Jun 07

7 Time Saving Tips in the Kitchen

1. Find ways to use as few dishes when cooking as possible.  When following a recipe it is often possible to use the same measuring cup for more than one ingredient.  If you need ½ sugar and 2 cups flour in a recipe just use the ½ cup measuring cup for both.  Some ingredients can just be approximate measures.  It is easy to “eye-ball” a ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or salt.  If you are cooking pasta and broccoli, toss them in together.   You can always add broccoli a few minutes after you start the pasta if you like your broccoli more crunchy.  If done often this can save a lot of time with clean up.


2. Choose one day each week for prep.  Pick a day when you have more time.  This may be a good day to let your kids help you out in the kitchen.  For any recipes you will be making do all the chopping and cutting on one day.  This is a huge time saver.  If you repeat the task of chopping veggies several times each week you will be pulling out cutting board, knife, and vegetables, cleaning up the cutting board, knife and vegetables multiple times when you could do it just once.  If you bought an onion but won’t be using it all cut the entire onion and freeze the extra in an ice cube tray.  I have learned from experience that you never want to use an ice tray for ice ever again after you’ve used it for an onion.

3.  Make a double portion and freeze half.  Make sure to do this with only the tried and true recipes that your family loves.  No one wants double the leftovers for a meal that isn’t great.  If you plan to make lasagna buy extra ingredients and make up two meals.  Put one in the freezer before baking it.  This works very well with soups, sauces, enchiladas, casseroles, and more.  This works for the same reason as having one prep day.  It saves time to not repeat all the prep and cleanup steps.


4.  Teach your kids.  From the time they are old enough to walk, teach your kids to carry their own dishes to the sink after meals.  Unfortunately this may initially create more work for you.  Every spill means more cleanup, however this will save a lot of time in the long run.  It will also give your child some good habits for when they are grown up.


5.  Before preparing for a meals pull everything you need out.  Instead of multiple trips to the refrigerator to get ready for dinner become more efficient.  When you go to the pantry make one trip and pull out everything you need.  Make only one trip to the fridge, pantry, cupboard, etc.


6.  Plan ahead.  Plan ahead to make sure more difficult meals are on less stressful days of the week.  On your busy night pull out that extra lasagne you made.  When we are too rushed making dinner we often neglect cleanup.  When cleanup is delayed it takes twice as long.  Now everything must be soaked and scrubbed.  If done right after dinner, clean up time is much quicker.


7.  Get a dog.  Having a dog has really made my job easier.  We have a sweet little dog  in our family.  When my kids are out and about they seem to make a huge mess during meal time.  Somehow at home there is not a drop of food on the floor ever.  Even when I am sure my daughter knocked the chicken she doesn’t like off her plate I never seem to find it on the ground.  I certainly love my little food vacuum.  If only he could eat up napkins too.


May 31

Benefits of Running Bleachers

People often wonder, why running bleachers?  How does it benefit me?  These are important questions especially when considering a workout routine, no one want to waste time with a workout program that does not produce killer results and shred the fat.  So, to answer the question Why Running Bleachers?  I have outlined some of the key benefits to a bleacher workout.  Bleachers also make a great workout for couples.


  • Running bleachers has the ability to jump your heart rate up very quickly to your max heart rate given that you are going from resting to running quickly.  Raising your feet to hit every bleacher requires the heart to pump the blood quickly and completely throughout your entire body.  Pumping at this rate and this much volume will strengthen the cardiac muscle.


  • Running bleachers requires a great deal of oxygen.  As mentioned above the heart is working extremely hard to keep the muscles purfused, this in turn requires the lungs to keep up in order for the blood to stay oxygenated and nourish the tissues.  This will strengthen the lung capacity which will then improve your ability to run on the road.


  • A bleacher workout routine focuses on key running muscles more so than a regular running workout.  The motion of running bleachers requires the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and quads to continually be flexing and working to lift the body up one more step.  I am convinced that these are the key muscles that will aid your body in completing a marathon.  Mile 20 – 26.2 are when the race actually begins in a marathon, muscles have reached their breaking point and those runners who have trained to fatigue especially through running bleachers will be able to finish with greater ease. Not only that but working these muscles will sculpt the legs.


  •   If you view this page on running bleachers calories burned you will see that running bleachers burns many more calories than simply running.  Being able to burn so many calories in a short period of time makes a bleacher workout a preferred workout for the serious athlete.

Mix It Up

  • Running bleachers provides a great way for you to mix up your workout and alternate what you are doing every day.  Boredom with the workout routine is one of the main reasons that new runners stop working out.  Mixing up what you do each day is a great way to avoid this pit fall.  Also, staying of the road every now and then is one of the best way to prevent stress injuries on your bones, muscles, and joints.
With so many benefits it is clear that running bleachers is one of the best workout options available to both new and experienced runners alike.

