Beach ready arms and abs workout

Hey guys!

I realized today that I forgot to include the new arms and abs workout I used at the beach! Below is the workout.  You can also fund it on my strength/ circuit traning page.

Have a great weekend!

beach ready workout


tips on how to stay healthy during the holiday season

Hey Friends!

I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving. I know we did and it definitely made me feel extremely thankful for all that I have been blessed with. I know it is easy to get caught up in the madness the holidays can bring but I do try to take time to be in the moment and feel grateful for all the happiness in my life.

We spent thanksgiving at the gulf and it was so much fun. It was Joseph’s first time to see the ocean and put his feet in the sand. The weather could not have been better and even though it was a little chilly on the beach we still got to spend some time there.

I am pretty sure Joseph is going to love the beach as much as his parents.

While at the beach it was a little more difficult to get my workouts in. I felt like it was much harder to work them in while being away for Thanksgiving break than if I were at home. It made me think about all the people who travel during the holidays and how much more difficult it is for them to stay healthy.

I have listed some important staples that I try to live by during the holidays to make sure I keep my health in check while enjoying this time of year without guilt.

1. Schedule your workouts– I use the word schedule loosely here. I know that you will not always be able to follow the schedule but it is a lot easier to get going and workout if you don’t have to think about what you are going to do. Schedule shorter workouts that really get your heart rate up in a short amount of time. They are more bang for the buck and you will be able to fit them in your busy schedule.

2. Work compound exercises into your routine– These will hit multiple muscle groups in one exercise and if you do them as a circuit you will also get your cardio in. I love the article I found on about cardio- based bodyweight exercises. It gives you some ideas you can use to create your own routine. Some of my favorite compound exercises are the squat, burpee, push- up, mountain climber and plank.

3. WATER!!- This is a BIG one. Being dehydrated will affect your skin, appetite and your health in general. Staying hydrated will help prevent you from getting sick. It will keep your skin looking fresh and clear. Also, drinking enough water will keep you from feeling hungry. If you drink a glass or two before you eat it will keep you from overeating because it will make you feel full.

4. Don’t skip meals– This will keep you from eating too much of the wrong foods. Make sure you eat before a party so you don’t get carried away with the grazing we all do so well.

5. Portion control– This is something people should take into consideration year round. We all know this, but make a conscious effort to do this during the holidays so we do not get carried away. Try not to have seconds either.

6. Eat your food slowly and enjoy how it tastes– Eating slowly will allow your body realize when it is full. We don’t get to eat these types of foods often. We should take time to enjoy it!

7. Listen to your body– If you take time to listen to your body it will tell you when you have had enough. When you feel satisfied stop eating.

8. Fill up on fruits and veggies– try to get larger portions of the greens. Well, any vegetable really. They will fill you up and are better for you than the stuffing and dressing.

9. DO NOT deprive yourself– I am all about enjoying the foods I love. It is a part of living life to the fullest. If you don’t eat the foods you really want, you will more than likely binge on them later.

10. Do not beat yourself up– Don’t be so hard on yourself if you do eat too much or haven’t been able to workout as much as you wanted to. Accept that it happened and move on! No one is perfect. Enjoy this special time you have with family and friends and stay positive.

I hope these suggestions will help you stay healthy and happy this holiday season. If you need ideas on workouts than visit my strength/ circuit training page.

How do you stay healthy during the holidays?

My slight obsession with Hobby Lobby, cheerleading and Mustaches

Hello friends!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. The weather has been great here so we tried to get out and about. We went to look at bikes for me and I think we have decided on one. Shout out to Trailhead Inc!

This is our first Christmas as a married couple so I decided it was probably a good idea to get some ‘grown- up’ Christmas decorations.. Charlie, bless him, actually has some but they are the ultimate bachelor decorations. Charlie Brown Christmas tree and blue lights.. Yikes!

Hobby lobby is having a huge sale with all of their Christmas decorations 40% off so you know I had to go spend too much money on decorations I will only have up for a month. I had to absolutely muster up all the self- control I had not to go crazy. I know, I’m a nerd and I love Hobby Lobby.

Here are some of my gems:

I still need a wreath but I’m still deciding if I want to make it or buy one.

While I was watching the Today Show Friday I overheard them talking about how the American Academy of Pediatrics have put out a new set of guidelines for coaches and schools to adhere to for cheerleading programs. I spent most of ages 13-18 devoted to cheerleading so this caught my attention.. It is extremely competitive where I am from and we competed in several competitions every year including Nationals at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, Florida.

I am the flyer on the far left. Yea, I was excited..

My senior year we placed first in the Nation and to this day I consider it one of my favorite accomplishments.

After winning nationals

We were even on ESPN! Woohoo! 🙂

The rate of serious injuries has risen so they are trying to get Cheerleading classified as a sport (which it is!) so they will have to follow the same rules and regulations as other activities that are considered sports.

