No Gym? No Problem: 
You Can Do These Workouts Anywhere!

Staying fit during COVID-19 can feel almost impossible. In many places across the country, gyms are still closed. Others are open, but some people just aren’t willing to take the risk of heading back just yet. However, staying active is as important as ever — if not more. Not only does it keep us healthy and fit, but it’s also one of the best mental health tools at our disposal. Regular exercise significantly reduces the intensity of anxiety and depression. 

Guest Post by: Jason Lewis of StrongWell.org

Photo Credit: Pexels

Staying fit during COVID-19 can feel almost impossible. In many places across the country, gyms are still closed. Others are open, but some people just aren’t willing to take the risk of heading back just yet. However, staying active is as important as ever — if not more. Not only does it keep us healthy and fit, but it’s also one of the best mental health tools at our disposal. Regular exercise significantly reduces the intensity of anxiety and depression. 

Studio B offers fitness treatment and training to help keep you going with your regimen at home. Contact us for more information! 970-422-1761

Clarify Your Goals 

A plan is the first step on the path to success. Without a plan in place, you’re setting yourself up for failure — at worst — and settling back into poor habits that got you here in the first place. Sit down with pencil and paper in hand and clarify your goals.

Warming Up 

The last thing you want is to sustain injury when first jumping into a new workout regimen. Get your body ready to move. 

  • Warm up every time you exercise to prevent injury
  • If you exercise in the morning, try a yoga workout to wake your muscles up. 
  • Stretching before and after a workout is important for maintaining your flexibility. 

Upping Your Heart Rate 

Good cardio is one of the core foundations of a long, healthy life. Not only is it important for a healthy heart and increased “good” cholesterol, your endurance will increase, which makes future workouts much less taxing.

  • Figure out your target heart rate and use a fitness tracker to keep tabs on it. 
  • Running, jogging, and biking are all great ways to enjoy cardio outdoors
  • Few other types of exercise induce sweating like cardio, so be sure you’re wearing soft, flexible and breathable workout clothes and undies.

Strength Training 

You can gain muscle anywhere. Choose one or more areas to target and use a variety of weights and other equipment to optimize overall body strength.

  • Building muscle allows you to burn more calories at rest. 
  • You can set up a home gym with your favorite equipment.
  • Make sure your home gym stays tidy and decluttered so that you don’t experience jumps in your stress levels during your workouts. 
  • There are also bodyweight routines that provide a great no-equipment solution. 

Eventually, we’ll all be able to get back to normal. Finding ways to stay fit in the meantime, however, will make the transition back to the gym much easier. Don’t let this time set you back! With focus and motivation, you can stay on track no matter where you are. 

Born Tough has proven to be tough and soft at the same time.

A few months ago we were approached by Chris with Born Tough and Elite Sports Clothing lines to test out their fitness clothing and determine if we thought it was a good choice for our customers and clients.

We’re excited to be working with Born Tough and Elite Sports to try out their products!

Over the summer my husband Jeff has been our testing model. He’s been testing out their long sleeved Men’s Core Fit Shirt over washes, places, spaces, and workouts.

And …

he’s loved working out in it. It’s smooth, quick drying, and moves with him through a variety of workout moves.

It’s fitting but not too tight. The cut and material allow for easy movement between strength, functional, and cardio workouts.

It’s a great go to shirt for whole gym experiences, plus moves between workouts and life at his college administration job with no fuss.

As his partner, I really like how soft the shirt is and the fact that it doesn’t smell after a session.

He’s also been able to use it as a comfortable base layer in our chilly mountain air camping and hiking through the Colorado Rockies.

He’s been trying it out in the studio, our cabin in northwestern Wisconsin, and outside in Colorado with similar results even when the weather was hot and muggy on a bike ride by the river.

Here’s a few shots of the shirt (and Jeff) in action.

