A Friday Workout. Plus I’m a Featured Fit Friend!

I am excited to tell you that today I am featured over at Best Body Fitness as part of Tina’s Fit Friends series. I hope you will check it out!

You can also check out this workout. A few weeks ago I told you that I was working on exercise instruction videos that I could use when I created a workout. I finally got a start on it this week. I created this workout using several of the videos that I filmed. So, you will find the workout below and below that are the videos. You probably don’t need a video for each exercise, but they are available if you do.

Friday Workout


Plank to Side Plank

Lunge w/Twist

Mountain Climbers

Squat Jump

Push Up

Okay, no video here, but I figured you’d know.

I am a little bit annoyed that in spite of changing the thumbnail shot for a few of the videos, they still show the most unflattering picture possible.

Friday Workout

For those who have asked, we still have “Coco.” In spite of signs posted in the neighborhood we haven’t heard from her owner. I made some more posters so we can cover a wider area, plus the local groomers and vets. Meanwhile, you know Alan and me, we continue to bond with the dog. Last night she slept on the bed and she now runs to greet both of us when we walk in the front door. Better find those people soon!

So, I’m happy that the weekend is just about here! I have a friend visiting that is moving back from Oregon. What are you up to?

The Gymnasium Workout & Mountain Fire Update

High School Gymnasium Workout that is.

Gymnasium Workout

Cross country practice was moved inside last night (and cancelled for two days after that) due to what they are calling the Mountain Fire, near Mountain Center and Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains. I had to create a spur of the moment workout, using no equipment, that we could do in our gymnasium. It is brand new and huge, with room for three basketball courts plus spectator seating. Which made it perfect for a high intensity workout.

Gymnasium Workout

The air outside was full of what Alan called Desert Snow, big flakes of ash which I wouldn’t want any of my athletes to be inhaling. They didn’t get a reprieve from a tough workout, though.

Gymnasium Workout

We did the first round in silence. Well, except for my calling out, um, encouragement. Then I pulled out my phone and used one of my most up-to-date playlists. It wasn’t very loud but it helped. Now, remember, my usual class consists of women in their 50s and older. I’m not totally out of the modern music loop though, so it wasn’t too painful for the team.

Gymnasium Workout

I think that at first they thought they were getting off easy, avoiding their tough interval workout on the track. I was pleased that by the end of the workout they were flat out on the gym floor. Trainer/Coach success!

The Gymnasium Workout

Gymnasium Workout

Here are some instructional videos if you’re not sure of each exercise:

Plank to Side Plank (the video shows both movements separately. For this exercise simply move from one to the other, alternating sides.)
Split Squat Jumps
Mountain Climbers

As I mentioned, we cancelled practice for the next two days due to the Mountain Fire. At this point, more than 22,000 acres have been burned and more than 3,000 firefighters are out there fighting, the towns of Mountain Center and Idyllwild have been evacuated (including my friend whose picture I posted yesterday). The fire is only 15% contained.  Firefighters are hopeful right now, though, because it does not seem to be spreading as quickly. Please spare a moment to give a prayer for those who risk their lives to protect us.

Mountain Fire - Gymnasium workout

Wednesdays are always long days for Alan and me. We start off with our own workouts early in the morning, work our regular jobs, then head to cross country practice in the evening. I’d say about 14 hours from beginning to end. Arriving home about 8:45, I was in no mood to start from scratch and I had no handy leftovers in the fridge. Instead I had prepared by buying a vegan pizza that cooked up in about 15 minutes.

Gymnasium Workout - Tofurky Pizza

It was actually not bad. I did add a little extra vegan cheese, but the crust was decently crispy, the “pepperoni” nice and spicy, and overall, it served its purpose of filling our tummies. I’m not going to go out and stock my freezer, but it serves in a pinch.

Do you ever eat frozen pizza? Fess up, I won’t tell 🙂

Food for Fitness Friday: Vegan Recipe & a Fast and Furious Workout

Welcome to Food for Fitness Friday! I always like me a little alliteration, how about you? I managed to fit six “F” words in a single title! What it means is that I have a super Quinoa, Seitan, and Mango salad for you, plus a functional, balance-improving workout. One fuels the other!

