Posts Tagged ‘weight training’

Hey everybody! My mom just told me I have some family members reading the blog – welcome! πŸ™‚ Check out my updated About Me page and the new Reads page.

Today for lunch, I drove across town and joined the fiancee at our favorite restaurant for Indian buffet lunch πŸ™‚ Aashirwad is now to be called “Awesomewad” lol We pigged out on malai kofta, vegetable kadhai, naan bread, and a spinach-chickpea mixture. I hope you all don’t mind that I want them to cater our wedding reception πŸ˜›

Came home and we ran a super sweaty 2 miler in 21:03 – that’s 2 minutes faster than we had planned! The hand trick is really working!

There ain’t no shame in posting sweaty red-faced post-run pics πŸ˜›

I managed to get in some weights at the house too, including pushups & pullups.

Pullups were actually about 10 negatives, which is where you jump up and slowly lower yourself down – this is a good way to begin with pullups if you’ve never done them before (i.e. if you’re me).

My little sister Courtney (aka Corky) convinced me to buy one of these at-home pullup bars – she’s the buffest girl I know in real life, which says a lot since I know P.E. teachers & firefighter girls! Here’s Corky when she was super little:

Dinner was leftovers from last night: whole wheat pasta with vodka sauce, plus some sun-dried tomatoes & spinach that I snuck in, topped with parmesan cheese.

The fiancee got me a mini-tripod at the dollar store (where we went on our first date in grad school lol) so I could take up-close food pics:

Stay tuned later this week – I want to do a post about the library and how much I love it, and why you should use yours! πŸ™‚

Until then, leave some comments & let me know what you think of the blog!


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Let’s get today’s eats out of the way before I get to the good stuff!

Breakfast was a smoothie with banana, ice, strawberry kefir, flax, wheat germ, oatmeal, vanilla protein powder, strawberries, and blueberries.

I snacked on a Lara Bar at work, plus a whole wheat tortilla with PB + apricot preserve, and for lunch grabbed a cup of vegetarian chili & some pasta salad (nothing special but super convenient). Dinner was quick, easy & amazing πŸ™‚ Salad with *hidden* carrots, raisins, artichokes, and parmesan garlic dressing.

With my favorite little chik’n nuggetsΒ in the world, mmm ketchup πŸ™‚ Eating these makes me feel like a kid!

Weight Training and Stress

Today actually wasn’t that stressful until the afternoon when work got a lil’ crazy. Rather than doing what I might have done in the past (grab the fiancee and a pitcher of beer to commiserate), we both encouraged each other’s healthy habits and took our troubles down to the gym for a nice weight session.

  • Warmup: upright row x3, overhead press x3, push press x3, overhead squat x10
  • Dumbbell bench press 3×12
  • Chest press machine 3×12 2×12
  • Dumbbell incline fly 2×10
  • Close-Grip Pullups 2×15 1×5 (at home on our pull-up bar)
  • Tricep Extensions 2×10
  • Weighted Back Extensions 2×10
  • Leg Sweeps 2×20 1×10
  • Knee Tucks 2×20 1×20

Please don’t be deceived into thinking I actually did 30 pull-ups tonight πŸ˜›Β For the record, I’ve never actually done a pull-up in my life. I love the assisted pull-up machine but our gymΒ doesn’t have one, so I either substitute the pull-down machine or I try to do pull-ups at home with the fiancee bear-hugging spotting me. It hasn’t proved successful yet lol but it’s still fun to try.

Weight training is the most effective way for me to beat stress, with running as a very close second. Weights help me get a lot of aggression and energy out in a short amount of time. Any time I have a grueling day at work, I like to go to the gym, grab a set of dumbbells and do some bicep curls & shoulder presses to really push the troubles away.

Just like with running, I find that I can always do a *little bit more* weight training than I had originally planned that day, like finishing a tough set that I thought would be impossible. Also it helps me to really focusΒ on the weights in my hands and how my body movesΒ as I lift them. Sometimes with my job (as a planeteer) I tend to feel like I have the weight of the world on my shoulders, so pushing that weight away does wonders for my sanity πŸ™‚

For being such good readers, I’m posting my weight training plan for you to try out. It’s 9 weeks long, and basically this is 3 sets of 3-week plans that build on different exercises and rotate them out. This way you can reuse the plan as much as you want, and your muscles won’t get accustomed to doing the same exercises all the time.

Weight Program

And finally, a fun way to relieve stress is winding down with an old favorite:

I like reading Oxygen because this is the first fitness magazine I ever picked up, and love their dedication to the lifestyle, especially from the readers who write in and send in their success stories. I skip over the 50 pages of ads for protein shakes, diet pillsΒ and supplements to find the pictures of real-life women who aren’t photoshopped, showing off their stuff. Plus they have good recipes, with increasingly vegetarian options.

What do you do to bust stress?

