20 minute Leg + Core Gym Burner

Plan & Track Your Workouts (20 Minute Leg & Core Burner)

You’ve had a long day at work, but you’re a champ and you’re on your way to the gym. Your iPod is fully charged and you’re on top of your training enough to know that it’s a leg day. You’re doing really well so far. Good job! One quick question: Did you plan out your workout?

I hope you didn’t say no! The last thing you want to do is walk into that gym without a plan. Set yourself up for success (and a speedier workout) by showing up with a predetermined strength routine… like the one at the end of this post!


Plan + Track

Whether you carry a workout notebook like I do or you keep an exercise journal on your smart phone, I highly recommend planning and tracking your workouts. Having an exercise log makes each workout run more smoothly, and makes tracking your progress over time super easy.

Most of my workouts incorporate a mix of strength training (which part of the body depends on the day of the week) and cardio. The cardio part is easy, I just jump on a machine and tune out, but strength training requires more focus. I reference my notebook for order of exercises, number of repetitions, and weight as I go along.

Strength Exercise     Number of Repetitions     Weight Used
biceps curls                15 reps x 3 sets                   10 lbs
triceps extensions     15 reps x 3 sets                   15 lbs
squat jumps               10 reps x 3 sets                   n/a


A more efficient workout

When I show up to the gym with a plan, it’s easy to get into a groove and spend less time distractedly looking around in between exercises. If I need 10 lb dumbbells for my next exercise and they’re all in use, I can just move on to the next thing on my list and circle back when the weights are free.

Even Especially if I’m working out at home where it is so easy to get distracted, having a plan to follow along keeps a 20 minute workout from becoming an hour workout.


So hopefully by now, I’ve at least convinced you to consider keeping an exercise log, workout journal, or whatever else you want to call it. Let me take the pressure off planning tonight’s workout by doing it for you. Save this image or scribble it down onto a napkin so you can walk into the weight room like a boss tonight.


20 minute Leg + Core Gym Burner

Parallel squats – Starting with feet shoulder-width apart, bend your knees and lower into a sitting position with your butt reaching back, and chest lifted. Your knees should be in line with your second and third toes, and not extend forward past the tips of your toes.

Alternating front lunges – Starting with the right leg, hands on hips, lunge forward (making sure your knee doesn’t go past your toes) and return to standing. Repeat on the left leg. That’s one repetition.

Deadlifts – Stand with feet shoulders-width apart and pointing straight ahead. Holding your weight of choice with straight arms, bend at the waist to lower to weight to the ground, maintaining a flat back the entire time. Squeeze your glutes (butt) to return to a standing position.

Alternating side lunges – Just like the front lunge, but to the side. With hands on hips and chest lifted, step out wide to the side, keeping the standing leg straight, and return to standing. Be sure to keep your bent knee in line with the second and third toes of that foot. Repeat on the other side to complete one repetition.

Russian twists – Sitting on the floor with legs lifted at a 90 degree angle and abs engaged, twist your arms and upper body from side to side. Your lower body should be tight and should not move.

In & outs – (Also called knee tuck crunches) Starting in a similar position to the russian twists, with legs lifted at a 90 degree angle and arms either on the floor beside you for support or holding a weight, extend the legs out to a straight position just a few inches from the floor and then bring them back in to a tucked position.

High & low scissors – Start by laying on your back with your arms tucked under your butt for support. Lift your legs to a 45 degree angle, simultaneously kick both legs out to the side and then bring them back together (sort of like a scissor motion), lower both legs to about 6 inches off of the floor and repeat the scissor motion. That’s one repetition.

Plank – Planks! You know these!


Let me know if you give this workout a try. I did this one at the gym on Monday and felt it in all the right places Tuesday. 🙂 I hope the rest of your day is fabulous.




Friday Favorites #21: Lululemon, Coconut Oil, & Simple Rules for Healthy Eating

Hey there, hi there! What’s new, what’s good?

It’s Friday(!) and I couldn’t be happier. Even though I’m ready for the weekend, it was a pretty good week around these parts. I started a new job, fit some great workouts in, and got some fun new spandex, I mean clothes.

Without further ado, because the name is pretty self-explanatory, I present this week’s…


Friday Favorites


Coconut Oil… As Lotion

I’ll be the first to admit that I am particular when it comes to coconut. Sometimes I like it, sometimes I don’t. I like to cook with coconut oil and milk, but I don’t like the taste of shredded coconut or coconut water. Well, I have officially added ‘using coconut oil as lotion’ to the list of things that I like.


coconut oil #fridayfavorites


I held off on coconut oil as lotion for a long time because I just couldn’t understand how it wouldn’t leave my skin feeling oily or smelling like coconut. To be honest, I still don’t understand it but it works.

I guess in my mind, I’d be using the same amount of coconut oil as I would use lotion, but in reality a small amount of oil goes a long way and I haven’t had any issues with greasiness. And as far as I can tell, my skin doesn’t smell like coconut at all.


New Clothes from Lululemon

Katie, my amazing sister, sent me a gift certificate for my birthday to Lululemon after seeing a pair of their stirrups pop up in one of my Friday Favorites posts.

lululemon gift certificate #fridayfavorites

I must have spent several hours on their site trying to decide what to buy, and of course I ended up back on the stirrups. Of course. And I might have thrown in another top, too. I need to beef up my personal training wardrobe!

lululemon #fridayfavorites

lululemon retreat tee #fridayfavorites

[Wunder Under Pant *Stirrup, Retreat Tee]


“Just Because” Flowers 

carnations #fridayfavorites

This lovely little arrangement was waiting on our front porch when Andrew and I got home from the gym Wednesday night. It had been left by a neighbor who just thought we’d like them. Very sweet and much appreciated. 🙂


Links from around the web:

Simple Rules for Healthy Eating [NY Times] Yes, yes, and so much more yes.

Aerial Photographs Capture the Stunning Beauty of Los Angeles at 10,000 Feet [Mashable] They really are stunning.


That’s it from me, today. Have a wonderful weekend.



Question: What have you been loving lately?


Of course, you can check out a whole slew of other Friday Favorites over on Heather’s blog.