Being strong is one of the most wonderful feeling that I know and even if the journey can be painful there is few things that beats the feeling when you realize you can push your body to new limits. And as a house needs a strong foundation so does your body and therefore is he core one of the most important areas to strengthen (not only because you will look good in a bikini).
This is a few moves I did yesterday to strengthen my abs so I can do even more fun things at my yoga practice 😉
I started out doing a slow pull in followed by as equal slow hip adductor and then finish off with a pushup. I did not have to do a crazy amount before I started feeling the nice familiar burn 😉
I kept on working my abs but did a different variation to get deeper into my shoulders and upper back. This was a pike from a shoulder stand…
From there I popped up to my hands and did another 10 pikes from the hands
To finish the series off I oblique crunches…from a push up position you swing your knees to the outside of your triceps alternating the sides.
Finally I think spring is coming our way and what more do you need to get inspired to push that little bit extra and I know for sure that the ladies used it at their advantage.
It was meant to be a total body workout but sometimes it feels like we always working against the clock trying to squeeze in as much as possible in 60 minutes. So first out today was walking lunges with shoulder a press and tubing while “driving” with a medicine ball also working the shoulders. The girls really cracked me up because they were so unsynchronized that Anna was almost squashed between Elli and Lynne. This two moves are very good for the obvious reasons, working the legs (and shoulders) but the tubing is so good for toning the outer thigh.
These two moves was accompanied by single leg squats and bridge keeping the feet on the medicine ball for a more challenge and I will confess as soon as i went outside today I knew they had to run for the first time this year in the cul-de-sac!
As much as I wanted to stay outside we are not really there yet so we went back inside and worked the upper part of the body. We focused on biceps, triceps, lats and the pecs doing drop sets to build some muscles. Starting at the heaviest weight they did 10 reps, dropped the weight and did another 10 and then dropped the weight one last time and finished off another 10 reps.
I hear this all the time that “I don’t want to get bulky” but girls don’t have to worry about it because we don’t produce that much testosterone that is required to start looking like the incredible hulk. I believe that the stronger you are the better you will feel so start lifting and get strong girls!
I get that it can be hard going to the gym during the summer with kids out of school, camps and everything else that goes on but I am trying my best to keep my schedule going to the gym on “my gym days” and hitting the woods on “my running days”. Today I had absolutely no excuses bringing my kids with as MrsL was brining her (this is Miras as Knuts very good friends) so it was an hour playdate just hanging out with their friends and doing a little bit of exercise 😉
As it turned out it was just me and MrsL today and both of us wanted to do legs and Jonathan as always put together a great program for us. First out was 20 weighted barbell step up really focusing on the glut this was followed by 20 single leg pelvic raises from a pilates ball. I think I mentioned this in an earlier post, the pelvic raises are a really hard move and after completed a total of 60 reps your hammies and ass has a real nice burn to them 😉
All the movements we did today was very simple it also gives you the opportunity to do each and every rep properly and put a 100% focus into the movement. We carried on working the backside of the legs completing 15 leg presses and 15 Romanian deadlifts and so far we were still hanging in there but with the heavy weights and crazy humidity I was soaked after 15 minutes.
There was not any real time to recover the legs as it was I who finished off the romanian deadlifts I was the first one to flick the barbell back on my shoulders into 20 spilt stand squats. The goal is really to take it has deep as possible and contract the glut every time you get up and once again you should get a nice burn in the quad, glut and hamstring. To make it even more challenging we finished with 20 jumping lunges, pausing after every jump in the squat and making sure that the feet leave and land at the same time.
At this point both me and mrsL was starting to get spaghetti legs but we still had one last circuit to do before we called it a day. It was the terrible leg extensions and hamstrings curls and after every completed rep we were stumbling more and more looking quite funny. The last 5 minutes stretch was such a relief and a necessity or I had not been functioning for the rest of the day.
Getting in to bed fairly late last night after eating fantastic food and drinking great wines one would think I should be a little sluggish but instead I woke up bright and early and actually made it into the warehouse almost 40 minutes before our session begun. So you can say I was thoroughly warmed up when we finally stated our total body. We kept a high intensity through the entire workout and after we completed the official warmup consisting of walking lunges, sprints, step up, bikes and skipping ropes we brought out the kettlebells to play with.
