Summer Shape Up 2011

Itโ€™s finally here: 3rd year of Summer Shape Up!! ๐Ÿ˜€ Iโ€™m really excited about this one and hope youโ€™ll join in the fun ๐Ÿ™‚ Summer is a great time to shake up your workout routine and find extra motivation to fuel your body the best way possible. Little changes add up and can make a huge difference — not only in how we look, but most importantly, how we FEEL <3 Feeling good, energized and healthy is #1.

So, how does it work?

-For the next 4 weeks, Iโ€™ll post a sample grocery list along with meal ideas that can be created based on this list.

-Along with the grocery list will be a weekly workout plan, featuring a weights workout, cardio components and flexibility training suggestions

-Keep track of your progress, cheer each other on (in the comments section and on Twitter: #summershapeup) and have fun! <3

summer shape up

Think of this as a chance to spice up your workout routine and clean up your eats, if you would like. This is by no means a โ€œchallengeโ€ and I donโ€™t want any of yaโ€™ll to feel pressured to participate. Just look here for info purposes and motivation (healthy eats and exercise is a GOOD thing and we can root for each other!) if youโ€™d like to join. Just imagine your favorite gym is offering 24-7 fitness classes for the next 4 weeks and you can jump in whenever youโ€™d like.

Disclaimer: As always, please alter the workouts and eating plan to suit your personal needs and preferences. Check with a doctor before making any fitness or nutrition changes.


The Eats!

Grains and breads:

-Brown rice


-brown rice farina


-1 type of pasta: I love mung bean fettuccini and black bean spaghetti the best, but whole-grain or 100% whole wheat is fab too

-whole grain bread of choice (or brown rice bread) + one โ€œfunโ€ bread (like whole wheat wraps, 100% whole grain pitas, brown rice tortillas, gluten-free or whole wheat English muffins or gluten-free or whole-grain bagels)


-organic butter or ghee

-organic eggs

-goat cheese

-goat cream cheese

-milk of choice (organic 1% or skim, coconut milk, almond milk, hemp milk, oat milk)


-frozen Wild-caught salmon (fresh is better, but since I live in Arizona, frozen is the same thing as the โ€œfreshโ€ stuff at the deli)

-frozen organic chicken breasts

-canned albacore tuna

-Deli meat or tofu is a great option, but there more occasional treats

Beans/legumes and canned food

-organic chickpeas

-organic kidney beans

-organic lentils

-raw cashews

-diced tomatoes

-pasta sauce

-artichoke hearts

-kalamata olives

-sundried tomatoes

-tomato paste

-tomato sauce


-Almond butter

-Dijon mustard

-One salad dressing (Goddess dressing and balsamic are my faves)


-Nama Shoyu or Tamari

Produce (all organic)

-salad greens- I switch it up every week. If I got romaine last week, Iโ€™ll get spinach this week, arugula the next and so on

-green apples

-grape tomatoes

-bell peppers

-baby carrots



-zucchini, squash, asparagus or eggplant- whatever looks fresh and in season


-berries (fresh and frozen for smoothies)

-baby bananas- I pick the smallest ones, since a large banana is usually two servings


-Seaweed snacks

-Dark chocolate


-Extra virgin olive oil

-Coconut oil

-Sun Warrior protein powder

-Decaf espresso powder

-cacao powder


-Almond milk, or milk of choice

Meal ideas:

(Check out the *food* page for recipes)


-Breakfast cookie dough cereal

-Breakfast cookie

-Egg white burrito with cream cheese and salsa

-2 slices of toast with 1/2 sliced banana and 1 T almond butter, cinnamon

-Mocha Berry Smoothie (1 C almond milk, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2-1 T cacao powder, 1 t espresso powder, 1/2 C frozen organic berries)

-Perfect protein pancakes

-Omelet with 1 egg, 2 egg whites, cheese, veggies and salad


-Baked pizza: top a brown-rice or whole-grain tortilla with pasta sauce, veggies of choice, 1 serving of cheese and bake in the oven 10 min, or until crispy. Serve with salad

