Back-To-Back | Superset Back Workout!


I admit my impromptu decision to bring my camera to the gym with me to shoot my actual workout felt sooo narcissistic…I think we all get that noise in our head sometimes about “who am I to even think this is worth sharing?”  but then I thought I’ve got nothing to lose and it may even help someone out! I’m trying to be more vulnerable lately, and this is definitely “putting myself out there”. It’s funny because so often, the advice I give to my clients is reassuring words that I need to hear myself. BABY STEPS! Well guys, I took a step and here it is:

Perform each superset exercise back-to-back (no pun intended) THREE times. For example you’d do 12-15 reps of the standing banded row with a double pulse, followed by 12 reps of the bent over barbell row. This is ONE set. You would then take a minute to stretch. Repeating the sequence two more times through (for a total of three)! Perform all 4 supersets this way 😉 Have fun!

Watch the Video

Ever feel like you just can’t quite “get” a movement? I share my advice (that I also share with my own clients) on how to work through learning something new! Watch the workout and give it a try next time you’re in the gym!

back to back_back superset workout_printable preview

Get your Back To Back | Superset Back Workout | Printable PDF Just Right Click and Select “Save Link As…”


‘Crossfit Gym’ HIIT Circuit Workout


How’s everyone doing this week!?
Summer is right around the corner ☀ can you feel it!?!

For me this means the months ahead are filled with weddings, birthdays, upcoming vacations to finish planning etc! Often it can feel like I have to “cram” everything in before the nice weather runs out!

Warmer weather also means people are more likely than ever to seek out personal training (which is great for me)! So I’ve been much busier with the addition of new clients. So, I’m in a bit of an adjustment phase to this new busier ‘normal’. I have to remind myself that I need to take care of “me” first – which is incredibly challenging! I pour my heart and soul into my clients, but I’ve realized that if I don’t treat myself right (aka knowing when to say “No, I can’t do that” or knowing when I will need to take a 20 min power nap) I won’t be able to give them everything I’ve got!

I’ve learned the hard way. And, yes, sometimes I do spread myself too thin. But I’ve also learned that sacrificing my own needs for others never pans out well. I pride myself in giving each of my clients the energy and attention they deserve at every single session. But when I don’t take care of me I  know that my spark can dim  – and that’s usually a result of me taking on more than I can handle. But just like building strength and endurance with a progressive load, I am trying to gradually increase and adapt. And I’d like to think I’m building a pretty solid foundation for handling my days, as they get busier!

It’s definitely a process learning how to balance this new “normal”. At first, I’d catch myself feeling run-down & tired later on in the afternoons (it happens after your alarm clock goes off at 4 AM a few days in a row). So just before meeting with my late afternoon client(s), I’d envision how wonderful a nap would feel… but for some reason once our session would start I’d instantly be filled with happiness and energy! In reality, I feel so blessed with the responsibility I have to each of my clients. It seriously is so rewarding and I sometimes I can’t believe I’ve actually carved this life out for myself! Additionally outside of my clients, I know I am lucky to have the commitments and friendships I have that add all that wonderful flavor to my life.

Take home message: Even through all of the chaos ~I want you to focus on Y♡U

Make your healthy lifestyle the one consistent part of your everyday life, even if everything else is moving and shaking! Maybe crazy is your new normal??

Okay, so it’s the end of my work week and I’m seriously exhausted, but that’s not stopping me from posting this ‘Crossfit Gym HIIT Circuit Workout’!  I have been trying to stay more consistent about posting REGULARLY!

Crossfit Gym HIIT Circuit WorkoutComplete this routine 4 times through!!




20-min lower body & core workout_livengproof_plank pic

I wrote this workout on a whim because I had a last minute chance to have my amazing friend Jen offer to shoot a workout for me! You can check her skills here! So I got to feel like a real life fitness model as I stood in as her “test subject” as she just moved to a new shared studio space! She got to play with the lighting equipment and I got to pretend I was Jane Fonda 😉 Also I’m 5’10” so I’m pretty long – lets just say I realized why they have such large back drops – especially for any photoshoot involving movement! Thanks Jen for accommodating me and all my lanky limbs! I have since done this workout and let me just say for coming up with it “on a whim” I was pri-tee pleased with it!

Screenshot 2015-01-29 17.36.55

Jen is the owner of  J.Catherine Photography  you can also find her on facebook here!


Equipment I Used:

Interval Cycles: 10 Sets
45 seconds of work (High)
1:15 seconds of rest (Low) – ONLY USE 15 SECONDS FOR REST & 1 MIN FOR JUMP ROPE


You’ll do each exercise for 45 seconds followed by 10-15 seconds of rest before moving immediately onto jumping rope (or any cardio activity of your choice – you can hop on the elliptical, do jumping jacks, run on a treadmill, run outside, bike, spin – you get the idea)! When the high interval sound goes off go straight into the next strength exercise! Personally when I did this I just hopped onto an elliptical between each strength move (I thought the gym at my apartment had a jump rope – but I couldn’t find it – and I had left mine in my car). So, I would glance down at my phone as the interval timer counted down and check that I knew which exercise I was going to be doing so I could get right into it!

