My arms.. my achin’ arms!

Due to barely being able to lift my arms all weekend, I wasn’t able to post about my latest workout.However the biceps and pecs seems to have overcome their problems -until I work ’em out tonight- so let’s blog!

Before we get down to business, let’s talk about this:

This is a shirt that is now selling at Urban Outfitters. I read about it from an entertainment blog I follow, and apparently actress Sophia Bush is calling for a boycott of Urban Outfitters. I am always up for a good boycott, and who cares if I couldn’t fit in their clothes anyway. I am all in! You can read about it on her blog:

Now back to our regularly scheduled whine.  Strength week. Arg!

Of course we start with our plank.  Off a bench and hold it for 60 seconds.  Much easier than on the floor! This is whine free!

Now Let’s work OUT!

Everything is 8 reps and we are doing the whole workout three times… and doing them at Tempo. Fun!

First is the Tricep extension.  So stand at the cable machine, with the straight bar for the handle.  have the cable machine set so the bar is about at your waist.. maybe a little higher. Palms down. Pull down on a 1 count. And then back up on a 4 count (that’s tempo!). I am at 70lbs with this. Do 8 reps.

Pec Fly: I have the weakest pecs on the planet (there’s the whine!). Lay down on the weight bench. A 20lb dumbbell in each hand a extend your arms up above you. Now try to keep your arms straight and open up your arms. Ouch. Truthfully I can barely do 20lbs and had to move down to the 15s.  The tempo part is that you are opening your arms at a 1 count and then bringing them back up at a 4 count. Ouch.. did I  say that already? 8 reps!

It’s like this except laying on a bench and ignore her legs!

Bicep Curl: So stand at the cable machine, with the straight bar for the handle.  Have the cable machine set low so the bar is at about your upper thigh. Palms up. Pull up on a 1 count. And then back down on a 4 count (that’s tempo!) I am at a wimpy 40 lbs on this one.  Amanda had it at 45 but I was overcompensating for weak biceps by rocking back a bit. So we lowered it.

Lat Pull down: I am doing 75 lbs on this and it was hard.  I think last time she had me do this, she had me at 70lb and I backed it down to 65. I am paying for that now.  Tempo is pull down on a 1 count and raise it up on a 4 count.

Lat Machines

Hamstring Curls: These are seated on a hamstring weight machine thingy!

Like this little guy:

So push down with the legs on a 1 count and bring it back up on a 4 count.  I am doing 85 lbs. I think that might be too light actually.

And then the ol’ One Leg Press:

Our machine isn’t as inclined as this one. I used to use one where you would lay down but they replaced that machine. This picture has her using two legs. I do one at a time because my left leg was weak from a fall a few years ago and we are trying to strengthen it up. So i am doing this one legged, at 80 lbs, and tempo is straighten the leg on a 1 count (this actually slides the seat back) and then  bend the knee on a four count (sliding the seat back forward) and of course you are doing 8 on each leg.

And now we do our core move which this time in the damn Bird Dog.

Bird Dog Extension

core exercises photos

You are doing 20 of these on each side. So you are extending out and then moving back in, trying to bring your elbow to your knee. A move that this fat chick fails at every time! Oh well!

And just when you think you are done… you have to start with the plank and repeat it all… then start with the plank and repeat it all again.

Part of the reason for strength week is to help break down and then build up the muscle tissue.  The point is to increase the weight from where you were before, and hopefully by the end of the week, it should be easier.  Actually I am back to only seeing Amanda every other week, so I guess I should refer to it as Strength Fortnight. Hopefully that will give me enough time to get used to the weights.

And remember, after doing your strength workout, you need to have some protein and then a green within 30 minutes of your workout to help you get the best benefit. I like Muscle Milk light. It is 100 calories and lactose free.

CytoSport™ Muscle Milk® Light - Mocha Latte - CYTO SPORT - GNC

Then have a salad or something.  I don’t often follow through on that one.

Oh well..

I have a great article from Fitness called Supercharge Your Metabolism and if I ever get around to it, I will post some of it here….

