Body Weight Countdown Workout

image3 exercises. Strength, Endurance, Cardio, and Core. One REALLY tough workout. I was literally dripping in sweat (!)

Are you up for the challenge???

This ADVANCED workout consists of a HIGH volume of repetitions.  This circuit is designed to keep your heart rate up the entire time, which will blast fat and keep your metabolism high for hours after you finish. Push your endurance levels while strengthening and tightening!

Take 3 exercises; one strength, one plyo/cardio drill, and one core exercise. These include:
Pushups (strength/endurance)
Squat Jumps (plyo)
V-Ups (core)

These are all compound exercises, which means they involve multiple joints and muscle groups. This workout only contains three exercises, however you will target your chest, shoulders, triceps, entire core, quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves!

For detailed explanations on these exercises, please visit these links:

Pushups: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/pushups

Squat Jumps: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/freehand-jump-squat ( I keep my arms down and “press down” as I jump up)

V-Ups: http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/detail/view/name/jackknife-sit-up

The first set you will preform 20 reps of each exercise (pushups, squat jumps, and v-ups). Then, on each next set, you will decrease your reps by 1. So…

2nd set: 19 pushups, 19 squat jumps, 19 v-ups

3rd set: 18 pushups, 18 squat jumps, 18 v-ups….and so on….

The goal is to get to the last set of 1 rep of each.

Disclaimer: This is NOT easy. At all.

Repeat, after I finished the set of 17 reps, I thought, “What the heck did I get myself into?!
BUT, it does get “easier” because each set contains less reps. Rest when needed, but focus on keeping a good pace and pushing yourself.

***I must stress the importance of keeping proper form with full range of motion and a controlled pace throughout this workout. The goal is to complete these exercises with as little as rest as possible, because this will keep your heart rate up, burning calories and provide the best results. However, do not feel the need to rush and sacrifice your form in order to “get done faster”. You are competing against yourself, not against the clock.***

At the end of the workout, you will have completed 210 REPS OF EACH EXERCISE! 630 REPS TOTAL!!!

Here are some modifications and tips for your best workout:

  • Make sure you warm up for at least five minutes before starting. Run in place, jump rope, etc. in order the blood flowing and your body ready!
  • Start with a lower amount of reps. You can start at 15, or even 10 reps of each, and you could even stop at 5 reps (instead of 1).
  • Try to preform the pushups on your toes, with your body in a straight line, not letting your hips drop lower than your chest.
  • You may preform all the pushups from a modified position (on your knees). Make sure to follow proper form and aim for full range of motion.
  • Substitute a different cardio/plyo exercise for squat jumps. Some examples of the same intensity would be burpees, low-jacks, or mountain climbers.
  • Lower the intensity by doing jumping jacks or body weight squats/sit to stands instead of squat jumps.
  • Change the V-ups to another core exercise such as bicycle crunches, reverse crunches, leg lifts, etc.

Give this workout a try! It is sure to be tough, but it will be WORTH IT! Don’t quit and give it 100% effort! 🙂

Peach Pie Shake

Peaches are in season right now and are SO TASTY! I have been enjoying them in yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, and…protein shakes! 🙂

imageIngredients:

-1 cup unsweetened almond milk
-handful of ice
-1 scoop vanilla (whey) protein powder
-1/2 peach (chopped, could use larger portion)
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: dash of nutmeg and/or stevia sweetener

Blend and fall in love…so good!

Nutrition Info:
195 calories-25g protein-12g carbs-4g fat

 

Tropical Paradise Protein Smoothie

A warm tropical island vacation…in a glass! Feel free to substitute ingredients to what you have or to your liking 🙂

imageIngredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond/coconut milk
  • 1 scoop (whey) vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (frozen) mango chunks
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 tsp orange extract

Optional:

  • 1/3 to 1/2 banana (sliced or frozen) **Could use this in place of the mango or pineapple if desired
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp coconut extract
  • handful of ice
  • BCAA (amino acid) powder (helps muscle recovery and growth)Blend…blend…blend…and enjoy!

