Tag Archives: Workout

Dark mornings, great workouts

Before daylight savings time sets in, the sun is rising at what seems like 10am. Have no fear, it is actually only 7:12am if you’re in Colorado!

With the dark and cool mornings it’s hard to shake yourself out of a peaceful slumber. However, if you are consistent with a bed time and rise and shine time the process gets much easier.

Once you have that nailed down, it’s time to get moving. There is no better way to get the blood pumping and wake you up then some exercise. Get out for a walk, head to the gym,  do some in-house Yoga. Whatever your exercise of choice is…DO IT!!

Burn the extra calories and give your body the energy boost it needs to combat the dark fall mornings.

Make it the best day!



What makes a good workout? Is is the sweating, the music, an empty gym to yourself?

Many factors come into play. However, above all else one theme should ring true.


It can be in the gym or in your personal life. If you make progress, no matter how small it may be, it is a success. Every step leads to a bigger step (as we discussed last week.)

Instead of doing 20 push ups for 3 sets for the sixth week in a row. Do 25 push ups for 3 sets…Progress!!!

Move past your norm, challenge your body and your ability to create new possibilities and realities in your life.

Make it the best day!


Treadmill workout for the dog days of summer

Summer heat and humidity getting you down?

Here is a quick treadmill workout that be done walking or running! Your speed will be based on personal preference. I have supplied the length of interval and the incline percent.

Warmup for 5 minutes with a light jog or walk

45 seconds walk or run at 3% incline

1 minute walk or slow jog at 3% incline

  • Repeat the below segment for five times ( Alternating between the 5 minute on segment and the 30 seconds off)

5 minute walk or run at 6% incline

30 second walk at 6% incline

This is a quick workout with the intensity that can be adjusted by altering speed or incline. You speed will be personal preference.

Make it the best day!


Finding your zen and exploring your zone

What makes you happy and gives you the feeling of being at ease?

Today for me it was on the spin bike with the right music. I was flooded with feelings that made my Monday morning more enjoyable than I could have thought. At minute two my thoughts gravitated towards the following.

  • Being present
  • Setting an intention
  • Positive affirmations
  • Gratitude
  • Motivation
  • Clearing my head

Your happy place and space can be anywhere doing anything. Try to find it more than once a week. You will feel recharged and do things you didn’t think possible.

Make it the best day!


Lift Fast

There is a comfort in going to gym and doing the same routine. Same weights, same reps, same amount of time on the treadmill, same gains or lack there of.

Your body needs challenges and adjustments to your routine. This can be achieved in many ways from lifting heavier, increasing reps, adjusting the sets. One method of training that most people overlook is speed.

As we get older our speed slows down. We are less active in sports and we choose more leisure activities (drinking beer, sitting down…you get the idea). A key component of training is keeping those fast twitch muscle fibers active. Even if you only lift for speed once a week you will see the benefits.

Lifting with speed is easy and it’s hard. Easy because the weight is about 50% what you would consider “heavy”. It is hard because you have to control the weight while moving faster.

I would recommend starting these speed sessions on machines. They are easier to control and you can limit your chance of injury if you lose control or move too fast.

Take your weight you can normally lift for 6-8 reps and knock off about 55% of that. Then do 4 sets of 10 at fast but controlled pace. The weight should be moving less than one second in each direction. Remember it’s about speed!! Take a minute break and do it again. After you have completed 4 sets of once exercise move to the next.

Don’t overdo it off the bat. Try this with a push movement, a pull movement and an air squat (you can load the squat with dumbbells if you would like)

Remember, our bodies like change. Let’s feed the body new movements and feel great doing it!

Make it the best day!


The best exercise for a time crunch

Well, I am going to expose it all right here. The best exercise to do in a time crunch is…..


What do you like to do? Run, walk, lift weights, play games, basketball?

The truth is anything you do is better than sitting on the couch. You need to move and get the blood flowing. If you have 20 minutes of free time, go for a walk. If have a bit of free time and gym membership get in and get that heart rate elevated.

Your best option is to get the heart rate elevated for 20 to 30 minutes. However, if a walk is the only thing you have time or space for try to make it 30 consecutive minutes. Alternatively you can also do two 15 minute session to equal the recommended 30 minutes.

