Always trust your gut feeling!

 When I started lifting weights with Jonathan back at Lifetime I used a heart monitor and every time my heart rate use to increase with about 20 beats before I was even through the front doors of the gym just because I was nervous of how hard it was going to be. Since then I have lost my monitor and I am not nervous anymore going to workout. But yesterday when I was driving towards Lifestyle Fitness the nervous feeling was creeping up on me. I could feel my heart rate increase for every mile I was getting closer and i guess my gut feeling was right because it was no joke today!

This particular morning the weather was still alright so we started warming up (2nd warmup) with skipping rope for 2 minutes twice through before we really dug into the hard work. We did 2 different variation of  agility ladder drills and using hurdles, mixed up with interval sprinting and wall sits. This is a great way to build up speed, power, coordination and this combined with the interval sprinting you also improving your cardio.

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After this intense “warmup” was completed it was time to bring it back inside where our first circuit was a combination of working the upper back, lats and the hamstring. I started out on the TRX completing 15 high rows, 15 hamstrings curls from a Pilates ball and 15 romanian deadlifts, twice through. This was the first variation of two as the second consisted of 15 low rows, 15 single leg hip raises from the Pilates ball (they are killers for the hamstrings) and 10 single leg romanian dead lifts.hamstrings hamstrings2

We pretty much kept on working the same muscle groups for the next circuit but it was only 12 weighted squats and 12 pull downs. I guess I should not say only because the legs was already exhausted and the weight was heavy.

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barbell squat

The last and final weight circuit we also put some focus on the core and the arms. From the TRX we did 15 hip abduction with a push up (when opened the legs do the  push up then closed). After that we did 20 step up with high knee and a bicep curls and to complete this circuit we did 15 leg raises with the Pilates ball.

trxcore

This was when the hour was officially over, but our hour does not finish until Jonathan says so. So to in order to complete this workout we picked up the ropes and did a few intense intervals before we called it a day!

ropes

 

The best of both worlds!

Even if it did not go so well today I did have a great workout with John yesterday as he had prepared a total body workout with both weights and interval training.

Our first circuit consisted of 15 wood chops, 25 “squat to jump jack”, 15 weighed jack-knife, 50 russian twists, 20 superman extensions.

chops core

squatpress

It was a long circuit and Jonathan was not giving us a lot of rest and the only chance we had to bring our heart rate down was during the mat exercises.

The following set of exercises we picked up the cardio just a bit. The idea was the same minimal rest in between the sets and first out was 20 reverse lunge with twist to a high knee and twist, 20 spiderman climbers, 50 bicycle crunches, 15 pushups. We finished this circuit with skipping rope for 1 minute and to make it more challenging I asked Jonathan call out every 10 seconds and I did 5 double jump.

twist spiderman skip

Our last and final circuit we once again picked up the cardio a notch but before we did anything to our heart rate we did 10 single arm row from a push up position with the knee pulled in underneath the chest to contact the abs after every row. As soon that was complete we did 2 minutes standing on the bike, not giving it all but enough so I had a real hard time talking then we finished off sprinting down the cup-de sac.rowpull rowpull2

The workout was far from easy as it was very intense and I love it that when you think you are done Jonathan decides that we can squeeze that little bit extra out of our bodies and somehow we always can! So we finished the day with squat jumps and jumping lunges and although I don’t have any muscle aches today I was completely exhausted at the end of it!

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Five fast k’s

Yesterday was a very slow day but for some reason I did not manage to drag myself out for the long run I had planned for. So after I picked up Mira from a birthday part and completed the grocery shopping I left all the bags in the kitchen and thought if I don’t put my running shoes on the run was not going to happen and I knew I was going to be so disappointed.

With a new running app (runtastic) on my phone and music pumping in my ears I went out to the tracks in the forest preserve and I was pretty much alone. I completed my 5 k run with a 5 min/km which as been a goal of mine and it felt so good but now when it’s done I want to run faster ;).

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Now I am heading out to meet Jonathan and I am curious what he has in mind for us this morning…

Jump baby Jump!

Yesterday started with me riding the bike over to the Lifestyle Fitness, which is a good 5 mile bike ride from my house. And by know I guess you know when I exercises I don’t often do it half hearted, especially not after my own disappointment from Tuesday (which turned out to be harder than what I thought it was because my legs were a bit sore)  so by the time I arrived I still had a good 15 minutes to carry on walking on an incline on the treadmill before Jonathan put us through some serious work.

