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Run To The Hills

Hey! I got a kick out of those of you rating your sweet tooth off the scale :P Many of you said you had more of a salty tooth! I can’t relate, I will always choose sweet over salty. Unless the two are combined, then my mind explodes.

Good news, I didn’t pass out at the gym today! Sad days when this is a bonus, here’s what I did:

10 minutes elliptical, increasing resistance

Straight Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target Area
Romanian deadlift to row  50 lbs 6-8 4 Back
Wide-grip lat pulldown  65 lbs 6-8 4 Back

10 minutes rowing machine

Straight Sets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target Area
Dumbbell bench press  22.5 lb dumbbells 6-8 4 Chest
Dumbbell fly  17.5 dumbbells 6-8 4 Chest
Dumbbell shoulder press  17.5 dumbbells 6-8 4 Shoulders

10 minutes treadmill, increasing speed

Supersets:

Exercise Weight Reps Sets Target Area
Cable pushdown  25 lbs 8-12 3 Triceps
Barbell 21s 20 lbs 8-12 3 Biceps
Barbell upright row  30 lbs 8-12 3 Shoulders

10 minutes stairmill, increasing speed

Finis! I had a whole banana with PB today (usually I only have half) and lots of water, I felt pretty good the whole time. Not on my “A” game, but I was expecting much worse.

Got to the office and had the usual cottage cheese mess.

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Have you heard? Cottage cheese is the new yogurt. Plus, it’s awesome with strawberries, banana extract, cinnamon, almond butter and Grape Nuts cereal. Yupyup!

Morning snack:

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Homemade dark chocolate s’more protein bar. Holymoly, these are really good! So chocolately and protein-y. This is where I should make some awful “s’more” pun. Lucky for you, I hate puns.

Came home for lunch today! Wanted to take the dog out, and whipped up a quick lunch in the meantime.

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My sweet veggies – carrots + sugar snap peas with the last of the salsa and hummus.

Look! Proof that baby carrots come from real carrots!

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A very Janetha-esque photo with a begging pup in the background ;)

My new flavour obsession…

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Maple smoked salmon + laughing cow cheese + blueberry jam in a grilled sandwich. This was even more heavenly grilled!!

I ate my snack late this afternoon, so I wasn’t gnawing my arm off like I usually am after work. Turned into a gorgeous day so I took Archie for a walk before dinner.

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Confession: I live next to several hills that would be awesome for running hill repeats. Instead, I choose the very flat trail in the opposite direction. Hills scurr me!

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But I took Archie up the hills today. His small poodle legs could use a little muscle definition :P

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This is me attempting to look badass with my shades on, but I just look smug!

I also had a bit of a “moment” walking up the hill. I came up to these two college girls who were huffing and puffing up the incline, noticeably exerting themselves. I on the other hand was barely bothered walking up. Only two years ago, I would have been one of those girls, struggling to make it to the top. Instead, here I was taking my “fitness” for granted. I hardly notice these types of things anymore and need to thank my lucky stars that I can prance my way to the top if I want to! (although, I really wish I could help those girls get to the top easier as well…)

Came home and threw together my favourite salad combo as of late.

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Spinach base, with highlights being pickles, pickled beets, chicken, feta, olives and tzatziki. I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately! I find if I just buy the fresh veggies, then I feel pressured to eat them before they go bad. Easy way to make sure I get my veggies in ;)

Archie tried to beg while I was eating, but I think our hill walk tuckered him out.

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So many trees to pee on… so little time…

Also found this for two bucks at the store today…

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The name “Susan” means “graceful white lily,” and they just happen to be my favourite flower! I never have fresh flowers in my place, but for $2 I don’t care if it dies in a few days – it’s worth it! Plus, I love the smell, even if it reminds people of funeral homes :P

I also want to mention that I’ve decided to take a bit of a mini-break from the gym. Hallie reminded me to take my own advice of taking extended breaks every once in a while, and it has been a while! Thanks Hallie! So I’m going to chill out for the next few days and let my body fully recuperate, because it’s obviously trying to tell me something. I love working out so much that I always have to be cognisant of the symptoms of overtraining. But with my impending PT exam, there’s no better time for a rest than now!

And with that, I’m off to study!

Question of the Day: Do you know what your name means?

Workout Skeds

So how is everyone sleeping?? Happy to hear so many of you are up for a sleep challenge! So here’s how it’s going to work: make a concerted effort to get 7-9 hours of sleep a night (or, really, whatever works for you, this is a general number), keep track of your hours, then I’ll ask for the hours on Monday. I’ll then take all the comments from those who participated and draw a random winner and some them something fun! So you’re not reeeeally winning based on total hours of sleep, I just want to know you tried!

I also want to add how thoroughly impressed I am that so many of my readers already get close to 8 hours of sleep a night. I used to be one of those people who could sleep 10 hours a night no problem (actually, I did for a month the semester my professors went on strike…) Somewhere along the way it became a lot more difficult to sleep in, especially past that 7am mark. Ugh.

