Monday, August 27, 2007

Exercise of the Week

So whats so good about this series? Well it works a lot of large muscles - and since we burn calories in our muscles we burn a LOT of calories with this set. You also sculpt the entire thigh/hip - it works 360 degrees of thigh - who doesn't want that? lol.

SET POSITION: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Tighten abdomen and roll shoulder back and down (away from your ears) You can hold dumbbells at your shoulders, or hold a medicine ball in front of your chest. When you squat - keep your knees over your ankles and your body as tall as possible; it helps to face a mirror and keep looking at it throughout the motion.

Squat Set (Narrow / Wide / 1-Leg)

Wide: Stand tall with feet wider than shoulder width. Roll your shoulders back and tighten your abdomen. Lower into a squat so your knees are over your ankles. Push through your heels to straighten your legs.

Narrow: Bring feet together. Roll your shoulders back and tighten your abdomen. Lower into a squat so your knees are over your ankles. Push through your heels to straighten your legs.

1-Leg: Lift one foot slightly off of the floor. Roll your shoulders back and tighten your abdomen. Lower into a squat so your knee is over your ankles. Push through your heel to straighten your legs.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Workout Program

Days 1 / 3 / 5: Intensive Training (Timed Circuits)

Warm-up Set

Cardio Strength Circuits:
  1. Lunge Switch / Push-ups / Crunches / Squat Set (3 minutes)
  2. Pull-Ins / Side Step-up / Lateral Raise Twist / Around The World
  3. Up-Downs / Crab Crawls / Hop Overs / Push-Ups
  4. 4) Knee Lifts / Roll-Ups / Side Crunch Cross Crunch / Top 1/2 Total Body Crunch

REPS: 1 minute SETS: 1 hour

REST: 30 - 60 seconds between Sets

Days 2 / 4 / 6


Rower 15 min

CABLE Squat Pulldown Crunch

CABLE Axe Chop

CABLE Golf Swing

CABLE Squat Curls

Stepper 15 min

Total Body Crunch

The Hundred



Side Crunch

Knee Lifts

SETS: 2 - 3

REPS: 12 - 15

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This Weeks Workouts

The weather is getting nicer so get you butts outside and enjoy it!!! Doing housework and lawn work DOES count as cardio activity (although not if you're dinking a beer and eating chocolate while doing

So this week I want you to think about ways to get outside and get in a little exercise. Some of the more easily thought of are

* Taking a Bike Ride
* Going for a walk
* Going for a hike (watch out for tics!!)
* Mowing the lawn with a push mower
* Laying down mulch

Some of the less thought of ways to do cardio...

* Grocery Shopping (to really kick it up a notch wear ankle weights)
* Gardening
* Playing with the kids
* Swimming
* Waterskiing
* Roller blading
* Vaccuuming
* Going down a slip and slide (seriously - you get a workout here!)

So try to get in these things 3 - 4 times this week for at least 1/2 an hour.

Also try some Boot Camp style strength -
Rushing Squats
Walking Lunges

Do 18 repetitions and 2 sets.

**Keep that belly sucked in at all times and watch your posture - shoulders back, ankles aligned with your knees, chin slightly tucked, etc.


Saturday, May 19, 2007

Next Workout Plan

DAYS 1 / 3 / 5

CARDIO SET: (20 reps, 3 sets)
Jumping Jacks
Lunge Switch (stand in lunge position and hop to the other side)
STRENGTH SET: (15 reps, 3 sets)
Squat series (wide, feet together, 1 foot)
Arnold Press
Lunge Curl Overhead Press
French Press
CORE SET: (18 resp, 4 sets)
Jack knives
Knee pull-ups
Cross crunch

Days 2 / 4 / 6

Jog / Walk combo (25 minutes)
STRENGTH / CORE SET: (12 reps, 3 sets)
Heel Press
Call Crunch
Wall Push-up Rotation
Lunge Knee

Day 7:

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Notes on Nutrition

Soooo, many manufacturers realize a large portion of the world would rather eat healthier. We've all heard the eat lower calories, eat light, eat lower fat content etc. Because these "buzz words" are so popular amung those of us conscious about our bodies - that they needed to find ways of incorporating those words, without the cost of re-vamping their entire product line. How'd they do it?Light = can sometimes mean "Lighter in Color" or "Lighter in Net Weight" as long as the product is "lighter" than anything - it isn't classified as false advertising.Lower Calorie/Fat = if you love blue cheese dressing and want to find a "lower" product that will fit into your healthier eating -BEWARE. Lower cal/fat products are in reference to their full fat counterparts. Meaning with the blue cheese dressing (which is one of the Highest caloric salad dressings) if you get a lower fat/cal version of Blue Cheese it is less than regular Blue Cheese but still MORE than an italian or vinagrette. SO the comparison used to label some thing "Lower" isn't usually as straight forward sa we would like. Suggestions:As Dani as stated in previous posts READ THE LABELS, but not just that COMPARE!!! Compae the low fat/cal or light foods to their full fat compatriots to see if it is worth buying - you may find there is no noticable difference in one vs the other.

The NutritionData Nutrition Facts & Calorie Counter will help you do just that!

Portion Size
Understanding portion size is imperative in maintaining a healthy mind and body. It’s important that you notice how much you are eating, regardless of what food you are eating. There are many foods to consume in order to eat a balanced diet, therefore small portions of a greater variety are recommended. Selecting sensible portion sizes will help you maintain a desired body weight while achieving a more varied, balanced diet that includes foods from all the food groups.

According to the USDA, 1 serving equals:
The Grain Group
1 slice of bread
½ cup cooked rice, cereal, or pasta [size of a muffin tin]
1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal [about 2 handfuls]
1 tortilla, roll, or small muffin
½ English muffin, small bagel, or hamburger bun

The Vegetable Group
½ cup cooked vegetables [size of a baseball]
1 cup tossed salad [size of your closed fit]
1 medium potato¾ cup vegetable juice
½ cup raw chopped vegetables [size of a baseball]

The Fruit Group
1 medium whole fruit
¾ cup of fruit juice
½ cup canned fruit [size of a baseball]
¼ cup dried fruit

The Milk Group
1 cup milk
8 ounces yogurt [1 carton]
1 ½ - 2 ounces cheese [size of a book of matches]
1 ½ cup ice cream1 cup frozen yogurt

The Meat and Meat Alternative Group
3 ounces of cooked meat, poultry, or fish [size of a deck of cards]
1/4 pound hamburger patty
2 whole eggs1 cup cooked beans [size of your fist]
4 tablespoons of peanut butter

Fats, Oils, and Sweets
Use sparingly; use healthy oils such as olive oil and canola oil

Further Resources on Portion Size:
Making Sense of Portion Sizes A website funded by the Dairy Council of California that compares portion sizes to common items to help with estimating
"Portion Distortion" Quiz Quiz from the National Institutes of Health

Nutrition Fact Labels
As it is important to watch the amount you eat, it’s even more so to know what you are eating! Thankfully, we have Nutrition Fact Labels that list all the ingredients, as well as the nutritional information of each product. The Nutrition Fact Label is to help you make healthier food choices that will nourish and fuel your body. From the label, you can also determine the serving size; at first, it may be helpful to measure out serving sizes and before you know it, you will get an “eye” for proper portion size.
Why Use Food Labels?
1. It highlights information on saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and other nutrients that are of major health concern.
2. They give us % Daily Values. These % values help us see how a food fits into our overall daily diets.
3. They give us nutrition information about almost every food item.
4. They are easy to use and they give us important information to make healthful food choices.
5. Food Labels have consistent serving size amounts to make it easier to compare similar foods and make healthier choices.

