Colette's Blog

March 31, 2010

"You can learn new things at any time in your life if you're willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you." Barbara Sher, author of I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was.

Last week I was in a bookstore browsing through the fitness and diet section. Frankly, all the books look the same to me and I didn't find any of them particularly inspiring, (except for our book of course).The truth is there isn't a magical workout. You have to want to get fit and it requires consistency in both your eating plan and your exercise program.

As you know, I do not subscribe to the notion that just eating a bit less and moving a little more will work for anyone. Particularly when it comes to nutrition, I just don't see it being successful in the majority of cases.

I didn't wake up on the wrong side of the bed--really I didn't. I'm just tired of the misconceptions about what works and what doesn't. It isn't all that hard to figure out. As we approach spring, I just think it is time for us to get off our butts.

I wish I could tell you to simply eat in moderation, but people's minds just don't respond to "moderation." We need a plan, goals and a timeframe to improve our chances of success. Some of the workout books I saw were so intimidating, I could understand why some of us never even give it a go. So what do you do if you are just starting out? It's not easy to implement, but once you do, you're on your way.

I'm going to get you started on the right track by providing a workout that requires very little time. In fact, I'm purposely limiting the volume and sets because I don't want it to be intimidating to you. Even if it does not help you lose weight, the overall health benefits and toning results are well worth the effort.

I'm going to say it again, though -- this is just to get you moving and off your winter woes. You're going to need to commit to an Atkins way of eating that's realistic. By realistic, I'm referring to eating foods you enjoy, while paying attention to the right carbs in the right amounts to allow your body to achieve the Atkins Edge and burn fat. Once you have that down, let’s get that body moving.

Try the following workout three days per week on alternate days of the week, and only do one set per exercise for 15 repetitions. It won't take you long, but it will be the start you need.

This series of movements will take about 12 to 15 minutes. I've designed this routine so most of the exercises stimulate multiple muscle groups. This way you'll get the best bang for your buck in the least amount of time.

Just take your time and go at your own pace.

Chair Squat

Starting Position:

Perform this exercise with the aid of a sturdy chair.

Stand in front of the chair with your back toward the seat of the chair and feet shoulder-width apart.

Keep your head up as a natural extension of your spine.

The goal of this exercise is to help beginners learn the squat.

This movement will also help in gaining proficiency when getting in and out of a chair.


Begin to sit in the chair, lowering your body until your legs are at a 90-degree angle.

Contracting your quadriceps, slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of the legs being fully extended. Keep a slight bend in the knees.

Key Points:

Inhale while sitting in the chair.

Exhale while raising yourself from the chair.

Wide Stance Wall Push

Starting Position:

Stand facing the wall with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure that the wall is sturdy enough to support the motion.

Place your hands on the wall so your fingers are slightly higher than your shoulders.

Stand back from the wall 18-24 inches.


Bend your elbows out to the sides and lean your upper body toward the wall.

Make sure to project your chest forward with your arms supporting your body. Stop when your face and chest nearly touch the wall. Use your body as resistance.

Contracting the chest muscles, slowly return to the starting position.

Key Points:

Inhale while moving your body toward the wall.

Exhale while returning to the starting position.

As you get stronger, move your feet farther away from the wall. Eventually you will progress to a modified push-up on the floor.

Biceps Alternating Curl

Starting Position:

Sit upright in a chair with your legs bent, feet forward and your head a natural extension of your spine.

Hold cans in each hand with the arms hanging down at your sides and palms facing your body.

Keep your wrists straight throughout the exercise.


Contracting the biceps muscles, bend your right arm at the elbow while turning your wrist until your palm is facing the ceiling, stopping when the weight is just short of touching your shoulder.

Slowly return to the starting position stopping just short of the elbow fully extending. Repeat with the left arm.

Key Points:

Exhale as you lift the weight.

Inhale while returning to the starting position.

The upper arm should remain stationary throughout the exercise.

Abdominal Crunch

Starting Position:

Lie on a mat on your back.

Make sure that your lower back is relaxed against the mat during this exercise.

Bend your knees until your legs are at a 45-degree angle.

Keep both feet on the floor.

Place both hands gently behind your head.


Contracting the upper abs, raise your head and upper torso off the floor until your shoulders are slightly lifted.

Slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of your head touching the floor.

Key Points:

Exhale as you contract the abs.

Inhale while returning to the starting position.

Keep your eyes focused on the ceiling to avoid pulling with your neck.

Your hands should not be used to lift the head or assist in the movement.

Stretch for several minutes after the last exercise.

If you've been sedentary, this will get you on the right track. However, don't forget--it's a start, but you still need a nutrition and progressive exercise program.

Get off your b<tt and make this summer your most fit year ever!

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