Tag Archive: circuit training

Cut Day 16

The lack of sleep was kicking my butt all day, I was drifting through work like Homer Simpson driving home on a field of pillows. Just felt soft and squishy like a piece of cake all through the workout session, intensity negative 12. But I still did the workout. F it. in the butt.

I don’t care if I’m dying and on fire with radioactive herpes… my excuses can blow me… with a mouthful of birthday cake and a santa claus hat on. I ain’t skipping my workout.

warmup: foam rolled my IT bands, adductors, piriformis, then had a nap on the floor, lol

Circuit 1

DB Walking Lunges to Widegrip Pulldowns to Pulsing Side Planks

35s x 20 / 13 plates x 12 / 12 Pulses each side

ROW 2 min

35s x 20 / 13 plates x 12 / 12 Pulses each side

ROW 2 min

35s x 20 / 13 plates x 12 / 12 Pulses each side

ROW 2 min

Circuit 2

SLDL to Bent Over Row to Ab Rollouts

135 x 12 / 135 x 10 / 12 rollouts

Row 1 min

135 x 12 / 135 x 12 / 12 rollouts

Row 1 min

135 x 12 / 135 x 12 / 12 rollouts

Row 1 min

notes: Changing it up a bit from last week.

Hamstring Curls on Exercise Ball (30-60 sec rest)

20, 20, 20

Weighted Reverse Crunches (lift hips in the air, hold MB between knees, rest 30-60 sec)

12 lbs x 12, 12, 12

post-workout 15 min LISS on elliptical

Cut Day 9

Back to it.

warmup: played with my blackberry, haha

Circuit 1

DB Walking Lunges to Widegrip Pulldowns to Walking Side Planks

25s x 20 / 12 plates x 12 / 20 Side Planks

REST 30-60s

25s x 20 / 12 plates x 12 / 20 Side Planks

REST 30-60s

30s x 20 / 12 plates x 12 / 20 Side Planks

Row Machine 2 Min


Circuit 2

Exercise Ball Ham Curls to 1 Arm Cable Rows to Weighted Reverse Crunches

15 curls / 12 plates x 12 per side / 10 lbs x 15 (medicine ball between knees)

REST 30-60s

15 curls / 12 plates x 12 per side / 10 lbs x 15

REST 30-60s

15 curls / 12 plates x 12 per side / 10 lbs x 15

Row Machine 2 min


notes: Cable rows getting heavy! Reverse crunches means keep the 10 lb medicine ball between your knees and lift your hips up in the air.

Circuit 3

Weighted Side Lunges to Seated Widegrip Cable Rows to Weighted Core Twists

plus barbell 12 per side / 14 plates x 12 / 5 plates x 12 per side

REST 30-60s

Plus 95 pounds 12 per side / 20 plates x 15 / 6 plates x 12 per side

REST 30-60s

Plus 95 pounds 12 per side / 28 plates x 12 / 6 plates x 12 per side

Row Machine 2 min

notes: Side Lunges done with a barbell. Core twists were done by hooking a nightstick looking thing up to the cable pulley. I say plates on the cable rows because I doubt they are 10 pounds each. 14 plates on the left, 14 on the right, hook up a bar to connect the 2 sides and pull away… doubt I am rowing 280 pounds that easy.

– 5 min of yoga stretches (low back releases, Cobra, Sphinx, cat/cow, Childs Pose)

Forgot to do cardio after, woops! I really needed the cardio too, the pwo kept me floating all the way home, and then I had energy left over so I cooked dinner and prepped lunches, did the dishes, took out the garbage, in the space of like 20 min, lol.

