PB and Pumping Iron

In some ways, I am a type A person and I like to be organized, on time, have things planned, etc.  But, at the same time, I don’t really think of myself as being type A because I don’t really like repetition, boundaries or being on an overly strict schedule.  That sounds strange, but I guess I would classify myself as somewhere in the middle.

If you are wondering where I’m going with this, I thought of it today when I realized that I was eating the same breakfast that I have eaten every.single.day for the past 4 weeks.  Yet, if you asked me, I would tell you that I try not to eat the same things too much and try to work new foods in pretty frequently.  For the most part, I don’t eat the same stuff again and again because I get bored of it, but if I reallyyyy love something, then I eat it over and over again until I finally get sick of it.   Does that ever happen to you?

So what is this awesome breakfast of the moment?  (Gluten free) toast with 2 tablespoons of almond+flax butter from Trader Joe’s. And it never gets old! Every single day I am sad when I finish the deliciousness.

I used to eat peanut butter and honey toast a lot of days before school when I was little. My dad and I used to eat breakfast together everyday and he was the one who got me hooked on peanut butter toast. For awhile (high school + college), I steered clear of peanut butter because I thought it was too calorie dense to be eating all of the time.  But, when I got into blogging and started reading a lot of other healthy living blogs, I realized how many people ate it—along with other nut butters—on a daily basis. And for good reason! Yes, it has a pretty high fat and calorie content, but the serving size is actually pretty large—2 tablespoons is more than enough to cover 2 pieces of toast. Plus, the fat in nut butters is the good and heart healthy kind—monounsaturated fat.

My nut butter of choice is now almond butter and I eat at least one serving every single day. If you eat nut butter on a piece of bread or in oatmeal, you are getting not only a delicious breakfast but also a well rounded one that contains protein, healthy fat, and carbs. I think that there are a lot of people out there who are like me, or how I used to be and avoid nut butters because of the high fat content. But, I recently read that various studies have found that people who eat nuts and nut butters often are actually found to weigh less, despite the high calorie and fat content of nut butters. I think this is because nut butters do taste really rich and delicious (hello 16 g of fat per serving), but they also have a high protein and fiber content, which makes them taste satisfying while still being really filling.  Generally I do have trouble eating just one serving of something, but I have found with nut butters that I am able to keep myself to one…or two maybe :)

All that peanut butter talk aside, I want to share a workout with you guys today. Lately, I have been slacking on weight lifting on my own because I became obsessed with taking weight lifting classes.  It sometimes seems so much easier to show up and be told what to do (aka forced to lift a ton and for 45 minutes straight) than to come up with my own workout. Laziness on my part, but these classes definitely get the job done.

Last week however, I was feeling just doing my own thing. I wanted to do full body weights but get some form of cardio in there too. The focus for arms in this one is mainly on triceps.   I posted a few pictures for the one that was really hard to explain…warning, I look like a bit of a tool but anything for you guys :) .  I was laughing in a few and about to drop the weights in a few.

So, start with 10-15 minutes of light-moderate cardio. I ran on the treadmill for 12 minutes at a moderate pace—nothing too intense

I used a couple of machines, but you could do this at home too: If you only have one or two sets of weights, for example only 8 pounders just do more reps with a lighter weight (if I did 12 reps with 20 pounds, maybe you can do 20 reps with 10 pounds, etc). A bosu definitely is not necessary, I used it for a lot of arm work because balancing gets more core work done at the same time, but you could also try just standing on one leg, then switching legs for the other set.  If you don’t have a jump rope or are inside, try mountain climbers or burpees between sets instead (I HATE burpees…but they work!)

Use whatever weight you feel comfortable with, but you want to make sure that by the last couple reps, you are tired and feel like you can barely complete the rep, let alone the ones coming after.

I did supersets of all of these (1a, then 1b, for 2 or 3 sets before moving onto 2a, 2b, etc), jump roping for about 30 seconds in between each set (not each exercise)

1a Tricep dips using body weight

1b Tricep roll out on a ball. OK some of these don’t have technical names. For this one, you want your shins on the ground, knees bent and forearms flat on the ball. Roll forward until your legs are straight (as far as you can go) keeping arms on top of ball. Use arms to pull you back. Tighten core for this one but remember you are working your arms, not core.

2a. Back ball lift. 15 reps. I saw this exercise and the above on Hungry Runner Girl and she isn’t joking around!  This looks easy and I was skeptical of it, but it is hard!! Hold an ab ball behind your back with both hands (arms straight). Lift ball as high as you can, then lower.  If you want to see pics, check out Janae’s here

2b. Wall squats with weights- 1 minute. Put weights on upper thighs and lower into a wall squat. I used 10 pounds for this one.  Make sure to keep the weight in your heels (you should be able to wiggle your toes throughout)

3a. Skull Crushers 12 reps, 10 pounds.

3b. Jump squats on a bosu 15 reps, no weights.   These are kinda fun on the bosu I think

4a. Shoulder press (option to balance on upside down bosu) 12 reps, 10 pounds

4b. Lunges with back foot on bosu and 10 pound weights, 15 each side

5a. Lat Pull down 15 reps, 50 pounds

5b. Tricep elbow touches with extension, 12 reps, 7.5 pounds. Use a lighter weight…this gets hard really fast! This one is done in bar classes a lot to get rid of ‘armpit’ fat. I added the extension to work the shoulders too. Start with arms in front of face, upper arms parallel to the ground. Keep hands shoulder distance apart and touch elbows together. Bring elbows back to start and raise arms above head (palms facing out).

If you think I look really pretty, it is because I just got back from running sprint intervals.  Always a great photo op time in my opinion.  Beet red face is me at my best.


6a. Seated cable row- 12 reps, 50 pounds

6b. Plie with heels raised, weights on legs- 12 reps, 12 pounds

End with 2 planks and 2 sets of pushup into side plank (Start with arms straight, down into a pushup, then press into a side plank to the right, come back to center, repeat pushup this time side planking to left side). If you have to do girly pushups like me, thats ok, just try to pick your knees up as you go into the side plank

This entire workout took me about 45 minutes to complete (not counting the cardio at the beginning). If you are pressed for time, you could skip the beginning cardio since you are doing some cardio between sets with the jump roping. Just make sure to warm up for a few minutes first.

Please note that I am not a trainer, and you should always consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

If you try the workout, let me know what you think!  Also if you have questions on any of the above, I will be more than happy to answer!

Any exercises that you really love or hate? 

My very least favorite exercises are burpees, followed closely by pushups.  I am trying to increase my upper body strength though so pushups are a must!!  I know a lot of people hate squats, but I don’t mind them at all!

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