Workouts I’m Loving {and all less than 45 minutes!}

Happy Monday! Did you guys have a good weekend? RM and I did- we had a datenight, did lots of biking and ended Sunday night with some meal prep & relaxing- can’t go wrong with any of that!

Today, I wanted to share a little glimpse into the workouts I’ve been doing lately. I, like most (I assume), tend to go through phases with my workouts; sometimes I’m all about running, sometimes I’m all about lifting heavy, sometimes I just want to do a quickie workout, etc. While I like to keep some sort of consistency when it comes to my workouts (it helps me track progress and see fitness gains), I try to listen to my body and do the types of workouts that I’m craving as I crave them. Otherwise, I will end up dreading and not enjoying my workout which is a recipe for disaster!

That said, here’s what I’ve been finding myself doing lately:

  • Boxing- As an EBF instructor, I try to get to at least one boxing class a week. Partly to learn from other instructors in terms of combinations, format, music, etc. (I think it’s so important for instructors to go to other people’s classes to help them grow & learn more), but partly because it’s a great – and fun- workout! It also helps me get to know the members and other instructors better, which is especially important at a place like EBF since it’s hugely community oriented.

  • Spinning- Lately, running has been bothering my hip 😦 so I’ve been doing more spinning. Without fail, even a quickie spin sesh will get me sweating and feeling pumped up. It’s especially more fun with my new TIEM Athletic shoes!

  • Biking– Spinning is fun, but riding a real bike outside is more fun! I’ve been enjoying the nicer weather as it’s allowed me to ride my bike to the gym to teach (gets me there faster than driving!). RM and I have also been doing a lot of biking which is a great way to spend time with each other and be outside!

  • Quickie HIIT workouts- Unless I’m teaching an hour long class (which I rarely do these days), I don’t want to be a the gym for a long time which means I fully embrace quickie 20-30 minute workouts. Some are more intense than others, but none last longer than 30 minutes. I’ve been going to the gym at lunch as much as possible which is another reason why I can’t spend a long time working out. The best part? My body has been responding so much better to these shorter workouts! I feel quick & strong and I’m looking more buff!

  • Upper body workouts- I want big, beautifully strong shoulders so I’ve been putting more focus on upper body/shoulder focused workouts. Only a few weeks/month into this slight shift and I feel like I’m already seeing changes, which just goes to show that you don’t have to spend hours in the gym a day in order to see or feel changes. You just have to make sure what you’re doing is the best use of your time and going to effectively challenge you.

(also- loved Lauren’s Fit in 15 mini workout series- so great to get quickie, but effective, workouts in!)

  • Outdoor workouts- With the warmer weather *mostly* here, it makes me want to get outside as much as possible. Last week, I brought a resistance band and jump rope to work and went outside during my lunch to get a quickie workout in.

There you have it! Per usual, I try to keep a good balance of cardio, strength, HIIT, etc. in my workout schedule so that I’m not overworking any one thing. I’d like to add more yoga into my schedule, but I’ve been teaching so much lately that I haven’t wanted to take an hour-hour and a half to get to a class when I’m not teaching. In the next few weeks, my schedule should lighten up a bit so I will absolutely get to yoga!

I’d love to hear from you- what workouts are you loving right now? Have you been working out outside? Do you find yourself more or less motivated to workout when the weather gets nice?

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Wednesday Workout: 3 Circuit Total Body Blast

Good morning! I have a few other draft blog posts that I need to finish up, but until I muster up the time/energy to post those, a workout post will have to do. While I haven’t been consistently following any sort of strength plan that would foster big muscle growth, I have been having fun trying new formats, exercises, classes, etc. However, I’m starting to feel like I’m ready to settle down a bit and create some sort of specific training plan to follow … at least for a little while.

The thing with me is that I get bored with workouts pretty quickly, so I tend to find myself jumping around rather than seeing something through to the end. There’s nothing wrong with this by any means- heck, as long as I’m working out consistently then I’m feeling pretty good, haha. But, as I’ve mentioned before, having no sort of plan makes it hard to see any sort of growth progress, or gainzzzz as I like to say 😉

I think another factor that makes it hard for me to stick with a consistent strength-focused workout plan is that those workouts tend to require a bit more time, unlike the HIIT style workouts I generally gravitate towards. When I’m not teaching, I like to be in and out of the gym as quickly as possible so I can use the extra time doing other things. Which is why workouts like the ones I’ve been posting have been my workout style of choice as of late. This workout left me pretty sore the next day, which I have to attribute to the leg-heavy aspect of it.

