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 🙂

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?!

Run Run Run to Lululemon’s Run Club

Tuesday night I went to Lululemon (yeah, I told you I’d do it!) to check out their run club. Lululemon Santana Row was having a social hour/Q&A session. No running shoes required! Thank goodness, because I was freakin exhausted! And they had cookies!!!

 

As per usual with Lulu, I made sure I had time to shop. And as per usual, I went a bit overboard. Hey, don’t blame me! It’s so easy to do!! I mean, come on, this is the company that I want to work for. Do really expect me to control myself in their stores? Pfft. Yeah right.

My loot? Thought you’d never ask!

 

A running dress?!?! YES!!! And it’s way more flattering on a curvy figure, if I do say so myself. So lightweight and comfy!!! 

 

I don’t know how I never got the Run: Swiftly tank before now. Awesome. Seriously awesome. 

 

The cutest and most flattering board shorts you’ll ever own. Each color is reversible to a solid and a print. I got the black simply because my fave bikini is all black. Matchy matchy.

 

A handheld with pocket for my short/short-ish runs. 

And the piece that I’ve been wanting for a while now, the hydration belt! 3 bottles, iPhone carrier, reflective race bib holder. Yes. Heather’s running in style now!!

Before this shopping trip, I had no actual hydration system for my runs. Which is pretty important. So, really, it wasn’t all that hard to spend the bucks on both a hand-held and a belt Amphipod.

 

Anyway, back to the run club!

The Santana Row Lulu meets up on Wednesday nights for track work and Saturday mornings for long runs. Which has 2 drawbacks. (I refuse to say ‘problems’)

First, their schedule is set to coincide with the Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon. So since my half is about a month before the SeaWheeze, the scheduling is a bit off for my training. And second, I teach on Wednesday nights. Greeaaaaaat. So I’ll only be able to do their long runs on Saturdays. I’m hoping that once the weather starts really heating up the time on Wednesday night gets pushed another hour back. Then, I could teach AND run with Lulu!! Yay!

This will be my first time running with a run club. . . I’m kinda scared for the people I’ll be running with. 😉 I’m really looking forward to it!

 

Do any of you run with run clubs? Formal or otherwise? Any suggestions on what to expect? How to behave? How to secretly pick a wedgie or your nose? 😉

Risks and Rewards

“Doing risk sport had taught me another important lesson: never exceed your limits. You push the envelope and you live for those moments when you’re right on the edge, but you don’t go over. You have to be true to yourself; you have to know your strengths and limitations and live within your means.”

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia, Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman

Push yourself, go after those big goals and lofty dreams! But when you’re injured or not up to the physical challenge, don’t kill yourself. Reevaluate what you’re doing and modify your goals.

Here’s to a week of great workouts!!!

If you’re stumped on how to mix up your routine this week, try throwing this in! Your legs will hate love you!!! Keep your abs in tight and push your knees outward when you squat. Have fun!!

Starbucks and Squats on a Saturday

I’m a sucker for Starbucks. Where else can I go to get chai that, no matter what location I walk into, I know what I’m getting. Every damn time. That’s important in my world! I don’t want to spend 5 bucks on a drink that I won’t enjoy. I want to know what I’m getting for what I’m spending. Simple. So, no matter your personal view on big-chains and corporations, knowing the value of your money pays off. Don’t worry, I’m a big fan of mom&pop shops! I just don’t buy my coffee there. . .

So today, I’m having a peppermint mocha. The Starbucks-at-home kind.

Ingredients:

Coffee, brewed to taste. I like the Blonde coffee because it’s a lot lighter than the other Starbucks coffees, but still great quality.

Peppermint mocha creamer. Warning: it’s delicious. But if you drink it all out of the carton, you won’t have any for your coffee. 😉

Lightly sweetened hot coco mix. I like Starbucks’ version because while it’s sweetened, it still has a true, dark chocolate bitterness to it. Sounds weird, but it really works well with the creamer.

Put a nice big spoonful of coco in your mug. Pour freshly brewed coffee in mug. Stir until coco is completely dissolved. Add creamer to taste. The color will be off from your regular coffee because of the coco, so go easy on it until you really get used to your ingredients.

Enjoy!!!

Okay, so I totally lied. No squats. But, we’re totally going to work the butt today!! Yay!!! Working large muscles makes your body burn loads of calories, but squats get super boring really quickly! So we’re going to use other exercises to get the gluteals into shape and burn mucho calories. And, seriously, who doesn’t want a kickin bootay?! Do these videos IN ORDER so that we can maximize how effective your cardio sessions are. Enjoy!

