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Pushing Through Pyramids

by Courtney on April 2, 2012

Good morning! How’s everyone doing with their Monday so far? I’m not gonna lie…I was kinda sad to see Monday come back so soon. There was plenty of low-key fun, good food, and good news this weekend, and I didn’t want to see it end. Here’s the lowdown…

What were the highlights of your weekend??


Last Night’s Dinner

I told you all last night that I had a feeling dinner was going to be super simple…


Well, it doesn’t get much simpler than a bowl of cereal, now does it?

I honestly wasn’t craving a whole lot of anything, but you can never go wrong with a bowl of cereal – especially when it’s made with three kinds of cereal, banana slices, and PB2 on top.


It worked. Winking smile


This morning officially kicked off phase 3 of Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp! She emailed our workouts to us over the weekend, and I’d been SUPER excited to get started ever since. It’s so nice to have a workout you actually look forward to, isn’t it?

Phase 3 of bootcamp is definitely kicking things up a notch, focusing on strength, power, and functional training. We have four days of weights (YAY!), broken up into a split routine of “push” muscle groups and “pull” muscle groups:

  • Push muscle groups = quads, chest, triceps, anterior deltoids
  • Pull muscle groups = hamstrings/gluetes, back, biceps, rear deltoids

Today’s workout consisted of 30 minute sprint/hill intervals on the treadmill + a “push” workout. My intervals on the treadmill pretty much, well, sucked. I started out strong, but my asthma kicked in and I wound up having to complete the rest of them with a power walk. Not a huge deal (still worked up quite a set), but just frustrating when that happens.

The “push” supersets, on the other hand, were awesome and actually incorporated another type of training that I had yet to try for myself, Pyramids. With the pyramid system, you increase (or decrease) your weight with each set; today’s workout used the “light-to-heavy” system, which looked something like this:

  • Set 1 = 15 reps, light weight
  • Set 2 = 10 reps, moderate weight
  • Set 3 = 6-8 reps, heavy weight

This system of working out is great because you’re challenging your muscles differently the entire time. The only downside can be having to find three sets of weights/dumbbells for certain exercises. Overall, I was definitely a fan.

Has anyone else ever tried this system of working out? What did ya think?


By the time I got home, it was time to fuel up.


Coffee + a batch of Mixed Berry French Toast Oatmeal.


Topped with some Love Grown Foods granola and a drizzle of sugar-free maple syrup.


Always a winner. Always.


Before signing off for the morning, I have to give a quick shout out…

Today is a very special day for a very special person, who I like to refer to as “Aunt Kelly.” Aunt Kelly (better known as Kelly Olexa) is the mastermind behind FitFluential, and she has seriously got to be one of the most hardworking, driven, and inspirational women I have ever met. She never ceases to amaze me, whether it’s with her super informational (and humorous) vlogs, or her wealth of knowledge on social media. I have learned SO much from her, and through FitFluential, she has provided me with opportunities that I’m sure I would have never had otherwise.

So today is Kelly’s birthday, and because she is such an amazing gal and I think so highly of her, I’m sending her a virtual birthday gift with two of her favorite things:

Hunky Ryan Reynolds & some Starbucks. Happy Birthday, Kel!

And since you’re all sharing in this virtual birthday gift as well, I hope Mr. Reynolds has gotten your day off to a good start. Happy Monday to YOU. Winking smile

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Caitlin @ This Bride's Joyride April 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

I had cereal for dinner too last night! Heart to Heart + Raisin Bran, yum.

Haha, that is the best birthday present ;)


2 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries April 2, 2012 at 9:32 am

you can never go wrong with cereal for dinner! or any meal or snack for that matter. ;)
i love me some ryan reynolds and starbucks too! happy birthday kelly!
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..April Snuck Up On Me!


3 Mary April 2, 2012 at 9:37 am

Thanks for the gift!!


4 Amy April 2, 2012 at 9:37 am

I guess that’s a pretty great way to start the week :) :) :)

Happy Monday!!


5 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 2, 2012 at 9:41 am

Thanks for giving us ALL a gift this morning! Haha! ;)
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..Bipolar eating at its finest.


6 Andrea @ Andrea Out Loud! April 2, 2012 at 9:42 am

Oh ryan reynolds… DROOOOOOLL


7 Coco April 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

Why am I the only person on the planet who thinks Ryan Reynolds is just “ehh”…he’s definitely not UNattractive, but he’s not my cup of Starbuck’s.
Coco recently posted..A Birthday!


8 Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers April 2, 2012 at 9:45 am

What a great way to start off a Monday, thank you for sending your friend the virtual gift. I love Ryan Reynolds. He’s so hot!! I love your dinner! I have nights like that, super simple but tasty.

