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Two Secret Recipes

May 17, 2010

Burpees: damn tough. Even in Converse high-tops.

Recipe Number 1: For Strength and Speed

What better way to start a Monday than with a running and strength circuit? We thought so.

This workout, in Run Like A Mother, is from a personal trainer and mother of 4, Kerrie. She trained Kat for her only injury-free training cycle and race. “The lifting seems like it would be easy, but then you throw in sprints and, all of a sudden, 24 body-weight squats are rather fatiguing,” explains Kat. Adds trainer Kerrie, “The circuits, combined with fast running mimics the demands of a marathon, when you have to keep running despite increasing weariness.”

Warm-up with a 2-mile jog on a treadmill

Run 400 meters at 5K pace

12 burpees (from a standing position, jump feet back to push-up position, jump feet forward, repeat)

6 assisted chin-ups

30 crunches

12 push-ups

24 bodyweight squats (hold a medicine ball if you want)

Run 400 meters at 5k pace

10 squats with shoulder press

8 push-ups with feet, shins, or knees on stability ball

12 triceps dips

30 back extensions

30 lunges with biceps curls

—Repeat once, then cool down with, as Kat says, “whatever energy you have left.”

SBS and I have heard from a couple readers that they’ve done this workout, and it kicked their booties.  Have you tried it? If so, let us know what your quads and lungs thought. If not–and you want a little justification to partake in the next secret recipe–get going.

Recipe Number Two: Ashley’s Yummy Cupcakes

Ashley won the Hump Day giveaway, and she happily traded this (super easy) recipe for her Asics gift certificate. Your muscles may hate me after the above workout, I’m pretty sure you’ll be thanking me for this.

Sour Cream Brownie Cupcakes
1 box brownie mix (“Don’t be afraid of box mixes,” she says, “Trying to be Martha is exhausting.” I agree.)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1 can frosting, your choice

Prepare brownie mix as directed. Fold in sour cream and chocolate chips. Bake at 350 in either a greased muffin pan or in cupcake liners. This recipe makes 12 regular sized cupcakes of 24 mini cupcakes. For regular cupcakes bake for at least 30 minutes checking center with toothpick for doneness. Mini cupcakes take only 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely. Fill a pastry bag with your choice of frosting (I use either plain old chocolate or tinted cream cheese) and pipe onto cooled cupcakes. Decorate as desired.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. Jessica permalink
    May 17, 2010 9:28 am

    I dogeared that page in the book, but admit to being very afraid 🙂 but the second receipe sounds so good that I might need to just suck it up and get going!

    • May 17, 2010 6:55 pm

      Truth be told, Jessica–I haven’t done it yet either. I dare you. 🙂

  2. Holly permalink
    May 17, 2010 10:12 am

    I am currently doing a similar circuit training 2x per week, a little bit easier workout than Kerrie’s. Those burpees are killer!!! I hated them in gym class and they are still torture 25+ years later. But the circuit has really increased my strength and has turned by bedroom into a gym room. I have been doing it for three weeks, and I’m still sore the day after, so I must be building some muscle.
    I don’t have all of the equipment for Kerrie’s, but I did get some new ideas to add to my own.

    • May 17, 2010 6:56 pm

      Hey Holly–Just curious: what did you sub for assisted pull-ups? That seems like the hardest one to think of alternative for. Glad it’s doing you good. And yes, burpees are killer, no matter how old you are. 🙂

  3. May 17, 2010 6:35 pm

    I am a group fitness instructor and teach classes similar to this twice a week. A few months after adding these to classes to my schedule I noticed that I could run faster than I had in the past. I am still a slow distance runner but finally got my 5K time under 22:00! It really does make a huge difference! BIG FAN of this program!

    • May 17, 2010 6:57 pm

      5k under 22 is a great accomplishment, Kelly–nice work. Glad to have another professional testify to the strength of this kind of circuit. How do you do the running part in class? Just curious.

  4. Ila Dawson permalink
    May 17, 2010 10:10 pm

    Hey, Dimity, you might know this (and certainly understand why I’m asking)… does that recipe work at high altitude? I’m a chocaholic but I live near Denver, so lots of recipes collapse up here. I need some sour cream brownie cupcakes!!
    My favorite easy recipe, though, is a box of devil’s food cake mix and a 15 oz. can of pumpkin. Mix it all together (I recruit my husband because it’s thick batter), spoon into cupcake liners, bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Delicious, and I count it as a serving of vegetables :).

    • May 18, 2010 10:37 am

      Hey Ila–Ah, high altitude baking. Another of life’s challenges I have to embrace. I usually follow directions on the package (of the brownie mix, in this case) or randomly add about 2 tbsp. flour to most baking recipes. That seems to work…but you might want to be more scientific about it.

      Love that devil’s food idea. Do you put in the other stuff (eggs, water, oil) or just pumpkin?

      • Ila Dawson permalink
        May 18, 2010 7:50 pm

        It’s just one box of cake mix and one can of pumpkin. Nothing else. That’s why I need muscle from my husband.

  5. May 17, 2010 10:44 pm

    I just did the work out tonight, and it kicked my BUTT! But it was exactly what I needed. (Its funny, I have the book, but I just haven’t gotten that far! It was there for me all along!) I can’t wait to see what happens when I make it a regular part of my routine. And if you figure out a substitute for the pull-ups, let me know! Thanks for the work out!

    • May 18, 2010 10:39 am

      Sarah: you are most heartily welcome. Glad it got you moving…and hope you can move today. I’d say a good substitute for pull-ups is another set of push-ups, if your upper body can handle it. Or, if you’re able to, pull-ups from under a counter or table, where your body is straight, you’re resting on your heels and grabbing a (very stable) surface with both hands, then pull yourself towards it. Does that make sense?

      • May 19, 2010 9:28 am

        Definitely makes sense. Though I’m not sure I could have handled any more upper body stuff!! I wasn’t that sore yesterday… but for some reason, I’m really sore today! My body is weird like that 🙂 Thanks again!

        • May 19, 2010 5:50 pm

          That’s actually normal, Sarah: being sore 2 days after a new strength training routine. It’s called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS for short. Just something more–and kinda useless–to file away.

  6. Priscilla permalink
    May 19, 2010 10:20 am

    I tried the combo workout this am. I had to mix up a couple of the exercises because people were on the chin-up/tri-dip machine. I did the crunches and back extensions on the ball (I just don’t like the scuzzy mats at the gym, not that the balls are much better.) Those burpees after the 400m almost made me pass out! It was fun to try something new. I will certainly do this again – maybe once a week in place of my boring ol’ core routine. Thanks for the online encouragement to try it!

    • May 19, 2010 5:48 pm

      Nice job, Priscilla. I’m with you on the scuzzy mats thing. I’d bet if you continue it, you’ll get faster and fitter pretty quickly–or at least the burpees will get easier.

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