Month: August 2014

We weren’t meant to fly…

…and we aren’t Nyan Cat, but those who know me KNOW I love that cat!  So let’s focus on those “wings” we have built over the past few years.  Don’t shy away from the back of the arms, you know what I’m talking about.  In all seriousness, the back of the arm is the top workout request that I receive.

I myself started noticing a lack of firmness in my arms last year and thought, NEED MORE PUSHUPS…and then I got lovely shoulders and biceps.  It took me a bit more umph to really find what worked to get me a bit more sculpted in the tricep area now that I’ve matured a bit.

This three-part arm workout worked to kick it where I needed it, plus I love how it flows easily from one move to another.  Put it to music and you will barely notice you are working out!

Things to think about…
This workout is not a time based exercise
Do not rest (you may pause) until the entire tiered set is complete
Flow from one focus to the next with limited delay
Keep proper form and try your best
Tiered => 10 reps, 9 reps, 8 reps, 7 reps, etc


Part 1 – Standing with hand weights or at-home equivalents 1-15 pounds, use your best judgement on what is best for you to make the entire workout challenging but manageable, not looking to prove anything or injury will get super strong and there is nothing wrong with starting at 1 pound! AAAAND starting with a 10 tiered set is possible, just use less weight and finish strong, you will know when you are ready for more weight.  You can do this!

Begin standing with feet comfortably apart, toes pointed ahead, knees soft/slightly bent, keeping spine in line lean forward to a 45-ish angle and get ready for Bent-Over-Rows


Stay in same body position and move directly into Tricep-Kickbacks


Gently move into a standing position, press your arms upward and prepare for Tricep-Extensions


Now move gently back into the beginning position and repeat with 9 reps, then 8, then 7…yup you guessed it…all the way to 1.  Be ready to sweat and feel the burn!  But then REST! Yes, Rest…get some Rehydrate and stretch those new found muscles. But wait, don’t get too comfy.


Part two – ready, set, go! Part 2 – Grab a sturdy chair, we won’t dance on it, promise but we will use it to for the next three moves.  Again, fluidity from one move to the next, stay in proper form and try your best. Begin in plank position with hands on the chair and feet comfortably apart.  Keep your core engaged to support your hips and spine.  Move into Push-Ups


Gently turn your body 180 degrees, hands still on chair, core still engaged supporting your hips and spine.  Move into Tricep-Dips (you can bend knees if you need more support as you build strength)


Now move gently back into the beginning position and yes, you guessed it…repeat with 9 reps, then 8, then 7…yup you guessed it…all the way to 1.  But then REST!


Part 3 – Lay down on the floor.  See how I did that?  Standing, chair, now floor! YESSSSS. Just don’t rest too long, only two more moves left in this killer arm set, you have my word.

With your hand weights, create a diamond shape with your arms.  Weights will be just behind your head, elbows bent and open near ear area of head, shoulders are open meaning armpits open to ceiling.  Gently raise the weights to the ceiling, extending arms fully, until you can see them above eye level, lower weights back into diamond shape on the floor.  We are mimicking Diamond-Push-Ups…fyi.


Gently turn to your right side, cross your right arm to your left shoulder, using your left arm, perform a Side-Push-Ups.  Press firmly into the ground as you lift your upper body.  It is okay if you cannot press yourself into an upright position.  You will.  Keep working on it.  This exercise is meant to be at the end of this workout, pushing tired muscles to failure-you will be fatigued and wobbly.  Just keep pressing.


Repeat on the left.  Then rest…stretch…Rehydrate…stretch…rest…and be prepared to watch those wings fly away.  Enjoy!


BONUS ROUND, if you have some energy left, maybe your significant other is into a chair dance performance, just saying ;)

No Gym, No Problem! (1 of 5)

No gym? No problem! The first in a series of GoSarahRun workouts will surprise you; it’s a real kick in the pants! I created it for a friend, but ended up loving this routine so much I use it as my go-to when traveling or on days where 15 minutes is truly a luxury of availability. This workout is not necessarily for beginners.  It is appropriate for intermediate individuals, those who have been active, became inactive, and are now looking for something quick, challenging and power packed to get their energy up and muscles pumped again.

Example Weekly Schedule

Sunday – Abs
Monday – Total Body
Tuesday – Shoulders
Wednesday – Total Body
Thursday – Legs
Enjoy your weekend!

Total Body – as many complete sets as you can in 15 minutes

10 one-leg dead lift (L)
10 one-leg dead lift (R)
*Balance on one foot; reach down as though you are trying to touch the floor and return to standing, still maintaining balance. Repeat for entire 10 reps before switching feet.*

20 air squats
*Feet in wide second position, core engaged, act as though you are trying to sit in the lowest chair known to man, return to standing.  Keep weight in the heel of your foot.  I tend to flex my toes to make sure I do not lean forward and keep proper form.  Cross arms, hands touching shoulders, elbows up.*

20 high knees
*Complete individually, like running in place.*

20 jumping jacks
*Simple, back to basics, you know this one.*

10 pushups
*Begin in plank, keep your pushup controlled, and try to break the shoulder-elbow-back plane.*

15 second plank
*Keep your core engage and your booty in line with your legs and back, don’t lift it too high or lower it to create a curve in your lower back.*

10 touch-yo-toes crunches
*Legs straight in the air, engage core, lift upper body to touch toes with hands. Try not to bend knees.*

Supplemental Sets – as many complete sets in 10 minutes


20 reach-ups
10 alternating-knee2elbow-crunches
20 reverse crunches
15-second plank

*Use the hotel phone book in that drawer no one opens or if you packed weights…you may be hardcore crazy because I need those 10 pounds for shoes on a trip.  If you are at home without hand weights, use something like a gallon of water, bag of sugar, or jar of pasta sauce (plastic jar) type of around the house weights.  Be creative!*

15 shoulder press
10 front arm raises
10 side arm raises
15 bent-over rows


20 No-Arm-Jumping Jacks, soft knee bend to engage large muscles
20 switch jumps/lunge jumps
20 calf raises
15 second sit pose/squat pose

Balanced for Comfort

One thing that many years of dance taught me is that to maintain injury resistance you must condition the smallest muscles of our structure. Five years after retiring from the stage of the modern jazz world I realize, those dance practices really saved my tush (pun intended) from all these crazy running injuries.

