Women’s Health Workouts

Hi guys! Howโ€™s your day been??

Um, HOLY MACAROONS ๐Ÿ˜€ Keep those giveaway entries coming! Iโ€™ll announce the future roon holder in the morning ๐Ÿ˜‰ Your lovely comments have definitely helped bring a smile to my face -I love hearing what youโ€™re excited about.


I wanted something COLD for lonchi, so I made a butterfinger smoothie (with carob powder instead of cacao- it was a fun way to change it up)


(x3- it was a massive smoothie!)

and before work, put the finishing touches on these workout plans that I created for one of my clients, whom I refer to as โ€œTinkerbellโ€ on the blog.

These workouts are from Womenโ€™s Health Big Book of Exercises

bigbook-288x300 Source

Whether youโ€™re a fitness newbie or weights enthusiast, this book is an excellent resource. It has SO many different exercises (and explains which muscle group the exercise works), and different variations of the usual strength training moves.

The only problem Iโ€™ve found with the book is that it assumes you know how to put together a weight plan. There are some pre-made plans in the back of the book, but I can definitely see how it would be easy to get overwhelmed with pics of all of these exercises and no idea how to put them together.

Here are two weeks of workouts that I created using this book. Feel free to move them around and change it up to suit your needs and preferences and as always, check with a doc before starting a new fitness routine.

Note: This is just the weights portion of the workout. Complete each exercise 12-15 times and use a challenging weight, then take a little rest (30 seconds or so) and repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 sets for each exercise. (If you can do more than 15 easily, try adding in some more weight) Add in cardio as you see *fit* by either incorporating cardio blasts in between exercises (jumping rope, jump squats, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, etc) or by warming up 5-10 minutes with easy cardio and completing the rest of your cardio sesh after weights.

Make sure to do weights on non-consecutive days to allow muscles to repair and recover.

Week 1:

Day 1: Chest, Shoulders and Upper Back

Incline DB fly (pg 61)

Bench push-ups (feet on the bench)

DB push press (pg 121)

Bent-over fly

Swiss ball press (pg 56)

Day 2: Calves, Abs and Lower back

Swiss ball plank with feet on bench (pg 281)

Back extension

Barbell calf raise (pg 224)

Russian twist (pg 300)

Single leg donkey calf raise (pg 225)

Day 3: Biceps and Triceps

DB tricep extension (pg 179)

Standing Zottman curl (pg 158)

Tricep dips

Swiss preacher curl (pg 152)

Decline hammer curl (pg 156)

Day 4: Quads and Hamstrings

Sumo squat (pg 204)

Side lunge (pg 220)

Hip raise with Bosu (pg 241)

Clamshell (267)


lets get big

Week 2

Day 1: Shoulders, Chest and Triceps

Decline DB fly (pg 61)

Inverted shoulder press (pg 123)

Tricep press (pg 171

DB chest press (pg 53)

Weight plate front raise (pg 125)

Swiss tricep extension (pg 169)

Day 2: Legs and Abs

Barbell jump squat (pg 202)

Med ball V-up (pg 317)

Swiss ball side crunch (pg 333)

Braced squat (pg 194)

Barbell stepover (pg 214)

Day 3: Back and Biceps

Assisted pull-up

Bar pullover (pg 106)

Cable hammer curl (pg 161)

Cable row (pg 95)

Lat pulldown (pg 102)

So there ya go! Two different muscle splits (the first one utilizes antagonist muscle groups, while the second week pairs synergistic muscle groups) and LOTS of exercises ๐Ÿ˜€

I hope yaโ€™ll enjoy these workouts! Let me know what you think ๐Ÿ™‚

Still need help putting together a workout plan? Check out *this post*

Back to work then coming home to put an avocado mask on my hair. Iโ€™ll definitely post the recipe for yaโ€™ll.



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  1. Donna Porter on September 13, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    I just picked up this book at the library! Perfect timing! I figured I’d try it out at the library and decide if I want to buy it.

  2. brittany on September 13, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    i love all of your workout plans! I’ve been trying to make my own weights routine but i love having a structured plan like this! i’m going to use this as a pre- winter shape up. I always see big results after following your shape up plans thank you!!

  3. Exercise and Eat on September 13, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the workout plans:)

  4. Carrie on September 13, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I really need this, I need to do some hardcore weight training on arms!

  5. Kristina @ spabettie on September 13, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I am definitely going to be using these workouts!! ๐Ÿ™‚ they sound great – thanks for sharing!

    I didn’t want to be a ROON HOG and as much as I’d love more, I figured I’d not enter the contest and leave it for another lucky reader! ๐Ÿ™‚ But I wanted to say I’m EXCITED about my upcoming birthday which includes a trip to Vegas (WOO!), and that Jason and I are working on a couch to 5K right now and it’s AWESOME ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. MoniMeals on September 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Awesome! Women’s Health Mag is always great. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Joslyn (missfitbliss) on September 13, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    The workout sounds cool – but I’m intrigued with the avocado hair mask! I hope you post the recipe!

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2010 at 7:43 pm

      i will for sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Erin on September 13, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Perfect timing…in the next few days I was going to come up with a new weight routiene!!! Awesome, thank you!!!

  9. Holly @ couchpotatoathlete on September 13, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    I am going to B&N tonight and I will have to check out that book! Thanks for the workouts Gina ๐Ÿ™‚

    A Butterfinger smoothie sounds so delicious right now. Dinner for me? Maybe ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. J on September 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    Hey Fitnessista, it’s me again, the clueless husband! Us men like straight forward decisions and there are just way too many options for this dehydrator– our anniversary is next week so I better figure it out quick! It looks like the dehydrator you own (that you sent a link to) is the 9-tray 2900 model-is that right? There’s also a 3900 model and the main differences seem to be the 3900 has a larger fan for faster drying time and a built-in timer. I am assuming since you said you love your 2900 model that you haven’t had a problem with the supposed “smaller” fan drying food throughly? Do you find it difficult without a timer on the unit? It seems to me you could just set yourself a timer on your cell phone and remember that way. I know she’ll appreciate either one but I’m trying to make it perfect ๐Ÿ˜‰ — I will definitely let her know I would have been lost without your help! Thank you.

    • Fitnessista on September 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      i have the 2900 and it dries the food amazingly. i don’t use a timer because with raw “cooking” the times aren’t exact. i can leave macaroons in there from anywhere to 24-36 hours and they’ll have a very similar texture. that being said, if i had the chance to buy the 3900 (mine is two years old) i would have!
      i think if you want to get her the 3900, i’m sure she’ll love it ๐Ÿ™‚ it’s a win win situation

  11. stephanie on September 13, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I had to try three times to get to your site. I kept getting the message “This site is too busy to allow access at this time”. So congrats girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks like everyone is showing you some love today!

  12. Paige @Running Around Normal on September 13, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Love that book! So many great exercises – both classic and innovative:)

  13. ermi on September 13, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    Thanks G…I’ve been wanting to get this book. Gracias for putting a workout together too!

  14. Heather (Heather's Dish) on September 13, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    woohoo for new workout ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Ananda on September 13, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    I feel like someone just gave me a present. Thanks for the line-up of exercises!

  16. Erinn on September 13, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    I bought this book last January and was successful with the pre-made workouts, but definitely felt overwhelmed with how to create my own plan. Thanks for the tips, starting this plan tomorrow!

  17. LisaG on September 13, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    Thanks so much for the plan. Luv the book.

  18. suki on September 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    I just got a ridiculous deal on avocados, so I’ll keep an eye out for that mask. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  19. Katie on September 13, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for the workout ideas! They are fabulous! I love your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Johanna B on September 13, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    I must acquire that book. I’m in an aircast on my leg but need lots of upper body stuff. Maybe in a month or two I can go back to legs.

  21. Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) on September 13, 2010 at 6:41 pm

    I love lifting weights….looks like a great book. Thanks!

  22. Lily on September 13, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I lovvvveee that kind of stuff! 9 times out of 10 you’ll find me with some cuhhrazzzy concoction on my hair/face sunday night. Gotta stay beautifull ๐Ÿ™‚

    love weight training, shoulders are my fav. Followed by legs! Years, and yearssss of competitive swimming/dancing/ cross country= beasty legs!


  23. kelli on September 13, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Ahh I am excited to try these workout I have that book and I love IT. I accidentally bought it when I got a subscription…but a great mistake it was. Do you reccommend any certain weight#? I use 8# but getting close to needing a higher set ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. VeggieGirl on September 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I need that butterfinger smoothie. Now.

  25. Megan @ Healthy Hoggin' on September 13, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I definitely feel overwhelmed with strength training books! I bought Jillian Michaels’s book, “Making the Cut,” last year, and got lost in all the pictures and individual moves! What really helped me was her “Hot Bod in a Box” flash cards– which is basically a variety of workouts pre-printed on laminated cards you can take to the gym with you.

    It actually inspired me to write down one of YOUR summer shape-up workouts on an index card, and take it to the gym with me, too! Having the cards ready-to-go makes my workouts a no-brainer! ๐Ÿ˜€

  26. Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) on September 13, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I wish I could taste your smoothie. I was craving a choc shake after my workout too.. but with some pizazz. All I could find was some almond extract…. which was ok, but yours sound so much better!!! YUM

    Can’t wait to hear about the hair mask! Sounds very cool. Never really thought to make my own.

    Thanks for the book tip! It’s only 16.49 on amazon with free shipping. I think it will be a great resource. Also looking forward to trying out some of the excersize routine’s you posted. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks G!!

  27. gigi on September 13, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    I love that you post workout plans, and strength training ones at that! I’ve been meaning to switch up my workout for a while now and this post is excellent motivation

  28. Jessica @ How Sweet It Is on September 13, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Oooh I can’t wait for the avocado mask recipe!

