Will Toned Legs Ever Rule the World?

This whole thigh gap thing has me perplexed. Since when is it “hot” to look emaciated? Go ahead and starve yourself and spend countless hours wasting away on the treadmill so that you can have the “thigh gap” look if that’s what you want…….
But us here at Brave Angel are going to stick with focusing on our health & wellbeing, hard work, determination, and the shorter & more enjoyable workouts that leave you feeling fulfilled, accomplished, energized & strong…and with super trim & very toned legs!

How to get super cut and toned legs for bikini season:

  1. Fuel your body with the necessary amount of calories, no starving & no binging!
  2. Follow a macro-balanced whole foods diet
  3. Exercise 4-5 days per week for at least 30-45 minutes
  4. Be consistent with #1, #2, and #3 above, consistency is key!
  5. Include below leg exercises in part of your weekly routine

Obviously, it is a little more involved than the five steps above. But each action mentioned above is a whole post in and of itself. Steps #1, #2 & #3 will be included in a complete bikini season exercise & diet plan that we are currently putting together for all of you! I will be posting the plan soon, here on my blog, for all of my followers. So stay tuned (and make sure you click “follow” on my blog)!

Until then, get active! Include the below trim & toned legs workout to uncover those sleek and sculpted legs that lie underneath any extra layers of excess weight you may have accumulated over the winter months!

Super Cut & Toned Legs Workout:

Strength: Do 2-3 rounds of the 10 exercises below w/minimal rest in between.

  1. Walking Lunges (10 reps/leg)
  2. Alternating Hip Lift Bridge [30 pulses total]
  3. Jump Squats [10 reps]
  4. Split Squats [10 reps/leg]
  5. Elevated 1-Leg Hip Lift [10 reps/leg]
  6. Fire Hydrant Side Kicks [20 reps/leg]
  7. Pike Jumps [20 jumps]
  8. Step Ups [10 reps/leg]
  9. Lunge Jumps [20 switch jumps]
  10. Plank Jacks [30 reps]

 

 

 

Cardio: Now hop on the treadmill or stair climber and do the following interval workout for eight minutes.

  • 10 seconds at a Moderately Challenging Pace (Active Rest Interval)
  • 20 seconds at your Max Pace (High Intensity Interval)
  • Alternate between the Active Rest Interval and High Intensity Interval for 8 minutes

Now cool down and congratulate yourself on completing a challenging workout. You’re one step closer to achieving your fitness goals!

Yours Truly,

Brave Angel

W.O.W. Week 2 – RawFitnessChallenge!

Time for a new W.O.W. (workout of the week)!
This week we will be doing a ‘Time & Rep Challenge’. Again, focus on form first, endurance & strength will follow as you improve in fitness. You will perform the below exercises in a circuit fashion, perform the given # of reps for each move, then move onto the next move until you finish the whole circuit. Then do a 2nd and/or 3rd round. Your goal is to see how many rounds you can complete in 30 – 45 minutes. You choose the how long you want to push yourself for. If you’re a beginner, aim for 20-30 minutes. If you’re advanced, go for the whole 45 minutes. Or you can even up the intensity and just do 30 minutes! It’s up to you and your goals!

‘Time & Rep Challenge’: Warm up for 5 – 10 minutes.

  1. Split Squats 30R/Leg
  2. Pike Press 30R
  3. Donkey Kicks 50R/Leg
  4. Dips (Off chair, Dip station, 1-Leg, you choose) 40R
  5. 1-Leg Deadlifts 20R/Leg
  6. Reptile Push Up 10R
  7. Plie Squat Pulse 40R
  8. Bicycle 30R (2 twists = 1Rep)
  9. Double Straight Leg Circles 10R/Way (Lie w/back on ground for beginners)
  10. Toe Touches 30R

Cardio: Do 10-20 minutes of high intensity intervals on treadmill, elliptical, arc trainer, outdoor jog, bicycle, spin bike, etc.

  • Do 30 seconds at a 6-out-of-10 exertion level. (Active Recovery Interval)
  • Do 30 seconds at a 8/9-out-of-10 exertion level. (Effort Interval)
  • Alternate between these two exertion levels for 10-20 minutes.

Cool Down and pat yourself on the back! Good Work!

