May 1, 2013

Will strength training give me Madonna's arms?

As I type, my arms are feeling the weight (meaning soreness) of yesterday's workout. My gym friend is doing a challenge where you move up from 20 to 40 to 60 to 80 to 100 daily (5 times per week) reps of a sequence of exercises. You stick with 20 for a week, then 40 the next week, and so on. Having done nothing with her the week before, I decided to jump in on the 40 week and give it a go. Here are the exercises we did 40 of and my thoughts as we did each:

1. Jumping jacks (I can do this. Life is pretty cool.)
2. Burpees (Why is my butt on fire and we've only done five? Is there an actual fire under my butt?)
3. Squats (If I add weight, I cry. If I don't, I feel lame. Never mind, either way I cry.)
4. Push-ups (Why me?)
5. Sit-ups (Help.)

I'm not sure I would want to do this every day or more than 60 reps of each (except for jumping jacks), but I love how simple the exercises were and that you could do them anywhere.

My first thought as I blinked out of this morning's hazy sleep was, why are my arms so heavy. Turns out that 40 push-ups makes me really, for real, really sore in my arms.

But it wasn't too much worse than the normal soreness from our trainer Mike. He's always making us do stuff like this (below).

The last couple of months we've been meeting for group training sessions, and I can really tell a difference from doing strength training on a regular basis. 

Watch out, Madonna. A new set of biceps are moving into town. 

My daughter also runs a boot camp, according to this paper I found in her room. She's always running some kind of camp, art class, or yard sale operation out of her room. 

She is not messing around either. Quit being lazy and give me 70 squats, stat. And why 27 burpees? Keep people guessing. Also, I am loving that the yoga is free style, and in your free time, you have the option to write in your journal or dance. I for serious want to attend this camp. 

My daughter and I had another great day together this week visiting the state capital, Montgomery, on an all-day field trip. Thank goodness for friends to help with the other kids at home and make a day like this possible.

I cannot tell you how excited I was to visit the room where the AL House of Representatives meets and votes. Over the top excited. It was nerd heaven. 

We rounded out the day with a park picnic dinner. Everyone was obviously thrilled about it.

That twinner in the middle isn't the only one excited about food. I almost did a flatfoot jig in the aisle at Costco when I found that they had some new things and (finally!) restocked some of my favorites.

Remember this from the list of super foods? The hemp seeds were something I'd never tried before, and I have absolutely loved adding a few spoonfuls of this to my morning oatmeal. So delicious.

These tamales are gluten free and perfect for me when I'm in a hurry and too lazy to make lunch. One (or two) of these and a salad for lunch goes a long way. They are refrigerated, so it only takes a minute to heat them up when you're ready to eat. 

When our Costco ran out of quinoa, I started searching for it at other places, and I realized what a great deal Costco was. A tiny bag at the regular grocery store cost more than this 4-lb. bag at Costco. Costco's price is $10.99. I'm so nervous they're going to run out again, so I stocked up. 

What strength training do you do and how often? If we don't make it to a small group training session, we will do a few things on our own, like planks and crunches. I'm much more focused with the trainer. I end up doing about one day a week of strength training, but ideally, it would be two days.

If you made up your own class, what would you allow during free time? I would let people choose between karaoke, break dancing, and folding my laundry.

Have you ever tried a picnic dinner? We've been doing it lately in conjunction with nighttime soccer practice, and the best part is no giant mess to clean up at home.

Fill in the blank: If they ran out of _______________ at my favorite store, I would cry. I already cried over quinoa, so I'm going to say the Whole Foods brand of cashew butter. It's the cheapest I've found, and it is just so darn tasty.

Note: I'll be back soon with the giveaway winner!


  1. Coconut milk! Curry fanatic over here. Off topic, may I ask how tall u r? I keep using my petite stature as an excuse for my slowness, lol.

    1. I'm 5'2", and I thought the same thing forever until I met Meb the Olympic marathoner. Not exactly sure how tall he is, but he isn't much taller than me. That's when I decided that I height really didn't matter!

    2. Well there goes that excuse, lol. I better get to work! Love your blog & keep up the good work!

  2. strength training--my own stuff. I'm a PT so I can get creative with just body weight or very simple equipment (ie. rolling chair, swiss ball). other strength training and what I'd do during free time-- SLACKLINE!! you've got to try it. best core workout, plus arms, legs, everything. Madonna does it, so do her kids :) Picnic dinners, love 'em, especially on the living room floor when the weather's crappy. If Trader Joe's ran out of my probiotics I'd have a hissy fit.

    1. Yes! We need one of those. Plus the kids would love to play with it just for fun.

  3. I am trying to add more strength training to my routine because I want to be a better/stronger runner! I also wanna get rid of my flabby triceps and my tummy ;) I would love to attend your daughter's camp because I can dance then. I would allow dancing, stretching, or napping. Or maybe even freeze dance, that could be fun. I haven't had a picnic in years... that might need to change. If Sam's Club ran out of my chocolate covered pomegranates, I would lose my mind.

    1. Oh, those are so delicious!

      And the camp is free -- you just have to provide transportation to and from camp.:)

  4. Just stumbled on your blog, and have to say, I absolutely hate burps, but 50 (5 sets of 10) and 50 push-ups (5 sets of 10) twice a week, with some mountain climbers, vanity bicep curls & triceps kickback, and you will be owning those Madonna arms in no time :D. (Yes she is my arm hero, too!)

  5. I love strength training!! Sadly, though, even after several years I still don't have Madonna's arms!!

  6. I strength train twice a week. I had twig arms for the longest time and now I'm FINALLY starting to see some muscle and definition. Pushups, seated rows and chin ups (assisted for me) helped with that.
    If my grocery store ran out of their organic almond milk or peanut butter I'd have a meltdown. Oh wait, that HAS happened. :)

  7. i remember my trip to montgomery when i was in school :) it seemed SO FAR from Mobile at the time. HA! I have been to whole foods and they were out of spinach, half and half, and one other thing that i can't remember-but it was a something big like strawberries. i realized i would die without coffee creamer.


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