Tag Archives: at home workouts

The Cycling + Strength Circuit Workout of Threes

What kind of workouts have you been getting into lately?

I’ve noticed that when I get crazy busy, I tend to stop getting as creative with my workouts. And since April was a hectic month for me, my workouts were not all that exciting. I had been going to some fun classes that were challenging me, but the first thing that goes when my schedule is packed is fitness studio visits. After all, not having to drive to studios saves time in my day! I was also traveling for half of the month, during which I snuck in quick morning workouts before full days. Oh, but I did go on an awesome hike during my quickie getaway to Idyllwild!

Wheel posing on the top of Idyllwild’s Suicide Rock

No matter how busy I am, I make it a priority to workout. I tell myself, no excuses! Truth be told, I have exercise ADHD, so my “boring” workout stretch is probably still more exciting than most. I have about a dozen workout DVDs I like, I use YouTube to find new workouts (Speaking of which, check out my post on 3 at-home kickboxing workouts to try!), take my dog for long walks around our neighborhood, favorite parks, and by the beach, and use my at-home workout equipment. I have a variety of dumbbells, resistance bands, recovery tools, and my favorite thing of all, my indoor bike trainer.

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3 At-Home Kickboxing Workouts to Try

Out of all of the workouts that I enjoy doing, boxing is high up on my list of favorites. I just love the intensity and how fast-paced it is. I’ve gone to a few boxing classes at a Title Boxing Club near me recently, and boy are they tough. After the last one I went to, my abs, glutes, and shoulders were sore for a good three days. Every time I laughed or sneezed my mid section would be hurting!

San Diego area readers, I’ve been booking my classes through the Lymber Fitness app – which lets you book classes for a variety of workouts at studios in the area without memberships. It’s great for exercisers like me that like to switch it up a lot! If you’re interested in trying the app out, you can use the code NICOLELYMB-1-21 to get $5 off your first class.

While I love the intensity and hardcore calories burned that a sweat session of hitting the heavy bag brings, I also like doing boxing workouts at home sometimes – especially when I’m crunched for time and am squeezing in a workout in between meetings. Walking into my workout room to sweat it out beats sitting in rush hour traffic to get to a class some days!

That’s why today I wanted to share 3 of my favorite at-home kickboxing workouts. These are workouts that I do all the time in my house, or during weeks like this one where I’m traveling. I’m staying at my parents’ house on the east coast this week, so instead I’m kickboxing in their living room with an audience of family Pit bulls and cats, who like to sit 2.5 inches from where I’m kicking, and also sometimes my nephews, who join in by jumping around and busting out moves of their own. ūüėČ

1.) 30-Minute Cardio Kickboxing Workout with Natalie Yco. This half-hour workout is a great calorie burner and I’ve done it many, many times. Any Jillian Michaels’ DVD fanatics may recognize Natalie as one of the fitness models from a few of her workouts. The workout is done with a jump rope, but I usually just do my own cardio moves instead – such as jumping jacks, lateral hops, squats, etc.

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Three Workouts to Try This Holiday Season

Between holiday shopping, parties, travel, and family traditions¬†on top of the usual busyness, most of us are pressed for time at the end of the year. But don’t let that stop you from fitting in exercise!¬†Today I’m sharing 3 workout ideas to try over your holiday season.

The first¬†routine is a 30-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout¬†that consists of 5 circuits, with 3 exercises in each circuit: a cardio move, a bodyweight strength move, and an abdominal exercise. For each exercise, it’s 30 seconds on / 10 seconds off, and once you complete the three exercises, you repeat it for 3 rounds, then move onto the next circuit. This one can be done anywhere, and chances are I’ll be doing this one when I’m staying at my parents’ house over Christmas!


Tip: I use a free app called Interval Timer for HIIT workouts. I set up my desired intervals (in this case, 45 intervals with 30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest), and then once I push start, I can just listen to the alarm interval noises to switch exercises while I’m watching TV or listening to music.

