Evidence-Based Workouts

I’m currently on Week 8 of PWR at home by Kelsey Wells of BBG Sweat app. It’s a resistance/strength training program that’s 12 weeks long. I started it as soon as I got the thumbs up from the OB to workout again post-partum. I started with PWR at home beginner then moved my way to the PWR at Home 1.0. It’s a great workout to be able to do at home while the kids nap. The program is divided into chest/triceps, arms and abs, legs, back and shoulders. Basically, the goal is to do 5 resistance workouts/week with 3 LISS workouts and 1 HIIT. Well, in a busy world, it’s tough to fit in 5x/wk workouts.

So, it got me thinking and researching: What are the best evidence-based workouts out there?

Being a science-driven person (thank you med school!), I dug into the science looking for journal articles and browsing the thoughts of experts in the field. Here is what I found….


SAMPLE WORKOUTS

Home full body workout from Built With Science:

Workout A

Workout B



  • TransparentLabs.com: The Best Science-Based Workout Routine For Beginners
    • Workout Instructions:

      • Perform 12-15 reps 
      • Use weights that create fatigue, but not to create failure, (if you can’t complete 12-15 reps, reduce your weight).
      • Complete one set of each exercise, moving from the first to the second, to the third, etc.
      • Transition to the next exercise without a break
    • Dumbbell Front Squat
    • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
    • Barbell Bentover Rows
    • Dumbbell Split Squats (each side)
    • Dumbbell Chest Press on Swiss Ball
    • Wide-grip Pullups
    • Dumbbell Step-ups
    • Medicine Ball floor slams
    • Barbell Hip Thrusters
    • Decline Pushups
  • Built With Science Best Full Body Workout
    • Workout A
      • Barbell Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Barbell Back Squat: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Pull-Ups: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Lying Hamstring Dumbbell Curls: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • Standing Overhead Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Face Pulls: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • Drag Curls: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
    • Workout B
      • Barbell Deadlift: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
      • Bulgarian Split Squat: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
      • Chest Supported Row OR Inverted Row: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
      • Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • Incline Dumbbell Kickbacks: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
      • High to Low Chest Cable Flies: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Stephanie Buttermore: Full Body Workouts
  • AthleanX: The PERFECT Total Body Workout (Sets and Reps Included)
    • Here is how to construct the perfect total body workout A:
      • 3D Lunge Warmup – 2-3 x 7 reps each direction
      • Barbell Squats – 3 x 5
      • Barbell Hip Thrusts – 3-4 x 10-12
      • Barbell Bench Press – 3 x 5
      • Weighted Chin Ups – 3 x 6-10 to failure
      • DB Farmer’s Carries – 3-4 x 50 steps with half bodyweight
      • Face Pulls – 2 x 12 (using 12 sets of 1 mentality)
    • Here is how to construct the perfect total body workout B:
      • 3D Lunge Warmup – 2-3 x 7 reps each direction
      • Deadlifts – 3 x 5
      • Barbell Squats or Barbell Reverse Lunges – 3-4 x 10
      • Barbell OHP – 3 x 5
      • Barbell Rows – 3 x 10-12
      • DB Overhead Farmer’s Carries – 3-4 x 50 steps with one quarter bodyweight
      • Face Pulls or other corrective – 2 x 12 (using 12 sets of 1 mentality)
  • AthleanX: The Perfect Abs Routine
    • Here is how to construct the perfect abs workout for beginners:
      • ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
      • Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions) REST 30 SECONDS
      • Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
      • Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds REST 30 SECONDS
      • Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
      • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
      • Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds
    • Here is how to construct the perfect abs workout for more advanced lifters:
      • Hanging ‘X’ Raises x 30-60 seconds
      • Hanging Leg Spirals x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left twists) REST 20 SECONDS
      • Tornado Chops x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left chops)
      • Opposite Scissor V Us x 30-60 seconds REST 20 SECONDS
      • Sledgehammer Swings x 30-60 seconds each side
      • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
      • Plank Punchouts x 30-60 seconds
  • Stephanie Buttermore: Ab training everyday
    • Month 1-2: leg raises (3-4 sets of 20)
    • Month 3-4: ab crunch (3-4 sets of 20)
    • Month 4-5: crunch machine (3-4 sets of 20)
  • Jeff Nippard: 6 pack abs
    • 6 Pack Abs 55% type 1 vs 45% type 2 fibers
    • Weighted 6-12 reps | Unweight 15-30 reps
    • Training: 3-6 sessions per week | 2 exercises per session | 3-4 sets per exercise
    • Recommends: one crunch type movement | one leg raise type movement
    • Sample Exercises: hanging leg raises, lying leg raises v-ups, reverse crunches Cable wood chops, side bends long lever planks (elbows in front of eyes, posterior tilt =squeeze glutes)
  • Stephanie Buttermore: Glute and Hamstring focus
    • Warmup – 5-10 minutes
    • Dynamic stretching: leg swings, wall sit
    • Stiff-leg deadlift with barbell- 4 sets, 4 reps, 8 RPE
    • Machine hack squat- 3 sets, 8 reps, 8 RPE
    • Dumbbell frog pump- 2 sets, 30 reps, 8 RPE
    • Eccentric-accentuated lying leg hamstring curl- 3 sets, 6 reps, 8 RPE
    • Cable standing hip abduction- 2 sets, 20 reps/leg, RPE 8
    • Cable pull through- 11:25
    • Machine-standing calf raise- 3 sets, 8 reps, RPE 7
  • Jeff Nippard: The Most Scientific Way to Train Hamstrings
  • Jeff Nippard: Advanced Glute Training Science Explained
    • Day 1 – stretcher (squat), activator (hip thrust), pumper (banded side walks)
    • Day 2 – activator (hip thrust), pumper (machine hip abduction), pumper (side lying clams)
    • Day 3 – rest
    • Day 4 – rest
    • Day 5 – stretcher (romanian deadlift), activator (back extension), pumper (frog pumps)
    • Day 6 – activator (cable pullthroughs), pumper (elevated glute bridge), pumper (squat bouncer)
    • Day 7 – rest –> periodization –change up workouts every 1-3 months
  • Jeff Nippard: The Most Scientific Way to Train Glutes
    • Back Squat 2 sets | 5 reps (warm up) 3 sets | 4 reps (working)
    • Plate-Loaded Single Leg Hip Thrust 3 sets | 12-15 reps per leg
    • Walking Barbell Lunge 3 sets | 30 total strides
    • Lower Back (Hip) Extension 3 sets | 15-20 reps (load with a plate help to your chest)
    • Hip Abduction (machine, cable or plate) 3 sets | 15-20 reps
  • Chris Thompson: 30 minute full body
    • 2 sets, 8-15 reps, want to go to failure. Little rest as possible bt sets and exercises.
    • Bench Tuck
    • Calf Extension
    • Abductor Machine
    • Hyperextension
    • Hamstring Curl
    • Leg Extension
    • Squat Machine
    • Pull Up
    • Row
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    • Dumbbell Curl
    • Barbell Bench Press
    • Dip

