Archive for Legs

8 Weeks to a Killer Booty


It almost never fails when I meet women in the gym: everyone wants a nice butt and great legs.

I’ve always been a big fan of leg/glute workouts. There was a running joke at the gym for a long time where everyone basically thought all I did was work my butt and legs.

(Obviously that wasn’t true)

I will admit, though, I LOVE working legs and glutes. Because of this, I’ve experimented a LOT. I’ve learned from the best of the best, and I’ve been practicing for 8 years (officially last month!). As a trainer, I get to experiment with my clients, too! They love (and hate) it. Since I can’t reach all of you, I wanted to put something out there that you could use to build the legs and butt you’ve always wanted.

8 Weeks to a Killer Booty & Gorgeous Legs

The exercises (click on the exercise for a video demonstration):

  1. Deadlifts
  2. Back Squats
  3. Hip Thrusts
  4. Bulgarian Squats

Here’s what to do:

You can do this program for as long as you want, but I’d suggest taking a de-load week every 8-10 weeks (depending on you and what you/your body needs). You’ll work your legs 3 times per week and I would suggest doing upper body 2 times per week. For example, you could perform legs on M/W/F and do upper body on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Choose weights that allow you to perform the recommended reps. If you can get through the set easily, you need to up the weights. If you can’t get to the minimum number of reps, you’ll need to go lighter.

The goal is to increase your weights every week. For example, if on Day 1 of Week 1 you get your deadlifts up to 135lbs, on Day 1 of Week 2 you’ll try to get 140lbs. Do this for each exercise/day.

Day 1:

Deadlifts: Perform 5 sets of 4-6 reps

Back Squats: Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Bulgarian Squats: Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 2:

Hip Thrusts: Perform 5 sets of 4-6 reps

Deadlifts: Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Back Squats: Perform 3 sets of 12-15 reps

Day 3:

Back Squats: Perform 5 sets of 4-6 reps

Bulgarian Squats: Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Hip Thrusts: Perform 3 sets of 15-20 reps

You can also add in any of the following at the end of a workout. I recommend picking 2 exercises and doing 2 sets of each for 20-30 reps as a “burn-out”:

Banded Lateral Walks

Banded Hip Abduction

-Banded Duck Walks

45 Hyperextensions (can be done with or without weight)

Swiss Ball Hip Adduction

Kneeling Hip Thrusts


As always, check with a doctor before beginning any new exercise program. If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment below!


No Sugar Challenge Update + Leg Workout!

Holy mackerel. That’s about all I can say about yesterday!

Yesterday was one of those days that I call an Unintentional Fast. Basically I was completely unprepared for the busy-ness of the day, that I didn’t eat anything for most of the day. For the record, I am NOT pleasant to be around when I haven’t eaten!

The day started innocently enough. I knew I had a bunch of things to do, but thought for sure I’d have time in between to get some eggs or something at my favorite coffee shop. Umm, no. I grabbed a coffee and a banana at around 8am and that was the last thing I ate until about 3:30pm. Can I tell you what happened in between those hours? NO. Because it was mostly a blur. I remember packaging things up, getting signatures for a boatload of documents, and hitting up a FedEx store to ship off said documents, but I’m not sure what else happened.

Lesson of the Day: FEED LIZZY.


(This shirt seems appropriate)

Wednesday Glute/Ham Workout

Charlie met me at the gym on Wednesday and did a leg workout with me. We focused a lot on glutes and hamstrings in this workout. I list my weights for reference, but you know your body and strength, so choose the appropriate weights for YOU.

3 Supersets: Barbell Squats (95×12, 115×10, 11510) & DB Reverse Lunges (3 sets using 20’s x 12 per leg)

3 Supersets: Leg Extensions (drop sets: 10 reps @ 70, drop weight to 50, do 10 more reps) & Supinated  Hamstring Curls (50 x 15)

3 Sets: Thick Banded Hip Thrusts (used thick green band)

3 Sets: 45 Degree Hypers w/ 25lb plate

As always, check with a doctor before starting a new exercise program. You know yourself better than anybody, so always remember to honor your body.

Update on No Sugar for 30 Days

So Charlie and I are officially on Day 5 of 30. So far, it’s going well. I definitely miss diet soda, but it’s getting easier each day and I’m drinking way more water (score!). I also haven’t been just grabbing a protein bar on the go as a sad excuse for a meal (see above), so I’ve had to definitely plan a bit more. It’s definitely for the better, as I’m eating much more REAL food. I ate really well before with the occasional treats, but now I’m eating REALLY, REALLY freaking well. I definitely feel better overall.

