Archive for: workouts

Will Inflammation Knock You Out?

TKO

It’s a well-​​known fact that grandfathers do no wrong.  They can fix anything and know everything, at least in the eyes of their grandchildren.  I was certainly no exception.  My grandpas were as tough as nails and always pushed me to be the best I could be.  “Grandpa T” was a police officer and a former boxer.  He had a speed bag in the basement and I remember watching with wide-​​eyed fascination as he pummeled away on that bag, not missing a single shot.  Apparently, that wasn’t the case for Manny Pacquiao in his bout against Floyd Mayweather.  Rumor has it that inflammation from a shoulder injury may have knocked Manny out before he even entered the ring.  Is inflammation keeping you from your best shot?

Periodization — Do I Need it?

Top fitness concerns for men

Here is a short but sweet question that requires a fairly lengthy answer to do it justice.  Periodization is nothing new to fitness and the training world, but it is one of those things that people have a hard time applying to their fitness program.  Here is the email question:

Stew, I am in my mid 40’s and have been doing roughly the same thing for more than a decade (run, lift, and some PT) – seems to be working for me.  I read about your periodization concept.  I think I understand the basics but what is periodization and why it is important to me?

The best definition I have seen:  Periodization is an organized approach to training that involves progressive cycling of various aspects of a training program during a specific period of time.  (Kravitz)

Fitness Instructor Goes Boutique Bouncing in NYC

  • November 3, 2014
  • Military Workouts
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NikkiFitness Faves: NYC Boutique Class Review –4 in one week!

I work in fitness, and I love it so much, that sampling the city’s hottest boutique classes has become a hobby. Often, instead of going to restaurants, museums and Broadway plays, I multitask workouts and hang with friends at the newest fitness club or studio. I started thinking fitness should be fun at an early age as a college cheerleader at Syracuse University. After graduation, I became a fitness instructor to build my schedule with classes that mimic “practices with my best friends” — sweat sessions that didn’t feel like work even though they completely worked your body. Even while traveling, sampling the local workout is a must.

How to Hit the Pause Button

BLT 1/4 hits paradise for Exercise Tropic Thunder

This weekend I’m pulling some self-​​imposed overtime.  With everything going on in my life at the moment, I have to put in some extra hours to catch up with paperwork and correspondence which I hope will get me ahead for next week, or so I choose to believe at this moment!  Does it ever feel like you’ve got too much on your plate?  From your service/​career demands to family obligations and a lengthy list of must-​​dos, it may feel like you’ll never get on top of it all.  Maybe we can all take a cue from nature as summer is officially over and autumn begins.  In the fall, everything seems to take a pause — the grass stops growing, leaves begin to turn, and flowers fade.  If your world is spinning, check out these tips to help you take it down a notch or two. 

Sports Nutrition — A Game Changer

  • August 28, 2014
  • Diet & Nutrition
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(Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Wolff-Diaz)

As summer winds down, I’m noticing an interesting trend that has developed over the past few months — my pension for all things water-​​related.  From swimming to kayaking to paddle boarding, I’ve been on a mission to stay on or in the water as much as possible.  I now officially have the SUP (stand up paddle board) addiction!  Put me on the water with a paddle in my hand and I’m content for hours.  If you haven’t checked it out, SUP-​​ing is an awesome full body workout engaging your core for balance, increasing flexibility, upper & lower body strength and decreasing stress…seriously, is there anything more calming than dipping your paddle into a clear, tranquil lake or the invigorating rush of catching the surf?  My newly discovered passion has made me even more aware of how to tweak my nutrition to keep me on the water as long as possible this year. 

Workout of the Week #14

Workout of the Week #14

This is a way to mix in running mile pace runs with PT Pyramid training:

Pt Pyramid /​ Mile Goal Paced Runs

Run 1 mile timed  

Do 10 sets of

Pullups x 1

Pushups x2

Abs x 3

(do ten sets of the pyramid of the three exercises in circuit fashion selecting your abdominal exercise of your choice — for example situps, crunches, flutterkicks, plank pose (per second) Sample Set 1:  pullups 1, pushups, 2, situps 3  each set progresses until set 10 = 10 pullups, 20 pushups, 30 situps.…

Heal Faster, Go Farther

Fitness Center

After a couple of days soaking my foot in epson salt and sporting flip flops until the swelling diminished, my foot injury from last weekend is healing up remarkably well.  It’s a good thing, too, since my list of outdoor projects and activities is growing as long as the days are this summer.  Since I’ve never been one to rush to the doctor post-​​injury or minor accident, I hobbled to the web instead to find some home remedies and explanations for my throbbing foot pain.  While I don’t advocate that you should always seek your own medical advice especially when many sources are unreliable, there are some homegrown staples and supplies that may help heal the bumps and bruises that often accompany an active lifestyle.  

