Workout Wednesday – Traveling Tabata

The holiday season is full of wonderful things like parties, seeing family, buying presents, making cookies, Christmas plays, and more. While all of these festivities are super fun, they also add in a lot of extra to-do’s to our schedules! I find myself getting stressed out and exhausted from all the busyness. Make sure you take time to find PEACE this season with a little self-care! Below is a body weight Tabata workout that you can do anywhere. It can be fast if you need to squeeze a workout in, or you can do a few more rounds if you can take more time for some self-care. This is designed to be done in a small space, so that, whether you’re waiting 15 minutes for your cookies to bake in the kitchen, or you’re visiting your grandparents and have only 6 sq ft of floor space in the bedroom you’re sharing with your whole family (can you tell I know this situation well??) you can make time for yourself.

No matter where you are, or how long you have to do your workout, take an extra minute at the end to breathe, restore, and refocus yourself for the rest of the day.

Lower Body Tabata Workout: 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, for each exercise

  • Complete the pairs 2-4 times before moving on to the next pair of exercises.
  • If you do each pair four times, it will be a 20-minute workout.

Set One:  Sumo squat to releve AND pop squats

Set Two:  Reverse lunges to front kick AND jumping lunges

Lateral lunge to single leg balance AND lateral jumping (Lateral lunges to balance: do a lateral lunge, push off the floor with your lunging leg to center, bringing your knee up past your waist. Catch your balance for a second before setting your foot back down.)

Set Three:  Calf raises AND power skips

(Calf raises can be done on the floor, elevated, or single-leg for an added challenge. Power skips are skips where you focus on getting as high as you can–they can be done in place.)

Set Four:  Bench squats AND jump squats

(Bench squats can be single-leg for extra challenge)

Six Workout Mistakes Almost Everyone Makes

Our personal trainer and group exercise leader Hannah (in Maryland!) gets serious with us about how we can get the most from our workouts! Check out her suggestions below!  I know I struggle with #5 (and therefore so do all of my classes) but I do TRY.  I am making a more committed effort for sure! Thanks Hannah for these awesome tips.

1. Skipping Warm-up

If you’re running short on time, (as most of us feel we are,) or if you’re just eager to get to the “real” work of working out, it’s awfully tempting to skip a warm up. There are so many benefits to warm-ups, though, this isn’t something you want to miss out on!

The purpose of a warm-up is multifaceted. It increases your body temperature, which leads to improved performance. Better performance = better results! A warm-up increases blood supply to your muscles, which means they are ready to respond more quickly; they’re more flexible and more agile. Depending on the type of warm-up you do, it can also prepare your body for the specific movements you’ll be doing later on in your workout. This reminds your body of proper movement patterns so that, when you add weights or increase your speed, it’s already prepped; this reduces the risk of injury, and allows you to lift heavier and push yourself harder.

A good warm-up should last 5-10 minutes. It can include a basic low-level cardio exercises to increase heart-rate and blood flow. It should definitely include some exercise-specific warm-ups as well. If you’ll be doing burpees, try low-impact burpees. If you’ll be doing deadlifts, try good mornings. If you’ll be doing push ups, try a few, or do some walkouts. If you’ll be running stairs, do some high knees or walk the stairs a few times. Get the idea? Continue Reading →

Confessions of Pregnant FITness Instructor


Confession: I love pushing myself to the max during workouts.

Fact: This is no longer something I can do while pregnant.

The arrival of the second trimester brought a huge sense of relief. While I never got that second trimester burst of energy I had so desperately hope for, I began to feel more like myself and less like a robot going through the motions of daily life. However, my workouts in the gym have started needing modifications to work around my growing belly and changes in balance. I stopped all abdominal work around 16 weeks. Many people have strong feelings on both sides of the Diastasis Recti (abdominal separation) issue regarding any type of abdominal work during pregnancy and for how long it is appropriate —but this is an issue where I had to trust what my body was telling me. I started feeling extremely sore anytime I worked my abdominals so I decided to stop training them entirely. Continue Reading →

Interval Workout – RPE Based

Fall is the perfect time of year to move your workouts outside! Enjoy the crisp, cool weather. Soak up as much vitamin D as you can before you’re covered head-to-toe all the time. Take in the puffy white clouds and fun house decorations. So get your shoes on, head out your door, and get in some great outdoor workouts this month!

