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Short & Sweet (and Seriously Effective) Shoulder Workout

Even if you don’t have a lot of time, you can give the time you have your very best! If you want a great pump but you are short on time, here is a great shoulder workout that is short and sweet – but potent!

Trainer Notes: NO rest between paired up exercises. Click on the exercise to see video instruction.

5 Give it Your BestSuper Sets:
Shoulder Press with Lateral Raises

Shoulder Press 15lb  + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 20lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 25lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 20lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises
Shoulder Press 15lb + 10 5lb Lateral Raises

5 Super Sets
Arnold Presses with Bent-Over Rear Delt

Press 15lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise
Press 20lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise
Press 15lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise
Press 15lb + 12 8lb-10lb Rear Delt Raise

4 Sets of Upright Row 
45lb Bar x 12
(Add weight each set)

If you limit your rest and have a good spotter, this workout should tear your shoulders up (in a good way I mean!) lol
Have a good workout!!

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Total Body Workout

Most likely, you will be so overwhelmed with how hard your heart is beating to notice that this workout is killing your legs, glutes, shoulders, traps and core – but you WILL notice plenty tomorrow. 🙂

Click on the links to see video instruction for each exercise.

total body workoutTools Needed: Dumbbells, Kettlebell, Olympic bar & plates.

10 Clean and Jerks (Bar or DB)
10 Kettlebell Swings (Kettlebell or DB)
10 Vertical Snatches Right* (Kettlebell or DB)
10 Vertical Snatches Left* (Kettlebell or DB)
10 Step Up 1-Arm Shoulder Press Right*(Kettlebell or DB)
10 Step Up 1-Arm Shoulder Press Left** (Kettlebell or DB)

X 4

I did 65lbs (45lb bar + 20lbs) for the clean and jerks, 25lb kettlebell, 15lb snatches and 10lb shoulder press. Try to take as little rest as possible. The heavier the weight, the more rest you’ll have to take to simply not pass out! ha! 🙂 My goal was toning and cardio, so I stayed with all moderate weight. Have fun!

*Traditional kettlebell snatches are more like a swing, into the overhead position. A vertical snatch keeps the kettlebell close to the body and uses more glutes and legs (almost like you are cleaning it first. The kettlebell returns to the floor in the vertical snatch, where the traditional snatch only goes right below the hips.

**I step up and press with the same arm (unlike the instructional video) I had a hard time finding a video for this particular exercise since it’s not a traditional exercise that is very common – but it ROCKS!

WORKOUT: Box Jump Full-Body Blitz

Box Jump WorkoutGrab a plyo box, bench or aerobics step and get ready to get your heart pumping! This is a great workout to put with an upper body strength program, like chest day, or you can even add it to a light cardio day to boost calorie burn and intensity.

Do the whole workout or break it up however you like. Do one or two rounds between each circuit of exercises or do one round each time you change exercises. There is no wrong way to add a BCx Blitz to a workout.

To make it even easier, here are 2 different examples of how you can add a simple routine like this to your existing program.

Conditioning Chest Workout:

4 Sets of Bench Press
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
4 Sets of Incline Press
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
4 Sets of Pec Deck or Incline Flies
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz

Fat Burning Cardio Workout:

10 Minutes of Cardio
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
10 Minutes of Cardio
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz
10 Minutes of Cardio
2 Rounds of Box Jump Blitz

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

Bikini Leg Workout

bikini leg workout

The above workout is the abbreviated version. Here’s the FULL version of this workout Steve did with his Bikini Competitors recently. Click on each exercise to view video demonstration.

5-Minute Warm Up: 6.0 on the Treadmill

leg workoutCIRCUIT #1

20 Dumbbell Lunges (or kettlebell pass-through lunges)
10 Sumo High Pulls

 

X 5

CIRCUIT #2

15 Hamstring Curls
20 Knee Repeaters (left)
20 Knee Repeaters (right)

X 4

swingsCIRCUIT #3

30 3-Position Leg Press (10 Each: Feet Wide, Middle, Narrow)
15 Kettlebell Swings
15 Leg Extensions

X 3

CIRCUIT #4

15 Straight Leg Dead Lifts
10 Kettlebell Snatches

X 3

Want more workouts? Just use my search bar, located at the top right of my blog, to search for more workouts!

 

People’s Choice: Top 50 Exercises

facebook this exerciseIt is easy to get in a rut. We often end up doing the same go-to exercises over and over – unless we are in a program, or have a trainer, who exposes us to new moves. I thought it would be fun to ask some of my followers what their favorite exercises and share their answers. But first, I’ll share some of mine! Between some of our favs, and yours, we have over 50 exercises listed! Have fun exploring!

