Sunday, March 22, 2015

Beginners 12 Weeks Till Summer Workout Guide (Home Edition)

Beginners 12 Weeks till Summer Workout Guide (Home Edition) 

As requested, I've put together a pretty basic THREE PHASE 12 week workout guide. This isn't my personal workout .. a "get a better body in 3 months" .. or "90 days to shredded" type deal. So if that is what you want .. go ahead and exit out and head over to Pinterest. This is just a GUIDE for everyone that says they are "lost" and need help getting started. Once you are done with the 12 week guide you HAVE to keep working out. There is no END date!! But this gives you a good little guide so that you will hit all areas of each muscle (one of the biggest mistakes beginners make is not hitting all parts of each muscle) and tone up in time to put on your swimsuit. While a gym membership is best, you can totally get in a good workout at home. I suggest that you have resistance bands (both the kind with handles and a couple of the resistance loops) and a mat. It would also be helpful if you had a couple sets of dumbbells, an over the door pull up bar and a medicine ball or bosu ball. If at any point you decide to get a gym membership ... here is the gym edition. 

Most of these exercises are with dumbbells or resistance bands. Feel free to use the same equipment week to week or switch it up!  Also, this guide is designed to be a 5-day workout broken up into muscle groups - not full body workouts. So this means you must workout 5 days each week. If you skip a day .. you end up skipping a body group! Not good! The workouts won't be very long if you go hard and follow the "rest" guide! I don't workout at home, however I will try to do some of these HOME demos for you at the gym and post videos. If not, I will link a demo video I have found, or you can simply google the name of the workout for guidance. Just make sure you watch some sort of demo to ensure you are using proper form!

All this said...nutrition is 90% of the equation. I'm not going to make a meal plan to go with this, as I personally believe meal plans are best suited when they are INDIVIDUALIZED since everyones macro needs and bodies are different. However at the end of this page I will put some "Nutrition Tips" that can hele is the GYM edition. 

((If links aren't available I simply haven't shot them yet or had time to find ones to link. GOOGLE the exercise and you should be able to find examples. Also, I don't workout at home so most of these demos are ones I have found for you online .. sorry. Maybe one day I'll update with demos myself. Just no time or videographer right now, lol))

  • Do 4 sets of 10 reps (weeks 1 & 2)
  • Do 4 sets of 12-15 reps (weeks 2 & 3) **see below
  • Weight should be at about 60% Max Effort these first two weeks. You want to be able to lift with PROPER FORM for all reps and should find those last few reps pretty difficult! Again PROPER FORM is more important than how much weight you use!
  • Rest 45-60 seconds between sets. MAX!!! This is important!!!
  • After 2 weeks, you should increase your weight/resistance to be about 80% Max Effort and even do 12 reps if you want/can! If you can’t increase your weight, aim to increase your reps! The general rule here is if the weight is too easy .. increase .. too hard .. decrease. Most important is using PROPER FORM! Do each rep SLOW and squeeze!!
  • Finish each LIFTING session with 1 scoop of Phormula 1 Whey Isolate Protein…right after lifting. Then have your next meal within the hour! This will really help repair and build your muscles! If you don’t have any whey isolate protein, then just make sure you eat one of your balanced meals with both lean protein and complex carbs within 30 min of lifting! 

Day 1 - Triceps/Chest
  • Elevated Bodyweight Bench Dips (Video Demo HERE. At home use a step, etc.) 
  • Resistance band or dumbbell tricep kick backs (Google for demo) 
  • Overhead Dumbbell Tricep Extension (Video Demo HERE – You can stand our sit. Your choice. Don’t arch your lower back. Keep elbows in. You can use bands for these, google search for a band demo) 
  • Wide Push Ups (Video Demo HERE - Make sure back is straight and butt is down. Head is inline with your back. Try to do these without putting your knees down on the floor, but if you need to in order to finish/have proper form go ahead. Add resistance bands to make more difficult .. video HERE
  • Dumbbell Bench Press (Video Demo HERE. At home you can do these on a floor or elevate yourself on a medicine ball. You can use resistance bands, just google for demo) 
  • Dumbbell Bench Fly (Video Demo HERE – same details as above)