I don’t know why but for some reason I thought we were doing total body this week but I was so wrong and when I saw the hurdles I knew I was in trouble:). We were split into two groups, me and mrsT started with 30 power steps switching in midair while the other person was doing high jumps over the hurdles 3 times through.

power jumpjump

Meanwhile the other group was doing 15 weighted squats and 20 lunges to press before we took a 30 seconds break and started from the top again.

squat2 lunge with press

We did not do many circuits this particular  morning but they were intense as we worked both the quads and the hamstrings. The next circuit we did 4 times but with two different variations. Fist we did 10 single leg Romanian deadlifts and at the last one we popped back into a lunge and pumped out  another 10 before we swapped leg. The last exercise was a 20 lunges to the side with one 15 pound dumbbell almost touching the floor when reaching the dumbbell to the outside of the bent leg.

Romanian revesrlunge

 

The next variation was a regular 15 deadlift followed by 20 jumping lunges and 1 minute wall sit.

dead jumplunge

The thing is with Jonathan is that the hour is not over until he says so and with about 10 minutes left on his watch we went outside and did sprints. We combined this with skipping rope before I threw myself on my bike and peddled as fast as I could on my bike the 6 miles to Mira’s school and believe it or not I was actually on time!

I am not lying when it was with much hesitation I decided to go for a run up in the woods this morning but I did it even though I thought my legs were about to fall off along the way…lol  

 

  

 

Fast and furious

If I didn’t knew better I would have thought it was winter all over again when I stepped outside this morning to send the kids off to school. I guess this is the ind of days when you are happy you actually have a gym membership because running outside in wind, rain and cold is never appealing. When I came into to lifetime fitness I thought I would give it a try to see how long of a distance I could run in an hour. The thing was that my hamstring was about as tight as they come after the kick as workout from yesterday. After running two miles in a decent tempo my legs had it but I managed to push myself for another 2.3 miles before I gave in and gave them a 7 minutes rest. The last 10 minutes of my cardio I did a sprint interval at a speed of 10.5 30 sec on and 30 sec off and when I was done I was finished!

After I picked Mira up from school we went to an old friend of mine for lunch and a good long chat while Mira was playing with the cuties Maltese puppy!

And now we waaaaaant one 😉

maltese

A Tuesday run

I do love to read but I go through periods when I do not touch a book and this has been the case for the past few months but one of my swedish friends decided to start a book club and I was not far behind to join in. Anyhow the other day I went to the library to lend the “Rules of civility” by Amor Towles. I started reading and I am hooked and last night I ended up going to bed well past midnight so waking up to this crazy busy Tuesday I was very tired but with my mind already made up on running I went outside and what a morning!

forset

One of the goals I have set for myself before I go back to Sweden is to run the distance of a half a marathon and with a slight breeze, sun and not to hot I went up to the woods and completed a 10k run. I have never even thought about trying to run a 1/2 marathon before so I’m not sure what pace I am supposed to keep but I guess it is all about trial and error. I had hoped that I would have run farther because coming back to the house I still had some juice left in the legs but at 10 am I had to rush over to Lifetime Fitness to meet Rebecca for our Pilates session and when the hour was done so was my legs ;).

 

 

 

A six-pack Monday

I loooove the summer and I looove the humidity and even if it makes it a little bit harder to breathe while running I don’t care and when I came into see Jonathan this morning he sent me and MrsL outside to warm up. We were running along Willow Road where you can find a little sneaky hill (there is not that many around) and we had set our heart on it. THe thing was though that we were supposed to turn around after 6 minutes but I guess both me and MrsL had issues with just turning around without finishing the hill. We ended up running for almost 2 miles and we were late coming back into class so Jonathan gave us the evil eye but a girl needs to do what a girl needs to do….finish the hill 🙂

The other ladies had already started the first circuit and although it was a total body workout we put a lot of focus on the abs.

core

My arms are still sore from Fridays killer workout especially the biceps and working with the 20 pounds medicine ball really got them working again when we were doing the 50 russian twist and the wood chops. The workout was not really cardio based but the humidity really got us sweating like there was no tomorrow.

woodchoprussian 

We kept on working with the medicine ball and first out in the third circuit was a “step back lunge with a twist then up to a high knee with a twist. I am not a big fan of this movement but I know for sure that is really effective working the core as well as the shoulders and arms.

lungetwist

With the arms tiring out as we picked up the 16kg ketllebell and did slow 10 shoulder presses followed by 15 fast with help of the legs. The last set I could not finish the 15 because I was afraid the arms was going to give in and that the kettlebell would end up on top of my head, not to fun! We finished out on leg raises to the sides to get the obliques working.

