'Twas a crisp and breezy Monday morning today. Winter's approaching - and fast - in my neck of the woods, and signs are we'll have an especially severe winter this year. Global warming, anyone??
Anyway, woke up bright and early at 11, hehe, and dove straight into a combination of leg exercises and pushups that left me dripping with sweat despite the chill in the air. To give you an example of the sort of "cardio" effect this sort of routine can give you, try alternating sets of 20 pushups with jumping rope for 100 reps each time - and don't rest more than 10 seconds between each exercise. 5 sets of this puppy, and you'll be feeling it in no time - guaranteed!
Headed on to the park for some pull-ups after that, and started in on some hammer grip pull-ups alternated with regular pull-ups. Man, those monkey bars were COLD - I was literally "wringing" the cold
out of my fingers after every set!
Anyway, I was finishing up with some timed holds, when along dwadles this young'ish sort of guy with a silly grin on his face.
Plenty of these "specimens" where I work out, and they usually leave me to my own devices, which is what I prefer - but I could tell at one glance that this dude wasn't of the same bent of mind.
He was looking at me from afar, making gestures, "sidling" up to the monkey bars every time I finished a set (and sidling right back when I glared at him) - in short, doing everything he could to get me to speak with him.
And I was, of course, doing everything I could to shake him off. I'm not exactly one for "chit-chat" (especially idle and silly chit-chat) during my routines, and I never make any bones about that fact. And it usually works - folks usually leave me alone when I'm working out.
On this occasion though, I was unsuccessful.
"Hello", he starts, while proferring me a limp hand.
"Hello", I grunt back, getting back to my timed holds.
Did my 4th set of 20 second holds, and was taking a brief rest when I heard him again.
I pretended not to hear.
Wool in my ears, as they say. . .
"Excuse me", he said for the third time, finally moseying on up to the monkey bars in a most slimey fashion.
"Yeah", I say.
"Do you work out here daily?"
"Uh huh", I grunt back.
"You shouldn't be working out on these", our guy says. He pointed at the monkey bars with a limp finger as if they were something to be ashamed of, and shook his head in a sad manner.
"You should get the TRX", he tells me. "You'll get the cuts and definition you want in no time at all!"
Uh-oh - those who know me know that "cuts and definition" are the last thing I want to hear about, and badger me with that type of nonsense during a workout - well, you're liable to get the sort of rousing reception a hibernating grizzly bear provides those who rouse him from his sleep.
Anyhow, I ignored him and went on to set #5.
"Ouch! That must be painful", he starts after this set.
"Calluses, what do you expect", I retort in a gruff manner.
"You really need the TRX. Here, take my card", he goes, handing me a sort of business card with the name of a prominent gym as well as the TRX logo on it.
"I don't want your card".
"Try it, it'll help you".
"I don't want to try it, and I don't want your help", I snapped back, annoyance getting the better of me.
He finally seemed to then "get the message", and pushed off in the other direction, mumbling "Thank you" under his breath. Good for him.
Anyway, "cuts and definition" not withstanding, I find it funny that even gyms these days are scrounging around for folks to buy their overpriced (and in many cases absolutely worthless) memberships. It would seem that folks are sick of paying through the nose for something that doesn't really benefit them - but maybe not, as I don't see the number of fit people going up - it's actually the other way around.
Now, just so you know, I've got nothing against the TRX system (even though I prefer to use my own bodyweight to get fit). The TRX has worked for many people, and I'm sure it'll continue to work for many more, and who I am to knock something that apparently "works"?
But does it work better than a bodyweight based program such as what I advocate?
Not a snowball's chance in tarnation, my friend. The TRX has several things going for it, the most important being the fact it also at the end of the day is a bodyweight based program - and the other being that one has to stay on a super strict diet during the program, else you dont see results.
But, I don't see whats wrong with doing pull-ups on thick bars and how they're any worse than doing them on the suspension system the TRX provides.
I don't see whats wrong with climbing a long, steep hill daily for your "cardio" as opposed to super strict diets that one cannot stick with for any length of time.
