Total Body Functional Workout

I think I am finally, hopefully, starting to get back to a somewhat normal exercise schedule. It was so hard for me to get started again after having Jesse. But just like anything else, sometimes you just need to be disciplined and make it happen.

I so enjoyed all the time I spent letting my body rest after having a new baby and I knew it was time to get back to my workouts. Now that I am three weeks in to exercising consistently I am actually looking forward to my workouts again.

I am focusing right now on rebuilding my strength and concentrating on reconnecting muscles (specifically in my core and pelvic floor) back together after having a baby.

This is a workout I put together that takes under an hour to complete. Each movement should be done slowly and with intention and not rushed.

Equipment Needed: Bands (found HERE and HERE)


Let me know if you try this out and what you think! This workout is challenging and some of the moves may surprise you in the level of difficulty. Have fun and get sweaty!


Backyard Circuit Workout

Two weeks ago my favorite clients came over to our house for a backyard training session. The workout they did was so good that I wanted to share it on the blog. I realize not everyone has access to this equipment or space at their house but this could make a great park, track, or gym workout too with a few modifications if need be.

Equipment Needed: Pull-up Bar (Josh built one in our backyard but I am linking to an at home option), Battle Rope, Heavy & Light Kettlebells/Dumbells

Complete three rounds of circuit one resting only after a round is completed. Once three rounds are complete move to circuit two. For the squats and lunges I held in 18 pound kettlebell but you could also just use your bodyweight for these exercises. We have an alley behind our home that I used for sprinting, thus the name alley sprints, and I am estimating that the distance sprinted would be 100m.

Right before Jesse was born was the first time in my life that I had ever been able to perform a pull-up unassisted. I love Black Mountain Fitness Bands to assist with pull-ups and highly recommend these to help build strength. If you are using the bands be sure to concentrate on lowering yourself slowly and resist the temptation to fling yourself up and down.

In case you are unfamiliar with what I am calling the Lazy Man Rope Climb (see photo below), I recently found this exercise idea in the book The Modern Art of High Intensity Exercise that we recently ordered. I am always hesitant to purchase exercise/fitness books but this one was worth the money! It has great ideas and workouts!

Since starting to climb ropes can be difficult this is a good exercise to do working with a rope on the floor. This exercise is anything but lazy, I just like to name my exercises something fun that is also easy for me to remember!

Lazy Man Rope Climb: Lay the rope on grass or another surface that isn’t sticky or slippery. Attach one end of the rope to a kettle bell or dumbbell (I used a 44 pound kettlebell) and lie on your back at the other end of the rope. Then grab the rope and pull the weight towards you. Be sure to stop in time before you get close to your head. When the weight reaches you stand up and grab the weighted end of the rope and drag it back to where it started and get ready to pull the weight towards you again. Repeat a total of 3 times. Be sure to engage your transverse abdominis!

And that is the workout! It is a doozy for sure but also fun! I hope you have a wonderful week leading up to Easter. I am so thankful for God’s grace and get choked up thinking about the significance of Jesus on the cross, the Temple veil tearing, and the stone being rolled away. If you have children or even if you don’t you might be interested in the book The Garden, The Curtain, and The Cross. It is perfect for Easter or really anytime of the year that beautifully illustrates and explains God’s plan for salvation and explains the Gospel message without watering it down.

I love the following verse…

A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lordmake straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up,and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together,for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5

God’s glory has been revealed and each one of us has to choose what we will do with that knowledge. Jesus Christ offers hope. A hope that is steadfast and true. Following Christ doesn’t mean that life is going to be easy. In fact the Bible tells us to rejoice in our suffering, which is very counter to what our culture teaches (Romans 5:3-5, James 1:2-4, 1 Peter 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:10).

This past weekend at church one of the points made in the sermon was that “the ultimate irony would be to go to Hell after hearing the good news many times, and refusing to receive it.”

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call of Him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12

God forgives and has offered a way for us to be with Him in Heaven through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. And that is what Easter is about.

Faith, hope, forgiveness, and redemption isn’t personified by chocolate bunnies. Instead it is represented by two outstretched arms on the cross.

xo, Tamara


5 Swimming Workouts

5 Swimming Workouts

If you enjoy swimming I am excited to share these 5 swimming workouts with you! These workouts range from beginner to intermediate.

Swimming is my go to exercise when I am pregnant. It is easy on my joints, eases the pain of my varicose veins, and feeling light and buoyant is just really awesome. I do enjoy swimming when I am not pregnant as well I just don’t swim as often.

The Workout Mama - Swim WorkoutsPhoto credit: Steve Donaldson Photography

Currently I am 27 weeks pregnant and I am swimming 3 times a week. The water just feels so great and I really don’t want to do any other type of workout at this point.

