that could be super quick if you have everything chopped up already. We used chicken, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and red bell peppers on mine. He put a little bit of KC Masterpiece Hickory and Brown Sugar (I think) on the chicken and grilled them for probably 15-20 minutes maybe...I'm sure google would know ;) Man it sure was nice not having to cook for myself lol!And they were really yummy! Post a comment below if you want the cook time and I will ask him.

 Later that night we went to watch Captain America and it was awesome too! Definitely may like it better than the first one. Sunday was another sleep-in day since the movie went late. Had time for a gym session, laundry, some meal prep and more kabobs on the grill which were SO good!

  So this week's workouts (since last Thursday really) are mainly for cutting, but maintaining lean muscle at the same time. I am getting ready for a photo shoot on this coming Sunday and want to bring my best. I am also be manipulating my diet and water a bit this week too so I may can squeeze in a WIAW (maybe tomorrow haha) to show you guys what I am eating to stay lean and get tight by them end of the week. All clean foods and no additives, minimizing the sodium but not cutting it out!! No extremes for sure, but enough to make my muscles pop come Sunday :) It's a process and thank God I have Cody Tucker to help me because Lord knows I have had a ton of questions haha (poor guy!).

So here's the leg workout...and remember it's intense! Have fun!!

Leg Circuit
(not for the faint at heart)
Ok, so I know you probably notice that there are a lot of exercises on this workout...Don't do them all every round! 
I did:
  • 4 rounds with 3-4 min rest in between each round (you will need your rest break)
  • 2 rounds with Dumbbell squats, 2 with Dumbbell Sumo squats (alternate them)
  • 2 rounds with leg press, 2 rounds with Hack squat (alternate them)
  • 2 rounds with leg press-calf raises, 2 rounds with rotary raises (alternate them)
So again-- DON'T DO THEM ALL! Or you may die lol.  

 After the legs circuit, you will definitely want to stretch out and get some of the lactic acid build up released (soreness minimized later on and it will loosen those muscles up), so hop on say the elliptical or treadmill and do some cardio. I did some stairs then a walk on the treadmill to cooldown. Definitely don't push it too hard, but give it your all and see how you feel! And remember to do cardio the next day and day after too! Thank me later :)

The Hump Day Blog Hop
And...Before I forget, what better day than to plan a blog post, than the HUMP Day Blog Hop on Wednesdays?! So head on over to Fitness Blondie's page and check her out, then hop over to Life of Vicki and check out this week's co-host! You won't be disappointed!

And as always have a great HUMP DAY!!! 

If you do the workout comment below and tell me what yo think! :)