Quick shrimp and quinoa stir fry

I took about 30 minutes yesterday to prep some goodies for the week:


Ballz 2

Steamed eggs and quinoa

Steamed eggs and quinoa

and dinner was one of those one-pot wonders where everything came together to make a delicious, quick and satisfying meal.

Dinner 3

I just threw some ingredients into the pot, said a silent prayer to the cooking gods, and decided to see what happened.

Here’s what went in:

-a pack of Trader Joe’s stir fry veggies

-can of organic garbanzo beans, drained

-olive oil + butter

-seasoned with Tamari, cayenne, garlic, sea salt, pepper, large drizzle of honey

-After everything was cooked up, added about 1.5 C cooked quinoa and a bag of defrosted shrimp (cooked with the tails removed)

 I was pleasantly surprised with how well it turned out- the Pilot loved it, too! 

Shrimp 8

My legs are SO SORE today. Thankfully it’s a rest day, and I’m really glad I actually got my training run in this weekend or I would have been relegated to the dreadmill. I usually don’t mind it too much- mostly because I’m a 20-minute HIIT girl- but for longer runs, I die. I put a magazine over the counter so I can’t watch the mileage slowly creep by, and hope that I’m too distracted by my killer playlist and celebrity gossip to realize how bored I am. This is a huge reason why I’m excited for fall runs- I can run outside with the beautiful scenery. 

I was pretty sure the treadmill was only good for the obvious use, until I was recently introduced to a medley of killer exercises, all performed during a treadmill cardio workout.  Here are some fun ways to add strength training and bust boredom in your next treadmill workout- all you need is a resistance band and pair of dumbbells.

-Tip: perform these while walking at a steep incline (like 12%) at a very, very slow pace (maybe 2.0-2.5), unless otherwise indicated

-Avoid holding onto the hand rails. Did you know that holding onto the hand rails can decrease your calorie burn by 30%? 

-As always, use your best judgment before trying anything new with the treadmill. If your balance feels off, or you need to adjust something to suit your needs, please do so. Nothing is worth injuring yourself. Check with a doc before making any fitness changes.

Treadmill workout1

Treadmill workout


-Form cues:

Overhead press: Press the weights up overhead as you take long, slow steps up the hill at a very steep incline.

Side shuffles: Sit your hips down while keeping nice posture and your torso lifted. Think about keeping soft knees the entire time, like a mini squat. You pick the pace. Repeat on the other side (30 sec each side).

Resistance band row: pull the bands back and think about squeezing a lemon in between your shoulder blades.

Lunges: Take LONG, slow steps, so you may need to reduce your speed dramatically to get in a good walking lunge. Lunge straight down and watch your front knee to make sure it doesn’t shoot forward. 

Bicep curl: Bicep curl as you climb up the steep incline- you can do unilateral curls or hammer curls to switch things up.

Push-up: place your feet on either side of the belt and perform pushups with hands wide on the hand rails. Exhale on the way up and think about bringing your chest to the bar, not your forehead to the control panel.

Inverted row: STOP the treadmill belt and you’ll step to either side of the belt. Use the hand rails to perform a pull-up type movement, while keeping your hips lifted and squeezing your booty.

V-ups or windshield wipers: STOP the treadmill belt, and after it’s fully stopped, have a seat on the belt directly under the handrails, facing away from the control panel. Hold onto the hand rails, lean back slightly and engage your core. Exhale as you raise your legs, then inhale as you lower them towards the belt. Do not let them touch the belt and exhale to lift again. Repeat. For fun, try a windshield wiper-style movement from side to side.

BONUS:  Perform each exercise for 1 minute and add 2 minutes of running or speed walking (challenging pace) in between each strength exercise. This type of workout will help to encourage muscular endurance as well as speed.


If you try it, let me know how it goes… and how hardcore you feel when everyone in the gym is checking out your treadmill moves 😉

Have a happy Monday!



Something to talk about: How do you keep yourself from getting into a cardio rut? What’s something that you regularly alternate in your routine? I make sure to change the weight exercises I do each week (posting them keeps me from getting into a habit of repeating workouts and certain moves), and I like to change my cardio each week depending on my teaching schedule.

