Kick-Start Winter

If you could gain the level of fitness that Darien trainer Tom Holland has, you just might be tempted to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run a marathon in a single day to compete with this ten-time Ironman. His fitness level — and enthusiasm for it — makes you believe that you, too, can attain top form.

It’s this sincere excitement that has propelled the clients of this author of exercise videos (Tom Holland’s Total Body Workout I and II and Tom Holland’s Total Ab Workouts) and a book (The 12-Week Triathlete) to become mountain climbers, marathoners and triathletes themselves. Holland’s motto: “Set definitive, measurable goals and set dates for achieving them. I have found that great success comes to clients who set goals, such as a 5K walk, 10K run, half-marathon or marathon,” he says.

As the founder of fitness company TeamHolland LLC, Holland works to clients through one-on-one training and annual boot camps. “Fitness success is dependent upon implementing three concepts,” he says. “Cardiovascular exercise, strength training and healthy eating. Changing just one or two [of these concepts] will not work long-term.” Of course, if you’re still reeling from holiday overload, you may not be ready to strip down to your skivvies and hop into the Sound just yet. However, here’s a seven-day routine that just may have you warming up to the idea.

Strength training – home/gym
You can do this routine once or repeat it two to three times, depending on your level of fitness. This circuit works all of the major muscle groups in a minimum amount of time.

1. Cardiovascular exercise –  3–5 minutes
(running in place/jumping jacks/jumping rope/riding the stationary bike/boxing)
Fact: Jumping rope is a high-intensity cardiovascular exercise and a great way to burn calories quickly. Add this cardio burst anywhere on the circuit to burn additional calories.

2.  10 squats
Tip: Keep your knees behind your toes and stop short at 90 degrees of a knee bend. If you can lift your toes in the down position you are well-balanced.
Fact: Contrary to popular belief, squats are not bad for your knees. However, squats performed incorrectly can potentially damage knee joints.

3. 10 push-ups
Tip: If you’re a beginner, try doing these first on your knees. Once you can perform 10 repetitions, switch to the harder version: on your toes or balanced on a ball. You should be able to do 3–4 repetitions initially and build up to sets of 10 over time.

4. 20 crunches
Tip: Putting your hands behind your head makes the exercise harder than laying them across your chest. Be sure to keep your chin off of your chest throughout.

Fact: The basic crunch is an extremely effective stomach toner. The more intricate a crunch becomes, the more likely that you are using assisting muscles and diminishing the quality of the exercise.

5. 10 alternating lunges
Tip: As with squats, make sure to keep your knees behind your toes. If the moving lunge is too difficult, begin with a stationary lunge until you feel stronger.

6.  12 dumbbell rows
Tip: Begin by standing with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the waist and bring your upper body as parallel to the floor as you can without letting your shoulders roll forward. Then, bend at the knees, bringing your upper body parallel with the floor, and hold. Now, perform the exercise using weights that feel comfortable to lift (slightly too heavy during the final few repetitions), but that don’t cause you to lose your form. Perform each repetition slowly (roughly 2 seconds to raise the weight and even more slowly when lowering it). This is a difficult exercise to perform correctly. Your back must be straight, with your shoulders retracted back throughout the exercise.

7. 12 bicep curls
Tip: Tuck your upper arms to your sides and concentrate on the negative resistance, lowering the weights just slightly slower than you raise them (2 seconds up, 3–4 seconds down).

8. 20 oblique crunches
Tip: On your back, cross your left leg over your right knee and place your right arm behind your head. Focus on bringing your right elbow toward your left foot to activate the right side of the abdominal wall.

9. 20 lower-abdominal crunches
Tip: Perform a “reverse pelvic tilt” by pressing your lower back into the floor to protect it during this exercise. Extend your legs away from your body as far as you can while keeping your back on the floor and your knees bent.
Fact: Lifting your feet off the floor puts your lower back at a disadvantage.

