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Week 8 Circuit Workout – Introducing TRX!

This week Hayley helps us demonstrate a TRX circuit workout! I was first introduced to the TRX and suspension training at Beyond Fit. I fell in love with it and started incorporating it into my bodybuilding workouts. The TRX system is especially great for those who exercise at home or travel often.

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

With suspension training, you determine the level of difficult by how close and far you position your body to the anchor point. So you can regress (make easier) or progress (make more challenging) an exercise just moving your feet closer in or further away.

Week 8 TRX Full Body Circuit Workout
10-15 reps each exercise (or each side), 3-4 rounds of the circuit

1. Squat Jumps – be sure to use your legs and grip handles lightly
2. High Row – this is going to hit your upper back and rear delts more
3. Oblique Twist Right – don’t twist your whole body, just your trunk
4. Oblique Twist Left – switch sides
5. Split Lunge Right – this can be challenging if you have trouble balancing, make sure your standing/front leg makes a 90 degree angle (or less if beginner) and your knee doesn’t go past your toes
6. Split Lunge Left – switch sides
7. Biceps Curl – keep arms isolated and elbows in place
8. Plank Crunch or Plank Pike – don’t let your hips sag, hold a solid plank position
9. Hamstring Runner – keep butt up off the ground, beginner have arms straight out close to body, advanced would be to put hands behind head

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 02/27/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 7 Circuit Workout – no equipment needed

This week’s workout only requires your body! We are going to do a timed based circuit instead of rep based because I think that works best for bodyweight only interval training. Your goal is to push yourself as hard as you can during the “on” portion of the exercise using excellent form.

For beginners start with 30 seconds on doing the exercise, with a 10 second break (or more if needed), which is basically enough time for you to catch your breath and get ready for the next exercise. Intermediate try 40 seconds on and advanced try 50 seconds on and maybe lengthen the break to 15/20 seconds. It’s easiest to do this style of workout with an interval timer. Many can be found for free on your smartphone. I use one called Seconds and use the “HIIT” timer.

Try for at least 4 rounds of this HIIT workout! In today’s video I do one round with you of the circuit. Someone asked me to do the full workouts with you but I don’t do that for two reasons. First, my training at the moment is different than the circuit trainings I’m posting on my blog. I’m doing CrossFit and lifting heavy and doing yoga. Second, it takes quite a bit of time to film, edit, upload, and get these posts all ready for you so I don’t have time to film the whole workout. It’s just me most times filming myself with a camera on a tripod. Ideally if I was to do the full workout I would need someone filming me to change the camera angles to match the exercise. I’m a one woman show over here!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Week 7 Circuit Workout – Legs and Abs!
8 exercises – time based

1. Hip Bridge March
2. Alternating Reverse Lunges
3. Crab Toe Taps
4. Swimmers
5. Scissor Kicks – up and down
6. Lateral Lunge with One Leg Touchdown – Right side
7. Lateral Lunge with One Leg Touchdown – Left side
8. Bicycle Crunch

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 02/20/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 6 Circuit Workout – All you need is one kettlebell!

My friend Hayley, who is a total badass vegan athlete, is going to help me out with some workout videos for my blog. Because it’s nice filming someone else rather than trying to film myself all the time, which is not as easy as you might think! I tell her what to do and film her. Then we switch and she films me doing another workout. Then I knock out two at one time! The editing alone can take over an hour from upload to publishing on YouTube so it’s nice to have the help so I can keep pumping out these workouts to you!

Today’s circuit workout you’ll need one small kettlebell. You could also use a dumbbell, though it would be tricky to do the bicycles so you can do those without weight and up the reps.

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Please note: These workouts I’ve been posting are to help give you ideas of how to create your own circuit workouts if that’s the right training for your goals. They are not a substitute for a personalized program if you have specific goals in mind. Be sure to check out my fitness coaching if you want to work with me to meet your fitness or physique goals. If you are just wanted to get moving and stay healthy I recommend only doing full body workouts 3-4x a week with rest days in-between. The workouts I posted are not meant to be done every day or in concession.

Week 6 Circuit Workout

7 exercises, 10-15 reps (each side) depending on the weight you choose, try for 4 rounds of the circuit

1. Turkish Get-Up to hip bridge – Right side
2. Turkish Get-Up to hip bridge – Left side
3. Bicycle Pass-throughs – use small kettlebell or add extra reps without
4. Lunge Mountain Climbers
5. Static One-Arm Bicep Curl – Right
6. Static One-Arm Bicep Curl – Left
7. Open-Knee Tuck Jumps

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 02/13/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 5 Circuit Workout – Push focus

For this week’s circuit workout we will focus on “push” exercises that work the chest, shoulders, and triceps with a leg exercise thrown in for good measure.

