Tuesday, January 15, 2013

30/30 and 60/30: my new favorite way to exercise

As promised, I will share with you how I am managing to exercise without fitness DVDs and creating my own circuit workouts.

It is no secret that I adore the format of JNL Fusion: 30 seconds of strength training, followed by 30 seconds of cardio, completed for a total of 3 rounds per circuit. While I do love the program as well,  I think I prefer making my own workouts based on that format just a little more.  Hey, imitation is the sincerest form of flatter, right?

But then again, sometimes I crave a little challenge....so I up the strength portion to 60 seconds. And the best part?  I thought of that on my own!  Granted, it is not that creative, but I digress.

Here is an example of a circuit I completed this past week:

Circuit 1:
Strength (60 seconds) - Walk out pushups
Cardio (30 seconds) - Jump rope
*entire circuit performed a total of 3x

Circuit 2:
Strength (60) - Side lateral raises w/5lb dumbbells -- f*ck my shoulders!
Cardio (30) - Weighted punches with 2lb dumbbells

Circuit 3:
Strength (60) - Deadlift to bicep curl w/10lb dumbbells
Cardio (30) - Spiderman touch -- get your dirty mind outta the gutter!

Circuit 4: 
Strength (60) - Tricep dips
Cardio (30) - Sumo squat jumps

Circuit 5:
Strength (60) - Seated cable row w/resistance band
Cardio (30) - Plank jacks

Circuit 6:
Strength (30) - Plank hold
Cardio (30) Prisoner jacks

Notes on warm ups and cool downs:
I do a dynamic warm up for about 3.5-5 minutes.  Yes, my warm ups do include high impact moves, like jumping jacks and even a little dancing.  I tend to mix up these high impact moves with dynamic stretching.   The idea is to warm up my muscles.  I save the static stretching for cool down time (4-6 minutes) and often employ moves from various yoga practices. 

This circuit comes to a total of 28 minutes, not calculating the water breaks I take in between each circuit, nor does that include warm up and cool down.  As I previously mentioned, I include 5-second breaks in between each strength and cardio interval, giving me enough time to change positions.  One circuit in the 60/30 format comes in at 4:55, while one circuit in the 30/30 format comes in at 3:25--again, that includes the 5-second breaks in between the intervals.  If I had to estimate how long this workout took me, including the water breaks in between circuits--I prefer 15-30 seconds max, though occasionally take up to one minute)--the warm up and the cool down, I would say between 40-42 minutes.  To simplify that in a formula, it goes something like this:

4 min warm up + 28 min workout + 2 min worth of h20 breaks + 6 min cool down=40 minutes

Overall Thoughts: 
Well, I can't gush enough over how much I love training this way, but I will admit that it has its cons.  For one, because of the simplicity of the circuit--going back and forth between one strength move and one cardio interval--and the length of the circuits, it does make it hard to get a full body workout in.  Of course, when I mean full body workout, I mean completing individual strength moves that work each body part and muscle group; however, the real beauty in this style of training is that the cardio interval can most certainly make up for what the strength interval cannot, i.e. jump squats to accompanying chest presses in a circuit, hence getting both your lower and upper body worked.  The other con to note is that this style of training can get exhausting and cause a beginner to overexert themselves too quickly...but I do recommend easing into this type of training by either using strength and cardio exercises more at your level--no tuck jumps for beginners!--or doing a few circuits at first, slowly incorporate more as you progress. 

Okay, I had to share some cons to show that I remain impartial (I really am not), but for me this is the most perfect way to train.  I got the cardio intervals to make me sweat.  I can go heavy or light with the weights, and go high or low with the rep count.  I can use my body weight and use no equipment.  I can also use all my equipment: weights, resistance bands, my Ugi, gliders, my Lebert Equalizer, kettlebells--it's freaking Crossfit class in my small studio apartment!  I can take this style of training on the road with me.  To sum it up, it's diverse, effective and I can never get bored..  Hey, we all know what happens when I get bored...I mean really bored...I mean so bored, I my wallet take a hit...okay, this is getting embarrassing now...

So, uh, have a good week...I guess?  Cheers!


No comments: