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Vegetarian Summerfest 2015

As many of you know I’ve been focusing more on the fitness side of my business. This means that I’m giving more talks and fitness classes at conferences and vegfests. I had the opportunity to do both of those at this year’s Vegetarian Summerfest instead of a cooking demo like last year. Cooking is still a passion of mine and I do love getting people excited about cooking up their own meals. But broadening my horizons is the name of the game this year!

Last year’s Summerfest was so much fun I really wanted to go back this year. Thankfully, they were happy to have me and gave me the opportunity to give two talks and hold two bootcamp classes. The first talk was on meal planning, the second on weight training and why it rules, then Saturday and Sunday I gave early morning bootcamp classes and people actually came to workout at 6:30 am! I had a blast making people sweat and exposing many to HIIT (high intensity interval training) for the first time!

IMG_1053_2The food is always a big bonus about this conference. You can imagine the excitement that endless rows of vegan food brings and not having to ask if it’s vegan is priceless! Mark Reinfeld of Vegan Fusion runs the show and plans out the delicious menus with the help of his assistant, Chris Jolly, who runs the raw food bar. You will not go hungry! If anything you may gain 5 pounds. There are gluten-free and oil-free options available for every meal. I dabble in all the sections because my diet has #nodogma, and happily eat the desserts as well.

Some options at the raw bar are pictured to the left; the massaged kale salad and nacho cheese sauce were my favorites of this night. The creamy brazil nut soup with basil was my favorite on the first night. Other highlights were the “meat”balls, key lime mousse, and raw tacos. The raw food bar is probably the most popular because it’s all so unique and most people aren’t going to make elaborate raw foods for themselves at home.

I did not get enough photos of the food unfortunately because it went into my face verIMG_1064_2y quickly! Some of my favorites of the cooked food: I loved all the soups, the tempeh reuben was amazing, I rarely ate breakfast because I don’t normally eat it at home but definitely enjoyed the pancakes, tempeh bacon, and breakfast potatoes on the last day. Each night there is a party with more tasty treats.

I didn’t go to many talks this year, which I’m a bit disappointed about. There were so many great speakers I had never seen before. Glancing at the program gave many options for classes including those on healthy eating and diet, on animal rights, compassionate living, health oriented classes like reversing diabetes and weight loss tips. There really is something for everyone here! When you are teaching each day yourself it can be hard to fit in more stuff. Last week I was rear-ended, though it was a minor car accident it left me with a huge migraine on the first day that had me in bed for hours. I never get sick so when I feel anything short of awesome I turn into a big baby!

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Another great thing about conferences is connecting with like-minded people. I hung out with the ladies above at all our meals and throughout the conference and we had so much fun! I’m so grateful for the friendships that blossomed at Summerfest and all the friendly people I met. One thing I would like to see in the future is a greater range of age groups there. I didn’t find many people around my age and I know the 30/40-somethings crowd would have so much fun. So if you are reading this and in my age group consider coming to Summerfest next year!

What do you love about vegan conferences? Share with us in the comments!

Since I’m going to India in September/October I don’t have anymore speaking engagements on my calendar until Portland VegFest in November. If you’d like me to speak at your local vegfest or conference be sure to put in a good word for me with the organizers! I’d love to come to your city next year!

Posted on 07/17/2015 | Leave a Comment

Cha cha changes happening around here!

newlogoYou may have noticed my website domain changed! Last year I changed my logo and brand name (to The Blissful & Fit Chef) to this awesome cartoon (it totally looks like me right?!) to incorporate the fitness side of my biz into my brand. But for some reason I was having trouble changing over my website and social media since I had been “The Blissful Chef” for so long. I guess I was having attachment issues!! And change is scary, amiright?!

I also thought I would lose people. When you’ve had the same domain and social media for 8+ years and have built your whole business around a name or symbol it can be frightening to change that. In hindsight, it might not have been the smartest idea to choose a brand that isn’t just me. So after many years expanding my brand to include fitness I’m not just the blissful chef anymore!

I am however just me: Christy Morgan.

My business encompasses many things, both food and fitness related, and is built on the mission and passion of helping others. I never wanted my business to be about “me”, which is why I created a brand, symbol, or moniker that people would remember. As I’ve said in all my public speaking engagements, being vegan and helping others has brought me so much bliss, hence the name of my brand. Now that I have the fitness component in my life I’ve experienced more bliss than I can imagine possible! And I’m excited that I’ve been able to share that journey with all of you.

