Sweet 16 Workout
As part of my vegan experiment, I want to make sure I'm maintaining muscle mass to keep my metabolism going and protect my bones and joints. Consistent weight training helps maintain and build lean mass. Here is my workout for the day. I had already done yoga, but wanted a quick and effective workout. This one primarily targets the shoulders, glutes and core, but you've got every muscle group involved at some point at least secondarily.
I call this my Sweet 16 workout because I did these 4 exercises, 16 reps, 4 sets. So, 16 reps 16 times :)
1) Low Squat & Arnold
You could do this on a bench or kitchen chair if you don't want to take it as low as a Bosu ball. I like the low seat so that I really have to use my lower abdominal muscles to stand up. "Arnolds" are a rotating shoulder press. You start holding the dumbbells with your palms facing you and as you stand, rotate your palms forward and press the dumbbells straight over your head.
2) Split Leg Squat with KB Press
One foot forward, one back. Hold the kettle bell by the handle with the weighted part toward the sky. You really have to engage your stabilizing muscles to keep it steady. If you are new to this exercise, start with a much lighter dumbbell or kettle bell . As your knee is down, the kettle bell is by the shoulder. When you straighten your legs, contract your muscles and press the kettle bell straight up.
3) Squat and Pull
Using a cable with a rope handle, set the handle high above your head. Sink down into a low squat (weight in the heels), as you stand, pull the rope toward you, above the chest.
4) Squat with Alternating Upright Row
Sink down with the weight in the heels. As you pick up the dumbbell, straighten the legs, contract the glutes and raise the elbow up high. Return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. As you alternate sides, feel your transverse abdominals engaging. Keep your core contracted to protect your back.
When I completed this circuit 4 times, I wanted to finish with a little cardio. To keep with my theme (I love themed anything!), I did a 16 minute spin workout with 4-4 min. circuits. I'm not much of a spinner, but this was quick and fun. I probably could have spun twice as long, but that would have ruined my theme.
Post workout, I was HUNGRY!! Today I had my vegan "Strawberry Milkshake:
This is so delicious!! It's extremely simple. You take 2 cups water and 1 cup frozen strawberries, 2 scoop Arbonne-Vanilla protein shake mix and blend until smooth. This protein powder is the best I've had, vegan or not. The chocolate is totally fabulous too. It's the only one I've found that I can blend with water and still enjoy. I always keep a bag of each in the pantry. It is soy free, which is great, because I don't want to overdo the soy on this plan. 2 scoops contain 160 calories and 20 grams of protein (which comes from peas, cranberry and rice). It's very smooth, not grainy at all. I don't know why anyone would go to Steak & Shake when you can have something this delicious!!
What is your favorite post workout snack/drink?