Category Archives: Ab Routines

LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 39 Arms/Abs/Cardio

Day 39 rolled around and I am getting more and more frustrated about working out at home! Ha! I guess I just miss the gym so much and am too used to the luxury of having all my equipment. HOWEVER, this will spur me on to get more creative.  I have been trying to do things with just basic home equipment to avoid excluding people who cannot just turn a room of their house into a mini gym.  I may purchase a Power Tower and a bench, since working out at a gym just does not work for my schedule at all, BUT I will still continue writing variations for those who do not have these tools.

Day 39


Barbell Curl: If you don’t have a barbell, use dumbbells. The key, however, is to keep your grips stationary so that they do not pull inward or outward motion during the entire execution.

Overhead Cable Curl: I am short so this worked perfectly for me – I hooked one end of my resistance band to the stationary grip of my elliptical machine. Then I stood far enough back to get good resistance and performed single-arm overhead curls.

Cable Hammer Curls: Since the LiveFit Trainer uses the rope attachment, this variation worked excellently – I stood, with one foot, on the center of my resistance band, then with grips in hammer position, I performed the curls. Flawless!

Triceps Pushdown – Rope Attachment: I hooked my resistance band around the top of my elliptical machine. Kneeling down gave me enough resistance to perform this exercise.

Hanging Leg Raise (or roman chair): I sat at the edge of my firm leather coffee table. Starting with my heels touching the ground, my legs straight. Not bending my legs, I raised my legs till my feet were at least shoulder height. ADDED COMMENT: I am planning to get a Power Tower so I can do these and pull ups and dips.   

LiveFit @home – Phase 2: Day 37 Chest/Abs/Cardio

I have come to REALLY enjoy chest day! Shoulders and back have always been my favs and Leg days I dreaded (and therefore I push harder and do twice as often), but chest day I seemed to sub-conscientiously down play. No more, peeps!! Pushups, pushups, yeah, yeah, yeah!! 😛

Day 37


These variations are just like day 30.  I did not get more creative, but I did feel more fluid in these exercises now that I was accustomed to the make-shift variations.  For pushups I did 3 sets of 15 reps for Close Hand position and then another 3 sets of 15 reps for Wide Hand position. Boom baby!

Wide-Grip Barbell Bench Press: If you do not have a barbell. Hold dumbbells so that your grips are wide and be sure that, as you come up, you do not close the grip and bring your hands together. Keep your hands apart as you lower and then maintain the width as you press. This way you get close to the benefit of the barbell (dumbbells really give you something different, so we have to try to replicate by watching our form closely)

Cable Crossover: This was fun. I simply hooked my resistant band to the stationary handle of my elliptical machine and did cross over one arm at a time. To keep up the intensity I did not rest during this exercise, I merely went back and forth between the 2 arms.

Smith Machine Incline Bench Press: I used my ironing board this time. Leaned it against my couch. This actually worked pretty well because it was narrow enough for me to get a full range of motion with my arms. If you do this on the floor or your coffee table, the flat surface stops your elbows so you kind of get a rest (which is not good).

Knee/Hip Raise On Parallel Bars: I sat at the edge of my firm leather coffee table. Starting with my heels touching the ground, my legs in a slightly bent position. Not bending my legs any further, I raised my knees till my feet were nearly shoulder height.

Cable Crunch: I hooked my resistance band around the top of my elliptical to perform this exercise. It was so high that I got a really good resistance from it!

LiveFit @home – Phase 1: Day 26 Shoulders/Abs

Day 26 and the LAST workout day before Phase 2! I am so pumped! Ready to build and sculpt, baby!


The only variations were with cables and then the Roman chair leg lifts (just like Day 19)

Rear delt cable flies. I stood on my resistance band and did single arm rear delt flies to get the full range of motion.

Roman chair leg lifts. For those I did a bench version. I sat on the edge of my firm leather coffee table, hands gripping slightly behind me, held my legs up out in front of me like a leg raise then pulled my legs to my chest.

