My Saturday Morning Workout

Lately, I have been killing it at the gym and in my classes.  I have been expanding my horizons and trying all sorts of different exercises and techniques and really working on improving my form and overall fitness level.  I have totally upped the ante.

I’m a huge fan and supporter of body-weight exercises.  In fact, it’s what my boot camp classes are based on.  No equipment.  100% body weight.  My family fitness classes are similar, but often we will bring out some equipment to keep the younger participants keen (although, let me just say that the kids are LOVING this program, and if you don’t think your kids would be interested in fitness and exercises, try working out with them!).  In my family fitness classes I have used jump ropes, hula hoops, and a few balls.  And aside from gliders (which are TOTALLY body-weight exercises) that’s the only equipment I’ve ever used in any of my classes.

My gym workouts and my at-home workouts, however, are an entirely different story. I try and utilize as much equipment as I can at the gym – things I can’t use at home, like the rowing machine, the Smith machine (be still my beating heart), heavier weights, even a Bosu ball (for burpees – again, a body-weight exercise).

Until recently, a lot of my home workouts were body-weight based: doing some of my boot camp classes, or videos like any of the Insanity series, P90-X, Jillian Michaels, etc.  But since I got my dream boxing bag for Christmas, I’ve been using that a lot as part of my home exercise, and often incorporating weight-lifting, and running the stairs into the routine.

Today was a gorgeous day in Nova Scotia; it has been sunny and warm and it truly feels like the start of an early spring (we’re gearing up for some snow tomorrow though.  Bummer.), so I took advantage of the sunshine this morning and moved part of my workout outside – coming back inside for other parts of the workout that I wasn’t able to access in the fresh air.

A few years ago I found a bombdiggity weighted jump rope at a local store.  I loved it so much that I went back and bought the remaining ropes.  Seriously.  I have a small stock, just in case.  I also bought one for my boyfriend so that we can both take advantage of the awesomeness.

weighted-jump-rope

For my warm up I brought the rope outside and skipped away.  It was so wonderful to be able to warm up outside.

Oustide jump rope

This was basically me this morning. (via Yahoo)

Once warmed up I moved back inside so that I could do a boxing workout.  I boxed my butt off to some upbeat music, while doing burpees and squats in between.

boxingbag

Just call me Rocky Balboa

I also took advantage of my resistance bands and my newest obsession, my suspension training system.

Squat Row

Resistance bands are really just as good as weights – and certainly more mobile. (via Google)

I did a bunch of variations using the resistance bands – from squat rows to bicep curls to overhead extensions.  I did it all.

I took my suspension training system outside and channeled my inner Candace and inner Norman and performed different variations of exercises, such as: mountain climbers, chest press and fly, to the full body row (below), planks with a leg extension.

Suspension Candace

Candace Cameron Bure (and Kira Stokes) via Instragram

Norman Reedus Suspension

Norman Reedus via Men’s Fitness

I did circuits of all of these exercises, moving from inside to outside and enjoying every bit of it.

You don’t need a lot of money or a gym membership or even a lot of equipment to get in shape.  If you’re not into body-weight training – or want to move outside that realm for some of your workouts, invest in a few small pieces of fitness gear: resistance bands usually run between $10 and $30, smaller weights can be purchased fairly cheap at places like Canadian Tire and Walmart, weighted jump ropes can be picked up pretty much anywhere, including some discount and dollar stores.  Suspension Training Systems can be pricey.  Mine was an investment that I decided to go ahead with since I can use it personally and for my clients and, well, because #obsessed.  My boxing bag was a Christmas gift and something I’ve been wanting for many years.  It too was an investment (gifted to me), but you don’t necessarily need a boxing bag to enjoy a boxing workout.  There’s nothing wrong with shadow boxing or cardio boxing <- those will definitely get your heart pumping.

And all of the above (minus an actual boxing bag) are mobile items.  So you can move your workouts outside, or pack your gear when you’re vacationing, or even take with you to a friend’s house so that you can exercise together.

The ultimate goal would be to take advantage of both body-weight training and inexpensive workout gear.

~FB

Christmas Fitness

It’s December 1st!  Which means it’s Christmas and holiday month.  Which means it’s tons of food month!!

