I Want Pecs

3 Tue, 2011 § 3 Comments

A poster of this hangs in the weight room of our gym.

I sort of want it.

I have wanted to focus on working my chest specifically; & fortunately I have a husband willing to step in as my lifting partner a couple days a week & create really solid workouts for us.  The following are last week’s; if you like feeling worked through your pecs, you’ll enjoy these, especially #2, which was really felt the next day.

#1 Chest_Back (Monday)

Alternate between 1 & 2 each set; as well as 3 & 4 each set — so do 20 DB Press, then 20 Rows, short break, then 20 DB Press, 20 Rows, etc.  Adjust weight according to your own abilities.

  1. DB Press 20 @ 12# x 2, 12 @ 20#, 6 @ 30#
  2. Rows on machine 20 @ bar only x 2, 10 @ 20#, 6 @ 40#
  3. Decline Press 20 @ 35# x 2, 8 @ 55#, 6 @ 65#
  4. Reverse Flies 20 @ 7# each x 2, 8 @ 12#, 6 @ 15#
  5. Incline DB Press 20 @ 10# each, 8 @ 15# each, 6 @ 20# each
  6. Push ups to failure: 21

#2 Chest_Shoulders (Thursday)

  • 3 x super set: Push Ups x 10 @ BW & DB Butterflies x 10 @ 15# each
  • Butterflies (machine) x 8 @ 40#, x 10 @ 40#
  • 3 x super set: Assisted Pull Ups & Dips (40# on machine) 1) x 10 each exercise (rest) then x 8 each (rest) then x 8 each
  • Lying Overhead bars x 10 @ 25# x 2
  • Assisted Windshield Wipers x 8


Are you a woman who likes to work her chest or does it make you nervous?


Turkish Get Ups {Video}

29 Fri, 2011 § 5 Comments

(We’ve been having fun with Dave’s iPhone camera)

Dave recently introduced me to

the Turkish Get Up

with 25# bar

[I also practiced with the 45# bar, which required a bit of grunt — good grunt though.]

I like them!  Core intensive.  Full Body.  Static.

It’s all in form & how you hold your body & use your arm & knee to stabilize as you roll up to sitting, to kneeling, to standing, then reverse the movements.  You could also do these with a kettle bell, but then you lose some of the lateral stabilization the long bar offers.  Keep the bar high & your arm engaged.  *(update) Also, articulate through the spine as you lay back down, really engaging your deep core muscles.  I think about making each vertebrae, especially in my low back, touch the mat as I “roll” back down.

I am just trying to figure out how to work them into workouts.  Any suggestions?

Burpee to Pull Up [Video]

22 Fri, 2011 § 6 Comments

One of my new, favorite moves.

Though the jump gives you some help with the pull up, this is still exhausting.

I like my burpees to be more dynamic than this & have a little more “pop” from the push up into the squat.  I also want to work on jumping from the squat into the pull up more quickly, rather than pausing to establish my footing.  Dave recorded me doing 8 of these after my workout last Sunday, so I am going to blame the lack of “oomph” on fatigue. 😉

Every day we push ourselves we get stronger, right?!

I like to do 3 sets of 10, which is fatiguing.  Even more fatiguing is doing these as intervals like below.

Tuesday Morning HIIT

  • Burpee to Pull Up : 10 sec rest; 30 sec max – 6 rounds = 4 minutes
  • Hamstring Curls on yoga ball: 30 sec; 10 sec “rest” SWITCH TO Ball Pikes: 30 seconds – continue alternating 6 rounds = 3 xs each = 4 minutes
  • Side Lying One-Arm Tricep Press Ups: 20 sec alternating each arm, no rests – 6 rounds = 6 xs each side = 4 minutes
  • Hanging Knee Raises: 20 sec then Mt Climbers: 20 sec (no rests) – 6 rounds = 6 xs each = 4 minutes.

We Enjoy the Silliness

23 Wed, 2011 § 6 Comments

Even with anticipated work stress, you know it’s going to be an ok day when by 8AM you have already cracked up – in a good way.

Dave & I played “Man vs Wild Snow & Traffic” on the bus yesterday.  Actually, Dave played, & I lost it.  I am fairly obsessed with Bear Grylls & “Man vs Wild”.  If you do not know what I am talking about, stop now & go enlighten yourself.  Bear Grills is a bad ass, intelligent – he even usually uses “literally” correctly – & he has an English accent.  😉  Enough said.


