Dear readers, I would like to hear from you! What do you think are the best bodyweight exercises? In the poll below, select the one bodyweight exercise that you think is the best or write in your own answer. If you could only do one bodyweight exercise, what would it be?
My CrossFit workout this morning really hit my overall body with a variety of exercises that worked the core, arms, and legs. I felt it all over! Made me also realize that my forearms were more sore than I anticipated from the 32 Kg kettleball farmers walk and hammers yesterday. I really felt it on the pull-ups and performed a bit weaker than I had hoped. Oh well. Every day can’t be the best day for a given exercise. We did this same workout back in November 2010, so I was able to compare my performance. This is so critical for your motivation!). I took 17 seconds off my time and did much better on my pull-ups this time. Now my goal for the next time I do this WOD is to do everything unbroken. No breaks!
I described what a Tabata workout is in an earlier post. A Tabata is high-intensity interval training (HITT) and is basically 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise and then 10 seconds of rest, repeated for 8 cycles continuously for 4 minutes. It really packs a ton of cardio and fat-burning exercise into the longest 4 minutes of your life. Today we did it for 4 exercises back to back (Squat Cleans, Pull-ups, Burpees, Kettlebell Swings), so that makes it the longest 16 minutes of your life. Who would think you would be completely drained after just 16 minutes of exercise? But, try it sometime and I think you will discover the same thing. I have a love/hate relationship with the Tabata. More than a lot of other conditioning WOD’s, you really do feel like you’re competing against yourself (if you track your progress as you should be doing!). I love that and, looking back at my past performance, I see improvements that motivate me a lot. That includes physical changes that I can see; burning off fat and getting a lot more muscle definition. The hate? The Tabata workouts really wipe me out and, like I said, you would never imagine how long 4 minutes can feel.
I actually like all of the exercises that we did for our CrossFit workout of the day today (WOD): Push-ups, Chin-ups, and Dips. I’ve been practicing the kipping pull-up and chin-up, so it was a good day to put it to the test. This WOD is a great way to work on your chest, triceps, and biceps. The chin-ups, in particular, also help you perform better on rope climbing.
With all of the core strength training and ab work over the past few months, my abs have definitely become much stronger (see photo). For example, today in my CrossFit workout we did Toes-to-Bar for part of our conditioning WOD (see the photo on the right). It isn’t easy to do, but I can do it now! Can I do 45 of them? Ummm, no. But, I did my best to get toes to the bar on the first 21 and more like a Knees-to-Elbow (K2E) on the rest of the reps.
There are very few things that have the motivational impact of progress. Today in my CrossFit workout I felt stronger and faster than I have in awhile and boy does that feel good! A nice affirmation for choosing this new fitness lifestyle. Pace yourself, stay committed, be consistent, and you will see progress. That progress will drive you on and keep you going! It is probably too early to really attribute this to the Paleo diet that I’ve been following, since I only started it this week. But, I do think that cutting out sugars and simple carbohydrates (e.g., bread) has already made me feel better and improved my energy levels. Simple carbs give you a spike of energy, but it drops off fast and you crash.
We did “Fran” in my CrossFit class this morning (Thrusters and Pull-ups). I have a love/hate relationship with Fran. I love the pull-ups and hate thrusters. But, the truth is that if you hate an exercise it means that it is something you need to work on. Right?
This morning in my CrossFit class we did a form of High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) called the Tabata Method. HIIT is an intense cardio exercise method that really improves performance with short training sessions and burns a lot of fat in a short and intense workout. Tabata uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest for 8 cycles repeated continuously for 4 minutes.
We did the “12 Days of Christmas” Workout at CrossFit this Morning. Performed like the song, you start with 1 Burpee, then you do 2 DU’s and 1 Burpee, then 3 KTE and 2 DU and 1 Burpee, and so on. A great way to kick off the holidays and feel less guilty about the Christmas dinner that I know is coming up.
Today was fun, since we did rope climbing. I often end up bleeding and bruised, but it is kind of fun to climb like a monkey. I mean, who doesn’t want to be a monkey for a day? 😉