Sweat It Out Saturday: The First Week on My New Program

by Meg on April 14, 2012


You know what that means ;)

Yes, Sweat It Out Saturday ;) One of my most favourite days of the week! I have seriously been waiting all week for Saturday to come, so I could write a full review of my new training program :) Today was the last day of training for the week, so SIOS came at just the perfect time ;) Now, let’s get started!

My new training split is a 5 day split consisting of:

Tuesday – Legs
Wednesday – Chest & Abs
Thursday – Back
Friday – Shoulders
Saturday – Arms
Sunday – Rest
Monday – Rest

I will be doing no cardio for the six weeks while I am on this new routine which is totally cool with me because I am definitely not a cardio girl – this girl loves to lift! ;)

Tara and I are working towards muscle and strength gains and since we both know my body responds very slowly to gains, we didn’t think cardio was necessary :) I am actually happy that I am not doing cardio because:

A) It is definitely not something I would look forward to (unless it was HIIT)
B) I am excited to show you that hours spent on a treadmill. elliptical, etc. isn’t the only thing keeping you “lean”. I haven’t done any cardio on the treadmill, elliptical, etc. since November and I definitely haven’t noticed changes within my body composition. I haven’t had my body fat% calculated, but I think my eyes and project pictures do a pretty realistic job proving this point…

4 months of no cardio, healthy eating, and lifting heavy! Abs are made in the kitchen, friends!

C) And last, but not least – my main goal is to gain muscle. I am already eating a lot of food and still seeing minimal gains, so cardio just doesn’t make sense for me right now.
It is important to think “what are my goals?” and then implement a plan that allows you to achieve those goals, not hinder you.

I am really enjoying my five day split and, like I mentioned, today was my last day of training for the week. Tomorrow and Monday will be my rest days and I will most definitely be cherishing those ;)

This week, Tara wrote an amazing post about pushing yourself throughout your workout (if you haven’t read it yet, you must read it!) This post gave me a serious wake up call and forced me to really push myself this week :) I am also really motivated throughout each workout because I email Tara every night with feedback on how I feel after my workout and throughout the day, so I kind of want to impress her ;)

My first day of the week was leg training. I really enjoyed this workout and definitely felt it the next day. I was used to doing two leg workouts per week, but I am enjoying the switch to just doing one for now :) Leg day is definitely my favourite day out of all training days and I have some goals for myself regarding increases and I am sure I can achieve these goals with the help of Tara and my determination :)

Chest day was fabulous. It consisted of higher reps, so I was really happy about that change since I had been doing around 8 – 10 reps lately :) The high reps and one giant set that I did in this workout really left my chest feeling burnt out. I had never been a fan of training chest, but this workout was really enjoyable, but tough at the same time ;)

Back consisted of a few new to me exercises, so it was good to try new ways to train my back :) And I found a new favourite exercise, t bar rows.

Yesterday was shoulder training and to be honest, I really haven’t been enjoying my shoulder workouts lately at all. Out of all training days, I am definitely having the most trouble with my shoulders. I can’t seem to bust through the plateau I have seemed to reach, but Tara constructed a program that will hopefully allow me to see some gains and bust through this plateau! After my workout my shoulders were burning and I hadn’t felt that in a long time, so I think I just needed a change. I also think I was getting bored with my shoulder workouts, so I just wasn’t pushing myself and giving it my all. I definitely gave it my all yesterday, though ;)

Today was arms. Some people don’t like isolated bicep exercises, but I always seem to enjoy arm day (especially the triceps portion). It was a great routine and I actually surprised myself a few times with what I was capable of :) Don’t you love it when that happens!? Instead of bench dips, Tara has me doing parallel bar dips and I was able to do many more unassisted dips than I expected ;) If you are used to doing bench dips, I suggest giving parallel bar dips a try! They are much more challenging which is always a welcome by me ;)


I have been enjoying implementing new exercises throughout my training this week, it is definitely always a nice change from the usual!

So here’s to one week out of six complete! :) Bring on the next five ;) I am ready! (After my rest days of course – I woke up with DOMS today and I know a rest day will feel so pleasurable tomorrow!)

Happy training!


What’s your workout today?

Are you following a specific training split right now? 

Do you like isolated bicep exercises or do you prefer performing compound exercises that work your biceps, too? 




