3 Safe Workouts You Can Do Without a Gym

As summer rolls around, I feel this intense craving to be outside! We are blessed to have the mountains in our backyard as an outdoor playground but we can’t always scoot out of work at lunch for a hike! But as busy adults, we want to make time for the things we love AND be in the best condition to play outside so today, we are bringing you three safe workouts you can do anywhere, anytime! They are… 

  • HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training includes many different types of workouts like Tabata and Circuit training but with one major difference! HIIT training specifically aims to produce cardiovascular performance and adaptation with a secondary goal of muscle and central nervous system adaptation! What does that mean? It means you are going to get a heart pumping, leg burning quick and safe workout at home or while you travel! Check out the video below to try a HIIT workout today!
  • Circuit training- like HIIT workouts, circuits will make your muscles burn and your heart race but the goals are slightly different. Safe and quick, circuits will have 2-4 rounds of the same exercises repeated in order with either specific reps or time for each exercise. The rest comes in between rounds and the goal is to highlight muscle adaptation for endurance more so than heart rate! Trial workout is available below
  • Tabata Training- one of my favorite ways to train our clients online, Tabata training has a focus of heart rate conditioning AND strength endurance. The methodology is unique here because it includes a specific amount of time for work and rest for 3-8 rounds of one exercise before moving on to the next exercise. You can accomplish a lot of reps and training in a short amount of time with Tabata which is why we are such big fans of using it in our online programs! Check out an example below to try it for yourself!

For more ideas on in home exercises to compliment your favorite outdoor workouts, check out our trial of the Body Weight Warrior program below!

5 Summer Workouts You Can Do Outside the Gym

5 Summer Time Workouts Outside of the Gym


Welcome to the peak of summer! It’s heating up out there but we have some cool ideas for you to find exercise routines to do outside of the gym.

Hiking- This feels like an obvious solution for those of us living in areas well known for hiking. However, you can always take your hiking game to the next level! Next time you go for a hike, pick up the pace so that you can include a cardiovascular component to this popular low impact form of outdoor exercise.


The “Mini Incline” in Castle Rock- Phillip S. Miller Park is home to a miniature version of the popular incline in Manitou Springs (closed for the season). It’s also home to an outdoor gym and recreation center with sports fields athletes can use for soccer, sprints, and footwork drills!

Cycling- We are so blessed in Colorado because we have miles of cycling trails for this popular low impact form of cardio and endurance training. One thing to keep in mind about cycling is that you will still need to compliment it with an “off the bike” resistance training program because the amount of low impact hours on the bike can lower bone density. Resistance training with weights or body weight exercises helps stress your bones to keep them strong unlike the low impact form of exercise that cycling gives you.

Kayaking/Canoeing- This is for our adventure seekers out there and not for the faint of heart! Kayaking or canoeing does so much for us to reconnect to the wilderness, get outside, and find some vitamin D! The sun is one of the only sources of vitamin D outside of supplements and it is crucial to get a good dose of this plentiful micronutrient. Fun fact about vitamin D is that you can never get enough of it from the sun (short of daily sun burns) but you can get too much of it from supplements. We recommend the natural route!

Hit the Dog Park- My sidekick Chloe has been the best motivator to get me out of the house for daily walks. But if you’ve ever wanted to take it up a notch, bring a “Chuck it” with you to get your arm workout and mobility in, or jog with your pup to wear you both out!

For more ideas on in home exercises to compliment your favorite outdoor workouts, check out our trial of the Body Weight Warrior program below!

3 Simple and Easy Ways to Cut Calories

3 Ways to Cut Calories without counting or weighing your portions!

I wanted to share with you the top three ways I manage my calories each week without breaking out the scale and weighing my food!

These are really simple ways you can implement today to reach your goals quickly!

1. Mindful eating- mindful eating can be added into every recipe you enjoy to cook each week! It begins with eating slowly and enjoying about 15 chews per bite of food. It takes about 20 minutes for your nerves in your stomach to recognize that it is full and signal your brain to stop eating! We always coach our PrepWars clients to eat to 80% full which means recognizing you have been satiated BEFORE you normally notice it!

2. Smaller portions- taking smaller serving sizes is a step in the right direction! American plates are larger than they ever have been in history and naturally, we tend to fill our plates full to the edges. Protein portions will be about the size of your palm. Carbohydrates will equal one cupped handful on your plate. And fats, yes they are necessary too, will be about 1-2 thumbs in size so about 5-8 nuts.

Spinach salads are ideal for meal prep to fuel your body and help your routine reach your goals.

