Health Habits Exercise Videos – Fat Burning HIRT Circuit #1

Here is the 4 minute “kick yo’ ass”, super fat-burning workout exercise video I promised you on Tuesday.

Note: I almost didn’t post it today as it is not 100% finished. The workout is good to go, but I need a bit more time for my video guru Lauren to input all of the instructional text.

So, what I am going to do is get this sucker online right now, and when we have added all the text, come back and replace all this text so future viewers never know that I put a beta version online.

About the Workout:

This is a High Intensity Resistance Training Circuit consisting of…

  • 4 Minutes total work
  • 8 x 30 second sets
  • 3 exercises

The 3 Workout Exercises are…

  1. Squats
  2. Push Ups 
  3. Jumping Jacks

Note – Choose the version of Squats or Push Ups equal to your fitness level. You want to push yourself as hard as possible, while being realistic about your current fitness level

Exercise Options

SQUATS

PUSH UPS

Exercise Tips

  • Push yourself as hard as your fitness level will allow
  • Keep rest to a minimum
  • Maintain correct form – see “how-to” videos
  • Work hard, fast & safe

This is a great fat-burning, fitness boosting workout. However, since I can’t watch over you like one of my “real-life” personal training clients, I need to drop a little common sense…

Please note that this video is designed for educational purposes only. Not all exercises and/or training programs are appropriate for everyone. Before starting any new workout routine, please take into account your personal health & fitness condition. Injuries can happen. Please consult your trainer or healthcare professional before jumping into this or any other exercise program.

Now that that’s over, it’s time to get sweaty….

THE WORKOUT

 As this is the first workout / exercise video I have put online, I would really appreciate your feedback. Be merciless….I want these exercise videos to be as good as they possibly can…without spending a ton of money of course 🙂

Planned Changes/Upgrades

  • We are going to change the timer/buzzer. What I want is a 30 second timer for each set & either a 4 minute timer or progress bar so that people know how much time is left in the workout.
  • Text warning 5 sec before the next exercise starts – “Push Ups are next” – or something like that
  • A longer chunk of text at the end of the workout with more details about the circuit
  • Text before the workout starts with some of the info I posted above

About my experience with these first few exercise videos

It has been incredibly cool. I have been lucky enough to find an amazing partner in my videographer Lauren Webb…(her Vimeo page – her Tumblr). She took my rambling descriptions of what I wanted to do with these videos and is making them look even better than I had hoped they could be.

And we are just getting warmed up. Lauren’s background is actual film making…not exercise videos. As such, this first round of videos has involved a LOT of getting to know each other, our goals for the project, our expectations and what can actually be done on a shoestring budget.

Not only will we be faster with the next round of videos, they will look better and will have more features. Stay tuned.

I would also like to thank our fantastic fitness model Nicole for her patience and positive attitude…as well as her ability to bang out push up after push up after push up.

Finally, I would like to thank the Miles Nadal JCC in Toronto for providing the location for the video shoot. With that said, if you’re looking for a new gym in Toronto, I can highly recommend the JCC and suggest that you call and ask for my buddy Manny at the JCC –Call and ask for him at (416) 924-6211 x 500  or  shoot him a direct email .

Health Habits “How-To” Exercise Videos – Squats

As I promised yesterday, today’s post is the second installment of “how-to” exercise videos. Yesterday’s push-ups and today’s squats are going to be combined with a third “mystery” exercise to create a thoroughly unpleasant (and very, very effective) High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout video that I will post on Wednesday. bodyweight squat And as the exercise video library grows, I will create full-length (20 minute) High Intensity Resistance Training exercise videos. These videos will be posted on Thursdays…and will include instructions on how to add mobility, flexibility, HIIT and/or cardio training to the resistance training workout video to look after all your exercise needs. Alright, enough yakity yak…let’s get to the exercise videos

HealthHabits “How-To” Exercise Videos #2 – Squats

Bodyweight Squats

Goblet Squats

Overhead Squats

Tomorrow, I combine these exercises + one more “mystery” exercise into an awesome High Intensity Resistance Training circuit workout. Get ready to sweat.

suck it up buttercup

NOTE – As this is my first attempt at doing workout – exercise videos, I would really, really appreciate your feedback on the quality / usability of these videos. My goal is to make them useful for people who workout at home (video on their tv sets or laptop) & at the gym (video on smartphone or tablet). 

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Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

It seems like I hear some version of this question each and every day. Just this past weekend, it was posed to me by Angela.

  • Angela is a forty-something year old woman, with two kids and an executive position at an insurance company.
  • Angela is 5’6″ and weighs approximately 170 lbs.
  • Angela doesn’t want to weigh approximately 170 lbs.

Maybe, some of you can sympathize with her story.

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

Angela’s Story

All the way through high school, Angela was an average, healthy weight. Not thin; healthy. She participated in gym class and enjoyed playing tennis. In university, she fell victim to the dreaded “freshman fifteen”. By the time she graduated, it was more like 20 lbs.

After graduation, she lost most of that weight by exercising at a health club and watching what she ate.

Why Can't I Lose Weight?

Next came the babies…

After the birth of her two children, Angela found herself reunited with that extra 20 lbs. Throwing herself back into that same exercise and nutrition program, Angela managed to lose most of that 20 lbs….And then gain it all back….and then lose most of it again…..and then gain it all back plus a little bit extra.

This takes us back to the present day.

  • Angela has 35 lbs. of excess fat that she wants to be rid of.
  • And she feels completely lost.
  • She has read every diet book.
  • She has exercised like an Olympic athlete.
  • She has cleansed.
  • She has popped dietary supplements.
  • She has joined and quit three different diet programs.

Nothing works anymore. So she asks me, “Why can’t I lose weight”?

So Why Can’t She Lose Weight?

The truth is; when it comes to burning off excess body-fat, Angela has no idea what she is doing. But it’s not her fault.

  • The multi-billion dollar diet industry sets people up for failure. If every dieter was successful, who would buy the next best selling diet book? Who would buy the pills or the bars or the shakes or the… Well, you get the point.
  • The diet industry promises you easy weight loss. But when you fail, it is always due to your lack of will-power. So why don’t the diet gurus help you generate that will power?

Why don’t they give you a complete weight loss program involving:

  • Nutrition
  • Exercise, and
  • Mental / Emotional / Spiritual Strategies

Starting on the next page, I will attempt to do that

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HIIT kicks even more ass

I love HIIT workouts.

  • Short duration
  • High intensity
  • Increased fat loss thanks to EPOC
  • Improved anaerobic endurance
  • Improved muscular power
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Honorary BADASS certification

And if that wasn’t enough, it also turns out that HIIT is good for your overall health.

HIIT - before and after - fat to fit

 

Here’s the latest scientific proof.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow took 10 overweight/obese men and subjected them to three different fitness protocols:

  1. Sitting on their ass…aka the couch potato workout
  2. 4 x 30 second full-intensity sprints with 4.5 minute rest periods (HIIT workout)
  3. A single full-intensity sprint (ES – Extended Sprint workout) designed to be equal to the work done during the HIIT workout.

The day after doing these workouts, the participants…

  • had a fasting blood sample taken,
  • undertook an oral glucose tolerance test to determine insulin sensitivity index (ISI),
  • and had blood pressure measured.

Here’s what they found….

  • Total work performed did not differ between the HIIT & ES workouts
  • More power was generated during the HIIT workouts than during the ES workouts
  • Both the HIIT & ES workouts resulted in increased Insulin Sensitivity compared to the control group
  • The HIIT group saw a 63% increase in fat oxidation compared to the control group
  • The ES group saw a 38% increase in fat oxidation compared to the control group

And just in case you weren’t aware, increased insulin sensitivity & fat oxidation is exactly what our obese / diabetic society is in dire need of.

And this was after just one workout…imagine how much better things will look after 52 weeks of High Intensity workouts.

Reference

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20 Minute Workouts for the 21st Century

Back in the early 80’s, CityTV brought aerobic exercise to the masses with a new tv show – The 20 Minute Workout.

And for a 13 year old boy, it was the best tv show of ALL TIME.

But that’s not what we’re talking about today.

Today, I’m going to show you a bunch of 20 minute workouts that will have you sweating body-fat from your pores like a garden sprinkler….gross but true

WORKOUT # 1

5 MINUTE WARM-UP

Joint Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Push-Ups & Bodyweight Squats  – 10 rep sets until the 5 minutes are up

15 MINUTE WORKOUT

4 Cycles of the following HIIT Bike Sprint protocol:

  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 20 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 40 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 50 seconds

REPEAT 3 more times…for a total of 800 seconds or 13 min & 20 seconds

DONE – stretch, shower and get on with your day

WORKOUT # 2

5 MINUTE WARM-UP

Joint Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Swing Snatches & Jumping Jacks  – 10 rep sets until the 5 minutes are up

15 MINUTE WORKOUT

5 Minute Superset #1 – alternating between the following 2 exercises:

  • Body Weight Squats – 5 Reps
  • 2 Arm Rows (Band/BW/Machine/Barbell) – 5 Reps – Choose a weight you could perform 20 reps with

No rest between sets

5 Minute Superset #2 – alternating between the following 2 exercises:

  • Alternating DB Shoulder Presses – 5 Reps – Choose a weight you could perform 20 reps with
  • 1 Leg Deadlifts (BW/DB) – 5 Reps – Choose a weight you could perform 20 reps with

No rest between sets 

5 Minute Superset #3 – alternating between the following 2 exercises:

  • Reverse Crunch with Hip Extension – 5 Reps – feel free to push the hip extension higher
  • Chest Presses (Band/BW {aka Push-Ups}/Machine/Barbbell/DB) – 5 Reps – Choose a weight you could perform 20 reps with

No rest between sets 

DONE – stretch, shower and get on with your day

WORKOUT # 3

5 MINUTE WARM-UP

Joint Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Shuffle Lunges , Push-UpsLateral BW Squats  – 10 rep sets until the 5 minutes are up

15 MINUTE WORKOUT

HIIT Bike Sprints #1

  • Pedal slowly for 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Pedal slowly for 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds

Resistance Superset #1

  • Slo-Mo BW Squat – 5 Reps – Keep the movement slow & smooth – no stops & starts
  • BW Jump Squats – 5 Reps – Choose a weight you could perform 20 reps with

HIIT Bike Sprints #2

  • Pedal slowly for 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Pedal slowly for 20 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds

Resistance Superset #2

  • Slo-Mo Push-Ups – 5 Reps – Keep the movement slow & smooth – no stops & starts
  • Explosive Push-Ups – 5 Reps – fast & powerful

HIIT Bike Sprints #3

  • Pedal slowly for 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Pedal slowly for 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Pedal slowly for 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds

Resistance Superset #3

  • Slo-Mo Overhead Press (DBs) – 5 Reps – Keep the movement slow & smooth – no stops & starts – use a 20 rep weight
  • Explosive Overhead Press (DBs) – 5 Reps – fast & powerful – same weight

HIIT Bike Sprints #4

  • Pedal slowly for 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Pedal slowly for 20 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Pedal slowly for 20 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds

Resistance Superset #4

  • Slo-Mo Bicep Curls (DBs) – 5 Reps – Keep the movement slow & smooth – no stops & starts – use a 20 rep weight
  • Explosive Bicep Curls (DBs) – 5 Reps – fast & powerful – same weight

DONE – stretch, shower and get on with your day

P.S. – Feel free to mix & match warm-up exercises

Is High Intensity Exercise the Fountain of Youth?

