1. Planks for crunches. Okay okay, have we said this enough? Crunches may not be the secretto six-pack abs. Give planks a try instead to work that whole core. Extra points for holding it for a minute straight!

2. Interval workout for relaxed run. Congrats on that 20-mile marathon. Now try a 20-minute interval run that involves lots of sprinting with some walking recovery. It may kick up the heat even more.

3. Incline for flat treadmill. In a perfect, outdoor world, flat roads rarely exist. (Sorry, Midwestern readers!) Add some hills to that treadmill run by cranking up the incline, and feel the muscle-building burn!

4. Zumba for elliptical. Trash that Cosmo-reading elliptical routine and surprise the body with a fun, calorie-burning cardio session. Sure beats staying stuck to a machine. 

5. Dynamic for static stretching. Stretching out cold muscles could lead to injury. So incorporate some active movement into a stretching routine— try lunges and arm swings before working out.

6. Warming up for rushing right to it. We know that barbell looks tempting. But before hitting the weight rack, do an active warm-up to loosen up limbs and get the most out of the workout.

7. Standing for sitting at a desk. How often does someone complain about having to sit in a cubicle all day? We have a simple solution (no college degree required)… stand. Use a pile of books to prop up the computer, or purchase one of these.

8. Exercise ball for office chair. Okay, we get it. Some people really don’t want to stand at their cubicle. So stay seated, but on a Swiss ball! It can help with balance and that six-pack. Fitness at the fingertips!

9. Gym for napping. Falling asleep at the wheel? Pull over. Tired in front of the TV? Hit the gym. It provides a big boost of energy and burns calories.

10. Free weights for machines. Skip the big machines (they’re sweaty anyway) and go for the little guys— free weights are more versatile and allow for a full range of motion in the joints.

11. Pull-ups for bicep curls. Isolating muscles is so 2011. Pull-ups are not only impressive (I can do two, thankyouverymuch) but they work way more than one muscle. Talk about multi-tasking.

12. Squats for leg press. Forget staying seated to work out the legs. Amp up the training sesh and do some squats to strengthen all theleg muscles, with some gluteus maximus work in there, too!

13. Personal trainer for guessing games. Just when we think we’ve had enough, trainers may help push us through that second set of burpees. Look for a deal online to cut the cost in half!

14. Foam rolling for static stretching. Need to get the knots out? Try using a foam roller instead of sitting and stretching to the toes. It’s almost like a personal massage.

15. Exergames for Mario Kart. Mario may be booking it through the race course, but holding the remote control does next to nothing for our own heart rate. Try out Wii Fit or Just Dance— they’re designed to provide light to moderate exercise.

16. Rowing for biking. How often can we row, row, row a boat indoors? Take advantage of the rowing machine instead of the good ’ol bike; it’s a super upper and lower body exercise.

17. Stairs for escalator. We’ve heard the tip a million times, so here it is for the millionth plus one. If the option’s available, go the old-fashion route and climb the stairs to burn some extra calories.

18. Fun workout for dreaded one. Loathe the elliptical? Try the stair-master. Hate the bench press? Do push-ups instead. We can still challenge ourselves without doing exercises we hate.

19. Active date for dinner and a movie. Save a night at that French restaurant for retirement and go on a fun, active winter date with a special someone. Sledding can be just as intimate as duck confit, and it sneaks in a hill-climbing workout, too.

20. Parking farther away for getting a spot up close. There’s no need to circle the parking lot five times looking for the perfect spot. Just park further away and walk the extra 100 feet to Target. (Doesn’t count as a trip to the gym, though!)

21. Walking further for running shorter. New to running? It’s okay. Even if a mile is all that’s possible, keep walking for a good cardio workout. Hold some light weights to up the intensity even more!

22. Working out with a pal for exercising by yourself. Grab that special someone or just a friend and hit the gym; working out with others may strengthen trust. Plus he or she could help motivate us through that final set of push-ups!

23. Hands-free running for holding handles. Hands off! On the treadmill, don’t rely on the handlebars. They take some of the stress off the body and make that workout less challenging.

