Wednesday Workout: 4 Round Kettlebell Workout

Hi there! How is your week going? We leave for DC on Saturday and I have yet to do a stitch of planning or packing … oops! In the meantime, I wanted to talk about kettlebells and kettlebell training with you. Any of you use KB’s? I’m sure most of you are shaking your head saying, “yes, Monique, of course!” 😉 I, too, fall in that category. I use KB’s traditionally (in terms of the traditional swing, clean, figure 8, clean & press, snatch, etc.), but also as a replacement for dumbbells from time to time as well. I love them because they are so versatile, and they challenge the body in a different way than any other piece of equipment at the gym.

IMG_1804

If, however, you use KB’s, but don’t really understand or know why they are such an amazing piece of gym equipment, here are a few reasons:

  1. They help improve mobility & grip strength based on the design of the KB and the intended usage (ie: Ballistic movements not always in your traditional movement planes)
  2. Great cardio alternative as many of the movements, by nature, have a cardio aspect in that they bring your heart rate up because of the explosive movement patterns.
  3. Not a lot of equipment is needed to get in a full body strength and cardio workout – just a few KB’s will generally do the trick, and they don’t take up a lot of space or require a lot of space to use. Last week, for instance, I packed my KB in my car so I could do a workout outside during my lunch break!

And these are just some of the reasons why KB’s are so great!

That said, when Rep Fitness reached out to me to see if I wanted to partner with them and check out a piece of their equipment, I jumped on the opportunity! When I checked out their website, I found SO MANY THINGS that I wanted, but in terms of my at-home gym, I felt as though a KB was the best option for me to go with. I opted for a 25lb. one because it seemed like a middle of the road weight that would allow me to use it for the most amount of exercises. They also just released their “LB” or “pound” kettlebells, which is great because it avoids the math conversion game I always have to do in my head when I use KB’s that are in kilograms (which is fairly standard for KB’s). These are available in 5lb increments from 5-60lb’s and then 10lb increments from 60-100lb’s.

IMG_1801

I’ve been working out with it for about a week and I have to say – I’m really loving it! Sometimes I find that KB handles can get slippery as I get sweaty, but the Rep Fitness KB’s have a bit of a texture finish that help to avoid slipping. But don’t worry – it’s not textured enough to irritate the skin, just enough to help with better grip. Another part about the Rep Fitness KB style I like is that the weight is etched into the KB face so it will always be visible. They also paint a circle around the horn base (handle) on each side which corresponds to a weight so it makes it easy to quickly know what weights a gym has or what ones people are using. I saw that my gym (EBF FIDI) has a slew of Rep Fitness KB’s and it really is much easier to see what weights are available by looking at the color on the base of the horn.

IMG_1790.JPG

The workout I have for you today includes a lot of the basic KB exercises, working lower, upper, core and cardio. AND! You really only need 1 piece of equipment, but if you have 2 different weights for KB’s, I would suggest using that so you can go heavier on the lower body & swings and keep it lighter for the clean & press.

4 Round KB Workout

I think most of these are moves you’ve seen before, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask! Quick note on the High Plank Knee to KB Tap – for this, you put the KB between your hands in a high plank and bring your knee to the KB, trying to tap it each time.

I think that does it! If you’ve been in the market for a new KB, or any new workout equipment, I highly suggest heading over to Rep Fitness’s page and seeing what they have. Their prices seem very reasonable and it avoids you having to carry heavy things through the store to buy them 😉 Big thanks to Rep Fitness for providing me with a KB to use!

IMG_1813

Questions for you: What’s your favorite at-home piece of gym equipment? If you could just workout with 1 piece of equipment, what would it be? Do you use KB’s in your training?

Advertisements

Wednesday Workout: Glutes & Back Workout

Hey there! What a week it has been. Waking up to the news about the Vegas shooting was absolutely horrible. While these things always upset me and leave me feeling unsettled, for some reason this one hit a little harder than others. I don’t know if it’s because we were in Vegas earlier this year (and planning another trip out there) or if it’s because I love country music or if it was because it was so deadly, but it left me feeling absolutely devastated. I just can’t imagine that someone would do that, and why on earth he was able to legally buy that many guns and those types of guns. To anyone who may have been affected by this terrible act of violence, please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

IMG_9220IMG_9297

We all need more of this – LOVE. Less hate. Less violence. More love.

And to top it off, Tom Petty passed away. One of my favorite memories of our wedding was when our band played “American Girl” and RM grabbed me onto the dance floor and we danced our hearts out. To this day, I remember that moment so clearly ❤

momo660of751

Working out has always been a good outlet for me when I’m feeling down (or happy!), so I wanted to share this workout that I did a few weeks ago. All you need is a set of dumbbells and an elevated surface. It’s focusing primarily on the glutes (& quads, of course) and the back, so I challenge you to go a little heavier than you normally would!

Glutes & Back Workout.JPG

In case you need any explanations or want to see what a move looks like, check out these videos:

21762411_1553391331380444_1046797822667624894_o.jpg

If you’re loving the tank I’m wearing (why wouldn’t you?! 😉 ), you can get one for yourself here.

That does it for me today! If you missed Seaport Sweat with me this week, you have THREE chances to sweat with me tomorrow at EBF FIDI! Hit me up if you want more information.

Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday Workout: 12 Minute Medicine Ball Workout

Hey there! Happy Wednesday 🙂 I feel like I have so many workouts to share with you, but I’ve noticed that a lot of them tend to be pretty similar in terms of format/structure and timeframe. Have you noticed? As with most things, I feel like I tend to get in a groove (I like that better than saying “rut”) for a while and do mostly the same thing until I finally get sick of it. I do this with food, clothes, drinks and my workouts. Lately, I find myself doing quickie 20-30 minute workouts that are usually a combination of 4-6 exercises, 8-12 reps each and either doing it AMRAP or round style. I like this format for a few different reasons:

  • I like counting reps vs. waiting for a timer – I don’t know why, I just do. Except when I’m teaching – I like a timer so that everyone can work at their own pace and I can coach more easily.
  • It’s easy mentally for me to get into a workout this way. I know the format so I don’t have to think about it.
  • It works well for bodyweight and weights
  • When I have the ability to lift weights, I think this type of format produces the most gains in a short amount of time for me in a physical aspect

I went through a phase a while ago where I did mostly conditioning style workouts – lighter weights and more combo moves rather than sticking to the basic push, pull, squat and hinge movements that I find allow me to lift heavier and see physical changes quicker.

Last week, though, I was getting better from a cold and after having taken a few days off, still wasn’t feeling my usual strength. I also didn’t want to push it too much so I created a total body conditioning workout that used a medicine ball rather than something that had me lifting all sorts of weights. Was it the hardest workout I’ve done lately? Definitely not. Did it get the job done in terms of giving me a good workout, though? Sure did!

I actually had fun just using a medicine ball and creating exercises to do with it. I also liked the 30s intervals rather than rep counting for a change. I used a 10lb medicine ball, which was a little light for some things, but otherwise worked pretty well.

12 Minute Medicine Ball Workout.JPG

In case you missed my Insta story where I showed each move, I’ve uploaded them to YouTube so you can check them out if you have any questions.

Questions for you: Do you prefer total body conditioning style workouts, strength workouts, cardio workouts, etc?

Wednesday Workout: 5 Exercise Band & Bodyweight Workout

Good morning! I hope you guys are having a good week so far. I ended up coming down with a cold, so it worked out well that Seaport Sweat was cancelled last night so that I could rest. Needless to say, I did not workout. In fact, I spent most of the day on the couch and napped twice – something I never do. But, I have to say, I’m proud of myself for taking the time to rest and let my body recover. In years past, I would’ve pushed through it, which was just stupid!

Anyway, if you are not resting today or this week, I’d consider checking out this workout. I did it the other day when it was a beautiful, dry, sunny, warm day. Considering these days are likely limited as we approach fall and winter, I had to take advantage of it and take my workout outside rather than in the gym. As you all probably know, I always carry a resistance band and jump rope in my gym bag so that I can easily workout outside with a little more than just my bodyweight.

If you don’t have a resistance band, you can easily do this workout without, which I’ll explain down below. As for the format, you can choose! I did 4 rounds, but you can do any amount of rounds you want or you can see how many rounds you can complete in 15-25 minutes.

5 Exercise Band & Bodyweight Workout

Few things:

      • Banded side steps w/thruster – see this video
      • HRPU = Hand Release Push-Ups
      • Reverse lunge w/single arm press – see this video
      • Banded jumping jacks – see this video
      • Plank w/shoulder taps – high plank and keep your body nice and still (hips are flat and quiet, not lifting) as you lift your right hand to touch your left shoulder. Repeat with the left hand to the right shoulder. That’s one rep.

    I hope you give this a try! It was nice and quick, but left me feeling a little tight the next day which just goes to show you that you don’t have to a. go to a gym for a good workout and b. that you don’t need to have access to lots of equipment.

    Hope you have a great day!

Wednesday Workout: 2 Exercise Count Down Workouts {10-15 mins!}

Hey there! Happy Wednesday 🙂 Last Tuesday was a busy day, leaving me very little time to workout. I fully accepted the fact that I might not get my own workout in due to training someone at lunch and then teaching 2 classes after work, but when I got into the city and realized I had about 15 or so minutes to spare before teaching, I got right to work with a little workout! I could’ve effed around and not gotten anything in, but I knew I really wanted to and I felt physically able so I decided to just bang something out.

It was actually a part of the workout I was planning to teach in class, so it worked out really well. The best part? It was only 2 exercises, and I didn’t need any equipment! The way it worked was I picked 2 exercises and did them back to back, starting with 10 reps, dropping to 9, then 8, then 7, etc., but when I got down to 1 rep, I did 10 again. I tried to rest as little as possible and because of this, I was able to get halfway through a second set (that I’m also sharing with you). The first one was brutal because it was all legs and the second one was brutal because it was burpees WITH a push-up. It’s funny because as I did them, I felt so strong (push-ups are usually really hard for me), but the next day I was so sore from them! So strange.

2 Exercise Count Down Workout.JPG

  • Squat & knee raise – squat, knee raise right, squat knee raise left = 1 rep (aka you end up doing double the number of squat reps)
  • Jump squats – take them at your own level!
  • Single Leg Deadlift – perform the reps each side
  • Burpee- take out the push-up if needed, or do them on an incline surface

There ya go! I’ve had a few people come up to me recently saying that they are having a hard time finding time to workout, or rather, just don’t have the motivation. I plan on doing a whole post on this topic, but for now if you’re falling into one of those categories, try a quickie workout like this. It’s very little commitment, but I promise you’ll feel so much better and more motivated once you get started. And, if you don’t, then that’s ok, too – listen to your body – it’ll know when it’s ready to move again!

Questions for you: Have you been motivated to workout lately? What exercise is generally hard for you?