More than ever, start focusing on that diet. Your body will need the right fuel to build beautiful muscle (the muscle that will reward you by burning extra calories for you when you’re just sitting there! #win)

LiveFit @home – Phase 1: Day 19 Shoulders/Abs

It is getting FUN!!  If you are joining in and are prenatal, post-partum, or just trying to find a new way to workout at home I would love to hear how it is going! Any new variations you’d like to share? I could use more creativity 😀

Day 19


Not many variations this time!

Rear delt cable flies. I stood on my resistance band and did single arm rear delt flies to get the full range of motion.

Roman chair leg lifts. For those I did a bench version. I sat on the edge of my firm leather coffee table, hands gripping slightly behind me, held my legs up out in front of me like a leg raise then pulled my legs to my chest.

LiveFit @home – Phase 1: Day 11: Shoulders/Abs

Boulder shoulders!! Lets go!!

Day 11

No variations needed!

For the abs section: I performed the exercise, no counting till I felt the burn, then I did all 3 sets back to back. I did this method for both exercises 3 times through.

What you need:

  • dumbbells
  • swiss ball

LiveFit @home – Phase 1: Day 4: Shoulders/Abs

I LOVE shoulder day. I had fun with this one and was begging for more when it was over.

Day 4

No variations needed!

What you need:

  • dumbbells
  • swiss ball

Eh, Suck it Up Snap Fairy!

I am switching things up a bit. Hitting more muscle groups each session.  I am having off and on “morning sickness” so this ensures I still hit everything regardless if I go to the gym 3 times this week or 6.  What happened last week was a lot of muscles got left behind.  I need to find some tricks to combat nausea! Not sure if this is typical, but when I get nauseous every food sounds gross and makes it worse to even think about it.  As my grandma would say, “suck it up snap fairy!” just get over it 😛

The Upper Body Workout

Workout from: Fitness RX Feb 2012 issue; Pg 54; Jamie Eason’s 30-Day Knockout

  • Seated DB shoulder press (shoulders/tris) 3 x 10 ;15lbs
  • Super set: Skull crushers + narrow grip bench press (tris/chest) 3 x 10 ;35lb EZ bar
  • DB lateral raise (shoulders) 3 x 10 ;10lbs
  • Cable chest flys 3 x 10 ;40lbs
  • Rear delt cable flys (shoulders/back) 3 x 10 ;15lbs
  • Wide grip lat pulldown (back/biceps) 3 x 10 ;70lbs
  • Reverse grip pulldown (back/biceps) 3 x 10 ;55lbs
  • Super set: Alternating DB curl (biceps) 3 x 10 ;15lbs with
  • Bench reverse crunches 3 x 25

Today I executed this workout, but had to keep taking breaks – not used to that.  My cousin (college student and fitness buff) worked out with me and we both left feeling like we got our workout in – awesome.  She killed it – she was able to keep her pace a little higher than mine.

We completed this workout in 45 minutes. How bout them apples.

The Right to Bare Arms

arm workout - Image from

[Competition Training]

Shape those arms and get rid of the jiggle with a mix of cable, dumbbell and body-weight exercises to keep your body guessing.

Warm up

  • 50 push ups
  • 50 crunches on swiss ball

Circuit 1

  • 20R hammer curls with dumbbell (15#, 12.5, 12.5)
  • 50R dips
  • 20R skull crushers (10, 10, 10)
  • 50R drop sets 10/20/20: 15#, 10, 5
  • 30R Jack knife sit ups on bench
  • Note: repeat circuit 3 times with no rest between exercises. Rest 10-30 seconds between sets.

Circuit 2

  • 30R Tri pull down, rope attachment (45#,45,45)
  • 30R Hammer, rope attachment (35#, 25, 25)
  • 20R Tri extensions (50#, 45, 45)
  • 20R Cable curl, straight bar (45#, 45, 45)
  • Note: Repeat circuit 3 times, no rest between exercises, no rest between sets.

