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!

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.

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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!

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!

 

Brand Ambassador Program

Do you want to make a quick $50?!

Are you looking to make extra income in the fitness and nutrition industry?

Fit Life Champions has a brand ambassador program that’s the right fit for you!  In order for you to know exactly how to share the program with others, we will give you access to a FREE weeklong program to try out immediately!

Simply share your unique code with friends and family and earn $50 per referral!

Click HERE NOW now to apply!  And watch the video below to learn more details!

The 5 Best Books that Help You Reach Your Fitness Goals

Five years ago when we began our coaching journey, we stressed how important exercise was to help you reach your goals.  And while very impactful to help you reach your goals, fitness alone will not make as big of a change!

We realized after about a year and a half that we weren’t providing the elite level of service that we held ourselves to so we dedicated 18 weeks to learning the advanced application of sports nutrition from Precision Nutrition!  That education was a game changer for our community once we added in the #PrepWars Meal Prep Workshop!

Finally, we discovered the next step to help you reach your fitness goals was to add in some very important books that launched our clients forward!

The TOP 5 LIFE CHANGING books we recommend along with a the top 3 reasons they make a difference are….

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

  1. The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, raising exceptional children, becoming more productive, building revolutionary companies and social movements, and achieving success is understanding how habits work.
  2. Exercise is a keystone habit that impacts every area of your life because it boosts energy, decreases stress, and establishes a routine.
  3. Once a routine of exercise has begun, nutrition changes soon follow to support the additional energy expenditure while building lean muscle mass and decreasing body composition.

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

  1. This book demonstrates how to eliminate the barriers to success by overcoming false fears and beliefs.
  2. Two limiting beliefs that stand out are Burden and Not Feeling Good Enough, this book helps lay out a strategy to overcome these debilitating limiting beliefs.
  3. “Each of us has an inner thermostat setting that determines how much love, success, and creativity we allow ourselves to enjoy. When we exceed our inner thermostat setting, we will often do something to sabotage ourselves, causing us to drop back into the old, familiar zone where we feel secure.”

Find Your Why by Simon Sinek

  1. “If we want to feel an undying passion for our work, if we want to feel we are contributing to something bigger than ourselves, we all need to know our WHY.”
  2. Finding and committing wholeheartedly to your purpose helps to remind us why we begin a fitness journey and keeps us on the path when distractions or set backs arise.
  3. “Before we can stand out, we must first get clear on what we stand for.”

Mindset by Carol Dewick

  1. It is your mindset that will help you achieve your goals quickly and safely.  If you have a growth mindset you are more likely to believe that you will reach the destination you set out on a quest for.
  2. “No matter what your ability is, effort is what ignites that ability and turns it into accomplishment.”
  3. When you avoid the trap of a fixed mindset, your achievements will come to you faster and are more likely to stick as a lifestyle change.

The Sacred Enneagram by Chris Heurtz

  1. By learning and identifying our personalities, we can recognize our tendencies, both good and bad in order to become our best selves.
  2. “When it comes to recognizing the truth of our own identities, most of us experience a symbolic version of blindness that keeps us from seeing ourselves for who we really are.”
  3. Our personal growth journey is propelled forward by connecting with our identity and our personalities.  Once a connection is made with out true selves, our spiritual journey can begin wholeheartedly.

By combining a strong purpose with a safe and effective workout and nutrition program, we see our clients reach their goals faster than any one of the three dimensions on their own.

To connect with a certified personal trainer at Fit Life Champions, book a complimentary consultation at www.calendly.com/riseup