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.
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
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).