If you’ve been following this space for awhile you know that I haven’t been playing the part of “chef” as much. I rarely post recipes anymore and I’m not working on a new cookbook (even though people keep asking!). I’ve thrown myself into creating a magazine that empowers women to be the best version of themselves and allows them to define themselves however they see fit. I don’t see the point in publishing a book when I can create and publish useful, relevant, and timeless content every 3 months through Definition Magazine.

So if you’ve been waiting patiently for me to create a new book, please subscribe to Definition. Every issue includes up to 100 pages of (almost) ad-free content you can use. A book might have 200 pages and is a snapshot in time. Through a magazine I can give you triple the content at the same price. It really is incredible what we’ve created and I’m practically giving it away. Just take a look at last year’s issues and you will see what I’m talking about. Next to Blissful Bites and my online wellness program, it’s my greatest, proudest achievement.

There’s a lot of cool stuff on my horizon. First up is Vegetarian Summerfest where I’ll be giving two lectures and teaching bootcamp classes. Then I’ll be heading to India in September to get my yoga teacher certification. When I return I’ll head straight to Mexico to lead the 2nd Annual Blissed Out Yoga & Wellness Retreat (there’s still space and you can save $100), then my plan to move to Portland will happen at the end of the year. Throughout all this excitement I’ll be working on Definition and figuring out how to take it to newsstands next year.

If you have any of my other social media links saved you might change them. Hugs and thanks for all your support in this transition to my true, authentic self! <3

Twitter
Instagram
Pinterest
Definition Fitness Magazine

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Interested in a getaway that is actually good for health? Join us in October!

Posted on 06/17/2015 | Leave a Comment

Vida Vegan Con III Recap

When I come back from conferences like Vida Vegan Con it’s not always easy to put into words what I experienced. This is the 3rd time I’ve been to VVC, first time presenting, and it’s bittersweet in numerous ways. First, it’s the last one. The three amazing women that organize the conference have full time jobs and it’s not sustainable for them to continue it. So maybe someone else will come along and carry the torch.

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There’s a special energy to this conference because you meet people for the first time that you’ve known online for years. Those outside of blogging and social media would think it’s weird how connected we feel to each other, but it is the age of the Internet ya know. The con also gives me a chance to connect with people I met at the first conference that have now become close friends. Basically it’s a vegan love fest. I got teary on numerous occasions. And boy did we eat some amazing food!!

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This was my first time as a presenter and I chose a subject that is outside my comfort zone. Usually I do cooking classes or talks about nutrition, cooking, meal planning and fitness. This time I talked about different forms of activism and how we can find unity in all of them. This podcast took my class a bit further if you want to take a listen. My intention with the discussion was for attendees to walk away with a bit more understanding and compassion toward others that may promote veganism in different ways. Really it’s a subject we could talk about for hours! I loved what everyone had to say!

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My second presentation was actually a panel (with the badass Matt Ruscigno and Lacy Davis) about fitness and health so I felt comfortable there. I got to talk about my fitness journey as a whole for the first time, how awesome it is to lift weights, and how I’ve fallen in love with yoga all over again. Of course I touched on the fact that 1200 calories isn’t a magical number and we shouldn’t be afraid of eating! You can catch a little snippet of this panel in Jason Wrobel’s recap video.

I attended so many great classes, but Miyoko’s talk was the most inspirational as someone trying to get a vegan magazine off the ground. The other reason why the con was bittersweet is I actually left feeling like I needed to pull back and FOCUS. Rather than getting out there and doing MORE like many of the attendees felt, I feel like I need to do LESS. If I’m going to take Definition Magazine to print I’ve got a lot of work to do. A business plan needs to be created and I have to find ways to raise the funds. It’s a very daunting process that I have no experience with it.

It scares the shit out of me, but I believe in this magazine with all my heart.

In order to focus more on giving this magazine life I need to pull back, from this blog, from social media, from life. Creating the online magazine already takes so much time, unpaid, so I will probably need to get a “job”. I don’t know what the future holds but I know that I must tone down the outside noise and follow my dream.

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If you haven’t already checked out the magazine all last year’s issues are free to download on Gumroad. You can get this year’s issues for a tiny $15, which makes each issue less than a soy latte! Every issue has up to 100 pages of (almost) ad-free content. I see people charging upwards of $20 for eBooks with half as many pages, so it is an incredibly good deal!

