This was my arm workout yesterday. It was fun, fast paced, and challenging. I set the timer, cranked the music, and my workout buddy and I went to town! With timed workouts like this, you don’t have to count. It’s nice to turn off your brain and just go. The timer becomes your boss (hence the name “GymBoss“) and you start when it say start, stop when it says stop – and you get your workout done in less time. It’s a win-win!
Using the GymBoss Interval Timer, do each exercise for the allotted time.
1st Round: 45 seconds on & 15 seconds off
2nd Round: 40 seconds on & 15 seconds off
3rd Round: 35 seconds on & 15 seconds off
4th Round: 30 seconds on & 15 seconds off
Complete all 4 rounds.
NOTE: In this workout, I focused more on triceps than I did biceps. Mainly because women typically care more about the giggley underarm part than they do the size of their biceps. The only time you really notice a person’s biceps is when they flex (and who does that?). Triceps, on the other hand, are more visible and also help shape and tone the arm where most women want – under the arm, the side of the arm and where the arm meets the shoulders (which helps make shoulders look more pronounced). I threw in planks to help tone up the entire arm (shoulders, triceps, biceps & forearms), while also tightening the core. Enjoy the workout! Hope you like it!
Air Squats can ramp up any workout. In this workout, you can see we alternated air squats with standard body sculpting movements. The result: One tough fat-melting, calorie-burning, muscle-toning workout! Check it out…
Air Squat Workout
Here is the written workout below, with links to video instruction for each workout. Below are tips on how to do a proper air squat. KILL IT!
- Air Squats
- Barbell Biceps Curl
- Air Squats
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
or Push-press (if weight is heavy)
- Air Squats
- Weighted Plate Crunch
4 Rounds for Time
(timing the exercise ads intensity)
10 Common Mistakes For Air Squats:
1. Knees go over toes
2. Butt is tucked under – dropping down, not sitting back
3. Shoulders are rounded
4. Back is rounded
5. Body leans forward, bending at the hips
6. Head is down, instead of looking straight ahead
7. Weight is on the balls of the feet
8. Heels lift up as the body lowers into the deepest position
9. Squat is too shallow
10. Exercise is done too slow
7 tips to doing a great air squat:
- Each squat is nice and deep, with your butt dropping below the knees
- Hips stay open, body stays vertical (not bending at the hips)
- Butt sits backward, back is straight, shoulders are rolled back (not rounded forward)
- If you lean forward, or posture struggles, raise hands overhead to improve form
- Knees are not over the toes. If they are, use a chair to reference where your bottom “sits”. Your bottom should not sit down, but sit back as you lower, as if sitting or touching a chair. Stretch arms forward to help balance issues.
- Weight remains on the heels and not on the toes (Test: can you tap your toes while in the down position?) If you struggle with this. Squat down all the way down, like a baby on the beach playing in the sand). Settle in and stay there until you can shift your weight on your heels, open your hips, spread your knees out and get the feeling of where you need to be in that downward position. Once you feel this, and understand how to balance your weight in that position, you should be able to repeat it as you do the air squat.
- Pace is FAST and FLUID
Here is a fun video that shows the intensity, pace and form of an air squat.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you feel like you’ve lost your, as Steve says, “ZIP, ZEST, PEP, DRIIIVE AND DESIRE”, well maybe you just need to get a trainer – interval trainer that is. You don’t necessarily need a personal trainer to kick your butt, especially if you know what to do already. Often times we just get lazy and comfortable, and we lose focus. But, as soon as you add a time component to your workout, suddenly a boring workout blossoms into a high-intensity workout with purpose and drive. To get this done, I use the GymBoss Interval Timer to ramp up my intensity, create focus and hold me accountable.
HIIT it Harder!
HIIT training is nothing new. It’ just gained popularity over the recent years. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. HIIT workouts are typically short workouts, from 4-20 minutes, and combine short bursts of intense exercise (typically at maximum intensity) with a moderate activity or rest. The original HIIT format was a 2 to 1 ration, like Tabata. Tabata is 20 seconds of work, and 10 seconds of rest or lighter work.
For instance, a HIIT running routine could be 30 seconds of sprinting and 15 seconds of walking or jogging. However, HIIT workouts now come in all shapes and sizes. The length of intervals, as well as intensity/work, may vary. HIIT, today, is just all about timed intense interval training, no matter what the length or combination of exercises and rest.
