Archive for: workouts
Like many people who are into fitness and exercising, you were likely to have started due to either improving your body image or athletics, OR a combination of both. My personal story was a combination of both. I started lifting weights at 13 years of age and mainly cut my teeth on the widely popular Joe Weider weight lifting books mixed with a healthy dose of calisthenics. Calisthenics has been a constant in my life ever since being introduced to them back in grade school. YES — Back when you had Physical Education everyday in school. The President’s Fitness Test was a competition among most students in our class. Therefore, my fitness foundation was calisthenics, free weights (some powerlifts / some body building sets), and whatever sport was in the season throughout middle and high school. (football, powerlifting, track, wrestling, baseball)
Once I joined the military, I realized quickly that there was much more to learn about fitness training. Not only are there workouts that can get you strong, create endless muscle stamina, enable you to run, swim, and ruck, BUT (this is for you body builders) you can actually keep most of your muscle. With proper nutrition and creative balance of weights, calisthenics, and cardio, you can not only be cardiovascularly fit, but strong, lean, and still have muscle mass. Just look at most active Special Operators today.
Tone Wings, Thighs and Six Pack
Want to keep those Thanksgiving feelings of gratitude into the December holidays while revving up your fitness resolution early? Try my no-equipment Slimnastics gratitude yoga flow that tones your wings, thighs and 6-pack too. (Get the FULL workout from my Slimnastics book and DVD – you can do it anywhere holiday travel takes you!)
Focus-Taking a moment to breathe deeply will allow you to focus on thankfulness, one breath with one movement, inhaling gratitude, exhaling a smile. Do a few sun salutations for a warm up, then follow this flow 5–8 times per leg, alternating each side. While in warrior III, focus on gratitude for strong legs, in chaturanga, focus on gratitude for arms that work and can hold you up, engage your abs to lift hips into down dog. In down dog, remember that if the world turns upside down, it offers contrast and another view. Down dog is also anti-aging and works your upper back while perfecting your posture. Give thanks for your age, and all you’ve learned. Your good health and all the loving people who have come into your life.
Want to work your Wings and Thighs before Thanksgiving? I’ll even add in a six pack for the football games!
Here’s how — take your favorite old-school, go-to moves like the squat and the plank, and give them a fitness makeover mu adding multitasking muscle moves that work your whole body at the same time!
Improve the Move by Watching these free video demos.
I see lots of no-nos around the gym and hear about them with my personal training clients and twitter followers. Sometime, you don’t realize you might be getting in your own way. Reach your fitness goals faster by ditching these not-so-good moves:
1 — My biggest thing– if you can read, your workout isn’t hard enough. Ditch that magazine or book and sweat like crazy to your favorite tunes. If you love a story, get an audiobook. Don’t dilly dally. Kill it. Sweat is fat crying. Work “Harder, better, faster, stronger” -(my favorite fitness song.)
2 — Shorter and more intense. People looking to lose weight or maintain a fitness routine sometimes rely on long runs/bikes/eliptical machines at a steady state. Cardio is great but you’ll burn more if you add intense intervals and shorten your time. Better yet, multitask your cardio workouts but doing plyometrics, cardio sculpt classes and videos, and do weight training circuits with your cardio.
Are lunges your favorite move?
Rhabdomyolysis is a word that not many people have ever heard or experienced. But recently, it has unfairly made the headlines with regard to difficult training programs such as CrossFit. I am not a CrossFitter, but this issue is part client and part trainer problem and not simply a CrossFit problem. Truth is, “Rhabdo” as many people refer to it, is very common in MANY challenging training programs such as military bootcamps, police and fire academies, even professional football, and body building. It is a deadly condition that should be studied by anyone who is a trainer, but also taught to students who are seeking challenging workout programs in harsh environments.
Defined, from a 2010 US Armed Forces study on active duty cases, Rhabdomyolysis is the breakdown of muscle cells with release into the bloodstream. If not treated, Rhabdomyolysis can be fatal and you can have kidney failure, heart attack, or stroke. It is definitely not a condition to make light of or wear as a badge of honor.
