Note: Always check with you medical provider before starting a new exercise program or weight loss plan.
Since I have a diverse group of readers, trying to put out
something everyone needs is a challenge! Most of you though, are beginning to
intermediate fitness level, over 30, female, and weight loss oriented. Maybe you have hit a plateau a time or two
since the first of 2015. Frustrated? Now is the time to kick it up! Kick up
Whether you have been doing cardio machines and weights or
taking a class, you can take your fitness goals to the next level. You will need to know what it takes to make
that step successfully. First, it is important that you are willing to try new
things. Don’t let boot camp style workouts intimidate you. The ropes, tires, kettlebells, weight balls
and other "odd" tools are a fantastic way to give those extra pounds their “leave
notice”. Take the time to watch a group doing these workouts or hire a personal
trainer to prep you so you understand what the exercises are about so you do
them correctly. A word of advice: Work
at your pace when you start! It may not seem that bad in the beginning of the
workout, but because you will be alternating between the aerobic and anaerobic
pathways, you will hit the wall fast.
Boot camp style group training and classes may be called
“Boot Camp” complete with dog tags or they may be called Skinny Jeans, Bikini
Slim Down, Inferno or whatever other title a gym generates. They are all using the same base
concepts. Newbies usually start out with
intervals cycling between a short, hard cardio burst, then do body weight
exercise for a set amount of time.
Others might start working with circuits that are pre-set. Either way,
the trainer or instructor will use a timer and music that gives you the
adrenaline rush to get through the tough stuff.
NETA, the National
Exercise Training Association, has a course called Rest-based Training for
personal trainers and exercise instructors to certify to teach. I like this one for people who want to get
into HIIT and Tabatta groups, but don’t feel ready. This program will challenge
all fitness levels because you seriously challenge yourself. No one stands over
you to intimidate you. During the work phase, you work as hard and fast as you
can, and when you can’t go any more, you rest. Keep trying to get back into the
2-minute work phase when you can until the time is up. When rest is
called, rest. At first, the lactic acid
burn in the muscles feels nasty. But as you get better with the exercises, you
will know how to push past some of it and rest when you absolutely can’t stand it. The class looks a bit chaotic because some
people will knock themselves out continuously while others are either resting or
struggling. Two minutes will seem like
forever! No worries. No one is screaming at you to move. You are in charge of your
What if that doesn’t appeal to you? Do a class or group
training session that is far different from what you are currently doing. Some serious calories can be torched in a group
weight class using barbells, a group cycling class, Core Command, Pilates,
kickboxing, and Hydroblast. By totally
changing the demand on your body, you will feel what you haven’t trained!
That’s good because your body has to adjust to meet the new demand which means
more calories burned.
By the way, some of the tools that seem unconventional cause
you to recruit more muscle fibers. This does a couple of things: 1) brings
about greater physical/mental coordination and 2) overall body balance. Since adults don’t play like they did when
they were children, the mental aspect of the physical skills gets rusty. Adults forget to put these skills to use
because work and family demands take a higher life priority. What instructors and trainers do is teach
adults how to play again, serious play! Drumming with large battle ropes forces
stabilizing muscles in the entire body to synergize with the majors. Although it seems like it is all arms doing
the work, all it takes is to put a client on a BOSU to do the same motions with
the rope to realize that everything in the body is working together. When was
the last time you skipped, galloped or jumped rope? Forever? Never? These play
exercises are awesome toners, strengtheners, and pound punchers! I taught a
Junk Yard workout for a 12-week session as a change up for my Skinny Jeans
class. Tossing tires, running up to them, and doing 5 push ups, then repeating for a 60-90 second cycle with a
30-60 second jog burns out the cortisol levels in the body responsible for
excess weight retention. Most of them had high stress jobs. Everyone felt so
much better by the time class finished. They also saw fat melt off their
How do you keep the weight off? By learning how to cycle, or
periodize, your sessions. Have a trainer or instructor help you plan out a
progressive cycle followed by a down cycle. The down cycle is an important time
for your body to regroup. If you don’t
set that into your workout plan, you could do some damage to your body.
You will also need to adjust your nutrition accordingly. On
the higher intensity/high demand workout sessions, you will need to take in
enough planned calories to meet the demand. If you skimp, your blood sugar
could crash and you may burn muscle instead of fat. Never starve yourself. Muscle recovery is extremely important! Have
a nutritionist or personal trainer calculate your carb and protein intake needs
for each segment of your workout phases, high demand and recovery.
Are you ready? Get set! Go! Kick that workout up!
May God bless you.
Cardio kickbox picture stock photo
Ball Toss picture from
Battle ropes picture from