Simple 20 Minute Workout You Can Do at Home

by in Exercise.

My life is about to change since I’m 22 weeks pregnant (as I’m writing this post) and I know my life will just be a tad bit complicated when our baby boy arrives. While we’re very excited to welcome this new life into the world, I’ve been very conscious about simplifying my life and taking out any clutter that doesn’t serve any purpose. So, I’ve been experimenting with simple workouts I can do at home to save time. One of the fitness tools (and my personal favorite) we use at our personal training studio here at The Club is the kettlebell.

Kettlebells (KB) can come in different colors but it is basically a round ball made of metal, usually cast iron, with a thick handle on it. Their weight can either be measured in kilograms or pounds and can go from 8 lbs and up. KBs originally came from Russia which they have been using to train their military branches way before KBs were introduced in the United States by the Russian strength coach, Pavel Tsatsouline.

One of my favorite kettlebell workouts I’ve designed so far is this 20-minute workout that combines the fundamental kettlebell movement, Kettlebell Swings, along with Goblet Squats and Push Ups. If you’re not familiar with the names of the first 2 exercises, don’t worry. Here are instructional videos for both exercises:

How to Do Kettlebell Swings

How to Do Goblet Squats (watch the 20 second mark)

Note: You may do this with just one kettlebell while holding it by the base of the horn in front of your chest.

The Simple 20 Minute Workout

As with any workout, be sure to warm-up properly before the workout proper.

1) Set an interval timer like the Gym Boss to 20 second intervals with a total of 30 intervals. You can also download an app to your smart phone or Ipod by searching for “interval timer.”
2) Perform Kettlebell Swings for 20 seconds then rest for 20 seconds.
3) Perform Goblet Squats for 20 seconds then rest for 20 seconds.
4) Perform Push Ups for 20 seconds then rest for 20 seconds.
5) Repeat steps 2-4 until you’ve finished all 30 intervals or time runs out.
6) Cool down by using a foam roller or stretch tight areas.

If you’re able to perform the whole workout, you would have done a total of 120 Swings, 50 Goblet Squats, and 70 Push Ups. Trust me, this is a complete workout that strengthens your core, works your whole body, and pumps up your heart for a wonderful cardio benefit.

This is also a great workout for pregnant women like me because it doesn’t require to do any jumping movement which leaves baby safe and sound. If you’re a beginner or you haven’t exercised in awhile, I would start with 10 intervals and work my way up with each and every workout.

If you have any questions about the workout or kettlebells, please feel free to use the comments section below. If you’re not sure what to do with your workouts and/or need a have a solid nutrition plan that will help you achieve your health and fitness goals, schedule your complimentary fitness consultation today by clicking on this link and submitting this form and we’ll get you started on the right track!


Going Paleo

by in Nutrition.

I still can’t believe I’m writing about the Paloe diet. If you had asked me several months ago whether I can ever follow this plan, my answer probably would’ve a firm “No.” But, as I’ve become aware of my food choices and made dramatic changes to it, going paleo just seems like the next logical step. I’m really not doing it to lose weight at this point. I think I’m way beyond that. I’m doing it for health reasons as we’re planning to have a baby and I also heard it does wonders for your skin (which I’ll take any day). Although, if you are looking to lose some serious fat, then the Paleo diet would be a good fit for you as well.

What is the Paleo Diet?

A lot of people also name the Paleo Diet as the “Cave Man” diet because the term comes from the Paleolithic period which is the stone age. The goal of the plan is to only eat foods that were available to our ancestors during this period before agriculture was born. The foods that are included in the plan are mainly grass-fed meats, free-range eggs, fruits, vegetables, seafood, healthy fats and other nuts except for peanuts as these are legumes. On that note, the main things that are not allowed on the Paleo diet are processed foods, legumes, dairy, grains, starches, and alcohol. Oh yes, I can’t have sugar and salt either.

After looking at that list, I was wondering what else there was to eat. So, I started looking at recipes just to see how realistic this Paleo plan is and, to my amazement, there’s some very creative people out there creating very delicious looking recipes. So, I bought the “Paleo Diet Cookbook” by Dr. Lauren Cordain who has the most reviews on Amazon and downloaded it into Kindle in my Ipad.

What I like about this cook book is it has really simple recipes even for the kitchen-challenged person like I am. The very first thing I made was Chicken Marsala with Sandy Pointe Spinach. I was prepared to be disappointed since I could not put any flour to thicken the sauce and couldn’t put salt on either of the dishes. To my surprise, it was so delicious! From that very first meal, I’m a convert and I know that this is a plan I can follow for life.

How to Go On the Paleo Diet

Believe it or not, I thought it was fairly easy to transition to this plan. Well, mainly because I was already very conscious of the food that make it into our fridge and pantry. I already was not eating a lot of dairy (besides goat cheese which is my fave), legumes, and processed foods. I’m not a big drinker either. So, the main big change for me was taking out the salt and rice. But, for people who aren’t where I was before I transitioned, you have two choices:

1. You can go cold Turkey and just completely switch without making preliminary changes. This strategy will work for people who are ready to make the commitment because either you have a major health concern you are dealing with or you are going on vacation (or getting married) and you need to lean up within the next 3 months or so.

2. You can do just as I did and slowly replace and/or eliminate certain foods from your diet until your food choices pretty much resemble the Paleo lifestyle. This strategy worked very well for me because I didn’t feel pressured to make all the changes at once. I felt comfortable with my decision and I didn’t feel like I was stretching myself too much.

[This was my fridge after I emptied it of all the Non-paleo foods]

[This was my fridge after I put in all my delicious Paleo foods]

What Kind of Results Can You Get from the Paleo Diet?

Since I just started this plan a few days ago, the verdict is still out. Although, I’ve already lost 3 lbs and I’m seeing my skin clear up even more. My main goal from this switch is get my hormones back on track from years of being on the birth control pill. This may be too much information for some of you but I know that some women would probably want this information if you’re dealing with the same situation as I am. If you’re a guy and you’re reading this, you’d be happy to know that my husband lost 5 lbs and we started together. His goal is to actually gain weight but I think what he’s lost so far is water weight. Men should definitely eat more than usual on this plan as I can see my husband losing muscle if he doesn’t increase his calorie intake especially since he also exercises.

Whatever your goal is, you can only see health benefits from the Paleo lifestyle. So many people are developing food sensitivities now because of the rampant availability of Gluten, Soy, and Corn in our food system that it makes sense to test and see if you are sensitive to these foods. Also, there is the issue of genetically modified foods (GMOs). We don’t know what GMO’s can do to our health yet but it’s good to take precautions until we’re sure of its effects to our health.

Do you have any thoughts, questions, or comments on the Paleo Diet? Write them below and join in on the conversation!