Workout Diaries #5 | Ropes, Worms, and WTFs

Here’s a new workout for you to spice up your week!  You will need:  battle ropes and a kettle bell (KB).  I learned to use the battle ropes when I worked out with my brother in law, who is a specialist in battle ropes.  If you don’t have these necessities, find a fitness center that does or you can purchase the items on Amazon for reasonable cost.  We own 2″ battle ropes, but I find the 1.5″ ropes at the gym much easier to hold and manipulate during the workout.  You’ll get a great cardio workout while working your upper body!

Start with jogging or running for 20-30 minutes, either outdoors or inside on a treadmill.  Get your heart rate to 70-75% max (220 minus your age=your max), which for me is around 140-145.  Today, I ran at a 7.0-8.0 pace for 30 minutes with an HR of 140-150.  Run at whatever pace brings your heart rate to 70-75% of your max to get warmed up and start sweating.

Just start running and make sure you sweat.

And now we begin……

                                The real work!

4 Rounds

20 KB swings (35#)

40 Walking Lunges (20 each side)

5 Walk to Floors (WTF)

5 Worms

Battle Ropes (BR) Alternating Wave, normal grip, 30 seconds

BR Alternating Wave, reverse grip, 30 seconds

BR Big Wave, 30 seconds

40 Walking Lunges (20 each side)

Tired yet?  Do it again 3 more times for a total of 4 rounds

Don’t know how to do some of these exercises?  Don’t worry!  I demonstrated a few of the lesser kn0wn movements for you here:  the KB swing, the WTF, the worm, and the BR movements.  Just click on the link for a pop up video.

KB:  KB swings

WTF and Worm:  WTF (Walk to Floor)

                                 Worm

Battle Ropes:  Small alternating waves normal grip, small alternating waves reverse grip, big wave smackdowns.  Do each exercise for 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off.

                                Battle Ropes

That’s all for today from this Fort Lauderdale mom, folks.  Well, kind of.  Have you tried Madison Reed hair color?  You should.  I did last week.  LOVE. IT.  The backstory:  I typically highlighted my own roots at home because I don’t have the patience to visit a salon every 2 weeks.  The nasty chemical toxins in hair colors are horrifying, but it’s nearly impossible to find a healthier hair color option…..until now.  I heard about Madison Reed recently and decided to give it a try!

SO GLAD I DID.  From the moment I purchased my first hair color, Madison Reed was a seamless customer experience.  Their product arrived SO perfectly packaged that I was reminded of Steve Jobs and his perfectionistic Apple packaging.  The box arrived filled with goodies just for me!

What I LOVE about Madison Reed:

  1.  Healthy!  No chemicals.  No parabens.  Nothing bad being placed ever so close to my brain.
  2. No damage!  My hair feels (and smells) wonderful after using Madison Reed.  It’s not going to look fried later.
  3. It arrives dependably every 2 weeks!  I get an email telling me that my Madison Reed hair color (ANCONA!) is on the way, and sure enough it is.  I receive it just in time to cover my silver roots.
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Madison Reed Ancona

  1. Excellent customer service.  Madison Reed must be full of fabulous people because they act like they want my business.  I like that!  In fact, I tweeted out my response to my first Madison Reed hair color experience, and her his what I got back.  Good people.

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That really IS all for today.  Ciao for now!

This Exercise Will Amplify Any Workout | The Bear Complex

This exercise is called The Bear Complex, and you can add this to almost any workout to amp things up.  If you do CrossFit, you don’t need this post, but most people don’ know how to do this movement.  The Bear Complex is the perfect fundamental movement  to amplify the effect of the other exercises (squats, deadlifts, lunges, etc).  You can use it in between sets, as part of your set, or as a movement you do in between cardio segments.  I usually do 5 reps of The Bear Complex at the beginning of a set to get a full body workout.

Keep in mind that 1 rep involves 6 movements:  deadlift, hang power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, push press.  Five reps of this is much harder than it sounds!

You will need a straight bar or a typical weight rig (bar and plates).  I use a 50-60 pounds straight bar depending on how I’m feeling and what the workout involves.  Rather than explain the movement, I have a quick video demo for you here.  Remember to keep your knees soft (not locked) during the deadlift portion.  Roll your shoulders during the hang power clean.  Keep your elbows pointing down to the floor, and focus on making the movement fluid.

