Celebrity Workouts

The Tabata Workout Review

In the world of fitness, one of the biggest crazes that has been going around is high intensity interval training, or HIIT, for short. There are a lot of different methods for HIIT, but one that has become perhaps the most popular is the Tabata regimen. This type of training started only 20 years ago, and has been rising in popularity ever since. Since HIIT is a cardio method that is designed to burn the maximum amount of calories, it’s a great way of getting slim in a hurry.

But why has the Tabata method gained so much traction in the past two decades? Does it have better results than other forms of interval training? Let’s take a look inside the Tabata method to see how you can incorporate it into your workout schedule and see some great weight loss results.

Behind the Tabata Workout


In 1996, Japanese professor Izumi Tabata came up with a study that involved his training of the Japanese national speed skating team. Tabata measured the effects of interval training with athletes pushing themselves to the absolute max while taking short periods of rest. The studies of his method were published and have basically become gospel in the fitness community.

Hundreds of fitness books have cited Tabata’s work that was published in “Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise”. The Tabata method is broken down into a total of eight cycles that last for just four minutes of working out. It might not seem like a lot, but it can be difficult to get through.

The Tabata method begins with 20 seconds of intense exercise where you are operating at 170 percent of your maximum oxygen consumption. In running, this is basically a flat out sprint to the point where you feel like you’re going to fall forward. Once the 20 seconds is over, you completely stop for 10 seconds of rest. You then repeat this process seven more times to create the four minute cycle.

The study that Tabata conducted showed the effect of his method on athletes that performed this cycle four times per week, while also having one day of training at a 70 percent oxygen capacity, which basically translates into a steady jog. The findings were that the anaerobic capacity for Tabata’s subjects were higher, allowing them to get higher short bursts and build muscle easier.

Now, exercising for four minutes per day like this might help your cardiovascular system, but it’s not going to burn all that many calories. To get the maximum effectiveness, you either need to add Tabata training to your normal workout schedule, or create a full workout of Tabata exercises. It can be tough to get through, but your workouts can still be less than half an hour while being effective.

Tabata Workouts


The best part about the Tabata method is the variety of workouts that you can do. While the original method was on a stationary bicycle of at least 85 revolutions per minute, you can practically do any workout that you want, as long as you’re pushing yourself. After all, a lot of us aren’t training to be professional athletes, so your maximum limit for 20 seconds doesn’t necessarily have to be Olympic-style training.

Some of the most popular Tabata workouts include:

  • Lunges
  • Crunches
  • Burpees
  • Planks
  • Leg Lifts
  • Squats
  • Mountain Climbers

Those are just a few of the great exercises that you can incorporate, and most of them use your own bodyweight. If you are using free weights, it might not be as effective as pushing yourself to the max might only result in one rep over that 20 second span. The recommendation is that you perform the Tabata regimen three or four times per week, and anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes with additional light exercise in your other days. Here is what a standard Tabata workout schedule might look like for you:

Day One

  • Plank (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Burpees (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Rest (One minute)
  • Jumping jacks (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Side skaters (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Rest (One minute)
  • Push-ups (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Squats (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)

Day Two

  • Lunges (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Reverse plank (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Rest (One minute)
  • Tricep dips (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Leg lifts (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Rest (One minute)
  • Crunches (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Wall sit (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)

Day Three

  • Mountain climbers (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Burpees (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Rest (One minute)
  • Squats (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Reverse lunges (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Rest (One minute)
  • Push-ups (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)
  • Jumping jacks (20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeat four times)

You will likely be sucking wind when you head into the one minute rest periods, so make sure to use the most of that time. Don’t move around too much and remember to drink plenty of water, as you’ll also be sweating a lot. All in all, these workouts are 26 minutes long and only a suggestion. Feel free to add more or take away some of the workouts depending on your fitness level.

What to Know About the Tabata Regimen


Speaking of fitness levels, that’s the first thing that you need to know about when it comes to the Tabata regimen. If you are not already in good cardio shape, then you might have a tough time getting through a full workout like the ones from the schedule. Speak with your doctor first to make sure that your heart is healthy enough for a high intensity interval workout.

If you are a beginner, don’t feel bad about incorporating one Tabata workout into your routine. Allow your heart plenty of time to get acclimated to interval workouts, as the stress can be overbearing at times. The best way for a beginner to do that is by adding other cardio exercise such as fast walking or light jogging at first before diving into a full Tabata regimen. After all, just adding one of the four minute workouts a few times per week is going to really help your heart, so you’ll be able to build up slowly but surely.

Summing it Up


The main reason that people are getting into HIIT workouts like the Tabata method is because of how good it is for weight loss. Your body will be producing more energy even when not working out, which will boost your metabolism and allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. Along with that comes a heart that works more efficiently, increasing your cardio health and lowering your heart rate to a more normal (or even above normal) resting level.

It is also very time efficient, as the Tabata method isn’t as nearly as time consuming as an hour-long walk or 45 minutes jogging or on the elliptical machine. If you have not done interval training ever in your life, you might see some quick weight loss. If that’s the case, make sure that you are drinking enough water during your workouts as they can be very dehydrating.

Whether you want to be a more efficient runner or build strength, you can do the Tabata method without a gym membership or any free weights, which makes for a great exercise. As long as you have a timer (which you probably do on your cell phone), then there aren’t any expenses for this method. That’s a nice change of pace from some of the other workout methods that we have reviewed so far, but it’s not going to be the easiest to dive into. Just pace yourself and have fun, as it’s a very rewarding type of exercise.

Celebrity Workouts

The 5×5 Workout Review

Many of us are not only trying to lose weight when we head to the gym, but also build muscle. However, there are a lot of strength training routines to choose from, so it can become a little overbearing. Not only that, but many of the strength workouts skip the beginner process and go straight into the bodybuilding techniques. A lot of us aren’t ready for that, so we need something simple that we can follow and incorporate into our weekly routines.

Thankfully, that’s where the 5×5 workout routine comes in. Mainly designed for beginners, it is a standard routine that can be used by people of all fitness levels. Many people now swear by the 5×5 routine to get themselves in shape, improve their strength and burn fat. Is it going to be the right plan for you, though? Let’s look at the details of the 5×5 workout and see what it’s all about.

Behind the 5×5 Workout


The basis of the 5×5 workout is an easy enough one to follow. There are five different exercises that incorporate free weights, and you choose from three of them for each workout. It’s also not an everyday routine, as you only have to repeat this workout three times per week. The five exercises that you can choose from are the bench press, deadlift, overhead press, squat and barbell row.

Once you have selected which three of those five workouts that you want to do, you do a total of five sets for each exercise, and each set is just five reps (hence the 5×5). All in all, getting through these workouts takes a total of 45 minutes. That’s just two hours and 15 minutes each week, which is not asking much to build strength.

The classic version of the 5×5 workout was created by Bill Starr, a strength and conditioning coach that once worked in football. Starr was an Olympian himself that taught many the values of strength training, and his routine became famous after the release of his book “The Strongest Shall Survive”, which is just as relevant now as ever. Though the original idea for the 5×5 workout was to build large amounts of muscle mass by loading weights into short sets, there have been many different variations throughout the years as it has become more popular. Now, you can get through a 5×5 workout without looking like an NFL linebacker.

What to Know About 5×5


If you are following the classic 5×5 program, the idea is to start with a weight that is most comfortable for you for each workout. Remember, you are going to be doing 25 total reps of each workout, so don’t overdo it at the start. Once you find the starting weight, you should be adding five more pounds to the weight you are lifting each time that you perform a workout. This means that if you start off with 100 pounds in squats, you should be able to do 260 at the end of the 12 week cycle if you pick them every week. That sounds ambitious, but it can be done.

For those that aren’t fans of the free weight exercises like bench presses and barbell rows, don’t worry. There are other workouts that include calf exercises, curls, pull-ups and more. You can even create your own plan that incorporates more bodyweight exercises like pushups and sit-ups if you are a beginner. There’s really no limit to what you can put into a 5×5 workout, but you should be challenging yourself.

