Tag Archive | "endurance"

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WOW – Thursdays Workout 10/05/2012

Todays workout is Medicine Ball Circuit – a great but simple all over session…

Duration: Against the Clock
Equipment: Medicine ball, stop watch
Method: Perform 5 laps of the following circuit as fast as possible. Keep your rests to a minimum as the clock is ticking! Start your watch at the beginning of the first exercise and only stop it when you have completed the full 5 laps.

1) Medicine ball slams x 10
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and with your medicine ball in your hands. Raise it overhead. Using your abs and arms, hurl the ball down at the floor around 24″ from your feet. Catch the rebound and repeat. Establish a good rhythm and stick to it!  Perform 10 reps.

2) Overhead lunges x 10 per leg
Extend your arms overhead (holding your ball) and perform alternating lunges – 10 per leg.

3) Hill climbers x 20 per leg
Place you ball on the floor and put your hands on it. Extend your legs so that you are in a push up/press up position. Keeping your hands in place, bring your left leg forwards and close to your chest. This is your starting position. Jump your left leg back and your right leg in. Continue alternating leg positions as fast as you can but ensuring you use as large a range of movement as possible and keep your core tight! Each time your left leg comes close to your chest constitutes one rep. Do 20.

4) Thrusters x 10
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your medicine ball held to your chest. Push your butt back and bend your knees and descend into a squat position. Stand up and simultaneously extend your legs and arms and drive the ball above your head. Perform 10 reps

5) Burpees x 10
No ball here but a great way to wring the last bit of effort out of your body! Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Squat down and place your hands by your feet. Jump your feet back and into the push up/press up position. Perform one rep. Jump your feet back in so that your legs are below your body. Leap into the air. Land (!) and perform 9 more reps.

Rest for 30 – 90 seconds then repeat for 3 – 5 laps.

med ball

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WOW – Thursdays Workout 26/04/2012

This workout is called  5BX* Density Blocks and should take exactly 25 minutes to complete. You don’t need any special exercise equipment – just a mat, skipping rope and something to hand off of!

*5BX stands for 5 basic exercises. Feel free to make substitutions based on your current fitness level but make sure you only use similar exercises e.g. swap squats for lunges.

Perform as many reps as possible in 5 minutes of each exercise before moving on to the next one in the list. Take no rest between exercises.

  • Press ups
  • Body rows (see photo below)
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Squats
  • Jump rope

Note your scores and try to beat them next time you perform this workout.

Body row 4

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WOW – Mondays Workout 24/10/2011

Today’s workout is called the Box Squat Jump and Incline Press up Blast

Duration: 20 minutes
Equipment: Exercise step/box
Method: At the top of each minute, perform a set of 10 box jumps alternated with a set of 10 inline press ups to total 20 minutes. For an extra tough workout, you can skip (jump rope) during your rest intervals.

Minute 1 – 10 box squat jumps
Minute 2 – 10 incline press ups
Minute 3 – 10 box squat jumps
Minute 4 – 10 incline press ups
Minute 19 – 10 box squat jumps
Minute 20 – 10 incline press ups

Box squat jumps
Stand astride your box with your feet flat on the floor
Squat down and lightly touch your butt to the box top
Dynamically jump up onto the box
Step or jump down
Repeat for 10 reps

Incline press ups
With your feet on the same box, adopt the press up position
Bend your arms and lower your chest to the floor
Extend your arms and push back up

Copy of Press ups - elevated

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WOW – Mondays Workout 12/09/2011


Warm up for a few minutes before performing this simple but effective workout.

Perform a maximum set of press ups (push-ups for those readers in the USA)
Rest 15 seconds
Perform double the amount of squats
Rest 15 seconds
Perform a 2nd set of max rep press ups
Rest 15 seconds
Perform double the amount of squats
Keep going for 5 sets (or more if you want!)

Set 1
24 press ups/48 squats
Set 2
19 press ups/38 squats
Set 3
16 press ups/32 squats
Set 4
12 press ups/24 squats
Set 5
9 press ups/18 squats

Totals 80 press ups/160 squats

Record your totals so when you repeat this workout you can strive to increase your numbers!

Press ups - diamond

Popularity: 5% [?]

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Three of the Best – Leg exercises

Straight to the point with no fluff or stuffing, in this series of articles we’ll tell you the three best exercises to give you maximum benefits from your workouts…

back squats

If you only ever do three exercises for your legs, these are the three to choose!







“A workout’s not a workout if you don’t do squats!” or so my coach used to tell me. Performed with a barbell on your shoulders, dumbbells in your hands, a rucksack on your back or just using your bodyweight, squats are one of the Kings of exercise. To perform a squat, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your feet turned out slightly. With your weight spread evenly between your heel and forefoot, push your butt back and bend your knees and hips to descend into the squat position. Aim for 90 degrees at the knees but don’t worry of you don’t make it down that far – work on your flexibility and you do it in time. Push your hips forwards and extend you knees to return to the standing position and repeat many and often!

