Let's Start Off The Week With Some Tabatas!

Monday, February 23, 2009
Wow, February is almost over already.  We're going to start off this week with two Tabatas.  Not just normal Tabatas, tough.  Instead of alternating back and forth between a couple exercises for eight sets, you'll do one exercise for all eight sets!

First Tabata: Wide Stance Squats
Second Tabata: Mountain Climbers

This one's going to be tough - but then again, real exercise should be.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Come join us for 2 FREE weeks of women's boot camp by sending an e-mail to mark@readyaimfitness.com.  To learn more about Aim to be Fit Women's Boot Camps, visit aimfitcamp.com.

Eight Minute Workout

Friday, February 20, 2009
Here ya go!

8 set, 45 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest.  Do this circuit twice for a total of eight minutes.  Timer.

• X Climber
• Knee to Chest
• Overhead Squat
• Sprint in Place

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Come join us for 2 FREE weeks of women's boot camp by sending an e-mail to mark@readyaimfitness.com.  To learn more about Aim to be Fit Women's Boot Camps, visit aimfitcamp.com.

Express WOD for 2/16

Monday, February 16, 2009
Here's your timer.

• T Stabilization Plank
• Bicycle
• Mountain Climber
• Squat
• Push Up
• Sprint in Place

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Workout(s) of the Day

Thursday, February 12, 2009
Hello everyone,

I apologize for not having a video and Workout of the Day for yesterday.  I'm currently fighting off something - cold, flu... not really sure.  Either way, how about a couple recycled WODs?  You know, they don't have an expiration date!  ;-)

WOD #1 (Do this today)
As many rounds as possible in 10 minutes of:
• 30 reps running in place (only counting 1 leg)
• 20 step squats (each step counts)
• 10 1-arm presses (5 each side)

WOD #2 (Do this tomorrow or Saturday) 
8 exercises, 45 seconds work/15 seconds rest:
• Stagger Stance Push Up
• DB Bent Over Row
• Plank
• Knee to Chest
• Back Bridge
• Jumping Jack
• Run
• Side Step Squat

Now get after it.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Today Just Feels Like A Tabata Day

Monday, February 9, 2009
The Express Workout of the Day today will be one Tabata.  Really simple and straightforward - here's your timer.

1. Wall Sit Dumbbell Curl/Press
2. Mountain Climber

These two exercises should be more than enough to get your heart pumping and give you plenty of energy for the rest of your day.

Get after it, and come back tomorrow for more of my War on Aerobic Exercise.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Finishing Phase 1 of 2009 Boot Camps

Friday, February 6, 2009
Happy Friday, everyone!

Just finished the first phase of my Shoreline boot camp, and I'm about to head out to do the same with my Edmonds group.  What a great group of women in that camp - they kicked their tails today.  We did the Express WOD first - a 4-minute fitness assessment of 10 push ups, 15 squats and 20 bicycles.  We did this on the first day of camp on January 12th.  Today, many of the women did an entire extra round since they did the workout 4 weeks ago!  That's incredible!

Assessments are so important because they give you cause to continue working out.  It's easy to look at things from one day to the next and think, "I'm not making any progress."  Giving yourself a test like this will show you just how far you've come.

Again, here's the workout - do as many rounds of this circuit as you can in 4 minutes:

•10 Push Ups
•15 Squats
•20 Bicycles (only count one leg as I demonstrate in the video)

Get after it and have a wonderful weekend!

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


War on Aerobics - Return on Investment (and Express WOD)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Hi Everyone.

Last week I defined aerobics in my first discussion about the downside to aerobic exercise.  This week, I'm going to go into why aerobics are a poor way to invest your exercise time.

In business, almost everyone is familiar with ROI or Return on Investment.  Exercise can be looked at much in the same way.  You always want to maximize ROI, whether you're investing money in the business world or your time in exercise.

Aerobics offer you very little in the way or bang for your buck.  You have to workout for very long durations to get the supposed benefit of the exercise.  This is a huge barrier for many people.  With the busy schedules many people have, an hour-plus long daily exercise sessions is simply too much, especially when you start to consider travel time (if you work out at a gym), time to change/shower, and just generally avoiding being in a terrible rush before and after exercise.