It all started because overnight, the snow & ice made the roads in Flagstaff quite “slippy” this morning.  [Bear always says slippy instead of slippery.]  From our seats on the bus, we watched cars slide off the road & instructed each other on “proper technique” for maintaining traction & traversing “slippy” slopes & cautioned how “a good friend, only a few years ago, had lost his footing on a slope much like this & slid all the way to the bottom.  He suffered numerous injuries & barely survived.”  Dave marveled over the “traditions of the locals” & the lengths people are willing to go to attach a pair of sticks to their feet to slide down a hill.  You have to do this all in an English accent or it’s not as funny.  😉  I know; we’re dorks.  I like it this way. I like that we can be silly.  Laughing is the only way to start your day.

Maybe you’re not as amused – though I can’t imagine why not – so here are some workout options I’ve done lately if you’d rather just sweat:

Playground Workout ~ HIIT ~ 4 minutes each exercise = 6 rounds each: 10 seconds rest; 30 seconds max effort

  • Ninja Jump Tucks
  • Chin Ups
  • Surfers
  • One-Arm Side Lying Tricep Press Ups

Balanced ~ full-bodied HIIT ~ 4 minutes each exercise = 6 rounds each: 10 seconds rest; 30 seconds max effort

  • Scorpion Flips 5 – 6 – 6 – 5 – 6 – 6
  • Skater Lunges (L, R) 13 – 14 – 15 – 15 – 15 – 15
  • Pull Ups (rounds 1, 2, 4, 5 pull ups; rounds 3, 6  chin ups) 9 – 7 – 7 – 6 – 9 – 7
  • Mountain Climbers 37 – 36 – 31 – 31 – 32 – 34

Breathing Ladders ~ Remember these?

  • 12# medicine ball swings 1:10:1 = 22:30 minutes


I tried to ride my morning high, but so many things wore me down yesterday.  By the time I got home, I did not want to turn my computer on, leave the house or do anything but sit with Dave & talk, play with Eisley & finally relax.

Just before 6:00 this morning, we saw a huge herd of elk right outside our gym though; so I am optimistic today will be a good day.


How silly can you be with your spouse/partner?

Hold & Explode!

19 Sat, 2011 § 4 Comments

“Get lower!”


“Tight core!”

“Watch your form!”

“Good throw!”

“Keep moving — faster!”

Partner moves are great because you can push each other — plus you always want your part to be over.  This move was no different.  As the sets progressed, we did not want to hold the squat any longer than necessary; as our muscles fatigued, an explosive burpee became nearly impossible.

We liked this so much, we had to share it with you!  Even if other people have done this, I am giving Dave major credit for an awesome move.


Ball Throw Burpees

Allie: begin in squat with legs  at 90*, holding medicine ball in front of chest.

Dave: do a burpee, jumping/returning into a squat position:

[burpee: squat & bring hands to ground – jump feet back into a plank position – do a push up, exploding as you push up, popping into the squat position.]

Allie: throw the ball to Dave as he lands in the squat.

Dave: catch the ball

& stay in squat.

Allie: burpee,

[try to keep your head in line; my form is not great here]

jump back into squat position.

Dave: throw the ball.

Allie: catch the ball.

Continue alternating moves between partners for duration of time or reps.

Your quads will hate love you.

Thursday morning we met a couple people at the gym & did a group workout:

  • 4 rounds: 10 x ball throw burpees each person followed by 15 x these each side
  • 4 rounds of a partner switch up:  one person did 10 x 45* lean-back medicine ball throws while the other person did weighed quick steps as quickly as possible while holding a medicine ball in front of his/her chest
  • 3 rounds: triangle presses [side bend, works obliques] followed by pull ups [I did 5]
  • we finished up with another set of pull ups & Dave’s crazy “windshield wipers” — which is another exercise we should just show you


I hope it was worth the wait, because last night I did not feel like changing  into workout clothes & sweating to burpees, just  to get dressed again.

There was pizza waiting after all!

So we got up bright & early to show you our burpees before hitting the crag in Jack’s [a.k.a. rock climbing in Jack’s Canyon].

Hope you are enjoying an active weekend as well!

Biker Girl

3 Thu, 2011 § 8 Comments

Eisley was having such a difficult time adjusting to me working full time, I decided I needed to find someone to check in on her during the days she is alone.  Rather than having someone simply let her out & give her a little attention, we thought a run a couple times a week would do her good.  She’s big energy in a little package after all.   After taking her for a short evaluation run, our guy from Marathon Dogs said a short run might not be enough & suggested we let him try biking with her.  She has been on a few trails with us while mountain biking, but had never run on leash next to the bike.  After promising he would be very careful & patient with her, I consented.

