I am going to be honest and tell you that cardio is my least favorite way to workout.  It is necessary however.  The classes I teach at the gym are mostly cardio based and cardio is fun in a group format.  There are times when a group class is not available, for various reasons.  And in those cases using cardio equipment in the gym becomes a necessity.  Steady state running is BORING!  And other then burring a couple hundred calories there really is not much benefit for running on the treadmill for 30 minutes.  But there is hope!  I am including a high intensity treadmill workout for you.  High intensity cardio burns more calories, challenges your cardiovascular system, burns more fat, and even promotes strength building.

45 minute Treadmill workout

1 minute – run a nice easy pace to warm up the body.  This pace should be about a jog.

2-5 minutes – increase pace to a run.  This should be a pace that causes your breathing to increase but not cause you to be breathless.

5 minute – increase incline to 1.5 and keep pace the same.

6 minute – increase incline to 2.5 and keep pace the same.

7 minute – increase incline to 3.5 and keep pace the same.

8 minute – increase incline to 4 and keep pace the same.  (this should start to be more difficult and you will feel like you are running harder to keep up with the pace).

9 minute – increase incline to 5 and keep pace the same.  Stay at this incline for 2 minutes.

11 minute – start to slowly decrease incline.  At 11 minutes decrease incline to 4.

12 minute – decrease incline to 3.5.

13 minute – decrease incline to 2.5.

14 minute – decrease incline to 1.5.

15-20 minute – decrease to 0 incline and run at pace.

21-22 minute – decrease pace back to slower jog pace. The next 5 minutes will be an active recovery to prepare you for the last half of the workout).

23-25 minute – increase pace to fast run.  (Now we party).

26-30 minute – tabatas – Sprint for 20 seconds and rest for 10 seconds for 4 minutes.  Sprint as fast as you can.  Turn the speed up on the treadmill and RUN.  Take your recovery by placing feet on the side so you do not have to worry about changing speed on the machine.

31-33 minutes – reduce speed to slow jog – You have earned this recovery.

34 minute – increase incline to 5 and sprint for 30 seconds – recover for 30 seconds

35 minute – keep incline and sprint for 45 seconds – recover for 15 seconds

36 – keep incline and sprint for 1 minute

37 minute – recover for 30 seconds – sprint for 30 seconds

38 minute – recover for 15 seconds – sprint for 45 seconds

39 minute – sprint for 1 minute

40-42 minute – decrease incline to 0 and reduce speed to jog

43 minute – decrease pace to fast walk

44 minute – decrease pace to slow walk.

45 minute.  YOU ARE DONE!

This is a tough workout.  I dread it when I have to do it.  But it is effective.  Enjoy!!

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Wings and Guns Workout

Here is a back (wings) and biceps (guns) workout for you. Go heavy, go hard, or go home!

Warm up with the above exercise. 3 sets of 12.

Set 1:
Bent over row. 3 sets of 12.

Bicep curl. 3 sets of 12.

Set 2:
Lat PullDown/high row. 3 sets of 12.

Row. 3 sets of 12.

Preacher curls. 3 sets of 12.

Set 3:
Wide grip PullDown. 3 sets of 12.

Close grip PullDown. 3 sets of 12.

Cable bicep curls. 3 sets of 12.

 

Chest and Shoulder Workout Videos

I see so many people focus on leg day and squats and building hamstrings and glutes. Keep it up!  But as women it is also vital to incorporate chest workouts into our strength routines. Having a strong chest will make your waist look smaller. Now growing a chest will not make your boobs bigger, (I am speaking from personal experience) but it will grow your pectoral muscles. Ladies this will make your cleavage look better, with or without boobies.

  1. Start with a warm-up of push-ups. The Bosu is an option. I did 5 regular push-ups by lowering my chest to the Bosu and bringing my elbows level to my shoulders. Push through the ground to straighten arms. Keep the core engaged, belly button to spine, and keep body straight from head to toes. The next 5 I lifted one foot off the ground and repeated movement. Then I switched and elevated the other foot off the ground and repeated the movement.
  2. Or try single arm push ups. Use a ball to elevate one hand off the ground and push up. Try 7 on each side 3 times.

