My final workout!!!

I have finally arrived at my sister’s house after a very long flight and train journey and I am jet leg as crazy. When I pulled out my workout clothes this afternoon I started feeling nauseous and my head was spinning so I decided against it as I probably would have crashed into a car or something. I do have feeling I will wake up around 2am wide awake and the sun will be shining so I might just do it then instead…lol.  I am going to be away for 3 weeks with the kids to visit family and friends and I am dead nervous that I will eat like crap and don’t stay on schedule but I have promised myself that I am going to do my best to keep my routines.

Anyhow when I came in on Friday for my final workout with Jonathan my backside was still sore so I was glad that we focused on our upper body. Straight away we went outside where Jonathan had arrange a long nice circuit for us and first up was 15 “clean and jerk” I used a 45-pound barbell.

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We did get in a little legs as well and I could really feel my gluts as soon as I picked up the 16kg kettlebell and started to swing it but so far so good but the intensity was picking up when we threw the medicine ball high up against the wall. I like working the medicine ball, it is almost like the ropes because it makes your shoulders and arms really tiring out and it really gets your heart rate going to.

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To bring the pulse down we did biceps curls and shoulder raises to the front. When that was completed we took to the cul-de-sac and sprinted to the end of the street before we took it to the top again. I know I have mentioned this before but interval training is great both for weight loss as well as improving your VO2.

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We stayed outside for the second circuit which was not so different but yet it was. We started out with 15 push ups but instead of swinging the kettlebell we did weighted squats instead.

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Like I said the first and the second circuit was pretty similar so with the medicine ball we threw it hard straight into the wall and slammed it in the ground. It really works different muscles in the arms and shoulders. This was followed by kickbacks and shoulder raises to the sides. I did go up in weight but I think I should have challenged myself a bit more because I was not as sore as I wanted to be on Saturday but with this being said the workout was still hard, don’t get me wrong 😉

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Instead of sprinting we did 25 squat jumps and I don’t know no matter how many or few Jonathan tell us to do it is almost without a fail it is the last 5 that always kills you.

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When we had completed the 3 round we went inside and finished the last 15 minutes completely focusing on the core and if you really emphasis on the contraction you will get a nice burn. First we did 15 leg raises, 20 double crunches,  50 bicycle crunches and 10 rotation with a dumbbell .

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The last thing we did for the day was really working the oblique making our legs go side to side 20 times, 15 modified side plank and 20 spiderman climbers. And in all honesty I don’t think you can do many combinations for the core 🙂

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I’m surprised and angry

So I live in Glenview Illinois, on a quiet street that leads up to one of the many communal parks the village care for. Our street does not have any sidewalks but it used by pedestrians everyday walking their dogs or taking their children to the park. The problem is that the street was under construction a few years ago and is just so perfectly straight and smooth so you easily can hit 40-50 mph even though you only allowed to drive 20!

My husband and I try to set a good example for out children as we always talk about what is healthy for you and what is not healthy. We tell them it is ok to have a soda or candy but not everyday, we tell them it is important with exercise. Both our children are very active in sports and we encourage them to ride their bike, Rollerblade or have fun on their scooters. So in order to make it a little bit more enjoyable we put out our hockey goals on the street and the kids loves it. It also serves the purpose of alerting drivers that there is children on the street playing and it actually works. The cars are slowing down, the kids have a chance to get out of their way… and in my mind everyone should be happy about it.

So today I receive an anonymous letter in the mail from one of my neighbors saying that they are trying to be “good neighbors” but we can’t have the goals on the street as it is not allowed. They will not call the police but if we do not stop doing this the police will notice!!!

(The goals are only on the street while the kids are playing)

So my dear “Good Neighbor” I am confused. Does it bother you that I’m letting you know that the kids are out playing so you don’t hurt my children or does it bother you that you can’t get fast enough down the street to the stop sign where you have to wait for traffic to pass before you can make your turn?

What bothers me is that if you can’t pass the hockey nets doing “20” you are going to fast, also it surprises me that you value your precious time more than all the children and everyone else who doesn’t see the street as the new I-94.

So if this is where we heading I am not surprised that childhood obesity has doubled in the past 30 years* as we no longer can let them be active on their on terms. All their activities has to be organized, carefully planed and paid for before it can be executed. What about the spontaneous games for an example when Knut brings out his rollerblades, his stick and pretends he is Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, Andrew Shaw all at the same time when he is bringing down the Boston Bruins ;). If kids have fun they will automatically be move around and do what they are best at…and that is being kids and the health will follow!

rollerblades goal

 

So my Good Neighbor maybe you should step out of the car, walk around the block and meet all the people who is out and about trying to live a healthier life and maybe you will learn a thing or two…

*http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your excuse…I didn’t have one this morning :)

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 😉

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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 😉

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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.

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    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.

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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.

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Summer Vacation is finally here!!!

Yesterday was the very last day of school and it was a very hot day so as soon as I’ve sent the kids off on the bus I put on my “blue danger” I went for my run. The thing was that I was not in the mood for it but I knew if I didn’t do it there and then it was not going to happened as it was warming up quickly. I realized fast that it was not only my mind that struggled my entire body felt heavy and my breathing was totally out of place, this was far from the feeling I had last week when I just kept going and going for my 12.6 miles. Anyhow I kept on running for my 4 1/2 miles and I really had to push to the very last step focusing on not slowing down.

