Drop set circuit

Hiiiiii! How’s the day going? Hope you’re having a lovely afternoon.

Liv and lav

(We’re equally obsessed with the lavender growing in the yard. Any ideas for what to do with it? Thinking about bringing some inside to dry and use for blueberry-lavender ice cream. I also love cleaning with lavender oil but is there any way to use it for cleaning/fragrance in plant form? #thingstogoogle)

I loved reading which movies you always watch when they’re on; I know why we’re friends. 😉 I was surprised that Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids weren’t on there; the quotes never end over here haha.

This morning, I had a fun little adventure -I’ll post about it tomorrow, but I tackled a fitness resolution!- and stopped into Starbucks for a tea and to catch up on emails. 


(Mint tea. Still not sure if I like the new Teavana line more than the Tazo. I’m a creature of habit.)

The detox is still going well! One thing I’ve noticed so far: we have done so much better at minimizing food waste. This is excellent because I haaaaate wasting food. Seriously, I die a little inside each time I throw something away that I forgot about and went bad.

Fridge  1 of 1

The foods in our fridge are prepped and ready to use, and since we planned so much in advance, we saved a significant amount of money on food this week. Even if some parts of our life return back to “normal” (=gimme my nightly glass of red) post-detox, I think I’ll continue to plan and prep more extensively. The Pilot and I have also noticed how much energy we have without depending on sugar and caffeine. Even with a shaky few nights of sleep, I’ve felt energized and focused, which has been especially helpful with some recent teaching double-dippers.

IMG 1665

Last night I taught spin + Zumba and it hurt a little get out of bed. It made me laugh that this used to be the standard when we lived in Valdosta. Things change a little over time I guess haha. When I double teach, something that always helps with energy levels: a snack. Lately, I’ve been making a smoothie, or even drinking Shakeology or Daily Burn protein with water, and it’s helped a lot!!

Smoothie  1 of 1 5

So today I have a dumbbell circuit to share featuring one of my favorite training methods: drop sets. Here’s the idea: you start with the first set at a CHALLENGING weight (aka more than you would usually use for that exercise). You perform a smaller amount of reps, and emphasize good form with the heavier weight. (Even though it’s challenging, maintain your posture, breath control and proper alignment.) For the next set, you’ll decrease the weight, and perform a slightly higher amount of reps. For the last set, you’ll do you usual weight and increase the reps. Your normal weight is going to feel extremely challenging! It’s a great way to shake up your strength training routine, especially if you like to perform the same exercises on a consistent basis.

Drop set circuit

Let me know if you give it a whirl!



How often do you strength train each week? Any favorite methods to switch things up? Anything cool I can do with that lavender plant? 😉 

Something to do: Follow up the above strength workout with this killer cardio workout!

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  1. Tamara @ A Side Of Dessert on January 15, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    I can’t believe how warm it is there! Livi looks so adorable and her outfit is killer!

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      i wore a tank top today and cried tears of happiness. thank you! she has good style 🙂

  2. Lizzie @ The Magic Tree on January 15, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I wish I could say that I strength trained more than once per week (sometimes zero). One of my fitness resolutions is to find a more consistent strength routine.

  3. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on January 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I strength train 3-4 times a week. I honestly love doing it more than cardio. My favorite thing to do is a circuit with a spin bike in between sets. Really gets the heart pumping and somehow I feel I’m working a lot harder during the strength session. I’m not sure I’m on board with the Starbucks tea switch either. Jury’s still out…

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2015 at 3:15 pm

      i feel like they messed with a perfectly good thing.
      and totally agree on the cardio mixed with strength!

  4. Christina @ The Beautiful Balance on January 15, 2015 at 3:19 pm

    I love doing drop weights but I always do the opposite. Start with a light weight and increase it to the heaviest. Such a burner, just pinned 🙂

  5. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on January 15, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    I do not have a green thumb at all so I don’t have any suggestions! Liv is adorable in the garden. I like to strength training 4-5 times a week and do small amounts of cardio. Lately the TRX and battling ropes have been favorites of mine.

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      loving the TRX lately too!