The way it works is you’ll complete the designated reps of each of the 3 exercises within each set for a total of 3 times before moving on to the next set. Each set/circuit has 3 exercises: legs, cardio, upper body, but like I said, the leg exercises were killer so I felt that the most the next day.I think with warm up this workout took about 30 minutes to complete.

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Explanations:

  • Step up-> lunge back- I’ll walk you through this one since it sounds more complicated than it actually is. You’ll need a step or some sort of elevated surface that’s safe to step up onto and you’ll want to grab either 2 dumbbells or 1 kettlebell. From there, step up onto the step with your right foot & drive your left knee up (engaging the core). Then, you’ll step back off the step with your left foot and bring your right foot back to come into a reverse lunge- both feet are on the ground. So it’s step right, left knee, left step down, right step back into reverse lunge. Then you’ll repeat on the left.
  • Push-up ->: knee tuck: Do 1 push-up and then when you’re back in the high plank position bring your right foot into your chest then the left foot. If you want to do your push-ups on your knees, just make sure you come up to your toes when it’s time for the knee tuck.
  • Banded side-step goblet squats- For this, you’ll need to put a resistance band around your upper calf area, right below the knee and grab a kettlebell & hold in the goblet position. Step your right foot to the right and sink into a deep goblet squat. Step your right foot back to the center and then step your left foot to the left and sink into a deep squat.

If you have extra time (and energy!), at the end you can do a finisher of 8 lateral ball slams using a Dynamax ball, 8 toe touches & 8 sit-up and toss for a total of 3 rounds. And then I think it’s pretty safe to say you’re all finished 🙂

I really loved this workout and plan on doing it again- I’d love to know if you try it!

Questions for you: How long do you normally spend at the gym or when you workout?

Kia’s Bachelorette HIIT Bootcamp (10, 20 or 30 Minute Options- Body Weight!)

This workout  is the perfect workout if you just want to get in a good sweat while on the road or at your house without access to equipment. For my friend, Kia’s, bachelorette party, she wanted me to lead a bootcamp so I decided to put this HIIT section in as part of it. We only did it once through, but if you’re looking for a longer workout, you can certainly do it two, three or four times through depending on how much time you have.

kia's bachelorette HIIT bootcamp workout

I think all of these should be pretty straight forward (or something that you see often on B2B!), but if you have any questions, please let me know!

Also, if you’re looking for a longer workout and have people to workout with here’s how our whole 45 minute workout went:
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This Week: Workouts, Countdown to Christmas & Things I’m Looking Forward To

Good morning! Can you believe this is the last full week before Christmas!?! I literally cannot wrap my head around it. But, the good news is I’ve completed almost all of my Christmas shopping, which is half the battle, right? I plan on finishing up a few more things this week and then packing my car up so I don’t forget anything when I head to Maine.

I had some good workouts last week, however none really left me sore or “feeling it” the next day. Well, except for the workout I did in RM’s kitchen on Tuesday morning. I had to make the workout as quiet as possible and therefore eliminated most cardio, but whatever I did seemed to work!

Last Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I got up early and went to the gym on my own- a rarity, for sure! I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, completed my 1 minute of burpees and a few other upper body and core exercises. Although it’s never fun getting up and going to the gym at the 6am hour, I ALWAYS feel amazing after!

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  • Tuesday- I got up early (again) and worked out in RM’s kitchen, as it seemed as though that would be the quietest place. I did a lot of punches, squats, lunges, core work, etc. It’s amazing how versatile workouts can be. I didn’t want to do cardio and didn’t have any weights, yet I was still able to put together a workout that left me sweaty and sore the next days. The challenge on Tuesday was a lower body workout, so I did Booty Burner #2″ workout. Never fails to leave me shaky 😉
  • Wednesday- I only had time to run 2 miles before class, but I did most of my UXF Burn class as I liked the exercises I put together! The cardio blast between sets was killer.

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  • Thursday- I went to the gym near my office and completed a 15 minute HIIT workout before going to a total body conditioning class, which ended up being the same 45 seconds on, 15 seconds rest format that I did for my HIIT workout.

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  • Friday- Rest day, besides lots of walking. I also got up for some stretching which was a nice way to start the day.

