Site Migration Today/Tomorrow

As many of you who have been avidly following this site know, we are soon launching our full website. We have also been working on a re-design of the blog to make it more visually appealing and easier to navigate. That phase has completed and we will be migrating the blog to the new server today/tomorrow, which means the blog will probably be down for the later part of today, and possibly into tomorrow as our domain switches over. You will still be able to find us at blog.shareitfitness.com. We apologize for any inconvenience and hope you enjoy the new site!

-Dave @ Share It Fitness

Exercise and Cancer

Today’s post is a guest contribution from cancer awareness advocate, David Haas.  David is a regular contributor at The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.  In addition to researching the many valuable programs available to his blog’s users, David often writes about programs and campaigns underway at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, as well as creative fitness ideas for those dealing with cancer.  

As many of you know, the link between exercise (or lackthereof) and cancer incidence is very strong.  Any bit of information that can inspire you to start exercising, or help you improve the life of yourself or a family member dealing with cancer, is a message we want to get across.  Find the time to live a fit and healthy lifestyle now, or find the time to be sick later.  Simple as that. 

 

Family Exercise Outings Benefit Cancer Patients

When a person within a family is diagnosed with cancer, the entire family is typically affected.  While the cancer patient must often endure surgeries, radiation, weekly chemo treatments, or mesothelioma treatment, the family of the patient also usually experiences worry, fear, exhaustion, and feelings of frustration.  It can be extremely difficult for a family to watch a loved one go through the constant rounds of treatments that are usually so vital to the recovery and remission of the person.

Financial affairs can be greatly affected if a person in a family is diagnosed with cancer.  If a working parent has cancer, the loss of that person’s income can put many families into financial jeopardy.  This can leave a strain on the family that can produce worry and endless sleeping nights wondering how the family will survive financially.  If a child has cancer, the parents will often miss many days of work to take care of the child, oversee treatment, driving the child back and forth to the hospital and for check-ups.  This also places an enormous strain on the entire family.

Exercise is rapidly becoming more and more recommended to families of people who have been diagnosed with cancer.  Not only is it important for the cancer patient to obtain generous amounts of exercise throughout the week, the rest of the family can benefit from the physical exertion as well.  Exercise has long since been recognized for relieving stress and providing a physical outlet that works to fight stress, anxiety, and depression.

When a family has a person within the family who has been diagnosed with cancer, it is imperative that every person continues to take good physical care of his or her body.  This will provide energy that will help the family to be supportive of the cancer patient, and it will also be a tremendous benefit to the cancer patient by strengthening muscles and increasing cardiovascular health.

Working out together at a gym, going camping together, fishing together, or playing tennis together can be important and fun bonding times for families.  Families who have a person diagnosed with cancer can take advantage of the numerous exercise opportunities that are available to relieve stress, get a good cardio workout, and also to spend bonding time together.  Relaxing and working out together are vital to the entire family unit and promote overall good physical and emotional health for people who are struggling with the disease of cancer.

Cancer.net is an informative website that offers many helpful tips for people who have cancer and for people who have a family member that has been diagnosed with cancer. On the website, text states that emotional and physical health can be improved in cancer patients when exercise becomes a regular routine.

For more information from David on cancer and exercise, check him out here.

Blackened Chicken Sandwich with Basil and Balsamic Glazed Bell Peppers – Easy, Healthy and TASTY!

Chicken breasts are probably a staple for most of you who are trying to eat and live a healthier life.  They should be a staple as they are very high in protein, very low in fat, and incredibly versatile.  Even so, many people get tired of chicken day in, day out.  With that in mind, I decided to show you another way to have your chicken, that is completely tasty, easy, and healthy. 

Make this to serve as a lunch, in between meal snack, or even a light dinner if combined with a side or two.  All of the ingredients used in this recipe were strictly organic, which I know can increase the cost a bit, but my god…the taste.  There is absolutely a difference between organic, free-range chicken and the generic stuff.  Feel free to eliminate the cheese and/or the bread if you are on a stricter diet than I am. 

Step 1

Start by applying a liberal sprinkling of salt, pepper, and a little garlic powder to both sides of the chicken.  Since we are searing the chicken, instead of sautéing it in oil, we’ll want a little crispy crust to form.  The seasoning you add now will help facilitate this.

Step 2

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.  We want the pan nice and hot so a crust is able to form on our chicken breasts.  Apply a very small (1/2 teaspoon) amount of oil and swirl it around in the pan to form a light coating.  Place the chicken breasts in the pan and, depending on thickness, allow them to sit, undisturbed, 4 minutes per side.

