Recession Mama

{July 25, 2009}   Recession Workout

Today’s guest post is from my pal and personal trainer Kevin Kelley. Last month, Kevin gave us tips on how to work out for less. But this time he’s put together a special FREE workout for Recession Mama. (So don’t say we’ve never done anything for ya.)   Now print this out and tape it to your refrigerator, your mirror, your forehead whatever it takes to get your attention. No more excuses. It’s time to start feeling better!

Love, Heather

( I hate cardio but I do it anyway so I can get rid of that layer of  chub covering my body like an ugly winter parka. 🙂 Kidding! It actually feels good.)

By: Kevin Kelley 

I want to thank Recession Mama for inviting me to post again.  This time I’m going to give some tips/principles regarding your workout that you can do in-home or at your gym.

#1 Push It!!  The vast majority of people I train start off with the mentality that lifting weights is more recreational than intense exercise.  Developing an attractive physique requires hard work, so when you exercise PUSH IT!

#2 Consistency:  Set specific days/times for your workouts and stick to it.  It’s not what you do today or this week that get you to your goal(s), it’s long term adherence and consistency.

#3 Prioritize:  The people that I see who make the most drastic lifestyle changes are the ones who make their workouts a top priority.  Exercise leads to good health – and good health allows you to do everything else better…  work, parenting, school, etc. 

Now for the WORKOUT tips:

** Always start with a warm-up of at least 5 min.  This can be done on a treadmill, an indoor bike, a jog outside, jumping rope…  you get the idea.  If you’re not breathing hard by the end of the 5 min, then you need to bump up the intensity.  The whole point of a warm-up is to warm-up (thus the name warm-up!)…  ideally your body temperature should be elevated – maybe even a light (or heavy) sweat going.


Example:  One warm-up I do with my clients is to get them on a treadmill set @ 3.5 – 4.0 mph.  I set the incline at 5% to start and bump it up 1% every 15-30 seconds (depending on their conditioning) until we run out of time or can’t bump the incline up any higher.  Most home treadmills will top out at 10-15% incline.

** Compound Move #1:  Squat Press –   Start with a pair of dumbbells up at the shoulders.  Squat down into a deep deep deep deep deep squat (thighs should be parallel with the floor or lower) then as you stand, press the dumbbells straight up over the head.  As you drop down to squat let the dumbbells come down to the shoulders at the same time.Do 3 sets:  1st set 20 reps, 2nd set 15 reps, 3rd set 10 reps

squat press

**  Compound Move #2:  Chest Press / Sit Up – Start with your back on the floor or on a bench & your feet flat on the floor.  Hold the dumbbells down by the chest – elbows out wide.  As you press the dumbbells up into a chest press – you are also going to do a partial sit-up – just to the point where your lower back begins to come off the floor/bench.  As you lower the dumbbells you’ll be lying back down on the bench to the start position.Do 3 sets:  1st 20 reps, 2nd 15 reps, 3rd 10 reps

chest press

**  Compound Move #3:  Fixed Lung / Hammer Curls – Start in a split stance (one leg forward & one back – as if you were frozen in a walking stride), arms will be down by your sides with the dumbbells in each hand.  Drop down into the lunge with as much weight as possible on the front leg – leaning slightly forward.  As you stand perform a Hammer Curl up to the shoulders – dropping the hands down to the fully extended position as you dip down into the lunge again.  You will be doing the curl as you stand up – not as you dip down into the lunge.Do 3 sets: 20/15/10 reps for each leg

lunge hammer curl

**  Ab Emphasis:  Perform 10-20 reps of each of the following with no break in between – simply transition from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible.

1. Standard Sit-up.  Feet flat on the floor (not held by anything) cup your ears with your hands (so you’re not pulling on your head/neck) drop all the way down to the floor/mat and then return to the full sit-up position  10-20 reps


2. Invisible Chair.  Lying flat on your back elevate your thighs so your legs look like you are sitting in a chair (the back of the chair is on the horizontal plane).  Cross your arms on your chest/shoulders.  Keeping the legs in the fixed position, crunch up so that your elbows touch as far up your thighs as possible – as if you were trying to touch your elbows to your knee caps. 10-20 reps


3. Hands 2 Toes.  Still flat on your back, bring your legs up so that they are pointed straight up towards the ceiling.  Keeping the legs fixed, reach your hands from in front of your face up to your toes.  The goal is to get as much of your back off the mat/floor as possible.  10-20 reps

hand to toes

4. Plank w/Crunch:  Roll over into a plank position (forearms & toes on the floor) you’re going to drop your hips down so that your thighs & pelvis/navel touch the mat – then elevate your butt by performing a crunch (sternum to navel), drop and repeat.  10-20 reps.

** Arm Emphasis:  10-20 reps with no break in between.  All exercise should be done on a Swiss ball or bench.

1. Dumbbell Pullover:  Lying on the ball take the dumbbells back behind your head with bent elbows as if you were trying to touch them to the floor behind you head.  As you lift the dumbbells point them straight up towards the ceiling locking the elbows to fully engage the triceps.  Repeat for 10-20 reps.

Pullover 2

2.  Chest Press:  Turn the elbows out to the sides and perform a standard chest press – big stretch at the bottom as the dumbbells get to the shoulders & press the dumbbells up through the roof at the top.  Repeat for 10-20 reps.

3.  Seated TricepExtension:  Now sitting on the ball/bench, take the dumbbells back behind the head as if you were trying to touch the dumbbells between your shoulder blades.  Now straighten the arms and point the dumbbells straight up towards the ceiling.  Repeat for 10-20 reps.

tricep extension

4.  Lateral Raises:  Arms down by your sides – no bend in the elbows – take the dumbbells and raise them up (palms down) just below horizontal.  Perform short reps for 10-20.

lateral raise

5. Front Raises:  Standing now, you will have the arms straight and the hands/palms on the front of the thighs.  Without bending the elbows take one arm up straight up over the top of the head – now as that arm is descending  the other arm will be raised up.  Alternate for 10-20 reps.

Finishing Move:  Let’s finish with the same exercise we started with – Squat Press:  We will use the same weight and reps that we started with…  3 sets 20/15/10 reps.When you are done take 5 min to stretch.  Focus mostly on the hamstrings and lower back.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

 -Kevin M. Kelley
Certified Personal Trainer

recessionmama says:

Thank for helping me feel better Kevin. My bones thank you too!

Katy says:

Thanks for the free workout lesson! We all need some free stuff in this recession. 🙂

Lydia says:

Hey Kevin – Thanks for the great tips! Does it count if I sit on my Swiss ball while I eat icecream? Just kidding… sort of… Here’s a tip for saving $$ on exercise equipment – check garage sales, especially in the swankier neighborhoods. I got a set of golf clubs and a bag for $10. Sold them all on Ebay for about $75. I got my new Swiss ball for $5. Using it part of the time as my computer chair. I read where if you sit on one instead of a chair, you’ll help strengthen your core. And honey, my core could use some work!

carla says:

What a great post, Heather, thanks for sharing Kevin with us again. I LOVE workout tips. There’s SO much we can do at home..and/or with a great trainer : )

Oh and Kevin, if you want a charity case that’s willing to work her butt off (quite literally) and give you some killer “before” and “after” shots of life before and after the baby weight, I’m your girl.

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