Home Gym Equipment Wish List

One of the most frequently asked questions I get it: “what equipment should I get for my home gym?”

In a previous post I included only the basics, but many of you expressed a desire to know more about what to add as you expand your home gym, so I’ve broken down today’s post into:

  • The Starter Wish List

  • The Intermediate Wish List

  • The “I Want To Do It All” Wish List

I’ve included links to where you can purchase items, but please note I am not in any way affiliated to these companies. Some items I have personally purchased, others I have not - please do your homework, particularly for higher ticket items, prior to purchasing. These links are just to give you some ideas of what is out there. Prices may change after this post is published, so they may not be exact.

While name brand stuff may look cool and offer fun colours, know that you’re definitely paying a premium for the name. Unless you plan to open a commercial gym one day, the basics (without the name brand) will definitely suffice.

Kijiji is also a great place to find used equipment, especially for simple things like dumbbells or kettlebells.

Quick note: If you have a home gym and want some workouts, I’m giving away a FREE 7-Day Workout Plan right now, available until June 29th only. You can grab your free copy here.

The Starter Wish List:

  • Dumbbells

  • Mini-bands

  • Super-bands

  • Lacrosse ball

Dumbbells

  • Quantity: 1 lighter set for upper body + 1 heavier set for lower body

  • Weight: This is TOTALLY dependent on you. If you are relatively new to lifting, 8-12lbs may be enough for upperbody, and 15-20lbs for lower body. If you're deciding between a set, my recommendation would be to pick the heavier option - ie. go with the 10lb set instead of the 8lb set for upper body - because initially you can decrease reps, and then add in reps as you get stronger. If you go for the lower weight that you can comfortably do now, you'll be needing a new set in short time - not a bad thing, but if cost is a consideration, go for the slightly more challenging weight now.

  • Style: I prefer the hex dumbbells, simply because they don't roll across the floor when I set them down, and can also be used from a plank position safely.

  • Shop it:

Mini-bands

  • Quantity: 1 medium band, 1-2 heavy bands

  • Resistance: I'd recommend getting one medium and one heavy resistance to start so you can swap between the two or combine them. Even if you’re relatively new to weight training, usually the lightest resistance will be too easy, so skip it and head straight to medium resistance.

  • Shop it:

Super-bands

  • Quantity: 1 light, and 1 medium

  • Resistance: One light band is a great start (0.5"), but for some movements you want a heavier one as well (0.75") - again this will totally be dependent on you! 

  • Shop it:

  • Door Anchor: To add versatility to your banded workouts, these door anchors are a super simple solution that won’t break the bank. You can grab a 2-pack here on Amazon.ca for $15.

Lacrosse ball

The Intermediate Wish List:

  • Box and/or bench

  • TRX

  • Pull-up bar

  • Additional dumbbell weights

  • Foam roller

Box or Bench

  • Having a raised surface adds so much versatility for training, and are great for hip thrust variations, step-up variations, box jumps, etc.

  • Quantity: 1

  • Shop it:

    • For a basic flat bench for $135 at Fitness Depot shop here, or for $239 from Rogue shop here. You can start of basic or add one that inclines, and the price range is pretty huge for benches.

    • For a Rogue box shop here, cost is $160. If someone in your house is handy with woodworking, build one yourself for $30 worth of supplies.

    • If you want to incorporate box jumps but wood edges scare you, there are also foam plyo box options available, like this stackable set from Fitness Depot for $388 or purchase single foam boxes like this one from Amazon.ca.

    • For some movements, an exercise ball will do the trick as a raised surface, and are much friendlier on the budget if you’re starting off. For $12.88 you can get a 55” ball at Fitness Depot here. Adjust the ball size based on your height.

TRX

  • More versatile that rings, and easier to install as you can purchase door attachments to make it usable in the space you have. Great for adding in more rowing work, or some more advanced hamstring curls, or core work.