You might be thinking. Well how am I supposed to set aside 20 minutes Kevin?! I have a job, kids, traffic, laundry and more things to do I can’t list them all.

Well first off, take control of your time. It’s the most important thing you have.

After dinner or before dinner set aside 20 minutes to walk around the block. Forget checking Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for the 35th time today. That can wait, trust me.

How about waking up 20 minutes earlier to get your day off to a better start? Walk with your coffee or tea!

Use your time to get out and move. Get off the couch and find the path to a healthy you!

It’s closer than you think.

Make it the best day!


Friday fun

Workout for the day:

All exercises performed for 30 seconds. No rest between exercises. After the full circuit rest for 2 minutes. Repeat the circuit 4 times. Enjoy!

  • Push-ups
  • Squat jumps
  • Seated Rows
  • Squat to overhead press (with moderate weight dumbbells)
  • Alternating back lunges
  • Burpees
  • Single arm row on the bench (30 seconds with each arm)

Make it the best day!


Short on Time and Energy?

I am too tired to work out today.

Is it only Wednesday…ahhhhh….

Do you feel like this today?
Do you feel like this today?

Yep, we have all said those before! I am willing to bet you made that statement before reading this blog. Or perhaps yesterday after you just worked for 12 hours and the copier broke after you spilled hot coffee on your lap, all while trying to nail down your next meeting.

I get it, fitting time to exercise can feel hard some days and some weeks. The key is staying on top of it and making a habit of at least two days a week. Why do I say two days? My belief is that if you start at something you can achieve those two days will turn into three or four. As your habit builds, so will the results and your investment in your health will be worth it.

The first few minutes are the hardest.

That is true, the first bit of getting your heart rate and body going are the most difficult. Depending on your choice of movement for the day after five or ten minutes you are going to start feeling better and want to finish what you started.

Once your heart rate picks up to compensate for your change in intensity, your blood flow will increase and so will your energy.

Researchers at the University of Georgia found that sedentary, otherwise healthy adults who engaged in as little as 20 minutes of low-to-moderate aerobic exercise, three days a week for six consecutive weeks, reported feeling less fatigued and more energized.

The more you can get into a routine with consistent exercise the more energy you will have on a daily basis. Not only will that exercise session give you energy for that day, it can carry over to the following day and help you get a head start on the next morning!

The next time you want to sit down on the couch and just ‘relax’ think about going for a short walk. Enjoy what this summer has to offer and feel better doing it!

Make it the best day!





Workout of the Day

Welcome the official start of Summer!!

Summer can be a tough time to get in a workout outside given the heat. It’s 95 degrees as this is being written! With that in mind here is a body weight Tabata workout you can do indoors if you can’t be outside and not succumb to machine monotony!

Tabata is a form of high intensity work. Regular Tabata is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest repeated 8 times with one exercise (Squats or pushups). However, that can be very tough and boring as well. Below is a modified version of Tabata using more than one exercise and increasing the rest time to make it a little easier. If you are well conditioned you can stick with the 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. Otherwise, I would suggest starting with 20 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. You will rest for 2 minutes after each full Tabata set, then repeat that whole set 4 total times with the full break after each set.

Untraditional Body Weight Tabata Workout:

20 seconds Speed Squat
20 seconds rest
20 seconds Burpees
20 seconds rest
20 seconds Mountain Climber (keep neutral spine)
20 seconds
20 seconds Speed Skips (in place) (lift knee above hip)
20 seconds rest
20 seconds Speed Squat
20 seconds rest
20 seconds Burpees
20 seconds rest
20 seconds Mountain Climber (keep neutral spine)
20 seconds
20 seconds High Knees (in place) (lift knee above hip)

– Rest 2 minutes after going through this set. Repeat the above work and the 2 minute rest 3 more times for a total of 4 sets.

A nice feature of the above workout is you can take it outside early or late evening when it is cooler. You just need a small patch of grass and some motivating tunes!

Make it the best day!


Bored of your routine? Change it up!

Change is a good thing!

