Squatember Workout Challenge

Hi friends! Happy almost-Friday and Happy September! Our month is already off to a great start because we’re hitting the road to Tucson to hang out with the fam before Liv heads back to preschool next week. I’ve loved having her home during the day (she did some fun day and half-day camps throughout the summer but also had weeks just at home) but she’s excited to be back with her friends. She tells me that she misses her best friend every day. Pray for our 7 hours in the car. I have no clue how this is going to go.

This weekend, we’ll be swimming in my dad’s pool, swimming in Mexican food, and enjoying time with everyone + Meg’s cutest baby bump. I can’t wait.


So how about a little September workout challenge? For the past few months, I’ve really been focusing on building strength and sculpting my legs. Most of us know that the key to defy booty gravity and build lean legs is squats and lunges, but how about adding some heavy weight, cardio intervals, and changing up the exercises?

Here’s a little Squatember workout I put together that I’ll be doing at least once a week (maybe twice depending on the new PBB workouts I’m testing) throughout the fall. 

Squatember workout challenge

Will you join me?

(As always, check with a doc before making any fitness changes. Honor your body and modify as needed.)


Here’s the workout:

Warm up, 5-7 minutes, cardio of choice. You can do this briskly walking, jogging, on the Stairclimber, spin bike, rowing machine, anything to warm up those legs and elevate your heart rate. 


4 sets of 10 heavy squats: use either a barbell or pair of dumbbells. If you need to, warm up with a light set before adding in your weight. Your goal is to really be struggling to finish the last rep of each set.

30 seconds squat jumps: make sure to land with soft knees and exhale to spring up. If you’re pregnant or want to keep it low impact, eliminate the jump. Try quick bodyweight squats instead. 

Superset (3 rounds):

Single leg lunges x 10 each: you can place your back leg on a stability ball, bench, or TRX strap. Watch your front knee to make sure it doesn’t extend past your front toes and keep your torso upright. 

Walking lunges x 10 each: make sure to set up your lunge before you sink down. Take a big step, and watch your front knee. Option to hold a kettlebell or pair of dumbbells. 

30 seconds jumping lunges: land with bent knees and exhale to switch sides. If you’d like to keep it low-impact, do stationary lunges on one side for 15 seconds and switch to the opposite side. 

Circuit (x3 rounds):

BOSU hip raises (heavy plate on hips) x 15: for this one, your head and shoulders are on the BOSU and your hips are on the floor. Bend your knees to plant your feet on the floor. As you exhale, squeeze your glutes and lift your hips. This is a great pregnancy exercise if you skip the heavy plate (bodyweight only) and if you’re comfortable getting up and down from the floor. If you’re uncomfortable getting up and down, do some light deadlifts instead, taking a wider stance to make room for your baby belly. 🙂 

Weighted step-ups (10 each): complete your step-ups on one side before switching to the other side. Hold weights only if you want an additional challenge. To take it to the next level, as you step up, bend your knee up to a balance before stepping down. 

30 seconds kettlebell swings: make sure that this movement is coming from your GLUTES, not your arms. The kettlebell (or dumbbell) should stop at chest height, and every time that swings up, it’s an exhale. For more tips, check out this video. 

Every time you complete this workout, be sure to leave a comment below or tag me in your IG pics (@fitnessista #squatember)

You never know when I’ll do a sneaky giveaway. 😉 Speaking of sneaky giveaways, congrats to the winner of yesterday’s, who will be getting a charcoal mask: Casey! (Check your email later this am to claim your prize!)

Are you joining in the fun? Our booties say thank you in advance. 



PS. the Pilot and I did a Facebook Live post in partnership with Blue Apron if you’d like to check it out! it includes a discount code for 3 free meals if you’ve been wanting to try it out.

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  1. Kelli @ Hungry Hobby on September 1, 2016 at 7:11 am

    This looks killer, just the first set of squat jumps after heavy squats, I’m terrified and excited at the same time!

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2016 at 9:16 am

      that is the deadliest combo ever hahah

  2. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on September 1, 2016 at 7:29 am

    Squatember! Love it! You’re like the queen of fitnessizing the names of things. I will be working on squats after my hip replacement at the end of the month. Sob, sob. How can this really be happening to me?

