Fit Chic NYC’s Blog


How to increase burpee speed

Reader Mark B. is working on his burpee challenge and asks:

I’m up to 22 in one minute. I’m going for 30. Anyone have advice to increase speed?

First off, 22 is great! So let’s talk about how to get over your speed roadblock. The science behind a minute of burpees – it’s considered anaerobic exercise, meaning it doesn’t use oxygen as its main source of energy.

To increase speed I suggest training in intervals, using the Tabata protocol. Tabata works by performing eight non-stop rounds of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest totaling four minutes. So pump out as many burpees as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds then go straight into 20 seconds of burpee action, rest for 10 seconds etc., completing the 20/10 cycle a total of eight times.

For the next week don’t perform a minute of burpees straight, train with the 20/10 intervals.

When you only have a minute of work, speed is king (assuming form is already correct) and by using Tabata’s repeated short intervals, you are conditioning your body to work without a full recovery.

Good luck!

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Would you want to train celebrities?

Sorry guys, I’ve been on a bit of a blogging vacation – well an actual vacation that turned into an extended break from blogging – but I’m back and going to dive in with a poll!

Jillian MichaelsOn her Facebook page Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels has said:

Want to clear up some press mistakes. There have been a few articles out saying that I’m training Tara Reid and Nicole Kidman. This is not true. I am interested in the health of regular people. I do not focus my time on “the privileged few”. The only famous person I have agreed to work with is Maria Shriver because …she is a personal mentor of mine and an all around amazing humanitarian.

I want to know, if you were a trainer, would you exclude celebrities from your clientele?






Magazine Recap (in 426 words): Men’s Health March 2010

Working in the magazine industry, I’m all to familiar with the blood, sweat and tears that go into making each issue. That being said, I can also appreciate the sometimes-ridiculous advice that is doled out. So in case you haven’t been able to pick up your March 2010 copy of Men’s Health magazine yet (and please do, my industry needs all the help it can get!), here are some of the issue’s highlights in 426 words:

Paul Walker on Men's Health March 2010

The ideal protein amount for muscle building is 20 grams, half before and half after your workout. Good sources include eggs (19 grams) and Greek yogurt (15 grams). Stand up to annoying coworkers to lower risk of a heart attack. Women find hypermasculine features unfriendly. The BMI scale doesn’t hold much weight for muscular guys. Don’t use your mother’s maiden name as a password. Peanut butter can last 3 months once opened. There’s an ad for the Warrior Dash, which looks like a blast. For recreational cyclers, lower-cadence training is better because of the muscle-building boost in testosterone it provides.  Free weights work your muscles harder (vs. machine assistance). People who train in groups can boost their pain tolerance more than those who work out alone. Front lat pulldowns are better at working back/chest muscle where behind-the-shoulder pulldowns are better for rear shoulder/bicep activation.  Athletes aren’t born; their built – build leg power, size and strength and build NFL muscles with moves like the box jump. Want strong pecs, develop your upper back muscles as well. Frensno, CA is the drunkest city. Upgrade your workout by focusing on details in form. Take a cue from Paul Walker and build an arsenal of training options. First impressions count but it’s the follow-through that really matters – after the first date, sending a text the following day, mid-morning shows interest but allows the girl to reply on her own time (which we like). When deadlifting, imagine shaving your legs with the bar (bruises and cuts on shines is a sign of good form). Roughly half of doctors’ appointments last less than 15 minutes so prioritize your questions. Successful people lack cynicism. The thermic effect of food proves that consuming several small protein meals over the day can help keep your metabolism elevated. The modern gentleman needs at least two watches. Research shows that a single weight-training session can spike your calorie burn for up to 39 hours after you lift. Teriyaki scallops and spiced sweet potato chips are healthy snack options. Want to add some spice to your sex life – kink starts with communication and too much intimacy can de-eroticize your romance. Reduce your risk of prostate cancer by drinking more coffee, having lots of sex (seriously), eating tomatoes and exercising. Guys think Brad Pitt is the luckiest man. When front squatting with a barbell, make sure your upper arms/elbows do not drop, I know someone who broke her wrist when her elbow accidentally slammed into her knee — form is key! Avoid brass buttons on navy blazers.



Hot Off the Bench Press – Bring Your Sexy Back With This Exercise, Use Kettlebells To Blast Calories, Get Jennifer Aniston’s Bikini Body and More!

Hot fitness news you don’t want to miss!

Slimmer Doesn’t Always Mean Fitter – NYTimes.com – See how bodyweight affects sport performance.

How to Get Jennifer Aniston’s Bikini Bod
– UsMagazine.com – Marco Borges (who has whipped Beyonce Knowles and Gwen Stefani into shape) and trainer Joy Di Palma (creator of Core Conditioning Cross Fit) gives UsMagazine.com the step-by-step.

Motivations, Affirmations and Mantras – Oh My! –  Cranky Fitness –Keep up your New Year resolutions to stay in shape by developing these healthy habits.