Click on the exercise to be taken to a youtube video showing the exercise move if you aren’t familiar with what the exercise is. Make sure to have a nice big bottle of water nearby and write down how many reps, the weight you use, and how many rounds you get done. Then post your results on our 30 Day RawFitnessChallenge Facebook Page! Keep a journal of your workout results so you can track your progress!

M.O.W. (Meal of the Week): Perfect light meal that you can cook up on the grill! Sweet potato rounds are my ‘go-to’ when I’m hitting upGrilled Sweet Potatoes with Maple Vinaigrette a cookout. Everyone is throwing on their greasy, artery clogging burgers and hot dogs…meanwhile my sweet potato rounds are grillin’ up and are absolutely satisfying and tasty! Serve w/a side of raw vegan zucchini pasta that you can make ahead of time and bring with you to your cookouts. All the other guests will be jealous of your yummy plate of food!

 Raw vegan Zucchini pasta Raw Vegan Zucchini Pasta

Grilled Sweet Potato Rounds

 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. What I write in my blogposts is simply information that I have gathered over the years from reading and researching several health related topics from credible resources as well as personal experiences. I urge you to consult with a physician before changing your diet. The purpose of my blogposts are to share my experiences and fitness knowledge with everyone I possibly can to help others in their journey to improve their state of well-being.

30 Day Raw Fitness Challenge – Exercise Guidelines & W.O.W.

Here we go people! 30 Days to Re-Vamp Your Health!
So, I was hoping to get this post up yesterday, but we experienced ‘hurricane-like’ storms here in my area of Parkville, MD this past Friday. So when I returned from my vacation down at the ocean, I returned to no power, no air conditioning, 93 degrees in my house, all of my refrigerator food warm, and so on…we may not get our power back until FRIDAY which would be 7 whole days. Let’s just say I look pretty fabulous right now…sarcasm… I WILL DO MY BEST TO GET POSTS UP ON RAWFITNESSTV.COM and FACEBOOK to keep this challenge going during this time of challenge due to power outages! I promise:)

BUT!!!!! Let’s get our workout in still. I need your motivation people, in times like this, it’s so easy to find an excuse NOT to get a workout in, but just 10 minutes…start there and see where it goes! So let’s help each other out in this 30 day challenge! The previous post defines the ‘Nutritional Guidelines’ for the 30 day challenge, so please print those out and put on your refrigerator or somewhere you view daily. View ‘Exercise Guidelines’ below.

  1. Log in 3-7 workouts per week on our Get Fit with RawFitnessChick Facebook Page
  2. I will post a Workout of the Week (W.O.W.) on Sunday for you to do throughout the week. Make sure you give your muscles 24 hours to recover and rebuild. So do ‘cardio’ (run, jog, bike, aerobics, zumba, etc) in between strength training days or the W.O.W. days.
  3. If you’re a beginner start with 3 workouts per week as your goal and add 1 additional workout every 1-2 weeks until you reach 5-7 workouts per week. A workout can be as short as 10 minutes. ANYTHING IS BETTER THAN NOTHING. Listen to your body. If you’re exhausted, do something less intense or give your body a break that day. Just try to get at least 3 workouts in per week. And space them out every 1-2 days. Try to get a workout completed at least every 1-2 days.
  4. Have a combination of ‘cardio’ and ‘strength’ workouts. If you are already lean and are looking to build lean muscle mass, your weekly cardio:strength workout ratio will be leaning more towards strength training and less time on the cardio aspect. If you want to shed excess body fat, lose weight, slim and tone up…aim to do 3-5 workouts per week that involve strength training to build or maintain lean muscle, and aim to do 3-7 workouts that involve cardio every week. I usually combine my strength and cardio into one workout, I complete my strength training first…then hop on the ‘arc trainer’ or ‘elliptical’ for 20 minutes of ‘cardio intervals’ (30 seconds of all-out-effort, 30 seconds of active recovery). Great way to blast fat & increase your metabolism!
  5. If you’re intermediate-advanced. Don’t workout more than 60 minutes at-a-time. WHY??? Because when you workout more than 60 minutes, your body will begin to produce cortisol because it is ‘stressed’. Cortisol is a hormone linked to belly fat. You can get in a great workout in 60 minutes or less, trust me! If you aren’t seeing results from your workouts, don’t increase the duration of your workouts, increase the intensity and take a look at your diet. No matter how hard you workout, if your diet isn’t on track, then you’ll have extreme difficulty achieving your fitness goals.
  6. If you’re pressed for time or just plain tired and don’t have the motivation. Get up and do at least 10 minutes of exercise for me! I don’t care what your excuse is…everyone has 10 minutes to spare! And if all you’ve got is 10 minutes, just increase the intensity and give it your all for that 10 minutes…then get on with your day!
  7. AGAIN…POST YOUR WORKOUTS ON THE GET FIT WITH RAWFITNESSCHICK FACEBOOK PAGE!
    1. Do the W.O.W. that I post or your own workout.
    2. If you have the time, try to post what you did for your workout on the Facebook Page to help give others ideas and motivation!
    3. Also, post your workouts on your twitter account and use hashtag #rawfitnesschallenge if you wish to:)