How I Feel: I woke up Day 2 with a headache that reminded me of a caffeine headache. I attribute it to the fact that I hadn’t had any artificial sweeteners. Seriously, that’s crazy. I didn’t realize that my body had built up such an addiction to it, but I guess two coffees (with 2 splendas each) and 1-2 diet sodas per day will do that.

Sleep: I’ve been sleeping, but I’ve been EXHAUSTED this week. That could partially be from a busy work schedule and a jam-packed weekend, but I also think there could be some withdrawals happening for me with the artificial sweeteners. As I said, I didn’t realize how much this was affecting me, but it’s becoming clear that maybe it has. I’m definitely feeling better on Day 5 than I was on Day 2!

Workouts: I’ve been kicking ass. I haven’t noticed a difference here, other than I feel more determined.

Progress: Not a huge difference here, but I feel like my stomach seems flatter. I definitely feel less bloated.


Leg Workout + Kettlebells

Hey friends! Hope your Tuesday is off to a great start!

Monday morning, me and several million of my friends woke up to a good shake here in Southern California. It was definitely the biggest earthquake I’ve ever felt, but by no means was it bad compared to the devastations that have happened around the world. I woke up from the jolt and in trying to wake up my boyfriend, accidentally punched him in the face. Luckily that was the only injury that took place. (Sorry babe! ;-))

The best part of the earthquake was definitely this…..

Makes me laugh every time! Thank you Captain Obvious! We all felt it!

Anyways, moving on!

Yesterday, I did a doozy of a workout. It was a mixture of legs and back with a hint of some kettle bell action. I LOVE kettle bells. They are so versatile. They take some time to get used to, and it is helpful to have someone who knows what they’re doing show you the ropes (errr…bells). Once you DO learn how to use them, they can be used for just about anything.

Here’s what I did Monday:

The Workout

The Workout

For the squats, I did sets of 15, 12, 10, 8, and 6, increasing the weight each set. I worked my way up to 115 pounds.

For the pull ups, I did sets of 5, 5, 3, and then switched to chin ups and did 3 and 3.

For the rest of the exercises, I did sets of 10-12 reps of each. 

I used 12kg for the one arm KB Snatches and 16kg for the KB Swings

This workout definitely kicked my butt! Loved that I went from a slower paced heavy lift, to a faster pace burnout. Had  a good sweat going by the end!

Here’s my plan for the rest of the week: 

Tuesday: Boxing and Bouldering

Wednesday: HIIT and Bouldering

Thursday: CrossFit and a Functional Workout

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Hike

Sunday: Rest

I’m traveling to Phoenix once again this weekend, so my workouts Friday – Sunday will be whatever I can get in. I will, of course, have to make a visit to my old stomping grounds (aka the Mecca of Scottsdale). I’m planning on resting on Friday and Sunday, but if I decide to drive back Monday, I’ll probably move my rest day to Monday.

Do you use Kettle Bells?

If you have, what are your favorite Kettle Bell exercises?

If you haven’t, would you like some videos to help you learn?

Peg Legs


Hope everyone’s short week is starting off nicely. Tomorrow is already Wednesday!!(actually it’s probably already Wednesday by the time you read this..if you read this.. ;-))

I was glad to see that some of my readers spoke up to say they are still out there! I know I kind of just ditched out on you guys like a bad boyfriend, but I am hopefully going to get back into some type of “regular” schedule with the blog. Whatever that may be, considering I’ve never really had a schedule, per say :).

I know you are all wondering by now why this post is titled Peg Legs….well I think that I will just let you see the work out my trainer put me through today and maybe it will give some clarity. I’ll be honest, I just wanted to say Peg Leg really bad. Don’t forget to check out the my-pharm-blog of this post for a frequently asked question that I MUST address…..

The Workout (cardio was a little over 4 mile hilly run)

Low Box Squats: 1 warm up set, 5 sets of 10 reps with 60 second rests, 5 sets of 5 reps with 45 seconds rest and an increase in weight by 40%

Hack Squat superset with Elevated Dumbbell Single Leg Deadlifts

Walking lunges AROUND THE ENTIRE BUILDING. He counted 600 reps……

Let me just say that my legs were shaking after the box squats…needless to say I was about to murder him when he took me into the 110 degree weather for the lunges….moving on….

