Tag Archives: Circuit training

21-Day Shred Time

So it’s the last three weeks of prepping for my contestand it’s time to shred! I’ve been doing really well eating and exercising, working hard (except for my little ice cream vacation). It just so happened that at this time, I saw that celebrity trainer, Ashley Conrad, had a 21-day “Clutch Cut” programPerfect. With my main coach, Chris (aka Hungry), giving me the thumbs up to do this program, I was excited to get started. Click on that link and you’ll see the program. It’s a lot of high-intensity stuff, cardio, lifting, and nutrition. You need all three to make a difference.

Building up my back and shoulders

Building up my back and shoulders

I just finished Day 3 which was a rest day. I’m not a huge proponent of rest days for myself during this contest, especially on week days, but I did the best I could. All I did on Day 3 was run a mile and do some core. No lifting. Day 1 was an intense circuit with 15 minutes of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) on the treadmill. All in all it was probably a little over an hour for the workout.  And it was good. I would love to do this with my clients. I would recommend it to anyone who’s trying to build muscle and burn fat. Here it is:

  • Clean and press
  • Overhead med ball throws
  • DB rear lunge
  • Pushups
  • Bench dips
  • Sprint in place
  • Bodyweight squat
  • Lat pull down
  • Med ball jumping jacks
  • Incline pushup
  • DB curl
  • Lateral raise
  • 1 arm row

photo 1 (17)

For pictures and instructions, check out the link above. For this circuit, you are supposed to do 4-6 sets (I only had time for 4, but got a killer workout) with 30 sec rest in between (I didn’t take the rest to increase cardio). It was great and hit all parts of my body. Two days later, my hamstrings are still sore and those are sometimes hard to hit for me so yay! There was also a core circuit at the end you can check out.

Day 2 was a killer cardio workout. I used the treadmill (she says you can use treadmill, stairmaster, bike, or whatever). It was 25 minutes of intervals:

  • 60 second walk
  • 30 second jog
  • 60 second sprint

It was important to put your all into this and I did. I did so much so that I had a headache for the rest of the day and was exhausted (oops for working out early). It really worked me hard, and that’s what HIIT does, which is why I LOVE it.

photo 2 (12)

For the nutrition part, I’m just doing what I have been, eating clean: lean protein, complex carbs, and healthy fats. Keeping me strong and healthy. She says to go gluten-free, but I don’t completely do that. I’ve followed my plan and it’s working well this program. If you’re looking to build muscle and cut fat, do this program! I’d love to have someone to do it with anyone for the next 3 weeks–the more the merrier! Use this Fit-approved program to stay hungry and fit!

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FUN TOUGH SUMMER CIRCUIT

Here is an infinitely challenging but tremendously fun circuit that can help you develop lean muscle mass, athleticism, and cut down for the summer. It is a high-intensity exercise that can even be modified for HIIT if you are very goal-oriented. Otherwise, it is a great full body workout that contains some elements that are a little bit outside the box. The order of the exercises can be changed and some can be substituted or left out depending on what fits your needs best. Remember that there is no single workout that can help everyone equally. This is part of the reason that you will hear me constantly not recommending INSANITY or P90X or other similar products. Everyone’s body is different and requires different needs based on their strengths, weaknesses, injuries, goals, etc. But for everyone that is just looking for something a little strange that can still get your heart rate up and challenge you to push yourself… here is our FUN TOUGH SUMMER CIRCUIT.

The circuit is designed as six exercises with no rest between exercises. You run from one station to another and immediately begin the next exercise. After a set of all six, you then rest. I set it up for thirty-second rounds with a rest of 30 seconds after the full six exercises although you can play with these numbers depending on certain variables. Ask below if you are more curious about what I mean.

