Workout of the Day: Circuit

Circuit:
Modified Pull-ups x 10
Push-ups x 20
Abdominal Crunches x 30
Squats x 40
Mountain Climbers x 50
(perform each exercise back to back with minimal rest, then rest for 90 sec and repeat 2-3 times)

This is a great full-body, circuit-style workout.  Get the heart-rate up and boost the metabolism with this workout that’s sure to leave you soaked and spent.  Enjoy!

J

Workout #9- Combining Cardio and Strength Training

Circuit #1: 2 sets
Push-ups x max
Reverse Lunges x 25 each side
Cardio 5 min RPE 6-7

Rest 3 minutes

Circuit #2: 2 sets
Modified Pull-ups x max
Squats x 30
Cardio 5 min RPE 6-7

This excellent workout combines both aerobic endurance and anaerobic strength work, exercising muscles of the entire body in a challenging circuit style.  Pick the cardio activity you prefer (running, biking, elliptical, walking).  Click on the RPE link for an explanation of intensity.  Click on the individual exercises to see tutorials on each.

This leads me to a question I am often asked.  Should I combine cardio and strength work into one workout, and if so, why?  The easy answer would be “yes”, for 2 reasons.  One, I am a firm believer in functional fitness.  That means that I want your exercises to make you better at carrying on the tasks of your everyday life.  I want you to challenge your body in your workouts in the same fashion that you challenge your body in your regular activities.  Most physically demanding tasks we perform require some combination of cardiovascular endurance and muscle strength, so combining the two into one workout will only enhance those abilities.  Plus, since you need both kinds of exercise anyway, why not do them together and maximize time?  Two, it is a great way to boost calorie expenditure.  Keeping the heart rate elevated throughout the workout keeps the engine running and burning fuel.  Strength work interspersed with your cardio takes the challenge up a notch, and provides an anabolic (building) stimulus that counteracts the catabolic (breaking down) stimulus that cardio alone provides.  This will keep your metabolism up and muscle mass intact while dropping body fat, and keep you from plateauing in your goals.  This doesn’t mean that every workout has to be structured this way.  There are benefits to doing the strength work and cardio separately, but it is an effective tool for many seeking to increase the challenge and functionality of their workout routine and break through some plateaus.  Enjoy!

J

Workout #8: 60-second Circuit

The following workout is for those of you that prefer to exercise in the gym.  It can easily be adapted to home use by incorporating a set of resistance tubes instead of cables.  Here’s how it goes.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Chest Press x 60 seconds
Alternating Dumbbell Reverse Lunges x 60 seconds
Alternating Cable Squat + Row x 60 seconds
Alternating Twisting Crunches x 60 seconds
(Rest for 30 seconds between each exercise.  Repeat 3 times for 4 sets total)

For each exercise, perform as many repetitions as you can in the 60-second time period.  Keep track of how many repetitions you complete for each exercise so that you can compare when you do the workout later and see if you have improved.  The aim of this workout is to elevate the heart rate while boosting muscle strength and endurance, as well as kickstarting the metabolism.  Find weights that are comfortable for you.  Enjoy!

J