10. Plank –  15–30 seconds
Tip: Hold yourself in a push-up position on your toes for as long as possible, keeping your body straight and remembering to breathe. Work up to two sets of 1–2 minutes.

Fact: This yoga move is one of the simplest yet most effective core exercises. It strengthens both your abdominals and your lower back. Exercise in front of a mirror to watch your form.

Cardiovascular exercise
30–60 minutes

Fact: Exercise breaks down muscle tissue, which can cause microscopic tears, making days off equally important as days on. During rest periods, your body has a chance to recover and rebuild, which tones and increases cardiorespiratory fitness.


Cardiovascular exercise
45–60 minutes

Mix up your usual walking/jogging loop with some additional muscle building. Find a nearby hill and begin 2-3 “hill repeats” (either walk fast or run up the hill, turn around and slowly return to the bottom at a much easier pace; repeat). After the last repeat, complete your regular exercise routine.
Tip: A great way to stick with your cardiovascular exercise routine is to workout with a friend. Set goals together and define a time that cannot be changed. If possible, exercise with a few friends so that if one person drops out, you still have someone to motivate you to walk/run.    

Strength training – home/gym
Perform Monday’s strength-training session or, if you belong to a gym, do the following:
3–5 minute cardiovascular exercise
Treadmill/Elliptical Trainer/Stairmaster
Chest machine
2 sets of 12 repetitions
Lateral pull-down machine
2 sets of 12 repetitions
Shoulder press machine
2 sets of 12 repetitions
Cable triceps press-downs
2 sets of 12 repetitions
Barbell or body-bar bicep curls
2 sets of 12 repetitions
Leg press
2 sets of 12 repetitions
Leg extension
2 sets of 12 repetitions
Leg curls:
2 sets of 12 repetitions

20 repetitions

Oblique crunches
20 repetitions

Lower-ab crunches
20 repetitions

15–30 seconds

Cardiovascular exercise
60–90 minutes
walk/run/cross-country ski


Some nutritional reccomendations:

Power Company – Holland’s highly nutritious, low-calorie power shake recipe

Mix the following ingredients together in a blender.

1 packet protein powder
(Tom prefers PerfectRX)
6 ounces frozen fruit
(strawberries, blueberries
or mixed berries)
One whole banana
3 3/4 cups water
Splash of orange juice
1 tablespoon omega fat oil
*makes two shakes

TeamHolland LLC,
73 Hoyt Street, Darien, 550-6767

Lean Cuisine – Don’t sabotage your fitness routine by eating foods high in fat. Choose healthful foods instead.

Muffin and specialty coffee drink   
Bacon, egg and cheese on a bagel
Creamy Caesar salad dressing   
Potato chips
Cheeseburger and french fries   
Midafternoon candy   
Fried appetizer
Regular pasta

Oatmeal and coffee with skim milk
Omelet with whole-wheat toast
Low-fat Italian salad dressing
Apple with peanut butter
Tuna salad, lettuce and tomato on whole-wheat bread
Homemade protein shake
Salad with nuts
Whole-wheat pasta

Food for Thought – Smart eating tips

Graze. Instead of three big
meals a day, eat 5–6 medium-
size meals every 3 hours.

Eat carbohydrates and
protein at each meal.

Don’t keep treats in the house. Make a special trip each time
you want to indulge yourself.

Avoid sugars and processed
foods — the whites.

Eat breakfast, even if you’re
not hungry.
Sample daily menu

Meal 1 – 7 a.m.: Omelet with vegetables and whole-wheat toast

Meal 2 – 10 a.m.: Turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mustard on whole-wheat bread

Meal 3 – 1 p.m.: Large salad with chicken and fresh fruit

Meal 4 – 4 p.m.: Power shake

Meal 5 – 7 p.m.: Whole-wheat pasta with vegetables

Meal 6 – 9 p.m.: A scoop of ice cream

share this story

© 2021 Moffly Media. All rights reserved. Website by Web Publisher Pro