Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Beet smoothie

For the Holiday I want to share a smoothie recipe that will provide lots of antioxidants as well as make for a perfect colorful drink.

This is a favorite of mine and one I personally created.  I have become addicted to eating beets, whether roasting them or putting them in smoothies.  I use my NutriBullet to make this, but any smoothie blender should work fine.

1 cup spinach
1/2 cup red beets (cut into cube size pieces)
1/2 banana
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup berries (black and blue)
1-2 scoops of protein powder
3/4-1 cup water
3-4 ice cubes
1 tbsp flaxseed

Put spinach in blender (or NutriBullet) first, then add the remaining ingredients in any order you want.  You may have to adjust the water depending on how thick you prefer to have it.  I used 3/4 cup and it came out moderately runny.  Any protein powder will work, it helps to thicken it up a little and provides adequate protein for a nutritious snack.

Enjoy and Happy Holidays!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

12 Days to Christmas Workout

Since Christmas is right around the corner and everyone is now in the holiday spirit, it’s time to have some fun with your workouts.  If you've been participating in my December Holiday Challenge, koodos to you and keep it up.  

This is one of my favorite workouts to do this time of year and it reminds me when I was a kid counting the days to Christmas (who am I kidding, I still count the days).  I have used this workout with several of my athletes (Option 2) and it is as much physically challenging as it is mentally challenging.

Because most of us will be traveling this time of year, it can be difficult to make it to the gym, so this workout requires nothing but your body weight.  The “12 Days to Christmas Workout” consists of 12 exercises performed in a descending ladder format.  This can make for a fun and challenging workout, and of course it’s always best if you can rally up some teammates, friends or family members and do it as a group. 

You can also find this article in the December Issue of BendOr Magazine that just recently hit the streets.

Here are the rules for the workout:

You can do this workout one of two ways, depending on how difficult you want to make it for yourself.  

Option 1:  On December 13th, you will begin with the first exercise (prisoner squats) and perform 12 reps.  Then each day until Christmas Day you will perform the previous exercise as well as adding the new days’ exercise.  Below is a detailed format of what is looks like…650 total reps.

Option 2:  Beginning on December 13th, you’ll perform the entire workout (same format as above but all 650 reps) each day for 12 straight days.  If you can manage to do this you will have completed a total of 7,800 reps by Christmas Day (650 x 12).  This is much harder than it may seem.  Just completing the workout for 12 straight days can be the biggest challenge for some. Of course you can always change the order or type of exercises to make it harder or easier.  The exercises challenge you to work in all three planes of movement (frontal, sagital, and transverse planes) and are challenging yet attainable for most.  Rest only as long as needed between exercises, and allow 15-30 sec of rest in between each new round.  Make it your goal to beat your time to complete the workout each week.

Here are the exercises for the workout:

12 Prisoner Squats (hands interlocked behind head)                         
11 Russian Twists (11 ea. side) 
10 Side Lunges (5 ea. side)
9 Hip Bridges 
8 Pushups 
7 Crab Kicks (7 ea. side) 
6 Bulgarian Lunges (6 ea. side) 
5 Pullups
4 Burpees 
3 Hi/Low Planks (3 ea. side) 
Power Jacks 
1 Minute Plank w/ Shoulder Taps

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Holiday Challenge

For the month of December (holiday season), I have put together 3 exercises that will target lots of muscles, and will emphasize "triple extension" of the lower body.  Triple extension involves locking of the ankles, knees, and hips and is important for all athletes.  If you want to get faster or jump higher, triple extension is the key. 

If you can stick with this routine (either as a stand alone workout or incorporated into your regular workout) for the full 30 days (Christmas Day excluded) and are good with your nutrition, you will go into the New Year looking leaner than ever. These exercises will focus on strength, endurance and power and will shed a ton of calories.

RULES:  5 days a week, perform these three exercises and allow two days off.  So you can do M-F and take Sat and Sun off, or three days in a row, take a day off, then another two days of the workout in a row, and then another day off.  Whatever you choose for your format, stick with the same for each week.

In order to make this fun and effective, your goal is to push yourself during each workout an each lift/movement.  Choose a weight for the KB Swings that is challenging but allows you to get all 30 reps without stopping to rest.  Men should aim for a 24kg weight and women a 18kg weight.

Have a timer (or your smart phone) with you for the first workout of each week and record how long the workout takes you to complete.  Each week see if you can beat the previous weeks’ time.  By week 4 you should smash your time from week 1.

This is a simple yet very effective workout for working on triple extension as well as developing the aerobic and anaerobic systems.  If you don't have access to kettlebells, you can always substitute a dumbbell instead.  And if you don't have plyo boxes, you can use step boxes or a bench, or simply just do squat jumps.

Post your time to complete the workout down in the comments below