-Broccoli slaw with spicy almond butter sauce and chickpeas

-Quiche with vegetables

-Salad beast

-Turkey or tofu wrap, fresh berries

-Sweet potato with goat cheese and chives, salad

-Greenacolada smoothie


-Hummus and cruditรฉs

-1 banana with 1 T almond butter

-1 serving tortilla chips (homemade or store-bought with salsa)


-Pack of seaweed snacks + small smoothie (1 C almond milk + 1 scoop protein powder, ice)

-Fruit bowl with fresh chopped fruit of choice


-Mung bean pasta with wilted arugula, pasta sauce, roasted veggies

-Baked salmon with lemon and garlic, baked sweet potato and salad

-Snobby Joes on bread of choice, or atop greens

-Quinoa with roasted veggies, chickpeas, seasoned with lemon juice and thyme, and topped with salad dressing of choice

-Salad beast- make sure to have a quality source of protein in there

Eating goals:

-Protein with every meal/snack

-8 glasses of water (at least!)

-Lots of fruits and veggies

-Whole foods, the way nature made them, not man

-Enough sufficient fuel to support activity levels and flourish

work it out

The workout plan:

Each Monday, Iโ€™ll post a sample workout plan to follow if youโ€™d like. As the weeks go on, the main workout will be more challenging and the order will change- Sunday is always active rest day ๐Ÿ™‚

Hereโ€™s the first week:


Workout #1:

This workout is meant to be completed circuit style, by doing all of the moves in the circuit without rest in between each exercise. After completing each exercise once, rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute, and repeat the entire circuit again 1-2 more times for a total of 2-3 times. The cardio blast in between each circuit is optional and meant to be done once to get your heart rate up in between circuits. As far as weights go, choose a weight that is challenging for you without being too much- if you can easily do more than 15 reps with a certain weight, time to bump it up.

Circuit 1 (Repeat 2-3 times total)

Stability ball hamstring curl (12-15 reps)

Stability ball overhead pass (10-12 reps)

Stability ball back extension (10-12 reps)

CARDIO BLAST: 1 minute of burpees

Circuit 2 (Repeat 2-3 times total)

Bench push-up– with hands on the bench or feet on the bench (12-15 reps)

Bench split squat <โ€”take a larger step than the guy in the video; you want to make sure your front knee doesnโ€™t go past your toes โ€“if these are too challenging, regular lunges are great (10-12 on each side; hold weights to make it more challenging)

Bench tricep dip (12-15 reps; bent legs is easier, straight legs is more challenging)

CARDIO BLAST: 1 minute of mountain climbers

Circuit 3: (Repeat 2-3 times total)

Assisted pull-ups (12-15; at home? Try lat pulldowns with a resistance band)

Lateral raises (12-15)

Bicep curl plie squat combo (12-15)

CARDIO BLAST: I minute of squat jumps

Ab burner (1 time through- thatโ€™s it!)

-50 sit ups

-50 crunches

-25 reverse crunches

-25 bicycle crunches

This weekโ€™s other workouts

-For cardio, itโ€™s your choice. The HIIT options, hills and steady state are there as options but feel free to switch it up as you like. My favorite HIIT intervals are 1 min 30 seconds easy, 30 seconds balls to the wall (sprinting, elliptical or bike), and you donโ€™t need to do HIIT for more than 20 minutes total. Make sure to include a warm-up and cool-down with your cardio sessions.

-For yoga, feel free to check out a class in your area with lots of juicy stretching, or try a podcast- the 20 minute ones are free ๐Ÿ™‚

Each time you finish a workout, please leave a comment on this post and let me know how it went and what you think! <3

Happy training ๐Ÿ˜€



Are you joining in the fun? If not, how are your summer fitness goals going? I love hearing what youโ€™re up to ๐Ÿ™‚

See ya later today with Vegas adventures, and tomorrow with the exciting news Iโ€™ve been waiting to share with ya <3

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  1. Chantal on June 8, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Your first Summer Shape Up paired with my 10k training schedule got me in the best shape of my life! I’m totally in! Thanks as always for taking the time to set this up for all your fans ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      whoo hoo!
      i love putting these together ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Chantal on June 8, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Oo, and how long would recommend all the steady-state, hill cardio, and easy cardio to be?