Lunges are a great lower body exercise with plenty of emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides. Take a large step forwards so that you rise up onto the ball of your rear foot. Bend both knees and lower your rear leg to within one inch of the floor. Your front knee should be directly over your heel and your body fairly upright. Push down with your front leg to push yourself back to the starting position and then repeat but leading with the other leg. Continue alternating for the desired number of reps. Like squats, lunges can be performed with a bar across your shoulders, dumbbells in your hands or a pack on your back but are also very effective just using your bodyweight.

Stiff Legged Dead lifts
Want a rock hard butt and a strong lower back and hamstrings? Do stiff legged dead lifts. Stiff legged dead lifts are not the much maligned straight legged dead lifts seen up and down the country in the 80’s and 90’s which were performed by large men in spandex stood on top of step boxes. This is a very different, much safer and much more effective exercise than that back wrecker! Holding a weight in front of you in both hands and at hip height, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend your knees slightly and maintain your knee angle throughout this exercise. Keeping your arms straight, push you butt as far back as you can, maintain a tight core and hollowed lower back, bend forwards at the hips and lean forwards to lower the weight down your legs. Only bend as far as your hamstring flexibility allows and never NEVER allow your lower back to round. This exercise is effective if you only lower the bar to knee height so forget about trying to touch the floor! To help you to get your hips leading this exercise, stand 12 inches from a wall and try to touch your butt on the wall as you lean forwards. And yes, leg curls ARE easier but easier seldom means better when it comes to exercise!

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Ladder training for muscular endurance

woman push upsMany muscular endurance and conditioning workouts require high volumes of work which, for neophytes and the de-conditioned achieving these numbers, may seem like a very distant goal.

How do you go from only being able to perform a couple of press ups or dips to completing the 100 reps required by some coaches or workouts?


Strength training, like gymnastic training, is part physiological adaptation and part neurological adaptation – by which I mean in many cases the limiting factor is not the size of your muscles but the nervous supply to those muscles.

As strength training is in part a skill, we need to perform repeated movements with sufficient volume to allow the body to learn how to perform the exercises in a skillful coordinated way.

Here in lies the problem – the best was to get better at pull ups is to do lots of them, but if you cant do many in the first place, how do you achieve sufficient volume to get really good at the exercise?

Luckily, the conundrum has a solution – and that solution is called “ladder training”

In a normal workout, our neophyte trainee may manage for example an initial set of 7 pull ups, a second set of 5 and a final set of 3 to give him/her a total workout volume of 15 reps. More volume (repeated efforts) is required to improve the skill of the pull up but insufficient strength makes this a difficult task.

In many strength training circles this principle of repeated efforts to improve specific exercise performance is called “greasing the groove”.

By applying ladder training to our trainees pull ups, our newbie will be doing more volume and therefore more practice and soon be on their way to improving their pull up numbers to a level which was previously an impossible dream!

Ladder Training Protocol.

  • Perform 1 rep of the given exercise
  • Rest a few seconds
  • Perform 2 reps of the given exercise
  • Rest a few seconds
  • Perform 3 reps of the given exercise
  • Rest a few seconds
  • Perform 4 reps of given exercise
  • Rest a few seconds etc.

(Note that rests are intuitive and should only just be long enough to allow the trainee to reach the next rung of the ladder)

Keep adding one rep and resting a few seconds until you are unable to continue i.e. you mange 5 reps, rest a few seconds but cant then manage 6. This is the end of the first set.

Using our previous trainee as an example again, our beginner client manages to ladder up to 5 reps in the first set – giving a rep total for that set of 15 (which is normally the total for their whole work out.)

After 90 seconds rest, they perform ladders again and reach a high of 4 reps – giving a rep total of 10 reps and on their final set managed 3 reps giving a rep total for that set of 6 reps.

So, in total, our trainee will have completed 31 reps of pull ups – 16 reps more than they could normally have achieved!

Ladder training is an excellent tool for increasing overall training volume which can be applied to pretty much any exercise and provides a great way of exposing the trainee to a much higher volume of work than would normally be possible training in a more traditional way. It works very will with  “easy” exercises like bodyweight pull ups, press ups and dips, as well as with traditional resistance exercises like squats, bench press and deadlifts – particularly when utilizing a substantial load. 

Popularity: 3% [?]

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WOW – Mondays Workout 11/04/2011

Todays workout is an equipment free muscular endurance/cardio blast that you can perform just about anywhere…so on excuses for missing your workouts!

Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes light cardio and stretching

Perform one set of the following starting every 2nd minute – the faster you go, the longer you get to rest…

  • 5 Burpees
  • 10 Press ups (Push ups)
  • 15 Squats
  • 20 Mountain climbers – see video

Perform each exercise with good form but as fast as possible with no rest between exercises. On completion of the hill climbers, rest until the next 2 minute mark and repeat. Scale this workout to suit your fitness level by adjusting the reps, rest periods or total number of sets.

Popularity: 3% [?]

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