You’re going to enjoy this one.
Thanks to a late wake-up yesterday, and extra digestion time thanks to a big ol’ breakfast, I found myself at the gym later than I expected. No big deal, I just had to rewrite my workout to include catching the World Cup. As it turns out, I’d rather watch TV while I catch my breath than miss out on some awesome soccer. The US played really well, and I think that the first goal from Japan capitalized on our only major mistake. That’s the game, isn’t it? We’ll get ’em next time.
Over the course of the Cup, Abby Wambach had a number of spectacular goals, and I’m surprised that somebody can headbutt flying objects with such accuracy. She certainly used her head, didn’t she?
When it comes to working out, try to do the same thing; use your head! Often when in a time crunch, people tend to pick their favorite exercises in the gym and then ‘make up’ for what they missed the next time. If you’re always racing the clock, you’ll just continuously skip the hard stuff, and your results will be comprised.
Yesterday, while doing some heavy Prowler marches in the gym(nasium), two college freshman came in to play basketball. I worked as a camp counselor one summer a few years ago, so I’ve known them for years. As they swigged the bright red fluid, one said, “Harold, we just started drinking Size-On, we’re going to get jacked.” I replied, “You’re not going to do anything if you’re drinking Size-On and playing basketball, you guys don’t even lift!” The other said, “Yes we do, we’re going in there later.” I fired right back with, “Sure, to bench press and do curls and calve raises! You should be doing squats and chin-ups guys!”
With that, I went back to complete my supersets of marches and a ValSlide bodysaw/pike combination. A few minutes later I had moved on to a bearcrawl/reverse sled drag/kettlebell swing finisher, and the guys came into the fitness center to workout. They said they had a new workout program, so I let them start it out and waited to see what they were doing.
As it turns out, printing a program off of About.com is not the best way to workout. When your program includes side bends, curls, and walking pushups, I’m not really a fan of that. The two were pressed for time, and not overly enthusiastic about hearing that this program was the key to bulking up. When you’re 140lbs, I suppose just about anything will help you grow, but then again, these guys have probably been doing things wrong for a couple of years. As I expected, after I was done knocking this print-out program, they simply asked “Well what should we do?” After asking them a few questions about what they’ve recently done, and hearing that they were pressed for time, this is what I gave them.
Chin-Ups, paired with Goblet Squats
TRX Foot-Supported Push-Ups, paired with Dumbbell Split Squats.
That’s it! Each pairing was a 10 minute long superset, with sets of between 6-8 reps, except the push-ups which were around 10-12. Just as I had expected, they both got to 10 sets total in the first pairing, which was 5 sets of both the chin-ups and the goblet squats. The results were similar for the 2nd pairing, and they finished 6 sets of each exercise.
For those of you keeping track at home, a density workout can kick you in the tush. After finishing the first set they were relatively quiet, and after the second one they just nodded yes and no. Not only did they use 4 great bang-for-your-buck strength exercises, they also got one hell of a conditioning effect as well. For 20 minutes, that’s a pretty complete workout!
To nitpick, there are very few things missed in this workout. There isn’t any vertical pushing, but I opted out of that because they had done some dumbbell presses when they first walked in. As much as I love rows, there isn’t any horizontal pulling. The Chin-Ups, Goblet Squats, and Push-Ups all hammer the upper back, and I think that those 3 can cover most (but not all) of the benefits of the rows. Rows will always be king for your upper back.
Overall, I’m going to say that this little 20 minute workout is an epic win. Round up to 20 minutes, and make sure that warm-up correctly. (Remember, yesterday I wrote about always warming up, even when you’re pushed for time! Read that HERE.) The movements I picked alternated upper body and lower body, allowing for adequate recovery, and included minimal equipment. The only neccessity was the chin-up bar, dumbbells instantly increase body weight for higher intensity, and the TRX added to the core stability aspect of push-ups. Win, Win, Win. If you’re pressed for time, try this workout, or put together your own. If you’re dilligent and plan ahead, you shouldn’t have to worry, but if you use your head, you won’t miss training sessions. Big success!