25-Minute Time-Saving Workout


By Ashley Conrad

Think strength and speed don’t belong in the same workout? Not if Ashley Conrad has anything to say about it! Turn up the pressure and leave it all out on the floor in this brutal 25-minute burner!

People don’t typically think of throwing high-intensity cardio right in the middle of their weight training, but in my experience, it’s a great way to work multiple athletic skills at the same time. In this rapid-fire no-rest workout, your cardiovascular endurance will be tested, expanded, and you will work on your strength, too.

Each exercise, from pull-ups to planks, is meant to be all-out, no holds-barred. There’s no rest between exercises and none between sets. Just keep moving. You can make it in 25 minutes!


If you know me at all, you know I’m not lying when I say this is going to be a tough workout. But that’s excuse to half-ass your warm-up. Since there is no rest in this workout, you’ll need to have your blood pumping before you dive into the four rounds I’ve outlined below. I prefer to jump rope as a warm-up, because there’s pretty much no better way to engage your entire body quickly and efficiently.

Workouts like this are really about throwing your body a curveball. When you come off the cardio round and you go right into the shoulder-triceps-biceps round, your body is still trying to recover from the cardio. It’ll be asking “what the hell?”—and don’t be surprised if those words come out of your mouth, too.

Go as hard as you can—in fact, harder than you think you can on the cardio rounds. It’s just six exercises, 20 seconds each. You should be extremely winded when you’re done with those rounds, but you’ll get more out of those two minutes than anything you can do on a treadmill or Stepmill for 40 minutes or longer.

Ashley Conrad


For the strength rounds, you will be tired, so check the weight you use. I want the body to be tired so it has to work harder on the dips and curls, recruiting more muscle and building real strength. Going to a high rep range—up to 30 reps in the first strength sets—pushes your muscles past where they’re comfortable and floods them with blood, encouraging that full look everybody wants.

When you get to the last round, your body is going to want to rest, stop, and sit down. That’s not what you’re going to do. If you don’t have that same intensity, if you can’t explode off the ground like you were in Round 2, that’s OK. The most important thing is that you give it all you can for those 20 seconds, and then immediately move on.

When you finish this workout, that power that you found in yourself can be applied to every other area of your life.



  • Round 1: Chest, Legs, Back
  • Round 2: Cardio
  • Round 3: Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps
  • Round 4: Cardio


5 minutes

Rope Jumping Rope Jumping


Perform one set of each movement, then move to the next one without rest. Perform three rounds of this circuit.


3 sets of 30, 20, 10 reps

Plyo Push-up Plyo Push-up


3 sets of 30, 20, 10 reps

Burpee Burpee


3 sets of 30, 20, 10 reps

Pullups Pullups


Perform one set of each movement with no rest in between.


20 seconds

Side Hop-Sprint Side Hop-Sprint


20 seconds

Plank Plank


20 seconds

Rocket Jump Rocket Jump


20 seconds

Lateral Cone Hops Lateral Cone Hops


20 seconds

Star Jump Star Jump


20 seconds

Burpee Burpee

Perform one set of each movement, then move to the next one without rest. Perform three rounds of this circuit.


3 sets of 30, 20, 10 reps

Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press


3 sets of 30, 20, 10 reps

Bench Dips Bench Dips


3 sets of 30, 20, 10 reps

Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl


Perform one set of each movement with no rest in between.


20 seconds

Side Hop-Sprint Side Hop-Sprint


20 seconds

Plank Plank


20 seconds

Rocket Jump Rocket Jump


20 seconds

Lateral Cone Hops Lateral Cone Hops


20 seconds

Star Jump Star Jump


20 seconds

Burpee Burpee



IFBB Pro Alex Carneiro knows that going low(er) carb can be rough. Not only do you have to limit your bread intake, but childhood favorites are off limits—crustless peanut butter and jelly, anyone? Well, there’s good news. It turns out you can have your protein PB&J and drink it, too!

  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tsp raspberry preserves (Stevia sweetened)
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup blackberries
  • 1 cup ice
  1. Blend all ingredients together.
  2. Enjoy your super shake!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 347
Total Fat9.5 g
Total Carbs38 g
Protein32 g


Mornings can be rough. You wake up late, head into work flustered, and spill your morning cup of Joe on your new shirt. Follow Alex’s suggestions: Lessen the blow and nix the caffeine with a sweet protein treat.

