Category Archives: Workouts

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 35 Weeks

How far along? 35 Weeks

Baby Size: A pineapple

Weight gain: No scale this week or next week due to travel, but at least 32.5.

Maternity clothes? It’s finally been warm enough to wear dresses, so that’s pretty much been my staple.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Normally I workout in the morning, which lulls baby to sleep for a few hours. Yesterday, I didn’t workout until the evening and I could feel him kicking ALL DAY waiting for me to rock him to sleep.

Miss Anything? Breathing. This baby is huge (or so it seems!) and everything is so squished. I am looking forward to breathing air again. A whole lung full!

Movement: He’s so squirmy!

Food cravings: La Croix.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: Breathing. Also, organizing everything for the baby in our new home.

Traveling So Late In Pregnancy

We are finally moving, and we are road tripping out to our new home. This is a two day (/10 day because we want to visit family and friends!) voyage. This can be rough when you’re pregnant, traveling with a pregnant woman, and/or traveling with a toddler.

Thankfully our little guy is overall pretty good on long car rides. We get out and play every few hours, and stop to pee every 20 minutes, so he gets a lot of time to stretch his legs.

As I am getting so close to the end of my pregnancy, my nutrition and fitness both feel extremely important to me. We packed a ton of snacks, including fruit, Quest bars, tons of water, La Croix, and anything we didn’t want to throw out when we packed up our house. I also have my BCAAs, electrolyte water, and protein powder with me. This means pre and post workout, I am well fueled.

I have a tentative plan for when I will do most of my workouts throughout our travel, ensuring I don’t lose much fitness during the move. This is extremely important to me as I near the end of my pregnancy, because I still want to keep up and help out with my toddler as long as possible. I also have the end goal of labor and delivery, and recovery. Working on my fitness, and maintaining decent nutrition, will ideally help me for these upcoming tasks.

One thing I have started doing on driving days, because being in a car, inactive for that long drives me crazy. Each time we stop I do some walking lunges, chase my son, swing him into the air, or do a 1:00 squat challenge. Whatever I can do to get my heart rate up in the short amount of time I have, without disrupting our trip. Otherwise, I make sure to either get up early and workout, or plan for a late workout and stick to it. Getting in activity in the morning, or knowing I will be working out that evening, encourages me to eat well to refuel or to get ready for my workout.

The hotels we have stayed at have weights, but if you are traveling and don’t have weights, try this pregnancy workout:

  • Elevated Push-Ups – 1:00
  • Donkey Kicks – 20 Total
  • Tricep Dips – 1:00
  • Walking Lunges – 20 Total
  • Wall Sit – 1:00

After you warm-up, complete 2-5 rounds of this workout, depending on fitness level. Remember, if you have the green light from your doctor, exercise is great for both you AND baby! You don’t have to do a crazy amount of exercise. Just do something. It is always more beneficial than nothing.

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 30 Weeks

How far along? 30 Weeks

Baby Size: Zucchini.

Weight gain: 25lbs

Maternity clothes? Looking forward to dress weather. For now, enjoying my frumpy maternity jeans (all of my cute maternity jeans ride down a ton).

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: How active baby boy has been and Pat being able to feel all the strong tumbles and jabs.

Miss Anything? Feeling like I actually sleep at night. I toss and turn so much that I feel like I never actually sleep. Pat assures me that I am most definitely going into some deep sleeps though.

Movement: He has been quite rowdy this week with lots of strong jabs coming out of my stomach. His strength over the next 10 weeks should be fun to feel…

Food cravings: Nothing really this week. Mostly just trying to eat every few hours and get in quality protein and vegetables so I’m not getting overly hungry.

Gender: Boy #2!

Looking forward to: We have another ultrasound next week since baby is measuring so big. I’m looking forward to seeing him one more time before the big day!

What’s The Big Deal With Diastasis Recti?

Hopefully, if you are pregnant or have had children, you have heard of diastasis recti. If you have not, here’s the scoop: simply put, diastasis recti is a separation between your right and left rectus abdominis (your abdominal wall) that is more than 2.5 finger widths apart. Roughly one-third of pregnant women have diastasis recti. Some degree of abdominal separation in pregnancy is normal as your uterus grows to accommodate baby.

When you get to that larger gap, referred to as diastasis recti (DR), the uterus, bowels, and other organs no longer have the abdominal wall to hold them in. Instead, there is only a band of connective tissue. This condition can cause lower back pain, pelvic dysfunction (including, but not limited to leaking urine), constipation, and in extreme conditions hernia can occur. DR can often look like a “mommy pooch”. You can work to strengthen the area, thereby decreasing the gap. It’s also important to know the risk factors (beyond pregnancy) that can cause this condition.