In a study presented today at European Society of Cardiology Congress, researchers have made a bold claim.

If you want to live a nice long healthy life, the intensity of your workout is more important than the duration.

During their research, they found that men who cycled with fast intensity survived 5.3 years longer than slow cyclists. Average intensity male cyclists survived 2.9 years longer than the slow cyclists.

For women, the averages dropped to 3.9 years for fast cyclists and 2.2 for average speed cyclists.

For both sexes, these numbers were even more pronounced for coronary heart disease mortality.

According to Dr. Peter Schnor, “this study suggests that a greater part of the daily physical activity in leisure time should be vigorous, based on the individuals own perception of intensity”. And it’s not just cycling. Dr. Schnor has published similar results for all-cause mortality in relation to walking.

So there you go….another great reason to cut back on mindless treadmill workouts and embrace my  HIIT and HIRT workouts.

Reference

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9 Ways to Make Your Workouts Super Awesome

1.  Reduce Rest between Sets

Reducing rest between sets will:

  • improve your anaerobic endurance,
  • allow you to do more work in a shorter period of time,
  • increase your EPOC
  • and force you to burn fat faster.

Unless you’re trying to get huge, cutting your rest periods to 30 seconds or less is a great thing to do.

skinny exercise weightlifter

2.  Start doing some Unilateral Training

Working one limb at a time is a great way to correct muscle imbalances, turn a bench press into a core exercise and get you stronger with less strain on your joints

See the 1 Arm Shoulder Press & 1 Leg Squat in this article

3.  Get Serious about Peri-Workout Nutrition

3 meals a day isn’t going to cut it if you want to get the best results from your workouts.

To maximize performance, recovery & fat loss, you need to get smart about what you eat and when you eat it.

This article goes into lots of detail about Peri-Workout Nutrition

4.  Improve your Joint Mobility

Most gym-goers barely find time to stretch their muscles.

Almost none of them try to mobilize tight or impinged joints.

And that’s too bad. Because I bet 9 out of 10 people at your gym have at least one bad joint that could be magically healed with a proper joint mobility program.

Kelly Starrett is my favorite guru when it comes to joint mobility

5.  Buy a Foam Roller

Seriously…buy a foam roller. Your muscles and your bank account will thank you

Lately, I have been using a Rumble Roller. It’s softer than my previous roller, but those knobs really do the trick on my IT bands and tight hip muscles.

rumble foam roller

As well, one of my clients used it on her tight trap muscles to help eliminate tension headaches.

Next PageTips 6 – 9…

The Best HIIT Workout Of ALL Time

HIIT workouts are all about intensity. The goal is to generate huge amounts of power & speed in a relatively short period of time…over and over again with the smallest possible rest periods.

  • If the resistance is too high, you don’t get the speed.
  • If the resistance is too low, you don’t get the power
  • If the rest periods are too short, you don’t get the power or speed or volume and you’ll probably puke.
  • If the rest periods are too long, you’ll get power & speed but you’ll never develop any anaerobic endurance.

Honestly, designing a really good HIIT workout is more art than science.

And my client Zoe is turning into one heck of a HIIT workout artist. Last week, she tells me that she modified one of my take-home workouts and created her own HIIT workout. And while a lesser trainer would have been insulted and thrown a hissy fit…I was intrigued. So, we programmed the Gymboss interval timer and Zoe showed me her HIIT workout. Enjoy.

  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 10 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 20 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 40 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Rest 50 seconds
  • Sprint full out for 10 seconds
  • Done
For a grand total of 6 sprints in 210 seconds or 3 1/2 minutes
,
I LOVE IT!!!
.
The pyramid effect of the rest periods allowed Zoe to:
  1. Maximize the volume of HIIT work performed – she did this HIIT workout 3x as part of a very challenging HIRT workout
  2. Keep her resistance level high
  3. Keep her speed level high
  4. Recover sufficently during the HIIT session
  5. Recover completely very quickly post workout
It’s a great HIIT workout.
.
And as Zoe’s athletic ability improves, we can increase the intensity of this workout by throwing in an extra 10:10 ratio HIIT sprint….or perform 2 sessions back to back….or make it part of an endurance cardio workout….
.
The options are endless.

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Energy System Training Makes Your Heart Healthier and Stronger

Circuit Training vs Traditional Strength Training

Researchers have found that high-resistance circuit weight training is equally as effective as traditional strength training for improving:

  1. Maximum Strength
  2. Maximum Power
  3. Shuttle-Run Performance (speed & agility)
  4. Lean Muscle Mass

And when it comes to fat loss, circuit training is the best.

Conclusion

If you want to be leaner, stronger, faster and more agile, get doing some circuit training workouts

.

Reference

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Health Habits Workout – Week 52 Day 3

Week 52 – HIRT workout #3

.

The goals for this phase are Fat Loss / Aerobic Endurance / Anaerobic Endurance / Improved Joint Mobility / Correct Typical Muscular Imbalances (reduce neck & lower back pain)

.

And remember, the success of this phase of the workout relies on three things:
  1. Keeping good form throughout each exercise.
  2. Performing as many reps as possible. Really push yourself.
  3. Keeping the rest between sets to an absolute minimum. No rest if possible. .

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.
.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor.

When your back starts to arch…STOP
.

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

 .
.

THE WORKOUT

,

Superset # 1

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Horizontal Wood Chops – (cable or band)

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set per side…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 7 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

Exercise #3

1 Leg Bodyweight Deadlifts

  • 7 sets
  • 5-10 reps per set per leg…
  • Bodyweight only

Superset # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Bench Step-Ups – (bodyweight only)

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per set per leg…
  • Bodyweight only
  • Most fast…what we’re sacrificing in weight, we’re going to make up in speed

Exercise # 2

Hip Thrusts – feet on bench

  • 10 sets
  • 20 reps per set
  • controlled speed on the descent – explode on the ascent

Superset # 3

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Alternating Shoulder Press (See Saw Press) – (dumbbells)

  • 7 sets
  • 10 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Alternating DB Bicep Curls – using the same DBs used for Ex.1

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps (with good form) per set…
  • Using the same DBs used for Ex.1

Exercise # 3

Bodyweight Tricep Extensions

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps (with good form) per set…
  • Bodyweight

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 52 Day 2

Week 52 – HIRT workout #2
.
The goals for this phase are Fat Loss / Aerobic Endurance / Anaerobic Endurance / Improved Joint Mobility / Correct TypicalMuscular Imbalances (reduce neck & lower back pain)
.
And remember, the success of this phase of the workout relies on three things:
  1. Keeping good form throughout each exercise.
  2. Performing as many reps as possible. Really push yourself.
  3. Keeping the rest between sets to an absolute minimum. No rest if possible. .
WORKOUT WARM-UP
Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.
.
Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction
.
Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor.
When your back starts to arch…STOP
.
1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up
 .
.

THE WORKOUT

.

Superset # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Toes to the Ceiling

  • 10 sets
  • Maximum reps per set…
  • Reach your hands behind your head and hold onto something solid for increased stability
  • Try to go higher up than the guy in the video

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

.

Superset # 2

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Push-Ups – (using Smith Machine if needed…no girlie push-ups ever)

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Exercise # 2

Air Squats

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Exercise # 3

Bodyweight Row on Smith Machine

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

.

Superset # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Stability Ball Crunches – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

OR

Stability Ball Jackknifes – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

Feel free to mix & match

Exercise # 2

2 Leg Hip Thrust with feet on stability ball

  • 10 sets
  • Max reps without stopping….
  • As soon as you have to stop, move onto the next exercise

.

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 50 – Day 3

Today’s picture expresses the type of intensity I would like to see applied to the following workout…perhaps without the adamantium claws and the homicidal intent.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

Same as the past 2 workouts.

  • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
  • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
  • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

Exercise #1

Chin-Ups / Assisted Chin-Ups or Pulldowns – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

Exercise #2

Bulgarian Split Squat/Lunge – same weight selection as before – 12RM per leg

Exercise #3

Wood Chops – same weight selection as before – 12RM

Note – Exercises 3 & 4 can be performed one after the other OR as a circuit (left leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop right to left – right leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop left to right)

Exercise #4

Dive Bomb or Hindu Push Ups – BW

.

  • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
  • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
  • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

.

That’s it

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 50 – Day 2

Same as last week – Enjoy.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

It’s a very simple workout.

  • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
  • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
  • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

Exercise #1

1 Hand Swing Snatch – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

Exercise #2

Band / Cable Snap Downs (aka dynamic straight-arm pulldown) – same weight selection as the Swing Snatch – 12RM

I prefer to perform these standing instead of kneeling.

Exercise #3

BW Rows – like Monday’s push-ups, this exercise may be too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

Exercise #4

Ab Wheel Roll Outs or Toes to the Sky – same rep scheme as BW Rows if possible

.

  • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
  • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
  • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

.

That’s it – simple ain’t it?

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 50 – Day 1

Same workout as last week.

Have fun.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

It’s a very simple workout.

  • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
  • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
  • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

Exercise 1

1 Hand Overhead KB Squat – try to keep torso as upright as possible – non-weight hand is held between your legs – squat deep enough so that non-weight hand touches the floor

Exercise 2

1 Hand Overhead Shoulder Press using the same arm that was held overhead during the squat. Also using the same dumbbell/kettlebell that you used during the squat

Exercise 3

1 Leg Deadlift using the same arm and the matching leg (ie if you pressed with the right arm, use the right leg to DL & hold the DB/KB in your right hand)

Repeat all 3 Exercises for the other Arm

Exercise 4

Push-Ups

For some people, this exercise is way too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other 3 exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

.

  • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
  • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum

.

That’s it – simple ain’t it?

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 49 – Day 3

Today’s picture expresses the type of intensity I would like to see applied to the following workout…perhaps without the adamantium claws and the homicidal intent.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

Same as the past 2 workouts.

  • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
  • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
  • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

Exercise #1

Chin-Ups / Assisted Chin-Ups or Pulldowns – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

Exercise #2

Bulgarian Split Squat/Lunge – same weight selection as before – 12RM per leg

Exercise #3

Wood Chops – same weight selection as before – 12RM

Note – Exercises 3 & 4 can be performed one after the other OR as a circuit (left leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop right to left – right leg Bulgarians – Wood Chop left to right)

Exercise #4

Dive Bomb or Hindu Push Ups – BW

.

  • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
  • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
  • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

.

That’s it

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 49 – Day 2

Alright…I hope Monday’s workout went well.

Today’s is going to be a real SOB. Have fun.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

It’s a very simple workout.

  • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
  • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
  • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

Exercise #1

1 Hand Swing Snatch – choose a weight that you can handle for approximately 12 reps with good form

Exercise #2

Band / Cable Snap Downs (aka dynamic straight-arm pulldown) – same weight selection as the Swing Snatch – 12RM

I prefer to perform these standing instead of kneeling.

Exercise #3

BW Rows – like Monday’s push-ups, this exercise may be too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

Exercise #4

Ab Wheel Roll Outs or Toes to the Sky – same rep scheme as BW Rows if possible

.

  • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
  • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum
  • For the freaks amongst us, you can repeat this workout a second time.

.

That’s it – simple ain’t it?

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 49 – Day 1

I know that I promised we would have a new Tabata workout this week, but I changed my mind.

Instead, I present to you a new workout that I have been beta testing on some of my real-world clients over the past few weeks. It’s designed to kick the stuffing out of your anaerobic energy system while giving your muscles more than they can handle…all in under 30 minutes.

This should give you lots of extra time for all that Christmas shopping you still need to do.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

It’s a very simple workout.

  • 4 exercises performed as a circuit with minimal (zero) rest between sets
  • Using the same weight for all of the exercises
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • In the first round of the circuit, you perform 10 reps per exercise
  • In the second round – 9 reps, third round – 8 reps, etc…all the way down to the last round of 1 rep per exercise

Exercise 1

1 Hand Overhead KB Squat – try to keep torso as upright as possible – non-weight hand is held between your legs – squat deep enough so that non-weight hand touches the floor

Exercise 2

1 Hand Overhead Shoulder Press using the same arm that was held overhead during the squat. Also using the same dumbbell/kettlebell that you used during the squat

Exercise 3

1 Leg Deadlift using the same arm and the matching leg (ie if you pressed with the right arm, use the right leg to DL & hold the DB/KB in your right hand)

Repeat all 3 Exercises for the other Arm

Exercise 4

Push-Ups

For some people, this exercise is way too easy to be performed in the same decreasing rep fashion as the other 3 exercises. If this is the case for you, stick with 10 reps for every set.

.

  • Repeat this circuit 10 times with decreasing reps per set as outlined above.
  • Keep the rest between sets to an absolute minimum

.

That’s it – simple ain’t it?

.

huge strong and ripped-fitness-health-healthhabits-exercise-muscle

Health Habits Workout – Week 29/Day 2

huge, strong and ripped is what you will be after doing this workout

Goals: Massive fat loss & amazing fitness

In Week 1 of this workout, we used a 20 sec. work : 20 sec. rest ratio during our supersets

In Week 2 of this workout, the ratio shifted to 20 sec. work : 15 sec. rest

This week, we go to the full-on Tabata ratio of 20 sec. work : 10 sec. rest

During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of reps per set .

If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps
The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.
And after these 3 weeks, we’re going to back off for a week with some bridge workouts….and then dive back into another 3 week cycle focusing on different exercises.

.

Also, if I didn’t mention it last week, using a stopwatch or interval timer is going to make this workout much more efficient. Trying to watch a wall clock while doing this workout is not so easy.

..

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Smith Machine or Barbell Hip Thrust

Hip Thrust for 20 seconds
Rest (lying) for 10 seconds
8 sets of hip thrusts
4 minutes total
Perform as many reps as possible per set
No rest between work sets

Do this instead…..

Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
To make it tougher, stand on one foot.
I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

Exercise #2

Incline DB Chest Press

Press the DBs for 20 seconds
Rest (DBs on chest) for 10 seconds
8 sets of chest presses
4 minutes total
Perform as many reps as possible per set
Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

Exercise #3

Pulldowns – vary grips as needed

Pulldown for 20 seconds
Rest for 10 seconds
8 sets of pulldowns
4 minutes total
Perform as many reps as possible per set
Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

Exercise #4

Cable Woodchops

Woodchop in one direction for 20 seconds
Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
Repeat in the other direction
Rest (standing) for 10 seconds
8 sets total of Woodchops – 4 per direction
4 minutes  total
Perform as many reps as possible per set
Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

After that, you’re done for the day.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

More Crossfit than Crossfit

Two weeks ago, I ticked off a small slice of the Crossfit world when I posted this workout video on Facebook and asked for their feedback.

Amidst the constructive criticism and numerous questions, there were a few Crossfitters who took the time to offer the following opinions:

  • worst workout I have ever seen
  • that workout is retarded
  • stupid
  • fu*king stupid
  • useless, and
  • not as good as a wide variety of different Crossfit workouts (most noticeably the Murph)

Strangely enough, when asked, none of these commenters could offer a cogent argument as to why the workout was stupid and/or retarded.

No big surprise…amongst every group there are always a few jackasses.

But…the jackasses got me thinking.

They got me thinking about how Crossfit & Crossfitters have changed during the time that I have watched Crossfit explode in popularity.

When it began, Crossfitters thrived as an “us against the world” group of amateur athletes devoted to a pursuit of physical fitness that is, by design, broad, general, and inclusive.

Crossfit’s specialty was in not specializing.

Crossfitters believed that in combat, survival, many sports, and most importantly, real life ….this kind of approach to fitness is rewarded while, on average, the specialist – bodybuilding, powerlifting, runners, etc…are punished.

So, why is it that when I talk to Crossfitters, I am noticing an increasingly close-minded approach to fitness….an attitude that Crossfit and more specifically, the WODs… are the end-all and be-all of physical fitness?

Why is it that, instead of creating the world’s most complete athletes, the focus is shifting towards creating the world’s best Crossfitters?

.

And that’s where it would have ended….with me mulling over the evolution (de-evolution???) of Crossfit while sitting on my local Starbucks patio, drinking a mug of green tea, enjoying the summer sun and watching the girls walk by.

.

Except that I mentioned it to my buddy Amir – aka the guy who designed the 3 Minutes of HIRT workout circuit.

.

Perhaps not the brightest idea I have ever had.

.

Because Amir took the criticisms a little personal….and proceeded to:

  1. engage in a few days of online arguing with the Crossfit jackasses, and
  2. take out his frustrations on his personal training clients.

But, luckily for us, after a few days of brutalizing his clients, Amir decided to:

  1. Test himself with a bunch of the hardest Crossfit WODs, and
  2. Create a bunch of new (and more Crossfit-esque) workouts for your enjoyment.

Here is the first workout.

Note: I had to split the workout into 2 videos because youtube complained that the file was too big.

Amir’s time for the workout was 15 min and 59 seconds

The circuit consists of:

1 round of:

  • 2 x 24KG Kettlebell Snatch x 25 reps
  • Pistol Squats w/ lateral bench jumps x 30 reps
  • Switch Grip Pull Ups x 35 reps
  • Dynamic Fly Push Ups x 40 reps
  • 2 x 24 KG Kettlebell Snatch x 25 reps
  • Bodyweight Dips x 50 reps

And as you may have noticed, Amir’s workout partners were not always able to perform the exact same movements as Amir.

They modified the intensity of the exercises to suit their current level of fitness.

  • Pistol Squats became a 1-Leg Squat with the off leg positioned behind the body
  • Pull Ups became Supine Body Weight Rows off of a Smith Machine
  • And the freaky Dynamic Fly Push Ups became elevated yoga block Push Ups

.

So, give the workout a try and let me (and Amir) know what you think.

p.s. I left all the grunts & growns in the video for your enjoyment

.

busyness = happiness

Health Habits Workout – Week 28/Day 1

Goals: Massive fat loss & amazing fitness

In Week 1 of this workout, we used a 20 sec. work : 20 sec. rest ratio during our supersets

This week, the ratio shifts to 20 sec. work : 15 sec. rest

Next week, we go to the full-on Tabata ratio of 20 sec. work : 10 sec. rest

During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

  • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
  • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.
And after these 3 weeks, we’re going to back off for a week with some bridge workouts….and then dive back into another 3 week cycle focusing on different exercises.

.

Also, if I didn’t mention it last week, using a stopwatch or interval timer is going to make this workout much more efficient. Trying to watch a wall clock while doing this workout is not so easy.

..

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Bodyweight Squat

  • Squat for 20 seconds
  • Rest (standing) for 15 seconds
  • 7 sets of squats
  • 4 min 5 sec total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set
  • Resistance can be added by holding a dumbbell/plate at chest height

No rest between work sets

Do this instead…..

  • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
  • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
  • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
  • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
  • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

Exercise #2

See Saw Press

  • Press the DBs/KBs for 20 seconds
  • Rest (arms at side) for 15 seconds
  • 7 sets of see saw presses
  • 4 min 5 sec total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

Exercise #3

Standing Cable Row

  • Row for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 15 seconds
  • 7 sets of standing cable rows
  • 4 min 5 sec total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

Exercise #4

1 Leg Deadlift

  • Deadlift on 1 leg for 20 seconds
  • Rest (standing) for 15 seconds
  • Repeat on other leg – alternate back and forth
  • 7 sets of 1 Leg DLs
  • 4 min 5 sec total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set
  • Hold DBs for resistance

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

After that, you’re done for the day.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

Health Habits Workout – Week 27/Day 3

Goals: Survival….. & fat loss via these  killer HIIT/HIRT/Tabata style workouts designed to get you fit & ripped.

In Week 1, we’re going to use a 20 sec. work : 20 sec. rest ratio during our supersets

In Week 2, the ratio shifts to 20 sec. work : 15 sec. rest

In Week 3, we go to the full-on Tabata ratio of 20 sec. work : 10 sec. rest

During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

  • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
  • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.
And after these 3 weeks, we’re going to back off for a week with some bridge workouts….and then dive back into another 3 week cycle focusing on different exercises.

.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Thrusters

  • Thrusters (BB or DB) for 20 seconds
  • Rest (standing) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of thrusters
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

No rest between work sets

Do this instead…..

  • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
  • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
  • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
  • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
  • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

Exercise #2

Ab Wheel Roll-Out (or barbell / stability ball roll-out) (article on roll-out)

  • Roll-outs for 20 seconds
  • Rest (kneeling) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of roll-outs
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

Exercise #3

Straight Arm Pulldowns – standing – use a rope handle

  • Pulldown for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of pulldowns
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

Exercise #4

Push-Ups

  • From the floor if you can do them
  • Using a smith machine if you can’t do floor push-ups
  • No “girl” push-ups on the knees
  • Push-up for 20 seconds
  • Rest (floor) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets total of Push-ups
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

After that, you’re done for the day.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

huge strong and ripped-fitness-health-healthhabits-exercise-muscle

Health Habits Workout – Week 27/Day 2

Goals: These next 3 weeks are chock full o’ killer HIIT/HIRT/Tabata style workouts designed to get you fit & ripped.

In Week 1, we’re going to use a 20 sec. work : 20 sec. rest ratio during our supersets

In Week 2, the ratio shifts to 20 sec. work : 15 sec. rest

In Week 3, we go to the full-on Tabata ratio of 20 sec. work : 10 sec. rest

During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

  • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
  • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.
And after these 3 weeks, we’re going to back off for a week with some bridge workouts….and then dive back into another 3 week cycle focusing on different exercises.

.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Smith Machine or Barbell Hip Thrust

  • Hip Thrust for 20 seconds
  • Rest (lying) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of hip thrusts
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

No rest between work sets

Do this instead…..

  • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
  • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
  • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
  • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
  • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

Exercise #2

Incline DB Chest Press

  • Press the DBs for 20 seconds
  • Rest (DBs on chest) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of chest presses
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

Exercise #3

Pulldowns – vary grips as needed

  • Pulldown for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of pulldowns
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

Exercise #4

Cable Woodchops

  • Woodchop in one direction for 20 seconds
  • Rest (standing) for 20 seconds
  • Repeat in the other direction
  • Rest (standing) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets total of Woodchops – 3 per direction
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

After that, you’re done for the day.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

Health Habits Workout – Week 27/Day 1

Goals: New workout coming at you.

For the next 3 weeks, we’re doing a HIIT/HIRT/Tabata style workout.

In Week 1, we’re going to use a 20 sec. work : 20 sec. rest ratio during our supersets

In Week 2, the ratio shifts to 20 sec. work : 15 sec. rest

In Week 3, we go to the full-on Tabata ratio of 20 sec. work : 10 sec. rest

During these workouts, I want you to balance the amount weight you use with number of  reps per set .

  • If you normally like to push heavy weight…I want you to cut back and focus on the number of reps per set
  • If you normally go lighter but like to do high rep sets..then I want you to up the weight and drop the reps

The success of this program depends on you being willing to break out of your comfort zone.
And after these 3 weeks, we’re going to back off for a week with some bridge workouts….and then dive back into another 3 week cycle focusing on different exercises.

.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

Feel free to mix things up during the warm-up. The goal is to warm up your muscles and to get your joints lubricated. I like the following warm-up exercises, but if you’re getting sick of them..do your own thing…as long as it gets the job done.

Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

.

THE WORKOUT

Exercise #1

Bodyweight Squat

  • Squat for 20 seconds
  • Rest (standing) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of squats
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set
  • Resistance can be added by holding a dumbbell/plate at chest height

No rest between work sets

Do this instead…..

  • Using a resistance band or cable station, face away from the band/cable station holding the band/handle overhead.
  • If arms overhead is too tough on your shoulders, rest your hands on your head.
  • With a “slight” forward lean, walk (gradually) forward until the resistance starts to pull you backwards or you start bending at the spine.
  • This exercise mimics a bridge/plank exercise, except instead of being in a horizontal position, you are vertical
  • To make it tougher, stand on one foot.

I will film a video for this exercise later this week. Until then, hopefully this image I created will give you a clearer idea of what I want.

Hold for 1 minute or until you catch your breath and are ready to start the next work set.

Exercise #2

See Saw Press

  • Press the DBs/KBs for 20 seconds
  • Rest (arms at side) for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of see saw presses
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for a minute

Exercise #3

Standing Cable Row

  • Row for 20 seconds
  • Rest for 20 seconds
  • 6 sets of standing cable rows
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – face sideways to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

Exercise #4

1 Leg Deadlift

  • Deadlift on 1 leg for 20 seconds
  • Rest (standing) for 20 seconds
  • Repeat on other leg – alternate back and forth
  • 6 sets of 1 Leg DLs
  • 4 minutes total
  • Perform as many reps as possible per set
  • Hold DBs for resistance

Back to the standing cable/band bridge/plank thingie for another minute

This time – sideways again (but face the opposite direction – 180 degree turn) to the cable stack with your arm straight out to the side at shoulder height – stand on the leg closest to the stack – this will be tough

At this point, you have done 16 minutes of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata work. This is the minimum amount of work for the day. However, depending upon your fitness level, I want you to try and complete all 4 exercises again – that would be 32 min of HIIT/HIRT/Tabata + the standing cable bridge exercise.

After that, you’re done for the day.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s some easy cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Wednesday, it’s back to the weights

3 Minutes of HIRT

The next time someone tells you they just did a “killer” workout, show them this one…

What you just watched was just 1/6th of a workout I witnessed last week at the MNJCC in Toronto.

After watching Amir, Nicole & Manny perform the first round of this circuit, I dashed off to my gym locker, grabbed my brand new mini video cam, sprinted back to the gym and recorded the last 3 min round of their first  HIRT (High Intensity Resistance Training) circuit from hell.

Here’s their workout:

Circuit #1

3 Rounds of:

  1. Jumping Barbell Press (12 reps onto a 24″ box with a 45 lb barbell (guys) & 20 lb barbell (Nicole))
  2. Push-up Hops (10 yards there & back) + 25 Push-ups (substitute Walking Push-ups or Bear Crawls)
  3. Hybrid Burpees (5 reps)
  4. 45 second rest & repeat for 3 Rounds

The entire circuit took around 13 minutes.

Circuit #2

I was unable to record Circuit #2 in it’s entirety because the room they used was full of other gym members reticent about becoming Youtube video stars.

I will include videos of the individual exercises that I was able to capture.

3 Rounds of:

  1. Hanging Knee Tuck with Leg Extension (12 reps)
  2. Prone Bridge with Wall – Leg Bicycles (12 reps)
  3. Prone Bridge with Wall – Leg In & Outs (12 reps)
  4. Pull-Ups  (25 reps – strict or slight kipping action)

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So, whaddaya think?

Can you hang with the JCC crew for 3 Minutes of HIRT?

How about 30 minutes?

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If you like what you see here, click here for updates

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Related Posts

huge strong and ripped-fitness-health-healthhabits-exercise-muscle

Health Habits Workout – Week 24 – Day 3

Workout Goals:

Alright, workout #3

Let’s get to work….

WARMUP

Feel free to substitute warm-up exercises.

The goal of the warm-up is to get your joints to release your natural joint lubrication (synovial fluid) and to warm up your muscles.

The individual exercises don’t matter.

I chose these exercises because I think they are very efficient and get me ready for the workout as quickly and efficiently as possible

.

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

and now for the….

.

WORKOUT

.

Each workout will consist of 4 circuits.

Each workout is designed to last 45 minutes (not including warm-up).

If you complete the 4 circuits before the 45 min is up, repeat one of the circuits.

.

Circuit # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Bulgarian Split Squats/Lunges

  • 10 sets
  • 10-30 reps per leg per set…
  • Bodyweight or a DB(s) held in hands at thigh height
  • This exercise focuses primarily on quads

Exercise # 2

DB Pullovers – cross bench or stability ball

  • 10 sets
  • 5-8 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on the chest & lats

.

Circuit # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Standing Pulldowns

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on back (lats) & biceps – secondary focus on core

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 20 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on legs & the anaerobic energy system

.

Circuit # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

1 Arm DB Incline Chest Fly (ball or bench)

  • 10 sets
  • 5-8 reps per arm per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on chest & core

Exercise # 2

2 Arm DB Incline Reverse Fly

  • 10 sets
  • 5-8 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on the rear deltoids (shoulders)

.

Circuit # 4

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 set of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2 minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Partial Turkish Get-Ups

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per side per set…
  • TGUs  hit your core

Exercise # 2

1 Leg Hip Thrusts

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per side per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on the hamstrings & glutes
  • Substitute a ball for the bench he is laying on…and if that’s too complicated, you CAN just do them from the floor

.

Just discovered these workouts???

Start here or check out the workout archives

.

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Health Habits Workout – Week 22 – Day 3

Workout Goals:

Alright, workout #3

Let’s get to work….

WARMUP

Feel free to substitute warm-up exercises.

The goal of the warm-up is to get your joints to release your natural joint lubrication (synovial fluid) and to warm up your muscles.

The individual exercises don’t matter.

I chose these exercises because I think they are very efficient and get me ready for the workout as quickly and efficiently as possible

.

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

and now for the….

.

WORKOUT

.

Each workout will consist of 4 circuits.

Each workout is designed to last 45 minutes (not including warm-up).

If you complete the 4 circuits before the 45 min is up, repeat one of the circuits.

.

Circuit # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Bulgarian Split Squats/Lunges

  • 10 sets
  • 10-30 reps per leg per set…
  • Bodyweight or a DB(s) held in hands at thigh height
  • This exercise focuses primarily on quads

Exercise # 2

DB Pullovers – cross bench or stability ball

  • 10 sets
  • 5-8 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on the chest & lats

.

Circuit # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Standing Pulldowns

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on back (lats) & biceps – secondary focus on core

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 20 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on legs & the anaerobic energy system

.

Circuit # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

1 Arm DB Incline Chest Fly (ball or bench)

  • 10 sets
  • 5-8 reps per arm per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on chest & core

Exercise # 2

2 Arm DB Incline Reverse Fly

  • 10 sets
  • 5-8 reps per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on the rear deltoids (shoulders)

.

Circuit # 4

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 set of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2 minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Partial Turkish Get-Ups

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per side per set…
  • TGUs  hit your core

Exercise # 2

1 Leg Hip Thrusts

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per side per set…
  • This exercise focuses primarily on the hamstrings & glutes
  • Substitute a ball for the bench he is laying on…and if that’s too complicated, you CAN just do them from the floor

.

Just discovered these workouts???

Start here or check out the workout archives

.

.

Health Habits Workout – Week 21 – Day 2

Alright… it’s your second time through with this workout – time to push just a little bit harder

And now on to the….

WARMUP

.

Feel free to make changes to the warm-up. The goal is to get all your joints lubed up and your muscles warm. How you do it doesn’t really matter. I find these moves to be the most efficient, but I understand that always doing the same warm-up can be boring.

