4 Benders

I was in the mood for some Melissa Bender. She’s not posting new WOs much lately, but she does do weekly plans on her blog. I’d thought I might repeat some of the sets, but in the end I decided to just do a bunch of different stuff.


It’s funny… thinking about Julia one time saying, If it isn’t hard it’s not worth doing right? and I’ve often agreed, however, sometimes the only goal is to get moving a little, to have a definite reason to take a shower. Seriously.


1. Mountain Climbers
2. Side Lunge Kick (right)
3. Side Lunge Kick (left)
4. Mountain Climbers
5. Tricep Extension Squat
6. Tuck Jump / Bench hop-overs – 2nd round
7. Mountain Climbers
8. Temple Tap Abs
9. Plank Walk Out
10. High Knees
11. Side Plank Hip/Leg Lift (right) ppl band (orange would’ve been better for this move – ppl was a bit too heavy)
12. Side Plank Hip/Leg Lift (left)
13. High Knees
14. Rotating Hip Dips (from plank) Knee Drop Plank
15. Hip Lift Hook 3lbs bet feet
16. High Knees

  • +2lb ankle weights & 8lb vest
  • Pretty sure I did this one before, in the past. Would’ve been on an old blog.

-In/Out Squat two 20s
1. Knee Crunch Extension
-In/Out Squat
2. Squat to Forward Reach
-In/Out Squat
3. Bridge March
-In/Out Squat
4. Squat to Side Leg Lift (right)
-In/Out Squat
5. Squat to Side Leg Lift (left)
-Lunge Rotation 20
6. Side Plank Knee Rotation (right) This was hard w/ the vest & ankle weights! 
-Lunge Rotation
7. Side Plank Knee Rotation (left)
-Lunge Rotation
8. High Knee Step
-Lunge Rotation
9. Standing Hydrant (right)
-Lunge Rotation
10. Standing Hydrant (left)
-Romanian Deadlift two 20s
11. Split Leg Lift (right)
-Romanian Deadlift
12. Split Leg Lift (left)
-Romanian Deadlift
13. Side Lunge Dumbbell Reach (alternating) 20
-Romanian Deadlift
14. Back Raise/Extension
-Romanian Deadlift
15. Butt Lift

W/ 2lb ankle weights & I got out two 20s, like Melissa. Loved this one! Could’ve used 5lb weights maybe, but since my right knee is a little sore (still), and I had to be really careful not to feel it in some moves today, I was happy just wearing the 2s.

1. Squat 20
2. Squatting Calf Raise
3. Pretzel (right)
4. Pretzel (left)
5. Forward Fold Leg Raise (right)
6. Forward Fold Leg Raise (left)
7. Split Squat to Warrior (right) 10s
8. Split Squat to Warrior (left)
9. Butt Lift Squat 10s (I did a bicep curl on the bottom – 15s would be better)
10. Hydrant Extension (right)
11. Hydrant Extension (left)
12. Leg Series (right)
13. Leg Series (left)
14. Sit to Stand (right) Even tho I can now do pistols I’m still really weak here. Most I normally hold in hands is 10, but since the knee thing I didn’t pick up any dumbbells, tho of course I had the ankle weights on still.
15. Sit to Stand (left)

And then, since I was only an hour in & didn’t want to think for myself, I did something I never do & followed along w/ a yoga vid, also in this week’s Bender plan. I added four astanga finishing poses after the end of it, before my savasana.





This was supposed to be a really chill, easy to moderate workout

And it was supposed to happen yesterday, but I got distracted with a variety of projects and decided to take my 2nd rest day for the week. Granted I am really tired today – up periodically in the night (waking from dreams, cats, noise in the house) and got up at 5:30, which is highly unusual these days. MUCH easier to get up for ritual than 2+ hours of a ridiculously strenuous Astanga practice though, like I did for years, back in “ye old days”. I do really enjoy my greatly scaled down, when I want practice! I guess going as far as I did was useful for learning how much is really (personally) necessary or desirable.