Losing Weight With the 5×5 Workout


Since not all of us are looking to put on weight (even if it is healthy muscle weight), using those bodyweight workouts are a good idea to get slimmer without packing on muscle. Just know that building muscle burns fat, and lifting weights can be a massive calorie burner that boosts your metabolism to levels that you’ve never seen before.

If you are worried about getting too bulky, you can add cardio at the end of your 5×5 workout, and since you are only lifting three times per week, you can also do the cardio during your days off. You should still be eating enough so that you don’t lose muscle while on the 5×5 workout routine, as it can be common for those that lose weight.

Some people get discouraged when trying to lose weight on the 5×5 workout since the scale might not budge, and in a lot of cases, even goes up. As long as you are following the plan, though, your body fat will go down as your body gets more toned. In the end, the number on the scale doesn’t matter. Throughout the routine (that’s normally 12 weeks), you will notice your body getting stronger while also burning fat more efficiently, which will end up getting the results you want in the mirror even if the scale doesn’t agree.

5×5 Workout Schedule


So once you have made the decision to get started on the 5×5 workout program, it’s time to make your schedule. There should be one day per week where you are trying your hardest to do your best in terms of amount of weight lifted, one where you take it a bit easier and another where you are working about 70 percent of your maximum.

Here is what your schedule might look like while on the 5×5 routine:


  • Squats (95 percent maximum weight)
  • Overhead Press (95 percent maximum weight)
  • Barbell Rows (95 percent maximum weight)


  • Deadlift (70 percent maximum weight)
  • Bench Press (70 percent maximum weight)
  • Overhead Press (70 percent maximum weight)


  • Squats (80 percent maximum weight)
  • Bench Press (80 percent maximum weight)
  • Deadlift (80 percent maximum weight)

Feel free to mix it up however you want, but the first day of the new week should be the week where you are trying your hardest. Once you have gotten your maximum weight up over the course of the first five weeks, you should take a week off to let your muscles recover. Also make sure to give yourself at least one day of rest in between each workout (but feel free to do a light workout such as jogging or cycling).

Before getting started with the program, though, you should find out what the maximum amount of weight you can lift for each exercise is. The week prior to starting the program, take a day or two to perform each exercise. Don’t do them all in order, though, as you might not get an accurate reading from being too tired. By the end of the program, you should see huge improvements in your personal bests. It might sound easy to only do three exercises of 75 total reps, but it is certainly a challenge.

Summing it Up


The 5×5 workout routine is a tried and true plan that has helped a lot of people put on muscle while building up the amount of weight they can lift in a hurry. However, it might not be the right plan for everyone. A healthy majority of people that go through the entire 12 week cycle often find themselves putting on a lot of muscle, which means a lot of weight. If that’s not your goal, you might want to find something more cardio friendly.

Some might also find themselves getting bored of doing the same five workouts without being able to do any other strength training exercises on their days off. So those that aren’t looking to double the amount of weight they can bench press or deadlift should focus on something more rounded such as one of the Avengers workouts that we have reviewed.

Lastly, this is a plan that typically requires a gym membership as the free weights that you normally find in a home gym don’t cooperate with the 5×5 workout and can be quite expensive on their own. Make sure that if you do sign yourself up for this program to also practice good technique and use a spotter at the gym. You’ll be lifting heavy loads that will test your limits, so having even the slightest hitch in your technique could result in injury.

Other than that, just make sure to stay safe and stick with the plan once you get started, and make sure that you are eating enough and eating healthy. Those that follow the plan eat a lot of protein while staying away from any processed foods and sugar, with no cheat days. It takes a lot of discipline, but if you can make it through, you are guaranteed to like the results that you see from the 5×5 workout.

Celebrity Workouts

The Country Heat Workout Review

Dancing has always been a great form of exercise, and in the past decade or so, we’ve really gotten a lot of new and creative ways to incorporate dancing into a workout program. There is one thing that you might notice, though, and that’s the fact that most of the music in these dancing workouts contain high energy pop or hip hop music. Naturally, those types of music aren’t everybody’s cup of tea.

Now, there’s a new workout program that takes all of the aspects of country music dancing (such as line dancing) and puts it all together for a 30 minute cardio blast. It’s called the Country Heat program, and it has been moving its way up the charts for fitness programs. What is it (besides the change in music) that makes Country Heat different from some of the other dancing workouts? Let’s look at the Country Heat program and find out if it’s the right plan for you.

The Country Heat Workouts


One key component of the Country Heat program is that it’s easy to perform. Like other dancing workouts, it’s fairly low impact and the movements are simple enough that beginners are able to pick it up right from the start. There is no special equipment that you need to buy, and you don’t have to go to a gym, which are huge bonuses.

The instructor and inventor of the Country Heat program is Autumn Calabrese of Beachbody, and she is a certified personal trainer that has also invented the 21 Day Fix. Calabrese also has a cookbook that has been highly successful, so she’s a natural fit for someone that will be able to help you lose weight without stepping foot in a gym.

Calabrese’s program comes with three DVDs that contain a total of six workouts, none of which last longer than 30 minutes. Here are the workouts that are included with the entire Country Heat package:

  • Giddy Up – Like the name suggests, you’ll be working on the muscles that you would use to ride a horse, with a focus on your leg muscles and glutes. Saddle jumps and squats are a big part of the Giddy Up routine, making it a good ‘leg day’ exercise.
  • Bring the Heat – Less of a focus on muscle groups and more attention to burning calories through cardio is included in Bring the Heat. There are a lot of fast paced moves, so it might not be the easiest one to keep up with, but it’s effective.
  • Dance Conditioning – Dance Conditioning shifts the focus to your core muscles as you use your own bodyweight to get longer and leaner muscles, mixing up some of the exercises from the previous two.
  • Trail Ride – Another cardio program, Trail Ride is another fast paced exercise that will also work on some of the muscle groups in your body.
  • Down and Dirty – Down and Dirty is more of a full body muscle building program that includes a lot of high kicking, so you’ll be getting a cardio workout in addition to your strength building.
  • Country Swing – The final workout is the Country Swing, which focuses on burning the maximum amount of calories through cardio exercises.

Now, one negative of the workouts is that they can get a bit repetitive. With only a total of six workouts, you will be repeating the same routine every week if you take one day off in that seven day span. The moves aren’t all that complicated, and you get a chance to break down each move before getting into it so that you aren’t too lost.

You will be focusing on the workouts for a total of 35 days, with six days of working out followed by the rest day. Ordering through the Country Heat website will also net you an extra workout called Night Crawl Line Dance that had a song written by Jo Dee Messina just for the bonus workout. Bonus packages are also available, though you can expect to see more workouts in the future due to the success of the base Country Heat program.

Country Heat Resources


When it comes to ordering workout DVDs, one of the first things that people want to know about is the price. The Country Heat DVD package costs around $50 total (in two payments with shipping and handling). Since it’s still a newer program, there aren’t really any cheaper copies that you can find just yet. That price is for the base package, and comes with the three DVDs, bonus DVD, a 30 day eating plan, calendar to track your progress and a guide to show you where to start and finish. It also includes access to coaches online 24 hours per day, special recipes and a forum invite.

As for the premium package, that costs around $75 with shipping and handling. You get all of the same things that you would with the base package, but comes with three new workouts called Wild Goose Chase, Saddle Up and Cardio Round Up. Each package also comes with portion containers, with the premium package having more containers and a shaker and additional calendar.

Is it going to be worth the extra price to get the premium package? At an extra $25, you’re really only getting a couple extra pieces of plastic with three more DVDs, so it really depends on if the three new workouts are going to be that worth it for you. Calabrese’s popular cookbook called “FIXate” is also highly promoted through the program, which costs around $25 and gives you 21 days worth of recipes.

What to Know About Country Heat


While some people might be apprehensive about buying a workout DVD set for $50 that is only supposed to last for 30 days (and even has repeats during those 30 days), there aren’t a bunch of add-ons you need to buy. All you really need is a DVD player and pair of shoes, which you probably already have anyway. There are no weights or yoga mats or medicine balls to buy here, which is a nice bonus.