 

  1.  Arnold press. Here I am lifting heavy weights to failure so I only did a few reps but more sets. It is similar to a shoulder press. Elbows come in front of body and raise up and when elbows are shoulder height open elbows to football goal position and push arms to straighten weights above. It is a shoulder press with a rotation. Complete this exercise alone. Try for 3 sets 12 reps.
  2. Shoulder press. I used the Smith Machine here so I could use heavier weights. You can use dumbbells as well. Bring elbows to shoulder level, in the shape of a football goal, and press weights up to straighten arms. Lower elbows to shoulder height. I also included a video, of shoulder press using dumbbells.
  1. Seated chest press. Use your chest muscles to push the weight forward and control the movement to starting position.
  2. Incline chest press.
  3. Tricep dips to failure!
  4. Complete these 3 as a super set. 3 sets 12 reps each.
  1. Cable chest fly. This one is one of my favorites. Walk out so there is tension on the cables. I put one foot in front of the other to anchor my body.  Start with arms out in a “T” but keep a slight bend in your elbows. Close your chest cavity and push the weights so that palms come together. Repeat.
  2. Lateral shoulder raises. I used the cable machine again. This is just a variation. I found I was able to stabilize my body and avoid swinging and arching my back which can happen with this exercise. Start by resting palms and weight at thighs then use shoulder muscles and some chest to raise the bar so that palms are shoulder height and parallel to the floor. Keep arms straight and control movement to starting position.
  3. Side shoulder raises. Again with the cable machine. Start with one side and have palm rest at side. Raise arm to the side so that arm is shoulder height. You see I fail a couple of reps here. Doing these at the end is no joke. Try to keep arm as straight as possible but you will have slight bend in your elbow.
  4. Repeat these exercises as a super set. 3 sets 12 reps each.
  1. And end with this core and chest exercise. Be careful. It takes a lot of balance.  Place hands on the bar shoulder width apart. Carefully place one foot at a time on top of the stability ball. Now do 12 push-ups for 3 sets!  And you are done!

Drink More Water – Why Water Helps with Weightloss

There is so much talk about weight lifting, cardio, group fitness fads, and clean eating, but I don’t often hear people talk about one major important factor for weightloss and health, Water. It is vital for health and weightloss to drink enough water to keep your body satisfied. Surprisingly people do not get enough water and our body’s are dehydrated quickly. Today’s FitFriday post is all about water because it is so important and helpful. This post comes with a challenge to help you start applying water consumption practices.

  1. Consuming water helps with weightloss. Recently Brenda Davy, professor at Virgina Tech, did a study and showed that people that cut calories to lose weight and also drank water before each meal lost more weight. Researchers suggest consuming water helps create a feeling of fullness.
  2. Water increases your metabolism. Increased metabolism helps burn fat and calories. A study by Michael Boschman, MD at the Berlin’s Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center found that metabolism increasd by 30% following water consumption.
  3. Water replaces other sugary, high-calorie beverages. Those high calorie drinks are wasted calories in that they do not benefit the body. Rather the excess sugar causes the body to store excess fat. Drinking water when thirsty is sugar-free, calorie-free, and good for you.
  4. Water can give you energy. Not drinking enough water can decrease energy. That is because humans are 70% water and we require a lot of water to keep those body systems going. Drinking water keeps the body nourished so body systems can function properly, and this increases energy.
  5. Water keeps you looking fine. Skin contains a lot of water and staying well hydrated keeps skin looking clear and healthy.
  6. Our bodies use water for everything. Breathing, sweating, and metabolizing food. The human liver is 96% water, blood is 80%, and the brain is 75% water. If there is not enough water consumption the body does not have what it needs and this causes dehydration.
  7. Drinking water can decrease pain. People that suffer from headaches and drink more water saw headache improvement. Water depletion causes most headaches and consuming water can help improve the headache in a short amount of time, according to Blau, Kell, and Sperling. Water can also improve joint pain. Leigh Erin Connealy, MD shares that joints are 60-80% water so increasing hydration provides joints with enough water to possibly improve pain and joint function.
  8. Increasing water can improve the immune system and help fight illness, disease, and infection. If there is not enough water the immune system doesn’t have the cells, resources, and energy it needs to fully ward off things that can make you sick. Drinking water can help you feel better.
  9. Water improves mood. Lawrence Armstong reported that dehydration decreased mood and caused feelings of anger, irritability, and fatigue. Drinking more water re-hydrates the body and will improve mood.
  10. Water can improve brain function and concentration. A report in Psychology Today cites that adults and children that consumed water showed improvement in focus, attention, and concentration.
Bottom line is we need water for everything. Water is the source of life. Your body requires enough water to keep body systems working and then needs water to remain hydrated. There are conflicting reports of how much water is needed daily to keep the body properly hydrated. The Mayo Clinic asked the Institute of Medicine about recommended daily water intake and learned that men should drink about 13 cups (3 liters) and women should drink 9 cups (2.2 liters). This value will change with exercise, environment, physical needs, and dietary needs.

