New Workouts For Spring 2017
April 20, 2017
I have been doing some new workouts for Spring 2017 and wanted to share them on my blog. The workouts are called Classical Stretch, by Miranda Esmonde-White. They are broadcast on many PBS stations but I had never heard of these workouts until a friend from church recently told me about them.
I found out my local library had the book Aging Backwards by Miranda Esmonde-White and I checked it out. The first half of the book is about aging and a lot of information on your muscles and cells and joints and how they age. The book goes into a lot of detail on the Eccentrics, or Classical Stretch, exercise program and how she developed it and why. It explains how and why exercising and doing the right type of full body exercises can make you feel better, prevent injuries and keep us young even in our old age. The second half of the book are the exercises with photos and explanations on how to do them.
After checking the book out I decided to order one of her dvd sets. They are around $65.00 for a set of 4 dvd’s with a complete season of Classical Stretch. I ordered season 10 – Strength and Flexibility. It is one of the more recent seasons. You can go on to the classicalstretch.com website and when you click on store on the left side there are options that you can plug in like your age and fitness level and it will give you suggestions on what workouts are best for your level. The strength and flexibility one came up as one for me so I chose it.
So far I have done about half of the workouts out of the 30 workouts on the dvds. Each workout is approximately 23 minutes long. I really thought they were going to be too easy for me since I workout regularly – like 5 or 6 days a week – using some pretty hard workouts sometimes. But, I have been pleasantly surprised that the workouts are not what I expected. They are easier than my Cathe Friedrich and P90X3 workouts but they seem to work and they are lengthening and strengthening my body – especially my waist and my hips.
I have never done Tai Chi but I believe the exercises are part Tai Chi (as she mentions that the stances are in a couple of the workouts) part stretching, moving yoga and pilates all combined. At least that is how I describe it. I have been using the workouts about 3 days per week and some days I actually do 2 of them since they are shorter than what I normally do – if I do 2 workouts then it is about 46 minutes and I really feel a total body conditioning.
The workouts are all done in bare feet with just your body weight and minimal to no equipment. They are divided into All Standing, All Barre, or All Floor. When you do the All Standing it is just your body weight. If it is a Barre workout you need a chair. The floor workouts it is nice to have an exercise mat and she also uses some risers with a few exercises that look like large yoga blocks but she also says you can use a phone book or an encyclopedia.
I would recommend these workouts to anyone who is looking to get an overall total body workout, improve their posture and get more toned. I think the workout dvd’s I bought are possibly for a more experienced exerciser but I believe there are many others that are suitable for beginners.
So, I have now incorporated Classical Stretch into my weekly workout schedule – at least 3 times per week. The other 2 or 3 days that I workout I am still doing my Cathe workouts doing cardio or weights or a combination of both using her Strong and Sweaty series and Low Impact Series.
What workouts have you recently tried?
Have a great week!
End of Summer Fitness
September 3, 2016
Since I have been slacking of posting lately I thought I would update the blog on my fitness for this past summer. I have been working out regularly – just not posting about it. Things have been busy this past summer with my oldest son graduating high school in June and then my twins sons taking drivers education classes and learning to drive. I did find time to workout at least five days a week though, which is important to me.
The workouts I have done this past summer are a combination of different things. I think summer time is a time for variety since you can get outside more and do things like walk, ride a bike or swim. So, in addition to doing some of my workout dvd’s and some home yoga sequences from Yoga Journal magazine I did a few days a week of walking and a couple of swimming since we have a pool. I have also been riding my bike to the store or just riding it early some mornings instead of walking.
I was really enjoying my early, 6:30 am, morning walks for a few weeks but have recently stopped doing that. The reason being that there are these two loose dogs that seem kind of feral and they have actually bit a couple of my neighbors in the past few months. The animal control people are having a hard time tracking these dogs and catching them – it was even on our local TV news a couple of weeks ago. So, I decided to go back to riding my bike in the morning since I could probably out bike them but I am definitely in trouble if I am walking and alone.
The beginning of the summer I also bought a pilates ring and I have been using that some as well with some pilates workouts I do at home. I also like using my foam roller that I bought a couple of years ago when I get back from biking or walking.
