Working Out in a Home Gym

My name is Kelly and I blog at Cupcake Kelly’s. I live just outside of Boston, MA with my husband Nick and our almost 12 month old baby, who we nickname B. I started my blog to document my baking and cooking experiments. Then I found out I was pregnant, so I started blogging about a variety of topics. I still write about my baking and cooking, but I also blog about my family, travel, fitness and races. I like to blog about life’s little moments and I hope you enjoy reading about them.

cupcake kelly

B was born on July 9, 2011 and life has never been the same. He has been an absolute joy and I love being able to stay at home with him every day.

When I first found out I was pregnant I tried to work out, but with a 90 minute round trip commute to work and some serious all day nausea for the first 5 months, working out was a rare occurrence. Once I started feeling better, I was unable to do a lot of working out for medical reasons, because of all this I decided to cancel my gym membership.

Once B arrived, I really scrambled to figure out what to do. Gyms with childcare are not really my thing, especially the gyms near me. So the next best thing was to create an at home gym that I could succeed in.

I already had 4 different resistance bands: light, medium, heavy and very heavy and a yoga mat. I was very luck that my mother-in-law bought my husband and I a treadmill for our birthdays that year. I then purchased a bosu ball and 2 sets of hand weights, 10 pounds and 15 pounds.

how to create home gym

Training for a half-marathon, I have a pretty rigorous schedule, and since it is my first I want to make sure I am prepared.

Wednesday & Fridays are my cross training days, below is an example.

Warm-up: 15 squats and 15 pushups, 3 times each.

Set 1: (Repeat all sets 3X)

  • 15 squats either holding a set of weights or standing on a resistance band
  • Turn the bosu upside down, 10 side to sides with a push-up in between.
  • 15 situps – either on the floor or on the bosu

Set 2:

  • 12 one armed rows with the hand weights, both sides
  • 15 lunges each leg, front leg on the bosu
  • Squat and press, while standing on the bosu

Set 3:

  • 15 Bicep Curls with the resistance band
  • 15 Chest presses with resistance band

Set 4: (Core)

  • 3 – 1 minute planks, 30 seconds of rest in between each plank
  • I add in at leas 2 or 3 different core exercise every time!

home workout

The after workout face

I am also able to usually get my runs in during naptime or at night after my husband gets home. Being a stay at home mom, you can definitely get in to a rut with your workouts, I am certainly guilty of that. But with a few tools and even if you wanted to buy some workout dvd’s to do for 20 minutes a day, it is certainly better than sitting on the couch during nap time.

Please note I do not have an official training, certifications or degrees in fitness. All views are based on what works for me and should never be taken as medical advice. Always consult with your doctor or trained professional before starting a new diet or fitness plan!

I hope you enjoyed this post! You can read more about my life and B at Cupcake Kelly’s, and feel free to follow me on Twitter and Facebook!

What is one item you would love to have in your home gym? For me it would most certainly be a TRX!

The Never-ending Injury Society

From Tracey at I’m (not) Superhuman

Hi there, I’m Tracey. I’m like Heather but without the ability to magically turn treats like cinnamon buns into health foods. Which is to say, I’m a member of the Never-ending Injury Society.


But I’m not just a member. I’m also the president. First, you should know, we’re not too picky. Though I have about seven gazillion injuries piling up (It’s fun! Really!), you only need one to join.

To become a better candidate for membership, I thought I’d reveal some secrets to success. Here they are, the top five things you should have when dealing with an injury:


You may be thinking, “I’ll never join the Never-ending Injury Society. My injury isn’t that bad.” If I had a dime for every time a member said that before joining, I’d retire to a small island off the coast of Greece. With a pet unicorn. Be willing to accept that you’re injured. Then get yourself to a doctor—now.


What’s funnier than a runner with bad knees? Nothing. That’s the beauty of the Never-ending Injury Society. We can laugh at our own pathetic situations until we start to believe we’re not so pathetic. We’re delusional, of course, but it helps with the waiting.

Indentured servant

This is really the most important tip. Because when you’re laid up in bed without the use of opposable thumbs or without the ability to move your leg, you need a slave friend to do the dirty work. Find a loyal servant to do the laundry, lift heavy objects, and—if you’re really injured like many of our members are—to carry you when your legs stop working. Spouses work great, but you shouldn’t discriminate.


Face it, you can’t work out. You can’t do the normal things you love. So what can you do? Sit on the couch with a container of Chubby Hubby, a glass of red wine, and a predictable chick flick. Netflix is a necessary tool for Never-ending Injury Society members, but it can be dangerous, too. Many an injured member as succumbed to the sirens call of flicks like Steel Magnolias or Schindler’s List. DO NOT go down this route. Tearjerkers will only fuel your self-loathing. Stick with tried-and-true favorites like The Proposal and Leap Year. The more predictable the romantic storyline, the better.


Before I was president of the Never-ending Injury Society I was like you: Naïve in thinking my injury would just go away. I’ll let you down easy. No injury goes away as fast as you want. (OK, maybe paper cuts, but you’re not getting into the society on a paper cut.) So be willing to sit out longer than you’d like on whatever you love doing. It’s a fact of life, really.