And neither do I believe that it's necessarily better to do pushups using straps or pushup bars - I much prefer the old fashioned way of putting one's palms on the floor and completing the exercise.
Folks think they need something "fancy" to get fit - but the truth is, all you need is your own body and some willpower, my friend, and your all set.
More importantly, people need to learn that "tough" isn't a bad thing. Thick bar pull-ups are tough, and they'll give you a pair of calloused hands for sure, but you'd be hard pressed to replicate the STRENGTH that this particular exercise builds no matter what gizmo you use. 'Tis a fact - try it yourself and see if you don't believe me.
Tough is GOOD - and they understood that in the old days. And thats why they had some mighty strong - and FIT - men back in those days. Men who stuck to the basics, and focused on getting stronger. Men who knew all you needed to get a great workout in is your OWN body weight.
What's also amazing is that folks these days are willing to fork over big bucks for the latest gadgets, fad diets, gym memberships et al, and then do so all over again when their "purchase" doesnt deliver what was promised.
So, forget the $250 gym memberships, my friend.
Forget "workout systems" that promise you six pack abs within said number of days.
Ditch the fancy protein shakes, "no carbs" diet, and any other nonsense the so-called fitness gurus might preach.
All you really need to do is fork over a mere $24.99 for Fast and Furious Fitness, and you'll be all set. Heck, that's less than a FRACTION of what I mentioned above would cost - but you'd better believe it delivers far more than any of the above will.
It's solid, tough, back to the basics stuff - and THAT, my friend is what really delivers - not the lass on TV showing off her "8 pack" trying to sell you products late at night.
Anyway, this email has gone off for long enough - so I think I'll end here. Gotta go help my wife reposition a solid oak bed we have - moving that sucker around the bedroom (limited space) can be a workout unto itself.
P.S.: - I speak about "men" towards the latter part of this note, but this advice, and the routines I teach in Fast and Furious Fitness are just as applicable for you ladies out there - as well as kids. Click on over NOW to see what the hullabaloo is all about: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
I was bushed (to say the least) after yesterday's stair climbing workout.In fact, one of my first thought upon getting back home that evening was "I must have dropped at least half a kilogram of weight this afternoon with all that I did". And it wasn't just me thinking that - my body was actually "telling" me this. Those of you that participate in competitive sports out in the heat will know exactly what I mean here.
Got up this morning and headed straight for the weighing scales, and what I saw shocked me, to say the least - yesterday's adventures left me a total of THREE kilograms lighter.
THREE kilograms - that is 6.6 lbs for those of you not versed in the metric scale.
And all in ONE afternoon??
I couldn't believe it - rubbed my eyes, and stood on the scale again, but there it was. Numbers don't lie - and my body was telling me something similar yesterday anyway, so I finally accepted it.
Now, some of you might think this is because I'm dehydrated to the bone - but you'd be wrong if you thought so. I am NOT dehydrated - I drink about 12-14 large glasses of water on a daily basis, and made sure to "drink up" as soon as I got home.
I currently weight about 85 kgs or so, a good 12-13 kgs over my "fighting" weight in China (around 72 kgs), but that was with a daily hill climb - and not as many of the Fast and Furious exercises as I do now. One can only wonder at how much I'd have weighed back then if I combined the hill with a lot of Fast and Furious routines, hehe.
Anyway, this is NOT to say that those of you that have been spending years lazing on the couch with your only exercise being beer curls or pizza chomps can jump straight up and start pounding up flights of stairs in extremely humid weather - NO. That is not what I recommend - build up to it - and even after you do so, your results might not be as drastic as mine are. Remember, if there's one form of exercise my body responds to BEST, it's climbing steep hills - or stairs - and that is pretty much what happened.
And last, but not least, for those that might think "oh, he drops weight pretty easily" - uh, no - I don't drop excess flabbage all that easily. In fact, Mother Nature has been pretty stingy with the good genetics when it comes to me (at least physical genetics) - I'm prone to packing on the pounds around my hips, waist and chest pretty easily even without overeating - so I actually need a lot MORE exercise than a lot of other folks (including couch potatoes) might.