  • Quantity: 1

  • Shop it:

Pull-up bar

  • Much easier on the budget, and much easier to install if you don’t have a dedicated gym space where you want to be bolting things into the wall, is the doorframe pull-up bar. There are lots of options available, but the one I started with is similar to below. Note - it will mark up your door frame at the top a bit, so be aware of that when deciding where to do your pull-ups if that’s a concern.

  • Quantity: 1

  • Shop it:

Additional dumbbell weights

  • The key to getting stronger is to continually challenge yourself, so as you progress you will find you’ll need a larger variety of weights so that you can pick an appropriately challenging weight no matter what the rep scheme is.

Foam roller

The “I Want To Do It All” Wish List:

  • Kettlebells

  • Cardio machine: rower, bike, etc

  • Squat rack

  • Anything else you consider the fun, but not necessary stuff: battle ropes, rope anchored for rope climbs, rings, slamballs, hurdles, etc.

Kettlebells

  • Quantity: 1 lighter and 1 heavier to start your collection, and build from there.

  • Weight: I'd recommend getting one lighter one that you can use for single arm overhead work to start (overhead press, snatch), and one heavier one for things like kettlebell swings, single leg work, etc.

  • Shop it:

  • There are various styles of kettlebells, pick what works for you and just go with it.

  • Competition kettlebells: are all the same size, but different weights. Price will vary by weight of the kettlebell, this 16kg is $58 from Fitness Depot here.

  • Russian kettlebells: again will vary in price based on weight, an example is here from Fitness Depot for $40.

  • Vinyl coated: there are various versions of these, but they might be a kinder option for your floors depending on where your workouts are happening. A 40lb vinyl coated option from Fitness Depot for $44 can be found here.

Cardio machine

  • Quantity: 1

  • Style: Go with what you enjoy! Rower, bike, treadmill, elliptical, etc.

  • Shop it: I’ll leave the shopping to you here, as there are SO many options out there and price points. If you have specific questions, let me know:) We have a Concept 2 rower, and an Assault Bike, so those are really the only two brands and machines that I can personally speak to.

Barbells + plates

  • Quantity: 1 barbell (women’s specific) + numerous plates + safety clips

  • Weight: Women’s bars are not only lighter (35lb versus 45lb for the men’s bar), but the diameter of the bar is smaller as well. For most women, it will be more comfortable to get a solid grip on a women’s bar - particularly helpful for anything taken from the floor like deadlifts, snatch, or cleans, but also helps with overhead work like overhead press and thrusters.

  • For plate weight, it will depend where your current strength is at, but start with a set of 10lb, 15lb, 25lb, and you’ve already got enough to make any combination from 35lb to 135lb. Add to your collection as needed:)

  • Shop it:

    • This is one category you can definitely keep on the simpler side, or blow the budget on. Honestly, be realistic with what you’re using it for. I went with basic Fitness Depot Northern Lights bars and they have stood up to numerous personal training clients and classes over the past 4 years. But hey, if a custom designed pink or purple Rogue barbell is calling your name and Santa is willing to bring it, nothing wrong with that! Eleiko bars are bar-none (pun intended) the best barbells out there, and have an incredible customer service policy. They come with a price, but if you are a high performance athlete, or plan to run a performance gym, they may be worth the investment to you. Or, again, if you have a super generous Santa.

    • Note: You’ll see bars labelled as “weightlifting”, “Olympic”, or “powerlifting” bars. Weightlifting and Olympic bars (the same thing, just different names depending where you’re buying them from), will have more whip to the bar and rotation in the bearings since they are designed for the snatch and clean. Powerlifting bars are designed for the power lifts - deadlift, bench press, and squat. What do you need? Again, if you aren’t a competitive athlete in any of the above sports, just grab yourself an appropriately weighted bar (35lb women, 45lb men) that’s within your budget.

    • Fitness Depot models can be found here.

    • Rogue Canada models can be found here.

    • Eleiko top notch bars can be found here.

