Category Archives: Exercise & Training

5 Ways to Squat

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

squatting with wood under toes 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.

 

4 Insane Treadmill Workouts

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:

Download your videos right now!

BCx Treadz Treadmill Workout

Bikini Leg & Back Workout

steve and bonnie pfiesterHere’s one of the leg and back workouts for our Bikini Boot Campers. BCx Bikini Boot Camp is a program we are running for bikini competitors and women just wanting to look fit on the beach. The girls are getting insane results!

For example, Ashley dropped from 23.9% body fat to 16.9% body fat by increasing muscle and decreasing fat in just 4 weeks. Lauren lost 15lbs in 4 weeks without losing one pound of muscle!! SO many success stories! The program incorporates diet, weights, classes and cardio homework. Some of them are competing and some are just going through the training and diet to get in the best shape they can.

Here is a pic of just a few of our girls. We have about 40 in Bikini Boot Camp and 15-20 competing. Congrats girls! You guys are totally rocking!

bikini training

Our bikini boot campers do 3 group workouts a week, plus are given extra cardio and weights homework to do on their own. Here’s a taste of one of our “homework” assignments. (Learn more about our programs at Max Fitness.)

Hamstrings:

hamstring curl NOTE: Click on the exercise to watch video instructions

Prone Hamstring Curl
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         20,18,15,12,10
RESISTANCE:            35,45,50,55,60
REST:                        30-45 seconds max rest time.

Try to keep resistance high but it is more important to hit the rep range goal.  Every set alternate feet position from wide (8”apart) to close (touching)

Alternating Standing Hamstring Curl
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            20 (Increase each set as possible)
REST:                        20-30 seconds max rest time.

Keep upper supporting leg (femur) against the pad. Complete 5 sets on both legs.  No rest when switching left and right.

Quadriceps:

Leg Press
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         25,20,15,15,15
RESISTANCE:            2plates, 3plates, 4plates, 5plates, 6plates
REST:                        45-60 seconds max rest time  maintain shoulder width foot position.

Keep seat back in the lowest position to allow for increased ROM. Push with your heals with no pauses, (continuous motion). Try to keep resistance high but it is more important to
hit the rep range goal.

dumbbell walking lungeHeavy Walking Lunges
SETS:                         3
REPS:                         20 (40 total-20 each leg)
RESISTANCE:            15, 20, 25 (2 dumbbells each hand)
REST:                        45-60 seconds max rest time  weight the front foot.

No pause, use continuos motion. Grip strength may become an issue.  Short steps with depth, almost touching the back knee to the ground.

Leg Extension
SETS:                         5
REPS:                         25,20,15,15,15
RESISTANCE:            40,45,50,60,60
REST:                        45-60 seconds max rest time change leg position randomly across all five sets.

Make sure to get full ROM by allowing your legs to go all the way down and all the way up.  NO PAUSING (use continuous motion)

BACK

Wide Grip Pull Down  

SETS:                         5
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            50,60,70,?,?
REST:                        45 seconds max rest time, superset each set with 10 push ups.

Remember when pulling down to imagine pushing DOWN with your elbows instead of pulling down with your hands.  Stay extended through your thorax (bow your chest up) towards the bottom end of the range as you try to touch your clavicle (collar bone) with the bar.

Close Grip Pull Down  

SETS:                         5
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            50,60,70,?,?
REST:                        45 seconds max rest time, superset each set with 20 (each side) bicycle crunches.

Remember when pulling down to imagine pushing DOWN with your elbows instead of pulling down with your hands.  Stay extended through your thorax (bow your chest up) towards the bottom end of the range as you try to touch your chest with the close grip handles keeping your elbows in close. Remember to keep your elbows out wide and rotate your body to touch your elbow to your knee (instead of pointing your elbows forward to reach your knee). Focus on rotation through the waist.

bicycle crunches

Seated wide Grip Row  

SETS:                         4
REPS:                         15
RESISTANCE:            50,60,70,?,?
REST:                        45 seconds max rest time, superset each set with 20 side plank pulses .

Remember when pulling back low into your waist try to imagine pushing BACK with your elbows instead of pulling BACK with your hands.  Stay extended through your thorax (bow your chest up) towards the end of the range as you try to touch your navel with the bar (USE LONG PULL DOWN BAR AND GRIP ON THE OUTSIDE ANGLE.

