A Friday Workout. Plus I’m a Featured Fit Friend!

I am excited to tell you that today I am featured over at Best Body Fitness as part of Tina’s Fit Friends series. I hope you will check it out!

You can also check out this workout. A few weeks ago I told you that I was working on exercise instruction videos that I could use when I created a workout. I finally got a start on it this week. I created this workout using several of the videos that I filmed. So, you will find the workout below and below that are the videos. You probably don’t need a video for each exercise, but they are available if you do.

Friday Workout


Plank to Side Plank

Lunge w/Twist

Mountain Climbers

Squat Jump

Push Up

Okay, no video here, but I figured you’d know.

I am a little bit annoyed that in spite of changing the thumbnail shot for a few of the videos, they still show the most unflattering picture possible.

Friday Workout

For those who have asked, we still have “Coco.” In spite of signs posted in the neighborhood we haven’t heard from her owner. I made some more posters so we can cover a wider area, plus the local groomers and vets. Meanwhile, you know Alan and me, we continue to bond with the dog. Last night she slept on the bed and she now runs to greet both of us when we walk in the front door. Better find those people soon!

So, I’m happy that the weekend is just about here! I have a friend visiting that is moving back from Oregon. What are you up to?

Friday Fitness: The Seven Minute Workout

I few days ago, I mentioned that one of my Fast and Furious students (that sounds funny, but I mean she comes to the class), brought me a clipping from the New York Times called The Scientific 7-Minute Workout. The sub-title is “12 exercises and you’re done.” In it, they cite an article in the May/June issue of the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health and Fitness Journal that states that 12 high intensity exercises, combined with very short breaks, using only your body weight and a chair fulfills the latest mandates for high intensity effort.

High Intensity Circuit Training

According to the ACSM, this type of training, which is called High Intensity Circuit Training or HICT, can be a fast and efficient way to lose excess body weight and body fat, can increase V02Max, an indicator of cardiovascular health, and can be an effective approach to decreasing insulin resistance.

There are some caveats and contraindications of course. HICT may not be appropriate for obese, undertrained, the elderly, or previously injured individuals. People with heart disease should avoid isometric exercise (planks, wall sits). They can be replaced with dynamic exercises. As with all exercise, medical clearance from a physician is recommended.

When choosing the exercises, select exercises that work all muscle groups or the body. Use large muscle groups to create the appropriate resistance and aerobic effort. Create a balance of exercises (avoid choosing all upper body or lower body exercises) that are safe and appropriate for the individual doing the workout. The exercises should also be adaptable to the environment (stairs, benches, chairs, walls, etc.) and be able to be modified to increase or decrease intensity.

This is the Seven Minute Workout as listed in the Times. I did change exercise #12 from a side plank to bicycle crunches only because we were doing this once through and a one-sided side plank felt unfinished. I think the slightly wild-eyed look on my face was caused by this workout.

Seven Minute Workout

 After the workout, I looked up the study mainly because I wanted to make some changes to the exercises, but didn’t want to lose the effects of HICT. According to the report, exercise order is important. Because you will be doing this workout at a very high intensity, correct arrangement is crucial to give yourself a little extra rest time to allow you to continue at that high intensity.  For that reason, a higher intensity exercise like jumping jacks or high knees running, may be followed with a plank or wall sit. Also, you will want to alternate muscle groups to allow recovery time between exercises. In the above example jumping jacks (total body) are followed by wall squats (lower body), which are followed by push ups (upper body), then crunches (core). This allows you to meet the objective of a series of exercises to be performed in quick succession-using proper form and technique-with a minimum of rest in between.

The Seven Minute Workout

For today’s workout I changed a few of the exercises. My knee will not hold up to step ups, and it doesn’t like jumping jacks very much either, so I added burpees (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and split squat jumps. I also kept the bicycle crunch as the final exercise. I believe it still keeps with the protocol of the HICT workout. I know it kicked my butt. The workout should be performed at high intensity, about 8-9 on a scale of 10. If you can’t keep up that high intensity, the ACSM recommends exercising for a slightly longer period of time, which means you could repeat the workout once or twice more. Don’t hate me.

Seven minute workout 5

Just so you know that I love and respect you, I did the whole workout in this video, no pauses or cut-aways, so you can tune in  while you do the workout. Remember to be safe and do each exercise with proper form.

If you’d like to read more, here are the links to the New York Times article and the original ACSM report.

Link to the ACSM Study

Link to the NY Times Article

Edit: I was asked below about the app I’m using on my ipad to time my Seven Minute Workout. It’s called Seconds Pro. It costs $4.99, but there is a free version (I don’t believe you can save your timers on the free version). You can use any of the pre-made timers on the app or create your own. There are templates to follow depending on whether you are making a circuit, HIIT, Tabata, or other type of workout. You can program the music that you want to play, select the “warning tones” that you prefer, and I was happy that when I downloaded it onto my iphone it automatically synced with my ipad. Love the visual of that timer ticking down!

What is your favorite workout? Have you heard of HICT?

Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Coach and Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Coach or Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

It’s Fast. It’s Furious. It’s a Total Body, No Equipment, Functional Workout

For the first time in months, I have nothing going this weekend. No races. No events. No gigs for Alan. No travel. Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Can you tell I’m excited?

Alan and I have had something going each weekend since March. We’ve been to Lake Havasu, Redlands, and San Diego for events that he announced. I’ve run races in San Diego and Lake Havasu. We put on a race in our own backyard. My house is a mess. I haven’t seen the inside of my yoga studio for two months. I’m so happy to be home I could cry with joy.

So, with two days to ourselves, what is the plan (besides a little house cleaning)? Well, running of course. I have a nine mile run on the schedule for tomorrow, followed by six on Sunday. Hopefully I’ll be able to make sure that my yoga studio is still there (though I’m afraid my credits have expired). Maybe even, for the first time in months, a movie!

I’m looking forward to a quiet, boring, stay at home weekend. I know it is Mother’s Day on Sunday, but since I’m the mother I get to choose.

Fast and Furious Workout

I am not sure what I was thinking when I created this workout. It is pretty high intensity from beginning to end, including a quarter mile run to finish off each set. It will really get your heart rate up  and work your whole body in a short amount of time. Each set takes less that five minutes (plus the run), so you can complete a great workout in less than a half hour. Because it needs no equipments, you can take it outdoors (maybe to the high school track for a great place to get your running in).

FF Workout2

I’m demonstrating the workout in the video below, but here are a few links to more detailed explanations (or videos) of each exercise.


Air Squat

Mountain Climbers

Split Squat/Jump

Plank to Side Plank: Start in a plank position, either on your hands or forearms. Hips should be level or just slightly lifted. Lift one arm and turn into a side plank. Hold just a second, the put your arm down and switch to the other side.

Enjoy the workout! What are your plans for the weekend?


Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Personal Trainer, I am not YOUR Personal Trainer. Always adapt workouts to suit your body and fitness level. Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.