Category Archives: Workout
Tabata training is a very popular type of interval training these days, but 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off isn’t the only type of interval training you should be doing.
While a work to rest ratio of 2 to 1 is great, you could make that 2 to 1 interval, 40 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest.
You can also do a 1 to 1 interval of 30 seconds of work, to 30 seconds of rest.
Or a 1 to 2 interval of 20 seconds of work to 40 seconds of rest.
Really the options are endless – it all really depends on what energy system you want to work and what you want to get out of your interval training.
For instance, endurance will require longer work intervals while power will require shorter work intervals with longer intervals of rest.
Whatever you want to accomplish, there is an interval for that.
Below is one of our favorite interval workouts – The 20/20/20 Metabolic Workout!
20/20/20 Metabolic Workout
Roll out and stretch from head to toe.
Complete 5 rounds of each circuit. Rest 1-2 minutes between circuits.
20 seconds Burpee Sit Thrus
20 seconds Heavy Bag Carry
20 seconds Rest
20 seconds Slam Bag Shouldering
20 seconds Plank Wipers (or a simple plank hold variation like the slam bag one shown above)
20 seconds Rest
20 seconds Tsunamis
20 seconds Lateral Shuffle
20 seconds Rest
20 seconds Dot Drill
20 seconds Snow Angels
20 seconds Rest
20 seconds Rower
20 seconds Dip Hold with Leg Raises
20 seconds Rest
Walk around and let your heart rate come down. Roll out and stretch from head to toe.
I think every holiday should be celebrated with a special workout…And of course food…But definitely a special workout.
Ryan and I every Fourth of July have gone out and done workouts outside at playgrounds.
This year we had our own indoor playground as well as a ton of friends around to play with us!
Celebrate your fourth in style and try our 4th of July Team Workout Challenge!
TEAM WORKOUT CHALLENGE
Set a timer for 5 minutes. Complete as many rounds of the exercise as possible in the 5 minutes. Try to get a team of 3-5 so that you can alternate turns during the 5 minutes. Only one team member may work at a time. Record your score.
5 minute Rower (record meters completed by team)
5 minute Bag Pulls (record number of pulls…This can also be back rows)
5 minutes Stagecoach Battling Rope Waves (record the number of waves that go all the way down)
5 minutes Partner Sled Pull (your partner stands on slider and you walk backward pulling them. Each 50ft length is one rep)
5 minutes Monkey Bars (every length you complete is a rep. You can also replace this with a hanging ab exercise or even an inverted row.)
5 minutes Slam Bagz Burpees (every burpee is a rep…Press the bag overhead then bring it down to the ground and jump back then jump back up and press overhead)
5 minutes Sledgehammer (count the number of slams…Can also be med ball slams if you don’t have a hammer)
How’d you do!?! Share your scores below!
Here are our scores:
1st Place Team USA with 2,079.5 points
2nd Place Team Cougars with 2,019.5
3rd Place Team Musketeers 1,868
4th Place Team Giraffes 1,845
5th Place Team Pup ‘n Suds 1,639
And I’m also proud to announce that one of my good friends has joined me at Redefining Strength. Jeff has launched his own training program The Resistance Training!
He is absolutely amazing and I can’t be happier for him. I’ve never had someone smile so nicely at me as I just wanted to roll over on the ground and not move for the next hour.
He tailors all of his workouts to meet your specific needs and he knows how to push you just the right amount to get results.
So if you have a chance, check him out!
This month has been a whirlwind – A crazy, hectic, AMAZING time that hasn’t left me near as much time to post as I would usually like. And I’m sorry if I’ve been a little MIA and slow to respond.
But I’m excited and proud to announce that I’m officially opening The Redefining Strength Fitness Studio in Costa Mesa, California!
Before I say any more about the studio, I need to first thank all of the WONDERFUL and AMAZING people who I have in my life who’ve supported me on this new journey.
When going after your dreams, you know there are going to be people who will put you down and try to hold you back.
And you can’t let yourself listen to them. You can’t let the doubts creep in.
Going after your dreams is going to be hard. It’s going to be stressful. There will be setbacks and days you want to quit.
But no matter what, you can’t give up.
And there will be those amazing friends and family members around you to help keep you moving forward. They will question you. They will force you to work.
They will not blindly follow and agree…And that is what makes them so amazing and supportive.
They will be pushing you forward and making you better.
So before I say anything more about the studio, I want to thank all of you amazing people. I couldn’t have done this without all of your enthusiasm, encouragement and love.
SO THANK YOU!
AND NOW….The Redefining Strength Fitness Studio!
