McMillan: No more excuses! Start getting fit now



Beth Goldstein performs a medicine ball pushup.

Beth Goldstein performs a medicine ball pushup.

Beth Goldstein performs a squat press.

Beth Goldstein performs a squat press.

Not enough hours in the day to work out between work, school, kids, family, business, sleep and eating?

No more excuses! Beth Goldstein, NSCA personal trainer for more than 21/2 years, will help you enjoy an amazing year with this simple but effective cardio and resistance routine.

Complete her workout three times this week on alternating days.

Cardio: Start with an easy 5-minute warm-up. Then choose your favorite cardio regime: running, walking, cycling, or stair climbing. You will do the “Tabata Drill” — for 20 seconds, increase the intensity of the machine and/or increase the speed to a level that is high intensity. At the end of the 20 seconds, slow the pace down to a steady recovery rate for just 10 seconds. Repeat this circuit a total of eight times. At the end of your eighth time, go slow and steady for 2 full minutes of recovery. Repeat this entire drill, including the 2-minute rest intervals, twice more for a total of 18 minutes. This drill is effective for maximum calorie burn in a short amount of time.

Muscle conditioning: Complete each of the following exercises and then repeat the circuit two more times.

Medicine ball push-ups: Start in a push-up position with hands slightly greater than shoulder-width apart and the body in a straight line from the top of your head down through your feet. Place one hand on top of the medicine ball. Inhale as you slowly lower your body until your arms are bent at a 90-degree angle. Exhale as you push your body back up to the starting position. Repeat 8-12 repetitions on each side.

Medicine ball wide squat to overhead press: Start in a wide stance with your feet greater than shoulder-width apart in a slightly turned-out position. Keeping the ball tucked into your chest, squeeze your glutes as you slowly bend your knees and lower straight down with your shoulders directly over your hips. As you straighten the legs, think about squeezing through your inner thighs to press back up to the starting position. While you are straightening the legs, you will exhale and press the ball directly overhead until the arms are straight. Perform 8-12 reps total.

Medicine ball V-sit and twist:
Start sitting upright on top of your sits bones with a comfortable bend in the knees. Hold the medicine ball close to your chest with the elbows pointing out to the sides. Slowly begin to lean back, keeping the back as straight as possible until you feel your abdominals engage. Be sure to only lean back until the abs are felt. If you notice your lower back kicking in to help, you are leaning back a little too far. While holding this position with the abdominals, twist your entire torso to one side until both shoulders are facing directly side. Maintaining the lean-back position, twist to the other side. Perform 8-12 reps on each side for a total of 20-24 twists. Advanced tip: If you can maintain a straight back, lift and keep the legs off of the floor to engage the lower abdominal wall.

Nutrition tip: Try to drink two 8-ounce glasses of water each time you eat. A sufficient intake is about 8-10 cups per day. Splitting it up this way will make it a realistic amount to drink without feeling like a camel!

Sherri McMillan, M.Sc. is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver. She can be reached at or