Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Count Down Body Weight Workout

Since I know December is a busy month for most people, I’ve decided to keep my Wednesday workouts for you on the shorter side. But, don’t be fooled- just because they’re short doesn’t mean they are not effective and it certainly doesn’t mean they won’t be challenging 😉

I did this one last week as part of my Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge, since the challenge required a body weight workout. I love body weight workouts for many reasons:

  • they can be done anywhere
  • you don’t need equipment
  • they’re effective
  • you can make standard moves more difficult by changing things up
  • you can choose the format you want to use

…the list goes on and on.

For this particular workout, I changed it up and did a format that I don’t generally do: count down. I often get bored with workouts that repeat the same handful of moves throughout, but lately I’ve actually been enjoying those, so that’s where the idea for this one came. I picked some good moves that worked all the key areas: upper body, lower body, cardio and core. You’ll start with 10 reps of each exercise, then do 9, then 8 and so on. When you get down to 1 rep, do 10 instead of 1… that was the killer round!

20 minute count down workout

A member was early for my class so I asked if he wanted to join… we were both dripping by the end of it! And the best part was that the whole thing took less than 20 minutes. Have fun!

Questions for you: Do you like count down workouts? Do you like body weight workouts?

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Weekending: Lots of Birthday Celebrations

Good morning and happy December! Last weekend was a fun, birthday-filled weekend. RM and I headed up to New Hampshire on Friday afternoon for my friend Nikia’s surprise 30th birthday. I ended up finding a great deal at The Exeter Inn so we headed there first. This hotel was SO cute and charming- a nice change from the normal chain hotels I stay at. They had a gorgeous REAL fireplace in the lobby area, old, intricate details, funky little rooms and an amazing restaurant/bar… not to mention Exeter is a super cute little town. After a quick gym trip on Saturday morning, RM and I headed to Portsmouth and had brunch at Michelle’s. I’d been there once before and was happy to see that this experience was just as good as the first. I got the Truffle scrambled eggs and they were SO good. Sunday was spent celebrating my sister’s birthday at Gem. Post brunching, we came back and I decorated the tree and food prepped for the week. Solid weekend- enjoy the pics!

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Questions for you: What was the best part of your weekend? Have you ever been surprised with or helped to throw a surprise party? Where’s your favorite restaurant in Portsmouth (if you’ve been)? Have you ever been to a boozy brunch? Have you decorated your tree yet?

This Week: Workouts, Loving Challenge Workouts & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! This week is a little weird as I have to be at a client site all week, which sucks because I have really grown to LOVE my Monday work from home days. I’m also not looking forward to driving to Canton every day- yuck! But, at least it’s just a week! I’m hoping to get most of my workouts done in the morning so that I can have the evenings to finish decorating my apartment and stuff.

Luckily, this week has a few challenges that are workout based so that will make it easier to decide what to do! And, speaking of my challenge- I’m having SO MUCH FUN participating and seeing so many of you participating! I’ve definitely been pushed out of my comfort zone a few times, but it’s been great. Don’t forget to let me know somehow that you’re participating- I’ve got some great prizes lined up 🙂

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I went for a gorgeous 4 mile run during my lunch break. The weather was perfect and it felt so good to be running outside! I also did 3 pull-ups (!!!) and 1 minute of push-ups.

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  • Tuesday- I went to the Wellington BSC for a bootcamp class. It was heavy arm-focused and I loved it!
  • Wednesday- I did my 20 minute AMRAP workout as part of my #happyhealthyfit challenge before teaching UXF Burn. One of my members was at the gym early for class and he joined me- it was fun and it was a tough workout!

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  • Thursday- I went to the gym during lunch and ran 2 miles before doing some kettlebell tabata rounds.

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  • Friday- Rest day, although I did get up early for some stretching, as part of Athena’s Holiday Hustle. It was a really nice way to start the day, especially since I don’t ever take time to specifically just stretch.IMG_9541
  • Saturday- Roberto and I were at a hotel in NH, so I hit the gym when I got up for a quick total body workout as part of my challenge. I ran 10 minutes on the treadmill, walked 10 minutes then did a bunch of different exercises. The gym was the size of a closet, but it got the job done.

