This is a love story….

Today we completed an awesome workout over at Lifestyle Fitness that Jonathan had put together for us. Being somewhat sore on backside we decided to work upper body and first out was the abs and the TRX that turned into a beautiful love story.

First exercise we were putting the feet through the straps of the TRX, standing in a pushup position and piking the hips into the air.


Now this is not unmanageable the first 10 reps, it is the last 5 that will get you as you are not only feeling it in your abs but also in your shoulders and arms. This was just the first movement out of 4 consecutive exercises, the second one we stayed in the TRX, piked up and did push ups! Don’t say I know…both the abs and the arms are burning like they are on fire and them the goal is to touch your head to the floor…challenging…

pike push

After completed at least 10 push ups (I managed 12-14) we dropped straight into a plank, feet still in the TRX…and if you not feeling it at this point you must be the incredible Hulk or something not from this world! We stayed in plank for 30 seconds then we jumped up to our feet and finished out with 15 rows.

plank rows

Coming into the third set my arms and shoulders really did hit failure, you know when your trainer say do as many as you can. You do what you’re told but yet you don’t because if you dig deep you have at least 3-4 reps left. Well, this time I didn’t because I ended up on my head, haha.


When our “warmup” was completed we moved on to lifting some weights and we started off with 20 pounds dumbbells rowing into a scull-crusher moved across the gym and did 10 heavy triceps pulldowns followed by 10 lightweight.


I did mentioned before that I have a goal of wanting to be able to do “real” pull-ups just like Linda Hamilton did in the Terminator 2. I’ve never been a big Terminator fan but wow that was something and I guess 22 years later!!! it stuck with me…i’m really starting to get old…haha. So anyhow I’m far from doing anything like it but I’ve promised myself to practice and Jonathan was kind enough to through the movement into the circuit together with triceps extension and weighted dips with legs on a bench.


The last 10-15 minutes we did rope intervals and at this point the only thing we could do was to put the head down and count the seconds until it was over…painful…

I loved this workout especially the crazy “warmup” because every time I do different movements or something I have not done in a while I chock the body. I believe that is when I also improve the most….so Thank you Jonathan and happy birthday!




The day after a great party

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.

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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.

I’m in pain…

It’s finally Saturday and I could not be happier as yesterday was a day that just was dragging on and on…

Kids were out of school and Knut had a sleepover at a friend’s house so I in order for me to get my workout in before the conferences, pick ups and birthdays parties I went to see Jonathan at 6.45 for a tough upper body workout.

When Jonathan was explaining what we were doing I was half asleep and my first movement for the day was chest presses and I picked up two 20 pounds dumbbells. Jonathan then walked up to me with a frown in his forehead…”Is that is , really…go and get the 25 pounds!!” It was there and then I thought; “I’m here for an hour either way I’m awake or not and maybe I can just treat it almost like a bad dream” After the chest presses and the reverse flies we did pull ups and I absolute suck at them. I made a promised to myself that every time I’m at the warehouse I will do a couple. I hate not being able to do them by myself, so maybe by the summer I can crank out at least five of them!


Straight away when the first circuit was completed I started to feel how the blood was building up in my arms, were almost like they getting to big and the skin on the back of my arms start rubbing against the body in an odd way…haha!


We kept on pumping the arms in the second circuit and the intensity was not yet high in the sense of heart rate but that was soon to be changed.

Into this…



First we started with the ropes and they are always tough after an upper body workout but yet it was nothing compare to when we started to slam the 12 pound ball into wall followed by basketball shots over the bar straight into 100 bicycle crunches from the TRX.

I was thoroughly glad when the workout out was over and I was for sure wide awake by the end of it…

At the moment I’m sitting and sipping my morning coffee and every time I lift the cup to my mouth I get a little reminder of yesterday workout, just the way it should be 😉 I am soon going into the basement to do an hour on the elliptical, I don’t want to go outside because it is flurries in the air…WHERE IS THE SPRING!!!

50 ways to beat a housewife!

Ok, I will admit…I am a housewife.

