Fitness Challenge Details


WEEK 1 - fitness challenge details

If you're already a seasoned exerciser and want to use the fitness challenge details, try increasing the weights used and your intensity level in order to get the most from your workouts.

Upper body – 3 sets of push-ups and 3 sets of pullovers for a total of 12 repetitions each set

Push-ups

  • Start in a push-up position on the floor, hands wider than shoulder width apart, legs stretched out behind you
  • Engage core, press up on to hands and balls of feet, keeping torso flat
  • Return to start position without resting torso on the floor
  • Perform 12 repetitions
  • If you cannot perform full push-ups on hands & feet, start on your hands keeping knees and feet on the floor to perform push-ups and graduate to balls of feet when your strength increases

Pullovers

  • Lay on your back on a flat bench or on your bed with your head near the edge of the bed
  • Hold a dumbbell or other weighted object in both hands, arms raised toward the ceiling
  • Engage core and slowly lower dumbbell in an arc over your head and down toward the floor, keeping arms extended and elbows slightly bent at all times
  • Switch direction, squeeze chest, shoulders, arms, and back and raise dumbbell back to the start position above your chest
  • Perform 12 repetitions

Lower body – 3 sets of squats and 3 sets of lunges for a total of 12 repetitions each set

Squats

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold a weighted ball or other weighted object in your hands at chest level (holding weight is optional for beginners, but makes the move more challenging)
  • Lower yourself into a squat position by engaging core, bending at the knees and hips until your thighs are parallel with the floor (just like sitting on a chair)
  • Keep your head up, back straight and knees aligned over your ankles and toes
  • Pause for a moment at the bottom then push through your heels to raise back up to the starting position
  • Perform 12 repetitions

Lunges

  • Stand with feet together and a weighted object in each hand (try hand weights or a 1 litre water bottle in each hand down by your sides)
  • Tighten core and step forward with right foot (approx. one and a half to two feet)
  • Bend at the knees to lower left knee toward the floor - but do not touch - you should be in a forward lunge position with right leg forward and left leg back
  • Keep torso engaged and right knee over ankle - do not extend knee past toes
  • Stand up stepping right leg back to bring feet together
  • Continue alternating lead leg until you have completed 24 lunges (12 per lead leg)

Mid-section – 3 sets of planks, holding for 30 seconds each set, and 3 sets of bicycle crunches for 12 repetitions each set

Front Planks

  • Lay on stomach with elbows under shoulders, make fists and move palms close together to create a triangle with your forearms
  • Tighten core and raise body on to elbows and balls of feet in a plank position
  • Keep your torso flat like a board - do not raise your hips or sway your back
  • Hold for 30 seconds (work your way up to 30 seconds if need be) - remember to breathe
  • Repeat 3 times

If the original plank is too difficult to hold, start with an elbows & knees plank until you can graduate to the balls of your feet

Bicycle Crunches with Pilates Variation

  • Lay on your back with legs bent and knees pulled in toward your chest
  • Place right hand on the outside of right shin and left hand on the inside of right knee (both hands should be on right leg)
  • While pulsing right knee at chest, straighten left leg and lower toward the floor - but do not touch the floor
  • Switch legs; release right leg and straighten toward the floor while drawing the left knee to chest and grasping outer left shin with left hand and inner left knee with right hand
  • Repeat 12 per side

Once you've completed the fitness challenge details twice during the week for week one, please proceed to week two.



WEEK 2 - fitness challenge details

Upper Body - 3 sets of bent over rows and 3 sets of chest flyes for a total of 12 repetitions each set

Bent Over Rows

  • Grab a dumbbell or other weighted object in each hand shoulder width apart and stand with legs slightly bent and feet about hip width apart
  • Bend at hips so upper body is parallel with the floor and dumbbells are hanging down toward the floor (this is your start position)
  • Slowly contract back muscles and squeeze shoulder blades together as you raise dumbbells to chest height
  • Squeeze at the top and slowly lower dumbbells to the start position
  • Perform 12 repetitions

Chest Flyes

  • Performed with dumbbells or other weighted objects
  • Lie on a bench or the floor and raise dumbbells toward the ceiling, palms facing each other
  • Engage core and slowly lower dumbbells in an arc out to your sides
  • Elbows should remain slightly bent throughout the exercise
  • Keep elbows in line with shoulders at the bottom of the movement
  • Return to starting position, raising dumbbells in an arc toward ceiling
  • Perform 12 repetitions

