Every January a large percentage of our population renew their vow to get into shape and embrace fitness as a way of life. Every March the amount of people still on track or experiencing any success in their fitness goals is about 20%! If that’s you, read on because I’m going to help you succeed this year by giving you some much needed direction.
The problem is usually that most people jump in too fast (or pick only one course of exercise) resulting in either burn out, boredom, injury, or just lack of sustained motivation. Without keeping your fitness routine varied and effectively focused you will not be able to sustain – especially if you aren’t already addicted to exercise.
So below is a generic (yet adjustable to each individual) fitness routine that will last you through January. Those of you who stick with it, write to me and I’ll give you February, etc. If after 3 months you have stayed the course and seen and felt results – well then you can sign up (and pay) for more routines. But I am offering first quarter 2017 free routines, so take advantage people!
Keep in mind, that nutrition is 70% of your battle. So if you are really committed you may want to order a customized meal plan from me (workouts247.com), but regardless I urge and remind you NOT to DIET. Diets do not work! Keep your nutrition lean and clean 85% of the time (15% is free for you to drink, eat sugary, fatty, hi-caloric stuff) and eat 6 small meals/snacks per day. Drink water water water and follow this routine and I know you’ll see results!
Also stay off the scale – we’re trying to build muslce and reduce fat and the scale will not show the results you’re looking for. Only the way your clothes fit and the way you see your body are valid proof of your fitness success.
So here is your FREE 3 Day – 30 mins workout routine for January. Most of this can be done with little to no equipment, and all of it is perfect for a gym. Either way, modifiy as you need to for your fitness levels and access to equipment, but do not modify how aggressively you attack this workout. BE A BEAST! If you need clarification on exercises, weights, etc., you know where to find me. Stick with this and next month you’ll be ready for a 5-day workout!
DAY 1 – UPPER
10 incline push ups
15 Triceps dips
15 DB curls
10 DB up-out-in-downs
15 DB hammer curls
15 DB triceps kick backs
10 Leg lowers & raises (Abs)
Repeat circuit 2-3 times
DAY 2 – LOWER
25 Jumping jacks
10 Step Ups (each leg)
15 Jump Squats
10 DB Tap Squats
15 Wide to Narrow Squats
10 Dead lifts into Calf Raises
15 Single Leg Lunges (each leg)
25 V-sit in and outs
Repeat circuit 2-3 times
DAY 3 – TOTAL BODY
5 Mins steep incline treadmill walk (Or any cardio that kicks your butt)
20 DB Lunge walks with shoulder presses
10 DB push ups with alternating single arm rows
20 DB squats
20 Mountain Climbers
15 DB Curl to presses
15 DB Shoulder Flies
15 DB Triceps Ear Busters
3 Thirty-second Planks (prone iso abs)
Repeat circuit 2-3 times
As a business owner, I utilize many of the top social networking sites to promote Dane Life Fitness. Sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr utilize a visual format to entice viewers to stop and read, and then perhaps “buy” whatever it is we’re selling. Lately I have been dismayed as I see a huge surge in posts displaying women whose abs are so muscle bound that they sport more than the proverbial 6-pack – they have an 8-pack and oblique striations (see photo below).
These are not muscle-bound she-men training for a body building competition, these are young (20-30’s) athletic women who have achieved the type of abs usually viewed only on super low-fat and fit men. Clearly it’s great that women have figured out how to finally lower their body fat levels to such a state that their flat tummies rival men – OR IS IT?
While I applaud these women who work hard and make their daily focus be exercise and extreme nutrition, I’ve stated time and time again that women NEED body fat if we are to be healthy. Obviously we need our body fat levels to stay in a certain “lean” range for our health’s sake (17-28% depending on age and build), but the female form is not supposed to be as low-fat as the male body naturally is. Not to mention that the aforementioned extreme nutrition makes life sometimes feel stressfull — after all, we’re supposed to be able to enjoy good food, wine and chololate (in moderation) aren’t we?! (Oprah says yes!)
