Intense Interval Sweat Fest

Today’s cardio workout will keep your body guessing, as it gradually increases the intensity through varying work and rest period times… until you’re left in a puddle on the floor!

For the first round, set your timer for 1 minute work and 25 seconds rest; 2nd Round is 45 seconds work 15 seconds rest; 3rd Round set your interval timer for 30 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.

  1. Side to Side Step Ups
  2. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee
  3. Jump Rope
  4. Two-Handed Dumbbell swing
  5. Burpee
  6. Diagonal Touch Dynamic Squats
  7. In and Out Plank Abs or Bench Jumpovers

I will follow this morning cardio work out with this session in Jamie Eason’s program to target my Back and Bis later in the day:

Superset:   Wide-grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps 

 Underhand Cable Pulldown: 3 sets of 15 reps 


 Working Set Active Rest:   One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps, per arm 

 Exercise Ball Pull-in: 3 sets of 15 reps 


 Working Set Active Rest:   Seated Cable Row: 3 sets of 15 reps 

 Jackknife on Bench: 3 sets of 15 reps 


 Working Set Active Rest:   Bent-Over Barbell Row: 3 sets of 15 reps 

 Mountain Climber: 3 sets of 20 reps 


 Superset:   Standing Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 20 reps 

 Bench Dip: 3 sets of 12 reps 


 Superset:   Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps 

 Narrow Push-Up: 3 sets of 12 reps 


 Working Set Active Rest:   Triceps Pushdown - rope attachment: 3 sets of 12 reps 

 Mountain Climber: 3 sets of 20 reps 

 Working Set Active Rest:   Cable rope overhead triceps extension: 3 sets of 12 reps   Air Bike: 3 sets of 25 reps 
Sparkle Like Edward… In SWEAT!

Set your interval timer for 24 rounds of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest for a really good conditioning work out.  You only need a moderate weights for this. I used 20lbs for thrusters and 30 lb dumbbells (for reverse lunges).

  1. Burpees with Pushup
  2. Kettlebell or dumbbell thrusters
  3. Kettlebell or dumbbell thrusters
  4. Two-Handed Kettlebell or dumbbell swing
  5. Contralateral Reverse Lunge (Right leg forward, kb/db on Left)
  6. Contralateral Reverse Lunge (Left leg forward, kb/db on right)
  7. Floor Jumpovers
  8. Mountain Climbers

Top It Off with Tabatas: Set your Interval Timer for 8 rounds of 20 seconds work 10 seconds rest:

  1. Squat jumps
  2. Jump lunge with dynamic squat combo
  3. Sumo Squat jumps
  4. Mountain Climbers
    REPEAT

Legs are now wobbling and will go through more torture later at the gym.

Post Thanksgiving Full Body (Bodyweight Only) Sweat Session

Work out breakdown: 24 cycles of 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest.  You’ll notice at circuit six and seven, they’re different, only because I wanted to mix it up.  Feel free to stick with one of the options the full circuit if you please.

1) Power Jacks aka Low Jumping Jacks (33, 33, 34)

2) Plank Climbers (alternating lead arm) ( 26, 26, 27)

3) Body weight Curtsy (right) ( 26, 28, 30)

4) Body weight Curtsy (left) ( 28, 29, 30 )

5) Burpee with “Power” push up to feet (you pretty much do a push up when you hit the ground ( 16, 15, 13)

6) Single Glute Raise from the heel (right) (26)
    Standing Knee Tuck aka “Power Knee (in Insanity)” (right) (66)
    Single Leg Kick (right) (46)

7) Single Glute Raise from heel  (left) ( 25)
    Standing Knee Tuck aka “Power Knee (in Insanity)” (left) (66)
    Single Leg Kick (left) (52)

8) Diagonal Knee Tucks ( 40, 38, 40)

I then topped the work out off with a round of TABATAS: 8 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds MAX effort:

  1. Dynamic Squats x 2 sets
  2. Mountain Climbers x 2 sets
  3. 2 lunge Jumps with Dynamic Squat x 2
  4. Mountain Climbers x 1 set
  5. Sumo Squat Jumps x 1 set

