How To Push Through A Motivation-less Workout

We’ve all been there. You walk into the gym, determined to do your 30 minutes of elliptical machine, followed by 30 minutes of weights. And two minutes into your workout–BAM!–the Motivation Train has left the station.

What do you do to keep up your workout and make it worth your while? How do you come back from that kind of crash?

Here are some tips on how to keep up the motivation, get a killer workout, and leave the gym feeling happy, healthy, and refreshed!

  • Change up the tunes. If you normally listen to music, turn it off. Eves-drop on the lady next to you, or the people on the treadmills behind you. If you don’t normally listen to music, now may be the time to turn it on. I’ve been known to put a movie on my phone and watch that! Running while watching The A-Team? You’d be surprised how motivating it is looking at Bradley Cooper… just sayin.
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  • Remind yourself of why you’re there. You did actually make it into the gym, you started to workout. You must have had a reason to be there, otherwise you would have kept on driving straight home. Be honest with yourself. You want results? Dig deep and focus on them. If focusing on your goal doesn’t give you motivation to reach for it, you may need to rethink your goals…
  • Change up your workout! You’ve focused so much on to what you’re going to do, you might have zapped the fun right out of it. Is there a Zumba class going on while you’re there? Or that Boot Camp that you’ve been afraid to try? Do something NEW! If it’s trying the assisted pull-up machine, trying a new class, or simply switching “leg day” to a different day, do something different! 40673202854189087_LqBUKqQR_c
  • Call a friend. Tell ’em, “Oh. Emm. Gee. This treadmill is killing me right now! Help! Distract me!” Or, “I’m losing steam! Mayday! Mayday! My workout is going down in flames! Come quick!” [these may or may not be actual transcripts from my phone calls…] Having someone who knows you helping you in the moment will greatly increase your chance of finishing your workout in a good mood. 😉163748136423434835_HnffhtPT_c
  • And last, but not least: Let the treadmill win. You heard me. Take the day off. Your motivation slump may be your body telling you that it needs a break. Ask yourself when the last full day off you had. Been a few days? Take a break. Say “You win, elliptical. But tomorrow, you better run and hide; I’m comin for ya!” 66991113177337808_6lYnAuO3_c

What’s your favorite way to whip out a workout when you lose motivation?

Torture Tuesday–Burn the FAT!

I normally call Tuesday “Torture Tuesday” because I’m over the funk of Monday, and ready  to get crackin. For me, that’s good. For my clients? Well, you’ll have to ask them… 😉

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On Tuesdays, I teach at 7 am and at 5 pm. I thought I’d give you a breakdown of today’s 7 am class so that you can torch the calories at home! [You can also do this at the gym. No matter where you do it, the extra calories in your body are gonna tell you “Peace out! I’m outta here!”]

You’ll need a mat, a heavy weight [we used kettlebells, but you can use a dumbbell or a milk carton filled with sand… or kitty litter… hey, no judgement], a chair or exercise bench, and your water bottle. Please remember to stay hydrated!

You’ll be doing this workout in descending sets. Without resting at any point, you’ll do exercise A 10 times, exercise B 10 times, exercise A 9 times, exercise B 9 times, etc, all the way down to 1 rep of each. Without resting [or at least a very minimal rest], switch to the next two exercises.

A note on how to chose your weights today: you are stronger than you think. LIFT HEAVY!!!! That’s the key to torching the fat! I’ve added YouTube videos at the end to help you learn the exercises. Remember: form trumps reps!

Ready?! [The correct answer is: of course, Heather! Let’s go!]

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Warm up: walk/jog in place for 1 minute, followed by 20 second side plank each side. Repeat this for 5 sets.

Workout:

  • 10 Kettlebell swings, 10 triceps dips
  • 9 Kettlebell swings, 9 triceps dips
  • 8 Kettlebell swings, 8 triceps dips
  • etc… all the way to 1 Kettlebell swing [yes, it’s awkward], 1 triceps dip
  • 10 lunges left leg, 10 lunges right leg, 10 push ups
  • 9 lunges left leg, 9 lunges right leg, 9 push ups
  • etc… all the way to 1 lunge each leg, 1 push up

Cool down: high-knee march in place 2 minutes, 30 second plank. Repeat 3 times.

I recommend stretching your quads, glutes/hips, chest, and triceps after this workout.

Here are some videos, in case you have questions:

Your goal: do the “workout” portion of Torture Tuesday AS FAST AS POSSIBLE!!! Get the heart rate up, and keep it up, to get the most out of this workout! It’s fast and effective, so give it all you’ve got!!