So, with the education under your belt now, let’s HIIT our legs! Here was my leg workout yesterday. It was awesome, simple, super effective and challenging. Also, when you use HIIT, you get a lot of work done in less time, so it’s also very efficient. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!
HIIT Your Legs
*Ramping (or periodization) refers to ramping up (increasing) your weight. Each set should get heavier and heavier. For instance, do just the bar the first set, then add weight in 10-25lb increments each set, depending on your strength, making each set more and more challenging.
Training Tips: The key to this exercise is to get LOW (like you see in this photo). I’d rather you do less weight, and get a full range of motion. Most people are not even close to getting as low as they can. LADIES LISTEN UP: These last few inches work your inner thighs and glutes a LOT more, so don’t miss out! Your weight should be on your heels the entire time, and your bottom should nearly bottom out on the ground you should be so low. If you’ve never done this before, then practice just with the bar or no weight at all. If you can’t seem to keep your heels on the ground, try spreading out your knees a bit more and sit down into the squat until your feet can stay completely flat. Tight and weak muscles may prevent you from getting this low, so you may want to incorporate this yoga move into your leg day to increase flexibility.
Yoga Squat: Hold this pose (pictured below right) for 30 seconds at a time and really stretch your legs and open those hips. Do this prior to lifting or even between sets to keep you nice and loose.
Heavy Walking Lunges (15-20lbs dumbbells)
5 Sets: 30 Seconds on, 30 Seconds off
Tabata Leg Extensions (toes pointed out)
Tabata is 8 Sets of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off
1/2 Tabata Leg Extension (toes pointed in)
Half Tabata is half the prescribed set (so only 4 sets) of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off
Tabata High Step Ups* (with or without weights)
Half (4 sets) Tabata on RIGHT FOOT
(20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
Half (4 sets) Tabata on LEFT FOOT
(20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
*Use a high bench or plyo box. Step POWERFULLY up and resist the negative (your weight coming down). So, it will be a quick and powerful explosion UP on to the step (being sure to step up on to your heel), and then a slowly lower down. No matter how tired you get, DO NOT allow your body to “fall” back to the floor. Fight it!
Strong Enough for Men, but Made for Women Too
Of course we know there are strong chicks too, but I think a lot of women just think they were born that way. Some of the toughest chicks aren’t tough because they LOOK tough – they are tough because they ARE tough. Just like Demi More in G.I. Jane, tough comes with a price. She had to train hard to do the stuff she had to do in that movie – from doing intense workouts, obstacle training and even prepping mentally to shave her head. People aren’t just born that way, they are made that way through enduring tough tasks. The tougher the task, the tougher you become.
Watch this short video clip, and tell me that doesn’t make you want to learn how to do a one-armed push up!
Do You Know Your Own Strength?
While I believe, if most women were honest, there is a side to them that would love to be tough and powerful. But, many women struggle with the self-confidence to grow in this area. This is even more of a problem when a woman is overweight or not in good shape. Ironically, one of the best places to fix that (the gym) makes many women even MORE insecure so they avoid it at all cost, or they save it as a last resort. Well, NO MORE! It’s time for you to become the POWERFUL, STRONG and CONFIDENT woman you desire to be! And I’ve got news for you, it doesn’t include pink rubber weights!
If you want to discover power, strength and confidence, it requires training that requires you to be powerful, strong and confident. If your training doesn’t CHALLENGE these areas, don’t expect to CHANGE those areas. Sadly, many women “ease” into their workouts because they simply don’t know how powerful and strong they really are. Why? Because they just don’t know their own strength – because they’ve never really tested it.
4 ways to toughen up & gain more confidence:
- Up your weight. I can’t tell you how many women are not even touching the surface of their own strength. They literally don’t know their own strength. However, if they were to up the weight, they’d be surprised to find they can do the same number of reps with the heavier weight. Would it be more difficult? Sure! Would it be possible? Sure! You’ll never know how strong you are until you try. Don’t worry about bulking up. Most women don’t have enough testosterone to gain manly muscles.