There it is, I said it! I wake up every morning with my makeup in place, hair in a perfect do, apron on my hips, diamonds in my ears, a glass of wine in my hand and of course with a smile on my lips! This is my life or not. The truth is I am a stay at home mom and that I have a trainer that knows how to beat the living S#!T out the housewives on the North Shore.

Today we started with just two exercises. First out was hamstring curls, pyramiding 65/75/90 pounds and after finishing 90 pounds I dropped the weight to 45 pounds, lifting the legs together but releasing with only one leg (holy cow). The second exercise was romanian deadlifts at 80 pounds, this was really heavy weight for me and I was ready to go home when I finished my third and final set. 2013-04-10 20.23.472013-04-10 20.27.00

The second circuit we picked up the pace a little bit and started with a single leg romanian deadlift. We Stayed on the same leg stabilizing while doing 15 shoulder raiser and then straight into 30 weighted walking lunges. The final exercise in this circuit was jumping on the tire while switching leg and pushing upwards…hmm I hope that made sense but I will assure you it was hard 😉

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The final weight circuit Jonathan had set for us was yet again hard with planking in the TRX doing hip abduction, a single leg squat from the TRX (these are super hard especially when the legs are tired) and the final drill was jumping over or on top of a box. I love this kind of creativity because I think it is so much more fun when you don’t know what to expect when you come in for your workout, except what part of the body we will work on.

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With the summer just around the corner and the bikini season coming up a workout is not complete without some suicide runs. Sprinting back and forth in the gym and cheering on one another we sounded like we could have been practice for the Olympics. Instead we were just three housewives getting whipped by Jonathan while getting ready to squeeze into those bikinis of ours…

This is just a few tricks that Jonathan has up his sleeve and if you are up for it and live in the Chicago Area please contact

A new week with new challenges!

 I will admit, today I have been a bit off. I don’t know if it is because I am tired or if I’m just getting old but I have to say, although my performance was not the greatest I did work hard today. First circuit out we focused on the core doing leg raises, toe touches, plank with lifting the leg, slow climbers and pushup. This was just the warm up so it was not so bad compare to what was coming our way…


As soon we completed our three sets we picked up our kettle bell 25 pounds and that is not to heavy considering what we were doing. I was really contemplating to go and pick up the 16 kg but like I mentioned I am a bit off so I thought I would give it one more round before I went heavier and I think that was a very wise decision!


The next three movements we started with shoulder press without using the legs. For me 25 pounds is very heavy and I did try to get at least 5-6 reps without using the legs but boy it was crazy hard!


We kept the kettlebell up on the arm while we were doing a reverse lunge with a high knee followed by squat jumps…putting the kettlebell down and jumping was such a relief for the shoulders that I think I could almost kept on doing it for the rest of the workout…lol.


With 15-20 minutes left we took it all from the top but this time we picked up a medicine ball. We did weighted V-crunches and with a “fast” crunch, holding for a second at the top with a slow release for 15 reps, straight into 50 russian twist to finish off with 50 bicycle-crunches. From there we did a lunge to the side extending the medicine ball in front of the body and wood chops.



This was far from a shabby workout and I can really feel my shoulders both aching and being very tried this evening.

Tomorrow I am going to Lifetime Fitness for interval training. Then I am going to try something I never tried before and I am really looking forward to it, I just hope my shoulders won’t be too sore!


A tough end to a tough week!

Good Morning, my house is really quite because everyone is still fast a sleep and I’m sitting in my favorite chair browsing the internet and drinking my coffee in pain! Yesterdays workout was no joke, it was as though as the rest of my workouts been and now my arms, shoulder and core can join the club of pain.

Yesterday I got to the gym early because I had to drop Freddie off at the train station, kids to school and so on, so I thought I would do a long and nice walk on an incline. As soon as we started our proper session it was hardcore straight away and when the first circuit was done and we looked at each other knowing we were going to be crushed!


After the warmup we went on heavy weights and the only thing we could do was to put our heads down and push for it because the clock was not going to tick any faster just because it was hurting!



This two circuits were not cardio based at all, we were focusing more on the slow movements and the contractions of the muscles. The following two we stepped it up and started slowly to mix in some cardio training. I will say that lately Jonathan have changed up our workouts with new movements and I think this is a great way to “chock” the system so you will become stronger, faster or just simply better.


