Get ahead of holiday weight gain with this fall fitness workout

WASHINGTON — Here’s some scary news, just in time for Halloween: Saturday marks the start of the annual two-month-long food marathon, featuring candy pumpkins, turkey dinners, eggnog lattes, cookie exchanges and Champagne-popping holiday parties.

Yes, it’s just about time for the holiday season diet downfall. And with so much caloric cheer in the air, it’s no surprise that the pounds pack on quickly.

Experts say the average person gains 1 to 2 pounds during the holiday season. (For people already overweight, that number is closer to 5 pounds.) And while a couple of pounds may not sound like much, the holiday weight gain isn’t temporary for most; it’s here to stay, and it adds up over time.

That is why Josef Brandenburg, of True180 Fitness, says now is a critical time to establish a few good fitness habits to get ahead of the holiday weight gain.

“It makes surviving the holidays easier and also sets you up with good momentum. It’s so much more difficult to be on track about nutrition and exercise [during the height of the season], so what you do now will make sure that you’re as fit as you can be,” Brandenburg says.

And it doesn’t take much. He says 30 minutes a day, three times a week is all you need to build up a fat-burning base. Not having a gym membership is no longer an excuse: Autumn’s tolerable temperatures make it much easier to grab a run after work or a walk during your lunch break.

“You can work out much more intensely because it’s cooler. One of the biggest things that slows your body down and makes you tired and makes you want to stop is being overheated, so having cooler air is really helpful,” Brandenburg says.

For optimal results, break up your workout to include a mix of mobility, strength training and high-intensity conditioning work.

Not sure where to start or what that all means? Let the following fall fitness workout plan and video demonstrations be your guide — because jumping into the season surrounded by tempting foods, without a fitness plan in place “is a bad storm waiting to happen,” Brandenburg says.

Josef Brandenburg’s 30-Minute Power Workout

The best results come from working out the whole body through a mix of flexibility training, strength training, core power and conditioning. This workout takes 30 minutes and focuses on the activities with the highest return.

Treat each section as a mini circuit: Complete the first set of 1A, then the first set of 1B and the first set of 1C. Repeat the circuit starting at 1A before moving to circuits 2 and 3.

Circuit 1: The Ramp Up, 5 Minutes

Exercise Sets Repetitions Tempo Rest
1A. Pretzel 1.0 1 1 30 seconds None
1B. Pretzel 2.0 1 1 30 seconds None
1C. Spiderman lunge with overhead reach 1 5 Slow None
1D. Inchworm 1 5 Slow None


Video: Pretzel 1.0

Video: Pretzel 2.0

Video: Spiderman lunge with overhead reach

Video: Inchworm

Circuit 2: Strength, Core and Power, 20 Minutes 

Exercise Sets Repetitions Tempo Rest
2A. Goblet squat 3 8 Moderate 30 seconds
2B. Single arm inverted row 3 8 Moderate 30 seconds
2C. Jacknife 3 8 Slow 30 seconds

Video: Goblet squat

Video: Single arm inverted row

Video: Jacknife

Circuit 3: Strength, Core and Power

Exercise Sets Repetitions Tempo Rest
3A. Single leg deadlift 3 8 Moderate 30 seconds
3B. Single arm overhead press 3 8 Moderate 30 seconds
3C. Medicine ball floor slams 3 8 Explosive 30 seconds

Video: Single leg deadlift

Video: Single arm overhead press

Video: Medicine ball floor slams

Circuit 4: Finisher for Conditioning, 4 Minutes 

Exercise Sets Work Rest
4A. Jump rope 2 30 seconds 30 seconds
4B. Rope slams 2 30 seconds 30 seconds

Video: Rope slams

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