The second¬†workout is a treadmill + bodyweight circuit workout that’ll take around 40 minutes to complete.¬†My father-in-law has a treadmill in his basement, so when I’m staying at his house I usually fit in a workout incorporating incline walking intervals. This workout begins with building treadmill inclines, then switches over to 5 bodyweight exercises for a total body workout. Do 4 rounds for about a 40 minute workout. Only have 20 minutes to spare? Complete 2 rounds for a quickie workout!

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My Workouts Lately // Sept & Oct

Happy Halloween!

If you trick-or-treat at my house tonight, you’ll be greeted by a barking Batpuppy:


I celebrated Halloween yesterday by carving pumpkins and watching scary movies with my hubby, and making jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers for dinner.

Are you celebrating the holiday with some treats? If you’re looking for a way to offset those extra candy calories today, try this at-home Halloween workout: at-home-halloween-workout

And speaking of workouts, today I’m sharing what I’ve been up to lately on the fitness front!

I had a bit of an injury scare about a week and a half ago, when I spent a few days thinking that I might have broken my middle toe after tripping at my door when walking inside from my backyard. Total klutz move! I was totally sober, but I was going to open wine, so I may have been a teeny bit excited and gotten ahead of myself. Oops. At first it was really painful but luckily, after a couple of days the throbbing subsided, and I think it was just a bad bone bruise.


Because of my poor little toe, I took it pretty easy last week with my exercise routine. It was painful putting on sneakers for a bunch of days, so I mostly did easy walks with my pup in sandals and did some upper body strength training and limited yoga. Luckily I’m almost good as new now and back to regular workouts!


My beach walk spot: Carlsbad Cliffs

Backing it up to last month’s workouts, I had some fitness studio fun in September – especially when a heatwave hit and I wanted to get out of my warm house for my sweat sessions as much as possible. Having no A/C is no joke when it hits 100 degrees outside!

One studio that I took classes at was Fortis & YOGALUX in Carlsbad. What I love about this gym is that they offer a nice variety of classes, from yoga and barre to boxing and TRX. It’s also close to my house, which makes it nice and convenient to take classes at any time that I can fit a workout in – regardless of rush hour traffic.

Triple digits is pretty unheard of here in SoCal!

Triple digits is pretty unheard of here in San Diego

Two classes that I took there in September were Agility Barre and LUX HIIT. Created by one of the Fortis instructors, Lauren, Agility Barre reminded me a lot of Xtend Barre in that it’s more cardio-focused than other barre styles. You use a weighted bar for some of the moves, and it incorporates some yoga elements. I liked the fast pace of the class, and as usual with barre, it incorporated a lot of great toning exercises.

The LUX HIIT class marked my return to a HIIT class after a 6 months hiatus. HIIT is one of my favorite kind of workouts, but I took a break from it after my foot injury earlier this year. I’ve still been limiting plyometric training and really high-impact workouts because I find that they make my foot and calf injuries flair up, but I was curious as to what LUX HIIT was all about….


My calorie burn from LUX HIIT

…and it was such a great workout! It was a tough cardiovascular class, and holy calves! They were so sore for days after since they aren’t used to me jumping up and down on them too much nowadays. Leaving this class super sweaty high on exercise endorphins, I was reminded why I love HIIT so much.

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The All About the Hamstrings Workout

When I cut out cardio for a couple of months because of my foot injury, I started doing a lot more isolated strength training than usual. I typically incorporate strength moves into HIIT and cardio workouts, but I started relying more on strength training as my main exercise burn.

While I love so many types of workouts, I wouldn’t say that lifting is high on my list of favorite types of exercise. At first I was whining to myself (and probably a few others) saying, “How many damn bicep curls can I do?” but then I started getting more creative. I used to do a lot more¬†workouts that were more strength-based when I regularly went to a normal gym, so I started getting back to those roots and having more fun with it.

Hamstring WOD Collage-2

One thing I started paying more attention to was working on my hamstrings. I definitely have stronger quads than hamstrings. After all, I use my quads for some of my favorite exercises as well as functional movements throughout my day, but my hamstrings? They don’t get worked quite as much.