On this wonderful Monday on the last day of June, we are officially open for business! We offer both in-person small group and personal training sessions as well as online training.
We use battling ropes, sandbags, slam bagz, monkey bars, climbing ropes, sledgehammers, tires, kettlebells, sliders, slide boards, rowers, pulley systems, resistance bands, barbells, landmines, dip bars, pull up bars, sleds….And so much more in our training.
If you are looking for a personal trainer in Orange County (or small group training!), check out Redefining Strength! I can guarantee you’ll love it…Not only because I’m amazing, but because the people that I work with are the most friendly/supportive/amazing/hardworking/WONDERFUL people in the world. 😛
I’m so excited for Man Bicep’s new home and all of the great information and posts I can now provide all of you Man Bicepers with!
The other day I made a slosh pipe and of course I was then dying to use it with everyone! (If you don’t know how to make one, check out these instructions!)
Here is a great slosh pipe workout to try once you make yours for under $10!
Slosh Pipe Workout
Stretch and Roll Out:
Set a timer for 30 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. Move from one exercise to another and do work the entire 30 seconds followed by the 15 second transition time. After completing a round of all 5 exercises, rest for about 1 minute then repeat. Complete 5-8 rounds of the circuit!
30 seconds Lunge with Rotation
15 seconds Rest
30 seconds Low To High Choppers
15 seconds Rest
30 seconds Squat to Alternating Overhead Press
15 seconds Rest
30 seconds Duck Under Squat
15 seconds Rest
30 seconds Russian Twists
1 minute Rest
Let your heart rate come down while walking around then stretch and roll out!
Have you ever used a slosh pipe? What are your favorite exercises?
P.S. For instructions on these moves and more, check out these 10 Slosh Pipe Exercises.
There are lots of different rep ranges you can use in your workouts. Traditional rep ranges are 1-6 (max. strength), 8-12 (hypertrophy), 15-20 (endurance/stability).
However, you shouldn’t get stuck on using only those rep ranges or even just a single one of those ranges.
There are lots of other ways to work on strength, hypertrophy and/or endurance and stability.
One great workout set up that I like to use is Pyramid Sets…and in this case, simple Descending/Reverse Pyramid Sets.
Pyramid Sets allow you to work through numerous different rep ranges all in one workout.
The workout below is a variation of the Descending/Reverse Pyramid Set Workout – This means you will start with lower reps and higher weight and go up in reps as you go down in weight over the sets.
You want to push to fatigue each set. You shouldn’t be able to do the same weight at the end that you used at the beginning!
The Reverse Pyramid Full Body Strength Workout
Stretch and Roll Out:
Rest as needed between rounds. Use as heavy a weight or perform as advanced a variation as you can at each rep range. Push to fatigue!
Start with one rep of each. Each round add one rep until you hit 10 reps on the final (10th) set.
Stretch and Roll Out:
KB Deadlift – Kettlebell deadlift. You can do a sumo deadlift, straight leg deadlift or conventional deadlift using a kettlebell (or two). Choose the one that best meets your needs. One of my favorite is the Sumo Deadlift…Set your feet up at least shoulder-width apart. Point your toes slightly out. Set one or two kettlebells down between your legs, centered between your heels. Sit your butt back and hinge forward slightly, keeping your back flat. Grab the handles and keep your arms straight as you sink into a wide squat. Pull the kettlebells off the ground and stand up nice and tall. You almost want to pull up and back so that you don’t lean or fall forward. Squeeze your glutes at the top. Then sit your butt back and hinge over to bring the kettlebell(s) back to the ground. Touch them down and then stand back up. Make sure you are driving up off your heels and not rounding your back. Do not lean too far forward. And make sure you sink your butt. This is not a straight leg pull. TO ADVANCE OR REGRESS THROUGHOUT THE REVERSE PYRAMID, CHANGE THE WEIGHT.
Pull Up – Hang from the bar with your palms facing away (you may also sub in chin ups or a neutral grip pull up). Press your chest out and draw your shoulder blades down and back. Then pull your chin up above the bar. Once your chin reaches above the bar, lower back down. Stay in control. Do not kip or swing. As you fatigue, you may swing a little on the last rep or two, but it shouldn’t be used to do reps quickly. Beginners may want to use a pull up assistance machine or their feet or a band to help them perform their pull ups. TO ADVANCE OR REGRESS THROUGHOUT THE REVERSE PYRAMID, CHOOSE A MORE CHALLENGING OR LESS CHALLENGING VARIATION. Maybe do a plyometric pull up to start and regress to a chin up or even assisted variation as you go.