Other reasons your abdominal separation from pregnancy may worsen to DR are: having more than one child – especially close in age, carrying a large baby, carrying multiples, and being pregnant over 35 are some risk factors. There are also exercises that can worsen the gap during pregnancy and after baby is born. These include:

  • frontal planks and their variations
  • full burpees
  • crunches and their variations
  • full push-ups
  • Russian twists
  • Any exercise that causes your belly to “cone” or puts pressure on the midline (including leg lifts and v-ups)
  • Lifting weights that cause you to push your belly out

Though this feels like a lot of limitations, there are still plenty of exercises you CAN do during pregnancy to keep your midline safe and continue to strengthen your core for birth and after birth. These include:

  • Elevated planks and their low impact variations (on a counter or wall) until you see coning. If you have any coning in an elevated position, eliminate this exercise from your routine for now.
  • Elevated push-ups (on a counter or wall). If you see coning eliminate these as well until your core is stronger.
  • Side planks and their variations (avoid twisting variations, such as thread through).
  • Seated heel slides (can also be done laying down, postpartum).
  • Standing pelvic tilts (can also be done laying down, postpartum).
  • Heel drops (postpartum).
  • Squat to overhead twist.

Now that you know some basics when it comes to exercises one should avoid in pregnancy and exercises one can perform to help strengthen the transverse abdominis, how do you test for DR? Simply lay on your back with your legs bent so your feet are flat and near your bottom. Tilt your head to look at your pelvis. Place your fingers on the center line running from your belly button. Point your fingers down toward your pelvis as you place them on your midline. This means your fingers will be vertical. Put your fingers next to each other in the midline gap. If you have more than 2 fingers width of gap, this is considered DR.

Try not to panic if you do have DR. You can work with your muscles to decrease the gap and restore proper function. Instead, take the proper precautions during your pregnancy to avoid increasing the gap. Allow your body time to heal postpartum, and slowly incorporate some of the approved exercises above to help activate your transverse abdominis.

Here are some exercises I did after having my son and it helped immensely:

Other great resources on DR:

http://www.thefitmomsplan.com/blog

http://beyondfitmom.com/how-to-heal-your-diastasis-recti/

http://beyondfitmom.com/diastasis-recti-exercises/

http://www.pregnancyexercise.co.nz/does-your-diastasis-need-to-close-for-optimal-function/

 

 

 

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 28 Weeks

How far along? 28 Weeks – Hello 3rd trimster!

Baby Size: An Egglplant

Weight gain: 26lbs. I think some of this is water retention from flying yesterday. I’ll keep an eye this week and see how it goes.

Maternity clothes? Yes. I found some cute skinny jeans so I can feel like a human. Otherwise, workout shorts and tanks for me!

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Having our last flight as a family of 3! It was tiring, so I can only imagine how tiring it will be next year with two!

Miss Anything? I really miss leaning over my son’s crib. I like to be able to lean over and comfort him.

Movement: He’s quite active, especially at night. Dad has been able to feel tons of movement this week.

Food cravings: I have been really into veggie sandwiches this week. Gotta get those vitamins I guess!

Gender: Boy number 2!

Looking forward to: Normal hunger signals. I am back to feeling full until I am famished. There is no in between. I hate that!

Eats & Workouts In Seattle

This past week my husband and I packed up our little guy and headed out to Seattle for a family trip. It was our last flight with an only child and I think that made me a little calmer for all of his shenanigans. Is that weird? We arrived on Thursday late afternoon. Since it was a noon flight, I got up in the morning to get in a run before packing up the car for the airport. I mentioned last week, I will not longer be doing outdoor runs, so I wanted to make sure I got in at least one run before we left in case there were no treadmills at the hotel.

We started the trip off right by grabbing some brunch at Root Down while at the airport. I have been dying to try this place, and it lived up to all the hype. I got eggs benedict on gluten free bread with a side of arugula salad. It was the perfect amount of food and SO good. I made sure to pack snacks, including homemade blueberry muffins, sweet potato pancakes, and Quest bars for the flight. The blueberry muffins came in handy for our little guy. Once we arrived in Seattle, we checked into our hotel then walked to meet a friend for dinner at Searious Pie & Biscuit. I typically eat gluten free for sensitivity reasons. This restaurant didn’t have much in the way of gluten free options so I ordered a salad with prosciutto.

On Friday we all woke up together. I went down to the gym for a quick 20-minute Fitness With Kristen Bathing Suit Challenge workout while the boys had the hotel provided breakfast. I was done in 25 minutes, so I stopped by the breakfast room to grab some fruit. I brought my protein powder with me, as well as my BCAAs. I had my BCAAs during my workout, then had a protein shake + banana 30 minutes after my workout (we were planning on brunch soon thereafter). Once I got back to the room we all went to the pool to splash around a bit before heading to brunch at Portage Bay Café. I cannot say enough good things about this place. I was going to order the hash, but changed my mind last minute for an omelet with crab, avocado, and veggies. The omelet was SO GOOD, but my husband ordered the hash and I was hugely disappointed that I missed out. It had a TON of veggies that were cooked perfectly, some corn beef (you could choose what meat you wanted), topped with two eggs. Thankfully, he couldn’t finish the whole thing, so I got to eat it for leftovers on Sunday. We spent the afternoon being tourists at Pike Place, then had some late appetizers at Local 360, which was decent. They had a lot of gluten free options, but we went at a weird time, so there was not as much to choose from. I ordered chicken wings and mussels. They were no PEI mussels, but the wings were really good. That night for dinner we ordered from a local hole in the wall, where I got a chicken pesto sandwich with tomatoes.

