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4 Awesome Ab Workouts

CRUNCHES

Need a new ab routine? Here’s a program you can follow that will help give you variety and a solid regime to follow. Steve designed this 4-day ab routine to add to any workout program. (click on the links below to see instruction for each exercise)

Before you check out the workout, read Steve’s blog on abdominal and oblique muscles. He explains each muscle, why we work it, how often we can work it, why we work it with and without weights, and what each muscle does for our physique! It’s GOOD STUFF!

4-Day Workout Program:

Each week, pick 3 days of A OR B Workouts and 1 day of C OR D Workouts
Click on the exercise to view video instruction. 

High Rep Day

WEEKLY AB WORKOUTImprove resting tone, muscular tone, decreasing waist size, increasing definition.
REST: Recover for approximately 30 seconds between exercises.

(A)
25 reverse cross leg crunch left
25 Oblique Crunch left
25 side elbow plank hip pulse left (NOTE: don’t let your hip touch the floor like this girl does)
(repeat right)
X3

Super Set
25 decline sit ups
25 decline crunch 
X3

(B)
25 reverse cross leg crunch left
25 reverse cross leg crunch right
50 cartwheel with PVC (these are done much faster than the video)
25 reverse crunch (or roll up)
X4
25 ball pass (8-12lbs)
X4

High Resistance Day

Build hypertrophy and definition of rectus abdominus and serratus anterior.
REST: allow for more rest/recovery between sets (1min)
(C)
15-20 Rope crunch
15-20 angled roman chair
15-20 hanging abs
X3

(D)
15 plate crunch
15 decline weighted plate crunch
15-25 abdominal machine (hammer strength)
X3

Tough Women: 4 Ways to Build Power, Strength & Confidence

Strong Enough for Men, but Made for Women Too

one-arm push upI always liked the the Secret deodorant slogan “strong enough for men, but made for a woman” but I think it also exposes another secret – the belief that strength is normally only made for men.

Of course we know there are strong chicks too, but I think a lot of women just think they were born that way. Some of the toughest chicks aren’t tough because they LOOK tough – they are tough because they ARE tough. Just like Demi More in G.I. Jane, tough comes with a price. She had to train hard to do the stuff she had to do in that movie – from doing intense workouts, obstacle training and even prepping mentally to shave her head. People aren’t just born that way, they are made that way through enduring tough tasks. The tougher the task, the tougher you become.

Watch this short video clip, and tell me that doesn’t make you want to learn how to do a one-armed push up!

Do You Know Your Own Strength?

scared of the gymWhile I believe, if most women were honest, there is a side to them that would love to be tough and powerful. But, many women struggle with the self-confidence to grow in this area. This is even more of a problem when a woman is overweight or not in good shape. Ironically, one of the best places to fix that (the gym) makes many women even MORE insecure so they avoid it at all cost, or they save it as a last resort. Well, NO MORE! It’s time for you to become the POWERFUL, STRONG and CONFIDENT woman you desire to be!  And I’ve got news for you, it doesn’t include pink rubber weights!

If you want to discover power, strength and confidence, it requires training that requires you to be powerful, strong and confident. If your training doesn’t CHALLENGE these areas, don’t expect to CHANGE those areas. Sadly, many women “ease” into their workouts because they simply don’t know how powerful and strong they really are. Why? Because they just don’t know their own strength –  because they’ve never really tested it.

4 ways to toughen up & gain more confidence:

  1. Women Can Lift Heavy TooUp your weight. I can’t tell you how many women are not even touching the surface of their own strength. They literally don’t know their own strength. However, if they were to up the weight, they’d be surprised to find they can do the same number of reps with the heavier weight. Would it be more difficult? Sure! Would it be possible? Sure! You’ll never know how strong you are until you try. Don’t worry about bulking up. Most women don’t have enough testosterone to gain manly muscles. 
  2. Test your strength. Once a week, choose an exercise to test your 1 rep max, which is the maximum weight you can lift in one exercise. Normally, we are doing multiple reps of a weight, so the weight has to be light enough for us to repeat the exercise 12-15 times. But what if all we have to do is one repetition? That’s the idea of the 1 Rep max. Some of the best exercises, according to Bodybuilding.com, to use to test this are bench press, squats, deadlifts, clean and press, military (shoulder press) and bicep curls. Use Bodybuilding.com’s 1-Rep Max (1RM) Calculator to find out what your 1-rep max should be. There is nothing more empowering that lifting a heavy weight – even if it’s just one time.
  3. female boxer mmaTry something new. If you are constantly staying in your comfort zone, using the same equipment or practicing the same training style, you will likely stay the same too. Venture out and try new things. Even if you discover you don’t like something, you will gain power from the knowledge you gained from trying it. Sure, you may feel a little dorky or awkward while you are learning it, but you will walk away feeling amazing.
  4. Do what the boys do. If you are constantly gravitating to aerobics classes and the women’s section at the gym, you are missing out! There is a reason guys are tough. They do though things – and so can you! For instance, flipping tractor tires is tough. Your hands get dirty and it’s hard work, but it’s an amazing workout and you’ll feel great when it’s done. The same goes with exercises like bench press, dips or pull ups. These are often exercises that never make it on a woman’s workout schedule. Sadly, it’s not because the women can’t do it. It’s because they never even try to do it. Make it a regular practice to incorporate tough exercises into your program.

