Happy Friday, fit friends! Here is another FUN and FAST workout for you to blast some serious calories and strengthen your full body and cardiovascular system! The best part is that you don't need tons of fancy equipment or time to fit in a great workout with this Full Body Bench Circuit workout!
Happy Friday, fit friends! Here is another FUN and FAST workout for you to blast some serious calories and strengthen your Full Body, Core, and Cardiovascular System! The best part is that you don't need tons of fancy equipment or time to fit in a great workout with this Full Body TRX Workout!
It's finally Friday! And this week I have another killer Full-body Workout that is low-maintenance (when it comes to space and equipment), but high-intensity and you can perform anytime and anywhere! Check out this week's Full-body Slider Workout!
Happy Friday, fit friends!! Another week has flown by, and I have another killer Full-body Workout that is low-maintenance (when it comes to space and equipment), but high-intensity and you can perform anytime and anywhere!
No gym? No weights? NO PROBLEM! This High-intensity Full-body Cardio Workout is just what you need to get your heart-rate up and blast some serious calories anytime and anywhere - no equipment needed!
It's finally Friday! And once again, I am on the road and will be traveling A LOT this month! If you will be traveling a lot in the next few months and may find it hard to get to a gym or fit in exercise altogether, have no fear! Check out this fun Fast Full-body Workout that you can fit in anytime and anywhere!
Happy Friday, fit friends! This week was quite a busy week while traveling, but I still made time for a quick workout in the hotel gym each day! Check out this awesome full-body medicine ball workout that can be done anywhere, anytime, and over in 15 minutes or less!
It's Friday and I am more excited than usual as today marks my first full month of the Dietetic Internship and my last day at my first Clinical rotation. While I am sad to leave the Dialysis Clinic that I have been interning at for the past month, I am looking forward to my next rotation at a Long-Term Care facility.
I am also looking forward to the end of the work day so I can get my self to the gym and try out my TRX Full Body Workout! For this Free Fitness Friday workout, you will need a TRX strap set (or a similar piece of equipment) and may want a yoga mat for some of the exercises. This workout can be performed as its own AMRAP-style workout or added to the end of another full body workout to exhaust the muscle fibers and maximize the training results! Either way, I know you will burn some serious calories and may actually have fun while doing it!
This week's Free Fitness Friday workout: TRX Full Body Workout
For this workout, perform each exercise for the prescribed number of repetitions and move onto the next exercise with minimal rest in between. Complete all exercises and then rest for one minute before starting back at exercise #1. Complete 3-4 rounds or As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP) in 20-30 minutes.
- TRX push-ups (15 reps) (Refer to the picture above for proper form)
- TRX incline pull-ups (15 reps) (Refer to the picture above for proper form)
- TRX single-leg hops (10 reps right leg)
- TRX single-leg hops (10 reps left leg)
- TRX pike / plant (15 reps)
Here is a short clip to demonstrate exercises #2 and #3-4 (the TRX incline pull-ups into TRX single-leg hops). Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding the other exercise listed above or proper form for any exercise using the TRX straps.
Hope you have a great workout and weekend ahead!
It's finally Friday! And it's a bitter-sweet one for me since my vacation home is over and I am already missing my family and friends back home in Massachusetts! I had such a nice time back in my home town and truly enjoyed the quality time spent with my loved ones, relaxing at home, and my awesome at-home workouts! Speaking of which, today's Free Fitness Friday features a calorie-blasting 30-minute kettle bell workout that you can do anytime and anywhere. This quick and convenient workout requires only 1 moderate-weight Kettle Bell (or a moderate-weight dumbbell), an exercise mat (or towel), and (ideally) a 200-yard distance (for the "cardio" portion). You want to be sure to use a moderate weight that you can lift 10-12 times for each exercise and you can choose any form of "cardio" exercise that you prefer and have access to (walking / jogging, marching in place, stationary bike, rowing machine, elliptical, jump rope...).
