Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A deck of cards kicked my booty!

I've been meaning to try doing a workout using a full deck of cards for a while and today was the lucky day! I used a pull up bar, a 12kg kettlebell, a deck of cards, and a stopwatch. It was simple to follow but really difficult to do. This was the hardest workout I've done in a long time, and I'm just proud of myself for finishing the whole thing! For the chin ups, I'm not going to lie: I jumped most of them. My excuse is that I'm a girl! But if you're a guy, you better not be jumping or kipping them! I timed this and came in at 32:48. If you try it, let me know your time!

Freaking Hard Deck Workout
Shuffle your deck of cards and turn them face down near your workout space. Draw a card and do what it tells you, according to the following rules:

  • Numbered cards: perform the number of reps equal to the face value of the card, except for chin ups, never do more than 5 reps (so if you pull a 9 of clubs, only do 5 chin ups....unless you're insane!)
  • Face Cards: perform 10 reps, or 5 reps for chin ups
  • Aces: perform 15 reps, or 5 reps for chin ups

  • Hearts: Kettlebell swings
  • Diamonds: Burpee snatches (do a burpee, but instead of the jump as you stand up, do a kettlebell snatch. Alternate sides for the snatch each rep.)
  • Clubs: Chin ups
  • Spades: Alternating one-legged floor taps (stand on one leg and bend down to touch the floor, then jump up and land on the other leg. Repeat.)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Providence-lite Kettlebell Circuit

I have tons of great workout DVDs, but for some reason, recently I just can't be bothered to pop them in the DVD player and follow along with them. I want to do my own thing! I love Art of Strength workouts and haven't done Providence in a while, but I couldn't force myself do an hour in front of the TV, so I made my own mini circuit that is Providence-inspired. I did 12 rounds of 70 seconds work and 20 seconds rest (so that it would come out to an even minute and a half per round!). I chose some of the exercises from Providence, and made up some of my own. Definitely fun, and I can do it anywhere. I do recommend the real workout, though. It's waaaay harder and the music is awesome. The number of reps below for each side were what I did this time, obviously different people might squeeze in different numbers during the 70 seconds.

Round 1: Two handed swings x 25, one handed swing x 10 each side

Round 2: cleans x 5 each side (keep alternating sides until time is up)

Round 3: one handed chest press x 5 each side (keep alternating sides until time is up)

Round 4: front squats x 15, sumo squats x 15

Round 5: One-legged deadlift x15 each side

Round 6: windmill + overhead squat x5 each side (these are so freakin' hard!)

Round 7: clean and press x5 each side (keep alternating sides until time is up)

Round 8: swing/catch/squat

Round 9: alternating front lunges

Round 10: two-handed bicep curl/press/military press

Round 11: One arm row x 15 each side

Round 12: Russian twists x 30 sec, then switch to plank for remaining time

Thursday, June 17, 2010

All Bodyweight Circuit

This workout uses only a pull up bar and an interval timer. It is 6 rounds of 4 exercises: one lower body, one upper body, one core, and one cardio. Do each exercise for one minute and do all 4 in the round without rest. Take a 30 second break between rounds. 27 minutes total, or just over 30 with a warm up.

Round 1
hamstring kickbacks (starting on all fours)
tripod plank
reverse crunches
high knee taps

Round 2
alternating lunges
narrow push ups
flutter kicks
half jumping jacks

Round 3
stationary lunges (30 sec on each leg)
diamond push ups
toe reach crunches
mountain climbers

Round 4
negative push ups (count to 5 slowly as you lower down)
side planks (30 sec each side)
squat jumps (touch the floor when you go down into the squat)

Round 5
walking lunges
wide push ups

Round 6
sumo squats
pull ups
bicycle crunches
jumping jacks

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Red Velvet Pancakes

Even though I think red velvet is just the most recent food trend and I'm sure that in a decade everyone will make fun of it like they do about fondue (which I also love!!!), I still really love the craze. I tried red velvet pancakes for the first time at a local restaurant and immediately became obsessed. However, $15 for a stack of brightly dyed pancakes just seems wrong, especially when yummy pancakes are so easy to make at home. So, here's my version: not healthy at all, but requested multiple times by the pancake-hating hubby, so they must be good :)

Red Velvet Pancakes

1 c flour

1/3 c sugar

1/8 t salt

1 t baking soda

2 T cocoa

1 c buttermilk

2 T melted butter

1 egg

1 t vanilla

1 T red food coloring

For Frosting

4oz cream cheese

1/4c powdered sugar

Mix dry ingredients together. Mix wet ingredients together in a searate bowl. Slowly add the wet into the dry, mixing until just incorporated.