{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

Khushboo April 14, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Way to go on week 1, Meg! Those are some killer abs you are rocking :). Tomorrow is my rest day too and there is nothing like an upcoming rest day to push you through your last workout of the week! Today was a cardio day for me which consisted of 20minutes HIIT running followed by some moderate-intensity cardio and planks!


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM

I love HIIT :) Even though I am happy to be focusing on gains right now, I do miss my HIIT!

Enjoy your rest day tomorrow, love :)


Linz @ Itz Linz April 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM

daaaaang girl! love the proof of what healthy eating and lifting can do!! i’m excited to start incorporating MORE cardio into my routine because i have missed it. :) glad you’re loving your new routine… it’s always fun to switch things up :)


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:55 AM

See, that is what is most important :) If you love the cardio – keep it! It is always most important to be enjoying what you do, right :)


~Jessica~ April 14, 2012 at 10:18 AM

And I do hours of cardio every week, yet have more of a pot belly than a six pack. Abs are indeed made in the kitchen.

You must have an amazing set up to gain muscle and no visible fat – I don’t know how you do it!



Jessica April 14, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Sorry to comment twice.

I just wanted to say that I’m not sure everyone (or even 90% of people) could achieve abs like yours simply through lifting. Coming from my perspective, I have a lot of fat to lose before I’d even see the slightest trace of abs, so I’d need to do one Hell of a lot of HIITs, plus monitor my diet VERY strictly, to ever have a hope of having visible abs. So would anyone who has weight to lose, or even isn’t blessed with the genetics whereby their abs ‘want’ to show themselves. I think you have an amazing body, but you’ve come at things from being underweight to start with, and appear to have only put on muscle (which is still rare with no cardio – most people would gain fat as well). What you’re doing obviously works for you, but I’ve seen a lot of bloggers getting frustrated with programmes like LiveFit, for example, because they don’t get the same results as other people with a slender frame to start with. I’m not sure it’s right to say that everyone can achieve the same kind of look, because most people would, I feel, have to really ‘deprive’ themselves to look so ripped.


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Don’t apologize for commenting again, hun. Thank you for sharing your opinion. It is true that if you are in need of losing weight, cardio will most definitely be a component of your training routine. However, the most important reason that I posted this picture is to show people that who fear that by decreasing the amount of cardio they do will cause them to gain fat. I have a lot of friends/readers who have confided in me and told me about their anxious feelings of decreasing cardio, so I wanted to show everyone that 4 months of absolutely no cardio isn’t the end of the world. 80% is diet! Just the slightest modifications to your diet, cleaning it up a bit, will most definitely result in positive changes!


Jessica April 14, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Ah, I see. I tend to forget that most of your readership are coming from a position whereby they may have struggled with disorders relating to undereating and overdoing the cardio, and do not need to lose a few (dozen) pounds like I do. I can absolutely see on that basis why you would structure the post as you did.

Thank you for answering so graciously: in retrospect my comment seemed (unintentionally) snarky and I probably came off as a fat, jealous ‘hater’ even though I am only the first two things, and not the third ;)



Kyra April 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Hey Jessica – I’m curious – why do you say you “need” to lose a few pounds? Have you heard about health at every size? If you are eating healthy and getting exercise, you might be unhappy with your body due to society’s standards, but that might very well be where you body wants you to be :) Maybe not what you want to hear, but something to consider :)

Sable@SquatLikeALady April 14, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Hey Jessica! I read your blog although I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I just wanted to comment on what you wrote here, especially about genetics….. as one can see from my progress pics, especially back in 2010 and early 2011, I was lean enough to have a pretty ripped back – but even then I didn’t have abs. I’m hoping that after a loooooong bulk I’ll cut down and be able to see them now, but the fact is that some women have to get VERY lean – we’re talkin’ figure competitor levels – to even begin to see an outline of abs. And that requires quite a lot of deprivation.

But Meg you are totally right – cardio isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s a fat loss tool but anyone’s first fat loss tool should be diet/nutrition!


Jessica April 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

Thanks Sable

We seem to have a mutual blog-reading-but-never-commenting thing going on! I relate so much to the struggles you’ve written about regarding weight and body image – I also feel that I put on bulk as opposed to muscle and find it very hard to get any of my hard work to ‘show.’

I suppose a lot of my frustration about that came out here, which wasn’t fair. Not saying that other ladies don’t work hard, I just wish I could find some way of looking even half as good myself.


