1/23/12 EDITORS’ UPDATE: We’ve selected the five lucky winners and contacting them via email. Thank you for participating!
By now you’ve checked out Brooke Burke’s interview and awesome workout in the January issue. Maybe you even asked her a question during our live Facebook chat! Well, we have one more goodie up our sleeve: We’re giving five lucky Fit Stop readers a copy of her DVD, Transform Your Body with Brooke Burke: Tone & Tighten!
To enter to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below! It can be your name, you can leave a message for Brooke, tell us your favorite part of the interview…anything! The five winners will be chosen randomly and for official rules, click here.
Don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up right away! We monitor for spam, so be rest assured we’ve still received your entry, even if you don’t see it immediately.
January’s Top Workout DVD: Sexy Abs with Kelly Rowland & Jeanette Jenkins
Best for: Those thinking ahead about (and seeking amazing abs in) their spring break bikinis; anyone with aches and pains in their lower back.
Why it’s a star: Celebrity trainer Jeanette Jenkins and her crew, including Kelly Rowland, Grammy winning R&B singer and judge on The X Factor in the UK, teach you fun and challenging exercises that will leave your ab muscles burning. You’ve seen some of these moves before (bicycle crunches, roll-ups and planks), but the nonstop pace, focus on lower back pain-prevention and the sprinkling of innovative exercises makes this DVD worth an encore in your sweat schedule. You’ll feel the burn throughout your core the next day!
Bonus: You can join the #SexyAbsChallenge on Twitter with @KELLYROWLAND and @JeanetteJenkins now for five weeks of healthy tips, meals and motivation as Kelly gets ready for the Grammy Awards in February. She’s nominated for her song “Motivation!”
Where to get it: $19.95, thehollywoodtrainer.com
More from FITNESS: Look like Brooke—our January cover girl—with this total-body strength routine!
Yoga may be blissful, but it isn’t cheap! Depending on where you live, classes can run you an average of $15 to $20 a pop. Dropping $50 or more for yoga classes each week isn’t an option for everyone, but we can all benefit from a regular practice. The internet is bursting with free full-length classes or shortened yoga routines. If you’re willing to pay a little, you’ll be able to view a greater variety of videos. Here are some sites to check out.
- Yoga Today: This site offers one free class each week, and if you’re itching for more, download other classes for $3.99 each. If you’re really into it, pay $89.95 for a yearly membership, which includes unlimited classes. Store them on your computer and follow along anywhere you happen to be.
- Yoga Journal: For beginners and advanced yogis, these videos, ranging in length from five to 35 minutes, are the high quality you’d expect from Yoga Journal. Some of my faves include hip opening sequence Bird by Bird and Heart Wide Open full of chest openers.
- My Yoga Online: These videos may not be free, but they’re dirt cheap. Pay $9.95 per month or $69.95 for a year, for unlimited access to the entire library. The site also offers popular yoga DVDs such as Body by Bethany and Transform Yourself With Jivamukti. Another plus, you can sample a clip before you buy.
- My Free Yoga: Site members upload yoga videos, so the classes may not be the most cutting-edge, but they won’t cost you a dime.
- Gaiam TV: Sign up for a free 10-day trial to stream actual yoga DVDs like Seane Corn’s Vinyasa Flow Yoga or Rodney Yee’s Advanced Arms directly to your computer, phone (there’s a free Gaiam TV app), or iPad. If you like the service, it costs $9.95 a month.
Keep reading for more inexpensive ways to get your yoga on.
SparkPeople.com’s resident trainer and fitness expert, Nicole Nichols, offers up some advice for one of the most frequently asked questions as people start working out more in the new year. For more cardio and strengthening help from Nicole, check out her new DVD, 28 Day Boot Camp with Coach Nicole.
Question: How much weight should I lift during strength training?
Answer: We are all at different strength levels and the muscles throughout your body vary in strength, too. So while 10 pounds might be the ideal weight for you to lift during biceps curls, you could struggle with that weight during lateral raises…or leg press it all day as if it were a bag of feathers. So keep in mind that the amount of weight you lift during one exercise could be too light or too heavy for another. That said, you’ll probably need to experiment with a variety of weights to find the appropriate level for each exercise you do. Working out at a gym makes that easy, but doing so at home will take a little more space and investment.
I think it’s a good idea to have at least two, and ideally three sets of dumbbells at home: a light, medium and heavier set, which is defined by your own fitness level. That could be 2, 5, and 7 pounds for one person, or 5, 10 and 15 pounds for another. Personally, I keep 6, 10 and 20 pound weights at home, which allow me to do a variety of workouts and exercises safely and effectively.
So how much should you lift? Here are the 5 guidelines you need to follow to select the proper weight for strength training.
- Aim low. The safest and most effective thing to do if you are a beginner is to master your exercises with little to no added weight. This allows you to focus intensely on proper form.
- Go slow. If you have to move at jackrabbit speed or harness momentum to lift the weight, it is too heavy. Period. The proper weight will allow you to move in a slow, controlled manner.
- Never sacrifice form for function. You might want to fast track your results by picking a heavy weight, but lifting more weight should never trump doing it correctly. If you can’t do the exercise properly, then the added weight is not doing you any favors and may actually increase your risk for serious injury.