Follow up this workout with 20 min Steady State Cardio (this can be anything of your choice. Just keep it steady. This is not max effort, but you should be slightly out of breath and not able to carry on a conversation. Keep the incline as high as you can and the level/resistance where it needs to be to achieve the above. No reading, talking on your phone, etc. KEEP MOVING for the entire 20 min! If you don't have any cardio equipment ... no problem! Go for a light walk/jog, go swimming, walk trails, etc. If you can't go outside .. do some slow jump rope, running in place, dance with your kids, etc :) Get creative. The point is to get moving for 20 min at a pretty moderate/steady state!

Day 2 - Back/Biceps  
  • Wide Grip Pull Up (Using door pull up bar. At first you may need help or a chair. Found a demo for you HERE. Or you can do wide grip pull downs using a resistance band. I found a demo HERE. Just squeeze those shoulder blades together. If you want to use no weight, try using a towel the 1st week.) 
  • Seated Rows (You can do these using bands attached to a door hinge or around feet - Demo for around your feet HERE
  • Bent Over Rows using dumbbells or band (video with dumbbells HERE. Video with bands HERE. Ignore his bands, you can use bands with handles as well.) 
  • Supermans - Demo HERE
  • Alternating Bicep Curls (Standing. Dumbbell demo HERE. But again get creative with what you use for weights if you don't have anything. Band demo HERE.
  • Hammer Curls (same as above. dumbbell demo HERE. Band demo HERE. ) 
  • Seated Concentration Curls (Dumbbell demo HERE. Band demo HERE.)

Day 3 - Legs/Calves 
Supersets are when two exercises are grouped together and done back to back. This means no rest between these two exercises. The 45-60 seconds of rest is in between each super set itself.

ALL of these are grouped into SUPER SETS until the last two (couch/chair sits and calves)

  • Narrow Stance Squat - Foot position on these is a little closer than shoulder width apart. Video demo of simply how to do it with bands is HERE. Video demo with dumbbells HERE. PS ... the guy in the band video says don't go low. Mute him, lol. Try to GO LOW. Just keep proper form (see gym guide version for more details not this.) The lower you go the more it works the BOOTY!! Which we always want. But a narrow stance does target the quads more than a wide stance (which you will do next) 
  • Narrow Stance Squat Jumps - foot stance is same as squat. land softly on balls of feet and go as fast as you can on these. but make sure you are actually squatting LOW. no baby jumps! Demo HERE. 
  • Wide Stance Squats (using dumbbells or bands) - Feet are really wide apart. Wider than shoulder width. Other than that, use same methods for squatting as above. You can see me doing them on a squat rack HERE. But use the bands or dumbbells like in the video above. 
  • Wide Stance Squat Jumps - foot stance is same as squat. same method as above. go low, balls of feet, fast as you can. Demo HERE. 
  • Dumbbell Stiff Leg Dead lifts - Dumbbell demo HERE. Band demo HERE
  • Leg Curls using dumbbells or bands - Dumbbell Demo HERE .. ignore what she says about rest/reps.  Resistance band demo HERE.  If you can't figure these out. Do some walking lunges instead (remember "1" is when you have done each leg) but push through heel to try to activate hams and glutes more than quads! 
  • Standing Calf Raises - hold onto wall, railing, etc. Demo HERE. Since these are not weighted I would do MORE than ten reps. IF you want to add weight hold dumbbells and do the 10 reps. Otherwise, do as many as you can!! 4 sets!! 
  • Chair/Couch Sits (do these quick and squeeze booty when you stand. this is how you are ending your workout. make it count) I'll get you a video of these. But basically you are just sitting down and standing up! Yup .. "that is it" :) But you don't sit. Your butt just touches the chair and you get right back up! 100 times!! Squeeze that booty!!!! Do as many of these as you can. At least 50, but your GOAL is 100!!!! Video demo HERE. 
Day 4 - Shoulders/Abs  -- DEMO VIDEOS COMING SOON 
All of these are SUPER SETS
  • Shoulder Press
  • V-Ups
  • Lateral Raise
  • Hanging Leg Raises
  • Front Raise
  • 60 second Plank (this is the goal. But do at least 30 seconds. work your way up to that full min) 
  • Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Raises 
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Arnold Press
  • Russian Twists

