Get explosive results with the landmine

When it comes to exercise, I’m always trying to find things that are outside the traditional realm. I don’t switch things up for the sake of switching up, but rather look to find ways I can add another component to the arsenal while adding variety and still producing fitness gains.

Let’s face it: Staying motivated with the same exercise routine can get boring — fast. The human body and mind only have a certain threshold when it comes to doing the same thing over and over again. And exercise is no exception. So I feel it’s my obligation to share with you all that I discover and use both personally and with clients. Besides, we’re all here to get results, right?

This month’s “outside of the box” training tool is the “landmine.” Essentially, it’s a sleeve designed for one end of an Olympic bar to go in, while the opposite site can be loaded for a variety of total body movements that include pressing, pulling, squatting, lunging. A rotational component helps hit your core musculature as well. From a fitness standpoint this is great because it allows us variety and versatility, helping improve our cardiovascular endurance, strength and power while burning fat in the process.

Here are five of my favorites to use with the landmine. As always, start lighter with your weight when first introducing new exercises into the mix, focusing on form and adapting to the new movement for the first few weeks. From there feel free to add more load as you become used to the exercises.

Alternating Chest Press

Begin by picking up the bar to chest level, fully extending your arm with your body slightly angled, facing the landmine, holding the top of the bar. Descend into a 1/4 squat position while simultaneously lowering the bar toward your shoulder. Drive back to the starting position by extending both your legs and arm while passing the bar to the opposite arm then repeating the same movement. Repeat for 10 to 15 reps per side.

Alternating Torso Rotations

Using both arms, begin by picking up the bar, fully extending your arms with your body slightly angled, facing the landmine, holding the top of the bar with one hand right above the other at chest level. Simultaneously rotate the bar toward your right side using your arm and hips while pivoting your feet. Once the bar reaches hip level, drive and rotate the bar all the way to the left side of your body in the same manner. Repeat for 10-15 reps per side.

Reverse Lunge with Press

Using both arms, begin by picking up the bar, fully extending your arms with your body slightly angled, facing the landmine, holding the bar with one hand right above the other at chest level. Step back with your right leg and descend into a reverse lunge by bending your left leg to a 90-degree angle while simultaneously lowering the bar toward your chest. Extend both your left leg and arms back to the starting position and repeat on the opposite leg. Perform 10 reps per leg.

Single Leg Deadlift

Begin by picking up the bar with your right arm using an underhand grip, keeping the bar below waist level with your arm hanging naturally. Balance on your right leg and slowly hinge at the hips as if you are trying to lower the bar toward the ground, keeping your back straight, hips square and left leg straight and extended behind you until your upper body is about parallel to the floor. Unhinge to return to the starting position while trying to maintain balance on your right leg. Repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch sides.

Single Arm Row

Begin with your back facing the landmine in a split-stance position with the leg closest to the bar behind you. Pick up the bar with an underhand grip with the arm closest to the bar, gripping just below the weights. Bend your front leg slightly and angle your upper body to about 45 degrees. Pull the bar just toward the outside of your body until your elbow is past your torso. Slowly return the bar to the starting position and repeat for 10 repetitions, then switch sides.


Rope Climbing Technique

Whether you are participating in the Spartan Race or just simply want to know how to climb a rope as efficient as possible…we cover a simple “break and squat” technique that will get you to the top much easier than you imagined!

Happy Climbing!

Got Dumbbells?

Renegade Row

Bodybuilding is typically what comes to people’s minds when they think of dumbbell training. Exercises like chest presses, bicep curls and lateral raises using dumbbells are very effective for strength and adding muscle.

But in addition, dumbbells can be very effective for functional exercises. In other words, movement that uses the entire body as opposed to training muscles in isolation.

“Why should we train for movement?” you may be wondering. The answer is more apparent when we examine what the human body is designed for. The human body not only functions by pushing, pulling and lowering/raising the body’s center of mass, but also rotating and maintaining balance, stability and posture. With this in mind, there are three things that should be used in our approach to using dumbbells for function.

The first is training for movement. Muscles work in synergy. The term “synergy” comes from the Latin word meaning “work together.” The nervous system innervates the musculoskeletal system to work as a complete unit. A baseball player throwing a ball with maximum velocity or simply the act of running best illustrate this point. The muscles work in harmony. Performing more compound exercises that involve multiple joints and allow the body to work as a whole unit has a higher carryover into day-to-day life. Also, training for movement will yield greater strength gains, improve coordination and increase stability.

