As of January 1st, I’ve added strength training to my workout mix. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while, for so many reasons, the most important reason being I just want to be stronger. Strong muscles, strong body, strong mind- right?
Since I work at the YMCA, I have access to all the fitness classes and my favorite class right now is Body Pump. It’s a total body workout using a barbell- think light to moderate weight with many repetitions, to the tune of 3-6 minutes per muscle group, depending on the length of the song. However, my work schedule doesn’t always mesh with the fitness schedule and when Body Pump is offered.
The other day this happened. I missed the class but at the end of the day, I wanted to lift weights (or do *something* instead of *nothing*). Since I know most of the personal trainers, I went up to one of my favorites and said: Hey TJ…..can you help me with a workout? I love Body Pump but missed the class today. I want a total body strength workout that I can do at home or at the gym, using minimal equipment. Can you whip something up for me?
Initially, I thought to myself- WHAT?!!! This looks too easy. Does he think I’m a wimp?
Then I did the workout for the first time and only made it through 4 rounds. It turns out I AM A WIMP. Just kidding. This workout turned out to be harder than I expected. I did it in a circuit- meaning doing one round of each exercise, rest, repeat time 4 (supposed to be 5). I’ve done this workout twice now and I’m already seeing the beauty in it’s simplicity.
Plus, this workout hits all the major muscles groups:
- Burpees are total body, waking up the glutes, quads, back, chest and arms, at least that’s where I felt it! Plus, it gets the heart rate revving.
- Air squats target the legs, butt, and back.
- Push-ups target the chest, arms, shoulders, triceps.
- Curls-to-presses target the biceps, shoulders, upper back.
- Sit-ups target your abs.
I can modify every exercise or add-to as I get stronger.
- With burpees, I can choose to do one 1 of 30 different burpees. Although after checking that list out, it appears I wasn’t even doing burpees with my workout- I was doing *hurpees* (#1 of the list).
- Air squats are doing a proper squat with no weights in your hands. You can go that route or add weights or any of these 5 types of squats. Believe me there are more- just ask your friend Google!
- With push-ups, I can do them on my feet, on my knees or one of these 10 different ways!
- With the combo bicep curl to shoulder press, there are several different ways to do a bicep curl (hammer curl is one I can think of immediately) and there are several different ways to do a shoulder press. You would have to break up the exercise into two, but if you’re looking for variety, then just do it!
- And we all know there are a million ways to work out our abs and your core!
TJ gave me a great *starter* workout, something I could easily modify if I needed to (simplify if necessary), something to build up to (done as written), and also something to add to once this gets easy.
Try it and let me know what you think!