12 Days of Christmas Circuit

In the holiday spirit, today in my circuit class I made a 12 days of Christmas Circuit. I ran through it twice.
Happy Sweating!

12 Push Ups

11 Weighted Reverse Lunges

10 Squat Jacks

9 Reverse Crunch
  • Bring legs down within 6 inches of the floor between crunches
Ball Tuck
8 Push Up & Ball Tuck 

7 Deadlift, Row, Overhead Press

6 Ski Hop laps
  • 1 lap counts as about 8 hops down and 8 hops back
5 Push Up Burpees

4 Box Jumps

3 Push Up, Row, Squat Thrust, Curl

2 Side Planks
  • 1 minute on right side
  • 1 minute on left side
1 Plank
  • Hold for 1 minute on elbows



Today I feel like Jillian Michaels.
No wussy workout for me today.
This is what my work out looks like:


I'm getting in my cardio first, so I can get it over with. I'm planning on doing a 5k on New Year's Eve, so I'm running 3.1 miles on this lovely cold December morning..inside. I'm not a huge fan of the treadmill, but I'm going to do it because it's better than losing an ear to frostbite.

Always, always, always run on some kind of an incline when you're on the I do it at a 0.5% incline. I heard once that running on a treadmill with no incline is equivalent to running downhill.

Also, I'm doing intervals today because it makes running on a treadmill just a little bit more interesting (and you burn way more calories). I'm starting off with a jog at 6.4 mph for 5 minutes, then working up to 6.6 mph as my jog speed. My intervals = 6.6 mph for 2 minutes and 7.5 mph for 1 minute. Repeat this until your 5k is finally over.

Fellow trainer, Kim, & I after 5K Turkey Trot
On a personal note, "I" believe that running over 6 miles at a time is absolute body abuse. For me, that is the case. But my heart goes out to all of those survivors running in those marathons, triathalons or dare I say it...iron mans. It takes serious mental courage to put yourself through that kind of endurance training. I once ran in the Virginia 10 Miler ...and thought I was going to die before, during, and after the run (note: the race was in Lynchburg, aka the city of 7 hills). If you're doing that kind of training, my hat goes off to you.
Personally, I learned to love competing in 5ks. It keeps me in shape, the company is always great, and I feel delightful before, during, and after.


This, I believe, is my favorite part of working out. It allows you to be creative and really see what your body can do. I always design my strength training program in a circuit style...not much of a break in between exercises and I always do 2 to 3 sets and I do as many reps as I can in about 1 or 2 minutes. This is what's on the menu..
Push Up
Jump feet in

Stand up & Jump straight up

Bridge w/ Tri Extension

The Clam


BOSU Squat Jumps


Lunge & Curl
Repeat on opposite side

C-Sit Row

Can Opener
Bring arms back and repeat on other side

 Good luck, guys! Comment if you have any questions

Washboard Abs Circuit

A good circuit if you're looking for some nice abs to go with those snowpants
...these exercises are also good for overall toning.

perform each exercise for 1 whole breaks!

1. Plank Touches
- Hold yourself up in an upwards plank - like the starting position of a push up
- When your minute starts, I want you to bring your left knee up and touch the inside of your foot with your right hand.  Get back to the starting position and do the same with the other side.
- Keep going back and forth for 1 minute!

2. Head Swirls
- Hold a weight in your hands. I used a kettlebell, you can hold a plate weight or dumbbell.
- Stand in a stable stance and hold weight overhead.
- Swirl around head (make sure you have a good grip)
- After 30 seconds, rotate weight around head in the opposite direction.

3. Pushup Jacks
- Get in an upward push up position
- As your upper body lowers towards the ground, quickly spread your feet outwards
- When you come up again, bring feet back together
- Repeat this for 1 minute!
4. Side Plank
- Lie on side and come up on your elbow which should be right below your shoulder
- Your body should be in a straight line, feet stacked (if you can't do that, staggered step is fine, too)
- After 30 seconds, switch onto other side

5. Knee Ups
- Lie on back and hold weight over your head...weight not touching the ground
- Legs should be straight out and feet should be a few inches off the ground
- Bring one knee towards your chest and bring weight from overhead to your knee
- Return to starting position and bring other knee towards chest and bring weight to that knee
- Repeat for 1 minute!

6. Pulse Ups
- Lie with hands underneath your tailbone and have legs raised and pointed straight up toward the ceiling
- Pull your navel inward, and flex your glutes as you lift your hips a few inches off the floor and then lower
- Repeat for 1 minute!

7.  Two-Point Bridge
- Get up into pushup postion...except elbows down.
- Lift your right arm and your left leg off the floor at the same time. Hold for 3 - 5 seconds
- Return to starting position, then repeat, lifting your left arm and right leg this time
- Go back and forth for 1 minute!

8. Figure 8 in a Squat
- Stand in a squat position
- Hold weight in your hand (kettlebell is best, but can also use weighted plate and dumbbell)
- Weave weight in and out of of legs in a figure 8 position

Repeat circuit until you tire!!
Good luck!


Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

For years I have been after a cookie recipe that was delicious and saved me a few calories. I experimented with substituting the butter with applesauce or yogurt and even Splenda, but nothing tasted as good as a real indulgent chocolate chip cookie. By modifying a few key ingredients, I finally did it.

What I did...

1) I used whipped butter because it was all I had in the fridge. Whipped butter naturally has less fat and calories per tablespoon because it has air whipped into it. It might work just as well to just use less real butter, but it works with the whipped and I know I'm saving us some calories and fat, so I'm not messing with it.

2) I only used one egg. The consistency of the dough is dry, but it comes out of the oven in one piece, so one egg does the trick just fine.

3) I used less sugar. I think most recipes call for 3/4 cup of each white and brown sugar, but I cut it down just a bit. Enough where it cuts out some calories, but doesn't make the cookies taste any less sweet.

4) I used white whole wheat flour. What an awesome ingredient! I have used whole wheat flour in recipes and it just tastes too....wheaty. Almost like cardboard and the consistency is way too heavy. I have even used half white and half wheat flour, but it still does not taste as good as a real cookie. What I did was use the white whole wheat flour and less of it. I think regular recipes call for 2 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour. So what you get with my recipe is healthier cookies and less calories from flour.

Here are the ingredients:

3/4 cup whipped butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (Mexican vanilla extract is what I use)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup white wheat flour
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

How to make it:

1) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
1) Now, I want you to melt the butter in the microwave or by stovetop just enough so that it can mix with the sugars. Add in the sugars, vanilla extract, and egg. Mix all of these ingredients together.
2) Next, in a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Sift slowly into the wet mixture. You will definitely notice that the dough is dry as you mix it in. Here's the fun (and necessary part)...wash your hands, and get in there. Mixing it with your hands somehow does a better job than a spoon, especially with this tough dough.
3) Go ahead and add in the chocolate chips and walnuts. I recommend mixing it with your hands again.
4) Again, the dough is going to be dry, so you're going to have to roll it in your hands and shape it into a ball about an inch wide. Drop them down on an ungreased cookie sheet.
5) Now, what I do is I make about 5 to 10 cookies, then freeze the rest. To make it easy, I take out some Saran wrap and drop the dough down on it. Roll it into logs and put it in a freezer bag. So whenever you want to practice portion control, cut a out a sliver and eat just one.