22 Minute Hard Corps Equipment

A few people have recently asked me what equipment I use for 22 Minute Hard Corps, and the other home workouts I enjoy so much. I have to say the minimal equipment requirements are one of the reasons I really enjoy working out at home; keeping it simple and free from complex machines, GPS input and other technology I don’t get along with takes stress out of working out. With that said, here is a list of all the workout equipment I own: weights, a sandbag, a pull up bar/resistance band, and a jump mat. Other important items are a towel and water.

Weights-I prefer dumbbell style weights in XX pounds per dumbbell. They are versatile and can be used as a substitute for the sandbag if you don’t own one or don’t want to use one. I prefer weights since there are a few moves where sandbag would be a little more difficult to use, but it is just a personal preference. Plus, with dumbbells, as each phase goes on, it’s easier to adjust the weight to keep my reps where they should be.

Sandbag-sandbags aren’t required, but they do make for a bit more dynamic workout with the swinging involved. The advantage is that it is easy (and cheap) to adjust the weight with changes in strength, goals or fitness. For those of us in colder climates, the sand can be used for adding grip to walkways in the winter when strength workouts get fewer and farther in between. Sandbags can be bought at any sporting goods store, Walmart, Target, teambeachbody, Amazon etc.

Jump mat-not a lot of people know what a jump mat is used for, or for that matter what it is. My husband gave me a quizzical look when trying to explain it to him. It is simply a good way to add a little bit of extra shock absorption while doing plyometric workouts. Since I work out in our living room, which is carpeted, I don’t feel the need to use mine on a regular basis, but if I worked out on hardwood or concrete, it would be a lifesaver. I suppose in a pinch, a yoga mat would be a reasonable substitute for a jump mat. But be sure not to confuse the two!

Pull up bar-pull ups are not one of my favorite workouts, so losing and/or breaking my pullup bar has crossed my mind more than a couple times. Maybe that’s why I like my lightweight, pullup bar that over a doorway since its small enough that I could easily “misplace” it. Unfortunately, even if I “lose” it, a resistance band will work just as well. Since the only way to get better at pullups is being able to complete the full range of motion, I used a chair, or pull up assist works quite nicely until I was able to do a couple pullups all by myself.

Resistance bands- can be used in place of most of the equipment I listed above, seems like every video has someone showing how to substitute a resistance band for most workouts. Just be careful to properly secure the end to avoid any painful snap back (don’t ask how I found this out….).

Hope you found this to be helpful. And one more thing…a towel to wipe off the sweat and don’t forget to drink your water, that’s the most important one!

Lifting Weights For Women

When I tell people about my workout scheme, most women have a negative comment about the weight lifting part. Something about not wanting to look like the Incredible Hulk in a bikini….just trying to picture that gives me the creeps. Trust me, I totally understand that no girl ever wants to look like the incredible hulk, least of all me. Trust me again when I say the choice of whether or not to lift weights isn’t a choice between bat wings and incredible hulk arms. There is a solid middle ground that means toned, beautiful arms as well as a healthy cardiovascular system and happy body. If for some reason you want incredible hulk arms, I hear steroids are the way to go.

With this weight lifting dilemma in mind, I found this interesting tidbit by Chalene Johnson (posted on her FaceBook like page this month), in one of the fitness groups I am a part of:

“How often? As little as 1x per week (lifting heavy) was shown to make a noticeable difference in body composition! With 3x a week, results were SIGNIFICANT!

Trying to lose weight and and reduce body fat-then lifting weights or body weight training may be your missing piece!

In a recent study, 10 weeks of strength training was shown to increase resting metabolic rate by 7 percent, and an average of 4 more pounds of fat loss in those who strength train 3x per week vs those who solely did cardio.

So if your goal is to get lean-you need to lift  it may be time to ditch the treadmill , and say hello to weights,”

Some BeachBody workouts that are great for reducing bat wings and building a little bit of muscle are: Chalene Extreme, Body Beast (yes, even women are doing this workout), P90X, P90X2, P90X3, and the newest BeachBody workout that was released in December Hammer and Chisel.

I am currently using Insanity: Max 30 workout, and have also completed cycles of P90X/3, while also using Body Beast: Lucky 7 and my arms aren’t ripping out of even my tightest shirts (even when I get REALLY MAD).

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These are my arm results back in January/Febraury 2013 while doing TurboFire and adding in Body Beast-Lucky 7 once a week.

The other, long term advantage of including weight lifting in a workout (especially as we get older) is fighting osteoporosis. The best way to fight osteoporosis is to be proactive (don’t wait until bones start breaking) and participate in regular weight bearing activity. Unless you are really good at hand stands, activities like lifting weights or yoga are the best way I know of to provide weight bearing activity for arms.

If anybody has any questions about lifting weights as part of an overall body workout, I would be happy to answer them!

The Future

This is a fitness blog, but lately getting off the couch is plenty hard enough, so needless to say it has been months since I have done any workouts beyond a leisurely walk. So, during this down time I have been planning for post baby workouts.
The first part of my plan for when the baby comes is to do more aerobic cross training (walking), so, to that end we just purchased the bob sport utility stroller (easy to push and holds a lot of stuff, but with big tires and full suspension to keep my husband interested!). So far it seems great pushing it across the living room, but a review will have to wait since people may look at me funny if I strap Steve into it for a trial run. Picture a rolling, black and white version of a “grumpy cat” demotivational poster, complete with with a rude and unprintable caption. To read more about my workout buddy, Steve, click here
The second fitness plan I am really excited about is P90X3, which is just like the original P90X, but only takes 30 min. This is exciting because each workout only takes 30 min, so it will be easy to fit in while she is napping!

Five great reasons I’m looking forward to doing P90X3:
1). It’s only 30 minutes long and perfect for me when I’m taking care of a baby because my life will be a time crunch.
2). Is not a graduate program, therefore, I should be able to pick it up quickly even if I am a bit rusty from my layoff. Also, I don’t have a P90X2 diploma.
3). I have all the required equipment – just a pull up bar and weights.
4). There is a modifier in each workout for people like me who are getting back into shape.
5). There is a separate DVD for the warm up and I can throw it in if i have the extra time.

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The new P90X3 workout being released December 10, 2013

Here’s a preview of the new P90X3 workout