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Top 20 Exercises You Love to Hate, and Hate to Love

Fitness requires going out of your comfort zone. This means you will have a love/hate relationship with some exercises. You will hate to do them, but you will love what they do for you! 

choresSome Exercises Are Really A Chore

Seriously, I’d be lying if I told you I love every exercise. People need to be realistic. You may like a clean home, but that doesn’t mean you enjoy cleaning toilets. While you might not mind wiping down the counters, there will be some things you don’t like to do – but you sure are glad when they are done. In the same way, everyone has that exercise they really would prefer to skip, but you don’t want to skip the results.

No! Anything but THAT!

For most of us, it’s the exercise that takes the most work we hate the most. If only we could spray ourselves down with bleach to melt the fat away. Nope, it’s going to take some elbow grease I’m afraid! The fact is, if it’s an easy exercise, it probably isn’t as effective as the tougher ones.

box jumpsIf you want an effective exercise, you will probably need the exercise that works you where you need it most (normally working your weakest areas). It will be that dreaded exercise that gets your heart pounding out of your chest to the point you think your heart is going to explode. Or, maybe it’s the exercise that burns so much you are convinced your muscles are going to spontaneously bust out in flames. You probably are already thinking of a few exercises that fit this category. It’s OK, we all have a secret list of most-hated exercises. We don’t have to love every exercise we do. We can just love the results!

The Eight I Hate

wall sitsPersonally, my most hated exercises are Big Ax Jacks and Stomps. Oh yeah, I almost forgot wall sits, all yoga and push ups. Oh wait, and there are pull ups and Mary Catherines. OK, maybe I could make my own top 20 list, because I have enough hated exercises to fill up the list on my own. However, if I’m honest (and you know I am) I have to admit most of these most hated exercises are exercises that works my body in ways I need it worked the most. So what does that tell me? I need to do those exercises even MORE. Ughhhhh. The truth stinks!! But you know what they say, the will set you free! 🙂

As I pondered the most hated (and secretly loved) exercises, I decided to set out and find what other people HATE to do, but LOVE the results. Since we all have different strengths and weaknesses, I fully expected different opinions. At the same time, I also knew there would be a few top picks that almost everyone would agree on. The comments were awesome!

Top 20 Most-Hated Exercises That Work

Below, are the top 20 responses – from awful to worst (I wonder what THAT could be! lol The Hint is in the screen shot from facebook below. haha)!  TIP: Click on the link to view video instruction.

burpees suck20. Thrusters
19. Jump Squats
18. Rope Climb
17. Manmakers
16. Double Unders
15. Pistol Squat (Single Leg Squat)
14. Wall Ups
13. The Gauntlet (Step Mill)
12. Tuck Jumps
11. Wall Sits
10. Pull Ups
9. Stomps
8. Mary Catherines (Plyo split lunges)
7. Push Ups
6. Planks & Side Planks
5. Running
4. Lunges (all types of lunges!)
3. Big Ax Jacks (minus the football stomps in the video)
2. Mountain Climbers
1. Burpees

Add Your Most-Dreaded to the List!

What is your nemesis? What exercise do YOU hate to do, but love the results? Comment below!

live exerciseJoin us on LiveExercise and learn how to incorporate these exercises in your workout. Steve and I lead a cross training workout show each week where we use some of the most hated (and loved) exercises to get you the results you want. We’d love to have you!! Click on the LIVE logo and get workout with us for 2 weeks free! We have 32 LiveXFit workouts you can do, plus over 2,000 other workouts to try too including kickboxing, yoga, chiseled bands, chiseled cardio, dumbbells, toning and more!

Prime Bodyweight Workout

No weights? No problem. This insane workout only uses your own body weight to train your entire body and burn a ton of calories in one short sweatfest. The whole idea is to do this workout as quickly as you can. This means, take as little rest as possible throughout the entire workout. Time yourself for added accountability or race a friend.

prime workoutClick on the exercise to view video demonstration:

6 Total Rounds:

  • 1 x = 1 rep each
  • 2 x = 2 reps each
  • 3 x = 3 reps each
  • 4 x = 5 reps each
  • 5 x = 7 reps each
  • 11 x = 11 reps each


Jog, Run, Sprint Full Body Workout


FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 jog run sprint workoutStrengthen your entire body, as well as burn a load of calories too with this full body conditioning and cardio workout.