….if my arms survive tonight.


And One to Go….

Crap. I turned 49 today.

You know that feeling when you are driving around. It’s a great day. Blue skies. Perfect temperature.  Windows are rolled down, The Stones are in the  CD player.. and you are just tooling around town. Not a care in the world.

Suddenly a kid runs out in front of you. You lay on the brakes. Your tires squeal. You lurch forward and then backwards quickly and suddenly as you come to that abrupt stop.

That’s turning 49.

50 was always so far off.  A goal that seemed so far away you could go ahead and eat the donut.  Go ahead and order that pizza. After all 50 is a long long ways away.

Nope. It’s 364 days, 9 hours and 31 minutes away.

My body has been trying to warn me. Especially when I blow dry my hair and see all the gray. Oh sure for months I kept allowing myself to think “Isn’t it interesting how my hair is getting lighter” or “The lighting in the locker room certainly makes my hair look odd”.  It’s called gray. Yes, sure it all looks brown from a distance, but I am shocked at how much gray I am seeing when I blow dry. Maybe the answer is that I should stop blow drying my hair. There you go… good plan. Avoidance has always been my friend!

I worked out this morning since I took the day off from work. I could have taken the day off from that too, but I have done that a lot over the last two weeks. Last week I had a cold and missed work a couple days and felt crappy the rest of the week so I didn’t work out at all.  This week I have been lazy or busy or… well…both. It’s endurance week and that is the sweatiest week of all. Monday when I came home, I was soaking wet. It was really the first hard work out I had done in about a week and a half and I really felt it . Today I didn’t feel nearly as out of it.

I’ll make this short and simple.

Plank off the bench 60 seconds

Modified push ups – 15

Renegade row – 15. Basically this is like the plank off the bench except you are holding a 15 lb kettle bell and doing a row. 15 on each arm.

Lunges with a 15 lb kettlebell. Hold the kettlebell up to your chest and do 15 lunges on each side.

2 laps around the track

Military press with a 10lb kettle bell. 15 on each side.

Here is a video of the military press with kettle bell like I do.. the music is annoying -sorry

Single arm swings with 10lb kettlebell   15 of these too

Good Mornings! 15 of these with a 15 lb kettlebell

Weighted Crunches with the 15 lb kettle bell, holding it out infront of you and keeping it still as you do your crunch. Do 20 of these

2 laps around the track again…

And repeat is all one more time!

On friday I will meet with Amanda and I think we will so strength. So that means increased weight, decreased reps,

but probably doing 3 sets of everything. Fun.

So I guess from here we just move forward and deeper into 49. Hopefully coming out the other side. Fit and sadly…50.

Fitness Friday… Late!

Better late than never, right?

So every Friday I meet with Amanda for 30 minutes, and get a new fitness routine.  We are on a rotation. One week is strength, then endurance, and then stability. Of course if you have read previous entries you know “Stability” better as “Damn it, there is that Bosu again”.  And so we go…

Stability Week.

The last few Stability weeks, Amanda didn’t give me too much Bosu. Just a few things. This week was all bosu, except one.

All of my workouts start with a plank.  Since I am not very good at the regular plank, last week we changed it to a plank off the bench. So my hands are on the bench, I am standing at an angle, and up on my toes. There is a mirrored wall next to me, so I can see my form and make sure I don’t have my “bum” too high up,  which is the problem I have with the plank on the floor. Sort of like this…

I hold that for 60 seconds. Holding in that core!

Now comes Bosu time…

First a one arm chest press standing on the bosu, using the cable machine. It’s like what this link is showing, except instead of sitting, I am standing on a bosu, and I am using weights on a cable machine, not just resistance bands like on this site. And I do 20 reps per set with both arms.


Pick up a 15 lb kettlebell

Hold it with both hands, get on the bosu and do 20 squats.  It’s like this, except holding the kettlebell in both hands, instead of a dumbbell in each hand. BTW, I fall off a lot!

