Category Archives: Exercise & Training
Here’s one of our latest leg workouts, designed to burn fat, strengthen and sculpt!
Turn Up The Heat Fat Burning Leg Written Workout
15 Leg Press
15 Squat Jumps
X3 (with little to no rest)
15 Leg Extensions
15 Double Unders
X3 (with little to no rest)
What is ThermoHeat?
ThermoHeat is a new thermogenic (fat burner) that’s out. Steve explains what thermogenics are, how they work, and what Thermo Heat does.
The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Built with Chocolate Milk.
On October 11th, over 2,000 athletes will embark on a 140.6-mile journey that presents the ultimate test of body, mind and spirit to earn the title of IRONMAN – and one of those athletes isn’t known for his endurance abilities. He’s actually known for his short-distance power and speed.
Gold Medalist Olympic Speed Skater Apolo Ohno, is retraining his body for a totally different sport – to compete in the IRONMAN world championship with Team CHOCOLATE MILK. Apolo is in the best hands though, being coached by eight-time IRONMAN World Champion Paula Newby-Fraser and three-time IRONMAN World Champion Craig Alexander. One may think that training is the main focus this close to a race, but really training is useless without equal focus on recovery.
You can see, in this video (below), recovery is the main topic this close to Kona. Ice baths, foam rollers and good communication with their trainer are essential for getting through this kind of training – and that applies to us too. We can’t expect to spend all our energy breaking down the muscle, burning tons of calories, pounding the pavement (and our joints) and expect our body to just take it, day in and day out. We HAVE to give our body what it needs to recover.
That’s why Chocolate Milk is so involved in this sport – because they are truly the perfect recovery drink. They believe in recovery and repair, and you should too.
7 Fit Tips for Optimal Recovery
1. Refuel your body within 30-45 minutes after your workout. There is a short window to effectively refuel your body. Consuming the right post-workout fuel during this time can restore glycogen stores (which fuels your muscle for your next workout), as well as carries protein into the muscle for optimal repair and recovery.
2. Choose your post-workout fuel well. Post-recovery time is not the time for peanut butter in a shake or a fatty meal. It’s time for carbs and protein. That’s why chocolate milk is a good recovery drink. Believe it or not, it has the perfect carb-to-protein ratio for refueling exhausted muscle.
3. Reduce inflammation. Ice and anti-inflammatories are an important part of pain management and injury prevention. Reducing and preventing inflammation early is crucial to preventing bigger issues. Even if you have a small twinge, it’s always best to tackle it before it can end up being an full-blown injury. Injuries, muscle spasms and fatigued joints or muscles should be iced for 15-20 minutes at a time, letting the body completely warm back up between icing (an hour between icing is a safe bet). Ice as often as you can, not just when you are in the most pain.
4. Re-hydrate. With intense exercise, comes intense sweating. Your body needs fluids for all functions, including nutrition uptake and muscle repair. Drink at least 3 cups (24 ounces) of fluid per pound of water lost during exercise. If your urine is not clear or pale yellow, you need to drink more water.
5. Get Good Nutrition. It is super important for athletes to get the right food, vitamins and supplements. Each vitamin and mineral has a purpose – from strengthening your bones to protecting your body from toxins. In addition, healthy nutrition will help you keep your energy up and prevent you from getting sick. Moreover, you are only as good as your nutrition. If you want to perform well, you’ll need to eat well, as protein, fats and carbohydrates work together to restore glycogen, provide you with energy and repair valuable muscle.
6. Get Treatment as Needed. Massage, foam rolling, stretching, chiropractic care and medicinal care are all important modalities in athletic training. Knowing what your body needs may take some research, as well as some professional guidance – but I think you are worth it!
7. Rest. Fitness and training can be addicting. It can also mess with your head in a big way if you let it. Your body can be screaming “STOP! I NEED REST!” but your mind says “I’m have to train. I’m not ready”. This is when you have to realize how important rest is. You have to protect your body and give it time to heal and recover. You can’t look at rest as being “off”. Rest is actually part of your training program. It’s a requirement for success.
Words of Wisdom from Apolo’s Trainer
“…their future will depend on their choice at that moment.” 8X IRONMAN Champ.
Q – What’s been your lotto or mantra that’s kept you going?
A – You can’t live your life with plans and hopes and dreams but you live your life as it presents itself. I try not to complain about the situation but embrace what’s happening and life as a gift. I fully submerge myself in the experiences I get every day. I don’t live on hope.
Q – What do you tell athletes who are on the verge of giving up to keep them going?
