#FatblasterFriday | A Badass Birthday Workout

“Happy birthday to me,

Happy birthday to me,

Happy birthday, dear Tamara,

Happy birthday to me!”

badass birthday workout

Last week on Facebook, I suggested to some personal trainer friends and fellow FitFluential ambassadors, that, in lieu of a birthday present, I’d love it if somebody would design a workout just for me. Although I certainly know what exercises I should be doing, sometimes trainers need trainers too!

Less than five minutes later, I had two offers; both of whom I knew were fully capable of kicking my butt. When each asked me how old I was turning, the alarm bells started ringing. Fitness instructors love to design workouts around numbers.

I briefly contemplated lying and telling them I was turning 30, but my conscience got the better of me (and anybody who looks at my about me page and sees that I have postgraduate degrees and three kids could quickly do the math and see me for the liar I was) and I gave up my real age.

46 years young today.

Because I’d like to live to see my 47th birthday, I decided to do one workout with you this week and save the other for next (when the lactic acid finally dissipates and my DOMS is gone…).

Today’s #FatblasterFriday workout comes to you (and me!) courtesy of Shannon of badassfitness. (Now you see why I was afraid). She may look sweet, but man, she’s one tough cookie (just look at those shoulders!).

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 1.13.02 PM

To join me in the “badass birthday workout”, all you’ll need is a set of hand weights (don’t go heavy here; it’s an endurance style workout) and a bench, step or secure ottoman. Feel free to modify the workout by either performing a slightly easier variation of the exercises, or limiting your reps to YOUR age (if you’re older than I am, you can stop at 46 with me; you’re welcome).

Thanks so much Shannon! You know that I was feeling my butt for a good two days after I filmed this workout, right?

Make sure you check out Shannon’s YouTube channel for more challenging, but fun workouts 🙂

badass birthday workout

Up next Friday (once I’ve recovered…) is Dai from The Moose is Loose. Be warned, he’s an avid CrossFitter!

Did you like the “badass birthday workout”? Then PLEASE

  • WATCH and DO the workouts with me
  • SUBSCRIBE to fitknitchick on YouTube 
  • CHECK OUT the #FatblasterFriday Playlist for more, real time workouts
  • PIN the above WORKOUT PHOTO
  • GIVE me your FEEDBACK on YouTube or in the COMMENTS section below
  • LIKE and SHARE my videos with your friends via email, Facebook and Twitter


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.

May’s Free Pinterest-friendly Workouts of the Day

May 31st is one of my most favourite days of the year.

Why? It’s the birthday of my youngest child, who today, turns 9. Where has the time gone? (And how did I get to be 9 years older?)

Pinterest-friendly workouts

As some of you know, I post Pinterest-friendly workouts of the day to my Facebook page, every (or almost every) Tuesday and Thursday. (If you haven’t yet ‘liked’ my page, you can head on over there now and click away; we’ll wait for you to get back).

Last month, I started re-capping the month’s workouts here, so they’d be easy to find and easy to Pin (go ahead, Pin one, I dare you).

If you’d like to thank me (!), I’d love it if you’d click on through and vote for me, Tamara Grand (fitknitchick), in this year’s Vancouver Top Mom Bloggers contest. It will literally take you 10 s.

In addition to getting to spend a weekend away from  my kids, there’s also a year’s supply of chocolate for the winner. And chocolate for me equals another year’s worth of Pinterest-friendly workouts of the day for you (and me both; I’ll need them!). Thanks a bunch!

Pinterest-friendly workouts

Pinterest-friendly workouts


Pinterest-friendly workouts


Pinterest-friendly workouts

Pinterest-friendly workouts

Pinterest-friendly workouts

Pinterest-friendly workouts

Have a suggestion for a workout that you’d like to see?

Drop me a line and I just might use your suggestion for one of June’s free workouts of the day!

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.

No time to exercise? All you need is 15 minutes

Somedays it seems like there’s just no time to fit in a workout. With work, family responsibilities and driving kids to after-school activities, it might seem impossible to find time to exercise.

I’ve said it before and it bears repeating; you don’t find time to exercise, you make time.

