Archive for November, 2010

Introducing: Swim Section!

Posted: November 30, 2010 in Swimming

Many of us need to hit the pool more often.  Swimming is a low impact sport with huge benefits!

  • No impact on hips, knees, feet
  • Uses all major muscle groups most of the time
  • Major core workout
  • Burns the same calories if not more than running, biking, etc

So why is swimming avoided?

  • Hair gets wet
  • “I’m not a good swimmer”
  • Lack of knowledge/what to do

Iron Mama to the rescue! The swimming section will start to grow with water workouts to give you some variety and injury free ideas!

This can also be used if you are training for a triathlon. (Many sprint triathlon swims are done in a pool!)

What do you need?

  • swim cap, goggles
  • speedo (yep! cute, I know)
  • a plan

Swimming Lingo:

  • most indoor pools are 25 yards or 25 meters one way- this is called short course
  • Olympic size are 50 meters one way- this is called long course
  • so a 25=1 lap, a 50=2, 75=3, 100=4, etc
  • circle swim- always keep to the right side of the lane in the direction you are facing, or swim in a lane like you are a car.
  • 2 person shared lane, pick one side of the lane and swim back and forth on that side only (this is how many swim at the Y)

Beginner workout: (I am not sure I can finish a lap)

  1. 4×25’s freestyle, breathing every 3
  2. 4×25’s freestyle kick with board
  3. 4×25’s kick on back, arms by side
  4. 8×25’s 3+8 drill (3 arm strokes, then kick on side for 8 breathing the entire time)
  5. Repeat as many times as you can for an hour

Intermediate Workout: (I can finish a lap or two with no trouble, but breathing is difficult and I swallow water)

  1. 200 freestyle warm up
  2. 8x50s free kick with board
  3. 8×25’s kick on back- streamline or arms by side
  4. 8×50’s 3+8 drill (see above)
  5. 8×25’s backstroke swim
  6. repeat for an hour

Advanced: (I can swim over 100yds without trouble, I swam growing up, I know all of the strokes)

  • Warm up 400 easy freestyle
  • 4×100’s kick, 50 free 50 breast
  • 4×100’s 3+8 drill
  • Main Set:50, 100, 150, 200, 150, 100, 50 (pyramid) last 50 of each swim is always fast. i.e. 50 free is fast. 100 free is 50 easy 50 fast. 150 is 100 easy 50 fast, etc.
  • 4×50’s backstroke warm down
  • repeat main set twice if time

Let me know if you have questions!








DON’T DO IT!  Don’t fall into this time of year- it’s so much easier to sleep in, go home early since its dark, skip a work out- etc.  You will be so proud if you can stick with it this time of year.   The gym will be quiet- enjoy it, and make fun of everyone who isn’t there in your head :)

So here are some ideas:

  • Try a new class at the gym
  • Try an Iron Mamas workout on your own, or with a friend!
  • Take your run outside! (go buy the cold weather clothes- and wear disposable gloves you can toss mid run!)
  • Walk the dog- the drop the dog off and run your neighborhood (or choose one of those when you are pressed for time!)
  • On those “no time days” put on your warm pants and run out your front door for 20-30 min. Better than nothing!

And, a workout!

Warm up: 4x 100 jump rope/1 min plank hands and toes

Set 1:

  • 10-5
  • shoulder press
  • push ups
  • 2x.25 sprints OR 400m row
  • 5-1
  • 1x.25 sprint OR 400m row

Set 2:

  • 10-5
  • squat to 4 risers or 12 inches
  • burpees
  • 2x.25
  • 5-1
  • 1x.25

Set 3:

  • 10-5
  • box jumps
  • full sit ups
  • 2x.25
  • 5-1
  • 1x.25






I have wanted to feature two ladies and one gentleman for some time and thought this week would be a great week- to THANK all of you for keeping in touch and using this site to better your health! (Even if you just read it to stay in the “know”!)

So, who are some of the others using Iron Mama’s/Men workouts?

  1. Tammy Upton: Mama of 3 in Charlotte- in super shape and keeps her kids super active as well!  I taught her two oldest swimming lessons 2 summers ago and they are little fish.  Tammy uses the workouts to keep in great shape to run after her little ones.
  2. Michelle French: Hot mama in Seattle- found Iron Mamas on one of her friends Facebook pages (YEAH!) Michelle played soccer in college and was on the 2000 Sydney Olympic Team– Holy Iron Mama!  She now coaches club soccer and uses these workouts to stay in Olympic shape :)
  3. And one Iron Man–Jeff Constantine, you will see his comments on lots of the workouts- he and his wife Julie do a couple of the workouts together each week.  Couples that work out together stay together :)

Keep up the great work- all of you! Keep commenting on the workouts you do- and keep me posted on fun healthy things going on in your life.


