Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Personal Training - Day 16 of A - Z

 So, this is an A - Z challenge, correct? Yes, of course it is. So, my lovely blogites, for today I have decided to set YOU all a challenge. Granted, some of you will be of a 'meh, whatever' mindset. If so, not a problem, but you might actually enjoy this wee challenge and feel the better for it.

Doubtful that any of you will know, but I am a fully qualified personal training & fitness instructor, which I combine with my sports massage in terms of helping folks to rehab. I've worked as a sports massage therapist for over six years now, but in terms of training, I've trained, in one physical form or another, since the age of twelve.

So what I would like to present to you is a little routine I perform when 'warming up' before the main part of my session at home.  This can be done as a stand alone routine if you are pushed for time, or need a 'quick fix'. I've also included the music track I perform this set to, just as to give you an idea of the pace ;)

To begin with, if you have any problems with shoulders, knees, or back, or suffer from any breathing condition DO NOT try this without seeing your doctor or GP first to get the green light. I do not wish to be held responsible for anyone flaking out whilst attempting this little routine.

This routine consists of three different exercises performed back-to-back, five times through, without any rest between exercise changes - but if you are a total beginner to exercise (and your Doctor or GP has said OK), then take your time and have a rest between the exercises. I would suggest 30 - 60 seconds.

Exercise #1 - Push ups (or Press ups, whichever you know them by)
Number of repetitions: 10 (for beginners: 3 or if feeling hardy 5)
Form: Strict - eyes looking forward, not down at the floor, body creating a nice line--no bums in the air--from shoulders to ankles. Hands placed roughly a hand span wider than shoulders.

Exercise #2 - Squats
Number of repetitions: 10 (for beginners 5)
Form: Strict - feet placed roughly shoulder width apart, or slightly wider. Place feet in a comfortable position, but not too extreme that they are pointing 10-to-2.

Exercise #3 - Crunches
Number of repetitions: 10 (for beginners 5)
Form: Lying on your back, legs bent so that knees are pointing to the ceiling and feet are flat on the floor. Hands on thighs (note the guy in the video below crosses his arms over his chest - this is optional). Spine is in neutral - meaning it has a slight, natural curve in the lower back (remember, each of us vary, so your neutral will be different to mine). You only need to raise your shoulders from the floor, sliding your hands along your thighs until fingers touch the knee caps whilst breathing out - hold for a couple of seconds, squeezing your stomach muscles as you exhale - then return to the start position, hands returning to thighs as you inhale. That's one rep. Relax for a second and then repeat.

Now, for any of you super fit bods, the challenge for you is to... oh, hang on, I forgot to mention: you perform Push ups, Squats, Crunches (10x10x10) x5 = total 150 reps non-stop, or for beginners: (3x3x3) x5 = total 45 reps non-stop, or for intermediates: (5x5x5) x5 = 75 reps non-stop.

Personally, I've managed this in 3 minutes 30 seconds from start to finish without rest. Trust me, this will challenge your cardio and your endurance. It will spike your metabolism into high fat burning and get all the endorphins flowing nicely.

I find performing this routine to The Prodigy really does boost me into 'the zone' as some like to say. The track I perform this routine to is the title track to their latest album, 'Invaders Must Die' - it runs for 4:55. I use the first 50 seconds to gently bounce on the spot, mainly because it's a great beat and the build up of anticipation really does help.

I hope for those of you who are able to try this challenge, that you find it fun and useful.


Amanda Heitler said...

That does sound really good. I will, however, be starting extremely slowly. If I collapse, the blame will be placed firmly at your feet, but rest assured that I won't sue.

Jessica said...

I've done all of these before but never in that sequence and that quickly. HUGE workout for my level of fitness right now but well worth it. I'm trying to decide where to incorporate it into my routine.

Found you below me in the A to Z list! I'll be back. :)

A to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer @ Visions of Other Worlds

Mark K said...

Slow is good. Any form of exercise is better than no exercise at all. I can promise you that if you o this three times a week you will notice and feel a difference.

But, and his is the clincher, exercise without a sensible and healthy diet is like trying to hammer a nail with a soft rubber hammer.

I wish you the very best at trying this. If you in 5 repetitions still tough, drop down to 3 reps per set. Remember that arm op of mine? I started getting back into pull ups by doing one pull up a day, only lifting myself an nch or two off the ground, and eventually built up to 3x15 reps. So, slowly wins the race ;)

Mark K said...


So good to have you join us at the hearth. I hope you find something of interest here :)

As for this routine, the secret is intensity and very little to no rest. Personally I like to blast through without stopping, my only rest being the changes between exercises.
Extremely pleased to meet someone else who is into SF/Fantasy :) I'll be stopping by very soon.

Kind regards


JoJo said...

I. Hate. Exercising. Absolutely the ONLY thing I will do is walk. That's it.

Mark K said...

Well walking is good - think about it, it's the one thing an army does most of, plus a good vigorous walk will burn a lot of calories, and you keep burning them even after you've stopped :)

Joshua said...

Very informative stuff! And it's such a breath of fresh air to see fitness activists in this hobby, so well known for its sitting around on one's own buttocks.

But I definitely agree with at least going on walks if nothing else. Especially if your property happens to be up a hill or mountain, because then you've got to walk up the hill at some point. Even with bunged-up legs like mine, it's well worth the end result. (Poor knees, even lock up when I bend them at times; ever since I was little too. Regularly skipping every second step on stairs seems to help the joints and the muscle.) XD

Amanda Heitler said...

Wise words and I shall heed them. I did it this morning, taking it very, very slowly.

The eating thing is fine. We've been doing that for years. Although my weight is extremely stable and has been for decades, a little effort on keeping the muscles reliable is always welcome.