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. Melissa on June 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Thank you for being such a generous person with all of this. Just last night I was putting together posts from previous workouts you had designed and then PRESTO, today a new one begins.

    My husband went to Iraq sometime ago, and basically I’ve been lying on the floor with a big piece of garlic bread in my mouth for months. I’ve got to get up and do something Mid-tour is coming in just a couple months!

    I’m off to check out yogadownload. I’ve never used it.

  2. Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries on June 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    YAY! So excited for this! Thanks, Gina!

  3. Emily on June 6, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    Hi Gina! Super excited about the SSU for this year! I have a question that may seem like a bit of a technicality, but I wasn’t quite sure because of how it was worded.
    Do you complete Circuit 1 2-3 times, followed by Circuit 2 2-3 times, followed by Circuit 3 2-3 times? Or do you do Circuit 1 once, Circuit 2 once, & Circuit 3 once, then repeat from the beginning again?
    I don’t know if my way of wording it was any less confusing, but hopefully you know what I mean!
    Thanks again for all the wonderful motivation!

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm

      The first way you said it is exactly right ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Brittany on June 6, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I’m five months pregnant and will be participating in the shape up for the next four weeks ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll change it up a little to make it a little less intense but I saw amazing results last summer so I’m hoping it will keep me looking for and not squishy ๐Ÿ™‚ yesterday was aweights day so today willbe my active rest day and I’ll pick it backup tomorrow with some cardio. I Love all your shape up plans and this one might give me the courage to wear a bathing suit with this big belly this summer ! ๐Ÿ™‚ !

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      You can totally rock it ๐Ÿ™‚ congrats on your pregnancy!!!

  5. Abby on June 6, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I think this is a great idea! I am already training for a half marathon but I will definitely be looking to this for some meal inspiration and some incorporation of strength training! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Jen on June 6, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Yay! I can do these at home! I am doing it today

  7. Gina on June 6, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Looks like a blast!!! However, I am just going to stick with your food ideas instead of doing both the food/workout! I’m training for a triathlon (end of July) so I’m pretty much focused on swim/bike/run at the moment!! Thanks for taking the time to work this all out for us!!!
    Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Sara C. on June 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    YAY! I have my notebook all set for the summer shape up! Perfect timing…I’ll be ready to rock bikini at the pool for the 4th! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Kaye on June 6, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    Looks awesome! How did you do those pictures! That is way cool!

  10. Alexis on June 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    Just rocked this workout on my lunch break – it’s AWESOME! Thanks Gina ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Yeah!! Great work and thanks for letting me know ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on June 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    “and tomorrow with the exciting news Iโ€™ve been waiting to share with ya <3"

    Ok that has my ears perked up!! Can't wait for that!

    Your summer shapeup…wow, it feels like just yesterday you posted about it. And it was a year ago??!!! TIME FLIES! I swear it's in warp speed for me the past few years!

    Have fun in Vegas…I KNOW you are having a ball!!!! Keep it up ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Lisa on June 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I’ve been a reader for a long time, but this is my first time posting (I don’t have a blog!). I just wanted to say that I love love LOVE your blog, Gina, and this is my first time doing one of your shape ups. I did the first workout at my office gym this morning and I can totally feel the effects already – all my muscles are shaky! I’m going to invest in a stability ball for home and start doing these in the mornings before I leave for the office (I have all the other necessary pieces of equipment that might come up). I think that will work out better for me because I get a bit self conscious working out around my coworkers, especially when I’m doing new and challenging moves. Anyway, keep up the great work and I can’t wait to do more workouts!

    ~Lisa D.

    P.S. You’re responsible for getting me hooked on raw almond butter ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      I’m so glad u liked the workout!!!
      And you’re very welcome for the almond butter obsession ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. Tori (Fresh Fruition) on June 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    Thanks for putting all this effort into this! What an awesome program ๐Ÿ™‚ I don’t have a gym membership right now so hopefully I can keep up with whatever is possible ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Janiek on June 6, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Oh yeah! I’m totally joining this program, hopefully I will finally get into the bikini shape that I want to be…
    Unfortunately, I read this just now, and monday has already passed here (I live in Amsterdam, Holland). So tomorrow I’ll just combine the workouts for monday and tuesday… i have a feeling I’m gonna be sore…. ๐Ÿ™ So exited! This is the kind of thing I’ve been looking for! I’ll let you know how I’m progressing!
    With love,

  15. Jess on June 6, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Yay! I have strep and am down for the count today but hopefully will start right up tomorrow!

  16. Trish on June 6, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I completed day one this morning, loved it! Perfect timing since I was finally brave enough to buy a couple of bikinis this weekend!

