Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tutorial - Turkish Get Up (TGU)

Here is a brief tutorial on how to perform a turkish get-up (TGU):

A TGU is a great full body exercise that focuses on coordination, flexibility and core strength.

Start the exercise by lying flat on the ground with a kettlebell just above your right shoulder, your right knee bent, with your right foot flat on the ground, and your left leg extended.  Grasp the kettlebell handle in your right hand and press it up towards the ceiling.  Using your core, sit up straight keeping your arm vertical and the kettlebell up in the air. Place your weight on your left arm and lift up your hips to swing your left leg underneath you and place your left knee on the ground.  Straighten at the waist, still holding the kettlebell towards the ceiling.  Stand up straight to complete the first portion of the exercise.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Tutorial - Kettlebell Swings

Here is a brief tutorial on how to perform kettlebell swings.  To note, there are different variations of the kettlebell swing, including overhead swings, one-hand swings, alternating swings, etc.  This tutorial will focus on the basic two-handed version, which provides a good foundation before you branch out into the other varieties.

To start this movement, stand with your feet roughly shoulder width apart, holding a kettlebell with both hands (arms extended).  Bend your knees to start the movement and swing the kettlebell back, between your legs, to begin to build some momentum.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Workouts - Mini Circuits

Hey everyone,

This morning we did a workout using mini circuits.  For this workout, we picked six exercises, but then separated them into two mini circuits (of three exercises each).  We took a brief rest between each mini circuit, and even some short rests between exercises.  This style of workout took longer than our recent timed workouts (i.e. density, tabata, etc.), but it was nice to use heavier weights and have those longer rest periods which allows you to recover more of your strength between exercises.

Friday, 25 November 2011

Tutorial - Kettlebell Snatch

Here is a brief tutorial on how to perform a kettlebell snatch:

Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell in one hand between your legs.  Bend at the knees and waist and swing the kettlebell back between your legs to gain some momentum.  Then, keeping your core tight and arm straight, swing the kettlebell up above your head in an arc.  As the kettlebell passes 90 degrees, punch your wrist forward to swing the kettlebell around and prevent it from banging your wrist at the top of the exercise. Finish the exercise by standing with your arm stretched straight up holding the kettlebell. Reverse the sequence to complete the exercise.

Picture Sequence

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Workouts - Fight Gone Bad (FGB), Champion's Version

Hi everyone,

When Tannys and I had to fit in a quick workout before heading out for the evening, we turned to an old-favourite that we learned from Crossfit.  A Fight Gone Bad (FGB) workout is a very intense circuit of five exercises, performed for one minute each, with no rest in between.  There is one minute rest in between each circuit (i.e. after five minutes of work). 

The FGB style mimics the pace and rhythm of a UFC mixed martial arts fight, where fighters will go through five minute rounds with only one minute rest in between.

This is likely how a real UFC fight gone bad experience feels... Our FGB workout was slightly less painful.

Tutorial - Alternating Kettlebell Deadlifts

Here is a brief tutorial on how to perform alternating kettlebell deadlifts: 

With your feet shoulder-width apart and a kettlebell in between them, begin the move by bending at the knees and hips (while keeping your back flat and core tight), grasp the kettlebell with one hand, and then stand up straight. 

At that point, reverse the move to set the kettlebell back down before standing up straight (after having released the kettlebell).  Then, repeat, switching to use your other arm.

Picture Sequence

Monday, 21 November 2011

Morning workouts!

Hey everyone,

Over the past week, we have done some morning workouts, as well as our usual after-work sessions. Although it's tough to get up early, once you get through the workout, you feel truly energized and ready for your day!  This is a great option to keep in mind if you are unable to fit in a workout during the evening. We recommend that you use a timed workout style (e.g. tabata or density training) if you are in a rush and also start with a fairly easy exercise that doesn't require a lot of concentration or coordination until your body is fully awake.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Density Training + TGU Tutorial

Hi everyone,

Today, Alex and I decided to revisit a previous workout style that we were frequently doing last spring, before our wedding, with good results. This style of workout is called density training and involves 5 minute blocks of exercise, followed by two minutes of rest. During the 5 minute work period, 2 exercises are alternated, doing a moderate number of reps so as to continue through the full 5 minutes with minimal to no rest. Whenever we fatigue and can't continue with the exercises, we will keep moving, applying active recovery (e.g. running stairs).  This is preferable to simply resting during the 5 minute blocks of exercise.