So now the big question, how much weight are you going to lose while on the Country Heat program? Depending on your level of expertise, you might be able to burn a lot of calories by going full throttle instead of the instructional motions. On average, people are burning around 250 calories with these workouts that last for 30 minutes. That’s a pretty good pace, and you won’t be too tired to supplement any additional exercise you find necessary.

Let’s say that you are a woman that is 5’5” and 180 pounds that is lightly active. This means that you are burning around 1,600 calories per day, with an additional 250 calories burned from Country Heat. At 1,850 calories burned, you would have to eat about 1,100 calories per day to burn 1.5 pounds per week. Of course, some exercises will burn more calories while others will burn fewer, but that’s still an attainable weight loss goal per week.

Summing it Up


If you are a fan of country music and don’t want to do some of the tedious workouts at the gym or other dancing workouts that use different genres of music, then you’ll most certainly be a fan of Country Heat. Country Heat isn’t the most intense workout plan out there, but it will at least be fun to do, and will get you off the couch and moving.

If you don’t think that you are getting enough of a workout, you can always repeat them or add different at-home exercises (for those avoiding the gym). Eating is the other big part of losing weight, and thankfully Country Heat has you prepared for that with an eating guide and recipes for the full 30 days. The plan is healthy enough that you can also repeat the 30 day recipes and still find weight loss success.

For its price, it might not be the best plan out there since it does tend to be repetitive, but losing weight isn’t always the most exciting thing. If you happen to use the plan for two months instead of one, then you are getting your money’s worth, as you would be paying more for a gym membership at that point.

People tend to trust Calabrese due to the success of her previous program 21 Day Fix, so she is definitely an expert in the field. Not everyone out there is a fan of country music, but as long as you enjoy dancing to high energy tunes, you should still get a kick out of it. The best part is, you can watch some of the workouts on YouTube to see if it’s the right plan for you before you open your wallet, which is something we always look for when it comes to workout plans or diets.

Celebrity Workouts

The Fe Fit Workout Review

There are certain times in our lives that we really want to lose weight. Sometimes it’s for a big event that’s coming up like a wedding or reunion. For women, the most common time is just after having a child. On average, women gain around 35 pounds with each pregnancy, with some gaining much more than that. It can do a lot of damage to your self image, and many women decide to start working out almost instantly after having a child.

One of the more popular fitness programs on the internet right now, Fe Fit claims to be the most efficient post-pregnancy workout plan. Even though the program is targeted for all women, there’s a big emphasis on mothers that are looking to drop the baby weight, no matter how long they have been carrying it around. So how can you get into the best shape of your life using the Fe Fit system? We look inside the program to see if it might be the right system to get you back to your lowest weight and best shape of your life.

Behind Fe Fit


The “Fe” in Fe Fit is a symbol that you might recognize, as it is the symbol for iron on the periodic table. The program was created by a family of women that promote sharing a common bond, taking in women of all shapes, ages and sizes to get fit. Many women share the same problem areas when it comes to weight, and the Fe Fit system targets these areas that aren’t as common in men.

When the program was introduced, Fe Fit was a 90 day workout plan that spread across several different DVDs. There are now other programs that have been included with the growth of Fe Fit’s popularity. The idea is that many women are busy, especially mothers. This is why many of the workouts are under 30 minutes on the DVDs. Many of the workouts focus on cardio for fat loss and calorie burning with strength workouts that target those problem areas like the core and arms.

Thankfully you don’t have to buy the DVDs to try out the Fe Fit program as there are several different workouts available for free on YouTube. It gives you a chance to try the workouts to see if you like them, as the DVDs can be pretty expensive through the official site (though there are cheaper options elsewhere online). There are even different plans for when you start Fe Fit, depending on how many times you want to workout per week.

Even if you select only working out three times per week, the other four days will be filled with what’s called a Run/Walk/Relax day. During these days, you are still encouraged to get 30 minutes of physical activity, depending on how your body is feeling. If you feel energized and ready to work out, you can just pop in one of the basic workout DVDs to add another day to your week. You will also go through what is known as active relaxation days which include exercising in any choice that you want, whether it be dancing or hiking or whatever you can think of.

What to Know About Fe Fit

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As we mentioned, there are a lot of different programs with the Fe Fit system than there were when the company started. The basic package has a total of 28 workouts to choose from, including body toning, barre, cardio, core strength, lower body and upper body. It also comes with seven different shorter workouts known as the essentials and four different stretching workouts. If you are looking for a quick workout to either add afterward or if you are feeling good on a relaxing day, you can pop one of these in to get going.

Getting the largest package, you can receive all of the standard workouts in addition to a calendar, a toning guide, tracking calendars, a yoga mat, weights and more. This kit that comes with all the bells and whistles can cost around $250, while the basic set is under $40 and comes with much of the same items without the weights, yoga mat and resistance bands. While it’s not the worst deal, you’re probably better off starting with the basic package.

No matter which workout you choose, there are options for beginner levels all the way up to advance, and you can put yourself on a schedule that lasts for months on end. There are five different calendars to follow, overall. Fe Fit says that you should be losing one to two pounds per week depending on your current size, though the numbers on the scale aren’t as important as the numbers on the tape measurer (which also comes with the package).

Of course, working out isn’t the only thing that’s going to help you lose weight, as you need to eat the proper amount. There is a nutrition guide available through Fe Fit that is customized after you fill out a questionnaire. From there, you get a point system similar to Weight Watchers and foods you can eat or avoid. However, this system alone is about $50 through their site, so you might be better off finding a customized eating plan for free online if you don’t feel like spending the money.

Despite the high price of some of the workout packages, there have been overwhelmingly positive reviews by users online. Amazon users have left five star reviews nearly three quarters of the time, with only six percent leaving less than three stars. Many of the positive reviews came from the effective workouts that were able to fit into a daily schedule, and the variety of exercises that you can pick from both in the DVD selection and on your own.

Fe Fit Workouts


Assuming that you select the option that has three workouts per week, you can get an idea out of what to expect with the program that goes in a 90 day cycle. Here is what the first cycle of the Fe Fit system is going to look like when you get started.

Week One – You get an introduction to the Fe Fit system by learning all of the essentials that are the shorter workouts. Then, you will work on total body toning, lower body workouts and core muscles.

Weeks Two – Now that you’ve gotten a little more comfortable with the workouts, you get ramped up a little bit with cardio exercises, upper body strength and barre.

Week Three – You go back to core muscles, total body and lower body workouts in week three.

Week Four – A more intense level of cardio, upper body and barre workouts.

Week Five – The next level up of total body, upper body and barre workouts.

Week Six – Another step up in the core exercises, lower body and cardio.

Week Seven – The highest level of upper body, total body and barre workouts are combined.

Week Eight – Introduction to the highest levels of cardio, core and lower body.

Week Nine – Step back down to the intro level of upper body, total body and barre.

Week 10 – Reintroducing the beginning lower body, core and cardio workouts.

Week 11 – Intermediate upper body, barre and total body.

Week 12 – Intermediate lower body, cardio and core workouts.

Week 13 – Advanced levels of barre, cardio and total body toning to round out the cycle.

There are also three 20 minute stretching workouts that you can choose from outside of the standard cycle, and one that is a bit longer at 30 minutes. During this cycle, you will also be slowly introducing new changes to your eating habits and overall fitness by getting active away from the DVDs a couple of times per week.

Summing it Up

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The Fe Fit system is a fine one that is focused on busy women that are trying to introduce a lifestyle change. Combining some effective exercises while also promoting changes in eating habits and overall well-being is the perfect way to enact a major change like that. The biggest problem is that the nutritional guide and the DVD workouts are separate from each other.

