Whoever said exercise could be fun wasn’t lying.

There it is.  That moment you first enter the gym after having never set foot in one. Or you are going on your ten-year reunion of no gym and the panic sets in.  Your mind starts telling you how impossible it will be and how horrible exercise is.  Images of YouTube epic gym fails flood your mind. Panic sets in.

Don’t listen to it.

It doesn’t know crap about exercise, until you show your mind how to love it.

No one person is the same which means no one person will love every form of exercise the same.  You can however find what you do love.  Finding the balance is key.  The balance between what needs to get done and what you love getting done.

There are so many fitness styles out there trying to sell you on their program or way of training.  They try to convince you that if you follow their plan you will be skinny and fabulous in a short time. 

Are they wrong?  Probably not. 

Will you enjoy it? Maybe.

I am not saying that this is the wrong way to get started.  I am the poster child for following a commercial “fits-all” training program.  At first, I started with at home workout videos which helped me start losing weight but now I rarely do them.  This isn’t because they didn’t work but because I didn’t love them.  They didn’t make me want to wake up and get my butt moving. I had seen results and had the fitness bug but wasn’t excited.  The videos started a spark but if I didn’t find something new and challenging it would fizzle out. 

Where would that put me?  Back where I started and I was not happy there.

So instead I turned to running.  I ran my heart out.  I loved it.  It made me feel accomplished and reset my mind for the day.  When I was running I would have time to think and a time to myself, away from being mom and wife.  It is an exercise I LOVED and could challenge myself with faster and farther.  I logged many hours on my treadmill and pushing the jogger.  Neither were my favorite but when the hubby was finally home for a day (love my military pilot, hate the job) and I could hit the trail on my own, I was unstoppable.

I know, I know…I probably am getting some eye rolls from you.  Not everyone is a runner.  I know that.  I dream of the days when I was running mile after mile. Now, ha! I love my 3 miles a couple of times a week.

So, how can this relate to you?

Let’s get you to fall in LOVE with exercise!

I had a client some years ago that I was lucky enough to take on an eight month weight loss journey.  She is an amazing example of positive change and finding love in exercising.  She lost close to 100 pounds through intense workouts and pure determination.  What was her love?  Zumba.  It changed her.  I tried it… it didn’t go well because let’s be honest, my dancing skills are worse than my two-year old’s.  Once, I took a class with her and she can testify to my severe lack of coordination and grace.  I tried, just like I have tried sushi, but it just won’t work for me.  However, she loved it so I created a program that worked around her love of Zumba. She had an amazing 90 pound transformation over the course of those eight months and years later she still kicks butt each day. With her permission she let me show you her amazing transformation.  She is one of my best friends and I continue to be inspired by her everyday.  Zumba got her to the gym each day; she found her love. 

With her permission she has allowed me show you her amazing transformation.

Before Dec 2012

 

After Aug 2013

 

 

When it comes to losing weight sometimes it is inevitable that you will have to do some form of exercise you don’t love.  From personal experience most of my clients don’t love, you guessed it, cardio.  I always tell them “you can’t hate it, but you can dislike it.”  Meaning, let’s make it fun and not tedious.  You don’t need to stay on one exercise machine for the entire time.  Throw small breaks and different intervals into the workout. Get off the machines and do a circuit.  I promise, there is no Netflix TV series that can make 60 straight minutes on the treadmill fun…

Don’t get stuck in the same mundane, old workouts every day.  Listen to your body.  If it is tired and bored, give it a new challenge.  Don’t just call it quits and say that fitness just isn’t for you.  It is that you have not found what moves you.  It is there, I promise.  We will find it and LOVE it!

Each one of us has a desire in us to be better than what we currently are; it is human nature.  It is the competitive nature we all love to hate.  Use that to find a love and passion for your new lifestyle.  You don’t eat things you dislike (Sushi – props to those who can stomach it) so why should you exercise in a way that makes you gag-like Zumba for me.  Change it up!  Go outside your comfort zone and try something new.  It might surprise you.  Bootcamps, kickboxing, aerobic dancing, running clubs, weight training circuit training and more.  There is SOMETHING for everyone!

So, let’s get you started.

 Full body workout?  Why not?!? Give this baby a whirl.

Full body strength circuit

 

 

You will do all four rounds and then repeat all rounds again 2-4 more times.  The first exercise in each round will be performed for one minute.  The other three exercises in the round you will do 10 reps each.

Round 1

Run with ball over head – Use a medium stability ball.  Pick a place that has a long enough area for you to run back and forth.  Lift the ball directly over your head.  Start running down and back while keeping the ball above your head.  Do not let the ball rest on your head

Squat w/shoulder press round – Start with feet shoulder width apart.  Squat down making sure that your booty is down, shoulders back and knees are over toes.  Hold the squat for the duration of the 10 reps.  While in the squatting position take a medicine ball and start with it held at your chest.  Push the ball directly out in front of you with your arms straight and parallel to your quads.  While keeping the arms straight and the core engaged lift the ball up over your head.  Bend the elbows and bring the ball back to the starting position in front of your chest.  That is one rep.

