Beginner Workout

Today I’m sharing a beginner workout – perfect for those people who are new to fitness or coming back to fitness after some time away.

How’s everyone holding up? This is week #3 for me social distancing and from the sounds of it there will be a lot more in store. Thankfully I’m an introvert so it’s easier for me than those who crave interaction with others.

This week’s workout is specific to beginners, though if you’re a fitness pro you can always modify it to make it harder to challenge yourself. Use heavier weights or increase the time you’re working and decrease the rest. If you’re looking for a different kind of workout be sure to check out my workout page. That’s where I’ve listed all of the workouts that I’ve shared on GFF. They’re all categorized so that it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for.

This is a timed workout, so you’ll work for 20 seconds followed by a 40 second rest. During the rest time you’ll also want to prepare to transition to the next exercise or get any equipment ready for it. Start at the top of the list with the knee pushups and then continue on down the list working for 20 seconds and then resting for 40 seconds. Once you’ve finished the butt kicks rest for as long as you need before starting over at the top of the list. Complete 3 to 4 times through for a complete workout.

You don’t need much equipment for this workout. A set of dumbbells (I like these ones (affiliate link) from Amazon) for the tricep kickbacks and overhead presses, a yoga mat (affiliate link) or softer surface like carpet or a rug for the planks, and that’s it. If you don’t have dumbbells at home then a couple of cans or heavier objects will do the trick too.

Knee pushups

Starting on your knees and hands, make sure your body is a straight line from your knees to hips, shoulders, and neck. Your hands should be a bit wider than your shoulders. Slowly bend at the elbows, lowering yourself to the ground. Try to get at low as possible, and then push yourself back up, all the while maintaining that straight line.

High knees

Starting in a standing position, quickly bring your left knee up in front of you as high as you can. Step back down and repeat with your right leg. Repeat.

Punches

Stand with your feet hip width apart with your left foot slightly forward. Lift your arms up so that your hands are in front of your face with your left hand slightly forward. Punch one hand at a time in front of you, repeating as quickly as possible while maintaining good form.

Knee plank

The plank is very similar to the starting position of a pushup. Your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width, and your body is a straight line from your head, through your shoulders and hips to your knees which are on the floor.

Bodyweight squats

With feet hip width apart and hands in front of you to help with balance, use the glutes to lower your hips back and down while bending at the knees. Once you’ve reached the lowest position you can without leaning forward too much or letting the knees collapse in, return to a standing position, using your glutes to propel yourself.

Tricep kickbacks

With a dumbbell in each hand, flex at the ankles, knees, and hips so that your torso is leaning forward slightly. Bring your arms close to your body with your elbows back slightly. Start with your forearm in a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and slowly extend your forearm until your entire arm is straight and your triceps muscles are contracted. Slowly reverse the movement so that your arm is once again at a 90 degree angle.

Alternating bodyweight squats

Stand with feet hip width apart. Step forward with one foot so that the front leg’s thigh is parallel to the ground, and the back leg’s shin is parallel to the ground. The back knee shouldn’t touch the floor. Use your quads and glutes to step the front foot back towards your back foot and end by standing straight up with feet hip width apart again. For the second lunge step forward with the other foot. Continue alternating legs for the entire 30 seconds.

Bicycle crunches

Lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. With your hands behind your head and elbows out to the side, bring your feet off the floor so that your shins are parallel to the floor and your knees are bent at a 90 degree angle. Bring your shoulder blades off the floor and alternate bringing your left elbow towards your right knee, and your right elbow towards your left knee. Your feet should look like they’re pedaling a bike.

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. 

Butt kicks

Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms bent comfortably at the elbow. Bend your left knee and bring the heel of your left foot behind you so that it touches your butt. Lower your left foot back down to the ground and repeat with your right foot.

What’s your favorite bodyweight exercise? Tell me in the comments below.

As always talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog – I appreciate it!

How to Start Working Out at Home

Today I’m sharing some tips on how to make the transition to working out at home if you usually go to a gym or studio.