Kyra April 14, 2012 at 6:37 PM

I think also what many people do not realize is that to build muscle, you have to gain first. That’s when the “cutting” part comes in (like they do in competitions). You modify your diet to lose the fat you gained while gaining muscle, and that’s when everything pulls together nicely :)

rob fiasco April 14, 2012 at 10:19 AM

lookin good gurl! lol :)

why is it called a split? i could see if you split up your workout during the week or something. i dunno. i’m so confused!!!

i like isolated bicep exercises. but compound are good too.

have a great weekend Meg!


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I believe it would be referred to as a split because it is referring to the way in which you split up your muscle groups and train them throughout the week :)


Julie April 14, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Yayyyyy Tara’s programs are the best! She’s gonna beef you up lady! Xoxo


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:54 AM

I think she will be able to, too ;) Are you training with her too, love?


Carrie @ Lift Eat Repeat April 14, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Holy abs! So true, abs are def made in the kitchen!

I like to do bis and tris together cause I feel if I do bis after back they are too fatigued to lift at their full potential. I’m not a huge fan of training chest either, some weeks I might not train it at all- I would rather focus on back, shoulders or legs instead!


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:53 AM

I have been enjoying doing back-only days, too :)


Kate @ Chasing It April 14, 2012 at 10:40 AM

YOUR ABS ARE INSANE. lol you really do look fantastic girlie!! I totally agree, the type of workouts you do are so dependent on your goals. I know a lot of women who spend hours doing cardio but doing zero strength, and they wonder why they still can’t have a six pack! Obviously I’m an endurance athlete so cardio is like my job, but I’ve been strength training much more this year and I can see a lot more muscle definition than in the past! so glad you’re loving the new workout plan – sometimes all you need is a little change to see big results! :-D


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Haha, thank you Kate. I am glad you are liking seeing more muscle definition with your strength training :)


Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile April 14, 2012 at 10:46 AM

WTF are those your abs?!?! lol craaazy! And same here, that’s why I am LOVING livefit! So happy you are loving your new program :D


Meg April 14, 2012 at 10:51 AM

HAHA! You are hilarious. Yes, they are my abs. Your love for LiveFit makes me so happy, Brittany <3


Alexis April 14, 2012 at 11:12 AM

Get it girl!!! You look AMAZING. arms, abs everything! I LOVE that you haven’t done any cardio it shows you DO NOT need cardio to look awesome. I have not done any intense cardio in forever and I am totally okay with that.

I love feeling my triceps during workouts its the best. I have a feeling this program is going to help you gain! Can’t wait to hear more about it


Meg April 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Thanks Alexis :) I read about the DOMS you were feeling in your triceps and I am definitely going to be feeling that later today! I thought of you at the gym today!


Tara @ Sweat like a Pig April 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM

OMG! Your abs are insane!!! The picture you sent me the other day did NOT do you justice. Damnnnnn! Haha I was going to post a picture of my abs next week but now I’m not so sure ;)

OK, I love this post! I feel like I’ve taken over your blog this week though, haha. Awesome job doing unassisted dips! I hoped you might be able to do at least a couple, but I wanted to give you the option of assisted. They are one of my favourite exercises :)

From reading Jessica’s comment above, I can NOT wait to send you my guest post! I’m going to send it to you on Monday though – I need to find time to edit it.

And, yes, I’ve been training Julie for three months now! That was on the sly ;)


Meg April 14, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Haha, oh my goodness I love you sis.

Ok first off, I told you my tummy was all puffy that day I sent you those pics and then today they looked like this!? So strange.

Anyways, you most definitely need to post YOUR abs because I have been dying to see them <3

I am glad you “love” this post. That makes me happy (clearly, since it is you saying that ;)) Ok Tara I seriously cannot wait to tell you HOW MANY I DID! I want to hear your opinion… I was nervous to post it hahahahaha.

HOLY MOLY! THREE MONTHS!? Uhm. I am jealous. WHAT THE HECK HAHAHAHA. Ok, this reply is way too long. I will email you later hahahaha.

P.s. no worries about your guest post! If I have it on the 26th that is PERF.


Jessica April 14, 2012 at 1:38 PM

Well, on that basis I can’t wait for the guest post too :)

As I replied above, I now understand where Meg was coming from – I must admit some of the ‘tone’ of my comment did come from envy of those glorious abs!


Rande McDaniel @ The Vegetable Centric Kitchen April 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Seriously?? You. Look. Amazing.


