Travel fitness: 100 Workout Basic Step Raw circuit training

Af Marina Aagaard, MFT

The 100 Workout of the day is based on the seven basic steps of Sports Aerobic plus three variations. A cardiovascular, and maybe stamina, workout.
For fast and easy exercise in the gym, at the job, at home or when you travel.

100 workouts are popular time-efficient circuit training workouts with a common feature:

10 or fewer exercises repeated 10-100 times or for a period of 10-100 seconds.
There are numerous models. Here is an easy one.

I designed this for Travel Fitness and for Ski Fitness (part of workout) and it works; your heart rate and energy level increases – as well as energy consumption.

The workout consists of raw basic steps in mixed impact with the feet in and out of contact with the surface, but it can be adapted as desired for pure

High impact, with propulsion, both feet leave the ground (replace walk with gallop).

Low impact, with one foot on the ground at all times (replace jack with step out jack).

Too hard? Lower intensity by using smaller movements and slower tempo.

Too easy? Increase intensity by using bigger movements and faster tempo.

the_100_workout_raw

100 Workout Basic Step Raw

100 WALK or GALLOP
90 JOG or RUN
80 SKIP low skip, variation: 20 legs front, 20 side, 20 back, 20 front
70 KNEELIFT, low impact or high impact – maybe double tempo high knees
60 KICK, variation: 20 high kick front, 20 side, hip abduction, 20 back, hip extension
50 JUMPING JACK, high impact, or low impact, step out jack
40 LUNGE tap back low impact, 20 basic, 20 right/left or high impact jump lunge
30 JUMP focus on being light on your toes
20 TWIST jump feet side to side, 180 degrees
10 SQUAT JUMP parallel squat and high jump

100 Workouts

  • Fast workout for cardiovascular exercise og strength-endurance.
  • Principle: 100-90-80-70-60-50-40-30-20-10. Number of repetitions or seconds.
  • Circuit principle: 1-3 rounds. Start over after last movement.

Warning 1: When working out within a time frame, do not get sloppy, maintain good form.

Warning 2: Many 100 workouts result in extra muscle fatigue. Be careful, avoid injury.

Warning 3: Many 100 workouts promise a set number of kJ burned. May happen or not.

Super Shape in 7 Minutes: The New 7-Minute Workout

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Time-efficient bodyweight circuit training? Here is the New 7-Minute Workout.
Some time ago the “The 7-Minute Workout” was making headlines in fitness media around the World. As circuit training is excellent for allround fitness, fatburning and weight loss and on the Top 20 Fitness trends 2015 list here is a new improved 7-Minute Workout for variety.

The original 7-Minute workout is in reality just one example of a circuit training workout and was provided by the authors of the ACSM article: High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Bodyweight about HICT, High-Intensity Circuit Training.

The 7-Minute Workout is an excellent way of exercising both at home, in the gym and on the road; travel fitness.

However, in fact this workout as well as similar circuit and interval programs are rather:
The 14 Minute Workout, The 21 Minute Workout (20 min. minimum recommended in the ACSM article) or The 28 Minute Workout, when you do a warm-up (which you should) and add extra rounds of the exercise series (which you normally do in circuit training). Even so circuit training is very time-efficient training.

7_minute_workout_exercise_chair_step_up_Marina_Aagaard

The HICT Circuit training concept is great, however, the original “7-Minute Workout” model as demonstrated in most media including the ACSM Journal could be better I think: The model has more isometric exercises, less functional exercises and a less than ideal sequence.

Recently I was asked to be the ‘workout expert’ on a 7-Minute Workout video, which I accepted as I was allowed to make a New Workout with some small adjustments:

  • To minimize premature fatigue; a slighty changed exercise order.
  • To preserve intensity and functionality; wall squat replaced by box squat.
  • To protect the shoulders and balance the workout; chair dips replaced by back extension (as there were 3 triceps exercises and 0 back exercises).
  • To avoid confusion; reverse plank instead of side plank (do you change side half way or do left side, round 1, and right side, round 2 (= 14 min. workout)?

