100 Days of Fitness
- 100 Days of Fitness: An Introduction
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 2 - Nutrition
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 3 - Exercise
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 4 - Building a Home Gym
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 5 - Supplements
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 6 - Expectations
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 7 - Footwear
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 8 - Food Lies
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 9 - Meet the Kettlebell
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 10 - Sample Circuits
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 11 - Days vs Weeks
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 12 – The Geography of Weight Loss
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 13 - Travel Training
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 14 – Meals, Snacks, & The Pocket Workout
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 15 - What It's All About
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 16 - Endless Push-Ups & Learning the Pull-Up
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 17 – Adjustable Kettlebells + A Circuit
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 18 – Intermittent Fasting & Strength Test
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 19 – 15 Minute Workouts & A Cool Workout iPhone App + Contest
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 20 - Switching It Up
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 21 – Reflections
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 22 – A Week Without a Workout
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 23 – Why We Work Out & The 30 lbs Lost Marker
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 24 - 5 Common Home Gym Mistakes
- 100 Days of Fitness: Week 25 – Work Ethic
- 100 Days of Fitness Special: Men's Health in Movember
- 100 Days of Fitness: The Muscle Aesthetic
- 100 Days of Fitness: The Cure for Holiday Pounds
An inability to find the time to workout is one of the most cited reasons why people fail to exercise, or at least exercise consistently. I get that. I have a full time job in addition to my writing responsibilities. Waking up at 7 AM, getting home at 7 PM, taking the dog out, doing this that and the other thing, hell, I’m tired at the end of the day and feel like I don’t have much time.
But how much time does it take? When I go to the gym I can often spend 90 minutes or more hitting the weights and when I go full out at home with my equipment I can spend 45-70 minutes or so. Working out six times a week, that’s between four and nine hours a week. This is where circuits can shine – if you really invest yourself and burn through the circuit, you can complete a pretty intense workout in 15 or 30 minutes. That’s, at most, three hours a week over six intervals. Surely you can find an extra 15 or 30 minutes a day by getting up a little earlier, taking shorter showers, or jogging with the dog instead of walking slowly checking your email on your phone.
To help you sneak in a quick workout daily, we’ve got two resources for you. First up, I’ll show a quick circuit you can do at home that will give you a good burn in a short period of time. The secret, again, is to do it as fast as possible, with little rest. Don’t stop until you’ve completed one cycle of the circuit, and even then, keep your rest short. Do a total of three times.
- 30-60 seconds jump rope
- 10 pull-ups (or whatever your range is currently)
- 10 one-armed kettlebell swings or 10 snatch-presses with something heavy you have (or both!)
- 15 weighted squats
- 10 Decline Push Ups
- 10 Single Leg Deadlifts each Leg
- 10 Regular Push Ups
This isn’t the most intensive circuit we’ve encountered, but it’s not supposed to be. It’s designed to allow you to move quickly between exercises, use very little equipment, and get a good amount of work done in an intense period of time.
BodyFate for iPhone
If you’re more technologically inclined and want a bit of variety in your day to day circuits, we’ve come across a pretty bad-ass iPhone application that we’re happy to recommend – and give to you. We have two free redemption codes we’ll be giving to readers, but more on that later.
The application is BodyFate and it’s designed by Hollywood trainer Christine Hazelton, who has helped actors like Tom Jane craft screen worthy bodies. Her application merges the worlds of fitness, video games, and circuit training in one complete package.
BodyFate has three levels of difficulty: Beginner, Middle of the road, and Bring it On. In the settings menu you can pick your fitness level and set your workout length between 15 minutes and 1 hour. One aspect that is especially impressive is the “Equipment” setting, which allows you to tell the program what equipment you own, from dumbbells to bands to nothing but a towel, and the program intelligently mixes up the exercises based on what you have at your disposal. The program receives regular updates and was recently updated to include the option to add a pull-up bar: killer.
To play you click “Begin Your Fate” and then are prompted to select a randomized route through a series of exercises. Sometimes you’ll click on the face of a trainer, one of two doors, or spin the wheel of pain. You’re then taken to a screen that tells you how many reps to complete, has an active timer, and, if you touch the image, will activate a series of pictures that shows you the proper way to do to the exercise.
After you complete the number of reps (or do a cardiovascular routine for the specified amount of time), you click “Fate” and are moved on to the next exercise. If you try to cheat the system and just click “Fate” over and over again, the application knows you’re cheating and punishes you with more exercise. If you do come across something too difficult, you do have 1 pass at your disposal to skip it. If you really need to skip another exercise, you can “Deal with the Devil” to pass on it, though another exercise will be added to the end of your workout.
Also included in the program are two “Rest” options, each giving you one minute of breathing time. Randomly interspersed through the workout are pop quizzes, that if answered wrong lead to jumping jacks, but if are answered correctly can earn you another Pass.
What I like about this program is two fold. Primarily, it’s a serious workout tool. It combines a reference, a trainer, and a timer all in one. This is as complete a package as you’re going to find and it’s only $2.99. Secondly, I like the adjustable timer. It creates a circuit that you can fit into your life. If you can’t find 15 minutes a few times a week, you’re a damn liar. So quit lying to yourself and do some work, eh?
To win your own copy of BodyFate (iPhone, iPod and iPad only), share your secret to staying motivated in the comments. Do you listen to a certain song? Look at a specific picture of Ryan Reynolds? Watch 300? The winner will be chosen by random next week.
My experiment with Intermittent Fasting didn’t go so well. In my day job we’re getting ready to send off a huge portion of our office to a new location, so we’ve been having long hours of packing and plenty of going away drinks. My weight stayed consistent at 228lbs, which is fine by me because of how busy I was and how often I wanted to be social.
Not eating for 14 hours actually proved to be pretty easy physically and I will attempt a full week of IF later when conditions are better, but the unexpected difficulty is in how people view you. It’s kind of crazy how many people noticed I wasn’t eating and brought it up. Maybe they thought I was developing anorexia or something – and selling people on the idea that not eating most of the day is good for you sounds like excuses. Oh well. When I finally give it a legitimate shot, I’ll do a write up on it.