Blast Abs Fast – 14 Minute Ab Circuit

After a nice rest day, hopefully you’re feeling refreshed and ready to rock out another core workout! I was actually pretty exhausted, as I geared up for this workout on a Sunday Funday. I may have been a tiny bit fatigued from some late night festivities on Saturday. Oops.

However, my throbbing headache subsided long enough to bust out this brief workout by Zuzka Light, even when an elderly man in jeans decided to stretch out less than a foot away from me and my circuit setup.

Have you ever had to deal with inconsiderate gym members? How did you handle the situation?


Full Body Circuit – Modified from Men’s Health

So you decided to return after Zuzka’s cardio crazy workout yesterday? You’re either a kindred gym rat or you ran out of cheese balls and are looking for something else to do with your spare time.

You’re in the right place! Welcome to the Day 2 workout of my 6-week shred. Today’s workout is inspired by this Men’s Health fat-blasting workout and it is guaranteed to wear you out!

Warm up like Doge demonstrates below. Jk, but make sure you stretch out any sore muscles to avoid unpleasant crampage later. The DOMS will have you feeling some type of way.

doge on trampoline

Warm up with 3 minutes of jump rope holding your core tight. Activate those abs!

Round One:
> Burpees
> Mountain Climbers
> Pushups
>Rest 1 minute

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

Round Two:

>Jump rope for 1 minute
> Walking Lunges with Kettlebell exchange underneath leg
> Lunge Jumps
> Plank to Pushup
>Rest 1 minute

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

Round Three:

>Jump rope for 1 minute
> Kettlebell Swing Squats
> TRX Pullups
> Box Jumps
> TRX Jack Knives
>Rest 1 minute

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

Time for the Final Four(th) Round! Hang in there, you’re almost done:

> Jump rope for 1 minute
> Side Lunges with dumbbell or kettle bell bell (check this retro tutorial, how bout them spandies?!)
> Tricep Dips
> Donkey kicks (30 seconds each leg)
*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

If you did the workout at full intensity you should be feeling this meme afterwards.

arnold Schwarzenegger after intense workout

If not… you can’t bench with us. NO, I’m just playing. But you know your body. You know when you to push your body and when your body is failing you so listen to your quivering tired muscles in combination with that beast mode mentality. Don’t cheat yourself out of trying your hardest. The only way to change your body is by challenging it. Push your limits.

Jump Around, Get Up, Get Up & Get Down!

Have you ever stumbled across something that has been around forever, but when you discover it you have this moment of awakening? That “this is the greatest thing in the world, where have you been all my life” moment? Well I’ve recently been banging my head against a metaphorical wall trying to come up with new ideas to make my workouts suck less because let’s be honest, we all will eventually reach that lull where working out is much more of a chore than it used to be.

I decided I wanted that high I get from doing Sean T’s Insanity, but I wanted to do it at my gym without looking like I’m having some sort of medical emergency. So I turned to the ever-efficient Internet to find some circuit workouts, and what I came across… was pure Peanut Butter gold.

A fellow fitness blogger, who runs the blog Peanut Butter Fingers and happens to be a personal trainer has generously shared not one, not two, but 22 circuit workouts for anyone to enjoy. And they are enjoyable.

This Jump Rope & Abs circuit was a great starter. I moved onto the Burnin’ Legs & Abs circuit and the bond intensified. I gave a shot at designing my own circuit routine and this workout will warm you right up. Perform all exercises back-to-back with no breaks, rest at the end and repeat the process from the beginning (aiming for at least 4 times through. You can do the circuit up to 7 times if you can handle the heat)


This week was a workout struggle because of a common cold that depleted my energy and zapped my hydration, so I rounded out my diet with this vegan African Peanut Stew and although the sore throat and snuffy sinuses are still lingering, the stew tasted magically nutritious! Please share your favorite recovery food that you turn to when you’re sick! Do you have a secret remedy that works every time?

How To Not Choke On Your Resolutions

Are you a new years resolutionist? Are you one of the many who have committed to get bigger, better, faster, stronger this year?

New Years resolutions are great! But we’re already a week into the new year and who are we kidding, those goals are only meant to last two or three days, maybe four if you’re feeling ambitious, right? WRONG!

Let’s take a look at how not to fail our way out of the annual goal setting stage.

1) Step one- are you unhappy with something about your life?

  • Yes? You’re awesome, so let’s fix that!
  • No? Good for you! Keep on being awesome!

2) Large goals can be exciting to take on, but they are also much more intimidating and challenging. Break your goal down into smaller bite-sized chunks so you won’t choke on your goal…and die. It’s also beneficial to choose something that is specific and measurable like:

  • lose 2 lbs by the end of the month using healthy diet and exercise
  • cut out potato chips, or soda, or sugary cereals from your diet (just a couple of small changes at a time so you don’t go crazy and binge eat all the junk food)
  • limit eating fast food to once a week
  • not a big fan of exercise? try taking a dance class, yoga, pilates, kickboxing, or get a dog and walk it for 30 mins everyday!

3) Get going! Share your goal with family and friends to build support or if they’re skeptical and unsupportive, use their criticism as your drive to prove those cotton-headed ninnies wrong. You can always find tons of online support from sites like, or health and fitness blogs and communities. Find a friend who is really motivated to take on the journey with you! Workout buddies are the best, if thy aren’t the kind that cancel on you right before going to the gym or are sabotaging your diet 😦 with brownies and pie (unless they are these brownies!)

Are you already doing the fitness on the daily? What kind of goals are you looking to up your game this year?

Personally, I’d like to be able to do unassisted pull ups and more than one, in a row. Maybe like this:ImageAlso maybe some of these:


So that I can ultimately do another one of these!


Keepin’ It Real With Real Life Role Model Andrea

Everyone knows that one person who has undergone an amazing physical transformation (through hard work and diet, not the plastic surgery kind) and there are a couple of ways we respond to these proactive people.

  • We admire them because we like them and it motivates us and makes us feel good to see someone we like succeed
  • We get jelly because we don’t particularly care for them but are motivated nonetheless because they are clearly in control of their lifestyle and we may feel inadequate in comparison

I had the pleasure of talking with my friend, Andrea, who is one of those people and a true inspiration to all the young girls who struggle with body image issues. She decided she couldn’t continue to struggle with her insecurities so she faced them and turned her lifestyle around. She talked with me about facing the stresses of college life, the pressure to accommodate a lifestyle that includes indulging in junk foods and unhealthy habits and the challenges and victories of her healthy lifestyle journey which led to losing 67 lbs in one year!

before after

GymRatDiaries: What was your reason for choosing to make this lifestyle change?

Andrea: I was unhappy with myself. I hated the feeling of doing simple things in life, such as hanging out with friends, and constantly be worrying about how I looked compared to everyone else.  I became overweight around my sophomore year of high school after I had quit doing studio dance, and also gained even more weight from things that I went through throughout high school – I found that eating was something I could control, but not in a healthy way.

GRD: How did you go about your new decision to change your lifestyle? Did you have a certain workout routine or diet plan?

Andrea: Portion control was something I had a hard time with and weight watchers helped me realize how much I was actually eating and what I was consuming. I did not do anything super sophisticated as far as working out, but I made sure I went six days a week, and my off day I made sure that I was eating extremely well.  I also changed up my workouts every few days so I was not just working on the same muscles day by day.

GRD: What motivated you to continue and stick with your decision to change your lifestye when many girls find it so easy to slip back into an unhealthy routine? What were some of the challenges you faced?