The concept of the workout is to complete As Many Rounds As Possible (A.K.A. "AMRAP") of the 7 different exercises in 30 minutes, but to do so at a realistic pace so that you are able to continue the workout for 30 minutes. You want to set up your Kettle Bell / dumbbell and exercise mat on flat ground before starting the clock and select a good location with enough space for you to perform the exercises. I completed my workout outside on my parents' driveway in the shade and had about a 200-yard distance to run up and down the street for the "cardio" portion.
So here it is! The 30-Minute At-Home AMRAP Kettle Bell Workout
- 2-minute cardio (walk / run 200- yards out and 200-yards back, jump-rope, bike, row...)
- 10 x Right arm Kettle Bell swing
- 10 x Left arm Kettle Bell swing
- 10 x Squat with right arm high pull
- 10 x Squat with left arm high pull
- 10 x Kettle Bell tricep push-ups (can be performed on knees if needed)
- 15 x Kettle Bell sit-ups with straight arms
Repeat exercises for the next round(s) until the 30-minutes is up! Trust me, the time goes by quickly and the workout will be over before you know it!
Here is a short video to demonstrate each exercise (minus the 2-minute run) in case you are not sure of how to perform each exercise. (Note: I only performed 3 repetitions of each exercise (#2-#7) for demonstration purposes, but aim for the designated number of reps for each exercise listed). If you still are not sure how to perform one of the exercises, please feel free to ask me in the comments below!
Have a great workout and weekend ahead :-)
So here we are again friends, it's finally Friday! And this Friday I am heading home to visit my family for one last vacation before my dietetic internship starts on August 24th! I am so excited to spend quality time with my family and have been busy getting everything ready for my trip (washing clothes and cleaning the house, packing for the week ahead, and setting up my client schedule for the week while I am away). With all I had to get done before my flight later today, I still made time to squeeze in a quick cardio workout and (though I only ran 3 miles on the treadmill) I burned nearly double the calories of a steady-pace 3-mile run and I was completely exhausted after just 25 minutes on the treadmill!
How is this possible? As I mentioned in last week's Free Fitness Friday: Intervals for the Win, you can still get the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise in a quick 25- minute workout when you incorporate Interval Training - and you will burn twice as many calories with Interval Training over the same distance run in a shorter amount of time!
Today's workout was less complex than last week's interval workout and my 3 miles were up before I knew it! So here it is!
The 25-minute Interval Workout #2: Escalated Miles
Distance (in miles)
Speed (in mph)
RPE (based on chart)
- Start with a 2-3 minute warm-up walk / jog on the treadmill to warm up your body and prepare your muscles for the intense work ahead.
- After you feel nice and warmed up, set the speed of the treadmill to a 6.0-6.5 mph speed (depending on your fitness level) and an RPE of a 4-5 "moderate activity" factor (based on the RPE chart) and run 1/4th of a mile (0.25 miles).
- Once you hit the 0.25 mile mark, increase the speed by 0.5 mph (up to 6.5-7.0 mph) and an RPE of 6-7. Once you hit the half mile mark, increase the speed again by 0.5 mph (7.0-7.5 mph) and an RPE of 7-8. For the last quarter of the mile, increase the speed again by 0.5 mph (7.5-8.0 mph) and an RPE of 9 ("very hard" activity factor) and hold this pace until you hit the mile mark (1.0 miles).
- Once you hit the 1 mile mark, reduce the speed back down to 6.0-6.5 mph and an RPE of 4-5 for the next quarter of a mile. Repeat the pattern in step 3 to increase the speed by 0.5 mph at each 0.25 mile increment until you complete the 3 miles.
- Reduce the speed to a comfortable walk ' jog for a 2-3 minute cool-down.
- You're done!