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Week 5 Circuit Workout

7 exercises, 10-15 reps depending on the weight you choose, 3-4 rounds of the circuit
– Beginner would use lighter weights
– Intermediate would use one set of decent-sized medium dumbbells (I used 20lbs) and one smaller

1. Bridge with Chest Press (beginner can lose the bridge if needed)
2. Skull Crusher (with one medium dumbbell)
3. Plank Jacks (higher reps or 30 seconds)
4. Goblet Squat (either holding one dumbbell like shown or both on shoulders)
5. Standing Tricep Extension (with one medium dumbbell)
6. Weave and Punch (with smaller dumbbells or without and faster movement)
7. Dumbbell Front Raise (with one medium dumbbell)

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 02/06/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 4 Circuit Workout – No equipment needed!

This week’s workout only requires your body (and a chair)! We are going to do a timed based circuit instead of rep based because I think that works best for bodyweight only interval training. Your goal is to push yourself as hard as you can during the “on” portion of the exercise using excellent form.

For beginners start with 30 seconds on doing the exercise, with a 10 second break (or more if needed), which is basically enough time for you to catch your breath and get ready for the next exercise. Intermediate try 40 seconds on and advanced try 50 seconds on and maybe lengthen the break to 15/20 seconds. It’s easiest to do this style of workout with an interval timer. Many can be found for free on your smartphone. I use one called Seconds and use the “HIIT” timer.

 Try for at least 4 rounds of this HIIT workout!

1. Squat to Roll Back and Hop
2. Pike Press
3. Step-Up Right Leg
4. Step-Up Left Leg
5. One Leg Calf Pulses (switch legs at halfway point)
6. Push-up To Alternate Side Reach
7. Plank Body Saw

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 01/30/2015 | 3 Comments

Week 3 Circuit Workout – Only needs a resistance band!

This week’s workout only requires a resistance band! Try to shoot for at least 4 rounds of this full body workout. Depending on your level, you’ll complete 10-15 reps (on each side for unilateral movements) of each exercise.

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

1. Biceps Curl with Resistance Band
Pick a band that is challenging! You can place it under both feet and space them apart to make if more challenging.

2. Triceps Extension with Resistance Band
Stagger feet and place band underneath the back foot. With handles clasped together in both hands behind your head, tuck in elbows close to your head and press up toward the ceiling. Be careful when you release the band from your foot so it doesn’t fly up and hit you in the behind!

3. Lateral Lunge with Balance
Finish one side before moving to the next side. Really push off that foot to pop up to the balance. Make sure your knee doesn’t go over your toes and you push your butt back.

4. Cross-body Mountain Climber
Hold a good plank position through the entire movement. Knee should touch elbow or get close.

5. Jump Lunge with Pulse
If you don’t have good balance for the jump step up and back to switch. Do at least one little pulse after each switch.

6. Flutter Kicks
Beginner would keep arms out beside the body for support, advanced is to hold shoulders off the ground while fluttering and you can do up to 60+ kicks

7. Upright Rows with Resistance Band
Pull up and back, place band under one foot or both to make it more challenging.

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 01/23/2015 | 4 Comments

Week 2 Circuit Workout

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These week’s workout got my heart pumping, my brow sweaty, and had me sucking air! Happy Flex Friday!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

What you’ll need:
– A mat
– Medium-sized non-bouncing medicine ball (I used an 8lb Dynamax ball)
– 2 light dumbbells or small plates (I used 2 10lb plates)

Shoot for 4 to 5 rounds of this circuit. Each round should take you about 5 minutes. Move through each exercise with no to minimal break and rest for 1 minute after the completed circuit. If you have any shoulder issues do not do this workout or try the modified less advanced versions of the exercises. Enjoy!

1. Medicine Ball Burpee with Tricep Push-Up
Take out the push-up is that is too difficult. 10 reps or more.

2. Staggered Push-Ups
If you can perform on toes with good form try it! Or go on knees. Switch hand position after each push-up. 12 reps or more (6 on each side, or as many as you can do with good form).

3. Squat with Knee Raise and Twist
Holding one dumbbell or plate, after you do a deep squat with good form raise up the knee and twist to one side (20 reps, 10 on each side, or as many as you can with good form).

4. Elevated Hip Thrusters
Elevate your feet on the medicine ball. Beginner would be to keep arms on the ground along your body for support. Advanced would be hands behind your head, then try one leg at a time (15 reps, or as many as you can with good form)

5. Plank on Med Ball with Toe Taps
Flip on over and get in a solid plank position with your toes elevated on the med ball. Tap toe on the ground one at a time (20 taps, 10 on each side, or as many as you can do with good form).