The goal is continue completing full sets until failure, which means you either give up mentally or physically. I would hope that your legs become jelly and you just can’t do it anymore, instead of getting hurt or giving up. I would shoot for five rounds although if you go all the way through twenty rounds I wouldn’t stop you. Just be careful, like always. Here are the exercises that are demonstrated and explained in the YouTube video linked above. (PLEASE feel free to like the video, comment, subscribe and share it with EVERYONE!)

1. Dynamic Ball Slams – This activates your upper body heavily, your core and your legs. Control the ball fully and dynamically lift it and slam it to the ground before picking it up and repeating. This will really help develop a strong back and shoulders.

2. Punching Bag Flurry – The goal is not to strike the bag as hard as you can or properly but rather to keep your body moving. In the video I use knees, elbows, shins, forearms, palms, fists and everything else. I keep it varied so I don’t get bored but too also activate different muscles. Don’t stop until that timer is finished so that you really challenge your body to push itself.

3. Jump Rope – Singles – Now we move away from the upper body somewhat and start to focus on our legs and getting our heart rate very high. You can absolutely do different jump rope techniques here although I used single jumps. Doubles, crosses, steps, and everything else is fine but keep moving. I will do a post on jumping rope at some point to give you more ideas.

You don’t need to jump this high

4. High Knees – This is a simple exercise but do it properly. Actually get those knees up towards the sky, through your chest. Explode off of the ground with all of your legs, including your hips. Once again, push yourself to continue until the timer ends and you feel those quads burning deep.

5. Over Jumps/Lateral Hops – Your legs probably feel like jelly after one round but you need to dig deep and find a groove. Most of these exercises are based on rhythm and mastering the motion. Complete full jumps with safe landings, absorbing the impact throughout your body. Watch your ankles on the lateral hops and avoids slick surfaces.

6. HULA HOOP – Really? Of course! This is a great way to take the stress off your upper and lower body as you use your core to keep the hula hoop off the ground. Then take some time to get a drink and REPEAT over and over again.

photo (17)

Again, watch it here on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFnPqWTp8mk

For individuals that want a challenge, try doing this with ankle or wrist weights or even a weight vest. It can be a great workout for an athlete of any level! And it’s fun! Fun workouts are one of my favorite ways to stay hungry and fit!

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Enter into Beast Mode: Spartacus Workout

Some of you may have heard of this, some of you may have not. But if you do this right, it is an amazing, kick-butt workout. We do it with each other sometimes and sometimes I will put my unfortunate clients through it. Chris knew about this before Men’s Health even did. He’s been doing it forever.  Depending on how many rounds you do, this workout takes no longer than 30 minutes. It is a fat-burning, muscle-burning, lean-making workout. Don’t miss out on this one! You can find its original site here.

There are 10 stations1 minute per station. 15s rest for transition. 2 minute break at the end of each circuit. 2-3 circuits. One minute may not sound like a lengthy bit of time, but once you’re in the circuit, pushing yourself through the muscle-ripping exercises, it seems more like an hour. Let’s get started. Grab dumbbells that are manageable for 15-20 reps. Don’t go too heavy or you’ll die.

1. Goblet squat. Grab a dumbbell and hold it like a goblet and then do proper squats.

1001-goblet-squat-483x300.jpg

2. Mountain climbers. Get in a tripod position on your hands and toes and bring each foot for ward towards your head and then back, and rotate.

1001-mountain-climber-483x300.jpg

3. Single-arm dumbbell swing. Grab a dumbbell and get into a crouched position but keep the shoulders back and look forward. With one arm, swing the dumbbell above your head, straightening your body as you do so. Bring it back down and switch arms.

1001-dbell-swing-483x300.jpg

4. T-pushup. This one is almost always a killer. Get into a pushup position with your arms straight, using the dumbbells as pushup grips. Do a pushup and then turn your body sideways and lift the dumbbell up as if you’re doing as side plank. Then do the other side.