For the basic system, you can typically find it on a website like Amazon for around $20, which isn’t too bad at all. The nutrition plan is only available through the website, though, and at $50 some might not find it worth the cost. Many of the workouts burn between 200 and 300 calories depending on your current weight, which is a good place to start, though burning around 500 per day will lead to more efficient weight loss, so adding some extra walking throughout your day is a good idea.

There aren’t many negatives with Fe Fit outside of the paywalls. The biggest positives are that the workouts are simple, fun and efficient while being fairly low impact exercises. The ability to completely customize your schedule and your workouts is also a treat, which is why so many women have signed on to get with the program. Advanced exercisers might not find it too difficult, but you can stack the DVDs for a longer workout.

Celebrity Diets Celebrity Workouts

The Step Diet Review

We have seen a lot of diets that tell you that you don’t even need to exercise to lose weight, and we’ve also seen plenty of workout plans that will ask you to do an hour of intense exercise each day. We now find a happy medium between the two in the form of the Step Diet, which simply asks you to get up and get moving. For more than a decade, people have been following this plan to become more active and lose weight.

The original Step Diet book was written by James O. Hill, and finds a plan to get you taking more steps throughout the day. What makes this plan easy is that counting steps is a lot easier than counting calories, which is something that you won’t have to do. So will the Step Diet really work for you since you don’t have to count calories over and over again? Let’s look at the aspects of the plan to see if it is the right one for you.

Behind the Step Diet


It’s no secret that following an exercise plan is certainly going to aid in your weight loss goals, but most people tend to overdo it by trying to go from a sedentary lifestyle to working out at the gym over and over. Most sedentary people only take around 1,000 steps per day, especially when you work a desk job. The idea behind this diet is to increase the amount of steps you are taking on a daily basis and cutting your food intake down.

To get started on the Step Diet, you wear a fitness tracker or pedometer to find out your daily average steps per day for the first seven days. After establishing your average steps, you increase that number by an average of 2,000 per day. You keep doing this every week until you have reached an average of at least 10,000 steps per day. All the while, you will cut down on your regular portions by 25 percent, still eating the same foods that you love.

On average, 10,000 steps is about equal to five miles. Walking five miles per day should be able to burn around 500 calories on a daily basis. If you were eating 2,500 calories before and only taking 1,000 steps, you were barely burning off any of those calories. After cutting portions and increasing your daily steps, you’d be eating 2,000 calories and burning 500, which is much closer to being able to help you lose weight.

Of course, the plan says that you don’t have to count calories to lose weight, but it certainly won’t hurt. Also, you will be motivated to make your daily step totals higher and higher, which should lead to increased weight loss. However, the official Step Diet was to promote healthy lifestyle changes that you can use for a lifetime. The weight loss might be slow at first, but once you start to get more active and able to get more steps in, the weight should come off faster.

How Does Walking Help?


While 10,000 steps per day has been the usual accepted amount for a healthy lifestyle, how much is walking going to help you lose weight? A large study by the National Weight Control Registry took thousands of members and asked them to exercise for 60 minutes per day. Most of the participants engaged in walking, reaching around 10,000 steps. The steps plan and cutting down on portions ended up being beneficial, as people lost an average of more than 70 pounds and were able to keep most of the weight off after several years.

Not only did the participants lose weight, but their overall health improved tremendously from adding 60 minutes of walking. It showed that people who added something as simple as walking to their everyday activities were able to shed weight quickly. Some people avoid walking because they don’t feel that it’s a hardcore workout that’s going to burn a lot of calories. Granted, running will burn more calories on a per mile basis, but walking is still a huge benefit even if you’re not covered in sweat.

Walking doesn’t usually add up to a fast weight loss plan, as adding 10,000 steps and lowering your portions could likely lead to just one pound of fat lost per week. Still, heading in the right direction at a slow pace is much better than seeing the number go up. Many people that find themselves walking for exercise eventually turn to running for an increased calorie burn, which will make the weight loss faster as you burn an average of 60 more calories per mile.

You also have to be mindful of your speed when it comes to burning calories through walking. Some people are able to walk at a brisk pace of around four miles per hour, which would allow them to burn twice as many calories in the same amount of time as someone strolling at two miles per hour. Making the most out of your exercise time is going to help, as there is even a wide range for walking speed just like there is with running.

What’s on the Menu?


Now, you aren’t asked to count calories to lose weight on the Step Diet, but it’s nice to get an idea of how much you need to burn to lose weight. For this example, we’ll take a 5’5” woman that weighs 180 pounds and doesn’t get much physical activity at all per week. To lose two pounds per week, this woman would have to take in just 875 calories on a daily basis. That would be hard to do, but adding 10,000 steps to her daily activity would bring that number to around 1,375. That’s much easier to operate around.

Let’s take a look at a sample menu that would bring a lot of healthy yet delicious foods while still helping to lose weight with 10,000 steps. It might not be as hard to follow as you think.

Day One

Breakfast – One small apple with one cup of nonfat yogurt (230 Calories)

Lunch – Six inch turkey sandwich with one cup of watermelon (355 Calories)

Dinner – Four ounces of chicken with one cup of corn (330 Calories)

Snacks – One peach with a handful of almonds (140 Calories)

Total Calories – 1,055

Day Two

Breakfast – One bowl of bran flakes with fat-free milk and a banana (310 Calories)

Lunch – One cup of veggie soup, six ounces of yogurt and one veggie burger (350 Calories)

Dinner – Four ounces of shrimp with three cups of spinach and a baked potato (400 Calories)

Snacks – One pear and one cup of raw veggies (120 Calories)

Total Calories – 1,180

Day Three

Breakfast – One cup of cheerios and fat-free milk with berries and almonds (250 Calories)

Lunch – Whole wheat pita with two ounces of tuna and light mayonnaise with baby carrots (275 Calories)

Dinner – Three ounces of grilled steak with zucchini, pineapple and a sweet potato (400 Calories)

Snacks – Air popped popcorn, berries and almonds (250 Calories)

Total Calories – 1,175

Summing it Up


As you can see, you don’t have to try and lift weights until you are able to pick up a car. And you don’t need to run or cycle until your legs feel like they are going to fall off. Instead, you have to be very mindful about how much you are moving, as burning calories by walking is also going to increase your metabolism. One of the biggest reasons that people tend to gain weight is that they are often sitting at their desk, and then going home to watch television the rest of the night on the couch.

You don’t get much time throughout the day to exercise, but fitting in steps while on a lunch break or when you get home is going to add up. Burning 3,500 calories per week from walking is going to help you at least maintain your weight if you don’t change much about your eating habits. Cutting down on what you eat little by little until you are burning calories at a deficit is what’s going to help you trim down, even if you are eating the same foods as before.

Thankfully, counting your steps is much easier than it used to be thanks to technology. Pedometers are very cheap, and fitness trackers are also more readily available. Most will be able to tell you exactly how many steps you’ve taken, and how many calories you’ve burned. Using this knowledge, you can take one step at a time to your goal weight, and adding exercise will make maintaining that weight much easier.

Celebrity Workouts

The Fitbit Review

Today we review something a little different. Not just a workout or a diet plan, but instead a fitness tracker that seems to be sweeping the world. While there have been plenty of trackers that you wear around your wrist that have been released over the past five to 10 years, there’s still one name that stands out above the rest, and that’s Fitbit. The company was created by James Park and Eric Friedman back in 2007, and the first tracker was introduced in 2008.

At the time, though, the tracker was clipped into a pocket and didn’t have much technological capability. Today, we see many different types of Fitbit products, with the most popular coming in the forms that you can wear on your wrist such as the Charge, Flex and Alta. There is even a scale that syncs with your tracker while keeping your weight and body fat percentage in a personal profile.

Since it seems that so many people are wearing a Fitbit, just how effective is it in weight loss? Let’s take a look behind the Fitbit phenomenon, and see if diving into the technology might be the right choice for you.

Celebrities that Wear a Fitbit


One of the many reasons that Fitbit has become so popular over the years is because you can frequently find them on the wrists of some of the biggest names in the world. Here are a few of the celebrities that have been spotted wearing a Fitbit tracker.