To remain faithful to the original concept the structure, most original exercises including the isometric exercises are still in. Personally I would leave isometric core exercises for after a circuit workout, as I would like even more intensity, but maybe maybe next time.

Link to Danish video with the new 7-Minute workout. Exerciser: Coach Filip Hansen.

The New 7-Minute Workout

Every exercise is performed for 30 seconds; 12×30=6 min. + extra seconds for change.

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Push-ups
  3. Squat
  4. Ab curl
  5. Step up (cardio version with leg change every step)
  6. Back extension
  7. Lunge
  8. T-push-up (push-up with turn right and left)
  9. Kneelift (jog on the spot, tempo with high kneelifts)
  10. Reverse plank
  11. Box squat (squat, buttocks touch (preferably low box) box lightly)
  12. Plank

The_New_7- Minute_Workout_Circuit_training_Marina_Aagaard

Training tips

  • Warm up for 7-10 minutes; easy jogging, low impact dancing or similar.
  • Repeat the sequence 2-3 times for extra effect.
  • Cool down for 3-5 minutes; walking or similar.
  • Safety: Use sturdy chair or box for stepping. Feet safely centered on the top.
  • Technique: Keep the correct posture and technique in spite of tempo and quick changes; Watch your knees, back and wrists; the workout should feel intense and challenging, not painful.

Happy workout.

References:

Aagaard (2014). Circuit training Programs and Posters.

ACSM: High-Intensity Circuit Training Using Bodyweight.

Fitness How To: Circuit training – for express fitness at home, at the gym or on travel

By Marina Aagaard, MFT

Circuit training is one of the most popular training methods; a series of exercises (almost) without rest-pauses, continuous activity as in a ‘circuit’.
The exercise series is repeated one or more times and the result is an intense workout, which strengthens, tones and burns fat.
However, there are more to circuit training, than meets the eye body.

Today my new American e-book ‘Circuit Training Programs and Posters’ was published and when searching the internet for some circuit information, I found that the Wikipedia page on ‘circuit training’ was a bit lacking. So here is some additional, interesting information on an old, but still trendy way of working out.

What is circuit training?
Circuit training is a series of exercises, at exercise stations, aimed at improving cardiovascular fitness, strength and strength-endurance. The exercise series is repeated one or more times.
The circuit stations is often set up in a circular or rectangular formation.

Circuit traing diagram Circuit training programs and posters Marina Aagaard

The present-day modern form of Circuit training was developed around 1953 by R.E. Morgan and G.T. Anderson, of University of Leeds, England. Their model is based on 9-12 exercise at moderate intensity, 40-60 % of 1RM, in a given timeframe. After eah exercise you procede to the next exercise, station, with no or minimal rest-pause.

This and other circuit training studies has documented the advantages: The main advantage is timeefficient training of muscle-endurance, strength and stamina as well as increased energy consumption; great for fatburning, weight loss and weight maintenance.

The information on the Wikipedia Circuit training page, however, that “Studies at Baylor University and The Cooper Institute show that circuit training is the most time efficient way to enhance cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance” is imprecise.
There are more effective means of improving cardiovascular fitness. Because; circuit training is not the same as interval training, which focuses on a single capacity, often cardiom at high intensity followed by active rest-pauses.

Circuit training workouts can focus on 1) cardio, 2) strength or strength-endurance or 3) combined cardio and strength training.
The latter is most common option for fitness.

Circuit traing indoor Circuit training programs and posters Marina Aagaard

What equipment is needed?
Circuit training does not require any equipment and bodyweight circuit training yields sufficient strength gains. You can, however, to great advantage use different pieces of equipment, e.g. weights and suspension equipment.

Circuit training can also be performed in traditional fitness machines, even specialized circuit machines such as Pace, Technogym Easyline or Switching special machines.
E.g. the Loop fitness concept is based on circuit training.

Circuit traing Technogym Easyline Circuit training programs and posters Marina Aagaard

How do you train circuit training?
Circuit training is performed just as traditional strength and cardio training; you execute som specific exercise with proper – normal – technique.

