Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Action Hero Workout #2

Meet Rachel Nichols, Hollywood's hottest new action hero!

I received such a great response to the first action hero workout, I thought I would share another. While I have helped many beautiful ladies get in action star shape (Jennifer Garner, Kate Beckinsale and Carrie Ann Moss to name a few), this particular plan was created for Rachel Nichols the sexy star of the new GI Joe movie. For the last few years Rachel has been on the "Red Carpet Ready" plan, so obviously she already looked great but for this role we had to step it up. The thing with being a female action hero is not only that you need strength, endurance and agility to fight the bad guys, but you have to be ready to go to battle in body hugging clothes, big hair, high heels and a push up bra. The complete plan requires the desire to achieve the look, a serious commitment to both the workouts and the diet and time for recovery in terms of proper sleep and massage or foam rolling to work the kinks out. This program is not for everybody but if you are game, try it out and see if you have what it takes to be an action hero babe!

Circuit 1

Single leg glute bridge --- Do 12 reps, switch legs

Side plank with reach under --- Do 10 reps, switch sides

Valslide 1 arm slide w/ feet on Bosu --- Do 10 reps, each hand alternating

Ultimate crunch --- Do 12-15 reps, switch sides

Do circuit 2-3 times.

Circuit 2

Valslide reverse lunge with stretchy band --- Do 12 reps, switch legs

Step up to high step --- Do 12 reps, switch legs

One arm row to balance --- Do 12 reps, switch arms

Bruce Lee kick --- Do 15 reps, switch legs

Valslide push up ½ fly --- Do 5 reps, each side alternating

Do circuit 3 times.

Circuit 3

Valband side hops --- Do 12 reps there, and then back

Valslide side lunge --- Do 15 reps, switch legs

Squat press --- Do 15 reps

Bicep curls --- Do 12 reps X 10 lbs in each hand

Kickbacks --- Do 12 reps X 10 lbs in each hand

Do circuit 3 times.

**For more information on the diet visit

**For more information on the Valslide visit

Circuit 1

Single Leg Glute Bridge
Lie on your back with your arms at your side. Extend one leg straight out, inline with opposite knee. Begin by squeezing your glute muscles and lifting them up until your body forms one line from your head to your toes. Inhale as you lower your body back to the floor and exhale as you raise your lower body. **You will feel this in your glutes and hamstrings.

Side Plank with reach under
Get into a side plank position by lying on your side with your elbow under your shoulder and your feet stacked. Raise your hips off of the ground and hold. As you hold that position, reach under your body and then reach toward the ceiling. That is 1 rep. Repeat for remaining reps and then lower your body back down to the floor. Switch sides.

Valslide one-arm slide with feet on Bosu
Get in push-up or plank position with a Valslide® under each hand and both toes on a Bosu. Slowly slide your left hand several inches out in front of you, and then bring it back. Then slide your right hand out and back. Alternate back and forth until you have completed all the reps. Don’t let your hips drop. **You will feel this in your abs.

Ultimate Crunch
Lie flat on your back with your hands out to the side. Sit all the way up, pulling your left knee in and hugging it. Lower back down without allowing your head to touch the floor. Finish all reps on one side and then switch sides. **You will feel this in your abs.

Valslide Reverse lunge with stretchy band
Attach a stretchy band to a stationary object to the side of you. Stand with feet together, place the ball of your left foot on the Valslide. While holding onto the band slide your left foot back until your right leg bends at 90˚. Slide your left foot up to start position, pulling up with the glute (butt) of your right leg. Finish reps and switch sides. Resistance placed on the band will try to pull you off balance, engaging your core. To increase level of difficulty, slide back on the foot closest to the band. **You should feel this in your glutes and in your abs.

Step up to high step
Stand facing a bench or step that's about 12 inches high. Lift your right foot and place it firmly on the step, and push your body upward through the right heel bringing your left knee up balancing on the right leg. Lower yourself back down leaving your right foot on the step. NOTE: Make sure your foot is completely on the step. Keep your head and chest up. At the top position, try to balance on the supporting leg or just lightly touch the step with your opposite foot. **You will feel this in your glutes and quads.

One arm row to balance
For this exercise you may either use a cable machine or attach a stretchy band with a handle to a secure object. Holding the handle in your right hand with your left foot forward in a lunge position. Stand far enough away so that the cable or band is taut. Lean forward and reach toward where the band is attached. You should feel a stretch in your glute. Stand up as you row your right arm back and while you bring your right knee toward your chest and balance on your left leg. Repeat for remaining reps and then switch sides.