Cut Day 2

The name of the game is burn calories, stop being a fluffygoat, become a leangoat.

warmup: foam rolled IT bands, Adductors, Piriformis; back roll to V sit; prone spinal twists; passive low back releases (about 10-15 min)

Circuit 1

DB Walking Lunges to Widegrip Pulldowns to Walking Side Planks

20s x 24 / 12 plates x 12 / 20 Side Planks

REST 30-60s

30s x 24 / 14 plates x 12 / 20 Side Planks

REST 30-60s

30s x 24 / 14 plates x 12 / 20 Side Planks

Row Machine 60 seconds


notes: Walking side planks meaning go from plank to side plank to plank to side plank, etc

Circuit 2

Exercise Ball Ham Curls to 1 Arm Rows to Weighted Reverse Crunches

12 curls / 60 x 12 per side / 10 lbs x 12

REST 30-60s

12 curls / 8 plates x 12 per side / 10 lbs x 12

REST 30-60s

20 curls / 8 plates x 15 per side / 10 lbs x 15

Row Machine 60 seconds


notes: We realized DB Rows are not heavy enough for me so we switched to the cable machine. Reverse crunches means keep the 10 lb medicine ball between your knees and lift your hips up in the air.

Circuit 3

Side Lunges to Seated Cable Rows to Weighted Core Twists

12 per side / 12 plates x 15 / 4 plates x 12 per side

REST 30-60s

Plus Barbell 12 per side / 12 plates x 15 / 6 plates x 12 per side

REST 30-60s

Plus Barbell 12 per side / 12 plates x 15 / 6 plates x 12 per side

Row Machine 60 seconds

notes: Side Lunges too easy, so we slung a barbell on my shoulders. Core twists were done by hooking a nightstick looking thing up to the cable pulley.

– 5 min of yoga stretches (Cobra, Sphinx, cat/cow, Dragon, ham stretches, Pigeon, Childs Pose)
– 10 min LISS on the Elliptical

Overall, not bad! This was a relatively easy test, a dip into the waters to see how chitty my conditioning has gotten. Not horrible, but clearly I need a lot of work!

We were so into the workout, we forgot to take pics and measure my weight! sorry brahs, maybe Friday?

8/27 chest

Back on the gains train!  So excited to be lifting as per normal again that I am even ahead on my schedule by a day!  Let’s hope this enthusiasm lasts the week, haha…

Bench Press

warm-up – Superset Bench and Rotator Cuff Work (no rest between supersets)

70 x 5 / over & backs w/ resistance band x 8

90 x 5 / o&b

110 x 5 / o&b

main – Superset Bench and Widegrip Free Cable Pulldowns (1 min rest b/w sets)

115 x 5 / 95 x 5

135 x 5 / 105 x 5

155 x 10 / 105 x 5

notes:  this cable is heavy, so I found 105 was the right mix of weight and still being able to focus on the contraction.


Superset Overhead Press and Widegrip Free Cable Pulldowns (no rest for warm ups to 60 sec rest)


55 x 5 / 105 x 5

70 x 5 / 105 x 5

85 x 5 / 105 x 5

main assist

110 x 5 / 105 x 5

110 x 5 / 105 x 5

110 x 5 / 105 x 5

110 x 5 / 105 x 5

110 x 5 / 105 x 5

Arm Finisher

OK!  Arm workouts were getting sorta boring, so I decided to make it a wild card.  I will change the frequency (now every 4 days regardless of the main work), and will do one all-out “finisher” type routine.  I saw these routines on T-Nation, will be trying them out!

Superset DB Hammer Curls, Overhead Cable Curls, Closegrip Bench Press, Rope Pushdowns

Basically just go non-stop with 0 rest until I am forced to rest, then rest a minute then keep going!  If my reps fall apart completely I will drop the weight on the cables only.  The shorthand system:  H for hammers, O for the overhead curls, C for the closegrip press, P for the pushdowns

25s x 10 H, 32.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 32.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart

25s x 10 H, 32.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 32.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart

25s x 10 H, 32.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 32.5 x 20 P,

REST 60 sec…. I was dying!

25s x 10 H, 32.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 32.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart, drop weight!

