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    There is a small percentage of people that are self motivated, know how to challenge themselves during their workout, have the tools to change their regimen, etc. The majority of people need some sort of guidance. This is not a bad thing it is just reality. There is a whole host of reasons why people need help when it comes to working out, they either don’t know what to do, don’t want to hurt themselves, aren’t motivated, have no accountability, the list goes on...

    The beauty of taking a fitness class and/or having a personal trainer is you have a certified trainer motivating you and making sure you have proper form and are getting the most out of your workouts. This is not always an option for people which means they need to fend for themselves during their workouts. A problem that occurs all too often when you work out on your own is getting too comfortable in your exercise routine. It’s easy to get into that “comfort zone” simply because it’s comfortable. The problem with getting and staying in your comfort zone is you will not burn calories as efficiently as you did when you started therefore your progress and achieving your goals will come to a stop. You also risk becoming bored by doing the same exercises or routine each and every time you workout. Both are more likely to have you stop exercising altogether from becoming frustrated and/or discouraged from lack of results.

    There are numerous tricks and tips along the way to ensure you are achieving your goals, keeping your workouts interesting, not wasting your time/efforts and more importantly, getting out of your comfort zone.

    We all have busy lives and finding the time to exercise is a challenge all on its own. When you do find the time and I truly hope you do - you want to be able to get the most out of your workout.



    1. The goal in doing cardio is to get your heart rate up. The ultimate goal is to get it up and keep it up for a long duration of time. Most people go to a point of no return. Meaning you do too much too fast and are then forced to stop. Remember you are in control of how fast you walk/run. You won’t know if you can go a bit faster until you try. If it is too much, just slow down. If you do the same speed on the same incline each time - you are in your “comfort zone.” Either increase the speed (just a few notches) or increase the incline.

    2. Did you know that most treadmills are designed at a slight decline? Yep. If you put the incline on 3, it will simulate a flat terrain. Also if you take the speed to 3.5 on incline 3 - this is the average gate of someone walking down the street. If this is too fast for you then this is a good goal to work towards. The main reason this is too fast/hard just means your legs don’t support this pace. The stronger your legs get the more endurance you will have. And just like anything, the more you do it, the easier it will become.

    3. Once you are on the treadmill, do not hold on. By holding on, you are not allowing your body to work as much as it can. If you feel you cannot walk without holding on, you may be walking too fast. It is better to slow the speed down, let go then work the speed up over time as you get more comfortable.


    Did you know the treadmill can be used for more than just walking and/or running?

    Sure you can get a great workout by walking/running on a treadmill especially if you enjoy it AND can continue to challenge yourself BUT it is just as easy to stuck in that comfort zone, get bored and/or in a rut. Change up your routine by these great treadmill workouts. These workouts will certainly take the “boredom” out of just walking/running AND turn it into great calorie and fat burning workout!!


    Anytime you are in motion and you move your arms above your heart, you challenge your heart that much more which in turn gets your heart rate up higher.

    *Start with the speed slower than you would have if you were just walking. Slowly increase your speed as you get comfortable. Increase the incline for more of a challenge but we aware the higher the incline the slow you will need to walk. Start with 3lb dumbbells and go for 30 seconds then put the weights down and walk for 1 minute (or more) then do another round for 30 seconds. Increase your time (no need to go longer than 1 minute) before increasing to a heavier weight. Doing these exercises are an extra bonus for your muscles as the goal is to challenge your heart rate.

    SHOULDER PRESS - grab one weight and use with both hands or two weights to have in each hand. As you walk, extend both arms up over your head. If you have a weight in each hand, bring arms down to a 90 degree angle and continue that motion. If you are using one weight, bring the weight down just below your eye-line.

    PUNCHING - with a weight in each hand, extend one arm out in front of you and as you bring that arm back to your chest, extend your other arm. You will be mimicking a punching motion.

    BICEP CURLS - with a weight in both hands, you can either alternate your arms into a bicep curl or curl both arms at once as you walk.