The special characteristics of circuit training are:

1) training within a set time-frame, often but not always at high tempo, or:
2) training with a set number of repetitions
2) only 1 set of each exerciselse/station and then on to the next
3) no or short, < 10-15 sec., rest-pause between the exercises

There are numerous ways of designing circuit training programs for all-round fitness; your goal (and fitness status) determines exercise selection and sequence.

Circuit training is often classified as HIT, high-intensity training, and this is the case in e.g. CrossFit. However, just how intense the circuit is depends a lot on exercise selection, circuit format and your own exertion!

A typical program consists of 6-12 exercises with a balanced mix of upper and lower body exercise and cardio (full body) exercises.
Especially full body exercises with bodyweight or weights bring fast results.

Cardio exercises – full body or total body exercises (examples)

  • Jumping jacks
  • Scissor jumps, legs back/forth
  • Jogging, with high knees, or shuttle runs
  • Tuck jump, jump up, knees to chest
  • Burpees, jump down into a push-up and up Again

Strength exercises, lower body (examples)

  • Step-up (strength and cardio)
  • Squat (many variations, e.g. box squat)
  • Squat jump
  • Lunge / side lunge
  • Lunge jumps

Styrkeøvelser overkrop (eksempler)

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups / chin-ups
  • Throws, e.g. with medicine ball
  • Bench press / chest press
  • Lat pull / rowing

Strength, core (examples)

  • Back extension
  • Ab curl / sit-up, crunches
  • Hanging leg-raises
  • Planks, side planks (isometric exercies are not optimal)
  • Torso rotation, e.g. cables, wood chops etc.

Coordination and agility (eksempler)

  • Rope jumping (motor skill and cardio)
  • Hurdles and ladder runs and dot drills
  • Touch down (side chassé and floor touch)
  • Boxing drills (e.g. with partner/punching bag)
  • Reaction exercise, onto stomach, jump forward, onto, back, jump up

Note: Risk of injury is high with agility, take precautions.

Super simple circuit program (example)

6 exercises/stations of 20 sec. work (2 min.). No pause (just change).
3 rounds of 2 min.: Approx. 6 min. ex. warm-up and cool-down.

1. Squat jump
2. Push ups
3. Lunge jump
4. Back extension with back fly
5. Push-press; squat with shoulderpress with weights
6. Roll-down, ‘eccentric’ ab curl

How often and how long should you train circuit training?
Typical circuit training frequency is 2-3 times per week.
Total circuit duration is normally 15-30 minutes per workou ex. warm-up (group exercise circuit classes are normally longer, 55 min. total, and intensity may be lower).

Circuit training models (range) (examples):

4-20 stations, exercises, per round.
½-2 minutes per exercise (station), often 8-16 rep. with good technique.
No or short rest-pause < 10-15 seconds.
20-40 minutes total for the circuit rounds.
1-4 rounds depending on number of exercises and training intensity.

Where can you train circuit training?
Many fitness clubs offer group circuit training classes. Alternatively you can train on your own or with a partner in the gym.
You can also train at home, at the job, on a hotel – and train either indoors or outdoors.
As long as you have a little space, 2-3 sq.m., for exercising.

Circuit traing outdoor Circuit training programs and posters Marina Aagaard

Who can train circuit training?
Most exercisers could to advantage do some form of circuit training.
At high intensities, though, a healthy and fit physique and motivation is required.
You can do circuit træning as individual workouts or work in pairs or groups depending on the available equipment. Bodyweight? No, problem.

Special precautions should be taken by those, who are overweight, untrained, injured or ill, or elderly.
People with high blood pressure or any kind of cardiovascular disease should in general avoid isometric exercises such as planks a.o.

