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Fitness and Exercise Resources

Heyyyy friends! Whaaaat’s happening. This is me pretending to be perky. It’s not working :P Today’s been an odd day with a lot of heavy things on my mind :( I spend far too much time worrying about things I shouldn’t. I’d ask if anyone else has this problem, but I know I’m not the only one!

On the bright side, I slept for over 7 hours last night and felt pretty good when the alarm went off! Finally! I was nice and energized for my upper-body weight lifting session today. You may notice I do more upper-body than lower. This is because 1) I torture my legs enough with running, biking, step-class and other forms of cardio and 2) I’m actually trying to bulk up!! I have naturally scrawny limbs so I’m trying to get some solid definition happening. I still do at least one full-body workout a week, but an excess of squats and lunges aggravates an old hip injury.

Anyways! Today’s workout was stolen from the March issue of Oxygen Magazine. I don’t love a lot of fitness magazines geared towards women, but this one I do because it has real and useful information. (and THANKS to Janetha for the subscription :D ) The moves were designed to be divided into different days, but I threw them all together :)

 

Exercise Weights Reps Sets
Alternating Chest Sets:      
Machine chest press 40 lbs 6-8 4
Incline dumbbell fly 15 lb dumbbells 6-8 4
Alternating Back Sets:      
Barbell bent-over row 60 lbs 6-8 4
Close-grip lat pulldown 75 lbs 6-8 4
Alternating Shoulder Sets:      
Seated dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 lb dumbbells 6-8 4
Cable lateral shoulder raise 5 lbs 6-8 4
Alternating Bicep Sets:      
EZ bar preacher curl 30 lbs 6-8 3
One arm cable curl 12.5 lbs 6-8 3
Alternating Tricep Sets:      
Forward tricep extension 20 lbs 6-8 3
Bent-over dumbbell kickback 12.5 lb dumbbells 6-8 3

Heckyes. I warmed up on the elliptical for 15 minutes first, then I finished it off with 10 minutes on the stepmill and a random assortment of crunches and planks. My arms were shaking by the end!

I was a hungryhungryhippo by the time I primped and got outta there. I usually have my lunch bag open before I even get my office door unlocked.

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Same thing as yesterday! Greek yogurt, stevia, strawberries, almond butter, homemade granola.

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Love that little peek of morning sunshine :) I know I was all “what’s the big deal” about greek yogurt in the beginning, but I think I was able to truly appreciate its greatness today. It’s nice to not have to add extra protein to yogurt. Plus, the thick texture is pretty amazing. Kinda like Cool Whip, which I admittedly have a huge soft spot for.

Snacks – yes snackS, because I ate two today – were a fresh batch of homemade protein bars. This time in Cherry Dark Chocolate. Take that Kashi!!

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  • 2 cups (dry) rolled oats
  • 2 scoops (60g) vanilla protein powder
  • 2 scoops (60g) chocolate protein powder
  • 5 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp dried cherries, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chunks
  • 1/2 cup water

All stirred up until powder is just dissolved, and mix is crumbly/sticky (not gooey!!). Flattened into a 9×9 pan and left to harden in the fridge. Makes 8 bars. I haven’t calculated the exact nutritionals on these, but I assume they’re around 200 calories each and 16g protein. The basic recipe is always the same, I just change the add-ins, kinds of nut butter, and protein powder flavour.

Oh yes, and it was delicious!! Both times! ;)

I was out of the office editing a promotional video all day, so I got to come home for lunch. I thought of making something fancy, but got lazy and just ate my packed lunch while watching The View.

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Maple smoked salmon sandwich with laughing cow cheese, honey mustard, fresh dill and spinach. Between the honey mustard and maple flavour, it was sweet!

The usual beta carotene on the side…

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Speaking of the View, I am so sick of hearing about famous men having marital affairs. Ugh. Can we please stop giving those men airtime? Thanks.

Supper! IMG_4920

Look familiar? My meatloaf pizza was so good yesterday, I wanted to eat it the exact same way today!

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Just as delicious the second go around. This is definitely being added to my list of favourites!

 

I don’t have much to ramble about today, but I thought it would be useful to share some of my favourite weight lifting resources. I will fess up – I have two big goals I want to achieve with this blog: I want to address anxiety disorders, and I want to get women weight lifting! Different, kind of, but I’m sure connections can be made.

Anyways, if you’re looking for some weight lifting inspiration, get click-happy!