Squat rack

  • I kept this separate from the barbell and plates, because you really don’t have to have a squat rack to be able to start using a barbell - you can do deadlifts, cleans, and snatches without a squat rack, and once you know how to clean you’ll be able to get the weight up to do overhead or squat work as well (of course at weights limited to your cleans)

  • Quantity: 1

  • Shop it:

    • Similar to the cardio equipment, I’ll leave this one up to you to seek out. There are SO many models, price ranges, sizes, from basic to having tons of features - it’s going to come down to how much space you have, money you want to spend, and how many of the additional features you really have to have.

Fun stuff

  • What else do you want to add in? This is where you get to customize based on what you like to do! Hate jumping? Probably don’t want to invest in hurdles. Want to learn entirely new skills? Maybe a rope for rope climbs is on your list.

If you have any questions, as always feel free to email me. I could talk gym stuff all day long.

P.S. Here’s the link again for your FREE 7-Day Workout Plan, available only until June 29th. Grab yours while you can!

Going Upside Down In Pregnancy & Postpartum: CrossFit Open 19.3

Welcome back for week 3 of the CrossFit Open! If you’re new here, hi! And welcome. Each week I’m offering considerations, strategies, and modifications for the Open workouts for pregnant and postpartum athletes.

Open 19.3 - For Time:

  • 200-ft. dumbbell overhead lunge [Scaled: front-rack]

  • 50 dumbbell box step-ups [Scaled: same]

  • 50 strict handstand push-ups [Scaled: 5-in. elevated]

  • 200-ft. handstand walk [Scaled: bear crawl]

    • Time cap: 10 minutes

    • Men: 50-lb. dumbbell / 24-in. box

    • Women: 35-lb. dumbbell / 20-in. box

As in previous weeks, let’s break this down movement by movement!

Dumbbell Overhead Lunges

Considerations:

  • The main consideration with an overhead position while pregnant or postpartum is are you able to maintain core control to keep your ribs over your hips, without thrusting your rib cage up to the sky? Thrusting your rib cage puts extra tension on your core - of consideration if you’re healing a diastasis, or are pregnant and trying to keep avoid excess stretching. Second, thrusting your rib cage takes your diaphragm, core, and pelvic floor out of alignment, possibly meaning more strain on your pelvic floor than necessary.

  • If you’re experiencing pelvic pain like pubic symphysis (in the front) or SI joint (either side of your bum), lunges may be something that is aggravating to you at this point. Really, my only advice here is, if it hurts, don’t do it:)

Modifications:

  • Front rack carry, and/or reduced weight: could help to take away any rib thrusting, and will be kinder on your core and pelvic floor.

  • Squat instead of lunging for pelvic pain: Since the squats won’t move you forward, either pick a reasonable number to do that you can do with controlled form, or take a few steps forward after each squat.

Dumbbell Box Step-Ups

Considerations:

  • Hip movement: Pelvic pain or not, as we get bigger in pregnancy and adapt a “waddle”, there’s no need to exaggerate this movement with a step onto a 20” box. Try to pay attention to if you’re able to maintain control on the way up and down.

  • Again, if you’re experiencing pelvic pain like pubic symphysis (in the front) or SI joint (either side of your bum), step-ups may be aggravating. Same advice as above - if it hurts, don’t do it, or at least not as written:)

Modifications:

  • Lower box and/or reduced weight: Does a lower box or step help you better control the movement? Does it diminish your pelvic pain?

  • Hip thrust (shoulders elevated), with or without dumbbell on your hips. Alternate between right leg, left leg, and both legs for variation.

  • Consider reducing reps.

Handstand Push-Ups

Considerations:

  • Holy core pressure batman. Lol. I don’t even know what else to say. Hah! Read below under “Handstand Walk” for my take on doing these upside down movements. For the record - being upside down isn’t necessarily the issue - if you’re a gymnast or yogi and have been inverted for the last 5, 10, 20 years, your body is familiar with this position. What’s more the issue, is the core control required to do the movements while upside down - the push up or walking itself.

