The Burpee Jack + Helpful Cues

Good morning!

Just like Monday, I woke up, coffeed up, and headed upstairs to the gym for some ChaLEAN Extreme. I’m really loving dispersing these workouts into my routine.


There. I took a picture of myself doin’ the darn thang! And yes, I always work out in mismatched Nike tempo shorts + a tee shirt when I workout at home. I also usually have mismatched socks, as evidenced above. I put in a wee bit more thought when I exercise in public Winking smile

I’ve been digging the cardio lately, so I’ve been upping my cardio from 3-4 days a week to 5-6 days a week. Then I’ve also been doing a lighter, less intense version of my usual strength training 2-3 times a week.

Anyway, today I did ChaLEAN Extreme’s Fat Burn Challenge. I’m only doing the cardio/interval vids right now, and then doing my own thing in the gym as far as strength training is concerned.

Although I’m not a HUGE fan of workout DVD’s (just my preference,) I do appreciate a good refresher of some new exercises to use with clients. One of my favorites on ChaLEAN Extreme? The Burpee jack. It’s where you go into a burpee, but instead of just jumping your feet back in from the plank position, you do a plank jack first.





Then you jump your feet back in and jump to standing to complete the burpee. Talk about sky rocketing the heart rate!

Another thing I like about fitness videos is learning new cues. Sometimes I think if I have to say “keep the weight in your heels” one more time, I’m going to explode (kidding, kind of Winking smile) so it’s nice to hear new ways of saying the same thing.

I can’t remember where I heard it first, but one cue that I’ll always remember for sumo squats helped me – and I always use it with clients: to think that you’re between two panes of glass and you need to be as narrow as you can while going down into a squat. It always reminds me to pull my knees back and tuck my tail bone under, without saying that exactly.

After sweating it out for a little over half an hour, I made a smoothie to go to sip on while I train my next client:


Chocolate PB smoothie, which is out of this world good. In this order: 1 c. coconut milk, vanilla whey protein powder, sea salt, cinnamon, 1 tbsp. PB, 1 tbsp. instant coffee (yum,) 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 handful spinach, ice ice baby.

Time to get ready to train the next client!

Who’s your favorite fitness personality?

What’s one of your favorite exercise “cues?”

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  1. Cathe Friedrich all the way. Pretty much most of what I know about lifting I learned from her DVDs (and of course googling). She is always so spot-on with giving cues and correct form. Too many DVDs out there don’t do that.

  2. Don’t have a favourite fitness personality; I don’t tend to watch exercise DVD’s, but prefer to go to classes instead.

    I’m a personal trainer and group fitness instructor and my most frequent cues are “shoulders back and down” and “imagine you’ve got a Starbucks gift card between your cheeks; don’t drop it!”

  3. It always helps me to have someone remind me to stack my ears over my shoulders, so I don’t stick my chicken neck out while doing lifts/squats/etc. I think this also accomplishes the same thing as drop your shoulders since you have to “de-hunch”. I have a really great instructor for group lifting that always reminds me to not let my knees splay out during squats, and keep your elbows glued to your ribs for bicep curls. And I always need a reminder to tighten my abs during planks/push-ups, it makes them so much more effective and SO much easier to hold for long periods of time when you focus on your abs. “Hug a beach ball” for chest flys.

  4. Burpees are deadly but a good deadly.

  5. GOOD COMBO! you should add a knee to elbow touch to that after. whoa!

  6. I like that sumo squat advice. Thats a really good way of describing it.

  7. Oh, I love that exercise! Sounds challenging, my favourite :) I don’t have a favourite fitness personality but I do love Jackie Warner and Zuzana

  8. Burpees are so good for your body! I used to only be able to do 3 but now I’m up to 10 woohoo : )

  9. Chalene and Cathe Friedrich are two of my favs. They both give very clear instructions and are motivating without being over-the-top/annoying.

  10. Burpees are soooo hard for me!! I can’t seem to commit to them :(

  11. I feel like I ALWAYS say the same thing during my classes…however, I guess we wouldn’t have to if our students/clients would just listen, right!? 😉

  12. I love the panes of glass cue! Good one! That is so helpful for a sumo squat. I have had “put your weight in your knees” drilled into my head 80,000 times yet whenever I’m in a class and the instructor says it, I notice that there is at least one person in the room who needed to hear it! I just pat myself on the back for being ahead of the curb 😉 same with lunges – “knee over ankle!”

    Good call adding a plank jack to the burpee!


  1. […] Wednesday – ChaLEAN Extreme’s Fat Burn Challenge: felt fine, but it was intense, however, was over in 30 […]

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  3. […] the plank part of the burpee, jump your legs out and in before returning to your standing position. Your Trainer Paige explains this with […]

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