Archive for November, 2010

Burpee Burnout

Posted: November 29, 2010 in GENERAL

In case you guys haven’t noticed already, one thing I love is bodyweight workouts that really kick your butt.  So, this week’s challenge certainly follows that pattern.

I chose a challenge performed by Zuzana from  She has a great variation on the burpee which makes an already challenging move EVEN MORE challenging.  It’s one move and the idea is to see how many you can do in 10 minutes.  I once tried to see how many I could do of these in a day.  Again, all I want from you folks is to see how many you can do in 10 minutes.  Sounds easy, right?  Well, don’t be fooled.  This one is not for the timid.

I’m a little sick this week but once I’m better I’m going to see how many I could knock out in 10 minutes.  I’ll post my number here.  And, I’d love to hear from those that try it.  She breaks it down in the video below. I love her but she has a rather long introduction on this video that has nothing to do with the challenge.  To skip that, fast forward to 1:39 on the video.

Good luck!!


After Thanksgiving Workout

Posted: November 26, 2010 in WORKOUTS & CHALLENGES

Hi everyone.  I’m guessing that at least one of you is feeling guilty about all the food that you ate yesterday.  The best advice I can give to you is not to dwell on that.  Instead, get up, get moving, get back on schedule with your diet and get back to your workouts. Here’s an EXCELLENT fat burning workout from yours truly if you need some ideas.  Now, though my workouts are NEVER easy, this one is especially challenging.  I mean seriously THIS IS REALLY HARD!!  Listen to your body and keep in mind that this is an advanced workout. Remember workouts are always at your own risk and I don’t want anyone getting hurt.   You can follow the same pattern but substitute in easier exercises if you aren’t quite here yet.  For those that want to go for it, here we go.  There are six exercises:

1. Jump squats:  15 reps (add weight IF you can – start light at 5 pounds)

2.  Bicep curls:  15 reps

3. Dumbbell swings: 15 reps

4. Burpees: 15 rep (For those who don’t know, you should be including the push up at the bottom)

5. Squat with shoulder press: 15 reps

Here’s how it going to go down:

Starting with the first exercise, do all the reps once, then repeat the first exercise and add the second.  Next, repeat the first and second exercise and then add the third.  You will repeat this until you have added in all five exercises.  And, oh by the way, the goal is to do that WITHOUT any rest.  Once you have done then with all five exercises take a 2 minute rest.  Then do it again but backwards.  Start with all 5 exercises, then do the last 5, then the last four, etc, etc.  Again, try to get through it without any rest.  I know this may sound confusing so I’m writing it out below for you.  Perform the exercises like this:

1. Jump squats:  15 reps

2.  Jump Squats: 15 reps, Bicep curls:  15 reps

3. Jump Squats: 15 reps, Bicep curls:  15 reps, Dumbbell swings: 15 reps

4. Jump Squats: 15 reps, Bicep curls:  15 reps, Dumbbell swings: 15 reps, Burpees: 15 rep

5. Jump Squats: 15 reps, Bicep curls:  15 reps, Dumbbell swings: 15 reps, Burpees: 15 rep, Squat with shoulder press: 15 reps


6. Squat with shoulder press: 15 reps, Burpees: 15 reps, Dumbbell swings: 15 reps, Bicep curls: 15 reps, Jump squats: 15 reps

7. Squat with shoulder press: 15 reps, Burpees: 15 reps, Dumbbell swings: 15 reps, Bicep curls: 15 reps

8. Squat with shoulder press: 15 reps, Burpees: 15 reps, Dumbbell swings: 15 reps

9.  Squat with shoulder press: 15 reps, Burpees: 15 reps

10. Squat with shoulder press: 15 reps

If you are not completely exhausted after that, first congratulations!!!  Second, repeat this workout ALL OVER AGAIN.

That’s it for me guys.  Remember, you get what you give.  So let’s go!!!

Gotta Love Them – But YOU COME First

Posted: November 22, 2010 in ATTITUDE

Family, friends, significant others.  In no particular order, these are the people that mean the most to us.  We laugh, cry and spend our free time with them.  These are the people with who we share our lives and are so grateful to have them around.

Guess what?  These ARE also the people who could severely hinder your fitness goals. Why?  There are many reasons. First, they may not have the same goals as you.  Second, they may have the same goals but lack the motivation to do anything about it. Third,  they may simple not care about fitness at all.  The list can go on and on.

If you have a loving support group who is 100% behind you, congratulations!!  I envy you and you don’t need to read any further. For the rest of you, you know what I mean.  I’ve been there.  Hell, I’m still there. I’m definitely the fitness example in my family and it’s often hard to hold firm to my beliefs.  But, I think that if I’m not the example then who will be?

Why do we let our loved ones get “in the way”?  There are many reasons I imagine.  If you are anything like me, then HUGE reason is time.  It feels like after everything I do for THEM there just is no time to eat right and exercise.  However, the fact of the matter is you are completely wrong.  There IS time – you just have to exercise your right to SAY NO!!!!  Take that one hour to yourself to exercise.  Say NO to McDonald’s for dinner and YES to grilled chicken and spinach.

So my Attitude Challenge to you is this:  The very next time someone who care about ask you to make an unhealthy choice say NO.  Explain that you are making some changes and you are very sorry but you can’t do what they want. Encourage them to join you instead.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  It could be them asking you to skip your workout or to join them for junk food when you know you don’t want to cheat on your diet.  It could be an invitation for drinks when you know you shouldn’t.