  • 1 banana (medium size)
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Strawberry Banana
  • 8 oz almond milk
  1. Blend all of the ingredients together.
  2. Slam it!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 shake
Amount per serving
Calories 394
Total Fat8.6 g
Total Carbs37.5 g
Protein29.8 g


Athlete Stephanie Toomey makes this shake every morning. The combination of coconut and almond milk makes for a silky smooth base, while peanut butter kicks the flavor profile up a notch. Go nuts with this flavor combination!

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (or PB2)
  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  1. Blend and freeze.
  2. Remove from freezer five minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 shake
Amount per serving
Calories 350
Total Fat21 g
Total Carbs7.5 g
Protein29.3 g


National bikini competitor Lindsey Renee prefers her protein in pancake form. Who could say no to a sizable stack of flapjacks first thing in the morning? Forget the tasteless, frozen variety and dig into these freshly baked hot cakes instead.

  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 Splenda packet
  • 2 tbsp sugar-free syrup
  1. Mix ingredients in a bowl. If needed, add a bit more water.
  2. Cook over medium heat.
  3. Plate and spread 1 tbsp almond butter on top of the pancakes.
  4. Sprinkle with 1 packet Splenda and drizzle with maple syrup.
  5. If desired, add a few strawberries and bananas for deliciousness!
Serving Size (2-3 pancakes)Yields 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 145
Total Fat1.3 g
Total Carbs3.6 g
Protein34.8 g


Need a powerful morning punch? Noah Siegel has just the recipe. Peanut butter? Good. Berries? Good. Oatmeal? Really good! Really, what’s not to love about this shake? With a healthy dose of healthy fats, vitamin C, fiber, and protein, it’s a well-rounded meal in a glass.

  • 16 oz. almond milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 scoop natural peanut butter
  • 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 small cup oatmeal
  • Optional: 2 scoops ON Essential AmiN.O. Energy Blue Raspberry
  1. Blend ingredients together.
  2. Enjoy!
Serving Size (1 shake)Recipe yields 1 shake
Amount per serving
Calories 599
Total Fat12 g
Total Carbs46 g
Protein57 g


Why limit banana flavor to bread? Try this recipe by Jaquelyn Kastelic, Optimum Nutrition athlete and owner of Crossfit Unrivaled. Break the standard baking mold by serving up a batch of these fruit-flavored pancakes.

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1-2 scoops Optimum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 6 whole eggs, 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 whole banana
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • Sugar-free maple syrup, to taste
  1. Preheat your pan to 300 degrees.
  2. In a bowl mix eggs, 1/4 cup coconut flakes, 1/2 of a mashed up banana, and 1/2 drop liquid Stevia.
  3. Melt coconut oil in microwave and add to mix.
  4. Stir in flax meal and protein to a desired creamy consistency. Add cinnamon.
  5. Pour on pan and cook a few minutes on each side.
  6. Once all pancakes are made, slice up the remaining 1/2 banana and top the pancakes with zero-calorie maple syrup.
Serving Size (1 pancake)Recipe yields 8
Amount per serving
Calories 127
Total Fat6.5 g
Total Carbs5.5 g
Protein11.7 g


Power-up on protein with these tasty bars! Spices like cinnamon and clove will awaken your flavor palate while alternatives to butter like applesauce spell a lower fat content while still providing the moisture necessary for a delicious cake.

  • 1-2 tsp of Stevia powder
  • 4 oz. jar baby food applesauce ( or unsweetened applesauce)
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 15 oz. can of raw pumpkin
  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Vanilla or White Chocolate
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a 9 X 13 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine first 11 ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the final 3 ingredients and mix together.
  5. Spread batter into the Pyrex dish and bake for 30 minutes.
  6. Allow to cool. Then cut into 30 squares.
Serving Size (1 square )Recipe yields 30
Amount per serving
Calories 41
Total Fat0.5 g
Total Carbs6.2 g
Protein2.9 g


Breakfast doesn’t have to come in the form of a protein shake. Serve up healthy slabs of French toast for your next brunch with this recipe from Noah Siegel.

