What is Heavy Lifting and a Brave Fitness Workout #2

Hello friends!

It’s about time I get another post up!

These days my workouts look like this:

Monday:  Legs/shoulders

Tuesday:  Biceps and Back (Pulling muscles) + a cardio booster at the end (I like to finish with these, aka as metabolic finishers, just to push myself a little bit more:)

Wednesday:  Full Body Bodyweight circuit

Thursday:  Core and Deadlifts or Good Mornings + plus some sprints

Friday:  Chest/Tris (Pushing muscles) + a cardio booster at the end

Yoga is also thrown in from time to time.  (But not often enough!)

As you can see most of my workouts are strength training and  I’ve really been enjoying this set up lately.  It works great for me:)  I’ve had a couple people on different occasions ask me how they know if they are lifting heavy enough so I want to address that today, but first here are some benefits of strength training:

  • Increases metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories throughout the day, even at rest
  • Slims you down
  • Helps strengthen bones and connective tissues which will protect you from injury and prevent osteoporosis
  • Boosts confidence and help you feel empowered—might sound cheesy but I promise it’s true.  Remember how doing deadlifts fights stress/depression by boosting the feel good hormone in your body? 🙂
  • Helps to make everyday tasks (i.e. carrying groceries, lifting and carrying kids, helping someone move, etc) that much easier

So many good things go along with strength training!

Before really getting into working out I thought lifting a 5# dumbbell 100 times was where it was at and I know some may still think this.  I promise you that isn’t serving you any purpose except to make you bored and waste your time.  You must put actual stress on the muscle to create any sort of change and to reap any of the aforementioned benefits!

“But I don’t want to get bulky.”  You won’t.  It takes a lot of effort, food, and time to build big muscles.  For women especially, we simply don’t have the testosterone levels to bulk up as much as men.   But if you want to build strength and burn fat to help you out in everyday life than you must lift a weight heavy enough to stimulate change.  Here are the basics on how I usually go about picking a weight:

For beginners:

  • Pick a weight that you can lift no more than 12-15 reps.

For Veterans:

  • Pick a weight that you can lift no more than 8-12 reps.

For Both:  

  • If you can’t reach the lower number without losing form or injuring your form, pick a lower weight for now.
  • If you can lift past the higher number, time to go heavier!

So simple right?!  Now that you know, go and do it and reap the benefits!

Today’s workout is actually a body weight workout.  Let’s not forget the benefits of lifting your own body!  I love doing at least one bodyweight workout a week because you can really get in such a good workout without any weights or extra equipment!  It’s all about balance right?

10-1 Burpee Ninja Workout

  • round 1:  10 burpees, 1 ninja jump tuck
  • round 2:  9 burpees, 2 ninja jump tucks
  • round 3: 8 burpees, 3 ninja jump tucks
  • Continue this pattern until you finish the last round of 1 burpee and 10 ninja jump tucks

This workout is pretty short and is for time.  Push yourself and see how fast you can complete it!  It took me about 13 minutes!

Good luck and as always let me know if you try it!





Abs and Beets

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend.  Mine was spent in the dirt, trying to catch a chipmunk, and running away from bees. Also known as camping:)

I want to start this week off for you on a healthy note so I have a workout to share with you as well as a great recovery smoothie for you to enjoy!

This is a great workout for your whole body but especially your core.  Having a strong core is so important as it helps protect you against injury (especially in your back).  It also helps stabilize you while doing other movements such as squats, overhead presses, deadlifts, etc.  If you aren’t training your core, you are putting yourself at a higher risk of injury while performing these other moves.

400s and V-ups

Perform 4 rounds of the following for time: (click on links to see how to perform each exercise:)

After your workout, refuel your muscles with this protein shake:

gpp 2013 010

Cherry Cocoa Beet Smoothie 

Serves 1

  • 1 cup of frozen beets
  • 1/4-1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 TB raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup liquid of choice (may need a little more while blending)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder of choice
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1 TB of chia seeds (optional, helps to make the smoothie even thicker)
  • A few ice cubes

Blend everything until smooth and enjoy:)

Health Notes:

Beets:  Detoxify the liver, purifies the blood, helps prevent cancer.  They are very high in vitamins and minerals including B vitamins and Iron.

Cherries:  Aid in muscle recovery and can help improve memory!

Raw Cacao:  Has more antioxidants than blueberries! Is great source of magnesium (helps with heart health), chromium which helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and is a good source of iron and zinc.

