Wednesday, June 1, 2011


I am about to try Insanity for the first time. I have to do the fit test first. I am borrowing my neighbor's. Then I am going to try the one entitled, "Dig Deep." Sounds awful. Aparently my neighbor was sore for days, but because the program is a 60 day program with only Sundays off, she didn't get the rest she wanted. I'll try it a few times. Maybe I'll be doing it in CT when I go!

The fit test is simply how many of the following exercises you can do in a minute (and my results, which should improve over the 60 days):
Switch Kicks: 58
Power Jacks: 43
Power knees: 89 - which I think I missed something because I only did one leg...hmm...
Power Jumps: 32
Globe Jumps: 9 - ok, they are a series of 4 jumps each, before you make fun of me!
Suicide Jumps: 22 (think burpee or squat thrust)
Push Up Jacks: 23 - Those are the worst!
Spidermans: 45 - they're called something else, but because I'm so tired, I can't remember what in the world they are called, but I know I've done them before as Spidermans.

ALSO, this is the last month of the Bikini Body Countdown! You can do it! Have you tried on your bikini? I just wore mine to the beach on Monday and felt great (minus the burn)! I haven't seen what is in store for this month because I left the magazine in my beach bag which is in the car Toddy took to work. I'll write the workout soon!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Bob Harper's Bikini Body Workout Month 4

This has the video and pictures - let me know if it doesn't work for you!

Bob Harper's Bikini Body Workout Month 4

Month 4 of 5

We're almost there!! I have a new resolve. For some reason, April was a really bad month for me. I wasn't as diligent, and didn't work out as hard when I was working out. Plus I ate TERRIBLY. I am going to go on a 5 day "diet" here in a little while to get me back to where I need to be. It's not a starvation diet. It's quite filling and basically makes you eat well and drink iced green tea with lemon, lime and orange slices you put in it because it helps blast fat, according to the Health Magazine. Again, not a diet, per se, but a week of following actual healthy recipes. I also didn't like the workout for April. I like the one for May. It's challenging! After this we only have one more month!! Keep that in mind and do your best. I am now going to do it and workout my hardest. Again, you don't need to workout a long time as long as you're working out hard while you're working out. 20-30 minutes a day would be enough if you really give it everything. BUT I also have a new resolve in another way. My pastor said on Sunday (paraphrased) that those of us who spend a lot of time working out and keeping the temple of God in good working order is great, but do we spend as much time in the Word of God and studying HIM as we do studying and making over our bodies? That really convicted me. It's almost as if my body (a thing created) has the potential to become an idol instead of worshiping the Creator. Make sense? So if you ask me today what is more important, working out or reading your Bible - if you have to choose...choose your Bible. The information gleaned from there will carry you through when your body doesn't work anymore, but squats and supermans won't. Lastly, here is what SHAPE has to say about our workout for this month:

"...There are only eight weeks left in our Bikini Body Countdown and your to-do list still has a few items on it. Sure, your pants are looser, but you don't just want to be slimmer; you want to create definition-it's the exclamation point on all your hard work..."

Two or Three times a week, do 1 set of each move in order without resting. Repeat the series twice. Four or five times a week, blast more fat and calories by performing cardio workouts. Oh, by the way, I read that 20% of your workouts should be high intensity (like the cursed splits and sprints and hills and other interval type training that makes you want to keel over). So if you work out 5 times a week, 1 day is that. Which is actually good news and lessens guilt. PLUS with the high intensity training you're literally done in under 30 minutes, so just keep saying to yourself on the day you don't think that you have time to workout, "It's less than 30 minutes and I'll be DONE for the day!!" Basically warm up for 5 minutes, and then alternate super hard for 30 seconds and super slow for 30 seconds with a 5 minute cool down.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and bend over from hips, keeping your back as flat as possible. Place hands on a weighted ball on the ground in front of your feet (or rest ball on a low step); hands should be aligned under chin. Keeping hands on the ball raise left leg out to the side to hip height; hold for 2 counts. Switch sides to complete 1 rep. Do 12 reps.

Stand with feet together, arms at sides, and jump feet wide as you raise arms out to shoulder height. Lower into a squat (kind of like a sumo squat), then jump back to the starting position, crossing left foot behind right and lowering arms to sides; land with knees bent. Jump feet wide again, then switch legs to complete 1 rep. Do 15 to 20 reps.

*Do the next moves slowly and focus on which muscles you're working*
Get in plank position, hands aligned under shoulders, with shins on a weighted ball. I did it on one of Audrey's balls, as well as on a regular balance ball. Raise hips, rolling ball towards hands until you're in a pike position. Roll ball back to the starting position and raise right leg then left leg to complete 1 rep. Do 5-8 reps.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand at sides and lean against a wall (do a wall sit). Walk feet out about 18 inches, keeping them close together and squat until thighs are parallel to ground. Raise arms out to sides to shoulder height, palms facing down, then lower arms. Do 20 reps. Rise up and rest legs for 30 seconds, then lower into the wall squat again, but with feet shoulder-width apart. Extend arms at sides, then curl weights to shoulders (work your biceps). Do 20 reps. Rise and rest once more, then squat against the wall with feet wide. Hold dumbbells next to shoulders palms facing forward, then extend arms overhead (shoulder press); lower and repeat. Do 20 presses.

Get on all fours and position a weighted ball (or a dumbbell) behind your left knee, foot flexed; bend knee so ball is secure. You can do this hanging over a chair as well, for all you people who remember this move from The Firm video series. Raise leg straight up behind you, then lower. Next, raise leg out to the left so thigh is parallel to ground and lower. Finally, lift left leg and cross it over your right leg behind you, to complete 1 rep. Do 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.

Yes, you're kind of spent by this point, which is why I like this month's workout. Stand with feet staggered, left foot in front of right, and hold a dumbbell in each hand overhead, palms facing each other. Lower into a lunge, left thigh parallel to ground and knee aligned over ankle, and lower weights behind head (elbows point up - think triceps). Straighten legs and arms and repeat. Do 20 reps. Switch legs, lean forward from hips, and extend arms towards ground, palms facing each other. Lower into a lunge as you draw weights to your sides (think row). return to starting position; repeat. Do 20 reps.

Honestly, I'm not going to do this one because don't have a weighted ball and I don't want to drop a dumbbell on my face, so I'll give you a different set of ab work to do after this. I would do Exercises 1 through 6 and repeat so that you do 3 of everything, but then do the ab work I'll explain further down after all that is said and done. Anyway, the crunch: Lie face up with a weighted ball between your ankles and extend legs directly over hips. Place hands behind head, elbows out to sides. Draw your knees toward your chest as you lift your head and shoulders off the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do 20 reps.

Just do one of each of these in order without stopping and it should only take you a few minutes:
Stand with feet hip-width apart, bend over, and place palms on ground. Walk hands forward until your in a plank position, balancing on toes with wrists aligned under shoulders. Tighten abs so body is straight. Jump feet to hands then jump back to plank. Repeat 3 times, then walk hands back to feet and quickly stand up to complete 1 rep. Do 10 reps.

Get in plank position. Lift right leg to hip level (extending it straight behind you), then bring it in and over to left elbow, twisting hips. Extend right leg back (keep hips squared to the ground and leg raised) and repeat. Do 10 reps, then switch legs.

Get in plank position and shins centered on a stability ball. Draw belly button in, hen lift right leg 6 inches. Find your balance, then slowly roll ball toward chest with left leg (keep right leg lifted). Roll ball back out and repeat. Do 10 reps, then switch legs.

Lower into a semi-squat, elbows bent 90 degrees in front of chest. Keep hips squared forward as you twist torso to the left and then to the right. That is 1 rep. Do 20 reps.

Sit with feet on ground and lean back 45 degrees with forearms stacked in front of you. Extend right leg 12 inches off ground. Twist torso to the right ringing left elbow toward right knee. Sit back, extend right leg, then sit up straighter and draw knee toward chest to complete 1 rep. Do 15 reps, then switch legs to complete set.

Get in plank position with toes on paper plates. Keeping torso still, slide legs wide; return to starting position. Then lift hip and slide toes toward hands; return to starting position. Next, bring both knees toward left elbow, then right elbow to complete 1 rep. Do 15 reps.