- Test your strength. Once a week, choose an exercise to test your 1 rep max, which is the maximum weight you can lift in one exercise. Normally, we are doing multiple reps of a weight, so the weight has to be light enough for us to repeat the exercise 12-15 times. But what if all we have to do is one repetition? That’s the idea of the 1 Rep max. Some of the best exercises, according to Bodybuilding.com, to use to test this are bench press, squats, deadlifts, clean and press, military (shoulder press) and bicep curls. Use Bodybuilding.com’s 1-Rep Max (1RM) Calculator to find out what your 1-rep max should be. There is nothing more empowering that lifting a heavy weight – even if it’s just one time.
- Try something new. If you are constantly staying in your comfort zone, using the same equipment or practicing the same training style, you will likely stay the same too. Venture out and try new things. Even if you discover you don’t like something, you will gain power from the knowledge you gained from trying it. Sure, you may feel a little dorky or awkward while you are learning it, but you will walk away feeling amazing.
- Do what the boys do. If you are constantly gravitating to aerobics classes and the women’s section at the gym, you are missing out! There is a reason guys are tough. They do though things – and so can you! For instance, flipping tractor tires is tough. Your hands get dirty and it’s hard work, but it’s an amazing workout and you’ll feel great when it’s done. The same goes with exercises like bench press, dips or pull ups. These are often exercises that never make it on a woman’s workout schedule. Sadly, it’s not because the women can’t do it. It’s because they never even try to do it. Make it a regular practice to incorporate tough exercises into your program.
20 Tough Activities & Exercises
- Try a handstand (and practice it)
- Test your 1RM for bench press
- Take boxing or martial arts lessons
- Do a mud run
- Do something untraditional like flipping a tractor tire or doing wall-ups
- Take a intense boot camp program
- Practice olympic lifting
- Take a gymnastics class
- Do a 5K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon
- Climb a rock-climbing wall
- Take a grappling (wrestling) lesson
- Test your speed in a quarter mile (sprinting, not driving!)
- Practice push ups, pull ups and dips
- Train with kettlebells
- Take a power yoga class
- Practice batting at the batting cages
- Do a tabata workout (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
- Try a new sport – like surfing, skiing, cycling, mountain biking or swimming
- Play catch – football, softball or even frisbee (and GO ALL OUT to catch it!)
- Play with the boys. Play a coed ball game, workout with the guys, go to a car show and do something guys do. And don’t just show up – take that time to learn more about what you are doing. Whether it’s a drifting race or skin-boarding, knowledge is powerful.
8 Tough Workouts
Tractor Tire Training
10 Tire Exercises - If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a tractor tire, here’s your answer!
Conditioning Tractor Tire Workout - Be ready for your heart to be POUNDING!
Tractor Abs – Learn 5 ab exercises you can do with a tractor tire.
Improve Your Push Up &/or Pull Up
Even if you can’t do a pull up or push up, THIS will get you stronger.
Try an untraditional workout, designed for mud runs and people who don’t have gym equipment.
BCx Wallup Workout
Climbed walls lately? Today’s your day! Try this crazy fun workout to boost strength and stamina.
Try a Kettlebell Workout
Learn some kettlebell basics.
Grueling Get Ups
Try this awesomely intense Turkish Getup inspired workout and get your sweat on!
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I woke up today to stormy weather. Thunder and lightening woke me up. Steve left the house to go to the gym this morning around 4:45am to train his first client, Corinne. When he arrived, there was no power. It was storming like a hurricane and completely pitch black for blocks. Did that stop them? Nope! Steve pulled out a flashlight and they trained in the dark.
So next time you think you have an excuse to skip your workout, remember you can do whatever you want if you want it bad enough. 9 times out of ten, it’s not about whether you can, it’s just whether you will.
How much time have you wasted contemplating something you know you should do?
How much time do we waste creating excuses to get out of what we need to do?
How many times have we spent more time thinking about doing something than actually doing the something?
We sure wast a LOT of time!
Listen, if you WANT to be fit, quit wanting and start working on being fit. Whether you can or not rarely is even a question. It’s just a matter of whether you WILL. As long as you make your workouts optional, you are allowing your success to be optional. Quit wasting precious time. Just show up!