Leg Workout Graphic:

BIKINI LEG WORKOUT

Peddle Yourself Fit: How to Get the Most Out of a Stationary Bike

exercise bikeI run into a lot of people nursing injuries, or limited by joint issues. Unfortunately, as soon as someone is injured they often quit exercising altogether – but there is hope! It’s called a stationary bike.

If you have ever been to a rehabilitation center, you know physical therapist rely heavily on Stationary Bikes. It gets the patient’s joints moving without extra weight on the joint, it’s safe (less chance of falling off a bike than a treadmill) and it exercises the heart and lunges.

If you are unable to do weight bearing exercise (like walking, running or doing the elliptical), using a stationary bike is a great alternative – IF you use it right.

Here are 4 ways to peddle your way to fitness success.

big boy on small bike1. Learn proper set-up. Have you ever seen a big person on a little bike. It looks ridiculous doesn’t it? Well, it’s not just silly looking, it’s dangerous. Before you begin your workout, adjust the seat where your legs comfortably stretch out to reach the peddles. When your leg is stretched out all the way, your leg should only have a slight bend without locking the knee out at full extension. If you are bike shopping, don’t cut corners just to save money. Cheap bikes often are tipsy and not as comfortable. Your health is worth the investment. Look for a wide base, comfortable seat, heart rate monitor, built-in workout programs and sturdy framing to make your workout more enjoyable.

sleeping on exercise bike

2. No coasting. Many people get on a bike like they are going out for some kind of joy ride instead of actually working out. They peddle slowly, as if that is going to do something miraculous. Maybe it’s because they are comfortable. With recumbent bikes these days, bikes have nice cushy backs on the seat and even arm rests, so no wonder you may start yawning! You can’t coast your way to success. Ride like you are going somewhere.

3. Peddle with purpose. I see some people hop on the bike and mentally leave the planet into some far off land. If you want your bike exercise to change your body, and your health, you need to have a gang plan. Many bikes, like the NordicTrac GX 3.4, have built in workout programs. The GX 3 actually has 23 programs to choose from, so you could practically have a fresh new workout every time you ride throughout each month! If your bike has programs, USE THEM! Don’t just peddle at your own pace, use the programs to train and challenge you.

4. Track your heart rate. Your heart rate is the most accurate way to determine how hard you are working. First, find out your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). Then, multiple that number by your desired target heart rate. 60-70% for beginners, 70-80% for intermediate training and 80-90% for advanced training. Interval workouts are even more effective for fat burning and conditioning. Interval workouts are when you exercise at a high peak of 80-90% of your maximum heart rate, followed by a recovery period at a lower heart rate. For example, 1 minute at 80-90%, followed by 2 minutes at 70-80% for a high intensity workout, or 2 minutes at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate followed by 3 minutes at 60-70% for a moderate intensity workout.

target-heart-rate-table1

Fit Legs: Leg Workout

sexy legsHere’s a new Leg Workout designed for women by Bikini Coach and personal trainer, Steve Pfiester, created for the gym. Let us know how you like it!

Rest Time:
45 SECONDS max rest time between sets
2 minutes between exercises

Hack squats: 4 sets/15 reps each
suggested: start with 1-25lb plate on only one side.

Try to increase each set,  BUT it is more important to get 15 reps than go heavier and stop early

Single leg leg press: 4 sets/20 reps each
suggested: start with 1-25lb plate on only one side.

Try to increase each set,  BUT it is more important to get 20 reps than go heavier and stop early

hamstring curls

Ham string curls: 5sets > #1 20 reps, #2 18 reps, #3 15 reps, #4 15 reps, #5 12 reps
Suggested: Start at 35lbs and go heavier by 5-10lbs every set.  Please maintain your reps

Leg Extension: 5 sets/ 15 reps
Suggested: Start at 40lbs and go up.  But keep you reps up

Fat Burning Bikini Workout

snatch overhead lunge

This workout is a fat-burning workout with an emphasis on toning the lower body, shoulders and abs. Weight and rest is SUPER important. Weight should be challenging and rest should not go one second over the prescribed rest time. Each round should take 15 minutes, making this workout a killer 45 minute workout. Click on the exercise to see video demonstration.