Step 3

In another pan over medium heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Add one or two thick slices of bell pepper.  Season with a little salt and allow to sauté  for 4-5 minutes.  When the peppers begin to soften, add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a dash of sugar.  The sugar will help thicken things up and form a glaze.  Toss the peppers around with the balsamic glaze, turn heat to high for 1 minute, then remove from pan.  Set aside.

Step 4

By now, the chicken should be finished.  Remove breasts and set aside.  In the same pan you cooked your chicken, place two slices of whole wheat bread.  Crisping your bread in the skillet, instead of a toaster, will help prevent things from drying out, yet still give you a nice crust.  Cook about 2 minutes per side. 

Step 5

Place a slice of fontina cheese over chicken breast, add a few pieces of fresh basil, top with your balsamic glazed pepper, and voila, a blackened basil chicken sandwich with balsamic glazed peppers.  Sounds far more fancy and time-consuming than it really is. 

This quick little meal can be made in less than 10 minutes, so it’s perfect for a busy day or evening.  Tastes so much better than the salt/pepper/olive oil baked chicken you’ve been making 4-5 times a week for the past 4 months.  The basil, pepper, and salty fontina create a perfect balance of flavors that give this a “restaurant-quality” taste.  As far as nutrition goes, this thing is packed with protein; almost 70 grams!  Total calories hover right around 475, but to cut down on this, simply eliminate the bread and eat it with a fork and knife.  Got any great recipes of your own?  Feel free to submit them and we’ll happily share them with our readers!

The Greatest Ab Workout in the World

Can we be honest for a minute?  When most of us are working out, what is the one area that we want to effect the most?  The answer is almost always, the abdominals.  After all, who doesn’t want a nice six-pack to show off?  With warm weather on the way, and skimpier clothing following suit, we’ll finally get to see what everyone has been working on (or not working on) this winter.  The good news is, if you’re reading this today, you still have more than enough time to develop a tight and toned mid-section.

Let me back up a second, you still have enough time if you break free from the same ab crunches and other similar core exercises you’ve been doing sporadically over the past however many years.  While they have their place for sure, they need to be intermixed with more complex abdominal exercises to maximize their effects.  After a while of trial and error, and seeing what works and doesn’t, I’ve developed what I believe to be the greatest abdominal workout you’ve ever attempted.  Before we jump into the routine, there are a few things we need to address.

  • All the ab work in the world isn’t giving you a six-pack if there is a layer of fat covering your abdominal muscles.  Diet + cardio work are the two most important things.  Get these two things right and use this routine to develop the muscles in your core.  Unlike other abdominal routines, this workout incorporates intense cardiovascular work that burns fat but also targets the core.  Two birds, one stone.
  • Your “six pack” is actually the Rectus Abdominis muscle.  It is ONE muscle.  Sometimes you’ll hear people say, “Oh I need to work my lower abs because they’re really lacking”.  Well, as hard as they want to try to train their lower abs, they really are still working the Rectus Abdominis muscle.  A vital part of developing beautiful abdominal muscles is making sure to use compound abdominal exercises which hit larger portions of the Rectus Abdominis, rather than isolating specific parts of it.
  • Include these workouts into the rest of your workout routine.  There is much debate about whether or not working the abdominals every day is appropriate.  It is my belief that while you can work the abdominals more often than other muscle groups since they are more accustomed to stress (keeping you upright, supporting your bodyweight, etc.) than say your biceps, I still feel they are a muscle and need to be given adaquate rest time.  Aim to complete this routine no more than 3 days a week, with about 48 hours rest between workouts.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way… lets move on to the workout that is going to completely change the way you look at core work forever.

As mentioned above, add days 1 and 3 to your current workout routine; try adding them to the end of a workout day.  Complete day 2 on its own.  If you are on a 5 day a week exercise program, either substitute day 2 of this workout for one of those days, OR (preferably) complete the day 2 workout over the weekend.  If you don’t currently have a workout routine, check around the blog for some pretty killer total body workout programs.

Day 1 - Strictly maintain rest times listed after each set.

