My Black Friday Purchases

November 30, 2016

Another Black Friday come and gone. Did you have any luck finding goodies for yourself friends and family? My Mom, Sister, and I shopped all day and only took a time out for lunch at Chick Fil A.

For as many places as we went, the crowds weren't too bad surprisingly. I didn't find a whole lot of gifts - yet had a much easier time finding things for myself. (Oops!) But don't you always have to get yourself a few treats, too?? Does that put me on the naughty list??

My Mom, Sisters, and I also went to the nearby (HUGE) outlet store Saturday afternoon to shop some more and I found so many more deals there. I even got quite a few gifts for friends and family... score! I think this is the earliest I've ever started my Christmas shopping. #onit

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Since these items are still available (and totally affordable), I wanted to share what I bought just in case you want to #treatyoself or knock some more presents off your list. For friends/family reading this: no I am not sharing what I bought you, but nice try! If you want a hint: it rhymes with pole. ;)

Beauty


Errrmagerd you guys - I actually bought beauty supplies?! Wut. I've heard good things about this hairspray and it was $8.99 at Ulta so since I just ran out of hairspray, I scooped a bottle up which should last me several years. I got a sample of these deodorant wipes not too long ago and they smell insanely good, work well, and will be perfect to throw in my gym bag. (Nordstrom also carries them for literally the same price.)

I also found essential oils at TJ Maxx (couldn't find them online) so I'm excited to try those out. Hopefully it helps ease my headaches a bit!

Workout Wear


I can't go shopping and NOT buy workout wear, come on. I found a workout tank for $15 in my favorite color (purple) and my sister said she loves Nike's sports bras so I also bought this black one to try.

(I also MIGHT have more workout gear coming from Santa aka Mom that I picked out on Black Friday hehe!)

Clothes


My mom, sister and I stopped in H&M and I came across this knit sweater and once I tried it on I had to get it. I almost bought it in black, but decided to get it in yellow instead. (I can't find the color online - but check in store!) I also picked up a pretty funny Christmas shirt involving avocados that you'll see soon. Hehe!

Plus, Aeropostale was having a 70% off everything sale so I couldn't pass up this pretty red sweater and a zip up hoodie because you can never have too many comfy clothes.

Accessories


I'm loving crossbody bags even more now so I don't have to carry much - and bonus points for a neutral color I can wear with anything. I found this bag at Old Navy as I was standing in the checkout line with my sister and couldn't say no. I've already used it twice!

What goodies did you purchase on Black Friday?


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Shop: Holiday Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover

November 28, 2016

Tootles Black Friday... hello Cyber Monday! The sales just keep goin' which is a good thing since holiday gift shopping is in full swing. I'm so excited to share this new gift guide with you (if you missed my first one - check out my top gifts for yogis) that will hopefully give you some direction to find great gifts for the fitness lover in your life.

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These items are not only cute (which is a must, duh) but also super helpful for any workout and recovery. A few of my favorite gifts include:

Customized Bosu Ball - You can now Build Your Own Bosu... even down to the rim color! (As soon as I discovered this, a Bosu ball moved to the top of my Christmas list real fast.) Getting workout equipment is exciting for any fitness lover - but a customized piece makes it even more special (and they're pretty hard to come by).

Sweaty Betty Socks - I don't know about you but any kind of workout clothes are motivating to me - especially after being home for Thanksgiving and not exactly working out as regularly as I normally do. This set of socks make the cutest (extra) motivation, right on your feet!

Flipbelt - I mentioned in this post that I love my Flipbelt for so many reasons. I mainly use it at the gym, but it'd be perfect for anyone who loves running as well. My phone stays secure, and there's even a little hook for keys.

Cold Weather Gear - There's no such thing as too much active wear - especially pieces that keep us warm whether we're training, running a 5k or going for longer distances outside. Fabrics that also have breathability are a must!


Be sure to check out the items I've linked below - since I also added more of my favs than what you see above. Merry Fitmas!

PS: I'll be sharing some of my favorite #CyberMonday sales over on Twitter all day so follow along here!


