G’Morning friends!

How are ya today? I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely needing the weekend soon! Last night after work my roomie and I headed to the gym for Body Combat, and having had very little sleep on Tuesday and a pretty intense workout yesterday morning, I was absolutely exhausted by the time I sat down to dinner last night! Come onnnnn Friday!

Today's b-fast: Nature's Path Kamut Puffs, Kashi Heart to Heart, Greek yogurt and rasps - plus an unpictured green monster because half of it has already disappeared.

Lately some of you have been sending me some emails and leaving comments saying that you tried the holy crap run that I posted last week and loved it That’s awesome! I don’t want you to get bored, so I’ve got another one for you today. I wouldn’t quite call it as intense as the other, but it still requires a pretty solid effort. You’ll use 3 machines (so as not to suffer from cardio ADD of course) and work on strength and speed in each 20-minute segment.

My machines of choice were the treadmill, bike, and cross trainer. I like to use this cross trainer, which has crossramp and resistance adjustment, as well as moving handles so that my upper bod gets a bit of a workout too. Broken down, the workout is fairly simple – 3 20-minute repeats, each on a different machine. I started on the treadmill since I wanted to get the hardest one out of the way first. On each machine, you’ll spend 5 minutes on a flat road, followed by 10 minutes working up and down a hill, and finally, 5 minutes accelerating as you sprint to the finish.

Ready? Set? Go!

Angela’s 20-20-20 Cardio Workout

Annnd I’m sure by now you’re all well-aware that strength training is just as important as cardio, right? Well, don’t worry because I’ve got that taken care of too. The following workout is a quick 5-exercise circuit that you can do for as many repeats as you’ve got time for. It’s fabulous because each move works several body parts, so you can do it in less time than you would if you were isolating muscle groups. I did 3 sets of the entire thing with 30s rest in between sets, moving as quickly as I could from one move to the next.  The circuit goes like this:

1. Single arm chest press on stability ball: Lie down with your upper back and shoulders supported by a stability ball. Your knees should be bent at 90 degree angles and feet flat on the floor, about shoulder width apart. Contract your core and keep your hips in line with your knees, forming a tabletop position. Hold a dumbell in each hand with an overhand grip, and begin with the dumbells positioned beside your chest (A, below).

(Source)

Keeping your core tight, keep one dumbell in this position while you extend the other arm, pushing the dumbell up towards the ceiling. Push up for 2, then lower down for 2. Immediately switch sides and keep alternating until you’ve completed a total of 24 reps (12 on each side).

2. Deadlift with overhead dumbell press: Hold a dumbell in each hand using an overhand grip, palms facing towards you. Keeping a slight flex in your knees (don’t lock out the joint) and a flat back, lower the dumbells down the front of your legs until they’re as low as they can go. You should feel a good stretch in the hamstrings. Once you’ve lowered all the way down, use your glutes and leg muscles to return to standing.

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Once you return to the standing position, curl the dumbells up and press them overhead. Lower with control, and return to the starting position again (left, in the photo above). Continue with your reps until you’ve done 12 in total.

3. Push-up with leg lift: Get into plank position as you would when preparing to do a push-up. Hands should be under your shoulders and head in a neutral position. Lift one foot a few inches above the ground (or higher, if you want to) and contract the glutes as you lower down with your arms into the position below. Push yourself back up to plank, keeping your foot off the ground. Complete 6-8 reps with this foot up, then immediately switch and complete another 6-8 on the other foot.

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4. Dumbell Bulgarian split squat with hammer curl: Stand in front of a bench holding one dumbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing in. Place your left foot behind you on top of the bench, and hop forward slightly with your right foot so that you can lunge and create a 90 degree angle at your right knee. Keeping the left foot positioned on the bench, lower down into a lunge while keeping your arms at your sides.

(Source)

Push through the heel of your right foot to return to standing, then do a hammer curl with both arms simultaneously. (If you’re not sure about the hammer curl, it’s basically a biceps curl with your palms facing each other instead of upwards.) Return the dumbells to your sides, and continue with the split squats and hammer curls until you’ve done 12 with your left foot behind you. Then, switch sides and complete 12 more reps with your right foot on the bench.

5. Now get your heart rate up! Do 30 seconds of one of the following exercises as fast as you can while still maintaining good form:

  • Mountain climbers
  • Burpees
  • Squat jumps

After you’ve completed these 5 exercises, rest for about 30s, grab some water, then repeat as many times as you like. When you’re finished, don’t forget to cool down and have a good stretch. :)

Alright, it’s work time! I hope you have a wonderful Thursday, and before you go….

Questions for today:

  • When you do indoor cardio, which machine is your weapon of choice? Do you like to mix it up or stay on the same one all the time?
  • Do you have any specific cardio or strength training goals for this year? How are you doing so far? Tell me about them!
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