The Question that I Get All The Time

“Lizzy…if you’re a trainer and know what you’re doing…why do you have a trainer????”

I’ll give you the short and simple answer to that: Because EVERYONE can benefit from having a trainer, it’s just a matter of WHO that trainer is and what your goals are.

Reasons to Hire a Trainer(one that is well-educated, experienced and can think OUTSIDE the box)

-You can learn new exercises and learn new ways to pair exercises that you wouldn’t have thought about on your own.

-I don’t care how hard you push yourself, a good trainer and one that knows you well enough can(key word is can because not all trainers do this or know how to do it efficiently…) push you harder.

-You can learn the reasons why this particular trainer does a different variation of an exercise you already do.

There are many other reasons why a well-trained and knowledgeable person can GREATLY benefit from having a trainer…..why do you think NBA players have a coach? or power lifters? or volleyball players? As smart as we can be, there is ALWAYS more to learn, and as soon as you start thinking you know everything, you will fall farrrrr behind my friends.

I also believe in training with different trainers. Many people will stick with their same trainer for years and years, which is fine, but I prefer to learn as much as I can from one trainer and then it’s time to move on. I am not saying to bounce around, because that isn’t effective either. Personally, I’ve had 3 trainers(including my current trainer) in my entire life that truly changed me, the way I workout and my mindset. I’ve been with these trainers for at least 1 year or more at separate times since I began training. These are highly educated individuals who have a lot of experience: a strength and conditioning coach who taught me proper form on all of my foundational exercises, a professional body builder/ex marine, and currently a former world champion power lifter who has been lifting for 35 years. 3 very different worlds, but SO much knowledge to be gained.

I leave you with a quote that my current trainer keeps reminding me of “Get outside of the box.” Really think about what that means for your training. Just because it’s a rule or what you were taught, it doesn’t mean that’s the only way it can be done. Our bodies were made to move and there is more than one way to skin a cat….get outside of your box and see for yourself.

I’m feelin’ it….

Well, dieting effects are in full force. I’m really digging deep to get through my workouts and cardio, but I have 6 weeks to go. It will FLY. Time has already FLOWN by!! Sorry if I make no sense, the lack of carbs is frying my brain 🙂


Today was my 2nd leg workout of the week.

High reps , 3 sets of :

Technorati Tags: ,,,

Stiff Leg Deadlifts, Leg Press, Bulgarian Split Squats, Prone Ham curls, leg ext.

3 sets of:

sled pushes, front kicks, side kicks and scissor kicks on the heavy bag

It was a great workout. 90 minutes of cardio on top of that. It’s 7:30pm and I’m totally ready for bed.

**Some cool news:

Tomorrow I’ll be taping a segment on 3TV(local news station) with my old roomie Emily. She will be training me. I’ll let you know if there’s a link that will be posted to their site. 🙂

I’m in!!

…to my new place!

I somehow got my stuff together today, found someone to take my table, got my bed, couch and tv moved and am now in my new house!! I’m living with another fellow fitness gal, so it works out well. Different part of town that I’m not used to, but I’m excited!!


This morning’s leg workout was awesome! I got some groggy morning cardio in (at a lovely 4AM) and then ate breakfast and hit the gym floor. Changed it up quite a bit today.

The Workout

-Leg Press superset with  Up and Overs

-Hack Squat superset with jumping split squats

-Front squats superset with walking lunges(no weight, high reps)

-Leg extensions superset with front kicks, side kicks and scissor kicks on the heavy bag.

The addition of the boxing kicks into my leg workout was AWESOME. It was a change of pace and lots of fun.

58 days to show time!!!!

Some days I think I’ll be ready, some days I’m not sure…..but either way I’m doing what I need to do to get there. Power of positive thinking + hard work = success. That’s my view at least.

What is the HARDEST thing you’ve ever had to do in order to achieve your goal??

Catch ya later!! 🙂

Effective Leg Workouts

This post has two purposes: To give you my opinion on form and range of motion, and to explain to you how mother-flippin-ridunkulously sore my legs are today. The fact that week after week I can still get my legs this sore just proves I really know how to push myself on leg day.

