Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Banging BODY 3 Week Program

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Welcome to my 3 Week BANGING BODY Program. Oh YES! I am doing this workout with ya, as we speak. These are exciting workout that are my favorites. We won't just sweat, burn calories, lose fat but we will also feel great, look great and be healthy! I'm IN ARE YOU?!


These are my favorite exercises different fitness magazines. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. After this try out my Bikini Body 8 Week Program.

I've also added healthy eating tips for each day. We will start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.

Printable
Food diary
Workout log
Flexiblity workout

Week 1

Day 1 Workout
Water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.

Day 2 Workout
Try not to think of certain foods as “off-limits.” When you ban certain foods or food groups, it is natural to want those foods more, and then feel like a failure if you give in to temptation. If you are drawn towards sweet, salty, or unhealthy foods, start by reducing portion sizes and not eating them as often. Later you may find yourself craving them less or thinking of them as only occasional indulgences.

Day 3 Workout
Think smaller portions. Serving sizes have ballooned recently, particularly in restaurants. When dining out, choose a starter instead of an entrée, split a dish with a friend, and don’t order supersized anything. At home, use smaller plates, think about serving sizes in realistic terms, and start small. Visual cues can help with portion sizes—your serving of meat, fish, or chicken should be the size of a deck of cards. A teaspoon of oil or salad dressing is about the size of a matchbook and your slice of bread should be the size of a CD case.

Day 4 Workout
Eat with others whenever possible. Eating with other people has numerous social and emotional benefits—particularly for children—and allows you to model healthy eating habits. Eating in front of the TV or computer often leads to mindless overeating.

Day 5 Workout
Take time to chew your food and enjoy mealtimes. Chew your food slowly, savoring every bite. We tend to rush though our meals, forgetting to actually taste the flavors and feel the textures of our food. Reconnect with the joy of eating.

Day 6 Workout
Listen to your body. Ask yourself if you are really hungry, or have a glass of water to see if you are thirsty instead of hungry. During a meal, stop eating before you feel full. It actually takes a few minutes for your brain to tell your body that it has had enough food, so eat slowly.

Week 2


Day 1 Workout
Eat breakfast, and eat smaller meals throughout the day. A healthy breakfast can jumpstart your metabolism, and eating small, healthy meals throughout the day (rather than the standard three large meals) keeps your energy up and your metabolism going.

Day 2 Workout
Fill up on colorful fruits and vegetables
Greens. Branch out beyond bright and dark green lettuce. Kale, mustard greens, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage are just a few of the options—all packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, zinc, and vitamins A, C, E, and K.
Sweet vegetables. Naturally sweet vegetables—such as corn, carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yams, onions, and squash—add healthy sweetness to your meals and reduce your cravings for other sweets.
Fruit. Fruit is a tasty, satisfying way to fill up on fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Berries are cancer-fighting, apples provide fiber, oranges and mangos offer vitamin C, and so on.

Day 3 Workout
The importance of getting vitamins from food.
The antioxidants and other nutrients in fruits and vegetables help protect against certain types of cancer and other diseases. And while advertisements abound for supplements promising to deliver the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables in pill or powder form, research suggests that it’s just not the same.

A daily regimen of nutritional supplements is not going to have the same impact of eating right. That’s because the benefits of fruits and vegetables don’t come from a single vitamin or an isolated antioxidant.

The health benefits of fruits and vegetables come from numerous vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals working together synergistically. They can’t be broken down into the sum of their parts or replicated in pill form.

Day 4 Workout
Tips for eating more healthy carbs. Include a variety of whole grains in your healthy diet, including whole wheat, brown rice, millet, quinoa, and barley. Experiment with different grains to find your favorites.

Make sure you're really getting whole grains. Be aware that the words stone-ground, multi-grain, 100% wheat, or bran can be deceptive. Look for the words “whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” at the beginning of the ingredient list. In the U.S., check for the Whole Grain Stamps that distinguish between partial whole grain and 100% whole grain.

Try mixing grains as a first step to switching to whole grains. If whole grains like brown rice and whole wheat pasta don’t sound good at first, start by mixing what you normally use with the whole grains. You can gradually increase the whole grain to 100%.

Avoid: Refined foods such as breads, pastas, and breakfast cereals that are not whole grain.