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It’s week 2 of the 5k novice training plan, and today I ran 1.7 miles in 19:50. It was indoors (blazing hot outside) on the treadmill, and I spaced out to some tunes. I’m tracking my average pace in a spreadsheet & will post it on the blog once it looks pretty πŸ™‚

After running was week 2, day 1 of my Ray Blake workout:

  • Back Squat 3×12
  • Dumbbell Forward/Backward Lunges 2×10
  • 3-way shoulder press 2×10
  • Dumbbell Curls 2×15
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls 2×8 (these are harder!)
  • Box Jumps 3×6 (we did these outside on the steps to the gym)
  • Hip-Ups 2×20
  • Russian Twists 2×20
  • Bun Busters

I’ve added Bun Busters to the end of each of my weights workouts because -hello- I’m getting married and wanna look good πŸ˜‰

Tunes today included some good ones:

  • “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks – I like this at the beginning of a run because it starts out slow and speeds up with force (like me!)
  • “Rock Your Body” by Black Eyed Peas – this is good for when you need extra energy in a run, it makes you dance while you run
  • “4 Minutes to Save the World” by Madonna & Justin Timberlake – I recommend putting this at the end of your run because it’s high energy and will push you to sprint to the finish!

One day I’ll figure out how to imbed a YouTube video into a post so you can hear the songs right away… πŸ™‚

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After work I did a Ray Blake workout (day 2 of 4) like this:

  • Warmup (row x3, push press x3, power press x3)
  • Dumbbell bench press 3×12, superset with…
  • Dumbbell fly 2×10
  • Tricep Kickbacks 2×10
  • Chest press machine 2×10
  • Wide grip lateral pulldowns 2×15 (my gym doesn’t have an assisted pull-up machine, I think one day we’ll break down and buy a pull-up bar for the house)
  • Upper Body Matrix 2×10 (this is basically punching the air in different directions with dumbbells in each hand)

Then I came home to finish with leg sweeps, knee tucks & bun busters. I can’t do ab work at the gym because they don’t have a stretch/abs mat area, and it’s actually better at home because abs are sorta like the transition into my cooldown and stretching. Today’s cooldown tunes: “Crazy Love” by Michael Buble. This song may make an appearance on our wedding playlist too πŸ™‚

Post workout glow:

The funny part… I’m actually smiling because the fiancee was driving me to get PIZZA! Yeah, I’m the girl who goes in to pick up a pizza in her workout clothes… what? Fiancee had a craving for it & I’m happy to oblige, we ordered mushroom with half black olives, half pineapple (totally our personalities, he LOVES anything olive/jalapeno/hotsauce and I like fruit). To our surprise, when we got to the pizza place, they messed up our order and offered us a free twin pizza… SCORE! We had pizza double vision:

Closeup – my first decent food photograph!

AWESOME! Some of you may be wondering “why is this girl posting pizza food porn on her healthy living website?” Simple – because we all still love pizza. It broke my heart when Papa John’s discontinued their whole wheat crust 😦 I do like to make my own pizza at home using wheat crust from Publix, or mini-pizzas using whole wheat pita bread, but sometimes there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned takeout. And the fact that we got these 2 pizzas for less than 10 bucks puts a smile on my face πŸ™‚ I eat as healthy as I can as often as I can, so that I don’t have to worry about the occasional slice of pizza, or ice cold beer on a hot day, etc. There’s definitely a mental sanity component in deciding what/how you want to eat on any day.

Tomorrow’s dinner will be leftover pizza, so no recycled pics – I’ll try to bring the camera on my run to show you some scenery!

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I woke up this morning and kissed the fiancee goodbye as he headed off for a round of golf with his dad, then I went right back to sleep πŸ™‚ A few hours later, I drove down the street and joined them at the Tap Room @ Dubsdread (an awesome public golf course in Orlando) for brunch. I had an eggs benedict with spinach & artichokes instead of ham, with grits & fruit – it was pretty good but the eggs were kinda gooey.

When I came home, I formulated my master plan for running & strength training for the foreseeable future, put on my clothes & walked over to the gym for a strength training session. I followed what I call the “Ray Blake Workout” after our weight training teacher in grad school – he gave me & my fiancee each a 9 week plan (4 days/week) that we can reuse again and again πŸ™‚

Today’s weights included:

  • Warm-up (upright row x3, push press x3, power press x3, overhead squat x10)
  • Back Squats: 3×12
  • Roman Dead Lifts (RDLs): 2×10
  • Dumbbell Forward/Backward Lunges: 2×10
  • 2-Way Shoulder: 2×12
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls: 2×15
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 2×8
  • Hip-Ups: 2×20
  • Russian Twists: 2×20
  • Bun Busters (I’ll post a video of this one!)

For most of the exercises, I used a 10lb dumbbell in each hand since our gym doesn’t have barbells (my only complaint about that wonderful place!), but had to switch to 5lbs for the arm exercises.

When I got home, I turned this:

Into this:

Ingredients: 1 cup plain kefir, 1 cup blueberries, 1 peach, 1 tbsp ground flax seed, and 6 ice cubes. Hooters cup – get it πŸ˜‰

The consistency came out perfect and it’s much more fun to drink a smoothie with a straw – feels like a treat! This was actually my first encounter with kefir (a cousin of yogurt), and I’m definitely gonna keep using it! It’s great for smoothies because it’s basically like a drinkable yogurt, and I had tons of energy after this – I might make another one for breakfast tomorrow πŸ™‚ Now if only I knew how to pronounce “kefir”…

Dinner tonight is leftovers (I like to clean out the fridge before we go grocery shopping for new stuff)Β – including grilled home fries, lentil dal, basmati rice blend, and brussel sprouts… nobody said dinner has to coordinate! πŸ˜›

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