Archives for June 2013

Time for Tabata!

Yep, that’s right, it’s time for a Tabata workout!  I have a love-hate relationship with Tabata workouts.  They can be rough, but it’s always worth it in the end.  Here’s how it works- for each of the Tabata moves, you go 20 seconds on, followed by 10 secconds of rest, then immediately to the next exercise for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds of rest, then repeat for the total time allotted.  Now, these 20 seconds are not meant to be spent leisurely going through the motions.  Nope, it’s time to go big or go home!  The good thing about Tabata workouts is that, when you think about it, 20 seconds really isn’t that much time, so I think it’s easier to push through and give it my all.  I usually do more cardio-based exercises with the Tabata sections of my workout, then pair that with strength exercises so I end up with a good mix.

As I was writing this post, it just so happened that I came across this article from fitsugar.com.  It explains the benefits of and science behind Tabata training.  Fun fact: Tabata training can burn up to 13.5 calories a minute AND double your metabolic rate for 30min afterwards!  On that note, let’s get to it! 🙂

Tabata and Strength

Step By Step:

Burpees

Step 1: Place your palms on the ground

Step 2: Jump your legs back and touch chest to the ground (other option is to do a full push up)

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Step 3: Jump your legs back to starting position

Step 4: Jump, with arms in the air

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Mountain Climbers

Step 1: Start in straight arm plank position

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Step 2: Bring one knee in towards your elbow, switch legs continuously until your time/reps are over. (You can either bring knee to same elbow, or opposite elbow)

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 Elvis Squats

Step 1: Squat with your feet and knees turned out, holding a bar behind shoulders.

(You will have to imagine me with a bar over my shoulders…apparently I need to invest in a little more exercise equipment)

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I am a believer that you can’t take yourself too seriously, hence the dorky smile. 🙂

Step 2: Turn your body to one side, in lunge position

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Step 3: Turn back to starting position and turn to opposite side, then return to starting position again.

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Plank Jumping Jacks

Step 1:  Start in plank position, feet close together

Step 2:  Jump both feet wide and then jump back to starting position

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Single Leg Squat w/ Leg Lift

(again, with the imagination here…the leg you are not lifting can be on a step or box and you hold a bar behind your shoulders)

With one leg on a box or step, sqaut, stand up so you are standing on the box with one foot and simultaneously lift your opposite leg. Repeat on the other side.

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 Kettlebell Swings

Step 1: Holding a kettlebell or dumbbell, squat, bringing the weight behind your body

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Step 2: Swing the weight up to either eye level or above your head, depending on how much weight you have, using your hips (This is important! It will feel like you are doing a pelvic thrust of some sort 🙂 )

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V Sit-Ups

Step 1: Lie on your back with arms over head.

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Step 2: Using your core muscles, keep your legs straight and bring your hands towards your toes.

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Sweet Potato Omelette Bake

Breakfast is one of the most important, if not THE most important, meal of the day- at least that’s what everyone says, and I happen to agree.  Eating a healthy breakfast will help curb your cravings throughout the day and jump starts your metabolism (and who doesn’t love that?!).  One of the hardest parts about trying to eat a healthy breakfast on a daily basis is the time is takes.  I don’t know about you, but I am that person who is ALWAYS running late in the morning.  Sometimes it’s 5min, sometimes 15min, but the day I get myself out the door and on the way to work EARLY, I will pat myself on the back and buy myself an ice cream. 🙂  This is why I am always looking for healthy recipes that can be made ahead so Matt and I can just heat it up and go.  I’ve tried crock pot egg casserole recipes before and while Matt really liked them, I wasn’t a fan of the texture.  Then I found this omelette recipe on Pinterest, and it was delicious!  It takes a little prep time, but I will be thanking myself when I should have left the house 5min ago and still end up with a healthy breakfast on the go!

I made adjustments to the original, so here is what I came up with!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 sweet potato

8 eggs

1/2 finely chopped onion

1/2 finely chopped green pepper

1-2 cups spinach

1-2 tbsp minced garlic

less than 1/3 cup shredded cheese

2 thinly sliced chicken sausage links

Instructions:

Thinly slice the sweet potato and arrange it around the bottom of a pie dish sprayed with olive oil spray.  Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.

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Saute onion, pepper and garlic until lightly browned.  Add spinach and saute until wilted.  Mix together with eggs, cheese and sausage. Pour omelette mixture over the top of the sweet potatoes.

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Bake at 350 for about 40min and voila!

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Homemade Protein Bars

Lately, I have been trying to make protein bars from scratch, instead of buying the pre-packaged kind at the store.  Although I have found a few store bought brands that I love (Zone, Balance, Pure Protein), I figured, if I’m making them at home, I know exactly what’s going into them, and I eliminate most of the sugar and ingredients I can barely understand. 🙂  Obviously it’s a little more work, but I think it’s worth it in the end. I’ve tried many different recipes, but this is the one I’ve been sticking with lately.  I found it on Pinterest, and the original link doesn’t work, but it looks like it came from Runner’s World.  I have adapted the original recipe.

They don’t look too appetizing, but I promise you they are!  I use a 9 x 11 pan and cut into 10 bars.

Protein Bars

Homemade Protein Bars

7 Scoops Vanilla protein powder (or 7 servings, depending on your protein powder)

2 c quick oats (I actually use 1 cup. They are pretty gooey, but it eliminates a few of the extra carbs)

1/4 c mini choc chips ( I tend to go more towards 1/2) 🙂

3 T honey

3 T natural Peanut Butter

1 T Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (optional, can also use chocolate protein powder)

*You can also add in other ingredients, such as dried cranberries, cinnamon chips, chopped nuts, etc.  The original recipe called for 5 T of sliced almonds.  Be creative!

Mix all ingredients together, add water to good consistency and press into a sprayed baking dish. Bake at 350 for approx 5-7 min. ***NOTE: The original recipe called for 15 min.  I like them a little on the gooey side, but 15 min was still waaay too long for me. I only bake them for about 6 min.

 

24 x 24 Leg Burners

If you are ever in the mood to give your workout that little extra “oomph”, try adding these 24 x 24 Leg Burners at the end!  It’s a quick and dirty way to give you legs a little extra attention and can get you one step closer to those Carrie Underwood legs I know we are all dying for (or any SYTYCD fans out there…Um hello, Cat Deely?!).  I add these in after a cardio session, or as part of my circuit training.  Alone it might not seem like much, but if you do them at the end of a workout, without any breaks in between (that’s the key!) then you should feel the burn…don’t worry, you can thank me later. 🙂

24 x 24 Leg Burners