This is a running-based interval workout. When you are doing your runs, your RPE should be at level 8 the whole time. That means your rate of perceived exertion should be pretty high on a scale from 1 (chillin’ on your couch) to 10 (working so hard you feel like you’ll collapse if you push it any harder). So it should be more sustainable than a flat out sprint, but pretty darn close to one!

Here’s your workout: Continue Reading →

Almost Everything You Might Want to Know About Push Ups

There are many different kinds of push ups, and we like to use them to switch things up during our workouts. Here I’m going to explain 11 different variations and the muscles groups that they work, so that you know exactly which version to use depending on what your goals are.

Standard push ups: hands directly below your shoulders, hands and elbows pointing out at about a 45-degree angle as you go down. Targets chest, triceps, shoulders, core. This is your baseline.

Wide push ups: hands placed to the outside of your shoulders, 6 inches or so to each side, but still in line with shoulders. Targets chest and shoulders more, triceps a bit less. Continue Reading →

How Much to Lift and When

So you want to lift weights to get stronger, and you know some exercises to do, but how do you go about making a program for yourself to see the results? How much weight should you use? How many reps should you do? You don’t want to get “bulky,” but do want to see results; where do you draw the line? Here is a guide to know how much to lift when, as well as some additional thoughts on weightlifting.

Let’s start with How much and how many reps:

Endurance/Stabilization: This is level 1. If you are new-ish to weight training, start here. If you’re trying a brand new exercise, start here. If you have been lifting heavy for a few weeks, scale it back to this level for 2-4 weeks to let your body recover; this prevents over-training and lowers your risk of injury. This level helps you learn movement patterns, and strengthens stabilizing muscles so that they can support you well in all movements, and when you increase your weights.

Reps: Your goal here is 15-20 reps for 1-3 sets.
Weight: You should be really feeling it by the last 5 reps, and you should be fatigued at the end. If you can do more than 25 reps, it’s time to increase your weight.

Strength: This is level 2. You won’t see tons of results if you just stick at the stabilization level the whole time. Once you’re very comfortable at that range, it’s time to try bumping up the difficulty level a bit. This is where you’re really start to build some muscle.

Reps: Your goal here is 8-12 reps for 2-4 sets.
Weight: You should be really feeling it by the last 3-4 reps, and be fatigued at the end. Starting weight will be heavier than what you used when you were simply learning the movement pattern in level 1.

Hypertrophy: This is level 3. While hypertrophy (increasing the size of muscles) might sound unappealing to you, this is where you will make your biggest strength gains. Your whole workout doesn’t need to be at this level, but be sure to include this type of effort for a few weeks in a row periodically in your workout schedule before taking a little break from it.

Reps: Your goal here is 3-5 reps for 3-5 sets
Weight: Heavy! You should be fatigued by the end of your 5th rep. Be careful here not to sacrifice form for weight though. Form should always be a top priority; if you can’t maintain proper form, then the weight is too heavy and you’re likely to injure yourself.

Power: This is level 4. This is where you’re going to increase your speed, force, and athleticism. Not everyone needs to get here, depending on your goals. Power is about accelerating the weights, combining force (weight) and speed. These exercises are done moving a lighter weight as fast as you can, and includes plyometric type exercises.

Reps: 5-10 for 3-5 sets
Weight: Lighter weight than the hypertrophy level so that you can move it fast, fatiguing by the last rep.

An interesting fact about power training: Troy Polamalu, famous Steelers safety known for his explosive plays, never trained with a weight over 20 pounds. 20 pounds!!! He focused his efforts on increasing his power, rather than his max, and (while his max was still likely pretty high) was able to do amazing things on the football field.

