Today I was amped and ready to kill it with my second workout swap with Kris O’Connor (@Krazy_Kris). (See her challenging circuit.) I love swapping routines because it puts me out of my comfort zone and it’s exciting see how I do with a totally different approach. I focus mainly on weights in my workouts and do cardio on the side… Kris focuses more on full-body functional circuits that are total butt kickers too! (Check out my first weights workout for Kris and her first endurance workout for me.)
Kris’ workout includes three parts: weights circuit, abs circuit, and a four-minute Tabata closer.
Part 1 – My Special Circuit
The first part was a circuit of six exercises/10 reps each/five times (total of 50 reps). Brief rests are “enjoyed” (as Kris puts it) between sets, and I usually spent the 60 seconds thinking about the next set of the circuit. I got all my equipment ready beforehand – a stability (Swiss) ball, medicine ball (6 lbs), small bench, a kettlebell (15 lbs), and dumbbells (15 lbs).
Wood Chopper with Medicine Ball. I do this core move with the FreeMotion machine all the time; however, doing it with a medicine ball takes more concentration. Form is even more important because you’re not pulling a cable over – you’re deliberately moving a ball along an imaginary path.
Chest Press on Swiss Ball. Another move that uses your core! You need to keep your torso up instead of letting it hang down. I used 15-lb weights because I wanted to keep the weights light. No problem so far – definitely feeling different muscles kicking in!
Kettlebell Swings. Since learning to use them our first workout swap, I really like kettlebells. I think I could’ve used a 20-lb weight, but then again, maybe not!
Tricep Bench Dips. I do these a lot – great move that really works your triceps! A nice “rest” from the first two exercises.
Assisted Pull Ups. I started off using my usual 50% of body weight, but soon found that I needed to decrease the resistance so I could actually pull off 12 reps. These were extra tough after the other four exercises!
Lunge with Torso Rotation. These are hard, y’all! Believe me, by the time you get to these, your arms are on fire. On the last set I could barely keep my arms straight. I knew I was getting an arms workout though, and it’s totally different from just working individual muscles groups like biceps.
I think that once you do this type of circuit, it gets easier pretty quickly. The first time I did Kris’ workout swap I was, uh, wiped out. This time was challenging too but I found that I did better. I definitely worked up a sweat and got a GREAT workout by doing six exercises back to back. And it saved time – I was done in 45 minutes. However, since it was my back and biceps day, I added in a few sets of low-cable rows, bent-over rows, and concentration curls after the first circuit.
These three exercises were challenging! Kris knows I like to work my abs hard so she threw these in even though the first circuit included a lot of “sneaky” core work.
Oblique Lift. Tough technique with keeping a ball between your legs while you lift them on your side. I mastered the exercise without the ball first and then tried it with a ball. Without the ball I could easily do more than 10 reps. This is one I’ll need to practice – it’s definitely going into my repertoire!
V-Sits Exchange. I know Kris tried hard to take into account all my creaky joints and various ailments. And I liked this exercise – it’s very challenging. But it tweaked a hip issue I’ve got going on so I did some straight-legged V-ups instead (without a ball).
Plank with Knee to Elbow. Tough plank variation! By then my hip kinda hurt so I did the best I could. Normally, I think I could do these without a problem. I love trying new plank variations and I think I’d tried this before. But it was super tough after the previous circuit!
I really enjoyed this segment for this second workout swap! At the end, I honestly didn’t want to stop. I had that euphoric high going on and felt like dancing around like a boxer or something. This told me something: I enjoy HIIT and should do more of it.
The HIIT strategy involves 20 seconds of sprint + 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated eight times for a total of four minutes. Kris gave a wide variety of choices to choose from, which was really nice! I chose to do bodyweight squats and jumping jacks. In the first workout swap, I did all bodyweight squats and my legs were seriously jacked for about five days. I’m not sure if doing two exercises defeats the purpose… Kris can let us know about that. But I still found it challenging.
I am definitely tired and will be sore tomorrow (it’s always interesting to see where with a full-body workout). I so appreciate Kris sharing her knowledge about endurance circuits and Tabata! I love workout swaps!