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WOW! Workout of the Week #12 – 3/4/2012

“The Integrated 400″

This week we’ll add another element by using one of my favorite fitness accessories: a deck of cards!

Complete a circuit of four exercises of your choice (suggestion to follow) and select a weight where you can do 15 or more repetitions for each exercise.

Suggested Exercises: Complete the same exercises you did last week on WOW #11:

- Bent Over Row
- Dead Lift
- Arm Curl
- Shoulder Press

Or You can complete this routine using body weight exercises if you prefer, such as:

- Push Ups
- Body Weight Squats
- Supine Pull Up
- Body Weight Lunges

To start, get your deck of cards and turn over the first card. You’ll complete the number of repetitions shown on the card for the first exercise. Turn over the next card and again complete the number of repetitions shown on that card for the second exercise, and so forth. Once you’ve gone through each exercise, simply repeat the circuit until you’ve gone through the entire deck of cards. With four exercises, you should be completing 12 sets of each exercise. As you can tell, the number of repetitions you complete each set will be random and the total number of repetitions you complete for each exercise will most likely vary as well.

How many reps? 2=2, 3=3 and so on; Jacks = 11, Queens = 12, Kings = 13

For Jokers and Aces, instead of completing repetitions for one of the exercises, you’ll be doing the following:

Jokers = Complete 20 Jumping Jacks;

Aces = Take a (mandatory) 1 minute rest break. Grab some water and recover 1 minute before continuing. Since you’re picking cards, you’ll have random rest breaks as well.

In addition to the mandatory rest periods when you turn over an Ace, you can choose when else to rest, but try to finish the workout as fast as possible. Time yourself each day to see if you can improve and then record your results using a workout journal or our workout log.

Have Fun!


IHFA Quick Tip: Components of an Workout

General Warm Up: Get up and get moving! Especially if you’ve been sitting for awhile you’ll want to loosen up the body by doing a general (non specific to the main activity) warm up. This could include walking or jogging, biking, jump roping or other exercise to get your heart pumping and blood flowing.

Suggested Time: 5 Minutes

Dynamic Warm Up: A Dynamic Warm Up should include moving the body through various planes of motion (Frontal, Transverse, Sagittal), completing calisthenic type exercises (such as Jumping Jacks) and should include exercises that more specifically prepare the body for the main activity (such as completing Push Ups before performing a Heavy Bench Press). As part of your Dynamic Warm Up, you can also do a lighter version of the exercise, such as completing 10 repetitions at 50% of your workout weight for a particular exercise.

Suggested Time: 5 Minutes

Check out our Official 5 Minute Dynamic Warm Up for Physical Activity here!

Body of the Workout:

- Balance & Coordination Exercises
- Strength Training Exercises
- Cardiovascular Exercises

Suggested Time: 40 Minutes

Abdominals & Core:

Suggested Time: 5 Minutes

Static Stretching: Don’t forget to stretch! You want to stretch your muscles statically (without bouncing) when they are warm, this will help prevent injury, reduce soreness and best improve flexibility.

Suggested Time: 5 Minutes

Total Time: 60 Minutes.

IHFA’s Official Five Minute Dynamic Warm Up for Physical Activity

As discussed in our blog Components of a Workout, we recommend completing a Dynamic Warm Up prior to structured exercise or before participating in other forms of physical activity. The IHFA’s Official Five Minute Dynamic Warm Up for Physical Activity includes completing 10 different calisthenic type exercises for 30 seconds each, working the major muscle groups of the body while preparing it for movement in multiple planes of motion. Let’s get started!

1) Jumping Jacks: Complete traditional Jumping Jacks. Your arms and legs both move through the frontal plane (also known as the coronal plane), an imaginary plane that divides the body into ventral and dorsal (front and back) sections.

Alternatives: A low-impact alternative to Jumping Jacks could include a) completing the Jacks (AKA Frontal Plane Arm Swings) followed by a set of Hip Abductions/Adductions for each leg independently or b) Lateral Step Jacks – complete a Jack (the arm movement) while taking a lateral step outward with one leg, alternating legs every other repetition.

2) Push Ups: Complete a traditional Push Up, or for alternatives you can modify your stance position using various progressions. See our blog Anyone Can Do A Push Up! for several suggestions for increasing or decreasing the difficulty of the Push Up exercise.

3) Body Weight Squats: Complete traditional body weight squats, or for an easier alternative simply sit into and out of a chair or from a bench to complete this portion of the Dynamic Warm Up.

