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Nov 28 14

300 Post-Thanksgiving Workout

by Rebecca

As yesterday was American Thanksgiving, I am sure there are many of you who may have overindulged a tiny bit. The following workout requires no equipment. Complete each exercise for the set number of reps before moving onto the next. Rest when needed but try to complete the workout in as short amount of time as you can. Remember to maintain good form on all exercises:

300 Post-Thanksgiving Bodyweight Workout:

  • Step forward lunge / cross touch down – 50 reps alternating
  • Spiderman push ups – 50 reps
  • Squat / side bend leg lift – 50 reps alternating
  • Dive bombers – 50 reps
  • Mountain climbers x10 / Kick ups x10 – 5 reps
  • Partial Turkish Get-Ups – 50 reps alternating

Description of exercises:

Step forward lunge / cross touch down


  1. Step forward into a lunge with arms out to your sides (Pic A)
  2. Bring your opposite arm to front foot down as you reach your other arm up (Pic B)
  3. Return back to a lunge (Pic A)
  4. Step back to a standing position with feet together
  5. Repeat the exercise on the other side
  6. Continue alternating for the set number of reps

Spiderman push ups


  1. Start in a push up plank position (Pic A)
  2. Bend your elbows and lower your body down as you bring one knee up to the side (Pic B)
  3. Return to your starting position (Pic A)
  4. Repeat the exercise bringing your other knee up to the side
  5. Continue alternating knees for the set number of reps

Squat / side bend leg lift


  1. Squat down touching your finger tips to the ground (Pic A)
  2. Transfer your weight onto one leg as you circle your arms to that side then up and over as you lift your other leg up to the side (Pic B)
  3. Repeat the exercise on the other side
  4. Continue alternating for the set number of reps

Dive bombers


  1. Start on your hands and feet with your butt in the air (Pic A)
  2. Bend and flare your elbows out and lower your nose toward the floor between your hands
  3. Slide your body forward as if you were trying to go under a bar without letting your body touch the floor then drive your head up straightening your arms and leaving your hips down (Pic B)
  4. From this position, reverse the exercise to return back to your starting position (Pic A)
  5. Repeat the exercise for the set number of reps

Mountain climbers x10 / Kick ups x10


  1. To do mountain climbers: Start in a plank and bring one knee up between your arms (Pic A)
  2. Jump and switch knees keeping your hips low. Alternate knees 10 times.
  3. To do kick ups: After completing the mountain climbers, turn yourself over so you are belly up on your hands and feet. Kick one leg up in front (Pic B). Jump and switch legs. Continue to alternate for 10 reps
  4. Continue alternating between mountain climbers and kick ups until you have completed 5 sets.

Partial Turkish Get-Ups



  1. Start by lying on your back (Pic A)
  2. Sit up placing one hand on the floor behind you as you bend your opposite knee and place your foot on the floor (Pic B)
  3. Drive off of your hand and foot lifting your hips off the floor as you reach your free hand up to the sky (Pic C)
  4. Return to your starting position (Pic A)
  5. Repeat the exercise on the other side.
  6. Continue to alternate until you have completed the set number of reps.
Nov 21 14

“No pain, no gain”

by Rebecca

The expression “no pain, no gain” is one that I’m sure most people have heard in reference to exercising. It is a motto that is supposed to help motivate an individual through a strenuous workout.

However, what if that pain is associated with an injury? It is important to recognize the difference between the burning sensation which you may feel during an exercise or the muscle soreness you get after a strenuous workout and the pain that you feel as a result of a wound.

What causes the burning sensation you feel while doing an exercise and soreness that you feel after a workout? In a nut shell, the discomfort is caused by lactic acid. As you do a specific exercise, lactic acid builds around the muscle(s) involved causing a burning sensation. Your muscles begin to fatigue as the lactic acid interacts with the calcium in your body. This is what results in your inability to complete any more repetitions. When you feel sore the next day after working out, this is known as a delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which will continue until the lactic acid is removed (naturally) from your muscles. Sometimes this takes a few days.

Ok, so being sore after a workout is one thing and usually after a day or two, the soreness dissipates and all is well again. Pain from an injury though is different. The pain is much more intense and if you continue doing exercises that involve the part of the body that is injured, it won’t just go away and ultimately it will get worse.

