Category Archives: schedule

4×4 Workout

This workout (originally created over at Fit Fab Cities) is another designed to be done in whatever amount of time you have available for it. There are FOUR sets with FOUR individual exercise per set (hence the title).

Enjoy!


Beginners should take breaks whenever needed. Intermediates should take short breaks between exercises and longer breaks between sets. Advanced exercisers should limit breaks to only between sets. and again… DRINK WATER!

Free printable version: click here.

*Update: My glossary for these, and many more, workout terms is here. The following is a shortened list of only those terms found in this workout:

Bicycle Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, lift your left leg straight up about 2 inches from the ground and bring your right knee up to form a 90-degree angle. As you do this pull your left shoulder away from the mat bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Now switch, pull your right elbow to your 90-degree-bent left knee and straighten your right leg to hover above the floor.

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Butt Kickers
Start in a standing position. Start jogging in place kicking your foot as close to your butt as you can with each step.

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Front Kicks
Start in a standing position. Lift your right leg straight out in front of your body until it is as close to parallel with the ground as you can lift it. Alternate legs.

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Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

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Lunge
Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.
Mountain Climbers
Begin in a pushup position on the hands and toes. Bring the right knee in towards the chest, resting the foot on the floor. Jump up and switch feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and the right foot back. Switch back, that’s one rep.

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Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

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Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the toes. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.
Quad Lift
Sit with leg straight out in front of you, back straight. Place your hand on either side of your hips. Keeping your leg straight lift your right leg, lower it back to the floor, then lift your left leg, lower it. That’s one rep.

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Reverse Crunches
Lay flat on your back, with your arms at your side. Use your arms to support your body, curve your back as you lift your legs, butt and lower back into the air. Pull your legs close to your chest, then using your ab muscles lift them straight into the air again.


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Shoulder Press
Hold a weight in each hand above your shoulders, next to your ears. With palms facing in life the weights straight up until your arms are straight directly over your shoulders. release to starting position.

Ski Jumps
Starting in a standing position with knees slightly bent and chest forward, quickly jump from side to side over an imaginary line. Land each time with feet hip-width distance apart. When you land where you began (2 jumps) that’s one rep.
Squat Press
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, returning to standing with arms by side.
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Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.
V-Lift
Hold a weight in each hand, arms at your side with palms facing in. Lift with straight arms and open them into a v-shape until arms are parallel with the floor.  Hold then carefully release to starting position.
V-Sit
Start by sitting with your legs extended in front of you, toes pointed, hands resting by your hips. Slowly hinge your body backward by lifting your legs off the ground, keeping them straight and toes pointed. Lift your arms so they are parallel to the ground.  You should be balanced on your butt, with your body forming a “V” from your toes to your head.

50 (or so) Date Ideas

Date night ideas, popsicle stick jar



We are BORED! Bored out of our minds. Bored with ourselves, bored with our stuff, bored with our house, bored with our day-to-day lives. Just plain bored. It’s about time to spice things up around here. We want more time with each other, more time without stuff, more time away from the house, more excitement and creativity. I found an idea on Pinterest (regretfully I forgot to pin it and have no link) to fill a jar with popsicles sticks each with a date idea written on it. We went ahead and gave it a try.

First we gathered our supplies:

Date night ideas, popsicle stick jar 
multi-colored popsicle sticks, thin point Sharpies, two plastic bags (one for new ideas and one for used ideas), and sustenance


We assigned the colors of the popsicle sticks as follows:

  • Red = Things to do at home
  • Yellow = Free things
  • Green = $
  • Blue = $$$

We then started brainstorming ideas and writing them down, some examples are listed here:

  • Go to the local art museum
  • Take a brewery tour
  • Write a novel
  • Buy coloring books and color in them
  • Make a home video
  • Rent a hotel room for the night
  • etc.

Originally we were going to use bags but I found this jar in my cabinet so the new ideas were placed in it when completed (used ideas still go in a little bag).

Date night ideas, popsicle stick jar


We didn’t fill in all of the popsicle sticks so we made one that says simple “Make new popsicle sticks.”

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For ideas for your own popsicle stick dates follow the links below.


What are some of your great date-night ideas?

Mighty Squats Challenge

Squats… it’s a horrible word, but a wonderful workout especially if you want a nice round butt (yoga pants can help with this as well). Surprisingly, I watch this video (and do the workout, I swear) every other day. Cassey Ho is super (impossibly) peppy and also inspirational.  I’ve watched (and done, I swear) her other videos available on YouTube and her blog.

If you like the song Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (or at least think it’s catchy like I do) then this squats challenge is strangely quite enjoyable. AND it only takes about six minutes, BUT if you want to skip to the workout it starts at 31 seconds and ends at about four minutes, SO the workout is actually only about three minutes and 30 seconds long… NO BREAKS!

Now…







Do you enjoy squats? How do you tone your butt and thighs?

Every Book In the Entire World

Many of you might know that my first project this summer was my patio garden and the hanging gutter garden. Now that my only responsibility in the garden is to water once or twice a day and harvest what comes up, I’ve been working on my next project: reading.


