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Thursday, October 3, 2013:


Another HIIT day, with my trainer, which was nice. Not too bad really, as I usually loathe HIIT training.


Circuit - 45 Seconds for each exercise, rest 15 seconds between, 3 rounds


1. High Knees

2. Plank Hand Taps

3. Jumping Jacks

4. Ice Skaters

5. Jump Rope

6. Burpee to Rotational Box Jump (18" box)

7. Rowboaters

8. Staggered Pushups w/ Stacked Feet


Not a bad workout today. The Rowboaters, and burpees were a bitch since my abs were so sore/fatigued from yesterday. Really looking forward to resting tomorrow, and then getting in some weight training on Saturday. Hitting up Native Foods tomorrow night for dinner - they have new menu items here! Anyone a fan of Native Foods?

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Saturday, October 5, 2013:


Full Body Weights Day:


1. BB Bench - 4 x 12 @ 135lbs

2. Single Arm Row - 4 x 12 @ 55lbs

3. Overhead Press - 4 x 12 @ 55lbs


4. Squat - 3 x 12 @ 225lbs (need to increase my squat weight)

5. Wide Leg Deadlift - 3 x 12 @ 90lbs


6. Assisted Pullups - 3 x 12 @ 45lbs assistance (supinated grip/close grip/supinated grip)

7. Decline BB Bench - 3 x 12 @ 135lbs

8. DB Curls - 3 x 12 @ 30/25/25lbs (arms were taxed after the pullups)


Felt pretty good today, but a little nagging pain on my right rotator cuff. After seeing a post about upright rows agitating this area, I have all but abandoned that exercise. Maybe I should reconsider, but use much lighter weight, in order to build up strength in that area.


I liked getting back into weights today after doing a bunch of HIIT this week, but honestly, I feel like I should change things up short term and focus more on HIIT. I just felt tighter, and more lean this week, than ever before. Definitely need more of this.


Came home from the gym and had a bean trio curry for lunch.


Big cold front coming in tonight. Hope my little dog fares well, as that usually affects her epilepsy.

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Monday, October 7, 2013:


Only had about 20 minutes to get a workout in today, but I wanted to play around with my suspension straps, so I did a few things in quick succession. Basically, a three round circuit of the following with no rest between rounds.


1. Pushups - 3 x 12

2. Tricep Extension - 3 x 12

3. Rows - 3 x 12

4. Bicep Curl - 3 x 12

5. Row to Extension - 3 x 12


I have to say, these straps are awesome! Even after only a few minutes, I felt really pumped. I need to find a resources for exercises on these things so I can maximize the benefit of ownership.


Also, I was reading on another member's posts about the 80/10/10 diet. He is ripped(!), and that is where I want to be. I realized that I was never really interested in "getting big," but more interested in remaining compact, yet solid. Plus, I just bought a new suit that is tiny, so I can't go about gaining a bunch of bulky mass.


Anyone have any experience with 80/10/10? I'd love some pointers.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2013:


Trained with trainer today, which was nice. A combination of HIIT and strength training was in order:


1. Squat to Calf Raise - 2 x 15 @ 110lbs

2. Stability Ball Chest Pullover - 2 x 15 @ 55lbs

3. Standing Bicycle Crunch - 2 x 60 seconds


4. Stability Ball Chest Press - 2 x 12 @ 110lbs

5. Overhead Medicine Ball Bunny Hop on Ladder - 2 x 60 seconds

6. Wall Sit with Plate Rotation - 2 x 60 seconds


7. Lat Pulldown - 2 x 12 @ 140lbs

8. Dips - 2 x 20

9. Laying Toe Touch - 2 x 60 seconds


10. Ladder Shuffle - 1 x 60 seconds

11. Reverse Lunge to Curl & Press - 2 x 12 @ 25lbs*

12. Standing Lat Press Down - 1 x 12 @ 60lbs


This was a solid workout, even though we ran out of time at the end. I really enjoy combining strength and HIIT exercises in succession. I'll continue this at home as well. Nearing the end of my training journey with my trainer. I have to say it was one of the better investments I've made. At worst, I have learned a ton of new exercises; so many that I could keep it interesting each time I train for months on end.


