Bodyweight Cardio and Abdominal Workout

Posted on 27. Feb, 2009 by in Exercise

Last night was a non-gym day for me which meant that I was supposed to perform some type of light activity (I didn’t have to do it but I felt like I needed some adrenaline rush to put a nice end to the day). So, instead of hopping on the treadmill which meant I had to go to the gym and deal with the rain, I turned to one of Craig Ballantyne’s newest invention – bodyweight cardio.

Before I go into more details about last night’s workout, I have a question for you:

Are you a slave to the long, boring cardio?

If you are, you’re probably a part of about 90% of the people that I see on the treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, stairmaster, and many other cardio machines available at the gym day in and day out. While there is nothing wrong with some of these machines, there is really something wrong with how people use them.

I was one of these people at one point. I used to run on the treadmill or climb the stairmaster for 40 minutes, 5 days a week because I thought that I have to reach a certain heart rate and stay there for a certain amount of time in order to effectively burn fat and calories – aaggghhhh… I badly hated those. It turns out that there’s an even more effective and fun way to achieve this. Besides the new form of cardio called High Intensity Interval training (alternating sprints and jogs) which I talked about in another post, there’s another form of cardio that is also a great alternative to long, boring cardio which makes use of your own bodyweight. So, you don’t need any equipment except your body and a little bit of space.

So, what is bodyweight cardio? It is basically a set of bodyweight exercises performed consecutively with minimal or no rest in between exercises. Some of the reasons (in my opinon) makes this type of training so tough and, therefore, effective and a better alternative to long, boring cardio are:

  • Bodyweight exercises – such as push ups, lunges, planks, etc. actually challenge your body because of the resistance/weight that your body provides. So, this workout is sort of a combination of strength and endurance training.
  • Little or no rest between exercises – this makes it an endurance type of training because, like running, your heart rate is always elevated since your’re constantly moving
  • Ab exercises – I actually picked out this workout from the new Turbulence Training for Abs Home Workout manual specifically because I wanted to target my abdominals a bit more on my “off” days. Because I’m performing compound movements along with ab exercises, I get a total body workout without worrying about shin splints or other running related injuries.

So, are you dying to know the details of my workout now?

Here it is:

Warm-up Circuit

Y-Squat – 12 repetitions (reps)
1-Leg RDL – 8 reps per side
Pushup – 10 reps
Prone Stick-up – 8 reps
(Repeated one more time)


Home Advanced Bodyweight Abdominal Workout

Superset #1
1A) Reaching Lunge – 12 reps per side
1B) Spiderman Pushup – 8 reps per side
No rest – repeated one more time

1 minute rest

Superset #2
2A) Close-grip Pushup – 20 reps
2B) Side Plank Leg Raise – 10 reps per side (these are tough!)
No rest – repeated one more time

1 minute rest

Superset #3
3A) Inchworm – 8 reps (even my puppy thinks this looks weird but this gives a good hamstring stretch
3B) X-Body Mountain Climber – 15 reps per side
3C) Stick up – 12 reps
No rest – repeated one more time

I added these, 3 times through:
Eccentric (lowering part only) Neutral Grip Pull ups – 2 reps x 10 seconds
Ab Curl Ups on Stability Ball – 20 reps

I got a really good workout out of this one and the best thing that I like about it is that I was done in 20 minutes! I never would’ve thought I can work my body this hard, have fun with it, and do it in so little time. It really does put a great ending to my day!

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  • Body weight is the ticket!!!

    Andy

  • BW workouts give you a true view of your fitness. Better than comparing how much you can squat or bench or curl vs what others can do. When you do BW circuits, it’s all about yourself….and that is the true litmus test.

    have a great weekend

    MikeZ

  • admin

    Andy, it really is!

    Mike, I like that litmus test analogy. I found that even some bw exercises such as chin ups and pull ups are tougher than some strength training exercises. I mean anyone can say they can bench press (even if it’s a puny amount of weight) but not everyone can say they can do chin ups right?!

    Thanks for the visit, guys!