Personal Blog

  • What I’m Doing NOW To Lose Weight and Get FIT During Corona Quarantine.

    How to Lose Weight and Get In Great Shape During The Coronavirus Quarantine.

    Worried About Gaining Weight During Coronavirus Quarantine?

    I have never seen as much conversation online about losing weight, not gaining weight, and getting fit, as I have recently around the Coronavirus Quarantine situation. More people are concerned that they’ll gain a ton of weight during quarantine/work from home time than they are around the holiday season. 

    I get it. Perhaps it’s because none of us know when the quarantine/stay at home situation will be loosened. So we don’t know when our lives will get back to some degree of “normalcy”.

    Here’s the thing. Why make that a contingency? Why not just accept that things are the way they are now- and assume it’s going to be a while, and adjust and adapt NOW? Why waste time bitching and moaning about it? What’s the point of lamenting about how much you miss the gym? Why whine that now you have to cook your meals? 

    Look at this as an opportunity. Because it is an opportunity. 

    It's time to change your perspective on the Coronavirus Quarantine.

    This is a crazy time of uncertainty– but it truly is an opportunity. I’ll publish another blog post about this coming up- but when I look back on my life, all of the ROUGHEST TIMES I’ve endured have produced the greatest changes and transformations in me. And – because I have weathered a lot of storms in the past, guess what? Stuff like Coronavirus Quarantine and job losses and economic concerns don’t phase me. I’ve been here. I’ve come out of other tsunamis of change, and I was and am better for it.

    Stop looking at all you’ve lost and think about the OPPORTUNITY HERE.

    If you have been on a fitness journey for a while– stop bitching about not having your gym. Learn to get creative with your workouts- working out from home can be just as killer as the gym, trust me. And – sure- you miss your fit-friends and your spin class and yoga- and they miss you- but perhaps the solitude you have now will give you time to start focusing on self-care and stress reduction. We all can benefit from SLOWING DOWN in our lives and just being STILL and QUIET.

    Why not finally adopt that practice of meditation you’ve read so much about? You have TIME.

    For those that haven’t been on a fitness journey before– stop thinking that it’s just because you are “stuck at home” that you have a threat of gaining weight. If you are worried about THAT, it is an indicator that you are an emotional eater or a binge eater perhaps or that you have issues controlling yourself around food (you are not alone!!!! At all!!)– that’s an issue you WANT TO learn to deal with because doing so will enable you to succeed in the future- regardless of your environment. 

    So- no matter what– having extra TIME and perhaps more SOLITUDE- is a good thing. Embrace it because it can work in your favor. Don’t you want that? 

    I’ve said to my friends and family that I’m using this time when I can’t go out with friends, can’t take clients out to eat, can’t go on vacation etc. to pretend I’ve registered myself at a fabulous exclusive fitness resort. You know the ones we read celebrities go to- where they are only fed fit/healthy meals that are in a specific diet/caloric range and they are literally “forced” to diet because they have zero control over the environment. 

    Hmm. Kind of like all of us to some degree in the quarantine situation. You no longer can say “Oh it’s so hard at work to stick to a diet when there’s always birthday cake for someone or someone’s kid selling Girl Scout Cookies” or, “I always have to entertain clients and it’s hard to not participate in the good food“- guess what, you are home alone and no one will pressure you to eat BADLY. 

    Embrace it.

    Quit your bitchin and start LIFTING.

    DIET FIRST. Clean up your thinking about DIET.

    I heard for years, probably decades, how important your diet is for losing weight. And the truth is, after I’d been “into fitness” for a while, I got cocky — it’s easy to do. You get to that point where you think you are a level above the average consumer who is eating at McDonald’s every day or going to happy hour with their work friends (in non-coronavirus times of course)- and you KNOW BETTER. To some degree, you do. You know a lot of INFORMATION. Big whoop. 

    My biggest mistake in the past was paying way too much attention to the irrelevant diet factoids- and obsessing about them, and ignoring the most basic but most important diet facts. 

    I talk about the HUGE WAKE-UP CALL I had around the holidays in 2019 about Caloric Deficit – in this 3-part series- CLICK HERE TO LISTEN. It’s a good amount of time but worth it trust me, because if you can wrap your head around why you’ve failed in the past (focused on the wrong things) and how you can succeed in the future (focus on the right things)- then all that’s left to do is a develop a plan and follow it. (If that didn’t do it for you- here is another series I did on the similar issue at hand for so many women- I address all the bitching that women do about losing weight and all that the don’t do- that they need to do in order to get past the plateau and start dropping pounds: CLICK HERE to dive in.)

    So, hopefully you’ve listened to that series where I talked in great detail about the importance of CALORIE DEFICIT ABOVE ALL ELSE

    Let me save you months of wasted time. If you do nothing else during this quarantine time, if you ONLY count calories and ensure you stay at or under your caloric deficit window- you will drop pounds. 

    Don’t delude yourself with all the bullshit that’s out there about “being in starvation mode”- name one person you know who was eating nothing and stayed super fat. I can reference several times when I got very very thin- one time was during mono- I couldn’t keep food of any kind down for like 3 weeks. And it took a while to be able to eat a reasonable amount of food when I was better. Did I “store fat”? NOPE. I lost a ton of weight. Damaged my kidneys too because I was dehydrated AF. 

    When you’ve been super sick for a long time and throwing up- do you gain weight? Nope. This whole “your body will go into starvation mode and hold on to fat” is a lie I followed for way too long. It’s really an excuse to EAT. We like to EAT. I LOVE TO EAT. And it’s because I love to eat that if I want to lose weight, I need to BE ON A DIET.

    You want to lose weight? You need to DIET. But wait- before you bounce off this blog post, you owe it to yourself to keep reading. Trust me.

    People have bashed dieting for so long- even saying “oh you can’t say the word DIET without the word DIE in it!” – I choose to say you can’t say the word diet without the word TIDE in it- and TIDE is a detergent used for cleaning so let’s CLEAN UP YOUR MINDSET ABOUT DIETING shall we?

    Dieting is a STRATEGY. That’s all. Dieting doesn’t have to be about sending you into a time period of sheer denial of all pleasurable food and drink. 

    Dieting is a strategy you employ to trick your mind…yea, just keep your mindset in the right STATE….so you STAY THE PATH– because the only way to lose weight is to 1) get into a caloric deficit and 2) stay in a caloric deficit for a set amount of time (staying the path) – thus losing weight and then moving into maintenance mode. 

    DID YOU READ THAT– we are not supposed to be dieting year-round!! Far from it. But how many of you ladies find yourself saying “I’ve been dieting FOREVER and it doesn’t work!”– if you have been at it forever you have not been DIETING. You haven’t been doing a DIET. 

    Why Clean Eating Is NOT a Way to Lose Weight.

    Let me summarize why a lot of people THINK they are dieting but aren’t. You see this photo above? Most would look at this and say this lady is eating healthy- she probably has a delicious healthy protein bowl topped with fruit and granola and some mint leaves, all organic of course.

    She’s eating perfectly right?


    But if this is an afternoon SNACK (and if you want to read why I am now definitely NOT for snacking – READ THIS POST— A great jumpstart to your weight loss plan- stop snacking), and then this lady had an epic whole foods breakfast and a lovely sushi dinner– she could STILL- potentially (not guaranteed) – be NOT losing weight or maybe even gaining weight.

    What?? Gasp!! Yea. NEWSFLASH: you can gain weight eating all “whole foods”. you can gain weight being vegan. you can gain weight doing the Mediterranean Diet. you can gain weight eating like the Japanese do. you can gain weight…even if you only shop at Whole Foods. 

    If you eat too much, OF ANYTHING, and do it consistently- you’ll either stay at the same weight (that’s been my jam the past several years) or you’ll GAIN WEIGHT.

    Here is the GREAT NEWS: ALTERNATIVELY–  if you eat LESS (i.e. in a caloric deficit) OF ANYTHING, and do it consistently- you’ll LOSE weight.

    like magic!

    Only not. It’s science. It’s simply listening to science, and applying a strategy to get to a plan to achieve a desired result.

    Change your mindset about DIET. You need to be on a diet, a calorically reduced diet if you want to lose weight.

    And guess what- just like we say about the coronavirus quarantine– if everyone would just suck it up and stay home- like REALLY STAY HOME– the faster we all REALLY STAY HOME AND ISOLATE= the faster we can get back to life as we kind of knew it. 

    With weight loss- the sooner you understand that you GOTTA DIET– and that means dealing with some hunger pangs and not immediately  stuffing your face to quell the hunger pangs (news flash: you won’t starve and you won’t die)–and the sooner you just DO IT- (start today whether it’s Sunday or Wednesday or Friday- who cares?) – the sooner you will LOSE WEIGHT!!  Cut your calories to a reasonable caloric deficit– DIET LIKE YOU MEAN IT for x amount of time so you can get back to life as you once knew it— soon!! (and yes I’ll do a whole post on how to transition from diet mode to maintenance mode because that phase is just as hard as dieting….don’t kid yourself, but it’s so worth it!!!!)

