Short Intense Kettlebell Workouts

Short Intense Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Video Workout Gallery

Kettebell Training Exercises for Beginners

20 Min KettleBell Circuit

This is a great workout to do when time or equipment are is limited. Remember, the faster you work (shorter rest) the more of a fat loss/metabolic workout it will be. Slower/heavier load will be more strength focused.

25 Minute Kettlebell HIIT Workout with Kettlebell Exercises for Strength and Fat Burning

BodyFit by Amy

20 Minute Kettlebell Full Body Burn for Strength & Cardio

BodyFit by Amy

Jillian Michaels: Shred it With Kettlebells Workout- Level 1

BeFIT by Jillian Michaels

The 10 Habits of Reasonably Fit Women Over 40

The 10 Habits of Reasonably Fit Women Over 40

The 10 Habits of Reasonably Fit Women Over 40

Defining fitness is not an easy task. Everyone it seems has their own interpretations and definitions. There are lots of lists which promote the best habits of those who are already fit. Basic ideas such as “eat breakfast and or make sleep a priority” are not on this list because I wanted to move past the basics.

We are a holistic ecosystem, so the focus here is on women becoming strong in body, mind and beliefs.

1. Embrace Strength Training.

Being strong is essential for Women Over 40. Your muscles naturally grow in strength and mass until you reach 30. However, once you’re in your 30s you begin to experience sarcopenia, the natural loss of muscle mass and function.

Each decade after that if you are inactive you may lose as much as 5 percent of mass. This loss may speed up as you reach 65. In a large study, researchers discovered those who incorporated strength training experienced a 23 percent reduction in all-cause mortality.

Strength training benefits your cardiovascular system, reduces your risk of osteoporosis, improves your mood and self-perception and helps control your blood sugar. Lifting weights has been shown to lower blood pressure and increase bone density.

Strength training also stabilizes your core muscles around your abdomen and back, that provide balance and stability to your hips, abdomen and lower back. This helps prevent injury and reduces your risk of falls while improving your overall balance.

Perhaps most importantly becoming strong increases your mental and emotional well being. Women who strength train don’t all have to become bodybuilders or powerlifters. You can reduce your risk of depression, elevate your mood and self-esteem and enjoy an improved body image all from having toned muscles. Simply becoming more physically strong can be an amazing boost to your self confidence.

2. Do not believe the myth that women will get bulky if they lift heavy things.

It’s just not true. Women bodybuilders work, eat and train for years to look like they do. The truth is lifting heavy weights will make you stronger not necessarily bigger.

When you strength train, your muscles are broken down, and then rebuilt over the next 24-48 hours. While your body is rebuilding those muscles, it’s recruiting more calories and energy to make the process happen (generally referred to as the ‘afterburn’ or “burn the fat” effect). What this means is that your metabolism operates at a faster level even while you’re sitting on the couch after a workout.

If you are looking to lose weight, strength training will produce a more efficient weight loss effect than an equal amount of cardio.

3.Don’t rely on cardio.

If you are looking to lose weight, strength training will produce a more efficient weight loss effect than an equal amount of cardio. There’s no reason you cannot be incredibly healthy and look amazing, even if you never run another mile in your entire life.

Despite what you might think, and what you might see in a gym, you will never need to step foot on another cardio machine again. If the thought of running on a treadmill for four hours sounds miserable to you, don’t do it. Again listen to your body, if running makes you feel great then go do it, but if you slog thru a spin session just to get it done then reevaluate what you are doing and why.

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4.Stop obsessing over the number on your scale.

Instead celebrate the inches lost and strength gained. Refocus your health goals toward zeroing in on your fitness and not just weight. Body weight is a combination of several factors: water, muscle, and fat. It can be deeply frustrating to rely on a traditional scale to detect fat loss.

Most scales just measure overall body weight without pinpointing whether you’re losing water, muscle, or fat. It’s becoming common knowledge that the number you see on the scale isn’t the only thing that matters when it comes to health. “One pound of muscle and one pound of fat may weigh the same, but they look and function entirely different in the body. Unfortunately, the scale cannot tell the difference.”says Chelsea Axe, C.S.C.S., D.C., fitness expert for Dr. Axe.

5.Eat Real Food. Eat for your body type.