25s x 10 H, 27.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 27.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart

25s x 10 H, 27.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 27.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart

25s x 10 H, 27.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 27.5 x 20 P, drop weight

REST 60 sec, I almost dropped the barbell on myself racking the closegrip and it freaked me out a bit so I took some time to clear my head

25s x 10 H, 22.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 22.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart

25s x 10 H, 22.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 22.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart

25s x 10 H, 22.5 x 20 O, 115 x 10 C, 22.5 x 20 P, no rest, restart


Done!  I know it is complicated to read, and it was complicated to take notes, but it was essentially an arm circuit:  2 bicep exercises, one slow, one fast, then 2 triceps, one slow, one fast


After this, I was WRECKED.  I had no energy for rear delts or cardio.  I showered, packed up my crap and went to my desk to get back to work, lol.

Circuit Thursday

Sorry! Been away for a few days, just being lazy with the posting.

Got up this morning, went to the gym to break in a new upper-body circuit-style routine from the trainer.  Time to torch some calories!

Upper-Body Pull Circuit

Circuit 1 (30 sec b/w sets)

widegrip cable row & “21s” ez bar curl & upright row to press

180×12 & 60×7/7/7 & 60×9

180×12 & 60×7/7/4 & 60×8

180×12 & 60×7/7/5 & 40×10

Elliptical for 2 min

notes:  if you don’t know what 21’s are, it’s a bicep curl with half range reps followed by full range reps.  Look them up! They are fun.  I am not used to giant sets, so it hit me hard right off and I got real tired.  I couldn’t get through the upright row to press combo at the end, and on the second time through I had to split the row and the press into 2 movements, so due to fatigue, on set 3 I dropped the weight and I was still tired!  Did 2 min of cardio to keep the heart rate up while I waited for the next circuit to begin.

Circuit 2 (30 sec b/w sets)

straight pulldowns & alternating DB curls & DB lat raises

60×12 & 30s x 12 & 20s x9

60×12 & 30s x 12 & 20s x 11

60×12 & 30s x 12 & 20s x 9

Elliptical for 2 min

notes:  I have horrible form on DB lat raises, I just have an easier time with the machine, so I went light weight on these and tried to keep my arms straight and stopped when I felt I couldn’t keep my form in check any more (hands kept drifting higher than the elbows).  Fuck it, next time I use the machine!

Circuit 3 (30 sec rest b/w sets)

assisted pullups & incline DB curls & incline DB front raises

widegripx12 & 25s x 12 & 20s x 12

underhandx12 & 25s x 12 & 20s x 12

hammergripx12 & 25s x 12 & 20s x 12

Elliptical for 20 min

notes:  pullups felt easy!  I think the weight loss has made a HUGE difference on my performance!  When I do hammergrip, I leaned back and pulled the bar to my chest, so I could hit the lower back.  Light weight on the front raises as well, noticing a trend… not only that I have weakass shoulders, but that my energy dips rather low by the end of these giant set/circuits.  Something to keep in mind for next time.

Finished off with more cardio, then rushed off to work!  Took slightly over an hour, nice and dirty, in and out!

How about you?  Any good workouts?

Dirty Acrobat Lovin

Livin the Dream…


Oh no, my cleanse pills are making me run to the bathroom anytime I try to do my core workout!  First-World problems, amirite?

I ordered a TRX kit and some “perfect pushup” grips, so I can do more crap at home.


The pushup grips are just for my wrists.  The TRX cable I mainly wanted so that I can work on my one-leg squats at home, plus I can do other stuff:  increasingly difficult Australian pullups, pushups in the air… whatever the hell that chick is doing in the bottom right.

Hmmm, wonder if I could use the straps for some dirty acrobat sex?  Yellow and black isn’t the most romantic color combo though… First-World problems, am I right?


After work I headed to the studio for a circuit session with Leslie.  I had wanted to do Spin in the morning, but I didn’t sleep well Sunday night so I couldn’t get up in time.


I did approx 30 min on the elliptical while I waited for our session.  Worked up a sweat.

First thing we did was renew our sessions, laid down our scheduling, paid some bills.