  • 4 x 20 Decline plate sit-ups – On a decline bench, and holding a plate against your chest, sit up while slightly twisting your torso to the left.  Lower yourself, then repeat, this time, slightly twisting to the right.  Repeat this for the prescribed number of reps/sets. 30 seconds rest between sets.
  • 3 x 20  Eagle sit ups - 30 seconds rest between sets
  • 3 x 30 V-sits on bench - 30 seconds rest between sets
  • 3 x 15 Hanging leg raises - If this is too difficult, feel free to bend your legs and bring your knees to your chest.  If hanging from a pull up bar is too hard, use a dip machine, like this.  20 seconds rest between sets.
  • 3 x 30 Russian Twists with weight – Complete a full rotation, side-to-side.  Hold a dumbbell, medicine ball, plate, or other weighted object.  30 seconds rest between sets.
  • 4 x 25 Cable crunch - 30 seconds rest between sets.

Day 2 - Day 2 is going to incorporate cardiovascular movements that also hit your abs, giving you a double-dose of six-pack buildling goodness.  This should be a complete workout routine by itself, i.e., 45-60 minutes in length.

  • 4 x 15 Burpees/4 x 20 crunches - Perform 1 set of burpees immediately followed by 1 set of crunches (follow this format for all exercises below). Rest 45 seconds.  Repeat.
  • 4 x 30 Mountain climbers/4 x 100 pilates hundreds - 45 second rest between sets
  • 4 x 30 Horizontal jacks/4 x 40 Hip dips (20 per side) – 45 second rest between sets
  • 4 x 30 Speed skaters holding a plate - If you can’t make your way up to holding a plate, no problem.  Go without the plate until you feel able.  30 second rest between sets.
  • 5 x 1 Running high knees in place – 30 second rest between sets.
  • 5 x 25 Reverse crunches – 30 second rest between sets.
  • 4 x 15 burpees/4 x 25 crunches
  • 10 minutes HIIT sprinting (:30 sprint/1:30 jog)

Day 3 – So, in Day 1 we really used heavy weights to bring your Rectus Abdominis to complete exhaustion; you should have felt a deep after burn following this workout.  In Day 2 we incorporated a cardio element and utilized compound supersets to help build your abdominal muscles while burning the layer of fat covering them.  In Day 3, we are going to up our repetitions so your muscles don’t know what the heck is going on.  Take a deep breath, put your seatbelt on, and get ready to go..here’s the final part of this workout…

  • 2 x 50 bicycle crunches - 20 second rest between sets.
  • 2 x 50 Flutter kicks – 15 second rest between sets.
  • 2 x 40 Feet up crunch - 30 second rest between sets.
  • 2 x 100 heel touches – 15 second rest between sets.
  • 3 x 15 Pike ups - 30 second rest between sets.
  • 2 x 40 Windshield wipers – 30 seconds rest between sets.
  • 2 x 1 minute planks – 30 seconds rest between sets.
  • 10 x 15 Crunches – 10 seconds rest between sets.

There you have it guys.  To recap, we’re going to fully burn your abdominals out on Day 1 with a focus on weighted exercises.  Day 2 is going to introduce cardio exercises and compound supersets to kill your core and blast fat.  Day 3 utilizes high repetitions and shorter rest times to completely confuse your abdominals.  This three-pronged approach, using the exercises above, has proven to be extremely effective for real-life clients and remote clients alike.  Stick to the plan, include extra cardio if you could use it (realistically, almost all of us can), and eat a clean and well-balanced diet.  Remember, 60% of the battle for that six-pack will be accomplished by your diet and burning the fat covering your stomach through the use of high-intensity cardiovascular work.   As always, if you guys have any questions or need clarification, feel free to leave a comment.

Stay connected to the Share It Fitness launch (and ensure your free premium membership) by signing up here, and be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any of our killer workout programs or expert advice.

Explosive Bodyweight Only Workout: Blast Calories and Tighten Up Fast

With the launch of ShareItFitness.com just weeks away, we thought we’d take the opportunity to give you a little taste of what you can expect as one of our premium members.  As many of you know by now, Share It Fitness is an OnDemand fitness service, streaming full-length group fitness classes and virtual personal training sessions to any smart phone, tablet, computer, or wifi-enabled television.  Our library contains hundreds of fitness classes and training sessions (more than most people could get done in a calendar year) and is constantly growing.

Over the weekend we had quite a few of our readers ask for a quick, at-home workout, to help them out after a little over indulgence during Easter weekend.  With that in mind, we bring you our Aerobic Express fitness class by Share It Fitness trainer, Casey Kirch.  Casey leads this lesson with nothing more than his bodyweight and a fast tempo, making this perfect for anyone who wants to get a heart-pounding and sweat-inducing workout, at home.  To really rachet up the intensity, run through this class two, or even three times in a row to maximize your caloric burn.

