WORK OUT BANK
The holidays are around the corner and with them come the parties, food, and travel. Workouts get shortened or forgotten and temptations eventually get the best of us.
If you’ve worked hard to get fit this year then the thought of undoing it may send you into a bit of a panic.
Fear not! I have a plan for you. I call it “Fitness in the Bank” and it works like a charm.
Rather than wait until January to lose the holiday pounds, I’m going to ask you to do a little extra now, before things get too hectic, so you can “bank some fitness” and “save up some skinny”.
I have used this technique with clients before sending them off for a movie shoot or into their television season. I know that with 17 hour days that go on for weeks and temptation from Craft Service (think warm chocolate chip cookies) that a couple pounds can creep back on. This could definitely cause some panic if we hadn’t planned ahead and gone into it a little light and extra fit. This is the idea behind Fitness in the Bank.
If you want to lose some extra pounds now and increase your strength and stamina, then try some of my tips below and put some Fitness in the Bank!
This can be achieved a variety of ways. You could lift heavier weights. You could perform exercisesthat use lots of major muscles, like squats, star push ups or Valslide sprinter lunges. You could do big circuits like I do or you could use your GymBoss timer and complete as many reps as possible in your 20-30 second work interval. The point is, you have to push yourself. If at the end of the workout you can ask yourself “could I have trained harder?” and the answer is yes, then you haven’t done your job. Always remember: Go hard. Go home. Put it in the bank!
2. Go Faster
Done properly, interval training is extremely difficult, which is why most people try to avoid it. However, if you want to scorch some calories and bank some fitness before the holidays, intervals are where it’s at. Simply defined, interval training involves bursts of high intensity training with periods of lower intensity recovery. For example: After your warm up, run 1 minute, walk 1 minute. Repeat 10x and then cool down.
If you are new to this kind of training, I suggest to start with “Build Ups”.
This is how I explain them in my I Want My Bikini Body Express program.
Interval training is very effective for fat burning, but you need to ease into them. My favorite way to start clients on intervals is called “Build Ups”.
Head to a track or grassy field. You want a soft surface. You will need about 30-40 yards.
Start off in a jog and gradually increase your speed until you are at about 90% of your maximum at the end. Gently ease up and walk back to the start. Start with about 6 of these – work your way up to 10 or 12.
These will get you use to running faster. If you are already doing intervals, then I recommend that you shorten the duration and increase the intensity.
3. Go longer.
Add an extra 10-15 minutes to your workouts. As a general rule, I keep my workouts at about 40-45 minutes. However, I will call in the “go longer” chip when I need to bust a plateau or put some fitness in the bank. The best way to do this is to add some running intervals to the end of your strength workouts when your muscles are warm and your nervous system primed. (See the example above on how to do intervals) However, if you haven’t really been pushing it in your workouts until now, then do 15 minutes of cardio before your strength training circuits.
4. Go more often.
Even when you are ramping things up, you still need to recover. But a special technique called “active recovery” will keep you feeling good and add some extra calories burned to your week. Active recovery emphasizes doing light exercise on your “off-days.” Try a hike on Saturday or yoga on Sunday. You can even rack up a couple of 2-a-days by following your morning workout with an after work spin or yoga class. A few weeks of this and you will be ready to cruise through the holidays.
5. Go Naked.
Okay, maybe not literally, although that may motivate you to get your sweat on. I’m talking more a la` the “Naked Chef” Jamie Oliver. Eat mostly organic, locally produced food, prepared simply without a lot of sauce, cheese or cream.
Skip the Starbucks Frappachino in favor of a black coffee with a bit of sugar or maybe an espresso. Go for grilled chicken with Val’s Easy Tomato Sauce instead of the chicken parmesan. Try roasted vegetables instead of anything “au gratin”. Consider berries or a piece of dark chocolate for dessert instead of ice cream or chocolate soufflé.
If you follow any—or several—of these tips, it won’t take long before this becomes your preferred way of training and eating. The best part? Even if you slip up during the holidays and have some mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie, you can still feel good knowing you “banked” some skinny ahead of time.