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      30 minutes is great- if you want to do more, awesome, less is cool too ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Kierstan @ Life {and running} in Iowa on June 9, 2011 at 9:34 am

    I just found your blog and am so excited to give this a try! I am a runner and love to list, so this circuit is going to be a great addition to my routine!

  4. Amanda @36broadway on June 9, 2011 at 11:24 am

    I love all these meal planning ideas, I’ve been looking for some fresh new ones and all-natural meal plans are surprisingly hard to find!

  5. Brittany on June 9, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Just finished my modified version of the weights workout ๐Ÿ™‚ followed by some stretching. My sweeet baby kicks a lot after working out, I love it ๐Ÿ™‚ pretty soon you’ll feel yours too ๐Ÿ™‚ congrats again girly

  6. Jill on June 9, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    I just finished the workout! I’m def. gonna hurt tomorrow, but it felt great ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Kelsie on June 9, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    I was wondering why tofu is an occasional treat and what you would recommend for vegans in both the protein and dairy sections? Would peanut butter and soy milk be okay in place of almond butter and milk? I have an almond intolerance (I think, I’m in the process of finding out if that is actually what’s wrong with me) and am trying to avoid almond for the time being. Thanks (:

    • Fitnessista on June 10, 2011 at 1:01 am

      yes totally fine! just use the substitutions that you would usually eat ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Katherina @ Zephyr Runs on June 10, 2011 at 12:37 am

    I love this… I may not do all of this now but I’ll definitely be incorporating a lot of these exercises into my current routine! At the end of summer I want to switch it up and will look to this post for guidance ๐Ÿ˜€

  9. Madison on June 10, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I found this working from Caitlin’s link on Healthy Tipping Point and I have to say I can’t wait to jump on this bandwagon! I’m going to be a week behind since my week 1 will just start on Sunday, but I am very excited! I’m doing my 2nd triathlon (first Olympic length one) on Labour Day so I really need some exciting strengthening workouts to add to my cardio training.

  10. Natalie on June 10, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    LOVED workout #1!!!! With work it’s hard for me to make it to the strength training classes at my gym and I get bored pretty easily when making up my own routines. This workout was fabulous! The 1 minute cardior blasts were awesome! Keep the workouts coming!!

  11. maukgirl on June 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

    I just did my second circuit work out for the week. My vinyasa yoga class on Wed was on the strenuous side so I decided to push Thursday’s workout to today. I did three circuits today with none of the cardio bumps. I was able to do more reps on some of the exercises today over what I did Monday. I also did 15 min of HIIT on one of the spin bikes.

    • Lauren Manix on April 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      I also did this work out and loved it. I am starting week 2 today, but I have one question about HIIT. When doing the intervals on a treadmill, I ran balls to the walls for 30 seconds and then walked for the remainder 1:30 on 4.0 speed. Should I be doing a slow run instead?

      • Fitnessista on April 14, 2014 at 4:45 pm

        no walking is perfect ๐Ÿ™‚ you want to get your heart rate down in between intervals

  12. Jules on June 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm I almost just DIED doing the abs. !!! those hurt soo gooood! love em

    • Fitnessista on June 11, 2011 at 11:10 am

      hahah!! YES

  13. Shelby on June 10, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Did workout 1 for the second time yesterday! Loved it! Headed out for some cardio today and will do the third set of circuits for the week tomorrow morning.

    • Fitnessista on June 11, 2011 at 11:10 am


  14. Ashley on June 11, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Did the workout again today…. hamstring curls = amazing

    • Fitnessista on June 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm

      my fave move ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Kelly on June 11, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Great workout! I’m going to be sore tomorrow! Question.. should the circuits be repeated in a row or shoudl you do Circuit 1, 2, 3 and then repeat? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on June 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm

      all of one (2-3 times total), cardio blast, all of 2, blast, all of 3

  16. Ryah on June 11, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I did circuit one today, along with 30 minutes of interval cardio. The ball exercises were great, they left my muscles tingly and they got my heart rate up. Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Tichina on June 12, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I have been seeing such great reviews of “Summer Shape Up” on twitter. I didn’t know what it was all about until now…what a great program ๐Ÿ™‚ So glad I found it!