Day 5 Workout
Healthy carbs (sometimes known as good carbs) include whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. Healthy carbs are digested slowly, helping you feel full longer and keeping blood sugar and insulin levels stable.

Unhealthy carbs (or bad carbs) are foods such as white flour, refined sugar, and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. Unhealthy carbs digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels and energy.

Day 6 Workout
Enjoy healthy fats & avoid unhealthy fats.

Monounsaturated fats, from plant oils like canola oil, peanut oil, and olive oil, as well as avocados, nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans), and seeds (such as pumpkin, sesame).

Polyunsaturated fats, including Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, found in fatty fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and some cold water fish oil supplements. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats are unheated sunflower, corn, soybean, flaxseed oils, and walnuts.

STILL IN THE MAKING!

Week 3


Day 1 Workout
Reduce or eliminate from your diet:

Saturated fats, found primarily in animal sources including red meat and whole milk dairy products.

Trans fats, found in vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Day 2 Workout
Try different types of protein. Whether or not you are a vegetarian, trying different protein sources—such as beans, nuts, seeds, peas, tofu, and soy products—will open up new options for healthy mealtimes.

  • Beans: Black beans, navy beans, garbanzos, and lentils are good options.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, and pecans are great choices.
  • Soy products: Try tofu, soy milk, tempeh, and veggie burgers for a change.
  • Avoid salted or sugary nuts and refried beans.

Downsize your portions of protein. Many people in the West eat too much protein. Try to move away from protein being the center of your meal. Focus on equal servings of protein, whole grains, and vegetables.

Focus on quality sources of protein, like fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, beans, or nuts. When you are having meat, chicken, or turkey, buy meat that is free of hormones and antibiotics.

Day 3 Workout
A lack of exercise robs the body of an essential ingredient.
Karen Sessions


Day 4 Workout REST!

Add calcium for strong bones.

Good sources of calcium include:

  • Dairy: Dairy products are rich in calcium in a form that is easily digested and absorbed by the body. Sources include milk, yogurt, and cheese.
  • Vegetables and greens: Many vegetables, especially leafy green ones, are rich sources of calcium. Try turnip greens, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, celery, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, summer squash, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, and crimini mushrooms.
  • Beans: For another rich source of calcium, try black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, white beans, black-eyed peas, or baked beans.
Day 5 Workout
Limit sugar.

Sugar causes energy ups and downs and can add to health and weight problems. Unfortunately, reducing the amount of candy, cakes, and desserts we eat is only part of the solution. Often you may not even be aware of the amount of sugar you’re consuming each day. Large amounts of added sugar can be hidden in foods such as bread, canned soups and vegetables, pasta sauce, margarine, instant mashed potatoes, frozen dinners, fast food, soy sauce, and ketchup. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid sugary drinks. One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it, more than the daily recommended limit! Try sparkling water with lemon or a splash of fruit juice.
  • Eat naturally sweet food such as fruit, peppers, or natural peanut butter to satisfy your sweet tooth.

How sugar is hidden on food labels

Check food labels carefully. Sugar is often disguised using terms such as:
  • cane sugar or maple syrup
  • corn sweetener or corn syrup
  • honey or molasses
  • brown rice syrup
  • crystallized or evaporated cane juice
  • fruit juice concentrates, such as apple or pear
  • maltodextrin (or dextrin)
  • Dextrose, Fructose, Glucose, Maltose, or Sucrose
Day 6 Workout
Limit Salt.Most of us consume too much salt in our diets. Eating too much salt can cause high blood pressure and lead to other health problems. Try to limit sodium intake to 1,500 to 2,300 mg per day, the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt.

  • Avoid processed or pre-packaged foods. Processed foods like canned soups or frozen dinners contain hidden sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended limit.
  • Be careful when eating out. Most restaurant and fast food meals are loaded with sodium.
  • Opt for fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned vegetables.
  • Cut back on salty snacks such as potato chips, nuts, and pretzels.
  • Choose low-salt or reduced-sodium products.
  • Try slowly reducing the salt in your diet to give your taste buds time to adjust.


Please see your doctor before you begin any workout program and modify the workouts I've provided according to your fitness level. Feel free to replace any of my workout assignments with your own. Most of all, have fun and good luck!

