Isometric (No Noise!) Workout

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)One of the most frequent requests I get when it comes to at-home workouts is for them to be quiet. Maybe you’re in an apartment unit on the fourth floor and want to respect your downstairs neighbor. Maybe you’ve got a little one at home taking a nap and want to squeeze in a workout without waking her. Whatever the reason, thuds and creaking floorboards from jumping around can be a nuisance and hindrance to working out at home. I ran into this problem all the time when I lived in an apartment building in the North End—I felt terrible working out before and after work because I knew it would bother the people below me (I did it anyway though because, well, I’m selfish).

So how do you exercise without the noise associated with moving your body? Well, you could simply not move it. I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this! Today’s workout is a series of isometric holds. Your muscles will burn, and your neighbors/roommates will thank you.

This is also a great one to do if you’re trying to workout on a lunch break or another occasion when you don’t want to get drenched in sweat. No shower required after this workout (well, this is coming from someone who will use any excuse not to shower haha).

Isometric Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • A pair of 5-lb hand weights (optional—you can just use bodyweight)
  • Exercise mat

You’ll hold each position for 30 seconds and then move right onto the next without taking a break. After you’ve held each one for 30 seconds, do the same thing, holding each for 60 seconds. Once you’ve completed the 30-sec round and 60-sec round, take a one minute break. Repeat for a total of 3 times through (6 total rounds). This workout will take you just under 40 minutes to complete. If you’re short on time or a beginner, eliminate a round, going through twice instead of three times.

You can hold a pair of hand weights as you go through these for an added challenge or simply use your bodyweight. These are basic exercises, so I haven’t included written descriptions, but leave a comment should any questions arise!

  • Lunge (right foot forward)
  • Lunge (left foot forward)
  • Squat
  • Side Plank (right)
  • Side Plank (left)
  • Plank
  • Superman Hold
  • Lateral Raise Hold

Isometric Workout (perfect for apartment dwellers--no noise!)

WEARING | leggings: c/o Ellie  (use code nicoleperr20 to get 20% off your first order!) // tank: Athleta

During the last 60-second rounds, I had to drop the weight during the superman hold. Oh man, it was brutal.

P.S. If you constantly find yourself with the workout noise issue, my number one recommendation is to invest in a kettlebell. KB swings are the BEST way to silently get cardio and strength benefits from an exercise. Your heart rate will rise and your muscles will burn, all while keeping your feet planted firmly (and quietly) on the ground.


How My Workout Routine Has Changed: 9 to 5 vs. Work from Home

9-to-5-vs-work-from-homeYesterday, as I was signing up for the group fitness classes I want to take throughout the week (Btone, Barry’s, a yoga class, spinning), it dawned on me how completely different this is from what I was doing a year or so ago. It was last June when the company I worked for laid off a bunch of employees (what an AMAZING blessing in disguise!), and I made the transition into blogging full time and pursuing a career in fitness.

While some things have stayed the same—I still don’t have a gym membership and try to spend as little money as possible on working out—the career change has had a huge affect on my workout routine. Ultimately, I think the best workout routine is simply one that you stick to—there is no wrong or right. I think switching it up as my life has changed has helped me hold on to this crazy love I have for fitness.

My Workout Routine while Working a 9-to-5 Office Job

how-my-workout-routine-has-changedWhile I definitely relate to the struggle of finding time to workout while holding down a 9-to-5 office job, I have to admit I was spoiled at my old company. We had a small gym space in the building complete with machines, kettlebells, med balls, jump ropes (all the things I love!) that we could use at any time, and a group HIIT class was offered in the cafeteria twice a week for employees.

Every morning, I would wake up at 5:30AM and go for a run—nothing crazy, just 3-6 miles around Castle Island or the Charles River (depending on where I was living). I’d make myself breakfast, do a little work on the blog, then I’d commute to work. On my lunch break, I’d make up a workout for myself and head to the office gym for a sweat (most of the P&I workouts posted in the first year of the blog were made up on these lunch breaks!). If it was a group HIIT day, I’d skip my lunch break workout and do the class after work if I didn’t have any plans that night.

On the weekends, I’d run and workout in my apartment one day, or maybe just run. And on busy work days when I couldn’t take a gym lunch break, I’d do P&I workouts in my apartment after work. I really tried to limit the post-work workouts though because I had such a hard time motivating myself to do much of anything after working all day and commuting back to my apartment through Boston traffic. The best way to make sure I got a workout in was to do it all before work or on my lunch break (or, as was usually the case, a little of both).

And that was it! Running and P&I workouts. I honestly couldn’t afford to do anything else. I would take the occasional class at fitness studios if they were running a special on Groupon or Gilt, but that was rare. And back then, this totally worked for me!

My Workout Routine Now while Blogging from Home & Teaching Fitness Classes

btone-wellesley-selfieFast-forward to today and I work from home/coffee shops/libraries as a blogger and teach nine Lagree Fitness classes at Btone throughout the week. Talk about a 180! It has impacted my weekly workout routine in several ways:

I take a Lagree Fitness class at Btone 3(ish) times a week.