Share It Fitness fitness classes are so effective because our instructors set the tone and pace each class.  All you have to do is keep up with them to ensure you’re getting an effective workout.  Workout plans that simply list exercises to complete are good, and have their own place, but there is no substitute to following along with a real-life trainer leading you through an exercise routine on your screen.  Keep up with Casey as he leads you through various exercises designed to burn calories and blast fat.  If you feel up for the challenge and give this class a try, let us know what you think after running through this class.  Enjoy!

In case you missed the link above, here it is again.

Help Your Heart and Tastebuds: Guacamole Nutritional Analysis and Video How-To

Looking for a tasty and heart-friendly option to add to your diet?  Who isn’t.  Check out this gem from our nutrition expert, Dr. PK Newby and learn how to start living (and eating) better today.

Who knew that healthy eating could include guacamole, of all things? Yes it can!

Creamy, delicious guacamole: A fifth optional ingredient, diced tomato, adds lovely color and flavor.

Because of their high energy and fat content, avocados used to get a bad rap. However, not all fats are created equal, which is one of the major things you need to remember when thinking about diet and health. Like peanuts and peanut butter, olives and olive oil, avocados are also very high in fat – about 85% – but most of the fat is monounsaturated, which is important for heart health. They are also a valuable source of many other vitamins, minerals, nutrients, phytonutrients like carotenoids, and phytosterols, which have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help reduce symptoms associated with arthritis. (“Phyto” simply refers to “plant-based”; phytosterols are analogous to the cholesterol found in animal products, only they’re good for you.)

So, if you love guacamole…

…for the full article, click here.

Do This…Look Like That…Total Body Blitz Workout Part III

You’ve made it to the home stretch.  If you’re reading this, hopefully you’ve made it through the first two parts of this Total Body Blitz workout without too many troubles.  Hope you’re ready for a serious challenge because we’re about to close things out with a bang.  Part III incorporates a healthy mix of compound lifts interspersed with bouts of high-intensity cardio.  This format departs from the standard weightlifting one day, cardio the next, that made up parts I and II.  We’ll still separate things here and there to give you a break, but for the most part, be ready to do your weightlifting and cardio in one intense workout.

We’ve successfully mixed things up over the past 2 months to keep your body guessing what’s coming next.  If you’ve been maintaining a good diet, you should have easily dropped significant body fat, as well as added muscle to your frame.  Part III really maximizes your fat burning potential, both during AND after the workout.  You probably have a good idea about how we’ll zap calories DURING the workout, but have you considered this type of workout can help you maximize caloric burn AFTER your workout?  Meet EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption).  EPOC is your new best friend.  It represents how many additional calories your body burns after your workout has ended.

Your body wants to return to its pre-exercise state as soon as a period of exercise end.  After a boring, 30 minute jog, or simple weight lifting session, returning to this state isn’t very hard.  After completing a workout that combines the right intensity and exercises, your body is going to struggle to return to its pre-exericse state.  This is a good thing.  EPOC means, your body is using more energy, and burning more calories, as it tries to adjust itself to your resting state.  To maximize EPOC, and the calories you burn throughout the day, you will want to focus on lifting heavy weights (this elevates heart rate, which is great for increasing EPOC), limiting rest periods (I’ll let you know when to rest and for how long), and doing short but intense bursts of cardio.

If all of this sounds confusing, relax.  Part III of this workout plan is very easy to plan and everything is laid out for you.  Just follow along with the exercises and rest times, and you’ll be fine.  So what those nuggets of knowledge safely tucked away in your brain…on to the workout…

Week 1/2

Tips: Whenever you you see a combo with a slash (/) between exercises like this: 3 x 8 lat pulldowns/ 3 x 12 burpees/45 second rest… you will want to do 1 set of 8 lat pulldowns, immediately followed by 1 set of 12 burpees, followed by 45 seconds rest.  You will then repeat for the additional two sets in the combo.  Make sure to use heavy weight so the 8th repetition is very difficult on sets 1 and 2, and near impossible on set 3.

Monday

  • 3 x 8 Lat pulldowns/3 x 12 burpees/45 second rest
  • 4 x 10 reverse pushups/4 x 20 mountain climbers/30 second rest
  • 3 x 8 barbell curls/3 x 15 side squat jumps (squat, jump as far as you can to one side, repeat)/45 seconds rest
  • 4 x 8 bentover barbell rows/4 x 30 twist jumps (squat, jump and do a 180 degree twist, repeat)/45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 close grip rows/3 x 20 box jumps/30 second rest
  • 3 x 25 crunches, 3 x 25 bicycle crunches, 3 x 25 dumbbell crunches (hold dumbbell over head with straight arms and crunch up).

