Owning the Week

First off, shout out to Gym Buddy on a kick-butt 10-mile run today! Told you February wasn’t going to be a total bust! Also, a huge shout out to my mom! She has officially signed up for her first 5k!

Today continued the upward swing on my gym trips!! It’s such an amazing feeling to go to the gym and kill a workout. Conversely, it is such a frustrating one to go to the gym ready to kill a workout and not have the strength or feel well enough to do it. After nearly 3 weeks semi- under the weather, I cannot even begin to explain how good it feels to be back!

Work is settling into a bit more of a groove as well. Since the Ohio weather is starting to calm down a little bit, it has been much easier to schedule patients and keep them on the schedule. I even got to spend part of the day working on some of the projects that actually make me feel accomplished in my job. I am not so great at the nitty-gritty of my job. I am such a ‘big picture’ thinker! I love when I get to use that skill to strategize and build/improve processes. It makes me feel good at what I spend 2/3 of my life doing.


Anyway, today was Winter Shape Up day!!! I have thoroughly enjoyed participating in this 4-week workout. Added bonus – there is a Facebook group of amazing Winter-Shape-Upers constantly encouraging one another along the way. It has been a total blast. I highly encourage doing something to mix up your workout every once in a while. Whether it is attending a group fitness class, or doing a workout designed by someone else, I can almost promise that it will challenge you differently.

For the Week 4 workout, Fitnessista has a wonderful video online. Since I generally do the workout at the gym and not by a computer, I typed up a print out based on the video. I encourage you to watch her video though – I’m not sure I named every move “by the books.” In addition to this *killer* HIIT, I did 10-minutes warm up on the eliptical and the below strength session. 

I hope you kill your workout today!!Image


OUT of the Groove

There are two sides to every coin. If Monday was “Head’s up,” my on-day, shiny side, today was the backside of that coin. I could not get into a groove to save my life! I was off all day at work – it’s like I couldn’t formulate the words in my mouth to say what I wanted to say to patients. I felt crummy. I tried to spoon my dinner onto my plate with the lid to my sauce pan. Not sure where I left my mind, but… COME BACK TO ME!!! I shoulda had it micro-chipped like Bella kitty….Image

Yes, my cat totally poses for the camera.

Since I was out of it today, I decided to take it a little easier on my workout. I did workout #2 from the Winter Shape Up! Definitely NOT in-and-of itself an easy workout, but I held back a little on the Tabata intervals, repeated/modified some of the strength sessions (I switched out the bicep curls since I did biceps yesterday, and added another circuit.) and voila! a workout to fit the pace of my day.

My extra circuits were:

  • Stability Ball Push Ups
  • Stability Ball Chest Press
  • Stability Ball Flyes
  • Cable Cross-overs
  • Tricep Pushdowns

And, since I owe ya one…or a couple…yesterday’s workout was a HIIT, followed by back and biceps!

HIIT (0:50/0:10)

  1. Mountain Climbers
  2. Side Plank Rows (R)
  3. Burpees
  4. Side Plank Rows (L)
  5. Up up, Down downs
  6. Squat and Press
  7. Jump Overs
  8. Kettlebell Swings
  9. Tuck Jumps
  10. Plank Jacks
  11. Push ups
  12. Temple Tap Abs
  13. 1-Leg V-ups
  14. Flutter Kicks
  15. Plank

Strength – Back & Biceps

  • Close Grip Lat Pull-downs
  •    Resistance Band Face Pulls
  • Seated Rows
  • Bent Over Dumbbell Row
  • Dumbbell Curls
  • Cable Curls
  • Mid-Back Cable Rows
  • Hammer Curls

And with that…I am ready to put an end to this day. See ya tomorrow!

Gym and Wine

So, taking vacation RIGHT after the holidays might not have been the BEST plan. I have had so many not-full work weeks that I’m not going to know what to do with myself when I actually work every day! Plus, I am totally still in “it’s not routine time…it’s FUN time” mode… which makes gym time (as enjoyable as it is) twice as difficult.