Workout of the Week: W.O.W.

“Building a Foundation” – This workout will use basic body weight moves, strengthening and toning moves, and incorporate a cardio-endurance aspect. Beginner’s, listen to your body, take your time, and just do your best, shoot for 1-2 rounds and if you get through 3 rounds, WAY TO GO! Intermediate & Advanced – aim to do 2-3 rounds and use alternative or less intense moves when necessary. EVERYONE, I want you to focus on form over ‘just getting through it’. Our goal is to build a foundation of strength and endurance. Push yourself, but when you lose form…that means you hit your max for that move. Take a breather and move on!

Circuit: Perform 1-3 rounds. Do each ‘move’ for no more than 50 seconds. Take a quick 10 second break and move onto the next move immediately. Therefore you will spend 1 minute on each move, including rest. If you perform 3 whole rounds, it will be about a 30 minute workout. I have give you ‘goals’ to hit in terms of # of reps for each exercise. Try to get as many reps per exercise in that 50 seconds. Use a stopwatch or interval timer app on your phone. Perform 1 round straight through, take a quick breather, and perform a second and third round if you can. Remember form is the priority as well as listening to your body.

  1. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips (Perform high knees while jumping rope/or just high knees if you don’t have a jump rope)
  2. 15 Reps Push Ups (Advanced: Feet elevated on chair; Intermediate: On toes; Beginner’s: On knees)
  3. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  4. 50 Reps Jump Squat (Sit down into a squat with feet shoulder width apart, tap floor, power up and jump up)
  5. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  6. 100 Mountain Climbers (Get into a push up position, tuck one knee into chest, hop/switch feet, 1 hop = 1 rep)
  7. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  8. 30-40 Reps Dips off a Chair
  9. 100 High Knee Jump Rope Skips
  10. 50 Reps Plank Jacks (Get into plank position on your elbows and toes, jump feet out and together similar to motion you do with feet when doing jumping jacks, 1 hop out and together = 1 rep)

Click on the exercise to be taken to a youtube video showing the exercise move if you aren’t familiar with what the exercise is. Make sure to have a nice big bottle of water nearby and write down how many reps you get per exercise and how many rounds you get done. Then post your results on our 30 Day RawFitnessChallenge Facebook Page! Keep a journal of your workout results so you can track your progress!

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist or a doctor. What I write in my blogposts is simply information that I have gathered over the years from reading and researching several health related topics from credible resources as well as personal experiences. I urge you to consult with a physician before changing your diet. The purpose of my blogposts are to share my experiences and fitness knowledge with everyone I possibly can to help others in their journey to improve their state of well-being.

Tushy Toner & Strawberry Orange Mint Cream Smoothie

I tested out a recipe last night, there are some tweaks that I’ll have to make but it is actually a perfect light energy snack to have on hand during this heat wave we are experiencing here in Baltimore. It’s called socca bread and is made from chickpea flour/water/salt and what ever flavoring (sweet or savory) that you add to it is up to you. Chickpea flour is just finely ground up chickpeas (that have been soaked/sprouted/or not soaked/sprouted, this is your preference and I’ll be experimenting with the two options). So I had a ton of leftover cooked chickpea that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I used them. The original recipe for socca bread does not involve cooked chickpea, it is chickpea flour. But I figured, what the hey!
Socca Bread: My ‘Test’ which will need adjustment

  1. 1.5-2C Cooked Chickpeas
  2. 1-2 tsp salt
  3. 1-2 TBSP Agave
  4. 1-2 tsp lemon juice
  5. 1 tsp cinammon
  6. 2 tbsp almond nut cheese
  7. 2-3 tbsp water
  8. 375F for 15-30 minutes in square coconut oiled pan

Place all ingredients in blender of food processor and blend until combined. Then put in a 8X8 baking pan and throw in the oven on 375F for 20-30 minutes. Turned out light, a tad sweet and delish! I will need to tweak though because it crumbles easily and I want it to stay together. Maybe arrowroot powder or something else, I will update you when I figure it out!