The workout dvd’s I used this past summer were mainly from Cathe Friedrich – I love her workouts! I primarily used the Low Impact Series dvd’s about twice a week – alternating them between walking, biking or yoga days. Cathe has a new workout series called Strong and Sweaty that is coming out later this Fall. I will probably end up ordering it since all of her workouts are always good. I believe it is around $50.00 for 5 dvd workouts with free shipping if you order now. I am not affiliated with her workouts or blog I just like her workouts and wanted to share.
So, have you been exercising this summer? I would love to hear about what you have been doing in the comments.
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!
Fitness for April 2016
April 30, 2016
This month sure went by fast. It seems like it was just the end of March. I actually missed doing a post on fitness for the month of March because I was pretty busy. I did workout – even when we went out of town for Spring Break – but I just didn’t have time for a post that month.
In the past month of April I followed my Cathe Friedrich Xtrain program for most of the month along with yoga every other day. I actually started the month just doing Cathe workouts but then the past two weeks I decided to get back into yoga more so I have been doing a schedule of cardio or weights one day and then yoga the next. So the past couple of weeks my schedule was:
Mondays – Xtrain, cardio or weights
Tuesdays – yoga
Wednesdays – Xtrain, cardio or weights
Thursdays – yoga
Friday – Xtrain, cardio or weights
Saturday – yoga
Sunday – off
The yoga workouts varied for me. I either used my Shiva Rea dvd’s or checked out some Yoga Journal magazines from my local library and used some of the sequences in those. I enjoy doing the Yoga Journal sequences and the variety they offer. I also like that I can check out the magazines at the library and not have to buy them. The library keeps up to the past two years so there is a variety to choose from.
I also found a new book at the library about the Vitamix blender. I was looking for a book about using a blender for more than just smoothies and came across the Vitamix cookbook. At the time of checking this out a few weeks ago I did not own a Vitamix blender – I just had my older model Ninja Ultima blender that I bought about three years ago.
Well, after getting this book and seeing the great recipes and then watching some videos on YouTube about the Vitamix I was convinced I needed one. There are many things you can do with the Vitamix that the Ninja will not do, believe me, I tried. Thankfully my husband was agreeable to me getting one as they are not cheap. I ended up getting the Deluxe Complete Kitchen set that comes with the 5200 blender, the smaller blending container and also the dry grinding container that you can grind your own flours in. There were also some other bonuses like cutting mats, spatulas and the Whole Foods cookbook-binder with lots of great recipes. This set was on sale through Vitamix for Mother’s Day so I told my husband this could be my Mother’s Day gift.
So far I love this new blender. I have been using it daily – at least twice or more a day – since I received it. The smoothies are really good and the green ones turn out super smooth. I have even gotten my oldest son to start drinking one daily and he likes them.
I have also used the Vitamix to dry chop some vegetables and to wet chop vegetables. I have made a frozen dessert, nut butter, salsa and soup. The soup was not a big hit with the family – it was okay. I made it directly in the blender – it was tomato soup. It seemed kind of foamy which is what my family disliked. I think next time I would just blend it in the blender for about a minute and then cook – heat it on the stove. The strawberry frozen dessert I made was a big hit and I love how it only had 3 simple ingredients and very low sugar. I have also tried out the dry grinding container and made my own oat flour to use in my homemade bread and rolls that I bake each week.
Well, tomorrow is the first of May and I will continue my Cathe and yoga workout rotation for at least the beginning of May. I may change it up to something different by the middle of the month, we’ll see. I hope you are having a great Spring so far and getting in some workouts.
Fitness for February 2016
February 28, 2016
Today marks the end of my eight week completion of the Hammer and Chisel workout program from Beachbody. I am so glad to have made it through the total program, enjoyed all the workouts and I have seen positive results.
The past month the workouts were a little longer as there were more days that you added on the 10 minute Ab Hammer or the 10 minute Ab Chisel workouts after completing the days scheduled workout. Most of the workouts are around 30 to 40 minutes long but if you add on the 10 minutes of abs you are looking at around 40 to 50 minutes for that day. I also had a new workout friend – my other cat (as seen in the photo above) decide to join me for many of the workouts. She is older and kind of shy so she usually is in the other room but I guess she decide she liked Hammer and Chisel.
