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


Circuit Sunday – 02-22-15

Here is a short circuit workout that you can do at home:


Start with a 5 min warm-up using light cardio, foam rolling, etc.

Main Set:

  • 10 burpees (or bodyweight squats)
  • 9 plank crawlers
  • 8 jumping jacks
  • 7 squat jumps
  • 6 pushups
  • 5 alternating lunges
  • 4 Russian twists
  • 3 triceps dips
  • 2 bicycle crunches
  • 1 plank hold (30s)

Repeat 5 times!

*Please use common sense before and during exercise. If you are not sure that you are safe to do certain movements then get permission from your healthcare professional first.

Self-kindness is a Secret Weapon


January is a fantastic time to make new health & fitness goals but often people are really hard on themselves, taking a militant approach that really isn’t all that helpful. (Example: “I’m going to get up early every day and go to the gym and only eat salad”).  While some people may like a trainer that yells at them to work harder, that has never been my style and I think kindness is completely underestimated when it comes to fitness.  Are you really more motivated by being recognized for making a positive change than by being scolded for eating a cookie that wasn’t in your plan? Probably not.  Mostly likely you will feel bad about eating the cookie and then give up and eat the whole bag (“might as well”, right?). This is where self-kindness (and forgiveness) comes in. You are not a complete failure because you slipped up a little (or even a lot). There really is no such thing as a “perfect” diet or fitness plan and there are more important things to focus your energy on than berating yourself. Learning to forgive yourself and move on quickly is really important for long-term success.

When I was a teenager I was a promising athlete and was extremely hard on myself.  I thought that more was always better and I learned the hard way that this isn’t always the case.  Overtraining and not supporting physical and mental recovery can lead to injuries, burnout, and other negative consequences (for me personally, I developed an eating disorder).  It is one thing to strive for improvement and quite another to feel like you are never good enough. The truth is that there will always be someone faster, stronger, or more beautiful (or differently beautiful) than you are.  That is not the point.  The point is to do your best, to feel alive, and to make the most of the time you’ve been given.

Self-kindness is not permission to go off the rails and do whatever you want. We know that improving athletic performance requires intentional training and optimizing recovery through high-quality nutrition, rest, and relaxation.  We also know that loss doesn’t come from sitting on your butt and eating fast food.  So, are you really being kind to yourself when you make choices that are not supporting your health and fitness goals?  What does self-kindness look like to you?

I think that it will be a little different for each of us.  Practicing self-kindness to me is…

  • going to bed early so that I feel well-rested and ready for the day
  • eating whole foods that support my training and body composition goals most of the time
  • having really awesome cheat meals once in a while
  • warming up properly before my workouts
  • lifting heavy weights and striving to get stronger
  • making time to swim, run, and play basketball
  • getting a massage once in a while
  • reading for enjoyment (not just scientific articles for my PhD)
  • avoiding magazines and most popular media that promotes unrealistic body ideals

What about you?  How are you going to be kind to yourself today?

Hit the Track for a Free Workout

Ah, track workouts!  Brings back fond memories of high school, running line drills at the end of basketball practice, and doing the beep test (aka watching my sister kill the beep test long after I had to stop…).  The thing about sprints (and high-intensity interval training generally) is that they are really hard when you are out of shape but can be a lot of fun when you are fit.  AS we have learned through many research studies about windgate interval training (basically an all-out bike sprint for 15-30s that makes you feel like you are going to die followed by a long rest), sprints are also are very effective at improving your overall aerobic capacity (i.e. the ability of your body to use oxygen and manage energy) very quickly.  Sprinting also doesn’t require fancy equipment, making it cheap and easy, not to mention better for the planet than those carbon-sucking treadmills in air conditioned gyms (which in spite of this I sometimes use because there is no daycare at the track and an almost-two-year-old makes a really bad training partner).

There are many ways to plan a track workout but I think it’s important to use the sandwich method: warm-up, main set(s), warm-down/stretch.  This reduces the risk of injuries and allows you time to read your body.  Some days you  can push harder than others; some days you need to back off.  Learn to listen to your body.

This workout is designed to be done on a running track but if you don’t have one around or available to you, you can modify it to do outside. A low-traffic street near your house or in a local park will do just fine! The distances won’t be perfect but it doesn’t matter – the key thing is that you are working your butt off 😉  If you are just starting out, I recommend doing 1-2 sets of each sprint in the main set rather than the whole thing.  Enjoy!


jog 2 laps (~800m)

20 jumping jacks

10 pushups

10 walking lunges with side twist

2 x 20m high knees (walkbacks)

2 x 20m “A”s (walkbacks)

2 x 20m “B”s (walkbacks)

2 x 20m butt kicks (walkbacks)



4 x 200m sprint at 75% speed (walk back)

6 x 100m sprint 80% speed (walk back)

2 x 50m sprint 95% speed (walk back)



2 laps jog


Give yourself a high-five!



*DISCLAIMER* As always, use common sense when doing exercise.  If you are not currently active or have injuries or any medical conditions that may affect your ability to exericse, you should complete a PAR-Q form and see your healthcare provider before attempting this workout.

Quick & Dirty Home Cardio

A workout doesn’t have to take a long time to be effective.  Time is only one part of the equation.  Intensity is also important if you want to get results.

Last night I did this cardio workout in my bedroom while my son was sleeping, proving that you don’t need a lot of space, or time to get the job done.  This workout also requires no equipment, other than a clock with a second hand (I steal the one from the kitchen and put it back afterwards)…and music helps too (I use my computer).

Emily’s Friday Tabata Workout:

Warm-up – 5 min aerobics

For each exercise below, do as many reps as possible in 20s, then rest 10s before starting the next exercise. (tabata style)

Set 1 (4 min):

  1. Air squats 
  2. Pushups
  3. squat jumps
  4. Jumping jack
  5. Air squats 
  6. Pushups
  7. squat jumps
  8. Jumping jacks

Rest 2 min

Set 2 (4 min):

  1. Burpies
  2. alternating front lunges (or lunge jumps)
  3. situps
  4. lateral bounds
  5. Burpies
  6. alternating front lunges (or lunge jumps)
  7. situps
  8. lateral bounds

Rest 2 min

Now repeat the whole thing over, for a total of 4 sets.

Remember, the key to this workout is intensity!  If one of the exercises is too hard or too easy, adjust the workout to include something that you can do hard and fast.  Get that heart rate up!!


My post-workout glow!

Have a fit and fabulous weekend everyone! 

~Live Inspired~!



The Easiest Home Workout!

Gyms are nice but you can still get a great workout without a gym membership.  Get off the couch and try this no-equipment workout on for size!

  1. 25 jumping jacks
  2. 10 T pushups (use knees or incline if needed)
  3. 12 alternating front lunges (each side)
  4. 12 scissor kicks on back (each side
  5. 12 hip lifts (easy = both legs, intermediate = alternating legs, advanced = alternating, feet on chair)
  6. 12 squat jumps (hard) or burpees (harder)
  7. Front plank hold as long as possible (time it so you can compare each round)
  8. 2-3 min rest

REPEAT entire circuit 2-5 times.


~Live Inspired~!