Also when I did this circuit I actually did it 2 times though for a 40 min workout! The time seriously flew by! If you’re up for the challenge try setting your interval time for 20 Sets for the Interval Cycles. Once you’ve completed the whole circuit, pause the timer, grab some water, and maybe take a breather for 30-60 seconds. Then repeat it again!

I set my interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 1:10 seconds of rest, and selected different sounds for the high interval vs the low interval so I would know which one was signaling me to start and stop. I used the “Boxing Bell” to signal the High intensity round and the “School Bell” to signal the Low intensity round.

Each round is 20 minutes in length. And like I said if you have the time and you’re up for a challenge repeat the circuit one more time though!! As always, make sure you give yourself atleast 5 – 10 mins to warm up before you start!

Also here are the weights I actually used when I did this circuit:
alternating reverse lunges:  single 15 lb DB
side lunge + row to single leg overhead press: pair of 10 lb DB’s
kneeling woodchoppers: single 15 lb DB
front hold reverse lunge to single leg balance: single 20 lb DB

What’s the best weight to use? You should be able to go through the 12-15 reps with proper form, but the last three reps should feel super challenging. Try different weights to see which works best for you… and watch yourself get stronger!

20-min lower body & core workout_livengproof

Alternating reverse lunges with torso twist
TARGETS: thighs, core , glutes, and arms

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding any weight of your choice (medicine ball, single DB, pair of DB’s, Kettlebell, or just use your own body weight) in a hammer-curl position with forearms roughly parallel to the ground and thumbs up. Step your right leg behind you, making sure you step back far enough, while keeping your left knee in-line with your left ankle. Your weight should be over your front leg (you’ll you’re your left quad a lot here!). Then twist your torso left, while maintaining your posture (shoulder blades should stay retracted). Finally twist back to the front. Using your left quad and glute to push through, step your right foot back to your starting standing position. Repeat on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides each time!

Alternating spider lunges
TARGETS: core, shoulders, and hip flexors

 Begin in a plank position: palms on the ground (thinking about screwing your palms into the ground to create torque), shoulder blades retracted, glutes squeezed. A plank is ultimately the same posture you should have when you are standing except you are horizontal instead of vertical – thinking about it this way has helped me! So your spine should be in a fairly straight line. From here bring your right foot up just outside of your right palm. If your hip flexors are tight you will definitively feel this! Contract your left glute for an even deeper hip flexor stretch in the right hip. Return your right foot back to the starting position. Repeat the movement on the opposite side. Continue alternating sides each time.

Side lunge + row to single leg overhead press
TARGETS: upper back, shoulders, and glutes

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding your dumbbells by your side’s palms facing your body. Stop your right foot out to the side keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Sink into that right glute – thinking about shooting at towards the right side of the room. Keep your spine in a neutral position so that your low back is not over arched. Extend your arms down lowering your shoulders toward the ground. Initiating the row as your shoulders squeeze back I’m squeeze your traps (shoulder blades), as you draw the weights dumbbells and towards your rib cage – elbows moving straight back!

Pushing off with your right leg to return to standing position transition into a single (left) leg balance by squeezing your left glute to maintain stability. Hammer curl your way it’s up and into an overhead press keeping your palms facing each other throughout the movement. Perform all reps with the same leg for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Kneeling woodchopper
TARGETS: shoulders, upper back, arms, and glutes

Again in a kneeling position with your right leg in front keeping your knee in line with your ankle. Your shoulder blades should be squeezed back, left glutes is contracted, torso tall, belly down and in, and chin stays in a neutral position throught the movement. Holding your weights with both hands down by your left hip lift them up and across your body up over your right shoulder – in an upward chopping motion. Think as if you were digging and shoveling the dirt over your right shoulder! Return the weight to starting position next to your left hip. Your torso will twist slightly but it shouldn’t be excessive. Be sure to maintain your posture (avoid overarching your low back by contracting your left glute throughout the movement). Perform all reps with the same leg in front for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Front hold reverse lunge to single leg balance
TARGETS: quads, glutes, upper back, shoulders, and core

Start by getting yourself in an organized athletic standing position: shoulder blades squeezed back, glutes squeezed, torso tall, belly down and in. Holding your dumbbells in a front hold – this requires that your shoulder blades stay actively retracted throughout the movement (which is a bonus for you core and upper back muscles)! Step your right leg behind you, making sure you step back far enough, while keeping your left knee in-line with your left ankle. Your weight should be over your front leg (you’ll you’re your left quad a lot here!). Transition into a right-leg balance standing position by pushing off slightly with your back (right) foot, keeping your weight on your left leg, squeezing your left glute to create a stable position, as you draw your right knee upwards to balance. The front hold should be maintained throughout the movement. Perform all reps with the same leg in front for the duration of the interval. Then repeat the movement on the opposite side for the next one!

Side plank with a front kick & reach
TARGETS: obliques, shoulders, and core

Begin in a side plank position: right forearm on the ground. Shoulder blades retracted, shoulders down and back, glutes squeezed, belly down and in. You can have your feet stacked (as shown in the pic) or they can be staggered. Extend your left arm overhead so that it is in line with your body. Kick your top (left) leg out in front of you while drawing your extended left arm out reaching for your toes. Try and keep your hips up thoughout the movement!



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?