Sunday, November 27, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up and Workouts

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and that you enjoyed your favorite foods with no guilt, no restrictions, and no "working it off"  by doing extra cardio the next day.

I had a meal at my Mom's Thursday and then Saturday at another family gathering. I went all out Thursday and then kept things a little more in check Saturday, but still didn't worry about macros or anything like that whatsoever.
It's always good to spend time with family and be able to play with Celeste! :) I'm thankful that I have a family to spend the holidays with, because I know not everyone has that. Losing my dad to cancer and almost losing Mom after her car wreck definitely makes you appreciate the time you have with loved ones more.

Friday I went iceskating with my sister and her boyfriend and his kids, and it was so much fun! I grew up ice skating like every single weekend, but I haven't been in a few years. It was just like old times with my sister!

Also got my tree and all my decorations up, which makes me happyyy!! Christmas time at least makes the cold weather more tolerable. ;)

So on to the workouts! I did a 5 day split this week just for something different. Not something I'll stick with, but I may continue with the glute/ham and quad focus for legs, but who knows. Not going to be following any program for the rest of the year, but instead just do what sounds fun to me. Which will just be random workouts for a while. :) I am thinking about running the Uncaged program at the start of the year again, because it's a program that I really enjoy and that gives me results. But we shall see.

1)Bench press: 115x5/4/4
2)Incline bench: 85x6/95x5/95x5/85x6
3)1 arm overhead press: 35x7/35x6/30x8/25x10
4)Dips: 25x3x8
5)3 way lateral raise: 2x10/regular -1x15
6)Rolling dumbbell tricep extension: 12/10/9.5
7)Hanging leg raises: 9/9/8/6

1)RDLs: 125x3x12
2a)Back extensions: 15x3x12
2b)Safety squat bar single leg reverse lunge: 3x10
3a)Cable pullthroughs: 3x12-15
3b)Seated band abductions: 3x20-30
4a)TRX leg curls: 3x10
4b)Band monster walks: 10 steps forward and back
5a)Sled drags: 4x25-30ish seconds
5b)Single leg bridge: 2x15/Double leg w/band: 2x25

1) Rope pullups: 2x8 /chinups 2x8 (fat bar)
2)1 arm hammer strength row: 4x10
3)Seated cable row:8/10/10/12
4)Incline bench reverse flyes: 3x12
5)EZ bar curls: 2x8
6)Cable curls: rest pause to 35 reps
7)Ab wheel rollouts: on toes 2x8/negatives 2x10
Battle ropes: 4x15 seconds

1)Sumo deads: 205x3/225x3/235x2/205x5/185x5
2)Leg press: 270x12/360x8/8/270x15
3)Bulgarian split squat(offset): 3x12
4)Glute ham raise: 10x12/12+8
5a)Back extensions: 40x3x10
5b)Calf raises: 1x12/3x10

1)Hang power cleans: 125x3x2
2)Split jerks: 115x3x2
3a)Handstand pushups: 5/5/4/4/4
3b)Weighted pullups: 20x3/35x3/35x2/Lsit chinups: 3x6
4a)Farmer's walks: 70s x3x30ish seconds
4b)ABC plank: 3x
5a)Kettlebell swings: 60x4x12
5b)Band pullaparts; 3x20

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

My Favorite Training Splits

I've been weight training since I was 13 years old...which means I've been at this for a LOOOONGGG time. It also means that I've experimented with many different styles of training and training splits. I've done bodybuilding workouts, CrossFit, and powerlifting.

If you aren't familiar with what a training split is, it's simply how you split up the way  you train your muscle groups throughout the week. The most common splits are the typical "bodybuilder" splits, where you train one or two muscle groups each day, usually training each muscle group once a week.

While this can be fine for "enhanced" bodybuilders, I'm not a huge fan of that type of split for the general population. For one thing, most people don't have 6-7 days to commit to the gym, and for most people just wanting to lose fat and gain some muscle tone, there is no reason to hit one muscle group every workout with a million different exercises.

Instead, I prefer training splits that hit multiple muscle groups in one workout and with a higher frequency, meaning that you train each muscle group 2-3 times per week.

Here are the training splits that I use most often for myself and for my clients:

Full body (2-3 day split)
This is the split I recommend for people who only have 2-3 days a week to train and is what I use most for my clients. You are training every major muscle group in your body during every workout. To ensure that you're training everything equally, you want to do a lower body movement, an upper body push, a lower body pull, and a core movement.

