Workout Wednesday: 30-minute total body workout

rdHappy #WorkoutWednesday! Looking for a short strength training workout that targets all your major muscle groups AND gets the heart rate up? Try this five-set circuit. All you need is a yoga mat and a set of dumbbells.

1) Romanian deadlift into dumbbell bent-over row
2) Squat to overhead dumbbell press
3) Anterior lateral lunge with low-reach dumbbells
4) Push up / bent-over lateral raise (perform as superset)
5) Bird dog / reverse crunch (perform as superset)

Perform each set three times with 8-10 reps per set. Rest for 30 seconds in between each set before moving to the next set. Click here for video instructions and here for a handy print-out.

10 easy, healthy snack ideas for the desk dweller

My all-time favourite snack.

My all-time favourite snack.

Raise your hand if your morning routine goes a little something like this:

Crap, I’m already running late for work because the kids are fighting/my hair is just NOT working today/I have nothing to wear/I lost 10 minutes of my life to Facebook/the dog just puked all over the carpet. *Looks in fridge* I guess I’ll just take this leftover spaghetti from last week to eat for lunch because I have no time to make anything else. *Opens container, notices something growing on it* Never mind, I’ll buy lunch.

And then similarly, your work day goes something like this:

It’s only 10 a.m. and I’m starving. Ohhh sweet, someone bought a box of doughnuts to the office! *Chows down on a Boston cream and gets back to work* How is it 1 p.m. already? I have so much to do, I really don’t have time to grab lunch. I’ll just see what’s in the vending machine/snack shack. *Buys a frozen Lean Cuisine* I guess this is healthy enough, it says ‘”lean” on it… and that looks like a piece of broccoli in there. *Unwraps and heats up Lean Cuisine, eats it at desk* Ugh, it’s only 3 p.m.! I’m starving. *Heads to vending machine and buys a bag of chips and a chocolate granola bar* Hopefully this will tide me over until dinner! *Gets home, feels ravenous. Eats cereal from the box while deciding what to make for dinner* (more…)

#FitFashion Friday: Oiselle

mestandingThough it might not be obvious to those who see me day-to-day, I love fashion and they way clothes look on the body — but not in the sitting-at-a-desk, walking-to-the-car or just-standing-there kind of way. I like the look of clothes on bodies in motion, hence why my wardrobe is 80% workout gear, 10% office attire and 10% casual clothes and dresses. I don’t bat an eye at $110 workout pants, yet struggle to spend more than $40 on a pair of pants for work. I own three pairs of heels, and 20 pairs of running shoes. Laundry day is hell because all that spandex and sweat-wicking material is hang-to-dry. Some people call it lazy fashion, but I don’t like to think of it like that. I’d rather be spending my day in motion instead of sitting in an office, so why not spend the money on the clothes you know you’ll get the most out of? Plus, I think we can all agree spandex is more comfortable than a structured cotton pencil skirt.

That said, I’m going to start a new Friday feature on my blog highlighting some of my favourite functional workout gear and things I’m coveting at the moment. (more…)

The 3 biggest roadblocks to weight loss and how to break through them

timber8Sometimes you find inspiration for blog posts in the most unlikely places and situations.

I just finished an intensive three-day change management course for my real job as a corporate communications advisor. I had to participate in several break-out sessions, give a presentation, and write an exam. Along with all the notes I jotted down pertaining to work projects and organizational change management over the three days, I wrote down this blog post title on a sticky note.

A strength and conditioning coach is kind of like a change manager. We help our clients work through a change to achieve their desired outcomes or goals. In the case of business, this is usually financial success. In the case of fitness, this is usually weight loss, an improvement in aesthetics or an improvement in overall health and wellness. (more…)

6 tips to help keep you lean during marathon training

Gunner Shaw 15Now that you aspiring long distance runners know there’s a chance you could gain some weight during training, I definitely don’t want that to be a discouraging factor in your decision to run a marathon or ultra. First of all, it shouldn’t really matter if you gain a few pounds. Your body is doing what it needs to do to prepare to run for four-plus hours straight. That’s a pretty big energy demand on your body. Yes you get hungrier than normal, and yes you crave carbs, because they are the preferred energy source for your body. That said, if you want to run a marathon — or maybe lots of marathons in the future — and really want to maintain or improve your physique, there are a few things you can do to prevent weight gain during training.

