30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata

30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata

There is much data and research available to us now on how  higher intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts can get us just as fit, in a shorter amount of time, as lower intensity and longer workouts can.

HIIT workouts have been proven to: increase our human growth hormone (our anti-aging hormone), decrease our body fat, improve our blood pressure, blood sugar regulation and triglycerides, as well as improve our muscle tone and aerobic endurance.

In fact, I am almost ready to give up my one long run every week due to these studies.

I mean, who wouldn’t want the same effects that a long cardio session can produce, but in half the time? But, alas my 4-legged running partner would be very upset if I stopped.

WHAT THE HECK IS A TABATA?

To write about shorter and more intense workouts you need not to look too far before your come across the name Tabata.

Tabata workouts are named after this gentleman, Dr. Izumi Tabata, a Japanese physician and researcher.Dr. Izumi Tabata

He conducted a study using an interval-based workout to see if athletes would see the same gains from a shorter training program as they do with a longer duration one.

His initial study used the Japanese Olympic Speed Skating team as his test subjects and the workout consisted of 20 seconds intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for 8 rounds on a stationary bike. The whole workout took 4 minutes for the athletes to complete.

In just 6-weeks of training his subjects improved their anaerobic capacity (the ability for the body to work without oxygen, which in turn promotes speed, strength and power) by 28%, and they increased their VOmax (the maximum amount of oxygen the body can use, which improves endurance) by 14%.

While this is a pretty cool study, it is used with elite athletes as the test subjects. Would this type of training work for us mere mortals, as well?

THE STUDY

In 2013 the American Council on Exercise enlisted a research team of their own to gauge how effective a Tabata-style workout really is – with normal people.

They took a group of 16 men and women who were deemed healthy and either moderately to very fit and between the ages of 20 to 47 years. After their initial treadmill test (to assess their starting VOmax, maximal heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion – RPE) they had the participants perform 8 rounds of 4 different exercises, using the 20 seconds hard and 10 seconds rest interval for a total of 20 minutes.

The participants used full-body calisthenics with exercises such as: push-ups, mountain climbers, high knees, split squats, box jumps, burpees, jumping rope, side skaters, plank and punch, lunges, squats, high-knees and Russian twists.

The subject’s heart rates were  monitored throughout the workout, while their blood lactate levels were tested with a finger prick blood test and RPE was evaluated after every four-minute segment of exercise.

Immediately following the sessions, the researchers crunched the data and on average showed that during a Tabata workout their subjects averaged 86 percent of HR max and 74 percent of VOmax —both of which meet or exceed established industry guidelines for improving cardio fitness and promoting fat loss.

As for calorie burning, the 16 subjects burned between 240 and 360 kcals during the workout, for an average of 15 kcals per minute burned.

Again, Tabata met established guidelines for calorie expenditure for improving health and facilitating weight loss.

I love this study due to two reasons:

  1. They used body weight exercises (instead of a stationary bike like Dr. Tabata used), and they used exercises that can be easily replicated at home.
  2. The researcher’s also increased the total workout time from 4 minutes to 20 minutes. You see what a lot of people don’t understand is that the intensity that Dr. Tabata used on his athletes was extreme. Even the most fit person would most likely puke at the 2 minute mark. So, by increasing the time of the workout, and dropping the intensity, it makes this type of workout a lot more doable for the average person.

THE WORLD DOES TABATA

While Dr. Tabata’s study was done in 1996, almost a decade later the fitness industry has embraced it. I don’t know why in the last few years his protocol has gotten so much attention. Interval-type training is nothing new, but now you can find Tabata-type training in almost every gym.

I’m happy that people are embracing this type of training, though. It gives people who are short on time a workout option, while providing us trainers some fresh ideas on how to keep our clients motivated.

THE RULES OF TABATA

When performing a Tabata-protocol on your own make sure that you use whole body movements and that you train at an intensity that leaves you unable to talk! Anything less will not put you in your “anaerobic threshold” and will therefore not give you the same results.

A true Tabata is also 8 rounds of one exercise for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds rest in-between. I quite often teach my Tabata workouts using 4-6 exercises, cycling through these exercises, one after another, instead of performing 8 sets of lunges and then 8 sets of push-ups, etc.

The workout below uses 4 exercises, for a total of 40 rounds (exercise #3 is done with the left leg stepping out and then the right leg).

WHO SHOULD DO TABATA?

Who should do a Tabata-type workout? This is a question that many of  us in the fitness industry are struggling with. Clearly this type of training is intense and is not for everyone.

There are three types of people that I feel should avoid Tabata training until they get their doctor’s clearance:

  • Anyone with a history of heart disease and/or that check “Yes” on any question on a Par-Q
  • Anyone with a injury
  • Anyone just starting out with fitness

30-Minute Dumbbell Tabata Workout

30 Min Dumbbell Tabata Blog graphic

 

 Looking for some tough love training? I’ve got small group classes, one-on-one appointments, and online personal training. In other words – everything you need to get started! Check out my website here.