Fitspiration #3: Natalie Muntean

The Bigger Picture: Health on Guam

Walking through the aisles of two unnamed grocery stores yesterday, I found myself shocked at the price of groceries.  Almost $6 bucks for a pound of zucchinis?!  $2.50 for a single avocado?!  Now I’ll admit that maybe I’m not your “typical” eater.  Things like protein powder, dehydrated peanut butter, chia and flax seeds are on my daily meal plan, but I can’t say it was always this way.  While this isn’t a detail of my life that I divulge freely, I’ll admit that there was once a time when what I considered to be “healthy” consisted of 2 hours of exercise and about 500 calories a day.  Everything that I bought was fat free—little did I know that these supposedly healthy, fat-free products contained things such as high fructose corn syrup and tons of preservatives.  As a result, I was tired all the time, I lost my periods, and I was consumed with counting calories—not exactly a model of health, was I?  Now I won’t buy a fat free or low fat product without looking at the food label.  This only began once I started to educate myself on food and nutrition. 



I think it’s really easy to point fingers at people and say that it’s their own faults that they’re so fat and unhealthy, granted this is the case for some people.  At the same time, I also know some larger individuals who actually put in the effort to exercise and eat food of nutritional value.  I can say with confidence that they are healthy individuals, and there’s articles to back it up. 



All that is besides the point I’m trying to make.  I think it’s worth pointing out that there’s a bigger picture to all of this.  I’ll go back to my trip at the grocery store.  As I said, I’m not the “typical” grocery store shopper.  I found myself reaching for the coconut flour, only to see it was $8.  What did I do?  I put it back on the shelf.  I also didn’t buy the zucchini or the avocados.  While I have a tendency to splurge on guilty pleasures like the latest flavored protein powder or nut butter, no way in hell was I going to spend that much money at this grocery store. 



 Now, let’s look at your low income family.  I’m pretty sure that there are some well intentioned families who would like to eat healthy and provide their children with healthy food, but given what I’ve just stated above, do you really think that the average low income family would be able to afford buying these sorts of health foods?  It’s much more affordable to reach for that can of spam and ichiban.  It last longer, and at the end of the day, the kids are fed.  In their heads, that’s what counts: the kids aren’t hungry.  This is sadly a reality for families not only on Guam but in the United States.  Living in a city like Chicago for a while, I can tell you that many of the homeless people I saw weren’t exactly skinny.  In fact, some of them were fat.  Why is this?  Let’s face it.  It’s cheaper to buy food off the dollar menu at McDonalds than to buy a bag full of apples that probably isn’t as satiating. 



I think the larger picture of why I’m writing this is to say that health and healthcare is a commodity, rather than a right in this country.  In my own line of work in a private health care agency, all too often I see men and women refusing end of life care—care which provide them the ability to remain comfortable at a physical, spiritual, and emotional level—because it’s too expensive.  I’ve worked with mothers who are now dying of cervical cancer because they didn’t have insurance—it was too expensive to get their yearly pap smear.  I’ve seen people who continue to have issues with alcohol and drug abuse because it’s too expensive to go to a psychiatrist or rehabilitation center.



On the other end of the spectrum, I think there’s a lot of confusion and misinformation regarding health and nutrition.  I don’t know about you other health nuts, but the amount of conflicting information when it comes to nutrition and fitness is overwhelming: low carb, low fat, vegan, paleo, blablabla.  Talk about information overload.  How about balance?  As I said, I used to think that low fat and fat free foods were the ultimate health foods.   Today we live in a world with super size menu options, while simultaneously telling us that the 5’10, 115lb model is the ultimate figure.   Obesity and real illnesses like anorexia and bulimia continue to persist. 



Another example is my grandfather.   He’s been smoking since he was 7 years old.  Why did he start?  He tells me it was because when cigarettes first came out, it was advertised by sports players—they said that by smoking you’d become fast and strong like them.  If you’ve ever smoked a cigarette, this is obviously not the case.  He also used it after using the bathroom in the jungle to hide the smell (TMI, I know).   This same sort of advertising is still used today in the form of cartoon characters appearing on sugary boxes of cereal and candy.  My grandfather is now 81 years old and cancer free, but he still has that daily cigarette.  I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to influence the habits or change the mind of an 80 year or any older adult for that matter, but being in my line of work, I know firsthand that it can be quite difficult to change 50+ years of something you’ve become used to every day.  We know cigarettes are addictive and bad for us now, but people still do it.  Does that make them bad people?  I wholeheartedly disagree.  It’s a hard habit to kick.  I know people who have been able to get off their heroin and crack addictions, but they most certainly won’t kick their cigarette habit. 



