Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Not Feeling It Today? A Quick Lower Body Workout Solution

Hey everyone,

You will go through periods where you don't really feel like working out.  Some days are tougher than others, but if you can motivate yourself to do some exercise, you won't regret it.  We had one of those days recently, where we were struggling to find the motivation to workout after a long day at work.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Upper Body Training

Hey everyone,

For this upper body workout, we chose four compound, fundamental exercises.  We ensured that they covered off all planes of movement for the upper body (i.e. horizontal and vertical presses and pulls).  To increase the pace of the workout (for efficiency and an additional cardio challenge), we used supersets.  To finish off the workout, we did a bonus set that focused on our arms (since the main exercises primarily targeted our chest, back, and shoulders).

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Leg Training Day

Hey everyone,

For several months now, we have followed a two-way split for our workouts, where we work upper body and lower body exercises on separate days.  Those lower body training days (AKA leg days) are harder, since the leg muscles are so much bigger and those exercises require more effort.  That said, we've learned to love leg days - there is a certain beauty in the hard work and perseverance required to get through a leg day, which leads to greater satisfaction when you finish (and likely greater overall benefits to your body since you're working so much muscle)...

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Training to be Swimsuit-Ready!

Hey everyone,

We feel like we are finally getting back into the swing of things with our fitness (post-holidays)!  We are going to ramp up our training over the next several weeks, as we look forward to a trip to Turks & Caicos.  Nothing is more motivational than the thought of wearing a bathing suit (and potentially having photos taken)...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Burpee "Train for Life" Challenge

Hey everyone,

The other day we came across this great fitness challenge on the Men's Health website called "The Insane Burpee Challenge".  Knowing how tough burpees can be, we were intrigued to try it out...

This fitness challenge is great if you only have 15 minutes to exercise, or alternatively as a finisher to your workout.  No equipment is required, so you can basically do it anywhere (i.e. try it when you are travelling). 

For this workout, set your timer to 45 seconds of work, followed by 30 seconds of rest, for 9 cycles.  We used the kettlebell swing timer to keep us on track (you can download this for free on iTunes).  You complete 3 sets each of 3 different burpee variations, for a total of 9 sets.  Below is a basic summary of what you do (if you want detailed instructions and a video, check out:

The Insane Burpee Challenge
  1. Sumo Burpee - start in standing position, place your hands on the floor (between your knees), kick your legs out to pushup position, jump back to where your hands are between your knees and stand back up
  2. Sumo Burpee with jump - same as 1, but add a jump after each rep
  3. Sumo Burpee with pushup to jump - same as 2, but add a full pushup with each rep
If at anytime you cannot complete the allotted 15 reps in 45 seconds, stay at that level until you can.

This workout includes just over 11 minutes of work and 4 minutes of rest.  It goes by very quickly, but is super intense (especially once you reach level 3!).  We were gasping for air by the end!  Give this insane burpee challenge a try and see how fit you are!

-Tannys & Alex

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

A Great Lower Body AR7 Workout!

Hey everyone,

A few weeks ago, we had a great comment from one of our readers, asking if we are still using the AR7 principles and our results.  This was a great reminder to us of this challenging workout style that we probably don't complete as much as we should!  The AR7 is a very intense workout style that really fatigues your muscles and gives you a good cardiovascular workout if you keep a good pace. Adding this style into our workout repertoire has really helped us to achieve our fitness goals.

As a reminder, for the AR7 workout, you select three different exercises and complete them either one at a time, or circuit-style.  You start with seven sets of seven reps, followed by six sets of six reps and finally five sets of five reps for each exercise.  This adds up to 110 reps of each exercise!  You will definitely feel your muscles working as they become very fatigued with the repetitiveness of this workout style. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Try this 30 minute Lower Body Kettlebell Workout!

Hey everyone,

For this workout, we only had about 30 minutes, so chose to do a timed workout to keep us on track.

We chose 7 lower body exercises, with a focus on the kettlebell swing, and completed them circuit style for a specified amount of time.  Specifically, we did 40 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest and then moved onto the next exercise.  Each circuit took 7 minutes to complete, followed by 3 minutes of rest. We completed the circuit 3 times in total.

To help with timing, we downloaded a kettlebell swing timer that counts down the time for us.  This is helpful, so you're not constantly checking the time, as it beeps with each new cycle.  We downloaded this free app from iTunes onto our iPad (check it out at: 

Here is what we did:
  1. Kettlebell swings (heavy - I used 24 kg)
  2. Kettlebell deadlifts (32 kg)
  3. Kettlebell roundabout swings (16 kg) - for these, do one left-handed swing, then a two-hand swing, then a right-handed swing, etc.
  4. Kettlebell goblet squats (12 kg)
  5. Kettlebell swings (lighter weight than that used in exercise 1 - I used 16 kg)
  6. Alternating kettlebell deadlifts (24 kg)
  7. Kettlebell one-hand swings (12 kg)
Video Demonstration - Part I

Video Demonstration - Part II (after a short interruption!)

As you can see, our workouts have become a bit more challenging with little Makoto wanting to get in on the action!  If you have a pet around while you're exercising, make sure they are in a safe place (especially if you're swinging kettlebells around).  We put him on a leash during our actual workout so he doesn't get hurt!

We completed the circuit 3 times, but if you're really short on time, you can cut down to 2 or even 1 circuit.  Even a short workout is better than nothing! Give this workout a try and let us know what you think!

-Tannys & Alex

Monday, 7 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone,

Check out our New Year's upper body countdown workout to really get your metabolism revving! 

For this workout, we chose 5 different upper body exercises and completed each for a specified number of reps.  You can complete your exercises in any order and even alternate between exercises if you wish.  Just be sure to write down your reps with each set so you can easily keep track.

Here is what we did:
  1. Weighted wide-grip pullups - 20 reps
  2. Bodyweight parallel pullups - 40 reps
  3. Incline bench press- 60 reps
  4. Reverse push-ups (aka inverted rows) - 80 reps
  5. One-arm press - 100 reps
See the video below for a demonstration by Alex.  Tannys completed these exercises with different weights and used bands to assist in the chinups/pullups.

Give this workout a try, or substitute exercises that you enjoy! 

-Tannys & Alex