 

What are your favorite coffee beverages? Are they treats or daily drinks? 

Now go out into the world and enjoy your weekend!!! 

Sunday Adventures

So I totally lied. Not on purpose, but still, I lied. I said I was gonna go running this morning

And then I woke up this morning thinking that TKB sounded like a better idea.

I ended up going to the gym to do cardio kickboxing instead of running. I’m using the excuse that I need to replace my running shoes to justify my actions 😉 We’re totally going to ignore the fact that my cross-trainers are way overdue to be replaced, too…

the shoes that I'll be getting

…  waiting until payday so I can get the new Brooks PureCadence shoes… but I can’t decide if I want the blinding teal, or the more subdued black… such a difficult decision…

So after feeling kinda guilty about not running, I took my son out to scout out some new running locations. I’m a weird runner: I HATE running a route more than 2 times. Just can’t do it. I get bored and I get cranky. So we (myself and my alter ego, Steve) need some new running locations, STAT!

But apparently, I took my son out at the wrong time of day… after the RoboGames yesterday, my son was still pretty tired…

helping momma is hard work

On the agenda today:

~Finish laundry (I swear, it breeds when I’m not looking! My laundry is worse than rabbits! LOL)

~Throw dinner in the oven (slow cooked chicken and sweet potatoes, anyone?)

~Get in another workout.

My workout will be one of the Insanity DVDs and a leg toning routine. I’m doing the Insanity just for something new, and I’m doing the leg routine to help figure out some new moves for my Muscle Blast class on Wednesday.

insert shameless promo video here…

And here’s the thigh and glute routine that I’ll be doing…

Try this lower body routine, and then comment to tell me what you think!!! I’d love feedback to help me put together the most amazing toning class ever! 😉

Hot Hot HotBody Workout!

 

So it’s Sunday… Time to push the “reset” button on your workouts and start afresh! Let’s kickstart our week by toning and trimming the whole body! One stop shopping! Yay!

 insert cheesy fit model photo here…

For this workout, you’re going to need a stopwatch or an interval timer. If you’ve got a smartphone, get the new Gymboss 2 App… you’ll LOVE it!! I’ve heard that you can get it through the Andriod market, but since I’ve got an iPhone, I can’t guarantee anything…

You can buy the actual Gymboss timer if you’d like, but don’t use having to order it as an excuse to not do today’s workout! 😉 

Make sure you’ve got your water bottle (maybe with a little Nuun added to it), a mat, a towel, a dumbbell or kettlebell (don’t be afraid to make it heavy!), and the craving for a kickass body!

Warmup:

1 minute high-knee marching in place

10 walking lunges, alternating legs (20 total)

15 sit ups (full sit ups, no pansy crunches! If you need to, hook your feet under a couch or stretch your legs out further for added counter-balance)

Workout:

Timers set to 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest. 12 sets total. Do exercises 1-4. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 3 sets.

Jumping jacks: 3 regular jumping jacks with an air-jack. Repeat for the full 45 seconds, working up to the whole 45 seconds as air-jacks. (Warning: it’s freakin hard to do a full 45 seconds of nothing but air-jacks. Give yourself some time to get there!)

Kettle bell swing: the power and the movement are derived from standing up tall and pushing your hips forward, while squeezing your butt and abs as hard as you can. This is a quick workout– don’t cheat yourself! Do the work!!!

 

Mason twist: Keep your abs tight!

 

Push up: standard or on your knees, keep your abs in and your shoulders back. Keep your elbows close to your sides. You shouldn’t feel this in the front of your shoulders! Your chest, triceps, and abs should be on fi-ya!!

 

(from here, go back to #1 and follow this pattern until you’ve done all 4 exercises in a row, 3 times)

Cool down:

6 30-second planks

3 20-second side planks, all 3 on one side before switching sides

15 low back cobra raises

 

If you’ve got the time, get outside (or I guess we can compromise on a treadmill) and take a quick-paced walk for about 30 to 45 minutes. Your body is a fat-burning machine after a high intensity interval workout, so use that to your advantage! Go for a long walk, and if your goal is to trim fat and tone muscle, NO CALORIES OF ANY KIND FOR 2 FULL HOURS!!! (that last part is really important in weight loss, hence me ‘yelling’ it… water is GREAT, but absolutely no additives in it. NO CALORIES means NO CALORIES)

Thanks for joining me today! I hope you’ve enjoyed this workout! More to come tomorrow!!

Do you normally schedule your rest days to fall on weekends? What days do you find you get the best workouts?