Your body is unique. There’s no such thing as a one-size fits all eating plan. Wellness means prioritizing a healthier diet based on your unique biology. There are tests available which look at how efficiently your body processes carbs, fats, and proteins. Analyzing your DNA for certain biomarkers could give you valuable information on your own particular metabolic processes. Buy Organic. Avoiding pesticides is the No. 1 reason people buy organic.

6. Listen to your body.

There is no “one master plan fits all” approach that will work for everyone. Don’t fall for the next new fitness craze geared towards women. Do you want to make fat disappear faster? Eat better. Your diet is responsible for 80-90% of that fat loss. Strength train not with targeted spot exercises, but with big compound movements that use your entire body.

7. Ask for help.

Join a fitness group or get a workout partner. No one will push you into discomfort better then a workout buddy, coach or trainer. Being active is a lifestyle change. Be consistent. Show up everyday. It usually takes 21 days to change a habit. Find ways to be accountable to a workout buddy. Join our private Facebook group to become part of the Fit Women Over 40 online tribe.

I have found that 80% of the battle is being self motivated and disciplined. So work out with a team, then you’ll have a good reason to show up everyday. I love the support and camaraderie of having women to compete against at my training sessions. They have become my motivation. Success in any endeavor is small constant steps over time equals results. Fitness is no different then sticking to a savings plan. Over time the benefits add up once your habits become grooves in your track.

8. Fitness is a lifestyle choice so Have Fun.

Strength training can be done outside of the gym and be incorporated into your everyday life. Do bodyweight exercises, yoga or just pick up some heavy things. Try swinging some kettlebells, using a climbing wall, or simply taking the stairs more will make you use your muscles in different ways that can have the same benefits without the need for rushing to the gym all the time.

9. Track your Progress.

“Progress is very motivating. Lack of it is not.” says Open Ocean Rower Roz Savage. Start keeping a workout journal. The results you will be able to see can give you tremendous satisfaction. Data is a powerful motivator, showing you not just the pounds lost, but the increase in weights you can lift and the decrease in time it takes you. A sense of accomplishment can NOT be underestimated.

10. Embrace Discomfort. Learn to get outside of your comfort zone.

Becoming fit isn’t easy. It’s probably safe to say that most people just want to be comfortable, be it physical, psychological, or emotional comfort.

To make significant changes happen, “You must do the thing which you think you cannot do”, as Eleanor Roosevelt once famously said. Be unstoppable. Always keep moving. Practice Gratitude. Work out with laughter when necessary. Even when it’s tough, stay committed. Keep on your program.

This is a way of life, not a temporary fitness regime.

Be strong and get healthy!

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Interview with Bonnie Sprinkle

Interview with Bonnie Sprinkle

Bonnie’s Story

Tell us briefly who you are, how “young” you are and how you got started in your fitness journey.
I’m 65. Started doing a weekly stretch & tone aerobics class when I was about 30. Did these little classes for about 3 years until a gym opened in my area and I started mostly taking aerobics classes. and fumbled incorrectly on the equipment…thought I was spending enough on the membership without spending money on a trainer.  Finally friend & I started working with a trainer, 6 days a week for 3 years ….we got strong…but it was almost all legs, over exercising without understanding nutrition  My friend & I split a Le Menu frozen dinner 2 times a day & had protein shakes. She lost 100 lbs & I gained 20. At the end of this time she quit exercising & I continued on. Now as a trainer I understand that for both of us it was WAY TOO much exercise, too time consuming our diet was still so lacking that we were undermining our health still.

Have you always been athletic? 
Not at all. Always horribly underweight, sickly child, couldn’t do sports in school, hid during gym. I was force fed as a child to TRY & make me gain weight, as a young adult I started skipping meals, eating a lot of junk, lived on soda & ice cream, & lying about not eating. The gym and better eating (even though it was still horrible) helped me gain weight & become interested in fitness. 

Did you have weight to lose as well as muscle to build? 
In the beginning I only weighed 80 lbs, sometimes even less at 5’3”. Now I weigh around 110 or 115. I was down to the bone skinny but probably had a 35% body fat, very dangerous. It has taken me a long time to build muscle. I exercised for 10 years before I grasped how to develop muscle rather than just going through the motions. 

You owned a Gym for 25 years & started competing in bodybuilding competitions at age 48, tell us bit about those journeys.  
After a falling out with my trainer over how he’d treated by workout partner, fat shaming and cruel remarks, I decided to open my own gym in the next town away. At first it was a ladies only studio but soon the husbands wanted to join. During the first year I took an ICS course then during my second year I became AFAA certified, Due to needing continuing credits & wanting to gain knowledge I became WEIGHT ROOM certified through FRA & AFAA.  In 1998 I added NABF  North American Bodybuilding Federation Personal Trainer, Nutritional consultant & Contest Judge. Al Thurston, the founder of NABF has trained many top notch competitors & trainers & is well known especially through the east coast, Maine to Florida. I took up competing at 48 after training a 50 year old friend & said to myself that I SHOULD PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH TO MY CLIENTS, so I competed almost every year until 2013.
What is your biggest motivation in being fit? 
Being able to enjoy life  & do sports activities

What is your biggest obstacle to staying fit? 
I don’t see obstacles. Maybe too much travel, too much alcohol, too many desserts … but these things don’t affect me much

Women in our group always want to know this, What do you eat?  
MY food  …. sweet potato, chicken, fish, eggs, oatmeal, rice,  …. veg smoothie,  some days yogurt, papaya gut health…  little to no dairy, sugar, processed wheat, no soda or processed drink for 30 years, except once a year sparkling asti & rare red wine, nothing canned or packaged. I can give you a exact run down if your like….. its quick

How do you stay motivated and inspired?
I think the variety in my activities keeps me motivated..kayaking, SUP, bike, running, ropes course as well as weights

Have you ever gotten derailed from your path? 
Just this September, I decided to skip the gym for a month to devote more time to SUP, kayak, snorkeling, running, BOSU & stretching at home …so it turned into 8 weeks…..and I know my low back can not take 8 weeks off, I was just scrunching back on the couch & pulled muscles…. real pain …. got a appointment with a physical therapist and it was much better & he gave me instructions for avoiding in the future, one was to do overhead style swimming & work the elliptical. So for the next 6 weeks, I worked on light Physical therapy weight lifting, elliptical & swimming. In addition to this gyms, Sauna, Steam, power jet therapy pools. So 4 months recovering from not going to the gym! Now I’ve been back to a hearty workout for a month now & feel like I’d never stopped.

Do you have a big health & fitness goal for this year? 
I’d like to compete if I could find a convenient contest

What is your ONE fitness secret you’d like to share with our audience? 
for new exercisers … 5 years or less… 3 days a week might be more effective than 5. 

Is there anything else you’d like to add? 
Eat real food. Experiment with complex carbs such as sweet potato, rice, oatmeal, white potato, for breakfast, lunch, mid afternoon; in combination with fibrous carbs & protein.    Only about 20% of the population thrive on high protein diets.  Most people need MUCH more whole food complex carbs than they are getting. Eating too much protein in combination with complex carbs can cause metabolic & hormonal issues, diabetes & cancer.

Interview closing remarks:
Suppressing the appetite or starving can produce weight loss but NEVER produces health. There are no miracle weight loss products.

Contact Us if you would like to be interviewed.

Paleo Works, but only if you do it

Paleo Works, but only if you do it

“Paleo works, but only if you do it”, says Robb Wolf

one of the leading authorities on the Paleo Solution, the Original Human Diet. One of the questions I can imagine “healthy” people might ask ( like I did) is why do I need to this “diet” and what will the benefits be for me? I actually asked my Cross Fit trainer, Mauricio that very question this morning and here’s what he had to say.

A Paleo Breakfast

He is a very healthy 20 something male and he noticed right away a big increase in his energy level and not bonking at mid-day like he used to. Also he hasn’t been sick with a cold or allergies in a very long time and he has been able to do more training then he used.

Personally I am in the category where I adhere to 80% of the diet and so I actually get about 95% of the benefit that Paleo has to offer. And the benefits can add up very fast.

Let’s take a look at where you should start.

1. Clean out the Pantry
We do not have self-control. PLAN AHEAD! Don’t have tempting foods in the house. Remove the bread, rice, pasta, cookies, crackers, puddings, ice cream, waffles, juice, sodas, cereals, oatmeal, artificial sweeteners, yogurt, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, canned soups, apple sauce, noodles…all refined, packaged foods. Bag it all up, take it to a food bank or homeless shelter.

2. Go shopping
Now it’s time to fill your cupboards with food worth eating.

Buy Protein. Ideally these options are grass fed or wild caught. If you cannot find those should you eat a bagel? No! Beans and rice do NOT count as protein. Pork, beef, lamb. Trout, salmon, shrimp, crab. Chicken, turkey, duck. Round things out with some good quality bacon, omega-3 enriched eggs and some items like chicken apple sausage to help you with breakfast on busy days.