On to the workout…

I woke up ready to tear up some legs and core exercises down at a park near my house with my TRX and straight up body weight moves. I tuned my bike up yesterday so I hopped on my bike, brought my backpack with my workout gear (TRX, phone for music, exercise journal, water) and hit the road for a pre-workout quick bike ride which was perfect warm-up, took me about 7 minutes to get to the park.

Then I did the fabulous workout below baking under the warm morning sun.

Tushy Toner Workout:

Do each exercise for given # of reps and sets. Then move onto next exercise. Complete workout one time through or if you’re really feelin’ it that day, go for 2 rounds!

  1. Pistol Squat (10R/Leg; 2 Sets) (Hold out 1 leg straight while you squat all the way down then back up on other leg, I used TRX for a bit of assistance on way back up)
  2. TRX Reverse Lunge (10R/Leg; 3 Sets) (Make TRX into 1 Foot Strap, place foot in foot strap, hop forward on other leg so you about 4 feet away from anchor point, squat down on leg as you reach foot that is in foot strap back OR do same motion resting one foot on stability ball) (OR do a reverse lunge)
  3. TRX Ham Curls (10 Reps; 3 Sets) (Lie on back facing TRX w/both feet in foot straps, raise hips up, curl feet into butt-back out-then lower hips down OR do same motion w/heels on stability ball) (OR Lie on back, place both heels up on edge of chair, raise hips up and down)
  4. TRX Jump Squat (10 Reps; 5 Sets) (Facing TRX holding handles lightly, feet wide and plie/toes point out, squat all the way down then power up and jump up OR do same motion without holding TRX handles)
  5. TRX Knee Tucks (10 Reps; 5 Sets) (Do plank w/feet in TRX foot straps OR on stability ball, from plank you tuck both knees up to chest and back out) (OR do plank and hop both feet up to hands and back out)
  6. Burpee minus push up (10 Reps; 3 Sets) (From standing, squat down, place hands on ground, jump feet out to plank, jump feet back in, stand up/power up/jump up, repeat)
  7. Shoulder Taps Feet Elevated (20 Taps Alternating; 3 Sets) (Get into plank w/feet in TRX foot straps, on a stability ball or elevated on chair, contract core & right arm as you tap right shoulder w/left hand, repeat w/right hand tapping left shoulder, do 20 reps)
  8. V-Up Knee Tuck Reach High (10 Reps; 2 Sets) (Lie on back, hands at sides, raise upper body up and tuck knees up to chest as you come up into V shape w/body and reach hands up to sky, lower back down)
  9. Side Plank Reach Unders (10 Reps/Side; 1 Set) (Get into side plank on left hand w/feet in TRX OR on stability ball OR elevated on chair, take right hand and twist torso as you reach under left side, do 10 Reps/side)
  10. Side Lift Splits (10 Reps/Side; 1 Set) (Lie on Left Side, split legs pressing feet up against a wall, press left hand into ground right under left shoulder and raise hips up off ground and lower back down, do 10 Reps/Side)

Then I biked back home taking a longer route that included a BIG hill, so biking for just a total of 15 minutes but with intensity! DONE! ENJOY!

After my workout I continued to be quite active. Took my pup for a long walk, hit up the organic market for some goodies, played baseball with my boyfriend and then I needed to cool off from the 90 degree heat with a tasty and refreshing Strawberry Orange Mint Cream Smoothie (VEGAN)!

Strawberry Orange Mint Cream:

  1. 8 Frozen Strawberries
  2. 8 Sprigs Fresh Mint
  3. 6 TBSP Fresh Almond Milk
  4. 1/2 Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  5. 1 TBSP Lacuma Powder
  6. 2 Shakes Stevia/Agave/Brown Rice Syrup
  7. 1 TBSP Shredded Coconut
  8. Ice to desired thickness
  9. BLEND!

As you can see, I had already taken a big gulp of the smoothie before taking the picture! It was just too good to wait! Perfect treat to chill off and cool down from one fabulous Sunday!

Health & Happiness,

Nat

Cauliflower-Carrot Patties & No Equipment Bootylicious Workout!

Oh boy did I do an amazing workout today! It’s SO beautiful out here in Baltimore, so instead of hitting the gym I worked out by my pool on my patio. This workout was just with my body weight for the most part, so you can get off the couch and do this workout while you read on to learn about Cauliflower-Carrot Patties! ‘Learn while you Burn’ baby!
Workout:

Part 1: (Strength/Toning) 1-3 Rounds (I did 3 Rounds)

1. 10 Reps/Leg Forward Lunge

2. 10 Reps Plie Jumps (Wide stance, toes point out, sit down into squat and power/jump up)

4. 10 Reps/Leg Reverse Lunge

5. 10 Reps Squat Jumps (Same as plie jumps, but feet are shoulder width apart and toes point straight forward not out)

6. 10 Reps/Leg Step Ups (Step up onto a chair, bench, or even from kneeling down on one knee-up to standing)

7. 10 Reps Side Bridge Lifts – 10 Reps Side Bridge Leg Raises (Right Side) (Lie on right side, on right elbow, right leg bent, left leg straight, raise hip up and down off mat for 10 Reps; then hold hip up (Side Bridge) while you raise left leg up and down 10 Reps)

8. 10 Reps Side Bridge Lifts – 10 Reps Side Bridge Leg Raises (Left Side)

9. 10 Reps/Leg of Elevated 1-Leg Hip Lifts (Lie on back, place feet/heels up on chair or bench, raise left leg straight up, now raise hips/butt all the way up by pressing right heel into edge of chair or bench, lower hips down and up for 10 reps)

10. 20 Reps/Leg Donkey Kicks (Get on all fours, come down onto elbows, flex both feet, now press heel back and up like you are trying to kick a door closed behind you, do 20 Reps w/Right leg than 20 Reps w/Left leg)

11. Perform a Wall-Sit for 100 seconds

Now do #1-11 for a second and third round.

Part 2: Cardio – Do each exercise for 20 sec effort, 10 sec rest interval twice than move onto next exercise. Perform 1-2 rounds of circuit below for a good cardio & fat burn after toning those bootays!

1. Pendulum Hops (Come into an ‘Upside Down V’ or ‘Downward Dog’, bring feet close together, raise one leg out to side, as you lower that leg to center hop other leg out to side, resembles pendulum on clock)

2. Pike Jumps (Come into ‘Upside Down V’ position again on mat, bring both feet to left side of mat, hop feet up and over to right side, keep hopping side-side of mat in upside down V for 20 sec)

3. Squat Thrusts (Come into plank up on hands, feet together, hop feet apart and up toward hands, then hop feet back and together, repeat)

4. V-Up Bicycles (Lie on back, hands behind head, knees up/feet up so legs make right angle, twist torso to bring right elbow to left knee as you extend right leg out and raise upper body up off mat to make V with body, return to start, now bring left elbow to right knee as extend left leg out and raise up, keep alternating)

5. Prisoner High Knees (Standing, hands behind head, do high knees)

6. Kick Ups (Sit on bum, place hands behind you flat on mat, raise one leg up and bum off mat, as you lower raised leg, hop other foot off mat and kick that leg up, alternate and repeat)

7. Plyo-Jacks (Do jumping jacks but reach down to tap ankles when you hop feet out)

8. 1-Leg Hop (Right Leg) (Balance on right leg, squat down on right leg and tap shin, power up and hop up)

9. 1-Leg Hop (Left Leg)

10. Sandbag Rotation Swing (Use KB/Sandbag/or Backpack filled with weight) (Stand in wide stance, hold weight, swing weight down between legs as you bend at waist, swing weight up to chin level as you squeeze your bum/core and bring upper body vertical)

Now on to the recipe!