My Favorites:

1. Stomps (glutes)upright row how-to
2. Walking Lunges – love/hate (glutes/legs)
3. Split Jerks (shoulders/core & conditioning)
4. Upright Rows (shoulders)
5. Take it or Leave it (abs)
6. Push Ups (chest, arms, core)
7. DEEP Squats (glutes/legs)
8. Straight Bar Curls (biceps)
9. Curtsies (glutes)
10. Assisted Pull Ups – love/hate (back)

Steve’s Favorites:

hanging knee1. Straight Bar Curls (biceps)
2. Slam Ball (legs, core, cardio)
3. Hanging Knees (abs/obliques)
4. Close Stance Leg Press (legs/glutes)
5. Shadow Boxing (cardio)
6. Wide Grip Pulley Row (back)
7. Shrugs (traps)
8. Weighted Dips (triceps)
9. Concentration Curls (biceps)
10. Straight Leg Deadlifts

Twitter Peeps’ Favorites:

1. @RustyFlynn: snatches
2. @TheFitRebel: pull ups!
3. @jcp823: Capoeira
4. @spunk72: Plank Jacks!
5. @allenhulme: Running
6. @SpenserPorterfi: Squats
7. @AyzatSparklers: chest press, bench press
8. @WTorres77: bent over dumbbell rows!
9. ‏@therealmiamazin: I like speed rope!! Or Swimming
10. @KelleyChilders: roll ups

squat

My Facebook Friends’ Favorites:

Here’s what my facebook friends had to say…
NOTE: If you don’t recognize an exercise, I encourage you to google it. There are a TON of great instructional videos out there! 🙂

Favorite exercises 1
Favorite exercises 2
Favorite exercises 3
Favorite exercises 4

Top Strength Exercise: Squats 

Top Cardio Exercise: Running

Best New Exercise Goes to Facebook Fan:

Jeannette Stephens

Jeannette Stevens

for Suggesting Alphabet Abs!
LOVE THIS ONE!! THANK YOU!!
I’m going to do this one TODAY!!

Top 50 Exercises

High Reps, Low Weight vs. Low Reps, High Weight

Is it better to do low reps and high resistance or high reps and lower resistance? This is one of the most popular questions floating around fitness industry today. Although an athlete’s exercise program might be very different from a body-sculpting program, there is one thing they should both have in common: their workouts should be challenging.

A challenging exercise program means fatiguing the muscles. How you do that is up to you and your goals. Different resistance and repetition combinations both can result in improvements as long as the muscle is completely fatigued, which means the last few repetitions should be difficult to complete. You can do this by doing 10 sets of 8 or 4 sets of 20 – either way you’re doing 80 reps. As long as you are completely fatigued when you are done, you’re going to get a great workout and arguing over who got the best workout is just splitting hairs.  Read the rest of this entry

Strength & Mobility Leg Workout

As many of you may know from following me, I despise leg day. So this week I decided to change things up, and break legs up, instead of doing them all on the same day. I have also changed up my training style some. Here is a schedule (just my weight training) I am going to follow for a few weeks to see how I like it.

Monday: Back, Chest & Abs
Tuesday: Quads & Glutes
Wednesday: Shoulders
Thursday: Biceps & Triceps
Friday: Hamstrings & Weighted Abs

Bye Bye Pride

Flexible & Strong Leg WorkoutFirst, I want to talk about form, flexibility & focus. When I used to do regular barbell squats, I used to do 135-155lbs – but, I didn’t go super deep. Part of the reason I couldn’t go that deep was knee pain, another reason was I didn’t have the strength to push that weight in my deeper squat and, lastly, I didn’t have the flexibility to maintain good form. So, with pride leading my workout, I just did what I could without lowering my weight (like anyone is really impressed with how strong I am anyway).

That was the old me – lifting heavy as I could. Now, I leave my pride at home and lighten my load to focus on improving my weaknesses, instead of continuing to improve my strengths.

My Weaknesses

1. Flexibility in my hips, inner thighs, squads and hamstrings. 
2. Maintaining good upright position while squatting deep (without falling back on my rump!)
Strength & Mobility Leg Workout3. Maintaining a deep squat (bottoming out basically) while remaining flat on my feet & weight on my heels (more flexibility issues).

Strengthen More Than Muscles

Admittedly, I’ve never been one for stretching (again, that would mean working on my weaknesses which is no fun). Aside from stretching before or after a run, I avoided it at all cost (because it HURTS, duh!). Now, I’m sucking it up and focusing on my weaknesses FIRST, and then my strengths LATER.