The more I started reading about strength training, the more I came across articles and blogs about CALISTHENICS. I’m still a bit confused as to what it is, but it seems like the gist of it is to use your own bodyweight and for full body exercises that can be done anywhere.

Given all this strength science, there must be data out there for workouts that have been around for centuries such as YOGA.


After reading about all this yoga information, I thought… What about PILATES?


My Plan


  • Kris Home Workout Full Body A (with abs and glutes)
    • Barbell Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Barbell Back Squat: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
    • Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions)
    • Pull-Ups: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Lying Hamstring Dumbbell Curls/Swiss ball glute bridge leg slide: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
    • Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds
    • Standing Overhead Press: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Face Pulls: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
    • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
    • Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds
    • Farmer’s Dumbbells weighted walk – 50 steps
    • Dumbbell bench tricep skull crushers (go farther overhead, not straight above head)
    • Drag Curls: 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps
    • Back extensions: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Cable standing hip abduction- 2 sets, 15 reps/leg, RPE 8
    • Single leg lateral lunge (for adduction) – 2 sets, 15 repts/leg

  • Kris Home Workout Full Body B (with abs and glutes)
    • Barbell Deadlift: 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps
    • Incline Dumbbell Press: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
    • Hanging ‘X’ Raises x 30-60 seconds/ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
    • Hanging Leg Spirals x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left twists)/Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions)
    • Bulgarian Split Squat (alternate upright vs leaned over like sprinter): 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps – if no weights, then jumping
    • Chest Supported Row OR Inverted Row: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
    • Eccentric-accentuated lying leg hamstring curl- 3 sets, 6 reps, 8 RPE
    • Tornado Chops x 30-60 seconds (alternate right and left chops)/Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
    • Opposite Scissor V Us x 30-60 seconds/Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds
    • Gliding leg curl (legs up on row seat): 3-4 sets of 10-15
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raises: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Incline Dumbbell Kickbacks: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Cable pull through- 11:25
    • High to Low Chest Cable Flies: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
    • Dumbbell frog pump- 2 sets, 30 reps, 8 RPE
    • Sledgehammer Swings x 30-60 seconds each side/Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
    • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
    • Plank Punchouts x 30-60 seconds/Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds

  • Kris Home Workout Full Body C (with abs and glutes)
    • TransparentLabs.com: The Best Science-Based Workout Routine For Beginners Workout Instructions: Perform 12-15 reps 
      Use weights that create fatigue, but not to create failure, (if you can’t complete 12-15 reps, reduce your weight).
      Complete one set of each exercise, moving from the first to the second, to the third, etc. Transition to the next exercise without a break
    • Dumbell Reverse lunge
    • Farmer’s overhead dumbbell walks – 50 steps
    • Machine-standing calf raise- 3 sets, 8 reps, RPE 7
    • ISO Reverse Crunches x 30-60 seconds
      Seated Ab Circles x 30-60 seconds (alternate cw and ccw directions)
    • Barbell Bentover Rows or Seated Row
    • Dumbbell Split Squats (each side)/Walking lunges
    • Recliner Elbow to Knee Tucks x 30-60 seconds
    • Opposite Side Tuck Planks x 30-60 seconds
    • Dumbbell Chest Press on Swiss Ball
    • Lying single leg gliding leg curls on floor
    • Wide-grip Pullups
    • Dumbbell Step-ups
    • Oak Tree Stepouts x 30-60 seconds each side
    • Banded Pulldowns x 30-60 seconds
    • Plank Pushaways x 30-60 seconds
    • Medicine Ball floor slams
    • Face Pulls
    • Barbell Hip Thrusters
    • Face Down Arc (lay on belly – slow snow angel faced-down, not go above shoulders)
    • Decline Pushups
  • Kris Workout Full Body D (short on time or gym access)
    • Chris Thompson: 30 minute full body 2 sets, 8-15 reps, want to go to failure. Little rest as possible bt sets and exercises.
    • Bench Tuck
    • Calf Extension
    • Abductor Machine
    • Hyperextension
    • Hamstring Curl
    • Leg Extension
    • Squat Machine
    • Pull Up
    • Row
    • Dumbbell Lateral Raise
    • Dumbbell Curl
    • Barbell Bench Press
    • Dip/bench tricep pushes

Nutrition and Macros

I’ve always been fascinated by nutrition, but I’ve never had the discipline to really take control of my nutrition.  Well, it’s time.  It’s a good time for me to truly dive in and learn about nutrition as well as be able to teach my daughter good eating habits.

In the workout community, people seem to talk a lot about macros.  What the heck is a macro?

“Macronutrients are what make up the caloric content of a food,” says McMahon. Sometimes referred to as “macros,” the three categories of macronutrients are carbohydrates, fat, and protein. The caloric combination of the macros is where that mysterious total number of calories comes from. Here’s the breakdown:

So it’s not about how many calories are in your food, but what kind of calories are in your food. 

How to read nutrition labels Macro-style

macro-calculator-60-days
From Muscle and Fitness

  • Stats I entered for all the below calculators:

    39 F, 148 lb (that’s a guess), 5’7″, sedentary job (sometimes) but works out 3-4x/wk doing Alexia Clark.

  • Training day (cardio not included): Carbs 205g (56%), Fat 33g (10%), Protein 126g (35%), Calories 1,620
  • Rest day (including cardio): Carbs 105g (35%), Fat 42g (14%), Protein 153g (51%), Calories 1,408

Flexible Dieting macro calculator

  • Carbs 157g (42%), Fat 41g (25%), Protein 122g (33%), Calories 1,491

IIFYM Macro calculator

  • Carbs 137g (45%), Fat 30g (10%), Protein 137g (45%), Calories 1,270

Kathy Hearn Fit macro calculator

  • Carbs 116g (39%), Fat 51.7g (18%), Protein 125.6g (43%), Calories 1,432

Meal prep on fleek macro calculator

  • Carbs 172g (48%), Fat 44.4g (12%), Protein 138.8g (39%), Calories 1,646
  • Per meal breakdown (for 3 meals/day)=Carbs 57.6g, Fat 14.8g, Protein 46.3g, Calories 549

Avg numbers according to the macro calculators above:

  • Carbs 149g
  • Fat 40g
  • Protein 134g
  • Calories 1,478
  • 46% Carb/ 12% Fat/ 41% Protein

I have to be honest…I can’t tell you when the last time I ate 1,500 calories in a day.  That seems to me to be more calorie restrictive than I would like to be.  We’ll see how this goes.  I’ll be logging my food diary via MyFitnessPal App.