Yesterday was her first run!  She did great & one of the wonderful things about Marathon Dogs is he sends a follow up email immediately following the run to let us know how it went.  I love this.  He started her off slowly, just walking next to the bike until she was really comfortable with it.  She took to it right away; soon he was pedaling, & she was running!  He was even able to tell me her mileage & preferred & top pace.

She was still as excited & energetic as ever when we got home…so much for an exhausted puppy. 😉  He will be increasing her run time throughout their following sessions.  I hope she is having fun.

[She was not nearly this tuckered out; this old photo makes me anxious for summer & miss climbing in American Fork Canyon in Utah.]

[photo by David Finch]

Because her skin is thin, the harness has a tendency to chafe when she runs.  I need to find an Iggy-specific harness, fully padded on the straps.  Any recommendations?

Eisley got her workout in, so Dave & I decided to do something short before dinner — it was my turn to make it up.  I was not going to share this because I was not thrilled with it, but I am hoping you can help me.  I really like the concept of no rests, alternating between the lower body wall sits & an upper body or core exercise.  However, this was not challenging enough.  Don’t get me wrong — 8 minutes worth of wall sits seriously burned toward the end; the in-between exercises were not hard enough though.

We did 2 sets:

  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Pike Press – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Seated Bicycle – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Hanging Knee Raises – 30 seconds
  • Wall Sit – 60 seconds
  • Tricep exercise – 30 seconds [Dave did Dips; I did Tricep Push Ups]

I like the tricep push ups & hanging knee raises, though I could have gone for 1 minute.  30 seconds just didn’t seem long enough for any of the workouts, so I could increase the time or do a set # of reps rather than a specific time.  I am actually thinking doing each to fatigue would be the way to go.  Thoughts?  Oh, & how can I make the pike press/push ups more challenging?  I switched to one-leg which seemed pretty good.  I realize I could just do a more standard push up, but I like rotating pike presses into my workouts because they work a different aspect of the shoulder.

Since we did not feel worked enough, we finished up with extra sets of these workouts & played around with some others.  Dave likes to make up challenges — & he invented the best tricep partner exercise!  We may have to find a way to record it on video though, rather than try to explain.

Finally it was time for dinner.

Deconstructed Baked Potatoes

I love trying to deconstruct dishes recently — breaking down components to develop & rethink the flavor of each ingredient, like enhancing these simple potatoes with fancy lavender salt.  We also topped the roasted, red potatoes with tempeh [me], real [Dave] bacon, chives & added a big dollop of Greek yogurt.  I was never a huge fan of sour cream on my potatoes, but the yogurt was extremely satisfying & cooling with the potatoes & herbs.

p.s. The first time I tried Fage Greek Yogurt, I accidentally bought 2% rather than non-fat & never looked back.  I already feel guilty having dairy, & since the craving usually only hits every three weeks or so, I make sure it’s worth it. 😉


Your yogurt: is it full fat or fat free?

Do you run or bike with your dog?  Do you have a great, padded harness you can recommend?

Please, help me with this workout!

Waiting on the Shore

1 Tue, 2011 § 5 Comments

My favorite photo from Dave’s trip.

Santa Barbara, CA ~ David Finch

Dave inspires me.  Dave motivates me.

I wanted to work out this morning…but I didn’t want to…& was running out of time anyway.  Even though he took the day off, he offered to drive me to work rather than sleep in.  This gave me a bit more time to fit in a work out — no excuses now, especially after he created this short workout to wake me up too.

Do the following set twice:

  • 2 x Pull Up
  • 2 x Chin Up
  • 2 x Pull Up
  • 2 x Chin Up
  • 10 x Mt. Climbers
  • 10 x Chaturanga Run
  • 10 x Mt. Climbers
  • 10 x Chaturanga Run
  • 25 x Hamstring Curl on yoga ball
  • 10 x Burpees [first set only]
  • 30 X Ball Swings* with 12# medicine ball [second set only]

*like kettlebell swings but with a medicine ball
I completed this in 9:20.  Short & intense.

Cool down consisted of a variation of Sun Salutations through Warrior II, with added tricep push ups before transitioning to downdog; included pigeon pose & ended in Child’s pose.


Dave’s photos make me excited for summer traveling.  Do you have any plans for upcoming trips?

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