I unplugged by 9:30 last night and had my lights out by 9:50. I then woke up naturally at 5:25am – five minutes before my alarm! This morning I did some upper-body weight lifting and cardio intervals at the gym. Usually, my upper-body day is a heavy weight day, but today I went down in weights to focus on my form.

Started with elliptical sprint intervals for my warm-up. I’ve been playing around with recovery time, and have a routine now that’s a booty-kicker.

 

Minutes Level Effort
3 10 Easy
2 14 Easy
1 18 Sprint
2 14 Recovery
1 18 Sprint
1.5 14 Recovery
1 18 Sprint
1 14 Recovery
1 18 Sprint
0.5 14 Recovery
1 18 Sprint
1 14 Recovery
1 18 Sprint
1.5 14 Recovery
1 18 Sprint
2 14 Recovery


Back

Exercise Reps Weight
Wide-grip lat pulldown  12 45 lbs
Seated cable row  12 40 lbs
Wide-grip lat pulldown  8 55 lbs
Seated cable row  8 50 lbs
Wide-grip lat pulldown  6 65 lbs
Seated cable row  6 60 lbs
Wide-grip lat pulldown  10 45 lbs
Seated cable row  10 40 lbs

Chest

Exercise Reps Weight
Dumbbell bench press  12 17.5 lb dumbbells
Standing cable fly 12 10 lbs each hand
Dumbbell bench press  8 20 lb dumbbells
Standing cable fly 8 12.5 lbs each hand
Dumbbell bench press  6 22.5 lb dumbbells
Standing cable fly 6 15 lbs each hand
Dumbbell bench press  10 17.5 lb dumbbells
Standing cable fly 10 10 lbs each hand

Shoulders

Exercise Reps Weight
Arnold press  12 12.5 lb dumbbells
Barbell upright row  12 20 lb barbell
Arnold press  8 15 lb dumbbells
Barbell upright row  8 20 lb barbell
Arnold press  6 17.5 lb dumbbells
Barbell upright row  6 30 lb barbell
Arnold press  10 12.5 lb dumbbells
Barbell upright row  10 20 lb barbell

Biceps – Alternating Sets

Exercise Reps Weight Sets
Barbell bicep curl 12 20 lbs 3
Incline curl  12 10 lb dumbbells 3

Triceps – Alternating Sets

Exercise Reps Weight Sets
Skull crusher  12 20 lbs 3
Forward tricep extension  12 20 lbs 3

Finished off with 10 minutes on the stepmill and a 90 second plank. My personal training coach is an anti-crunch person much like myself. I’ve always been of the belief that you stabilize yourself with your abs in all your weight lifting moves, so hurting your back by doing a gazillion crunches isn’t really helping the cause. But I do think it’s important to have a strong core, and a little plank work never hurts ;)

Also, I have to add that I was analyzing the form of those around me in the weight area (no one at my gym is safe now!). Surprisingly, the people in the free-weight area were near-perfect, but there were some serious offenders on the cable machines! Oh gosh. It’s actually scary to see how people move with the cable pulleys and have no control over the movement. One guy was definitely hurting his shoulder doing tricep pushdowns, which shouldn’t be the case at all.

Okay, okay, rambling over. Photos!

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I remembered my iced coffee this morning. Bonus.

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Cottage cheese, yogurt, protein powder, maple extract, cinnamon, frozen berries, cashew butter, Grape Nuts. Got that?

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It’s my favourite breakfast these days :)

Cherry dark chocolate protein bars are on the outs.

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I have a fun new batch setting in the fridge as I type. Think marshmallow squares ;)

Gigantor salad for lunch.

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Same mix as last night! Except with my fave new dressing – watered down hummus.

And I maaay have picked up a little treat so I can have lunch desserts at the office.

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I ate two, gotta get the most out of that bag!

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They’re no Mini Eggs, but still okay. What is it about Mini Eggs that makes them so magical??

Afternoon snack was something different:

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Mini bagels! Two of them are only 160 calories, and I stuffed a little Yves veggie ham in there for a protein boost.

For some reason I was super excited to make this for dinner tonight:

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Smoked salmon omelette. Maple smoked salmon to be exact. Ohman, I can’t make any of the local sugar bush events this year :( I lovelovelove anything maple!

Speaking of my insatiable sweet tooth, more chocolate followed dinner.

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President’s Choice European Dark. It’s okay. I’m a Lindt girl.