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2016 at 9:15 am

      thinking of you, friend. i’ll be sending you healing vibes that you’ll feel so much better when all of this is over.

  3. Marybeth on September 1, 2016 at 7:49 am

    This workout looks awesome and I can’t wait to try it, but could you explain the order of things? Kinda confused by the “alternate, superset, circuit” lingo …. What’s the “correct” way to complete everything?

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2016 at 9:15 am

      of course!
      so it’s set up in blocks:
      first you’ll do 4 sets, alternating between squats and squat jumps (40 squats total)
      then you move onto the next block. go through single lunges, walking lunges and jumping lunges, 3x.
      then onto the next block: hip raises, step ups, and swings (go through that 3x)
      hope that makes sense!

      • Jennifer on September 7, 2016 at 10:15 am

        Thanks for clarifying! About to take this on

  4. Jessica @ Semi-Sweet Tooth on September 1, 2016 at 7:57 am

    I saw your email about this and I am PUMPED to try it out! It’s been a dog’s age since I’ve done these moves all right in a line and focused purely on my booty. I’m certain I’ll be feeling this one afterwards!

    Can’t wait to give this one a try!
    XO, Jessica

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2016 at 9:13 am

      yay, can’t wait to hear how you like it 🙂

  5. Maryz on September 1, 2016 at 8:29 am

    YES! This looks fantastic! I’m always trying to up my leg game.

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2016 at 9:13 am

      let me know what you think!

  6. Heather on September 1, 2016 at 8:49 am

    So by the end we will have done 120 heavy squats?? That seems like too many for using heavy weight. Agree? Disagree? Did I misread something?

    • Fitnessista on September 1, 2016 at 9:09 am

      the entire workout is not a circuit. it’s more like strength blocks.
      so you do 4 sets, alternating between squats and squat jumps (40 squats total)
      then you move onto the next block. go through single lunges, walking lunges and jumping lunges, 3x. then onto the next block
      hope that makes sense!

  7. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on September 1, 2016 at 9:00 am

    Have a great time in AZ. Hope the 7 hour trip goes well.

  8. Catherine on September 1, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for including pregnancy modifications! Cant wait to try this workout this evening (and also can’t wait for PBB advanced!) My goal, which this workout looks like will definitely help me to accomplish, is to be sore all weekend

  9. Jessica on September 1, 2016 at 5:19 pm

    Wow! I’m a bit scared. I’m not sure I can do all this! But I really appreciate all the effort you have put into creating this challenge. I’m sure my legs need it!
    Tried to catch you and the Pilot last night – went to FB at the right time and could’nt locate you? I’m sure I was doing something wrong – next time I’ll join in for sure.

    Hope your drive is smooth and safe and your weekend is wonderful. I could use some Mexican food myself. 🙂

  10. DeNae on September 1, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I am interested in participating, but I do not have a BOSU ball or kettlebells. Do you have any recommendations on variations? Thanks.

    • Fitnessista on September 2, 2016 at 11:10 am

      yes! you can do the hip raises on a bench with your shoulders on the bench and your hips down :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp6zxmJjhnU
      for the swing, you can hold a heavy dumbbell instead

  11. Erika S. on September 1, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    Love this post…and I desperately need to focus on the lower half!

    Omgosh…I didn’t know about your FB Live session until last minute and I think it was over. I watched the video and nearly died…you and Tom were hilarious (and adorable). I struggle with technology too…it seems like EVERY time I have to facilitate a training session at work, something always goes wrong with the laptop, projector, phone lines etc…hahahaha!

    We really need to live closer to each other..!

  12. Jessie R on September 1, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Squats and lunges, ouch! My squat form always needs help, so basic, yet so difficult. Thanks for the great workout!

  13. Kayla on September 2, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I did this workout today – it was a good one! My booty will be feeling it tomorrow!!

  14. Emily on September 2, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Did this workout early this am and already starting to feel it!

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2016 at 9:33 pm

      yes! great job!

  15. Amie on September 2, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    I did this workout yesterday. Every muscle in my booty is sore today. I mean, it even hurts to sit on it. Crazy, killer booty workout! Leave it to Gina!