I do teach there, after all! I am so passionate about this workout, and in addition to instructing nine classes each week, I try to take three or four classes. Not just because it’s an amazing class and free for me, but also because I really do think it makes me a better instructor. Knowing how different exercises and combinations make your body feel, helps when planning classes for others.

And I should probably clarify that I’m not actually doing the workout when I teach—just demonstrating and then walking around the studio helping/adjusting/torturing/etc. :)

I take more group classes in general.

When I spend the day at home working on the blog, the last thing I want to do is also workout there—get me out of the apartment! And as a fitness instructor, it’s nice to be told what to do for a change. Instead of focusing on motivating other people, I can let someone else push me through the workout. Similar to what I mentioned about Btone, I also think taking other instructors’ classes (regardless of the mode of fitness) makes you a better instructor—you pick up on techniques you like and don’t like and incorporate them into your own classes.

The workouts I post to P&I are less frequent, but more effective.

I am still such a huge believer in high-intensity training and the short-but-sweet workouts I post to the blog each week, but I’m not doing them every day like I used to last year. I’d say I do them two-three times a week, and I think the smaller quantity is balanced by improved quality.

I remember when I was making up P&I workouts on my lunch break, maaaaaybe one or two out of five would be keepers and make it onto the blog. The others would, well, suck. I’d finish them and feel like I didn’t get a good workout in at all. So sure, I was doing these types of workouts 5-6 days a week, but I was probably only benefiting from them a couple times a week.

After years of practice and fitness certification courses, I am so much better at putting together a workout routine that will kick my (and your) ass. I can’t remember the last time I made up a workout, did it, and then thought eh, that’s not good enough to post on the blog.

Working out is now, literally, my job. So I do it…a lot.

When you get paid to do what you love, you do a lot of it—whether that’s painting, managing stocks or working out. For years, working out has been my favorite part of every day, and now I (directly and indirectly) get paid to do it. “Blessing” doesn’t even begin to describe it. Every morning I wake up excited for all I’m going to do that day, and I’m filled with so much happiness and gratitude.

I, of course, listen to my body and still take rest days and don’t overdo it, but I definitely workout more now than I used to. Between my flexible self-employed schedule, frequent free classes (a perk of blogging and being an instructor!), and an ever-growing motivation to reach new professional and personal fitness goals, I am more active than I’ve ever been.

Dangit I always do this!! I intended this to be a fun, quick post, and instead I’ve written a novel.

Has your workout routine changed over the last couple years? How so?


Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

Quick Bodyweight Ab WorkoutToday’s ab workout is inspired by the megaformer class I teach at Btone. In Lagree Fitness, you work one muscle group at a time before moving onto the next, so when designing an ab sequence, you want to group ab exercises together, right oblique exercises together, and left oblique exercises together. You also stay on each ab exercise for 60 seconds (most of the time), which is what I’ve done here.

Ok, I guess those are pretty much the only similarities haha. Regardless, this workout is quick, challenging, and requires no equipment. You can pair it with cardio (maybe do it before or after a long run), or do it on its own when you’re short on time and want to fire up your core muscles. 

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll do each exercise for a minute before moving directly into the next (no resting between!). I used my Gymboss Interval Timer and set the “work” interval for 60 seconds and the “rest” interval for 0 seconds so that it would beep every minute, signaling me to switch exercises. The workout targets abs, right oblique, left oblique, abs, in that order. This workout will take you 13 minutes.

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

  • Plank
  • 1 Plank Jump 5 Plank Jacks: Start in a plank position. Jump both feet up towards your hands and then back into plank position. Jump feet out wide to the sides and back in (like a horizontal jumping jack) 5 times. Continue the sequence.
  • Knee Hug Full-Body Crunches:Start laying on your back, legs extended and hovering, arms outstretched overhead (shoulders lifted off ground, core engaged). Do a full body crunch, lifting your torso and crunching in your knees so that you can hug them. Extend back out, lowering onto back.
  • Boat Pose:If you practice yoga, you’re probably familiar with boat pose. Sit in a “V” pose with legs held straight up at about a 45-degree angle with the ground and arms out straight. If it’s too difficult to keep your legs straight, bend them at the knee for Half Boat Pose.
  • Side V Crunches RIGHT:Start laying on your side with bottom arm stretched outwards on the ground for support. Do a side crunch, lifting your legs up and crunching them in to meet your elbow and raised torso.
  • Side Plank RIGHT
  • Alternating Crossbody Knee Tucks: Start in a plank position. Bring your left knee to touch the right elbow, then your right knee to touch the left elbow. Make contact!
  • Side Plank LEFT
  • Side V Crunches LEFT
  • Boat Pose
  • Knee Hug Full-Body Crunches
  • 1 Plank Jump 5 Plank Jacks
  • Plank

Quick Bodyweight Ab Workout

WEARING | leggings: c/o Ellie  (use code nicoleperr20 to get 20% off your first order!) / tank: Lululemon

Can you get through the entire 13 minutes without taking a break? Let me know in the comments!