Back And Core Workout – April 2015

This is a workout I did the other day. I was pleased with how well it worked and how efficient it was. It did not take too much time, but I definitely felt a great pump and was sore all over the next day. Try it out and let me know what you think.

Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia KTGnyc.com

Model: Alec Varcas
Photo by Kevin Thomas Garcia
KTGnyc.com

Warmup:
30 minutes of moderate intensity cardio.

Working Sets:

  • 1. Superset 1: 4 rounds
    • 3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each. (10 reps at heavy, medium, then light weight)
    • 10 raised shoulder push-ups
    • 45 second hollow hold
    • 1 minute rest
  • 2. 50 reps of Lsit pull-ups
    (10 sets of 5 with a 30 second rest)
    • 3. Superset 2: 3 rounds
      • 15 reps of rear delt flyes
      • 1 minute side plank on each side
    • 4. 5 sets of farmer carries
      • 5. 10 handstands until failure
        • 6. Stretch
          • TIPS:
            1. For my moderate intensity cardio, I decided to walk at 4.0 speed on a 7.5% incline on the treadmill for 30 minutes. This burned a little over 300 calories.
            2. When I say “3 Drop sets of seated rows. 10 reps each,” start with a heavier weight and do 10 reps of seated rows. Immediately after, lower the weight and do another 10 reps, and then lower it one more time and do another 10 reps. You will do 30 reps total during this drop set, and eventually end up doing 120 total after you do the 4 rounds of that super set. I ended with doing 120lbs, then 80 lbs, then 40 lbs.
            3. During the “50 reps of Lsit pull-ups,” you can break them up however you want. I did 10 sets of 5 reps with a 30 second rest in between each set. Also, during this exercise, you can use a wide grip, or a close grip.
            4. When I did the “10 handstands until failure,” I did mine off the wall and just tried to hold my position. If you are not comfortable with handstands, try holding the handstand against the wall for as long as you can.

            Hope you enjoy this workout as much as I did. Let me know what you think or if you ended up modifying any of the exercises. If you have any questions, comments, or ideas for new topics, contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com

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            Hollow Body Holds

            This is one of the greatest core conditioning exercises out there. It may look simple, but after only a few seconds, you will feel your core burning! Hollow Body Holds will strengthen your entire core and will help condition your body for many other exercises.

            Hollow Body Holds 3

            How to Perform Hollow Body Holds:
            1. Lie down with your back on the floor and hands by your side
            2. While keeping your lower back flat on the ground, activate your core to lift your legs, arms and shoulders a few inches off the ground.
            3. Hold this position for 30-60 seconds (or as long a possible). The image shows the position to hold during a Hollow Body Hold.



            TIPS:
            1. You must keep your lower back flat on the floor. Keeping your lower back connected with the floor will activate the appropriate muscles for this exercise.
            2. You may find yourself shaking during this exercise. As long as you are not uncomfortable, try to push through it. You may shake because your muscles are not used to the tension from this exercise, but it means that your muscles are working hard. Be prepared to be sore tomorrow!
            3. BREATHE! Do not hold your breath during this exercise. Focus and take slow deep breaths.
            4. Keep your legs tight together!

            Have you ever tried Hollow Body Holds? How long can you hold a Hollow Body Hold? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, and ideas for new topics.

            What is HIIT?

            HIIT 1
            Many of you may have heard about HIIT training before, but don’t really understand what it is. I’m going to briefly explain the concept of HIIT training and how you can include it into your workout.

            WHAT IS HIIT?
            HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The concept of HIIT is alternating low-intensity intervals with high-intensity intervals. The most common and simplest form of HIIT can be applied to running, however HIIT can be used in many different exercises such as burpees, box jumps, squats etc.

            WHAT IS AN EXAMPLE OF A HIIT WORKOUT?
            When running, instead of running at a steady pace for 15 minutes, try doing a low-intensity interval alternated with a high-intensity interval. For example, 30 seconds of walking, then 30 seconds of seconds of sprinting. Doing 15 rounds of this exercise would be a great HIIT workout. Push yourself hard during the sprint. Many times we are comfortable at one speed, however it is not even close to our max speed needed to do a sprint. The more you push yourself (under safe conditions), the better the results.

            WHY IS IT EFFECTIVE?
            Because of the high interval training, you are able to really work on your endurance, increase your metabolism, burn fat, and help build muscle.

            Cassandra Fiorella @petitefi

            @petitefi

              Endurance: According to a 2011 study presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Meeting, 2 weeks of HIIT improves your aerobic capacity as much as 6-8 weeks of endurance training.
              Burn Fat: Because of the high intensity, your body works hard to repair itself. After a HIIT workout, you burn more calories over a 24 hour span than you would during a regular endurance program because your body is constantly working in repair mode to recover your muscles.
              Metabolism: HIIT increases the production of your HGH (Human Growth Hormone) by up to 450% which helps burn more calories throughout the day and is suppose to help slow down the aging process.

            HIIT is never easy because you have to push yourself hard, but the outcome may surprise you. Since adding HIIT into my workouts, I have noticed a huge change in my body and my abilities as an athlete.

            Do you include HIIT workouts into your workout routine? What are some of your favorite intervals to do? Let me know at corestrengthalec@gmail.com.