    Don’t worry about carbs. Don’t go keto. Don’t “just cut out packaged foods”. Don’t “just focus on eating more fruits and vegetables.”- these are all lines I hear all the time from the perpetual “I can’t lose weight” whiny women. I was one of them. Not now. I’m down 3lbs already in my first week. 

    IF YOU WANT ME TO HELP YOU, fill out the contact me form= I’m happy to make workout and diet recommendations and help you get into a caloric deficit plan. 


    How to choose the best workout program for you, in order to lose weight.

    Want to know a secret? 

    People tend to obsess a lot when it comes to fitness. About their diet and nutrition- and about workouts. They fall for (Like I did in the past) all the myths floating around in the media about the ultimately perfect workout — when to do it (fasted first thing in the morning or mid-day after a perfectly balanced carb/protein/fat meal) or at night blah blah blah), how long to do it, and what kind of workout is “optimal for fat loss”. 

    Guess what? 

    All workouts can be great for getting you healthy.

    If you focus so hard on getting your diet right- as stated above– then you have the beautiful opportunity to choose from all the billions of different movement options out there–simple or complex– based on what you LIKE, not based on what some douchebag trainer (that’s not a dig on trainers at all but there are some who think they know all things better than ANYONE and that’s never true) said is “optimal”. 

    Guess what- you can even start losing weight BY WALKING. Yea walking. In fact one of my top recommendations for anyone reading this post ESPECIALLY during this quarantine time- TRY TO GET 10K STEPS IN A DAY. My man and I do that and we go for a power walk, even inside the interior halls of our apartment community when it’s raining like today — every day. It’s fantastic exercise. 

    If you love kickboxing don’t let anyone tell you it’s too much cardio and that you should only do strength training. If you love Yoga- go crazy with yoga. The key is- find workouts you ENJOY. That’s what’ll keep you doing it when you are tired and don’t “feel like it” and again — if you DIET LIKE A BOSS, the workouts are frosting on the imaginary cupcake here.

    Check out this post I wrote with my TOP 10 BEST HOME WORKOUT RECOMMENDATIONS AND MY TOP 20 BEST HOME GYM EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS— because during Coronavirus Quarantine– we gotta sweat at home right? Again, use the contact me form, as I’m a Beachbody Coach and happy to help you pick a program that you’ll love and I can help you get yourself on a killer caloric deficit plan that lets you have 1-2 cheat days a week and still lose weight– it’s what I’m doing.

    LET ME BE CLEAR. Both with diet and workouts- yes- down the road if you want to level up and say, compete in fitness or if have specific aesthetic goals or want to hit a crazy enviable body fat percentage– that’s when you level up your DIET (probably start paying attention to MACROS and such- eating more protein maybe manipulating carbs etc.) and your TRAINING– to achieve more specific goals.

    What I’ve shared in this post is about making getting to our goal weight ACHIEVABLE vs. being this elusive dream. By no means do I suggest that we can’t level up once we get into a weight loss groove– like anything we can always IMPROVE.

    What am I doing RIGHT NOW to lose weight during coronavirus quarantine?

    Right now I am doing the diet plan I developed after listening to Jordan Syatt’s YouTube videos on caloric deficit. (Listen to my podcast interview with him HERE

    My weight loss goal is to hit 138 pounds as that was the last weight I remember where I felt REALLY GOOD. I have been guessing that I’m 20-25lbs overweight for the past year or so- just based on where I can pinch fat and how much thicker my core region is. A lot of people think I am fitter than I am- remember I was unable to work out last year in any consistent manner from June 2019-January 2020 due to chronic headaches and migraines. (click here to read how I got past that nightmare) During that time I lost a lot of muscle and gained fat. I just recently started weighing myself this week – and I was 2lbs less than I was when I was weighed at my neurologist’s office)– then I was 161 and earlier this week I was 159, yesterday I was 158. So I’m down 3lbs, 20 to go–  !!

    I plan to keep weighing myself daily and to share my views of the scale on social media– as a transparency and accountability measure because for the first time in a WHILE- I REALLY FEEL I WILL HIT MY GOAL. Knowing what I know NOW about caloric deficit and how I have NOT been in a caloric deficit- I now KNOW I can do what I need to do from a diet perspective and nail this. Let’s do it together!!