.

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

and now for the….

.

WORKOUT

.

Each workout will consist of 4 circuits.

Each workout is designed to last 45 minutes (not including warm-up).

If you complete the 4 circuits before the 45 min is up, repeat one of the circuits.

.

Circuit # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

1 Leg Bench Squats

Exercise # 2

1 Arm DB Chest Press

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • this unbalanced press is tough on core stability. Prime movers of the pressing action are your chest & triceps

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Circuit # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Leg Curls

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per set…
  • leg curls focus primarily on your hamstrings

Exercise # 2

Leg Extensions

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per per set…
  • keep your knees & toes in alignment
  • leg extensions target your quadriceps

.

Circuit # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Ab Wheel Roll-Out (use Swiss ball if you don’t have an ab wheel)

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • the roll-out works your entire core

Exercise # 2

Burpees

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Circuit # 4

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2 minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Face Pulls

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • face pulls hit your rear delts, rhomboids and a bunch of other shoulder stabilizer muscles

Exercise # 2

Standing Cable Rows

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • these rows primarily target your lats & biceps with secondary focus on your core

Exercise # 3

Shuffle Lunges

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Just discovered these workouts???

Start here or check out the workout archives

.

.

Wellness in the Canadian Workplace

Health Habits Workout – Week 19 – Day 3

Workout Goals:

This is the last resistance workout for this week.

You have another 3-5 weeks to melt of a ton of body-fat via a variety of different HIITHIRT workouts.

And now on to the….

WARMUP

.

Feel free to make changes to the warm-up. The goal is to get all your joints lubed up and your muscles warm. How you do it doesn’t really matter. I find these moves to be the most efficient, but I understand that always doing the same warm-up can be boring.

.

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP

.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

and now for the….

.

WORKOUT

.

Each workout will consist of 4 circuits.

Each workout is designed to last 45 minutes (not including warm-up).

If you complete the 4 circuits before the 45 min is up, repeat one of the circuits.

.

Circuit # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Shuffle Lunge

Exercise # 2

Push-Ups

  • 10 sets
  • 5-10 reps per set…
  • Perform these as quickly as possible – focus on speed not strength
  • If you can’t perform push-ups from the floor use a Smith machine
  • Prime movers of the pressing action are your chest & triceps

.

Circuit # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Jumping Jacks

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per set…
  • Jumping Jacks are a total body exercise – focus for us is anaerobic endurance

Exercise # 2

DB Push Press

  • 10 sets
  • 5-10 reps per per set…
  • use your legs to generate power…and unleash your inner She’Ra / He-Man
  • push presses target your shoulders

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Circuit # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Lateral Step-Ups

  • 10 sets
  • 5-10 reps per leg per set…
  • Step-Ups work your legs

Exercise # 2

DB Alternating Hammer Bicep Curls

  • 10 sets
  • 5-10 reps per set…
  • Hammer curls hit your biceps, brachialis & forearms

.

Circuit # 4

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2 minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Toes to the Ceiling

  • 7 sets
  • 10-20 reps per set…
  • skip the band and position arms overhead holding onto something stable
  • this exercise hits all sorts of core muscles

Exercise # 2

Hip Thrusts – bodyweight – feet on floor

  • 7 sets
  • 20-40 reps per set…
  • omit the barbell
  • glutes & hamstrings are the focus of this exercise

Exercise # 3

Hip Stretches (2) – alternate stretches

  • 7 sets
  • 30-60 sec per stretch per set…
  • loosen up those hips

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Just discovered these workouts???

Start here or check out the workout archives

.

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Health Habits Workout – Week 19 – Day 1

Workout Goals:

The next 4 – 6 weeks are all about maximum fat loss via a variety of different HIIT / HIRT workouts.

There will be some new exercises, but for the most part, the focus on these workouts should be all about intensity, short rest periods and pushing yourselves harder than is humanly possible.

The smaller participants amongst you will probably have an easier time completing these workouts (lucky them), but for those of us that need to really lose some weight, I want you to know that the potential for major weight loss over the next 6 weeks is guaranteed if you combine these workouts with healthy eating.

And now on to the….

WARMUP

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

.

2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP


.

3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

and now for the….

.

WORKOUT

.

Each workout will consist of 4 circuits.

Each workout is designed to last 45 minutes (not including warm-up).

If you complete the 4 circuits before the 45 min is up, repeat one of the circuits.

.

Circuit # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Speed Squats

Exercise # 2

Alternating Dumbbell Shoulder Press

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • this “see saw” press focuses primarily on your deltoids & supporting muscles in the shoulder girdle. It also provides a secondary benefit to your core

.

Circuit # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Close Grip Push-Ups

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per set…
  • If you can’t do push-ups from the floor, don’t do them from your knees. Instead, do them with your hands on a bench, chair, table or wall as your strength levels dictate
  • close grip push-ups focus primarily on triceps & chest

Exercise # 2

Side Lunge (skaters lunge)

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per side per set…
  • keep your knees & toes in alignment
  • the skaters lunge target your thigh adductors / abductors & your glutes

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Circuit # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2  minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Reverse Crunch (on bench)

  • 10 sets
  • 10 – 20 reps per set…
  • the reverse crunch is primarily a rectus abdominis exercise (abs)

Exercise # 2

Hip Thrusts (feet and back on bench)

  • 10 sets
  • 10 reps per side per set…
  • if this is too hard, lay on the floor with feet on bench only
  • hip thrusts hit your hamstrings & glutes

.

Circuit # 4

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2 minutes rest between circuits

Exercise #1

Cable Pushdowns

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • pushdowns hit your triceps

Exercise # 2

2 Hand Bicep Curls (cable – use rope)

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • curls hit your biceps

.

Just discovered these workouts???

Start here or check out the workout archives

.

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The New U.S. Army Basic Combat Training designed to create “Warrior Athletes”

The next generation of U.S. Army soldier will be exposed to a basic Combat Training program that has been radically re-designed to make him/her:

  • Faster
  • Stronger
  • More Powerful
  • More agile/mobile
  • Less likely to suffer from overuse injuries
  • More likely to rebound quicker from acute injuries
  • And more capable of performing the tasks required of a modern soldier

In essence, the new training program is designed to create Warrior Athletes.

No more…

  • long distance runs
  • bayonet drills
  • and high rep sets of chin-ups and push-ups while being screamed at by this guy

Instead, the new BCT program has recruits doing…

  • Interval sprint training
  • Low rep / High Power/Speed sets
  • Timed sets
  • circuit training
  • maximum of 30 minutes of running per session
  • hill sprints
  • shuttle runs
  • hand to hand combat using pugil sticks
  • “core” training
  • anaerobic endurance training
  • while being screamed at by this guy

.

Soldiers need to be able to move quickly under load, to be mobile under load, with your body armor, your weapons and your helmet, in a stressful situation,” said Frank Palkoska, head of the Army’s Fitness School at Fort Jackson, which has worked several years on overhauling the regime.

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We geared all of our calisthenics, all of our running movements, all of our warrior skills, so soldiers can become stronger, more powerful and more speed driven,” Palkoska said. The exercises are part of the first major overhaul in Army basic fitness training since men and women began training together in 1980, he said.

.

The new training also uses “more calisthenics to build core body power, strength and agility. Over the 10 weeks of basic, a strict schedule of exercises is done on a varied sequence of days so muscles rest, recover and strengthen.

Part of the reason for this program re-design is the current physical fitness level of new Army recruits.

Many recruits didn’t have physical education in elementary, middle or high school and therefore tend to lack bone and muscle strength. When they ditch diets replete with soda and fast food for healthier meals and physical training, they drop excess weight and build stronger muscles and denser bones, Palkoska said.

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Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling of the Army’s Training and Doctrine Command, the three-star general in charge of revamping all aspects of initial training, said his overall goal is to drop outmoded drills and focus on what soldiers need today and in the future.

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So, does that mean that the chubby 40-somethings doing “bootcamp” in my neighborhood park need to re-design their program as well?

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If you like what you see here, click here for updates

.

Related Posts

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Reference

HIIT Kicks Cardio's Butt

ben johnson crushes carl lewis
I like to visualize Ben Johnson crushing Carl Lewis when I do my HIIT sprints

So, there I was.

I had just finished a set of killer HIIT sprints….when the Lance Armstrong clone to my left asked me “what’s the deal with that workout”?

I think I croaked something about anaerobic this and EPOC that…and was about to hop off the bike when he said…

“that’s just a fad..like Atkins. If you want to get fit, you HAVE to do cardio”

Arrrgggghhhh!

Stifling my hulk-like rage, I asked…

HIIT hulk

“What do you mean I have to do cardio?”

From there, he proceeded to tell me why cardio rocks and why high intensity training (HIIT, HIRT, resistance training) sucks.

Double arggghhhhh!

Hulk (me) was getting mad.

But, instead of smashing, I flipped him one of my business cards (along with a certain finger) and suggested he read the following study which shows (once again) how HIIT kicks cardio butt

And here’s the study.

According to the researchers, high intensity interval training (HIIT) is better than traditional endurance training for improving:

  • Athletic performance
  • Metabolic performance
  • Molecular adaptation to exercise

According to researcher Martin Gibala…”doing as little as 10 one-minute sprints on a standard stationary bike with about one minute of rest in between, three times a week, works as well in improving muscle as many hours of conventional long-term biking less strenuously.”

We have known for years that repeated moderate long-term exercise tunes up fuel and oxygen delivery to muscles and aids the removal of waste products. Exercise also improves the way muscles use the oxygen to burn the fuel in mitochondria, the microscopic power station of cells.

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Running or cycling for hours a week widens the network of vessels supplying muscle cells and also boosts the numbers of mitochondria in them so that a person can carry out activities of daily living more effectively and without strain, and crucially with less risk of a heart attack, stroke or diabetes.

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But the traditional approach to exercise is time consuming. Martin Gibala and his team have shown that the same results can be obtained in far less time with brief spurts of higher-intensity exercise.

Take that Mr. Lance Armstrong clone.

But wait, it get’s better.

One of the main complaints about High Intensity Interval Training is that it’s…well, too intense.

Sure, it gives you a great workout, but it will probably give you a heart attack.

Not according to Dr. Gibala.

The main purpose of his study was to prove the performance, metabolic and molecular advantages of a more practical model of low-volume HIIT.

The new study used a standard stationary bicycle and a workload which was still above most people’s comfort zone (about 95% of maximal heart rate) but only about half of what can be achieved when people sprint at an all-out pace.

  • Seven men performed 6 HIIT training sessions over 2 weeks.
  • Each session consisted of 8-12 x 60 s intervals (at ≈100% of peak power) separated by 75 s of rest.
  • That’s a total of between 17 and 26 minutes per workout or 2 ½ hours over 2 weeks

So, how does this workout compare to traditional cardio?

