A Tuesday without Tuesday Trainer? Come work out with me!

It’s Monday evening and I’m suddenly realizing that there’s no Tuesday Trainer tomorrow. Lindsay is on holiday with her family and has left us without a leader! No weekend assignment to create a video about _____. No videotaped instructions from my favourite fitness bloggers.

What’s a girl to do?

I could skip the workout; I worked out yesterday and the day before and am scheduled to try a new style of fitness class on Wednesday. According to yesterday’s post, I could claim tomorrow as a legitimate rest day.

But I WANT to go to the gym. I’ve MISSED my strength workouts these past two weeks (and given my poor showing during a Tabata pushup drill in class this morning, I need to get to work regaining the strength I’ve lost…). So I’m taking a deep breath and designing my own Tuesday Trainer program. (You all know that I work as a personal trainer, right? So why is it so difficult for me to design a program for myself?)

How about I pretend that I’m writing a program for YOU and we’ll do it together? Okay? Okay!

(Note that I’m assuming that you’re healthy, with no joint pain or hip/knee/shoulder troubles; if so, please listen to your body and modify where necessary!)

We’ll be doing supersets (I love supersets; fast and efficient when done properly). Alternating between two exercises at a time, 8-10 reps of each exercise, 3-4 supersets of each pair. Got it?

  1. Barbell squats/pushups
  2. Alternating Smith lunges (or barbell lunges if you don’t have a Smith machine)/pullups or inverted rows
  3. Seated shoulder press/preacher curl (or some other sort of bicep curl)
  4. Dumbbell deadlifts/barbell tricep skullcrushers
  5. Roll outs on the ball/medball V-sit core rotations

and finishing with 20 minutes of 1:1 intervals on the Arc Trainer (or your cardio machine of choice).

Ready? Off you go!

And don’t forget to show me your #PROOF!

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.

Five favourite fitness finds and Tuesday Trainer Tabata

Have you ever found a product that you love so much you can’t fathom how you managed to live without it for so long? If you’re at all like me, you tell everyone you know about it until every time you bring up the subject they quickly switch to talking about the weather or the Canucks (neither of which have been impressive of late).

If you’ve recently witnessed me gush about any of the following, you’re free to leave now. (But of course, go directly to Tuesday Trainer where I’m demonstrating a Tabata interval featuring one of my beloved products). Otherwise, read on as I tell you about my five favourite fitness finds!

1. I know. We’ve been down this road before. But I just can’t say enough wonderful things about Holy Crap Cereal. I’m going through a package every two weeks. I can’t stop adding it to oatmeal, pancakes, yogurt and protein bars. If you’ve still not managed to try it, what are you waiting for? It’s available for order online, with free shipping to both the US and Canada, so you don’t need to walk any farther than your computer to get your hands on some. I sent some to my March Foodie Pen Pal who too, has fallen in love.

2. I always wear makeup when I workout. Nothing heavy, but a light, sheer tinted moisturizer makes me look more alive when I’m teaching classes and training clients. (You did see that first-thing-in-the-morning photo I posted last week, right?). Of course, sweating and wiping my face with a towel pretty much means that any makeup I apply before breakfast will no longer be in evidence by lunch.

Not so with the help of two Arbonne products, introduced to me by my friend (and Arbonne Consultant extraordinaire!) Lyndsy; their Makeup Primer (who even knew you were supposed to ‘prime’ before applying makeup?) and Perfecting Liquid Foundation with SPF15. Both go on smooth as silk and stay where I put them ALL DAY LONG (but only if I remember to ‘blot’ the sweat off my face rather than ‘wipe’).

3. Although I’ve known about the value of using a heart rate monitor when working out for a long time, until recently, I’ve never gotten around to buying one for myself. I knew I wanted something that I could wear as my every day watch and found this gem by Timex. It’s their Ironman Road Trainer watch and heart rate monitor.

I’ve gotten in the habit of wearing it during spin and boot camp classes to see just how many calories I’m burning and to make sure I’m working hard enough. The output shows me minimum, maximum and average heart rate during the workout, as well as the number of minutes I managed to stay in my target heart rate zone. I love it and have become addicted to snapping a photo of my calorie burn (or some other metric) at the end of each workout. Not wearing a heart rate monitor? You should be; you’ll be surprised at how hard (or not) you’re actually working and will probably think twice about indulging in an after-workout mocha frappuccino!

