Day 5 of your Pumping Nothing workout brings you 3 more exercises you can do anywhere!

Today is Day 5 of your Pumping Nothing workout. You now have 15 different exercises that you can do absolutely anywhere using no equipment whatsoever. Keep these emails on file for the next time you can’t get to the gym, are on holidays or on a business trip.

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine all clips so far for a 25 minute blast.

If you can’t view the clip above, click below for the direct YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XIwUbOOIunY

Today’s exercises are:

Airplane/Knee Lift/Walking Lunge & Touch Down
*Try a mini-lunge, intermediate or deep depending on how strong your knees are
*Keep your core strong into airplane and as your reach towards the ground
*Do for about 60-90 seconds total

Side Pushups
*Continue for 45 seconds each side

Full Sit-ups + V-sit Rotations
*Keep you abdominals contracted throughout the entire set
*Focus on a long spine during the rotations
*Try not to use any momentum or strain during the full sit-ups
*Feel free to adjust your range of motion during the full sit-ups
*Try for 60-90 seconds total

Yours in Health and Fitness,

Sherri McMillan

3 more Muscle Toning exercises you can do anywhere!

Today is Day 4 of your Pumping Nothing workout. Keep these emails on file for the next time you can’t get to the gym, are on holidays or on a business trip. There are never any excuses for why you can’t get your workout in because everything you will ever need, you will always have with you!

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine the last few clips for a 20 minute blast.

If you can’t view this video clip, click on the following direct YouTube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1BeDJDW4LU

Today’s exercises are:

Lunge & Kick
*Try a mini-lunge, intermediate or deep depending on how strong your knees are
*Keep your core strong as you kick
*Do about 45 seconds each leg

Supine Arm Presses
*Continue for 60-90 seconds total using various angles

Prone Back Extensions – Upper/Lower/SkyDive
*Keep you abdominals contracted throughout the entire set
*Focus on reaching and lengthening versus lifting upwards
*Try for 60-90 seconds total

Three more Pumping Nothing Exercises

Today is Day 3 of your Pumping Nothing workout. Remember, you don’t need any equipment whatsoever to give yourself an incredible muscle conditioning workout. Review the last two posts for more tips.

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine the last few clips for a 15 minute blast.

If you can’t view the clip above, click here for the YouTube file:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rCPPej8D-wM

Today’s exercises are:

Circle Squat & Jump squat
*Only reach as low as you feel comfortable
*Continue for 30-45 seconds in each direction and then finish with a Power Squat

Push-ups with Leg Lift
*Try this from either your knees or toes depending on how strong your upper body is
*Alternate Legs
*Keep your core strong throughout the entire exercise
*Try for 60-90 seconds total

Side lying Lateral Leg Lifts
*Lift one or both legs
*Keep your core strong throughout the entire exercise
*Try for 30-45 seconds each side

Yours in Health and Fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Here are your next 3 Muscle Conditioning Exercises you can do anywhere!

Today is Day 2 of your Pumping Nothing workout. Remember, your body is the BEST piece of equipment ever and you can keep it strong, fit and conditioned with absolutely no equipment whatsoever! Review yesterday’s posts for more tips.

Here are the next three exercises to add to your Pumping Nothing Muscle-conditioning workout.

Try about 60-90 seconds for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. You might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine today and yesterday’s clips for a 9 minute blast.

Today’s exercises are:

Alternate Leap Lunge
*Only reach as low as you feel comfortable
*Choose low or high impact
*Continue for 60-90 seconds total alternating legs

Prone Arm Lifts
*Press thumbs towards the ceiling
*Continue for 60-90 seconds

Single and Double Leg Extensions

*For stabilization – Only extend and lower as low to the ground as you can keep your abdominals engaged and your low back stable
*Continue for 60-90 seconds

Here’s the clip:

If you can’t view the video clip, go to:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPcc4iig0dA

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Tone up with 3 Pumping Nothing Exercises

I recently conducted a workshop titled “Pumping Nothing” at the world’s largest Fitness Conference, CanFitPro in Toronto Canada. The principle was simple – that is that the body is the BEST piece of equipment ever and you can keep it strong, fit and conditioned with absolutely no equipment whatsoever! So what does that mean? No excuses ever! Muscle conditioning is critical for fat loss, posture, bone density, endurance, strength, weight management and more. If you can’t get to the gym because you’re on holidays, home with a sick child or on a business trip, you can still give yourself a fabulous workout!