Oh! And before I forget, Janetha asked me if I have a workout schedule. The answer to that is no, but I do tend to do the same things. This is what it generally looks like:

Monday: 60 minute spin class
Tuesday: Heavy upper-body weight lifting with HIIT
Wednesday: 50-60 minutes running
Thursday: Rest day or cardio machines (not treadmill)
Friday: Full-body lifting, medium weights
Saturday: Cardio class (like step) or cardio machines (if I miss a class)
Sunday: rest day

Really, the only things that typically stay the same are Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and sometimes I’ll swap out a DVD on Fridays if I’m out late the night before. I try to balance it out so my arms and legs get to rest a little in-between workouts. While I only have two lifting workouts, my cardio machine and cardio class days always involve a little resistance training. However, it seems what with travel and life, I can’t seem to stick to just one schedule! I’m notorious for changing up proper training schedules. Actually, I don’t think I even followed one for my triathlon :\ Meh, I like to fly by the seat of my pants ;)

 

Question of the Day: Do you follow a workout schedule or take it day by day? My schedule gets a little more complicated in the summer when I try to coincide my outdoor runs and biking with the unreliable weather. Maybe I’ll try running in the rain this summer. Maybe. :P

Cat’s Outta the Bag

Hello friends! I’m impressed so many of you workout at home! Some great exercise DVD suggestions in the comments section of the last post, ch-ch-check it out.

Today I left the comfort of my own home to work out. I wanted to run! It was –18 C without the windchill this morning (-1 F) so there was no way in hell that was happening outside.

I did my usual 5+ mile treadmill speed workout:

On a 1% incline:
2 min @ 3.2 mph
3 min @ 3.7 mph
5 min @ 5.6 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.0 & 6.4 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.2 & 6.6 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.4 & 6.8 mph
10 min of 1 min intervals alternating between 6.6 & 7.0 mph
5 min @ 5.8 mph
3 min @ 3.7 mph
2 min @ 3.2 mph

Baddabing. Stellar sweat sesh in 60 minutes flat. One thing I love about this workout is that I gets my heart rate up really high and keeps it there for at least the last 15 minutes. I can get my heart rate to peak at 175 bpm doing HIIT, but I feel like I’m training the ticker when I get it up in the 170s and “comfortably” keep it there for an extended period.

Usually I come home after the gym to shower and eat before scooting off to work. But today I tried something different and went straight to work (showering at the gym).

I packed two homemade protein bars for breakfast. Normally I would pack a breakfast cookie, but that’s what these things essentially are.

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I loved this new routine! I got a solid 45 minutes extra sleep, and felt much less rushed. It was also nice to get to work a little early and leisurely eat breakfast before the madness of the workday begun.

Morning snack attack:

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McIntosh apple and two cheese strings. I don’t normally buy McIntosh, but they were on sale for $1/lb!! Sold!

Lunch:

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Yves veggie salami slices, marble cheese, mayo on bakery whole wheat bread (no more light bread- blech!) and a naval orange. Looks boring but it was mega tasty. What can I say, I’m a simple sandwich girl.

Afternoon munchables:

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Source vanilla yogurt muesli cup and a Kashi blackberry cereal bar. I don’t normally buy flavoured yogurts, but these cups are pretty handy and tasty to boot.

I have a ton of romaine and spinach at the moment, so I went for another salad for dinner. It was delicious.

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  • romaine
  • spinach
  • onion
  • carrot
  • mushrooms
  • green pepper
  • mandarin
  • leftover roast chicken
  • roasted almond pieces
  • black sesame seeds

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For the dressing, I shook up 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tsp sesame oil, 2 tsp Bragg’s, 1/2 tsp agave. I LOVED this salad. I tend to always make the same sort of salads at home. I need to branch out a little more. Salads can be fun!

So. The title of the post. I have had a few days to mull over things, and in order to continue moving forward, I feel like it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. You may recall that Saturday was an “off” day for me. I alluded to something major happening in my personal life. Well, Chris and I broke up.

Oof. That feels tough to say.

I’m obviously not going to go into the dirty details. Chris and I spent four wonderful years together. We “worked” together seamlessly for almost that entire period of time. But due to several non-scandalous reasons, it seems we’ll be better off apart than together.

Despite losing a dear friend, I am remaining positive about it. I have essentially spent no time as a single adult and I think it’s very important for me to do so. Especially in this period of my life. I remain excited about my current situation and opportunities for the future. I love my new job, am making new friends, pursuing my passions and reconnecting with my family. I am slowly starting to feel “full” again. This is a big deal, as just a few short months ago, I was feeling very “empty” indeed.

 

…and like any newly single lady should, I’ve already booked an appointment to get my hair cut and dyed :)

 

Well that’s that. Time for me to go do the work I brought home. I’m thinking of trying out Jillian Michael’s No More Trouble Zones dvd in the morning, so I’ll review it for ya tomorrow. Also, I want to talk about the whole Heidi Montag plastic surgery thing. I’ve got a rant brewing!

Don’t forget about my blogaversary giveaway!! You’ve got till Friday! I also never did a whole “review” post to celebrate my one year blogging anniversary, but if you’re curious about it, I did something similar just before the new year: http://thegreatbalancingact.com/2009/12/31/year-in-review-un-piece-de-resistance/

 

See ya tomorrow! We’re over the hump!

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