Nutritional Info: (not including banana or OJ)

240 calories
20g carbs
27g protein

Nutter Butter Banana PB Shake

One of my favorite shakes! The combination of the banana, peanut butter, and cinnamon is SO GOOD! Perfect for post-workout or a quick meal-replacement 🙂

Ingredients:

-1 cup milk of choice (I use unsweetened almond milk)
-1 scoop vanilla (whey) protein powder
-2 tbsp of PB2 (peanut flour)
-1/2 banana (could use more)
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-Ice cubes

Optional:

-1/2 tbsp peanut butter
-1 tsp Stevia

Blend and enjoy!!
240 calories
22g carbs
26g protein
5g fat

Strawberry Banana Protein Smoothie

Super easy and tasty smoothie! It is great for a quick breakfast or meal replacement because of the balance between the protein and carbs. It would also be a great post workout meal; the whey protein powder helps to refuel your muscles and the fruit will replenish your energy stores. Both ingredients are absorbed quickly into your bloodstream and will help you become stronger and fitter, faster! 🙂

straw banana shakeIngredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/3 sliced banana
  • handful of ice

For a slightly larger portion (I made this for my boyfriend) feel free to use instead:

  • 1 whole banana
  • Extra 1/2 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt

Blend…and enjoy! 🙂

 

Nutrition Info:

240 cal/29g protein/17g carbs/4g fat
Larger Portion:
390 cal/43g protein/39g carbs/5g fat

 

 

Protein Oatmeal Breakfast Cake

 

oatmeal cake 2

Reasons why I love this recipe:

  • It is simple, quick and easy to make
  • A “complete” meal full of protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats
  • Has an equal ratio of protein:carbs to provide long lasting energy
  • Can be made ahead of time
  • Great for a grab-and-go breakfast
  • Perfect for a pre or post workout meal
  • A great brunch idea for the whole family
  • It’s cake…who doesn’t like cake?!

oatmeal cake 4

This baked breakfast “treat” is super tasty!!! It is moist but with a slightly crisp outside! It is almost a mix between a cookie and cake…you can easily pick it up and eat it cold, or serve it warm with your choice of toppings!

Pictured: Blueberry Almond (Oatmeal Breakfast Cake)

Ingredients: (base recipe) Makes 12 slices/12 servings

  • 2 cups dry (old-fashioned) rolled oats
  • 4 scoops vanilla whey/casein blend protein powder*
  • 2-4 tbsp baking Stevia (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 medium banana (1/2 cup mashed/60g total weight)  1/2 cup canned pumpkin OR unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 egg whites

Optional Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup berries (fresh or frozen)
  • Cinnamon

* I personally use Dymatize Elite XT Extended Release Protein Powder for my baking recipes. I have tried other whey protein powders, and this one specifically provides the richest flavor and a super moist texture in my recipes. You can find this online, Vitamin Shoppe, etc. http://www.dymatize.com/products/protein/detail/587/elite-xt-4.4-lb/

**For a dairy free recipe, feel free to omit the yogurt and use all banana, or even applesauce, pumpkin, etc. Do keep in the mind the protein/carb ratio will change.

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining wet ingredients (except the berries, crushed nuts, etc.) and mix well.

Slowly add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly together. The “batter” should be thick, almost the consistency of a big bowl of cold oatmeal 🙂 . It should not be too dry like a cookie batter and also not too runny.

Pour your mixture into a well-sprayed casserole or pyrex dish. I personally like using a round dish, but feel free to use whatever you have. (They might end up being more breakfast “squares” than cakes ;))

If using them, add your berries now by “dropping” them into the dish and “fold” them in gently. (I find this works better, as they do not drop all the way to the bottom).

Bake your breakfast cake at 350F for about 35 minutes. Check at 30 minutes; the cake should be slightly brown on top and pulled away slightly from the sides. A toothpick/fork should also come out clean (from the center).

oatmeal cake 1

I like to enjoy this with warmed berries and a little whipped cream on top! YUM! Enjoy!! 🙂

oatmeal cake 3

 

You can easily change the “flavor” of your cake as well…here are some other good “add-ins”:

  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Sliced peaches or nectarines
  • Spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.
  • Powdered peanut butter (PB2)
  • Dark chocolate chips
  • Raisins or cranberries
  • Crushed walnuts or pecans
  • Sliced almonds

Apple Cinnamon:

  • Sub unsweetened applesauce (for the banana)
  • Add: 1-2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1-2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • Optional: Add diced apples or layer apple slices on top, crushed walnuts, etc.

Banana Cinnamon Walnut:

  • Omit greek yogurt and use all mashed banana
  • Add: 1-2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1-2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup, and 1/4 to 1/3 cup crushed walnuts on top

Pumpkin Spice:

  • Omit banana and use 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and 1/2 cup yogurt (could sub all pumpkin)
  • Add: 1 tbsp cinnamon (I like a lot!), 1 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice/cloves, 1-2 tbsp sugar free maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Add 1/4 cup fresh or dried cranberries and 1/4 crushed walnuts (optional but recommended!)