Second is training in multiple planes. The human body works in three planes of movement (sagittal, frontal and transverse), or movement that involves rotation, moving forwards and backwards and side to side. Being three-dimensional with our exercises helps minimize muscle/movement imbalances, decrease risk of injury and improve overall function.

Third is training balance and stability.

University of Sydney exercise physiologist Dr. Rhonda Orr defines functional training this way: “Strength is transferable from an unstable environment to a stable environment but not the other way around.” In other words, training muscles strictly from an isolated setting will yield little or no improvement for your balance or stability. In order to improve balance and stability, you must train for it. And it will improve not only balance and stability, but strength as well.

Now that we know the benefits of adding functional movement to our dumbbell workouts, here are four of my favorites that I use in conjunction with more traditional dumbbell exercises.


Begin in a pushup position with your feet wider than hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Engage your core and pull the dumbbell in your left hand just past the outside of your body with a rowing motion, while slightly rotating your torso. Using control, lower the weight back to the floor then repeat the same motion on the right side.

Continue for 10 repetitions per arm. For modification, perform the exercise from the knees. For an advanced option, add a push-up after each row.


Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand. Starting with your left leg, lunge forward bending at the knees and lowering the hips while simultaneously raising the right dumbbell to about eye level with a 90-degree bend in your elbow. At the same time your left arm should be swinging back until the dumbbell is lined up with your hip while also keeping about a 90-degree bend in your arm.

Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. Perform 10 repetitions per side.


Begin by balancing on your left leg, holding a pair of dumbbells. Engage your core and hinging at the hip until your upper body is about parallel to the floor. Maintain this position and pull your arms away from each other and retracting your shoulder blades until your arms are in a “t-position” in line with your upper body. Slowly release your arms, unhinge at the hips, returning back into an upright position while maintaining balance. Repeat for 5-6 reps then switch sides.


Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your weight in your heels, squat and lower your body by hinging at the hips and bending at the knees until your thighs are about parallel to the floor. As you return to the standing position, simultaneously raise your dumbbells away from your body while bending your arms to a 90-degree angle until your arms are parallel to the floor.

Repeat the motion for a total of 15 repetitions.

Read more here:


Exercise is Key for Treating Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is a pain-fatigue syndrome that affects up to 4% of the population aged 20-60 and 80% of those diagnosed with the syndrome are women (Smith & Barkin 2010).  People affected by it are typically dealing with both physical and psychological pain.  Feelings of anxiety, anger, frustration, and guilt (why me?) are coupled with chronic pain, fatigue, headaches, and nerve dysfunction.  Other Symptoms may include restless leg syndrome, morning stiffness, temporo-mandibular joint disorder (TMJ), impaired concentration, and sensitivity in various “tender points.”

As you would expect, these symptoms can take a severe toll in many ways.  Those who are affected often find it difficult just carrying out their daily routines.  Among, FMS patients who were surveyed:

  • 35% reported having difficulty performing normal daily activities of daily living
  • 55% had difficulty walking two blocks
  • 62% had trouble climbing stairs
  • Two-thirds or more had difficulty with the minor tasks of shopping (66%), light household chores (68%) and carrying 10 pounds (70%) (Bennett et al. 2007).

The underlying cause of fibromyalgia is still being figured out.  Exploring the details of the history or current research regarding its cause is beyond the scope of this article.  However, it is noteworthy that research not only has shown that exercise is beneficial to treating those with FMS, but should be a central component to treating it.

According to Rossy et al. (1999), 49 studies show that drug-free treatments are more effective that drug treatments for the symptoms of fibromyalgia, and assert that exercise is central to the treatment of fibromyalgia.  And even more recently, “Research has repeatedly shown that regular exercise is one of the most effective treatments for fibromyalgia” (NIAMS 2011)

Then the question is, what modes of exercise are the best?