1001-t-pushup-483x300.jpg

5. Lunge jumps. Just what it sounds like. Hold a dumbbell and jump between lunges.

1001-split-jump-483x300.jpg

6. Dumbbell row. Bent slightly forward with both dumbbells in hand and row towards yourself.

1001-dbell-row-483x300.jpg

7. Dumbbell side lunge and touch. Lunge to the side with your dumbbells and touch the floor with them.

1001-dbell-side-lunge-483x300.jpg

8. Pushup-position row. Get into a pushup position using the dumbbells as grips again. This time, don’t do a pushup. Instead, row with each dumbbell towards yourself.

1001-pushup-position-row-483x300.jpg

9. Dumbbell lunge and rotation. Lunge forward with a dumbbell and twist to the left. Lunge with the other leg, twist to the right. Repeat.

1001-dbell-lunge-rotation-483x300.jpg

10. Squat press. Perform a squat with two dumbbells in hands and at the top of your squat, do a shoulder press.

1001-dbell-push-press-483x300.jpg

All images from Menshealth.com

And that’s ten. Remember, 1 minute each with only 15s rest for transition. Try for 2-3 circuits. Remember to take 2 minute rest in between, so that your muscles can perform adequately the next round. This is a BEASTLY workout, and all you need are dumbbells. This can be done anywhere! No excuses! The perfect workout to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Up close and personal with Nymeria

Up close and personal with Nymeria

20 Minute Core Blast

If you’re interested in shredding your abs and developing a strong core, this non-stop core ripper workout is the one for you. This requires no equipment (except a stopwatch or phone), all you need is a ground of some kind. It can really be done anywhere. This is to be done with no rest in between. That means it’s going to be really tough. If you need to break in betweeen, you can. 20 minutes is a long time to do things non-stop. That’s what’s so great about circuit-style: burn fat and calories while building your physique. Every exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds, unless otherwise noted. Let’s do it, here’s the list (with some amateur pictures, too):

Planking--keep it tight!

Planking–keep it tight!

  • Crunches
Mid-crunch

Mid-crunch

Reach!

Reach!

Mid-bicycle, keep it slow and extend

Mid-bicycle, keep it slow and extend

Mid-row, push legs out and in

Mid-row, push legs out and in

Just hold it!

Just hold it!

photo 2 (3)

Hips up and down

Turn in and then extend arm straight up

Turn in and then extend arm straight up

  • Side touches

It’s a long list.  And amateur pictures with a messy apartment in the background (oops). Repeat as many times as it takes to get to 20 minutes (if you have the time).  Do your best, try with no rest in between. Remember, each exercise is to be performed for 30 seconds unless otherwise noted. This is a great way to get that six-pack ready for summer! Use this quick workout to stay hungry and fit! 

Fat-Roasting, Glute-Burning Leg Circuit

After a 2 mile run around McIntosh Lake (see the run here), I decided to get my leg workout in the fast, no-break circuit kind of way. For this, it’s best to find yourself in a park, a beach, a backyard–somewhere with some space. But of course, if you’re locked in an apartment in an Alaskan winter, you can always modify it for small space too. This is a great workout for those who have little time and want high intensity. Let’s do it!

Lock n Load Legs Circuit

1. Lunge 20 feet (or for 20 seconds). You’re going to lunge yourself to your first “station” in this circuit.

2. Scorpions until failure. These work the hamstrings. Go on all fours, lifting one bent knee up and down behind you. Do it until you can’t do another rep. Switch to other leg.

Quadruped hip extension

3. Lunge 20 more feet to the next station (or 20 seconds). Think about a triangle as a formation that we’re doing (the stations set up in that way).

4. Plie squat until failure. The link has the best full description. Start in horse stance, squat down, then lunge left and then right! These are killer on the glutes and quads. Do them until you drop.

5. Lunge 20 more feet to next station (or 20 seconds stationary). ‘Nuff said.

6. Step ups until failureFor this, I had a little grassy incline that I used. If you’re at home, you can use a chair, a couch, or a coffee table (just don’t tell your partner!). Or at the beach, build up a little sand incline. You get the idea. Step up and drive the knee up every time. Until you can’t step up another time!

