Work It Wednesday! Track Workout

Track workouts have been added to my conditioning for my upcoming FIGURE debut (oh, fancy) and I thought I would share the torture with you! You’ll thank me later……way later.

Benefits of track workouts:

  • Change of scenery will give you some fresh energy.
  • You’re outside!!!!!! If the weather permits, get out there.
  • If the sun is shining you can ramp up your vitamin D production (your happy vitamin).
  • It helps to beat the fat off the body when it doesn’t want to budge (this is my favorite and current reason).

Track workouts should NOT be boring. There are LOADS of things you can do at your local track, I’m just sharing what I did last Saturday.

How do I find a track?

Check your local high school! If that gate is locked, find one that’s open (there’s always one). If you don’t live near a high school (that’s weird), you can use any stretch of land for your own personal track.

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You can adjust the intensity of your track workout to your current fitness level, but it should be challenging!

Here’s my workout from last weekend:

  1. Begin with a light jog around the track. This helps me wake up and assess my body from the start. Assessment read: my body was not into this.
  2. Lateral squat down the long side with right leg lead, run the corners; lateral squat down the long side with left leg lead, run the corner.
  3. Sprint Work: once around the track I sprinted the corners and jogged the straights, on the second pass I sprinted the straights and jogged the corners…..I also sounded like I had severe asthma and began to really question my fitness level.
  4. Leg Work (this was my FAVE!): 20 walking lunges and sprint back to start, 30 walking lunges and sprint back to start, 40 walking lunges and sprint back to start, 50 walking lunges and sprint back to start; 20 broad jumps and sprint back to start, 30 broad jumps and sprint back to start, 40 broad jumps and sprint back to start, 50 broad jumps and sprint back to start. YOWZA!!!!!
  5. Jog to bleacher and perform simple bleacher runs on both sides.
  6. Wobble to car and drive home before people see me collapse…..

It took me almost an hour to complete and I did stretch before/after. I should have foam rolled MORE afterwards as I don’t run and my calves were yelling mean things at me for 3 days afterwards :)
Remember that you can adapt the intensity of the workout, but try some time at the track for your next leg day and see what happens.

Don’t forget to stretch!

Michelle

Work IT Wednesday! Kettlebell HIIT Workout

Welcome to mid-week mania!

Here’s a short Kettlebell HIIT conditioning circuit I use to tighten and tone everything in a brief period of time. Pick a couple of different weights and hop to it!
NOTE: you can use a single dumbbell if you do not have access to a kettlebell

 

Set your timer for 40 seconds of WORK and 10 seconds of REST. You will repeat this circuit 3 times with a 30-60 second rest between circuits. Let me know how you do in the comments below!!!!

THE WORKOUT:

KB swings (weight stays in heels)

KB swing hops (moving forward and back)

Turkish get up left side

Turkish get up right side

KB around the world (keep waistline TIGHT)

High Skips, holding KB overhead

Figure 8 KB squat

V-UP (use the bosu for an extra challenge)

Make sure you have water and some AMINOS to keep you going.

Strong Camp 95 Photo by Paul Buceta

WANT MORE???? Would you like to SEE these workouts on video? Let me know in the comments.

Winter Warm Up Circuit

Hello all my fit peeps!

It is COLD today…..so where I live that is considered anything under 50 degrees :) It’s actually in the 30′s here and plans to stay that way ALL DAY, which is insane.

Today, I have a quick circuit for you to do in the warmth of your own home (unless you want to show off your new workout clothes at the gym) that will ignite your major muscles, heat up your core, burn body fat and have you feeling FABULOUS in this cold weather.

What you will need:

  1. Dumbbells are something of the heavy variety (large canned goods, water jugs, pets, children, etc.). Make sure that the weight challenges you.
  2. Something to step UP on to. You can use that fancy step you bought in the 80′s OR you can use stairs, a coffee table, or even your couch (no shoes for that one).
  3. A stopwatch or Tabata Timer. I use the Tabata APP

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This circuit consists of 8 exercises total and you will repeat the circuit 3-4 times (4 for more advanced).

Set your timer (or check your stopwatch) for 40 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest.

Take 5 full minutes to WARM UP. Jog, jump rope, do some arm swings, warm up your hips and shoulders….never work out cold, even short workouts.

