Full Body Workout (40 minute) – Get ready to get sweaty!

treadmill runningGet ready to get sweaty my friends!  Here’s a 40 minute full body workout for days when you just want to take it up a notch.  For best results sub into your weekly routines one time a week (aim for 2-3 additional days of high intensity/total body workouts).

The value that interval and total body training provide is extremely high!  Doing intervals of high/low intensity helps your body increases the afterburn effect on your body for hours after your workout is over!  Why spend time running or walking at a steady pace for an hour where you will only burn what you see on the machine? Why not add 20 minutes back into your busy life and increase caloric burn all day long!

This workout has 2 parts:  Part 1 Cardio & Part 2 Weight Training

Treadmill disclaimer: These are the speeds I am comfortable with, so please adjust accordingly to fit your fitness levels.  Just remember with intervals, aim to be able to talk just fine when jogging and pick up the intensity during  the sprint phases for max results.  Feel free to substitute treadmill for elliptical or bike if you prefer.

WORKOUT PART 1: Cardio

Warm-up (2-5 minutes): Treadmill walk at comfortable pace (3.0-3.5 mph/1% incline)

Workout: (15 minutes): Up incline to 1%-1.5%

  • 1 minute JOG or easy run (6.3 mph)
  • 40 seconds full on RUN (7.2 mph)
  • 20 seconds SPRINT (7.7-8.0 mph)

Repeat 5X above (approx 15 minute mark)

For the last 5 minutes begin a Walk/Run routine giving your glutes, calves and legs some attention:

  • Ease at JOG pace for 1 minute
  • Every 30 seconds reduce speed by .2mph and UP incline by .5% (stop when you get to about 3.5mph-3.8mph)
  • Once you hit 10% incline reverse back down dropping every 30 secs the incline by 1%

Recover (2-5 minutes) : Stay at 0%-1% incline reduce speed to 2.5mph-3.2mph)

WORKOUT PART 2: Weight Training

You may use dumbbells or cables for this routine (I used one of the cable pulley systems at my gym)

Tri Set ( repeat 3x increasing weights each set 8lb-10lb, 10-12lb, 12-15lb)

  • Front Raises – 12-15 reps with 8lb weights
  • Squat/Rows – 15 reps each arm.  Squat while doing single arm rows 10lbs.  Maintain squat while you switch arms.
  • Tricep Overhead Press – 15 reps 10lbs – While bent over/back straight pull cable with both arms over head until arms are straight. (you should feel it in the back of your arms upon each extension).

Ab Rotation: 15 Rotations each side, repeat 2x.  Pull cable or weight across torso with both arms. Should feel entire core twisting.

Cool down: stretch out arms and legs.  I like downward dog, deep lunges, and traditional arm stretches.

Hope you enjoy this workout! Let me know if you find it valuable!

DVD Review: Angie Gorr

About twice a year, my workout dvd collection starts to bore me and I am ready to invest in a new program to throw in the mix.

After exhaustive research on Amazon, bodybuilding.com, and random forums rating exercise dvds I finally settled on a new one… “Custom Fit” by Angie Gorr.

custom fit by Angie Gorr
Girls this video kicks ass! Actually I liked it so much a few weeks after I bought a second video of hers, “Sweat and Tone”. They are currently thrown in rotation once a week and are one of my dvd favorites already.

I think the greatest thing about both of these videos is the amount of customizing you can do. Only have 20 min? 30? 60? Not a problem! She even let’s you mix up your session between cardio, upper body, lower body and abs depending on your goal.

The quality of the video production is not as dynamic as Bob Harper’s or a Beachbody dvd but the workouts offered definitely make it worth your time. So if you are in the market for a new dvd to “get your beach on” this summer try Angie’s out. She won’t disappoint.

Do you have a favorite workout dvd? What is it and what makes it one of your favorites?

 
Written by Kimberly Hale

Exercising Mistakes to Avoid

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We all know by now how essential exercise of some sort is to our lifestyles.  In fact I came across a recent stat that mentioned those classified as “obese” were putting in less than an hour of exercise a year! There are more reasons pointing to the benefits of exercise than those against it.  So if (I really mean when) you are going to carve out the time to fit in a workout why not make the most of it?

