home gym

Circuit Sunday – 03-01-2015


Thank heavens March is finally here!  Let’s celebrate the end of February – with burpies!  Just kidding. Let’s skip the burpies today and have some fun.

Home Workout:

  • 15 pop squats
  • 10 bent over rows (resistance band or dumbells)
  • 15 SB passes (for your core)
  • 10 alternating reverse lunges (resistance band or dumbells)
  • 15 triceps extensions (pulldowns with resistance band or kickbacks with dummbells)
  • 10 skaters (each side)
  • Plank hold as long as possible
  • Rest 2-3 min between rounds

Repeat 3-5 times


My Home Gym

A home gym doesn’t have to be fancy or take up a lot of room.  As a new mom on a budget the best option for me was to give up my gym membership and work out at home.  This way I don’t have to pay for childcare while I work out and I save tons of time by not having to go anywhere to get in my workout.  Did I mention there are no line ups for equipment and I get to use my own shower?

1. Road bike + trainer = instant cardio.   This is by far my most expensive piece of training equipment but it is super versatile because I can ride my bike outside during the warm weather and train inside when the weather is cold and crummy.  It also doesn’t take up much room, making it ideal for small spaces.  Another plus is that you don’t have to plug it in so it won’t increase your power bill 🙂  I recommend a magnet or fluid trainer rather than a wind trainer because wind trainers are just too noisy!

2. Yoga mat.  great for core work, stretching, and of course, yoga!   I use Jade yoga mats made from real rubber because they are eco-friendly, last a long time, and are not slippery like plastic ones.

3. Dumbbells.  Right now I have 10lb and 20lb dumbbells which do the trick for most things.  To increase training volume I simply increase reps or sets, or I choose harder exercises (ex. squat thrusters vs squat + overhead press; 1 leg squat vs 2 leg squat…you get the idea)

4. Resistance bands.  My at-home cables 🙂  These are also pretty versatile.  These are also great for travelling and super easy to store.

5. A chair.   This chair is my desk chair but it also doubles as my workout bench.  From dumbbell step-ups to triceps dips, a steady chair can be a great addition to your home gym and chances are you already have one!

So there you have it – that’s currently my home gym.  It may not have a lot of bells and whistles but it works for me.  Home gyms can take on many forms – be resourceful and take advantage of what you already have, then add from there 🙂  Remember, fitness is something you do, not something you buy~!  Yes, a few pieces of equipment can really help but you don’t need to have state of the art equipment to get the job done (visions of Rocky training in Russia come to mind).  Get out there and bust a move!

~Live Inspired~!


Simple Workouts to Do at Home

Don’t have enough time to get to the gym? Or maybe you are just feeling a little extra lazy today?  Well now, here are some workouts for you.  Get off the couch and get in a little workout – your metabolism will thank you 😉


Thank you to the lovely kin students in Winnipeg for this gem...love it!

Instructions: do as many burpies as you can.  Now do 5 more. Catch your breathe.  Repeat.


This one is especially good if you live in an apartment building, Crowell Tower, or are staying in a hotel during a snowstorm (real or imagined).

Instructions: Start at the bottom of the stairwell. Sprint (or run) all the way up to the top.  Walk/jog back down to the start.  Repeat as many times as you can in 20 minutes.  You can also make it more challenging by alternating your stepping pattern each set.  Try single step, double step, left leg leading, right leg leading, and/or bunny hops just to name a few variations.  You can also fill a backpack with heavy things (I recommend something soft like a bag of flour vs dumbbells that may stab you in the spine) or strap on some ankle weights for added resistance.


Don’t have a treadmill in your basement?  Don’t have a basement?  No problem!  Burn some fat and work your muscles with a tabata style workout.

1 round = 20s as fast as you can of exercise + 10s rest x 8 reps (4 minutes total)

Aim to complete 3-6 sets, depending on your fitness level.

Exercise selection:  If you aren’t so hardcore, you may want to alternate between upper and lower exercise within each tabata round.  For example, do 2os pushups, 10 s rest, 20s squats, 10s rest and repeat until the 4 min is up. You can also try some lunge jumps, mountain climbers, chair dips, plank crawlers, up downs, etc.  You can also do one exercise for the whole 4 min round then switch it up.  Challenge yourself to get as many reps in your last set as you did in your first!  Also, make sure you rest in between sets to recover.


You can just make something up.  Have 10min and that’s it?

Do as many reps as you can in 15 seconds each of:

  1. pushups
  2. Squats
  3. Plank crawlers
  4. Lunge jumps (or tuck jumps)

See how many rounds you can do in your small timeframe.  Sure beats sitting on the couch!

It’s amazing how much you can do with next to nothing when that’s all you have to work with.  Not that I don’t love barbells and kettlebells…just saying, they aren’t always necessary.  You can get a super workout without taking up your whole day 🙂

~Live Inspired~!


The Cardio Twister

If you haven’t had the pleasure of encountering this exercise machine, let me introduce you.  The Cardio Twister is a “Super fun, effective, full body workout system.”  For only 5 easy payments of $49.99 ($250) you get this awkward piece of cardio equipment that will gather dust in your closet or spare room for years. You also get a 10-day diet plan.

I think it’s pretty clear that I dislike the Cardio Twister.  Here are my reasons why:

  1. It’s a waste of valuable planetary resources (metal, plastic, etc.)
  2. There are thousands of exercises that you can do without any exercise equipment that would be a) better, b) free, and c) better for the planet.
  3. A 10 day diet plan is not exactly designed for long-term success.  Anyone will lose fat and water weight fast if they eat a low calorie diet for a week.  After which, I might point out, they usually gain it back + a little extra. Dislike.
  4. The fitness models in the infomercial did not get cut and chiseled using the Cardio Twister.  Hate to bust your bubble but they have been lifting weights and doing real workouts, as well as eating a strict diet to prepare for taping of the video.
  5.  There are no randomized clinical trials showing that it is better (or even just as good as) regular exercise without this “miracle” product.  Maybe I should do one lol.
  6. Finally, I have never even heard of this “fitness expert” – who is she and what qualifies her to design exercise equipment?  Does she have a background in biomechanics or engineering?  How do I know that this unnatural movement is safe for my joints or that it is structurally sound and not going to break?

Do yourself a favour and save your money!  Get outside and walk, run, bike, and play.  We were meant to move, not to spend money on stupid crap that clutters up our lives.

~Live Inspired~!