  6. Mary Ann on January 15, 2015 at 3:28 pm

    A few fun things I like to do with lavender buds–put them in a trivet you make with fabric and batting/insulbrite (when you set a hot pan on them they smell great!), add to a neck roll (one you sew, or a sock) with rice, heat up in microwave and place on your neck when it’s sore. Make sachets for your clothing drawers by putting them into a small bag or sewing up two small squares of fabric and filling with the buds.

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      i love those ideas! thank you!!

  7. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on January 15, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Gina! Drop sets are the best. I like this workout a lot and will give it a try. Speaking of teaching, I taught a double-header of BODYATTACK and BODYPUMP last night and the mic went out halfway through my first class. So not only is my body sore today, but also my voice. It happens though. Arg! I have to teach another BODYPUMP in a few hours too. Wish me luck!

    • Fitnessista on January 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      ahhh that’s the worst! i’ve ran out of a spin class to grab a new battery before. now i keep an extra closely at all times; i’m a mouse without the mic. how do you teach bodypump two days in a row? do you just go lighter one day? i would die hahah

      • Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on January 15, 2015 at 3:39 pm

        I usually don’t teach BP two days in-a-row, but I have to this week because I’m filling in as a sub. And yes, I always have extra batteries with me too, but the entire microphone cord/system went out last night – not just the battery, so even that didn’t help. I will probably go lighter in my weight for a few songs tonight for sure. It’s rough!

  8. masala girl on January 15, 2015 at 3:36 pm

    ah I’ve always heard of drop sets as a part of a circuit but never a circuit of only drop sets, so THANK YOU for completely explaining what they are! I like to strength train 3+ times a week, LOVE super sets, but have only been doing it about 2 times :/

    • masala girl on January 15, 2015 at 4:55 pm

      woo done in 20 min! adjusted a bit with weights I had at home but good!

  9. Britt@MyOwnBalance on January 15, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    I hate wasting food too! The problem is that I love trying new recipes and I’m terrible at finding recipes that have the same ingredients so I’m always buying things and then throwing them out.

  10. Les @ The Balanced Berry on January 15, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    i love that workout top in your photo! Super cute. Anywho, I usually strength train 3-4 days per week (it’s my fave). I loveeee using drop sets so I will definitely give this workout a try!

  11. clare @ fitting it all in on January 15, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    I was so worried about the new Teavana teas, but was pleasantly surprised with the mint! I haven’t tried the rest.

  12. Kristen on January 15, 2015 at 4:47 pm

    Lavender and lemon is one of my favorite combos. Have you tried the lavender honey yogi tea? The skin detox (rose and hibiscus) is amazing too if you love floral tasting teas.

    Should you do all the exercises in a row, then repeat it all w the heavier weight… Or do, say, 3 sets of bicep curls in a row with ascending weights, then move onto 3 sets of the next exercise? Looking forward to trying this out next time I weight train!

    PS – your dirty 30 has become one of my go to snowday workouts!

  13. Kim on January 15, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Totally off topic, but I’ve seen numerous blogs today talking about your book. Is it available for purchase yet and, if so, where can I get it???

    • masala girl on January 15, 2015 at 7:56 pm

      look back a few posts ago, it came out a week ish ago I think 🙂 she links to other blogs doing reviews and places to buy it!

  14. Heather @ Housewife Glamour on January 15, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    Love your gym outfit! So cute. I’ve been loving strength training lately. After a long hiatus from weights, working at the gym has really gotten be back into the (kettle bell) swing of things. I really enjoy lifting things these days. This workout looks great!

  15. Erin on January 15, 2015 at 6:24 pm

    I like to strength train 3 days a week for arms and 2 for barre. I like to switch it up with TRX and kettlebells. I like to Pinterest new weight ideas.

  16. RachelG on January 15, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    I really like the fancy schmancy teavana mint tea! the chai is OK…tazo might have been better but i usually get it in a misto with milk and a years worth of cinnamon and nutmeg so i still like it. 🙂

  17. Elle on January 15, 2015 at 7:17 pm
  18. Christy L. on January 15, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    When I was pregnant and in the hospital on bedrest, a friend made lavender cookies for me. I have no idea what the recipe was, and I was totally skeptical, but they were really nice.