  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread
  • 3 egg whites
  • Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Cinnamon Graham Cracker protein
  1. Spray pan with non-stick spray and place on medium heat.
  2. Combine egg whites, protein powder, and cinnamon together in a large casserole dish.
  3. Place a slice of Ezekiel bread in mixture and let each side sit until thoroughly saturated with mixture.
  4. Place bread in pan, turning so both sides get done before the center is completely cooked. Make sure temperature is low enough to cook thoroughly without burning.
  5. Remove from pan and let cool for about 2 minutes. Add toppings.
Serving Size (2 slices)Recipe yields 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 334
Total Fat2 g
Total Carbs34 g
Protein45.7 g


Get your coffee fix in protein brownie form with this recipe from IFBB Pro Bikini competitor Anna Starodubtseva.

Brownie Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 8 oz fat free Philadelphia Cream Cheese (room temperature)
  • 4 scoops Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Whey Mocha Cappuccino
  • 3 tbsp of raw cacao powder
  • 4 tsp Truvia
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tsp Optimum Nutrition Fitness Fiber
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 shot fresh espresso
Sauce Ingredients (optional)
  • 5 oz raspberries
  • Stevia
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Blend egg white separately from yolks until they become foam.
  2. Add yolks, Truvia, cacao powder, cinnamon, baking powder, Fitness Fiber, and protein powder and mix in a blender.
  3. Manually mix in cream cheese.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  1. Heat a pan with coconut oil.
  2. Mix berries with Truvia in a bowl. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 min until the juice comes out of the berries.
  3. When the brownies are ready, place them in a fridge for two hours. Serve with warm berry sauce on top.
Serving Size (1/5 of batch)Recipe yields 1 batch
Amount per serving
Calories 204
Total Fat3.9 g
Total Carbs14.4 g
Protein 31 g

10 Foods to Heal Your Body & Boost Metabolism

These days, everyone seems to be talking about ways to boost metabolism. With certain healing foods, you can both add nutrition to your diet and increase your metabolism. You may be wondering, what is a healing food?

A healing food naturally cleanses your body because it is rich in nutrients. With healing foods that boost metabolism, you can improve your overall health by eliminating toxins, and you can lose weight more easily.

1. Coconuts

Coconuts are excellent for healing because both the meat and the oil contain fatty acids, which translate into energy in your body. Their combination of lauric acid, caprylic acid, and capric acid provide you with increased metabolism.

2. Hot Peppers

Did you know that hot peppers can speed up your metabolism? Cayenne, jalapeno, habanero, and other hot peppers will also decrease your craving for other food and improve your circulation. This is because hot peppers are high in capsaicin, which studies have shown to increase metabolism.

3. Berries

Different types of berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, goji berries, and acai berries are all known as “superfruits” that have many antioxidants, boost your metabolism, and can really help when it comes to losing weight. They contain fiber, water, carotenoids, and flavonoids, all of which eliminate toxins.

4. Green Tea

Many studies have shown the health benefits of green tea. Green tea will increase your metabolic rate, and it also contains numerous antioxidants to heal your body.

5. Onions

Onions help you detox and lose weight because they are rich in fiber, vitamin C, sulfur, and quercetin. They also contain antioxidant powers because they have flavonoids. Onions are great to add to your diet for boosting metabolism and cleansing.


6. Beets


Beets are another great healing food that are rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants, calcium, iron, fiber, folate, and magnesium. All of these components are nutritious for your body and will also add to your metabolism.


7. Kale


Kale is another “superfood” that has very few calories combined with a high water and fiber content, which is beneficial for losing weight. Kale also has vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium, chlorophyll, iron, flavonoids, amino acids, and carotenoids. These heal your body, reduce inflammation, and eliminate toxins along with boosting metabolism.


8. Broccoli


Broccoli is known to help with weight loss because it is high in calcium, which is also great for your bones. It contains vitamins A, C, and K along with fiber, antioxidants, and folate. Broccoli is often used for detox because it is very nutritious and great for a metabolism boost.


9. Seaweed


Though it may seem strange to eat seaweed, this food has a significant amount of iodine for thyroid health, which in turn can lead to better weight loss. Seaweed will also cleanse your body by purifying your blood.


10. Citrus Fruits


Finally, all types of citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes have a lot of water, vitamins A and C, fiber, and flavonoids. These components will cleanse your body and boost your metabolism to promote weight loss.





primal kettle balls

You got to checkout the NEW Primal collection by OMNIT LABS to make your workout more hardcore!! 

Welcome to the Jungle

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  • Full Body Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Explosive Power

These hand-sculpted pieces of functional art takes kettlebells out of a dark garage and makes a statement in your home or office. Supplies of our Primal Bells are limited.