    I aim for 1600 calories daily and I am CURRENTLY doing a plan where I use 2 MRP Shakes (meal replacement shakes) a day- one snack in between (normally not a fan of snacking but when really dieting like this and using MRP shakes, you almost need to snack) and then dinner. I cycle my calories– so some days I do 1600 calories and some days I do 1400 calories. Starting next week I’ll be integrating again- one cleanse/24-hour fast a week (I use cleanse support tools from Isagenix like Collagen Bone Broth and this 10 calorie all natural energy drink during my 24-hour fast plus their cleanse product– I’m a rep for the brand so if you want to order just PM Me using the contact form). By cycling my calories and doing a cleanse day – that lets me have a cheat day on Fridays where I do 2500 calories- bam! I can drink adult beverages, have pasta or pizza whatever– sometimes I don’t use all 2500 calories on Friday so I move the extra to Saturdays. This is how you make DIETING WORK FOR YOU. When I’m on a low calorie day I just remind myself of Blueberry Cucumber Martinis on Friday night with wings on Saturday….it works. 😉 

    For workouts I am taking things in a new direction. I’ve always done best when I train with a trainer but since we are quarantined, no can do. Who cares? What I am doing is also changing my workout at home thing. I rejoined Beachbody- not only as a customer but as a coach because I think other than Cathe Friedrich they have the best workouts online- some seriously tough training. And for the first time EVER I am going all in and doing a PROGRAM– before I used to always mix and match- I have never done  a full on PROGRAM. Right now I chose LIFT4 and I’m doing that for the next 60 days– you LIFT hard and heavy every other day and on the off days I’m doing cardio workouts or yoga of choice. 

    I’m fired up actually. 

    So-= what other questions can I answer? MOST IMPORTANTLY who is ready to join me??

    I encourage you to contact me if you want me to help you customize a Caloric Deficit plan with calorie cycling that lets you have weekly cheat days– and I can make workout recommendations and nutrition product recommendations – like I’m using- to help. Further– join my free FB accountability group for women: A YEAR OF YOU FIRST. Isn’t it about time??


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  • How to NOT Gain Weight During Coronavirus Quarantine.

    The Top 10 Tips For Losing Weight While Working From Home.

    The Coronavirus situation has changed all of our lives, without question. Whether you are in official quarantine or not, you soon will be. The #1 comment or question I see online lately is men and women worried about gaining a ton of weight while working from home or during this whole quarantine/stay in place situation. 

    This post will share how NOT to gain weight during this transition time where we’re all quarantined at home– and truthfully, these are all practices that can and should stay with you for the long-term. 

    Top Tips For Losing Weight During Coronavirus Quarantine.

    Here are my top tips for NOT gaining weight during your quarantine time at home. 
    4. PLAN MEALS. 

    Stop Snacking.

    I have had SOME MAJOR epiphanies recently about SNACKING. In fact, go read THIS POST about why I feel cutting out snacking could be one of the best moves you can make to lose weight. 

    If you are suddenly working from home and not used to it, you’ll find yourself during down times  heading to the fridge or the pantry– boredom eating, mindless eating, stress eating– you name it. It’s easy to do. Not that this isn’t a temptation at the office, but for many people – they may have to go offsite to get snacks – like to a Starbucks or 7-11 – and so the readily available food isn’t there like it is at home. 

    I really URGE you to check out that post on snacking and listen to my advice– because if you become aware of how easy it is for this one practice to DESTROY your caloric ceiling and effortlessly slide you into weight-gainsville– you’ll avoid it. 

    Snacking is a long easy road to nothing– you aren’t ever satisfied, it’s 99% of the time going to be empty calories– and it’s a tease. 

    Ain’t nobody got time for a tease. Find a way to NOT SNACK. Make a mantra and use the #nosnacknopack mantra I shared in the podcast episode. 

    Schedule Your Days.

    This might sound funny or too simple but– for many of you- suddenly working from home- and also maybe having less daily activity to tackle- might mean you could easily slip into just meandering through your days. The more you can treat your days– especially during the week, as work days- and SCHEDULE OUT what you need to get done— by chunking your time (if you’ve never done this, leave me a comment- I’ll do a post on how time chunking has really changed my productivity. I’m still a work in progress but it’s making a tremendously positive impact) the more you’ll feel less like you are “home sick”. If you feel mentally like every day is a “I’m home sick” day, you’ll find yourself less productive and with a lot less energy. The body and mind respond to structure. Schedule your days. 