Robert Pattinson – Star of “Twilight” Robert Pattinson is frequently working out to stay fit for his movies. To track his progress, Pattinson uses a Fitbit Charge. Though it doesn’t track heart rate like some of the other Fitbit products, it lets Pattinson know how many steps he has taken with great accuracy.

Kevin Spacey – The actor from hits such as “House of Cards” has been spotted wearing the Fitbit Blaze. Though he hasn’t talked about his love of the watch, you can see him on Instagram frequently showing off his hi-tech gear.

Ryan Reynolds – “Deadpool” star Ryan Reynolds has been using the same type of fitness tracker for several years, and it’s the Fitbit Flex. The simplest of the Fitbit watches is good enough for Reynolds as the dots let him know how close he is to his daily step goal.

Christina Applegate – Most of us have common colored Fitbit trackers, but that’s not the case for “Married with Children” and “Anchorman” star Christina Applegate. Applegate has a designer Fitbit tracker and said that it has helped her a lot. She told the press at an event that “I’m wearing a Fitbit trying to get rid of all my baby weight.”

Barack Obama – Former United States President Barack Obama is perhaps known as the most physically fit president of the past 100 years, and he attributes the Fitbit Surge to helping him track his exercise daily. Obama loves his device, even though he couldn’t sync it to his phone while he was president as the only phone he could have was a BlackBerry given by the government. Now that he’s no longer president, expect Obama to finally set up his Fitbit account on his iPhone.

What to Know About Fitbit


Now that you have seen many of the celebrities that swear by the Fitbit to help keep them active, how instrumental are the devices in aiding weight loss? There has been some interesting data that has been released over the past few years, with more than 100 studies focusing on Fitbit’s effectiveness alone.

One study that was conducted by the University of Pittsburgh had nearly 500 people that were all put on a low calorie diet and increased their exercise. After losing weight for six months, half of the people were told to write down their daily activity and food intake while the others relied on their fitness trackers. The studies showed that after two years, those that didn’t use the fitness trackers continued to lose more weight, even though both groups were just as active.

The reasoning that the researchers came up with was a psychological one. Many of the Fitbit trackers show how many calories that you have burned off in a given time, even though it can range from person to person depending on their metabolism. If someone sees that they have taken plenty of steps and burned a lot of calories, they might be more inclined to eat more than those that don’t have a specific number laid out in front of them.

Another reason that the study came up with was trying to meet those daily goals. People might push too hard to beat out their previous high in steps, leading to a crash where they don’t get as many. When that happens, the guilt of not exercising enough can take over, leading to overeating. This can also happen for those that get into competitions. When you have won a competition by taking the most steps or losing the most weight in a given time, you might be inclined to get into your old habits afterward.

Other studies have shown, however, that having a fitness tracker does indeed help you to get more active at the very least. People often get surprised by how little activity they are getting when they first wear a tracker, and then set out to higher and higher goals while wearing them. Of course, it takes a proper diet to lose weight no matter how much you are exercising, but people who wear trackers are moving more. It’s now estimated that one in every five Americans has some type of fitness tracker, with the Fitbit brand being the most popular.

All of the studies that we have seen so far don’t have a finite conclusion, though. That’s because fitness trackers don’t have a very long history. There are many more years of research needed, and the oldest studies out there are only about five years old. We will know more about the effectiveness of Fitbit trackers down the road, but for now they seem to be promoting healthy habits.

Picking the Right Tracker

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Knowing that you’re more likely to get active while wearing a Fitbit, you probably want to know which one is going to be the best for your personal needs. Let’s look at some of the different types, what they do and how much they cost.

Zip – The device that doesn’t go around your wrist, the Zip is the simplest of the Fitbit options. It keeps track of how many steps you take and syncs to your phone. It doesn’t get very specific, and costs around $60.

Flex – The simplest of the wrist devices, the Fitbit Flex shows no numbers, but instead dots. When all five of the dots are illuminated, it means that you have reached your daily step goal. You can see the specific amount of activity you have done when accessing the smartphone app that has synced to your device, costing around $70.

Charge – There are a few different types of the Fitbit Charge, with all of them showing you how many steps you’ve taken on the screen. It also shows you the time, as well as calories burned, distance travelled and floors climbed. This is a big step up from the Flex, and the price reflects that at $100.

One – If you want a step up from the Zip, but don’t want to wear something around your wrist, the One might be the way to go. The one is a pedometer that you clip onto your clothing, and tracks stairs, calories, distance and steps. It even sets a silent alarm if you want, and can even be clipped into a wristband if you change your mind. The One usually costs around $100.

Alta – The Alta is a very strong device that will display everything you want on a very small surface. It also receives texts and calls, making this a smartwatch. It is about the same that you would expect from an Apple Watch, except the price is much more affordable at $130.

Blaze – For those that want to see things on a much larger screen, the Blaze is the way to go. The screen is very detailed and syncs with your smartphone so that you can actually read texts and see who called. It’s also large enough to where you can see workouts, giving it a personal touch and can track your distance travelled by GPS. It’s a bit pricey, though, as it costs around $200.

Surge – The final Fitbit watch on the list is the Surge, which is the highest promoted watch by the company. It has GPS tracking and covers all of the necessities that you would expect from Fitbit. It also has a very long battery life, can play music and will remind you when to get active. It’s the most expensive of the bunch, at $250.

Summing it Up

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So is wearing a Fitbit tracker magically going to make you lose weight? Probably not, but it sure will help you be mindful of how much activity you are getting. Just be sure not to fall into the same trap that a lot of people do and overeat because you think you’ve burned a ton of calories. You still need a proper diet to lose weight, even if you are getting in better shape from wearing a Fitbit.

If you have the means to buy a Fitbit, there aren’t really any negatives outside of overanalyzing yourself that we can come up with. You do have to know a couple of things, though, including the fact that you need a smartphone to sync up with the device. The other, it’s not always the most accurate when it comes to steps, but Fitbit products are more accurate than other trackers. If you don’t become a slave to the Fitbit, then you can find yourself losing weight fairly easily without overdoing it.

Celebrity Workouts

The 30 Day Fit Challenge Review

A lot of us are on the go and don’t have much time to work out. That has become very obvious as people are working longer hours and traveling more, but it has come at the expense of increased obesity rates around the world. There isn’t much time in the day to get a full workout in, let alone eating right and getting to the gym. Many people are looking toward their mobile phones to perhaps guide the way, and there is an app that has become very popular.

It’s called the 30 Day Fit Challenge, and it has gained a lot of steam in helping people get fit. The idea is a series of quick workouts that you can do at home, but it requires that you fit in the exercises every day for 30 days. That might seem like a lot, but when you get started, the workouts are only around five to 10 minutes long.

What can you expect when trying out the 30 Day Fit Challenge? Let’s take a deeper look into what the workouts entail, and how you can lose weight on the program.

The 30 Day Fit Challenge


The 30 Day Fit Challenge was released by the Leap Fitness Group on the Android Store, and has already had between 10 and 50 million installations. There are a ton of fitness apps available on the store, but this one is up there in terms of ratings. With nearly 200,000 reviews, the 30 Day Fit Challenge has a 4.8 rating, with only around 5,000 reviews being less than four stars.

Not much is known about the people behind the Leap Fitness group, but they launched the app in May of 2016. There other popular apps include the Water Drink Reminder so that you are getting eight glasses a day and a series of selfie cameras. The app says that the plan was designed by a fitness trainer, though it’s not quite clear who that is. Still, people seem to be on board, and the plan has a lot of great basic exercises.

There are a total of six different plans with the 30 Day Fit Challenge, with two of each in the Easy, Medium and Hard departments. There aren’t any rest days listed on the challenge, but you can choose to take one and pick up where you left off. The suggestion is that you try to hit all 30 days in a row, however, as the app says that “According to the theory, 30 days may be the optimal time for making changes that influence your mental, physical and emotional state.”

