Saturday, April 21, 2012

Circuit Workout Plus More Confessions

As promised, here is the circuit workout that I put together recently:

Alternate push-ups (go to knees if/ when you need to) and overhead triceps extensions

3 sets, 12 reps each exercise
Bodyweight for push-ups, one challenging dumbbell for extensions (I used 10 lbs)
High knees

1 minute
Alternate deadlifts and plie squats with heel raises (lift heels off floor at bottom of squat, then place heels down and return to standing)

3 sets, 12 reps each exercise
Set of heavy dumbbells for deadlifts (I used 15 lbs), set of challenging dumbbells or body bar for plie squats (I used 10-lb dumbbells)
Jump squats

1 minute
Alternate 21s and bow extensions
3 sets, 12 reps each exercise
Set of challenging dumbbells for 21s (I used10 lbs), one medium-weight dumbbell for bow extensions (I used 5 lbs)

Alternate chest presses and chest flies (both on bench)

3 sets, 12 reps each exercise
Set of challenging dumbbells (I used 10 lbs)
Assisted pull-ups
10 reps
As little counterweight as possible while keeping proper form (start with subtracting 30 lbs from your weight and see if that is too easy or too difficult)

Alternate leg raises in captain's chair - 1 set with straight legs, 1 set with bent knees

2 sets, 5 reps each
Alternate 15 frog crunches and 15 supermans (supermen? Ha)

3 sets, 15 reps each

25 reps each side

It took me about 45 minutes to complete this.  If you try it out, don't forget to warm up for about 5 - 7 minutes with your choice of cardio (elliptical, treadmill, bike, etc.) before starting the circuit.  Follow it with some high intensity cardio for an extra blast, or go straight into stretching after you're finished.  It left me pleasantly sore the next day - I like knowing that I challenged myself!  Do the circuit 2 - 3 times a week on non-consecutive days to allow your muscles time to repair.

This circuit has a little bit of everything (chest, arms, shoulders, legs, glutes, back, and core, plus cardio to get your heart rate up), which makes it perfect for getting ready to break out your bathing suit soon :)  Feel free to decrease or increase the weights and reps - the most important thing is to maintain proper form; you'll get a less effective workout and risk injury if you compromise your form just to use heavier weights or do more reps.  Take small breaks and drink water when you need to!

I had a pretty busy week, hence the lack of blogging recently.  I had a paper due on Friday, so I'm glad to have that out of the way (2 papers down, 3 finals to go).  Unfortunately, I pulled an all-nighter on Thursday to get the paper finished in time.  I have another confession:  I'm a horrible procrastinator.  Even as early as fourth grade, I stayed home one day because I didn't have a project finished in time.  It's definitely something I need to work on, and every semester I say I'll do better, but it's still a bad habit of mine.

This is what happens to my kitchen when I have a paper due:

Papers everywhere!  (Not to mention the dishes piled up by the sink...)

I've read a lot about how sleep deprivation is bad for your health.  There are tons of ways that lack of sleep can have negative effects on you, and one of them is that it can cause you to gain weight for various reasons.  Your body is tired, so it wants quick and easy energy from food (meaning carbs + sugar), it impairs your judgment (so you're more likely to make poor decisions about what to eat), and just the fact that you're awake longer means you're more likely to eat when you would otherwise be sleeping.

So I'm going to chalk last night's dinner up to sleep deprivation, haha.

Another confession:  I only like Kraft macaroni and cheese, and only shapes (not regular noodles).  After years of contemplation, I think it has to do with the cheese to noodle ratio.  Much like the chocolate to peanut butter ratio that makes Reese's eggs so superior to normal Reese's cups.

Okay, and I also like getting to pick different characters.  I mean, come on, that's pretty fun.

Last night the Cars mac and cheese won.  And it was delicious.  Not a healthy meal, but I tried to balance it out with a lot of delicious green beans (which are sadly all gone now).  I easily could have eaten the entire box, but I made myself save some for leftovers.  Which I will most likely eat cold or at room temperature.  I don't know why, but they just taste better that way!

I think I made up for it with a healthy breakfast this morning.

First I sauteed some amazing little grape tomatoes in a pan sprayed with some olive oil.  I scrambled 3 eggs + 1 egg white (meant to have 2 eggs + 2 egg whites, but forgot to separate one of the yolks out!) plus a splash of almond milk in a bowl and added them to the pan, then tossed in some fresh basil leaves, spinach, and shredded carrots.  Very fast and so flavorful!

I enjoyed it with lemon water, my vitamins, coffee with cinnamon and almond milk, a banana, and a great book, The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels - A Love Story.  I LOVE the Pioneer Woman's blog (she's hilarious!) and I really like her writing style, so her book is absolutely an enjoyable and entertaining read.

'Twas a great start to the day.

Hope you're all enjoying the weekend so far!

Song of the day:

"Teenage Love" by Magic Wands.  My BFF Maryam just reminded me about this band the other day - we saw them live a few years ago when they were an opening band at a concert we went to in DC (I can't remember who they opened for...).

I love the story behind the band, which is comprised of a guy named Chris and a girl named Dexy.  The two met for 5 minutes once in Hollywood, and then a year later Chris heard this song, "Teenage Love," by Dexy on MySpace and couldn't stop listening to it.  He realized it was the same girl he had met in Hollywood and he got in touch with her.  Chris lived in Nashville and Dexy lived in LA, but they started talking every day and sending each other gifts, one of which was a magic wand (the inspiration behind the band's name).

Eventually, Dexy moved to Nashville to be with Chris and they formed their band.  A modern day MySpace romance, right?  I'm a sucker for a good love story :)  It's funny that Maryam just mentioned them because their first full-length album, Aloha Moon, is coming out in 3 days on April 24.

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