We had the coolest thing happen to us at dinner last night. We’d just finished with cross country practice and were eating dinner at Chipotle (mmm, Sofritas!). I say happen to us, but really to Alan. As we sat, a young man come up to us and asked, “Alan Woodruff?” When Alan said yes, the man said that he wanted to thank him. You may or may not know, but Alan, in addition to coaching high school cross country and track, is the coach for our running club, the Desert Cities Track Club. This young man came to him several years ago because he needed to improve his speed and running ability in order to pass tests required to join the Coast Guard. He told Alan that he never could have done it without him, and now he is headed off to Officer’s Candidate School and his future is very bright. His enthusiasm was so touching!

Seitan, Quinoa, and Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Vinaigrette

I loved the Mango Coconut Vinaigrette! I just happened to have half a can of coconut milk leftover (for a curry dish I’ll be bringing you soon!), and it sounded tropical and delicious. If you have some shredded coconut you could sprinkle that on top too.

Food for Fitness

Quinoa, Seitan, and Mango Salad with Mango Coconut Vinaigrette
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Full of protein and healthy carbohydrates, this salad will fuel you through your toughest workout.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 2
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen mango
  • Juice of one lime
  • ¼ cup coconut milk (full fat, from a can)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 3 cups mixed greens (I used wild rocket, my favorite)
  • ¼ cup cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup edamame
  • ¼ cup corn
  • ½ cup mango, cubed
  • ¼ cup green onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 cup prepared quinoa
  • 4 ounces seitan, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. For the dressing: Combine the mango, lime juice, coconut milk, olive oil, vinegar, salt and tarragon in a food processor or blender. Blend until creamy. If you mango was frozen, the dressing may be very thick, so blend again before serving.
  2. For the Seitan: Preheat the coconut oil over medium high heat. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the seitan and cook until lightly browned on both sides.
  3. For the salad: Divide the quinoa onto two salad plates. Top each with half of the salad greens, cucumber, edamame, corn, mango, and green onion. Place several strips of seitan on each plate. Drizzle the dressing on each salad and top with the almonds.


Food for Fitness

Fast and Furious Workout

We are currently in our off season at work. That means that I had one person in my Superball class this morning, and that the Fast and Furious class is cancelled until the fall. And boy can I feel it! Few classes combined with a week of vacation (lots of running, no strength training) has left me, well, weaker. So I decided to come up with a circuit workout that I can do on my own.

This workout is focused on improving balance, so the more instability you can work into it, the better. If you don’t have a BOSU, you can do your pushups with one hand on a medicine ball (change sides each set), with one leg elevated, or even on a softer surface. I don’t have a video of this workout, but I’ll link up to instructions below.

Circuit Infogram 3

BOSU Pushup

One Leg Squat

Plank w/Alternating Leg Lift

Rear Lunge w/Knee Lift

Plank w/Row

By the way, I’m starting a new project filming short video instructions for exercises (like the ones linked above). That way I can link to my own instead of random trainers that I find via a Google search. All my previous workouts have been just that, workouts, so short clips should be helpful in the future for instruction purposes.

I hope you enjoy both the recipe and the workout.

Do you have someone in your life that made a difference to you? Either from their influence, their support, or their help?

YMX by Yellowman Review plus an Indoor Cardio Workout

As an athlete who, besides running, spends time cycling, hiking, and practicing yoga, I love the idea of fitness wear that can multi-task. Clothing that can go from my run to the yoga studio, and even stop at the store on the way home.

I had the opportunity, through my connection as a Fitfluential Ambassador, to receive and try out an exercise top from YMX by Yellowman. I was sent the Elemental Earth Tri-pocket jersey in purple (my favorite color!). It is designed for cycling, and has three large pockets in the back, ideal for carrying gear and nutrition on a ride.

YMX by Yellowman

Since I am training for the Costume Party Run, my recent focus has been on running, not cycling. Plus, the last few days have been so hot that on Saturday I was forced to bring my workout indoors. I thought it would be a perfect time to see if my YMX top would be a great multi tasker. In the video below, I will show you my favorite way to make an indoor cardio workout interesting, plus give you the lowdown on the YMX  jersey.


YMX by Yellowman - Review

I also had a chance to take my YMX top out for a run. I’m on the tapering end of my half marathon training, so I ran seven miles on Sunday. I thought that I’d take advantage of those big deep pockets, so I put a gel, my earphones and my phone there. Everything was good except the phone. It bounced a little too much, which bothered me, so I switched it out after about two miles.

