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!

Post Navigation:


  1. Bailey on June 13, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    How long do we do steady state for on Friday?

  2. Ashley on June 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    Bc of my crazy work schedule, just finishing up workout #2 and HIIT for today’s workout at 10:54 pm!! Couldn’t skip it, and couldn’t ask for a better endorphine rush for the end of my day. Cherry on top of my Sunday! (Although, my legs themselves aren’t saying the same ;])

    • Fitnessista on June 13, 2013 at 11:03 pm

      whoo hoo!

  3. Libby on June 13, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Let’s do this! Wahoooo!

  4. Sarah on June 13, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    Gina, I’m a week behind and getting ready to do week 2 next week. I don’t know how to get the password for week two though? I got week one in the newsletter email, but I didn’t get anything for week two and beyond. Can you help? BTW – love this summer shape up!!!

    • Fitnessista on June 13, 2013 at 11:39 pm

      yay, i’m glad you’re enjoying it! send me an email and i’ll send it over to you (fitnessist at gmail)

  5. Maria on June 14, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Rocked workout 2 today and did my HIIT on the bike (usually use the elliptical). Looking forward to my longer run for steady state tomorrow and maybe a little ab burner action πŸ™‚

  6. liz @ on June 14, 2013 at 12:33 am

    I made today a rest day and had some delicious food that I prepped over the weekend – farro, slow cooker chicken with bbq sauce, cabbage, romaine, and sweet potato! I’ve been eating many of the same foods in different ways and I’m loving it since it keeps things interesting for my palate, it’s quick and easy to prepare, and it’s healthy to boot!

  7. Renda on June 14, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Please sign me up! Looking forward to it πŸ™‚

  8. shelly on June 14, 2013 at 6:57 am

    For my steady state today I did week3 day2 of couch to 5k. It was so nice to get outside before the majority of my neighbourhood was.

  9. Alyssa on June 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Just wondering when we should expect the email for Week 3’s workout? πŸ™‚

  10. Kristin on June 14, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    I know I’m late but I’d love to get started with week 1! I signed up for the newsletter, with the week 1 and 2 passwords be in there?

    Thanks! So excited for this! πŸ™‚

  11. Greta on June 14, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    I did workout #2 at 6AM this morning. It was so dreary out so I was amazed I made it out of bed. And then I felt like one of those people at the gym that knows what they’re doing, haha.

  12. Christy on June 14, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Ready for some Kickass cardio session!!

  13. liz @ on June 14, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    checking in – I did a HIIT and heavy squats today!

  14. Chelsea on June 14, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Checking in! Just did about an hour of power yoga, with a few breaks to rock the babe back to sleep…teething at 9 months is hitting poor little J hard :(. Feeling strong and grounded now though, which makes for a much better Mommy :).

  15. Liza Mcalister on June 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Please sign me up! I definitely want to do this!

  16. Jamie on June 14, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Can I sign up for this as well? I know I’m late…but I always love the shape ups! Thanks for all your hard work Gina!

  17. Angelica on June 14, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    How might I get involved next time? I am new to your blog and am super impressed!

  18. Mary on June 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm


  19. Britta on June 14, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Hi Gina!! I just ran a half last weekend so didn’t join at the start, but is there anyway I can start now on week 1?

    Thanks!! I love this year’s shape up!!

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2013 at 1:43 am

      you can start anytime you like! πŸ™‚

  20. Cate on June 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    While I haven’t been diligent about checking-in, I am on track with my workouts, and am looking forward to a steady state workout tomorrow (always one day behind the suggested schedule), which is a break compared to WO#2 and HIIT. My eats have not always been stellar this week because of a number of social events, but today was awesome, and tonight I had a vegetable-packed salad with an Emily Malone black bean burger crumbled on top. It hit the spot! Looking forward to the week#3 details. Thanks, Gina.

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2013 at 1:44 am

      those veggie burgers are my fave πŸ™‚ so happy you’re liking the shape up so far!

  21. Paula on June 14, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    I started late, got the password for week one, but never got the email with the info for week 2!

    • Fitnessista on June 14, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      email me!

  22. Pamela on June 14, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    I never received week 2 password. If you could email me that would be terrific!

    • Fitnessista on June 14, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      email me!

  23. Rose on June 15, 2013 at 6:54 am

    I never received newsletter and password for week 3. I had no problem with week 1 or 2.

    • Beth F on June 15, 2013 at 7:19 am

      Same here… weird!

      • Fitnessista on June 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

        send me an email and i’ll get you the password!

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2013 at 10:44 pm

      email me and i’ll send it to you!

  24. Jo on June 15, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Is it too late to sign up??

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      never too late!

  25. Stephanie Flick on June 15, 2013 at 9:11 am

    I enjoy your blog, A little late, but will be starting they summer shape up!

  26. Rayna on June 15, 2013 at 11:24 am

    I would like to get signed up for summer shape up, but I’m not sure where to do that. My email address is

    Thank you!

  27. Kelsey Crismon on June 15, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I’d love to be a part of the newsletter!! How do I begin to get the password and meal ideas for these workouts?

