Guest Post: Work it Out (+ Giveaway for Locals!)

UPDATE:  Congratulations to eleventh commenter Jessica for winning the session’s with Jen! Thanks to everyone for entering. Don’t forget – even if you didn’t win you can call Jen at 216-513-6989 for a free session and give her workouts a try.

(note: there were 20 comments but Allison asked not to be entered, so the winner was chosen randomly from the other 19 comments)


During the second half of my maternity leave I went to the gym every day. I got a break from MAD, I got to sweat out my stress and I got to do something for me. I love group classes so I sampled everything they offered. By the time I went back to work I was in great shape. Then life hit.

Adjusting to the 2 working parents of 2 kids schedule was brutal. My gym (despite repeated requests) never offered any classes after the kids bedtime which is the only time I can workout,  so I was curtailed to 2 weekend classes a week. I felt like crap.

Enter, Pauline (honestly, she’s my go-to person for knowing the best of what’s happening on Cleveland’s east side) who invited me to a group session with her trainer, Jen Arenschield.  I was hooked. I love that I was pushing myself to the max, using the heaviest weights possible and feeling strong. Jen is the perfect mix of ass-kicking trainer and someone you’d love to grab drinks with. I’ve been working out with her for about 4 months and can honestly say that I crave her workouts. I look forward to them every week. And last week when M came home with this I knew I was teaching her something about the importance of being strong:

Without further ado, here are Jen’s thoughts about the holidays and weight gain plus a suggested workout to avoid it:

Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!

At this busy time of the year, there simply is often not enough time in the day to work out.  There are plenty of days where I could use a lot more than 24 hours to get everything done.  With the holiday season upon us, extra time is a precious commodity that’s hard to come by.

However, it was recently stated in a major media article that the average person gains seven pounds during the holidays (between Halloween and New Years).  After some online research, it seems that the statistic is not entirely accurate.  In fact, most people gain on average about one pound.  Whew! What a relief!

Not so fast…the news is not all good.  Just think:  as we age, the average adult gains between 1-2 pounds.  It stands to reason that this holiday weight gain could very well be the reason for an overall weight gain as we get older.  Often, the weight  gained during the holidays is not lost. The average person is gaining 12 pounds a decade. If you gain a pound or so over the holidays, there it is.

Fat loss can be broken down to simple math: Your body must burn 3,600 calories in order to lose one pound of body fat.  With very hard work, a person could theoretically burn a pound of body fat in a week with four or more very intense workouts.  At the very least, maintaining a consistent, challenging fitness program, even during the busy holiday season, will allow you to enjoy all the holidays  have to offer without the guilt and weight gain that often follows.

Then, instead of being one of the many who flock to the gym to carry out their New Year’s Resolution (for three weeks) to undo the damage, you’ll be right on track to look and feel great for Spring.

Try this workout at home with your own body weight.  I have always recommended interval training as a superior form of fat loss over steady state cardio. Interval training is essentially periods of hard work alternated with easier periods of work using one or more cardio exercises.  This workout pairs two simple exercises to work your entire body.  Do not be fooled, this is not for the faint of heart. This workout will get your heart rate up and burn calories like crazy.

You will alternate repetitions of Squat Jumps and Running Push Ups.

Squat Jump:  With your hands behind your head, sit back and down into a squatting position.  Explosively jump vertically, keeping your chest up.  Try to land softly, immediately going into the next squat.  Do not pause at the bottom of the movement. Progress the exercise by increasing range of motion in your squat and intensity in your jump.

Running Pushup:  This is a Pushup/Mountain Climber combo.  Do one pushup and two reps of Mountain Climbers in alternating fashion.

Mountain Climbers:  In pushup position, brace your core and keep your body still.  Bring your right knee towards your right arm, then back to the starting position, with feet only touching the floor in the starting position.  Repeat with your left leg, that is one rep.  Alternate legs with each rep. Progress the exercise by increasing speed and intensity.

Progression:  Exercises can be progressed in range of motion, speed and intensity.  You can also progress your work/recovery times.  A good rule of thumb to start is:
Beginner: 10 seconds work, 20 seconds recovery
Intermediate: 15 seconds work, 15 seconds recover
Advanced: 20 seconds work, 10 seconds recovery

You don’t need a lot of time, an expensive gym membership or fancy equipment to get a great workout.  The right exercises and a healthy dose of motivation are all you need to burn calories and enjoy the holidays guilt-free.  About 30 minutes is all it takes to keep you on track throughout the holiday season while saving time, frustration and stress.

