My workout today came from a fitness book I’ve had for a couple months. It’s The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises (I bought the book on Amazon, but I’m sure you can find it in any bookstores). It’s a really great book filled with variations on any and every exercise. It splits up the exercises by muscle group, but at the back of the book, lists different exercise circuits. This is the book where I found the Spartacus workout. Today, I chose to do the “Hard Body” workout ohh yaaaa.
Here are the circuits I did:
- Single Leg Deadlift– 3 sets of 15. I used 15 pound dumbbell’s in each hand. With this exercise, you really have to remember to keep your back straight. It’s easy (especially when you get tired) to let your back hunch over. You want to keep it straight, with your hips square. Here’s a video demonstration.
- Close Hand Pushup– 3 sets of 12. These are pretty tough. This type of pushup works your triceps more as opposed to a standard pushup which works the chest. The difference is keeping your elbows tucked closer to the sides of your body. For me, it’s much harder than a standard pushup. This video shows two ways to perform the pushup- one with knees on the floor, one without. I completed 3 sets of 12 with knees off the floor. I did take a couple breaks though during a set because they are pretty difficult.
- Bench Press with Incline– 3 sets of 15 using 15 pound dumbbells. This is sort of self explanatory…it’s basically a normal bench press (I used dumbbells, I’m sure you can use a weighted bar), but with the bench at a bit of an angle. It’s surprisingly difficult. Here’s a video showing proper form.
- Dumbbell Step Up-3 sets of 15 holding 15 pound weights in each hand. Holding the dumbbells, I would step up onto the bench with my right foot. I tried to keep my left leg in the air, bringing my knee towards my chest. This works a lot on stability since you’re on one foot. Here is a demonstration of the exercise.
- Side Plank with Reach Under-3 sets of 10 holding 8 pound weight. I only did ten of these since they were pretty tough with the 8 lb. weight. The actual “Hard Body” workout has a side plank and row listed…but my gym doesn’t have cable machines. So, I figured this would be equally as challenging.
- Lateral Raise- 3 sets of 15 using 8lb. weights. This is kind of a standard shoulder exercise….but it’s not easy. When I’m doing it, I try to focus on not hiking my shoulders up. It’s pretty challenging keeping those suckers down. Here’s a good video demonstration.
- Pullup- 3 sets of 15. The actual workout lists lat pulldowns here, but I don’t have that machine in my gym. I figured a pull-up would definitely work the same muscles. I used the assisted pull-up machine…adding 60 pounds of help to it.
- Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat- 3 sets of 12 holding 15lb. weights. This is basically a lunge with the back leg resting on a bench (some people use a swiss ball). This puts major emphasis on the front leg’s quad. These are much harder than they appear. It’s kind of funny how long it takes me just to find my balance, let alone lunge!
- Pushup and Row-3 sets of 12 using 8lb. weights. These are exhausting…and definitely a full body workout. They’re also a little self explanatory. You’re basically in the pushup position with weights in your hands on the ground. You do a pushup, then row holding the weight with one arm, then the other. So, basically the whole exercise you’re also holding the plank position. Here’s an example.
- Swiss-Ball Rollout– 3 sets of 15. When doing these, they don’t feel that hard to be honest. It seems like they work my arms more than my abs. They also make me a little nervous because I don’t want to hurt my back. Luckily, we have a full length mirror in the gym so I watched myself to make sure my back was neutral. Here’s an example.
That’s it! It was a pretty good workout. I look forward to that “hard body” comin’ my way.
After the workout, I attempted the thin mint protein shake again. This time, way less peppermint extract. I mixed together spinach, chocolate protein powder, chocolate soy milk, non fat milk, water, peppermint extract, and frozen bananas.
It turned out pretty good! The dash of peppermint extract was plenty. The only thing I didn’t love were a few chunks of spinach floating around…but I take responsibility for that (or my blender does). But the taste was exactly what I wanted it to be!
Tonight, I have a yummy vegetarian meal planned….but for now, I’m going to enjoy my cookie candle, Christmas tree, and a little Netflix.
I was hoping for Christmas Vacation but they don’t have it streaming :(. I almost won Christmas Vacation the other night at a White Elephant party but it was stolen! I got stuck with Happy Gilmore instead….
I guess I’ll settle for Dexter season 1 for now….(already seen the other seasons…but never the first!). What are your favorite holiday movies?
my favorites are those old claymation ones. those were awesome. i always thought charlie brown sucked though