Airborne Lunge – To do this move, you will bend one knee and you are going to squat/lunge down, dropping that back knee toward the ground. Do not touch the foot down when you drop the knee to the ground. Lean forward as needed to counterbalance but do not round forward. You can add a box or pad under your knee if you can’t hit the ground. Make sure to sink back into the front heel and drive off that heel to come back up to standing. If you need assistance, you can also hold a weight or a suspension trainer in your hands. TO ADVANCE OR REGRESS THROUGHOUT THE REVERSE PYRAMID, HOLD WEIGHT AT YOUR CHEST TO MAKE THE MOVE HARDER OR USE AN ASSISTED VARIATION/SMALLER RANGE OF MOTION TO MAKE IT EASIER.
Dip – Beginners may do an assisted variation off of dip bars or parallel bars. They may also do these off of kettlebells or a bench. Advanced exercisers will do full dips and may even add weight to challenge them. To do a full dip, place one hand on each bar. Press up to the top so that your arms are fully extended. Then slowly bend your elbows and lower your body down. You want to lower yourself down until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Then drive back up through your hands until you are fully extended at the top. Keep your core tight so you don’t arch your low back. Do not lean too far forward. To do this move from the bench, place both hands on the bench behind you. Your finger tips should hang over the bench and face you. Stretch your legs out then in front of you. The straighter your legs are and the further your heels are from your butt, the harder the move will be. Bend your elbows and drop your butt toward the ground. Drop so your upper arms are parallel to the ground then press back up. Keep your butt and back right up against the bench. Do not let your body drift forward. TO ADVANCE OR REGRESS THROUGHOUT THE REVERSE PYRAMID, CHOOSE A MORE CHALLENGING OR LESS CHALLENGING VARIATION.
I LOVE glute workouts. And I think that glute training is an ESSENTIAL part of any good workout routine, which is why I love writing about glute training every other day it seems.
Below are a couple of articles about glute training and a great glute workout.
Mini Bands are a one of my favorite tools to use to activate your glutes. They are cheap, easy to use anywhere and can work your butt from every angle. Here are 10 Great Mini Band Moves.
Below is a great workout using both the mini bands and a couple of my favorite glute bridge variations!
Get Great Glutes Workout
Complete 2 rounds of the circuit below.
10 steps each way Mini Band Side Shuffle
20 steps each way Monster Steps
Complete 3-5 rounds of the first exercise and then of each following superset. Rest up to 1 minute between rounds and up to 2 minutes between supersets.
5-15 reps Hip Thruster
8-12 reps per side Single Leg Deadlifts
15-20 reps Glute Bridge and Curl
8-12 reps per side Lateral Step Ups
15-20 reps Reverse Hypers
Roll out and Stretch:
Mini Band Side Shuffle and Monster Walks – Click here for a full breakdown of the moves with pictures.
Hip Thruster – Set up a bench so that it won’t move as you bridge up onto it. Take a barbell and put some padding around it. Place your upper back on the bench and sit your butt on the ground with your legs out straight. Place the barbell over your hips and plant your feet firmly on the ground and close to your butt. Drive up through your heels and your upper back on the bench. Squeeze your glutes and press your hips up as high as possible, driving the barbell up and off the ground. Hold a second or two at the top and then lower back down and repeat. Do not hyperextend your back at the top. Keep your belly button pulled in toward your spine and really squeeze your glutes at the top. Beginners will want to progress up to the barbell variation. Beginners may need two boxes to start or even start with a bridge on the ground. To do the two boxes, they will place their upper back on one and their heels on the other. Bring your butt up off the ground, driving through your heels on the box and your upper back. Bridge up into a nice straight line, squeezing your glutes and then lower your butt back down almost to the ground. Repeat, holding just a second or two at the top. To advance that move while still not using a barbell, do a single leg variation. Once you feel comfortable with the single leg variation, attempt a very light weight hip thruster.
Single Leg Deadlift – Stand on one foot with the knee of that standing leg slightly bent. Hinge over at your hips, sweeping the other leg back toward the wall behind you. Pretend you are driving the heel of that foot straight into the wall behind you. Lean forward with your upper body as you hinge forward, keeping the back nice and flat. Make sure that as you hinge, you are sitting into the heel of your standing leg. Do not lean forward and come up onto your toes. To stand back up, drive through the heel of your standing leg and squeeze your glute at the top. Try not to tap the other foot down at all or at least not till you are fulling standing. Complete all reps on one side before switching to the other leg. To make the move harder, do a 3-5 count lower down toward the ground. Take 3-5 seconds to hinge over and then push straight back up. If that is still easy, then add a little bit of weight.
