January and February workout, weights, running more or less?

  1. Warm Up 3 minutes on stairmaster or treadmill

  2. Single leg squats, upped to 30 lb dumbells in each hand. Start with one of your legs up on the bench and make sure you have enough room away from the bench with the other foot. Bend down in a normal squat-just leaving the other leg propped up on the bench. Make sure that you are focusing on lifting from the glutes and hamstring instead of leaning on the propped up leg and don't go over your knee, just a typical squat. 2 sets of 10 reps.

  3. Military Press, typically use 20 lb dumbells. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart and lift the weights to rest in front of your shoulders. Lift up to almost locking your elbows above your head and slowly release to let down to rest just slightly in front of your shoulders again. 2 reps of 10

  4. 2 minute ab lift (run day) On my "off days" of weights, I run and do abs. Lie down on the floor on your back-I tuck my hands underneath my butt because I find them in the way otherwise but sometimes, you can cheat with the added pressure of your body weight balancing on your elbows! So beware. Lift up your legs and keep your ankles together and lift up your back and head to level with your ankles. Set your timer for 2 minutes and keep holding by squeezing your abdominal. If you need to, take short breaks if you cannot hold it for that long by resting your body for a few seconds before resuming.

  5. Ab with medicine ball, Russian twists (run day) Get a hold of a bench that allows you to adjust the vertical plane and has a place for you to hook your legs through. Grab a medicine ball after reaching the desired angle with the bench and lay down with the medicine ball in both of your hands. Lift up to meet your knees hooked on the bench and then twist to the left, bringing the medicine ball over and off to the side. Go back down and repeat on the right side. Make sure you are not over-twisting by dropping the ball too much to cause strain to your back or anything. Clench your abs every time you pull up, not your legs, and keep repeating the left and right twists. One left and one right equals one rep. 2 sets of 10 reps.

  6. Sprints or 3 mile run (run day) I typically begin with my run before I do abs, just to get myself warmed up for it. When running sprints, I set my treadmill to 5.0 and start a very slow jog for thirty seconds. Then I jump off the treadmill belt and off to the sides before bumping the treadmill up .5 more each thirty seconds. After thirty seconds of rest, I return to thirty seconds of jogging. I never go past 15 minutes of this, as the treadmill keeps getting faster and faster and I usually stop around 12 or 13 minutes. It will become fairly fast at 7.5 and will become a deadon sprint by the end. If running 3 miles, I try to go as quickly as I can for my set time, usually setting the speed at 6.5 at first and bumping it up to 7-8 as much as I can stand for long distance and go until I have my goal-either 2 1/2 miles or 3 miles.

  7. Leg Press, use 90 lbs since my leg press machine is fairly dangerous with too much weight so far and I'm weak while just starting this, but same applies as if I was doing a squat. Focus on not locking my knees either way and planting my feet firmly against the weighted apparatus. Keeping my back from slipping around and focusing the push on my glutes and hamstrings instead of my quads. (For those of you who don't know, you should be working your butt and the back of your thighs versus overexerting the front of the thigh like so many do to cheat. We are naturally stronger there and it makes it easier but the point of the squat isn't to develop that. It's the back-where da booty is made :) )

  8. Adductor-the inside of your thigh and for you ladies out there, this is usually the fat we can't seem to get rid of-a.k.a. the thigh gap or lack of thereof :P- I use 145lbs or more for 2 reps of 10. The machine is fairly simple enough by allowing you to sit down in the chair and place your legs on the apparatus. Separate your legs, stretching them back as comfortably as possible and the machine should lock in place, forcing you to push your legs back together and work the weight you have selected. Don't just release and let it jerk back but slowly release, causing your muscles to work more.

  9. Abductor-the outside of your thigh and for you athletes, especially women as we tend to tear our ACL'S easily since this muscle isn't well developed, this is a good exercise. If you have hip problems, be cautious with how much weight as it can easily be tweaked. Also, for those of you who have a dip on the outside of your glutes, almost a hole looking dent in the side of having fuller glutes, this will exercise it and fill that gap with the much needed muscle. It works the same as the Abductor machine but instead of the leg weights going on the inside of your legs, the machine will go on the outside instead. Same thing goes as before, but I bump down the weight to 115 lbs.