20 Tough Activities & Exercises

  1. handstand chickTry a handstand (and practice it)
  2. Test your 1RM for bench press
  3. Take boxing or martial arts lessons
  4. Do a mud run
  5. Do something untraditional like flipping a tractor tire or doing wall-ups
  6. Take a intense boot camp program
  7. Practice olympic lifting
  8. Take a gymnastics class
  9. Do a 5K, half marathon, full marathon or triathlon
  10. Climb a rock-climbing wall
  11. Take a grappling (wrestling) lesson
  12. Test your speed in a quarter mile (sprinting, not driving!)
  13. Practice push ups, pull ups and dips
  14. Train with kettlebells
  15. Take a power yoga class
  16. Practice batting at the batting cages
  17. Do a tabata workout (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off)
  18. Try a new sport – like surfing, skiing, cycling, mountain biking or swimming
  19. Play catch – football, softball or even frisbee (and GO ALL OUT to catch it!)
  20. Play with the boys. Play a coed ball game, workout with the guys, go to a car show and do something guys do. And don’t just show up – take that time to learn more about what you are doing. Whether it’s a drifting race or skin-boarding, knowledge is powerful.

8 Tough Workouts

Tractor Tire Training 

10 Tire Exercises – If you’ve ever wondered what you can do with a tractor tire, here’s your answer!

Conditioning Tractor Tire Workout – Be ready for your heart to be POUNDING!

Tractor Abs – Learn 5 ab exercises you can do with a tractor tire.

Improve Your Push Up &/or Pull Up

Even if you can’t do a pull up or push up, THIS will get you stronger.

Savage Training

Try an untraditional workout, designed for mud runs and people who don’t have gym equipment.

BCx Wallup Workout

Climbed walls lately? Today’s your day! Try this crazy fun workout to boost strength and stamina.

Try a Kettlebell Workout

Learn some kettlebell basics.

Grueling Get Ups

Try this awesomely intense Turkish Getup inspired workout and get your sweat on!

Gym Motivation for Women

Subscribe today to get more motivation tomorrow!

CLICK HERE to see more motivational mantras!

 

6 Excuse Busters

#1 Excuse: I don’t have enough time.
Excuse BUSTER: Everyone can MAKE time. We make time for things we enjoy. How much time are you on the computer? How much do you watch TV? Could you wake up one hour earlier? For everyone that thinks they are busy, I have someone I can point to that is even busier and they fit it in. Bottom line is you can make time, you just choose not to.

#2 ExcuseI don’t know what to do.
Excuse BUSTER: You don’t need to know what to do. There are people (like me) that are happy to point you in the right direction. Instead of pulling bits and pieces from fitness magazines, join in a structured program that will help you each step of the way. Whether it’s a local fitness program or our online BCx Boot Camp program – help is out there, you just have to SEEK it if you want to FIND results. We always link our exercises to video demonstrations or we do videos of our workouts ourself so you can learn!

#3 ExcuseI’m too out of shape to do “that”.
Excuse BUSTER: I hear this a lot. I hear things like “I’m too fat”, “I have bad knees”, “I’m too old”, and the list of excuses goes on. Bull Honky!! You tell me how much you weigh and I’ll tell you someone who did our boot camp who weighed more. You tell me how old and broken down you are and I’ll tell you about our 74 year old boot camper or our member who had a double hip replacement and still rocked our program. We often limit ourselves mentally when our body is still up for the challenge. Sure you may have to modify, but the fact is you can do SOMETHING but trying NOTHING ain’t gonna cut it! Just do it – and do what you can. As long as you are giving YOUR 100%, that’s all that matters. (Danielle, left, lost 65lbs in Boot Camp and now is an avid athlete)

#4 Excuse: I have no money
Excuse BUSTER: You DO NOT need money to get fit. You can get access to awesome advice and killer workouts online for FREE at sites like DesignerWhey.com & on the GNC blog. Need support? Follow people like myself on their facebook & twitter pages – and interact with as many likeminded people as possible. This gives you the edge you need that Personal Training does. Everyone needs accountability and you don’t necessarily have to pay for it.