Skull Crushers

The Skull Crusher is my only non-bosu exercise this week. I am using a stability ball and rolling out on my back. Take 25 lb kettle bell in both hands, and Crush! Your! Skull!  Basically you are holding the kettlebell with both hands and holding it up above your head. Only bending at your elbows, bring the weight down above your forehead. And back up. Do 20 of those. And remember you are on the stability ball, so hips up and suck in that core!

One Arm Row

Now you are back at the cable machine, standing on the bosu, and facing forward (as opposed to the chest press where you faced backwards).  Pull the cable towards you. 20 reps a set, each arm.

Good Mornings

I just did these for the first time a couple weeks ago.  You stand holding a kettlebell in both hands and then you bend at the waist, slightly bending your knees. Then you are standing back up, using your legs, not your back.  This shows someone  doing it with dumb bells. With Kettlebells you are have just one weight, holding it with both hands.

Again you are doing 20 of those.

And lastly….

Weighted Crunches off the Bosu with Tempo

Get a 10 or 15 lb kettle bell. Lay down on the bosu so the middle of your back is on the top of the bosu. Hold the kettlebell in up in front of you.  Pull up on a one-count, and then slowly go down on a 5-count.  Repeat 20 times. This video shows the guy adding weights except he is holding it close. Instead I hold the weight out in front of me, and I am doing with tempo (the 5 count on the way down) and he isn’t.

And once you are done… start with the plank and repeat it all over again.

I wouldn’t mind stability week so much if I didn’t have to attempt to stand on the bosu. Laying on it, or using it to do lunges are fine. Standing on… I just don’t have the coordination. Give it a try and tell me how you do!

A Walk in the Woods

On Thursday I decided to go for a walk in the woods on my lunch break. I don’t take lunch until 3pm, even though I get off at 5:30pm. It is just a habit from when I worked 10a-7pm and I just never got out of the habit of going at that time. I can eat at my desk while I work, so it isn’t like I starve all day, until 3pm.

On Thursdays, in the summer, I tend to go to the weekly Farmer’s Market/Music in the Junction after work, so I miss a workout when I do that. I needed to figure out an alternative. Also, since my job is a seated job, I have been looking for something to get me out of my chair. My lunch hour tends to be spent doing work errands and/or sitting in front of the computer reading email/twitter/facebook. I needed to find something to break that habit.

We have a lot trails all over Des Moines and one of them, Greenbelt, goes right by my work. So I put on my New Balance shoes, and drove over to the 100th St. entrance. I ended up walking 1.5 miles. There are markers every quarter mile so it is pretty easy to keep track of how far I went, and also I brought my cell phone, and set my alarm for 20 mins, so that I would turn around at that point. I was only at about 15 mins in when I hit the 3/4 mile mark but thought I should turn around.  Also as I walked I paid attention to where the path had entrances by other parking lots so I could vary where I start at in the future. I found one place very close to work, so I would have only about 2 minutes of drive time to get there and can spend more time walking.

I talked to Amanda on Friday about this, and she really liked the idea of me adding this walk to my work out schedule a couple times a week. So that is what I am going to try and do.   Since I take a late lunch, and don’t really work by anyone, it should be okay if I am a little sweaty for that last hour and a half. However, if it is too hot or humid, I probably won’t be able to walk. Luckily though, it is really woodsy so it is a little cooler than it would be otherwise.

Anyway, I am really happy that I got off my bum and found something else to add to my routine. So what about you? Anything you can a change to your routine?

Oh and I changed the look to the blog. I wanted something a little more whimsical. When I get bored with this, I will probably change it up again. Change is the name of the game, after all!

Magazine Monday: Let’s get cultured!

I eat a yogurt every morning for breakfast. My doctor had told me a couple years ago that he wanted me to start doing so, but I couldn’t find one I liked. Well that is a lie. I live in Iowa and here our local dairy (Anderson-Erickson) is a legend. A god of dairy. Their yogurt sucks. I tried Yoplait Whipped but after finishing the container it was like I hadn’t eaten anything at all.