An Easy Guide to Reading Nutrition Labels
BREAKING DOWN THE NUTRITION FACTS LABEL: Reading Nutrition Facts labels can be difficult, especially if you don’t know what to look for. The Nutrition Facts Label gives a lot of information but the key is to know how to use it to help you make healthy food choices.
This is the food’s recommended serving size. It can include a weight measurement (for example: one cup) or a number of pieces of food (12 pretzels).
Serving per Container: This is the suggested number of servings. For example, if a food has four servings per container and you eat half of the bag, you would be eating two servings. It is always important to look at these numbers because you may be eating more than you think!
This is the amount of calories per serving (using the correct serving size). Eating too many calories promotes weight gain. Calorie needs are based on individual needs.
Calories from Fat: These are calories solely from fat. Choose foods with less than 30% of calories coming from fat.
This is the total fat per one serving in grams and in % Daily Value. Choose foods with less fat.
Saturated Fat: This is fat from animal and dairy products and tropical oils measured in grams. A diet high in saturated fat is a risk factor for coronary artery disease. Choose foods with 2 grams or less saturated fat.
Labels may also list monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. These are unsaturated fats that may help protect your heart, however all fats should be used in moderation.
Trans Fats are to be on every nutrition label by January 2006. Trans fats are formed by chemically changing the oil called hydrogenation, which increases product shelf life and flavor. A diet high in Trans fats have shown to increase cholesterol levels, which increases risk of heart disease. If a food has the words “partially hydrogenated oil” on the label it contains Trans fats. It is recommended to avoid Trans fats.
This is another form of fat measured in milligrams. Too much dietary cholesterol is another risk factor for heart disease. Cholesterol is found in organ meats, dairy products, shrimp, and egg yolks. Limit intake to 300 milligrams daily.
Use foods with 5% or less saturated fats and cholesterol and avoid those with over 20% of the daily value.
This is a nutrient that helps regulate blood pressure and fluid balance measured in milligrams which most people consider “salt”.
Research has suggested that a high sodium intake can be related to high blood pressure. The RDA for sodium is 2400 milligrams per day. For example, one teaspoon of table salt has ~2400 milligrams of sodium.
This is the amount of total carbohydrate per serving measured in grams. Carbohydrates are primarily found in starches, vegetables, fruits, sweets and milk. Carbohydrate counting is used in diabetes meal planning.
This is the amount of indigestible bulk from plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oats, nuts and seeds and is measured in grams. Foods high in fiber are shown to be beneficial for weight control, diabetes, high cholesterol and some forms of cancer. Foods with five grams of fiber or more are considered “high fiber” foods.
These are part of the Total Carbohydrate content and are measured in grams. These contain sugars from natural and artificial sources. There are no daily reference values for sugars.
This is the amount of total protein the food contains measured in grams. Protein contains amino acids found in meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, nuts, beans, grains and some vegetables. Protein needs are individualized based on height, weight, age and physical activity level.
These are micronutrients measured in percentages. The goal is to consume 100% of each of these nutrients daily to prevent nutrition related diseases.
The Percent Daily Value shows the amount of each of the nutrients listed above needed daily in a 2000 and a 2500-calorie diet. This is the percentage of each nutrient recommended to meet the needs of the average person each day and is measured in grams and milligrams depending on the nutrient. The Percent Daily Values are listed on the top half of the food label and are based on recommendations for a 2,000 calorie diet, not a 2,500 calorie diet. Five percent or less of the % Daily Value is considered low, whereas 20% or more is considered high.
The ingredient list is another part of the Nutrition Label. Items are listed by weight in descending order of predominance. Spices, artificial coloring and flavors are listed on the ingredient list.

Hope this helps clear things up!

Saturday, May 5, 2007

This weeks Workout Plan

Days 1, 3, 5: Intensive Circuits
Circuit 1 -
Jog (outside / treadmill) 5-10 min
Squat - to - Overhead Presses
Chair Dips
Circuit 2 -
Jacks 25 repetitions
Reverse Lunge - Fwd Raise
Lateral Raise- Twists
Circuit 3 -
Squat Hops (open & close) 25 repetitions
1 - Leg Squat Resch
Dumb bell Pullovers
Circuit 4 -
Lunge - Rear Leg Fwd Kick 20 reps (each leg)
Around The World Lunges (Fwd / Side / Reverse)
The Hundred
Circuit 5 -
Ball Bridge Leg Curl
Ball Crunch
Ball Cross Crunch

