Workout Routines...Just Split It Up!

As you know, there is more than one way to strength train. Mom or not, we are crazy busy, but mixing it up is the key to continuously challenging your muscles. Using a split routine is going to require a bit more time with the weights, but the results are so worth it.

You may be more familiar with the upper-lower body split where you train your upper body one day, and then your lower body the next. We are going to do things a little different. I am a huge fan of the push-pull split routine. In other words, you will train your chest with assistance from your shoulders and triceps (all muscles used for pushing) on one day. The next day you will use your biceps and forearms to train your upper back (all muscles involved with the pulling motion). Not only will you train the muscles together that have a common function, but you will train your legs in each workout in an effort to get your heart rate up and zap more calories.

Organizing your workouts in this fashion ensure that you don’t over train your muscles. If you trained your back on one day and then your biceps the very next day you would end up overtraining your biceps. Your biceps are naturally trained with every upper back exercise as they are a secondary muscle for that movement. As a result, they don’t have enough time to recover if you train them the very next day. For this reason, I have grouped these muscles together to ensure they get the proper amount of rest and recovery.

By training your lower body in every strength session you end up incorporating cardio in the workout. Alternating between upper body and lower body exercise causes your heart rate to stay elevated. The heart works to deliver blood back and forth in an effort to deliver oxygen to the working muscles. As a result, this process, known as Peripheral Heart Action or PHA, also enhances muscle growth by preventing the development of lactic acid build up. This buildup is responsible for muscle fatigue. Our strategy will be to train the back of your legs on the same day as we train your back muscles and the front of you legs on the same day we train your chest.

Lets Do It Circuit Style

This split routine is most effective when performed in the same fashion as the full body workouts… full-go, heart pumping, fat burning circuit training. There is no rest in between each set. Go from one exercise to the next until you get to the end of the set of exercises. Then, and only then, take 60 seconds to hydrate and recover before you start the next set of exercises.

Remember, according to The BIGGEST LOSER's Jillian Micheals , "When done properly, circuit training builds lean muscle and improves aerobic fitness simultaneously, making it nothing less than the most effective fatburning workout." Not to mention, this style allows us to fit in more exercises in a shorter period of time. Why would we do it any other way?!

Gotta Love Supersets

I also love to incorporate supersets into the workouts. Again, a type of training strategy that eliminates the rest period by performing one exercise after another. While there are numerous ways to incorporate supersets, we are going to focus on combining two exercises that concentrate on the same muscle group. For instance, chest press followed directly by pushups. I love this method, especially for women, because it allows us to overload our muscles without using large amounts of weight and increase the intensity for a greater caloric burn.

Sample Strength Training Schedule

  • Monday: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders & front lower body
  • Tuesday: Back, Biceps, back lower body & core
  • Wednesday: OFF
  • Thursday: Chest, Triceps, Shoulders & front lower body
  • Friday: Back, Biceps, back lower body & core
  • Sat & Sun: OFF

Okay, there you have it! Break up the monotony and really shock your muscles. Try it for a month. Then you can switch back and forth between the full body workouts I have designed and these to head off boredom.

Important: Always listen to your body! If you need a break during your workout, TAKE IT! Work your way up to completing each circuit with no rest. If you need to, start by giving yourself 30 seconds between each exercise for a couple of weeks. Then try 15 seconds and before you know it, you will be zipping right through it. It is also always a good idea to talk to a doctor before starting a new workout.

Not sure how to do some of the moves?

Walking Planks with Dumbbells
Fast Squats
Under the Fence Pushups
Basic Lunges with Lateral Raises
Alternating Chest Press
Wide Pushups
Stability Ball Plank with Leg Abduction
Mountain Climbers
frog Pushups
Squat Swings
Chair Sits
Jump Squats
Tricep Extensions in the Supine Position
Alligator Pushups
Skate Squats
Squat Jacks
Extended Planks
Tricep Dips
Fast Sumo Squats
Frog Jumps
Pushups with Side Plank
DB Rows
Step Ups
Loco DB Rows
Walking Lunges
Squating Bicep Curls
Alternating Bicep Curls
Crab Walk
Reverse Plank with Leg Lift
"V" Hold
Deadlifts with Row
Frog kicks
Bicep 7's
One Legged Pelvic Thrusts
Jump Lunges
Kayak Twist
Thread the Needle

Kick Butt Cardio

Like I have said before, either hate it, you love it or develop a love/hate relationship with it. Since I've been running in Washington, I really have developed a love/hate relationship with running. I love the beautiful mountain views, I hate the crazy, never ending hills, but I love the extra calorie burn.

These heart pumping runs have been my inspiration for this months Kick Butt Cardio. While I can't bring you the breath taking mountainous back drops, I can share with you the crazy hill workouts that have been kicking my butt every week.

Bonus, since it is starting to get cold, this workout beats the boring straight and level treadmill run.

More Kick Butt Cardio Workouts

Recipe of the Month

Pizza Recipes

Did you know there could actually be health benefits to eating pizza? Yep, the more you pile on the fruits or vegetables, the more nutrient needs that are being met. A simple slice of pizza could provide the following nutrients:

  • Whole Wheat Crust can be a great source of fiber and B vitamins
  • Low-fat cheese helps to meet calcium needs (women should aim for 1000 mg daily!)
  • Adding vegetables like broccoli & bell peppers can add a great source of Vitamin C which will promote a healthy immune system
  • Tomato Sauce is a good source of lycopene, a carotenoid that helps to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancers

Moral of the story… it’s ok to indulge in a couple slices of pizza, just choose more healthy selections (like fruit or vegetables) and steer clear of the fatty meats (like bacon, sausage or pepperoni).

What's New

Grocery Shopping Made Easy!

A healthy shopping list is one of the most cost efficient, time efficient, AND HEALTH efficient ways to grocery shop. I know, I have a million things to do and grocery shopping doesn't even make the top 10. However, grocery shopping can be the first step to losing weight. Yep you heard me, you have to put together a healthy grocery list and get to the store if you want to lose!

Believe me, I know how tempting it can be to run out for dinner or call for carry out after being your child's personal assistant all day. However, when the right foods are available, check out the calories you save by eating at more

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Healthy Regards,
Sommer Tucker

"The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
John Bingham, running speaker and writer