Circuit training advantages

+ Circuit training ensures variety in any training program
+ Circuit training is diverse and balanced and improves fitness and
+ Circuit training improves strength and cardiovascular fitness, 2-in-1-exercise
+ Circuit training is time efficient; can lead to increased compliance/adherence
+ Circuit training can increase fatburning compared to traditional fitness workouts

Circuit training disadvantages

÷ Circuit training is mostly for general fitness, not sports specific
÷ Circuit training is not for maximal strength og cardio fitness gains
÷ Circuit training gives no time for learning or perfecting technique
÷ Fast tempo during exercises or station changes may cause injuries

Training effect

♥ ♥  ♥ ♥     Cardiovascular; moderate effect; dep. on exercises + technique
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥     Coordination; limited effect; dep. on exercises (e.g. agility)
♥ ♥ ♥  ♥     Strength; moderate-large effect; demands specific exercises
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥     Flexibility; limited, dep. on exercises (normally not large ROM)

Read more (all about circuit training and 100 posters):

Circuit Training Programs and Posters (2014). Aagaard, Marina Aagaard.

Book Circuit training programs and posters Marina Aagaard

Slimming sensation: 100 % guaranteed weight loss with the 7:0 diet!

Af Marina Aagaard, MFT

Another one? Yes, I know, what I am thinking, but what do you think??? First there was the 5:2 diet and a multitude of 5:2-ripoffs, then cleverly came the 6:1 diet and just now the 4:3 diet. Oh no, what is left …. oh yes, my brand new 7:0 diet!

7 0 kur US ArtM shiny-brain-1254880-m

What is the 7:0 diet? A brilliant new ‘diet’; no aids required; no books, no bathroom scales, no kitchen scales, no measuring cups, no calorie tables and it works:

0 days a week do you follow diets, that stress, worry and harm you.

7 days a week do you listen to your body and use your head to make the right choices and generally eat healthy with room for less-healthy choices as needed (think strategic, eat slow and with maximal enjoyment)..
Combine with easy physical activity during the every day and internally motivated exercise (fun (and games) with friends) which gets the heart rate up 2-3 times a week.

Then you will get real results; lower body fat percentage, flatter abs and especially a much, much better mood (and life) – without side effects such as increased body weight, frustation and lots of disheartening diet failures!

Have your cake apple and eat it!

5 Wellness Ways to Weight loss or Weight maintenance

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Today I was interviewed by a journalist, who wanted to know, why it is so difficult to stick to your New Years resolutions (diets)?
There can be several reasons: One reason is, that old habits die hard. Another reason is, that most people aim way too high with I-wanna-lose-weight-and-I-wanna-lose-it-right-now goals!

Again and again it is proven, that the ‘small increment technique” is the way to long-lasting results for weight loss and weight maintenance.
In order for new habits to become old habits, they need to be manageable and ‘edible’; it is wise to start with just one or two small improvements at a time.

Healthy diet with vegetables and healthy oils for weight loss or weight maintenance

Here are five suggestions, that works well, whether you are at home or travelling:

1. Eat more vegetables (moderate amount of fruit). Begin by eating a vegetable in the morning, e.g. a big tomato, and a vegetable at noon and in the afternoon, e.g. red peppers or some sort of sweet cabbage. It is easier to get plenty of greens, when you eat them throughout the day. Note: Many vegetables taste (almost) like candy, such as organic carrots, beetroots or sweet peppers..
Do you find it difficult to eat enough vegetables each day? Then try ‘supplementing’ with your own vegetable smoothies (add a little fruit and yoghurt); like milkshakes, but healthy!

2. Go for whole grain products, e.g. when buying bread, rice and pasta; it tastes better, it is more filling and it is a sneaky replacement for all the unhealthy ‘white’ stuff…

3. Eat 10-12 raw almonds as a snack, if needed.
Chew many times, 35-50 bites (!) each; they last longer and taste like marzipan.
Only eat snacks, if you feel you need to, if you are often hungry between meals (and if you are, then check the quality of your meals).

