Saturday, April 10, 2010

My Home "Gym", Super Saturday With Quinoa Granola Bars

My Home "Gym"
As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I had a request to do a post about my home gym. After mulling it over, I thought it was a really great idea. I can show everyone that you can indeed get really great results without having to spend a fortune on a home gym. Don't get me wrong of course, I would LOVE to have the money and room to have a treadmill, a nice weight machine set up, squat rack, even a barbell. Yes, you read that, no barbell (for now). I don't' even have a bar to do chin-ups or pull-ups. The ones that are supposed to fit every doorway do not in fact fit doorways built in 1890 apparently.

I must also say that I do have a gym membership that I almost only use for the cardio equipment. It was not until this January that I actually did weights at the gym. So, while I do have gym access, I still choose my home "gym" mostly out of convenience. 

Back to my gym: I also wish I had a much larger room. The room used for weights is rather tiny. In fact, It is too small to safely do step aerobics. I can do plyo, but no step or kickboxing. So I typically do my cardio in the living room downstairs and all weights in my "gym" room upstairs. Cumbersome at times because I do have to haul my aerobic step (which subs as my bench) up and down the stairs along with my stability ball, and yoga mat. However, you do you what you have to right?

So, with that being said, here is what I do have:
  • Aerobic step with and 8 total risers - 4 on each side gives me 12"
  • Slanted risers - allows me to create an incline or decline bench
  • A small top the size of a riser to create a high step
  • Stability ball - great for abs, use for preacher curls, even seated weight exercises
  • Resistance bands
  • Yoga mat
  • Dumbbells from 3 lb - 40 lb
  • 20 lb weighted vest - use to add more weight for leg work
  • Weight gloves - gives you a more comfortable and secure grip
  • Weighted gloves - allows me to micro load adding 1-1.5 lb extra 
  • Ankle weights - perfect for working the booty
  • Paper plates - use for slide back or side slide lunges (ouch)
  • Mirror - to watch form
  • Collection of DVDs
What does your home gym look like? 

I had another request recently for more pictures. I also received an email from a dear friend who reads my blog (but won't comment ahem) asking to see workout pictures. I told her I was super hesitant to post anything like that. But she talked me into it. She thinks that it could be inspiring to others perhaps. So, here's to hoping... I took these today after my workout (I'll post that below). My abs aren't looking so hot in the pics I realized, they were seriously looking much better while I was lifting weights and it doesn't help being super pale right now either.

Saturday Workout
Today was Week 2 Day 1 of my 8-week rotation. It is the same set up as last week only supersetting the exercises. I did 3 sets of 5 reps increasing the weights as well.

Superset #1
Chest - Flat bench dumbbell press
Back - Double arm row
Superset #2
Legs - Squats
Hamstrings - Deadlifts
Superset #3
Biceps - Hammer curls
Triceps - Lying dumbbell extensions
Superset #4
Legs - Step ups
Shoulders - Military press
I had a really good workout actually. I was able to increase all of the weights and it felt really good today. I followed up the weights with about 35 minutes from Cathe's Imax 2. I haven't done that workout in ages. It consists of 10 intervals that are made up of a short step routine and a blast. I got in a really good stretch after I was done.

Super Saturday
Today is my dad's birthday. I thought the family was going to be coming over, but plans changed. So, I took advantage of the absolutely gorgeous day we're having and sat outside and read for a bit while Jason went and rode his bike with a friend. It was so nice to just sit and relax and not worry about my huge to-do list, which I did end up getting around to of course. The laundry monster had to be tamed. I also wanted to try to make a quinoa granola bar, roast my kabocha, cook some wheat berries, and also cook some chickpeas to freeze. I managed to do all but the chickpeas.

I have been wanting to try to make my own granola bars for a while and started thinking about trying a quinoa granola bar. I came up with a Carrot Cake Quinoa Granola Bar. It does need a few tweaks of course, but this was my first shot at it. Most of the ingredients are not exact. Sorry, I was just adding a bit of this and a bit of that.

Carrot Cake Quinoa Granola Bars
1/2 - 3/4 cup dried quinoa (approximate)
1/2 cup rolled oats (approximate)
1/4 cup raisins (maybe more)
1 carrot, grated
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 2 tbsp hot water
Molasses and agave nectar (have no clue how much I used)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl, then transfer to a prepared baking dish (I used a baking non-stick spray). Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
The taste was pretty good. They never got as firm as I thought they should. The next time I try these I will likely add in sesame seeds or perhaps chopped almonds and more vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon, perhaps some clove. 

As of right now, I am sitting out on the patio finishing this post. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and we will likely grill out for dinner. What? This is still undecided. I'll let you know tomorrow. I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far!