How are you all doing? This was my third weekend social distancing. As different as the world is right now it’s slowly becoming a new normal to stay at home and avoid other people as much as possible. I’m also trying to limit my news and Twitter consumption. I want to stay informed but it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty.

Today I’m sharing some tips on how to starting working out at home. I love my gym, but since they’ve all closed in my city I’ve transitioned to working out at home.

Give yourself grace.

Remind yourself that you don’t have to workout if you don’t want to. Don’t push yourself to workout at the same level or at all if it adds to your stress and anxiety levels. The world is a very different place than it was three months ago, and with that comes changing priorities.

Do what you can.

Go into your at home workouts knowing that they won’t be the same as your usual workouts at the gym or studio. You’re most likely not going to be able to use the same squat rack, barbell, and plates that you would have if you were at the gym – and that’s okay! You may not have a spin bike at home, so you won’t be able to get the same workout from your favorite spin instructor.

Be honest with yourself about what you have to work with and be okay with that. You’re not going to be able to stick to the exact same training plan that you were on before. And that’s not something that you should be worrying about.

Get creative.

Along with the above point, think outside the box to come up with equipment alternatives that you have around the house. You don’t need to have a ton of equipment to get in a really good workout.

  • Try paper plates to swap in for sliders. Use cans or bottles for dumbbells. I find that they’re great for barre workouts since they don’t have to be too heavy.
  • Use pillows or blankets for yoga props. Try using some big, heavy books for blocks.
  • You can use a study chair for tricep dips, modified push ups, and even step ups.

Challenge yourself in different ways.

Just because you can’t lift heavy or use the treadmill like you would in the gym doesn’t mean that you can’t challenge yourself in other ways. Work on your balance, speed, or flexibility. Work other parts of your fitness composition that you can at home with the equipment that you have available. Think outside the box about how you can challenge yourself physically.

Use online resources.

Take advantage of the internet! Lots of yoga studios in my city are streaming yoga classes. Check out for favorite local studio to see if they offer something similar. Not only do you get in a great yoga class but you’ll also be able to support a local business when they’re most likely having to adapt their business in a big way.

I’ve also been doing quite a few barre workouts online. Not only do they not require a lot of equipment, but you also don’t need a lot of space. I really enjoy Barre 3, but there’s also lots of alternatives online like Pure Barre. A few years ago when I subscribed to online Barre 3 workouts I wrote a review, so be sure to check it out here if you’re curious to know what I thought about it.

There are also a ton of fitness videos on YouTube. Some of my favorites include Fitness Blender and Jessica Smith TV. Jessica has the cutest little dog who sometimes makes guest appearances in her videos. I actually shared some of my favorite YouTube channels for workouts back in 2017. You can find the post here if you want to check it out.

Are you doing at home workouts while practicing social distancing or taking a break from them? What’s your favorite at home workout?

2000’s Workout Playlist

I hope you’re all hanging in there as well as you can. I don’t know about you, but the days are all starting to blend together for me. It’s Friday though, I’m running with it and trying to treat it as much as possible like it’s the end of the week. I’m hoping to watch a movie tonight.

Being at home so much means that I’m listening to Spotify a ton. If you’re not already following me on there, make sure you do (getfitfiona). All of my workout playlists are public so you can get access to them if you’re needing some workout motivation. Having a great playlist always helps keep me going during tough workouts.

Today’s playlist is inspired by the music of the early 2000’s. Think Britney Spears, boy bands, and Outkast, and Pink. As I was putting together songs for this playlist I kept thinking “I really liked that song” or “why has it been so long since I last listened to this this?” There was just so much music from the time that made me think of memories that I have from that time – whether it was getting together with classmates to watch The OC or going out clubbing. I haven’t thought of some of those things in a really long time! It makes me realize that 2000 was 20 years ago, even though in my head it doesn’t actually feel like it was that long ago. I graduated high school in 2001 and graduated from university in 2006. Those both feel like they were “just a few years ago” but they clearly aren’t that recent anymore.