  • Plus the whole being upside down thing in pregnancy - nausea, dizziness, acid-reflux, all the blood rushing to your head.

Modifications:

  • 5-in. elevated: while this is the scaled option, I don’t particularly love it as a modification. It’s sort of like saying single skips are a modification for double-unders. Still a TON of core pressure here. Let’s maybe leave upside down for a little later.

  • Push-ups: From the floor - still core intense but not as much, or incline - getting better on the core pressure situation now.

  • Dumbbell Z Press: From a seated position this one is all upper body, and is a great alternative to HSPU. Not only that, you’re directly working on strength to eventually be able to do a HSPU, when the timing is right.

  • For any of the above, feel free to reduce reps as well. 50 is a LOT of one movement in a row, and form is likely to diminish no matter how strong your first 20 look.

Handstand Walk

Considerations:

  • Core pressure, core alignment - all of it! For fun, I googled “pregnant handstand walking” and found a number of videos that visually showed what I expected to see - a LOT of lumbar curve. Think about it - you’re walking on your hands, feet in the air, with a large belly throwing your centre of gravity off. Most women won’t have the strength (or balance) to maintain a neutral spine, so to compensate for the belly their belly is forward, while hands and feet are behind - resulting in a huge “C” shaped body. The resulting pressure on your outstretched belly is a lot, as you walk across the floor.

  • While postpartum doesn’t have a belly pulling you forward, I’d still caution being in this “C” shaped position and the strain it will place on your linea alba (abdominal muscles), particuarly if you are healing or managing diastasis.

  • Again, being upside down in pregnancy and dealing with nausea, dizziness, and/or acid-reflux. Not fun.

Modifications:

  • Bear crawl: If having your head down doesn’t make you dizzy or want to vomit, bear crawl is a much more core friendly movement.

  • Offset front rack kettlebell carry: If you’re later into pregnancy and being bent over in any way shape or form is just not happening, opt for an upright walk instead. You’re still working on a ton of core stabilization, plus you can walk the same distance as everyone else - just be sure to switch hands at the half-way point.

How did you modify your workout? Let me know below! I’ll be doing mine later today and will check in with you all after:)

Double-Unders and Toes-To-Bar in Pregnancy & Postpartum: CrossFit Open 19.2

Open 19.2

  • 8-min. AMRAP + bonus time:

  • 25 toes-to-bars

  • 50 double-unders

  • 15 squat cleans, 135/85

  • 25 toes-to-bars

  • 50 double-unders

  • 13 squat cleans, 185/115lb

My first thought when I saw this? "Well shit." Haha. Way to throw some of the least pregnancy and postpartum friendly movements in this week!

My toes-to-bar strength hasn't returned yet, nor has my pelvic floor stamina for that many double-unders at once. Ah well, modifications here I come:)

If you are new here, each week I'm doing a post on the Open workouts with considerations and modifications for pregnant and postpartum athletes. Postpartum can be any point in time from 4 months to 10 years postpartum. These considerations would also apply to anyone who hasn't had children, but who is experiencing pelvic floor or core dysfunction. Let's dive in.

Toes-To-Bar

Considerations:

  • Main consideration here is the core pressure that's created. While you may visually be able to see it on your abdomen with coning, what you may not also feel is the pressure on your pelvic floor.

  • [Edit] During pregnancy I would not recommend T2B, K2E, or hollow holds due to the core pressure they create.

Strategies:

  • Breath: You're going to see a common theme here week to week;) Test out what works for you - exhaling as you start your kip, or maybe a little bit later of an exhale as you raise your legs.

  • Core control: If you are coning or trenching, are you able to activate your abdominals to control the gap and pressure as you raise up? Practice first on the ground so you can get a solid feel for it, and then progress your way back up to the bar.

Modifications:

  • Knees to elbows: Can you better control your breath and core if the movement is shortened?

  • Ball slams: They'll keep the pace of your workout moving, again remember to breath with these!