A super blurry older picture of me performing a step up

7. Doggies until failure. For this, you’re on your hands and knees again. Kick your leg back and then a full rotation around back to starting position. This targets your glutes. The more you do, the more those muscles will tighten up. Do them until failure and then right away on the other side.

And repeat as much as you have time for. Again, this can all be done stationary in one place. Just try to keep it non-stop. You can rest and have water in between the whole sets, but to get that burning, cardio effect, just keep going! Have fun and stay hungry and fit!

Home Workout Thursday: Push Muscle Group

Sometimes we neither have the time nor drive to get ourselves to the gym. That’s when you do a home workout. No matter what, you can always get a workout in! This workout will focus on our push muscle group: shoulders, chest, and triceps. For best results, do 3 sets. But hey, one is better than nothing! So if that’s all you have time for, that’s fine. Cardio exercises are 1 minute each. Strength exercises are until failure. NO REST IN BETWEEN EXERCISES.

  • Equipment Needed:  Dumbbells, a floor (…)

Ready, set, go!

  • Jumping jacks – 1 minute
  • Chest press – Until failure

  • Triceps extension – Until failure

  • Mountain climbers – 1 minute

  • Arnold press – Until failure

  • Side triceps extension – Until failure

  • Boxing (with weight) – 1 minute
  • Pec flies – Until failure

Again–NO REST IN BETWEEN EXERCISES. You can, however, rest after each set. Let’s shoot for 3 sets. Use the heaviest dumbbells you can manage, really get your muscles tired and worked out. Let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below! You can always get a workout in, even if you don’t have a gym! And remember…stay hungry and fit! 

MMA Circuit Training: New Workout!

Hey everyone, so this might be a first on the blog site. I am going to provide you with one of my personal workouts for you perform. This one can be adjusted to fit your current level of conditioning. It also has a great progress tracking system. It’s essentially a full body workout that is meant to get your heart rate way up into the cardio-building and even fat burning range. If you haven’t subscribed to our YouTube channel make sure you do. As I am getting in better shape, I will be posting free workout videos! It’s like I’m personally training you, but it’s not quite personal… and it’s FREE!

You perform five exercises. Each for a set number of reps. You do not rest between exercises. Rest 30 seconds after each round. Then repeat until you are exhausted and cannot complete a round. That is when you stop. This one can be done at home or in the gym or a park. It requires no equipment but some can be used to make it more challenging. It’s very simple but very effective. Here it is:

1. Roundhouse kicks – 20 total
2. Split jumps – 10 total
3. Mountain climbers – 15 total
4. Elbow strikes – 20 total
5. Burpees – 10 total

I recently did this one at the end of a very long muscle workout and stopped only in Round 4 so I’ll be taking a rematch very soon! I haven’t done cardio in a VERY long time so once I start it up again I’ll have better luck.

Feel free to add some wrist weights, ankle weights, a weight vest, or use a standing or hanging bag in order to challenge yourself further. Use ALL OF THEM if you are a beast and want to stay hungry and fit!

Quick Home Workout (Starting at Just 10 Minutes!)

So you really don’t have a lot of time, but you want to get some kind of cardio and strength activity in. Maybe you’re running off to see Jack the Giant Slayer in 15 minutes, but you want to get some muscle work in (hmm, sounds familiar…). This one ended up being a great core blaster with great upper body work as well.

home workoutAnd that’s my delightful chicken scratch! Do as many sets as you have time for. You can do one set in 7-10 minutes, depending on how long you last until failure. The weight for curls, rows, and press is up to you! You should get a light sweat and feel it in the abs and upper body, at least I did. Do them right, no rushing! If you have any questions on the exercises, feel free to comment and ask!

Cheers! And as always…stay hungry and fit!