  • Fully-functional kettlebell
  • Perfectly balanced
  • Chip-resistant iron
  • Enlarged handle for grip strength

Gorilla Primal Bell


Many fitness people who cook with whey protein powder think they can treat it the same way they do flour. Newsflash! You can’t.You have to always account for its particularity and cook it on its own terms. This is the case with most protein powders, but it’s particularly critical to understand with whey. If you don’t, the potential for failure looms large. Whatever you’re making can turn out rubbery, “cardboard-y,” extremely dry and, well, pretty much impossible to (pleasurably) consume!

Let me give you an example: protein muffins. The first time I made a protein muffin, I followed a recipe I found online. It called for three egg whites and one scoop of whey, to be stuck in a mug and microwaved for a minute. A child could ace this recipe, I thought to myself.

Round and round went my mug inside the microwave. Mesmerized, I watched the mixture rise and rise until it could rise no more. After the minute had passed, this monstrosity began shrinking as quickly as it had mushroomed. I removed it carefully, and my shoulders slumped. My muffin was as deflated as my ego.

It looked like a chewed-up plastic cake, the kind you have to pull out of your dog’s mouth after he’s been mischievously playing with a child’s cookery play set. That’s when I took my first bite and realized that, while the muffin tasted more or less okay, chewing it was like chewing on a rubber sole. Horrendous.


I had a similar experience when I first made protein pancakes. I mixed two scoops of whey with three egg whites and a couple scoops ofoats.

Result: A bland and ultra rubbery pancake that soured my taste buds and broke my heart. My second abject failure made me want to give up on the idea of ever again cooking with whey.

You will find a lot of recipes online for protein muffins and pancakes that, like the above, leave you feeling as if you’re eating a tire.

It doesn’t have to be this way, though. It never should.

You can work with whey to create incredibly fluffy and moist pancakes. You can use it to make soft, moist, and delicious protein muffins, muffins that no one will eye suspiciously and bite with the unease of a vampire. Make muffins that no one will be able to resist.


There are four rules you must know to successfully cook with whey. Master them, and become master of the protein universe. You may use these rules to bake cakes as well but, for now, let’s stick to pancakes and muffins.


Never-NEVER-bake or panfry a batter that is more than ¼ whey. This is because, naturally, whey has a tendency to go dry, rubbery, and “cardboard-up” (if you allow me to paraphrase Steve Spurrier and coin that expression).

You have to offset this tendency. How? By making sure that the rest of your ingredients weigh it down and add enough moisture to counter the whey.


You must always use what I call a primary moisturizer. This can be cottage cheesepumpkin pureeGreek yogurt, or a cooked sweet potato. It can also be fruits such as applesauceapplesbananas or berries.


You always need to have a type of flour in your batter. This will combine with your whey and give volume to your final product.

My favorite flours to use are oats, coconut flour, almond flour, oat flour, amaranth flour, chickpea flour, buckwheat flour or quinoa flour. These are excellent gluten-free, high-protein, and high-fiber flours.


Always use a binding substance like egg whites, whole eggs or a combination of both.

By following the above rules, you’ll be able to make anything and everything with whey—from cakes and muffins to pancakes and breads!

The more you play with it, the more delicious variations of your protein favorites will result.

Add nuts, seeds, and any additional powders (e.g. cocoa, maca powder, lucuma powder), spices (e.g.cinnamonclovesginger) and flavorings (e.g. vanilla essence, orange peel, almond essence) to your batter too.

The sky is the limit to what you can make once you understand the basics of whey protein cooking!

Experiment with your combinations. Find out what you like and don’t like. Combine lemon peel with poppy seeds, cinnamon with vanilla, cocoa with passion fruit!

Try exotic ingredients. Be creative with your flavorings and remember to always build on what you learn along the “whey.”


Without further ado, four recipes to get your started:


These muffins are so good they’ll make you want to break dance! (Or at least learn how.) I’ll never tire of singing the praises of vanilla and orange—it’s a combination made on Mount Olympus.

  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 C).
  2. Blend ingredients together.
  3. Pour batter into five cupcake cases or five individual tins.
  4. Bake for about 25 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.
  5. When the muffins come out: Spread some organic butter on one and then stuff another one withGreek yogurt. Both ways, these muffins are sublime!
Serving Size Per muffin, recipe makes 5 muffins
Amount per serving
Calories 175
Total Fat6.2g
Total Carb13.4g



These chocolatey, pumpkin-packed muffins explode in your mouth. Their super-moist texture and great nutritional profile make them a great post-workout snack or yummy breakfast treat.