26 Minute Crazy Tabata Cardio

 Tabata is my go-to when I don’t want to work all that hard. And then she kicked my ass! I skipped the cool-down & took a break before moving onto my reps set.

Standing Lower Body Low Impact Workout

Pretty sure I did this at one point, for time. I decided to do for reps & add some light equipment here and there. Melissa had a sore neck when she recorded this so I figured it’d be perfect for me today, lol. I did a

Level 3: 20 Reps Time on 1 round = 24:40
+8lb vest

1. Squat ppl band
2. Wall Sit Leg Lift (right) reps 10x, switch legs, then repeat These are f-ing hard! My vest made balancing harder too.
3. Wall Sit Leg Lift (left)
4. Around the World Lunge (right) 5s front, side & backward lunge (so w/ the vest, 13 extra pounds)
5. Other side
6. Step-Up (right) +2lb ankle weights – lift back leg straight out to the back. Foot stays on bench
7. Other side
8. Split Squat (right) 20lbs
9. Other side
10. Sit to Stand (right) Was gonna hold merely 10 extra pounds & then I got here & I’m like, Nope. My little 8lb vest is quite enough added weight. And then I still hadda split it up into two sets of 10 w/ a break in the middle.
11. Sit to Stand (left)
12. Side Step Up Lift (right) +2lb ankle weights
13. Other side
14. Goddess Squat Reach (right) +2lb ankle weights. Plie squat & then come up to stand on right leg, reaching up & out w/ right hand, 5lbs in hand
15. Other side


  • adapted from an old BodyRock WO, 10/50. Was gonna do 2 rounds & I really should’ve, but did one, 10/30 – 6:40min
  1. Same arm & same leg crunches, holding 5lb dumbbell
  2. Other side
  3. Keep legs up together & straight & press 10lbs towards them
  4. Tuck abs w/ one ankle crossed over the other
  5. Top leg  – make splits in the air. Reach both arms straight past the outside of that leg
  6. Reverse curls same leg on top
  7. Tuck abs w/ other ankle crossed over the top
  8. Top leg  – make splits in the air. Reach both arms straight past the outside of that leg
  9. Reverse curls same leg on top
  10. Swimmers (on belly)


Timed, non-vinyasa – longer holds than usual on some poses.











Meh mood, lackadaisical, 1/4 normal effort mash-up

I really didn’t want to do much of anything exercise-wise today.

Someone posted the first video in Julia’s group, asking if anyone had tried any of her WOs. Seems like a new channel. I previewed round one of this “for time” routine. Took her 17min 9. I decided to do my version as slow as possible, lol. Seriously, when I’m consulting a list w/ new moves, not being pushed along by a demonstrator’s pace, I can get really lackadaisical. I blame my yoga background. Slowing down, mindfulness, extreme attention to detail – these are all good things when you’re practicing asana.

Odd things of late

  • The yoga makes my glutes more sore than other kinds of WOs.
  • I’m just not as into lifting heavy right now, for whatever reason.


  1. Lateral jump. (jump over mat) Rev lunge w/ outside leg & then side kick 12x
  2. Running man jump shuffle, 2=1 10x punch fwd, 10x punch up (3x ea direction) 5s
  3. Hang clean to deep squat & stand, 20s 12x
  4. Half-way push-ups 8x followed by 5 full push-ups (2x)
  5. Lateral Switch lunge to pistol 12x 1=1 Changed this move Regretted making this harder! Managed one continual round of reps first time thru but took a little break ½way thru 2nd set.
  6. Lie down arms pull OH & press up 15s 10x Kept dumbbells pressed together during 2nd round. Weight was a little heavy but I lived.
  7. Plie squat, lift heels & come up, BL sandbag, 12x
  8. Plank, knee to opp elbow & same side elbow 1=1, 12x

Time = 25:03

Then I did 3 of 4 rounds of the abs routine below. Pretty funny to realise I’d sort of tweaked my left arm during the first set I did, and then I started off this last set w/ ankle weights, swapped them for one 3lb bet feet for 2nd round but hit failure during the first move. And then when I got to an hour’s WO time I’m like, You know what? I’m done. Wasn’t curious enough about the following tabata to even look at it.