Here’s a list of the songs on the playlist:

  • Toxic – Britney Spears
  • We Used To Be Friends – The Dandy Warhols
  • Dirrty – Christina Aguilera
  • Don’t Cha – The Pussycat Dolls
  • Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston
  • Just Dance – Lady Gaga
  • Since U Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson
  • Jenny from the Block – Jennifer Lopez
  • 4 Minutes – Madonna and Justin Timberlake
  • Bye Bye Bye – Nsync
  • Low – Flo Rida
  • Get the Party Started – Pink
  • SexyBack – Justin Timberlake
  • Hey Ya – Outkast
  • Maneater – Nelly Furtado
  • Can’t Get You out of My Head – Kylie Minogue

This playlist clicks in right at 1 hour, so you’ll have 60 minutes of music to get you working hard during your workout. You can find the playlist here on Spotify. To be honest I think this is my favorite playlist that I’ve made in awhile – I can’t stop listening to it, even when I’m not working out.

What are you listening to right now while working out? Leave a few songs in the comments below – I love hearing what other people are listening to.

Upper Body Workout

Today I’m sharing a gym upper body workout that will leave your arms feeling like jello.

I hope everyone is hanging in there. If you’re having to go to work, whether that’s in healthcare or at a grocery store, thank you! Your hard work is very much appreciated. If you’re staying at home, thank you for helping to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. We all need to do our part right now.

For this workout you’ll do 10 reps of each exercise for 4 sets before moving onto the next one on the list. Rest for 3 minutes between each set. Because the rest time is on the longer side this workout will be a longer one. Plan on being at the gym for about 90 minutes. As tempting as it might be to shorten the rest periods, they’re really important to give your body time to recover in between sets.

Since I wrote this workout before the pandemic reached Calgary and gyms closed down, you’ll have to sub in bent over rows for the row machine and take out the lat pulldowns completely. As always you can check out my workouts page where you can find lots of at home workouts.

Dumbbell bench press

With a pair of dumbbells sit on a bench, and slowly lay down. Bring the dumbbells straight over your shoulders with your arms extended. Slowly bring them down to your torso and then up back to the starting position.

Lat pulldown

Sitting at a lat pulldown, adjust the leg pads to make sure it’s at the appropriate height. Stand up to grasp the bar with both hands and then sit back down, sliding your legs under the leg pads. Start with your arms fully extended and leaning back just slightly. Bring your hands down to your collar bone slowly and then extend them back out to the starting position.

Cable row machine

With the rope attachment in your hands, bring your elbows close to the sides of your body. Start with your forearm in a 90 degree angle to your upper arm and slowly extend your forearm until your entire arm is straight and your triceps muscles are contracted. Slowly reverse the movement so that your arm is once again at a 90 degree angle.

Overhead press

Stand with your feet hip width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. With your upper arms in a 90 degree angle to your torso and your hands directly above your elbows, lift your hands straight up so that your arms are straight above your head. Slowly lower your hands back down to the starting position. 

Chest flyes

With a dumbbell in each hand, lie on a bench or the floor with your elbows slightly bent. Move the dumbbells in a semi circular motion above you until they meet directly above your chest. Return to the starting position by moving the dumbbells with control so that your arms are extended again. 

Bicep curls

Start with the feet hip width apart, and back in a neutral position. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows in close to your side and raise the dumbbell upwards. Movement should be at the elbow, not the wrist. Lower the dumbbell with a controlled movement, not allowing gravity to take over.

Tricep extensions

Laying on your back on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, move your arms so that they are straight up above your shoulders. Bending at the elbow, bring the dumbbells towards each side of your head and then return to the starting position.

Are you able to get in any at home workouts so far this week?

As always, talk to your doctor before beginning to workout. Honor your body and modify this workout as needed for you.

TV Shows to Watch While Social Distancing

Today I thought I’d put together a post about some of my favorite TV shows. These are ones that I’ve enjoyed binge watching in the past and I’m sure I’ll be re-visiting a few of them while I’m social distancing.

