Bikini Prep | Chest & Arms Workout

We are officially into the home stretch of the school year and our Summer Break starts at noon on Friday!  But, it hasn’t felt very summery here lately.  We’ve been having terrible thunderstorms and one so serious on Monday night that it caused flooding throughout our city and schools had to close.    It was one of those late night storms that had me awake all night because it was so scary and loud.  I don’t know how James slept through it!  Thankfully, we are safe here and just took advantage of the extra day off, but many have been affected and we are thinking of them, praying they stay safe and dry.  If you’ve ever experienced water damage or power outage (I’m remembering Topical Storm Allison that flooded my car and Hurricane Ike where we had no power for 11 days!), you know it’s no fun.  
Dealing with all that yesterday had me behind in getting you a weight-training workout, but I didn’t forget about ya, so here goes!  This is a chest and arms workout my awesome trainer, John Sherman, sent me to do on my own when he was out of town and couldn’t train me in person.  You can visit his website, or contact him directly via email at: if you want more info or are interested in personal or online training/meal plans.

This is typical of the type of workouts we do (4 sets of 4 exercises, 15 reps), and I actually did it again yesterday since we couldn’t train together (his gym had lost power and he was flooded in).  I’m only 7 weeks out now from my bikini contest, so I can’t miss a workout.


As shown below, we do four exercises without stopping, then catch my breath if I need to and do another set.  Each set of four exercises is repeated four times, then we move onto the next set.  The whole thing takes about an hour to do and I don’t really rest much, just stop to catch my breath if I need to.  As far as what weight to lift on the weight-bearing exercises, you lift a weight you can get 15 reps, but the last two should be challenging.  I hold about a 10 pound weight in each hand for most of these. 
Bikini Prep - Chest and Arm Workout
In case you aren’t familiar with the exercises by name, I found some images to help.  

SET #1
Bikini Prep - Chest and Arm Workout
SET #2
Bikini Prep - Chest and Arm Workout
SET #3
Bikini Prep - Chest and Arm Workout
All this bikini contest training got me wanting to share how important the people behind the scenes are and how the support at home really makes a difference.  I have to give a shout out to my husband, who helps so much at home, including grocery shopping and cooking meals we can both eat (I’m living off his meat, mushroom and rice meal this week), and being a great Dad to our son, especially at those times when I need extra sleep or am at the gym.  He never complains, but might have joked, “Oh, she’s alive!” when I sauntered downstairs around 10 a.m. on Saturday morning after sleeping in so late.  
I don’t blog about him much (if at all) as he prefers to be behind the scenes, but he works so very hard and I appreciate it so much. 
Date Night Outfit
shirt | tie | suit (similar) | dress | necklace (similar)
While he would never dream of entering a fitness contest where you had to get on stage, since January, he’s been working on getting in shape and losing weight.  It took me a loooong time to convince him, but he’s also finally training with my trainer!  I love it that he can see how physically demanding the workouts are now!  He really gets it now.  He’s down 10 pounds and 6% body fat. 
Men's Suit
As an early Father’s Day gift (and to take advantage of the Half-Yearly Sale that’s still going on– see my picks for women here), I ordered him some dress shirts from Nordstrom and turns out, he’s a “trim fit” guy now! He always told me before he could never wear that type of shirt and that they were for “20 year-olds”, but those are what fit him best now.  And he’s not in his 20s! πŸ˜‰
Men's Suit and Tie
Since he dresses professionally for work, I got him some ties to coordinate with the shirts.  Only after I got them home did he tell me that the button-collared shirts are more casual for wearing without a tie or for a sport coat and tie, but not a dress suit.  Oops.  
Men's Dress Shirts and Ties
Well, I’m more into women’s fashion anyway, so what do I know?! When you’re in workout clothes so much of the time, it’s fun to put on a dress, even one this casual and easy to wear.  I saw how cute my girl Cassie looked in this racerback dress when we saw each other in Dallas recently, and she got me hooked on it!  It comes in other colors too- so of course I want one of each.  #restraint 
Tildon Racerback Dress
Tildon Racerback Dress
Y’all know I’m loving these sandals too.  I hope you can pick them up before they sell out like my other HWH Everyday Favorite Vince Camuto Sandals did (in brown)!  Hopefully, they’ll restock!
gladiator sandals
As big a part as fitness plays in my life (especially now on bikini prep), our 5-year old son is the true joy in my world.  He is really such a special kid, so kind-hearted, smart, funny, loving and creative.  I know it sounds super corny, but everyday is a delight with him.  Even when we have to discipline or encounter ‘teachable moments’ I just appreciate every bit of it.  
Family picture
shirt | striped dress | necklace (similar) | old Guess heels (similar here & here
Many of you have seen James grow up here on my blog since I started blogging when he was just a tiny baby!  He’s gotten to be such a big kid now!  And to every new mom out there, I can honestly say, it just gets better and better! 
Everyone says he looks just like his Dad . . . 
dress shirt
And they sure are two peas in a pod sometimes with their love of the outdoors (first rolly polly bug sighting below), video games, and legos. #someboysnevergrowup 
And even if I’m on prep and not supposed to be having ice cream right now, it doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy it!  I get lots of questions about how my family eats when I’m preparing for a contest.  I’m fortunate that my husband eats the same as me, but since my son is super picky, we have to fix him something separate.  This is a work in progress to try to get him to try new foods.  How long can a kid only want PB&J for dinner?!?!  He also has yogurt, fruit, cheese/crackers, and milk.  
Even though I’m outnumbered in the boy/girl ratio in our house, I don’t mind! I love being a girly-girl!  And don’t let anyone tell you that lifting weights will make you look manly!  Those women who have super muscle mass and look “manly” probably take some sort of steroids and it took them many, many years to get like that.
Summer Fashion - striped dress with pink heels
Summer Fashion - striped dress with pink heels
Summer Fashion - striped dress with pink heels
Summer Fashion - striped dress with pink heels
Summer Fashion - orange statement necklace
necklace (similar)
So, only 7 more weeks of bikini contest prep!  And though I planned to wear my same suit as last time (it’s aqua), I recently started dreaming of a red one.  I’m thinking that would be hot with red lipstick and my new short hair.  Ah, the suits are so expensive though so maybe I’ll just stick with my same one!  What do you think?? 