My Workout

 I typically don’t go super heavy on leg day. That’s one thing I got over. I am happy with the size of my leg muscles, and right now I am just trying to lean out and tighten up. I used to be obsessed with strength and how heavy I could lift, but realized that unless Im trying to become a power lifter or build more muscle, it really doesn’t matter, as long as my muscles are being challenged and that I change it up often, it works for me. That sentence was definitely too long, but it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want!!

Box Squats superset with Leg Extensions (2 warm ups, 4 sets)

Hack Squats superset with High Box Jumps (4 sets)

Bulgarian Squats superset with Sled Pushes (3 sets)

Squat Press superset with Jumping Split Squats (3 sets)

My legs were shaking by the time I got to the Hack Squats and continued to do so until I finished the workout.


Form and Range of Motion

The key to this workout being so effective has a lot to do with range of motion. I can’t tell you how many times a day I bite my tongue at the ridiculous form that people have with their exercises. Lower the weight, and DO THE EXERCISE.

What I see:

 -Walking Lunges with 20-25 lb dumbbells- people barely getting their knee down. Your knee should be almost touching the ground with EACH REP. No bouncing, no knee-past-your-toe, and make sure you GET DOWN THERE. If this means you have to drop the dumbbells, then so be it. You will be a better athlete and have better developed muscles to show for it.

-Half Squats- these are my favorite. Girls load the barbell with a bunch of plates. They squat and come up, except they didn’t even get close to parallel. Their knees are past their toes and some people even turn their head. NEVER TURN YOUR HEAD WHEN PERFORMING A SQUAT.(Unless you are trying to injure your spine and neck, in that case feel free.) Another tip, stick your butt out! Your back should be straight, chest out, and contrary to what some people think, you can even squat down past your knees. Some say this will cause injury, but there is another equal sized group that calls bluff. Either way, all I’m asking for is at LEAST parallel. NO MORE HALF SQUATS.

-Smith squats are great. They have their place, but a real squat with a free barbell is much more effective. It’s the same principal as using dumbbells over machines. The balance factor means you have to contract more muscle fibers. Don’t get me wrong, smith squats are a great exercise, but they shouldn’t be in place of a regular full squat.

There are so many different types of squats and they all have their place. Full Squats, Front Squats, Hack Squats, Hex bar squats, dumbbell squats, box squats and the list goes on. My advice is to get the regular squat down before you start venturing out. Box squats are great because they teach you to a: squat all the way down and b: to stick your butt out. Make sure your box is low enough that you can acheive at least parallel, if not further down.

Okay, so that turned into more of a rant with a little advice mixed in, but I truly stand by correct form and full range of motion. When you see people with those beautiful long lean muscles, you can bet they are doing their exercises with full range of motion(unless they are just genetically gifted.)

Do me a favor, drop the weights and work on your form. I’m not by any means saying I’m perfect, because I’m not. I work my best to get full range of motion and correct form, but it doesn’t mean I am 100% perfect at it. I use the mirrors to judge and also ask others to make sure my form is good and that i’m getting full range of motion. You will be amazed at how different your workouts will feel if you incorporate those two principles.


11.5 Weeks Out


Time is flying! I think I say that everyday, but it’s da troof 😉

I’m at work and just finished cardio. I do 30 minutes on leg days because, let’s face it, leg days rock my world. A.K.A Take all of my energy and leave me wanting to nap all day.

My plan for today’s workout is Quad Focus and Plyometrics:

Full Squats, Hack Squats, Bulgarian Split Squats, Single Leg Leg Press, Leg Extensions, Box Jumps, Switch Jumps, Up and Overs, and the SLED.

As daunting as they are, I LOVE leg workouts. No joke, I get nervous before leg workouts. I think it is because for one, I know it’s going to be really really hard. If I don’t go balls to the walls on leg day, I am disappointed afterwards, so I always make sure I put in all my effort no matter how worn out I’m feeling. I think that I get nervous when box jumps are on the list because I’m afraid I’m going to miss and fall flat on my face, but that’s besides the point. The box is about 2.5 feet tall and if I don’t pay attention, I know I’m gonna eat it big time.

Today is also a LAKE DAY 🙂 I’m a very spoiled girl and have not one, but TWO friends with wakeboard boats. My tan lines are definitely making a come-back……

Other than that, life is good. I’m done with school until June(summer school) and just enjoying my prep and working hard.