Spring Clean Your Workout Routine

Spring Clean Your Workout Routine Have you ever felt like you were in a workout routine rut?  I know I have.  Just like spring cleaning your house (which I need to do badly) I think it is important to spring clean our workout routines as well.   Being a group fitness instructor for the past 20 years, I know the importance of changing up routines.  To keep my participants engaged and coming back to my class I am always looking for new ideas and ways to change things up. However, we can get stuck in a rut.  We get accustomed to certain things and just stick to our day-to-day routines and never change.  Here are some signs that you may need to spring clean your workout routine.

  1. You hit a plateau or stop getting desired results.
  2. You are bored with your current workouts.
  3. You keep getting injuries or are always sore.
  4. Working out becomes a chore and not as enjoyable as it has been in the past.
  5. Your workout is not longer challenging.

If you feel like you need to change things up, here are a few tips and suggestions to start fresh this spring and change-up your workout routine.

  1. Set a goal like a 5k or a new race.  In the past I have done a triathlon to change things up and it was a fun and new challenge.  I am currently starting to train for a Spartan which is going to be a lot of fun as  well.
  2. Find a personal trainer or a workout partner who can motivate and push you.
  3. Try a new fitness class.  Recently I have been trying out Orangetheory and Hot Yoga.  So much fun and challenging.
  4. Get outside!  If you have been logging tons of miles on the treadmill or indoor cycling, move your workout outdoors.
  5. Re-evaluate your goals.  I feel that setting goals can help you stay focused and motivated.
  6. Create a new playlist! For my classes I change my music each day.  Getting some new music or even adding music to your workout can really be motivating.  Nothing gets me going like a little Salt N Peppa during my run!
  7. When strength training.  Remember to change your sets, reps, and/or weights if you have been using the same size weights and the same reps for more than a month you are due for a change.

One of my favorite poster quotes on my classroom walls is this:

If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten!

 

 

A Fun Filled Run Filled Weekend

 

IMG_0625Hi Guys, so our weekend started out with races and ended with races.  Those are my kind of weekends!  First off my older daughter Chloe had her final track meet for the season.  I am so proud of her!  She has improved her time with each meet and got a PR for several of her races at the last meet.  She made it to district track so I am a very proud mom.  She has worked really hard.  Saturday the hubby and I met up with our friIMG_0638ends Matt and Amy for a morning date.  It consisted of a lovely hill run followed by an amazing cup of coffee and some chatting.  These two crazy friends talked us into a Spartan race.  I am a bit scared of that!  On Sunday the whole family, including my mom and one of my good friends Rachel got together to support an amazing cause and do a fun 5k race.  The race is called Boise’s Got Faith (http://www.robiesgotfaith.org/) and it is a race that supports children’s cancer.  Each year the race directors select two children who are fightiIMG_0641ng cancer and help them emotionally and financially.  It was so awesome to see all the people out supporting this cause and all the kids out there running too.    My younger daughter Addy ran the kids 1 mile run and the 5k.  She is a little crazy like her mom.  It was a lot of fun.  Running with family and friends is awesome.  My hubby, daughters, mom and really good friend ran it all together.  My friend Rachel also hit a PR for her 5k and hit 150 miles for the year.  I am proud of her.  She just started running and I think she is addicted!IMG_0628

Planks and Tanks 30 day Workout

Hi Guys,  for the boot camp class I teach we are starting a May challenge.  I chose to call it Planks and Tanks.  Kinda catchy huh.  Not Army tanks, but tank top arms.  Summer is right around the corners and some of my participants have upcoming trips to Hawaii and other fun vacations planned.  So we are going to be focusing on upper body and core.  We will still be doing our total body workouts each day but we will be adding in this fun challenge.  In this challenge I am trying to avoid the challenge where you hold plank for a certain amount of time.  I am focusing on more variety and incorporating upper body strength as well.  The goal is to try to increase time toward the end of the challenge and most importantly to push yourself.

A few notes on proper form.  I see a lot of people in my classes who do not have the proper form when doing plank and other exercises.

