Since I can’t swim in the winter and I have not been running since my ankle starting acting up in November, I have been looking for creative ways to “subsidize” my already existing fitness program. I say subsidize, because 5 days out of the week I already teach and train a few hours a day but because my body is so used to those workouts, I need to do something additional to push myself out of my comfort zone. For the past 5 weeks or so I have been pulling out a few of the P90x videos, and yesterday I was scheduled for back and chest. When I got home from the gym, I couldn’t seem to motivate myself to put in the video, so I decided to train myself. With the push-up bar up, I grabbed a chair and did back, chest and legs. Already warmed up from class, I started with 10 (assisted) pull-ups, followed by lunges with one foot up on a chair and then pushups. Next it was wide arm chin-ups, wall squats and military push-ups. 3rd round was narrow grip pull-ups, decline (feet on a chair) pushups and “sneaky lunges.” The 4th round was narrow grip chin-ups, “over and under a fence” pushups and standing on one foot, touch the floor squats. The 5th and final round was switch grip pull-ups, “diamond” pushups and standing on one foot “skaters.”
If you have ever done the P90x program, all those exercises will sound familiar. If you haven’t it doesn’t matter because that same routine can be substituted with ANY challenging exercise that make you work your hardest. I tried for at least 10-12 reps of each movement. I never took a break and at the end of about 20 minutes (with a few stretches at the end) I was dripping in sweat and maintained an elevated heart rate for the entire time. Seriously after the first minute I was in “the zone.” While I am pretty sure I will never be able to do a pull-up or chin-up without a toe on the chair, they still are incredibly challenging and I feel them all over my upper body (and core) the following day.
In this fast paced world, with much too much to do and not enough hours in the day, I understand that hour long classes at the gym, with travel time to and fro, are not always possible. Working out, however, always is. Everyone has to have 20 minutes in a day or something is not right. Deepak Chopra tells us that daily “movement” is one of the 4 key components to happiness, so if you aren’t doing it for your body, you still need to be doing it for your mind! You can easily combine different movements on different days to assure a well rounded program.
The 20 minutes exercise express. Try it. It just might be exactly what you are looking for!