I don’t know what it was but I was sweating beyond this world both L and Jonathan said it was all the toxin that was coming out but I don’t know…
As soon the playdate was over we focused the last 20 minutes working the abs, starting chopping using the cables.
This was followed by hip raises that went straight into spiderman climbers and these are awesome if you want to get the obliques working.
The last and final official circuit we started with an excise I only done a few times before and I know I mention it all the time but I love mixing up my workouts. Anyhow you put your feet through the handles of the TRX and swing your legs to the sides. It may look easy but not only do you have to swing but you also have to stabilize with your entire upper body. This was combined with russian twists and weighted jackknife.
I’m still a bit pissed that I am unable to do pull ups so I did three sets of jumping up and holding to a slow relies for five times complied by 10 fast pull up with a jump. I have promised myself that before I leave for Sweden this summer I will be able to do 5 of the “real” ones.
Guess if I was happy not having to work those poor leg of mine today because they are in even more pain today compare to yesterday! I came in early to the warehouse all smelly of tiger balm to get a long warm-up to loosen up the legs. On a positive note I could focus all the agony my legs were feeling and put in into my upper body.
So when the workout started I had that nice feeling that I could push it today and I was going for heavy weights and less reps.
It was not far into the workout when I started to feel the blood was going into my arms and they became like rocks or at least like limestone. I do love that sensation when the muscles are really working hard and it is almost an instant ratification on the hard work you putting in!
We kept focusing on the upper body the entire workout with a couple of exercises for the core to let the arms get a quick rest. The last thing we did for this week was to finish off on the big ropes moving them as fast as we could for 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off for a total of 3 minutes (not counting the rest). They might look easy when someone else is doing them but don’t be fooled because when you are done your heart is pounding and you wish you could swap out those arms to new fresh ones!
This week has been very intense and lets see what Jonathan have in store for us next week as spring break is moving in fast!!!
Today it’s Miras 6th birthday and also the President’s Day but that doesn’t stop the gals and I to do our workout and on top of it, John is back in town.
John really must have missed us this past week because while the kids were playing he literally was beating the living crap out of us.
There was no time for chitchat, it was straight to business! We started with a nice warm up working the legs and arms and also the core when we were at it. We did four exercises three times through before we moved on to another three exercises working them the same way.
When we were done Jonathan through in a little surprise for us and we were combining all the exercises in one big lovely super set, I think that is a nice way to surprise the body. We are so used to working the same way so I think it came as a little shock to our muscles doing that additional super set and having to push that little bit extra.
Finally when we were done we moved on to the cables. It’s been a while since we properly worked with the cables as we have been focusing a lot on free weights and the TRX. Not that I haven’t been sore doing from the free weights but I believe it comes to a point when you need to switch it up and work the muscles in a new way (almost like from the boxing the other day).
I have a love hate relationship to some the things we do and pull up is one of them. I get annoyed at myself when I don’t manage to finish as many as I would like but then again I guess every time you hit failure you are getting better.
This was really a kick ass workout and I can’t wait for Wednesday, I’ve been told we are hitting legs and we are going to work them haaaard!!!
John is gone this week and he has organized a substitute trainer for us (that was the class I missed on Monday). Anyhow this morning I got an email from the sub saying that something had come up and he had to cancel the class. Unfortunately (or not) I did not see the email until I was already out of the door on my way to the warehouse. When I got in Tanya was already warming up on the treadmill and the gym was pretty empty. I told her that the sub was not going to show so we decided to carry on with it just the two of us and Khoshal, the owner of Lifestyle Fitness said we were good to go even though we did not have a trainer.
Tanya said she was pretty sore after Monday’s workout (apparently it was brutal and I can’t wait to see for myself on Friday) so she wanted to work the legs and we started off with four exercises with the kettlebell.