Tools: Dumbbells, Kettlebells, Plate Weights, sandbag, concrete block or other heavy object, and space for a 50 meter run.

15 Mountain Climbers
50-Meter JOG
15 Burpees
50-meter RUN
15 Push Press
50-Meter SPRINT

Watch this instruction video for more information:

This workout is one of the Savage Race workouts designed for mud run training, offered at

Healthy Business Travel: Exercising on the Go

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of National Car Rental. 

Steve and Bonnie PfiesterNational Car Rental wants you to be a healthy business traveler, so today Steve and I are going to give you everything you need to Go Like a Pro and be a healthy business traveler – even if all you have is a little hotel floor space.

If you spend many of your days in cabs, planes and hotels, you probably have already experienced the challenges of maintaining some kind of fitness routine. Luckily, most hotels have some type of fitness room – some smaller than others. But, at least you normally have the option of getting on a treadmill or elliptical, if nothing else.

Before smart phones, people had a difficult time going for a run without knowing how far they were going. Now, with handy dandy apps like the RunKeeper or MapMyRun, you can throw on your tennis shoes and go for a productive run even if you have no clue where you are or where you are going. With the help of the built-in GPS system in our smart phones, you can know exactly how far you went, and how to get back to your hotel if you get lost.

Learn Your Go-To Exercises

Hotel workoutFirst, let’s talk exercises. There is cardiovascular exercise, which we use to burn calories and stored fat, and there is more traditional strength training to tone muscle. If running outside or working out in a hotel gym isn’t an option, what can you do? Plenty! The problem is, most people don’t have a big enough exercise library in their head to pull from. This is where Steve and I come in! We are going to give you a list of 20 exercises you can do anywhere – and all you need is a little floor space.

Click on the links below to see video demonstration of each exercise. Once you get familiar with each one, then we can talk about how to put them together in a purposeful, and effective, workout.

20 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do In Your Room

  1. Burpee – Full body/cardio
  2. Double Unders – cardio20 Bodyweight Exercises
  3. Jumping Jacks – cardio
  4. Heismans – cardio
  5. Butt-kicks – cardio
  6. Mary Catherines – cardio, legs & glutes
  7. Crisscross Squat – cardio, legs & glutes
  8. Skater – cardio, legs and glutes
  9. Air Squats – legs and glutes
  10. Static Lunge – legs and glutes
  11. Curtsy – glutes
  12. Bridge Crunch – hamstrings, glutes & core
  13. Push-up – Chest and arms
  14. Squat Thrust – upper body, core & cardio
  15. Triceps Dips – upper body
  16. Bicycle Crunch – obliques & abs
  17. Plank – core
  18. T-plank – core
  19. Superman – core, low back, hamstring and glutes
  20. Seated Glute Stretch/ Sciatic Stretch – great stretch for people who sit, for long periods of time (like being on the road) to help or prevent sciatica.

Create a Workout

create a workoutTo simplify things, I listed each exercise into categories, A (cardio), B (lower body conditioning), C (glutes), D (upper body) and E (core).

Now you can create a simple workout by choosing the right combination of exercises to help you reach your goal. Before you can do this, you need to know what your goal is. Do you want to burn calories? Do you need to just work a specific body part (like upper body, lower body or abs)? Once you determine your goal, you can follow these programming tips to create your very own custom workout using this simple graph below.

Cardio Lower Body Conditioning Glutes Upper Body Core
Burpee Air Squats Static Lunge Push-up Bicycle Crunch
Double Unders Mary Catherines Curtsy Squat Thrust Plank
Jumping Jacks Crisscross Squat Bridge Crunch Triceps Dips T-plank
Heismans Skater  Glute Stretch* Superman

*The Glute Stretch should not replace a regular exercise. It should only be ADDED to the day you do glutes to help stretch out your glutes to help, or prevent< sciatica.

5 Workout Formulas

First, choose your workout (below). Then, using the workout formula, choose the exercises from the assigned categories to customize your workout. Write down your workout so it’s easy to follow. Next, you’ll choose your time.

