Fat-Burning Treadmill Workout

cardio2

This is my favorite treadmill workout because it’s HIIT, and it has enough variety for time to pass quickly. I usually this for 30-40 minutes.

  1. Warmup — Walking 3 minutes. Speed: 3.5
  2. Side shuffles right. 45 seconds. Speed 3.0. (Start at 2.5 just to get the hang of it, and increase as much as you are comfortable with. Keep knees bent and arms in front of you when shuffling.)
  3. Side shuffles left. 45 seconds. Speed 3.0.
  4. Sprint. 30 seconds. Speed 8.0.
  5. Walk. 1 minute. Speed 3.2.

Repeat (excluding the warmup) until 30 minutes is up.

The treadmill speeds that are listed here are close to what I do. If it seems too hard or too easy for you, simply adjust as needed! Remember to keep pushing yourself each time. Try sprinting a few seconds longer than you did last time, or increase the speed a little every time 🙂

Bikini Butt Workout

Brazilian Butt Workout

Circuit 1: Warmup/Abs

  1. Overhead dumbbell or cable side bend (low weight) (20 each side)

side bend (If using a cable, hold the handle above your head and bend sideways, using your obliques)

2. Cable crunches (30)

cable crunch

3. Lying heel touch (20 each side)

heel touch

Rest 45 seconds. Repeat 3x total.

Circuit 2:

1. Wide stance sumo squat (15)

Variation 1: With barbell:

wide stance

Or Variation 2: With kettleball or dumbbell (heavier weight):

wide stance2

2. Single leg deadlift (15 each side) (10-15lb dumbbells)

single leg deadlift

3. Weighted split squats (15 each side) (Use a Smith machine for better balance. Make sure your front leg and glute muscle are the only ones working.)

split squat2

4. Jumping jacks (100).

jumping-jacks1

Rest 45 seconds. Repeat 3x total.

Circuit 3:

  1. Step up + leg lift (15 each side. Use 10-15 lb dumbbells or a 20 lb barbell if you can. Unlike the picture, make sure you lift that back leg parallel to the floor.)

step up leg lift

2. Lying hamstring curl (12. Use the heaviest weight you can do 12 of.)

legcurl legcurl2

Or if you don’t have that machine, hamstring stability ball curls are also good! (Do 20)

lying ball

3. Hip extension with weight in knee (20 each side)

donkey kick

Follow the picture above, but hold 5lb dumbbell behind knee as shown below:

donkey kick weight

4. Squat jumps (40)

(You can use your arms for momentum, or keep them wherever feels comfortable for you. Aim to get really low and achieve maximum air for these!)

squat jumps

Rest 45 seconds. Repeat 3x total.

Cool down! Make sure you stretch and walk those muscles out so you’re not too sore the next day.

Great job! This is one of the days that I recommend a pre-workout, or some coffee beforehand, along with a solid meal of carbs and proteins an hour before the workout.

Tips:

When I first started doing a program that involved not using machines 100% of the time, I felt kind of awkward at the gym, and sometimes I would skip exercises that I felt would be too weird to do with everyone there. DON’T DO THAT. As soon as I got the guts to just do it and ignore everyone else, I noticed much better results in my fitness level, as well as more confidence in the gym! People at the gym come up to me all the time now and say I look like I really know what I’m doing, or they ask for suggestions for new exercises that they can do too. Usually the weird, conspicuous exercises are the ones that work the best! So don’t be afraid to make a little corner of the gym yours, put everything you need for one circuit there, and just do your thing.

Spring Break Workout Plan

Spring Break Workout Plan

It’s starting to show up everywhere. In Target with the huge bikini display, the mall with all the workout clothes, and definitely Pinterest with everyone’s “get into shape” boards, showcasing motivational toned abs and a perky butt. Oh yeah, and at the gym! Did you even know that many people have a membership to your gym?? Welp, you guessed it… IT’S SPRING BREAK SEASON!!!!

And unless you’re a crazy gym-goer and have eaten nothing bad for you at all since the holidays, you might be getting a little panicky about how to lose those last few pounds and get that toned muscle that you know is hiding somewhere beneath your winter layer. Instead of frantically scouring the Internet for quick-working fad diets that you know you’ll give up by this weekend, keep calm and read on :). I’ve got you taken care of.

I’m going to share with you my meal plans and workouts that have helped me make more progress over the past 2 months than I’ve ever had, ever. We’ll be doing these together since my spring break vacay starts EXACTLY one month from today, and we can record our progress together!

The Way It Works

You’ll be following a basic 5-day program that you repeat every week until your deadline. Since our bodies quickly adapt to any workout, you can modify the workouts to get some variety week to week, and I’ll post my modifications so we can all be on the same page.

Workouts

Here is the 5-day plan to be repeated (with modification) week to week:

I will post the exercise circuits and modification ideas for each day on a separate post and link them back to that list.

