Last October, my dad had a heart attack. It was a defining moment for several reasons. One of which was that I had let my health completely go in the year before we moved here. An unhealthy diet combined with lack of exercise had resulted in over a 20 lb weight gain in two years. I realized I need to make a change. So I hired Rachel Hunt from Extreme Fit Training in Birmingham to create a custom plan for 30 days of working out. I then joined a gym two blocks from our house, and together with my husband worked out every day for 30 days. My intention was to duplicate Rachel’s signature boot camp. The end result was a 12 inch loss. I added muscle tone and dropped fat, and went one size down.
But I’m not going to lie. There were times my abs hurt so much that I thought I was going to puke. There were days when there was a battle raging in my mind while I was on the treadmill. I fought a lot of demons during that 30 days. Am I in the best shape of my life? No, but I am making changes and I can see the results.
Here are five of the workouts she created for me.
Warm-up: walk one min, jog one min, walk 2 min, jog 2 min (heart rate needs to be up to 65% of max, test using a heart monitor)
Do 30 lunges with an 8 lb weight in each hand. These are slow, back knee drops to ground, front set of toes should be able to wiggle every time you lunge forward.
Do 30 bicep curls with 8 lb weights
Do 30 old school sit-ups with hands behind your head.
15 minutes of cardio. Burn nothing less than 200 calories. That means if you are on a treadmill get on a hill and move!
35 bicep curls
35 sit-ups with hands behind your head
20 minutes of cardio. Burn nothing less than 250 calories. Breathe through this. Heart rate will get up to 95% of max.
basic plank position (on forearms, look down at floor, you are on your toes). Hold this position for 30 seconds. (repeat 2 more times, holding position for 30 seconds each time)
roll up to your tail bone, grab your hands. Gently twist until your right elbow touches the ground, back to middle, then left elbow touches ground. Do a total of 30 elbow touchdowns)
30 bicycle abs (right elbow reaches for left knee, legs are kept low, do not rush these)
Warm-up: Walk as fast as you can for 5 minutes. Really put your arms into it. Heart rate will get up to 65% of max, then you are ready to SWEAT!
Jump Rope for 3 minutes. As fast as you can.
Do 30 calf raises (heels are hanging off a step)
Do 30 squats with back relaxed on a stability ball against wall). 8 lb weight is in each hand. Weight is in your heels, so your toes can wiggle.
Do 30 real push-ups. I don’t care if you do one at a time. If you MUST, drop down to your knees and do girly¯ ones. That means, your butt is out of the air, and the tops of your thighs hit the mat every time you go down)
Do 30 deadlifts holding 8 lbs weights. Feet are hip width apart, angle¯ weights by your thighs, hinge at hip, and reach down to your shins. You will feel your hamstrings and lower back working.
Jog for 5 minutes, at 5 min, sprint for one minute. Everything you have, GO! You are earning a 2 minute break!!
Repeat all of the above 2 more times!!
30 slow bicycle abs
30 basic crunches with your right heel resting on top of left toes, legs are long and straight
30 basic crunches with your left heel resting on top of right toes, legs are long and straight.
Basic plank position, on forearms. Tap our right foot out to side, then back together, left foot out to side, then back together. Do a total of 30.
Warm-up: light jog for 5 min.. Heart rate gets up to 65% of max. You are ready to sweat!
Pick the pace up until you feel like you are really pushing yourself at a fast-paced run. Go 2 minutes.
Do 30 step-ups (hold 8lb weights by your side). Change leg lead after 15 steps.
2 min fast run! Get that heart pumping!
Do 30 upright rows. (weights in hand, roll them up to chest, back down, feet are hip width apart)
2 min fast run! It’s only 2 min out of your life! Get out out of there and move!
Do 30 traveling squats (weight on shoulders, squat low, and step to the side, keep stepping)
2 min fast run! See how far you can get in 2 min this time.
Do 30 overhead presses. (weights in hand, press your weights over your head, then back down). Do not let your elbows fall below your shoulders. Take a break when needed, just get to 30.
2 min fast run! Beat your distance from your last short sprint!
Do 30 deadlifts. Remember, try to keep your back flat! Knees are slightly bent.
4 min of a fast walk! This isn’t a laid back, do nothing, kind of walk. But, a little bit of an active recovery.
Repeat ALL of you above. That’s right. Don’t cheat yourself.
Hold a large stability ball over your head. Feet together. Gently bend to the side, back to middle, bend over to the opposite side, back to middle. Do a total of 30 side bends, while holding large ball. It feels GOOD. You’ll feel this one tomorrow!
Basic crunch. Do 10 slow ones with elbows out to side, 10 second crunch hold, 10 second pulse. Move onto 20 slow ones, 20 sec crunch hold, 20 sec pulse.
Warm- up: walking quickly for 5 minutes. Allow your heart rate to come up to 65% before moving on to workout.
Choose any cardio for today! (swim, bike, run, walk, climb stairs, etc). Do 45 minutes. Try not to stop. If you must, take a 3 minute break, and get back to it. Burn nothing less than 450 calories.
Stack your hips, so you are laying on your side. Lift those hips off the ground so you are in a side plank position. Hold it for 10 sec, then drop the hip down, back up, down, back up, repeat until your hip has touched the ground 10x. Switch sides.
See how many real sit-ups you can do in 2 minutes. By next week that number is going to increase by 10. Get someone to hold you feet if need be.
This workout would be ideal for a track. Find the time and make it happen. If you are doing the work on a treadmill, one lap¯ is .25 miles on a treadmill.
Warm-up: Walk one lap at your fastest pace. Heart rate comes up to 65% of max.
50 tricep dips on a set of stairs or bleachers (challenge yourself and extend one leg)
50 tricep extensions holding one weight, elbows In close
50 tricep kickbacks (Hinge at waist, flat back, both arms extend back at the same time)
Jog two laps, heart rate is up to 85% of max. (or .50 on treadmill)
50 lunges holding weights
50 squats holding weights
50 calf raises (25 toes pointed forward, 25 toes pointed out)
Jog three laps, heart rate is between 85%-95% of max. (or .75 on treadmill)
50 plank-ups (25 per arm)
50 bicycle crunches
50 basic crunches with weight behind head, ELBOWS OUT!
Walk OR Jog your last 2 laps. Whichever you choose I want you to sprint the curves. You can slow down the pace on the longer stretches.