Here are a few tips for great form when doing planks:

  1. Keep your body in one straight line.  Your body should be aligned straight with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles all in the same plane of your body.
  2. Tighten your midsection.  Imagine a wet towel and you are wringing out water.
  3. Don’t let your hips sag and your butt lift up into the air.  Keep your core tight.
  4. Make sure your elbows are positioned directly under your shoulders, look down at the floor, and keep your fingers spread wide.
  5. If you cannot perform planks or push ups with proper form for the amount of time suggested feel free to modify by coming to your knees if needed or doing wall push ups.

There are several videos out there on YouTube if you still need to work on that perfect form.

  • Day 1        Low Forearm Plank
  • Day 2        Side Plank (do both sides)
  • Day 3        Push Ups
  • Day 4        Extended Arm Plank
  • Day 5        Reverse Plank
  • Day 6        Plank Up Downs
  • Day 7        Tricep Dips
  • Day 8        Plank Shoulder Taps
  • Day 9        Low Forearm Plank with a Hip Dip Each Side
  • Day 10       Tricep Push Ups
  • Day 11        Spider Plank (plank with a knee to outer elbow each side)
  • Day 12        Plank Jacks
  • Day 13        Wide Push Ups
  • Day 14        Side Plank with added leg lift (both sides)
  • Day 15        Plank Hops
  • Day 16        Power Push Ups
  • Day 17        Extended Arm Plank Hold
  • Day 18        Forearm Plank Hold
  • Day 19        Push up and rotate to side plank (each side)
  • Day 20       Reverse Plank
  • Day 21        Plank Up Downs
  • Day 22        Tricep Dips
  • Day 23        Plank Reach (extend opposite arm and opposite leg)
  • Day 24        Low Forearm Plank with a Hip Dip Each Side
  • Day 25       1 Push Up 2 Plank Jacks (45 Seconds)
  • Day 26       Spider Plank
  • Day 27       Power Push Up (narrow and wide)
  • Day 28        Plank Knee to Opposite Elbow
  • Day 29       Forearm Plank Hold
  • Day 30       Extended Arm Plank Hold

For the first 10 days you will perform each exercise for 30 seconds.  For the next 10 days 45 seconds and the final 10 days 1 minute.  Depending on your fitness level you may want to increase or decrease your time.  Be sure to challenge yourself.  Remember CHALLENGE BECOMES CHANGE!

Plank and Tank
Planks and Tanks Challenge

Orange Theory Inspired Workout

Hi Guys, for the past few months I have been trying to change-up my workouts especially my running.  Sometimes I get in a rut and need to switch things up a bit.  So for the past few months my hubby and I have been going to Orangetheory Fitness.  It opened up at the about 2 months ago and I had heard about it from friends and I had to try it out.  If you are not familiar with Orangetheory Fitness it is a heart rate based interval training workout.  Workouts incorporate the treadmill, rowing machine, and weight training to give you a full body workout and get your heart pumping.  It is a group atmosphere so you can be pushed by a friend, inspired by a neighbor or just have the support you need from the other members around you.  As a group fitness instructor myself I often find that I need to be inspired and pushed by others as well, so that is why I decided to give OT a try.

 

Now, if you don’t have an OT studio in your area, have no fear I have an OT inspired workout you can give a try at the gym or at home.  This is inspired by some of the workouts I have done at the studio and then done at the gym when I don’t have time to get to an OT class.  I hope you enjoy the workout.  It’s a good one!

The Warm Up (repeat as many times as you can for 5 minutes)

  • Body Weight Squats
  • Push Ups
  • Full Sit Ups
  • Jumping Jacks

Strength Training Section (15 Minutes)  Focus on using a lighter weight for more reps.

  • Squats
  • Bicep Curls
  • 1 Push Ups with Alternating Reaches (Bird Dog)

Treadmill Workout (15 Minutes)

  • Jog 2 Minutes at a comfortable pace
  • Run 2 Minutes at a harder pace (about 1-2mph faster than easy pace)
  • Jog 1 Minute to recover
  • Run 2.5 Minutes at a harder pace
  • Jog 1 Minute to recover
  • Run 3 Minutes at a harder pace
  • Jog 30 Seconds to recover
  • Sprint 1 Minute (this should be a difficult pace, faster than your hard pace)
  • Recover 2 Minutes at a Jog or Fast Walk

Rowing Section (if you don’t have access to a rower, you can bike or do the elliptical for time).  You will need a weight for this section.  Keep it near your machine.