I’ve watched all of these on Netflix and Prime, though their availability will vary depending on when you’re watching them and from what country.

Teen dramas

Gilmore Girls

I loved watching Gilmore Girls when it was on TV. I was in university when the second half of the show aired so it was kind of fun to be in university the same time that Rory was. Don’t get me started on how unrealistic her post secondary experience was though!

I have to admit though that I was quite disappointed in the reboot. I thought it was absolutely terrible. I hated how it ended. It just seemed like such a waste. If you’re going to watch Gilmore Girls I would recommend the series and skip the reboot.

Gossip Girl

I watched Gossip Girl on and off when it was on TV, but I started it from the beginning when it came to Netflix. There’s just something so fun (and a little bit trashy) about it. I like seeing the outfits, and of course all of the scandalous situations that they get themselves into and mostly out of. If you’re craving an escape from reality, this is the show for you.

The OC

Also from the creators of Gossip Girl, try out The OC. It also had some great fashion back in the day with is now a bit cringeworthy, but it’s still fun to watch. It’s hard to go wrong with the teenaged antics of rich kids.

Dramas

How to Get Away With Murder

If you like Viola Davis as much as me, you probably already know about How to Get Away With Murder. Viola plays a law professor who mentors a group of students. They get caught up in murders and mysteries with lots of twists and turns – you never know what’s going to come.

The Good Wife

Another drama led by a few female actors – Julianna Margulies and Christine Baranski – is also on my list of binge worthy TV shows. The Good Wife has received a lot of praise and even a few awards if I’m remembering correctly. It’s such a smart TV show that also features strong female characters.

The Good Fight

This one is a spin off of The Good Wife. Christine Baranski continues on with her Diane Lockhart character, as well as some other characters from The Good Wife. I know that spin offs aren’t usually very good, but I think that The Good Fight is just as good as The Good Wife. Seasons are shorter than The Good Wife (they come in at about 10 episodes each), so if you’re looking for a show with fewer episodes to watch, give this one a try.

This Is Us

I started watching This Is Us a few years ago and I’ve been completely sucked in by it. There’s a few story lines that are a bit annoying, but overall I still really enjoy watching it. I like the characters and it’s pretty cool to see how they change throughout their lives.

Historical dramas

Mad Men

If you haven’t watched Mad Men yet, what are you waiting for? I watched the second half of the series when it was on TV and I was able to watch the whole series on Netflix a few years ago. While it takes a few episodes to get into it, it’s so worth it. The characters are so good and I love getting a sneak peek into the fictional New York City in the 60’s. Mad Men has won a ton of awards and the cast is amazing – there’s so many great people who were on it.

The Crown

The Crown has also got a ton of attention for being well written and acted. It’s fun to see many of things I’ve read about the British royal family on TV. It’s make you think about them and the events that are featured on the show differently. The Crown is one of those shows that once you start you won’t want to stop.

Downton Abby

Following with the British theme, I really enjoyed watching Downton Abby too. Like Mad Men, it took me a few episodes to get a feel for it and I really fell in love with it. I haven’t watched the movie yet, but I’m looking forward to it.

Reality TV

Teen Mom franchises

I’m not sure if I’ve admitted this on the blog before, but I’m a huge fan of the different Teen Mom series. I know it’s trashy reality TV, but I just can’t stop watching it. While the moms that they follow have changed a bit over the years, it’s still a fun show to watch. Full episodes are available to watch in Canada on the Canada MTV website. Hopefully the same is true of the US version of the site. I like to have it on in the background while I’m working – it helps to have something on but it doesn’t take too much brain power to keep up.

Love is Blind

I know you’ve probably watched it already, but if for some reason you haven’t, check out Love is Blind on Netflix. Just like Teen Mom it’s bad reality TV, but once I started watching I just couldn’t stop. I know that there were people that I ended up loving (and hating) and it was interesting to talk with friends to see if our likes and dislikes matched up.

What’s your favorite binge worthy TV show? What have you been watching on Netflix and Prime lately? Share in the comments below!