Adding strength to your running program is a great way to pick up speed and stay injury free. Check out our latest episode of #TribeTV where I highlight three moves you can do at home with no equipment.
CanFitPro is one of my favourite weekends in Toronto. Thousands of fitness professionals from around North American invade the Metro Toronto Convention Centre sweating, and laughing, and having a fatiguing good time all in the name of healthy, active living. An epic star studded line up including Jillian Michaels, Tosca Reno, and Hayley Wickenheiser helped kick of the rad weekend and keep the energy high all conference long.
The convention centre was buzzing, and the trade show was hopping – or Zumbaing. Here are my top 5 trends from this years CanFitPro.
1. Dance Fitness: Barre was huge this year. I’ve blogged previously about Barre workouts and moves you can do in the comfort of your own home, now many new (and American) brands are sharing their version of barre and making it more mainstream. Want to try it at home? Check out my post with the leaders in Toronto Barre, Barreworks, here.
Zumba continues to hold a significant place in the professional learning at CanFitPro. This year they offered a certification courses on their Zumba Step (think 90s step aerobics with a Zumba flair) so I’m sure those classes will be shaking their way into a studio near you soon.
2. Technology: Metrics matter and most manufacturers of fitness equipment have figured that out. The hottest metric is the new Schwinn MPower Echelon Console which takes your traditional indoor cycling bike to the next level by allowing the users to monitor calories, distance, revolutions per minute, and watts. Watts is a significant metric as it allows the user to monitor their intensity through the technology by putting numbers to their perceived levels of exertion.
Apps also continue to be popular with many free apps becoming available through big name brands such as Nike, Strava, and Schwinn, as well as other independent apps including Tabata Timers which allow the user to complete intervals (see trend 5) in an easier way.
3. Bright Colours and Bold Patterns: Fashion is always a key part of the CanFitPro expo with many big brands showcasing their gear. This year a common theme between big athletic brands like New Balance, Asics, Sketchers, and Zumba, as well as many small independent retailers was neon brights and funky bold patterns. Pants, tanks, tees, and shoes of every colour of the rainbow were available – A trend I personally love and hope continues. What am I loving now? Check out these Oakley Printed Strength Tights, available online for $90.
4. Functional Fitness: Strength training that uses your own body weight continues to lead the strength and conditioning field. This is great news for people wanting to get fit from home (or in the park) without needing lots of equipment to do so. I believe much of this comes from the added interest of obstacle races. These mass fitness events are challenging the “average Joe” to get after it and they are doing so on their own, at home, and these functional moves are giving them the results they need to rock their race (and live a healthy lifestyle), without a significant financial investment. Looking for moves you can try at home? Check out my Fit From Home Tab for ideas to get you moving and building strength in the comfort of your own home.
5. Interval Training: Whether you’re out on a run, in the pool, on a bike, or integrating strength training, intervals (including Tabata timing) is hot! Two styles of intervals were all over the conference this year and those included the ever famous Tabata, and the Copenhagen.
- Tabata includes :20 seconds of hard breathless effort, followed by :10 seconds of easy recovery. This is completed for 8 rounds which takes a total of 4 minutes. In it’s authentic form it is so challenging (hard & breathless will do that to you) that it should only be completed once, so can be book ended by a 15 minute warm up and 15 minute cool down to give you a solid 30 minute sweat session.
- Copenhagen includes :10 seconds of hard breathless effort, :20 seconds of hard effort, and :30 seconds of moderate effort repeated 5 times for a total of 5 minutes. This interval is followed by a two minute recovery and then repeated in it’s entirety for another 5 minutes. Add a 10-15 minute warm up and cool down and you’re set!
As above, these intervals can consist of either a single exercise, such as a run, or bike, or can be alternated with various activities including a Tabata of burpees and squats or a Copenhagen of burpees, jump squats, and regular squats.
Tune in to CHCH Morning Live Monday August 11th at 9:15 am to see the Copenhagen interval and hear me chat about my favourite fitness trends.
Have a funky interval set you love? Leave it in the comments!
This month the focus is on legs, core, cardio, and of course a whole lot of fun with my “Tea Towel Tune Up”. All you need is a slippery floor and two tea towels (or wash clothes, paper plates, or even fuzzy socks).
Try to complete two to three sessions a week sneaking in the five move sequence whenever you can for a total of three times a day (that’s only 15min!). Keep the pace fast and the effort hard.
Total Reps: Perform as many reps as you can of each move in one minute each, moving from one exercise to the next without stopping. Rest one minute, then repeat the sequence two more times. Consider keeping track of your total rep count and try to beat your total next time. Be sure to keep safety in mind even when focusing on time.
Pause, then slide yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete for 30 seconds with your left foot forward, then do the same duration of time with your right foot in front.
2. Skater Lunge
Stand tall with feet hip-width apart, and a tea towel under your right foot. Slide your right foot sideways and slowly lower your body into a squat until your left knee is bent to at least 90 degrees.Be sure to keep your body weight over your left leg.
Pause, then slide yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete for 30 seconds with your left foot grounded, then do the same duration of time with your right foot grounded.
Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent and each of your feet on their own tea towel. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Slide both feet away from the body extending as far as possible without dropping your hips.
Pause, then slide yourself to the starting position as quickly as you can. Complete for 60 seconds.
4. Mountain Climbers
Starting on all fours place your hands on the floor slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Both feet are positioned on their own tea towel extended straight behind the body (in high plank). As quickly as possible alternate sliding your knees towards your chest. Complete for 60 seconds moving as quickly as possible.
Starting on all fours place your hands on the floor slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Both feet are positioned on their own tea towel extended straight behind the body (in high plank). Engage your core and slide both knees in towards your chest keeping your seat in line with your shoulders.
Pause, then slide yourself out to the starting position. Complete for 60 seconds.
How do you keep fitness fun? Share it in the comments and let’s inspire each other!
Watch this sequence in action on my monthly segment on CHCH Morning Live! Click HERE!