Garden Fresh Strawberry

Visit a Farmer’s Market to get Local Veggies. Shop with the season, which typically means what is on sale. Mix up the colors, lots of orange, red, and greens.

Fruit. Limit fruit to 1 serving per day if fat loss is your goal. In order of preference: Berries, melons, citrus, apples, pears. Bananas, papayas and mangoes are great for athletes post workout but not for folks who want to lose weight.

Fats. Olive oil (extra virgin) coconut, avocado (oil and whole), macadamia (whole and oil), almonds, walnuts.
If fat loss is a goal limit nuts to 1-2 oz. per day.

Spices, Herbs and such. Marinara sauce, herbs, spices-curry powder, garlic, ginger, cilantro, garam massala, chili powder, black pepper, lemon zest, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, and basil. Get at least 20 herbs and spices to keep your cooking lively. Stock up on espresso, teas and mineral water as these are your beverages of choice.

Paleo Lunch

A Typical Paleo Lunch

3. Cook! The majority of your meals will look something like this: 4-8 oz of lean protein such as chicken, lean beef, turkey, pork loin or seafood.
Several servings of vegetables, either raw, steamed, or lightly cooked. Finally, round out the meal with good fats from Avocado, olive oil or a handful of un-salted nuts such as almonds, pecans, macadamias or walnuts. A lot of meals start looking the same, but everything can taste great with just a few variations.

Check out this Paleo Recipe Vault with Mouth Watering Meals.

Key points to remember:
• Eat Protein every meal and 3-4 meals per day. Eating protein with each meal I found reduces my cravings for more food then I need. • Beverages are coffee, tea, mineral water. Unsweetened, this includes stevia.

If fat loss is a goal: Limit fruit to 1 serving & Limit nuts to 1-2 oz and EXERCISE!

4. Go for a Walk or a Run or go do Cross Fit, Just Move that Body!
You were born with a certain set of genetics from your parents and all of us have genes that are meant to be active. Really active. The Center for Disease Control lists “INACTIVITY” as the third leading cause of preventable death in the U.S.

How your genes “experience” the world thru sleep, food, exercise etc, influences how those genes are turned on or off and this determines your phenotype. If you were analyzed for disease potential when you are a “Sedentary Person” vs. an “Active Person” your genes would look totally different. You are literally a different person when you exercise vs. when you do not.

So, Get outside and move. Gauge your fitness level and act accordingly. If you need help, find a trainer or coach.

5. Sleep! Black out your room. No, REALLY black out your room. No LED lights from alarm clocks, fire alarms, TV’s etc. Do not watch TV or check email for at least 1 hour before bed. Go to bed early, get at least 8-9 hrs of sleep. You should wake up without an alarm, feeling refreshed.

6. Get Your Blood Work done. So you will have some metrics to show you that Paleo is actually working on your insides, go to your doctor or clinic and order your blood work. I get mine down every year and its a fairly simple process. Read Robb’s book or ask your doctor what all of the different aspects of the blood work mean. But mainly you will be comparing your LDL Cholesterol (Bad) vs. HDL Cholesterol (Good)  levels, your Triglycerides, which are a measure of your circulating blood fats, Glucose levels, Glycated hemoglobin ( or A1C), which is a measure of how much sugar is sticking to your red blood cells,  and C-reactive protein or CRP is a marker of systemic inflammation.

Use your blood work as a starting point for your Paleo diet changes and then get tested again in a month or 2 to really see the overall effect your food choices and exercise regime are having on your health.

What is NOT allowed on Paleo:

Paleo-snack-apples

Fuji Apples and Cinnamon – Paleo Snack

• Grains: bread, rice, cereal, pasta, corn, gluten-free pseudo grains
• Sugar or sugar substitutes: maple syrup, honey, agave, stevia, sucralose, etc.
• Alcohol: sorry aficionados, beer is maltose is sugar; wine is fructose
• Legumes: beans, peanuts/peanut butter, lentils, soybeans (yes, this means tofu), peas
• Dairy: milk, cream, butter, cheese, yogurt, whey

 If you must have some “Cheat Foods”:
• I’d recommend one small square of dark chocolate per day

What about Alcohol? Don’t take away my drinking, you say?