Many women don’t lift heavy enough weights. For any level you’re working in, if you’re not fatigued by the end, you need to increase the weight. We often feel most comfortable in the stabilization level, and in many cases never move beyond that. While this first level is highly important, staying here will have you easily plateauing in your strength gains and overall fitness journey. Don’t be afraid to lift heavy! Lifting heavy is essential for building muscle, which increases your metabolism and lowers your body fat percentage. Lifting heavy also supports high bone density, which, as women, we need to be aware of.

Often women don’t want to lift heavy because they don’t want to “bulk up.” This, however, is a misunderstanding of how our bodies work, and of the differences between men and women. Women do not have the hormones to hypertrophy in the same way as men. We see great strength gains, but our muscles simply don’t get big like that without a serious, focused, concerted effort to make that happen. If you want to looked “toned” and fit, then lift heavy! It feels great, too, and is so empowering!

Workout Wednesday – Week 21

 

October is the perfect time of year to move your workouts outside! Enjoy the crisp, cool weather. Soak up as much vitamin D as you can before you’re covered head-to-toe all the time. Take in the puffy white clouds and fun house decorations. So get your shoes on, head out your door, and get in some great outdoor workouts this month!

This awesome interval workout was written by Hannah – our Maryland based PowerFull Fitness personal trainer and group exercise instructor.

First up is a running-based interval workout. When you are doing your runs, your RPE should be at level 8 the whole time. That means your rate of perceived exertion should be pretty high on a scale from 1 (chillin’ on your couch) to 10 (working so hard you feel like you’ll collapse if you push it any harder).

So it should be more sustainable than a flat out sprint, but pretty darn close to one!

Continue Reading →

Interval Run – Track Work

For this workout- find a local track and use their field to burn up some calories!

Circuit 1:
800 meter dash – 5k pace (two laps)
Recover
800 meter dash – 5k pace
Agility work:
20 yard side shuffle switch sides and 20 more yards all the way to end
Then return with same thing

Circuit 2:
400 meter dash – AFAP (one lap)
Recover
400 meter dash – AFAP
Recover
Core strength work:
Alternate plank walk and groucho walk every 10 yards down
Repeat on way back

Circuit 3:
200 meter dash – AFAP (half lap)
Recover
200 meter dash – AFAP
Recover
Plyo power:
10 squat jumps
10 180 jumps
10 tuck jumps
Repeat plyo power

Circuit 4:
100 meter dash – as fast as possible (straight way)
Recover
100 meter dash AFAP
Bleachers!!
Run up/down bleacher one side
Coming back jump up stairs and run down next
REPEAT bleacher work

Confessions of a Pregnant Fitness Instructor

 

We are super excited to welcome Amy as a guest blogger. You can read more about Amy here! She is one of our awesome FITness instructors and has an amazing FITness background.  We couldn’t be more excited that she is expecting her third mini one!  Congrats!!!! I am even more excited that she is willing to share her pregnancy journey with us. I know she has tons of tips and #reallife moments for us to show us how to maintain realistic FITness during pregnancy.  Follow along with us as we hear the Confessions of a Pregnant Fitness Instructor.

Meet Amy!!!

Confession: I love drinking copious amounts of coffee, lifting heavy weights, and teaching bootcamp classes.  All of these loves had to be modified when I found out I was pregnant with our third baby in June.  That is not to say I was willing to give anything up (I was not), but I needed to find a way to make lifting weights and teaching a few bootcamp classes work with my changing (growing) body!

Continue Reading →

Interval Run – 1/4 Mile Strength Work

This interval workout is all about strength and speed.  You will be working on cardiovascular endurance as well as building strength in major muscle groups.  To complete the run, you’ll need to easure out ¼ of a mile. If you are at a local track, that is 1 lap around.

Get that sweat on friends!

Run ¼ mile. Do 50 walking lunges (count each leg)
Run ¼ mile. 50 push ups (complete in groups of 10!)
Run ¼ mile. 50 squats to calf raise.
Run ¼ mile. 50 v push ups
One mile done!
Run ¼ mile. Do walking lunges (count each leg)
Run ¼ mile. 50 tricep dips (off bench or on ground)
Run ¼ mile. 50 jump squats
Run ¼ mile. 50 jumping jax.

Two miles done plus upper and lower body toning!  Great job!