My Favorite Fitness Things

My favs


Number Ones


Whatever you want to call it–this is the stuff you asked for.

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These are the topics (workout programs and products) about which I most frequently get asked for recommendations.

Stuff I Recommend-One Strong Southern Girl

My Favorite Cardio Series

For flat out cardio I recommend Insanity Max:30

Insanity Max:30 is my favorite cardio series

Insanity Max:30 will Change Your Body

You can’t beat this series for an intense workout with a great instructor in just 30 minutes (32 with the cool down).

The 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).

My Favorite Fitness Apparel Subscription Program(s)

Sweatstyle Home Page Image

SWEATSTYLE is my favorite Monthly Fitness Apparel Subscription Program (although keep reading to see who came in a very close second).

It was REALLY hard to pick just one company. Sweatstyle has a unique perspective with high-quality products and good customer service.

Each of these companies has at least one outstanding quality. I’d recommend (almost) any one of them without reservations.

WANTABLE (has the best customer service and communication…Wantable kind of tied with Sweatstyle for my favorite)

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.

Best Dumbbells for Women


The Best Exercise Step

Listen up.

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?  I sell these.  Buy one of my beautiful exercise steps (there are several colors to choose from) or buy one similar to it.

My workout step is my favorite piece of equipment.

I use it for HiiT, low-impact, Plyometrics, sculpting and traditional step aerobics.

my exercise step

Exercise Step by One Strong Southern Girl

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.

 ➡ Ready to buy a good aerobics (exercise) step?  Good idea!

My Favorite Cathe Friedrich Workouts

My favorite Cathe Friedrich STEP video is Imax 3

Warning-This step routine has choreography to figure out.  (It goes 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.

Imax 3

X10 is my favorite Cathe Friedrich CARDIO workout.

You’ll need some equipment to do X10 (read my X10 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.

 ➡ Want to try X10 for yourself?  Go for it! 

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 + SCULPTING routine, Athletic Training is my favorite.

Holy hell this routine is HARD!  I love it.

You’ll feel like a complete badass when you finish Athletic Training.

Buy this one and see what I’m talking about.

 ➡ Ready for a challenge?  Try Athletic Training for yourself!

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) or the Polar M400 if you want to make the most of the technology.

The higher priced models (not the Polar FT4 or FT7) give you access to Polar Flow (a web service that helps you chart all the data your Polar device 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.

polar A300

Polar A300

My Favorite Ankle Weights

Ankle weights are tricky.

Don’t make the mistake I did and think that they’re all created equal.  They aren’t.

The design is everything when it comes to using ankle weights.  After several duds I found these and they’re the best.

the best ankle weights for exercising

The best ankle weights for exercise

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.

 ➡ Start feeling like a badass ASAP.  Invest in Core De Force TODAY!

I break down every aspect of Core De Force for you in this article.  Read it before you invest in Core De Force.

Core De Force snip from home page

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 sliders 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 band (medium tension).

For tubing, you’ll need a few different ones.  There’s just not one tube that will have the right resistance for every exercise.

The Exercise Band I Use

Exercise Tubing

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.

Exercise Loops

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.

My Favorite Push Up Stands

The Pull-Up Bar (and assist band) I Use

You’ll need a pull-up bar if you do the P90X3 workouts.

Shaun T also uses one in the Insanity 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.

Girls, 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.

Pull Up Assist Band

Pull Up Bar (300 lb. limit)

 ➡ Buy an assist band now! 

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).

This style comes in several colors.

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.

X31 Compression Socks

My Favorite Cross-Trainer Shoes & Workout 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.

I love Reebok’s line of Cross Trainers

Shop Reebok Online

Reebok’s Workout Gear Looks Cool and lasts longer than most brands

 ➡  Shop Reebok Fitness Apparel Now!

My Favorite Workout Tights

Gear Bunch has the coolest tights around.

If you’ve never been to their site then go enjoy yourself!

These are the Coolest Workout Leggings at the Gym-GearBunch


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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