The template for this workout is as follows:

Warm-up
Lower Body Exercise
Upper Body Exercise
Core Conditioning Exercise
Repeat multiple times with different exercises
Cool-down and stretch

So I thought it would be fun to give you some video clips of the exercises we did. I apologize for the filming – this wasn’t a professional production – just a friend taking some clips at the workshop. But you’ll get the idea.

Each day, I’ll share with you three exercises – lower body, upper body and core. We did about 1.5 minutes for each exercise for a 4.5 minute mini-circuit. So you might be motivated to just follow along with this clip and get a few minutes of movement. Or you might combine all the upcoming daily blog posts for a full one hour workout with a variety of different exercises that you can do absolutely anywhere. Even right now at your desk!

Today’s exercises are:

Lunge with Rotation
*Try a mini-lunge, intermediate or deep depending on how strong your knees are
*Keep your core strong as your rotate towards that front knee
*Do about 45 seconds each leg

Pushups with Rotation
*Try this from either your knees or toes depending on how strong your upper body is
*Keep your core strong throughout the entire exercise
*Do about 60-90 seconds total

Leg Extension with Core Crunch
*For stabilization component – Only lower as low to the ground as you can keep your abdominals engaged and your low back stable
*Do about 60-90 seconds total

Here’s the clip:

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

4 Tips to a Achieving your Dream Life

I just returned from IDEA, a convention in California for Health professionals from all over the world. I attended the keynote with Matt Weinstein, a motivational speaker and author. He said the problem with all the self help books is that they’re too hard to remember – the 8 secrets, the 7 Habits etc…So he’s come up with the 4 unforgettable keys to a Successful Life. He promises that you will never, ever forget them! I thought I’d share them with all of you in hopes that it will help you live your dream life.

#1 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘ Row, Row, Row your Boat’
This is your boat – your life! And if you want something, you’re going to have to work at it – you’re going to have to row, and row, and row some more. You’re going to have to put some muscle into it. Rowing can be a challenging activity but you can direct which way you want that boat to go! This is your life to create!

#2 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘Gently down the Stream’
Go with the flow. Don’t fight so hard. It’s so much easier to row your boat downstream rather than upstream! You’ve got to Focus on your strengths – that will make everything so much easier.

#3 Key to an Incredible Life: Can you already guess it??!! Yep – “Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily”
Be positive. Be content. Focus on what you have versus what you don’t have. Look for the good in everything. Notice everyday miracles. Incredible opportunities come to those with a joyful spirit. No one wants to be around or offer opportunities to those who are negative! Why? They are just going to complain about it anyways!

#4 Key to an Incredible Life: ‘Life is But a Dream’
Life should be a dream – a pleasant, beautiful, wonderful dream – Not a nightmare. Reality happens first in your mind. Dream big for your life. Make the life that you want so vivid in your mind that it’s easier to make it come to fruition!

That’s it! Four keys that you will probably never, ever forget. Simple but powerful messages! We’ve all heard it before and now all we have to do is live it! I hope it gives you a little boost for your week!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

By challenging yourself, you challenge others!

“Do something everyday that scares or challenges you!” I love this photo of my friend Tamara as she jumps off a 20 ft cliff into Crater Lake. She inspired me to jump shortly after – a big accomplishment since I’m crazy scared of heights. That’s how inspiration works. Someone sees someone else do something cool and they think “Hey, maybe I could do that too!” So do something amazing and you’ll most likely inspire someone else too!

This thought process reminds me of this poem…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to manifest the glory of God….And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson – Read by Nelson Mandela

So let your life shine brightly and as you do so, it will inspire others to live their best life too!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

I was wrong…

I used to say “Use the Scale and Plan to Fail”. I’ve seen so many people get so discouraged by a scale reading even when they were doing everything right. So I would often tell clients not to get on the scale or to limit it to monthly to avoid any issues. But research now shows that I was actually wrong.

