Tag Archives: fitness

Workout Wednesday: Perceived Threshold

People ask me every Tuesday night whether I’m going to take it easy on them or kill them with this workout. My reply is always that I’ll make you feel like you’re dying but you’ll feel amazing afterward. And it’s true!

With these types of workouts, you should be going at such an effort that your muscles stop working, your lungs are burning, and you feel an achy pain in muscles you didn’t even know you had. As long as you are not feeling sharp pain anywhere, and are focusing on correct form, you are doing it right. (If you start to experience sharp pain of any kind, especially in joints, stop that exercise immediately and consult a doc about it.)

So keep going, hard. Work through the pain. The thing that separates you and a higher level of fitness is the ability to push past your perceived threshold. You can always go faster, jump higher, and lunge lower. No excuses!

And now … the workout!

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

High Knees

1. high knees (hold your hands at a certain height and bring your knees to touch them)

TriDip

2. tri dips (legs bent in or held straight out)

calfjump

3. calf jumps (too easy? jump higher, jump faster, hold weights in your hands)

crunches

4. crunches (focus on lifting your shoulders, DO NOT pull on your neck; beginner-feet on ground, intermediate-feet at right angle, advanced-feet in air)

plank(better)

5. plank tick tock (beginner-knees or elbows on ground, intermediate-full plank, advanced-lift one leg and, keeping it straight, swing it out to the side, then bring it back to center and do the same with the other leg, in a pendulum-like motion)

Lunge

6. speed lunges (keep feet planted and bounce upper body up and down, switch legs at half-way point)

+ Fit Minute. Choose one of the following exercises. Do it for a full minute at 100% effort. Count how many you do and record it. We’ll be doing these after every workout from now on:

  • Level 1 – side to side steps or jumping jacks
  • Level 2 – push ups
  • Level 3 – burpees

I hope you get all charged up after these workouts like I do. Love and a big smile 🙂 – Ash

Workout Wednesday: Timing is Everything.

I have three questions for you. Yes, YOU. A lot of people have been falling off the health bandwagon. It’s about that time of year when resolutions crumble and the same people who were enthusiastic 2 months ago are reverting back to the I-don’t-have-time excuse.

So my questions are:

  1. Have you developed a regular workout routine?
  2. What time of day can you absolutely NOT workout?
  3. What time of day does a workout give you the most benefits? (i.e. energy, happy hormones, strength, agility, etc)

Please answer them below. Seriously. Because if you don’t know the answers to these questions, it’s time to figure them out.

My answers:

  1. Yes.
  2. Definitely not anytime after work.
  3. The morning. Waking up and doing something for myself starts my day on the right track.

Now that you’ve thought those through, here’s the workout for this week!

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. side hops- Use a shoe as an obstacle to jump over. Jump high and very fast.

PushUp

2. pushups (beginner- on your knees, intermediate- on your toes with only a slight elbow bend)

RussianTwist

3. russian twist- bend at the waist, lift your chest to the ceiling. (beginner- feet on ground, intermediate- legs at right angle, advanced- legs straight in air)

jumplunge

4. jump switch lunges (jump high, lunge low)

BirdDogs

5. bird dog (beginner- from hands and knees, intermediate- from plank position)

wallsit

6. wall sits (beginner- feet flat on ground, advanced- lift one knees at a time, hold for 3 seconds)

Hope you all have Happy Wednesdays. Love and a big ‘ole smile. – Ash

 

Workout Wednesday: Don’t Eat Too Soon Beforehand

Happy Wednesday Ya’ll! I had a smoothie way too close to the beginning of this workout and it threatened to come up for 20 minutes after I was done. Whoops! So just make sure you have a relatively clear belly and are ready to work those muscles until they fatigue!

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

LowJacks1LowJacks2

 1. low jacks

TriDip

2. tri dips (beginner-bent legs, advanced-straight legs)

PlieSquat

3. plie squat

crunches

4. crunches (feet on the ground, legs 90°, or legs straight in the air)

MountainClimber

5. mountain climbers

PushUp

6. pushups

+ Fit Minute. Choose one of the following exercises. Do it for a full minute at 100% effort. Count how many you do and record it. We’ll be doing these after every workout from now on:

  • Level 1 – side to side steps or jumping jacks
  • Level 2 – push ups
  • Level 3 – burpees

I hope you all have wonderful Wednesdays! 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Post New Year Blues

Are you getting them? The feeling at multiple points in the day of “Ugh, I just don’t want to get out of bed, or make the drive to work, and now I have to workout?!”