According to the doc, to achieve the same performance, metabolic and molecular benefits with traditional endurance (cardio) training, you’d need to complete over 10 hours of continuous moderate bicycling exercise over a two-week period.

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Hmmmmm…let’s recap.

HIIT

  • 2 ½ hours per week

Cardio

  • 10 hours per week

And I won’t even mention the fact that HIIT workouts make you look like this:

fit man woman posterize

while cardio workouts make you look like this…

skinny man woman runner cardio

your choice.

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Essential Workout Gear: The Gymboss Interval Timer

I love interval training….absolutely love it.

There is something magical about the HIIT, HIRT and Tabata workouts that I inflict upon my clients.

As the clock counts down, they move quicker, lift heavier and recover faster.

Whether it’s bike sprints…or bodyweight squats…or Thrusters…interval training is a powerful tool for burning fat and getting really, really fit, really, really fast.

hiit-sprints-before-and-aft

How to Get Started with Interval Training

Step One:  Buy a Gymboss Interval Timer

Seriously, you’ll thank me.

  • No more watching the clock out of the corner of your eye or screaming at your workout buddy for not paying attention.
  • No more dropiing your smartphone on the hard gym floor.

Spend the 20 bucks. Buy a Gymboss interval timer. Clip it to your shorts. It will beep & vibrate to let you know when to start & stop.

Simple. Effective. Buy the damn timer.

Step Two: Do one of the HIIT/HIRT/Tabata workouts listed below

Step Three: Start sweating

That’s it

Health Habits Workout -Week 9/Day 1

Week #9

Almost done this phase.

Keep working hard.

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WORKOUT WARM-UP

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

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2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP


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3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

And now for the…WORKOUT

Superset # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Horizontal Wood Chops – (cable or band)

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

Superset # 2

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

1 Arm Chest Press – (cable or band)

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Bench Step Up

  • 7 sets
  • 10-20 reps per leg
  • Bodyweight or Dumb-Bells (no barbell)

Exercise # 3

1 Arm Standing Row

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Superset # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Toes to the Ceiling – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Maximum reps per set…
  • Reach your hands behind your head and hold onto something solid for increased stability
  • Try to go higher up than the guy in the video

Exercise # 2

2 Leg Hip Thrust

  • 10 sets
  • 20-50 reps
  • Bodyweight only

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Health Habits Workout -Week 7/Day 1

Goals: We’re back to the HIIT/HIRT phase of the workout. The goals for this phase are Fat Loss / Aerobic Endurance / Anaerobic Endurance / Improved Joint Mobility / Correct Typical Muscular Imbalances (reduce neck & lower back pain)

And remember, the success of this phase of the workout relies on three things:

1.Keeping good form throughout each exercise.
2.Performing as many reps as possible. Really push yourself.
3.Keeping the rest between sets to an absolute minimum. No rest if possible.

WORKOUT WARM-UP

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

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2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP


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3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

And now for the…WORKOUT

Superset # 1

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Horizontal Wood Chops – (cable or band)

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Shuffle Lunge

  • 10 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

Superset # 2

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

1 Arm Chest Press – (cable or band)

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Bench Step Up

  • 7 sets
  • 10-20 reps per leg
  • Bodyweight or Dumb-Bells (no barbell)

Exercise # 3

1 Arm Standing Row

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Superset # 3

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Toes to the Ceiling – (bodyweight)

  • 10 sets
  • Maximum reps per set…
  • Reach your hands behind your head and hold onto something solid for increased stability
  • Try to go higher up than the guy in the video

Exercise # 2

2 Leg Hip Thrust

  • 10 sets
  • 20-50 reps
  • Bodyweight only

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Health Habits Workout -Week 6/Day 2

Here’s your second workout for week # 6

Quick Question…..Is this format better than the Facebook “Notes” section I was using for the previous 5 weeks?

WORKOUT WARM-UP

1.  Circles – Starting with the ankles and moving all the way up to your neck, gently make circles with all of your joints – 10 revolutions each joint in each direction

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2.  Dead Bug – Push your lower back into the floor and articulate your arms & legs as in the video. 1 set of as many reps as possible with your lower back pushed into the floor. When your back starts to arch…STOP


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3.  1 Arm Swing Snatch – 25 reps per arm  – Dumbbell or kettlebell – choose a light weight – the goal is to warm-up

And now for the…WORKOUT

Superset # 1

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Vertical Wood Chops / Slams – (cable, band or medicine ball)

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

Jumping Jacks

  • 7 sets
  • 40 reps per set
  • Bodyweight only

Exercise #3

2 Arm Cable Bicep Curls

  • 7 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Superset # 2

  • 2 exercises performed back to back
  • 10 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets
  • 2-5 minutes rest between supersets

Exercise #1

Zercher or Goblet Squats – (barbell, dumbbell or kettlebell)

  • 10 sets
  • 5 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 10 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

1 Leg Deadlift

  • 10 sets
  • 10-20 reps per leg
  • Bodyweight or DBs

Superset # 3

  • 3 exercises performed back to back
  • 7 sets of each exercise
  • No rest between sets

Exercise #1

Alternating Shoulder Press (See Saw Press) – (dumbbells)

  • 7 sets
  • 10 reps per arm per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 2

2 Arm Dumbbell Floor Chest Press

  • 7 sets
  • 10 reps per set…
  • Using a weight that would allow you to perform 20 repetitions with good form

Exercise # 3

Reverse Crunch

  • 7 sets
  • Max reps per set…
  • Bodyweight

That’s it, you’re done for today.

Stretch and go home

Tomorrow, it’s cardio & stretching (lots of stretching)

Transformation #1 – the Healthy Irishman – Workout #1

Yesterday, I outlined the Irishman’s transformation.

Today, I will post Workout #1….feel free to try it out for yourself

WARM-UP

  • Goblet Squat (DB) x 8 reps
  • Push-Up x 8 reps
  • Body Weight Row x 8 reps
  • Shuffle Lunge x 30 reps
  • Ab Wheel Roll-Outs x 8 reps
  • DB Swings x 20 reps
  • Hip Flexor Stretch x 8 reps

Repeat as many times as possible in 10 minutes (no rest between exercises – 30 sec. rest between supersets)

Note – You NEED to get through this at least 3 times in 10 min.

By the end of the 10 min. warm-up, the Irishman should be sweating hard and gasping for breath.

WORKOUT

Superset #1

  • Alternate between exercise #1 and #2  for 10 minutes
  • No rest between sets

Exercise # 1

  • Goblet Squat
  • Choose a weight that would allow you to perform 20 quality reps (doesn’t have to be exact, weight selection will improve with experience)
  • Perform a maximum of 10 reps per set (at first, this will seem very easy..don’t worry, after 10 minutes you legs will be dying)

Exercise # 2

  • DB Lateral Raise / DB Bent-Over Lateral Raise
  • Choose a weight that would allow you to perform 20 quality reps (doesn’t have to be exact, weight selection will improve with experience)
  • Perform a maximum of 10 reps per set (by the end of 10 min, you may only be getting 1 or 2 reps per set, but remember 100% intensity)
  • Alternate between shoulder exercises –  ie Goblet/Laterals/Goblet/Bent-Over Lateral/Goblet/Lateral/Goblet/ Bent-Over Lateral…

5 Minutes rest between supersets #1 and #2 – Use that time to set up for superset #2

Superset #2

  • Alternate between exercise #1 and #2  for 10 minutes
  • No rest between sets

Exercise # 1

  • Swing Snatch
  • Choose a weight that would allow you to perform 40 quality reps
  • Perform a maximum of 20 reps per set

Exercise # 2

  • Cable Straight Arm Pushdown (aka the Vertical Woodchop or Hi-Lo Slam)
  • Choose a weight that would allow you to perform 20 quality reps
  • Perform a maximum of 10 reps per set
  • Be explosive with these

5 Minutes rest between supersets #2 and #3

Superset #3

  • Alternate between exercise #1 and #2  for 10 minutes
  • No rest between sets

Exercise # 1

  • 1 Arm Kneeling Pulldown (or 1 Arm Alternating Standing Pulldown if 1 arm is n/a)
  • Choose a weight that would allow you to perform 20 quality reps
  • Perform a maximum of 10 reps per set

Exercise # 2

  • Shuffle Lunge
  • Bodyweight
  • 30 reps per set
  • Focus on speed…shuffle those feet

Go Home…you’re finished

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Exercise Videos

Goblet Squat

Lateral Raises

Bent-Over Lateral Raises

Swing Snatch

Straight Arm Pushdown

Pulldown variations

Shuffle Lunge

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The Official “Make Ryan Reynolds your Beeyotch” Workout

Ryan Reynolds Transformation

A few months ago, I created a Squidoo Lens about Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool Workout.

The lens was essentially an introduction to the workouts that Reynolds had to endure in order to transform his naturally thin (aka scrawny) frame into a muscular, ripped physique worthy of superhero status.

Since then, I have received a ton of emails from guys eager to build their own Deadpool bodies.

Ryan-Reynolds

The only problem was that I was underwhelmed by the original workout.

It was good, but it wasn’t great.

Sure, it would help you look like a superhero, but it wouldn’t help you perform like a superhero.

So, I re-invented the Deadpool workout and spent the summer beta testing it on some willing victims up here in Toronto.

And, if I say so myself, I have come up with a seriously kick-ass training program.

Over 3 months, my 4 scrawny test subjects:

  • Gained between 5 and 14 lbs of muscle
  • Increased their max strength between 55 & 197% (Front Squat)
  • Saw their speed, power & anaerobic endurance go through the roof (Hill Sprints)
  • And, oh yeah, they also lost a ton of baby-fat in the process.
  • The average body-fat percentage at the beginning of the test was 21%.
  • At the end of the 3 months, the average body-fat was down to 9% (a Bod-Pod was used to measure BF%)

Wolverine vs DeadpoolIn short, by the end of the summer, my little guinea pigs didn’t just look like superheroes.

They were superheroes.

So, without any further ado, I would like to present…

The Official “Make Ryan Reynolds your Beeyotch” Workout

(Because this workout is too detailed for one post, I am going to break it into chunks – today’s chunk will outline the theory behind my madness)

Like the original workout, my MRRYB workout had two distinct phases.

Phase 1 – Muscle Building

The key to the success of this phase was the focus on the nervous system and the development of fast twitch muscle fibers.

Using a combination of high speed movements and plyometric style loading, my GPs forced their fast twitch muscle fibers to engage during part 1 of their 2-part supersets.