Upper body /Lower body/Full body(3 day split)
This is a another great option for someone who can only commit to 3 days in the gym. With this split, you get 2 days to focus a little more on specific muscle groups with a day devoted to just upper and just lower body, and then a full body workout later in the week so that you hit each muscle group 2 times a week.

Upper/lower/upper/lower (4 day split)
This is my favorite split and the one I use most for myself. It's the perfect balance of working multiple muscle groups, but it's also split up enough that you can isolate individual muscles if you want a more bodybuilding focus. I also think that it's the perfect split for the goal of increasing strength and what many powerlifting programs utilize. It also allows for 3 days of rest and recovery, so that you don't get overtrained or burnt out.

Upper push/lower/upper pull/lower (4 day split)
If you want to further split up your muscle groups you can divide your upper days into "push" and "pull" days. So on the first upper day you would do all the pushing movements, or if you want to think in terms of muscles, you'd be working the chest, shoulders, and triceps. On the pull day, you are working back, rear delts, and biceps. There are still two lower body days as well, and you could even split those days into a hamstring and glute focus the first leg day and a quad focus the second leg day. I switch to this split occasionally just for a change of pace, or if I want to focus a little more on hypertrophy.

Back & chest/Lower body /Back & shoulders/Lower body (4 day split)
Another way to split up the upper body workouts is by having a back and chest focus one day and then a back and shoulder focus the next. I like this split because you can pair movements into opposing muscle group supersets, which I love to incorporate into my workouts. It keeps the intensity high and the workout fast paced.  I also just really like to train back more than once a week, which you don't get in the push/pull split. You could add arms to either or both days. As in the above example, you could also further split lower body days into glutes/hamstrings and quads.

Upper body heavy/Lower body heavy /Back & shoulders/Lower body hypertrophy/Chest & arms (5 day split)
For those who enjoy focusing on strength but also like to have more bodybuilding/hypertrophy work and more days in the gym, this is a good option. You have 2 days devoted to strength-a heavy upper body day and a heavy lower body day. This is when you would focus on the main lifts in the lower rep range. Then later in the week, you split up the muscle groups a bit more and focus on hypertrophy, with more isolation movements and higher reps. This is about as "bodybuilderish" a split I would recommend for most people who aren't training for a bodybuilding or fitness competition. It's something I would use for a month or two out of the year just for a change, but not something I would do year round for myself personally.

Hopefully this has given you some ideas for how to split up your workouts in the gym that you may not have thought of. Remember, there is no "perfect" training split. There is no "right" or "wrong" way to train. The most important thing when coming up with a split that works best for you is, first, what works with your schedule, and then, what you actually enjoy. You're not going to be excited about going to the gym if you don't enjoy what you're doing. Like for me, I do NOT enjoy the typical one muscle group per day bodybuilding split, because it is just BORING to me. But other people may love it!

Also, there's nothing wrong with sticking with the same training split if it's what you enjoy, what works best for your schedule, and what gets you the best results. But it is a good idea to consider switching it up every now and then. Most of the time I stick with an upper/lower split, but occasionally I will do a push/legs/pull/legs split or even do full body workouts here and there. It's okay to experiment with different training splits until you find something that works for you!

Tell me, what is your favorite training split? Do you utilize any listed here?

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Workouts of the Week

Hope y'all are all having a great weekend! Ours has been kind of rough. We ended up taking Asher to the animal hospital last night because he was acting strange-not wanting to lay down, yelping if he tried to, and just not acting himself at all. We waited a couple of hours, but then figured it was better to be safe than sorry. 

They did an X-ray and blood work on him and were mostly worried about stomach bloat. But his stomach was fine, and they didn't didn't find anything except that he has an ear infection and really bad bone spurs all along his spine, which is probably causing him pain. So they gave him some pain meds and medicine for his ear infection. 

This morning he was acting about the same-not able to lay down-but now he seems to be better after we gave him the pain meds. He's actually sleeping on the couch right now, which he wasn't able to do previously, so at least that's an improvement. It's just so hard knowing your baby is in pain and not knowing how to help him. I hate it! 

I just went down and snapped this picture! His happy face is back, so he must be feeling better!

