Thursday, January 27, 2011

Whipping into shape

As the one month wedding anniversary rapidly approaches and I reflect on my new life in Paris (i.e. re-reading my blog recipes) I realize that I have prolonged the inevitable for long enough.  It is time to get myself whipped back into shape.  I didn't spend all of that time and effort in the gym before the wedding to stand out as the chubby girl among all of the little thin Frenchies (don't even get me started on the sales women, "So what, you are at least a medium?" Why, yes, I am an American, thanks for clarifying).  Since I don't plan on taking up smoking or an eating disorder anytime soon, I decided it was time for an exercise game plan.   

Luckily, I had a fabulous trainer in Birmingham that whipped me into shape for the wedding and she was nice enough to write the workouts down for me.  It is honestly SUCH an easy way to get in shape and gain muscle tone, so I thought I would share it with anyone else who may also be looking to get into shape.   This is called "interval training" - you get your heart rate up for short spurts of time mixed with strength training over 45 minutes to an hour period.  I did this with my trainer for an hour twice a week and tried to do other cardio (running, elliptical, fast walking etc...) at least 2 or 3 of the other days in the week.  My goal is to exercise 5 days a week (the word goal is key here).

The best part about the interval training is that you can do it at home.  All you need are two 5 pound weights and a mat... or a towel... whatever you have.  Do each workout at least once a week, I usually aim to do it 3 times a week.

Circuit 1 (Day 1) 
5 Minutes of cardio (if you are at a gym, you can just jump on any cardio machines for 5 minutes. I usually run or do the elliptical).  If you are at home, run up and down stairs, do jumping jacks, do mountain climbers, knee raises etc... anything to keep your heart rate up for 5 minutes. I like to pick 5 different exercises and do them for a minute each when at home so I don't get bored. 

Next, do each of these exercises for 1 minutes each (I use my iphone to time myself).

Shoulder press (Stand with feet shoulder width apart with 5 pound weight in each hand, press together above your head and bring back down to shoulder level, repeat)
Squats (with weights in hands)
Jumping Jacks
Bicep curls
Pushups (this is the killer!! I do lady style and am still dying after 1 minute)
Jumping Jacks
Jane Fondas - Inner thigh (both legs, 1 minute each - see the video)

Jane Fondas- Outer thigh (both legs, 1 minute each. This is the typical leg lift exercise. Continue to lie on your side with both legs together and raise the outer leg and lower it back down; repeat).
Crunches (mix it up from standard to side crunches)
Plank (dread this one....hold steady for 1 minute)

Example of plank
5 minutes of cardio
Repeat circuit 2 more times

Circuit 2 (Day 2)
5 minutes of cardio. Next, do each exercise for 1 minute.
Dumbell press lying down (press dumbells together over head and repeat)
Dumbell rows (lower weight and then lift, repeat - see picture)

Bicycle crunches (hard one!)

Sumo squats (holding weights - see picture)
Sumo squats
Reverse curnches (lay on the ground and lift pelvis and then lower; repeat).
Sidebends (hold one weight in each hand with hands next to ears, elbows at 90 degree angle, then bend over to side and touch elbow to hip, repeat on the other side)
Bicep curls
Dumbell twist (sit on mat and hold weight in front of you, elbow in, twist from side to side; this is the one exercise where a 10 pound weight would be better).
Tricep extensions (Stand with feet hip with apart, hold one weight overhead with both hands. Lower behind your head and bring back up; repeat)
5 minutes of cardio
Repeat 2 more times

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