But it does go to say that if I can knock weight off when I want to, so can YOU.
If I can do pull-ups in sets of 5 - well, so can YOU!
If I can will myself to use EVERY opportunity I have to get fit - well, so can YOU, my friend.
Obesity (and not just regular "fat around the stomach" - I'm talking seriously obese) is a HUGE problem where I'm at - and I see this every time I travel in the subway, and I wonder what would happen if these folks actually bothered to get off their smartphones and CLIMB for a change - rather than hanging to the escalator railings with a sour face looking on at me as I take the stairs two at a time.
But no, that doesn't happen does it.
We have folks whining about their "busy lifestyle", and "workloads at the office". We hear them whinging about their gym memberships which never seem to benefit them, yet they never cancel 'em. And so forth.
Now, if your one of the lot that "thinks it's silly" to pound up the stairs every time you see some, well, I can't force you to change yourself. If you still believe that you need to spend hours on the treadmill and pec deck, well, have at, my friend - you won't hear many complaints from me.
But if you understand what I'm saying in this note - and truly agree with me from the bottom of your heart, well, then I salute you - not simply for having the courage to do something different and improve your life - but also for having the will power and self-discipline to tell yourself that no barrier is insurmountable - and for having the cojones to throw away any and all excuses that might stand in the way of you getting the body you DESERVE!
And there it is - NO EXCUSES, period. That's really all there is to it.
Onward and upward,
PS: I'm enjoying a well earned rest today, but those of you looking to drop the excuses - along with some flab - might want to check out Fast and Furious Fitness: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
Had a real busy day yesterday, running around from pillar to post as it were trying to get a bunch of stuff done. How does the "stuff that needs to get done NOW" always crop up on a Saturday of all days??
I sure don't know - but what I do know is I was TIRED at night. Hit the sack around 1 AM or so, and was slept like a log till about 11AM today. And those of you that work long hours all week, or don't get the Saturday off at them "evil" corporations know what I mean, hehe.
Anyway, Sunday's usually touted as a day of rest - and rightfully so - but along with the rest, and associated gluttony that a lot of people indulge in on this "relax" day of the week, what if you could get a QUICK AND DIRTY workout done within half an hour max, which would make you feel buzzed for the rest of the day, and make that gluttony or beer bash all the more enjoyable?
I don't know about you, my friend, but the very first thing I did upon waking up this A.M. was to jump straight into one of my quick and dirty workout routines from Fast and Furious Fitness that I spiced up a bit with some different exercises not mentioned in this edition of the book.
Did some stretches to get the blood flowing, and jumped straight into a set of 100 jumping jacks, interspersed with 100 knees to chest jumping (a real killer, by the way). Did these in varying numbers, and followed up with 50 assorted pushups done FAST - I think I timed myself at slightly over 3 minutes for these.
Back down on the floor for some leg raises, situps, bridging and assorted core work - done one after the other of course. Didn't try to shoot for any personal bests, but just focused on keeping the heart rate up, the muscles WARM, and just kept going. Around 12 minutes or so of this.
Finished off with 5 minutes of handstand pushups, toweled the sweat off, and that was THAT. Would normally go in for some chinning movements after this, but it's Sunday - hey, I deserve some rest too - and besides, the routines I did had me dripping from head to toe - not exactly an easy workout by any means.
Now, the reason I mention this isn't to reinforce the point that workouts should be done at a rapid pace (they should, but that's another tale for another time) - it's mostly to emphasize that you can get your workout in even on a Sunday without spending too much time over it. Think about it - 20-25 minutes of tough, fast paced exercises before that lunch date at 2PM - sure beats feeling hungover and tired after lunch.
It also goes to show that you do NOT need to hit personal bests in each and every workout - something I emphasize repeatedly in Fast and Furious Fitness. You do NOT need to beat yourself up daily with long routines that take forever to complete. Just be consistent, and the results will come.
