Ah, the joys of mixing up your workout. You discover both your strong and your weak areas while learning a whole new way of challenging yourself.
During this latest workout swap with my fitness friend Kris (@Krazy_Kris), I was reminded that I’m not so strong in endurance, but I can still get in there and do a knock-out job. My usual routines consist of advanced weight lifting routines for individual muscle groups with some circuits thrown in. Kris’ routines are super intense functional endurance circuits that work the whole body. Who better to swap routines with?
In our latest swap, Kris introduced me to her trainer’s Cross Fit workout, so check out:
Warm Up: 5 sets x 10 reps each
- Body weight squats
- Push ups
- Pull ups (assisted)
- Sit ups
- Shoulder press (uber low weight)
Kris’ warm up looks uh, rather long when you first see it. Five sets of five different exercises? I was a little intimidated as was my friend Amy, who good naturedly agreed to do this workout with me. We only did three sets but I can see how doing five would be manageable. It takes awhile to get into the groove, especially doing push ups when your muscles are cold. But the last two sets would probably have been easier than the first few.
Pick Your Poison Workout
Kris’ workout lists two sets of exercises. As Kris says, the idea is to do an exercise from the first list followed by an exercise from the second list (the “base set”).
The gym was ridiculously busy, so Amy and I had to make a few modifications. Here’s what we did along with my very own Burn-o-meter: 1 = no burn, 10 = intense burn/challenge.
- Run or Jump: Jog 800M OR Jump rope (5 min) + BASE. Logistically we couldn’t get on a treadmill and be close to weights, and there wasn’t enough room to jump rope. So we did five minutes of intense elliptical machines. We followed this with 15 kettle bells swings (the base set). I feel like we kind of wimped out here because Kris was sore for days after her jumping rope segment! Burn-o-meter: 5
- Top or Bottom: 30 Triceps Dips OR 50 Bodyweight Squats + BASE. We did 50 bodyweight squats. This was not as hard as I thought it’d be. We followed it with 15 squats with shoulder presses (base set), which were definitely harder. Burn-o-meter: 6
- Push or Pull: 50 Pushups OR 25 Pull ups (assisted) + BASE. Fifty push ups – HA! We opted for 25 pull ups. This was super tough! No wonder Kris can do five unassisted pull ups, she’s a monster! I went about 30 lbs lighter than usual to finish these. We followed this with 15 sit ups (base set), which was very easy. Burn-o-meter: 8
- Up or Down: 50 Squat Jumps OR 25 Burpees + BASE. We did the burpees – yippee! They’re so much fun! Haha, not really – they suck! We rested briefly after 10 or 12 reps and then finished up (burpees are a highly cardiovascular exercise!). We followed this with 15 box jumps (base set). I’ve always been intimidated by jumps of any kind… I’m not overly coordinated and I’m afraid of getting tired and missing the box! But it was ok – in fact, I gained some confidence by doing them. Burn-o-meter: 8
- Front or Back: 30 Back Extensions OR 60 Bicycles + BASE. We decided on the back extensions, and yes, these burn nicely after about 20 reps. We actually did not do a base set after these because we (conveniently) forgot. Burn-o-meter: 7
- 20 second plank + 10 second rest
- 20 second bicycle + 10 second rest
- Repeat for 8 minutes
When I first saw Kris’ ab routine I thought it looked easy. I love challenging my abs big time. And in fact, for the first three minutes this was fairly easy. Amy and I coasted along and didn’t feel a burn until… it started to burn quite a lot! Let’s just say that at the halfway point, I noted that we were only halfway done, and from then on we were counting the minutes til we were done. Thanks Kris!! Burn-o-meter: 9
I really do want to thank Kris for adding a lot of variety to my workouts. I can’t wait for the next one!