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  • Sunday- Rest day

This Week’s Workouts

I have no idea what my workouts will look like this week, but I do know that I’m teaching UXF Burn on Wednesday and cardio kickboxing on Saturday 🙂 I’ll also be doing all of the fitness challenges in Week 2 of the #happyhealthyfit challenge.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Although I’m really NOT looking forward to being in Canton all week, there are lots of other things I’m looking forward to, including decorating my tree and apartment, book club on Tuesday, massages on Friday and a quiet weekend. After last week, I need a quiet weekend!

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Are you participating in the challenge? What was your favorite challenge last week? What are you looking forward to this week?

Happy, Healthy, Fit Challenge: Week 2

Good morning! How did you do with Week 1’s challenges? I had so much fun seeing your check ins and participating in the challenges myself! I’m finalizing a few more pieces of the prizes with companies for the top 2 participants, so make sure you’re tagging me (@burpeestobubbly) or posting to my facebook page, otherwise I won’t be able to see you’re participating!

Happy, healthy fit week 2

*Monday 12/8: 1 minute burpee challenge– Yup, a full minute of burpees! Set your timer and see how many you can complete in a minute. You can decide the level of intensity you want to do- you can step back into the high plank and step back in and skip the jump at the top, you can just jump back into a plank and back in with jump at the top, you can add in a push-up or drop your chest all the way to the ground OR you can get fancy and try one of these variations. Have fun!

*Tuesday 12/9: Lower body workout- While I may not love lower body workouts as much as upper body ones, I know it’s equally important to work both. Plus, one benefit from working the lower body is there are lots of big muscles, which makes it harder, gets your heart rate up and helps burn more calories. Win, win, win, right? I’ve posted a bunch of lower body specific workouts on my blog, so you can pick from one of these:
Wednesday Workout: Tight Buns! Without squats or lunges! {video}
Wednesday Workout: Tone Your Tush! {without equipment!}
Wednesday Workout: Booty Burner (including a video!)
Wednesday Workout: Booty Burner #2
{Holiday Series} Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Buns Burner

*Wednesday 12/10: Bring your lunch to work. For those of you who work outside of your homes, it’s so easy to just grab lunch somewhere, right? I challenge you today to take the time and pack yourself a healthy lunch to bring to work. This is a way to help you save money AND save calories. By packing your own lunch, you know exactly what goes into it and can intentionally leave out the chips/soda/treats/etc. that are all too easy to grab when you’re getting lunch out. Try making a big salad filled with lots of healthy fats and proteins: nuts, chicken, avocado, goat cheese, etc.

*Thursday 12/11: 15 minute HIIT workout. I’ve posted a few of these on the blog lately, so if you’ve been looking for a time to try one, today is your day!
Wednesday Workout: 15 Minute Full Body HIIT Workout
Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Bootcamp HIIT Workout
Wednesday Workout: 15 Minute Step 360 HIIT Workout

If you’ve done these and are looking for something new, try this:

45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest. repeat 3 times:

  • squat & overhead press
  • weighted squat jumps
  • lunge & bicep curl (alternating)
  • push-up w/ knee tuck
  • burpees

*Friday 12/12: Get up 15 minutes earlier for some light yoga or stretching. If you’re like me, foam rolling and yoga are two of those things I know I SHOULD do, but rarely do. Today, I want you to specifically schedule time to do one or both of these. Maybe do some sun salutations (check out this video. It’s a slow moving flow, but really great to wake yourself up! Beginner 10 Minute Yoga Flow) or just foam roll. Maybe you just lay in savasena for the 15 minutes and welcome the day slowly and quietly. Whatever you do, I think you’ll notice you start your day on a softer, quieter note, which is always a nice thing on a Friday, right?

