Workout Wednesday (belated, sorry!)- Good Morning, Body!

 

This quick workout is a nice little Good Morning burn to wake you up in the morning or after a long period of sitting down at work. It’s perfect for these cold Melbourne mornings were getting out of bed is tantamount to an ice bath. Basically, it’s a HELLO to your body and a little message to say that you know it wants to move and GET WARM! (You can tell I’m feeling the change in weather, can’t you?!)

Perform 1 minute of each exercise, back to back.

Jumping Jacks
Plank Jacks
Walking Pushups (Both hands on a step, one hand on ground, both hands on ground, other hand on step, both hands on step)
Lunges (1 minute each leg)
Plie’ Pulses
Twist side planks
Dips
Knee repeaters
High Knees

And it’s done, within 10 minutes! If you like, you could shorten the work time to 45 seconds and have 15 seconds of rest between each exercise. You can also make this a full length workout by taking one minute after finishing the 10 exercises above and then repeat it twice through (with another minute between the 2nd and 3rd set).

Feel free to add weights to these exercises as well, to challenge yourself further but it’s not necessary! Your body weight is enough!

Let me know how you go!!

 

Workout Wednesday- Tabata TRX Total Body Toner

Holidays are the greatest gifts the modern world has given us.

octo

I mean, yes- vaccines, the 8hr work day, human rights and the 24hr news cycle with the accountability it brings are all fabulous too… but holidays, man. Just fabulous.

I am especially blessed as someone working in the education field, that I receive school holidays every year. Now, in my previous position as a full time Secondary Teacher, I would spend a fair whack of my “holidays” marking, prepping for the term ahead- both mentally and in terms of class work-, and ensuring that all the admin stuff I’d neglected throughout the term was finally dealt with.

This holiday is a little different. When I found out about my new role I went into overdrive and planned out everything for the whole semester, and while I have a little bit of thinking I need to do for a collaboration project with some of the other teachers I work with- there’s actually not too much for me to do this break!

So, I’ve run away with my parents to the sleepy little town of Lakes Entrance. It’s been good for me as, like my previous getaway destination of Yea, there isn’t that much to do beyond going for seaside strolls, SUPping and chilling out with a book.

beach

It’s been lovely to relax.

But rest assured, I haven’t been body snatched and replaced by some weird “zen” version of myself- I’ve still packed my days with lots of fun things and been keeping more active than is really appropriate on holiday (there’s been many “what have I become” moments these last 4 days) with slow, short runs with my parents for the first few mornings followed by fast, furious circuit work to get my heart rate up and muscles twitching. I’ve been Stand Up Paddleboarding- the most relaxed way to work your upper body and core. I’ve given my legs a work out by not only walking everywhere but by walking through the softest sand imaginable while watching dolphins frolic in the waves (#humblebrag… like this whole post really). Today, my mumsy and I are kayaking (to a winery) and back (I’m looking forward to the comparison of pre tasting and post tasting kayaking prowess) before doing some more beach side wanderings.

While there’s been plenty of activity out in the sun, sand and surf, it’s also been super handy having my knock off K Mart TRX trainer with me. I’ve anchored it to my door and used it in the following circuit. It’s a great little burn and the perfect way to kill time while my parents enjoy not having the most evil body clock in the world.

 

It uses the Tabata method of training  (20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest x8) so you can really go hard or you can work at an easier pace. If you’re just beginning, consider doing each exercise x4 instead to make the workout shorter.

I did a tabata of each of the following TRX exercises, with 1 min of rest between each exercise to adjust straps, get in position etc. For the plank at the end, I didn’t rest for the 10 secs, instead using it to transition to a side plank or a plank in the pushup position. No knees down. Try it, for a last challenge!

Have fun and let me know how you go!

Exercises: Tabata/1 min rest between each

TRX Row

TRX Chest Fly

TRX Bicep Curl

TRX Tricep Extension

TRX Jump Squat

TRX Push Up

TRX Pull Up (for this one, I pull myself off the ground and hung there for the 20 seconds… or at least I tried! The 5,6,7 set I just did normal pull ups before smashing the 8th with another hold)

TRX Y Fly

TRX Knee Tuck (I alternated Straight Knee Tuck with Oblique Knee Tucks (tucking to each side)

TRX Hamstring Curl

TRX Pendulum/Pike (Again, alternating between the two)

TRX Plank

And that’s it!! How do you like to spend your holidays?