I was planning to write something today anyway, and then this little gem made its way across my desk and I thought “Hm, fitting”.  A fun little 25 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge.

christmas-fitness

This plan is fun and pretty darn simple.  So, you can do it alone just to ensure you get some exercise in, or you can add it in as a compliment to your regular workout regime.

For me, December is bonkers – there are dinners with friends, and family get-togethers, and parties (I have one tonight!), and shopping (which, often entails snacking), and Christmas movie-watching (again, which often entails snacking) – which all lead to overindulging – in everything from sugary sweets to delicious turkey to spiced wine.

During the holidays it’s definitely important to have a workout program you can stick to.  Christmas is a celebration!  We shouldn’t have to worry about “falling off the wagon” when it comes attending the parties and dinners and enjoying all the wonderful offerings of the holidays.

The 25 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge is a pretty basic plan.  You can get a great little workout done in just a few minutes and carry on with the rest of your holiday to-dos.

**You can also check out the 12 Exercises of Christmas from my post a few years ago, as well as my tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain.  So simple, so easy.

Also, If you have a game plan for the month (or the week) and prepare for what’s upcoming, you’ll survive the holidays without freaking out too much about weight gain and sugar consumption.  For many, planning ahead is key.

For instance: tonight is Thursday.  Normally, Thursday nights I would be at the gym for a few hours then I would finish the night with a Zumba class.  This has been my ritual for a few years and it is my favorite night of the week.  But, Zumba was cancelled for this evening AND I knew there was a party planned for tonight.  So, I made sure to get to the gym last night, and I went for a run as soon as I got home tonight.  I’m also going to eat dinner here shortly so that I won’t eat/overeat this evening.  I had a game plan and I utilized it.

In fact, I have a game plan for the remainder of the weekend because I’ll be out town, there is shopping, and there is another Christmas party on Sunday (where there will be tons.of.food!!)  A GAME PLAN CAN BE A GAME CHANGER!

Remember that December is just one month.  And then it’s over.  Allow yourself to have fun and indulge a little.  Don’t stress out on whether or not you should have a little extra gravy on your turkey, or what will happen if you have another chocolate truffle.  Go ahead!  Just….maybe don’t eat all the truffles!  But if you do, know that it’s just as easy to get back on track as it is to go off.

Enjoy!

~Fit Bitch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Boot Camp Registration

Registration for my first online boot camp will be open for one more week – closing, Thursday, September 1.  The session will begin on Monday, September 5.

BOOT CAMP

Here are the details:

I will send the week’s worth of workouts in advance. You’ll have 3 minimum per week with the option of doing a 4th workout. I will provide demos for the exercises, and modifications – whether I do them myself or not is yet to be seen. You will have to submit your workouts at the end of each week – with any additional notes, questions, comments, etc. so that I can review them. Again, the entire session will be designed so that you can do it right in the privacy of your living room. You will not require a lot of space – and likely just a yoga mat or a blanket with some padding so that you don’t have sore knees or elbows or back or bum. 😀 The cost for the online session is $50.  I will also provide nutritional tips/guidance, etc.

This session is open to everyone – no exercise experience required.

Registration is nearly full so if you are interested email me @ nsfitnessqueen@yahoo.ca or leave a comment below with your contact info.

~Fit Bitch

Online Bootcamp

A while ago I thought about running an online bootcamp. And then I side-tracked the idea.  But recently, I’ve been thinking more and more about this venture and I have decided I will be offering an online beginner’s bootcamp in the near future.

Online-Bootcamp

I still have kinks to work out, but basically anyone wanting to participate will have to register and commit to the session (6 or 8 weeks with a minimum of 3 workouts a week).  I will also offer nutritional info and advice.

The workouts can be done in the privacy of your own home (or at the gym, or outside; wherever you choose). You will have to be accountable for your workouts each week and submit your finished weekly workout to me.

Likely, I’ll have demonstrations of the exercises and make myself available to participants online – by email or chat (and possibly, if appropriate, by video chat – but this idea is still up in the air as chats would have to work outside of my regular schedule, and I know many of you are subject to time differences).  I’m hoping to create a Facebook group that only participants will have access to.  Which means, in addition to chatting me with, you’ll have the support of other bootcampers.