    Bonus Tip: If I can tell you something else that makes a huge difference, it’s this: get up every day and make your bed, get dressed in an outfit of some sort– ladies, do your makeup, wear perfume- the point being, do NOT let yourself slip into “I’m home sick” appearance– it’s very easy to do and you will feel differently when you are working in a robe and no makeup than if you are dressed like you could meet a friend for lunch. It doesn’t mean every day you get all dolled up in a suit or dress- but– I make sure in my world- each morning I put on my makeup, I put on perfume- and at MINIMUM, I put on a full matchy matchy workout outfit. It’s ok to be in workout clothes– but don’t be a slob. Trust me, you’ll find that you behave differently when you are dressed the part. 

    Focus on WALKING. A LOT.

    Too many people underestimate the power of walking. Even if you didn’t get in a daily workout, if you focused on getting 10K steps a day– or ideally, if you are not working out, you’d try to focus on 15K steps a day– you will feel so much better and fight that battle of the bulge. You stick to a caloric deficit and do 10-15K steps– you might be wonderfully surprised. If you don’t have a fitness tracker- I heartily recommend the Apple Watch. 

    How to get your steps in? I make sure I pace while I’m on any phone call. That can get a lot of steps in. Sometimes when I’m doing instagram stories, I’ll walk the apartment halls, maintaining social distance of course if other community members are out. My man and I go on a long power walk almost every night and it’s also a great thing to do for a break during the day: get outside and go for a walk- the fresh air and vitamin d are so good for our health and immunity!

    Plan Your Meals. And...EAT MEALS.

    This is an area I’ve been really bad in in the past. If you are like me and you love your work– it’s easy to get so wrapped up in it that you don’t want to stop– you don’t want to take the time to MAKE SOMETHING. So quite often I’d go to the fridge and not like what I saw and I’d end up having a protein bar or some trail mix. That’s not a meal. That’s a snack and you know how I feel about snacking. 

    Focus on MEALS. Actual meals. Ideally- if you can, maybe have some food delivery service meals plus some meals you’ve made homemade and have leftovers from- and then get some salads in there with protein on top. Make sure you commit to – when it’s meal time- sitting down and eating your meal- and ONLY EATING vs. eating at your desk. Let yourself ENJOY the food. And hey- order takeout some days from your local restaurants– this way we support them and give ourselves some diversity. 

    Focus On Caloric Deficit More Than EVER.

    If there is one point I cannot drive home to you strongly enough it is this. Nothing is should be your #1 focus- if you want to lose weight- other than CALORIC DEFICIT. 

    Rather than repeat myself a hundred times, do yourself a favor: listen to my podcast with Jordan Syatt. CLICK HERE to do so. Then go read THIS POST I wrote about everything I’ve learned about losing weight– what not to do and what works, even when you have hypothyroidism and low or high cortisol, hormonal imbalance, are over 30/40/50 etc.– CLICK HERE to do that. 

    Take Breaks More Often.

    It’s very easy when working from home to forget time. If you are new to working at home you may suddenly feel like superman or wonder woman because- you don’t have all the co-workers around distracting you. That’s when it becomes very easy to NEVER STOP WORKING. You need breaks- for your mind — and hey, to get those steps in! TAKE BREAKS– practice the Pomodoro Method and work for 20 minutes, break for 10, work for 45 minutes break for 15 whatever– just take BREAKS. Stop and read a book or use your SCHEDULED/TIMED BREAKS for social media. Call your mom or best friend. 

    If you don’t take breaks you will get very run down very quickly. No bueno. You need to be strong and healthy now. 


    Make Sleep a Priority.

    Our sleep affects EVERYTHING. Use this time at home to develop better sleep habits. Start going to bed earlier and getting up earlier– you’ll set yourself up for better practices when we get back to normal life. Start a wind-down routine at night- take a hot bath before bed– stop working on tablets and phones before bed and shut down wi-fi (listen to THIS PODCAST about EMF exposure!) Bottom line- the better you sleep, the better you’ll perform during the day. GET REST. 

    Try New Things.

    You are “stuck” at home. Why not use this time to do things you’ve not previously had the time to do because of your other commitments? Gone are dropping the kids off at soccer practice hours- gone are happy hours or long commutes. You’ve got time. Why not learn how to cook new cuisines? We are. We are looking up all kinds of new recipes that let us use pantry staples so we aren’t going to the grocery store as often and wasting food.

    Same goes for workouts- why not try something new?? Even if you are used to working out at home– branch out. (You may want to read this post I published about the best home workouts and equipment). 

    What about learning new things– watch some documentaries vs. just movies. Sign up for online courses….learn how to build a website or figure out that camera you got for Christmas. 


    Get Creative With Exercise. Also Sex.

