Calisthenics Workout (45 mins)…

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n response to some requests on myfitnesspal, the following is a breakdown of the home based Calistenics/Circuits that I often carry out. I’m trying to cut down on the steady state cardio and introduce more of these type of routines – ones that include strength training whilst still providing a cardio element. That way you get the best of both worlds and the strength training gives that metabolic high that lasts 24/48 hours after the session – a great way to keep the body burning calories and fat. The other great thing about this workout is that it can be done at home anytime, so if, like me, you have kids on a night and can’t get out to go to the gym or for a run, it’s ideal.

At the moment I do a 45 minute session which includes 5 sets of 8 exercises. The 8 exercises being…

1. Push-ups
2. Squats/Squat jumps
3. Abs exercise
4. Burpees (with push up)
5. Tricep dips
6. Back Extension
7. Pull-ups
8. Jumping Jacks (or star jumps)

I do each exercise for 40 seconds and rest for 20 seconds in between. Between each set I rest for 1 min 40 seconds. This brings the whole workout nicely to 45 minutes. According to the figures on myfitnesspal this burns 470 calories – it is a fairly intensive workout and I start to break a decent sweat after the first couple of sets. One thing to note is the intensity of the strength exercises, I don’t try to crank out as many as I can in the 40 seconds, instead I do them slowly and controlled (both on the up and downward phases). As a guide, over the 40 seconds I probably do 20 press ups – so that’s effectively 1 second down, 1 second up. Sometimes I’ll pause for a second at the bottom of a press-up, or the top of a pull-up which adds to the intensity.

For each of the five sets I vary the workout. For example Push-ups over the five sets would be…

1. Normal Push-ups
2. Incline Push-ups
3. Incline Close Grip Push Ups
4. Incline Wide Grip Push Ups
5. Incline Push Ups but focusing on one arm (ie a lightly supported one arm push up).

For pull ups I do normal pull ups (using a towel on a door lol) and a variety of bicep curls or back exercises. And I use dumbbells when doing the squats/lunges. Abs exercises can be a mixture of V-Sits, Russian Twists, Crunches, Heel Touches, Bicycles, Flutter Kicks etc (check out the Adrian James App that I often refer to). I don’t really have a set plan each time, I try and vary the routine.

Another great tool/book that I’ve found helpful is the You Are Your Own Gym App and book – both these give a whole host of bodyweight exercises that can be done at home without the need for gym equipment. The author, Mark Lauren is ‘a certified Military Physical Training Specialist, Special Operations Combat Controller, triathlete, and competitive Thai boxer. He has effectively prepared over 700 trainees for the extreme demands of the most elite levels of the Special Operations community.’ So he’s got fairly good credentials.

The home circuit…

Door frame and stairs are used for pull-up exercises, the bench for tricep dips (again I change the width of my grips for these exercises), the push up bars and the arm of the sofa for incline pushups, and of course the PowerBlock dumbbells for some of the back/bicep sets (instead of pull-ups) and lunges/squats. Btw the different leg exercises usually consist of Back Lunges, Squat Jumps, Bulgarian Split Squats, Side Lunges and Sumo Squats. There are plenty more that I’ve yet to introduce into the routine.

Here’s a couple of up to date profile shots taken straight after the workout. This is also after a few days of rest, some excessive eating on the Friday (doubled my calorie intake) and relaxed eating patterns over the weekend. Back into a normal routine this week and stepping up the training…

And yes, I do need to learn how to smile in these photos! Concentrating too much on the pose/camera angle lol

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