Samara Donald is: The Gym Coach

Make the most of your workout!

In a rut? Go back to basics…

I was having a conversation with another fitness/health nut recently, and I made a comment of how hard eating right is, because nutrition is so complex. Her response: “well, it really isn’t. If you focus on eating whole foods, you’re most of the way there.” I completely agree with this – and I restate my comment that it’s not hard, it’s just not easy. In our society, we need “quick” food and that usually means ready-made or processed. But sometimes going back to one-ingredient, whole foods is really much more simple.

This is a very similar foundation for exercises. Sure, when you’ve been working out a long time, you need to shake up your routine and add more complex exercises – keep your body guessing and all that. But if you’ve been doing this for a while, maybe what your body really needs is to go back to basics.

So as we hit the 6th week of a new year, consider going back to basics, and restarting a new cycle of fitness and health. Here are some top BACK TO BASICS tips for both:


Use Weights or just your Body Weight; if you are unfamiliar with any exercise, reference

  • MONDAY — Lunges (12 each leg), Bicep curls (12-15 reps), Tricep kickbacks (12-15 reps), Squat jumps (20), Crunches (25)  **Repeat 3 times
  • TUESDAY — 30-45 min low-moderate impact cardio (elliptical, swim, or bike)
  • WEDNESDAY — Squats (15), Push-ups (as many as you can), Calf raises (25),  Shoulder overhead press (12-15), Plank (60 seconds), **Repeat 3 times
  • THURSDAY —  30-45 min low-moderate impact cardio (elliptical, swim, or bike)
  • SATURDAY — Seated row (15-20), Split Squat (15 each leg), Upright row (12-15), Stiff leg deadlift (12-15), Seated ab twist (50 total) **Repeat 3 times
  • SUNDAY — 30-45 min run or jog (outdoors if you can!)


To all meals, drink 10+ oz pure water

  • Breakfast (choose 1 option):
    • Grapefruit + Blueberries sprinkled with dry oats
    • Plain Greek yogurt + blueberries or strawberries
    • 2 egg whites + 1 whole egg: scrambled with spinach (top with chopped tomatoes if desired)
    • Oatmeal + soy or nf milk
    • Low fat cottage cheese + pineapple
  • Lunch (choose 1 option)
    • Any kind of garden salad (without processed meat or dressing) – use balsamic vinegar or fresh salsa as a topping
    • Tuna, cooked chicken, or fish with quinoa
    • Almond butter and sliced apple sandwich on sprouted whole grain bread
    • Veggie lasagna – cooked eggplant with ricotta and all-natural organic tomato sauce
  • Snacks (choose 1 option, up to 2x/day)
    • Baby carrots and all natural peanut butter or humus
    • Piece of fruit + Almonds or Cashews
    • Lara bars
    • Peppermint or Green tea
  • Dinner
    • Homemade veggie chilli
    • Butternut squash and veggie curry + quinoa
    • Chicken/veggie stir fry (no noodles) + brown rice
    • Chicken, or Fish with quinoa
    • 1 whole roasted sweet potato + steamed/sautéed kale (with lemon and garlic)

see what you can do with basics!

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This entry was posted on February 14, 2012 by in fitness, Food and Diet, routine.
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