I’ve spoken to multiple people about Guam’s history and potential reasons why there are such poor health and eating habits.  I gave the example of WWII and spam.  Going back to my grandparents, they said that back then, you ate whatever was put on the table.  Products like spam and corned beef were cheap and affordable.  What happened next?  These products become staples in the “average” Chamorro kitchen.  This is similar for states like Hawaii and other islands affected by the war in Micronesia.  I’m sure all of us have heard the “starving people in Africa” speech from our parents and grandparents, so we should eat everything on our plates.  This was an attitude brought about because of the times that they lived in—you ate everything on your plate, because you might not know the next time you’d have a meal on the table.  With that came a generation whose attitudes were shaped by this belief. 



Now I’m not taking people off of the hook for unhealthy lifestyles at all.  I, too, detest the sight of children having difficulty climbing up the stairs or seeing a patient gulp a can of coke after having a leg amputated.  That, to me, is inexcusable and preventable.  What I am saying, however, is that rather than simply pointing fingers at people, look at that bigger picture and become a part of the solution.  I don’t think it’s enough to simply complain about the conditions of the island without doing anything about it.  You can’t say that “things need to change” and “this is unacceptable” when you’re still sitting on your ass eating a bag of Doritos or that it’s up to the Department of Education and Government of Guam to change things.Change doesn’t happen simply waiting for a good leader with great qualities that will save us all.  It starts with you.



As a social worker, I take it upon myself to become involved with various coalitions on the island to help bring about changes to healthy lifestyles.  So as not to end this on a bleak note, there have been some strides on the island.  As many of you have seen, the prices on cigarettes have been raised.  While the funding has not been used in the way it was meant, it’s still progress (similar to that of the states).  Our school menu programs are now regulated.  There have been more health camps.  There’s discussion of restoring more playgrounds and sidewalks for exercise.  We now have access to a new cancer center and last Friday there was a ceremony to open up a new hospital.  I see more people at 5ks.  Some insurance companies and Government of Guam are now offered free gym memberships.  These changes may be small to some.    I’m not saying that all of this is perfect or  that it’ll weed out all the problems that plague the current healthcare system, but these steps surely move us in a direction that was better than where we stood yesterday.  While I may complain about the cost of health food on the island, I know that when I first arrived 3 years ago, the products I’m buying now didn’t even exist.  Given that they’re here now means that there’s an increasing demand, and I think that comes when people become educated about the importance of a healthy lifestyle.  I value my health, and I will thus pay more to buy (some) healthier food products. 



In closing, I urge you to become a part of these efforts and to join these coalitions—we are more effective with more hands and minds.  Perhaps today it starts with changing your own lifestyle and making the small steps to add in that daily walk or to incorporate more fruits and veggies in your diet.  Maybe it’s volunteering to coach little league or starting a work out group with your coworkers. Either way, small or big, you have to start somewhere.



As for me, I’ll continue to post my daily work outs on Tumblr in hopes your might join me, even if you are tired of seeing them.

Keep Beating, Keep Keep beating HEART: Sweaty Morning Cardio Work out

Dumb title, I know. Interval Cardio this morning only lasts 21 minutes (at least for me… feel free to increase the time/rounds).  The only equipment you need is a your body and a moderate weight kettlebell or dumbbell.  Set your interval app timer for 21 continuous cycles of 45 seconds work and 15 seconds recovery and 45 seconds effort. You’ll be doing 3 continuous rounds of the following 7 exercises:

My reps per exercise are in brackets!

  1. Side to Side Step Ups (56, 57, 55)
  2. Kettlebell Vertical Swing Burpee (20lbs) (9, 10.5, 10)
  3. Jump Rope (did buttkick variation) (65, 68, 69)
  4. Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing (20lb) ( 36, 36, 38)
  5. Burpee with tricep push up (13, 12, 13)
  6. Diagonal Touch Dynamic Squats (38, 39, 40)
  7. In and Out Abs (31, 31, 29)

I’m pretty much a sweat bath now.