Check out more clothing options here:

https://www.borntough.com/collections/gym-workout-bags
https://www.elitesports.com/collections/boxing-gloves

Plyo-Dumbbell Total Body Shred

To plan your workouts think about doing something focused 3-6 times a week and taking 1-3 days of what’s called active rest (clean house, walk the golf course, go for a hike, take the dog for a long walk, do squats throughout the day – link it to every time you go to the bathroom for example.

This movement is important for recovery and allows your body to do something active for fun, wellness, blood flow to the sore spots from your focused workout, etc. This keeps the body oriented toward energy flow and movement.

Making sure to get a weekend workout in is a great way to make sure your active rest days are not consecutive. Consecutive days off can make it harder to return to your focused workouts on Monday.

Workout Basics and Warm Up

Make sure to warm up. Spend 5-10minutes doing easy movement, stretching, and allow the muscles you are going to work to “wake up”. Work to include all the big joints and major muscle groups. It’s a great time to get your music right, your shoes tightened or loosened, or make sure you hair is out of your way. By fixing these things now, you are more likely to stay focused on the work portion.

When you complete the round, give yourself a pat on the back, a fist pump, something that celebrates your accomplishment. This is a big deal for helping habits stick, and helps you be realistic about all the hard work you are doing.

If you are unclear about a movement, look it up (Check out my YouTube Tutorials Here). There are lots of resources online that allow you to make sure you have good form. Always work up to adding weight or making a movement less stable. Good form comes first.

The Workout

The first portion of the workout consists of a metoblic fat burning time set. Do each movement for 1 minute as many/hard as you can, then rest for 30 seconds. Move the next exercise. Do this whole set 2x through.

  • Compass Jumps
  • Plank Spider Walks
  • Rocket Girls
  • Bear Crawl
  • High Skip Traveling Jumps
  • Plank Rockers

The next portion includes a dumbbell matrix. With each DB move use the abdominals to rotate while lifting. It is important to have good form here. Go slower and lighter on the weight until you feel strong enough to hold good form. You’ll do one DB exercise followed by a 30-second plank hold in between each DB movement. Do the whole group 2x through.

  • Rotate and overhead press
  • Rotating bicep curl with alternating leg backward lunge
  • Alternating uppercuts with isometric plié squat
  • Narrow squats with Y overhead press
  • Frontal to lateral should raise
  • T-Burpees

The third portion of the workout is all about balancing out your core strength. Do these exercises 2x through then congratulate yourself and stretch!

  • Bicycle curls
  • Supermans with cactus arm pull-downs
  • Upper to lower body curls
  • Quadruped opposite elbow to knee curls and extensions

Finish Strong

YOU DID IT!! Now that you have finished the “work” portion, it is time for flexibility training. Spend some time stretching all the muscles you worked – in this workout, it’s full body so give all your major muscles a good stretch. Then grab a good post workout snack. Together these get your muscles ready for tomorrow’s movement and make sure you are ready to meet your goals.

Words of Caution …

Please make sure to follow your body. Do not push through pain. Discomfort/Challenge are different than pain. We want to challenge ourselves we do not want to hurt ourselves. Find the level that is right for you and move at that level. Make sure to choose weight and stances that support your body style – if you have to use the wall to do your push ups do that, if you need a chair or a bench use those. Make sure you are doing what you need to do for your body type and current personal level of fitness.

Facing Fear With Movement

So, I’ve been listening to uninhibited women leadership online conference with Ashley Burnett this week and the topic today was about fear. I found it interesting to discuss fear and struggle to know what I am truly afraid of. I spend a lot of time working with people who are afraid, I talk about it most days for multiple hours per day, and here I am not sure how to label my own. As I thought about it, I came up with a movement flow to help you get to the essence of your fear … in case you are like me and find it’s a bit of an enigma for you, slippery, and hard to fully see. You know it’s there, but you just can’t make it out clearly.