Bring some to the office for a happy surprise. Oh la la!

Muffin Ingredients
Frosting Ingredients
Directions For Muffins
  1. Preheat oven to 340 degrees F (170 C).
  2. Blend all ingredients.
  3. Pour batter into nine silicone muffin cases.
  4. Bake for about 40 minutes.
Directions For Frosting
  1. Mix casein and milk.
  2. Pour mixture into piping bag.
  3. Frost!
  4. If desired, top with extra chia seeds and a sprinkle of organic cocoa powder
Serving Size Per muffin, recipe makes 9 muffins
Amount per serving
Calories 160
Total Fat 4.7g
Total Carb 11.4g
Protein 20.4g



What’s not to love about protein pancakes? If you haven’t tried to make them yet, this recipe is a perfect first effort. The pancakes are bursting with blueberries and fruity deliciousness!

  • 3 Egg Whites
  • 1 big Apple, cored
  • 1/4 cup of Strawberry Whey Protein
  • 1/4 cup of Coconut Flour (I found some at the supermarket!)
  • 1/8 cup of Blueberries (added after mixing the above)
  1. Blend all ingredients except blueberries.
  2. Spray pan with non-stick spray and heat on low/medium heat.
  3. Pour batter onto pan in small circles and add blueberries.
  4. When bubbles form, flip over slowly.
Serving Size Per servings, recipe makes 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 435
Total Fat 8.4g
Total Carb 37.8g
Protein 39g



What a kicking post-workout boom! Throwing “never say never” to the wind. I confidently declare that you will never tire of this protein pancake.

  • 1 small Banana
  • 1 small (120g) cooked Sweet Potato
  • 1/2 cup of Liquid Egg Whites
  • 1/2 cup of Vanilla Whey
  1. Blend all ingredients for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Spray pan with non-stick spray and heat on medium heat.
  3. Pour batter onto pan in small circles.
  4. When bubbles form, flip over.
Serving Size For whole recipe
Amount per serving
Calories 318
Total Fat 3g
Total Carb 37g
Protein 36g


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The key to results in fitness and health is nutrition. The more you look into the science in fitness and health, the more complicated and complex it may become. It’s impossible to just completely change your diet, but with the more knowledge we acquire, the closer we will get to our goals. Remember that every little bit of guidance will take us a long way!

Top 10 Best Personal Trainer Certifications

Top 10 Best Personal Trainer Certifications

Last Updated: Mar 03, 2014 | By Jeremy Hoefs

Top 10 Best Personal Trainer Certifications
Woman working out with personal trainer at a gym. Photo CreditJupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

With the widespread popularity of personal training and fitness, hundreds of personal training certifications have been created. However, only a few of the certifications are routinely recognized by fitness clubs and other trainers. The best personal training certifications are the most widely recognized while being accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies.


The Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist — CSCS — offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (nsca-lift.org) is one of the most recognized personal trainer certifications in the fitness industry. It is also one of the most difficult certifications to earn and requires a 4-year college degree. The CSCS is commonly earned by strength coaches or personal trainers working with athletes.


The American Council on Exercise (acefitness.org) offers various health and fitness certifications and their general personal trainer certification is considered one of the best. ACE offers a 2-day workshop to help you study and prepare for the certification examination. You must recertify every two years to remain ACE personal trainer certified.


The American College of Sports Medicine (acsm.org) was created in 1954 and offers one of the top personal trainer certifications. The accredited certification program requires a high school diploma and CPR certification to take the 125 to 150 question examination. After earning the certification, you must recertify every three years.


The National Strength and Conditioning Association (nsca-lift.org) started offering the Certified Personal Trainer — NSCA-CPT — certification in 1993 and is considered one of the most challenging examinations. The prerequisites for taking the NSCA-CPT test include at least 18-years old and CPR certified allowing college students to work as a certified personal trainer as they study health and fitness.


The American Fitness Professionals and Associates (afpafitness.com) personal trainer certification uses current exercise science, sports medicine and nutrition research in the certification program. The AFPA doesn’t require any prerequisites for earning the certification which makes it one of the easiest accredited certifications to obtain. You can also add various specialty certifications from the AFPA to your personal trainer certification.