6. Skaters
Beginner would lose the plate and the back foot with touch the ground. Advanced alternate plate touching down lightly near front foot with back foot raised off the ground (20 or 10 on each side, or as many as you can do with good form).

7. Bent Over Rear Delt Fly
Keep neck in line with spine and do not round back. Booty out, abs engage, squeeze shoulder blades together (10 reps, or as many as you can do with good form).

8. Boat Pose with Med Ball Toss
Get in a boat pose for yoga, resting on your tailbone, chest proud, shoulders back and down, holding the med ball. Beginner could keep feet on the ground while leaning slightly back. Advanced would hold boat with legs elevated and straight (15 reps, or as many as you can with good form).

If you do the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 01/16/2015 | Comments Off

As Promised: Week 1 Circuit Workout

Hey friends! As promised in my last newsletter I plan to post a free workout each week this year! You probably set a resolution or goal to get healthier and fit this year and these full body workouts will help you get there!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

This can be done in various ways, either doing all upper or lower body exercises or working the full body. I prefer to do full body circuit training to utilize all the different muscle groups and I find it burns more calories. I usually do a mix of bodyweight exercises and those that utilize weights; dumbbells, barbells, medicine ball, and/or TRX if you have access to one.

The workouts I will post each Friday will be full body circuit workouts that can be easily added to your weekly routine whether you are training for strength, building muscle, or do mostly endurance training. You determine your level of intensity and if you want to use weights for the exercises that call for it. Choose the appropriate weight for the exercise. I included the weight I used below to give you an estimate. Remember excellent form first then add weight.

Week 1 Circuit Workout
8 exercises, 10-15 reps (each side) depending on the weight you choose, 3-4 rounds of the circuit
– Beginner would use no weight or lighter weights
– Intermediate would use weights when needed

1. Hang, Clean and Press (30# barbell, or hold dumbbells)
2. Reverse Lunges (holding 15# dumbbells)
3. Push-ups (on toes, or elevate hands)
4. Bench Dips (straight legs, or bent)
5. Bodyweight Squats
6. Renegade Row (10# dumbbells, or none)
7. Medicine Ball Push Jacks (10# med ball)
8. Russian Twists (10# med ball)

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Posted on 01/09/2015 | 6 Comments

New Recipe: Chunky Monkey Flourless Cookies

I love sweets. It’s my one dietary downfall. In order to have (more) treats in my life without feeling guilty I do weird things like sneak protein powder in them. This is sort of a “thing” in the bodybuilding/powerlifting community. Is it something you should start doing? I would say yes!

chunkymonkeycookies2

These cookies are magical. Granted they aren’t perfectly shaped or anything, but peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven! I think we can all agree there, am I right?! When you add protein powder to cookies you make them more magical and balanced.

Say what?

All foods are made up of the macronutrients carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Usually treats are high in carbs and fat, but have very little protein. That is unbalanced. By adding in a bit of protein powder we bring the protein up and the ratio of fat and carbs down making it a food we can eat and still support our health and fitness goals. Win!

chunkymonkeycookies2

I got the inspiration for these treats from a seemingly healthy cookie recipe (found here), but I made them better by ditching the flour all together and adding in NuZest Vanilla protein. Also, I reduced the sugar content (the protein powder is sweet and so we don’t need as much maple or bananas) and the fat by reducing the amount of peanut butter used. I couldn’t be more thrilled to share these with you! I’ve made them twice already! And at only 98 calories per cookie you are going to be glad you made them yourself.

I realize that I call them flourless because they have no flour in them. We use oats, which I know some people who are gluten-free are sensitive to but I really don’t have a substitution for them. You could maybe try a gluten-free flour and let me know how it goes! It will completely change the texture though.

Chunky Monkey Flourless Cookies
Makes 15 cookies

2 ripe bananas, mashed (medium size)
6 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter (or half pb and almond butter)
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 scoop NuZest Vanilla protein powder (or your favorite brand)
Pinch sea salt
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I possibly used more than this, eye it)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix together the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth and creamy. Add in oats, protein powder and salt and stir until well combined. The dough will be sticky. Fold in chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Line a small cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place about 2 tablespoons worth of dough, spaced evenly on cookie sheet making 15 cookies. Lightly press down with a fork or fingertips. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheet before eating.

Nutritional Info (per cookie): 98 calories, 12.3g carbs, 3.1g protein, 4.3g fat, 5.4g sugar

Everyone can save 10% off their order using the code BLISS10 and get free shipping for orders over $50 if you want to try out NuZest!