My shoulder is still giving me grief two weeks after injuring it. How did I hurt it? I don’t really know but it is not the first time that this has happened. I am no doctor or physical therapist so I can definitely not diagnose what is wrong. All I know is that I need to give it a break from any exercise that involves using it. This is not easy for me but I am hoping it won’t take too long to heal. I have been doing lots of reading up on shoulder injuries on the internet and getting advice from friends so this has been helpful and I have learned more than I ever thought I would ever know about the muscles in the shoulder.

What should you do when you are injured?

For many years, and one that I have always followed, the R.I.C.E method has been recommended:

R. Rest – As difficult as this is for an athlete, resting the injury is key. This of course does not mean you have to lie in bed all day. I have continued working out each day by doing exercises that don’t involve my shoulder. Lot’s of legs and core!

I. Ice – Apply ice with an ice pack or a bag filled with ice cubes to the injury. This along with taking anti-inflammatories such as Aleve or ibuprofen is used to reduce pain and inflammation of injured tissues.

C. Compression – Wrap the injury in a bandage to limit and reduce swelling. If you feel throbbing, remove and re-wrap the area a bit looser.

E. Elevation – Raise the injury above the level of your heart. For example, if you have injured your ankle, lying with your foot propped up on a couple of pillows will help to control swelling.

So, I have been following the above method for my shoulder injury but I come to learn from more recent claims that the use of ice and anti-inflammatories may not be the best thing for recovering from an injury and that they may actually hinder it.

Current research now states that the M.C.E. method should be used:

M. Move safely when you can as much as you can.

C. Compression

E. Elevation

This article goes into more details on the recent claims.

In my own opinion, I believe in the R.I.C.E. method. This has worked for me in the past so I continue to use it. I do keep my shoulder moving however and I have begun doing a few physio exercises to help with recovery. I am not feeling any pain while doing these movements so I am hoping they will help to speed up the healing process.

One last note: I was one of the unlucky people who contracted the Chikengunya virus while we were in Grenada. Although I felt fine after just a few days, I have learned from others who also came down with it that there is lasting effects. Some of our friends are still suffering after having it months ago! Could this be affecting my recovery from the shoulder injury? I don’t know but I am not letting it stop me!


Morning workout on the bow. I’ve been doing a lot more bodyweight exercises


Mike joins me every morning now!

Nov 14 14

I will not be stopped

by Rebecca

For the past week, I have been suffering from a shoulder injury. I am doing my best to be patient and allow the injury to heal before doing any upper body exercises that involve using that arm. In my next blog post, I will write more about the steps I am taking to recover, and about some interesting things I have learned.

In the meantime, here is a bodyweight workout that I did that didn’t aggravate my shoulder. I modified the last exercise into a 6 count since I cannot do push ups at the moment:

Format: HIIT 50/10. Timer is set for 1 minute. Rest the first 10 seconds then do as many reps as possible during the last 50 seconds. Remember to maintain good form while doing each exercise. Do each of the exercises as a circuit then repeat 1-3 more times!

The exercises:

  • Lunge choppers x3 / knee (Left)
  • Lunge choppers x3 / knee (Right)
  • One-arm press up / plank side knee tuck (Left)
  • One-arm press up / plank side knee tuck (Right) – Note: I just did my left side
  • Hip press / leg abduction (Left)
  • Hip press / leg abduction (Right)
  • 8-count bodybuilders – Note: I modified these into a 6 count by eliminating the push up and went onto one arm when moving into the plank

Description of exercises:


Lunge choppers x3 / knee

  • Step back with your left leg into a lunge with arms out in front
  • Bring arms down to your right
  • Bring arms back up to the middle then down to your left
  • Bring arms back up to the middle then down to your right again
  • Bring your left knee up as you move your arms back to your left
  • Continue the exercise for the remainder of time then move to the other side for the next round

One-arm press up / plank side knee tuck

  • Begin lying on your stomach
  • With you left hand by your chest, push your upper body up
  • Push your hips up to get into a plank
  • Tuck your left knee out to the side
  • Return to the starting position by reversing the movements
  • Continue the exercise for the remainder of time then move to the other side for the next round

Hip press / leg abduction

  • Begin lying on your back with your right knee bent with your foot on the floor and your left leg extended
  • Push your hips up pressing down with your right leg and allow your left leg to raise
  • Move your left leg out to the side then back in
  • Lower back down to the starting position
  • Continue the exercise for the remainder of time then move to the other side for the next round

8-count bodybuilders

I am not able to do the full exercise at the moment so click here for the link that shows how to do it.
The 6-count version that I did eliminated the push up and I only used one arm when in the plank position.

