Saturday, May 25, 2013

Weekend Workout # 19

This weekend will seem like a simple workout on paper, but will be anything but simple when performing the workout.  There are only 3 exercises.  How hard can it be, right?

You will need access to a pull up bar (or a tree with a solid branch that you can pull yourself up from and hang on.  Unless you know that the branch is sturdy enough, I would recommend that you stick to the pull up bar.

The goal is to repeat this circuit for a total of 20 min.  Move from one exercise to the next with as minimal rest as needed.  When you no longer can complete the number of reps for each exercise in one set, run 1/4 mile.  For example, let's say you've already completed 2 rounds of each exercise performing all reps without stopping .  Now during your third set you can only manage 6 pull ups before having to stop.  You would now go for a 1/4 mile run (or use treadmill), and when you return  finish the 4 pull ups.  If you still can't finish all pull ups, (say you could only do 2), then you would run another 1/4 mile and finish the remaining 2 pull ups before moving to the decline push ups.  Then the same goes for that exercise, if you cannot complete all reps without stopping you go for a 1/4 mile run and try to finish the remaining reps.  Not so easy is it?

10 Pull Ups

20 Push Ups

30 Hanging Leg Raises

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Losing weight...Go big or go home

One of my favorite mantras during my cycling career was "Go Big or Go Home".  I paste that little phrase on my stem or handlebar just about every race I completed in.  For me it was a way to remind myself to not leave anything on the course; go as hard as possible and if I can't do that then I might as well just go home.

The same can be said for those who are trying to lose weight.  According to the Journal of Health Psychology, "setting the bar high when it comes to weight loss could help you drop more pounds".   I see clients all the time who want to lose 10, 20 or even 30 lbs.  When I do an initial assessment with a client, I am trying to determine short and long term goals.  When someone tells me they want to lose 30 lbs. I calculate how many weeks it would take them (realistically) to lose the weight so that we can establish a benchmark of time.  When they realize that it might take 6 months to lose that weight, some get immediately discouraged.

The best way to approach is big weight loss goal is to NOT focus on the long-term goal, but rather set short-term goals and set out to achieve those along the way.  In the process of doing this, you will be getting closer to achieving the long-term goal without even thinking about it.

One of my clients came up with a great idea to help motivate her to achieve her weight loss goal of 30 lbs.  She purchased six (6) 5 lb. bags of flour and lined them up next to each other and took a photo.  Each time she loses 5 lbs she will smash one of the bags of flour and take another photo, and will do so until the photo is blank.

According to Emely de Vet, Ph.D. of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, "if you set a timid weight loss goal, you're telling yourself you don't need to work very hard to be successful, and so you're less likely to divert resources like time and energy away from activities such as being a better parent or making time for friends.

When trying to lose weight, a combination of strength training and aerobic exercise is your best bet, along with a healthy diet.  Doing just one or the other will still get you results, but it will take much longer.  There is some controversy about whether to set exercise and diet goals at the same time.  According to Abby C. King, Ph.D., a professor at Stanford University's School of Medicine, "making both healthy behaviors from the beginning helps make sure one doesn't slip off your radar".

Here is an article on 10 easy ways to lose weight that will help get you stated with your nutrition goals.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"COW" Workout

Once again it's time for your Core Of the Week workout, specifically designed to help improve your overall core strength; leading to better balance, and better athletic performance.

"In anatomy, the core refers, in it's most general of definitions, to the body minus the legs and arms"

Your core provides the foundation for human movement.  A weak core (all the muscles around your trunk and pelvis) can lead to low back pain, poor posture, and even injury.  It can also limit your ability to perform maximal performance in sports and normal daily activities.  However, a properly trained core will lead to better balance, more strength and even more speed in your training.

Your core muscles are just like any other muscle, if you train them everyday it can lead to too much stress and eventually it can breakdown the tissues causing injury.  Just as you wouldn't train your leg muscles 5 days a week, you don;t want (or need to) train your core muscles 5 days a week either.  I like to recommend 3 days a week for the average person and 4 days a week for a more trained athlete.  It's also beneficial to train your core muscles every other day, rather than 3 or 4 days in a row.  Remember, you want those muscles fresh each time you work them so they can get stronger and provide the stability to move athletically.

Here is another good workout to strengthen those core muscles.  You'll challenge the muscles in different planes of movement and target each area for a complete workout.  It would be best to perform this workout at the end of your strength workout or on a rest day between upper/lower body strength days.

Complete each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest between each exercise.  When finished with all exercises, rest 1-2 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times.  Total workout time should be roughly 20 minutes.

AB Wheel Rollouts
Barbell Pull/Push Rotation
Captain's Chair Bicycle Crunch
1-Arm Cable Rotation
Swiss Ball Pikes
Decline Bench Circle Crunches
Side Plank with 1-Arm Row

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Weekend Workout #18

Here is a great workout you can do this weekend that will get your juices flowing for an obstacle race event. As with most obstacle events, there is lots of running as well as the obstacles (climbing over an 8-foot wall, walking along a narrow beam over water, climbing up and over hay bails, over and under logs, running up steep hills, etc.).  Well there wont be any hay bails, or 8-foot walls in this workout, but the challenge of running and doing some strength exercises will put your fitness to the test.  You must be able to run, do an obstacle, run, and then keep repeating this sequence (anywhere from 6-12 miles for the events) for a few miles.

