January. The start of a new year, and for many the start of new (or renewed) fitness goals. But let’s be honest. Most of us are super busy, and finding the time for working out an hour a day just isn’t a priority or sometimes feasible. That’s where short, intense equipment free workouts rule. As you all know (or if you are new around here, probably deducted from my blog’s name) I’m a fitness instructor, so I don’t have to worry about general movement or exercise. I get lots of that by doing my job. But the workouts I give my clients are meant to be their workouts – not mine. I purposely use light weights, and spend more of my (non-Zumba) classes walking around making adjustments and giving advice than I do, doing the actual workout. Because that’s my job. That means that I exercise, but I don’t get my own strength or yoga workouts in during classes. I have to find time to do those on my own. Which is exactly why I love Zuzka’s 15 minutes to fit workouts, and this book.
I’ve been following Zuzka since her days on BodyRock TV, and then her move to her own site. Back then I was teaching so many classes I couldn’t even consider doing my own workouts, so I watched them more for inspiration than anything. But now that I’ve made so many changes in my work schedule and got myself back on track after overtraining (which came from teaching so many dang classes!) I’m ready to incorporate my own regular workouts back into my schedule.
Short workouts are even more important to me now, both for the time factor but also because shorter, more intense workouts are less likely to spike cortisol levels, and someone recovering from adrenal fatigue like I am really wants to limit any unnecessary spiking of cortisol whenever they can!
This past weekend I sat down and read Zuzka’s new book “15 Minutes To Fit” cover to cover, and I was really impressed. It’s not your average workout book where you get your workouts, a description and that it. The first half of the book talks about Zuzka’s life, her journey to fitness, but also dives deeper uncovering the emotional side of living a healthy life, about being accountable, making habits, and nutrition to fuel your workouts.
I really appreciated her focus on whole foods rather than calorie counting. And yes, she runs a tighter nutrition ship (she avoids all processed sugars) than I ever will, her nutrition plan is still more forgiving than a lot I’ve seen in recent years.
I’m still allowing myself another week to re-adjust to teaching all my classes again (after having a light schedule the first half of December, and then having two weeks off over the holidays, my return to teaching 10 classes/week caused my usual fibromyalgia flair-up, so I want to make sure it is well behind me before adding anything else to my plate), but I plan to incorporate 2-3 of Zuzka’s workouts into my week. I think for the first round I might actual cut back and do 10 minute workouts. Since they are AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) workouts it’s easy to cut the time back to 10 minutes without messing up the workouts. Then after I’ve completed all the workouts I may bump it up to the 15, or I might do a second round at 10 just for comparison purposes. 😉
If you are still looking for a program that will fit into your life, that you can do anywhere without needed a lot of space or expensive equipment, I would highly suggest Zuzka’s book. These are definitely challenging and high impact workouts, but most of the plyometric moves (like jumping lunges) can be modified for those who can’t or don’t want to do impact moves.
I wouldn’t suggest these if you are at the very beginning of your fitness journey. If a squat makes you squirm, then these workouts would put you in a full-on panic, but if you’ve been working out for a while – even casually, this might be just the challenge you need! And $27 for a full workout program – it’s hard to go wrong!
October 5, 2017 Update:
This book continues to be one I pull off the shelf when creating workout programs for my clients, especially those who are ready to really challenge themselves.
Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Zuzka’s book free of charge; all opinions expressed are entirely my own.