Category Archives: Weight lifting

Taste the Rainbow

Mmmm . . . how many colors have I had today?

Lunch was more quesadilla (picture from Wednesday evening):

Red salsa, yellow corn, black beans, green guacamole

And I finally broke out the crock pot!  We had some Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie:

Orange sweet potatoes (which are the best bites!) and green peas!  This is really great!


Wednesday evening I had my personal training session.  The first two had been relatively void of hard cardio, so I knew it was coming.  Yup, she wanted me to finish the round with a running (I mean RUNNING!) 0.25 miles.  I haven’t run in a while, and when she said “Try it at 6.0 mph”, I was a bit anxious.  But as I ran, I realized 6.0 isn’t really that fast.  I wasn’t exactly sprinting.  I couldn’t have completed another 0.25 miles at that pace, but it wasn’t so bad!  GO ME!

After two rounds of lifting/running, she had me do 3 rounds of 15 situps on the incline.  My abs were so tired.  She kept saying “think about the dress; think about the dress”.  Oh yeah!

Eight Questions

Lily tagged in the blogger game of 8 questions (just realized Lily only asked 7 questions, oh well!).  She gives me (and 6 other bloggers) 8 questions, and I, in turn, ask 8 new questions of 7 other bloggers.  Oh boy, here goes!

Here are my questions:

1) What was/is the name of your first pet? Freida, a miniature dachshund

2) What is your favorite form of exercise? dance (although lifting is my favorite “exercise exercise”)

3) Why did you start blogging? I originally started after reading so many blogs and wanted to find some outlet for accountability.

4) What’s your favorite store to shop for clothes? New York and Company

5) Favorite grocery store? Kroger

6) What is your current profession? structural engineer

7) Favorite kind of muffin? double chocolate chip? Not really a muffin coinnoiseur

Now I tag:








Eight Questions:

  1. Salty or Sweet?
  2. What is your favorite movie of all time?
  3. If you could go anywhere in the world (that you haven’t already been) where would you go?
  4. What is your favorite physical or personality trait about yourself?
  5. What is an ideal Saturday night for you?
  6. What is your favorite color to wear?
  7. Cats or dogs?
  8. Name a food/recipe that you recently discovered.


How to Organize a Wedding

Last night I was up until 2am “playing with money” and trying to ensure that I was following my budget to save $$ for the wedding. Then I was up until after 3am freaking out about the wedding, money, picking my clothes that have exploded in the closet, etc.

On the money front, I’m fine.  Really, I just hate not knowing exactly how much this will cost (since we don’t know our menu or our final numbers).

On the wedding front, I think I’m freaking out, because I actually don’t have anything to do.  The big things are booked.  There are tons of things I could be doing.  And then there are tons of things that need to wait until we go to Cincinnati or wait until I have accomplished XYZ, etc.  At tap the other night, I spoke my friend who got married in October.  She recommended doing as much as you can now, so you don’t have to do it last minute.  That is why I am on this crafting kick (plus I love arts & crafts).

Therefore, I made an Excel spreadsheet of everything that needs to be accomplished in the next 7 months, and organized the tasks by when I will/need to do them.  Aren’t I dork?

So not much to do in November, but there are those “ongoing things” that have to be done at some point, right?

Much of my list is based off of the checklist given on The Knot.  Obviously I tweaked some dates for when they are relevant to me.


Of course one major thing NOT on my to-do-list is GETTING IN BRIDAL SHAPE.  That is an ongoing process, perpetuated by my weekly visit with the personal trainer today.  Major move of the day: seated rear deltoid lifts

Holy cow were those hard.  I was only using 8lb dumbbells, and barely made it to 12 reps.

I hope I’m really sore tomorrow!

A Weighty Post

I weighed myself this morning, for the first time in like 2 months.  I have somehow not only maintained a 5 lb weight loss, but I lost an additional 3lbs. WHAT?!  I haven’t been to the gym in over a month? And I’ve been working long hours and not eating very well.  I have two explanations for this:

  1. Maybe I have been eating better than I thought and kept active with the dog.
  2. I have lost muscle mass due to the lack of weight lifting.

I’m inclined to believe the second one.  I don’t feel huge, just jiggly.