Love Yourself: 30-Minute Total Body Blast [NO EQUIPMENT NECESSARY]

Hey, lovers and self-lovers out there! Today may be a day to splurge on chocolate, pastas, and fine wines (we are personally ordering pizza and kicking back since I work late), but it is also a day to show your body some love! You can’t be unfair and only treat your taste buds, treat your body too. Find 30 minutes out of your busy day to kick your own butt! In a kind and loving happy way. This is a home workout, you don’t need any weights–just keep moving! So no excuses! Keep a water bottle nearby.

30-Minute Circuit Total Body Blast

We are going to be doing a circuit of 10 stations for 1 minute each. Think you’re ready? Let’s do it!

1. Jump rope. Whether you have an actual jump rope or not, do this at a fast pace.

English: into the groove double dutch jump rope

English: into the groove double dutch jump rope (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Plie squatsMore information on these if you click the link, these should be done slowly.

Here's me with weights, but they are unnecessary for all

Here’s me with weights, but they are unnecessary for all

3. Push-upsMore information at the link, you can do them regular or knee-style, whatever your strength level is at.

Push-ups

4. Mountain climbers. These are quick. The faster you go, the more you burn!

5. PlankClick the link for more information. Make sure you’re doing this right or I’ll sit on you.

6. Supermans. For these, you are on your belly and you lift your arms and your legs, with your torso still on the ground. You go up for about a second and then down, and then up and down, etc.

7. High knees. Hold your hands/arms parallel to the floor at a high level and kick your knees up to try to get them to your hands. These are FAST.

8. Lunges. Hands on the hips in starting position, lunge out forward with one leg, then back, lunge out with the other leg and back. Make sure that back leg is getting low to the ground.

9. Dips. Using a bench, a chair, a couch, anything really, hold onto the object, facing away from it and dip down, using your triceps.

10. Russian twists. Sit up with your legs off the ground and twist your shoulders back and forth (your whole torso), hitting either side with your hands. Make sure you are doing a full twist.

X3. To do this full workout, you must do this circuit three times. And 1 minute at each station (use an iPhone, a timer, stopwatch, something to keep track of time). You may need rest in between, but get a sip of water and try to keep going. Keep that heart rate up and the sweat flowing. And if you only have 20 minutes, then you can just make it two circuits instead of one. I know you have 20 minutes to spare today before you spend it with your love or your friends or your pets. If you’d rather have a shorter, more repetitive 15-min workout, click here. And click here for more circuit training ideas.

Let us know if you have any questions, and as always, stay hungry and fit! Cheers!

15 Minute High-Intensity Workout — No Excuses

I don’t care how busy you are. You have 15 minutes. You do. Don’t lie to yourself. So if you don’t have time for your own full workout, try this one. Only 15 minutes. Extremely simple. All you need is a timer. You could use your phone if it has one too. You can get some of your family to do it with you–it will make it more fun (and entertaining) this way. Most everyone can do it, unless you have a significant injury. Just try it! It gets you working, your heart rate up, hopefully sweating, and your core/legs strong. So here it is…

  • 1 minute mountain climbers

  • 1 minute russian twists

  • 1 minute lunges

x5

Meaning, you perform 1 minute of mountain climbers, 1 minute of russian twists, then 1 minute of lunges. And REPEAT FIVE TIMES. Take as little rest as possible. If you do so, you will have completed a very efficient, high-intensity, muscle-burning workout.

With the mountain climbers, I want you to go as quickly as possible. Keeping the pace up is one thing, but you also need to try to get those feet as close to the hands as possible to complete a good exercise.

With the russian twists, make sure you are doing complete rotations. This means that it’s not just your hands moving side to side, but also your shoulders. You’re doing a complete twist from either side. Once you’ve mastered that rotation, try to get a solid speed going.

With the lunges, if you have enough room you can do moving lunges. Otherwise, place your hands on your hips, lunge forward with the right, bring it back to center, then lunge forward with the left. This way, you stay in the same spot, but still get the full extension of the exercise.

Good luck, work hard, and sweat often!