Cauliflower & Carrot Patty:

  1. 1/2 C Grated Cauliflower
  2. 1/2 C Cooked Mashed Millet
  3. 1/4 C Grated Carrot
  4. 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  5. A few drops Ume Vinegar or use Tamari/Soy sauce
  6. 1 TBSP grated onion or chopped green onion
  7. Dash oregano, basil & 1 TBSP fresh cilantro
  8. Optional: 1 TBSP Vegenaise or substitute vegenaise for 1 TBSP ground roasted pumpkin, sunflower or flax seed OR 1 -2 TBSP mashed chickpeas
  9. 1 – 2 dashes cumin powder
  10. Combine all ingredients and make into patties.
  11. Put 1 -2 TBSP Sunflower oil in pan over medium-high heat. Don’t let oil get so hot it smokes.
  12. Pat a little bit of coconut flour (or any flour you want or have) on your cauliflower cakes (to help them brown).
  13. Throw cauliflower cakes in pan when pan is hot. Cook until browned on both sides.

I served up my cauliflower-carrot patty next to a side of my zucchini pasta! So good!

Health & Happiness, Nat

Insankness – Upper Body Workout – New Video! Tone Up & Slim Down!

It’s time to bring it! This video is RatedRAW, I named it ‘Insankness’ because it is insane and sick…in a good way! Enjoy, as Tony Horton says, “Do your best and forget the rest!”. Health & Happiness, Natty Mac;)

At-Home Work Out Equipment and Home Workout Video!

I love using my TRX® to get a quick workout in. You can do some intense versions of push ups, plank/crunch/pike, back rows, 1-leg squats and lunges…and this is just the start of it. The bundle I bought, which I think was the ‘pro’ bundle, came with a dvd to start me off which helped a lot. From there, I just used my creativity and YouTube to find out about more exercises. I posted a exercise video on this blog a while back, CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO. I jibber jabber in the beginning of the video for a while, but eventually get to the point lol!
Next, my Ultimate Dip Station. You can do way more than dips on this piece! I do hanging leg raises and oblique knee tucks, inverted rows, push ups, dips, use your imagination and have fun with it!

I have plenty of body weight and kettlebell videos on this blog for you to check out to get some good ideas for exercise routines, so make sure to watch some of those videos when you get a chance. BUT, I went ahead and made a NEW VIDEO for you all that includes some body weight exercises as well as exercises using my Dip Station, Sand Bag, Stability Ball, and Resistance Bands. The NEW VIDEO is at the end of this post:).

If you are aiming to get your heart rate up there in the ‘cardio’ zone and increase your metabolism and fat burning capability of your workout, then choose exercises that target large muscle groups and are compound exercises(squats, rows) that hit many muscle groups, those that involve 2 or more joints and large groups of muscle working together in a coordinated movement. Only do 2-3 compound exercises per workout, because they take a lot of energy and tire you out, also do them at the beginning of your workout. End with isolation exercises (involve the movement of a single joint), such as the bicep curl.

Also, you may count reps and sets or do the exercises in an interval format. For example, if you are doing squats, push ups, dips, and rows; you could do 3 sets of 10-15 reps of each exercise (enough resistance for each movement that you’re almost at point of total fatigue by 10-15th rep). Or, you could time yourself while you perform each movement, and try to get in as many reps as possible (with good form) of each exercise during your ‘effort interval’ and have a short period of rest in between, before moving onto the next exercise. You can do the exercises in a circuit format (in which you move from one exercise to the next) and perform a given number of rounds of the circuit. For example, perform each exercise for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest & move to next exercise, do all exercises in circuit for 45 seconds of effort with 15 seconds of rest, back-to-back until finished 1 circuit. Rest for 1-2 minutes at the end of each circuit and perform as many circuits as desired for your goals. I usually pick 10 exercises and do 2-3 circuits.

For my routines, I do reps and sets when I’ll be doing a lower number of reps/exercise because I’m lifting heavier weight that day. On the days in which I’m aiming to get more of a ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ effect, I do timed intervals and use lighter weight in order to get a higher number of reps and obtain a ‘cardio aspect’ to my strength training routine. It is great to change up the format of your routines day-to-day and week-to-week, not only to accomplish muscle confusion, but also to avoid boredom!

Exercise video is below!

Strength & Tone, Cardio All-in-One! Time Challenge – “The 10’s”

Okay I did this workout in exactly 40 minutes. I pushed really hard and gave each and every exercise movement my best, that’s all that counts! I call it “The 10’s” because every exercise you aim to do 10 reps. It is a circuit type workout routine. Good luck!!

Part 1: Upper Body

Do 10 sets of: 10 Mountain Climber Hops + 10 Push ups…(so, you do 10R these 2 exercises 10 times)
(Each time I changed up the type of push ups, I did standard, wide fly and military push ups. Do push ups on your knees if necessary.)