Lie face up, legs extended over hips and place arms on the ground out to sides in a "T." Without arching your back, lower legs and tap heels on the ground. If your back comes off the ground, bend your knees. Raise legs straight over hips again, but this time use your abs to lift hips off the ground slightly. Do 20 reps.

Holding a 12-pound dumbbell with both hands in front of chest, sit with knees bent. Lean back 45 degrees and lift feet 6 inches off ground. Lean back as you extend your arms and legs forward (think hollow like a boat), then quickly pull weight and knees back to your chest a you sit up. Do 20 reps.

Have fun!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

New Bikini Body Countdown Month 3 - SORRY!!

Ok, so I know it's the middle of the month, and for that I am sorry. HOWEVER, because of that I'm bringing you two fantastic workouts. While I like the bikini body workout this month, I like the second one better because it is one that only uses my body weight and I can remember it and do it at the park with my kids. Fun times. Fat test update: so I went to my buddy Joel, and he tells me that my measurements have stayed the same except in the scapula area and the triceps (well yeah, I've been doing every kind of stinkin' push up under the sun with the Nike Training Club thing! They better pay off!!). Keep in mind I have not changed things at all, just added a protein shake (wicked tasty, by the way!) after my workouts and before bed on non-workout days. So Joel calculated that while I gained three pounds (he told me I would, so I didn't freak out), I gained 4% muscle mass and went down 2% body fat. I was so excited! So excited that I told my husband, who for some reason decided to talk about my fat at guys' night last night. If you're reading this, ladies, WHY I ask you, would my husband be talking about my fat? I don't know! Unfortunately, he couldn't remember how it came up even - how do you not remember that?! Well, I was happy, until my friend, (maybe former friend :) ) Jeff a personal trainer who I would trust over Joel in a heartbeat, said, "That's not possible." Basically Joel is a fruitcake, it was determined, so Jeff said he'd give me a fat test that would be more accurate. So while I was excited, I'm a little deflated at the moment and horrifically embarrassed that this subject came up at guys' night. Not so much if I had lost the fat and gained the muscle and was every inch the bad a** I thought I was, but then my buddy Jeff had to go and say, "Um yeah, no. Not possible." Thanks, Jeff! :) Anyway, on to the Bikini Body Workout: You know the drill: 2 or 3 times a week, do 1 set of each move in order without resting and repeat the series twice (so do it a total of three times through). 4 or 5 times a week do cardio for 6-10 songs. My new favorite was one I had forgotten about: Run Runaway by Great Big Sea. They're a group that takes old time bar songs and remakes them and whatnot. Hilarious songs with a fun Celtic groove - totally upbeat (except for the slow ones I don't listen to).

  1. Hot Feet - Stand with feet hip-width apart, then step out with right foot, bring left foot next to it, step out again with right foot (step-together-step), and bring your left knee and right elbow together. Repeat back and forth as fast as possible 10 times (5 times each direction). Then stand with feet wider than shoulders, lower into a squat and brings hands together in front of you, elbows bent. Alternate quickly like football feet up and down for 15 seconds. Bring feet in close and repeat for 15 seconds. Repeat everything once.

  2. Matrix Lunge - hold a weighted ball in front of you (or a dumbbell) at shoulder height arms extended, and stand with feet hip-width apart. Lunge forward with right leg, then step back to starting position, keeping right leg raised so you're balancing on your left leg. Lunge out to the right then return to starting position, still keeping right leg raised. Finally, lunge back with right leg, then return to starting position. Repeat with left leg to complete 1 rep. Do 5 reps.

  3. Around the World Push-Up - you should check out the video for this as the explanation is sketchy, but here it goes: Get in push-up position with hands slightly wider than shoulders. Bend elbows and lower chest toward ground, then press up. Bring your left hand out to the left and slightly back and your right foot out to the right and slightly forward (readjust your right hand and left foot) so you're turning a few inches to the left. Do another push-up and turn again, making your way around in a complete circle. (You'll do 8-10 push-ups) On the next set, rotate in the opposite direction.

  4. Single-Leg Bridge - this one hurts: Lie face up with knees bent, left foot on the ground. Loop the center of a resistance tube or band around right foot and extend right leg straight over hip, foot flexed. hold a handle in each hand at your sides on the ground, and keep them anchored there the entire time. lift hips so they're in line with torso, then lower them to within an inch of the ground and repeat. Do 12-15 reps, then switch sides to complete set.

