Mid-Summer Shape Up

Group of women working out in fitness studio

It’s hard to stay motivated so let’s challenge ourselves to stay on track!

It’s already the middle of the summer and I have to admit it’s getting hard to stay motivated to be active and healthy. Between work, trying to keep the kids fed, active and entertained; I’m exhausted at all times. I love spending most of my time with my children and my job as a stylist is pretty great, but it’s both hard and exhausting to squeeze in workout time and stay healthy. And with all the treats that are constantly in my midst I’ve been indulging a little too much in the sweeter  things.

I need some motivation and a challenge to keep me going. I’m going to think of a fitness and diet challenge every week in August to inspire me to stay on track. I want you to do the same, I’ll check in with ya’ll on Instagram and Facebook every morning to let you know that I’m on track and you should do the same. This weeks challenge: no ice cream and complete an 8 minute Tabata every day.

If you’re not familiar with Tabata it’s a form of high intensity interval training that is performed in a 20/10 format for 4 minutes and then resting for 1 minute. You can perform almost any move in this format but if you need some suggestions Greatist has a list of 9 over to help get you started.

xo,

Hil

Benefits of HIIT (high intensity interval training)

hiit

Yesterday I posted a link to my weekly HIIT workout which you can see here. I’m trying to come up with a method to the madness in terms of what I post and when. Every Monday I will post a HIIT workout and Wednesdays I will post some more concentrated strength training exercises.

Today I want to talk a little about the benefits of interval training. I personally love it because I can easily do it at home and my kids sometimes even join in. Here’s a list of some of the other great advantages.

  1. Burns the most calories in the least amount of time. The Tabata format in particular (this is working at your maximum capacity for 20 seconds then taking a 10 second break for a total of 4 minutes per set) has been proven to torch calories and continue burning calories at a high rate for up to 30 minutes post workout.
  2. Mixes up your workout so you never get bored. I love that this type of workout entails doing different exercises. I tend to get bored with repetitive cardio and this solves that problem by changing up what I’m doing every 30 to 60 seconds.
  3. Challenges muscle memory. HIIT creates muscle confusion so your muscles do not get bored and are always working hard.
  4. Gives you a full body workout. If you get the right combination of exercises together you will get a full body workout in the process of calorie blasting. Mix it up with some calorie burning running, butt boosting squats, bicycle crunches and planks and you’ve covered all of your body parts. I recommend mixing in strength training with your HIIT, but it’s not necessary since you are already doing strength exercise with this workout.

What’s your favorite workout to do in high intensity intervals?

Thanks for reading!

XO,

Hil

Today’s HIIT.

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I love high intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of exercise can take on many forms. I like the tabata format, this effort ratio torches calories and you only need to do it for 10 minutes to see results.

Here’s how it works: pick an exercise that you can perform at high intensity  for 20 seconds and then walk it out for 10 seconds. Do this for 4 minutes then rest for one minute. Then another 4 minutes and rest. I usually mix in some strength training in between, but for today just focus on doing the HIIT as many times as you can comfortably.

Fo these exercises in the 20/10 format.

1) High Knees.

2) Skaters.

3) Jumping lunge.

4) Burpees.

Comment below and let me know how you did and how many sets you were able to do. Don’t over do it! I don’t want you to hurt yourself and he too sore tomorrow. Do what feels comfortable while still challenging yourself!

xo,

Hilary

8 to Great: Week 6

Hopefully you’ve gotten the swing of HIIT training and I hope you like it and are getting the full benefits. If you are doing this type of training consistently and giving it your all you will see results! That brings us to this weeks challenge…

1) Weight Training. This week I want to talk a little about the importance of muscle training. To get the full benefits of working out, tone up and slim down, you need to add weight training to your regimen. Doing this for just a few minutes a day will tremendously help increase your metabolism and weight loss. Included in the HIIT workouts I’ve been giving you is some weight training using your own body weight, that is part of the reason this type of exercise is so effective. But, if you want to really increase your results and get that six pack you always wanted you must do more focused exercises.

If you have no idea what exercises to do for each muscle group there are lots of videos on YouTube to help. I’ve been doing a lot of the Tone it Up workouts lately. You may know Kareena and Katrina from their show on Bravo. They have some really great, SHORT, videos that help you get “toned up”. 🙂 Here’s one for your legs and booty that’s terrific. Let me know how you like it at Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.

2) This weeks HIIT. Tabata format just like the previous weeks.

High Knees. (20 seconds on 10 seconds off for 4 rounds, total of 2 minutes.)

                 
Squat with kick, right leg then left.

08-Squat-Kick

 

Burpees.


Lunge to kick. Right side then left.

ReverseLungeFrontKick

8 to Great slim down challenge: Week 4

running buddy

Spring is finally here! I hope you are starting to see results from the weekly diet and workout challenges I’ve been posting. If you are genuinely following along and doing the workout at least 3 times a week you will see results.