You can refer to the RPE chart to set your starting and ending pace on the treadmill and be sure to set the speed based on you OWN PERSONAL rate of perceived exertion! Remember, this workout is for you and YOU alone - work hard, but be sure to set a realistic pace so you will be able to successfully compete the 3-mile interval run :-)
And there you have it, friends! A quick 3-mile interval run that you can complete in 25 minutes or less and enjoy the rest of your Friday and the weekend ahead! I know I will :-)
Part of my transformation into a “long-distance runner” was learning how to properly fuel my body before a long training run or on race day and how to refuel afterwards. The food you eat prior to a long run will significantly affect your performance and the food you eat after a long run will significantly affect your recovery and muscle mass overtime. After several trial and error attempts with pre-run and post-run meals, I was able to get my fuel and refueling down to a science and identify the most important aspects of fueling for the long run. Whether you are just starting out with long-distance running or are an avid runner, following these guidelines and tips will help you train and complete your first distance race or give you the competitive edge to get that PR you are working so hard to achieve.
(The night before my 2nd Women's Half, carb-loaded & ready to run!)
Pre-long-run: The main focus should be on consuming sufficient carbohydrates before a long run, since carbohydrates are the main source of energy during physical activity. According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
Strenuous exercise of all intensities makes great demands on the body’s carbohydrate stores and glycogen depletion will lead to fatigue. Because glycogen stores are limited, and because they provide a critical contribution to both anaerobic and aerobic energy production, one important objective of sports nutrition is to protect glycogen and enhance access to fat for long duration, moderate intensity activity"
and they recommend a relatively high daily carbohydrate (CHO) intake (> 6 g/kg/d) and CHO ingestion (30-60 g/h) prior to, and during, exercise in order to delay the onset of fatigue and increase long-distance performance.
For this reason, it is very important to consume a small meal or snack with a high concentration of carbohydrates prior to a long training run or race. These smaller meals or “snacks” should be consumed 30-120 minutes before a long run or race (depending on the size and contents of the meal and how hungry you feel as well as the duration of activity). These meals should be low in fat and fiber (for quicker, easier digestion), moderate in protein (10-20g), and moderate-to-high carbohydrates (30-60g easily digestible carbohydrates) for sufficient energy and optimal performance.
- Power Oats (closer to 90 - 120 minutes beforehand due to higher fiber content)- ½ cup cooked plain oatmeal topped with half a banana and 1 tsp agave or honey
- Eggs and toast – 2 slices whole grain bread with 1-2 eggs (hard boiled, scrambled, over easy…)
- Banana toast – 1 whole grain bagel, English muffin, or 1/2 a Lavash wrap topped with 1 tbsp natural nut butter and ½ banana (sliced)
- “Last resort” options= A “clean” energy bar (like RXBar, Lara Bars, or GoMacro Bars) or homemade energy bars (click here for awesome energy bars you can make yourself!)
(My favorite pre-run meal: 1/2 a Lavash wrap with PB2 and banana slices)
Post-long-run: These meals should be consumed within 1 hour of exercise and the size and contents of the meal depend on the intensity and duration of the run. These meals are necessary to replenish the glycogen (energy) stores that were used up during the run and should consist of a 3:1 carbohydrate –to-protein ratio (3g of carbs for every 1g of protein) and low-to-moderate in fat. The carbohydrates are also important for more efficient delivery of protein to the damaged muscle tissue. As previously mentioned, low fat and fiber is important for quicker digestion and delivery of nutrients to the muscle tissue. The “window of opportunity” to replenish glycogen stores and rebuild skeletal muscle tissue is approximately 30-60 minutes following exercise, therefore it is important to consume this post-run meal within 1 hour of exercise.
- Peanut butter and banana sandwich – 2 slices whole grain bread, 2 tbsp natural peanut butter, and ½ banana (slices)
- Veggie omelet and whole grain English muffin (breakfast)– 1 toasted whole grain English muffin (with 1 tbsp real fruit jam, optional) with a 1 egg + 2 egg white omelet with sautéed vegetables (spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms…)
- Chicken and rice bowl (lunch) – 4 oz white chicken breast and sautéed vegetables over ½ cup – 1 cup brown rice (or Quinoa!)