We spent Friday night at our friend’s place, so Saturday I did some MetCons first thing in the morning then we all went for a long walk. We had brunch at Capitol Cider, which was also amazing. I had snacked in the morning, but I was pretty hangry by time we arrived. I ordered beef hash which had kale, sweet potato, and a bunch of other veggies, topped with poached eggs + zucchini bread French toast. I cannot even describe how amazing this was. We went for a lake walk in a park nearby (I have no idea what it was called) then went to a brewery. We picked up lunch from Homegrown on our way there. I ordered a cobb salad and spent a lot of the time chasing our toddler around. That night our friends made dinner and it was unbelievable. It was rice, beans, avocado, cherry tomatoes, salad lettuce, and a sauce called “yummy dressing” which had no dairy or gluten. It was sooooo good and I probably could have eaten 10 bowls.

On Sunday we had a lazy morning, watching TV and hanging out. My breakfast started early with the leftover hash from Friday. Later in the morning our friends made bomb smoothies and I had some apples and peanut butter with my little guy. Once we packed up and left, we went out to West Seattle and I got some gluten free pork tacos from Marination Ma Kai. It was loaded with red cabbage slaw and was delicious. The pork was a little dry for me, but I almost always feel that way about pork, which is why I don’t eat it often. We drove around and explored the area for a while, before heading out to see family. They made us a nutritious homemade dinner of crockpot chicken, salad, rice, sautéed broccoli, and fruit. Even though we had been eating pretty healthy, it was still nice to enjoy a nutritious home cooked meal.

Monday morning we woke up back at a hotel, and went straight to breakfast. I was starving upon waking so I had sausage, eggs, and a gluten free bagel before heading in to do my workout. For my workout on Monday, I grabbed some heavy weights and did the following:

Circuit x3

  • Bosu Squat – 10
  • Bicep Curl – 10
  • Bosu Reverse Lunge – 10 each side
  • Ovehead press – 10

Lateral Raises – 10×3

Superset x3

  • Chest fly – 12
  • Seated 90 degree shoulder raise – 10

Tricep Extensions – 10

Afterward, I refueled with my final serving of protein powder mixed into water. I met the boys at the pool where they had made friends with another child with a football. They were having a great time and it was so fun to watch. We took a ferry over to Bainbridge Island later in the morning. I ordered a bacon & veggie sandwich from Fork and Spoon. It was OK, but definitely the largest gluten free bread I have come across. We also found an awesome gluten free bakery where I got a morning glory muffin, which had shredded carrots and sunflower seeds in it. I snacked on it throughout the afternoon, but it was definitely the most sugary thing I ate all week. We had some fun at the children’s museum, with a brief break to drive around and let the little one sleep. We went out to eat at Razzi’s Pizza where I ordered a side salad with a gluten free gyro pizza. Honestly, neither were great. The gyro meat gave me heartburn.

Tuesday was our last day to gallivant, but we had a very sick toddler in tow by this point. The boys went to breakfast again while I went down for a run. I was going to do 3 miles, but I was so worried about my little guy so I cut it short at 1.5 miles. I went to the breakfast room after where I had a gluten free bagel, eggs, sausage, and a banana. I would prefer some veggies or berries in the morning, but that’s what I had to work with before sugar loaded breakfast foods (cereal, cinnamon rolls, flavored yogurt, etc). We drove around to explore for a while before meeting family at Maggie Bluffs. It was right on the water and had a really fun vibe. I was happy to see they had gluten free options. I ordered a grilled chicken sandwich that came with fresh mozzarella, sweet basil, tomatoes, and a creamy pesto. I ordered a split pea salad with it, but it was too much food so I didn’t get to that. We spent some extra time with family, then hit up Whole Foods for some travel snacks. We picked up Enjoy Life bars, Be Good bars, and some crackers made with almond flour. Dinner that night was at the hotel restaurant during happy hour. I had duck bacon skins and shrimp tacos. I definitely would have enjoyed some more vegetable options on my last day.

We had a blast on our trip, I got to exercise without taking time away from my family, and I enjoyed delicious food without making myself sick or sacrificing my fitness goals. We love to travel and I have no interest in sacrificing my fun for some diet. I also have no interest in sacrificing my health or sanity for travel. The balance took me a long time to find, but I feel confident that baby and I still consumed a lot of nutrients on this trip, and still had a good dose of exercise without sacrificing family time.

Healthy Pregnancy 2 – 19 Weeks

How far along? 19 Weeks

Baby Size: According to “The Bump” baby is the size of a mango.

Weight gain: 8lbs

Maternity clothes? I rocked my belly-band this week, which was cool for a few hours. I just hate not being extremely comfortable, so I think I’m just committed to maternity clothes at this point even though they are kind of big still. I have a really comfortable dress that’s probably my new favorite piece.

Belly Button in or out? Out

Best moment this week: Teaching our son where “baby” is (he points to my stomach). It’s adorable.

Miss Anything? Fitting into clothes (maternity or not – I hate

Movement: Still flutters and looking forward to stronger movement.

Food cravings: I really wanted a juicy nectarine this week.

Gender: We find out today! I will post on the blog next week, but I will likely update on Instagram and Facebook over the weekend.

Looking forward to: Seeing how baby is doing in there!

