Summer starts (officially) in 3 days and we’ll all be showing off those gams. Incorporate this quick tone-up into your weekly workout and you’ll see results in no time!
We all see those amazing people who can do advanced moves in the gym like front flip burpees, headstands, handstands, one-arm push-ups and the like. But, what I always say is that while those moves are cool, they are not necessary to getting in shape. They don’t get you bigger muscles, either. Hell, some of us just aren’t coordinated enough to do them. So, I always say stick with basic moves and advance from there. A squat is a squat is a squat. So, this workout gives you those basic moves that will tone you all over (and don’t take up all of your time!) I would recommend you do each circuit at least twice. If you can’t get away at mid-day, add that circuit on to your morning and/or evening routine. You’ll see a difference in no time!
Jillian Michaels is definitely one of my favorite “celebrity trainers.” The first time I saw her on Biggest Loser, I thought “who is that bad ass yelling at all the people to move their ass?” I always say I would want a trainer who would not entertain any excuses and is really only yelling and being hard on me out of love. Or…a person like my Mom. When I played sports in high school my Mom would be at most of my games (soccer & basketball) saying things like, “Chaia, what the h— are you doing?! Run faster!” or if I got knocked down, she would yell to my coaches, “Leave her alone, she’ll get up!” And I always did. There was only one time she was scared I was hurt (I wasn’t) – when I was clothes-lined going up for a long rebound in a basketball game. So, let’s just say I identify with Jillian’s brand of motivation. And when I found out her tour was coming to DC, I had to go!
Jillian’s show starts with a video montage of cool images, going from “hell on earth” to “heaven on earth.” Basically, showing what we all don’t want (shitty foods, bad experiences, no love) to what we all want (serenity, vacations, family). She then comes out (to thunderous applause) and reviews the “Curriculum” for the night: Science (of Nutrition); Sweat (Movement); and Self-Worth (she spent most of the night on this). She lets the audience know in no uncertain terms that “Destiny is a matter of choice, not chance.” Amen.
In the Science of Nutrition portion, she reviews what a lot of us already know: avoid processed foods at all costs; read food labels; and buy organic, if and when you can, for a certain Dirty Dozen (foods with the most pesticides). She also reveals the BIG SECRET to weight loss: EAT LESS, MOVE MORE. Welp…for all of you watching those late night infomercials, cutting carbs and doing weird cleanses for weeks at a time, you heard it here first – the ONLY way to achieve lasting results is to use that equation. She is NOT a big proponent of weird diets in general, and revealed that she saves 300-400 calories a day for something sweet. I was shocked by that number! (I expected somewhere around 150-200 a day.) She said she usually has a cupcake, a long island iced tea (!) or something like that EVERYDAY. She actually talked a lot about long islands. (My kind of gal.) Even better, when addressing veganism she said: “If you want to be vegan, go ahead…go with God, but this bitch wants a hamburger!” ROFL. She went on: “I’ve taken hundreds of pounds off of people and they eat [protein].” ROFL. Love!
In the Sweat portion, Jillian talked a lot about how she does not “love” working out; but, she does “love” what exercise does for her. She loves skinny jeans and looking good (of course), but better yet, she loves knowing she’s healthy, adding years onto her life and making a difference in the lives of others. She also gave some simple math for figuring out your basal metabolic rate (BMR), active metabolic rate (AMR), maximum heart rate (MHR). More importantly, she talks about her love of high intensity interval training (HIIT) to achieve max results, and even shared two of her circuits! Jillian specifically recommended exercising only 6 hours per week and having 1 rest day…but you must move your ass in that gym!
Last, Jillian talks about Self-Worth, which is the key to losing weight and all happiness in your life. She shared many personal stories (and jokes) throughout the night, but this portion had to be the most personal. She has made no secret of her own struggle with self-worth, stemming from a not-so-good relationship with her Dad, which led to weight gain in her teen years (170 pounds at 5’.) She shared an epic fight she had with her partner earlier in their relationship, which led to couples therapy, and many bad relationships she had because she lacked self-worth. She identified all the factors that hold us back: shame, regret, fear, judgment, responsibility and obligation. She urges you to see failure (because it WILL happen during any journey) as an opportunity for growth instead of being paralyzed by it. At this point, I was impressed with how much she sounded like Oprah! And, she actually shared that she really wants a talk show…and shared that she could NOT believe Kris Jenner has one and not her. HA! In all, she wants you to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your life – where you’ve been, where you’re at now and where you want to be. Take that self-inventory. During this portion she asked the crowd: “Are people fat because they want to be or because they don’t want to be and don’t have the skills?” Contrary to how you might have answered that question, she answered that people are fat because they want to be or because it’s “providing them with something” to avoid dealing with whatever issue(s) might be going on in their lives. She used several examples of contestants from the Biggest Loser to make her point. This all led up to something we can all ponder in our journey to our best selves – what is living below your potential costing you? Jillian also gave a concrete way to accomplish your goals – by writing them down in digestible pieces – long term, monthly, weekly, daily and immediate. That way, you have a map and nothing is too daunting.
Overall, I loved the show. Jillian was funny, engaging and focused. She talked about 2 ½ hours (with a 15 minute intermission) without notes – it was basically a TED Talk. In fact, she should do a TED Talk. She dropped tons of gems and inspired me to get some things going in my own life. She is truly more than a personal trainer!
Last Friday, I had the best weekend workout plan scheduled. On Saturday my friend and I would run on the National Mall (never done that despite living in DC a combined 7 years, including college) and on Sunday I would run in a 5k sponsored by my nephew’s school. Well, that didn’t really happen. Let’s take Saturday on the Mall. Despite being a proud DC resident who reads the Washington Post all day and the local daily distributed on the Metro (“Express”), I didn’t realize that BOTH the the National Cherry Blossom Festival AND the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival would be occurring at the same damn time on the Mall and around the corner from the Mall on Pennsylvania Avenue. Needless to say, my friend and I ran about a mile before we bumped into massive crowds around the Tidal Basin and had to walk the rest of the way. We ended up walking all the way up 7th Street to Gallery Place and had lunch at Nando’s, totaling about 4 miles.
Let’s take Sunday. My nephew is in kindergarten at a local DC charter school that hosted its first annual 5k fun run and 3k walk at Rock Creek Park – a beautiful and large outdoor space. It has woods, creeks, winding trails and hills, and is beautiful to run in. Since kids were participating, the school allowed them to use rollerskates/blades, scooters, bikes and everything else to help them take part in the run/walk. I decided to run along with my nephew while he rode is scooter. Well, I didn’t plan on him getting tired, wanting me to help him walk his scooter back to the finish line, and our ensuing argument that it was his scooter and he had to take care of it, lol. Oh, and we turned back early so we didn’t do the full 5k, but rather about 2.25 miles total. #auntielife
At first, I was rather upset that I didn’t get a full on workout in two days in a row, but I calmed down when I re-framed the situation. This fitness journey is more about overall health. It is NOT about being hardcore all the time. I ran/walked over 6 miles this weekend, not including the walking I did to meet a friend in Georgetown and around the grocery store on Saturday. I was active, enjoying National monuments, a beautiful park and breathing in fresh air. What would I have been doing otherwise? Probably just catching up on my DVR…sitting down on a couch. All in all, remember to keep your eyes on the prize: a healthy and long life.