New Five Day Workout Plan

In our on-going effort to create an effective and interesting workout plan, workout partner Michael and I have arrived at the following:

Monday:

  • 15 minutes of work on the elliptical machine
  • medicine ball twist – 2x up and down length of basketball court
  • medicine ball squat – ball at small of back – 10 reps
  • boxing workout – five or six 1 minute “rounds” hitting hand pads or heavy bag
  • tricep pulldowns – 3 sets
  • BOSU balance workout – 3 sets
  • exercise bike warm down and protein drink

Tuesday:

  • 15 minutes of work on elliptical machine to warm up
  • medicine ball twist – 2x up and down length of basketball court
  • medicine ball squat – ball at small of back – 10 reps
  • boxing workout – five or six 1 minute “rounds” hitting hand pads or heavy bag
  • kettlebell exercises – swings, lifts, balance ball
  • exercise bike warm down and protein drink

Wednesday:

  • 15 minutes of work on elliptical machine to warm up
  • medicine ball twist – 2x up and down length of basketball court
  • medicine ball squat – ball at small of back – 10 reps
  • various stretching exercises
  • leg press exercises
  • exercise bike warm down and protein drink

Thursday:

  • 15 minutes of work on elliptical machine to warm up
  • medicine ball twist – 2x up and down length of basketball court
  • medicine ball squat – ball at small of back – 10 reps
  • boxing workout – five or six 1 minute “rounds” hitting hand pads or heavy bag
  • bench press exercises
  • exercise bike warm down and protein drink

Friday:

  • 15 minutes of work on elliptical machine to warm up
  • medicine ball twist – 2x up and down length of basketball court
  • medicine ball squat – ball at small of back – 10 reps
  • boxing workout – five or six 1 minute “rounds” hitting hand pads or heavy bag
  • tricep pulldown routine + leg work
  • exercise bike warm down and protein drink

Use a Decline Bench for Free Weight Exercises

There are many possible weight lifting exercises that you can do to improve your strength and increase your muscle tone.   As a rule, I prefer free weights over machine exercises because machines limit you to one plan of motion.  By contrast, free weights force you to use stabilizing muscles which tends to improve tone.

Further, there is a bit of  a fear factor with free weights  – you know that if you drop them you could embarass yourself, hurt yourself or your workout partner.  In my experience, you are much more attuned to your limits when you use free weights.

I find that I get a lot out of decline bench workouts.  A decline bench is like a regular weight bench except that the head of the bench sits at a 45 degree angle – in other words, your head and arms are inclined below your feet.  For me, this type of workout fits my body type and I feel that it puts less stress on my shoulder joints.

At some point, I will do my own video, but for now, here is an example of a decline bench exercise that is done effectively.  You can use a barbell, dumbbells, or kettlebells with a decline bench.

You can find other examples of decline bench exercises on YouTube although many of them feature blaring music and gym rats who are lifting 400 lbs.  You don’t need a lot of weight – lift what you can do comfortably and handle 10 to 15 reps for 3 sets before you move up in weight.

New 60 Minute Kettlebell Routine

Over the past few weeks, Michael,  Michele and I have been following the kettlebell workout routine developed by kettlebell fitness expert Jeff Hopeck.  Jeff invited me to one of his classes at the Main Event Fitness Center in northwest Atlanta and I have incorporated one of Jeff’s routines into our morning routine.

Currently Michael, Michele and I are undertaking a kettlebell workout at least two times a week – right now, both Michael and I play in a recreactional basketball league and we have not summoned the willpower or energy to pump kettlebells the day after a basketball game.

I will go into each exercise more specifically in blog posts to come, but for now, here are the six exercises that we have learned from Jeff Hopeck:

  1. squat/raise with a single kettlebell
  2. bicep raise and balance with two kettlebells
  3. kettlebell squat and swing with one kettlebell
  4. swing, toss and raise with one kettlebell
  5. core leg lift on the mat with two kettlebells
  6. reverse lunge with two kettlebells

Our routine is to start with ten repetitions of each exercise, then nine, then eight.  Rest for five minutes, then do seven reps, six reps and five reps.  Take another five minute rest.   Finish with four, three, two and one rep.

We finished up with interval sprints for 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, although there was probably more talking than what would be optimal.

The entire kettlebell portion of the workout takes about an hour and it is exhausting.  I feel that we easily are packing in 2 to 2 1/2 hours of workout into sixty minutes.

Stay tuned for more variations of these exercises and videos. 

[tags] kettlebells, kettlebell exercises, core exercise, bicep curl, Jeff Hopeck [/tags]

Standing Kettlebell Raise

[mc src=”http://www.kettlebellfitness.net/media/2007/04/02/standing-kettlebell-raise/swiss2.flv” width=”320″ type=”video”/]

Michael & Michele demonstrate a squat with Swiss Ball support:

Swiss Ball Exercises

Michael demonstrates kettlebell exercises on the Swiss ball.