Yes, yes. I’m right there with you. After so many wonderful holidays for the last 2 months, reality is hitting hard. My day-to-day life is actually pretty awesome. I’m fortunate enough to have a comfortable and interesting existence, but sometimes I just don’t want to get out of bed!

Then I workout. My energy comes back, my mood is lifted. And I get to dance around in my pajamas for my warm up. And all that mood-boosting only take 16 minutes. So I will now post this workout and go do it! The blues only get you down if you let it happen.

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

High Knees

1. high knees (advanced: higher knees, quicker steps)

SquatSideKick

2. squat kicks (advanced: with weight held over your head)

RussianTwist

3. russian twist (beginner: with feet on ground)

Fire Hydrants

4. fire hydrant (switch sides half-way through each interval)

Lunge

5. speed lunges (small, quick bends w/ feet locked in place. switch sides halfway through interval)

plank(better)

6. plank (with kicks if you can)

Let me know how it goes. I hope you’re having a wonderful day 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Simple Tools

These workouts I post are amazing. I have to be a little conceited in this because I’m making them for other people. You! They are literally 12 minute workouts that can build muscle and burn fat for at least 24 hours (more like 48). I thought it was a crock of you-know-what until I actually factored them into my workout schedule. And now I can tell you from experience, THEY WORK.

The best part is that you don’t need a gym. Or weights, or resistance bands, or a fitness ball. You just need a timer and a clear spot on the floor (and maybe a yoga mat if you have hardwood). Oh yeah, and you need some will power.

A patient did ask me the other day what I use to time my workouts. Why an interval timer of course! You can find free ones on the internet and run it off your computer or, if you have a smart phone, there’s an app for that. Just search “interval timer” and voila! It should be free or at most $1. So worth it.

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. side hop (jump fast and high)

GoodMornings

2. good mornings

LegLift

3. leg lower (lose the ball on this one)

Swimmers

4. swimmers

DiamondPushup

5. diamond pushup (do this on your feet, knees, or standing against a wall)

SitAndPray

6. sit & pray (get low and put your weight in your heels)

How did it go?

 

Workout Wednesday: Strength in Numbers

Last night’s class was awesome. We had our largest number of people there (20!) because patients are starting to bring along their friends and family. The room was full to overflowing and the energy in there was incredible. It made me realize…while working out, there is power in numbers. 

If you can find two or three people who are as committed to health as you are, workout with them! Not everyone has to be available for all workouts but if you can find a couple people to help motivate you when your will power is all dried up, it’s like having extra ammo in the tank. You’ll see better results and develop stronger, healthier relationships. Encouragement is not something that needs to come only from yourself.

So, without any further ado, here’s today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Tip: As always, you’re the only one who can make this exercise hard. It’s only 12/16 minutes so just grin and bear it, push yourself to fatigue, it will all be over soon.

Exercises

ToeTaps < beginner

ToeTaps(High) < advanced

1) toe taps

SideLunge

2) side lunge

TriDip

3) tri dips (advanced- keep legs straight)

LowJacks2 LowJacks1

4) low jacks (jumping jacks with bent legs)

hipraise

5) hip raise

calfjump

6) calf jumps

Are you sweating yet? Let me know how it goes 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Tuck Those Abs

Every once in a while a workout comes along where you really have to employ what I call the “brace.” It protects your lower back AND develops those lower abs into a rock hard segment of that 6-pack you’re going for.

Check here for the full definition. But basically you have to tense your lower abs so it feels like your belly button is touching your back. It took me a really long time to figure out how to workout with this part of my body tensed but, since that point, I’ve seen huge changes in my stomach definition. Put your hand on your lower belly and try it!

For today’s workout it’s extra important to brace because there will be a few exercises that test your core strength:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

Squat Jump

1. squat jumps (too easy? squat lower, jump higher, go faster)

ElbowInPushup

2. elbow-in pushups (in plank, on your knees, or against a wall)

Lunge

3. lunges (too easy? lunge lower, go faster)

BirdDogs

4. bird dogs (hold the “bird” on each side for 2 seconds, stretch as high as you can)

RussianTwist

5. russian twist (legs in an upside-down “V”, 90° angle, or straight in the air, sit on your tailbone and keep your back straight)

plank(better)

6. plank (for advanced, do it with little swimmer kicks)

Have you ever done one of these workouts? How did it go? I hope you’re having a happy day. We’re coming out of winter so keep your chin up! 🙂

 

Workout Wednesday: Feel That Bum Burn!