I should of joined the boot camp. I decided to today that I would order ChaLEAN EXTREME from Amazon. I need help, as much as I work out, and eat healthy, I keep gaining weight. So I thought with this workout I would have better faster results. Have a great week!
Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Coconut Angel Food Cupcakes


9 Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life April 2, 2012 at 9:53 am

Love the idea of pyramids! A great way to mix it up and push yourself without overdoing it! Although he is not my favorite Ryan (Ryan Gosling takes the win for me!), Mr. Reynolds is still hunky and nice to look at on a Monday morning! Ha ha thank you :-)
Jana @ Newly Wife Healthy Life recently posted..Farmer’s Market Fresh Finds


10 Heather April 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

I heart Ryan reynolds. sigh.
Heather recently posted..Triathlon Volunteering


11 Laurie April 2, 2012 at 10:02 am

Kelly and I are twins — my two favorite things! Thanks for getting my Monday off to a good start!


12 Yellow Haired Girl April 2, 2012 at 10:08 am

Mmmmm Happy Birthday to all of us ;)
Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..So Many New Things


13 Khushboo April 2, 2012 at 10:10 am

I’m still doing Body For Life, and all the weights workouts are pyramid-based. I love this style of weight training and will definitely keep up with it even once the 12 weeks are over! Have a great Monday, Courtney :)
Khushboo recently posted..Feeling hormonal


14 Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles April 2, 2012 at 10:12 am

Pretty sure my Monday just got off to a great start ;)
Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles recently posted..Making its Grand Entrance….. Introducing….


15 Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries April 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

I’d like Ryan Reynolds for my birthday.
Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries recently posted..Racing + Relaxing


16 Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers April 2, 2012 at 10:23 am

Awww, I’m sure Kelly will love those! :D

I love pyramids. They really help me increase strength.
Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers recently posted..Gimme A Break


17 Laura @ LauraLikesDesign April 2, 2012 at 10:31 am

Seriously, sometimes cereal is the best dinner ever–especially with almond milk and a mix of cereals and fruits.
Laura @ LauraLikesDesign recently posted..Starting the Days Out Slowly


18 Alyssa @ fit and fun in third April 2, 2012 at 10:32 am

Ryan Reynolds shirtless…. Perfect way to start a new week! ;)
Alyssa @ fit and fun in third recently posted..Liebster Award


19 michelle kim April 2, 2012 at 11:17 am

Oooh I love the pyramid system using weights, too. I have been doing them at home so I kind of cheat and only use the same 12 pound dumbbells. I should probably go to the gym to actually bump up the weights each set.
Hahaha, love the virtual birthday gift :D
michelle kim recently posted..SacTown 10 Race Recap


20 Angela April 2, 2012 at 11:45 am

Can’t go wrong with cereal for dinner! and I’d love Ryan as my birthday gift..YUMMM lol :)
Angela recently posted..“Keep Calm and Blog On”


21 Kelly Olexa April 2, 2012 at 12:05 pm

OH heavens. That is lovely. ;-) As you are. XOXOXO can’t wait to see you soon!!
Kelly Olexa recently posted..Oh SNAP. I AM an unstoppable machine now.


22 AlexandraFunFit April 2, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I love cereal for dinner, although I never thought of putting peanut butter on it. But why not?


23 Lauren April 2, 2012 at 12:25 pm

I swear I choose cereal every time I don’t want to make dinner. No wonder this was my go-to meal in college. :)
Lauren recently posted..Weekend Recovery


24 Alaina April 2, 2012 at 12:27 pm

Seriously, cereal bowls like that are the best!

I’ve done a pyramid workout from Nutrition Nut on the Run and I LOVE it! It’s mostly body weight so no worries about finding different weights.
Alaina recently posted..Sunday Stuff


25 Cheryl Mosley April 2, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Boo for Monday, but yay for Tuesday when I get to try your Mixed Berry Frech Toast Oatmeal!


26 Brandi April 2, 2012 at 3:31 pm

I had a bowl of chocolate cheerios for a snack last night! Yum!


27 Nescett @ bananaoats April 2, 2012 at 3:47 pm

You are a very good present giver! ;)
Nescett @ bananaoats recently posted..And the Winner Is…..


28 mary @ minutespermile April 2, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Looks tasty! Hills on a treadmill sound tough! Stairmaster is worse imo though. Workout plan looks interesting!
mary @ minutespermile recently posted..shiny monday


29 Tamara April 2, 2012 at 7:02 pm

I’ve known about pyramid training for awhile, but some how have never incorporated it into my workouts. Something similar that I like to do at the end of an upper body workout is ‘dropped sets’, particularly for bi’s and tri’s. I use the rope attachment on the cable and pulley machine and pick the heaviest weight I can bicep curl (or triceps press down) for 10-12 reps. Then I immediately pull the pin and drop the weight by 5-10% and go to fatigue. Drop pin again, go to fatigue. And one more time. Holy burn batman!
Tamara recently posted..(Almost) Monday Motivation: happy birthday wishes to Kelly Olexa, queen of the motivators!


30 Annette @ cookie crumbs and carrot sticks April 3, 2012 at 6:11 pm

‘*ceases* to amaze me’

;) Sorry, had to correct, it’s my ‘thing’.
Annette @ cookie crumbs and carrot sticks recently posted..Sales baby


31 Courtney April 4, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Oh crap.
Haha, thanks Annette! I’m usually pretty good about picking up on that sorta stuff. ;)


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