A – I simply tell them they have a choice on how to handle the moment. I encourage them to realize that they have a choice and their future will depend on their choice at that moment, so choose to adapt. You don’t have to give up. When you’re somewhere you can’t be, make the decision to get there mentally. Giving up is a necessity in dire circumstances.
I love it! “Giving up is a necessity in DIRE circumstances. How often do we give up due to a little discomfort or inconvenience. We should act like a champ and do all we can to stay in the game, as our life depended on it. Wait! Our life DOES depend on it. Our body needs us to stick with fitness. It needs us to be relentless with our efforts to be the best version of ourself possible. Giving up should only happen when we have absolutely no other choice. Thank you Paula for such wise encouraging words!! Now, let’s go #BuildIt !! Go TEAM CHOCOLATE MILK!! GO APOLO OHNO!
LOVE THIS ARTICLE FROM IRONMAN: 6 Portable Protein Meals
I put together a 4-week training program from our BCx shows on LiveExercise shows for all my Pfit friends out there. Each workout is only 30-45 minutes long and can be done at home or a gym. All you have to do is Join LiveExercise (it’s only $7.99/month! – and if you aren’t sure about joining, you can get 2 Weeks FREE!). Once you do that, you can bookmark this page and click on the links (below) to go to the exact workouts you need to do. You’ll see me suffer through the workout, and you’ll enjoy the entertaining jokes (I didn’t say they were good ones, just entertaining ones! lol). I think you’ll have a LOT of fun – plus you’ll get a crazy good workout!!
About the 4-Week Program
This workout is a full body conditioning workout – for both guys and girls. The main purpose of this workout is to tone muscle AND burn fat in one single short workout. We use all kinds of training methods – kettlebells, dumbbells, plyo boxes, barbells. Yet, we show modifications for you in case you are limited on tools. You’ll learn proper form, you’ll sweat like a pig and you’ll have fun doing it too!
Suggested Training Schedule:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, with extra cardio or optional heavy lifting (if you are doing this in addition to weight training) on your BCx off days. Guys can typically do Chest on Monday in addition to workout #1 since most of those days focus on lower body.
Use light weights if you want to tone, or if you are a beginner. Use moderate weight to tone and increase intensity (and burn more calories). Use heavy weights if you want to build muscle, improve strength and stamina, as well as burn a whole lot of calories.
Weigh in every Monday. Our gym gives Live Exercise members a discount on the inBody composition machine. You can use a standard scale if you don’t have access to a body composition machine.
Do all the workouts in the gym, or with friends, if you can. Why? Because you are less likely to stop, cheat or slack off when people are around. Going to the gym and working out with friends helps prevent distractions, as well as offers all the tools you need to get the best workout possible. While you can do these at home alone, you will probably perform better in a gym setting or with a buddy.
Before you start: Take a before photo against a white background for safe keeping. You should ALWAYS have a before photo, because you may shock yourself on just how much you can transform your body! Also, do measurements, measuring your waist, thigh, arm and chest. Now you’re ready to get started!
Online Video Training for only $7.99:
Now you can workout with me on LiveExercise, no matter where you live, for only $7.99/month. Not sure you’ll like it? Try it for 2 weeks FREE!
• The person who needs direction.
• The person who needs to be pushed harder.
• The person who would like to ramp up their existing workout.
• The person who can’t afford boot camp or personal training.
• The person who wants to learn more exercises and training methods.
• OK, basically anyone!! We teach modifications for exercises so that anyone can do these workouts – even if you are overweight or have an injury.
Get Started Now:
2. Bookmark this page to view the workout schedule. Pull it up from your mobile device.
3. Get familiar with the tools used. BCx uses kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells, bodylastic bands, plyo box and a bench. Every workout will give you suggestions in case you don’t have the tool we are using (so no excuses!!).
4. Get Started! Follow the workout program from your mobile device, computer or TV (we are on Samsung TV and Roku!!)
4-Week Fat Burning Workout
(Do one extra cardio or class this week)
Workout #1 – BCX, Ep. 31, Conditioning/Lower Body Focus -
Workout #2 – BCX, Ep. 34, Crazy Hard Core & Shoulder Workout
Workout #3 – BCX Ep. 49, Blitz Cardio
(Do two extra cardios or classes this week)
Workout #1 – BCX, Ep. 36, Legs/Glutes/Abs
Workout #2 – BCX Ep. 41, Butt And Shoulder Interval Workout
Workout #3 - BCX Ep. 39, Full Body Intense Cardio And Conditioning
(Do two-three extra cardios, totaling 9 miles, or two high-intensity cardio classes this week)
Workout #1 – BCX, Ep. 36, Legs/Glutes/Abs
Workout #2 – BCX Ep. 44, Cardio Back And Core Workout
Workout #3 – BCX, Ep. 25, Full Body AMRAP
(Do two extra cardios, totaling 9 miles, or two high-intensity cardio classes this week plus one long run or walk.)