If you lifted heavy, skip resistance training tomorrow. Stick with yoga and/or cardio tomorrow, so that way your muscles can heal. If you lifted light for this, you can do more light lifting tomorrow, as long as you don’t do the same exercises. Letting your body recover properly is just as [if not more] important the workout itself.

Have a killer Torture Tuesday!!! 😀

Protein Shots and Jello

You know the warm jello liquid, all sweet and delicious, in that moment right before it goes into the fridge to set into jello? I used to love taking sips of that. What? Am I alone here? Liars. I am not the only one who drank the jello juice. 😉

Last night I taught a class similar to my Tabata Hell class. Tabatas, barbells, hand weights. Yes, I am sore right now. It was freaking awesome! (there’s a breakdown of class at the end of this post) I typically do the kickboxing class that happens right after my class, but what I taught really kicked my bootie, so I only did half of Megan‘s TurboKickboxing class, and then walked home (it’s a nice 20 minute walk, perfect for cooling the body down.) I wanted to stay for the whole class, but I was hitting the wall. Plus, I wanted to get home in time to watch So You Think You Can Dance. 😉

When I got home, I started to think, “What the hell am I going to eat? I need some major protein right now, but really don’t feel like cooking. . .” Insert “DUH” moment here. I had a Protein Shot from my Bulu Box waiting in the cupboard for me! YAY!!! So standing at the counter, I popped that sucker open.

Here comes the explanation of that jello comment earlier. The Fruit Punch Protein Shot tastes EXACTLY (and I really do mean EXACTLY) like warm liquid jello!!!!! I couldn’t believe it!! Since it was so sweet, and really concentrated, it took me about an hour to finish it. Since it’s only 2.5 oz, you’d think I could drink that in less time. But it was just toooooooooo sweet for me to really knock it down.

But I’m totally sold on it. I think next time I have one, though, I’m going to dilute in a bottle of water first. I could really get spoiled with 25g of protein in one little bottle! So if you ever come across Protein Shots, get one! Or three! 😉

So coming back to last night’s class. Here’s the breakdown of the torture that ensued:

~Warm up

~Tabata Squats

~3 mins Barbell Pilé with Overhead Press

~Tabata Pushups

~3 mins Barbell chest press

~3 mins hamstring curl with biceps curl on step with risers

~3 mins Barbell biceps curls and platter lifts

~3 mins knee lifts with triceps kickbacks on step with risers

~3 mins Barbell skull crushers

~1 mins jumping jacks with overhead press

~3 mins Barbell standing oblique crunch

~3 mins crunches and leg lowers

~stretch

It was an amazing class last night!! I love my 24HF peeps! I can throw anything at ’em! And they’re just like, “Sure, Heather! Let’s crush it!” So try this exercise list today! Give yourself a good hour to do this, make sure you have your water bottle, too! Pull your abs in, stand tall, squat low, and CRUSH IT!!!

Have you tried Protein Shots? What’d you think?

What’s your favorite Barbell move? 

Shut Up, Butt

Do you talk to your sore muscles? I do.

Right now, my glute mediuses/minimuses (wow, spell check does not those words!) are yelling at me. They’re a bit upset that they actually had to work on Monday. It’s pretty easy to ignore those small muscles during regular gym work, so they usually object to working hard.

I decided on Monday that I was going to tackle some hill sprints even though I was still sick. I have a trail/hill race in 10 days. No biggie. *gulp* I figured running some hill sprints before the race (the word sprint is being used very liberally here) would be more beneficial than cuddling up on the couch watching the Olympics.

I ended up going to Blue Ball Park to run the hill between the lower and upper parking lots. (I’m not even going to go into how inappropriate a name that is. . .)

There are these 9 foot tall blue cement balls around the park. Random. And creepy. Hence the name Blue Ball Park. It’s just wrong. LOL

My son was such a gentleman: he instructed me on the correct way to jog down the hill. 😉

my son, jogging down the hill

And while that was all fun and dandy, I was more concerned with running up the hill.

Yay. Hills.

I started off by warming up with a walk around the park. It was just over .75 miles, but it was hilly, so by the time I made it back to the bottom of the hill, I was nice and warm, starting to get a bit sweaty. My body was more than ready to sprint, but my throat was ready to kill me and my brain was threatening to abandon ship.

Bring it on, Monday. I got this.