Lower Body - 3 sets of walking plie squats and 3 sets of walking lunges for a total of 20 steps (10 steps per foot) for each set

Walking Plie Squats

  • Stand in a wide stance with feet greater than hip width apart, toes pointing out slightly, hands on a medicine ball or other weighted object at chest level
  • Lower into a squat position until thighs are parallel with the floor
  • Squeeze buttocks and start walking while in the plie squat position, do not rise up
  • Take 10 steps forward and then 10 steps backward

Walking Lunges

  • Stand tall with feet together, hands on barbell across your back, or dumbbells above shoulders, or a weighted water bottle in each hand
  • Tighten core and step forward with right foot (about 1 ½ – 2 feet forward)
  • Lower left knee toward floor – but do not touch – you should be in a forward lunge position with right leg forward, left leg back
  • Keep torso engaged and right knee over ankle
  • Stand up stepping left foot forward to bring feet together
  • Continue alternating lead leg as you walk forward until you have completed 20 lunges

Mid-section - 3 sets of gliding straddles for 12 repetitions each set and 3 sets of spiderman crawls for a total of 20 steps for each set

Gliding Straddles (use gliding discs under feet or use socks on a slippery floor)

  • In full plank position, draw both knees in toward chest
  • Straighten both legs out to a straddle position, keeping core tight and feet maintaining contact with the discs/floor at all times
  • Simultaneously draw both knees in toward chest to return to the start position
  • Perform 12 repetitions

Spiderman Crawls

  • Start in a push-up position with body slightly elevated (between a full push-up and lying on the floor, arms bent) with left hand about one foot ahead of right hand
  • Draw right knee up and step as close to right elbow as possible with right knee to the outside of right elbow
  • From this position, push off right foot to crawl forward with right hand while simultaneously moving left knee up toward left elbow
  • Keep your bottom low - it's like trying to crawl under a fence without touching your torso or your knees to the ground
  • Crawl for 20 steps

Once you've complete the fitness challenge details twice during the week for week two, please proceed to week three.



WEEK 3 - fitness challenge details

Upper Body - back to the push-ups, 3 sets, and around-the-worlds, 3 sets, for a total of 12 repetitions each set

Push-ups

  • Start in a push-up position on the floor, hands wider than shoulder width apart, legs stretched out behind you, toes touching floor
  • Engage core, press up on to hands raising chest off the floor, keeping torso flat
  • Return to start position without resting torso on the floor
  • Perform 12 repetitions

If you cannot perform full push-ups on hands & feet, start on your hands keeping knees and feet on the floor to perform push-ups and graduate to balls of feet when your strength increases.

Around The Worlds

  • Lie face up on a flat bench or on the floor with a dumbbell or other weighted object in each hand, palms up, elbows slightly bent, and hands beside your thighs
  • Begin moving the weights on the same plane as your body, in an arc from your thighs to a position behind your head (like making snow angels) and back down to your sides again
  • If you're lying on the floor, make sure the weights and your elbows are off the floor during the exercise
  • Repeat for 12 repetitions

Lower Body - 3 sets of butt bridges with a frog leg combo for a total of 12 repetitions per set and 3 sets of reverse lunge & lifts for a total of 10 repetitions each leg

Butt Bridges with Frog Leg Combo

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor, arms by your sides
  • Tighten core, squeeze glutes and raise hips up as high as they will go
  • At the top of the movement, squeeze glutes and let knees fall away from centre in an arc out to your sides while maintaining your hips in the raised position
  • Bring knees back together and lower your hips to the start position
  • Repeat for 12 repetitions

Reverse Lunge & Lift

    ,li>Stand with knees slightly bent and hands on hips
  • Engage your core, step back with right foot and lower into a lunge position (remember to keep left knee at a 90 degree angle and do not push knee past your toes)
  • Push off right foot (back foot) to straighten right leg out behind you while rising up on left leg to a standing position (with right leg raised to the rear)
  • Squeeze glutes as you hold right leg up in the air behind you for a count of 2
  • Return to starting position and repeat lunge and lift with left leg behind
  • Perform 10 repetitions per leg

Mid-section - 3 sets of ab roll outs and 3 sets of Russian twists for a total of 12 repetitions per set