Something to read:

Raw pizza recipe (one of my favorite raw meals ever)

Know these signs 

Healing foods: Aloe

Our review of the new Sleep Number M7

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  1. Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat on August 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

    OOh this looks like fun! At the moment I can’t run because I sprained my SI joint in a half marathon a couple of weekends ago and it still hates me (re-confirmed this morning when I tried to run for 10 minutes after teaching my spin class!) so lately I’ve been sticking to the bike, step mill, and elliptical. To mix things up last week, I decided I was going to tackle at least one piece of cardio equipment that I don’t normally use, and I went for the rower. Although it didn’t get my heart rate up as much as I wanted it to, it was a nice change, and it definitely doesn’t hurt to work those posture muscles!! Other ways I mix things up are by throwing in the odd Insanity workout or BodyRock HIIT session. I like my cardio time to be fairly long, but I always love seeing how fast I can make myself sweat in a short higher-intensity workout!

  2. Aditi on August 27, 2012 at 10:37 am

    While this treadmill routine looks AWESOME, I have a feeling that my local YMCA would be very unhappy with me if I tried to do V-ups and Wipers on their treadmills!

    • Fitnessista on August 27, 2012 at 11:06 am

      haha why? people sweat all over them 🙂

  3. Stephanie on August 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    I’m very impressed with the way you orchestrated this workout routine! Awesome job! 🙂 I the one-pot dish sounds amazing. Like so many others, I wish we had a Trader Joe’s in South Florida. Maybe one day!

  4. Alison on August 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    HA! I was reading through thinking how hard core I would feel just to do it in the privacy of my basement! Extra points to those brave enough to do it in public! 🙂

  5. Ali @ Around the VeggieTable on August 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

    ooooooh this looks like a good one 🙂

  6. Beks on August 27, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I’m a treadmill newbie. I’ve never liked them because I thought it was boring, even with a killer playlist and celeb gossip. Doing C210K on my phone is helping the boredom, as is reading on my kindle. So much easier than attempting to read a book with pages! (My gym has lots of fans everywhere). I think I’ll definitely try this to shake things up on the non-run days, though.

  7. Rachel on August 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

    Love doing inverted rows on the treadmill!

  8. Jess on August 27, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Hahaha omg I just saw those pictures and immediately thought I hope the treadmill isn’t moving for those inverted rows! I could see myself stupidly trying to do those while walking upside down. Fail.

  9. Paige @ Your Trainer Paige on August 27, 2012 at 11:40 am

    I am LOLing just because I pictured myself on the treadmill doing those V-Ups with it ON first. LOL! Yeah…that wouldn’t paint a pretty picture – ha! Very creative workout! Could probably bust out some dips on it, too 🙂

  10. Kristen on August 27, 2012 at 11:46 am

    This is awesome! I have a treadmill at home purposely facing the tv in the bedroom and right next to a big bay window. I put it there hoping either the tv or beautiful scenery would keep me from dieing a slow painful death while I’m on it- FAIL unless I’m just walking but if it’s a run…ugh!
    However, this workout will keep things interesting. Thanks!
    I like to switch up cardio. Lately I’ve stuck to running or walking because that’s about all I can do with my son-he loves the jogging stroller. He’s almost to the point where my hubby or I can pull him in a cart behind our bikes. I can’t wait! I see people doing that with their kids all the time at the Riverpark and they all just seem so content and happy playing with their little toys or just enjoying the ride 🙂

  11. Danielle@cleanfoodcreativefitness on August 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I love this workout! What a fun way to switch up the usual boring treadmill run! I am totally not a runner so throw in strength and it automatically makes it better!

  12. Stephanie on August 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    Treadmills intimidate me lol. I once had a person next to me who stumbled and flew off…she was okay, but it definetely left me with a little trauma.
    I’m kinda hesitant to do out of the ordinary things at the gym…that’s when it’s nice to have a personal trainer with you. Then you can a least be like “look what this crazy person is having me do” lol.

