Is Tabata Training Right For Me?

What is a Tabata workout? You may or may not have heard this word thrown around increasingly over the last year. If you are looking for a way to torch calories and work your anaerobic and aerobic cardiovascular systems listen up.  Using Tabata training over other circuit, weight or cardio methods is up to 9 times more effective at burning fat.  Holy cow, that’s big news!  Plus the amount of time going through this style of exercise to reap these awesome benefits is a mere 4 minutes! Have the time to spare?

Before you think you’ve found your slice of heaven there is something you must be warned about.  This method is short and sweet and the benefits are excellent HOWEVER, you need to really push it during the workout.  This isn’t for the faint of heart, this isn’t for the exerciser who likes to put in minimal energy or effort.   You need to really bring it.  I’m talking on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s 15-20.

Here’s some video’s to watch before attempting your own go at it:

Ready to give it a whirl?  Here’s a few workouts to try or build up to depending on your current fitness state.  Just make sure you have a stop watch and bottle of water near by. Remember 20 second intervals, 20 seconds rest in between:

#1 Beginner’s Tabata 

Jumping Jacks (as many as possible for 20 seconds…keep arms straight – thumbs touch every time arms come up), rest for 10 seconds

Jog- sprint like you’re in view of the finish line (20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds)

Jump rope – make sure arms are turning just like you had a rope

Squats (as many as you can without your knees extending over your toes)

Repeat all 4 exercises.  Done.

#2 Intermediate Intensity

Jump squats (use your arms and continuously jump no phasing)

Pushups (as many as possible)

High knees

Burpees

Cross country skiing

Jump Rope with leg kickouts

Lunge split jumps (aka Mary Catherine’s)

Butt Kicks

#3 Advanced Intensity

High Knees

Mummy kicks

Burpees

Skaters

Mountain Climbers

Tuck Jumps (these suck but work wonders)

X squat jumps

Mary Catherine’s (lunging split jumps)

The above are just a few examples of Tabata workouts.  You can always increase to 8 or 10 minute workouts if this wasn’t enough of a challenge.  Important thing to remember is that this type of training is high intensity amplified.  So these workouts are guaranteed to fire up that metabolism and keep it up long after your workout is done.  Just remember no matter how much you workout, you can always overeat what you burn so choose wisely.

Written by Kimberly Evans

How Do You Define Hot?

strength training sweat session

Ah, the age-old quest for a rockin hot body. But have you ever stopped to think about what that means to you? Is a hot body one that is 365 bikini ready? Or maybe it means a healthy body or even more just being comfortable in your own skin. That’s hot right?

Well, whatever definition you choose, consider this: what does looking the way you want to take to achieve? How much time do you need to acquire that “killer body”? Is it daily workouts at the yoga studio or kickboxing boot camp or low carb diets? As you start to learn what your definition is its at that point you can take a look back and see how much that’s worth to you and frankly if it is realistic. Also what additional requirements are needed to help fit in the process? Is it costing you a fortune in online supplements or $98 “trendy” yoga pants?

Where am I going with this? Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves to fit in a category we consider “elite” that we lose sight of those more important things in life-like family and friends. Even our already tight wallets take a hit. It is in recognizing this that we discover if there is a need to adjust our hot body definition.

As I am in wedding mode now, I am determined to keep up my daily routine and “your so conscious of your diet you make others want to gag” regime. But once the bells have rung I plan on re-evaluating my definition of healthy to fit into a working plan that can benefit me and at the same time allow me more flexibility to spend more time with family and friends.

I now realize that it is unrealistic to expect I will always be a size 2 and I am finally confident in saying I accept that. I know given my Virgo background and anal retentive ways I will also never slip on my size 12 clothes again..Its a balance that frees us , keeps us sane and helps take our focus off the less important things and put it back where it belongs on our loved ones.

What is your definition of a hot bod? What changes would you like to make in your own lives?  Please share below.

