The Fresh Start Fitness Challenge – Week 3

It’s time for Week 3’s Challenges!

How did you like last week’s circuit? Got your heart rate up, didn’t it?

Shall we see what’s up for Week 3?

This week we’ll be upping the intensity of your strength workouts. Just a little bit if you’re still new to exercise. Fitness veterans, however, don’t need to hold back 😉

Continuing with last week’s theme of ‘more structure’, I’ll be outlining your workouts for you. As always, feel free to modify as you need to for YOUR body and fitness level. I’ll also be asking you to get a bit more ‘regimented’ with your diet. Again, no meal plans, but some specific instructions for ‘dialling it in’.

Please continue to comment (on the main challenge page.) and Tweet away (using the hashtag #freshstartfitness). Remember that daily comments and Tweets give you more chances to win the 8-Week Fitness Coaching Package!


  • Having a strong support network can make or break your plans to get fit and healthy. Take a few minutes and think about who, in your life, is supporting you in the changes you’re trying to make. Who isn’t? Sometimes friends and family members attempt to sabotage your plans. Thank your supporters and remind them of why you’re trying to make changes. Talk to your saboteurs about the negative effects they’re having on your attempts to stay on track. Share your stories.
  • Still struggling with that negative inner voice? Once again, we’re rewarding critical self-talk with pushups. One set, to fatigue for every negative thought.


  • It’s menu planning week. This week I’m giving you an eating ‘rule’. Take some time to plan your menus, snacks and indulgences (we ALL need indulgences from time to time, not just with every meal!). For the next 7 days, I want you to try following the 90/10 rule. 90% of your meals should be on track (no trigger foods, neither of the 2 unhealthy foods you ditched last week, no alcohol, minimal sugar etc.). 10% can include ONE indulgence (a glass of wine, a cookie, a pumpkin spice latte). Take the number of meals and snacks you eat during the week (I eat 3 meals plus 2 snacks each day, for a total of 35 meals each week), multiply by 0.1 (one-tenth). That number is the number of meals that can include an indulgence. For me, that’s 3.5 (I’m rounding down to 3, you can feel free to round up!). Tell us how many indulgence meals you’ll be having and share what your indulgences were!
  • ‘Clean up’ a favourite recipe. My kids love pancakes and waffles; preferably from IHOP or Denny’s! I’ve learned to ‘healthify’ this morning treat so that I don’t feel bad about making them every morning. Share the ‘cleaner’ version of your favourite recipe with the rest of us! We can all use new ideas!


  • Cardio workouts; this week we’re cutting back on our ‘same pace’ cardio. Hooray! Only 90 minutes of steady state running, cycling, walking, jogging or swimming. Aim for 3, 30 minute workouts. If that’s not possible, do it your own way.
  • Metabolic strength workouts; thought I was letting you off easy with less cardio? Think again! We’re adding some short, high intensity cardio intervals to this week’s strength circuit. Intervals are a great way to boost metabolism (i.e., burn more calories while you do them, as well as later in the day, when you’re sitting on the couch). Just like last week, your challenge is to do 6 rounds of the circuit described below (as per last week, you decide how many rounds you want to do per circuit; most people found 2 manageable!). You’ll be interspersing 45 s of cardio intervals (or plyometrics; more on that in a moment), throughout last week’s circuit. So, same strength exercises (although you should feel free to up your weights if you can), with a few heart rate accelerators thrown in! If you need to, rest for 30-60 s at the end of your cardio intervals before moving on to the next exercise.

For your cardio intervals, you can choose from the following list of moves (depending on what equipment you have handy and your current level of fitness). You can perform the same move each time, or mix it up as you move through the circuit. Moves with a ‘P’ after them are plyometric in nature. They require jumping. If you’re new to exercise, or you have any issues with knee or ankle joints, choose another option.

  • jumping rope
  • high knees running
  • jumping jacks
  • dumbbell/kettle bell hip swings
  • BOSU fast feet (quick running on and off the dome)
  • squat jumps (P)
  • box jumps (P)
  • split lunge jumps (P)

Fresh Start Metabolic Strength Circuit

  • Squats plus shoulder press
  • Pushups
  • 45 s cardio or plyometric intervals
  • Lunges plus bicep hammer curls (perform 8 stationary lunges per side, or 8 alternating forward lunges per side)
  • Bent over, reverse flys
  • 45 s cardio or plyometric intervals
  • Triceps bench dips (knees bent or legs straight)
  • Plank (as long as you can, toes or knees)
  • 45 s cardio or plyometric intervals
  • V-sit core rotation (8 per side, alternating sides)
  • Bridge (as long as you can, with or without leg lifts)
  • 45 s cardio or plyometric intervals

NOTE THAT THE ORDER OF THE LAST 2 EXERCISES HAS CHANGED (to keep you from passing out by coming to a lying position immediately after bringing your heart rate up…)

Are you ready to bring it on?

Week 4 is just around the corner!