healthy living

Fall 2010 Shape-Up

I get a LOT of e-mails from readers asking me for advice on how to get in shape.  I’ve had requests for workout plans and weight lifting plans.  Now that my blog includes “body” as a topic of discussion, I want to start sharing my workouts with you!  Feel free to use them as a guide, join me for the ride, or just read about them for fun.

Fall 2010 Shape-Up   september october 2010 workouts

About the plan:  I modeled this plan off of a half-marathon training plan that was in a recent issue of a women’s running magazine.  I am NOT training for a half marathon (and never will for that matter).  My main goal right now is the increase my running endurance.  I’m in pretty decent running shape right now, but I only run 2-3 miles at a time.  I’d like to get my endurance up to 3-5 miles easily for the winter months.  I’m also including heavy back and leg workouts over the next two months.  My back is, overall, one of my weakest body parts.  Also, when I don’t consistently lift heavily on my back (like, on a weekly basis), it starts to hurt when I run.  So, I always emphasize my back.  In conclusion, this plan has three main objectives:

  • increase running endurance
  • increase back and leg strength/look
  • maintain arm/chest/abs strength

(e-mail me if you would like the excel version of this spreadsheet to track your workouts: blondeandbalanced [at] gmail [dot] com)

My Motto: This plan is merely a guide.  I WILL miss some of these workouts.  Also, I’ll probably switch around some of these workouts.  I generally always shoot for 6 workout days per week with one day of active rest, however, sometimes things come up and I can’t stick with my plan.  It happens.  Also, running has always given me plenty of aches and pains in the past (including the back issue I mentioned above, foot, knee, heel, and hip pain….hmmm, why do I do it again?).  If increasing my mileage really start to make things fall apart, I won’t move forward.  This is probably not likely, but just  something I thought I’d throw out there.  More than likely, I’ll replace a couple of workouts with classes.  Also, I’ll probably throw in  “sprints” (30 seconds of sprints + 1 minute of rest + repeat) after some of my running workouts for extra fat burn and to switch it up.

On to the lifting workouts:


Assisted Pull-Ups

  • 3 sets, rep to fatigue
  • 1 x 70 pounds
  • 2 x 55 pounds

T-bar Row

  • 3 sets 8-10 reps
  • 10 pounds

Lat Pulldown

  • 3 sets, 10 reps
  • 55 pounds

Low Back Machine

  • 4 sets, 10-12 reps
  • 1 x 65 pounds
  • 1 x 75 pounds
  • 2 x 85 pounds

Reverse Fly Machine

  • drop set, 10 reps, last set to fatigue
  • 40 pounds, 30 pounds, 20 pounds

Shrug with Straight Bar

  • 3 sets, 12 reps
  • 50-60 pound bar


Lunges on Smith Machine

  • 4 sets, 10 reps per leg
  • 1 warm-up set with just bar
  • 10 pounds each side (20 lbs. total)

One-Legged Leg Press

  • *leg positioned high to isolate glutes/hamstrings
  • 3 sets, 6-8 reps per leg
  • 10-20 pounds per leg

Calf Raises on Smith Machine using Aerobic Step

  • drop set, 10-15 reps, last set to fatigue
  • 40 pounds total (20 each side), 30 pounds, 20 pounds

Dead Lifts

  • 3 sets, 10 reps
  • 20 pound dumbbells (40 pounds total)

Outer Thigh Weighted Raise (machine, cable, lying with bar, etc.)

  • 3 sets, 10 reps + hold & pulse each set/side
  • 10-15 pounds

*if time: Squat Jump or Jumping Lunge to fatigue (plyometrics)

Arms/Chest/Abs:  I don’t have set routines for these because I’m not focusing on them right now.  However, I normally do a variety of push-ups (incline, decline, regular, clock, BOSU, etc.) for chest plus various weighted moves.  I use weights for abs (weighted crunch or holding a weight between feet for Captain’s Chair) most of the time.  For arms, I do a variety of curls (regular, hammer, concentration) for biceps and focus on body weight activities for triceps (tricep dips and tricep push-ups).  I’ll do structured routines for these body parts over the next several months.

Disclaimer: If you want to follow the plan, that’s great!  However, I’ve been lifting and running regularly for years.  If you’re new to fitness, start slow and consult a doctor first.  Although I have some fitness certifications in group exercise, I am not qualified to personal train YOU.  This plan is meant for entertainment purposes only.  Consult a qualified physician before you begin any training program.

There you have it!  This is very typical of my usual workouts.  I focus on hard cardio (like running) and a good amount of lifting.

Let me know in the comments if you’ll be joining me!

Happy Fall Shape-Up!


  • Thanks for sharing! 🙂 It’s great to know that you’ve got your routine that you try to stick with as much as possible. I’m trying to do more weight lifting and am slowly easing into it!

  • I am trying to talk myself into doing a yoga exercise video as we speak! Wow…I wish i had that kind of commitment. that is great! Also it’s great that you are a bit flexible with it. You already know chances are that you won’t 100% stick to this. That means you can’t fail!

  • Good stuff! I look forward to getting “back on the horse” once I finish my CPA run (if all goes according to plan, I’ll be finished by Thanksgiving). I’ll def be returning to this post when I have my life back!

    • Oohh, good luck! I can TOTALLY emphasize with you! The CPA is an all-consuming task, that’s for sure! Fingers crossed for you!

  • I know how important strength is, but i find it SO HARD to prevent myself from skipping those workouts since they don’t give me the “high” that cardio does.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    PS – Why will you “never” train for a half marathon?

  • Hey, nice blog. Been reading up on some old posts.

    Just wanted to strongly warn you against using the Smith machine. It is unnatural and puts you at risk of injury during lifting.

    Since you must be a busy person (who isn’t?!) I’d think about using the 80-20 rule here (pareto principle?), and for maximum benefits with minimum time spent at the gym. Just focus on big compound lifts using free weights that target lots of large muscles.

    Think about replacing the leg press, smith-machine lunges and calf press with the barbell squat. Go deep below parallel and use good form. 3 working sets x 6-8 reps. Add weight every workout to progress.

    Deadlifts are great for the entire body. Best exercise for many reasons. Stick with the barbell again for best results. 1 working set x 6 reps. Keep adding weight as you get stronger.

    Barbell or DB rows are awesome along with the pullups (assisted if you cant do them yet). 3 working sets x 6-8 reps.

    Throw in bench pressing for the chest if you want to, but if you do, then alternate between the bench press and the standing shoulder press. 2 working sets x 6 reps.

    That’s it. Full body workout, 2-3 times a week and you will be in the best shape of your life in about 8 weeks. Promise!

    And NO, you WILL not get big as you DO NOT have the necessary hormones. But you will have and amazing body and great strength to boot.



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