ARMS Workout

I don’t often work JUST ARMS at the gym. I prefer to lift HEAVY in my compound movements, which honestly helps to build overall arm strength as well as muscle more so than just working arms by themselves. I also don’t work “arms” by themselves a lot because you don’t burn as many calories or build as much muscle when you focus on smaller muscle groups – so I prefer to do more compound movements and do them heavy so that I kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. I occasionally do biceps after my back day…but lately I have just been focusing on larger muscle groups. Here is a specific arm workout you can try. Sometimes it’s fun to work just arms – I would recommend throwing in some cardiovascular/metabolic conditioning with this though, e.g., rowing sprints/burpees, OH walking lunges, wall-balls, and core work too!

I will go over some of my favorite exercises for biceps and triceps, as well as compound movements to include in your weekly workouts to hit those muscles once again!

BICEPS:

Compound exercises to work biceps as well as back: 

  • Barbell row (I like to do heavy and lower reps – 5×5-6)
  • Pendlay row (again, heavy with lower reps 5×3-5)
  • Dumbbell row (8-10 reps per arm with a dumbbell of challenging weight)

Focused exercises to work biceps only/isolation exercises:

  • DB bicep curls, one arm at a time (3×10, heavier)
  • DB bicep curls, both arms together and lighter weight (3×15)
  • Hammer curls (keep DB vertical as opposed to rotating it) 3×10
  • Cable curls with straight bar – include a dropset (or a burnout set). For example do as many reps as you can with a challenging weight, then immediately drop the weight and do as many reps as you can, and repeat this 3-4 times
  • Curls with 45# bar. As many reps as possible

*you can also do what is called “21s” where you do 7 reps from the bottom/resting position up to just halfway point, then 7 reps of halfway point up to the peak of the curl (in other words, half reps) and then do 7 full curls; all nonstop and do 3 sets total.

TRICEPS:

Compound exercises to work triceps as well as CHEST and SHOULDERS:

  • Barbell presses (any kind of overhead pressing)
  • Bench press (keep heavier weight, fewer reps)
  • DB pressing/military presses
  • DB bench press (you get the idea!)
  • TRICEP push-ups – elbows close to body – toss a 10# bumper plate on your back for extra challenge
  • Decline push-ups (prop feet up on bench or something else that is higher)
  • Handstand pushups

Focused exercises to work the triceps only/isolation exercises:

  • OH tricep extensions with heavy-ish dumbbell
  • DB tricep kickbacks
  • Bodyweight dips/assisted dips
  • Weighted dips using bench with a plate in lap (prop feet up on bench in front of you and perform dips on a separate bench with the plate in your lap)
  • OH tricep rope extensions
  • Cable pushdowns overhand and underhand grips (be sure to use both grips as they utilize different tricep heads)

EXAMPLE ARM WORKOUT:

  • 3×10-12 alternating DB curls (20# DBs)
    • superset 3×10 DB tricep kickbacks (20# DBs) – keep core tight
  • 3×12-15 curls (arms working together – I would use 15# DBs for these)
    • 3×10 OH DB tricep extensions (30-35#)
  • 3×10 cable curls with straight bar + 1 dropset
    • superset 3×10 cable pushdowns with straight bar + 1 dropset
  • 21s for biceps – 3 full sets using 2 10# DBs or 12.5# DBs. Try not to swing or use body weight – focus on the bicep itself
  • 5×5 full body weight dips OR do dips on bench with weight in lap (25#-35# plate for example) and do 4×10-12

So try out that arm workout! I personally am not a fan of skull crushers – I just don’t feel like I get anything out of them. I have tried them and just was not a fan! That is the beauty of working out – there are many variations to work all different muscle groups so you can find what you LOVE and do it! That’s the most important thing!