4. Eat ‘healthy’ (mono and poly unsaturated) oils every day. E.g. make salad dressings with 2-3 spoonfuls of rapeseed oil (or olive oil) and balsamico, e.g. for a salad with cabbage with some pumpkin seeds.
Healthy fat is essential for your brain and bodily functions, so also eat some fat fish such as salmon, trout or mackerel for lunch or dinner several times a week.

5. Drink 2-3 liters of water every day throughout the day. Avoid all drinks containing sugar – they promote fatness – including alcohol (alcohol is not healthy, it is fattening and makes you ill, so enjoy it in moderation for the taste of it).
Tip: It you do drink alcohol, then drink slowly, (‘chew’) taste every mouthful and drink water as well. Enjoy alcohol together with food to slow down uptake.

Say no to deprivation. Say yes to better tasting options (habits).
Enjoy!

Holiday Fitness Circuit Tips: I Know What I Did This Summer

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

You should live in the present; not in the past or in the future. However, I do like looking at photos, a.o. holiday photos, that brings out happy memories from days of the past, e.g. of the summer holiday with my family.
Right now autumn, read rain and storm, is starting to show its moody face here in Denmark, so it is nice with some sunshine, if only online.

Plitvice Lakes Croatia photo Marina AagaardPhoto above: Summertime in the National Park Plitvice Lakes, Croatia.
Beautiful landscape. Extraordinary colours. 
A must-see for waterfall-lovers.

A little about the holiday and a lot about circuit fitness (ideas and comments):

When my sister and I were younger, our family of four did not travel or go abroad during holidays. But for the past five years each year we, now a small group of eight, have spent a week at varying holiday destinations in south-eastern Europe; there is plenty of sun, beaches (beautiful nature) and reasonable prices.

IMG_4850

My sister, a former-competitive-bodybuilder-turned-golfer-and marathoner, has two young teens, who are very active, so a resort catering for families, with seaside access, pools and all-inclusive sports, is required for summer holidays these years.
This year it was the Zaton Holiday Resort, Zadar, Croatia. The resort had two areas; for those with campers and mobile homes … and those without, a.o. us; brand new spacey holiday flats (photo above).

IMG_4881

No holiday resort without an entertainment team. This team did some straaaange aerobics with isometric holds (photo above), but also some super aqua aerobics with jumping and dancing. Apart from lots of aerobics and dancing, there were numerous other team-led (or self-organized) land and water sports activities.

Fitness wise? The ‘fitness centre’ was a small room with a very limited array of older fitness apparatus. Just outside, however, you had the option of hiring a personal trainer and working out with suspension equpiment, kettlebells and weights.

I opted out on that and decided to go for fitness in the forrest …

The Fitness Circuit at Zaton Holiday Resort

A brilliant feature of the camp was the Trim Staza (fitness station) track in the forrest. The track was used for walking, power walking, jogging and running of campers of all ages, a really nice experience because of the medium-soft surface cushioning your every step and the shade of the trees; outdoor fitness at its best.

Fitness tip for holidays and travelling
A circuit program of approx. 20-30 min. 2-4 times a week is a great activity: You keep (get?) fit, maintain weight, stay healthy and well in minimal time.

The Zaton resort track was about 1,5-2 km (~ 1 mile) long (yes, forgot my Polar GPS!) and had 18 fitness stations evenly distributed for approximately every 100 metres (ensuring a manageable running-distance). 

Some stations were great, some were not so great, however, at every station you could do your own thing, if you wanted or needed an alternative.

Note: The stations, bright red, were easy to spot and had fairly clear illustrations. Only one had text on technique; at closer inspection it appeared, that all stations had at some stage had text, but it had come of. In most cases, though, you could figure out what to do. 

For fitness buffs, holiday fitness enthusiasts and exercisers in general here is a short rundown of the fitness stations for information, inspiration and motivation.

Outdoor Fitness Circuit Trim Staza Style

Ready, set, go (I did several times, because it was great fun):

Zaton outdoor bane

Station 1: Arm swings. A warm-up exercise. Upper-body limbering movement.

Performed with care, these are good for shoulder mobility. But avoid big ballistic arm swings. Too fast, too big … no good for people with shoulder problems.

IMG_5985

Station 2: Bend and extend. Warm-up exercise. Whole body (lower back) preparation.

Performed slowly and with control a good exercise for the back side.
Performed too fast without control: A lumbar back killer, be careful out there.

IMG_5988

Station 3: Arm circles. A warm-up exercise. Limbering movement for the shoulders.

Ahhh, what is this? Something for the shoulders; o.k. in small doses for mobility, but do not go overboard in this; also it will not tone the arms and shoulders …

IMG_5993

Station 4: Upper body circles. Warm-up exercise. For the shoulders.

My interpretation of station as not 100 % clear from sign. Sidebends continuing in a circular motion and repeating the other way. Upper body (spine) mobilization.

If you have back problems, this is not recommended. Start with controlled small range of motion movements, e.g. easy sidebends with arms at sides.

IMG_6002 Station 5: Mill turns. Warm-up exercise. For the spine and shoulders.

A well-known gymnastics warm-up exercise, but it is very hard on the back. I avoid it myself and do not recommend it.
You lean forward, while carrying the weight of the head with a long lever (spine); then you twist, turn, in this bent-over position: There is considerable torque on your spinal discs/vertebrae.

Alternative: Stand upright and turn side to side with control, easy rotation for mobility.

IMG_6008

Station 6: Pull-up (or chin-up shown here). Great back and arm strength exercise.

Grip bar and perform with a wide grip (pull-up) or a narrow grip (chin-up). Both will work the upper back muscle latissimus dorsi and the front of arm muscles biceps brachii. The width of the grip determines how (much) you involve the active muscles.

This is a hard bodyweight exercise, almost impossible for beginners, so a modified exercise could be 1) with partner assistance; have someone help you on the up-phase or 2) jump up/pull yourself as high as possible and lower yourself down or step up on something and step off and lower yourself down.
You could also just hang there for grip strength.

IMG_6016

Station 7: Clean and press variation. A complex strength exercise for legs, lower back (back) and arms.

A great functional exercise. Picking up something from the ground and lifting it overhead. Many muscles at work. You bend down, use the legs, and extend legs and back lifting the (odd) object. The object lifted stays close to the body.
However on the sign it is difficult to see exact starting position; it look a bit like a straight leg movement, which requires extra attention and keeping the back straight. Not an exercise for people with lower back problems.

IMG_6033

Station 8: Jump over Slide under. Agility (and cardio) exercise.

Sign is not 100 % clear on what the exercise is. However, you can create your own fun and challenging exercises. The beam is on an incline allowing for different options.
At the lower end jumping over from side to side is possible.
Stay on the spot or travel forward with different running, hopping, crawling moves.

IMG_6049 Station 9: Suspended core work. Upper body strength, endurance and mobility.

From the sign it looks as if you are supposed to hang from the hands with feet supported and make circular movements with the hips. Tried it, it seemed strange, even though diverse movements are a good thing … 

Option: inverse (reverse) pull-ups. Upper back, front of arm strength  (incline; easier).

Hang from hands feet support. Body at a slight (harder) og steep (easier) incline. Pull yourself up by bending the arms and pulling them back. Lower with control.

IMG_6058

Station 10: Dynamic balance on beam (tree). Balancing exercise.

No illustration at all on this station, so it is up to your imagination. Walk, jog, hop, jump on the two different-sized wooden beams; hold, stick, keep the balance.

Agility type exercises are excellent for keeping functionally fit.

IMG_6079

Station 11: Dynamic balance on tree stumps. Balancing exercise.

Illustration is somewhat hard to decipher, so it is up to your imagination. Walk or hop, maybe with a stick/hold, from stump to stump. Keep the balance.
For variety include moves to and from the ground.

Alternative: Step-up (buttock and leg exercise). Stay by one high stump: Step up and down with same leg (e.g. 8-16 times). Change leg and repeat.

Agility type exercises are excellent for keeping functionally fit.

IMG_6111

Station 12: Side hopping/jumping. Agility exercise.

