My Soulmate Workout

Posted by Jenn @ livewellfit on January 26th, 2010
Filed under Beachbody, Motivation, Workouts | No Comments »

Hey there!

Life = chaos right now!

I had a super busy weekend preparing for my AFAA certification on Saturday and then I spent Sat evening and ALL of Sunday with friends and the fiance. It was so nice! Lots of relaxing, incredible food prepared by friends who are fantastic foodies and even a bit of football.

For any concerned readers out there :) my broken pinky toe is on the mend. It even survived my certification just fine. I was able to modify all of the moves I had to do for our cardio and strength training practical piece. I was super sore afterwards but each day I can do more walking, moving and all that jazz. I'm staying far away from coffee tables though!

Yesterday (Monday) was my Well Coaches class day and inevitably I end up spending all morning preparing for class and then all afternoon reading/researching/thinking after the class. Before I knew it, it was 6 o'clock and I had barely moved from the table since 8am. I think I kinda like this stuff! But no matter what time it was, I knew a workout would feel awesome! And I had shared with the whole blog world that I was starting a new Beachbody program on Monday and I wanted to hold myself accountable (see post)! I had intended to start Insanity. This program is nothing less than that: INSANE. It is intense, it is hard and it scares me a bit (in a good way). I knew my toe wasn't ready for the suicide drills and running drills that I know are in the videos so I had to change my plan again. Instead, I pulled out my all time favorite Turbo Jam video and I simply modified all of the moves. It felt incredible! Then I did some strength work with Chalean Xtreme- a fantastic weight lifting program that I completed last year. All in all, a fantastic workout and I felt supercharged afterward.

My workout got me thinking about all of the choices we have for exercise. It's pretty ridiculous how far the fitness and exercise industry has come over the last 15-20 years. Jane Fonda simply isn't the only option anymore, which is a darn good thing, wouldn't you say? So, I decided on this post to share some of my favorite workouts and some of the awesome options out there.

One of the biggest things I recommend to someone who is looking to either 1- workout more or 2- reach a specific exercise or weight goal is this: find your soulmate workout or workouts. I learned that phrase from Chalene Johnson, the creator of TurboKick and TurboJam. And you know what, it is so so so so true! You have to find a workout that you not only look forward to everyday but that excites you, motivates you and pushes you to the next level every time you do it! Now, I used to be an absolute gym rat. I would jump on the eliptical or treadmil and go like it was goin out of style! That was my thing. But looking back, ugh I hated it! I just did it because I needed to get my cardio in. But here was what I realized: my workouts solely depended on my music. If I had jamming tunes then I was cranking out sweat for at least 45 minutes. But it wasn't until I discovered TurboJam over a year ago that something truly clicked for me and my workouts. The combination of the music, the kickboxing style, Chalene's style and how I felt during the workout, all of this led to completely different approach for me and my fitness. I had discovered something that I was motivated to do, I could not wait to get my Turbo workout in. Those workouts are what have led me to decide to teach classes in gyms. I want to bring Turbo to Boston! I want to share this awesome workout with anyone who is interested! But my point is that you have to find a workout that makes you feel good! No matter what the workout is, make sure you love it and enjoy it.

Here are some of my favorite workouts that are easy to incorporate into any fitness routine:

Kickboxing. As I said, my heart is Turbo Jam for at home videos. These are videos produced by Beachbody and are so great to have for your at home collection. If you like to take classes in the gym, look for any kickboxing variation: TurboKick, Cardio Kick, or anything that speaks to your fitness level.

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). I started incorporating more HIIT workouts into my routine almost a year ago. These workouts are always shorter in time but they kick up the intensity notch to a level that raises your heartrate and gets you working at an anaerobic level. Your body can only sustain an anaerobic level for a short period so often these workouts are some variation of interval time: warmup, 1 minute interval high intensity, 2-3 minutes recovery and so on. These workouts will push your cardiovascular endurance level and push you hard! I do not recommend doing HIIT workouts more than 1-2 times a week if you are just starting out. Please know that I am not an expert and I am only offering some of my experiences. Be sure to take into account your own fitness level and talk with your doctor if you have any questions.

My fav HIIT workout:

Treadmil HIIT workout:

warm up for 5 minutes, then take speed 4.0, 5% incline for 2 minutes, for 1 minute increase speed to 4.3, incline 10%, drop back to 4.0, 5% for 90 seconds. Repeat for 20 minutes and vary incline if you want some variety. Cooldown for 5 minutes. Total= 30 minutes.

Strength Training. The benefits of strength training are too good to pass up: incorporating weight training into your routine increases your metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn during the day), develop more lean muscle mass (less body fat), increase muscle endurance and flexibility, you lower your chance of injury and you build more bone density. All by lifting weights a few times a week! And you don't have to do this at the gym next to the big boys who like to drop their heavy weights on the ground hoping a few gals will swoon and look their way. You can do this in your home with either a small collection of free weights or resistance bands. Many women stay away from weights because of the fear of bulking up. Though I fully recognize that we all have different shapes to our bodies and different muscle physiques, weight lifting will NOT bulk up your body unless you are training to compete in a fitness body building contest with a designed program. It just doesn't happen!

Here are the key points with strength training:

Lighter weights, higher reps will increase your muscle endurance. This means that you are pushing the endurance of your muscle but you are not fatiguing it. This is a great place to start if you haven't lifted weights before. You may not see a change in how your muscles look (cut or definition) with this type of workout but you will see all of the benefits of weight lifting.

Moderately heavy weights, moderate reps will increase your muscle strength. This means that you will be fatiguing your muscle after a full set (8-12) reps. You will feel stronger over time and you will notice a dramatic change in the appearance of your muscles.

My fav at home strength training workouts:

Chalean Extreme

10 Minute Trainer

You will notice that I pretty much do all of my workouts in my own home. Outside of getting ready to teach classes in the gym, I love my Beachbody workouts. These are my heart and I have had such an incredible experiences using their programs. Now, we all like different things so that might not be the best option for you! You may love the gym or love being outdoors. Regardless, treat your body to exercise. Every time you do, even just for 15 minutes, you are doing something that makes you healthier than you were the day before. We all have the ability to take the best care of our bodies and of our health. If you don't currently have a fitness routine and are looking…get out there! See what you enjoy and just move. Everyday, move a little bit.

Phew! Got some good stuff in there today. I hope you enjoyed some of my thoughts on workouts. Please email me if you ever have questions about fitness routines or trying something new!

Time to go cook dinner :)

Note: please be sure to talk with your physician before you begin any exercise program. I am not a medical provider nor do I have the expertise that a doctor can offer.

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