24 Hours in a Day Just Isn’t Enough… so they say

If there is one thing as a trainer I never want to hear anyone say, you know that phrase, “There just isn’t enough time in the day for me to do that…” Why is this so widely accepted and lived?? I know there is time that we spend doing things that would not be considered productive; I know because I do them.  When it comes to not wasting time, I am no saint.  I have sat in and avoided piles of laundry more times than I can count and looked through social media sites, read meaningless articles on the internet, and looked up a movie star or two to see what dreamland they are off to that day. I will say that maybe 50% of that time I spent wasted I was doing research so it is justified, right?!?

Anyway, my point is we just need to look at our day and do a little math.

My 24 hour Day Broken Down

There are 24 hours in the day. Let’s break down an average of time spent doing certain activities each day.

  • 7 hours of sleep
  • 1 hour to shower and get ready for the day
  • 3 hours for school drop off/pick up and errands
  • 2 hours cleaning/organizing/more cleaning
  • 1 hour of “girl” time
  • 2 hours spent preparing meals
  • 2 hours playing soccer mom for after school activities
  • 1 hour helping with homework
  • 1 hour of family time
  • 1 hour of hubby time, BEST part!

Now, that is a grand total of 21 hours.

Phew!!

So, if I do my math correctly 24-21=3.  I have three whole hours left in the day to get a workout in with hours to spare for me to watch the latest episodes of This Is Us or Poldark.  (Now, if you don’t know what either of these shows are, well you need too ASAP! Then report back about how much you LOVE them. ;))

So, 3 hours of the day is 12.5% of my day.  That may not seem like a lot but one hour of exercise is only 4.2% of your day.  Even just 30 minutes, is only 2.1% !

Anyone can make time in their day for 2% of something that will make you stronger, healthier and happier!

Your life will be so much more rewarding and enjoyable not only because you are changing your health but because you are doing something for yourself.  When you are happy; life is happy.

Now, not everyone’s day looks this way. Some people work full time outside of the home, others don’t have any kids, and some work multiple jobs to make ends meet.  If this is you, figure out your day.  Find where your time is spent and you will be surprised to see a little extra time just waiting to be used.  Fill it with sweat, hard work, and pure awesomeness and you will be the superhero I know you to be!

Make time today for this Tabata style workout.  A Tabata style workout is really effective way to perform HIIT workouts.  You can customize them to your fitness level with any exercise.  Simply make intervals longer of shorter or repeat circuits more than once.  You can use the same workout for numerous weeks and track your progress by increasing interval times.

SO, what are you waiting for?!?

You got this!

Tabata strength circuit

For this workout, use lower weight because you will be doing high reps.  Only take a small break after you complete all four exercises in each circuit. Repeat each circuit 2-3 times before moving onto the next one or you can complete all four and the repeat the entire workout 2-3 more times.  It is fun to play around with it!  You can make it seem like a whole new workout by switching things up.

You said six months of the same workouts…? Bored already.

Are you ready to sweat??

Your answer is YES and I have the workouts for you!

I am sure we have all bought a workout DVD or 2, maybe even 20. Never a bad thing, They can give you the push you need to get you familiar with exercise again and they can also make you lose weight.  But how many times can you really watch the same thing over and over again before you really don’t want to do it EVER again?

Maybe 10…?

It is like the movie Frozen, totally loved it the first handful of times I watched it but now if by some small chance that DVD was purposely broken lost I would not miss it one bit.  Workout videos can feel the same way after months of repeating them.  Being bored does not encourage motivation. We easily see this in kids. When they lose interest in an activity they chose not to do it.  It takes a little creativity and mom to the rescue to change up the activity and try something new for the spark to come back.  We are the same though we may not see it.

If you love workout videos, keep doing them!  Everyone has a different workout style they love. However, there are many, myself included that get bored with workouts easily.  I love adding new challenges and different styles to my cardio.  I switch it up by using all machines to just body-weight or to low weight strength circuits.  Having the variety can keep you motivated and have you falling in love with fitness week after week.

Switch up your cardio this week with these two workouts.  This elliptical workout is a great one to add to any weight training workout.  Incorporating intervals into cardio machines is the must effective way to scorch some calories.

