Sunday, June 22, 2014

Favorite At Home Workouts

If I were to create my own workout motivational commercial, it would go something like this:

An interviewer walks into a gym and begins asking various patrons the big question, "Why do you work out?"

A young man lifting weights responds, "To impress the ladies!"
The aerobics enthusiast expresses, "To get rid of the baby fat!"
An older gentleman showing maturity says, "To be healthy!"
Then they round a corner to me rockin' the elliptical and I declare, "To maintain my relationship with Ben and Jerry!"

Okay, so maybe it would make a better ice cream commercial, but that's about as true as it comes to my motivation for fitness!  When I was single, I used to say I exercised to maintain my relationship with my boyfriends Ben and Jerry, but I thought I'd better change that for my husband's sake! :)  I dumped them a long time ago and traded them in for a better guy!  Now that's what I call love!  Truth be told, I'm more of a ColdStone kind of girl anyways, but let's not tell Ben and Jerry that!

Anyways, I used to be a big gym-goer, but then we moved to a place where gyms are crazy expensive and far away...and then I became a mom...At that point the gym was more like a distant fantasy than anything that could really be a reality in my world.  So, although in the past I'd been a fickle friend to the at-home workout DVD's, we bonded once again, but at a whole new level!  Now I LOVE them and don't foresee a return to gym-junkie life any time soon!

What are my favorites?  I thought you'd never ask! :)  I actually get asked that all the time, which is why I thought it would be a good idea to share it with any of my readers out there that may benefit!

Disclaimer:  For those who know me well, you may wonder, "If these workouts are so great then why doesn't she have the six-pack they claim to develop?"  

Answer:  See previous commercial write-up!  I love my treats!  Truth be told, if I flex I can actually feel the six-pack (something I never could before)...unfortunately it's covered by a nice layer of the results of my favorite foods--dessert!  I truly believe if I followed the eating plans along with the workouts, I may actually have a six-pack that is viewable to the rest of the world (not really 'cuz I never show my belly--but if I did! :)  However, although I am an advocate of a nutritious diet, I am no fanatic in any way, shape, or form! ;)

Now, I've rambled long enough, so with no further adieu: 
MY favorite at home workouts!

Hard Core
Number 1:  TurboFire & Chalean Extreme (Hybrid)
If you've never done a workout with Chalean Johnson, you are missing out!  She is by far my favorite DVD trainer EVER!  She is so motivating and energetic (but not annoyingly peppy, if you know what I mean).  Her workouts have an option to turn the volume of the music up and her down, but I NEVER use it because even when I've done the workout a million times, listening to her still motivates me and keeps me going!

Turbo Fire is similar to Insanity (if you are familiar with that at all) except that it's less kill-and-drill and more dance-y/kickbox-y.  It's really fun and kicks your booty at the same time!  Don't worry if you're not terribly coordinated (I was always the one in aerobics class going the wrong way), she has a "new to class" feature to help you learn the routines that you can use as many times as you need!  Just make sure to follow the calendar and NEVER do two Hiit workouts in a row or you will end up injured for sure.  You will feel some serious soreness for the first month, but it starts to be less dramatic after that.  This workout helped me lose the baby fat, and then some!  (However, if you have knee or back problems, you may want to steer clear as there are a lot of plyometrics!)

Chalean Extreme is similar to P90X (if you're familiar with that workout) but more geared toward women (not that guys can't do this one and girls P90X, it's just my preference!).  I bought a pair of Adjustable Dumbbells that I use for this and absolutely love them for the most part.  They are worth their weight in gold so you can "turn up the results" as they say, without having a million pairs of weights lying around your house!  The Select Techs are way cheaper now though than they were then so I'd probably go with those if I were to buy them now.  

Number 2:  Insanity
If you were even in Junior High or High School Sports, (or college for you super talented people!) you remember those days of suicides, wall sits, and pushups til' you pass out.  The days when your coach would force your body WAY beyond the farthest limits you thought it could go.  If you recollect those "lovely" days, then you get a glimpse of what Insanity is all about.  Although in my opinion, Shawn T is much more gracious than most coaches (after all you can really pause it if you're going to die and he won't cuss you out or make you run laps! :).  Seriously though, they don't call it Insanity for nothin'!!!  It is the kill-and-drill type routine that will whip you in to shape...just don't forget your towel so you don't slip on your own monsoon of sweat!  He is motivating and encouraging, even if his cast can't always keep up! :)  The best part is that if you take your before and after pics, then you get a t-shirt that you can only get if you complete the program!  (It's all about the t-shirt really right?)  It says "I earned it" on the back.  I wear mine with pride...but only on days that I don't chow down on ice cream or I feel like a hypocrite! :)  And to think I used to not be able to do pushups on my toes!!!  No more girl pushups for me...well, unless it's toward the end of the workout and I've really got nothing left to give!

Number 3:  P90X
I'm not sure I'm qualified to rate this one as I never did the whole thing as a program.  I've done all the workouts, just not in the set scheduled 90 day program (more as supplemental when I didn't feel like doing my other workouts).  However, my husband has gone through the program a couple of times and I watched him do it when I was very pregnant and couldn't hardly get out of bed so I know it well!  I really like Tony Horton as I find him rather amusing to listen to.  He's fun and motivating and I don't get sick of hearing him talk like I do sometimes with DVD trainers.  Thus, the weight training workouts are pretty good.  I'm not a huge fan of his aerobics workouts though, and since that is what I enjoy the most, P90X falls a bit short in my book.  But, like I said, that's just a personal preference!

And if you've ever done or seen will LOVE this video clip.  Personally I think the modified version is the way to go...HILARIOUS!!!

Tough/But Doable

Hip Hop Abs
Billy Blanks BootCamp


These are just a few of my other favorites when I don't want to go seriously hardcore (as the above mentioned workouts surely are!).  They will still kick your trash, but not quite at the same level.  These are also lower impact if you have problems with your back or knees and can't do the plyometrics as much!

I'm no personal trainer or fitness pro, but I hope this is helpful to some of you out there!

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