Many are afraid of living the life they could, afraid of giving up a label like being depressed, anxious, female, male, successful, a failure – you name it people are often afraid to give up an identity, even if it’s one they don’t like. That identity has protected you in groups, helped you define who you are and who you are not, and maybe guided your path for a long time. Well, what if you could step off that path and become something else. Something more in line with who you want to be today. Would you do it? Would you be able to let go? Dive into the practices that can help you become your highest self, your personal best dream – would you do them?

climbing the stairs

It’s often difficult to really know what you are afraid to give up. The bottom line is who would you be if you weren’t afraid. This question offers you the glimpse into what you might be afraid of. Here is an exercise set to help you cut through the mental chatter and just focus on what’s holding you back. Movement always helps me see more clearly and decrease the mental chatter that clouds me.

Step One:

Complete an easy warm up or use this set in the middle of your regular workout.

Step Two:

Get a Tabata Timer – this is very helpful and there are a number of free apps that will help you do this (and other interval workouts). If you don’t want to get one a simple kitchen timer can work, your watch, or phone. You need to do 20sec exercise intervals with 10sec rest intervals – 8x.

Step Three:

Start by picking your mantra. This could be a question – what am I afraid of? What’s holding me back? etc. or a statement – Fear. Let Go. – you get the picture. Find a phrase that works for you and visualize it – maybe it’s a picture, maybe a set of words, etc. You want to truly feel it deep within you.

Step Four:

Begin a jumping squat tabata. With the help of your timer, you begin your jumping squat set for 20 sec, rest 10sec, 8x. Total of 4min. Tabata’s are hard, just know that. If you have to take a break, try to keep the movement going, even if you take out the jump or begin to alternate legs, etc. You want to be completing the full movement at the end of the set.

As you complete the tabata focus on your mantra or visualization. See what arises. There is nothing to do, nothing to fix. We just want to see what remains when it gets really hard to focus. Often this is the essence of the thing we can let go of, we fear, we want to transform. Sometimes we even transform it in the tabata. I’ve seen clients start with “I am not good enough” to yelling “I’m fuckin’ rocking it” with conviction by the end of just one 4 minute round.

Step Five:

Repeat Steps 3 & 4, this time with the thing you want to gain or embrace in your life. Again, take a few moments to breathe, see your goal clearly in your head, and find the right set of word(s) to represent what it is you really want.

Then begin another tabata – any exercise will work.

I often like to superset pushups, lunges, low rows, squats, high rows, jumping lunges/split lunge, plank hold. This order will get you a full body workout in about 40 min with 2-3 min in between each tabata for meditative work and visualization preparation. Finish with whatever core/abdominal work you are focusing on and a full body stretch. If you complete all the steps you’ll have an hour worth of movement with a meditation and self-growth focus. It’s not an easy workout, but one that will help you distill your thoughts into what you want next, see where you want to go, and help you feel confident enough in your own abilities to actually complete and live the practices you’ll need to reach your goals.

Have fun finding your FEAR!

 

*Please remember that exercise is physical and in the event you have a medical condition or other reason to be concerned about completing hard/intense exercise or movement that you check with your doctor.

 

Thank you for all your support!

I was selected to receive The President’s Council Community Leadership Award earlier this year. I am so grateful to all of you for an amazing career path. I’m never quite clear on what direction it’ll take next but if it continues to follow this path, I know it’s going to be a FANTASTIC ride! I’m looking forward to the next 20 years.

I want to give a big shout out to all those who have helped me develop programs for fitness and health, all those who’ve participate in said programs, and all those who cheered me on along the way. In July I was awarded the The President’s Council Community Leadership Award (http://www.fitness.gov/participate-in-programs/council-awards/pcfsn-community-leadership-award/) and I couldn’t have done it without all my teachers, students, blog readers, newspaper followers, and clients. Thank you so much for all your support and letting me try things out, lead, and follow. I am so honored to be part of your personal journeys, Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

The President’s Council Community Leadership Award is given annually to no more than 50 individuals or organizations that provide or enhance opportunities to engage in sports, physical activity, fitness, or nutrition-related programs within a community.