Posted in fitness

This week in workouts.

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This week consisted of three workouts: lower body, upper body and cardio (well the best at cardio I could do). My energy levels were quite high this week which definitely helped me perform optimally at the gym.

Lower body workout:

Warm up on the treadmill for 5 minutes

Stationary lunges – 3 x 10 on each leg with 10 kg plate

Curtsy lunges holding 10 kg plate 2 x 20

Squats – 40 kg, 45 kg, 50 kg and 55 kg – 10 reps for each

Pull throughs with cable- 3 x 10 at 12.5 kg

American dead lifts with 30 kg barbell – 3 x 10

Hip thrusts – 3 x 10 with 10 kg dumbell then 2 x 10 pulses

Stretches to finish

This order of this workout was changed slightly due to the squat rack being in use when I first got to the gym but needs must, got to give your fellow gym goers a fair workout too! I usually start with squats first due to theses being a compound movement and my heaviest lift. Doing these first allows all your energy to be put into this exercise and hopefully lift as heavy as you possibly can.

Upper body workout:

5 minute warm up treadmill run

Upright rows 3 x 10 with 20 kg barbell

Overhead press 3 x 10 with 15 kg barbell

Face pulls 3 x 10 up to 16 kg

Cable tricep extension 3  x 10 at 12.5 kg

Tricep dips on Reebok step – 2 x 15

Press ups on Reebok step – 5 full, 5 on the knees x 2, 10 halfway pulses

Sit ups with 10 kg plate – 3 x 10

Russian twists with 7 kg medicine ball – 20 twists

Stretches to finish.

This workout was a bit of  a mish mash of exercises I had a feel for on the day. I actually really enjoy press ups as crazy as this sounds, but they are fun to carry out elevated on a step. Plus they are the only chest exercise I do!

Cardio:

My treadmill run is pictured above. Yes it took me 13 minutes run a mile! Long distance treadmill running just isn’t for me, and by long distance I mean 3 miles – haha. I admire those of you who can keep the run going for even 20 minutes. I just begin to get bored. This is a negative on my part and my poor attention span. Outdoor running is more enjoyable for me and I am determined to get an outdoor run in this week and to turn this into a weekly occurrence!

Hope you all had great workouts this week!

 

 

 

 

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Posted in fitness

This week at the gym. 

This week my gym workouts have taken a slight detour from my usual routines. I still did an upper body and lower body day, just had to change up the excercises a bit.

First of all I went to do legs on Tuesday afternoon but the gym was packed. I thought this was unusual for 3pm but I realised some sports and exercise students were doing some strength and conditioning training. Anyway I wasn’t able to start with my usual exercise of squats but it was good to change up the routine a bit. Here’s what I did:

Stationary squats holding 10 kg plate – 15 reps on each leg x2

Curtsy lunges – 15 reps x2

American deadlifts with 30 kg barbell 3 x 10

Squats – 20 x 30 kg with weighted barbell (not on rack), 10 x 40 kg, 10 x 45 kg 

Hip abductors 3 x 10 at 70 kg

Stretches to finish 

A shorter and sweeter leg day but actually left me feeeling more sore than usual, perhaps due to working different muscles in some of the exercises. 

Today was upper body day and again the gym was pretty busy so I didn’t get a shot on the cable machines, but still managed a good quality but short workout:

5 minute warm up jog

Upright rows 3 x 10 at 20kg

Overhead press 3 x 10 at 15 kg

Overhead tricep extensions 3 x 12 holding 8 kg medicine ball

Press ups on a Reebok step  2 x 15

Sit ups with 8 kg medicine ball 2 x 15

Russian twists with 8 kg medicine ball 2 x 20

Stretches to finish. 

Today’s workout was more about listening to my body and just doing any exercise I felt like. My legs were still sore from Tuesday so I avoided any lower body work and stuck to the plan of upper body. 

Hope you’ve all had great workouts so far this week! 

Posted in fitness

A YouTube HIIT workout type of day.

