Friday, November 29, 2013

Post-Turkey Day workout

If you are sitting at home wondering why you stuffed yourself with all that food last night, you're probably not alone.  Every year many of us, myself included, tell ourselves that this will be the year we don't overeat and instead eat "sensibly".  Well, once again, I didn't listen to myself, but did you?

It's so hard and tempting to load your plate up with all that healthy food that gets passed around the table, one person to the next.  Oh, and to make it even harder, your aunt explains "you have to try my special _____ recipe".  So nonetheless you feel obligated.

Now I'm not suggesting that you have to have heaping servings of each dish, but sampling all the wonderful meals shouldn't make you feel guilty.  Besides, when was the last time you had that corn casserole, or cranberry dish; or pumpkin pie?  It's probably during last Thanksgiving. 

If you are feeling guilty that you overate last night and are itching to do something to help burn off those calories, do something fun.  I'll start with the simple ideas and then include the more advanced ideas.

Go for a walk - a simple walk around the neighborhood with family members or with the dog will burn few calories, but will get the body in motion and circulate the blood; hence moving all those nutrients to working muscles,

Go for a run - Amping up the intensity of the walk by turning it into a jog or run will burn more calories and boost your metabolism.

Go to the gym and strength train - If your local gym or fitness center is open today, head down there and crank out a few sets of compound exercises (multi-joint movements), along with your warm up and cool down.  A 30-45 min. workout can burn up to 400 calories.

Play a game of tag football or soccer - Head down to your local park with your friends and family and play a fun game of football or even soccer.  If you live in the Pacific Northwest, bring your rain gear and mud clothes and have even more fun.  Just remember to keep it "fun" and not let things turn nasty.  An occasional sack never hurt anyone, right?

Go skiing or snowshoeing - If you live near mountains and snow, head out for a days adventure and go downhill, xc, or skate skiing or even snowshoeing.  This will involve several hours of the day, so unless you have the time, you may want to stick with one of the options above.   

Regardless of which option you choose, one of the above, or maybe your families traditional post-thanksgiving workout, get outside and move the body.  If you're like me, you most likely were sitting around the house all day yesterday in a chair or couch.   

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Battling Ropes Workout

Some of you may already be familiar with Battling Ropes, however, for those of you who are not, this will be a new exciting workout for you.  I pulled this workout off the ACE website, which was put together by the great Doug Balzarini.

The idea behind rope training was first introduced by John Brookfield, who developed his owns system of rope training called "Battling Ropes".  The rest is history.  These systems have been used by professional and Olympic athletes and are great for building strength and challenging the cardiovascular system.

photo taken from Perform Better website of Olympian Ingrid Marcum

There are several different ropes on the market; from different materials, to different weights and lengths.  If yo have the option start with the smaller ad lighter rope and build up to working with a heavier rope.  If yo have never used battling ropes, you may also want to start with only 1 set rather than the 3 sets prescribed in the workout below.

In this workout, all you need is access to a Battling Rope and your own bodyweight. There are three circuits total and each are to be performed for a total of 3 sets.  Allow 2-3 minutes of recovery in between circuits.

Circuit 1
Station 1: Rope: Double Rope Slams - 20 reps
Station 2: Bodyweight: Lateral Jumps - 20 reps (10 per leg)
Station 3: Rope: Rope Inverted Rows - 15 reps
Repeat this routine three times with little rest and then rest for two to three minutes before starting circuit #2.

Circuit 2
Station 1: Rope: Reverse Lunge Waves - 10 lunges per leg
Station 2: Bodyweight: Push-ups - 10 reps (add a clap if too easy)
Station 3: Rope: Vertical Rope Pulls - 2 lengths of the rope
Repeat this routine three times with little rest and then rest for two to three minutes before starting circuit #3.

Circuit 3
Station 1: Rope: Grappler Slams (side to side) - 20 total (10 per side)
Station 2: Bodyweight: Squats - 15 reps
Station 3: Rope: Plank Rope Pulls - 20 total (10 pulls per arm)

Repeat this routine three times with little rest between stations.

Friday, November 22, 2013

2nd Annual TRX Challenge #3 - men's dual

Sloane vs. Ryan Brown.  

Tough competition from Ryan, but I was able to come out on top in week #3's Challenge.  I finished with a total of 290 total reps while Ryan finished with 284.  

40 sec. of work, 10 sec of rest for all exercises...How many reps can you get?  Post your results below in the Comments section.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

2nd Annual TRX Challenge #3 - women's dual

In this week's Challenge, participants are pushed to perform each exercise for 40 sec.; with minimal rest between each exercise.  This will challenge not only your muscular endurance, but also your mental toughness.  When performing an exercise (any exercise) for 40 sec. it can seem like an eternity; especially when you are not able to watch the clock.

Unilateral exercises are involved more in this challenge, adding a greater amount of difficulty to maintain balance, build core strength, and develop symmetry among muscle groups.

