#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

More VIEWS, LIKES, COMMENTS and SHARES –>> More VIDEOS!

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.

#FatblasterFriday | Strength, speed and balance training on the BOSU

I used to teach a weekly Bosu class. Sixty minutes of balance training, core, speed, agility and strength. I gave it up because it conflicted with Sunday family time.

balance training

But I miss it (and my body misses it; the ‘use it or lose it’ principle definitely applies to balance training ;) ).

Never used a Bosu balance trainer before? Here’s what you’re missing out on:

  • improved balance (guess that’s why it’s called a ‘balance’ trainer)
  • better core stabilization (just standing on the dome activates all sorts of tiny stabilizer muscles; muscles you probably didn’t even know you had)
  • stronger knees and ankles (a must if you want to protect yourself from falling on ice or tripping over your children’s toys)
  • enhanced proprioception (knowing where your body is in space)

Today’s #FatblasterFriday workout combines upper and lower body strength moves with some plyometrics and a bit of fast foot work. Only 6 exercises, performed circuit style, 30 s on, 10 s off. Twice through the circuit and you’re free to get on with your day!

You’ll need a set of hand weights and a Bosu balance trainer (but don’t fret if you don’t have one or somebody let the air out of yours… I’ve included Bosu-less options as well).

balance training

Did you like this 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

More VIEWS, LIKES, COMMENTS and SHARES –>> More VIDEOS!

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.

#FatblasterFriday | whole body pyramid workout

Jeesh. You guys don’t make it easy. When I asked my Facebook group for suggestions for this week’s workout, the responses were all over the map!

pyramid workout

You guys know what you want and you want it ALL! LOL! (Thanks for keeping me on my toes; I really do appreciate your feedback!)

I put my thinking cap on and came up with a quick, whole body pyramid workout that you’ll feel in your abs, arms and shoulders (among other places ;) ).

Today’s #FatblasterFriday video is a whole body pyramid workout. We’ll be switching up the exercises and reps continuously throughout the workout, moving from single exercises to one big compound chain and back again. Metabolic strength training at it’s most fun!

All you’ll need is a set of hand weights (moderate to heavy) and a mat, as well as a little faith that the above description will all make sense when you watch the video!

pyramid workout

Did you like this 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.

#FatblasterFriday | Spartacus Workout for Women

A few months ago I posted my own version of the popular Spartacus Workout.

My Spartacus Workout for Women focuses on four ‘trouble’ spots that most of my female group fitness participants and personal training clients want to work on;

  • triceps
  • tummy
  • thighs and
  • tush

The Spartacus Workout for Women combines whole body, fat-blasting moves with exercises that target the 4 T’s.

Because I get so many ‘how to’ questions about this workout (my earlier post only listed the names of the exercises…hint, you can click through to the original post for a printable version of the workout), I thought we could do it together, today, on #FatblasterFriday!

Grab your weights, a mat and a bench or chair. Do a quick warmup (5 minutes of light calisthenics ought to do it) and click on the link below to sweat alongside me!

Show me how much you liked this video!

  • SUBSCRIBE to fitknitchick on YouTube 
  • WATCH and DO the workouts with me
  • 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

More VIEWS, LIKES, COMMENTS and SHARES –>> More VIDEOS!

And a huge thank you to my girl Rebekah (BexLife) for the fabulous #blissedin tank top! Want one of your very own or as a Christmas present for a special friend? Click through to her website and place your order!

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.

High intensity interval workout: welcome to #FatblasterFriday!

After receiving some queries from readers as to

  1. when I might be releasing a workout DVD (answer; not anytime soon!)
  2. whether I could show rather than describe my workouts (a video is worth a million words) and
  3. why, in my workout videos I only demonstrate the moves (rather than do the entire workout for with you)

I decided that it was time to start a regular, real-time workout video series.

Welcome to #FatblasterFriday!

Most Fridays (in the wee hours of the morning, so my East coast viewers can make it part of their day), I’ll be posting a short, but intense workout video that you can do in real time with me.