#1 COUPLET 
40 Seconds Box Jump
20 Seconds Rest
40 Seconds Thrusters (35LB OR 45LB)
60 Seconds Rest

#2 COUPLET
40 Seconds Snatch to Overhead Lunge (10, 12, or 15LB DBS – pictured above)
20 Seconds Rest
40 Seconds Tuck Jumps
60 Seconds Rest

#3 COUPLET
40 Seconds Jump Rope
20 Seconds Rest
40 Seconds Assisted Pull-up (use bands to assist or do HEAVY pull downs)
60 Seconds

#4 COUPLET
40 Seconds Diagonal Elbow to Knee Plank Crunch
20 Seconds Rest
40 Seconds Bicycle Crunch
60 Seconds Rest

#5 COUPLET
40 Seconds Kettlebell Swing (HEAVY!!)
20 Seconds Rest
40 Seconds Step Back Lunge (with 10, 15, 20 OR 25LB DBS   or PLATES)
60 Seconds Rest

Complete 3 Rounds

Bikini Body Workout

Mass SuitWhat makes a bikini body? A flat tummy, sculpted shoulders and nice buns! With that in mind, here’s a workout Steve and I designed for the MASS SUIT to burn calories and tone all the important bikini body parts – all in one pretty simple workout. You can also do this workout with bands or dumbbells. Granted, there is NO WAY it will be as intense as it was with the MASS SUIT (OMG!), but it will still be a killer workout.

One thing that makes this workout challenging is because it uses compound movements. Meaning, you are doing a lower body exercise AND an upper body exercise at the same time. To make things even more intense, you are not taking any rest between exercises to maximize calorie burn. The good news is, you get twice the workout in half the time! Yahoooo!!

The MASS SUIT kicked my butt and really challenged my core. I was out of breath in half the time of doing traditional training – and I have to admit I was challenged at only 10 reps in! ha! Here’s the workout video to follow along with, as well as the matching written workout!

MASS SUIT BIKINI BODY WORKOUT

10 Jumping Jacks
20 Stepback Lunges with Lateral Raises

10 Jumping Jacks
20 Forward Lunges with Lateral Raises

10 Jumping Jacks
20 Diagonal Lunge

X 3 Rounds

10 Stepback Lunges with Lateral Raises RIGHT
10 Stepback Lunges with Lateral Raises LEFT
10 Forward Lunges with Adduction RIGHT
10 Forward Lunges with Adduction LEFT
10 Diagonal Lunges RIGHT
10 Diagonal Lunges LEFT

The Shoulder Shake-Up Workout

Post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Cory Vines.

shoulder shake-up workout NOTE: Click on the exercise to view video instruction.

1st Segment: HEAVY
3 x 12 Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
3 x 10 Dumbbell Snatch (10 Right/10 Left)
3 x 12 Upright Rows

2nd Conditioning Segment: MODERATE
2 x 10 Step Up & 1-Arm Shoulder Press (R/L)

Super Set: (Right arm first)
1 x 10 1-Arm Step Up (arm stays up)
1 x 15 1-Arm Shoulder Press
(repeat Left Arm – no rest)
x 2

3rd Segment (Arms start shaking!): LIGHT
15 Dumbbell Lateral Raise
30-Second Elbow Plank
X 3 (no rest between exercises & rounds)

3 x 15 Dumbbell Rear Delts

I’M STAYING COOL IN CORY VINES

CORY VINES I’m wore my brand new Cory Vines racerback tank yesterday and loved it. It’s super soft, light, extremely breathable and has moisture wicking technology that allows sweat to evaporate quickly. It fit really nicely (somewhat fitted in the chest area, with a nice bit of light stretch), but a little looser through the waist so I’m not suffocating or feeling like every fat roll is showing through. Best yet, it’s not expensive! Get this tank.

Butt & Delt Live X Power Blitz

How to do this compound workout: This workout uses several different exercises combined together in one fluid (compound) movement. NOTE: Click on the exercises to watch video demonstration of each movement.

butt and shoulder workout

Tools: Dumbbell or Kettlebell

Before you pick up your weight, do 5 burpees. Grab the dumbbell and get ready to work! The compound movement starts with a clean (bringing the dumbbell from the floor to the shoulder), then with the weight on the shoulder go down into a squat, return to stand and go right into a 1-arm shoulder press (keeping the dumbbell overhead), then immediately to an overhead step-back lunge (with dumbbell still overhead with active shoulder), return to stand, bring dumbbell down and back to the ground to begin the whole sequence again for the 2nd rep. After 10 full reps are complete, stay standing on that last round and pump out 15 1-Arm shoulder presses. Feeeel the burrrrn!! :)

This is what it looks like on paper…

RIGHT ARM:
5 Burpees
10 Clean + Squat + Shoulder Press + Overhead Step Back Lunge
15 1-Arm Press

LEFT ARM:
5 Burpees
10 Clean + Squat + Shoulder Press + Overhead Step Back Lunge
15 1-Arm Press

3 ROUNDS
(6 total rounds, 3 on each side)

WORKOUT WITH ME!