The final 5-10 minutes were brutal and I after my first sprint I ran with my head first into a wall, I totally ran out of juice! We started banging the 12 pound ball into the wall followed by sprinting back and forth twice before picking up the ball again for another 2 sets. The other and final variation we slammed the ball from overhead into the floor followed by the very same sprints. When we were done I had worked out for one hour and 50 minutes and I was shaking when I was driving back home.


This was a great workout to finish off the week and I am looking forward to next week. I will do my best to improve myself but for today I having a rest day but will go for a nice walk up in the forest preserve before the rain gets here.

So spring break is over…So let’s get ready for Summer!

Yesterday I did not sit down until I actually went to bed and by then I was absolutely exhausted! I’m not sure if it was from the crazy leg/cardio workout or the fact I had a million things to do or maybe it was a combination!

Anyhow yesterdays workout was both fun and very intense.  We started the day doing hamstring curls into a single leg romanian deadlift with 20 pounds dumbbells. At this point my legs were still a bit stiff from my Tuesday run but as soon as they got warm it was no longer an issue.


As soon as our little warmup was over and done with we really got the leg working. We started with balancing on a flipped over bosu ball doing weighted squats, this is an awesome exercise! When this was over we lunged cross the gym followed by weighted step ups. At this point I realized we were in for more cardio than what I was expecting and it was only got better!


The next circuit up was new and was a little bit more intense and the first exercise. We were working with a 12 pound ball. Squatting to a sit,  jump behind the ball, pick it up from a squat and push overhead. Although it can be mentally easier to do the same type of exercise over and over because you sort of know what you are in for but I really enjoy new combinations were I have to challenge myself!


Straight from here we took to the mats doing leg raises from push up position and then straight into spiderman climbers (same leg). Next station was jumping rope and as a former gymnast I got to do my little tricks, like double jumps and as soon as the minute was up we had another minute on the bike. We this circuit three times through without any rest as we were told to bring our water with us!

sprint jumo

The last 10-15 minutes of our workout was insanely intense as we started doing suicide across the gym followed by sprints and at this point my last concern was my legs because I thought I was about to die and I was about to go outside to dig my own grave…lol.


And when we all might have thought that maybe this is it Jonathan had us jumping with two legs across the gym followed by speed skaters! Like I said I was completely capped when I was done and  I guess the only way I could have kept on going yesterday was by not sitting down until the day was over and then I slept like a little baby.

Now I am going outside for a light jog because with two days in a row with crazy intensity I need a recovery day!

Back to basic!

Today I was up bright and early or rather dark and very early, to be exact I entered the warehouse at 5.40 and I had an hour in front of me to keep up with the lads! I actually like having my workout over and done with because then I have the entire day to focus on other things. Unfortunately I can’t commit coming in at 5.45 every morning because Freddie travels a fair bit and I obviously can’t leave the kids at home by themselves but today I had a vaccine “refill” at 10 am.

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When I went to bed last night and I started to prep myself getting up early so when I came in this morning I felt real good, except that my upper back is still bothering me from last weeks heavy weights but nothing that I can’t ignore. We were working total body as we do on Mondays and I think the last time I workout with the lads is a few months ago. It is always fun to come in and work with them as they are pretty hardcore and I really have to challenge myself to keep up with their weights.

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After we finished our core exercise with leg raises, crunches, plank and slow climber we picked up a kettlebell. I chose a 25 pounder and when you had your pick there was no going back so I was stuck with my little fella until we were pretty much done. The first circuit we worked upper body doing kettlebell clean & jerk, split up into two motions. This was followed by rows and single arms swings, this was heavy movements and even though it was not cardio it really made the heart beat.

The second circuit we focused on the legs doing single leg romanian deadlift, reverse lunge with high knee, still with the 25 pound kettle bell to finish out on squat jumps.

