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    « 5 Ways to Measure Fitness Progress Without a Scale | Main | Yellow Belts! »

    Not the same old workout

    My wife, when she's reading fitness magazines, is a very dangerous person.  The other night she was reading the most recent issue of On Fitness when she came across a leg workout that didn't require weights.  The workout was a combination of plyometrics and standard exercises.  On paper it didn't look so tough.  I changed my mind rather quickly this afternoon when we gave the workout a try at the gym.

    The routine started with walking lunges for about 120 feet or so.  The lunges were immediately followed by 60 feet of sled pull (using a stretch band, I pulled my wife across the gym floor) going forward, then 60 feet going backward.  Here's where it got tricky - we had to do Belgian squats for 40 feet.  Belgian squats are basically a plyometric (jumping) move in which the participant deep squats, explodes upward into a jump, and then lands back in the squatting position.  The move is repeated over the 40 foot course.  The reason I say the move was "tricky" is simple: after the sled pull, my legs felt like gelatin.  I'm surprised I didn't land in a puddle on the gym floor after the first Belgian.  Once I managed to successfully complete the Belgians, the routine continued with low cross-stepping for 120 feet, duck-walks for 40 feet, and backward running for 120 feet.

    We repeated this same routine twice more for a total of 3 circuits.  It doesn't end there, however.

    Once the third circuit was complete, we headed over to the leg extension and flexion machines.  On each we performed 12 reps at a normal pace and then 12 reps at a slow pace (2 seconds contracting, 2 seconds relaxing).  I managed the hamstring flexion machine all right (though I thought I was going to spontaneously combust by the end), but the quad extension machine beat me.  I made it through the 12 normal reps but only 8 of the slow reps.  My legs just refused to work any more.

    I told my wife when it was over that I was having "a religious experience".  She laughed then, but when she was done with her quad extensions, she was agreeing with me.

    It's been 6 hours since the workout, and my legs still feel a bit shaky.  I can't imagine what this is going to feel like tomorrow!

    The workout was a great combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise (cross training) that is an example of generating muscle confusion.  Since this workout was completely new to my body, I should see a better result from the workout than I would had I performed my regular weight training routine.  It's a good thing to throw a workout like this one into the mix every 3 to 4 workouts just to keep the body working to adapt to training.  The results should be more fat melting away and more muscle building taking place.  Give it a try.  You won't be sorry you did!

    Be well!

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