So that's the update for today - stay tuned for more. If you work out today, make it a GREAT one!
PS: My new course Shoulders like Boulders contains routines that can be completed within as less as 15 minutes, and give you a fantastic upper body/core workout: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/87-shoulders-like-boulders
PS#2: I refer to Fast and Furious Fitness repeatedly in this note - you can grab your copy HERE: http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book
Many of you have noticed that I talk about handstand pushups, and building strong and durable shoulders through this very exercise in a lot of my emails. I'll post sample handstand workout routines, speak about how I included handstand pushups into my daily workout, and so forth - and from the feedback I've gotten thus far, it seems a lot of you enjoy reading about this exercise.
This exercise seems to have helped a lot of people out there - especially folks with shoulder injuries from training unnatural movements, or caused by lifting weights that are way too heavy in compromising positions (for the shoulder). In fact,I know folks that have been helped more by careful practice of this ONE exercise more so than by doctors and chiropractors, and THAT, my friend, is no mean feat by any stretch of the imagination.
A lot of you have also asked me a multitude of questions about this exercise, and I've done my best to answer them speedily, and in as much detail as possible.
For instance a reader sent me a question a couple of weeks ago about how to work into handstand pushups from regular pushups last week and I answered him - and he seems to be well on his way to cranking them out in reps now (congrats Jason!).
But it got me thinking - what if there was a product out there that told you EXACTLY how to perform the movement, work into it, progress in it - in short, explained everything there is to explain about this movement? No more emails, and no more waiting on responses - just open the manual, and there it is in front of you.
And so, I decided to put out a brand new product today; titled, quite appropriately, "Shoulders like boulders!". This little power packed manual can be ordered off the site here: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/87-shoulders-like-boulders, and is priced at a very reasonable rate of $12.99. Sure, I could charge way, way more for this - especially considering the amount you'll save on doctor bills, surgeries and the like (if your shoulders are currently that badly beat up), or the amount the average Joe would save on his gym membership (no gym membership required here!) - but I'm not going to do so at this point.
I want to make sure this manual is affordable to EVERYONE - hence the low introductory price - so jump on this offer NOW.
Whats more - I'm currently offering this as a PDF copy, so there's no shipping times involved either! Simply click the order button, make the payment and you'll have the manual in your Inbox within 24 hours - it's that simple.
So hurry on over, and order your copy now - and watch those shoulders develop into meaty boulders within a few workouts - all done safely, and naturally.
All for today - back again soon with more!
P.S: - Getting such a product at $12.99 is an absolute steal - push on over NOW to make the most of this special introductory offer: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/products/87-shoulders-like-boulders
Got through another great workout this morning - and a pretty simple one at that. Most of my workouts these days consist of only THREE main exercises; yet, my entire body gets a fantastic working over with just these three main exercises. So, I guess you could say my workout is short, sweet and simple - and that, my friend, as with many other things in life is a good thing.
So, what did I do?
As I said, three exercises - and those are: 5x 5 handstand pushups, 4x 5 pull-ups, and the front/back bridge. I did some supplementary grip/balance work as well, but only because I felt like it - not because I had to. And that was that.
Now, just THREE exercises? I'm really getting a great workout (for the entire body) from just THREE exercises?
And the answer is, YES - I AM (short and simple again, but it gets the point across, so hey. . .).
Now, I realize this may be hard to believe for some of the gym going folks that have been practically raised on a diet of "10 sets x 10 for chest", "5 sets of 20 for the 'peak of the biceps' (whatever that may be)", "10 sets of 10 on the leg extension machine", and so forth. But tis true.
In fact, most people - not just the gym "pumpers" - look at me with disbelief when I tell them less is MORE when it comes to working out - and nothing I say would convince them to believe otherwise. Ask them why they believe the opposite though, and the majority won't really know what to say except that Bubba on the internet forum told them, and Bubba's always right, so, uh. . .there it is.
Okay, your choice - but without further ado, I'll give you my reasons behind the short, sweet and simple philosophy.