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Shop: 2016 Black Friday Sales

November 25, 2016

Who's braving the Black Friday crowds?

By the time most of you read this, I'll be enjoying Black Friday shopping with my Mom and sisters... still hungover on turkey and pumpkin pie. It's our annual 'thing' and so worth getting up early for, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to need a nap later. 

If you're not about that life, my little elves and I have done the research for you by scoping the best Black Friday sales in stores and online. We even added a discount code if there is one and a direct link to shop, so get cozy in your holiday pajamas, pour the eggnog (or hot chocolate), and shop my roundup of amazing deals below.

Happy shopping!

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Adidas - up to 50% off select accessories, outerwear, fleece, tees, and more + free expedited shipping (through 11/30)

Alo Yoga - 50-70% off sale prices as marked + 30% off full price items with code ALO30 (through 11/28)

Athleta - 20% off your purchase, in store and online with code BOOST (through 11/28)

BodyBuilding.com - certain featured products on sale

Carbon 38 - 20% off sitewide with code BLACKFRIDAY (through 11/25)

Case Mate - 30% off everything with code CM30DEAL

Dick's Sporting Goods - select doorbusters & online deals (through 11/25 at 2pm PST)

The Doughbar - 10% off your order + a free doughnut with code THANKSDOUGH10 

Express - 50% off everything, in stores and online + free shipping on every order (through 11/25)

Fabletics - 50-75% off everything (though 11/28)

Gaiam - 25% off sitewide + free shipping on orders $85+ (through 11/26)

GAP - 50% off everything in stores and online with code TGIF50 (through 11/26)

LOFT - 50% off everything and more with code FRIYAY (through 11/26)

Manduka - Buy a mat, give a mat + 25% off the holiday gift guide (through 11/27)

Old Navy - 50% off everything-ish - no code needed (through 11/25) + 40% off everything, no code needed (online only, through 11/27)

Payless - up to 50% off 

Reebok - take an additional 50% off items in the Black Friday Collection with code BF50

Target - doorbusters including: electronics sale, 30% off clothes, shoes, and accessories + up to 30% off home items online 

Under Armour - 25% off + free standard shipping online

Yoga Outlet - major Black Friday sale online (while supplies last, prices as marked)


My Style: Cold Shoulder

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TOP: Zara [similar] *last seen here // JEANS: Express [similar] //  
FLATS: Old Navy [love these] // BAG: Express [similar] // SUNNIES: Michael Kors //

The weather is much more cold here in PA than in Maryland (it's currently 45 degrees) so I left this off the shoulder top at home for now, but I still love them for fall. (Even in sweater form come winter.) Just make sure you have an extra warm coat. ;)

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was full of family and food with the yummiest pumpkin pie of course! Since I'm home through the weekend, my Mom, Sister and I are out today for some Black Friday shopping. It's ladies' only, but the men don't seem to care much.

Speaking of Black Friday, there's an extra post up today in addition to this one! I'm sharing my roundup of the best Black Friday sales - in stores and online (codes included). So if you're enjoying time at home and don't want to brave the crazy crowds, shop away since there are tons of online sales happening!

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Photos by Rosa


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What I Learned Moving (Again)

November 22, 2016

I've moved a lot in my 31 years. The first time I was in middle school when my parents sat my siblings and I down one night and told us that we were moving. I was pretty upset and worried about losing my friends at school even though we were only moving a few towns away. (Ah, to be a kid again.)

Fast forward a few years later, I moved again. I've called Frederick home for over 3 years now but I'm so happy to get out of there for many reasons. (One being people calling it Fred-neck when I tell them where I live. Two - I'll now be a lot closer to friends, events, work, etc.) I'm so excited to not live in 2 places and out of my suitcase on the regular.

Moving always makes me feel overwhelmed (and I hate clutter 24/7/365) but when you're packing... there's stuff. everywhere. No getting around that! But, I had to keep reminding myself that it's was a pretty easy move as most of my things went into storage.

Since my lease is up right after Thanksgiving, I've been packing/moving my belongings all month.  Tonight, I'm heading home to PA to eat all the turkey and stuffing. Oh yeah - and to see family too! (Follow along on Snapchat - kelllybelllly!) It'll be so nice to be at home knowing I just have to turn in my keys when I get back.