Chances are if you have been working out for an extended period of time you have gotten stuck in some sort of rut. It happens to all of us. You get comfortable with the same movements and weights that you do each week and thus lose the progression factor of your program.

It is important to make changes every four to six weeks and if you are an advanced lifter then it might even be every three to four weeks. We are not saying that you need to change your routine every time you get into the gym. Performing the same routine for a month is beneficial because your body learns the movement and you will most likely see and increase in weight that you can lift. However, it is important to challenge yourself every time you hit the gym.

If there is one thing I see often from clients who I train once a week, it is the fact that they don’t challenge themselves on the weight when they lift on their own. If your goal is 10 repetitions for three sets and you have done 10 reps for all three sets during your workout (the reps were all clean with no struggling) then it is time to move the weight up. That doesn’t mean jumping 5 or 10 pounds. It could just be a 2.5 lb increase. The important thing here is progression! Even little improvements in weight will lead to results throughout the year. That is the goal if you are a regular gym goer. It will not be to have large jumps each session but incremental increases throughout the year. Those will add up to big gains from day one to day 365.

How to know when to progress?

A general rule for progression is listed above. Once you hit all reps for your prescribed sets with good form you should increase the weight. It is ok if you increase the weight on say your dumbbell chest press and then for 2 weeks you can’t hit every rep clean, so the weight stays the same. Remember progression is NOT linear.  You might increase in other movements but some might stay stagnant. That might require a little program tweaking to get you over that hump, but you will not increase in every movement, every week, for the entire year.  Don’t get discouraged it is normal.

When doing a set when you get to your last rep you should be fatigued. If your goal is 10 reps and you get 10 and think you had 3 more reps in you with good form. Then the weight should be increased. If you stop and know you have more reps you are not challenging the muscle fibers enough and you will not achieve the progressions you seek. When you do your workout, come prepared to work! Challenge yourself and you will very happy with your results.

How many reps and sets should I be doing?

I get this questions very often. The simple answer is, it is different for everyone depending on your desired outcome. The one thing I see often is 3 sets 10 -12 reps. If you choose this path or any path make sure you vary the reps every four to six weeks. Many times people will do 10-12 or 10-15 reps for months on end. Your body has adapted and you need to challenge a different energy system to see more progression. My personal favorite is take clients from that program to a program of 4 sets 5-8 reps. This changes the intensity and volume of the program greatly since you will be lifting heavier weights for shorter periods of time. Don’t be scared of heavy weights!! You will not turn into Arnold or Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live.

Lifting heavier weights will challenge your creatine phosphate energy system (short term strength system). That means lifting heavier for shorter bouts, which will result in getting stronger and making your muscle more ‘solid’. In short there is no perfect sets and reps for everyone. Consult a fitness professional is you need help getting started and they will point you in the right direction. Once you have done that, change your routine by varying the reps and sets. Make sure you lift heavy for certain periods of time, then decrease the weight and hit higher reps then back down again! Make it fun and keep challenging the different energy systems your body uses for exercise.

What are some variations I can do for my current exercises?

It can be tough to think of new movements once you are in a routine. To help you out with that I have listed a common movement and some alternatives to it that will challenge different muscle groups! Feel free to substitute these movements into your routine, just remember to start light and progress up from there!

Bench Press:

Incline dumbbell chest press

Flat dumbbell chest press

Single are flat or incline chest press

Lat Pull-down:

Seated row with a wide grip

Seated row with a narrow grip

Palms toward you lat pull-down

Single Arm lat pull down (use one handle, and one arm at a time)

Pull-ups! Assisted or bodyweight.

Leg Press Machine:

Walking Lunges

Step ups on to a bench with weights in your hands (the higher the bench the harder it will be)

Split Squats with weights in your hands


Weight your pushups with a weight on your back

Change your hand position (wide, narrow, offset)

Spiderman Pushups

Those are just a few suggestions for a few movements that are most commonly seen in the gym. There are of course countless variations of movements and ideas out there! Remember to change up your routine and try not to get stuck in a rut.

Little changes lead to the biggest results!

Be creative and if you are looking for something in particular, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Thank you for reading this week, it’s time to throw a curveball into your routine. Go ahead and try something new!