YMX by Yellowman - Review

YMX by Yellowman - Review

It was a very warm day, but the MadKool fabric did its job and kept me comfortable and dry for seven miles. In case you didn’t watch the video, let me tell you about this (practically) miracle fabric.


Madkool technical fabrics are designed to enhance your athletic performance. Madkool actually moves the sweat away from your body into the outer layers of the fabric, where it can dry quickly.

Madkool is silky soft, but tough; stretchy, but the fabric holds its shape and resists abrasion, and designed to receive prints with clarity and permanence. You can wash your YMX tops over and over and they won’t fade.

MadKool will help you stay warm when the weather is cold and help you cool off when your heart is pumping.  Some of the fabrics (those designed for outdoor wear like running or cycling) come with UV protection.

From my personal experience, I can tell you that my YMX top felt so light and delicate that it was a joy to wear. It seemed to keep me dry and cooler on my run in 85 degree weather.  It actually felt dry to the touch when I finished!

When I first put the top on, it seemed kind of short and I thought that it might ride up, but it did not. It stayed right in place through my whole run. The pattern and colors are beautiful, so pretty in fact that I wore my top home from the gym, made a few stops, and never felt that I was wearing “gym clothes.”

All in all I was really happy with my YMX top. They are a little pricey, but for a top that is beautiful, fits well, does the job, plus lasts through wear after wear, it is worth it.

Have you tried YMX before? What do you look for in your workout wear?

Disclosure: YMX by Yellowman sent me a top to review. I received no other compensation. All opinions are my own.

What’s Beautiful: 4 Weeks to My Goal. Plus a Friday Workout!

If you will recall, I joined the Under Armour What’s Beautiful campaign as a FitFluential Ambassador a little over five weeks ago. Well, I am a little past the halfway point in my training program to achieve my goal of completing my first sub-2 hour half marathon since turning 50, and I thought this would be a good time to check in and review my progress. Have you joined yet? It’s still not too late to get started conquering your fears, completing challenges, and achieving your goals (and possibly winning some cool stuff along the way!).

Underarmour Collage2

The Goal and the Training

Obviously, in order to run my sub-2 hour half marathon, I needed to create (and stick to) a training plan. I’ve been pretty good about following the program, with just a few setbacks caused recently by the increasing heat in the desert. That being said, I feel good about my training and think that my goal is within reach.

I am training for the Costume Party Run, which is on July 7 (you can see my most recent training report here). As the name suggests, I will be running in costume, so in order to have fun dressing up and still achieve my time goal, I needed to figure out a costume that would be both fun and functional. With my readers’ help, I decided to create a Dalmatian costume, basically in homage to my running partner Penny. I also thought it would be fun to take it a little farther and dress up as the Shoe Dog, the Dalmatian mascot of race sponsor Road Runner Sports.

Penny Shoe Dog

Workout - What's Beautiful

I am gathering supplies for my costume. I ordered ears and a tail (though my brain can’t quite wrap around how the tail attaches yet), I bought some multi-colored felt, and I finally bought a white running skirt. Now I just need to find a white top and I’ll be ready to add my spots! Of course, I had to take the skirt out for a trial run and I’m happy to report that it fit well and the under-shorts stayed perfectly in place.

workout - What's Beautiful

While the running has been going well, my strength training has been limited to the classes that I teach and the workouts I create (see below for a Friday Fast, Furious, and Functional workout!). My goal is still to get back into the gym, and I will. Soon, very soon.

What’s Beautiful Challenges

One of the fun things about joining the What’s Beautiful program is conquering the challenges. These involve things like making a video to state your goal, trying a sport you don’t usually do, write an inspirational quote, all the while taking photos of your progress and uploading them to your page.

Workout - What's Beautiful

I have done many of the challenges. Really, I have. But if you check my What’s Beautiful profile page, you will see that I have been a bit lax about photographing, videoing, and uploading them. In fact, I have only recorded one of the challenges. One of my goals for this post is to get going and and complete those challenges.

What’s Beautiful: Getting Stronger

While I haven’t been to the gym for my strength training (yet), I have been teaching a variety of classes, including my Fast and Furious class, which is a high intensity workout done in a circuit format. Many of the workouts use little or no equipment (the one below requires only a medicine ball), and can be completed in less that half an hour.  Remember to do an appropriate warm up of five to 10 minutes before starting the workout, and as with any form of exercise you should check with your doctor before starting a new program.

