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Fitness Friday : Two New 30 Minute Strength Workouts

By popular demand! It’s been a while since I updated my Ways To Move page so I decided to incorporate these workouts into the usual Fitness Friday post.

The following workouts are shorter than my usual ones – 30-40 minutes. For those days when you’re cramped on time but still want to get a decent strength sesh in. Especially important during all the busyness of the holiday season! The first workout is meant to be performed at a gym, but the second one you can do anywhere. So now you really have no excuses to skipping out on the strength training ;)

 

30 Min Full-Body Weight Lifting Workout

Alternating Sets – perform three times through

Push-ups  15 reps n/a Chest, front of shoulders
Bench dip  15 reps n/a Triceps
Kettlebell swings 20 reps 15-20 lbs Quads, glutes, inner thigh, back of shoulders

*If you can’t do toe push-ups, instead of doing them on your knees, do them on an incline off a bench or Smith machine. This mimics a full push-up more and better prepares you to do them off the floor.

 

Alternating Sets – perform three times through

Wall squat with hammer curl 15 reps 8-15 lb dumbbells Quads, glutes, biceps
Walking lunge with alternating shoulder press 20-30 reps 8-15 lb dumbbells Quads, hips, glutes, shoulders

*When doing the lunges, step forward with one foot, and press the opposite arm above your head as you lunge. This is to help keep your balance. Doing the same side at the same time may cause you to fall over! Remember not to rest your foot between lunges, keep moving forward.

 

Alternating Sets – perform three times through

Back extension on ball 15 reps n/a Lower back, glutes
Sit ups on ball 20 reps 0-15 lbs Abs

*When doing the back extension, think about squeezing your butt every time you lift up. It will take some of the pressure off your lower back and get your glutes working.

 

Alternating Sets – perform three times through

Hamstring curl on ball  15-20 reps n/a Hamstrings, calves
Prone jackknife  15-20 reps n/a Abs, shoulders

*If the hamstring curls are too easy, try lifting one foot off the ball and pulling in using only the other foot. MUCH harder!

 

30 Minute Living Room Workout

This is based off a workout I designed for my sister a while back. She’s in good shape and said it was brutal. Mission accomplished!

This chart is colour coded into mini-circuits. Perform exercises of the same colour one after another three times through, then move on to the next colour coded set. Once you finish the whole thing, start from the top! You should be able to get through the whole thing two times in 30-40 minutes with no breaks. Or you can just keep doing it until you’re blue in the face ;)

 

Jumping Jacks 30 sec Cardio
Speed skaters 30 sec Cardio, Back, Glutes
Jump squats 30 sec Cardio, Quads, Glutes
Mountain Climbers 30 sec Cardio, Back, Shoulders
Wall sit 60 sec Quads, glutes
Wide pushups 15 Chest, front of shoulder
Narrow pushups 15 Chest, triceps
Lunge jumps 30 sec Cardio, Quads, hips, glutes
Plank ups  60 sec Abs, shoulders, chest
Swimming 30 sec Back, glutes
Roll up 15 Abs

My only tip for this workout is to blare some motivating music and have fun working up a sweat in your living room!

 

As for my workout today, I walked all around my hometown with my mom. Fresh, non-polluted air. Empty space. Grass. It’s good to be back :) Happy weekend friends! xo

Strength Training at Home

Personal training classes are officially done!!

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All I have left are my written and practical exams. Written exam will be multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank on April 16. Practical exam will be sometime after that. I’ll have to design an hour-long program and guide someone through it while being observed by my PRO trainer. Eek! I feel like I could use a lot of practice on spotting and explaining things properly. Hopefully I’ll be able to practice on a few people I know before then.

Alarm went off at 6am today, which is mega-lame for a Sunday. I did however make that hot breakfast I promised ;)

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A sweet omelette Ellie style. One cup egg whites, mixed with 1 scoop vanilla protein powder and cinnamon. Fried and filled with mixed frozen berries and almond butter.

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Topped with sugar-free syrup because it just felt right. Good times y’all. This will definitely get a remake!!

No pictures of snacks today. I need a break from my boiled egg photos. For our last personal training class, we just went over some of the business aspects. I have no idea where I’ll be training. I was all gung-ho on a Goodlife Fitness gym, but the feedback I’m hearing on it isn’t that great. Of course, I’ll take whatever I can get when I’m in Toronto, but it would be neat to try something different like boot camps or work on wellness stuff in offices. Of course, writing my little heart out too! ;)

Oh, also notable, I got lost on my way home. I missed the turn-off to my city and ended up on the road to the U.S. border (to Maine). Oops! I managed to get turned around pretty quickly, but there were definitely a few panicked moments and cuss words thrown about.

Dinner was whipped up in 10 minutes, and I was sitting down to eat by 5pm!

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Tofu pan-fried in sesame oil and Bragg’s, with a whack of Europe’s Best Imperial Blend. It’s got edamame, water chestnut, snap peas, mushrooms, bell peppers, carrots and bamboo shoots.

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All topped with Diana’s teriyaki sauce and black sesame seeds. The bamboo shoots almost remind me of pineapple in both texture and taste. Or, from what I remember of pineapple, since it makes me sick!

Requisite after-dinner chocolate…

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President’s Choice European extra-dark. It’s alright. I think it’s 85% which is a touch too dark for me, 70-75% seems to be what my tastebuds like best.

 

Strength Training at Home

M. Said:

Could you do a post on this pretty please?….

if one was going to buy a few workout items for home (cheap hopefully!)

what kind of free weights do you recommend and at what weights/how many?

what else-a balance ball?

Would be awesome to know if one could use above items to cover strength training(and abs) at HOME,cause I can’t afford a gym…

Would be SUPER GRATEFUL for a post with advice/tips/what to do!