Exercises I Did In My First Pregnancy That I Will Not Be Engaging In At This Point In This Pregnancy

With my son I did a lot of exercises that were not risky for me or my son, but that did put a lot of unnecessary pressure on my midline and pelvic floor. This time I plan to avoid many of those exercises in the interest of helping to keep both my midline and pelvic floor as strong as possible. Pregnancy already does a number on both of these as pressure gets put on them. There is no reason for me to make the damage any worse!

Burpees –This was an exercise that I thought was avoided due to discomfort. I never felt discomfort doing this exercise so I would always do a modified out and in burpee. The problem with that is it puts extra pressure on the midline, causing a higher likelihood of abdominal separation to become Diastasis Recti. Though abdominal separation is to be expected in pregnancy (your growing belly is pushing against your abdominal wall) there seems to be no reason for me to make it worse. Once I hit my second trimester I began modifying my burpee by doing them against and elevated surface. I will use my stairs or the back of my couch, jump out and back in as my burpee. Now that my belly is getting bigger I will soon modify further performing the burpee by doing a squat with my arms overhead, coming out of the squat and leaning into an elevated surface (like a couch), and doing a push up off the couch. This keeps out the impact, and protects my midline.

 Push-Ups – Speaking of push-ups, this was another exercise I did pretty late into pregnancy last time. Even though I modified by going doing to my knees, I was still putting a lot of pressure on my midline. I have already begun to modify push-ups by only doing them against an elevated surface. A bench is too low for my and still requires a lot of core engagement/pressure. Instead, I use the back of my couch or the 3rd/4th stair on our staircase. As I get bigger I will progress to simply doing these against a wall.

Jumping Motions (i.e. squat jump, lunge jump, mountain climbers, etc) – In my first pregnancy I know I jump roped occasionally, but many other jumping motions I stayed away from mostly for fear of falling. This time, I would like to keep a strong pelvic floor, and since I will run through as much of pregnancy as my body will allow (which does put extra pressure on the pelvis) I want to be kind to my pelvic floor in other ways. I stopped any high impact movements, except for burpees, as soon as I found out I was pregnant. It felt really uncomfortable on my ligaments, and I don’t want to spend my whole life peeing my pants. For our Fitness With Kristen workouts, I simply modify all jumping motions with the low impact version. Instead of squat jumps, I usually do weighted sumo squats. In place of lunge jumps, I usually do static lunges.

Sprints – While I did occasionally do running sprints in my first pregnancy (with OK from my Dr) I usually stuck to the row machine for speed bursts. This time, I definitely will not be doing running sprints. I remember how much pressure I felt afterward on my pelvis, and realize this time it is not worth it. With burst training, the idea is to really push your comfort zone and push your heart rate. Since this is something my body is used to, my Dr was comfortable with this, knowing that our body will only do what it can do. That being said, I still don’t give burst training 100% at this point, in the interest of not letting my heart rate get TOO high. Each Dr I have seen recommends that I be able to keep a conversation during my workouts. So I can do a short tough burst, but only if there is time implemented to recover. This time around, when my group members have been doing sprints, I have been mostly just doing a longer run, but sometimes I will do Kettlebell swings. This still works my whole body, but I have more control over my heart rate.

What CAN You Do While Pregnant?

Most low impact exercises are fine, as compound movements (think a lunge with a bicep curl). If you have been doing these moves, it’s not that you are necessarily putting your baby at risk, so much as you are risking the well being of your post partum body. Talk to your doctor about how vigorous your activity can be because it truly depends on your fitness level before pregnancy, and what your body is handling during pregnancy. Below are a few workouts you can try, one for each trimester of pregnancy.

First Trimester – Since most people are just sick during this trimester and fighting to function, a lot of rest is recommended. Work on some movements to maintain your fitness, while resting as needed. Pushing yourself too hard during the first trimester can cause more sickness. I have found that doing some kind of workout usually helped with my nausea.

After a warm-up, perform each exercise with at least 60 seconds between sets (take more time if needed). Once you have completed all sets of one exercise, progress to the next exercise.

  • Front Squat – 10×3
  • Thrusters – 10×2
  • Lateral Raise – 12×4
  • Kettlebell Swings – 15×3

Second Trimester – As energy levels increase in the second trimester, this is the perfect time to work on your fitness and safely elevated your heart rate, with doctor’s approval. This is also the time to begin protecting your midline by taking out any crunching type exercises. You can do the bridge off of a chair for an extra challenge, and if being on your back constricts your breathing (this is recommended by 20 weeks). Remember that working out in pregnancy is more about remaining fit that it is about pushing boundaries. It is OK to pace yourself as needed during this workout.

After a warm-up, perform 40 seconds of exercise with 15 seconds rest before moving on to the next exercise. Perform in a circuit format for 20 minutes.

  • Side Plank Knee To Elbow (40 seconds each side)
  • Elevated Push-up
  • Dumbbell Thrusters
  • Split Squat/Curl (40 seconds each side)
  • Bridge/Tricep Extension

Third Trimester – As the end of pregnancy progresses, your balance is thrown and your strength may begin to decrease. Accommodate accordingly. These moves are intended to help keep you strong enough, with the endurance needed, to get through labor. Having endurance through your whole body (this means your arms, for holding on, not just your legs) will help you get through labor, and ideally have a quicker recovery. For the overhead squats, it is important to keep the weight light enough to accommodate the change in your center of gravity.