Here was my workout from yesterday listed below. The first time I did the overhead squat mobility work, I was SO sore the next day – and I was just using PVC. Ha! I am improving every time I do them and am determined to get stronger and more flexible. Hopefully, this will help you! PS: Even though I’m going deeper, my knees never hurt when I do these exercises. 🙂

Leg Workout

Streng & Flexibility Leg WorkoutI did 3-4 sets and 15-20 reps of everything, except for the Yogi Squat, which I held as long as I could. Enjoy! 🙂

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

50 Go-To Exercises for Your Gym Routine

livewell360 core bag

It’s easy to walk into a gym like ours and completely be overwhelmed with equipment. To be honest, it would even intimidate me if I was seeing it for the first time. As a result, many members don’t venture out much. They just use what they know – no matter how little that is. So, it’s time to start working out with more purpose, so you can get the best results possible.

In Tuesday’s blog, “How to Set an Effective Workout Schedule” I talk about varies ways to break up body parts so you can design a workout based on your schedule. Well, as promised, today I will be giving you a hit list of exercises you can use in your routine.

First, in this list, I categorize exercises by body part, with the largest muscle groups first. When you are lifting weights, you don’t want to work your small muscle groups before you work your large muscle groups – because your small muscles will be too tired to lift the heavier weight required to work the larger ones. Large muscle groups include chest, back and legs. Small muscle groups typically refer to all your arm muscles.

muscle anatomy

Next, you’ll notice that in each group, I first list one exercise that doesn’t require equipment (if possible). I also list alternative machines or tools to help you find what works with what you have access to. Now realize, there are SOOOO many more, but these 50+ exercises are the most common – and good for starting a beginner to even advanced routine.

If you are doing a full-body workout, you may only choose 2-3 exercises per body part, and only do 2-3 sets of each (depending on your time). If you are working out several times a week, and breaking up body parts more, you may do all the exercises in each specific body group for that day for 3-5 sets to add intensity, and extend the length of your workout.

gymbossLastly, rest time is super important. You can take a very basic workout and majorly boost intensity if you reduce your rest time. We use the GymBoss Interval Timers (set at 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off) at our club so our members are being pushed to work hard and rest little.

So that brings me to reps. You can do 12-15 reps for upper body and 15-20 reps for lower body OR you can use the interval timer to go as hard and fast as possible and not even worry about counting. Just remember, if you could do a few more reps, you likely need to up your weight.

Top 50 Exercises:

OK, so here you go! Here are 50 different exercises mentioned below with some tips to help you design your workout schedule. (PS: It’s actually more than 50 exercises, but TOP 50 sounded better than Top 51. Ha!)

CHEST:
Push Ups
Barbell or dumbbell Bench Press (flat bench)
Incline Dumbbell or Machine Chest Press
Dumbbell Fly (Pec Dec Machine or Cable Crossovers)
Do at least 1 pree & 1 fly

BACK: 
Pull Ups or Assisted Pull Ups
Wide Grip Lat Pull Downs (preferably with wide bar)
Seated Row Machine
Bent Over Row (dumbbells or barbell)
Do at least 1 wide grip & 1 close grip.

LEGS: 
Squats (Air Squat or Barbell Squat, hits all muscles)
Leg Press Machine (hits all muscles)
Walking Lunges (dumbbells, quads and glutes)
Leg Extension Machine (hits quads)
Leg Curl Machine (prone/lying, seated and/or standing, hamstrings)
Straight Leg Deadlifts (Dumbbells or Barbells, for hamstrings)
Weighted Calf Raises (or Calf Raise Machine)
Do at least 1 exercise per body part (quads, hams, glutes)

SHOULDERS:
Handstand Push Up or Pike Press
Military Press with Barbell or Shoulder Press Machine
Arnold Presses or Shoulder press with dumbbells
Upright Rows
Lateral Raises
Rear Delt Raise (or Reverse Fly or Reverse Pec Dec Machine)
Do at least 1 press, 1 raise (front or lateral) and the rear raise.

TRICEPS:
Dips (or Bench Dips)
Tricep Pullovers (with dumbbell or curl bar)
Tricep Press (on cable with bar, V handle or rope)
Tricep Kickbacks
Do at least 2 exercises.

BICEPS:
(Equipment needed)
Straight Bar Curl
Preacher Curl or Bicep Curl Macine
Dumbbell Curl
Concentration Curls
Do at least 2 exercises.

ABS:
Traditional Sit Ups
Crunches
Weighted Crunches
Bicycle Crunches 
Leg Raises  or Hanging Knee Raise (advanced) for lower abs
Oblique Crunch (sides/obliques)
Choose 2-3 exercises. 