Cook like standard pancakes, but at a lower temperature so the sugar doesn't burn. I cooked mine over medium-low heat for about 2 minutes per side.

Meanwhile, beat the frosting ingredients together until smooth. To serve, spread a thin layer of frosting between three pancakes, cut the sandwich in half, and add a dollop of frosting and some toasted pecans on top to garnish.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The "I can do better" Workout

I made up another bodyweight/kettlebell/jump rope circuit. It was fun, but as I was doing it, I was already planning how to make it better for next time. Initially, I planned to do 25 reps of each exercise, but I realized most of them were paired, and needed an even number, so I did 12 on each side instead. Next time, I'll do either 30 or 40 reps instead of "25." I also did 50 jump rope jumps between exercises, but next time I'll do 100, since the 50 seemed a bit short.

1a. lizard push ups x 24
1b. chin ups x10 (haha, I wish I could do 25!)
1.c 50 rope jumps

2a. kettlebell swings x 25
2b. burpees x 25
2.c 50 rope jumps

3a. C&P x12 each side
3b. one arm row x 12 each side
3.c 50 rope jumps

4a. kettlebell snatches x 12 each side
4b. suitcase dead lifts x 12 each side
4.c 50 rope jumps

5a. swing/catch/squat x 25
5b. tactical lunges x24
5.c 50 rope jumps

6a. plank punches x 24
6b. overhead swings x 25
6.c 50 rope jumps

Friday, May 07, 2010

RunKeeper Shared Fitness | Cycling Activity

RunKeeper Shared Fitness | Cycling Activity

Today I biked to work! It usually takes me 35 minutes, but I was running late and still wanted to bike, so I made my self go just a bit faster, and I got there in 29 minutes. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

300 Rep Kettlebell Workout + Jump Rope

I've been very into minimal equipment workouts these days, so I'm doing lots of bodyweight and kettlebell stuff and doing biking and running. It's so fun to not have to drag out a bunch of stuff and still get a great workout in. Today I finally decided to try my hand at making up my own workout, and it was awesome. I wish I had timed it, but it ended up being about 30 minutes. Next time, I'll definitely keep better track of the time, so I have a record to beat!

I did 15 kettlebell exercises, 20 reps per exercise, and did 50 rope jumps in between. I didn't take any rests, just did it straight through. All the moves were with my 12kg bell.

1. 2-arm swing, 20 reps
50 rope jumps

2. Renegade lunges, 20 reps total, alternating to the right and to the left
50 rope jumps

3. Suitcase deadlifts, 10 reps right, 10 reps left
50 rope jumps

4. Single-leg deadlifts, 10 reps right, 10 reps left
50 rope jumps

5. 1 arm clean, 10 reps right, 10 reps left
50 rope jumps

6. Clean and press, 20 reps alternating left and right
50 rope jumps

7.Front squat, 10 reps with left-handed rack, 10 reps with right-handed rack
50 rope jumps

8. Good mornings, 20 reps
50 rope jumps

9. Swing/catch/squats, 20 reps
50 rope jumps

10. 1 arm rows, 10 reps right, 10 reps left
50 rope jumps

11. crunches, 20 reps
50 rope jumps

12. alternating swings, 20 reps total
50 rope jumps

13. 1 arm swings, 10 reps right, 10 reps left
50 rope jumps

14. 1 arm press, 10 reps right, 10 reps left
50 rope jumps

15. Tactical lunges, 20 reps total, alternating right and left
50 rope jumps

Phew! Those presses with a 12kg bell are tough! But a very fun workout.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Buffalo Chicken Salad

Buffalo wings are one of my favorite things to eat, but they are
terrible for you! I found the idea for this recipe in the Best 30
Minute Recipes cookbook from America's Test Kitchen, but they use blue
cheese dressing and fried chicken strips. Instead, I used chicken
breasts and light ranch dressing. It is so delicious and very simple
to make!

Buffalo Chicken Salad
(2 servings)
4 c salad greens
2 carrots, chopped
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 c Frank's Original Hot Sauce
1 1/2 t brown sugar
1 t cider vinegar
1/2 T butter
4 T ranch dressing

Spread the lettuce out between 2 plates, and sprinkle half the carrots
over each.

Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch pieces and cook in a skillet sprayed
with nonstick spray until it is no longer pink. Mix in all of the
remaining ingredients except the ranch dressing, and stir until the
sauce is combined and evenly coats the chicken.

Scatter half the chicken on top of each salad, and top with 2 T of
Ranch dressing. Mmmmm!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A veggie rice substitute

Instead of pouring my curry over rice tonight, I sliced up a zucchini
with the French fry attachment on my mandoline. Then I steamed it in
the microwave for about a minute, and had an excellent rice
replacement. And it takes much less time to cook than rice, too.