10-Minute [Killer] Ab Workout

10-Minute [Killer] Ab Workout

10-Minute Killer Ab Workout

Training your abs. You either love doing it, or you hate doing it.

There’s usually no grey area I’ve found when it comes to working your abdominals.

But, regardless you know you gotta train them and you know you should train them.

Now, the great news is if you do moves like squats, lunges, deadlifts, mountain climbers, pull-ups and push-ups you are training your abs and core – and in a functional way (and double great news if you follow my YouTube workouts).

You see, your core muscles are designed to stabilize the spine, as well as flex, rotate, twist and laterally bend the torso.

When performing the big moves I mentioned about you are firing up the core to stabilize the spine. Hence, a good weight training workout (try this one – it’s awesome) will train the heck out of your abs.

However, we also love a little extra, when it comes to our abs. Which is precisely the reason I developed and filmed this 10-minute ab workout.

It’s effective, fast, works all of the ab muscles and is perfect to do after a strength training or cardio workout, or while binge watching your favourite TV show (my current fave is “Strike Back”. I am obsessed with it right now.).

10-Min Killer Ab Workout

The Workout

10 Min Killer Ab Workout - workout described

 

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The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training

The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training

The Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training

There are many different goals that people tell me they want their fitness programs to achieve. However, the one goal that is most often cited is increased muscle tone and strength.

And, as a strength training coach and trainer I love to hear that, especially from my over-40 crowd.

After the age of 40 our strength begins to decline (they call this atrophy), and continues on that downward spiral to hell 8 to 10 percent, per decade, thereafter (Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging).

Now, this decline in strength not only affects our ability to move and our strength in general, it also has serious consequences on our metabolism.

Our metabolisms are what dictates how many calories we burn throughout the day. A higher metabolism, the more calories we will burn. The more calories burned, the better our chances are for a slimmer, trimmer body.

How do you keep your metabolism running as quick and agile as a bunny?

You can start by holding onto those muscles that are slowly disintegrating with each passing year.

The more muscle you have, the more calories your body needs to support that muscle (a pound of muscle at rest burns about 6 calories, while a pound of fat burns about 2).

You see, it requires more calories for the body to keep a pound of muscle warm (because the body loves staying in a homeostasis state of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), than it does a pound of fat.

Intense strength training can also increase your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) and your EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption). Both of which can lead to some serious calorie burning.

In fact, fat loss studies have proven that high intensity strength training can burn fat faster than traditional aerobic exercise. So, say good bye to running and hello to the bench press if you are looking to lose weight.

Beginner's-Guide-Strength-Training

What else can strength training do for me?

Strength training is the only means of fighting that age-related business of muscles wasting away (atrophying).

In addition, strength training: increases bone strength, decreases resting blood pressure and lowers individuals’ risk for type 2 diabetes.

And, as mentioned above it is also a champion when it comes to burning fat.

As a beginner how often should I lift weights?

Every day and twice on Sundays.

Just joking. If you are just starting to lift weights you are in a fantastic place. Beginner’s ALWAYS see gains, and quickly. It’s because the moves and exercises are a new stimulus to you and your body is going to respond in a positive and happy way!

I recommend, to all new exercisers, a twice a week strength training routine, working all the major muscle groups of the body, with at least a day’s rest in-between lift days.

From there, as you get stronger and more accustomed to strength training, progress to 3-4 times a week.

This change in frequency will usually have to happen by month three, as you start to plateau. However, a simple tweak to your intensity and how often you lift will get you over that hump so that you can continue to see change and growth.

Is it safe to strength train at any age?

You betcha! Strength training will help improve balance, (therefore decreasing the risk of falling), sustain a longer independence in life and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

In a recent study, researchers found that walking by itself was not enough of an overload to stimulate bone-building cells. Weight training and impact-type exercises were found to be more advantageous.

Try this Beginner’s Strength Workout 

Strength-training-older-adults

How many reps should I do?

There are two primary types of muscle fibres: slow twitch and fast twitch.

Slow twitch muscle fibres move more slowly and have more mitochondria (structures located within the muscle cell that contain enzymes needed to metabolize food into energy sources). This means that they have a higher aerobic capacity and are less resistant to fatigue.

On the other hand, fast twitch muscle fibres are characterized by their fast speed of contraction but lower level of aerobic capacity. Since we carry both sets of fibres, I always recommend periodizing a strength program of:

  • 4-8 weeks of high reps (1-3 sets of 13-20 repetitions) at a light load. This should address the slow twitch muscle fibres.
  • Then, for the next 4-8 week period, switch your program to a heavier load of 8-12 reps for 1-4 sets. This type of programming should avoid exercise plateaus and address both types of muscle fibres.

Are machines better than dumbbells?

Machines. Suck. Period. All right, I’ll be a little generous; they are kind of good for beginners and those coming back to the gym after an injury.

This is because they support the individual and help dictate the plane of motion to lift in. However, that’s precisely why I hate them too.

We should be learning to support our own bodies and move through our own range of motion, and not that of a machine. I prefer dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, tubing, TRX, cable machines, pulley systems, stability balls, the BOSU, the Rip Trainer, medicine balls and wobble boards.

Try this TRX & Dumbbell Workout.

Suggested workouts for beginners:

 

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20-Minute Hamstring and Hip Opener Workout

20-Minute Hamstring and Hip Opener Workout

20-Minute Hamstring and Hip Opener Routine

20 minutes and a mat – that’s all you need to stretch your hamstrings and open your hips.

And it’s something I recommend all of us over the age of 40 do at least once a week.

Why is stretching the hamstrings and hips so important?