Circuit 1:  run twice

burpee to pushup to shoulder press of a BOSU x 10, 10

Renegade Rows 20lbs x 16, 12

Chest Press with Leg Raises 115 lbs x 10, 10

Side to Side on BOSU x 20, 20

Lunges with bicep curls 20lbs x12 (each leg), 12

Extended Plank 30 sec, 30 sec

notes:   AAAAND, during the first runthrough, during lunges, HAAAAAAD to run to the bathroom.  YUP.  That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.  Consider it an extra ab workout.


Circuit 2:  run through this twice

Step ups with Lateral Raises (Side/front) 10lbs x 12/12, 12/12

Sumo squat to upright row 25 lbs x 12, 12

Sideways over step and back x 20, 20

Side Lunge with 1 leg hold x12/leg, 12

Crunches x 12, 12

notes:  We were running short of time, from both doing business and doing my business.  So Leslie shorted the second circuit so we could run through it twice.


And that was the workout!  See you soon!

I Choose

Lately, I have been having problems with my motivation.  I just don’t feel connected, mind to body.  When the mind and body are connected in your fitness goals, you feel “hungry” for success – you get excited at the thought of passing on that cookie, working out, pressing weight, making your heart beat faster.  Your mind tells your body what to do, your body does it, and your mind feels pleased.  Noone starts out with that connection, you have to force yourself to eat healthy and work out, and once you see the good results, you build that loop of events into your brain that makes you crave more success.  It is a way of staying focused.

I felt that connection, briefly, in November.  I was tired, doing the yoga challenge, pushing weight, but it MADE SENSE.  I could see the big picture.

Since coming back from Christmas, I have not felt that connection.  The new diet sucks, not enough carbs.  The work out is painful, ugh circuit training.  My energy has gone downhill most days at work.  I have felt less happy in general.  My sleep has started to suffer, I toss and turn a lot.  My appetite started to suffer, Leslie was looking at my food journal and saying I now eat less than her… a woman half my size in the middle of a cut for a fitness competition.  Food had been starting to lose its taste, between Thursday and Friday last week I had to throw out 4 meals halfway through because they didn’t TASTE like anything.  The diet feels like punishment, the workouts feel like punishment.  Am I depressed?

Part of me wonders if this is just a phase, like I need to adapt.  Part of me wonders if I am not maybe just reacting to life stress, and the fitness stuff is just an optional kick in the crotch while I am trying to find my balance.  I don’t feel BALANCED any more.  Am I depressed and my body is shutting down in response, or is my body shutting down and it’s making me depressed??

I have started to play around with my supplements.  I had been taking ZMA before bed, and I moved it to first thing in the morning.  Since I did that, I toss and turn less.  Can ZMA hurt your sleep?  It is supposed to HELP you sleep, and yet here I am, finding the opposite is the case.  But it feels better in the morning for me, so I switched.

Friday I did a kettlebell workout with Leslie.  Well, she saw how exhausted and strung out I was and instead she just had me try a variety of kettlebell exercises, so that she could string them together into a circuit for me.  It was like going through the motions.  I didn’t take pictures, I didn’t want to commemorate the moment.  And yet, by the end of the work, I actually felt more light-hearted, like for some reason swinging and pushing the kettlebells made me feel happy for a second.  Like the endorphin rush was a reward for me.

I thought about what was going on, all weekend.  I wanted to pick something I wanted to do, and then do it.  I wanted to reward myself and build that loop back in.

I had been thinking about signing up for the annual spinathon again.  Every year, the Goodlife gym chain here in town sponsors an 8 hour marathon of Spin classes back to back.  People come in and spin a ton, raise money for charity (Goodlife Kids Foundation) and have a good time.  I did it last March, I did 7 spin classes – spun for 7 hours, the whole routine over and over… races, intervals, mixed terrain, standing climbs, jumps.  I walked away from that feeling like I had blown myself away, like I did something I didn’t think I could do in my wildest dreams.  I decided to just keep going as long as I could and I had never spun for more than 2 hours and I did 7 and it blew me away!  That was the day I realized I had been selling myself short.

