Tag Archives: weights

Jump Rope Workout

Since I’m not swimming tonight, I went to the gym in my office during lunch. I didn’t feel like putting my body through another run this week after my pulled muscle on Wednesday. I decided it was okay to do a light workout instead of my usual balls-to-the-wall-burn-as-many-calories-as-you-can kind of workout.

I decided to skip the treadmill and do the Elliptical machine.

The Elliptical is a good choice for people who have joint pain, or can’t run.

Low-Impact Elliptical

I did about 20 minutes on the elliptical machine, but nothing too crazy like I usually do. Actually, the elliptical machine is the machine I used to use the most when I was trying to lose 100 pounds. I did a combo of swimming and then the elliptical. It wasn’t until much later that I tried doing the treadmill.

After the elliptical, I hopped on the exercise bike for about 5 minutes and decided to change things up a bit. I grabbed an Ab Ball and the jump rope.

The rest of my workout was sort of like a “Cross-fit” workout. I’d jump rope pretty briskly then jog to the weight machines and then back to the jump rope.


Jump Rope

To this:

Then I added the Ab Balls to the routine. I did this a few times, back and forth, until I was dripping with sweat. Man! Jump rope workouts are sweaty!

Then I added free weights to the routine.

In hindsight I should have skipped the elliptical and exercise bike and JUST done the weights/ab/jump-rope combo. That was a much better workout in itself!

Before you dismiss the jump rope as just a kid’s game, try it! It’s hard work and it’s a great workout. My heart rate spiked with each jump and I tried to do the jump rope faster with each set.

Finally, I did a bunch of stretching and some yoga moves.


It was a good workout, even if I didn’t burn a ton of calories. It felt good just to move. Not only that, it’s good to change up your workout routine once in awhile to avoid boredom and plateaus!

Today’s Stats:

Time: 36 minutes

Calories Burned: 275

Final Thought: Jump Ropes Rule

Tonight we start the kitchen remodel again and will be doing it all weekend. I will be burning plenty of calories this weekend!

QUESTION: Are you doing anything fun this weekend? And have you ever incorporated a jump rope to your workout routine?

Back to the Gym

Last night’s swim was really good. I had no aches or pains while I was swimming. Last time my shoulder had been irritating me for some mysterious reason. This time, no worries! Neither Michael nor I were really into making something complicated for dinner Friday night. Michael made himself a hot dog and I had leftover quinoa and Trader Joe’s Chicken Shu Mai. It’s easy and fast! It only takes 2 minutes to steam the Shu Mai in the microwave. I steamed some broccoli and cauliflower.

There are 6  in a serving of Shu Mai but I ate 8. Calories for dinner are as follows:

Chicken Shu Mai (8): 213 calories

Quinoa: 225 calories

Steamed Veggies: 70 calories

Goddess Dressing: 150 calories

I like easy dinners!

Saturday I slept in until 10:30am! I was surprised when I rolled over and saw the clock. I got up and had an Atkins shake for breakfast.

I debated whether or not to go for a long run around the neighborhood or to go to the gym. I decided to hit the gym because it’s been quite awhile since I’d been. I needed to do weights, too. It’s been way too long since I did my weight routine either. 😦

I got to the gym and it was surprisingly crowded. All the stair-masters were taken so I did a 10 minute warm-up on the elliptical machine until one came open. I did 45 minutes of Speed Intervals and 5 minutes of cool down on the stair-master. Then I saw this machine:

Arm Machine

It’s a machine that does just your arms. It’s sort of like an exercise bike but for your arms. It was really strange but boy does it work! My arms were tired after just a few minutes.

I went upstairs to do weights. I focused on the ab machines that I love:

This Ab Machine is my absolute favorite:

It hurts so good! But I actually feel a difference after I use it. I did sets of 10 5 times. Ouch! I moved to the machines for the lower body and did a bunch of different leg presses. I also did the Standing Calf machine. It’s great for the calves and I definitely need to strengthen that part of my body for running.

Standing Calf

I spent a little time doing the Hip Machines:

The Hip Abductors and Adductor machines work the muscles of the hips. These muscles are often times a complaint for runners. It can cause pain in the IT Band and down to the knees. Michael often complains about his hip flexors bothering him from cycling. So I think there are many exercises other than running that can cause inflammation in the hips. Strengthen and stretch!

On one of the machines I started to feel a strain in my groin so I stopped doing the hip machine and moved back to doing my upper body. I don’t want to be hurting in a bad way!

After doing my weight routine, I discovered a new machine! It’s a stretching machine. I’d never noticed it at the gym before but I gave it a try today. And boy does it work!

