500 Burpees?

I’m not one to do anything half a$$ed.

(I’ll make a full a$$ out of myself any day of the week :))

This was no exception. burpees 2

As many of you know, I have own and operate Calgary NW Fit Body Boot Camp here in Calgary. I’m super excited to partner up with an organization called Sweat Angels. Basically, when my boot camp members do a Face Book check in, money is donated to a charity. The charity changes monthly.

This month, every check in equates to providing 15o gallons of fresh drinking water for families in need.

As a kick off to the program, I told my clients that I’d match their check ins for the week by doing the same number of burpees at the Saturday session of boot camp.

Turns out we had almost 100 check ins, but given our numbers at boot camp, I know we could have had 500 check ins.

So, I decided to do the 500 burpees and I expect my clients to ‘owe’ me the check ins in the upcoming week.

If you want to challenge yourself, set your timer for one minute repeats and do 10 burpees per set for as many sets as you can.

I managed to do 50 sets of 10 burpees for a grand total 500 burpees in 50 minutes. I continued at a pace of 10 reps in 25-30 seconds so I could get about 30-35 seconds rest each set. It started out fairly easy, but it all added up. Incomplete recovery is a bugger 😉

It was a fun challenge.

FYI: I didn’t look at the total number of 500 burpees, I just did 10 burpees at a time, and even those 10 reps I broke down into 2 sets of 5.

burpees NO more

The lesson here is to never look to far up the stair case, just look at the next step up. Break up your bigger goals, whatever they are, into smaller more manageable goals.

Even so, 500 burpees was quite enough for me.

If you want to challenge yourself with burpees, learn how to do a zillion – well actually 72 varieties of burpees, check out Challenge Burpee here.







Do You Even Squat? Training Tips + 4 Minute Workout

Bodyweight workouts…

squatsLots of folks think that you need a lot of bells and whistles to have a good workout. Not so. Your bodyweight is sufficient for an amazing workout, as you’ll see if you do the follow along workout I have for you below.

Now, I must be honest, I don’t ONLY use bodyweight training, but it IS a staple in my workouts. And another staple is the almighty SQUAT.

The trouble with the squat is so many people do it incorrectly, their knees hurt and they think they should stop squatting. It’s imperative to built strength to support the knee, especially if the knee is sore or injured. The trick is doing it without further irritating the knee.

Here are a few squatting tips to keep in mind:

  • Remember to push your butt back and put your weight on your heels.
  • Keep the core tight.
  • Keep the chin up and chest high.

Here are some ways to modify the squat:

  • Modify the depth so you work in a pain free range of motion.
  • Try a plié squat, but make sure the feet are wide enough so the knees don’t go over the toes.
  • Try a wall sit instead of a squat, weight on the heels, knees at 90 degrees.

Now I have a follow along workout at the end of this video I did on Periscope. I promise I’ll get better at filming these things, I’m just learning this new social media. By the way, I’d LOVE for you to find me on Periscope. We can interact in real time because you can comment or ask questions right on the live broadcast.

Here’s the video:

This mini squat workout is the Punisher Tabatta. This can be done AFTER your workout or as a quickie if you have no time to train. It’s a more effective calorie burning workout than  a 30 minute slow steady plod on a treadmill.

It’s only be 4 minutes long.

Honestly, the workout doesn’t sound like much, given the time it takes. I mean anyone can do something for 4 minutes right?

The Punisher

  • Set your timer for two sets: 20 seconds and 10 seconds for 8 rounds.
  • Do a squat jump for the 20 seconds and a squat pulse for the 10 seconds.
  • If needed, do a bigger ROM (range of motion) for the pulse to give your quads a break.
  • Drop down (under control!) as deep as you can for the squat and then power up for the jump.
  • Be prepared for a massive quad burn!bodyweight bundle image

You’ll see the broadcast below, I did a screen capture of the replay for you so that you’d see how Periscope works. You’ll also see the (brutal) follow along 4 min video I did for you at the end.

If you don’t have time to watch the entire video, go to 14:07 for the workout.

Now, if you do this 4 minutes of torture, you’ll know that bodyweight workouts are an effective way to train. Holy Quad!