24. Cherry juice for muscle medicine. Feeling sore? Rather than popping some pills, try drinking a glass of cherry juice. The antioxidants could help keep muscle swelling down. (Take that,Aspirin!)

25. Homemade post-workout snack for a protein bar. Bring a PB&J or another post-workout snack to the gym rather than buying a protein bar. We need some after-exercise fuel, but don’t get it in the form of excess sugar!

(Source: tumblrgym)


The Best Twenty-Minute Workouts

by Stew Smith

Do you want to jump start your New Year with some great fitness ideas that you can incorporate into your fitness routine? If you are like many Americans, getting the time to exercise is challenging. But, this article is proof that you can fit fitness into your schedule on just about any “busy” day in your life. 

The other day, I was emailed the following question: I only have about 20-30 minutes a day to exercise. What can I do in that amount of time? Not wanting to limit the answer to - just a few pushups and situps - I set out to prove how much you could do in such a little amount of time. My goal is to prove that you do not need several hours to maintain a fitness program - just minutes a day. Though the transition time may add to the total time invested in your workout, here is a list of 20-30 minute workouts you can do in your home, office, lunch time, or local gym: 

The superset is a great way to workout if you have limited time. Each cycle should take you two minutes. If you can do ten cycles of this you will total 300 pushups and 400 crunches. Not bad for 20 minutes! No resting in between sets! You basically rest by doing crunches. The two supersets you see below are great to alternate every other day. 

Pushup/Crunch Superset:

Repeat 10 cycles of:
- 10 regular pushups
- 10 crunches
- 10 wide pushups
- 10 crunches
- 10 tricep pushups
- 10/10 Left/Right crunches

Leg / ab Superset:

Repeat 5 cycles of:
- 20 squats 
- 20 crunches
- 10 lunges per leg
- 10 crunches 
- 20 calf raises
- 20 crunches

Running or Walking! 

How much running or walking can you do in 20-30 minutes? Some people can run 3-6 miles or walk 2-3 miles in that time period. Try this one if you want to run. 


4 Mile Track Work:
- Jog 1 mile in 7:00-8:00
- Three sets of 1/4-mile sprints in 90-100 seconds
- Jog or walk - 1/4 mile

Six sets of:

- Sprint-1/8 mile
- Jog - 1/8 mile

Or you can mix the two types of exercise together and do what I call a Spartan Run. 

Spartan Run:

- Run 1 mile
- 100 pushups in as few sets as possible
- 100 crunches
- Run 1 mile
- 75 pushups in as few sets as possible
- 75 crunches
- Run 1 mile
- 50 pushups in as few sets as possible
- 50 crunches


How much swimming can you do in 20-30 minutes? Some people can swim a mile in that time. Here is a great workout though if you want to mix a little PT with swimming. 

Swim PT

Repeat 5-10 times:
- Swim 100 yards
- Do 10-20 pushups
- Abs - 20-30

This is the ultimate workout I have ever done in under 20 minutes. The challenge is to do: 

- 100 pullups as few sets as possible
- 200 pushups in as few 2:00 sets as possible
- 300 situps in as few 2:00 sets as possible

Do these as quickly as possible. You can alternate exercises after each set of maximum repetitions. 

As you can see, you can do quite a bit in as little as 20-30 minutes. These workouts are a little advanced and you should consult your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have not exercised in several years. Of course you can create your own program using these exercise ideas for your own fitness level. If you want to improve your PFT scores the motto is, “You will succeed by failing.” So push yourself every set until you can no longer perform the exercise. If you do this 2-3 times a week, you will have better PT scores within a month.


Here is today’s workout, same as a while ago except instead of 3 sets we did 5 sets. 
burpee example
Side plank lifts example
superman lifts example
Full sit ups - touch the floor behind your head and then sit all the way up and touch your toes (with bent knees)
This took me ~20 minutes to complete

Air squat challenge
* The proper activity done a few minutes before eating can encourage food calories to get shuttled into the muscle cells, before it has a chance to get stored as body fat.
* Increases insulin sensitivity and burns some extra calories.
I accept the term and condition.