Created in 1988, the National Federation of Professional Trainers (nfpt.com) personal training certification is accredited by NCCA and widely recognized as one of the best personal trainer certifications. You must have a high school diploma, be at least 18 years old and have at least two years of fitness experience before taking the NFPT certification examination. You must also recertify every year to maintain the certification.


The National Endurance and Sports Trainers Association (nestacertified.com) personal training certification started in 1992 and grew rapidly to have certified trainers in more than 20 countries. You must be at least 16 years old, have good reading skills and have basic fitness experience to take the NESTA certification examination. You must recertify every four years to maintain the certification.


Offering a total of more than 70 certifications, the International Fitness Professionals Association (ifpa-fitness.com) personal trainer certification gives you the knowledge, skills and abilities to be a successful personal trainer. You must be at least 18 years old, have a current CPR certification and a high school diploma to take the IFPA personal trainer certification. You can attend a workshop to study and prepare for the 100 question examination and you must recertify every two years.

Cooper Institute

Established by Kenneth Cooper, M.D., the Cooper Institute (cooperinstitute.org) is a nonprofit research and education organization for medicine and health. The Cooper Institute also offers the certified personal trainer examination that is recognized as one of the best certifications. You must be at least 18 years old with a current CPR certification to take the Cooper Institute exam.


Group Exercise

Bodybuilding The Vegan Way, Part I: The Workout

Vegan Lifestyle

Vegetarianism, more specifically a vegan lifestyle has gotten more mainstream attention in recent years and I am writing this article in an effort to show how it is possible to adhere to a vegan lifestyle and still make great gains as a bodybuilder.

It is my goal to show how a vegan lifestyle can still help bodybuilders make great gains but in no way am I attempting to push my beliefs and lifestyle on anyone. This article is for anyone who is interested in a vegan bodybuilding lifestyle and those who would like to know more about being a vegan bodybuilding.

This article is the first of many installments that I will be writing over the course of the year. In this first part I will highlight workouts that will help vegan bodybuilders build muscle.

Vegan Workouts

It is tempting to try the workouts that are listed in many of the muscle magazines. However, it is important for vegans to realize that their lifestyle and nutrition programs do not support the recoverynecessary to train with high volume and frequency. I can vouch to this from experience.

It does not take much to stimulate muscle growth, heavy weight and low reps will get the job done. It is important to keep workouts under 45 minutes. Most of my workouts last only 30-to-35 minutes. Later on in the year toward “beach season” I will highlight workouts and routines to help shed body fat and cut up but the main point of this article is to build muscle.

How much, if any cardio to be done is based on the individual. When I bulk up I do not do any cardio at all, but I would say that those who would like to do cardio, do 2-to-3 sessions of 15-to-20 minutes at a low intensity per week. The bike, elliptical or walking or jogging on the treadmill are great choices.

Keep the intensity, frequency and duration low. Also, make sure to have a vegan-friendly protein shake (soy, rice, hemp) 20 minutes before doing cardio to prevent any muscle loss during the cardio workout.

Weight Lifting Guidelines

  1. Work each body part once per week.
  2. Keep workouts under 45 minutes.
  3. Lift heavy weight and low reps.
  4. Perform 3-to-4 exercises for large muscle groups and 2-to-3 exercises for smaller muscle groups.
  5. I keep my repetitions between 4-and-6 for core lifts (Bench Press, Deadlift and Squats) and 6-to-10 for all other lifts.

The Workout Split

The following is the way that I split my workouts up. If I have time and my schedule allows for it, I do two separate workouts with a workout for the first body part of the day in the morning and the workout for the other muscle group to be worked that I perform later in the evening.

  • Sunday: Off
  • Monday: Chest & Triceps
  • Tuesday: Back & Biceps
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Legs & Abs
  • Friday: Shoulders & Traps
  • Saturday: Off

The Workouts

I used to have workouts set in stone and I never varied from them, but after having seven years of training under my belt, I have become more aware of my body and in-tune to how I feel. Now I go into the gym with a plan and goal of what I want to achieve but I listen to my body and adjust the sets, reps and exercises that I perform based on how I feel on that given day.

For example with chest I may have planned to do the barbell bench press, incline dumbbell presses and dumbbell flyes, but for some reason my body tells me that the flyes are not going to happen today, I switch to the cable cross-over or pec-deck flye instead.

With all of that said, here are my typical workouts with each body part with the substitutions that I use for certain exercises.