After a warm-up, perform each exercise with 60 seconds rest between sets. Once you have completed all sets of one exercise, move on to the next exercise.

  • Overhead Squats – 10×3
  • Deadlifts – 12×3
  • Squat/Press – 10×4
  • Bent Over Row – 10×3
  • Reverse Lunge/Bicep Curl – 12×4

Leg Exercises For Runners

Here’s the deal: when you are a runner, it is important that you keep your whole body strong. You need a strong core to run. You need strong legs to run. You also need strong arms to run, especially longer races. While tallying up the miles is certainly important as you work toward running longer distances, strength training is also important. You need to strength train for injury prevention. You also need to strength train to become a better runner.

You may know most of the basic leg exercises to try: squats, lunges, deadlifts, etc. In this post I will share some of my favorite leg exercises, many of which you may already know. I will also share an example workout with these exercises, as well as a workout from my PR Half Marathon Training Plan. If you are getting ready for a race, in the winter or spring, I encourage you to look into this training plan.

Some of these exercises I will go over may be difficult if you are already in the height of training, especially if you have never done them before. If you find some of these exercises are too high impact with the mileage you are running right now, try incorporating them during your “off” season so that you can strengthen your legs and increase your speed.

Leg Exercises

Kettlebell Lunge – You can do these walking, or alternating. Use a kettlebell (or dumbbell) and pass the weight from your right arm under your left leg while you are in a lunge. Return to your starting position then pass from your left arm through your right leg. Always be sure to pass from opposite arm through opposite leg. I like these because you need to use different stabilizers to complete this motion than you would for a regular lunge.

Overhead Walking Lunges – Again, you can do these alternating or even as static lunges. I love overhead lunges because it puts weight right through the center of your body, keeping your core strong and strengthening your quads. You may feel this in your glutes too, but I love the focus on my center of gravity for this exercise. You can use a barbell, body bar, or plate for these.

Split Squats – I love these! These are one of those love to hate them moves for me. They burn so good. I love these because again, you need to keep your core strong throughout this movement, and it really helps you to isolate one leg at a time, ensuring that your stronger side does not overcompensate for your weaker side. This movement also uses different stabilizers than a lunge or squat will.

Kettlebell Squat – For this one I like to go a little heavier than I would for a kettlebell swing or lunge. The center of gravity of the kettlebell is why I like this exercise so much, but you can always use a dumbbell for this exercise as well. Stand in a squat position, feet hip width, and point your toes out slightly. The slight outward pointing of the toes will help target your inner thighs. Hold the kettlebell and let it drop straight between your legs as you keep your core tight and hips back like you’re sitting over a public toilet.

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Wall Ball/Medicine Ball Toss – These are great for total body and for getting your heart rate up. These will not only strengthen your legs, but will help with your fast twitch muscles, which are important for sprinting (think to the finish line). You want to make sure this is as explosive of a movement as you can make it. Use your legs to explode up and do most of the work. They should propel the rest of your body so it barely feels like your arms are doing much to throw the ball. If you have a wall to squat and throw a medicine ball up against, use it. Otherwise, you can do as I do in the video and just toss it in the air and catch it.

 

Jump Ups – These are a little different from a box jump in that you want to keep your jumps low and quick. These are intended to get your heart rate up, work on your fast twitch muscles, and add endurance to your legs.

Squat Jump/Lunge Jump – I am grouping these two together because the concept is similar. The jumping motion is again designed to work those fast twitch muscles and to help build endurance in your legs. Obviously running is going to be the best thing you can do to build endurance in your legs, but adding these explosive movements will help you become a stronger runner. You can pace these or do them as fast as you can for a short amount of time. I usually go for the latter, working on going until I am about to break form, pushing past discomfort.  This has really helped to strengthen my legs and improved my paces.

Workouts

Here is a workout from my PR Half Marathon Training Plan incorporating a couple of these exercises:

Warm-up: 100 jump rope

Superset 1×3

  • Curtsey Lunge with bar on back – 20
  • Lunge Jumps – 1:00

Superset 2×4

  • Deadlift, 5
  • Jumprope – 100

Superset 3×3

  • Barbell back squats , 15
  • Squat jumps – 1:00

Hip Thrusters with Barbell x3

Here are TWO workouts incorporating some of these moves, to strengthen your running. Remember, if you are already in the height of race training, you may wait until you are between races if these are a higher intensity than what you are used to. Be sure you warm-up before your workout and stretch afterward.

WORKOUT 1

Complete 2-5 rounds depending on your fitness level. Adjust reps as needed until you can work up to these reps.

  • Walking Kettlebell Lunge – 20
  • Squat Jump – 1:00 (work as fast as you can within the minute, resting as needed. Work away from pacing yourself on this)
  • Split Squat – 10 each side
  • Medicine Ball Toss – 1:00
  • Overhead Walking Lunge – 14

WORKOUT 2

Set a timer for 10 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible:

  • Lunge Jump – 10 (total)
  • Kettlebell Squat – 20
  • Medicine Ball Toss – 10
  • Jump Ups – 20

Keep in mind, you do not always have to do circuits to get in a good workout. I like circuits for efficiency (they take less time) and because they work my lungs more than any other workout I do. Let me know if you try any of these workouts!