60min cardio HIIT & some Yoga

Took a rest day yesterday. I’d done five workouts already for the week, and while it’d have been nice to get in a 6-day after all those light weeks (cat shows / cold), my upper body was still really sore, especially the front of both shoulders. It hurt to roll over!

But it’s funny how when I’m making the decision to rest there’s a bit of maudlin regret, but the very next morning I’m all, Man I’d like another rest day. 


20 Minute Boot Camp Sculpt Workout

Round 1: Video is a 20min no-rest set of 30/50, with high knees as the 30sec cardio before every #d move
Round 2: 15/50 with jump rope before every #d move for a 32:30min set

  1. Wood Chopper RL 15lbs
  2. Wood Chopper LL
  3. Side Lunge Kick RL two 15s
  4. Side Lunge Kick LL
  5. Plie Squat Jump 2nd round added 3lb weights
  6. Alternating Utkatasana to Dighasana A 2nd round added 3lb weights – made a lot harder!
  7. Hip Thrust (right) Brought my sandbag into the room thinking to do it the Julia way, but actually, doing it from table top & really trying to lift hips at the top & I feel it more, just bodyweight the Melissa way.
  8. Hip Thrust (left)
  9. Mountain Climber / Mat jumps for 2nd round
  10. Toe Tap Push-up push up to alt side ankle tap in downdog
  11. OH abs, 10lbs / Regular Sit-ups  Plank Crunch
  12. Side Plank Hip Lift (right) 2nd round add ppl band & leg lift
  13. Side Plank Hip Lift (left)
  14. Commando / Mat Jumps Plank to Dolphin Changed only b/c moving from dolphin back up to plank can irritate my left tricep weak spot
  15. Plank to Lunge I did mine lifting arms straight up OH 2nd round added 10lb weights



Single intervals of 10/60

  • Virasana, Supta V weighted, 50lbs
  • Malasana, Paschimo
  • Anjenayasana ½ arms straight OH and ½ backbend, holding 3lb weights
  • Hanuman strapped, 20sec upright 40sec backbend
  • Urdhva D @ wall, on blocks, tall way
  • Sirsasana & Sarvangasana – 10/3min each, halsasana & karna pida, 10 breathes, 1min savasana


Recovery “WO”

The 2nd half of the title is in quotes b/c it really wasn’t much of a workout. I’d have been better off if I didn’t do the abs set & did an hour of yoga… But anyway I got the blood moving and the endorphins going. It’s good I did something because I’ll feel better the rest of the day and less gimpy tomorrow. I felt like I could barely move when I first got up in the morning, lol. Much better now.

It’s going to be a beautiful afternoon and I want to get out of the house and off The Hill. There’s not much to do in Portland, but I could go to the Chinese Garden. I think I’m going to, even if it’s $10 to get in.



Based on Core and Legs Workout: Exercise for Belly, Glutes, Thighs, and Calves

I did add a slightly shorter cardio. Set my timer for 16 rounds of jumprope for 30 and #d poses for 50 with 15sec transitions, 25:15min