Tuesday

  • 3 x 10 bench press/3 x 30 flutter kicks/45 second rest
  • 4 x 8 barbell skullcrushers/4 x 50 jumping jacks/30 second rest
  • 3 x 10 dumbbell military press/3 x 30 med ball woodchoppers (15 to each side)/45 second rest
  • 4 x 15 bench dips/4 x 15 dumbbell bench step ups/30 second rest
  • 3 x 10 barbell clean and press/3 x 10 burpees/60 seconds rest
  • 4 x 10 incline bench press/4 x 30 mountain climbers/45 second rest
Wednesday
  • 3 x 10 barbell or smith machine squats/3 x 45 second jump rope/45 second rest
  • 4 x 10 deadlifts/4 x 20 horizontal jacks (In plank position, jump your feet off the ground and spread feet wide, jump feet off the body and bring your feet together so you’ve returned to plank position, repeat)/60 second rest
  • 3 x 10 dumbbell lunges/3 x 25 lunge jumps (lunge, jump up, and switch legs in mid-air and land on other foot forward)/45 second rest
  • 4 x 10 reverse dumbbell lunges/4 x 45 second jump rope/45 second rest
  • 3 x 12 box or bench jumps/30 second jump rope/3 x 20 mountain climbers/30 second plank/60 second rest

Thursday

  • 30 minutes HIIT (:30/1:30)cycling, 30 minutes (:30/1:30) HIIT running, 15 minutes (jump :40/rest :40) HIIT jump rope
Friday
  • 3 x 10 dumbbell bench press/3 x 30 flutter kicks/45 second rest.
  • 3 x 8 barbell skullcrushers/3 x 50 jumping jacks/30 second rest.
  • 4 x 10 barbell upright row/4 x 30 med ball woodchoppers (15 to each side)/45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 overhead dumbbell tricep press/3 x 15 dumbbell bench step ups/30 second rest
  • 4 x 10 barbell clean and press/4 x 10 burpees/60 second rest
  • 3 x 10 incline dumbbell flys/3 x 35 mountain climbers/45 second rest
Week 3/4
Monday
  • 4 x 10 close grip lat pulldowns/4 x 45 seconds jump rope/45 second rest
  • 3 x 8 wide grip rows/3 x 100 light toe taps (lightly tap tip of foot on a low object, switch foot mid-air, use fast feet)/30 second rest
  • 3 x 10 cable rope curls/3 x 12 burpees/45 second rest
  • 4 x 10 T-bar rows/4 x 30 side jumps (lay bar down, jump back and forth over bar)/45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 single arm dumbbell rows/3 x 50 speed skaters/45 second rest
  • 3 x 30 dumbbell crunches, 3 x 30 scissor kicks, 3 x 1 minute planks.
Tuesday
  • 4 x 45 second jump rope/4 x 8 burpees/4 x 20 mountain climbers/4 x 30 second plank/75 second rest
  • 3 x 10 bench press/3 x 25 box jumps/45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 incline dumbbell bench press/3 x 20 dumbbell bench step ups/45 second rest
  • 4 x 10 close grip bench press/4 x 50 jumping jacks/45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 lateral raise/3 x 10 knee tuck jumps/45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 tricep rope pushdowns/3 x 10 front raise/30 second rest
Wednesday
  • 4 x 10 squats/4 x 20 box jumps/rest 60 seconds
  • 3 x 10 deadlifts/3 x 20 lateral bench hops (keep one foot on bench, hop side to side with foot on ground. switch at 10)/rest 60 seconds
  • 3 x 10 quad extensions/3 x 10 hamstring curls/3 x 25 bodyweight squats
  • 3 x 10 bulgarian squat/3 x 10 reverse dumbbell side squats (step at a 45 degree angle instead of directly behind you)/30 second rest
  • 3 x 20 knee tuck jumps/3 x 10 burpees/45 second rest
  • 5 x 1 minute jump rope/5 x 30 second plank/5 x 25 bicycle crunches/75 second rest

