Why Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

Like so many people, when I first started my fitness journey, I worked out solely because I wanted to lose weight, get leaner, and feel better in my body.

And while there’s certainly nothing wrong with wanting to feel confident about how you look, in my experience working out for looks alone has several different issues with it:

  • Every time I would miss a workout, “cheat” on my diet, or eat dessert, I felt like a failure.
  • It wasn’t very easy to track my progress, since stepping on the scale alone isn’t a reliable measure of weight loss progress.
  • Working out to “look good” didn’t motivate me in the long-term, so I constantly struggled with consistency.

It wasn’t until I found other intrinsic reasons to work out that had nothing to do with my appearance that I was finally able to develop a lifelong fitness habit and become the become the athlete I had never before believed I could be.

Here are some really good reasons to work out (that have nothing to do with your appearance):

Read moreWhy Working Out Isn’t Just For Looks

How to Become a Workout Person for Life

You might not know this about me, but I wasn’t always a “workout person.”

Although I played soccer and basketball growing up, as soon as I left for college, I stopped doing any movement of pretty much any kind.

I didn’t go to the gym or work out. I didn’t have any fun active hobbies that I did regularly or play any sports. I barely even walked on a daily basis.

Not only did I gain the typical freshman fifteen (or twenty) as a result, I also had low energy, low self-esteem, and felt just super lost and unconfident about my life in general.

It really took finding fitness to get me out of that rut—but it didn’t happen overnight.

It took years of experimenting before I finally considered myself a “fitness person” and built a workout habit that finally stuck.

Here are my top tips to get there much quicker than I did:

Read moreHow to Become a Workout Person for Life

March Core Strength Challenge – Week 2

Who’s ready for Week 2 of our Core Strength Challenge?

If you’re just joining us and want to start the challenge from the beginning, check out our challenge page for all the details. You can find the exercises from Week 1 here.

This week you’ll need a medicine ball, a single dumbbell, or a bag filled with some heavy stuff to do the workout. 

Below you’ll find the exercises for Week 2. Aim to do the circuit at least three times this week in addition to your regular workout routine.

PS – Make sure to follow along on Instagram or the Facebook group for the workout videos, and post at least one photo or video each week with the tags #12MAcore and @12minuteathlete to participate!

Read moreMarch Core Strength Challenge – Week 2

The 12 Minute Athlete March Core Strength Challenge

12 Minute Athlete Core Challenge

We are so excited to announce the newest community challenge — the March Core Strength Challenge! 

This month we’ll be focusing our efforts on building core strength.

(Ready to get started? Here’s Week 1 of the Core Challenge. You can download the challenge calendar here.)

Why all the fuss about core strength?

We include tons of core strength building exercises in our 12 Minute Athlete workouts, because a strong core helps everything.

A strong core helps us crush some serious bodyweight exercises like handstands and pistol squats, but it also allows us to stand up straight, walk with better posture, and even breathe better.

If you experience low back pain on a regular basis, working on your core strength can help relieve, and in some cases, even eliminate low back pain.

Your core helps you move through pretty much every other position, which means that building a strong core will not only make you feel fit and strong, but it will help you master all of your other fitness movements, as well as help with overall balance and stability.

The goal is to do these core strength focused workouts on top of your regular workouts or activities. This is a challenge, remember? You’ve got this!

Read moreThe 12 Minute Athlete March Core Strength Challenge

5 Reasons HIIT Workouts are Not a Trend

5 reasons HIIT workouts are not a trend

There’s a reason you see more and more HIIT workouts around in gyms, in bootcamp classes, or even in apps: because HIIT works.

I’ve been a fan of high intensity interval training (HIIT) for years now, and still consider it the absolute best, bang for your buck workout you can do, no matter what your fitness level.

If you’re not exactly sure what HIIT is or why you should do it, here’s why you should love it as much as I do:

The Basics of HIIT

High intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are an advanced style of interval training where you alternate periods of short, intense exercise with less intense recovery periods.

Basically this means you’ll be working as hard as you possibly can for a short amount of time, resting, then working hard again. Each work period should feel like a sprint—you should be giving it all you’ve got if you want to get maximum results.

An entire HIIT session should really only last no more than about 10 to 20 minutes, and you should feel pretty spent when you’re done.

Here are five reasons why HIIT should be a staple of your training:

Read more5 Reasons HIIT Workouts are Not a Trend

September Plyometrics Challenge – Week 4: Upper Body Plyometrics

plyometrics challenge

We’re about to get started with the last week of the September Plyometrics Challenge. 

You’ve already done a GREAT job following along and doing all the exercises during the first three weeks of the challenge. If you just found this challenge just today, check out the post where we shared all the details before you jump in.

Then, get to work!

This week, we’re going to be focusing on upper body plyometric exercises. You’ll need a bench, plyo box, or a even pile of mats to do the exercises. 

Read moreSeptember Plyometrics Challenge – Week 4: Upper Body Plyometrics

September Plyometrics Challenge – Week 3: Medicine Ball Plyo Exercises

We’ve officially reached the third week of the September Plyometrics Challenge. Keep up the great work!

If you’re just getting started or need a reminder of the details of this challenge, check out this post. We shared the reasons why building a stronger, more explosive and powerful body is super important for all athletes, including you!

This week, you’re going to need a medicine ball and a wall you can throw it against. 

Here are the exercises for Week 3. Make sure to follow along on Instagram or the Facebook group for the videos.

Read moreSeptember Plyometrics Challenge – Week 3: Medicine Ball Plyo Exercises

September Plyometrics Challenge – Week 2: Plyo Box Exercises

September Plyometrics Challenge

Are you ready to start the second week of the Plyometrics Challenge and kick some serious butt? Here we go!

If you don’t know what we’re talking about, then check out the post where we shared the details about this challenge, as well as why we all should build power and explosiveness with plyometrics. You’ll find the first week of the Plyometrics Challenge here.

This week, you’re going to need a plyo box or a sturdy bench that you can jump onto. 

Here are the exercises for Week 2. Make sure to follow along on Instagram or the Facebook group for the videos.

Read moreSeptember Plyometrics Challenge – Week 2: Plyo Box Exercises

September Plyometrics Challenge – Week 1: Equipment-Free Plyometric Exercises

Plyometrics Challenge

Today is the first week of the 12 Minute Athlete September Plyometrics Challenge! 

If you missed the post where we shared the details about this challenge, as well as why we all should be working on building power and explosiveness, check out this post.

Here are the exercises for Week 1. Make sure to follow along on Instagram or the Facebook group for the videos.

Read moreSeptember Plyometrics Challenge – Week 1: Equipment-Free Plyometric Exercises

The 12 Minute Athlete September Plyometrics Challenge

September Plyometrics Challenge

We’re super stoked to introduce you yet another community challenge — the September Plyometrics Challenge!

This month, we’re going to work on increasing our explosive power. That means doing a lot of plyometrics exercises.

Not sure what plyometrics are? If you’re doing 12 Minute Athlete workouts regularly, you’re actually doing plyometrics (or simply, plyos) quite frequently. Plyometric exercises are quick, powerful exercises that are performed in a short amount of time to help you to build speed and power. They’re an essential part of every athlete’s training – and you’re no different!

Box jumps, burpees, medicine ball slams, tuck jumps – these are all examples of plyometric exercises and in this coming month, we’re going to do a lot of them!

Looking for the Weekly Challenge posts? Go here:

Week 1

Read moreThe 12 Minute Athlete September Plyometrics Challenge