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No Crunches Required

No run today! Today was just me and the (very tiny) gym. Me and a couple weights. I still don’t feel completely back to my pre-Thailand shape, so I thought a full body workout would help get me there.

I made up a circuit that was inspired by workouts from Runner’s World and Fitness magazine. The gym at my new apartment is so tiny with only free weights,so I feel I need to get creative if I’m going to workout in there (seriously considering an actual gym membership-maybe after the marathon in May).

Here’s the circuit I did today. I went through the whole thing three times…barely! I wanted to quit at two but I pushed through.

  • Deadlift- 3 sets of 15 using 20lb. weights. The original workout called for hamstring curls using a swiss ball, but as I mentioned earlier, our gym is seriously lacking in equipment. So, deadlifts it was! I’m pretty sure they’re equally as effective considering my hamstrings are already sore. To make this harder, you can also do single leg deadlifts. It’s the same exercise, just standing on one leg, keeping hips square the entire time. The lack of balance makes it much more difficult.
  • Split Squat– 3 sets of 10 on each leg holding 15lb. weights. Resting one foot on a bench, I performed a lunge, or squat, with the other leg. I’ve done these a lot in the past but they were pretty tough today. Isolating one quadricep by balancing on it is pretty challenging. My intention was to do 15 reps, but I lowered it to ten once I actually started. Here’s an example of how to perform these properly. You can make these even more difficult (but why would you want to!) by resting your leg on a swiss ball instead of a bench.
  • Bench Step Ups with Shoulder Press– 3 sets of 10 on both legs using 10lb. weight. Starting with my left leg and holding a weight in my right hand at shoulder height, I stepped up on the bench while simultaneously pressing the weight up for a shoulder press. Here’s an example of just the step up part of the exercise. This example is done on a lower bench which would be a little easier than an exercise bench. Obviously, the higher it is, the harder!
  • Single Leg Bicep Curls-3 sets of 10 holding 15lb. weights. This might sound a little odd at first, but all I did was stand on one leg (throwing the balance element in again) then perform regular bicep curls. If you have a bosu ball, standing on it (black side up) is also a great way to make standard bicep curls harder.
  • Single Leg Triceps Extension– 3 sets of 10 holding 20lb. weight. This was the same idea as the bicep curls. Holding the weight overhead with both hands, I just did regular triceps extension standing on one leg. Makes everything a little harder!

Abs Circuit:

I found this routine in Fitness Magazine. It’s actually a circuit created for the magazine by Jackie Warner. Considering how shredded she is, I thought I’d give it a try!

  • Side Bend Shoulder Press– 3 sets of 15 holding 10lb. weight. Holding the dumbbell in my right hand next to my body and my left hand on the back of my head, I just hinged at the waist to the right (so the dumbbell is going towards right knee) then back up again. Once I reached the starting position, I brought the dumbbell to shoulder height and pressed it up for a shoulder press.
  • Weighted Twist– 3 sets of 15 holding 10lb. weight. With feet in a semi-squat position, I held the dumbbell in front of my waist with my arms bent at a 90 degree angle. Keeping my hips square and elbows at my ribs, I rotated my torso right and left. That’s it! Not bad!
  • Knee Jack- 3 sets of 10 on both sides holding 10lb. weight. Holding the dumbbell overhead with one end in each hand, I staggered my legs so my left leg was in front of the right, both knees slightly bent. While balancing on my left leg, I lifted the right up towards my chest while bringing my arms down towards my right knee, sort of crunching. This one was harder than I thought it would be!
  • Split Squat Curl– 3 sets of 10 on both legs holding 10lb. weight. This one starts in a similar position as the last exercise except I was in a full lunge (starting with right leg forward). I “crunched” down towards my right knee, with my elbows bent at shoulder level with the dumbbell basically at my forehead. I pushed off my right leg back to standing position, then repeated on the left side.
  • Curtsy Punch– 3 sets of 12 holding 10lb. weight. I started holding the dumbbell, one end in each hand, with elbows bent at chest level. I crossed my left leg behind my right into a lunge-but slightly outside the right knee so it looks like a curtsy. While lunging, I straightened my arms out and twisted my torso towards the right. Then returned to the starting position and repeated on the other side. I like the twisting ab exercises since you can feel your obliques working!

It was definitely a good workout!

After the gym, I refueled with a protein shake and….french toast! I was inspired by Run, Eat, Repeats yummy looking breakfast of healthified french toast.

I made up a bowl of 2 eggs, a little cinnamon, splash of vanilla extract, and chia seeds.

I dipped two whole wheat pieces of bread in the egg mix then fried them up!

Of course, it wouldn’t be my kinda french toast without peanut butter. I added a little Bee’s Knees on top!

Notice my sweet little spoon? That’s my Buddha spoon from Thailand!

I picked up a pack of them, I love ’em! They had whole serving sets but I stopped myself at the spoons considering we just got all the silverware we’ll ever need from our wedding….

The perfect lunch! Definitely hit the spot….french toast always does!

8 comments to No Crunches Required

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