For a FREE 30 Day Bleacher Workout Program Click Here!


May 31

Finding Bleachers to Run On

The first step to implementing a solid, fat burning, cardio building, calorie burning bleacher workout is to find a set of bleachers to use. Bleachers will vary in size depending on the size of the town, how important football is to the town, the size of the school (whether it is a college or a high school). To aid in running bleachers use this helpful tool produced by the National Center for Education Statistics. This tool will aid you in finding a high school.

High School Finder

Unfortunately, not every high school has a set of bleachers that you can use to workout.  However with a little searching you will be able to find a set of bleacher in your community that you can use.  One thing to keep in mind is that football season is from August to November in most states and track season is from February to April.  During these times the football fields will be in use.  Don’t let this get in the way of running bleachers! Go ahead and get on the track and get your bleacher workout in.  If you feel you must simply talk to the coach and tell them what days you will be there, for how long, and why you are there.  I have had to do this on a number of occasions and have never had a problem.  On a couple occasions I even worked out during Saturday morning games.  There I was running bleachers while a game was going on.

Try a couple different stadiums out.  Depending on the workout I am doing I may prefer a large set of bleachers (college) or a small set (middle school).  Searching through our bleacher workout page will give you an idea of some of the workouts and what size of bleachers you may want for a given day.  Getting to know your community will help with finding a great place to workout.  Perhaps the best thing to keep in mind with Running Bleachers is that it is a FREE workout.  No gym memberships, no gym time, no annoying gym rats etc. . . its just you and the bleachers!  Will you conquer them tonight or not?


Looking for Bleacher Workouts? Click Here!


May 31

Calories Burned Running Bleachers vs Running

Running Bleachers-Basics  –   Bleacher Workouts  –   Warming Up

How Many Calories Do You Burn Running Bleachers?

Running on bleachers provides an excellent workout and can burn calories quickly and efficiently.  The average person who weighs about 150 pounds will burn about 17 calories per minute of running bleachers.  Below is calories burned by running bleachers and various other activities per minute, the information is based on a 150 pound person.  Actual calories burned will vary based on a few other factors (age, intensity, basic metabolic rate etc. . . )

One good way to track your calories burned during a work out is to use a Heart Rate Monitor.  Calories burned is tied directly to heart rate and workout intensity.  My favorite HR monitor is the Garmin Forerunner 410 GPS my only issue with the watch is that it can be hard to work when sweating intensely but what it does well is track HR, distance, and calories better than any other watch or monitor I have ever used.  You might try a simply Ipod or Iphone or Android app to track distance and calories but these will not be as accurate.

Bicycling (13mph) 10.8
Jumping Rope 9.4
Running (11 min mile) 10.8
Running (8.5 min mile) 14.1
Running (7 min mile) 15.7
Sprinting 23.3
Swimming (crawl 20 yd/min) 4.9
Swimming (crawl 45 yd/min) 8.8
Tennis (recreation) 7.0
Aerobic Dance 11.4
Basketball (half-court) 4.9
Racquetball 9.9
Rowing Machine 13.8
Soccer 9
Running Bleachers 17
Showing 1 to 15 of 15 entries

It is clear from this information that running bleachers burns a enormous amount of calories.  Monitoring the amount of time you work out and the type of workout you are doing will help you to keep better track of your caloric expenditure.  Knowing this number will aid in making a plan for your intake thus aiding you in being able to achieve the needed daily caloric deficit to lose weight.

The best thing about running bleachers is that not only are you burning an enormous amount of calories while exercising but you are also building muscle at the same time.  Check out this article by personal trainer and Boston Marathoner Tammy Ivie regarding running bleachers.

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Running Bleachers-Basics  –   Bleacher Workouts  –   Warming Up

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May 31

Running Bleachers Basics

Running Bleachers-Basics – Calories Burned – Warming Up


While running bleachers will provide a fantastic supplement to your regular training program, it should not replace your current routine. In short a well planned bleacher workout will make you a stronger runner all around but you must continue with your other workouts to make it really count.

Bleachers provide you with the chance to break up your regular routine, get you off the road, rest your joints a bit, and increase muscle strength. For example your workout routine might look like:

  •  Monday – Road Run
  • Tuesday – Rest
  • Wednesday – Bleacher Workout
  • Thursday – Road Run/Interval Training
  • Friday – Rest
  • Saturday – Long Road Run
  • Sunday Rest

As shown above, running bleachers really only needs to be done once or twice a week doing so will produce the needed benefits while allowing you to spend time on the road or in the gym working on other needed areas.