Day 5 - Cardio/Booty -- DEMO VIDEOS COMING SOON 
All of these are supersets except the Cable Kick Backs
  • Donkey Kicks using resistance bands 
Super Set
  • Hip Thrusts with feet on bosu ball or bench 
  • Plie’ Bodyweight Squats
Super Set 
  • Split Squats (back leg on low stair or bosu ball) 
  • Split Jumps - One rep is once you have done a lunge on EACH leg. 
Super Set 
  • Adductors with bands around calves 
  • In/Out Pop Squats using bands around calves 
Follow up with 20 min HIIT style cardio - IF you have cardio equipment at home. Go over to the gym version of this and read! If not ... you can do things like jump rope, high knees, burpees, run stairs at your house, run hills outside, etc - for the HIGH intensity parts. And simply jog or air squat in place for the others. GOOGLE is a great tool for outdoors or indoors HIIT options! 

(Simple Example of HIIT) 
-- 2 min warm up - March in place.
-- 1 min High Intensity - Anything mentioned above. Goal is to GO FAST and as hard as you can!
-- 2 min Moderate Intensity - Go at about 1/2 the intensity as the 1min high intensity round. The idea is to catch your breath a little/lower heart rate....NOT rest. This could be a light jog, air squats, etc.

Do this 1:2 circuit a total of 6 times. So again, you will leave the incline alone (as high as you can) and go for 1 min HARD .. then don't lower incline but lower level/resistance for two mins and go moderate. Repeat this 1:2 combo SIX TIMES. Then last 2min is a cool down! If you feel you are not ready for HIIT, make this cardio session another steady state session.

REST DAYS – You get two of your choice. Can do back-to-back or work in-between workout days. I suggest you do ONE FULL rest day at least. But if you want, you can also do fasted cardio on ONE of these two days if you wish! My suggestion would be upon waking, with nothing to eat. You can have some BCAA’s, Pre-Workout or coffee if you want. Just no food/protein shake - etc. Try this first .. if you find yourself getting sick or feeling lightheaded. Try having a 1stPhorm Phormula-1 shake about 30min beforehand.

I would really suggest making this day a group fitness class! Time will fly by and it’s a fun way to get in cardio! I LOVE going to HotBox in Nashville. But there are tons of options .. just make sure it’s CARDIO focused! Feel free to change it up each week!

NOTES: You will likely be sore. That will get better. Don’t SKIP a workout just because you are sore. I notice once I get going the soreness goes away! But at the same time listen to your body. IF you are really truthfully too sore, have a rest day. Just don’t use this as an “excuse”. Try stretching upon waking or each night. You can also use foam roller. This REALLY helps with soreness and there are all kinds of videos on youtube!! Also if you can, buy some Glutamine and take post workout and before bed! You can mix this in some water or your post workout shake. It will REALLY help with soreness!