I like to do the above types of exercises and I am sure to include heavy compound workouts other days of the week to hit my biceps and triceps again! (that would be the barbell row, pendlay row, bench press and OH pressing)

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Workouts 8/21/16 – 8/27/16

SUNDAY: Active rest/walk 1 hour and 20 mins

MONDAY: Shoulders/walk 30 mins

  • Seated DB shoulder press: 2×5-7 heavy, 35# DBs; 3×8 30# DBs
    • superset 3×15 lat raises
  • Upright row 1 arm at a time 3×10 (30#)
    • superset single arm lat raise 3×15 (15#)
  • Leaning lat raise 3×8-10 (20#)
  • Rear delt fly/raises: 6×15
  • Upright row 3×10 (25# DBs)
  • KB swing, single arm: 3×12 (35#); 2×7 (45#)
    • superset seated lat raises 3×15
  • Plate front raise, 3×11-12 25#
    • superset rear delt cable fly 3×12
  • Farmer walks 3x failure, about 100ft (50s)
  • single arm farmer walks 3x failure 100 ft (55#)

TUESDAY: Full body/cardio conditioning/core work

  • 5 x in 5 mins:
    • 12 calorie row
    • 15 burpees
  • Then: 5×3 weighted pull-ups (10#)
    • and 3×5 regular pull-ups
  • Repeat 5 x:
    • 400 (1/4 mile) meter run
    • 15 burpees (keep run at 80-90% max effort)
  • 5×10-15 decline pushups (rest 30 seconds between sets)
  • 4×16 per leg OH walking lunge (hold 35# plate, rest 30 seconds in between sets)
  • 4×50 weighted bicycle crunches (15# DB behind neck, elbows wide)
    • superset 4×6 toes to  bar (TTB)
  • 5×5-6 dips

WEDNESDAY: Power cleans/misc.

  • 6 working sets of 3 power cleans @ 95#
  • 5×5-7 incline DB press (35s)
  • 25 mins walk incline @ 4.0 speed, 7-8.5 incline
  • 2×30 per leg heavy banded clamshells
  • lots of stretching

THURSDAY: LEGS

  • 8×8 back squat 2 second pause at bottom (105#, 110#, 115# for squats)
    • superset heavy 8×8-10 ham curls
  • 5×12 leg press @230
    • superset 10 RDL with 50# DBs
  • 4×12 walking lunge 35# DBs
    • superset 10 butt blaster w pause at top
  • 6×6-10 glute/hip bridge with 95 (warmup), 4 sets at 150, 2 sets at 170#
  • 2×30 banded glute bridges
    • superset 2×20 banded side walks

FRIDAY: Shoulders/burpees/walk:

  • 5×5-6 single arm shoulder press with 30, 35# DB
  • 3×10 shoulder press (using 25s and 30s)
  • 4×0 alternating front raise 20# DB
  • 3×15 standing lateral raise 10# DBs
  • 3×20 seated lateral raise with pause at top 5# DBs
  • 2×12 single arm lateral raise 15# DB
  • 3×15 rear delt raise 10# DBs
  • 3×10 upright row 30# DBs; 2 additional sets with 25s
  • 3×10 single arm upright row (heavy, 35# DB)
  • 4×15 burpees, 3×50 medicine ball mountain climbers, 3×30 weighted Russian twists (30# DB), 3×15 push-ups, 3×15 squat jumps, 2×20 lunge jumps
  • 5xfarmer walks to failure with 50# DBs
  • walk incline 15 mins

SATURDAY: Back

3×3 weighted pull-ups (10#)
5×5 barbell row 95#, 100# (underhand grip)
5×6 barbell row 85# (overhand grip)
5×5 pull-ups
3×8 DB row 50#; 5×10 DB row 45#
4×8-10 kneeling cable row
6×8-10 close grip pulldowns
6×8-10 wide grip cable row
4×8-10 single arm cable row
4×8-10 weighted (25# and 20#) leaning oblique crunch (I do 1 side only for scoliosis)
3×400 meter row
5×8-12 ham curls/leg extensions & single leg extensions/curls
5×5 RDL 60# dbs
Outside :: running around track, intervals for 15 mins

 

Twice baked sweet potatoes with veggies & bacon

As you know, sweet potatoes are like my favorite thing on this planet! I also love bacon in moderation. I was getting bored with the typical baked sweet potato and chicken lunch so I decided to spice things up and mix in some bacon and stuff my veggies IN my sweet potato! I ended up with way too many veggies to fit inside the potato, but that’s ok! More veggies is never a bad thing.