#5 Excuse: I travel a lot.
Excuse BUSTER: Look at Kelly Olexa. She travels a TON and has collected a variety of workouts she could do in her hotel room including P90x, BCx Boot Camp, online workouts and various DVDs. Here is a pic of Christopher and Dawn Borders doing High Knees in our online BCx program while vacation in Maui. They prove fitness travels well!

#6 Excuse: I’ve tried everything and nothing works. Trust me – I’ve tried it all.
Excuse BUSTER: I love this one. I hear this excuse too often. I even had a member who took our Boot Camp to PROVE even if she did everything we said she wouldn’t be able to lose weight. Well guess what – she lost weight and kept it off! If this is your line of thinking, then consider you may not have done everything “right”. You may have done a lot of right things, but you obviously missed something. They key to success is not giving up. Don’t judge your “next” diet or program based on your last failed one. That’ like judging your next boyfriend based on the last loser you dated! Start fresh! – Fresh mindset, fresh focus, fresh trust and fresh goals.

I could write for days on this topic, but that’s it for now. NO MORE EXCUSES!!

What is YOUR excuse or what is an excuse you hear often so I can bust it too! 🙂

Fitness Motivation: No Excuses

Fit or Food: What Do You Want Most?

In Steve’s blog today, he talks about fighting for what you really want. In a scene from the last episode of Once Upon a Time, Captain Hook tells Rumpelstiltskin “If you aren’t willing to fight for what you want, then you deserve what you get”. How TRUE is this?!

Joyce Meyer smoked since she was 9 years old. I imagine that was one strong habit. She said she used to lead Bible studies at her house while puffing on a cigarette (which totally cracks me up picturing her do this in her younger years). She really didn’t want to quit smoking, but she said “I finally got to a place where I wanted to please God more than I wanted to smoke” so she was willing to fight for what she wanted most.

When will you finally get to the place where you want to feel fit more than to taste food? How hard will you fight for what you want most?

Read Steve’s short blog on fighting for what you want, and also get his workout of the day with video instruction by FitStudio.

Quitting Is Not An Option

 

As soon as you decide your workouts are an option, you open the door for anything to get in the way. Treat your workouts like the most valuable appointment you have all day – and keep it. Your health deserves top priority.

Today’s Fitness Mantra: Weights VS Plates

What we EAT can be even MORE POWERFUL than what we DO in the gym. Don’t blow your hard workouts on poor diet. Put as much energy into planning your food as you plan your workout routine – and watch it pay off BIG TIME!

Finish What You Started

Joyce Meyer once defined excellence as “Excellence is not extravagance. Excellence is simply being the best you can be with what you have”.

How often do we compare ourselves to others? How often do we define excellence as ‘best’ or by how much talent someone was born with? If you are honest, I bet it’s way too often. If excellence is being our best, then that means finishing what we started, no matter how we compare with others.

Just think how much greater we would be if we finished everything we started. Yet, we are often tempted to compare ourselves to others to the point it can make us quit – or worse, it can make us not even start.

Today let’s redefine what a winner is. It’s not 1st place. It’s YOUR 100%. YOUR best. It’s YOU finishing what you started. THAT’s what makes a champion. THAT’s what makes a winner. Vow today to finish what you have started. And no matter how hard it gets or how long it takes, never, NEVER give up!

Subscribe for more pFIT tips and motivational pFIT pics!

RUN LIKE A MOTHER! Join the Mother’s Day Race: Women Only 5K in 12 cities across the US. CLICK HERE to learn more via FitStudio. CLICK HERE to locate a race near you and register.

15 Sweat-Your-Butt-Off-at-Home-for-Free Workouts

When it comes to cardio, most people initially think of hitting the treadmill or elliptical. And since many people don’t have kind of high-dollar equipment, doing cardio at home may not seem like an option. However, you don’t need a treadmill to get your sweat on.

If this is you, you probably have bought some kind of workout DVD in the past and subjected yourself to an hour of the worst music ever played in your house (or the planet for that matter). Fitness DVDs are notorious for having awful music and stale energy to boot. If the music wasn’t bad enough, you get to memorize every line they say whether you like it or not. Needless to say, the workout can get stale pretty quick.