What’s more, you only need to carve out 15 minutes to reap many of the benefits of exercise; better sleep, elevated mood, fewer sugar cravings, less-frequent injuries and perhaps, if you make time daily, weight loss and increased lean muscle mass.

Aren’t convinced that you can earmark 15 minutes of your day to workout?

  • How much time to you spend on Facebook? Twitter? Reading blogs (okay, read mine before you exercise okay)?
  • How much television do you watch? An hour? Two or more?
  • Can you get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning?
  • Do you need to spend an hour at the coffee shop with your friends, or will 45 minutes suffice?
  • Do you have ‘time to kill’ while your children are at soccer/piano/ballet/hockey practice?

We can all make room in our day for 15 minutes of exercise.

I’ve put together three 15-minute workouts (the first of which I did today, in the 15 minutes available between dropping my son off at school and teaching my morning small group training class; very effective, too, I might add!).

Two require equipment; depending on what type of workout tools you have at home, they could be done without leaving your house (saving you even more time) or at the gym. The third requires no equipment at all. You can do it anywhere (home, park, backyard, parking lot, behind the bleachers), anytime.

All three workouts have the same structure; perform each exercise for 45 s then rest for 15 s before starting the next exercise. Work through the number of cycles indicated (this is key!) without a break. If you can’t complete 45 s of a particular exercise, stop early and add the remainder of the work time to your next rest interval.

I like to use my trusty Gymboss interval timer, set for 15 intervals of a 45/15 s cycle. It does all the counting for me!

Before starting your workout, familiarize yourself with the exercises and perform 10-15 reps of each at a warmup level (toe pushups would be warmed us as wall pushups; dumbbell squats would be warmed us as body weight squats; pull ups would be warmed up as a dead hang etc.). Click on the links below to see descriptions and demonstrations of the most basic form of each exercise; make sure to use the equipment and perform the add-ons that I describe below!

Ready, set, go!

Workout #1 (equipment: 1 set of dumbbells, 1 pull up bar)

  1. Pull ups (assisted, regular, weighted, wide grip, narrow grip; your choice)
  2. Dumbbell front squats (hold dumbbells slightly in front of shoulders; add a shoulder press on the way up if you want)
  3. Pushups (against the wall, from knees, on toes, spiderman; your choice)
  4. Dumbbell straight leg deadlifts (heels elevated or not)
  5. Burpees or squat thrusts
Workout #2 (equipment: 2 sets of dumbbells, stability ball, flat bench)
  1. Walking lunges with dumbbells held at side (or alternating forward lunges if you don’t have the space)
  2. Low ab pull ins/pushup combo over the ball (1 pushup, 1 pull in, repeat; if you can’t perform the combo in good form, choose one of the two movements and do this instead)
  3. Dumbbell deadlift/bent over row combo (descending phase of deadlift, hold position and row dumbbells up to armpits, finish the row then the ascending phase of deadlift; if you can’t perform the combo in good form, choose one of the two movements and do this instead)
  4. Holding a V-sit on bench, extend arms down to the floor, bicep curl to shoulder press (if the V-sit bothers your lower back, place one or both feet on the floor)
  5. Bench hop-overs (straddle bench, place hands on bench at one end of the bench, hop both legs back and forth over the bench; you should look like an antelope!)
Workout #3 (equipment: none, although an exercise mat may make things more comfortable when performing pushups and planks)

  1. Body weight squats, hands behind head (keep chest forward, bum back and knees behind toes)
  2. Pushups (whichever variety you like; add intensity by placing feet on a book or step)
  3. Alternating backward lunges or lunge jumps (aim for 90 degrees at both knees at the bottom of your lunge)
  4. Plank (from knees or toes, forearms on the ground with elbows under shoulders; tummy and bum should be held tight the whole time)
  5. Imaginary skipping (for non-skippers, this is way more effective than trying to manage a rope!)
Disclaimer: These workouts may or may not be for you, depending on your age, weight and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before you begin a new exercise program.

Let me know which one you like/hate the most?

Do you make time in your day for exercise?