This afternoon will be followed by Jamie Eason’s Live Fit Trainer Back and Bis.  Obviously didn’t listen again about the No Cardio thing :/

3x12 with 1 minute rest between sets:

  1.  Wide Grip Lat Pulldown
  2. One Arm Dumbbell Row
  3. Seated Cable Row
  4. Underhand Cable Pulldown
  5. Alternating Bicep Curls
  6. One Arm Preacher Curl
  7. Standing Bicep Cable Curl
Protein Packed Brownies with Secret Ingredient

So to some of you this may sound really gross, but I promise that once they pop out of the oven, you’d never be able to tell that these brownies are made out of PINTO BEANS… Yep, you heard me right.  I’ll admit that they taste somewhat diety, but when you’re in the need for a sugar fix, this should definitely do the trick.  Here’s the Recipe:

Ingredients
1 can of pinto beans, drained well
1 egg or 1/4 cup of egg beaters
100g (about 3 scoops) of chocolate flavored protein powder (I actually used 1/2 smores flavored protein by elite gourmet and half chocolate by mrm)
2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa
4 Tablespoons equivalent of Splenda, Truvia, or Sweetener of Choice
1 teaspoon coffee granules
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon oil
1 pinch salt

I added 1/2 tsp of Cinnamon, along with 1/4 tsp of Cayenne to make them Mexican Spiced Brownies.  Feel free to add nuts or chocolate chips if you’d like.

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×9 baking dish.
2. I blended all the ingredients in my blender and then pour into baking dish.


3. Pop it in for about 10 minutes, until the top layer of the brownies is slightly wet. Baking times will vary depending on how much moisture is left in the brownies.
4. Let cool for at least 10 minutes, then cut into 12-16 squares.

Sunday Sweatfest: Core-Cardio Interval Training

     Today’s interval work is pretty intense, because there’s technically no rest period.  Your rest period is instead a number of bridging exercises.  There’s alternate exercises for “beginners,” though I have a feeling even if you did do the “beginner” version, you’ll still be tasting the salt in your mouth.

     Each round will rack in at about 2minutes and 40 seconds.  Depending on how long it takes you to complete your bridging exercises, it should take you less than 30 minutes to complete. Remember that intensity is key!

     Set your timer for 4 cycles of 20/20. Each couplet will be performed 4 times, in a row! AND THEN REPEATED (insert evil laugh here).  The bridging exercise between each couplet has set reps, so you won’t need to reset your timer.

Couplet 1 – Start timer and complete 4 continuous rounds.

  1. Mountain Climbers
  2. Dynamic Push Ups or Push up followed by a plank jack or Regular push ups
  • Bridging Exercise: Supermans- 20 reps

    Couplet 2 – Start timer and complete 4 continuous rounds.

    1. Side to Side Step Ups or Regular Step ups
    2. In and Out Abs- you’re pretty much in a plank position, and you jump your legs into a tuck position then jump them back out into a plank
    • Bridging Exercise: Stability Ball Crunches- 20 reps

    Couplet 3 – Start timer and complete 4 continuous rounds.

    1. Plank Climbers or Plank Punches
    2. Diagonal Knee Tucks
    • Bridging Exercise: Stability ball hyperextensions or dolphins- 20 Reps

    Couplet 4 – Start timer and complete 4 continuous rounds.

    1. Burpees or Half Burpees
    2. Dynamic Squat Jumps or jumping jacks

    REPEAT it all over again :)

    WOD: Sprints + Bodyweight Exercise + Tabata Topper

    Once again, I did not feel like going to the gym, so I did a home work out today. 

    I started with 12 rounds of sprints for about 50 yards, walking back as my “recovery.” 

    I then decided to give my body a bit of a break and do this full body bodyweight work out for three rounds:

    1.     Squats (normal pace) x 30 reps
    2.     Slow Push Ups (4 seconds down, 4 secs up)- 20 reps
    3.     Stability Ball Dolphin/Reverse Hyperextension – 20 reps
    4.     Slow Single-Leg Deadlifts (right then left)- 20 reps
    5.     Tricep Push Ups (normal pace)- 20 reps
    6.     Slow Sumo Squats-20 reps

    Repeat 2 more times

    And for my final topper, TABATAS:
    Set your timer for 8 cycles of 10 seconds rest and 20 seconds MAX effort and perform the following sequence TWICE. My times are in brackets:

    1. Two-Handed Dumbbell Swing (30lb) (14, 14)
    2. Side to Side Step Ups (24, 25)
    3. Alternating Kettlebell Swing (30lb) (13, 13)
    4. Side to Side Step Ups (25, 26)
    Killer Legs and Glutes

    Short on time today, so I skipped the gym and did this killer work out.  It was much harder than I expected.  Enjoy!

    My reps/weights are in brackets. Repeat each circuit twice then move on to the next one.