That’s why I made you the Challenge Workouts Bodyweight Bundle

These bodyweight workouts  are a steal of a deal (29 workouts for only $12) and they can’t be found anywhere else. I had a request for JUST a bodyweight package, so I pulled these ones together for you, I know you’ll love them.



Just For the Girls (Over 40)

Have you met my alter ego?

As some of you may already know, I have multiple personalities…shawna k multiple personality(So you really don’t need another trainer…kidding!)

My first blog is called Female Fat Loss Over 40 and it caters to women (obviously) over 40. I started this blog to help many of my local fitness boot campers who needed some support when they weren’t in boot camp. This blog provides a ton of information with workouts, nutrition, hormone related articles, etc.

It was a fun gig to work on until I was inspired to start THIS Challenge Workouts blog.

To be honest, I felt like I didn’t always resonate with the wonderful ladies on my Female Fat Loss Over 40 blog. Some of whom would be celebrating doing their first full push up (a major accomplishment!). I figured they must look at me like I have two heads when I post a video of, say myself doing 50 pull ups in under 5 minutes. I mean, that’s just a mis-fit right? So I had a conundrum. I didn’t want to stop working on my female fat loss blog, but I didn’t want to alienate the ladies either.

So I startlisa b and meed this Challenge Workouts gig and I soon found an awesome woman to help me with the Female Fat Loss Over 40 blog. She is Lisa Bullock from down under, I’m sure you’ve seen her on this blog, in my emails or on my Facebook page before. She’s kick in the pants fun, but more importantly, she’s a long time trainer, in her 40’s and has a passion to help women.

It’s the perfect fit. So if you ever visit my alter-ego blog, you’ll meet super star biz partner, Lisa B =)

Now, I wanted to share a workout from the Female Fat Loss Over 40 program for you. If you’re ‘not quite ready’ for some of the challenges in the Challenge Workout series, or if you just want a little more variety, you’ll love these follow along videos. I filmed them with some of my local clients, (real women!) and some of my offline trainers.

Here’s the workout:

Get Off the Treadmill!

This is a great alternative to a workout on the treadmill (although if you’re a treadmill addict, I have you covered! Click here!).

Try this 5 exercise circuit:

  • 10 burpees (or alternatives)
  • 10 renegade rows
  • 10 per leg mountain climbers
  • 10 reverse lunges
  • 10 prisoner squats

Repeat this circuit as many times as you can in 10, 12, 15 or 20 minutes depending on your fitness level or how much time you have.

*Remember the 10 minute rule: If you don’t feel like training, give yourself just 10 minutes to sweat. When the timer goes off at 10 minutes, you’ll either pack it in having raised your metabolism with a little movement, or more likely, you’ll finish your workout and feel great!

I thought I’d throw in this video that I did with fitness friend, Dawn Sylvester…(I’ll have her on the blog coming up soon.)

She asks me what are my top tips for fat loss for women over 40.

To summarize, here are my tips from the video:

1. Ditch the steady state cardio. Cardio is NOT the answer to a lean and sexy body. Add HIIT or high intensity interval training to your workouts. Increase intensity and shorten the workouts. There’s no sense in running a marathon or jumping on the tread mill for 30 min or an hour when you can get better benefits from a sweaty 20 min workout.

2. Strengthen the body with resistance training to add lean muscle. This increases resting metabolic rate to keep your metabolism fired up and this adds lots of sexy shape.

3. Although we never got to this because we were SO hot in the Az sun, this is an important tip: Avoid the ‘see food’ diet. Sadly, your abs are made in the kitchen and no amount of working out or ‘cardio’ will give you the desired results. You don’t need to starve yourself, but you can’t eat with reckless abandon. Decrease starchy carbs, increase lean proteins and healthy fats, avoid liquid calories – it’s not rocket science.

You’ll find a lot of answers to a tanking metabolism, an expanding waist line with manageable workouts in ‘Female Fat Loss Over 40

It’s my ‘alter -ego’ 🙂

You’ll sweat with me while you do the follow along workouts in your living room. Workouts are short and sweet but you’ll get lasting results!

