cardio


Business travelers often feel challenged to keep to their fitness routine and cleaner eating while on the road. But a few simple tips from www.MyTrainerFitness.com can help you create travel routines that keep you feeling and looking good and less travel-weary.

1. Commit to Yourself
Do not leave your health and fitness to chance or whim. Decide it’s a part of your life and not optional, and fulfill your promise to workout. You would not think of missing a meeting with an important principle, so treat yourself with that same respect.

2. Plan Your Workouts
You schedule your important appointments and you don’t miss them. So, schedule your workout time into each day, then keep the appointment. Part of planning means surveying WHERE you can workout in addition to when. So check out the gym at your hotel or the area outside if you’re going running, then plan the what, when and where.

3. Pack Accordingly
Be sure to pack workout clothes, sneakers and of course your workout plan, such as http://www.mytrainerfitness.com books or 6-Pack cards. This keeps you focused, efficient and effective. Frequent travelers keep a bag packed by laundering and re-packing their travel bag so it’s ready to go.

4. Eat Clean
Clean eats to support your fitness lifestyle will help you to make the right choices while you are away. For snacks, pack some raw nuts or nutmix, or travel-friendly fruit, such as apples, and a few low sugar/carb protein bars to keep from indulging in junk-food. You can also find all of these at most airports and gas stops these days. For meals, decline the bread basket, (ask them to not leave it at the table so you won’t be temped to fill up on these carbs). Seek out salad bars, but avoiding the pre-mixed varieties with lots of fatty mayonnaise and dressings, and order the heart-healthy or “Lighter Fare” and lean items entrees generally found everywhere these days, including most fast-food places. Chances are it will be delicious, and you’ll feel better afterward.

5. Make Up Your Mind
If you follow the first tip and commit and have made up your mind to stay fit and healthy during travel, it gets progressively easier. There’s no energy wasted equivocating on what you think you might want to have or how you may feel too tired to work out. Similarly, when you make up your mind to eat clean you realize that to indulge because it’s there, is not a good enough reason to break the contract with yourself.

If you try this on your next trip, whether business or vacation, we’re betting that at the end of it, you’ll be very glad you did. Let us know, and please share your travel tips.

When the “My Gym Trainer” book series came out last winter, we received a lot of feedback from men and women who wanted a version to do at home, since not everyone has a gym membership. We loved the idea and recently launched our “My Trainer Fitness for at Home” 6-pack! It’s a great DIY fitness booklet containing 6 at-home workouts, each containing both cardio and weight training. Days 1 & 4 provide lower body exercise, while Days 2 & 5 work the upper body and finally, Days 3 & 6 hit those core muscles (abs and low back) for a complete full-body workout in 1 week. Of course, just like the MGT books, you can space out the workouts and only exercise 3x/week and then you would not do the same workout twice over a 2- week period. One of the best things about the 6-pack is that EACH WORKOUT IS ONLY 30 MINUTES. And anyone can commit to 30 minutes a day, especially at their house, even in their PJs! J The workouts are easy to follow too! You only need 2 sets of dumbbells (1 heavy, 1 light; how to choose is outlined in the pack), a chair and a mat. Each workout consists of 2 circuits, each of which last 15 minutes. Simply follow the circuit of exercises through as they are laid out, moving quickly from one exercise to the next to get a great cardio, as well as strength workout and boost the metabolism all day long. Start your day off right with a MTFAH workout in the morning before work to stay revved all day! Here is an example of what you can expect:

Purchase your MTFAH 6-pack for only $10 at http://www.MyTrainerFitness.com

The elliptical trainer is one of the most popular cardio machines at the gym because it is low impact and works the legs, glutes, hamstrings and even the upper body if you don’t hold onto the railings and instead work your arms back and forth.  But many exercisers will stride along without paying attention to intensity…reading a magazine!  We know you have done it!  J

Don’t read a magazine! Monitor your intensity this way:

Most elliptical machines at your gym will have not only a “Resistance” and “Crossramp” measurement, but also something called “Strides per Minute (SPM).”  SPM is a measure of how fast your legs are moving and it is a great way to monitor your intensity.  For example, many of the elliptical workouts in MGT dictate a certain resistance, but leave the SPM up to you.  However, if you are at Level 15 Resistance, but your legs are barely moving, it may not be the amount of intensity needed to generate great results.  For your higher resistances (10 and above), aim for above 140 SPM, while your lower resistances can allow for SPMs as high as 200.  On your recovery segment, move as slow as you like, but remember, during your hard intervals, a tough resistance + a challenging SPM = great results!