Our bodies have large and small muscle structures and when our small structure is weaker than our larger structure, damage occurs. In the running and lifting world, these weaknesses are called IMBALANCES and, as they should be, a pretty hot topic, just use the GOOGLE…you will see. I think that there were about 5 articles release just yesterday as the running world prepares for fall season.

Given my studio conditioning, I never had to experience shin splints or plantar fasciitis or runner’s knee or IT band issues. NEVER. Then, after retirement, the dance conditioning deteriorated and I became just like any other runner, susceptible.   The advantage I didn’t realize I had over most was that when I felt an imbalance begin, I corrected it, my way. Why, MY way? Because I didn’t know any better and it worked. I was comfortably consistent with my running performance. My pre-race training consisted of 5-10 miles a week for the three weeks before a race, minimum of one run at least 8 miles long.   This preparation always had me finishing in about two and a half hours, minimum effort, comfortable, happy.

Two years ago I was frustrated with my fitness and overall lack of focus. I had moved from Florida to Kansas and without my trails, sidewalks, and routine, I needed a place to get away, start fresh. There was an amazing gym halfway between work and home. So I joined, first gym membership ever. It was like an exclusive club. Beautiful. Weights, three pools, spin studio, classes, yoga, every machine possible, treadmills, ellipticals, indoor track and outdoor fitness trail…I had no idea where to start. I’m great at coaching others, not so much myself. Next logical step, I found a personal trainer/running coach, Justin Pearl. He was an unconventional running coach…he didn’t want me to run. He wanted me to find my happy place and turned my focus to short impactful training. I PR’d under his 6 week program. I cannot thank him enough for changing the way I looked at training. I cried when he moved to Colorado. Really. Tears.


A balanced athlete can ask a lot from their body and the body will respond beautifully. Speed gains and endurance strides can be realized, easily. GoSarahRun is ready to test this three phase training program.

Phase 1
4-week schedule focusing on conditioning the small muscle groups and creating balance. I will be using a few workouts from The Pearl training methods and a mix of others from my dance history.

Phase 2
4-week schedule focusing on speed conditioning while gaining distance in the long run and larger muscle strengthening for power.

Phase 3
4-week schedule focusing on endurance conditioning, longer runs, more recovery, shorter bursts of phase 1 and phase 2 for balance and strength maintenance.


Race’s planned to keep the spirit of competition high and baseline testing available are

Silverback Triathlon Sept 14 – Topeka, KS
500-meter swim
12-mile bike
3-mile run

Waddell & Reed Kansas City Marathon Relay Oct 18 – Kansas City, MO
Team GoSarahRun
Mileage to be announced

Disney’s Wine & Dine Half Marathon Nov 8 – Walt Disney World
13.1-mile run

Kansas City Longview Half Marathon Nov 15 – Grandview, MO
13.1-mile run

Guilt-Free Schedule…pencil me in

I want it all…with as little training as possible…yes, I said it.  And to top it off, I want it my way.  I’ve tried the “experts” schedules, the prescribed run-walk-run (which was my favorite) and there are even a few magazines that have some pricey plans.  But now, the phrase, “keep doing what you’re doing to keep getting what you’re getting” is annoyingly true.

While I give many accolades to those who are naturally awesome, I am not.  Each running season of my past began like a fuel ignited bonfire until the flames smoldered under the schedule demands…then the guilt, oh the guilt.  SO…let’s do this, the GoSarahRun process for a guilt-free schedule.

Firstconstraints…here are mine:

I like to work hard, for short periods of time
I like to make time, don’t have much to spare
I like distraction, can’t be overwhelmed

In short, if I had the patience to be slack, I probably would be, but since I have this driving internal force to keep insanely busy, I try to find productive options that don’t drive my husband toward divorce.  With daily demands, my training schedule needs to be intense but relaxed and only 4 days a week.

Second…evaluate intensity and commitment each week…realistic yet challenging…mine look like this:

Maximum mileage: 15
Maximum hours: 4
Training time: Aug 4 – Nov 4

If you aren’t realistic, you won’t stick with your plan.  If you aren’t challenging, you will wonder what your results could have been.  So do yourself a favor and be candid.

Thirdexpectation…maybe the most important part to any and all coaching/training experiences…

Honestly, I have no idea what to expect.  I know that I need to do work and that work will be done; but aside from a qualitative statement of preference to succeed at everything, I have no quantitative expectations.  Alas, if my doctorate endeavor has taught me anything, it is that in lieu of quantitative metrics, tracking some evidentiary values that would measure “success” is just as scientific.  Let’s start with my baseline measurements to include some body mass references.

Weight/Body Fat: 133.7lbs/25.4% on the Aria Scale
Bust: 32”
Waist: 29”
Hips: 39”
Bicep: 11”
Thigh: 21”

2-Mile Run: 9’18” Pace
Max Push-Up: 61
Max Sit-Up: 108

Know your constraints, intensity and commitment, and your expectation.  Over 9 years I have tried to use off-the-shelf training schedules but skipped days, lost interest, and felt an aching body.  I’m enthusiastic for a new approach.  If you can’t relate, you are apart of that awesome referenced above.


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