Since I have way too many hours from working last week and not much to do this week, I decided to take the morning off and go back to the gym.  Of course I got called in few about an hour to finish something, so my time was cut short. Here’s my quick 30 minute weight lifting routine this morning:

  • Push, press, fly with cables, 12.5lbs per arm (dang that was heavy!), 12X
  • Plank for 1 min (could only make it 45 seconds)
  • Squat, bicep curl, shoulder press, 10 lbs each hand. 12X
  • Airplane with cables, 12.5 lbs per arm, 12X
  • Tricep pull down with rope, 30 lbs, 15X
  • Burpees, 12X
  • Bicycle crunches, 20X each side
  • Leg lifts, 15X
  • Medicine ball crunches, 4k ball, 20X
  • Repeat 1-2 times

I could only do it twice due to my lack of time, and my muscle deterioration.  Dang I’ve lost a lot of strength!  Must get back to the gym!!

And with that we are off on a romantic weekend!  Guess where we’re going!?!  Have a great weekend (especially if it’s 3 days due to Columbus Day).

A Physics Lesson

So after working with Photoshop for about 2 hours (I’ll show my finished product in a minute), I literally had to talk myself into going to the gym.  I had told Matt that we were going, but then I didn’t want to.  I said that motivating sentence “I’ve never regretted going”, and off I went.  And the endorphins at the end were worth it.

Tonight’s Lifting Session:

  • Pull-ups, 90lbs off of weight, 12X
  • Deadlift, 40 lbs, 12X
  • Smith machine squats, 50 lbs, 12X
  • Side planks, 45 seconds each side
  • Push/Pull with cables, 40 lbs, 12X each side
  • Tricep extensions, 30lbs, 12X each arm
  • Front and Lateral raises, 10 lbs, 12X each
  • Seated bicep curls, 12.5 lbs, 12X each side
  • Repeat 3X

Okay to be honest, I got through this twice.  After I did the deadlifts for the third time (after pull ups for the third time), I discovered that my arms were D-E-A-D!!  So I decided to get some good stretching in.

Also, I’m now aware of the fact that I haven’t been lifting on a regular basis.  I did the front and lateral raises with 10 lbs but only 10X the first round.  For the second round, I lowered the weight to 7.5 lbs and completed 12 reps.

After my issues with the raises, I talked to Matt.  I said “Why are they so hard?”, and Matt responded with an obvious physics answer.  See, we’re both physics nerds!  And here’s your lesson for the day:

Moment = Force x Radius

The force is the weight of the dumbbell.  The radius is the distance from your shoulder to the weight.  The moment is the work (FYI mechanical work is force times distance) that your shoulder is doing to raise that dumbbell.  If you do front and lateral raises with a straight arm, the radius is greater and therefore your arm is working harder.  If you do them with a bent arm, that radius is almost halved, therefore your doing half the work.  Adjust your weight lifting according to what you CAN do.  If you need to take it up a notch, straighten that arm.  If it’s too hard, bend it.

What are ways that you make exercises harder or easier?  Do you love physics as much as I do?  Do you think I’m a giant nerd?

Wedding Monograms

So I worked on some wedding monograms tonight to use with some save-the-dates or other things.  What do you think?

I have an opinion, but I’m curious as to what you all might say.

A Plethora of Fruits and Veggies

Ahh, with the horrible heat and the amazing availability of produce (combined with my lack of eating them recently), I woke up this morning with a plan!


Green monster!

Like my pudding maker that doubles as a to-go cup?  Inside it are two cups of spinach, one cup of skim milk, one tablespoon of peanut butter, one banana, and one tablespoon of ground flax.


No picture, but it was a 6″ sweet onion chicken teryaki with onions, green peppers, cucumbers, and lettuce.  I’m sure you know what it looks like.


Slow cooker chicken with chipotle salsa, corn, and black beans.  Garnished with avocado (a necessity!).  Served over brown rice.  Mmmm.


This lifting session almost killed my arms:

  • Push, press, fly with cable, 30lbs, 12X each arm
  • Tricep pull with cable, 30lbs, 12X each arm
  • Axe chop (low to high) with 12lb medicine ball, 12X each side
  • Single leg squats, 12X each leg
  • Push ups (the big girl kind!) 12X
  • Bicep curls with squats, made harder by doing it on an upside down Bosu ball, 12lb weights, 12X
  • Bicycle situps, 12X
  • Burpees, 12X
  • Single arm rows, 30lbs, 12X each arm
  • Repeat 3X

Woo, my arms were pretty tired!  And my legs after those burpees.  Glad our gym has A/C!!  I was rather wet.