So, a note on that… My workouts are long. I design them that way because I truly enjoy my time at the gym. It is kinda like a sanctuary to me (which I have called it on multiple occasions). It is a place that I can go and visit with random people (which as an extrovert, I enjoy!), or I can blast my music on my iPod and shut the world out for an hour or two. As a healthcare manager, I am surrounded by people all day, every day and often times, I am talking to only the angry and frustrated ones. Sometimes I need some time to be away from that side of my life and in a totally different world. And to be honest, in some ways I live for that part of my day. So, I design my workouts to take enough time that I can relish in those moments.

However, I know that I (and most everyone in the WORLD!) don’t always have an hour and a half to devote to working out. Part of the beauty of my workout designs is that the HIIT, Tabata, Cardio, or strength sessions could be done completely independently of one another as a complete workout all to themselves. I usually devote my HIIT/Tabata at least partially to whatever muscle group I am focusing on for the day, so you can get a great workout by doing just that. Or, if you aren’t feeling the cardio, the strength training makes for a great workout on its own as well!

Without further ado… here’s today’s workout!

HIIT (0:50/0:10)

  1. Mtn Climbers
  2. Jumping Jacks / Box Jumps
  3. Squat Jumps
  4. Star V-ups (Just like V-ups, but instead of going back down to the mat, keep abdominals flexed and extend arms overhead and legs out into a star shape.)
  5. Sumo Squat Jumps
  6. 3-way Froggers
  7. Scissor Legs (Lie flat on your back and raise legs to ~45* angle. Cross left leg of right and then reverse in a scissor pattern.)
  8. Split Squat Jumps
  9. Plank Jacks
  10. Burpees
  • Stability all Leg Curls
  • Dumbbell Step Ups
  • Dumbbell Side Lunges
  •                 Superset with weighted Plie Squats
  • Barbell Good Mornings
  • Barbell Lunges
  •                 Barbell Toe Raises
  • Leg Press
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  • Walking Lunge w/ Twist (25lb Plate)

Tonight I also attended a wine tasting at one of the favorite spots, House Wine. The theme was “Italy Under $20,” and the rep spent a few moments explaining the grapes and growing region of each wine. A couple favorites from the tasting were: Casale del Giglio Petit Verdot ($20) and Tacco Barocco Negroamaro ($13). The Petit Verdot packed a punch, but waas well-balanced enough to be drinkable. The Negroamaro was lighter with a lot of bold spice and almost sweet bitterness. If you are looking for a new wine to sip, check them out! 

Behold…the Wonders of Tabata!

Over the weekend, I was busy searching for something new – and super quick! – to add to my fitness routine. Between chaos from the holidays, family visiting, and preparing for my trip to Montana (I leave in 4 days! Yikes!), I have been crazy busy! In all the chaos, I keep reminding myself to take time for myself each day and make sure to get a workout in. It has taken me most of my life to really and truly understand how important it is to take daily time for myself, so I am definitely not backing down on it now!

With all the chaos, though, I haven’t had as much time to design my own workouts and fitness routines, so I have turned to the wonderful world of the Blogisphere to do so for me! On Friday, I was in a super huge rush to leave work, get a workout in, and make it downtown to meet up with some out-of-town visitors. I wanted to get in a good workout, do so quickly, and was also craving a new twist on some of my usual routines. I have gotten in the habit of doing exactly 15-21 minutes of HIIT, followed by 35-45 minutes of strength training, and while I include a lot of variety in the exercises that I do, I’ve learned that the more you keep your body guessing, the better your results, so it was about time for a change.

