Modified Filthy 50 for in-your-home!…

You CAN do a Filthy 50 workout in your home with limited equipment! A friend of mine is looking for circuits that incorporate cardio (without having to get on a treadmill for 30 minutes) that she can do in her home with her kids in the room. I suggested the Filthy 50. She gave it a try and said even though it was super intense, it was a great workout.

Here are the modifications you can make allowing you to do it in your home with limited equipment, all while still getting a great cardio workout.

Equipment needed: chair, resistance band, one single weight, stability ball, ball the size of a volleyball.

Exercises for Filthy 50:
50 box jumps 24 inch height
50 jumping pull ups
50 kettlebell swings 25lbs
50 walking lunges (knee to floor)
50 knees to elbows
50 push press (45 lbs)
50 back extensions
50 wall ball shots
50 burpees
50 double unders

You can substitute box jumps with jumps on a sturdy chair. I used to do this during part of my plyo workout before I had a plyo box. If you’re not comfortable jumping up on a chair, just do step-ups on a chair or a stair.

Substitute jumping pull-ups with pulling a resistance band down towards you. Strap it around a railing or any horizontal fixture and pull the handles towards your shoulders. Doing band pulls to the shoulders is a similar workout for your back. While not exactly the same, it hits most of the same muscles.

For kettlebell swings just use one single weight. If you do not have weights you can get creative by filling an empty milk jug with water or something heavy. Duct tape the cap SECURELY on to the top of the bottle. Think this is a joke? Robert Kennedy, the late publisher of Oxygen Magazine, wrote an article about how he concocted his own weights in his younger years in order to get stronger!

Knees to elbow is an abdominal movement that incorporates a good deal of grip strength. You can lay on your back and do abdominal toe touches to substitute for this movement. You can also do V sits. You just won’t be incorporating grip strength into the movement.

To make a substitution for push press you may have to do some hunting around your house. You can use a folding chair or even a small ladder. Or a broomstick. You can even take 2 liters of pop, holding one in each hand, pushing them up. As long as your weight is evenly distributed in each hand, you’ll be good to go.

To substitute back extensions all you need is a stability ball. You can do your basic back extension on a stability ball. You won’t get the same range of motion as if using a roman chair or similar machine, but it absolutely will suffice for an in-home Filthy 50.

The last substitution would be for wall balls. If you don’t have a medicine ball use a volleyball, basketball, or any ball that you can use while squatting and throwing at the the wall. As long as you maintain the squatting movement you’ll still reap some of the benefits of wall balls.


Upper & Lower Body, In-Your-House, Cardio Circuit!…

Here is a great circuit I do in my house when I’m short on time.  It combines both upper body and lower body exercises with short bursts of cardio in between sets.  It’s a fantastic way to build lean muscle and to strengthen your heart…strap on a heart rate monitor or take your pulse in between sets…you’ll be amazed how hard it’s working!


1)  3 upper body exercises performed to fatigue


Reverse Dips

Decline Push-Ups


2)  3 lower body exercises: 2 options

-If using weights, lift heavy so that failure is at 10 reps

-If using bodyweight only, perform 20 reps of each


Walking Lunges

Bulgarian Split Squat


3)  1 minute high intensity cardio burst: When I lived in the city I would run 15 flights of stairs in my building as my cardio.  In your home you can also use stairs, jump rope, run in place, fast-paced jumping jacks, etc.  Other options are treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, row machine, etc.


4)  1-2 minute break, repeat 2 more times!

Where are we headed?

This is completely off par from what my blog page is intended for, but watching the news coverage early this morning of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary I heard a reporter say that teachers need to be teaching more morals and values in our schools.  Me, being an educator, had heard enough. 

Did anyone ever think of the idea that teaching good morals and values and loving one another and respecting people regardless of their differences should be taught at home by the parents?  I am a parent, a social worker, a psychologist, a security guard, a babysitter, and if I have time left in the day I am then a teacher.  We have people killing teachers and kids in schools, in hospitals, and in random homes.  We have parents killing their own children in the most heinous ways imaginable.  Men are getting pushed in front of trains.  Violent mob action attacks on random people in Chicago on very congested street corners.  Strings of vicious rape attacks in the city. Dozens of kids attacked at school by a man wielding a knife.  I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know it starts at home and it doesn’t seem as if that is happening.  We give birth to our children and are rushed back to work immediately, unable to bond with our children like we should.  We have children having children.  We have TV shows, songs, videos, and video games that express violence, bullying, and sexual encounters with everyone & anyone as being glorified.  As a nation we can control some of these things.  As parents we can do even more.  I’m sick of hearing gun control and I’m sick of hearing teachers need to save the world.  Everyone needs to do their part.  