Power Chisel workout is a workout that can be found on the Deluxe dvd set that you have to purchase as an add on to the program. The set includes four bonus workouts on one dvd. You get Hammer Build Up, Power Chisel, 15 minute Leg Hammer and 15 minute Glute Chisel. I like having these additional workouts so that I have a little more variety with the program.
The 15 Minute Leg Hammer workout is a great one for the legs as well as the core. The 15 Minute Leg Hammer and the 15 Minute Glute Hammer are incorporated as add ons to your regular workout for that day so you increase your workout time on those days.
My final measurements on the last day of the program show that I have lost inches. I mainly lost inches in my waist, hip and thigh area. My arm measurement actually increase by about a 1/4 to 1/2 and inch – probably from all the weight lifting and increase in my bicep muscle. I lost a half and inch from my waist, one inch from my hips and one inch from my upper thighs. I can also see a lot more definition in my shoulder and back area. My main goal was to tone up and lose inches in the hip and waist area so I feel like that was accomplished in the last couple of months.
Overall, I would recommend this program to anyone who is interested in losing some weight, gaining some lean muscle and learning how to control portions with their eating. The program comes with a set of containers to measure your food portions and guidelines for how much you should be eating each day. I will say that using the containers and recording my eating each day for the past two months has been a real eye opener for me on how much and what I am eating. I think that keeping track of my food or a food journal each day has really helped me see better results with this program. I have always been a pretty healthy eater but this program taught me to control how much I was eating.
So, now on to the next month and a new workout program and schedule. I have decided to do my new Cathe ICE program, some yoga and maybe a little bike riding if the weather is nice enough for the month of March. What workout are you currently doing? Let me know my leaving a comment.
Working Out January 2016
January 26, 2016
The month of January is almost over – it seems like this month went by very fast to me. I have now completed three full weeks of the Hammer and Chisel workout program and started week 4 yesterday. So far I am really liking the program and seeing good results.
The workouts are classified as Hammer workouts or Chisel workouts. Basically you alternate one day of a Hammer workout with Sagi and the next day a Chisel workout with Autumn. I am not sure which workout I like the best so far. I do know that Total Body Hammer, Hammer Conditioning and Total Body Chisel are probably my top three picks as of now. Most of the workouts involve heavy weights at some point in the workout but there are a couple that do not require any weights. I also bought the Deluxe workout dvd’s and this week, week 4, some of those are being incorporated into the workout as an option if you have them. It is nice to change it up a bit.
The workouts are all pretty much an intermediate level form of exercise. They range in time from 26 minutes to 45 minutes, depending on the workout. Some days you add on one of the 10 minute ab workouts after completing the workout for that day – there is a 10 minute Ab Hammer and a 10 minute Ab Chisel workout on each dvd.
There are some great motivational quotes and sayings throughout all the workouts from Autumn and Sagi. One of them from Hammer Plyo workout from Sagi is “Pain is Temporary.” Hammer Plyo is a very intense workout and the quote fits the workout – it is tough but the pain is temporary and the results are worth the effort. Another one from Sagi and Total Body Hammer is “Never Ever Give Up.” A quote from Autumn that I really like is “No one ever got chiseled by sitting on their butt.” This is so true – if you want to get in shape and feel better about yourself you are going to have to put in the effort and time and workout – do something every day to become a healthier person. She also talks in one of the workouts how you have to choose your “hard.” Working out every day is hard but so is being overweight and unhappy about your health – you pick your “hard.”
I have also been trying to use my juicer at least once or twice a week to help me get more fruits and vegetables in my diet. With Hammer and Chisel there is an eating plan you follow and for my plan, plan B, I need to have 4 vegetables a day and 3 fruits. The program comes with the containers to measure your food – as seen in the photo above at the beginning of the post. You really begin to understand portion control and see how much you should be eating per serving whether it is protein, carbs, vegetables, fruits or condiments and dressings. I think that by using the containers and following the eating plan pretty closely the past month plus using the workouts six days a week I have been able to lose inches around my hips and thighs – so far I have lost one inch from each area (hips and thighs) in just one month.