The Workout:

  1. Stiff Legged Dumbbell Dead Lift
  2. Wide Legged Dead Lift with Bicep Curl at the top
  3. Alternating step up (more advanced, use dumbbells)
  4. High Knee Jog
  5. Walk Out Pushup
  6. Chest Press with Bridge Hip Lift
  7. Plank with opposite arm/leg extension
  8. Squat with a Shoulder Press

Work as hard as you can (with good form) through each exercise. Your 10 seconds of “rest” will allow time to get ready for the next. Allow yourself 30-60 seconds to recover (drink water, BCAA’s) in between circuits.

By the time you’re done, you’ll be nice and toasty PLUS you will have burned through breakfast :)

Enjoy and let me know how you do in the comments below!

Michelle

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P.S. Would you like to see real-time workouts like the one listed above on video? Tell me in the comments and we’ll see about making that happen. Real Time workouts you can follow along with to reach your goals!

 

#WORKIT Wednesday! Free Workout for you: Tank Top Arms

Arm B&W

Ah, the arms…..the most naked part of the human body. Our arms carry groceries, babies, bags and purses. They push strollers, shopping carts and even buttons.

Arms are involved in just about every aspect of life, yet most women leave them untrained and complain about things such as Bat Wings, Chicken Wings (which are tiny BTW) and flappy things.

Have no fear! I have an arm toning workout that can be done in MINUTES and have you ripping the sleeves off your shirt in no time….OK, maybe not THAT, but you get the point.

What do you need?

Dumbbells that CHALLENGE you. That means your last rep better be a struggle. I usually use 15-25 pound DB’s, but I’ve been working on these things for a few years now.

A padded surface (you know what that means right?).

Some really great music. Never underestimate the power of the playlist.

A great attitude…..that WILL determine your results.

Got it? Let’s get it then!

TANK TOP ARMS:

This workout will be done in a circuit fashion, using a timer (I use a tabata timer on my phone, you feel free to use any timer. A lot of tabata timers are FREE online).

You will be WORKING for 40 seconds, then RESTING for 10 seconds. You will repeat the exercises 3x through (more if you have time to kill or just really don’t want to move tomorrow).

  1. THE PUSHUP! Oh yeah baby, get down and get dirty with them. Range of motion is critical, so if you can’t come all the way down (or 90 degrees at the elbows) drop to your knees and modify as you build strength.
  2. Alternating Biceps Curl. Weights will be in each hand and you will perform slow and controlled bicep curls, one arm, then the other.
  3. Alternating Shoulder Press. Weights up, elbows alongside the shoulders, press one DB to the ceiling, return to start and press the other….remember, slow and steady, no momentum.
  4. Long Arm Plank. Get in a pushup position, but resist the urge to do a pushup. HOLD IT! Contract the core, thighs and shoulders.
  5. Triceps Dip. You can use ANY surface really. Hands face forward, drop your butt directly down (not away, as that is shoulders) then squeeze your arms in and press up. Keep your neck neutral and perform as many as you can before you feel like you might drop yourself, then rest and do some more until your time is up. These can be tough, so aim to do more each time.

These 5 BASIC moves will start to make a BIG difference in your upper body physique. Aim to complete this workout 3 times per week, never on consecutive days. Next week, come back for a body weight leg workout that will have you strutting in shorty shorts (keep it appropriate people!) in no time!

Peace, Love and Lunges (and pushups)

Michelle

date night

 

NOW it’s YOUR turn!

Got a workout you want to see featured in #WORKIT Wednesdays?

Respond BELOW or shout it out on Twitter.

 

The BEST in Metabolic Conditioning: What is MMA training? And what can it do for me?

One of my very favorite continuing education courses I ever invested in is my MMA Strength and Conditioning coach certification. It takes regular strength and conditioning up a notch and provides a fat blasting, metabolism boosting workout that flies by and leaves you drenched. In other words, it’s the most efficient workout I have in my arsenal.

MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts and is a buzz word due to the popularity and success of fighting for sport, which has been around longer than most other sports. Fighters are lean, strong, and functionally fit. Why? Because of the way they train. A fighter doesn’t split body parts, but rather works the entire body in symmetry to promote a fully functioning fighting physique (say that 3 times fast). With MMA strength and conditioning workouts you are tacking the 3 pillars of fitness (cardio, strength, flexibility) in one workout. What kind of real-life benefits can you expect from MMA?