Nov 6 14

Resurrecting the blog!

by Rebecca

About a week or so ago, Mike mentioned to me that we need to set ourselves some goals. This got me thinking. While I set many fitness goals for myself, it has been quite some time since I have made other objectives.

Since that day, I have felt motivated to make some plans. I, like many others, need to have something to work towards. I have found with fitness, giving myself goals to aim for keeps me inspired although I don’t really ever find it difficult to push myself to workout.

There is, however, more to life than fitness. Did I just say that? So, what do I want to drive towards? Well, for starters, this blog. I am ready to resurrect it with posts on some of my thoughts, provide workouts to those looking for inspiration, and to give tips and information on health and fitness. Ok, so I realize this is still fitness related. lol!

My StrengthPLUS Facebook page is building (a little slow but it’s getting there) and I aim to continue posting on there as frequently as I can. Internet can be a challenge sometimes and the charter season will be keeping me somewhat busy over the next 8 months, but I will do my best to keep posting.

So, there you have it. I have a goal: To make a weekly post on this blog with the intent of having 10 new posts by the end of the year. I’ll be putting more thought into additional plans that don’t revolve around fitness but in the meantime, I’ll work on blogging about what I love!

What goals have you set for yourself lately?

Here’s a few tips on setting goals:

  1. Allow yourself to dream. Spend some time by yourself and let your mind wander. I find listening to music helps.
  2. Write your goals down. No matter how crazy they may seem, make a list.
  3. Prioritize. Place a number from 1-10 beside each one where 10 is the most motivating meaning that is one that you would really like to achieve.
  4. Choose the top 3. From your list, choose the 3 highest rated goals and then choose which one is number 1.
  5. Make deadlines. Be specific as to when you want to achieve your goals by.
  6. Define an action plan. How are you going to achieve your goals? Start at the end and work backwards.
  7. Begin working towards your first goal. TODAY! Get rid of any negative thoughts, believe that you can do it because you CAN!
Jun 20 13

Fore(stay) Play

by Rebecca

It’s definitely the rainy season here in Grenada! Since we arrived, almost 2 weeks ago, we have been accumulating our fair share of rain water.

Although the weather hasn’t been great, I still make sure I get my daily exercise rain or shine. Getting pictures for my blog however is a bit more challenging.

Yesterday morning, after waking up bright and early and happy to see that it wasn’t raining, I decided that it was the perfect opportunity to have Mike take some pictures of me demonstrating some fun exercises that can be done using the forestay of the boat. Of course, the same exercises can be done on a pole if you are not on a sailboat.

Pull-ups:

  • Place your hands on the forestay one on top of the other
  • Lift your feet off the ground and hang, allowing your arms to straighten
  • Pull yourself up as high as you can
  • Choose a set number of reps, rest then switch your hands so your other hand is on top and face the other direction

*If you are unable to pull yourself up, use your feet on the ground to help you. Be sure to focus mostly on your arms and gradually use your feet less and less as you get stronger

Balance lunges:

  • Holding onto the forestay with your right hand, step back with your right leg into a lunge but keep your right leg hovering above the ground
  • Keep both legs at a 90 degree angle and make sure your left knee is in line with your toes (not in front or too far behind)
  • Press back up to standing using your left leg without using too much pull with your right arm

Choose a set number of reps then switch to the other side

One arm rows:

  • Place your feet on each side of the forestay and hold on with your right hand
  • Lean back keeping your body straight
  • Pull yourself into the forestay with your right arm then allow your arm to straighten as you lean away again
  • Choose a set number of reps then switch to the other side

*Move your feet away from the forestay to make it easier or move your feet in to make it harder

Standing side crunches:

  • Holding onto the forestay, hook one leg around from front to back
  • Lean your body away from the forestay allowing your leg that is wrapped, to hold your body weight
  • Bring your body back up as your twist to face the forestay
  • Choose a set number of reps then switch to the other side

*You can keep one hand on the forestay if your are not comfortable letting go but focus on using your obliques to pull yourself back up rather than your arm

Hanging knee tucks:

  • Place your hands on the forestay one on top of the other as high as you can reach
  • Lift your feet off the ground and hang
  • Tuck your knees up to your chest and then lower them back down back down keeping your feet tucked up behind you so as not to let your feet touch the ground
  • Choose a set number of reps then switch to the other side
May 2 13

Fun in the Sun Workout for Partners

by Rebecca

Exercising with a partner is a great way to help you stay motivated. So, grab a family member or a friend and have some fun with these partner exercises:

Note: The video below demonstrates all the exercises listed. I have added some description on a few of the them as it may not be obvious as to what we are doing just by watching.