Came home and had some vegan beans/sausage/barley.


FYI - Trader Joe's has pre-cooked bulgur, barley, and farro in small packages - it's only pre-boiled, contains only the grains, and takes only 10 minutes to cook. Sweet!

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Didn't get to train today, as my landlord called last minute and said they were stopping by with an appraiser to try to lower the interest rate on their mortgage. Had to do some on-the-spot cleaning. Could have denied them entry for 24 hours (under the Chicago Residential Landlord Tenant Ordinance), but that would have screwed up my day tomorrow. No worries though, I'll still get in at least four days of training this week. Still, annoyed by the interruption of life related things.



Kept calories low-ish today since I wasn't training. Well, at least I didn't have any garbage food.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013:


Worked with my trainer again today. Did some lower body/core focused HIIT stuff, as follows:


1. Side Lunge with Rotation - 2 x 12 @ 25lbs*

2. Oblique Bridge to Opposite Oblique Crunch - 2 x 12

3. Stair Sprints - 2 x 3 full flights in 60 seconds - trainer said that most people only get 2 flights

4. Single Leg Step Up to Knee Drive w/ Medicine Ball - 2 x 12 @ 12lbs

5. Criss Cross Legs to Leg Raise to Thrust - 2 x 12 (if you're curious, I can explain)

6. Squat Jacks - 2 x 60 seconds

7. Burpee to Tuck Jump - 2 x 60 seconds (these are brutal)

8. Weighted Back Extension - 2 x 12 @ 35lbs

9. Fast Feet to Burpee - 2 x 60 seconds

10. Fireman Leap to Reverse High Knees - 2 x 60 seconds


- 2 minute rest between rounds -


Felt pretty good after this, but also pretty beat. The back extensions were killer, and I know I will be feeling those in my hamstrings tomorrow! Actually enjoyed doing a lot of HIIT training this week. Again, I feel tighter, and lighter than ever before. Also, reached back down to my lowest weight after going up six pounds from my birthday weekend. Started taking a probiotic to aid digestion, though I haven't noticed any benefit. Came home and had what I planned to have for lunch, for dinner. Here's a pic. This is a really simple recipe:


1. 1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed

2. 1 small to medium zucchini, chopped

3. 1/3 cup barley, cooked

4. 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

5. 3 shakes each of: garlic powder; basil; oregano

6. 1-2 oz sriracha


Directions: Combine, microwave for about a minute, consume.


Hope you guys have a great Friday!


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Saturday, October 12, 2013:


Full body strength training day. Got into the gym later than usual, but still managed to knock out some decent sets...


1. DB Bench Press - 3 x 12 @ 130lbs

2. Single Arm Row - 3 x 12 @ 60lbs

3. DB Chest Pullover - 3 x 12 @ 60lbs


4. Squat - 3 x 12 @ 225lbs

5. Single Leg Deadlift - 3 x 12 @ 45lbs (these are great!)


6. Assisted Pullup - 3 x 12 @ 45lbs assistance (could have had less, but knew I needed energy for later)

7. Decline BB Bench - 3 x 12 @ 135lbs

8. Standing Arnold Press (a/k/a the Ego Destroyer) - 3 x 12 @ 60lbs


Felt pretty good today. It was nice to get a good pump at the end of the week, and before our party tomorrow. Here's to hoping I don't dive into the Halloween Oreos before the end of tonight! Came home and had what I planned for yesterday's lunch.


Bean Bulgur Chutney:

1. Kidney Beans

2. Garbanzo Beans

3. Green Beans

4. Bulgur

5. Tamari

6. Sriracha

7. Trader Joe's Mango Ginger Chutney

Nutrition: 346 calories, 22g protein, 46g carb, 3.5g fat.


Have a good weekend everyone!


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love the food pics, makes me hungry


Thanks, man, for the comment - and for reading! I should have snapped some pics of our spread for the party we threw on Sunday afternoon. Everything was 100% vegan, and only two vegans (my wife, and I) in attendance. The best part was that everyone loved what we made, and nobody asked whether it was vegan, much less complained of any "wierd flavors" haha.