Thursday

  • 20 Trifecta’s (Kick your legs out and drop down as if you are doing a burpee, do a pushup, pop yourself up, jump up and do a pull up.  If you can’t do a pull up do a hanging pull up, then repeat.)  Perform all 20 as quickly as possible.
  • 2 x 25 box jumps/ 2 x 25 jumping jacks/2 x 25 mountain climbers/2 x 25 crunches/rest 60 seconds
  • 15 minute HIIT cycling (20 second sprint/40 second relaxed pace)
  • 15 minute HIIT sprinting (:20 sprint/:40 jog)
Friday
  • 3 x 10 lat pull downs/1 minute side planks (per side)/3 x 10 hammer curls/ 45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 reverse plate curls/3 x 10 bent over plate rows/3 x 40 mountain climbers/ 45 second rest
  • 3 x 10 lat pushdown/3 x 40 twist jumps/45 second rest
  • 4 x 10 wide grip curls/4 x 12 dumbbell shrugs/4 x 20 tuck jumps/60 second rest
  • 3 x 10 close grip rows/3 x 10 lying dumbbell curls/3 x 30 box or bench jumps/rest 60 seconds
  • 100 crunches/100 bicycle crunches/100 hanging knee raises (perform all 100 reps for each exercise before moving on.  Complete as quickly as possible).
Completing the above routine will bring you through the 12th week of this Total Body Blitz workout plan.  Of course, this doesn’t mean you are finished.  Achieving a healthy mind and body (both inside and out) is accomplished by making consistent fitness a part of your life.  One of the most key concepts in all of this, is to make sure you are constantly mixing things up every 4-6 weeks.  Maybe find a different 12-week plan once you are finished with this.  Maybe start taking pilates, spin, or kickboxing classes in addition to your regular workout routine.  Maybe you start doing swimming workouts.  Maybe you want to try some boxing workouts for 4-6 weeks.  Maybe you want to go through this plan again, but increase the sets, order of exercises, cardio intervals, etc.  This is the beauty of fitness.  As long as your workout is pushing yourself to reach new levels, you can’t go wrong.
For those who follow this path, progress will be steady and sustained.  By the end of this 12-week period you should already be looking and feel world’s better than you were 3 months ago.  Continue pushing yourself for another 12 weeks and you’ll no doubt be amazed with the progress you’ve made.  Take things day by day.  Get through one workout, then focus on the next.  If you looked ahead to part III while you were still in week 1 of part I, you would likely have been intimidated and overwhelmed by what lay ahead.  The healthiest and most fit bodies belong to the people who take things one day at a time.  Do all you can for that one workout, eat right, take care of yourself, and all your goals will be realized.  Simple as that.
 Stay connected to the Share It Fitness launch by signing up here, and be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any of our other workout series or expertly written health and fitness content.

Summer Shred Workout Plan

 

With summer just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about your bathing suit body.  The workout below is for the serious exerciser looking to change things up.  I’ve seen a lot of guys (and girls) do really well on this routine.  Variety is the key component of this workout.  If you’ve been stuck doing something similar for a while, maybe even another Share It Fitness workout plan, give this one a look.  As you should know by now, confusing your body is the best way to consistently making gains.  This plan is designed more towards those who want to build muscle (ladies – you will NOT get bulky from this plan, I promise!) with lower amounts of body fat to burn.  Simply put this plan is going to get you ripped and toned up and looking like an Olympic athlete. 

Your muscles are going to have that shredded (not bulky) look almost everyone wants.  At the bottom of this plan, I’ve included a quick meal guide to help ensure you are getting ample protein.  Remember guys, muscle tissue doesn’t grow just because you’re lifting weights.  Muscle tissue grows because your lifting weights AND feeding your body fuel to create this new tissue…very important.

I broke things up into a push/pull format.  You’ll do almost all push exercises on one day, pull exercises on another, legs on the third, and fourth will vary.  Be sure to follow the exercises listed in order.  If you are unsure what an exercise is, just submit a comment and I’ll fill you in.

 
Week 1 and 2 – 4 sets of 6-8, unless otherwise noted in parenthesis.  If reps increase, lower the weight accordingly.

 
Day 1: Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Clean and Press, Incline Dumbbell Flys, Barbell Upright Row, Skullcrushers, (3×10) dumbbell lateral raise, (in as few sets as possible) 100 dips
Day 2: Barbell Squats (on rack or smith machine), Barbell Deadlifts, Leg Press Machine, Calf Raises, Sumo Squats (on rack or smith machine), (4×25) 100 crunches, (4×25) 100 weighted ab crunch machine, (4×12) hanging knee raises
Day 3: Lat Pulldowns, Bent over Barbell Row, (in as few sets as possible) 40 wide-grip pull ups, Close Grip Row, Hammer Curls, Single Arm Dumbbell Rows, (3×10) close grip pulldowns, Incline Dumbbell Curls
Day 4: 30 min HIIT sprinting (:30sprint/1:30jog), 30 min HIIT cycling (:30sprint/1minute relaxed cycle)

 
Week 3 and 4 – 4 sets of 6-8, unless otherwise noted in parenthesis.  If reps increase, lower the weight accordingly.