Less Exercise => MORE Results

cardio hate 3Tell the truth….do you do ‘cardio’?

Before my kids, I did a few physique shows. I fared pretty well ending up at the National level here in Canada despite the fact that training for fat loss was different than it is now. Back in the day, I did a lot of traditional steady state cardio to help me get lean. It meant HOURS of pedaling a stationary bike and pumping the stair climber. This was just how it was done – I wasn’t alone in how I trained.

I wish I would have known then what I know now. It would have saved me a ton of time and I’d have gotten MUCH leaner. Take a look at this 2008 study:

If you wedge a 30-60 second burst of intense cardio between your sets of weight training you can achieve nearly TENFOLD greater fat loss.

Here’s proof:

Research from W. Jackson Davis and colleagues at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and the University of California at Berkley, looked at this issue in a September 2008 study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

They compared the results of 28 women divided into two groups:

Group #1 worked out with weights followed by cardiovascular exercise on a treadmill.

Group #2 did an equal volume of weight training and equal amounts of cardiovascular exercise… only this time they wedged the cardiovascular exercise in-between their sets of resistance training.

After 11 weeks, group #2 outperformed group #1 with significantly MORE progress in all areas:

– 82% greater improvement in muscle gains
– 35% greater improvement in lower body strength
– 52% greater improvement in lower body endurance
– 143% greater improvement in upper body flexibility
– 28% greater improvement in lower body flexibility
– 991% greater loss in fat mass

Pretty incredible: nearly a ten-fold greater loss.

It IS possible to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time so your workouts don’t have to be marathon long. I look at my physique now and see that I can maintain a level of body fat with virtually NO cardio, certainly NO steady state cardio and my workouts are easily done in 30 minutes (or less!).

Reality: lack of time is the #1 objection most folks have for not training. Do you ever just not have time to fit in a workout? Imagine if you could get your workout DONE in less than 30 minutes?

Sometimes you just don’t have access to equipment as well. I used to think I needed a full on gym to workout. Not so…

Below you’ll find a few examples of the kind of workout you can do anywhere to drop fat and gain muscle. These are my ‘go-to’ style workouts that I do a few times a week, no matter if I’m on holiday or if it’s my normal work-a-day life. They incorporate principles from the study above, what I like to call M2A training – Muscle Metabolism Acceleration.

Now M2A is all about the ‘after burn’. That is, creating a metabolic fire during your workout that stays with you so that you burn MORE calories long after your workout is done. When you train with this sort of intensity, you get the results you’re after.

Get Er Done Anywhere

2015-07-10 21.41.0010, 8, 6, 4, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 reps of:

  • Burpees
  • Pull ups (alternatives: hanging leg raise or wall sit stick up)
  • Squats
  • Spider crawls
  • Push ups






Do It Dock Workout

2015-07-04 09.06.37 45 seconds of work/10 seconds recovery

  • Jump rope
  • Push ups
  • Prisoner Squat
  • Burpee
  • Plank

5 rounds




(Un) Lucky 7 AMRAP

Do 7 of each exercise for 15-20 minchallenge workouts

  • Jacks
  • Prisoner squats
  • Burpees
  • Alt side lunges (per side)
  • Push ups
  • Skaters (per side)
  • Spider crawl (per side)

Hella Hills

(Find a good hill) Sprint up hill, walk/jog return – 10 rounds

*I did 10 pull ups on the edge of a walkway at the bottom between hill sprints, but you can do anything – a 30 sec plank, 10 push ups, whatever your space allows or your heart desires 😉

hella hill workout









Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to get to some ‘magical’ target heart rate, or ‘put in time’ doing cardio to get lean. In fact, you’ll be surprised at how LITTLE time it takes to lose your belly fat when you’re doing the right workouts.

I’d love to help you.21DFL_group

I can train right beside you HERE. These are follow along workouts that use the M2A principle. You’ll find workouts and a lot more so that you’ll invest LESS THAN 30 MINUTES per day and get MORE of the results you’re looking for. ===>

Now, if all you want to do is BODYWEIGHT workouts, like the ones in this post, I put together a special bundle just for you.