 

Below are 5 exercises pitfalls to avoid to make sure you are maximizing your effort and don’t end up injuring yourself:

 

1)      Putting in the time, but not the effort – folks get into a gym habit, and when something becomes easier they don’t increase the intensity, leading to a plateau in weight loss and no improvement. Too many of us believe 30 minutes a day on the elliptical will solve our body issues, when the reality is, “If you want serious results, you need to do serious exercise.” Make yourself sweat! (http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/sampleworkouts/a/WorkoutMistakes.htm)

2)      Never changing your workout – this issue is in line with the gym habit we just mentioned. Not only do you have to sweat it out, but mixing up your routine is a surefire way to get impressive results. Simple changes like small weight increases or taking a different group class each week will cause quick and noticeable changes in the way your body fits you.

3)      FORM – if you’re not sure about your position, ASK a trainer or someone whom you know is educated enough to help and not hurt you. If you are certain you are doing something correctly, ASK this same person to double-check your form. I’ve said before that small changes add up to big results – just make sure the results are positive!

4)      Be wary of those machines! – “Weight machines… usually focus on one muscle group at a time, and they don’t replicate the way we move in the course of our daily lives,” according to a Huffington Post article. It continues, “For maximum efficiency, try total-body exercises that involve squatting, bending, lunging and reaching.”

5)      …and one for the ladies: Yoga in general is fine during “that time,” but try to avoid headstands. Doing inverted yoga poses not only adds to your flow, but can make cramps much worse! (http://www.womenshealthmag.com/fitness/exercise-during-period#.)

 

Have you heard of any additional exercise no no’s to be avoided?  Let us know!

 

– Kate Milde, Contributing Writer

5 Ways to Exercise at Your Desk

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Photo from Flickr by libertygraceO

Does your daytime job keep your daily activity at bay?  Do you spend 4-9 plus hours a day sitting frantically typing away at email?  If your answer is yes, join the club!  You are one of the 80% of working Americans in that bucket.  However these desk jobs may pay the bills but they also are reeking havoc on your health!

Studies show that the longer you sit or are sedentary throughout the day, the shorter your life span will be.  Yikes, that’s a bit hard to swallow.  So if you love your job, you can’t get around sitting at a desk for work, what can you do?

Here are 7 easy ways to weasel in a few easy exercises/health steps you can do at your desk to help combat the dreaded health outlook for us worker bees:

1. Lunges are your butt’s best friend!  Get up and move that body.  Challenge yourself to do 50 lunges throughout the day at your desk (no that’s not too much to ask!).  Whether you bang them all out at one time, break them up by tens, or do a morning and afternoon session this will ensure you boost your heart rate and work off that extra cellulite hiding a toned backside. How easy, right?

2. Stretch out your sides!  Get your upper body moving with some side bends and a few back bends. If you really feel like getting crazy throw in a few shoulder and head rolls!  You’ll immediately feel a difference if not a bit of energy from stretching out your spine.  For an added challenge add some weight whether there’s a 5lb dumb bell in your cube or a heavy book/piece of equipment. Don’t forget to say ahhh!

3. Take a walk.  Try to make sure you are getting up once an hour or hour and a half max.  This will get your circulation moving and will give you an opportunity to fill up a glass of water and meet your daily water needs.  Have a pedometer?  Great! Chart your progress throughout the day…. 10,000 daily steps is possible you just have to make time for it.  Don’t have a pedometer?  i strongly encourage you to get one, heck you may even surprise yourself with amount of steps you take a day.

4.  Flex those muscles: invest in some light weight to keep in your cube 2-5 lbs max. Try to fit in 3 sets of 12 bicep curls before lunch and repeat after lunch.  You’ll be so proud of yourself and after a little while should notice some definition in your arms.

5. Downward dog baby! If you do not have a private office or enclosed privacy cube then this may be a little tricky to do without your coworkers wondering what on earth is going on over there! Go ahead and swap for basic runners calf stretches. If you are so lucky or are not intimidated by your coworkers, go ahead and make sure before the end of the day to wrap up with a downward dog.  This will stretch out your whole body especially your calves and legs.  Downward dog is wonderful for increasing your overall  flexibility.

6. BONUS TIP:  If your workplace allows for it, swap your detrimental desk chair for an exercise ball.  Sitting on that throughout your work day will keep you sitting up straight and actively working your core muscles all day long!