Talk about a super smoothie:)  And trust me, this is a delicious smoothie.  Don’t be scared of the beets!  This smoothie is not overly sweet but still has a good level of sweetness from the cherries and the vanilla protein powder.  I hope you will try it!


What is the strangest thing you have put in a smoothie?

What did you do over the weekend? 

Suprising Myself

If I haven’t mentioned it before I’ve been following the Gpp workouts from gppfitness.com for a couple months now.  I love them so much and I’m actually going to Utah this weekend to the Intensive Training they are doing so I can learn lots of things and become a better trainer!  Anyway,  they post the workout for the next day the night before. So before bed I checked the workout to see what was in store for me today.  This is what I saw:


Every minute on the minute for 20 minutes perform:

10 burpees

Post reps completed to comments.

My first thought was Um..no…yeah no.  200 burpees? No thank you.  I’ve done lots of burpees before so no thank you.

Well fast forward to this morning.  I was feeling really good when I woke up  and I had a super fun day at work (because I work with super cool people;).   That left me feeling great, so I really had no excuse not to do this workout when I got home.  And thanks to some fun warm up dancing from my husband I was ready to do it!!  I was hoping to at least get 170 burpees within the 20 minutes.  Well guess what?!  I got all 200 burpees with lots of time to spare in each round.  I was pretty happy and proud of myself!  It left me with this thought

Untitled-1 copyWe are capable of so much more than we think we are at times.  We need to not underestimate ourselves.


I think it’s important to do something everyday that makes you proud of being you!  This is something I will continue to work on:)

Anyway, so after my workout I refueled with a delicious smoothie!  I was inspired by Meg to add some sweet potato to my smoothie today.  It was awesome!

2013 027

Here is what I did:

Peanut Butter Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 1/2-3/4 cup roasted sweet potato cubes
  • 1 cup liquid of choice (I did half cup water, 1/2 cup almond milk)
  • 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 2 TB of peanut flour
  • a generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 6-7 ice cubes

Blend until smooth and enjoy!

*Substitutions:  If you don’t have any peanut flour you can replace the Peanut flour with 1-2 TB of peanut butter!

Let me know if you try this out I hope you are all having a fantastic week so far!



What’s something you have done recently that suprised you or made you proud?

Back to Real Life

Hey hey! How is everyone doing?

Waiting for our lunch:)

To be honest, I wish it was the weekend still!  As I mentioned before, Dom took yesterday off so we could have a long weekend and spend the day together:)  It was so great.  Our weekend was a great mix of yummy food, relaxing,  clothes shopping for me, Barnes and Noble shopping for him, and laughing.   I’m so grateful for this past weekend.  It was exactly what I’ve been needing. Some quality time with the husband and a break from the usual routine:)

Red Chicken Curry

Extra veggies instead of white rice for my side

Anyway, moving on to today.  It’s been a busy one full of taking care of  laundry, cleaning, and grocery shopping that I neglected over the weekend.  But before all that I had a great leg and abs workout that I would like to share with you.

Shaky legs Workout

Exercise                                                                   Sets             Reps

Narrow stance squats                                              4                     10


*Bulgarian split squats                                             4                     10/leg

*Genie press with dumbell                                     4                      10


*Lunges                                                                         4                       10

*Bridge butt lift-1 leg elevated                            4                        12/leg

Bent knee deadlift                                                    4                        6


Wall sit w/ raised calves and dumbell            4                       45 sec

Clean and press                                                        4                       8

4 Minute Abs Bonus

Seesaw Plank                         1 min

Around the world (alt. directions)   1 min

Across the body kicks (at 3:20)     1 min

Side plank with top leg lifts    30sec/side

I was wiped out after this workout.  It was a good feeling.

I made sure to refuel after my workout with this delicious mix:

Vega Protein Powder mixed with almond milk, cinnamon, and 1 frozen banana

This tasted amazing!!! I had never tried the chocolate variety before.  It was like a pudding/brownie/cake batter mix.  Oh man, why do Vega products have to be so expensive, they taste wonderful, but not to my wallet.  Not too mention I have little to no muscle soreness when I’m using their protein on a regualr basis.  I need to get my hands on a lifetime supply of this stuff stat:)

Obsessed much?!

One last thing before I go.

In remembrance of all those you lost their lives on 9/11, take a moment today to hold your loved ones a little bit closer and be grateful for all those who are fighting for our freedom.

Much love.