I know that sometimes ALL you have is your bodyweight and a bit of space so I have you covered with this Challenge Workout Bodyweight Bundle where you’ll get 29 bodyweight workouts from various programs that I pulled together just for you. You’ll get workouts from my Fat Loss Challenge (with BONUS videbw bundle imageo follow alongs), a bodyweight Challenge Complex plan, 10 bodyweight Challenge Burpee workouts and 7 more ‘No Excuses’ bodyweight Challenge Workouts to top it off.

<====This is a no fluff plan for no fluff workouts – just you, your body and a lotta sweat 🙂

Grab the Challenge Workouts Bodyweight Bundle for only $12 (available for a limited time)


Costa Rican Mis-Adventure

In keeping with the rules that I give my daughter Hannah when she’s traveling, I didn’t tell anyone what we were up to here in Costa Rica a few days ago.

I always hated it when Hannah was in SE Asia and would tell me, ‘Mom, tomorrow I’m going bungee jumping’.

I told her, the best way to tell a mother something from across the globe is: ‘Mom, YESTERDAY I went bungee jumping and all is well!’.


I digress…

In any case, our loved ones got to hear this story in the past tense – because we love them and there was no need to cause worry.

An exciting story with a happy ending is best 😉

Let me start off by saying the medical system here in Costa Rica is very good.

No line ups.

No questions.

Well, not too many. Even though we didn’t speak Spanish and they didn’t speak English, we got our injuries attended to in short order.

You may be wondering what happened…

Well, the kids, having the gift of youth and ignorance, thought it’d be a great idea to rent motorbikes (scooters but they can move pretty fast) and take off south to see the countryside.

I have to admit, it was really fun for the most part. I was secretly somewhat terrified and sure it’d be me that’d fall off the bike, but it was not.

Our ‘tag-a-long-head-chef’ DJ (my daughter’s boyfriend) was leading with my daughter on his bike and Sam and I were behind.

Sam said to me, ‘Mom, aren’t you glad we did this?’

By this time I had calmed down a little and replied, “I sure am… OMG!…” The words came out of my mouth just as we watched the two in front of us hit the ditch.

DJ took a corner a little fast and hit gravel and then the ditch.

We picked ourselves up, brushed ourselves off and backtracked through a little town where we saw a clinic.

Remarkably, it turned out that Hannah only needed 6 stitches in the top of her hand.

She has some skid marks and a bit of road rash, but DJ picked a grassy/gravelly ditch to dump into instead of the concrete ditches most other places.

Dr. Juan Gomez stitched Hannah up, x-rayed her, gave her antibiotics and sent us on our way.

We were in and out of the clinic within an hour and only $160 lighter in the wallet.

DJ got a few scrapes but the worst for him was the damage to his pride for dumping the bike in the first place.

We had an uneventful trip back to Tamarindo as we all thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful countryside.

Hannah was a trooper through it all and can ‘brag’ that she’s hit a few medical facilities around the globe now. Also, instead of a tattoo, she’ll bring home a cool scar on her left hand.

Now, as far as fitness you may be asking?

Well, in between surf sessions yesterday, I did this in the AC of our condo:

Pura Vida 7 

This is an AMRAP style workout. Do 7 reps of each exercise for 15-20 minutes, resting as little as possible:

  • Jacks
  • Prisoner squats
  • Burpees
  • Alt side lunges (per side)
  • Push-ups
  • Skaters (per side)
  • Spider crawl (per side)

If you enjoy this style of workout, you should check out my newly revamped 21 Day Fat Loss Challenge. You’ll get follow along videos, including body weight workouts to direct and motivate you where ever you find yourself this summer.

As for us, we could grow accustomed to this lifestyle here in Costa Rica, but sadly, all good things must come to an end. It’s back to Canada for us. Then I’ll be reporting in from a road trip.

I’ll keep you posted on more travel style workouts on the road – this time from Kelowna where I’ll help my Dad move into a retirement home.

If you’re on the road, make sure you bring me along – Never miss a workout, train with me for only 20 minutes here. (You’ll be shocked at how you can get leaner and fitter in such a short time.)