I wanted that feeling back.  So I have committed to doing the 2013 Spin4Kids Spinathon in March, and seeing if I can spin for 8 hours straight!!  I chose to do something about the funk I was in, and pick a challenge to serve as my compass point.

Sunday I headed out and did 2 spin classes in a row, the first time I had done that in probably 8 months.  My right ankle hurt a bit, but it felt REALLY GOOD.  I felt good about it.

I walked out of the gym on Sunday wondering if I needed to keep shaking the funk loose.  I went to the natural foods store and bought a 30 day cleanse kit.  Started taking it Sunday night.

Monday (today) the cleanse kit hit me harder on Day 1 than I ever thought possible.  I won’t get too graphic, but shit got downright APOCALYPTIC.  Signs and omens abounded.  My stomach was sore and cramping from the cleanse, but I still had a Monday workout with Leslie to go to!

I considered just going home after work and letting my guts settle.  Noone would blame me.  And yet.  I chose to go work out anyway, maybe not the wise choice, but it was MY choice.

Same workout as last Monday, lots of core – burpees and renegade rows and leg lifts and stepups and lunges.  My right ankle is still a little tender, and my stomach cramped the whole time.




In the past few days, my sleep has improved, my appetite has improved (except for the cleanse), and I feel a bit better.  Why?  Because I CHOOSE to be better.  I made my mind go look for my body and help it out through this rough patch.  Some weeks it doesn’t come easy, no matter your best intentions.  Some weeks you have to force it to work.  But it’s better than letting it sit and fester.  You have to choose to push yourself, even if you can’t see the goal any more, even after the race is lost.

As you get older, you watch opportunities and potential slip away.  Injuries last longer, some dreams slip away.  You feel less powerful.  Eventually, you realize there is only one real power in this world.  The power to CHOOSE.  You choose what your goals are, and choose to go do them.  You don’t wait for everything to line up, you make your fortune yourself.  The only real power there is in this world is the power of choice.  You can choose to pursue your goals even when you don’t think you can win.  And this week I chose my path all over again.



I have had problems sleeping for days.  I toss and turn all night, and the tossing and turning aggravates the sore muscle in my side.  It has made me a little irritable, and I wake up so ragged in the morning that I am often forced to go straight back to bed and move morning cardio to the evening.  Oh well, so much for the morning cardio.  At least for now.

I had to work late today, now that everyone is back, and everyone is eager to give me stuff to do.  So I couldn’t make the workout with Leslie, and went to the gym on my own in the late evening,  In honour of Leslie’s focus on circuit training, I tried some circuit training of my own:  keep going until I couldn’t.  3 circuits of upperbody resistance training.

warmup: 30 min of cardio

Circuit 1:  machine bench press 5 reps and widegrip lat pulldown 8 reps; back and forth 4 times nonstop

bench/lats:  150 x 5/150 x 8/150 x 5/150 x 8/150 x 5/150 x 8/150 x 5/150 x 8

notes:  this felt good as a warmup, could go heavier next time.  I took a couple of minutes before the next circuit

Circuit 2:  dumbbells – incline press 8 reps, then one arm row 8 reps then overhead press 8 reps; 3 times through

incline/row/overhead:  50s x 8/70s x 8/50s x 8/50s x 8/70s x 8/50s x 4/REST/50s x 6/70s x 8/50s x 5

notes:  Out of respect for my shoulder, I used a hammer grip on the incline press.  This helps me because it encourages me to keep my shoulderblades rolled back, and keeps my shoulders more stable.  Towards the end of the second runthrough I just ran out of gas! I looked in the mirror, I was sweating a lot.  I failed out of the overhead, so I rested for 1 minute, then went to do the 3rd set.  I couldn’t do all the reps on that one either.  By this point, I could feel my energy diving.  I hadn’t taken a preworkout either, so that might also be me getting used to not having that as backup.   I waited 2 min before the last circuit.