Exercises this week included the following:  40 sec on, 15 sec off
     1.  1-Leg Squat L/R
     2.  Mtn Climbers
     3.  1-Arm Power Pulls L/R
     4.  Sprinter Starts L/R

The goal this week is to complete the most total number of reps for all exercises in 40 sec.  Much like week #1, you'll want to count all your reps for each exercise and then total them up at the end.

In this video, I paired two female clients up against each other who have similar fitness levels.  You'll notice however, that one of the women (Derri) is much taller than the other (Lisa), and this creates a disadvantage when doing the 1-Leg Squats, and 1-Arm Power Pulls.  The length of her arms and legs requires a much longer range of movement in order to perform each exercise correctly.

Lisa also had the advantage over Derri in the fact that she has competed in several marathon and 1/2 marathon events, so her endurance allowed here to push the entire 40 sec.  Derri's biggest advantage is her competitiveness, and this is why I wanted to pair them up.

I will also be pairing two men up against each other (men's dual) with similar comparisons, so stay tuned for that video later in the week.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

TRX Challenge Week #2 Results

Another successful week of TRX Challenge workouts.  There were 7 people that participated this week, however, the winner from last week, Ryan Brown, was not able to partake.

Brian Polston set a blazing time early in the week (3:34) for the men and Lisa Swanston (4:04) did the same for the women.  On Friday afternoon, one of my clients Shawn Taylor and I worked out together and then decided to do the Challenge together.  Nothing better than a little extra competition.  Shawn is one of my fittest female athletes and can push herself harder than most women I know.

Already feeling tired from our earlier workout we gave it a go and were still able to crank out some impressive times.  Here is a video of our Challenge..

Shawn was able to overcome Lisa's time with an impressive time of 3:48, while I finished in a time of 3:22. 

The goal of my Challenges is not to only see who can complete the workout in the fastest time, but to make sure everyone is performing the exercises correctly and safely.  These are definitely meant to push the participants harder than they would on their own and offer something different than what they may be used to.  I emphasize that I want each participant to get the most out of these workouts by using dynamic movements that will challenge both strength and balance.

Please post your results in the Comments section below if you took this week's Challenge.  Can you beat 3:22?  If so, share a video of your performance.  Friendly competition is always good!

Hope to see you all for next week's Challenge.  They are going to start getting a little more challenging.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

2nd Annual TRX Challenge - #2

This week's Challenge involves several exercises that most of you will be familiar with, with the exception of 1 or 2.  Nothing too challenging again this week, but some may find performing 20 reps for each exercise a little daunting.  I strategically placed the most challenging exercises at the beginning and at the end.

As with all of my Challenges, I encourage you to make sure to get in a good warm up, consisting of some cardio activity as well as some movement prep exercises.  The entire workout should only take around 3-5 minutes, so the longer the warm up the better to make sure your muscles are prepared.  If you are using the Challenge as a primer prior to your normal workout, 10-15 minutes should be sufficient.

The goal for this week is to complete 20 reps for each exercise (in order),with good form, in the shortest time possible.  Here is a video demonstrating the exercises to help you better understand how to properly do each one.

 Dave Forbes was kind enough to demo the exercises for me.

TRX Push Ups
TRX Low Row
TRX Kneeling Rollouts
TRX Superman's
TRX Triceps Press
Burpees (off TRX and with the hop)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

TRX Challenge Week #1 Results

My TRX Challenge  is off to a great start.  Week #1 had 8 people put their fitness and TRX skills to the test to see how they stacked up against their peers. 

Although this week's exercises were not too challenging, everyone pushed themselves as hard as they could and had fun doing so.  It's always amazing when you offer a challenge the level of punishment we will put on ourselves.  And hence why I like to do this.  I wanted to offer participants a chance to try something new and move their bodies in ways they haven't done before.  

There was an even mix of men and women partaking in week #1's Challenge.  In the end, Ryan Brown completed the workout with the most number of reps.  He completed a total of 285 reps in the 4 minutes it took to complete the workout.  

Everyone is already looking forward to next weeks Challenge, and Ryan now has a target on his back.  I am allowing participants to complete each week's Challenge more than once to see if they can beat their previous score/time, however, everyone only did it 1 time.  

How did you do in this week's Challenge?  Did you, or can you, beat 285 reps?  Post your results in the Comments section below.  Feel free to share videos of yourself doing the Challenge, just provide a link.

Monday, November 4, 2013

2nd Annual TRX Challenge - #1

Here is a demo of the workout, going about 75% effort.  Each movement should involve good form (don't sacrifice form to get in more reps).  It should seem pretty simple this week, but don't get used to that.  Each week will get a little harder and more exciting...:-)

30 sec each exercise

The goal is to get as many total reps as possible, so keep track during each exercise and submit your results in the Comments section below.  Good Luck!