#MotivationalMonday: 30 minute circuit training workout

February 12, 2017

Hey there! Happy Sunday, friends. I know I’m a day early with this post, but I wanted to send it in advance in case you wanted to give it a try tomorrow.


One thing that helps me stick to my planned workouts for the week is to try to never miss a Monday. I find that if I start my week off with a workout then I’m more likely to continue with the positive momentum. Plus, if things come up during the week and I need to miss a day here or there then I don’t stress about it.


Today I’m sharing a quick 30 minute circuit you can do anywhere. It’s sure to get your booty sweating and your heart rate up. The great thing about this circuit is it’s totally customizable. If you only have 20 minutes then just do two rounds. If you’ve got more time, then go for the full 30 minutes. Just find some floor space and set a timer (I like the Gymboss app because it’s free and you can play music directly from iTunes) and GO!


A few notes:

  • This is meant to be a high intensity interval workout. The 45 seconds “on” should be a max effort followed by 15 seconds of complete rest.
  • If you are unable to do any of the exercises then feel free to modify the movements (i.e., push ups can be done on your knees, switch jumps can be walking lunges, etc.). Do what’s right for you.
  • Talk with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.


Wouldn’t this be a fun partner workout? Find your sweetie or your best workout bud and get moving together!




Want more bodyweight exercises? Check out my workout page!

Dumbbell super set workout

July 12, 2016
A Fit Mess

I have an awesome workout to share with you today! This one could easily be done at home since it requires very little equipment. All you need is a set of dumbbells and a stability ball. If you don’t have a stability ball, you could sub the leg curls for glute bridges on the floor or a bench.

What is a super set?

A super set is when you perform two exercises back-to-back without any rest in between. Super sets are a great way to challenge your body, increase your intensity, and stimulate muscle growth. By removing the rest periods, your muscles will be forced to work harder, your heart rate will increase, and you’ll burn more calories. Plus, performing the exercises back-to-back is a very time efficient way to train. Meaning, you’ll be done with your workout much quicker.


For this workout, each round should be repeated 2 – 3 times before moving on to the next set. For example, complete 15 chest presses and 15 lying leg curls, then go back to the chest presses. You should not take any rest in between aside from the time it takes you to set up for the next movement. I sometimes mix in a bit of cardio if I have the energy for more.


I’ve included a brief description for all the movements below in case you aren’t familiar with some of the exercises. If you are new to strength training, I’d recommend dropping the number of reps in each set or going lighter in your weight. YouTube is a great place to search for video demos if you aren’t sure how to perform these exercises. As always, consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

A Fit Mess

Description of exercises:

  • Dumbbell chest press: Lie on a bench holding a dumbbell in each hand at a ninety degree angle. Press up bringing the dumbbells directly over your chest. Slowly lower back down to the starting position and repeat.
  • Lying leg curl on the ball: Lie on the ground with your feet on a stability ball. Pressing your heels into the ball, lift your hips up as high as possible and curl the ball in towards your body. Straighten your legs back out to the starting position.
  • One arm dumbbell row: Place one hand and knee on the same side of a bench. Holding a dumbbell in the opposite hand, slowly lower the dumbbell until your arm is straight. Bring your elbow up to the ceiling, keeping your arm close to your hip.
  • Squat to overhead press: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bend your elbows and turn your palms facing in towards your face. Squat down bringing your elbows to just above your knees. Press up with power bringing your hands straight above your head to a press position. Remember to keep your weight in your heels.
  • Single leg jumps on bench: Place one foot on a bench behind you. Bend your front foot to a ninety degree angle and lightly hop up and down. Try to land softly (you don’t need to jump high) and try to keep your weight in your front heel. Keep your shoulders back and hips square. This can also be performed on the floor without a bench.
  • Dumbbell lateral lunges: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lunge to either side, bending your knee and sitting back in the movement. Bring the dumbbells to either side of your bent knee (just above the ground). Push off of your foot to bring yourself up to standing.
  • Hammer curl: Hold a dumbbell in each hand, keeping your shoulders back and your elbows glued to your sides. With palms facing toward each other (thumbs on top), bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders and slowly lower back down.
  • Tricep pullover: Lie flat on a bench holding a dumbbell over your chest with a triangle grip. Slowly lower the dumbbell over your head, keeping your arms close to your ears. Pull the dumbbell back over your head until it’s over your chest (not your face).
  • V-ups: Lying on your back, press your bellybutton into the floor. Keeping your core stable, raise your arms and legs up to form a v-shape in the air. Lower slowly back down. If you’d like to make this more challenging, hold a 10 – 15# dumbbell in your hands.
  • Reverse crunch: Lie on your back with knees bent. Slowly raise your hips up, pressing your bellybutton into the floor. Try to bring your knees up and towards your face. Lower slowly (with control) back down.