I've definitely been learning some things along the way, so I thought I'd share. Some are helpful, some are pretty comical sooo enjoy!

What I Learned Moving, Moving Lessons

1. The earlier you can start packing, the better


I mean, duh right?! I've been a procrastinator all my life. If there was a college degree in writing papers the night before they're due, I'd have my Masters. Usually when I move, I'm packing as things are being moved into a vehicle. This time however, I've been packing and moving things each week which seems to take for-ev-errrrr (see number 6...) but it's better than doing EVERYTHING at once.

2. You still need your workouts


Yes you may get a good workout just schleping boxes to and from cars (bonus calories for stairs!) but fitting an "actual" workout in your busy schedule will work wonders. It's a great stress relief any day - but especially over the course of packing and moving your whole life. It's a mental - and physical - break that lets you recharge. Read my tips for an effective (short) workout!

3. Put trash bags over clothes that are on hangers


I cannot remember where I saw this but I have used this helpful moving hack every time I relocate. If you have clothes that will go from one closet to another - cut a hole in the bottom of a trash bag, put the hangers through the hole, and then pull the trash bag over all your clothes. Ta-da! They travel really well and when you're unpacking you just take the bag off.

4. Sometimes you have Ben & Jerry's froyo for dinner


And more often than not, you finish the whole pint. Hey you gotta clean out the refrigerator and freezer, amiright?! Phish Food for the win.

5. I can't decide if I have a lot of stuff or not


I go back and forth on this. In the days before I had furniture, I used a bean bag and barely had anything. #truth Now, I have a full apartment's worth of furniture along with all my other belongings. I've been telling myself pre-move that I don't actually have that much stuff (aside from heavy furniture even) and moving will be a breeze. Mid-packing I was wondering 'Where did all this come from?!' lol! Anyone else feel this way??

6. A Mini Cooper really doesn't fit a whole lot


Man, I love my car but it's not exactly conducive to moving. Ha! I mean, I knew this but it's pretty comical to me each time I tried to play tetris with my belongings in the "trunk" area. But hey, moving several smaller car loads of stuff is better than nothing, right?? #MiniGirlForLyfe

7. Post move, it's important to #treatyoself


A fresh mani now that you're finally done chipping polish and breaking nails? Treatyoself. Need to cover those extra gray hairs that popped up every time you got stressed about moving? Treatyoself. Craving a massage to relieve lower back pain from the process of filling boxes, packing and unpacking your car? Treatyoself. (Yes, this is me in a nutshell right now.) You - and I - deserve it... heck, even when we aren't going through a move.


Here's to a new chapter in life! ;)


What have you learned from your moving experiences?

8 Healthy Holiday Tips with Le Fit Plan

November 21, 2016

As if sticking to a healthy lifestyle isn't challenging enough - here come the holidays and lots of extra temptation. Just when we're finally in a groove! Simply traveling to visit family can be tough when figuring out meals and workouts, but then once you're home and surrounded by desserts - game over, right?!

Good news #fitfam: it doesn't have to be that way! It's important to take it one day at a time and not beat yourself up over eating a cookie. However, you can make better, more conscious decisions with your long-term goals in mind. My friend and trainer, Lily of Le Fit Plan, and I have put together our top tips for happy healthy holidays - Thanksgiving and year 'round!

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1. Stay hydrated


Water not only quenches our thirst, but since it's a natural appetite suppressant... it reduces hunger. If that's not enough, studies have shown drinking water improves heart health, keeps our kidneys working, and could even help prevent headaches.

2. Don't skip breakfast


Why wouldn't we want to fuel our bodies after a night of sleeping? Eating a breakfast high in fiber will and low in carbs will give you fuel and make you feel less tired during the day. Plus, you won't be starving by lunchtime that you over eat.

3. Party Plan


Make a list of all of your holiday plans ahead of time. If you know you have parties all week at night workout in the morning to stay consistent. Don't use "I'm too busy" as an excuse- make a plan and stick to it.