  • Hollow body hold or repetitions: The hollow body position transfers to so many CrossFit movements. What do you notice? Are you better able to control your core with repetitions? Or with a steady hold? When you're steady holding, how long are you able to hold it before you feel your core engagement start to go?

  • Birddog: Seriously Nicole, birddog in the Open? Here's the thing. If you aren't at a point where you are able to control coning or pressure or your breathing, why chance taking a few steps backwards in your recovery for an Open workout? Yes, they are exciting, it feels like everyone is doing it, but remember you're in this for the long game. Is it worth the risk to push hard for a couple Open workouts, only to be a few steps behind in physio and recovery after? Be kind to yourself, and your healing or growing body. 

Double-Unders

Considerations:

  • Where do I start, lol. Double-unders are highly taxing on your pelvic floor. So are single skips while we're at it, just not quiiiite as much. If you experience leaking during skipping, I wouldn't recommend it. Leaking is a sign that your body is taxed - perhaps your pelvic floor is tight, perhaps it's weak - either way, leaking is a sign to back off of skipping.

  • If you are postpartum and aren’t experiencing leaking, I still would not recommend diving into skipping in your first year UNLESS you have built up to impact movements slowly, and with a ton of strength work in addition (like, a few months of strength work). If you’re only just starting to introduce skipping or impact work into your workouts again - 50 double-unders isn’t the way to introduce it;)

  • If you are pregnant, even if you're not experiencing leaking, I recommend to my clients to stop skipping after the first trimester, that is if they reeeeaaaally want to be skipping at all - if it’s not important to them, we’ll remove it right away. Again, where is your risk versus reward conversation taking you?

Strategies:

  • Alignment: Rib cage down, chest straight ahead, eyes forward.

  • Breathing: Breath naturally. Double-unders aren't a movement you'll be able to match breath to movement for, so just keep breathing, focusing on big breaths into your ribcage - avoiding breathing only into your chest (shallow breathing).

  • Relax your belly: This is probably one of the ones I see the most with clients - and to be honest with myself until I caught it and realized it was causing the majority of my problems with double-unders. Our mind says, "I'm jumping, I need to grip to keep from leaking and protect my pelvic floor" but our pelvic floor says, "hey, you're restricting my natural movement by squeezing me with a vice grip - lay off a little and let me do my job." [Side note: wouldn't it be seriously amazing if our pelvic floor could actually tell us what it needs? I mean, assuming we'd listen all the time?]

Modifications:

  • Single skips (if not pregnant, and if you’ve built up to skipping over a number of months): If the above strategies don't address leaking, try single skips. If that's enough of a change in stimulus that it stops leaking, carry on. If not, try the below.

  • Bike: The bike, like ball slams, will keep your workout moving if that is your goal. For 50 double-unders I'd probably sub around 10-15 cals on the bike, again depending how early postpartum, how late in pregnancy, or how exhausted you are from the previous night's (lack of) sleep.

Squat Cleans

Considerations:

  • Load: 85lb may be a doable weight for you, but the caution I would place here is that you have 15 reps in a row, in a competitive environment. Can you breath through each rep? Can you do each rep with proper form?

  • Exhaustion: You’re coming straight off of 75 reps before getting to your first round of squat cleans, meaning you’re already going to be out of breath and fatigued. The first two things that usually go in this case? Form, and breathing. Form is a consideration for anyone, regardless of pregnancy and postpartum. Breathing and not straining or holding your breath is going to be important for pelvic floor and core pressure.

  • Power movement: With any power movement, there is no slowing it down, unlike a squat or deadlift that you can really take your time on to pay attention to form and breath. It’s a dynamic movement requiring quick response by your whole body - brain, muscles, joints, and pelvic floor.

Modifications:

  • Dumbbell hang power clean: Particularly if you are pregnant and your belly is now in the way of the bar path, switch to dumbbell hang cleans instead. By continuing to train with a barbell you are undoing all your previous training to drill the correct bar path in. [Check my blog post here on this very topic].

