Tag Archives: fast workout

Do This Before You Go to Bed!

We all complain that we simply don’t have enough time. Does that sound familiar? I say it too. We all use it as an excuse–whether that’s in order to not do the dishes, not brush your teeth, or not exercise! Well I say bollocks! You do have time. You just need to realize it. Even though it’s easy to say you don’t have time to workout, you do. It doesn’t need to be an hour workout. It can even be six minutes! Something is better than nothing so do this before you go to bed!

photo

30 seconds each

  • Crunches
  • Side crunches (right)
  • Side crunches (left)
  • Reverse crunches
  • Fast bicycles
  • Slow bicycles
  • In n outs (rows)
  • Scissors
  • Crossed leg crunches
  • Ankle touches

1 minute

  • Plank (you can side plank for a break)

beforebed

The above workout is six minutes. SIX MINUTES! You can do that. Do yourself a favor and even if you “don’t have any time,” I promise you can squeeze this in. Not only is it good for your health and sculpting your core, it will make you feel better about yourself. You will feel that you have accomplished something, even if it’s a short workout. This is a greathealthy thing to do before bed. Make it a habit and do it every other day! Believe in yourself! This will give you power! Please leave any comments or questions in the comment section. And as always…stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

meow

meow

Home Upper Body Workout (HIIT!)

You’re not always going to have a gym to go to. In fact, you may not even be subscribed to a gym right now! It’s important to have your own personal arsenal of home workouts and exercises. This is a great workout for everybody and anybody! Some people (women especially) choose to ignore strengthening their upper body. And why? We should keep our whole body strong! For this workout, all you need is a pair of light weights and a resistance band. Let’s do it. 

  • Boxing (with 5lb weights) for 1 min
Jamie, the star of our last guest blog post!

Jamie, the star of our last guest blog post!

  • Biceps Curls (with whichever weight you can do) for 1 min
  • Triceps Extensions (with whichever weight you can do) for 1 min
  • Boxing for 1 min
  • Rear Delt Flyes for 1 min
  • Shoulder Press (with whatever weight you can do) for 1 min
  • Boxing for 1 min
  • Push-ups for 1 min

photo 3 (52)

  • Dips for 1 min
  • Boxing for 1 min
  • Face pulls for 1 min
  • Reverse Curls (with whatever weight you can do) for 1 min

Now take a break for crying out loud! Our next and final “set” is going to be faster pace, shorter time, and increased intensity. Try going with some heavier weights than before since you will be doing it for half the time.

  • Boxing (same 5lb weight) for 30s
  • Biceps Curls for 30s
  • Jumping Jacks for 1 min
  • Triceps Extensions for 30s
  • Boxing for 30s
  • Rear delt flyes for 30s

photo (87)

  • High knees for 1 min
  • Shoulder Press for 30s
  • Boxing for 30s
  • Push-ups for 30s
  • Quick toes for 1 min
  • Dips for 30s

photo 1 (69)

  • Boxing for 30s
  • Face Pulls for 30s
  • Jump Rope for 1min
  • Reverse Curls for 30s

And that, my friends, is a great upper body workout for your muscles and your heart! Jamie and I were sweating and aching by the end of it. This particular upper body workout took us around 40 minutes in total, but you can trim things down or buff them up how you’d like. Make sure you have a reliable timer nearby to count each segment. Try to push yourself through each part even though your muscles are screaming at you. Fight til the end! Do this upper body home workout to stay hungry and fit!

BONUS KITTY PIC

Silly Sajah

Silly Sajah

Best Way to Burn Calories: Cycling Interval Training

A few months ago, we discussed HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for treadmillsNow let’s move onto the bike. If you want thighs of steel, this is the workout for you. You will come off the bike feeling like your legs way a hundred tons after this workout because you’ve worked so hard. HIIT is a great way to stay in shape, turn the fat-burners on high, and improve oxygen capacity. Think you had to run 6 miles a day to do that? Think again! HIIT is a great time-saving way to stay in shape while constantly challenging your body, thus burning more calories. Plus, you build more muscle because you’re doing more powerful exercises that require force (sprints, etc.).