Research has shown significant benefits with the following activities*:

  • Walking Daily at a moderate pace.
  • Deep water running or water aerobic regimen 3-5 days/week for 45 minutes
  • Cycling at 70-75% of age predicted maximum
  • Resistance Training 2-3 days per week at intensities corresponding to 8-12 repetitions to fatigue.
  • Mind-Body Approaches such as: yoga, pilates, breathing exercises, whole body vibration training

Now studies have shown that it is important to start slow and participate in mild workouts when first starting out. From there gradual progressions can be made.  You will want to avoid intense, fatiguing exercises because it will enhance the build up and overproduction of metabolic byproducts like lactic acid which can actually make symptoms much worse.  In fact, a 70% of surveyed patients have reported that strenuous physical activity is a prime aggravator for their symptoms (Bennett et al. 2007)

So when first starting out it is recommended to:

  • Begin with one mode of exercise, walking is the most common.
  • Exercise intensity should be self-determined
  • Incorporate 1-2 days of rest in between workouts when needed
  • Develop Good Sleep Habits and Eating Patterns
  • As symptoms and endurance improves, slowly begin to introduce an additional activity.
  • Try a variety of each of the activities listed to help you decide which ones are the most effective.

 Every FMS case is different and should be treated on an individual basis.  Work under the supervision of your health care professional to determine the best modes of activities to include and reap the medicinal benefits of exercise.

*Additional Sources

Assis et al. 2006

Cuesta-Vargas& Adams 2011

Hooten et al. 2012

Hurley, Hanson & Sheaff 2011

Busch et al. 2011

Metabolic Conditioning

Most people’s primary motivation for working out involves weight loss.  Traditionally, experts suggest doing a minimum of thirty minutes of cardiovascular exercise at a moderate intensity three to five times a week in conjunction with resistance training two to three times per week.  Realistically most of us can’t commit that much time to the gym. The good news is we don’t have to!  Current research shows you can burn more fat, increase your strength, and improve cardiovascular endurance in less time by utilizing  high-intensity, low volume training into your routine.

One study compared the effect of a 20-week endurance training program with that of a 15-week high intensity in terms of body fat loss and muscle metabolism.  Researchers found a bigger decrease in body fat in the high intensity group compared to the endurance group (Smith 2002).  Another study published in The European Applied Journal of Physiology showed metabolism to be in an elevated state for up to 16 hours following intense resistance exercise (Schuenke, et al. 2002).  From a fitness perspective, the Journal of Applied Physiology did a study measuring the cardiovascular response of a high intensity program.  The results?  Participants’ endurance actually doubled (Burgomaster et al. 2005).

While the research isn’t to suggest we completely eliminate longer workouts, especially if your goals are endurance based.  However, considering how precious time is in today’s society, isn’t it wise to incorporate short, intense workouts into the mix?  The question now is how?  While there are several methods to high-intensity training, one of the most popular and effective choices is metabolic conditioning.

In a nutshell, metabolic conditioning is a high intensity circuit workout using a combination of strength training exercises and cardio conditioning drills at a higher repetition. The goal is to complete the workout as quickly as possible while staying around your anaerobic threshold for maximal challenge and energy expenditure.  In most cases, circuits are three sets with a minimum of fifteen reps performed per exercise with minimal rest between exercises.  The workout usually lasts between twenty to thirty minutes (not including warm up).

Metabolic workouts should be self-paced and adjusted to your fitness level.  If you are just starting an exercise program, I recommend at least 12 weeks of aerobic base conditioning, muscular endurance training, and mastering lifting technique before adding metabolic conditioning into your routine.

Now that you’re ready, try this challenging circuit (See Video) that is guaranteed to get your heart pumping and your muscles burning for more!

Alternating Lunges w/Dumbbell Curl & Press:  Start in a standing position while holding a pair of dumbbells. Step forward and sink into a lunge holding the down position.  Remember to keep your knee behind your toes.  Perform a bicep curl immediately followed by an overhead press.  With control, bring the dumbbells back down to your sides and lunge back to the standing position.  Alternate sides until you complete a total of 10 reps per leg.

Burpees:  Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart.  Lower into a squat and place your hands on the ground shoulder width apart.  Hop or walk your legs behind you until you are in a pushup position.  Immediately hop or walk you legs back underneath you and jump into the air.  Repeat for a total of 15 repetitions.

Pull ups or Weight Assisted Pull ups:  Grab the pull up bar with your grip just wider than shoulder width and you palms facing away from you.  Pull yourself toward the bar keeping your chest out and driving your shoulders down away from your ears until your chin is above the bar.  With control lower yourself back down to the starting position.  For modification, use a weight assisted pull up machine if needed.  Repeat for a total of 15 repetitions.

Split Jumps:  Begin in a lunge position with your left leg forward and your right leg back.  Jump into the air scissoring your legs so you now land with your right leg forward and your left leg back landing both feet simultaneously.  For modification, add a stutter step by letting your forward leg land prior to the back leg landing.  Repeat for 20 repetitions.