Gained a few pounds of water weight since the party - all of the deliciously salty snacks - so looking forward to burning that off this week with training!

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no worries i love seeing everyones food pics here as im not very adventurous in cooking lol im sure youll sweat the salt out in no time!


Really? I thought I was the boring one, pretty much eating only beans, lentils (also beans), green beans (notice a theme here?), apples, and oatmeal!


I've managed to live in a pattern of fluctuating between 161 - 167 over the past few months. I love craft beer, which is next to impossible for me to give up, and allow myself a cheat meal once per week (which sometimes stretches to brunch the next day), and end up gaining a few pounds overnight. Then, by the end of the following week, I'm back to where I was. Essentially, I maintain, yet make little progress. It's actually pretty annoying, given how careful I am diet-wise during the week. My body fat % has been stagnant as well, never going below 18% - which is driving me insane.


Not sure if I should eat more (less hasn't really been working, other than to drop pounds), or exercise more/less. I usually do about 4 sessions per week (4-5hours total per week), and consume between 1600 - 2000 cals per day (5'7", 161-167lbs). Any tips?

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013:


Worked with the trainer today, which was great given that I drank beer, and ate cookies all weekend. I needed a tough session to get me back on track - and this was no exception:


1. PlyoPushup on Tiered Box - 4 x 16

2. Squat Jumps - 4 x 60 seconds


3. Bent Over BB Row - 4 x 15/12/12/12 @ 115lbs

4. Sprints - 4 x 60 seconds


5. BB Squat/Flip/Press - 4 x 15 @ 90lbs

6. Triple Shuffle to Weighted Punch - 4 x 60 seconds @7.5lbs*


Sweat out a TON of beer, and salt I took in over the weekend. Came home and had a huge salad with garbanzos, beluga lentils, and red quinoa. I'm thinking I'll sleep pretty well tonight. Sorry for no pic on the salad - I ate it all by the time I got to this part of the post. Back tomorrow!

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Wednesday, October 16, 2013:


Core + HIIT Day


Repeat Twice, Rest 2 minutes between rounds:

1. Jump Rope - 2 minutes

2. TRX Pike x 20

3. TRX Oblique Thrusters x 20 each side

4. Jump Rope - 2 minutes

5. TRX Knee Drivers x 20

6. Side Plank with Oblique Crunch x 20 each side

7. Jump Rope - 2 minutes

8. Alternating Toe Touch V-Ups x 20 each leg

9. Reverse Crunch x 15


Did a circuit even though as I was starting I really didn't feel like training at all... I hate training once it gets past 6:00pm, especially since it is now dark out by 7:00. But anyway, I went ahead and got one in which wasn't too bad - such a drama queen! Hopefully it was worthwhile. Took a couple progress pics afterward which I have included below. Sorry for the blurryness - I was totally winded, and flexing when I took the pics. Would REALLY like to see some of that lingering belly fat go away, and not quite sure how to take care of it - other than to tighten up my diet over the weekends.


Hint: I would love some suggestions from those reading this...


Had a big salad for dinner again, which filled me up perfectly. Back in action tomorrow for leg day!




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Thursday, October 17, 2013:


Leg Day!


Worked with the trainer and did some solid leg work, as follows:


1. Single Leg Press on Decline Machine - 3 x 70lbs each leg

2. Stability Ball Bridge to Hamstring Curl - 3 x 15


3. Squats - 3 x 12 @ 225lbs

4. Single Leg Deadlift - 3 x 12 @ 45lbs each leg - trainer thought I could only muster 20lbs, HA!


5. Piledriver Squats on Box - 3 x 12 @ 75lbs

6. Single Leg Long Jump - 3 x 12 each leg


The long jumps were brutal, especially after all the other work. It was nice to catch a break from all the HIIT work I've been doing lately, but I certainly wish to return as I saw some pretty decent progress over the week. Looking forward to resting for a couple days, and will probably get in on Sunday - or maybe Saturday unless I'm too hungover


Had another huge salad for dinner - red leaf lettuce, garbanzo beans, beluga lentils, bulgur, asian peanut dressing.