First off, your body only has so much to give. Unless your a professional athlete, sportsman, or laborer, you'll likely find that you have X amount of time to work out in, and only so much energy to devote to your workout. So doing a gazillion exercises won't work simply because you wont have the time - or ability - to do all of them justice.
Second, and this ties into point #1 - simply doing an exercise is not enough - you must FOCUS on the exercise like there's no tomorrow, and you must complete each rep in letter perfect form. Always strive to get better at what you do. And this is only possible if you have a limited number of exercises to do - it is impossible for anyone, even the most genetically gifted of us to do justice to ALL exercises in humumgous two to three hour daily workouts. And recovering from such workouts is next to impossible as well.
Third, and this is something you need to make a note of - the body responds to HARD work. Doing fewer sets of a TOUGH exercises (or struggling to get even one rep) is FAR better than moseying through a set of an easy exercise just for the "pump". The body doesnt care about how LONG you take to finish an exercise. It DOES care about how hard you work to complete the exercise, and therein lies the secret to increase in strength.
There's more to it as well - but for more details, refer to Fast and Furious Fitness - I've covered this topic in detail there.
The exercises I did today work the entire upper body into the ground if done correctly. Doing handstand pushups is hard for most people, and doing 25 of them in good form will give even the strongest athlete a run for his money. Ditto for pull-ups - and as for the bridging exercises I did, they are advanced variations NOT mentioned in the book, but for those of that you can do it, it will work your entire body - as an unit - into the ground. You may notice there's no direct leg work in that routine - but I've been getting plenty of it via walking, jumping rope and climbing stairs as of late, so there was no need for it today.
The entire routine took about 45 minutes, and I was hammered by the end of it. And there isn't a single body part that I haven't worked - and again, remember, I only did THREE main exercises - and not that many reps either.
And thats pretty much how most of my workouts look like. I might on occasion try and do high rep work, like the 500 pushup workout I've spoken about before, but by and large, I keep it short, sweet and simple - and HARD. And the results speak for themselves.
So to those of you that are pounding away at workouts that go on for pages, and not really getting much in terms of results, you might want to stop and reconsider. Give the short, sweet and simple principle a try - and see how it works for you!
I realize that it may be tough for you at first to put a decent training program together that doesnt ask you to do every exercise under the sun and doesnt take very much time at all to complete - but I've done that for you in Fast and Furious Fitness. This book gives you several sample routines you can use to kick-start your training into high gear almost at once; and for those of you that prefer doing so, you can create your own routine as well with the exercises I mention. Make sure you grab your copy NOW!
So, thats today's message - and in case your training today, make sure you give it your all!!
PS: In case you haven't done so already, make sure to reserve your copy of Fast ans Furious Fitness ASAP. Here's that link once again - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/83-fast-and-furious-fitness-the-book.
So, I finish my workout this morning and toddle on downstairs to the floor beneath me to get a drink of much needed H2O. I had
just been through a fantastic workout - but more on that in just a bit.
For those that are regulars here at Fast and Fitness HQ, you know that I'm currently living in Oman. I also probably told you that I'm in "temporary" accomodation for now - this is sort of a "shared" sort of arrangement, with private rooms for all, but shared water coolers, common eating area etc. Sort of like dorms in a college, except not quite. . .anyway, so thats the story behind water being on the floor beneath me!
So, I meet this guy at the water cooler that lives opposite me. He takes one look at me, and we exchange the usual pleasntries.
"Whats up with the sweat fest", he asks?
"Been working out".
"Oh, been out for a long run, eh?"
"Must be hard to exercise in the heat outside, look at the way your sweating through your T-shirt"
(Remember, I'm basically living in desert like conditions - with A/C inside, which explains why he was so surprised by me sweating a tankful - but regardless, the conditions outside are HOT)
"Uh-huh. . ."
And thus it ended, with the gentleman having got his glass of water, and me having refilled my bottles.
Now, the dude's question was understandable in a way - I mean who sweats in a country where virtually NO-ONE walks even for the shortest of short distances, and the air-conditioning is super powerful. People talk about obesity in the US, but it seems to be even more of a problem here.