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Okay so I have a confession to make. This weekend wasn’t the healthiest of weekends due to it involving a night out. Being a stereotypical Scottish person and also a student, I obviously went all out but felt pretty awful for it yesterday. Seriously hangovers do get worse with age even only at almost 22 they are so much worse than when I was 18. Anyway for this reason I had to get a lot of uni work done today that should have been done yesterday! I only have myself to blame – haha.

I did not have time to go to the gym without using up more time to do uni work so a home HIIT session it was. The FitnessBlender YouTube channel is one of my go to’s for HIIT workouts. Seriously check it out, they have loads of different workouts both weight and cardio based. A great way to get physical activity in if you don’t have a gym membership or are just looking for exercise ideas.

I chose a HIIT cardio and abs workout which really got me sweating. Great for sweating out that excess alcohol which I know should not be there in the first place! This workout did not include the same exercise more than once so there were a few exercises that were new to me and took a bit of time to get the hang of them. Plyo push ups for example are tough, I have only just recently got the hang of normal push ups never mind adding a clap in. Definitely something I’ll have to work at. Altogether a great quality home workout.

I hope this post has inspired some of you to try out FitnessBlender workouts!

Posted in food

Chicken pepper and onion kebab recipe. 

I saw someone’s blog post of a dish similar to this and I was so tempted to try it. A combonation of seeing that post and a friend telling me about an amazing Greek restaurant they had visited, had me craving humus and pitta bread! 

I decided that onion pepper and chicken kebabs were the perfect combo to go with this. I just had to come up with a marinade. I wanted something with lemon for zing and oregano one of my favourite herbs, so I made up this marinade:

50ml rapeseed oil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 dessert spoon of lemon zest

1 garlic clove 

1 tablespoon oregano 

I mixed all the ingredients in a bowl and added chopped chicken breast and left for around an hour. I then fried this off. I’m quite skeptical about putting raw chicken straight in the oven in case it’s not cooked thoroughly. I then added the chopped onion and pepper so they could absorb some of the marinade. The pepper onion and chicken was assembled onto skewers and then placed under the grill for around 10 minutes. This was served with warm wholemeal pitta bread and humus. 

I couldn’t have been more pleased with the result. The flavour was so tasty. This also satisfied my craving of humus and pitta but made it healthy! 

Posted in fitness

My first try at dead lifts.

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I finally made the time to give dead lifts a go at the gym and they are great! I have tried a few times with the weighted barbells but have only gone up as far as 30 kg so I went the full effort this time and tried up 50 kg.

I watched a few YouTube videos on technique before trying them out with a higher weight just to ensure my form was correct to help avoid injury. The trick is to ensure your lower back is straight, if you bend here you may strain your back. Bend your knees and reach down for the bar making sure you keep that back straight, then lift the bar and raise until your legs are straight.Drop it back down in a controlled way similar to how you lifted the bar in the first place. Keep that lower back straight at all times! I cannot stress this enough.

I am eager to include dead lifts weekly in one of my workouts at the gym. They work a variety of muscles but mostly the back but also a lot of leg muscles. If you really squeeze the glutes when bringing the bar up you will feel it here!

My tips for doing dead lifts for the first time are to definitely practice form with a low weight such as 20 kg and build up from there. If you do other compound movements such as squats or bench press do not exceed your max for this the first time you try them out. Although with time and effort dead lifts should be your heaviest lift, to avoid injury it is best to start with a low weight.

Hope I have inspired some of you to give dead lifts a go!

Posted in food, nutrition

Smoothie recipe.

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I’m not usually a smoothie fan, mainly due to the fact that I feel hungry around an hour later after consuming them as a meal. However I have now discovered that drinking these as a snack are perfect and satisfy my hunger between meals.

I decided to make one on Friday as a post-workout snack and it was delicious! I think I will start consuming these more as a post-workout snack.

This one consisted of:

1 frozen banana

200ml milk (use the milk you like but I don’t have an intolerance so cows milk does me fine)

1 heaped teaspoon of peanut butter

A handful of spinach

1/2 scoop My protein chocolate peanut butter whey (my absolute fav)

I blended the banana and the milk first to make a thick almost ice cream like texture, then added the other ingredients one at a time. I just drank it out of the Blend-active cup with a straw, although it does get quite thick at the bottom I’ll warn you.