3. Find more fiber- fibrous foods make us feel fuller faster and longer than simple sugars or protein. Fiber is classified in two ways: soluble and insoluble. Meaning absorbable or not. Fiber is also considered a carbohydrate so if you are choosing insoluble fiber, those carbs will not get absorbed! An example is celery. Celery has both soluble and insoluble fiber. Have you juiced celery? The insoluble fiber is what is left behind in the juicer.

Meal Prep is easier when you have a plan! Check it out at learntomealprep.com


These little know facts are why calories get such a bad reputation… Americans just don’t know the difference between simple and complex carbs or even why they are so important!

The next time you’re fixing up your plate for dinner, be mindful of your portion sizes and choose more fibrous foods to eat fewer calories without counting them down to the gram!

5 Facts About Fitness You Probably Didn’t Know

Do you want to learn 5 fun facts about working out you probably didn’t know?!

  1. Helps recovery- when you exercise regularly, your follow up workouts aid in recovery by flushing out lactic acid (bicarbonate) which is a waste product in the body from your last workout! Feeling sore? Workout again within 48 hours to aid the recovery!
  2. Decreases stress- regular exercise helps to lower cortisol levels in the body which is one of the most natural ways to lower stress! Feeling anxious? Take a walk or do a HIIT workout!
  3. Improves circulation- as your muscles contract, they push blood back to the heart! Have you ever seen a cyclist’s calf muscles? They are huge! For one, they are always cranking on the pedals to climb hills but they also grow so that they can pump the blood back to the heart more efficiently. Otherwise know as venous return;) Want to get your heart rate up with additional benefits? Go for a bike ride to improve your circulation!
  4. Improved circulation equals improved body functions holistically- the circulatory system does many things for us. It regulates body temperature, which is why you sweat when you workout, to cool yourself down naturally. But when our circulatory system works better, so does our lymphatic system (our waste system which flushes bicarbonate), our digestive system works better to absorb nutrients and prevent lifestyle disease (like diverticulitis), and our nervous system works better too! Feeling foggy in your brain from staring at a computer screen? Go for a jog to “clear your head”!
  5. Most importantly, completing a workout improves self-confidence- accomplishing a goal we set for ourselves makes us feel strong and empowered! Self-efficacy is a little known benefit of working out that basically means “I am pleased with myself for accomplishing a goal”. Over time, as our confidence grows in our ability to complete a goal, it provides a positive feedback loop to our brain that says, “I can” more often than it says, “I can’t”!

There you have it! Five little known facts about fitness that you can use the next time you want to workout but you’re too sore, too busy, too sluggish, to tired, or don’t believe you can squeeze another thing into your day!

Dave Glaser has been a strength coach in Denver, CO and online for nine years. He has worked with athletes of all levels privately, in small groups or teams, and online through safe, convenient, and effective workouts designed to help you reach your goals quickly and safely.

I sincerely hope you are staying safe and healthy during these uncertain times across the world.  For me personally, I have been doing a lot of work from home, reading, enjoying netflix, and creating new online programs for our clients.  One program that I am excited about is our Body Weight Warrior program that launched June 1!

It includes four workouts per week, nutrition tips and recipes, and what I enjoy most about creating these workouts for you is that they can go anywhere and you can do them anytime you want!  Most of them are less than 30 minutes so you can get it done and get on with your day!

Give it a try for free today!  Just click here for your first workout delivered straight to your email inbox now!

Guided Meditation with Laura Love

At Fit Life Champions, we believe that rest is as important as the work.  In today’s lesson, we wanted to focus on mindfulness through mediation.

When we connect the mind and body into one, we reach our goals quicker and safer because we are in tune with the feedback that our body is trying to tell us.  

Laura Ellen Love is a yoga certified instructor that shares many of the same passions we do at FLC Online.  She believes that fitness, nutrition, and a strong mind body connection helps us improve mental health and we couldn’t agree more!

Last year, she joined me on the Believe Be Real Be Bold podcast for authentic relationships and we have built an incredible professional relationship ever since.  Today, I wanted to invite her to our community to share her guided meditation!

So find a peaceful, quiet place in your home and MAKE TIME for yourself today!  We are combining two of the most important healthy habits we gave you in the beginning of the month:) 

Make time for yourself AND rest!  Enjoy!

If you would like more personalized meditations from Laura Love, please reach out to her via email at lauraloveevents@gmail.com or on Instagram @lauraloveinc

Now that you have met Laura Ellen Love, please continue on to the guided meditation portion of today’s mindfulness practice!

To tune into the full interview on the Believe Be Real Be Bold podcast, please subscribe below or watch the interview on YouTube!

How to Make the Best Use of Your Time at the Gym

We are all busy and probably struggle to get a workout in when we have so many other demands for our time like work, family, hobbies, and household responsibilities. Most people do not have unlimited time to spend at the gym or working out at home, so having a plan for our workout will help ensure that we are getting in and getting out in a reasonable amount of time! Here are 15 tips to make the best use of your time at the gym.

