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Home Cardio Workout

I’ve said before I hate cardio…But that really isn’t completely true.

I just hate long, slow cardio. SO BORING.

And it also kind of makes me mad that everyone thinks that they either need to go for a jog or hop on a piece of cardio equipment to get their cardio in.

Because you don’t.

You can easily do a super tough and fat burning cardio workout at home with very little space!

home workouts

For example you can do the towel taz….

The other day I actually did one a great at home cardio workout although I didn’t do the towel taz.

I didn’t feel like going in to the gym, but I wanted to workout. I also didn’t feel like doing a long workout since I had a lot to do.

AND on top of those things, I didn’t have a lot of space to work with and had to do it outside the kitchen since Ryan was holed up in the office doing work.

And this is what I did:

Home Cardio Workout

Stretch and roll out all tight spots (hips, calves, quads, upper back, lats were my targets)

3-5 rounds:
20 seconds each exercise
20 seconds rest between rounds (beginners may need more rest take up to 1 minute between rounds)
Sit Thrus
Super Crunch

super crunch

super crunch

2-3 minutes rest between circuits

3-5 rounds:
20 seconds each exercise
20 seconds rest between rounds
Skater Hops
Mt. Climbers (can use a towel or sliders if you have them)
Cherry Bombs

2-3 minutes rest between circuits

3-5 rounds:
20 seconds each exercise
20 seconds rest between rounds
Split Squat Jumps
Plank Hip Dips
Circle Crawls

mary katherines

split squat jumps

2-3 minutes rest between circuits

Stretch and roll out anything that is tight when done.

Now this is cardio I like.

What’s your favorite home cardio workout?

Bodyweight Workout Routine – Slowing Down The Tempo

Ok so I’m tired of people telling me that they don’t have time to go to the gym and, therefore, they don’t have time to go to the gym.

Here is a workout that DOESN’T require the gym…aka it doesn’t require ANY equipment. And it will challenge even the most advanced lifter!

I’ve mentioned before that there are a ton of ways to advance moves WITHOUT using weight. I’ve shown you more difficult variations of moves…like single limb moves. I’ve shown you how to challenge yourself using a towel.

And now I’m going to show you how to create a challenging workout by slowing down the tempo of your repetitions. Each exercise is done SUPER SLOW. While all the tempos are slow, the emphasis is put on different parts of the movement so pay attention to what the tempo says!

Total Body Bodyweight Workout!


Roll out any particularly tight spots and do dynamic stretches for calves, hamstrings, hips, core, chest, shoulders, and upper back.


Perform 3-4 rounds of each superset. Complete all rounds before moving on to the next superset. Rest for 1-2 minutes between each superset.

Superset #1
TEMPO 5/0/1 8-12 reps each side Single Skater Lunge (5 count squat down toward ground, no pause at bottom and quick push back up. Like a single leg deadlift EXCEPT that as you lean forward and hinge toward the ground you are actually going to bend that standing leg as low as you can. So it is a combination deadlift and squat. The back leg doesn’t need to stay straight.)
TEMPO 1/5/1 8-12 reps Posterior Plank (Quick up, 5 count hold at top and quick back down. To do this move sit on the ground with your legs out straight and your hands behind you. Point your finger tips toward your butt. Lift up onto your heels and hands, keeping your legs straight and leaning your head back at the top. Get your hips up as high as possible. To even advance further, keep the tempo slow and perform a single leg plank.)

Superset #2
TEMPO 5/1/5/1/5/1 5-10 reps Push Ups
 (Hold 5 seconds at the top of the push up. Lower down to midway of the push up and hold 5 seconds. Lower down to the bottom and hold 5 seconds. Do not relax on the ground at the bottom. Push quickly back up to the top. You can do an incline push up or push up from your knees to regress. Choose a variation that you can do for at least 5 solid form push ups!)

high plankmiddle of push uppush up hold

TEMPO 5/1/5 Slow Skater Side Lunges (Sink down into a low side lunge. You are going to move slowly from side lunge to side lunge. Do not let your butt come up in the middle. The tempo will be a five count to move from one side to the other. Do not pause more than a second on each side.)

Superset #3
TEMPO 1/3/5 8-12 reps each side Single Leg Glute Bridge
(Quick 1 second up, hold 3 seconds at the top and slow 5 count lower down to the ground. This move can be regressed to a two-leg bridge OR progressed to a bridge with your feet up on a table. Keep the tempo no matter which you do!)
TEMPO 1/5/1 8-12 reps Corner Row (Quick press out, hold 5 seconds in scapular hold and lower back down. This is basically a scapular hold with movement. Set up in a corner with an elbow on each wall as if you are going to do a scapular hold. Relax against the wall and then press up into a scapular hold on your elbows. Hold there in the scapular hold and then lower back down to the wall.)

corner row


Stretch out and roll out hamstrings, hips, glutes, chest, shoulders and upper back.

