Home Gym Necessities

Hello! It’s the longest week of the year: the week before winter vacation…woof! Don’t get me wrong, I really like my job, but I’m definitely ready for some relaxation.

Now that the weather is starting to consistently suck and it’s dark 23.5 hours a day, my ability to stay positive is definitely being tested. I am feeling a bit “eh”, but trying to stay on track with recovery thoughts as much as possible. That being said, one of the best gifts I (meaning mostly Chris) gave myself this year is our home gym! I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like working out at home, since I really considered my gym a sacred place. It took me a little while to get used to, but now that I work out at home regularly, I really love it.

With that said, here are my personal gym necessities:


Home gym necessities
Let’s start at the top:
Suspension trainer: You have definitely heard me rave about this in the past. With virtually no space, you can get a sick, full body workout done with just this one piece of equipment.
Kettlebells: Again, full body workout, including huge core engagement, with just one piece of equipment! Use a bell that’s heavier than you think you need, momentum is a doozie!
Adjustable Dumbbells: These were our biggest splurge. At $299, you get 2 dumbbells that adjust from 5-52lbs each. If you were to buy individual dumbbells equaling that weight, you would spend a ton more. Dumbbells are a must in any gym. They are a staple of strength training, and as you know, you should be strength training.
Resistance bands: these are awesome because they cause your muscles to contract on both the eccentric and concentric portion of an exercise. Pretty cool!
Yoga mat and water bottle: Well…duh.
I would also recommend subscibing to a few YouTube channels and blogs for home workouts! My favorites are Fitness Blender, Peanut Butter Fingers, and Pumps and Iron. Oh! and Flex and Shout ;)
Pros of a home gym:
  • No travel time/reduce wasted time
  • workout whenever you want
  • wear (or don’t wear) whatever you want
  • do laundry while you exercise
  • break up workout to fit your schedule
  • blast bad music
Cons of a home gym:
  • Dog and cats don’t move
  • limitation of some equipment
  • no motivation by meatheads


So all in all, I’m lovin’ my home gym! Where do you work out?


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Flex and Shout’s Holiday Gift Guide

Hi everyone!

The holidays are quickly approaching, so let’s talk gifts! I’m the WORST at shopping for others. I know that sounds so conceited, but I legit always come home with maybe one gift for a friend and 6 gifts for myself…what?? I have needs! Well, I figured some of you might be as greedy as me, so I put together a few gift guides for the fabulous females in your life (aka ME!)

1. For the Pink Loving, Fitness Freak

Pink fitness gift guide
2. For the Sparkly, Lovely Lady:
Gift guide for sparkly girls


3. For The Girl That Doesn’t Need Anything:
Gift guide for the girl that has everything
In case you’re wondering: I would absolutely accept any/all of these gifts (#justsayin). What are you hoping for this year?! Anything special?
Have a fab day!

Fitness Found: My weekend in workouts

Hello Hello! How’s it going?! Fab, I’m sure!

I looked at my planner this morning and realized it’s only 2 more weeks until vacation and that feels gooooood. I’m certainly ready for a little break.

This weekend was jam packed and so fun! I managed to find time for a couple little work outs between drinking champagne (my favorite food group), so here’s a little round up:

Friday: 2.5 mile run with Gloria. It went terribly. Gloria kept getting tangled in her leash and stopping to eat sticks, then my IT bands said “no thanks!” and I had to walk home. I really have to stop skipping my warm ups. Note to self: WARM UP!

When I got home, I did a quick TRX workout in the basement:

2 rounds, 50s work, 10s rest:

I specifically focused on unilateral exercises to challenge my balance, my core and my stabilizer muscles more specifically.

On Saturday, I did the following upper body fitness blender workout:

On Sunday I cleaned the house like a mad woman to get ready for our house warming party! It was so much fun to have all our favorite people over at our house to celebrate. We put all the finishing touches on the house, including pictures on the walls! It’s as if someone lives there.

This week I’m making the decision to be present, be open and accepting. Work gets extra crazy before the holidays, so I am working hard to work collaboratively and be alright with not always being right. That’s ok, and that’s how we learn. What goals are you setting for yourself this week?


Thanksgiving Hangover

Hello! Happy Monday! Feeling tired and bloated? Me too.

how-i-feel-after-thanksgiving-catThis weekend was super fun and I’m definitely exhausted and feeling a bit sluggish, but it’s all good! Friday night was my 10 year high school reunion, which was actually really fun! I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since graduation. What a crazy decade it’s been. I made sure to chat with lots of old friends, but obviously stuck to my select few favorites! Here’s a few pics to suggest we only hung out with one another:

As I mentioned last week, I made a very conscious decision not to allow Thanksgiving to make me feel guilty. I am holding up my end of the bargain, but also using all those extra calories to feed my muscles during a few good weight lifting/HIIT cardio sessions! Here’s a really good workout I completed yesterday before taking Gloria on a super muddy walk in the woods:

Full Body Tabata Workout

Warm up: Complete each exercise for 30s. Complete circuit 2x

  • Jumping jacks
  • Toe Touches
  • High Knees
  • Leg swings (right)
  • Leg swings (left)

Complete each Tabata by alternating each exercise for 20s work/10s rest for 4 minutes total. Rest 1 minute between Tabata’s.

Tabata 1: Front Squat, Jump Squat

Tabata 2: Lat pull down, Mountain climber

Tabata 3: Dumbbell chest press, push-up

Tabata 4: Alternating bicep curl, power curl with resistance tube

Tabata 5: Overhead tricep extension, power extension with resistance tube

Tabata 6: Lateral shoulder raise, shoulder taps in plank position

Finisher: Alternate 30s jump rope, 30s body weight squat, 30s jump rope, 30s alternating lunge for 10 minutes total.