INGREDIENTS:

  • As many sweet potatoes as you’d like (I used 5 but should have done more!)
  • 5 pieces nitrate/nitrite free bacon (look for bacon cured only with salt-no chemicals added)
  • Veggies of choice: I used 1 bag brussels, chopped and sliced in half, 3 large heads of broccoli, chopped, and a few carrots, peeled and sliced
  • Spices: sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes

METHOD:

Pre-heat oven to 400 and once preheated put your potatoes (washed and dried) in and set timer for 1 hour and ten minutes. Now take your bacon and cut into pieces and cook on the stove over medium high heat, set aside when finished. Next take all your veggies (already cut and rinsed if desired – I rinse my broccoli but not my brussels) and cook them over medium-low(ish) heat with the oil/fat leftover from the bacon. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until they’ve cooked down slightly and add all of your spices as well.

Remove sweet potatoes from oven after they are done (1 hour and 10 mins is the perfect time I have found) and let cool. Slice them open and scrape all the insides out and put into large bowl. Mix well with the veggies and re-stuff the potato skins. Top each with bacon and bake about 15-20 minutes longer in the oven at 400.

ENJOY! If you have too many veggies to fit into the potatoes, just place in a side baking dish and bake them and eat them just the same. Still delicious. I made tons because this was my meal prep/lunches for the week!

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Workouts 8/14/16-8/20/16

SUNDAY: Rest/active rest/walk 1 hour, stretching, yoga, etc.

MONDAY: Shoulders/full bod conditioning **warning: killer workout**

after warmup I did the below, resting as little as possible and keep moving to keep intensity high

  • 50 thrusters, 65#
  • 5×10 wall ball 20# superset 10 butterfly situps
  • 50 OH walking lunges with 25# DBs (50 total)
  • 50 KB swing 50#
  • 50 burpees
  • 50 sumo squat to upright row, 50#
  • 50 calorie row

then more shoulder work:

  • 4×10 upright row (25# DBs, slow and controlled)
    • superset bent over rear delt raise (4×15)
  • Seated DB shoulder press, 4×7-8 (30# DBs)
  • Leaning DB lat raise, 3×8, 20# DB
  • 4×8 DB snatch – 2 sets with 25# 2 sets with 30#
  • Lat raises, seated and standing, 3 sets standing 15 reps; 4 sets seated varying weight 15 reps
  • Standing DB press with 25# DBs, 3 sets 8-10 reps
  • Bent over rear delt burnout: to failure with lighter weight and heavier weight (7.5 # and 10# DBs)
  • Bent over rear delt fly with cable 3 sets 12-15

TUESDAY: Legs/glutes

  • 8×8 back squat with 2 second pause at bottom – 110#
    • superset 8×8 heavy ham curls
  • Leg press 5×12
    • superset 5×10 RDL with 45# DBs
  • Walking lunge, 1 leg at a time, 4×12 (35# DBs)
    • superset 4×12 butt blaster with pause at top
  • Glute bridges 5×8-10
  • Back ext
  • banded glute bridges 3×30

WEDNESDAY: REST/WALK/STRETCH/YOGA

THURSDAY: Back/chest

  • Bench press 2 warmup sets then 5×5 85-90#; 2×10 65#
    • superset pull-ups 6×5
  • Barbell row 5×5 95#; 1×5 100# (underhand grip); 3×8 85# (overhand grip)
    • superset 5×15 decline pushups
  • Incline DB press 3×5 35# DBs; 2×6 30# DBs
    • superset kneeling cable row 3×8
  • Close grip pulldowns 6×5-12, varying weight, started lighter with more reps and moved to heavier (90#) fewer reps
    • superset wide grip cable row 6×8-10
  • DB row – heavy – 3×8 45# DB
  • Farmer walks – 3 sets to failure with 2 50# DBs
    • superset 3×50 mountain climbers
  • 5×500 meter row
    • superset weighted (leaning on the back extension bench) side bends – using 25# plate and 15# DB, 8-12 reps per set