Stretching Machine

I followed the instructions on the machine and stretched out my body. It felt awesome! I’m now wondering where I can buy one of these things! 😉

Stretching Machine

When I got home from the gym, I did my Foam Roller stretches and then ate a piece of Ezekiel toast with Organic Crofters jam as a snack.

Today’s Stats:

Calories Burned: 775

Time at Gym: 1 hour 27 minutes

I made a veggie-rich lunch. First, I steamed more veggies.

Steaming Veggies

Then I grilled up a Vegetable Masala Burger from Trader Joe’s:

I love these burgers. They taste so great to me. And I can taste the potatoes, corn, and broccoli in them.

Grilled in the skillet with some olive oil for a few minutes.

Then I topped the burger with a slice of Havarti cheese and left it on the skillet for a few minutes to melt. Lunch was served!


It was a great lunch. I ate every single bite and kinda wished I could have seconds! It’s such a change from my “old ways”…I ate a lot of salads but I’d never eat the veggies like I do now.

Tonight is my friend Erika’s wedding! I can’t wait! 🙂

Gym Pet Peeves

I had a great work out at the gym! I did 45 minutes on the stair-master.

I felt energized and not slow at all. I got sucked into “Flip This House” on A&E (I’m addicted to those HGTV type house shows!). Before I knew it,  2 episodes and almost an hour later I got off the stair-master and headed over to the treadmill to give my new shoes a try. I did about a mile on the treadmill at a medium pace and finished up with a bunch of weights.

New Shoes

I don’t want to give a review of my new shoes until later. I will see how I feel tomorrow and then hopefully I can get a real run in this week.

Gym Stats:

Calories Burned: 713

Time: 1 hour 18 minutes

Activities: Stair-master, treadmill, weights, triceps/deltoids, abs, hip abductors, leg presses, stretching

Gym Annoyances

About half way through my workout, a girl got on the stair-master next to me. I almost got off and left because she smelled so bad. Seriously! It smelled like she’d eaten a gallon of garlic and was sweating it out of her pores–oh and to hide the smell she was chewing watermelon bubblegum. It was so gross. Who does that? Note to all gym members: please don’t smell weird if you can avoid it. Thanks so much!

Around the same time, another chick got on the elliptical on my right side. She was wearing a dress and stripper boots! No joke! They were knee high boots with stiletto heels. I own a pair. And she wore that to the gym to work out? I was so baffled and I was also tempted to ask her if I could take her picture just to PROVE it happen. 🙂 But I didn’t.

Finally, the last annoyance was how very few people clean off the machine after they use it. I watched person after person sweat on and touch the machines and then just walk away. I wanted to yell, “Oh my god you are so vile!” But I didn’t. I always spray down machines BEFORE (and after) I use them because I’m so skeeved out.

QUESTION: What are your gym pet peeves?

Workout over and feeling pretty good, I drove home and decided to do some gardening before I hopped in the shower. I ended up doing almost 45 minutes of weeding! Our yard is completely out of control. The weeds have taken over.

Weeds Taller Than Me!

I filled the bin with weeds and blackberries.

Weeding burned almost 250 calories. I was shocked! I cleaned the house, showered, and fixed lunch.

Lunch was leftovers from yesterday – Indian food, couscous and steamed brocolli.

Added a little of this:

Lunch was the perfect size.

Now to do the Foam Roller and then I’m off to return the Asics shoes!

Relationships Are About Compromises

When I got home from work last night I was exhausted. Michael was tired. Neither of us wanted to cook. His suggestion was pizza (of course :)).  I’ve mentioned before that pizza is one of my “trigger foods” and I try to limit how much of it I eat. But we’ve discovered a way to compromise so we’re both happy. Papa Murphy’s has a deLite Pepperoni pizza that is 170 calories a serving! Perfect!

Take And Bake

I’ve never been a fan of thin crust before but I really love this pizza! I added sliced olives to the top. I ate 3 pieces and I did not feel guilty about it at all!


This morning I had half of a breakfast sandwich. It sort of looked like this:

Breakfast Sandwich

Scrambled egg, a dash of shredded cheese, and a sliced turkey sausage. It looks huge but it’s not. It’s about 340 calories for the whole sandwich. This morning I had this minus the top half of the English Muffin. It’s very delicious and filling!

My morning snack was an orange.


My afternoon snack will be my Fiber One bar. I have plans with a friend to meet at the gym after work and do weights. I’m looking forward to it!

Is That….Sunshine?

I was able to walk during lunch, which made me happy! The weather was actually starting to warm up nicely and I wish I’d had sunglasses. I’m really enjoying my walks in The Pearl District. I’ve seen lots of things I’ve never seen in the 11 years I’ve lived in Portland.