A Klutz-​​Free Summer

National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic

Did you know there are about a million ways to break a toe?  Well, maybe not a million but I can tell you that a door frame, an asphalt driveway, or a box of National Geographic magazines will usually do the trick.  To say I was accident-​​prone when I was a kid is pretty much an understatement.  From broken toes and arms, to endless bruises, abrasions and sprains, I was always sporting a cast or a splint of some sort.  I wish I could blame it on some right of passage into adulthood, but, alas my klutzy nature has landed me in more than one painful situation over the years, like the heavy wedge I knocked into my foot while splitting wood with a sledge hammer this past weekend.  If you find yourself exceptionally attractive to accidental incidents, it’s time to learn some simple ways to go from clumsy to carefree this summer. 

Creator of the Military Wife Workout Releases New Video and App!

  • May 16, 2014
  • Spouse Fitness
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nikki-fitness-slimnastics-dvd-cover

The Slimnastics Stability Ball Workout with NikkiFitness is Available Now

Big Ball, Little Belly…

If you want to really work your entire body this summer, while your mind gets a mini vacation, gazing at a Caribbean beach, this is for you.

The Slimnastics Stability Ball workout with NikkiFitness provides a way to challenge your abs while working your arms, legs, chest, glutes and back. The key is instability! A stability ball will put you off balance to add an extra level of core toning to each full-​​range-​​of-​​motion Slimnastics move. With a mat and free weights, you work biceps and abs, triceps with abs, booty with the belly, and so much more. Summer beach bodies are made in the winter, so this is the perfect way to start a resolution and get the beach body you crave, quick.

Family Fitness Fun with Workout Bingo

  • April 22, 2014
  • Spouse Fitness
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Family Fitness Fun with Workout Bingo

No need for word apps! Create your own witha fun game of Bingo!

One of the most common problems that people who make the commitment to begin exercising regularly have is how monotonous and boring workouts can become, especially if you’re working out at home, or alone. When most people start out with their workout routines for the first time, they’re excited and perform the exercises with ease, but over time, workouts can get repetitive and boring. At the same time, families are engaged in their own screens — TV, iPad, iPhone, laptops, and don’t spend as much time interacting with each other, or moving and playing, as they used to. I propose to get together and get fit as a family with a good old-​​fashion twist!

Four Free, Quick, Fit Videos For Office, Average (GI) Joes, Moms-​​to-​​Be, and Yogis!

  • April 15, 2014
  • Spouse Fitness
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I’ve been busy — putting together lots of free and quick (and fun) workout videos for you and your whole family. Click on these free, super-​​quick workout videos I did for KnowMore​.TV for the best exercises to work your triceps, biceps, shoulders, upper back, lower back, pecs, glutes, thighs, low abs, obliques, quads and calves and stretch it all out. Some you can even do at your desk with exercise bands or tubing!

Are You a Captain America?

Captain America1

I consider my sister-​​in-​​law, Dana, a real sister to me.  She is kind, compassionate, fun, wonderfully opinionated and loves me unconditionally.  I always welcome her advice and recommendations and she has never steered me wrongly.  Last summer she said I must watch The Avengers movie.  What a fun ride!  It was cool to see so many of my favorite characters like Thor, Ironman, and the Hulk joining forces to fight evil.  The only challenge was that I knew nothing about Captain America.  Friday night, I finally watched the first Captain America movie and can’t wait to see the sequel that apparently was a blockbuster at this past weekend’s opener. What caught my attention was the desire this scrawny little guy had to serve his country and sacrifice for the greater good of mankind.  Fortunately, you don’t have to look too far to find those willing to raise their shields to protect our country.  From our incredible service men and women to every day difference-​​makers, we all have a little bit of Captain America in us.

Improve The Move — Treadmill Edition

  • March 10, 2014
  • Spouse Fitness
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nikki-treadmill

Sometimes winter is just too cold to workout outside, so instead of skipping it, sweat in the warmth– inside on the treadmill!

Too boring, you say? I have the antidode: “Improve the Move” with action on the machine. Print out this “running map,” and follow along. The bonus: changing it up makes the time fly and the calories fly away!