  1. Lunge back (floor touch) March and Kick, alt sides
  2. Single Leg Pendulum-RL ½ squat to side leg lift, balancing the whole time on supporting leg
  3. Single Leg Pendulum-LL
  4. Kneeling Leg Rotation-RL like a hydrant to a leg lift, back, 25deg angle
  5. Kneeling Leg Rotation-LL
  6. Tip Toe Chair Walk alt sides
  7. Tree pose to dighasana A Figure 4 Pulse & Press RLPositioning of the 2nd part, as I did it, was dif from video
  8. Tree pose to dighasana A – LL
  9. Cat Bow Series-Right Hands & knee. R knee in & then out to glute lift & then bend arms close-in, tricep style half push-up, face toward floor
  10. Cat Bow Series-Left
  11. 3-way knee tucks Knee in same-side elbow, opp elbow, glute raise in bet, alt legs
  12. Full rev curl w/ pelvic lift @ top
  13. Temple Tap Abs
  14. Criss Cross Legs Hands under hips
  15. Plank to Updog Plank, catarunga, updog
  16. Core Wiggle On back, feet in frog lift position. Arms extended & reach RA toward R foot & then switch.

Advanced Abs Workout – At home Abs & Core Routine 20-Min

I mostly find GymRa annoying and try-hard, but once in awhile I throw one in for some randomness.

WO begins after 1:00. Actually the move are pretty good but being on the floor & with the demos my HR dropped to resting immediately. This would be good as reps w/ cardio intervals, but GymRa doesn’t post breakdowns. Meh. I guess if I detail it out I’ll post it on the YouTube page, lol. Naaa…. too passive aggressive.


  • Standing & fundamentals
  • Dandasana & Paschimo
  • Block A and B
  • Marichy C & D, Pashasana
  • Finishing to Matsyasana, Savasana

HIIT & Yoga, “recovery” wo

I had a rest day yesterday just because I thought I wasn’t going to be busy all day, delayed my workout and then was assigned a task (banner page design update). It was ok that I took one though, as I was due one more for the week and was a bit sore.

However today isn’t exactly high energy and I’ve tweaked my neck out again, a little bit, sleeping wrong. I don’t have the mental stamina for all yoga, a “real” practice, as in my current state of personal Astanga. Halfsie / halfsie. Go for easy everything, but movement and stretching. Melissa! I took her WO and doubled it w/ some barely lifting the feet jump roping.


10 Minute Standing Dumbbell Workout: Fast Total Body Workout

  • (15/50) w/ jump rope before every #d move = a 21:40min set.
  1. Sumo Squat 15s, weights on shoulders. Knees turned way out & squatting low. Moving as fast as possible w/ good form.
  2. Warrior Deadlift-Right 20s
  3. Warrior Deadlift-Left
  4. Bent Over Row
  5. Curtsy Lunge-Right
 20s, leaving the curl out b/c holding 20 in ea hand
  6. Curtsy Lunge-Left
  7. Dumbbell Swings
 35lb kettlebell 29 reps
  8. Lawn Mower Row-Right
 20 I did this the P90X way. Which is dif from the video. 18 reps ea side
  9. Lawn Mower Rose-Left
  10. Lunge to Press 10s Lunge back & then press up w/ both arms as you stand 9 ea side going over by 1/2 a rep

Then I did a search for a thigh band workout & picked one to do w/out a preview. I did it w/ the purple band from the set that Julia recommends (the only one worth having IMO). Was really killer on the upper, outer thighs especially.

Superset 1 = Squat Jacks + Hip Bridge
Superset 2 = Side Steps to Squat Jump + Standing Angled Leg Lift
Superset 3 = Cowboy Walk Forward/Backward + Clamshell


About 30min

  • Standing & fundamentals.
    Only 2 handstands but I used 3lb weights for Surya A, 3-5.
  • Some non vinyasa asana, then a single 10sec/5min headstand, minutes 2 & 4 in a backbend, the first w/ straight legs & the 2nd w/ bent. Also there was a 10sec/3min sarvangasana, so a solid 8min in static inversions.


Short but effective workout, HIIT & yoga

I lightened up today’s routine

I’d been planning to do one of J’s no-equipment workouts I hadn’t gotten to yet for today, but it’s got a shit ton of push-ups and my shoulders and triceps are sore! I didn’t want to spend too much time looking for a more moderate, mostly lower body wo. And then I realized I was in the mood for a more moderate flavor.