Below is a great NEW elliptical workout, not featured in any of the My Gym Trainer books.  As you move through the different resistances, focus on your strides-per-minute (SPM) and do your best to maintain your perceived exertion between 8-9 (on a scale of 1-10) on the tough intervals.  During the rest periods, go at whatever speed you want and recover slowly so that you can push just as hard on the next bout.


Summer is in full swing and though we love gym workouts of course, we can’t
help but want to bring the My Gym Trainer concepts outdoors to get a great,
heart-pumping, fat-blasting workout in The Great Outdoors. Something about
being outside brings back the invigorated feeling of youth and reenergizes us for
the day.

So, we are excited to be bringing you our very own outdoor book, called “My
Trainer Fitness for Outdoors!
” It is a “6-pack” of workouts that are designed to be done outside, anywhere!

Six complete workouts, each containing both cardio and weight-training for only
$15 (including shipping & tax). They will be ready for purchase on our website
http://www.MyTrainerFitness.com within a week! Great, fun workouts that get you
measurable results! Here is a taste of what you can expect:

Complete a 5-minute warm-up consisting of jogging or quick walking, light
lunges, squats, side steps, high knees and skips. Be sure to get nice and warm
before beginning the circuits. Here is your sample 30-minute outdoor workout!

Circuit #1: 15 minutes – Upper Body & Cardio
Perform the following exercises in a circuit, completing as many rounds as
possible in 15 minutes. Rest as needed.

Circuit #2: 15 minutes – Lower Body & Cardio
Perform the following exercises in a circuit, completing as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. Rest as needed.

No Equipment Needed!

Stadium Smarts:

Summer is a great time to escape the gym and head outdoors for a great workout.  To shake things up or bust through a plateau, head to a local outdoor stadium with lots of steps, perhaps at a local high school for a great stair climbing circuit.  Here are some tips for how to get the most out of your My Gym Trainer stadium workouts:

  1. Intensity trumps duration: Because running stadiums is so intense, the workouts contained here are shorter, but will generate a bigger metabolic boost than long, slower workouts. By nature, running stairs is an innate interval-training workout.  Intervals alternate high-intensity bouts (runningup the stairs) with low-intensity recovery periods (walking back down the stairs).  This varying of high and low intensities several times within the workout pushes us to breach our anaerobic threshold; the point at which we are breathless and our muscles are burning.  Hitting this point (but notstaying there) in a workout increases the intensity and after-burn effect of the session, so that you continue burning greater fat and calories after the workout is over.
  1. Shape and sweat: Stair climbing is one of the best cardiovascular activities for muscular endurance and shaping.  Especially long strides up the stairs (two steps at a time) mimic the movement of a lunge, first stretching the glutes, quads and hamstrings, and then contracting all 3 muscles together in one big muscular effort to reach for the next step.  If done right, this movement creates a muscular burn in the glutes, quads and hamstrings that cannot be generated in other cardio activities like jogging.
  1. Up your metabolism with weights: We know cardiovascular exercise is great for our heart and helps shed pounds, but without weight training, we will see little definition or “cuts” in our newly trimmed physique.  These circuits created integrate cardio along with weight-training exercises to hit all the major muscle groups, while increasing the metabolic effect of the workout.  If you want to target a troublesome lower half, incorporate this leg circuit up to 3x/week.  Need a little tone in the arms?  Try this upper body circuit 2-3x/week.  Complete both circuits on days that you want a total body blitz, resting a couple minutes between upper and lower body circuits.

The workouts are to be done circuit-style, which means that you move from one exercise to the next with little rest.  Continue cycling through all the movements within the circuit until the 15 minutes is up.

Want more?  To increase your intensity, bring some dumbbells with you to the stadium! Place them at the top of Aisle #1 before you begin, and hold them during your squats, squat jumps and squat thrusts for added burn in the legs.  During your upper body circuit, use them at the top of the aisle to do rows and shoulder presses.

Be sure to perform a proper warm-up for at least 5 minutes, incorporating jogging, a few light run-throughs on the stairs and some dynamic stretches like high knees, side-to-side lunges and spinal twists.