Evening Snack:

Strawberries with a sprinkle of sugar.  Rather Patriotic, no?  Red strawberries, white hand, blue bowl!  Oh yeah!

And guess who wanted to cuddle when we got home?

See my sweaty nastiness after the gym?  But she just wanted to cuddle!!  So adorable!

How many colors have you had today?

I guess I’m missing some orange.  Should go eat some baby carrots.

Shape Up the Nation, Round 1

Ahh, yes, Shape Up the Nation Round 1 is now in the books.  How did I do?  Over two weeks (14 days) I:

  • Lost 0.4lbs (yeah, not so great)
  • Exercised 1,070 minutes (76.43 minutes/day)
  • Walked 160,047 steps (11,432 steps/day)

YAY!  How do you like (most of) that?  Yesterday was actually my highest step count day.  I walked April twice (45 minutes and 30 minutes) and walked around the mall for a total of 18,000 steps!!  DANG!  Maybe I was just shaking my booty extra hard . . . :/

What should I do for the next round?  Go for more of course!  Goals for Round 2:

  • Exercise 80 minutes/day
  • Walk 12,000 steps/day
  • Lose . . more than a pound!?!

How do I achieve this?  I will join Matt on Friday morning runs with April.  And volunteer to take her on a weekend day.

And the biggest thing?  EAT BETTER!  I’ve seriously been absotively, posolutely SUCKING at eating well.  Therefore stopped at the grocery (after a gym visit doing this lifting session) and got:

  • Strawberries (they are in season and smell absolutely delicious)
  • Bananas
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chicken breasts
  • Salsa

Trying to start the week on a good note.

Want a picture for the day?  Yesterday Matt and I went shopping.  We both needed new running shoes and, unbeknownst to each other, ended up buying the EXACT same pair of shoes (okay slightly different colors), but the same model:

Isn’t that funny!?!

Buffin Up the Upper Body

Tomorrow (Thursday) is the JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge road race in downtown Boston.  (REMIND ME TO TAKE MY CAMERA!), so tonight I tried to do a lifting session that focused on my upper body more (which I like to do anyway, since I already have some nice lower body muscles):

  • Romanian dead lift, 40lb bar, 12X
  • Assisted pull ups (-100lbs), 12X
  • Assisted dips (-100lbs), 12X
  • Bicep curls, 10lbs, 12X
  • Tricep extensions, 20lb bar, 12X
  • Squats with 40lb bar, 12X
  • Chest press, just the bar, 12X
  • Lunges with 25lb weight, 12X each side
  • Repeat 3X

Yeah, now my hamstrings are super sore from those dead lifts . . .  (well just tight).

Not much else for the day.  Hopefully a nice post for tomorrow after running (walking) 3.5 miles!  I’m excited, because it’s my first race with a chip!

Release the Secret Weapon!

(anyone else picture the mice in “An American Tale?”)

An alternate title for today would be:  how to increase your daily step count!

What is this secret weapon I speak of?  A DOG!!  Yeah, I said it the other day, but she makes me get out there and move.  Have I mentioned that Matt has already lost like 5 pounds due to his morning 3 mile runs with her?  My step totals for Monday and Tuesday were 15,000!!  DANG!  Of course Wednesday, she went to day care, so she came home and slept the entire night.  We had to wake her up for her night time walk. 

**Speaking of dogs, my wonderful friend, Nikki, works in Muncie, Indiana rescuing dogs.  She fosters so many.  This past week, she took in a pitbull, Gracie, who needs lots of care.  She at the brink of starving to death when she was picked up.  If you’d like to help with Gracie’s care, please let me know.  Watch the following video for more information about this terrible tragedy, that is about to be corrected.


Anyway, while April slept, we went to the gym.  I decided to do one my hardest lifting sessions:  KETTLEBELLS!

  • Kettlebell swings, 20lbs, 20X
  • Kettlebell clean & press, 20lbs, 10X each side
  • Lunges with kettlebell, 20lbs, 6X each side
  • Bicep curls, 10lbs, 20X
  • Kettlebell squats (hit ground with kettlebell), 20lbs, 25X
  • Run 5.5mph (1 minute), walk 4mph (1 minute), 3X
  • Back extensions, 10lbs, 12X
  • Side extensions, 10lbs, 12X each side
  • Medicine ball situps, 12X
  • Flutter kicks, 12X
  • Scissor kicks, 12X

Repeat twice.