Exercise is something you can't cheat.  You get out exactly what you put in.  Yet there's a natural trade-off that most people never take advantage of.  The trade-off is between duration and intensity.  Aerobic exercise is, by definition, not very intense.  That's why it's such a time hog.  However, if you are willing to add intensity to your workout, you can get in the same amount of value in a far lesser time.

If you make the decision to workout at maximum intensity, you'll quickly reach the same level of fatigue (or probably a greater level) you would doing aerobic exercise for several times longer.  That's what exercise is all about - if you never get fatigued doing it, it's not exercise.  The greater the challenge to your body, the better the results you'll get from it.

The question is, simply - are you willing to work harder to save time and make exercise a part of your life?

Now for the workout of the day...

Today, it's two Tabatas.  Here's the timer.

Tabata #1:
1) Wide Stance Squat w/ Ground Touch
2) T-Stabilization Push Up

Tabata #2:
1) Jumping Jack
2) Plank w/ Alternating Single Arm Raise

Like I said above, the trade-out for workouts that easily fit into your schedule is the intensity with which you must attack them.  GET AFTER IT!

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Let's Kick Off February Right!

Monday, February 2, 2009
Well, my apologies for not getting my Friday WOD up.  Back in action today with the first WOD of February.  Six sets of work at 45 seconds with 15 seconds break between sets.

• Squat
• Close Hand Push-Up
• Wide Stance Contralateral Toe Touch
• Knee to Chest
• Bicycle
• Reverse Lunge w/ Overhead Reach

Talk to you tomorrow with more of the War on Aerobics.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Express Workout for 1/28

Wednesday, January 28, 2009
January has just flown by, hasn't it?  I can't believe it's going to be February this weekend.

Here's your Express Workout for today:

•Wide Squat
•Knee to Chest
•X Climber
•Bent Over Alternating DB Row
•Side Lunge with Toe Touch
•Sprint (in place if necessary)

Do each exercise for 45 seconds and take 15 seconds break between sets.  Here's the timer.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Let The War On Aerobics BEGIN!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
As I promised yesterday, I'm waging a war on aerobic exercise.

Let me begin by saying that this is an oddly touchy subject for people.  A lot of people get really offended when I tell them that aerobic exercise doesn't make sense.  It's a tough thing to reject something we've been told for so long.  I'm not suggesting that aerobic exercise is "evil."  I'm simply making the case that there are far better ways of investing your time working out.

I'll also take a quick moment to say this: you have to do what makes you happy.  For instance, if you love going for runs, you'd better do it while you can because tomorrow is never promised.  Don't stop doing something you love because it's not the best kind of exercise.  Just understand that from a purely results-driven perspective, aerobic exercise is absolutely not where you should start for a healthy heart and musculoskeletal system, or for weight loss.

In the coming blog entries (I plan to space these around my Monday, Wednesday and Friday Express Workouts of the Day), I'll discuss why aerobic exercise fails to be an ideal form of exercise, what you should be doing in its place, but also when you should include aerobic exercise as a part of your exercise regimen (it does have its place, but its not first place).

Let's get going by defining what aerobic exercise is, because I feel that is where people begin to get confused when I tell them they don't need it.  We're usually told that aerobic exercise is great for your heart and your lungs.  But an activity being "aerobic" has little to do with your heart and lungs.  It's about how energy is being used for work at a cellular level.  When you do aerobic exercise, or exercise that involves long-duration endurance, oxygen is required for your body's chemical reaction to produce energy from sugar, while in anaerobic exercise it isn't needed.  But it doesn't have anything to do with being "better" for your heart and lungs.

"Anaerobic" exercise can be fantastic for your heart.  Your heart is a muscle like any other muscle, and it adapts to what is demanded of it.  If you demand "aerobic" endurance, it will become more efficient working at about 70% or so of its maximum capacity.  But you can also demand that your heart work at 100% of its capacity.  If you do this, your heart will adapt by becoming stronger and increasing its overall capacity for work at any level.  Ask any sprinter who just finished a race if his/her heart and lungs got a workout, and through all the panting, the answer will most assuredly be "yes."  