4. Indulge wisely


Allow yourself treats on the day of a holiday only! We don't gain weight from overeating once or twice. Overeating for weeks at a time between each holiday is where you can do serious damage to your progress.

5. Load up on the veggies


Produce is low in calories and high in fiber - which fills you up faster. And, duh, they're good for you! Fill your plate with mostly vegetables, then add in a smaller portion of other foods such as mashed potatoes and casseroles.

6. Stop eating when you're full


Mindful eating is a great way to cut back on calories we consume, especially for the holidays. But, it can be hard to stop reaching for food our minds tell us we need to eat more. It's okay to indulge but listen to your body and ask yourself if you really need seconds.

7. Stay active


Sweat it out! Gyms are often less than packed during the holidays so why not try out a new group fitness class that you've been eyeing each week to keep your routine fresh and interesting. Or, go for a walk around town with your family!

8. Get Accountable


The holidays are hard for EVERYONE. Partner up with a like-minded friend and help each other stay on track!



For customized fitness & nutrition coaching, check out Le Fit Plan!


Contact Lily at LeFitPlan (at) gmail dot com for more information.

My Style: Fall Flare

November 18, 2016

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JACKET: BB Dakota [similar] // TURTLENECK: Target // JEANS: Gap [similar] //
SCARF: Target [similar] // BOOTIES: Old Navy [similar] //

I love throwing things away: old magazines I hoard (and never even read), unwanted mail, and papers that gather dust - it always makes me feel lighter and super organized. The only time I won't throw anything away is when I do a closet clean out. Instead I either donate or sell items I don't want to keep anymore.

These Gap flare jeans have somehow survived all my closet purges and I am so glad they did since flare denim is getting much more love now. This pair became mine when I worked at Gap about seven years ago. (One of the MANY items I bought before they even hit the store shelves.) They're perfect for my short frame, comfortable and have held up incredibly well after all these years. It's really no surprise though... Gap jeans are worth the price for sure!

PS- this blanket scarf is from the Target dollar spot area so I couldn't find the exact one online - but linked to another one I love. If you do see it in store, BUY IT. It's a full size blanket scarf and it was $5. Fall-la-la-la-la!





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Photos by Rosa

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Shop: Holiday Gift Guide for the Yogi

November 16, 2016

'Tis the season for gift giving and (perhaps) not knowing what to get for the family and friends on your list. Don't worry - I'm here to help! I'll be sharing a couple different gift guides on the blog in the coming weeks, but couldn't help but start with one for the yogi.

I wanted to include a range of items that the yogi on your list would find useful (okay... and cute). Whether he/she is a beginner or more advanced, these items are the perfect addition to a practice. Bonus: you can totally skip the Black Friday lines and shop my gift guide for the yogi from the comfort of your couch!

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A few of my favorites:

Aveda Chakra Balancing Mist Set - I am becoming OBSESSED with learning more about our chakras so when I found this set of body mists to help balance all seven points, I had to include it. Each one is made from authentic fusions of pure essential oils to shift your energy centers. I'm having a hard time not buying this for myself!

Eat. Sleep. Yoga. Tank - I always see so many adorable tanks but they usually include the word coffee somewhere which doesn't appeal to this non-coffee drinker. And then I found this tank. Isn't it just the caaaa-utest?! Not only is it adorable but it pretty much sums up my life in a nutshell, which I'm sure a lot of fellow yogis can relate to as well.

Live Love Namaste Pillow - I wonder if the boyfriend will let me put this on our couch? ;) I'm a sucker for pillows and this is a great daily reminder for all of us!

Bold Yoga Mat Bag - Did you know Rebecca Minkoff designed yoga mat bags?? Me either! When I saw this one, I fell in love. It's bold and bright and adds a fun element to any outfit and yoga practice.

Yoga 365 Book - I recently bought a daily meditation book and this Yoga 365 book is the same idea. It holds a year's worth of daily readings to bring inspirations from the mat to everyday life. Love this idea... especially since we aren't too far away from 2017. (!)


Check back next week for another gift guide! And if there are any specific gift guides you want to see, let me know!


