Tuesday, April 7, 2015

F is for...Fitness

A to Z Blog Challenge

F is for... Fitness and a Full-body workout

I'm a personal trainer in my *other* job, so F just had to be for fitness. :)

I'm going to share with you a super simple, super fast (well, about 25 minutes or less) full-body workout that you can do at home or the gym with just a set of dumbbells and a bench or chair.  

Building muscle is the best way to take weight off and/or keep your weight in check. You've probably heard the saying, "Muscle weighs more than fat." Well, a pound is a pound is a pound. A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat which weighs the same as a pound of feathers. LOL. However...a pound of fat takes up WAY less space on your body than a pound of fat. A pound of feathers would just make a very big mess.

The more muscles you have, the more calories your body will burn during the day doing absolutely nothing (which is nice for your couch potato days). 

Do this workout 2-3 days each week, making sure to leave at least one day of rest in between workouts (your rest days and when you sleep at night are when your muscles rebuild, grow and get stronger). 

Do these exercises as a circuit (that means one after the other) without stopping. Rest 1-2 minutes, then repeat the circuit. Beginners, start with one circuit. Intermediates, start with 2-3 circuits. Advanced, aim for five circuits. 

Choose one set of dumbbells to use for all exercises. My suggestions:

Beginners: 3-5 lb set
Intermediates: 8-10 lb set
Advanced: 12+lb set

**You want those last 2-3 reps to be pretty darn hard. If they're not, your weights are too light.

10 reps of each exercise (except for the plank)

1. Sit and stand from bench or chair
2. Pushups
3. Seated rows
4. Stationary lunges
5. Elbow planks--hold as long as you can up to a minute

Sit and stand
Stand in front of a bench or chair. You can put your hands on your hips, or hold weights at your sides to make it harder. Sit all the way down. Stand all the way up. (works your lower body from the belly to the feet)

Easiest version is against the wall. A little bit harder is against a table or counter. A little bit harder is on the floor on your knees. Most challenging is a regular, military-style pushup. Keep your gaze out in front of your hands, your belly pulled in, and your shoulders pulled down away from the ears. (works chest, shoulders, triceps)

Seated rows
Sit on the edge of the chair/bench, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Hinge forward from the hips with a flat back. Hold that position, then pull the elbow toward the ceiling, squeezing your shoulder blades as you go. Release back to straight arms. (works your back and biceps)

Stationary lunges
Stand next to the chair or a wall (for balance if necessary). One leg in front of the other 2-3 feet (depending how long your legs are LOL). Bend both legs so that the back knee hovers just above the floor and both legs make about a 90 degree angle. Be sure that your front knee isn't jutting in front of your toes. The back knee should be directly under the hip. If this is too hard, don't go so deep. (works all major lower body muscles)

Elbow planks
Lie on your belly on the floor. Come up onto your elbows, so that your elbows are right beneath your shoulders, and your forearms are parallel to each other. Lift your body off the floor so you're balancing on your elbows and toes. If that's too hard, drop to your knees. Keep your shoulders pulled down away from your ears, and your belly pulled toward your spine. Look slightly forward of your hands. Keep your body in a straight line (ie: don't let your hips lift into an inverted V). (works your core)


  1. Boy, do I need this today! Thanks for the workout instructions.
    ~Visiting from AtoZ

  2. I'll have to try some of these.