FIT Strategies Post #2: Finding Time for Exercise During the Crazy Holiday & Travel Season

by in Health & Fitness December 21, 2013

So…you want to continue with your exercise routine so you can continue to try to offset the yummy holiday calories that the season brings, right? But you struggle with change of schedules because the kids are at home all day, the relatives are in town, or you are hitting the road to go visit the entire extended family over the course of one week. Whew! It’s hard to get it all in — especially in-between last-minute shopping, holiday parties, and keeping everyone happy. Keep reading! I’ve got a solution for you, all laid out…just follow this routine below and get a GREAT workout done, no matter where you are!

This is the season when quick, effective workouts are key…and better yet, if you can do them at home with just your bodyweight! No travel to the gym required, you can get a good workout in after locking the bedroom door to keep the kids out, or even from your hotel room while on the road. How to get it done? THAT, my friends, is what I have outlined below. NO equipment required — the following is a plan for you to get some good workouts done while surviving the holiday season.

A solid bodyweight workout program recipe will have these ingredients:

=> A warm-up with easier exercises
=> Strength training (YES, you can do this with bodyweight moves… I’ll get to that)
=> Metabolic Conditioning
=> Kick Butt Finisher

If I were to design one with all of these in the same workout, it would look like this:

Warm-up (3-5 minutes)
Strength Training (10-15 minutes)
Metabolic Conditioning (10-15 minutes)
Kick Butt Finisher (3-10 minutes)

This gives me the flexibility to make it 30 minutes while focusing more on a specific component (for example, 10 minutes
on strength, 15 minutes on conditioning).

The Warm-up:

Here is where you’ll want to use easier exercises. I like to put together 3-4 exercises and do two circuits, resting for 30 seconds between circuits.

Here’s an example:

Jumping Jacks (15)
Bodyweight Squats (10)
Pushups (8)
Leg Swings (10/side) <= Swing your leg back and forth

Strength Training:

This is when I like to keep the bodyweight exercises with a repetition range of 8-12. The thing is… some people find basic exercises like pushups and bodyweight squats NOT challenging enough for that repetition range.

That’s when you can add in some modifications to make these exercises HARDER.

For example, the pushup…. you can do 1-1/2 reps instead of regular reps. So, you’ll go all the way down, halfway back up, then back down and finally all the way up. That’s ONE rep.

Try 8 of those… good times. There’s also Spiderman Pushups, Decline Pushups, T-Pushups, etc.

However, the same goes for making these exercises EASIER. If you ever find a bodyweight exercise too difficult, don’t be afraid to use an easier exercise (for example, replace Spiderman Pushups with Kneeling Pushups or Incline Pushups).

Here’s a sample strength circuit. I like to use non-competing circuits and supersets. So, you’ll do a lower body exercise and then an upper body exercise (or vice versa).

Bulgarian Split Squat (1-1/2 rep style) (8/side)
Decline Spiderman Pushups (6/side)
1-Leg Bodyweight Romanian Deadlift (10/side)

I would probably do this entire set 3 – 4 times through.

Metabolic Conditioning

This is my second favorite to the finisher. Here, you’ll want to use more volume with a rep range typically
between 15 – 25 (depending on the exercise).

For example, I wouldn’t write 25 burpees to do in a circuit 3 times.

I’m a BIG believer that if your form has a chance of getting sloppy, it shouldn’t be in your program. Most people can’t do 25 burpees 3 times without their form getting ugly.

Metabolic Conditioning replaces “cardio” and will improve your overall fitness, while at the same time, burn calories.

Here’s a sample circuit:

Burpees (8)
Bodyweight Squats (15)
Spiderman Climb (10/side – 20 total)
*Total Body Extensions (20)

By the way, the Total Body Extension is an awesome replacement
for Jump Squats, Box Jumps, Lunge Jumps and any other exercise
that you want to minimize impact on your joints.

The finale… the Kick Butt Finisher.

Here’s where you don’t hold back. This is your grand finale and you MUST go out with a bang.

The finisher can be anywhere between 3 and 10 minutes. Here’s an example of one of my favorites:

Kick Butt Finisher:

Do as many circuits as possible in 6 minutes, resting only when

Lunge Jumps (6/side)
Close-Grip Pushups (6)
Jumping Jacks (6)
Mountain Climbers (6/side)

Wooohooo! That’s it! A GREAT workout is about 30 minutes! Awesome!

Okay, here’s a summary of what YOU can do to get moving, regardless of your current travel/living/craziness situation today:

Warm-up (3-5 minutes)
– Easier exercises and don’t overdo it
– 2 circuits (resting 20-30 seconds between circuits)

Strength Training (10-15 minutes)
– Rep range between 8-12 reps… maybe 15)
– Use “tweaks” to make basic exercises harder like 1-1/2 reps, etc.

Metabolic Conditioning (10-15 minutes)
– Rep range between 15 – 25 (typically, but there are exceptions like burpees, etc)

Kick Butt Finisher (3 – 10 minutes)
The Grand Finale – end on a bang with a variety of gauntlets, ladders, density circuits and more

Print this out and follow it! Fighting the holiday weight gain REQUIRES attention to exercise! So, if you are off-schedule, or just need a little kick in the butt — USE THIS WORKOUT to GET MOVING and fight back! Go get a sweat on! You will feel SOOOO much better once you do!

Check back tomorrow for Fit Tip Post #3 — Dealing with the Holiday Eating Pressures