Your subscription helps me take the magazine to print, pay the team, and get us closer to spreading a compassionate message that women need so badly. We feature women of all shapes and sizes, we do not Photoshop or airbrush our models, we don’t use sensational headlines or write stories that make women feel like they aren’t enough, and of course there are no dead carcasses to look at. This is the first fitness and health magazine of it’s kind. And it needs to be on the newsstands. Women deserve to have a magazine that lifts them up, empowers them on their own journeys, and is full of content they can actual use!

I’m not just saying how awesome it is because it’s my baby. It really is awesome.

I greatly appreciate your support and thank you for sharing the magazine with your friends. If you have any tips or experience with magazines please connect with me! I won’t be posting anymore workout videos on the blog. I’m not sure anyone even watches the videos. You’ll see an occasional post from me here and there, and I’m not disappearing from social media completely. But you will see less of me at least in this space. If you want to stay connected I post on Instagram and Facebook the most. And I’m trying to build up the content over at the Definition blog (let me know what you want to see over there)!

As always, I’m grateful to be a part of your life and I hope you have a blissful day!

Posted on 06/03/2015 | Leave a Comment

Retreat Details and Week 14 Circuit Workout

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I’m super excited to announce the details for my next yoga, fitness, wellness retreat! Last year’s retreat in Bali was a huge success so I’ve decided to offer a retreat every fall partnered with some of the best fitness/yoga/wellness professionals I know! This time I’ve kept it closer to home and shorter to allow more people to attend. Many people expressed last year they couldn’t travel too far and many couldn’t take a whole week off from work and family. So here you go! Next year will most likely be longer and further away (I’m thinking Greece or Brazil!!) so take advantage of this retreat if you fall in the mentioned categories.

All the details can be found at this link!

I really hope you can make it! 5 days, 4 nights in beautiful Mexico with like-minded peeps is exactly what you need!

Week 14 Circuit Workout
3-4+ Rounds through the circuit
40 seconds hard/20 seconds recovery, up to 45 second rest or active recovery at the end of each completed circuit
All you need is one set of dumbbells

1. Mountain Climbers
2. Squat w/ wood chop (alternate sides, holding one dumbbell)
3. Reach and Tuck (opposite arm and leg, one side at a time)
4. Reach and Tuck – other side
5. Overhead Dumbbell Press
6. Glute Kickback – right side
7. Glute Kickback – left side
8. V-ups

If you try the workout let us know how you like it in the comments!

Week 1-13 Circuit Workouts at this link!

Posted on 05/22/2015 | Leave a Comment

Birthday Celebration and Week 13 Circuit Workout

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So this was a pretty good week. I turned 36 on Wednesday. I started the day with a yoga class and pondered growing older. In this photo I’m standing next to a tree that my father planted in our front yard when I was about 6 years old. I’ve watched it grow to be the biggest tree in our whole neighborhood. It literally takes my breathe away when I look up at it, it’s so huge (and I kind of worry about the safety of our house if a big storm came!!). I remember when it was no taller than me! I had my dad take a photo of me in tree pose next to it to symbolize all the growth I’ve experienced over the years and the strength I’ve learned to cultivate.

I stand tall as I turn 36 and look forward to a new chapter in my life. I’ve signed up to do a yoga teacher training immersion in India in September (pushing my move to Portland to November). This is the first birthday where I didn’t feel like celebrating like crazy. Usually I would party all week, even all month. I’m not sure if it’s just getting older or whether this time of transition has me in a bit of a funk, but having a simple dinner with friends was all I needed. I used to be afraid of getting older but each year gets better and better with more experiences to be had!

Here’s to great health, following my passion, living my bliss, and helping the world around me to be a better place to live. I feel blessed to share this space with you! Namaste.

Now onto the workout this week! I was able to record this at a friends apartment gym. It shows a sample of the exercises. Hopefully someday I will have the proper space to record workout videos for you! Until then we’ll make do with my traveling schedule and lack of space.

Week 13 Circuit Workout
4+ Rounds through the circuit
10-15 reps each exercise
All you need is one set of dumbbells (I used 15 lbs but you may need heavier)

1. Quick Feet w/ Squat
2. Burpee w/ Shoulder Taps
3. Side Plank w/ Row – Left side
4. Side Plank w/ Row – Right side
5. Weighted Toe Tap Crunch
6. Double Suitcase Deadlift

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 10 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 11 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 12 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 05/15/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 12 Circuit Workout – Just need a pair of dumbbells!

Oops, I’m a day late on your weekly workout! A lot has happened this week! The newest issue of Definition Fitness Magazine launched! This issue is very exciting and features some of the most inspiring vegans I have ever met! More details can be found here. I hope you will subscribe or pick up this issue!