Amanda suggested yogurt as a source of protein and one better for me in the morning than an english muffin. So the search for tasty yogurt began. Amanda wants me to stay away from Fruit flavored and to watch the amount of sugar.  So every morning I have a vanilla yogurt. I tend to get one of three brands: Blue Bunny light, Fiber One or Dannon Light and Fit.  I have had problems with the Dannon singles foil tops coming open before I get home, so if I buy them, I look for the 4 or 6 packs they now come in. Fiber One comes in 4 packs and are little 50 calorie cups. I seem as full from them as I do from the larger cups – must be that extra fiber. I think my grocery store is phasing them out though, so I guess it is Blue Bunny Lite 80 calorie yogurt for me. Also I recently tried the Yoplait version of Activia and it was horrible. I couldn’t even finish it and threw the others in the 4-pack away.

A couple weeks ago Fitness Magazine had an article on Yogurt called “Get Cultured”.  It’s the April edition so I guess it was more than a few weeks ago. Anyway…. here’s what it said:

1- Yogurt can give you flat abs

Eat 18 oz a day and you can drop a jeans size. People who ate that much as well we cutting back on their regular calories lost 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than other dieters who skipped the snack.  It also helped you retain more 1/3rd more muscle mass that helps you maintain your weight loss.

And yes, that 81% is not a typo!  I think I need to eat about 2 more containers of Yogurt!

2- Most brands contain good-for-you bacteria

Look for “live and active cultures” on the container and that means that it contains probiotics that are beneficial to your digestive tract.  Many companies now contain a special strain of probiotics to help regulate and strengthen your digestive tract. Research on them isn’t conclusive, however.

3- Yogurt is loaded with vitamins

One serving is a significant source of potassium, phosphorous, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, and vitamin B12.

4- A cup a day helps you recover faster from a workout

Amanda wants me to have a serving of protein within 30 minutes after I workout.  Fitness magazine says to have it within 60 minutes and they said that Greek yogurt is the best for this. Protein provides amino acids your muscles need to repair themselves.  Drink a lot of water at the same time and it will help the water get to your intestines, improving hydration.

5- Not all yogurt is equal when it comes to calcium and Vitamin D

Levels can differ widely from brand to brand. How much that is in the container depends on processing. Fruit yogurt has less calcium than plain because of the sugar and fruit that take up precious space in the container. This article recommends Stoneyfield Farms Fat Free Smooth and Creamy, and Yoplait light thick and creamy. They both contain 20% of your daily requirement for both nutrients.

6- Yogurt may prevent high blood pressure

I have high blood pressure. Another reason to eat more, I guess! According to the article 70% of us consume twice the amount of salt which of course leads to hypertension, heart disease and kidney disease. Potassium in yogurt (about 600 mg per 8 oz)  helps flush the excess sodium out of your body.  A study shows that having two or more servings of yogurt were 54% less likely to develop high blood pressure. Well there you go Susan!

7- A daily serving keeps colds away.

Women eating 4 ounces a day had much stronger and more active T-cells that battle illness and infection than they did before they started consuming it- according to a study by the University of Vienna.  Interesting! I have a bit of a poor immune system. I wonder if this can by why I didn’t get a bad late winter/early spring cold this year. Hmm…

8- Yogurt makes you smile

It doesn’t cause cavities and due to the lactic acid it appears to protect your gums. Those who have at least 2 oz a day have a 60% lower risk of peridontal disease.

9- Raw doesn’t mean better

Virtually all yogurt has been pasteurized – exposed to high temperatures to kill harmful pathogens. Raw Dairy fans claim that unpasteurized milk, yogurt, and cheese are better for you because they contain more health boosting bacteria but pasteurization doesn’t kill beneficial probiotics. And raw can carry the risk of food poisoning – E.coli and salmonella.

10- Yogurt is a high protein food.

Traditional yogurt can have 5 grams of protein where as Greek can have up to 20 grams. Try and look for brands that have about 10.  My Blue Bunny Light has 6. Hmmm..