Here’s this weeks challenge:

1) Find a workout buddy. Studies show that people who have friends they workout with are much more likely to get themselves to the gym or go for that jog then those who don’t. I even found a couple of applications that helps you find someone in your area with similar workout interests to partner with.

1) SportPartner.com

2) ExerciseFriends.com

If you use one of these sites or have used them please let me know if you had any success and if you have advice or tips on how to get the most out of using these sites.

2) Bag you snacks. Get a box of zip lock bags and portion out your snacks for the day / week. I suggested planning your meals ahead of time, this is a great way to plan your snacks and make sure you aren’t over doing it and a good way to make sure you’re not buying to many packaged good that are full of preservatives and other junk that isn’t good for you. If you are having trouble thinking of healthy snacks here are 100 ideas I found…

100 Healthy Snack Ideas

3) Workout. Here’s this weeks challenge. Again, this is an HIIT workout in Tabata format (2o seconds on, 10 seconds rest for for reps each exercise)

Round 1

1)Squat with medicine ball (if you don’t have a medicine ball substitute with some dumbbells or a few books). For this exercise you are going to squat down as far as you can, holding the medicine ball with both hand in between your legs, arms straight. Come up and swing your arms up over head ball in hands.

sumo-squat-with-medicine-ball

2) Plank with leg raise. Get into standard plank position and raise one leg off the ground then switch. If this is too difficult, knees on the floor and raise.

plank with side taps

Rest for one minute.

Round 2

1) Box jumps. Modification: Step ups.

box-jump

2) Planks with side taps. Again, in standard plank position, tap one foot out then switch. Modification: Bring it to your knees.

plank with taps

And relax…

Repeat this series at least once more, maximum 3 reps.

Let me know how you like this weeks workout and if you would like me to include anything for next weeks workout. I’m open to suggestions so please send them in!

Stay motivated, summers almost here!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert

Week 2 of the 8 to Great Slim Down Challenge!

How did week 1 go for you ladies? As a review, I asked you to count calories, find opportunities to squeeze exercise into your day and performing a tabata circuit that I provided to you 3 times a day for at least 2 days this week (admittedly this was a tough one to accomplish as getting through it once was difficult for me).

Last weeks challenge was about self-awareness. Counting calories shows you how much you are actually consuming per day and hopefully will help you find places that you can cut back. Finding new ways to squeeze exercise in your day is a great way to get into the habit of thinking of opportunities for you to get fit. And the tabata challenge was to show you that you can get an intense workout in a short period of time, and once you get started it’s easier to keep going. You just have to start!

Week 2:

1) Eat breakfast. Many people skip breakfast, including myself when I’m in a rush! Before I had children I skipped breakfast regularly. Now I realize how important it is to keeping me energized, less anxious and content throughout my day. The weight loss benefits of eating breakfast are that it kick starts your metabolism and will diminish overall hunger throughout the day.

Of course I want you to choose a healthy breakfast. An example, whole wheat toast, organic preserves, eggs whites, fruit, yogurt and granola.

2) Meditate for at least 2 minutes per day. This will provide you more clarity, awareness, good sense and the ability to take pause when necessary (like when you’re reaching for that cupcake). If you are thinking to yourself that you cannot find the time or place to meditate that is absolutely not true. That’s why I posted a picture of a woman in a board room meditating, obviouly I don’t expect you to so this but the point is that you can find the time and place to clear your head for two minutes. No excuses!

If you need pointers check out my post on how to meditate here.

3) Workout. This weeks routine is going to be another Tabata circuit. In fact all of them are and it should get easier for you each week as your strength builds and you see the pounds come off. I want you to perform this circuit at least 3 times this week, that’s the only way you will begin to see results.

This weeks routine has a focus on your thighs, booty and arms. However, all of my routines will be full body workouts.

To review, I want you to perform each move in this circuit for 20 seconds on 10 seconds off for a set of 4. A total of 2 full minutes for each move.  The entire circuit will take 10 minutes. After 10 minutes rest for 2 minutes then repeat the circuit if you can. Try to repeat it up 3 times. Remember that this is a great calorie burning session so push yourself!

1) Skaters. Modifications: Jump side to side for more intensity, if you would like less intensity step it.

2) Push ups. Modifications: For less intensity out your knees on the ground, for more intensity knees off the ground and try and lift one leg up for 10 seconds and then switch for 10.

After these 2 moves rest for one full minute and move on…

3) Jumping lunges. Modifications: Remove the jump and simply step and lunge.

jump lunge

4) Side to side planks.  Modification: Bring the plank to your knees and simply hold it for 20 seconds on one side, switch sides for the next 20 second interval.

side-plank-turn-400x400
That it! Good luck everybody! And let me know if you have any questions about diet or exercise at Hilary@ugobabyfitness.com.
 
Xx,
Hilary Ann Lambert

Ready, set, go! 8 to Great Slim Down Challenge: Week 1

Are you ready to look and feel better than you thought you ever could?

