Monthly Archives: June 2014

Our Pre-4th Cookout + Monday Dumbbell/Jump Rope Workout

photo 3-71There isn’t much to say about the rest of the weekend. This is the first weekend in a while that we haven’t had anything to do. I cleaned A LOT and finally got around to baby proofing. Guess who is on the move? Aside from crawling, someone has now learned where her baby monitor is, and how to stand up and clear off a coffee table.

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We went for a long walk Sunday. During the week of July 4th, the county will line the streets with little American flags. What a great idea. The flags were waving proud as we cruised through the neighborhood. photo 1-85

Speaking of the 4th, Flywheel is gearing up big time. Worried about how you will work out before the big cookout? My two favorite workout groups have got you covered:

  • FiA is offering a 5:15/6:15 double down workout on July 4th (and I do mean AM). Choose one or both workouts to go to, followed by coffee.
  • Flywheel has classes all morning (all weekend). In fact, I am teaching the 8:30AM Power Hour. Let’s Ride. ALL tunes will tie into the 4th of July holiday theme (think red, white, blue, America, etc.)

I know that we will need these workouts to get our 4th of July holiday started with a bang. We did our own mini cookout Sunday night for dinner.

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That burger looks to die for right? Would you believe it is a lean turkey burger on a sesame roll, with fresh cut onions, home grown tomatoes, spinach, and a little guacamole? Mind blowing.


We roasted summer squash and zucchini. Slice your veggies. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Put them on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. EASY and healthy.

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Lastly, we grilled corn. This is one of my all-time favorite summer vegetables. Husk corn, drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Use your hands to spread oil mixture. Grill it up! My daughter didn’t really eat the corn, but the cob was a good thing for her to gnaw on since she is teething (she also loves to “explore” her food).

Monday Workout – Tired of using Kettlebells? Me too!

I had every intention of waking up and doing a repeat workout this morning. When I rolled out of bed, I pulled up one of my old kettlebell front porch workouts. As I grabbed my kettlebell, I looked at it, and made the right decision to put it back down. As I’m sure that you have noticed, I have pretty much used a kettlebell in almost every work that I have done over the past couple of weeks. It is great tool, but today I just needed a change up to motive myself.

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Instead of using a kettlebell, I grabbed two 10 pound dumbbells and a jump rope. I also did not intend to work out more than thirty minutes, but in between strength stations, I jumped rope for two minutes. You could easily remove the jump roping to get this workout under 30 minutes.

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Warm up – Jump rope for two minutes. If you are not a fan of jump roping or don’t have a jump rope, you could always jog in place, perform high knees, body weight squats/lunges or jumping jacks. Do something to wake your body up.

Workout – I LOVE the DUFifty circuits now. “DUFifty” is what I use to describe a Jen Duf original workout in which you perform 50 reps of specific exercises over a series of circuits. There are two stations in the workout. Follow the sequence below, starting with Station 1.

Station 1 – Complete the following exercises sequentially. Repeat the circuit three times (30 total reps of each exercise).

  • Walking lunges w/bicep curl x10 each leg – Start standing with feet together, holding dumbbell in each hand by your side. As you step forward to lunge, complete a bicep curl. Step back up to starting position (lowering your dumbbells to your side).

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  • Plank Knee to Elbow x10 each leg – holding a plank, bring your right knee to right elbow. Repeat on opposite side.
  • Burpee Broad Jump x10
  • Dips (off the side of my porch) x 10

JUMP ROPE – 2 minutes OR see warm up above for modifications.

Station 2 – Complete the following exercises sequentially. Repeat the circuit three times (30 total reps of each exercise).

  • Dumbbell stiff legged deadlift w/row x10

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  • Full Sit up x10
  • Squat Jumps w/elevated leg x 10 each leg
  • Decline Pushups x 10

JUMP ROPE – 2 minutes or see warm up above for modifications.

REPEAT Station 1. This time repeat the circuit two times (20 total reps of each exercise).

JUMP ROPE – 2 minutes or see warm up above for modifications.

REPEAT Station 2. This time repeat the circuit two times (20 total reps of each exercise).

Flywheel + Watermelon + Gelato

Friday = Flywheel for me!  My regular time slots on the Charlotte schedule run Friday – Sunday.  After the US advanced to the elimination round of the World Cup, I decided to throw in a few US themed songs and sported my stars and stripes Flywheel tank (see picture below).  Class was full, and the energy was exciting for a 5:30 AM start.   Riders, you will never know how amazing the rush of a full, loud class is.  Don’t be afraid to let us know how you are feeling!

