Monday, April 30, 2012

Fun with Bands!

Have you ever worked out with these before…
Resistance bands are a great way to get in a workout no matter where you are because they are so light and portable. You could easily sneak these into your luggage while you’re on vacation or simply have a set at home if you can’t get to the gym.
Here are a few of my favorite exercises to perform with resistance bands:
1. Squat to press (Place bands under feet, hands gripping handles of resistance bands, squat down then as you rise up from the squat, raise your hands into an overhead press)
2. Band Rows (Place the bands around a pole or tree and pull handles behind you as you face the tree/pole. The further away you are from the tree/pole, the more resistance and harder the exercise.)
3. Band Chest Press (Place the bands around a pole or tree and pull handles in front of you while facing away from the tree/pole.)
4. Band Walks (Place bands under feet and hold handles near hips. Step out to the right then out to the left. For more resistance, try crossing the band in front of you.)
5. Lateral Raise/Front Raise (Place bands under feet and lift your arms out to the side for a lateral raise and to the front for a front raise. Keep your arms straight through the exercise.)
So here’s just a few exercises just to get you started. Experiment just a little and you can find a lot of different things to do with the resistance band!!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Skipping Rope

Back in the day, I remember when I could skip rope for hours and hours and hardly break a sweat. Now this same activity is quite the workout!!
It doesn’t seem to matter how physically fit I think I am, jumping rope always kicks my booty and gives me a great sweat session. In this morning’s boot camp, we did a lot of jumping rope (and lots of shuttle runs too…remember doing these with erasers back in elementary school?)

Here’s the jump roping circuit that we did…
1. 30 seconds of straight jumping (30 seconds of rest)
2. 30 seconds of side to side jumping (30 seconds of rest)
3. 30 seconds of heel tap jumping (30 seconds of rest)
4. 30 seconds of toe tap jumping (30 seconds of rest)
5. 30 seconds of high knee jumping (30 seconds of rest)
If you’re a great jumper, increase the work segments to 60 seconds but keep the rest at 30 seconds for each exercise. Complete the entire circuit 2-3 times. Hopefully this little workout will help to channel your inner child!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Ultimate Exercise

If I had to pick just one exercise that was great for both strength and cardio conditioning I would have to choose the BURPEE. It’s kind of a silly name for such an intense exercise. The basic burpee has 5 components…


1. Squat down and place your hands on the ground in front of you.

2. Jump your feet out behind you so that you’re in the top of a push-up position.

3. Perform one push-up.

4. Jump your feet back in towards your hands so that you’re in the crouching squat position once again.

5. Jump up into the air with your hands above your head.


Not only will you be strengthening your upper body, lower body and core with this exercise but you will also be getting some great cardio in as you spike your heart rate.


Try this burpee challenge during your next workout…Start by doing 10 repetitions (5 if you are just starting out), then rest briefly before completing 9 reps, then 8,7,6,5….all the way down to 1. Try to take as little rest as possible between sets and time how long it takes you to go from 10 to 1 set of burpees. Try to beat your time the next time you attempt this challenge.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Core Circuit

This was the circuit that we used to end our boot camp class today. It’s a great way to end your workout!
Perform each exercise for 30 seconds and then go immediately to the next exercise.
1. Crunches (AMRAP…as many reps as possible)
2. Plank (HOLD)
3. Bicycle crunches (bring opposite elbow to knee while other leg stretches out)…AMRAP
4. Superman (lying facedown, raise arms up and overhead while simultaneously raising your legs…this is a great posterior chain exercise to balance out the other three exercises!)…HOLD

Repeat entire circuit 2-3 times for a great core workout.

Do this often and you may end up with abs like this…
Okay, maybe not (unless you eat completely clean and have amazing genetics to help you along!)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fitness Test

Here is the fitness test that I put my clients through this morning on our first day of boot camp. We’ll be taking the test every 3 weeks to measure progress and hopefully see some improvement. Give it a whirl and see what you think…
1. Aerobic Test: 10 minute run (You can do this outside with a GPS watch or on the treadmill. Just see how much distance you can cover in 10 minutes. I much prefer running outside but I really like to do my speed work on a treadmill. It makes me work a little harder and there’s no slowing down unless I want to fly off the back of the machine!)
2. Pull Test: Get a pull up bar or use the monkey bars at a local park to see how long you can hang with your chin above the bar. Your palms should face away from you in true pull-up fashion. If you can do regular pull-ups, record how many consecutive ones you can do.
3. Push Test: Record how many push-ups you can complete in 2 minutes. Try to do as many as possible on your toes but if you need to, you can drop to your knees. Take rest breaks as needed.
4. Core Test: Hold yourself in the plank position for as long as possible. Record your time.
5. Lower Body Test: Leg finisher (this was the workout I posted on Wednesday to really finish off your legs.) Time how long it takes you to complete the following circuit:
20 squats + 20 alternating lunges + 20 jump squats + 20 jump lunges
Record your results and revisit this test every now and then to try to better your time or number of reps. Good luck!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Legs on Fire!

I like to do this little bodyweight circuit at the end of my weightlifting sessions. If you do this correctly, your legs will definitely feel the burn by the end!



Leg Suicide:

20 Bodyweight Squats (A nice, keep squat here…at least 90 degrees or below, make sure to keep your knees behind your toes)

20 Alternating Front Lunges (both knees should be close to 90 degrees at the bottom of each lunge with the back knee almost touching the ground, keep knees behind toes)

20 Jump Squats (be sure to get in a nice deep squat before exploding up into the air…this is a great plyometric move!)

20 Jump Lunges (again be sure you get the full lunge in here, with back knee almost touching the ground before exploding into the air while switching legs)

Time yourself and see how long the complete circuit takes. Rest 2 minutes and do it all over again. Your legs will thank you later!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I’m back…with some changes!!

So I’ve had a few requests to start this fitness blog back up again. I’ve been toying with the idea of bringing it back to life and thought that now was as good a time as ever!

A lot has happened in the year since I stopped writing…I had a baby (and that baby is now almost 10 months old!!) I’ve gotten back into the swing of working out again and have lost all of my pregnancy weight plus  a few more pounds. I am currently working as a personal trainer at my gym (Gold’s Gym) for a few hours a week and next week will also be teaching a fitness boot camp three days a week at 6 a.m. I am also starting a new certification to become a Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Life is busy but very fun and I enjoy being involved in so many different things!

I will be implementing some changes with this blog as I start it back up. Before the blog was a lot about how I work out (not a bad thing, but not quite the direction I want to go with it this time around.) I want this blog to help others in their desire to be fit and healthy, so this time I will be including more fitness and nutrition tips as well as some fun workout ideas and challenges. In other words, this blog will be less about me and more about all of you!! I am planning on posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday so be sure to check back on each of those days to see what new things I have in store for you!! Also, if you have any ideas on things that you would like to see included or if you have any questions about anything regarding health or fitness, please let me know.