Summer Shape Up 2015: Intro post + Week 1 workouts and meal ideas

Hi friends! Hope you had a wonderful weekend, and hope you put on your game face, because Summer Shape Up is finally here!!

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SSU: 4 weeks ahead of free workouts, meal ideas, giveaways and group support!! So so excited to watch you crush your summer fitness goals. 



Before we get this party started, I wanted to give a huge thank you to our SSU sponsors:

Ssu2015 sponsors

Bobble water bottles. They filter the water as you drink, and are BPA free, and free of Pthalates and PVC.

Crunch Live (They have a special code for you, too. Use “SSU30” to get a 30-day trial)

and GF Chex Oatmeal! Perfect texture for morning oats, breakfast cookies or cookie dough cereal. 

This week’s featured sponsor is Crunch Live!

Crunch live

I’ve been sticking with creating full-length videos for you guys for Winter Shape Up, but wanted to have another option for those of you who like to follow along, or just want to jump into the Shape Up here and there and are looking for new options. Crunch Live kindly offered 30 days FREE of their online workouts, which range from dance and yoga to bootcamp and barre. I’ll be including some of their videos as additional options during the challenge if you’d like to switch it up a bit! The Overdrive workout is my favorite- it’s a quick and sweaty HIIT workout.

Huge thank you to my friend Brittany (professional athlete and the youngest American female Kettlebell Master of Sport, no big deal) for demonstrating the high-impact moves for our workouts. She is also a certified personal trainer.

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Thank you to Danny Chan as always for your amazing photography skills. 

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Now, let’s dive into the Shape Up fun and your Week 1 schedule!

This post will serve as “the hub” for EVERYTHING SSU 2015 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. I do provide low-impact and pregnancy modifications, but it’s up to you to use your best judgement and doctor’s advice to complete a safe workout. 

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

Bonus: workout buddies! Round up the troops. 

-Before we get started, take some “before” pics wearing a swimsuit or sports bra and fitted shorts, so you can take some “after” shots at the end of four weeks. Like I said before, bonus points for bad lighting, bad posture and a grouchy look on your face. 😉

If you’d like, you can also take some measurements:

-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)



Some Shape Up Q&A:

How do I check in with the workouts?

Leave a comment here on the blog, tag me on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (@fitnessista #summershapeup), or shout it out in our interactive and amazing Facebook group

How do I enter the giveaways?

Right here! On the post for each week, if we have a giveaway option, that will be your opportunity to check in with your workout and enter the giveaway. I’ll announce giveaway winners on the Monday of that week.

I am a planner and would like to get the meal ideas and workouts early! How do I do that?

Sign up for my email newsletter here! All subscribers get the info on Friday of that week. Also, I’m not a spammer (it’s a pet peeve of mine when companies/people email blast me I will not do that you! If anything I’ll email once a week max, and make sure to include fun/informative content and value for ya.)


Wait, where’s Anne?

Anne, my lovely RD friend, has joined us for the past year and a half to share her nutrition and meal-planning expertise. It’s been awesome to have her on board, and I’ve been so thankful for her help with the challenge. She is traveling quite a bit this summer, so she will be back for Winter Shape Up! In the meantime, I’ll be sharing some healthy meal ideas and planning tips. (Please keep in mind that I’m not an RD! I am a certified Weight Loss Specialist and can share healthy meal ideas and portion suggestions, but if you need help planning for your unique needs and preferences, please seek out the help of an RD in your area.)

Some tips for planning and prepping:

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, trail mix goodies, goat’s milk greek yogurt, 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. 

Here is all of your Week 1 info!


Links to all workouts: 

Workout #1

Workout #2

Workout #3

Overdrive (use code “SSU30” for free 30-day trial)

Plank burner

For Wednesday, complete 40 minutes of steady state cardio, increasing the incline every 5 minutes. If you are performing cardio outside, find a hilly route and go for 40 minutes.

Thursday: 20 minutes steady state, moderate pace

Long steady state: 45-60 minute moderate intensity jog or run, or take a class you love

Ssu2015 meal ideas


Almond butter banana breakfast bars and scrambled eggs

Scrambled egg muffins (I like to wrap these in a brown rice tortilla)

Mocha mint protein smoothie  (can use almond milk and vegan yogurt, or goat’s milk yogurt instead)

Homemade acai bowl

Blender banana-oat pancakes

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Sriracha egg salad stuffed 1/2 avocado with greens

Simple and healthy grain bowl

Mediterranean lunch wrap + salad

Meal-sized salad

Lunch salad  1 of 1


Jamaican Jerk Turkey Burgers with pineapple salsa

Slow cooker Greek chicken soup

Salmon cakes with salad and quinoa

Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

Salmon patties  1 of 1


Crispy chocolate coconut protein bars

Banana split smoothie

Buffalo hummus and chopped veggies

Protein muffin

Fresh fruit bowl with some plain yogurt

Chocolate coconut protein bars

For your meals, mix and match according to your preferences and needs. Give yourself some room for repeats (for example, I have banana-oat pancakes at least twice a week), allow for one night of leftovers and one night out to enjoy dinner at a restaurant or out with friends.

