The Best Exercises For Busy People

(Short Read) The best two exercises to do when you’re short on time.

If you’re like me and most people, sometimes life happens and you can’t train the way you want to. Luckily, there are exercises that you can do that won’t take up too much of your time. The first one is what I consider the most valuable exercise. It’s sprints!

If you’re busy and don’t have time to do a full workout, I recommend going out to a field and getting in some sprints. If you haven’t sprinted in a while and you’re concerned about your injury risk, start with hill sprints. Hill sprints are so challenging that you won’t be able to move fast enough to get injured.

It doesn’t take long in a sprint workout for you to feel your hurt rate going up and the muscles in your body tense up.

Gym Exercise For Busy People

If the weather sucks or you’re not able to do sprints, you can try it’s close cousin, the kettlebell Swings. The kettlebell swing provides almost the same exact benefits as the sprint. The only differences are the sprint has a higher neurological impact and they strengthen the ankles. One advantage of the kettlebell swing is grip strength development. A great Kettlebell Swing workout can take as little as 5 minutes. Another great thing about Kettlebell swings is that the kettlebell can be used anywhere, even in the comfort of your home. Below is a Kettlebell swing workout I’ve used in the past as a workout finisher but it can also be used by itself.

  • Do as many Kettlebell swings as possible for 30 seconds
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Repeat for as long as you want or need

I think what makes these workouts so time efficient is the speed of the movements involved. Good things happen to your body when you do fast movements.

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Get Fast To Transform Your Body!

Opinion ( Focus on your fast twitch muscles if you want to look your best)

Everyone wants to look good. Whether, you’re training for strength, athleticism, or health. We all want to look good to a certain extent. There are a number of factors to building an impressive body. The most important one is your diet. Training is also a major part of looking your best. When training, place a strong emphasis on fast twitch muscles. Fast twitch muscle fibers are important when it comes to strength training and sports but often overlooked when training for aesthetics.

My training focus isn’t on looks but since I put an emphasis on my fast twitch muscle fibers, I’m often satisfied with what I see in the mirror. When you see the most visually appealing athletes in the world. They all recruit a bunch of fast twitch muscles in their activities. Sprinters, Gymnasts, power lifters in lower weight classes are just some examples.

If you want to maximize the use of your fast twitch muscles, focus on tension, speed, or both. Another way to look at training fast twitch muscles is activating as much muscle fibers as possible. Whether you have a gym or not, you can train these muscles. The ultimate way to train your fast twitch muscles is by sprinting. Coincidentally, you’ve never seen a fat sprinter. Some other ways you can train these muscle fibers using your bodyweight are plyometrics and high tension exercises. In fact, I’ve written a couple of posts recently talking about how I still train my fast twitch muscles at home.

What Are Fast Twitch Muscles?

Fast Twitch muscles are the muscles responsible most for speed, power, strength, and muscle size. Fast twitch muscles are the muscles that get fatigued easily. You can’t sprint at full speed for a full minute just like you can’t lift 90% of your max for several reps. In order to properly train your fast twitch muscles, you have to work out in short intense bouts.

How To Maximize The Use of Fast Twitch Muscles

Weight lifting: This advice should only be used by experienced lifters. If you’re a beginner, master your technique and building a solid base of muscle before using these lifting methods . When comes to weight lifting for fast twitch muscles, think fast heavy or fast. Either do heavy compound lifts with at least 80% of your one rep max or focus on the speed of your lifts . With speed lifts, you’ll be lifting with 50-60% of your one rep max.

Bodyweight: This approach of fast twitch muscle recruitment can be done by beginners since there isn’t external forces involved. The key is using proper technique and knowing what your body can do. With body weight exercises, focus on tension or speed. As I mentioned before, high speed body weight exercises like sprints and plyometrics are great for fast twitch muscle activation. I recently wrote a post about the value of sprints. The other way is the gymnast approach, which is high tension bodyweight exercises. Simply doing regular bodyweight exercises like pushups in a very slow manner will use fast twitch muscles since exercising like this will cause fatigue faster. It’s amazing how you can manipulate your body to recruit more muscle. S

Warning!

Training your fast twitch muscles places stress on your joints and your nervous system. If a lot of your training involves a high recruitment of fast twitch muscles, make sure you’re taking the time for proper recovery. Some activities that help are meditation and yoga.

Closing Thoughts

When you focus on training fast twitch muscles, you can’t help but build an impressive physique. Your body keeps what it needs. When you’re doing intense movements that are recruiting your largest muscle fibers, your body gets the message that it needs to build more muscle to be able to do the movement again. Yes, training your fast twitch muscles could improve your dating life but it’ll also make you stronger and more athletic.

Photo on Best Running

The Most Valuable Exercise

If you could only do one exercise for the rest of your life, what would you choose? As someone who’s obsessed with iron, you’d think I’d choose one of the big lifts or even the farmers walk. The one exercise I’d choose is the sprint. This is one of the most natural human movements. It’s in our DNA. Our ancestors had to sprint to run away from wild animals or to chase something.

Luckily for all of us who don’t have access to a gym, the option to sprint is still available. It’s a total body exercise that requires zero equipment. All you need is the proper clothes and open space. They’re fun too. Sprinting is like riding a roller coaster but you are the roller coaster. The reason sprints are the most valuable exercises is because they can help you in the different areas of fitness.

What’s Your Fitness Goal?

Do you want to burn fat? Sprinting is one of the best fat burning exercises you can do. It works every muscle in your body and will have your heart rate up for hours after. This means you’ll be burning calories even after your workout.

Do You want to build muscle? Sprinting stimulates your fast twitch muscles, the type responsible for muscle growth. I’ve never seen a sprinter without a decent amount of muscle. It’s also proven to increase muscle building hormones like HGH and testosterone.

Do you want to gain strength? Sprinting strengthens your nervous system which increases your strength gaining potential. This makes sense since strength is a function of the nervous system.

Even if you don’t have access to weights, you can still take advantage of all the fat burning, muscle gaining, and overall awesome benefits of sprinting. If you could only choose one exercise to do for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Below are some valuable resources in your sprint training:

The different ways I’ve used sprint training-Sprints, Sprints, and more Sprints

Outdoor workout that builds strong and muscular legs-Outdoor Leg Workout For The Ages!

The benefits of hill sprints-My Love For Hill Sprints

Study talking about how short sprints affect testosterone and human growth hormone- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19057403/

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The World is Your Gym!

The benefits of including bodyweight exercises to your workout routine.

The world is your gym. This isn’t only a saying but a fact. As long as you have a healthy, functioning body, you can work out. You don’t need weights or equipment to move closer to your fitness goals. I personally believe that the key to getting your body at its optimal state aesthetically and functionally is to add bodyweight exercises to a solid weight training program.

Bodyweight training is essential. Not only is it great for muscle recovery but it also builds body awareness. Bodyweight training also prepares you for weight training. How can you squat with a a barbell on your back when you can’t even do it with your own body weight?

Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises

Push-ups: These are my favorite bodyweight exercises because they’re so convenient. You can do them anywhere at anytime of your choosing. You just have to drop down on the ground and get to work. I used to rely on push-ups before I ever stepped foot in a weight room. They set a good foundation for me to start with since they work a number of muscles like the chest, tricep, shoulder, and core.

Sprints: When people think of bodyweight exercises, sprints don’t often come to mind. It’s usually the traditional bodyweight exercises you can do at home. To do sprints all you need is your body and open space. Sprinting can help you with any fitness goal. Sprinting can help you build muscle, burn fat, and increase athleticism. It’s also a very underrated strength building tool. Anyone that’s looking to build their legs without using weights should incorporate sprints into their routine. There are many ways to do sprints.

Chin-ups: In a previous article I mentioned chin-ups as weighted exercise when you add weights to it. You can still get great benefits from chin- ups when using only your body weight. Chin-ups will build your lats, traps, abs, and upper back. It’s also good for grip strength since you have to hold onto the bar to pull yourself up.

The good thing about the chin-up is that you don’t need a chin-up bar to do the exercise. You can go to a playground and grab a monkey bar or something similar to pull yourself up. If you’re feeling brave you can even use a sturdy looking tree branch.

Leopard Crawl: In the last five years I’ve gotten familiar with the Leopard crawl exercise. It’s one of the most interesting exercises I’ve done. This is a great move to increase core strength and coordination . In addition to the core muscles, Leopard Crawls strengthens various muscles in your upper body. It’s also strengthens your nervous system due to the contra-lateral nature of the movement.

Jumps: As someone who grew up playing sports, I big fan of jumping exercises. Jumping exercises are a great way to build athleticism. They’re similar to sprints in that they can build some very powerful legs. Jumps can be used as a form of cardio too if you use them intelligently. I speak from personal experience when I say using too much volume in your jumping exercises can lead to joint pain. I currently use jumps before my heavy squat and deadlift days as a way to prime my nervous system.This is just one way I include bodyweight exercises in my workout routine.

How I incorporate bodyweight Movements To My Training

Morning Workout: One way I incorporate body weight exercises to my workout routine is by doing them in the morning. Twice a week, I do 5-10 minutes of Leopard Crawls before getting ready for work. Doing this is my substitution for coffee because it wakes me up. Also, challenging myself as a way to start my day helps me build my fitness mindset.

Workout recovery: I use bodyweight exercises for workout recovery, in the form of  yoga . I’ve mentioned this before but yoga has several benefits for lifters including stress relief, increased joint stability, and better flexibility. When I feel beat up from a previous day’s workout, yoga helps revitalize my body.

Workout Finisher: I sometimes use bodyweight exercises as a form of cardio. It’s called Density Training. The idea is to in as many reps as possible of a movement during a certain time period. I like to do a circuit involving bodyweight push-ups, body weight squats, and planks. Below is how it’s structured.

  • Push-ups: As many reps as possible in 45 seconds
  • Squats: As many reps as possible in 45 seconds
  • 45 second Plank
  • Repeat cycle
  • Rest for 1.5 minutes
  • Repeat cycle

The goal is to do at least three rounds of the circuit. The main benefits is increased muscle from the high volume and fat burn due to the increase in heart rate. 

I hope this post convinced you to add some bodyweight exercises to your routine. I still prioritize weight training but it’s good to have some variety in your fitness routine. To tap into your body’s full potential 

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Outdoor Leg Workout For The Ages!

This post is great for people without gym memberships and those who want to spice up their fitness routine.

Following the theme from my previous post,I added an outdoor workout to my routine. I’ll be doing this workout every week and I believe it’ll contribute to my Fitness goals of overall strength, athleticism, and health.

My Workout:

My workout was very simple. I found a short and moderately steep hill and did some hill sprints. The purpose of this workout was to build leg power. Since I do leg work at the gym too, I made sure my total volume was low.

Five sets of two hill sprints. I rested two minutes in between each set. After the hill workout, I did isometric lunges for one minute on each leg. I did two sets for each leg with a minute rest in between.

Benefits of This Workout:

Safety: There’s some form of risk with every workout you do. It depends on a number of factors like your mechanics, pre-existing injuries, and how much you recovered from previous workouts. I believe the rewards of this workout outweigh the risk since there’s no external load involved. Also, the sprints you’re doing is on a hill so won’t be moving fast enough to pull your hamstring or put your ligaments at risk.

Fast-Twitch Muscle Fiber Recruitment: By doing hill sprints with an emphasis on speed and power, you’ll be recruiting a lot of fast-twitch muscles. Fast-Twitch muscles are the muscle fibers that produce the greatest muscle growth.

Fast-twitch muscles also make you a better athlete. The explosive movements you see in sports and in the weightroom involve the usage of a lot of fast-twitch muscles. The isometric lunges also recruit fast twitch muscles due to the fact that you have to activate as much muscle fibers as possible so your legs can stay stable. Doing them after hill sprints makes me work that much harder.

Fat-Loss: Every time I’ve had sprints in my training routine, I’ve been my leanest. It makes sense when you think about how hard your body is working to move fast. There’s so much muscles involved in the movement. Now imagine the extra work you have to do to run up a hill as fast as possible. Sprinting is an aerobic workout too. When I did this workout, I was breathing heavily. My heart was moving faster than a stampede of buffalo. The image below is the aftermath of this workout.

Joint Health: This goes hand in hand with the safety aspect of the workout. Safety aside, I believe this workout makes your joints healthier. I’m speaking from experience when I say that hill sprints have helped me improve my joint health.

My ankles and hips have gotten stronger as a result of running hills. When I first started running hills, I experienced soreness in these joints as a result of the intensity of the movement.

The isometric lunge part of the workout also contributes to joint health. In order to hold the lunge position, your joints have to be stabilized. They also build muscle endurance, which is critical for injury prevention. Most injuries happen when the muscles are fatigued.

Closing Thoughts: If you want to get outside of the weightroom and hit your legs a different way, this article is for you. It’s a fun way to mix up your workouts. So remember, Hill Sprints are awesome and the world is your gym!

Choose Five Exercise Movements

If you could only do five exercise moves for the rest of your life, what would you choose? Walking doesn’t count because you can walk anywhere. You can walk to the kitchen. You can walk to the bathroom and you can walk to your car. When choosing five exercise moves, I want to incorporate different types of movements and different muscles. I’m sure I’ve left out a lot of great movements but the five I’m choosing are based off of my personal experience. As I continue my fitness journey, I might find some exercises to replace with the ones on this list.Here’s my combination of five exercises. It’s in no particular order.

Leopard Crawl: The Leopard Crawl is a cross-crawl movement done on the floor. It has been popularized by Tim Anderson of Original Strength. I chose the Leopard Crawl because it incorporates the same muscles as the bench press such like the chests, triceps, and shoulders. I’ve also noticed improvement in bicep strength from doing this move. The Leopard Crawl has also improved my posture tremendously because when doing this move properly, your hips sink lower than your shoulders and your neck is facing up. This move is also great for core strength. The Leopard Crawl will also improve your mobility. This dynamic movement has improved my coordination and made my Central Nervous System more efficient.

Here’s a link to the site I learned this movement from:

https://originalstrength.net/2013/09/05/how-to-crawl/

Deadlift: I chose deadlifts because it’s the ultimate strength building exercise. It works every muscle in your body. The deadlift transfers to other areas in your life like playing sports and picking up furniture.

Barbell Back Squat: I chose the barbell back squat because I love how it makes me feel. It feels great to overcome a force that is  trying to keep you down. The squat builds physical and mental toughness. It’s also the best exercise to develop leg strength and muscle if you’re using proper form.

Sprints: Similar to walking, you can do sprints in your regular life. Whether that comes from running from a stray dog or chasing the bus. Jokes aside, I chose sprints because of the fat loss benefits it provides. Sprints also teach your body to move fast in case you do have to chase the bus or you’re playing sports. I’ve been in the best shape when I consistently did sprints.

Farmers Walk: I chose the Farmers Walk because of the strength benefits it provides. I’m a big believer in the idea that the stronger you are, the easier everything else is. Doing Farmers Walks is the “easiest” way to get stronger. The Farmers Walk teaches my body how to stabilize itself. The Farmers Walk will also prepare you for situations in which you have to carry something heavy over a distance. You can manipulate the weight and distance used for Farmers Walks if you want to get stronger or burn fast. At the very least, the Farmers Walk will make you more efficient at carrying groceries to your house.

Bonus: It hurts a little not to include the barbell hang clean because it’s a fantastic total body movement that teaches your body how to move explosively. I’m at the beginner stage with this movement but maybe I’ll replace one of the moves I chose once I get more proficient at Hang Cleans.

If you could only do five exercises, what would you choose?

 

Sprints, Sprints, and more Sprints

Faster than a speeding bullet! Was that Superman? No that’s you in the middle of a sprint workout. Weightlifting is the only form of exercise that can compare to sprints in terms of body transformation. The way it makes me feel is phenomenal. There are many benefits like increase in testosterone, better nutrient partitioning, and an endorphin boost.The freedom you feel when you’re running at full speed in open space is almost unrivaled. Sprinting can transform your body.

Have you ever seen a fat sprinter? Sprinting is arguably the best fat loss exercise on the planet. You’re burning fat while sprinting and hours after you’re done. Sprinting will develop your leg muscles as well.Sprinting is also great for sports performance. Speed kills in sports and there’s various sprinting drills depending on your sport.

Here’s a list of the Sprinting protocols I’ve used:

Hill Repeats for fat-loss: Find a steep hill and do 3 sets of 7 hill sprints with 1 minute rest in between. Depending on your conditioning levels you can start at 5 repetitions or go all the way up to 10 repetitions per set.

35 Yard Sprints for power development:One set of twelve repetitions of a 35 meter sprint. After each repetition you’ll rest for 10 seconds. It’s a good workout when you’re in a time crunch. I’ve noticed an improvement in my deadlift power when I’ve incorporated this protocol in my routine.

100 meter sprint for total body transfromation: Do a 100 meter sprint and walk back to the starting spot. Once you get back, repeat the sprint. Keep repeating til you do ten sprints.

400-300-200-100 : This protocol involves doing a sequence of sprints for different distances. First, you’ll do a 400 meter sprint followed by 4 minutes of rest. Then it’ll be a 300 meter sprint with 3 minutes of rest. Followed by a 200 minute sprint with 2 minutes of rest. You’ll finally finish with a 100 meter sprint. This protocol will have you gasping for air like nothing else.

Like any form of exercise make sure you’re physically ready before doing sprints. If you’re not used to sprinting, I’d reccomend doing hill repeats first as they’re the safest form of sprints because you’re not moving at high speed. This will help you work on your sprinting form and develop sprinting muscles like the hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

Go Sprint and reap the benefits!