He was spot on on the sweating part - but he was wrong on the exercise part. I did NOT run for a mile - didn't even step outside in fact. All I did was an intense 45 minute workout which involved the following: -
Rope jumping (500 reps)
Handstand pushups (15 reps)
Freestanding handstands (lost count, but did them for a fair bit)
2 sets of the neck bridge, held for 2.5 minutes each
The front bridge
Stretching and more free standing handstands(as a finisher)
And that's it. Short, sweet and simple - and the gentleman would be amazed to know that most of the sweating did NOT occur during the rope jumps - I barely broke a sweat on those - it was mostly on the other stuff that I really pushed my limits.
So that, my friend, is living proof right there of what bodyweight exercises can do for you, in a short period of time. Intense workouts that leave you gasping for breath, work every muscle in your body, and make you feel ON TOP OF THE WORLD for hours afteward - all without even stepping out of our house. Can't ask for more than that, me thinks!
Not be able to do all, or any of the exercises I've just mentioned above? Fret not - Fast and Furious Fitness offers you a wide gamut of exercises that you can use to build yourself up to a level where 500 rope jumps seem like child's play to you. The key as always is to START someplace - and then progress from there - before you know it, you'll be making great progress.
Anyway, I'm off to shower and then grab lunch, so I'll end this here. In the meantime though, if you haven't already got your workout in for the day - do so ASAP - and give it your all!
PS: If this sort of stuff inspires you, and eif you haven't already done so, make sure you grab your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness TODAY. Get cracking on some of the exercises that will change your body for the better - in a short period of time!
Woke up this morning around 8AM or so, and went straight into a stretching routine that I've been practising over the last few days. The exercises I'm practising allow for a fantastic overall body stretch, especially in the hamstring area (where most folks are weak) - and boy does it feel good to stretch out your hamstrings first thing in the morning.
After that, I jumped straight into a rope jumping/pushup routine which had me jumping rope in sets of 100, punctuated by 20 pushups in between. Banged out a total of 120 pushups and 600 rope jumps this way - and managed this in around 15 minutes or so.
The adrenalin was flowing, the heart was thumping. Sweat was rolling off me like no-one's business - and I felt like a billion bucks - like a natural "high", if that makes any sense. I've heard of "runner's high", and other such terms - but THIS feeling puts them all in the shade. What's more, this feeling lasts all day; it's currently around 11:30 AM or so as I'm typing this, and I still feel wired. And last, but not least - you burn a ton of calories training this way - all while building healthy, FUNCTIONAL muscle all over your body.
Anyway, I finished off with some neck bridges and handstand pushups - both advanced exercises which I do NOT recommend if you are just starting out - but which I'll cover in an advanced training manual that I'm in the process of writing. Stay tuned for that one.
What about you, my friend?
Did you get your exercise in for the morning? More importantly, how are you feeling right now?
If the answer is "no" to the first question, and "so-so" to the second, well, then you need to get training the Fast and Furious way. And there are many ways - one being "circuit" training with Fast and Furious exercises - similar to what I did this morning. Gets the blood flowing, the heart pounding, and the lungs churning - all in all, a super package that doesn't take up more than 15 minutes of your time.
And whats more - this 15 minutes results in hours more of feeling so good that you're automatically way more productive for the rest of the day.
Now, I dont know about you - but 15 minutes of hard exercises = an entire day's worth of increased alertness, focus, productivity and well being - I'll take that any day over long, drawn out routines that take up the entire day, and do next to nothing for your overall health and well-being.
Anyhow, I'm about to run now - but in case your interested in this (and you should be), then Fast and Furious Fitness is what the doctor ordered for YOU. Get cracking on some of the routines therein, and let me know how you do!
Doing things in reverse (backwards) is not normally thought of as a good idea - but the concept can be extremely beneficial when it comes to your training.
Sometimes, training in "reverse" may be the best thing you can do to shoot past a sticking point, or to better your performance at an exercise your already good. Or, it might just be what the doctor ordered to change things up once in a while (always a good idea).
