Summer Shape Up 2013: Intro post


Welcome to Summer Shape Up 2013! I’m so excited that you’re joining in the party -there are at least 3500 of you!- and that you’re committed to making some healthy changes during this season. Thank you so much for letting me be your cheerleader along the way. Now let me find those pink sparkly pom-pons…. πŸ˜‰

For the next four weeks, here’s what you can expect on this page:

SSU 2013

This post will serve as “the hub” for EVERYTHING SSU 2013 related. Bookmark it, pin it, make it your homepage, do whatever you need to do to make all of the info accessible to you <3 For even more fun, spread the word with friends and make it a group challenge!

For the next four weeks, I’ll update this page with weekly fitness plans and meal ideas. Please keep in mind that these are general recommendations, based on healthy (injury-free), gym-going girls, experienced with basic strength training form and a baseline cardio program. Nothing I post should substitute doctors’ recommendations, and always check with a doc before making any fitness or nutrition changes. If something doesn’t feel right, DON’T do it! You know your body best.

Summer Shape Up is NOT about weight loss. It’s about decreasing body fat (adding lean muscle), feeling more energized and changing up your current routine. Even though the scale could go up during the next four weeks, you could technically “shrink” and weigh more. Muscle is more dense than fat. If anything, focus on how you FEEL! I hope that my ideas will help you find some new strength moves you love (or love to hate?) and develop the best fitness program for you.

What you’ll need:

-A huge water bottle (fill with H20 and keep with you at all times)

-A notebook (to track your water intake, workouts and meals for each day. If you have an online method you prefer, you can use that instead. I love the My Fitness Pal app)

-Access to cardio of choice whether it’s through classes, running outdoors, or an at-home cardio machine

-Set of dumbbells

-Stability ball

-Jump rope

-Sturdy chair or bench

If you’re able to get your body fat checked at the beginning of the challenge, I highly recommend it. Many gyms offer body fat calculations at a low cost, or if you have a trainer friend, ask them to pinch you with some calipers. If you’re military, many bases offer bod pod body fat testing for FREE- check it out!

If you’re not able to test your body fat, take some basic measurements and jot them down in your Summer Shape Up notebook:

-Calves (max circumference)

-Thighs (10 inches above the patella)

-Hips (keep feet together and measure the widest part across the middle of your booty)

-Stomach (the widest part of your stomach)

-Waist (the narrowest part of your waist)



And snap a few pictures facing forwards, sideways, and to the back, wearing a swimsuit or sports bra and tight-fitting shorts. This way, you’ll have a clear method to track your progress over the four weeks. Check your measurements again halfway through the challenge and again at the end.Β 

Prep for SUCCESS!

Plan and prep  1 of 1

Before each week begins, take a second to jot down your goals for the week. Grocery shop for staple foods, making sure to emphasize clean, whole choices.

Here are some staples I always have on hand:

Bread and grains (whole-grain, brown rice tortillas, quinoa, brown rice)

Eggs (2 dozen)

Salad supplies (greens, fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, balsamic vinegar, fresh herbs, protein)

Protein (chicken, fish and tempeh)

Fruits (berries and bananas are my fave!)

Nuts, nut butter and seeds (we always have almonds and chia seeds on hand)

Milk (whatever milk you love. We enjoy almond milk)

Green veggies

Frozen berries and veggies (for smoothies or quick stir fries)

Healthy treats/ snacks (I love TJ’s hummus, edamame crackers and dark chocolate bars)

Remember to “EAT LIKE A PRO” throughout the challenge, making sure that each meal/snack has a protein and produce component.

Prep as many clean eats as you can in advance and put your workout calendar in an easily visible spot. This way you’ll be more likely to stick to your goals.Β 


Here are the links for all of your workouts and meal ideas for the next four weeks:

(all password protected. The password is in your newsletter and will change for each week. After the challenge, I’ll remove the passwords)

Week 1 Workout and Meal Ideas


Cardio guidelines:

HIIT (20 min): Alternate easy periods of cardio with extremely hard cardio intervals. For workout 1 HIIT, try to do 45 seconds easy, 45 seconds HARD for the 20 minutes

Steady state: Pick a steady pace that’s challenge but one you can maintain for the entire duration. You can also take a spin class or another cardio class instead

Hill challenge: Pick a steady pace and aim to maintain your pace as you increase the resistance every 30 seconds. When you hit you max, hold it for 1 minute, lower incline back down to 4.0% and start again until the 20 minutes have passed. Avoid holding onto the hand rails (you’ll burn 30% LESS calories), and if you need to slightly decrease your speed to allow the higher incline, that’s ok

Steady state tempo blast: For the last 5 minutes of your steady state workout, increase your speed. Make it HARD and keep it for the last 5 minutes. You can do it!

HIIT (25 min): Do 1 minute easy, 1 minute hard for the 25 minutes

Week 2 Workout and Meal Ideas


Steady state:Β Pick a steady pace that’s challenge but one you can maintain for the entire duration. You can also take a spin class or another cardio class instead

HIIT and steady:Β Warm up for 5 minutes and then start your HIIT training (20 minutes), alternating between 30 seconds HARD and 30 seconds easy. Follow your HIIT with super easy (50% max heart rate) steady state.