As you can see, these six tips will guide you on your journey. It may seem like a lot to take in, but don’t fear; there’s a handy acronym to help you remember. Next time you think about your injury, just W.H.I.N.E.

Thanks Tracey for the fabulous post!! And for letting me laugh about my never ending injury saga 😉

How to Make Running Your BFF

Hello Side of Sneakers readers! My name is Theresa & I’m the author of ActiveEggplant where I blog about making exercise a regular fixture in my life. I’m so excited to have the opportunity to write a guest post for Heather. And maybe a little nervous too – this is my very first guest post!

Heather has made it pretty clear that she misses running now that’s she’s been sidelined due to a nasty knee injury. The idea of “missing running” sounds simply insane to me. Why? Because I hate running.


Ok, ok. Hate might be a strong word. Let me rephrase: Running and I aren’t the best of friends.

Nonetheless, I run 2-3 times a week and have completed one full marathon, 7 half marathons, a 15k, a handful of 10ks & countless 5ks over the past few years.

Even though I moan and groan every time I lace up my sneakers, I’ve realized that running has become a necessary component of my fitness routine. A necessary evil, if you will.

  • Running lets me manage my weight without starving myself. I tried “not running” for a while and promptly began to pack on the pounds.
  • Running is a good way to blow off steam after a long day in the office. No matter how pissed off I am when I start running, my mood is noticeably better when I finish.
  • Running is one of the only things I can take with me on vacations or business trips. It’s much much easier to cram running gear (shoes, socks, shorts, sports bra, shirt) into a suitcase than everything you’d need if you wanted to take your bike with you (have you ever tried to put a helmet in a suitcase?!)

So I’m on a mission to become better friends with running. And here’s how I’m doing it:

  1. Cross training. When I first started running, that was all I did. If I didn’t run, I didn’t do anything. A “day off” turned into a week off & before I knew it, my next run felt like a “first run” all over again. I never got any better, and it never got easier. Then I discovered cycling.


Cycling on a regular basis keeps my legs moving, but without all the impact of running. Now, when I hit the bricks again, my legs are used to moving & they’re still strong.

These days I’m a cross training machine! And I’ve seen lots of improvements in my running as a result.

You don’t have to have a bike to cross train. You can walk, take a spin class, swim, do yoga, Zumba, anything! Just keep moving so your body is ready to go next time you lace up your sneaks.

2. Speed work. I don’t do speed work very often, but it is a tried and true way to make sure I’m challenging myself and not just going through the motions. In only a few short months, I’ve shaved a few seconds off of my pace! And seeing this on my watch pumps me up for the next time I’m out there.

3. Mixing up my running route. Lets face it, running the same route day in and day out is boring. So mix it up! Some days I’ll drive to a park to run on shell trails.


Other days I’ll start in front of my house. Every now and then I’ll run out to the beach and back. Varying my route makes running feel less like work and more like sight seeing!


4. Running with a buddy. I do most of my runs alone, but I try to run with a buddy at least once a week. Whether it’s just me and my sister or my hubby, or with a running group, having someone else there with me makes running a bit more tolerable. With someone at my side I’m less likely to focus on how many miles I have left to go. I am also much more likely to actually show up for a run when someone is waiting for me and counting on running together.

5. Sign up for a race. Nothing like a looming race day to help you keep your eye on the prize!


I usually have two races lined up at all times – one that I’m actively training for, plus one on deck that is my “next” race. This way I don’t stop training altogether after crossing the finish line. (This is a lesson I learned the hard way!)

Plus, races are just F.U.N. There’s always excitement in the air and an overall sense of camaraderie. And it always feels really good to cross that finish line (no matter how long it takes to get there) and say “I did it. I ran a race today.”

Happy Running!

Thanks Theresa!

Anybody else hate running? What’d you do about it?

Easy Peasy Green Pea Guacamole

Hello SoS readers!

My name is Allie and I write the blog Live Laugh Eat. I am a recent college graduate trying to figure out my place in the ‘real’ world. Live Laugh Eat was once a this-is-everything-I-ate blog but it has slowly transitioned to a blog featuring my kitchen experiments, daily meals/snax, reflections on life, and food/non-food photographs.

I like to tell people that my blog is like a box of chocolates. Ya never know what you’re gonna get!

Well, today you’re gonna get one of my favorite recipes: Green Pea Guacamole.

You can make this for a Mexican-themed dinner, a football gathering, or just when you want quick and healthy snack

The green peas add a sweet flavor to the dip while maintaining the creamy guacamole texture. Give it a try and see if your guests/family members can tell there is an extra veggie in there!


Green Pea Guacamole


1 medium sized avocado

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/2 tomato, diced

1/4 cup diced yellow or red onion

Juice of 1/3 of a lime

Salt + Pepper



1. Microwave the green peas for 1 min. to defrost

2. Blend green peas in a food process/blender/Magic Bullet. You can also mash them with a fork if you do not have access to a processor.