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After work Friday, I swung by the local Farmers Market to pick up fruits and vegetables for the week.  Typically, as I am checking out, I tell the cashier to add a small seedless watermelon to my bill.  That way, I can go pick it up after I load all of my other food.  After dropping my other food off in the car, I turned the corner to pick up my watermelon, and I was completely shocked with how large the “small” was.  We had trouble eating a regular watermelon last week.  I asked the man working the watermelon stand to give me the smallest “small” watermelon he had.

photo 1-84I could barely hold the thing up.  In my mind, I imagined that the watermelon probably weighed as much as my daughter, but it felt heavier because of the awkward way that I had to carry it.   I had to test it.  When I got home, I put it on the scale.  28 pounds!!  WHAT!

photo 2-83I paid $5.99 for a 28 pound watermelon that is larger than a basketball and almost ten pounds heavier than my child.  My husband and I rationalized that it was probably hollow in some areas.  Until I cut it open.

photo 3-68Solid.  The entire watermelon is edible.  We will see what kind of dent we can put in it this weekend before we decide whether or not we will try to use it for a sorbet.  I HATE throwing good food away.

photo 1-83Speaking of sorbet.  We took a family walk Saturday to Park Road Shopping Center to grab a treat from the new gelato stand in the center’s parking lot.  I was all for grabbing some gelato until the woman working the shop told us that the sorbet (peach and strawberry) was made from fresh, locally grown fruits.  Sign me up!

photo 4-49The other flavors were enticing, but we decided to try the locally grown flavors.  I was waiting for a place like this around the Myers Park area.  I will admit, I am not a fan of Yoforia (located in the Selwyn area). It is overpriced, icy frozen yogurt (and a chain).

photo 1-82The vibe of this local stand is too cute.  It has a throwback feel that parallels that of the entire shopping center.  It is super clean and upbeat.  Totally worth checking out if you are in the area. It is kid friendly too!

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We might have given my daughter a little taste.  The sorbet is dairy free.

photo 4-48On our walk to the stand, I did notice that the shopping center has added several outdoor seating areas that are open to the public.  That’s right.  You don’t have to be a restaurant patron.  These comfy seats are open to all.  Grab a coffee or dessert at Suarez and HANG OUT.  I LOVE it!  The overcast day actually turned into a great afternoon.

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Smoothies/Shakes Galore + Another Calorie Scorching Gym Workout!

Wednesday Wrap-Up 

Over the past several weeks, I have been posting a lot about our farmers market splurges. I will admit that we sometimes overdo it. What do I do with the fruit that we don’t think we can eat before it goes bad? We use it to make shakes! Instead of a big bowl of fruit salad as my after-dinner treat last night, I made a fruit smoothie using a hodge-podge of what we had left. You would not believe how easy it is to make. Blend the following ingredients in an old fashioned blender:

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  • 1 banana (this makes it creamy)
  • 4-5 strawberries (you don’t even have to slice them)
  • 4-5 blackberries
  • A handful of blueberries
  • 8 ice cubes
  • Enough skim milk to blend the mixture.

If you do not have enough milk when trying to blend, you will know. Add a little more or in my case, I added a little water. I like my shakes a little icy, so adding water tastes just as good. If we still have fruit leftover, we freeze it. That includes peeled bananas. Frozen fruit works just as good in a future shake, just skip the ice!

Speaking of shakes. After a good strength workout OR as a quick breakfast on the go, I am a big fan of Mypolex Lite chocolate cream shakes. Each mix is separated into its own package, so when I am ready to make my shake, I just have to toss a banana in the blender, top it with a few ice cubes, add my shake mix, top everything with a skim milk/water combo, and blend. We just got an order in last night. Yaay for new baby toys!

Weekly Gym DUFifty workout

Once a week, I like to post a workout that can be done at a gym either before/after work or during my lunch break. That means 30-45 minutes of high intensity total body strength work mixed with short bursts of cardio to really maximize the effectiveness of the time that I have. I am fortunate enough to work in an area where there is a state of the art gym within walking distance to my office (and a YMCA nonetheless).

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Today’s workout took me approximately 40 minutes, and I dogged it. By that, I mean I struggled to finish all reps. Several times during the workout, I stopped to bend over and put my hands on my knees to catch my breath. On a good day, this workout can be done in less time. With that said, it was another DUFifty workout (Jen Dufresne original with total repetitions of separate sets of exercises totaling 50).

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The equipment that you need to complete this workout is listed below:

  • Kettlebell
  • Wall ball
  • 2 Dumbbells
  • Pull up bar or assisted pull up machine

There are four stations to the workout. Complete all reps of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise.

Warm up – Run 400 meters or .25 miles around a track or on a treadmill. Think warm up pace. If you are not a runner or do not have a track or treadmill, try jump roping, jumping jacks, high knees, etc. Two minutes.

Station 1 – Complete each exercise sequentially. Once you have completed one round of each exercise, repeat 2 times. That’s three times total!

  • Wall Balls x 10
  • Kettlebell Tricep Extension x 10
  • Plank Hold Bicep Curl x 10 each arm
  • Explosive Lunges x10 Each Leg

RUN 400 METERS – Around a track or on a treadmill. Again, for all runs, if you are not a runner or do not have a track or treadmill, see the warm up for alternative exercises here.

Station 2 – Complete each exercise sequentially. Once you have completed one round of each exercise, repeat 2 times.

  • Burpee Broad Jump x 10
  • Pull ups x 10 (use assistance or assisted pull up machine if necessary)
  • Kettlebell Swing with Step Out x 10 each side
  • Kettlebell Windmill x 10 each side

RUN 400 METERS – around a track or on a treadmill.

Station 3 – Repeat Station 1 exercises sequentially, this time two times through.

RUN 400 METERS – around a track or on a treadmill.

Station 4 – Repeat Station 2 exercises sequentially, this time two times through.

As with most DUFIfty gym workouts, on top of the great strength work that I got in, I also ran a mile (there is the cardio!). This is a great way to torch some serious calories. Calorie burn from a workout like this will also carry over into the rest of your day.

What Do You Get Out of F3/FiA?

Happy Wednesday! The baby kept the whole house up for several hours last night, but that didn’t stop me from dragging myself out of bed at 4:50AM to arrive promptly at the FiA Metropolitan bootcamp workout this morning. If you haven’t heard, FiA (better known as Females in Action) is expanding BIG time. As part of the growth, the group has rolled out a new website. There is some great information out there, including easy to follow tabs that let you know how to begin interacting with the group through social media and workouts.

Screen Shot 2014-06-25 at 5.06.04 PM I have talked a lot about why I like FiA, and last night when I opened up the new website, I read a blog post on what FiA has meant to another fellow metro member (Guinevere). There aren’t a lot of pretty pictures in the post, but the entire message is totally relatable and very well thought out. How are the relationships formed at FiA any different than those formed at a local boutique fitness studio or at the YMCA? Through this great peer-led organization, leadership skills are being bred in a supportive environment that ultimately carries over to other aspects of our life. Practicing these skills (and getting feedback) will ultimately give one the confidence that he or she needs to speak up and become a leader in other aspects of their lives. Anyone can “Q” (lead) a workout after meeting certain requirements. This is a great opportunity for women. In fact, it has inspired me to consider leading a workout.

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Something about this candid picture screams strength and confidence.

After reading that post, I was excited about the workout this morning. To my surprise, Guinevere was there, along with approximately 15 other women. Today’s workout was a lot less mileage and a lot more core exercises. Just what I needed. We warmed up running four tenths a mile to a parking deck. In between a series of runs up and down the stairs, we completed several of the following exercises:

  • Supermans
  • Bent Knee Hip Raise
  • Planks
  • Side Planks
  • Cheetah Hold
  • Frog Sit ups (holding feet off the ground)
  • Scissor Kicks
  • Single Leg Leg Raise (alternating sides)
  • Reverse Plank

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At the 30 minute mark, we ran to the bottom of a short hill, where we ended with a variation of an AMRAP (As Many Reps as Possible) circuit. Starting at the bottom of the hill do 10 squats. Run to the top of the hill and back to start. Do 15 squats (you can vary the type of squat). Run to the top of the hill and back to start. Now do 20 squats. You get where I am going. Each time you come back down the hill add 5 squats. Keep going until time is called.  This is harder than you think. After several repeats, we ran back to the start parking lot and circled up. Total mileage close to 1.25 miles (my GPS would cut out here and there in the parking deck).

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I want to end this post by saying that waking up early to do something like this is easier than you think if you have the support to be there. Charlotte is a lucky place, because this type of workout group is not common. And it’s not going anywhere. Almost weekly, I see an update about even more expansion. If you have time this week, take a second to read Guinevere’s post on what FiA has meant to her. If you are a FiA veteran think about sharing what it has meant to you. If you have never been to FiA, think about experiencing it.