4) Transverse Plane Arm Swings: Swing your arms along the transverse plane (also called the horizontal plane, axial plane, or transaxial plane), an imaginary plane that divides the body into superior and inferior (top and bottom) sections. As you swing back and behind you, rotate your palms so they face upward and the thumbs face backward; then rotate them the opposite direction as you swing your arms forward, criss-crossing your arms in front of you each repetition.

5) Body Weight 45 Degree Lunges: Step forward and outward 45 degrees in front of you, alternating legs each repetition.

Alternative: If lunges bother your knees or you find them too challenging, you can complete a 45 Degree Step Up instead, stepping up and laterally onto a bench in front of you, again alternating legs each repetition.

6) Sagittal Plane Arms Swings & Calf Raises: Swing your arms in the Sagittal plane, an imaginary line dividing the body into right and left halves. As your come forward and upward with your arms, alternate criss-crossing your arms while making a fist with the hand in front and stretching out the fingers of the hand in back at the top end of the swing. Also, add a calf raise at the end of the swing reaching as far toward the sky as possible.

7) Alternating Butt Kickers: Simply walk or run in place, kicking your butt with the back of your heels.

8) Push Up Plank Shoulder Touch: From a starting Push Up position, widen your foot stance to increase your base of support, and then touch your left shoulder with your right hand, alternating with a left hand touch to the right shoulder every other repetition. Just like the Push Up progressions, you can make this easier or more difficult depending on the height of the surface (i.e. counter top, bench, floor) where you place your hands. With this movement, aim to maintain your body position without moving through the legs, hips or torso as you touch your shoulders.

9) Alternating Knee Ups: From a standing position, lift one leg and pull and cradle the knee into your chest. Alternate legs every other repetition.

10) Shoulder Shrugs: Tense your shoulders up to your ears, hold for a split-second, then completely relax your arms down to your sides.

WOW! Workout of the Week #11 – 2/25/2013

This week we’ll complete a circuit of exercises, resting between each exercise, and then repeat the circuit 4 more times. Use the same weight for all exercises. You can use any number of pieces of equipment – a barbell, dumbbells, kettlebell, sandbell, sandbag or medicine ball for your weight. No other equipment is necessary!

Here’s the breakdown:

Bent Over Row – 15 Reps
Rest 1 Minute
Dead Lift – 20 Reps
Rest 1 Minute
Arm Curl – 10 Reps
Rest 1 Minute
Shoulder Press – 10 Reps
Rest 1 Minute

Repeat circuit a total of 5 times.

TIME TO COMPLETE: 40 Minutes, plus your Dynamic Warm Up And Static Stretching.


WOW! Workout of the Week #10 – 2/18/2013

More Super Setting this week!

Super set A1 & A2; then B1 & B2. Finish with straight sets for exercises C1, D1 & E1 without super setting.

Exercise – Sets / Reps

A1: Single Dumbbell Bent Over Row – 4/11
- Place one knee on a bench and complete the row with the outside arm. Switch sides before super setting with Exercise A2.
A2: Uneven Barbell Bench – 4/11
- Add 10 extra pounds to one side of the barbell. You’ll need to engage your core to keep yourself in proper alignment on the bench. Make sure you keep the barbell horizontally even throughout the movement!

B1: Dead Lift + Shoulder Shrug – 4/7 each
- Alternate repetitions between these two movements until each set is complete. No need to roll your shoulders on the Shoulder Shrug, just tense them up to your ears, and completely relax before continuing with each repetition.
B2: 45 Degree Forward Lunge – 4/7 each leg
- Lunge forward and laterally at a 45 degree angle; then back up to starting position. Alternate legs every repetition until all reps are complete.

C1: Pull Ups! – 20 Total Reps
- Do as many Pull Ups as you can, then rest before continuing with additional sets. If you can complete 20 Pull Ups in less than 3 sets, choose a higher number of total reps on your next workout.

D1: Push Ups! – 50 Total Reps
- Remember your progressions! Just like the Pull Ups, do as many as you can, then rest before continuing with additional sets. If you can complete 50 reps in less than 3 sets, you need to select a harder progression or choose a higher total number of reps to aim for.

E1: Standard Abdominal Crunch – 100 Total Reps
- How many crunches can you do in a row? If 100 is too easy, complete a different exercise, or an additional one, or even try this workout instead :) for a greater challenge.


