A Busy Woman’s Guide To Fitness

Example of a healthy and fit week

By: Julie Lohre
IFBB Fitness Pro & Certified Personal Trainer
Magazine 10 #2

You do it all. Your days are filled to the brim and you would not dream of leaving the house without your planner. From business meetings to field trips, you are the one that everyone else is counting on. Somehow in the rush of everyday you have forgotten someone very important – YOURSELF!

Being The Best "You"

Remember the days where you could stay out late and sleep in as long as you wanted? Or the times when you actually could take an hour to get ready? Back then, your skinny jeans fit perfectly... but somehow over the years, those jeans have become several sizes too small. Well, those days may be long gone, but that does not mean that you can’t make changes for the better and get on track with a healthy lifestyle.

Julie a busy mom walking the Arnold Expo
Julie busy mom, walks the Arnold-Expo burning calories while having fun.

Don’t let inconvenience or lack of time be an excuse – take charge and make a difference for the better.

Here are the ways that I have made working out easier with a family.

I usually train early in the morning in my basement home gym before anyone else is awake, and sometimes I even bring my 2-year-old son down to the basement with me for a modified workout together. My favorite is using him as added weight for my pushups. With just a few pieces of the right equipment, you can get a great workout at home.

While you may not have the means or space for a full gym, with a few pieces of the right equipment, you can get a great workout at home. Here are the essentials:

  • A set of dumbbells ranging in weight from 5 lbs. to 35 lbs. or a set of Power Blocks
  • An exercise ball
  • A set of exercise bands
  • If possible, a flat bench with a straight bar and some weights (I also have a Smith Machine with a lat pulldown attachment)
push ups Julie and her son

The moral is, have fun with fitness, include the whole family and make it work for you.

Here is an example of a healthy and fit week for the busy woman:
Monday: Get up early and get the week started off right with the following arm and shoulder workout before anyone else is up:

Arm and Shoulder Workout
ExcerciseSets Reps
Lateral Raises4x10
DB Front Raises4x10
DB Upright Rows3x10
Standing Barbell Curl4x10
Preacher Curl of
Alt DB Curl4x10
Hammer Curl3x10
Dips (off the edge
of your bench)4x10
Overhead Dumbbell

Tuesday: Pushup Day! Fit in a total of 100 pushups throughout the day broken down into sets as needed. For example: 10 sets of 10 or 5 sets of 20 (This is where I have my son climb on my back for his ride and my exercise!)

Wednesday: Chest and Back. Find 30-45 minutes for a compressed lifting program anytime throughout the day.

Chest and Back Workout
ExcerciseSets Reps
Dumbbell (or Barbell)4 x 20
Bench Press4 x 10
Incline Dumbbell Press4 x 10
Flat-Bench DB Flyes4 x 10
Bent-Over Row with DB’s4 x 10
Bent-Over Rear
Delt Raises4 x 10
(Pause at the top for 1-2 seconds) Dumbbell Pullovers  4 x 10
Abs: Lying Leg Raises 4 x 12 Floor Crunches

Thursday: Time for a long family walk to the park or around the neighborhood. Try to walk or jog at least 30 minutes getting your heart rate up to 65% MHR

Friday: Legs! The most challenging workout to do at home without a large amount of equipment. If possible, head to the gym for the following leg workout.

Doing lunges Julie and her son
Leg Workout
ExcerciseSets Reps
Squat (Wide Stance)4 x 10
Leg Press (Close Stance)4 x 10
Walking Weighted Lunges4 x 12
(6 strides on each leg)
Deadlift4 x 10
Lying Leg Curl4 x 10
Weighted Calf Raises4 x 12
Seated Calf Raises4 x 12
If you can’t get to a gym you can do:
DB Squats
(Wide Stance)4 x 15-20
Bench Step Ups
(10 steps per leg)4 x 20
Lunges4 x 12
Straight Leg DB Deadlift6 x 10
1 DB Calf Raise4 x 12

Saturday: Obstacle Course Day! This is the most fun day for everyone and you will find yourself (and your family) looking forward to it each week. You can really design the course any way you like, provided it is safe, fun, and keeps your heart rate up.

Obstacle Course here is one example:
In the backyard, you make the course.
1.Run back and forth from one side of the fence to the other 2x’s
2.Drop for 10-20 pushups
3.Rest for 1 minute
4.Skip (when is the last time you got to skip?!?) back and forth from one side of the fence to the
5.Drop for 20 crunches
6.Hop with both feet together back and forth from one side of the fence to the other 2x’s
7.Do 25 jumping jacks in place
8.Rest for 1 minute
9.Repeat the whole course and try not to laugh too hard! By the end, you will be out of breath and know that you have had a great cardio workout.

Do something active! Whether you like to ride your bike, run, hike, or swim, find something that gets your heart rate up and you enjoy. Also, fit in 100-200 ball crunches throughout the day broken down into sets as needed. For example, 10 sets of 20.

This is the most important secret of the best physique athletes.

Nutrition & Supplementation

All the exercise in the world will make little difference if you are eating poorly. This is the most important secret of the best physique athletes. They know how important a healthy diet is and how easy it is to gain fat by eating poorly even if you are working out consistently. Think about this, your average 30-minute treadmill session burns between 200-300 calories. A 2-oz. Snickers bar contains 266 calories and a regular 16-oz. Mountain Dew contains 220 calories! You just wasted a half hour of hard work by eating one candy bar OR drinking a Mountain Dew. Simple sugars will undermine your hard work and should be eliminated from your diet whenever possible.

While time can be tight, with the proper thought and preparation, you can make a diet plan that works for you. A few tricks I use to stay ahead of the game are: prepare and cook a week’s worth of meat on Sunday, scoop out your shakes for the next day the night before, pack your lunch whenever possible to avoid the temptation to eat out with co-workers, and prepare as many of your own meals as possible – then you know exactly what is in them!

Here is a diet plan that is easy to follow and prepare for:
Meal # 1: 4 egg whites + 1 whole egg and ½ cup oatmeal with ½ a peach or a couple of strawberries cut up
Meal # 2: 2 scoop Ultimate Muscle Cookies and Créme Shake
Meal # 3: 6 oz. tuna, 4 oz. baked French fries or ½ cup cooked rice, and a small salad with low cal dressing
Meal # 4: 2 scoops Ultimate Muscle vanilla with 5 strawberries added to make a fruity shake
Meal # 5: 6 oz. chicken breast, 2 cups stir fry veggies (mushrooms, onions, peppers, broccoli, etc) with seasonings Optional evening snack: 1 serving of sugar free Jell-O or pudding cup, 1 cup of berries with 2 TBS Cool Whip or 1 scoop of Ultimate Muscle Protein with a ¼ cup of coffee for a pudding.
Recommended Supplements: Super Pak vitamins with meal #1, Ultra 40 with each meal, Lean Out 20 minutes before each meal

The moral is, have fun with fitness, include the whole family and make it work for you. This plan will keep you feeling healthy, vibrant, and give you the energy you need to stay in charge!

Julie Lohre is available for personal training and contest prep training through her website at julielohre.com