I was inspired to read ALL the books after reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (***UPDATE*** read the review here) to read because she has a goal to read all the book in her library starting with A and ending with Z. I’m taking the opportunity to start now.

Over the years (since high school or maybe earlier) I’ve kept lists of books I want to read. Some can be found on odd bits of paper, other on my Pinterest board and still more in notebooks. I finally compiled all of these lists into one massive list, and I mean MASSIVE. It’s an excel spread sheet with tabs for which list the books came from and is conditionally formatted so that once I’ve read the book the box will change color (I have a lot of time on my hands).

Some of the books are classics, some are modern, there are fiction and non-fiction, poetry and history and everything else you can think of and I will be reading, quite literally, until I die.

I don’t just want to read the books; I want to analyze them as well. The way I did in high school, which is why I am also planning to write reviews for each book as I finish it and post it here, on my blog. The first one was Life of Pi (read it here). I also wrote a bit about Harry Potter (read it here). So that’s the plan.

 If you’re interested in my books lists…

Books that were recommended to me by friends, family, professors and/or my own bookshelf:

Websites with other booklists:


What’s on your book list? What is your favorite book?

1-Hour Total Body Workout

I am not one of those people who really love to work out. I wish I were, because my life would be so much easier if I didn’t have to force myself to do things to keep in shape. I do what I have to in order to keep active but mostly I enjoy activities that are exercise plus something else, like yoga for relaxation and stretching, riding a bike to a friends house, walking the long way to the grocery store, hiking and backpacking, or running to the ice cream shop.  These activities have another purpose, and yet I still get some exercise out of it. I do have a few workout plans that I like to fit each in once a week (5-4-3-2-1 workout for one) and this one.

I developed this plan for myself based on some Women’s Health Magazine workouts and an app I have for my Kindle Fire (as well as from my limited knowledge of what a good workout is). It takes an hour as is, but can easily be cut down to 45, 30 or even 15 minutes just by cutting out reps.

 
1-Hour Total Body Workout


For a printable version click the link below
1-Hour Total Body Workout




Check out my workout terms glossary. These terms are used in this workout:

Butt Kickers
Start in a standing position. Start jogging in place kicking your foot as close to your butt as you can with each step.

Clamshell
Lay on your side with both knees bent at 90 degrees. Keeping your knee bent and feet together, hinge your top leg open. Lower your knee back to starting for one rep.

Crescent Lunge with Row
Stand in crescent lunge position, one foot a large step in from of the other, the front foot flat against the floor and the knee bent 90 degrees and the back foot on tip-toes with the leg straight. Lean your chest forward slightly and with a weight in both hand, palms facing in, pull the weight straight up, elbows bending behind your body.

Dog Lifts
Start in a tabletop position, hands directly below the shoulder and knees directly below the hips, tops of feet against the floor. Keeping your right knee bent lift it from the ground up to the side until it is parallel with the floor. Slowly lower it to hover above the floor. That’s one rep, do all reps then repeat on the opposite leg.
Donkey Kicks
Start in a tabletop position, hands directly below the shoulder and knees directly below the hips, tops of feet against the floor. Keeping your knee bent lift your right foot up toward the sky, lower it back to hover over the floor with control. That’s one rep, do all reps then switch legs.

Flutter
Lay flat on your stomach. Lift your legs and arms from the mat, keep your forehead against the floor. Quickly alternate lifting your right arm with your left leg, then your left arm with your right leg.
Froggy Lifts
Lay face down on your mat with your forehead to the floor. Bend your knees to 90 degrees and flex your feet. Turn your toes out slightly keeping your heels together, lift your feet straight up removing your knees from the mat.

Hamstring Curl
Lay flat on you stomach, prop your upper body up onto your forearms. Attach ankle weights to your ankles or hold a hand weight between your feet. Slowly bend your knees, lifting the weight into the air. Carefully lower the weight toward the floor, hover above the floor, for one rep.

Hip Bridge
Lay on your back with arms by your side and feet flat against the floor, hip-width distance apart. Lift your hips from the mat until your body forms a straight line from shoulder to knee.

Inner Thigh Raise
Lying on your side pull your top leg forward into a 90-degree angle with knee resting on the floor. Lift the bottom leg a couple of inches and then lower it back to hover just above the floor. That’s one rep.
Jog-in-place
Pretty self explanatory, jog… but do it in place.
Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.
Knee Ups
Start standing and begin jogging in place lifting your knees as high as possible.
Leg Extension
Lie on back with knees bent. Rest your arms on the floor at should level, with palms facing up. As you lift your hips from the form to form a straight line from shoulders to hips, extend on leg in the air. Hold, then lower foot flat to floor and switch to the opposite leg.
Leg Raise
Lay down on your side, hip on the floor, and prop yourself up on your forearm. Lift your top leg straight up into the air. Lower it back down without touching your bottom leg. Repeat.


Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Quad Lift
Sit with leg straight out in front of you, back straight. Place your hand on either side of your hips. Keeping your leg straight lift your right leg, lower it back to the floor, then lift your left leg, lower it. That’s one rep.

