What To Do When You’re Too Tired To Workout?

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We’ve all heard of the idea that dog owners tend to look like their dogs. Well, I’ve definitely been looking more and more like my Sammy when it comes to going to the gym;)  BTW, he’s making 14 years this Spring💛.

Honestly, I’ve been freaking out a little bit because I’ve never experienced a lack of motivation to go to the gym for a whole week!  Usually taking a day off does the trick for me, but not this time.

I did have a realization today while I was at the gym.  Last week I completed an intense 14-week muscle building program and really should have taken a full week off.  My husband has been trying to persuade me to take a break, but I was too stubborn and maybe even afraid to listen to him.  Well, I guess he was right, as much as I hate to admit it;)

In spite of the lack of mojo I was able to get in four really good workouts.  Here’s how I was able to push through the tiredness and lack motivation:FullSizeRender (25)

  1. I changed up the scenery.  The weather was nice so I got my dumbells and worked biceps, triceps and shoulders on the back porch.  It felt so good to get fresh air and the alone time was nice.  On another day I trained in a different gym.  Trying out new equipment along with changing up my routine made it interesting.
  2. I got a new piece of equipment.  I’ve been working a lot more hours so I decided I needed to get something for the house when I just don’t feel like going to the gym.  I purchased one of those pull-up bars you can attach to your door frame.  I had the best ab and back workout ever in my hallway!  (If you’re interested I can share that workout).
  3. Instead of a structured workout plan, I asked myself ‘what do I feel like doing today?’ This brought some levity and allowed me to listen to my body.  It was nice to get out of my head and drop more into my body.  So much of our day is spent in our minds.  When we check in with our bodies it actually helps us become more present.  💡The next time you walk into the gym ask yourself, ‘what do I feel like working today? Do I want to make it a short workout or do I have the energy to get after it?’
  4. I took some rest days.  I think there is truth in love and in fitness with the idea that absence makes the heart grow fonder.  Give yourself a mental and physical rest day to recharge and appreciate all your hard work.

I’m interested to hear your ideas and tips for when you are feeling unmotivated or too tired to workout.  Feel free to write a comment:)

 

 

The Technique To Burn Fat and Build Muscle Fast!

If you’ve hit a plateau with weight loss or are just bored as heck with your workouts and need something to light things up, you should give cardio accelerations a try!

What is cardio acceleration?

Cardio acceleration is when you combine high-intensity cardio with strength training.  Instead of taking a typical rest break between your lifts, you do some type of cardio, all out, for one minute.   I prefer to jump rope, however, you could do any type exercise for your cardio acceleration.  Here are some examples: running in place next to the bench, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, skaters, dumbbell cleans, step-ups, etc.

fullsizerender-1Jumping rope is hands down my favorite tool for keeping my body conditioned and agile.  Read more about the benefits for jumping rope along with training tips here: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/jump-in-lean-out-with-jump-rope-training/

What is the benefit?

I got turned on to this training technique when I did Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Shred program.  His program did get me shredded.  Another benefit is that there is no hem hawing around waiting for the next set, which is perfect for my adult ADD;) LOL.

My hubby always teases me because if I’m not doing cardio intervals between sets, I’m stretching;)  This was him poking fun of me yesterday when I was stretching between my bench presses.  LOL

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One thing I REALLY love about this technique is that it fills in for my 20-30 minutes of cardio on the step mill or treadmill!

  • Check this out, 20-30 minutes of these high-intensity intervals burns more fat than spending that amount of time on a treadmill. Trust me, your metabolic rate will be up the entire workout and that means you are burning a lot of calories during and after your workout!

I now cycle through this program twice a year, and lately, I’ve been throwing in cardio accelerations with my leg day once a week.

After doing a set of squats, I do 100-200 revolutions jumping rope.  (BTW, I’ve been performing squats recently with a box to make sure I’m nailing my form and getting good and low).

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If you’re worried that the cardio could take away from the strength of your lifts, here is research that Stoppani shares from his Shortcut To Shred Training Overview:

A University of California, Santa Cruz, study found that when subjects did cardio between weightlifting sets, they were able to recover better because of increased blood flow. Cardio acceleration elevates your heart rate, which means more blood pumps to your working muscles throughout your workout.

Ready to HIIT it now?  Let’s go!!