 

legswing

It was not that the workout was not hard but I actually did not run this weekend so I felt pretty fresh and the hour flew by fast. The last three exercises we did was weighted leg raises, plank with extended arms that was pretty straight forward but I could feel my lower back compensating when I did the squat to press. I would not be surprised if I wake up with an ache tomorrow morning but I don’t mind because I actually like waking up and when I move my limbs and they hurt I know I did something right the previous day.

weighted leg plank with ex

 

 

squat to press

Now the “big storm” is rolling in and I am sitting inside watching the sky light up and the rumble of thunder and hoping it wont rain too much because me and MrsL is going for a run in the forest tomorrow morning and I don’t wont to get my shoes muddy…lol

Me and woods

I went for a 8k run this morning it was warm, long and hard but still absolutely beautiful. My legs were a bit stiff from yesterdays workout and I will admit that I am not the best to make sure I stretch out properly afterwards. So when I had about 2k left my hamstrings was screaming and the only thing I wanted to do was to lay down in the green grass and let my hammies relax but I kept on going because I knew the feeling of completion when I finally got home is unbeatable!

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Pilates Tuesday

I love the Pilates with all the great “names” that comes with the different moves, somehow it almost takes me back to being a child. So last week I did not blog much but I met up with Rebecca as I do on Tuesdays and she taught us the “swan” and the “flamingo” moves and it is really interesting and I am loving it more and more after every session.

Later that afternoon Mira had her swimming lesson and I thought I would get a quick run in When I tell her Mira gets a little concerned and I had to promise her that I would be back  in time. And I tell you I have never run so fast in my life and when I got back to “Big Blue” I had to give it a few minutes before I walked in because I was about to puke…haha that’s how I stay motivated to run fast 🙂

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Today I started my day with a 4.74 mile run, trying out a new track. Even tough it was a beautiful morning it was just a little bit to windy for my liking but I think I have decided that this will be my new “middle” distance that I will run at least once a week. When I got home I hurried to change into new workout clothes to make it more pleasant for anyone that had to be around me and as I was changing I realized I managed to get a tan line from my shorts and top…lol.

As always Rebecca didn’t disappoint as we climbed trees and stretched in the mermaid position. I was glad I had already completed my run because  I left felt so relaxed when the hour was over but I will admit that I was tired in the afternoon, not sure if it was the workouts or the fact it has been very hot today…either way I will not complain 🙂

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Lets have a rest day….Nah, I don’t think so

I will admit that after tuesdays sprints and Pilates training I did not feel so great when I got into the Lifestyle Fitness. I only just stepped through the doors before Jonathan told us to go outside and running laps around the cul-de-sac. The weather was lovely but when we got into the sprinting… yes again, I thought he was having a laugh because I was honestly about to pass out, not only were my legs dead but it also felt like I was  breathing through a straw. After a few sprints we finally went inside to start our upper body workout.

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We started by doing rows and bicep curls over at the TRX, then into a jack-knife followed by push ups, it was so hard any and every movement I did felt twice as hard as normal. When we were done with the TRX we moved over to the weights and the first circuit we did push and pulls starting with single arms row and chest presses using the 25 pounds dumbbells. We were told what ever weight we picked we had to stick with for both exercises and the last movement was pulldown using the machine…(I’m still working on my pull-ups challenge 🙂 )

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This was heavy pushing and when it was over we started to pick up on the “cardio’ intensity again. Throwing the medicine ball into the twisting the midsection of the core I could really feel the oblique working as they were already sore from Rebecca’s workout and it was a relief when we slammed the ball from overhead instead.

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If you never tried it I do recommended it because it is not only tiring the arms and the core but it is also great for endurance training especially when used as part of an interval like we did. Jonathan always pair the exercises with other exercises that takes approximately the same amount of time to complete so the barbell press and bicep curls was our “recovery” before we started all over again.

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After finishing off the workout on the ropes I had it and when Jonathan told me and MrsL to have a day off (today) I thought that sounded like a great idea.

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When I woke up this morning not only had the summer turned into winter again but I was both tired and achy, the only thing that was on the positive note is that my cold is much better. So with little motivation I was debating with myself if I should run or not and I came to the conclusion that I should. It was not a pretty run and it was very windy but I did it and it felt sooo good afterwards!