Daily Archives: June 3, 2010

Exercises for the Cable Machine and Archie’s Debut!!



How are we all doing today? Good I hope! I am working hard on keeping my smile up :)


Unfortunately ezekiel french toast is not that photogenic. For such a decadent breakfast, it was pretty healthy though!! Two eggs + a splash of skim milk, cinnamon and vanilla, all whisked together then soaked up with sprouted grain bread.

Dipped in sugar-free syrup. The little eggy end parts are the best ;)

After this I made the executive decision not to work out today. Good thing I did, as I ended up having family obligations that took up a huge chunk of the day. For all you positive thinkers out there – please send some this way for my dad and his family. They could use a few extra good vibes!!

Then I drove into oncoming traffic on the Gunningsville bridge. Stuck by a median. Holy heart attack. Rain + drifting thoughts = dangerous driving on my part.

I perked myself up with a new ‘do. It’s in a ponytail right now, I will primp properly tomorrow and show you. Getting rid of hair has a therapeutic effect, no?


So does chocolate. Even when it’s cocoa powder mixed with soy protein powder. I gave a bite to the little step-bro and he said it tastes like chocolate mousse! I didn’t even tell him to say that!!

Mom pulled out all the stops again for dinner tonight.


Roast chicken – my favourite. With roast carrots, turnip and sweet potato.

I swiped the thigh and leg as I like the dark meat best. Yes, I used to be a vegetarian and now I eat it off the bone ;)

Tried a little scoop of these random preserves my mother handed me. I thought they were cranberry.


Got quite the surprise when I took a bite and found out it was sweet cherry! Turns out Sister Sara bought it back when she was living in Edmonton. I’m thinking it would be much better on waffle ;)

In other news, I found a new kind of gum today!

IMG_7685 IMG_7687

It’s no secret that I’m a mad gum chewer. It’s a problem. I’m [not] working on it.


It’s fruity, yet refreshing!! I think it’s some sort of grapefruit concoction. Tasty.


Cable Exercises

A long, long time ago, Lori asked for a post on exercises to do on the cable machines at the gym. I told her I’d get around to it that week. That was around three months ago.

Coincidentally, I gave my mom a mini-training session on the cable machine and she wants me to write down what I showed her. So I’m covering all my bases! :P

Since I got my personal training certification, one of the most common requests I get from people is how to use the above cable machine, or ones similar to it (some only have one pulley).

First we must understand how it works. Most can be adjusted by pulling out a knob on the side and sliding the pulley up or down. There are several different attachments you can clip on.


We’re mostly concerned with the above attachments. Not pictured though is the velcro strap that fits around your ankle. Usually these parts are hanging out somewhere around the machine, or you may have to remove it from another machine to use. Don’t worry, most of the following pictures clearly illustrate which one you’ll need.

Before we get into the exercises, I need to make a very important point.

Don’t let the cable boss you around. 

When trying out new exercises on a cable machine start at a low weight. As the weight plates drop on the machine, the cable will pull forward. It is SO important not to let it jerk you with it. Stay strong and balanced. If you’re struggling, lower the weight. Sometimes we can’t go as heavy on cable machines as we can with dumbbells. That’s okay. You’ll see better results when you actually hit the intended muscles ;)


A stiff-legged deadlift to work your glutes and hamstrings. You can also do a regular deadlift where you bend your knees. A straight bar would be needed for this one.

The cable pull through hits mostly your glutes, but you’ll get a little thigh work in there too. Please keep your back straight and supported!

The one leg cable kickback is actually one of the best butt exercises there is. Want a bubble butt? This is one for you.


Cable thigh pull can work either your inner or outer thighs. The motion pictured above will hit your inner thighs. If you turn around and pull the cable away from your body, you’ll hit the outer thighs. Remember to pull the weight with your thigh muscles, don’t just put all the work in your hips.


The cable chest press is one of my favourite ways to change up the boring ole’ chest press. You can do this two arms at a time, or one arm at a time. Remember to push through your chest and not your shoulders.


Standing cable row. I like doing this one best in a squat position to activate my legs as well. This is an important one to keep your upper body stable on. Try not to round your back when the cable pulls away from the body.

Cable face pull. This one targets your upper back and shoulders as well. Make sure to keep your shoulders down and neck soft. Arms should be parallel to the floor.



Pictured above is the lateral raise. This will work mostly the top of your shoulders. It requires very little weight, and if you’re on a machine with two cables, you can set it up so they cross in front of you. You can also turn around and pull your arms out in front of you to do a front shoulder raise.


The cable pushdown is one many people are already familiar with. Pleasepleaseplease do not move your shoulder joints in this exercise. The only joint that should be moving is your elbow, which should also be tucked in by your waist. You’ll be able to feel the difference in your triceps!

Cable overhead extension. The thing to remember for this is to keep your shoulders down, try not to shrug them up with the movement. Again, make sure only your elbows are moving!


It’s only fitting that Ahhhnold demonstrate our bicep exercise ;) The one and only cable curl. Set the cable at the bottom of the machine, take on a staggered stance and curl up. Broken record time – only bend at your elbows!!



Cable woodchop. Above is the diagonal version. But you can also set the cable in the center and twist horizontally for the cable horizontal woodchop. Thing to remember here is to keep your arms straight, and pull through using your abs first.

For some reason I get asked about the cable crunch all the time. Maybe because it looks hardcore. I personally find it’s awkward. In the above picture, the guy is twisting diagonally to hit his obliques, but you can also just go up and down for a normal crunch. Again, keep the work in your abs here, and try not to curve your spine too much.

All the demonstrative pictures are hyperlinked, so click away to get more info on the exercise behind the photo :) Of course, these aren’t the only cable exercises you can do, but it’s at least a good start!


Last, but most certainly not least, I have a video to share!! Clickclick to see the one and only Archibald in action.


Haha, my mom says he looks scared in the video. He must be camera shy ;) Also very cute is that is got SO confused when I played back the video!! He kept looking at me and wondering why my mouth wasn’t moving when my voice was coming out of the computer :P


Question of the Day: I want to do a vlog before I leave my mom’s place – what would you like to see? Recipe? Exercise move? Rambles and silliness?? Let me know!