Are you in? Who’s ready to go after it??

I’m always cheering for you.



See ya later today with a Hawaii recap!! 🙂

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  1. Emily on June 19, 2015 at 7:29 am

    Forgot to check in yesterday but did workout 3 and steady. Workout 1 on the agenda for later

  2. Jenn on June 19, 2015 at 8:27 am

    Day behind on my check-ins, but completed my 20 mins of cardio and followed it up with workout 3 last night! Switching today and tomorrow for the schedule, cause Friday is date night in my casa 🙂 <3

  3. Lindsay on June 19, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Playing catch up: I switched Monday and Tuesday, did the hill workout on Wednesday, and took a barre class yesterday + 20 steady (mopping the floor counts, right? 😉 ). Just finished workout #1–wasn’t looking forward to it at all (prefer strength over cardio), but it was short, sweet, and dare I say, fun! Looking forward to an off day tomorrow.

    Happy Friday everyone!

  4. Kara on June 19, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Just finished workout #2! Wowzers that was tough!

  5. Katie R. on June 19, 2015 at 10:11 am

    Woo hoo! I just completed the “Overdrive” workout. I loved it! So glad you included that option as I prefer to follow along & try to keep up! 🙂 After switching a few things around, I just have the “steady with hills workout”, then on to week #2!

    PS: Is anyone else still sore from WO#2 on Tuesday? Ouch!

  6. Daniela S. on June 19, 2015 at 10:18 am

    I have had difficult time motivating myself to run and weight train again. Thanks to Summer Shape Up I’ve already done Workout #2 and ran 4K. I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish all of the exercises of Week 1, but it is a start. 🙂

    Thank you.

  7. Nicole on June 19, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Workout 3 with a heavier weight than I’m used to and 20min of steady on the treadmill this AM!

  8. Kara on June 19, 2015 at 10:23 am

    My quad is still giving me issues, so I foam rolled the heck out of it this morning. Plan on taking a long walk with hills after work, followed by some abs and arms work.

  9. Jessie R on June 19, 2015 at 10:52 am

    Just finished a killer 50 minute cycle class! According to my Fitbit HR I burned about 400 calories. I will not be able to move tomorrow after this and Workouts #2 and 3!

  10. Amy on June 19, 2015 at 11:03 am

    I forget to check in, but then I’m jealous when the giveaway winners are announced. 😉
    I switched things around, but completed the schedule this week in some way. Thanks!

  11. Lori on June 19, 2015 at 11:34 am

    This morning I did Overdrive and loved it! I’m hoping to add in some Barre later today. Tomorrow I have my long steady state, and then on to week 2. I’m loving this! 🙂

  12. Kariann Lee on June 19, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    I’ve been checking in on FB but here is this week:

    Monday 6/15: 1.5 steady walk with hills
    Tuesday 6/16: Boot Camp at the YMCA
    Wednesday 6/17: Workout #2 (WHOOO WEEE)
    Thursday 6/18: Active rest, bike ride
    Friday 6/19: HIIT at the YMCA

    Cheers! Saturday 6/20 I have a 5-8 mile hike plan (Mount Si or Little Si in WA! Has anyone been? It’ll be my first time!)
    Sunday 6/21 I’m planning to go to RIPPED at the YMCA and then do Gina’s Plank Burner! Yaaay

    Thanks for helping me stay accountable y’all! It helps to “shout it out.”

    Have a happy weekend! xox

  13. Bethany on June 19, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    well needed rest day today – my legs are SORE!

  14. Margot C on June 19, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    HIIT workout #1 was a great way to kickoff a camping weekend!

  15. paige c on June 19, 2015 at 5:17 pm

    brown rice/ quinoa salmon/avocado whole foods sushi and a salad for dinner! going to do the plank burner before bed, I played tennis for an hour earlier too!

  16. catherine c. on June 19, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    did WO #3 tonight + 20 min Steady!!

  17. Ashley V on June 20, 2015 at 6:40 am

    Switchin’ up my days again. I did my long steady state + plank burner today, and I am a sweaty mess!