And a big congratulations to Stephanie Carlson, that lucky duck who won my $1800 Value Swag Bag Giveaway!  Thank you so much to everyone who entered – I only wish I had bags of swag for each and every one of you! Can I give you virtual bear hugs and kisses instead?!? xoxoxoxo 
keep in touch! 

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Traci Ling Photography
Thanks to Nordstrom for partnering with HWH on this post and for making my hubby look good!

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Meet Megan

Hi! I’m Megan, mom to a thoughtful teenager and spunky young girl. We call Houston home and recently moved into our dream home. I traded my lawyer hat to become a full-time blogger in 2010. I love sharing my passion for affordable fashion, home decor, organization, & fitness to help inspire you to take care of you!


  1. Thanks for sharing your workout! I am in a rut and traveling next week so I will be using your plan as motivation. Best of luck with the bikini prep. It's very inspirational.

  2. Super cute family pictures! James is adorable, and yes, growing up fast. I really do see a resemblance to his dad now. Glad you guys are safe and sound.

  3. Your husband is so sweet to be so supportive of you! I needed some new workouts so might be using some of your exercises tonight πŸ™‚

  4. You're looking great, Megan! πŸ™‚ It's so sweet to see photos of your family – you are blessed! I had to laugh – I found out about the button-down-shirt/tie thing shortly after I got married and my hubby broke the news to me as well. I have 4 younger sisters, so it's not like I was doing much buying for men before that, haha! πŸ™‚

  5. Great arm workout. Thanks for sharing! I really liked your aqua blue suit from last year. Your blonde hair was set off so well with that color. The only thing I would look at is how your tan will show up with a red suit. I tend to be the more financially tight with money but you have already put a lot of money, time and effort into this plan so you want to look and feel your best on stage. You will project it if you feel your best! Consider both. I am not sure this answer was a lot of help…sorry for the analysis. You're going to do great anyway!

    1. Thank for your input. The tan does make a huge difference. I also have to make sure my old suit will fit perfectly this time around. It was measured for my body exactly at show time last year, so for example, if my booty has increased, it might not fit! I haven't even tried to put it on right now. Too scared!

  6. Get the new suit!!! You want to look your best on that stage, you want to have a fresh look, not a suit from your previous competition. YOU deserve it. You work too hard not to!! The red suit will make you feel extremely confident with your red lips! Go for it!!

    Side note: I had an interview and wanted to save money but my friend gave me the same advice, to buy the new outfit. Man, I felt so confident that day in an outfit I knew looked good and made me feel good. And…I got the job! Now go win that completion in your new suit! ?

  7. I have to say it's so refreshing to hear that your son is a picky eater especially since your so healthy! My son is about 6 months younger than yours and is so picky too! I'm glad I'm not alone in this battle! Good Luck!

    1. Oh Hanna, you have no idea! It feels like my big failure as a mom. I feel so guilty about his limited diet. And he HATES to try anything new!

  8. I think you should get that new RED suit! There is a whole mindset and attitude that goes with putting on a NEW suit for a show. You have put so much hard work in to it, GO FOR IT!

  9. Get the new suit!! I love red and I feel like a new suit that you're excited about will boost your confidence on stage!!

    If you don't already have a designer that you love- my friend runs a company called Perfect Fit Gear… You can find them on facebook or at They do lots of suits for competitions that my friends have been in and do a great job!

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