Do as many rounds as you can for 15 minutes.

  • Row 400 Meters
  • Sumo Squat (hold weight between your legs, wide stance)
  • Deadlift
  • Row 600 Meters
  • Sumo Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Row 800 Meters
  • Sumo Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Row 1000 Meters

Cool Down and Stretch

Orange Theory Inspired Workout

Total Body Insane Bootcamp Workout

Wow!  My legs hurt today.  Tuesday was a fun and challenging workout.  For the month of April I have been really trying to emphasize core and total body in my classes that I teach two times a week.  This workout combines high intensity interval training, total body strength training, and core conditioning.  You can do this workout at the gym or at home.

Materials you will need for the workout:  Weights (dumbbells), Mat Towel, Water

Workout:  Complete each set of exercises 3 times.  1st set 45 seconds, 2nd set 30 seconds, final set 20 seconds.   Always finish your workout with your favorite cool down moves and some stretches.  I like to incorporate some yoga stretches like the pigeon, downward facing dog and cobra.

Bootcamp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tank Top Arm Strength and Run Workout

This morning my friend Rachel and I changed our run up a bit.  We usually just meet and go for a longer run or do hill repeats.  We wanted to incorporate and arm workout while still getting a few miles in.  This was a great workout.  I will definitely be feeling my arms tomorrow.

Start off with a 1 mile warm up run.  Then complete the strength exercises using heavy weights.  Weights should be heavy and you should have a hard time getting in all of the reps.  You may need to go to a lower weight to finish.  First set complete 12 reps, second set 10 reps and final set 8 reps.  Between each set do the running workout.

Tank Top Arms

Pre-Run Warm Up

Hi Everyone!  I got the opportunity on Saturday to do the pre-race warm ups for the  Cause and Event Race series.  There are three runs.  A kid’s fun run and a 5k run and 10k.  So here is my question for the runners out there.  Do you have a pre-race warm up routine?  If not, you should.  I am just as guilty as the next person, sometimes I get caught up in the excitement of the race that I forget to do my pre-race warm up ritual.  I can totally tell a difference when I do it.  There are so many benefits to warming up, but here are just  a few that I find very beneficial.  First, it will lead to a successful race.  I have proof of this in some of my race times and how I feel.  It can prepare your body both physically and mentally.  For me, it just makes me feel better during my run because I don’t feel so stiff and tense.  Your pre-race warm up doesn’t have to be long.  It can be a short jog, a few strides, or you can do a warm up like I did for the run.  One suggestion I have is not do static  stretching before your race.  Save this for after the race when you really need it

One more tip, show up to the race early so you have time to warm up!  Sometimes I am running to the start line pinning on me bib number.  NOT GOOD!

Complete the following exercises for 8-10 reps or 30 seconds each before moving on to the next.  Your warm up should be approximately 3-5 minutes.

  • Arm Circles
  • Jog in Place
  • High Knees
  • Hi Skips In Place
  • Butt Kickers
  • Grapevine/Karaoke (if you have room)
  • Gate Swing or Squat In and Out
  • Side Lunges (be sure to do each side)
  • Lunges:  Pulse each leg
  • Side Stretches
  • Reach Down Toe Touches
  • Frankenstein/Toy Soldier
  • Leg Swings (both legs)

This may seem like a lot but it goes by pretty fast.  Feel free to shorten it or take out a few exercises if you need to .

Maca Superfood Powder

If you are not familiar with Maca it is a root that is an adaptogen and is getting a lot of buzz lately. I learned about it from my naturopathic doctor and started incorporating it into my diet.   Maca has a lot of benefits.  I am not a nutritionist, but here are a few things that I have noticed while incorporating it into my diet.