Do you have a favorite fitness move? Something you add to almost every workout?
Lots of people love squat, lunges, plies, planks, crunches, jumping jacks and burpees and do them almost automatically, without much consideration of how to improve the move, and reach past their fitness plateaus.
Recently, I went on Fox & Friends to give your favorite fitness move a “Multitasking Makeover” by adding arms/abs/balance challenges/weights or cardio plyometrics. Check out the video or follow the instructions below. For more moves, follow me on twitter and facebook @NikkiFitness where I update with an #ImproveTheMove #Moveoftheday each day. My Improve The Move book and DVD will launch in 2014.
If you are seeking a job in the military or law enforcement professions, you will likely see an entrance exam that requires you to score well in sit-ups, curl-ups, or crunches. All are abdominal exercises with different hand placement that test core strength and endurance and can be a challenging exercise to improve if you are not getting your repetitions in each week. Here is an email from someone who has improved in pushups and pullups but needs help with the last PT element of the Air Force PAST test for PJ and CCT:
“Stew, I have used your pullup and pushup push plans and actually increased my pushups from 50 to 88 and my pullups from 12 to 20 in just two weeks. Thanks! I have neglected my sit-ups however (62 in 2 min); and need some ideas on the quickest way to increase my reps for the AF PJ two minute PAST test for situps. Do you have a “Situp Push Plan” like your pull / push plans? I am trying to get my situps to 85–100 for the PAST”
Yes, I have been working on a Situp Overload Plan to help create a better foundation to increase situps by 50–75% in just 14 days. It is a little different than the Pullup / Pushup Plan where you take your current maximum and multiply by five for 10 straight days – add in three rest days and test on day 14 for recovery from the overload and max out into a new level of scoring.
Our Bodies are “ready for some football” now that summer vacations are over! We drafted fantasy teams and now it’s time the get a fantasy body, the way the players do. Here’s a video segment I did on Fox &
Friends during the real NFL draft with plyometric muscle and cardio moves like:
–Booty Ball Biceps
–The Line of Scrimmage
Try these football themed routines now that the season is about to start, and kickstart your muscle burn!
People work out to be slim, sexy, healthy and built, but what about working out to survive? I always tell personal training clients and group fitness class participants that we do push-ups so that we have the strength to push someone or something off of us in case of danger; that we run and perform cardio intervals so we can sprint away from any situation.
This week I had the chance to see fitness strength combine with self defense techniques when former WWE Diva Champ turned self defense expert, Eve Torres, visited a gym in New York. I had taken other self defense classes in the past, and they involved a lot of eyeball, adam’s apple and groin strikes. This class was different.
Eve is one of the stars of Investigation Discovery’s new show Surviving Evil debuting Wednesday, August 28th, 10/9c. In anticipation of showing the world how ordinary people survived extraordinarily evil situations, Torres taught several free survival classes at New York Sports Club (NYSC).
We hit traffic more than we hit the gym sometimes, so why not get a little workout with these 6 moves while sitting still behind the wheel? Whether on your way to work, or heading on vacation, this traffic workout will at least get your blood flowing, provide a stretch, and burn a few calories instead of wasting time.
Trainer’s tip: for safety, do these only in stand-still traffic, not while moving at a slow rate. You need to pay attention to the road first and foremost! You can also do this while waiting for your family to finish up at the rest stop! You can also do many of these moves as a passenger or on a flight using your tray. For a more intense travel workout, download the NikkiFitness Fit Travel Workout video (Amazon.)
Have you ever learned another language? My parents made us take a foreign language course in school likely because their parents made them. My dad grew up in an Italian family with relatives who did not speak English so he was exposed to another language and culture his entire life. He was still required, however, to take Latin — uhg! My mom took French in high school and does a great job speaking it today when they travel. My brother took German has maintained his ability to speak fluently. I took Spanish in school and am now teaching myself Italian. It all reminds me of my favorite comedian, Steve Martin, who quipped, “It’s like they have a different word for everything!” While you may not be inspired to learn another language, you may be surprised to find out just how powerful your own words can be when it comes to your health, fitness, motivation and success.
