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January 21, 2015

30 Min. Total Body Circuit Workout

Hello! Today I have a quick circuit workout to share that you can complete at the gym or even in your living room with two sets of dumbbells.

The workout you see below is a similar version of one I put together for a client at the gym yesterday. I always like to try out my own workouts to make sure everything makes sense and flows correctly, so I decided to give this one a go earlier today.

Three rounds of the circuit took me just under 30 minutes to complete and I loved it. I think you will too!

30 minute total body circuit workout

If you want to work out at home, you can easily complete this one with a light and medium set of dumbbells. I opted to throw a resistance band into the mix since I have a couple of those too!

at home dumbbell circuit workout

I used the resistance band for my shoulder presses, but you can substitute a band in all of the exercises marked with an asterisk(*). You would need to wrap the band around a pole or vertical beam for the rows. You can change the resistance of your band by stepping on it with one foot, two feet, or wrapping it around your hands to make it shorter.

If you are unsure about the form on some of these exercises, this workout might be best for you to complete at the gym and on the weight machines first to get you in the groove of the movements.

I used dumbbells for my lateral lunges to throw in some extra lower back work. Make sure you have the proper form of a lateral lunge down before you attempt to add dumbbells. If lateral lunges are new and intimidating, you can choose to do a front or reverse lunge instead.

Cues and Exercise Breakdown

I didn’t have time to take pictures of each exercise this time, but I have shared all of them before in previous workouts! Here are my notes on form and a handful of video breakdowns to help.

• plank

Get into a plank position on your elbows and toes.

Make sure your hips are in line with your shoulders, your elbows are under your shoulders, your legs are straight, and your core is tight. Hold this position tight anywhere from :30 to 1 minute without letting your back round or arch.

• push-up

Get on the floor and position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Raise up on your toes. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to toe without dropping your middle or arching your back. Before you begin the push-up, contract your abs and keep your core tight. Think of pulling your belly button towards your spine.

• squat jumps

Start with your feet a bit wider than your shoulders and your hands on your hips. Stand tall, then come down into a squat position with your thighs slightly higher then your knees.

jump squats

Quickly push yourself up into the air (your body should be straight), then land in the squat position and pause for a moment before repeating. You can always modify to stationary squats if you’re unsure of the technique.

biceps curls

shoulder presses

(I prefer to do them standing using a resistance band. The choice to sit and/or use dumbbells is really up to you!)

dumbbell rows 

(You can do standing dummbell bent over rows instead.) Be mindful of your posture and don’t arch your back!

• mountain climbers

Start in a straight arm plank position on the hands and toes. Bend your right knee in towards your chest, resting your foot on the floor. Jump up and switch your feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and push the right foot back.

mountain climbers

Alternate your feet as fast (and safely) as you can for 20 reps. One right knee in and then one left knee in is one rep.

• triceps extensions

Sit on the floor and hold one dumbbell in front of you. Slowly roll back, tuck your hips, and think of bringing your belly to your spine. When you feel like you are in the right position, keep your elbows in and push your weight over your head. Bring it down behind you to your lowest range of motion and stack one hand on top of the other to hold the weight.

sitting triceps extensions

Push the weight up and over your head and try to straighten your elbows. Don’t let the weight go any more forward than your shoulders. Slowly bring the weight back down the first position, then back up straight. Switch which hand is on top half way through the set, and keep your core tight throughout the exercise!

Check out this video for tips on the standing version using one arm at a time.

• lateral lunges

Start standing straight. Step out to the right and shift your body weight over your right leg, squatting to a 90 degree angle at the knee. The objective is to try to get low enough to “sit down” (squat), keeping your back as upright as possible. Push off and bring your right leg back to the center. This is one rep. Remember to keep your weight on your heels. Hold out your arms in front of you to help with balance! You can alternate sides or do 10 seconds on the right, 10 seconds on the left.

• side plank pulses

Start by lying on your side and stack your feet on top of each other. Position your elbow directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips and torso off of the ground while keeping the abs and glutes contracted. Place your hand on your hip. Begin to lower and lift your hips in a small pulsing motion. You can modify this exercise by bending the bottom knee or intensify it by raising your top leg a few inches off of the other.