This 60 min power cardio circuits is an all around body buster!  It will keep you moving and challenge all parts of your body, and burn some serious calories. It can even be modified for home. (Modifications are in the exercises descriptions)

For the circuit complete all exercises in the round before taking a short 1 min break.  Continue through all the rounds and then repeat 2-3 more times.  Remember to modify to your fitness level.  If you can’t do a full push-up, go to your knees.  If you need to eliminate the jumping, do so. This in no way means take it easy.  Push yourself further and harder than you think you can and you will be surprised at what you can accomplish!

Interval Elliptical workokout

As always, adjust the levels on the elliptical according to your fitness level.  Complete all five intervals before recovery.

Then repeat.

 

Power cardio strength workout

Exercise descriptions

Round 1

  1. Goblet squat- Begin with your toes pointed outward and your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and a dumbbell held up by your chest. Squat down keeping your toes out (think plie) while keeping the dumbbell held up by your chest. As you come up squeeze  your glutes and push your hips forward.  Remember to keep your booty back and your chest up
  2. Toe taps-  Start with feet right in front of the bottom stair on a staircase  or an aerobic bench.  Moving your feet quickly alternate tapping tops up and             down.  Move quickly to get the heart rate up.  The higher the elevation the harder it will be.  Modify height to your fitness level
  3. Squat jumps– Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, hands down at your side. Squat down keeping your shoulders back and booty low while bringing your arms up. Immediately jump as back up as high as you can swinging your arms  back and engage the core.  Make sure to land gently and slowly bend back down into a squat.
  4. Push-ups– Begin in a plank position with hands place right under your shoulders.  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.

Round 2

  1. Suicide plank- Begin in plank position with hands directly under shoulders. Engage the core and lower back and you lower one arm to your elbow followed by the next. Reverse the order until you return back to the original plank position.  That continued movement is one rep.
  2. 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.
  3. Kettle ball swing– Begin with feet shoulder width and a kettle ball held with both hands down in front of you. Squat down keeping the knees over the knees and the shoulders back. As you come up immediately engage the core and swing the kettle ball straight out in from of you making sure not to raise it higher that shoulder height .
  4. Wall sit- 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 duration stated.

Round 3

  1. Screamer lunge- Begin by standing with your feet hip width apart. Slowly step backwards with one foot and bend the front knee to a 90 degree angle.  AS you come up engage the cor while you bring the back leg back to the front and jump on the front leg while the opposite knee comes to the chest.  Be careful to slowly come back down and right back into the backward lunge position. Stay on the same leg through the all set counts and then switch.
  2. Bosu push- Begin with the flat side of the Bosu on the floor. Bend down with your hands in the center of the Bosu and your weight behind you.  Using the power in your legs and engaging the core push the Bosu across the floor for a set distance. Repeat back to the start.  (At home modification:  Use paper plates or washcloths under ,if on a hard surface, under your hands and push up and down a hallway).
  3. Mountain Climbers- Begin in plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders. Keeping your core engaged, bring one knee toward your chest. Return to plank position a quickly switch legs, bringing the opposite knee towards your chest.  That is one rep.  Complete the movement as if you were running.
  4. Tricep-dips- Begin standing with your back to a bench legs straight out in front of you, arms straight and hands resting on the bench with fingers hanging over the edge. Keep your hands directly under your shoulders and elbows back as you lower your body. Continue until your elbows reach a 90 degree angle and then push back up.

Changing up your workouts for results

A Week of Weight Training

I know what you are thinking when someone says “heavy weight training.”  The loud grunts and groans coming from the testosterone driven men as the try and lift a PR (personal record).  While this can make you regret your decision to try a weight training program let me tell you why to keep going!

I started weight training about five years ago when I needed to stop being such a cardio queen so I could get pregnant.  I needed an exercise that I could do without getting my hear rate up too high.  I didn’t know how much I would love lifting weights until I tried it.

It was something different. Something new.  It challenged my body in a a whole new way.  I love feeling strong.  I don’t just mean physically.  Weight training gives me a mental strength that makes me feel like I can battle whatever crazy children problems the day brings.

Cardio can push me to want to go faster or harder but there is something rewarding about watching the weights stack up as I get stronger and stronger each month.  Each workout can be something new.  Weight training allows for so much creativity that staying on a cardio machine lacks.  Don’t get me wrong, I still do cardio. I have a love/hate relationship with it.  That treadmill and I have had a few choice words back and forth on multiple occasions.