To get in shape for summer, everyone focuses on booty and abs… now that summer is halfway over, it’s time to re-focus, on those arms.
Triceps are a trouble spot for most, so I created a free how-to video on KnowMore.tv so share some of my multitasking toning moves that save time. For the entire workout, check out my Slimnastics video.
Here is a free sample video with 4 moves that men and women can both try, because they ditch the typical French Press and Kickback to get more creative. Sleeveless shirts and dresses are worn more than bathing suits anyway, so get rid of those bat wings and get armed while summer’s still here!
So you want to know how Hugh Jackman got so ripped for his movie Wolverine? Well, you have two options: hire his extremely expensive fitness trainer Mike Ryan, or you build your own workout program based on his advice. If you are interested in the latter, read on.
The Royal Baby is arrived today, and It’s a boy! By Labor Day, Princess Kate will probably cleared to work out and enjoy a more active life with the tiny tot.
Whether you are expecting, or recently had a baby, here to help you get back in shape are three pre and post-natal workout articles and TV segments I did recently: on Live! with Kelly and Michael, KnowMore.TV, and for Fit Bottomed Mamas.
These all show the moves I did either while pregnant, or after my little personal trainer was born. Once I had a baby, I didn’t want to squeeze my workouts into the few minutes my baby was napping, so I created a workout video with my baby, that YOU can do in 15 minute increments throughout the day with yours. This way, you can save his or her nap-time for your naps, showers, cleaning the house, or relaxing and watching coverage of the Royals.
Whether you are trying to get rid of un-tonned “bat wings” or just looking or well-rounded multitasking exercises to tone arms, abs and legs, try these three workouts that take the traditional French Press, Triceps Kick-back, and Push-up to a whole new level.
I created a free quick video for KnowMore.TV but you can get the 30 minute workout in my Booty Camp DVD.
You’ll see challenging Triceps Push-ups, my “Wings, Thighs and a Six Pack” move and Skull Crushes for arms and glutes.
Add 20 reps of these moves in 3 sets to your summer fitness routine and you won’t be sorry.
Remember…“I wish I didn’t work out today” said no one ever!
Fitness, fit it in! Nikki
Since summers are often short in Maine — what am I saying, they’re always short here! — we do our best to take full advantage of the season. Biking, golf, tennis, walking, hiking, in-line skating, wood cutting, outdoor projects and yard work keep us active and enjoying our great outdoors. In order to take full advantage of our fleeting warm summer months, we make sure we protect ourselves from injury. Nothing is worse than missing out due to a sports injury. Let’s look at ways you can stay injury and complaint free this season.
In high school, my brother and his buddies started a band. Not only were they a crazy-talented bunch, they also had an uncanny ability to throw a concert together on a moment’s notice and fill the room with 300 or more avid fans. Last summer, they got the band back together for a one-night-only concert on the lake. It was a blast and we’re looking forward to an encore this year. It proved to me that you can go back and relive experiences from your past. With summer in full stride, maybe it’s time to shake up your fitness routine, rekindle some passions of your own and maybe even cultivate a few new ones.
Weddings this summer?
If you are having your dream wedding, in the bridal party, one of the parents, or just want to look and feel great on the dance floor, I have the workout for you.
My 30-minute Destination: Wedding Workout DVD moves include fun names and not-so-funny killer moves.
Plyometrics and multitasking muscle moves tone your body all over while the cardio intervals slim you down by getting rid of any fat covering up those chiseled areas.
Check out a free demo 5 minute demo I did for KnowMore.TV and kick-start your walk (or strut) down the aisle.
Fitness — fit it in this summer!
Training in the summer months takes some special consideration especially if you live in a hot and humid environment like the South, East Coast and Midwest. However, training in arid and hot environments like the Southwest and Western U.S. require the same considerations. Dryer climates can actually be more dangerous as you do not sweat to stay cool (it just evaporates almost instantly) — but you will notice salt stains on clothing just the same.
Here is a question from a trainer down in Charleston, who needed some ideas other than the typical “stay well hydrated, avoid the heat of the day, etc…”