Sherri McMillan: Intense workout works well



To assure a successful 2013, it is key to become comfortable with lackluster days. We cannot always be our optimal self; we cannot always have those perfect days where we hit every green light. There are and always will be traffic stops along the way, and if we can successfully plan for the not-so-perfect day, our road to success will be a much smoother ride.

For those days when you are crunched for time and just need a quick, efficient, heart-pumping workout, Trevor Thomas, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer for 11/2 years, shares with you this effective full-body workout. He was voted NW Personal Training’s Personal Trainer of the Year by his peers so he definitely knows what he’s talking about! Try Trevor’s workout, three times this week on alternating days.

Cardio: High-intensity interval training is a great way to burn as many calories in a short amount of time, as well improve both athletic and health attributes. Using your preferred cardio activity, begin the workout with a 5-minute warm-up at a pace you can easily hold. Increase your intensity for intervals of 15, 30, 45, and 60 seconds with 1 minute rest in between, then repeat the cycle in descending order. Finish with a 3-minute cool-down for a 20-minute cardio bout.

Full body strength: Three exercises, 10 repetitions, 10 rounds. Crank that heart rate and shoot for your best time!

Squat: With feet hip to shoulder width, press hips down and back much like you would to sit in a chair. Keep chest tall, and press hands forward if you feel like you are going to fall back. Knees should be in line with toes, and not come forward. Exhale up, and for extra credit add a jump.

Bird-dog pushup: On your knees or toes, plant hands beneath your shoulders and keep core engaged (hips should not sag, back should remain straight). Squeeze your shoulder blades together, bend your elbows and bring chest toward ground. Upon return, exhale and lift opposing hand and leg straight out, thumbs up. Return to planted, and repeat.

Full-body crunch: While laying on your back, bring knees to elbows. Straighten legs and reach hands overhead, while maintaining low-back pressure on the floor. Exhale while retuning knees and elbows. If your low back lifts, simply kick legs a bit higher.

Nutrition tip: Chocolate, popcorn or whatever your guilty pleasure might be, set a limit. Dish yourself a sufficient portion that will both curb your craving, but not leave you feeling regretful.

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