  • Reduce load, reps, and range of motion: Perform with an empty barbell, cut the reps in half, reduce to a hang power clean - do any one of or combination of these to allow you to move with intention for each rep.

I am loving seeing your posts on how you are modifying your workouts!! Please keep tagging me and keep them coming. You are also a HUGE support to moms going through the same thing - it’s so helpful knowing you aren’t the only one wishing you could do it, and knowing that there are more like you out there who have long term health in mind over one season or competition. Big love to all of you who are taking care of yourselves, it’s not easy, but you are doing it.


Box Jumps: How To

Box jumps build explosive power, and are a hip extension exercise. If box jumps don't:

a) translate to your sport of choice, or

b) aren't something you enjoy - then really, why ARE you doing them?

"Because they're fun!"

"Because my sport requires explosive power!". Great answers!

"My gym programs them, but they kill my knees." Probably time to find a substitution. 

Here are five ways to build up to box jumps, as well as two common faults with some ideas on how to work on correcting them. Check this post here for all six accompanying videos.

  1. Jump on the spot: Get used to launching off of two feet and landing on two feet. Practice using your hip (glute) power to launch you straight up. Not sure what to do with your arms? Think of them leading you where you want to go, down as you load your glutes, and UP as you jump

  2. Kettlebell swings: KBS are great for training hip extension and power. I also like KBS as a postpartum progression to train your breath and pelvic floor for more dynamic movements PRIOR to including impact.

    Let's pause and talk breathing for a second: Everyone will be different, but my go-to breathing technique for box jumps is exhaling BEFORE my feet launch off the ground. If I try exhaling when I'm in the air, I have a tendency to leak with multiple reps. Whatever works for you just remember to BREATH. Don't hold your breath. I promise, that little bit of extra air you're holding in your lungs isn't really having the hot air balloon effect you're hoping for to get you higher. I would not have someone start with ANY jumping movements until a solid strength base is built up and breathing techniques have been incorporated into non-impact dynamic movements.

  3. Low box: I wouldn't recommend my unstable IKEA stool, but if you're at a gym that has the stackable 6" and 12" mats, start with these. The foam will help ease your nerves, and you'll be able to master solid reps at lower heights first.

  4. Box jump: Look forward to go forward (skiing between trees? Same idea.) Land with both feet FULLY on the box, knees slightly bent. Step down to save your achilles.

  5. Common fault - knees caving in: I couldn't bring myself to actually land with my knees caved, but you get the idea - check your landing form. If needed, lower the box height, do some banded squats to work on form before adding complexity.

  6. Common fault - no hip extension: If you're landing in such a deep squat are you really even jumping or just tucking your feet under you to land on the box? Go back to #1 and #2 above, or do some banded goodmornings, deadlifts, hip thrusts - anything to work on fully extending your hips - squeeze your bum!

Questions on the breathing and how to get back to impact activity? I am launching a Return To Running online program that will start with foundations, and build you back up to launching - whether onto a box or down the running trails. Sign up for more info via rawfitnessyyc.com/run

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Workout: Circuit - Body Weight

The second from my old track workout archives! This one is best done outdoors, but if you're stuck inside and don't have a lot of space to work with, the 25m exercises can be done on the spot, and the 150m run can be swapped out for any other cardio exercise that fits your space: rowing, treadmill, skipping, or even running on the spot - but whatever you do this last 150m (or 30 seconds) should be a sprint, no holding back!

The Workout: Circuit - Body Weight


Warm-up:

- 5 minute jog
- 10 leg swings forward and back, 10 leg swings side to side, each leg
- Skipping forward and sideways with forward and backward arm circles
- 4-5 x 100m accelerations: start off at a gentle jog, increasing speed within each 100m working your way up to close to a sprint by around the 90m mark

The Sweaty Part:

Perform 1 round, gradually working your way up to 4 rounds:

20 sit-ups
20 tuck jumps
25m ankle hops
10 push ups
10 crouch tuck jumps
25m split walk
20 V sit-ups
25m tuck leaps
25m walk
150m sprint *time your 1st and keep the same time throughout


Cool-down:

- 2 minutes walking
- Stretch it out: glute stretch, quad stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch, IT band stretch, chest stretch, tricep stretch
- Water, water!!