Jump rope 1 minute

30R Hanging leg raise – 2 sets

Circuit 3

  • 15R plank tucks with swiss ball (in pushup position with feet on swiss ball, pull ball in bringing knees to your chest, then roll back out into plank/pushup position = 1R)
  • 10R plank on swiss ball rolling to extend arms out and then pull back in (basically the reverse of the above = 1R)
  • Note: repeat circuit 3 times, no rest between sets or exercises

[Competition Training] Day 24: Pushing Past Failure

Today I REALLY learned about forced reps! After my first round of circuit one I could no longer curl the 45lb bar, but…she made me do it!! OMGOSH! She helped me through the sticky part and actually made me complete the set! HA! and then did that again for the 3rd round through! Wow…talk about pushing hard.  Makes me concerned that I won’t be able to make as great progress when I’m on my own at the gym…

Ala muscle and fitness hers:


WHAT it is

A technique in which you reach failure on a set before a spotter helps lift the weight so you can get past your sticking point and CONTINUE THE SET. //awesome.

WHY do it

Research confirms that forced reps increase growth-hormone levels (GH) more than sets taken only to muscle failure.  For a woman, boosting GH levels is critical for strength and muscle building, since testosterone levels are naturally low in females. GH is also essential for fat-burning: it has been shown that athletes using forced reps drop more bodyfat than those who stop at failure.

HOW to do it

The key to effective forced-rep training is having a spotter who knows what she’s doing.  The objective is to get 2-4 forced reps at the end of a set, not 8-10.  For that reason, the spotter shouldn’t help too much.  She should make you work hard through each and every forced rep, providing just enough assistance to get you past your sticking point.  That said, the spotter shouldn’t make you work so hard that the reps take five seconds on the concentric portion; when doing forced reps, the weight should always keep moving. If it stops, the spotter isn’t providing enough help.

The Workout

Warm up – 50 push ups

Circuit 1

15R Tricep kick-backs standing

10R Curl 45lb bar

50R Dips

Drop sets: 10R 15#, 10R 10#, 15R 5#

Circuit 2

20R Tricep pull down- Cable with rope attachment

20R Hammer curls #15

200 Core

100R – she had me doing crunches with this thing under my lower back that looked like a gargantuan over-filled whoopee cushion.  That thing made it really hard to balance so I felt it all over my core.

100R – Sit ups

[Competition Training] Day 22: Labor Day Solo Round

There was a bit of a misunderstanding and I found myself parked in front of Jerome’s gym staring at the big sign “CLOSED”.  Bummer! Bummer?…I texted Susan (my trainer) and determined, with her permission, that I would not take the day off and instead workout on my own at 24 hour fitness.

I wanted to see if I could challenge and push myself even on a holiday.


I wrote out my workout plan with reps and weight notated and split it into 2 circuits.


I completed everything just like I would with Susan! I pushed through an entire hour! After my heart rate calmed down and I was nearly home, I was reflecting on my workout and realized that I could have squeezed in a few more exercises that I forgot to include. Doh!

What I learned from this:

I can push myself to complete any challenge, but I HAVE to write it out ahead of time – determine it in my heart that this is what I will do – THEN I can have a very productive workout (with no regrets that I could have done more 🙂 ).

The Workout:

  • Double lunges (up and back)

Circuit 1 (repeat 3 times):

  • jump squats (30 seconds)
  • 20R Lying leg curl (35lb)
  • 30R Squats on platform with dumbbell(25lb)
  • 50R Pushup position alt. leg jump

Circuit 2 (repeat 3 times):

  • 20R Roman dead lifts
  • 10/10 Single-leg step up with bench


  • 2 minute plank hold
  • plank with knee-up (30 sec)
  • 20R sit-up with leg raise

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