Friday, November 7, 2014

A great workout from Zuzka! How to get the MOST out of your short workouts & have you heard of

Zuzka posted her Cash #4 workout today. 
A great one to post the day before her new ZGym goes live. 

Now this was a very good workout in my opinion. It had push AND pull exercises, it had leg exercises that were not only squats, it used a jump rope and a Kettlebell. Yippee. Thank you Zuzka.
This was also a longer workout - 23 minutes. Yes! I would do this with 20 lb dumbells for the renegade push ups, 1 20 lb for the reverse squats and a 35 lb KB for the rest and do the 3 rounds. I'm sure it would take longer than the 23 min, but I'd like to do the strength stuff with some more weight and get stronger! :) I'll try it tomorrow - I already worked out today. I hope Zuzka posts the workouts the night before like BR so we have them in time for the mornings the next day.

Still no mention of an apology for the poor customer service. Even if it is 100% NOT her fault, she should suck it up and apologize to be the better person in all of this. People like that and respect that. For weeks on end now - when the problems first started with WIN she has been nearly silent ignoring the elephant in the room. Her silence speaks volumes to me.

I did one of Zuzka's ZRopes the other day as a cash out to my own workout. It got me to thinking of how hard I would actually have to push myself if I REALLY and truly only did under 20 minutes a day. I thought the ZRopes workout was a good one, but I feel like at my fitness level I need more. Same with BR is I was only doing one workout at a time. If  I was doing all 5 workouts on Friday, well, that's another story! But I mean if you REALLY and truly only have under 20 minutes, what should you do? 
Well, if I planned on following a BR or ZGym workout, I would wear a 10-20 weighted vest, and my jump rope would have weighted handles. I would change any of the jumping lunges and jump squats to weighted ones and use as heavy weight as I could manage without sacrificing form. And I would go as fast as I possibly could without sacrificing form. (Obviously beginners would stick with the program and even take it down a notch when needed. I'm referring to seasoned workout junkies).
But even with that being said, if I only had under 20 min a day, My program would look different, something like this - 6 days a week, one day off.
Day 1: deadlifts and push ups as many as I could in under 15 minutes. I would stick with 5 reps of heavy deadlifts and 15 push ups, A few weeks later I would do 15 reps of lighter deadlifts and 5 weighted push ups, and keep changing it up - clapping push ups, 1 legged deadlifts, etc.
Day 2: pull ups and squats (inverted rows, bent over rows, renegade rows, pause squats, pistol squats, goblet squats, Bulgarian split squats, you get the idea)
Day 3: handstands and hip thrusters (handstand push ups, HS walks, HS holds, heavy hip thrusters, single leg thrusters, pause thrusters, eccentric thrusters etc)
Day 4: KB cleans/ snatches or swings and lunges (double KB, single KB, alternating, walking lunges, static, side to side lunges, etc)
Day 5: Shoulder presses and Bridging (single arm, alternating, double, barbell, single leg bridging, double, weighted, etc)
Day 6: I would use my parallette bars and practice yoga poses as well as variations of burpees
Day 7: REST :) 

I would track my progress and try and get stronger each week - period. 

I am a HUGE follower of Bret Contreras. He is getting his Ph.D. in exercise science. He knows his sh*t. He attaches electrodes to women's bodies and does all sorts of experiments to see which exercises work muscles in the BEST way. He has a glute lab out of his garage! He writes papers about women's glutes. I have invested in $20 a month Get Glutes Program and never once regretted it, and still keep it and do not plan on cancelling. It is the only program that I have followed where I don't feel the need to switch up the program, add in more, add more rounds, add in pulling exercises, lay off push ups, etc, etc. I just do what he outlines and feel good about it. 
My point being is that I asked him about HIIT and complexes as workouts. (You also get to ask him as many questions as you want on his forum as part of your monthly fee. And NO this is not an affiliate - I just love the guy).

His response: 

I've never been a fan of complexes or combined movements (squat into a press or curl, back extension into a row, etc.). Sure they elevate the heart rate, but so does doing squats, or deadlifts, or hip thrusts, or chin ups. They don't do anything for building strength or shaping muscles, so why do them? It'd be one thing if we never raised our heart rates very highly in Get Glutes but we do (by lifting heavy weights). And I think that HIIT should be used sparingly so as to avoid overreaching and keep the endocrine system in check. Lifting weights is a form of HIIT, as is intervals, complexes, etc. But, if you're really keen on trying them, throwing a couple of sets of complexes at the end of a workout a couple of times per week won't hurt you much (just use good form so you don't injure yourself!), so feel free to give it a try.

Interesting! Very opposite of what BR and Zuzka says. What do you guys think?

He also made a point on his FB page - the stronger you get, the better you look. Isn't that the truth!  If you are really interested in strength training and are getting tired of HIIT or have plateaued with HIIT, I HIGHLY recommend a couple of his products that will only set you back $20 or less! 