Before we begin, it is always best to vary your workouts. Your body adapts to the same routine very quickly, so it’s imperative to mix up and change your routine up. Most experts recommend changing your routine at least every six to eight weeks, or even more often if you like the variety. Plus it helps keep your motivation higher and prevents boredom. These are not one-size-fits-all recommendations, it’s always important to consider your personal goals, preferences, and abilities. 

  1. Keep socializing, social media, and texting to a minimum. It may seem like these distractions only take a minute or so here and there, but the time adds up. Plus they take your focus away from your ultimate goal of getting an awesome workout completed in the most time efficient way possible. 
  2. Have a plan before you go to work out. Start with a warm-up (five to ten minutes), then move to either cardio or resistance training and switch halfway through (if you are doing both in the same exercise session). Use a comprehensive exercise library with instructions, photos, videos, and muscles worked like on Exercise.com. Finish with a cool down and flexibility/stretching at the end (ten minutes). 
  3. Include the warm-up, cool down, or flexibility/stretching exercises in your routine, don’t skip out on them to save time. The warm-up should only take five to ten minutes and cool down and flexibility around ten minutes. Both are a very important part of your workout and very beneficial to health and well-being. Flexibility helps us move better during normal daily activities and functional movements, like reaching to grab something from a high shelf or getting in and out of our car. 
  4. Consider high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to save time on cardiovascular activities. Research supports the health benefits of HIIT, which usually take less time to complete when compared to steady-state intensity cardiovascular exercises. For example, spending 15-20 minutes doing intervals of vigorous effort with short rest periods has comparable health and cardiovascular benefits as 30 minutes of running on the treadmill at the same speed (Foster et al., 2015).
  5. Don’t forget about full-body cardiovascular and power exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, squat jumps, or jumping rope. They don’t take a lot of time, don’t take a lot of space or equipment, and get your heart rate up quickly. 
  6. Focus on multi-joint, compound, or combination activities in the weight room. Examples of multi-joint or compound exercises include squats, deadlifts, or kettlebell swings. Focus on combination exercises like bicep curls with a shoulder press or bench squat with a lateral raise. Body weight exercises like push-ups, lunges, planks, or wall sits are also time efficient and do not require any equipment.  
  7. Another tip for the weight room is to complete an upper body exercise, then while you are resting, complete a lower body exercise. This is what fitness professionals call a “superset” and it’s just when you alternate exercises with no rest in between. For example, do one set of bent over rows then immediately do one set of lunges. This allows the first group of muscles to rest while you are working out the second group. It is a very effective way to utilize your time. You are still allowing one group of muscles to rest while the other muscle group is active.
  8. One more tip for resistance training to keep your workout simple and straightforward. Two sets of ten repetitions is easy to remember, time efficient, and works both muscular strength and muscular endurance. 
  9. Consider taking a class where the workout is pre-designed for you, like a streaming fitness class, yoga class, spinning class, bootcamp, Camp Gladiator, OrangeTheory fitness, Crossfit, F45, or 9Round. All you have to do is show up, work out, then leave. 
  10. Find a certified personal trainer and let them know you want the most effective workout in the time you have available (30, 45, 60 minutes, etc) and let the professional design a great workout for you. Personal trainers have a wealth of experience designing exercise routines and can take the guesswork out of it for you to get a full-body workout in the time you have available. 
  11. Use a fitness wearable, like a Garmin, Apple watch, or Fitbit to track your calories and heart rate. Set a goal for your calories burned or minutes that your heart rate is in the cardio or peak heart rate zone. There are a lot of mobile apps available that can track calories burned and/or heart rate zones with your wearable device. Once you reach that goal, move on to your cool down and flexibility exercises to finish your workout. 
  12. Complete a circuit training routine with a friend. Find a workout plan online or on an app, or many fitness professionals also post routines on their social media. Take turns timing your exercises, or do them at the same time, and help push each other to the finish. 
  13. Design your workout playlist ahead of time or consider a mobile app that already has playlists ready to go, like Spotify or RockMyRun. This keeps you from stopping to change songs or playlists during your workout. You can just start it and let it play for your entire workout!
  14. Figure out the time of day when your energy levels are the highest and you feel the best working out. It might take some trial and error for a few weeks to determine this, but it will help prevent the sluggishness which might slow down your workout. 
  15. Get plenty of recovery and sleep. Recovery, rest, and sleep are the critical times when your body repairs itself from the effects of exercise, including rebuilding muscles, repairing tissues, and replenishing energy stores. Sleep and exercise have a reciprocal relationship, they both influence each other (Chennaoui, Arnal, Sauvet, & Léger, 2015). Adequate recovery and sleep ensures that you will be able to maximize your workouts and be at the top of your game!