  1. Push up / high 5
  2. Bear walk mirrors: One partner is the leader. As partner ‘A’ moves forward, back, left and right, partner ‘B’ mirrors his/her movements.
  3. Stairway Push ups
  4. Elevated push ups / Squats
  5. Back to back resistance chair sit walk: While partner ‘A’ walks backwards, partner ‘B’ adds resistance by pushing back into ‘A’
  6. Side to side jump overs: Partner ‘A’ gets into a plank either on hands or elbows. Partner ‘B’ jumps side to side.
  7. Bench press / Push up
  8. Hip up switches
  9. Foot wars: The objective with this exercise is to either a) get your partner to fall backwards or b) pin their feet to the ground (clearly Mike is better at this than I am!)
  10. Roman chair sit ups: Hook your feet on your partner’s legs
  11. Leg throws: Don’t allow your feet to touch the ground. Partner pushes legs down in the center and also to the left and right. Bring your feet back to the middle before bringing them back up when they are pushed to the side. Once you get the hang of it, have your partner make it random so you don’t know where your legs will get pushed down.
  12. Hanging sit ups: Be sure to keep your chin tucked to your chest just in case you lose grip with your ankles!

BONUS exercise:

  • Monkey round the tree: The objective of this exercise is to climb around your partner (the tree) without touching the ground. It helps to have a good solid ‘tree!’

Mike and I had a lot of fun doing these exercises together. Be sure to switch roles on each of the exercises that require doing something different than your partner.

Be sure to watch this all the way to the end to see the outtakes!

I have a lot more partner exercises so I’ll be sure to share another video some other time featuring more fun stuff!

Have fun!

Apr 25 13

8-count bodybuilder breakdown pyramid

by Rebecca

A couple of days ago, I posted a challenge on my StrengthPLUS facebook page relating to the 8-count bodybuilder exercise that I wrote about a while ago. The challenge was to complete as many reps of this exercise as you could in 10 minutes.

Yesterday, I decided to take the challenge myself and after doing my usual morning workout, I set my timer and proceeded to do as many reps of the exercise as I could. Since I was doing it on the boat though, I could not do the jumps but I still found it challenging enough. My score? 103 reps! Next time when I go to shore to workout, I’ll try this again with the jumps.

Here’s another way to use the 8-count bodybuilder for a workout:

Each part of the 8-count bodybuilder is broken down into 9 exercises/combinations. Complete each 10 times for the first round, 9 times for the second round, 8 times for the third round, and so on until you reach 2 reps of each exercise. Watch the video and refer to the descriptions below to see how each exercise is performed.

Exercises/Combinations:

  1. Hindu squats
  2. Half squat thrusts
  3. Squat thrusts
  4. Plank jacks
  5. Squat thrusts with plank jacks
  6. Push ups
  7. Squat thrusts with plank jacks and push ups
  8. Jump ups
  9. Burpees* with plank jacks, push ups and jump ups

*Note: The difference between a burpee and squat thrust is the jump at the end

Take rests whenever you need to but strive to complete the workout in the shortest amount of time as possible.

Description of exercises:

Hindu squat–>

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keeping your back as straight as possible, lower your body by bending your knees.
  • Toward the bottom of the movement, come up on your toes, keeping your back straight and touch the floor with your hands.
  • Straighten your legs by pushing off your toes and press your heels to the floor and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the set number of reps.

Half squat thrusts–>

  • From a plank position, jump your feet in towards your chest and then back out for the set number of reps.

Squat thrusts–>

  • Start standing with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Squat down and place your hands on the floor.
  • Jump both feet back so you get in a plank.
  • Jump both feet back in towards your chest.
  • Stand up.
  • Repeat for the set number of reps.

Plank jacks–>

  • From a plank position, jump both legs apart.
  • Jump them back together.
  • Repeat for the set number of reps.

Squat thrusts with plank jacks–>

  • Do the same as the squat thrust but add in the plank jack.

Push ups–>

  • We’ve all done these before right?

