The 10-20-30-40 Workout

Kettlebell & jump rope

Just because it’s been awhile since I’ve posted a workout… doesn’t mean I HAVEN’T BEEN WORKING OUT!!!

Except that I haven’t…

I trotted off to Bohol on October 25, thinking I would work out every day & even post a “beach workout,”  because how fun would that be??  But our trip was cancelled & we ended up at Puerto Galera instead.  I did nothing that weekend except hike to the amazing waterfall I told you about a couple of posts ago.  But jumping into the waterfall doesn’t really count, as you’re going down…  Sure was fun though!!

Hammocks at Sunset resort, Puerto Galera

I spent more time lying in these hammocks than I did working out!

The day after we got back, I left again for the family reunion in London, where ok, we did go running several times through the beautiful Kensington park- how can anyone resist the autumn leaves?  But I did absolutely noooo  strength training and the word burpee never crossed my mind.  And you know what??  It felt amazing to take a break!!  This was an accidental hiatus, for sure, but it’s made me realise that backing off every so often should be part of our workout routine, just as much as purposefully increasing weights or time or distance, etc.  Continual intense exercise with no time off can lead to chronic fatigue or muscle soreness, stress injury, a depressed immune system & decreased metabolism.  If you follow an intense exercise regimen and never take time off, and find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, it may be time to take a short break….

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Ladder Workout

Happy Sunday, folks!  It’s unusual for me to be blogging on a Sunday, and even more unusual to post a workout.  Sundays are my day of rest, in all ways… because I know Monday’s a-comin…

But as I was looking over my workout book to see what kind of heinous torture fun exercise we’re going to do in bootcamp tomorrow, I came across our ladder workout from 2 weeks ago.  Just eyeballing the simple progression on paper made me wanna do it again.

The ladder workout is aptly named, because for each given exercise, you work your way up in numbers of reps, then you work your way back down, resting minimally between sets.  You wind up doing a phenomenal number of reps for each exercise this way, and you usually hit that unique feeling of muscular failure….

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Out of My Element

I went to a yoga class the other day… for the first time in 10 years!

I used to practice regularly, in the home of a beautiful friend who used to live here.  Her calming voice and professional instruction moulded my body into every pose under the sun (salutation.)  Over the course of 2 years under her tutelage, I went from complete yoga novice, to not only knowing the poses, but being able to do them, and hold them-even the inverted ones!  Yoga became an integral part of my exercise routine.  And after every session, I left feeling calm, peaceful, and strong.

Not so last Thursday.  …

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5 Reasons Why You Should Train Your Legs

As everyone was packing up to leave after a rather intense bootcamp today, I asked the two remaining ladies, “If I were to blog about today’s workout, what type of picture would sum it up?  I knew I should have just figured it out on my own, because their responses, though highly amusing, were also a bit inappropriate for my G-rated audience…. I adore my bootcamp girls for many reasons, and this is one of them!!

We laughed for a few minutes, and then decided that any quad-glute exercise would be just the ticket, because this workout was very leg-heavy… on purpose!

Make sure your knees are behind your toes throughout your squat

Make sure your knees are behind your toes throughout your squat

Engage your abs at the top of your squat and squeeze your glutes & quads

Engage your abs at the top of your squat and squeeze your glutes & quads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why emphasise legs in a workout?  Well, not to neglect our upper bodies… you know I’m a big fan of upper body strength, especially for women.  That said, however, there are several excellent reasons to work your legs:

1. The large muscles in your legs & hips (quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and hip flexors) are responsible for most of your functional movements throughout your day: walking, sitting/standing, climbing stairs, etc.  Think about being able to get up out of a chair when you’re 80!!  If you’re 25, or even 45, that seems pretty far away to think about, but I believe functional fitness declines faster than we think, and at an increasing rate after age 40……

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Workout Wednesday [Getting into a Routine]

My morning playtime!

My morning playtime!

It’s back to school time! We wave our children goodbye at 6:25 am, the day stretching out in front of us… Shops here in Manila typically don’t open until 11… what to do… what to do???

Yes, yes, yes, going back to bed is an option, but by the time I’ve had coffee (and I need it at 4:45 in the morning!), there is no more sleeping for me.  Might as well work out, right?  It fills up at least part of that long morning gap…

My bootcamps started up as well this week… and no matter how much I worked out this summer, there is nothing like getting back to group exercise to kick my motivation into high gear!  (And to make me realise that it’s possible I didn’t push myself quite as hard as I thought I did during my summer workouts!)

Fortunately, I’m not alone……

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The Kettle Bell Workout

Kettle Bell Figure 8

Well folks, I was scheduled to give you a “what-I-ate” post, but I had so much fun with this workout, I just had to post it instead!

The more I work out with kettle bells, the more I love them.  It’s a workout that doesn’t feel like a workout, but gives you major results in terms of strength, definition, and muscular endurance.  You can start this session with the thought in your head, “Just make it through 10 minutes…” … and then you do the whole workout because you’re in love with the bells.

Kettle bells make you feel powerful.

And they make you powerful.  What could be better?? …

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Let’s Talk About Strength

Handstand

My mother put me in gymnastics when I was 7 years old, for 2 reasons:

1) because I was no good at ice-skating, and

2) so that when I was in high school I could do a back handspring and make the cheerleading squad.

Little did she know that gymnastics would “take” for me, and that by the time I was in high school and eligible for cheerleading, I was training with my local gymnastics team 16 hours a week and had no time for anything else. Besides, I loved the individually competitive nature of gymnastics- I always competed against myself first.  Of course I never considered any fitness aspect of gymnastics… the focus of my thoughts was geared more towards…

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The Body Weight Workout

Body weight workout

International summer is upon us!!  And that means the mass exodus of us foreigners living abroad, as we either relocate or merely flock to our home countries for a welcome dose of family, friends, and all things familiar.

Consequently, my bootcamps are wrapping up for the season, leaving me with a scary thought:

We will now be responsible for kicking our own heineys this summer!!!

It doesn’t matter if you’re an ex-pat looking at a 6-8 week “home leave” or a regular person living in your home country with kids on summer vacation… we’ve gotta acknowledge that long holidays bring a change in the routine, for better or for worse.  While things could go better given that we might theoretically have more time to exercise and eat right, the reality is …

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