Please let me know if you’re interested in this new venture as I continue to work it out.  Email me at nsfitnessqueen@yahoo.ca or simply leave a comment here to let me know if you’d be interesting in registering (later), with any questions, and with contact info (for privacy reasons, emailing me is probably the best).

Cheers!

~Fit Bitch

30 Day Arm Challenge

I’ve always been a little paranoid about my arm skin.  I never thought about my arm skin until I read an article with Drew Barrymore in US Magazine when I was 14 or 15.  Drew was complaining about her arms being chubby.  (See:  Even celebrities are body obsessed.)  Since that day I’ve been obsessed with my arms.

A few years ago my arms were pretty awesome. It was after I’d lost a ton of weight and was working out and running more.  My arms seemed to be bombdiggity to me.  But now that I’m older – and since I gained weight resulting from my exercise addiction (read more about that here:  https://nsfitbitch.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/confessions/) – I seem to be even more “obsessed” and have a hard time losing the arm pudge.

Over the last few months I’ve been lifting like a beast – focusing more on my strength routine and adding weight.  And it seems to be paying off some.  But there’s much more we can do to strengthen our arms and upper body.  (I do a lot of strength training in my classes and with my clients.)

That’s why when I came across this 30 Day Arm Challenge recently I was ecstatic.  The workouts contain just a few moves but will build muscle and strengthen your arms and core.

ARM CHALLENGE

I think this challenge is great for everyone – especially those who aren’t able to get to the gym or don’t have a lot of (if any) equipment to work out with.  I am a firm believer in body weight workouts.

Try this challenge for the next 30 days and see your strength improve.

~FB

Spell Your Name Workout

This awesome workout just stumbled across my desk this morning – via one of my awesome bootcampers!!

NAME

This is an easy workout to follow – simply match the letters of your name to the corresponding exercises to design your routine.

For example:  Fit Bitch

F – 20 Arm Circles / I – 60 Second Plank / T – 60 Second Wall Sit

B – 50 Jumping Jacks / I – 60 Second Plank / T – 60 Second Wall Sit / C – 20 Crunches / H – 30 Jumping Jacks

You can do your first name only.  Or do your full name.  Or do the routine several times.  (For fun, you could also choose a bunch of numbers between 1 and 26 and then make a routine based on the corresponding exercises.)

It’s pretty basic.

Have fun!

~Fit Bitch

 

Commercial Break Workout

Ack!  I’m hosting a Bingo Fitness Challenge in my boot camp class and, I swear at one time I posted a Commercial Break Workout here (I’m certain I saw it last week).

But I’ve just gone through every post and can’t seem to find it, so, just in case, I’m adding the workouts here…now.

There are two to choose from.  They both seem fun and it’s a good way to get a little extra work in – especially on days you skipped or missed a workout.

#1

commercial-break 1

#2

commercial break 2

Another fun way to get in mini workouts when you’re chillin’ in front of the tube is to set your goal – say you’re watching a show simply because there’s someone hot on it – each time the hot person comes on screen plan to do 30 jumping jacks, or every time a catch phrase is said do a 30 second plank or wall sit.  Incorporate small weights into these workouts if you’re able.

Have fun!

~Fit Bitch

Ringing in the New Year Right

The New Year is just upon us and as we ring the old year out we should ring the New Year in with a commitment to better health and fitness.

And with that I am providing you with the following Full Body Workout for the Week.

This is a kick-start program that will rev your body into high gear.

FULL BODY WORKOUT WEEK

If  you’re new to exercising, remember there are always modifications for the more difficult exercises (like, the burpee*).  As you get more comfortable with the moves they can become more explosive.

What I really like about this week-long program is that it is a full body workout.  My classes are usually full body and I live for a good full body workout myself.

AND, this workout won’t take a lot of time to do so you can ensure that your first week of fitness in 2016 is a success.

(*to modify a burpee simply ease your way down to the floor, get into push up/high plank position, and then get right back up again, reaching high into the air.)