Holy injury, Batman!…

I just happened to come across this and found that I was sitting there with my mouth hanging open in complete shock watching some of these athletes.  Where are their trainers!???  And if they don’t have one they absolutely need one to show them proper form and to keep them safe from injury.  I’m not putting up this video to point and laugh-although at 4:18 I realized I thought I’d seen it all but I was wrong-I’m putting it up to show how important it is to know what you’re doing and if you don’t, educate yourself!

Also…I disagree with these guys that this is CrossFit and highly doubt that every clip we see here is from a CrossFit gym.  This can pertain to any type of sport or program.

Are you just starting out with diet and weight training? Where should a beginner begin?…

I was laying in bed relaxing, surfing the web, when I came across an amazing post by Clint Nielsen.  He writes an article geared towards “newbies” in the I’m-ready-to-get-healthy-and-fit-but-don’t-have-a-clue-where-to-start stage.  He answers the most common beginner questions simply, but informatively and does a superb job of not overwhelming the reader.  If you’re looking to start taking control of your health and fitness, read this post…it will set you up with the basic tools to build the best body you aspire to achieve.

10 easy tips to help you start off on the right foot in regards to starting out with diet and weight training.

via Starting out with diet and weight training. Where should a beginner “begin”?.

Filthy 50 whaaaat?…

I’m not claiming to be a CrossFit-er. I don’t even quite understand how these CrossFit challenges even work.  But, holy-mother- of-all-workouts does this beat the crapola out of you! It’s called CrossFit Filthy 50 and it was recommended to me by Josh Passini, my husbands Jiu-Jitsu teacher at 10th Planet Chicago North. He is also a CrossFit Certified Trainer.

I was looking for new workouts that will kick my butt and incorporate new movements that my body was not used to.  Josh recommended the Filthy 50 and I’ve been hooked ever since.  The Filthy 50 takes 10 exercises performed back to back without rest.  Where does the 50 come from?  That’s how many reps are performed of each exercise…yes, you read correctly.  50 reps of 10 exercises…back to back.  Where does the Filthy come from?  Well, it’s just plain nasty!

Every time you perform the Filthy 50 you are working to beat your previous time.  Now, like I said, I’m not claiming to be a CrossFit-er but, I have been incorporating CrossFit workouts into my regular training program and I’m seeing results.  My strength is improving, and my endurance, which was great to begin with, has gotten better with each workout.  I’ve read that there is no rhyme or reason to the CrossFit workouts…it takes “functional” movements performed back to back to beat the sh*t out of you, literally. I always feel amazing after completing it.

The Filthy 50 video I am posting is done in my home, so there have to be some modifications.  My time has changed dramatically from day one: 35 mins to 21 mins after my 5th time.  However, I’m sure if I went to a CrossFit gym and performed this workout with the “official equipment” my time would be a little higher.  My only huge difference in this workout is that a 14 lb medicine ball (20 for men) is to be used on wall ball shots…and mine is 8lbs, yet I can’t seem to find an exact answer on the lbs used. Also, since I’m in my basement I can’t throw it as high as the recommended setting (1o feet) .  Today I finally “mastered” (as best I could) knee-to-elbows.  There is a technique to this.

CrossFit-ers…feel free to critique and give me pointers.  I know some of these exercises I’m not doing exactly to CrossFit standards, but holy shitake mushrooms it still kicks my a**!  Those of you that are somewhat interested, but are terrified, try starting out with 20 reps of each.  Or, change the weight to fit your needs and do as many reps as you can without stopping.
My Video:

50 box jumps 24 inch height
50 jumping pull ups
50 kettlebell swings 25lbs (replaced w/ dumbbell)
50 walking lunges (knee to floor)
50 knees to elbows
50 push press (45 lbs)
50 back extensions (modified to FID bench)
50 wall ball shots (modified to 8 lb med ball…it’s all I have)
50 burpees (the death of me)
50 double unders (modified to 100 jumps on jumprope…ceiling not high enough)

Beauty in Strength…

I’m not promoting CrossFit, nor discrediting it.  I’m promoting working out and taking care of yourself.  I’m promoting being healthy and comfortable in your own skin.  I’m promoting self-confidence through personal gains and striving to be the best YOU that you can be…not what Cosmopolitan Magazine tells you to be.