Was Bethenny Frankel Wearing Spanx on the Runway? – The StyleList – Marissa Gold gets the skinny on whether the NYC Housewife had extra support during New York Fashion Week.

The Best Back Exercise You’ve Never Done – Men’s Health – Get your sexy back.

Back.the.EFF.up.dude – Fired ‘n’ Fabulous – See what happens when personal trainers creep at the gym.

Kettlebell Workouts Burn Calories Fast – WebMD – Study backs up claims that swinging kettlebells pays fitness dividends



5 Tips for Avoiding Winter Weight Gain
My snow art during NYC's February blizzard

My snow art during NYC's February blizzard

SnowmanWe are not bears, or squirrels and unlike our animal friends who require excess food storage to survive winter, we do not go into hibernation mode for a few months and will have access to food year-round.

But that doesn’t stop the majority of Americans from gaining that extra seasonal padding.

“Your body may be working against you to hang on to it so you stay warm,” Lawrence Cheskin, MD, founder of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center told Prevention magazine.

While you can blame your lack of exercise motivation on the chilly weather or sparse rays of sunshine, we no longer have a physiological need to add an insulating layer to our frames because unlike our caveman ancestors (or animal friends), our risk of freezing to death is made basically non-existent thanks to space heaters and North Face.

The extra poundage typically starts to accumulate with the holiday overindulgence and “the weight-gain cycle can easily continue throughout the winter months, and by spring you can have 5-10 lbs. to lose. Hold that pace for a decade and you will have gained 50-60 lbs.,” Stew Smith, CSCS and former Navy SEAL says.

Here are 5 tips and tricks you can do to help beach-ready body year-round:

  1. Find comfort in fruits and vegetables: Instead of turning to mashed potatoes, pasta, macaroni and cheese, stuffing and other hearty foods for comfort from the chilly weather, take advantage of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season such as bok choy, kale, kiwi, pomegranates, parsnips, pears squash and especially those that are a good source of fiber (which makes your feel full longer) such as artichokes and avocados.
  2. Stay active: No hibernating! Keep up those New Year resolutions and stay in shape. If you usually take your workouts outdoor, the snow isn’t an excuse to forgo fitness. Try winter sports like skiing, snowboarding or ice skating, or invest in a temporary gym membership. NYSC offers two weeks for $20, or consider trying a month at a yoga studio – @Tarastiles recommends checking out Strala Yoga! (I’m going to start a month at Bikram Yoga NYC after I get back from my friend’s wedding in a week!)
  3. Bring the workout to your apartment: In the case of a horrible snow storm, or the “snowpocalypse” that the North East has been hit with this week, where traveling to the gym just isn’t safe, workout at home – No excuses, play like a champ! Bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, dips (off the edge of your bed/couch), lunges, squats and of course, the dreaded burpees are perfect for small spaces. Here’s a list of no-equipment workouts you can keep in your snow day activity arsenal. My favorites: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 rep rounds for time of burpees, push-ups and sit-ups, OR, 4 rounds for time of 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups and 50 squats.
  4. Break out the bikini: Well, sort of. In the winter we tend to pile on the clothing and our figure gets lost under all those layers, allowing that extra weight to hide easily. Wear form-fitting clothes under your coats or try on summer outfits and bathing suits every few weeks to serve as a constant reminder of how your body looks.
  5. Don’t drink your calories: Winter drinks such as hot chocolate and eggnog are high in calories and low in nutritional value. Avoid these empty calorie and sip on hot tea instead. And watch your booze intake; most of the fancy cocktails have lots of hidden calories and are be high in sugar content.

Spring is only a few months away!



Fitness DVD’s 50 percent off!

Save up to half off on fitness dvd’s (yoga, pregnancy, dance workouts, more) during Amazon’s ‘New Year New You‘ sale!



Hot Off the Bench Press – Tips from The Biggest Loser trainer, How the cast of Gossip Girl stays slim, Burn an extra 48,000 calories/year by doing this and More!

Healthy headlines you don’t want to miss!

Cycle for Survival – An indoor team cycling fundraiser held at Equinox in NYC on January 31st and in Chicago on February 6th to benefit cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. All the NYC spots are taken, but you can still donate to the cause online!

Counting Calories Isn’t Always Accurate – The New York Times – Another argument for home cooking! “When researchers tested the food served in 29 chain restaurants and 10 frozen meals sold in supermarkets, they found that their calorie content averaged considerably more than the stated values.”

Free Workout With Purchases – The Cut, New York magazine – Study finds shopping to be healthy exercise, to the tune of burning 48,000 calories a year!

An Interview with Bob Harper
– Fit Bottomed Girls – Bob Harper talks The Biggest Loser, the importance of yoga and explains why he works out in the morning.
Gossip Girls’ Diet Secrets – Spanx –Fit Sugar – Fit Sugar tested the show’s costume designer Eric Damon’s secret for keeping the cast of Gossip Girl looking slim and can barely breathe. Now imagine what would happen if you wore something so constricting while working out?!