- Count your reps. In general, you are lifting the right amount of weight when you can perform 8-15 repetitions in excellent form. Once you get strong enough to do more than 15 repetitions more easily, it’s probably time to increase the weight again.
- Work to fatigue. This is the #1 key to selecting the proper weight. The weight you lift should not only meet the guidelines for form above, but should also challenge your muscles! The only way strength training is really going to benefit you is for you to overload your muscles—that means working them to fatigue. The weight you select should be challenging enough to fatigue your muscles within 8-15 repetitions.
More from SparkPeople
- 31 Real-World Tips to Reach Your Resolution
- 8 Fitness Trends and Predictions for 2012
- Get a Free Personalized Weight Loss Plan
December’s Top Workout DVD: Kristi Yamaguchi’s Power Workout
Best for: Those with short attention spans—who are ready to sweat!
Why it’s a star: Olympian and former Dancing With the Stars champion Yamaguchi leads you through a plyometrics-heavy cardio and total body-focused strength routine that packs a lot of action into 53 minutes. You’ll start off with a warm-up reminiscent of the ’80s workout tapes on VHS, but don’t be fooled. Yamaguchi and her trainer, Erin O’Brien quickly pick up the pace by alternating cardio segments full of jumping lunges, high knees and rotating jumping squats with muscle-building moves like overhead triceps extensions with plie squats. Time flies, as each circuit is less than 10 minutes and offers a solid workout for both your heart and muscles!
Where to get it: $12.99, amazon.com
More from FITNESS: Need a soundtrack? Try Kristi Yamaguchi’s workout playlist.
October’s Top Workout DVD: Tonique Mat
Best for: Those with limited home gym equipment looking for an effective strength routine.
Why it’s a star: All you need for this terrific toning workout is a mat (and the ability to tolerate a little bit of muscle burning)! Trainer Sylwia Weisenberg, who also created the Express workout in our October issue, leads you through an hour of core, butt, hip and thigh strengtheners on your back, side and knees. Sounds simple, right? Well stacking up moves like a side leg lift with a saddlebag slimmer (see how to do it here) makes for an effective and challenging workout—we were shaking—even without dumbbells.
Where to get it: toniquefitness.com, $18.95
More from FITNESS: Our Best Yoga and Pilates Exercise Videos
September’s Top Workout DVD: Denise Austin Sculpt & Burn Body Blitz
Best for: Intermediate exercisers in need of a peppy motivator; those short on time who prefer squeezing in several short workouts rather than a long one.
Why it’s a star: Experienced and enthusiastic trainer Denise Austin (she worked with the original fitness innovator Jack LaLanne himself!) leads you through four speedy yet effective workouts, plus a warm-up and cooldown, during this new DVD. Users get a little taste of many fitness trends: Kickboxing, kettlebells (you can swap in a light dumbbell) and sport-focused drills during the 10-minute segments. Since many muscles are challenged at once during moves like a lunge with a weighted punch and jumping squats with jumping jack arms, you can still get results in a short amount of time!
Where to get it: deniseaustin.shop.sportstoday.com, $7.99
Now tell us: Do you like to complete one longer workout or several quick ones throughout the day?
August’s Top Workout DVD: Mandy Ingber’s Yogalosophy
Best for: Reluctant yogis seeking an extra strength challenge; those who want to train like a Hollywood star.
Why it’s a star: Mandy Ingber, a 15-year fitness veteran and trainer to Jennifer Aniston (your celebrity body role model), banishes yoga boredom by integrating strength and balance moves with traditional poses. (For example, you’ll hold a crescent pose as Mandy is doing on the cover, then do two sets of lunges.) The 55-minute routine is not for yoga purists, but by the time you reach the relaxing stretch at the end, the workout will feel well worth it.
Where to get it: amazon.com, $10.99
Now tell us: If you could workout with any celebrity’s trainer, whose would you pick?
July’s Top Workout DVD: Tracey Mallett’s The Booty Barre Plus Abs & Arms
Best for: Those who love Pilates, ballet and barre classes but feel like they’re neglecting their upper half.
Why it’s a star: Tracey Mallett, a 20-year fitness industry veteran, has created the ultimate total body barre fusion workout. After a dance-inspired warm-up, you’ll challenge your arms with high repetition strength moves performed with light dumbbells (think punches, front raises and triceps extensions). Then the barre and abs section includes intervals boost your heart rate and your bum! Yoga and Pilates dominate the core and stretch sections and complete the workout on a zen note.
Where to get it: thebootybarre.com, $19.99
Now tell us: This workout made our arms feel sundress-ready! What strong body part are you most proud of?
June’s Top Workout DVD: Amy Dixon’s Breathless Body
Best for: Moderate to advanced exercisers looking for a challenge; those who are ready to drip sweat.
Why it’s a star: Equinox group fitness manager Amy Dixon is not messing around with this workout! After a brief warm-up, she picks up the pace with eight different Tabata intervals (20 seconds hard, 10 seconds resting; repeat eight times for one interval). The rest time sounds ample, but don’t be tricked: You’ll need every second! Each exercise is offered at three different intensity levels, so you can choose the one that best fits your current abilities. If you pick the most challenging one you can complete with good form, you will be breathless!
Where to get it: amydixonfitness.com, $19.99
Now tell us: Does a trainer (virtual or in real life) help you push yourself harder during a workout?