Fast & Furious Total Body

If you have any questions about the exercises, watch my video for demonstrations and form tips.

So, what do you think of my costume? I’m going to pin the spots on as someone suggested, because I’d like to use the skirt again. Is there something else I should add?  If you are participating in the What’s Beautiful program, how are your goals and challenges going? Feel free to share a link in the comments.


Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Coach and Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Coach or Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

Friday Fitness: The Seven Minute Workout

I few days ago, I mentioned that one of my Fast and Furious students (that sounds funny, but I mean she comes to the class), brought me a clipping from the New York Times called The Scientific 7-Minute Workout. The sub-title is “12 exercises and you’re done.” In it, they cite an article in the May/June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal that states that 12 high intensity exercises, combined with very short breaks, using only your body weight and a chair fulfills the latest mandates for high intensity effort.

High Intensity Circuit Training

According to the ACSM, this type of training, which is called High Intensity Circuit Training or HICT, can be a fast and efficient way to lose excess body weight and body fat, can increase V02Max, an indicator of cardiovascular health, and can be an effective approach to decreasing insulin resistance.

There are some caveats and contraindications of course. HICT may not be appropriate for obese, undertrained, the elderly, or previously injured individuals. People with heart disease should avoid isometric exercise (planks, wall sits). They can be replaced with dynamic exercises. As with all exercise, medical clearance from a physician is recommended.

When choosing the exercises, select exercises that work all muscle groups or the body. Use large muscle groups to create the appropriate resistance and aerobic effort. Create a balance of exercises (avoid choosing all upper body or lower body exercises) that are safe and appropriate for the individual doing the workout. The exercises should also be adaptable to the environment (stairs, benches, chairs, walls, etc.) and be able to be modified to increase or decrease intensity.

This is the Seven Minute Workout as listed in the Times. I did change exercise #12 from a side plank to bicycle crunches only because we were doing this once through and a one-sided side plank felt unfinished. I think the slightly wild-eyed look on my face was caused by this workout.

Seven Minute Workout

 After the workout, I looked up the study mainly because I wanted to make some changes to the exercises, but didn’t want to lose the effects of HICT. According to the report, exercise order is important. Because you will be doing this workout at a very high intensity, correct arrangement is crucial to give yourself a little extra rest time to allow you to continue at that high intensity.  For that reason, a higher intensity exercise like jumping jacks or high knees running, may be followed with a plank or wall sit. Also, you will want to alternate muscle groups to allow recovery time between exercises. In the above example jumping jacks (total body) are followed by wall squats (lower body), which are followed by push ups (upper body), then crunches (core). This allows you to meet the objective of a series of exercises to be performed in quick succession-using proper form and technique-with a minimum of rest in between.

The Seven Minute Workout

For today’s workout I changed a few of the exercises. My knee will not hold up to step ups, and it doesn’t like jumping jacks very much either, so I added burpees (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and split squat jumps. I also kept the bicycle crunch as the final exercise. I believe it still keeps with the protocol of the HICT workout. I know it kicked my butt. The workout should be performed at high intensity, about 8-9 on a scale of 10. If you can’t keep up that high intensity, the ACSM recommends exercising for a slightly longer period of time, which means you could repeat the workout once or twice more. Don’t hate me.

Seven minute workout 5

Just so you know that I love and respect you, I did the whole workout in this video, no pauses or cut-aways, so you can tune in  while you do the workout. Remember to be safe and do each exercise with proper form.

If you’d like to read more, here are the links to the New York Times article and the original ACSM report.

Link to the ACSM Study

Link to the NY Times Article

Edit: I was asked below about the app I’m using on my ipad to time my Seven Minute Workout. It’s called Seconds Pro. It costs $4.99, but there is a free version (I don’t believe you can save your timers on the free version). You can use any of the pre-made timers on the app or create your own. There are templates to follow depending on whether you are making a circuit, HIIT, Tabata, or other type of workout. You can program the music that you want to play, select the “warning tones” that you prefer, and I was happy that when I downloaded it onto my iphone it automatically synced with my ipad. Love the visual of that timer ticking down!

What is your favorite workout? Have you heard of HICT?

Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Coach and Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Coach or Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.