The last workout I did was, I thought, a great success – if I do say so myself 🙂 Mixing strength training in to a workout is a good way to spread it out over a week. Not having set times for these exercises is very important as we tend to rush to get more reps rather than focusing on performing the exercises to our best ability and without injury. Mixing the “style” between strength, cardio (interval) and cardio (set time) was a great way to keep you thinking throughout the workout too, remembering what was next. Also the killer Tabata at the end was a great finisher.
Today I have been thinking about spicing things up again and using a slightly different method or style to keep the body guessing. Instead of having 6 exercises and doing the usual interval and rounds, I’m using a coupling style, in which 2 exercises are performed in intervals for 6 minutes, like sets, then you move on to the next couplet of exercises and repeat.
When designing something like this, each exercise is chosen almost like an opposite to the other. So think about the parts of the body you are wanting to exercise and, then remember to BALANCE it out. I like to write out a draft of my workout and then I move things about to try and get the best balance and ensure the exercises are set out in the best sequence so as not to fatigue smaller muscles too soon and provide the most calorie consuming design. Use your knowledge of each exercise and which body parts it works the most. For the 2nd exercise, work opposite muscle groups. Divide the body up into “front and back”, “right and left” “upper and lower” and remember that the body can also twist. Pick exercises that focus on a particular plane of the body, but work many muscles in that plane. If you get this right, with both exercises in the couplet exercising across these planes, you have a potential for the ultimate FULL BODY blast 🙂
I think I have achieved a good, balanced mix of exercises across the 4 couplets. Set your Gymboss Interval Timer for 6 cycles of 20 seconds recovery and 40 seconds effort. This short interval sequence can be repeated for each couplet, with a longer rest in between if needed. This is not strength training, so you can choose weights that will allow you to push out more reps, but be challenging at the same time. For example, I know I can push press a 20kg Kettlebell for maybe 4 reps, but as this workout requires I double push press for 40 seconds, and for 3 rounds, I will be thinking about using my two 12kg or two 14kg Kettlebells. Always try and match the weight you use to the type of workout you are doing. Each type of workout require exercises to be performed at different speeds etc. For this workout you should be aiming for maximum reps. I was using a medium weight throughout.
As normal I have provided a “key” to describe the main focus or each exercise, whether it is cardio (c), resistance (r), strength (s), plyometric (p), stability (st) or a core activating exercise (cae). My reps per exercise (shown in brackets) can be used as a guide to how many you should aim for, with the appropriate weight.
The couplets are as follows:
- Goblet Squat with Diagonal Raises (12kg) (r,st,cae) (12,12,10)
- Two-handed KB Swing (20kg) (c,r,cae) (25,24,26)
- Burpees (with push ups) (c,s,r,p,cae) (15,14,11 1/2)
- KB Renegade Rows (14kg) (s,r,cae and st depending on weight) (15,16,13)
- Double KB Push Press (2 x 12kg) (r,c,cae, and a little p) (13 with 14kgs, 16,14)
- Evil Jumps (sorry everyone) (c,p,cae) (11,12,10)
- KB Alternating Swing (16kg) (c,r,cae) (25,24,24)
- KB Vertical Swing Burpee (16kg) (c,r,cae) (11, 9 1/2, 9)
Overall I found this workout more intense than expected. I think this was due to the extra rest in between each couplet. With energy recharged I put MORE effort into the next couplet. Added to that the type of exercises used, each couplet was more or less full body, making the energy expenditure greater to start with. This = more intense workout 🙂
I hope to hear your views and feedback on both the workout.