Upcoming Goals

It has been a super busy weekend of getting settled, birthday festivities, and fan girling. Pat and I spent all day Saturday unpacking the last few boxes we had left and setting up the garage – mostly my workout section. We worked hard all day so we could play all day Sunday, which is exactly what we did. I started the day off with my 30th birthday workout, which I will share below. After that, we headed down to Denver to enjoy brunch at Snooze, which was amazing. They had cream cheese hollandaise, which is life changing. I had an eggs benedict variation with salmon, capers, and gluten free toast, with a side of hash browns. After my workout I probably could have eaten 5 more eggs! We spent the rest of the day at a street fair and hanging out on our back deck chatting. Yesterday, I got to meet Juli Bauer from Paleomg and it was so fun! Pat set up a coffee meeting for us and we got to chat and I picked her brain a little bit about her business. I tried not to be a totally crazy fan, and I think I was pretty collected for most of our time together. She really was just as fun and nice in person as she is on her blog and social media.

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Of course, turning 30 got me thinking about future goals I have: for my family, my fitness, and my business. I am so proud that my fitness is far superior to where it was even three years ago, meaning age is just a number. I know so many people get caught up in their age and use it as an excuse, but it is not a great excuse. The older I get, the more important I feel it is to take care of myself. I find it important to eat healthy and make sure I am eating enough, because I want to have the energy to be around for my husband and my son. I want to be able to keep up with my family!

As far as my business, I want to continue focusing on helping people gain confidence and strength. With my online community, we have a program and support forum designed specifically for fat loss and strength, including added core strength. Through that, I want people to gain the confidence to try things they have never been brave enough to try before. We have members who began playing hockey after a few months in the community. Other members have signed up to run races. Still others are literally gaining the confidence to invest in professional and fashionable clothing outside of leggings (no judgement here – I live in yoga pants). I hope to continue to grow our community in such a way that lifts these members up and boost their confidence while continuing to offer the resources and tools they need to be successful long term.

I have completely overhauled how I work with my online clients, and they seem to be extremely pleased with that. There is a lot more interaction and dialogue, and it is helping me to make a program that is more suitable for them. We have found a way to work toward their goals, stay in communication, and keep things fresh. I want to continue making this as easy to follow as possible while helping clients get the results they need.

Finally, for Fitness With Kristen, I want to put together some more at home programs like I have with my PR Half Marathon Training Plan and Lean Body e-book. My goal is to get an understanding of what people need, and put together comprehensive resources so that people can meet their goals!

Moving on to my fitness goals. Now that I have checked a marathon off of my list, I want to train for a triathlon sometime in the next five years. I realize that seems like a lofty amount of time, but when I train, I train 100% and I am unsure when we will have the time for that type of dedication any time soon. I also want to sign-up for a few races in the next few months, just to experience the excitement of running and racing again. I really love to run, but it is lowest priority when I don’t have a plan in place. From November through May I ran my little heart out getting ready to train, then training for my half marathon and marathon. Getting a few short races on the books will help me prioritize my running better. I also want to try Crossfit again! I have been to a few classes, but if I ever have time I would love to get into a class once per week or so to supplement the workouts I am doing at home. I just genuinely do not feel like I have time to dedicate one hour to a class, plus the time to shower and be a respectable human afterward.

unnamed-1Overall, in the next few years, I want to grow my fitness, family, and business. I want to grow my business in a way that is helpful for others, not just profitable for me. I want to empower others to be the best version of themselves, and I want to continue to push my own limits to find out how strong I really am!

Here is my 30-year-old celebration workout, including the weights I used:

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2 rounds for time

  • 30 Barbell Thrusters (just bar)
  • 30 Air Squats
  • 30 Burpees
  • 30 Kettlebell Swings (25lb KB)
  • 30 (total) Overhead Walking Lunges (25lb plate)

Finished in 20:37. Let me know if you try this workout!

Wedding Weekend + My Workouts

This weekend was so much stinkin’ fun! My husband and I flew out to Virginia for a friend’s wedding. Originally our son was supposed to come with us, but after our travel before and during our move, we knew he needed to be in a stable environment. We got on the horn with Grandma and begged her to help us out. After tons of arm twisting (because no Grandma wants to spend time with their grandkid) she obliged and flew out to spend a week with out little guy. Please note the sarcasm. She has loved every second of it.

unnamed-4ANYWAY, this friend is one of our friends from when we lived in North Carolina. Our group of friends from there are a tight knit group and we all absolutely loved being together there, and getting to see each other out here at the wedding. Everyone has mostly dispersed from that area, so it was amazing for us to all get together!

Pat and I woke up early on Thursday morning to catch our flight. I packed some egg casserole, Kodiak pancakes, an Ezekial English muffin, a banana, and tons of Dayquil because I was sick. Perfect timing. I chugged two bottles of water on the way to the airport in hopes of being somewhat hydrated. Flying kidless meant actually sleeping on the plane, which I forgot was a possibility. Our flight arrived around 1:30 but we still had about four hours of driving ahead of us. Once we got to the hotel I basically threw my bags into the room and ran down to the gym so I could get my blood flowing. Pat had his distance learning class and some work to do anyway, so I had to get out of his hair. Here is what I did for workouts while we were here:unnamed-1

  • Thursday – 1 mile slow run to warm-up
    •  5 progression sprints (each sprint was faster than the last) 30 seconds sprint, 1:00 rest)
    • FWK Bonus Core workout for September

I finished all of this in about 35-40 minutes.