Diet

The best way to lose weight, burn fat, and tone up is to have a diet high in lean protein and healthy fats, and low in carbohydrates. You should only be eating carbohydrates at breakfast, if you want, and after a workout. Vegetables are free-for-all and should be consumed at every meal! Fruit is ok, but stick to the ones lowest in sugar and high in antioxidants, like grapefruit, and berries.

Proteins:

  • ground turkey
  • extra lean ground beef
  • chicken
  • fish
  • salmon
  • egg whites

Fats:

  • almonds
  • mixed nuts
  • avocado
  • natural almond butter
  • natural peanut butter (I don’t recommend a lot of peanut butter though)
  • fish oil
  • egg yolks

Healthy Carbohydrates: (slow-digesting as opposed to quick-digesting)

  • brown rice
  • quinoa
  • sweet potatoes
  • oatmeal

Try to eat at least 4 small meals a day, so your metabolism increases and you burn through calories quicker. To help you out, here is my basic meal plan for a typical day:

  • First I have a detoxifying smoothie with spinach or kale, cucumbers, peppers, celery, lemon juice, and half a banana. You can find more recipes for delicious ones here!
  • Breakfast: Ground beef and eggs, oatmeal if you want (fats in the morning keep your energy levels up all day!)
  • Lunch: Spinach salad with grilled chicken, veggies, and a vinaigrette dressing
  • 2nd Lunch (?) or Post-Workout Meal: Ground turkey with eggs, brown rice, steamed broccoli + mixed nuts
  • Dinner: White fish or chicken, steamed mixed veggies
  • Snack: Mixed nuts, berries, raw veggies

Other, more exciting recipes to choose from are here!

Notice that the amount of calories tapers by the end of the day, so that when you go to sleep you don’t pack on pounds by unused calories consumed too late in the day. Make sure you avoid at all costs all fast food, processed foods, sugary foods AND DRINKS (yup that means Starbucks frappuccinos are out!), especially towards the end of the day. For best results, I would also recommend cutting out most dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Tips

I don’t know why, but by bedtime my self-discipline always dwindles, and I’m very prone to breaking my rules and having ice cream at night. That’s why I make a point to drink a lot of water towards the end of the day to stay full, have some of my favorite flavored tea to sip when I have a sweet tooth (honey isn’t too bad), and go to bed as soon as I start getting tired so I avoid staying up and eating.

I can’t wait to go on this journey with you guys! It’s going to be a hard road sometimes, but when you can post those pictures on Instagram and Twitter of you looking hot next to all your friends in a bikini, you’ll be SO GLAD you did this!

Good luck and let’s get started!

Read about the Top 5 Mistakes Women Make In the Gym , 10 Fat-Loss Tips for Women, and check out the Workouts page for more exercise ideas!

My Top 10 Thigh-Slimming Exercises

glutes hamstrings quads exercises

One of the biggest things I’ve learned the past few months is the importance of incorporating plyometric movements into your leg workouts. These consist of all the different exercises you can do with your body weight that will get your heart rate up quickly. Plyometrics burn fat faster and build lean muscle more efficiently than weight-lifting alone, especially if you’re looking to “slim” and “tone” rather than “bulk.”

So here are my top 10 favorite, tried-and-true, and proven thigh-slimming exercises! You can use these as a circuit. Do each set one after another without a break, then pause for 30 seconds, and repeat the circuit 2 more times.

1. Curtsy lunge (15 ea. leg) (skip to 1:16 for demonstration)

curtsy lunge

2. Box frog jumps (10) (skip to 0:25 for demonstration)

box-jump

3. Bodyweight squat, feet together (20)

bodyweight squat

4. Russian hops (15 ea leg) (skip to 2:18 for demonstration)

split-jumps (Keep hands in front of you if that’s more comfortable. Hold the lunge position for one second before switching.)

5. Lateral side lunge (15 ea leg) (skip to 0:27 for demonstration)

lateral lunge

6. Jumping jacks (50)

jumping-jacks2

7. Weighted step-ups onto bench (15 ea leg) (Use a light barbell or dumbbells)

step upsstep ups barbell

8. In and out low jacks (20) (skip to 0:12 for demonstration)

low jacks

9. Reverse lunges (15 ea leg)

reverse lunge2

10. Squat jumps (20)

squat jumps

Note: Click on the exercises that are underlined for a video demo of the exercise.

Notice how every other exercise is a plyometric movement? This will help you burn a ton of calories and get the most out of your workout! Try to get through each circuit without pausing, but if you must at first that’s ok. The important thing is to get it all done!

Good luck! Let me know in the comments how this worked for you 🙂

Be sure to check out my other workout tips and some more great glute, hamstring, and quad workouts!