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Saturday, October 19, 2013:


TRX Day!


Didn't feel like hanging out with all of those knuckleheads at the gym, so I got in a quick set here at home; all on TRX.


1. Chest Press - 3 x 15

2. Chest Pullover - 3 x 15

- Jump Rope 1 Minute x 3 -

3. Supinated Row - 3 x 15

4. Y Delt Fly - 3 x 15

- Jump Rope 1 Minute x 3 -

5. Supinated Curl - 3 x 15

6. Tricep Extension - 3 x 15

7. Chest Fly - 3 x 15

8. Reach and Row - 3 x 15


Not a lot of time today as we have company in town. Managed to get this out of the way, which makes me happy I'm not wasting a day. Had some pain in my left lower trapezius; did some tennis ball massage today, and felt better - even better after training. Here's what I had for lunch:


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food looking great again! i really need to put some effort into my cooking, i normally just go for quantity over quality lol is TRX one of those cable sled type machines where you can do all kinds of exercises with your bodyweight?


Thanks man, this was a really simple recipe - basically just beans, bulgur, some curry sauce from Trader Joe's, uh, squash(?), sriracha, dill, and some chutney also from Trader Joe's.


The TRX are the suspension trainer bands that you can hang from a bar, or other kind of support (trees, etc.) that allow bodyweight training. They are actually pretty sweet. However, the brand name TRX bands are kind of expensive ($200) with all the bells and whistles. I found some on Amazon for just over $50, but they don't include all of the extra crap that I probably wouldn't use anyhow. The ones I use are called Freestyle Trainer. I think they were developed for people into gymnastics and ring training. Here's the website: http://www.ringtraining.com/. These are great if you're looking for some at home training w/o weights, or want to do some full body exercise with b/w resistance. Plus, they are effortless as far as changing positions goes. No need for any accompanying videos, or training guides, as there are a ton of resources online for exercises online (youtube, etc.).


If you're bored with your gear at home, I would highly recommend. They are pretty fun!


I'm still too paranoid to eat quantity-wise. If I gain a pound or two I tend to freak out. I suppose it might be necessary though, given I am trying to trade fat for muscle.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013:


Worked with the trainer today, and did some interesting stuff. He had this card game set up, with dice - apparently called the "Wildcard Workout." Basically, you roll the dice, and that goes to which exercise you do, and then you draw a card, and that tells you how many reps, or how long you perform each exercise. In all, it was fun, and on one such occasion, I ended up doing three straight minutes of mountain climbers. So, not really a walk in the park.


What sucks is that I've noticed this nagging pain in my left shoulder (teres minor/major, and infraspinatus fascia area, for the anatomy geeks). It's not a sharp pain, but sort of feels like I've pulled on my arm a little, away from my body. I really notice it when I run, and my left foot hits the floor. Anyhow, I've been foam rolling it, and using a tennis ball to loosen up the area. I hope it just goes away. I would really hate to have surgery, or some crap like that - man that would just piss me off something awful.


Here's what I had for dinner! Big salad with lentils, romaine, squash, and some dressing I made up on the fly (basically oil free), oh and some green onions, which I love. Also had a small serving of left over soup from Sunday; with a TON of Sriracha. Man, I love that stuff.


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Wednesday, October 23, 2013:


Core Day!


I came home later than usual, and found that my wife's T25 DVD's had arrived. T25 is Shaun T's "newest workout craze only 25 minutes five days per week to get SHREDDED!!!" It was much later than I usually work out, and I didn't feel like writing a routine, nor did I feel like doing the same old shit I always do - so I though, what the hell, and gave it a shot. Luckily there were two core focused workouts in the package. Thus, this isn't a review of the entire DVD box set, or even a review at all, but I'll give my thoughts on the DVD I did.