(Here’s how I activated their fast-twitch muscle fibers)

Once I had the fast twitch fibers turned on, I moved them immediately to part-2 of the superset.

In part 2, the GPs were able to handle loads much heavier than normal because of the activation of their hard to activate fast twitch fibers.

Taking advantage of this situation, part 2 of the superset consisted of explosive concentric movements combined with slow eccentric movements. The GPs were not allowed to pause at either the top or bottom of the lift.

And yet, due to the activation of the fast twitch fibers, the GPs were able to lift more than ever before, add more muscle than ever before and yet experience only moderate muscle soreness.

Depending upon the exercise, the muscle group and the techniques used, reps for each part of the superset ranged from 3 to 8 reps.

Phase 2 – Getting Ripped

Phase 2 is all about melting the baby-fat off of the newly built muscle.

To do that, I introduced the GPs to some particularly nasty HIIT and HIRT workouts.

And while I expected fairly rapid fat loss, I did not expect what happened.

For some reason, in the first week, each of the GPs lost over  6 lbs of fat.

And this is after almost 2 months of very intense training and a strict diet. They had already lost fat during phase 1.

I can only speculate on the reason behind the very rapid fat loss, but to be honest, I don’t care. I am more than happy to leave the science to the scientists. All I know is that this workout hit one out of the park.

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In the next installment of this series, I will get into the nuts and bolts of the workout.

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The “I don’t have time to workout” Workout

No more excuses….You do have time to exercise…

  • If you only have 5 minutes to spare, do 1 of these workouts.
  • 10 minutes = 2 workouts
  • 15 minutes = 3 workouts….

…You don’t even have to go to the gym.

The Rules

  • Each workout lasts 5 minutes (the set/rep combinations are suggestions based upon my experience with clients)
  • If you get to 5 minutes before you get to the end of the workout…STOP. 5 minutes max means 5 minutes max.
  • Each workout involves 2 or 3 different exercises
  • Perform 1 set of exercise A, then move on to exercise B
  • No rest between sets – the workouts are designed to be performed with no rest
  • If your form gets sloppy…slow down. Catch your breath. Good form is more important that getting one extra rep. Injuries suck.

5 Minute Workout # 1

1.   Air Squats – bodyweight only – 5 sets of 30 reps

2.   Hindu Pushups – 5 sets of 15 reps

Try and complete all 10 sets in 5 minutes

5 Minute Workout #2

1.   Dragon Flag 5 sets of 5-10 reps or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)


2.   Shuffle or Scissor Lunges – 5 sets of 40-60 reps (20-30 per leg) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

Try and complete all 10 sets in 5 minutes

5 Minute Workout #3

1.   Spiderman Lunge 5 sets of 12 reps (6 reps per side) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

2.  Hip Thrust/Bridge – 5 sets of 40-60 reps (20-30 per leg) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

Try and complete all 10 sets in 5 minutes

5 Minute Workout #4

1.   Kettlebell Swing  5 sets of 10 reps (5 reps per arm) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

2.  1 Arm Dumbbell Press – 5 sets of 10 reps (5 reps per side) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

3. Siff Lunge – 5 sets of 10 reps (5 reps per side) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

Try and complete all 15 sets in 5 minutes

5 Minute Workout #5…my personal favorite

1.   Jumping Bulgarian Squat 5 sets of 20 reps (10 reps per leg) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

2.  Band Woodchops – 5 sets of 20 reps (10 reps per side) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)


3. 1 Leg Stiff Leg Deadlift – 5 sets of 10 reps (5 reps per side) or 5 minutes (whichever comes first)

Try and complete all 15 sets in 5 minutes

Bonus Workout…if you have a partner

5 minutes of this…

BTW, Marv is another personal trainer from Toronto

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It HIRTs So Good

I just finished destroying two clients with this workout.

Enjoy….

Just another HealthHabits HIRT workout

pdf version

Exercise Videos

  • Ab Roll-Outs
  • Hindu Push-Ups

  • Bodyweight Squats (Arms Overhead) – ball not required

  • Inch Worms
  • Body-Weight Row
  • Standing Angled Woodchop (DB/Plate/Med Ball)
  • Push-Ups
  • Side Lunge
  • Shuffle Lunge
  • DB Bicep Curl & Overhead Press Combo

  • Shuffle Lunge
  • Standing Face Pull
  • Glute Ham Raise (on pulldown machine)
  • Bodyweight Skullcrushers
  • Combo Pullover / Crunch on Stability Ball (imagine the ball)
  • Seated Shoulder Press
  • Reverse Flyes (DB, Band)
  • DB Hammer Grip Bicep Curl

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HIRT Workout….No Equipment…..No Problem

Not a lot of talk today folks.

Just a killer HIRT workout for those people who find themselves without any fitness equipment.

Superset # 1

1a. Speed Squats – 5 sets of 20 reps

1b. 1 Leg Deadlift – 5 sets of 5 reps per leg (moderate speed – feel the stretch)

Note – I prefer to do the negative/lowering portion of this exercise slower

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Superset # 2

2a. Body Weight Row – 5 sets of 8 reps (table, tree, swing set, railing, etc)

2b. Push-Ups – 5 sets of 5 reps

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Superset # 3

3a. Step Ups – 5 sets of 10 reps per side

Note – Use stairs or chair or bench to replace the bench

3b. Bodyweight SkullCrushers – 5 sets of 5 reps

Note – Use stairs or chair or bench instead of the gizmo used in the video

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Superset # 4

4a. Spiderman Lunge – 5 sets of 5 reps per side

4b. Hip Bridge – Dynamic – 5 sets of 20 reps

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The Rules

  • No rest between sets
  • 60 seconds rest between supersets
  • Workout lasts for 45 minutes. If (you finish all 4 supersets in less than 45 minutes…start over at superset #1
  • Mix up the order of the supersets from workout to workout.

Print (pdf) version

Are You Tough Enough for This Workout?

Are you tough enough to handle one of my custom HIIT/HIRT workouts?

And by handle the workout, I don’t mean just survive the workout. I mean, can you push yourself harder than you ever have before?

Can you kick my ass at this workout? Well, can you…punk?

The Workout

Part 1 – The HIIT.

30 minutes of HIIT sprints on a Stationary Bike

Note: These are short duration sprints – 10 sec. As such, they are to be performed at Maximum IntensityAnd when I say max intensity, I mean MAXIMUM INTENSITY.

      The 20 sec Active Rests should be performed at a 6-8 on the Borg Scale…very, very light effort.

Part 2 – The HIRT

This second part of the workout is a 10 Minute HIRT Circuit consisting of 3 exercises, performed back to back with no rest between sets. The goal is to complete as many reps as possible (AMRAP) in 10 minutes

Each set will consist of 5 reps performed in an explosive manner.We will be using bodyweight exercises.

  • Push-Up – 5 Reps per Set – As Many Sets As Possible in 10 minutes
  • Body-weight Row – 5 Reps per Set – As Many Sets As Possible in 10 minutes
  • Bulgarian Split Squat – 5 Reps per Set – As Many Sets As Possible in 10 minutes

For most, body-weight will be more than enough resistance. However, if you think you can handle it, feel free to add some resistance (weight vest, chains, bands, plates, dumbbells…your choice). But, I don’t want you sacrificing intensity & speed just to add some weight.

  • Remember, there is no rest between sets.
  • Perform all 3 exercises in the same spot.

I find that a Power Rack or Smith Machine works well for the Body-weight Rows. So, I just camp out there for the full 10 minutes using the bar (or a bench) for the Bulgarian Split Squats.

So, do you think you can kick my ass at this workout? Here’s how I did earlier today:

HIIT Sprints

      • All sprints completed as designed
      • Bike Resistance set at 80% of maximum
      • Fastest Revolutions per Leg in 10 seconds – 32 (3rd sprint)
      • Slowest Revolutions per Leg in 10 seconds – 24 (last sprint)

HIRT Workout

      • Push-Up – BW (248) + 20 lb Weight Vest for 100 reps
      • BW Row – BW (248) + 20 lb Weight Vest for 100 reps (Body held parallel to floor)
      • Bulgarian Split Squat – BW (248) + 20 lb Weight Vest + 25 lb plate for 105 reps per leg (Back leg on std. flat bench)

So, can you kick my ass?

PDF copy of the workout

Today’s Workout – June 10, 2009

rocky boxing meat

Resistance Training Day

Warm-up

  • 5 min of Joint Mobility exercises & Dynamic Stretching

Workout

Superset #1

  • 10 minutes of heavy bag work – fists, knees, feet & elbows

No rest between techniques…sweat pouring off me like Niagara Falls

60 sec rest between superset 1 & 2 as I moved from the heavy bag room to the weight room

Superset #2

  • Push-Ups – various grips – Bodyweight – 10 sets of 10 reps, supersetted with
  • BW Row on Smith Machine – Bodyweight – 10 sets of 10 reps, supersetted with
  • Swing Snatch – 35 lb plate – 10 sets of 10 reps

No rest between sets

30 sec rest between superset 2 & 3

Superset #3

  • Straight Arm Pushdowns – Dynamic movement – lots of core involvement – 8 sets of 20 reps, weight pyramiding from 145 – 260 lbs., (last 3 sets 19, 16, 14 reps) supersetted with
  • Jumping / Shuffling Split Lunges – 8 sets of 40 reps, Bodyweight

No rest between sets

60 sec rest between superset 3 & 4

Superset #4

  • Cybex Incline Chest Press – 10 sets of 20 – 13 reps – weight increasing from 145 – 300 lbs, supersetted with
  • Bulgarian Split Squat – 10 sets of 7 reps, Bodyweight,

Flexibility/Mobility Training

  • no time to stretch…oops, gonna pay for that

Notes:

Short on time today. 35 minute workout. No rest between sets. No rest between supersets. Exhausted at the end of 35 minutes. Jogged to the gym and jogged/stumbled home from the gym

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4 Steps to a Great HIIT Workout

In a couple of recent posts, (here and here) I discussed the science behind High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT Training. In those posts, I discussed why HIIT is an essential tool in developing complete physical fitness as well as being a VERY effective fat burning tool.

I have also designed a custom HIIT workout geared to improve your vertical jump, click here.

Today’s post will give you the tools to develop your own HIIT or Sprint Training program.

The 4 Steps to a Great HIITWorkout

1. Exercise Selection

Most of the research studies into HIIT have relied on stationary bicycles or ergo-meters to test the effectiveness of this training protocol. Mainly this is due to the need for these studies to control all of the variables in a closed laboratory setting. Kinesiology lab = Stationary bike.