  18. Samantha D. on June 20, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Had a rest day yesterday while we traveled to Costa Rica!! And I just finished workout #1 for this morning 🙂

  19. Emily on June 20, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I took yesterday as an “off day.” Finished WO#1 this morning with the help of my daughter as my timer. Sweaty!

  20. Kady on June 20, 2015 at 7:40 am

    Just finished overdrive, plank burner, and a 2.5 mile treadmill walk. Feeling great!

  21. jen on June 20, 2015 at 7:53 am

    took my off day today!

  22. paige c on June 20, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    going to yoga tomorrow so did my favorite body pump express this am and a short run

  23. melissa on June 20, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    ran a race this morning!

  24. Nicole on June 20, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Workout 1 today–so sweaty!

  25. catherine c. on June 20, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    just finished WO #1! Quick & sweaty, which I love!

  26. Sara on June 21, 2015 at 2:26 am

    Friday we went to a huge music festival…there was TONS of walking so I used that as my active recovery ??

  27. Sara on June 21, 2015 at 2:29 am

    Saturday I did workout #1…that was hard! Both kids did it with me…a 15 month old trying to doing squat jumps and jumping jacks is about the cutest thing!

  28. Sara on June 21, 2015 at 2:31 am

    Today I’m going to get in my long steady cardio. Hopefully the downpours will stop. If not I’ll get it done on the treadmill

  29. Angela on June 21, 2015 at 6:26 am

    Long steady state done today!

  30. melissa on June 21, 2015 at 11:15 am

    family walk today and then yard work – more sweat than a workout!

  31. Nicole on June 21, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Off today with lots of walking around the city.

  32. Grace Gillis on June 21, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    Steady state elliptical + treadmill intervals + 1 round of Workout #3 today! Great to be back in the action after surgery on Thursday.

  33. jen on June 21, 2015 at 1:04 pm

    did a quick and dirty 20 min. tabata workout this morning!

  34. Ashley V on June 21, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    Today was a rest day, but I will be playing sand volleyball later tonight-I need a little activity or I’ll get restless.

  35. Theresa C. on June 21, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Long steady state done! After just one week I already look and feel better-loving summer shape up 🙂

  36. Angela M on June 21, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Body pump today! love the burn.

  37. Nicole on June 22, 2015 at 5:20 am

    45 min of steady followed by the plank burner this AM.

  38. Margot C on June 22, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    Considered a mountain hike on Sunday to be the close of week 1 SSU workouts. Looking forward to next week!

  39. Angela on June 22, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Rest day today!

  40. Becky on June 24, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    So far I’ve done WO #2, #3, and #4. I really love # 2 & #4! Plus I go on almost daily stroller walks with my little guy. Thanks for all the ideas!

  41. Jennifer on June 28, 2015 at 8:21 am

    Huge fan of your blog and love this summer shape up! Any chance you could start sending meal ideas with the monthly calendars too? I find it so helpful!

    • Fitnessista on June 28, 2015 at 10:22 am

      sure, i can include some meal ideas!

      • Jennifer on June 28, 2015 at 11:14 am

        You rock! Hope you’re feeling good momma!

      • Jennifer on June 28, 2015 at 2:54 pm

        Another quick question – what are your thoughts on steady state cardio vs HIIT as this incorporates both? I’ve heard some trainers say HIIT is the only way to go and others disagree, so I’m always curious to learn more!

        • Fitnessista on June 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm

          i think you definitely need a mix of both! hiit is great for fitness improvements and fat loss, and steady state is beneficial for endurance and cardiovascular health

          • Jennifer on June 29, 2015 at 7:00 am

            Good to know! I’ve done the blogilates workout calendar for years, and the more I follow your blog the more I am wondering if it is too much HIIT. I am thinking of switching to your calendars but obviously don’t want a decline in fitness, what are your thoughts? There are so many opinions out there, it can be hard to know what to do. But your program does look very well rounded, and that is making me wonder if it would be the best for my body rather than a constant 6 day burn out of intense Pilates and HIIT. not trying to talk negatively about blogilates of course, just trying to find the best path on this journey!

  42. Nicole on July 12, 2015 at 4:32 pm

    Long jog outside today!

  43. Beth on July 17, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    For me, the saying fitness is 80% diet and 20% exercise has always been true. Those percentages aren’t exact, of course, but for me meal planning has always been the key thing. That said, if anyone is looking for something more user friendly than My Fitness Pal, I’d suggest checking out spoonacular. You can’t log your workouts, but you get the daily nutritional information calculated for you as you meal plan and they calculate the nutritional information for every recipe you upload/save. It’s something I’ve been able to stick to, unlike a lot of other sites.

    Hope this helps someone else 🙂

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