Cardio Kickboxing Workout

Hello you gorgeous gazelles! We’re kicking ass and taking names as part of today’s 6-week shred workout. Cardio kickboxing is a great way to unwind after a stressful day at work or if you just need to blow off some steam.

The continuous cycle of tear, rest, repair and repeat is exactly what our muscle fibers need to stimulate lean muscle growth, so if you are one of those people who has a set routine and like to stick with it, you may actually be setting yourself up for failure. It’s important to switch up your workout routine to constantly challenge your muscles and keep your body guessing. Whether you change up your workout style daily, weekly or monthly, it’s an essential process to overcoming plateaus.

If you go to a gym that includes free fitness classes in your membership, that’s great! Fortunately, even if your gym does not offer free classes like kickboxing, there are now hundreds, if not thousands, of cardio kickboxing routines posted online that you can do almost anywhere (except for the local antique store).

Although I went with a class offered at my local gym, here is a sample routine that you can do at home (or in the park) put together by fitness guru, Millionaire Hoy. I was biased toward this particular routine because it features the beautiful backdrop of my current hometown, Chicago! Chi-town represent! Showing some hometown love.

Do you have a favorite group exercise class? Share it in the comments! I’ve tried zumba before, but my embarrassing lack of coordination caused me to flunk out 😦 I STILL DANCE ANYWAY.

Fab Abs and Legs Circuit

La, I’m falling behind on posting my workouts as part of the 6-week shred! Today I plan to play catch-up so here’s the most recent one I did just yesterday while the creepy old guy sat and stared the ENTIRE time while questionably stretching with a flex band. Clearly this workout brings all the boys to the yard, if the boys are 65+ year-old men.

Start with a steady-state 5 minute warm-up on the treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster or your machine of choice. Then get ready to engage your core and bust your little bubble butt into shape.

You’ll need a kettle-bell, two elevated steps, or boxes, or benches of the same height, and a stability ball.

Fab-Ab and Booty Circuit

  • Start off with deep squats with the kettle-bell. Standing on the elevated boxes, squat while lowering the kettle-bell and your butt to knee-level/ a seated position. – 15 reps
  • Move to the stability ball and perform 12 walk-out push-ups on the ball, meaning you start with the ball below your belly and crawl forward until only your toes are on the ball, holding your core tight. You should basically be holding a plank position with your toes on the ball. Do 1 push-up and walk yourself back until your belly is on the ball. Try not to use your feet to propel you forward into the walk-out after each rep. Repeat 12 times
  • No rests in-between, hop on over to the kettle-bell and perform 15 kettle-bell swing squats!

Rest for 60 seconds and repeat the circuit 3 more times for a total of 4 sets or up to 6 times if you’re feeling up to the challenge. The focus for all of these moves is to hold your core and ab muscles tightly.

Do I have abs yet?Don’t forget to checkout the gym rat workouts page for more workout and exercise ideas or to get started on the 6-week shred!

Blast Abs Fast – 14 Minute Ab Circuit

After a nice rest day, hopefully you’re feeling refreshed and ready to rock out another core workout! I was actually pretty exhausted, as I geared up for this workout on a Sunday Funday. I may have been a tiny bit fatigued from some late night festivities on Saturday. Oops.

However, my throbbing headache subsided long enough to bust out this brief workout by Zuzka Light, even when an elderly man in jeans decided to stretch out less than a foot away from me and my circuit setup.

Have you ever had to deal with inconsiderate gym members? How did you handle the situation?

Yoga To Slow Your Roll

Alright 6-week shredders, if you pushed yourself to the max with the first two workouts, you should be in a bit of pain. It’s time to re-center with a yoga workout!

namaste yoga meme

Personally, I’ve tried yoga a couple times and it’s just not my jam. A bunch of hoopla about getting hippie-dipper with the earth mother, right? Wrong! Recently I read this article by Eric Stevens and realized he has an awesome point. I don’t like yoga because it brings out an underdeveloped side of me and I’m naive to dismiss it. I have terrible focus, and flit from one thing to the next with the attention span as long as the flap of a hummingbird’s tiny yet majestic wing. 

 

 Yoga forces you to be in the present and be aware of your body, your breathing and your thoughts. If you are an advanced yogi you may be reading this and thinking “no $h1t, Sherlock” but I rarely paid attention long enough in a yoga class to come to this conclusion myself until I heard it from someone who was a little more like-minded. Ah, my stubbornness is surely my weakness.

If you’re a beginner like me and are intimidated at the thought of being mocked by “non-judgmental” yogi’s, this video is a great way to get started at home.

If you are still ready to shred after the first two days and want something that will make you sweat, try a hot yoga class. Although hot yoga feels more intense, you probably aren’t burning as many calories as you think are melting right off you in that crazy warm room with a bunch of sweaty strangers while you strike compromising poses. Not to knock the style, but it’s important to be mindful of potential ploys from people who claim to be fitness experts. (But don’t take it from me. I’m not the expert!)

Full Body Circuit – Modified from Men’s Health

So you decided to return after Zuzka’s cardio crazy workout yesterday? You’re either a kindred gym rat or you ran out of cheese balls and are looking for something else to do with your spare time.