    Like I said above- now more than ever, you can get creative with burning calories. Do you live in an apartment complex like us with stairs? Practice stair workouts- make up new moves. Figure out new walking areas outside. Never done yoga? Why not try it now? There are so many new workouts you can try– and you might end up discovering something you’ll be obsessed with.

    And do we have to mention that not only is sex- great activity- it does burn calories– but orgasms are good for HEALTH and stress relief…..if you have a lot more quality time at home with your significant other—- make the most of it. RECONNECT, and OFTEN. 

    Have Cheat Meals or Cheat Days.

    You gotta have fun. And in my opinion, when we are on a weight loss journey, while I believe we need to DIET, we also need to mix it up and have — (and I’m ok using these words — sorry, not sorry) CHEAT MEALS. 

    Yea. Cheeseburgers or Pizza or Pasta- you name it- plus Adult Beverages. We need to LIVE while on our way to a leaner version of ourselves. If you PLAN YOUR DIET RIGHT, you can have at least one cheat meal or even a cheat day-ish a week. (P.S. If you want help designing a caloric deficit based weight loss plan, I’m happy to help and will provide nutritional product recommendations as well as workout recommendations— email me kelly at kellyolexa dot com)

    I believe if you plan the right way– and you know during the week that hey, come Friday or Saturday or whenever you plan your cheat meals, you can let loose and enjoy– it makes it easier to stick with the dieting during the week. Give yourself the gift of not being wound so tight on your diet that you can’t enjoy life along the way. Diet hard, cheat well. 😉 That is my mantra. 

    You've so got this.

    I firmly believe you can adjust to working from home during this crazy coronavirus quarantine time and actually come out BETTER on the other side vs worse. It’s all up to you– are you willing to focus on the right practices each day so you can capitalize on this time– that’s what I’m doing….I figure it’s like a gift– it’s like being sent off to a weight loss spa hotel– and I’m going to use this time away to transform for the better vs. giving in to stress eating and worrying and freaking out and being a sloth. Nope. 

    I dare you to join me. I’m doing a 60-day Kelly O Challenge and I am determined to get as close to my 20lb weight loss goal as possible– If you’d like me to design with you a customized caloric deficit plan using intermittent fasting/cleanse days/cheat days plus killer fun workouts– let’s talk. You’ve so got this!!!


  • What are the best home workout programs?

    How to Lose Weight Working Out at Home.

    So, you are suddenly quarantined for Coronavirus and wondering how to get your killer workouts in AT HOME? Or maybe you’ve never worked out at a gym before but you are just getting started on your weight loss journey, and you figure, why not work out at home? For many, the idea of going to a gym is intimidating anyway, quarantine status notwithstanding. 

    This post will share with you– a list of the best workout programs for working out at home, as well as a list of some of my favorite home-gym equipment– from least expensive to most expensive. Get ready to sweat– because I can share, as someone who has been working out from home for 20+ years, you can get in outstanding shape from your own home or apartment– and with equipment you can easily store in a closet or under a bed! 

    Do you need equipment to work out at home?

    You don’t NEED to have equipment in order to get a good workout in at home. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say- in my opinion and my experience– you’ll have more options and the ability to get better results over the long run if you buy some equipment- especially some weights. 

    Below is an example of many no-equipment moves that can be combined to make a great number of circuit workouts– that can deliver a solid sweatfest and get your muscles working:

    1. Pushups
    2. Sit-Ups + Crunches + Planks
    3. Tricep Dips off a chair or bench or steps.
    4. Step ups on any chair or bench or stair. 
    5. Stationary lunges or walking lunges.
    6. Squats- body weight only. 
    7. Plie Squats and pulses.
    8. Sissy Squats and Pulses.
    9. Shoulder focused “push-ups” inspired by Tony Horton.
    10. Yoga Poses
    11. Barre Moves
    12. Walking
    13. Running
    14. Jumping Jacks
    15. Plyometrics
    16. Jump Rope
    17. Bear Crawl
    18. Calf Raises
    19. Hip Thrusts: Body Weight Only
    20. Pullups

    What You Should Buy For a Basic Home Gym Situation.

    Let’s be real. The photo above is NOT what most people who are working out from home have: a lot of space. So – everything I mention here will take into consideration that you might very well be working out at home or working out in an apartment with limited space and not a lot of storage space either. That’s been my experience– I’ve always had a combination of storing my weights under my bed and other stuff in my closet. You do what you gotta do. 

    Below is a list of what I’d recommend you consider to have a BASIC but solid home gym equipment situation.

    The 20 Best Home Gym Equipment Buys.

