Running Dirty. Eating Clean. Loving Life.


3 Exercises Everyone Should Do – November Blogging Challenge #28

When I interviewed for my personal training job at the YMCA, one of the questions I was asked was “What are your 3 favorite exercises for clients and why?”  The first 3 exercises to pop out of my mouth – Squats, Push ups, and Planks.  So why were these three the first to pop into my head? They all use multiple muscle groups giving a great full body workout without much equipment needed, there are a million different variations to switch things up to avoid boredom and add a little muscle confusion into the mix, and most importantly, they can be modified so that almost everyone can do them.  My answer must have been a good one since I walked out of the interview with a job offer.  So what makes each of these exercises so special? (more…)

Jump Rope Circuit

Always looking for new ways to torture myself, today I did a little playing around before my morning client at the gym.  So I might have actually been trying to find new ways to torture my client and was using myself as a guinea pig.  With only about 20 minutes to get in a decent workout, I went with one of my go to quick butt kicking workouts: a 50/10 HIIT workout.  If you’re not familiar with HIIT, it stands for High Intensity Interval Training.  Basically, you go all out on an exercise for the designated work phase and then take a short rest break before going back at it.  With a 50/10, you work your ass off for 50 seconds, then rest for 10 and repeat.  Today’s workout was just 20 minutes, but I felt like I was going to puke by the end. 

Equipment: jump rope, bench, smith machine, kettle bell (I went with 25 lb.), stopwatch or interval timer

Time: Set your interval timer to 20 rounds of 50 seconds work and 10 seconds rest for a total of 20 minutes

The Break Down:  Complete this circuit all the way through and repeat for 20 rounds total

Round 1 – jump rope







Round 2 – Incline push ups

Round 3 – jump rope








Round 4 – Modified pull ups on the Smith Machine

Round 5 – jump rope










Round 6 – jump lunges

Round 7 – jump rope










Round 8 – suicide (or walk up) planks

Round 9 – jump rope






Round 10 – Kettlebell swings

3 Ways to Improve Your Workout – November Blogging Challenge #5

1. Workout with a Friend – Misery DOES love company.  Ok, in all seriousness, having a workout buddy has some serious perks.  You’re more likely to show up and stay at the gym when someone else is counting on you.  You can push and motivate each other through those rough patches.  It’s also fun to have a little friendly competition now and again.  So set a gym date.  

2.  Change it up – Doing the same routine day after day, week after week gets boring. Not only that, but over time, your body will adapt and you’ll see less and less gain.  Change things up for a little variety and to add a little muscle confusion to up the intensity.  Try some new moves to target those muscle groups in different ways or find a new cardio machine to hang out on.  If you’re gym has classes, try a few new ones.  Who knows, maybe you’ll like it!

3.  Hire a personal trainer – This isn’t just a shameless plug.  We really do know what we’re doing and can help you get out of that rut.  A good personal trainer will be able to find a routine that works for you, know how to keep you motivated, and will keep things challenging and fun.

5 Ways to Sneak in a Workout this Fall – November Blogging Challenge #2

Let’s face it.  The holidays suck when you’re trying to keep the pounds off.  The food, the parties, trying to fit the gym into the craziness… It’s a recipe for disaster.  So today, Lisa at She’s Losing It wanted to know what your 5 strategies for keeping the pounds off this holiday season are.  I was actually thinking about this topic today while raking my yard.  That was my workout for the day (I have the blister to prove it!), and I’m beat.  So here are 5 ways to get that little extra workout in during the holiday season.

WWJMD? (What Would Jillian Michaels Do?)

The other morning, I woke up to a text from one of my regular training clients letting me know she was stuck at home, sick as a dog thanks to her kids, and would not be making it in to our training session that morning.  As I lay in bed trying to get the motivation to get moving for the day, I asked myself “What would Jillian Michaels do?”  Jillian would probably call the Y, ask for her home address, and show up there with a bullhorn, telling my client and all her neighbors that a little head cold was no excuse and to get her ass out of bed, dressed and out the door for an impromptu outdoor workout.  I thought about just how nice it would be to go back to bed after dropping my daughter off at school.  Jillian Michaels, I am not.

Mother Nature (that bitch) had other plans. She knows I can’t resist those beautiful clear crisp fall mornings.  Temps were right around 50, sun was out.  Perfect weather for a run… after a quick workout at the gym.  There might have been a little swearing to myself as I packed up my gym bag.  As I warmed up on the bike, so did my attitude.  I’d done legs and glutes the day before, so it was going to be a back day, with a little chest thrown in for fun.  Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I’d been trying to master the pull up all summer, so I hopped right into my trusty back and shoulder routine.  4 times through this series.  Boom, boom, boom on the exercises, with a chance to rest after completing each round.  Lat pull-downs, bent over rows with the bar, one arm rows, and finish it off with rear delt raises.  6 reps each exercise (going for strength, so low rep high weight) with as much weight as I can handle.  Break down looked a little something like this:

  • Lat pull down –  Round 1 @ 100 lbs, rounds 2-4 @ 90 lbs (so weak today)
  • Bent over row – Rounds 1-4 @ 75 lbs
  • 1 arm row – Rounds 1-4 @ 45 lbs
  • Rear delt raise – Rounds 1-4 @ 25 lbs (d0n’t laugh)

Threw in some chest press with dumbbells and ab work to round out the workout before heading home to get and stretch the legs on a little run. Timed it perfectly so that I got in about 4.5 miles before having to pick up my daughter from school.   I was jogging up to the building right as she was walking out the door.  While I may have let me client off easy, part of me wants to think that Jillian would have been proud of me for getting my butt up out of bed and using my down time to rock out a killer back workout and a few decent miles.


My Typical Weekly Workout Schedule

Getting back on the September blogging challenge bandwagon, today’s blog topic was supposed to be day #4.  It’s now day 20.  Oops.  But now that I’ve finally figured out a routine of sorts (ok, let’s be honest, I just wing it most of the time), I’m back in the game.  So what does my weekly workout schedule look like?  Good question.  I should probably make one.


My Pre- and Post-Workout Routine – September Blogging Challenge – Day1

Ok, so I’m a little late getting to the party this month.  With school starting, and my lazy summer schedule turning into a juggling act with working afternoons and evenings at the high school, days training at the gym, leading up group runs 4 times a week, and trying to stay ahead of Snooki in the mother of the year rankings, blogging has taken a backseat.  My goal had been to keep the blogging streak going and show the September Blogging Challenge who was boss.  Oops.  So here it goes, me playing catch up as usual.  Day 1….