The Post-V-Day Workout You Need

Wine, chocolates. We get it. Valentine’s Day is a day to indulge.

February 15th is a day to make up for it! Hit this full-body workout today to get a sweat going, focusing on compound movements and low rest periods. You’ll forget all about those bad diet decisions with guilt-filled centers.


THE POST V-DAY WORKOUT

5 Tri-Sets: 

3 Power Cleans to Front Squats/Max Pull-Ups (overhand grip)/8 Dumbbell Bench Press. Rest 1-2 minutes max between tri-sets, with no rest between exercises within the set.

4 Tri-Sets:

8 Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press/6 each, alternating DB Walking Lunges/1 minute planks

3 Supersets:

Dips (max, to technical failure)/cable curls, 21s (7 bottom portion, 7 top portion, 7 full range of motion)

Workout Wednesday: Lower Body Mixed Methods

Size, strength and explosiveness – your training goals may vary, but if you’re after all three and you’ve got a legs day coming up, mix this workout in once a week.

A variance of rep ranges serves to address multiple goals: higher rep strict movements for hypertrophy, some heavier low-rep movements for strength gains and even some dynamic movements to improve your athleticism and explosiveness!

Romanian Deadlifts

4×12. Keep your knees only slightly bent, and keep your lower back flat and feet no further than hip-width apart.

Front Squats

5×5. Maintain a neutral head position, and keep your elbows up – eye-level, if you can – throughout the lift. Take a stance at least as wide as shoulder-width.

DB Reverse Lunges with added ROM

3×6 per leg, doing all reps for a single leg at once before alternating. Use a short platform (6-12 inches) for your front foot, and lunge backward. Let your back knee drop to an inch above the ground without hitting it.

Box Jumps, Broad Jumps or Jump Squats

5×3, max effort. Jump as high or far as you can for three max-effort reps. If you don’t have a box or platform, broad jumps and jump squats are perfectly suitable alternatives requiring no equipment.

Optional: Ab Circuit

Three tri sets – no rest between exercises: Crunches (30, 20, 15), planks (30 seconds), hanging leg raises (10, 8, 6)

Gun Fever – The Weekly Arm Workout That Works

Ready to arm yourself? If you’re looking to add size and detail to your upper arms to complete that impressive upper-body aesthetic, this is the workout for you.

Mix it in once a week to your normal routine, and watch the gains roll in. This workout keeps the focus on tension and blood flow, so you can augment its effectiveness by keeping your rest periods low. And just remember – a 10-12 rep range does NOT mean “go light” – you’re still shooting for the heaviest weight you can lift in that range. Your last two reps of each set should be uncomfortable!

Biceps/Triceps Superset Work

6 Supersets: Barbell Curls x 8/French Triceps Press x 12

3 Supersets: Preacher Curl Machine x 15/Rope Pushdowns x 8 (go heavy)

Biceps Focus

Consecutively execute each exercise with no rest to form one tri-set. Perform three tri-sets total, resting only 60 seconds between each.

Incline DB Curls x 8. Twist the dumbbell on its ascent, so that the pinkie side of the weight is directed toward the outside of your shoulder at the top of the movement. Then reverse the path on the descent, finishing with your thumb down, as if holding a ladle.

Reverse-Grip EZ Bar Curls x 8

Hammer DB Curls x 15. Optional: If you have access to thick-bar dumbbells or Fat Gripz, use them here.

Triceps Focus

Consecutively execute each exercise with no rest to form one tri-set. Perform three tri-sets total, resting only 60 seconds between each.

Lying Skull Crushers x 12. Do not set the bar down, then:

Close-Grip Bench Press x 25 or burnout

Overhead Single Dumbbell Press x 8

The Nutrishop CDA Summer Transformation Challenge Winner: Jeff Walther!

unnamed (1)The men’s winner of our Summer Transformation Challenge is Jeff Walther! Jeff lost 25.8 pounds of fat, added 12.6 pounds of muscle and saw his body fat drop by 8.2 percent, for a total of 45 points!

Jeff, 41, is with the Coeur d’Alene PD and came to us looking for a way to get into something competitive again. Jeff was a Brazilian Jujitsu competitor in years past, but over the course of five years, four knee surgeries derailed his involvement and prematurely retired him from the sport.

“I couldn’t compete, because my knee was never right,” Jeff said. “I finally got the surgery to fix the cartilage, but I didn’t realize how much I had lost over that time. I just wanted to compete and feel good about myself again.”

Once Jeff signed up with us for the challenge, he got the support and push he needed to do that. Toby helped him design a meal plan, with proper exercise and supplements, so that every time Jeff reached a plateau, he was prepared to break through it. Jeff’s staple supplements were Pro7, BCAAs and Thermovex.