If like me you love banana, peanut butter and chocolate this flavour combo is to die for. It also really satisfies those sweet cravings!

Posted in fitness

A short mish mash workout. 

Yesterday I went to the gym after a long and tiring day of uni amongst other things. My energy levels were well down and although I’ve said this a few times recently it is affecting my performance at the gym. 

My day involved eating a lot of insect brownies and mac and cheese for course mates honours projects. Studying dietetics is great when you hit fourth year, you get so much free food by participating in projects- haha. For this reason I decided to make my short workout mainly cardio  to try and beat the full feeling in my stomach. 

It turned into a bit of a mish mash workout because I ended up doing some weighted exercises too. I was crazy thinking I could go to the gym and not do any weight work at all. I love it too much. I will go back to the gym today where my energy levels will be improved and I’ll get a proper workout done. 

Anyway here’s my mish mash routine:

Treadmill run for 12 minutes as pictured above 

10 full press ups, 10 press ups on my knees

Overhead extensions 3 x 10 using a 7 kg medicine ball

This workout only lasted around 20 minutes in total but it still made me feel better after a long day! 

Posted in food

Chocolate peanut banana porridge. 

I decided to mix up my regular breakfast porridge and add banana to the main bulk of the porridge instead of as a topping. It tasted good but so sweet! I think I would have it again as a dessert but not for breakfast.

It’s funny I used to have a real sweet too and always lived by the notion that dessert was the best course of a meal. However over the past few years I’ve moved towards having more of a savoury tooth. I’d much rather go for a starter or cheese board than any rich dessert. I think it must be a sign of getting old-haha. But has anyone else gone through this faze too? 

I simply measured out 50g oats as normal then added chopped banana and mashing. I then added around 100ml milk as usual and microwaved for 1 minute. Once heated I added half a scoop of my favourite whey protein – My protein chocolate peanut butter and some chia seeds. 

Try this if you have a sweet tooth! 

Posted in fitness

Leg workout.

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Monday was my leg workout this week. I’m still aiming for more of a glute focus (except squats my one true love!). This workout felt really good. I had so much energy on Monday and I forced it all into my workout. I think I’m getting used to the intense workload at uni and still having high quality gym workouts now.

I did the same routine as last week minus the American dead lifts. I feel my technique has greatly improved for glute kick backs using the cable machine. I admit they can be a bit awkward to start with but once you get used tilting from the hip at the right angle and kicking the leg out at the right angle too, they feel so much better. They are actually my favourite exercise just now!

This weeks routine:

Squats at 10 reps per set – bar, 40 kg, 45 kg, 50 kg (for 5 and 7 reps)

Pull throughs at 3 x 12 – 12 kg, 13.75 kg and 13.75 kg

Glute kickbacks at 3 x 12 – 12 kg

Curtsy lunges – 2 x 20 holding 10 kg plate

Glute bridges at 2 x 15 – holding 10 kg plate at hips

Ab exercises and stretches to finish.

Posted in food

Homemade fajita spice and guacamole. 

For a while I’ve wanted to try and make my own fajita spice mix. I just feel the packets you can buy in supermarkets are unnecessarily high in salt. Anyway this was my experiment yesterday, to see if I could lower the salt without compromising on taste.

I can tell you my recipe needs amending slightly, perhaps a touch of salt was needed because the shop bought ones taste better. But if any of you can make recommendations to adjust this recipe to make it taste a bit better please let me know!

My spice mix included:

3 teaspoons mild chilli powder

2 teaspoons paprika 

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 clove crushed garlic 

I mixed the spices together and rubbed all over chopped chicken breast then fried in a small amount of sunflower oil. I then added the red onion and peppers, before serving into Mission deli Multigrain wraps with some salsa and guacamole. 

The guacamole however came out a treat, so tasty. I braved chopping up chillis too for the recipe. 
The ingredient for this was:

1 avocado 

The juice of 1 lime

1/2 a red onion

1/2 a red chilli

One clove of garlic 

Simply mash the avocado, squeeze the juice of one lime and mix in. Crush the garlic, chop and de-seed the chilli and chop the onion. Then mix all of this together.

You can alter this recipe by adding tomatoes and coriander for example.