Julia is super hardcore. I’m so-so-so grateful for her channel but I’m not always up for it! I think I’ve got a really good mix though. The Astanga is important, even if I only practice a full thing once or twice a week. I decided to do a Bender. Melissa’s really presenting WOs for the masses, people who just want to get “a little exercise”. That’s how it seems to me now. I’ve gained a lot of fitness since I first discovered HIIT, via BodyRock’s RTC or “real time challenge”, in late 2014.


Warmup: (10/30×6=4min) jump rope My added warm-up. Just a little bit of jump rope makes things so much better. Plus the WO isn’t that cardio, but I decided to do once along w/ the video, to practice the unfamiliar moves & just to have a practice buddy. She’s got a really pleasant, soothing voice too.

21 Minute Total Body Workout: Home Exercise and Fat Burn

After 4min jump rope I did the warm-up & one round along w/ the video. Then I was thinking before I’d repeat w/ sets of 30/50 jumprope & then #s moves, 15sec transition. But that half hour was good! I wanted to do some yoga. Skipped her cool down.

I should’ve done either another set tho, or the suryas & fundamentals b4 back bending. But oh well. I got a surprisingly good sweat on in the first set & a really good stretch so it’s all good. I hadn’t practiced standing arches in awhile. I’ll do a quick one in the suryas but it’s not the same as holding it 30sec a bunch of times.



  1. Side Squat Reach-Alternating twisting while turning & reaching
  2. Lateral Hop with Reach
  3. Forward/Backward Kick-Right
  4. Forward/Backward Kick-Left
  5. Plie Squat Side Kick-Alternating Add orange band?

WO: Blue means I changed the move 

  1. Twister Leg Lift Sit-ups
  2. Squat Jump with Hammer Curl 15s Goblet Bicep
  3. Lunge Back & Kick-Right 20s
  4. Burpees
  5. Lunge Back & Kicks-Left
  6. High Knees
  7. Alt SL Deadlifts 20s Chair Elbow Twist Decided
  8. Mountain Climbers
  9. Bulgarian-Right 15s
  10. Russian Kicks
  11. Bulgarian-Left
  12. Mat Jumps  Jumping Jacks
  13. Scissor Leg Lifts
  14. Pushups & Pushup Rows wide feet 20s
  15. Forearm plank – Jack Leg / Leg Lift
  16. Bicycle

Took a long ass break while I figured out what yoga to do next. Usually I’ve got more of a plan but… Finally hit pause on my cheap ass WO timer while I got it together.


  1. Paschmo
  2. Hanuman upright, R
  3. Hanuman backbend, R
  4. Hanuman upright, L
  5. Hanuman backbend, L
  6. Standing arch A
  7. Forward bend
  8. Stanging arch B
  9. Forward bend
  10. Standing arch C
  11. Uttana
  12. Standing arch C
  13. Seated moving twist
  14. Standing arch D
  15. Uttana
  16. Standing arch D
  17. Seated moving twist
  18. Urdhva @ wall 1
  19. Rest
  20. Urdhva @ wall 2
  21. Rest
  22. Urdhva @ wall 3
  23. Rest
  • Some non -vinyasa, 5-10breaths.
  • 5min sirsasana
  • 3min sarvangasana
  • some more finishing, eka pada sirsasana, 1min savasana

1/3 HIIT & 2/3 Yoga

Recovery workout time! I’d have take a rest day if I didn’t already do that twice this week, so a little moderate activity & stretching instead. For this format I often like to take a mini Bender routine & add on. I adapted this set by adding on a single 10/30 jump rope interval before every #d rep based move.

FullSizeRender 3.jpg

HIIT (& reps)

-10 reps ea move w/ the jump rope before = 19-min set. Normally I’d likely change the reps to 16, but this is just the warm-up for some easy stretching.

