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. Kaylin on June 17, 2015 at 11:14 am

    Tuesday I did a spin class!

  2. Kaylin on June 17, 2015 at 11:16 am

    This morning I did 30 minutes of upper body and a small ab circuit. I am doing spin instructor training with a local spin studio so I’ll be attending another class tonight and then doing training!

  3. Emily on June 17, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    got my steady state cardio in at lunch!

  4. Jessie R on June 17, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Pheww i did Workout #2 today, the burn!!

  5. Nicole on June 17, 2015 at 1:22 pm

    Off day today. Long walk and some yoga at home.

  6. Kara on June 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I pulled my quad catching a fly ball at my game last night (figures). So I improvised for this morning’s workout with a 20 min arms + 10 min abs strength workout. Hoping this heals quickly so I can start doing your workouts!

  7. Becca H on June 17, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    Got in my 40 min hill workout. It was so hot outside!!

  8. Erja on June 17, 2015 at 2:08 pm

    Hi! Does the Crunch Live 30-day free trial turn automatically into a membership that you end up paying for after the 30-day trial is over? I could not find this info on the Crunch Live sign up page. They just ask for credit card info, and this automatically makes me suspicious…

    • Fitnessista on June 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm

      let me double check but i’m pretty sure they verify with you first

      • Fitnessista on June 17, 2015 at 3:29 pm

        it does automatically convert. you can cancel at any time

        • Erja on June 18, 2015 at 4:05 am

          Thank you!

  9. Ashley V on June 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I did workout #2 this morning and then spent 3 hours in the pool with about 60 kids! I am definitely worn out for the day.

  10. erin m. on June 17, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I did workout #3 today…good one!

  11. melissa on June 17, 2015 at 3:59 pm


  12. Angela M on June 17, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    workout #3 and steady state DONE!!! 🙂 Those lunges with passing the dumbbell… brutal, it burned so good!

  13. Kara on June 17, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Steady state w/ hills today. I did your cardio hill on treadmill.

  14. Jaleh on June 17, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    Phew! Steady state up a hill/mtn in Salida, Colorado – kicked my booty 🙂

  15. Samantha on June 17, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    I did Workout #2 yesterday and a 40 min treadmill hill run today. Thanks!

  16. Mackenzie on June 17, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    Mixed up the schedule with an early start Monday, but did Workout #2 today and those jumping lunges killed me!

  17. Mackenzie on June 17, 2015 at 6:04 pm

    Especially after a killer hill workout yesterday 🙂 Loving this year’s SSU already!!

  18. Kristi on June 17, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    steady with hills went down last night!

  19. Kyra on June 17, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    Went to boot camp class at my gym tonight!

  20. Christina on June 17, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    did the 40 min with incline on the treadmill today!

  21. priya on June 17, 2015 at 7:45 pm

    sore legs from those plie squat jumps & lunges yesterday! it was busy busy today so just some walking :)/:(

  22. jen on June 17, 2015 at 9:24 pm

    did workout #2 today! i was feeling the burn in the final minute of spider plank!

  23. Faye Holloway on June 17, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    Today was an off day but tomorrow I’m planning to do 40 min incline walk on treadmill!

  24. Cassie T on June 18, 2015 at 2:27 am

    Yesterday’s cardio was 2 hours of mosh-pitting at a rock concert in Norway! 😀 Plus a 25 minute walk to and from the concert after making a mish-mash dinner (sweet potato with a fried egg on top and salad with greens, sautéd peppers & onions, and balsamic).

  25. Kristen on June 18, 2015 at 4:11 am

    Yesterday worked out to be my rest day but I’m back at it today. Workout 3 and steady over and done. Ready to start the day now!

  26. Shayna on June 18, 2015 at 4:24 am

    Yesterday I only managed to speed walk the 30 minutes it takes to and from work. But today I did 3 rounds of workout #3. Really liked the variety of moves.

  27. Ashley V on June 18, 2015 at 4:58 am

    I did 3 rounds of workout #3 followed by 20 minutes of steady. I’m seriously loving summer shape-up so far!