138 comments:

  1. This is exactly what i am looking for, i plan to start the workout tomorrow. i do however have a question, the first workout is focused on the abs, should i do a quick cardio before, or a stretch, or do i just go straight into the ab workout?

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  2. You can do a 5 minute warm up of.

    1 minute running in place
    1 minute jumping jacks
    1 minute mountain climbers
    1 minute running in place
    1 minute jumping jacks

    Thanks for the question Tshego. If you add cardio at the end of the workout you will be burning fat.

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  3. I am only on day two so far. I am trying to do everything as you say here for the three weeks but I do have a question...Wasn't there a work out regement for Week 3 or is it starting over week one and just working on cutting stuff out of the diet?

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  4. Week three is still in the works on the exercise. I am putting these together as I go. So yes, there will be workouts there as soon as you get to week three.

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  5. Do you do cardio every day with the workouts or just what you posted?

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  6. I would love to start this workout. Is there a way we can find you on twitter?

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    1. Yes, you can find me on twitter lifeplusfitness http://twitter.com/lifeplusfitness

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  7. Michelle these workouts are great! Is there anyway to condense the 3 week total body workout into one printable piece? I take my workouts to the gym and would be nice to be able to have the whole 3 weeks or even each week on one piece of paper. Thanks so much!

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  8. Michelle, I just went through and looked at every workout. I have been looking for a good plan to get on to get back in shape. But now I have to wait until end of September since I just found out I am pregnant. But I'm going to save each day and I look forward to starting this shortly after the baby. I'll even try to post my before and after pictures once I do this plan.

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    1. I am 9wks. So still the 1st trimester. This is actually my 2nd baby. I miscarried at 7.5wks last time. My ob told me that I should be taking it very easy and absolutely no heavy lifting. I guess you could say I'm more scared of doing something to harm the baby. The only form of "working out" I've done since I found out is I've been trying to walk 30min each day. The healthier diet has already begun for me. That started the day I found out.

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  9. Rebekah,

    You have to listen to the doctor and I know you're scared but just keep doing light weights more reps... use bands for your arms and leg workouts. Just do gentle things but keep moving... It help when giving birth to have some strength. *HUGS*

    I love that you are eating well. Keep that up!

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  10. Michelle thank you for posting this I think it is just what I need to get back on track after having a baby. I am going to do my best to make time to get these workouts in. I have a three year old boy and a new baby so time is limited but I HAVE to do it.

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    1. Achoki, I am so glad you found me. Let me know if you need any help along the way. I too have a 2years old and know how hard it is to make time for yourself but it is a must.

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  11. This is exactly what I needed! I am getting started tonight! I only weigh about 145 but I would love to get toned and look great by summer. My mom is also going to get started on this with me! She has been struggling with weight loss for about a year and she is so excited about this workout!

    Thanks Michelle!

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    1. Kayti, so happy you found my blog. I am here for you if you need any help along the way. Let me know how you do.

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  12. I Love this! Perfect for the average women! Easy to understand the routines and easy to print, Thank you Michelle :)

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  13. I am so excited to start this workout! I would like to lose about 20 lbs before summer. I am really hoping to stick to the meal plans and nutrition advice, that is my weak point.

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    1. Welcome to the team. I agree that diet following can be hard but I will try to put up lots of pointers to make it easier.

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  14. Loving this 3 week program, so far. I see the warm up routine in the comments, but do you have a post for post exercise stretches? Thanks!

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  15. This routine sounds awesome, I just have a few questions? If I did all of these workouts in the am before work at home without the cardio and then go to the gym in the evenings, workout with weights and do cardio then, will I get the same results?

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  16. I can't wait to start this work out when I get off of work! So excited :) thank you!

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  17. Z, I will post stretches and warm ups soon.

    Shelly, Yes... totally split up your weight and cardio if you have to. Every little bit counts. When you can do them together great when you can't that's ok!

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  18. First of all....love the workouts, can't wait to get started. My one question is this, I run two to three miles a day. I have always heard it's best to tone muscles after running while your heart rate is up but I see your workouts saying you're running after. Which is better for toning purposes? Cardio before or after? I already follow a healthy diet and don't have any extra weight to lose, but would love to tone things up after having three babies and well, I hate to say it, but, being thirty something. :)

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  19. How do you find the work outs?