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Shop: Nordstrom Fall Clearance Sale

November 11, 2016

We interrupt the usual Friday My Style posts because #NORDSTROMSALE. This is not a drill.

Between being sick, packing to move at the end of the month, the election, and just life in general, I totally forgot that the Nordstrom fall clearance sale is happening right meow. (And I call myself a fan...)

Anyway, I have come to love Nordstrom a lot more than in previous years. I always assumed I couldn't afford anything from there - especially clothes - but instead discovered there are items at every price point and hello they are CUTE. (Like this cami I now have in 2 colors.)

I have so many favorites right now that are part of the sale, so I am rounding them up in one place for you guys to shop! I'll hop aboard the shopping train too because you know I love a good sale and I need to stock up on cozy sweaters. (Payday was this week, after all.)

Don't wait too long.... the sale only runs through November 13th!

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Hope you all have a great weekend! I'm about to get super stressed busy with moving but I'll still be posting in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned!


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10 Gym Bag Essentials For Fall

November 9, 2016

We've all been there: you get to the gym and prepare to sweat only to realize you forgot your sports bra. Or socks. And you can't exactly wear Hunter Boots to workout when you forget your sneakers.

So, what's a girl to do?

Just like in meal prep, it's important to plan ahead. I always pack my gym bag the night before with fresh workout clothes, socks, and sneakers. (Maybe even a few extra pairs of socks, too.) If I don't have those items, it'll be pretty hard to get a sweat session in and no one wants to waste a trip to the gym.

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I've recently done a fall gym bag cleaning and added some essentials, so I've rounded up my favorites for you below (in addition to leggings, tanks, sports bras, and sneakers of course)!

1. Medicated Chapstick


Guess who had to throw away all her EOS chapstick because it was making her lips crack and peel? *hand raised emoji* I've now made the switch to medicated chapstick and my lips are so much better. I always carry it with me to swipe on - especially this time of year - right before I work out.

2. Gum


Truth: I never chew gum except to work out. I don't know why... it's just one of those things I can't go without so this is always in my bag.

3. Hairbands


My biggest battle is keeping my hairbands IN my gym bag. Usually when I get home from the gym I take my pony tail out and throw the hair tie on the coffee table and before you know it, I have none in my gym bag. Kinda like those pesky bobby pins walking off. The struggle is real.

4. Water bottle


I know you're probably like 'duh' but it's so much easier to have a (cute) water bottle with you for each workout than to keep running to the water fountain in between sets. That does not count as HIIT!

5. Sweat towel


I use my sweat towel for any type of workout, not just yoga. If you follow me on Snapchat (kelllybelllly) you've seen me forget my towel SEVERAL times so I'm dripping sweat and look like a tomato face but now that it stays in my bag... no excuses! (I do wash it regularly, of course.)

6. Earbuds


Right now, I'm currently using my Apple earbuds and have been for years. They work... for now, but I am on the hunt for something better to pump up the music. And not a giant pair of headphones either. If you have any recs, let me know!

7. Face wipes


I covered these a bit in my skincare post, but I recently bought the Yes To brand to try and I love the cucumber ones! They're great to keep on hand to clean my skin after a workout - especially if I have to run errands.

8. Lotion


I am the worst person at putting lotion on but my skin gets so dry if I don't keep up with it. I always keep some sort of lotion in my gym bag for any time I need it.

9. Dry shampoo


I'm still working on the whole 'not washing my hair everyday' thing and I can't go without dry shampoo. It really helps bring your hair back to life after a workout after being in a pony tail and getting sweaty. The Dove brand works great and smells so good!

10. Workout accessories


Let's not forget all the workout accessories out there! You can shop my favorites here - they're all affordable and small enough to keep in your gym bag so you don't have to remember to grab them when you're running out the door.


What do you keep in your gym bag?


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My Style: Happy Feet

November 4, 2016

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TEE: Target [similar] - last seen here // JEANS: Old Navy - last seen here //  
COAT: Old Navy [similar] - last seen here //  
SNEAKERS: Adidas // BACKPACK: Forever 21 [similar] //

Sneakers are no new phenomenon by any means, but I've been seeing them popping up more lately and I don't hate it. Now, they're being paired with dresses and skirts in every length, sequins, suits, and everything in between.... a trend I can easily step into. (Sorry to the heels that are now gathering dust in my closet.)

