So you want to get in shape, but you have no gym membership.
That’s fine, screw gyms!
They’re loaded with chumps, meatheads, pushy salesmen, and people who suck at working out. (If you DO go to a gym, here’s how to make sure you DON’T suck at working out). Luckily, you can burn fat, build muscle, and get a great workout using just your body weight. Learn why cardio is one of the least efficient methods of burning calories, and how you can get a lot done in a little bit of time. By doing body weight circuits, where you complete one exercise right after the other without stopping, you’re both building muscle and getting a cardiovascular workout.
Why Body Weight Circuits Kick Ass
What makes body weight circuits work so well? Every exercise involved utilizes multiple muscle groups, gets your heart rate pumping, and burns tons of calories. from Jason Ferruggia and Alwyn Cosgrove, two fitness gurus whose opinions and research I highly respect. Essentially, circuit weight training burns more calories than interval training, which burns WAY more calories than steady cardio. Essentially, if you’re trying to lose weight, spending hours doing cardio on a treadmill is a really crappy use of your time.
I’m going to take you through a basic workout today that can be completed in your house, apartment, out at a park, in your parents’ basement, wherever. As always, make sure you are cleared by your personal physician for physical activity before attempting these exercises. Proceed at your own risk!
Beginner Body Weight Workout
This is a basic body weight circuit. In a circuit routine, you’ll do each exercise in succession without a break in between (if you’re able). Once you’ve finished all exercises in the circuit, you do it again. If you’re still able after the 2nd run through, go for a third. Because all of these exercises come one after another, you’re bound to get tired. It’s better to stop and take a break than to do an exercise incorrectly. If you can’t do all three circuits without stopping, that gives you something to build towards.
Before you start, WARM UP – Never ever ever ever forget to warm up. Make sure to get your heart rate pumping and get your muscles warm or you’re just asking for injury. If you’re strapped for time, cut short your workout, not your warm up. You can run in place, jump rope, do a few push ups, pedal on a stationary bike, jog up and down your stairs, etc. Don’t wear yourself out completely, but get your heart rate elevated and little bit of sweat never hurt anybody. After the warm up, here is exactly what you need to do:
And so you can write it down, here is the write up for the exercise routine.
- 20 body weight squats
- 10 push ups
- 20 walking lunges
- 10 dumbbell rows (using a gallon milk jug)
- 15 second plank
- 30 Jumping Jacks
After you’ve completed your workout, make sure you stretch. All of your muscles have been contracted from lifting and need to be stretched back out and rebuilt.
For either the body weight squats or lunges, if you can’t do them properly yet, it’s okay to put your hand on a support to keep your balance.
For the body weight squats, think of it like sitting back into a chair. If you can sit down onto a chair, and then stand immediately right back up without having to lean forward, you are in balance.
For the lunges, keep your eyes ahead and your upper body completely vertical. I had a slight bend at times in the video due to trying to exercise and explain at the same time.
I used a milk jug for my dumbbell, but you can use whatever is heavy enough for you. Find something that is challenging to lift 10 times in a row.