Lately I have not wanted to hit the gym after work like I normally do. It’s dark, cold, traffic sucks and I’d rather not leave my house if I can help it so I’ve invested in a lot of workout dvds recently. It’s great because I don’t have to go anywhere and can get a tough workout right in my living room. They’re also great for getting in a quick morning workout and helping energize you for your day. I wanted to share some of my favorites that are helping keep me in shape this winter.
I can always count on my girl Jillian to have a good workout in store for me. I’ve never looked forward to fitness new releases before, but you better believe I had 6 Week Six Pack pre-ordered on Amazon and checked my mailbox in excitement everyday until I received it. The reason I love her workouts so much is because they aren’t cheesy, boring, she’s encouraging and you get a really effective workout in less than an hour and you can’t beat that.
1. No More Trouble Zones – This is the one I go to when I want some serious strength work and want something a little longer than half an hour. It’s 45 minutes long and contains seven circuits that work different “trouble zones”. I like how you can play all seven at once or just pick and choose circuits to create your own custom, shorter work out. I use a lighter, three pound weight since you’re using them for pretty much the entire dvd. The only thing I don’t like about this one is that it feels long.
2. 6 Week Six Pack – Ohhh, my goodness. This is some intense cardio and ab work here. I love that it’s an ab workout but you do hardly any crunches and you also work other areas in addition to your core. You do a circuit of various moves for around fifteen minutes and then complete the circuit one more time but it never gets boring because you’re doing a lot of different exercises. I burn the most calories with this dvd compared to her other ones.
3. Shred-It with Weights – Whenever I’m really unmotivated and don’t feel like working out this is the dvd I go to. There’s something about this one.. it goes by so quick and is awesome. There are modified moves that use a dumbbell but it is not the same.. use a kettlebell to get a much better workout in. The warm up incorporates the kettle bell and gets your heart rate up very quickly. This has a lot of squats and swings which I love, but it also has turkish get ups which is a big ol’ haaale no in my book. Those things just suck!
4. Yoga Meltdown – Great stretches and strength training using your own body weight. You do an exercise for a few reps and then hold the move for fifteen seconds which really gets your heart rate up. This is where I first learned camel pose which feels amazing and really helps stretch out my back. You also get a really nice arm and back workout with this one, but also some stretching and core work.
5. Body Rev: Cardio Conditioning – I don’t even know what exactly to say about this one. It starts off all good but goes to insane in no time. I was dripping with so much sweat that my hands were sliding off the mat and I was making noises that even freaked me out. I thought that I was going to throw up at one point after doing a round of scorpion push ups.
This dvd is an hour long and it has a countdown timer which I’m not sure I like or not. I like it when I have five minutes left, but when I’m standing there dry heaving and it says I have 43 minutes left.. yeah, not so much. Even though this workout was long and challenging, after it was done I felt so proud for finishing and giving it my best and I felt strong. It was really an amazing feeling and I hope to do this every week until eventually it doesn’t seem so hard anymore. This is definitely my new favorite dvd. Did I mention I burned 600 calories during this? Yeah, I love it.
6. Jackie Warner’s Xtreme Timesaving Personal Training – This is a 30 minute strength training workout that will have you feelin’ pretty sore the next day. You do different strength moves for a minute each and I recommend lighter weights since you’re have to keep them moving the entire time. This is a quick, effective and straight to the point workout that incorporates a ton of shoulder work which I love.
7. AM & PM Yoga For Beginners – I don’t know much about yoga but I was looking for something that would really stretch my muscles after a hard workout and help me relax before going to bed. An added bonus is that this one has a more energizing morning routine which really helps you start your day off right. I love how you hold the stretches for quite awhile and you work on matching your breathing to your movement as well.
What are your favorite workout dvds? What’s the hardest workout you’ve gotten out of one? I’d love to add some new dvds to my collection!
This morning we woke up to a winter wonderland! We decided to have our favorite lazy/snow day breakfast of french toast, spicy fried potatoes and coffee. I scrambled a couple of eggs, added pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract and dipped the bread slices into it before frying it for a couple of minutes on each side.
