Trick or TRAIN!

Here’s a quick Halloween gym workout to get your heart rate up and your metabolism rocking. For those who have some experience with kettlebells! If you don’t, feel free to substitute with an exercise that you know!

Here’s the breakdown:

Warm Up : 5 minutes – your choice

Workout:

Windmills – 5 each
Goblet Squats – 10
Renegade Rows – 8 each (If using kettlebells, make sure they are on a nice flat surface!)
Single-leg Hip Bridges – 10 each

*Rest only enough to keep good form
*2-3 Rounds total (You can go 4 if you’re really feeling good. )

Finisher: a little cardio blast designed to bump up your metabolism and finish you off. 😉

Star Jumps – 15 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
Plank – 15 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
Hand-to-Hand Swings – 15 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds
Bear Crawl – 15 seconds
Rest – 10 seconds

*Repeat for 3-4 Rounds total

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy Halloween!

 

The Best Fat Burning Workouts

I say all the time on facebook that movement is life. Your body was made to move and it loves to move. Which is why I’m always telling people that sitting for long periods of time is one of the hardest things for it!! When it comes to the human body, it really is a “move it or lose it” type situation. So I encourage everyone to simply MOVE MORE. More movement is always better than no movement….no matter what kind of movement it is. (Have I said the word move enough yet? 🙂 )

I’m also a big fan of finding things you ENJOY doing for movement/exercise (however you want to look at it). 🙂 So for those who are still trying to find something they enjoy doing, I thought I’d list a few of the best workouts that provide both a slimming and toning effect at the same time!

1) Best Cardio Group Ex Class – Spinning

Spinning is an great way to get your intervals in! It’s really good for slimming but not as awesome for toning…except for dem quadz. 😉

2) Best Group Ex Class – Kickboxing

Not only is this a great way to blow off some steam, but kick boxing will have your lunges burning and your muscles aching. Not to mention, using so many muscle groups simultaneously burns major amounts of calories, boosts your metabolism, and will both burn fat and build muscle tone.

3)  Best Gym Workout – Combination exercises

Combination exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time, which in turn also gets the cardiovascular system rocking as well! Check out the video below for a few example of this. You can also achieve a similar effect by doing multiple exercises back-to-back with little or no rest. This kind of workout will increase your metabolism by working multiple systems at once which leads to a definite slimming and toning effect.

4)  Best At-Home Workout – Body Weight Circuits

You’d be surprised how sore you can get from using just your body weight. Not that soreness is a great indicator of effectiveness, but in this case body weight exercises are extremely effective. Between the internet and some pretty creative people, there are now progressions out the wazoo for beginners and advanced fitness junkies alike. Anyone can get a great workout with no equipment at all!

5) Best At-Home Cardio Workout- Sprinting

While sprinting is not appropriate for everyone, it is one of the best ways I’ve found to break through plateaus. Sure, it requires maximum effort but with minimum time commitment and no equipment! It’s a fantastic ab workout. It will send your metabolism through the roof. AND it offers tons of variety! (examples being hills, timed, distance, various sports, etc.)

Hill sprints also gives the dogs a good workout as well :)

Hill sprints with the fam 🙂

 

6) Best Recovery Workout – Walking

It’s the most basic and fundamental movement of the body.

In normal workouts, you’re lifting and twisting and really pushing your lungs and your muscles. To balance that out, you want movement that restores and rejuvenates your mind & body – like walking. Whether it’s in the mountains or around your neighborhood, walking is excellent for hormone balance and stress management and should really be viewed as more of a necessity than an occasional light workout option. (If you’re interested, I go into a little more depth on this over here.)

7) Best Feel-like-a-kid-again Workout :

*Low Impact – Bike Riding

*High Impact – Tie between Sports & Jump Rope

Yep, all of these exercises will make you feel like a kid again….except you’ll remember it being a lot easier back then! 😉

8) Best All Around Workout – Kettlebells

Come ooon, ya had to know I would end here. 🙂 There’s a reason I decided to invest some serious money and start my own kettlebell classes – because I find them to be the most efficient and enjoyable way to workout! They are low impact. They don’t take up much space. They teach you how to move better. They are extremely versatile and offer a total body workout with minimum time commitment. Plus, they’re just fun! 😀 If you’re interested in learning more, here are some more on the whys and hows.