References:

Chennaoui, M., Arnal, P. J., Sauvet, F., Léger, D. (2015). Sleep and exercise: A reciprocal issue? Sleep Medicine Reviews, 20, 59-72, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2014.06.008.

Foster, C., Farland, C. V., Guidotti, F., Harbin, M., Roberts, B., Schuette, J., … Porcari, J. P. (2015). The effects of high intensity interval training vs steady state training on aerobic and anaerobic capacity. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, 14(4), 747–755.

Melissa Morris is a professor by day and a part-time writer for Exercise.com. Melissa has a BS and MS in exercise science and an EdD in educational leadership. She teaches nutrition and applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa and has worked in health education, fitness, and nutrition for 15 years. In her free time, Melissa loves to workout at Orangetheory fitness and run 5K and 10K races.

Bio:

What Fitness Equipment Do I Need to Workout at Home?

We are excited to welcome you to the only online personal training program for busy adults that want to improve mental health, decrease stress, and boost energy!

Before you get started, it is important to make sure that you have the equipment needed to perform all of the exercises. So here is your shopping list with fitness equipment that will allow you to exercise in the comfort of your home safely and efficiently.

Must haves in order to get started right away:

– Dumbbells (two pairs ranging from 15 to 50 lbs.) – besides the 25# you have, look for 15s, 20s, and 30s to get started or select the power block feature below!
– Swiss Ball
– Bands with Handles
– Pull Up Bar

Recommended equipment to get more out of your workout experience.

– Flat Bands
– Kettlebells (two kettlebells ranging between 15 and 50 lbs.)
– Power Block (Power Blocks are essentially dumbbells with variable resistance)- as a better investment and substitute to dumbbells

Email us know if you have any questions, and enjoy you workout!

Fresh Spinach Salad

To save time and money with meal prep, we love simple green salads with chicken.  Often, we spice up our salads with veggies and fruits plus a homemade dressing, such as a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette!

The prep time and cook time for this lunch fit in with consolidating steps of meal prep perfectly.  Taking about 20 minutes to cook the chicken and 5 minutes of actually putting your lunch salads together.

  1. Handful of loosely packed fresh spinach placed in meal prep container
  2. Chilled, grilled or baked chicken portioned out to the specifications of your macronutrient guide
  3. 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
  5. 1/4 tsp of cracked black pepper
  6. Mixed veggies to taste and to the specifications of your macronutrient guide

Steps to prepare your lunches before your busy work week.

  1. Thaw and Grill chicken breast(about 1 pound) seasoned to taste.  Let chicken cool in refrigerator.  Slice thin.
  2. Grab one loosely packed handful of fresh spinach and place in meal prep container.  Easily swap out brown rice in the perfect portion called for in your macronutrient guide!
  3. Add thinly sliced chicken breast to meal prep container.
  4. Add assorted veggies, your choice.
  5. Store in fridge until the morning to grab and go, prepared for lunch ahead of your busy day!

Spinach Salad

Healthy Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

Ingredients for at least 5 servings:

2 lb chicken breast (measured raw)

1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (or coconut aminos, or low sodium soy sauce)

1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp red pepper garlic sauce

1/4 cup organic, raw honey or agave

1 tbsp orange zest or shaved fresh orange peel juice from 3 clementines

1 tbsp tapioca starch (or arrowroot starch) sesame seeds, green onions spray coconut oil

Steps:

In a bowl, mix Bragg’s, rice vinegar, orange juice, orange zest, honey, red pepper sauce and tapioca starch. Set aside.

Chop chicken into small pieces. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray with coconut oil. Add the chicken and cook until it is about 90% finished.

Pour in the orange sauce and stir quickly. Reduce the heat, allow the sauce to thicken and continue stirring. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions. Serve with brown rice or quinoa.

Recipe modified from the original to cut down on sugar and fit into your macronutrient guide.

Orange Chicken

http://fitmencook.com/healthy-orange-sesame-chicken/

Overnight Oats

I’m a simple guy.  Really simple.

I generally pick a few ingredients and make it into a meal, breakfast, lunch, and snacks.  That particular strategy is beneficial to weight management and fueling the body for performance…  Most of the time.

Until I get tired of eating same things, all the time!

Because of PrepWars, I’ve learned how to have some fun with meal prep, and the following recipes are just the trick to change up my routine.  Follow @fitlifechampions on Facebook and Learn to Meal Prep on Instagram to learn how to make overnight oatmeal work for you and your busy week ahead!

Please check out these recipes for some fun variations on overnight oatmeal!  Remember to use almond or coconut milk instead of dairy for optimal health and performance through your busy week!

Overnight oatmeal recipes to save you time!