Anyways, here are the workouts from this week:

1)Plyo pushups: 3x5
2a)Bench press: 105x5/115x5/105x6/6
2a)Fat grip overhand pullups: 15x5/20x3x4/Chinups x10
3a)Floor press: 95x4x7
3b)Ring inverted row w/feet up 3x10
4a)Ab wheel rollout negatives: 9/9/8/8
4b)Kettlebell swings: 60x4x12
5)Glute kickbacks on reverse hyper: 12/15/15

1)Squats: 185x6/5/5
2)Block pull(sumo): worked up to 250x2
3)Single leg RDL: 60x3x10
4)Sissy squats: 16x2x20
5)GHR: 2x15/lying leg curl 2x15
6a)Calf raise: 4x10
6b)Single leg hip thrust 1x10/glute bridge 2x15
7a)Farmer's walks: 70x3x30 seconds
7b)Band walks: 3x15

FRIDAY UPPER BODY(at home workout)
1a)Chinups: 3x10
1b)Handstand pushups: 7/6/5/5/5
2a)1 arm pronated row: 4x12
2b)Pushups on dumbbells: 4x10
3a)Pull-aparts: 3x12
3b)Alternating hammer curl: 3x10/arm
4)Lateral raise: rest pause to 40 reps

1)Broad jumps 3x3
2)Deficit deadlifts: 185x5/205x5/210x5/205x5/185x5

3)Leg press: 290x3x12 (narrow stance)
4)Pause squats: 135x3x6
5)Glute ham raise: 4x15
5b)Stir the pot: 3x30 seconds
6)Walking DB lunge: 25x3x12
7)Band hip thrust upper elevated x20/feet elevated x20/glute bridge(on floor) x20

Please consider helping out:

Thursday, November 17, 2016

November "Currently"

This is what I'm currently....



I've been loving our Friday taco nights. We still do burgers sometimes, but we have just been in the mood for something different lately. We use Old El Paso shells, lean ground beef, low sodium taco seasoning, and salsa. Always with a bunch of veggies on the side. So yummy! 


Book #36 for the year! This was pretty good.


I've partnered with PrayFit to help raise money for special needs children and those without access to clean water. I'm dedicating my workouts to the cause, and I would sooo appreciate it if you would consider making a donation or joining my team to help fundraise! 


Booties! Is that even what they're called? Ankle boots? Who knows. Anyway, I'm not trendy whatsoever, but I think these are really cute!


when I see photos like this on my Facebook newfeed! I mean, cuteness overload.

Thinking :

About how I'm going to get ALL my Christmas shopping done by the end of November! I'm definitely NOT one of those last minute people, as I try to avoid the stores at all costs in December. I got started this week and just have a few more things to get ....and then I'm DONE! 


This scripture-

Looking forward to:

Thanksgiving and putting up my Christmas tree next week! I can't wait for all the yummy food and then Christmas lights and Christmas music and time with family...I love the holidays! And yes, I'm putting up my tree BEFORE Thanksgiving, so suck it all you haterssss!!!!!


This song! Gets stuck in my head, but that's a good thing. Praisin' God all day long!

Excited about...

My new camera! My in-laws got this for me as a Christmas gift, because they know how much I love my photos. I've always wanted a really nice camera, but learning to use it is a bit overwhelming. I mean, yeah, I could just set it on auto, but I want to learn how to take better photos and use the different settings on it. Guess it'll just take a lot of practice!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Confession: I Don't Like Hip Thrusts

Barbell hip thrusts have become allll the rage in the past few years thanks to Bret Contreras, aka "The Glute Guy". Because everybody these days wants a big bootayyy, right? I know I do! Some people consider them to be in the same category as the "big 3"(squats, deadlifts, bench press).

Let me start off by saying that I think hip thrusts, if done correctly, are a great exercise. I did them for years and actually got pretty strong on them. I was able to get up to 275 for 5 reps at one point.

But in the last few months, I haven't been doing them. Why? Well, really for no other reason than that I just don't really like 'em anymore! Not only that, but I didn't see much improvement in the size or shape of my glutes, and that's really the main reason I was doing them. Plus, they're also a pain to set up, and sometimes I just didn't feel like I was getting anything out of them.

Just like with any exercise, if something doesn't feel right to you, there's no reason you HAVE to do it. Squats and deadlifts are both EXCELLENT exercises, but they're not always great for everyone. If you've tried and absolutely hate those exercises, there are most definitely alternative exercises you can do instead(split squats, lunges, single leg deadlifts, RDLs, etc).

And that's how it is with me for  hip thrusts. I tried, and I got stronger on them, but I just stopped enjoying them. It got to the point where I was pretty much forcing myself to do them, because I just really wanted my glutes to grow! But they never got me excited like it is for me with squats and deadlifts.