Having a healthy heart is not about how long you can run without getting tired.  Endurance is one of those funny traits we look for from exercise even though it has no real world value other than helping us exercise for longer.  Though it's worth noting that you can increase your endurance without training for it.  By working your heart at full capacity, you increase its ability to work at everything less without specifically training for it.  To use a weightlifting example, if you've worked to increase your bench press max from 150 to 200 pounds, you'll find that you can lift 100 pounds for more repetitions than you could before, even though you weren't training for that.

That's my battle for the day, but the war will continue later...

Keep checking back for more.  And remember, "aerobic" shouldn't come with a positive connotation - it's just a word to describe a chemical reaction.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Starting Tomorrow - The War On Aerobics Begins...

Monday, January 26, 2009
... But for now, you'll have to settle for the Express Workout of the Day.

You're going to do 6 minutes of continuous work, completing as many rounds as possible of these exercises:

•10 Side Lunges with Toe Touch
•15 Bicycles
•20 Mountain Climbers

Remember to start reading tomorrow - be ready to give up on aerobic exercise!

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it.


Let's Finish the Week Strong

Friday, January 23, 2009
Here's a short, sweet workout that will help you finish the week with a bang.

Four exercises, in this order, one minute each with no rest.  Timer.

Get after it and have a great weekend!

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Is Exercise Your Habit Or Your Hobby?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I was telling my boot campers this morning, "If you want something to be a habit, you have to do it on the majority of days."  This means that three days, while fantastic for your health, isn't going to reap the benefits of four or five days per week.  If you really want exercise to change your life, it has to be a habit, not a hobby.  You can't waiver or stray from it, or it won't help you.

These Express Workout of the Day are one piece of the puzzle.  But there needs to be another exercise piece.  I still recommend that it be high intensity work.  This is the only way to maximize the time you spend exercising - lower intensity work just takes up more time.

On the days when you're not doing the WOD, go to the local track and do some sprints.  Sprint the straightaways and walk the turns.  Or run on a treadmill for 30 seconds at the highest speed you can go and then walk or jog for 90 seconds.  Do 5-10 all-out sprints per workout.

Now, for the WOD:

• Stagger Stance Push Up
• DB Bent Over Row
• Plank
• Knee to Chest
• Back Bridge
• Jumping Jack
• Run
• Side Step Squat

45 seconds of work, 15 seconds of rest - here's the timer.

Exercise should be a habit.  Do it 4-6 times per week and challenge yourself each and every workout - you'll be amazed at what it will do for you.

Talk to you soon.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


SUPER Express Workout

Monday, January 19, 2009
Tabatas remain my favorite exercise format for squeezing a major butt-kicking workout into a short period of time.  You'll get to do one today that should do just that.

1. T-Stabilization Push-Up
2. Jump Squat (or traditional squat if you cannot safely/successfully do jump squats)

As always, short workouts require high intensity.  Don't let fatigue make a coward of you - put maximum effort into each set.  You WILL feel tired, and you WILL want to put out less than 100% effort, but give it all you've got... it's over in four minutes!

Talk to you soon.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


January 16th Express Workout of the Day

Friday, January 16, 2009
Good morning everybody.

Here's your January 16th Express Workout of the Day.  Go to the timer page when you're ready to get after it.

• Alternating DB Press
• X Climber
• KB Squat Raise
• Back Bridge
• Plank
• Knee to Chest
• Jumping Jack
• Overhead Squat

These workouts are all short, but remember - the intensity is where these workouts are made, so don't hold back.  Get the most excellent reps you can out of each set.  No coasting - kick your butt!

Thanks to everyone who sent me e-mails with kind words in response to yesterday's post about Positive Energy.  I'm glad I was able to provide some good vibes for you.

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


The Power of Positive

Thursday, January 15, 2009
There's some things in life you just can't control.

Everyone is going to deal with stuff in their life that they would consider negative.  People lose jobs, end relationships and lose loved ones.  Likely, most of those things are more or less out of our control.  But that's where one of my favorite quotes, from football coach Lou Holtz, comes in...

"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it."

You just have to make sure you respond the right way.  Some people choose to be negative about little things while others smile and roll with the punches.  When your schedule gets busy, how will you respond?  Will you make excuses to yourself about why you can't exercise or why it's just impossible to eat healthy foods when things get stressful?

