Monica wanted to show me a new exercise for glutes and hamstrings. Who am I to argue? As I filmed her demonstrating this exercise at Gold’s Gym in Austin, Texas, I knew that this would be a great new exercise for my bootcampers. It obviously works for her! This is one of those exercises that […]
Monica wanted to show me a new exercise for glutes and hamstrings.
Who am I to argue? As I filmed her demonstrating this exercise at Gold’s Gym in Austin, Texas, I knew that this would be a great new exercise for my bootcampers. It obviously works for her!
This is one of those exercises that you will have to experiment with. Due to limb length, you’ll need to keep at it until you find the sweet spot. You may need more or less weight. You may need more reps so you can perfect your form. Don’t give up. This is a staple of her workout and one that she has taught privately to clients for years.
HERE’S HOW TO IMPLEMENT IT IN YOUR BOOTCAMP
This is not an exercise that you want to rush through. Give it a shot and see what you think. Do 3-4 sets of 8-10 reps. You’re targeting glutes and hamstrings. If you partner up with someone, one person could run two 30 yard sprints while the other person does 8-10 slow, controlled reps of this exercise. The next time, run two 20 yard sprints while the other person does 8-10 reps. Finally run two 10 yard sprints as fast as possible while the other person does 9-10 reps of this exercise.
That would be a great way to work this into your class.
There are always a few workouts and exercises that stand out during the week. Below are ours. Once you read through the article, think of way that you can alter the workouts and/or exercises to your liking in terms of equipment, client capability and so on.
5 MINUTE DUMBBELL DRILL
Perform the following 3 exercises back to back with no rest.
Dumbbell Hang Clean x 1 (We used 40lbs, adjust as needed)
Dumbbell Front Squat x 1 (40lbs)
Dumbbell Press x 1 (40lbs)
= 1 Round
Perform as many rounds as you can in 60 seconds.
Rest for 60 seconds.
Continue in this manner for 5 minutes.
Work 60 seconds/Rest 60 seconds.
Watch for not going down to parallel on the Dumbbell Front Squat, not pushing the Dumbbells all of the way up on the Dumbbell Press.
How many rounds did you get? Our goal was 30 rounds in 5 minutes.
We did this drill after having done Bench presses, ring push ups, parallel bar push ups and medicine ball push ups. I considered this an “active rest” drill. Headstands require balance, coordination, athleticism, flexibility and strength. Our shoulders were already toast from all of the upper body work.
The goal was to hold the headstand for up to a minute. None of my clients could do it (high school football players). I’ve been practicing headstands for a while and have worked up to a minute plus. It feels great to be flexible, feel more athletic and try new things. If you choose to try this in your bootcamp, emphasize the importance of CONCENTRATION and FOCUS. Give yourself LOTS of room, close your eyes and focus. Ultimately, my goal this summer is to walk on my hands.
Make sure that everyone feels comfortable - some peoples shirts or jackets may reveal too much skin. You can have people partner up and help keep their clothes on (!) and spot them if need be.
KNEES TO FEET AND FEET TO BOX
This is pure brutal athleticism. I’ve done this exercise (knees to feet) in my bootcamps many, many times BUT I added the extra goal of a 20″ box to jump up onto. I’ve never done this double move.
Do 6 of these, then 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Rest as needed in between sets. Do step ups if needed as you or your clients become fatigued. If you’re at the park, you can do knees to feet followed by feet to park bench (make sure it’s solid – we have concrete benches). This is a VERY advanced move so if your bootcampers are not ready for this, they can do knees to feet, followed by a squat jump. Work up to the advanced movement. Once it becomes easy, increase the height of the box up to 30″ and/or add dumbbells in each hand or wear a weighted vest.
90 POUND DUMBBELL PICKUP ONTO 30″ BOX
How many can you get in 30 seconds? The record was 9 reps.
Pick up a heavy dumbbell with your right hand (we used 90lbs) and place it on top of the box. With your left hand unload the dumbbell and place it on the ground. Do as many as you can in 30 seconds.
Focus on leg strength, grip strength and beware of overusing the lower back. The weight should be heavy enough to make it challenging. No 20lb dumbbells allowed! For women, a 50lb dumbbell or 53lb kettlebell should work nicely. For men, a 90lb dumbbell was medium heavy but honestly, I’d like to use a 110lb dumbbell next time. I want my guys to be really straining, grunting and groaning to get that weight up onto that box.