Jump or hop sideways over the low beam, on the spot or travelling forward.
If it feels too hard, you can just sidestep over the beam.
For variety include moves to and from the ground. Or use the hands.

Agility type exercises are excellent for keeping functionally fit.

IMG_6150Station 13: Upper body exercise (of your choice).

Station illustration looks like the exercise muscle-up (first pull-up, then straight into the press position shown), however, this is not possible, as the beam is far too thick.
You have to find your own variation. Here (after a clumsy climb) I just do shoulder depression; hold the position with shoulders neutral/lowered.
Note: Station 13 was an ‘unlucky’ station; it was starting to disintegrate.

IMG_6157

Station 14: Arm circles. A warm-up exercise. Limbering movement for the shoulders.

A repeat of station 3. Circles with the arms (shoulders) again? This looks like a warm-up or mobility exercise (best performed at moderate pace). No real training effect or relevanse in circuit training like this.
I would perhaps do some circular push-ups instead.

If performing these shoulder circles, circle first one way, then the other way.

IMG_6168

Station 15: Push-ups (upper-body strength (endurance) exercise. Super exercise.

Here incline push-up, which is easier, than the regular push-up. Hands on beam, bend and extend elbows (keeping body in a straight line).

Variation: Decline push-up with more shoulder focus. Feet on beam. Hands on ground. Bend and extend elbows (keeping body in a straight line).

IMG_6175Station 16: Squat jump (deep), forward and backward. Lower body power.

Illustration shows jump (arms pull back and forth for take-off, land with arms in front).
Variation: Instead of jumping forward and backward, you can just step backward and start again. Or do regular squat jumps up and down on the spot.

IMG_6193

Station 17: Side hopping/jumping. Agility exercise.

A repeat of station 12? Jump or hop sideways over the low beam, on the spot or travelling forward. For variety include moves to and from the ground. Or use the hands.

Agility type exercises are excellent for keeping functionally fit.

IMG_6208

Station 18: Pendulum swing. Aerobic exercise.

This station is cardiovascular training. Similar to when you run or walk from station to station. So is it necessary? Well, as running is a sagittal (forward/backward) plane movement, while this a frontal plane movement, it can be fine for variety.

IMG_6218

Even if I was not too keen on all the stations in this circuit, I think that outdoor circuit fitness in general – and also this particular set-up – is brilliant.

Circuit fitness is great for variety every once in a while.
Have a go, too.

Express Fitness # 3: Superset Training for Travel or Home

By Marina Aagaard, MFE

Keeping fit at home or when travelling may be easier than you think. You can maximize your workout results, including weight loss, while minimizing workout time.

For variation and speedy workouts one of the methods I use, is the body building method super set, which can be employed by exercisers of all levels. Two variations:
You can do compound super sets, which includes two exercises for one muscle group, but if you want to increase strength and burn fat, while keeping the workout short, the agonist-antagonist super set method is the better option.

Strength training on your travel Riga Gym lat pulldown super set photo Henrik ElstrupSuper set training (lat pull down, then shoulder press) at Elefant hotel, Riga, Latvia.

Agonist-antagonist superset
You work opposite muscle groups back to back without pausing, e.g. 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions: First one set for the chest, then one for the upper back, with no rest-pause between the sets, and then the next set for the chest, the next set for the upper back, without a rest-pause. Then the third set for the chest and so on.

After one muscle pair (opposite muscles; agonist and antagonist) you proceed without a rest-pause to the next muscle pair and so forth.
Because you eliminate all rest-pauses – the muscle have a small rest period, when you work the opposite muscle – you turn up the intensity and save time. Excellent.

An example of a basic resistance training program according to the super set principle: After a warm-up work opposite muscle groups alternatingly, 3 x 8-12 of each, e.g.:

  • Leg press (squat) and leg curl
  • Horisontal rowing (wide grip) and chest press
  • Lat pulldown and shoulder press
  • Back extension and abdominal curl

Try this for intensity, fat burning and fast fitness.
Enjoy!