It’s common to have stronger quads than hamstrings, but in an effort to keep things balanced and reduce chances of further injury aggravation, lately¬†I’ve been more diligently doing hamstring exercises. Today I thought I’d share some of my favorite moves to work the hammies, so let’s get to it! Here are the moves:

#1 РOne-legged bridge lift. This move is great for getting a glute + hamstring burn! I do this exercise using either a chair as pictured below, or by using my couch as a prop.

Bridge Lift

#2 – One-legged deadlift. This is one of my favorite exercises to work the hammies. You can also add some extra upper body work in there by doing bicep curls or tricep pull-ups when flowing¬†back to standing. I typically use 10-lb dumbbells for this move and most of the other exercises, but bump it up to my 25-lb weights if I’m feeling strong!

One Legged Deadlift

#3 – Alternating reverse lunges. An oldie but a goodie, this move gets your heart rate pumping!

Reverse Lunge

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Total Body Cycling Circuit Workout

Happy Friday friends!

What’s on the agenda for your weekend? A few things I have going on are¬†a party to attend,¬†plans to go to brunch with my hubby, and the final evaluation of the 6-week fitness challenge that I’ve been participating in happening. I’m looking to beat all the numbers I had set at the beginning evaluation of the challenge, but more on that to come!

backyard backbend play

Speaking of working out, today let’s chat about exercising at home. While I often workout at my HIIT studio, exercise outdoors, pop into my yoga studio or try out a new gym, I also enjoy being able to workout at home sometimes. My guest bedroom also doubles as my fitness room, and it’s nice to have the option to just pop in there for a quickie workout when I don’t have a lot of time to sweat.

Typically I do workout DVDs or YouTube workouts when I exercise at home, but the at-home workouts in my household got more serious and flexible recently…

bike trainer-1

…with the addition of a new¬†bike trainer that allows my hubby and me to make our road & mountain bikes stationary. It’s so nice to be able to hop on the bike for a quick cardio workout while watching TV. I’m diggin’ it!

bike trainer-2

Right now the bike in our living room because we’re redoing our fitness room, and as you may be able to tell,¬†my pup thinks that cycling time = playtime. She takes out all of her toys when I get on the bike and patiently waits so that she can jump on me and try to play once I step off of it. I’m not sure what it is about the bike that gets her all riled up, but she’s such a nut!

She also runs full speed at me to photobomb a yoga pose photo!

She also runs full speed at me to photobomb a yoga pose photo!

Earlier this week I came up with an interval workout that uses the bike. This workout alternates between 5 minute cycling rounds and rounds of 4 different exercises – simple but effective moves like pushups, squats and planks. It works the entire body, and takes about 30 minutes to complete.

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20 Minute Cardio Blast Workout

Hi friends, and greetings from Las Vegas!

I traveled to Vegas over the weekend for a work trip and will be here for most of the week. Before the “work” of my work trip really started, yesterday my co-workers and I had some fun outside of the Vegas strip, but more on that later, because today I’ve got a quickie workout to share!

Lake Mead

My view of Lake Mead earlier today

Even when¬†traveling I still like to get¬†some exercise in. If I’m on vacation, I usually find a place for that exercise outdoors in the form of hiking or biking, or just even just walking a ton being a tourist, but with work trips like this, I find myself mostly indoors in a convention center. I do walk an awful lot within the convention center – my poor feet always die wearing heels and other uncomfortable fancy¬†shoes, and I think I was made to be barefoot, or even to just wear sneakers and sandals! – but I still like to fit in some actual sweat time.

The hotel I’m staying at has a pretty nice gym, so this week I’ll be popping in there probably once or twice for quick workouts, and will also do a few online workouts in my hotel room when I can squeeze them in. Here’s a 20 minute cardio blast that’s exactly my type of style for a travel workout: quick and cardio efficient!