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Now onto our workout today! I run you through one round of this circuit interval training workout. You just need one set of dumbbells (probably bigger than the ones I used depending on your strength). I used an interval time app called IntervalTimer. Try for 4 rounds if you can or 5 even!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Week 12 Circuit Workout
4 Rounds through the circuit
Timed Intervals – 40 seconds on/20 seconds active recovery
All you need is one set of dumbbells (I used 10lbs but you may need heavier)

1. Squat with One-Arm Push Press – Left side
2. Squat with One-Arm Push Press – Right side
3. Stiff-Leg Deadlift to Biceps Curl
4. Stationary Lunge – Left side
5. Stationary Lunge – Right side
6. Squat Jacks
7. Upright Row
8. Lunge with Twist

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 10 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 11 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 05/09/2015 | Leave a Comment

Week 11 Circuit Workout – Sexy Arms

Alright friends! I’m dog sitting and was able to record a few workout videos. Yay!

This one is to help you develop definition in your arms and shed that stubborn “wing” fat. For awhile, Michelle Obama’s arms were an icon across social media. She got those arms lifting weights. Not spending hours on the treadmill. If you want shapely arms you have to build muscle to create the shape. A permanent cure for the “wings” is to lift weights. That’s just the way it is folks. Well, I’m talking to women specifically because biologically our bodies like to hold onto fat. The way women sculpt their bodies and maintain lower body fat is to lift weights and build muscle. Of course you want to do cardio too for good health but weight training should be the foundation of your fitness program.

This sexy arms circuit workout is going to help you get shapely arms! And if you don’t care about that this workout will help you build strength in your arms so you can carry heavy stuff!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Sexy Arms Workout
10-15 reps each exercise (or on each side), 3-4 rounds of the circuit
(I used a set of 10 lb. dumbbells but you may need different sizes depending on your strength)

1. Arnold Press
2. Alternating Hammer Curls
3. Walking Planks
4. Floor Chest Press
5. Renegade Row
6. Alternating Front Raise
7. Tricep Extension

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 10 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 05/01/2015 | 5 Comments

Mexican Cheesy Pasta in 10 minutes

Hey friends! I’ve got a recipe for you today. It’s easy. It takes 10 minutes to make. It’s delicious. Did I say it takes 10 minutes to make?

I’m all about quick and easy these days. Actually, for the last few years quick and easy has been my MO. That’s why you haven’t seen many recipes on my blog as of late, because most times I’m throwing things together and there is no “recipe”. Hunger sets in, and if I have nothing planned or prepped, I dig through the pantries and fridge to see what’s in there.

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These ingredients were present. Hence how the Mexican Cheesy Pasta was born. At first I called it Mexican mac n’ cheese, but my dad proclaimed that it in fact tasted nothing like mac n’ cheese.

Okaaaay.

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I don’t want to lead people on, but it is sort of cheesy. At least that is what I was going for when I created the recipe. You can tell me what you think!

This recipe is pretty versatile. If you want it more Italian style sub out the cumin and chili powder for basil and rosemary, use white beans instead of black, and leave out the chiles.

Mexican Cheesy Pasta
Makes about 4 servings

1 box quinoa pasta shells
1 14oz can black beans
1 4oz can diced green chilesmexicanpasta2
1/2 cup+ cherry tomatoes, halved (or any chopped tomato)
1 package silken tofu
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon white miso
1/2 fresh lime, juiced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or fresh to your liking)
Dash cayenne (or more to make it spicy)
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Preparation
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and rinse black beans and place in a large bowl with green chiles and tomatoes. While pasta is boiling, place the remaining sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. When pasta is tender, drain in a colander and place in the bowl with beans. Dump sauce in the bowl and toss until everything is covered. Season with sea salt and pepper to your liking.

Easy peasy. I’m realizing now that this would have been taken to the next level with some chopped cilantro. Bam!

The sky’s the limit here folks. The way I make sure to have healthy food at home is to create these “recipes” that are super fast and can transform into other meals the next week. The sauce is easy to memorize with so few ingredients and I can throw in whatever veggies I have on hand.

Done and done. Enjoy!

Oh, and good news! Workouts will start again next week!

Posted on 04/24/2015 | 1 Comment

New location, new challenges

Hello friends! Sorry I was not able to post a workout last week. As I mentioned in the previous video I moved from Austin back home with my dad to save money for my move to Portland and get his health back on track.

