Saturday, 8 March 2014

I work out

So you read my blog, maybe your a fitness freak, novice or like me 4 years ago and look in your mirror at yourself naked and only find yourself sobbing. Ditch the sobs, ditch the novice, ditch the usual. Read this post complete with diagnostic testing, sample workouts and you'll feel as good as you do when you've had a fresh haircut- except everyday!...Before you begin remember this...You are invincible. You are anything you want to be. You are fit.

I am success

First and foremost people exercise is about positive attitude, celebrating the effort you took to get out of bed and make that morning gym session or walk the dog when you really couldn't be bothered to, passed on the chocolate cake when it was screaming at you to 'eat me now!'  So you need to make sure you are acknowledging and documenting these little successes. You can use post it notes around a mirror, paddle pop sticks and a cup or a jar with a monetary value for every positive success and celebrate with a healthy treat at the end of the week. Now what I have just written is probably nothing different to what you have read before so let's get in to what is the most important thing.
workout sticks - actually gives a better idea of how to do this. I wish she actually had the workouts written out though!!
You must measure your success. Yes I know I can basically hear you moaning already through the computer. When I say measure though I am not talking about scales (they are rubbish, throw them away!), your clothing size (it's not common) and I am not talking about a measuring tape either (though definitely don't throw it away, I'll share a post with you about that later!). I am talking about measuring success through diagnostic testing. What is diagnostic testing?

Diagnostic testing are a series of tests that personal trainers do with all of their clients (if you have a PT and they haven't done these they aren't doing their job, quite simply- request them or get out) to ascertain your fitness level. The beauty of these is that you can do these and then assess your fitness level yourself. The trick with diagnostic testing is that you pre-test before you begin a program or new exercise regime and then you post-test after a meso-cycle (program of medium length approximately 6weeks) to assess progress. Whether you have already started a program or not I suggest you do these tests before your next workout, record your results and then use the workout below (or the one your already following), 6 weeks later return to these tests, if you have been working to your full potential and if your workout has been slowly increasing in difficulty and intensity then you should see increased performance in your fitness results. Please take note that the tests need to be completed in roughly the same conditions. For example, if pre-test is completed at 5am make sure the post test is completed at the same time.

The diagnostic tests are:
  • The 12 minute run. Don't do this on a treadmill. Select a route in public, preferably away from traffic lights (they will slow down your pace). Run as hard and as fast as you can, record where you get to either on an app like MapMyRun or just notice a landmark nearby to you.
  • 1min row x3 (rowing machine required). Row as hard and as fast as you can for a minute. Record your distance. Don't stress it will get better. I started out very inconsistently with my best at 220 and now I average 285m a minute. Rest for 30 seconds after your first minute and then repeat. Average your score, this becomes your pre-test score. Your goal initially is as hard and as fast as you can, as you get better you should be aiming to make your watt graph (option on all rowing machines) to be flat- so your pace is consistent throughout.
  • Push ups/sit up test- it is simple but important to find out your endurance levels. Most push ups and sit ups (do push ups first followed by a bit of rest and then sit ups- if done with a partner your rest is while the partner is going) you can do in a minute. Record your results.
  • Flexibility test. Lie on the ground, arms by your side, squeezing your butt cheeks together lift your neck up as high as possible stretching in the back- measure how far you can get off the ground.

Fit & Invincible Workout

Below I have offered 3 levels per exercise, this means you can choose based on your fitness level, be honest with yourself, if you can complete the first level quite comfortably you need to go to the next level. Staying at a level that doesn't challenge you enough will serve no benefit, similarly as your fitness level increases you can keep this workout and move through to the next phase in the exercise. Make sure you don't automatically assume you are ready to progress in all the exercises, our body's muscles like our intellect have different strengths and weaknesses, it is likely you could be doing more harm than good.