And what do I mean by "reverse" training?
Well, put simply, what I mean is to literally "reverse" an exercise - and perform it for repetitions in good form. For instance, take the regular pushup, and do it in reverse - as in, get on your back and push yourself up as opposed to chest touching the floor. And if you've never done these before - I'll bet you'll find this exercise a lot harder than the regular pushup - and you'll find it works a bunch of different muscles than the regular pushup does.
Form is paramount on this one, so make sure you do it correctly. This type of pushup is covered in Fast and Furious Fitness, along with instructions and photos on how to do it correctly - make sure you follow the instructions carefully before starting.
Another fantastic example of "reverse" training would be handstands, and handstand pushups - where you literally reverse the motion of a pull-up, and push yourself up and down while supporting your entire bodyweight on your hands. This one is tough enough for most folks to do - so you don't hear much about it - but work this exercise on a regular basis, and you won't believe the upper body gains you make within a short period!
I cover the basic handstand (and handstand pushup) in Fast and Furious Fitness. Bear in mind that there are way more advanced variations than what I show in the book - but also bear in mind that most folks (including those than can lift heavy weights in the gym) would struggle to knock off 10 basic handstand pushups in good form. Try it, and you'll see.
You'll also likely find that your results and performance on the regular exercises you do sky rockets after you work the "reverse" exercises into your routine. I've often found that my pushups improve dramatically after doing a set of reverse pushups right after a set of regular pushups - that's a powerful tip right there - and there are many other examples I could state.
And lest you think this applies only to upper body exercises, think again, my friend. This applies equally to ALL exercises - upper, lower, or core - more details to follow later.
Anyway, think about it the next time you hit a sticking point - it might just be what the doctor ordered. Give it a try, and let me know how it works for you!
I can recall more than a few instances where I've had to cancel my scheduled workout - either cancel it, or abruptly terminate it due to pressing reasons. Now I'm not saying I enjoy this, but hey, thats life - things that are out of our control happen sometimes, and there's not much we can do about it.
And it happens to all of us - and to the best of us as well. I'm sure even the most determined and disciplined amongst us will recall a time when we just HAD to skip our scheduled workouts - even if we didn't want to - just because we were in a situation that demanded it.
Now, does being in such a situation mean you can't get your exercise in for the day? Well, not really - not if your determined enough - you might not be able to get your full routine in, but there's always ways to fit in mini-workouts that are pretty demanding in and of themselves, and that will give you pretty good results if done regularly.
And what do I mean by mini-workouts?
Well, I mean ultra short, intense workouts - so short that you may not even want to classify them as workouts - more like BURSTS of energy. These "workouts" may not last more than a minute at a time, and whats better, you don't need to schedule a time for them either - you just fit them in as and when you can during the course of your day.
I often don't have time these days to complete my entire routine (and as I posted earlier, I don't even have access to a chinning bar at this point in time, so I'm unable to practice one of my all time favorite exercises as well) - so I improvise during the course of my day. I'm currently living on the fourth floor of a building, and in my case, improvisation equates to taking the stairs EACH time I enter my front door. This means I'm either running, or climbing the stairs at a brisk pace at least four to five times DAILY - more than a lot of times if I'm going out a lot.
Sure - I could take the elevator - and folks stare at me in a strange manner when I'm sprinting up the stairs in full formal attire (on my lunch break!) - but it's worth it - I get a fantastic little mini-workout in that makes me feel good for hours afterward. And whats more, this sort of things burns a ton of calories as well, so your getting in that "cardio" your doctor is always talking about.
I did a similar thing a few years back when I used to take the subway to work - I used to make it a point to sprint the stairs up to ground level (or those from the ground level to higher levels - this subway was above ground in parts) EACH time I took the subway. I did this on my rest days (when I didn't exercise in the morning) and I did them on the days when I did exercise - and I did them on the way back from work as well. And in ALL cases, these little mini-workouts recharged my batteries for the next couple of hours. Thats like 1 minute of exercise, maybe 2 at most vs a couple of hours of "feel good" later. Now I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty decent trade-off to me!