4. A few months ago a blogger friend of mine posted about a workout outfit she had ordered from a company making radically different fitness clothes. Enter YMX by Yellowman. Their designs are based on tribal and tattoo motifs and definitely stand out from the crowd. Unwilling to pay the exorbitant fee to have it shipped to Canada (not YMX by Yellowman’s fault; something to do with Canadian customs…), I ordered a tank top and had it delivered (much more economically) to the Californian hotel we stayed at during our spring break holiday.

I love everything about it! The colours, the fabric (silky feeling, SPF and anti-stink) and the fit! It’s almost too pretty to sweat in. I’m planning to order the matching leggings, to be delivered to me at the upcoming Fitness and Health Bloggers Conference in Denver.

5. And last, but not least, my pretty, little Gymboss interval timer.

So handy for boot camp classes, Spartacus-style workouts and Tabata training. Check out one of my favourite two-move Tabata workouts and then click on over to Lindsay’s List to see what the other Tuesday Trainers have in store!

What are YOUR current favourite fitness products?

Come Tabata with me! Five moves for fat loss

Today is Day 4 of my Metabolic Effect diet. Not that it’s really a diet, just a change to the already healthy way I’ve been eating.

What I’ve noticed most is how quickly hunger descends on me right before a meal, probably as a result of eliminating starchy carbs from my between meal snacks (I’m still eating them at meal time, but in moderation). Yesterday, I was a bear as I hastily prepared dinner for my family. Gotta work on some late afternoon snack options that don’t involve oats or high sugar fruits.

The workouts have been great. Shorter and even more intense that the way I usually train. I did 2 rounds of Spartacus 1.0 on Tuesday, followed by 10 minutes of intervals on the ARC trainer for a total time of 43:45 and torched nearly 500 calories in the process.

Today, I’ll be doing a short, Tabata-style workout. I’ve picked five ‘bang for your buck’ exercises, each of which I’ll complete 8 twenty second sets of with 10 s rest between. That’s twenty minutes (5 exercises times 4 minutes each) or so of all out effort. I’ll be aiming to keep my heart rate above 75% of my maximum for the entire time.

I’d love for you to join me; you’ll find the details below!

Do you Tabata? What’s your favorite workout?

Tabata training: quick and to the point

Tired of squinting at my wristwatch during classes and training sessions (I blame too much reading rather than middle age ;)), yesterday, I ordered a GymBoss interval timer. It can keep track of intervals, it fits in a pocket and it’s pink; what more can a girl ask for?

While playing around on their website (which has lots of great workouts, including high intensity intervals, kettle bells and Cross Fit, to name a few), I followed a link called ‘Tabata’.

Tabata training is a very specific form of interval training in which an exercise is performed for 20 s, followed by 10 s (no more!) of rest for a total of 8 cycles. That’s four minutes per exercise.

Any exercise can be used, although multiple-joint exercises (e.g. pushups, lunges, squats) are better than single-joint ones (e.g. bicep curls, leg extension), because they will elevate your heart rate quicker and you won’t need to perform as many different exercises in your training session to get a full-body workout.

The training format is metabolic and very intense. It’s great for increasing functional and core strength, improving cardiovascular fitness and burning calories. It’s also very efficient; perfect for those days when an hour in the gym isn’t going to happen. You can even do a Tabata interval workout at home with minimal equipment.

Here’s what I did today;

Pushups; 5 cycles on toes, cycles 6-8 from knees (this was a really tough set!)
Squat to press; 8 cycles with a 30 lb sandbell
Reverse lunge; 8 cycles with foot dragging an 8 lb sandbell
V-sit with core rotation; 8 cycles with a 12 lb sand bell

Sixteen minutes, plus a bit of transition time between exercises.

Totally. Kicked. My. Butt.

You can bet that I’ll be doing it again (I love a good butt kicking!) and that Tabata training will be creeping into my group fitness classes and personal training sessions. Bet you can’t wait!