Part 2: Core

Set 1- 10R Russian Twist (I did with feet elevated and with a 20 LB. KB, 1 twist each way = 1 rep) + 10R Lying Leg Raises
Set 2- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Lying Straight-leg Circles in each direction
Set 3- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side Crunch/Side
Set 4- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side-Side Pike Jumps (Start in downward dog position, hop both feet side-side as if you were jumping from one side of yoga mat to other (yoga mat width, not length)
Set 5- 10R Russian Twist + 10R V-Up Toes + Knees (Lying down w/hands overhead, take big breath in and bring hands overhead as you raise your upper body up and legs up straight at same time, reach to toes, than lower down a bit, than reach back up to knees, than lower all the way down to starting position)
Set 6- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Leg Raises
Set 7- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Bicycle Pedal Fwd/10R Bicycle Pedal Bkwd (1 pedal w/each leg = 1 Rep)
Set 8- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Lying Straight Leg Circles/direction
Set 9- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side Crunch/Side
Set 10- 10R Russian Twist + 10R Side-Side Pike Jumps

Part 3: Lower Body

Do 10 Jump Squats before doing each exercise below.
Set 1: 10 Jump Squats + 10 Squat Thrusts (Get into plank position, jump both feet toward hands as you tuck knees to chest, jump feet back out to plank position = 1 rep)
Set 2: 10 Jump Squats + 10 ‘Skaters’/leg (Balance on 1 leg, as you reach forward with hand, squat down on leg you are balancing on and extend other leg backward, I call it doin’ the Apollo Ohno)
Set 3: 10 Jump Squats + 10R Side Lunge Jumps (Squat down on right leg and reach hands to right foot, extend left leg out to left until it is straight. Power up on right leg and hop right leg out to right as you squat down on left leg. One hop on each leg = 1 rep.)
Set 4: 10 Jump Squats + 10R Jump Kicks/leg (‘Karate kid style’ kicks, start by raising left knee hip level as you balance on right leg, jump off right foot as you kick up right leg and land on left foot. Do this 10 times with right leg kick, then 10 with left leg kick.)
Set 5: 10 Jump Squats + 10 (1-Leg) Squat Jumps/leg (Squat down on 1-leg, tap your knee or shin, then power up and hop up.)
Set 6: 10 Jump Squats + 10 Step Ups/leg (Kneel down on right knee on mat, press left heel into floor to raise up to standing, return to kneeling on right knee, do 10 times kneeling on right knee, then 10 times with left.)
Set 7: 10 Jump Squats + 10R Side Chair Step Ups/leg (Place foot on sturdy seat of a chair standing off to side of chair and facing back of chair, press heel into chair to come all the way up to standing on top of chair, return to start, do 10R/leg.)
Set 8: 10 Jump Squats + 10R 1-Leg Hip Lifts (I did these w/my heel on chair, lie on back place right heel on edge of seat of chair, raise left leg straight up toes pointing to ceiling, raise hips up as high as possible reaching left toes to ceiling, do 10 reps/leg.)
Set 9: 10 Jump Squats + 10 1-Leg Squat – Deadlift w/Shin tap/leg (Balance on right leg, extend left leg straight out in front of you, squat down on right leg and reach to left shin, straighten out right leg to standing, then squat on right leg again with left leg bent and tap right knee, return to standing. This = 1 rep. Do 10 reps total per each leg.)
Set 10: 10 Jump Squats + 10 Donkey Kicks w/Lateral Leg Raise/Leg (On all fours on floor, kick right heel back and up until leg fully extended, then keep leg straight as you bring it around to be in line with your hip, than reverse entire movement, this = 1 rep, do 10 reps per leg.

DONE! You made it. Time yourself and challenge yourself to first of all finish the workout, but then time-after-time, finish the workout faster and with the best form possible! Good Work!!

Best, Nat:)

Kettlebell Meltdown, Burn the LBS and Lose the Weight!

So every couple months I take a ‘rest’ week to rejuvenate my body, and everyone should. Your body needs a week to recuperate and recover from the stress and work you put it through week in and week out. When I say ‘rest’ week, this does not mean that I don’t workout. I do less intense workouts and take fun fitness classes like hot yoga, spinning, or zumba of course!! This way I give myself a ‘revival’ period, mentally and physically.
So today’s workout, I must admit…was not quite a ‘rest’ routine. But, I was giving myself a break from my usual 6 mile interval sprint training run which is quite brutal, so in my book this was a ‘rest’ workout from what I would have done today, lol….enjoy!