*All you need is a set of 3, 5 or 8 pound dumbbells depending on your strength level. You can also¬†forgo the weights if you don’t have them handy. Run through all of the exercises in 30-second intervals, do the whole set 3x, get a quick stretch and cool down in, and you’re done!*

20 Minute Cardio Blast

Tell me… are you more of a quick workout person, or do you take your time and more enjoy longer exercise sessions?


An At-Home Halloween Inspired Workout

Happy Halloween everyone!

Harley the Batgirl on our walk along the beach yesterday

Harley the Batgirl on our walk along the beach yesterday

First off, the winner of my Puritan’s Pride giveaway for the month of October is Paige C. Congrats, Paige! I’ll be emailing you for your address info today so that we can get your prize shipped out stat.

So, I’m sharing a workout with you guys today. WHAT? A workout? I know, although I’ve been sharing plenty of review posts on new workouts I’ve been trying over the last couple months (SoulCycle, Fitwall, Heated Barre, TRX, Yoga Sculpt, etc.!) I haven’t
Squatsshared a workout in quite awhile!

Yesterday evening I came home from a marathon of food shopping (because you know I have to go to the food store on the Marine Corps base for some things because it’s much cheaper, then Trader Joe’s for some produce and specialty stuff, then the Vitamin Shoppe for protein bars….) and I totally didn’t feel like working out. I wanted to watch football, but decided that I’d feel like a lazy butt if I didn’t at least do a bit of a workout. I
had also done a quickie HIIT workout first thing in the AM, so I decided to come up with a short routine that I could do while watching football to help make it breeze by.

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Work it Out Wednesday: The Warm Me Up Winter Workout

There are a lot of w’s in my post title huh? Apparently I’m in the mood for a good alliteration this evening!

Today I had a little “me” time and got a massage and a manicure. Thanks to Groupon, my hour-long deep tissue massage was only $25…how can you not love that right?!

Since I knew I wouldn’t feel like working out or have time to after my couple hours of pampering, I planned on doing a workout first thing in the morning so I could still fit exercise time in for the day. I rolled out of bed this morning and first did my favorite YouTube AM yoga video:

I’ve followed this video a bunch of times, and I always feel so stretched out and ready for the day after it!


Harley moved her blanket to be right on top of my yoga mat, and then she proceeded to just curl up and stare at me for my entire yoga session. Just the usual shenanigans in my house!

After yoga, I jumped around and did the workout below. It took me 20 minutes to complete, and according to my heart rate monitor, I burned 150 calories.

Warm Me Up Workout-12.11.13

Since it has been so chilly in the Bay Area lately, I’ve really been enjoying sweating during my workouts and getting my body warmed up – hence the workout title. Exercising has felt even better than usual, and my workouts have been rocking lately!

Question: What time of the day do you usually exercise?  

At-Home Cardio Blast Workout



I came across an article on Buzzfeed today titled 18 People Who Shouldn’t be Allowed to Use the Gym. I always find fitness related humor to be funny, and it seriously had me cracking up. If you enjoy seeing people do ridiculous things like wear heels to the gym (I can barely walk in heels, let alone exercise in them!) or eat an ice cream cone while on the bike (seriously?!), you need to check it out.

Speaking of the gym,  I checked out one last weekend nearby but have yet to become a member of one in my new area, so at-home/outside workouts are my thing at the moment.

When it came to exercising today, I felt like I haven’t gotten a really heart pounding workout in lately, so I came up with a quick routine that I was confident would leave me very sweaty… and it did! I utilized the stairs that I now have in my house, but if you don’t have stairs available, just run in place or do some other form of high intensity cardio.


I followed the workout with a few minutes of stretching at the end, and it was a quick half hour routine. This is definitely a workout I’m keeping in mind when I’m short on time but want to get nice and sweaty!


Question: What’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve noticed people doing/wearing at a gym?

I”ve seen people wearing bathing suit shorts and flip flops at the gym on the treadmill (in San Diego, obviously!), which I found dangerous yet entertaining. There was also this girl at a gym I used to go to who would always wear sunglasses on the elliptical, even at nighttime – which doesn’t really matter since we were inside. Ha!