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Back in the Big D

I’m finally back in Dallas after a wonderful Christmas break in California. I had a great time! This was my first Christmas ever with my husband Cliff (we’ve been dating for 6 years!) so that was nice. Not only were his parents there, but also one set of Grandparents and one of Cliff’s brother’s and his wife so it was definitely a full house! I’ll update you later on the goodies that I received (like my new Vibram’s!).

Although it was a wonderful break, I’m pretty sure I gained a solid 5 pounds (I was basically obsessed with the blackberry pie, pumpkin cake, chocolate pretzels….the list goes on and on). So, I’m sort of glad to be back in the swing of things. I hit the gym hard today since I was feeling a little….soft.

I picked a different “Hard Body” routine from the Women’s Health book-there are three total. I went through the entire circuit once, then went through 2 more times. So after completing one exercise, I moved on to the next. No rest in between to keep my heart beating. Here was today’s routine:

  • Overhead dumbbell squat– 3 sets of 12 holding 8lb. weights. These are pretty tough for some reason. When squatting down, it was hard for me to keep my arms straight above me. I originally started with 10lbs.  but lowered to 8 when I couldn’t keep my arms straight. This was harder than I thought…I’m sure I’ll feel it in my shoulders tomorrow. Here’s an example of how to do it.
  • Pushup– 3 sets of 15. These are standard pushups-knees off the ground (no girly pushups in here!). Towards the end, I took a couple rests, but did complete each set.
  • Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat– 3 sets of 10 on each leg holding 10 pound weights. These aren’t too bad. They do get tiring towards the end though. Here’s an example of how to perform these correctly.
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press– 3 sets of 15 using 12lb. weights. This is sort of self explanatory. It’s basically a standard bench press with dumbbells except the bench is at an incline so it still works your chest, but also your shoulders. Here’s an example.
  • Reverse Crunch– 3 sets of 15. The actual workout has “Hanging Leg Raise” here but I don’t have any equipment to hang on. I figured both exercises work the low abs so the reverse crunch might have the same effect. Here’s an example.
  • Goblet Squat– 3 sets of 15 holding a 25lb. weight. These aren’t too bad. I like them because not only are you working your legs, but also your arms by holding up the weight.  Here’s a video demonstration.
  • Dumbbell Bench Press– 3 sets of 15 using 12lb. weights. This is the standard bench press. The difference between this and the incline one is the bench is completely flat during this exercise. You can use a bar with weights too…but I used dumbbells.
  • Dumbbell Lunge with Twist– 3 sets of 12 on each leg holding ten pound medicine ball. The actual workout has just “dumbbell lunge” here…but I wanted a little more of a challenge so I threw in the twist. I like the feeling you get in your core with the rotation. Here’s an example of lunge with rotation.
  • Dumbbell Chest Fly– 3 sets of 15 using 12lb. weights. This is similar to the bench press….the difference is the position of your wrists. Here’s an example of chest fly’s. You can also do these on a stability ball to make them harder.
  • Stability Ball Pass– 3 sets of 10. This wasn’t on the list either…the actual exercise listed is a “V-Up” but I wasn’t feelin’ those today. I went with the ball pass…which is definitely not easy! I almost always feel these in my abs the next day…they also workout your hip flexors which makes them pretty tough. I took a couple breaks when doing these because they’re pretty exhausting. Here’s a demonstration.

Before starting, I warmed up with a ten minute run. I haven’t tried my Vibrams yet! I was going to take the plunge today but thought it was too muddy outside :). Hopefully, tomorrow it will be nicer outside (I know I’m being a little crazy and protective over my new shoes).

After my workout today, I made a protein shake. I mixed it up today by throwing in some kiwi-which was perfectly ripe! Not too bitter…which kiwi can sometimes be.

I mixed the kiwi with frozen strawberries, chocolate protein powder, nonfat milk, and flax seeds.

It turned out pretty good.The strawberry’s definitely overpower the kiwi taste…but there is a hint of kiwi.

Today was a good start to getting back to healthy eating and working out. I got a lot of catching up to do! I’ll be back later with some new year updates, Christmas presents, and recipes!!!

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