Well even the Paleo King, Robb Wolf admits to having a “Paleo Margarita” occasionally. The drink consists of 2 shots of tequila gold, Juice from 1 lime and a splash of seltzer water. Its quite good actually.

Much of the problem with drinking is not the alcohol but the sugar that comes with it. A “typical” margarita or vodka & tonic would be loaded with sugar. Beer is loaded with gluten and has a significant sugar content. As for wine, opt for the dry varieties as they have less sugar.

But as with anything moderation is key and alcohol is NOT Paleo. If you must drink, imbibe earlier in the evening as far away from bedtime as possible. Alcohol turns off your growth hormone release which is Not good for your health, recovery or body composition. So if you are wondering why your fat reducing is not working cut out drinking for a month and see what happens.

 

 

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Want to Get Fit? Choose the Right Fitness Plan

Want to Get Fit? Choose the Right Fitness Plan

Backsquats at boot camp

Backsquats at boot camp

If you want to lose weight, stop doing your 5 mile runs or your hour-long treadmill sessions and replace them with high-intensity interval training or Cross Fit training instead.

One of the reasons why people continue to struggle with their weight despite engaging in regular exercise is because they’re not doing the right kind of exercise! Studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session.

By doing Cross Fit or another high intensity workout, such as TRX Training, you can cut the duration of your exercise session in half and still burn fat! One study showed you can burn more fat exercising for 20 minutes than for 40 minutes. In the study, women either exercised for 20 minutes, alternating 8 seconds of sprinting on a bike with 12 seconds of exercising lightly, or exercised at a regular pace for 40 minutes. After exercising three times a week for 15 weeks, those who did the 20-minute, alternating routine lost three times as much fat as the other women.

This type of exercise works because it produces high levels of chemical compounds called catecholamines, the so called “fight-or-flight” hormones, which allow more fat to be burned from under your skin and within your muscles. The resulting increase in fat oxidation is thought to drive the increased weight loss.

High Intensity Exercise Increases Growth Hormone Production

The higher your levels of Human growth hormone (HGH), also called “the fitness hormone”, the healthier and stronger you will be. After age 30, your levels of human HGH begin to drop off quite dramatically, this is called “somatopause and leads to the dreaded “middle age spread”. Maintaining your HGH levels is increasingly important as you age. You will experience vibrant health and strength the longer you can keep your body producing higher levels of HGH.

You must engage your super fast muscle fibers in order to naturally increase your body’s production of HGH. Regular aerobic cardio such as running only works your slow muscle fibers, and can impede natural HGH production by causing your super fast fibers to atrophy from lack of use. Only high-intensity power burst cardio training, such as Cross Fit exercises, TRX Training or others, will engage your super fast fibers and promote HGH production.

The Benefits of Strength Training

Women tend to avoid exercises that will increase muscle mass, but carrying more muscle has many health benefits, including:
• Improved blood circulation
• Increased metabolism
• Increased bone density
• Increased energy
• Decreased body fat
• Improved posture
• Increased range of motion
• Increased body functions

Strength training is recommended for women of all ages, including seniors. Retaining your skeletal muscles is one of the most critical elements of human fitness to keep you strong, functional and healthy. Your muscles also help regulate glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, which protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Cross Fit and high-intensity interval training which have intense speed and power exercises trigger a mechanism in your muscles that actually promotes muscle growth.

TRX Suspension Training - Total Body Workout

TRX Suspension Training – Total Body Workout

Exercise Slows Down Your Aging

Exercise also has other anti-aging benefits such as it can prevent or delay the onset of heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and osteoporosis, which are all common ailments associated with advancing age.

Also, if you can control the aging process inside your cells, as one anti-aging theory suggests, you should be able to control your rate of aging. Telomeres are part of your chromosomes which are inside each of your body’s cells. When your cells divide, these telomeres shorten and when they get to a certain level you will die of old age.

Exercise can not affect the telomere shortening process, but it can be accelerated by an unhealthy lifestyle. Exercise plays an important part in the prevention of aging. So, lack of exercise, obesity, stress, and smoking, all cause production of free radicals that speed up cells splitting and the telomere shortening process.


Need more ideas for Cooking Healthy Meals, then check out: The Healthy Urban Kitchen Cookbook The Healthy Urban Kitchen is a simple, step by step system for shopping, cooking and eating the world’s healthiest foods. It was created for busy people who want to improve health, have more energy, and prevent disease.