Check out my previous exercise video posts or YouTube for demonstration on how to perform these exercises.

Complete 4 Rounds of the exercises below as a circuit:
1. Kettlebell Step-Ups (10R/Leg)
2. Kettlebell Clean & Press (10R/Arm)
3. Double Kettlebell Swing (20R)
4. Kettlebell Single Leg Squat (10R/Leg)
5. Jump Rope/Scissor Shuffle/Jumping Jacks/Jump Squats (1 min; last round do 2-3 minutes)

Notes:
*Complete # of reps for each exercise, than move right onto next until you finish all exercises/reps which is one circuit. Take a short 30 seconds break and continue until you complete 4 circuits/rounds.
*Choose a weight heavy enough in which you max out at 10 reps for each exercise.
*Kettlebell Step-Ups- I held a Kettlebell in ‘racked’ position at my shoulder (same leg stepping up) and did step-ups on a chair.
*For #5- I did this workout to some dance music. So for #5 I would do Double Skip Jump Rope until the verse changed, go right into Scissor shuffle until music changed up, and so on. I usually did 10-20 jump squats per round.
*Scissor shuffle – Similar to what you do on a cross country skier machine but you are jumping as you scissor legs.

I was literally dripping sweat at the end of this workout but I really enjoyed it. The Jump Rope/#5 part was fun to do to music and I must admit it was quite a little dance party in my house! Try it out and challenge yourself to do all 4 rounds to burn off those pounds!!


Keep those fitness goals in mind, remember what you’re working out for!!! 🙂

Lower Body Pump it Up!!

Strength Training to start and ending with my version of some cardio kickboxing moves, one of the best ways to get your body into fat burning mode:)Strength Training Circuit
Warm-up: Jump Squats – 15 reps; 2 sets
Circuit: Perform each exercise below for given # of reps, go from one exercise to next until completed all exercises once, this is 1 round. Complete 3 rounds of below exercises.
1. Plie DB/KB Squat (10-12 reps)
2. Squat Clean (10-12 reps)
3. BB Side Split Squat (10-12 reps)
4. 1-Leg KB Racked Squat (10-12 reps/leg)
5. Seated Leg Curls (10-12 reps)
6. Leg Extensions (10-12 reps)
7. Calf Raise (10-12 reps/leg)
—–
Cardio Training (I will post video for the cardio section in next few days) [30 Minutes]
Circuit 1: Do each exercise for 45 seconds of all out effort, then rest for 15 seconds before moving to next exercise. Perform each exercise back-to-back. Do 2 full circuits of below exercises. I put # of reps I did in 45 seconds for each exercise so you know approximately how many reps you should hit.
1. KB Burpee Swing Up (10 reps)
2. DBL KB Front Squat (21 reps)
3. KB Russian Twist (feet elevated) (30 reps)
4. Jumping Jacks (50 reps)
5. Side-Side Pike Jumps (34 reps, 1 rep = 1 jump R + L)

Circuit 2: Do each exercise for 45 seconds of all out effort, then rest for 15 seconds before moving to next exercise. Perform each exercise back-to-back. Do 2 full circuits of below exercises. I put # of reps I did in 45 seconds for each exercise so you know approximately how many reps you should hit.
1. Dynamic Jump Squat Duck Unders (2) + Shuffle Jab L+R (10 reps)
2. Twist Boxer Shuffle (25 reps, 1 rep = 1 jump R+L)
3. Knee-Up Jump Kicks (R) (18-20 reps)
4. Knee-Up Jump Kicks (L) (18-20 reps)
5. Plank Side Jump Tucks (18-20 reps, 1 rep = 1 jump R+L)
6. Split Squats (3) w/Kick Up (R) (13 reps)
7. Split Squats (3) w/Kick Up (L) (13 reps)
8. Sumo High Knees (40-42 reps, 1 rep= 1 knee-up R+L)
9. Front-Side Kicks (R) (15-17 reps)
10. Front-Side Kicks (L) (15-17 reps)


Tell me how it went! How can I help you?! – Nat – 🙂