The potatoes were pierced with a fork and microwaved for about eight minutes to cut down cooking time and then chopped and fried with olive oil, celtic sea salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. They were so good!
Pepper loves playing in the snow. He was so crazy and excited that we couldn’t stop laughing at him sprinting through the yard. He blends in perfectly, don’t you think? :]
My sister got me Jillian’s Ultimate Total-Body Kit for Christmas! I was so excited to try it out. It comes with a really nice jump rope that was much better than the one I bought at Wal-Mart awhile back. I decided that I was going to jump rope non-stop to one song, take a one minute break, then repeat with a new song. Here are the songs I jumped to and total calories burned during each song:
Sean Kingston feat. Nicki Minaj – Letting Go: 57 calories
La Roux – Bulletproof: 64 calories
For a total of 288 calories! It’s not so bad when you just focus on one song at a time.. it goes by really fast! This totally wore me out though. Jumping rope is no joke! My heart rate got up to 190 at one point and I was breathing hard during the entire minute of rest. I would work your way into jumping rope though.. my right calf felt a little funky afterwards and I’m not sure if it’s from pushing it. It feels fine now so it may not be a big deal.
Greg and I went out Dick’s Sporting Goods and then to a Mexican restaurant to eat and when we got home I did Yoga Meltdown Level 1. As you can see, I got a new heart rate monitor. The other one was nice, but it was frustrating having to stop your workout and place your fingers on the watch face to get your reading. It would take up to ten seconds to grab my heart rate sometimes.
I picked out the Polar Women’s FT7. I can already tell from one workout that I love this watch! I didn’t even need the instructions to set it up because it was so easy. The chest strap never moved and was comfortable throughout my workout. I forgot it was even there until I laid on the ground to do locust pose.
I also picked up a pair of Under Armour compression tights which I wore during the yoga workout. They are awesome! They are snug, warm and stretchy. I actually had to turn our thermostat off because they made it so warm. Haha. I think they’ll be great for jogging.
Now I’m off to just hang out and relax for the rest of the night! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday!
Breakfast was the same as yesterday. An egg on whole wheat toast and a cup of the kale & yam soup. There was also a couple of cups of coffee with almond milk in there somewhere. :]
In preparation for the two dinners Greg & I have to go to (his Mom’s & my Mom’s), I did two Jillian DVDs. I did level 1 of 6 Week Six Pack first and followed it up with level 1 of Shred-It with Weights for a total of one hour and four minutes of working out. That included warm-ups and stretching on both dvds.
With my fancy new Christmas present, thanks to Greg, I was able to track how many calories I burned during each workout. I burned a total of 491 calories in 36 minutes with 6 Week Six Pack. Insane. That’s a lot of calories for 36 minutes of work. It’s not easy by any means, but that’s almost an entire meal canceled out of your day. That’s how I like to think of it anyway :]
I did Shred-It with weights for 28 minutes and burned 378 calories. Not bad at all! I do this with a ten pound kettlebell and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t handle much more weight than that. You’re swinging that thing above your head, to the side, pressing it, doing crunches with it.. it’s definitely intense. I really love this DVD because it goes by so fast and that’s some major calorie burn for less than thirty minutes of work.
The heart rate monitor I got is the New Balance Heart Fit. I’ll do a review on it once I’ve used it a few times. It doesn’t have a chest strap.. instead you just place two fingers on the face of the watch and it picks up your heart rate. That can be a bit of a hassle when you have a weight or kettlebell in your hand, but it only takes around six seconds to pick up your heart rate.
Well, we’re off to visit with family and chow down! I hope you all have the happiest of holidays! :]
Breakfast this morning was greek yogurt, justin’s maple almond butter, a banana and coffee with almond milk in my Hello Kitty mug. I’ve been trying to be more aware of my portion sizes, but I get so hungry in between meals. I’m not sure if it’s boredom or wanting to snack while I work on the computer and I have been drinking more water to make sure I’m not just thirsty. I’ve been doing a lot better with portion sizes.. except when I ate an entire takeout order of tofu and veggies from a chinese restaurant the other night. Ehh, I’m working on it!
