A Circuit Workout
Happy Monday everyone! It is officially Fall in the Northern Hemisphere, and I hope it’s cooling down a bit where you live!
I’ve been at the blackboard and on the podcast track WAY TOO LONG! It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly three months since I’ve created an exercise-related blog/vlog.
I guess a visit with Dr. Movement is long overdue…
Since many of you have asked me lately about how I make time to exercise between appointments with my clients, I’ll demonstrate a four-circuit workout in this week.
When I create these circuits, I like do four or five circuits of a similar number of exercises and keep the rest periods fairly short, so I can get lots of work done in a short amount of time.
For this circuit, I’ll be performing the exercises below, then resting for about 90 seconds. As we’re filming this, I’m on my third of four circuits.
The Push Jerk
The Bottoms-Up Single-Arm Swiss Ball Kettlebell Bench Press
Be sure to use chalk so your hands won’t slip when you’re lifting a kettlebell. Before you start, if you don’t have much experience with kettlebells, start with the lightest one you can find.
The kettlebell is great for enhancing shoulder stability and overall neural drive because it takes a lot of nervous energy to perform movements like this. I like to use this exercise because it helps to improve my awareness of left-to-right side weaknesses.
I was injured in a parachuting accident when I was a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division (my left arm nearly got ripped off), so I had a multi-directional instability. By using exercises like this one, I was able to rehabilitate it.
Still, my left arm isn’t quite as good as my right arm. If you want to maintain balance, always limit the number of reps you do on the strong side in any exercise like this one in relation to how many you do on the weaker side.
The goal: As your weaker side gets stronger, your stronger side shouldn’t be outpacing it, thus correcting the strength gap between both arms. Once the two are equal, then you can push them forward equally. Be aware that because I’m holding the kettlebell bottoms up from a reclining position, it can be tricky to remain balanced.
Although this exercise is very neurologically demanding, you may be surprised to discover, if you go from this exercise right into another like the Swiss ball dumbbell bench press, the nervous system has experienced such a tremendous challenge (and ramped up to a higher level of neural drive) you may be able to perform more reps or sets than you may be able to do normally because it feels easier to your body.
The Swiss Ball Dumbbell Bench Press
The Reptilian Crawl
For this exercise, I like to do it first going backwards because it’s more neurologically demanding. By performing it this way, I have the most energy for the most complex movements.
If I performed it going forward first, I’d experience more fatigue going backward, increasing the likelihood of breaking form.
Want more details about the Reptilian Crawl? Check out my recent blog/vlog that describes good technique for this exercise in greater detail
After one more circuit, I’m going to throw some food into the system as quickly as possible to feed the cells while they’re hot and get some insulin to pack that good stuff right into the cells.
Doing all of this helps to keep me from getting old. Although I’m not like I was in my 30s or 40s, I’m 58 and feeling great. I can handle playing with my kids and doing all the things they do.
A lot of you keep up with me on Instagram just to see those rock stacks I make, so I guess you know the “old man” still has a lot of functional strength!
One last thing: Remember, perfect practice means perfect training to failure. If you’re not careful, you could be training to fail.
See you soon…
Love and chi,