This may seem highly over simplified but I can’t tell you how many beginning runners struggle with how often they should be on the road running.  As a general rule I tell new runners that they should not run more than 3 times a week on the road.  And two of those runs should be easy runs.  The most important thing is to listen to your body.

One of my runners, who has done the Boston, Chicago, Cowtown and several smaller marathons and many half-marathons will run on the road 5 or 6 times a week.  For her, this is not a major concern.  She has trained her body and has become in tune with the feedback her body gives her to the point that she now knows when to slow down, when to rest, and when to push her self.  Even for her however, interval training and alternate workouts are needed.



Why should you not run everyday? It goes without fail that I talk to a new runner who is all excited about running and losing weight, they sign up for a marathon and begin training, 2 months later they have to quit due to a knee injury.

When you go from little or no movement to running often you put a large amount of stress on your bones, cartilage, tendons, and muscles. Generally the new runner is a bit overweight as well and this causes a greater amount of taxation on your body.

Running produces natural stress and impact on joints, running on concrete (road) increases that stress and will ultimately lead to injury. For this reason (and many others) it is vital to break road running up with other forms of workout (cross training). Running bleachers is one of the best ways that I have found to do this as well as track workouts, swimming, biking and several others.

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Running Bleachers-Basics – Calories Burned – Warming Up


May 29

Example Bleacher Workouts

Running Bleachers-BasicsCalories BurnedWarming Up

There are many different workouts that can be done on the bleachers, depending on what you are trying to focus on, a bleacher workout can be aerobic or anaerobic, it can be done to build muscle or to slim up,running bleachers can even be done to focus on improving speed or endurance.

In this post we will provide a couple sample bleacher workouts. Prior to starting any workout it is important that you have a good pair of running shoes with good traction. My favorite running shoe is the Nike Free it isn’t really a minimal shoe, but it provides enough support for long runs while also providing much more traction and flexibility.

First things first lets define a couple terms for different bleacher workouts (these are not official terms, but ones that I will use for the sake of simplification).

  • Run straight up – running up the bleachers one step at a time.
  • Every other one – skipping a step between.
  • Hoping both legs – hoping on every step.
  • Hoping one leg – hoping up the steps with one leg.
  • Push ups – with your feet a couple steps above your hands, do push up as you crawl backward up the bleachers. (Don’t worry there is a video link below to explain).
  • High knees – standing at the bottom touch the first step with one foot at a time.
  • The “S” – Go up the seating section, go down the step section. Do this for every section all the way across the bleachers.
These are only a few of the possibilities for a bleacher workout routine. To create a true anaerobic exercise and really build up that lactic acid threshold running bleachers should be combined with another exercise between sets. Here are some examples of exercises that can be done between bleacher reps:
  • Sprinting 50m
  • Russian Walks
  • Monster Walks
  • Frog Jumps
  • Lunges
  • Running backwards


The following video will provide a nice visual of some of the possible workouts.

Bleacher Workout Video – One


Dynamic Stretching 15-20 minutes
Jog 800m warm-up Slow pace
Ins & Outs Jog the curves and sprint the straight around the track.
Run straight up 3 Rest 2 minutes between rep
The \”S\” 2 Rest 3 minutes between reps
Hope on both legs 2 Rest 3 minutes between reps
Jog 800 cool down Slow pace
Static Stretching 15-20 minutes
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800m slow warm-up
Dynamic Stretching 15-20 min
Ins & Outs 2 Sprint straights and jog the curves.
Run Straight Up 3 After first rep sprint 50m then rest 2 min.
After second rep do 25 frog jumps then rest 2 min.
After third reps do 25 frog jumps then rest 2 min.
Hop on 1 leg 2 Rest 3 min between reps. Alternate legs between reps.
Hop on both legs 2 25m of lunges between each rep.
Rest 2 min between reps.
The \”S\” 1 Sprint 50m after.
25m gut buster
Jog 800m Slow pace.
Static Stretching 15-20min
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800m Jog Slow pace
Dynamic Stretching 15-20min
Ins & Outs 2
Run Straight Up 3 After first rep run 50m. Rest 2 min
After second rep run 50m then do 25 frog jumps. Rest 2 min.
After third rep sprint 50m, broad jump 10 times, 25 lunges. Rest 2 min.
Push Ups Up The Bleachers 1 Monster walks 25m. Rest 3 min
Hop on both legs 1 No rest
The \”S\” 1 Sprint 50m, 25 frog jumps. Rest 2 min
Run Straight Up 2 Russian walks 25m, broad jump 10 times
Hop on One Leg 2 Run backwards 25m
25m gut buster 2
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Obviously, there are a ton of options for different workouts. It is best to experiment with different workouts, including things you are already doing to find what works best for you. Keep in mind that it should hurt a bit “no pain, no gain”! Running bleachers will improve your overall health and bleacher workouts can be incorporated at any time during your training.

