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 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! 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!!


  1. I am so much into lifting and no cardio that I needed to change it up a bit too. I started trying new things and it makes a HUGE difference. I really love this post! I just created a video (myself) and it was windy so it got knocked down but I kept going - not knowing the screen went black. Sooooo, I need a camera man (or woman)

    1. Yep me too! It's goodI had the shoot to get ready for because I wouldn't have changed it up LOL. I love lift! hehe. It really does shock your body enough. Im going to try keeping the cardio in for a bit (not as much but some) and see if I can still gain muscle at the same rate. I was gaining like crazy up until I started that cut. Thanks girl!! Im catching up on yours this week :) Gotta keep up with my bloggers! Aww! yeah it happens I need a camera man too haha. I always set it up against something and this time I thought I was in the viewer. Oh well I digress! I got a good video of my feet moving! LOL