NO GYM? TRY OUTDOOR WORKOUTS
During these times, it's important to be able to workout anywhere. Gyms are closed or open with restrictions. But we still need to stay in shape. How can this be done and how can we keep the workouts fun and interesting? There's more to it than just saying to do 100 squats, 100 pushups, 100 sit ups a day. Sure that may work for a bit and you may even get some decent results from that. But eventually you'll get pretty bored and stale on that.
A big part of keeping things fresh and to get better results is to change the program regularly. However this does not mean to change at every workout. I know of some trainers who constantly give their clients different workouts every single time they see them. I strongly disagree with this. How can you see progress when you're always on a new program. You need some repetition to see progress. It's the only way. But it must be changed before you get bored and stale. The sweet spot seems to be about a month. This can be shorter or longer depending on the person and goals, but that's a good general rule of thumb. So what are some of the different programs you can do? To start, it may not even be necessary to change the exercises, at least not significantly. You can do the same exercises but change the way they're arranged in a program. After all there really are only a small number of categories of exercises you can do. They are:
1) Upper Body Push
2) Upper Body Pull
4) Forward Bend
5) Walking / Stepping
6) Core Stability
7) Core Contraction
8) Metabolic / Cardio exercise
All of these should be a part of any complete and balanced workout program. But what are some of the different ways they can be arranged? Rather than listing actual workouts with exercises, I will list workout structures and the appropriate exercises can be filled in. Thinking in terms of structure and not specific exercises will greatly improve your understanding and show you the possibilities.
1) STRAIGHT SETS - This is the most basic type of workout structure but it still works great. Do one set of one exercise, rest a bit, do another, and so on. The key here is to limit your rest times.
2) SUPERSETS - This is taking two exercises back to back. Usually it's for antagonistic muscles but it can be done for the same muscle as well. Do set of exercise 1, do a set of exerecise 2, rest a bit, and repeat.
3) CIRCUITS - The same as a Superset, except there are three or more exercises.
4) TABATAS - These are timed sets. Typically Tabatas are done for 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. In Boxing and other martial arts this is often used. For example you could do 20 seconds of punches on the heavy bag followed by 10 seconds of footwork drills or head movement drills. These times can be changed of course. 30/15, 45/15, 60/15, or a full round of Boxing is 3 minutes work and 1 minute of rest.
5) LADDERS - This is done with either supersets or circuits. Each exercise is done for 6 reps for example. Then 5 reps each, then 4,3,2, and 1. It's also possible to go the other way starting at 1 and building up. I learned of a Boxing training method called The Walking 25s. You start at 1 rep of each exercise and build up to 25 reps!
6) 4 MINUTE KILLERS - This is a tough one! Four exercises are done back to back, each for one minute each.
7) REP CHALLENGES - This can be done either as straight sets, supersets, or circuits. You simply set a number like 300, 400 or 500, and try to get that number of total reps in that workout.
8) AMRAP - As Many Rounds As Possible. Set a time period like 10 or 15 minutes. Then do as many supersets or circuits you can in that time. Then pick another superset or circuit and repeat for another 10 or 15 minutes.
9) 5 ROUNDS OF 5 EXERCISES - As simple and as tough as it sounds. 5 exercises in a circuit done 5 times. That's 25 total sets. When done at a quick pace, it's not easy!
10) 4 X 3 - This is just a different method of circuit training but worth mentioning. Take two groups of four exercises. The first group is a strength circuit, so squats, pushups, TRX rows, and similar exercises are done. The second group is cardio and core. Runs, Burpees, Jumping Jacks for the cardio, and Mountain Climbers, Inchworms, Bear Crawls, and similar exercises for core. Each Four Exercise Circuit is done three times, hence the name 4 X 3.
So there you go. 10 different ways to set up your workouts. This way you'll never get bored and you can stay in shape even during a pandemic!
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