How To Get The Perfect Butt

squats lunges jumping jacks

Getting the perfect butt isn’t about just doing squats. To get that full roundness you’re looking for, you have to take into consideration the three different muscles that make up your butt. This diagram describes how each muscle works and what exercise to do to activate them. My suggestion is to take the basic idea, and make your workout plan incorporate different types of the same exercise for each category so you can experience full benefits of your workout. For example, to activate your gluteus minimus, the diagram recommends squats. You can include sumo squats, wide stance squats, narrow stance squats, split squats, etc. To get the gluteus medius going, you can add jump squats, jumping split squats (or Russian hops), box jumps, or jumping rope. Different ideas for lunges include reverse lunges, curtsy lunges, and lunge hops. Check out different glutes and hamstring workouts here to get more ideas!

3 Types Of Squats You Have Not Been Doing, But Should

We all know you gotta do squats to have a great butt. But did you know that certain variations of the squat can tone your inner thighs, build your glutes more, and slim your quads? Most people only do the traditional squat and think they’re good, when actually they’re really missing out on some other great benefits that different squats offer.

1. The Sumo Squat

how to do a sumo squatThis exercise does an amazing job toning your inner thighs while activating your glutes. This is my new favorite exercise because I’ve gotten the best results from it!

I recommend using a 20lb to 25lb dumbbell, or a 45lb barbell held with arms straight down. Remember your knees should always be lined up with your toes to prevent knee injury.  Do 3 sets of 15-20.

 

 

 

2. The Split Squat

how to do a split squat

The split squat also really engages your glutes in ways that the regular squat does not because it’s a unilateral exercise. This means it works one side at a time, making your backside proportioned and well rounded.

Go as low as you comfortably can, using a 5lb to 15lb dumbbell on each side. Do 3 sets of 15.

 

 

 

3. The Front Squat

how to do a front squathow to do a front squat The front squat is an exercise not many people know about, but it’s great for your quads. If you’re trying to build them, these are your new best friend! If you want to just tone and define your thighs, use a lighter weight (like the 10lb or 20lb barbell shown) with 3 sets of 20-25. Make sure you position the bar on your anterior deltoids as shown, and follow the tips in the picture. Remember to always keep your knees behind your toes when doing any squat!

Have fun incorporating these exercises into your workouts! Good luck, and enjoy the benefits afterwards!

For more lower body exercises that really work, check out the Workouts page and The Best Lower Body Exercise For Women!

Results Are In!

I’m about 3 weeks into Flavia Del Monte’s program Curvalicious Fitness and let me tell you. Wow. I have never been so glad I bought something before!

I have been weight training for the past two years now, and started to plateau after a year or so. I have always had a problem with how bulky my thighs were, how my shoulders weren’t built enough, and how my butt was shaped. I would do squats on squats on squats and find that they only built my legs more and my butt wasn’t growing enough to compensate! It was so frustrating.

First I thought I wasn’t doing enough cardio, so I would do long and steady jogging, intervals, I would try different machines, but nothing was giving me the real results I wanted.

Next I blamed genetics. My mom has the same kind of lower half as I naturally had, so I thought thin thighs and a bubble butt was out of the question for me.

Finally I bought Curvalicious Fitness. Honestly, I didn’t really believe anything would change for me, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to try. What I realized was that I had been working my legs out like a male would, training for bulk, instead of how a female should, aiming to tone thighs and build glutes. (Duh! Can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that before!) Why would you use heavy weights on muscles you want to tone and areas you just want to lose fat from? I had always thought that less weight = less results, when now I see that you have to know when to have less weight and when to have more.

This is what I learned:

  1. Split leg/butt day into 2 days. Make one day a quads and calves day, and the other glutes and hamstrings.
  2. On quads/calves day, use lighter weights with an emphasis on plyometrics
  3. On glutes/hamstrings day, use heavy weights with only some plyometrics
  4. Always do circuits (especially for lower body workouts. It burns more fat and calories)

Since glutes and hamstrings are slow-twitch muscles, they respond better to heavy weights. For our quads, however, we don’t necessarily want them so built (unless you naturally have really thin thighs and want them bigger), so we use lighter weight combined with plyometrics (i.e. anything like box jumps, squat jumps, Russian hops, etc.)

After following this program for a week, I measured the widest part of my thighs to track my progress. I am happy to announce that barely two weeks later, that measurement dropped half an inch! Now that may not seem like too much to you, but for me that is a milestone! I can already tell they look more shapely and toned, and I still haven’t done a FULL workout all the way through, so I still have room to improve.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear below a time you reached a milestone goal, no matter how small, and what changes you made to get there!

For some of the workouts I have been doing, here is Better Than The Brazilian Butt Lift.

And for those lean thighs that will soon be yours…

The Best Way To Burn Belly Fat

Stop doing those endless crunches and try out this high intensity cardio workout that actually gets you results! After watching this video, I did the same workout on the stepmaster three times that week, and already see some changes. Thinner thighs and toned abs are only the beginning! This is definitely one of the secrets of the pros on the best way to burn belly fat.

For more fat-burning workouts click here!

You all know that I’m a huge fan of Flavia Del Monte, and get a lot of great content from her, so check out her YouTube channel for other amazing advice and workouts for women!