Written by Kimberly Evans

Weight Training for Wedding Day

English: Winterhalter does a one-armed pushup ...

As I may have mentioned a few weeks ago I am getting married this year!  Wedding day is officially under 5 months from now and it’s at this point where I get my game face on and dedicate these last few months to fine-tuning my exercises and eating right so that strapless mid back dress looks stunning on wedding day.  (Insert cheesy smile)   Afterall we can’t have the dreaded case of “back fat” popping through in pictures!

People have begun asking me questions like are you nervous?  How are plans coming?  Have you been super busy with wedding planning?  How about planning timelines or wedding collage books? My response to their questions is pretty much always the same: Uh… nervous?  No.  Freaking out? No…  Overwhelmed with wedding plans?  No!  What the hell should I be?  Now, it’s not that I don’t care because its my wedding of course I’m thrilled it’s just that my mister and I have been dating for 7 years,  we have a child that’s almost four and we live together so that nervousness of what to expect or what have you is just not there.  I’ve had the last 9 months to research, interview, and select vendors compile guest lists and centerpieces and pick out my dress and cake.  I’m sure a few details will accidentally get forgotten until last minute but I know regardless of my freaking out  when that happens it will all end up fine.

So that said this leaves me with time to make sure i look great in my pictures for the wedding!  I’ve already had a final dress fitting so my size is exactly as it is today.  My gown is floor length so although legs are an important powerhouse, it’s my arms and back that take center stage. But as the fact remains true you won’t make much progress on anything if that heart rate doesn’t fire up (aka use your legs too).

I’ve highlighted below a few exercises I’ve been doing a few times a week (trying for every other day) to whittle those arms in shape.

Kim’s Bridal Boot camp Recommended Upper body Weight Training Exercises (each exercise consists of 3 sets 12-16 reps each set – weights 5-10lbs)

  • Pushups  – regular pushups, chataranga pushups, downward dog  yoga pushups (great for back muscles)
  • Planks (side plank, front plank, one leg plank, elbow plank…  any and all planks!)
  • Pendulum lunges with bicep curls (50 each leg)
  • dead lift with flies
  • Squats with shoulder press
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Windmill arms with weights
  • Tricep dips (oldie but goodie)

 

Written by Kimberly Evans

3 Summer Drinks for Bikini Bodies (Guest Post)

girl drinking summer cocktail

It’s getting warmer, and the temptation to lounge poolside with a nice cold cocktail is growing ever stronger.  Many ladies think, “If it has fruit in it, it must be better for me than the other drinks out there!  This is a dangerous train of thought.

You need to watch your liquor levels – each shot has about 100 calories!  Substituting a “Skinny” liquor saves you 70 calories per shot compared to common brands, if you are anything like me and like to enjoy a good buzz without the guilt.

I’ve picked out three top summer cocktails from www.Health.com, and modified them so you won’t hurt your bikini-wearing goals while enjoying them:

 

1) Sangria (Approx. Calories per Serving: 123)

Red wine contains antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease.  Don’t forget to eat the fruit garnish for an extra dose of vitamin C!

Ingredients: Makes 1 pitcher (20 drinks)

    • 1 (1.5-liter) bottle red wine
    • 1 cup rum
    • Lime Mix (1 cup fresh, strained lime juice + 1-1/2 cups Splenda + 1-1/2 cups water)
    • 1½ cups orange juice
    • 1 cup lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite) or Collins mixer lemon-lime seltzer
    • 3 oranges & 5 limes, sliced into wedges for garnish

Directions: Combine first 4 ingredients and refrigerate overnight.  Add lemon-lime seltzer no more than an hour before serving.  To serve, pour sangria into ice-filled glasses, and garnish each with orange and lime slices.

 

2) Grapefruit Mocktail, By Bridget Rush, Rockaway, N.Y.  (Approx. Calories per Serving: 86)

This light and refreshing drink is alcohol-free, but it could easily be a mixer for vodka or rum.