• burpees

Start with your feet under your hips. Stand tall, then come down into a squat position with your hands on the floor (slightly wider than your shoulders) on the balls of your feet. Quickly kick your legs back and land in a plank position (your body should be parallel to the floor), then return to the squat position and then to the starting position.

Add to the intensity by jumping up at the end!

Please let me know if you decide to give the workout a try. I always welcome feedback, and really do take your suggestions and requests for specific workouts to heart. Happy sweating!

roadie photobomb

(Post-workout sweaty selfie with Roadie photobomb.)


Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routines. <3

January 21, 2015

What I Ate Wednesday #78

Good morning! I hope the Hump Day has started on a great note for you. I have a lot to get around to on this little ‘ol laptop of mine today, so I’m going to dive right into yesterday’s eats for What I Ate Wednesday.

Have no idea what I’m talking about? Check it out!

What I Ate Wednesday Tuesday



Breakfast couldn’t have been easier. I poured a tall cup of coffee and scarfed down a bowl of Fiber One Cranberry Almond protein cereal. It was really good, and I had the same exact breakfast this morning too!

fiber one protein cereal and coffee

(Go Hogs!)

Scott talked me into running some errands with him before lunch that included picking up a new washer and dryer across town. We forgot our dolly at home, so it was a real adventure. At least I got to play (slash fear for my life of slipping) in the snow, right?

winter snowfall michigan

playing in the snow

I was hungry for lunch right when we returned. Scott left for work and I made a giant monster salad to last as side salads for a couple of days.

making a monster salad

Power greens, baby spinach, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, red peppers, chick peas, black olives, and feta cheese.

I scooped out a plateful, then heated and cut up a veggie black bean burger for substance.

monster salad with veggies and garden black bean burger

It all tasted great with this cilantro dressing!

stonewall kitchen cilantro lime dressing

I went downstairs to work on the computer for a couple of hours and stopped for a coffee and clementine snack mid-afternoon. I didn’t get much sleep the night before, so I was draggggging.

clementines for snack with coffee

I had a video chat meeting around 3 and then drove up to the gym to put together a handful of workouts.

special k blueberry bliss snack bar

(I was grateful to find a Special K snack bar in my purse two hours in.)

I returned home around 8:30 p.m. ready to eat my arm. Per usual, Scott requested pasta so I compromised with my version of extreme veggie pasta.

making healthier pasta sauce

(About half of that glass of wine was happily consumed in the process.)

Scott got home with a trailer holding our new washer and dryer right after 9 p.m. He had impeccable timing and wanted to unload them right after I dished up dinner.

We successfully moved both pieces into our garage, but I’m pretty sure I got a hernia in the process.

I planned on completing a workout in the basement before dinner, but that didn’t happen. Instead, I’m going to give it a go after lunch and hope to share it with you all later this afternoon.

Dinner got heated up as soon as I walked into the door. My plate was considerably full, but I ate every last bite.

vegetable spaghetti with turkey meat sauce

Vegetable spaghetti noodles topped in marinara with Italian seasoned turkey sausage, tomatoes, spinach, onions, and crushed red pepper flakes.

It’s impressive/scary how much veggie pasta I can put down y’all.

Just like every other night, I grabbed a tall glass of dark chocolate almond milk before bed and went upstairs shortly after.


If you’re ever curious to see what another complete day of meals and snacks looks like for me, this is just one of the many examples you can find exploring the “WIAW” tag on the right hand sidebar. If you liked this WIAW post, head on over to Peas & Crayons to check out plenty others, or even link your own!

Question of the Morning

• Veggie noodles: yes or no?

• When is the last time you took an unintentional “rest” day?

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Although I am a certified personal trainer, the workouts I post are what work best for me and might not be the right type of exercises for you.

I am not a registered dietician and do NOT post everything I eat. All content I post on this blog stems from my personal experience and knowledge, and I recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet or fitness routine.

Also, please understand that affiliate links may pop up on the blog from time to time. I acknowledge when they appear and always genuinely appreciate your support! ♥

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