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  • Saturday- I taught my cardio kickboxing class at the Oak Square YMCA. Per usual, it was a packed class with lots of energy! Thanks for coming, Mary 🙂
  • Sunday- Another rest day… cleaning was my source of active rest.

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I got some new lulu and was excited to try it out!

This Week’s Workouts

  • Monday- I’m subbing the 6:30pm cardio kickboxing class at the Watertown BSC. Happy to get some extra subbing in as I’m losing my UXF Burn class for 2 weeks due to the holidays 😦
  • Tuesday- I want to go to the morning Box 360 class at George Foreman’s boxing studio. Any fitness friends want to come? The challenge for Tuesday is to try a new workout class, so I figured this would be great.
  • Wednesday- A little cardio before teaching my UXF Burn class at the Central Square BSC. What should I teach?! Any new moves you’re loving?
  • Thursday- I think I have to do a day trip to Rhode Island for work, so I may try to get up early to get a little something in. Maybe rest. Maybe hit up a 6:30 cardio kickboxing class. We’ll see!
  • Friday- Today’s challenge is an upper body workout, so I’ll squeeze something in- maybe this 7 Minute Body Weight Upper Body Burner. I also have to go to a UXF Burn training for a few hours in the afternoon as they’re releasing a new format- can’t wait to see what it is.
  • Saturday- Teaching my last cardio kickboxing class of the year 😦 I can’t believe it! Come sweat with me and jam out to my Christmas playlist!
  • Sunday- Rest day, besides a core workout as part of my challenge.

Things I’m Looking Forward To

Although this week is busy with lots of parties, teaching and maybe another road trip for work, I’m totally in the Christmas spirit and am just excited! I also know that I have an extended vacation coming up shortly, so that’s helping me make the last final push of the holiday season.

Questions for you: What was the best workout you had last week? Are you trying out any classes this week?

Wednesday Workout: 20 Minute Bootcamp HIIT Workout

Good morning! Did you guys enjoy my second round of Cardio Kickboxing Combinations that I shared with you last week? It was fun to do! If you have any other suggestions for posts, don’t hesitate to let me know because I like knowing I’m writing about something people want to read.

Today I’m sharing a piece of the bootcamp workout I taught last week which successfully kicked all of our butts! HIIT workouts will do that to you, though. In case you’re new to the term, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and HIIT workouts are generally a bout of cardio or “work” period (lasting anywhere from 15-60 seconds, usually) followed by a short bout of rest (10-30 seconds). The point is that you work hard for a set amount of time, knowing you will have a set of time to rest after your work period. You get to catch your breath, bring your heart rate down then bring it right back up- a sure way for max calorie burn!

In this workout, you’ll work for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds. I have 20 exercises, ranging from cardio to core to legs to upper body, so you’ll feel like you’re getting a full body workout. If you’re feeling up to it, repeat the circuit once more!

Bootcamp HIIT Workout

Here’s an explanation for some of the exercises:

-Trunk Swing (from Shape April 2014)- Sit with feet extended in front of you, hands by your hips with your finger tips pointing towards your toes. Lift your hips up, bringing yourself into a reverse table top position (press those hips up!), then lower your hips and bring yourself back to the starting position, but don’t let your butt touch the ground! You’ll be holding yourself a few inches from the ground by pressing your palms into the ground. Holy tricep burn!

-Line Jump (from Shape April 2014)- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, bend knees and jump forward (pretending to jump over a line), landing on just 1 foot. Bend forward from the hips and touch a hand to the ground. Hop back to starting position and repeat landing on the other foot.

-Plank Jumps- In a high plank position, jump both feet up to your right hand, jump them back to a high plank, jump them up to your left hand. Repeat for entire 45 seconds. Too difficult? Step them up to your hands instead of jumping them.

-Plank with Knee Drops- In a low plank, alternate dropping your knees to the ground. More advanced? Do both at the same time.

-Walking Planks Right and Left- In a high plank position, move 3 steps to the right and 3 to the left.

-Squat Jump with Heel Clicks- Instead of doing just a regular squat jump, click your heels together when you jump up.

If you have any other questions about the exercises listed above, please don’t hesitate to contact me! This workout left me huffing and puffing- I hope it does the same for you!

Questions for you: Do you like HIIT workouts? If so, what’s your favorite one? Do you like 30 second, 45 second or 60 second intervals?