Dumbbell Only Workout Routine

As I have mentioned before I really prefer to workout at home. I had access to a really nice gym all throughout college, but because I have graduated I no longer have that luxury and I don’t want to pay for a gym membership. In the past I did a lot of workout DVD’s and did most of my cardio outside on the trails near my house with my dog Rose. In my last post I told you guys I wanted to start a new workout challenge that was more focused on weight training. I came up with a workout schedule that I really like so far. I wanted to try working out without a DVD to guide me, so I made a schedule for myself by gathering inspiration from a couple different sources. Because I don’t have a gym to go to I started my workout planning by first looking at what equipment I already have so I know what exercises I can/cannot do. Luckily, I have access to my boyfriend’s weights and weight bench in addition to the “girl” hand weights I’ve purchased over the years. We also have an exercise bike! I set everything up in the garage and now we have a designated workout space. Pretty awesome!


Because I only have dumbbells I knew that my workout needed to require minimal equipment. I found this great dumbbell only workout schedule from the Muscle and Strength website that I tweaked a little, but ended up using pretty much all of the exercises in my schedule. I also came across this really great blog post written by a female college athlete about this program she did from Bodybuilding.com called Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Program. The introductory video struck my interest, so I decided I would somewhat follow the LiveFit program too, but by doing different exercises using my own equipment. Jamie’s hatred for tons of cardio is what really won me over, I think! I plan on combining these two sources to create my own workout schedule that will vary every few weeks.

This is the schedule for the first two weeks.


It looks very similar to the 3 day split I found on the muscle and strength website with a few slight differences. I decided to combine chest with biceps (instead of chest/triceps) and back and triceps together (instead of back/biceps). I tried the chest/triceps and back/biceps combination at first and I did not like it, so I changed it. I also gave legs a day to themselves and added a fourth day for shoulders and abs. Demonstrations of all of these exercises can be found on Youtube or the muscle and strength website.

I am on week 2 and so far I am really loving these workouts. I look forward to going in the garage, cranking up the music (Pandora workout stations!) and dancing around like a fool in between sets. And now some dorky selfies….

Fotor0513213451I am not an expert at designing my own strength training schedule, so if you see something I have left out (or neglected to workout effectively) PLEASE let me know. I will not be offended. I will be back in a week for another update! Thanks for reading!

Bows and Arrows,



Long Lost Fitness Diaries Update

Hey guys! I bet you thought I had given up on completing this little fitness challenge. Well, I haven’t, but I did get a little off track the last couple of weeks. I finished week 8 and half of week 9 and then my schedule got all crazy and I have been struggling to workout period. You may have read in my last WIAW post that I got a new job. I actually feel like a big kid adult now about half the time because I get to dress up and look all professional 3-4 days a week, but then I’m back to my tomboy self the rest of the days making delicious coffee beverages. This new job has been great, don’t get me wrong, but it has greatly interfered with my precious workout time. You guys know how important it is to me to exercise regularly (well, maybe you don’t, but I’m telling you it is) so I have spent the past few days devising a new workout schedule that will work with my busier work schedule. No one told me how exhausting sitting at a desk could be by the way. What is up with that? I have also discovered that I would much rather get up at the crack of dawn (4:30am) and get home at a decent time, rather than going in later (by later I mean 9:30) and getting home MAYBE right before sunset. Okay, now I just sound like a complainer pants. Anyway, the point is on most days now I cannot come home and take a quick nap to re-energize before a nice long afternoon workout. Instead I have to come home, cook/eat dinner, clean up, and then basically it’s almost time for bed. Um, being an adult sucks! Some of you are probably thinking “wah wah, cry me a river…wait until you have kids!”….and you are probably right, I’m pathetic. In my defense, I am making it work. I’m still in the adjusting period though so give me a little break, okay!

So, here’s the plan! I am doing week 10 this week, so that means I have 3 weeks left until I am finished. I will post picture updates when I am completely finished, because I am sure I have regressed some from my break and there is not really any change in inches/muscle to report. I’ll be back Sunday or Monday to report how my week went and to explain my workout schedule in detail. Lastly, here is a nice little picture I found on Pinterest (of course) that I like and it goes along with Rachel Cosgrove’s philosophy of “ditching the scale”. I have not weighed myself since starting this program, but I recently went to the doctor and they, of course, weighed me. I gained weight! When I first saw the number I had some negative thoughts, not gonna lie. But, then I stopped being silly and realized that I do weigh more because I have more muscle. It doesn’t mean I’m getting fat! I’m okay with that number going up if it means I’m getting stronger. It’s just hard not to be obsessed with the number on the scale or the number on your pants. But, in reality, none of these numbers define how healthy you are or how good you feel!


Bows and Arrows,


The Fitness Diaries: Weeks 4-5

I am officially failing at doing weekly updates! And today is not Sunday, but I figured I would go ahead and post this anyway. I have completed almost 5 weeks of the Drop Two Sizes program, so I wanted to give you all a more in-depth update this time since I am about 1/3 of the way done with the whole program. After the slack week 3 I tried to pick up my workouts a bit more and get back on track.

Workout Schedule

Week 4:

Tuesday (2/4): Run/walk/jog with Rose (not sure how far it was, I should really get a pedometer)

Wednesday: Strength 1

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Strength 2

Saturday: Run/walk/jog with Rose

Sunday: Nothing

Monday: Nothing again

Week 5:

Tuesday (2/11): Strength 1

Wednesday: Countdown Metabolic (this was the last workout from Phase 1 of the program)

Thursday: Rest day

Friday: Strength 2 (Phase 2)

Saturday: Rest/lazy day

Sunday: Rest again

Monday: Strength 1 (Phase 2)

Tuesday: Long walk with Rose

Wednesday (today): Strength 2 (Phase 2)

Rose and I stopped to pose for a picture on our walk.

Rose and I stopped to pose for a picture on our walk.

I have technically not completed all of the week 5 workouts yet because I kept getting off schedule and taking too many rest days here and there. I feel like I am getting pretty good results with the program so far. I was slightly disappointed when I took measurements and everything was just about exactly the same as the first time I measured a little over 4 weeks ago. I may not have lost any inches yet, but I can tell I am toning up some. I also definitely feel stronger and can see a bit more muscle definition in certain areas. I don’t think any of these changes would be apparent to anyone else looking at me, but that is usually the case. What is that quote I always see on Pinterest in the Fitness category about noticing your body changing? Something like: “It takes 4 weeks for you to notice a change, 8 weeks for your friends and family to notice, and 12 weeks for everyone else to notice”. There may be some truth to that.

dd83c144b64ff99ca2c1971bec4ea71aI really want to get into the best shape of my life and I know that a key component to that is the food I’m eating. I have a pretty decent diet as is, but it is not perfect and I probably allow myself to over-indulge a little bit too much sometimes. The way I eat now allows me to maintain my current weight, but I’m not sure it will allow me to reach my fitness goals…especially not if I’m trying to get some nice abdominal muscles! We’ve all heard it before. Abs are made in the kitchen! Sure, I could probably keep myself pretty slim and somewhat fit by keeping my same diet, but I really want to see what my body is capable of. So, I decided to clean up my diet some more and be a little more strict about the foods I allow myself to eat. When it comes to eating healthy I absolutely have to write out a plan for the coming week or I will just completely fail and end up at Bojangles. I was sitting down to write out my meal plan last weekend and I remembered that there is a Drop Two Sizes book that includes meal plans. I’m not sure why I didn’t remember this until recently, but I went to Barnes and Noble and grabbed a copy. I really like this book, guys! Rachel Cosgrove teamed up with a registered dietitian who designed the meal plans. I like the meal plan because it is simple and not overwhelming or unrealistic to follow. I gathered ideas from the meal plans and wrote out my own meal plan and grocery list. I will probably go into greater detail about my meal plans in a later post. If you guys are interested in the book, it is sold online and in stores and is even available as an e-book. No matter what your fitness/weight loss goals are I think this book is a great motivational tool.


Anyway, I’m hoping that I will see even more results by being a little more strict with my diet. I am by no means saying that I am going to count calories or restrict my food intake drastically. My goal is NOT to lose weight, but only to tone up and gain muscle mass/definition.

Okay, so as promised here are my picture updates. I don’t think there is much of a difference, but I also probably could have worked a little harder than I did. That’s okay, there’s plenty of time!  To compare it to the beginning click here.

Fotor0219112444Sorry, these are not the best quality. My boyfriend is not a photographer, nor does he try very hard to get these “perfect” for me. :-p Also, I do own other workout clothes, but I thought I would keep it as similar as the first time as I could. I didn’t include the measurements this time because like I mentioned earlier nothing really changed.

Thanks for reading ALL of this if you did! If you have any questions/feedback I would love to “hear” from you in the comments. I’ll be back in a week or so for another update.

*I am not affiliated with Drop Two Sizes or Women’s Health in any way…although I wouldn’t mind it 😉

Bows and Arrows,