It’s a great program for beginners, with plenty of different options to choose from. If you are trying to work on a certain area of your body, there are challenges for arms, abs, legs, rear and your full body. You start off by doing some of the basic exercises before building up to more reps and different exercises over the course of the 30 days.

The 30 Day Fit Challenge Exercises


So that you know what you’re getting into, let’s look at some of the workouts that you’ll be doing for each specific target area. You don’t have to memorize these as there are visual cues and a countdown timer, and you can go at your own pace for the exercises that are counted by reps instead of time:

Abs Workout

Crunches – There are several different crunches that you’ll focus on during the abs workouts. You might be doing the standard sit-ups, but there are also the long arm, short arm, bicycle and standard crunches. Expect to feel sore around your stomach area the morning after getting through the ab workouts.

Planks – If you thought crunches were tough, that’s nothing compared to planking. You will focus not only on the standard type of planking, but also on each of your sides.

Leg Raises – Going from a position that’s flat on your back, you will lift your legs straight so that your body is at a 90 degree angle. It doesn’t seem tough for the first couple of reps, but will start to feel difficult. You can also bend your knees in toward your body from this position for reverse crunches, or do the one leg or two leg bridges.

Cobras – If you have ever wanted to look like a snake, this is the exercise for you. Lying with your elbows flat on the ground, you raise your chest as much as you can without using the assistance of your arms.

Mountain Climbers – This is one that doesn’t really look scary, but can make you sweat quickly. While in the plank position, you alternate your legs underneath your chest to make it look like you’re climbing a mountain in place.

Bird Dog – More like a yoga pose, you start on all fours and then extend one arm and the opposite leg, then repeat on the other side.

Russian Twist – Different than the standard sit-up, you are instead focused on going side to side while in an angled position to work on your obliques. You can also do this with a medicine ball for increased difficulty.

Arm Workout

Push-Ups – As you have probably already guessed, doing an arms workout at home without gym equipment is going to call for a lot of push-ups. There are a ton of different push-up variations during the 30 Day Fit Challenge. This includes reverse, diamond, box, rotation, wall and regular push-ups.

Planks – From a plank position, you tap your opposite shoulder with one hand and repeat on both sides. This is known as a plank tap. The other plank is the diagonal, which is similar to the bird dog exercise.

Chest Press Pulse – Standing with your arms in an ‘L’ shape, you lift your arms and up and down, keeping them straight and together.

Dips – Using both a chair and the floor, you will be doing triceps dips to lift your body off the ground using nothing but your arm strength.

Circles and Punches – Doing arm circles is a good way to increase some basic strength, and you will also incorporate some punching, which is essentially shadowboxing with the idea of building strength.304

Butt Workout

Donkey Kicks – While in the push-up position, you’ll lift one leg into the air at a time, similar to how a donkey would kick. Just make sure nobody is standing behind you. There are quite a few other kicks in this system, including flutter kicks while lying on an elevated space and kickbacks that extend your leg straight.

Wall Sit – This is the standing version of the plank, basically, as you pretend that there is a chair underneath you and prop up your body on a wall. It won’t hurt for the first couple of seconds, then you will certainly feel it.

Lunges – Getting a great butt means you have to do a lot of lunges, This includes the curtsy lunge, alternating lunges jumping lunges and more.

Squats – Just like lunges, squats make up a huge part of a good glute workout. Get used to doing a lot of jumping squats, sumo squats, plie squats and regular ones along the way.

Leg Workout

Scissors – Many of the exercises that you find during the Butt Workout are also found in the leg workout. There are two big exceptions, starting with the scissors. This includes lying on your back and bringing one leg closer to your face while the other one extends out. You alternate their positions quickly so that you feel the burn during the exercise.

Calf Raises – The other noticeable difference is the calf raise so that you can focus on your lower legs. Standing next to a wall, you will lift yourself into a tiptoe position using one (or both) legs at a time. This will make sure that your calves get shredded, and you can increase the difficult.

Full Body Workout

Taking all of the exercises that you have learned and perfected from the previous exercises. You can finally focus on the Full Body Workout. There aren’t many new additions to this 30 day challenge, but it does introduce jumping jacks, burpees and high stepping to the program.

Summing it Up


This is a good program for people looking to get a quick workout in on the go, as you can workout anywhere. You also don’t have to be an expert in any of the exercises as you only have to do a couple of reps when getting started. The only drawback is that many of the workouts are very short. If you are already in decent shape, you might want to use multiple different calendars at one time to make sure that you are getting a full workout.

The first few workouts will only be about five to 10 minutes each, but will end up being around 30 minutes by the end of the month. Make sure you have enough time devoted to working out as the days go by, and you will see results. The best part is, you can restart the calendar with increased difficulty or add more workouts to your plan. The versatility is great, and it’s highly recommended for anyone that’s looking to get an entry level plan into overall fitness.

Celebrity Workouts

The TRX Workout Review

If there’s one thing that has taken over the world of fitness in the last decade more than anything else, it’s resistance training. One workout that has really taken off during that time is the TRX System, which was developed by Randy Hetrick. Hetrick is a former United States Navy Seal that was deployed in the late 1990’s. Without much equipment around, Hetrick got tired of doing regular old push-ups to train.

Instead, he devised a plan to workout using nothing but parachute webbing and a jiu-jitsu belt, coming up with a system of resistance bands that would be known as TRX. After getting his workout system popular in college, a group of investors decided to hop on board and he has been able to spread the system around the world. Now, it’s being used by athletes, military members and more.

So what is the TRX system all about? There’s more to it than just some belts and parachute webbing. Let’s take a look inside TRX and see if it might be the right workout plan to get you lean and shredded while dropping weight.

Behind the TRX Workout


The idea of TRX is to present a resistance trainer where you are using your own bodyweight. This is done through a suspension trainer that you attach to your wall or any other support beam, and Hetrick says that it takes just 60 seconds to get set up. From there, you can do a series of workouts to get in shape, with workouts designed to tackle any area that you might want to improve. Here are the official TRX workouts that are offered through their official app:

Total-Body Strength – A 15 minute program designed to build strength instead of focusing on cardio with quick exercises that develop all areas of your body.

Core Strength – For those looking for a quick workout, this is a 10 minute workout that will develop your core muscles, perfect for those that want to build their abs.

Total-Body Fusion – With a bigger focus on cardio, the total-body fusion is 20 minutes long and looks to burn calories with both upper and lower body training.

Lean Body – The longest standard workout on the TRX system, this 30 minute program will test your endurance as you focus on both cardio and strength building. It’s best if you are at least acclimated with TRX before getting started.

Lower Body – Exactly what it sounds like, this 15 minute program focuses on glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves only.

Upper Body – Just like the lower body workout, this is a 15 minute workout that is designed for arms and chest muscles.

Strength for Running – Runners that are looking to build their endurance can work on important core and leg muscles with this 15 minute plan.

Weight Loss – The one that we’re all looking for, the weight loss is designed to burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time, focusing on cardio for 20 minutes.

TRX For Yoga – Like the running workout, this Yoga workout is used to build the muscles you need most for getting through your long yoga sessions.

There are many different exercises used during a TRX workout. Upper body exercises include the chest press, low row, power pull and y fly. If you want to focus on the lower body, then hamstring curls, front squats and balance lunges might be perfect for you. Core muscles can be built on the TRX system using crunches, planks and hip drops. That’s just a taste as there are dozens of exercises to choose from.

What to Know About TRX


Right off the bat, the first thing that you need to know about the TRX system is that it’s not really suggested for beginners. Critics have said that you need to have at least some core strength before getting the full effectiveness of the workouts. If you have concerns, try building some strength doing simple sit-ups, push-ups, squats and other basic exercises that don’t require equipment.

The next biggest thing is the cost. Sure, you won’t have to sign up with an expensive gym or buy free weights, but the TRX system is not cheap. Because of how simple it is, TRX has drawn some criticism for being a simple concept that costs a lot. The first TRX system is the suspension trainer, which is the lightest of the bunch and is built for beginners. Even this one can run you $130. Each gym comes with printable workouts, though the cheapest option does not have any DVD workouts that come with it.