This is just ONE segment of our show yesterday on LiveXFit on LiveExercise.com. Here’s a sample of a full show (watch me DIE!). Get a brand new show weekly on LiveExercise, available online, on Roku and on SamsungTV!

GET 14 DAYS FREE & workout with me today!

5 Ways Music Can Motivate You More

This blog is sponsored by FitFluential LLC. My opinions are my own.

A professor specializing in music and exercise once said, “Music is like a legal drug for athletes”. 

headphonesEveryone at our gym (Max Fitness Club) knows I take our music very seriously. I tease, calling myself “DJ Magic Bonnie” on a mission to pump up the tunes – and everyone’s heart rate. Although everyone has different musical tastes, there is a scientific reason behind the music we play in our gym.

Studies upon studies have proven that certain types of music gives gym goers an advantage. The sound level, the beat, the style – it all can make or break your workout.

If you want to PUMP up your workouts, then I suggest you PUMP up the tunes! Here are 5 tips to use music to give you a boost in the gym.

Music Motivational Tips (and my Top 5 Favorite Musical Movie Scenes)

1. Turn the music on. Turn your music on before you even put your tennis shoes on. If you are sluggish, see how you feel as soon as you turn on some good tunes while getting ready. Watch your mood change. If you can change your mood, you can change your mind. Follow DJ Special Ed on Facebook to stream or download his custom club mixes.

Best Home Stereo Scene:

2. Crank up the drive. Crank up high-energy music while you are driving to the gym. By the time you get there, you will be so energized, nothing will stop you from having a great workout! Works every time!

Best Car Stereo Scene:

3. Buy good headphones. If you don’t like the music your gym plays, or you like to run outside, buying a good pair of headphones (like Koss FitClips) is as important as buying a good pair of shoes. Not only will you have great workouts, but headphones say “I’m serious and don’t want to be interrupted”, which will increase your overall intensity.

Best Headphone Scene:

4. Search for fitness music that shows beats per minute. To give you an idea of pace, ACE (American Counsel on Exercise) suggests the following beats per minute based on sport: Walking: 137–139 bpm, Running: approx. 147–169 bpm and Cycling: approx. 135–170 bpm. The higher the beats per minute, the higher intensity – even when weight training.

Best Club Music Dance Scene:

5. Save your tunes for the gym. If you play your workout music outside of exercise, you may lose a little magic. By saving your music for your workouts, the music will stay fresh and exciting – just like your workouts should be. Here is The Sneaker Reports Top 20 Fitness Tracks.

Best Music Mix Scene:

Fit Gear for the New Year 

REVIEW: Koss FitClips for Women

koss headphonesI have REALLY small ears. I know, it’s probably a surprise because nothing else on me is small. For a girl who wears a size 9 shoe and is 5’9″ tall, I NEVER can find headphones to fit me. So, when I got the change to give Koss FitClips a try, I have to admit I wasn’t really hopeful. I knew there was a possibility my stupid ears would reject them. BUT, low and behold, they locked right into my ears and did not budge for my entire workout. I didn’t adjust them once – which is UNHEARD of for me!! These bad boys are made for women, and literally fit my ears like a GLOVE.

Koss’ female designers teamed-up with Gold Medalist Dara Torres to create the world’s first headphones designed specifically for women, by women.

photo copy 3Availability:

Wal-Mart
Best Buy
Walgreens
Kmart
Sears

FitClips ($29.99*):

- Do not fall out
- Sweat resistant
- Three different sizes of ear cushions included for the perfect fit

FitBuds ($29.99*):

- 33% smaller (than any earbud Koss has ever created)
- Sweat resistant
- Three different sizes of ear cushions included for the perfect fit

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/koss
Twitter: @KossHeadphones
Instagram: @Koss
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/KossHeadphones
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