If you have a park near your house that has some logs, or rocks that would be great.  If not, don't sweat it you'll still be able to get a workout.

Warm up 5-10 min. with some light movement and some dynamic stretching. Examples include jumping jacks, high knee running in place, side to side lunges, arm circles, forward/reverse lunges, and straight-leg kicks.  Now that your blood is flowing and your muscles have increased their elasticity, let's get started.

1-2 miles easy jog
25 squats (with rock if you have one)
15 push ups
10 split lunge jumps
1/2 mile hard run
10 burpees
30 bicycle crunches
10 squat jumps
1/2 mile temp run with log walks (walk across logs lying on the ground, if available)
25 squats
15 push ups
16 forward lunges
1 mile easy jog

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

"COW" Workout

Here is this week's Core Of the Week workout.

Complete each exercises for 30 sec. followed by 15 sec. of rest.  Repeat circuit 2-3 times allowing 30-60 sec. of rest between sets.

1.  Flutter Kicks
2.  Decline-Bench Knee Tucks
3.  Swiss Ball Catapult Crunch
4.  Plank w/ Alternating Leg Lifts
5.  Mtn. Climber Slides
6.  Reverse Lunge Twist w/ Med Ball
7.  Captain's Chair Leg Lifts
8.  Battle Ropes (In/Out) 
9.  Skier Jumps
10.  Swiss Ball Push Ups w/ Alternating Leg Lifts

Monday, May 6, 2013

Smoothie Recipe

I have another excellent smoothie recipe you have to try.  This is from Trinity Perkins, who has lots of healthy and great tasting recipes on her website.

This recipe makes for a great post-workout or breakfast smoothie, and is pack full of healthy nutrients.

Sweet Potato Protein Smoothie


1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup cooked sweet potato
1 Tbsp almond butter
cinnamon to taste
5 ice cubes 


mix all ingredients in a blender and serve

Nutritional Breakdown:

1 serving
calories:  188
Fat: 6g
Cholesterol: 30
Sodium: 344mg
Carbs: 19g
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 30g
Sugar: 8g

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Weekend Workout #17

As I pack my bags to get ready for my tip to sunny Arizona, I also want to leave you with a solid workout to do this weekend.  This workout will alternate between a strength exercise and a high-intensity cardio exercise.

You will need access to a gym for this workout and will need the following equipment... Row Machine, TRX, Barbell, Medicine Ball (8-12 lbs.), Dumbbells, and a Box or Bench (20" high).

Perform 1 set, then rest 1-2 min. and if feeling good repeat entire circuit.  This will not be an easy workout, but can certainly be done 2-3 sets if you have good fitness.

Warm up 10-15 min

1.  1000m Row 
2.  20 Med Ball Tosses (hold ball at chest level, then squat and toss straight up, and let the ball drop)
3.  30 TRX Crunches
4.  20 Box Jumps
5.  10 Upright Rows w/ Barbell
6.  20 Burpees w/ Hop
7.  10 Overhead Dumbbell Press
8.  30 TRX Squat + Rows

Cool Down 5-10 min.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

April Fitness Challenge #3

Well this is my final April Challenge, and this is no April Fool's joke.  This workout was all about cardiovascular and muscular endurance; the ability to repeat rep after rep for a total of 1000 (yes 1000) total reps.  There were 10 exercises and each one had to be completed for 100 reps.  All exercises, except 1, were to be done by either your own bodyweight or on the TRX.  The only exercise that involved an actual weight was the dumbbell bicep curls.

So , if you are up for the Challenge and want to really test your muscular endurance, give this workout a try.  Four of us completed the workout last night at Anytime Fitness, and times to complete ranged from 26 minutes to 42:45 minutes.   It's much more fun to do this workout with a friend or as a group.  No one likes to suffer alone.  Seriously though, try to get a few friends together and push each other while motivating each other at the same time.  Encourage each other to not give up, and instead find that little voice that tells you "I know I can, I know I can" to keep going.  This workout (along with all of my other challenges) are meant to be a workout that challenges you to push your limits a little farther than before.  To dig deep and give it your all.    You will be amazed by how much your body can do, versus what your mind will tell you it can do.

These Challenges are not meant to be repeated more than 1 time per week.  The workout is for advanced-level fitness individuals, and NOT for beginners.

1000 Rep Workout:

1.  100 Burpees
2.  100 Box Jumps (16")
3.  100 Mtn. Climbers
4.  100 TRX Rows  
5.  100 Side Kicks
6.  100 Bodyweight Squats
7.  100 Dumbbell Bicep Curls (20 lb. Men, 12 lb. Women)
8.  100 TRX Lateral Jumps
9.  100 Jumping Jacks
10.  100 Bicycle Crunches

Here are a few videos from the Challenge workout last Tuesday

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

"COW" Workout

Here is this week's Core Of the Week workout...a little bit of everything.

Perform 30 sec. of each exercises with 15 seconds of rest between.  Complete 4 total sets of all exercises, allowing 1 min. rest between sets.  Total workout time should be roughly 20 min.

Barbell Rotations with Hop

Hanging Leg Raises with 5 sec Holds

Plank with Shoulder Taps

Decline Bench Knee Tucks

Side Planks with Hip Drop

Swiss Ball Pikes

TRX Kneeling Clock Rollouts

Elevated 90 Degree Weight-Resisted Holds

90 Degree Windshield Wipers

BOSU Squat with Medicine Ball Rotations