With all the workout options out there, it’s hard to decide which is best for you; especially since they all claim to be “the best.”
Yoga, Pilates, Crossfit, Zumba, mixed martial arts, running, swimming, body building, body pump, etc…. there is someone out there who swears by all of them, so what’s the answer?
There are two answers:
- All of them, but mixed up.
- Whichever one gets you moving.
Think of workout options like you think of eating. For all the healthy foods options, there isn’t one that you should eat exclusively. Ideally, you get a variety of foods AND workout styles. In my opinion, that’s the way to your best body.
Your body will thrive off the intensity, weights and plyometrics in Crossfit, the great sweat you get from dancing or running, the stretching, toning and meditation from yoga and Pilates, etc.
Some people release stress by hitting a bag or pounding the pavement, while others feel relief after gliding through the water during a swim.
Just as there are fad diets, there are fad workouts. There’s nothing wrong with trying them all, just be consistently active and kind to your body.
Answer #1 is my true number one pick for all bodies because it recognizes that, although you will see an initial change in your body by doing any of these full-on for the initial few weeks, keeping the pounds off is easiest when you crosstrain. Also, crosstraining guarantees you are ticking all the boxes to enhance your strength, cardio, flexibility, and, therefore, your overall physique.
Answer #2 is there to let you know that doing something is the most important thing. If you skip every body pump class because you hate weights, but will dance your butt off in Zumba 100% of the time, go to Zumba. Does your body need weights, absolutely, but, at the end of the day, the best workout for you is the one you’ll actually do.
Nothing makes a workout go by faster or makes me push myself harder than a great playlist.
Below is some of what I’m listening to right now. Not all of it is current, and you might make fun of me for some of it, but it will get you moving whether you’ll admit to it or not. The last few are a little slower because I phase into cool down mode and like to end chill and happy.
I’d also love to know what your favorites are so I can check them out.
Kings & Queens – 30 Seconds to Mars
Higher – Taio Cruz & Travie McCoy
Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars
Raise Your Glass – P!nk
Grenade – Bruno Mars
Bring It On – Brokedown Cadillac
Faded – Soul Decision
Dynamite – Taio Cruz
Ballroom Blitz – Brokedown Cadillac
Hold It Against Me – Britney Spears
Break the Ice – Britney Spears
Lose Yourself – Eminem
Let It Rock – Kevin Rudolf & Lil Wayne
Carry Out – Timbaland and J.T.
King of Anything – Sara Bareilles
Rhythm of Love – Plain White T’s
Rolling in the Deep – Adele
You use to always hear that you should perform your cardio first to warm up before you hit the weights. Then, a few years back, the order got flipped. So, which is it? What order should you do your weights and cardio in to achieve the best results?
The shortest answer is that you should do weights first, but if you don’t understand why, then you aren’t setting yourself up for the highest level of success.
Why weights first?
In order to perform short bursts of energy in weight training, your body uses glycogen (carbs), so the idea is to burn off the glycogen so that you can move straight to burning more fat when you switch over to cardio.
Another reason to do weights first is to prevent injury. The thought behind that is, if you are tired from cardio, you won’t be as agile and conscientious during your weight training, which could be dangerous.
What to be aware of when performing weights before cardio
Even though I suggest starting with weights, that does mean you should skip your warm up. You should never walk right into the gym and lift your max. Obviously, if part of the reason to start with weights is to help prevent a weight training injury, there is more to it than simply swapping the order.
Warm up with light weights, perform some kettlebell swings, do jumping jacks or something else along those lines for 5-10 minutes so that you can safely perform a light stretch and prepare your body for the workout.
In the end, it’s all about your body.
If you are exclusively using light weights or performing a circuit training routine that mixes weights and cardio, you don’t need to worry about the order. You aren’t as likely to hurt yourself using light weights, and circuit training is a combination weight-cardio workout rather than a split order.
Above all else, as long as you’re working out, you’re doing great. If you’re covering both weights and cardio, and your method is working for you, then stick with it. If you’re not currently on an exercise plan, I hope this information fuels you to get off your rear and take that first step towards becoming a stronger, hotter version of yourself.
Time is the most frequent excuse I hear for why people don’t exercise. It’s also the most annoying excuse because it assumes that I (and everyone else at the gym or running outside) have all the time in the world to workout.
The reality is that everyone is busy, and yet we all find time for things we choose to prioritize.
The minimum suggested time you should spend exercising each week is 150 minutes; 225 if you want to see significant change. If you can find 30 minutes a day, five days a week, you’re doing better than most.
Where can you find this “extra” time?
-You could use half of your hour-long lunch break on weekdays – a great habit that’s been shown to reduce stress and boost performance. After all, it doesn’t take an hour to eat.
-You could use three, 10-minute mini-breaks at work to go up and down the stairs or walk briskly around the office perimeter.
-Most of us spend at least 30 minutes playing on the computer each day. I’m sure Facebook will wait for you to get your workout in and you won’t miss too much.
-Download a podcast or an episode of your favorite show onto your MP3 player so you can do cardio instead of sitting on your bum while you indulge in some of your nightly TV time.
What can you do in 3o minutes? In two words… A LOT!
When you’re short on time, you should always up your intensity. It’s about efficiency.
Try out this workout:
Start with 20 Push Jacks. What are Push Jacks? They’re a heart rate boosting combo of two great exercises. Perform a jumping jack, then jump right down into push up position. After you push up, jump back up and go right into the next jumping jack.
Next, do 10 Lunge Circles. What are Lunge Circles? Star with your right leg and lunge forward. Return to start, then lunge out to your right side into a side lunge. Return to start, then do a reverse lunge so your right leg lunges behind you. Return to start, do a reverse lunge with the left leg. Return to start, left side lunge. Return to start, left front lunge. And you’re back to the start again. Make sure to really sit into your lunges to get the most out of them, but never let your knee extend out over your toe when you bend.
One you finish the Lunge Circles, do 20 minutes of cardio, and really give it your all.
After cardio, do a quick core blitz: 30 crunches, 30 seconds holding a V-pike position, and a 1-minute plank.
As always, stretch out, drink plenty of water, and make healthy food choices to thank your body for working hard for you.
Please understand that I’m not saying 30 minutes is all the time I’d like to see you invest in your body; but, in a time crunch, it’s important to know that this small chunk of time can make a significant difference. When it comes to exercise, some is always better than none.
Now, go move your booty! It’s not gonna get any smaller while you’re sitting here.
Repeat the following sequence 4x through, then do a fast mile on the treadmill and finish with 2 min walk and stretching.
All told, should take you about 45 mins.
A 20 lb kettlebell is ideal, as are 8lb weights.
You may not feel this much the day you’re doing it b/c it’s designed so you switch muscle groups enough to keep your energy level steady, but I can vouch for how my body felt the day after 😉
10 Kettlebell Swings
10 Lunge w/medicine ball twist
20 Hamstring-bicep double curl
8 Weighted Squat Jump
10 Squat with shoulder raise
15 (each side) Tricep kickback with leg kickback
15 (each side) Single arm double-weighted rows
8 Reverse crunch on bench
15 (each side) Side-leg lifts
12 Leg Cross Crunch
15 Glute bridge with one leg extended (alternate legs each round)
1 minute plank
You know that “not so hot” feeling you get at the start of each summer when you get ready to put on your swimsuit for the first time of the year? You think, “Man, I should’ve been working out more and eating cleaner.”
As much as you’d like to postpone that feeling, it might just be the motivation you need to get in better shape, make a change now, and be ready for the big reveal in plenty of time.
Rather than waiting until the last minute, try on your bikini today and see how you feel.
Like what you see? Way to go, and keep up the good work!
Don’t like what you see? It’s only February, so you’ve got plenty of time to adjust your diet and workout so you can feel great come summertime. If you haven’t reached your goals or stuck to your guns on your current plan, we can chat about improving it and hitting the mark.
Need a quick fix to make you feel better? Get a spray tan for instant bronzing and slimming effects. No sun or SPF required!