 Drink More Water

So how much is enough?  There are reports that suggest drinking 8oz of water 8 times a day is sufficient. But you may need more. Here are some clues to determine if you need more water or not.
  • Urine color – Your body is constantly flushing things out of your body and water aides this process. If urine is clear that indicates hydration. The more color urine has the less water the body has and will indicate dehydration. I have included a chart to help evaluate hydration based on urine color.
  • Thirst – feeling thirsty indicates dehydration. Rather than refreshing self with an energy drink or soda, drink a glass of water.
  • Dry mouth – A dry mouth suggests the body needs more water. Drink a glass and feel satisfied.  I know if my lips feel dry and chapped I need more water.

Tips for Drinking more Water

Keep water with you at all times. Carry a bottle and keep it full of water. I have a large 1/2 gallon jug (I have named her Wanda) I carry everywhere I go. This will ensure you have the fluids nearby to keep the body nourished with water. Teresa Hall, owner of Nautilus Sport and Fitness Centers and a R.I.P.P.E.D. Master Trainer, recommends drinking 1 bottle of water (8-10 ounces) first thing in the morning. This will get your metabolism going, wake up the body, and start your day right!  Stay refreshed!

Water Challenge

Want to drink more water?  Here is a challenge. It is completely FREE!  This challenge asks that participants drink more water every day for 10 days!  Instead of turning to coffee, tea, or soda this challenge asks to drink more water. This is absolutely free AND you can win something at the end!  It is only a win/win for you. Increasing water intake will help with weightloss, mood, and health. Rules below:
  1. Drink more water
  2. Follow me on Instagram, swaitt
  3. “Like” contest picture on my Instagram to let me know you want to participate and be entered in the drawing to win. Invite friends by tagging them on Instagram . The more the merrier. Anyone that follows the rules for all 10 days will be placed in a drawing to win!
  4. Every day tag me on a picture on Instagram proving how much water you drank.
  5. Also tag #drinkmorewater.
  6. Those who tag a picture everyday will be placed in a drawing to win a gift pack.

Happy Drinking!

Booty Workout

We all want a squat butt right?! You know that “apple bottom”.  If so then you gotta work your legs.  You gotta get your “ass to the grass”.

Leg day is generally tough.  If you do it well enough your legs will hurt the next day.  If you do it heavy enough they will shake and ache during the workout.

Do not skip leg day.  Your leg muscles are large and working this area of the body is sure to burn extra calories.  You should break a sweat.  I challenge you to make your weight heavy enough to challenge you, but light enough to complete each set.  I aim for 2 leg day workouts a week.  This one will work hamstrings and that booty!

Set 1: 4×12 (complete each exercise for 12 reps, then repeat for a total of 4 times).  These are supersets.  A superset does not have rest between exercises.  Rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute in between each set.

  • Squats
  • Split squat (place toes on a bench/step/stool) behind you leaving the other leg planted firmly on the floor.  You want to walk your stabilized food out enough so that you can squat your front leg and bring thigh parallel to floor.  Knees should stay behind toes.  Complete 12 reps on one side and switch sides for another 12.  You can add weight in each hand for an additional strength challenge.
  • Pistol squat – See video – I used the Smith Machine and placed a bench under the center under the bar.  The bar is raised in the top position.  I have little weight but trust me, this one is not easy.  Stand in the center of the bench with bar rested on your shoulders, not your neck.  Stabilize one foot on the bench and let the other leg hang off the bench.  Bend knee of the leg placed on the bench reaching the free leg for the floor.  Keep knees behind toes.  Hinge at the hips and push that booty back like you are sitting in a chair.