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Haha, thank you Rande xo


Stefanie @TheNewHealthy April 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Abs are definitely made in the kitchen and you’re living proof!! You look awesome girl – keep up the great work! I can’t wait to read more about your new program and how it’s working for you. :)


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:12 AM

Thank you beautiful!

People are loving your SIOS! THANK YOU XO


Haley @ Health Freak College Girl April 14, 2012 at 12:31 PM

i am not a fan of shoulder days. definitely my least favorite. i love leg days though :)

i’m not sure what my workout today will be…right now i’m thinking about it being a rest day. but who knows!

have an awesome weekend and rest days :)


Alexandra April 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM

Girl you’re ripped, nice abs! I’m so happy your loving your program, I’m sure you’ll feel like a completely new person after 6 weeks! in a good way that is heehee ;)
Enjoy your rest day!


sarah April 14, 2012 at 2:00 PM

I have ab envy! Ow Ow!
Seriously , girl you’re looking amazing:)!

I actually really appreciate all the info regarding cardio and lifting- I fall into the’ doing too much cardio trap’ quite badly, I think. And I really wanna step up the strength training! You are about as motivating as it gets to be honest! And I’m really excited to follow this personal training journey you are embarking upon:).

I was actually thinking of doing one of the workouts from the 6 weeks to sick arms routines, on BodyBuilding.com. I don’t think I’d want to follow the actual programme, but it would be a change. As iv never done any arm specific(normally I just generally do upper body) workouts before, especially those with isolated bicep exercises.

Enjoy your MUCH deserved rest !


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:13 AM

Haha, thank you Sarah. You are much too sweet :) and I am really happy to hear you enjoyed the post and the info regarding cardio :)

Let me know about your training! That is so exciting :) Good for you girl! xo


Cheryl @ Happy is the new healthy April 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

I have SUCH little direction when it comes to strength training with my tri training plan. I’m at like 13 hours a week of training and strength comprises about 1:10 which makes for a sad cheryl so I’v been doing some circuit training but it’s mostly body weight work. So I look up to you and maybe post tri season i can follow in your lifting footsteps! keep up the good work.


Harold Gibbons April 14, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Solid work, Meg! Looks like Tara’s program is going to be pretty fun for you; I’m expecting solid updates!

Current split is Lower/Upper, with a full body day when necessary. That’s basically the most split-up I go, with my own programming and with writing programs for clients. Today included trap bar deadlifts, clean-grip reverse lunges, and some sprints with the Prowler; I’m currently hating life.

This has got to be my absolute favorite biceps exercise, and it hits the triceps, too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3-Lud2JgXo

(It’s a ValSlide SHELC, if the video doesn’t pop up.) I’m not a big fan of isolation exercises, but I do like that one for the biceps (femoris) and triceps (surae). I’m not at all a fan of bicep curls for the gunz, but only because chin-up and row variations provide a greater bang-for-your-buck. That’s not to say I don’t program them or use them…just sparingly.


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Thanks for the info Harold! :D I always love your comments!


Kristi @ Sweetly Fit April 14, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Girl you look uhhhhmazing! I agree that abs are made in the kitchen…you’ve obviously been doing things the right way for your body! Keep lifting away! :D


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Thanks baby girl :)


Meg April 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Seriously, we are so much alike. I love doing biceps! Partly because I love watching them POP! I’d say 21′s are my all time fave.


Julia @ girl with a stethoscope April 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Awesome job on your workouts Meg, you look fricken AMAZING girl. If I could have some of your abs – that would be great! :) haha But seriously, you look amazing and you seem like you FEEL amazing which is even more important!!



Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Your comment made me laugh hahaha I love you so much!


pluvk April 14, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Thank you so much for this post! I spend so much time on cardio, and because of your workouts (and your post about LiveFit), I’ve been focusing more on strength training. I’m at a great weight, but I want to see more definition! LOVE your Sweat It Out Saturday posts!


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:16 AM

YAY this comment makes me so happy :) I am so happy you liked this post! XO


Kyra April 14, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Hey sweetie – you need to eat an excess of calories in order to gain muscle :) Somewhere in the range of 200-500 calories :) Just a thought in case you are only eating to maintain, you might consider going over and above what you are already eating. :)


Kyra April 14, 2012 at 6:41 PM

Should also add – if you want to gain optimal muscle mass, sometimes you have to gain muscle and *some* body fat as well. Then after the muscle is gained you modify your diet to lose the fat :D Of course it’s not that much fat at all, and probably not noticeable to anyone but yourself. But when you go through cutting and really lean out is when you notice the muscle :D Otherwise you are not going to be gaining muscle to your full potential. Eat eat eat :D:D:D

Omg 4 comments on this post… ! SORRY lol


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM

Hey Kyra, no worries. I know a lot about nutrition and how to fuel properly :) I know I have to be well above maintenance in order to see any gains. Trust me, I have been at this for a while now. And I also have a trainer, so we have that covered.