  5. Sit Up, Stand Up - this takes forever, it seems like: Lie face up with a weighted ball in both hands behind head, arms and legs extended. Raise ball straight overhead and keep arms lifted as you roll up to a sitting position, then stand all the way up. Keep ball raised as you reverse the move to return to the starting position. Do 16 reps.

  6. Swan Dive - I've really noticed a better looking back thanks to this one: Lie face down with arms and legs extended a few inches off ground; look down. Raise arms, legs and chest a few more inches and bring arms out wide to sides as you spread legs. Hold for 1 count, then return to starting position (limbs are lifted) and repeat. Do 10 reps.

  7. Plank Jack - Get in modified plank position, balancing on your forearms elbows under shoulders. Tighten abs so body is straight from head to heels. Keeping torso tight, hop feet out wide. Hop feet back to starting position and repeat. Do 15 reps. Try not to let your butt lift.

New exercise: Using your Body as Weight.

What you do: perform 1 set of 8-16 reps of each move in order, then repeat the entire series 5 times. Don't rest between exercises and try not to rest for more than a minute between circuits unless you REALLY need a breather. Stretch the muscles you just used for a few minutes after each session. So do Circuit 1, 5 times then move on to Circuit 2 (do 5 times) then to Circuit 3 (do 5 times. It will go quicker that way in your mind.


1. Good Morning

Stand with feet hip-width apart and place your hands behind your head, elbows out. Contract abs and slowly bend forward from the hips until your torso is parallel to the ground (or as far as your can before your back starts to round). Try to maintain a very slight arch in your back, ad don't lock your knees or pull on your head. Hold the bent-over position for 3 seconds, breathing normally, then return to the starting position (squeeze your glutes and your shoulder blades together as you rise up) and repeat.

2. Side Triceps Extension

Lie on right side with legs extended and stacked on ground, feet flexed. You can use a rolled up towel under your hips. Grasp left shoulder with right hand and place left palm on ground under right upper arm. Keeping your hips and shoulders squared forward, press left palm into ground and lift upper body until arm is almost straight. Hold for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position; repeat. Switch sides to complete set.

3. Beach scissors

Balance on your right forearm, elbow aligned under shoulder and the outside of your right foot, feet stacked and flexed. Place left hand on hip and lift hips so your body is aligned from head to feet. Lift your left leg until it's even with hips, then slowly lower it onto your right foot and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.


1. Door Squat-And-Pull (I've used various types of playground equipment)

Stand facing the edge of a door. Grab a handle with each hand and place feet on either side of it, heels even with edge or forward a few inches (the closer your feet are to you, the easier the move is). Lean back with arms extended and lower into a squat. Keeping lower body still (don't straighten legs), pull your chest toward the door. Hold for 3 seconds then slowly straighten your arms again.

2. Shove Off

Stand facing something hip height (table, counter, wall, couch arm...etc). Stand with feet hip-width apart and fall onto it doing a push-up. Make sure your push-up takes about 3 seconds to complete, then forcefully push off so you come back to standing position.

3. Side V-Up (my new favorite to work ab muscles I didn't know I had!!)

Lie on your right side with legs straight, left arm behind head, and right arm extended in front of you on the ground. Roll back slightly. Draw your legs and left elbow toward each other as you rise up in a "V." Keep your legs straight and together. Return to the starting position and repeat. Switch sides to complete set.


1. Plie Squat on Toes

Stand with feet wide, toes turned out, and place hands behind head, elbows out. Rise onto your toes. Slowly lower into a plie squat, keeping heels off the ground, and hold for at least 10 seconds, breathing normally. return to the starting position and repeat.

2. Bird Dog (this one sucks)

Get in plank position on the ground, wrists aligned under the shoulders and abs tight, so your body is straight from head to heels. Extend your left arm forward to shoulder height as you lift right leg to hip level. Hold for 3 seconds, keeping hips and shoulders squared down, then return to the starting position and switch sides to complete 1 rep.

