Friday, October 19, 2012

Guest Post: ASPIRE Fitness

A personal trainer spends a lot of his or her time putting together workouts for other people, so when it comes to our own workouts, we typically feel one of two things: super excited to plan our own workouts, or sick and tired of planning workouts. It all depends on the day. At least for me. So I'm stoked to bring you a post by Tracey of ASPIRE Fitness. Read along and you'll find some awesome workouts. I've already got them in my back pocket for those days where I'm feeling less than inspired to plan my next workout.

Hey there! So this is my first guest post, I’ll admit it. I have my own blog, but when you’re headed over to someone else’s blog, it all becomes so...well, official! So here I am, Tracey English, owner and trainer of Aspire Fitness, LLC in Lawrence, Kansas. I’m approaching my one-year anniversary as a business owner, but I’ve been in the fitness industry for more than 16 years. Whew. I love everything about it—the excitement of trying new exercises, the strong feeling of working to exhaustion, the enthusiasm that comes from watching people excel in my classes and/or sessions. (I’m an instructor and a trainer). And, of course, the knowledge that with every class I take, every challenge I meet, I am becoming a stronger, healthier person.

What I do not love is the mentality that if you don’t go all out all of the time, you may as well go home. If that’s true, then I’m sunk. There are so many days when it takes all of me—literally, every ounce of my being—to psyche myself up to workout. Now I know, it shouldn’t be something I have to should be something I want to do...but sorry, people, there are simply some days when that isn’t the case. Please tell me I’m not alone in this sentiment. Anyone?

So MY personal philosophy is this—do what you can with the time you have, and do it to the best of your ability and then LEAVE IT ALONE AND STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP! Make sense? Too often when I have an appointment with clients they tell me they can’t meet with me because they don’t have enough time. What? How much time do you have? 20 minutes? 45 minutes? Then yes, you have time. If you use it wisely.

So I’m here to offer all you super-busy people an easy out. No, not an easy out in the sense that you get a free ride to NOT exercise. Rather, an easy easy way to fit in some super effective exercises that work with your schedule. Your very busy schedule. After all, just because you only have 10 minutes doesn’t mean you can’t work yourself hard during those 10 minutes. So read on, comment, try these things out and let me know what you think. I’ve found them to be very effective, very easy to do with little time (and space) and very empowering. It’s pretty cool when you’re busier than you knew possible and yet you are STILL a bad ass who cranked out a workout. ass. So go!

Got 10 minutes? TABATA!
Tabata = super effective, high intensity training. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Work to exhaustion. Literally. 4 minutes per set. In 10 minutes, you can complete the following:

Mountain climbers
Jump Squats

Seal jacks
5 dice jumps
High knee runs
Side shuffles

100 bicycles (50 forward. 50 back.)
25 plank walk ups
1-2 minute plank hold


The wonderful thing about Tabata is that you can literally plug in any exercise at all and complete it for 20 seconds. So if you have more time, add in another set...think squat jumps, pushups, triceps dips, jump rope, etc. Add in some “toys”—kettlebells, TRX, BOSU—and you’ve got a killer workout you can do in no time flat. (Side note – free Tabata apps for your iPhone or Droid are available online and can greatly enhance your workouts!)

Talking about the “toys” brings me to my next workout—TRX and Kettlebells. Love them—a lot! I absolutely love the way the TRX gets me out of the “regular” comfort zone/plane of motion while training. Not familiar with it? The concept of TRX suspension training is pretty basic. Users hold on to one or two cables on their feet or hands and partially suspend their body, using their body weight as resistance. Your positioning on the cables directly affects how hard you are working and what muscle groups you are using. TRX is a great workout for anyone because it is very beginner-friendly, yet can be tailored as you progress through your workouts.

Kettlebells—another awesome tool—challenge your core and stabilizing muscles because of the unique way you hold them. Another reason I love incorporating Kettlebells into my workouts is because they can be used as a piece of cardio equipment or as an extreme strengthening tool. They can be used to increase mobility and stability and, of course, to enhance your workout and overall fitness plan. I highly recommend incorporating both of these tools into your fitness routine if you can. Find a local gym that offers classes so you can get some proper training, and/or invest in some equipment for your home and you’ll never have to step foot in a gym again.

TRX/Kettlebell Workout

No toys? No problem!
Alright, here’s your last two workouts. Copy and paste these, tape them to your fridge or basement wall and commit to completing the following 2-3 times/week. Some days you may only get through lower body or upper body. Other days, try to complete both. No equipment needed.

LOWER BODY WORKOUT Complete 3-4 rounds.
Jog in place for 1 minute and do 30 jumping jacks to warm up.
25 squats
30 alternating or walking lunges
20 jump squats
20 jumping lunges
30 side lunges
30 bridges (with one or both feet on floor) and then hold bridge off the floor for 30 seconds.

UPPER BODY WORKOUT Complete 2-3 rounds
20 pushups
20 triceps pushups
20 bench dips
20 side shoulder raises (No weights at home? Find some cans or heavy water bottles.)
20 front shoulder raises
Plank or mountain climbers for 30 seconds

And there you have it. Easy workouts to complete in little to no time, and an extra one with toys if they are available to you. Bottom line—you have to do what works for you. Stop wasting your time beating yourself up because you can’t devote an hour or two to your workout. Every moment you spend moving—walking, lifting weights, running with your kids, stretching, planking, squatting—is a moment that enhances your fitness and overall health. So get moving! And let me know how these workouts work for you! I look forward to hearing all about it!

Yep, seriously...let us know how you do! Give them a try and come back to the comments section below, and tweet Tracey @ASPIREFitnessKS. (While you're at it, be sure to follow @adailydoseoffit, too!

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