Tag Archives: beginner

Beginner Runner Treadmill Workout

“You’ve reached Crystal. I can’t come to the phone right now because I’m knee-deep in Puffs Plus-Lotion and self pity.”

The plague of winter colds finally caught us over here. We hauled ass and gave it a good run for its money, but we’ve been hit. On the bright side we have escaped the rebellious Influenza A (knock on wood), so it could always be worse. I haven’t felt this dog-tired and sick since I was a few weeks post-partum with Luke and got hit with some crazy strain AND pink-eye in the same week. *shudder* Some memories are best left alone.

So I probably don’t have to tell you that there hasn’t been any wine this week. That would require my palate to stop telling my brain that everything tastes like chicken stock. There haven’t been any workouts. Usually if I’m sick I can at least muster the energy to do yoga or Pilates. But today when I attempted some restorative yoga and went down into forward fold, what escaped from my respiratory system sounded exactly like two pigs suffocating one another. Towel thrown.

There are always whippersnappers but for the most part they’ve been perfectly happy snuggling with me on the couch watching Disney movies and Sesame Street. Normally I would secretly wish I were catching up on Orange is the New Black instead, but I’ve been perfectly happy zoning out to Elmo the Musical. Now do you believe how sick I am? Okay, okay. Self pity red light!

What I am fortunate to have time to do today is work on a blog post. Since it’s the beginning of the new year and a big part of this blog is dedicated to fitness, it would be silly of me not to jump on the Resolution Bandwagon. But rather than give you a new smoothie recipe that I can’t taste right now I thought I’d give you the running workout I’m going to do next week when I get back in the saddle. This is the same one I do every time I get back into running after taking a hiatus and I love it because it’s super adjustable depending on your fitness level.

You can slow the walking intervals down if you have a shorter stride length. Sometimes I’ll push the running intervals faster or raise the incline if I’m feeling really good. I know how daunting running on the treadmill can be but in the winter we are often left with no choice, at least where I live. And you must do cardio to shed fat, so it’s a necessary evil.

Running for beginners
Beginner Running Workout

Once this starts to feel easy, you’ll need to push everything harder. I’ll post an intermediate runner’s workout down the road but in the spirit of January, this is a great start!

I’m looking forward to getting back into running mode next week. In the meantime, the only running I’m doing is from the tea kettle to the couch.

Beginner HIIT Workout!

As I get ready for our family’s summer getaway I’m reminded of how completely unfocused, chaotic and jam-packed the schedule gets the week leading up to vacation. So much work goes into planned relaxation, it’s pretty comical really. So in the interest of preserving my sanity, keeping my body strong and saving time, I’m focusing on HIIT workouts right now.

Those of you who have trained with me know I love my HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and, essentially, it entails working out as hard as you can with very little recovery between exercises and getting it done in half the time of a traditional workout. Sometimes even less than that. And since time is not usually on our side it seems, these HIIT sessions can really save your butt (literally and figuratively).

As far as HIIT goes, there’s a lot of options. You can apply HIIT to pretty much anything – running, the elliptical machine, the weight room, body weight exercises (my favorite), even Pilates. I have yet to figure out how to apply it to potty training, but you never know…

"HIIT for Parenting", the book we haven't yet seen on the shelves.
“HIIT for Parenting”, the book we haven’t yet seen on the shelves.

Although HIIT isn’t exactly new, I know there are a lot of people who haven’t yet tried it. Or they’ve tried it without realizing it. So this post is dedicated to HIIT newbies. Which, by the way, doesn’t mean you’re new to fitness or even that you’re out of shape. I have quite a few clients who are in fantastic shape and have a solid workout regimen but have never tried HIIT. I always start them out at the beginning, even if they’re a triathlete. HIIT could care less about your conditioning level because it’s all about max effort with little rest between that effort, all with the intention of burning body fat more effectively. In other words I don’t care who you are, it’s going to make you sweat! Still aren’t buying what I’m selling? Read more about the hip HIIT benefits here.

All you need is a timer or stop watch. You’re going to complete each exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds, then repeat the same exercise two more times (for a total of 3 times). Then you’ll move on to the next exercise. Complete the entire workout once, rest for 1 minute, then do the whole thing again. If, after two rounds, you feel like you have more left in you still, you should do it for a third time. 

This specific workout requires a three-minute warm up of your choice. If I’m at home my three minutes usually consists of a minute each of squats, jumping jacks, and alternating front-to-back kicks. If I’m at the studio I prefer to warm up with an easy jog on the treadmill. The idea is simply to get your body warm and ready for a workout.

A couple things worth noting before you dive in:

1. You’re going to get tired, that’s the whole point. You want to walk away from this 20 minutes later feeling like you left it all on the gym or living room floor.

2. If you’re doing the pushups and you feel like you’re not doing them correctly or your form is suffering, go down on your knees PLEASE! I don’t know why the world is afraid of knee pushups. It irritates me to no end. Sure, it’s best if you can do them on your toes and the idea should be to work up to that. But let me just tell you, if you do a knee pushup correctly, you’ll get the same results.If you’re doing full pushups with poor form you’re not doing yourself any favors whatsoever. End of rant.

A few demos to watch before you begin if you’re unfamiliar with any of the exercises I’ve given:

Traveling Pushups Demo

Bicycle Crunches

Butt Kicks

Skater Hops

Got it? Good. You’re ready! BeginnerHIIT Let me know what you think. I’ll be posting more HIIT workouts in the future and if you enjoy this one please share!