Summer Shape Up 2016 Intro post

It’s that magical time again…

Summer Shape Up is here!


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

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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 2016 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, or tag me on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram (@fitnessista #summershapeup). You can also join in the fun in our interactive private Facebook group. It’s a great way to share support for other SSU members and ask questions.

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, will often join us to provide 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 pretty busy over the summer, and will likely 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, wild rice)

Eggs (2 dozen)

Egg whites (I like the yolks, and they’re very nutritious, but when I just want pure protein, I’ll have egg whites)

Salad supplies (greens, fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, balsamic vinegar, apple cider vinegar, fresh herbs, protein)

Protein (chicken, fish and tempeh are my faves)

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. 

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.

Let’s get into Week 1!!

Summer shape up 2016 week 1 workout schedule

All your Week 1 info can be found here, including meal ideas and this week’s Total Body Tabata Blast (Workout #1)

Total body tabata blast

 Links for each week (will be updated as we move along!)

 WEEK 1 Workouts and Meal Ideas

WEEK 2 Workouts and Meal Ideas

WEEK 3 Workouts and Meal Ideas

Week 4 Workouts and Meal Ideas

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

I’m always cheering for you.


Special thanks to Henry Young for taking all Summer Shape Up workout photos 

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  1. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on July 11, 2016 at 7:11 am

    I’m pumped about the meals! It’s nice to have someone else plan them for me. 😉

  2. Emily on July 11, 2016 at 7:28 am

    Yeah, I convinced my coworker to join me this time!

  3. Barbara G on July 11, 2016 at 8:23 am

    I’m in.

    I ? Tabata workouts and using my smartphone Tabata app, so I’m psyched about that.

    My water bottle is at my side, and I’m ready and raring to go.

    Many thanks for organizing this SSU. Great to be on board for the next four weeks, and beyond!

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      wahoo! so happy you’re joining in the fun <3

  4. Amanda on July 11, 2016 at 8:55 am

    So excited to get started! I’m working with a trainer 2x per week and am training for a 10k so I’m excited to pepper in SSU workouts to supplement my schedule. If the week 1 schedule is any indication, it should all pair nicely together!

  5. Rachel R on July 11, 2016 at 9:21 am

    I’ve read for years but this is my first time following along with the shape up! I’m in!

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:43 pm

      yay, so awesome! thank you for reading for so long, too <3

  6. Karen on July 11, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Are there any prenatal mods for this week?

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Yes, all on !

  7. India on July 11, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for doing this for your readers, Gina. You are a superstar!

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:42 pm

      i always look forward to it! <3 xoxo

  8. Josie on July 11, 2016 at 9:52 am

    I’m excited to try this! I am a good exerciser when I get into a routine but not a good eater. I’m ready to head out to the store and pick up a ton of sweet potatoes! I have a 6 month old baby and she is trying out new foods so cooking up a batch or sweet potatoes will be great!



  9. Taylor on July 11, 2016 at 10:04 am

    This is awesome!! Love new healthy meal ideas!

  10. Rikki on July 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Excited to join in this summer!

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:40 pm

      wahoo! so glad you’re joining in 🙂

  11. Jennifer on July 11, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Woo-hoo! Free meal and exercise plans always make my day!! You’re the best <3

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:39 pm

      thank you so much for participating, lovely!

  12. Christina Recine on July 11, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    4 weeks till my wedding and I will be doing summer shape up!!!! So excited came at the perfect time Gina 🙂

  13. Deanna on July 11, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    I did workout #1 yesterday (Monday down under) and I loved it! I love that the SSU encourages variety. I tried to do a 30 day barre challenge, and after 10 days I was so over the quakes and shakes.

    I can’t lag on the SSU either, because I’m going to Fiji in 2 months! My goal is to be able to take pictures in a bikini without wanting to burn them after. (Oh, and all the sleeping and feeling good benefits too).

  14. Sandra V on July 11, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Workout 1 done! Woo!! My quads are gonna feel that mañana! Do dance parties with your toddler count as warm up and cool down? 😉

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:36 pm

      great job on the workout too 🙂

  15. AR on July 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm

    Thanks so much for doing this! I kicked off a long stretch of being in great shape with one of your shape ups 5 years ago! It gave me the tools to do circuit workouts on my own, without gym classes. Now I need a fitness tune up so this is great timing. Just finished workout number 1!

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      awesome! and thank you for letting me know- that is amazing. thank you so much for joining in <3

  16. Lindsay on July 11, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    Just finished two rounds of Workout #1 + Tabata and I’m officially spent! I’m honestly considering getting an industrial box fan for my workout room, lol. I’m definitely looking forward to this year’s SSU. I’m at the phase of the summer where my love of wine is overtaking my love of exercise… definitely time to hit the reset button.

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      hahah! wine FTW. great job getting in the workout!

  17. Ashlee on July 11, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    I love doing these with you each year! Thanks for doing it yet again!

    • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      thank you so much for joining in the fun!

  18. Faye Holloway on July 11, 2016 at 9:07 pm

    I’ve been looking forward to this all summer! Just got back from Asia and felt like a liver by the end of 10 days of nonstop eating. Ready to feel healthy again ??

    • Faye Holloway on July 11, 2016 at 9:07 pm

      That was supposed to read blivet – not liver 🙂

      • Fitnessista on July 11, 2016 at 10:28 pm

        haha i was like ohhhhh what is that???

  19. Rebecca@defensesoap on July 11, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    Me too excited to try this specially that Hiit. And it’s also important to take care of what you eating for positive results with exercises.

  20. masala girl on July 12, 2016 at 4:13 am

    loved WO1 yesterday!! ready for a good week ahead. i’m definitely going to try and do measurements this year!!

  21. Maria on July 14, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Hills! ouch but in a good way! love the mixing up of workouts!

  22. Kailey on July 14, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Love having SSU back! Workout 1/Tabata done!

  23. Nicole on July 15, 2016 at 11:21 am

    Welp this week was off to a good start but then I let work and travel get in the way! I was sure to get in lots of walking and hit my 10,000+ steps every day at least. Trying to get back on track and did Workout 1 and HIIT this morning!

  24. Abby on July 15, 2016 at 3:24 pm

    I’m hoping to do Workout 1 tomorrow, since I’ll only be fitting the official SSU Workouts in once per week this time around! But I’ve been doing short circuits at home and lots of walking to keep my workouts lower intensity. THANKS AGAIN Gina!

  25. Emily Dalen on July 18, 2016 at 8:56 am

    What muscles are you working when doing the v-ups on the ball? I’m feeling a lot of things, but am not sure it’s the right things! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on July 18, 2016 at 11:33 am

      mostly glutes and low back! xo

  26. Kailey on July 20, 2016 at 3:38 pm

    HIIT/Tabata combo yesterday, Orangetheory today. I owe you for getting me hooked on OTF! 🙂

  27. Cassie T on July 21, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Loving workouts from weeks 1 & 2!

  28. Jennifer Lattin on July 21, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    wo 2 and 15 minutes of hiit!

  29. Jennifer L. on July 22, 2016 at 7:46 am

    Spin today!

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