Workout #1 – BCx Ep. 24 Legs, Glutes & Conditioning
Workout #2 – BCX Ep. 45, Full Body Multifunctional Workout
Workout #3 – BCX Ep. 40, Full Body Cardio And Core Suicide
Everyone who knows me, knows I was VERY resistant to competing. Steve has asked me to compete with him for years, and I finally (reluctantly) said YES (with a grouchy face and all). haha! Well, now that I’ve done it, one of the most common questions I get is “will you do it again?“
A matter of fact, one of my friends (Susy B, who’s thinking about whether or not she wants to compete or not) asked me Friday night after weigh-ins, “would you do it again?” and my answer was “ask me tomorrow!”. At that point, I could honestly say I loved the whole process. I loved putting science to work. I loved being pushed to stick to my diet and training. I loved having goals. I loved the challenge – and I loved the results. I just wasn’t sure how I’d like the stage. And, at that point, I was pretty sure I’d hate it.
What have I got myself into?
I really DREADED the stage. I dreaded being half naked in front of everyone. I dreaded the stress. I dreaded the unknown. I dreaded the posing. I dreaded standing there all alone. I dreaded the attention. I dreaded the awkward long moments where you have to hold a smile forever and pretend you are completely comfortable torcing your body into a pretzel to look your best (yes, we may look like we are standing normal, but there is nothing normal feeling about posing). I dreaded the “judging”. I pretty much dreaded every single thing that could possibly happen on stage.
Here I go!
I woke up that morning already feeling like a winner. I met and surpassed all my goals. I was in the best shape of my life. I could have just stopped there, but I knew I was supposed to step out of my comfort zone and finish this. I never anticipated doing well. I knew it was a big show and there would be a lot of girls up there who worked just as hard as I did. I would have been happy with 12th place, because I was at my personal best. Then I got the call out. Wow! Top 5!
Then I waited as they started announcing places. “5th place goes to…. 4th place goes to….” and was just waiting for them to call my number. At that point, I was just stoked I got a call out. Truth is, I hadn’t even looked at the other girls, so I had no idea how we’d all place. Then they called out the 3rd place winner and then the 2nd place girl – and it wasn’t me! I remember making a funny face as I processed “oh my gosh, I’m the only one left!”
Then they called “24, Bonnie Pfiester” and I heard, “THAT’S MY GIRL!” from the audience – and that’s when I really felt like a winner. I made my husband and trainer proud. I made myself proud. And, sure, there could have been someone more fit that could have showed up to beat me, but none of that matters. A trophy doesn’t make me a winner. My hard work did – whether I took 1st or 5th!
So, the million dollar question: Would I do it again?
The answer is (drum roll…….) I’d do it again in a heartbeat. Don’t get me wrong, I still am not fond of the stage. However, the stage is a necessary part of the process. It’s what makes you get up early and do one more cardio. It makes it easier for you to say “NO, I’m not going to eat that”. Did I like being on stage? It honestly wasn’t nearly as bad as I anticipated (you can’t hear or see anything with all those bright lights, so as far as I was concerned I was up there posing for no one! haha). Nevertheless, the results, the discipline I learned, the experience I had with Steve and the things I learned about myself and my body were SO worth enduring the stage for 2 minutes.
First, I like the new improved me. I like the higher level of discipline and I like having parameters with my eating and weight. Basically, I’d like this to be my new norm. My new top weight (the highest weight I want to be) is now lower than it used to be. I’m now officially in maintenance mode. I am already thinking about next year – not for the purpose of getting back on stage, but to set new goals to hold me accountable for the off season.
My first goal for the fall is to keep weighing in regularly to hold myself accountable so I don’t gain weight back. I will diet (which means count calories and eat clean) during the week and allow myself some more freedom on the weekend as long as my weight doesn’t creep up. If it goes above my mark, I will go to competition diet until I get below that mark and then go back to maintenance again.
The next part of my goal is to continue sculpting. There are spots that still need work. I need to narrow my backside and also maintain a smaller size so my skin continues to tighten up. I need to work my abs more and I want to practice and improve my posing. I’m not doing this to win, I’m not doing it to look better than anyone else. I’m not doing it because I’m vain – because no one sees my butt and abs except for Steve and the few people who may see me at the beach! I’m doing it to have training goals, to keep myself in check, and so I don’t find myself aimlessly going through the motions at the gym. Competing gives my training purpose, and helps me stay more disciplined. Now, I better get off this computer and get to the gym!