Check out this book for a workout guide: Running Bleachers: a Workout Guide & Companion

Jump to:

Running Bleachers-Basics – Calories Burned – Warming Up


May 29

Why You Should be Running Bleachers Today!

Click to View Workouts

Running Bleachers-BasicsCalories BurnedBleacher WorkoutsWarming Up

Here at Simple Family Fitness we are dedicated to helping families find the best workouts that the entire family can enjoy, that is why we focus on running bleachers. Why running bleachers?

Bleacher workouts are one of the most important and key components of a well rounded workout program.

To date I have run seven marathons, one ultra-marathon, four triathlons, countless 5ks and 10ks, coached Boston Marathon runners, high school athletes, and directed several races. With all of this experience I have found and shared with my athletes the fact that running bleachers will provide the following benefits.

read about the BENEFITS of RUNNING BLEACHERS here

  • Increase leg strength
  • Aid in delaying fatigue during races
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Shape and tone legs
  • Increase speed and endurance

With so many benefits it seems obvious that a runner should incorporate running bleachers into their regular workout routine. On this site you will find a one stop shop focused on bleacher workouts and family fitness.

I have experimented with many different methods and have compiled the best workouts and methods and provided them on this site for you to enjoy for free. Navigate through the pages to find the specific information that you are looking for, or if you have a suggestion for a topic that we have not covered, please submit a commit and we will do our best to cover the material for which you are looking. Running bleachers as a regular part of your workout will provide quick results that you will notice.

There is no substitute for hard work, as everyone knows. If you have ever completed a serious stair workout than you know this without a doubt. One of the greatest benefits of this type of exercise is that it really focuses on nearly all of the essential running muscles as well as tax your cardiovascular system at the same time. Within a short time you will notice that you run better, stronger, faster, and with greater control. Is running bleachers good for you? Not only is it good for you, but it is an essential component of a well balanced exercise routine.
Read through these pages, implement changes into your workout, realize the results, share with your friends!
Don’t forget to LIKE us on Facebook! And have fun running bleachers!

Jump to:

Running Bleachers-Basics – Calories Burned – Bleacher Workouts – Warming Up – Best Pre Workout Supplement Guide

Receive our FREE bleacher work out guide. . . Click Here!!!


Oct 20

Warming Up

Before you begin any workout it is important that you properly warm up. This is especially true before a bleacher or stair workout This is a topic that many people, including experienced runners may not correctly understand.  There are two basic forms of stretching; dynamic (not to be confused with ballistic) and static, both of which serve very different purposes. Dynamic involves moving body parts in a controlled manner as you reach the limits of your range of motion.  Static stretching on the other hand involves stretching the body to its furthest reach and then holding that position.  Dynamic stretching should be done prior to exercising and static should be done after exercising.  Do not confuse this point.  This article from Runners World is a helpful resource concerning stretching.

Examples of dynamic stretches include high knees, butt kicks, running backwards, swinging you leg in a running motion etc.

For further examples of proper warming up for running bleachers Aurora Sports Med has a fantastic video on You Tube.

Just imagine your muscles as rubber bands, as they sit still during the day they contract and become cold.  Stretching the muscles puts strain on them and pulls them to their max, doing this with cold muscles will cause damage.  As you perform dynamic stretches you are putting your muscles slowly through the same types of motion that they will perform during the workout while running bleachers.  Static stretches can be done as part of your cool down and actually will help to improve flexibility, increase speed, and prevent injury.

In my experience new runners either under prepare or over prepare for for workouts.  If your muscles  are cold and tight they will not be able to expand and putting them through a workout will only cause harm. Dynamic stretching mimics the movements of the workout that you will do in a slow manner slowly progressing the body part (muscle) to the full range of motion. Once the muscle is able to reach the full range of motion or close to it the muscle is prepared for a workout.

After running bleachers and the workout has been completed the muscle is warm and loose and is at a point where you can improve flexibility. It is at this time that static stretching will pay off high dividends. You should spend fifteen to twenty minutes statically stretching the muscle to its fullest point. Resistance will be felt and it is important to meet this resistance and hold the stretch and push past this point a bit. The runner will notice during future workouts that they are slowly able to increase their flexibility.

Improved flexibility will aid in the reduction of injuries and improve speed. Legs will have an increased range of motion and be able to improve stride. As muscles and tendons strengthen and achieve increased flexibility you will notice that stretching in the proper manner has paid off and running bleachers will become fun and not a chore.