Those of you that followed our journey 3 years ago know I moved back home before when my dad had a pre-cancer scare. I got him in the best shape of his life and the doctors didn’t need to see him but once a year. After living with him for a year I moved to Austin to continue on with my life. And he fell back into his old ways, stopped eating healthy, and is now withering away. Moving back home gives me another opportunity to set him on a healthy track. Again.

Hopefully it will stick this time!

Living back home has it’s challenges. I have no space to film workout videos except outside. When the weather is nice I will start that back up! In lieu of making workout videos I will probably start doing FAQ videos again since this is where all that started (remember the horrible green countertops?)!

So I’d love to hear from you about what topics you’d like me to discuss. Got a question? Leave it in the comments or shoot me an email.

As you know I have a lot to say and I’m not afraid to voice my opinion on topics in the vegan and fitness realm. So let’s have fun with it!

I’ve also decided to start a new series on the blog called “Magazine Recipe Redux” where I pick a recipe from a fitness magazine and veganize it to make it healthier. You would think fitness magazines already have healthful recipes that help people reach their goals but I have found that’s not always the case! I’m really excited about this new series because it will get me creating in the kitchen again and I have my dad as a guinea pig 😉

Other awesome things!

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I spoke at Healthfest the weekend before last and was in Austin for Texas VegFest this past weekend. So much traveling! It was soooo much fun and I got to meet some pretty awesome people, like Rich Roll and Dr. Garth Davis, and hangout with my colleagues and friends. Put Healthfest on your calendar for next year because it’s a must attend weekend conference!

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Gene Baur from Farm Sanctuary will be on The Daily Show tonight! This is huge! Be sure to watch and record it!

Driftwood Magazine is a new publication for the sophisticated vegan. They have a Kickstarter going and I hope you can donate a little something to help get this new magazine off the ground! The more vegan stuff on the newsstands the better!

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You can still subscribe to my magazine and help us go to print next year! More details about the first issue can be found here. Definition is the first magazine of it’s kind! It would be an honor if you subscribed and shared it around. All the money we receive from subscriptions will go directly to printing and distributing our first issue next year. But we can’t do that without your support!

As always, I want to produce content that YOU want so be sure to drop me a line, leave a comment, or stop by my Facebook page and let me know what you want to see on the blog!

Posted on 04/06/2015 | 2 Comments

Week 10 Circuit Workout – Leg Burnout!

As my house lay in shambles and boxes are everywhere for my move back home to Dallas last night (then to Portland in July!), I wasn’t going to do a workout video this week, but managed to crank one out for ya before I left town! I’m crashing at my dad’s place for a few months while I save up money and get out of debt. His place has nowhere suitable for film workout videos except for outside. Weather permitting I hope to continue making videos for you! Let me know if you are enjoying them in the comments and I will keep at ’em!

I’m heading out to Marshall, Texas today for the Healthfest where I’ll be giving two lectures; Meal Planning Made Easy and A Fitter, Happier You. Meal prep and fitness are two subjects I am very passionate about so I’m super excited to be there. I went last year as a guest and it was so much fun packed into a weekend. Hope to see you there!

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An update for all my DFW clients: I’m super excited to get back in touch with you and plan to offer a few discounts on private cooking instruction, cooking parties, and in-person personal training so keep an eye or get in touch if you want to get on my schedule for the next 3 months.

Now onto our circuit workout for today, which is going to kill your legs! Feel the burn baby!

Why circuit training? Particularly for fat-loss, training in a circuit manner can be helpful because it keeps you moving and your heart rate up. Circuit training is moving through a set of exercises, one exercise to the next, with no or minimal rest between exercises then taking a 1 to 2 minute rest at the end of the completed circuit. Then you repeat for a number of rounds.

Week 10 Leg Burnout Circuit
10-20 reps each exercise (or on each side), 3-4 rounds of the circuit

1. In/Out Jack Squats
2. Squat w/ Side Leg Lift – right side
3. Squat w/ Side Leg Lift – left side
4. Skaters
5. Walkout with Twist
6. Bulgarian Split Squat – right side
7. Bulgarian Split Squat – left side
8. Side Plank w/ Front & Back Toe Tap – right side
9. Side Plank w/ Front & Back Toe Tap – left side

If you try the workout let us know how it went in the comments!

Find Week 1 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 2 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 3 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 4 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 5 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 6 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 7 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 8 Circuit Workout here!
Find Week 9 Circuit Workout here!

Posted on 03/27/2015 | 2 Comments