Level  1
Level 2
Level 3
Warm up:
3minute jog at 7.5km/hr
3 minute jog at 9km/hr
5 minute jog at 10.5km/hr
*Most people’s fast walking pace is at 6.5km/hr

Exercise 1:
Down dog- 1 minute
Down dog with hip opener- 1 minute
One footed down dog- alternate after 30 seconds/combine all three levels in smooth transitions

Exercise 2:
Repeat 3 times
Standing lunge, 15 repetitions- swap sides
Bulgarian split lunge, 15 repetitions- swap sides
15 jump lunges- rest then do 15 more


Exercise 3:
Repeat 3 times
Squat, 15 repetitions
Standing jump squat, 15 repetitions
Box jump squats- 15 reps (onto a park bench/table)


Exercise 4:
Repeat 3 times
One foot hops- straight line- 30 seconds *
One foot hops for 30secs- diagonal *
One foot hops- up & down a flight of stairs- 1 minute.

Exercise 5:
Armed with great arms (repeat 3 times with 1 minute rest between each)
6kg chest press
6kg butterflies
6kg triceps extension- till exhaustion**.

10kg chest press
10kg butterflies
10kg triceps extension till exhaustion
15kg chest press
15kg butterflies
15kg triceps extension-till exhaustion
*Please note dependent on male/female and the level of exercise you regularly do you may need to adjust the weight range. The weights given above are an example of how you might adjust your own- keep in mind that the first stands for 3kg per hand (using dumb bells) and the second 5kg dumb bells per hand.

**Exhaustion refers to completing as many as you can do, usually people stop just as they feel a little uncomfortable but general rule of thumb is that most people have 5 more reps in them. It sounds crazy going to ‘exhuastion’ but when I started doing these I thought I wouldn’t be able to do what in essence began as 60 repetitions of arm exercises however because it is different ranges of movement & targets different muscle groups it is surprising what your body can do. The most important thing is you actually rest for the FULL minute between reps- you will recover. Take time to stretch too if you want.

Exercise 6:
Repeat 3 times
Criss-cross legs- 15 repetitions
Weighted full body crunch- 15 repetitions (5kgs is a good even weight, but don’t just stay comfortable because you can it won’t change you)
Roll ups- 15 repetitions

Exercise 7:
Repeat 3 times (rest for 15 seconds in between)
Plank- 30 seconds
Wide plank- 30 seconds followed by Narrow plank- 30 seconds
Walking plank- 1min- forwards (backwards as well for extra keen)

Exercise 8:
Repeat 3 times (rest for 15 seconds in between)
Bridge (30 seconds)
Bridge clenched fists (1 minute)
One legged bridge (swap after 30 seconds)


Exercise 9:
Power play
-side hops
-lateral bounds
-gutter runs
30 seconds each (no rest)*
-side hops
-lateral bounds
-gutter runs
45 seconds each (no rest)
-side hops
-lateral bounds
-gutter runs
1 minute each (no rest)

*If you do need to rest obviously take the rest- but what you are trying to avoid here is your soft mind overtaking your invincible mind- don’t let yourself stop before you are really done.


Exercise 10:
Bow pose
Half bow pose- swap legs after 30 seconds (1 minute)
Bow pose looking forward (1 minute)
Bow pose looking up
(1 minute)


You will notice this workout combines legs, arms, high intensity style training. The majority of exercises do not use weights however you can definitely find exercises that are weighted if that is your desire.

Weights are usually used to give yourself more resistance and if you want to increase muscle mass. You will also increase your tone provided you aren’t doing mass amounts of repetitions; therefore the weights you can see that have been used are light/moderate this is because this workout is designed to build cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance and muscle tone. It should also show you how you do not need to turn up to the gym for an individual weights, plyometric, intensity or calisthenics session- you can combine it all into one and you’ll be far more entertained in your workout.

So see how it goes and let me know what you think...keep looking back on the blog too for your weights and cardio challenges that I’ll post up for the coming week.


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