Wellness Tips 
My “basic” advice is learn to say NO and simply STOP AND THINK before you eat! A great start would simply be substituting with smarter choices. Pay attention to how much you are eating and get in a habit of eating smaller more frequent meals. Here are a few tips that may help you. Also check out the Fit Tips, Newbies and Recipes section of the BLOG here on 

* Drink Water!!! It will be crazy the difference this ONE switch can make!! Stop drinking soda of ANY kind. Switch to tea (sweetened with stevia) or try Zevia.  But DITCH THE SODA! I drink 1.5 to 2 gallons of water a day. You should TRY to work your way up to 1 gallon if you can! Add things like essential oils, fresh lemon, etc., to make it easier to drink. Many people ask me about Crystal Light and Mio. It's better not to use it of course, but if it gets you OFF soda and drinking water, then it's a BETTER choice for sure. Make sure it's not sweetened with aspartame! Also a couple glasses of green tea a day is great for metabolism! 

* Buy measuring cups and a food scale and USE IT for each meal! I can’t tell you how “much” to eat!!! Let me repeat that .. I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH TO EAT, lol. That is something that I can offer later down the road in customized plans! However you can find plenty of tools online to help you calculate your macros based on your needs. Google is great :)  I can say that  “in general” most people do not make PROTEIN the main source of their daily calories. Most people need between .08 - 1.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. I would aim for 1g for females and 1.5 for males if you are serious about gaining muscle and losing body fat! This needs to be coming from things like chicken, extra lean (99%) or lean (97%) turkey, extra lean beef, sirloin steak, white fish, shrimp, tuna, etc. As for the rest of your macros left (carbs and fats), that is even more individual. I'll touch on it more below. But you will have to figure out what percentages work well for you and make sure they come from only HEALTHY sources. I would say IN GENERAL .. for women eating 6 meals a day you should stick to between 2-4oz (measured cooked) of things like potatoes and 1/4 - 1/2 (measured cooked) of things like oats and rice. 3-5oz (measured cooked) of your lean meats and anywhere from say 2 to 6 egg whites, etc. Guys would generally take in about double those amounts. AGAIN ... these are examples. I hate even writing about this because it is very individual and what I'm telling you to do may be too much or too little for you..which would greatly impact your results!! I'm just trying to give you a GENERAL idea of foods/amounts. Try using My Fitness Pal to track your calories/macros. But keep in mind this tool is VERY basic and the macros can be ALL OVER the place if you don't scan your own barcodes, get SPECIFIC about if something is cooked or not cooked, etc. Again .. the biggest thing is to just be smart. Obviously your plate shouldn't be a big pile of rice or pasta and only a little protein and a few pieces of asparagus. In general .. lots of protein and veggies and a smaller amount of good complex carbs. How much (again) depends on your goals, your body fat, how many times you are eating meals, etc. So many factors! Just eat GOOD foods and do NOT overeat and you will be okay :) 

* This is optional but helps many people. Keep a food journal of EVERYTHING you eat. When you feel hungry. What you are craving. Anything that may upset your stomach. Bowel habits, etc. This will help you determine how foods make you feel. 

* Try to eat every 3 hours. This is a big one. It will help boost your metabolism!! If you can’t do meals (this is preferred) have at least 3 meals and 2-3 snacks.  Snacks should be “complete” though (carbs and protein OR protein and a healthy fat). If you must, food replacement bars are okay (careful though cause most are like candy bars. I stick to quest bars, think thin bars, go gii and other ALL NATURAL food based bars). Even better would be a 1st Phorm Level One shake with a maybe a rice cake since it only has 3carbs, or if it's earlier in the day the shake with some fruit. Another snack could maybe be some almonds and low sugar greek yogurt. These are just some examples :) It's hard for me to give snack options cause I don't snack. I also don't know what your MEALS are gonna look like. But you should eat every 3 hours you are awake if possible .. yes even before bed!! Before bed I HIGHLY suggest a 1st Phorm Level One Shake or another protein creation using 1st Phorm! You could also do something like an egg white veggie omelet with a little avocado (approx 1oz). No sugar (i.e. fruit) that late at night though and keep your carbs low at this final meal! I typically don't do added carbs. Just a 1st Phorm creation and some peanut butter (small amount.) Bodybuilding.Com has a few good meal plans that are pretty basic if you need further advice. But again .. they are pretty basic. 