I am super fortunate that my parents had my brother and I in swim lessons from elementary school and we both completed all the available levels. In high school we both become lifeguards and taught swim lessons at the same pool we learned to swim at.

I will always be grateful for having the knowledge to swim because it is a great low impact exercise. I also am super thankful for lifeguarding, teaching swim lessons, and being a pool manager because that is how Josh and I met. Thank you City of Tempe and our boss Pat for selecting us to manage a pool together :).

Here are 5 swimming workouts that can help put the fun back into your swims. If you have any questions let me know.

I am also linking (affiliate links) to the equipment I use when I swim Finis Zoomer FinsSpeedo Vanquisher GogglesPull Buoy, and the Best Swim Backpack. I have to share my other favorite that is my swim bag when I swim. I am sure you have had water in your ear before, which is the worst when you are bouncing around trying to get it out. No more jumping, head tilting, or bouncing around (which looks even funnier when you are pregnant) if you use Swim-EAR the magical product that removes water from your ear. As for swimsuits I like to stick with two pieces. Similar suits to the one I am wearing in the photo can be found HERE, HERE, HERE. Lately I have been wearing these bottoms when I am swimming for added comfort.


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: The ladder workout can take some of the monotony away from pool training. It is great to build endurance and can trick you into swimming longer when you would rather quit your workout.

Total Distance: 1500 yards

  • 500 yards freestyle, rest :20 seconds
  • 400 yards freestyle, rest :15 seconds
  • 300 yards freestyle, rest :10 seconds
  • 200 yards freestyle, rest :5 seconds
  • 100 yards freestyle


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: Like ladder workouts, timed 50s can take some of the monotony away from pool training. They are great to build endurance and do not require tracking your distance in the pool like a typical swim workout. Just be sure to have a watch/clock/timer that is easily within view to time your intervals.

Total Distance: Variable

The easiest way to explain this type of workout would be use a set of 50 yard freestyles on the one minute.

  • 10 x 50’s yards freestyle on “the minute” or :60 seconds

This means you would be swimming 10 x 50’s yards freestyle every minute. Regardless of the point on the clock from which you begin the set, you will leave at that same point for each swim in that set. If you are swimming 10 x 50’s on the one minute – leaving on the 60 (top of the pace clock) – and you want to hold 40 seconds on each swim. This would allow you 20 seconds rest before leaving to swim the next 50.

Just for reference when I am pregnant I can’t hold this pace. I like to do my 50’s on 1:10 and I usually have about 15 seconds of rest between 50’s and can maintain that pace for 1500 yards.


Category: Beginnier

Why it helps: This drill helps develop bilateral breathing, which is essential for swimming in open water. It also gives you variation in the frequency of breathing which helps your body adjust to changing conditions.

Total Distance: 1000 yards

  • 4 x 250 alternating breathing pattern as follows:
    • 25 yards breathing every 6th stroke,
    • 50 yards breathing every 5th stroke (bilateral breathing)
    • 75 yards breathing every 4th stroke
    • 100 yards breathing every 3rd stroke (bilateral breathing)


Category: Intermediate

Why it helps: Improves kicks and timing. You will need a kick board and fins are optional.

Total Distance: 1800 yards

  • 400 yards freestyle warmup (choice of strokes)
  • 200 yards crawl alternating lengths of pull and kick (on the first 25 pull only, on the second 25 kick only, repeat — do not use a kick board)
  • 4 x 100 yards flutter kick arounds  (one length each of kicking on stomach, left side, right side and back — ok to use kick board)
  • 4 x 50 yards crawl, resting :15 between (count 3 kicks per arm stroke)
  • 2 x 100 yards IM kick only (with or without kickboard)
  • 400 yards freestyle warmdown  (swim choice of strokes slowly)


Category: Beginner

Why it helps: Improves endurance, breathing rhythm, and gain technique on  flip turns.

Total Distance: 1200 yards (plus flip turn practice)

  • 200 yards crawl warmup (continuous swimming)
  • 200 yards crawl no breath approaching wall (breathe in any pattern during swim but do not breathe within 4 strokes of approaching the wall)
  • 4 x flip turns (practice taking 4 strokes and doing a flip turn followed by 4 strokes)
  • 4 x 100 yards crawl resting :15 between (breathe every 4th stroke and do not breathe within 4 strokes of the wall, do flip turns on all turns)
  • 4 x flip turns (practice taking 4 strokes and doing a flip turn followed by 4 strokes)
  • 4 x 50 yards choice of strokes, resting :15 between (do any single stroke or mix the strokes)
  • 200 crawl warmdown (swim slowly and relax)

Hope you enjoy these 5 swimming workouts! Do you enjoy swimming laps? What is your favorite type of workout?