After we finished we thought we give the legs a little bit of a rest and started working the core. Poor Tanya was in so much pain that she eventually gave in and focused just on the legs. I said alright and carried on doing my thing. Khoshal on the hand goes “Monday? That was two days ago, you should tell her to keep on working” Haha…Yes, I should have had because she is very much like me, very competitive! At the same time if Tanya has set her mind to something nothing can convince her to do otherwise…Let’s call her stubborn! (She will give me shit for this one 😉 )
As soon as I was done I joined her doing legs again and now it was just the two of us working out in the gym. To perfectly honest I don’t mind working out in a crowded gym but this was something else. It was so nice and quite just the two of us pushing each other and going heavier and heavier on the weights. The final set I cranked the weight up again on the leg press and Tanya goes “Ohhh thank you, now I have to do one more just so I can finish on the same weight as you” as she was one in front of me and after that we walked out just completed an awesome workout …but now you know what I mean…competitive, stubborn and a great gal!
…Well, not so good after all but tomorrow I will laugh about this crappy day.
So my new plan for the day was to go to the gym between Mira’s play date and when I had to be at school to pick Knut up, that would be just perfect. As I am starting the treadmill for a nice fast run Freddie calls me and wants me to go out to Lake Zurich to pick him up which is just typical now when I finally made it into the gym for the workout that I had been longing for. I looked at the clock and realized I didn’t have enough time before I had to be at Knut’s school so I kept on running. But something happened, my legs had turned into stones and in my head I was cursing my poor judgment from Saturday night. After 20 very long and agonizing minutes I moved into doing some weights thinking that maybe the arms were not too affected. I was wrong but I pushed through it because I was not letting my body beat me! With screaming arms I left the gym and all the way up to Lake Zurich I felt absolutely exhausted, like all energy had left my body…
Now I am going to recharge my batteries while my great hair colorist, Ella is coloring my hair and tomorrow I will start a new fresh day with a great new look 😉
I guess staying up all night Saturday will take its toll even on the best, the day could not start in a more crappy way because we all overslept! I was rushing the kids out the door with their hair un-brushed and their shirts put on backwards but somehow they actually made it in time for the bus.
We only have one car and I am constantly picking someone up or dropping them off and today Freddie needed to go to a meeting close-ish by where we live and we decided that I would take him there. As it turned out this meeting of his was not so close by, it was out in nowhere and at five to ten we still had another 15 minutes to drive before we got there and then I was going back to the warehouse for my workout at 10am. I just had to be realistic about it and realize that it was not going to happen today. I called Laura to spill out my anger and I know it is really silly of me being upset because at the end of the day Freddie’s work is more important than if I make it to the gym or not (believe it or not). Now I am going to pick Mira up from school and then I am going over to Life Time Fitness to run and lift some weights and I am sure I will be in a better mood when I am done 😉
I think that anyone that lives on the North Shore of Chicago will to some extent agree it is like living in a bubble, this is not really the real world. There is a lot of very successful people living in this area and every other person that is working out at the gym wears a complete outfit of Lululemon, using their Louis Vuitton as their gym bag and carrying their IPhone 5 in the other hand and no one is thinking twice about it, including me.
I will admit I do care about how I dress in the gym but it is not as important as the clothes don’t bother me during my workout. And ever so often I will go and get a new item but I always try to get a bargain because gym clothes are bl***y expensive.
So today at Lifetime Fitness I had my own personal battle against the cardio machines. I was not in the mood at all for spending an hour listening to the same old boring music from Spotify (so if you have any suggestions on good workout music, I’m all ears) but I surprised myself and did a great workout with high intensity intervals.
I finished at the same time as one of the studio workouts where the majority of who’s attending is women and a few of them have had a totally makeover. I don’t usually wear makeup myself just because I look like a drench cat by the time I’m done and I believe makeup will not do any favors for me.
But I do get that people have been up for hours attending meetings and just having a break from their busy schedule but today I meet a women wearing fake eyelashes reaching to her forehead looking like she was hitting the nightlife of Chicago!!!
Hey…I guess people can do what ever they want but fake eyelashes on a lousy Tuesday morning at the gym, I just don’t get it….