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  20. Michelle,
    I usually do the "stair master" cardio exercise at the gym before my workout. I'm going to start your workouts tonight - do you think I should just stick to the same cardio routine I have been doing? I'm looking to drop a few pounds and have been counting my calories and everything! Thanks!

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    1. Change it up and do walk and jog intervals on the treadmill with walking at a high incline and jogging at 1.0 incline. Then other days do the stair master without holding on. Step 12 steps wide, 12 steps narrow, at a very fast pace... Do that 3 times. Next step to the side for 12 steps and other side 12 steps and skip a step up for 12 steps..medium pace with 3 times. Repeat that routine over and over... You'll love it and your body will burn a lot of calories.

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  21. Ok thanks! Also I was wondering if I should do my cardio before or after my workout and for how long? I've been doing 45 minutes of cardio before my workout.

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    1. Amy, I love how you do 45 minutes. Do it after burns fat but bady likes change and so do we. One week one way and next week switch it.

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  22. These workouts are awesome! Me and my college friends are going to start on Sunday!! Some of the equipment is unavailable to us though here at the school gym, should we compensate with more cardio? any suggestions? Thanks!

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  23. Do more of the same muscle exercises if you can or abs and then yes cardio

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  24. How many calories should I intake per day for the food diary? Also if you can't get to a gym or treadmill for the cardio is there another option to substitute?

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  25. I was reading your stuff on pregnancy--I am 18 weeks not and just starting to get bigger. My problem is that every time I am expecting I end up gaining too much weight. This time I am still running about 20-25 miles a week on the treadmill so that I will not have too much weight gain. Is there something you can recommend for me that will help me not feel so blobby after I deliver in July? Thanks!

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    1. With a doctor's permission, most women can begin working out within a few weeks of delivery (those who have had C-sections generally are advised to wait longer). And while breast-feeding women should not diet — and actually need a few hundred extra calories to make milk — all women can focus on eating a reduced-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains.
      I breast fed and got back to running 6 weeks after baby and looked awesome... You can too.

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    2. I always nurse the baby...but it usually takes me 12-18 months to get back in shape. I love my kiddos--but I hate the weight and body changes. Is there something I can do to stave that off so I will not have such a difficult time bouncing back? Any suggestions for workouts for now since my running is starting to get more difficult? I used the elliptical tonight--I am just wondering if you have any suggestions. Thanks.

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  26. I'm not seeing the workout routines what am I missing?

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  27. Was just curious what all equipment I will need to have in order to complete the 3 weeks program. I have hand weights and a ball already.

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    1. http://lifeplusfitness.blogspot.com/2012/02/bikini-body-8-week-program-starts-21312.html?m=1 chin up bar would really help otherwise what you have is good. Bands would be nice as well. The link I added is too all the stuff you need.

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  28. I have a four mounth old and gained 40 pounds with my pregnancy but I worked out and I eat clean so idk how I gained 40 lol but I only have 15 pound left before im at my target wieght and thats nine pounds lighter than I was prebaby... Cant wait to start this work out and lose those last few pesky pounds!!

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    1. Amanda, go happy to have you join. Welcome to the team.

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  29. I have a lot of weight too lose I'm 230 5'6 do you recommend doing this again after the three weeks like a cycle or trying something different after I complete the first three weeks?

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    1. You can try my 8 week program. Just water down any of the stuff you cant do yet. But I like the cycling idea and even a walking program or jogging program would be great. I have one on mu goddess page.

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  30. I don't have any equipment, but really want to do this. Can't get anything because I'm studying abroad right now. Suggestions for replacements, esp. for bands and ball?

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  31. Your quite an inspiration to a lot of people, so I thought it couldn't hurt to ask. I go to the gym 5-7x a wk, and eat very healthy but don't count calories. No soda or alcohol, I run, walk, jog, do the elliptical and yoga 3-5x weekly.. I weight about 157 and really wanna loose weight to finally wear a bikini and feel comfortable. I quit smoking cigarettes for the new year and picked up working out instead.. Ive been workin out steadily for the past 2 weeks.. I know it's too early to tell of any changes, but any advice to weightloss and nutrition ideas would be greatly appreciated. With your help I hope to reach my goal by summer! Thank you!