The system above that one is the TRX Home trainer that you can take with you on the road, which is a huge bonus for those that aren’t always working out at home. This gym costs about $180. The main difference here is that the suspensions are tougher and come with five more printable workouts and six video workouts. The next step up is the Pro Kit, though it’s a more advanced system that is used for personal trainers.

This system also comes with 21 total printable and video workouts, and also gives you an extra anchor instead of the standard two. The final TRX system is the Tactical Gym that has rubber handles. There are actually fewer workouts than the Pro Kit, but does come with all of the app workouts unlocked and can be used anywhere. Both the Pro and Tactical Gym sets cost around $250, though people working out at home are better suited for the basic or Home Gym package.

It really takes some practice to get accustomed to using the TRX system. You’ll realize that the first time that you try a workout like the chest press, you might feel like the straps are about to fall off. You need to anchor the straps to something sturdy. If you don’t have anything sturdy inside of your home, you can use something like a tree or pole that can hold your weight. The standard weight limit is 350 pounds, so most people will find that they are able to be supported.

Celebrities Using TRX


Since TRX is getting a lot of attention and becoming one of the hottest gym workouts (since it’s a simple set up for gyms and people at home), celebrities are getting in on the craze. Here are some of the biggest celebs that have used TRX.

Jennifer Lopez – Gunnar Peterson is one of the biggest names in personal training, and singer/actress Jennifer Lopez trains with him all of the time. After getting bored with standard workouts, Lopez started to use TRX with Peterson and is in the best shape of her life.

Jaime Pressly – “My Name is Earl” star Jaime Pressly said that she was bored with workouts before finding TRX, and now works out her core muscles countlessly and says that she enjoys pushing herself.

Mary J. Blige – Singer Mary J. Blige says that she takes her TRX system on the road wherever she goes, getting a great workout while on tour, which is no easy task.

Ellen Pompeo – After giving birth, actress Ellen Pompeo decided to lose the baby weight by enlisting Gregg Miele to get her involved with TRX training.

Summing it Up


TRX has proven to be a great system with some low impact, though it’s not without its flaws. Having to have some core strength built up before even starting can be a little much to ask, but you don’t need as much as some critics have said. It also might be scary at first since you feel like you’ll fall flat on your face, but getting over that fear will give you a great workout.

How many calories you burn while using a TRX workout depends on your size, but you can expect to burn at least 275 calories per hour if you are a smaller person around 125 pounds. Those that have more weight to lose can find themselves burning around 500 calories. Not only are you burning calories while working out with this cardio hybrid, but you are also building whichever muscles you want. If you want to focus on abs, there are workouts that can last up to an hour which you can find on a free TRX app.

It will take a lot of commitment to see the results that you want from TRX, as you do have to pay at least $150 for a system unless you already belong to a gym. There are workouts that come with each of the packages, but you can find a lot of the exercises on long for free, including YouTube through the official TRX profile. You should see results within 30 days, though the weight loss might not be as drastic as you are also building muscle. Just make sure to stick with the plan and you’ll be looking great in no time.

Celebrity Workouts

The Animal Flow Workout Review

If you’ve tried to lose weight, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of the Paleo Diet, where you are supposed to eat like a caveman. There are no processed foods in the diet, relying mainly on meat, vegetables and other foods that are low in carbohydrates. If you found the Paleo Diet to be helpful, there might be a complementary exercise that’s perfect for you. It’s called Animal Flow, and it’s a way of working out like a caveman would.

It might sound a little more intense than eating like a caveman, but plenty of people are trying out this new trend. Animal Flow is a fitness program that was designed by Mike Fitch, a personal trainer and founder of a fitness company that has specialized in new workouts. So what is the method behind the madness for Fitch’s Animal Flow program? Let’s take a deeper look into the workout to see if it might be the right program to get you moving and increase your weight loss.

Behind Animal Flow


One thing that cavemen didn’t have back in the day was expensive gym equipment. It only makes sense, but they were able to stay in great shape. A lot of that came from having to lift rocks and chase down animals in order to survive, but running through the streets in loin cloth while chasing a boar with a spear might get you arrested…if you can even find a boar in the city.

Instead, you’ll be focusing on using your own bodyweight in what Fitch calls “quadrupedal and ground-based movement.” In layman’s terms, it means crawling around like a monkey that’s searching for food, for the most part. There is more to it than that, though, as there are different aspects of the Animal Flow workout, which combines interval training, strength training and cardio to make it an all-around exercise.

There are six different components of the Animal Flow workout, so let’s look at these aspects:

Activations – Activations are “static holds” to get you warmed up before a workout so that your body can be in sync.

Form Specific Stretching – Stretching continues with form specific stretches, increasing your range of motion. These are less intense than the rest of the workout as you focus on flexibility compared to cardio.

Wrist Mobilizations – Since you’re going to be using your bodyweight through the entire exercise, you’re going to have to have strong wrists. You’ll be able to increase your wrist strength and flexibility through these exercises.

Flow – The biggest part of the exercise, the flow aspect is where you combine all of the other aspects for a full workout, linking one exercise to the next.

Traveling Forms – The part that might look the most awkward, traveling forms are the exercises in which you do the same moves that an animal would. Monkeys and crabs are the most common animals you’ll mimic.

Switches and Transitions – Learning to move from one section of a workout to the next will be broken down in this section, as there is no rest between movements. Perfecting this can be difficult, but will make your workout easier.

The Animal Flow Exercises


Now that we have a little of the Animal Flow knowledge, we need to learn how to put it all together. A typical Animal Flow workout is broken down into nine different types of movements. There is no rest in between these exercises, and it’s suggested that you perform the workout once per week, repeating the nine step process once for a total of 20 steps. Here is what you can expect:

Crab Reach – Keeping your behind off of the ground while holding yourself up with your hands and legs, you reach one arm across the side of your body, keeping your hand behind your head. You repeat this on both sides for eight times each.

Scorpion Reach – Another animal movement, you balance with your hands and feet while keeping your body off of the ground, extending your leg over your head like a scorpion’s stinger. After extending, tuck your knee under your torso and repeat eight times on each leg.

Traveling Ape – Now comes the ape part that everybody talks about, the traveling ape. This is when you squat like an ape would and then kick out your legs (donkey style) and then to the left and right, using your hands to keep yourself up. There are 16 total repetitions for this exercise.

Traveling Beast – This exercise is quite similar to the traveling ape, except you’ll be kicking front and back instead of left and right, using both legs at the same time.

Lateral Lunge – Standing with your legs spread slightly, you reach down to your left leg with your right hand and then repeating on the other side. After stretching your arm, you lunge down with your leg and then leap up in the air when you get back into a standing position.

Side Kick Through – Starting while on your hands and knees, you lift your knees above the ground and then kick out one leg with your other still on the ground. This is repeated 16 times on each side.

Single Leg Hip Extension – While on your back, lie down with one leg bent and the other stretching up toward the sky with your toes pointed out. This is a simple exercise that’s a nice break in a hard workout, repeated on each side 16 times.

Elbow Plank Rotations – After getting in the plank position with your forearms on the ground, rotate your body one way while lifting your right arm to the sky and having your right leg on the ground. Repeat this 16 times on each side, engaging your core muscles.

Down Regulation – The final exercise gets back into the crab position where you do the first crab stretch and then follow it up by lowering your bottom close to the ground without touching. This is repeated eight times before getting back to the crab workout to start over again.

Losing Weight with Animal Flow and Resources


Since you are engaging in a total body workout without any rest, you can be sure that you’ll be burning a lot of calories during an Animal Flow workout. While there is no specific amount of calories that you’ll be burning during the workout, a similar program called Power Yoga burns between 300 and 420 calories per hour. This one is a little bit more intense, so you can expect slightly higher numbers per hour.

Since this is a workout that engages a lot of your muscles, you will be able to build muscle if you are eating a normal diet. This might lead to slight weight gain, but that’s to be expected when you’re eating enough to build muscle. If you are looking to lose weight and shed fat, then you’ll have to take down your daily calorie total to between 1,200 and 1,500 depending on your current size.