Park in the Pearl


When I was walking I stumbled upon a lonely puppy! He perked up the second I started taking photos of him. 🙂

Pearl puppy!

And the last Pearl District photo from today:

I like my lunchtime walks on “Rest Days.” I choose a different route to take downtown and explore areas of the city I never see.

When I got home from work, I had a quick snack of Wheat Thins and some Cream Cheese (1/3 less fat version) and then hopped on the bike trainer for 45 minutes or so.


After doing intervals, I got off the bike and did some ab exercises with my ball:

I was really feeling the burn! Next, I did some triceps exercise:

And the result:

439 Calories Burned

Now to find something for dinner……..The never-ending question…..

Saturday’s Gym Workout

I did not sleep in today like I was hoping I would. 😦 The upside to that is that I can get to the gym before it gets to crazy. Breakfast was an English muffin with cinnamon and a teaspoon of sugar with an orange.

Quick Breakfast

Breakfast wasn’t even 200 calories. I should have had a little more because halfway through my work out I was starving.

Ignore the Laundry

Since it was so early, I lucked out at the gym! I got a parking spot right in front (which is ironic since I don’t mind parking far away and walking…walking is more exercise…) and I got my favorite Stair-master. I did about 50 minutes of Speed Intervals on the stair-master and then went upstairs to do some weights.

I tried to take a few pictures (discretely). Here are pictures of my favorite ab machines:

Ab Machine #1

Doing Crunches

Ab Machine #2

When I do weights, I usually concentrate on my abs and my arms: both areas of my body that I am less than thrilled about! One of the “downsides” to losing a lot of weight is the loose skin. Mine isn’t that bad but it’s still something I’m trying to correct with exercise and weights. I’m reluctant to go under the knife for it. I didn’t get any pictures of the triceps and other arm machines I usually do.

Gym Stats:

Time: 58 minutes

Calories Burned: 605

I came home and drank a Nesquick Chocolate Milk for 100 calories. The rest of today will be running errands and doing chores. Fun! Not so much. Enjoy your Saturday! 🙂

Weight Training vs. Cardio

Another question:

“Thanks for the post. I have one other question when you first started out did you strictly do cardio and how long? Do you know incorprate weight traning into your fitness routine?”

My answer:
Cardio burns more calories than weight lifting but lifting weights spikes your metabolism for about an hour after you’re done exercising. So after you’re done with the weights, your body continues to burn calories more than cardio.

The benefits of Cardio are vast. It improves your heart, lungs, stamina. You get a “runner’s high” (a rush of endorphins and “happy feelings”). When you’re very overweight, cardio is the way to go. It’s better to build up your stamina and ease yourself into a program so you don’t hurt yourself.

After lifting weights, immediately eat protein. I suggest cottage cheese or a protein shake. Lifting weights replaces fat in your body with muscle. After you lose a lot of weight with cardio, switching to a weight program is ideal to get your body leaner and lose the FAT.

While I was losing 110 pounds I did only cardio. Cardio is fun and easy for me. I could do the elliptical machine for hours if I wanted to. Weights, on the other hand, were harder for me. I don’t know why it’s not my first choice.

Since I am pretty close to my goal weight, I’m finding it harder to lose weight because cardio doesn’t have the same effects it previously had. I started going to a personal trainer periodically to get ideas. He had me doing a cross training program that included a lot of weights and resistance training. It REALLY made a difference. I got over my plateau and started losing weight again.

Now, I try to incorporate weight lifting into my routine as much as possible. Since I’m training for Reach the Beach (bike ride) and Hood to Coast (running), I do a lot of cardio. I need to have the long distance stamina to complete those things. But when I go to the gym to do my cardio, I try and end with weight lifting. I do about 20-30 minutes on the weight machines.

When I was trying to lose weight, I did about 45-70 minutes of cardio (usually the elliptical machine). Now my routine is a bit different:
RUNNING: Running at lunch I do about 35 minutes. Mostly because I don’t have time to go longer if I want to shower and eat before heading back to work. On the weekends, I do longer runs of about an hour.
GYM: I do about 45 minutes on the machines (elliptical or stair-master) then go do weights for 20-30 minutes.
SWIMMING: 45 to 50 minutes 2 or 3x a week.
BIKING: When we go for bike rides it’s usually for several hours.

It’s race weekend! I’m excited and nervous. Good luck to http://slowlybutsurely2010.blogspot.com/ ! 🙂

DISCLAIMER: I am in no way a personal trainer or nutritionist. I’m just passing on what worked for me. 🙂