how-to-count-your-macros__big_4x3
From Women’s Health Mag UK

Watch “Alexia Clark workout – week 1” on YouTube

I’m four weeks postpartum. Back at work full time. The First week completed with Alexia Clark!! It was a great workout!! For the most part, I stuck to the home 30 minute workouts. When I had extra time, I did the home 60 minute workouts. I am NOT disappointed. It’s great that she incorporates full body exercises and her workouts keep my heart rate up (despite what my heart rate watch says!). Update to follow…

3 months postpartum and time to start a new workout regimen

Three months have flown by since Arden was born.  I started doing Classpass about a month ago to get back into pilates.  During my experimentation with Classpass, I found barre classes to be quite tough and intriguing.  From the various barre studios around me, I found Studio Barre to be fun, encouraging, girlie, and upbeat.  For a good cardio burn, both Cycle Bar and 9 Round were great at keeping my heart rate up!

From https://anomalily.net/classpass/

In about a week and a half, I have to go back to work.  Right now, I have mixed feelings about this as I’ve enjoyed my time with Arden.  I think the first week will be tough.  It’ll be the first time I’ve been away from her for any length of time.  Our hospital did a roll out of Epic, which is an electronic medical record — I’m nervous as this will be my first time using it when I go back.  I haven’t given an anesthetic in 3 months… this means I need to dust off the cobwebs and put my thinking cap back on.  I can only imagine I will be drained with the early mornings and late nights and plenty of mental stimulation.  It will be a different kind of tired vs. child-induced tired.

I want to put myself in the best place to handle these stresses.  Despite my current passes at my various studios, I will need a home workout to do when I can’t get out of work in time.  This led me down a rabbit hole last night of searching for various home workouts and reviews.

I’ve done plenty of home workouts as evidenced here and I appreciate everything it provides.  However, how do you keep the workouts fresh and non-repetitive?  The P90X series is awesome for a tough cardio and sculpting workout in 30 minutes with great results.  But there’s only so many times I can do the same exercises over and over again.  Then, I went to Sweat/BBG by Kayla Itsines.  This app/workout program got me wedding dress ready in 3 months!  This was a fabulous workout that had plenty of cardio, jumps, squats, upper/low/full body, weights, etc.  But I had the same problem of repeating workouts.  I was getting great results, but I couldn’t stay motivated to do the same workouts over and over again.

Searching for a constantly changing workout regimen led me to Alexia Clark.  There was just a little bit on her website describing her workouts, but I wanted more info.

After reviewing all this information, I decided Alexia Clark’s program is the way to go.  My classpass/barre pass ends at the end of May.  I’m pulling the trigger to start Alexia Clark on June 1.  My husband watched a bit of the review video with me and says he would start with me.  Now how’s that for motivation?

 

And this nifty little macro calculator was just what I needed to help me get my diet on track.

 

Do you have any recommendations or workout programs I should check out?

 

Paleo: my initial thoughts

It all started with 23 and me.  Initially, I did it bc this company was just getting started, and I enjoy analytics and health and ancestry.  Well, once I got the info from this, a colleague of mine told me about DNA Fit.  It basically looks at your genetics and how your body handles nutrition, fitness, and metabolism.  I found out a lot about my own health!  Based on my DNA, it said my body does best with a Paleo diet.  So, I opted to do a mostly paleo diet starting in October 2016 — with an upcoming wedding in February 2017, I was on a mission.

I started ordering Trifecta Nutrition for quick and organic Paleo meals.  I would eat these meals 5 days a week for lunch at work.  One of the biggest things I noticed was that I was fuller longer and had much less cravings for sweets.  From October to February, I lost 10 lbs and got lean.  Of course, I was also doing Sweat (iphone app) by Kayla Itsines.  This is a no-nonsense program that you can do anywhere and anytime.  In the past, I’ve done almost all of the beachbody products: p90, p90x, p90x3, chalean xtreme, turbo jam, insanity, turbo fire, hammer and chisel — of all of these, I really highly recommend P90x3 — it’s a terrific program that will give you results if you put in the work.  But what I found is that I would actually stick to the Sweat program much longer and have faster recovery with her program vs. P90X3.

So what have a discovered about myself as I’ve taken a more Paleo heavy diet?  I have less cravings.  I perform better physically and mentally.  I actually feel like I’m eating more and staying fuller longer.  And that (for me), is one thing I absolutely love!  Overall, I feel less deprivation…and that makes me happy!

What are your thoughts?  Anyone else have similar or different experiences with a Paleo diet?

Good places to start: