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February 20, 2013

20 min. Interval TOTAL BODY cardio/strength workout

Okay girls - hopefully you read the blog post earlier about the benefits of interval training. But it's okay if you didn't - here is the brief summary:

  • Interval training just means alternating bursts of more intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.  (for example, you can add 30 seconds of jogging to your walking workout every 3 minutes... or you could walk at a faster pace between certain mailboxes on your normal walk route)

  • Interval training will burn more calories, increase your aerobic capacity and help avoid boredom in your workouts!

This total body interval workout will utilize this methodology - and won't make you feel like you're training for the Olympics.

You will need 20 minutes, 2 weights and the ability to keep your eyes on a clock, watch, cell phone, etc... 

(as a reminder - if you don't have weights... grab 2 empty milk jugs and fill them with water until you feel like they are the right weight for you! Be creative! Grab things around the house if necessary - just make sure that they are the same weight for each arm, wouldn't want to overtrain one side over the other. and remember, purchasing dumbbell weights will be worth the short-term investment for the long term health goals you will reach)

I'm going to seperate this workout into two options: Standard/Modified
(Modified is going to be lower impact, easier for those who are working up to standard exercises or have health conditions restraining their capability for higher impact more intense exercise)
(***indicates it is meant to be your higher intensity exercise of the interval workout)


1 min: Jog in place
(modified) March in place

30 sec: JUMPING JACKS ***
(modified) X reach overhead with foot tap-out on same side as reaching hand.

1 min: Wall sits (15 seconds held, 5 sec break)
(modified is the same due to low impact)

30 sec: Front squat to single arm shoulder press-alternate arms on each squat
(modified is the same due to low impact)

1 min: Jog in place
(modified) March in place

30 sec: Knee Raises (add a twisting crunch if desired)***
(modified) Low or mid knee raise, but avoid the twisting crunch

1 min:  5 modified wide grip pushups, rollover and do 5 crunches-focus on chest up rather than pulling chin to chest
(modified would be the 5 modified pushups, and then 5 pelvic lifts)

30 sec: Bentover Rows to Side Raises (weight in right hand)
In standing position, walk your left leg forward, then hinge your body at the hips to bend over with a flat back position. From this position you will pull the weight back leading with the elbow, then you will release that back to the bottom. Next you will raise the weight out to the side, and release it back to the bottom. Repeat.



30 sec: Bentover Rows to Side Raises (weight in left hand)
Walk your right leg forward... (cont. as previous exercise)

(modified is the same due to low impact)
Reach your right arm up as if grasping a rock to climb a mountain, simultaneously pulling your left knee up. Alternate at your own pace, doing the opposite hand reach with knee raise. ***This can be done at jogging pace to make it more INTENSE. only rest your foot on the ground for a split second before switching sides. <try it!>

1 min: OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENSION (30 sec right/30 sec left)
(modified is the same due to low impact)

1 min: FOREARM PLANKS (10 seconds hold, 5 seconds break)***
(modified will be the same, but do not let your butt/low back sag towards the floor....if you have to error from straight line position- do it by having your butt higher in the air)

1 min: Alternating Static Hold Bicep Curls (Modified is the same)
Curl one weight up so that your arm is bent at a 90 degree angle with weight in hand. HOLD THAT WEIGHT THERE while you curl the other arm's weight 5 times regularly.  SWITCH so that the other arm has the weight at 90 degree angle, curl the other arm 5 times. REPEAT THIS until one minute is up!

take a 1 to 2 minute rest and REPEAT the whole thing once more.]

Interval training: NOT JUST FOR ATHLETES!

Hi ladies,

Just wanted to encourage you to take a deeper look into interval training and the benefits it has for your body and your mind! Interval training can keep you on your toes and decrease that burnt out feeling or boredom during exercise, simultaneously working your body in a new way for new results.

We have used interval training in our MAC fit work outs before - it is not just for athletes training for competition! Take a look at what MayoClinic.com has to say about interval training below:

Rev up your workout with interval training

Interval training can help you get the most out of your workout.

By Mayo Clinic staff
Are you ready to shake up your workout? Do you wish you could burn more calories without spending more time at the gym? Consider aerobic interval training. Once the domain of elite athletes, interval training has become a powerful tool for the average exerciser, too.

What is interval training?

It's not as complicated as you might think. Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.
Take walking. If you're in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you're less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. For example, if you're walking outdoors, you could walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks.

What can interval training do for me?

Whether you're a novice exerciser or you've been exercising for years, interval training can help you jazz up your workout routine. Consider the benefits:
  • You'll burn more calories. The more vigorously you exercise, the more calories you'll burn — even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.
  • You'll improve your aerobic capacity. As your cardiovascular fitness improves, you'll be able to exercise longer or with more intensity. Imagine finishing your 60-minute walk in 45 minutes — or the additional calories you'll burn by keeping up the pace for the full 60 minutes.
  • You'll keep boredom at bay. Turning up your intensity in short intervals can add variety to your exercise routine.
  • You don't need special equipment. You can simply modify your current routine.

Are the principles of interval training the same for everyone?

Yes — but you can take interval training to many levels. If you simply want to vary your exercise routine, you can determine the length and speed of each high-intensity interval based on how you feel that day.
After warming up, you might increase the intensity for 30 seconds and then resume your normal pace. The next burst of more intense activity may last two to three minutes. How much you pick up the pace, how often and for how long is up to you.
If you're working toward a specific fitness goal, you may want to take a more scientific approach. A personal trainer or other expert can help you time the intensity and duration of your intervals — which may include movement patterns similar to those you'll use during your sport or activity — based on your target heart rate, the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to your muscles (peak oxygen intake), and other factors.

 Keep this in mind as you are ellipticalling, walking, etc. during the week! You can use this training technique to reach new goals and avoid burn out.

February 18, 2013

20 minute Total Body Cardio/Strength Workout

This workout is going to maximize your time spent, while accelerating your metabolism. You will strengthen your muscles, including your heart, and will tell your body burn up some fat in the process! You will need a clock (cell phone, stop watch, etc), 20 minutes of your day, weights and yourself!

The key to this workout is not taking long breaks in between sets. Don't rest for more than 1 minute in between exercises. Your twenty minutes will fly by, and the short breaks coupled with the combination of classic cardio/strength moves will tell your metabolism to kick into high gear!

Move #1: Jump rope - 1 minute

- If you have a jump rope, use it! If not, pretend. It does almost the same exact thing, just utilizes less coordination.  Change up your jump style every 20 seconds (alternating legs, double jump, boxer style, etc). 

Move #2: Goblet squat - 15 reps

Stand with legs slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and have your toes pointing very slightly outwards.  Hold one weight (heavier rather than lighter) with both hands by one end of the weight, and let it dangle between your legs.  Focus on chest up, butt back, and squat (making sure knees are aligned with feet, and behind toes.) Stand back up and repeat.

Move #3: High knees - 30 seconds  Butt kicks - 30 seconds (no break in between)

Just like it sounds, start jogging in place but focus on pulling your knees up towards your chest.  You can modify this at walking pace.  Butt kicks are the same idea, focus on pulling your heels up towards your behind.

Move #4: Push up Combos

Start in modified push up position (knees on floor, hands on floor straight out from shoulder joint but just a little wider - straight body from knees to neck!)   Begin with 5 regular push ups, leading with chest towards the floor.  Then switch hand position closer together, focusing on the elbows coming back while touching your sides for 5 Tricep push ups.  End with 5 regular pushups again.

                        REGULAR POSITION                                                  TRICEP POSITION

Move #5: Jumping jacks (or X reach) - 1 minute

If you can, go for jumping jacks! Focus on soft landing, form rather than speed.  If modified is for you - reach overhead while tapping out with the same side foot towards the opposite direction of your reach, then alternate (X reach).

Move #6: Lat pullover to abdominal crunch - 15 reps

Laying flat on your back, hold one weight with both hands - legs extended.  Keeping your arms straight, lift the weight off the floor over your head while simultaneously lifting your straight legs to meet it in the middle. When you are just about to reach your legs with the weight, lift your shoulders off the floor like you are giving the weight up to your feet as a gift. This is a great back and ab combo move!

Repeat Moves #1-6 until your 20 minutes is up! Remember not to break for more than one minute in between moves.