Kris Reyes, news host of Global Toronto’s The Morning Show, wants to feel strong without worrying about her weight or size. The 33-year-old who immigrated to Canada from San Pablo City, Philippines when she was 9, has not particularly been an exercise junkie. Then she discovered how the rush of Tabata Finishers (a turbo-toner) and the push of a partner could transform her into an active woman – right at the studio.
“To do 25 full push-ups, but not on my knees; it’s a marker of strength. I can do 10.”
“On Tuesdays and Thursdays, my colleague Liza Fromer and I do interval training 15 minutes after the broadcast at 9 a.m. in the same space in front of the desk where we do the show. My cousin is our certified trainer.
“Yesterday we started by running the studio for 10 laps, doing 10 air squats, 10 kneeling push-ups, 20 Spiderman climbs.
“In half an hour we work many muscle groups. We rest for 10 seconds in between moves. We do 20 seconds or 10 reps of an ab wheel push-ups and pike combo, hamstring curls, and repeat.
“Next set is 20 seconds of kettlebell, alternating arm front swings and 20 seconds inverted rows on equalizers bars, repeat three times.
“Then we do 20 seconds of incline push-ups on the bars and 20 seconds ab roll-outs on the wheel repeated three times. We do three sets of four front swing, snatch and alternating lunge combos per side.
“In the last five minutes we do ‘Finishers’ [bodyweight exercises performed without rests designed to ignite fat and calorie burn and spike muscle-building potential] We do burpees, sprints, squats, or 100 kettlebell swings, mixing in cardio.
“In the six months since I started, I feel tighter around my stomach. I don’t have cuts or six-pack abs – it’s not what I focus on. We couldn’t do Turkish get-ups [a core stability exercise with a weight held overhead] but worked at them. I started holding a plank for 30 seconds, now I can hold it for two minutes. At one point I couldn’t lift the eight-pound kettlebell overhead; now I can do press and squat, several times.”
“I’m out the door by 3:30 a.m. Our show is live for three hours from 6 to 9. My day goes to 11 o’clock. The difficult part of this lifestyle is the eating.
“Breakfast is toast with peanut butter and tea. Lunch is a Greek salad. At home I cook a rice stirfry with meat. I don’t snack or drink pop or juice.”
“Performing well at work. Live TV requires alertness and engagement. If I’m tired I can stumble on words during the news or interviews.
“I’ve never been a fitness fanatic, but seeing how healthy my cousin looks and feels inspired me. I don’t look forward to exercise, but I crave it.”
“Black Eyed Peas’ I Gotta Feeling.”
“I’m interested in sports, but I can tire faster than my peers and that prevented me from actively participating in fitness. This is a mental hurdle. Before I used to take it as a sign I’m not meant for fitness or sports. But no, you have to work hard for it. I feel that when I exercise with Liza I’m not battling myself to show up, because I know at 9:15 Liza is there. I don’t even listen to that voice asking, ‘Should I work out?’”
Jonathan Goodman, strength and conditioning coach and creator of Personal Trainer Development Center, offers his expert advice.
“If Kris’s goal is to do 25 pushups she needs to focus on the movement.Push-ups are often done poorly.Bring elbows in. They should be four to five inches from the body. Make sure the elbows don’t travel past the fingers, drawing a line from the elbow down to the hand (maintain a 90-degree angle). Turn hands out slightly.
“Switch to a meat and nuts breakfast with a spoonful of fish oil. Kris will gain a much steadier rise in blood sugar, then she will immediately find she is able to focus better and think clearer in the morning.”
This interview has been condensed and edited.
Special to The Globe and Mail