Happy holidays!

Amy xx

 

Boot Camp for Burma!

One of the reasons I started this blog was to get me into the habit of writing regularly. Why did I want to write regularly, you might ask? Well, beyond the obvious benefits of improving my writing flow, fluency and depth, improving my vocabulary, strengthening my voice and developing my online presence; I wanted to start writing on the reg so that I continue this habit when I go to Thailand later this year.

Image result for thai freedom house

And later this year is rapidly approaching. Last Friday was the 3 months to go point. That’s less than 90 days. Writing that made my heart skip all sorts of beats. It’s been such a long process and now that departure is getting closer and closer to being here, everything is starting to feel extremely real. I’ve paid for the majority of my trip (the only thing I have to pay for is food, activities and accommodation in the places I choose to “hop off” at during the travel portion of my journey, and my flights home), I know when I’m applying for my visa, I have my cards and phone sorted, my gym membership is set to finish on the day I leave (last minute bootcamp, yes please!) and I’ve started figuring out the points of my journey which I linger over and those which I’ll breeze through. That said, I want this plan to remain flexible enough for unplanned excursions to take place and to allow for locations I never knew about to capture my heart and never let it go.

While all the travel planning is desperately exciting, what I am most looking forward to is my time at Thai Freedom House which will make up the bulk of my trip. The Thai Freedom House is a “non-government, not-for-profit, language and arts community learning center in Northern Thailand dedicated to assisting families and individuals who are refugees from Burma and members of minority groups of Thailand.” They work specifically with these people to ensure that they don’t become victims of exploitation, trafficking, harassment, gang violence, or the poverty cycle. There are plenty of complex reasons behind the mistreatment of Burmese refugees in Thailand and I encourage you to pay the Thai Freedom House website a visit to learn some info about the issues inherent in the refugee/immigration situation.

I have always had a heart for refugees and asylum seekers and the way our own (Australian) government treats these marginalised and often highly damaged people disgusts me. I refuse to sit back and watch and am hoping to one day work more closely with community groups to raise awareness, advocate and educate. My decision to work with such a grassroots group instead of a more well known, “voluntourism” organisation is a part of that process. I want to learn from the people I’m working with, not just provide a few English lessons a week.

I also went with the Thai Freedom House because of their volunteer program and the fact that all the money I spend on said program will go straight to those I’m teaching, not on shiny brochures. It’s transparent and it’s real. It’s also got real needs. Receiving no government funding and only earning money from donations and their on site café and op shop, Thai Freedom House struggles at times to pay rent and ensure the minimal staff receive payment.

This is also the reason I held my “Bootcamp for Burma” earlier this month! I knew I wanted to raise money for TFH and I love fitness so I decided to combine my two passions and run a charity “pay what you feel” boot camp on Labour Day!

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I had about 15 people come along to get their sweat on while simultaneously doing a good deed, as well as multiple other people donate money even though they couldn’t attend due to being away (or not willing to workout- which is FINE!)

It was an incredible session and everyone gave it their all, spurring each other on and encouraging their friends and team mates to push just a bit harder.

Not counting the donations people made directly to TFH online (which I have no way of tracking so THANKYOU if you did!), I raised about $500, all of which is to be donated directly to the organisation.

Thank you so much if you came along and donated, or if you just donated! It was such a great morning and I hope the sore muscles were an acceptable price to pay in exchange for knowing you’ve improved the lives of vulnerable children and families in Thailand.

I’m hoping to do another boot camp session before I go to raise more money for the program so please stay tuned and stay awesome.

Amy xx

Workout Wednesday- Boxed in!

I got to gym a bit early for my Monday evening HIIT class so I decided to whip out a quick EMOM which was super fun and challenging. Give it a go next time you’re short on time and wanting a quick burn.

It’s pretty flexible too, so adapt it for what you have.

Set a timer to go off every minute for 12 minutes (or however long you have or want- I just had 12 minutes until my class!).

At the start of every minute, perform 10 reps of the exercise (both sides if applicable). After completing the 10 reps, do box jumps until the minute is up.

Exercises:

KB Swings
Elevated Push Ups
Weighted Russian Twists
KB Squats
KB One Armed Rows
Dips
Side Plank Rotations
Elevated Glute Bridges
KB Upright Row
BB Hang Clean
Medicine Ball Slams
Sit Up

Let me know how you go!!