Ingredients: 

    • 3 oz. red grapefruit juice
    • 3 oz. cranberry juice
    • 2 oz. seltzer
    • Wedge of lime
    • Sprig of mint

Directions: Mix grapefruit, cranberry juices in a shaker with ice.  Pour into tall glass, add 2 oz. seltzer.  Finish off with wedge of lime.  You can add a sprig of mint too.

 

3) Slim Screwdriver, By Elizabeth Sprague, Altamont, N.Y.  (Approx. Calories per Serving: 80)

Diluting the orange juice with diet 7-Up cuts calories and adds a nice fizz.  This drink is ideal in warm weather.

Ingredients:

    • Orange-flavored Vodka
    • Orange juice
    • Diet 7-Up or Lemon-Lime Seltzer
    • Oranges, sliced for garnish

Directions: Fill a glass with ice, add a shot of vodka and a splash of orange juice.  Fill the rest with diet 7-Up/seltzer.  Mix.  Garnish with a slice of orange.

 

Do you know of any other tasty low-cal cocktail options?  Please share them here; we’d love to see what you are drinking!  Cheers!

Contributing Writer, HoneyCrunched Kate Milde

Cinco de Mayo Celebration Guilt Free

Dancers at the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival i...

Dancers at the annual Cinco de Mayo Festival in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guilt free Mexican food? How on earth can it be so? As you prep for Cinco de Mayo breathe a sigh of relief in knowing you can still party without starving yourself for three days before or have to worry about spending the next day running off the guilty tequila hangover. Below I’ll walk you through a few simple substitutions so you can still enjoy the festivities whether you stay home or head out.Celebrating at home?

Nachos unloaded – crave nachos with all the toppings but shriek when you think of the sodium and fat counts? Cooking your meal at home gives you the creative freedom to swap as you please.

  •  Sub out the deep fried chips for reduced guilt or salt free unfried versions and go easy on your quantity.
  •  Pick an extra lean cut of ground beef or turkey and add lime and chili powder instead of sodium dense taco seasoning.   Want to go meat-free?  Try Boca or Morningstar’s versions of  meatless crumbles
  • Top your nachos with a scoop of fat-free refried beans, trader joes has a fantastic version
  •  add fresh diced avocado tomato.
  • add cheese pick a reduced fat version.

Tacos – Who doesn’t love tacos?  Have you tried them with ground turkey? If you’re looking for an”authentic” taste minus the fat, add diced onion, cilantro, lime juice, lemon juice and chili pepper or paprika after you’ve browned the ground turkey. Add a few corn tortilla’s tomato or salsa, lettuce and voila you’re all set!  Add a side of black or pinto beans to complete your meal.

CevicheWhat goes better with a nice margarita then some refreshing ceviche?  It’s super easy to make all you need are a few of the ingredients below.  Enjoy with a  1/2 serving of tortilla chips.

  • Marinade cooked shrimp with lemon and lime juice
  • Diced up 1 Serrano pepper
  • Add in diced avocado
  • add cilantro, salt and pepper to taste
  • Mix ingredients together and let chill in the fridge for an hour beforehand.

* Margarita – Try mixing in Skinny Girl margarita mix with a lemon lime sparkling water.  Add a bit of rock salt to the glass and you’ve got one tasty low cal alternative.

Going out to celebrate? Click here for some low-cal substitutions you can make when at a restaurant.

Have any good swaps I didn’t mention?  Please share your tips:

Written by Kimberly Evans

Nutrition Debunked: Fact vs Fiction

Have you ever stopped to wonder if some of those health tips you hear are really true?  Are canned vegetables really worse than fresh or frozen varieties?  Will I really gain weight from eating a big meal at the end of the day?

Well, take a big sigh of relief I may have found an answer for you to those unresolved nutrition questions!  I came across some slides on Slideshare that debunk what’s fact versus fiction and make some overall good nutrition recommendations.  Click through to view the slides.

Which are you more surprised about if any?   Share in the comments below.

Written by Kimberly Evans