FRIDAY: FULL BOD CONDITIONING/accessory work

EMOM 20 mins – every min on the min – push as hard as you can

  • 15 cal row (or as many as you can get in 1 min)
  • 50 ft OH walking lunge, weighted, (I used 2 25# DBs – use whatever weight is comfortable)

then I did:

  • 6 sets 10-12 weighted squat jumps with 2 25# DBs for first three and 2 20# DBs for last three sets
    • supersetting 6×15 weighted calf raises (neutral, turned out, turned in)
  • Finished with 2×30 xheavy band clamshells
  • Lots of stretching for shoulders and hips.

SATURDAY: Legs/full body/abs

  • 5×5 Front squat superset 5×5 strict pull-ups + one set weighted with 10#
  • Bulgarian split squats: 8×8 per leg weighted + 20 second holds each leg as well
  • 5×8 HEAVY leg press (I did 6 plates)
  • Leg extensions 6×8-12
  • Ham curls 5×8-10
  • 6×8-10 Romanian deadlifts with Dumbbells (50s, 55s)
  • 3×20 kettlebell Russian twists (30#)
  • plank hold for 2 mins(on elbows)
  • weightd plank (45#) 1 minute
  • 2×10 abs with feet on rower
  • 2×50 weighted bicycles

Stretch and roll!!!!

 

Pan seared chicken, brussels, bacon

I love chicken and brussels and bacon. This recipe is so easy and delicious and very good for you. Be sure to buy uncured bacon/bacon cured only with salt. This recipe takes very little time and I, of course, ate mine next to a large serving of sweet potato fries! If you are tired of sweet potato fries or sweet potatoes in general I do apologize, but, I love them and don’t mind eating them every single day! 🙂 Again, find what works for you and your body. This is my favorite carb choice so I eat tons of them.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
  • 1 bag of brussels, ends cut off and sliced in half
  • FOR THE CHICKEN: sea salt, balsamic vinegar, pepper, olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic powder – (I don’t measure – you can’t get it wrong. Just add dashes of everything and enough balsamic vinegar to coat the chicken).

METHOD:

Preheat the oven to 400 – if you are cooking potato fries with this then your oven may already be turned on. Add some coconut oil to a cast iron pan and cook your chicken with all the seasonings. Set aside. Now add your bacon and cook for a few minutes until almost done. Then add all the remaining ingredients, including the brussels, and let cook for a few minutes. Add some more sea salt and coconut oil if needed, as well as balsamic vinegar at the end!

Stick the pan in the oven at around 400 degrees or so (hotter is ok too) and let finish cooking for just under 5 minutes. Serves 2. Feel free to tweak this recipe as desired.

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Crockpot Coconut Curry Chicken

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A perfect lunch for the week! Or dinner. And it’s so easy.

Ingredients:

  • 6+ chicken breasts (as many as 10; cut into cubes OR you can shred it at the end)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can full fat organic coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Spices: 1-2 tbsp curry powder, 1-2 tsp garam masala, 1tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp paprika, dash of chili powder, sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • For sauce thickener and to be added at the end: arrowroot powder and water

Method:

Put everything in your crock-pot and turn on and cook on setting of choice. I did high for 6 hours. When finished, remove the chicken breasts from the crock-pot and place in bowl and shred with two forks (or you can cut it up in cubes beforehand and have cubed chicken). Now take arrowroot powder and mix with water according to package directions and stir in – this will thicken the sauce. Now add your chicken back to the crock-pot.

Serves well with white rice.

