Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving Week Workouts ...

Next week, ABC at your regular location will have the week off.  Then we're back in camp on December 1st for the final 3 weeks of camp.

Some of you will be traveling, OR hosting family for Thanksgiving.

I've heard similar stories from campers ... you just didn't know what to do with that time "off" from Boot Camp, being away from home.  Your days started slower ... you felt sluggish.  And a family member or two started getting on your nerves.  Just a tiny bit.

So, what do you do when you're in an unfamiliar place, with no gyms around, no 5:30am wake up call, and the family you're staying with doesn't really understand your need/desire for a couple of workouts during your visit?

Well, if you like to run or walk, it's relatively easy to go out for a long run or brisk walk during your stay.  The unfamiliar surroundings may be a bit strange, but do your best to find some roads that are free from traffic (and where you won't get lost). I love the feature on my Garmin that will tell me how to get back to my starting place, if I'm not familiar with a particular place.  Or use this app for finding awesome running/walking/hiking/biking paths - localeikki

If you're not into running, always remember the exercises that can be performed anywhere:  Pushups, Mt. Climbers, Burpees, Tabata Squats, Rapid Rows, Lunges, Jump Squats, almost all core/ab exercises, and sprints.  Those movements right there will give you a SERIOUS full body workout in 30 minutes or less!

Get out your ABC Travel Fit Deck and pick and choose your workout for the day. Here's the video on how it works: and here's where you can download your Fit Deck.

When traveling, or busy in general, it's important that we reframe what a workout is.  If you're in boot camp, we define it as an hour. 

But why does a workout always HAVE to be an hour?

The truth is, it doesn't.  And it SHOULDN'T be an hour if 35 minutes of the workout isn't productive.  Make it 25 minutes of productive workout time, and save those 35 minutes for something else important/meaningful. 

The point is, often when we're in a pinch (traveling, early work meetings, tired because the kids were up all night, etc) we THINK that we need to get an hour workout in for it to "qualify" as a workout. 

The workout could be 10 minutes of intense SOMETHING.  And guess what?  You've elevated your metabolism.  You've reduced stress.  You've improved your mood.  Your energy.  You're mentally more awake.  And emotionally you're more balanced.

All the benefits are there.  Don't let perfect get in the way of possible when obstacles abound. 

Here are some example workouts for YOU when things get a little tight over the next 5 weeks:

Workout A:

  • 3 minute warm up of jumping jacks, body weight squats, jogging in place and dynamic stretching.
  • Tabata Pushups – 8 rounds, 20 seconds each round, 10 seconds of recovery between the rounds.  (Use your timer on your phone)
  • Rest 2 minutes.
  • Tabata Squats – use the same format as above of 8 rounds.  Now, you can make this one harder by (1) going super-fast on the squats or (2) by doing Jump Squats in lieu of a body weight squat for some of the time.  No dumbbells needed.
  • This workout takes 15 minutes and will work EVERY SINGE LARGE MUSCLE GROUP in your body.  You will feel really good after this one!
  • Stretch/Cool down

Workout B:

  • 3 minute warm up
  • Tabata Single Leg Deadlifts – 8 rounds, 20 seconds each round, 10 seconds of recovery between the rounds.  Rounds 1-4 on the right leg, rounds 5-8 on the left leg.  With a focus on quality form, slow and deliberate movements, this will do a killer job on your hamstrings, glutes and low back muscles – no weights needed.  (Use your timer on your phone)
  • Rest 1 minute.
  • Tabata High Plank Rapid Rows – use the same format as above of 8 rounds.  No dumbbells needed.
  • Stretch/Cool down

Workout C:

  • 3 minute warm up
  • Sprint.  Have a set distance, like 30 yards or 100 feet.  Sprint the full distance, and the walk or jog back to the start and repeat 7 – 10 times.  This will rev your metabolism BIG TIME, and takes less than 10 minutes from warm up to cool down.

All of these workouts are less than 15 minutes, yet EXCEPTIONALLY effective.

Additional exercises that you can substitute into the above list include Walking lunges, Wall Sits, Pushups, Leg Cranks, Planks and all the quality core exercises like Bicycle Crunches, Imaginary Ball Exchanges, Side Planks and 6 Inch Killers.  All stuff we have built into your ABC workouts. 

And you'll notice that NONE of these workouts requires equipment.  If you like to workout to music, bring your iPod – but that doesn't take up any weight or room in your luggage when traveling.

The reality is that the human body is the BEST form of equipment you'll ever need.  Everything else is a nice to have, particularly when you're traveling.

All of these workouts and exercises are FUNCTIONAL … meaning, the movements replicate real world movements which allows us to move or perform better in life.

A leg extension in a seated position at the gym, with your back, hips and glutes supported, will NEVER EVER happen in your day to day normal activity. 

So if you find yourself in a place you're not familiar with, or with others that think you're weird because you "need a workout", feel comfortable with your decision and just stick to it!  In the end, you'll feel good physically, mentally, emotionally, and good about having your priorities in line!  Those relatives are MUCH easier to manage after a good workout. 

After all, are WE really the "weird" ones because we want to take care of ourselves? 

Your friend in fitness,

Brian Calkins

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HealthStyle Fitness, Inc. | 4700 Smith Road Suite C, Cincinnati, OH 45212 | 513-407-4665, x-105 |


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