Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Holy Hump Day - Pyramid Workouts Anyone?

Pyramid Workouts
Today I managed to get myself out of bed for another morning workout. It was easier since Jason was already getting up at 5 am for swim. Today's workout was kind of tough though. I started with the warm up from Shock Cardio HiiT Pyramid, did Pyramid Upper/Lower (sans DVD), and finished with the HIIT.

Since the Pyramid Upper/Lower workout was pyramid up only (12, 10, 8), I went up with my starting weight. This was a very good decision for me as I pushed myself to near failure for most exercises. The premise of the pyramid up is that you start with the lightest weight for 12 reps, increase weight for 10 reps, heaviest weight for 8 reps. Here are the exercises I did. Lower body only had one superset, upper was all supersets with one tri-set.

Quads - Squats into Plie Squats
Quads - Leg Press
Chest - Chest Flye into Chest Press
Back - Dumbbell Pullover into Double-Arm Rows
Quads - Leg Press (again)
Quads - Static Lunges
Shoulders - Rear Delt Fly into Lateral Raise into Front Raise
Hamstrings - Deadlifts
Calves - Calf Raises (did 3 sets of 25 reps, changing feet position)
Triceps - Double-Arm Kickbacks into Overhead Extension
Biceps - Hammer Curls into Dumbbell Curls

The biggest key for making this workout super effective, is to not allow rest time between sets. You want to have your weights set up and ready to go so you can quickly increase the weight without much rest/recover time. I'll admit that the only downfall of doing this workout without the DVD, is that it's really easy and tempting to allow rests between each weight increase!

Today turned out to be another sunny and unseasonably warm day (76 degrees). I sort of regret that I did cardio in the morning, because a lunch time run would have been so great. The one thing, for me at least, about morning workouts is that by the end of the day I could almost do another workout because it often feels like my workout was done the previous day (if that makes sense). I restrained myself though. It's not like I'm training for a race and have to get in the run, and I know that I need to let my muscles recover from the weights and HIIT workouts. Sigh.

Need New Dinner Ideas
For a while I was really on a roll with new recipes and creativity. It seems to be waning in a serious way all of the sudden. Now that the weather is warmer, soup isn't sounding quite as appealing. I'm going to have to find some warmer weather recipes soon, especially those that can be done on the grill. 

Tonight I decided to try to recreate a creamy broccoli salad, think of something you'd find in a deli case. I came up with "Creamy" Broccoli and Sundried Tomato Salad. I served alongside Black Bean Beet Burgers.

"Creamy" Broccoli and Sundried Tomato Salad
Ingredients
1/2 box soft silken tofu (though I think firm would have been better)
1 bunch broccoli florets
6-8 sundried tomatoes, reconstituted, chopped
minced shallots (to your liking)
To taste: lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast flakes

Directions:
(optional) Steam broccoli florets for just a couple of minutes then quickly transfer to ice bath to shock. Drain and put in large bowl.

In food processor or blender, combine tofu, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. 

Combine tofu mixture, tomatoes and shallots with broccoli. Let refrigerate at least one hour.

Protein Bar Follow Up
Ok, so I really wanted to follow up on my post yesterday that included a recipe for Averie's Peanut Butter Protein Power Bars (My Way). I wish I had the nutritional stats on these. I cut mine into 12 rectangular bars and wrapped individually to store in the freezer. Jason and I split one today at lunch. They are really tasty and filling. I love the fact that they ingredients are all natural (as long as use opt for all-natural and don't use flavored syrups, chocolate, or butterscotch chips).

While I am in love with the taste, my only complaint is that they are really fairly soft, even just out of the freezer. Perhaps it was the omission of the coconut? I'm wondering if less agave might help in the even that one leaves out the coconut. Since Jason and I often run from the house or workout at home, leaving these in the freezer is not big deal. However, we won't really be able to take them with us for longer runs or if he goes on long bike rides. Could these possibly be dehydrated slightly? Thoughts, suggestions are welcome because I do plan on making these again. They are too tasty not to!