Posted on 12/22/2014 | Comments Off

NuZest: The newest plant protein to rock your world!

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It’s time for a giveaway!

For those of you who follow my fitness journey or have seen me speak on nutrition know that I’m not one to blow off protein. Yes, as vegans we don’t need as much as an average omnivore is eating. Even as athletes or those wanting to build muscle do not need to eat as much as the traditional bodybuilding diet. We are talking up to 50% of calories coming from protein, which is usually in the form of animal flesh in the omnivore diet. Ewww, right? We shouldn’t be asking “Are you getting enough protein?” but “Are you getting the right kind of protein?”.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is anywhere between 10-35% of calories. This range and your personal needs are based on age, activity level, gender, genetics, and more. Thankfully, we can get all the protein we need from plant sources no matter what our goals! The magic number is around 20-30 grams of protein at one time (per meal) for muscle protein synthesis. So having a post-workout shake is my go-to to get the protein I need for recovery and repair of my muscles after I work out.

Enter NuZest Clean Lean Protein…

NuZest came onto the scene in 2012 in New Zealand and quickly rose to the top. I couldn’t be more excited they have decided to come to the US! One serving has 21 grams of delicious, absorbable, alkaline, plant protein. It’s just the perfect amount to have post-workout.

fitnesscollage2014When I first started my fitness journey two years ago I ate a healthy plant-based diet but really didn’t pay attention to how many calories I consumed or how much protein I was getting. It wasn’t until I started lifting weights that I started to experiment with protein shakes. I noticed when I incorporated a post-workout shake, and made sure I ate enough calories, I got stronger, was able to lift more, recovered faster from my intense workouts, and was able to build muscle and completely transform the way my body looked and felt. My clients have experienced the same benefits. Many of them were following a plant-based diet but were not able to meet their fitness goals until they paid a little more attention to how much protein they ate (along with healthy carbs!). Another great thing about using a protein supplement is the full range of amino acids it provides, which aren’t found in many of our plant protein sources.

nuzest

I’ve tried almost every plant protein powder on the market. If this is something I’m going to consume regularly it’s gotta be awesome. Here are the very important reasons why I love NuZest Clean Lean Protein!

Taste
Over the years, protein powders have stepped up their taste game. Many of them are still chalky and just powdery tasting, but not NuZest. It’s literally the best tasting protein powder I’ve ever tried. And it has the most exciting flavors! Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Cappuccino, and Natural. I often mix them to make new flavor combinations.

Texture
The number one complaint I hear about protein powder is the texture. If it tastes not-so-great you can put it in a smoothie, throw in some flavored-extract or cinnamon to cover up the taste, but nothing can change the texture. If it’s gritty I can’t choke it down. It’s just not going to happen. NuZest easily dissolves when shaken with water or non-dairy milk. It’s smooth and creamy. No grit in sight!

Quality
I don’t want to put crap in my body. So the quality of the protein powder I take is crucial. NuZest is gluten-free, soy-free, gmo-free, sugar-free, and made from European golden peas. It contains all 9 essential amino acids and more. These help build, repair, and recover. You may notice that it’s a bit more pricey than other protein powders, but I’m happy to pay for quality when it comes to what I put in my body.

Sugar & Stevia-free
I don’t know about you but stevia does not settle well with me. The aftertaste I can’t handle. It also messes with my digestive system. I can’t use many of the other protein powder brands out there because of the excess stevia. If a protein powder doesn’t have stevia it most likely will have cane sugar. I refuse to use a brand that has sugar in it. It’s just not needed! So NuZest uses a special sweetener, called thaumatin, harvested from the West African Katemfe fruit. This makes it perfect for smoothies but also to use in baked goods and recipes like this Gingerbread Granola.

I hope you are ready to try it for yourself! 

I’m super excited to offer a giveaway for NuZest Clean Lean Protein! One lucky winner will get a full size tub of their favorite flavor with a shaker cup. Then 6 other winners will get a sample pack of all the flavors to try! This is for US and CANADA readers ONLY.

Everyone will save 10% off your order using the code BLISS10. Plus they are offering free shipping on orders of $50 or more. So grab some today! I promise you’ll love it as much as I do! Head on over to their website to place an order.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2760315/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22357161

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/protein

Disclaimer:
Product was provided for me to try free of charge in order to get my honest feedback. I love this product so much that I wanted to share it with you! All thoughts and comments are my own. Affiliate links may be in blog posts, which allows me to keep bringing you great, free content across all social media platforms.

Posted on 12/17/2014 | 16 Comments