Dinner / Fitness / Health

Loading Up

Good news! Our rental application was accepted! Today we signed on the dotted line for rental on the North Shore! Pretty hard to believe we’ll be living less than a block from one of the most famous beaches in the world. With the house hunt complete, I have no excuses to post-pone the serious job hunt. I’ve been pretty preoccupied with cover letters and online applications (which is a gamble with the wonky hotel internet.)

Our days have been fairly busy, but not too busy to work out. This week I began testing a new strength program – 30 true minutes of active strength training, plus 15-30 minutes of light cardio … every other day. I have been pretty sore which is a good sign, but what’s even more encouraging is that my mid-distance run today was a piece of cake. It’s amazing what a few bouts of strength training can do for your legs and heart.

Although you may not know the official name, you are familiar with ‘horizontal loading’ strength workouts. Horizontal loading workouts are extremely popular in busy gyms and among those who want to build muscle mass and max strength. The workout focuses on one muscle group at a time by completing all sets of an exercise before moving onto the next muscle group. Hence, you move horizontally through your workout. Because you are working the same muscle over and over for 3-5 sets, rest is essential. Rest means your heart rate comes down, and you eat up precious time while you wait for your muscles to recover. There is merit to this type of workout, however, especially if your goal is to build muscle large mass or max strength.

Those are not my goals however, so the strength regime that I am testing is a ‘vertical loading’ workout. I like to call it my “loading up” workout. Vertical loading workouts tackle all major muscle groups in a circuit fashion to keep your blood pumping, your heart rate up, and helps burn more calories (since there is less rest involved) while strengthening muscles. At the end of the workout you will have completed the same number of sets per muscle as the horizontally loaded workout, but you cycle through one set of each muscle group before repeating the first muscle. This type of workout is popular among personal trainers because it can be adapted to a achieve variety of fitness goals. It also is a LOT more fun than waiting between sets.

Below is the vertical workout I did yesterday: “C1” denotes circuit 1.

Warm up – walk or jog 5-10 min

Strength Training – 30 min active time, strength portion takes approx. 45 min

total body(2 min), chest(1 min), back(1 min), shoulders(1 min), biceps(1 min), triceps(1 min), legs(1 min), abs(2 min) = 10 minutes, 1 circuit

To complete one circuit, perform one exercise per above muscle groups for 1 minute each (except total body and abs which are 2 minutes each) and repeat pattern with different exercises for a total of 3 circuits. Do not rest between exercises. DO rest 2 minutes between complete circuits.

Total Body – 2 min
C1 walking lunge, curl-to-press with 10 lb dumbbells – 2 minutes
C2 weighted barbell squat to shoulder press – 2 min
C3 kettle bell swings – 2 min

Chest – 1 min
C1 push ups
C2 weighted barbell supine (face up) bench press
C3 supine chest fly on bench with 10 lb dumbbells

Back – 1 min
C1 weighted barbell rows with EZ-curl barbell (which is a wavy-looking barbell)
C2 single arm dumbbell rows
C3 weighted back extensions on hyperextension apparatus

Shoulders – 1 min
C1 single leg lateral raises (45 degree angle) with 5 lb dumbbells
C2 single leg dumbbell shoulder press
C3 two leg straight-arm front shoulder raises with 5 lb dumbbells

Biceps – 1 min
C1 single leg, single arm dumbbell curls
C2 barbell curls, 20 lb EZ-curl barbell
C3 seated medicine ball dumbbell curls

Triceps – 1 min
C1 standing tricep extensions
C2 bench tricep dips
C3 prone (face down) medicine ball tricep extensions

Legs – 1 min
C1 alternating lunges with 10 lb weights
C2 side step ups with side lunge and 5 lb weights
C3 single leg dead lift – 30 lb barbell

Abs – 2 min
C1 bicycle crunches
C1 decline abs
C2 russian twists
C2 leg lifts
C3 reverse crunches
C3 plank

Light cardio (optional) – 15 mins low-moderate intensity cardio (e.g. elliptical or brisk walking)

Cool down and stretch  – 5 min walking and hold each stretch tight areas for a minimum of 30 seconds

Phew! That took forever to type. But I did it for you. Let me know what you think if you try it! This workout pattern is awesome because you can insert any of your favorite exercises into the appropriate muscle group. If pressed for time, you can modify it by reducing the number of circuits, or you can cut out biceps and triceps all together (you’ll still get some arm action in the total body exercises). Vertical loading is finally a FUN way to experience the weight room — a previously dreaded space for me. I love that my heart is beating out of my chest and I’m sweating like crazy without running sprints.

To give my muscles a little love, I made this Rachel Ray inspired low fat, low sugar, protein packed chicken … and tons of colorful veggies in honor of all the rainbows we’ve been seeing.

lemon rosemary garlic chicken with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms

lemon rosemary garlic chicken with roasted tomatoes and mushrooms

rainbow plate

rainbow plate

Other than a couple awesome workouts, the best part of the week so far has been…shopping for PRESENTS! Not for me, for Daniel. I’m totally ready to help Santa stuff a stocking!

Ho Ho Ho

One thought on “Loading Up

  1. Wow! Sounds like an awesome workout! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what one (by “one” I mean me) should do if you work out 4 days/wk but only have a max of 30 mins/workout most days–maybe 1 day 45-60mins? My goal is to tone up AND work my way up to run a 5k (and eventually beyond!!!). Hmm….maybe a new blog post? Looking forward to it 🙂 and Super excited about the place. We can’t wait to come for a visit!!!

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