For more healthy living tips, recipes and workouts please subscribe above to this blog

You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

If you are really interested in getting started on your own weight loss and fitness journey, shoot me an email!

Don’t forget to sign up for my weekly blog by clicking on the box above. I’ve got lots of awesome workouts, exclusive content, and exciting offers available to subscribers only!

Over 40 Fat Burning Course Ad for Blog
Click if you want to start looking and feeling better.

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
HERE WE COME.

 

PJ ox

What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week

What I’m Eating This Week #1

Week 1

I thought I would try something new. Something to help you out if you are struggling with weight loss, or weight maintenance.

Each week I will be releasing my meal prep guide for the week ahead, including links to the recipes that I plan to use that week (where available).

For decades I have meal planned and prepped every Sunday, and I also coach my clients to do the same. When we are prepared, in the kitchen, we make healthier choices. It’s that simple.

You see, once our week starts the busy-ness and craziness takes over, and if we haven’t set ourselves up with some planning and prepping come 6′ o’clock we will be forced to follow our stomaches instead of our hearts.

And our stomaches, sadly, can get us into trouble (ie. take-out versus garlic chicken kale sauté).

I also love prepping on a Sunday because then I really only have one big mess to clean up, once a week.

In addition, it forces me (and it will force you too) to eat the healthy foods that I bought on Saturday and Sunday at the grocery store – because I have a recipe and a home for them.

What I’m Eating This Week – October 12 – 18, 2015

BREAKFAST

Monday & Tuesday Breakfast

  • Greek yogurt mixed with blueberries (I froze a bunch of boxes from the summer), mixed with Weeds & Seeds Cereal (freaking love this stuff, and locally you can buy it at Meridian Meats.)
  • I prep this the night before by simply mixing in a cup of frozen blueberries in a 3/4 C 0% Greek yogurt with 2Tbsp of Weeds & Seeds Cereal. Cover and put in the fridge. Yes, that was a cup of blueberries. I love blueberries. Don’t judge.

Wednesday – Sunday Breakfast

  • This morning I made a big batch of Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats and will bowl and re-heat through the week.
  • I also like to add a dollop of Greek yogurt on top of my pumpkin oatmeal. This makes it creamier and ups my protein.
  • Click here for the recipe.

Slow-Cooker-Pumpkin-Spice-Oatmeal

LUNCH

  • Southwest Kale Power Salad – Cookie + Kate
  • I eat the same thing lunch every week Monday – Thursday (Friday’s are my meeting days with peers, business contacts or my business coach, so I usually eat out) and prep it on Saturday or Sunday so it is ready to go for the week.

DINNER

Monday

  • Since this is the Thanksgiving long weekend for us Canadians, and loving husband and I will be eating pizza and pumpkin pie tonight (yup, that’s how we celebrate. – that and sitting on our butts all night and binge-watching StrikeBack. Addicted to that series.), I have a light, meat-free, low sodium dinner planned for us for Monday.
  • Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes for me, baked potatoe for loving husband (he won’t eat sweet potatoes, sigh), and a kale salad.
  • Recipe for my Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoe is an old Go Fit Gals recipe that my sister from another mister developed, Risse. So, I suggest that you go bug her nicely (click here to find her), and let her know that you would love to see the Twice Baked Sweet Potatoe recipe re-released. Tell her PJ sent ya.

Tuesday

  • Larry has volleyball Tuesday nights so it’s usually an easy grab and go meal.
  • This week he’s making dinner and will be making his favourite (and only) dish, Tuna Salad.
  • All you do is:
    • Mix 6 cans of tuna, 6 chopped hard boiled eggs with some mayo and relish. He LOVES this and eats tuna fish sandwiches, non-stop, for days whenever he makes this. I enjoy mine on Wasa Crisp bread and will have some of the leftover kale salad from the night before. He will have potatoe chips, sigh.

Wednesday

  • I work late on Wednesday nights, so Wednesday’s are all about whatever I have prepped either on the weekend, or made double batches of in the past and froze.
  • This week it’s Asian Peanut Noodles with Chicken, that I found in the freezer. I totally forgot that I had this prepped, so how excited was I to learn that I had one less meal to prepare today? Very. Excited.

Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken - Skinnytaste
Asian Peanut Noodles & Chicken – Skinnytaste

Thursday

  • Baked salmon, with lemon juice and dill, accompanied with baked sweet potatoes (for me) and baby potatoes (for loving husband) and baked green beans. Wow, that’s a lot of “baked”, isn’t it? Haha.
  • Baked green beans is my newest obsession. They are so easy! Simply toss green beans with some olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degree. Yup, they are that easy.
  • Green beans are also one of the few green vegetables loving (picky) husband will eat.

Friday

Grilled Steak Fajitas - Two Peas and their Pod
Grilled Steak Fajitas – Two Peas and their Pod

Saturday

  • Date night! Out for dinner.