Especially when it comes to exercise, understand how important small actions can be.  I'm not talking about parking further away from the grocery store.  I'm talking about taking four minutes out of your day to kick your butt with a Tabata.  You're not too busy for that.  You have exactly the same number of hours in your day as Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and Mother Teresa.  With all the things that a person can accomplish in their life given just 24 hours a day, make a few short minutes for your own well-being.  Even if you can only exercise with one Tabata per day, you'll fill the remaining 1,436 minutes with more productivity, better sleep, and most important of all...

Positive energy!

Never underestimate how much a simple smile can affect your mood and the people around you.  And I guarantee you, if you take care of yourself, if you find time for a little intense exercise, you WILL smile more.

That's my sappy thought for the day and it leads me to my new sign-off...

I love you and there's not a damn thing you can do about it!


Workout of the Day, 1/14/09

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Good morning!

Today's workout of the day is a 6 exercise circuit that will take you as many minutes.  Each exercise will last for 45 seconds and you'll have 15 seconds to rest between each set.  Do as many reps of each exercise as you can in the 45 seconds - remember, you only have to do it once, so really get after it.

Here are the exercises:

• Reverse Lunge w/ Toe Touch
• Knee to Chest
• Pushup
• Bridge
• Plank
• Wall Sit

Here is the link to the YouTube timer.

Now get after it!


WOD for January 12th... one day late

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sorry for falling behind on the Workouts of the Day.  The beginning of my boot camps has taken my full focus over the course of the last several days, but the video version of the Workout of the Day will be back tomorrow.

Today, the workout is an assessment of your fitness.  We'll come back to this workout, so you'll have to write down your results.

The workout is simple.

10 Push-Ups
15 Sit-Ups (or if you can't do sit-ups, do crunches)
20 Squats

You'll do this circuit as many times as possible in five minutes.  Don't stop for any breaks, just work continuously to get off as much work as you can in that five minutes.

At the end, write down how many rounds you completed, as well as the exercise you finished on, and how many reps you completed of that exercise (ex.: 3 rounds, push-up, 7 reps).

This workout and our periodic checkups on this workout will really add value to the other Workouts of the Day.

Take care, everyone!


WOD for January 7th

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Hey Everyone,

So, here's the workout of the day for January 7th.

You'll do 10 minutes of work, completing as many sets as you can of this circuit:

-100 yard sprint (or sprint in place for 30 reps, counting only one leg)
-20 step squats (each step counts as a rep, so NOT 20 per side)
-10 overhead presses (5 per arm)

Keep going until 10 minutes has passed.  Don't let fatigue set it - keep after it for the whole 10 minutes with whatever you have in the tank!

ALSO: My new aimfitcamp.com site is up - special thanks to Boot Camper Mary Schwartz for all her hard work in getting it live.

Camps resume next week, so make sure to get in touch with me and set up your free trial ASAP!


WOD - January 5th

Monday, January 5, 2009
Welcome to the first full week of 2009 - hope everyone had a great weekend.

The workout of the day for today is two Tabatas.  A Tabata is a format where you do 8 sets of work at 20 seconds, following each set with 10 seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes.  Each Tabata lasts four minutes.

Today, you'll be doing two Tabatas.  Take a couple minutes to get some water and catch your breath in between.  You can view the timer HERE.

Tabata #1
1. T- Stabilization Push Up
2. Overhead Squat

Tabata #2
1. Oblique Sit Up/Crunch
2. Mountain Climber

As always, get after it!


Happy New Year! WOD Video Time

Friday, January 2, 2009
Hi Everyone,

One of my goals for 2009 is to make as many videos for all my clients, newsletter subscribers and blog readers as possible.  I'm going to do my best to have a video every weekday (there will be some days this doesn't happen, but that's the template I'm going with).

Your first workout of the day for 2009 is in video format below.

Here are the exercises...

1. Push Up
2. Hip Extension
3. Sit Up/Crunch
4. X Climber
5. Squat
6. Bicycle
7. Side Lunge w/ Toe Touch
8. Jumping Jack

Each exercise once, 45 seconds of work with 15 seconds of rest.  You can download an MP3 timer for this workout here.  Once you hit play, start the first exercise - I made the track silent behind my countdown calls so you can listen to music if you wish.  After 25 seconds, you'll hear your first countdown call.  (Don't worry, an improved system for timing is coming soon!)

Happy New Year, Everyone!