I hope you all had a super fabulous Thanksgiving! I know the days following a big eating holiday are typically harder for me than the actual holiday, so I understand those potential feelings of regret…but hopefully you’re able to let it go and focus on the fun stuff this year.


Are You Gonna Eat That? A Thanksgiving Reflection

Hi! Happy Day After Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a fabulous turkey day!

I am in the midst of a post-thanksgiving revelation. Last night was a game changer for my recovery. On the ride home, Chris and I were discussing how fun dinner was and how great it was to see everyone, and how good everything tasted. I realized that none of my thoughts or comments were related to feeling too full, feeling guilty about something I ate, or how I needed to hit the gym. That feels like recovery to me. Being completely present, laughing with my family, enjoying time together and eating what I want to eat.

This year I am thankful for so much. Our family had a pretty rough year, but persevered together. I am so incredibly thankful for my strong and supportive family, the best friends in the world, a beautiful new home, a husband that supports all my wacky ideas, two enormous orange cats and my goofy puppy. I am thankful for a body that gets up and does it’s job every day and doesn’t battle with my mind anymore.

With that, here are some pictures of the silliest Thanksgiving ever, where the house was filled with puppies, the disposal broke and the turkey might have been raw!

Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Freakout

Hi! Happy Monday! It’s Thanksgiving week…and you can probably guess how that impacts someone in recovery. Let’s talk turkey.

Thanksgiving is the one holiday that I legitimately love and simultaneously hate. I LOVE it because my whole family comes together to laugh, watch football and eat. I hate it because it makes my anxiety skyrocket. I hate that I still get anxious around food. I hate that my go to strategy is still compulsive exercise. I hate that I pre-freakout for about a week until it arrives. BUT it doesn’t have to be that way! I’m making a very conscious decision to not allow all those “hates” this year. My plan is to eat food that looks (and tastes!) good and let it go the next day. Sure, I might get really full and feel uncomfortable. I might overdo it on salt and feel a little bloated the next day. I might even eat too much pie (as if that’s a thing) and feel like I want to work out on Friday. Those feelings are all normal. So let’s make a deal: treat Thanksgiving for what it’s supposed to be. It’s a time to be with friends and family and reflect on everything we have to be thankful for this year. I will talk more about that later this week because I have a lot to be thankful for this year!

518_612908269842_16_nThis is my brother and I following our annual “7 pound challenge” on Thanksgiving. #worthit

Anyway, as I was saying, my go-to is still thoughts of compulsive exercise leading up to a big eating holiday and this year has been no different. However, I do fight these urges quite hard and feel pretty good going into this Thanksgiving. I have been coming down with some gross, cruddy cold for the past couple days and didn’t really feel up to working out since Thursday. I took Friday and Saturday off to rest and get some house stuff done and Sunday I decided to take Gloria to the park. I continue to struggle with the idea of exercise outside of the gym, but a very friendly gentleman at the dog park dropped some serious knowledge on me yesterday. Gloria and I tagged along with some guys and their dog (so we didn’t get lost!) and were discussing the health benefits of having a dog. One of the men said, “We’re always so plugged in, even at the gym. We have our music, our phones, the TVs, we never really pay attention to what we’re doing. But this is so much better. Being out in the world, breathing fresh air, hiking in the woods” (I’m paraphrasing, but he was seriously that eloquent. The park we went to had really long, winding hiking trails and open spaces for the dogs to play, so it was definitely a workout for both parties involved. I really took what he said to heart and realized that this is what enjoying life feels like. Doing fun things out in the world with no agenda. I like it. I’m gonna keep doing it. You should try it too.

And since I’m an obsessed dog mom, here are some pics of my girl!

Have a really great week and try to get out there and enjoy the day!


Our New Addition! (Spoiler Alert: it’s not a baby)


Well we have some SUPER exciting news in our house! We adopted a puppy! Her name is Gloria (after Gloria Estefan), she’s a 6-10 month old Border Collie mix and so stinkin’ cute I could just die. I’m already head over heels for her and she doesn’t even come home until Thursday!

unnamed3I’ve been trying to prep Charlie and Oliver for the arrival of their new baby sister, but hopefully they’ll just deal with it like everything else: hide in terror for 3 days, then get over it and resume to normal lazy cat status.

In the meantime, I’ve been making use of our home gym and recently found this EXCELLENT blog filled with suspension training (TRX) workouts! I bought THIS suspension trainer from Amazon, which was way more affordable than the name-brand and quite honestly the exact same thing. We just installed a heavy duty eye hook into a big beam in the basement, linked the suspension trainer up to it and got to work! Yesterday I completed the following workout with a few modifications.

TRXFIT 2.5 modified from Puretrxtraining.wordpress.com

Each exercise is completed for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest between. Complete each circuit 2x. Single limb exercises should be completed on one side for one circuit and the other for the second circuit. At the very end, complete all exercises for 30s with 10s rest from beginning to end. ST=Suspension Trainer

Circuit 1 – Repeat 2x

  • ST Chest Press
  • Push Ups
  • ST Row
  • Single Arm Kettlebell Row
  • ST Crunch
  • Plank

Circuit 2 – Repeat 2x

  • ST Single Leg Squat
  • Body Weight Squat
  • ST Hamstring Curl
  • Dumbbell Single Arm Tricep Kickbacks
  • ST Tricep Press
  • Kettlebell Swing

Circuit 3 – Repeat 2x

  • ST Y Raise
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  • ST Bicep Curls
  • Dumbbell Bicep Curls

trx_web-16For more suspension fun, check out THIS old blog post and THIS huffblog post! Enjoy! Have a great week :)