My workout class is growing as it’s wonderful. We’re getting lots of guests of patients and they’re starting to show up even when their original friend isn’t there! That class is my favorite hour of the week because I get to see people progress and get stronger right before my eyes. I love it. Maybe they can feel it and that’s why they keep coming back. Or maybe all they feel are their muscles burning the next day, who knows…I’m just glad I keep seeing their happy, sweaty faces every week.

Last night I kept yelling “Do you feel that in your bum?” Haha. I couldn’t post that in the title because my brain is just a little too dirty…anyway! This workout seems to workout the glutes more than usual. So enjoy it!

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Tip: As always, you’re the only one who can make this exercise hard. It’s only 12/16 minutes so just grin and bear it, push yourself to fatigue, it will all be over soon.

Exercises:

Side Hops

1. Speed Side Hops (beginner-side steps, advanced-jump very quickly over an obstacle, if it’s easy, use a bigger obstacle)

FrogSquat2 FrogSquat1

2. Frog Squats (only go as low and high as your flexibility and strength allows)

PikePushup

3. Pike Push Up

JumpKneeTucks

4. Jump Knee Tucks (land as softly as possible, if it hurts your knees, quickly tuck one leg at a time)

Fire Hydrants

5. Fire Hydrant

MountainClimber

6. Mountain Climbers

Your bum is going to be sore tomorrow but, in a week, it will be even more shapely. Yay!

Happy Wednesday everyone! 🙂

 

Thriving Thursday: Whatchu Know About Sugar?

The people in the Wellness industry (including myself) have been battling America’s sugar overload almost like it’s the plague. Unfortunately, our addition of sugar to EVERYTHING processed means that it kills almost as many people. However, surprisingly enough, there is a time and a place for sugar. Let me explain . . .

SugarGranules

Every kind of sugar that enters your mouth, including carbohydrates, needs to be turned into glucose in order for your body to use it. GLUCOSE. This is the kind of “-ose” we’re going for here. Remember it. Unfortunately, there are very few food sources that contain pure glucose. Some examples of them are: glucose syrup (found in some of the good sports supplements), plant fiber (indigestible to humans), and amylose (plant starch). Plant starch sounds like the best options here and can be found in potatoes, wheat, and oats but with these forms of glucose our body absorbs it in chains of molecules and those chains must be broken down before we can absorb the glucose itself.

Keep up with me here!

There are TONS of other forms of sugar that contain glucose but they inevitably come with another kind of “-ose.” Because I try to eat food closest to its original form, I’m going to focus on sugar that has been through very little processing. Let’s see what’s in some of the most natural sugars:

  • raw cane sugar = glucose + fructose
  • honey = glucose + fructose + up to 22 other kinds of “-ose”
  • agave = glucose + fructose
  • fruit = sucrose = glucose + fructose
  • plant starch = pure glucose = dextrose (yes dextrose is 100% glucose)

It’s important to note that, although most of these natural sweeteners are made up of glucose and fructose, they are all combined differently. Some are found in molecular chains, some are just floating around, some are a combo of chains and floaters. I’m not going to dive into what combos are better but I can help you figure the correct time and place for eating sugar. Yay!

So clearly, if you’re consuming the forms of sugar listed above, you’re going to be eating glucose and fructose. But what does your body do with all that? Glucose, once our bodies break it from whatever chain it’s in, goes straight to our muscles and liver to be stored. If we don’t use it quickly enough, it turns into fat. Fructose has to be processed and goes to your liver. Some of it turns into glucose and joins the other glucose in the muscles OR stays in the liver. From the liver it turns into fat which, unless burned immediately, stays fat and makes you fat!

Basically, unless you burn the glucose in your muscles and the fructose in your liver before it turns to fat, you’re going to get fat! The only way to burn those sugars is through physical exercise. You knew it was coming!

Strength Training (anaerobic): during the workout your body breaks down your muscles and then, over the next 48 hours, it uses all kinds of energy (and protein) to build them back up again. The muscle-building energy comes from the glucose and fructose. Muscle building keeps those things from turning into fat and, if you train hard enough, it will use some of your fat as energy too. That’s how people burn fat!