Over the past year or so I have heard a lot about Tabata but didn’t really have a clue what it was, and since one of my new-found favorites, Gina of Fitnessista posted this Tabata-style workout, I decided I MUSTTT try it!Xmas crumble

Tabata is similar to HIIT in that it incorporates short bursts of super-high energy, balls-to-the-wall (so to speak) periods of a particular exercise, followed by a brief period of rest. The biggest difference I’ve noticed so far is that the Tabata-style workout intervals tend to be shorter, and the total set is generally a little shorter, allowing you to repeat or change exercises in each set, as well as pair the cardio bursts with strength training. The rest period in Tabata (by definition) is also shorter than the period of work. In this particular workout, I noticed an interesting phenomenon — though the overall workout time ended up being longer than my typical HIIT session (about 24 minutes, just of the cardio portions!), I actually worked harder through the entire session! Since the intervals were so much shorter, I think it was a mental game of “Ok, ten more seconds, you can do it! Push it!” which made me push harder the entire time! I highly recommend incorporating some Tabata into your workout regimen – I will definitely be doing more if it in my workouts moving forward!

I did modify the Tabata session Gina posted a little bit to better match my fitness goals. Here’s my breakdown.

Tabata 1: 20sec, 10 sec rest, 8 rounds

  • Body weight squats
  • Squat jumps

Strength Set (3x)

  • Bicep Curls
  • Lunge w Overhead Press (R)
  • Bent-over Row
  • Lunge w Tricep extension

Tabata 2: 20sec, 10sec rest, 8 rounds

  • High Knees
  • Burpees
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Jumping lunges

Strength Set 2 (3x)

  • Pushups x10
  • Tricep Dips x20
  • (R) Leg Bridge Pulse x15
  • (L) Leg Bridge Pulse x15

Tabata 3: 20 sec, 10sec rest, 8 rounds

  • Jump Overs
  • Out-out, In-ins

Core Burn Finish

  • 50-second plank
  • 50 Bicycle Crunches
  • 25 Leg Lifts
  • 25 V-ups

Make it a great Monday! More later.

A WaterCooler Wellness Original!!


Today, I designed my own HIIT workout!!! I didn’t borrow this one from any of the other amazing bloggers out there…it is 100% me! Well, mostly…I didn’t make up any craaaazzzzzyyyy new moves yet or anything! #thingstocome (?!). It wasn’t as intense as some of the other workouts I have done this week, but I will still covered in sweat with jello-y arms by the time I finished! Let me know what you think of this one! There will definitely be more @WaterCoolerWellness originals to come!

HIIT – 0:45 of each exercise, 0:10 rest in between (I repeated the entire cycle twice, and on the second go round added about 15-20 seconds of cardio –mostly jumping jacks- in place of the rests)

  • Up-up, down-downs (Move from plank to plank-on-elbows by bending one elbow at a time and placing on the mat. Aim to “replace” your palm with your elbow, and then go back up. This really works your core and chest!)
  • BOSU Push-ups
  • Toe-touch Skaters
  • Dumbell suspension Swings (Similar to kettlebell swings – just catch the dumbbell in the air and switch hands.)
  • Lunge Jumps
  • Burpee w/ Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Ab Blast:
  • Plank Crunches (Bring knee towards elbow, one side at a time)
  • V-Ups
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Temple Tap Abs (Legs extended and shoulders/chest off the mat. Hold elbows out to the side and twist upper body to tap the mat with each elbow. This is kinda like a Russian twist, but with your legs extended to really KILL your core! It is one of my favorite moves from BenderFitness.)

Strength Training

  • Dumbbell upper back press and squeeze (Dumbbells in hand, elbows at shoulder height. Press elbows back and squeeeezee upper back.)
  • Inverted rows on TRX
  • Rear delt barbell raises
  • Seated cable rows
  • Dumbbell Rows
  • Bench Dips
  • Stiff arm push downs
  • Twisting push-ups (Push-up then move into side plank for a couple seconds, then back to plank for another push-up. Rotate on both sides)

I was still feeling really exhilarated from completing my first ‘original’ workout when I got home today, so I decided to do a Pop Pilates video too! Cassey’s Bodacious Back workout completely finished off my arms and back for the night! I am *definitely* going to be sore tomorrow!

Tomorrow I am planning to get up EARLY to take a kick boxing class at Title Boxing Club. I have never been before, and I am SOOO not a morning person! But…I am looking forward to throwing a different ‘punch’ into my fitness routine! I will be sure to post a review sometime tomorrow after I finish the class!