  1. Increased lung capacity
  2. Better body awareness
  3. Increased strength (all of my girls do MAN push ups now! )
  4. Decreased body fat (yay!)
  5. Increase lean muscle
  6. Increase calorie burn
  7. Increased EPOC (oxygen consumption post exercise; big for recovery and fat loss)
  8. Increased Flexibility
  9. Increased VO2 Max
  10. Increased self confidence, self efficacy, and general butt kicking awesomeness

Those are really the top 10, but there are many more. Are you sold yet?

There can be some concerns about embarking on an MMA journey. Some people tell me they just aren’t angry enough to hit things….that generally doesn’t last long. Once the gloves go on and the bag comes out, a little Hulk shows up in all of us. BUT, just to dissuade a few misconceptions take a look:

  1. You will not become an overnight fighting sensation and be taken from your family.
  2. You won’t randomly start fights….you’ll think about it, but you’ll know it’s stronger to control those emotions and use them in the gym.
  3. You won’t get big, bulky or start grunting when you move anything…unless you already do that.
  4. You won’t be challenged to fights by strange people lurking in alleys.

You’ll get leaner, stronger and have more energy than you thought you could have in just a few weeks. It’s worth the time and investment, plus you’ll learn some pretty cool tricks…like how to dislocate a jaw or knee :)

SOLD! Where do I sign up?

If you’re close to me (you lucky duck!), I run MMA sessions year-round. These sessions are 2x per week, 6 weeks with a limit of 4 people in each. If you’re interested, shoot me an email: michelle@michellecfitness.com for info on the next open sessions.

If you’re more of a homebody, or you don’t live near me (don’t cry, it’s ok) try out an MMA inspired workout like Les Mill’s Body Combat. They do sell this through Beachbody OR you can check out www.lesmills.com to find a combat class near you.

Either way you go, have a BLAST burning calories, getting lean and staying mean :)

rach Rachel Newsham, creator of Les Mills Combat

 

Cheers to health!

Michelle

HAPPY MONDAY! FREE workout, just because :)

Welcome to Monday!

Take a deep breath, clear your lungs of the stale air that holds your energy back and force the world to accept the new you people…. THIS is how a winner thinks.

Over a weekend (especially for those who enjoyed a long weekend), there is an uncertainty that can creep into the psyche of even the most dedicated of athletes. Friends and family want to know why your “still doing this”. Like being fit is a seasonal thing and we can slob up during the off-season. My advice to you is to ignore the haters and strengthen your resolve with a good butt kicking workout. Remember, haters can tear you down or strengthen your resolve. It’s totally up to you how you choose to deal with them.

BLAST IT OFF WORKOUT!

Warm Up: 5 minute jog on the treadmill. Stretch quads, hamstrings, calves, IT bands, glutes and hip flexors

Squat to overhead press. 15x

Walking Lunge with Bicep Curl. 20x

BURPEE. 10-15x

Plank with dumbbell row. 16x (8x each side)

Weighted punch. In a wide squat position, grab 3-5 lb weight in each hand, brace your core, soften your elbows and punch at shoulder height to one target. 60x

Jumping jacks. 50x

Push up to knee tuck. 12x

Perform 3 circuits.

Remember, focus on the quality of movement and perfect your form before adding weight.

Peace, love and lunges,

Michelle

Fun Friday: The Pinterest Workout

Happy Friday!

OK, so I was totally not getting the big deal about Pinterest when it first made the online circuit, but I get it now! It truly is a legal addiction….. I mean, you get to mindlessly sift through pictures of pretty little things, what could be better?!?! As women are very visual creatures, we have all fallen into the Pinterest black hole at one time or another. Then, our workout time magically disappears :) I know you’re really concerned with getting your workout in (well, at least if you really WANT to feel and look better!) so I’m here to help with a fun little workout.

The Pinterest Workout

Every time you pin an item of clothing: 50 jumping jacks

Every time you pin shoes: 20 walking lunges

Every time you pin a crafty home improvement project: 10 burpees

Every time you pin a hairstyle: high knee runs for 1 minute

Every time you “LIKE” a pin (cause you can’t commit to re-pinning!): 30 walk outs

Every comment: 10 push ups

Every single time you pin a workout you know you will not do (ahem): 20 butt kicks, 20 sumo squats, 20 jump squats, 10 push ups, 10 triceps dips, 50 mountain climbers. Learn from your mistakes…

Every time you pin running shoes: Run for 5 minutes

Every time you get lost looking at celebrity pictures: Plank until your arms cannot utilize your phone or computer

Everytime you think “I should really go workout”: 20 jump lunges

Give this workout a try while you’re looking at pretty pictures and within a week, I bet your schedule will magically clear up for other workouts ;)

As always, MAKE it a Fun Friday and LIVE OUT LOUD!!!!!