  19. Ali on January 15, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    I LOVE the lavender tea lemonade at *Native Foods*. I don’t always get it though because I’m sure it’s got a fair amount of sugar. I’m sure with a few tweaks you’d whip something up sanz a ton of sugar and it would be divine!!!!! Could be great use for your lavender? And what kiddo doesn’t love lemonade 🙂

  20. Lynora on January 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm

    We just bought a lavender blueberry jam, it sounds weird but it’s amazing. We’ve been eating it with a bit of sharp cheese and the combo is amazing!

    Also, love the book! I finished it this week and I have about 50 flags marking pages I need to refer back to as I move forward. It’s fantastic.

  21. Anna on January 15, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    This is a great circuit! Thanks for sharing! I totally get what you mean about double teaching, I’ve started teaching more hours myself and I’m feeling the burn!

  22. Kaelene @ Unlocking Kiki on January 16, 2015 at 2:42 am

    I love your purple keyboard!

  23. Gillian on January 16, 2015 at 3:16 am

    lately I’ve been strength training 4-5 times a week in crossfit, getting stronger and LOVING it. the biggest issue has been making sure I’m getting enough protein in my diet.. as long as I keep myself from being too hungry, I’m happy!

    try using the lavender to make little sachets to put in drawers… its such a treat opening up the inevitable ‘drawer full of crap’ that every house has and having the lovely smell of lavender come out!

  24. Cara's Healthy Cravings on January 16, 2015 at 4:14 am

    How about making some lavender sugar hand/ body scrub?

  25. Krista on January 16, 2015 at 6:14 am

    My Mom always put dried lavender into little sachet baggies then popped them in our underwear drawer. LOL She still brings them over every now and again. 😉

  26. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on January 16, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Ah, yes, can’t believe I forgot Bridesmaids! That would be #3 behind my #2, Sex and the City the movie (first one). But Bridget Jones is still my #1. 🙂
    Thanks for the drop sets idea! I’ve been needing to mix it up in the strength department! Pinning so I can take a screen shot on my phone later and then use at the gym!

  27. Livi @ Eat, pray, Work It Out on January 16, 2015 at 7:21 am

    drop sets are awesome! they killlllll my muscles!

  28. JoHannah on January 16, 2015 at 8:55 am

    When I was young, we had a lavender bush in my yard. I remember making “smell goods” to place in our drawers with my mom. There were similar to the ones in the video below!


  29. Emma @ em-poweredwellness on January 16, 2015 at 9:00 am

    Drop sets are my favorite! I’m usually not good about resting between sets, and these are such a great way to get a killer workout in a short amount of time 🙂

  30. Gianna @ Run, Lift, Repeat on January 16, 2015 at 9:10 am

    I love doing drop sets did a circuit this morning!

    Also love Livi’s hair – she is just too precious.

  31. mary on January 16, 2015 at 9:12 am

    Ooh, a new Vitamix! Do you like the S-series?

  32. Laura biddle on January 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Lavendar Tincture.
    Easy peasy and so useful to have on hand!

    • Fitnessista on January 17, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      awesome- thank you!

  33. Molly@This Life Is Sparkling on January 17, 2015 at 10:14 am

    i love your hair in that pic! i’m usually a cardio queen but am trying to up my strength training and do a little less cardio. currently reading your book to get some ideas!

    • Fitnessista on January 17, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      thank you so much!

  34. Kristen on January 17, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Agree about the Teavana …. I was sad when trying to order a tea latte & none of the Teavana options seem to sound like they would be any good as a tea latte.

  35. Annie B on January 18, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    I tried the drop sets this morning after a 30 min HIIT It! treadmill workout- killer! Awesome combo, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on January 18, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      boom!! so awesome!

  36. Charlsie N on May 6, 2016 at 4:25 am

    I wanted to stop by and say that I did this workout last night and thought it was great!!! I can already tell that it was a great workout last night.

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