Archive for: workouts
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!