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    1. I posted this issue for you on my blog. Keep pushing on

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  32. Awesome blog...stopped working out over 2 yrs back as I was constantly travelling. Now with my added weight, it's a little difficult to get back:).
    But ur blog totally motivates me. WIll certainly get to it on Monday (travelling home this weekend!).
    Thanks Michelle

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    1. So glad you are doing this for yourself. Welcome to the team.

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  33. hey michelle! i just started im on day 3..is the only rest day during week 3? i worked out before i started and i just wanted to make sure it was okay to do these exercises everyday for atleast 2 weeks..thank you! I love your website!

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    1. Yes, totally fine. When you feel like a muscle is still sore give it a rest. Keep up the good work.

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  34. Katrina, welcome to the team. So excited to have you here. Let me know how you are doing along the way.

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  35. I am SO excited for your blog. It's the best I've ever seen. I'm a chiropractor and use a lot of these exercises with patients; also a new mommy (have a 3 month old!!) and a marathon runner. This is great motivation for me as I've been working out since 4 weeks postpartum and am so excited to get back into tip-top shape! I love working out so THANK YOU so much Michelle!!

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    1. You are so welcome. I enjoy helping others reach their goals and am glad you found me. Please do stay in touch as you get in shape.

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  36. I am sooo excited to start this today. However i have some questions about what results should i expect? i wanna make sure im doing this right. I am going from ZERO to HERO! wish me luck :)

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    1. You are going to do amazing... When you are finished move to my 8 week bikini program.

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  37. Hi Michelle! I'm so happy i've found this! Kind of stuck in a rutt here. I plan on starting this tomorrow :)

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  38. After we've completed this 3 week program, what would be a good program to start afterward if I want to continue to get stronger and tone? start the program over with?

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  39. I love this site and a lot of the programs look like fun! I especially like the goddess workouts. However, I don't always have access to some of the tools like I would if I were at the gym. Are there any programs you have that use them less?
    - Erin

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  40. I just want to say...I am loving these workouts! I have not been this sore in recent memory. You are fabulous and thanks for helping me find inspiration to get in shape!

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  41. After we've completed this 3 week program, what would be a good program to start afterward if I want to continue to get stronger and tone? start the program over with?

    -Toni

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    1. My 8 week bikini body program would be awesome to start next.

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  42. Hey Michele!! I love these workout you posted...since im paying for a gym membership for day 1 or 2 can you give me the machine which would be equivalent to these? thanks ashley!!

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    1. Put in lat pull down, leg curl and leg extension. Use the stair climber, use tge smith machine for squats. Calf machine. Those are some favs.

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  43. Is there a link to print all the workouts together? I tried the print button at the top but it takes me to some other webpage...help please!

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    1. Oh no this is sooo upsetting. I have to find out why it stopped working. Thank u.

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  44. I am so glad I found your site... I used to be in great shape but had a baby at 43 and got really sick. I am trying to get back but have a long way to go and keep loosing my motivation. Thanks for you tips and plan.
    Gina

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    1. I think you are an amazing person and even though you have to get back in shape due to baby no age is going to hold you back. For starters I wont let it. And any friends want you to have that martini or slice of cake can back off. This is your time to do it and reclaim your body. So proud. Keep me posted.

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  45. What does your typical diet consist of?

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  46. Hi there- I just came across your blog and am so stoked and impressed! I am a collegiate female rugby player, but have been out this term with a hip flexor injury. I have been lifting about twice a week, using spinning and rowing as my main form of cardio, and am also in a sport yoga class twice a week. I am going to complete your fitness test today, and then am thinking of starting this three week plan. Do you think that the workouts can replace my strength training that is so important for rugby? I will be playing in South Africa next term (leave in about three weeks, so this could be perfect!), so I would like to look bikini ready but also kick some butt on the rugby pitch! Thanks so much!

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  47. I created a great a jpg that includes the "Reflect on your day" questions at the bottom of the food diary and would love to send it to you so you can post it and then I can PIN it. I put it out on my facebook page but cant pin from FB.
    You can friend request me at Lashea Lockhart on FB or let me know how else I can send this to you. Love your BLOG!!!