I only did 5 sprints before I started to hit to the wall. Since I was still sick, I didn’t actually want to hit the wall and set back my healing. It’s okay to workout when you’re sick–provided you don’t have a chest cold– but you have to take it easier than usual.

I sprinted up normally the first time, side shuffled (left) up the second, regular the third, side shuffled (right) the fourth, and finished off with another regular sprint. My glutes were on fire, my hammies were on fire, and I was feeling accomplished.

Today, my smaller glute muscles hate me. Seriously hate me. They’re sore. Which is good! Strong glute med/minimus muscles mean that you have strong and stable hips, which is essential for healthy living. I refuse to take this soreness as a bad sign, since I’m strengthening some pretty darn important muscles.

Yesterday I did the Buti Sculpt workout, which you can find here. And today, I went for a walk/slow jog with my cousin. You can’t have a bad morning when this is where you’re running:

Running along the cliffs, with the waves crashing below, and a light cool fog = running perfection!

So now I’m getting ready to put together tonight’s Muscle Blast class. I’ll post tomorrow what tonight’s class is so that you can have another Ballet/Pilates-inspired full body workout 🙂

Busy versus Tired

As a personal trainer, one of the most overly-used and never true excuses I heard was “But I’m so busy! I don’t have time to work out!”

Really? You’re gonna go there? Alright, bring it. Let’s settle this. 

I’ll have people break down their day, write it out in 10 minute increments, and keep it in their files for us both to reference. To this day, I have not found one person who didn’t have 3 to 4 10-minute chunks of time that could be used for stretching/walking/taking the stairs/you-name-it. Unless if it’s your rest day (you should have one every 3 days), aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise every day. Whether you can do a solid 60 minute workout, or have to break it up into 10-minute chunks of time, take the time to exercise!!!

Sorry. You hear an excuse often enough and it starts to sound like nails on an chalkboard (do they even make chalkboards anymore?) At least I made that rant short and to the point, right. . . ?

My fave teacher of all time (7th grade English Literature, of course!) shared this opinion piece on Facebook (cuz he’s cool like that) that inspired my little rant today. Take 2 minutes to read this and reflect on if your lifestyle is truly busy, or if it’s self-inflicted and just making you tired. . .

The Busy Trap by Tom Kreider at the New York Times.

So, what was your workout today?  I did a Buti Tone workout followed by TurboFire’s Greatest HIITS this morning, and went for a walk this afternoon. 

 

Buti Workout

If you read Shape Magazine, you’ve probably already seen Buti mentioned a few times. And for a good reason, too! It’s no joke! These workouts will seriously burn and sculpt!

And it only takes one look at Bizzie (the creator of Buti Fitness) to realize that she’s doing something right:

Keep in mind that Bizzie (whom I now refer to as The Blonde Wonder-Woman) is a very talented yogi, so all of her yoga moves are shown at advanced stages. Just do what you can, modifying when you need to. Please don’t injure yourself. 😉

Today’s workout:

Pick one of these videos to do. Follow it up by completing the other one tomorrow!

Now, get your mat, get your timer (if you’re doing Sculpt), your water, your Big Girl Panties, and LET’S GO!!!

 

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/45480883″>Sample BUTI Tone Workout</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user12458358″>Bizzie Gold</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/45480884″>Sample BUTI Sculpt Workout</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/user12458358″>Bizzie Gold</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

 

So, how do you feel?*

*sexy, powerful, and totally kick-ass the correct answer 😉 But I’m open to other adjectives 😉

The Awesome Click Protein Drink

After Megan‘s Turbo Kickboxing class this morning, I had to get home quickly so that I could shower and get down to the college for ImPact testing for the football players. (The season starts in 3 weeks, and the players aren’t allowed on the field without a baseline test for concussions. It’s pretty important stuff. If you’re not familiar with concussions, or wonder what the big deal is about getting them, watch this video. If you’re in sports, get an ImPact test done. Please.) My favorite sport to work for is football: with so much going on and some pretty gnarly injuries, I’m always busy busy busy! Once I get my Athletic Trainer Cert, I think I’m just going to work football… 😉

 

 

Let’s go SeaHawks!!!!

I’m getting pretty excited about the season starting up, so I came home in a great mood! Great workout + starting football = happy Heather! And to top it all off, I came home to a package on my front porch!!

I love getting mail! Not email (though I do feel quite popular when I get lots of those) but Snail Mail! I love it! I ordered Click Protein a couple days ago and received it today (man, I love it when things ship in the same state that you live in, cuz then you get it quickly!)