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**Ultimately, the best workout is the one you enjoy! If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll never stick with it and consistency is key to making it part of your lifestyle!

Think I missed something? Share your favorite way to sweat over on my facebook page!

*If you’re interested in learning how to use kettlebells and live in the Colorado Springs area, check out Springs Kettlebells!!

 

So You Wanna Look Like A Superhero… (part 2)

In part 1, I talked about why it’s unrealistic and detrimental to your body and mind to compare yourself to anyone or expect perfection, but what can we take away from our actor friends? The obvi answer is that while they might not look like the perfected version we see on screen or in pics, they do still have to get into good enough shape to look fit!  So what’s their secret?! The answers might surprise you….

When asked what she did to get in shape for Black Widow, Scarlett Johannson’s typical reply is, “I workout like a dude.”

To help Anne Hathaway build muscle and learn to ‘move and react like a cat,’ Anne’s trainer put her through ‘grueling’ routines of squats, lunges, strength training, kettlebells, and intensive circuit training, including ‘box jumps, pull-ups and handstand push-ups.’

Jennifer Garner was known for getting up early to get an hour of full body circuit training in before shooting began.

Jessica Biel’s trainer puts her through circuited weight training and they end with high intensity cardio work, like sprints.

superhero women

So let me break down for you what all of these ladies do to get into awesome shape.

They Strength Train.

You’ll notice, in the picture above, they all look great. That’s 4 different body types that all did strength training and none of them look “bulky”. Whether it’s body weight exercises or with weight, all of these ladies are doing one variation or another of the same big movements:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Pushes (push ups, bench press)
  • Pulls (rows, pull ups)
  • Core work (planks)
  • Hinge movements (deadlifts, swings)

I’m gonna give you a trainer secret right here. Take a look at any athlete, actor, model, trainer, or fitness enthusiast’s workout and you’ll usually see a common thread woven through all their workouts. It’s these movements above and it’s because they work.

lifting

Jennifer & Jessica- lifting weights

Sure there’s always accessory stuff as well. Sometimes to zero in on specific areas, sometimes to keep it fresh and keep the body guessing. But the above exercises are the foundation. Get really good at them and you’ll be well on your way to a stronger, leaner, fitter version of yourself.

They Include High Intensity, Explosive Cardio.

Kettlebells, running sprints, metabolic circuits, these are all versions of high intensity, explosive interval training. Interval training is simply alternating between high and low intensity exercises. The idea is to jack up your heart rate with super higher intensity moves (like sprints, swings, or box jumps) for a shorter period of time, then you alternate between rest and really high intensity work. This is the ideal cardio to rev up your metabolism and fat burning potential.

This type of training is a great substitute for long slow cardio. Even though it’s more intense, it’s been shown that more people stick to it because it takes less time and is more effective in burning fat while keeping muscle tone and improving heart health.

Jessica Biel running sprints

Jessica Biel running sprints

 

They Do Full Body Circuits.

Splitting up the muscle groups and working a different one each day is a body building tactic. Since most actresses and women are just looking to get stronger and more toned, full body circuits is the more efficient way to train. Circuits usually consist of 4 to 10 exercises that you do back to back. Each exercise works a different body part and you move quickly from one exercise to the next with little rest.

The reason most trainers use this is because it’s an ideal way to get the heart rate up and improve strength and muscle tone all in a small amount of time. Again this has major fat burning potential by taxing the whole body and the cardiovascular system at the same time.

They Kept Their Nutrition In Check.

Rarely do you hear an actress talk about getting in shape without mentioning a strict nutrition plan. None of these ladies would have gotten the same results without watching what they ate. Now this goes back to what I was saying in part 1 about having a specific end goal. It is always easier to be really strict with your nutrition when there is an end in sight. (When you hear most actresses talk about it, it would seem they eat pretty healthy on a regular basis but they go really strict when preparing for a movie.)