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    1. Send it to michelle@lifeplusfitness.com or lifeplusfitness@gmail.com

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  48. I'm really interested in starting this, this week:) I was just curious if you had any before and after pictures? Or if you had any estimate on how much people have been losing?:)

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    1. No pictures yet because we havent finished it yet but you are to expect 1 to 2 pounds a week.

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  49. Awesome, thanks so much Michelle- I'm excited! I did the first workout today- I guess the 8-10 reps doesn't necessarily apply to that workout? Since I play rugby, I have many old injuries that never quite healed correctly, so some of the exercises actually hurt. Like the stability ball mountain climbers hurt one of my wrists, so I did the ones on the ground instead. My hip flexor was irritated doing the plank w/ leg lifts, and my knee on the stabilizing leg for the side plank with knee tuck hurt... That's okay. It was still tough on my abs for sure (I couldn't do more than three 30 sec. reps at a time of the elevated plank, even though it calls for 10 at a time). I finished with 20 min cycling intervals.

    Also, yesterday I completed some of the fitness tests- I did 36 regular push-ups (I confess, I may have stopped early because 36 is listed as "excellent"), 73 sit ups in a minute, and I feel like with squats I could go on forever so I just stopped at 30. I did however follow it with an awesome workout I found from cross fit: 5 pull-ups (I used an assisted pull-up machine), 10 push-ups (I did a mix of regular and modified), and 15 squats every minute on the minute for 30 minutes. My legs still weren't feelin' it so I finished with 25 min cycling intervals. Boy do I feel it today!

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    1. You are on the right team for sure. Proud to have you here. Just wish you were my workout buddu... Love the energy. Go to gnc, cvs, sprouts or whole foods and buy anica montana the kind that goes in your mouth. It is homeopathic and will heal your body faster.

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  50. I can't wait to get started on this workout! I have been searching for a great workout to get back in shape before my wedding in September!!

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  51. I cant wait to start this tomorrow! I've been searching for a great workout plan to get back in shape before my wedding in September!!

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    1. Congrats on your wedding. Keep me posted!

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  52. I had a baby 6 weeks ago and I've been looking for an awesome workout plan to help me get back into shape..I think I've found it!!!! Starting tomorrow, wish me luck!

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  53. Can't wait to have you on the team.

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  54. Michelle, I have been doing a combination of weight training for about 3 weeks but not really seeing a lot of results, however, I have fallen for the hype of "good foods" that are apparently really bad (packaged fiber bars, healthy cereals, wheat bread). Once I make meal adjustments and begin this routine, approximately how soon do you think I can see results. I have the post-pregnancy pooch (5yr old daughter) but I am 5'1" @ 120lbs. I've heard eliminating the pooch is impossible...PLEASE HELP!!!

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    1. 1 to 2 pounds a week is healthy. Pooch can go away but you need to watch your diet and drink your water and exercise regularly. It can take time so dont give up.

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  55. Michelle,

    I have a question, I'm starting this plan this week! I've been out of shape for a long time now. I started do some random exercises before I found your plan, my one concern is my knees. Any time I do squats of any variation, it hurts my knees, is there some modification or other exercise that I can do instead?

    Also, do you have a beginner's running program?? I'm so far out of shape that I don't really have the breath for it.

    Thanks so much for this awesome workout program!
    Kristin

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    1. Start my walking program. It starts on monday. When ot comes to squats you should listen to your body. Start the walking program. When it comes to squats stand with feet shoulder width and hands on hips. Lift you right leg and keep the knee bent. If that is easy then from that position kick your leg out until it is almost straight. Do 12 on each leg.

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  56. Anica montana- got it! Thanks for all your personal tips! South Africa rugby won't know what hit them ;)

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    1. I want to see picture of you playing. I am so excited about you getting ready. Keep me up to date.

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  57. Michelle,
    Thank you so much for pretty much everything that's on your blog! I can't wait to get started this afternoon. I was wondering which order you would suggest completing your workouts in?
    Also is it too late to get into shape for the summer?
    I previously used the wrong methods to lose weight fast which resulted in an eating disorder, and although I maintained my ideal weight eating healthily again for over two years, the past two years I have gained quite a bit! I want to lose weight permanently, healthily and happily, and increase my fitness levels to extremes! Looking forward to starting this journey with you!