            Cranberry Turkey Meatballs

            Let me be the first to say that I am not a great cook. I have a really bad habit of over cooking food, I don’t usually know what spices go well in what recipes, and I tend to ‘eyeball’ measurements incorrectly. With this said, my turkey meatball recipe is really easy and it makes a pretty tasty and healthy meal. This recipe makes 12-15 meatballs.

            Cranberry Turkey Meatballs 1

            Cranberry Turkey Meatballs 2

            Cranberry Meatballs:
            Prep: 10 minutes
            Cooking Time: 20 minutes

            Ingredients:
            1 lb of extra lean ground turkey
            1/2 cup of rolled oats
            1 egg
            1 egg white
            1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
            Pinch of Salt

            (Optional Ingredients)
            4 TBSP of Parmesan Cheese
            Shaved Carrots
            Dash of Rosemary

            Directions:
            1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large pan with olive oil or cooking spray, and place it in the oven while preheating.
            2. Quickly dice the dried cranberries on a cutting board.
            3. In a large bowl, mix together the ground turkey, oats, egg, egg white, cranberries, and any other optional ingredients.
            4. Using your hands, or an ice cream scoop if possible, form the meat into golf ball sized meatballs (about 1-1.5 inches in diameter). Place the meatballs about 1 inch apart on the pan.
            5. Bake for 12-15 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn them over, and continue baking for 5-8 more minutes. The meatballs should look light brown on the outside. Cut into one meatball to make sure they have been cooked entirely through.
            6. Let the meatballs cool and serve with vegetables, pasta, or any way you would like it.

            Tip:
            – I like to double the batch and save the meatballs for my meals for the week. The cranberries make the meatballs a little sweet, so when I reheat them, I like to rub a tiny bit of coconut oil on the outsides of the meatballs and heat them up in the microwave or oven. I usually have about 5-6 meatballs with a side of vegetables (asparagus or green beans with a little coconut oil are my favorites to have with these meatballs).

            Let me know if you like this recipe. Do you have any healthy recipes you would like to share? Contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com with questions, comments, and ideas for future topics.

            Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs

            goodandbadcarbs
            I think most of us have heard the terms ‘good carbs’ and ‘bad carbs’ before, but do we actually know what they mean. To make it as simple as possible, ‘Good Carbs’ come from foods that also have a good source of fiber. For example, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, etc. ‘Bad Carbs’ come from foods with little to no fiber content, such as white bread, white rice, etc. Fiber allows the body to slowly digest the carbs that we consume which leads to more stable blood sugar. If we eat food high in carbs and low in fiber, we quickly digest the carbs which then causes spikes in our blood pressure.
            One other major thing to understand about good carbs and bad carbs is the composition of the carbs themselves. When carbs are digested, they are broken down into glucose (sugar) which the body needs for energy. During digestion, the body will break down any carb it is given into glucose; however, because of the fiber and other nutritional value with good carbs, the body is taking in more than just glucose. With bad carbs, the body is only quickly converting the carbs to glucose with no other vitamins or minerals to digest; therefore the calories being consumed can be considered ’empty’ calories and not beneficial.

            The moral of the story is:
            1. Stay away from foods high in carbs, but low in fiber.
            2. It is healthy to eat ‘good carbs’ (aka. foods with vitamins, minerals, and fiber)

            I hope this article helped. If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or ideas for other blog post, email me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com .

            Is Shoveling Snow a Good Exercise?

            shoveling-snow2
            Because Winter is now upon us, and we are definitely starting to see some heavy snowfall, I wanted to see if shoveling snow was a good way to get some exercise. I personally always dreaded going outside and clearing the driveway of snow, but after doing some research, I realized that it definitely has its benefits. According to an article done by Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., L.R.D, at North Dakota State University, a person of 170lbs can shovel for 30 minutes and burn about 250 calories. (Click Here to See the Article) Because shoveling involves high repetitions of lifting a weighted object, it also can help tone your muscles in your arms, legs, and core if done correctly. Not too bad for a chore I hate doing.

            shoveling-snow

            It is important to also understand the dangers of shoveling before you go out and start throwing the snow around. A quote from masslive.com stated,

            “According to a study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, some 195,100 Americans were treated in emergency rooms for snow shoveling-related mishaps from 1990 to 2006. Among those cases, 7 percent were cardiac related, which made up all of the 1,647 deaths in the study.”

            Click Here to see the Article on Masslive.com

            Here are some tips to keep in mind:

            • Because shoveling can involve some heavy lifting at times, it also puts some people at risk of heart attacks. If you already have high blood pressure or are at risk of a heart attack, consult your doctor before you decide to go outside and shovel snow.
            • Make sure to always lift with your legs and tighten your core when lifting the snow.
            • Avoid twisting and lifting from your lower back to avoid lower back injuries which are common when shoveling.

            So next time you go out to battle the cold and shovel, try to think of how it actually can help you reach our fitness goals. As long as you stay smart and safe by following the tips I shared, shoveling will can be more than just a chore, but a productive workout.

            How did you like this post? Did you find it useful? Do you have any other ideas for future posts I should do? If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to contact me at corestrengthalec@gmail.com.