Friday, August 21, 2015

Off Day Fitness QnA

Off day today. Just a long walk through the city cemetery with ol' Bally the Dog. There's a particular road lined by mature maple trees that makes for a picturesque archway to walk under each morning. I love it. The cemetery is so green (must have some good fertilizer, dark humor LOL).

After the walk he ate and I did a 20-minute series of Missi Holt-inspired yoga stretches. I feel great, and should be well rested for Saturday mornings deadlift workout. It will be conservative though, since it's the first one back after 3 weeks in Europe.

I also snuck in a fitness QnA on Facebook. Great questions today:

Q: "I am in week 6 of your HWR plan after first completing the Beginner Program. It's going very well except for my bad knees. I need alternative exercises. I have been doing hip extension in place of lunges while doing your workouts. Please recommend alternatives for squats." – Jeanne Shelton Bartelt


Great to hear about the progress, Jeanne Shelton Bartelt! Here are more leg exercises that you can do in place of squats or lunges: Stability Ball Leg Curls, Wall Squats (only go down as far as is comfortable and pain free), 1-leg lying hip extensions, low-box step-ups, 2-leg hip bridges with your feet on the stability ball, Total body extensions with a small dip (only drop down as far as is comfortable and pain free). Let me know how that goes! Great question.

Here's another lesson…most people make a big exercise mistake when they start going to the gym. They rush into doing a complex exercise like lunges when this is really too advanced for most people. Here's the proper progression for you to follow:

2-Leg Hip Bridge/Extension
2-Leg Stability Ball Curl
2-Leg Hip Bridge/Extension on Ball
1-Leg Hip Extension
Wall Ball Squat
Bodyweight Squat
Prisoner Bodyweight Squat
Split Squat
Reverse Lunge
Forward Lunge


You can also watch a video here where I explain these exercises and show you the Truth About Lunges.


Q: "Should my obliques be sore after one arm rows with db? Sore like I worked them out." – Fred Butcher



Yes! DB Rows are a super sneaky ab exercise because you have to tighten your abs and resist rotation. They are working hard! That's why you can give up crunches and just do total body exercises instead! Nice work.


Q: "How many times a week should I do HIIT workouts?" – Dawn Garrison


Hi Dawn. Three to four times per week is enough. Any more and you risk overuse injury, and diminished returns. Please read –

Today's Kickbutt Mindset Tip:
Here are the basics of weight loss that work: Keep a food journal. Eat more protein, fiber, fruits, vegetables, and raw nuts. Drink more water and Green Tea. A little coffee is fine. Do short burst workouts 3-4 times per week. Stay active with fun activities for an hour every other day. Sleep 7 to 8 hours. Play your diet and your days. Hang around positive people for social support. Be accountable. Give yourself an incentive for success. And a deadline. Then hit it. You can do it. I believe in you. Your time is NOW.

Time to get after it,

Craig Ballantyne, CTT

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