  10. Single Arm Curl-This is a very concentrated version of a curl. Sit down on a bench with a light weight, I use a 15 lb dumbbell, and lean over with your legs spread out. Plant your elbow on the middle of your thigh with the dumbbell in your hand and face the inside of your curling arm towards the other leg. Do a simple curly by flexing your arm and bring the weight up to your chest/a little below your shoulder and release slowly back down. 2 reps of 10, on each arm

  11. Cable Row Machine-I use 50-70 lbs with this machine. Focus on bringing the weighted bar back to your chest and keep your back straight. Bend your knees and extend your elbows out in front of you. Draw the weight back to your chest, keeping your elbows brushing the sides of your ribcage and repeat. 2 reps of 10

  12. Pullups-I cheat and use the machine to help take your own weight off because I have zero upper body strength. I usually take off about 55 or 40 lbs, depending on how good I feel that day and focus on my lats pulling me up instead of my shoulders or arms. Keep your back straight and just pullup and slowly release :) 2 sets of 10 reps

  13. Single Leg Deadlift-this one will remind you vaguely of one of those topsy turvy drinking birds from the old Dr. Seuss days. It attached itself to the rim of the glass and then bobbed into the glass for whatever reason. No one else knows what I'm talking about? Okay, maybe it's just me :P Grab yourself a dumbbell, I use a 25 lb dumbbell, and stand on one leg with the other bent slightly off of the ground. Put the weight in the hand on the side of the stationary leg and lean over as if to touch the weight to the ground. Your bent leg will become horizontal with your behind and back. Keep your back straight and when pulling back up to a standing position, use your glutes and your hamstring to tighten back up instead of your back. This will tighten that area behind and give you a more developed behind as well as toning your legs.Don't let your bent leg touch the ground but keep the knee bent enough to not let that foot cheat to the ground. This will work on balance as well, so straighten your back, drop your shoulders and lift your chin and it will improve your balance. I grab ahold of my shorts or shirt hem and hold on with my opposite hand so that I'm not waving it around uselessly as I do this. 2 sets of 10 reps

  14. Calf Raises-I upped my weight by adding two more 25s to it, all in all totally to 330 lbs. I just make sure that my knees don't go inward as I bend my knees ever so slightly before totally extending my legs all the way up to the ball of my toes and back down again. 3 sets of 15 reps

  15. Ab with Medicine Ball-lay down on the floor on your back and extend a medicine ball above your head. Keep your arms and elbows straight and try to keep the ball on the ground as you swing your legs up, bending as they press the thighs against your stomach and extending back up to create a 90 degree angle with your legs and torso and come off of your rear. Then bring your knees back to your chest and extend them back out hovering over the floor. 2 sets of 20

  16. Plank for 1 minute by laying on your stomach and raising yourself up to your elbows. Clasp your hands together and drop your butt until it's level with the rest of your body. Hold this position for one minute, focusing on holding yourself up with your abdominal. Keep your legs together and balance yourself on the balls of your feet.

  17. Bent Over Rows-bend down over a bench and place your knee and coordinating palm on the bench. Place the other leg back away from the swing of your arm and pick up the dumbbell, I use a 25 lb dumbbell or 30 lb, with your free hanging hand. Keep your back straight and try to keep your arm and dumbbell as close to your side as you can. It will begin free hanging until you lift and keep your elbow brushing your side until the dumbbell is right next to the side of your chest. Focus on your lats-the muscle right underneath your armpit, where I typically think bat wings would connect on a bat. 2 sets of 10 reps

I do weights twice a week-usually Monday and Thursday, running workout on Tuesday, Friday and maybe adding a Saturday. I try to run a distance on Tuesday and sprints on Friday. Then I see if I workout on Saturday to see how I'm feeling from the week and if I want to do sprints or long distance. 

Also, p.s. do y'all ever look back at old pictures where you thought you were fat and you realize that you are definitely not fat and you wish that you were that version of "fat" that you thought you were? BECAUSE SAME! It's fine...It's cool...

xoxo, Char