The other idea that I’ll play with is to raise the height of the box by placing a couple of 45lb bumper plates on top of the box to make it several inches taller.
Marching/Skipping With Straight Arm Hold x 30/30 seconds
Kick Overs x 30/30 seconds
Triceps Kickbacks x 30/30 seconds
Mountain Climbers x 30/30 seconds
Sledgehammer Plank x 30 seconds
= 1 Round
Repeat x 3 rounds for a 13 1/2 minute killer workout.
With this workout, you’ll work your shoulders, triceps, and core. You’ll need flexibility for the kick overs and tons of cardio endurance for the marching/skipping combo and the mountain climbers. Using a sledgehammer for mountain climbers presents an odd angle that will hit your core in a different way.
If there was any skepticism before hand about getting a great workout with a sledgehammer, there is absolutely no skepticism afterwords. Most people find it too difficult to compete 3 rounds of the above without having to stop and rest. The triceps kickbacks and sledgehammer plank exercises are non cardio exercises which are designed to be built in rest stations. But apparently, it’s not enough rest. And this is only level 1 of the sledgehammer workout.
Have a great week!
Leon Melnicenko told me about fellow bootcamp trainer, Karen Rogers of Bootcamp Cheshire who has applied for some funding to launch a local exercise AND nutrition combo after-school club…targeting key-stage 2 children (age 7-11).
In Karen’s words “We’ll launch this into schools with my business anyway but the funding is to provide it to schools in poor socio-economic areas, where families couldn’t afford for their children to attend.”
Karen says “I need VOTES!!! The application has been accepted but we’re now up against 11 other applications and while it’s not only decided on votes, it has an impact.
Any help or other suggestions hugely appreciated -thanks in advance!”
“OK, imagine doing 20 yard Duck Walks right now, ” I said.
His face turned white as a ghost as he shook his head. We had just finished up training legs in my garage gym and I was using a little known technique called “Extreme Stretching” to add to the enjoyment of his workout. We had both held the “sissy squat” position for 90 seconds
While the picture above is a fairly good representation of a sissy squat stretch, to do it correctly you have to get down lower. You want to:
- Lean back so that your torso is at a 45 degree angle
- Get your butt down lower so that it’s just above your heels but not touching your heels
- Stay on your tip toes
- Hold onto an upright post, a partner, a rope, a tree and keep the arm straight
You’ll know it when you are in the right position. Now have someone count to 90 seconds. You may not make it. It’s hard – that’s why it’s called “extreme”. If it’s too easy then I’ll bet one of my kids that you’re doing it wrong. I’ve been using this method for around 10 years and not once have I thought “Damn, this is too easy!”. But if you want, you can add resistance. You can hold a medicine ball, dumbbell or a kettlebell.
Be warned though. Once you pick that weight up, you have to FINISH while holding that weight! That’s how we roll.
“Why should I do this, Scott?”
Good question. The answer is simple. As a fitness pro, you already know the benefits of stretching. “Extreme stretching” can be used to stretch the fascia, a membrane that surrounds each muscle. This fascia envelopes your muscle tissue limiting the space your muscle has to occupy. In doing so, this limits your progress. By stretching this growth limiting membrane, your muscle fibers are allowed the room they need to increase in size AND you get the extra benefit of increased blood flow to the muscle. Extreme stretching elicits responses in muscle groups that have reached sticking points in training. If you have a certain muscle that seems at a stalemate in size, strength or appearance, then extreme stretching will help you overcome these plateaus.” – John Parillo
I’ve been a fan of John Parillo since I started bodybuilding back in 1985. I’ve tried his methods and I know that they help. They will help you and your bootcampers as well.
HERE’S HOW YOU BENEFIT
Got a lady in your class who wants a shapelier butt and “has tried everything”?
Use extreme stretching.
Got a guy in your class who says his chest is hollower than my empty Christmas stocking?
Use extreme stretching.
Have a client who says she wants to run faster?
Try extreme stretching.
I know what you may be thinking. You may be thinking that this sounds like “bodybuilding stuff”.
