Archives for June 2012

‘Think of me tomorrow’ total body workout

Yesterday was my last Wednesday morning bootcamp of the spring session.

School is officially out for the summer and even though my group fitness classes will continue to run, many of the participants won’t be able to make it with kids at home to supervise and entertain.

I wanted to make our last class together memorable.

As in, ‘you’ll-be-thinking-of-me-every-time-you-try-and-sit-on-the-toilet-or-brush-your-hair-for-the-next-few-days’ memorable. A little DOMS never hurt anybody…

Voila! The ‘think of me tomorrow‘ total body workout.

All you need is a set of weights, a mat, a stability ball, exercise band and a 1 minute timer. We also used a weighted body bar, but you could use dumbbells if your gym doesn’t have them.

This total body workout was designed as a series of 4 mini-circuits. Each mini-circuit has 4 exercises in it. Exercises are each performed for 1 minute with no rest between and each circuit is repeated a second time before moving on to the next. Got it?

And I may have thrown in cardio intervals between circuits… heh, heh,heh (burpees, high knees, long jump, fast feet etc).

Go ahead, try my ‘think of me tomorrow’ total body workout and think of me tomorrow!

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If you liked this workout, check out my Free Workout Library. And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for exercise demonstrations and workout ideas!

Does your gym attendance change in the summer time?

Tell me about your favourite total body workout!

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The ‘Functional Four’ workout and a bonus move for your butt

I work as a personal trainer in a public gym. The majority of my clients are women in their 40’s who need to lose (by their own admission) 15-40 pounds.

In my experience, the best way to do that is to perform whole body, compound exercises at an intensity that elevates your heart rate for the better part of your 45 minute workout. (In addition to eating clean, of course).

The workouts that I prescribe typically include four functional movements; squats, lunges, pushes and pulls. Each of these types of movements target multiple muscle groups and hence, won’t increase the size of your biceps or triceps or tighten your inner thighs exclusively.

Curls and triceps extensions and calf raises? Vanity moves. Exercises that can improve the look of a single muscle group, but only once the layer of subcutaneous fat that covers them is burned off!

Am I suggesting that you shouldn’t perform vanity exercises? Absolutely not! I love vanity moves too!

Instead, I suggest that you place them at the end of your program, once the heavy, metabolic, fat-burning lifting is done! Think of bicep curls as a reward for completing your squats and lunges! Tricep extensions as the dessert to your meal of pushups and bent over rows. Hamstring curls on the ball as a rest for  your arms and back after finishing your third set of pull ups!

Below is my ‘Functional Four’ workout.

Complete 10-12 repetitions of each exercises using the heaviest weight (or most challenging progression) you can. Then move immediately to the next exercise, cycling through the entire workout 3 or 4 times. Your heart rate should remain elevated throughout; don’t rest until you’re done! Options are given for beginners,  intermediate and advanced exercisers.

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And no, I didn’t forget about your abs! Almost all of the above exercises require you to work your core in a functional manner. Stabilization and mobilization while other parts of your body are moving.

If you want to increase the challenge of the above workout to your core you can (1) offload the weight during a given exercise (e.g., offset load squat, change the pushup into a T-pushup) and (2) use a stability tool in place of either the floor (e.g., lunge with foot on Bosu) or a bench (e.g., chest press with head and shoulders supported on a stability ball)

Once you’ve finished the heavy work you can indulge in a vanity move or two. One of my favourites in a hamstring curl on the ball.

Check out today’s Tuesday Trainer for some other great vanity moves.

Do you include the functional four in your workouts?

What’s your favourite vanity move?

Disclaimer: Although I am a registered Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.