    • Fitnessista on June 12, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      let me know if you give it a whirl ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Lindsay on June 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    Just started and did workout #1. The hamstring curls were really hard for me because the ball I had needs air, so I just did the best I could. I definitely still feel it in my legs. I’m so excited to do this because I’ve been in such an exercise slump. Thanks for creating these workouts!

  19. Chantal on June 12, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    THANK YOU for making yoga a part of this year’s Summer Shape Up routine. I just did mine yesterday and it had been so long I wanted to cry (both in a good way and in a bad way) but I felt so fantastic afterwards! I don’t know why I’m so lazy to do yoga on my own even though I KNOW how good it makes me feel… You’ve definitely pumped me to keep at it cuz though I’m a stretching nut, they’re just not the same!

    • Fitnessista on June 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

      you’re inspiring me over here, too- i haven’t practiced yoga in a few weeks and miss it like crazy!

  20. Shelby on June 12, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    Finished my third circuit workout for the week! Was able to use more weight than the first time which is really inspiring!

    • Fitnessista on June 13, 2011 at 1:38 am

      way to go!!

  21. Steph on June 12, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Yay I’ve been reading your blog & saw the old Summer shape ups and was anxiously awaiting this one! I’m starting this week ๐Ÿ™‚ I already workout & eat relatively clean but I really wanna step it up!

    Best of luck with your baby adventures as well!

  22. Leslie on June 13, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Did Workout #1 (yes I’m a week behind :)) but it was so nice to mix it up!
    To be honest, I do feel like a bit of a goon doing a minute of blasts in the tiny weight section of our gym, but I’m so beyond caring, it was great to get the heart rate up throughout the whole workout.

    Keep ’em coming lady!!

    • Fitnessista on June 13, 2011 at 11:58 am

      glad you had a great workout!
      people are so worried about their own workouts that they don’t notice anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Chelsa on June 13, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I just finished this workout. I’m a week late because of vacation but It kicked my butt! Love it. Thanks.

    • Fitnessista on June 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

      awesome! ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. Danielle on June 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Hi Gina!

    I completed this workout (killer!) and did the circuits twice with the abs and it took me about 30 min. Does this sound about right? I want to make sure I’m not rushing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you for taking the time to put this together for your readers. You are the best!


    • Fitnessista on June 14, 2011 at 12:34 am

      that sounds about right ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Jess on June 14, 2011 at 9:58 am

    Hi Gina!

    Do you still have the green quiche recipe somewhere on your blog? I searched and found a link for the “quiche to your heart” but it didn’t work…I remember seeing it a WHILE back and wanted to try making it!

  26. Julie on June 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Just started summer shape up yesterday. One week late, but LOVING it! I just found your blog this past weekend and can’t believe it has taken me so long! Wowzers, I have been missing out! I am a wee bit addicted already! ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats on the exciting news!

  27. Madison on June 15, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I haven’t lifted weights in about 2 months (school ending, moving back home, too many vacations…). Still in pain 2 days after workout 1…thank goodness for yoga today!! This is just what I need to kick my butt back into gear!!!!

  28. kalin on June 15, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    i did my first week one workout ๐Ÿ™‚ i am starting late. i had high hopes that i was in shape but i could only do two sets of each circuit, and i didn’t do any cardio bursts. hoping i see some improvements in my fitness over the next few weeks. thanks for putting this up!

    question: i’m awful at push ups. i couldn’t even do them on my knees for the second set, so i did them against the wall. (like, standing up at an incline, and doing a push up against the wall.) is that an okay modification? any tips for moving up to the bench push up?