The guidelines states that cheerleading should have qualified instructors, medical care and surveillance just like other sports. There should be a pre- season physical and access to qualified strength and conditioning coaches. The cheerleaders should be properly trained in spotting and can only perform stunts and tumbling on certain surfaces. They also state that pyramids should be no more than two people high.

I agree with most of these guidelines. Competitive cheerleading should be considered a sport. You work your butt off year round and push yourself physically and mentally so far. Most of my memories from middle school and high school are honestly ALL of cheerleading because it consumed all my time!

I think cheerleaders should have access to qualified coaches and should be properly trained in spotting. What I don’t agree with is the two person high pyramid rule. Just two people high? That’s no fun! If you are on a mat with qualified coaches and the cheerleaders are properly trained on spotting than there will be far less injuries. Injuries result from uneducated coaches, cheerleaders AND hardwood floors..

I know this probably bored you to tears if you have no interest in cheerleading but it was interesting to me.

I will post the articles in my my Fitness and Health Articles page.

Now onto my workout! I named it my ‘Mustachified booty workout’ simply because I love the mustache trend and PicMonkey had tons of funny facial hair templates. 🙂 It is a silly name, but the workout is no joke!


I love the mustashified app on my Iphone as well.. I’m a nerd.

Let me know how you guys like it!

Question of the day:

Were you involved in a competitive sport in high school?

did it consume most of your time?

Mountain biking for the first time and new holiday traditions

Good morning!

I am so excited to announce that Joseph has slept through the night FIVE nights in a row! AAHH! I know tonight he will be up every two hours because of the gloating I am doing now, but I couldn’t help myself.

This morning we had to get up early (4:30!) to take my mom to the airport.


She is going to the Grand Canyon where she will be doing a two day hiking trip. Way to go mamma! I love the fact that my mom is healthy and active. It gives me hope for my future! 🙂

My mom has more exciting adventures than I do! Oh well, I guess I will have to live vicariously through her until Joseph is older and we can have a little fun ourselves.

Charlie and I DID get to have some fun Sunday. We went mountain biking at Monte Sano State Park!

I love spending time there because it is so beautiful and peaceful.

This was my first time mountain biking and I loved it! It was hard work and a little scary at first, there were a couple times I was sure I was going to plummet to my doom, but it was exciting. I don’t have my own bike so I used my moms, another example of how much more adventurous she is thane me. I’ve decided I am going to get one for Christmas so we can go more often. I would like to go on some sort of mountain biking trip every year in the fall/ holidays, even if it is just camping out at Monte Sano.

After having said that, I have heard about a lot of families using the holidays as an excuse to get active together. Some families participate in one or more of the many races that most cities have during the holidays, or take a trip to a national park for a hiking or mountain biking experience. I think this is such a great idea. Many cities are now hosting events like this to give families a more mobile’ option for holiday activities.

This is two years ago when it snowed ON Christmas! This is a big deal in the south because we don’t see a lot of that white powder.

I like the idea of focusing on some sort of physical activity I will be doing for the holidays, along with the tradidional stuffing my face because that will be happening too. 🙂

As for my exercise challange for November, it is going great. I love working out multiple times a day for short, intense bursts. It is the perfect schedule for a mamma with a baby who takes cat naps and demands your undivided attention the rest of the time..

So, what do you guys think about making holiday traditions more ‘active’?

Would you enjoy taking a trip to a state park for a hiking trip on Thanksgiving, or do you prefer the more traditional approach of unbuttoning your pants ( or wear jeggings, maybe?) and kickin’ back to enjoy the football game?

my mini workout challenge

Hello friends,

I hope everyone is enjoying their November so far and getting ready for the holidays! I can’t believe there almost here and a new year is just around the corner. This has been one of the most exciting, life- changing and happiest years of my life. A year ago I could not have dreamed that this is how my life would be right now, but I am so glad it is. It is funny how different God’s plan for you can be from your own.

Joseph is three months old now and still is not a big sleeper. He is all about cat naps. The past couple of weeks he has been even worse at not sleeping at night. The doctor advised us to wait to start feeding him cereal until he was 4 months. I think when we start doing that he will sleep longer. Fingers crossed!

Having said that, it has been hard to get a full workout in during the day before he wakes up and needs my undivided attention. Okay, maybe he is a little spoiled..

This problem has led me to do a little experiment this month and December. I am doing three mini workouts in a day as 0pposed to one longer one. I want to know if it will have the same effect on my body. So far it has worked out great for my schedule. I have been doing two 15 minute workouts and one 20- 30 min workout that involve weights.

When researching this I found that it has had a positive effect on most people. Doing several mini workouts a day keeps your metabolism elevated throughout the day. Also, each workout you do is shorter so you are more likely to keep the intensity up throughout the whole workout each time since you know it won’t last long.

I took my measurements at the beginning of this month and will take them again at the end of December to see if there was any change.

I made myself a calendar for November that tells me what workouts I will be doing each day.