STRONG Curves  - This book has beginner to advanced routines, and you do need some equipment, and you can workout from home or at the gym. This also has a separate FB page that you can ask questions and see other people's progress. 

Bret has another book that is entirely body weight and other than a pull up bar requires NO equipment and  the workouts can be done from ANYWHERE: Body Weight Strength Training Anatomy .

Sometimes I think that BR has set such a precedent of FREE workouts that none of us want to pay for them anymore! LOL.

Of course you can join his Get Glutes 
Program. It is $20 a month - more expensive that Zuzka and BR, and not nearly as glamorous, but absolutely worth it in my opinion.
Each month you get new workouts and you work on those workouts for the entire month trying to get better and stronger before getting new workouts the next month.

There are also 2 Conditioning workouts included, but not listed here. Just a sample of what you can get elsewhere! :) 

 Month Seven
Strength Workout One
1. Barbell Rack Pull: 3 x 5
2. Barbell glute bridge pause rep: 3 x 5
3a. Seated band/cable row: 3 x 10
3b. Barbell push press: 3 x 5-6
4. Cross over step-up: 3 x 10 reps each side
5. Wide-stance anti-rotation wood chop: 2 x 10 each side
6. Hand walkout: 2 x 8-10 reps

Strength Workout Two
1. Sumo Deadlift: 3x6-8
2. American Hip Thrust: 3x8-12
3a. Front-Loaded Bulgarian Split Squat: 2x6-8
3b. Push-Up (standard width): 2x8-12 (feel free to elevate feet or add 
weight to challenge yourself for this rep range)
3c. Band Pull-Through/Back Extension: 2x20-30 
4. One-Arm Row: 2x6-8
5a. Asymmetrical Double Farmers Walk (or static hold): 2x30 seconds
5b. RKC Plank: 2x30 seconds

Strength Workout Three
1. Barbell back squat: 3 x 3-5
2a.Barbell RDL: 3 x 5-6
2b.Barbell floor press: 3 x 8-10
3. Parallel grip pull-up: 3 x AMAP
4. Feet-elevated glute bridge: 2 x 30
5a. Half-kneeling anti-rotation hold: 2 x 10 sec each side
5b. Feet-elevated plank: 2 x 60-90 sec hold

Strength Workout Four
1a.Barbell hip thrust rest pause: 3 x 15
1b. Band hip rotation: 3 x 10 each side
2. Weighted deficit side lunge: 2 x 10 each side
3. Swiss ball pike: 2 x 10
4. Side plank with abduction: 2 x 10 each side

Marianne Kane also used to be part of Get Glutes and she offered some of the BEST online, free, full body, kick your butt workouts. She doesn't make new workouts anymore, but checking her out is definitely worth it: She's a Kettlebell girl! She also had her own breast implants removed. An interesting read and perspective is on her blog as well. Her YouTube channel full of FREE workouts and is called Kitty8Tim.



  1. Can you post a pic of you before and now?

    1. Suri - I don't have a before and after pic. If you got to Strong Curves on FB you will see LOTS of pics of ladies with their progress. I'm a bit of an anomaly. I've been the same weight for over 20 yrs. (5'7" tall and 120ish lbs). I gained less than 15 lbs with each pregnancy. My body just doesn't change! I've been able to get stronger ( I got to 10 pull ups on the GG program, and increased my deadlift by 30 lbs, can do push ups with a 45 lb plate on my back, increased my squat by 30 lbs too, etc) but as far as body composition goes, the changes are there, but slightly. But that's unusual. I've frustrated and stumped many Dr's, nutritionists and personal trainers. Even my OB when I was pregnant couldn't believe it. I kept getting ultra sounds to make sure my baby was ok. My body is VERY resistant to change, but again, that's just me. I'm very lucky in some ways, but in other ways it's maddening! LOL.

    2. I'm sure it can be frustrating.
      I think z's workouts as less hiit than br's. She still has lots of cardio in it. I guess it works if you're trying to lose weight...

    3. It is frustrating because by looking at my you would never know I lift as much weight as I do, but then again by looking at me you'd never know how much I EAT. I think Z's are less HIIT than BR too. I do LOVE HIIT workouts, they are my favorite, but after a while you plateau (IMO). With strength training you can keep progressing. I often like to use some of their workouts as a guide and turn them into strength workouts.

    4. That is interesting, genetics can be tricky. Now I feel like a giant, because my numbers are about 132 lbs and and 5´4´´. =D I have geneticks "problem" with my butt (and hammies); it has taken a few years to build it to be at least a bit rounded. Now I like it much more than I used to, however, there is still a lot of work to do. =D But then again, I can build quite nicely muscle on my arms and quads. And I can actually see my abs. Well, at least four-pack, hurray! =D

      You are super strong, I could not do 10 pullups!

      And, yes, I agree, that Zuzka workout sounds fun, I think I´m gonna do it! =D

    5. Don't feel like a giant! With a 4 pack and muscle arms I bet you look terrific. I'd put on 10 lbs of muscle if I could and trade my low number on the scale for a higher one if that meant looking better. :)