Oct 12, 2010

The New Year's Workout...before the New Year

Summer is gone (was it ever really here?!). Hopefully you didn’t fall off the fitness wagon during the summer travels and fun.  Regardless, it’s time to get back into your fitness routine.  I know, I know…you “don’t have the time” or think you “might as well wait until the New Year to start since the holidays are coming and it’s just going to be too busy.”  Well, I’m not buyin’ it.

With the tools we’ll cover in this article 
you’ll be able to fit it in to 
almost any schedule.  

And if you start now, once the holidays come around you won’t be worrying about having a treat here or there, because you’re already getting fit and staying healthy.  Let's get rolling:

  1. Make realistic goals, write them down and commit to getting healthy.  Stop rushing to reach your fitness goals and be about the process.  Remember, healthy weight loss/bodyfat loss is between 2-3%/month.
  2. Decide what your workout routine will work best for you. If limited time is a factor, one of the most efficient ways to get the most out of your workout is to do circuit training.  Our program example below involves high intensity conditioning mixed with resistance training.  This kind of program is very effective as you get a full body workout and keep your heart rate elevated which helps improve your overall fitness and increase your metabolism.  This is a concept we call “workout density”: maximizing time and effort by increasing your calorie burn.
  3. Include combination/compound exercises during your training program. Combination/compound exercises are multi-joint, combination movements that work several muscles or muscle groups at the same time.  This ensures that you’re getting a good workout in a shorter amount of time. A few examples of compound exercises would be: a squat-curl-press, a Romanian dead lift to a row, or a lunge to a front raise.
  4. Work harder and faster for your conditioning.  Being short on time is no excuse to cut out your cardiovascular work.  As we’ve seen over the past 10 years, Interval Training can provide great benefits (from increased MaxVO2 to bodyfat loss) in a very short time frame. Interval training is essentially working at a high intensity for a set amount of time (i.e. 30 seconds) and then recovering or working at a low intensity for a set amount of time (i.e. 30-90 seconds). The reason this type of training is so effective is because you maximize your calorie burn by keeping your heart rate elevated, also, you can workout for a shorter amount of time while still getting an intense workout.

Now let’s get rid of the last excuse: “That’s great, but I still don’t have a program!” Below you’ll find a great program to start your “New Year’s Workout” before the New Year.  The program is a full body routine that will maximize time and efforts by utilizing recovery periods for Self Myofascial Release or Active-Isolated Stretching so no time is wasted.  Be sure to include a 5-10 minute Dynamic Warm Up before your workout to prep your neuromuscular system and reduce your risk for injury.

A few exercises you can do for warm-up are: Arm circles, jumping jacks, split jacks, jump rope, squats, forward lunge twist (twist towards the leg that is forward), reverse lunge with overhead reach, walking knee hugs, inchworm, push-ups, Y T W L, and supermans.

Now I’ll outline a program that you can perform 2 to 3 days a week. If you have time on the days that you’re not doing your resistance training program you can perform 20 minutes of interval training on the treadmill, elliptical, bike, or get outside and do a beach workout.

Warm up 5-10 Minutes

Circuit #1 Reps/Time
1a. Plank                                                30 seconds
1b. Side Plank                                         30 seconds
1c. Rollouts                                          12
1d. Back extension on Swiss Ball                       12
1e. 60 second interval (i.e. Jump Rope, Burpees, Jumping Jacks)
Foam roll or stretching 30 seconds. Repeat 1st circuit 2 more times
Circuit #2
2a. Squat-Curl-Press                                    10
2b. Bridge with DB chest fly                              12
2c. Single leg RDL with Cable row (Contralateral)  8 each
2d. 60 second interval (i.e. Jump Rope, Burpees, Jumping Jacks)
Form roll or stretching 30 seconds. Repeat 2nd circuit 2 more times
Circuit #3
3a. Reverse Lunge with Front raise                        8 each
3b. Lat Pull down                                       12
3c. Row with triceps kickback                              10 each
3d. 60 second interval (i.e. Jump Rope, Burpees, Jumping Jacks)
Form roll or stretching 30 seconds. Repeat 3rd circuit 2 more times

Kim Clark, NSCA-CPT is a Personal Trainer for Prevail Conditioning Performance Center and works with athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike.  For further information regarding this topic please contact Kim Clark, NSCA-CPT at Kim@prevailconditioning.com.

  1. Cosgrove, Alwyn.  "21st Century Fitness Programming." Perform Better Learn by Doing Conference. January 2008.
  2. Herrera, Lawrence and Len Kravitz.  "Yes! You do Burn Fat During Resistance Exercise."  IDEA Fitness Journal. April 2009.
  3. Tabata, Isumi et al.  "Effects of Moderate-Intensity Endurance and High-Intensity Intermittent Training on Anaerobic Capacity and VO2Max." Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 28:10 (1996): 1327-1330).

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