Bruce Lee Kick
Stand near a chair or something for balance. Stand with feet hip width apart, abs tight. Inhale as you bend at the waist keeping the right leg very straight and pulling the left knee up. Exhale as you extend your left foot all the way straight pushing through your heel and squeezing the left glute. Pull the knee back in and lower the leg to the floor to reset. **You will feel this in your glutes.

Valslide push up 1/2 fly
Start in a modified push up position. Place the Valslide under one hand. As you lower in push up position, slide your Valslide slightly out to the side. Pull the hand in as you push back up. Finish reps and repeat on the other side. **You should feel this in your chest and shoulders.

Valband side hops
Place the Valband around your ankles, with your feet apart just enough to feel tension. Get into a squat position and then hop to the left, leading with the left foot and then following with the right. To increase difficulty, place the Valband around your thighs just above your knees. **You will feel this in your glutes and hips.

Valslide side lunge
Stand with your left foot flat on the Valslide®™. Slide your left foot to the side, keeping your left leg straight. At the same time, allow your right leg to bend sitting back into a squat. Slide your left foot back in, coming to a standing position. Finish reps and then repeat on other side. NOTE: always keep toes pointing forward. Do not let them angle out as you perform the exercise. **You will feel this in the inner thigh of the sliding leg and the glute of the stationary leg.

Valslide Curtsey Squat
Stand with feet together and place the ball of your left foot on the Valslide. Slide your left foot behind you towards your right side. Your right leg will bend at 90˚. In the lowered position, you will be in a curtsey. Slide your left foot back up to start position, while squeezing your right glute. Finish reps and switch sides. **You will feel this in your glutes and hips.

Shoulder Press
Hold dumbbells at shoulder height with palms facing your ears. Slowly raise the dumbbells extending your arms toward the ceiling. Slowly lower back down to starting position and repeat. Be sure to keep abs tight and knees slightly bent. **You will feel this in your shoulders.

Bicep Curls
Stand with your feet hip width apart, abs tight and a dumbbell in each hand. Knees are slightly bent and hands are at your sides with palms facing out. Exhale as you curl both arms towards your shoulders. Keep elbows close to your waist line. Inhale as you slowly lower them back down to the starting position. **You will feel this in your biceps.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart, knees bent and bending forward at the hips. With a dumbbell in each hand keep your arms tucked into your side at a 90 degree angle. Slowly extend your arm out and keep your elbow in. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position and repeat. **You will feel this in your triceps.


Mary said...

Is each circuit a different workout or do you do all three in one workout?

Meghan said...

Mary--All three circuits are one workout and you'll repeat each circuit 2-3x. That's how the Red Carpet Ready program is set up too.

Val, I bought your Red Carpet Ready program last week and started it this week and it is kicking my booty! I've been using heavier weights and fewer reps plus 20interval cardio training for a long time, no circuits or aerobic work, and your program is killer on me right now! I can't wait to see the results! For now I want to torch the fat and not worry about muscle gain, but ulitmately I want to look like a hot Super Hero so I"m going to use these two Super Hero workouts after my 6 weeks of RCR. Thanks so much for posting these two workouts! :)

Marie said...

Val - What real foods do you suggest for a post-work out snack (as opposed to supplements)?

Giggette said...

Is this workout safe for a pregnany woman?

Giggette said...

pregnant*SP* sorry

John-Amy said...

Val,I am a Personal Trainer in Utah. I received my training from Athletes' Performance in Los Angeles. I know that you have a great connection with Mark Verstegen. I bought your Red Carpet Ready program to learn a little more about your program design. I really enjoyed your articles and presentation with and It made me really look at my mindset when I am training women, which was very similar to the crowd in your example with Alwyn Cosgrove in your fitcomxpo presentation. I have a question about how you design your programs. I really like the circuit layout, but what are you looking for when you pick the order and type of exercises you use, along with the reps that you use. Thank you very much for your time.

Valerie Waters said...

marie, Iike protein and carbs. That can be as simple as low-fat cottage cheese with crushed almonds on top. Usually I workout in the am so it is my breakfast of scrambled Eggology eggwhites with spinach and mushrooms and 1 piece Ezikiel toast on the side.

Valerie Waters said...

Giggette, I don't do any abs with my pregant clients once they 3 mos. You could do a modified version of this exercise up to about 6 mos and then when balance because a issue you will want to be more stable. Also this workout is designed to get your heartrate up so make sure you watch that. If you want to get back in shape after the baby, check back here. val

Valerie Waters said...

Hi John-Amy,

I want to keep my clients moving but I recognize the need to recover. If there are a few exercises in a row that significantly raise the heart rate then you will have one or two that let's you recover. val

Anonymous said...

Do you recommend doing this workout everyday, or every other day with cardio on the off days? Or do you have a recommendation for incorporating cardio with this?

Anonymous said...

Great techniques, you really can feel the muscles working out.

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