This was such a great opportunity to try some workouts by some of my favorite YouTube guru’s. I will post links to the YouTube channels I got my workouts as well.

~ November 2012 ~ December
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
51st Super calorie burn

2nd Upper body workout 3

3rd killer sculpted arms

61st omg workout

2nd skinny leg workout

3rd skinny legging workout


71st hot body workout

2nd upper body workout 3

3rd killer sculpted arms

81st super calorie burn

2nd skinny leg workout

3rd skinny legging workout

91st sexy costume slim down

2nd booty, lower abs and love handles

3rd omg workout

101st Brutal metabolic workout

2nd flat belly workout


11REST 121st best 15 min workout

2nd upper body workout 3

3rd killer sculpted arms

131st thanksgiving big burn

2nd skinny leg workout

3rd skinny legging workout

141st best 15 min workout

2nd upper body workout 3

3rd killer sculpted arms

151st thanksgiving

Big burn

2nd skinny leg workout

3rd skinny legging workout

161st sexy costume slim down

2nd booty, lower abs and love handles

3rd omg workout

171st brutal metabolic workout

2nd flat belly workout

18REST 191st Thanksgiving big burn

2nd happy Halloween booty circuit

3rd go sweat yourself

201st back to school workout

2nd ab sandwich workout

3rd sculpted arms tiny waist

211st cardio plyo workout

2nd happy Halloween booty circuit

3rd go sweat yourself

221st hot body workout

2nd ab sandwich workout

3rd sculpted arms tiny waist

231st sexy costume slim down

2nd sunkissed abs workout

3rd cardio plyo workout

241st metabolic workout

2nd lose the love handles

25REST 26Ist feel the burn

2nd happy Halloween booty circuit

3rd go swet yourself

271st back to school workout

2nd ab sandwich workout

3rd sculpted arms tiny waist

281st cardio plyo workout

2nd happy Halloween booty circuit

3rd go sweat yourself

291st hot body workout

2nd ab sandwich workout

3rd sculpted arms tiny waist

301st sexy costume slim down

2nd sunkissed abs workout

3rd cardio plyo workout


Amanda Russell – Super calorie burn/ killer sculpted arms/ OMG workout/skinny leg workout/ hot body workout/ sexy costume slim down/ best 15 min workout/ thanksgiving big burn/ sculpted arms, tiny waist/ cardio plyo workout/ lose the love handles/ flat belly workout

Sarahsfabchannel– skinny legging workout

ToneItUp– sun-kissed ab workout/ booty, lower abs, and love handles

SweatyBetties– Brutal metabolic workout, metabolic workout– go sweat yourself

Upper body workout 3, Halloween booty circuit and the ab sandwich workout can be found on my blog in the strength/ circuit training section.

How do you guys get ready for the holidays?

Do you step up your workout game for all the holiday parties or do you slack off a little because you feel like you will be eating and drinking more so what’s the point? Let me know!

The importance of working your CORE and the BEST exercises to strengthen it!

Happy November Loves!

I hope everyone had a sweet Halloween! We had so much fun hanging out with Joseph for his first halloween and giving out candy.

My mom’s birthday was the 30th so we had dinner for her as well. There is one picture that my mom adore’s of Joseph with him wrapped in a houndstooth scarf, so I made her a frame to go with it.

Roll Tide 🙂

I wanted to talk today a little bit about core strength, how to get it and why it is so important. After having a baby I found that the most difficult part of my body to get back in shape has been my belly. I am sure this is no surprise to most people, considering how much it stretches! Everyone always thinks of your abs and crunches when talking about your core. It is important to understand ALL muscles of the core and how to work them in order to get that six pack of your dreams. Also remember that your diet is a big part of seeing the abdominal muscles as well.


Abdomenals-Rectus abdominisTransverse abdominisInternal obliquesExternal obliques


hips- This includes the gluteus medius and maximus


Posture- Core muscles support the spine, therefore strengthening them will greatly improve posture.

Back Pain- Strengthening the muscles that help support the spine and help with posture will reduce pain in the lower back area.

Power- The core muscles are the center of your bodies strength. Having a strong, conditioned core will give you more power in every activity you do on a day to day basis.

Balance- The core stabilizes your body in everyday activities, along with exercises. Keeping your core strong will help with stabilization. Having all of the muscles of the core working together builds coordination with the muscles and stabilizes the body.

Injury prevention- Having strong core muscles will allow for a more supported spine, therefore less risk of injury in physical activity.


PLANK, PLANK, PLANK!! Did I mention plank? I absolutely love this exercise because it works all parts of the core and there are so many variations to it. I try to add a plank to most of my workouts. A lot of times I will add a one minute plank at the end of each interval and it is amazing how much that steps the game up in my workout.

Here are a few variations: Try holding it for 20- 30 seconds at a time and each week add 5-10 seconds.


Forearm Plank-

Plank on exercise ball-

Side plank

High to low plank