Here is the workout that we completed:

1. Racked kettlebell squats (24kg for Alex, 16kg for Tannys)
2. Alternating kettlebell dead lifts (40kg for Alex, 20kg for Tannys)

3. Pull-ups (bodyweight for Alex, band-assisted for Tannys)
4. Bench press/kettlebell press (245lbs for Alex, 12kg kettlebell for Tannys)

5. Overhead lunges (24kg for Alex, 12kg for Tannys)
6. Hip bridges

7. Kettle bell snatches (16kg for Alex, 12kg for Tannys)
8. Bench step-ups (24kg in racked position for Alex, 12kg + 8kg held by side for Tannys)

9. Turkish get-ups (TGUs) (20kg for Alex, 8kg for Tannys)
10. Reverse push-ups (AKA inverted rows)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Workouts - Fast, Slow, Fast!

Hey everyone,

Yesterday, we decided to try a different style of workout.  Thus, we created a fast, slow, fast workout!

Sunday, 13 November 2011

300 Countdown Workout

Hi everyone,

When I arrived home from work on Friday night, I was inspired to do a workout after reading Alex's post from earlier that day. Having spent the entire day working, I didn't have the energy to do a Clydesdale workout, so I formulated the 300 Countdown workout. For this workout I chose 5 exercises, each focusing on a different body part. I planned to do 100, 80, 60, 40 and 20 reps of the chosen exercises. The goal is to do each exercise with as few sets as possible.  You can either focus on finishing one exercise at a time, or switch between them (which may allow for shorter rest periods).  Here is the 300 Countdown workout that I did:

1. 100 Kettlebell overhead swings (16 kg)
2. 80 Push-ups
3. 60 Squats with racked kettlebell (16 kg)
4. 40 Kettlebell Snatches (12 kg)
5. 20 Pull-ups

Overhead Swings

Friday, 11 November 2011

Workouts - Clydesdale Training

Hey everyone,

This morning, my good friend Mark and I worked out together.  The focus of the workout was conditioning, yet it was truly a full body workout and a surprisingly challenging one at that.  In the spirit of some of the exercises and the intensity that went into it, we named it 'Clydesdale' training.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Workout by the Sea, Tabata-Style!

Hey everyone,

After reading Alex's post from yesterday, I was inspired to do a body weight workout today.  As I didn't need any equipment, I did my workout in my hotel room overlooking the sea.  We have found that most hotel rooms are very adaptable to doing a workout, which is especially important if your hotel does not have a fitness room. Alex and I used this method a few months ago while in France to keep in shape and work off some of the delicious French food! You can incorporate the bed, desk, etc. in your exercises to give you plenty of options.

Today I chose to do my workout Tabata-style.  I included 6 exercises, focusing on both strength and balance moves.  I performed each exercise for 4 minutes (20 seconds work, then 10 seconds rest), followed by a 2 minute rest to complete the entire workout in 36 minutes.  Here is what I did:

  1. Jumping lunges with alternating kick (right lunge, left lunge, right leg kick, left lunge, right lunge, left leg kick, etc.)
  2. Push-ups
  3. Mountain climbers
  4. Single leg deadlift, touching floor with opposite hand
  5. Close-grip push-ups
  6. Sleeping crabs (lie flat, lift body up on left arm and right leg while touching left leg with right hand, then switch)  
                                           Mountain Climbers

A New Personal Record - 100 Pushups!

Hey everyone,

Yesterday, after getting home from work, I wasn't feeling overly motivated to workout - a feeling that we've all battled against.  Fortunately, I had planned my workout the night before and written it in our fitness log, which made it impossible to rationalize taking the day off!  I had planned another full-body triplets workout (see previous posts for description of these mini-circuits).

As I went to the basement to begin, I began doubting the workout I had put together:

  1. Pushups
  2. Weighted parallel chinups (24kg)
  3. Reverse pushups

  1. Rack-pull deadlifts (275lbs)
  2. Weighted jumping lunges (24kg kettlebell)
  3. Kettlebell step-ups (onto a bench - using 24kg kettlebell in a racked position)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Greetings from Greece!

Hey everyone,

I arrived in Greece yesterday for another medical conference.  I will only be here for a very short stay and am returning home again on Wednesday!  So far I have been having a great time.  The weather was beautiful yesterday when I arrived.  I'm staying in a hotel right on the Aegean Sea with a beautiful sea view:

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Workouts - Triplets and International Travel

On Saturday morning, before Tannys left for Greece, we did another full body workout. 

Tannys doing one-arm rows:

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Our first full-body workout!

Hey everyone,

We took a few days off at the start of the week to help us recover from our colds.  Incredibly, we are still sick, but have fortunately begun to finally feel a bit better.  After three days off, we were very eager to get back into our fitness routine.  We were especially excited because today was our first full-body workout in our two-month trial.