  • Friday – FWK Circuit
  • Saturday – The treadmill was occupied and there was a storm outside so I did:
    • Burpees – 10 rounds of 30 seconds work, 30 seconds rest
    • Abs – 3 rounds 30 seconds Russian Twists, 30 seconds reach to feet in air.
  • Sunday – Leisurely bike about 2 miles.
  • Monday – FWK workout and short run.

As you may recall from past posts and from this post, I don’t spend a ton of time working out. I like to keep my workouts (bar running) under 30 minutes. I have only been running up to four miles lately, so even with running everything has remained under that one hour mark. Since I got to travel alone with my husband this weekend, I did not want to waste any precious time on our trip! We were able to spend some quality time together (mostly consisting of me staying up until 1:30 AM reading a book, then describing the entire book in detail to Pat the next day – talk about partying!), and I was able to get quite a bit of work done. Further, we had a lot of friends to catch up with, and a 10:30 AM wedding to hit up!

unnamed-6I didn’t photograph any of my food, but I mostly focused on nutrients when I ate. I looked for anything that offered fruits and vegetables, followed by anything that offered protein. I had an amazing mini gluten free muffin at the wedding, which I am pretty sure was coffee chocolate, but I have no actual idea. At brunch yesterday I had a frittata with veggies and some sausage. It was delicious, amazing, and chock full of nutrients. I also enjoyed some pizza, mimosas, a healthy amount of sushi, and multiple gallons of coffee. I never ate enough to feel sick or bloated, and I never felt guilty after. I do work really hard to eat energizing food even when I travel, because I work hard at home to be fit and healthy. I also want to be balanced, so when I have a chance for a mimosa and pizza, I am going to ENJOY it. I do not find overeating enjoyable so I usually try to take my time and stop when I no longer feel hungry. This is a tough balance, and I had to be VERY conscious about this in order to make it a habit. It is a habit now though, and I rarely actually think about it. I just stop eating when I am no longer hungry. I know I have mentioned this before, and I know it feels vague and frustrating if you are not there yet. I encourage you to be conscious of your eating. Be conscious of stopping when you are no longer hungry. Be conscious of the feelings you associate with food and work toward not feeling guilty after you eat. Even if you think you ate something “bad”. Guilt usually leads to the “f its”. The “f it, I already ate pizza so I might as well have ice cream” mentality. It does no good, so be conscious of it and work away from it. You can do that!

A Day Of Eating + 3 Workouts

This was our first week back in a normal routine. That meant getting to workout on a somewhat normal schedule, and cooking at home. I have made some of my favorites, including breakfast casserole, roasted brussel sprouts, vitamin loaf, mustard chicken, and carrot fries. I even made a meal plan on Sunday, writing down what I planned to eat and what I really ate. I mostly stuck to my plan and my energy is through the roof. Our son is also happy to be in a stable environment. He has been eating us out of house and home again, and is sleeping so much better. My husband has started his classes and we are figuring out a schedule. Being back in a stable environment and comfortably moved in has helped with sleep and being able to give my best effort in my workouts.

unnamedI tell you all this to share a day of what I have eaten back in my stable environment, and a few workouts for you to try. I will put that carrot fries at the bottom of the post because they are super simple and my little guy eats a TON of them!

A Day Of Eating

On Tuesday I rolled out of bed and went for a run. It is hit or miss if I eat before a short run. I would prefer to because honestly, my energy is better for my run when I do. Sometimes I am too impatient to wait for my food to digest though. I did not eat before this run. I did a very slow 3-miles (elevation is no joke!).

Breakfast – ¼ pizza frittata + 2 Zodiak cakes

LunchVitamin Loaf + Brussel Sprouts + Roasted potatoes

Afternoon Snack – Orange + Nonfat plain Greek yogurt with quarter scoop cookies and cream protein powder

DinnerTurkey Burgers + carrot fries + Brussel sprouts

I usually have one more snack in there, but I had breakfast later in the day and did not feel hungry after dinner. I am a big fan of just listening to my body. It is not always that simple, but I consciously focused on listening to my hunger signals for years, and now I don’t have to really think about it anymore. Also, you can see that I am obsessed with brussel sprouts.

This first workout I did on Wednesday night because I had so much built up frustration. Our son spent the whole day crying, from 11:30 AM until 5:30 PM. He took a brief break for about an hour to nap. He wasn’t hungry, no teething, he was just tired and moody. It happens, he’s a kid. It doesn’t make me any less frazzled. Different people deal with frustration in different ways. I have always been someone whose emotions play out physically. When I was younger I would throw things when I was upset, or scream. Obviously, as I got older I found more productive ways to deal with anxiety and frustrations. I tell you all of this to tell you that this workout was so fast and brutal that all the wrecked nerves I had from listening to my son cry for six hours without being able to console him disappeared.

unnamed10 Minute AMRAP

  • 10 burpees over kettlebell
  • 20 kettlebell swings

I did this as a stand-alone workout because I had already worked out Wednesday morning and I don’t usually double up. As I mentioned though, I needed to get rid of my excess energy. I warmed up with 20 kettlbell swings.

