I can’t always easily decide on one particular muscle group to train. Sometimes my mood calls for a broad span of movements, sort of a way to tie up the loose ends from my week, if you will! This upper body circuit will work a little bit of everything: shoulders, chest, triceps, back, abs, and biceps. I hope you enjoy these moves as much as I did!
UPPER BODY BUILDING CIRCUIT
SET 1: 5 rounds (2 warm up sets at 10-15 reps, 3 working sets at 5-8 reps)
- Dumbell Row (both sides)
- Barbell Press
- Bench Row
SET 2: 5 rounds (2 warm up sets at 10-15 reps, 3 working sets at 5-8 reps)
- Underhand Barbell Row
- Resistance Band Ab Sequence – 15 reps every set
- Bench Dumbell Pullover
SET 3: 3 rounds
- Burpee Jump Tuck – 15
- Bicep Curl/Front Fly Combo (5 bicep curls + front fly, then 5 regular bicep curls)
I’m always experimenting in the kitchen. The end result isn’t always the best, but occasionally I really impress myself with delectable, healthy, sweet treats that are absolutely to die for! These plantain muffins are moist, slightly sweet, and fit into my meal plan every day of the week. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did…and still am!
Blueberry Lemon Plantain Muffins
- 2 raw green plantains, peeled and sliced
- 5 eggs
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese
- 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
- 2 tablespoons brown rice syrup
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup goji berries
- 1 tablespoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Using a food processor or blender, combine all ingredients EXCEPT the blueberries, and combine until you have a nice smooth batter. Add the blueberries and stir with a spoon. Pour batter into a nonstick muffin pan, or use muffin liners. (My muffin pan makes 12.) Fill the muffin cups until they are almost overflowing. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until batter is no longer runny in the center. YUM!!!
Serving size: 2 muffins
Welcome to week 5 of the Black Book Challenge! Great job everyone. Here is our schedule of workouts for this week.
- DAY 1 – Rest Day – Today, your main focus is to eat wholesome foods, drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s rest. Do something you enjoy and focus on your mental clarity.
- DAY 2 – Five Alive – This workout is a full body challenge with major focus on the booty and core! Don’t be afraid to go heavy with your weights, and push yourself to complete 3-5 full rounds.
- DAY 3 – Core Crazy – This workout is a pretty old one from when I first started fitness blogging. You do not need any equipment for this interval challenge, but remember to push at your MAX effort for each interval to get the most out of it. Work those abs baby!
- DAY 4 – Cardio – Today, your main focus is to get some quality cardio. I want to see 30 minutes of intense, heart rate elevating cardio of your choice.
- DAY 5 – Rest Day – Today, your main focus is to eat wholesome foods, drink plenty of water, and get a good night’s rest. Do something you enjoy and focus on your mental clarity.
- DAY 6 – 100 Rep Quickie – This workout is 100 reps of full body shaping goodness. You will not need any equipment, but move quick, because as soon as you complete 100 reps, you’re done!
- DAY 7 – Cardio – Today, your main focus is to get some quality cardio. I want to see 30 minutes of intense, heart rate elevating cardio of your choice.
Today’s workout is a short, intense approach to burning fat, sculpting lean muscle, and improving stamina. I have included 10 dynamic exercises that will target several muscle groups at the same time, giving you a killer full body workout in only TEN minutes! There is always time to get a great workout – so no excuses, let’s do this!
Push hard for each interval, and go for the maximum number of reps. There will be 10 seconds of rest between exercises, so make sure to set out any dumbells you may want to use before hand, and keep some water handy! Have fun with it, and repeat this circuit as necessary.
