Gym Strength Workout

I meant to post yesterday, but it just didn’t happen. Between working in the morning, doing some last prep for a practical final exam, and going to school to actually do the exam, it was a busy day. I’m happy with how the practical final exam went though, I’m pretty sure I aced it. I was pretty stressed about it, so it’s a huge relief to be done it. One final down, three more to go next week!

Today I thought I’d share a workout with you. I haven’t created many strength workouts for the blog, so I thought I’d do one for today’s post. It’s pretty straight forward, but if you have any questions about it, let me know in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer any that come up.

Gym Strength Workout

Squat // With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees and ankles. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Deadlift // With feet hip width apart and the barbell in front of you on the floor, grasp the barbell with whatever grip is most comfortable for you. Using your glutes, lift it so that you’re standing straight up. Lower it back to the floor and then up again.

Lunges // Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the forward leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot.

Bench press // With a pair of dumbbells sit on a bench, and slowly lay down. Bring the dumbbells straight over your shoulders with your arms extended. Slowly bring them down to your torso and then up back to the starting position.

Machine rows // Sit at a cable row machine with your feet centered on the foot platform and sitting on the bench so that you have a slight bend in your knees. Lean forward to grasp the handles of the cable and lean back to a standard sitting position. Start with your arms extended, and slowly bring them towards your abdomen, using your back muscles. Once your elbows have reached 90 degrees, extend your arms back out.

Lat pulldown // Sitting at a lat pulldown, adjust the leg pads to make sure it’s at the appropriate height. Stand up to grasp the bar with both hands and then sit back down, sliding your legs under the leg pads. Start with your arms fully extended and leaning back just slightly. Bring your hands down to your collar bone slowly and then extend them back out to the starting position.

Looking for more workouts? Check out all the workouts I’ve posted on GFF here.

Check with your doctor before beginning to workout. As always, remember to honor your body and modify as needed.

Friday Favorites June 16 2017

I thought that I had published this post yesterday, but apparently I didn’t. So I’m making sure that it goes live today!

Happy Friday! I’m looking forward to the weekend – this was a busy week. Since I don’t have classes on Fridays I was able to get a bunch of errands done done today that I had been putting off. This weekend I have a bunch of studying on my to do list, along with getting together with my boyfriend for a date along with dinner with the family for Father’s Day on Sunday.

As usual for Friday, today I’m sharing some of my favorite things from the last week.

School is almost done // This was my last full week of classes. I have three more classes next week and then I’m finished! I have finals the last week of June and then I’m officially done my diploma. While it definitely felt like 2 years while I was going through it, not that I’m looking back, the two years actually went by pretty quick.

 Candian Butter Tart Fiasco Gelato

Canadian Butter Tart Fiasco Gelato // Fiasco gelato is a local Calgary company that makes seriously delicious gelato. They create seasonal flavors that they switch up a couple times a year. Their summer ones just came out, and one of them is a butter tart flavor. Apparently butter tarts are a Canadian thing? I didn’t realize that, as I’ve always just assumed it was something that everyone ate.

 Garden Native Wildflowers

The backyard // Since my job involves working with plants, I’ve slowly been adding them to the garden over the years. That work is starting to pay off now, and the perennials are starting to fill in. This particular spot is really pretty right now. In another month or so there will also be purple flowers when the bluebells start to bloom.

Blogger Summer Camp // Like I posted about last week, the Blogger Summer Camp is coming up. Nicole Culver has just announced some bosuses that she’s added, so I’m even more excited about participating. I’m super excited about taking my blogging to the next level. If you want to take part too, you can check it out here (affiliate link).

Share in the comments below about a favorites of yours from the last week.

Workout Playlist June 2017

I hope everyone had a great weekend. It flew by – doesn’t it always happen like that?

Friday and Saturday were both pretty low key, doing laundry and homework. I swear the homework is never ending, especially for short spring semesters.

The highlight of my weekend was Sunday afternoon which was my first time back volunteering with soccer. It was our first outdoor game, so that was pretty exciting. The weather was perfect which I was grateful for (sunny with a few clouds in the sky), especially since it rained all day on Saturday. I’ve been missing soccer like crazy so it felt especially good to be out there again. The only down side is that I didn’t get quite enough sunscreen around the neckline of the shirt I was wearing, so I now have some pretty red spots. I’m already looking forward to next weeks soccer game though.

Today I’ll be sharing a workout playlist. Cause just about any workout is better with music, right? There’s just something about listening to great music while at the gym that gets me working just a bit harder than I usually would.

Workout Playlist June 2017

I used to love The Killers about the time I graduated university the first time around (2006). Although I haven’t heard their most recent music I still really enjoy listening to Sam’s Town and Hot Fuss.

Give It To Me has Timbaland, Nelly Furtado, and Justin Timberlake, so it’s almost a no brainer that it’ll be a great song. It always manages to get me pumped up.

While I wasn’t a huge fan of Meghan Trainor when she came out with her first single, her music has slowly been growing on me. I really like her Me Too song so I added that to the playlist too.

