Wednesday Workout: Run (or walk) & Strength Circuits

A few months back, I participated in a challenge run by Jill Coleman (aka: JillFit). One of the workouts was a running sandwich, of sorts. And, as much as I prefer steady-state treadmill running (confession: because it’s easier!), I really loved the short sprint pushes that the workout had me doing. Fast forward a few months and I found myself back at the gym, planning my workout. I had wanted to run 3-4 miles, but my hip & foot have been bothering me so I’ve been trying to limit my running.

Enter: another running sandwich workout! Capping each part of the run to 1/4 miles avoided any pain and it was the perfect bout of high intensity cardio to add to my workout. The way it works is you run 1/4 mile to start. Try and make it challenging – it shouldn’t be an easy jog. You’re only going for 1/4 mile so you should push yourself. Once you hit 1/4 mile, you jump off and go into your first mini circuit where you’ll complete 3 rounds of the 3 exercises. Then, you jump back on the treadmill, and I encourage you to increase your speed a bit. In fact, your goal should be to complete your 1/4 mile run in less time each time you do it. I think I started around 1:55-2 minutes and worked my way down to 1:40.

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I think the exercises should be fairly straight forward, but if you have any questions, let me know. I really enjoyed this workout as it was fun knowing I only had to push myself on the treadmill for 1/4 mile (aka: 1 lap around the track). I also think it’s great because it’s doable for ALL levels. Running is too much? Try power walking! Or walking on an incline! Or a slow jog. You can do whatever you need to do πŸ™‚

Questions for you: Do you prefer sprinting or steady state running/cardio?

Wednesday Workout: Bodyweight D.C. Workout {~20 mins}

Good morning! I’m so glad so many of you liked the D.C. recap that I posted earlier this week. To keep the D.C. trip theme going, today I’m sharing a quickie at-home, bodyweight workout that I did in the comforts of our Airbnb. One of the fun things about traveling for me, is coming up with different types of quickie workouts that can be done anywhere. Sure, I could’ve checked out a fitness studio, but the goal for my vacation workouts is to get them done quickly so that they aren’t interrupting our other plans. If I took a class at a studio, it would require more time on my part when you think about how long those classes are, where I would have to travel to get to one, etc. Running is always an option, but with the amount of walking we were doing, the last thing I felt like I needed to do was log more miles.

Of course, and I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again, if I didn’t feel like working out while on vacation, I wouldn’t force it on myself! But that’s generally an every day mindset I try to have. Just because I’m on vacation doesn’t mean I should skip workouts and eat and drink everything in site – that’s just not a mentality that I want to have. Plus, it makes me feel yucky! So, when I travel, I try to keep the same mindset I have when I’m not traveling when it comes to working out and food and drinks: listen to my body! If I feel like resting, I rest. If I feel like having a decadent dessert, I eat it without regret. If I want a salad for lunch, I eat it.

That said, since movement is something that’s so ingrained in me, I generally want to do some of it when I travel, and quickie, at home workouts are generally what I opt for (unless there’s a gym where we stay – in that case I’ll usually check it out!). This one is great because covers all the bases – lower, upper, core & cardio. I was dripping sweat by the time I was finished! Even better? I was showered and ready for breakfast by the time RM got out of bed!

The format of this workout is common to what you generally see on B2B: I picked 6 exercises I liked and felt like doing – on vacation, there is no need to spend time doing exercises you don’t like, no matter how “good” they are for you to do! It’s all about getting in some sort of movement (if you feel up to it!), and doing exercises you like makes it so much better.

Bodyweight D.C. Workout

In case you missed my videos on my Insta Story, some of the ones you may have questions on are here:

 

As always, I’d love to hear if you tried this out!

I’d also like to hear your thoughts on mindset when it comes to traveling. Do you tend to try and keep the same mindset you have in your every day, non-traveling life or do you tend to “let loose” and eat/drink/not workout with the “hey! I’m on vacation!” mentality?

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!” πŸ˜‰ 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 theΒ 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.

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 πŸ˜‰ 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?

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?! πŸ˜‰ ), 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 πŸ™‚ 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?