So while I think that hip thrusts are a great exercise for some people, I feel that for the purposes of training my glutes, there are better exercises for ME. I actually feel single leg hip thrusts or glute bridges much more, as well as high rep hip thrusts with a band around my knees. I would love to try banded hip thrusts if I had a way to do them, as I do think I would like them a lot more than barbell hip thrusts.
Single leg hip thrusts are a GREAT alternative to barbell hip thrusts.
I also really love cable pull-throughs, back extensions, and reverse hypers for the glutes, and I can feel the burn so much more with those exercises. Not that feeling the burn is always what you're going for when lifting weights, but when it comes to isolating and growing the glutes, I do think it's important to have some exercises that you can really FEEL the glutes working and that just give you a great pump. Hip thrusts can do that, but so can many other exercises as well.

Now, I'm not saying I'll never do barbell hip thrusts again, but for the time being, I'm sticking with exercises that I can really feel and enjoy doing.

What about you? Do you do hip thrusts? Do you love them or hate them?

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Workouts of the Week

Happy Sunday! 

Matt's parents were in from New York for the week, so it was nice to spend time with them. Saturday we all went out for pizza for Matt's birthday. 
 This is one of our top fave New York style pizza places. It's so good.

Workouts were good this week. Squats felt strong, and my back is feeling better. I did block pulls this week with a sumo stance and they were 10x easier... so I probably should do them conventional and not go for what's easier, right? ;) Friday I used 50s on chest press for the first time in a while and was really surprised to get 8 reps. They felt strong!

Deficit deadlifts Saturday were still freaking hard for me, but what's hard at the moment is going to be what makes you better! I tried to do front squats this week, and after the few reps decided not to risk it and did leg press instead. I hate it because front squats are such a good exercise, but it's the only thing that really causes actual pain in my back. It's weird because back squats are completely fine. 

One more week of this leg program!  It's definitely been hard, but I do feel stronger. Now gotta decide what to go with next-write out my own workouts or find another program to follow. I do want to stick with higher reps for lower body(nothing less than 6 except for deads). 

What is your all's training looking like lately?

1)Clap pushups: 3x5
2a)Pullups: 10/8/8/6/6 (3 sets neutral, 2 sets overhand)
2b)Bench press: 95x6/105x6/110x6/110x5
3a)Swiss Bar floor press: x8/6/7/8 (don't know how much the bar weighs)
3b)Inverted row: x12/10/ Tbar row: 2x8
4a)Ab wheel negatives: 1x8/3x8
4b)Band clams: 3x20
5)Back extensions: rest pause set to 50 reps
Sled drags: 15-20 seconds x7 sets

1)Squats: 185x3x5 (w/belt)
2)Block pulls(sumo stance): 185x2/205x2/225x2/235x2/245x2
3)Single leg RDLs: 60x3x10
4)Sissy Squats: 15x2x20
5)Leg curls(lying): 4x15
6a)Calf raise: 1x12/3x10
6b)Farmer's walks: 4x25ish seconds
7)Glute burner-
Band glute bridge x25
Single leg foot elevated bridge x8
x3 sets

1)Barbell overhead press: 75x7/6/6
2a)DB chest press:50x8/7/45x8
2b)Cable 1 arm pulldown: 4x10
3)Dips: 20x2x8
4a)Face pulls: 3x12
4b)DB alternating curls: 10/10/ 15(2 arm)
5)3 way lateral raise: 2x10/lateral raise 1x12
6)Plate carries: 3x20 seconds
7)ABC plank: 3x

1)Broad jumps 3x3
2)Deficit deadlifts(conventional) 5x5 185/205/205/205/195

3)Front squat Leg Press: 280x3x12
4)Pause squat: 130x3x6
5)Walking lunges:25x3x15
6a)Glute ham raise: 4x15
6b)Band abductions: 3x30
7a)Seated calf raises: 4x12-14
7b)Single leg hip thrusts: 3x12

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Beauty in Strength

I don't have "fat days" or "fluffy days" anymore, because quite frankly, I don't care. I refuse to let something like three pounds of water destroy my day.

I know now that I'm healthier than I ever was at 130 pounds. My hormones aren't out of whack, I'm not moody or depressed, I don't have random headaches, I'm not constantly fatigued, and I don't feel weak.

Unfortunately, there's a widespread belief that equates health to six-pack abs. This might be true for some people, but for the majority it's not. I can lift more, sprint faster, and am healthier now than I ever was.

There is beauty in strength. 
I don't just say it, I know it.

-Karina Baymiller