How much FIRE do your workouts have? Are you winded between exercises? Do you wish you could just stop for just a few seconds to catch your breath? Do you have a trainer or timer (like the GymBoss Interval Timer) setting a pace for you? OR, do you start your next exercise when you are ready – and stop when you are tired?
If you aren’t begging for rest, then you aren’t training your best. Learn to push yourself and train outside your comfort zone. That type of training won’t happen on its own. That has to be planned, and even forced.
Make your next workout the best workout yet! #LiveWithFire
Why do you train? Sometimes that is a question we have to not only ask ourselves when we start a workout program, but we have to ask ourselves that over and over again on our journey. Why? Because we get off track. We often start with a clear and specific goal in mind. It’s normally very simple. We want to be better. We want to be a better version of our old self.
Then, as we pursue that goal, we tend to get off track. We begin to compare ourselves to others. We can easily begin to see what we are not, instead of what we’ve become. Sometimes this can make us push harder. For many, it can do the opposite. We can become discouraged or overwhelmed. Sometimes we can become obsessed.
I encourage you to step back. Look at why you started this. Look at how far you’ve come. Look at the big picture. You are not a better woman, mom, worker, friend, spouse or neighbor if you hold a trophy. No trophy, prize or title makes you better. Being better than someone else doesn’t make you better. Being better than the old you makes you better. That’s what makes you a success. Your greatest accomplishment is beating your own records and accomplishing new goals. THAT makes you a winner.
There is no greater reward than a healthier you. There is nothing better than feeling stronger than you did a few weeks ago, leaner than you’ve been in a long time, healthier than you ever thought possible.
YOU are your reward.
YOU are your prize.
I believe many people are waiting for motivation to show up – as if they can’t make any progress without it. Feeling motivated comes and goes, so you can’t rely on it to keep you going. Science, however, is constant. The work you put in will always reap a reward. If you are one of those people who keep waiting to “feel” motivated, STOP. Stop wasting precious time waiting on a feeling to show up. Instead, use your noggin. Focus on the facts. Focus on the reward, not the work.
Although there are times I feel energized to run, and jacked to lift – they are too few and far between to rely on those feelings to keep me going. So, I rely on routine, discipline, commitment and follow through to get me where I want to be.
Why do I focus on motivational quotes and photos to help others? Because I’m the most unmotivated person I know. I know what I have to tell myself day after day to get to the gym. I know what it takes to talk myself out of ordering french fries. Fitness does not come easy for me. I’d rather lay on the beach and eat a burger like this chick! But I know how it will make me feel afterwards, and it ain’t pretty. Do you want to know where all my motivational quotes come from? They come from my own daily struggles, lessons learned and many failures.
Feeling motivated can be pretty magical, but being disciplined is way more powerful. No matter how you feel or how you perform, as long as you keep showing up and doing the work, you WILL get the reward. Keep Showing Up.
If you are like me, you get tired of your same workouts and like to try new things, so occasionally I post my workouts for you guys to try out – or mix a new move in. Here was my quad & ab workout this week – as well as a workout by Steve that you can do at home!
Leg Workout: Do 3-4 sets of 18-20
Begin with a Warm Up
(I normally just do leg press with no weight)
- Heavy Leg Press
- Single Leg Leg Press (LOVE THESE!)
- Walking Lunges with 20lb dumbbells
- Leg Extensions (Toes pointed out)
- Leg Extensions (toes pointed in)
The thing I dislike just a little more than legs (which I reallllly don’t like) is abs. I seriously dread it – so much so, that I made “doing more abs” one of my New Year’s Resolutions. My workout wasn’t anything special or unique this particular day, but I got it done!
- Plate Crunch 3 sets of x 25 with 25lb Plate
- Ab Machine Crunch 3 sets of x 25
- Incline Sit Ups with Twist 3 sets of x 25
After my workout, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. YUMMY!
Butt, Leg & Abs Workout
Don’t have access to gym equipment? Try this workout at home!
- 15 Skaters
- 5 5-Second Crescent Pose/5-Second Warrior 3 Combo on one leg only
(Repeat above & do other leg)
- 15 Slam Ball (or Plyo Jump Squats)
- 15 Slam Twist Abs
- 15 Double High Knees
- 15 Stomps (one side)
(Repeat the above couplet and do the other side)
Repeat 3-5 times for a complete workout.