This next workout is one of our Fitness With Kristen member workouts. If you have been wondering what kind of workouts we do, now you know and can join this amazing group!

Set a timer for 20 minutes and complete as many rounds as possible. Push hard until you need a break. Rest until you can push again.

  • Push-Ups – 1:00
  • Chest Press/Bridge – 12
  • Step-Ups OR Jumps – 1:00
  • Curl/Press – 12
  • Weighted Squats – 20

The final workout is one of my favorite workouts from my PR Half Marathon Training Plan. It is a hard leg workout, which is necessary for keeping your legs strong to get through race day.

Warm-up: 100 jump rope

Superset 1×3

  • Curtsey Lunge with bar on back – 20
  • Lunge Jumps – 1:00

Superset 2×4

  • Deadlift, 5
  • Jumprope – 100

Superset 3×3

  • Barbell back squats , 15
  • Squat jumps – 1:00

Hip Thrusters with Barbell 10×3

Carrot Fries

unnamed-1Cut carrots up into matchsticks. Toss in bowl with olive oil and garlic salt. Spread on flat baking sheet. Bake on 350. Set timer for 20 minutes. Continue for 5 minutes at a time until carrots are soft like fries.

5 Workouts While You Travel

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We are knee deep in a move over here, which means no weights – they have been packed and moved already. We will be traveling before we arrive to our final destination and I still plan to workout. Since so many people travel a ton in the summer, or move, I wanted to share five fat-burning workouts that you can do with no equipment (spoiler alert – you will need to find a track for one workout). I have linked videos for exercises that I have videos for in order to take some of the guess work out of what each exercise is! So whether you are moving, traveling, or just trying to shake up your workout routine, try one or all of these workouts. Let me know if you try them!
20 minute timer. Push yourself and take breaks as needed.
  • Squats -20
  • Plank – 1:00
  • Push-ups – 20
  • Burpees – 1:00
  • Leg lifts – 20
Track Workout – 5 Rounds For Time
Walking lunges – 100M
Squat jump – 100M
Sprint – 200M
Walk 100M
21-18-15-12-9-6 for time
Push-ups
Burpee Jacks
Tricep dips
1:00 each for 2-5 rounds. Push as hard as you can, resting when needed.
Bridge March
20 minutes, as many rounds as possible. No pacing, rest as needed.
Scissor crunch 1:00
Reverse lunge/knee drive – 15 each side
Side plank Dip – 10 each side

8 Advanced Exercises To Spice Up Your Routine

DSC_0072A lot of my blog tends to be tips and exercises for beginning your fitness and health journey. Beginning or restarting your fitness journey can be overwhelming and I want to have resources for that. Today though, I want to share some advanced core movements. Women who are in their second or third trimester of pregnancy, or still have abdominal separation after pregnancy should not attempt these exercises. These exercises are designed for those who already have a strong core and are looking to step it up a notch. Also, bear in mind that these exercises alone will not give you that six-pack look. You need to combine these with proper nutrition, proper fat burning exercises, hydration, etc. Here are my top eight advanced abdominal exercises to really kick your core strength up to the next level!

  1. V-Ups – Lay on a mat and extend your arms above your head and legs out. Fold your body in half keeping your arms and legs as straight as possible. Extend everything back out slowly without letting your feet or hands touch the ground. This exercise will help engage those lower abs.

  1. Swissball Pass – Once you have the V-Ups down, add in the Swissball for an added challenge. Gripping the ball with your feet fold your body in half, ensuring your shoulders come off the ground, grab the ball and extend back out without letting your feet touch the ground.

  1. Swissball Plank Roll – Get into a plank on the edge of the Swissball. Once you are stabilized, roll the ball in very controlled movements forward and backward while keeping your hips stable.

  1. Elevated Plank/Knee Drive – Get into a high plank with your legs on an elevated, stable surface (a chair, bench, or stair). Draw your knee at night degrees toward the outside of your elbow, back to the beginning, into the middle of your arms, back to the middle, then finally across your body to the opposite elbow. Repeat with your other leg.

  1. Burpee Circle – Begin in a standing position. Bring your hands on the ground by your feet, and jump your feet out into a plank. Jump them back to the middle using your lower abs to draw your hips up. Jump your legs back out to the side, then back to the middle.

  1. Windshield Wipers – Laying on your back and draw your legs up at a 90 degree angle. Slowly drop your legs to one side, using your obliques to control them. Before your legs touch the ground, bring them back up and toward the other side.

  1. Extended Kettlebell Crunch – On your back, hold the handle of the kettlebell with the weight of the kettlebell toward your head. Draw your arms toward your knees, while drawing your knees to your chest. Extend everything out straight without letting your legs touch the ground. Be sure your shoulders are coming off of the ground for this exercise.

  1. Banded Crunch – Wrap a resistance band around a stable surface. Laying on a mat, extend your arms straight in front of your face keeping the band tight. Crunch toward the middle, back onto the mat, over toward your side, back to the mat, then back to the other side. Be sure to engage your core and not your neck when performing this exercise.