You, however, are not limited to an exercise bike, treadmill or ergo-meter (stationary rowing machine). HIIT or Sprint Training requires an all-out effort followed by an ‘active’ rest period. As long as you choose exercises that are fully challenging your body for the entire sprint portion, you are limited only by your imagination.

My two caveats are that

  1. You should choose big compound exercises that use as many muscles as possible.
  2. You should choose exercises that involve continuous movement. There should be little to no resting during the exercise – i.e. no bench press, power cleans where you drop the bar to the floor.

Here are some suggestions:

Cardio machines

  • Bike
  • Treadmill – be careful transitioning from sprint to recovery – some treadmills are more suited to this type of exercise than others – Back in the day, I used to keep the treadmill at a fast clip and increase the incline for my sprint and then (as quickly as I could hit the ‘decline elevation’ key, bring the treadmill level for the active rest portion.
  • Elliptical – Same warning as the treadmill
  • Ergo-meter / Stationary Flywheel Rowing Machine
  • Versaclimber, VersaPulley

Body Wight Exercises

  • Sprinting – track, indoor, outdoor, cross-country, etc.
  • Hill Sprints
  • Sand dune sprints
  • Swimming
  • Road cycling – My be difficult to coordinate HIIT if you have to deal with traffic
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Burpees
  • Think gym class calisthenics or take a look at some of the crossfit videos on you tube.

External Resistance Exercises

This is where you are really limited only by your imagination and your common sense. Remember, you should be going full out. Moves that are too complex won’t work when you hit that great big wall of pain.

2. Volume

Simply put, as you increase the volume of your HIIT work, your anaerobic endurance improves and the amount of caloric burn increases.

I have included a linear Volume Progression chart for you to follow. Beginners should start with 1 x 20 minute workout per week. Trainees with a good aerobic / anaerobic base can start with 2 x 20 minute workouts per week.

Don’t underestimate HIIT. It’s not like aerobic or standard resistance training. There is a strong neuro-muscular component to this training. You will over train if you are not careful.

Work to increase your volume to the maximum recommended 3 x 30 minute workouts per week before increasing the intensity or eternal load.

3. Intensity

I am defining intensity in reference to the ratio of sprint time to active rest time. In the McMaster University study, the participants struggled with a 1:9 – Sprint:Active Rest Ratio.

My Intensity Progression Chart takes you from a 1:9 ratio all the way to a 1:3 ratio.

In each Sprint:Recovery Ratio Category, I have provided guidelines based on 4 different sprint durations. Feel free to jump back and forth between sprint durations in between workouts. A 10 second sprint is not necessarily any harder than a 30 second sprint. Depending upon your individual fitness, you may find the 30 second sprint harder than the 10 second, while your training partner may be the complete opposite.

My advice; do whichever length is the hardest for you.

Beginners will start out with the 1:9 Ratio and progress through to the 1:3 Ratio.

The range of Sprints per Workout is to accommodate your improvements in HIIT Volume Progression. In the 1:3 Ratio workout, 30 second sprints performed for 20 minutes will result in a total of 10 sprints. As you progress to a 30 minute workout, you will be doing 15 sprints.

4. External Load

The final step to a great HIIT workout is external load.

Increase the resistance on your cardio machine. Increase the weight of the dumbbell. Or use one of my favorite tools, the X Vest. A less expensive brand of weighted vest is available here.

This is the final step on your path to a great HIIT / Sprint Training Workout.

To Review

  • Choose your HIIT exercise carefully. Big muscle groups, constant motion, not too complex to perform when you are tired, availability in the gym and hopefully something you enjoy performing.
  • Increase your HIIT Volume
  • Increase your HIIT Intensity
  • Increase your external load

With just these 4 steps, you have an endless number of HIIT workout options.

For a custom HIIT geared to improve your vertical jump, click here.

Related Posts

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Energy System Training Makes Your Heart Healthier and Stronger

Improve your Heart with Short Workouts

A recent study has concluded that short bouts of high intensity exercise is as effective at improving the structure and function of your heart’s arteries as the traditional long duration cardio-vascular training.

Participants in the study were divided into two groups:

  • The “sprint” group performed only 3 workouts per week. Each workout consisted of 4 to 6 sets of 30 second sprints on an exercise bike. The participants pedaled slowly for 4 1/2 minutes between sets of sprints.
  • The “cardio” group worked out 5 times per week. Each workout consisted of 40-60 min of cycling at 65% of their VO2peak.

After 6 weeks, both groups showed similar improvement of arterial structure and function.

Why Is This Important?

Traditionally, as we age, our arteries become stiff and lose their ability to dilate. This leads to high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.

And if you don’t know why that is important, please click the above links and spend some time at the Mayo Clinic site. You might be visiting sooner than you think.

Let’s Review

  • HIIT sprints are as effective as Endurance or Cardio training at preventing age related arterial stiffening.
  • Sprint training requires a commitment of 20-30 minutes, 3 times per week (60-90 min per week) to effect that improvement.
  • Endurance training requires 40-60 minutes, 5 times per week (200-300 min per week) to effect the desired improvement.

Why wouldn’t you choose HIIT sprints?

It’s your choice.

Resources:

Exercise Bike Sprints

Hill Sprints – the before picture

Hill Sprints – the after picture

Tabata training – Resistance Training Sprint Intervals

  • For a more thorough look into High Intensity Interval Training and Energy System Training in general, check out this post.
  • Or, see this post if you need help designing your own HIIT workout program.

Everything You Need to Know About Energy System Fitness

  • In my recent post, The Components of Physical Fitness, I broke down physical fitness into it’s bits and pieces and provided a brief introduction of each part.
  • On Monday of this week, I wrote in more detail about Proper Body Alignment and how it impacts overall physical fitness.

Today I will try to explain the concept of Energy System Fitness and how it applies to overall physical fitness.

What is Energy System Fitness?

Energy system fitness refers to the efficiency of the human body to supply energy (specifically ATP – the main source of cellular energy) to all of the it’s cells.

Depending on the intensity and duration of the activity that you are performing (sleeping, working at your computer, jogging, running from the bulls in Pamplona) your body will withdraw or synthesize ATP from one, two or even all three of it’s energy system pathways.

For maximum efficiency, the body is usually drawing from all three, but depending on the activity, one energy system pathway will usually predominate.

The three sources or energy systems are the:

  1. ATP-PC System (Phosphogen System),
  2. the Anaerobic System (Lactic Acid System)
  3. and the Aerobic System.

In this article, I will throw some science your way. If that is your thing; enjoy. If not, skip it. You can get all of the benefits of this article by sticking to the layman’s terms.

The ATP-PC Energy System Pathway

The acronym ATP-PC stands for ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) and PC (Phosphocreatine). ATP and PC work together as part of a coupled reaction to provide very rapid, very pure but ultimately short lived energy to the brain and muscles.

A good way to picture the function of ATP-PC energy is to look at at the performance of an Olympic sprinter. In the 100 metre distance, sprinters explode from the blocks, build their speed up to their personal best and then try to hold off the inevitable loss in speed as their available energy begins to drop. As their explosiveness and high rate of speed relies on their ATP-PC energy system, so does their inability to hold onto that speed past the 6 to 7 second mark.

As ATP-PC begins to fail around the 5 to 7 second mark, the body has to call upon the Anaerobic/Lactic energy system to make up for the lost ATP-PC.

Anaerobic Energy System Pathway

Like the ATP-PC energy system, the Anaerobic energy system does not require oxygen to produce ATP for energy. However, unlike the ATP-PC system, it is more complex than a simple coupled reaction.

First; pyruvate is produced from glucose. Then the pyruvate is converted into lactate. Along the way, two molecules of ATP are produced for every one molecule of glucose that is used.

Simple right? This is where the controversy about lactate and lactic acid comes in.

  • The mainstream belief is that a build-up of lactic acid causes the famous “burn” that we have all felt when we pushed ourselves to our limit. The lactic acid was thought to cause pain and fatigue and eventually cause the muscles to stop working altogether.
  • A more recent theory doesn’t blame lactic acid for the pain and fatigue. This theory says that in very intense physical activity, large amounts of ATP is being produced and hydrolysed in a very short period of time. When ATP is is hydrolysed, a hydrogen ion is released. These hydrogen ions cause the muscle cells to become acidic. This acidity manifests itself as the “burn”.

Aerobic Energy System Pathway

Merriam-Webster defines Aerobic as “living, active, or occurring only in the presence of oxygen”

The Aerobic system produces 38 molecules of ATP from each molecule of Glucose that is used. It is used throughout the body for all metabolic processes. In athletics, the Aerobic Energy System is primarily used in sub-maximal exercise such as long distance running.

The Aerobic system can be divided into 3 separate stages:

  • Glycolysis,
  • The Krebs Cycle a
  • nd Oxydative Phosphorylation.

For the purposes of this post, I will not be delving that deep into the science. Way too boring for most readers. If you are interested, look here.

Not interested in the details? Here is the abridged version…

The Aerobic system produces a stable, long lasting source of energy. However, it can not respond as quickly as the Anaerobic or ATP-PC systems. Therefore, it is the dominant system during sub-maximal activities, while the other two systems dominate the more intense athletic endeavors.

And What Does All of This Mean?

Any person that wants to develop his/her physical fitness to the best of their abilities MUST address all 3 Energy Systems.

And How Do We Do That?

Fitness programs can easily be adjusted to focus on the three different Energy Systems.

In my practice, I usually lump the ATP-PC and Anaerobic systems together. For most people, the difference between the two is negligible. So now we are left with 2 systems – Anaerobic or Maximal effort and Aerobic or Sub-Maximal effort.

Anaerobic / Maximal

Anaerobic energy system training is best addressed by High Intensity Interval Training and High Intensity Resistance Training.

Aerobic / Sub-Maximal

Aerobic training has been popular in North America since Dr. Ken Cooper published his book, Aerobics in 1968. There is a ton of info online produced by people who love aerobic training. Me…I find it boring.

Sports

Basketball is an anaerobic sport as it alternates short duration, high intensity sprints with periods of lower intensity movements around the basket. These lower intensity activities allow the anaerobic system to recharge. This sport would improve the functioning of the anaerobic system at the expense of the development of the aerobic system. The same could be said for hockey and football and football.

Long distance running is the perfect example of an aerobic sport.

NoteAn excellent illustration of different sports & how they rely on different energy systems can be seen here.

Effect on Body Composition

A common misconception exists that aerobic exercise is the best exercise to encourage fat loss. Current research is showing that theory to be false. In this study, 17 subjects were split into 2 groups, and over a 20 week period of time, performed either aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise (in the form of H.I.I.T.). At the end of the 20 weeks, the HIIT group had lost over 3 times as much subcutaneous fat while expending less than half as many calories.

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