 

 

There you have it!  You can throw this into almost any workout.  They’re like colorful sprinkles on the cake of fitness.  Throw them anywhere and everywhere, as often as you can to spice things up.  Everything you do will be more challenging after 5-10 reps of Bear Complex movements.

Try this workout sometime-use the same bar for all movements unless you want to go heavier on deadlifts.  If so, grab a heavier bar and use two bars for the workout.  I like to go lighter and move faster, but some folks prefer heavier, slower movements.

5 Rounds

5 Bear Complex

20 Back Squats

20 Front lunges 

20 Deadlifts

You’re welcome.

That’s all for today, folks.  The Bear Complex is a complex, functional movement you can all do!  Grab 20 pounds to begin if needed.  Do 2 reps if that’s all you can do.  Two is better than one!  Good luck.  Now go win the day!  Ciao!

Workout Diaries #3 | How to Get a Better Butt

Here is a another 20/20/20 workout for those of you who want a 1)better workout and a 2)tighter, firmer butt.  This is the same 20/20/20 format I described in my last post (Workout Diaries #2) wherein you begin with 20 minutes on the treadmill, continue to the resistance training portion for 20 minutes, and end with 20 minutes on the stairs.  Last time, we used the med ball for the middle portion of the workout.  This time, you’ll grab a straight bar instead.  So, here you go.

Start with 20 minutes of jogging on the treadmill.  You can pick your speed while remembering that the goal is to warm up and start sweating.  I usually run at a 7.0-7.5 pace during this 20 minute interval.

Run, jog, or do springs for 20 minutes. I run about 2.5 miles to warm up and get myself motivated.

Once you finish, get a straight bar weighing between 20 and 60 pounds.  I usually pick 60 pounds for a great workout, though some friends would laugh at my “light” weight here.  Pick what works for you!

You will do approximately 5 rounds of the following, or whatever you can do in 20 minutes.  Work fast and don’t take a break-the mountain climbers are your “rest.”  Yes, for real.

Don’t panic if you don’t know how to do these moves!  I included a quick video demonstration to illustrate these lifts.  If you are a beginner, pick a very light weight to begin while learning the movement.

  1.  10 Thrusters
  2. 30 Mountain Climbers
  3. 20 Deadlifts
  4. 20 Front Rack Lunges

I demonstrated these movements in two videos below:

Thruster Workout (mountain climbers, and deadlifts)

Front Rack Lunges

Your glutes will be burning on these lunges!  Once the 20 minute mark hits, drop the weight and go to the stairs.  You can step for 20 minutes around Level 7-10 depending on level of fatigue.  If you don’t have access to a stair mill, you can row, cycle, or even jog again.  The goal is to sweat while being able to hold a conversation.

That’s all for today, folks.  You’ll feel these lunges tomorrow-you’re welcome.  If you don’t, increase your weight next time.  Have you heard of Instacart?  If not, you should check it out.  LIFESAVER.  I grocery shop on my phone and have my groceries delivered to the front door.  No joke.  It saves me thousands of minutes and gallons of gas in the long haul!  CIAO for now.  Next time, I’ll show you the Bear Complex.

 

The 20/20/20 Medicine Ball Workout | Workout Diaries #2

For those of us who work out on a regular basis, it can get……well, boring.  I constantly change my routine to stay motivated!  Here is a workout that I do almost every week on my own at the gym. The 20/20/20 routine consists of 20 minutes treadmill, 20 minute WOD, and 20 minute steady state cardio on the stairmill.  For the WOD portion, you need a medicine ball of any weight that you choose.  I use the 15.4 lb ball, which makes for a good workout.

20 minute Run/Jog/Intervals

Run, jog, or do springs for 20 minutes. I run about 2.5 miles to warm up and get myself motivated.

Run, jog, or do springs for 20 minutes. I run about 2.5 miles to warm up and get myself motivated.

Continue reading “The 20/20/20 Medicine Ball Workout | Workout Diaries #2” »

At the Beach with No Equipment | Workout Diaries #1

Do you ever feel bored with your workouts, or unmotivated to workout at all?  You’re not alone.  Here is an amazing workout that I do every weekend to combat the monotony of routine.  It’s a combination of plyometrics, calisthenics, and running that you can do almost anywhere.  I like to get outside on the weekends, especially when the weather is beautiful.  Find a park with a bench or some sort of ledge and you’re golden.

  • 2 mile run Buy In

5 Rounds

  1. 20 ledge jumps
  2. 30 air squats (really flattering movement here.  Maybe we should rename these Pop a Squats)
  3. 15 tricep dips
  4. 20 step ups to 3ft ledge (10 each leg)

Here’s what that looks like in a nutshell…..

