Category Archives: Ab Routines

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

[Competition Training] Day 18: My Defining Moment

Warm up

Walking Lunges

Walking Double lunges

Circuit 1 – all circuits repeat 3 times

20R squat on platform (drop weight lower than platform) (25#)

10R Lunge-squat set each leg (front lunge, back lunge, wide squat; 10R then switch legs)

50R “lateral knee-ups” (get in push up position, staying in push up position jump right leg up so that your knee is now near your head and foot at your right hand, then jump the right leg back while simultaneously jumping left leg up so that left foot is by left hand –so you always have one leg out keeping you in push-up stance and one leg by your hand)

Circuit 2

10R Single leg step up with bench (when you come down, don’t put weight down, just touch)

30 bench sit ups (lay on bench with legs out stretched in the air so that you are horizontal with floor, fold body and legs in for crunch)

20R Roman dead lifts (30#)

Core – 15R ab-dolly (front, left, right = 1R)

Today was great because I confirmed to myself that I can push myself on my own. [This is very reassuring since in a week I will be working out mostly on my own!] During the “lateral knee ups” I set out to do 50 the first set, but I knew in my head that was too tough, so I ended up failing (probably prematurely) at 20 and then continuing a few at a time till I finished.  The second circuit around I told myself to at least get to 25 without stopping…well…I made it to 30!! I was so proud of myself! I had to finish it in sets of 5s and 10.  Then…the defining moment…Last circuit I decided to do 35 – really do 35.  I ended up failing at 32, but not because of will power! I was then able to do the next 20 without stopping! then I finished strong with the last 8 but was dead after that.  Point of that is…I pushed myself!! That was not my trainer making those goals, that was ME! THANK YOU LORD FOR THE STRENGTH AND SUCCESS!!

PS…cheat meal today – fried shrimp po’boy at Rockfish yummm…but next time I think I’ll just do blackened shrimp.  I was just so excited about my cheat meal haha, but the fried part really wasn’t that worth it.  I think I would have been just as satisfied with grilled or blackened. #liveandlearn

[Competition Training] Day 17: Bis and Trics and Abs, Oh My!

Love the supersets.  Warmed up with 15,15,15,15,15,15 pullups, dips (assisted).

15R Hammer curls with dumbbells (10# ea hand)

15R Skull-crushers with dumbbells (10# ea hand)

20R Cable Bent-over Triceps Extension (with rope attachment) (30#)

15R Cable one-arm curl (20#)

Instructions: Repeat circuit 3 times, no rest


30R crunches (30 sec rest, repeat 3 times)

20R Sit up with single-leg raise

1 minute plank hold

2 minute plank hold

Felt really good after this workout.  Fatigued but not death-fatigue.  I know I am still weak, but I can tell I am getting stronger.  I have a cardio program forthcoming from Groshek. I am expecting nothing less than hell ^_^.

Recovery Day 19: Diet, Isos, Dedication

Recovering from a broken tailbone is taking way longer than I had anticipated. I’ve broken enough bones and torn enough tendons and ligaments to know how long it takes to recover, but for some reason I still had it in my head that I’d be fine in a couple weeks. I was just told that it will probably be until mid summer before I am back to normal. I love the ability to focus entirely on a good schedule of eating though. I have also had time to try new recipes that I usually only have time for on the weekends.

Iso-squats that I did yesterday felt good, but the tailbone [tissue/muscle/ligaments area] is achy today. It’s amazing how much you use your tailbone!

Logged 10S/12,16,14,12,14,16,18,12,10,10R seated shoulder press
100S/10secondR iso-abs

My goal today: consume 60 oz H2O.
Reached! by 5:30pm

Meal 1: Strawberry Vanilla Oatmeal Protein Shake
Meal 2: 2 oz Ground turkey and whole wheat pesto pasta with pine nuts and red wine vinegar
Meal 3: Bowl of steak pepper-pot soup
Meal 4: Lo Carb Monster energy drink; Yogurt with almonds and 1/2 apple, cubed
Meal 5: Bowl of steak pepper-pot soup (why waste leftovers? ^_^)
Meal 6: 4 oz Salmon and steamed broccoli

Hope everyone is eating healthy and staying dedicated to your 2010 goals no matter what!

Keep on truckin!

Weight Report: 118.8

Comment: I looove hanging leg raises!

Yesterday I did my weight training first. Which is different from my usual format of Cardio, weight, cardio, stretch. I was stronger on my lifting. My cardio was only 25 minutes because I was short on time *ergh* . I ended with 4 sets of hanging leg raises*.

Today I will hit the biceps and shoulder/back pretty hard, then abs, then get on the treadmill for half an hour. If I have time I will do the bike for another 10 before I stretch.

I am doing great on my diet, but I did have pocky yesterday morning ^_^. Other than, I have been pretty impeccable with the clean foods. Hence the drop in weight.

Hanging Leg Exercise
set 1: 8 alternations of leg raise, knee raise – total of 16 raises
set 2: 10 alternations of leg raise, knee raise – total of 20 raises
set 3: 8 alternations of leg raise, knee raise – total of 16 raises
set 4: 6 alternations of leg raise, knee raise – total of 12 raises
I heart hanging leg raises

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