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

      that’s perfect as a modification- just stick with it until you feel ready to add in a few on the bench

  29. Amber B on June 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Ab “Burner” is an understatement! lol, Apparently I needed that, though! Thanks Gina!

  30. Cristy on July 6, 2011 at 5:01 am

    Hey there,

    Broken link alert: bench split squat one doesn’t work. ๐Ÿ™

    I’m late starting, but will. Looks awesome!!!

  31. Nicole on July 18, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    So I just found your blog a few days ago and even though I am not on the right timeline for these workouts I wanted to start it anyways. I did workout 1 today thinking I was in ok shape but this workout proved me wrong! While I was able to complete 3 sets of each circuit I found myself modifying several exercises. After attempting the burpee cardio blast I gave up on the blasts. Any suggestions on another move I could do instead of burpees? I am awful at them (terrible form, very few reps) Or maybe a move to work up toward being able to do a proper burpee?

    • Fitnessista on July 18, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      welcome to the little blog!
      here’s a video with different burpee options:

      • Nicole on July 19, 2011 at 1:51 pm

        duh! thanks – should have noticed that in the workout list. Cardio was good today – very sore from yesterday so looking forward to yoga tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Lindsay on September 11, 2011 at 10:41 pm

    I know it’s a “little more” autumn than it is summer, but I’m starting your Summer 2011 Shape Up tomorrow, and am so excited about it! I needed a little pop to my workouts and diet, and plan to blog about my progress. So excited and so motivated. Because of you!!

    • Fitnessista on September 12, 2011 at 1:15 am

      whoo hoo! enjoy! let me know how it goes ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Nicole on November 26, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    I have been doing this workout lately as apart of mixing up my weights routine and LOVE it!! You saved me from being bored 3 times a week during my weights sessions! Thank you so much!!!

    • Fitnessista on November 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm

      i’m so glad you’re enjoying it! winter shape up starts mid-january, so lots of new workouts to come ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. kay on January 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

    I just started up again and did week one, workout one today. It was tough getting back into it, but awesome workout!

  35. Emily on March 18, 2012 at 4:50 am

    So it’s a year pst this training, but I’m starting it. I don’t understand hills training. I googled it and it speaks to running. Is that the same?

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      any cardio, but focus on adding resistance instead of speed

  36. Emily on March 18, 2012 at 4:51 am

    And, my schedule doesnt allow six days a week in the gym always. Am I right to just not do the workout no 1 two days in a row?

    • Fitnessista on March 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      yep, that’s perfect!

  37. Emily on March 18, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    Thank you, I’m so glad I found your blog!

  38. Anu on March 26, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I did this workout today and loved it! Thank you so much!

    I have one question: if my schedule does not permit 6 days a week, would doubling up one day be all right? Perhaps cardio + yoga on the same day?

    Thanks again!

    • Fitnessista on March 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

      yes that would be totally fine, or you can skip out on a cardio day

      • Fitnessista on March 26, 2012 at 12:55 pm

        i’m glad you liked the workout, too!

  39. Kelly on May 1, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Hi Gina! Just did workout one today and it was so great. Thanks for the posts. I have a Hawaii trip at the beginning of the summer and a wedding at the end, so I’m glad you have so much variety to keep me busy!

  40. Tara on May 15, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    So yesterday was the second time for me to to the Monday circuit workout and all I can really say is that I realized I’m not as in shape as I thought I was. I struggled. ๐Ÿ™ But i”m going to keep at it! Need to see results before my vacation to FL in 2 months!

  41. Emma S. on May 20, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Although this is last year’s one (anxiously waiting on this year’s!), did this at the gym today as was needing more structure. The only way to describe it is ABSOLUTELY FAB! I tend to get bored easily, but this kept me going/engaged throughout!
    Just a quick question – I don’t have access to a resistance band (or didn’t this week!) and the machine needed for assisted lat-pull down was busted… I substituted with a few deadlifts but wasn’t satisfied! Any suggestions?

    Your blog really is just a little bit awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ x

  42. mem on June 10, 2013 at 2:45 pm

    please add me to your list ๐Ÿ™‚

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