Before I give you some tips, I need to get all science-y about nutrition for a moment. (more…)

Race Review: MEC Victoria Race #4 – 15K distance

The start/finish line.

The start/finish line.

With the Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon about a month away, I decided to throw a speedy, long-ish distance race into my training plan at the last minute. The MEC Race #4 event, which happened on Sunday, September 7, offered three race distances (a 5K, 10K and 15K) along a route I’m very familiar with, as it’s just steps from my front door. I signed up for the 15K race, and decided to run it at my tempo run pace (about 4:30) for as long as I could as a pre-marathon tune-up.

The MEC races are fairly small in terms of the number of participants, which is great if you’re looking to run fast. I found myself trying to keep up with the speedy women in the front, whereas at a larger race I probably wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard. The price is also incredibility reasonable: For only $15, you get a timed race, post-race snacks, a free 15-minute massage, David’s Tea, coffee and medals for the top three men and women overall. (more…)

Help me design a t-shirt!

Well, do you?

Well, do you?

Calling all sporty fashionistas and fitness enthusiasts who’ve always wanted to sport their own clever workout slogan on a shirt — I need your help!

I need to make a t-shirt or tank top as part of my new business venture with Victoria Professional Self Defence. When you sign up for a membership with the dojo, you get a karate gi (which is awesome) and a shirt, and I want to provide some awesome workout tank tops or t-shirts for my personal training clients as well. I’m trying to come up with something to print on the front of the shirt, with my Koru Personal Training logo on the back. I would love your opinion, so if you have a minute to spare please fill out the poll below and let me know what you’d actually wear on a t-shirt! (more…)

My new coaching and personal training website is live!

My new website!

My new website!

I’m super excited to announce I’ve finally launched my coaching and personal training business, Koru Personal Training! I will be offering one-on-one online and in-person personal training and coaching, marathon training plans, nutrition guidelines and more.

Although I specialize in strength and conditioning training for athletes, I will also be offering fat loss and muscle building programs, functional movement training and online coaching support.

If you live in the Victoria area and want private, one-on-one personal training for a price comparable to that offered at a commercial gym, I will be training at Victoria Professional Self Defence, located at #201-1420 Quadra Street.

(more…)

Mind over marathon: What to do when your body wants to quit

Running the 2011 Goodlife Fitness Victoria marathon.

Running the 2011 Goodlife Fitness Victoria marathon.

I wish I could train for a marathon without running those 3-hour-plus long training runs. No matter how beautiful my running route is and how interesting the podcasts I listen to during my long runs are, I always start thinking about how hungry, tired and chaffed I am and how much I just want to stop running and be back at home.

I guess I sort of skipped the long runs last year during training, but that’s because I already put in those once weekly 3-5 hour long run days several months before. Then I took a break, ran 24 km, and ran a marathon a week later.

I know there are marathon training methods where your longest training run is only about 25 km. These plans also include several longer runs (12-16 km) per week, plus a day or two of strength training and a tempo run. Although the proponents of this method say your endurance will be marathon-ready and you are less likely to overtrain and injure yourself by skipping the once-per-week high mileage runs (which may be true), here’s why I don’t like that method: you miss out on training your brain. (more…)

Fitness rant: Looking good does not make you an expert

Look how fit I am! You should listen to me! And buy my ebook! - Internet fitness experts

Look how fit I am! You should listen to me! And buy my ebook! – Internet fitness experts

By now you may have heard the story behind Jen Selter, the “fitness expert” who landed a column in the New York Post by posting pictures of her shapely butt on Instagram. Thing is, this woman is neither certified to train nor in a position to give fitness advice to the general population, as author and certified personal trainer Jen Sinkler points out in this article for Men’s Health.

“Good intentions abound—she isn’t endangering people, by any means, only propagating myths that have been disproven. She is a fitness inspiration to many. She is not (yet) a fitness expert, however. She has never trained a client, aside from her mother.”

The quote above from Sinkler’s article is something that can be applied to a lot of the well-intentioned fitness fanatics on social media these days. (more…)

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