Pushups:  Depending on your strength start in a pushup position from your toes or knees with your hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart.  Keeping your body straight from head to toe/knee, slowly lower yourself towards the floor until your arms are bent at 90 degrees.  Using control and staying aligned, push your body back to the starting position.  Remember to keep your shoulders relaxed throughout the movement and repeat for 20 repetitions.

Medicine Ball Slams:  Stand with your legs hip width apart with your arms hanging just below your hips holding a 6 to 20 lbs. medicine ball.  Keeping your core tight, quickly raise the ball overhead and slam it down to the ground catching it on the bounce.  Repeat for 20 repetitions.

Feel Like a Kid Again with these Fitness Games

What image do you think of when the subject of fitness is brought up?  Do you envision going to the gym, hopping onto a cardio machine, and zoning out for the next hour.  Or perhaps you’re more of a Monday is Chest/Shoulders Tuesday is Back/Biceps kind of person.  While either approach is effective and may be satisfactory for some, others will count every painful minute until it’s over or worse, quit due to boredom or lack of results.

Now I’m not saying having a structured gym routine is wrong, it should be part of the process…just not the entire process! What I am suggesting is adding some unstructured, “play-like” workouts into the mix.  Remember when you were young and played pickup games of basketball, rode your bike, played tag or participated in other fun games that had you running, jumping, and actually enjoying yourself?  Play was great, and it also kept us in shape without realizing it.  These same games were great for improving agility, increasing speed and reaction time and were mentally engaging.  We can use this approach for our fitness routine as well.  A great way of doing it is by incorporating a workout each week that centers around fitness games/drills.  Not only are they fun, but they are very challenging fitness wise as well.  And the best part?  They give you something to look forward to, keep you consistent, and have you feeling like a kid again. So grab a workout partner and enjoy a blast from the past with these games and drills!

Crab Race: Set up two cones approximately 10 yards apart.  Begin in the crab position (See Photo).  For one minute using your hands and legs, crab crawl down and back between the cones as many times as you can within the time limit. Switch partners and repeat.  The person who accumulates the most distance wins the round.  Or as a second option, make it a race and go simultaneously with your workout partner.  Perform 1-3 rounds total.

Shadow Drill: Set up two cones approximately 5 yards apart with your partner standing at the mid-point between the cones facing each other.  One will start off as leader while the other follows.  Using a lateral shuffle, the leader’s goal is to outmaneuver (i.e. juke) the follower for 15-20 seconds.  The follower tries to shadow and match the leaders every move.  Rest for 20-60 seconds, switch rolls and repeat.  Perform 1-3 sets total.

Pulling Drill: This drill requires either a rope or a rolled up towel.  Set up two cones approximately 10 yards apart and begin the drill at one end. Both partners will hold the ends of the rope with both hands.  The person whose back is facing the cone at the opposite end begins by pulling and dragging their partner towards the other end.  The person facing the cone at the opposite end is providing strong resistance, but allowing their partner to move.  Switch rolls once you reach the other end and repeat to complete the first set.  Perform 1-3 sets total.

Farmer Walk Race: Set up two cones approximately 10 yards apart.  Each participant will need a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Weight selection depends on your level of strength/fitness.  Generally 15-35 lbs. for females and 35-55 lbs. for males.  More or less can be used, adjust accordingly.  The drill begins with each participant holding their

For a video demonstration please click here.

TRX Plank to Handstand

This is one of my favorite TRX exercises.  Primarily for it’s challenges to the core and upper body.  Before attempting this exercise there are obviously some things that you need to consider…

First is core stability.  As a prerequisite you should be able to hold a plank with your feet suspended in the TRX at an absolute minimum of one minute.  AND perform at least 10 suspended pushups with good form as well.

Second is safety.  Should seem pretty obvious…but gym guys like me can get bogged down in the guts n glory of it all.  Luckily I’ve wised up (a little) in my 30’s.  I recommend using a spotter for your legs.  If your lower body starts to drift off course even a little, you will immediately be switching to the TRX Helicopter spin…with a tuck exercise.  So use a spotter to keep your legs on track until you are comfortable flying solo.