One of the other benefits of the workouts is how much stronger I am getting and I notice I am starting to be able to go up in my weights for some of the exercises. I am looking forward to another month of Hammer and Chisel for February and to see my end results.
What workout are you currently doing? Let me know by leaving a reply.
Fitness for December 2015
December 24, 2015
The new workout The Hammer and Chisel came out this past month. I decided on an impulse to order it as some of the people in my facebook fitness group had started it and it sounded like something I would be interested in. Also, I had been waiting on my new Cathe Friedrich workouts to arrive that I pre-ordered back in the summer and I didn’t have them yet – I guess you could say I was getting impatient to start up some type of new workout.
So, I received Hammer and Chisel about 12 days ago and started doing some of the workouts last Monday, the 14th of December. Right now I am just going on my own schedule and not following the complete 60 days listed in the workout – I plan to start that up in January, after the holidays, with my friend Kathleen’s fitness group on facebook.
The above photo shows what came in my order. The dvd workouts plus the containers that are for your food so you are eating in the right proportions. So far I have done almost 2 weeks of the workouts and I am using the containers and the Plan B, according to the booklet, for eating. I really like the containers and how they teach you how to have portion control with your food. I always thought I had a good idea of this but the containers keep you really accountable. I also made up my own worksheet for the eating plan I am on which is another thing that is really keeping me on track – especially this time of year. I will say that I have fallen off the plan and enjoyed a couple of treats or Christmas cookies here and there, but I write it down so I can see what I am eating and try to do better the next day. Of course it is harder this time of year when there are a lot of temptations. In January I plan to stick to the schedule a whole lot better – when holiday treats are gone.
Iso Speed Hammer was the first workout I tried the day after I received them. This is one of the shorter workouts in the program. Just because it is short does not mean it is easy. You do 10 reps at a slow count of one exercise then 10 reps as fast as you can of the same move – this is a great workout. Afterwards I did the Hammer Abs – which is also a great 10 min. ab workout – I was sweating a lot after both of them.
Chisel Cardio is another great and challenging workout that I did a few days ago. This one worked my whole body – I felt it everywhere afterwards and especially later that night – I knew it was working on getting me into shape in areas I never felt before. As you can see the cat liked it, too – he is sitting on the arm of the chair watching the TV. Also, not workout related but I cut my hair as you can see in these photos as compared to the other ones – it was time for a change – just like my workouts needed a change, so did my hair.
I would classify the Hammer and Chisel workout as an intermediate to advanced workout series. There is a modifier for many of the exercises but you still do the same amount of reps. The whole series focuses on the use of weights with most of the exercises – some of the weights are heavy. I am using 15 and 20 pound dumbbells for many of the exercises.
My Cathe workouts also came in the mail about five days ago. I knew that if I ordered another workout series that one would get released. I am so excited about her new ICE series, which stands for Intermediate Conditioning Extreme. So, this week I am using Hammer and Chisel and the ICE series dvd’s. I am doing Chisel, Hammer then an ICE dvd – on a 6 day a week workout schedule.
What workouts are you currently doing or planning to start for the new year? I know January is a big month for people to start getting back into shape. Let me know by leaving a reply.
Have Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Fitness for October 2015
October 30, 2015
The month of October is almost over…tomorrow is Halloween and the time will fall back this weekend. This past month I followed a pretty intense workout schedule using my Cathe Friedrich programs – Xtrain and Ripped with Hiit and doing yoga. I am trying to ramp up my workouts some and get ready for her new series that I have already pre-ordered called ICE which stands for Intermediate Conditioning Extreme. The title itself makes it sound like the workouts will be a challenge. The workouts are coming out the end of fall 2015.
I alternated my weeks in October with one week Xtrain mixed with yoga a couple of days and then the next week Ripped with Hiit and yoga. I averaged a 5 to 6 day a week workout schedule with 2 of my days being yoga.