Of course nothing beats the real thing – going to the gym and being led by a real live person. The energy of listening to killer high-energy music pumped out of giant speakers is enough to get your heart racing alone. However, if you aren’t able to get to a gym, you have another option.

This is where FitStudio comes in. Many of you know Steve and I are Fitness Advisors for FitStudio, powered by Sears. What does that mean? It means we help FitStudio design a site that helps people workout at home and reach their goals – FREE! One of our tasks is to design workouts and workout programs, like our BCx Express 30-Minute Workout and BCx Boot Camp.

Each workout has a list of all the exercises, complete with video instruction on how to do each exercise. After you learn the exercises, you can print the workout to follow on your own. The coolest part of this is you get to set your atmosphere, complete with your favorite music. With programs, like BCx, the faster you go, the quicker you get done – time being your trainer.

So, get your favorite music queued up and get ready to sweat to your favorite jams!!
Here are 15 FitStudio workouts you can do at home:

  1. The Lunge Hour Workout
  2. A Not-so-girlie Workout
  3. The Lean Jeans Workout
  4. Absolute 6-pack
  5. Superior Gluterior
  6. Fat-blasting Blitz
  7. Bcx Legs & Glutes Express
  8. Bcx Abs Express
  9. Lower Body Mission
  10. Cardio & Conditioning Mission
  11. The Thigh Jelly Jump-off
  12. March Madness Workout!
  13. Last Call for Weight Loss
  14. Be My “Valenfine” Workout
  15. New Ball, New Bod! (Fit Ball Workout)

Learn More About FitStudio & the FitStudio Team


Something SMALL Can Throw Your Fitness Off BIG

This weekend I will be going out to by new headphones and a new iphone arm band, after losing mine a couple of weeks ago.

As I was brainstorming on where I could have possibly left them, it dawned on me – I haven’t had a good workout since I’ve been without them. I haven’t run one day since. Even after writing my post, MUSIC: A Legal Drug for Athletes, I STILL wasn’t using my own music to boost my workouts! That’s just how easy it is for something small to throw you off BIG-time! 

What’s holding you back?
Have YOU lost momentum? Have you lost drive, intensity or consistency? Maybe it’s time you get to the root of it all. For me, it was something as simple as headphones and an arm band. Suddenly, I didn’t want to run at all if I couldn’t listen to music or my Joyce Meyer and Calvary Chapel Vero Beach podcasts.

So it’s time for YOU to dig in and find out what has gotten in the way of your success – or find out what could be interfering with you taking your fitness to a whole new level. It happens to the best of us, but it’s March and bikini season is going to be here before you know it so it’s time to get back in action!!

Here are a few solutions to common problems. 

1. You need to grocery shop
2. Get some new music
3. Refresh your gym supplies
4. Get more supplements and protein bars
5. Invest in a new pair of shoes
6. Schedule a Dr. Appt for that nagging pain
7. Renew your membership
8. Join a new gym
9. Quit drinking
10. Stop working so much
11. Wake up earlier
12. Go to sleep earlier
13. Plan your day better
14. Pack your gym bag
15. Buy a new gym bag
16. Your friend stopped, so you did too. Call your friend today.
17. You got sick so you got out of the groove. Start back today.
18. Get off work on time – the work will still be there tomorrow.
19. Quit making excuses.
20. You say you’ll “start Monday” every Monday, but you don’t Start everyday like it’s a Monday.

What have you found to put a damper on your workouts? How have you fixed it?

 

Are Overcomplicating Fitness?

“I see too many people putting too much energy looking under the microscope, when they just need to look at their plate.” Steve Pfiester.

Many people overcomplicate their diet so much they miss what matters most – and they can do the same thing with their workouts. If anyone can get all fancy with diet and workouts, it’s my husband Steve – and even with his extensive knowledge of human anatomy that’s required to graduate Magna Cum Laude in Physical Therapy, Steve keeps it simple.

Quote from Steve’s recent blog, “I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve been at the gym and have seen the meticulous biomechanical strategies that some people come up with to make their lifting routine more effective, or the countless times I’ve listened to people who are extremely overweight, discuss food on a totally microbiological level.  Instead of looking at calories, they’re “buggn” about if it is free range or not.   I am not arguing that biomechanics and microbiology doesn’t have a place in training and nutrition, but by god-man,  look at the bigger picture. I call this “majoring in the minors”.  As a trainer, blogger, or just exercise enthusiast, it is so vital that we realize the importance of fundamentals.

If you have been worried about nutrition or working hard on the technicalities of training, read Steve’s newest blog: Majoring in the Minors.

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