  28. Nicole on June 18, 2015 at 5:24 am

    40 min steady with hills and some abs. I really like the hills, it helps me get through the long steady cardio.

  29. Samantha D. on June 18, 2015 at 5:36 am

    Did a 40 minute jog yesterday, and workout #3 and 20 minute jog today!

  30. Claire on June 18, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Workout #3

  31. Kady on June 18, 2015 at 7:20 am

    Did workout #3 x3 rounds, plus 10 mins cardio (walk/jog) this morning. I didn’t have time for the extra 10 mins, but it would have been difficult.

  32. Margot C on June 18, 2015 at 7:44 am

    Outdoor 45 minute hill run yesterday. Why?! Why is it so much harder to tackle inclines outside!?

  33. Abbey on June 18, 2015 at 8:06 am

    I’ve done 3 days of workouts so far and all I can say is that my thighs are so sore it’s difficult to walk! Wow! I haven’t felt this way since the annual summer volleyball boot camp in high school. Thanks Gina!

  34. Kaylin on June 18, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Did a 4 mile run outside this morning and will be doing a mile with my local run club tonight for an event!

  35. Kara on June 18, 2015 at 10:33 am

    I pulled my quad Tuesday night, so I tested it out with a 35 min treadmill walk this morning. I did 2.5 miles and kept the incline between 4 – 8%. Plan on doing lots of foam rolling and stretching tonight, with some push-ups and crunches. Hoping to start doing your workouts by tomorrow.

  36. Bethany on June 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    Stadium run (up and down all the way around the football stadium @ school) this morning and then a walk around campus at lunch!

  37. Jenn on June 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm

    Did my 40 min hilly run yesterday (not hard to find the hills in Pittsburgh!). Feeling SO motivated to stick with this! Today is a scorcher so waiting for that sun to go down a little to head out for my 20 mins 🙂

  38. Jessie R on June 18, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Did 2 rounds of Workout #3 today- loved it! A nice variety 🙂 My shoulders and quads will be dead tomorrow after Workout #2 yesterday and this today.

  39. Sarah on June 18, 2015 at 3:52 pm

    Did Hills yesterday and workout #3 today! woo!

  40. Mackenzie on June 18, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    I did Workout #3 this morning and it got my heart rate up, but wasn’t quite the sweatfest I was hoping for. Maybe next time I’ll try 40 seconds on, 20 seconds off?

    • Fitnessista on June 18, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      yep that’s a great idea!

  41. catherine c. on June 18, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Did the 40 min steady state tonight!! Super sore from Workout #2!

  42. Margot C on June 18, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Workout #3 in the books!

  43. Crystal on June 18, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Steady with hills today. So sore! Gearing up for strength tomorrow.

  44. Sarah T on June 18, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Thursday workout: check! Took the dog on a long, hilly walk with my husband for my hilly steady this week! It was hard to do anything else being so sore from last night’s workout #2. Looking forward to workout #3 tomorrow!

  45. jen on June 19, 2015 at 12:09 am

    workout #1 today!

  46. Erin M. on June 19, 2015 at 5:17 am

    7 mile run this morning!

  47. melissa on June 19, 2015 at 5:18 am

    Workout done, feels good!

  48. Ashley V on June 19, 2015 at 5:41 am

    I finished workout #1!

  49. Lindsay on June 19, 2015 at 6:29 am

    This is the fifth day in a row that I’ll attend Boot Camp! I haven’t worked out this much since my wedding in 2013 and I feel awesome! I’ve lost 1.75″ off of my waist since May 1!

  50. Cate on June 19, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I completed Workout#2 yesterday. I like the format quite a bit, but adding those three sets of fifteen squat presses and the plank series at the end was tough! Other workouts this week: Cardio intervals (elliptical) on Monday, Body Pump on Tuesday, long walk with the dog on Wednesday, and WO#2 yesterday. I may check out the Overdrive workout today. The 30-day Crunch trial is a great benefit of this year’s SSU. Thanks for hooking us up!

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