Back And Core Workout – April 2015

This is a workout I did the other day. I was pleased with how well it worked and how efficient it was. It did not take too much time, but I definitely felt a great pump and was sore all over the next day. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

Model: Alec Varcas
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia

30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio.

Working Sets:

  • 1. Superset 1: 4 rounds
    • 3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each. (10 reps at heavy, medium, then light weight)
    • 10 raised shoulder push-ups
    • 45 second hollow hold
    • 1 minute rest
  • 2. 50 reps of Lsit pull-ups
    (10 sets of 5 with a 30 second rest)
    • 3. Superset 2: 3 rounds
      • 15 reps of rear delt flyes
      • 1 minute side plank on each side
    • 4. 5 sets of farmer carries
      • 5. 10 handstands until failure
        • 6. Stretch
          • TIPS:
            1. For my moderate intensity cardio, I decided to walk at 4.0 speed on a 7.5% incline on the treadmill for 30 minutes. This burned a little over 300 calories.
            2. When I say “3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each,” start with a heavier weight and do 10 reps of seated rows. Immediately after, lower the weight and do another 10 reps, and then lower it one more time and do another 10 reps. You will do 30 reps total during this drop set, and eventually end up doing 120 total after you do the 4 rounds of that super set. I ended with doing 120lbs, then 80 lbs, then 40 lbs.
            3. During the “50 reps of Lsit pull-ups,” you can break them up however you want. I did 10 sets of 5 reps with a 30 second rest in between each set. Also, during this exercise, you can use a wide grip, or a close grip.
            4. When I did the “10 handstands until failure,” I did mine off the wall and just tried to hold my position. If you are not comfortable with handstands, try holding the handstand against the wall for as long as you can.

            Hope you enjoy this workout as much as I did. Let me know what you think or if you ended up modifying any of the exercises. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics, contact me at

            Quick Killer Leg Workout

            Quick Killer Leg Workout February 2015 1

            Yesterday my friend Ramin and I were short on time, but we wanted to get in a good leg workout. This is what we did in just a little over an hour, and trust me, this morning I am feeling it!

            Our 1 Hour Leg Workout:

          • 6 sets of Hack squats (2 Warm Up sets, 4 Working sets)
          • 6 sets of Leg Press (2 Warm Up sets, 4 Working sets)
          • 4 Sets of Seated Leg Curls (1 Warm Up set, 3 Working sets)
          • 4 Sets of Glute Master/Butt Blaster Machine (1 Warm Up set, 3 Working sets)
          • 4 Sets of Goblet Squats (15 Reps at a moderate weight)
          • Pistol Squat Variations
          • Stretch

          • Quick Killer Leg Workout February 2015 2 TIPS:
            1. During our Warmup sets, we would do a light weight (about 50% of our max) and do about 15 reps. During a Working set, we would do a much heavier weight (75-90% of our max) and do anywhere from 6-10 reps or until failure.
            2. The important part of this workout is to not take very long breaks. In between each set, maybe take a minute to rest and then get back into it. You really want your muscles to be working hard the entire time.
            3. We ended up doing a Superset of the Seated Leg Curls and the Glute Master Machine. During a Superset, you do one exercise and immediately go to the other exercise, then rest after you finish doing both. This will keep you heart rate up and keep those leg muscles activated.
            4. For the Pistol Squat variations you can do whatever makes you comfortable. I was practicing my Pistol Squats on a Bosu Ball and I was doing walking Pistol Squats; however if you are not comfortable doing them, you can try doing Pistol Squats holding a TRX or even a chair or rail. Do something that makes you comfortable, but also challenges you.
            5. Do not forget to stretch, especially on leg day. You need to lengthen the muscles fibers and release some of the tension and lactic acid, otherwise you will not be able to walk tomorrow.

            Hope you liked this quick, but intense leg workout. Let me know if you end up trying it! Are there any other workouts you would like for me to post? Do you have any other ideas for topics? Let me know by contacting me at

            WOD: CINDY


            For any of my Crossfit readers, you know exactly who Cindy is. “Cindy” is a WOD (Workout of the Day) done in Crossfit gyms around the world. Cindy is a full body workout that consists of only body weight exercises. What is great about Cindy is that people of all different fitness levels can do this workout because every exercise can be easily modified.

            CINDY – 20 minute AMRAP(as many reps as possible):
            5 pull-ups
            10 push-ups
            15 air squats

            For 20 minutes, you cycle the three workouts and see how many rounds you can get in. My last time trying CINDY I did 19 rounds plus 5 push-ups. This means I did 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats 19 times in a row, and the time ran out after I did 5 more pull-ups and 5 push-ups.
            Cindy 2
            In total I did 100 pull-ups, 195 push-ups, and 285 air squats in 20 minutes! Talk about a hard workout!