LOW BACK & CORE:
Plank
Side Plank
Back Extension  or Ham/Glute Developer Machine
(PS – I don’t like the way this exercises is demonstrated, but it can give you an idea)
Choose at least one.

Remember to read: How to Set an Effective Workout Schedule” for help on scheduling your workout schedule for the week. 

Have fun, train with confidence & #getafterit!

FITNESS MOTIVATION: Finish What You Started

EXCUSE (k-sky"z) Relieve, rationalize, explain, pardon, condone, exempt, rationalise, apologize, justify…

Training for a body building show can be pretty intense. The training, additional cardios, extreme dieting, and keeping up with all the supplements (listed below) can all be pretty overwhelming even when things are going smoothly. Then add an injury to the mix and you’ve got new beast to battle.

Steve Pfiester is not the only one to suffer a devastating injury prior to fitness event. Most athletes face some kind of injury at some point in their career. For Steve, it’s was a torn MCL and medial meniscus just 10 days prior to his bodybuilding show in Daytona. When something like this happens, it can throw you into depression fast if you let it. Key word: “Let“.

You can let an injury take control of you, or you can take control of it. The choice is yours. For Steve, he decided to go forward and do the contest despite his knee. As part of the preparation, I had to mix his music for his night performance and I wanted it to reflect his circumstance. In search for a motivational sound bite, I had a feeling Eric Thomas “The Hip Hop Preacher“, known for encouraging athletes, would have something cool that would fit Steve’s situation- and I found one of the most profound statements I’d heard in a long time.

It’s not about making excuses, it’s about making adjustments”.

Wow, is all we could say. We replayed it over and over and over again. It was the theme for our entire weekend, because making adjustments was exactly what was required.

In addition to all Steve’s normal training and dieting, now he had to go to Dr. Stepanek’s office to get cold laser therapy twice a day, which he felt was really helping. In addition to therapy, he had to ice his knee as many times a day as possible – all between clients, training, eating, teaching boot camps and running a gym.

He also had to adjust his workout routine around exercises that didn’t hurt. Hamstring curls and squats were impossible, but leg extensions and straight leg dead lifts were okay.  He had to keep up his cardio, so he traded running outside for melting fat on the elliptical in the gym. And, he had to do it all on less sleep because his knee pain kept him up at night.

His knee required him to adjust the way he walked and performed even simple tasks, like getting in and out of bed or putting his pants on. He even had adjust his clothing around wearing a brace, and he added compression socks to his daily wardrobe. Adjustment was his middle name.

Making adjustments can be a pain (sometimes literally), but necessary when you want something bad enough. However, most of us use the tiniest excuse to stop us dead in our tracks. Instead of listing all the things you CAN do, we use that one thing to convince of the things we CAN’T do.

It wasn’t that Steve wanted to win a bodybuilding show that bad. He didn’t need another trophy or the notoriety. He needed to follow through with what he had planned. He needed to reach his goal, which was to do his very best – not necessarily to BE the very best.

Steve showed up, knee brace and all, and won both his weight classes. But, even if he didn’t win, he knew in his heart he did his very best with his circumstance – and that’s what fitness is all about. It’s not about perfection, it’s about dedication.

Got Excuses?

What excuse are you allowing to paralyze you right now? For every excuse you are using, someone else is overcoming. Just because you have a good excuse doesn’t mean you have to use it. Finish what you started.

Steve’s Pre-Contest Supplements:
Designer Whey Protein
GNC Rampant
GNC MegaMen 
GNC Repower
GNC Reforge
Zinc
Magnesium and Potassium
Vitamin C
EFX Kre-Alkaline
Chromium Picolinate

Women & Weights: What Women Need to Know

“ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT BIGGER ARMS. AT ALL. WHICH SHOULD I NOT DO? PUSHUPS? PULL UPS? ALL OF THEM? ABSOLUTEY POSITIVELY NO BIG ARMS FOR ME”. Lisa, FitStudio.com fitness community member.

Lisa is not alone. Although I have a lot of readers that LOVE weights, I have a lot more readers who are scared to death of them. Whether they are scared of “bulking up” or they just don’t know how to lift weights, women and weight training often mix like oil and water.

I’ve never met one woman who said they want to “bulk up”. Unfortunately, all it takes is to see one beef cake chick in the gym to make every one afraid of touching a free weight. Most jacked up women do a LOT more than just lift weights. Their weight routine is just a small part of it. Between steroids, mega-dozes of protein, supplements and an extreme diet, they are purposely living their entire life to get the physique you hate.