But I need your help to make this work. How?

  • SUBSCRIBE to fitknitchick on YouTube 
  • WATCH and DO the workouts with me
  • 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

More VIEWS, LIKES, COMMENTS and SHARES –>> More VIDEOS!

Today, we’re doing an 8-minute, whole-body, high intensity interval workout. The best type of workout for torching calories and blasting fat.

Four moves, 45 s work/15 s rest, times two. No equipment, other than a bench and a mat, required.

Ready to rock it?

The Workout:

  1. Plie squats
  2. Pushups (from knees or toes; hands on ground or bench)
  3. Squat jumps (or squat to toes to reduce impact)
  4. High plank knee twist (hands on ground or bench)

Drop me a note below if there are specific types of workouts you’d like to see!

And a very Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

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.

5 tips to up the intensity of your strength workouts

Lifting weights is the best way to sculpt a strong, lean physique.

Want to see results more quickly? Follow these 5 tips to up the intensity of your strength workouts.

  1. Ditch the isolation exercises. Compound, multi-joint movements burn more calories than single-joint exercises. Trade those bicep curls for a lunge and curl combination.
  2. Choose supersets over straight sets. Alternating two different compound exercises not only saves time, it keeps your heart rate elevated, which in turn, burns more calories than traditional straight-set training.
  3. Minimize rest time. Long between-set (or between-superset) breaks result in a lower overall workout intensity than moving quickly from one exercise to another. Keep moving to keep burning calories and reveal those muscles sooner!
  4. Add in cardio intervals or plyometrics between strength supersets.
  5. Finish with a ‘finisher’. After all your reps and sets are done, throw in a single Tabata interval or my favourite leg ‘finisher’; 20 squats, 20 squat jumps, 20 alternating lunges, 20 split lunge jumps. NOW, you’re done!
How do YOU up the intensity of your strength workouts?

Rediscover your abs with clean eating and Tuesday Trainer

About 6 weeks ago, prompted by feeling mushy around the middle, and determined to feel great in a crop top before I turn 45 this spring, I started adding an extra metabolic strength workout to my weekly schedule. I took some photos, but decided to keep them to myself, lest I fail and have no improvement to show you (accountability for cheaters, I know).

Since I’m seeing results, including the rediscovery of my abs, I thought I’d post them now.

circa February 28, 2012

circa April 10, 2012

I don’t know about you, but I see a huge difference!

Now to be honest, it’s not just the new workout that’s doing it. I’ve also been pretty diligent in the kitchen, keeping my hand out of the cookie jar (mostly), cutting back on my starchy carbohydrates (except for my morning oats), reaching for dark chocolate over milk (forgetting all those mini eggs I ate Easter weekend…) and pushing myself to lift as heavy as I can in the gym. I’ve also been drinking a lot of water. Clean eating has it’s rewards!

My tips for rediscovering you abs?

  • eliminate sugar and processed food (you knew I was going to say that)
  • cut back on starchy carbs, paying attention to cravings and feelings of satiation (if cravings are too intense, increase starchy carbs by a bit)
  • water, water, water
  • reduce caffeine intake
  • small, regular meals (before you’re starving!)
  • bye bye alcohol

Of course, to have abs to reveal, you need to build them first!

This week, Tuesday Trainer is featuring an all abs workout. Each trainer has submitted their favourite ‘reveal your abs’ exercise. I’m demonstrating Before getting sick, I had planned on demonstrating a ‘Russian Twist on the ball’. Not only does it target your ‘six pack’, you’ll also feel your obliques and your glutes working. One of the best ways to get rid of that little pooch is to learn some glute activation; so be sure to keep your hips up and bum cheeks clenched throughout!

I promise I’ll get to filming today or tomorrow and have it ready for you to look at later in the week.