Next…begin small with the exercise.  Start with 1- 2 paces in each direction for 5 reps.  Next week…shoot for 2-3 at 4 reps, then 3-4 at 3 reps the following week, etc.  Before you know it you’ll have no problem getting fully inverted and may even feel inclined (no pun intended) to add a push up in between steps.

That’s it.  Watch the video to hear the key points of the exercise and happy training!

Renegade Row

This total body exercise is one of my favorites and has numerous benefits:

  • Increased Shoulder Stability
  • Increased Core Strength
  • Upper Body Strength, specifically in the chest and back
  • Lower Body Stability and Strength Increases
  • Cardiovascular Endurance

It’s best to implement this exercise early in the workout (after warm up) due to the it’s high energy demand.  Weight selection should be around 40-60% of what you would normally use for a dumbbell row at 10 repetitions.  In other words, if you use a 50 lbs dumbbell for 10 reps of a dumbbell row, you would use a 20-30 lb dumbbells for the renegade row.  Repetition ranges generally between 5-10 reps per arm.

Optimal core and shoulder stability is a prerequisite to this exercise.  The head, shoulders, and hips should stay in alignment throughout the movement.  Modify to the exercise to the knees if deviations are present.

Strength Endurance Training

One of my favorite strength training workouts that I use personally and with clients is Strength Endurance Training.  Specifically from NASM, this strength endurance training method is a hybrid form of superset training that promotes increased stabilization endurance, hypertrophy, and strength.  This method of training entails the use of superset techniques where a more stable exercise (ex. bench press) is immediately followed with a stabilization exercise with similar biomechanical motions (ex. TRX push-up).  Thus, for every set of an exercise/body part performed, there are actually two exercises/sets being performed.  High amounts of volume can be generated with this method which can result in body fat loss and/or hypertrophy. Training variables should be manipulated depending on which is a higher priority. If body fat loss is desired, utilize more complex/total body strength moves while keeping the repetitions around 10-12 per execise. If hypertrophy is desired, segmenting per body part with each superset is more effective, keeping the repetitions at 8-10 per exercise (see acute variables below).

All in all, these workouts are very taxing but well worth the rewards!  Below are five of my personal favorites.  Countless combinations can be used with this training method…play around with them and you’ll be hooked too…

Strength Endurance Workout:

  • Perform a 10-15 minute dynamic warm-up
  • 3-4 sets/pair of exercises
  • 8-12 reps/exercise @ 70% of 1RM
  • Rest 1 minute between pairs/2-3 minutes between sets


  1. Barbell Clean to Overhead Press/Single Leg Squat with Dumbbell PNF
  2. Barbell Deadlift to Bent over row/Single Leg Deadlift to Dumbbell row
  3. Rockstars/TRX Atomic Pushups
  4. Barbell Squats/TRX Pistol Squat
  5. Pullups/TRX Rotational Pullup

25 activities that burn the most calories

Clients, friends, family are always curious what exercises/activities give you the most bang for your buck.  Here are 25 that burn at least 500 calories per hour.  Also, research shows that the higher the intensity, the more calories that are burned post workout as well…it’s win win!  So get out and get active!

1.  Basketball 563 calories

2.  Cycling (12-20+mph) 563-1126 calories

3.  Boxing/Sparring 633 calories

4.  Calisthenics (Vigorous) 563 calories

5.  Canoeing (> 6 mph) 844 calories

6.  Circuit Training 563 calories

7.  Flag Football 563 calories

8.  Handball:

Team 563 calories

Individual 844 calories

9.  Hockey (Field or Ice) 563 calories

10.  Lacrosse 563 calories

11.  Racquetball (Competitive) 704 calories

12.  Rockclimbing 774 calories

13.  Jump Rope:

Slow Pace 563 calories

Fast Pace 708 calories

14.  Rowing 563-844 calories

15.  Running:

12 min/mile pace 563 calories

6 min/mile pace 1126 calories

16.  Running Stairs 1056 calories

17.  Cross Country Skiing 563-1100 calories

18.  Snowshoeing 563 calories

19.  Soccer (Competitive) 704 calories

20.  Squash 844 calories

21.  Swimming 563-750 calories

22.  Tennis (Single Competitive) 563 calories

23.  Beach Volleyball 563 calories

24.  Walking Stairs 563 calories

25.  Water Polo 704 calories

* Calories per hour based on 155 lb individual

Training Tools for Fitness Fast

Many think they don’t have time to exercise…well I’m here to say THINK AGAIN! With minimal resources there is always a way.  Recently I did a “Fitness Fast” workshop featuring resistance tubing, TRX, and dumbbells.  I love all three of these fitness tools for a few reason.  One, they are convenient.  Two, they are easy to use.  And three, they are great for functional training.