Andrea: There was always this thought in my mind “in a month from now, you will be so angry at yourself for all of the opportunities you chose to not work out, and now you are unhappy. I want to be happy” My motivation was thinking that this is only going to be one/two years of my life that I need to do some serious changing and if I keep up with this, I will live even longer  – so at the end of the day 2 years is nothing. Some challenges that I have faced, and the one I am currently at right now, is “the plateau”.  Where I have gone some time with the face on the scale not really moving or changing much and it leaves me a little unmotivated at the end of the day sometimes. When this happens, I just have to remember that I have gone through this multiple times within the past year and I have had results that I am extremely happy and proud of myself for so I just need to keep going or change some workouts up a little.

Another one was the darn scale.  I was at a point where I checked the scale, 3, 4 times a day.  This got me into a lot of emotional instability.  I would freak out and think that just because my weight fluctuated throughout the day that it meant I was gaining weight, but I know now that that is certainly NOT the case. I had to mark it on my calendar to one day a week of when I could check the scale, and that really helped.

 GRD: What are you most proud of accomplishing since your fitness journey began?

Andrea: How much confidence I have gained!! This time last year, I would dread going out with my friends, or even trying to talk to peers in class. I wish I had the confidence that I have now, back then. What took me a year to work on was the fact that I am going to be me no matter what, 67lbs heavier or not.  I have always been a social bug and it killed me to always feel like I couldn’t be myself.  I am soo much happier now.

 GRD: What advice would you offer to other girls who are struggling with body image issues?

Andrea: Do it for YOURSELF and do NOT give UP. It took me almost a month and a half for me to see (and by see, I mean the numbers on the scale, not physically be able to see) results.  You are going to go to phases where you are not noticing anything different with your body, but that doesn’t mean things are not changing.  Also, DO NOT check the scale more than once a week!

GRD: Thanks for answering my questions, Andrea! On that note, I have one more question for my vivacious viewers and radical readers: Do you have a particular person that inspires you to reach your fitness goals? What motivates you?! Go ahead and share in my comment section below! You know you want to 🙂

The FIT list

Welcome fitness fanatics, workout wanna-be’s and health-a-holics to my gym rat diaries! Every diary deserves a proper intro, so here’s the breakdown on this fresh, fit and fabulous blog and how we’re going to bring sexy back.

Who’s that girl?Image

(Princess) Jasmine! That’s me; cardio queen and weight-lifting machine. Loving daughter, caring sister, bodybuilding competitor and all-around (not so) average college girl.

What’s it all about?

It’s a health and fitness blog to inspire you to be whatever you want to be! First and foremost, I want to help my readers feel comfortable in their own skin. Exercise and eating clean keeps me feeling my best and is essential for a sound and sassy mind, body and soul.

Where’s the party?

Located in the tiny town of Oshkosh, WI, I practically live at the UWO Student Recreation and Wellness Center.

When is it going down?

Although I go to the gym on a daily basis, we’re going to start things off slow with weekly postings. Rule #7 You can’t rush fitness. (Rule #1 is NO CHEATING on your diet or standing up gym dates, because this is a relationship with yourself and your health. I know you were curious.)

Why is this happening to me?

I know how humiliating it can be to put on your pants and have to tug them up over your thighs or to refuse to wear certain clothes because you’re hyper-aware of how the fabric hugs each and every curve, and paranoid about who else may be noticing. No one should feel ashamed of their physical condition or be struggling to embrace their bodacious bodies. I want to help people feel confident, healthy and proud of their figures because they only have the one they’ve been given and it’s a shame not to see what these bodies are capable of.

How does she do it?

This blog is for everyone with any level of interest or fitness experience! I’ll approach  some of the simple beginner info for those of you just starting out as well as those of you who may be ready to take things to the next level and compete in a fitness competition. I’ll address any questions or concerns you may have about lifting or proper nutrition and share some crafty recipes and quirky workouts along the way.

There will be cheesy gym jokes, some soreness, success stories and struggles, and lots of bananas because…

this FIT is BANANAS! B-A-N-A-N-A-N-A-S


It’s Bananamalism! Are you ready to commit to fit?