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Gym Goddess – Part IV

Welcome to the next installment of the How to Become a Gym Goddess series (if you’d like to catch up, here are Week 1, Week 2 & Week 3).

Week IV ended up being particularly busy so it was the perfect example of how to squeeze workouts in whenever and wherever you can. Whether you’re trying to get in shape, working on changes in your life to make yourself healthier or trying to maintain your existing fitness regime, you need to make a committment to your health. You need to prioritize yourself – your body, your health, your sanity – over other things in your life. I’m not saying that you should miss deadlines to log a little gym time, but you need to make an effort to put yourself first. There will always be something that comes up, a work assignment, a dentist appointment, an illness in the family… But you’re better equipped to handle what life throws at you if you’re healthy & well nourished.

Note: Check with a doctor before you begin a new fitness routine.

 

Day 1:

10 minute cardio warm up – moderate speed on stationary

3 Rounds

  • Plank arm raises – lift each arm 10 times
  • Bench step ups – 10 each leg, knee up
  • Back lunge w/ medicine ball twist – step back into a lunge & twist holding a weighted medicine ball out w/ straight arms, twist to each side 10 times

15 minute cardio warm down

Stretching

Day 2: Medicine ball workout! Grab a 4, 6 or 8 pound ball and let’s go! This is inspired by the workouts featured in the November Women’s Health – Body By Anna (in the magazine only) & Get Fit in Only 15 Minutes. And if you’d like a little more motivation check out model Julie Henderson w/ fitness guru David Kirsch using medicine balls over at Modelinia. Even models aren’t perfect!

10 minute cardio warm up

3 Rounds:

  • 20 Wall sits w/ rotation
  • 20 High-Low chop
  • 20 squats w/ overhead ball raise
  • 20 Russian twists
  • 20 bicycles

10 minute cardio warm down

Day 3: A quickie inspired by The Fitnessista. Even if your schedule is as crazy as Liz’s has been there’s no excuse for slacking off, in the long run you’ll be glad you took a few minutes for yourself.

  • 5 minutes cardio of choice
  • 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • 30 seconds of high knees
  • 30 seconds of plie squats (plie low, jump & bring legs together and arms straight up)
  • 30 seconds mountain climbers
  • 30 seconds push ups
  • 30 seconds burpees

Day 4: HIIT

5 minute warm up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals

5 minute cool down (i.e. walking on a treadmill etc)

Results: This fourth week was really a testament to Liz’s dedication, with work and family issues popping up all almost daily she put forth a lot of effort to make sure that her workouts came together. Once you get into a routine and start to reap the benefits of regular exercise, it’s a great motivator to keep things going. So don’t let yourself get led off course by your busy life – if you make the time, you’ll see the results.

Joining a fitness program or hiring a trainer can be a great way to go if you’re interested in changing your fitness regime and aren’t quite sure where to start. Finding the right program or trainer is important though, not all gyms and trainers are created equal. Check out these suggestions from some of the experts for how to find the perfect fit: PrecisionNutrition, FitSugar, The Fitnessista and The Huffington Post. Also, when to break up with your personal trainer, something else you should definitely keep in mind if you decide to go for one-on-one sessions.


Gym Goddess – Part II

Welcome to Week II of How to Become a Gym Goddess (you can check out Week 1 here). To recap, this is the journey of an individual who has taken some time off from the gym, is in the process of making some big changes to her diet and would like to start getting back into shape.

Week I was primarily about measuring her abilities and testing her boundaries in a safe, controlled manner. In week two we increased the amount of cardio and worked on her core so that she has a good base to start doing weight in another few weeks.

 Source

*Note: Please talk to your physician prior to attempting a new fitness routine.

 

Day 1:

10 minute cardio warm up – moderate intensity

5 rounds – As quickly as possible w/out sacrificing form

  • 15 box jumps
  • 10 push-ups (on knees if necessary)
  • 20 sit-ups (chin up to the ceiling) 
  • 20 squats

10 minute cardio warm down

Day 2: HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) – Pick a machine and go-go-go

5 minute warm up – moderate intensity, you want to get your heart rate up

  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed
  • 30 seconds as fast as possible
  • 1 minute 30 seconds recovery – moderate speed

Repeat for 15 minutes of intervals

5 minute cool down

Stretching

Day 3: Stability ball play time! (See The Fitnessista’s Focus On Medicine Balls for inspiration & safety tips)

10 minute cardio warm up – moderate intensity

Using a medicine/bosu ball, complete the following as quickly as possible:

  • 30 push ups  w/ feet on ball
  • 30 crunchies (chin to the ceiling)
  • 30 hamstring curls (laying on back)
  • 30 seconds plank w/ feet on the ball

10 minute cardio warm down

Stretching

Weekend Mini Workout: To be completed at any point Saturday or Sunday (***Bonus points if you get a workout buddy to join you and race!)

Sprint the length of the street, walk back to your starting point, 5 burpees (how to) – Repeat 10x

Starting w/ your feet together, jump as far as you can & repeat for the length of the street. To the end of the street and back to your starting point = 1, complete 5x

Results: After finishing her second week of regular workouts Liz was even more motivated and enthusiastic than before. The number one thing that she noticed? Even if she was dreading a workout and was exhausted by the time the last rep finished, she ended every workout more excited to start the next. Endorphins at their best!

* Trick To Try: Set an alarm on your cell or an Outlook calendar reminder for multiple times a day and spend a few minutes thinking about your core and your posture – especially important if you’re sitting in front of a computer or in class room for hours a day. Flex your stomach muscles and concentrate on your abdominal wall for 30 seconds, take a few deep breaths and repeat a handful of times, until you begin to feel fatigued. By staying in touch with your body over the course of the day you’ll be less likely to hunch or maintain harmful posture for extended period of time.

 

And in a fortuitous turn of events, The Fitnessista also recently did a post on getting back into shape, if you want to check out her expert advice here it is!