Cardio Training (aerobic): after a certain period of time, your body is just continuously burning energy. This energy must be replenished DURING the workout in the form of glucose (and inevitably fructose).

Action steps:

  • If you’re happy with your weight: sugar is ok! But only during a cardio workout over an hour-long or within an hour after an intense strength training workout. These amounts of time are heavily debated but this is what I believe.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight: no sugar is better. If you avoid sugar then your body will burn fat as fuel. Just monitor how you feel. If you start to get dizzy, light-headed, or shaky, eat half a banana and allow your body 10 minutes rest to stabilize.

SugarSources

Some good forms of sugar as fuel during and after your workout:

  • honey
  • brown rice or quinoa
  • bananas
  • carrots
  • sweet potatoes

Bad forms of sugar. Really bad, don’t EVER eat them, they are neurotoxic. As in toxic for your brain:

  • Nutrinova (acesulfame potassium)
  • Nutrasweet or Equal (aspartame)
  • Twinsweet (salt of aspartame)
  • Nutrasweet (neotame)
  • Sweet N’ Low (saccharin)
  • Splenda (sucralose)

Some good news for high intensity athletes:

Skratch

If you’re looking for a fantastic, delicious, and quick powder to mix in your workout drink, try Skratch. It’s made by my new friend, Allen Lim, and combines cane sugar and dextrose. Dextrose, if you remember from above is 100% glucose. Perfect! It doesn’t have all the crappy sugar and other additives that most exercise drinks (like Gatorade) have. I’ve tasted raspberry and he gave me a sample of lemon-lime on Sunday which I drank during my workout last night. Oh-my-goodness it tastes SO good. No disgusting after taste and you can drink it for hours without getting that slimy feeling in your mouth. It’s delicious.

Have any questions or comments? Let me hear them!

Related Articles:

Workout Wednesday: Lofty But Attainable Goals

Do you have a weight loss goal right now? Most people, especially in this season, want to get more fit. What’s your goal? At work we are doing a 30 day weight loss challenge. Last night we did the first weigh-ins. For four weeks we challenge everyone to eat right at least six days a week and exercise at least three days a week. So I challenge you, if you have a goal, do the same thing!

If your goal is fat loss, get naked and get on the scale. If your goal is more lean muscle, find a flexible tape measure or piece of string and measure around the largest part of your stomach, arm, and leg. Then record the numbers. Somewhere that you won’t lose or forget.

Then start the baby steps. Plan your meals and your workouts. Don’t give yourself an option to deviate. Workout in the mornings before you start your day, and remove all sugary, bad-fatty foods from your house. No temptations. Don’t go out to eat if you can’t resist the hamburger and fries. It’s only four weeks! Challenge yourself. Be proud of every day you can get through in a completely healthy way. I think a person’s success is defined by the ambition of the commitments they can keep. So make your goal lofty but reachable, and then go get it!

measuring

I’ve been slacking off for the past 6 weeks. With the holidays and everything, it’s time for me to get back into it and start some serious training. Bike season is coming up! So I’m going to join the Challenge. But for me, it’s going to be a lean muscle challenge. So I used a tape measure and piece of rope. My measurements are: 32.5″ (stomach), 12″ (right arm), 24.5″ (right leg). I’ll let you know how I’m looking in 4 weeks!

Finally, here’s today’s workout:

Beginner through intermediate (12 minutes)

– 20 seconds on/ 20 seconds off

– each exercise 3 times in a row

Advanced (16 minutes)

– 30 seconds on/ 10 seconds off

– each exercise 4 times in a row

Exercises:

High Knees

1) high knees – speed is most important with this one.

plank(better)

2) X plank – start in straight plank…if you can, jump out your legs then step out your arms to form an “X”, move them all back in and start again. Don’t forget to keep your body straight as a plank!

jumplunge

3) jump lunges – align your joints ALWAYS, shoulders over hips, front knee over toes.

crunches

4) crunches – look at the ceiling and lift your shoulders. DO NOT pull on your neck.

calfjump

5) calf jumps – fluid jumping, very little bend in the knee. like you’re at a concert without any space. ps. the girl in this photo is ripped! So awesome.

wallsit

6) wall sits – quads parallel to the ground. If it’s too easy for you, Keep your legs touching each other. Still too easy? Raise one foot off the ground, switch at the halfway point.

So what’s your goal and how will you do it?

🙂