Have you had Click yet? It’s awesome.

Click is coffee (options for caffeinated or decaf) and a protein supplement in one! It’s also got vitamins for those of us who hate taking vitamins every day. 😉 And at only 120 calories, it’s a dream come true! I got the mocha flavor (with caffeine, of course! it’s a double shot of espresso!) and mixed it with water, poured it over ice, and voilà! Instant happiness!!

I tried Click with my usual Coconut Milk (brand: So Delicious, vanilla flavor) but the milk thickened it up too much for what I was looking for. So I made another one, this time with filtered water. Yuuuuummmmmmmm!!! I like it enough that I’m going to order the decaf one, because you can drink Click hot or cold, and a hot cup of coffee after dinner when the fog* rolls in is so comforting. 🙂

*Yes, Northern California gets fog morning and night during the summer months. Tourists beware. 😉

Plus, there’s a bunch of recipes for Click that include Click cupcakes (coffee flavored protein cupcakes?! uh, yes please!), so I can’t wait to start experimenting!

I ordered mine when Click started it’s current promo, so I’m not sure how long it’ll last, but here’s the scoop: order a canister of Click (any kind) and enter the promo code FREE during checkout. You’ll get free shipping and a cute pink Click tumbler! Here’s what they put on Facebook:

So what are you waiting for?! Let’s get caffeinated so we can rock our workouts!!! Plus, at 3pm, when all you really want is that Hershey’s Bar, you’re tired, and have started contemplating shoving the next rude customer down the stairs, Click is just what you need! What, no one else has those moments? Just me? 😉

Have you tried Click? Which is your fave-decaf, mocha, or vanilla late? 🙂

Have you worked out yet today? What’s on your agenda? 🙂

Tabata Hell

So what’s a girl to do when she’s only got 2 days until her half marathon???

Teach a Tabata Hell class, of course!!! 😉

This morning, I subbed a strength training class for my friend and mentor, Megan (she’s the most amazing person you’ll ever meet, and the reason why I got into and stay in the fitness field). On Wednesday, I texted Megan and asked if her class was the type to expect anything and roll with the punches. In short, I asked if they’d be up for Tabatas. 😉 Megan replied that, yeah, they’re up for it! And in fact, they haven’t had to do them in a while, so give ’em hell! (I’m paraphrasing, but that’s totally how I interpreted it!)

I can honestly tell you this: everyone worked their asses off, had a great time, and got an aMAZing workout! And no, no one’s arms fell off, though I’m sure it was a close call at times 😉

Here’s your Friday the 13th Challenge:

You’ll need a mat, a barbell with varied amount of weights, a timer set to Tabata intervals (20 sec work, 10 sec rest, total of 8 sets; I use the Gymboss Timer App on my iPhone; you can download it here, and a kick-ass-take-no-prisoners attitude!

*note: all Tabatas are non-weighted!! Your own body weight is challenging enough! Do it fast, controlled, and keep your midline (aka CORE) tight and fired up!!! The barbell exercises are noted with “BB” and are steady paced for 3 minutes, no resting.

Start with a 5 minute warm up of pliés, Romanian dead lifts, light lunges, high knees marching.

  • Tabata: air squats

    a perfect air squat!!

  • BB: Plié with overhead press

    this shows a squat, but I want your legs wide and feet/knees turned out into a plié

  • Tabata: push ups

    do a real push up! Get your chest to tap the floor!!!

  • BB: Chest press with static bridge lift hold

    except you’ve got a barbell ant aren’t wearing silver spandex, riiiiiight? 😉

  • Tabata: mountain climber

    alternate legs and go as fast as you can! keep your bas squeezed and jump/run those legs!

  • BB: Romanian dead lift with bent over row (alternate 16 dead lifts with 8 rows)

    go from standing to “A” 16 times, on the 17th time, do “B” 8 times. Repeat.

  • BB: standing oblique crunch (barbell on shoulders, bring elbow down to side of hip)

    put the barbell on your shoulders (as if you were about to do back squats) and crunch down, alternating sides

  • Tabata: crunches

    instead of pushing your low back into the floor, think about pulling your belly button into your low back. SQUEEZE!!!!

  • Tabata: reverse crunches

    use the contraction of your abs to pull your hips off of the floor, not the strength and momentum of your legs! again, SQUEEZE!!!

  • 4 3-count supermans, 1 10-count superman, repeat for a total of 2 sets

    yes, it’s a crunch for your low back. it’s going to burn. trust me, you want to feel the burn on this one! it’s good for a healthy back!!

