Category Archives: 4 Week Challenges

20 Day Burpee Challenge – When life knocks you down, do a burpee!

Hey Gang! I’m kicking off a new physical challenge to get in tip-top shape for the Summer.  Burpees are one of my favorite exercises – I always try to incorporate them into my Turbokick and PiYo fitness classes.  Burpees are designed to build muscular and cardio endurance, so expect to be out of breath! Not only does the mega move blast calories it also provides excellent strength training for the entire body, especially the core.  Below is a 20-day challenge that I plan to start tomorrow.  The goal is to be able to do 60 consecutive burpees by Day 20…burpee challengeIn case you’ve never done the burpee exercise before, here’s a simple info-graphic providing step by step instructions…

HowToDoBurpee

Once you’ve got the move down, join me for the challenge!  Be sure to share you progress on our Facebook page or post a comment below.   Be strong and have a wonderful week! xoxo, Brit

GRIT by Brit Burpee

 

“September Shape Up” Home Stretch: Blake’s Week 3 Progress Update

Blake’s Week 3 Thoughts / Results:

I am down another 2 pounds on Brit’s September Shape Up Plan (woo hoo).  The most important part of this process has been the ability to focus on my diet and exercise (even though the later has been waylaid due to illness). As I mentioned in my week two review, I have a lot of personal things going on: renovating our new house, getting ready to move, and preparing to start a new job (all while finishing up at the old one)! Having this challenge has actually been a blessing since I tend to stress eat! So, here’s how I did last week…

Diet:

I managed to get in three smoothies for dinner and subbed for 2 other meals on other days. I am actually really enjoying having the smoothies and utilizing unique ingredients for them. I think when everything is said and done with this challenge that I might actually keep this practice around. I don’t know about you but usually my Achilles heel when dieting is dinner. I tend to eat pretty well through out the day and then get home and my diet goes quickly down the tubes. Having to record my food and having smoothies has definitely helped with this! I’ve also started experimenting with some new to me foods including coconut water and almond milk. Hooray for new food items!

Hydration:

Being sick has really focused me on making sure I am drinking way more than I usually do. Hooray for checking off this box!

Blake (in the pink pants) and Friends after a sweet 3 mile run!

Blake (in the pink pants) and Friends after a sweet 3 mile run!

Exercise:

  • Monday: Brit’s 10 minute HIIT workout and Skinny Girl Yoga
  • Tuesday: Flywheel
  • Wednesday: Three mile run
  • Thursday: Assisted with tiling at the house – this entailed lifting hundreds of pounds of tile up and down the stairs in my house for about three hours – talk about some power lifting – marble is HEAVY.
  • Friday: More tiling in the house.
  • Saturday: Attempted to help with the tiling in the house. Instead I was so sick that I sat on the floor pretty useless.
  • Sunday: Definitely really sick 🙁

Brit’s Tips for Blake:

Stay strong to the finish!  You are doing an amazing job and already seeing great progress – down over 4 pounds!  Also, be sure to stay hydrated when you’re sick.  However, I believe that it’s still important to stay active when are you aren’t feeling well – physically and mentally exercise can help you get back to feeling normal.  If you feel sick, do some resistance training or yoga.  If you aren’t able to workout, be very conscious of your calorie intake – lots of low-calorie fluids, water and nutritious smoothies instead of heavy meals.  You’ve already done so much hard work, so keep on truckin’ – you’re almost there.  GO BLAKE 🙂

For more info about Blake’s weight management journey, be sure to follow her blog: http://www.binanutshell.com/

strong to the finish

September Shape Up: Blake’s Week 2 in Review

Hey gang.  I hope your week is off to an excellent start.  Blake, my fit friend from binanutshell.com has officially completed Week 2 of my September Shape up plan.  Are you trying the plan for yourself?  Do it!

If you were around last week, you’ll remember that Blake got off to an amazing start losing over 2 pounds in Week 1 – woo hoo!  During Week 2, however, she’s experienced some setbacks.  BUT we are all about showing our GRIT – passion and perseverance for long-term goals.  Even though Blake had a “less than stellar” Week 2, we KNOW that she will keep on truckin’ and be successful in the end!  Here’s her update.  Wish her luck, strong to the finish! 🙂

GRIT

Blake’s Week 2 in Review

Overall, I am saddened by my progress in week 2. I was really excited to keep up with Brit’s Shape Up September, but I wasn’t able to due to health reasons.  I am just going to be upfront and say that even knowing that there are 2 weeks left in the month, week 2 was definitely the most difficult. Early in the week, I was plagued with a summer cold that left me lethargic, sneezy and coughing – which of course resulted in my not working out.