Men’s Health
Women’s Health (although Men’s Health is better)
Bodybuilding.com
http://exrx.net/
Oxygen Magazine
Fitness RX

And my absolute bible for weightlifting moves can be found here:

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

It’s a directory of copious amounts of moves. I still like reading other magazines like Shape and Fitness from time to time. While I think they’re mostly fluff, I have stumbled upon some great moves and workouts in them before. Basically, if it’s got fitness in it, I’ll read it! :)

 

Okay, so let’s expand on my list: what’s your favourite fitness and exercise resource?

Meatloaf Pizza and Goal Check-In!

Ooohhhh maannnn. Anyone else have a rough Monday? I think it was a combination of having a busy weekend, plus the time change. I didn’t have a great sleep last night and felt like a cranky zombie until about 2pm. Spin class didn’t even do it for me. It was far more torturous than it usually is. In fact, most people had that “just been run over by a truck look.”

Oh, and my day totally got started off on the wrong foot. I went to put my contacts in first thing this morning, except, they weren’t in the case. I dug my finger all through the solution and couldn’t find them. After a couple minutes, I realized they were still in my eyes. Even worse, they’d been in since Saturday!! I woke up with crusty eyes Sunday morning and briefly thought I was getting pink eye. Then I forgot all about it and wore my glasses all day! Then I woke up with super dry and crusty eyes again today and was really grossed out realizing they were still on my eyeballs. *shudder*

Aaaanyways, moving on! Desk-breakfast was solid today. I’m finally starting to get used to these! (I used to hate cold breakfasts)

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Greek yogurt, almond butter, stevia, fresh strawberries, homemade granola. It’s a classic combo for a reason.

Lunch was the exact same salad I had last night, just in giant tupperware.

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Highlights of the salad were definitely the pickled beets and tzatziki. SO good! It also contained pieces of my first ever attempt at cooking pork. I over-cooked it, which I suppose is better than under-cooking it :\ I picked it up because two pork tenderloins were one-third the price of two chicken breasts. Holy shit.

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I always put half the spinach on the top so I’m not left with a bunch of dry spinach at the end.

Highlight of the day definitely came at 2pm (when my mood improved!). My boss lent me his car to run an errand and had The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album in the CD player. I cranked it, rolled down the window to let the spring air in, and sang along to Think For Yourself. Good times :)

Dinner was, ahem, “inspired” by this magazine I stole from my mom’s house (busted) which you can get for free at Sobey’s. (Canadian grocery store)

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Always on the lookout for high-protein dinners, this Crustless Meatloaf Pizza caught my eye.

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From the website:

1 cup Compliments Balance Tomato & Herbs Pasta Sauce, divided

1/3 cup dry unseasoned bread crumbs (I used panko)

1 egg, beaten

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tbsp dried Compliments Italian Seasoning (I used Kirkland no-salt seasoning)

1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

1 lb extra lean ground beef (I used extra-lean ground turkey)

1 cup Compliments Finely Shredded Pizza Cheese Blend (used 3/4 cup Kraft shredded old cheddar)

2 cups assorted vegetables such as sliced onion, red and green peppers and mushrooms (I used artichoke hearts, onions, mushrooms, yellow pepper, spinach and tomatoes)

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Place 3 tbsp (45 mL) pasta sauce in a large bowl; stir in bread crumbs, egg, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Crumble in the beef and mix gently to combine. Press evenly onto a 12-inch (30 cm) rimmed pizza pan.
  2. Spread the remaining sauce evenly over the beef. Sprinkle with cheese and top with vegetables. Bake, on the lowest rack, for 15 to 20 min. or until the pizza is set and the cheese is bubbly. Cut into wedges and serve.

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My kitchen takes crappy photos, but I wanted to get a shot of it as a “pie” :)

The yumminess in some natural light with steamed veggies topped with coconut…

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HOLY CRAP YOU GUYS. This was so good. If you like meatloaf, make it now!!!

I went back for seconds ;)

 

Okay, it’s Monday, which means it’s time to check in on my March Goals:


1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted.
Apartment is 85% subletted! I have someone who has offered to take it, but I still need to get a deposit and signature from him (should be Wednesday). As soon as that happens, then it’s officially done! I also cleaned out my car and took pictures of it yesterday, so I’ll be posting ads for it soon too.

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Definitely lagging on this. But I’m not stressing about it that much. I know no matter what I do, I’ll have enough money to at least survive, so that’s comforting…

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’ve been really busy at work, but people are at least noticing the time and effort I put into it, which means a lot :)

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. I lagged on this last week! I still have to complete my online lessons, which will be time consuming. Hoping to get that done in the evenings this week – I start my in-class learning this Saturday at a gym in Saint John!!