“The support has been awesome. I didn’t realize the science behind the nutrition part of things before this,” Jeff said. “Having been in athletics before, every time I worked out, I was always missing that piece. Toby helped me dial it in and it made a huge difference.”

Toby also helped Jeff put together an exercise program that Jeff uses at work – part of his team-building process with the police department is a team workout, and involving his team with his exercise doubled his motivation. The atmosphere became one of team-inspired discipline, which was hugely beneficial for Jeff – “guys working together won’t let you get away with anything,” he said. “They’ll keep you honest. They’ll say, ‘The rest of us are doing heavier weight, so what are you doing?'”

Jeff also learned to value body composition over simply weight, and that change manifested itself in the mirror. As a grappler, Jeff was always focused on the scale because making weight is such a critical element. Once he made that mental adjustment, he found that his results were happening – and quickly.

“I’m getting older, and sometimes at 41, it’s tough to get back into motion,” he said. “It really surprised me when I learned I won.”

Jeff said what helped him was the feeling of support and outreach he got from Nutrishop, especially considering the long layoff from weight lifting he went through. The ability to have a close connection with nutrition experts was a highlight of his experience.

“I hadn’t lifted weights in a long time, and when I first came in, and I totally see how going into a supplement shop – especially when you don’t really know anything – can be intimidating,” he said. “But they’re super easy to get along with. There’s no judgment passed, and they don’t expect you to be a bodybuilder. You realize that fitness is for everyday people – it’s for everyone.”

Way to go, Jeff!

The Nutrishop CDA Summer Transformation Challenge Winner: Veronica Post!

unnamedOur women’s winner for the Summer Transformation Challenge is Veronica Post! Veronica lost 26 pounds of fat, gained 10.1 pounds of muscle and cut her body fat percentage down bv 11.8% for a total of 47 points!

Veronica dominated our challenge – one common struggle we hear frequently is that middle-aged women have more trouble losing weight than men do, but she even beat out the men for fat loss. At 55, Veronica says she’s as confident and happy as she’s been in a long time.

“I feel better than I have in I don’t know how long – maybe 15 years,” she said. “I feel like I did when I was 40. I can breathe better, I have way more energy, I have more self-confidence and self-esteem and I just feel better about myself.”

Veronica admits she didn’t know what she was getting into when she started our challenge – she simply saw a motivation to get her body back to how she felt it should be. But as she continued to eat right and exercise, she saw an opportunity for more.

“I really didn’t understand what I was doing until I saw it on paper, in the numbers. I thought it would take me forever, at 55, and that just wasn’t the case,” she said. “I tell everybody I can that they can do it if I can, because I’ve always felt like I would love to be an inspiration to kids and even people my own age.”

Veronica is a middle school employee, so she’s already involved with helping shape the lives of others. She decided to further that cause by setting a great example. Throughout the whole process, she never stepped foot into a gym – she did all her workouts with kettlebells, free weights and weight balls in the school’s band room before she started work, then rode her bike afterward. She also put a 3-pound hula hoop to work several times a week for 40 minutes.

“Not everybody can really afford a gym membership, or they get intimidated when they see these big bodybuilders and everything,” she said. “But that didn’t stop me and it shouldn’t stop anyone else. You don’t have to get muscled or lose fat by going to the gym. You can do it outside.”

Veronica said she’s struggled her whole life with her weight – while she’s always been athletic, her body image has been an issue for her. With her hard work, Nutrishop’s guidance and some motivation from within – “I couldn’t have done this without Jesus,” she said – all that is behind her now.

“I can’t express enough how good I feel. And it makes me feel even better to think that I might be motivating someone else to do the same thing.”

Congrats Veronica, and keep up the great work!

Home Workouts for Muscle Gain & Fat Loss

Convenience can be critical for busy people who are still trying to reach their fitness goals. Home workouts are becoming more and more popular for those who want to get stronger and leaner but who don’t have the time to make it to the gym on a consistent basis.

File Feb 01, 11 16 04 PMBecause of that, many will turn to workouts that may not be enough to simulate the tried-and-true gym – you can’t beat a commercial gym for available machines, weight availability or variety. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer from boring, ineffective workouts – as long as you’re not thinking 3 sets of 10 push-ups and some sit-ups before bedtime are going to cut it, you can get the job done at home.

With time at a premium, these workouts are designed to simulate a cardio effect and challenge your muscular endurance and explosiveness. Maintain as fast of a pace as possible while still maintaining proper form, and keep all rest periods to no longer than 60 seconds.

Click this link to download a .pdf version of the workouts.

You can repeat any of these workouts 3-5 times a week, with one day of rest at most between workouts. Mix and match – you can repeat one 3-5 times, or try them all. It is best if you have access to dumbbells, a pull-up bar and an exercise ball. Stairs will also be useful.

For best results, track your progress and challenge yourself to meet higher rep numbers for timed sets or sets to failure.