 
Day 1: Dumbbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Incline Bench Press, Clean and Press, Cable Flys, Barbell Upright Row, Tricep Rope Pushdowns, dumbbell front raise, (in as few sets as possible) 100 feet elevated pushups
Day 2: Barbell Squats (rack or smith), Barbell Deadlifts, Bulgarian Squats, Calf Raises, (4×25) squat jumps, (4×25) 100 decline crunches while holding plate, (4×25) 100 weighted ab crunch machine, (3x1minute) planks.
Day 3: Bent over Barbell Row, (in as few sets as possible) 50 wide-grip pull ups, Wide Grip Row, Barbell Preacher Curls, Dumbbell Pullovers, (3×10) close grip pulldowns, Incline Dumbbell Curls
Day 4: 30 seconds jump rope/30 seconds box jumps/rest 60 seconds/repeat 15x  30 seconds burpees/30 seconds plank/repeat 15x

 
Week 5 and 6 – 4 sets of 6-8, unless otherwise noted in parenthesis.  If reps increase, lower the weight accordingly.

Day 1: Bench Press, Incline Bench Press, Clean and Press, Decline Bench Press Machine, Arnold Presses, Close Grip Bench Press, Rear Delt Dumbbell Flys, (in as few sets as possible) 100 elevated feet pushups
Day 2: Barbell Squats (on rack or smith machine), Barbell Deadlifts, Close Stance Leg Press Machine, Butt to Floor Squats (on rack or smith machine), (4×30) bicycle crunches, (4×30) weighted ab crunch machine, (4×60) flutter kicks
Day 3: Lat Pulldowns, Bent over Barbell Row, (in as few sets as possible) 40 wide-grip pull ups, Close Grip Row, Row Machine 30 minutes
Day 4: 30 min HIIT sprinting (:30sprint/1:30jog), 30 min HIIT cycling (:30sprint/1minute relaxed cycle)

 
This will get you through 6 weeks.  When you’re nearing the end of week 6, check back on the blog for another 6 week muscle focused routine.  One thing to make absolutely sure of is the weight you are using.  You’ve got to use heavy weight so the final rep in your 6-8 reps is hard in sets 1,2; almost impossible in set 3, and brings you to the point of muscle failure in your last set (meaning you can’t complete the final rep).  Now, that advice is what would be considered ideal. If you are working out alone, without a spotter, it’s okay to back off a little.   You don’t need to kill yourself by dropping a bar on your head because you attempted a final rep, but you can figure out whether or not you’ll be hitting failure on the next rep.  Don’t risk hurting yourself, just push yourself to the brink and then back off. 

One other quick tip; keep track of the weights you’re using for the big lifts: bench, incline bench, clean and press, squat, deadlifts, upright row, leg press, and lat pulldowns.  Try to slowly increase the weight as this plan progresses.  A good goal would be a 5-10% weight increase by the end of week 6, depending on the exercise. 

You might hear a lot of people say the only way to get bigger is to lift heavy weight/low reps.  These people are usually meatheads who don’t know what they’re talking about.  The best way to continue adding muscle is to keep things fresh and making it so your body can’t adapt to the stimulus.  If you continue beyond this 6 week program, keep an eye out for a high rep/lower weight routine that plays off this program perfectly.  This format of lifting is just what has worked very well for me and people I’ve trained, both men and women. 

Make sure you are getting sufficient levels of protein so all your hard work isn’t wasted!  Quick guide below:

Protein Shake in the AM – 1 scoop whey, 12 oz milk = ~40 grams protein
Chicken breast 6 oz. – ~48 grams protein
Protein Shake within 30 minutes of ending workout = ~40 gram protein
1 cup greek yogurt right before bed = ~28 grams protein

Total: ~156 grams of protein before taking dinner into consideration

 

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OnDemand Fitness: The Next Evolution in Fitness

 

Take a look at that picture above.  Looks pretty awesome doesn’t it?  What if there was an alternative to exercising in cramped group fitness rooms, or being stuck in your living room following along with an exercise DVD program.  Well, now there is.  Share It Fitness delivers hundreds of group fitness classes and exercise DVD-style workouts ANYWHERE.  ANYTIME.  It’s like having an army of fitness instructors and loads of exercise DVDs in the palm of your hand.   With OnDemand fitness, you take your workouts with you, wherever that may be.  Best part is, Share It Fitness video workouts will play directly to any computer, smart phone, tablet, or wifi-enabled television…giving you the opportunity to CHOOSE where, when, and how you’ll workout.