Notes & such:

As with any speed workout, ensure you do a proper warm-up and do not skip the accelerations! Circuit is done continuously, with 60-90 seconds rest between sets.

Workout: Weights - Full Body

On vacation if I don't do anything physical I feel like a wound up jack-in-the-box, antsy and with too much energy to sit and fully enjoy relaxing. But at the same time, no one wants to be stuck in a humid gym when it's 30 degrees outside and wine is chilling in the fridge. My solution when on vacation is to keep workouts to a maximum of 30 minutes, and keep them simple so I'm not wasting time figuring out the lay of the land in the new gym. Minimal equipment, no machines, in and out in no time!

The Workout: Weights - Full Body


Equipment:

Kettlebell - medium weight

Set of dumbbells - medium weight


The Sweaty Part:

A. 3 x :
10 single-leg kettlebell deadlift (10 per leg)
15 kettlebell squats to overhead press
60 sec rest

Complete all 3 sets of part "A "before moving on to part "B".

B. 3 x :
8 dumbbell row + push up ( from plank position: 1 row per arm + 1 push up = 1 rep)
20 kettlebell swings
60 sec rest


Optional Modified Workout:

Not quite ready for the above? Complete the below instead! All you'll need is a set of medium weight dumbbells.

A. 3 x : 10 dumbbell deadlift + 15 dumbbell squat to military press + 60 sec rest

B. 3 x : 8 alternating bent over dumbbell row + 20 glute bridges + 60 sec rest

Notes:

Form is always your #1 priority!! If you are losing form before you're done the prescribed reps drop your weight down until you build up strength to do it as above, and/or stick with the modified version for a while first. Always check with your doctor before starting any new exercise regime.

Workout: Run - Intervals

While in BC this summer I met up with a friend who was also vacationing there, but while my vacation included gentle exercise of paddle boarding and light workouts, her vacation included a three day intense training camp to prepare her for her first Half Ironman, the Calgary 70.3 (which she rocked!!!). Inspired by her incredible training and running regime, I took to the treadmill at the little local community gym where we were staying (the only running option in 30 degrees!). While I've dabbled in distance runs in the past, short intervals are my jam. Use this quick workout to get a sweat on, legs burning, but be back in plenty of time to catch happy hour by the pool.

The Workout: Run - Intervals


Warm-up:

- 10 air squats
- 10 leg swings forward & back, 10 leg swings side to side, each leg
- 5 minutes brisk walking/light jogging

The Sweaty Part:

A: 6 x 400m + 90 seconds rest between
B: 3 x 200m + 60 seconds rest between


Cool-down:

- 2 minutes walking
- Stretch it out: glute stretch, quad stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch, IT band stretch
- Pound back that water!!

Pacing & such:

If you're an early riser and can beat the heat by doing so, take this workout outdoors around a soccer field. While it won't be exact distances, use the perimeter of the field as your measuring stick for the repeats: all 4 sides = 400m, 2 sides = 200m (no need to be exact, we're on vacation and working out, close enough!!)

If you're doing it indoors on a treadmill use the distance feature on the treadmill: 400m = 0.4km or 0.25 miles depending on your treadmill units. When it comes to the 200m, they're so short I usually just time them instead, doing a hard 30 second run.

Pacing: Pace each interval so that you're working hard, but you feel fully recovered by the end of your rest. If you finish an interval and feel like you're ready to start the next one again in 10 seconds, kick up the pace for the next one;)

Complete all 6 sets of the 400m intervals before moving on to the 3 sets of 200m intervals.

Sweaty selfie upload: #rawfitnessyyc