I’m a big fan of all the activity taking place in August so far. I’ve uncharacteristically avoided the gym in favor of outdoor exercise each morning and evening. After work, I take a walk/run around the neighborhoods and enjoy all the sunshine I can. My mom has joined me a couple times and it’s a welcome dose of nature after sitting in an office for 9 hours. Lemon water for days….
This morning I blasted out a “Body Weight & Plyometric Circuit” that I’ll share with you! It took 35 minutes in the backyard, all done before the sun woke up :)
Plyometrics are exercises that incorporate jumping and explosive movement, using intensity and power for a short duration. The shock landing forces muscle contractions and aids in strengthening ankle, knee and hip joints (not recommended for people prone to joint pain/injury.) It’s in-between a strength workout and a HIIT workout.
Body Weight & Plyometrics Circuit: 4 Rounds of 8 exercises
I set a HIIT timer (using the “Seconds” app) to complete 35 seconds of each exercise followed by 25 seconds rest.
*You will need a jumprope and mat. You can also add light weights for the lunges and squat jumps*
Lately, I prefer to incorporate body weight exercise over weight lifting. At this stage of the game, I am concerned with being toned, not “making gains.” I want to use the muscles I have without building any more if that makes sense.
After 32 minutes of the circuit, my mom and I walked a cooldown lap around the neighborhood as the sun just started to light things up. We both agreed that we LOVE being outside at dawn and at dusk. Something about the glowy lighting. Sunrise runs are UNBEATABLE, nevermind the 4:30 wake up call. I will miss my sunrise runs with my high school teammate and good friend Matt. We’ve been doing summer cross country training together for six years now!
Another August trend I’ve been loving is trading an evening epidsode of House Hunter’s for some new novels I just bought. A friend at work suggested some titles including Beautiful Disaster and I already can’t wait to read it’s sequel, Walking Disaster.
And the rest of August won’t be slowing down. Time for this morning’s balanced breakfast: oats with flaxseed, blueberries, and half a banana. You already know the coffee’s been loooong gone. ;)
Favorite summer workout and/or summer read…GO!
You know what I haven’t posted in a while?
An actual WORKOUT.
Let’s fix that immediately.
I’ve got a sweaty circuit for you that’s no-nonsense non-stop (say that five times fast.)
I HATE resting between sets; sitting on a machine makes me feel lazy and silly. So if I can work a different muscle group in between sets of one exercise, then I a.) create a mini-circuit, b.) get my workout done twice as fast and c.) keep my heart rate elevated constantly.
Triple bonus stars!
This is the workout I planned for myself at the gym today. Each sub-circuit contains an arm exercise, a core exercise and a leg exercise!
You will need:
- Mid-height Boxes (*if you can’t get your hands on some boxes to jump on, substitute steps/stairs or just jump-rope in place!)
- Swiss Ball
- Med Ball (or 10 lb. weight)
- Dumbbells for arm exercises
1. Box Jumps are great cardio and leg exercises. However after you jump and stick your landing, just step down. No need to jump off and wreck your knees!
2. Alternating lunges can be made more challenging by holding 10 lb. dumbbells in your hands by your sides
3. If 1-minute plank is a piece of cake for your hardcore self, modify the exercise by raising one leg at a time 6-inches (slowwwwly)
4. This is a SUPER-SET workout: You complete three rounds of each circuit before moving onto the next. Go through the first three exercises, repeat two more times. Then move onto the next set of three. Confused? As long as you get in 3-sets of every exercise on the chart, you got the basic point ;)
Circuits like these that pump up your heart rate and challenge large muscle groups also super-charge your metabolism. Which is great this time of year especially with all the special parties and festivities :))
And as I promised, the next installment of my marathon playlist. The Big Race is just ONE MONTH AND ONE DAY AWAY! It’s getting real… I bring you “On Your Side” by SafetySuit.
I like the fact that it’s over 6 minutes long, meaning I will cover about .723(-ish) miles in its duration. “There’s gonna be times…when the streets are cold and the world is empty.” “You could be somebody, you just need the chance to prove it.” “I’m gonna knock off every demon that lands on your shoulder.” “Beginning to the end, you know.”
I just think it’s a sweet message for when those inevitable WALLS come up during miles 17-24. :)
Let me know if you try the workout!
Working out is instantly more enjoyable with the addition of a.) an iPod, b.) a friend, or c.) a team of hot Australian guys to watch from the treadmill. My iPod hasn’t been charged in two weeks and the Australians are probably in Australia, but LUCKILY I had my friend Kerri to workout with last week! We love doing extra strength routines in the gym before or after our cross country practice. She created her own circuit workout for us to complete, and played “personal trainer” for our last gym session. Some of the exercises were even new to me – score!
Let’s dive right into the workout! We started with a super set of the following:
- 4-Step Squats (see picture below) 15 each leg
- 4 Mountain Climbers; 4 Burpees; 4 Mountain Climbers; 4 Burpees (Holy Heart Rate!)
- Jump Up! Touch your right toes. Jump Up! Touch your left Toes. Repeat 15 times on each leg
- Monkey Push-Ups (see picture below) set of 10
REPEAT THE ABOVE CIRCUIT 3 TIMES BEFORE MOVING ON.
The squats are essentially just bringing one leg straight up into a knee raise in between each squat.
The Monkey Push-ups. WARNING: You will look silly/ridiculous/quirky. Your butt is in the air, heels off the floor, and you continue to do a push-up, lowering your body until just before your head touches the floor. This works more tricep than chest.
Next we ditched the Circuit Format to do straight sets of some new and funky exercises:
Time for some Tricep Situps…these things take some serious core stabilizing. I’d never done them before, and the first time with a new exercise is always challenging. I guarantee you will feel the effects the next day ;)
Instead of regular sit-ups on a swiss ball, add a 5-8lb weight, and extend it over your head when rolling back. Use your whole core to bring the weight and your body back to seated position. Complete 20 reps.
These next ones are not new. They are the shake-inducing, body-aching Leg Raises! I’m used to the style where you plant your elbows into the arm pads by your rib cage and I have to say that hanging is definitely harder. Start with Knee Crunches, graduate to Leg Extentions or alternature between the 2. Complete 3 sets of 10! *Make sure you’re not swinging your legs; no momentum!
The rest of the exercises really don’t need picture demonstrations:
- Body Weight Tricep Dips
- Leg Raises (Lying Down)
- Toe Touches (Lying Down)
- Shoulder Press and Bicep Curls with Weights
The next day, I was S.O.R.E. That’s the great thing about new/different exercises – your muscles haven’t adapted to the movement over time, and are being utilized more than during your daily crunches. After repeating the same exercise many times, your body becomes more efficient. You don’t need to work as hard, you burn less calories, and you may not feel the next-day soreness anymore. That’s why it’s always good to mix things up. Thanks for the killer workout, Kerri!
Friends who get fit together, stay together!
( ….Cheeeeeeesy. :D )