It was basically three or four exercises, done a couple times over, with a bit of cardio stuff in between. The focus was mainly on the upper and lower abs, and all but ignored obliques. Mostly, I was doing leg raises and toe touches. There was about a minute or two focused on the "rear core muscles" a/k/a a reverse crunch, which surprised me a little. Honestly though, it wasn't that difficult. However, I did break a pretty good sweat, but maybe that was because it's f-ing freezing outside and I had the heat turned up pretty good. Either way, I'm sure I burned at least a few hundred calories.


Oh yeah, I also did the following after the 25 minute DVD:


1. Stability Ball Pike x 12

2. Hanging Knee Raise x 12

3. Stability Ball Crunch x 50

4. Flutter Kicks x 15

5. Weighted Crunch x 15

6. Side Plank w. Knee Drivers x 15*

7. Stability Ball Crunch x 50

8. Stability Ball Knee Drivers x 15

9. Curls with this resistance band I found laying around - I know, not core related 2 x 30


Had a HUGE salad for dinner, but was so hungry I destroyed it before I could get a picture. Left arm still feels funky, am thinking I pinched a nerve or something like that. I have sort of this tingling "cold" feeling running down my bicep. Really wish this would go away.


Back tomorrow with the trainer.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013:


Total Body Day!


Worked with the trainer today, and did a pretty solid workout, consisting of:


1. Pushup & Roll (pushup w/ hand on medicine ball, roll between hands each pushup) x 25

2. Pushup w/ Feet on Medicine Ball x 25

3. Supinated Row on TRX x 25

4. Pushup & Roll (pushup w/ hand on medicine ball, roll between hands each pushup) x 25

5. Pushup w/ Feet on Medicine Ball x 25

6. Supinated Row on TRX x 25

7. Squat Jump x 25

8. Box Jump x 25

9. Hi Plank x 60 seconds

10. Lo Plank x 60 Seconds

11. Burpee w/ Medicine Ball Slam x 25 @ 15lbs

12. Dips x 25

13. Burpee w/ Medicine Ball Slam x 25 @ 15lbs

14. Dips x 25

16. Assisted Pullups x 50 (50lbs assistance)

17. Bulgarian Split Squat x 25 each leg

18. Pushups with Feet on Medicine Ball x 25

19. Box Jumps x 25

20. Hi Plank x 120 seconds


Did this basically as a single circuit, with random rest periods in between; no longer than a minute though each time, total of 4. The pullups were a real bitch. Not sure those ever get easier. Also, the medicine ball slams, with all of that cardio, were pretty tough as well. It's interesting how disjointed my workouts have been lately. I am seeing results though: lost four pounds this week, and dropped 1% body fat - awesome!


Here's what I had for dinner - another big salad.


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Saturday, October 26, 2013:


MEGA DAY (death metal voice) (a/k/a Strength + Power Day)


1. Bench Press - 4 x 12 @ 145lbs

2. Chest Pullover - 4 x 12 @ 55lbs

3. Burpees - 4 x 15 @ BW


4. Piledriver Squat - 3 x 15 @ 70lbs

5. Single Leg Deadlift - 3 x 12 @ 45lbs

6. Box Jumps - 3 x 12 on 24" box


7. Assisted Pullup - 3 x 12 @ 40lbs assist

8. Decline Bench - 3 x 12 @ 135lbs

9. Supinated Hypertrophy Curls - 3 x 20 @ 40lbs


This felt great today! Really liked doing strength exercise followed by power stuff. I can't believe I even did box jumps on my own, with no provocation, as I typically hate those more than most other exercises. Goal today is to drink a TON of water since I'll be indulging in some beers tonight at this Halloween Party. My costume is "Drowned Sailor," which goes along with my wife's "Sea Siren" costume; she drew me out to sea and I drowned. Found an authentic US Navy uniform, which fits like a glove, and makes me look ripped - which is awesome. Anyhow, came home from the gym and had a red pear, and a nice bean salad I made up quickly. I LOVE BEANS!


Have a good weekend everyone!


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Tuesday, October 29, 2013:


Upper Body + HIIT Day.