Kyra April 15, 2012 at 5:48 PM



Natasha April 14, 2012 at 6:39 PM

daaaaaaaaaayuuummm girl, nice abs! ;)


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:17 AM

hahahaha oh girl! you make me smile


Ellie April 14, 2012 at 7:40 PM

Ahhh Meg those abs are amazing! I am so excited to start training on Tara’s plan next week…I think I am going to have to make some quite big changes to how i eat but i almost can’t wait as I know i don’t really nourish my body how i should sometimes! I love how you are so supportive and informative in your blogs, especially this week. Thank you for inspiring me to start lifting! Have a good weekend :-)


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM

I am so happy you are starting a program with Tara :) She is amazing and knows her stuff. Listen to that girl ;)

P.s. thank you for feeling so inspired by me to start lifting :) YOU WILL LOVE IT my dear <3 Keep my updated OK!?


Heather @ For the Love of Kale April 14, 2012 at 9:13 PM

Girl, you look SLAMMIN’! All of your hard work is totally paying off. I love setting goals for myself. I’ve been weight training really hard the past couple of months and I’m seeing steady improvements. I’m so excited for the future! :-)


Emily April 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM

You are so inspiring! Love your blog too btw :)


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Hey girl :) Thanks for the comment xo I stopped by your blog, too :) It’s fantastic! I hope you got my comment xo


Sara @ Nourish and Flourish April 14, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Look at that rockin’ body!! Ow ow!! Your abs are truly admirable, Meg! You’ll be figure competitor ready once Tara is done with you. ;) Thanks for showing and proving that no cardio doesn’t mean fat gains! As I’m sure you’ve guessed, that’s one of my biggest fears about giving it up…I know as long as I eat clean, things will be okay, but it still requires a leap of faith, ya know?

Loved the recap of your week in the weight room! Our 5 day split is exactly the same, except I’m working out Monday-Friday. Legs are my favorite days as well, hands down! I love the burn I feel after lunging around the gym! And I absolutely love working my back and arms too!

I still need to send Tara pics and measurements; its something I’ve never done before. Eek.

Hope you enjoy your rest day tomorrow! I certainly loved mine today. :-D xoxo <3


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Exactly, you just need to have trust in the fact that no cardio is OK :) That is why I posted the picture :) Four months of no cardio is OK! Even longer ;)

Love you babe!

P.s. you should email me with an update of YOUR week ;) I am so happy for you love


Lisa April 15, 2012 at 12:47 AM

Totally agree abs are made in the kitchen! Your abs are rocking girl! I love your dedication to the weights! Enjoy your weekend! I’ll be getting back to your e-mail asap, just got a couple things to do first! Loooove u


Meg Kelly April 15, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Inspiring post, Meg! I always am scared to leave behind my cardio but am totally inspired after reading this post!! Thanks:)


Meg April 15, 2012 at 10:20 AM

Awww Meg :) You make me so happy :) I am literally glowing right now to know I inspired you xoxo

Thank you. I really appreciate your comment xo


Caitlin April 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM

nice abs girl! i still get afraid to cut cardio out sometimes…thanks for reminding me that STRENGTH training is just as effective!


Juliet April 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

Girl those abs are SICK. I just wanted to comment and let you know I’m totes jealous. Great work :)

And yeah, I def don’t do that much cardio anymore. As in… no steady cardio at all.


Meg April 15, 2012 at 9:04 PM

YAY for no cardio :)

And thank you love :) Your comment means the world to me!


Megan @ Weddings and Workouts April 15, 2012 at 7:47 PM

Daaaaa-yum girl! You look FABULOUS!!!!

I haven’t done much cardio over the last few weeks, because I’ve found I don’t have the energy after a full on weights session. I do actually enjoy doing some low intensity bike work at the end of a workout as I find it really relaxing.


Meg April 15, 2012 at 9:03 PM

So proud of you hun :) Sounds like you are lifting heavy! LOVE IT!


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