I only had time for a quick shower before I had to get Mira and Knut from school. The rest of the afternoon we spent at the Lifetime pool and it was so great to watch the kids having so much fun, I guess there is no better way celebrating that school is over and the summer vacation is finally here!

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That evening we went to a new restaurant called Nick’s in Wilmette as we kept on celebrating with our friends. We got the best table in the entire restaurant, we sat at the opened windows and as soon as the kids finished their meal they sat on the window seal playing and watching people walk by. Initially I was surprised on how empty it was but after about 15 minutes there was people lining up in the street trying to get a table and I totally understand why. The ambiance was great and the food was amazing, I ordered a kale salad with grilled salmon and this was a great way to finish a great day!

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Why change a winning concept?!!

I never blogged about my friday workout but it was an insane upper body history and coming in this morning we kept on pushing for a total body workout. We haven’t been using the barbell that often lately but today we started out with 15 curls straight into 15 shoulder pushes. We were really pushing the shoulders on friday so I was a little sore but I find it so effective using different equipment still targeting the same muscle group.

Today working the shoulders

 barbell

Friday one of the exercises working the shoulder and pecks.

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The circuit didn’t finish there so we moved on to the TRX and did 15 pull ups and although you mainly work the back, arms and the pecks you also should contract the gluts so the backside of the legs gets a nice burn 🙂

pulls

The next movement was a build up and started with 15 regular pushups, round #2 15 push ups from a bosu ball and for the final round I was supposed to do 15 pushups with the hands on the bosu ball and the feet through the loops of the TRX. I will admit that I only did 14 as my hands was slipping of the ball and I pretty much hit failure. We finished out the circuit with a 1 minute high resistant on the bike.

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The next circuit was as long and intense as the first one. We started with 20 hammer curls followed by 10 shoulder raises to the side and 10 shoulder raises to the front. I don’t think I ever will like the shoulder raiser but I do believe you should practice a little extra on the thinks you don’t like because most likely you suck at them and that’s why you don’t like em 🙂

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 We moved over to the tire and did 30 weighted step up, dips and 10 barbell weighted lunges. Instead of kicking the cardio hard this time we gave out core some attention doing 30 seconds leg raises, 30 sec oblique crunches, 30 double crunches and a 30 sec extended plank, I love the extended plank because it is painful in a nice way 😉

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 The last 5-10 minutes we finished with intervals on the rope finishing off the shoulders and arm (and some legs). I think this is the first time I am actually sitting down and relaxing today and I can really feel how tired my upper back, neck and shoulders are. It will be interesting to see how I feel tomorrow morning, I’m glad I’m not running with my arms… lol

I love my woods…

Today is my rest day as I have done my 6 days of intense workout so when I woke up 6am sharp this morning not being able to go back to sleep I decided to  tiptoe downstairs, put my trainers on and I went for a long nice walk up in the woods…

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…and I love my woods, especially this time of the year when it’s so lush and green and walking in forest really gives me energy. I love meeting people of all ages, forms and what else who also decided to start their day with an energy boost.

Now I am going downstairs to make myself a cup of coffee and I hope I will have time to enjoy it before the “Fancy Blue Girls” are playing their last soccer game of the season…

 

 

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.

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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!

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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

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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…

If you don’t work it hard it’s a waste of money…

At 6.30 this morning I enter through the doors of Lifestyle Fitness, that is normally when my alarm goes off in the morning. But if you are scheduled to see the most important music show of the year (the kindergarten show) you do what you have to do and you drag your ass to the gym and work hard for every single nickel. But I did not expect what Jonathan had in mind for us…legs!!!

We went outside and started out with lunges with a curl to press, sprints, another set of curl to press, squat jumps and a fast run around the cul-de-sac. I could not believe it, this was going to be my 4th day of legs including the fast run I did yesterday but I figured if I wasn’t going to work it hard it was going to be a waste of money and time (in bed) lol.

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Back inside Jonathan had a change of heart and decided to focus on upper body, this to my relief and we carried on pushing the shoulders. With only three of us the first circuit was only two exercises, after every set I bumped the weight up but kept the amount of reps the same. 15 shoulder press in an inclined bench and 15 single arm rows.

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When the third set was over we carried on working the next circuit with two exercises but this time I kept the 15 pounds for the 15 chest flies followed by pull ups till exhaustion. Jonathan alway says not to have a number in your head but it is very hard not to and if I have a number I always try to finish with an extra couple of reps (if I have it left in me).

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The next exercise we split into 3 movements, we started by doing 10 “Clean” of a clean and jerk and while the person I was working with was doing her set  I rested out. The second movement was 10 “jerk” also done three times through and the last move was to complete the “clean and Jerk” in one motion.

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This amazing workout was coming to an end but before I had to rush home to send the kids off to school we finished out on 15 shoulder raises from a wall sit. And let me tell you if you are fed up with doing crunches this is a fantastic compliment of working the abs. Especially after all the stabilizing the core had to do during the heavy clean and jerks.  This was followed by shoulder raises to the sides and with a twist using the dumbbell from a push up position.

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 twist

When I stepped outside I was completely drenched and that in it self is a token of a kick ass workout!