No Muscle Left Behind ~ Interval Circuit Workout!

I wanted to hit every major target area: glutes, abs, quads, hammies, triceps, shoulders, chest…but I also wanted to torch some calories! And as you might have figured out by now, I’m all about multi-tasking. Using multiple muscle groups simultaneously means your heart has to work harder, more energy is required, so your metabolism is elevated, which means more calories are burned! Win-Win.

Since becoming a personal trainer, I have developed a great appreciation for workout design. It wasn’t until I was faced with teaching a group class on my own, that I realized that there’s actually a lot of thought that goes into it. And this workout is no different. I had your heart rate in mind, you may notice I take your HR up and down between medium intensity to high intensity – build your muscles and cardiovascular endurance! Pretty clever huh? 😉

No Muscle Left Behind ~ Interval Circuit Workout!

Equipment I used:
Interval Timer App (free)
Exercise Mat

5 Sets  interval cycles (number of moves)
45 seconds of work (High)
15 seconds of rest (Low)
set the repeat option to “ON” for 5 cycles.

Also, make sure you set the warm-up and cool-down to 0:00 otherwise it will repeat these each time you go to do your next round!

Each round is 5 mins. You can pause your Interval Timer App (free) and take a quick drink of water and then quickly get going onto the next round. If you take about 20 secs rest in between each round, you should complete the workout in just under 27 minutes!

No-Muscle-Left-Behind-Workout-Livengproof.comSpider-Woman Push-up: 
Assume the standard pushup position. As you lower your body toward the floor, draw your right knee up, bringing your foot out to your right side (think: the position you’d be in if you were scaling the side of a rock face). From this position perform a push-up, keeping your belly button pulled in towards your spine (which ensures your hips stay in proper alignment, core is engaged, and there is no tension on your lower back). Return your right foot to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s 1 rep. Continue to alternate back and forth.

Plank Inchworm Jumps:
Stand with your feet hip distance apart. First, get yourself organized: booty cheeks squeezed together, belly button is pulled in towards your spine, hips pressed forward. From this position, bend from the hip and walk your hands out in front of you into a palm-plank (keeping your wrists in-line and under your shoulders). Come down into a forearm plank. Return to a palm plank and walk your hands back to your feet; stand up and jump up. That is 1 rep. You’ve got this, now keep going for the full 45 secs!! Maintaining your core, keeping your belly-button pulled in towards your spine!! 🙂

Glute Bridge Calf Raises:
Lie down on your back with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips up, squeezing those glutes – so your lower back is off the floor. Then, maintaining your bridge position, with control lift and lower your heels off the floor (keeping your hips elevated throughout the exercise)!

Ice skaters (phase 1):
Start standing on one leg. Powerfully hop from side to side, switching legs as if you were hopping over a puddle or speed skating, lowering your body down to do so.

Crab-Up Toe Touches:
Laying down, palms down, knees are bent with feet flat on the floor. Come up to a crab position, using your triceps to push up. Reaching up, touch your hand to your opposite foot before rolling back down. Repeat, switching sides, for 45 seconds.

What’s your favorite full-body move?


Lookin’ Fine From Behind: @ The Gym Circuit Workout

Girls, I know you’re probably already well aware that lifting weights will not make you bulky.  In addition to following a strategic weight training regimen, you’d need way more testosterone (or steroids), and a ridiculous amount of protein (like 250+ grams of protein/day)…which unless you’re prepping for a bikini or figure competition, you probably don’t need to worry about!

Which weighs more?  A pound of rocks or a pound of marshmallows?  The answer, of course, is that they both weigh the same… a pound is a pound. Same thing applies with muscle and fat. The difference is that muscle is more dense, which means it takes up less space (or less volume) for the same weight. So if you want to lose inches and tighten up, trade your fat for muscle!! 🙂 Added Perk? Muscle tissue requires more energy from your body than fat, which leaves you with an increased metabolism! Conclusion?  To boost your metabolism and change your body composition, it’s best to gain lean muscle! Include your toning workouts 4 times a week mixed with cardio 4+ times a week!!


My lifting partner Lauryn doing her sumo plie squat on the smith machine!


Lifting weights is how you build muscles and turn your body into a fat burning machine. I know, because I used to be one, but for all my cardio crushing girls, read more about the amazing benefits of incorporating strength & toning exercises into your workouts here!

I know I used to feel intimidated by the weights at the gym, like there was some invisible fence between me and the weight rack. First of all the clanging weight room is heavily populated by meat-head dudes grunting, sweating, and in general just taking up a lot of real estate. I don’t know about you but at first glance wading into all of that testosterone is just not at the top of my list. Not to mention there’s about a thousand mirrors over there, that I felt were reflecting my lack of confidence. However, walking over there, having mapped out what equipment I’m using and knowing proper technique gave me the confidence I needed to bust out some pretty kick-ass workouts!