The point is, if you want to look and feel fit, you must take a look at (and most likely change) your eating habits. Start by keeping a food journal. Nowadays that is much easier with all the apps out there like Calorie King or My Fitness Pal. Sure it’s still kind of inconvenient, but you don’t have to do it forever and it will help raise your awareness so that you can start figuring what needs to change. Most women will realize they are eating too many fats or carbohydrates and not nearly enough protein. But try it out for yourself and see!

In short, for best results your workouts should prioritize full body strength training. Shorten your cardio sessions but bump up the intensity. Start that food journal! And if you feel completely lost or feel like you’ve tried these things without any success, hire an expert and do what they tell you to do. (Trainers are another thing the Hollywood types have in common. ;))

There’s still no quick fix, even for the rich and famous. (OK, no natural quick fix.) But if you’re willing to work at it, you can look and feel amazing! Most importantly remember: Start small. Focus on one habit at a time and make it so easy you can’t fail!

Just another example of actresses lifting some legit heavy weights and not getting big or bulky. (Skip to 1:10-2:05 for the good part.)

I am in really great shape!

Penny testimonial

I started taking Beth’s kettlebell class a year ago, just before I found out I was pregnant with my second baby. I have always been a runner and ran through my first pregnancy, but was unable to keep running through my second. Kettlebells were great for me during that time because I was able to stay in good cardio shape while strengthening my body in a way that was low impact. Since my baby was born I have been excited to see how kettlebells have helped me get back into shape and lose weight so quickly. For the first time in my life, I feel like I am in really great shape overall because kettlebells are a regular part of my fitness routine!

~Penny

 

*Interested in Colorado Springs kettlebell classes? Check out my in-home training studio, Springs Kettlebells!*

I look forward to class each week!

 

jes testimonial

“After the birth of my fourth child in less than five years I decided that since the baby factory was closed it was time to try to get the body I had always wanted. After procrastinating and wondering if there was really anyone who could help my post baby bod I finally broke down and decided to just try out Beth’s kettlebell class. She was so good about making sure she didn’t throw too much at me all at once and really took the time to make sure my horrible knees and shoulders didn’t get injured. It’s the most intense, fun and rewarding workout I’ve ever had and I’m completely hooked and in love with kettlebells! I dropped 20 pounds in 3 months! And a year and a half later, I’m 36 lbs lighter, 21 inches smaller, and down 4 dress sizes! I’m back into my “skinny” clothes and they are fitting better than before, and I feel great!!! Hard work really does pay off! I look forward to the class each week because I can see the great results of such a hard workout (and my husband loves the results too!). Beth, you’re amazing!”

~ Justine

 

*Interested in Colorado Springs kettlebell classes? Check out my in-home training studio, Springs Kettlebells!*

My conditioning and strength has improved immensely!

pam testimonial

Beth possesses all the qualities that make a great personal trainer – dedication, enthusiasm, and patience. Beth always got the best out of me even when I felt too exhausted to finish. She was able to bring out new confidence in myself especially since I had never worked out with kettlebells previously. My conditioning and strength has improved immensely. Beth is also very knowledgeable with fitness, health, and nutrition. Her cheerful personality and smile is contagious!

~ Pam

 

*Interested in Colorado Springs kettlebell classes? Check out my in-home training studio, Springs Kettlebells!*

Lean, toned, and one wicked hot body to show!

michele testimonial

*Note from Beth: When Michele first came to me, she asked for two things: to improve her strength and muscle tone and to not make her do anything that looked stupid. My first thought was, “Yay! A woman who’s not afraid of lifting!”. My second thought was, “What is she going to think about kettlebells?”

For anyone who has not tried kettlebells, they are not the most natural feeling exercises at first, but they are so much fun once you get it down and awesome for improving strength and tone. So I held off on using them with her until we had worked together for a while and I felt I had gained her trust. Then I introduced her to kettlebells and what do you know… she was a natural! Michele quickly came to love working with the bells and she is one of my faithful followers who encouraged me to start my own business.

It has been a blessing to have her as a client and now here she is: lean, toned, and one wicked hot body to show for all her hard work!

**Interested in Colorado Springs kettlebell classes? Check out my in-home training studio, Springs Kettlebells!*