Jen is awesome and when I asked if I could promote her on my blog she offered up a generous giveaway to my readers.  Plus ALL potential clients can always do the first workout  free. If you live anywhere on Cleveland’s east side, come have Jen kick your butt and see if it’s the fitness solution for you. Call her at 216-513-6989 or send her at Tweet @JenArenschield

Giveaway – Your Choice:
–  Two individual training sessions with certified personal trainer, Jen  Arenschield ($90 value) or
–  Two weeks of small-group training with certified personal trainer, Jen Arenschield (six total sessions, $90 value).
Location is in Solon, Ohio.
Individual training to be scheduled at both the trainer/client’s convenience, group session times are as follows:
M/W/F:  5:45am or 9:30am
Tues/Thurs:  8:00-9:00pm
Saturday:  9:30am

Want to win? Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win. For an extra entry follow @JenArenschield and tweet about the contest (come back and leave me a comment with a link to your tweet).  Giveaway ends at midnight EST on December 5, 2010. Please don’t enter if you can’t make it to Solon for your workouts!

(Disclosure: I am hosting this giveaway on my blog simply because I love my workouts with Jen. I got nothing in return for this post).

20 thoughts on “Guest Post: Work it Out (+ Giveaway for Locals!)

  1. Ummm, this would rock my world. I used to be a big time athlete. I played tennis, did martial arts (karate and jujitsu), ran, lifted weights, yoga, snowboarding, indoor rock climbing… And then children entered the picture. I am so incredibly busy being a stay at home mom to two girls 18 mos. apart and running my own photography business that I totally stopped being an athlete. Don’t get me wrong, having kids is the very best decision I have every made and I love my life so very much, but I miss certain parts of the ‘old me’. I am very happy with my body and my weight, but not so happy with my strength and muscle tone. And I have the exact same problem- I can only work out after the girls go to bed which leaves very few options. I’ve tried to do cardio at night, but it has never stuck. I think I need to be pushed by someone and, as an added bonus, get some adult interaction and adult conversation! Ha.

  2. amy says:

    AHHH Katy and Jen…what a great incentive to work out. I have been to a few of Jen’s classes and love the sweat of them but right now the income isn’t available for her classes. I need those classes to motivate me when I do work out on my own. Jen gives great excersizes that work the whole body and yes you do feel it the next day and the next day and the next day….
    crossing my fingers, and toes..

  3. Denise says:

    LOVE the workout with Jen. I never worked so hard and sweated so much but smiled and laughed too! Definitely the best evening for me time even if I felt it days after…gotta try her rolling thing! Hopefully Santa will be good to me and I can get back soon. Definitely miss it! If you haven’t tried her class you you haven’t worked out!!

  4. jackie says:

    I started with Jen two months ago. First off I had never worked out in my life and no one could get me to go to the gym. Second, I did not ever think I would commit to any workout. Here is what happen: I now workout three days a week. Yes, every week= a commitment. I dare I say it miss when I do not get to have a workout. I can lift weights and squat and even know what the terms are. I go two times this past month private and one group. The time she will put into each and every client is amazing. She will get you up in strength before you know it and maybe even with a smile on your face. Just DO IT!

  5. Jessica says:

    I have tried everything and would love to give Jen a chance! After following her on twitter and reading about her on the different local blogs she seems to know her stuff and I’m always looking to switch up my routine!

  6. Kristin says:

    Both my husband and I work out with Jen and we love her! My husband has never been an athlete and needed to lose some serious weight. With Jen’s help and modifying his eating he is 4 belt loops smaller and down 3 pants sizes and still going.

    As for me, I was an athlete through college and got out of the habit of working out (I am not a runner). Now I can keep up with my 2 active boys and I feel great. The 5:45 am workout is my favorite because I get it done and I get home in time to get everyone off to school.

    Hats off to Jen for challenging us every workout, and still managing to be a super nice person.

  7. I would love to try workouts with Jen!! She gave me the push to do hard workouts with another trainer she used to work with a couple years ago. Unfortunately, I hurt myself and fell off the good workout wagon. I’m looking for that push again! 😉 20 year reunion and a bridesmaid dress loom in my future and 10 pounds are standing in the way… eek!

  8. Katy – thanks for the article on Jen. I just started following her on Twitter too and tweeted a link to this blog. Not sure how to link that here but see @misfitz6

  9. Since I go to Jen, don’t count me as an entry but you described her perfectly. Just last night she said, “Allison, I’m going to need to to pick up the 25 instead of the 20.” I typically laugh out loud when she does it because it’s nicest way of saying, “pick up the damn weight – we both know you can do more!”

  10. emily says:

    I don’t have a spouse and kids filling my schedule, but I travel about 2 weeks a month for work which killed my 5:30 am workout regimen. Late dinners and early meetings don’t seem to encourage hotel gym workouts! I’ve been looking for a way to get going on a new training routine – 2 sessions with Jen just might do the trick from all I’ve read about her on Twitter!

    Just followed Jen and am about to RT the contest!

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