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October is here! October is a popular time to head back to the gym.

October is here!   October is a popular time to head back to the gym.  A few of you die-hards, like me, may actually enjoy summers in the gym.  No waiting for treadmills.  No settling for half-dry towels because the front desk staff can’t keep up with the demand for laundry.  Most of my clients prefer to spend less time in the gym over the summer.  You too?  If you’ve spent your summer exercising outdoors (or – let’s be honest – not exercising very much at all), here’s a great back-to-the-gym work out to get all your muscles moving again. 


The warm-up and cool down will help prevent injury and soreness while providing some short bursts of calorie-burning cardio.  The circuit-style strength workout keeps your heart rate up to burn the most calories possible in the shortest period of time, while still strengthening and firming all major muscle groups.   Best of all – if you prefer to work out at home, this entire work out can be done with just a sturdy chair and a set of dumbbells.  Instead of a treadmill, lace up your sneakers and head outside for a brisk walk or set yourself up at the bottom of your tallest staircase and start climbing. 


Warm up

·         Set treadmill on minimum incline of 3% and walk at a brisk pace of 3.8-4.2 mph with arms bent.  Walk 10 minutes.

·         Perform 10 jumping jacks; rest 10 seconds.  Repeat 5-10 times.

Work out

Perform one set of 10-15 repetitions of each of the following exercises in order, with as little rest as possible (exceptions are noted below next to the exercises).  After completing one set of each exercise, rest 2 minutes and repeat each exercise once more, in order. (click on the link to see photo and description)

·         Prisoner Squat

·         Push up

·         Step up & Raise (10-15 per leg)

·         Kickback Row

·         Plank (hold 10-60 seconds)

Cool down

·         Set treadmill at incline of 1% and walk at a brisk pace of 3.8-4.2 mph with arms bent.  Walk 5 minutes.

·         Decrease speed to moderate pace of 3.5-3.8 mph.  Walk 5 minutes.

·         Stretch!

Perform this work out 2-4 times per week, leaving a day in between to do some additional walking, take a yoga class or fitness class or simply to rest and play with the kids.

Happy October!

Dara Duff-Bergeron is a veteran fitness trainer and a mommy of one with one on the way.  After a decade of fitness training, consulting and writing, Dara now combines her exceptional experience and down-to-earth philosophy in Fit Family personal training and Belly Bootcamp pre-and post-natal fitness.  Contact her at for more information.