weightsbgtimage by dthoskins

If anyone were to ask me today what single exercise that I think that everyone should be doing on a regular basis, my answer would definitely be the deadlift.

Of all the resistance training exercises that I have done, the deadlift has had the most noticeable impact on both my physique and my overall health.  Great for the buns, hamstrings, and especially the lower back, this exercise mimics movements used in everyday activities such as BENDING OVER AND PICKING SOMETHING UP.

I decided to incorporate this exercise when I began to hear a loud groaning noise every time I bent over followed by a gasp when I stood back up.  Sound familiar?

There are two types of deadlifts that you can try.  The first is the Romanian deadlift which is described below via

  • Step 1: Start with the barbell in front of your feet and bend over and grab the bar about shoulder width apart.
  • Step 2: Bend slightly at the knees, lift the weight upward to your waist.
  • Step 3: As you lift the weight to your waist thrust your hips forward.
  • Step 4: Lower the weight down to mid-shin level and repeat exercise. You should not lower the bar to the ground.

The second type of deadlift is the stiff-legged or straight-legged deadliest.  It’s important to note that the stiff-legged deadlift can cause injury if done improperly.  Here is an excerpt regarding the stiff-legged deadlift from a most excellent post by Krista of

…There are some important lessons here.  First, never do this exercise as a maximal lift. Do not test your 1 rep max, do not go to failure, and do not use a 100% effort. Treat it as a light endurance and conditioning exercise only, rather than a go-hard-or-go-home movement like I did.  Focus on using the glutes and hamstrings to drive the movement. And if you have a history of back pain and injury, especially a disc herniation, pass on this movement. There are many other options for glute and hamstring training.

Note that she is referring to the stiff-legged, not Romanian deadlift here.  The whole article is great and was one of the first things I read when I became interested in weights.  I strongly encourage you to read her full article on deadlifts HERE.

That’s a lot of info, but don’t get overwhelmed!  Just practice the bending motion with no weight to begin with and slowly add as you gain confidence.  Also, if you’re at the gym and you see someone deadlifting (with good form) ask them to watch you.  Maybe you’ll find a training buddy!

Remember to always check with your physician before starting any new exercise regime!

day trip: Cave Run Lake

Enjoy the fresh fall air by taking a hike in beautiful Morehead, Kentucky.

Whether you’re driving the length of the Zilpo Scenic Byway, or hiking a trail in this section of the Daniel Boone National Forest, Morehead is a great daytrip for taking in scenic vistas.

Above:  View from the top of the Cave Run Dam on the Licking River



Clockwise from the top: Tree canopy on the Fire Tower Trail;  Lake view from the top of the mountain on the Zilpo Scenic Byway;  Picnic lunch included sopressata, manchego cheese, olives, dolma, and apples.


Happy hiking!

grandma sprinkle {guest post by alice greene}

From the moment I heard the exciting news that my sister-in-law was going to be a Grandma, I just knew that she was going to need a Grandma Sprinkle.  You may ask, “What is that”?    Well, it’s a baby shower given for the grandmother of the baby-to-be when the circumstances are either that the grandma is going to be the “baby-sitter” while the Mom and Dad work and therefore needs to be equipped with doubles of all things baby.  Another reason for a sprinkle, as was the case with my sister-in-law, is when the grandma lives so far away from the baby that she will need lots of reminders of her new role like photo frames, photo albums, etc.  and probably will not be able to attend any of the regular showers that the parents-to-be will be attending.

Since this is a fairly new concept for some folks, I included a list of items that guests might purchase along with the invitation to the Grandma Sprinkle Lunch.  Things on the list in addition to the photo frames and albums were a piggybank (for the grandchild’s college fund), a proud grandma t-shirt, a new grandma mug, grandma memory books and even a website that contained lots more gift ideas.


photo by dthoskins
Since the Mom-to-be loves all things astrology and zodiac and since she was doing her son’s nursery in a jungle animal theme, I found these adorable Jonathan Adler zodiac mini-notebooks at The Dandelion Patch and purchased the astrological sign for  each of the guests .  I also visited a zodiac website and printed out the attributes of the new baby as well as the signs of our guests.  It was a fun topic of conversation for the table as we decided if we each fit the characteristics that were listed.



photo by dthoskins

For the centerpiece at the table, I used a “grandma mug” that I had purchased and filled it with colorful flowers.  I presented it to the grandma to take home at the end of the lunch.  By the end of the “sprinkle”, my sister-in-law not only had a wide array of grandma items but felt the love and excitement that is reserved only for grandmothers.

As a proud grandma myself, I would encourage BGT readers not to forget those important Grandmothers when welcoming a new little one into your family!



Alice is a native Lexingtonian and quintessential southern lady, who enjoys cooking, baking and entertaining.