Treadmill Intervals:

Its easy this time of year to hang up the running shoes and take your work out inside.  Your body will thank you if you keep the cardio going through the winter season.  It helps keep those toned muscles slim and trim!  Here is an indoor treadmill workout to keep you from getting bored.

  • 1 mile warm up, comfortable speed- preferably over 6.0
  • 5x.10 sprints, with .05 rest between (jump off, jump on- watch the distance to know how much rest you get!)
  • .75 easy, same speed as warm up
  • 5x.15 sprints, with .10 rest between
  • .50 easy, same speed as warm up
  • 5x.20 sprint, with .15 rest between
  • .25 easy- slower than warm up
  • =4.75 miles


(If you do not typically run this far, or want to shorten the work out, here are some options. 1. walk on the “easy” runs, and do the sprints. 2. Shorten the easy runs to .25 each. 3. Only do 3 of the sprints rather than 5.  If you aren’t sure, try it, you may surprise yourself!)

Enjoy, let me know what you think :)

Train the Trainer

Posted: November 19, 2010 in Kettlebell, Treadmill/Running

Join group on facebook! Link on last post, or search “Iron Mamas (for Iron Men too!)”

Every once in a while Aaron decides he would like to kick my tail and he comes up with the work-out.  Its obvious what it includes, hmmm, Kettlebells!

When I asked Aaron what we were doing for warm up, he told me to turn on my seat warmers. Hm. Don’t think so.

Warm up: 1 mile run, we did a trail run (pictures to come, typical that I took my camera and it was dead)

  • 10x
  • 10/10 single arm KB swings- to eye level or higher  (Aaron did snatches, 7/7 ea arm)
  • sprint up hill (we found one in the back of our neighborhood, to add to our “crazy neighbors” workout)

(**hill needs to be at least .20 miles round-trip.  Ours was around .25)


Super simple, but tough as all get out.  Very similar to some of the challenge sets I have had clients do in the past.

For weight, Aaron did 53lb KB I did 30lb KB.  You could also use a free weight, if this is the case you will have to go lighter because of the weight distribution.  If you have ANY low back pain, check your form and make sure you can see forward through the entire movement, or go lighter on weight!


Bosu Blast!

Posted: November 16, 2010 in Bosu, Treadmill/Running

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The bosu is one of my favorite pieces of equipment! There are so many different things you can do- and its more challenging than a solid surface.  If you have never used a bosu before- its the blue “half ball” that has a flat black bottom.  Always be sure if you are putting your feet on the bosu- they go towards the center dot.

Warm up: 1 mile run/row/stairs

4x, 20-15-10-5 reps by set!

  • bosu jumps (both feet on, get air and jump off land two feet)
  • burpee (drop chest to bosu, lift bosu overhead instead of jump)
  • mountain climbers 2=1
  • single leg pike, ea side
  • dead bug (hold for seconds, see lingo for description)
  • jump tuck (start on top, jump up and land back on top)
  • alternate plank lifts (feet on bosu, alternate lifting right foot/left hand and vice versa 1=1)
  • .25 choice- run/row


A kettles and quarters workout is typically a  low number of KB snatches each arm, paired with a quarter mile run (repeated various times).  I threw in a few more reps and and a few different KB exercises.  Oops! Have fun!

Warm up: Jog a mile or row 3x400s

Main Set: 3x

  • 25 double handed KB swing (one KB, both hands)
  • 25 KB squat
  • .25 run (run, not rest:)


  • 3x
  • 25/25 single arm clean and press w/KB
  • .25 run


  • 3x
  • 50 bicycle crunches
  • 40 full sit ups
  • 30 russian twist w KB (1=1)


All about intervals in this major calorie burning workout!

Warm up- choice! At least 8 min (Based on what is below, I would not run for warm up :)

Set #1: 3x

  • 20 squats to 4 risers/12 inch box
  • .25 sprint
  • 30 sec rest

Set #2: 3x

  • 100 jump rope
  • 20 box jumps
  • 10 burpees
  • 30 sec rest

Set #3: 3x

  • 30 full sit ups
  • 20 suitcase crunches
  • .50 fast- try to match .25 pace!
  • 30 sec rest

Set #4: Just ONCE!

  • 4 min tabata on incline 6+ (as high as 10)
  • 4 min tabata push ups (only your lowest round counts!)
  • 4 min tabata jump pull ups (only your lowest round counts!)


Oh boy….enjoy :)