Here is a brief overview of all three with a sample circuit with each.  Perform any of the circuits for a quick 10-15 minute workout or perform all three for a longer, more challenging workout.


Resistance Tubing: is a simple and effective way to get a complete workout and comes with many benefits.  It’s portable and can be taken anywhere, whether you’re traveling, looking for an alternative to the gym or just want to add another element to your training.  In addition to the convenience, resistance tubing can also create some unique training challenges as well.  Tubing adds a progressive increase in resistance, it can be used at different speeds, and provides a horizontal load similar to the cable cross over machines you see at the gym. Simply hook one to a solid anchor point and now you can perform rowing, pressing, rotations and leg movements.  Great for training variety and preparing for recreational activities year round!

Sample Resistance Tubing Circuit:  1-3 sets x 1 minute each

  • Squat Row
  • Rotational Chest Press
  • Resisted Lunge
  • Torso Rotations

TRX Suspension Trainer: is a body weight training tool made from suspension straps. Attach the TRX to an overhead anchor point or door attachment and adjust the angle of your body to make exercises easier or more challenging. This training tool also creates more demand on the core muscles and helps increase joint stability because the straps need to be controlled by the body. You can easily perform hundreds of exercises using the TRX!

Sample TRX Circuit: 1-3 sets x 1 minute each

  • Pushup
  • Single Leg Lunge
  • Pull ups
  • Ice Skaters

Dumbbell Training: is one of the oldest yet most effective training tools around.  Dumbbells allow for every movement essential for human function and can be used virtually anywhere.  With a single pair of dumbbells, you can easily perform a total body circuit that will get your heart pumping and muscles burning.  Dumbbells are a great accessory to add to your home gym.

Sample Dumbbell Circuit: 1-3 sets x 1 minute each

  • Lunge to Bicep Curl & Press
  • Plank/Dumbbell Row Combo
  • Squat to Dumbbell Upper Cut
  • Standing Dumbbell Paddle

Training Ropes

Using training ropes in your fitness routine provides a fun and unique type of training stimulus. The exerciser must train with a continuing velocity by using their arms to maintain a wave-like motion throughout the entire length of the rope leaving no lull in action!  Of course this is easier said then done…even highly fit exercisers are shocked at the difficulty of maintaining the wave for as little as 20 seconds their first time using it!

Training ropes come in a variety of sizes, ranging from 30-50′ in length, 1-2″ in diameter, and 12-40 lbs in weight. Basically, the larger the rope, the more challenging it is to keep it moving.  More advanced exercisers will find the medium to larger rope as the most ideal (40-50’/20+ lbs).  And if you are just beginning a fitness program the shorter/lighter rope (30-40’/up to 20 lbs) will provide plenty of challenge.

Of course implementing training ropes into your fitness routine has many physical benefits. Cardiovascular endurance increases,  noticeable improvements in strength and power are found, and a rope workout is a great calorie burner for individuals trying to improve body fat.  A variety of exercises and movements can be used at different angles and positions, giving you a complete and well-rounded workout.  So whether you are an MMA fighter, weekend warrior, or just looking for training variety…the ropes are an absolute must!


Circuit 1 – 3 sets @ 30 s/exercise. Rest 30-60 s between pairs

1. Alternating Waves x 30 seconds/Burpees x 30 seconds

2. Double Waves x 30 seconds/Split Jumps x 30 seconds

3. Circle Waves x 30 seconds/Iceskaters x 30 seconds

4. Flips x 30 seconds/Side shuffles x 30 seconds

Rest 2-3 minutes before moving to circuit 2

Circuit 2 – 3 sets @ 30 s/exercise.  Rest 30-60 s between pairs

1.  Alternating Circles x 30 seconds/Wall Acceleration Drill x 30 seconds

2.  In Outs x 30 seconds/Quick Feet x 30 seconds

3.  Big Waves x 30 seconds/Squat Jumps x 30 seconds

4.  Jumping Jacks x 30 seconds/Mountain Climbers x 30 seconds


Kettlebell Towel Swings

The Kettlebell Towel Swing has quickly become one of my favorite  exercises.  Not only is it different from most strength movements, but it really is a fun exercise.  It’s a great total body and core exercise that will help increase upper body strength, shoulder mobility, stability, and  rotational strength and power.  Give this one a try and you will feel muscles you never knew you had the next day.