…..if only 5 rounds went this fast!  Don’t stop.  Pick yourself up and complete the workout with a 2 mile run.

  • 2 mile run Buy Out

At the end of the workout, you’ve run 4 miles and done 100 ledge jumps, 150 air squats, 75 tricep dips, and 100 step ups.  You can replace the 4 mile run with a shorter run or even a fast paced walk if you are working up to a run.  You can also start with 1-2 rounds of this workout and work your way up to 5 rounds.

I’ll post more workouts each weekend!

Yours in Health,

Maverick

outdoor-workout

 

 

Exercise, Movement, and Learning

Here is one of my most favorite studies of all time.  The Naperville study demonstrates the powerful connection between movement and learning.  I originally wrote this article on the Naperville study on January 2, 2010, and I am republishing this content because it is so important.  Enjoy!

Exercise and the Brain

If you’re involved at your child’s school, you may want to print this one out and take it to your next parent meeting to support the inclusion of effective Physical Education in schools.  School administrators need to read the astounding body of research surrounding the connection between exercise and learning…..and remove the coke machines, but that’s another article. Continue reading “Exercise, Movement, and Learning” »

The Garage WOD

This summer, it was nearly impossible to work out.  Savanna was out of school, and Mike works out early in the morning before work.  I was consumed with entertaining and carpooling my child on the weeks that she was not enrolled in a camp.

I also came down with a sudden case of plantar fasciitis.  If you’ve never had it, consider yourself lucky.  It’s a miserable problem to have, and it never seems to go away.  Goodbye to the convenience of running!

What’s a girl to do?!  With the time constraints at hand and a chronic foot injury, working out became a real challenge.  Exercise is my behavioral medicine, so I had to figure something out for the summer.  It had to be time efficient, convenient, and most of all…..effective.  Exercise is Medicine

The end result is this hellacious workout.  I did this “Garage WOD” every other day, and it was tougher than anything I normally do at the gym.  Burpees became no big deal after several weeks, and I could hang with the best in a burpee WOD……100 burpees for time?  No problem.  I basically kicked my own ass in my own garage on my own time. Continue reading “The Garage WOD” »

EmWave™ | The Best Health Technology on the Face of the Planet

Do you ever wish that you could enter “the flow” or the “athlete zone?”  You probably already know this, but the flow is that magical place where you lose time and activity becomes effortless.  What would it be like to live in that zone?  If you could train yourself to get into the flow and stay there all day long, what would your life look like?  What would you be able to do that you never thought possible?

You CAN do that.  There is a cutting edge piece of technology available to you today that can help you train yourself to enter the zone.  Are you familiar with the EmWave™?  If not, you will be in a few minutes.  Read on, my friend.

Continue reading “EmWave™ | The Best Health Technology on the Face of the Planet” »

Your Neurotransmitters and Brain Health | Serotonin and Dopamine

We hear about neurotransmitters and SSRIs on a daily basis, but what are they, exactly?  SSRI is an abbreviation for serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor.  Whatever.  It basically means that the medication you’re taking is going to increase the serotonin levels in your brain.  For some people, this is a good thing because they’re running a little low on that precious neurotransmitter.  This happens for a variety of reasons.  Some people are genetically wired for a little less serotonin to begin with (not fair, but you can work through it), and other people run low due to chronic stress, medications, poor diet, poor sleep quality, and even low vitamin B levels (because Vitamin B is necessary for synthesizing serotonin).
Neurotransmitters are important in our brain because higher amounts of them speed up, slow down, and intensify or decrease the intensity of a message being sent within your brain.  Some of the most important are not only serotonin, but dopamine and GABA, too.MM Button Continue reading “Your Neurotransmitters and Brain Health | Serotonin and Dopamine” »

Should You Take Fat Burners?

Nope.

Fat burners may help you lose a few pounds in the beginning, but they usually lead to adrenal fatigue.  This means that your cortisol levels will be chronically elevated, causing you to feel exhausted and wired most of the time.

20020520_Runner_treadmill-350x325

Elevated cortisol levels eventually lead to decreased immune functioning, salt cravings, increased appetite, and more abdominal fat.  This basically means that you’ll be wearing two pairs of Spanx, fighting a cold, and eating Baked Lays while wondering why those fat burners aren’t working anymore. Continue reading “Should You Take Fat Burners?” »