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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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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.

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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 ❤

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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!

Hub on Wheels Citywide Bike Ride

If you follow me on Social Media, then you know RM and I got bikes last year and have really enjoyed our bike rides all over Newton, Watertown, Waltham, Cambridge and Boston. That said, when I was contacted to see if I wanted to be part of the press team in the Hub on Wheels citywide bike ride to support pediatric cancer research at Boston Children’s Hospital, we were both all for it.

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Going into the event, neither one of us really knew what to expect, but I’ll tell you this – I was not expecting the event to be of the magnitude it was! There were over six thousand riders, either doing 10 (but really 12) miles or 40 miles in and around Boston – I couldn’t believe it! Due to the types of bikes we have, we opted for the shorter ride, but some day I would like to have a bike that would allow me to do longer rides more comfortably.

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Shortly after 8am, we were off and riding. The weather was pretty gloomy & cool, but it made for good riding weather. One of the coolest parts about the experience was getting to ride down a car-free Storrow Drive… something I’ve never experienced! We rode down towards Brighton and then turned around at the Harvard field. We got off at Fenway and rode down a car-free Comm. Ave, around the Commons and ended back at City Hall Plaza. It was a great route and I loved being up and about in Boston while most people were still sleeping. A quiet Boston is a nice change!

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There were lots of my favorite vendors set up in City Hall Plaza, including Purity Organics, Hint water, Food Should Taste Good, Larabar and more!

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After the ride, we got breakfast at Metropolis Cafe in the South End and we both talked about how happy we were that we were able to participate in such a cool event that was raising money for such a wonderful cause. I hope to be invited to ride again next year!

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Questions for you: Do you enjoy bike riding or would you rather do a run instead? Have you ever rode in this fundraiser?