The workout would not have been complete without some cardio, so with the jumprope in hand we started skipping and I guess when working the arms pretty hard, skipping sort of becomes harder compare to when I was 10 and was not lifting crazy weights 😉

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We finished off the hour with one last circuit working the arms followed by a nice stretch. When I got home I had a “normal breakfast” because after my weekend of sins I am back to basic with my diet. What I have noticed when I am eating carbs is that I am still hungry straight after I finished my meal, it’s  just like I have a big giant hole in my stomach. I guess I just have to drink loads of green tea and wait it out and hopefully I be back to normal in no time!

Always look on the bright side of life…

2013-03-29 11.18.45 We call it the Jesus Christ Peck Stretch!


What a glorious morning it is today as I am sitting on my porch sipping a cup of coffee in the sun and watching the kids play on the driveway. But it for sure did not start this way as I was hitting the legs in the warehouse haaaard earlier this morning.   

We started focusing on the hamstring doing curls in a pyramid fashion, starting at 45, 60, 75/45 pounds. This was followed by romanian deadlifts (30, 35 and 40 pounds) to finish it off with lunging to the end of the gym and sprinting back and forth. This was just the first circuit but after the third set my legs was screaming but I thought to myself that this is it, last workout before my chocolate day begins…lol

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To be perfectly honest I was hoping that we would give the legs a short break but Jonathan had something else in mind as he said; “You can’t have a leg day without squats”. I like it when he is pushing me that little bit extra as he gave me two 25 pounds kettlebells and I was not only feeling it in my legs, my back and my core also needed to work and on the last set I was almost hitting failure as my as I started to crunch my back towards the end. When we had finished our 15 weighted squats we did 15 jumping squats and as soon we were done we did high knee off the big wheel and high jumps. The workout was a good mix between working heavy weights and cardio, just the way I like it!

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Coming into the final 20 minutes we worked the hips and the core combined from the TRX. I think it is funny how the painting from yesterday made itself remembered because my shoulders were hurting from stabilizing during the exercises and we did not even touch them today! 

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Anyhow this was an awesome workout to kick off this easter holiday that I’ve been looking forward to for weeks. Monday morning I will be to my old routines and I will set up some knew goals that I would like to achieve before I go home to the motherland this summer!


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Happy Easter to you all! Now me and the kids are going down to enjoy this day at the Lincoln Park Zoo !  


Don’t be afraid of the muscles!

Today I worked out with some of the girls from back in the days when I first met Jonathan over at Lifetime Fitness. It always happens on the brakes when everyone’s schedule is up in the air but I love to see them because they are so much fun to hang with. I thought we were going to work legs but like I mentioned with this week when Jonathan trying to accommodate everyone’s schedule we ended up focusing on upper body instead.

I think pretty much everyone has their favorite muscle to work and for some reason my shoulders are “OK strong” and I like to challenge myself with they weight. Toady was no different I started out with a 25 pound kettle bell as we had 4 movement circuit  and I will admit that the last set when I was doing 30 pounds was bloody heavy but yet so fun…lol.

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The next circuit we kept on working with the pulling/pushing and I started with the “Arnold shoulder press” (I have no ambition on going down that road). Even though the weight was not that heavy I think my shoulders already had done a fair bit of work. The point was to keep it light and do higher rep counts, then go heavier on the following two exercises and do less reps.

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The first heavy movements were a barbell press and I got annoyed with myself when Jonathan had to take off weight. I don’t know what it was but my pecks really hurt from Monday and I only realized lying down on the bench, so maybe I was not prepared. The last set I went up again in weight and I guess it was pure will but at least I got my 12 reps in ;).

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I’m not afraid of getting bulky because I think it takes a lot of work for a woman to achieve that and it is not my goal. But I really got scared today when I was on the “bench” for the priest curls and I looked myself in the mirror. All I could see was this big two shoulders between this little head of mine and all I can think is OMG this is soooo wrong, when did this happened?! I told Jonathan and he smiles at me and goes “What did you expect when you working the heavy weight on the shoulders? The thing was, sitting like that really made up a funny angle so the shoulders came into focus because as soon as I was standing up I looked like my old self again.

2013-03-27 13.46.21 This is Ms A just saying Hi…

We finished the workout with some high intensity work, squat jumps, mountain climbers and some more shoulder work. Tomorrow I am starting to do some painting in our basement and I have a feeling it is going to be painful…

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