How to Shred It and Get Back to Fit.

IMG_1210Got Covid belly?
Want to look better in that bathing suit?
Here is my 4 point strengthcardio and clean eating plan to help us all #Shred it and get back to fit.
1. Sculpt Thy Body Perfect
I recommend a total body strength workout using dumbbells two or three times a week. It tones all major muscle groups to create a balanced body and saves time. Strength training is excellent for burning calories (muscle burns more calories than fat) and getting lean. Plus, life is easier when we are stronger.
Your challenge: Add 2 -3 25 minute strength training sessions a week.
This plan works for beginner and advanced athletes.
Remember to focus on your form (This is easy if you work out in front of a mirror).
Start with 5-15 lbs dumbbells.
Challenge yourself to lift heavier weights as you get stronger.
Put your mind to your muscles as you work out and keep abdominals and booty engaged.
Jam out to your favorite music during your workout to boost endorphins.
Upper Body: 5X5
Five exercises, ten reps, five sets.
Bicep Curls, Shoulder Press, Triceps Kickback, Chest Press (or Push Up), Reverse Fly or Row. Pick a weight that, by rep 10 of each exercise, it should challenge you.
Lower body and core: 5 x5
Five exercises, ten reps, five sets:
Squats, Lunges, Deadlift, Standing Calf Raise, Russian Twist.
Pick a weight that, by rep 10 of each exercise, it should challenge you.
2. Boost Calorie Burn with Interval Training:
Want to burn more calories? Interval training rocks. There is so much research on the benefits I will spare you from putting it all here. Just trust me and the science.
Short 20-25 minute sessions on a machine, biking, walking, or running outside is all it takes – as long as you push it during the high of your intervals.
Your challenge: Add 3 20-25 minute sessions of heart-pumping interval training sessions per week. Shred-it tip: Add music to go faster.
5×5 25 minute cardio examples.
2 Minutes Walking, 2 Minutes Running, 1 Minute Sprinting. Repeat 5x.
Or, try this 20 minute interval plan from the Body For Life challenge that is fast and efficient.
For perceived exertion (intensity level), think 1-10.
Level 1: You are sitting on couch or taking a slow walk.
Level 5: You are walking/jogging.
Level 6: You are running.
Level 10: You are in an all out sprint.
Workout:
1. Warm up for 2 minutes at level 5.
2. Minutes 2-3 move from intensity level 5 to 6. Note: Level 6 is your recovery spot.
3. Minutes 4-5, 6-10 and 11-14  build up from level 6 to level 9, maintaining each level for one minute, then recover at level 6.
4. Minutes 14-19 build up from level 6 to level 10 (the high point), maintaining each level for one minute,
then recover at level 6.
5. Minute 20-25 cool down.
3. Sit Less
Reading this while sitting down? Stand up.
Are you sitting at your desk all day? Then drive, fly or Uber it home and sit more? Sitting all day and inactivity increases your risk of atrophy, weight gain, and many diseases like diabetes, slowing down your metabolism.
Research suggests that even shorts bursts of activity during the day make a difference.
Ideas: Set a timer to get up every 25 minutes to take a lap around the home or the office, go up and downstairs, or make tea and fetch a glass of water.
Walk the dog -don’t just let him outback. Walk or run at lunch and after dinner. Conduct walking meetings. Play Twister, dance, or play ball with your spouse or kids after work. Do jumping jacks and squats while binge-watching. Whatever. Just move more.
4. Eat Dinner Earlier:
Heard the buzz on Intermittent Fasting (IE)? Research shows it is an effective eating pattern to boost weight loss. And has a load of bonus benefits. We can’t ignore the diet. As we trainers say and know, you cannot our train a poor diet, so let’s hone in on what, when, and how much we eat.
To make it easy, eat cleaner and within a smaller window of time a few days a week.
I consulted my talented friend Barret Butler, RD, LD, MPH, for her professional advice on IE. She tested a bunch of diets on her friends and clients a few years ago. Out of ALL the diets, the most sustained weight loss was with her plan, a version of IE, which she has kindly provided for us below.
1. Eat three real food meals a day and one afternoon snack.
2. Avoid alcohol during Monday-Friday.
3. Two nights a week, prep dinner early (think slow cooker) and finish eating by 5 pm.
Example Day:
Eat Breakfast (protein size of your palm, healthy fat, fruit, or toast)
Eat lunch (protein size of your palm, healthy fat, big salad)
Eat Snack (handful nuts and kombucha or green tea)
Eat dinner (protein size of your palm), steamed or grilled veggies, or big salad).
Summary:
  • Add 2-3 25 minutes of strength training a week.
  • Add 3 25 mins interval training a week.
  • Move more during the day and evening.
  • Commit to Barret’s simple eating pattern.
That’s it!
I know. Fit this #Shredit challenge into your busy life? Yes! If you want to get fitter, leaner, and stronger, it’s a simple plan and 30 mins or less a day. This plan can make you feel fitter and leaner within a week!
Get up earlier to get it done.
Commit to #JustDoIt for a two-week test.
Then, assess the data.
Do you feel leaner, stronger, happier? Are you sleeping better?
Yes?
Add another two weeks. You got this. 🙂