According to Fitness – What to Look For:

Per 6 ounce serving

Calories: 100-150. If you are snacking, try and stick to a lower number. My BBL is 80.

Fat: 3.5 grams of less. ( low fat or no-fat).  BBL is 0 grams

Saturated fat: 2 grams or less. BBL is 0

Protein: at least 8-10 grams  BBL is 6 grams

Sugar: 20 grams. BBL is 7 grams (and this is what Amanda really wanted me to watch out for!)

Calcium: At least 20% of dailyvalue. BBL is 20%

Vitamin D: at least 20% of daily value.  BBL is 30%

Also my Blue Bunny light is 90 mg  Sodium and 240 mg potassium.  So it seems like what I am having is only lacking in protein. I think I will look for something that has a little more, but won’t increase the calories or sugar much.

So that is our first Magazine Monday. Lots o’ typing involved!

380 Days and counting…

382 Days to 50.

How did that happen? 382 Days,  9 hours and 27 minutes.. according to the countdown clock on my computer. Who the hell would put a countdown clock on their computer for when they turn 50? Uh.. Me.  382 Days, 9 hours, 24 minutes and 7 seconds. Wow, that seems like self torture.

So I have lost 50 pounds. Last year my Doctor told me he wanted me to lose 30-50 lbs with in a year. I hit that, but I really wanted to do more. Do better.  Now I have a year.. well 382 days until I hit 50 and that is the real goal I set for myself. I would be happy with another 50, but really… in the small crevices of my brain, I keep thinking about 70.  That would be my ultimate goal.  I will be okay if I just get that other 50 though.

So what does a 50 lb weight loss do for you? It’s amazing! Two weeks ago was the Indy Car race at Iowa. That was to be the real test. Could I handle being there both days? Would I die climbing up to the 34th row in the stands? If I got lucky, I wouldn’t have to find out the answer to the last one…. and I got lucky.

Three Fridays in a row I have won something on Twitter. Another crevice in the brain keeps saying “Get thee to the casino” but I am ignoring that one. Yesterday I won a crew shirt from Panther Racing, a week ago I won some free cat treats, which the cats are refusing to eat, and race weekend, I won pit and garage passes from Newman Haas Racing. And if I was lucky, that would also include Race Mode pit passes.  Did I mention that I had been lucky lately? Race Mode pit passes are amazing!

We ended up spending a lot of time in the Newman Haas pit box, but we did make it to the stands for the support races on Saturday. We never climbed to our assigned row. Row 34? Oh my. I think we settled in to about row 17 or something like that. However, every so often I would look behind me and think… wow, that’s a long way up there… I hope to hell we get those race mode pit passes!  By the end of Saturday night, I was ready to go back on Sunday. When I asked my brother what time he was picking me up Sunday morning he said “10am”  I told him “No. 9am at the latest.” Well we ended up at the track at about 10:30 and found out we did have the Race Mode pit passes! I think I sat down once that day, at about 12:30 and it was my brother’s suggestion. I felt fine. I felt like a different person from the first race two years ago! I will admit that at the end of the race, we were taking one more walk through the garage area and I felt my feet just say “No More”.  They were pretty unhappy that they still had to walk me to the car.  But we, my feet and I, survived to live another day.
So I am pretty happy with myself and feel like I actually reached a goal I set for myself, especially since I am not a very goal oriented person. Or at least a successful goal oriented person.
Here are a couple links from my two days at the track.

And Sunday- until my camera died:

I am also trying to set some goals for this blog. I have a friend who write a great blog and she does entries like  “Wordless Wednesday” (Here’s her link: ) so I thought I would steal from her a little bit and try to do a couple days. Magazine Monday will feature ideas or articles that I find in a few magazines I subscribe to, like Fitness and Health.  And then Fitness Friday, since that is the day I work out with my trainer and get my new routine for the week, so I can write more about what I am doing on a weekly basis.  Let’s see if I hit those goals!

Oh and one last update: 382 Days,  8 hours, 43 minutes and 5 seconds until I turn 50. Oh my.