Interval training burns more calories and challenges your body more than most cardio programs due to the nature of intervals. You are constantly changing your speed and pace, thus forcing your body to try to adapt. In sprint mode? Your body has to fight to give your muscles and lungs enough oxygen. In recovery mode? Your body has to slow down all its systems to try to provide you with the right recovery tools. But do you let it recover? Of course not! Thus, your body is constantly attempting to adapt to the conditions you force upon it, but the nature of intervals cause it to never be able to properly catch up, which makes us stronger in the end.

Do this for a minimum of 15 minutes. The best would be 25-30 minutes, or even more if you’re feeling crazy.

  • Begin with a 3-5 minute warm-up of 75-80 RPMs. Let your legs get warmed up so you can TOAST them.
  • Start your 1-minute sprint. I want you to pump those pedals as FAST as you can, get your RPMS above 100, maybe above 120! If you need to up the resistance, do it! Go hard! Train with purpose! Listen to awesome music!
  • Once you hit a minute, go into 1-minute recovery mode–think of it like a fast enough pace without killing you. Cycle easy, but not too easy.
  • Repeat–go back into your sprint for a minute. Then return to recovery.

If this seems too advanced for you, try doing 30s sprint/1min recovery. If this seems too easy for you, try doing 1min sprint/30s recovery. There are so many ways to change this up to fit your needs. HIIT is one of my most favorite ways to train and this is just ONE example. Doing HIIT on the bike will accelerate muscle development in your legs, shaping you to be more powerful in that part of your body. Keep your eyes out for more on this series of how to burn calories and the best HIIT tricks. Use this workout to stay hungry and fit!

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Double cuteness!!

Double cuteness!!

15-Minute Upper Body Home Workout

Ever since the completion of the contest, I haven’t done any hardcore or intense workouts. I’ve done some running, yoga, and light weights. I plan to get back to heavy lifting soon, because I miss it! Anyhow, after work one day, I was feeling sluggish and I knew a fast-paced light-weight circuit would give me that pick-me-up and turn on the sweat. All you need are some dumbbells and a elevated surface such as a chair, bench, couch, or bed. Repeat this circuit 3-6x as time allows. Each set is until failure, meaning that your muscles are too tired to complete another rep.

Disclaimer: Pics were taken after the home workout as they are obviously taken in a gym 😛

1. Elevated crunches. Put your legs up on the elevated surface, contract your abs, and crunch. Don’t pull your neck, but use the core to crunch up, creating that contraction and eventual burn of your soon-to-be six-pack. Use weight if you want to challenge yourself further.

photo 2 (26)

2. Concentration curls. Sit down on your bench, chair, couch–whatever it is that you have.  Lean your elbow on your leg, bend forward, but keep your shoulders back and curl one at a time. Then switch to other arm.

photo 1 (28)

3. Triceps extension. Grab your dumbbells and stay seated. Lift up your arms and hold your hands behind your head with the weights in them. Lift up vertically until your arms are straight then come down to the bent-arm position behind your head.

photo 4 (10)

4. Shoulder press. Hold dumbbells at shoulder level, so that your body almost looks like a T. Press up and almost touch the weights, then come back to starting position.

Coworker making me laugh...

Coworker making me laugh…

5. Dips. Use that elevated surface and place your hands on the edge, fingers facing forward. Have your legs out straight and bend the elbows, lowering your body. Then raise up to starting position (do not sit in between).

photo 3 (22)

Again, repeat 3-6x. The more times, the better. This will hit core, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and a little bit of chest. Not a bad upper body workout if you’re short on time. All you need are dumbbells and an elevated surface. Let us know how this goes! Stay strong. Use this workout to stay hungry and fit! 

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Teehee, caught sleeping

Teehee, caught sleeping

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

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! 

Timed Abs: You Have 3 Minutes to Spare

I don’t want to hear that you don’t have 3 minutes to spare for a little exercise. Because you do. So let’s sit down and get it over with. “Timed abs” is one of my favorite abs routine. It’s different every time, but the technique is the same–no resting between the exercises. I first picked it up during high school track and saw its effectiveness. So, I brought to my own workouts as I grew up and also to my clients as I train them.

English: Another common form of calisthenics u...

. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How many exercises and/or how many sets you do is up to how much time you can spare for your health. Here’s an example routine that you can try out. Either do 30 reps or 30 seconds of each:

  • Crunches
  • Toe touches (lift your legs up and reach for them over and over)
  • Slow bicycles (the slower you do them, the harder they are)
  • In n outs (I call them rows)
  • Side crunches
  • Reverse crunches

And that’s it! It would be even better if you could do more than one set, but one set will definitely set your core on fire if you do it right. If you have the time, go for three sets. If not, do as much as you can. Put your 100% effort and work into it. The best way to show dedication is hard work into yourself.

Abdomen

Abdomen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By doing this set of exercises, you are hitting each part of your abdominal muscles. Here’s a list of more exercises for each abdominal section. Let us know if you have any questions. Cheers! And stay hungry and fit!

Circuit Training and Why You Should Try It

Ever feel like your workout is stale? Don’t look forward to it because you’ve done it numerous times before? You might’ve even reached a plateau and haven’t been able to achieve new progress lately. Don’t sweat it (lol, get it), it happens to all of us if we don’t change our workouts up. For example, we always switch up the muscle groups and add new exercises. But say you just do total-body workouts, which a lot of people do, and you’re just getting bored and losing interest. I have a solution! 

It’s called circuit training. No, you don’t need to be an athlete, a fitness extraordinaire  or even in shape! This will be the pathway to getting there and having some fun while doing so. Circuit training involves numerous stations with little rest time in between. This especially great for people who want to lose or maintain weight because you’re constantly keeping your heart rate up and your body moving. You give yourself a certain amount of time or reps at each station and then move to the next without resting. There are various ways to do this, and you can even do it at home. 

Let me give you an example. 8 Stations:

  1. Push ups 
  2. Supermans 
  3. Dumbbell swings 
  4. Mountain climbers 
  5. Plank 
  6. Curl, shoulder press, triceps extension (one sequenced movement) 
  7. High knees (in place) 
  8. Squat jumps 

You would go through say, 45 seconds of each station and move to the next. It depends on your fitness level. With some of my more beginner clients, I will give them 15 seconds rest between every two stations rather than until the end. I will give you variations at the end. Want to workout at home and don’t have any equipment? No problem.

  1. Squat jumps
  2. Push ups
  3. Reverse crunches 
  4. Russian twists 
  5. Jumping jacks
  6. Lunges
  7. Calf raises 
  8. Jog on the spot 

Don’t need any equipment for that one. And you can design the circuit training to fit your needs. Looking for only cardio? Swap the strength exercises (like push ups) for things like jumping jacks, jump rope, high knees, mountain climbers, jog in place, and so forth. Want to focus more on strength? Take out the cardio and add more strength in. Either way, you’re getting your cardio up by going from station to station without rest. Personally, I would suggest keeping both in the routine. Strength and cardio training is important for everyone, I don’t care who you are.

List of more exercises you can do (with and without equipment):

  • Crunches
  • Dips
  • Squat press
  • Plie squats
  • Wall sits
  • Triangle push ups
  • Step ups
  • Shadow boxing
  • Medicine ball throw
  • Chest press
  • Pec flies
  • Skull crushers
  • Jump lunges
  • Hip bridges
  • Burpees
  • Curls

And so on and so forth. There are tons of exercises you can do. You can make your own routine. Pull some of your favorite exercises from the list and go for it. Try to hit all parts of your body.

Beginner: 8 stations, 45 seconds at each station, 15 seconds of rest after each two stations, two minutes rest at the end, complete three circuits.

Intermediate10 stations, 1 minute at each station, 15 seconds of rest after 5 stations, two minute rest at the end, complete three circuits.

Advanced: 12 stations, 2 minutes at each station, no rest in between, two minute rest at the end, complete three to five circuits.

Please, try circuit training. At your gym, at your home, outside, wherever! Some advantages of circuit training? I already covered some but I’ll recap: saves on time, encourages fat loss, keeps your heart rate up, effective use of time and exercise, works on all muscles of your body, improves your cardio, and improves strength. Those are just a few. You choose the number of stations, length of time at each station, and how many circuits you have time to do. Challenge yourself every time.

Let me know what circuit you did and how it went! And if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.