Sunday

  • Sunday’s I leave loosey-goosey. You see if it’s not raining (and I can convince loving husband), we go hiking. This means that I need to get a slow cooker meal going because we won’t get home till late.
  • However, if we don’t go hiking then I check the food blogs on the ol’ web and pick a recipe and double batch it so I have a meal in the freezer for the future.
  • Yes, I double batch new recipes. I know this is risky, since I don’t even know if the recipe is good, but I love trying new recipes and I have really had only one dud in all the years that I have been doing this.

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
HERE WE COME.

 

PJ ox

How To Bounce Back From Failure

How To Bounce Back From Failure

Stopped Working Out? How To Bounce Back.

Having been a trainer for over two decades now (wow, I’m getting old. When the hell did that happen?!), I know there are a lot of people who have a hard time getting fit and losing weight.

In my 20-plus years of being “in the trenches,” I have found that most people can find the energy and enthusiasm to start a fitness plan, or a new eating plan. We make a commitment to ourselves and we start.

No problem.

Where the challenge lies is in staying committed to those goals on an ongoing basis.

I’m Starting… Next Year

Think about how many times you have triumphantly told yourself that “today is going to be the day!”, only to have that same enthusiasm wane as the days pass.

Or, how many of you have promised yourself, “I will start on Monday,” only to have Friday come and everything we promised ourselves, and were kicking ass doing on Monday and Tuesday, is slowly starting to fall to the “not so important anymore” category in our daily lives.

All these broken promises to ourselves can leave us feeling resentful, frustrated and angry with ourselves.

We wonder, why we can’t do this? What’s wrong with me? Will I ever succeed? Ha, trust me, there nothing is wrong with you.

You are human and we ALL fall and slip with our health goals. I even fall prey to this. There are some weekends where pizza, cookies and rum dominate my Saturday and Sunday nights and then Monday comes for me too.

How To Bounce Back 

Now, first off I want you to know that making poor choices with your health, when you promised yourself that you wouldn’t, is not failure. Failure is9, not even recognizing that you need to change your lifestyle.

Ignorance is the biggest indicator to failure.

Whereas admitting that you need to change some (or a lot) of things in your life to feel better, and then falling on your face every so often, is completely, utterly human.

So, what can you do next time you fall off the wagon? You have three choices. You can:

A) Crawl back into bed and throw the covers over your head,

B) Yell and scream and blame everyone else for your slip up

C) Dust yourself off and bounce back

While A can be tempting, and B we may do at times, it’s C that’s the clear winner – dusting ourselves off and bouncing back is the only way to bounce back from disaster and failure.

5 Steps to Bouncing Back

To successfully pick ourselves up takes:

  • Strength from within
  • Support from those around you
  • Responsibility on your part
  • An ability to embrace challenge and change
  • A never-stop-bouncing back attitude

First, strength within happens through self-love. You have to convince yourself that you are worth it, that even if you are starting over again you are still way farther ahead than you would be if you didn’t.

You need to remind yourself that you are making better choices in your life – for your life.

To help accomplish this new love affair with yourself you may need to reframe your thinking. Instead of thinking of exercise as a form of punishment, think of it as a choice you are making because you love your body. Sounds corny eh? But, it works.

Case in point, would you rather do a workout if someone said to you “This is going to hurt like a motha and leave you crippled for days”.

Or, “You are going to feel amazing after this”. Person A would get a punch in the throat, I am positive.

Yet, this is how we talk to ourselves all the time. We either guilt ourselves into doing something, or we take the most negative aspect of it and focus on that.

Your grey matter can play a huge roll on whether or not you put those runners on.

Bounce-back

Second, lean on those around you. Don’t feel like a burden; get help from your family, your social circle and even social media. The more people that know you need help staying on track, the more people can help. And, who knows, maybe one day they may need your help too.

Third, take responsibility for your actions. This is a tough one. It can be a hard pill to swallow, but recognize that you are completely and utterly in control of your actions.

No one is stopping you from exercise (example, you are the one creating the “I am too busy…too tired… too unmotivated…too sore…too old…” excuses that stop you from getting those runners on), and no one is stuffing bad choices down your throat in the form of burgers and beer.

Take responsibility, learn from your mistakes, bounce back up and move on.

Finally, it’s important to embrace the challenges and the inevitable adjustment that has to happen to change the direction of your health.

Don’t put up stop signs (such as “I’m too busy… too tired… too unmotivated…too sore… too old…”). If you want to make a change, start – and then get the hell out of your way and let the changes happen.

Work on those little grasshopper, and then you will find that you can bounce back, come back and live through anything.

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
HERE WE COME.

 

PJ ox

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

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
HERE WE COME.

 

PJ ox

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:

 

TIRED OF TRYING TO FIGURE WHAT WORKOUTS YOU
SHOULD BE DOING

GRAB MY 21 DAY FITNESS PROGRAM AND LET ME DO THE PROGRAMMING FOR YA.

 

FIT & FIERCE...
HERE WE COME.

 

PJ ox

Sign UpTo Receive Your 21 Day Fitness Program

Start receiving your personalized fitness program by entering your name, email, and answer 2 simple questions.

Do you currently work out?
Fitness Goal

WE HAVE LIFT OFF! Now, go head to your In Box to confirm your subscription so I can send you your first workout 👊🏼