    SIDE TO SIDE SHUFFLE- Put the speed to the slowest pace. Holding on to the rails of the treadmill, turn to one side on the treadmill and move your feet/legs side to side. Do not cross your legs over each other. As the foot closest to the end of the treadmill pushes along with the track of the treadmill your other foot has to lift up quickly to keep your legs “shuffling.” Learn to do this without holding on before you increase the speed. The ultimate goal would be to get into a “trot” as you increase the speed on the treadmill. Do the same thing facing the other way on the treadmill.

    BACKWARD WALK/TROT - Make sure the speed to the slowest pace and on a flat terrain. Holding on to the treadmill rails, turn around so you will be forced to walk backwards. Your toes must touch first THEN your heels. Get comfortable doing this without holding on before you increase the speed and/or incline. The ultimate goal will be to “trot” backwards. You will have a feeling of bouncing on your toes as you “trot.”


    1. FUNCTIONAL TOOLS - i.e. stability ball, bosu ball and TRX

    Use these tools whenever possible. By using one or all of these tools - your body is working harder simply because it is being forced to balance. When your body is forced to balance you work your stabilizing muscles and core… not just the muscles you are intending to work. Not only are you working harder but you will burn more calories. *If you don’t have access to these functional tools then use dumbbells instead of machines* If you don’t have any equipment - your body is the best piece of “equipment” you have. For example: Instead of doing a chest press on a bench - do push ups on the floor.

    2. SUPERSETS. This means you move from one exercise to another without rest. This not only saves you time but you keep your heartrate up which taps into a little bit of cardio workout as well. For example: Do a set of bicep curls then go right into a tricep exercise. While you are doing your triceps, your biceps are resting then when you go back to biceps, your triceps rest. To make your superset more challenging, group exercises that use similar muscles. Or group a “cardio” like exercise with a strength. For example - squat jumps with push-ups.

    3. TOTAL BODY MOVES. If you have ever taken a class at Lacey Lee Fitness or trained with myself, Nick or Darrell - you are very familiar with these. There is a reason we do these often - you get more “bang for your buck.” Anytime you do an exercise that is recruiting more muscles, you are burning more calories and most of the time will elevate your heartrate while doing them. Total body exercises are combining lower and upper together. For example - bicep curls with back lunges, burpees, all kettlebell moves, etc.


    QUALITY VS QUANTITY. Just like any exercise you do - form is the utmost importance. It is better to do 10 correct and quality core moves than 100 wrong. You don’t need to spend more than 10 minutes on your core. As important as it is to do core exercises, it will not be the answer to a slimmer waistline. We can’t just say “okay, stomach, I want you to be slimmer” - your body will lose weight where you are specifically designed to lose weight. Bummer, I know, but true. Your goal in doing core is to keep your muscles strong, prevent injury, etc. You will condition your core and improve its function (and look) by using it the way it is design. Hopefully you are using the functional tools (stability ball, bosu, etc) mentioned above which means you are using your core while training other muscles.

    WORK YOUR CORE. It’s easy to focus on your stomach because that is the area we see (and let’s be honest - want it to be tone/slimmer) but our back muscles are just as important. We can’t neglect the muscles that support our spine. Our core (abs, sides, back) is essential for EVERY motion we make. When you reach for something - that motion originates from your core. We would not be human if we did not want our “core” to look good but it serves a greater purpose. We need a strong core to have our body function better. To get the most out of your core exercises ensure you are activating your front, side and back. For example: Planks and twisting are my top choices. The twisting motion is especially great because you twist in so many different ways. You can twist from low to high, from high to low, side to side, etc.

    At the end of the day, you want to find a workout that is challenging and keeps you going back for more. I realize that for many, working out is a necessary evil. Which makes finding something that keeps you going back so important. If you are not being challenged then you are most likely not achieving your personal fitness/health goals. If you are not achieving them, then you will most likely stop. Luckily there are so many workout options these days to choose from. Finding what works for you is key to adapt exercise as a lifestyle. If you ever are having a hard time finding something that works best for you - let me know! It doesn’t matter where you live, what limitations you have, etc. - I can help guide you. There IS something out there for everyone.


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