10 MINUTE FULL BODY HIIT
- Knee Slap Burpee
- Lunge Chop
- Pike Leg Lift Knee Cross (R)
- Pike Leg Lift Knee Cross (L)
- Chest Press Leg Lifts
- Squat Jack and Row
- Elevated Reptile Push Up
- Goblet Squat
- Leg Circles
- Double Time Push Ups
Today’s workout is a full body interval challenge with an underlying focus on the core. I have combined 6 exercises that will each work multiple muscles at the same time. Go for speed while keeping your form in tact, & try to get the maximum number of reps possible during each interval! Set your interval timer for 24 rounds of 60 seconds work, 20 seconds rest – or use THIS pre-set one.
HIIT workouts are a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, increase your metabolism, burn fat and build lean muscle. Use weights to increase the intensity, but choose a medium/light weight so you can still push through those high reps. Most importantly, HAVE FUN! 🙂
ADORE YOUR CORE
60 Seconds Work: 20 Seconds Rest Between Intervals
Repeat this circuit a total of 4 rounds.
- Front Kick Push Up
- Squat & Press Up
- Reverse Side Step Plank
- Sit Up Press
- Sumo Side Kick
- 1 Arm Kettlebell Swings
Today’s workout is a dynamic and challenging approach toward shaping lean strong legs and glutes. I’ve included a couple combo exercises that will force you to enlist all of your stabilizers and get your heart rate up as well. Make sure to concentrate on keeping a strong engaged core, straight back (never rounded) and push through the heels, squeezing those glutes for every exercise in this circuit. Don’t be afraid to get those weights in there – that’s what will shape and tone those muscles!
LEGS FOR DAYS!
Repeat this circuit 3-5 times
- 1 LEG GLUTE BRIDGE (L) X 8 – 10 REPS
- 1 LEG GLUTE BRIDGE (R) X 8 – 10 REPS
- CURTSY LUNGE/SQUAT COMBO X 10 SETS
- ROMANIAN DEADLIFT X 8 REPS
- REVERSE LUNGE (R) X 8 REPS
- REVERSE LUNGE (L) X 8 REPS
- KETTLEBELL SWINGS X 25 REPS
Today’s workout is a free-weight circuit designed to really target the tush. I’ve combined a few of my favorite exercises – including the ever so effective, yet decidedly difficult Pistol Squat. I challenge you to get some heavy weights involved here and really go “ass to grass!” 😉 Dig deep – I know you can do it.
Repeat this circuit 3-5 times.
- Broad Jump Squat Sequence (20 reps): Take one long broad jump forward, landing gently into a squat with your knees behind the toes, and butt reaching back. Take 2 smaller hops back to the starting position and repeat.
- Deadlift (10 reps): With feet hip width apart and toes tracing the knees, reach your butt back while keeping knees behind the toes and chest lifted. Grab your weights and lift (MAKE SURE TO KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT!) to a standing position and repeat this movement. Keep your core pulled in tight, make sure your knees are not buckling, and keep the weight in your heels throughout the movement.
- Split Squat (8-10 reps on each side): Stand with your back foot elevated and resting on a bench or chair – and front leg about one long step in front of you. Holding your weights, lunge down until your front thigh becomes parallel to the ground, and return to standing position. Keep your knee behind your toe, chest high, shoulders back and down, and back straight while engaging your core. Push through the heel for each movement and keep your balance.
- Elevated Front Squat (20 reps): Choose a moderate weight and use 2 chairs, 2 benches, or a corner railing like I did. Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and toes pointed slightly outward. Hold your weight hanging in front of you, between the legs. Squat down as deep as you can, letting the weight hang freely, and return to standing position. Push through the heels, and squeeze those glutes with each press.
- Weighted Pistol Squat (5 reps on each side): Stand with one leg extended out in front of you, and the other planted firmly on the ground with toes pointed slightly outward. Hold your weight up to the chest, and squat down on your planted leg while keeping the other leg extended off the ground. Return to standing position. Push through the heels, keep your shoulders back and core engaged while keeping your balance. ***If the weighted option for this exercise is too advanced, use your body weight only until you have mastered the movement. If you are doing bodyweight pistol squats, change the reps to 10 on each leg. You may also sit into a chair instead of squatting all the way to the ground until you can build more strength for this amazing exercise.