So that's one example - my example. And just so you know, climbing stairs is a fantastic exercise - second only to climbing HILLS on a regular basis - which I classify as one of my #1 workouts that I've ever done. The health benefits you receive from this type of exercise are second to NONE - and you'll soon see what I mean if you incorporate something similar into your routine.
And stair climbing, although a great exercise, is by no means the only thing you can do to fit in a mini-workout during the course of your day. You can pump out a set of 20 pushups whenever you have time, or you could offer to help your neighbor move the heavy stuff into his van on moving day (and I've done this sort of thing before - more in a later post!). You can do burpees, or you can simply walk down to the nearby store instead of plonking your rear end down on the car seat. It's really all up to YOU - but when there's a will, there's always a way!
So, that's the mini-workout concept. Give it a shot, and let me know how it goes for you!
PS: There are many, many simple exercises that you can do for a mini-workout - for more, read Fast and Furious Fitness. I can't guarantee there'll be no stares, but I CAN guarantee great results if practiced regularly!
PS#2: To those that are training this weekend - make it an AWESOME one!
Today I'll discuss a topic that most of us have wondered about at some point. And that involves stretching - as in, when exactly should you stretch your muscles? Before a hard workout? During a workout? Or AFTER a tough workout?
Most "experts" recommend stretching before your workout. According to them, stretching "loosens" up your musclesd, and prepares them for the rigors of your workout. And according to them, stretching before your workout lessens the chances of injury. So, you've likely been taught that it's best to touch your toes a set number of times before you go out for that run. Or maybe that you should "stretch for at least 10 minutes" before starting your workout. Or something similar.
Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something that will likely contradict what you've heard until now on this - I do NOT recommend stretching before a workout. Stretch once you've started to exercise if you must, and by all means stretch AFTER a workout - but not before. And while that contradicts what the "experts" say, well, try doing a stretch (that is somewhat tough for you - for instance, touching your palms to the ground in a standing position with the legs STRAIGHT) before you start exercising - and then do it again after you're hot, sweaty, and done with your workout. Which one is easier?
I'll bet it's easier to do it after your workout - not before - and the reason for this is quite simple. First, your muscles are properly warmed up by the time your done exercising - and a warm muscle is far more pliable and receptive to a tough stretch than a cold, tight muscle is. Ever tried to jump straight out of bed and do a tough hamstring stretch? OUCH!
Note that warming up is NOT the same as stretching - and stretching to warm up is usually not a very good idea, and actually increases the risk of injury as opposed to what the "experts" say. I am not against warming up - in fact I recommend it, and do so myself. But I don't do so by stretching. I may do a few light sets of an exercise to warm up, or I may go for a brisk walk - but that is NOT "stretching". And warming up actually helps you stretch better; not the other way around.
And thats one of the great things about the exercises I recommend in Fast and Furious Fitness - you can warm up with a few light sets of these exercises - and you can then use them in your actual workout as well.
Second, stretching after your workout helps release the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles during a hard workout and this helps you recuperate better from your workouts. Stretch a muscle that has been worked throughly during a workout - and it feels like pure bliss. Can't explain the why's or how's of this one - try it yourself, and you'll understand what I mean.
And now that I've said that it's best to stretch after a workout - and not before - let me throw a spanner into the works and say that there are workouts you can do that involves nothing but STRETCHING alone.
Yes - thats right - you can get a great workout sometimes by doing exercises that involve pure stretching - and I'm not referring to yoga here. Yet, these exercises stretch your ENTIRE BODY at once - not ONE particular area - and thus you can "ease" into the stretch, and keep easing into it throughout your workout. This actually helps tight muscles loosen up, while using the muscles that are already "loose" to help out in the stretch - giving you a great overall workout.
I'll speak more about this type of workout later - but for most people, you'll do just fine by stretching AFTER your workout - not before!
And thats today's tip. Have a great day!