Red Carpet Workout: Oscar-​​worthy Arms Succeed with Failure on the Last Rep

  • February 24, 2014
  • Spouse Fitness
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nikki-red-carpet-arms

Oscar time means body critiques of red carpet stars. Many people now start to focus on their fitness routines geared to their own red carpet moments, a big birthday or wedding perhaps? To get inspiration from these Oscar bodies and a start on your big event, I put together some moves where you test your arm muscles to the extreme, doing three back-​​to-​​back sets for each muscle group — going from heavy, to medium, to light weights. This is one time when FAILURE is a good thing! You want to work with weights and reps that leave you thinking you just can’t do one more.

Improve the Mood: The Winter Workout for Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • February 5, 2014
  • Spouse Fitness
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nikki-seasonal-affective-disorder

This never-​​ending winter bringing you down? The slush, snow, ice and frigid temps make it tough to continue New Year Resolutions, and might even be an energy drain. If you are feeling tired, depressed, lazy and have the Winter Blues, I have the antidote!

Drink This Not That!

Photo by Tech. Sgt. Samuel Bendet

Early in the 2013–2014 football season, I had every confidence that I would be watching my beloved Packers play in the Superbowl this Sunday only to see my hopes fade as Aaron Rodgers was out with an injury for several games and, of course, a playoff loss that quickly ended their season.  So, I turned to my runner up, the Patriots, and, yet again, my dreams were dashed as were theirs when they lost to the Broncos.  Undaunted, I pinned my faith to the fast & furious 49ers.  As you can tell, I don’t place any bets on my predictions!  At least my fourth favorite is playing in the Superbowl this year, although, I’d better not say to whom I betroth my allegiance for fear of jinxing the outcome.  The reason for my football rant is seated in what you’ll be doing this Sunday and beyond.  Drinks and snacks will be the norm for Superbowl Sunday and, while it’s okay to share good cheer, you may want to rethink your cocktail concoctions.

Improve the Move: Burpees and Push-​​ups

nikki-burpee

If I had to pick just one cardio move as my favorite for all its benefits, it would be the burpee. If I had to pick one muscle sculpting move, it would be the push-​​up. If you love these moves, but want to give them a multitasking makeover, read on!

Improve the Move: StairMaster Workouts!

  • January 7, 2014
  • Military Workouts
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Improve the Move: StairMaster Workouts

Love climbing the stairway to a heavenly butt? Want to go from the couch to Kilimanjaro?

Here’s the deal…The StairMaster is a gym gem. When the resolution gym-​​goers are clogging up the ellipticals and treadmills, don’t fret, you can get a kick booty workout with this instead!! It’s been the toughest machine in the gym for 30 years and now you can try the at-​​home smaller version– the SM3 now! It’s great for getting in a quiet cardio workout (rather than pounding on the treadmill) if you have a sleeping child or neighbors nearby.

Whether you are just trying it for the firsts time, or have used it before, here are some ways to improve the move while doing a stair climbing workout:StairMaster dos and don’ts.

Exercise Essentials for the New Year

  • January 6, 2014
  • Spouse Fitness
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Exercise Essentials for the New Year

As far as workout advice goes,  are fads and trends, and then there are tried and true trainer tips to Maximize your workout. My Exercise Essentials for 2014 are proven techniques that are here to stay. Incorporate them into your New Year’s Resolution Workouts to hit your goals.

Segment here!

Getting Better at Running for USMC Fitness Test

  • December 18, 2013
  • Air Force Fitness
  • Comments Off on Getting Better at Running for USMC Fitness Test
Getting Better at Running for USMC Fitness Test Read more: http://military-fitness.military.com/#ixzz2pfLDXgP9 Military-Fitness.Military.com

Building up your running is a constant battle for many recruits especially when they are also trying to build muscle to handle the stress of PT, rucking, and other weighted events in military training.  Maintaining running for USMC fitness tests can be challenging as well for active duty Marines especially when you are deployed and spending most of the day wearing your kit /​ ruck.  Here is a question from a USMC recruit trying to prepare himself for faster USMC fitness standards on the run:

I am currently able to accomplish the USMC PFT with 19 pull ups, 87 sit ups, and my 3 mile time is 25:00 minutes. Do you have any information and ways to reduce the time on my run? I rigorously work out 5 times a week including cardio and strength training. Thank you for your time and assistance.