Bodyweight HIIT Cardio Intervals

Want to get in a quality cardio session without spending 45 minutes to and hour on a treadmill?  You can optimize your time and get better results with this 20-minute high-intensity interval workout.   This fat burning cardio session will tone your entire body and leave you feeling energized!  You can do this in your office, home or in the gym.

What you need:

  1. a couple of hand towels
  2. a mat
  3. a stopwatch or tabata timer
  4. your willingness to give your best effort.  You can do this workout in your office, home, outside or in the gym.

The Plan:

  • Get a stopwatch or download an interval/tabata timer on your phone.  There are many free apps available that are good.
  • You will exercise for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds, and repeat 8 times.
  • Perform circuit 1 rest 1 minute, move into circuit 2 and then repeat the whole sequence again.  At the end of the workout, you will have done each circuit 2 times.

This will make better sense once you get into the workout. Be warned, it starts off feeling easy but the short rest breaks will challenge you!

Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up to make sure your muscles are loose and you are mentally focused.

Let’s get started! (photos of the exercises below the workout)

Circuit 1
1) Low Jacks:  20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
2) Plank Jacks: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
3) Squat Jumps: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds
4) Push-up to knee tucks: 20 seconds/rest 10 seconds

-repeat circuit 1 again until you’ve completed 8 cycles which will take you exactly 4 minutes.

After the 4 minute circuit, rest 1 minute then move on to the next circuit.

Circuit 2 (follow the 20 on/10 off sequence)
1) Burpees
2) Army Crawls
3) Side to side jump squats
4) Squat thrusts

-repeat circuit 2 again until you’ve completed 8 cycles which will take you exactly 4 minutes.

After the 4 minute circuit, rest 1 minute then repeat the entire workout again.

Circuit 1:

low jacks– stay low the entire time.

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Plank jacks– in a push-up position, jump your legs out wide and together.

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Squat Jumps– no photo for this one, just squat and jump as high as you can.

Push-up to knee tuck– put a wash cloth under each foot.  Using your abs, pull your knees into your chest and the push them back.

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Circuit 2

Burpees– no photos for this one either.  You will squat, jump your feet back to push up position, jump your feet back in and immediately do a squat jump.

Army crawls– on your forearms and toes, keep your hips steady as possible as your crawl forward to the end of your mat and then crawl backward.

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Side to side jump squats– roll your mat up or pick a spot to tap down with your hands.  Squat to one side, bring your feet together in the center and jump out to the other side.  You want this to be fast and fluid.

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Squat thrusts– squat down, jump your feet back, back in and stand.

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Build-A-Booty Part 2

Building a beautiful fit booty requires you to literally work your butt off, however, that doesn’t mean the process can’t be fun!  I love glute day!  Working out these large muscles challenges me to push my body, and I love that feeling!  I also enjoy the variety of exercises and methods you can use to train your glutes.

Working out with a friend that brings passion into her workouts helps keep it fun and challenging.  You see him or her hitting a certain number of reps, or practicing good form and it makes you want to push that much harder.

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practicing sassy poses with Sarah between sets;) LOL🍑🍑

My recommendations for the Build-A-Booty Challenge:

  1.  Train your glutes/legs twice a week.  For example, Monday and Thursday, just make sure to have enough days between to rest the muscle groups.  For another complete leg workout: https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2014/09/08/rockin-leg-routine/
  2. Warm up for 5 minutes with cardio and use the foam roller to stretch before starting.
  3. Practice the guides from Build-A-Booty Challenge Part 1:  https://healthyjustice.wordpress.com/2016/04/22/build-a-booty-challenge/

Here is a complete workout that Sarah and I did last week.

Hip Thrusts 4×12

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I like starting with this move to isolate and activate the glutes.  I wrap a pad around the barbell and use  large weights because it makes it easier to get into position.  A modification is to do a bridge on the floor.

Deep Squats 4×12

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My focus is on going deep and having a strong mind-body connection.  I choose a weight that allows me to get that depth while keeping good form.  A modification is to perform a squat on the smith machine.

Single Leg Press 4×8-10

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I don’t have to put any weight on the leg press for this exercise.  You can use the non-working leg to self spot if you need that little bit of help on the push up.

Superset the Single Leg Press with the Bulgarian Split Squat 4×10

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Make sure your working leg is positioned well enough in front so the knee tracks over the ankle.  Keep your chest lifted.  Think about pushing up through the heel so you will better activate your glutes.

Sumo Squat 3×15

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I like doing these between two benches to get more depth and recruit more glutes.