    I also wanted to thank you for putting this together. I have gone from a size 10 to a size 4 since I first stumbled on your blog & really appreciate the workout and meal recommendations ?

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Wow that is amazing! Proud of you, girlie

  17. maukgirl on June 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    This is also my first time doing one of your shape ups. I did all three circuits 3x and two of the cardio blasts. I was too tired by the end to do the final cardio blast. I had never used the assisted pull up bar before and I was nervous, but I really enjoyed it.

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 4:48 pm

      Way to go!!! Awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn on June 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Oh my god HOW do you do that thing with the pichas?!

  19. Gina (Yogattude) on June 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. I was just planning to add in some circuits to my routine! I’m aldo going gluten free for the next few weeks to see if I have an intolerance, so I’m hoping for some good recipes from your site!

  20. Brooke on June 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    Great Shape Up!! My arms are EXHAUSTED!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Jessica @ The Process of Healing on June 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I am SO in! I may not follow the plan to the T (such as subbing my own strength moves) but I’d love a challenge!

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm

      awesome! def adapt it as you would like ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Brie on June 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Been lurking for awhile, but always too shy to post…but wanted to let you know I did your circuit today and it kicked my butt!! And here I thought I was in pretty good shape lol. I did two reps of each circuit, but couldn’t do all the cardio blasts, I was beat. Can’t wait to see how I improve! Thanks for this!

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      whoo hoo!!! thanks for saying hi and for letting me know ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Jen on June 6, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    OMG this was really hard! The mountain climbers killed me! I was feeling excellente until after the hamstring curl hahaha

  24. kaila @ healthy helper! on June 6, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Love it! Thanks Gina!

  25. Jen on June 6, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Just finished day one! I don’t have a stability ball at home, so I modified with single leg bridges, V-ups, and prone superman exercises. But I do have a pull-up bar! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m happily tired now.

  26. andrea on June 6, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I wish I could follow a plan right now, for some reason I’ve been failing at healthy eating. I’m discouraged b/c I lost 26 lbs. and felt great and then I gained 12 lbs and now I feel so discouraged!! I’ve been trying to get back on track but no luck and I am so defeated! Any tips?

  27. Marisa on June 6, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    Just finished this! It was hard! This will be great to get me in shape for summer! Thanks so much.

  28. Steph! on June 6, 2011 at 7:14 pm

    I’m definitely in! Will be starting workout 1 tomorrow. Can’t wait!

  29. Beth on June 6, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Wow oh wow. When I looked at the circuits for Workout #1, I thought, “eh, doesn’t sound too hard!”, especailly since I lift weights on a regular basis already. Man….was I wrong. The minute of cardio at the end of each circuit really helped to keep my heart rate up! I went home afterwards and did a video of Insanity to fit in all of my cardio. I’m wiped!

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 8:14 pm

      wow, way to rock it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  30. Rhoni on June 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    Ummmmmm…so you seriously kicked my butt. Thanks for that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Gonna do my best to keep up!

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

      anytime ๐Ÿ™‚ glad you liked it!

  31. Peggy on June 6, 2011 at 9:17 pm

    Gina: Thank you for putting this together. I just finished, although I could only complete 1 cycle of each circuit – it was very intense! I’m excited to follow along and, hopefully, work up to 3 cycles of each circuit!

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm


  32. Kate on June 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    This is my first time commenting on your blog, and my first time doing one of your shape ups…just wanted to let you know that it’s a great workout! I did two reps of each circuit, and was too tired to do the cardio blasts. Also I could barely complete the ab portion! I can’t wait to see my improvements! Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on June 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm

      thanks so much for saying hi! i’m glad you had a good workout ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Tracy @ Commit to Fit on June 6, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Love the circuit! I am going to try it out this week ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Ann @ Running With Chopstix on June 7, 2011 at 12:20 am

    The circuit was awesome! The minute of cardio definitely made me work.

  35. Katherine on June 7, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Thank you so much for posting this today! I have been travelling around a lot lately (hubs is military too) and have been missing my regular gym classes. This is so easy to do at visiting gyms or at home. I was way more worn out than I expected! Love the blog!