Before we begin I want to stress that this is not a get fit quick and easy plan. This is an 8 week challenge that will motivate and push you to live an overall healthier lifestyle. The added benefit of living healthier: you will look and feel the best you ever have!  Over the next 8 weeks I will simply be giving you the tools to make better decisions about what you eat and how to create an exercise regimen that works for you so you will stick with.

I’m in this too guys! I need some motivation as well so this is going to be really helpful for me.  My eating habits have gotten much better over the years but I can still use a lot of help. I’ll be working with a professional nutritionist from Whole Foods Market, Lisa Caldwell, who also provides nutrition counsel to individuals through her own business, Kitchen Confidant.

Check back here every Saturday morning where I will post a new workout, healthy eating tips and more influential material to get you motivated to achieve your goals, whether it’s losing weight, toning up or just overall living healthier.

Ready, set, go….

1) First up, exercise. I will provide a workout that I would like you to perform at least 3 times a week. The workout will change weekly to keep it interesting, but if you find that there is one workout in particular you enjoy doing and want to stick with go right ahead! The point is to find something you like to do so you KEEP doing it.

Start counting steps and find ways of getting more exercise into your day:

It’s recommended that one perform 10,000 steps per day, get a pedometer and you can keep track and make sure you are reaching this goal. Once you have gotten to 10,000 it’ll be easy to challenge yourself and do a few more for added benefits.

What other ways can you squeaze more exercise into your day? Every time you move you are exercising, so try and move more! Instead of trying to get right in front of the grocery store, park at the back of the lot. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, if you’re going up 30 floors, take the stairs up 5 flights then get the lift. Tell us how you’ve found more exercise in your day on Insta and twitter @ugobabyfitness or on our Facebook page, facebook/ugobabyfitness.

The Workout for Week 1. 

I really like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). It’s the best way to burn the most calories, get multiple muscle groups working and have an efficient and effective workout. I prefer the Tabata Protocol form of HIIT. It’s scientifically proven to burn the most calories in the least amount of time and has the best aerobic and anaerobic benefits. It’s easy to follow (not an easy workout just easy to understand and perform). The intervals are done in a 20 /10 format. Perform one exercise at your highest intensity for 20 seconds, take a 10 second break. Repeat 8 times = 4 minutes. Take a 1 minute break. Repeat this scenario as many times as you want. Do at least 10 sets for a ten minute workout.

Here’s what I’m doing this week. This is a 10 minute workout that I want you to perform 3 times through for a total of 30 minutes. You can do it all at once or throughout the day, so when you get up, right before lunch and then before dinner. My suggestion is to plan on doing it for the  10 minutes. This will make it easy for you to motivate knowing it’s only 10 minutes. My presumption is that once you’ve performed 10 minutes of this workout you will keep going. It’s hardest to start and easy to keep going once you’ve started, right? If you do only manage to squeeze this workout in once it’s still one of the best workouts you’re gonna get in the least amount of time.

Workout for Week 1:

High Knees. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place, repeat 4 times. You can either walk or run this move in place, whatever works for you. Just make sure  you are pushing yourself during your intervals. 

                                                                                                                – —-

Burpees. 20 Seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place. Repeat 4 times. Modifications: With this exercise there are jumps involved, if you want less impact simply step it. To amp up your burpee add a push when you are in plank position.

1 minute break walking in place. (Drink water.)

Jumping Jacks. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place, repeat 4 times.  Modification: step out instead of jumping if you want less impact. To make it harder you can add a squat when in position B below. 

                                                                                                                 –

Mountain Climbers. 20 Seconds on, 10 seconds walking in place. Repeat 4 times. Modifications: Normally you are jumping from position A to B, if you want less impact step it. 

 

1 minute break walking in place.

Repeat these intervals as many times as you would like for a maximum of 30 minutes.

When you have completed the workout send me a pic on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, all are @ugobabyfitness. I will post on all three when I’ve completed my workout for the day. This is a good way to keep myself in check too!!

2) Now onto the diet challenge for this week. 

A) Keep a journal of the calories you eat per day. This will show you how much you are actually consuming and hopefully motivate you to eat a little less if necessary.

B) Start checking ingredients on what you are eating. This seemed daunting to me for a long time, but it’s really very simple. I’ve learned that if I have to be a chemist to understand what makes up my food I shouldn’t be eating it.   Foods with less ingredients and all natural ones will keep you fuller longer and of course are more healthy for you.

C) Plan out your meals and snacks for the week and eat less more often. Research shows that people who are most successful at dieting and keeping weight off plan their meals for the week ahead.

That’s it for week 1! Check in with us at the end of this week and let us know how you did. Send photos or videos to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook:  hashtag 8toGreat, to get us inspired and really feel like we’re all in this together! I’ll be doing the same.

Good luck!! Remember this is just for one week, you can do it. Then we’ll  move onto more challenges next Saturday.

Please send any questions, thoughts or suggestions on how to make this the most effective fitness challenge out there!!

Xx,

Hilary Ann Lambert