  1. Squat, Floor Tap 2, 20lb weights Coming all the way down to rest weights on floor & thighs on backs of calves
  2. Weighted Crunch Tap 10lbs Crunch up, holding weight up straight. Tap heels to floor.
  3. 1 Leg Squat (right) 2, 15lb weights Start kneeling w/ front foot in bet weights. Come to standing w/ back leg hovering.
  4. 1 Leg Squat (left)
  5. Weighted Temple Tap Abs 2=1 10lbs
  6. Curtsy Lunge Twist 2=1 2, 15lbs weights
  7. Romanian Deadlift w/ pulse @ bottom 2, 20lb weights
  8. Pull-ups 5 no assist & 10 w/ blue band Bent Over Row Why not right? I haven’t practiced them awhile & in this context it’s low pressure.
  9. Chest Press w/ pulse @ bottom  2, 20lb weights
  10. Hammer Curl and Tricep Squeeze 2, 15lb weights


  • Suryas & fundamentals (w/ the hand standing in suryas
  • First 4 poses of primary, to ardha baddha pada paschimo (Added gomukhasana arms when I set back up from last pose, w/out moving leg in ½lotus, then jumped back)  About 30min to this point & then stopped for notes.
  • Then no-vinyasa twisting single intervals 10/30: ardha matseyen, marichy d, upavistha kona, parighasana, baddha kona A,
  • Virasana, supta vira, malasana, uttanasana, single intervals 10/60
  • Hanuman, Block A and B, Urdhva D (1min)
  • 1min sirsasana (w/ 10 breaths in all the parts past the first one), sarvangasana, then finishing to matseyanasa 10breaths

First blog post • today’s workout

I can’t believe I’m starting yet another exercise blog! Their little lives get shorter and shorter. After I got locked out of my last, public exercise (and other stuff) blog on WordPress, I swore I’d move back to where I started, Blogger in fall 2005, and stay private. Well… after WordPress I couldn’t adapt to the clunkiness of Blogger. It seems somehow like it’s much less reach and/or searchable too, though I don’t have any real sources to base that on.

Anyway I’ve been going with the aimless lately, the path of least resistance, as per Abraham, AH, Abraham-Hicks. Here I am again.

Realized in planning today’s workout that I did ashtanga TWICE last week. That’s unusual. Then I killed myself with a Fit Body by Julia workout yesterday. Today’s going to be lighter. I decided right away to do my 1/3 HIIT and 2/3 Yoga format, first part Ashtangesque and 2nd part more of an ad-lib to my favorite poses of finishing.




Adapted from Quick Total Body Sculpting HIIT Workout, but (15/50) with jump rope before every #d move for a 26min set. Plus I changed the last two moves. I’m sore and sluggish so I decided I’d jump rope as lazily as I like.

  1. Squat Press 30lbs (two 15s)
  2. Spiderman Plank Can elevate feet. Move sort of quickly.
  3. Runner’s Lunge Pulse-Right   touch knee lightly to floor & then extend heel back for stretch. Can hold some weight.
  4. Runner’s Lunge Pulse-Left
  5. Bent Row & Kickback (didn’t wanna do a fly w/ 15s again, right after yesterday, and didn’t want to drop to my 10s) 
  6. Table Leg Press-Right In crab, extend leg forward & then kick up, keeping hips as high as possible.
  7. Table Leg Press-Left
  8. Rock the Boat V-Up Low boat, tuck in w/ knees bent, extend legs straight & up & tap toes
  9. Elbow Tap Side Plank-Right Forearm side plank, tap floor & extend up
  10. Elbow Tap Side Plank-Left
  11. Frog Hopper Hip Stacker I chose a similar move that allows me to work on achieving balance & is both legs @ one time, so I added in one of my favorite ab moves for the last exercise Down Dog Hop-Right 
  12. Pike Slider Abs


  • Suryas & fundamentals
  • some 10/30 intervals