Whatever it is – JUST SAY NO.  It’s only one time.  Try it.  When you see that the world does not come crashing to an end and your loved ones still love you, you will realize it wasn’t that bad.  And, DON’T feel guilty about it.  They may resent you at first but I promise that you aren’t doing them ANY favors by enabling their bad habits.  If anything, by enabling them, you are actually hurting them.  Poor health choices ALWAYS have negative consequences.  Good luck.  And BE STRONG!!!

I know, I know – Thanksgiving is this week so you are all VERY busy.  The gym rat in me says stop whining and just get it done!! But, the angel on my shoulder says at times people really can’t find the time.  For those of you who still want to workout but REALLY can’t find an hour, here’s a quick, effective workout that will only take about 20 minutes:

Perform each exercise for 60 seconds.  Rest 30 seconds in between each exercise and 90 secs between sets.  Perform 3 sets.

1.  High knee runs

2.  X push ups (Do a push up.  At the top of the push up, bring the leg knee to the right elbow and back down.  Then, bring the right knee to left elbow and back down. Do another push up. And keep it going)

3.  Jump Squats

4.  Mountain Climbers

5.  Jump Lunges

Look hard?  Well since it’s only 20 minutes, I hope you didn’t expect it to be easy.  You will really need to PUSH IT!  Ready?  Let’s GO!!!!

And remember, if you need any help, you can always hit me up here or on Twitter @brooklyn_1012.

This week’s challenge

Posted: November 22, 2010 in GENERAL

I think @shutupandtrain might just be one of my favorite people to follow on Twitter.  I love his workouts because they correspond exactly with my style.  So, it is no surprise to me that I decided to use another one of his workouts for this week’s challenge.  They great part about these workouts are they are quick, effective and will kick you ass!!  Here you go:

I know that many of you don’t have access to a gym.  Some of you have also asked for an easier routine.  Well, here’s a very basic bodyweight routine that you can do right at home.  Modify as need be.  For example, if you can’t do regular push ups, go to your knees or do wall push ups.

Do 5 minute warm-up of some sort of cardio (Jog in place, jump on your cardio machine, do jumping jacks — just get your body moving)

Set One – Do each exercise once and then repeat set three times.

Plank – 1 minute (Modify if you can’t do a minute, do 30 seconds.)

Side Plank – 1 minute – Alternate sides so that it is done right, left, right, left, etc. (Again, modify if you need to.  If you can’t do this at all, fine.  Do 60 bicycles instead – each twists to the side counts as one)

1 minute mountain climbers

Set Two – Do each exercise once and then repeat set three times

15 Push Ups

15 burpees

15 Squats

15 burpees

10 Three-Way Lunges on each leg – A Three-way lunge is a forward lunge, side lunge and back lunge.  1 rep is complete after you have done all three lunges.  Here is a video demo:

You’ll note that in the video they use a weight.  You don’t have do.  That’s more advanced.  If you can though, that’s great.

Set Three – Do each exercise once and then repeat set three times

15 glute bridges

1 minute mountain climbers

15 single leg glute bridges on each leg

1 minute mountain climbers

15 dirty dogs on each leg

1 minute mountain climbers

If you need help with form, a lot of the exercises I do are demonstrated at

Let Go!!!!

Posted: November 17, 2010 in RANTS

One my biggest pet peeves at the gym is people who hold on to the railing while on the treadmill.  Now let’s be clear – I’m not talking to those who have the machine set to a 13 incline at a fast pace and are holding on for dear life.  I’m talking to the people who have no REAL reason or need to hold on.   The worst thing is when I see walkers doing this.  NOT speed walkers. I’m talking about those slow, steady, a ninety year old with a cane just passed them on the right hand side type of walker.  I think, really?  No, REALLY????

Maybe this sounds harsh.  It is to an extent.  If you are injured, fine.  If you are doing rehab, fine. If you are desperately sick and that is REALLY the best you can do, fine.  Just know this – I almost died 11 years ago, have TWO serious autoimmune diseases, a genetic immune deficiency,  and I will be jogging or running right along side of you.  If I can do it, there’s no excuse for MANY of you.

Wheeew, now that I got that off my chest let me explain why holders drive me crazy.  First, you are robbing yourself from the cardio benefits that you could get if you let go.  I can’t explain the science because I don’t know all of the technical terms, but simply put remember this rule – Any time you move you arms above your chest you increase your cardio benefits.  That’s why you see speed walkers swinging their arms up.  That’s why you see people shadow boxing on the treadmill.  So NOT only should you NOT be holding on, you should be keeping those arms up. Who runs with their arms to the side anyway?  Just think how ridiculous that would look on the street!  Funny right? So, then why do it on the treadmill?  Second, by letting go, you are learning to trust your body and your abilities.  You will NOT fall – most likely. And if you do, ehhh so what?!?!  As long as you don’t get hurt, stand up, take a bow, and get right back on and keep running.  I’ve done that many times.  Third, don’t half-ass your workouts unless there is a serious medical reason to do so.  You have chosen to workout.  That time is YOUR time.  Why sell yourself short??

So the next time you are on the treadmill, think of me and for everything that is good and sacred – PLEASE LET GO!!!!  Your body will thank you.

This rant is over.