            1. The pull-ups and push-ups can easily be modified depending on your fitness level. For beginners, a resistance band can be used over the bar to assist in the pull-up, or pull-ups can even be switched out for body weight rows using rings or a TRX. For the push-ups, they can be done on and incline instead of parallel to the floor, or they can be done on your knees.
            2. This workout will really test your endurance and your heart rate will shoot up. If you have any heart or breathing conditions, consult a doctor first and don’t perform this workout unsupervised.
            3. A dead hang pull-up will make this workout much harder Cindy 3
            on your arms and back. Try kipping the pull-up to relieve strain. You will be doing a lot of reps; dead hang pull-ups will cause you to fatigue quickly.
            4. When doing air squats, keep your back straight and get your glutes as low to the ground as possible. Remember “Ass to Grass” when doing squats. Also push through your heels, not your toes.
            4. CINDY is a perfect full body workout to perform when you are short on time. It combines cardio with muscle building and will make you sweat like you have never sweat before.

            Have you ever friend CINDY? Do you have other WODs that you really like? Contact me at with questions, comments, or ideas for new topics.

            Starbucks Lunches and Treats

            Chicken and Hummus Bistro Box
            A few days ago I wrote a post about the breakfast options at Starbucks, but now I want to discuss the other food options that Starbucks has to offer. Sometimes when you are in a pinch or when you need your mid-day coffee to wake yourself up, Starbucks food is all you have to choose from. After looking over some of the nutritional information that Starbucks has to offer, I have found the good, the bad, and the ugly of what to have at Starbucks.

            BISTRO BOXES
            Yes – Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box
            No – Protein Bistro Box, Cheese & Fruit Bistro Box

            The Chicken and Hummus Bistro Box that Starbucks has to offer is actually a pretty good choice when you are really in the need for something quick and healthy. Although I would not recommend it if you are really in the mood for a meal since it only has 260 calories, it only has 7g of fat (1g of saturated fat), 25g of carbs, 5g of fiber, 2g of sugar, and 20g of protein. It seems to be a pretty well balanced snack with a lot of good attributes. I would steer away from the Protein Bistro box mainly because it has 19g of fat and only 13g of protein. I would expect the “Protein” box to have the most protein of all the bistro boxes, but it actually has 7g less than the Chicken and Hummus box. I would also stay away from the Fruit & Cheese Bistro Box mainly because of its high fat content. This one box has 480 calories, 250 of which are from fat (28g of total fat, 10g of saturated fat, 0.5g of trans fat). One other box Starbucks offers is the Goat Cheese & Garden Veggies Bistro Box. This isn’t a horrible choice since it only has 220 calories and 10g of fat, but I still would suggest going with the Chicken & Hummus Bistro Box over the Goat Cheese & Garden Veggies Bistro Box.

            No – Egg Salad Sandwich, Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini
            Starbucks offers a variety of Paninis and Sandwiches. I would not highly suggest purchasing any of these choices unless you really are in need of some more filling food. The Paninis and Sandwiches range from 340-460 calories, 10-27g of fat, 630-1140mg of sodium, 35-47g of carbs, and 15-33g of protein. The choices I would strongly stay away from would be the Egg Salad Sandwich and the Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini. The Egg Salad Sandwich has 460 calories, 240 of which are from fat (27g of fat) and 22g of protein and the Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Panini is 390 calories, 160 of which are from fat (18g of fat) and 15g of protein. All of the other sandwich choices are a little more reasonable with less fat content and higher amounts of protein.

            Marshmallow Dream Bar

            None except the Marshmallow Dream Bar if you need a treat.
            Starbucks offers many different Loaves, Coffee Cakes, brownies, Cookies, Cake Pops, and Bars. Now although these may be tempting, you have to realize that none of these choices are actually good for you. It would be much better to get real food with high nutritional value than a Double Chocolate Brownie with 24g of fat. Even a Birthday Cake Pop, which literally can be eaten in one big bite has 170 calories, 9g of fat, 22g of carbs, and 18g of sugar. Is that worth it?
            Now some of you may be saying, “But Starbucks has Reduced-Fat Options!” Now this may be true, but the Reduced-Fat Banana Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake, Very Berry Coffee Cake, and Cinnamon Swirl Coffee Cake still have 8-10g of fat, 59-80g of carbs, and 31-50g of sugar. With that said, I personally don’t think these options are worth it because the nutritional value just does not weigh out the flaws.
            The one treat I do say it is ok to have, on a VERY RARE occasion, would be the Marshmallow Dream Bar. Why? The Marshmallow Dream bar does not have much nutritional value at all, but it also has the least detrimental effects as well. The Dream Bar only has 210 calories, 4g of fat, 43g of carbs, and 15g of sugar. If you MUST get a treat, go with this choice above all the backed goods.

            Hope you find this post helpful for the next time you need to eat at Starbucks! Any questions or concerns? Email me at