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Pool Circuit Workout

Pool Circuit Workout

After so much running in the past year, I was ready for a change after finishing my first half marathon in February.

Swimming quickly took over cardio workouts, and it has been such a great escape from pounding pavement, trails, and the track. It’s low-impact but steals your breath and gets your heart racing.

As a kid growing up in Florida, I was a fish. I spent hours in the pool on weekends and during the summer months. Everyone I knew had a pool, and swimming was the main attraction at nearly every party and sleepover. I also took lessons every year up until I was about 12.

So after getting back into swimming (P.S. that whole muscle memory concept is so true), a friend and I decided to take our steady, 1000-meters-straight swims to another level. Say hello to our crazy cardio/muscular endurance pool workout.

Let me warn ya – it is no. joke.

Pool Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

If you’ve never formally learned strokes, definitely ask a swimmer friend for some instruction or take a formal lesson. If you’re a Michael Phelps in training, dive right into the workout (haha). Below are videos for the uncommon exercises.

Warning – the pool wall push-up/muscle-up is KILLER on your front delts. The first time you do it, you’ll wake up the next day wondering what the hell happened.

Pool wall push-up/muscle-up

Four-count flutter kicks

Plank with alternating leg lifts

Good luck!!! 🙂



  1. Are you a fan of swim workouts?
  2. If so, what’s your favorite swim workout?


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Lately + 5×5 Circuit Workout

Lately + 5×5 Circuit Workout

Words can’t even begin to describe everything that’s happened since I last stopped in. A lot of good stuff. Some bad stuff. But that’s life, right?

The good . . . competing in the Army ROTC 6th Brigade Ranger Challenge competition!

Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Competition on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Taryn Boyer

Ruck running 30 miles in two days with added challenges along the way is, without a doubt, the most grueling thing I’ve ever done.

I’m SO grateful to have had the opportunity to compete as the only female from the University of Florida. My body literally ached from head to toe, and there were times when my mind told me to give up, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat if that meant I would work with eight of the kindest, strongest, most motivating guys around again.

Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Competition on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

I don’t remember running miles in the rain with gear in full combat uniform or the blisters on my feet. When I look at this patch, which I’ll wear on my uniform for the remainder of my ROTC career, I remember the laughs, the motivation, and the teamwork.

Army ROTC Ranger Challenge Competition on Hungry Gator Gal

Photo by Brianna Kolota

So what went wrong after the competition? Unfortunately, I walked, actually more like hobbled, away with a bum knee in addition to a cool patch and a t-shirt. The injury sidelined me from all high-intensity exercise for nearly all of February.

Boo injuries. 🙁

Despite the setback, it was almost a good thing I was injured. I focused on spending time with family and friends, recovering from two back-to-back colds and catching up with schoolwork. In addition, I learned a few valuable lessons that anyone who’s serious about exercise should pay attention to.

  1. Stretch or die.
  2. Don’t ramp up your routine too much, too hard and too fast.
  3. Embrace rest.

More to come about these topics in a separate post. For now, check out this AWESOME circuit I created on the fly while at home on spring break. It’s very back-to-the-basics and hits every major muscle group, if you perform the exercises correctly.

Check out the tutorials below this image if you’re unsure about how to do a particular exercise. As always, move as quickly as you can between exercises but rest as needed. I rested for 10 seconds between exercises and 1 minute between circuits.

5x5 Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

Exercise tutorials:

Did I mention the workout can be completed at home and requires only one piece of equipment? Gotta love a good garage workout with the pull-up bar.

P.S. The +Spotify “House Workout” playlist is killer. Give it a listen while you try this workout.

Until next time,
Brianna 😉



  1. What are your favorite at-home workouts? Links are always welcome. 🙂
  2. Do you own an at-home pull-up bar?


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150-Rep Lower Body Challenge

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Upper Body + Abs Circuit Workout

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Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout

If you’re new to weight training, this upper body workout might not be for you. However, if you’re a seasoned lifter who’s ready to shake up your routine, get ready because this advanced workout is KILLER.

This challenging, high intensity plan combines circuit training and drop sets to leave you completely and utterly exhausted by the final rep of each exercise.

Circuits allow you to work on aerobic conditioning while the sets allow you to work onr muscular endurance.

In other words, you’re getting more bang for your workout buck. 

Upper Body Drop Set Circuit Workout from

Video demonstrations for the exercises:

When I train hard in the gym, I train HARD. I’m talking about the let’s-make-sure-I-can’t-lift-anything-tomorrow type of hard.

