My Favorite Fitness Things
Whatever you want to call it–this is the stuff you asked for.
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These are the topics about which I most frequently get asked for recommendations.
My Favorite Cardio Series
For flat out cardio I recommend Insanity Max:30
You can’t beat this series for an intense workout with a great instructor in just 30 minutes (32 with the cool down). Best part–You don’t need any equipment!* (*If you’re on a hard surface you may want a mat for some of the exercises).
Click the link to read more about every single Insanity Max:30 routine.
My Favorite Fitness Apparel Subscription Program(s)
SWEATSTYLE is my favorite Monthly Fitness Apparel Subscription Program.
It was REALLY hard to pick just one company. Sweatstyle has a unique perspective with high-quality products and good customer service.
Check out, Sweatstyle Will Put the Excitement Back in Your Workout, for answers to all your questions about Sweatstyle.
Each of these companies has at least one outstanding quality. I’d recommend (almost) any one of them without reservations.
WANTABLE (best customer service and communication…kind of tied with Sweatstyle for my favorite)
*If you follow that link, use the ‘Fitness’ tab on the top menu bar to find the Wantable Fitness Edit subscription page
And I recommend reading Your Guide to the Wantable Fitness Edit for all the details.
FABLETICS (best name recognition)-Read Fabletics-An Honest Review, for more information about the Fabletics VIP Program.
AVENUE A (Cadillac of the athletic apparel subscription programs by Adidas)
My Favorite Dumbbells
These are hands-down my favorite dumbbells. They come in a range of colors up to 15 lbs. If you need more than 15 lbs. then you can try these instead.
Tip-Read A Woman’s Guide to Buying Dumbbells for more expert advice.
The Best Aerobics Step
If you use a step to do home exercise routines this will be the most important purchase you make (besides the workouts you buy).
Do NOT buy a narrow step with little supports under it. I have one. (When you flip it over and end up in a twisted puddle on the floor you’ll remember this advice. I’ve done it. It’s not pretty.)
You need a big step with risers under it. It’s for safety reasons. Please, for the love of monkeys, listen to me on this.
Guess what? One Strong Southern Girl sells these. Buy one of our beautiful exercise steps (we have 4 colors to choose from) or buy one similar to it. My exercise platform is my favorite piece of equipment.
Invest your hard-earned money in good equipment. It will pay off. Not only is this step the safest option, it’s the most versatile because you can add risers to each side and easily expand the number of workouts you can do.
Here’s a link to get more risers.
And you can read, Do I Have to Buy a Step?, for more information.
My Favorite Cathe Friedrich Workouts
My favorite Cathe Friedrich step video is Imax 3
Warning-This step routine has choreography to figure out. (I’d stick it in the Experienced category. Read about my choreography ratings here.) But routines like this are always the most fun once you figure them out. If you like a challenge then invest in this one.
X10 is my favorite Cathe Friedrich cardio workout.
You’ll need some equipment to do X10 (read my review to find out exactly which tools you’ll need). This program is INTENSE! I burn over 700 calories when I do the X77 premix on this video! The routine is broken down into several different parts. You’ll never get bored. And the choreography is simple so anyone can (and should) try this one.
My favorite Cathe Friedrich strength video is Muscle Max
Muscle Max is classic weight training. I love that Cathe goes heavy on the weights and hits every single major muscle group. Do this routine every week to completely change the shape of your body. (You can read more about the exercises in Muscle Max here.)
And for a cardio+strength routine, Athletic Training is my favorite.
Holy hell this routine is HARD! I love it. You will feel like a complete badass when you finish Athletic Training. Buy this one and see what I’m talking about. (You can read a complete review of all the parts to Athletic Training here.)
My Favorite Heart Rate Monitor
The Polar FT4 will get the job done (I love it) but I’d recommend upgrading to the new model–the Polar A300 (my current model).
The A300 gives you access to Polar Flow (a web service that helps you chart all the data your A300 collects).
This article explains the uses of Polar Flow a little better but you won’t really appreciate the service until you use it yourself.
You can visit this page to get a comparison of all the latest Polar models.
My Favorite Kickbox Workout
Core De Force is my favorite kickbox workout
This is the new program by Beachbody. If you’re looking for a fun new workout and you love the kickbox style then this is a good investment.
I break down every aspect of Core De Force for you in this article. Read it before you invest in this one.
The Best Sliders
You’ll need these in some of Cathe Friedrich’s routines. Yes, you can use paper plates or a rag (if you’re on hardwood) but I promise you’ll be MUCH happier investing in a couple of these instead. And they come in 4 different colors:-)
The Best Bands, Exercise Loops and Tubing
You can do a ton of different programs with exercise bands and tubing. You only need one band but make sure you get a long one (like the one below) and I recommend the blue resistance. For tubing, you’ll need a few different ones. There’s just not one tube that will have the right resistance for every exercise.
Cathe Friedrich uses the exercise loop in routines like Super Cuts. You can tie your band around your legs instead but these are affordable and a lot easier to use.
Push Up Stands
These push up stands by Tony Horton really are the best style. The big bulky handles with grip covers are the perfect size for my hands. I have another model that doesn’t have the big base support and they just aren’t as safe. (Don’t get a pair that swivel. Trust me. You’ll hate them.) These push up stands are the safest, most comfortable and best investment, in my opinion.
The Pull-Up Bar (and assist band) I Use
You’ll need a pull-up bar to do P90X3 workouts. Shaun T also uses one in the Asylum series. Make sure you measure your door frame before you order a pull-up bar! Not every door frame (or pull-up bar) is the same width.
Also, pay attention to the weight limits of the pull-up bar. There are different max weights. Get a heavy duty bar so you’re safe.
Ladies, you’ll love the assist band. With this device you’ll be able to crank out a lot more quality reps than without it. (You hook it to the top of the pull-up bar and stick your foot in the loop.) This thing is magic.
My Stability Ball
Tony Horton uses a stability ball in P90X2 and Cathe Friedrich uses one in several of her routines (like Butts and Guts). The size of the ball matters. For women, I’d recommend you start with a 55 cm ball (but you may need to end up with 2 different sizes to accommodate every workout).
My Favorite Running Socks
My favorite running socks are the X31 Knee High Compression Socks
Wearing cool stuff makes a workout better. It’s just a fact. These socks always make a run better for me.
My Favorite Cross-Trainer Shoes & Clothes
You can find cool workout gear in a ton of different places these days. But don’t forget about the traditional brands like Reebok for high quality apparel and shoes. You’ll always get your money’s worth with Reebok. I always browse their site first, before I look anywhere else for fitness stuff.
My Favorite Running Shoes
Hoka makes the cushiest running shoes you’re going to find. I also love their vibrant color combos.
What are your favorite fitness tools?
Use the comment section below or email and ask me about other fitness-related recommendations you’re looking for.
“Life is complicated. Fitness doesn’t have to be.”
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