All of these moves are challenging…both physically and MENTALLY. It is always a mental challenge to force yourself to move slowly when your muscles are burning and you just want to get it over with!

Enjoy! And even try slowing down the tempo on some of your other favorite moves!

Mommy and Me Workout

Happy Friday!

Yesterday, one of my beautiful soon to be sister in laws, Jamie, and her baby, my nephew Cooper, came in to workout.

Cooper seriously loves the gym.

baby deadlifting

He sees it as one big playroom.  He is obsessed with balls and we have balls in every shape, size and color all around the gym.

The last time Jamie brought him in when she worked out, I carried him around as I coached so that she could workout undistracted. (Actually I grabbed him up and ran off with him before Jamie even had a chance to put him down….)

Today though she joined me during my workout with a group so I didn’t really have the chance to watch him.

And, of course, she couldn’t just put him down and allow him to crawl around because then he wouldn’t literally get into everything. And trust me…he is one fast bear crawler!

So because babies get into everything and Mommies need a chance to workout, here are some great Mommy and Me exercises demonstrated by the beautiful Jamie and Cooper! (I think Cooper had even more fun than Jamie did!)

Mommy and Me Workout:

Make sure to first roll out any tight areas and stretch and warm up. Then get ready to have some fun!


3-5 Rounds:

10 reps each side Baby-weight Step Ups

weighted step up
30 seconds Baby-weight Overhead Carry

Overhead carry

Walk and hold overhead

15 reps Baby Front Squats

front squat
15 reps Baby-weight Lying Chest Press

chest press
10 reps Baby-weight Squat to Press

squat to press
10 reps each side Baby Russian Twists

russian twists


3-5 Rounds:

20 seconds Bear Crawl Race

baby crawl
10 seconds rest
20 second Baby-weight KB Swings
10 seconds rest

A seriously fun workout. And probably the best part of all was that Cooper just learned how to clap so he kept cheering Jamie on!

Hotel Room Workout

Generally when I travel I don’t worry about workouts since I usually just plan out my progression so that my vacation is my recovery week.

I make sure I’m always active during vacation, taking casual walks or just goofing around, but I generally only workout if I really feel like it.

HOWEVER, I do have a number of clients who travel often and therefore like to do workouts on the road so that they stay in a routine.

And since hotel gyms are so hit or miss, I think it is best to always provide workout options that can be done with only the little space you have in your hotel room.

Here are 10 moves to use in your Hotel Room Workout! (I recommend putting down a towel instead of cuddling with the ground…just saying….) I used all of these in a great full body workout while staying in Palm Springs last week.

1 and 2. Split Squats (Stability, Strength and Power) – There are three great ways to use the split squat in your hotel room workout. You can do a split squat hold, a split squat with reps on each side or a split squat jump. Sometimes I even combine two into one, like I’ll do a 20 second hold followed by 10 reps on the same side. To do a split squat, step one foot forward into a wide lunge stance. Bend your knees as if you are kneeling onto the ground. Hold with your back knee just barely off the ground or perform reps, moving up and down. Do not step your feet back together. Keep the wide stance until all reps are completed. To do the split squat jumps, start in a lunge position and then jump up and switch to a lunge on the other side. Beginners may want to start with alternating step back lunges instead of split squat jumps to lower the intensity and take out some of the impact.

Lunge hold

For the hold, you would hold at the bottom. For reps, go down and up.

mary katherines

3. Wall Sit – A very traditional bodyweight move, but also a super tough one. A great way to work your legs! You could even add some variety to this move by lifting one leg off the ground. Or if you wanted to add some weight, you could always hold your suitcase or something on your lap….I love to do this move followed by either bodyweight squats or even squat jumps. To do a wall sit, sink down so that your knees are bent to 90 degrees and your back is pressed solidly into the wall. Beginners may not want to sink as low or hold as long.

isometric squat

4. Squat Jumps – Another traditional cardio/leg move, but I love to pair it with a wall sit or even a bodyweight squat. The best way to turn your legs to jello without using any weight. While this move is a “squat” jump, you don’t want to squat too low when you prep for the jump. It really should be more of a combination hinge and squat then full on squat. If you squat to low, you will actually reduce the amount of power you can generate. Make sure that you are also driving up off your heels when you jump and not just staying on your toes. Also, focus on SOFT landings. Landing softly from toe to heel with knees bent is important to protect the knees. You shouldn’t ever land with your legs straight.