Shoulder Press
Hold a weight in each hand above your shoulders, next to your ears. With palms facing in life the weights straight up until your arms are straight directly over your shoulders. release to starting position.
Side Kick
Start in a tabletop position, hands directly below the shoulder and knees directly below the hips, tops of feet against the floor. Lift your right leg so it is extended straight back from your body. Slowly bring it around so that it is perpendicular to your body and parallel to the floor. Return it to straight behind you for one rep. Do reps then repeat on opposite leg.
Side Plank
Lie on your side with your legs straight. Prop yourself up with your hand directly below your shoulder (or on your forearm with your elbow directly below your shoulder). Your body should form a diagonal line with your feet stacked on top of each other. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: be sure your hips and knees stay of the floor.

Ski Hops
Starting in a standing position with knees slightly bent and chest forward, quickly jump from side to side over an imaginary line. Land each time with feet hip-width distance apart. When you land where you began (2 jumps) that’s one rep.
Squat
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, returning to standing with arms by side.

Static Lunge
Begin with right leg one large step in front of the left leg. Lower your body until both knees from a 90-degree angle. Don’t touch your back knee to the ground. Lift yourself out of the lunge. Do reps then switch to left leg.

 

Triangle Pushup
Do a pushup but instead of placing hand outside of your body, move them in under your chest with index finger and thumb touching to form a triangle.
Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.
Tricep Extension
Hold one 10- to 15- pound weight in both hands. Place it behind your head and with control lift it over your head.
V-Lift
Hold a weight in each hand, arms at your side with palms facing in. Lift with straight arms and open them into a v-shape until arms are parallel with the floor.  Hold then carefully release to starting position.

Whether you enjoy working out or not, how do you keep in shape? Try the workout, tell me what you think; I appreciate constructive criticism.

The 5-4-3-2-1 Workout (my version)

Maggie's Mind Mumbles//: 5-4-3-2-1 Workout

One of my latest obsessions is the website Pinterest (if you want to follow me, my username is: maghaseman).  I spend way too much time there pinning things to plan the wedding that is non-existent, the house I’ll never be able to afford and the vacation of my dreams.  There are a few things I do pin that I actually use though, including workouts.  I came across this wonderful routine about a month ago and have tried it a few times.  I love Caitlin’s Blog Fit Fab Cities and have tried a lot of her ideas.

This particular routine, The 5-4-3-2-1 Workout, is such a great idea, it’s quick and, as Caitlin says in her blog, easy to fit into a busy schedule, and I love the formatting (bright colors).  However, as I was doing the exercise I found that I lost track of the workout.  I have always struggled with workouts that have too much variety, some people enjoy the variety because it keeps it interesting but for me personally it doesn’t work.  The other thing I didn’t like was that it was missing ab exercises.  So I revamped it a little to suit my own needs:

54321 workout, schedule, busy, fitness nuts
You can download the printable version by clicking this link: 5-4-3-2-1 workout.


I kept Caitlin’s cutesy rainbow formatting and a lot of her content.  I replaced her 4 minute section with ab exercises.  Hope you enjoy it!

**Update: Check out my workout terms glossary.

These are the terms used in this workout:

Bicycle Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, lift your left leg straight up about 2 inches from the ground and bring your right knee up to form a 90-degree angle. As you do this pull your left shoulder away from the mat bringing your left elbow to your right knee. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Now switch, pull your right elbow to your 90-degree-bent left knee and straighten your right leg to hover above the floor.


Crunch
Lay flat on your back. Place your hands behind your head, and your feet flat on the floor. Pull your shoulders away from the mat. Make sure you don’t pull your head forward with your arms but rather keep your gaze upward and use your hand for neck support only. Lower yourself back to the mat.

High Knees
Start standing and begin jogging in place lifting your knees as high as possible.


Jumping Jacks
Starting standing with feet together and arms straight by your sides. Jump up and spread your arms and legs wide as you land. Jump up again to return to center.

Lunge
Take a big step forward with your left foot, bend your knees and lower your body until both legs form 90-degree angles. Push off with your left foot and stand back up. Do reps, and then repeat on other leg.


Plank
Set-up the top of a push-up position with your hands directly below your shoulder. A variation of this is to rest on your forearms with elbows directly beneath shoulders. Hold your body completely straight by engaging your abs. If you can’t hold the plank for the full duration, work up to it. Form is more important the length of time: don’t drop your hips or raise your butt.

Pushup
Lay on your belly with hand flat on the floor on either side, forearms perpendicular to the floor. Stiffen body and literally push yourself away from the ground, hinging at the toes. When arms are straight hold and with control release your body, hover above the ground and repeat.

Squat
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms by sides, Squat slowly until both knees are bent 90 degrees and raise arms straight to shoulder level in front of you. Immediately rise out of squat, returning to standing with arms by side.

Tricep Dip
Find an elevated surface such as a step, a coffee table over a chair. Place your palms on the surface directly behind your body. Hold yourself up and gently lower yourself down using your arms. When your arms make a 90-degree angle behind you lift yourself back up to the starting position.

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Leave a comment: What kind of exercises do you enjoy?  How do you fit workouts into your busy schedule?