Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Circuiting & Conditioning

Last night I led my sister and myself through a conditioning workout. I made it up on the spot. After taking conditioning/circuit training classes and doing bootcamp, it was nice to use my personal training skills and create my own routine.

It really doesn't take fancy equipment to get a good workout for most people. Body weight, compound exercises are great. Trust me, after doing a bunch of squats and lunges you will feel your legs burning!

We did our workout in the large classroom at our gym. That way we had space and a few toys to supplement with. But everything we did could be done at home.

What we did:
  • Three exercise pyramid: rotate through three exercises (squat, step ups, push ups). Start by doing 10 reps of each, then 9 reps of each, then 8, and so on until you have completed the 5 reps each stage. These moves can be done anywhere, no equipment needed. Do these continously, without a break. When done, take a quick walk and get water.
  • Three exercise pyramid with dips (we used a step used in step aerobics), mountain climbers (again on the step), and bicep curls using a band. Dips can be done on a chair or the sidewalk curb or any sturdy ledge. Mountain climbers can be done on the ground. For bicep curls you can use handweights, a band or anything heavy.
  • Four exercise pyramid with shoulder press, side shoulder raise (light weights), crunches and bridges. At the end of the cycle, hold the bridge for 30 seconds.
  • Then we used the bands to do a penguin walk. You could do standing side leg raises. We did 10 on each side, alternating.
  • Next we did a lunge/shuffle combo. We did walking lunges halfway across the room, then did a side shuffle the rest of the way. We did side shuffle halfway back, then did walking lunges back to our starting point.
  • Next, we did 20 backwards lunges, alternating legs.
  • Finally, to complete our leg work, we did a wall sit for 1 minute.
  • We got on the mat for the rest of the workout. First, we held a plank for 1 minute (hold full plank on toes for as long as you can, then drop to knees.)
  • Then we did side plank, 30 seconds each side.
  • We turned on to our backs and did reverse crunches. At the end of 20, hold your legs out, without touching the ground for an additional 30 seconds.
  • Finally, we did a serious of supermans (supermen?). We did alternating sides, 5 on each side. Then we did 10 full moves, then 10 more sides, alternating.
  • At last, we stretched!
For me, I love doing different types of exercises in different ways. I like doing some for a certain number of reps and some for time. I think it is important to have standards for yourself and to keep trying to "beat your record." For instance, I always do as many full pushups as I can and then I drop and do the rest of the set on my knees. I've worked up to 10 full pushups with proper form. Or, I like seeing how long I can do a wall sit or hold a full plank. I think my record for wall sit was 3.5 minutes. For plank I've worked up to 1 minute. I've seen people go a lot longer without even looking strained. But it's all about what you can do and pushing yourself to do more, properly and gently and over time.

It was a great workout. I really enjoyed getting to make my own and being able to guide someone through it. It makes it a lot more enjoyable for me to get through (it certainly wasn't an easy one for me!)

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