I Want to Play with Man Toys Most women gravitate to the inner/outer thigh machine and ab machine, and avoid chest and back machines. I’ve got news for you ladies! Weight machines, dumbbells and barbells are not man toys, they are unisex (stop, breath, and take it all in) …aaaand they don’t make you a body builder (another pause to absorb the shock of this news). Seriously, if you are avoiding weight training, then you are avoiding increasing your metabolism, burning more calories, toning your body, strengthening your bones, building your self-confidence, and preventing injury.

Weights are not “strong enough for a woman and made for a man”, they are made for hu-mans – women and men alike.  It is very unlikely your body will bulk up – your body will firm up and regain a youthful shape. In addition, 5lbs of muscle is much smaller than 5 pounds of fat, so even if you weigh the same amount but you lift weights, you’ll appear smaller.

Pink Weights vs. Real WeightsPink weights were invented by women who were scared to bulk up. Not really, but it sounds good! I mean, have you EVER seen a girl with a smokin’ hot physique who used pink weights? Ha! Honestly, if you are working out with anything less than 5lbs you might as well throw them away in my opinion. Most women should be using 8, 10, 12 & 15 pound weights for almost everything. The only thing I use 5lb weights for is lateral raises for the shoulders. Other than that I hardly touch anything under 15 pounds. You’d be amazed with how different your body would feel if you increased all your weights.

Sculpting the Body You Want The combination of reps and sets determines what type of muscle you’re shaping. If you want more muscle mass, you lift super heavy for few reps with large breaks of rest in between sets. If you want lean tone muscles, you go lighter (lighter – not LIGHT!) but heavy as you can, for 12-15 reps for upper body and 18-20 reps for legs with very little rest between sets. A workout, like the workout Lisa was talking about, is designed to tone your body, not bulk you up. Bodyweight exercises are awesome conditioning exercises that will get your heart rate up, as well as tighten your entire body. We’ve put thousands of ladies through our BCx program in Vero Beach and these women lift heavy and train hard – and not one of them gets bulky. They lose body fat and they get in the shape of their life.

Skinny or Fit? Some women are so obsessed with being skinny, all they want to do is cardio and diet – which can leave you “skinny fat”. However, a combination of weight training and cardio will get you fit and skinny – the best of both worlds. Also, realize muscle burns more calories that fat, so the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn through out the day. This means you’ll either lose fat more quickly if you are dieting or it means you can eat a little more without gaining weight if you are in maintenance – and I’m ALL about being able to do either one of those!!

Push Ups & Pull Ups are For Girls Too If you thought pull ups and push ups were for guys only – boy are you wrong. These exercises are actually primo for women! They do everything that women want. Push Ups not only sculpt the arms and chest, but they tighten and tone our core (abdominal, obliques and low back).  Don’t believe me? Do as many man style push ups as you can, then drop to your knees and do as many as you can until you can’t push even one last one out. Then tell me how your abs feel the next 2 days. If you aren’t doing push ups, you are totally missing out!

And then there are pull ups. I’ll be the first to admit I hate pull ups. They are hard, they are almost impossible, but there is NOTHING that works my back and arms like pull ups. If you are like me, you probably can’t even do one pull up – but you could do an assisted pull up for sure!! Although pull-downs are a fair replacement for pull ups for those of you who don’t have a pull up bar, assisted pull ups for women are amazing. Loop a Black or Orange Bodylastics band around the pull up bar and place your foot in the handle, pointing your toe downward so it doesn’t slip off. Straighten your legs out and begin your pull ups. The band will assist you where you need it most (at the bottom) to help spring you back up. Shoot for 10-15 reps for 3-4 sets. You can also change hand positions – wide overhand grip works the top of the V in our back (bra strap area), closer overhand grip works mid back and underhand grip works more biceps.

Train Like a Football Player, Don’t Eat like One You truly are what you eat.  Steve used to say “If you train like a football player and eat like a ballerina, you’ll look like a ballerina. If you train like a ballerina but eat like a football player, you’ll look like a football player.” This is a bit extreme, but true. If you have “bulked up” in the past, that is because you were probably eating too many calories. If you are heavy, you likely have a lot of muscle mass under the fat. In order to feel smaller, you need to make sure you are losing body fat while toning muscle. Many women who weight train, add protein shakes (adding extra calories) without pulling calories from other foods. So, it’s not that weight training bulked them up, eating more bulked them up. So be careful how you eat too. 🙂

UPPER BODY WORKOUTS:

Get rid of those flabby arms & tighten that bod!

Quickie Upper Body Workout

Get more workouts at http://www.DoBCx.com or http://www.youtube.com/DoBCx 

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