    1. A Step Bench: I definitely recommend investing in a step- with extra risers. Why? This can be a WEIGHT BENCH too! And you can take risers OFF one side and add to the other so you can do incline weight moves as well. Further– using the step for STEP-UPS and REVERSE LUNGES and CURTSY STEPS is awesome for building the glutes! Plus you can do one-armed rows with heavy weights leaning on the bench and pullovers which are great for upper back. This is a STAPLE piece of equipment and so flexible. I’d recommend getting this step (buy on Amazon using this link: CLICK HERE.) and then getting this high step version so you have a lot of extra risers. 
    2. An Exercise Ball: Great for all kinds of core-focused moves. Another staple for a home gym. CLICK HERE to buy. 
    3. Valslides: My friend Valerie Waters— celebrity fitness trainer– was the first to come out with these sliding discs and they are so flexible- you can do all kinds of LEG moves with them and they can create deathly serious ab/core work for you too- just go to YouTube and type in Valslide moves to see a ton of free ideas. And head to Valerie’s website to check out her home workouts. 
    4. A set of Resistance Bands is another key thing- and what’s also great– you can pack these in your suitcase when you travel. I always pack these plus my Valslides (above) and my TRX (below) when I go on a personal or business trip. P.S. If you see this post and hit for resistance bands and discover they are out of stock, another option for you is to order from ME via Beachbody– we have bands with a ton of our workouts and you can score x 2– get a brand new workout and some home gym equipment! Just email me
    5. TRX Training System: I have been in love with TRX since I first found out about them like 10 years ago. This system is so portable and what I love to do most on the TRX is upper body work, but it’s really got dozens of moves you can do if you take the time to watch their videos. 
    6. Resistance Loop Bands— there are a LOT of options now for bands-and I’ll record some videos on the different moves to do for the different bands but with these LOOP bands, I use them for what Cathe Friedrich calls “firewalkers” where you put them around your ankles and move side to side in a semi-squat position. OMG THE BURN! 
    7. Bootie Bands: I call these thicker bands “bootie bands” because most often you’d use these ABOVE THE KNEE– and to focus hard core on GLUTES– these can often be used when doing hip thrusts and weighted hip thrusts. 
    8. Workout Gloves: the more you lift weight, you will understand the need for weight gloves. The more you sweat, the more you need a good grip. Invest in some solid weight gloves. 
    9. Weight Lifting Belt- For Back Support. This is a really good idea if you plan to continually increase your strength training (and you should)– especially for doing things like deadlifts and squats — get yourself a solid belt. 
    10. Yoga Mat: Even if you don’t do a ton of yoga it’s a great idea to have a yoga/exercise mat of some kind. You’ll use it. 
    11. Ab Wheel: I used to see things like this and think they were cheesy but after 3 of my best trainers told me to use this at home, I realized that this one was legit. And it will humble you trust me. 
    12. Foam Roller: Everyone should have a foam roller and learn how and why to use it. You’ll learn to love to hate it or hate to love it. 
    13. Stretching Band: You will find that a stretching band like this can help with sore/tight muscles more than you think. 
    14. Bosu Ball: This weird looking contraption is a lot more flexible than you think: my first trainer Jay had me do deadlifts on it and balance challenging moves all the time. It’s fantastic.
    15. Bowflex Adjustable Weights: One of the best investments I made was getting the Bowflex Adjustable Weights. And now that my man has to work out at home with me, he is loving having up to 52LBS each dumbbell. Totally worth it.
    16. Spin Bike: I don’t have one at this moment but when I bought this model of spin bike for my place, I LOVED IT- so intense. You could also look into Peloton of course for a lot more money.
    17. Dumbbells: Start investing in some dumbbells now and you will love yourself later. I’d suggest starting – if you are new to working out and want to get the most bang for your buck, get a pair of 5lb dumbbells and 10lb dumbbells. Go up to 15LB next and then add 20lbs when you are ready. 
    18. Barbell: I got this brand and am very happy with it. CAP BARBELL. FYI they’ve been sold out for a while but I found this set from another brand: CLICK HERE.
    19. Barbell Plates: Duh. Get you some weight on that barbell. 
    20. Kettlebells: Adding Kettlebell swings in to your routine can do wonderful things. It can really get your heart rate up and does wonderful things for working the whole body at once. CLICK HERE to get a nice adjustable set at a great price.

    My Top 10 Best Home Workout Programs.

    After YEARS of working out at home in addition to the gym I have TONS of recommendations to make. Below are some of my FAVORITE workout programs and people. Feel free to reach out to me and ask any questions- I’m happy to help. 