Days 2, 4, 6 - Cardio Mix-Up
Circuit 1 -
Jumping Jacks (30 reps)
Lunge Rear Leg Front Kick 15 reps (each leg)
Circuit 2 -
Jog / Fast Walk (15 min)
The Hundred
Side Crunch
Reverse Crunch

Strength Exercises : 15 Repetitions

Repeast Each Circuit 2 - 3 Times

Optional Cardio/Strength Suggestions:
**On rest days cardio/spinning classes are optional. Especially if you snacked this week.
**KEEP YOUR STOMACH SUCKED IN AT ALL TIMES!! (like trying on a tight pair of jeans)
**Watch your knee placemetn on all leg exercises (like squats and lunges) your knee should remain over your ankle and ou should be able to see your shoelaces at all times.
***If you are unable to get to the gym and have no Stability Ball you can exchange the Ball exercises for the floor: Floor Pullover, Crunch, etc. (Instrad of Twists - Floor Cross Crunch; Instead of Ball Bridge Leg Curls - Floor Bridge and Floor Heel Presses)

*On a day where the 'sweet tooth' killed you and you snacked the best thing you can do is some Cardio. This will help take off the effects of snacking. Add 15 minutes worth of cardio on days you snacked.
* Try keeping healthy snacks in the house. Iif you start to get peckish try eating some carrots or a piece of fruit. People often forget that fruits and veggies have Fructose sugar in them satisfying many a craving for something sweet. If you don't have junk on hand it's easier to grab something good.
*Try keeping healthy snacks in your car. Eat one on the way home so you don't feel the need to chow once you get home. Have a bottle of water always handy - as thirst accounts for much of our peckishness.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Weightless Training

Dumbbells are not a requirement for getting in shape - strength training is. It is sometimes easier to do 1 or 2 exercises spread out over the day rather than spending 90 min at a gym. I get that. So for those home bound moms - here is a list of Weight-less training exercises.

Reps: 18 - {The number of times to repeat an exercise}
Sets: 2 - {The number of times to come back to an exercise}

**Keep all movements extremely slow
Tempo - 4 / 4 / 2 for most unless indicated otherwise
***SET POSITION: stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees soft, abs sucked in like trying on a tight pair of jeans, shoulders rolled back, chin slightly tucked.

Hydrants: (*bad knees lay over stability ball)
Kneel on all fours, with hands directly under your shoulders andknees directly under hips. Roll back your shoulders and tightenyour abs. Lift one knee out to the side to hip level (like a dogdoing his business on a hydrant ;D). Release knee back toward the mat.

Knee Lifts:
Stand tall in Set Position. Hands can be wherever is comfortable(usually on hips or held at chin level). Lift one foot off of the floor bending the knee. Try to bring the knee as high to your chest as possible without sloughing. Lower foot to the floor andrepeat with the other leg.

Lunge Knee:
Set position - (I like my hands up at chin level for this one). Stepone foot back about 2 1/2 feet. Lower rear knee to the floor untilboth knees are bent to 90. Without straightening first - push thelead heel into the floor to come up, balancing on the lead foot asyou lift the rear knee to the chest. Release to set.

Lay on mat on your belly. Place hands directly wider than your shoulders, legs outstretched with the feet hip width apart. Curl toes into the mat. Push your body off of the mat, balancing on your hands and toes. Tighten your abs to keep your spine straight and roll your shoulders away fron your ears. Bend your elbows lowering your chest toward the floor - only until your elbows arebent to 90. Don't dip your head or drop your pelvis toward the mat.

Opposite Arm / Leg Lifts:
Kneel on all fours with your hands directly below your shouldersand your knees directly below your hips. Roll your shoulders back away from your ears and tighten your abs. Inhale. As youexhale extend one of your arms overhead - straight out from the shoulder. At the same time extend the opposite leg, straight outfrom the hip. Hold for a moment. Release and repeat. (I suggestyou stick to one side through the set before repeating on theother side.)

