Most Effective Workouts

Gyms have gotten us so accustomed to one-hour workouts.  At my gym, every Les Mills format class is exactly 60 minutes.  As moms, who has 60 minutes a day for a sweat sesh unless you are up at 4AM (and your baby isn’t?!).


Here’s my certainly cute, but not the best workout buddy almost 6 month ago!

Many moms I know don’t workout because they feel anything less than an hour is not a workout.  If you are one of those moms, let me kindly change your opinion with these workouts!

Workout 1- Tabata

Tabata was actually founded by a Japanese scientist looking to compare moderate versus intense interval training programs.  His findings… do this workout!

Any exercise can be incorporated into the Tabata training. However the basic outline of the Tabata training method are as follows:

* 2 exercises that you will be alternating between for 4 minutes total

* Complete the first exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second break

* Complete the second exercise for 20 seconds, followed by a 10 second break

*Repeat the same sequence until you have completed 4 rounds of each exercise, or 4 minutes of work

There are many iPhone apps or online Tabata Timers out there for free so you don’t have to be a slave to the watch.  I prefer partnering a strength exercise with a cardio one for each round.

Sample Tabata

1st exercise- jumping jacks

2nd exercise- push-ups

Get creative with exercises or just google some strength and cardio moves.  It won’t take a unique new move to do the trick, TRUST ME!

The 4 x 4 Workout

This workout makes you think, but it also keeps things interesting.  Here’s the breakdown:

* Complete 4 reps of exercise 1 followed immediately by 4 reps of exercise 2

* Alternate back and forth for 1 minute

* After 1 minute, complete 1 minute of cardio

* Repeat step one for another minute, followed by another minute of cardio

* Try as many partner exercises as you have time to do!

I try to choose exercise with similar starting/ending positions so the transition can be fast!

Sample 4 x 4 Workout

Exercise 1- mountain climbers


Exercise 2 – frog jumps

Cardio – alternating lunge jumps

5 Minute Rounds

Everybody has 5 minutes, right!?  As you can tell, I love alternating exercises.  That way you can give it a quick blast, quick rest and then back at it.  Here are the basics of this workout:

* Exercise 1 for 30 seconds

* Exercise 2 for 30 seconds

*Keep alternating until you’ve reached 4 minutes total

* 1 minute of suicide sprints

Make sure you do this one outside or in a long hallway!

Sample 5 Minute Workout

Exercise 1- Supine flutters


Exercise 2 – Prone flutters same thing on your belly… if not preggo)

I hope you are able to try these quickies at some point so you can see THEY ARE EFFECTIVE and THEY ARE NOT EASY!  Kids napping for 20 more minutes?  Get in a 5 minute warm-up, crank one of these out and you can even shower after!

Of course, you could probably complete a few rounds of these workout if you find just the right distraction for the kiddos.  Like, say, talking on a broken phone in the cabinet and yelling out random friends/family members to call…


Completely unrelated, I hosted a baby shower for my cousin this weekend.


My mom did the most remarkable spread ever for her jungle theme.  If you’d like to hire her you can pay her in Blue Corn chips and salsa…



and if you ever need a cake maker in RVA, check out my friend Elisa’s new business. Ok so it’s not a clean eating cake, but I’m working with her on that one day, and it is just so pretty you can ignore the calories!


What is your go-to workout when you have a time crunch?

Best thing you’ve seen at a baby/wedding shower?

How was your weekend?


19 thoughts on “Most Effective Workouts

  1. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama says:

    Calories don’t count at baby showers! Or on business trips. Or if you’re standing up and moving while consumed! Since I spend almost every meal getting up and down to do something for one of the kiddos, I haven’t ‘consumed’ a calorie in the last 4.5 years! Ha ha ha!

  2. milesandblessings says:

    what an awesome cake!!! That fruit tray looks amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There are so many cooler ideas out there now compared to when I had my baby showers! I think the diaper cakes are pretty cool….just search baby shower in pinterest and you will find some of the coolest stuff!!!!

  3. Change of Pace says:

    I love these workout samples, and ideas to create them! I used to think if I worked out for less than X minutes or ran less than X miles it wasn’t a workout. Boy is that a misconception!
    Those veggie ideas with the party theme are SO great! And that cake is swoonworthy!

  4. Jaclyn @ Bumpsweat says:

    I’d never heard of the 4×4 structure for a workout. I love tabata; there’s seriously nothing better to fit super-high-intensity exercise in to a very teeny-tiny amount of time. Recently, I created a workout that requires a max of 10 minutes. Do 10 rounds of jump rope, squats, and push-ups using a 10-9-8…3-2-1 rep scheme (100-90… for the jump ropes). Really good for a short effort.

  5. vitatrain4life says:

    I love the idea for a shorter workout, because really, most moms do not have a full hour for JUST the workout. My go-to is hill repeats since I live on a mountain and it’s something I can do right outside my door.
    Love the baby shower theme and all the great food spread ideas and that cake – OMG! I could never do ANY of that stuff. Really awesome!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s