Almost every session involves stairs and minimal equipment. If we do use equipment, it's a pull-up bar, a set of weights, or even a towel. His workouts revolve around simplicity: can you remember this if you're out of town and need to exercise? Can you do these outside of the gym? The easier an exercise is to execute, the greater compliance. His training sessions fly by quickly. In 30 minutes you're sweating and out of breath, but energized! He combines multiple moves so that all this variety doesn't bore you throughout the workout. Today's workout was no different.
The challenge of the day was carrying a gym bag (about 17-20lbs) up and down a flight of stairs that had about 10 or 12 steps. The rest of the exercises in between were what he called "rest" exercises. They weren't, but they definitely weren't as demanding as carrying the weight of a small child up and down a flight of steps.
We used different grips to carry the bag so that different muscles in your arms are engaged. Your entire body is activated when you do this exercise because all of your major muscles are working to keep you upright and balanced. This, my friends, is an excellent full-body circuit.
|An underhand grip works your forearms and triceps|
|A "row" grip with palms facing towards you and elbows out to the side to engage your shoulders|
|Carry the entire bag from underneath to use more of your biceps|
Here's another awesome thing he does: he has a deck of cards and gets all the cards from Ace to 7 for each suit. He shuffles these and whatever number and suit comes up dictates the exercise you do. Aces are single repetitions. He only goes up to 7 so that the exercises are done in quick succession, allowing you to proceed to the next move fairly quickly.
Circuit 7.26.12: The stair master
Clubs: Jog up and down the stairs (about 30 steps)
Hearts: Woodchoppers with a 10 lb medicine ball (multiply the number by 2)
Diamonds: Squats (multiply the number by 5)
Spades: Walk up and down the stairs with the bag (about 10 steps)
*Woodchoppers: stand with arms outstretched overhead holding the medicine ball, feet shoulder-width apart. Squat down and bring arms down in a "chopping motion." Raise the arms as you stand upright again. Repeat.Try this at home or at the gym, or wherever you can find a decent set of stairs. Repeat this circuit for 30 minutes, or longer (until your cards run out).
If you're in the North Shore area of Chicago, contact James O'Neill to schedule a personal training assessment.