These are just a few ideas to weave exercise into your workday.  I hope this inspires you to try one, two, or all 6 tips for fitting a workout into your daily 8 to 5 routine.  not only will adding this in break up the daily monotony but exercise also may help you from crashing at 2pm or raiding the meeting leftovers in the break room.   Every little step counts!

Have any exercises you’ve looped into your work day?  Any advice to share from one desk job worker to another?  Let us know!

DVD Review: Bob Harper’s Yoga for the Warrior

Sometimes everybody needs a little zen in their life. You know that kind of feeling where you are calm and mellow but ready to take on the world? Yoga for the Warrior is that kind of feeling. I love a good yoga class where I can work up a sweat but also leave feeling like I can take on whatever the day throws at me. The fact that Bob’s video brings that kind of feeling in the own comfort of my home is amazing.

I have tried various home yoga DVDs and have found a lot of them to be boring, monotonous, or just plain confusing. All completely opposite of that cool, relaxed feeling I’m supposed to have. When I first picked up this DVD I was skeptical given the bad rap so many other DVDs out there tote. Simply put I don’t like videos wasting my time.

Typically cardio and interval training videos are my forte since I’m light on time and want to get the max benefit out my workout. But yoga has such awesome benefits for your body like flexibility, strength, a “centered” feeling….that I had to find a way to incorporate it into the weekly mix. Let’s just say I got my money’s worth purchasing Bob’s video.

Yoga for the Warrior runs 60 minutes and comes equips with a second workout for yoga abs. Bob takes you through a full array of common poses ( sun salutations, the warrior series, tree, triangle etc.) and also more challenging poses (awkward airplane, bird of paradise, wheel). He also takes the workout to a whole new level with heart rate raising bursts like chaturanga push-ups and downward dog shoulder presses.

All in all I highly recommend you give this video a try. Its a tough workout but leaves you feeling amazing when it’s over. Do half of this video and you’ll still finish feeling flexible and calm.

Yoga for the Warrior is great as a stand alone workout and also fits nicely as a second workout. What I find works great is 30 minutes cardio or strength followed with 30 minutes of this yoga video.

Tried this video or have another great yoga DVD you recommend? Let’s hear about it!

What Does Your Body Shape Say About You?

Written by Kimberly Hale

Four body shapes of females.

Four body shapes of females. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Body type can play a huge role in maintaining a healthy life and healthy weight.  Do you know if you are apple or pear shaped? How about Banana bodied or the envied Hourglass?   Knowing this information can give us a lot of insight into what types of nutrition and exercise our body needs to perform at its best and it also tells us how our bodies are “pre-programmed” to distribute fat.

Below will help you figure out your body type as well as the health risks.  I’ve also included overall nutrition and fitness recommendations to perform at your best. Because I’m queen of workout dvd’s I also included recommendations for anyone looking something new to try within their body type.  All are great for anyone though…

Apple Shaped:   Broad shoulders, small hips, and a thicker waist- athletic builds fall into this category too.  This shape has to be particularly careful due to how they store fat.  This puts them automatically at a higher risk for heart disease and diabetes.

  • Nutrition Tips: Eating a well balanced diet is key.  Try and avoiding large amounts of carbs, saturated fat, and sugar.  These three items are huge contributors in fat storage and reducing consumption is advised.
  • Exercise Tips:  cardio and interval training will do the trick here.  Strengthening your core with planks is excellent too.  Just remember, fat cannot be spot treated, solely focusing on crunches or planks will give you rock solid abs hidden under a layer of stomach fat!  You have to remove that layer if you want to see results. (DVD Recommendation: Jillian Michaels 6 Week 6 pack or Killer Abs)

Pear Shaped – Those having a pear shape tend to store all their fat around the hips, butt, and thighs (Heelloooo Kim Kardashian!). 

  • Nutrition Tips:  This body type has an increased challenge with their metabolic rates.  An overall healthy diet is the key to success here as well as eating those foods that keep your metabolism going and strong.  Try eating smaller portions and more frequently throughout the day.  This will keep you full and your metabolism firing.
  • Exercise Tips:  Aside from a healthy exercise routine, lunges and kicks can be your best friend.  Focus on exercise to build muscle and reduce fat on your hips, thighs, and butt.  (DVD recommendations: Jeanette Jenkins kickboxing dvd, or Bob Harper’s Ultimate Cardio Body)

Banana Shaped – These bodies are long and lean with no distinct differences in waist, bust, or hip ratios.

  • Nutrition Tips:  Eating a high protein filled diet will help with building muscle definition that this body type is so often challenged with.
  • Exercise Tips:  Because this body type is so long and lean, one of the biggest challenges they face is building muscle tone. Working on toning, building muscles in the legs, arms, and back should help overall strengthen this figure.  (DVD recommendations: Pure Barre dvd’s,  Jackie Warner’s Power Circuit Training)


Hourglass Shaped
 –  big shoulders/bust, big hips, and a tiny waist.  (Think Marilyn Monroe)

  • Nutrition Tips:  Eating a well balanced diet is the best recommendation here.  Hourglass shapes can also follow recommendations for pear shaped as they both share in common larger hips compared to banana or apple shapes.
  • Exercise Tips:  further defining shoulders and legs would be a great suggestion here and paying attention to toning tummies/back muscles to further highlight that so coveted hourglass.   (DVD recommendations: Bob Harper’s Yoga Meltdown, The Firm’s Get Chisled.)

These are just a few suggestions/recommendations for the different body types.  Did you find your type?  Once you know your body type you can further customize how to approach nutrition and fitness so that you can maintain your best form.  I’ve tried to just give you a guideline and insight into how much of a customizable nutrition/fitness program you can make to target specifically what your body needs.  Afterall there is no “one size fits all”.  What shape are you?  What is or isn’t working for you?  Let us know!

Sources:

3 Easy Ways to Exercise Everday

Window shopping at Simpsons department store. ...

Fitting in a solid exercise routine is not easy. For the greater majority of us the thought of waking up and going to the gym or class or going for a run seem less and less appealing as the week goes on.  Believe it or not there’s a reason for that too.  Most people start their week off physically and mentally strong but as the weight of the world, lack of sleep, and busy daily schedules add up day after day after day you soon see exercise is not the problem but everything else is!

American Heart Association, lists a minimum requirement for daily exercise as 150 minutes a week or roughly 30 minutes a day 5 days a week.  Other recommendations will tell you to aim for about 10,000 steps daily or just under 5 miles.

How much of that requirement do you meet on a daily basis?  No matter if you’ve got the insane drive it takes to stay on your daily program rain or shine or if you happen to fall off the weekly wagon, shit happens sometimes.  Simply put, that darn thing called life gets in the way leading to even the best intentions falling to the wayside.  We’ve all been there and may currently be there while reading this post thinking, “shit I knew I should have set my alarm earlier this morning.”  Which is why we have to account for that and we have to get creative in the way we approach being active so make the most of our time.

Here are 3 ways you can reap the benefits of the exercise when the practicality of a busy life takes over:

1. Do your chores: Have laundry to do?  How about vacuuming or sweeping the floor?  If you’ve let those chores slip what a great easy way to knock two birds off with one stone!  Gardening is another one of those tedious but necessary things to maintain.  Weed away to torch calories and work on your arm muscles! Through doing these easy weekly tasks you are exercising your body which counts.  (Extra Tip: Feeling extra ambitious?  Wash the floors that will get you feeling refreshed (or sweaty) and your house looking in tip-top shape.)

2. Go shopping: Holiday shopping can never start too soon. Go to your local mall and walk, even if it is just to browse. Bonus points if its nice out and the mall is outdoors! All those window shopping steps add up.

3. Park and walk: this one applies no matter where you are. If you are capable of walking make it a point wherever you go during the day to not park right up front. Park down the block or at the end of the parking lot and walk. Even better if its close enough ditch the car altogether! Less wasted gas + less pollution + health benefits from exercise = 1 pretty sweet deal. (That means cabs and public transit too… get out a block earlier or if feasible a stop early)

Hopefully these ideas will help you see there are lots of things you can do that can fall under the “exercise umbrella”.  Just keep in mind that a true exercise schedule is still king.  A solid exercise routine can be difficult with the amount of dedication, focus and determination that it requires to keep on a schedule no matter rain or shine. These ideas will help you patch the rough spots/days of the week where you just can’t get the motivation, energy or time to stick to your routine.

Ultimately, exercising makes you feel better.  It lifts your spirits, is great for your health and makes you say, “damn this shirt looks good on me.”  So do yourself a favor and carve away some time even if it’s through the three ways mentioned above.

How do you incorporate exercise when a busy life gets in the way?  Share your method with us so we can all learn and walk away with a pointer or two!

Written by Kimberly Hale