- Tuna salad wrap (lunch) – 4 oz chunk light tuna (in water) mixed with 1 tsp mustard and 2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt, wrapped in a small whole grain tortilla / pita with tomato slices and spinach
- Homemade “real food” protein shakes
Protein Shake ideas: Liquids are digested more quickly than solid foods, so post-workout shakes are an extremely effective way to deliver carbohydrates and protein to muscle tissue within the “window of opportunity” – especially when whole foods cannot be consumed within an hour of exercise.
- Chocolate milk shake – Blend 8 oz reduced-fat chocolate milk with 1 small banana and ice!
- Green Monster shake - Blend 2 cups spinach, ½ cup plain Greek yogurt, 8 oz unsweetened non-dairy milk, 1 banana, and 1 tablespoon peanut butter with ice
- Power Oats Shake – Blend 8 oz fat-free milk, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 tbsp flaxseeds or chia seeds, and ¼ cup dry plain oats with ice
- Search through my Thirsty Thursday Smoothie recipes for more ideas on how to make the perfect post-workout smoothie!
(My favorite post-run meal: Egg white omelet (with tomatoes, spinach, & avocado slices) with a side of dry Gluten-Free toast and fruit)
See!? Fueling and refueling are extremely important for long-distance running performance and can be a fun and delicious way to treat your body right :-)
It’s finally Friday!! Once again, the week flew by and we are already approaching the weekend! I truly don’t know where the time goes, but I know how important it is to make the time to exercise – even when I am short on time! Time really is of the essence and it may be difficult to fit in a cardio workout throughout the week, but I have great news for you! You can still get the health benefits of cardiovascular exercise in a quick 25- minute workout when you incorporate Interval Training - and you will burn twice as many calories with Interval Training in the same amount of time! Now that’s a win, win situation if you ask me!
The beauty of Intervals is that you can perform any cardiovascular exercise that you wish in nearly any setting that you desire– walking, jogging, sprinting or running the stairs outdoors; walking, jogging, and sprinting on the treadmill inside; or on the stair-master, rowing machine, elliptical, or spin bike in your house or gym – and you are able to perform the exercise at a higher intensity throughout the 25-minute workout. The key is performing the exercise at intervals of low intensity (to rest and recover) and higher intensity (to get your heart-rate up and torch some serious calories).
The intensity of the exercise is based on YOUR OWN rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and it is important to rest and recover during the lower intensity and to really push it during the higher intensity intervals. Here is a table that lists and describes the RPE method for setting the intensity level for your intervals.
Use this chart when setting your intensity levels throughout the interval workout and be sure to warm up for the first 3 minutes at a “light activity” factor (2-3 on the RPE scale) in order to warm up the body and prepare yourself for the higher intensity work. Similarly, be sure to cool down during the last few minutes at a “light activity factor” (2-3 on the RPE scale) in order to allow your heart-rate to come back down to near resting levels and end your work out with a full body stretching session to reduce soreness and prevent injuries.
Here’s the workout! It’s only 25 minutes long (including the warm-up and cool-down) and it will be over before you know it! Trust me, you will feel the burn and will feel amazing when it’s over!
10 (as fast as you can!)
Now that you understand how to use the RPE chart and have the Interval Training workout in front of you, let’s get this workout started!
- Pick your cardiovascular exercise of choice
- Set your Ipod to your favorite workout playlist
- Set your first interval speed and get going!
Have a blast “blasting” some serious calories and have a wonderful weekend ahead!
Happy Friday!! I don't know about you, but this week seemed to drag on and on and I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off all week! Well, it's finally Friday and time to squeeze in this week's FREE workout! I was short on time this morning, but had an absolute blast (and blasted some serious calories) with this quick 20 minute HIIT / Tabata workout. I played around with some recordings of each exercise to demonstrate how they are done, but I am still working out the issues with editing and sharing videos! Bear with me as I learn the ropes of editing media, but at least you click the YouTube links and be able to see how each exercise is done and ensure that you have proper form!