Now you may be thinking, “Don’t you work out five or six days per week? How can you go hard all the time?’

Well, the truth is that I don’t go full throttle every day because I don’t want to over train. I like a mix of hard, moderately hard and easier workouts, which you’ll see if you check out my workout log.

Although this opinion is based purely on personal experience, I don’t suggest you complete a workout like this one more than twice per week. You’ll end up doing more harm than good because you won’t have enough time to recover, especially if you work out more than three times per week.

With that said, I encourage you to try this workout if you’re a fitness veteran who’s stuck in a rut or if you’re looking to improve muscular endurance. This workout is a doozy. Let me know if you give it a try. 🙂 


  1. Do you incorporate circuit training and/or drop sets into your workout routine? If so, many times per week?


Helpful articles about circuit training and drop sets:

What Is Circuit Training?

What are the Costs and Benefits of Circuit Training?

Definition of Drop Sets in Weight Training

Creative Drop Setting

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Total Body Burnout Circuit Workout

Total Body Burnout Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

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Push and Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal 

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Upper Body + Abs Circuit Workout from

Quick Bicep & Tricep Blast Workout

Quick Bicep & Tricep Blast Workout

Sometimes it takes that extra push to see strength gains and definition in your upper body. That’s where this workout can help. 

Quick Bicep & Tricep Blast Workout from

I’ve been adding three to four rounds of this super speedy circuit to the end of my back and shoulder workouts twice per week. This little workout takes 10-15 minutes if you move quickly and has helped me improve my upper body strength. I’m no Cameron Diaz, but I’ll continue to work for guns like hers.

On that note, I just want to say I don’t want to be THAT healthy living blogger who posts obnoxious selfies from the gym. However, I do want to show you my progress as a little inspiration. I started with ZERO strength and definition in my upper body, but here’s where I’m at today after a year of eating healthy and working out regularly,

My life was insane during my final year of college, so I couldn’t spend two hours in the gym every day. However, I kept working toward gaining upper body strength and am excited to finally see results. You can too with hard work and dedication.

And maybe sometime in the near future you’ll want to wear this tank from Activate Apparel’s website.

Let me know if you try this circuit. I’d love to know what you think! 🙂


  1. How often do you perform upper body workouts?
  2. What are your favorite biceps and triceps exercises?

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Push + Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout

Push and Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

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Push and Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout + Being Both a Nerd and a Muscle Head

Push and Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout + Being Both a Nerd and a Muscle Head

Despite what you may think, you can be both a nerd and muscle head. They’re not mutually exclusive things. Just read this article.
Some of the smartest people I know are some of the fittest people I’ve ever met. A guy with one of the top-10 GPAs in my high school class went to West Point, and one of my life-long friends was both an decorated swimmer and a top student in her nursing class at UF.
So what do all of these people have in common? They LOVE TO LEARN. As a self-proclaimed nerd and fitness fanatic, I can honestly say we’re always up for a challenge, whether it’s in school or at the gym.
While studying for the LSAT, I made a goal to increase my upper body strength. Although it sounds crazy, working toward both a higher score and strength gains kept me sane. When I wasn’t reading passages on practice tests, I was researching workouts that increase upper body strength. 
After trial and error, I found that alternating push and pull exercises in one upper body session works best for me. In the past six months, I’ve experienced significant gains in upper body strength by doing a full upper body workout with push and pull exercises two times per week on nonconsecutive days.
Seriously though. Just check out some of my Instagram pictures to see the bulging biceps. I hadn’t taken photos of myself in a while, so the recent ones surprised me.
You can try the workout below if you want tickets to the gun show too.
Push and Pull Upper Body Circuit Workout from Hungry Gator Gal

In this free weights workout, you alternate two “push” exercises with two “pull” exercises in each circuit. It’s a quick but efficient plan that targets your chest, biceps, triceps and shoulders.

I’ve read conflicting articles about whether you work back muscles or not when doing push-ups, so feel free to add an exercise that isolates your back muscles if you have the time. Two of my favorite back isolation exercises are bent over dumbbell rows and back extensions.

I’m not a certified fitness professional, so please speak with one to determine if it’s safe for you to complete this workout.

Stay tuned for a post later this week about how I maximize the results of my workout by fueling my better. Let me know if you try the workout. I’d love to know what you think! 🙂


  1. Do you have fitness goals? If so, what are they?
  2. How do you balance work/school with fitness?

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Photo courtesy of The Fashion Dealer