Cardio & Lower Body Workout – You will need 2 adjacent aisles for this workout

Perform this circuit, rotating through as many times as possible in 15 minutes

Begin at bottom of Aisle #1, and sprint up steps, 2-at-a-time

Perform 10 squats at the top

Perform 10 squat jumps at the top

Perform 10 squat thrusts at the top

Perform walking lunges across the top until you reach Aisle #2

Walk down Aisle #2 – recovery time

Run back to the starting spot at the bottom of Aisle #1 and repeat circuit

Cardio & Upper Body Workout – You will need 1 aisle for this workout

Perform the circuit, rotating through as many times as possible in 15 minutes

Begin at the bottom of Aisle #1

Perform 10 incline push-ups with hands on the 5th step and feet on the ground level

Perform 10 dips with hands on the 1st step, feet on the ground level, knees bent

Perform 10 moving planks, bringing the hands from the bottom of the steps up to the 1st step and back down while in push-up position

Sprint up the steps, 2-at-a-time

Walk back down the aisle, recovering

Sprint up the steps, 2-at-a-time

Walk back down the aisle and repeat circuit

Once your workout is completed, perform a 5-minute cool-down, focusing on bringing the heart rate back down and incorporating static stretches for the hamstrings, quads, glutes, shoulders, cheat and back.

Traditional fat-burning anaerobic exercise done via high-intensity interval training (HIIT) creates a hormonally and calorically favorable environment to lose inches, while aerobic pedaling using heavy resistance generates a similar effect to that of weight training, thus shaping the leg.  If the resistance and speed combinations are enough to elicit a strong lactic acid burn in the legs and glutes, the result is a fat-burning, leg-sculpting effect.

Because of the orientation of the bike, the movement loads the glutes and the quadriceps predominantly, paying particular attention to the area right below the glutes referred to as the “glute-hamstring tie-in” by many fitness professionals.  The glute-hamstring tie-in is a notoriously stubborn place of fat storage for many women and also one of the first places on the body to take on cellulite with age.  The beauty of using the recumbent bike is that it helps burn fat all over, while eliciting a localized burn in the legs, attacking both the glute-hamstring tie-in and the lower part of the quad near the knee (referred to as the “tear drop” and the “sweep”).

Improve Muscular Endurance & Shape the Legs

Another useful approach when engaging the recumbent bike is to do a protocol that elicits more of a muscular burn in the legs.  The segments are a little longer and focus on a slow, deep aching in the glutes and quads to make those muscles pop.  Try this protocol as an alternative to a light weight-training workout or add it in at the end of a heavy leg day. 

Workout #3 – 25 minutes: Throughout this protocol, you will build on your resistance and slow the pace to the point of burning.  Choose Manual Program on the bike and change the levels as called for.  This type of working will really get the glutes burning; think about the muscles being worked and squeeze them to get the full effect.  This should feel similar to resistance training for the legs. 

“Just thought I’d give you some feedback on my Week 1 experience w/
MGT 3.

It actually took me 2 work weeks to get through Wk 1. I am
alternating between an MGT day & a run day as I’m training for the
annual Indy Mini (1/2) marathon. I typically spend Saturdays racing
& Sundays recovering (and overindulging – lol) Race is only about
a month away, so mileage is getting pretty built up.

For Circuit Train/Weights – the way you have paired/combined
certain exercises together has been fantastic for me! I can feel
my muscles responding w/ that slight discomfort the next day & a
deepening soreness 48 hours later. It’s a good soreness though. A
soreness I haven’t felt in a LONG time – since my WFU days. I
think it’s mainly in part bc of the great combinations you have put
together & also how focused & honed in I’m becoming in really
targeting the muscle groups assigned for that day. The exercises
are not complicated – but the photos REALLY do help – have actually
been a refresher for me – like an “Oh yeah, I remember that one” –
if that tells you how blasé my routine previously was.

For Cardio – HOLY COW!! The exhaustion I’ve felt took me back to
my HS Swim Team days when we’d have 2-a-day practices doing 10 x
100’s on 1:15 repeats. They totally kick my butt – especially the
Treadmill & Elliptical days. However, the exhaustion is followed
by a euphoric high – EVERY TIME. There were 2 days I did the
cardio after running/getting some mileage in the day before & my
legs were dead, so I went a bit easier on the MGT day cardio & I
didn’t push myself to the edge & I’ll be honest, I was
disappointed in myself for not achieving that “High” post-workout.
It’s like crack – getting addicted again! lol.”

~ Nicole

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