Superset Sumo Squat with Single Leg Deadlift

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I love heavy Stiff Leg Deadlifts more than anyone, but this exercise is challenging in a way that will wake up untapped muscle fibers.  Work your balance, core and different muscle fibers to get even the most stubborn glutes to grow.

A modification is to do this on the floor.  I stand slightly off center on top of the bosu ball.  

NOTE:  If you haven’t done single leg work, you’ve got to start working it into your training.  We all have one leg/side that is more dominant and stronger than the other.  Single leg exercises addresses those muscle imbalances and helps you gain even greater strength and power in your athletic lifts.

Enjoy your workout and make sure to stretch!💞

 

 

Shoulder/Core Burnout

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It’s one of those lazy Sunday’s where I’ve had great plans of all I wanted to get done, but blame it on the rain and the Saints game, I’m just kinda unmotivated.  However, I’m going to show compassion to myself by remembering that rest is equally as important as work.

With all the “working out” that we do, it’s important to put focus on “working in.”  In other words, if we are going to hit our workouts out of the ballpark and bring our ‘A’ game to work and to our daily lives, then finding ways to recharge our batteries and renew ourselves is necessary.

So today I’m allowing myself to enjoy some downtime, especially considering how yesterday I did my domestic “thang” with cooking and cleaning,  I was also inspired to put together this shoulder/core workout for you pool side -:)

This is a workout you can do easily at home or in the gym.  It can be a good circuit to get in a fast and efficient workout or a finisher to a shoulder and ab workout.  To view the complete workout click on this link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hsFsUMkJmc

Here is what you’ll need:  a mat and light dumbbells (I’m using 8lbs) (guys-maybe 12-15lbs)

The Plan:   Perform 16-20 reps of each exercise.  Do not rest between exercises.  Perform 3-5 rounds and feel the burn!🔥 You will be glad you have those light weights;)

1st exercise:  Balance shoulder press

*8-10 reps balancing on each leg
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Second:  Alternate weighted leg lifts

16-20 TOTAL reps

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Third:  Russian Twist

16-20 TOTAL reps

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Fourth:  Walking Planks

16-20 TOTAL reps

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Fifth:  Weighted Jacks

16-20 Total Reps

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I would love to hear from you about what recharges your batteries and renews you mentally and physically?  Share your feedback about the workout too!  

 

How To Build the Perfect Circuit Workout To Lean Out

Circuit Training is a great way to get the benefits of strength & cardio training in one workout.  I love to lift weights, but I would rather run in a rain storm than do cardio on a machine.  Circuit training is my solution.

What is circuit training?

Basically you do one exercise immediately followed by another.  For example you can select 3-5 exercises & perform them one right after the other.  This is done with little or no rest between them.

I teach a circuit training class at the UFC Gym in Mandeville, Louisiana and this was one of the routines I had the class perform.

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Round 1:  (50 seconds on each exercise)

Cable low row

One arm row

Deadlift

Squat Pulse Jumps (wide stance squat, pulse 3 times then jump)  Fire in the thighs! Whew!

-rest 1 min then repeat 2 more times

Round 2:

Close grip press (narrow grip on barbell to get triceps)

Tricep dips on bench

Heavy walking lunges

Squat with tricep extension

-rest and repeat 2 more times

  • 6min of shoulder burnouts: 3 exercises done without rest for 6 min
  • 6 min of ab burnouts

This is one example of many ways you can build a circuit routine.  Another example workout is doing a strength exercise followed by cardio.  I do this when I want to work really hard &/or get shredded fast.  You have to be willing to bring your A game because it’s intense.

For example:  Chest press & Jump rope, after each set of chest press follow it with 1 min of jump rope.  Then do another exercise followed by 1 cardio min. & continue that template for your entire workout.  You will be busted but shredded in weeks.  Jump rope is a suggestion for cardio, but you could do jumping jacks, high knees, squats, step ups, skaters, etc.

Advantages of Circuit Training:

  1. Lean up- it will help you lean out and get ripped.
  2. You save time by getting cardio and strength in one workout.  In & out of the gym fast.
  3. Places a greater demand on the body which dramatically increases your metabolism & leads to increased fat burning long after the workout.
  4. Improves conditioning & muscular endurance.

*When putting together your circuit take into consideration the busyness of the gym when you plan to workout.  You can adjust by keeping everything in close proximity.