Also, to ensure you start the New Year off on the right foot, here are your Rules for Healthy Living.

Rules for a Healthy Life

I LOVE this!  Rules to live by!

Try these Rules for just one week (longer, please!) and I guarantee you will see a change in your body, in your mood, in your appetite, in your clarity, in your health overall.

Ditch the sugar, ditch the process, ditch the worry, ditch the negativity.  Open your mouth, let out a big sigh, and let it go.

We all want to be at our best.  Exercising and healthy eating and healthy choices and abundantly healthy living will help us to get there.

Happy (almost) New Year!!

~Fit Bitch

 

 

10 Days ’til Christmas Workout

Ack!!!   Christmas is only ten days away.  TEN.DAYS!!

A few years ago I posted on how to avoid holiday weight gain (you can read the article here (since WordPress changed their format – again! – I can’t figure out how to upload it property):  https://nsfitbitch.wordpress.com/2013/11/19/avoiding-holiday-weight-gain/

So when I saw this at home workout this morning I thought it was very fitting.  You can do it anywhere.  It’s pretty basic and it’s exercises you’re likely already familiar with.

Christmas workout

You can do this for the next 10 days – while you’re preparing to gorge yourself on your Christmas feast – and continue it afterward when you don’t necessarily have the time to hit the gym.

Since you don’t need a lot of room you can do these exercises in your living room when you’re watching your favorite Christmas movie or when you need to take a break from wrapping presents.

Believe me, I know that our lives are already pretty hectic.  And when the holidays roll around we focus on everything and everyone else and put ourselves on the back burner – when we really don’t need to.

This fun little workout takes only a few minutes so you can do it once (at least) or several times – or several times throughout the day.

There’s no reason we can’t fit five minutes into our day for our physical and mental health.

Have fun.

~Fit Bitch

At Home Workout Videos – Review Part 1

exericising-at-home
I love the gym and I love my fitness classes. But I also really enjoy home workout videos. I like them for many reason: I get to save gas (and travel time!) on going to the gym, I can switch things up and not get bored, I can work different muscle groups, I can learn from different instructors, etc.

Over the years I’ve done tons of different videos, Tae Bo, Insanity, P90X, Jillian Michaels, Extreme 90, as well as different Yoga, Zumba and other dance videos, etc. My absolute favorite workout videos are the Insanity program. I love it because it’s tough and effective. And it’s real. Shaun T and his cast are panting and sweating and dying on the floor along with the rest of us at home. It’s the hardest thing I’ve done in my life but I felt like a million bucks when I completed it…twice.

On the days that I don’t have class or don’t actually go all the way into the gym but still work out, I have a huge selection of exercises to choose from. A lot of the time, when I’m really craving cardio, I will do one of the Insanity videos (Pure Cardio is my favorite). But, selection is key. Relying on the same exercises too much will hinder me more than it will do me any good so I like to have a lot of options.

A few months ago I found an oldie but a goodie – Cindy Crawford’s The Next Challenge.
Cindy
This is a video I’d wanted to do when I was younger and had a complete girl crush on Cindy. Sadly, I was never able to get it. But, now that I have it I am absolutely in love with the workout. I use it on days when I want to get a decent workout but not about to go crazy like I do on other days (like my Monday and Thursday 3 hour sessions), or just don’t have a huge amount of time but still need to do something.

The Next Challenge has a warm up, some cardio, abs, strength, a little more abs, and a cool down. The warm up is a little lame and the strength is great for beginners (I use more weight than what she uses), but the rest of the routine is great. I really enjoy doing this workout. I always finish feeling like I’ve worked hard, even though it’s not as intense as what I’m normally used to. And my abs always get worked really well.

I don’t do this video all the time – I’m maybe throwing it in there once a week, or sometimes I will do it in conjunction with another workout – like Pure Cardio or Plyometric Cardio (both from the Insanity series) or sometimes even with a yoga vid. I honestly really like the way my body feels after I do this work out with Cindy.
Radu

It’s great for someone who, maybe isn’t just starting out with fitness as I’ve had a few friends tell me it was too intense for them, but for someone who is, just as Cindy says, looking for the next challenge.

~Fit Bitch