Also, I have an inordinate amount going on in my personal life – some really great things that I am not quite yet ready to share on the blog, but stay tuned for a personal life update soon!

Here is how last week panned out:

Diet

I managed to get two nights with smoothies in, one night without dinner at all, one business dinner, and two dinners out with friends. Unfortunately, most of those events were planned way before Shape Up September, so I worked around the dinners out by eating really healthy breakfasts and having a smoothie for lunch! Smoothies for the win!

Exercise

  • Monday: Brit’s GRIT Ultimate Body Burn workout video – seriously folks, if you don’t own this video, you should.  Buy it on Amazon!
  • Tuesday: Brit’s 10 minute HIIT circuit – I had a super late meeting and didn’t get home until almost 10 and was starting not to feel well
  • Wednesday: Skinnygirl Yoga at home (note to self: downward dog does not feel good with congestion)
  • Thursday – Sunday: Sick, sick, sick

Hydration

Still focusing on having a full glass of water on my desk at all times. Hooray for this. Also, I think the water was really helpful from keeping me on the healthier side of sick… since the hubs was knocked out for twice as long as I was.

Week 3 Focus

This week’s focus is definitely going to be CARDIO! I am excited to get back to working out now that I don’t feel like walking up the three flights of stairs to my bedroom is going to make me winded.

Here’s a quick cardio workout I recommend for Blake in case she is pressed for time time next week – cardio is KING (wink,wink) xoxo, Brit

15-min-cardio-fix2

September Shape Up: Take the Challenge with Blake!

September Shape Up

Happy September everyone!  Less than 20 days of Summer left (bittersweet).  On a positive note, I’m welcoming Fall with a September Shape Up Challenge!  My friend, Blake (pictured below) has decided to lead the charge by taking the challenge publicly on GRIT by Brit.  Each week, she will share her progress with us, the good days, the bad days and everything in-between.  Blake and I went to Cornell together and now live in Dallas, TX.  Like me, she’s also has a long weight-management journey.  She describes her weight loss history as “one giant yo-yo.”  She’s weighed as much at 200 pounds and as little as 135 – currently she’s somewhere in the middle.  Hopefully, the September Shape Up Challenge will help her (and you) establish consistent, healthy habits that are sustainable and effective for a maintaining your target weight.

In terms of exercise, Blake usually tries work out at least 3 -5 days a week usually in the form of 2-3 Flywheel classes.  Over the next month, she’s hoping to supplement with some weights/cross-training. Of course I’ve got a few resistance/weight training workouts in mind 🙂

Blake after completing a Half Marathon in Dallas last month

Blake after completing a Half Marathon in Dallas last month

Here are the details for the September Shape Up Plan:

  • Consume no more than 1,400 calories per day.  When trying to drop a few pounds, you MUST burn more calories than you consume.  Don’t let all of your hard work in the gym go to waste by overeating.  I suggest using  My Fitness Pal calorie counter app to track your food consumption.
  • Substitute a smoothie for dinner on days with lower intensity workouts.  This will help ensure that you are managing your calorie intake.  For smoothie ideas, try one of these LO sugar HI Protein recipes or one of my favorite Dr.OZ Smoothies.
  • Stay hydrated throughout the challenge.  With all of the exercise, you must drink plenty of water.  I recommend at least 2 liters per day.
  • Strength/resistance training must be done at least 2X per week.  Here are some strength training routines that you can pick and choose from.  Just select 1 on your strength training days – all you need are 2 medium/heavy dumbbells: Super Sweaty Dumbbell Circuit ; 10 Minute HIIT Workout ; Gritty HIIT Circuit ; Amazing ArmsBye Bye Jiggly Thighs, Tummy, Thighs & Booty Oh My! ;  Fab Arms & Core ; Flex & Pump ; Dumbbell Mash Up ; Farewell Flabby Arms (FYI – there are several other weight routines to choose from under the “Workouts” section of my blog menu)
  • 1 hour cardio 4X per week.  Really push yourself during these calorie blasting sweat sessions.  I recommend Spinning, Kickboxing, Running/ Jogging or intensity intervals on the Elliptical.
  • Introduce power yoga in to your fitness regimen.  Power yoga is a great way to both stretch and strength train.  Since Blake doesn’t usually do yoga, it will also be a good way to “shock” her body and add some muscle confusion.  Also, it will help stretch sore muscles after strength training.  If you live in Dallas, I recommend Karmany Yoga with Amy or American Power Yoga with Julie or Sage.  If you live in NYC, I recommend Yoga to the People Midtown on 38th Street – Hot Vinyasa.