Updated: WEEKLY GROCERY SHOPPING (Part 2)

It’s time to do another updated version of this! I have become a pro at weekly grocery shopping, so I will discuss what I buy each weekend to ensure my fridge and kitchen are stocked with tons of clean food that I need and eat during the week.

THINGS I BUY (almost) EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK from Whole Foods: (let’s not forget now I purchase pasture raised bones as well from farmers market for bone broth!)

  • 1 huge container of organic spinach
  • 7-10 lemons
  • 10 organic apples
  • 3-5 # broccoli (not organic)
  • asparagus (not organic)
  • 4 bags of brussels (not organic)
  • avocados
  • garlic
  • onions (good to toss in crockpot with chicken or pork)
  • organic celery and baby carrots (snacks)
  • blueberries (not organic-I eat these with my oatmeal)
  • bananas (tons-I freeze some as well)
  • 10 sweet potatoes
  • organic oats and steel cut oats
  • 2-3 rice cake bags (plain, lightly salted or no salt..whichever.)
  • 2 dozen eggs (organic/pasture raised)
  • organic egg whites
  • 2 large packs of chicken – 10 breasts total
  • 1-2 # grassfed beef
  • 1 # pork (these meats vary depending on what I am cooking for dinner)
  • wild caught salmon (I buy frozen because it’s cheaper and still healthy – I eat salmon once a week at least)
  • organic jasmine rice (white – I do not eat brown rice as it is hard on digestive system!)
  • organic full fat canned coconut milk (good to have on hand)
  • chia seeds (I always have these on hand)
  • grassfed butter
  • organic coffee; valerian bedtime tea
  • St. Dalfour preserves, pear has the least sugar (I eat a little of this with my rice cake/almond butter – it’s seriously my dessert/treat of the day)
  • organic ACV and balsamic vinegar (does not have to be organic but purchase from WF or be sure to read label sometimes caramel color is added – yuck)
  • spices: cayenne, garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon, chili powder, sea salt/pink salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes (I use these daily on sweet potatoes/brussels, etc.)
  • Frozen fruit: organic (always) strawberries, blueberries (not organic), frozen pineapple, mango (I make shakes with these or my protein ice cream!)
  • almond butter (3 jars of 365 brand – nothing in it but almonds)
  • I get organic peanut butter from Target but I don’t eat this often anymore – I eat almond butter instead but I do buy organic smuckers as it’s good to have on hand
  • Organic coconut oil in 54 ounce container– I buy this once a month from Walmart
  • Occasional snacks/treats: PERFECT BARS – go try peanut butter, almond butter and fruit and nut and they have new flavors coming out too!
  • If I want a sweet treat – organic dark chocolate, Theo’s is my fav brand
  • Olive oil – cheapest from Publix (or maybe walmart too) I like Olive Ranch
  • I always have good local honey on hand
  • Organic dark maple syrup
  • Bubbie’s sauerkraut – probiotic!
  • Sometimes I keep cans of tuna on hand for quick snack on occasion – always get pole caught and avoid eating more than 2x a week

And that is pretty much it! My breakfast ranges from a protein shake with Julian bakery paleo protein/oats/fruit to oatmeal with almond butter and egg whites and chia seeds; sometimes I will have scrambled eggs as well. Lunches and dinners vary but it’s always some kind of clean meat and usually sweet potato fries or baked sweet potato because it’s my favorite carb and it’s so easy to digest and they are so good for you. I always eat broccoli, brussels or asparagus at least once a day so I buy tons of those!!

It may seem pricey at first but this way you have purchased all your food (just about) for the week! This also is enough grocery for two people – this lasts us until Thursday or Friday and then we usually have to run by the store again for something for dinner! But these are the staples.

I hope this is helpful on your next trip to the grocery store. Being prepared is key. Now, this weekend go and clean out your pantry and fridge – toss out anything with chemicals! It’s junk! Just throw it away, go to the grocery store and be disciplined and dedicated and stick to eating these clean foods! Your body will thank you. As well as your self-confidence!!! 🙂