Here’s link to the playlist on Spotify:

Interested in other workout playlists? You can find all of my playlists here.

Weekly Workouts June 4 to 10 2017

Weekly Workouts

Sunday // Since I forgot my ipod in my locker, I decided to split up my cardio and do my strength workout between the elliptical and the bike. I started out with 30 minutes on the elliptical. My goal was to keep my heart rate at about 70% of my max (about 151 using HRR), which I managed to do. It did take some extra work at the beginning to get it high enough, but once I did it was relatively easy to keep it there. As for the strength part of my workout, I did the following:

  • Row machine 8 reps x 3 sets x 40 lbs
  • Lat pulldown 8 reps x 3 sets x 27.5 lbs
  • Cable machine bicep curls 8 reps x 3 sets x 20 lbs
  • Cable tricep pulldowns 8 reps x 3 sets x 20 lbs

Next time I think I’ll be upping my weights on the rows and lat pulldowns. I then spent 20 minutes on the bike to finish off my workout.

Monday // I was expecting to be sore from the strength part of my workout, but I wasn’t (why I want to increase my weight next time), so I did this Jessica Smith workout on YouTube. The cardio intervals kept it interesting so the 30 minutes flew by. She also included some core work as well.

Tuesday // Rest day.

Lower Body Circuit Workout

Wednesday // I decided to do this lower body workout. I forgot how tough this one is! Needless to say, I was pretty tired and sweaty by the time I was done.

Thursday // Since my legs were sore from my lower body workout the day before, I decided that a walk on the treadmill would be a good idea. I ended up going at a pretty good pace to get my heart rate up, but my legs definitely felt a bit better afterwards.

Friday // I didn’t sleep very well last night, so I took a rest day. I figured sleep was more important than getting up early to make it to the gym.

Saturday // This morning I was learning some new Zumba choreography from the latest release. I’m really liking ZIN Volume 69 so far and I’m super excited to be getting closer to teaching Zumba. I actually had a conversation with one of my profs this week about how fast Zumba classes go by. One minute you’re warming up and before you know it there’s only 10 minutes of class left.

What was your favorite workout from the last week?

Friday Favorites June 9 2017

Happy Friday! I’m so glad the weekend is just about here. It’s been another busy week at school. With homework and work on top of classes it feels like I’ve been going non-stop. I’m looking forward to having a couple low key days and preparing for next week. As usual, today I’ll be sharing my Friday Favorites from the last week.

Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour Beer

Saturday night was date night, so I headed over to my boyfriend’s place. We ended up ordering a pizza, drinking beer, and watching hockey. While it wasn’t a very exciting night, it was still fun. I tried a new to me Canadian beer called Blueberry Blast Kettle Sour from Dead Frog Brewery out of British Columbia. It ended up being really good – something that I would definitely buy again. As for the pizza we decided on bacon cheeseburger. It had pickles on it (which I’d never had on a pizza before), but were so good! I’d highly recommend you try out pickles on a pizza if you ever have the chance.

Cinnamon Scone

After work one day I decided to stop by Cob’s. They always have so many delicious looking things in there – plus is smells amazing when you walk in the door. I decided on a cinnamon scone. It was amazing!

Roasted Vegetables

One night this week I decided to make some roasted potatoes and veggies. I chopped up:

  • one white potato
  • half a large red onion
  • half a crown of broccoli
  • 4 or 5 brussels sprouts
  • a handful of baby carrots

I then added some oil and spices and mixed it up to ensure everything was coated before putting it into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. It turned out really good – and I think it got even better as leftovers. It was enough for 4 servings as a side dish.

I spent a few hours this week watching all 7 episodes of The Keepers. Going into it I knew that it was about sexual abuse perpetrated by a Priest in a Catholic high school and the murder of a Sister who was a teacher there almost 50 years ago. However it was a lot more dark and depressing than I thought it was going to be. I watched the last two episodes last night and I had trouble sleeping. It’s astonishing to me that people were aware of the abuse, but they let it continue to happen – and even helped to cover it up.

Iced tea

I’m not much of a tea drinker (I usually only drink it when I’m at a Vietnamese restaurant), but I was given a package of  Youthberry and Wild Orange Blossom tea from Teavana by my dad. So far I’ve only tried it as iced tea with a bit of sugar added for some sweetness. For someone who’s not a huge tea fan, I’d definitely suggest trying this fruity blend out.

Lemon Larabar

I have a night class two times a week from 5 pm to 8 pm. I’m a morning person – and most productive and able to focus in the morning – so the timing of this class is a challenge for me. The content is dry (since it’s a psychology of exercise class that means that there’s lots of theories), so it’s not very exciting. Most of the time I’m wishing I was outside instead soaking in the sun instead of in a classroom with one little window. Anyway, Tuesday night I had a lemon Larabar during the break. While I was still wishing I wasn’t stuck in class, it made the second half of the class tolerable.

I hope you all have a great Friday night and I’ll be back tomorrow for a Weekly Workouts post.

What’s one of your Friday Favorites from the last week?