Meanwhile, head on over to Lindsay’s List to see what the other trainers put together for you and then pop in to YouTube and subscribe to my channel (click the link, now find the ‘subscribe’ button above the video, click on it!). There you’ll find the rest of my Tuesday Trainer videos as well as some other workouts and video blogs. Don’t forget to share!

How frequently do you work your abs?

Tell me your ‘reveal your abs’ tricks!

 

 

Cybex ARC Trainer review: my cardio machine of choice

I’m not a huge fan of cardio machines. I find most of them boring and repetitive. I prefer to get my cardio done through metabolic strength training.

I can handle the treadmill and the rowing machine for short bursts. Warmups, cool downs and some HIIT (high intensity interval training) on those days when I’m not teaching step or spin.

If, however, I’m feeling like I need some extra, plain old cardiovascular training on a non-weight training day (like maybe the week after Valentine’s Day…), you’ll find me on the Cybex ARC Trainer.

Cybex ARC Trainer review

Kind of  like a cross between a stair climber, an elliptical and a good old Nordic track. It’s gliding motion is comfortable on the knees and ankles and it provides enough resistance to significantly elevate my heart rate. The Cybex ARC Trainer’s stride length seems to be longer than the average elliptical’s and I never feel like the handles are jerking my arms unnaturally.

It has an adjustable incline, allowing the user to mimic climbing a steep hill and changing the primary working muscled from quads to glutes. The 2:1 and 1:1 interval programs are my favorite.

Cybex ARC Trainer review

Last week, a 20-min interval workout (30 s high resistance, 60 s lower resistance, repeated again and again and again…) at a moderate intensity burned just over 260 calories.

Now calorie burn is not my primary focus when I’m working out (unless I have 1/2 pound of chocolate to ditch). But many of my clients pay close attention to the calorie display on cardio machines. Several of them have told me that they prefer the Cybex ARC Trainer over the alternatives specifically because they feel that it’s the best calorie-burner in the gym.

Usually I remind them that it’s not a good idea to compare workouts across machine types (or even machines; one elliptical may give you a completely different report than another). Bikes, ellipticals, treadmills and ergometers require your body to move in different ways, and as such, each machine uses a particular set of muscles to power the workout. Depending on which muscles are used (big vs. small), a similar length workout on two different cardio machines might be expected to result in vastly different caloric expenditures.

Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon this articleHendrickson, K., Porcari, J.P. and Foster, C. Relative exercise intensity, heart rate, oxygen consumption and caloric expenditure when exercising on various non-impact cardio trainers. (Note: although I did find the article on Cybex’s website, the research was conducted independently and the science seems sound).

Here’s a recap;

Researchers took 16 people and familiarized them with three pieces of cardio equipment; the Cybex ARC Trainer, the Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer and the Precor Elliptical Trainer.

On each of three separate days, each subject completed a 30-minute, high intensity workout on one of the three machines (the order of exercise devices was counterbalanced across all subjects). Every 5 minutes, researches collected three pieces of information; (1) rate of perceived exertion, (2) heart rate and (3) oxygen consumption and calories burned.

The results surprised me.

  • RPE was virtually identical for all three machines (no subject felt that one machine was harder than an other)
  • Heart rate was similar for the ARC trainer and Adaptive Motion Trainer, but lower on the Elliptical. This, despite the same perceived effort as reported by the test subjects.
  • Oxygen consumption was significantly higher on the ARC trainer than on either of the other machines at the same perceived effort.
  • Over 30 minutes of exercise, the ARC trainer burned 16% more total calories than the Elliptical and 9% more calories than the Adaptive Motion Trainer at the same relative workout intensity.

Wow! My clients were right. The Cybex ARC trainer is the champion calorie-buster in the gym!

Note: I have no relationship whatsoever with Cybex. All opinions expressed in the post are mine and mine alone. If however, they wanted to send me an ARC trainer, I wouldn’t say ‘no’ and I’d happily wax poetic about them another time!

Do you do your cardio on a machine? Which one?

Have you ever tried the Cybex ARC trainer?