Up Dog / Plank (Stability Ball optional)
FLOOR: Lay on mat on your belly. Place hands directly wider than your shoulders, legs outstretched with the feet hip width apart. Curl toes into the mat. TIGHTEN YOUR ABS (or you'll feel discomfort in your low back) Push through your palms to straighten your arms, lifting your entire torso off of the mat (includign your pelvis.). Hold for a moment. Bend elbows to 90 as you push through your toes to lift your legs off of the mat. Hold for a moment. Release to lying on mat.
BALL: Lay ober ball with the ball under your lower pelvis. Toes curled under andin contact with the floor. Walk hands up the ball (With Abs VERY tight) until yourupper body is lifted toward the ceiling. Hold. Walk the hands back down to the floor,arms straight. Lift both feet off of the flor - keeping your legs straight. Hold. Release.

Wall Pushup Rotation:
Stand about a foot away from the wall in Set position. Place hands on thewall at about shoulder height and wider than shoulder width. Lift onto yourtoes slightly (like your heels are on an air-hockey table). Slowly bend your elbows to bring your face toward the wall - stoping at 90. Keep your spine straight - don't dip your head toward the wall. Push through pals to straightenyour arms. Slowly swing one arm out wide to point behind you - turning your whole body in the prosses to look down the line of your arm (Like a ballerina). Untwist, placing your hand back on the wall. Repeat.

Squat Set (Wide, Narrow, 1-leg):
Stand in Set but with feet wider than shoulder width. You can place yourhands wherever is comfortable (I like the hips for this one). Slowly loweryour rear toward the floor by bending your knees and sticking your rear back (like tring to sit back onto a chair) Keep your knees directly over yourankles. Push through your heels to straighten your legs. Repeat 15 times. Push your feet together. Again lower your rear toward the floor sticking yourrear back but keeping your knees over your ankles. Push through your heelsto straighten your legs. Repeat 15 times. Pick one foot off of the floor. Lower your rear toward the floor by bending knee - keeping it over your ankle. Repeat 15 times. Repeat whole series 3 times.

Lay on mat on your belly. Arms outstretched overhead straight out from theshoulders, legs outstretched with the feet hip width apart. TIGHTEN your abs.Press your legs into the floor. Inhale. As you exhale Lift your upper body off ofthe mat, swinging arms outwide until they touch your hips. Keeping your torsolifted, swing arms back overhead. Lower arms and torso onto the mat. Repeat.

Seated Kicks: (*good for most knee issues)
Sit on the edge of a chair or bench. Place hands on chair slightly behind you for balance (gripping the edge slightly). Place your feet flat on the floor. Roll yourshoulders back and tighten your abs. Lift one foot a couple of inches off of the floor (keeping knee bent). Slowly Kick foot toward the ceiling until the leg is straight. Release the knee back to 90. Lower the foor back to the floor. (*If you start to cramp in the hip joint, stretch then repeat without lifting the foot off ofthe floor before kicking).

Step-up Lateral Lifts: (*NOT for Knee Issues)
Use a step, stairs or bench (heck you could even use the couch if you wanted to:))Stand perpendicular to the step. Place one foot on step with the knee bent to 90,knee directly over the ankle. Press through your heel to lift your body up, balancingon the step. Correct your posture. With your dangling leg straight toward the floor -Slowly lift leg out to the side as high as is comfortable. Release leg, lower off of step.

Bridge Leg Curls - STABILITY BALL
Lay flat on the mat with feet up on the stability ball and hands down by yoursides. Tighten your abs. Lift your pelvis off of the mat by pressing your feetinto the ball. Stabilize. Slowly, pull your heels toward your rear by bending your knees, until your feet are flat on the ball. Stabilize. Slowly extend your feet back out until your legs are straight. Lower your rear back onto the mat.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Previous Exercise of the Day

Old-Fashioned Push-Up

The old-fashioned push-up is one of the origional totaly body exercises - meaning it workes many of the muscles in the body all together. It workd your chest, arms, abs, butt, and legs, and upper back!! Keep in mide we burn fat/calories in the muscles so we want our exercises to make as many muscles as possible do their jobs (that way you don't have to exercise for 8 hours just do 8 exercises!!) The push-up is also one of the best core (that famous doughnut around the midsection) exercises. Inorder to not let your back sag toward the floor you have to contract your belly - this essentially supports all your body weight, making the push-up as effective as a crunch!!

