When you’re working out outside of the gym, you sometimes have to get creative to really work every little muscle.  Here’s a good example, the upside down off the couch push up.  This angle is intended to work the deltoids.  You could take this move further and do a hand stand and press yourself up and down.  But it’s been a while since I did a hand stand and I’m going to start with this move and maybe next time I’ll try the handstand version.  One very important thing that I learned from my yoga teacher training is the importance of not rushing into new poses, but to modify the advanced poses and start where you’re comfortable, then as you get stronger and more confident you can try more and more daring versions until you’re doing something really crazy looking. The good news is that all versions of this exercise get other people in your house to notice you.

Another thing about this workout, I did the P-90X Ab Ripper DVD for my ab workout.  I highly recommend that everyone who works out at home get a DVD with a really hard core core workout. (ha!)  You need something that really challenges your abs and makes them burn like crazy all the way through. The great thing about doing this at home is that you can cuss to the high heavens in a way that you might not in a class full of people or in the weight room at the gym (another way to get noticed at home with people who know you that you wouldn’t necessarily want at the gym with strangers– which is always fun). You also want to always try different things on your abs to keep them progressing.  Once they adapt to your workout and it doesn’t burn anymore, you’ve got to find something different. Core DVDs are a nice option for mixing things up.

Here’s my whole home arm workout, with abs and cardio:

  • Upside down off the couch push ups: 25 X 3
  • Upward flies with dumbells: 12 reps/15 lbs X 3
  • Upward row to shoulder press with dumbells: 10/15 X 3
  • Alternating full range of motion arm curls: 13 reps/25 lbs X 3
  • Shoulder press with dumbells: 8 reps/25 lbs, 10 reps/20 lbs, 12 reps/20 lbs
  • Couch dips: 10 reps X 5
  • Ab ripper DVD
  • 30 minutes cardio on treadmill at highest elevation (10) on toes, with glutes squeezed

Vegan Protein- on my last blog I mentioned that I was going to try out some home made protein bar recipes.  They didn’t work out very well, and I will need to experiment some more before I can recommend any of those recipes.  But my husband did come up with a fabulous High Protein Banana Nut Muffin Recipe that knocks my socks off (yummy)!

Here it is (makes 6 muffins with 240 calories and 15 grams of protein per muffin):

3 ripe bananas

1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter

2 cups Organic Spelt Flour

2/3 cup (or one scoop) Vega Sport Performance Protein (vanilla flavor)

1 Tbsp organic agave syrup (we chose this sweetner because it’s low on the glycemic index, so does not cause a spike in insulin and a subesquent cortisol response, which is very harmful to bodybuilders)

3 tsp baking powder

1 cup walnuts (high in Omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein!  bonus!)

Preheat Oven to 360 degrees

Put bananas, margarine, Vega Sport Performance Protein and agave syrup in a bowl and mix until blended

Add flour, baking powder and walnuts and mix together until blended (should be the consistency of bread dough).

Pour into greased muffin pan immediately (use Earth Balance to grease pan), leaving room for muffins to rise

Bake for 25 minutes.

If you try this recipe, please let me know what you think!  Also, keep checking back for more high protein recipes for yummy baked goods like pancakes, pizza crusts, more muffins and yes, even homemade protein bars (I’m finding lots of them, but I’m not going to recommend them until I try them myself and can certify that they work and they’re yummy!)  If you have a good high protein vegan recipe for something like this, please share it in the comment section and I will post it!


4 Responses to Home Arm/Ab Workout and High Protein Vegan Muffin Recipe

  1. Chris says:

    These muffins sound great.. I have never even considered adding protein powder to a baked good. I don’t have Vega –we use a hemp/pea vanilla unsweetened powder — do you think that would work? I will make these this weekend and let you know how they turn out.
    Still really enjoying your blog – I have been pushing myself really hard lately and I think of you and how much you can lift to inspire me.
    I do have a question about cellulite. I have had it for most of my adult life. Even after years of being a cardio workout fanatic and a pretty healthy vegan. It feels like since I have been lifting it is improving. Do have any advice or anything to share? It is getting slightly better but it is still pretty frustrating. I want to wear a bikini! :)

    • Brenda Carey says:

      Hi Chris!
      I know, isn’t it cool to think of the yummy high protein possibilities of adding protein to baked goods!!! YUM! I’ll let you know when we find a really good high protein cookie recipe too! In the meantime, I also have a new muffin recipe that I posted a couple of days ago (May 24) that is also really good. This banana nut one is less sweet and I actually prefer it. The one on the 24th uses Strawberry Spirutein, which does contain some sugar. I talked to my “muffin man” husband about that and he agreed that next time that he will use the Berry Flavored Vega instead. To answer your question, the vegan protein powder you have will work, but it may give you a slightly different flavor. Try it out and let me know how it goes. You might want to taste the batter before you put it in the oven and if it’s a little bitter (as hemp powder tends to be sometimes) you can always put extra banana slices into the muffin batter to sweeten it up a little, just try to put them near the top of the muffin because they have a lot of moisture and if they are at the bottom of the muffin in the pan, you might have to bake them a really long time and the tops can get dried out.
      As for the cellulite, I hear you and I totally relate! I have found that the best solution is building muscle in the cellulite prone areas to firm things up. Also, muscle burns fat, so it helps in that way too. And cardio is also important because it increases circulation and, of course, burns calories. You really have to do a combination of both and it takes time and consistency of effort (work those areas 2+ times per week and don’t skip any workouts). But keep at it and keep lifting as heavy as you can and you will get the muscles larger in those bumpy areas and I know that you will see results! Muscle will totally reshape the area (you will notice that first) and things will get firmer and tighter little by little until, voila, the muscle creates a rock hard situation with no more cellulite!

  2. Chris says:

    Sometimes the simplest advice is exactly what you need to hear. Right now I am just doing lower body one day, upper body two days, cardio three days and one day of rest (usually walking or yoga on rest day). I think I need to trade out a cardio day and give it to lower body. Lower usually tends to be more cardio intensive anyways so I get a calorie burn. Thanks for the advice.. And I will be waiting for that cookie recipe! :)

  3. Brenda Carey says:

    You are absolutely right that swapping out a cardio day for legs would be a good idea! To get rid of cellulite, you need muscle! Also, you could do weights and cardio on the same day, that way you could do weights a lot more often. You might have to cut your cardio time in half or more to do that, but it’s worth it. You are right that cardio is lower body intensive, this is a bonus to a good weight work out for the legs. It gives an added burn and helps speed recovery because it brings so much blood and oxygen to the legs. Just make sure you do the weights first and the cardio last so you have lots of energy for lifting as heavy as you can. Keep me posted on how that goes. And check back for the cookie recipes!

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