A big thanks to all who supported me through this journey.
Thermo Heat – for their killer fat burner system & new pre-workout!!
Sewn In The Sun – for making my awesome suit (in the middle of giving birth!) & my jewelry!!
Designer Whey – for providing me with low-calorie protein!
Train Like A Freak Apparel – for workout clothes that made me feel like a winner in the gym
LoseIt – for giving me all the tools I need to track my calories
Energy Spa for tanning our team
Frankie J at Cloud 9 – for doing my hair!
The Shoe Lady – for my awesome insoles that helped me run pain-free and melt fat!
Misty Lundeen – for the best photo shoot ever!!
Kristie Gallagher – for believing in me and praying for me, that I could do this and still honor God.
Team Max – for all the support each team member offers each other
Muscle Papa – for capturing the memories on camera & posting them on your Facebook so we could see pictures SO fast!!!!
My Mom and Dad – who drove all the way up to support me, just to be there long enough to root me on & fly back home as soon as I left the stage because they had to be up early to lead worship and preach. What sacrifice!
I was blown away by the people who made the drive down to watch us compete. The last time I’ve experienced that kind of support was on our wedding day. It was an incredible experience and I’m so thankful for everyone!! THANK YOU!!!
According to the Physical Activity Guideline for Americans, you should do 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise weekly. Even if you do the minimum, which means you should do 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five days a week. This could easily get very boring over time!!
Today, on Answers.com, I wrote on ways to make your cardio more interesting and more effective. I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss these 3 workout ideas I shared with Answers:
1. The 3-Way Split
2. The 30-Minute Cardio and Core Workout
3. The 30-Minute Full Body Cardio and Conditioning Workout
CLICK HERE to get all three workouts on Answers.com!
Fitness requires going out of your comfort zone. This means you will have a love/hate relationship with some exercises. You will hate to do them, but you will love what they do for you!
Some Exercises Are Really A Chore
Seriously, I’d be lying if I told you I love every exercise. People need to be realistic. You may like a clean home, but that doesn’t mean you enjoy cleaning toilets. While you might not mind wiping down the counters, there will be some things you don’t like to do – but you sure are glad when they are done. In the same way, everyone has that exercise they really would prefer to skip, but you don’t want to skip the results.
No! Anything but THAT!
For most of us, it’s the exercise that takes the most work we hate the most. If only we could spray ourselves down with bleach to melt the fat away. Nope, it’s going to take some elbow grease I’m afraid! The fact is, if it’s an easy exercise, it probably isn’t as effective as the tougher ones.
If you want an effective exercise, you will probably need the exercise that works you where you need it most (normally working your weakest areas). It will be that dreaded exercise that gets your heart pounding out of your chest to the point you think your heart is going to explode. Or, maybe it’s the exercise that burns so much you are convinced your muscles are going to spontaneously bust out in flames. You probably are already thinking of a few exercises that fit this category. It’s OK, we all have a secret list of most-hated exercises. We don’t have to love every exercise we do. We can just love the results!
The Eight I Hate
Personally, my most hated exercises are Big Ax Jacks and Stomps. Oh yeah, I almost forgot wall sits, all yoga and push ups. Oh wait, and there are pull ups and Mary Catherines. OK, maybe I could make my own top 20 list, because I have enough hated exercises to fill up the list on my own. However, if I’m honest (and you know I am) I have to admit most of these most hated exercises are exercises that works my body in ways I need it worked the most. So what does that tell me? I need to do those exercises even MORE. Ughhhhh. The truth stinks!! But you know what they say, the will set you free! :)
As I pondered the most hated (and secretly loved) exercises, I decided to set out and find what other people HATE to do, but LOVE the results. Since we all have different strengths and weaknesses, I fully expected different opinions. At the same time, I also knew there would be a few top picks that almost everyone would agree on. The comments were awesome!
Top 20 Most-Hated Exercises That Work
Below, are the top 20 responses – from awful to worst (I wonder what THAT could be! lol The Hint is in the screen shot from facebook below. haha)! TIP: Click on the link to view video instruction.
19. Jump Squats
18. Rope Climb
16. Double Unders
15. Pistol Squat (Single Leg Squat)
14. Wall Ups
13. The Gauntlet (Step Mill)
12. Tuck Jumps
11. Wall Sits
10. Pull Ups
8. Mary Catherines (Plyo split lunges)
7. Push Ups
6. Planks & Side Planks
4. Lunges (all types of lunges!)
3. Big Ax Jacks (minus the football stomps in the video)
2. Mountain Climbers
Add Your Most-Dreaded to the List!