INSTRUCTIONS: Lay face down on the floor. Hands are wider than shoulder width apart. Easier: Bend your knees so your feet point toward the ceiling. Press through your palms and your knees to lift your body off of the floor. Remember your belly is pulled in like you are trying on a tight pair of pants. Keep your spine like a steel rod - no bending. Roll your shoulders back away from your ears. Bend your elbows bringing your ENTIRE torso toward the floor (not just the upper body - lower everything together as one unit). Push through the palms to straighten the arms again. Harder: Lay with your legs outstretched, curl our toes into the floor. Press through your palms and your knees to lift your body off of the floor. Remember your belly is pulled in like you are trying on a tight pair of pants. Keep your spine like a steel rod - no bending. Roll your shoulders back away from your ears. Bend your elbows bringing your ENTIRE torso toward the floor (not just the upper body - lower everything together as one unit). Push through the palms to straighten the arms again.


Reps: 12 - 15 (how many times to repeat an exercise in a single set)

Sets: 2 - 3 (how many times to come back to an exercise)

Previous Exercise of the Day


The ball cross crunch is one of the most effective exercises available for the core (the doughnut around the midsection - abs, himp, butt, pelvis). This is also the BEST core exercise for anyone suffering from low back pain. Recent studies have shown that people who suffer from low back pain tend to stress the verebrae of teh lumbar spine while performing core exercises on the floor. A stability ball curves the lumbar spine into a neutral position and supports it throughout the movement of the exercise. The cross crunch works both the rectus abdominus (the 6 pack area) and the transverse ab( perpendicular to the 6 pk)

INSTRUCTIONS: Sit tall on the stability ball with feet flat on the floor, knees bent to 90 degrees and shoulders back. Contract your abdomen as if you are trying on a tight pair of jeans - KEEP them like that throughout the movement. Slowly walk your feet forward, laying back, until the stability ball is under your lower back. Place your hands behind your head. Keep your feet flat on the floor to prevent slippage, and keep your abs contracted. Looking toward the ceiling, inhale. As you exhale slowly lift your shoulders toward the ceiling -ONLY until you feel your belly contract further. (you are not trying to sit all the way up). Twist one way (as if throwing a punch across your body) then twist the other way. Inhale as you release your shoulders back toward the ball.

BE CAREFUL OF THESE COMMON MISTAKES: Not keeping you belly contracted throughout whole movements Keep you shoulders rolled back and down away from your ears Keep your feet flat on the floor with the knees bent at 90 for stability Keep your elbows wide throughout - we're not trying to decapitate ourselves. :)


Repetitions: 15 - 18
This is the amount of times you should repeat the exercise in a row.

Sets: 2 - 3
This is how many times you should come back to the exercise after a break or another exercise is completed.

Previous Exercise of the Day

Floor Bridge

This is an excellent exercise to work the muscles of the butt, hips and pelvic floor. METHOD: Lay on the floor with feet a comfortable distance from your rear. Hands by your hips. Shoulders rolled back away from your ears. Tighten yuor abdomen (Like trying on a tight par of jeans). Inhale. As you exhale push through your heels to lift your hips off of the floor up toward the ceiling. Hol for a moment. Then lower back to the mat.

Repetitions: the number of times to repeat and exercise
Sets: the number of times to come back to an exercise

Previous Exercise of the Day

Plank is akin of the traditional push-up. It is also a total body exercise designed to challenge the body through assuming a challenging position and maintaining it for a length of time. Procedure: Lay face down. Place your elbows directly under your shoulders. Curl your toes under - pressing them into the floor. Tighten abdomen as if tryin on a tight pair of jeans and roll shoulders away from your ears. Lift up so you are balancing on your forearms and your toes. Keep spine as still and straight as a steel rod.

*Hold for 15 - 45 seconds
Repeat 3 - 5 times.