However, both forms of exercise have their health benefits outside.  Cardio helps with heart health and endurance as well as keeping the joints moving.  Strength training aids in muscle growth, which helps support the structure of the body.  This leads to better posture and balance.  When you can combine the two forms you will end up with the fat fighting workout you deserve.

Anyone can do weightlifting.  You don’t have to be thin and in shape already to start.  Weight training is all about starting out slow and increasing as you get stronger.  If you haven’t been active for quite some time you will just start with lower weight.  You will be surprised at how quickly you will gain strength.

To get you started, try out this week of weight training.  Each workout focuses on a certain muscle group.  You can combine any of these workouts with 15-20 minutes of any form of cardio.  Pick a weight that pushes you.  For more advanced fitness levels pick a weight that you really have to push through the last 2 reps on each set.  If you could do more reps than listed increase the weight.

Don’t be scared to go heavy!  Your muscles will thank you.

Day 1

Shoulder Workout

Complete all four sets of the exercise before moving onto the next exercise.

For a drop set, go down in weight one increment and repeat the rep count with no break.  That is one set.

 

Day 2

Chest and Back workout

Complete all three sets of the exercise before moving onto the next exercise.

Day 3

 

Bicep and Tricep Workout

For a superset, do both exercises in the set back to back then take a small rest and repeat.

 

Day 4

Leg day Burn

For a superset, complete both exercises back to back then rest.  For the Bosu push, find a place that you can push the Bosu ball for a good distance, about ten yards. Turn around and go back to the start.

Treadmill, it isn’t just for the casual runner

Another day, another time to sweat!  I have a quick 25 min treadmill workout that is waiting to push and challenge you physically and mentally.

Running on the treadmill can feel like you are running into a black hole.  I know from experience too many times.  Living in rainy WA and with a husband gone all the time I had to train for a half marathon on a treadmill.  The half marathon seemed way shorter than those 11 miles on that beast. However, I did what I could at the time and learned how to make the treadmill more bearable.

What’s my secret, you ask…? Intervals.

Adding speed and incline intervals will make those miles and time fly by.  Don’t just jump on and run mile after mile.  That will do nothing for your heart rate training or increase speed and strength.  Going further and faster is all a result of interval training.

Interval training is also a great weight loss tool.  Both high and low intensity exercise have their benefits.  Low intensity exercise pulls energy from your fat stores and can burn calories to make you leaner.  High intensity exercise tends to pull energy from the muscle glycogen (sugar or carbohydrates)  instead of fat storage.  When your glycogen is depleted your body needs to replace it from elsewhere, like food and the fat stores.  So now you have energy being pulled from the fat stores for the low intensity workout followed by energy burned from the glycogen for the high intensity workout which is then is partly replenished by the fat stores.

You get an extra fat loss!

For example, jogging at a steady speed for 30 minutes will burn roughly 300 calories, with half of those calories burned coming from your fat storage.  This will work in achieving weight loss. However, if you do a high-intensity workout for 30 minutes you can burn roughly 450 calories and 150 of that is coming from fat stores.  This workout would not only benefit your weight loss goal because you are burning more calories it improves your muscle strength.  And even better, the long term effect is your muscles get stronger and in turn need more fuel to perform, so they burn more calories!  Each has the same duration of time so why not make the most out of the 30 minutes you have?!?

When you can combine both high and low you end up with an intense fat burning workout that is worth every minute!

So hop on the treadmill and give this bad boy a try!

Elliptical HIIT

As always, the numbers do not fit into everyone’s fitness level.  These speeds are for a more advanced fitness level.  Decrease the speed and incline to match each other if you need to modify.  Adding any incline to your treadmill workout will add an extra workout for those amazing legs you’re transforming!

You will begin with a 5 min warm up.  Start with a fast pace walk  for a couple of minutes and then turn it into a jog.  You will then start the intervals.  You will work hard for 20 seconds and then jump off onto the sides of the treadmill using both hands for support.  This will be your 10 sec rest.  Always hold onto the treadmill as you jump back on and get running again before you let go.  DO NOT hold onto the handles at anytime during the run.  You will burn less calories and make the workout not as effective.  If you need to hold on, slow down instead. Don’t forget to BREATH!

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.