You’re in the right place! Welcome to the Day 2 workout of my 6-week shred. Today’s workout is inspired by this Men’s Health fat-blasting workout and it is guaranteed to wear you out!

Warm up like Doge demonstrates below. Jk, but make sure you stretch out any sore muscles to avoid unpleasant crampage later. The DOMS will have you feeling some type of way.

doge on trampoline

Warm up with 3 minutes of jump rope holding your core tight. Activate those abs!

Round One:
> Burpees
> Mountain Climbers
> Pushups
>Rest 1 minute

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

Round Two:

>Jump rope for 1 minute
> Walking Lunges with Kettlebell exchange underneath leg
> Lunge Jumps
> Plank to Pushup
>Rest 1 minute

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

Round Three:

>Jump rope for 1 minute
> Kettlebell Swing Squats
> TRX Pullups
> Box Jumps
> TRX Jack Knives
>Rest 1 minute

*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

Time for the Final Four(th) Round! Hang in there, you’re almost done:

> Jump rope for 1 minute
> Side Lunges with dumbbell or kettle bell bell (check this retro tutorial, how bout them spandies?!)
> Tricep Dips
> Donkey kicks (30 seconds each leg)
*Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with 10-15 seconds rest in-between*

If you did the workout at full intensity you should be feeling this meme afterwards.

arnold Schwarzenegger after intense workout

If not… you can’t bench with us. NO, I’m just playing. But you know your body. You know when you to push your body and when your body is failing you so listen to your quivering tired muscles in combination with that beast mode mentality. Don’t cheat yourself out of trying your hardest. The only way to change your body is by challenging it. Push your limits.

Sweat It Out – Fat-Blasting Cardio Sesh for a Bikini Body

Ready to break a sweat with the very first workout of the day? Let’s start the 6-week shred right!

Thanks to Zuzka, you can blast fat while learning a wicked cool Czechoslovakian accent. If you didn’t feel like working out before, you will after you watch Zuzka busting her toned tush. Don’t have a gym membership? That’s not an excuse when you workout with Zuzka! Her workouts are designed with constricted space and limited time in mind so they can be performed at home with minimal equipment.

I warmed up with 3 minutes of jumping rope before jumping into Zuzka’s fat-blasting .

Seeing as I usually spend over an hour in the gym, I decided to pair this fat-blasting cardio workout with a few additional arm exercises as listed below:

-Tricep dips

-Dumbbell curls

-Hammer curls

-Tricep pushdowns

And a brief cool down on the treadmill.

6 Ingredient Chickpea Blondies, Chicka-Wow!

Here’s a sweet valentines treat that won’t give you diabetes. No flour, no eggs, no problem! You definitely don’t need a valentine to share these with. They say peanut butter fills the cracks of the heart so these blondies will seal your heart right up. I absolutely encourage you to self-medicate whatever ails you with these bean-y blondies. I modified this recipe after stumbling upon Ambitious Kitchen and there was no turning back.

IMG_1257

These little babies contain exactly 6 ingredients, but I encourage experimentation! When I first started trying healthy recipes, I thought there was only one way to get the expected results. Now I’m a little bit older, not necessarily wiser, I realize I was absolutely right. If you don’t follow this recipe exactly to the T it will be a big frackin fail. Just kidding. Satisfy your sweet tooth with the sweetener of your choice. I used sugar-free maple syrup and a dash of vanilla.

chickpea blondie ingredients

However, you cannot make these without the main ingredient: Chickpeas! also known as garbanzo beans, also known as hummus to the cultured folks who like to dip fancy veggies and pretzels in that garlic-y goodness with the little pinky up -you know who you are. Guilty. Grab your blender or food-processor and add:

1/4 c maple sugar (can sub honey or agave syrup) brown sugar or stevia etc will also work!

2 tsp of vanilla

1/3 c natural, unsweetened applesauce

1/4 c peanut butter (can sub with nut butter of  your choice)

Combine all 4 ingredients and then slowly blend in a can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans. I cannot emphasize “rinsed beans” enough. If you don’t rinse your beans, the end result may come out tasting, well, a little beany. I added a handful to my mini blender, blend until smooth, add a few more beans, blend again. The mixture should be a smooth hummus-like consistency. If it’s too chunky or thick, add an extra spoonful of applesauce. I don’t have a food processor, so this entire process took extra patience to blend, stir to smooth out the clumps, blend in more chick peas, repeat, repeat, repeat.

Finally pour the mixture into a greased 8X8 pan. Top with dark chocolate chips and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees fahrenheit. Your blondies are done when they pass the toothpick test. When the toothpick comes out clean, you’re almost ready to eat this tasty twist on baked beans. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes and you’re ready to rumble.IMG_1255

These pair nicely with a big glass of milk. Or wine. Or an entire box of chocolates because cupid is stupid. Kidding! But who needs boys when you have blondies. What are your valentines day plans? What are you guys doing on Valentine’s day?! I don’t know about you, but I’m doing legs…Valentines leg day meme