    CIRCUIT ONE

    1. DEEP Body Weight Squat 50 reps
    2. High Deficit Reverse Lunge (left)** 60 seconds (20lb dumbbells– 17, 18)
    3. High Deficit Reverse Lunge (right) 60 secs (20lb dumbbells– 17, 18)
      REPEAT
      **You pretty much stand on a high step and do a reverse lunge with your leg still on the step, then go back up

    CIRCUIT TWO

    1. Single-Leg Hip Thrust (left) 20 reps (20,20)
    2. Single-Leg Hip Thrust (right) 20 reps (20, 20)
    3. Bench Jumpovers- 60 secs (didn’t count)
      REPEAT

    CIRCUIT THREE

    1. Single-Leg Chair Squat (left) x 12 reps
    2. Single-Leg Chair Squat (right) x 12 reps
    3. Side to Side Step Ups- 60 secs (63, 60)
      REPEAT

    CIRCUIT FOUR

    1. Single-leg Stability Ball Curl (left) 15 reps
    2. Single-leg Stability Ball Curl (right) 15 reps
    3. Stand-Kneel-Stand (left)-60 secs (20lbs overhead)
    4. Stand-Kneel-Stand (right)- 60 secs (20 lbs overhead)
    Healthy Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup “Ice Cream” Smoothie

    Tricking myself into having healthy dessert has never been so easy!  You’ll find this dessert recipe to be thick and satisfying… much more filling than ice cream, that’s for sure.  I originally got the idea from Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers.  You can also play around with the flavor combos.  Given that chocolate and peanut butter  just so happen to be one of the best flavor combos ever, here’s my take on it:

    8-12 ice cubes
    1 scoop chocolate whey protein (I used MRM)
    1/2-1 cup milk of choice (I use So Delicious Coconut, which makes it thicker; I’ve also use Almond Milk, too)
    1 tbsp PB2 or Peanut Butter (I also added Capella peanut butter flavor drops, because we all know I have an obsession with peanut butter)
    1 cup water
    1 tsp Xanthan Gum

    Put it all in a blender, pour in your bowl, and enjoy!

    At Home, Arm Intensive Dumbbell and Bodyweight Work out

    Warm Up: 10 minute Jump Rope
    I used lower weights (10 & 15 #s), given high rep range

    Round 1 - 5 minutes:
    1. 10 air squats followed by 5 Hindu push-ups

    Round 2 - 5 minutes:
    1. One arm dumbbell get-up followed by 3 one-arm/one-leg rows

    Round 3 - each exercise for 30 seconds, then repeat:
    1. Dumbbell piston
    2. Squat thrust
    3. Dumbbell high pull
    4. Narrow grip push-ups

    Round 4 - each exercise for 30 seconds, then repeat:
    1. Step back lunge
    2. Dumbbell Y-press
    3. Rotational curls

    Round 5 - each exercise for 30 seconds, then combine all exercises into one movement and continue for 2 minutes:
    1. Dumbbell prone row
    2. Dumbbell clean
    3. Dumbbell press
    4. Dumbbell prone, clean, & press combine

    SOURCE: Lean Body Lifestyle (Check out his website for recipes, too)

    Sometimes all you need is a picture of a Hot Chic and some N.O.


    TO GET MOTIVATED

    Exhibit A:

    Exhibit B:

    Exhibit C: Perfect Abs/Tits:


    I was very close to not completing today’s work out and being a pussy, only to murder it.  While I “murdered” the work out, I was pretty much lazy and combined two former work outs I posted.  Here it is:

    Set your interval timer to 45 seconds work, 15 seconds rest.  I did three rounds nonstop… so 45 minutes of sweat.  Feel free to cut it down to 30 mins.  It is pretty tough.  That would leave you to 30 or 45 rounds on the timer. 

    1) 2 Sumo Squat Jumps with Burpee
    2) Bulgarian Split Squat (I balanced on a stability ball)- Right
    3) Bulgarian Split Squat- Left
    4) Stability Ball Pike into Push Up
    5) Dynamic Squat Jump into two Jump Lunges
    6) Suicides
    7) Squat down, Pistol up (See demonstration below.  These are hard.  Focus on Form)

    8) Half Burpee into Tricep push up
    9) Dynamic Squat Jumps
    10) Tricep Dips (I elevated my feet on stability ball)
    11) Reverse Lunge with Kick Up- Right
    12) Reverse Lunge with Kick Up- Left
    13) Stability Ball Jack Knife
    14) Plank Jacks
    15) Jump Rope
    REPEAT 1-2x

    Ryan Gosling just because :)