  13. Ashley Marchant on August 27, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    Oh man cardio rut!! Story of my life, but recently I have been LOVING boxing, I go to a place right by house and it is a KILLER workout!! Also having a workout buddy always helps with the cardio boredom : )

  14. Andrea @ Vegvacious on August 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I also like to hide the clock when I’m on the treadmill — I casually ‘toss’ a towel over it so I can’t see what my time is! I’ve never thought of doing a mix of exercises on the treadmill – I think I’d get a few odd looks, but who cares as long as I’m getting a sweat on!

    I get bored really easily so I have to switch up my cardio frequently. I’m constantly searching for new interval workouts on the treadmill and elliptical to keep things interesting. Hands down, my fave day of the week is the day I have zumba!!

  15. Azka on August 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Are you kidding me? I never thought the treadmill could be so diverse! I’ve done side shufflers and incline/slow and even used light weights but all of this looks intense and seriously elevates the fitness status of the old treadmill 🙂 thank you!

    • Fitnessista on August 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      🙂 let me know if you try it!

  16. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles on August 27, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Ugh, treadmill. As long as it’s short or done in intervals, I can take it, but much prefer to run around outside.

  17. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 27, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I am NOT a fan of the ‘mill. I just would rather not even run if that’s my choice. I always end up injuring myself on it whereas I can go run 6 miles outside lickity split, no biggie, but not on the mill. I just can’t hang with it. I think it’s the way I strike my feet on the belt or something but I end up with knee, arch, ankle, everything issues vs. nothing outside. Bless your heart for doing it!

  18. James on August 27, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    I literally just ordered a treadmill last Friday and this makes me even more excited for it to arrive! Thanks!

  19. Elizabeth M. on August 27, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Bah, treadmills can be rough for long runs! When I was training for my half marathon I did an 11 mile run on the treadmill because it was too icy to go outside. It. Was. Hard. Mentally, I think it was harder than the actual race. I watched so much netflix on my phone! haha.

    I LOVE adding your Tabata videos when I am feeling in a rut. It’s great!

  20. Aly on August 27, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    quick question — do you use raw shrimp or the pre-cooked ones?

    • Fitnessista on August 27, 2012 at 5:52 pm


  21. Molly@This Life Is Sparkling on August 27, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I’m so excited for fall running. It’s my favorite time of the year to be outside and just enjoy the weather 🙂

  22. Georgia on August 27, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    This looks fun! I don’t think there are any resistance bands at my gym so I may need to find an alternative to that one but I’m very much looking forward to trying this out! 🙂

  23. hellonheelshon on August 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Fall runs are my favorite too! Not too hot, not too cold and beautiful colors to distract me! 🙂

  24. Jenny on August 28, 2012 at 5:27 am

    LOVE this post. I am often confined to the treadmill because of my husbands work schedule, my work schedule, and the kids so I love this!! Can’t wait to try it!

  25. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy on August 28, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I ran 5 miles on Sunday also, and then I went to Zumba yesterday. Bad idea! My calves were in pain the entire time. I almost left early, but I was in the front and didn’t want to seem rude! Next time, I’m taking a rest day after my long run.

  26. Jess on August 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Gina, you rock! This treadmill strength workout was amazing! I was a hot, sweaty mess when it was all said and done. I felt very accomplished and didn’t get bored a single time. This one’s going into my regular workout rotation. I cant wait to share it with friends and do it again. THANKS! 😀

  27. Caitlin on August 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    I can’t wait to try this workout! I think I might try to do some HIIT intervals in between each exercise 🙂 I don’t have a resistance band at my gym so is there another exercise we can sub it with if that’s the case? Or just use dumbbells? Thanks again for such a fun looking workout!

  28. Travis Ehrenstrom on September 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    This is awesome! I too am really excited about fall runs as it’s my favorite time of the year to run. Finally the heat of summer is gone, and the beautiful colors of fall start to arrive!

    However, I live in an area with a heavy snowfall rate and unfortunately I’m stuck on the “dreadmill” for almost 4-5 whole months! What would you recommend for a good starting speed for the walking lunges?

    Thanks again for the wonderful post!

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