So, how do you feel?! 😉 *insert evil laugh here* Make sure you stretch your whole body, really well, to prevent any soreness!

Yes, this workout is hard. It’s supposed to be. Doing the Tabatas is going to rev up your metabolism to a fat-burning inferno!!! You may notice that your heart rate is sightly elevated for the 24 hours—totally normal!! In fact, that’s a good sign that you worked hard and your body is in calorie-torching more!!

Class, as you can guess, was awesome this morning!

true story 😉

So while everyone else gets to go home and rest and prep for their next class, I’m at home popping Advil and praying that I’m not too sore for Sunday’s half marathon. Oops. 😉 But my feet feel great, and my quad didn’t give me any attitude during class, so I’m taking that as a good sign!!

What are your plans this weekend?!

Happy Friday the 13th!! 😉

Muscle Blast Ballet and Jazzercise

Last night (Wednesday) I taught my Muscle Blast class at 24 Hour Fitness. Typically, we do a combination of ballet, Pilates, and yoga, with an emphasis on Pilates. As a ramp-up-to-summer, though, I changed it to a slightly different format for 4 weeks. Last night was session numéro un.

While keeping with pliés and curtseys and Pilates arm strengthening, I added in barbells. Oh yeah, I’m that mean. 😉 Plus, what’s a better way to get summer-licious than by making it core and ab focused?

a wide plié stance. And while we typically use chairs, we did not for this class.

Class started with a warmup of pliés, romanian dead lifts, overhead reaches, trunk rotations, more pliés. After that, 5 whole stinking minutes of planks and side planks (with hips dips and toe touches.) Then the torture fun began! Here’s my set list from class last night after the warmup and planks (spending 3:30 per exercise):

  • Curtsey Lunges
  • Weighted Mermaids and Pliés
  • Barbell: Romanian dead lift
  • V-arm circles, forward and backward
  • Barbell: Plié with overhead press
  • Barbell: Bridge lift

Then the last 20 minutes of class was all ABS!

  • crunches
  • bicycle crunches
  • bicycle 7-count pulse crunches
  • hat take-off
  • heels to heaven (straight leg reverse crunch)
  • Passé leg lift
  • V-sit knee pulls
  • V-sit crunchie frogs

the Passé leg lift

Followed by a quick stretch.

Conclusion?

Yowza!!!

I’m sore from last night’s class in my quads, glutes, and obliques. . . And I saw everyone’s facial expressions, so I’m guessing they’re sore, too! 😉 I get paid to torture people for a living! Can life get any better?! 😉

So this morning I joined my aunt, Robin, at Jazzercise. Monday was my first ever Jazzercise class, so I was excited to try it again (today was a different instructor.) And just like everywhere else, different instructors can teach the same thing but it’s a whole different class. That’s one of the reasons why I LOVE LOVE LOVE group exercise! 🙂

The class on Monday and the class today was the traditional Jazzercise class: floor cardio (both high and low impact) that’s dance oriented for 30 minutes, light weights for 15 minutes, and a cool down and stretch. I must say, I worked harder today than I did on Monday, but I’m thinking that it was because today had more complex choreography (though still simple: think along the same lines as Zumba, but not as twirly). I liked the routines more, so I put more energy into it.

this isn’t the class we did, but I totally wish it was!! Yeah, baby!! Grrrr! 😉

this gives you a general idea of what the cardio section of the class is like, tho

(HINT: the best exercise is not what’s a fad at the moment, but what you truly enjoy and are willing to put effort into.)

If you’re interested in trying Jazzercise, click here to search for classes and deals in your area!

My advice: try every form of exercise. Don’t give up on finding something active that you love to do! There’s something out there for everyone!!! And even if you’ve already found your passion, try new things anyways! It’ll keep your muscles activated and make what you love more effective!

So now I’m home, contemplating how I want to fix my breakfast/protein smoothie and ignoring the fact that I need to vacuum. 😉

true story! 😉

What are your exercise plans for today?!

What’s your favorite protein smoothie recipe?!

Let go of the water bottle!

Provided that you actually eat fruits and veggies, and that you drink things that are water-based (yes, even caffeinated coffee), then you’re getting water! My fave foods to get water from: cantaloupe, watermelon, romaine lettuce, and tomatoes. So while you still need to drink water, lay off the guilt trips and drink when your body tells you to. 🙂

Let go of the water bottle. You’re plenty hydrated, people – TODAY Health.