Getting Fit with Tabata and Crossfit

On Tuesday night my new friend (Jill) and I went to Whole Foods for a free class – “Get Fit with Catra“. Catra is a rockstar ultramarathoner, so we were a little nervous. It ended up being really fun. Catra does this thing called Crossfit (Natalie is doing this now too) and it seems pretty intense, but fun. I had no idea that Whole Foods had such great free programs – we were sent home with a book and a bunch of free samples, including the new Amazing Grass Peanut Butter bar – yum.

Back to the class. Catra started out with a short intro, and then we jumped right in to the exercise. We stretched first, and then she had us do lunges using the Tabata method. The Tabata method is apparently one of the most effective way to improve your cardio endurance and burn fat (though… I actually want more fat. But it’s fun nonetheless, and I am never one to turn down the opportunity to try new exercise). The great thing about Tabata is that you can do it in short intervals (3-7 minutes) and it’s still really beneficial.

Tabata lunges: 20 seconds lunging as hard/fast as you can; 10 seconds resting. Repeat 8 times (4 minutes). I managed to do 11-12 lunges during each 20 second set.

Okay, my legs actually felt pretty fine after this. Were they fine the day after? Heck no. My legs were sore yesterday (Wednesday), but they didn’t reach maximum soreness until today (Thursday). Apparently my quads are not as strong as I thought. After the lunges we did…

Tabata pushups: 20 seconds pushups; 10 seconds resting. My arms are strong but since I’m trying not to gain muscle (long story), I took it easy for these. I did them on my knees and every time I started feeling it I pushed back into down dog.

Were my arms sore the next day? Not noticeably – probably because I didn’t push myself here.

Catra said this week was an easy week since we couldn’t go outside (it was raining) and it was the first week of the class (8 weeks total). The class will end with a 5K. I have never run a race before. The longest distance I ever ran was about 5 miles, I think.

Have you done the Tabata method or Crossfit? What did you think?

Salad & soy yogurt love + an old oaty favorite

Last night’s dinner out was really nice.  We went to Sprout Cafe and followed it up with frozen yogurt (soy) at Fraiche. I love the cucumbers in the water at dinner.


It was a base of romaine hearts, with 10 toppings (!) – bean sprouts, broccoli, chickpeas, cucumber, green beans, kalamata olives, red bell peppers, sweet corn, apple, and grapes.  The dressing was a chili lime vinaigrette – delicious.

Here’s an old picture of the soy yogurt I got – topped with cinnamon.


After dinner we went to a friend’s house to hang out with another college friend that was visiting!  He’s getting a PhD in something bio-ish.  I ended up snacking on 2 mini apples after we got back (around 11pm).  Right before bed Bobby and I did yogadownload’s lunar flow #1 – really relaxing.

This morning I woke up sore.  I went for a 3.5 mile run yesterday after not running since November, and I don’t think I stretched properly.  So I went for an easy Cardio Dance routine by Paula Abdul.  I’ve done it a few times recently and I finally have the moves down.  I followed it up with yogadownload’s balancing flow #1, which was nice.


Breakfast was a new & yummy combo – whipped banana old fashioned oats and wheat bran + a big spoonful of PB&Co’s Mighty Maple peanut butter.  I’ve missed oats since I discovered oat bran!  And miso soup of course.

I am off to tackle more todos:

  • laundry
  • grocery shopping
  • cruise stuff
  • cleaning – done!! (mostly)
  • litter box
  • nap (just kidding… maybe)
  • getting outside for a nice walk – good weather today!
  • tutoring
  • freelance work (yikes, I’ve been procrastinating)
  • mani at some point

30 Day Shred Routine

I’ve gotten some requests for a description of the workout I do (Jillian Michaels’ 30-Day Shred).  I don’t have the DVD, but I do get it OnDemand (with Comcast) for free.  They have a lot of exercise videos that I love, but recently I’ve gotten really into the 30-Day Shred.

The workout is 3 6-minute circuits, plus a warm-up and cool-down.  The most important thing during this workout is to stay moving!  Each circuit consists of 3 minutes of strength, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute of abs.  She uses light hand-weights for each of the strength parts. The workout is effective without weights, but using weights (even just 3 pounders) will up the intensity a lot.

I use this interval timer.

30 Day Shred LEVEL 1 Routine

Warmup: (times here are estimates)

  • arm crosses – swing your arms parallel to the ground, out and in, for about 20 seconds
  • windmills – alternate bringing your arms towards the front – 20 seconds
  • jumping jacks – 20 seconds
  • hip circles – 20 seconds
  • knee circles – 20 seconds
  • jumping jacks – 20 seconds

Circuit 1: (3 minutes strength, 2 minutes cardio, 1 minute abs)

  • 30 seconds of pushups (I do these on my knees)
  • 1 minute of squat and press – with a straight back, bend down, and when you come up, straighten your arms above your head
  • repeat pushups and squat and press (1.5 minutes)
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of jump rope
  • repeat jumping jacks and jump rope (1 minute)
  • 30 seconds of normal crunches
  • 30 seconds of backwards crunches – lift your legs in the air (bent), and raise your butt off the floor.  Arms are at your sides.

Circuit 2:

  • 30 seconds of dumbbell rows – squat, arms out in front of you, and pull them back
  • 1 minute of static lunge with a bicep curl – one foot out in front, as you lunge down, do a bicep curl
  • repeat above with the other leg in front for the lunges (1.5 minutes)
  • 30 seconds of butt-kicks (arms in running position, basically running in place but make sure you hit your butt with your feet each time)
  • 30 seconds of punches – get in a deep squat position for these
  • repeat butt-kicks and punches (1 minute)
  • 30 seconds of side crunches
  • 30 seconds of side crunches on the other side

Circuit 3:

  • 30 seconds of chest flys – stay on the floor, and bring your slightly bent arms down and back up.  I like to make this harder by straightening my legs in a pilates 100 position.  But she just has you keep your knees bent on the floor.
  • 1 minute of anterior raises and a side lunge – alternate lunging down on each side, when you bend to the right side, your left leg will be straight.  Keep your knees over your feet, and push your butt out.  As you lunge down, bring your arms straight out in front of you.
  • repeat flys and lunges (1.5 minutes)
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks, 30 seconds of butt-kicks, 30 seconds of punches, 30 seconds of jump rope
  • 1 minute of bicycle crunches


  • center split position, bend to the right, then center, then the left.
  • bring your arms behind you and lift them up
  • cross and hold each arm in front of you, looking the opposite way
  • stand up and stretch your quads (opposite arm with opposite leg)

Let me know if you need more description for any of the exercises or have any other requests!

MORE: If you liked this post, check out these FREE workout videos!