  36. Shauna on June 7, 2011 at 2:11 am

    Great workout! I didn’t think it would be a piece of cake, but not too hard. Well, you got me. I definitely had to take some rest in there, and only did the circuits twice ea because I only had an hour. I know if I cut out some of the rest, I probably could have done it in an hour. I didn’t do all the ab burner at the end, but I hit the cardio pretty hard, though I did some of it on machines (mountain climbers and burpees always make me feel like such a dork when I am doing them solo at the gym.) Looking forward to cardio tomorrow. Thanks, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on June 7, 2011 at 2:38 am

      so awesome! glad you liked it and keep me updated on how you do ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Janiek on June 7, 2011 at 4:49 am

    Just finished the workout, awesome! One tip for the people that still have to do it: Don’t do it on an empty stomach. I did, and got really faint and sick to my stomach… ๐Ÿ™ But I’m fine now. Thanks!! Do you have any stories or tips for eating before or after a workout? I find myself working much harder with some food in my belly…
    With love,


  38. Magda on June 7, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Hi Gina ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m definitely joining, although the workout routine will be rather an inspiration. I’ll use your circuit ideas, but since I’ve been doing Astanga Yoga three times a week for some time now and I def want to go on with this, I guess I will do circuit + cardio the other 3 times a week. Or something ๐Ÿ˜‰ For sure I need to get into weight lifting a bit more seriously.
    If I can ask you something though, in the next shape up post, could you please give some more vegan meal ideas? I have nor problems with “big” meals, but snacks are a bit tough. There are so many “portable” non-vegan snacks, like yogurts or cottage cheese in one-serving cups, but a vegan snack that would have some protein… hmmm… I’d really appreciate your ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on June 7, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Yay I’m so excited for this! I’m going to do it today! ๐Ÿ˜€

  40. Kristy R. on June 7, 2011 at 9:03 am

    The Summer Shape up looks awesome! I’m preggo so I’ll be giving it a whirl with some modifications. Do you have any recommendations?
    Thanks!! Looking forward to today’s announcement!!!

    • Fitnessista on June 7, 2011 at 11:14 am

      just make sure not to take it too heavy on the weights and don’t lie on your back or stomach. you can do some moves on your side instead or with a stability ball

  41. Molly on June 7, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Hi gina! I did the workout (minus cardio bc I spent that time checking next move) and it was great! I’ve been looking for a good weight-lift program to add to my cardio before my wedding this august! Hoping I will feel the effects tomorrow am!

  42. Shelby on June 7, 2011 at 10:43 am

    Did cardio yesterday so I did the circuits today. Loved it! It was easy to get done in 45 minutes or so but I feel like I got a great workout in. Assisted pullups killed me since that is a machine I shy away from usually. Thanks Gina, you rock!

  43. Ashley on June 7, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Just did the Workout #1 this morning for the first time. It burned so good. I forgot how much I hate burpees…. but the whole workout went by quick- just 30 minutes to go through everything twice plus the abs!

    • Fitnessista on June 7, 2011 at 9:00 pm

      by hate you mean love right? haha
      yep it’s a pretty quick workout- i’m so glad you liked it!

  44. Peggy on June 7, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    Wow, am I sore today! This morning it was my legs and back, now it’s my abs! I love that I got a whole body workout and am sore in places I don’t usually feel it – working those extra muscles! Today I did 30 minutes on the treadmill at a brisk walk. Going to pick out a yoga DVD now to do tomorrow. Thanks again, Gina!

    • Fitnessista on June 7, 2011 at 9:29 pm

      whoo hoo!!! glad you had a great workout and thanks for letting me know! keep rocking it out ๐Ÿ™‚

  45. Natalie on June 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    So… I’m a day behind but I finished workout #1 today and it kicked my butt! Thanks for making all the moves at-home friendly. I was sweating buckets in my living room. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. Colleen on June 8, 2011 at 9:45 am

    A little late starting it this week, but just wanted to say AWESOME JOB! I love all the body-weight strength exercises that keep your heart rate up. The workout took exactly one hour completing three of every circuit, and I felt totally worked-out, but refreshed and energized. Now, I’m off to the grocery store to pick up some clean eats!

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2011 at 10:23 am

      yeahhhh! i’m glad you had a great workout!

  47. lori on June 8, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    joining in for sure…perfect timing!

  48. Andrea @ Vegvacious on June 8, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I am so excited to follow your summer shape up! My workouts won’t follow exactly, but I am going to do a little switching up to give a little change to my normal routine. I’m loving all the good eats in your food section too – Can’t wait to see the results over the next 3 weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. Vanilla Swirl on June 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    I just finished this workout, but instead of the Abs circuit, I did P90X Ab-Ripper. I did 3 times every circuit, which took less than 40min (around 55min with the Ab-Ripper).

    Thank you, I love your workouts! (Still loving the elliptical one…no matter how many times I do it, I never get bored!)

    • Fitnessista on June 8, 2011 at 7:52 pm

      so awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ i’m glad you enjoyed it!

  50. Shannon on June 8, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Hey Gina, I am loving the summer shape up! I work out often but was definitely in need of something different and so far this plan is it. Thank you so much for sharing! And congrats on the baby news :). I can’t wait to have kids but my husband wants to wait of few more years :(. I’ll keep working on him though!

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