Ab Roll Outs

  • Place a mat under your knees for cushioning and a barbell or ab roller or folded towel out in front of you
  • If using a barbell, make sure it's loaded with 5 or 10 lb plates to raise it off the floor
  • Get down on all fours with knees on mat, hands shoulder width apart on barbell (or ab roller or placed on top of towel for gliding purposes)
  • Engage core and roll out until hands are above head, and mid-section is a few inches from the floor (hips and mid-section approach the floor, but do not touch)
  • Reverse direction and move hands and hips back toward knees until you're in the all fours starting position with barbell (or roller or towel) under shoulders and arms slightly bent
  • Repeat for 12 repetitions

Russian Twists

  • Sit on the floor facing the wall with knees slightly bent and feet against the wall
  • Pick up weighted object in both hands, tighten torso and lean back to form a 30 - 45 degree angle at the hip
  • Begin to twist from side to side moving the weighted object in an arc from centre to right side, across the middle to the left side and back to centre
  • Repeat for 12 repetitions

Once you've completed the fitness challenge details twice during the week for week three, please proceed to week four.



WEEK 4 - fitness challenge details

Upper Body - 3 sets of tricep dips and 3 sets of standing shoulder press for a total of 12 repetitions per set

Tricep Dips

  • Place two benches (or two sturdy chairs) parallel to each other, approximately one leg length apart
  • Place hands behind you on one bench and feet up on the other bench in front of you - you should be in an L-sit position with elbows slightly bent and close to your sides
  • Without letting elbows rotate out to the sides, perform dips by bending at elbows to lower your hips toward the floor
  • At the bottom of the movement, contract triceps and raise body up to the start position
  • Perform 12 repetitions per set

Standing Shoulder Press

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells or other weighted objects and stand with feet hip width apart, knees slightly bent and weights above shoulders at the level of your ears, palms facing out
  • Engage core and slowly raise weights above head toward the ceiling, making sure to keep your back straight - no arching
  • At the top of the movement, pause then lower weights in a controlled manner to the start position
  • Perform 12 repetitions per set

Lower Body - 3 sets of step ups and 3 sets of crab walks for a total of 10 repetitions per leg

Step Ups

  • Stand in front of a flat bench (or sturdy stool) with a dumbbell or other weighted object in each hand
  • Engage core, raise right knee and step up onto the bench with right foot as you stand on one leg on the bench
  • Tap left toe on bench before lowering left foot to the floor, transfering weight to your left foot then bringing right foot down to the floor
  • Complete 10 repetitions rising up on right foot before switching to 10 repetitions rising up on left foot

Crab Walks

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms out in front for balance
  • Lower into a squat position
  • Engage core, step to the right, maintaining squat position (do not rise up during the movement)
  • Transfer weight to right foot and step left foot beside right foot, maintaining squat position
  • Continue stepping right for 10 repetitions before switching to move left for 10 repetitions

Mid-section - 3 sets of push ups to side planks and 3 sets of front plank with alternating knee raises for a total of 10 repetitions per set

Push Up to Side Plank

  • Start in a push up position on the floor, hands under shoulders (*beginners - perform push up on hands and knees)
  • Engage core, press up onto hands and at the top of the push up rotate torso opening up to to the left, lifting left hand and foot off the floor (like a star fish), balancing on right hand and foot
  • Return to start position and repeat on opposite side
  • Perform 10 repetitions per set

Front Plank with Alternating Knee Raise

  • Start in front plank position on elbows, forearms, and feet, with elbows under shoulders and core tight to prevent camel back or sway back
  • Lift right foot off floor, rotate out at the hip, bend knee and draw knee up toward shoulder (knee is out to the side on same plane as torso)
  • Straighten leg and return foot to starting position on the floor
  • Repeat sequence with left knee up
  • Perform 10 repetitions per leg for a total of 3 sets

That's all there is to it. Continue with the fitness challenge details for an additional two weeks, repeating week one and week two to complete a six week cycle.




Return from Fitness Challenge Details to Fitness Challenge



Return from Fitness Challenge Details to My Health Site Home Page





The contents of this site are the opinions of Michele Tse unless otherwise noted. The information on this site is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical or nutritional advice or treatment. Please consult your health care practitioner before beginning any fitness program.