Spice Up Your Workout Like You Spice Up Your Latte
By Juliet Kaska
There’s no denying that fall is here; with it, the alluring smells of spiced lattes swirl around us. If it isn’t the lattes, the cookies, parties, and holiday dinners that threaten to seduce us away from our health commitments. But why couldn’t this be the year that finds you not a pound heavier come the New Year because you got ahead of it now? No time for extra workouts, you say. No need. Without much effort or dramatic changes to your present workout, I have four tips to spice up your workouts to keep those spiced lattes off your hips.
Spice Up Your Group Class Workout
I bet you LOVE your group class. Me too! The comradery is one of my favorite parts of group classes. The energy of showing up makes it feel like an accomplishment even before class begins. Keep going to your class because your love for it is a HUGE asset that keeps you committed. But we want to turn it up a tad because you can work a little harder.
Spice it up tip: Ask Santa (Amazon) to send you an early holiday gift of ankle weights! Ask for a pair that starts at 1lb or 2lbs and goes up to 8lbs or 10lbs by sliding in and out weighted bars. Start with the lowest weight available- you’ll be surprised how much a pound or two impacts those moves! If that increase in weight made a little to no difference for you, however, then double it (1lb go to 2lbs, 2lbs go to 4lbs). Continue to add another pound every other week. This gradual increase will keep you burning more but not tax your joints and muscles.
Spice Up Your Running Workout
If you are already a runner, I am sure you know running is a great way to burn calories. In fact, running burns approximately 30% more calories than walking the same distance. A downside of being a regular runner is that they tend to hit a plateau– and stay there. So, if you have been running the same distance/time for a while now, then spiced lattes aside, it is time for you to spice up your run. This tip will get you burning more immediately and help you keep burning more into the New Year.
Spice It Up Tip: Keep your same route or mileage. Add speed bursts for 50-60% of your weekly runs (i.e., if you run 5 days a week, for 3 of them). For 1-2 minutes of every 5-minute segment, sprint as fast as you possibly can. Then return to your normal pace for the next 3-4 minutes. Do this for your entire “normal” distance run. Your run time will begin to get faster not only on your “burst” days, but also on your “normal” run days as well.
Spice Up Your Resistance Training
Resistance training is the bomb for giving your body all that gorgeous definition. The higher the percentage of muscle we have in our body, the higher our metabolism revs. This tip you may not even notice, but this will increase your tone, provide definition, and help you burn more. Did you know your body keeps burning more calories after a challenging resistance workout for up to 48hrs after the workout has ended? What a great motivation to keep pumping that iron!
Spice It Up Tip: Keep your routine just as it is. If you work your back and biceps on Mondays, stick with it. You don’t even have to increase your weight load (although that would be good). After every set you “usually” do, add in a drop set. A drop set is repeating the same exact exercise you just did, without a rest, at a lower weight. The weight should be 10-30% lighter than your heaviest weight. i.e., if you usually do 3 sets of 10-15 reps for your bicep curls with 10LB weights, add a 4th set (a drop set) after the 3rd without taking a rest between sets 3 and 4. For this drop set, use an 8lb weight, which is 20% less than 10lbs.
I am going to slip in another tip for you here…
Be honest with yourself: If you find that after your 3rd set, your arms are not already fatiguing, and you know in your truthful heart that you could do another set at the same weight and reps, you have plateaued, and you need to increase your weight. Just doing my part to justify another latte for you.
Spice Up Your Walking Workout
Walking is such a great workout. Did you know that people that walk regularly tend to stick to their workout commitment longer than those that commit to a gym workout? You’re already ahead of the curve by choosing this as your go-to workout. Now let’s turn it up a little during this spiced-everything season. This tip will burn more calories per minute, and you won’t have to walk an inch further.
Spice It Up Tip: Keep your walking route the same as usual, but add in a weighted vest. Please, please, please do not go out and buy a huge, expensive, and HEAVY weighted vest. Instead, use one at a maximum weight of 15% of your body weight. For example, if you weigh 170lbs, get a vest that’s at least 5lbs and a maximum of 25lbs. These vests come in adjustable weights by adding or subtracting small weight sticks or plates from the vest. Once you are geared up with your vest, start with 5lbs. Your goal is to complete the same walking route in the same time or less, with this extra weight. Once you have achieved this, add more weight to your vest. Every time you reach your usual time, add more weight on the next walk. Once you have maxed out at the added weight (again, don’t exceed 15% of your body weight), pick up your pace. Aim to shave 30-60 seconds off your walk every 5-7 days. If you usually complete 5 miles in 75 minutes, your goal is to complete the same 5 miles in 74-74.5 minutes in that first week. Holiday parties, here you come.
- “30% more calories” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22446673/
- “48hrs after the work out” https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2051&context=ijes
- “drop set” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28474868/
- “burn more calories” https://acewebcontent.azureedge.net/certifiednews/images/article/pdfs/ACE%20Weighted%20Vest%20Study%20Complete%20Report.pdf
About the Author:
Juliet Kaska is one of the country’s leading celebrity trainers and health + wellness experts. In 2005, she opened Emerson Hall Fitness (EHF) in West Hollywood, CA, which quickly became the most sought-after boutique gym in the Los Angeles area. She then launched her brand JK Zen Fitness, with partnership locations throughout LA, and in 2010 opened the JK Fitness Pilates Studio. Juliet recently partnered with Vionic to create the Move for You program, a three-part series of 7 minute videos that get you moving with power and comfort. In addition to her celebrity clientele, Juliet is known for creating Hollywood’s favorite workout programs: The Bombshell Bride, Picture Perfect, The Red Carpet Workout, The Executive’s Workout and her most popular, Pilates Burn, a high-intensity workout combining Pilates reformer equipment, traditional strength training techniques and the flow of yoga. Juliet has consulted for and appeared on numerous programs such as Good Morning America, Dr. Phil and Entertainment Tonight. Numerous publications including Vogue, Shape, Los Angeles Magazine, People, Oxygen, Fitness Magazine, Glamour and Health Magazine have also featured her as a fitness expert. Juliet is trained and certified in multiple disciplines, making her workout programs both diverse and innovative. She is certified as a Second Generation Master Pilates Teacher and has received dual certification as a personal trainer from the American Council on Exercise and the National Academy of Sports Medicine. In addition, yoga guru Dharma Mittra trained her as a yoga teacher. Juliet brings a vibrant voice and unique perspective to the Vionic Innovation Lab.