Now last time I did this, my heart practically beat out of my chest.  This one keeps your heart rate up there!  However, since I’ve been running more recently, I didn’t find it as bad.  Actually, the worst part was that I haven’t been lifting for a while so that 20lb kettlebell was pretty heavy.  I even could have done this a third time, but decided to walk instead.  (My step count for yesterday was only 6200!) 

How do you balance cardio vs. weight training?  I always feel like I’m either concentrating on running, or lifting 3X per week.  There’s not much middle ground.

So I recently found out about some lurkers that have been reading (and actually enjoying!) my blog!  If you’re a lurker, leave a comment!  I’d love to find out who’s out there!

Thanks for that boost of confidence today!  :)

Hot time in the old time tonight!

Holy cow!  It’s like July hot up here in the Northeast!  It was over 90 degrees today! This is not regular Boston weather.

Came home and the heat definitely called for one of these:

Mmmm popsicles!  Complete with lame jokes:  What kind of shoes does a thief wear?  Sneakers!

After a while, we decided to go to the gym where they have air conditioning.  Here’s the lifting for the night:

  • Cable rotation: 30 lbs, 12X
  • Cable chest press: 30 lbs, 12X
  • Tricep pull with rope: 50 lbs, 12X
  • Rope twist for obliques: 50 lbs, 12X
  • Sit ups on stability with medicine ball, 12X
  • Lunges up the ramp with 10lb weights, 10X each leg
  • Squats with medicine ball overhead press, 12X
  • Extend & crunch, 15X
  • 500 m row

Repeat 3X.  I started my 500 m row at a fast pace, but it felt good.  So I kept it up!  GO ME!  500 m in less than 2:30!!

Here comes the rain.  I hear it!  YAY!!  Now the temperature is going down.

Oh yeah, and I just realized that I wore my workout capris backwards today.  Oh well.  Anyway, have a great Wednesday.

Meet my new personal trainer!

She’s 11 yrs old, and just wants me to play with her at lunch time on Wednesdays!!  I went to visit my little sister today and she decided to give me a training session, because she’s sick of me not running around with her in the gym.  Yes, I could use more pep in my step, but to be fair (A) I have never been an “athlete” as in I played sports, but was never great at them and (B) I have these things called boobs that just need more support when running, and thus I can’t run that fast for that long in my work clothes!

Anyway, she does have a great point.  I was in a great habit of going to the gym, but then the PE happened, our cruise, traveling for wedding planning, and, to top it off, our gym membership expired!  Well that was taken care of Monday evening, so I can now hit it up!!

Training for a 3.5 mile Corporate Challenge

Five weeks from tomorrow (Thursday), I’m running in the 3.5 mile JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge in downtown Boston as part of our company’s team.  Mondays we have training runs.  I haven’t been training very hard, but was pretty proud of myself this past Monday.  I ran a mile, walked 2/3 of a mile, then ran a second mile!  WOO HOO!!  We’re not fast, but building up stamina!

To help train myself (and get faster to compete with my 11 year old little sister), I’ve decided to pick up the last few weeks of the Couch to 5K Program.  Tonight was Week 5 Day 1.  I can’t even tell you how much I had to talk myself into going to the gym.  I really wanted to sit at home and play with wedding stuff (AKA not be productive), but I had told multiple people that I was going to the gym.  Plus, as I like to say, “I’ve never REGRETTED going to the gym.”

Workout for Today:

To ease back into the gym and running I did the following weight lifting:

  • Cable rotation, 30 lbs, 12x (2 sets)
  • Cable chest press, 30 lbs, 12x (2 sets)
  • Rope twist on knees, 50 lbs, 15x (2 sets)
  • Tricep pull with rope, 40 lbs, 12x (2 sets)
  • Sit ups on stability ball with medicine ball, 15x
  • Lunges up ramp, 12 lb weights, 10x each leg
  • Squats with medicine ball, 12x
  • Extend and crunch (like boat pose in pilates) 12x

Then C25k W5D1:

  • Jog 5 minutes @5.3mph
  • Walk 3 minutes @3.5mph
  • Jog 5minutes @5.3mph
  • Walk 3 minutes @3.5mph
  • Jog 5 minutes @5.3mph

Was this my best work out ever?  No.  Did it feel great to move and stretch afterwards?  INCREDIBLE!!

Do you love going back to the gym after an absence?  What training programs have you used?

Tomorrow we’re going wedding dressing shopping at Priscilla of Boston.  We’ll see how it goes!?!


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