For my yoga routines I used this older Yoga Journal magazine I bought back in April 2013. I also used my new crocheted yoga props that I made myself on many of my yoga days. For more on the crochet pillow and strap see this post.
I love doing yoga on my non cardio days. I really enjoy yoga on Saturday mornings, too – it is a great start to my weekend to get up early Saturday, before 7 am, and do 20 to 30 minutes of yoga. Yoga also helps keep me flexible after the intense cardio and weight workouts I do.
I have also started juicing again this month. I kind of put my juicer away a few months ago and got out of the habit of using it. I decided it was time to start up again. I love buying the produce and looking through my juicing books for interesting juice combinations. I think the reason I don’t keep up with it on a daily basis is because of the clean up involved with the juicer parts – it doesn’t take that long but it is something else to have to do when you are done juicing. I find it works better if I make two or three juices up and store them in mason jars in the refrigerator so I don’t have to drag the juicer out every day.
A benefit I notice with juicing is how good I feel and how much more focused I am. I also think it helps influence better eating choices. My goal is to have a fresh juice at least 4 to 5 times each week.
The fresh kale, in the photo above, is from my garden. This was something else to motivate my juicing. I grew some last year and used it with my juicer and remembered how much better it tasted and juiced than the kind I buy. I grew some again this year, from seed, and it is doing really well lately. It tends to not grow so good in the hot Texas heat in the summer but does very well in the spring and fall weather.
So, what kind of workouts have you been doing lately? Let me know in the comments below.
Have a great day!
Fitness for September 2015
September 30, 2015
For the past month I took a break from my normal routine of using fitness videos and used some of my book and fitness magazine routines. I have a collection of workout and yoga books and lots of fitness routines from magazines that I have clipped out and saved. So, the first couple of weeks of September I used the magazine routines alternating in some yoga. It was fun to put on some good workout music and do those sets of exercises for 20 to 30 minutes.
The second half of the month I chose to use some of my workout books and alternate those with yoga from my yoga magazine. I also got a new Pilates book from Sams at the end of August so I mixed that in this month as well.
I really like this Pilates book. It is a full color book with step by step photos of the exercises. At the end of the book there are several different Pilates routines that you can do – like one is classic Pilates, another called spinal call and working the leg-core connection. There are twelve total routines at the back of the book.
As you can see my other cat likes the Pilates book, too. She has been out more lately since I have started this new routine. She is usually more shy and quiet than my other cat who loves to join me for my daily workouts. I guess she is a Pilates fan.
Some of the other books I used for my workouts this month were some that I have had for a while. They are books that use an exercise ball and some of the exercises use weights. So a lot of these workout are more for toning and strength training.
As you can see I own a few fitness books that are about working out on the ball. The exercise ball is probably one of my favorite fitness tools. I know it is not exactly convenient for storing but there are so many things you can do on the ball and so many areas you can tone up much better than just doing traditional exercises. I think working out with weights on the ball is a lot of fun as well as some of the abdominal work.
So, for this past month I enjoyed creating my own routines or using some from the books. Most of them were about 20 to 30 minutes long. On my yoga days I usually did about a 20 or 25 minute yoga sequence from my Yoga Journal magazine that I bought several months ago. It is a great magazine and I never get tired of the routines in there.
For the coming month of October I have decided to go back to using my Cathe workout dvd’s and alternating yoga or the Pilates book in between video days. I find I do best with variety which is why I am constantly changing my workouts each month. I also think it helps your body stay in shape to do different things.
What kinds of workouts have you done lately? Let me know by leaving a reply.
Fitness for August 2015
August 28, 2015
This month I have been working out using my P90X3 workout again. I think this is my third time doing the program. I am not actually doing the whole entire 13 week schedule like I did back in Jan to April 2014 but I am using P90X3 about four times a week and doing my own yoga routines a couple other days of the week. I have found it to be a great schedule for August.
As you can see from the above photo my faithful workout buddy – my cat – is really into P90X3 and using the bands.
On another workout day he was into snuggling with my weights. At one point he was actually laying over the top of them stretched out but he moved before I could get his picture. He never misses a morning workout with me.