You can do many of the Animal Flow workouts at home since there are videos released by Fitch on YouTube. If you prefer to get out and socialize with people, there are workshops at Equinox Gyms across the nation, though they mostly tend to be in larger cities. For the full experience, there is a book that shows Animal Flow training for mixed martial arts (around $20), a hand balancing video that will get you more acclimated to an Animal Flow workout ($90 to $100) and a full Animal Flow program (with DVD) for $50 to $60. Each workout on the DVD (or e-video if you prefer) is a 45 to 60 minute workout depending on the day and adds new moves that we haven’t touched on.

Summing it Up


While the Animal Flow workout is certainly a fun and different full body experience, getting the expensive packages isn’t quite necessary with the knowledge of primal full body workouts already available for free. Then again, the trade-off might be what you’re looking for since you won’t have to sign up for a gym membership or buy any of the equipment that many would consider to be pricey.

There aren’t really any negatives to working out like a caveman. There is low impact on these exercises, especially compared to running or other cardio and strength training forms. If you get bored of the same core exercises, there are a total of 26 out there that you can learn from watching videos that will allow you to change up your workout. You can swap it up, though you’re getting your best workout if you take up to 60 minutes at a time, working out up to six times per week. All in all, it’s worth a try if you don’t mind looking like an animal, though when you’re in your own house, it’s probably not a problem.

Celebrity Workouts

The PiYo Workout Review

Have you ever been looking for a workout program that will invigorate both your body and your senses, all while having a low impact? There’s a workout that promises to do both, and it does so by taking the aspects of one exercise, and combining it with another. The workout plan is called PiYo, which is a portmanteau between Pilates and Yoga. You take the physical training that you get from Pilates while also getting the mental and spiritual enhancement that you normally do from Yoga.

PiYo is a plan that was developed by Chalene Johnson, who’s an author, entrepreneur and much more. Johnson has been the brain behind many fitness trends, and has been responsible for workouts that have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. You might recognize some of her other workouts like TurboKick and TurboFire, but PiYo is a different program that is a big switch. It’s also much newer, having been released in 2014.

So what are the aspects of PiYo, and how can it work for you? Let’s take a look into the program and see if it’s a plan that might work for you.

Behind the PiYo Workout


One thing that people are trying to stay away from in their exercises these days are high impact movements and having to buy a lot of extra equipment like free weights. PiYo avoids both of these by not incorporating jumps or weights, instead focusing on using your own bodyweight. The only bonus equipment that you’ll need is a Yoga mat. Also, it differs from Yoga as you will be moving nonstop instead of holding long poses.

PiYo is also a good plan if you don’t have much time during the day. The total PiYo plan takes up a 60 day cycle, and all of the workouts last between 25 to 45 minutes, with a workout scheduled six days per week. Before you even get started, there is a fundamentals workout that will show you how to get all of the poses down so you that you hit the ground running for your first workout. Thankfully, you don’t have to remember how to do each pose heading into a workout.

Let’s glance at some of the workouts from the PiYo program:

Runner – Starting on your left leg with the other knee bent, bend your right arm back and bring your left hand forward, making it look like you are in mid-stride of a run.

Flip – The flip bends your knee 90 degrees and then rotating into a side plank by balancing on your hand, performing the same exercise on the other side.

Connector – Starting in a V-position, the connector has you balancing on your hands and feet, then crossing your ankle over the other while tucking in, repeating on both sides.

Kick-Through – The kick-through starts you on all fours, lifting one arm up and rotating your body while kicking your leg out, repeating on both sides multiple times.

Cross – The cross starts you on your feet while you lower into a squat, then pressing your arms back. After starting to stand up you go into a dive position and then return into a squat formation.

Resources on the PiYo Plan


Now, you can do all of the PiYo workouts on your own for free, and there is an open Facebook group where you can discuss the workouts on a forum. But PiYo does have a paid plan for a total of around $60 plus $12 shipping and handling (though there are usually some deals where you can get free shipping). Is it going to be worth more than $70 for the PiYo package?

It does come with a 24/7 premium forum where you can have live chats with experts, including Chalene Johnson (who sometimes does personal video chat). It’s more exclusive than talking on Facebook with other people on the workout. This also comes with motivational emails, tips on the workouts and nutritional guides. There are two bonus DVDs, as well, including workouts that focus on your glutes and core muscles.

The other three ‘gifts’ that come with ordering the total package include a calendar to track your workouts (and which ones you’ll be doing), an eating plan that gives you nutritious food lists and meals, and finally the quick start guide that is basically a brochure that tells you which muscle groups are being targeted by PiYo workouts. Outside of the DVDs, the bonus gifts don’t add up to much value.

As for the standard DVDs that come with the program, there are three. There is a total of seven workouts spread across the three discs. The first DVD has the fundamentals, lower body, upper body and sweat (a cardio workout). The second has drench (cardio) and sculpt (strength training). Finally, the third DVD contains strength intervals, which is a 25 minute workout that combines cardio and strength training. So all in all, you are getting nine workouts (eight if you don’t include the fundamentals) for more than $70.

There are a few different calendars involved with the PiYo plan. The first one is your basic program, the next is for workouts that focus only on strength, then one that combines PiYo with Focus T25 (another BeachBody workout) and finally the calendar that combines PiYo with P90X. Here is what your schedule will look like for the first week if you follow the basic calendar:

Monday – Align: The Fundamentals

Tuesday – Define: Lower Body

Wednesday – Define: Upper Body

Thursday – Sweat

Friday – Rest

Saturday – Define: Lower Body

Sunday – Define: Upper Body

Losing Weight with PiYo


You can certainly build muscle with workouts like Pilates and other strength training exercises no matter what you’re eating (and probably even more muscle if you’re overeating). But if you just want to lose weight by burning fat, how well is PiYo going to work? The amount of calories burned on average is between 300 and 400 per hour. That’s certainly much lower than something like jogging, but doesn’t have the high impact on your joints.

Even PiYo’s parent company (BeachBody) has said that their test group that helped them roll out PiYo all lost weight, though they were also on a low calorie eating plan that comes with the package. However, there is not an independent study that has shown exactly how many calories PiYo can burn, and they did not say how many calories their participants were eating.

Eating between 1,200 to 1,500 calories per day (depending on your size) should ensure that you’re losing weight even without exercise. However, adding PiYo to your daily routine should allow you to lose about one or two pounds per week at the highest. You might not see immediate weight loss since this workout plan does have a lot of muscle building exercises, so don’t be deterred if the scale doesn’t budge at first. Once you have reached your goal weight, you can continue to do the exercises to maintain your weight, though you might be able to get away with doing three exercises per week instead of six.

There is a free food tracker that you can get through PiYo to make sure that you’re getting the proper nutrition. On the tracker, you’re able to tally how many servings you have had from vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins and healthy fats. There isn’t much and it’s all written down, so you might want to use a more detailed nutrition tracking app like Lose It! or MyFitnessPal.

Summing it Up


Is PiYo a good workout plan that is able to burn more calories than traditional Yoga while not being as physically intense as Pilates? Yes. Is it going to be worth the amount of money that you have to pay for the program? That’s really up to you. It’s definitely not a cheap workout plan at more than $70 with shipping included, especially considering that the package only comes with seven workouts at its core with a few pieces of paper and access to a forum.

The workouts, eating plans and more can all be found for free, so really what you’re paying for is the access to the forum and emails that don’t give you much more information than Google can find for you. All in all, we have to say that the workout plan itself is very beneficial, just not quite worth the money.

Getting the basic workouts down and a yoga mat is really all you need to get started. From there, you can combine one of the many diets that we have reviewed (such as the highly rated Mediterranean Diet) and you should see the pounds melt off. Since this is a low impact exercise that doesn’t require an expensive gym membership or equipment, you will also find this easy to stick to for a long time, which is a huge bonus.