Shoulders, Tiny Waists, and Drop Sets-Oh My!…

I love training shoulders because there are a variety of ways to mix up exercises to keep your deltoids on their toes!  Deltoids are a very important part to a person’s physique. Broader shoulders are the perfect compliment to a bigger chest on a man, giving him the coveted V-taper.

GSP (Georges St. Pierre rocks an amazing pair of shoulders, giving him a solid V-Taper from shoulders to waist)

On a woman, a defined pair of shoulders can actually make her waist look smaller and is the perfect accessory to that little black dress!

(Francisca Dennis-does anyone have a better set of shoulders than she?????)


In my video, I show you a variety of different exercises and you have many different options in performing them.  You can perform them traditionally with 3 sets of 10-12 reps.  You can superset them, performing 2 of the exercises back to back without rest. You can perform them in a circuit format, chosing 4-5 exercises and throwing in short bursts of cardio between sets.  For example, you can perform 12 reps of military press immediately followed by a minute of jumprope.  Quickly move on to lateral raises followed again by jumprope or running stairs.  Continue until all 4-5 exercises have been completed.  Repeat for 3 total sets with a 2 minute break in between.  This will really fatigue your shoulders and help to burn fat and build up more lean muscle tissue.

You can also perform a drop set.  A drop set is typically used on your last set of an exercise when you can no longer lift the weight you are lifting.  Just because you can not lift anymore weight does not mean your muscle is completely cashed.  It means that you have exhausted some muscle fibers, but not all.  You can still engage the muscle fibers by lifting a weight that is slightly lighter than the weight you just lifted.  Let’s say you are on your final set of military press using 30 lb dumbbells.  On your last couple of reps you are completely exhausted.  Put the weight down and immediately pick up a pair of 2o lb dumbbells and do as many reps as you can until you can’t do anymore.  Immediately put the weight down and then pick up a pair of 15 lb weights and go until fatigue.  The purpose is to continue dropping about 3-4 times and moving IMMEDIATELY to the next drop set.  If rest time is given then the drop set is pointless.

Baby Got Back!…

“I like big butts and I can not lie. You other brothers can’t deny, that when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get sprung!”  Well, you get the gist.  Men like tiny waists and shapely booties, and you won’t find us girls complaining about a nice firm behind on our men!

As women, we usually have two main target areas: bellies and bums.  And most men tend to neglect the muscles of the bum, concentrating more on the muscles of the legs such as the hamstrings and quads.  The muscles that are located in your behind are called the gluteals.  There are actually three muscles that compose this powerhouse muscle group: The gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and the gluteus medius. The glutes are actually the largest muscle group in your body.  This is due to the functions that the glutes provide such as running, jumping, walking, walking stairs, turning from side to side, sitting, stability, posture, and the list goes on and on.  It doesn’t make sense to ignore this muscle group, or to not put it on your top priority list in your training.

In this video I demonstrate a glute workout with options that you can do in your home without any equipment.  I am going to warn you that some of these exercises may seem a bit strange and may seem like I need to rent a room for myself…I don’t suggest dropping to the ground and doing these in public.  But, they are strictly glute focused, with the exception of the squats.

If you chose to use no equipment, believe me, you are still going to get a good butt-focused workout.  Just make sure to really focus on squeezing the glute and performing the exercise to failure, which may require you to do more than 10-12 reps.

Some of these exercises I was doing for years, but after coming across an article a little over a year ago, I read some pretty interesting information on exercises that really only focus on glute activiation, rather than hamstring and quad.

Give this glute workout a try!  You can also turn it into a butt-blasting circuit…follow the instructions at the beginning of the video.  And share it with your friends!  This is one you have no excuse not to do!

And I’ll put this directly on MY WORKOUT page under LOWER BODY & CIRCUITS for future reference.


Create Your Own Arm Workout…

In this video I put together 8 Bicep and Tricep Supersets.  The first 4 supersets only require you to have a dumbbell.  The last 4 need a little more equipment.  Pick 4-5 supersets and either perform them traditionally, with 3 sets of 10 reps of each.  Or perform it as a circuit, going through each superset once with no rest between sets.  Once you have gone through all of your supersets, return to the beginning and go through it 2-3 more times for an arm-exhausting circuit!

If you need further explanation of the exercises, go to “MY WORKOUT” page and under UPPER BODY exercises you will find a longer video with demos, along with this one.

Go get strong arms!


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