Tag Archives: quick workout

Home Leg Workout (No Equipment Necessary)

This post should really be called “How to Achieve a 4-Minute Wall Sit” because that’s what my goal is. You’ll remember from our Summer Fitness Goals, that I have several body weight goals. One of them is to–as you may have predicted–achieve a wall sit for four minutes. Now, four minutes doesn’t sound like a lot, but you plomp your behind and a wall and see how long you last. This workout is designed to be high rep low weight to achieve muscle endurance. My poor legs need to build up muscle endurance to stay put for four minutes straight! I’m sweatin’ just thinking about it! So whether you’re trying to achieve a 4-minute wall sit or just want a home leg workout, this is for you!

1. Wall sit. As long as possible. I bet this was a shocker. Hold a wall sit for as long as you can before your legs give out. Make sure your legs are absolutely parallel to the ground and you aren’t leaning on your legs. Look like a chair!

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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!

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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

16-Minute Core Workout

Happy Workout Wednesday! As many of you know, I love “timed abs.” What are timed abs? It’s basically core exercises non-stop, so that your core muscles are seizing up and burning to oblivion. I usually do them 30 seconds each. Here is an awesome workout I did this week and my core is still sore from top to bottom and all around. My favorite kind of burn! There really are no excuses–especially when a workout only takes 16 minutes. And if you don’t even have that–try 8 minutes!

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So repeat the above workout twice if you can. Rest in between sets, but when you’re in the middle of these exercises, try not to take a break. It will burn, it will scream, but push on. It’s an easy workout to throw in your day that you will be feeling for a few days after. Use a timer of some sort to count each 30 seconds–I used my phone timer. Please comment below if you have any questions about the exercises above. 

There are always ways to pull out excuses, but this is a workout that can combat that ugly voice in your head trying to sucker you out of exercising today. Fight it! And fight on! Use this workout to stay hungry and fit! 

*Question of the Day: What’s your favorite core exercise?

BONUS KITTY PIC

Sleepy babies

Sleepy babies

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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Teehee, caught sleeping

Teehee, caught sleeping

Core-Po-rate Fitness (Staying Fit in the Office)

You might be thinking… why is the title written in such a manner? Well, this article is being published because of a single man who I consider to be a brother. I am sure in time you will find out more about some of my closest friends but “Po” and “Pablo” (these names are used to protect identities) are almost definitely my oldest closest friends. I have known them for the longest time of the few friends I stay in touch with on the regular. Therefore, the core comes from what you will be doing, the Po is for his name and it somewhat misspells but spells out the word corporate.

"Po" with a delicious donut

“Po” with a delicious donut

So Po texted me this morning and said that I “should do a post on a sweat-free guide to corporate fitness” because he seems to “feel all fat and bloated sitting at my office desk.” As he pointed out, “sweating is crucial to a healthy workout… but not conducive to business attire.” Well, Po is obviously very accurate in what he is saying. I know that everyone watches Bond movies and says how does Sean Connery/Roger Moore/Timothy Dalton/George Lazenby/Pierce Brosnan/Daniel Craig manage to be in such good shape and chase criminals at full speed for miles while wearing a very tight tuxedo or suit? We all know that it’s a movie and it’s very challenging to workout in that business attire for a few reasons.

Up and coming James Bond

Up and coming James Bond

First, you don’t want to ruin expensive clothes. Second, you lose a whole lot of range of motion when wearing button down shirts or skirts. Third, when you have those tight-fitting clothes on, your body temperature raises faster… causing you to SWEAT MORE. So we have to figure out how to increase someone’s physical fitness in the corporate world without sweating? Well, let’s talk about sweat, baby.

If dogs could sweat, SHE WOULD!

If dogs could sweat, SHE WOULD!

Sweat, more properly known as perspiration, is the release of fluids in mammals from two different glands that are more or less distributed over the skin of your whole body. Sweating is the body’s way of regulating its temperature in hot weather. In tropical climates near the Equator, especially in Southeast Asia, spicy foods are staples in diets because they help stimulate a sweat response which leads to water on one’s skins evaporating causing a cooling effect. Depending on the individual and many factors, the secretion of fluids can range from not so much to a ton. I have never perspired a lot, however a high school friend who captained the football and wrestling teams perspired just by sitting still. That is why we should not compare ourselves to one another and deal with your body when figuring out what you need to do. Males can perspire anywhere from 2-4 liters in an hour… which is a large range. Finally, men start perspiring much quicker than females, even though both genders have the same perspiration when they are exercising at the same intensity.

Beautiful picture of Alana sweating after a Spartacus workout

Beautiful picture of Alana sweating after a Spartacus workout

Now that we know the basics about sweating, how can we avoid it? Obviously, we sweat more when we exert more force on our muscles because they heat up and this doesn’t help our problem. We need to figure out a way to not sweat but still exert force on our muscles. It seems impossible. The issue here isn’t being able to find a way to exercise intensely while wearing business attire. It is how can we change our overall lifestyle, while coping with our occupation, in order to feel good all the time. That can be challenging when sitting down at a desk for eight or nine hours, even with a lunch break in the middle. I know how that feels when I am tied to my desk on Fridays, some nights and some weekends. So let’s outfit a day that can make us feel better because not everyone can afford a treadmill desk or is allowed to use a stability ball instead of an office chair.

Aside: That’s right everyone… there is something called a treadmill desk and you can research it more to find out about it. Otherwise, if you are working at a place where they don’t mind swapping office chairs for a stability ball, then please make that purchase and switch. Sitting on a stability ball forces you to utilize your core muscles while sitting and typically that results in better posture and a workout that lasts all day long. You can also bounce up and down and get a leg workout when people aren’t watching you! Do that in moderation and you won’t even break a sweat.

This is going to come back to the three basics of a healthy lifestyle: Exercise, nutrition, and rest. Make sure you are getting an ample amount of sleep every night before you have to wake up to go to work. I say 6-8 hours, which makes 7 seem like the magic number. Some professional athletes sleep 10-12 hours but there are studies that show that can actually have negative effects.

Make sure you are eating healthy meals throughout the day. If you are trying to stay lean, it helps to keep your metabolism fired up by spacing out 6-8 small meals that meet your macronutrient goals. If you don’t want to measure macros, then just don’t eat garbage. Eat well! Ask away if you want recommendations for office snacks that can help fight cravings for junk food and help keep your metabolism fired up.

Salad

Salad

Finally, try to get some physical activity in every day. You don’t need to hit the gym if it doesn’t fit your schedule. Fifteen minutes are all you need. I recommend working out when you wake up if you have a corporate job because then you can be happy with what you did and not have to think about what you’re going to work out for the rest of the day. Mike Chang just did a YouTube video on the same topic so check it out. But here is what I recommend for physical activity in the office to keep you loose. These are exercises that will not make you sweat but will help keep your metabolism up, joints healthy, and muscles loose.

This can make the difference! Photo from FitSugar

FlexingI’m not joking. When you flex your muscles, you are contracting them and then releasing the contraction. It’s the same thing you do with a weight but there is less resistance. When I drive for more than 3 straight hours I will typically sit straight up with my back off the chair and start contracting my abs. All of them one at a time (upper, lower, obliques) in a circuit. You can do it without thinking.

Flex!

Flex!

Bring a resistance band to work. Tie it up under your chair and do some side deltoid (shoulder) raises or front deltoid raises. You can do some curls also. If you want to wrap it around your ankles then you can do some leg extensions. Just by using proper posture and some very light weight exercises you can FEEL better. That is what this is all about.

Po is an athletic guy that is in good shape but sitting around makes him and all of us feel LAZY and bad about ourselves. Just by doing these exercises, with a range of motion that fits your attire, you can feel so much better about yourself while you are sitting down because you are trying. And a lot of these don’t take much time or effort but they can keep you loose, strengthen your joints, help stretch, and keep your metabolic rate up throughout the day. If you want recommendations about resistance tubes and bands, just ask away in the comment section below. Some are better suited for certain people. Plus, they are very easy to transport unlike heavy weights. And like I said, you can do those exercises without even thinking. Low risk of injury when using that type of resistance.

I will try to make a video of me dressed in business attire sitting at a desk doing these exercises so you get the idea but remember that this is about feeling better so do what you need to do to stay happy, hungry and fit! (REMEMBER that we are here for YOU and are willing to do posts on just about anything that you want to know more about. We will answer all requests and questions to the best of our ability no matter what the topic is related to. Just put what you want us to write about in the comment section below or email it to hungryandfit@gmail.com)

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BONUS KITTY PIC

Nymeria being cute

Nymeria being cute

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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!