For a limited time, sign up for a free premium membership at www.shareitfitness.com.

Fitness has evolved.  Now it’s your turn. 

 

Getting Fit 101: The Three Most Important Things You Need to Know

Okay boys and girls, it’s time to break some things down for you.  Today’s lesson will hopefully cement in your minds some very key concepts of fitness that you MUST become aware of.  Becoming aware of these things is going to help you inch closer to that six-pack, finally losing the love handles, running a 6-minute mile, nailing a 300-pound bench press, or whatever your fitness goals may be.  You see, it doesn’t matter what your goals are.  A well-tailored plan, a healthy diet, and determination is going to work for you.  Whether you are a man or woman, hard work is hard work, and the results are going to happen.  This leads me to my first point and the opening of today’s lesson…

  • Forget gender specific workouts.  Workouts should not be geared towards only men, or only women.  Sure men may be able to lift more, work longer, etc. but it doesn’t mean women can’t do the same workout.  The workout itself isn’t what is going to get you big, bulky, and looking like a man.  High levels of testosterone (something you women lack), a high calorie diet (something you can easily avoid), and the genetics to put on more muscle tissue are why men look like….men.  We’ve of course all seen women bodybuilders who look like Greek statues, veins popping and all.  Trust they didn’t get this way by simply lifting heavy weights alone.  Their physique is the result of an extremely strict, high-calorie diet, many supplements to boost their testosterone production, and relatively limited cardio.  In the end, workouts are workouts.  It’s the things mentioned above that will determine how the workout ultimately changes your body.
  • Cardio/Weight training ratios play a large part in determining your physique.  Take a look at the images below:

Now, I’m not here to judge.  There is nothing wrong with any of these body types.  The two on the end are examples of extremes.  The woman on the left is a marathon runner.  She likely does very little weight training, and focuses many hours a week on cardio.  Unfortunately, this excess amount of cardio eats up her muscle, fat (you want fat in certain places don’t you?), and leaves her very skinny. For those of you who think massive amounts of cardio is the answer…prepare to kiss any muscle (and physique) goodbye.  The woman on the right is quite obviously a serious bodybuilder.  High calories, exclusively weight lifting with no cardio for extended periods during the year, and a healthy dose of supplements (or ‘roids) have gotten her to where she is.  She didn’t get this way by simply lifting heavy weights alone.  Want to look like her?  Follow the above advice. The girl in the middle is fit, athletic, and healthy looking.  An even dose of cardio, mixed with heavy lifts, compound lifts, and a well-balanced diet have her looking the way she does.  Again, I’m not saying any of these bodies are wrong, just putting them up there and letting you decide what you want to be.

  • Understand what “toned” means. You’ll hear this word used in the fitness industry a lot.  More often than not, products, articles, etc. geared towards women will tell you their method of doing things will get you toned, not big and buff.  This is a scare tactic.  All toned means is less body fat.  When someone looks “toned”, their muscles are more pronounced.  Their muscles aren’t different, they simply have less body fat covering them so they pop out more.  Want to get toned?  Develop muscle underneath your layer of fat by completely fatiguing your muscle fibers with heavy weights (not 5lb dumbbells).  Mix in explosive cardio sessions to blast the fat away, and voila, you have developed muscle, zapped fat, and  now look “toned”.  Remember from above, a healthy ratio of cardio to weight training will make it impossible to get big and bulky. 

None of this advice is gender specific.  Whether you are a guy or girl, it all holds true.  Our bodies’ are largely the same, the key differences in hormone balances, genetics, and inherent muscle mass/body fat deposits are why men look like men and women look like women.  Keep these three points in your head as you continue along your journey towards a fit and healthy body.  There are certainly going to be days where you feel you are simply not making progress, or getting “too big and bulky”.  Eliminate these thoughts, trust in the science, and in the end, you’re going to have the body (and health) you’ve always wanted.

Stay connected to the Share It Fitness launch and ensure a free premium membership by signing up here, and be sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss any of our totally awesome fitness content.

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