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2016 at 9:31 pm

      yay, so glad you got a great workout! i did it yesterday. OOF

  16. Kaitlin on September 3, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Did the workout. Ouch.

    • Fitnessista on September 3, 2016 at 9:30 pm

      good ouch? 😉

      • Kaitlin on September 4, 2016 at 5:34 am

        For the most part. Sore this morning, but it’s worth it to feel stronger.

  17. Lisa on September 4, 2016 at 5:14 am

    On my last set of this workout right now and I am drenched! Taking a longer break too, just to catch my breath 🙂 Great leg workout! I prefer lifting heavy and love workouts like this that also incorporate some plyo. Would love some more! Thanks for this one!

    • Fitnessista on September 5, 2016 at 11:25 pm

      yesssss! so happy you liked it!

  18. Alicia on September 4, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I am joining you and I am going to try to get the members of my boot camp class to join too. I did this last year with my classes and it was tough but a blast. I love your fitness ideas!

  19. Alissa on September 5, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Holy cow, that one burned pretty good. 🙂

  20. Stephanie on September 6, 2016 at 10:46 am

    I did this workout. It was good! I was a little confused by the picture at 1st though. It says alternate (3 rounds) 4 sets of 10 heavy squats. I didn’t know if we were supposed to do 3 rounds of 4 sets. I just did the 4 sets.

    • Fitnessista on September 6, 2016 at 10:46 am

      yes it’s just 4 sets- i realized when i did the workout today again that i need to fix that!

  21. Jennifer on September 7, 2016 at 11:11 am


  22. Charlotte on September 7, 2016 at 11:22 am

    Ah this killed me!!

  23. melodie on September 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Just completed squatember. Awesome workout. Thanks!

  24. Heather on September 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Did the workout! I was nervous since I have not used barbells, kettleballs, or a BOSU. Did it all, yay! Got a good sweat and rode the happy endorphins all day. Thanks for a great workout.

    • Fitnessista on September 12, 2016 at 11:09 pm

      yay, that is awesome!!

  25. Abby on September 12, 2016 at 3:01 pm


    I didn’t read the comments and did 4x 10 heavy squats EACH round with 25 lbs. I was like, there is no way I’m doing 30 secs of squat jumps after each, so I just did 20 air squats. I had to modify the whole rest of the workout cause my legs were already toast haha. Still a fun one because I took lots and lots of rest.

    • Abby on September 12, 2016 at 3:05 pm

      *I was following via a saved version of this in my Feedly, so it hadn’t been updated yet. 😉

      • Fitnessista on September 12, 2016 at 11:05 pm


        that is intense! glad you took lots of rest <3

  26. Jennifer on September 14, 2016 at 11:16 am

    Week 2 done!

    • Fitnessista on September 14, 2016 at 9:32 pm

      yes! great job!!

  27. masala girl on September 18, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    for the bosu hip raises, is our back on the rounded/cushy side or the flat bottom?

    • Fitnessista on September 18, 2016 at 10:01 pm

      cushy 🙂

  28. Jennifer on September 21, 2016 at 10:56 am

    Week 3 finished! Definitely seeing gains!

    • Fitnessista on September 22, 2016 at 10:23 pm

      so happy to hear! great job <3

  29. Jennifer Lattin on September 25, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    holy smokes! this a tough workout! Love it. I did 75-85 lbs for squats, 35 lbs doe single leg lunges, 17.5 lbs for walking lunges, 25 lbs for hip raises, 15 lbs for step ups, and 20 lbs for kettlebell swings. trying to up my strength training and this fit the bill. i think i will be feeling this tomorrow :). thank you!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      get it, girl! that is awesome!!

  30. Jennifer on September 28, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Another week done! Onto hills!

    • Fitnessista on September 28, 2016 at 11:07 pm


  31. Heather on September 30, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Completed my final Squatember yesterday and decided to kick it up a notch with heavier weights. Holy Hiney, am I feeling it today! Awesomness…I think! 😉

    • Fitnessista on October 3, 2016 at 10:36 am

      wahoo! that is awesome!

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