  • Shortened hamstrings pull on your pelvis, affecting how you walk
  • Tight hamstrings are one of the leading causes of low back pain
  • The muscles related around your hips are responsible for every movement from walking to running
  • Tight hips can cause everything from low back pain and knee pain
  • Both groupings of muscles tend to be shortened with people who sit a lot during the day,
  • Muscles and connective tissue shorten with every passing year due to a decrease of water in the tissue


Hamstring & Hip Opener Routine

 

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10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

10 Best Oatmeal Recipes

I love oatmeal. I have been known to eat for breakfast (not unusual, I know), for lunch and again for dinner (now getting weird).

While some people order eggs benny while brunching with friends at a restaurant, I will ask for a big ol’ bowl of oatmeal, brown sugar on the side please.

Why am I Team Oatmeal?

Well, first off let’s start with the fibre content. One bowl has about 4 grams per serving, and we should be aiming for 25-30 grams a day.

It is a slow-releasing complex carbohydrate, leaving you fuller for longer – and with the fuel to take you through your morning and last you until lunch.

Oatmeal contains important vitamins and minerals such as iron, thiamine, folic acid, vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, and zinc.

A bowl of oatmeal for breakfast will also help re-stabilize your blood-sugar levels, giving you the energy needed to tackle your busy mornings and help you manage your weight.

Not all oatmeals are created equal, though. The pre-packaged, instant oatmeal packets are filled with sugar and unnecessary chemicals and additives that we just don’t need first thing in the morning.

Don’t be fooled, even the weight-controlled instant oatmeal isn’t that healthy for you.

If time and convenience are the reasons you reach for those handy little packets in the early hours, then allow me to show you how you can make a healthier, cleaner version in just under five minutes – using ingredients that you most likely already have in the cupboard!

best-oatmeal-recipes-Fitness-with-PJ

Steel-Cut Oatmeal Base

I, personally, prefer steel-cut oats because they have a higher protein and fibre count than rolled and quick cooking oats. This recipe I make on a Sunday and it provides me with 4 servings of oatmeal which I then refrigerate and re-heat during the busy work week.

Recipe #1 – the base

1 cup steel-cut oats (I love “Bob’s Red Mill Steel-Cut Oats”)
3-1/2 cups water
dash of unrefined sea salt

Bring water and sea salt to a boil, add oats and gently boil on low heat with the lid on for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the burner and add the following:

3 tbsp ground flax seed (or you can use bee pollen, salba seed, chia seed, hemp protein)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2-1 tbsp tbsp cinnamon (adjust according to your taste)

Mix the above in with the oatmeal and let it sit until thick and then place in a container and put in the fridge.

This will keep for up to 5-6 days. In the mornings simply spoon a serving into a microwaveable dish (remember, your container is now holding four servings, so simply cut the oatmeal in fours so that you get the appropriate serving amount) and microwave for 1:00.

Add milk, or almond milk until your oatmeal is at the consistency that you like and then put it back in the microwave for another minute. From there you can add any of the following to make your oatmeal even healthier AND tastier:

  • Recipe #2 Apple Walnut Oatmeal
    • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
    • 1/2 diced apple (it’s even better if you microwave the chopped apple in some cinnamon and stevia for 1-2 minutes to soften it)
    • sprinkle a bit of cinnamon on top
  • Recipe #3 Banana Bread Oatmeal
    • 1 tbsp chopped walnuts
    • 2 chopped dates, or 1 tbsp raisins
    • half of a banana, sliced on top
  • Recipe #4 Blueberry Strawberry Oatmeal Dream
    • 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries & 1/2 c sliced strawberries
    • Slivered almonds on top (if you have time, toasted almonds is really good in this)
  • Recipe #5 Cherry Vanilla Oatmeal
    • 2 tbsp dried cherries
    • 1 tbsp sugar-free cherry jam
  • Recipe #6 Cranberry Oatmeal
    • 2 tbsp dried or fresh cranberries
    • 1 tbsp walnut pieces
    • a drizzle of honey on the top
    • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • Recipe #7 Super Duper Oatmeal
    • 1/2 c blueberries (fresh or frozen)
    • 1 single serving, sugar-free apple sauce container
    • A sprinkle of cinnamon on top
  • Recipe #8 Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
    • a dash of nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, or if you have it in the cupboard, 3 tbsp canned pumpkin pie filling
    • 1 tbsp sliced almond (if you have time, toast the almonds – yummy!)
  • Recipe #9 Yogurt Oatmeal (boost the protein and calcium of your oatmeal with these additions)
    • add a 1/4 – 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • Recipe #10 Peachy Keen Oatmeal 
    • add some sliced peaches (drained) and sprinkle the top with a bit of nutmeg

 

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STEP or BOSU Ball Plyo HIIT Workout

STEP or BOSU Ball Plyo HIIT Workout

STEP or BOSU Ball Plyo HIIT Workout

A YouTube subscriber requested a non-dancey, high-energy workout using the STEP and I thought, “What a great idea!”.

I am the perfect trainer to program this kind of online workout.

Why you are wondering?

Well…. I have absolutely no coordination and could not do a dance-type workout if my life depended on it and they were giving away free Nikes, chocolate chip cookies and Star Wars’ DVDs afterwards.

Just won’t happen cause it just can’t happen.

So, if you have a STEP, or a BOSU ball, you have to check out this workout! It is awesome. Trainer’s promise.

You will:

  • Burn between 300-500 calories (depending on your body weight)
  • Train your heart and lungs
  • Work on your core strength
  • Improve your low back strength
  • Increase your leg and glute strength
  • And, have a lot of fun

STEP or BOSU Plyo HIIT Workout

The Workout

STEP or BOSU Plyo Workout - workout described

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

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PJ ox

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