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!!

 

Vday Partner Workout

Honestly I’m perfectly content working out by myself most of the time. However, it is more fun to workout with someone and I think most people prefer it. So in the interest of Valentine’s Day, I present to you: a partner workout. It’s a quick one too, so you can get your metabolism ready for the delectable grub you plan to enjoy mindfully later tonight, right?. 😉 So grab someone you love and give this spicy number a try!

me & my bestie makin' our workout fun

me & my bestie makin’ our workout fun

It’s called I Go, You Go. The idea is one person works while the other one rests and vice versa. So there should always be someone gettin’ their move on!

Warm Up:

14 Hip Bridges

14 Walking Lunges

14 Plank Handshakes (Position yourself head to head in starting pushup position. Alternate shaking hands.)

30 Jumping Jacks (cuuuz 14 jumping jacks is like, nothing.)

Workout:

*For a couple of the exercises I gave a kettlebell option and a body weight option. PLUS, there are 2 ways to do this next part, so it’s kinda like a choose your own adventure. I know, fun, right?!

  1. Set the timer for 15 minutes. The 1st person goes until they cry “mercy”, at which point they tag out and the 2nd person goes. Rotate through the exercises circuit style until 15 minutes is up!
  2. Each person does as many reps as they can until, as a team, you reach 100 reps of each exercise. You can switch back and forth as many times as you need to get to 100.

Goblet Squat or Prisoner Squat (as fast and as low as you can go)

Pushups

Alternating Lunge Jumps

Mountain climbers (1 rep is when both knees have hit the chest)

Double KB Swing or Burpees

*A couple things to keep in mind: Any time there is no set rep range, only go as long as you can with good form. And if you don’t want to feel completely trashed at the end, don’t go to failure on your first set…or ever for that matter. Oh yeah, and have fun!!

**If you’re looking for something extra at the end, two words: plank competition. Always.

partner wo

Two of my favorite things: my hubs and kettlebell swings

Is Your Cardio Making You Fat?

Hi friends! Thanks for checking out my first ever blog post! My hope for this blog is simply to provide you all with some answers, encouragement, and inspiration to help you on your journey to becoming the sexy beast you’ve always dreamed of being. I’ve been a little nervous about starting this up, so I decided to start with one of the most common questions that I get.

For any of you who know me or have been following my page for a while, you know that I am a huge advocate of intervals. What many don’t know is I also used to be a huge runner. (Like 6 days a week, thought I would die if I missed a day, type runner.) So I love getting the question, why should I do intervals?

cardio boredom

For those who are unfamiliar with the term, interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. At a glance, a person might not know which category to put this activity in, but try some out for yourself and you’ll figure out pretty quickly (if you’re doing them right) that intervals should be filed under the “Cardio” category. This is in contrast to what we call steady-state cardio where you move at the same pace for one longer chunk of time, like running.

You see, most people still think of running as the ultimate cardiovascular exercise. So when they want to get back in shape, it’s the first thing they go to. However, there are 2 big problems with this. First, running is an advanced exercise. I came across this quote a while back and it’s stuck with me ever since:

“You can’t run to get fit, you need to be fit to run.”

Here are a few fun facts for you: running is a plyometric exercise. Running one mile takes approximately 1500 steps. Running can produce forces 2-5 times your body weight per foot contact. Imagine, if you will, a new client comes to me wanting to get in shape, so I say, “Great! Why don’t we start with 1500 single-leg box jumps?” That client is gonna say, “Fool! You cray cray!” and is probably never coming back. (…if they’re smart anyways.)  -which is what most people do when they use running as a way to get back in shape. January 1, yeah baby, I’m gonna go run 5 miles! By January 14, everything hurts…so glad I didn’t join that running club! Here’s my point: most bodies cannot take the kind of repetitive stress and damage that running often creates.