Here we go!
As always, you want to start with 5-10 minutes of an easy warm-up and finish the workout with at least a 5-minute cool-down and stretch! The whole workout takes 20 minutes (30-45 minutes total with the warm-up and cool-down) and you'll be surprised with how much fun you'll have while burning some serious calories!
Complete each exercise (1-5) for 20 seconds of high-intensity work ("on") with a 10-second rest ("off") between each exercise until you complete the 5th exercise - that is one (Tabata) cycle. For example, do the burpees (with the jump) for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move onto the right leg step-ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move onto the left leg step-ups for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move onto the plank with tricep press for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then finish with the plank with scissor jumps for 20 seconds. Rest 10 more seconds before moving onto the next cycle. Repeat the cycle 5 more times (for a total of 6 cycles) and then cool down for another 5-10 minutes (depending on how much time you have). You can choose any form of cardiovascular exercise to cool down, but don't skimp out on the cool- down! It's important to allow your heart-rate to come back down to near-resting levels AND stretch after a high-intensity workout!
Here are the YouTube links for demonstration purposes. The first video is me performing the burpee exercise, the second video is me performing the right leg step-ups and the left leg step-ups, and the third video is me performing the plank with tricep press and the plank with scissor jumps.
Have a blast (while blasting calories) and have a wonderful weekend ahead!
"Transformations" can come in all shapes and sizes. For me, the biggest transformation took place in 2009 when I moved over 1,300 miles from Mattapoisett, Massachusetts to Tampa, Florida and had this CRAZY idea to run a HALF-MARATHON! For those of you who know me well, if you asked me to run more than 3 miles prior to 2009 .... I would have laughed at the ridiculousness of your request! I never even considered running more than 3 miles! Never say "never"....
(That's me - after I finished my FIRST Half-Marathon!)
I always thought the cross-country runners and distance athletes on my high school and college track teams were CRAZY to actually enjoy running for miles on end. My idea of "fun" was sprinting as fast as I could (for a very short duration) and I loved the adrenaline burst from a quick race - but that all changed after a season-ending injury during the winter of my Freshman year in college. My sprinting days were over, but that just meant that I had more time to find a new love - a LONG DISTANCE LOVE.
(Bayshore Boulevard - my new "happy place")
One of the first things I noticed when I moved to Tampa for graduate school was that nearly everyone was outside and exercising - no matter what time of the day or time of the year! The majority of the runners could be found on beautiful Bayshore Boulevard (a waterfront road with the longest continuous sidewalk) and I aspired to join those runners while training for my first half-marathon.
So now that I set a goal for myself - running a half-marathon - the next step was to figure out how to properly train for such a race! I researched "half-marathon training programs for a beginner" and found the highly-recommended Half-Marathon Training Guide from Hal Higdon and was immediately encouraged by his easy-to-follow guide and thought, Hey! Maybe I CAN actually do this! After downloading his 12-week novice 1 program guide, I researched "Half-Marathons in Tampa" and was unpleasantly surprised that there was an annual half-marathon IN TAMPA exactly 12 weeks away.... what a coincidence! I had no other choice but to "pull the trigger" and register for the 2010 Gasparilla Half-Marathon!
(Photo: Google Images)
The next step was to purchase a new pair of running shoes and to get my butt on Bayshore to begin my training. The training was NOT easy and it took every ounce of my will power to not quit. I suffered through many cramps, blisters, sun-burns, and got myself stuck in many torrential downpours - but I stuck it out and completed the training program and I was SO ready for race day!
(Morning of the race! I was so nervous, yet excited!)