What is your nemesis? What exercise do YOU hate to do, but love the results? Comment below!
Join us on LiveExercise and learn how to incorporate these exercises in your workout. Steve and I lead a cross training workout show each week where we use some of the most hated (and loved) exercises to get you the results you want. We’d love to have you!! Click on the LIVE logo and get workout with us for 2 weeks free! We have 32 LiveXFit workouts you can do, plus over 2,000 other workouts to try too including kickboxing, yoga, chiseled bands, chiseled cardio, dumbbells, toning and more!
This workout is made up of 30 seconds of cardio followed by 10+ heavy reps of resistance exercise. The workout is designed for you to go up in weight each round and stay with 10 reps OR go up 5 reps each round if you stay at the same weight. You probably won’t be able to go super heavy because of the cardio and no rest. So heavy for this circuit will be light compared to traditional weight lifting. For instance, I squat 95-185lbs when I’m just squatting (and resting in between sets). There is NO rest during this circuit, so it’s everything I have to just keep going!
This workout is about burning fat AND toning muscle at the same time – a perfect workout for people on the go who don’t have time to sit around between sets and get extra cardio too!!
Here’s a snap shot of all the exercises:
GET READY TO SWEAT:
Tools: Dumbbells, Kettlebells, bands or barbell – even 2 gallons of water will do!
30 sec squat jumps
10 shoulder presses
30 sec jump rope
10 dips (I added weight to my lap)
30 sec mountain climbers
X 3-5 rounds – NO rest between exercises
This was my workout yesterday. This is not a bodybuilder workout where you isolate muscles and rest in between exercises. Prepare to SWEAT! I was dripping wet and out of breath practically the whole time. I’m sharing the weight I did so you can get a feel for the right resistance for you. :) Have fun!
Click on the links to see video instruction if you are unfamiliar with an exercise.
#1 SET (5 Sets)
10-12 Heavy Push Presses and Split Jerks
#1: 45lb Bar Standing Military Press
#2: 55lbs Push Press
#3: 65lb Push Press
#4: 75lb Split Jerk
#5 85lb Split Jerk
TIP: Rest between sets so you can lift heavy. Not TOO much rest though. :)
#2 SUPER SET
10 25lb Snatches (10 Left & 10 Right)
10 Alternating Shoulder Press (ladders) with 8-10lb dumbbells (10 each arm/20 total)
TIP: no rest between exercise. Rest AFTER both exercises are complete back to back.
#3 SUPER SET
10 45lb Bar Moderate Military or Push Press
10 8lb Dumbbell Alternating Shoulder Press (Fast ladder press – 10 each arm/20 total)
10 5lb Dumbbell Lateral Raises
TIP: On ladders, one hand should be going down WHILE the other is going up to keep BOTH arms moving. Otherwise one arm gets rest while the other arm works. This super set is about wearing them out.) NO REST until all 3 exercises are complete. Short rest between super sets.
Let me know how you do!! :)
Did you know you can target different parts of your legs by changing the positioning of you feet and where you place your weight? Here is a video explaining how your footing matters.
1. Weight on toes: Works more quadricep
2. Weight on heels: Works more hamstring and glutes
3. Wide stance (Plie Squat): Works more inner thigh.
4. Regular stance: Works neutral (all areas equally)
5. Narrow stance (Sissy Squat): Works more outer thigh.
For a complete leg workout using squats do the following exercises. Can be done with or without weight.
WEIGHT ON HEELS
20 Plie Squats
20 Regular Squats
20 Sissy Squats
WEIGHT ON TOES
20 Plie Squats
20 Regular Squats
20 Sissy Squats
X 2-3 Sets
Tip #1: Wear flat shoes (like Reebok’s CrossFit Nanos) for leg day so you don’t shift your weight on your toes accidentally.
Tip #2: You can add a piece of wood, or small weights under your heels or toes to help you shift your weight where you want it.
Tip #3: Muscle needs to be broken down to repair and get stronger. Too much rest time can be counterproductive.
Tip #4: It’s better to go light, and go DEEP (as long as your knees can handle it) than it is to go heavy and squat shallow. Besides, if you are weaker the deeper you go, that just means THAT is where you need strengthening the most! If you avoid going deep, you are not strengthening the muscles required for deep squats.
Steve Pfiester designed 4 KILLER workouts you can do on a treadmill to work your entire body. There are 4 VIDEOS: Upper Body, Lower Body, Conditioning & Cardio. Each video is normally $9.99 (for standard definition, $12.99 for high-def), but NOW they are Only $2.99!!
Use this Discount Code 7OFFNOW to get $7 OFF any video on our site.
Here’s a video on the workout series: