McMillian: Burst into fitness with routine



I am excited to present to you the “Lean in 2013” workout series.

I have approached some of the Northwest’s Best Personal Trainers and have asked each of them to provide their best, kick-butt workout. I told them people are busy, so it needed to be quick, effective and efficient.

I asked for a 20 minute cardio and 10 minute strength workout so you could complete the workout in 30 minutes max. Everyone can commit 30 minutes, three times per week to help look and feel your best, right? And then, I asked them to provide the nutrition tip that they feel provides the best results.

So over the next 2 months, you will get a number of different workouts and nutrition tips from some of the area’s best trainers to add to your exercise repertoire. Complete each trainer’s workout, three times that week.

At the end, I will have you rate which workout you think was the best. Once the program is complete, you can mix and match each trainer’s workout throughout your training weeks so you’re constantly mixing it up, stimulating your body and experiencing incredible results.

In Week One, we start with Carol Nelson. Carol, NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer, has been a trainer for 7.5 years, holds a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois and provides this 30 minute full body workout that will fit right into your schedule to help you look and feel your best in 2013. Do this workout three times a week on alternating days.

Cardio: Choose your activity (walking, biking, running, stairs (indoor/outdoor), etc.). Start your activity with a 5 minute warm up to gradually increase your heart rate. Your 20 minute cardio workout begins with a 30 second intense interval (either faster, more resistance, a hill, etc.). Make sure to really push yourself on the intense interval. Follow this with a one minute slow interval to let your heart rate recover. Perform this alternating intense and slow interval set 13 times. Your final slow interval will last 90 seconds for a cool down.

Strength: Complete the following three strength exercises for one minute each. Repeat the strength circuit three times total.

Lateral lunge with balance: Stand with your feet under your hips and arms at your sides. Take a wider-than-shoulder-width step to the right, fully extending your left leg and allowing your right knee to bend. Push your hips back, like sitting in a chair, as low as you comfortably can. As you descend, extend your arms forward and toward the ground over your right knee. Your abdominals should be contracted, shoulders back, and head looking forward. Push off your right heel to return to the start position. To add balance work, your right foot will hover about an inch above the ground in the start position. Step to the right for as many repetitions possible in 30 seconds, and then step to the left for 30 seconds.

Scapular push-ups: Assume the push-up position from either your toes or knees, keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears and creating a straight line from your head to your knees or toes, respectively. Keeping your arms fully straightened, squeeze your shoulder blades together and down away from your ears, allowing your chest to drop toward the floor. Push through the heels of your hands to return to the start position. Repeat as many times as possible for one minute. If you need to rest during the minute, hold the straight-arm pushup position to do so.

Deadbug: Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominals. Position your legs so that your knees are above your hips and are at a 90-degree angle. Raise your arms so they extend toward the ceiling above your shoulders. This is your start position. Extend your right leg out toward the ground, hovering as low as you can with your left arm backward behind your head, keeping your abdominals contracted and holding your opposite limbs in the start position. Exhale while returning the extended limbs to the start position. Repeat with the opposite limbs and continue to alternate sides for one minute.

Nutrition tip: Track your food intake daily. Just recording your food on paper may make you more mindful of each bite. Online nutrition sites will give you a recommended daily calorie allotment for a specific goal. The caloric and macronutrient contents of food will be calculated for you. Not ready for the daily commitment? Try tracking carefully for just one week and you may be surprised by the results even if you think you eat healthy. There are many online and phone apps to track your food but here are a few websites to get you started:,, or

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