    • Fitnessista on June 15, 2013 at 10:43 pm

      did you check the box to get my newsletter??

  28. Tracy on June 15, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    Finished the week with WO#2 this am! Cardio wildcard was elliptical. I was hoping to tack on the 2,4,6,8,10 workout but ran out of time. I’m planning to add it in next week though! Looking forward to week 3 πŸ™‚

  29. Chelsea on June 15, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    Finished the week with WO2 this am…man, after doing it several times this week it hurt to carry groceries up the stairs afterwards!!! Also did the purelytwins’ cardio plank workout and some yoga to finish up. Feeling good! I’m traveling this week, so going to be challenging to get week 3 workouts in but I’m determined to do my best and keep up that momentum :).

  30. Maria R. on June 15, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I signed up a week late : ( and didn’t get the password for week 2. Is there anyway you can send it to me?

  31. Shira on June 15, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    Just finished my 3rd WO 2 and did a 20 min hill elliptical for cardio.. my gym didn’t have a stability ball or jump rope today (locked in a room.. very frustrating!) so I had to modify but I think I managed πŸ™‚ Squat jumps and mountain climbers for jump rope, diamond push-ups and plank jacks for 1st stability set and super-mans and double leg lifts on the ground for 2nd and 2 mins of 10 sec planks with 5 sec rest for abc abs. Phew! Thought I’d share in case others need to modify!! Excited for next week.. think I’ll prep some gazpacho, sounds perfect!

  32. Cherlyn on June 15, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    I’m right on schedule. Definitely feeling more toned. Thanks this has been great!

  33. Emily T on June 15, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I am looking forward to this summer shape-up, though I am already a week behind due to a family trip! Hope to get toned up this summer!

  34. Abby on June 16, 2013 at 12:07 am

    So pumped about this week’s workout! What do you think about subbing an arm burner instead of a leg burner on Wednesday? My legs are always so exhausted after all the strength and cardio from the week.

  35. Liesl @ Fitnessinthekitchen on June 16, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Can you please re-email me the password for week #2, I somehow deleted the email. πŸ™ Thanks so much! The workouts are looking awesome, I’m just traveling and planning on starting them in a week or so.

    • Fitnessista on June 16, 2013 at 12:01 pm

      send me an email!

  36. catherine c. on June 16, 2013 at 9:57 am

    Checking in for yesterday! Did workout 2! πŸ™‚ Plus some wild cardio of studying my brains out for a nursing exam I have on Tuesday haha.

  37. Laura on June 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Signing up for the newsletter now – can’t wait to get started (better late than never, eh?) πŸ™‚

  38. Alyssa on June 16, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    ROCKED Workout 3 & Speed Surge today. I also did the ab burner after Workout 3 and before the Speed Surge on the tread! I feel amazing πŸ™‚

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2013 at 12:31 am

      WHOO HOO! great job!

  39. Anne on June 17, 2013 at 1:13 am

    I signed up late and missed week 2 password! any chance you could pass it along? thank you!

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2013 at 1:21 am

      yep, send me an email!

  40. Lauren on June 17, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I would like to join your Summer Shape Up if it is not too late.

  41. Lauren on June 17, 2013 at 10:38 am

    want to sign up.. although a little late!

  42. Jillian on June 17, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Hi Gina! I’m late too sign up but would love to get started on week 1. Where do I sign up for the newsletter?

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

      just click the box to sign up for the newsletter and the passwords will be emailed to you

      • Jillian on June 17, 2013 at 3:36 pm

        Ah, gotcha. Thanks! Can’t wait to get started.

  43. Ashley on June 17, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    Love workout three. Timed myself and going to try and best my best time by the end of the week! Also, can I just say I’m obsessed with ALL of your ab workouts?! My core thanks you, so does my boyfriend ;]

    • Tracy on June 17, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Love this idea to improve time!! I’ll do the same.

    • Tracy on June 17, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Love this idea to improve time! I’ll do the same!

      • Tracy on June 17, 2013 at 1:32 pm

        sorry about the double comment post!

  44. Tracy on June 17, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Did WO#3 this morning at 5a.m. Great workout. The renegade push ups and diamond booty were new to me. Loved it!

  45. Shannon on June 17, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Workouts keep getting delayed due to house reno (although I would consider painting the ceiling a great shoulder workout).
    Upside: My boyfriend wants to join, so we’re starting over at week 1 and going through the motions together! 4am workouts here we come!

  46. lovelyworld on June 17, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Hey I joined late and didnt get the password for week 2, so I sent you an e-mail, but no reply came. Could you please send me the password for week 2 πŸ™‚

  47. Kelsey on June 17, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    OH wow. WO#3 and those renegade pushups are no joke. The variety of these summer shape up workouts are definitely keeping me motivated. Thanks for being so awesome!

  48. michele on June 17, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    How do I sign up??

  49. Alyssa on June 17, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Today was active rest for me, so I walked for an hour (so therapeutic!), and had a GIANT salad beast for dinner. Can’t wait to tackle the 45min Scenic Steady State tomorrow πŸ™‚

  50. Shari on June 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Great work out!! Week 3 day one done!!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.