5. Run outdoors again. CHECK!! I got three, surprisingly “easy,” miles in on Saturday. I’m hoping to get another outdoor run in after work this Wednesday :)

 

Question of the Day: How are you doing on your goals for this month?

Bonus question: Do you sing in the car? I do. No shame.

Guns n’ Goals

Happy International Women’s Day!! I celebrated aaalll day. Easy to do when you’re a woman ;) Funny, I find the older I become, the more “pro woman” I am. I have my stellar role models to thank for that!

Speaking of strong women, did anyone check out Sandra Bullock’s guns during her speech last night?

Girl’s been lifting weights. Look, she’s all ready to curl that Oscar! I love seeing strong ladies, especially in Hollywood. It’s also slightly reassuring to know that even Sandra Bullock can make for a funny screen shot :P

I actually missed the Oscars because I was getting my beauty sleep for a workout this morning. I decided to switch things up and trade in my usual Monday morning spin class for a heavy upper-body day to keep from getting bored.

Warmed up with 20 minutes of sprint intervals on the elliptical. One-minute sprints at high resistance, followed by two minutes at an easier pace and resistance. Then on to the tough stuff:

Straight Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Assisted pull-up  55 lbs 5 4
Dumbbell bench press  22.5 lb dumbbells 5 4
Seated cable row  70 lbs 5 4
Dumbbell incline bench press 22.5 lb dumbbells 5 4
Cable underhand pulldown  70 lbs 5 4

Alternating Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets
Dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 lbs dumbbells 5 3
Incline curl 10 lb dumbbells 10 (ea) 3
Cable pushdown  30 lbs 5 3

Straight Sets:

Exercise Reps Sets
Plank  90 sec 1
Boat pose  45 sec 1
Side plank rotation  10 each side 1
Plank knee to elbow  20 1
Prone jackknife  10 1

This was actually not as heavy as I would have liked it!! I could have easily gone up to 25 lb dumbbells for the bench presses, but 1) I didn’t have a spotter, and 2) I couldn’t get them up to start with! I’m fine once the weight is up, it’s just getting it above my head that first time that is difficult. Anyone got any tricks? I suppose I should just switch to the barbell since it’s already above my head, but I like the challenge of the dumbbells.

Desk-breakfast was what’s slowly becoming the usual…

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Yogurt, vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, blueberries, almond butter, Grape Nuts. Basically a mushy mess.

Chased down with some iced coffee!

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Morning snack was a mangled S’mores Luna bar.

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These used to be my favourite bars, but I think I’m kinda done with them for the time being. I actually prefer my homemade ones now!

Lunch looks weak. That’s because it was.

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Tuna pita + baby carrots. Sundays are my grocery day, which didn’t happen this week.

Another snack attack…

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Boiled eggs + cheese. My boss walked into my office after I ate this. I wonder if he could smell it?? I’m paranoid.

I’m going to try to hold off on buying groceries this week so I eat up all the extra stuff I have in my freezer and cupboards. Today I dug out a couple turkey mini meatloaves that I made and froze a long ass time ago.

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With cheetas (aka roasted sweet potatoes). I sprinkle everything with salt, paprika and chili powder.

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And finally, a tomato salad made with the darker kumatos, topped with balsamic vinegar, pepper, basil and parmesan cheese.

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All together now!

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What you don’t see here is how I smothered everything with ketchup after ;) Nomnom.

 

Weekly Goal Check-In!

I’ve decided Monday is the day to do this for no particular reason. I think my goals are off to a slow start…

1. Work on getting my car sold and apartment subletted. Well, I got a price estimate for my car and I’m posting my apartment on Kijiji as soon as I’m done blogging :)

2. Apply for a bazilion jobs in Toronto. Didn’t apply for any more this week. Seeing as I’ll be in Alberta for a chunk of June, it could potentially be almost July by the time I’m ready to start work. That’s a long ways away!

3. Take more initiative at work so I can finish my contract knowing I made a mark. I’m busy as hell at work, and right now I’m just happy to keep my head above the flood of projects that are coming in. Phew!

4. Learn as much as I can about personal training. FINISHED MY TEXTBOOK!! Yay!! My in-class training is in a couple weeks, so I just have to get through the online component before then, which will likely be time consuming.

5. Run outdoors again. This may happen this weekend if mother nature stays on my side. I don’t workout after work, and it’s still way too early in the season to run at 5:30 am (in the dark!!).

 

Sooo, #4 is the only one I rocked at, but I’m getting there! Now, I’m off to keep my promise and go post my apartment for rent…

 

Question of the Day: How are your goals going? I hope you wrote them down!!

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