Monday: Chest & Triceps
Tuesday: Back & Biceps
Thursday: Legs & Abs
Friday: Shoulders & Traps


There you have it. This is how I work out and this workout will definitely help you to maximize your gains, minimize your time in the gym and maximize your recovery potential which leads to the growth of new muscle tissue.


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Booty Camp: Spring Break Bikini Butt Workout!

by Shannon Clark

Break out your beachwear, ladies: spring break is upon us! If you’ve been hibernating at home between quick trips to the gym, patiently sculpting your sun-ready physique, now is the time to showcase strategic pieces of your hard-earned bikini body!

Spring break also signals the approach of summer — 3 months of sun-drenched fun. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to go bikini shopping. Although there are plenty of cute designs, one factor remains the same for any bathing suit: your booty will be on display.

You may decide to disguise it with a wrap, but there’s no hiding a flat booty. Add some junk to your trunk with a properly-structured plan; it’s a great idea for some spring-time confidence. It will also ensure your summer bum is ready for sun.

Baby Got Back

Building a bikini booty doesn’t have to take long — provided you keep track of your diet and do the right exercises. To make your backside bumpin’ you need to incorporate strength training and cardio into your workout routine. Strength training will add curves and definition. Cardio will burn extra caloriesand reduce body fat. You do need some backside tissue to avoid “flat-butt syndrome,”
but you want that tissue to be lean muscle,not fat.

You don’t have to do cardio training if your diet is already perfect. But, most women find faster progress if they add cardio to their training regimen. Don’t overdo it by grinding away on the treadmill every day. Too much cardio can eat away at that great lean muscle mass.

Strength Training

You want to focus on compound lower-body movements, while adding glute-specific exercises to really target that backside. Many women have trouble activating their glutes because it’s incredibly easy to let the quads and/or hamstrings overpower the movement.

To activate your glutes, rely on these key moves:

Exercise 1//
Sets: 3-4 Reps: 8-12

Squats are fantastic for enhancing your booty shape, and for strengthening the quads and hamstrings. Go as low as your flexibility allows. As long as your knees don’t hurt, the lower you go, the better. Why? Deep squats provide the most glute activation.

Too many women make the mistake of not going all the way down through the movement. Go all the way down, pause, and then press all the way back up.

Exercise 2//
Sets: 3 Reps: 15

When done properly, this is a fantastic glutes strengthener. Because this exercise takes some balance, focus on the mind-muscle connection. If you aren’t actively thinking of relaxing the quads and hamstrings during this exercise, your glutes won’t activate. Use your butt to drive through the motion.

Use a barbell instead of dumbbells, which will help you maintain an upright position — a key for glute activation and good form. When you rise, think about pressing through your heels instead of through your quads.

Exercise 3//
Sets: 4 Reps: 8

This movement is a great butt-builder and will target the hamstrings and lower back, effectively hitting most links in your posterior chain. Performing it on a single leg helps activate the glutes and core.

Focus on squeezing through the glutes. If your lower back aches after performing this movement, you aren’t using the muscles as you should be.

If you do feel back pain, lighten the load. Using too much weight will force you to recruit additional muscles because your glutes aren’t strong enough to do the work.

Exercise 4//
Sets: 2-3 Reps: 12-15

Lunges target the quads, hamstrings, core and glutes. These booty-bombers will have you sore for days! You can further stimulate your butt by taking a slightly longer step forward. This increased distance will put more stress on the glutes and less on the quads.

Exercise 5//
Sets: 2-3 Reps: 12-20

The glute bridge is great because it isolates the bum. Your hammies and quads aren’t going to play a big part in this exercise.

Use a barbell to make this exercise more strenuous. Make sure you’re powerfully driving your hips directly upward, and then lowering them down slowly. Contract your glutes at the top, which will ensure that you move the load with your butt, not your lower back.


The best cardio exercises for booty building ask you to act against resistance:

Cardio 1//

Uphill walking, or using the elliptical trainer at an incline, is a better option than running on a flat surface. Flat running tends to decrease the booty musculature, and that’s definitely not going to make it in a rap video.

Cardio 2//

If your fitness level allows, perform interval training instead of steady-state training. Interval training increases fat oxidation, and will thus help uncover a curvy bum.

Booty Builder Workout

Two sample workouts will get you started. Perform each workout once per week, along with your own upper-body workouts for a complete program.

Note: You should lift enough weight to hit the point of fatigue/failure on the last rep.

Workout A
Workout B


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