Workout Review: Shift Shop

Shift Shop

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a new trainer in the Beachbody house and he goes by the name of Chris Downing coming in with an explosive 3 week program called the Shift Shop.

How the program works

Simple three-week program (round 1).  Each week are two new cardio and strength training workouts each progressing in difficulty and time.  First week strength and cardio workouts are alternated 6 days a week/25 minutes a day. Second week ramps up same progressions of cardio and strength except slightly more difficult and 35 minutes a piece.  Last week ramps up again with sessions lasting 45 minutes. Throughout the three weeks you will also occasionally add in an ab focused workout and stretching.

The Workouts

Cardio 25, 35, 45 – high intensity intervals at 60 secs a pop

Strength 25, 35, 45 – multi-functional weight training recruiting both legs and arms simultaneously for an added burn

Abs – work your transverse abdominals, rectus abdominals, obliques and back

Stretch – much needed relaxation and stretching of muscle fibers to get you ready for the next challenge

Results

Debatable…  so I tried it.  I had not done an intense cardio based program in a while.  I had spent time focusing on muscles and lower intensity cardio workouts so initially these workouts were a challenge but definitely strengthened my muscular endurance.

While I enjoyed the program where I have issues is in the results.  Now I didn’t take it the whole nine yards and do the meal plan nor am I specifically talking about my results.  I wasn’t in it to try and change anything significantly or lose weight etc.  I just wanted to try out the new trainer.  I like Chris, he’s funny, keeps you going and makes the time fly.  I also love that his workouts include your whole body in training for agility and balance. By all means you are definitely in a pool of sweat by the end of pretty much all of the workouts in the program.

Where I go sideways is with results I am seeing posted online.  I’ve browsed tons of before and after pics for the program and honestly, I’m not impressed.  I mean I get that this is meant to charge you up and set up a pattern to keep you motivated to workout.  However where I have a problem is the sheer volume of intensity these workouts pack with little to no difference in visible results when you are done.  Why beat yourself up six days a week for little compensation?  You know?

That said, I do think this workout program would be a great fit post holiday season after overindulging or as a way to increase cardiovascular efficiency.  In fact I plan on saving the next round for those types of scenarios.  However if you are looking for a program to kick your ass AND get fast results I just don’t think this is it.  It really all depends on your goal.

To summarize, Shift Shop was fun.  I made it through all three weeks and was a sweaty mess.  Personally, I just feel there are quite a few better Beachbody programs for seeing results in the same time period.  I will go into some of my favorite programs in future reviews so stay tuned!

Did you try Shift Shop?  What did you think, did it work for you?  Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.  Remember, we are all in this together, one crunch at a time.

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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!

Best Fitness Tracking Devices: You are what you Beep

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Let’s talk fitness tracking devices for a moment. Do you use one for monitoring during exercise or even throughout your day? With the ever-changing tech landscape, these fitness devices are getting more and more intelligent to the point that they know you better than you know yourself!

I use a women’s pink polar heart rate monitor which I LOVE! I’ve had it for five years now and actually just replaced the batteries for the first time last month. But I will tell you frankly, heart rate monitors can be quite annoying at times too. Check out the situation below, ever happened to you?

It’s workout day, but you are so not in the mood. You strap on your watch and start working out. 20 minutes into your workout you are hot, irritated and feel like you’ve been working out for an hour. Every dumbbell lift or squat feels like the hardest thing in the world, only to discover upon looking at your heart rate monitor that your monitor has not jumped to over 50% and you’ve only burned a stinking 50 calories. What a jip!

The above is a situation I find myself in at least once a week. Not to mention that I’m 125 lbs so if I want to burn something as simple as 300 calories in an hour I either need to workout above 75% of my heart rate a good majority of the hour or workout for 90 minutes. Neither ideal solutions.

Point being, fitness devices force you to perform at your best. They set expectations for you and if you don’t live up to them they let you know it. What better way to motivate yourself than that? Whats also great is it’s black and white. You can’t fall into that situation that many people do of overestimating how many calories you’ve burned or how hard your working.

As I’ve been doing some research for my next fitness tracker, below are a few of the top monitors I’ve been looking into that won’t break the bank.

Polar FT4o Women’s Heart Rate Monitor Watch – ($100) – This is the new version of my current one. It tracks heart rate letting you know if you are in a fat burning range, total calories burned during workouts, weekly workouts, and lets you know if you are improving your fitness over time.

FitBit Flex – ($100) The best feature about this tracker is that its more flexible than it’s competitors and since you are wearing it 24/7 that’s definitely something to consider. Not to mention its price point it a bit better than the 2 mentioned below. The FitBit syncs up to IOS and Android operating systems. This monitor tracks your sleep patterns, steps and calories. What’s additionally cool is Fitbit’s platform gives plenty ways to analyze your stats.