Benefits of Maca

  • Can help with PMS symptoms
  • Hormones and Sexual Health
  • Energy, Mood and Memory
  • Antioxidant

Now you are probably curious about how to incorporate it into your diet.  There are many ways to use it.  You can even make a drink out of it (I have not tried that).  My favorite ways to use it are in smoothies, stirred into oatmeal, topped on yogurt or smoothie bowls with a bit of granola, and I also mix some into my energy balls recipe I make (recipe link below).

Here is a link to my energy ball recipe:  https://livingthewrightway.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/pre-workout-eats/

Chocolate Banana Nut Butter Smoothie (1 serving)

1 Cup of Milk of Your Choice (I like unsweetened vanilla almond milk)

½ Small Frozen Banana

2 Tablespoons Nut Butter (I like peanut butter or almond butter)

1 Handful of Spinach

1 tsp maca powder (I use healthworks maca powder on Amazon)

1 scoop protein powder of choice (optional)

Ice (optional)

Blend all the ingredients together.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Lower Body, Cardio and Ab Interval Workout

Happy Friday ! Yesterday’s workout was a killer one!  My legs are still feeling it today especially when walking up stairs.  I thought I would share with you this killer workout.  I hope you all give this workout a try.  You can do it at home or at the gym.  Have a great weekend!  

Things you will need for the workout:

  • Weights 
  • Mat
  • Water
  • Towel (you will be sweating)

Lower Body and Ab Interval Workout

Warm Up:  

  • Jump Rope Series (we did not have ropes, so we faked them)
  • Regular Jump Rope 15 Seconds
  • Single Leg Jump Rope Right 15 Seconds
  • Single Leg Jump Rope Left 15 Seconds
  • Gate Swing or Air Squats 30 Seconds
  • Single Leg Swings 30 Seconds Each Leg
  • Alternating Side Lunges 30 Seconds

Complete exercises in each circuit for 30 seconds each.  Repeat 3 times or more if you would like.

Circuit 1

  • Skaters 
  • Squat with Alternating Side Kicks 
  • Single Leg Back Lunges Right 30 Seconds with weights
  • Single Leg Back Lunges Left 30 Seconds with weights 
  • Plank Pull Across (in plank pull weight across the body)

Circuit 2

  • Burpee with 8 Punches (come up from burpee stay low and jab right and left) 
  • High Knees
  • Weighted Goblet Squat
  • Push Up to a Side Plank add in a Knee Crunch or Just Regular Push Ups

Circuit 3

  • Squat Jacks
  • Sumo Squat with Alternating Leg Lifts (hold weights in front of chest or on shoulders) 
  • Weighted Abdominal Side Bends Right 30 Seconds
  • Weighted Abdominal Side Bends Left 30 Seconds

Core Circuit

  • Plank Jacks 30 Seconds
  • Forearm Plank (hold for 30 seconds)
  • Mt. Climbers
  • Forearm Plank (hold for 30 seconds)

Cool Down and Stretch (2-3 min)

Chocolate PB Chia Pudding

A few weeks ago I started a new meal plan with Gauge Girl Training.  I have been in a slump and I wanted to change things up a bit with my eating.  I was always feeling hungry and my body fat was creeping up.  It may have had something to do with the fact that I LOVE LOVE LOVE peanut butter.   So I heard about the custom meal plans with Gauge Girl Training, so I thought I would give it a try.  I got my meal plan and I noticed there were a lot of protein shakes on it.  I do get a bit tired of the plain old protein shake, so I tried a new twist on my protein shakes.  I made it into a protein chia pudding and now I am addicted.  So I wanted to share my recipe with you.  I eat it as post workout breakfast or in the evening for a little dessert treat.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Chia Pudding (serves 1)

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (you can use any milk here)

2 Tablespoons PB2 or other powdered peanut butter

1 scoop or 1 serving of chocolate protein powder (I use the chocolate flavored Orgain)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl or jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  I like to leave mine in longer.  Enjoy!

Here is the nutrition breakdown based on my recipe:

Calories 270, Fat 9.2 grams, Carbs 24.5

*Note:  I have tried this with a whey isolate protein powder as well and it was a bit runny, so you may need to adjust your milk ratio a bit and use less if you have a different type of protein powder.  It still tasted great!  FullSizeRender