3. Pike Press (this one works major bra bulge!!)

Stand with feet hip-width apart, then bend over and place hands shoulder-width apart on the ground about 3 feet in front of toes. Keep hips piked in an inverted "V" and look at hands. Keep back straight and your heels on or close to the ground. Bend elbows and lower your nose toward the ground. Press up and repeat.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Before and After Photos!!

Ok, so things have been fine, but I feel like I'm getting down again. It usually happens just after mid month because I'm bored with my workout routine. I am bored with the Bikini Body Countdown and do not want to continue doing it, however, I am going to stick with it because it works! I just can't wait until the end of the month to get a new workout regiment from the - yeah, I'll say it- delicious looking Bob. I don't know what his orientation is, but he's just a good looking guy.

Now, I'm a little discouraged because last week I went back to the nutritionist and found out that while I lost 2% body fat, I also lost 2% muscle mass. Well, that doesn't do much good. I had lost weight, but not inches off any area except my stomach. I know, don't complain, right? And I'm kind of not. I do look in the mirror and am convinced that what I've been doing (Bikini Body Countdown) is working. I'm looking leaner and feeling better. But I don't want to lose muscle!! So my buddy Joel has me drinking a protein shake I make myself because I need life to be interesting. He even taught me how to make the shake into pudding and into mousse. I haven't tried the pudding or the mousse yet, but dude, those sound awesome! I'll get you the recipes when I dig them out of my purse.
So I have to put up pictures of myself for you. Both Before and After Pictures will follow a brief explanation. Now, you will laugh because I was trying to show all the muscle I've made since Christmas and the only way to do that is to pose like an idiot. I'm surprised my neighbor-friend was able to take the pictures because we were laughing so hard. Truly embarrassing, but as my friend said, "You said you'd do it, now you have to."
So the first picture is when I discovered Lew drinking my Dunkin' Donuts Coffee. I've added his picture as well. But here you can see my face which is a big place people show weight.
The next few are the only ones I could find with my long hair at Christmas time. It was the day I cut it. Now, granted, I'm in a big fluffy sweater, but trust me when I say I was wearing it for a reason. Muffin top, bra bulge, you name it, and I was trying to hide it in a very comfortable, and stylish sweater, but as I look at the photo, you can kind of tell I was a little more than squishy.

Here are the Before pictures - one has my hair in the pony tail and one I just took the pony tail out so you could see the length.

And finally here's the back of my now short hair:

And here are the cheesy After Photos. Since I have Lew in here, I had to have Audrey too, so there's a token "after photo" with Audrey. :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

For All Who Hate to Sweat

Hey Everyone! These photos are for all of you who hate to sweat! This is what I look like when I'm done working out. I tried to get the full effect of front and back. These are so gross! I know I still have to do before and after photos, but unfortunately, I can't find a Christmas photo that I'm in, so I'm still looking. Tomorrow I have my fat test after 3 weeks of just doing what I'm doing and once those results are in, I'll at least post an after photo for those of you still wanting to see my short haircut. Yes, I showered!

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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Yeah! New Month = New routine!

Seriously, I was thinking today, there is NO WAY I want to do one more day of the Bikini Body Countdown Month 1 workout AGAIN. Lo and behold, what did I see in my mail pile? SHAPE Magazine with Month 2! I was very excited! Here's some interesting things, in case you're wondering: No, I did not get up early today. I am fighting a cold. BUT I will workout this afternoon when the kids are in bed. That's priority number one.

The reason it's priority number one is because of this quote from SHAPE, "20 minutes of daily exercise (just 4-5 songs!!) can cut sick days in half. That's if you're working out at a moderate intensity (or higher) for most of your sessions. Plus, when regular exercisers do get ill, their symptoms are 41% less severe than those of their couch-potato counterparts. Researchers say that every time you work out, the circulation of bacteria-and virus-fighting cells in your body increases, and over time that bolsters your immunity against colds." HOWEVER, keep this in mind, if you're already ill, "Experts say you should skip your workout, if you're coughing, achy or have a fever." Now, I'm no expert, but running even a little (although it's snowy and like 2 degrees out right now so that won't be happening) when I'm sick, helps me cough out the crap, so if you're into that, I say go for it, just don't go as hard. If you're achy, why not do stretching things? That always makes me feel better. If you have a fever, go to bed.