Worked with the trainer tonight, and did some new and old upper body work I haven't done in a while. Consider the following:


1. Incline Bench Press - 3 x 12 @ 125lbs

2. Raised Plank with Single Arm Row - 3 x 12 @ 35lbs (these were crazy, and tough)

3. Bar Stepovers - 3 x 60seconds (basically, you stand on one side of a bar that's just below waist height, and step over it, repeat)


4. Slider Pushups - 3 x 10 (each arm) (with a furniture slider under one hand, and both hands on foor, perform a pushup with the planted hand, while sliding the "slider" hand out in front of you; hard to explain, harder to complete)

5. Lunge+Curl+Press - 3 x 12*

6. W Runs on the Ladder - 3 x 60 seconds


7. Situp + Twist and Punch - 3 x 12* (Perform a situp, at top position, twist trunk and punch a stability ball next to you)

8. Box Dance - 3 x 60 seconds (up, up, down, down, repeat)

9. Plate Raise - 3 x 12 @ 35lbs (raise the plate from your waist, up over your head)


Badass workout tonight. Felt really great to get back into it after taking a couple days off. I think I was getting depressed without my pump (and the resultant endorphin rush). Came home and made a wholly awesome salad, with romaine, split peas, zucchini, and carrots (pic below).


I'm really going to start getting into animal rights activism. I came across this Mercy for Animals video today depicting treatment of little piglets at a commercial factory farm, supported by WalMart (my most hated corporate entity of all time). It was absolutely horrendous. These piglets have their tails, and testicles, cut off without any anaesthesia. They scream in agony as they are left to suffer with open wounds. The video showed factory workers slamming these baby pigs on the floor, and leaving them at their feet while they endured seizures prior to a horrible death. WHO THE FUCK ARE THESE PEOPLE!?!?! How could anyone do such a thing and live with themselves? If I ever encountered such activity, I would slit the throat of that worker without any feeling whatsoever. Actually no, I would enjoy it, and would feel confident that I made the world a better place.


I'm not crazy, but I am passionate.


Look at my salad!


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Wednesday, October 30, 2013:


LEG DAY (death metal voice)


0. Jump Rope - 2 minutes

1. Front Squat - 2 x 12 @ 70lbs

2. Squat Jacks - 2 x 60 seconds

3. Angle Lunge - 2 x 12 @ 50lbs

4. Burpee w/ Tuck Jump - 2 x 15

5. Side Lunge - 2 x 12 @ 70lbs

6. Football Shuffle - 2 x (30 sec) + Buttkicks (30 sec)

7. Bulgarian Split Squat - 2 x 12 @ 50lbs*

8. Stability Ball Bridge - 2 x 20


Ahh leg day. I probably should have done three sets of each, but I was feeling tired, and definitely had not eaten enough today. I did have a vegan banh mi sammich for lunch, which was pretty good. Kind of another shit day at the office. Been feeling really down lately, as nothing is happening at work (literally, nothing), and wondering where I am going to end up after this job (which is decidedly temporary). Would really like to have something long term, very long term. Also considering more education (MBA), to add to the law degree; but it is very expensive, as was the J.D. Not sure if that's the right move or not, even though the timing may be right.


Tonight's Tunes:


It's a shame these guys turned out to be such tremendous douchebags.

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Thursday, October 31, 2013:


Core Day


Got a quick set in this morning with my wife. We both had the day off, which was cool as that never happens during the week. Here's what went down:


Core Circuit (repeat twice, resting 90 seconds between rounds)


1. Jump Rope x 60 seconds

2. SitUp Vup x 20

3. Side Plank w/ Rotation x 15*

4. Buttkicks x 30 seconds & High Knees x 30 seconds

5. Stability Ball Pike x 12

6. Side Plank w/ Oblique Crunch

7. Jump Rope x 60 seconds

8. Stability Ball Weighted Crunch x 50 @ 10lbs

9. Windshield Wipers x 12 / Reverse Crunch x 15


Glutes and hip flexors are really screaming after Tuesday's, and yesterday's training. Made a big salad after training, with some purple kale which was awesome! Feeling strong!


See you Saturday!


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