Michelle (yes, I am addicted as well!)

Pinterest_Logo

www.pinterest.com

Tabata Thursday

Every day seems to have some significance to it now right? I kind of dig that though :)

There’s been a lot of talk about tabata training and how adding it to your regular training can enhance fat loss and sports performance. This is very true, but I think there are far too many of us who are unclear as to what Tabata training really is. Buckle up, here we go…..

Tabata is based on time. 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest, 8 cycles through. Can anybody break out the calculator and tell me how long that is? I’ll wait………………….2 minutes is correct and YOU ARE A GENIUS!  :) Now, some people just bust out the timer (you can totally score a free app for your smart phone and it ROCKS!) and time moves. THAT is not Tabata. This style of training is meant to be intense. In other words, crunches for 20 seconds on and 10 seconds of rest is using a Tabata method, but not really the training. During your work period, you should be pushing an 8-9 on the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion). That’s a hair away from barfing for me personally…..

So, in order to make it more doable, I put together a Tabata training sequence mixed with core work. REMEMBER, during those 20 seconds you’re giving everything you have! If you feel like it’s easy, it is. Easy doesn’t cut it around here. So, clear some space and about 20 minutes from your calendar and get ready to burn some major calories all day long!

Tabata and Core

ALWAYS warm up for 3-5 minutes (more if it’s colder)

Opposite arm/leg reach (bird dogs) for 20 reps

Tabata 1: wide jump, low skaters (it will take 2 minutes)

Reverse Crunches and Bicycle crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 2: BURPEES! Always add the jump at the top, it’s only 20 seconds :)

Plank dips and toe taps for 3 sets, 20 reps each

Tabata 3: Jump sumo Dorothy—from sumo squat, jump straight up and click your heels together

Side plank pulse and butterfly crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps each

Tabata 4: Pop squats—squat low, explode up and hop feet together and back out

All Tabatas are performed for 2 minutes and it should be killer! If it’s not, push harder or add light weights :)

Let me know how you do! I’m feeling the soreness from this morning :)

Have a healthy day!

Michelle

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DVD Review: Yoga Booty Ballet

Hey GUYS!

It’s that time again :) Today’s review is near and dear to my heart as it is the very FIRST infomercial DVD I ever bought! Back when I was 100 pounds more than myself I saw an infomercial for Yoga Booty Ballet. Now, as with all infomercials, YBB made it seem like it would fix all of my problems. Infomercials can totally suck you in with all the flash right? Well, I got sucked in and ordered, even though we really didn’t have the funds at the time. i must admit, when I frist tried Yoga Booty Ballet I though I was going to die! Check out my take on a popular workout, ahead of its time :)

YOGA BOOTY BALLET

This is by far one of the MOST fun workouts you will ever do! YBB blends yoga, ballet, Pilates, and dance into every workout. Though I realize it seems a little old school, YBB has come out with lots of new workouts which you can check out here. Yoga Booty Ballet is led by Teigh McDonough and Gillian Marloth, two great friends and awesome instructors. The workouts are short enough to be extremely doable in any time budget and they are so much fun that you forget you’re actually getting some calorie burning on!

The Yoga Booty Ballet Live is my ABsolute favorite! It features Hip Hop Abs and Cardio Cabaret, both of which will leave you going “Zumba who?”. I kid you not. The Hip Hop Abs is a great way to work the core while standing and they finish with a full course of ab killers designed to get you the core you want. Cardio Cabaret is a great, get-your-sexy-on workout that blends easy to do choreography with muscle toners and lengtheners.

Gillian and Teigh play well off of each others strengths and give clear, concise instruction so you feel as though you know what you’re doing at all times. The full set comes with the original series, which also includes dynamic strength training. Remember, you train the way you want to look. These ladies specialize in dancers physiques and long, lean body lines.

Even though I have owned these DVD’s for nearly a decade (and yes, it got much easier!), I still keep them in rotation anytime I need to release some tension or just want to feel great. Check them out here and see for yourself! Yoga Booty Ballet was one of the original ballet workouts brought straight into your living room. No special training required :) Just have some fun!

Till next time, choose a healthy life!

Michelle