I hope you enjoy this workout. Remember to follow me on Pinterest to see more workouts and exercise programs.

4 on the 4th: upper body home workout

July 1, 2016
A Fit Mess

Hey everyone! Since most gyms are closed on the holiday I thought I’d share a fun (and festive) upper body workout you can do at home. All you need is a pair of moderate to heavy dumbbells. Complete each round 4 times without stopping before moving on to the next.

And, be sure to check out my Pinterest page for more at home workout ideas.

Weekend recap + home workout with stability ball and dumbbells

Hey there. I’m actually writing this post on Sunday afternoon because by some miracle both of my children are sleeping. I’ve heard the great rumor that toddlers usually drop their naps between the ages of 3 – 4 and this thought is mildly terrifying to me. So I’m taking advantage of the quiet while I still can. Sitting on the deck sipping coffee = perfect.


My weekend started with high hopes. I had a massage at Hand and Stone Friday evening, but by the time I got back home I was feeling pretty run down and a bit nauseous. I told Matt I just wanted to sleep it off so I went to bed early. I woke up Saturday morning feeling absolutely horrible. I had body aches, everything hurt, and I could barely hold my head up.


Needless to say the day was pretty much shot. Matt cancelled all his clients and stayed with the girls so I could rest. And that’s exactly what I did. In fact, I slept almost the entire day from 8 am until around 5 pm. I couldn’t do a thing except lie in bed, sleeping on and off. Around 6 pm I could finally sit upright and had some ginger ale and crackers. I was feeling a tiny bit better, but I still felt really weak and sick to my stomach. I missed the entire day!

A Fit Mess

Sunday morning I woke up and felt a million times better. I’m positive that’s because I was able to sleep for so long on Saturday. Getting sick so suddenly made me remember how important rest is for your body. It’s the best remedy when you are ill. And I’m really thankful Matt was here to stay with the girls because I was absolutely useless. How on earth do single parents manage when their kids are sick?

Matt got groceries early in the morning and then the girls helped me put it all away. Ashlyn’s face is too funny holding those ribs (her favorite).

A Fit Mess

After we put everything away I walked to the pool with the girls so Matt could finish up some things around the house before joining us. It’s ridiculous how many items you need for the pool when you have toddlers. Really?


After the pool we went to the playground for a bit before heading home. It was a good morning! And it felt great to be outside in the sunshine after spending all Saturday inside.


I’m taking it easy this afternoon. Staying hydrated and just resting. I haven’t worked out in a few days, but I’m a firm believer that taking time off when you need it is always the right thing to do. It’s easy to want to just jump back into your routine, but when you are getting over an illness it’s super important to ease into things. You’re not going to set yourself back by taking some time off. It will actually help you feel stronger for your next workout.


So that was pretty much my weekend. Getting sick, recovering, and just taking it easy. I’m bummed that I wasted most of the weekend, but I’m glad it was fast and furious and that I’m feeling better. I hope you are all healthy and happy, too.


Stability ball and dumbbell home workout

I’m excited to share a great upper body and ab workout for you to do at home. All you need is a stability ball and a set of dumbbells. Perform 15 reps of each exercise 3 -4 times before moving on to the next exercise. For the super/triple sets, complete each exercise in sequence without resting and repeat each round 3 -4 times. For example, perform 15 DB lateral raises and 15 stability ball pull ins without resting. Then go right back to the lateral raise. Repeat 3 – 4x. I’ve included video links to some of the exercises that you may not be familiar with.

A Fit Mess

Dumbbell push up

Stability ball pull ins

Zottman curl

This is a goodie! Please let me know if you try it. You can find this workout and more on my Pinterest page. Follow me there!

Last week’s workouts 

Monday – upper body

Incline DB press 3 x 15

DB shoulder press 3 x 15

super sets:

  • chest flys 3 x 15
  • plyo kettlebell push ups 3 x 10


  • one arm overhead kettlebell squat 3 x 8
  • v-ups 3 x 15


  • lateral raise 3 x 15
  • standing DB upright row 3 x 15
  • burpees 3 x 10
  • dips 3 x 15


  • knee raise 3 x 15
  • lying leg raise 3 x 15
  • push ups 3 x 15


Tuesday – cardio

5 min row to warm up

2.5 mile sprints on the treadmill 30 sec on / 30 sec off

ab work 3 x 20: reverse crunch, bicycles, v-ups



Wednesday – home workout

(see below)


Thursday – Orangetheory

This was peak week where every day there was a challenge. Our class had a 2000 meter row for time. I finished in 8 min.


Friday – REST


Saturday – REST (sick day)


Sunday – REST (1 hour walk outside)


In case you are just catching up, here are the posts from last week:


How was your weekend? Tell me something fun you did!