HIIT (20 min): 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds hard for 20 minutes.

Cardio wild card: Take your favorite cardio class or do a fun DVD. Your choice!

Week 3 Workout and Meal Ideas



Speed surge: go for 20 minutes starting at a moderate pace. Every 5 minutes, increase your speed. You should be sprinting to the finish line!

Scenic steady state: Take it outside for 30-45 min

Leg burner: Try this barre burner!

HIIT:Β HARD for 45 seconds, easy for 45 seconds, repeating for 25 minutes

Week 4 Workout and Meal Ideas


HIIT Challenge:Β Try to do 1 minute easy, 1 minute hard for the entire 30 minutes.

Flexibility:Β Yoga or a lovely stretch sesh

Speedy hills: Start with a steady pace and incline at 2.5 %. For 30 second rounds, increase your speed and incline to run up the hill. Recover for 1 minute before repeating.

Last, but not least, make sure to check in each day with your workouts and clean eats! I want to be drowning in #summershapeup tweets, Instagram pics and comments, mmm k?? Each morning, I’ll put the call out in the am blog post for you to leave a comment with your workout. Be sure to check in often, because you never know when I’ll have a random giveaway πŸ˜‰

Speaking of giveaways, we have lots of those to come, too!

Thank you again for participating this year! Let’s make it the BEST one yet πŸ™‚



Are you joining in the fun?! Set yourself up for success by planning and prepping today. Tweet me a pic of your grocery haul or leave a comment with this week’s meal plan. I’d love to hear what you’re cooking this week!

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  1. Sign me up please!

  2. Looks great! Count me in : )

  3. Colleen says:

    6:30AM, Week 2 day 1 complete! The pike/push up sets just about killed me. I would definitely not be so motivated to wake up early if it weren’t for your awesome workouts. SSU is just what I needed to get motivated and change up my routine!

  4. Week 2 workout is done! I felt a bit awkward with the first 2 moves, not sure if I was doing them right.

  5. Can you sign me up please

  6. Can you also sign me up, or is it too late.


  7. Can you also sign me up, or is it too late.


  8. Can you also sign me up, or is it too late.


  9. Can you also sign me up, or is it too late.


  10. Can I sign up for this? Just found your website and I would love to be part if this!

  11. Can I sign up for this? Just found your website and I would love to be part if this!

  12. Can I sign up for this? Just found your website and I would love to be part if this!

  13. Can I sign up for this? Just found your website and I would love to be part if this!

  14. Hi Gina, can I still sign up!?

  15. checking in…workout 2: complete, and left me a hot, sweaty mess!

    • forgot to mention that I didn’t use a stability ball, but made it all the way through Z for the abc abs!

      I did lower case letters, but think I’ll do upper case next time. πŸ˜‰

  16. Sign me up please πŸ™‚

  17. I hope it’s not too late to start this! This is just what I need πŸ™‚

  18. I’d love to start!

  19. I can’t wait to get started!

  20. Very exciting, can’t wait to dive in!

  21. Laura Cortes says:

    oooh this sounds like fun! Please add me to the plan πŸ™‚

  22. Sounds like summer sweaty fun! Sign me up please πŸ™‚

  23. I just saw a link to your summer shape up on Peanut Butter Fingers can I still get signed up?

  24. How do we get added?

  25. Can’t wait to get started!

  26. I’d like to sign up please!

  27. Can u please sign me up!! πŸ™‚

  28. Missy Dieli says:

    Sign me up. Psyched!

  29. Just wanted to sign up for your newsletter. Great blog!!

  30. Haha, I’m a week behind–where does the time go? Workouts look awesome though, starting today. πŸ™‚

  31. This is just the motivation I needed! Thanks

  32. Courtney says:

    Would love to get started!

  33. I’d love to sign up for this

  34. Tiffanie Northrup-Robinson says:

    I would love to join!

  35. I want to sign up!

  36. Nana Heidler says:

    Would definitely like to join.

  37. Completed week one plus week 2 day 1…love it!!

  38. checking in – workout 2 is complete! πŸ™‚

  39. Brianna says:

    I would like to sign up πŸ™‚

  40. Check in time! Completed week 2 day 1! And I prepped food for the week on Sunday. I always say I’m going to do this, but it usually doesn’t happen…feeling READY for the week!

  41. Please sign me up! Thanks!

  42. Corina K says:

    woohooo workout 2 was SWEATY! It felt so good though πŸ˜‰

  43. Heather says:

    Holy Abs! Workout 2 done! πŸ™‚

  44. Killer workout #2!!!

  45. Lindsay McElwain says:

    I love this!

  46. Angela Odowd says:

    Sign me up please. Got the link from peanut butter fingers

  47. I would love to join if it isn’t too late!

  48. Newsletter!

  49. Sign me up, please!

  50. Hi please can I sign up, found your blod through Pearnut Butter Fingers. Thanks πŸ™‚

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