Thanks if possible.I would be happy if I knew I could get enough strength training in for all body parts at home somehow with free weights….

Merci!

Ask, and you shall receive!

You actually don’t need much to get in a decent strength training workout at home. All you really need is your body! Think about it, our bodies are 100+ lbs of weight to throw around, that sounds like a pretty hardcore workout to me ;)

I did a post on bodyweight exercises waybackwhen, but I see some of the pictures and links in it have expired. To recap, some awesome equipment-free things to do include:

Squats
Lunges
Squat jumps
Lunge jumps
Push-ups
Dips
Planks
Burpees
Mountain climbers
Jumping jacks

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! There are a million variations of those moves, and the great thing is they’re not only resistance training, but will also keep your heart rate up.

Now, as for specific equipment, you will need a mat. Especially for floor exercises. Carpet can be really uncomfortable when you have to kneel on it. Not to mention the fibres get stuck on you when you’re rolling around on the floor sweaty :\

As for weights, these Bowflex adjustable dumbbells are my dream item:


But, they can also cost almost $500. Something that’s a little more affordable would be closer to this weight set.


You can usually find these for under or close to $100. They’re kind of flimsy, but you get a barbell that adjusts into two dumbbells and over 100 lbs of weight.

If that’s not up your alley, then 5, 10, 15 & 20 lb dumbbells should be a good starting point. That’s enough for most women, or newbie men (although 30 lbs + would be required for intermediate men). Most exercises that require a barbell can be adjusted for dumbbells, and that’s always an additional investment you can make further down the road if you want to.

If you’re lifting weight, a bench is also something to consider.

This could run you another $100, reeeeally nice to have, but not necessary. As mentioned, a ball can be subbed in for many of the exercises you would need a bench for.

  
I also can’t forget tubing/resistance bands.

You can buy tubing in a variety of widths, all at a different resistance. There are a gazillion exercises you can do with tubing. Everything from the seated row seen here, to shoulder presses, bicep curls, donkey kicks. etc. I don’t personally use bands a lot, just because I prefer adding load in the form of actual weight. But these bands work your muscles just as well, and you will be sore the next day! Google can give you better exercises than I can, a quick search led me to this page full of fun animated demonstrations. I just have to stress, that when using bands it’s all about FORM. Don’t let the bands own you, keep it a nice and controlled movement, otherwise you could pull something and do unintentional injury!

Question of the Day: Any at-home strength training items you think are a must? As mentioned, I’m a strong believer that all one needs is their body, imagination, and a sense of humour ;)

You made it!!!

Welcome to my new blog!!! I was hoping to have a little more content up for the big reveal. But I guess my life is just busier than I thought (okay, okay, and I procrastinated). Feel free to peruse what I do have, I’ll be letting you know as new stuff goes up :)

So first, let’s talk about what you can expect to see on here. I’ll still be doing my usual food pictures and yammering, but maybe just not so much of it. I will be writing more “topical” posts about things that are relevant to the health, food and fitness world. I’ll be sticking to my one post a day format as well.

So what is “The Great Balancing Act?” It’s the everyday challenge we face of sticking to our commitments with work, family, friends, while maintaining the healthiest lives we can. It’s getting up 30 minutes earlier to squeeze in a workout. It’s taking the extra 10 minutes to make a sandwich to bring to work instead of buying one. It’s knowing that if I eat tons of potato chips and a huge slice of pie, that I will still get up tomorrow and eat the best foods I can.

So this little blog is all about being the best we can to ourselves, while balancing it out with the rest of life.

But I won’t mind if we get a little side-tracked along the way ;)

Since I’m technically writing two posts today, this will be short. I want to share some fun stuff that happened today! First, I got up early to go on another great run. My new running sneakers are little miracle workers I tell ya!

Duration: 30:13
Distance: 3 miles
Max HR: 177
Avg HR: 166

I want to share this for two reasons. First, that is a freakin’ fast run for me! Especially since I’m still only easing back into it.

Second, check out those heart rate stats! I was aware that my ticker was pumping away at 177, and I actually felt okay running through it. I think my triathlon training put me in much better cardiovascular shape. Back in January, I would have died on a 166 bpm run, and now it feels like a good sweaty challenge!

The down side? I’m weak as hell. I’m still sore from the C+K challenge 15 minute strength workout I did on Sunday!

New goal: Keep improving my cardiovascular fitness, adding both speed and distance to my cycling and running workouts, while improving my strength.
How: Running twice a week, cycling twice a week, two strength workouts a week (including one full session dedicated to only heavy lifting).

I see a lot of huffing and puffing and soreness in my future :P

Okay, eats time!

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I am l-o-v-i-n these instant oats.

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I mixed one packet with 1 cup water, 1 tbsp soy protein powder, half a banana and one heaping tablespoon peanut butter. I urge all you stove-top snobs to give this stuff a try (if you’re in Canada). It makes for the perfect quick, post-run fuel :)

Tonight’s dinner featured fresh trout. I stopped buying fresh fish because it is so expensive, but I found a huge filet on sale for $3.50!

I put maple syrup, balsamic vinegar and crushed pecans on top, and wrapped it in tinfoil with some eggplant. Baking at 425 F for about 15-20 minutes.

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I had frozen veggies on the side with some Classico roasted garlic tomato sauce (also on sale!). It was a YUM dinner. I still have half the filet left!

 
Don’t forget to update all your readers and blogrolls with the new address! My blogroll is a work in progress, I still have more to add, so drop me a line if you want your piece of the internet on there too :)

Coming up on the blog: Packing healthy lunches for work

Thanks for stopping by my new home! I’m SO excited to be embarking on this new journey! Thanks for coming along for the ride! :D

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