The race came and went (in about 2 hours!) and I could not believe that I actually ran a half-marathon (without stopping once to walk)! The most important thing for me was the process - not my finishing time, but the fact that I actually accomplished a challenging goal that I set over 12 weeks ago! As I approached the finish line, I had to hold back tears of joy as I picked up my pace and "sprinted" across the FINISH. The adrenaline rush was like none other that I have ever experienced and I certainly got the "runner's high" that I heard so much about. At that moment, I was on top of the world - the highest I have ever been and I was hooked!
(Post-race - all smiles!)
Since 2009, I completed 5 half-marathons, 1 Tough Mudder 12-mile race, and 1 FULL MARATHON! After my first marathon in February of 2012, I retired from endurance running with many memories and vital lessons learned. I learned that once you put your mind to something and set a goal for yourself, you can and WILL achieve your goals if you stay focused and motivated; I learned that even when you feel like giving up, nothing feels better than crossing that "finish line" and achieving your goals; and I learned the importance of listening to your body and resting when you need to. I also learned that there is always room for change or growth ... you just need to figure out what you want in life, set realistic goals, and go after them!
(Before my 2nd Half, with my best friend Meg - my ultimate running buddy)
(After my 3rd Half - with my sweet husband, my #1 fan)
(After Tough Mudder - with my adventurous & fit friend Alex)
So there's my transformation. It was a long road, but I will never look back and regret the process (nor will I forget the feeling of success)! I want that for you! And I encourage you to look deep inside and decide what your main goal is - then go after it!
Thank you for reading my story! I would love to hear your "Transformation Story" or to help you write your own. Please send me a message and let me know how I can help :-)
Want more? Look for the Perfect Pre & Post - Race Meals blog (COMING SOON) to learn how to properly fuel before a long run or race and what to eat after the long run to refuel!.
That's right! Your eyes are not deceiving you... I did say "FREE"! Every Friday I will post a FREE workout that you can do nearly any where, any time - especially when you are short on time.
I know how difficult it may be to find the time to work out during the work-week (especially on a Friday) but there's no better way to de-stress from the hectic week at work than to exercise! With these quick and effective workouts, you will be able to reduce your stress, blast some calories, and set yourself up for the weekend ahead! Seriously, these workouts are only 20-30 minutes long and can be completed nearly anywhere at any time!
So.... what are you waiting for? Let's get to work!
Today's workout - 7/10/15
So here is how you complete the workout:
Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up. This can be done by walking, jogging, biking, the elliptical, the rower machine, the stairmaster... whatever your heart desires as long as you warm up your entire body and get your heart-rate up for at lease 5 minutes. Today I chose to jog for 1 mile on the treadmill :-)
Then you start your timer - I was introduced to the Interval Timer app by a dear friend (Lindsey) and absolutely love it! The timer is so easy to use and you can download it on your smart phone to use during your workout. If you don't have a smart phone, you can easily use a stop watch.
Complete each exercise (1-5) for 20 seconds of high-intensity work with a 10-second rest between each exercise until you complete the 5th exercise - that is one (Tabata) cycle. For example, do the kettle bell swing for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move onto the ring pull-ups (TRX pull-ups) for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move onto the wall ball for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move onto the plie' squat for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then finish with the plank and pike for 20 seconds. Rest 10 more seconds before moving onto the next cycle. Repeat the cycle 5 more times (for a total of 6 cycles) and then cool down for another 5-10 minutes (depending on how much time you have). I had extra time this morning and chose to do the stairmaster for 10 minutes, but you can choose any form of cardiovascular exercise to cool down. Don't skimp out on the cool down! It's important to allow your heart-rate to come back down to near-resting levels AND stretch after a high-intensity workout!!
If you are not sure how to perform each exercise that is listed in the workout, simply click the links to see the proper form for each exercise. Or please feel free to ask me in the "comments" section below - I am happy to help answer any questions that you may have :-)
And that's all there is for today, folks! Short and sweet (yet super effective)! I bet you feel better already! :-)