WOW! Workout of the Week #9 – 2/8/2013

This week we’ll take the same exercises we completed last week and rearrange the format of the workout…

GIANT SETS! Complete a set of A1, A2, and A3 without rest between exercises, then rest 1 minute and repeat until all sets are complete for the A group of exercises. Follow the same pattern for exercise groups B, C, and D.

Exercise – Sets / Reps

A1: Seated Row – 3/7
A2: Lat Pull Down (reverse grip) – 3/7
A3: Supine Row – 3/17

B1: Leg Press – 2/7
B2: Body Weight Lunges – 2/11

C1: Barbell Bench Press – 3/7
C2: Shoulder Press – 3/7
C3: Push Ups! – 3/17

D1: Leg Curl – 2/7
D2: Body Weight Squat – 2/17

Time to Complete: 47 minutes or less.


WOW! Workout of the Week #8 – 2/4/2013

This week you’ll be super setting 5 pairs of exercises as follows:

Exercise – Sets/Reps

1A: Push Ups – 1/17
1B: Supine Row – 1/17

2A: Body Weight Squat – 1/17
2B: Body Weight Lunges – 1/17

3A: Dumbbell Overhead Press – 2/11
3B: Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down – 2/11

4A: Machine Leg Press – 3/11
4B: Machine Leg Curl – 3/11

5A: Seated Cable Row – 2/11
5B: Barbell Bench Press (medium grip) – 2/11


Strongest Risk Factor Contributable to Early Death


15 Ways to Increase Physical Activity During Your Day.

Written by Jonathan Glick; BS-ESS, CPT-ACE.

1. Park the the back lot or as far as possible away from the entrance in the building you work at. If you find a “designated” spot that is always open you can make this a habit. For instance, at the college I teach at I park by the “J pole” or the next available spot (further away). It’s now ingrained in me as a positive habit and I don’t often think twice about it.

2. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. You can make exceptions, such as only walking the first 5, or 10 flights of stairs; or start with only walking up the stairs, or only using the stairs. When necessary, commit to something you’ll stick with, rather than trying the “all or nothing” approach.

3. Instead of emailing or phoning an associate that works in your building, deliver a message to them personally. Not only do you get more steps and thus more physical activity, it gets you out of your chair for a welcome break; plus you and your associate will benefit from open, in-person communication and it could help your work relationships.

4. Eat lunch on the “go.” Instead of eating your lunch sitting down, think about taking a walking lunch. No need to incorporate power walks but there are many foods easily edible while doing a short walk around the office, park or mall on your lunch break; and it’s definitely better than sitting!!

5. Microwave Push Ups. Warming up your morning coffee? Heating up last nights leftovers? Challenge yourself to complete as many counter top push ups as you can while the microwave is going. You can also do other exercises that require only your body weight, such as squats or lunges, or go all out with some Burpees!

6. Never just wait, ever again! You may find yourself completing tasks in which you have no choice but to wait. Just like the the microwave Push Ups, you can use down time, or “N.E.T.” time (No Extra Time) to complete a few exercises – heel raises while standing in line, lunges while waiting for that download to finish, Paper Ream Arm Curls in the office waiting for copies to finish, or even a whole-body workout while you’re working on laundry!

7. Get out of the car! At the bank, fast food place (gasp! but you’re getting a salad..) or other locations you typically go through a drive through. You body will love you for getting out and stretching those legs!

8. Take the Heavy Bag. Are you in school or remember when? All those text books sure got heavy. But now to increase your fitness you can carry them on purpose. Add some weight via books or other means to your gym bag, suitcase (if possible) or briefcase. The extra weight = extra calories, plus you can use your bags and cases for weight when you’re completing some on-the-go exercises like mentioned in idea # 6. Don’t forget to keep your posture more properly aligned by double strapping back packs!

9. Shovel snow from your neighbor’s sidewalk. Good deeds ALWAYS come with benefits, and extra physical activity and caloric expenditure is just one of them that comes from helping out your neighbor in this way. You don’t have to stop with snow shoveling, as raking leaves, gardening, planting flowers, or mowing lawns are also great alternatives.