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    1. Do the bikini 8 week program. It will start you on a the right track. Its tough but do what you can do and keep pushing through. When it comes to too late its never to late to get in shape. You will be in better shape by summer than you are now if you start now. Dont worry about pounds worry about health and inches. Start eating regular and healthy. Get your water too. I am proud of you. Keep me posted.

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  58. So each day is what you write about what you are supposed to eat that day along with each daily workout?

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    1. Nutrition tups for each day. take on a few one each day or do them all the whole time.

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  59. I'm going to start this tomorrow. Do u have a exercise plan like this. I'm new at this all but I am desperately needing to get healthy and fit! Thx

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    1. These are hard but what u have trouble with do as many as you can and keep going. Keep me posted.

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  60. I have done the workout for two days and my calves are sore. My routine is to wake up in the morning and start with the warm up then the workout for the day. Should I be stretching before or after? Thank you

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    1. Skip my warm up if your calfs are sore and march in place for 5 minutes. Stretch at end is the best.

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  61. Thanks so much for posting such a great 3-week routine! I prefer to work out at home but don't have the knowledge or discipline to get routines together, so when I found you on Pinterest, I was so excited! :) Thanks for your time and effort. I can't do all the sets (or even reps) yet, but I'm working on it!

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  62. Go to my nutritional page and check out my food diary. Some really great tips for foods to eat.

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  63. I do believe imma try this one out! I am trying to get that summer body back and the popping in a movie is not working for me.I seem to never have time between work and chasing kids around but these excercises seem so easy and effective and the directions are so easy to remember.And I love all the little food health tips I am becoming a halth food nut trying to do healthier so it works for me.

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  64. I have went from a size 12 to a size 8 from doing cardio and then adding weights. My problem is my stomach is full of strechmarks that i can not seem to get it to toneup, it is so loose and the top of my inner thighs as well. will this help? i am really strarting to get discouraged but i will keep going

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    1. Go buy some pure coco butter I swear by that stuff for stretch marks. Also keep building music and see how your skin feels tighter with time. Drink half your body weight in oz everyday. Eat you antioxidant too. Keep working at it.

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  65. If I do this plan and keep a healthy diet while working out and following these health tips will I be able to see a noticible improvement in my body?

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    1. Great! My main concern is my thighs/butt area. I really want them to be thinner and less fat, more muscle. Is this plan good for that as well?

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  66. These workouts are awesome! Even though I can't make it to the end of every one I know I'm going to get stronger and be able to one day. Thank you so much for putting these up for everyone and the warm-up video is great! After I accomplish this 3 week program, I'm going to move on to the 8 week beach body. You are so encouraging and give helpful tips every page I look on. With this to help I hope I can drop down from a size 12 to something smaller and get healthier in the process.

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    1. You will. So excited for you. Lets make this happen.

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  67. I am on Week 3 and have been doing the 5 minute warm-up before and after the workout, and also walking 1.3 miles every morning. My knees have started to hurt though, particularly during the jumping jacks. I gave myself a two day break on the jumping jacks (still doing everything else) but I am trying to work the jj's back in but they still really hurt and feel weak... I've never had issues with my knees before. What can I do?

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  68. Thank you, Michelle! I will keep skipping them until knees feel better. I am really enjoying the workouts. I love having something different to do each day. I am determined to stay motivated and complete the 3 weeks. Then maybe on to Bikini Body... :) Thanks!

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  69. I have been using your website for about 2 months now to help me loose weight through exercise and healthier eating. Every monday I step on the scale to record my progress, on average im loosing about 2 lbs a week for a total loss of 10 lbs. I only have 5 more lbs untill I reach my goal weight. The only problem is, I am loosing all motivation. For the last two weeks, I have seen no differance in the way my clothes fit, or on the scale. And today, i weigh a pound more than I did last week. Please help me get back to being motivated. I'm starting to feel like my body will never be where I want it to be. I need some good, positive advice on how to loose that extra weight and continue on my jurney to become a healthier, more active me. :)

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    1. Hey, get excited, stand up amd jump because what is happening is your body has hit a little wall. Why is this exciting? Because everytime I see this happen it means you are about to climb over it. Your body has a weight it is comfortable with not a good weight aways but the lowest it has been in a while. So what do you do? You kick it just a little harder that is the workouts and push yourself over this wall... It will only last a week or two but the weight will continue to come off if you stick with it. Its a sign that more weight is getting ready to shed. Make sure to step up your exercises and do a cardio day all by itself once a week. Push it with some intervals like walk, jog, run, jog, walk or same thing with speed on a bike or elipticak. I want sweat pouring. Drink your water. go workout and the calories you burn and muscle you add will keep u on the right track. Hugs keep me posted.

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  70. I just came across your site and this is so great! I needed something like this to get me motivated and I love the step by step pictures...So excited to get started!

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  71. Hi Michelle! Where can I find your Bikini body 8 week program??

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    1. http://lifeplusfitness.blogspot.com/2012/02/bikini-body-8-week-program.html?m=1

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  72. I really cannot get enough of your blog, it's fantastic. Thank you for being such a motivation. ~ Eva

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  73. if i am trying to lose weight, will this program help along with a healthy diet? or do i also need to do cardio? suggestions?

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  74. Do the 8 week program and add cardio for 30 or more minutes at the end.

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  75. I am a bigger girl , 5'7 200lbs, is this a workout that I can do now, or is this for someone who is already in shape?

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    1. Yes... you can do it. Do what u can and if u can't do it all the first time that's alright next time you will be able to do more. welcome to the team.

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  76. I am on week 5 of your 8 week bikini body workout and am looking for other workouts of yours to do when I finish. I am just wondering if this one is an easier workout, or if it is the same or harder in regards to intensity. Thank you, I am looving the bikini body workout so far. It's been the perfect program for me!

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    1. Working on building some new workouts now. Takes time but I hope to have some up soon.

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  77. Found this tonight, will be starting in the morning. Was super active until I had a foot issue. I lost 40lbs walking and jogging but now I have Plantar Fasciitis in my left foot. I've had to get special inserts for my shoes and my foot is just now getting better but I've gained almost all my weight back. Going to kick tomorrow off with day 1 workout and a 15 minute walk. Have to start small.

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    1. Welcome to the extreme team. Keep me posted.

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  78. Hello, this regem sounds great but what exercises are we suppost to be doing? and how long are we suppose to work out for?

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  79. Hey...I came across this page from Pinterest! I'm hoping you can offer me some advice...I'm a 6ft tall girl with quite slim arms and legs but a flabby belly. I'm 176lbs and I'd like to lose 10lbs in 5 weeks whilst really toning up my tummy. I currently go to the gym 3 times a week but I'd like to start this workout and do it daily...do you think my goals are realistic with this 3 week workout?

    Thanks

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  80. What's a good core workout? To really flatten the stomach and get rid of the lower stomach?

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    1. All my abdominal workouts are great for getting the results you want. But the next thing to do is start jogging everyday.

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  81. hello do you have any sugestions for women in menopause? I am struggling with wieght gain and menopause?

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    1. The best thing you can do is be consistent with your workouts and keep your diet clean during the week. Drink lots of green tea and lemon water. I will try and post more tips soon.

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  82. I am starting this TODAY. My 21st birthday is June 19th and my goal was to drop some weight by then and did I mention I'm a procrastinator? I'm SO excited to do this. I do have a question though, I noticed there are tips on each day on the program, do we follow these tips throughout the program or do we start them on the day they are listed under?

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    1. Yes, adding one tip a day helps you not feel overwhelmed by too much too soon.

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  83. Proper posture is important in ensuring that the bones and muscles of the body are aligned properly to ensure that they can work efficiently whether during movement or static positions. work out diets

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  84. Physical Activity should be an important part of your day to day routine keeping you fit and giving you that Ageless feeling. monster mass by Mike Chang

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  85. Hi My name is Nichole and I'm 35 yrs old with 3 kids, after I had my daughter in 2002 I got on the depo shot the great thing about it was I had no cycle but I noticed my appetite was increasing dramatically and every time I went in to get the shot I had gained 10 pounds and I got off the depo in 2005 but I got pregnant with my youngest son in 2006 but I still had the wait from the depo plus the weight I gained during my pregnancy I know I'm over weight I weigh at least 218lb and im only 5'2 . My weight has never been a problem I could eat and drink what I want and even after I had my 2 oldest I would go right back to my size which was 125 to 130 I want that back how can I get my size back.

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