Lunch has been a super good salad in my fit & fresh container. I love that thing because it holds exactly two tablespoons of dressing for you and you can shake it up and get everything coated nicely. My usual salad consists of field greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, mushrooms and dulse flakes with balsamic vinegar. It is so good and filling!
I got a new bag to bring my breakfast and lunch in. So cute! The Target dollar bins are dangerous with all their Hello Kitty cuteness. Actually, Target itself is dangerous.. I can just spend and spend in there.
When I got home form work today I had a package in my mailbox. I was so excited because I knew it was Jillian Michaels’ newest DVD! I took Pepper for a couple of laps around the block and the immediately put this on when I got back home. It is SO. HARD. My god. I was fine at first because we weren’t repeating exercises and every move was something new, but then she goes, “after this move, we’re gonna take it from the top!” I almost died. Basically you do 10 pr so minutes of moves and then repeat and that’s the level 1 workout.
Even though the title is about a six pack, you work everything in this workout. The main idea is to work your core, but keep your heart rate up to burn fat so your abs can show through. Jillian promises a six pack if you do level 1 for three weeks and level 2 for three weeks. This is a pretty crazy workout, so I think you’ll definitely see changes! I don’t like doing the same workout every day for weeks at a time so I won’t be trying it out that way. I’ll probably just do this two or three times a week.
Which brings me to my new motivation. After the cut I’ve posted some photos of what my body looks like and my current weight and body fat percentage. I want to take photos and weigh in every Monday just to see the progress I can make. I always say I’m going to start pushing it, but I end up hitting the snooze instead of working out, if ya know what I mean. So by posting these photos I hope to get the motivation to workout hard and to see some changes! I’m really excited and am going to try to do a workout before work every morning.
Greg & I did some Christmas shopping yesterday and my car started to act a lil’ funky. I hadn’t had heat for a couple of days and then the engine started getting extremely hot all of a sudden. We made a stop to Wal-Mart just for antifreeze- that’s it. But, of course, I took a stroll down the fitness aisle since it was so close to the car stuff and I ended up leaving with a lot more than antifreeze.
I got Jackie Warner’s Personal Training DVD, a 10lb kettle bell, jump rope and ab wheel. The ab wheel is more for Greg, but I hope to one day be able to use the thing without shaking like crazy and falling to the floor dramatically. That thing is hard! I got the kettle bell to use with Jillian Michaels’ Shred-It with Weights DVD. I had been doing this workout with a 5lb. dumbbell and while I still felt it the next morning, I wanted to try it with the kettle bell it was intended for. It is a completely different workout with it! I never felt it in my abs when using the dumbbell, but now I totally feel it in my core and the whole video is a lot more challenging. I haven’t progressed to level 2 yet, but I can’t wait to try it out!
I’ve heard nothing but good things about Jackie Warner’s DVDs. This one has 42 five star reviews on Amazon, so I figured I should try it out. I need something different than my Jillian Michael’s videos to do at home since it’s getting a lot colder out. I’ll do a full review once I do it, but the only thing I don’t like it that it’s just one thirty minute workout. At least with Jillian’s DVDs you usually get two to three workouts for the same price which is nice.
After our Wal-Mart visit, we decided to treat ourselves to dinner at the local Mexican restaurant. They have the best salsa.. thin and not all chunky like most salsa. They have a separate vegetarian menu and I got a bean burrito and enchilada. The enchilada sauce is so good. Good thing I bought all that exercise stuff since I needed to burn all this off later. :]
I came home and took a nap. When I woke up it had snowed like crazy! While Greg took Pepper out to play in it, I made some kale chips. Everyone talks about how great these are but I did not like them at all. I love kale but I couldn’t get into these chips. I just added salt & olive oil.. maybe I should have used Bragg’s? I’m not sure and I won’t find out because I don’t think I’ll be trying these again. I’d rather use my kale for something good, ya know?
I hope you all had a great weekend! We’re about to head out and play in the snow some more. :]