By Bonne Marcus
Your child’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah is just around the corner. Maybe you meant to start getting in shape sooner (like back in January) but it didn’t happen. But fear not. If you work hard now and set your mind to it, you can make big changes to your body in time.
Kick up your cardio workouts.
Aerobic exercise including bicycling, running, jumping rope, kickboxing, etc draw upon energy stores and are an excellent way to burn fat. You should do some form of cardio for 30-40 minutes 5 days a week. To get more out of your workouts, strive for three 30-minute interval training sessions each week. Interval training is short, high-intensity exercise periods alternated with periods of low intensity and a great way to burn a lot of calories. The
intensity should be raised above your comfortable level for a brief period, followed by a recovery period of lesser intensity. Interval cycles can range in time, length, and intensity. A typical duration might be 30 seconds of very high-intensity work, followed by one-and-a-half minutes of low-intensity recovery. For example, after you warm-up try running 1 minute on the treadmill at 6.0 mph, followed by jogging 90 seconds at 5.0 mph. Repeat this until you have completed 2 miles.
Get buff for the Bar/Bat Mitzvah
More than doing cardio, strength training is the most effective way to sculpt the body you desire! Minimize the (fill in the blank) jiggle by hitting the weights three days a week allowing 48 hours rest in between workouts. Choose a routine that combines upper and lower body moves. It will maximize your exercise efforts and minimize the time you spend in the gym. It’s all about training smarter, not longer. If you are feeling ambitious, design a circuit; do a series of exercises followed by 3 minutes cardio. You’ll raise the intensity of your workout, burn more calories and tighten up those trouble spots in one workout. A sample circuit might include: jump rope, squats, jumping jacks, push-ups, jog in place, shoulder press, jump rope, lunges, jumping jacks, and dips.
No time for strength training? No excuse!
In the time it would take you to mull over whether “to train or not to train,” you could be halfway through best body-blasting, inch-incinerating, time efficient sculpting session you have ever experienced. This 15 minute mini- workout reaps maximum results by pumping oxygen-rich blood through every major muscle group in your body. Believe me; your heart rate will prove it as will your fabulously fit physique, if you stick with the plan.
So what’s the plan?
The workout consists of 4 cycles of 7 different exercises, 1 for every major muscle group. Each cycle lasts 3.5 minutes, and each exercise is performed for 30 seconds per cycle. This brings the complete length of the workout to a whopping 14 minutes, of which each muscle group suffers a grand total of 1 minute.
What you do:
Perform repetitions (about 20) of each exercise for 30 seconds. Once you have completed all seven exercises repeat the 7-muscle cycle again. Please consult a certified fitness professional (or ME) if you are unsure about the proper form or technique of any these exercises below:
4. Shoulder press
5. Bent over rows
6. Bicep curls
7. Triceps dips
Point to Ponder
Select weights that make the exercises challenging, but not impossible. If an exercise becomes too difficult, modify it. Remember, it’s better to modify an exercise than to risk getting injured. If after completing the 14-minute body blaster you still have a smidgen of time to spare, drop to the floor for a quick crunch-a-thon. Try to incorporate a variety of abdominal exercises such as reverse crunches, oblique crunches, and bicycles. Aim to crunch continuously for 3 to 5 minutes, or until you just can’t crunch no more!
Never underestimate the power of a workout, no matter how short
Just think, for a mere 14 extra minutes a day 4 days a week, you can add almost an hour of body revving activity to your weekly workout regime. Who knew it could be so easy?!
About Bonne Marcus
A sought after fitness expert, Bonne Marcus is a columnist for Village Connection Magazine. She is the author of The Complete Bride’s Workout Guide (New Page Books), and has written/contributed to many national magazines including Modern Bride, Bride’s, Bridal Guide, Self, Shape, Marie Claire, Family Circle, Prevention, and Fitness magazines. Marcus is the creator of three special training programs, one for brides, appropriately titled “Fit To Be Tied”, and one for moms-to-be, “Fit To be Mommy” and her latest program the “Mitzvah Mom Makeover.”
2011 marks 25 years that Bonne has worked in the fitness industry and has taught for New York City’s top health clubs including Crunch, Reebok Sports Club, the JCC of Manhattan and Equinox. Bonne is married, living on Long
Island and can be found leading classes in everything from sculpting and spin to fat burning and fusion.
Have a question or want to train with Bonne? Email her at BonneMarcus@gmail.com.