    1. Way back in the day, I started out with mostly cardio workouts. I’m going to share some of the oldies but goodies — and if you can get past some of the really bad fitness fashion there are some great sweat-fests in here. First of all- I LOVED doing TaeBo- now Billy Blanks has DVDs all over the place online but it doesn’t appear that he was as savvy with his business back in the day because now- I am hard pressed to find a Taebo website or streaming service. Very odd. That said, Taebo is a fun kickboxing workout and you can find a LOT of his workouts FREE on his YouTube Channel
    2. When I started doing weights, it was because I was inspired by The FIRM workouts. Now– apparently you can find the next generation of FIRM trainers doing FIRM workouts at GAIA. I’m bringing up The FIRM workouts because honestly- the original workouts– high cut spandex and leg warmer outfits aside– were GREAT workouts and some of the earliest to have WEIGHTS for women. Yup. They were in my experience the front-runners. Most of the stuff out in the early days was all cardio. If you want to check out previews of the workouts they have a ton on Anna Benson, the founder- on her YouTube Channel. If you dig  what you see you can buy many of The FIRM workouts on Amazon. 
    3. After I was doing The FIRM for a while I discovered Cathe Friedrich (photo of her above). Let me just tell you- Cathe is amazing. She has been producing workout videos for decades and just keeps getting better. You can buy her DVDs or subscribe to her online streaming program at I love Cathe because 85%+ of her workouts are focused on INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED. So if you are a gym rat working out from home all of a sudden and want to train hard like you mean it– Cathe is your girl. Further– what I also love is that on her YouTube Channel she shares like 10 minute+ previews of her workouts!! I interviewed Cathe on the podcast- CLICK HERE to listen.
    4. I mentioned Valerie Waters previously and she has KILLER WORKOUTS FOR THE HOME GYM FANATIC. Click here to shop. I interviewed her on the podcast also– you can listen here.
    5. Chris Freytag has another fantastic online fitness platform- GET HEALTHY U. I also interviewed Chris on the podcast: click here to listen.
    6. I have also been a fan of and customer of Beachbody for YEARS. In fact, I just signed up as a coach (!) with my BFF Jenelle Summers because I think Beachbody has some of the most legit home workouts on the planet– they’ve added a ton more since I last was buying the DVDS– and now they have an insane streaming program that is way too reasonable to turn down. I also interviewed Jenelle on the podcast and you can listen to that 2-part interview by clicking here.  What are my favorite go-to Beachbody workouts? I did P90X and bought all of Tony Horton’s additional workouts (P90X One on One)- and that program is amazing. Body Beast is a personal favorite and I loved Insanity back in the day– now I love that Shaun T has a ton more shorter HIIT workouts as well. Brazil Butt Lift is surprisingly intense and I’ve always been obsessed with TurboFire. SO fun. What do I plan to dive into with Beachbody workouts next?? Hammer & Chisel, Core de Force, Shift Shop, LIFT 4, 80-Day Obsession, 6-Weeks of The Work and 10 Rounds. And the Barre program. Holy crap. No excuse to complain when quarantined with this variety. You can shop all these fitness programs and Beachbody on Demand and the nutrition and equipment products by CLICKING HERE to my site. 
    7. Udaya: has incredible Yoga programming. I’ve bought their DVDs and have used their online streaming program. 
    8. The Ultimate Yogi is by Travis Eliot- he’s an amazing guy and awesome human. I interviewed him on the podcast as well. LISTEN HERE.
    9. Suzanne Bowen has some killer BARRE workouts on DVD. CLICK HERE to check out Barre Amped. 
    10. Jari Love is based in Canada and she honestly has some killer workouts. Most of them you can buy on Amazon. Here’s one– and then you can check out the rest on Amazon as well. I’ve done her workouts for years and they are a great burn. Her YouTube channel has some previews. Don’t let the bad set design fool you- she knows her stuff. 

    Don't Wait. Just start working out at home today.

    As I said above- I have been working out from home for years! I love it– and yes, I absolutely love working out with a trainer at the gym and I plan when we are out of this coronavirus madness to go try a lot of new local classes– but — working out at home is convenient and can get you shredded!! I’m planning to share my next 60-days of working out from home + sticking with my diet plan (will publish that later this week- make sure you are subscribed!) results– and what I eat every day and what I do for workouts every day- on my social media – particularly instagram

    Let me know if you have any questions about equipment or any of the workouts I mentioned above. Let’s SWEAT! 

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