plyometric squat

5. Planks (Side and Front) – I love using isometric moves in workouts especially when I don’t have a lot of space. Holding a plank is one of the best ways to work everything from your shoulders to your knees, especially if you really focus on keeping everything super tight. I like doing planks from my hands. You can do this move from your forearms and/or knees to make it easier. Feet should be together and you should squeeze your legs together. Your butt, quads and core should also be tight. Don’t let your shoulders get up by your ears. Retract your shoulder blades down and back. If you are contracting as hard as possible, you should be able to make yourself shake! Hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute. You can also do a side plank from your hands (an easier version would be from your knees or your forearms or both). To make the side plank harder, raise the top leg. Do not let your chest rotate toward the ground with the side plank. Also make sure to really keep the bottom hip up off the ground. A great way to isolate each side and work the obliques. Plus the leg raise really helps you work your glutes! (Sometimes I even like to hold the plank position and then do push ups….)

side plank

6. Plank with reach thru – A great core and shoulder stabilization move. Set up at the top of a push up from either your knees or toes. Reach one hand under the other armpit as if you are reaching toward something on the opposite wall. Then rotate open toward the ceiling in a side plank. Make sure to keep your hip down and really reach underneath and through. You aren’t simply patting yourself on the back…You are REACHING.

twisting plank

7. Plank with reach back and out – A great hip hinge and core move (Also deceptively tough). This move can be modified in a couple of different ways. Beginners will do this from their knees and reach back between their legs and then out. Intermediate exercisers may do this from their toes with no reach out. And advanced lifters will do the reach back and out from their hands and toes. To do this move, set up on your hands and toes. Reach one hand back toward the opposite ankle. Your butt should go up in the air. Then reach back forward, tightening your core as you drop your hips a bit and extend out. From your knees and hands, you will sit back as if doing child’s pose and reach between your knees. Then moving into a modified push up position, reach out with the hand that just reached back.

hip hinge plank

8. YTWLs – I show this move on a little foot stool, but it can be done on a bed or even from the ground if your room doesn’t have a foot stool. YTWLs are a great way to work your upper back and even strengthen your rotator cuff muscles. There are four different arm positions with this move. I complete all reps of one motion before moving on to the next. Lay on the ground or over a stool. Keep your low back relaxed. You want to feel this in your upper back behind your shoulders and in between your shoulder blades. None of these are really big movements. To do a Y, your thumbs should be pointing toward the ceiling and your arms should be above your head in the shape of a Y with your body. Lift up, using the muscles in your upper back. To do a T, have your thumbs pointing up toward the ceiling. Your arms should make a T with your body. If you are doing this on the ground, you are really only going to lift an inch or two off the ground. Over a bench or stool, you may be able to relax further down. To do a W, bend your elbows to create a W with your body. Your thumbs should be pointing in toward you. Lift and lower. The final move, the L, will be done two different ways depending on where you do it. If you are lying on the ground, you will set up with your elbows bent to 90 degrees and your elbows in line with your shoulders. Palms facing the ground, try to rotate the backs of your hands toward your toes. Then relax. If you are doing this from a stool or bench, you will actually start with your arms handing toward the ground. You will then lift your arms, bending your elbows to 90 degrees. Finally, keeping the elbows bent, you will rotate the backs of your palms toward the ceiling. None of these moves involve a big range of motion. Do not rush through the movements. (Unfortunately because of the angle, which I didn’t notice at the time, you can’t fully see the angle of my elbows especially during the Ls. Sorry!)


9. Rocking Chair Abs – A great core sequencing move and kind of fun. Start kneeling on one knee, squeezing your glute to press your hips forward. Then roll onto your back and switch the leg crossed underneath so that when you roll back up you can come to a kneeling position on the other side. This is a great move to weight down as you become stronger. Also, use your arms for momentum only if needed. Less arm swing makes the move tougher.

ab roll

10. Cobra – A great total back move. Place your arms down by your sides and lie face down on the ground. Lift your chest up off the ground and pinch your shoulder blades back and down. You should feel this move in your low and upper back. Then lower back down and repeat. Make sure to hold for a second or two at the top.

lower back

Do you like to workout when you travel? What is your favorite workout? Do you love isometrics too!?!

P.S. Bonus move! Pull ups off the balcony…Just kidding…although tempting!

The question is...did I do it?

The question is…did I do it?

Recovery Workout

So on days where I don’t feel like doing yoga and my body isn’t really ready to do a full workout, I will do a “Recovery workout.”