6 Ways to Boost Your Running TODAY

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Want to love running more? To run like a kid again? To make running so easy and enjoyable again…just thinking about running brings a smile to your face and boosts your endorphins. Or do you want to come back from injury safely while getting stronger and faster?
You can do this and more. I promise. The secret key is YOU. You must focus on you.
Here are 6 free tips to get you started.
1. Get Taller: Great posture is the foundation of injury prevention and energy efficiency, especially when exercising and running. Lengthen that spine as you read this. Take a few deep breaths. Isn’t it easier to breathe upright? Now walk to a mirror to see how this posture looks and feels compared to your usual posture.
2. Get Aligned: Align your skeleton. Arms parallel underneath shoulders. Feet hip width and parallel.  Walk, run and exercise aligned from now on.
3. Use your Core: Engage your lower abs always especially if you have back pain. This is your powerhouse. An engaged core protects back, knees and helps with balance. Keep core strong up hills and up and down stairs.
4. Use Your Arms: They are not along for the ride! Allow them to glide like buttah at a 90 degree angle on flats, and at 45 degree angle on hills. Think “elbows back.”
5. Use Physics: Allow your center of mass to fall slightly forward. This is actually rocket science! Okay, physics. Engineers really get this. If you center of mass goes forward, guess what else does? Your entire body!
This slight movement of your center is from the ankle (think of this lean like a tree falling, ski jumper, speed skater or as someone riding a scooter, skateboard or Segway). Don’t lean/bend from hips. Lean more to go faster and lean into hills as you go up them.
6. Quicken Your Stride. Try a shorter, quicker mid foot stride. Less time on ground equals less damage, right?
Practice this marching in place, then walking, then running while keeping a cadence of 1-2-3,  repeat. You can also use a mini metronome, app or music set to 175-180 steps/beats per minute.
6 ways to boost your running. There you have it.
Give these tips a try and let me know how you do!

Back, Knee or Hip Pain? Check Posture.

Does your back, knees, IT band or piriformis give you pain when you run?
If so, you may be depressed you can’t run, or run easily. Right? Been there.
It’s time to get back in the game.
First, let’s check your form.
I learned how to eliminate running injuries and related misery with good form.
We learn how to run short and long distance. To do speed-work and hills. To hydrate. To eat well. To supplement. But form? That must be an ancient secret for the Olympians.
Tip of the day. Start with better posture.
Look in a mirror or have someone videotape you standing.
Great posture is the foundation. We instructors spend a lot of time on posture!
Get tall. Imagine you are being pulled up by the crown of your head by a little angel. Take a breath.
Get aligned. Align your shoulders, arms and feet parallel.
Get relaxed: Drop those shoulders if tense. 🙂
Level pelvis.  Engage lower, stabilizing abdominals.
Now get outside for a walk with this grand new posture.
Have someone videotape you so you can see how you move more smoothly.
Feel better?  Keep walking. Faster you go get arms up to a right angle.
When ready….begin an easy run this way by falling gently forward.
Tall, aligned, engaged and relaxed.
Let me know how you do!
More tips to follow….