Hopefully Blake’s journey inspires yours.  Be sure to check back next week to see her progress update and photos!  You can also follow Blake’s journey on her blog www.binanutshell.com or on Twitter @blakesachs.  Wish her luck – GO BLAKE!

BeachBody #OperationTahiti

Brandon Gayle #OperationTahiti

Meet my friend and former business school classmate, Brandon!  During a Twitter convo last week, I learned that he’s about to go on an amazing vacation to Tahiti on April 16th!

Since, I LOVE “beach ready” workouts AND many of my male followers have been requesting some “dude focused” plans, I thought this was perfect timing for my 1st official “get right for the summer” workout plan #OperationTahiti.  

Brandon’s #OperationTahiti Goals

  • Add 7 lbs of muscle and get back to 170 lbs (currently at 163 lbs)

  • Get back to an 8 pack and tight core

  • Tighten upper body (chest and arms) definition

  • Restore base of strength in shoulders, back, groin, quads, hamstrings & calves

  • Improve cardio endurance (not my favorite thing in the world)

Brandon’s GRIT by Brit Workout Schedule

Operation Tahiti

A few things to note about Brandon’s workout schedule…

  • This is ~2 week workout and diet plan which requires training 2 days on and 1 day off, alternating.
  • All of the cardio workouts are in red text, strength is in blue text and abs are in gray text
  • I tried to incorporate 3 days of cardio each week
  • I want Brandon to lift as HEAVY as POSSIBLE during his strength workouts
  • Here are links to detailed GRIT by Brit workouts included in his schedule:

Now, we all know you can’t out exercise a bad diet, so here’s Brandon’s diet change ups to go along with his workout schedule…

Brandon’s Diet Change Ups

Stayed tuned for Brandon’s progress report and “after” pics!  I’m sure he’s gonna kill it!  #OperationTahiti – Leggoo!

Already 3 Pounds DOWN!

Candace’s Week 1 Update

“Week 1 of my New Year Kick Start Plan was better than I expected, I’m down 3 lbs.! I downloaded the My Fitness Pal app, which has really helped me keep track of my calories. Packing my lunch and snacks each day was a great plan, as I can easily control what I’m consuming.  Getting in 6 days of cardio workouts was tough, I only did 5 days. My goal is to definitely hit 6 days this week. Looking forward to week 2 and keeping up the progress.” – Candace

(below – Candace preparing her lunches for week 2)

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Brit’s Tips for Week 2

  • Keep up the good work –   While you should be thrilled about your quick results, don’t get complacent.  Keep pushing yourself to be disciplined in your healthy eating and in maintaining your challenging workout schedule.
  • Stay hydrated –   Completing intense cardio workouts 6 days per week means you are sweating more than usual.  Dehydration will slow down your metabolism and hinder weight loss, so be sure to drink 2 liters of water per day.
  • Get your beauty rest –  As a busy corporate woman I’m sure your days are packed full with work and working out.  Be sure you are getting enough sleep at night (shoot for 8 hours) so that your body has an opportunity to recover.  Sleep deprivation hinders weight loss as well.

3-week New Year Kick-Start with Candace

New Year New You!

photo (22)

Get to Know Candace

  • GOAL:  lose 10-12 pounds and 2-3 inches
  • Exercise: I currently do PiYo, 24 Cycle and TRX training, but I would like to incorporate more cardio options. I like Turbo Kick, but I’m not very coordinated, so I feel like I’m not properly maximizing my efforts in the class. I’ve considered trying an actual boxing class and I’m open to any other recommendations you have.
  • Focus areas: I would really like to tone my upper body, core and lower body (basically all over!). I also would like to increase my endurance for strengthening exercises.
  • Diet: I have a major addition to sugar, more so sweets (chocolate, cookies, cupcakes). I know I have to practically eliminate sugar to get the results I’m seeking, so I have a strict eating plan that I’ve used in the past that I’ll try again. Any suggestions you can provide would be helpful. I don’t really have any other major eating problems, I generally stay away from salty snacks, beef/pork, bread, fried foods and fast food. I love fruits and veggies, so I need to stock up for generous portions each day. I also need to focus on increasing my water intake, I usually only consume 40-50oz. per day.

Brit’s 3-week Plan for Candace

  • Start Date: January 7, 2013
  • End Date: January 27, 2013

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Check back every Monday for Candace’s progress report and see how she knocks out these 10 pounds!  If you are looking for a New Year Shape Up Kick Start, try the plan yourself!