Circuit 3:  arms and shoulders – 2 hand overhead tricep extension 20 reps, then hammer curls 20 reps, then lat raises 20 reps; 2 times through

tri/bi/shoulders:  50 x 20/40s x 11/25s x 12/REST/50 x 15/30s x 20/17.5s x 6

notes:  I was going to add in bicycle crunches after the lat raises, but the gym was SO crowded, I didn’t want to lose my spot at the dumbbell rack, so I cut it out.  The first time through, the weights were too heavy for me to do high reps with the wornout state I was in, so I took a minute rest then dropped the weights on the second run through.  Even then the lat raises were just BLAH, so I put them down and walked away and said screw it, haha.

I had also considered throwing in some pushups at the end as a “finisher” but I felt so finished already I said to hell with that too and hit the showers, haha!

Considering I couldn’t make the appt with the PT, bad sleep, no PWO caffeine boost, I think I salvaged it ok, what do you think?

see you later!

Burn Victim

Today was a special day, one of my least favorite times of the year.  The Xmas/New Years feasts are over, you are settling into your diet, the weather is bad, etc.  For me, this means that I start to keenly feel the lack of starchy carbs a few days in, the weakness hits, the grumpiness sets in, the lethargy and moroseness.  All the cold nights and the slippery, snowy sidewalks also aggravate the arthritis in my feet.  So right when the diet is hitting me with tasty treat withdrawals is ALSO when my body is saying “please rest, this is a lot of stress on us poor toe joints”.  It’s a time to gain weight, traditionally.

I knew it was coming though, the need to keep moving and keep grinding that diet is why this monthly challenge is a special one for me.  January is a cold bleak Canadian month to be fixing everything that’s wrong with your life, but that is part of the charm I guess.

But I have been keeping up the cardio, and Leslie the trainer is back on track and ready to kick my butt!  Yeah!  I slipped out of work, made it to the studio in record time… only to find it locked up because noone else in their right mind would be working out today, hahaha.  All the sane people are still on vacation!

I'm here! Where's my trainer?

I’m here! Where’s my trainer?

The owner of the studio was there and he let me in, but he warned me that I can’t workout without a trainer there.  I understand that, I know how insurance works, no biggie.  I was going to do cardio, but I chilled out and waited for Les.

I was hungry, low on energy, my feet ached, hadn’t had a high octane workout in quite some time, my motivation levels were about a 3.  Tough shit!

circuit training:

circuit 1 (all the way through, catch your breath, go through it again)

squat thrust pushup on a BOSU ball w/ overhead press x 10

renegade rows x 16

floor press w/ leg raise x 10

side to side on a BOSU ball x 20

forward lunge w/ bicep curl x 12

extended plank for 45 sec


circuit 2 (all the way through, catch breath, do it again)

step-ups with lateral raises (alternating side and front raises) x 12

sumo squat to upright row x 12

side to side high steps x 20

bicycle crunches x 30

side lunge w high knee x 12/leg

bench dips x 15


tabata:  20 sec work, 10 sec rest, repeat for 4 min

battle ropes & kettlebell swings (back and forth)

cooldown cardio:  30 min elliptical, gradually increasing incline to 30 degrees

squat thrust push up w overhead press

squat thrust push up w overhead press

Notes:  I kind of sucked tonight.  My motivation had tanked, and I was just wasting time left and right.  We spent a lot of time talking and catching up, going over how many reps feel right and what weight is appropriate.  I think next time we do this, I will feel comfortable to up the weight and/or reps as necessary.  We still tweaked the reps and the weight a few times though tonight.  I didn’t bother listing the weights we used, since exploring the movements and the number of reps was what mattered.



I like that name:  renegade rows.  Why can’t all exercises have such cool names?  Would you rather do a “renegade row” or a “sissy squat”?  Think about it.

floor press w/ leg raise

floor press w/ leg raise

We tried to do Russian Twists including tossing the medicine ball around (a Russian Toss?), but my tailbone was not enjoying the boat pose, so we switched those to bicycle crunches.

lunges & curls

lunges & curls

battle ropes

battle ropes

It was kind of a rough workout, but I knew the first day back would be rugged and raw.  Settle in for a long, hard January!!