The trick is going in with a game plan. Knowing what equipment your using and the proper form (so you’re not that girl) is all you really need!

Here is your foolproof game-plan, now all you got to do is step across that threshold:

Begin warming up for 5 – 10 mins by hopping on the stair master, treadmill, or elliptical. You can always add cardio at the end if you have more time!

Click and save the pic below to your camera roll on your phone, and you’ll have it with you as you navigate the weight room 🙂 Have fun!

lookin fine from behind circuit workout
If you have any questions – just ask!  I’m always here for you 🙂

Did you try this circuit? What did you think? 


Happy St. Patty’s Day: Green Egg “Muffin” Recipe

I have come to the realization that every major holiday (and holiday’s I’d never heard of – apparently tomorrow March 18th is “national oatmeal cookie day”  – who knew!) is cause for new blog posts. It doesn’t seem acceptable in the blogging world to let a holiday pass without acknowledgment. Call it peer pressure, but I couldn’t let today go by without  a little Saint Patty’s Day themed post! So here it is, my ‘something green’ Green Egg “Muffins” coincidentally I’ve been trying to eat more protein lately so I whipped these up!  Green and full of protein. Score. It  is such an easy grab & go breakfast. I like to pop ’em in the microwave for a min or two and I’m  good to go! Happy Saint Patricks Day!!

 Green Egg “Muffins”

egg muffins


4 eggs (I did 2 whole and 2 just whites)
1 cup chopped kale or spinach
1/4 cup grated zucchini
1/4 cup diced bell peppers and onions
black pepper (to taste)
1/8 -1/4 cup goat cheese (optional)

1⃣ Spray muffin tin with canola or EVO
2⃣ Pour mixture filling each cup to the brim
3⃣ Bake at 350 F for 25-30 mins or until golden brown around the edges
4⃣ Store in refrigerator in air right container, should stay fresh for 5-7 days.Enjoy!

How much protein do you try to get in every day?


Spring Time ☀ Pyramid Workout

Sometimes doing things off the cuff is necessary. Routine get’s – well routine and wheres the fun in that? It was a sunny day and actually warm outside for a change. I was in a good mood so when I got home I just did this circuit spur of the moment. Looking back it’s five exercises that I just plain like doing. Everyone has certain moves they get pumped about (and ones they dread) but I’m trying to break the idea that I’m obligated to exercise, that’s its just one more thing to check off my list. That’s just ridiculous and really exhausting. Burning calories shouldn’t be the main objective, but instead an added bonus. Working out should make me smile and feel happy! And this workout did just that! I decided to make it a pyramid after I finished the first 3 rounds and discovered that I randomly had some late afternoon energy left in the tank (usually I’m dwindling by this time). So get smiling and sweating!

Equipment I Used:
Exercise Mat
Medicine Ball (optional)

There are 6 rounds of work, take 30 seconds of rest and grab a quick drink of water and then get going onto the next round!

Round 1: Perform each move 25x
Round 2: Perform each move 20x
Round 3: Perform each move 15x
Round 4: Perform each move 15x
Round 5: Perform each move 20x
Round 6: Perform each move 25x

spring time pyramid workout

Alternating Toe Taps:
Place an object such a dumbbell or medicine ball in front of you. Stand with feet hip width apart. Place hands on your hips for stability. Keeping a moderately fast tempo, quickly tap the object with the toes of your right foot, keeping your weight on your  back left leg. With control quickly switch your feet, and tap the object with your left foot. Repeat! This is a combination of cardio, agility, and quickness. Also keep your abs engaged (think belly button pulled in towards the spine)!

Reverse Fly’s:
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent. Bend forward at the hips and let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders with your palms facing. Raise both arms out to the sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Return to start. That’s one rep.

Deck Squats:
One of my favorite core exercises because it really works the abs! Holding a medicine ball or dumbbell, stand up straight with enough room behind you to lay down.  In a continuous motion, lower your hips until your glutes hit the floor and roll back bringing your legs to your chest. Without using your hands build momentum (try not to pause!) and roll forward until your feet are on the ground, stand back up and press your weight up overhead. Repeat.  This exercise is in fact more difficult without a weight which actually helps gives you more momentum.

Windshield Wipers:
Lay on back, legs perpendicular to the ground and arms extended out on the floor for support. Lower your legs to the right, twisting your hips while your back on stays glued to the ground. Lower until legs are hovering just above the ground. Lift back to the center starting position and repeat on the left side, and then back to starting position.

