Do you get bored going to the gym, spending long hours, doing the same workouts day in and day out? Do you find your happy with your body for the most part, but have hit a plateau? If so, then it is time to challenge yourself with an intense body weight workout which is sure to shock your body and in turn, produce results.
When you get into a rut working out and yes, we’ve all been there, your body stops responding. In essence, your body becomes efficient at doing the same workout and like anything, if you don’t push yourself or change it up, your body adjusts. Each time we repeat a particular workout, our body adapts to meet the demand, becomes more efficient and in turn, you stop seeing the results you saw when you started working out. It is very important to change things up.
So, I am providing you with a challenging workout (not for beginners) that is perfect for shaking up your routine. I love to do this type of workout on my cardio days. I may do for example, hill sprints in the morning and then in the afternoon do a routine like this (on the weekend usually, when I have the time). I feel great and it definitely has made me stronger and more fit, as well as it keeps my workouts more interesting and extremely challenging.
Get out of your head that the only way to look good is by pushing heavy weights for hours in the gym. While I do love lifting hard, I also know how important it is to mix up the routine to keep your body guessing. Bodyweight exercises are one of the best ways to burn fat while making you stronger, leaner and more energetic.
The workout I have provided is sure to challenge even the most fit. Do each exercise below, back to back, with no rest. When you finish the circuit, rest for about 1 minute (depending on your fitness level) and repeat 2-3 more times. The whole workout should take about a half hour.
If you feel some of the exercises are not challenging enough without weight, feel free to use dumbbells. However, don’t go heavy, because this routine demands a lot from you and allows little rest.
1) Bulgarian Split squats: 20 each leg
2) Pull up/Knee Raise: 8
3) 1 Leg Squats: 10 on each leg
4) Elevated Pushup: 10 each side
5) Inverted Rows (underhand grip): 10-15
6) Front Lunges (alternating): 10 each leg
7) Decline close grip pushups: 15 reps
8) 1 leg stability ball leg curl: 15 each leg
9) Dumbbell swings: 45 secs.
10) Burpees/ chinup: 10
1. Bulgarian Split squat: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart facing away from a bench. Place the instep of one foot on the bench (shoe laces). Step forward with the other foot, taking a larger than normal step.
Contract your glutes and abs and keep your chest up. Lower your body until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. Push up to the start position remaining in the split squat. Perform all reps for one leg and then switch.
2. Pull ups/Knee raise: Grab bar with an overhand grip (palms facing outward). Pull your body up until chest reaches bar level. As you pull yourself up, bring your knees up toward your chest. Slowly lower yourself without swinging or using momentum and repeat. (this not only works your Lats and biceps, but it also works your abs).
3. 1 Leg Squats: Stand on a bench with both feet. Hold a wall if you need to balance yourself, but don’t use it for assistance. Let one foot hang off the back of the bench and start movement by pushing your hips back as if you were sitting in a chair. Lower yourself as far as you can (until thigh is parallel with floor) Stick your glutes out, brace your abs and keep your chest up. Use your buttocks, hamstrings and quadriceps to return to the start position. Complete all reps on one leg and then repeat on the other.
4. Elevated Pushups: Get in pushup position Place one hand on the floor and the other elevated 4-6 off the ground (on a step, medicine ball, etc.) Hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower yourself down until you are 2 inches off the floor. Push through chest, shoulders and triceps to return to start position. Do all reps on one side and then switch so other arm is elevated.
5. Inverted Row Underhand grip): Set a bar hip height on a smith machine or squat rack. Lie underneath bar and grab it with an underhand grip (palms facing you) shoulder width apart. Pull your chest up to the bar with your upper bicps and lats. Keep body in a straight line from shoulders to heels. (easier version: put bottom of feet on floor)
6. Front Lunges (alternating): Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. (Hold dumbbells in hands if needed). Step forward with your right leg, taking a slightly larger than normal step. Keep your left toe on the ground for balance with the knee bent. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Keep your body upright and lower back flat. Push with your right leg to return to the starting position.
7. Decline Close Grip Pushups: Put your feet on a bench or step, hands on the floor. Keep abs braced and body in a straight line from toes (knees) to shoulders. Place hands on floor, shoulder-width apart and keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Slowly lower yourself down keeping elbows tucked in the whole time. Push through your chest, shoulders and triceps to return to the start position.
8. One leg stability ball hamstring curl: Lie on your back and place your feet on a stability ball. Brace your abs and glutes and bridge your hips up by contracting your glutes. Keep only one foot on the ball and raise the other one up in the air. Keep your abs braced and contract your hamstring, rolling the ball toward your hips with only one leg while keeping your hips bridged. Slowly return to the start position with your hips bridged the whole time.
9. Dumbbell Swings: Hold a dumbbell with both hands. Start with legs slightly bent holding the dumbbell between legs. Keeping arms straight, swing the dumbbell up to shoulder height. Return to starting position and repeat.
10. Burpees/chin up: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend down into a squat position Kick your legs back together into a plank position, Jump your knees in toward your elbows in a squat position. Stand up and jump in the air and grab the chin up bar overhead. Palms facing forward and do a chin up. Let go and repeat. (this is an extremely challenging exercise. If you can’t do chin ups, just do burpees and work yourself up to this exercise.