Lateral Step Ups – The higher the bench or box you use, the harder this move will be. Do not use a box that is too high. If you have to push off the foot on the ground or if you really lean forward to propel yourself up, the box is too high. Stand with the box next to your right side. Place your right foot on top of it without rotating toward the box. Drive up through the heel of the foot on the box until you are standing on the box. Drive the left knee up as you lift up onto the box. Then step back down and repeat. Keep your chest up as you drive up. Do not lean forward or let your heel on top of the box come up. Complete all reps on one side before switching. Challenge yourself first with a higher box and then with weight. If one box is too high and the other is too low, you can add weight and use the lower box to make the step ups harder.
Glute Bridge and Curl – For a complete guide to the bridge and curl, click here.
Reverse Hypers – Lie face down on a table, bench or box. Make sure your hips are right at the edge. Hold on to something in front of you if you want. Keep your upper body relaxed. Squeeze your legs together and point your toes out. Lift your legs to basically parallel to the ground, keeping your legs straight. Do not hyperextend your back and lift way higher than parallel. You do not want to feel this in your low back. Hold for 2-5 seconds and then lower down. Keep your core tight and really squeeze your glutes as you lift.
The other day on Redefining Strength I wrote a post about 10 Great Suspension Trainer Exercises. Below is a full-body metabolic workout using some of those moves.
It just takes 30 minutes and will work your entire body! (Of course I recommend a good dynamic warm up with some foam rolling before hand (and after!) so maybe about 35-40 minutes…)
Full-Body Suspension Trainer Workout
Stretch and Foam Roll:
Set a timer for 30 minutes and complete as many rounds of the circuit below as possible. Rest only as needed between exercises and rounds. Pick a variation of each exercise (and a rep number) that you can do without going to failure on any of the exercises. You want to be able to move from one exercise to another quickly. The point of this workout is constant movement.
10-15 reps per side Balance Lunge
10-15 reps Inverted Row
10-15 reps Push Ups
10-15 reps per side Mt. Climbers
Stretch and Foam Roll:
How many rounds did you get in the 30 minutes? Record your number and try to beat it next week!
Note: Not sure how to do one of the moves above, check out these 10 Suspension Trainer Exercises for descriptions and pictures of each move!
I love using yoga pose variations in my recovery workouts and even in some of my strength training routines to develop stability.
All too often we skip from basic balancing moves that develop stability to big heavy lifts that develop strength, forgetting that without stability we won’t truly be strong.
That is why, every few weeks or so I dial it back and work on building my stability (or depending on my routine, it may even be added in when I’m lifting heavy!).
To dial back my deadlift, I like to use the Warrior III yoga pose to develop stability and work on my balance. (It is actually one of many yoga poses I love to use.)
The Warrior III pose is a great way to work on balance, core strength and activate the glutes. It also can help improve your mobility and the flexibility of your hamstrings and hips.
However, I don’t just hold the Warrior III pose.
Here are the 3 Warrior III variations I love to use to develop stability and balance all while activating my glutes and improving my mobility.
Warrior III Variations:
A little bit ago I mentioned that you can improve your push ups by doing different variations of push ups.
Below is a quick workout that will help be able to do more push ups; HOWEVER, you need to focus on form and not just busting out as many reps as you can.
That may mean you have to really regress your push ups to continue moving with good form, especially as you get further into the workout.
You want QUALITY reps.
This workout will also help you balance out all of the pushing with some exercises to improve posture and activate your back muscles (which in turn, will actually help you with your pull ups as well!).
And in case you need a review of the basic push up and some regressions and progressions, check out this Push Up Form Post.
Make sure to record all of your numbers from the workout. While testing can be a great way to see progress, so can recording your numbers from your workouts.
If you do more push ups or a harder variation of push ups next time, you know your workouts are working!
I know I’ve written a lot about Isometric workouts over the last few months, but they truly are one of the most under utilized tools out there.
They are great to improve balance, stability, coordination and the mind-body connection. They can help prevent and even rehab injuries. They can reduce pain throughout your body. They can help get muscles activated so you can lift more.
Heck they can even make you mentally stronger.
They are great for recover and great to help you improve your strength.
Basically no matter who you are, you need to include them.
Maybe you make them into their own workout or maybe you simply include them in a workout or even a warm up.
Isometric moves help your body activate the correct muscles and even help improve your mobility. Plus they help create stability in your body so you can LIFT MORE without injury.
Below is a Quick Isometric Workout to reduce your pain and injury and help you get more out of your workouts!