Circle Squats:
Holding either a medicine ball or dumbbell, stand with feet hip distance apart. Keeping your chest u, belly button towards the spine, bend your knees, and lower your body as deeply as you can into a squat.

What are your happy exercises?


My Week in Workouts:



(6:30 AM) 30 Min Light Cardio

Sometimes I like to wake up and do just a quick 30 min elliptical/ stairclimber/ or treadmill jog before meeting my 9 AM client. I’m not always able to execute high-intensity if I workout before hydrating and coffee. But I usually just feel better if I get my blood flowing first thing.

(12:00 PM) Ramona’s Group Fitness Class

One of the benefits of being a personal trainer where I work is getting to jump in on the fitness classes! This class is usually taught by Ramona (and me, when Ramona can’t be there). I know this sounds like a fortune cookie but I really think that in life it’s not so much what you’re doing but about who your doing it with! This is no different, it’s a fun group of people and the team-like chemistry motivates everyone to work harder than they ever would solo. Ramona’s classes are always different and I love going to her class because I get ideas, make them my own, and use for when I teach or train clients.



(9 AM) Spin Class // 60 min

(1:00 PM) Glute & Hamstring Circuit // 45 min

So I didn’t actually know this was going to be a workout. I had asked Bobo, one of the trainers where I work, for specific exercises to target hammies and glutes. He’s been in the business for longer than I’v been alive, and then some. He’s trained countless body builders and girls for bikini competitions, so he really knows his stuff. His workout killed me. I literally felt like such a sorry excuse of a trainer/athlete. I would normally avoid doing a workout of this intensity on the same day  I had done a spin class day… but I took one for the team so that I could learn!  I love getting new ideas for workouts for both my clients and myself!


(8:45 AM) Power Circuit Workout (with my friend Joe) // 50 min

Joe is a resident Physical Therepist. He played football in college. I’ve seen him deadlift 400 lbs, clean a 100 lb dumbell with a single arm, and leap as if he had springs in his legs, over a 30″ box and gracefully land on a single foot. We are opposite in every way in terms of our athletic strengths – but somehow it works.

I’ve learned so much about power and how to execute these types of movements properly. It’s pretty BA. I’ll cover the specifics of the workouts we do together in another post! I love our workouts because they are different than anything else I do. It’s also influenced the way I look at working out in general.


(9 AM) Spin Class // 60 min

I go to a spin class at the Y, taught by Sean Schumacher, and for those of you living in Greenville, SC who haven’t taken her class yet, you must—she’s awesome, and the class is uh-mazing(ly hard). I’m a big fan of the style of Sean’s classes. She teaches to the beat of the music – which is my personal favorite way to spin. Her goal is to give you the workout you want but can’t get on your own. She has a way of really getting in your head and pushes me harder than I could ever push myself. And just when you want to stop she tells you not to change that gear “Don’t you dare”. I usually end the class with a large puddle of sweat underneath my bike (people have actually made comments “Engrid the sweater”). And as a former collegiate athlete, it brings back memories of how hard I would work in practice. Inside I’m literally dying, but I figure if the pregnant lady and old retired guy a few bikes down can do it – so can I!



(11:30 AM) Dynamic Power Circuit Workout (with Joe) // 90 min

This was a killer workout! It involved everything from medicine ball slams, single arm snatches, deadlifts, to suicides. My max heart rate was 181..definitely during the circuit involving the suicide runs. More details on this specific workout coming up!

(3:00 PM) 3-ish mile walk // 75 min

I was pretty tired after my workout with Joe but it was really nice outside especially for February. So I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to get outside for a walk with my hubby.


(12 PM)  Ramona’s Group Fitness Class // 45 min

Like I said earlier, Ramona’s classes are literally always different! This class i particular tore up my pecs! We did a serious partner pushup circuit. There was an odd number of people that day so while one person tagged out and ran the stairs, the rest of us were left doing partner push-up with hand slaps. We rotated through until everyone had run the stairs. By the end my sorry excuse of a push-up was recognizable at best! We also did a another fun medicine ball partner circuit. Facing a partner about 6 feet apart (the further you were from your partner the more challenging). One row of people would catch and roll the ball to their partner. The row opposite would squat down to retrieve the rolling med ball and return the ball with a chest pass – this was to be done with speed and agility (think hot potato).  Again seriously long circuit  because – yep you guessed it – there was an odd man out doing decline bench sit-ups. We cycled through until everyone had been the odd man out.



(9 AM) Spin Class // 60 min

Sean brought her A-game to this class. I torched just over 700 calories in that one hour session. But she had my heart rate in and out of anaerobic for the better part of the workout – so I got to reap the benefits of EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption). Hello elevated metabolism. My usual puddle of sweat on the floor -classy, I know ; )

What type of exercise makes up the majority of your fitness routine??