One of the things I love about P90X3 is that all the workouts are 30 minutes long and there is a lot of variety. There is cardio, cardio with weights, weight training, isometric exercises, kickboxing, yoga and even pilates. You do not get bored with these dvd’s.
The reason I chose to only do them four days a week instead of six like on the program is because I wanted to either ride my bike or do yoga on off days which is what i did.
I have also been making my own bread a lot lately. One of my sons wanted me to make cinnamon rolls so I found a cinnamon bread recipe instead from my Make Ahead Bread book and it turned out really well. My son really likes it too and I have made it two or three times now – it makes a large loaf.
As I mentioned in a previous post on baking homemade bread this book has a neat concept that makes baking homemade bread very simple. You make your dough ahead of time, like the night before, and refrigerate the loaf, get it out in the morning and bake it for like an hour and you have the best loaf of bread ever. I have used many recipes from the book, a lot of them are whole grain types of recipes, and they have turned out well. This cinnamon roll bread was another success.
We had some homeowner issues this past month. We discovered back at the end of July that we had a water line leak since we had a terribly high water bill. We had to do a lot of investigating and my husband had to do a lot of digging around but we discovered two leaks in our front yard – one up by the house, the shut off box and one by the water main by the street.
Well, lots of money later we now have a whole new water line installed thanks to Legacy Plumbing. It was about a four day process though to get the leak accessed and a temporary fix, get the permit, have a professional digging company come and hand dig the trench you see in the above photo and then another day for the plumber to come and do the whole line.
There was one day when this first happened that we did not have water for about 24 hours. You don’t realize how much you need and use water. I went to the store and bought gallon jugs for us to use to brush teeth, wash hands and dishes and we bought bottled drinking water. It makes you really appreciate having running water in the house.
I will say that Legacy Plumbing was a great company to use and if you live in my area of Plano, Texas and need a plumber call them. They are very fast to respond and do a very professional job and their plumbers are friendly and knowledgeable. We also used them back in May to get a new hot water heater – lots of plumbing issues for us this year.
Well, my boys are back in school now -this was their first week so things are busy around here again – actually they are always busy but now there is more of a routine to things. I was kind of sad to see their summer break end but it is nice to have the house be a little quieter during the day again.
I hope you are able to get some workouts in for the fall. I am planning to use some of my workout books for the month of September.
Have a great weekend!
EOM Fitness for June 2015
June 30, 2015
The end of June is now here – I can hardly believe it! I continued this past month with a four day a week workout schedule mainly doing cardio, weights and yoga – not all on the same day though. The workouts I used were mainly Cathe Friedrich and yoga sequences from my Yoga Journal magazine that I mentioned in my May post.
As you can see in the above photo my cat is present as usual and ready to lift some heavy weights. He was actually laying on the 20 pound dumbbells just before I got my camera and took this photo. I guess that is his version of lifting the weights – to lay on them.
I have also been able to ride my bike a couple of times this past month and do some swimming in our pool now that the rainy weather has subsided for us. We still get a shower about once a week but nothing like we had in May.
I have been making my own ice cream for the past couple of months and really like this new attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer that makes awesome ice cream with just a few ingredients. I basically mix together 2 cups of half and half, 2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon vanilla, chill it for a couple hours, then add it to the freezer bowl attachment while it is running and in 20 minutes you have made ice cream – or actually the attachment has made it for you – you do have to put it in a container and put it in the freezer and let it sit for a couple more hours to firm up. It is the best ice cream ever and all three of my sons love it.
I realize ice cream is not really a health food but in my opinion all things in moderation are fine. I have been enjoying my new homemade ice cream – in small portions – about three times a week this summer.
Another thing I have been enjoying this summer is fresh cherries. I really like them but hate pitting them. I was doing the pitting by hand so I could use the cherries in recipes and then read about a cherry pit removing tool. I decided to get one last week and I am so glad I did – it removes the cherry pits quickly and leaves the cherries basically whole. The other way I was doing it was more or less by cutting them in half to get the pits out so I had cherry halves.
I hope your June was a successful month for exercising and making healthy choices.