  29. Cara Craves... on September 13, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    I am looking forward to seeing your avocado mask…if it hydrates and smooths
    your hair, I’m in! My hair is still so dry from the summer.

  30. Haleigh on September 13, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Ooh! A butterfinger smoothie sounds perfect in this heat! I will be the first to admit that I don’t really understand how to set up a weight routine for myself, I always wander around in the gym without a purpose.. haha… this is why I love going to Body Pump class. I let the instructor do all of the thinking for me ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. Lauren on September 13, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I love the idea of these workouts in Women’s Health but for some reason, I have the worst time being able to follow a workout in a magazine. I feel so uncoordinated.

  32. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) on September 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    Avo hair mask, yum! I have recently found this vegan, gluten free, SLS and paraben free, etc hair line called Unite and I’ve been posting about it. Normally I am not one to jump on the holistic bandwagon on personal care products just to say that Im using xyz “vegan haircare” or skincare, etc…but girl, this stuff has made my hair feel sooo good! If you ever come across it, pick it up. A lil pricey, along the lines of Pureology, but I like it better. But I bet an avo mask is the best anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

    Today I posted about my Gym & fitness class Pet Peeves and gave you a shout out, b/c I know you have to have some and have seen some shizzle over the years, no doubt, working in the fitness biz!


  33. Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter on September 13, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Perfect timing with the avocado hair mask! I got avocado’d out, but I’m looking for ways to use up all of the avocados ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Jenna on September 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    I need to go out and get this book because I am clueless when it comes to weights. For the longest time I just avoided weight training because I was intimidated. Your summer shape up actually got me lifting weights and I’m doing one of the workouts tomorrow morning!

  35. Wendy @ Seriously Sassy on September 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Ok, LOVE that shirt!!

  36. JRM on September 13, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    I was wondering how this book was…good to know…will check it out.

  37. Tina on September 13, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Great looking workout plan! It makes me long for creating mine again. I’ve just been going to classes while pregnant so I can save my creative workout planning for after the baby…when I can push myself. ๐Ÿ˜€

  38. Jessica@tastyandtrim on September 13, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Love the shirt ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t wait to see the hair mask recipe. I’m always looking for new ways to nourish or repair my hair!

  39. lindsey on September 13, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Love the new exercise plans. I wrote them all on index cards to stash in my gym bag. I love having new routines!

    Bought a giant box of lara bars tonight – love them so much! I eat half for a snack and break the other half into two for my boys. they love them too!

    off to make another breakfast cookie for tomorrow. have a great night!

  40. Suzanne on September 13, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Okay, over 600 comments, surely someone has referenced this already, but did this question make anyone else think of the saved by the bell episode where jessie spano sings โ€œiโ€™m so exitedโ€ and is, oh horror of horrors, addicted to *drugs* (which for kiddie tv translates into caffeine pills, haha)?

    Anyway, remembering that period of time in my life when I watched tbs after school eating pop-tarts until i had to go to gymnastics makes meโ€ฆ. SO EXCITED (sung, not spoken, replete with shoulder shrugging and jazz hands)โ€ฆIt also makes me not a little embarrassed/amazed at my former self (pop-tars?!?!)

  41. Lauren on September 13, 2010 at 10:52 pm

    Thanks so much for posting this, what a great resource ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Molly on September 13, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Thanks for the weights workout, I’m a cardio kinda girl and need to incorporate more weights for sure! Can’t wait for the avacado mask recipe.. my hair needs a lil love and I’m sure my parents won’t notice one of their precious avacados missing? X)

  43. Kate on September 13, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks so much for the info Gina. I only started regularly working out a couple months ago and I’ve been doing weights several times a week, but I feel like I need to start switching my routines up so I don’t get bored. I will definitely look for this book, it seems like it would be pretty helpful to someone like myself.

  44. Annie D @ Annie's Simple Life on September 14, 2010 at 7:53 am

    LMAO love your shirt!!!

  45. Martha on September 14, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Hey girl,
    Just curious as t your take on Jillian Michael’s 30 day Shred.. In your opinion, is it a good resource for getting ripped? I run a few days a week, but I thought maybe incorporating weights would be a good way to round out my fitness thang…

  46. Wendy on September 14, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Cool book! I just put a request in for it at my library.

  47. jenna on September 14, 2010 at 8:37 am

    what a resourceful post! Thank you for posting the ‘how to link’ again as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf on September 14, 2010 at 9:38 am

    Nice workout plan! I haven’t really gotten into weights because I definitely don’t know how to put a plan together!

  49. Catherine @ Life 2.0 on September 14, 2010 at 9:39 am

    Totally unrelated to this post, but I tried protein ice cream last night! Oh my word, I’m hooked!

  50. melissa lillie on September 14, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Finishing out a tri season and looking at starting to add some weights in- this is really great! Thanks so much for posting it!
    I put plain yogurt (room temp) and then honey on my face when it needs a little something special. I cant wait to hear about the avo hair mask.

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