Squat thrusts with plank jacks and push ups–>

  • You guessed it… same as the squat thrust but add in the plank jack and a push up.

Jump ups–>

  • From a standing position, bend your knees slightly.
  • Jump up as high as you can.
  • Repeat for the set number of reps.

Burpees with plank jacks, push ups and jump ups–>

  • An 8-count bodybuilder!

Have fun!

Apr 11 13

Working combos

by Rebecca

Our suspension trainers get a lot of use on our boat. Although we are still using the aeroSling for the most part, we have not forgotten about our TRX. We like them both and recommend acquiring either one of these to use whether you’re on a boat or not. If you have never used one, I highly encourage you to try it whenever you get the chance. The following workout, which is a combination of suspension trainer and bodyweight exercises, was done using the aeroSling but could just as easily be done with a TRX. It is a challenging workout but I have included some easier versions that you will see in the video below:

Exercises:

  • Suspended side lunge / Side plank knee tuck x10 (right)
  • Back/Forward/Back lunge & knee x10 (right)
  • Suspended side lunge / Side plank knee tuck x10 (left)
  • Back/Forward/Back lunge & knee x10 (left)
  • *Suspended pike / Walk out push up & pike x10
  • 4 Mountain climbers / 4 Groiners / 4 Cross knees x10
  • Front squat x20
  • Plank oblique (right/left) & straight squat thrusts x10
  • Bow & arrow / High twist x20
  • 5 Elbow to knee / 2 V-sits x10

*Note: Since our anchor point is so far from the workout area on our boat, I chose to do this exercise using a round fender ball. Feel free to do the same (or use a physio ball) but the exercise is meant to be done on the suspension trainer.

Do each exercise one after the other. Complete 2 sets resting 30 seconds to 1 minute after the first set. If you still have more energy, complete more sets! Of course, to make it even more challenging, try doing it on the trampoline of a catamaran while bobbing around at anchor!

Apr 2 13

Jogging Plus

by Rebecca

The anchorage we are in is not at all comfortable. Our boat is rocking so much with the swell that is rolling in that it is impossible for me to workout on the bow. Instead, I went to shore this morning with the intentions of going for a jog. The thing is though, I wanted to do more than just jog so I did the following:

Warm Up:

  • Light Jog – 5 minutes
  • Jumping Jacks – 30 seconds
  • Side knee tucks – 30 seconds
  • Side to side shuffle – 30 seconds
  • High knees running on the spot – 30 seconds
  • Kick up running on the spot – 30 seconds
  • Jump split lunges – 30 seconds

Repeated above exercises.

  • Dynamic Stretching: 5 minutes

Workout:

  • Jog*- 1 minute
  • Tuck jumps – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • 6 push ups/6 mountain climbers/jump up – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • Side to side shuffle cross touch down – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • Burpees with tuck jump – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • Power jumping jacks – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • Ski jumps – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • Star push ups – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • High knee sprints on the spot – 1 minute
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • 6 groiners / 2 jump split lunges
  • Jog – 1 minute
  • Plank side/cross knee tucks

*All jogging portions were done at a slightly faster pace than was done during the warm up.

Cool down:

  • Light jog – 5 minutes
  • Static Stretching – 5 minutes

Mar 12 13

Another Day in Paradise

by Rebecca

For the past 3 weeks, we have been hanging out in the BVI’s; a place we haven’t been back to since we first sailed down from Canada. We have been enjoying spending our time hiking and snorkeling at many of the different islands and we have met back up with friends who we haven’t seen for some time.

My daily workouts continue and I have been making more of an effort to eat healthy, eliminating unhealthy foods, consuming plenty of vegetables and drinking lots of water. It feels good to wake up each day feeling energized and ready to enjoy another day in paradise!

The following workout is one that I did with weights but can be done using just your bodyweight as shown in the video below:

Exercises:

  • Squat & Cross touch down x6 / Half squat thrust x4
  • Forward/Back Lunge x2 / Push ups x4
  • Side lunge leg lift x4 (right) / Power knees x6 (right)
  • Side lunge leg lift x4 (left) / Power knees x6 (left)
  • Mountain climbers x6 / Groiners x6
  • Calf raises x6 / Jump squat & twists / Side knee tuck
  • Staggered push up with knee tuck x4 / T-plank hip drop x2 (alternate)

Instructions:

Complete each exercise for 50 seconds in a circuit with a 10 second rest between each. Do 3 sets.

Enjoy!