10. Use a manual can opener. Yes, you read that right. The more often we do things manually, the longer we will be able to do things, manually or otherwise! It’s not time or age that plays the most critical factor in our dependency as we grow older, but lack of movement or the simply act of doing. Think about how by completing such simple tasks using manual tools rather than power tools you can not only increase physical activity but start creating the right mindset for lifelong wellness as well.

killtv11. KILL YOUR TV! OK, this is tough one right, but if you’re not going to go all out… there are alternatives to help increase your activity while you watch TV. The obvious solution is working out while doing so, even if its something simple as riding a stationary bike. Or how about instead of channel surfing with the remote you simply get up to change the channel rather than using a remote? WARNING: You may find yourself doing other things you enjoy (reading, gardening, and working out!) after you got up 74 times because there wasn’t anything worth watching on!

12. You don’t have to get rid of your TV, really. But if you can find time to watch television, you certainly can also find the time to workout – even if you don’t decrease the amount of time you watch TV. Here’s another no-extra-time idea: the Commercial Sprint & Stretch! Here’s how to do it: While you’re watching TV, as soon as a commercial comes on you run out your door and sprint down the street 4, 5, 6 or even 10 houses in length; then jog or walk back to your house. You don’t have to stop there, you can fit in other activities while the commercials on. A few sets of strength training for instance; or just stretch during commercials as well. Since the typical commercial is 30 seconds you can even use them as a timer for when to switch to a new stretch.

13. Run to the store. Literally. Of course you can walk, bike, roller blade or even skateboard! Since most errands are within an easy bike ride from home, you can consider using non-motorized vehicles on short trips. What is within a 10 minute walk or bike ride from your home? Consider this or another time or distance length, and commit to doing it anytime the weather is nice enough outside to do so.

14. Cook your own meals. Another small item but can add up your daily movement and activity over time. Not only are cooked meals typically more healthy, tasty and less expensive (added benefits!), it surely takes more personal physical activity to make a meal yourself rather than going out or ordering in.

15. Open up your own door! Just like elevators and escalators, there’s a time, place and need for automatic doors, but unless it’s necessity for you, consider going through doors you have to push or pull open yourself. When you start purposefully thinking, and doing these kinds of activities in the name of physical activity, you can truly change your mindset about your physical capabilities and willingness to EASILY add physical activity your your daily routine, even without structured exercise!

WOW! Workout of the Week #7 – 1/28/2013

Like last week, I want you to alternate sets between different exercises. After completing the first exercise (the Squat & Reach), complete Exercise 2 & 3, then 4 & 5, and finally 6 & 7 together, alternating sets. Rather than doing the exercises super set style however, rest between every set (except as noted below). You’ll finish the workout by completing a few sets of a single abdominal exercise.

Exercise – Sets/Reps

1. Squat & Reach – 2/17 each leg
Standing on your left leg; reach forward with your right hand and touch a dumbbell lying upright on the floor in front of you. The goal is to perform a partial, one legged squat as you squat and reach out. (try not to just hinge at your hip joint!) Come back to a complete upright position. After you complete all reps on one side, switch before repeating both sides again.

2. Incline Dumbbell Press – 3/11
3. Incline Dumbbell Row – 3/11

For both these exercises, set an incline bench to 45 degrees. Use a close grip, palms in for both exercises as well. First complete the Press, then turn around and lay prone on the bench (facing floor), chest support on bench while you row the dumbbells upward. Remember, you are not Super Setting, yet!

4. Body Weight Squat – 2/17 (no weight)
5. Barbell Squat – 2/7 (with weight)

OK, Squats are back AND now you get to Super Set! Complete one set of the bodyweight Squat, then go immediately into your Barbell Squat without rest. Repeat for an additional Super Set!

6. Supine Row (AKA Inverted Row) – 2/17
7. Push Ups! – 2/17

For the Supine Row you’ll need a Smith Machine or a Squat Rack you can lower the bar to a height so when you hang, arms outstretched, from a Supine position under the bar your body (shoulders, hips & knees) are horizontal and parallel to the ground; with your knees bent at 90 degrees and your heels underneath your knees. You’ll pull yourself upwards so that your chest touches the bar – this movement is opposite of the Push Up Movement; and you already know how to do those! For Push Ups, try a different progression if you’re ready!

8. Abdominal Toe Touches – 3/17
Lying on your back, feet up, legs mostly straight but knees slightly unlocked, holding a medicine ball with both hands. Without dropping your legs, bring the medicine ball as close to your toes as possible, then return back to starting position.

Time to Complete: 47 minutes or less, including Dynamic Warm Up and Static Cool Down.
Suggested Rest Between Sets: 47 – 74 seconds.


SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT: Dumbbells, Adjustable Dumbbell Bench, Medicine Ball, and Workout Timer.