Without further adieu, here's the new workout for the month: I'm including the challenge move that they say they've added "if you want to do it." You all can take it, so we're adding it and I'm not telling you which one it is so you won't know which one is optional or not! :)

Do 1 set of each move in order. Repeat the series twice. Do this two or three times a week. You need a set of 5-8 pound dumbbells (go ahead and use more if you've got them!!), weighted ball (I don't have this, so I'll just use a "heavy" dumbbell) and a stability ball. Four or Five times a week do a cardio workout. Apparently you can find some at I'm going to look that up later. In between each move you will be doing the 180 plyos, so I'll describe those first:

180 Plyos:
  • Stand with feet wide, toes turned out. Squat.
  • Then jump up and turn 180 degrees.
  • When you land, lower into a deep squat immediately.
  • Jump back to the starting position.
  • Do 20 jumps (10 to each side).

1. Around the World - another entire body warm up. I think I'll still do the first exercise from the last month too because when I added dumbbells and ankle weights, it really did a lot for my balance as well as my core (meaning from armpits to hips, front and back).

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a stability ball at chest height with arms extended.
  • Keeping your hips squared forward the entire time, bend over from hips, reaching ball in front of you.
  • Lean over to the right, then reach ball overhead.
  • Arch back slightly, then lean over to the left and forward again.
  • Repeat.
  • Do 8 circles in each direction

2. Push-Up to Plank - I'm modifying this one to add dumbbells after I get the hang of it a few times.

  • Get in push-up position on the ground with your feet on a bench or a step, hands slightly wider than shoulders.
  • Lower chest toward floor (drop to your knees if necessary, just don't tell me).
  • Press up and rotate body to the right.
  • Extend right arm up and hold for one count.
  • The another push-up and turn to the left to complete 1 rep.
  • Do 5-6 reps.

3. V-Squat - No, not like Jillian's Shred Squats with a V Raise - those officially suck, "but very, very effective." If I hear her say that one more time I'll pull out my hair. I get it, they're effective, but they are also "very very painful!" Truth be told, these don't look like much fun either.

  • Stand with feet wider than shoulders in front of a bench or chair.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Raise arms to shoulder height as you squat until butt barely touches the bench.
  • Immediately rise up and lower arms.
  • Do 12 reps.

4. Weighted Pullover

  • Hold a 5 to 8 pound weighted ball (or use a dumbbell) behind your head, so your upper arms are even with your ears.
  • Keeping our lower body still, quickly bring your arms down in front of you, as if you were going to throw the ball on the ground (don't let it go!).
  • Return to the starting position and repeat.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

5. 3-way Pulse on Ball - this one might hurt...

  • Center your left side on a stability ball, left knee on the ground.
  • Extend right leg out almost parallel to the ground.
  • Lift and lower leg several inches 5 times.
  • Bring it forward and lift and lower leg several inches 5 times.
  • Extend your leg back and lift and lower leg several inches 5 times.
  • Do the whole series 4 times.
  • Switch sides to complete the set.

6. Tuck to Kick

  • Get in plank position with hands directly under shoulders on a bench.
  • Balance on toes.
  • Draw right knee in toward right elbow.
  • Contract your abs then extend your leg back and up as you shift hips up in an inverted "V."
  • Repeat.
  • Do 10-15 reps.
  • Switch sides to complete set.

7. Bridge Walk - this is important for ridding yourself (and myself!!) of the love handles. I'd do this during a favorite portion of your favorite song you work out to. It may not be the full 60 seconds, but it's the last move and you'll be excited to do it. Do it a couple times if the section of your song is only like 20 beats or something.

  • Lie face up with feet flat on a low bench or step, arms at sides.
  • Lift hips several inches and lift left foot then right foot a few inches off the step.
  • Try to "walk" as quickly as possible for 60 seconds keeping hips up.

Have fun in month two!! I think I'll take a picture (and NOT post it) of how I look in my bikini - that I only wear on vacations where I don't know anyone - and then take another one in 4 months from now to see if this works. If it doesn't work, I won't buy SHAPE again, but if it does work, then I'll be a lifetime reader :) Happy working out!!!

By the way, apparently, the link to the right for SHAPE 2011 Workout automatically updates each month, however, it is in reverse order, so you have to start at the bottom. Enjoy!!