Wall squat w/outward bicep curl – With dumbbells in hand, begin by leaning your back against a wall and your feet slightly out in front of you and hip width apart. Slowly slide your back down the wall until your knees reach a 90 degree angle and your heels are pressed into the ground.  Hold this position for the 10 reps.  While in squatting position against the wall and dumbbells in hand, place your elbows directly into your sides above your hip bones.  lower your forearm down and out and then curl your arm back up.

Ab roll up – Begin standing with feet hip width apart.  Jump up high with arms above the head.  As you come down slowly lower yourself backwards into a sitting tuck position.  Roll backwards lifting feet lightly up and over your head and arms down at your sides on the floor.  Quickly Roll back up into the sitting tuck, engage the core and stand up.  That continuous movement is one rep. Try not to cross your feet as you stand or use your hands to help you.

Round 2

Burpee –  Start with feet hip width apart.  Extend your arms up over your head and jump.  As you land softly, bring your arms down and place your hands on the ground in front of you.  While engaging the core and drawing the belly button in, jump your feet behind you so you are now forming a plank (push up) position.  Hands should be directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line.  Continue the motion by slowly lowering your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees all while pulling the bellybutton inward to keep from arching your back.  Push up to return to plank position, jump your feet back into your chest and stand up, bring your arms above your head.

Incline push-up – Begin in a plank position with hands placed right under your shoulders and your feet elevated on a platform.  Slowly lower your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees all while pulling the bellybutton inward to keep from arching your back.  Push up to return to plank position.

Squat to upright row – Begin with your feet slightly farther than shoulder width apart and your feet pointed slightly outward.  Holding a kettle ball down between your legs, lower yourself into a squatting position by keeping the shoulders back and the knees in line with the toes.  As you lower down, bring the kettle ball up towards your chin by bending at the elbow with the elbows pointing outward in opposite directions.  As you stand back up bring the kettle ball back to the starting position between your legs.

Plank twist – Begin with your hands on the ground directly under your shoulders.  Step your feet back and lower you booty to make your entire body form a straight line.  Keep the lower back engaged and the belly button drawing inward as you bring your knee to the opposite elbow, twisting at the hips. Slowly return the foot back to the starting position and repeat with the other knee.

Round 3

Plank rows – With dumbbells in hand begin with your body in plank position.  Keeping the body as straight as possible and the core engaged, lift the dumbbell in your right to your arm pit, elbow back behind you.  Slowly bring the dumbbell back to the plank position and repeat with the left arm.

Pull-up – If necessary begin by using the assisted pull up machines and set the weight accordingly.  With your knees on the mat and your hands holding the handle bars so that your hands are just wider than your shoulders and will open away from you, slowly pull your entire body up until your chin is in line with your hands.  Keep the body engaged and do not swing the body.  Slowly move back to the starting position.

Dips – Using the same assisted machine as pull-ups, start with knees on the platform and your hands holding the handle bars at your hips.  Have your arms straight and against your sides.  Going in the reverse direction as a pull up, lower your body down keeping your elbows back and hands directly under arms pits.  Slowly lift back up to starting position.

Incline sit-up – Begin by laying on a workout bench that has one end higher than the other.  Place your head on the lower end and your feet hooked at the higher end.  Place your arms across your chest as you slowly lift your head up and bring it to your knees.  Keep the back straight and core muscles engaged.  Lower back down to starting position.

Round 4

Walk-outs – Begin with your feet hip width apart.  Raise your hands over your head.  Then bend forward at the waist as you lower your hands to the ground while keeping your legs straight.  Slowly walk your hands away from your body engaging the core and making sure to end with your hands directly under your shoulders in a plank.  Walk your hands back to your feet keeping your legs straight.  Stand up and bring your arms back over your head

Bicep curls – Begin by standing with feet hip width apart and dumbbells in hand.  With your hands holding the dumbbells, palms facing away from you and your arms straight, bend your arms at the elbow slowly moving the fore arm up and the dumbbells to you shoulder.  Reverse the direction and return to the starting position.

Reverse grip bent over rows – Begin with with a barbell in hand your your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, bending at the waist 45 degrees.  Make sure the you are holding the barbell so that your palms are facing up towards you and your arms are hanging down under your chest.  As you engage your lower back, slowly bring the barbell straight up to your chest while staying at the 45 degree angle.  Lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Lying leg raise – Begin by lying down on your back, arms down at your sides and your legs straight.  With the core engaged and the belly button pulled, slowly bring your legs up until you make a 90 degree angle from your waist to your legs.  Slowly lower your legs, keeping them straight back to the ground.  Do not let them touch the ground before you bring them back up again.

2 Comments

  1. Stacia Liechty
    January 20, 2017

    Maren, you look AMAZING!!! 👊🏻 This post totally hit home for me, totally inspiring!

    1. ekmortensen
      February 8, 2017

      She kicked butt, right?!? I am glad I was able o provide some inspiration! It is more than just the way we look. It’s find a love and a passion for a healthy lifestyle no matter our size.

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