Workout 1

5 Giant Sets (move from one exercise to the next for a set, with no rest in between. After the giant set is over, rest 60 seconds)

You don't need a full rack to do a home workout - just the pull-up bar will work. At-home door frame bars are a popular option.

You don’t need a full rack to do a home workout – just the pull-up bar will work. At-home door frame bars are a popular option.

-15 plyometric push-ups, 15 squat jumps, reverse-grip chin-ups to failure, 20 seconds wall sit, 30 crunches, 30 seconds of planks.

Workout 2

-3 sets of 20, dumbbell push-ups/row combo – with your palms facing each other, grasp dumbbells and use them as your anchors while performing a push-up. After the push-up, perform a one-armed row with each arm. That is one rep.

-3 supersets: 20 squats/15 forward lunges per leg. Perform the squats first, then do the alternating lunges. That’s one superset.

-3 supersets: Plank for 45 seconds/Side plank, 15 seconds per side/15 crunches

A suspension trainer is a great way to combine multiple exercises for at-home workouts.

A suspension trainer is a great way to combine multiple exercises for at-home workouts.

Workout 3

Perform two 7-minute interval circuits, in the order listed. Alternate between 30 seconds of nonstop action and 30 seconds of rest. Perform as many reps as possible in the 30-second period, where applicable. It is highly recommended that you use a stopwatch or train with a partner to keep your times honest.

Circuit 1: Jumping jacks/Wall sits/Squats/Push-ups/Crunches/Overhead Dumbbell Press/Planks

Circuit 2: High-knee sprint in place/Wall sits/Step-Ups (2 steps at a time)/Pull-Ups/Crunches/Squats/Side Planks (:15 per side)

Options to make exercises more challenging, if necessary:

-On lunges, hold dumbbells at your sides or overhead, palms facing each other

-On squats, hold dumbbells or kettlebells at shoulder-level, in front-squat position

-On side planks, use your off-hand to hold a dumbbell or kettlebell perpendicular to the floor

-On crunches, hold a kettlebell behind your head

-If you’re serious about moving to a full-time home workout schedule, consider investing in a suspension training system, like TRX (shown). You use your body weight as the resistance and can create much more intense workouts.

WORKOUT: Squat for Strength

Few lifts are as gratifying to watch grow as is the squat. When executed with good form, the barbell squat is an iconic exercise that belongs in almost everybody’s workout regimen.

Building up squat strength can take time, because it is a “skill” lift – by nature of being a compound lift, many moving parts demand practice and control. Once you have developed a clean, well-formed squat, however, you can start building big all-body strength. Below are a few key squat pointers, followed by a workout you can execute twice a week to start increasing the load you can hoist on this classic lift.

Squat Keys

1. Plant the heels. Many amateur squatters experience knee problems from squats, not because the movement is inherently unsafe, but because of this common form mistake. When you shift your weight to the balls of your feet instead of your heels, you immediately put more stress on the knees and allow them to track forward over your toes. When you first unrack the weight, try a brief moment of popping up onto your toes (as if you were doing a calf raise), then lower yourself and dig in with your heels. Your choice of shoe matters for squats too – either go barefoot, or use a hard, flat sole.

2. Chest up; head neutral. Focus on a point on the wall at standing eye level in front of you, and keep your chest elevated with your shoulder blades pulled back together. This position ensures that your shoulders won’t round forward during the squat, which again can bring the weight forward, creating a dangerous position for your lower back and knees.

3. Refer to your joints. Meaning: Your ankles, hips and knees should all be indicators of your form. At the bottom of the squat, your hip joint should be parallel to your knees; the bar and your shoulders should be over your ankles. Get a spotter or use the timed camera on your phone to check your form and make any adjustments you notice.

The Workout

Walking Lunges: 2×20 per leg. Lunge forward with your right leg, hands on your hips and torso erect, and land on your right heel. Your back knee should drop low but not hit the floor; before it does, begin the next step quickly.

Squat: 10 (warm-up set), 10, 5×3, 3×3, 1×3

This pattern will get you stronger. By working up to a heavier load gradually, you spend more time under heavy weight while still getting the requisite reps for muscle growth. If you have a squat belt and/or knee wraps, consider using them on your sets of 3 and 1.

Foam Roller/Hamstring Stretches: 5 minutes. Do a variety of leg stretches to increase blood flow and help reduce soreness. Focus on the calves, hamstrings and quads (note – foam rollers on the quads may be uncomfortable).

Suspension or Swiss ball hamstring curls: 3×12. Lying on your back with your feet in suspension cables or heels on a Swiss ball, keep your arms flat at your sides and lift your hips off the ground. Now, curl the ball toward your butt using your hamstrings, and roll it back out until your legs are fully extended again. That’s one rep.