Time constraints for most people in today’s fast living world often leave little time for exercise. In my Personal Training Gym in Barnsley I came up with a way to train more efficiently in less time.
The huge misunderstandings people have about the length of time required for exercise to make it worthwhile are usually a long way from accurate. These misconceptions give the weaker disciplined individual an excuse and discourages those who want to exercise.
There is a way to make the most of what little time you have and profit in health and fitness whilst changing the shape of your body.
This approach consists of just two exercises for each workout and involves exercises that will train the core, help tone muscles and elevate the metabolism. When the resistance is challenging enough this approach can add lean muscle mass too.
The method of the following workout requires a warm up of about 5 minutes followed by gentle stretches for the tightest muscles in the body. These are commonly leg and chest stretches. A shoulder girdle warm-up with light dumbbells is done after the warm up with two rounds of ten reps for each exercise of side raises, bicep curls and shoulder presses. This should be enough to get the body ready for the workout ahead.
The aim of the workout is to do 10-12 reps on both exercises straight after each other followed by a rest of no more than 30 seconds. The plan is to strive for as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes without breaking form and dropping below 8 reps.
The same resistance must be used on all the sets for the workout. You need to select a weight that allows you to perform 12 reps on the first round. If you can only manage 2 or 3 rounds before dropping below 8 reps stop the workout and continue to progress the next time with a little less starting weight. For intermediates and advanced trainers a higher rep window maybe preferred.
Before you begin, a warm up set for the first exercise is recommended, this should be around 50% of the weight you will be using for all your sets. Strong individuals using heavy weights should do a staggered warm up, for example 50%, 65%, and 75% of the working weight.
Exercise #1 Swiss Ball Dumbbell Chest Fly
Place the head and shoulders on a Swiss Ball, look up to the ceiling keeping the chin up so the neck stays in a neutral position. Place the feet apart for a good base of support and bring the belly button towards the spine and hold it there to keep the core muscles activated throughout the set.
Starting with the dumbbells above the chest, slowly allow both arms to slightly bend and lower to roughly shoulder height or when you reach a position where you feel a stretch in the chest muscles. Once they have reached this point return to the start position in a smooth tempo. Keep the dumbbells above the chest and not above the head in the start position. Maintain a straight body on the ball throughout the set by keeping the hips held high and backside muscles tensed.
Exercise #2 Swiss Ball Push Jack Knife
Begin with your feet on top of the Swiss Ball and hands on the floor in a push up position, holding a neutral spine and with the head in line with the spine begin to extend the arms pushing the body away from the floor keeping the tummy drawn in at all times.
When the arms are fully extended smoothly flex the hips until the thighs are vertical making sure not to round the back then immediately return the legs to the straight position as smoothly as possible.
Bend the elbows and drop into the push up starting position and continue the set. There shouldn’t be any breaks in the tempo and each rep should be moderate in speed. Beginners can place more shins on the ball or just do the leg movement part of the exercise. If it is still too difficult you could place a small Swiss Ball under your chest for support or if you don’t have a small Swiss Ball you could use a slightly deflated ball there instead.
The options to progress on this way of training would be to either shorten the rest time in between rounds enabling you to achieve more rounds in the 15 minute window or to increase the resistance so the desired reps are more challenging to reach on every round.