Jawbone – ($130)- This fitness device comes in multiple colors and is thin like a bracelet. You wear the band all day and all night and it tracks how active or inactive you are, how many steps you’ve walked, calories burned, and even monitors you sleeping pattern letting you know how long it takes you to fall asleep. It also syncs up to your computer or an iphone app.

Nike Fuel Band ($150) – Worn 24/7 this band tracks your calories, steps, and sleep patterns. It also has LED changing colors to show you how your progressing in terms of activity throughout the day. Sync it up with your smart phone and it’ll analyze your day-to-day so you can get a good idea over time when you’re most active/inactive.

Tried out any of these? Swear by one not on the list? I’d love to hear your reviews…

Written by Kimberly Evans

Skip the Gym & Get a Great Workout

As the dark winter approaches we are more likely to not want to leave our homes to go workout, but instead curl up with some warm food and a blanket on the couch. However that very habit contributes to why we are apt to gain more weight during the fall/winter seasons than spring or summer.

   Alas Ive got great news for you! You no longer need to go to the gym to get in the best shape of your life. You can do this right at home you just have to be willing to make the time for it. Below are 5 common excuses we use to skip working out at home challenged:

1. I dont have time.
A: Make time its as simple as that. There is nothing worse than  complaining about a situation and not willing to change anything to make it better.  Have stairs at home? Use them to do sets up and down…try for 8 times up/down = 1. If thats too easy add more until its too challenging to do one more rep. No stairs use a trunk or step stool. Still to easy? Hold weights in your hands.

Targets: butt, thighs, cardiovascular system

2. I dont know what to do.
A: see above for an idea, look up free workouts online, get a fitness magazine, or just come up with a combination of running in place, squats, lunges, stomach crunches, pushups.

Targets: total body

3. My family is home I have no where to work out.
A. pretty much all low and high intensity exercises can be done in place you only need as much room as a yoga mat would take up. Can you find that space in your bedroom, kitchen,.office, or living room?

4. I have kids to watch.
A: So do I and guess what? She loves watching and imitating what I or the people in the video do while working out. When shes had enough she just goes on with playing with her dolls off to the side. There is nothing wrong with your kids seeing you workout in fact it sets a good example of living a healthy lifestyle.

5. I have no time before work and no energy after
A: Fit it in where you can. 10minutes here 30 minutes there. the mosy important part is getting over the not wanting to workout hump. Once you start working out youll release how much better you feel.,Youll gain extra energy and release stress who can beat that combo!

So I challenge you for the next 30 days to get in min. 3 days of exercise a week. That means you get 4 days off a week!  Let me know how it goes.

Sweat Sessions #1: 15 Minute High Intensity Cardio Burst

We’ve all heard the “I don’t have time to work out” line. Well good news is that any amount of exercise you do is better than not doing any at all. However if that leaves you disturbed and wanting more, see below for an easy 15 minute workout for you to incorporate in your lives 2 to 3 times a week. Feeling bored? Try livening up the exercises by switching the order or adding 3 to 5 lb weights.

Sweat Session Quickie #1 (equipment needed – your own body)

2 minute warmup:

30 seconds circle your arms
30 seconds jog in place (arms low as to not spike your heart rate too early)
30 seconds toe touches(feet spread apart touch opposite arm to opposite leg, switch, switch…)
30 seconds jumping jacks arms fully extended

Workout:

Squat down (watch your knee/toe alignment) jump up (repeat for 1 minute as many sets as you can – normal pace)
Alternating lunges to the front and back, switch repeat for 1 minute
Jump rope (move arms like spinning the rope) for 30 seconds
Jumping Jacks (arms high) for 30 seconds
Stomach crunches lying down arms behind head (straight up and down 30 seconds, then side to side rotations 30 seconds)
Pushups (10 times on your knees if you need to)
Boxing jabs while feet are planted forward throw punches side to side alternating low, middle, high punching for 1 minute
Squat and kick sideways (12 times and switch sides)
Football runs 30 seconds
High knees for 30 seconds
Alternating kicks to the front (12 count)
Alternating kicks to the back (12 count)
Legs turned out and spread apart, pulse in a squat for three counts and jump on the fourth (1 minute)
Jump rope (double jump for those looking for an extra burst) for one minute

Cool down:

Begin by taking deep breaths Move into runners lunge and rotate your torso towards your knee to stretch. Sit down facing forward and extend both legs straight. Lift arms up and stretch far over. Open your legs and stretch side to side. Slowly stand up and stretch your calves. Do 3 slow headrolls each direction and one shoulder roll and you’re done!