*Saturday 12/13: Donate. There are so many ways to donate, but I’ll be honest and say I don’t do this nearly enough as I should. Here are some ideas:

  • donate at Walgreens/CVS/etc. as you’re cashing out- they always seem to have a cause they are asking you to donate to
  • donate to the Salvation Army door welcomers at various stores. Throw in your extra change or even a few bucks!
  • go online and donate to a cause you are passionate about
  • donate your time by volunteering
  • throw your spare change to a homeless person

*Sunday 12/14: Try a new recipe. I have so many pages in various magazines and cookbooks dog eared as a “must try”, so many print outs from the internet and so many blog posts favorited, but somehow, I’ve barely made a dent in all of these recipe resources. Today I challenge you to pull out a recipe that you’ve been wanting to try and give it a shot! If you need some ideas or recipes to try, feel free to check out my recipe page.

10 Tips For Your First Group Exercise Class

Hi there! The other day, I saw someone post a question on Athena’s Facebook page associated with her Holiday Hustle Challenge and I got so excited when I went to answer it. Her question was based around the fact that she had never been to a group exercise class and was thinking of trying one out, but she was a little nervous and wanted some tips to make her feel a little more comfortable.

First off, I get SO EXCITED to welcome new people to my classes and the general world of group exercise. Total dork status, I know.

Secondly, I realized that if she was feeling this way, there are probably others out there that are feeling the same way. Today, I’m going to share some tips/pointers/things to expect so that if you’re on the fence about going to a group exercise class, hopefully you’ll feel ready to take the plunge after you read this!

10 Tips For Your First Group Exercise Class

1. Check out the schedule ahead of time so you can read about the various classes and whether or not you need to sign up.

2. Pick out a comfortable outfit that you feel good in because when you feel good about yourself, things are just better, amiright? When I feel comfortable in my outfit, I tend to be more confident, which helps in a new setting.

3. That said, make sure what you wear is appropriate for the class. While a sports bra and flashy, baggy pants may be perfect for Zumba, you’ll probably get some head turns if you wear that to a spin class (not to mention it would be dangerous to wear anything baggy to spin!). I’d say play it safe- comfortable pair of crops that don’t ride down or annoy you and a tank or form fitting t-shirt. I tend to say stay away from super baggy clothes because it’s hard for instructors to check your form and to make sure you’re doing things correctly. Tip: don’t wear shorts to spin and try to avoid booty/loose shorts in ALL classes. No one wants to see your bum!

4. Arrive early. This is especially important because you want to make sure you have time to get everything set up without rushing and feeling late. It also gives you time to familiarize yourself with the room and other members joining the class.

5. Introduce yourself to the instructor so he/she knows that you’re new. You can also let them know your current fitness level and if you have any injuries. It’s important to let instructors know you’re new to their class (or group exercise classes in general), so that they can be sure to check out your form and provide proper explanations and modifications (if needed).

6. Don’t set up in the back corner. You don’t need to be front and center, but be in a place where you can see yourself in the mirrors (to check form!) and so that the instructor can see you and doesn’t forget about you.

7. Get a selection of weights, making sure you have some lighter ones if you haven’t been actively lifting so that you can avoid either struggling with heavy weights or trying to sneak around people to get lighter ones. Play it safe and get a variety.

8. Mind your body and pay attention to how YOU feel, not how everyone else around you appears to feel. They’ve likely been going to these classes for a while, so trying to keep up with them might end up discouraging you or sending you home with an injury. Take breaks when YOU need them, even if the class as a whole isn’t resting. Remember- everyone was new to the particular class you’re trying at some point, so focus on yourself and not everyone else.

9. Even if things feel great, try not to get TOO carried away because the moves and exercises you’re doing may be entirely new to you, which could leave you VERY sore the next day. There’s nothing worse than being all amped up about trying a new class, giving it your all (and then some) and waking up the next day unable to move.

10. HAVE FUN!! Embrace the class and what it’s offering you. Chances are, you’ll be motivated to push yourself harder than you would if you were working out on your own and I can guarantee you’ll be getting more out of those 45-60 minutes in the class than you would pedaling away on the elliptical. Change is good and change is what causes change, so if you’ve been feeling in a rut about your workouts or the fact you haven’t been working out, trying something NEW is a great way to change those things 😉

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So, are you ready to try a new class or to make your way into the group exercise setting now?!

Questions for you: What was the first class you went to? What are your tips for making people feel comfortable going to their first class? I’m sure I missed some good tips, so I’d love to see what you would offer up for advice!