3. Add diced tomatoes, onions, lime juice, avocado flesh, and S+P.


4. Mix thoroughly using a fork

5. Serve with tortilla chips and/or pita chips

6. Enjoy!

Easy PEASy 🙂




Doesn’t that sound yummy?! Thanks Allie!!

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About PiYo

{If you’re looking for the workout DVDs for PiYo by Chalene Johnson, find them here!}

piyo workout dvds

Today’s PiYo post is from Candice at Chia Seed Me. When Candice first introduced herself (on the bus to the Frito Lay tour) she said she was a yoga teacher, which I thought was pretty cool. But when I got to talk to her later, she said she was actually a PiYo instructor. I was instantly excited- PiYo is one of my favorite classes at the gym. Though I try & try again, yoga doesn’t mesh 100% with my personality- I much prefer Pilates. PiYo, however, is like the ‘Heather version’ of yoga- just enough to get the calming & stretching, but not so much that I lose my attention span.

But I’ll let Candice tell you all about it:

what's piyo

Hey ‘with a Side of Sneakers’ readers!

I met Heather on the first day of the Healthy Living Summit and loved her instantly! I’m so excited about the opportunity to guest post on her lovely blog.

Heather asked me to write a post about PiYo (pronounced Pie-yo), and I jumped at the chance for two reasons:

  1. Many people don’t know what PiYo is
  2. I absolutely love it and want to spread the love:)

My Story

I have been a runner for a couple of years now, and finally decided about six months ago that I wanted to give yoga a chance. I knew it was supposed to be good for stretching and strengthening, as well as fostering a mind/body connection.

So, I checked out the class schedule at my gym and found that there was only one yoga class per week. One! I did, however, also notice another class called PiYo. I figured why not try it?!

That week I went to both the yoga class as well as the PiYo class and absolutely loved both! Over the next several months, I went to every single class religiously. The more classes I attended, the more I wanted to go back because I was noticing several things starting to happen.

First, my runs were improving. I’ve never been good about taking time to stretch after runs, but after going to PiYo and yoga just three times a week I noticed my body getting stronger, more flexible and more resilient.

Second, my attitude improved. Taking those three hours a week to do something for myself made me feel more positive about my body, and it made me more motivated to take care of my body in other ways, such as eating healthy food. It caused me to begin loving my body for what it could do for me rather than focusing on how it looked.



What is it?

Now, we all know what yoga is…but what is PiYo?

PiYo is a hybrid, athletic workout, which combines the mind/body practices of yoga and Pilates, as well as the principles of stretch, strength training, conditioning and dynamic movement. During a PiYo class, you will find yourself standing in a yoga pose one minute, and down on the floor in a Pilates pose the next!

It is a pre-designed class that will really get your heart rate going as it features various styles of yoga and Pilates in continuous movement and flow from one exercise to another. Sometimes I describe PiYo as a hyper version of yoga, but with the benefits of deep breathing, balance, stretching, strengthening and relaxation. And to top it all off, the music is awesome!

Getting Certified

During this time of attending classes, I was also going through a major life change. I decided to leave my job at the time in order to pursue something that I could be passionate about and that didn’t leave me feeling drained at the end of the day. I was making a two hour commute at the time.

While I knew teaching classes at the gym was never going to make me rich, I would get paid to exercise (what?!), and it would provide a little bit of extra money each month. Plus, many gyms offer free membership to instructors!

While I was interested in both yoga and PiYo certification, I decided to start with PiYo for a number of reasons:

First, I love the format of fusing together the benefits of both Pilates and yoga; it’s unique, mainstream and fun!

Second, it is less expensive. For under $200 you walk away fully certified to teach classes and with your first pre-designed class.

Third, it is a pre-designed format. Once you are certified, you have the freedom to use the exact lessons/music that have already been created, use pieces of the lessons/music, or get creative and form your own! I love that I can start off with a pre-made lesson and music and then change it up as I become more confident and experienced.

Fourth, it is less rigorous than yoga certification. Starting with PiYo gave me the opportunity to get my feet wet as an instructor and get some experience before dropping a lot of money and time. I have now registered to become yoga certified in September as well, but I’m so glad that I’ve already been teaching PiYo classes.

Since I started teaching, I have grown to love it more and more. It is so refreshing to go to class and see other women (and sometimes men!) challenging themselves in new ways and getting better with every class.

Well, I hope I’ve convinced you that you should head straight to the nearest gym immediately and try PiYo! I kid, I kid. Though I do hope that you all feel more informed about what PiYo is and that you’ll try it out if you get the chance. I promise, you will love it!!

If you’re interested in learning more about the certification process, feel free to visit my blog or contact me at You can also find out more by visiting the official PiYo website.

It’s so nice to “meet” all of you! And thanks again for having me, Heather. You rock!

If you think PiYo is up your alley, find it here: PiYo Or try some of these workouts too: Yogilates, Piyo Hardcore on the Floor, and TurboFire.