  • Lying Leg Extension

Set 2: 4×12 Super Set

  • Donkey Kicks – there are lots of different ways to do these.  Sit on knees so that knees are under your hips.  Place your hands on the floor under your shoulders.  Use your hamstring and glute to push right foot toward the ceiling.  Lead with the heel but keep foot flat.  Knee will stay bent.  Return knee under the hip and repeat on this side.  Complete set and repeat.  You can add weight by placing a dumbbell between your knee.
  • Dead Lift – this is a great back exercise as well.  Place feet hip width apart.  Place barbell in both hands and rest barbell at thighs.  Hinge at the hips and hips will go back to wall behind you.  Keep legs straight, but there will be a slight bend in your knees.  Reach barbell for the floor and push through your heels to straighten back up to starting position.

  • Cable Kick Back – see video – Hinge at hip and keep a straight line from head to tailbone.  Keep leg as straight as possible and kick leg back with as much extension as possible.

Set 3: 4×12

  • Hamstring Curls – I prefer to do this exercise using the TRX.  But if you do not have a TRX system, a stability ball is an excellent substitution.  Lie on back and place heels on top the ball.  Straighten out legs.  Place arms, palms down, on the floor in a “T” position for stability.  Lift hips and squeeze that booty while using hamstrings to move knees toward hips.  Keep hips elevated the entire exercise.  Push legs to starting position while keeping hips elevated and glutes engaged.

  • Bridge – There are so many variations for this exercise.  All of them are effective.  Here I use the stability ball.  I like the stability ball for an added core challenged.  Lie on back.  Place heels on top of the ball.  Roll ball so that knees are above hips.  Keep knees bent and press heels into the ball and raise hips off the floor while squeezing those butt cheeks together.  Slowly lower hips but do not rest your booty on the floor.  Repeat.  If you want the extra challenge try lifting one leg in the air while completing the exercise.

  • Calf Raises – (I do 3 sets of 25) – There are numerous ways to complete this exercise.  I find using the Smith Machine really BURNS the calf muscle.  Place a step under the bar for the Smith Machine.  Place your preferred weight and stand so bar rests on shoulders.  Step on the step.  Place balls of feet on the step, the arch will be resting on the edge.  Press through the balls of your feet and lift your heels, and lower heels.  Lower heels just below the top of the step.  Repeat.  I like to do 15 slow and controlled and pulse the last 10.

Enjoy! Take pictures or film yourself and post on Instagram.  Tag me @swaitt for accountability.  I’d love to hear how your booty burned after this workout!

  • Last tip:  HAVE FUN!

Back Attack

I LOVE back day.  My back is one of my most favorite muscle groups to work.  I love how strong your back can be.  Your back is a large muscle group and pretty much your stability.  If you want a stronger core, build your back.  If you want a smaller waist line, yep you guessed it, grow your back.

Many years ago I had lower back problems.  2 things helped, improving my core, and strengthening my back.  Your abdominal muscles consists of more than your belly region.  Improving back strength helps make your abs stronger.

A great back workout will target your upper back and lower back.

I am working to grow muscle so I work with heavy weights and lower reps.  However, you can also do lower weight and more reps to start strengthening your back.

Today’s workout:

Warm – up – Wide Grip pull-ups (10) assisted

StraightLeg Deadlifts, not only is this a hamstring exercise but it effectively works the back too.  Try 3 sets of 10-12.

T-bar – 3 sets of 10 (heavy – you can do it)

Bent over row – 3 sets of 10

Close Grip Seated Pulldown/Wide Grip Seated Pulldown – complete this as a super set (no rest in between sets) 3 sets of 10 – The last set you will feel that back WORK!

High Row – 3 sets of 10

Bicep curls – 3 sets of 10

Cable Rope Curls – 3 sets of 10

Preacher curls – 3 sets of 10

Shoulder Shrugs – 3 sets of 10

Back extension – 3 sets of 10 – hold a weight and this will build extra strength, although just your body weight here will strengthen your lower back.

A workout would not be complete without some core.  I like oblique exercises so here are a few.

First I wanted to add a side plank with a single arm row.  This works balance, core, and back.  I mean 3 for the price of 1.  Add a BOSU for an added challenge.  Try for 3 sets of 10 on each side without any rest in between.

Here is an oblique crunch.  The weight is optional, and don’t worry if you do not feel these right away.  You will tomorrow.  You want to get both sides so try 10 on your right and then 10 on your left for a total of 3 times.

These exercise will grow your back. A sexy back will grow confidence and strength. Try it out and let me know what you think!  Have fun!