Why this is a detrimental trend in my view is because women with body fat levels lower than 17% can and do see a weakening in their immune systems, poor circulation (personal thermostat levels), menstrual and reproduction systems compromised, and thyroid confusion (thyroid malfunction is not surprisingly on the rise). It is especially hard on the body when these low-fat levels are forced vs. natural. What I mean by that is some girls/women are born naturally thin with super fast metabolisms. I was one of those – I was 5′ 7″ by age 15, but I still couldn’t break 100 lbs until I was about 22 (with 15% body fat). But I didn’t starve myself ever, I had (and still do) have a great immune system, and clearly my body could handle it. Forcing your body to have super low body fat levels when it’s not natural creates a great strain internally, especially on your organs.
Now that I am in my 50’s, and while still lean and healthy (19% body fat), no longer sport my own concave lower abs, I realize more than ever how detrimental it is to women to be always told we need to have flat abs. We’re supposed to be slightly round between our ribs and hips – we’re supposed to be curvy and…well…feminine. These uber-lean models are changing what our young girls think about how their bodies should look.
The worst part of this is that 85% of men when polled about their preferences fessed up to actually not finding super skinny or overly-toned women as attractive as someone with a little “softness” to their build. Men want us to be women – not walking muscles. So one must ask, why are we so obsessed with a washboard stomach?
With all this as food for thought, once again I plead with all my female followers and friends to maintain healthy levels of body fat, but more importantly to love your bodies and your stomach in particular. Join me in re-labeling what is attractive and sexy in our own perceptions and embrace being well-rounded individuals – including our abs!
Okay, so the kids are back in school and everyone’s weekly routine is quickly settling in for the Fall season. What that means in the fitness industry is a large segment of clients drop off because the “summer-skin-showing” motivation has waned, while another segment of clients ramp up as they frantically seek to work off the extra fat calories gained during vacations and time off with the kids. It is those of you whom I am targeting in this week’s blog (and if some of you summer-bums are seeking renewed motivation this will work for you as well).
Rather than go back to the same old routine you’ve been following all summer (or dare I say all year) – try changing things up and shocking your body into a fast burn of calories with the REPS TO EXHAUSTION method. This type of resistance training is highly efficient at burning fat calories (especially 24-48 hours after) thereby toning muscles rapidly (i.e., you’ll see fast results).
Here’s the gist: for each muscle group choose any exercise (with either free weights or machines) and find the weight amount that is light enough for you to perform 10 reps, but too heavy for 20-25 reps. Then perform that exercise, doing your best to isolate the targeted muscle(s), and continue lifting (or pushing/pulling) the weight until you absolutely positively cannot possibly lift/push/pull any more (ideally somewhere around the 17-22 rep mark). Then rest for 1 full minute and repeat. You should perform 3-5 sets for each exercise.
If you want to keep your workouts to 30-minutes, you can choose just one or two muscle groups per day (like biceps & triceps or quads & hams). In case you need a body-breakdown reminder, here are your targeted areas, all of which you should perform at least 2 different exercises per muscle group, hitting each muscle group 2x per week:
- Biceps (front of arm)
- Triceps (back of arm)
- Deltoids (shoulders)
- Traps & Lats (upper and lower back)
- Quads (front of thighs)
- Hamstrings (back of thighs)
As always, abs are best hit without weights involved. But here too you can choose to perform all exercises (whether crunches, leg lifts or v-sits) until your ab muscles are crying! Don’t forget to always through in several prone-iso-abs (planks) which will strengthen your core from bellybutton to back – and if you’ve been holding them for 30-seconds (the average) – now push yourself to hold until exhaustion.
Keep in mind that this method of lifting requires you to ignore your brain screaming “stop, you’re exhausted“ and listen instead to your muscles. When you simply cannot lift/push/pull anymore because your muscle is truly fatigued – that’s when you rest!
Try this method for the next several weeks, and then switch it up again. If you’re not sure what to do at that point, you know who to contact. Now go get exhausted!