Let’s kick the new week off with the Saturday morning bootcamp workout, because that’s what we always to and that’s because it was a really good one. For this workout, you need three pieces of equipment: Two kettlebells, two dumbbells and one medicine ball.
Saturday Morning Bootcamp Workout: Lift and Run
Lift and Run is a workout put together from various lifting movements and performed in a circuit. The running part will be done after the last strength station, once you've finished all your kettlebell, dumbbell and medicine ball work.
Work in each station for one minute before moving on to the next one. Once you’ve completed all six exercises, run 200 meters.
Then repeat the circuit one more time and finish with another 200 meters run. If you keep your breaks between the stations 10-15 seconds, you’ll be done in about 20 minutes.
See the video below for all the movements:
Here's how to do the movements:
Double Kettlebell Lunges
Hold two kettlebells in a rack position. The body of the kettlebell (the round part) should be resting on your forearms, meaning, outside of your arms, not in. Keep the kettlebell handles close to each other. Take a step forward, coming into a lunge. You can do lunges in place (regular lunge) or moving forward (walking lunge), depending on how much space you have.
Single Kettlebell Row + Press
Stand up, legs about shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebell with your straight arms. Keep the legs and back straight, don't bend them. Row the kettlebell up, bringing the it to your shoulder level, then quickly get your elbows under the kettlebell and push the weight overhead.
Double Dumbbell Clean & Squat
This is one of my recent favorite exercises. Have a dumbbell in each hand. Swing your arms slightly back, then bend your elbows and curl your arms so that the dumbbells end up on your shoulders. At the same time, do a squat. Come back up and bring the arms down back to your sides.
Medicine Ball Squats
Hold a medicine ball on your chest. Do a full squat. Repeat. Alternatively, you can do step ups on to a bench or box.
Single Kettlebell Plank Row
Get into a plank position, placing your on hand on a bench or a box. With the other hand, grab the handle of the kettlebell and do a row. Make sure your elbow is pointing directly back and not to the side as you row. Do 10 reps per side, then switch sides. Keep switching sides until 60 seconds are up.
Medicine Ball Sit Up + Toss
Lie down on the mat, holding the medicine ball on your chest. Do a sit up and as you come back up, toss the ball in the air. Catch it, lie down again and repeat.
Why Your Opinion Matters
I always want to know how people like the workouts, so I ask them (and that's why I really appreciate you telling me how you liked the workouts here or in the 5-minute morning workout quickie if you do them!) Teaching is always a learning process also for a teacher, and it really matters to me that the workouts I’m putting together are actually good.
This time, I got the following answers when I asked what the thought about the workout:
It was well balanced, involving both upper and lower body movements. Good! Well balanced sounds nice. 🙂
It was creative. That's always good to hear. Creative usually means also interesting. Nobody wants to do boring workouts. Some of the exercises, like dumbbell clean and squats and rows were new for some people, and people like new stuff. I’m personally currently in love with dumbbell clean and squats and do a lot of them myself too (bruises on my shoulders prove that.. I may have gone too far with swinging those dumbbells :).
It was challenging, but not extremely hard.
Let me get back to that last point for a moment…
When a Workout is Challenging But Not Too Hard
I love high intensity workouts and think that they’re the best way to make the most of the our time, which there seems never be enough of. But I also believe that it’s good to have a little easier workouts in your routine.They do have their place and time.
I personally push myself really, really hard 3-4 times a week during my workouts. But 2-3 workouts, depending on the week, are a bit lighter. They’re still challenging, but not extremely hard.
I find that when I work out in this extremely hard zone in every single workout, I don’t recover well and eventually burn out. That again means that my next workout is going to suffer. And if I still keep going despite of that, I may have to take week(s) off. Believe me, I've been there.
On the other hand, I find that it’s important to push yourself a few times a week so that you really give the workout your all.
Pushing yourself out from your comfort zone every now and then is where you create the change. If you never push yourself, your body and its performance will stall. If you don’t see changes in your body or performance it probably means you haven't been challenging it enough. Then go give it some new challenges!
Workout Intensity Is Up To You
Another thing about a workout being challenging but not extremely hard is that it’s actually as hard as you make it for yourself.
For example, when you’re in a bootcamp or other group fitness class and you have a workout consisting of some of the hardest movements like burpees, high knees, kettlebell swings and kettlebell squats in front of you, you may still not work hard.
If you know that you're able to do 10 burpees in 30 seconds, but decide to take it easier today and take longer rest in between your reps, you may end up doing just five.
If you know that you could do 100 high knees in 30 seconds but feel like you need more rest on that day and do just 50, you’re making the workout easier for yourself.
Same thing with kettlebell swings and squats – if you know that you could do them with 35 pound kettlebell but go with just 25 this time, you’re not pushing yourself as hard as possible.
And that’s fine, because sometimes you may need it. There’s nothing wrong about taking things easier at times. Just listen to your body and do what it tells. Pushing yourself hard in a situation where your body is not ready for it may cost you an injury. Be smart! Your trainer may stand there and tell you to pick up heavier weights or do your burpees faster, but you are the one who knows your body best.
My Lower Intensity Workouts
As mentioned, I do have 2-3 lower intensity workouts every week too. Not everything is always HIT for me either.
Here’s why I do less intense workouts:
To Improve My Technique
When I want to make sure that my technique is good or when I know that I have to polish it up a bit, I take time to work on it. Tip: That’s one thing why filming your workout videos is a good idea! You may find that your movements are not exactly as pretty as you thought they were. Just saying.
While in HIT workouts the goal is to go through movements as quickly as possible and get done as many reps as possible, those reps have to technically good, so you may need to take time to work on them. The full squats that you do during the HIT are worth much more than semi-half squats that don't make you to engage even half of those muscles you should.
To Work On Skills
You don’t learn to do pistol squats or handstands quickly, so you can’t also train for them quickly. They, as well as many other similar skill exercises, need a lot of focusing, so you can’t do them on high intensity. However, that doesn’t mean that your skill workouts should be very long. They can be if you have time, but most of us, including me, don’t have it. So my skills workouts are about 15-20 minutes long as well.
To Stretch or Do Yoga
Stretching and yoga are, of course, less intense workouts. Well, stretching doesn't necessarily even count as a workout, but it's an important component of working out. I love how a good stretching or yoga class makes me feel. They balance out all the sweat and high intensity that I put in my HIT workouts! Doing them is also a time to zone out a bit and get away from the usual go-go-go routine, so it’s good for the mind as well.
To see changes in your strength, speed, power or in the way your body looks if that's your goal, you need to challenge yourself once in a while in your workouts. Grab a heavier weight, try to do one more push up than you usually do or try to take a little shorter breaks to keep the intensity higher.
However, low intensity workouts should have their place in a workout routine as well. They may be good for days when you simply can’t push yourself (we all have these days!), when you want to be careful about your form, when you’re learning a new skill or improving your technique or when you just want to give your body a little more care in the form of stretching or yoga.
Do you prefer high or low intensity workouts? Do you do both? Let me now in the comments!