The other big problem comes in only if your #1 goal is fat loss. The research is in, folks. The “fat-burning zone” is not as magical as we were led to believe. You see, your body is crazy smart. The more you hang out in this “magical” zone, the better your body gets at storing fat because it has become your body’s primary source of fuel. Your body is also super B.A. and will adapt pretty quickly to steady-state cardio, which in turn means you will burn less and less calories the more often you do it. (Depressing, and yet, kinda awesome all at the same time….)

When you perform short bouts of exercise at a very high intensity followed by lower-intensity exercise, your body is able to process lactic acid build-up, therefore reducing fatigue. This method allows your body to burn calories at a faster rate. Not only that, intervals also stimulate production of your human growth hormone (HGH) by up to 450 percent during the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This means that intervals will kick your metabolism into hyper-drive thus causing your body to continue burning fat for the next 24 hours – unlike running (or any other steady-state cardio) in which your body will stop burning extra calories within 30 minutes of stopping. 

So to review, intervals will increase your metabolism and help you burn more overall calories. All of this and I haven’t even gotten to my favorite reasons to do intervals. Sweet sassy! BUT before all you runners out there start staging a coup, let me say this: I am not trying to make running out to be the enemy. Here’s what I tell my clients. If you love to run, then by all means, run. I still enjoy going for a run from time to time as well. Just know why you’re doing it. If fat loss is your goal, strength training and intervals should be priority. And be kind to your body. Work up to it by starting with a solid base of strength  first and, for heaven’s sake, stop when things start hurting and figure out what’s causing you pain.

Now without further ado, here are my top 2 reasons for why I do them, have my clients do them, and why you should add intervals to your workout routine:


1) They keep boredom at bay.  Intervals are fun because there are endless possibilities when it comes to creating an interval workout. First off, you can use just about anything you want…kettlebell, medicine ball, battling rope, jump rope, a bike or just your body weight. Anything that is going to get your heart rate up quickly will do. Second, you can use a set amount of time or a distance to determine how long you want to go. Sprint up the hill, walk back down. Go hard for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds or 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off OR 60 seconds of work and 40 seconds of rest. The interval world is your oyster. Have a little fun, would ya!

2) They are efficient. Ooo boy, do I LOVE when stuff is efficient! (Seriously, ask anybody who has ever ridden in a car with me!) These babies will not only burn more fat, but they’ll do it in less time! Most people don’t have time to add 30 minutes on the hamster wheel..ehem, I mean treadmill to their workout routines.  Try 4-15 minutes TOTAL. If you’re working it like you’re supposed to that should be plenty of time.

Bonus) They are awesome for your heart. Have I mentioned that interval training will make you better, stronger, and faster! (Did anyone else just have Kanye’s Stronger start running through their head? No? Just me? Aight.) That’s right runners. Changing it up will give your body a much needed break and work some other important, and most likely under-used, muscles in the process. Plus, pushing past your usual comfort zone will make you faster because intervals are awesome at improving your overall aerobic capacity. It’s a win-win-win! Huzzah!

explosive cardio

So here you are. You’ve read the article. You feel like you are seeing clearly for the first time in ages and are pumped to try it out! First off, you’re gonna need a clock where you can clearly see the second hand or an interval timer. My personal favorite is the Gymboss. You can check that out on Amazon. However there’s also this really cool app on the iPhone called Seconds Pro that will do the same thing for around $4.99, I believe.

Here are a few of my fave ways to do intervals…..

*Pick an exercise and rep range. Let’s say 15 swings or for those without a kettlebell, 8-10 burpees. For 10 minutes, at the top of each minute you will do your chosen exercise and then rest for the rest of the minute. 10 minutes and you’re done…in more ways than one. :)

*Tabata style: 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest. 8 times through. Alternate between body weight squats and mountain climbers. Boom. 4 MINUTES TOTAL.

*And a more advanced one for my runner friends out there: hill sprints. No timer required. Find a hill. Sprint to the top. Walk back down. Repeat 10 times. Thank me later.

So try these out and let me know what you think! Remember be kind to your body and have some fun with it!