Posts Tagged ‘Conditioning’

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog.  I’ve been fighting a serious case of writer’s block…oh well, it happens.  I’ve also been struggling a bit with getting motivated to get my workouts in.  My best time to workout is first thing in the morning but with all the craziness of the summer:  work schedule, kids, etc. my workout time is never the same from day to day.  Most of my workouts have been at home as well which has forced me to be a bit creative at times.  With limited time, limited equipment, and constant interruptions from my kids, I’ve found that performing circuits is the best way to get in both my weights and cardio/conditioning in a shorter amount of time.

Here’s today’s workout I performed with emphasis on back and biceps:

10 minute warm-up on bike

Perform the following circuit of exercises 4 times through with as little rest as possible (use weight heavy enough that the last few reps are tough):

  • Pull-ups x 10
  • DB Curls x 10
  • Kettlebell Swing x 20
  • 2-Arm DB Row x 10
  • DB Reverse Curls x 10
  • Jump Rope x 50
  • Kettlebell Pullover x 15
  • In & Out Band Curls x 20 (Alternate curling band in toward your chest and out to the side keeping elbows locked in at your sides)
  • Fast feet on bottom step of staircase x 50
  • Single-Arm T-Bar Row with Barbell x 15 each side

 

After performing this circuit:

  • DB Back Flye 2 x 15
  • Band Straight Arm Pulldown 2 x 20
  • TRX Inverted Rows x 100 (as many sets as it takes to complete 100:  50 reps with neutral grip and 50 reps with pronated grip)

Finish the workout with 10 minutes of Jump Rope…well, in my case today, I got another 10 seconds of cardio when I walked into the giant spider web that was across the gate of my fence 😛

Try it and let me know how you do!

I can’t believe that we’re halfway into July already!  I’ve been squeezing in my home workouts whenever and however I can with my kids home this summer.  Today I’m going to share with you one of my “quickies”.  I had about 25-30 minutes to get something done and I wanted to make sure I hit a little bit of everything.  Weights, cardio, upper body, lower body, core, and a few drills for fun.  I wanted to keep the intensity high the entire time so after downing my Cardio Igniter from Top Secret Nutrition, I strung together a quick warm-up, 4 bouts of Tabata, and some drills at the end.

Warm-up: 2-3 minutes of jog in place and dynamic stretches (I wrote another blog on the dynamic warm-up if you’re interested:  https://fitgirlkris.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/the-dynamic-warm-up/ )

Tabata #1 – Lower Body Focus (a quick reminder of Tabata – it is 20 seconds of work alternated with 10 seconds of rest and performed for 4 minutes.  This equals 8 total “rounds” of exercise)

  • 2 rounds of Goblet Squat (I used a 35# Kettlebell)
  • 2 rounds of Kettlebell Swings
  • 2 rounds of Jump Squats
  • 2 rounds of Pop Squats

Tabata #2 – Upper Body Focus (I wanted to focus mostly on shoulders on this particular day)

  • 2 rounds of DB Lateral Raises
  • 2 rounds of DB Bent-Over Raises
  • 2 rounds of Push Press
  • 2 rounds of “V” Push-Ups

Tabata #3 – Cardio/Conditioning Focus

  • 2 rounds of Battle Ropes
  • 2 rounds of Jump Rope
  • 2 rounds of Jumping Jacks
  • 2 rounds of High Knees

Tabata #4 – Core Focus

  • 2 rounds of Mountain Climbers
  • 2 rounds of Burpees
  • 2 rounds of Plank with Arm Raises
  • 2 rounds of Plank with Leg Abduction Hops

Rest about 1 minute or so between each Tabata bout.

To finish the workout I did a few laps up and down my street of the following:

  • 1 lap of forward jogging
  • 1 lap of backward jogging
  • 2 laps of lateral shuffle
  • 2 laps of cariocas

Make sure to cool down and stretch for a few minutes and you’re done!

Cardio…some people love it and some people dread it. While I’m not a huge proponent of hours and hours of cardio, some is usually necessary for fat loss, conditioning, or contest prep.

So, do you have to plod along on the treadmill or spin your wheels on a bicycle all the time? Absolutely not! I get bored easily, so doing the same type of cardio day in and day out gets old FAST!

I prefer weights over cardio any day of the week, so, why not combine them?!  And no, I don’t mean ‘lift weights faster’ to get your cardio in. Enter, barbell complexes…

In a nutshell, barbell complexes are a series of exercises performed in a sequence, with the same weighted barbell, without rest.  You will typically use 4-6 movements that transition easily from one exercise to the next.  Each movement will generally have 3-8 reps.  Now, for the greatest benefit, you will want to choose full-body or compound movements.  Once you’ve completed one full sequence, you then take a short rest before performing the next sequence.  Here are some examples:

Barbell Complex #1

  • Front Squat
  • Push-Press
  • Romanian or Stiff-legged deadlift
  • Upright Row or High Pull
  • Bent-Over Barbell Row

Barbell Complex #2

  • Power Clean or Hang Clean
  • Deadlift
  • Thrusters
  • Back squat

Choose a weight that will be light enough so that you can complete the sequence without resting but heavy enough to be tough.  If you’ve never done complexes before, its best to choose a really light weight (even just the barbell (45#)) and make sure that your form is good.  Never perform a movement if you’re not sure how to do it safely (i.e. Snatch, Power Clean, etc.).  You can mix and match any exercises that you want – just use your imagination, make sure the movements flow together, and that the weight is appropriate for all movements!

You can either add a short barbell complex workout to the end of your regular workout (should only be 15 minutes or so to complete) or you can perform these during a separate session.  I have added these as a cardio session once per week as a separate session from my workout:  I warm-up for 5 minutes, perform the complex, and cool down for another 5 minutes for a total of a 20-30 minute session.  Now, my only dilemma is which of Top Secret Nutrition’s Pre-Workout Formulas to use:  Cardio Igniter or Pump Igniter??