#1 Full Body Conditioning Workout:
Choose 1 exercise from each category:
A, B, C, D, E
Do each exercise once and repeat 3-5 times. #2 Cardio Workout:
Do all the exercises in A only.
Repeat 3-5 times.#3 Lower Body Workout:
Do 1 exercise from A
Do 1 exercise from B
Do 3 exercise from C
Repeat 3-5 times
#4 Upper Body Workout:
Do 1 exercise from A
Do all exercises in D
Finish with 1 plank exercise in E
Repeat 3-5 times#5 Ab Workout:
Do 1 Exercise from A (preferably one that
works your core, like mountain climbers)
Do ALL exercises in E
Repeat 3-5 times*The Seated Glute Stretch can be added to the end of any workout to help sciatica – but especially on lower body day.

Choose Your Time:

timeEach of the above workouts are based on 5 exercises that you will do for 1 minute each. This means, each circuit will take 5 minutes to complete 1 time through. This way you can curtail your workout around your schedule. If you only have 15 minutes, then you will do it 3 times through. If you have more time, you can add more rounds, sets, exercises or additional workouts.

While I am allotting 1 minute for each exercise, that doesn’t necessarily mean you will be exercising for all 60 seconds. Depending on your fitness level, your work time may vary. Here is a suggestion: 

Beginner: 30 seconds of each (30 seconds rest)
Intermediate: 45 seconds of each (15 seconds rest)
Advanced: 60 seconds of each (no rest) 

Sample Workout

costa d' esteTo make things even easier for you, we came up with a simple workout you can do in your hotel, along with a video demonstration for you! Just to prove it, we went to the lovely Costa d’ Este Beach Resort to demonstrate the workout for you. You can start with this workout, and then build your own with the tools I gave you in this blog. Let me know how you do!

Here are the exercises. Watch the video for instruction & tips!

Couplet #1: 10 Tuck Jump & 10 Air Squats (3 X)
Couplet #2: 10 Mountain Climbers & 10 Push Ups (3 X)
Couplet #3: 10 Roll Ups and 10 Bicycle Crunches

Stick to Your Routine

2013 stick with itNow that you have some workouts to choose from, your next question might be “how often do I do these workouts?” How often you workout is all up to your schedule and personal preference.  If you are able to do all 5 workouts each week, you are doing pretty good! A day off here and there is not bad either, but if you miss a few workouts in a row – you could completely fall out of your routine altogether.

Here are my simple rules to helping me stick to my routine.

Rule #1: Never go 3 days without exercise. This will help you stay consistent, keeping your fitness ball rolling. Take a photo or fitness magazine with you to remind you of your goals and to keep you motivated to stick to your routine.

Rule #2 Workout at least 3 days a week. This will keep you healthy. Knowing there is a minimum of workouts you will allow per week helps keep you accountable too.

Rule #3: Never miss a Monday. This will help you start fresh, even when you have failed. The same way people like to start fresh at the first of the year, Mondays are sort of our “new week resolution” day – the perfect day to begin again.

Rule #4: Do the workout you need the most first. We tend to put off the exercises we need the most. For instance, if you need to burn calories, then you should tackle cardio first – whether the first of the week or first in your day. If you have a certain body part that needs work, that should be one of the first workouts you do that week. The more you put off the workouts you don’t like, the less chances you have of getting it done.

Rule #5: Never give up. Start fresh every week no matter what.

Be on the lookout for my next healthy travel blog coming July 2nd!
Continue conversation on Twitter with the hashtag: #HealthyBizTravel

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fast-Slow-Stop Bodyweight Workout

Fast, Slow, Stop DW

You don’t need a gym to get a quick workout in – and this is a great one you could do in a hotel room, living room, outside or where ever you squeeze a quick sweat in.  OR, you can pop this little routine into your normal gym routine to switch things up a bit.

Do the following exercises 3 different ways each: FAST, SLOW, STOP!

  1. FAST: 25 repetitions as fast as you can
  2. SLOW: 15 repetitions slow (half-time, 3-5 seconds each rep)
  3. STOP: Hold for 45 seconds (preferably in the low or middlle position)

Repeat 3-5 Times 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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