My sneaker collection is growing - and my feet have never been happier. For a while it was just my trusty Chuck Taylors but now I have my first ever New Balance sneakers and Converse High Tops thanks to the boyfriend. Then I found a pair at Target with stars and fell hard.

But, my new favorite pair is the classic Adidas Superstar sneakers. I've been wanting them for months so I decided to treat myself when they were back in stock and I've already worn them a lot. Here I paired them with a graphic tee and black jeans for a little sporty look that is perfect for a walk around town - but you bet I'll be wearing them in a more dressy look soon.

p.s - I update the Shop With Me page weekly so keep checking back there to see my favorite (affordable) sneakers and other fitness-related items!



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Photos by Rosa

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8 Tips For An Effective (Short) Workout

November 2, 2016

How is it November already?!

I think it's safe to say we have now entered "that time of year" where we begin making plans to see family/friends for the holidays. And maybe throw a vacation in there somewhere. Whether you have to travel 4.5 hours home like me to see family or hop on a plane, one thing's for sure: our workout routine will be disrupted.

Earlier this week I was at the gym after work but due to a waxing appointment, only had time for a 45 minute workout. Man those minutes flew by, but I still got my heart rate up enough to sweat, so I thought it might be helpful if I share how I boost my training efficiency when I know I have a shorter amount of time to work out.

You can definitely implement these tips on a daily basis as well as for the upcoming holiday season, too!

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1. Make the time


When people say they don't have time to workout, they're simply not making it a priority. #truth In my opinion, this is most important - for a short workout or a longer training session. You don't have to spend hours in the gym and if you use these 8 tips, you'll master the shorter (yet effective) workout. If you can't do the same time every day don't stress about it. Just fit a sweat session in when possible. (And it IS possible.) *end rant

2. Sign up for a free gym pass ahead of time


If you know you're flying to California for a week to visit mom and dad, or spending the holiday in a new location, research gyms around the area you'll be staying in. Most places have the option to sign up for a free pass while you're visiting... how awesome is that? I always love a change of gym scenery! And you're still working toward your goals.

3. Perform 4 sets instead of 3


If you're short on time, do 4 sets of each group of exercises to keep the intensity up. No matter what, I also increase the weight I'm using each set which really helps my heart rate increase.

4. No rest between sets


On a "regular" training day, I might rest 30 seconds or less between sets - however if I'm short on time I don't rest at all. I grab the next set of weights and get to it to keep the intensity at its peak. (Plus, if I wait too long I forget what set I'm on... anyone else do this? lol!)

5. HIIT in between sets


HIIT is another way to break a sweat in a short amount of time and multiple studies have proven that short bursts of very intense exercise will burn more fat. (I even added a HIIT session in this workout!) You can also easily do HIIT wherever you're staying, getting in a great workout in just 15 minutes.

6. Circuit Training in between sets


A circuit can be a lot of different things, but it almost always combines cardio with strength training exercises, and involves moving fairly quickly from one movement to the next for maximum calorie expenditure.

Between each set, try a group of jumping jacks, mountain climbers, box jumps, and burpees. I always have fun mixing up the types of workouts in between sets.... the possibilities are endless. Jump roping is another one of my favorites and you can get a weighted rope.

7. Compound Movements


Compound movements work more than one muscle group at a time (squats, lunges, deadlifts, cleans, and bench press to name a few) which isn't a bad thing of course! Each day, I usually end up doing several compound movements but I really focus on them every Friday since starting my new training schedule. Even if you're short on time, you're working all your muscles! #winning

8.  Use workout accessories


Resistance bands, slider discs, a jump rope... there are so many affordable accessories you can buy to really get the most out of any workout. For example: when performing squats, placing bands around your legs will help ensure your legs are under constant tension which will help you see results. Here are some of my favorite workout accessories!


How do you still get a good workout in when you're short on time?