March + April Workout, weights, weight loss + running


This past month I have thought about posting this new workout probably every morning that I was at the gym and I kept making excuses until we are now in April and I have just a little under a month until I switch this workout out too. For those of you who don't know, I switch my workouts every two months to keep my body from getting too used to these workouts.

This past month, I began this counting calories app called MyPlate and began counting and documenting what I ate, how much water I drank, keeping up with how much I worked out and began to lose hope that I would ever drop any weight. That's just a tad dramatic but I have never seen any sort of results from these things before and usually never kept up with it after a few weeks because I just grew too aggravated with it. Not only does this count calories and keep up with your food and water intake, it tells you how much protein, carbs, and fats you should get every day to keep a healthy weight loss. I have been struggling with gaining even more weight than what I gained previously and outgrew several of my clothes and began disliking how full I got around the stomach area and thighs.

My thighs have always been a bit of a sore spot since all of my fat avoids the rear and targets the love handles and thighs. I typically don't even have a gut, but when I began having problems there as well, I knew that I had to make some sort of change and it had to start with food.

I workout consistently but slacked off with cardio save for once or twice a week and not very hard at that. I began working in cardio even on weights days and watching how much coke, fast food, and dressings I was inhaling alongside cookies and just junky foods.

"Beach bodies are made in the kitchen, not just the gym" or something. I hate that phrase. I love eating. But I've also found that when I restrain from filling myself up with junk, I have better energy, feel better, don't get sick as often, see results faster, and actually start to dislike eating out so much. I'm not going to lie. I absolutely wanted to tear someone's head off the first week and a half. I freaking love food and not to have that as my backup to eat whatever I wanted was a problem for a while. I left my credit card at home until I needed gas so that I wouldn't be tempted to eat out at all.

Then, I grew competitive with my MyPlate app and kept trying to meet the water goals, stay under the calorie goal, and keep up with the protein intake. I easily kept up with the fat and carb sections, believe me. I began working out an extra day and waking up even earlier to go workout longer at the gym before work.

The result is that I've lost nearly three pounds and I hope to keep it up to reach my target of five pounds gone. Then I'll see what I need to keep up with after that or what I want to lose. I add cardio to my workout every day besides my off days and try to only drink a minimal amount of sugar in my daily tea.  

|| Workout for March + April ||

Sideways plank 1 minute each-start with propping yourself sideways on one arm fully locked and raise the other arm to the ceiling and hold for one minute. Repeat on other side.

Weighted Side Dip for abs-I use a 25 lb weight and stand completely square to a mirror and gently lower myself sideways before pulling myself back up to a straight, standing position. I repeat ten times and then move the weight to the other side. This will work on your "side abs" where you see the definition of the outer abs.

2 30 second moving planks-prop yourself up on your elbows as if you were doing a plank and then quickly push yourself up to your palms and then back down to your elbows, keeping your back, glutes, and knees straight. Keep going until the 30 seconds is up and then repeat this exercise after a short break.

Ab Roller-I know y'all have seen these horrible little ab rolling devices. I prop myself up on my knees, grasping the two handles firmly before rolling my mid section out until my arms are stretched out above my head and trying to keep my back straight while I hold this for a moment. Then roll yourself back up to a hands and knees position before repeating. Two sets of 5

Russian Twists on ab machine- 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.

Run a mile on weight days, and two or three miles plus sprints on the off days of weights

I rotate these ab workouts and running with sprints in and out to what I think I need for that day. I don't do all of this in one day but spread these options out throughout the week, picking two or three ab things and whatever running I think I can do for that day.

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. 

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

Squats-I have been trying to get back into my least favorite exercises since most of them are really good for me. I tend to do squats once a week with two sets of ten. Start with the bar on the top of your spine, almost uncomfortably back on the tops of your shoulder blades-not your shoulders. Keep your back straight, feet spread apart in shoulder width, and keep your knees from going over your toes. Drop your butt until you reach the area like you were sitting down in a chair and lift yourself back up by squeezing your glutes and hamstrings. You shouldn't be using your quads for this exercise- as it will limit how much weight you can lift and defeat the purpose of the glutes and hamstrings exercise.

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 ? 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

Calf Raises-I upped my weight by adding 45s to it, all in all totally to 370 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

Bench-If you are using two freehand weights, try laying down on a bench and resting the weight on your chest with your elbows pointing out. Lift from your chest, almost locking your elbows out before slowly lowering them back down on your chest. Focus on your chest doing the work instead of the inside of your shoulders and arms. It's a chest exercise, not arms.

Seated Military Press, typically use 20 lb dumbells. Seat yourself on a bench and keep your back straight.  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

Overhead Triceps Extension- Lift a dumbell over your head and face your elbows directly forward. Both hands grasping the dumbbell, lift your arms above your head, almost locking your elbows before lowering it back behind your head. Two reps of 10. This works the back of the arm, the triceps area.

Cable Kickbacks for glutes-I use the machine at my gym with an adjustable weighted cable. I put it as far down to the ground as it will go, attach the ankle wrap and buckle my shoe in. I face the machine and keep my stationary leg straight while attempting to keep the moving leg straight as well. I tilt forward, dragging my leg backwards against the weighted cable, flexing my glutes and hamstrings before slowly letting it drop back in before starting on another rep. I pull this leg until I can't lift my straight leg up anymore and release. Two sets of ten.

Side Step Ups-this one is mostly for all you athletes and women out there with knee problems and weaker inner knees. Take a dumbbell in the hand on the inside leg and just step up sideways onto a bench and then go back down. Simple enough but it works the inner construction of the knee, preventing a torn ACL or MCL with strengthening that inner knee muscle. Two sets of ten on each leg.

Lat Pulldown-Sit down with your legs locked underneath the cushioned bar and pull the cable lat bar down to your chest and release it back up, focusing on keeping your back straight, not moving back and forth or up and down with your body save for your arms. Focus on your lats (the bat wings underneath your arms) and pull the weight down. Wider grip is harder, so if you are struggling, choose a tighter grip on the bar with your arms a little closer together.

Curls-Stand with your feet spread shoulder width apart and keep your back straight, your butt tucked in and your shoulders dropped down. Hold the bar with your forearms facing in, the wrists facing out and pull the bar up to your chest and slowly release it back down again to your hips. Two sets of ten, 40 lb bar

Leg Press with jumping workout-This is one of the hardest to explain for me. This one was shown to me by a friend during basketball that helped her with her vertical jump. Start by getting on the leg press machine and only doing calf raises on the machine with one leg. After a set of ten on each leg, get off the machine-standing on your tip toes- walk a distance of 10-15 feet and back again and do another set of single leg calf raises. Repeat three times and then get a medicine ball and a blank wall. Start off in a squat position with the medicine ball held between the cavity between your legs (with your hands of course) and then squat and jump up to toss the ball gently against the wall and catch it. As soon as you've caught it, bring it back down again to between your legs and squat again. Two sets of ten of this drill immediately after the calf raises and tip toe walks. If you really want to increase your vertical even more, get a weighted medicine ball and place it on the block underneath your basketball goal and start off from the three point line in a running layup and pick up the ball to jump as high as you can and make the layup with the weighted basketball. Do this ten times on each side. It kills. HA! 

xoxo, Char