These workouts are usually hard but focus more on postural strength and balance then on developing maximal strength or burning a ton of fat. They work on activating all the correct muscles as you work on perfecting form.

These workouts are the prep that most people need to do so that they can move well and really get the most out of their metabolic or strength training workouts.

The recovery workout below can be done on its own or shortened into a warm up for a full body workout day.

The good part about the workout too is that you can easily do it at home with no equipment even when you don’t have much time!


3-5 rounds of all the exercises below. Perform a 1 minute hold of each exercise. Try not to rest between each exercise. Try only to rest after each round is complete.

Balance on toes (So literally stand up on your toes and hold. If this is easy, balance on your toes on one foot for 30 seconds and then switch to the other foot. Stay as high on your toes as you can and don’t rock to the outside of your foot.)
Squat Hold (Squat down to parallel, not below, and hold. Focus on keeping your chest  up and not leaning forward. Push the butt back and really sit into your heels. This is a great time to really assess and work on your squat form.)
Scapular Hold (So you will “lean” back against the wall with only your elbows touching the wall. The further out you walk your feet away from the wall, the harder the move will be. As you lean back with only your elbows against the wall, you really want to press your chest out and pull your shoulder blades down and together.)

scapular wall hold
High Plank Hold (So hold at the top of the push up from your hands and toes if possible. You can make this easier by doing it from your knees. Make sure to brace your abs by pulling your belly button into your spine and tucking your hips under. Don’t arch your low back or round your upper back. Keep the shoulder blades retracted and everything tight from your shoulders to your core, butt and quads.)
Glute Bridge (Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Lift your hips up as high as you can and squeeze your butt cheeks. You shouldn’t feel this in your low back. You should feel it in your glutes and a bit in your hamstrings.)

With all of these moves, you should struggle within the first 20 seconds if you are really challenging yourself. Fight to squeeze as hard as you can as you hold the moves!

Anything you can do….

I can do better.

So Ryan and I weren’t a finalist in the Primal Blueprint workout video contest, but we did have a whole heck of a lot of fun making the video.

Maybe it will inspire you this weekend to workout!

If it doesn’t below is a great bodyweight workout that I did in my training session today (which the Man Bicep Mom attended!)

Weekly Workout

10-1 (10 reps of everything for one round, then 9, then 8…down to one. On one-sided exercises, that means 10 to each side)

1 arm TRX rows
Push ups (chest to ground)
Rainbow slams with a medicine ball
Skater Hops

10-1 (10 reps of everything for one round, then 9, then 8…down to one. On one-sided exercises, that means 10 to each side…so like 10 Mountain Climbers each leg)

Backwards lunges on sliders
Scapular hold against a wall or floor for 30 seconds
Mountain Climbers on sliders
Side lunges on sliders

Complete the entire workout as quickly as possible. Really a good workout for a stabilization day!

Death by Cardio

Tomorrow, Friday and Saturday I will suffer death by cardio – 16 hours of spin. At least my suffering is for a good cause!

A few of the riders from last year!

I have three comments to make about this death by cardio though.


BLEHHHHHHHHH! Have I mentioned before I hate cardio?!?


I’m prepared for my body to hurt after all of the hours. Not my muscles necessarily, but my butt and my knees. Because I knew I would be in enough pain, I didn’t want to be sitting on the bike super sore from heavy lifts this week.

I did lift heavy Monday (my butt and hamstrings are still sore) and I did lift yesterday (my shoulders, triceps and chest were brutalized), but today I chose to do a short and killer cardio bodyweight workout. It is bad enough being sore when I teach two classes let alone ride for 16 hours!!!

So if you are looking for a great cardio, bodyweight workout, try this workout of the week!

10 rounds:

10 Ab roller
20 Box Jumps
30 Double Unders

Shoot for under 20 minutes!


Mark Sisson had an interesting post the other day about trying your own little self experiment.

I’m going to be trying my own little experiment the next couple of days. I’m going to prove that you don’t need to eat all those crap gels and simple carbohydrates to survive such an intense workout session.

While everyone else will be drinking Gatorade and chowing down on crap carbs, I will be eating my delicious Primal meals and snacks. Nuts, fruits, all sorts of protein and some veggies. I may even throw in some potatoes on Friday after 7 hours of spinning tomorrow. BUT we will see!

I’m betting I will feel better than everyone else…What do you think?

Also, thank you to all of those who donated! A special thanks goes out to our mystery donor who made our day today!!!

Thank you all! Wish the Man Bicep Team good luck! I hope my butt survives!!!

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