Don’t worry – you won’t get big and bulky. This is stretching not lifting. Ever seen the stretching routine that a ballerina goes through? They don’t look big and bulky, right?
There are extreme stretches for every body part and they only take 60-90 seconds to complete. If you can go longer than 90 seconds – either the stretch is being done wrong or it’s time to add resistance.
Stretching makes your body more flexible, giving your muscles and joints greater range of motion.
Other benefits include:
- By forcing blood into the muscle, you push in nutrients and pull out the waste products. Isn’t that the goal? By getting more nutrients into the muscle, you get more of the muscle building amino acids and other nutrients into the muscle to repair the fibers you have worked so hard to break down with all of those burpees and squats. Want a shapelier butt? Add some muscle.
Increased flexibility means a decrease in injuries. Everyone knows that by keeping a muscle pliable and loose, you are less likely to strain or tear the muscle.
STRETCHING IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERUTILIZED COMPONENTS OF FITNESS
Here are some ways for you to use extreme stretching in your fitness bootcamp.
- Partner up. Do up to a 90 second sissy squat stretch (as mentioned at the beginning of this article). Did you make it the entire 90 seconds? If so, try duck walking for up to 20 yards with your partner. Shake the legs out really well both before the duck walks and after.
- Do the same as above but race your partner during the duck walks. Or have the entire group do this and have a group race. Let them shake the legs out before the duck walks and then call out “ON YOUR MARK, GET SET, GO!”
- Perform 90 seconds of extreme stretching using the sissy squat (or some other leg stretch – I’m sure you know a few) and then couple it with a Kettlebell Duck Walk for 10 yards down and back.
- Perform a sit and reach stretch for hamstrings for up to 90 seconds then rollover and hold the plank for 90 seconds. That’s 3 minutes of pure hell.
By now, you’re probably seeing the possibilities. You can do these stretches alone for up to 90 seconds or you can pair them up in your own unique way. I would recommend that you do them first before you have your bootcampers do them so you can adjust the stretch, the time, the resistance as needed.
Once again, these are extreme stretches so beginners should not attempt these. You’ll find stretches for every body part not just the legs. One of my favorites is hanging from a bar after a session of pullups and/or rope climbs. See if you can hang 90 seconds.
Bootcamp training is evolving. It’s much more than just recycled old push ups, squats and situps. Try something new. It’ll keep your bootcampers interested, keep them progressing and give them something new to talk about at the water cooler that will help promote your business.
P.S. On instagram? Me, too. I post videos and pics of workouts and more at http://instagram.com/scottyorkfitness/
P.S.S. Working on a new bootcamp resource (no, it has nothing to do with extreme stretching). It’s a competitive, fun way to add another element to your bootcamp.
Here’s a fun bootcamp drill for you that blends striking, kicking, focus and hand-eye coordination.
This is a partner drill that can be used as a time filler or as part of a workout.
HOW TO DO IT
In the video below, you’ll see that I have 2 focus mitts on my hands.
When I say “1″, I’ll hold up one mitt, while my partner performs:
- Kick, Kick, Kick
When I say “2″, my partner will perform:
- Kick, Kick, Kick
That’s it in a nutshell.
WAYS TO CHANGE IT UP
- Do a total of 10 “reps” calling out “1″ and “2″ randomly to keep your partner guessing. Then switch. Your partner holds the focus mitts for 10 reps.
- Add a “3″. Each time you call out “3″, your partner does 3 burpees.
- Call out “1″, “2″ and do that combo as 1 non stop rep.
You get the picture.
I’ve used this fun drill for years and my clients never get tired of it as long as I change things up. They love adding striking and kicking to the training as it makes them feel more “bad ass”.
Special thanks to Adela Garcia – my partner in the video. Adela has won the IFBB Pro Ms Fitness Olympia 8 times!
P.S. I’m putting the finishing touches on a brand new workout resource. I’ve been creating and testing these brand new bootcamp drills on myself and my clients for months. I get bored easily so I’m always thinking of new ways to train groups of people with never before seen drills and workouts. Whenever I see the same old workout filled with push ups, squats, situps, etc – it makes me want to puke. Once again, I get bored easily. That’s just me. This new resource should be completed in January 2015. It’ll have pictures, videos and descriptions of these new bootcamp drills. I guarantee you it will put a smile on your face.