Here’s the what you’ll need:

one kettlebell between 18-35# depending on your strength.

one long durable towel.

clear space

The Exercise

1.  Thread the towel through the kettlebell handle

2.  In one continuous movement, bring your arms up and swing the kettlebell up to your side, turning your shoulders and torso with the kettlebell.

3.  Keeping your abdominals tight, extend your arms up overhead swinging the kettlebell behind your back.

4.  Bring your arms to the opposite side of your body, continuing to follow with your shoulders and torso.

5.  Continue to follow through with your arms in front of you and repeat in the same direction.

6.  Repeat the movement for 10-15 reps before bringing the kettlebell to a controlled stop.

7.  Repeat steps 1-6 going the opposite direction.


Fitness Fast with the TRX

When I want to bang out a fast workout, more times than not I go to the TRX Suspension Trainer.   In a nutshell, the TRX is a set of suspension straps that you hang from a stable overhead anchor point and perform exercises by leveraging your body at various angles relative to your strength/skill level.

It’s popularity surged mostly because of it’s versatility, economic appeal, and convenience.   The TRX can be used both indoors and outdoors with the capacity to perform over a hundred exercises!  You can easily knock out a 10-15 minute workout, anywhere…anytime.

Don’t believe me?  Try to the workout in the clip above for 10 minutes…you always have time!

TRX Circuit – Workout Time 10 minutes

Set a timer for 10 minutes.  Perform 10 reps of each exercise completing as many rounds as possible within 10 minutes.  Enjoy!

1. Atomic Pushups x 10
2. Ice Skaters x 10/leg
3. Wide Row x 10

To learn more about the TRX, please checkout their website.

Fitness Fast – Burpee Combination

This is the first of many posts to come with a “Fitness Fast” theme. Many think they don’t have time to exercise…well I’m here to say THINK AGAIN! With minimal resources there is always a way and it will be my pleasure to serve as your guide.

And now we are going to start this series off with one of my favorites, the burpee combination. There are many ways you can approach this sequence for a fast and challenging workout. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and a pull up bar (optional). Weight selection is the same weight you would use for an overhead press for a 10-15 rep set (60-70% or your 1 rep max). Essentially when you break the sequence down there are five primary movements:

1. Burpee
2. Prone Dumbbell Row to Pushup
3. Dumbbell Bicep Curl to Overhead Press
4. Reverse Lunge
5. Pullup.

I love this sequence because it involves the four pillars of movement: a push, pull, raising/lower the center of mass, and rotation. Also, a the burpee combo comes with a high metabolic demand. Not only will it challenge your strength and endurance, it will tax your cardiovascular system tremendously as well.

There are two approaches I recommend for the burpee combination, flow or repetitions. By flow, I simply mean moving through the sequence exactly as its drawn up, 1 repetition for each movement. You can either do the sequence for time, in other words “flow” for one minute followed by a one minute recovery. Or you can flow through the sequence five consecutive times followed by a one minute recovery. The workout looks like this:

Burpee Combination – Flow
5 sets @ 1 minute each
1 minute rest between sets
Circuit Time: 10 minutes

This is a great circuit if you need to get in a workout fast. But, if you have more time you can easily add a second circuit of your choosing. However, I highly recommend a full 3-5 minute recovery before starting the second circuit.

Your second option is the repetition approach. Rather than flowing from one movement to the next, you perform 5-10 reps of each individual movement before moving to the next. In other words, a clusterf#$!:

Burpee Combination – Repetitions
2-3 Sets
5-10 reps/movement
Rest 2-3 minutes between sets

1. Burpees x 5-10 reps
2. Prone Dumbbell Row to Pushup x 5-10 reps
3. Dumbbell Curl to Press x 5-10 reps
4. Reverse Lunges x 5-10 reps/leg
5. Pullups x 5-10 reps

Because this approach had a high volume for each movement, I recommend only 2-3 sets. Plus you’ll need a little more recovery between sets, 2-3 minutes ideally since this option will take a little longer per set and will tax the muscles a more due to the compartmentalized approach. This option still will only take around 15-20 minutes. Still a pretty quick hit.

There you have it! The first of many “Fitness Fast” segments to come. You always have time now get after it!

Have Fun. Get Fit.