When your goal is fat loss or weight management, weigh-ins offer you an objective, quantitative way for you to monitor your weight loss progress. In fact, people who have succeeded with weight loss often report that they self-monitored themselves using weekly weigh-ins. The most recent research shows greater progress in those who do daily weight monitoring.

Avoiding the scale means weight gain can easily accumulate without you realizing. I’ve seen so many clients utterly shocked at the number on the scale because they had avoided it for years. Regular monitoring can provide you with the information you need and often the motivation to take action before weight gain gets out of control. This way you’ll know quickly if you’re slipping at all and can take appropriate measures to get back on track.

The only downfall to measuring progress using a scale is that it doesn’t tell you anything about changes in body composition. So for example, if you’re gaining muscle because you’re working out and since muscle is more dense that fat, this change will not be represented on the scale and you may think you’re not doing that well. Also, weight can change significantly and quickly due to factors such as water retention. This can often lead to frustrations and discouragement when in fact, you may have been doing really well.

So my only advice is don’t get obsessed with what the scale reads. Start with only measuring yourself once per week at exactly the same time and focus on the action steps you can take to move the scale numbers in the right direction. Focus on getting your workouts in and eating healthy and the scale will take care of itself. It is also helpful to use a variety of measuring tools such as girth measurements, body fat assessments, Polaroid photo shots and how your clothes are fitting. This will give you a much better view of the whole picture.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Fitness Bucket List

I’d like to encourage you to complete a Fitness Bucket Wish-List…all the fitness related adventures you’d like to do before you die.

And then start training for one of these events and/or adventures.

Many people take this approach – ‘As soon as I lose the weight/get fit, then I’ll start doing the things I’ve always wanted to do”. But we take the opposite approach. Let’s set the goal and in the process of training for the event or activity you’ve always wanted to do, then you lose the weight and get fit!

And please, promise me, you’ll put a Crater Lake adventure on your fitness wish-list. Just this weekend, we took 14 of our clients on the most unbelievable hiking and biking adventure. Watch the clip and be inspired – you HAVE to do this at some point in your life!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Posted in adventures, exercise, Fitness, weight loss by Sherri | 2 Comments

Does stress make you fat?

My fat loss blogs have sparked a lot of questions and interest. Here’s one question that I thought I’d share with all of you. I think many of you can probably relate.

“I read that it’s hard to lose weight when you’re stressed out. If that’s true, that would explain a lot in my life. My job is extremely stressful and although I eat pretty well and exercise weekly, I just can’t seem to lose any weight. How does stress affect my weight loss?” J.P., Vancouver,WA

There has been quite a bit of research recently measuring stress hormones and how they affect our fat cells and fat metabolism. Dr. Pamela Peeke has been the leading researcher in this area and she has found that our body interprets any kind of stress in our lives as physical stress and immediately responds using the “Fight or Flight” response. Unfortunately, most of the stress in our lives is not physical stress but rather, work, kids, financial etc – more of the emotional or mental type of stress. But nonetheless, as our stress increases, the stress hormone, cortisol, is released into the blood stream.

Cortisol has two negative effects in terms of fat loss. One -it causes the body to crave more fat and sugar. Consider the last time you were really stressed out. What did you grab for – a tuna sandwich or ice cream? And secondly, it causes the body to uptake more fat into the fat cells in order to store energy. Both act as a defense mechanism to enable the body to fight off the stress – unfortunately, since we’re not really undergoing physical stress and don’t require the extra energy we just get fatter.

The message is clear. People who want to lose body fat need to manage their stress better. Take baths, get massages,write in a journal, read, pray, practice deep breathing, participate in Tai Chi, Yoga or meditation classes. Do whatever it takes to either interpret your stress differently or take care of yourself so that stress doesn’t tear you down.

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. We offer some amazing Yoga & Meditation classes at both our Vancouver and Portland studios. Email me at sherri@nwPersonalTraining.com if you’re interested. I’ll forward you a Free pass so you can try out our programs for yourself.

Posted in exercise, fat loss, stress, weight loss by Sherri | 1 Comment