* Limit fruit to two servings a day and I personally prefer eating them earlier in the day. For example, I may have a 1/2 of berries or a small banana or apple for breakfast and then typically 1/2 a grapefruit or other citrus fruit no later than Meal 3. 

* Touched on this above, but your carbs should come from complex sources such as oats, sweet potato, red potato, brown rice, quinoa. Look up LOW GI carbs! This method of choosing carbs and veggies is always pretty good to follow! 

* Veggies should be mainly green for the most part and fibrous! Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Broccoli Slaw, Cabbage, Green Beans, Asparagus, leafy greens. Also things like .. Eggplant, Califlower, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions, Mushrooms, Snap Peas, etc - all are great options! There are so many! 

* Healthy Fats .. have small servings at several meals throughout the day. Portioned out nut butters, nuts, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, fish oil tablets, etc. Watch getting TOO much though. The “portion size” on the back of containers won’t be taking into account that you are eating a bunch of small meals! So instead of 2tbs of coconut oil .. I’ll typically only do 1tsp. Instead of 2 tbs peanut butter .. i do one or 1/2 of one. 1tbs olive oil instead of 2. You get the idea!! You obviously don't want to have a FULL serving of even good fats 6 times a day! Also, keep in mind all fats are NOT equal. Fats from cheese for example don't provide the same nutrients as fats from say olive oil. Oh and speaking of olive oil .. add it to your food AFTER it's cooked. Unlike coconut oil .. if you cook with it you should be losing nutrients :) Plus it's easier to portion out this way! 
* Cheats — You may not like what I am about to say. As important as it is to SPLURGE,  during this Phase One if you are a BEGINNER and not already eating healthy, I suggest that most people DON’T cheat too much...if any at all .. in the beginning. Some people just aren’t capable of cheating once and will just binge or go back to their old ways. So during these first few weeks — keep cheats “cleaner” or smaller or not at all.  So for example ... one beer is good. One slice of pizza. A snack size candy bar. But don’t go all out until you know you can CONTROL your cheat and stay on track. Also sometimes when you have a lot of body fat to loose .. this could slow you down if you aren't eating right during the week. Once you get the hang of clean eating ... one splurge of whatever you want won't typically be a problem and is usually encouraged :) 

Okay .. all this said. I am not a nutritionist, personal trainer, coach, or expert. You should consult your doctor before starting any plan and LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!! I don't claim to know it all and my methods may not be the best. These are just what have worked for me and people that I personally know. I am simply a girl who likes to lift, practices proper form at all times, eats well, is surrounded by people who know how to lift and eat, has been mentored by some amazing experts in the field, has a husband who has been surrounded by bodybuilders and was even active in the sport of bodybuilding for years, etc. I also research fitness/nutrition ALL the time, sometimes hours a day.  I am in the process of getting all my certifications and am pretty Type A personality .. meaning I am a detailed perfectionist most times, lol.  

So GOOD LUCK. Don't give up. Feel free to message me if you need any basic help or have basic questions! I BELIEVE IN YOU!!!! Now .. YOU need to do the WORK and believe in yourself too!

Last .. don't worry about a scale! Instead (as hard as this may be) get someone to take a picture of you from the front, back and side. Don't try to suck in or try to look smaller. Stand tall and proud today, in 4 weeks, in 8 weeks and again in 12 weeks! All in the same spot, same lighting, if possible first thing in the morning before you eat, etc. I would wear a swimsuit, workout gear or undies.  If you wear clothes make sure it's fitted so you can really see your results. These pics don't have to be for anyone except YOU .. so don't be shy! Also if you have measuring tape .. take measurements as well! 

Eat Clean. Train Dirty. 


1 comment:

  1. Great information and motivation! Thanks for sharing!! I'm headed to the gym....! Haha